As we gear up for MMS (by "we" I mean Jack), we're trying to focus on certain areas of the show, since a lot of it doesn't necessarily apply to desktop virtualization or consumerization. There is a lot going on, and based on the number of emails I've gotten from the press email list, I'd imagine this is a larger show than it was last year. I thought I'd boil down what I'm looking for at MMS to four things, then ask you for what you want us to find. Here goes:
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Will Windows 8 be front and center?
Based on the number of Windows 8 (workstation) sessions, I'd say no. There doesn't appear to be anything specifically about Windows 8, Windows on ARM, or Metro. Since this is a management show, maybe that makes sense. Perhaps they're saving up for TechEd (I wonder what Jack is doing June 11-14?). Maybe Microsoft just doesn't see the need for talking about it right now, as people seem content to sit and wait for it to come out before making plans. Frankly, all organizations should have their focus on getting off of Windows XP at this point, without worrying about Windows 8. Still, I'm hoping we can all learn something more about the big Windows 8 picture next week, and maybe have some conversations around WoA, Windows 8, and Metro.
Windows 8 "Server"?
This looks like a pretty hot area, with at least six sessions covering topics like:
- Managing Windows Server 8 with Server Manager and PowerShell 3.0
- Overview of Server Management Technologies in Windows Server 8
- DirectAccess in Windows Server 8: Taking the RemoteAccess Experience to the Future
- Windows Server 8 Dynamic Access Control
- Using Dynamic Access Control to automatically and centrally secure data in Windows Server "8"
- Managing Network Infrastructure with Windows Server "8"
The problem is that none of those really have much to do with desktop virtualization. I'm sure there's some over-arching management functionality talked about, but nothing specific to RDS. Still, things have a way of coming up during the show, and we'll see what happens.
Hyper-V 3 is supposed to be the one that brings Microsoft's virtualization platform in line with ESX, although there's at least one company that will disagree. At MMS, there's only one session about it, titled "Hyper-V Storage and Networking in Windows Server '8'", which seems a little lean given all the expectations. Still, that session (along with the keynotes) may give us something tangible to look at. From the looks of it, organizations are much more poised to use Windows Server "8" than the desktop counterpart out of the gate.
Consumerization and device management
Last year was a big year for Microsoft and consumerization. They announced the ability to support iOS and Android devices in SCCM, and I can only imagine that trend will continue this year. Will they go beyond cross-platform management and into application management? Does Azure fit into new devices at all? The keynote on day 2 (Wednesday, 8:30AM PDT) should reveal Microsoft's vision for mobile devices, and could, in fact, reveal more information about Windows 8 and WoA.
UE-V and App-V 5
Since they were announced last week, UE-V and App-V 5 have been the talk of the tubes, and for good reason. Next week, we'll hopefully get a good look at what's going on and get to talk to people involved with both solutions. There are many vendors there that have an opinion on UE-V, too, so we'll try to get their story as well. Incidentally, we're planning to have Immidio's Rodney Medina on Brian & Gabe Live next Tuesday (April 17) to talk about the impact of UE-V and how they look at it as a company with a competing solution.
For the most part, the Day 2 keynote is the better of two from a desktop virtualization and consumerization perspective, so pay close attention. We'll have write-ups on both BrianMadden.com and ConsumerizeIT.com. The Day 1 keynote will be more about the server side (where we'll look for RDS and Hyper-V 3 info) and cloud-oriented topics. It's good information, but it doesn't cause much of a frenzy for us. Both keynotes will be streamed live over the web, so if you're not attending, you can still watch.
Stay tuned for analysis from Jack (@JackMadden) and myself (@GabeKnuth) as announcements happen and the keynotes are going on. In the meantime, what else do you want us to look out for?