VS Live Keynote – day 2

Mark Minasi gave a recap of Windows 6 in today’s VS Live keynote.  Mark’s a pretty colorful guy, if you haven’t followed his work, be sure to check out his site, as it’s offers a wealth of information, on the “windows” side of the house.  Mark also has a blog, and free newsletters.

After debunking a few myths about Vista, Mark goes on to say he actually likes it, whereas about 1/3 of the audience declared they were going to stick with XP as long as possible.  My personal experience has been similar, The XP’ers tend to be somewhat jaded folks that haven’t yet had the opportunity to run Vista in an ideal environment, meaning a new, beefy box with lots of RAM.   Mark then showed a  slide of common complaints, the usual:  its slower,  poor driver support,  incompatibilities,  licensing, and it just sucks.  He then added, the slide was actually from the feedback after the launch of XP, in October of 2003.  Interestingly, many in IT continue to “fear change”, as he referenced from Wayne’s World.

The next several slides promoted Vista features, found everywhere on the net, so I wont list them here.  A few noteworthy items included the removal of hyperTerminal (for the serial console folks), secure by default settings, and vast group policy improvements.  Mark also hinted to the next version of the OS may feature the Office 2007 ribbon feature, which everyone hates.  To maximize your Vista experience, he ended with, get the right hardware, lots of ram (2gb min, 4+ ideal) – and consider 64bit Vista OS!  As most know, 32bit windows can’t utilize much over 3gb, to see how much ram your pc is utilizing, check out systemInfo.exe.  Again, when possible, consider 64bit OS, driver issues, for most, arent as bad as you think.  He also referenced, he’s using a Lenova T61P, and should be used as a benchmark, as he’s been very happy with it.

Moving onto windows 2008 (w2k8), he touched on the benefits of the no GUI, server core.  Mark added, Microsoft referenced 60% of all hotfixes for w2k3, were due to GUI issues.  Server core will support virtualization, and the forthcoming hyperV (which won’t support “Live Migration”, MS’ version of VMWare’s vMotion, until R2).  Read-only DCs will make branch office operatins easier. He went on to add Virtualization benefits to us, consumers of the technology as MS threatens VMWare’s ESX product, in a rach to the bottom of the sea for who can give it away faster!  Sure MS’ virtualization is still premature, but it is in use in some production environments, and actually performs pretty well for basic deployments.

In closing, Mark appears to be an advocate for MS technologies, with appropriate criticisms, such as supporting winXP until people no longer want it, and Active Directory gaps that remain from w2k, specifically around trust issues between forests and some dcPromo gotchas.  Mark left us with a few things to help us stay ahead of the curve, items that he believes haven’t yet critical mass, but will in the next 12-36 months.  They were:

  • IPv6 – China is leading demand
  • Virtualization (obviously)
  • PKI, if not using yet, time to start thinking about it
  • SQL, nearly everything uses it, time to learn it
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