For me, sitting in a keynote session yesterday (where MVPs congregate irrespective of specialty) and seeing that the majority of attendees came from outside the USA may have been the coolest moment of the conference so far. This is a truly global organization, and includes heavy representation from all over the planet at the event. I’ve met and spoken with people from Canada, Germany, Finland, Taiwan, France, South Africa, Nigeria, Poland, Ukraine, and more. There are lots of different viewpoints, cultures, languages, and ideas floating around all over the place.
This morning, MS laid down the event logo on my cappucino’s crema. THAT’s a first!
Instead of hanging out in a hotel today, we boarded buses for the Microsoft campus this morning instead. As a Windows Insider MVP, I spent much of the day with members of one or more Windows teams, including the Windows Insider folks themselves, including some pretty famous people with names like Dona Sarkar (who absolutely rocked the room in a truly awesome red dress with nifty little darts on each shoulder) and Brandon Leblanc. We learned a lot about the importance of feedback to the Inside crew, for whom the program is all about feedback in as much detail, specificity, and volume as participants can provide. On this topic, I can only say that Kari’s recent post here “Microsoft Is Listening” is absolutely spot on. Where feedback is concerned, Microsoft totally believes — and Kari and I both concur — that more is better, especially in terms of level of detail, frequency, and separation of issues (one per Feedback Hub item, please).
I got to hear lots of interesting stuff about various Windows 10 technologies today, including Cortana, the Photos app, SQL Server, and more. I’ve been impressed enough that I plan to go out and grab a smart speaker of some kind, and will start using it with Cortana on one of my test machines when I get back home. Having previously avoided Cortana (especially the voice part) in the past, I’ve seen it do enough cool stuff now that I’m actually going to give it a try. I also finally understand that Photos is way more than just a photo-viewing app, and even used it to crop and enhance today’s cellphone photo that heads this blog post.
At the end of the day, though, it remains the MVPs who impress and excite me the most. I’ve met more great people, and had more interesting and amazing conversations today alone than is typical for me in a normal week. It really is a truly well-informed and talented bunch of people, with lots of interesting things to say and share. I’ll keep doing just that here for the next couple of days, as I work toward my homeward-bound leg of this basically excellent trip.
This data was announced in advance of the event, but I can’t find corrected numbers. Amazing nonetheless.
[Note: Added 3/12]
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.