Server 2008 and Tools Partner Pre-launch
Last Wed was a pre-launch event for Server 2008 and Tools down at the London Hilton, Park Lane. It was a packed house of 600 Partners who had come to hear about the Partner opportunities around the imminent launch of Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.
Check out the Heroes Happen Here website for more Partner info.
The keynote in the afternoon was delivered by none other than Bill Gates, who talked of the major technology trends as he sees them. Before, he came onto stage there was a short film parody of him leaving Microsoft and phoning around key people around the world, like Spielberg, Clooney, Obama, Bono, etc trying to get another job/role and being politely rejected by them. It made fun of his appearance and despite all his money he doesn’t spend it on a decent haircut.
I won’t say his talk was highly inspiring and motivational in a Steve Ballmer kind of way. It was interesting and competent and at the end of the day you could still tell he was a geek at heart. He spoke of his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the work it is doing researching cures to many of the diseases that affect some of the poorest people in the world. When you have billions of dollars to spend and you focus it in this way then you are going to have some impact.
It was a great thing for me to see at first hand the founder of Microsoft and a testament to starting your own small business and growing it into such a major force. What we forget is that when Microsoft was starting there were many incumbents such as IBM who were eventually swept aside by a startup!!