Impress your boss without having to put a dent in the training budget by winning tickets to
TechEd Europe. It’s the premier annual Microsoft event for IT professionals from the 25th to 28th June 2013. You’ll be able to improve your knowledge, talk to leading experts face to face and gain valuable information that’ll put you streets ahead of others in your area. Plus you’ll do it all in sunny Madrid!

How you can win

Win your ticket to TechEd Europe 2013 by downloading Microsoft products

If you trial Windows Server 2012 <ISO> <VHD>, Windows Azure and/or System Center 2012 SP1 between 22nd March 2013 and 31st May 2013, you’re in with a chance of winning a ticket to TechEd Europe, hosted this year in the cultural city of Madrid.

To be eligible, download at least one of the three products. Download two or all three to better your chances. You’ll also need to fill out our entry form.

Win a fully funded place at TechEd Europe by writing a short review

We also have three fully funded trips to be won. This takes a bit more effort, but it’s well worth it.

Once you’ve trialled one (or all) of the three products, submit an article/blog post reviewing the experience/product – that will qualify you for a chance to win.

There are three funded places to TechEd Europe to be won, one prize for each of the winning product reviews. There’s also a brand new Windows 8 Phone to be won by three runners up.

You’ll be judged based on your depth of understanding of the product and the breadth of how these can be applied in the modern IT department. The more informative and useful you make the articles for fellow IT pros, the more chance you have of winning.

Each first place prize includes your ticket to TechEd Europe, flights, hotel and meals. Winners will also be part of the TechNet team at the hub of Microsoft’s European community.

To be eligible you must have downloaded at least one of the three products and written a review of your experience; if you download and review all three, you will have tripled your chances of winning.

We’ll also be monitoring Twitter for spot prizes. Just use the hashtag #TechEdChallenge in a tweet for a chance to win some limited edition Microsoft goodies.

We want you to be equipped with all of the knowledge to write a winning article, so to help you learn about the products before you start, we recommend you visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy for product-specific courses that will teach you about the latest features.

To find out more about TechEd Europe 2013, please click here

One prize only per person.

T&Cs apply


A couple of weeks ago I was at Teched in Atlanta, where I was working the Active Directory booth, with Brian Desmond and a few of the Active Directory product group.  It was an interesting week with all kinds of interesting questions, but nothing that had not been asked before and a couple of questions that had not been asked for a very long time, so the answer was buried very deep and Bing had to help on a couple of occasions.

One of my key observations was that there was no Threat Management Gateway Product  Team present, but if this little snippet is true, then it would probably explain why.

Deb Shinder’s Blog article: Death of TMG?

As always the networking at Teched was excellent and for me this is just as important as any of the technical sessions that you can attend.

Next year should be interesting with both Teched North America and Teched Europe only a week apart – could this be for anything special to be announced?  We shall have to wait and see.

North America June 11th-14th

Europe June 25th-29th


On a couple of the social occasions, I found myself armed with a camera….

Jam Session


Closing Party


According to Microsoft:


“Based on your feedback, Microsoft is excited to announce we’re shifting Tech·Ed Europe back to the summer timeframe, resuming in 2012. Mark your calendars: the next Tech·Ed Europe will be held the week of June 25, 2012 at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in the historical and picturesque city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands!” 


To ensure you have the opportunity to experience Tech·Ed in 2011, you are invited to attend Tech∙Ed North America in Atlanta, Georgia from May 16-19, 2011. For the European community, a discount of $200 USD off the conference price of $2,195 USD is available until Friday the 15th of April 2011. Please register on the Tech·Ed North America site using the promotion code ATGNEURO to receive your savings. For anyone with a European residence who already registered at the standard rate of $2,195, you are eligible to receive a refund of $200 USD by emailing the registration team by April 15th and including the special discount code ATGNEURO.

The Tech·Ed Europe 2010 keynote and session recordings are available for online viewing – no registration is required and all content is free to watch, download and share.

We are excited about our return to the capital of the Netherlands, and we look forward to a fabulous training and education event in 2012. Be on the lookout for the Tech·Ed Europe newsletter to get all of the latest and greatest announcements on the conference.




This week I find myself in Berlin for Teched Europe, this is my first Teched in Europe since Amsterdam in 2004 (I usually attend Teched North America, as the dates usually fall better in my diary) and this is the first that I find myself working.

