During Tech-Ed attendees may attend presentation tracks ranging from Windows Server administration and deployment through best practices for efficient ADO.NET programming and everything in between.
No doubt a focus of this year’s Tech-Ed will be Windows 7, preparing attendees to support and roll out the coming new desktop operating system as well as target new features it offers application developers.
When not filling their brains, participants can fill their supplied Tech-Ed conference backpack with pens, yoyos and all manner of goodies from exhibitors in the popular expo area.
This year Microsoft has announced a special gift for all Australian Tech-Ed attendees with a paid ticket. The event will be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland from September 8 to 11 and 2,300 HP Mini 2140 netbooks will be doled out, pre-loaded with Windows 7.
This surely ranks as the most expensive piece of conference swag handed out in the registration kit in the entire history of the conference.
Mind you, the HP Mini 2140 has actually been discontinued by Hewlett Packard but at the price nobody should mind.
Attendees will receive the netbook at the beginning of the conference and can use it to gain practical exposure to the Windows 7 concepts being taught at the same time.
Not everybody really needs a netbook. As computing professionals it’s possible many attendees will have surplus computers and laptops in their garage already.
Consequently, Microsoft are giving out the netbooks with a choice attached. Attendees will be asked if they wish to receive the device as a gift or a loan. Those who elect for the loan option will be able to use the netbook as much as they wish during the event but must return it on departure. Microsoft will then donate all returned netbooks to a community program aimed at helping disadvantaged Australians develop technology skills.
For some registrants there may be the additional question of whether they or their employer owns the netbook anyway so it may be preferable to avoid such concerns by opting to donate.
Of course, the netbook could also be used to try out Ubuntu Netbook Remix considering most Tech-Ed partakers will already be using some form of Windows 7 on their desktop or laptop.