There are about 7,800 attendees, by my calculations, at this year's TechEd. Down from about 13,000 from last year. Those ~7,800 attendees got their money's worth on day two of TechEd, with a heavy dose of Exchange 2010 sessions, developer sessions, and other Microsoft technologies.
I arrived on-time for one of the most popular sessions, the Exchange 2010 Migration Deep Dive, only to find that the session was already filled beyond fire marshal capacity. People continued to stream to the session, only to be turned away. It's obvious that Microsoft has a lot of customers interested in Exchange 2010, and this will transfer to an increased number of implementations and migrations in the near term. I, along with many others, will have to wait to see the session as it's streamed from Microsoft in the next 24 hours.
Mark Minasi was in excellent form during his Security session, taking the gauntlet of former Microsoft Employee Steve Riley. As usual, his session was as entertaining as it was useful. I was particularly pleased when Mark stood on a chair in the first row and asked the audience, "Where is Steve Riley?" There's an enormous amount of support for Steve, both within and outside the Microsoft community.
I attended two excellent sessions, one for Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Direct Access and Remote Desktop (formerly Terminal Services) and the other for Exchange 2010 archiving and retention. There's a lot of HUGE advances being made in this area, and I'm really excited to see this.
The night ended with two FABULOUS parties brought by our friends at Double-Take Software and the Windows Embedded Group. The Double-Take ClusterFunk Party takes us all back to what TechEd parties were all about: Good music, good food, good drinks and most of all, good fun. Nothing beats a good live band and ClusterFunk delivers! We thank Double-Take Software for their continued support and engagement of the TechEd community!
The Windows Embeded Group also had a party at the Lucky Strikes Bowling Alley next door to the ClusterFunk party and across from Staples Center, where the Lakers were in playoff game. I honestly can't tell you who one because I was having so much fun at both of these parties. Bowling, booze and good ol' rock and roll make a great combination!
Here's to a great set of sessions tomorrow.