For approximately half the week I am working the Microsoft Springboard booth which is the ultimate destination for technical resources, free tools and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of your Windows client infrastructure (Windows 7, Office 2010/2007 and Internet Explorer), the rest of my time I am split between sessions, the GITCA stand in the community lounge; the TechNet Wiki and actual sessions.

Working the Microsoft Springboard booth it is apparent that a lot of organisations are at some stage of a migration to Windows 7, which is encouraging news. The most common question has been “What is Springboard?”, this is answered above but other common questions have included:

Q. How do I learn to deploy Windows 7 via the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)?

A. All relevant information referencing the MDT can be located on the Deployment TechCenter here 

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit can be downloaded from here.

Q. What is MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack)?

A. The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack provides Solutions in 7 key areas for the Windows Desktop environment.

Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
Application Virtualization
Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset
System Center Desktop Error Monitoring
Asset Inventory Service
Advanced Group Policy Management

More information on MDOP can be found here

Come say “Hello” if you are in Berlin.

Are you looking to plan, pilot or deploy Windows and Office?

The Microsoft Springboard team from Redmond will be in the UK en route to TechEd Europe (Berlin) on Monday 1st November, they will be delivering a five hour workshop on:

Office 2010 IT investments.

Key deployment strategies for Windows 7 and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

Opportunities for training and certification in these key products.

Why Windows 7 has received rave reviews from IT organisations and is setting records as the fastest selling operating system in history.

Tools, tips and tricks you need now to jumpstart the successful deployment and management of your Windows desktop environment today.

If you are interested in attending, then register today for the workshop and the opportunity to come and network with members of the US based Windows and Office Product Teams, as well as local Microsoft Technology Evangelists.

I am a little late with this information but the TechEd Europe 2010 Sessions & Speakers have been announced.

Over 200 Tech Ed sessions are now posted on the website, along with an amazing line-up of speakers for this year’s event.

Also if you are attending don’t forget about the Pre-Conference Seminars on the 8th November

Registration is still open for the event – join me, peers and perhaps a colleague or two and learn more about the newest technology from Microsoft.

There is also a slight wording error on the “Speaker and content lineup announced” email that went out today (14/09/2010)

Wrong Wording Correct Wording

I am looking forward to attending TechEd this year in Berlin, it will be the first time I have attended one in Europe since the last time it was held in Amsterdam. I have picked up on a few updates and listed them below.

Brad Anderson to Keynote Tech∙Ed Europe 2010

Microsoft CVP, Brad Anderson, will be a keynoter at this year’s Tech∙Ed Europe event.  More announcements on keynoters and sessions to come in September.  Join the TechEd Europe email newsletter, or visit the website for the latest news.

Register by 31st August and Save

Don’t miss this chance to save on Tech∙Ed Europe – register by 31 August and save €200 off the full conference price (a €400 savings over last year’s full price).  If you book your hotel through the Tech∙Ed Europe accommodation booking service by 31 August, you’ll also receive a FREE, 6-day public transit (BVG) pass.  The BVG pass entitles you to full use of public transportation (metro/city train/tram/bus) in Berlin.  Visit the registration page for details on both offers.

Attendees Receive a Free TechNet Subscription

Tech·Ed Europe attendees will receive a free, one-year Microsoft TechNet Subscription, specifically selected for IT Professionals that support enterprise-wide environments. The subscription includes access to the complete stack of full-version Microsoft infrastructure and business solution software for evaluation and testing purposes, as well as access to upcoming beta releases, E-Learning courses and priority support on TechNet Forums.  The subscription benefit for attendees excludes the two (2) free support calls included in the Professional subscription level; all other benefits are the same.   View benefits.

Go Behind-the-Scenes of the TechEd Europe event, Win a Free Pass!

Jennifer Ritzinger (event owner) and Mike Swanson (keynote owner) host a weekly video show to share the latest news and ‘behind-the-scenes’ details about the Tech∙Ed Europe event.  On the most recent episode, they talk to content owner, Steven Salazar, about the results of the session preference voting and the upcoming release of sessions.  Also, they announce how you can win a FREE pass to the event!  In case you’ve missed any, you can still view all the episodes.