Today was the day when they got all the MVP pods together in one big room and the Microsoft executives told us how great we all are and how much they appreciate us, etc, etc. Frankly, for an ego like mine this was nothing new, but I digress :-). The Execs also had to a chance to talk about the program, review some of their pet technologies and basically just have a truly supportive audience for anything they said.
Anyway, the day started off simple enough. Brian and I picked our way through the large room looking for some decent seats. We were looking for a possible seat on the end of a row and noticed that there were sheets of paper on all the end seats with a name printed on them. Hmmm… what’s this for? No idea, keep moving. Anyway we find some seats in the front row settled in for the morning. Next thing we know a group of Italians sit down all around us and provide us with an on-site Italian lesson as the speakers run through their presentations.
At the end of the first session we learn what the papers on the seats are for. Basically these are "plants." Pre arranged/assigned people to ask questions of the presenters. I guess what happened was that the questions were submitted to the MVP team by MVPs. These questions were then voted on and the top 10 in each category were to be used in the presentations. Of course these questions were scrubbed up, typed, cleaned up, etc etc. As Steve Ballmer said they were scrubbed, sanitized, prepared for and even type written answers. The weird thing was that Brian and I have never seen anything about submitting questions much less voting on them.
This was a little disturbing. But what made it all better (at least for me) was the fact that Steve Ballmer went ahead and went with raw questions from the audience, after he finished the 10 canned ones. Of course after about 10 of the audience questions we realized the Server guys were out numbers and every coding geek wanted to ask something crazy. Basically all the questions were focused on how VBAs were going to integrate into .NET, then hook into a NASA mainframe, translate its data feeds into XML and ship it all off to shuttle for processing by a Commodore 64. Ok it wasn’t a Commodore. Maybe it was a 64 Bit intel something or other, but you get the point.
At this point Brian and I heard the words in our heads "nothing to see here folks, move along." So we did. We scooted out of the session, skipped the last speaker all together and simply went back to the hotel for a couple hours of cooling off.
The funny thing about today was that no laptops, cameras, recording devices etc etc, were allowed into the sessions. I found this funny since I never saw anything very technical today that wasn’t covered yesterday and yesterday we had MVPs sitting in sessions with digital video cams taping every word and slide and every interface and technology they saw. So… that just made me think that they never know what an exec is going to day and maybe no one should record them!
Nothing very exciting today. More road map stuff as to where windows server and client are headed. A little info on SP2 for XP pro (very cool BTW, lots of new stuff). But very little else. Tomorrow is our real day. Basically 4 or 5 of us terminal server guys hanging out with like 10 of the Terminal Server Product guys. This should be gold. Hopefully I’ll have new stuff to play with in my basement at the end of the day.