Scenes From D&H Show: Windows 8, Ultrabooks And More4:00 PM EST Tue. Aug. 21, 2012
D&H Distributing held its annual New England Technology Show on Aug. 14 in Quincy, Mass., home of former presidents John Adams (left) and John Quincy Adams (right), as well as first lady Abigal Adams (center). While it might seem like D&H has been around since Colonial times, the distributor has "only" been in business since 1918.
Bret Rohloff, OEM technical marketing lead at Microsoft, presented a preview of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system, saying that the platform will boost both mobile and desktop applications. He also asked VARs to consider moving any remaining customers from XP to the new OS.
"There are now children in middle school who weren't born when Windows XP was launched," Rohloff said, drawing laughter from the crowd. "It's time to move on. It's time to move on. Middle school!"
Jeff Carlson, channel application engineer at Intel, shows off an Asus Ultrabook while explaining the differences between those products and traditional notebooks.
He touted the new Wireless Display feature, which allows users to share their PC display on a TV or other device. "I can play whatever I want on my screen on my TV. There's a lot of interest from schools in WiDi," Carlson said.
The educational sessions are a big draw, but many VARs said they come to the D&H show to see and touch the latest technology gadgets. This year, more than 50 vendors were on hand to showcase their wares. The show is known for the extra on-site discounts that vendors offer to VARs for just that day.
D&H Co-President Michael Schwab visited several vendor booths on the show floor, here taking time to chat with some folks from Cisco Systems.
Lenovo attracted VARs not only for its products but for offering pretzel sticks with melted cheese and mustard to attendees. While snacking, solution providers could also get their hands on Lenovo's U410 14-inch Ultrabook and other notebooks.
It's not just solution providers interested in technology. Sometimes vendors check out each other's products too. Here, Garmin's Chris Powell explains GPS technology to David Bangs, senior vice president of sales at Drobo, an SMB storage company.
Among the hundreds of cars in the parking lot at the show, CRN noticed only a few vehicles in which VARs attached their logos and contact info to market themselves. One was this car driven by Eric Gould, owner of Savage Systems, a Putnam, Conn.-based VAR.
Gould said the signage adds legitimacy to the business. "It gets people to know you when you show up at their business," Gould said. "We try to keep newer vehicles, and from a marketing perspective it works. We've had several occasions where I've gotten calls from people saying, 'I saw you outside such-and-such business' or 'I didn't know who you were but I see that Company XYZ trusts you.'"
Logitech had one of the biggest booths and showed off dozens of wireless mice with colorful designs, which attracted the attraction of VARs.