Thoughts on Steve Ballmer’s keynote

Wow, oh wow.  It’s always a pleasure to see Steve Ballmer speak, and it’s a greater privilege to be here at Tech Ed 2005 supporting the great things he noted in his keynote.  I’ve seen Bill Gates speak many times, but other than some internal presentations to employees I’ve never gotten a chance to see Steve speak to our customers live.  (Steve’s speech will be available in webcast form in a few hours. Check in here to watch.)


I’m working the booth and cabana all day in addition to my security talk at 1:30 ET (SEC305! Be there!) so I wanted to be sure that I was at the site early to catch Steve’s speech. The buses from the hotel were PACKED! I was sure I wouldn’t arrive in time to get a good seat, but got lucky and had a great view of the keynote. Samantha Bee from the Daily show opened with a “Weekend Update” style news report before inviting Steve up. I now know security has hit the big time when “Update Tuesday” was part of her opening jokes. 


Steve spoke a lot about the work being done to make “the new way of work” a seamless reality, and there was a great demo of Mobile device lockdown and policy.  He then spoke about the tension between the IT Pro and the Developer in trying to make the user the center of the technology. There was also an entire series of demonstrations both on Visual Studios Tools for Office as well as remote management of both windows and solaris systems all from a central Windows computer using Microsoft software.


But even Steve noted that of all the topics discussed so far, the one that got the most energy out of the audience was security.  He noted the progress that Windows Server 2003 has made over previous versions, and then compared that to competing offerings from other vendors in terms of updates.  But he wasn’t declaring victory. “None of this is meant to indicate the work is done” he said. Then he spoke at length about what Microsoft Update brings to the picture.  I’d love to go on at length about this, but I need to hurry over to the booth and then on to my presentation. In the meantime, check out this Q&A with Gord Mangione, one of my Vice Presidents in the SBTU. He includes some more information about how MU, WSUS, SMS and MBSA 2.0 all work together to make updating easier.


I’m here with Mike Reavey and Simon Conant, so you’ll be hearing more from one of us later on. Swing by the booth and say hi if you are here in Orlando!

-Stephen Toulouse


*This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.*