Windows words of the week: TechEd 2012 edition

The chatter at Microsoft's annual technical event came from all angles. Here are some of the gems from onstage, in the crowd and online.

ORLANDO -- The quotes flew fast and furiously at Microsoft's annual TechEd event, from the keynote stage to the breakout sessions to the evening parties. We stood in the crossfire to catch a few of the gems here this week.

"If you were VMware, wouldn't you be either scared or pissed off?"
- An attendee at the TechEd Expo, referring to all the enhancements to Hyper-V revealed during the first day of the show.

 The virtualization platform was a particularly popular topic during the event and the buzz about new features fueled the ongoing battle between it and VMware's vSphere. Among the most talked-about features were improved live migration, the new VHDX format and the extensible virtual switch. Some also plan to test out the standalone Hyper-V Server 2012, announced Monday.

"One of the best things…about Windows 8 is that the Windows 7 desktop still works just like it always did."
 – Linda Averett, Windows director of program management for developer experience,  reassuring attendees that the familiarity of the Windows 7 desktop is still intact in Windows 8 during Tuesday's keynote. While intended to sway IT pros who aren’t sold on the new Metro-style user interface, the pledge is also a reminder of how many organizations are not ready or willing to move off Windows 7.

Still, Microsoft presenters pushed Windows 8's "enterprise-ready" features, including the client version of Hyper-V and keyboard/mouse compatibility. The company announced several other new features on Tuesday, including the release candidate for the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8 and the second beta for User Experience Virtualization (UE-V).

"You tell me…how do we deal with that?"
- Michael Davis, assistant director of IT at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, when asked  how his organization deals with managing employee iPads.

Microsoft's answer is to use Windows Intune (version 3 of which was released this week) and System Center 2012 to manage iOS, Android and Windows Phone, with user authentication through Windows Azure Active Directory. There's still some skepticism surrounding how to truly manage devices that are not domain-joined.

"Ten people say cloud,’ each means something else. Let's make it 11 for those talking about actual clouds (with rain and stuff)."
- Roee Adler (@roadler), chief product officer for Soluto, on the inescapable buzzword (and the daily rain storms) at TechEd.

During the opening keynote, presenters touted Windows Server 2012 as "the best cloud OS" and showed off new features in Windows Azure. It continued with breakout sessions throughout the week, not to mention the ongoing "Rock, Paper, Azure" challenge with Microsoft's Scott Guthrie (supported by a prominently located "Server-quarium" running a private cloud).

"WoA will display an Excel spreadsheet. The revolution is here, my friends."
- Jonathan Hassell (@jghassell) poking fun at the big "reveal" of Tuesday's keynote, which included a glimpse of the beta Excel 2013 RT running on a Windows ARM tablet. The sneak peek wasn't explicitly mentioned, but some observers picked up on it and said that it implies a 2013 release date (maybe later for iPads).

"One thing I would have loved to get out of TechEd was a date for Windows 8."
- Don Jones, PowerShell expert and TechTarget contributor, on the lack of clarity surrounding release dates for the next operating system. Other attendees at the show agreed that even if they'll only evaluate the new software, it would have been nice to know when the company will deliver.

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