Though it was entirely long-distance and completely virtual, the MVP Summit 2020 turned out a roaring success. Over the period from Monday, March 16 through yesterday afternoon, Thursday, March 19, I attended nearly 20 virtual online sessions across a broad range of topics. My most important observation is that the Windows Insider team in particular, and the Microsoft staff in general, did a bang-up job on hosting a virtual conference with around 4,000 attendees overall. The most stunning thing about the experience was that they had exactly eight (8!) days to convert the physical conference into its virtual equivalent. It was amazing, educational and incredibly informative. Glad I “went” albeit via headset and the Internet, rather than pressing the flesh and pounding the streets of the Microsoft campus.
If This Be Plague, Then Make the Most of It!
The original version of the heading comes from American revolutionary patriot Patrick Henry, who actually said “If this be treason, make the most of it” in connection with pointing out that “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third … may profit by their example.” This was my first real, full-on time to attend an industry event virtually. We all wanted the information to be shared — Microsoft and the attendees — and there was simply no other way to do it. Given the upset, mayhem and pandemonium that COVID-19 has fostered of late, I take the MVP Summit 2020 as a shining example of making the best of a bad situation. Kudos to the tireless staff and technical wizards who support Microsoft Teams, without which the conference couldn’t have happened.
The Windows Insider Team Has Got Its Mojo Back
After spending the best part (literally) of four days with the group, I must say that they presented a terrific slate of topics. They also showed themselves to be humbly open to, and entirely interested in, feedback, input and all kinds of ideas. Nary a mention of Ninja cats nor taco hats (to steal a page from my co-conspirator and fellow site operator, Kari the Finn), either. There’s no telling what’s gotten into this group, except that they have sharpened their focus admirably and brought their A game to each and every one of our encounters. [Note to Kari: rumor has it that somebody is in the wings to take over the Insider Team Lead position from the redoubtable Ms. Sarkar, and we may know just who that is before April comes and goes. We’ll see, I guess.]
Again, I’m bound by an NDA from providing technical details about what I learned during the many sessions I’ve attended recently. What I hope I can say is that we should all keep our eyes out for some interesting changes in the Insider program over the next few months. The number and kinds of Insider release settings, as shown in the following screencap, are unlikely to remain unchanged. More than that, I cannot say. Windows 10X is going to be attracting a lot more interest, mindshare, and devices to run on by year’s end. Again: more than that, I cannot say. The Windows UI is already in the midst of a massive makeover that will continue for the foreseeable future. And repeat the same mantra for yourselves, please: I’m unable to comment further. What I can say is that there will be plenty of new, different — and hopefully, wonderful — stuff coming to Windows 10 later this year and into the next. Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you what I can, as soon as I’m allowed to share.
The current regime of Slow/Fast/Release Preview appears headed for a shake-up.
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.