Emulators Galore at TechEd 2012 Keynote Day 1

I Need One of Those For My Office

Kicking off TechEd 2012 was a DJ on stage manipulating a SmithsonMartin Emulator DJ Touch machine. This translucent large panel multitouch display runs only on Windows and filled the big room with soothing grooves to get the show off to a nice start. We won’t take too much mention of the fact that he was using his iTunes library to supply the tracks. You can get your own Emulator for only $99 if you just want the software. But, since you’ll probably want the 46” monster, that’ll set you back $4,699.

[youtube  width=“560” height=“315”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVD_Lvv4UOI[/youtube]


Satya Nadella was the anchorman of the morning’s keynote. He started off with the high level description and described it as
and let others fill in the details. The Windows Server 2012 and virtualization demos were impressive. Mark Russinovich came on stage to show off some of the Azure deployment options and a gent from Aflac showed how they’re using SharePoint with Azure to keep their upcoming customer web site up and running. His trademark subtle snarkiness was not hushed by the clear scripting of the event.

We saw, for what must have been one of the first times ever, Microsoft demo how their software works as expected on an iPad or iPhone. For a minute on stage there was an iPad emulator running on Mac OS on the big screen. If you’re a Microsoft hater and don’t think they’ve changed, this should help convince you.

Jason Zander had the most euphemistic line of the keynote when he mentioned that the Visual Studio team received a lot of “feedback” from developers about the UI color changes to Visual Studio 2012. It’s a kind way of saying that developers spewed some nasty hate towards the original UI changes they made for the VS 11 Beta. I’ve read through a lot of the comments and I think some devs need to stop worry about who moved their cheese and focus on writing great software. I know a certain other company that would tell their devs to go jump in a lake if they didn’t like something in the dev tool. Be nice. The folks who make Visual Studio are devs too.

Demo Gods

The demo gods were not on the side of the developer demonstrations. Scott Guthrie got the first bite when his locally deployed application on an emulator simply responded with a Yellow Screen of Death. Eventually he switched to another machine that was in play with the demo further along. He was able to show us how he created a IM service in the cloud. People in the room saw the URL and started posting messages to it. Some funny. Some inappropriate. The demo failures extended to Jason Zander who tried to show remote debugging a metro style application. We didn’t get to see it as it didn’t work on either of the machines he tried.


Jason Zander announced that an HTML client for Visual Studio LightSwitch was now available. Scott Guthrie announced that Microsoft removed the “Preview” label from the Team Foundation Service online product, allowing anyone to sign up without an invitation code. This does not mean that it’s released and there is no pricing information out yet. I really hope they don’t jack up the price on this product and instead make it competitive with other services such as GitHub. The site claims they’ll have at least some level of free service.

It was a decent keynote, if a bit tame. It certainly set the stage for the days breakout sessions. TechEd 2012 is off to a great start!

Image Credit: Twitter User @cjhseattle