12 Sassy Scenes From Microsoft TechEd New Orleans

Hot Stuff In 'Nawlins

New Orleans in June? 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity sounds about right. Even the chili peppers were perspiring at TechEd, partly due to the weather but even more so because of the frenzied discussions about the latest Microsoft technologies. Simply put, developers are fired up about Microsoft's march into the cloud, not to mention its growing virtualization portfolio.

Windows 7 Gets Its Black Belt

Microsoft says it has sold more than 100 million Windows 7 licenses to date, and the product is helping to banish memories of Windows Vista more effectively than Microsoft could ever have hoped. At TechEd, this anthropomorphized version of Windows 7 was strutting around the show floor and pretending to karate chop anyone who doubted these sales figures.

More Wacky Microsoft Costume Fun

It wouldn't be a true tech conference without smiling, costumed versions of Microsoft products roaming the show floor and striking poses, and TechEd had plenty of 'em. Microsoft has a lot happening on the product and technology front, and that can be overwhelming, but the presence of human cartoon characters always helps remind people about the things that really matter in life.

Windows Client, Server Filling The Tanks

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are going like gangbusters and helping Microsoft fill the tanks even as the economy continues to meander aimlessly. When these traditional Microsoft cash cows are healthy, solution providers usually find themselves with more deployment and services work than they can handle. Which is actually a pretty good problem to have.

Mainframes Are Like Lava Lamps?

Alchemy Solutions lured TechEd attendees to its booth with the clever deployment of a 70s-era lava lamp. The company helps customers migrate customers from costly mainframe platforms to the more efficient world of .NET, a move that can add up to significant operational cost savings. But given that lava lamps are experiencing somewhat of a revival these days, perhaps wide, garishly colored polyester neckties would have been better.

Security Certification To Roar About

(ISC)2, a non-profit tech industry organization that certifies security professionals, was getting the word out about its Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) certification. As its name suggests, CSSLP emphasizes security throughout the development lifecycle and represents an effort to move away from the patching model. The message here seems to be that organizations that don't focus enough on security will eventually be visited by an angry, roaring lion.

Get On The Bus

Microsoft has been drumming up interest about Windows 7 and Office 2010 in a 10-city campaign in Canada and the eastern U.S. called the Get On The Bus tour, which culminated on the TechEd show floor. With cringe-inducing bumper stickers like "Geeks On Board," "Honk If You Run Office 2010," and "I Brake For Windows Genuine," the tour bus couldn't have been any campier, although it was nothing if not attention grabbing.

Cloud Now (We're All In)

Cloud now: It's a simple message, and one that dominated TechEd this year as Microsoft sought to highlight Windows Azure's maturity and readiness for business. Microsoft knows developers don't like duplicating efforts, and so its messaging around Azure is that it's a seamless transition that doesn't require them to learn new tools. SQL Azure, Microsoft's cloud-based relational database, is one example.

Minority Report Called, They Want Their Idea Back

Intel's Intelligent Digital Signage demo was one of the most interesting things on the TechEd show floor, and definitely the creepiest. The demo features dual HD video streams on two separate displays and uses video analytics to determine the gender of the person viewing it. The demo is powered by Intel's Core i7 processor running Windows Embedded Standard 7, and will no doubt enable the digital signage industry to expand its already zealous purview.

Security That Only A Ducati Can Provide

Sunbelt Software says its Vipre line of security products keep the bad guys out, and we believe them. However, Sunbelt's choice of a Ducati 848 Superbike as the grand prize in a TechEd giveaway had some folks scratching their heads with bemusement. After all, does a motorcycle that can travel in excess of 200 miles per hour rally evoke a sense of safety and security?

Microsoft Surface Still A Draw

Microsoft's Surface tabletop touch screen computer has been around for a few years now, making appearances at all types of Microsoft events, including this year's TechEd. But it's still got the power to attract tech show attendees, and new Surface applications from partners are helping to maintain that level of interest.

Journey To The Center Of Cloud Marketing

Public cloud versus private cloud is one of the hottest debates in cloud computing, and vendors are lining up around which model makes the most sense for their customers. At TechEd, EMC was touting its private cloud approach and inviting attendees to jump on board with its own version of the future.