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Well Day 1 for MS TechEd North America is a wrap and it was a long but good day.  I spent the majority of the day walking around the TechExpo looking for technologies that would be of interest to the end user and ended up having some great discussions on several topics.

The day started out with an early meeting with Rod Trent (@RodTrent) who is the CEO of myITforum.com. His site sponsors what is called the Twitter Army at Microsoft conferences to enlist attendees to help get the word out on the event via social media.

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Attendees sign the dotted line to join the Twitter Army for MSTechEd

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Rod Trent, CEO of myITforum.com, monitors the Twitter Army from HQ.

On my way into the Twitter Army meeting I ran into Roee Adler (@roadler) who is the Chief product Officer for a terrific program called Soluto.  He and I spent time talking about the latest developments with Soluto which has now been out on the market for just over two years.  They had a Windows 8 Metro App in the initial release of the Windows Store in the Consumer Preview and are in the latest update to the Store in the Windows 8 Release Preview.

When Soluto initially came out it analyzed and monitored your boot up process to help manage start up items to speed things up.  The new app and web based infrastructure now allows you to do much more.  Check out Soluto.com for more info. He and I are meeting later today to talk more about this service for an upcoming blog post.

My next item of business was to get out on the TechExpo show floor and see what was being demoed and look for the end user twist.

For some background the TechExpo has a central area that is all Microsoft Technologies and this is called the Technical Learning Center.  In turn it is surrounded by booths from all the participating companies.

Some of the technologies that Microsoft is showing off that are directly end user related are Windows 8 Client and Windows Phone.

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Stephen Rose from Microsoft (@stephenlrose) demos Windows 8 Release Preview in the Technical Learning Center.

They even had a Kinect for Windows hooked up to this demo and Stephen showed us how he could control the Metro interface of Windows 8 Minority Report style.

Now I was really blown away by the number of people who were around the Windows Phone booth area.  Folks were lined up to do a 10 minute hands on demo with a Nokia Lumia 900 and there was every Windows Phone model you could think of on display.  Users were welcomed to grab the phones, which were securely connected to the demo table of course, and use them and the Metro interface.

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Microsoft TechEd NA attendees participate in a Windows Phone hands on demo.

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The crowd checking out Windows Phones and waiting to get into the hands on demo.

Another company I found that has some end user technology in several free tools was Solarwinds (@solarwinds). They develop IT Management software targeted towards enterprise users but when I spoke with their PR rep Jodi she told me they have some very popular tools that you might use so we will be sitting down to discuss those for an upcoming blog post.

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The SolarWinds booth on the MSTechEd TechExpo show floor.

Right behind the Technical Learning Center Microsoft’s Channel 9 (@ch9) is doing live interviews with several of the speakers including a very popular guy in a red shirt!

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Channel 9 talks to Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie live during MSTechEd NA.

Of course you can not have a conference this big and not give folks a place to relax, check email and recharge.

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Considering the sheer scope of this conference, which is attended by over 10,000 people, they do a very good job with the logistics across the board. Now on to the showroom floor for more!