In days of yore, Exchange admins had their own conference, the MEC. For some reason I’ve never completely understood, Microsoft rolled Exchange content in to TechEd, along with developer-focused content and pretty much every other thing you could think of. What started as an admin/IT pro-focused show turned into a giant behemoth that embodied a paradox: every year, it would offer more sessions, and yet the number of sessions relevant to any given topic area tended to decrease!
I’m pretty sure Microsoft heard the screaming, because for the last couple of years their European show, IT Forum, has been split into two separate developer and IT pro events, held on consecutive weeks. I just got a note from my MVP lead announcing that the 2008 US TechEd will have the same split! This is tremendous news because now it means that IT and developer topics won’t have to butt heads any longer. I expect dramatic growth in the number of Exchange-focused sessions, which should be great. (Of course, it kind of stinks for the MS folks who now have to spend two consecutive weeks in June in Orlando!)
Despite this change, I expect Exchange Connections to remain the premier Exchange-focused conference. It’s a smaller, more focused, and more intimate conference that lets us dive deep into Exchange and UC topics. I’m excited to be chairing the fall 2007 show next week in Vegas and the spring 2008 show in Orlando. See you there!