I have fallen behind on this one. So now might be a good time to catch up.
I attended the Office and Vista launch on 19-20 January at Microsoft’s office in Reading. The first day was a classic passive learning approach. It was Office track for me as opposed to Vista. I have never been a huge Office developers but Office 2007 is shifting towards a business intelligence platform as well as productivity applications and looks to provide a significant set of services to build on, particularly around Sharepoint Server 2007 and Excel Services. While I was working for Misys on Eagleye we had to come up with something very similar to the Business Data Catalog so that we could integrate at client sites. There are some very powerful features being released there.
The second day was a chance for folks to try out Office and .NET 3.0 development. MS UK set up over 90 PCs in the refectory for folks to play with and a couple of exercises to try. I went along as a helper on the 2nd day. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully we can do a lot more hands on events in the future.
You can still download the exercises and see videos of the day here
Straight afterwards the Office and Vista launch tour came to my company Beazley on the Monday. It was great to see the guys and confirmed my opinion that the grok talk approach, 10 min overview of topics, are a great format for events. We will be doing more at the London .NET User Group including for our own Vista and Office launch event on 22 February.