MVP Summit 2005

The Summit was almost 2 weeks ago. What can I say? I’m not so young any more that I can come home from an all night party, and go to work the next day.

This was a 4 day party, with but 4 to 6 hours at night, for sleep, as the only free time. I’m just now recovered enough (physically and mentally) so I can start to write about it.

I have started, separately, to write about Vista (and pray that I do not violate the NDA while doing so).

I didn’t do half the things I had hoped to do.

  • I didn’t meet half the folks I had hoped to meet.
  • Of the ones I did meet, I didn’t talk to them half as much as I’d want to.
  • I didn’t get half the technical training that I would have wanted, or would have found useful.
  • I got just a bit more than half as much sleep as I should have.
  • I did no sightseeing. Period.

I did twice as much as I’d have expected, anyway, knowing my personal history.

  • I drank more beer and wine then I should have (but not a lot more).
  • I ate more tasty food (some of it even healthy) as I have in recent past.
  • I involved myself in more heated philosophical (techie philosophy anyway) arguments, then I have been in recent past.
  • I spent too much time wandering around, lost (and the Microsoft folks know about some of these experiences).
  • I spent way too long sitting in the legendary Microsoft Conference Room chairs, then my butt would have wanted.
  • I spent a lot of time waiting for the bus (but some MVPs spent far more time, and had worse experiences).

None of the above detract from the positive memories though. This was a class event.

To put it simply, I was blown away by the intensity of the Microsoft experience. This was 4 1/2 star treatment (and Microsoft knows what the 1/2 star deduction was).

  • Accomodations. We were given our choice of any of half a dozen downtown and suburban Seattle hotels, 3 to 4 star I would guess. Having stayed at a couple Westin chains in the past, I chose the Seattle Westin. I was not disappointed.
  • Amenities. Internet access was covered. This included wired and wireless connectivity in the hotel, and wireless connectivity in the Microsoft Conference Center. I heard some say that they got wired connectivity when plugged into network jacks in the Microsoft offices – I didn’t try that myself.
  • Transportation. With the exception of getting to and from Seattle, and getting from the airport to the hotel on the first day, all transportation was covered. This was luxury class chartered busses. I should have it so good during the air flight. OK, there were communications problems between Microsoft and the bus folks. So what?
  • Food and Beverage. Three full class meals daily (well, one trippy box lunch), and snacks and soft drinks between meals. No vending machines in the Microsoft offices, just huge glass front refrigerators, with a dozen or so healthy / non-healthy beverages.
  • Serious Stuff. I did go for the instructive sessions. Really. And I was not disappointed. The focus was on Vista, but I did pick up a small amount of information on XP. We were promised online copies of the presentations, which I await patiently.
  • Not-so-Serious-Stuff. Four days, and a party each day. From the first afternoon, registering at the Microsoft Conference Center, thru the last day.
  • Overall Treatment. With the exception of being made to check my laptop and camera before the Executive Sessions (and even that was handled expeditiously), I was very impressed by the welcomes I received.

More details as I have a mind to write. Watch this space.

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