Day 2 at Tech-Ed 2012 in Orlando started off with a keynote from Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President, Windows Web Services. The keynote centered around Windows 8 user experience models with demos being given on various device form factors with and without touch functionality. The second half of the keynote had a brief overview of development for Metro UI apps as well as a discussion of enterprise features available.
As a keynote, this presentation was more of a long form demo of Windows 8 functionality with few key features being shown that haven’t been highlighted in other venues. One highlight was the ability to take Windows 8 on a USB key to an older desktop and boot directly off the key. Another notable feature is the inclusion of Hyper-V client which they showed running a version of Windows 7 inside Windows 8 that included touch input features. Unfortunately much of the keynote demos devolved into featured partner application overviews with little or no actual Windows 8 specific functionality.
The development portion of the keynote was very short and centered around building a Metro UI application that pulled data from an enterprise source and then using the demo magic of databinding displayed the information to the user. One interesting feature of Visual Studio 2012 that was highlighted in the demo is the device simulator that allows the developer to test their application in a number of common form factors and with or without touch features.
The crowd reaction to the keynote was mixed at best. With so much information available on Windows 8 it was tough to find any new ground to be taken beyond the availability of various devices. And the application demos left many including myself feeling as though the presenter had more time than they could fill. Fortunately, there is much more information to be found within the experts area of the exhibit hall and the breakout sessions that will take up the rest of the conference.