Extra early start for me to get from the South East of London to Stamford Bridge for 8am but luckily made perfect connections with all the trains so got there in plenty of time.
I have to say first that the venue is not the best. Certainly not a patch on the Nemo centre in Amsterdam. This is largely due to the fact that the “Great Hall” is probably the most depressing space I have ever been in. It’s a long thin room and it’s ALL BLACK. I had to go out for half an hour at lunchtime just to get some daylight. Apart from that the rooms are “ok” but there is no lab either and consequently no computers to use. Old fashioned perhaps.
I was slightly disappointed by the breakouts. Ian Parker’s talk on Xperf and Ron Oglesby’s talk on VDI were the best for me but the others seemed lacking. Reflecting the state of the desktop industry, much of the breakout material, particularly those involving Brian, have been on crystal ball gazing at a point in time where Windows 7 is being rolled out and VDI is not being accepted as the ultimate solution for desktops. Of course, VDI isn’t the ultimate solution for desktops as there is a growing realisation that server virtualisation and desktop VDI are very different things.
Being a cloud guy with a server background I was disappointed that cloud didn’t get more of a mention. In many ways it is “implied” by the realisation that apps are evolving in the environment of the cloud and the desktop will ultimately become a human interface device for accessing new apps as traditional operating systems and brick based applications are replaced over time. Traditional operating systems and apps developed for them will be left as niche products in an increasingly complex world where more and more choice of apps is available.
Key is the fact that younger users have grown up with IT and they will not be restricted by the whims of old-school IT management. In the end I don’t think this is a battle that IT can win. On the one hand users have enough know-how to get and use the apps they want and on the other, business managers want to cut costs and take a more utility approach to IT. IAAS and PAAS. Implementation of public and private clouds will be the tipping point.
And what are Microsoft going to do with Skype?