Some MEC schedule and content updates

Today the Exchange team updated the website to share more details of what awaits us in a mere 48 days! The complete schedule is a pretty broad outline, but the session list is quite tantalizing.

Day 1 starts with an opening keynote by Rajesh Jha, but the real goodies start with a technical keynote covering the architecture of what Microsoft is calling “the new Exchange.” (It’s interesting, btw, that SharePoint, Lync, Office 2013, and Windows 8/2012 aren’t calling their products “the new X”. I like the Exchange branding.)  There are a total of 8 additional breakout sessions, all on Exchange 2013, scheduled for the rest of day 1. This is definitely a good news/bad news situation, as these 8 sessions are stuffed into three time slots so you cannot attend them all. That means that we’ll all have to choose which sessions seem most interesting. The arrangement reminds me a bit of past MVP summits when we had to make choices such as “would I rather go to the ‘what’s new in PowerShell’ or ‘storage architecture changes’ session?” This is rather jarring given how lame the last few years’ worth of TechEd content has been for Exchange, but it’s a good problem to have. Fortunately the MEC folks will have the Exchange 2013 day-1 sessions recorded for later viewing. (Personally, I think I will probably hit the high availability, security, and “Apps for Outlook and OWA” sessions.)

Days 2 and 3 are all chalk talks. Microsoft is calling them “classroom sessions” but I picture something more informal than the typical lecture sessions, with lots of back-and-forth Q&A. The preview session content list includes a bunch of sessions both on Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2010. There are some interesting tidbits hidden in the session list: “What’s New In Support Programs with Exchange,” for instance, sounds intriguing given that Microsoft has not yet publicly said anything about upcoming support changes. The sessions on site mailboxes, modern public folders, and what’s new in anti-malware (you did know Exchange 2013 includes malware filtering now, right?) look worthwhile as well.

Microsoft hasn’t yet announced exactly which speakers will be presenting the new Exchange 2013 content. However, if you look at the speaker list you can make some informed guesses. I’d expect all of the Exchange 2013 sessions to be covered by Microsoft speakers (I love it that the Microsoft product group folks are listed under the heading of “Exchange Team Personalities”– I can attest that many of the Exchange folks are, in fact, lively personalities), and if you know who does what on the product team you can probably match session titles to personalities pretty easily.

I’m presenting two sessions: E14.302, “Developing Mobile Applications with Exchange Web Services,” and E14.303, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Exchange Unified Messaging.” Other presenters include unindicted co-conspirator Tony Redmond, fellow MCM instructor Brian Reid, the formidable Glen Scales, ex-3Sharpie Devin Ganger, and a host of others whose names you’ll probably recognize.

Interestingly, Microsoft is still looking for suggestions for sessions– drop a line if there are specific things you want to talk about that aren’t covered. The exhibitors list is now up to date as well, with most of the usual suspects represented– Quest, Binary Tree, Sherpa, and so on.

One open question: there are two evening events, plus an option post-event activity… I wonder what the MEC planners have up their sleeves for us? I can’t wait to find out. See you there!

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