Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:27

Microsoft Tech-Ed like Vista - death by a thousand cuts - says one attendee

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Microsoft Tech-Ed Australia 2009 is underway on the sunny Gold Coast, awash with a sea of HP netbooks given to every paying attendee. Yet not all of the fully sold-out crowd think the gift is so great. One participant is tweeting discontent about budget cuts under the alias teched09sucks.

While for many Microsoft Tech-Ed is the highlight of the geek calendar, there is at least one person making noises on the official Twitter feed that they’re more than just a little disappointed.

Last night teched09sucks surfaced, scorning the keynote and HP 2140 netbooks.

Their first complaint appeared innocuously enough save for the user handle, “no tech-ed US CD’s this year?” he or she asked.

This was soon followed with a litany of complaints, “venue is small and overcrowded,” “touch is slower than typing” in reference to Sarah Vaughan’s touchscreen demonstration, “MS execs have nothing to say,” “Even Rove couldn’t save the keynote” and more.

One tweet expressed frustration at being unable to read the projected computer screen displays from the back of the auditorium. This criticism is possibly unfair given it came some 12 hours after the keynote, during which one presenter did ensure they used the zoom accessibility function within Windows to magnify the portion of the screen they were referring to.

Microsoft personalities Nick Hodge and Sara Ford attempted to engage with teched09sucks extending an invitation to give detailed feedback while some Tech-Ed participants following the Twitter feed requested tips for Twitter clients that allowed them to block teched09sucks.

While the ensuing banter was not deep, the Twitter dialogue that followed saw teched09sucks longing for Frank Arrigo – popular Aussie Microsoft personality who has since relocated to Microsoft headquarters in Seattle – and lamenting the lack of international speakers.

It transpired that the HP netbooks – a major drawcard and largely seen as the most impressive conference freebie ever – did cut into the Tech-Ed budget.

“So you guys cut all the teched features for some netbooks. Nice choice,” teched09sucks tweeted, before following with “Is it really about a free computer? Isn’t it about technical education? My employer doesn’t care about a computer” and “I’d trade the netbook for international speakers, better keynote, meet the experts sessions etc.”

Following more discussion with Nick Hodge teched09sucks did relent somewhat, expressing “the netbooks are nice” but still maintaining “it feels like it was used as a distraction because you knew it was a budget teched.”

Fortunately, for Microsoft, nobody else on the #auteched Twitter feed appears to be having a bad time save for one tweet lamenting the desserts had run out even though lunch was still scheduled for another hour, several grumbles about BitTorrent hogs stealing all the WiFi bandwidth and one poor soul whose work colleagues are skipping the conference party at Dreamworld tonight leaving him to go by himself.


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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