Today I was firmly ensconced in a big conference room in Building 83 on the MS campus all day long. In true Seattle fashion, I found myself behind the 8-ball this morning, as an hour proved to be insufficient time for me to make it from my hotel to my destination. I was supposed to be there by 8 AM but because of some truly impressive morning traffic, I didn’t get there until between 8:20 and 8:30 this morning. Nevertheless, I learned some interesting things about the next-up Windows 10 release (still called Redstone 4 in all conversations, so no product name for this soon-forthcoming feature upgrade has yet appeared). I also heard some fascinating discussions on the topic of boot recovery techniques, for those times when an update or issue might leave a system lacking mouse and keyboard. It gave me some great ideas I need to discuss with Kari, so that we can conduct some experiments (and do some PowerShell hacking) to see about partially automating recovery from a WinRE-based alternate boot environment. I’m hopeful those ideas will stand up in the face of harsh reality, so that a quasi-boot-repair tool might come out of those discussions. Forgive me for being oblique: I need that “reality check” before I can understand if it’s even worth talking about, rather than raising false hopes.
Spring is springing in Seattle this morning, as we wait longer than we like in 35F/3C temperatures for the bus to carry us off to the MS campus.
I also heard about OneNote evolution plans today, and had a fascinating session on Window security issues, along with some nice answers. Among other things, I learned yet another good reason why it’s important to leave telemetry turned on in Windows 10. That reason is: when security incidents occur — such as a scam of some kind, a phishing attack, or a potentially unwanted application (PUA) takes up residence on a PC — MS can use subsequent telemetry to help it identify future recurrences, and even to block or prevent them from spreading to or affecting others. Furthermore, the number of such incidents or occurrences drives prioritization of which items get handled first (or at all). They also influence selection of items included in the monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool. If people turn off telemetry, they also turn off Microsoft’s ability to capture such things in a timely and accurate way. Be warned: the PC you lose could be your own, as a consequence!
There was a HoloLens session to kick off the afternoon, during which a horde of augmented reality aficianados joined us in our usually-lightly-populated conference room and turned it into a teeming megalopolis for an hour or so. I was impressed with the amount of power and capability that can be crammed into a half-kilo device that sits atop the old brain-bucket. Likewise, I was impressed by the level of fervor and intense interest that some audience members showed for the HoloLens hardware and development activities. With a fourteen year-old at home who’s nuts about AR/VR, too, I found the whole thing evocative of my brush with VRML back in the mid-t-late 1990s. It will be really interesting to watch this technology emerge and evolve over the next few releases, that’s for sure!
The incredible Doug Winnie, Learning Evangelist at LinkedIn closed out the afternoon on a high note. He took us through an inventory of personal goals and objectives, and some techniques for improving our abilities to understand, relate to, and help others. It was a stellar opportunity to see what evangelism can accomplish, and a nice way of reminding us MVPs that our ultimate mission is to assist and aid our communities in helping them to be successful, to solve problems, and to accomplish things for themselves along the way. Truly great stuff: for more info on this session, please see my TenForums post “Is it getting deep in here?”
Microsoft ended the evening with a magnificent caloric overload at the Bellevue Fogo de Chao, a restaurant where the salad bar must be seen to be appreciated, and where the roasted meats stop showing up at your plate only when you tell the servers “enough already!” At home, we call a trip to our local churrascaria a “meat coma,” so I found myself quite glad to hoof it back to my hotel (about 2.5 miles/4 km). The 40-minute walk provided a great opportunity for me to clear my head, and burn off at least a few of the calories I’d just ingested with vigor and gusto.
And now that I’ve discharged my final responsibility for the day with this recital of its activities for you, dear readers, I can pack it in and put myself to bed. Goodnight all! My final conference day tomorrow promises to be action-packed and full of more interesting stuff. Stay tuned for the final thrilling installment, please!
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.