The Microsoft TechSummit in Switzerland is always a good place to have fresh news from Microsoft Corp if you didn’t have the opportunity to go to the USA during this year but especially to understand how this news are translated in the swiss country.

The first day agenda was composed by five (even if the agenda is only showing four..) keynotes to give the attendees a complete view of the Microsoft ecosystem especially related with: Development and Open Source, AI and Augmented Reality and IoT and Intelligent Edge (aka Hybrid..). The first three were scoped as global, the last two were more Switzerland related.

Keynote 1: The Microsoft Open Source Cinematic Universe – Scott Hanselman

Scott is a showman – full stop. I really enjoyed the session. The Key point of the presentation here was related to the open-sourcing of .Net (or .NetS as he was calling the various declination of the framework with .Net Core, Mono and the Classic .Net Framework).

He showed how “webify” standard DLL coming from old applications (in C#) and run it from different devices (including a Raspberry Pie in a really suspected box..).

Another point for this guy: real-time coding in a keynote.. well done! only the brave.. 🙂

Keynote 2: Platform as a service from a business perspective and the power of Enterprise OpenSource – Dominik Wotruba

Red Hat VIP on the stage of a Microsoft tech conference. this is not the very first time but I think it will be even more common. Microsoft is definitely shifted to the Open Source World.

The session itself was not exciting (well after Scott you got the hard way..) and from my point of view was a bit forced trying to push OpenShift as “the solution” for all you needs in Azure and anyway ready to avoid the lock-in. At the end I was not convinced in total.

Keynote 3: Microsoft Azure – Insight from Azure Engineering – Natalia Mackevicius

Natalia did a great work introducing the Intelligent Edge and the Azure Data Box Edge is a great idea that I think will be a big success.

After addressing the pure Cloud services, now Microsoft is targeting all the business cases in near-zero connection: Reduce the amount of data you have to send to Azure from IoT connected devices doing pre-analysis and pre-filtering is the way to go.

Keynote 4: The Next Generation of Mixed Reality and AI – Marc Pollefeys

Marc is professor in Computer Science at ETH and Director Microsoft MR&AI lab in Zurich. He gave some nice under-the-hood information on Hololens 2 and Azure Kinect (I really want one of that to play with).

There is a long way ahead anyway to have something that can really change the world but hey.. this is new and fun..

Keynote 5: Microsoft Data Center in Switzerland – Primo Amrein

Now some information on the Swiss market and on the most wanted news on the Swiss Datacenters!

For the picture you can see the timing on each service that will be provided in the Swiss Azure Region (yes, the two datacenters in Switzerland will be paired to have data residency in the country).

I think Microsoft is a bit late in the setup. My information before this session was that Azure IaaS should be ready by the end of 2019 Financial year (that for Microsoft is mid-2019) but now they officially said end of the year. Fine.. but this will delay all the other services. so probably we will see Office 365 by mid-2020 and Dynamics 365 by end of 2020 if everything goes as expected.

But great news: you will be able to move your Office 365 tenant to the new datacenter as soon it will be ready. Huppy! (remember that you need at least 24 – !!!! – months to have your data moved anyway)

Breakout Sessions

There were 30 breakout sessions in the second day. A bunch of good speakers were on stage to explain Azure and Office 365 Services. The level of the sessions I saw were almost 200… not very advanced but I think this was a choice to make everyone able to follow the sessions.

Few things about the organization

the location of the TechSummit this year was much better of the previous one in Baden. better connected and bigger rooms: the Arena in particular is really cool.

Speakers from Switzerland were the best in class even if they are mostly coming from the German side. this is something Microsoft should take in consideration next year as there were a lot of attendee coming from the French side and this kind of conferences are also used for networking and have speakers and attendees from the same side of Switzerland is not a bad idea to make this even even more successful.

So… at the end?

Overall, this is for sure a must-go conference if you are in or close-to Switzerland: great content, great speakers, great location and best in class organization. and Hey.. it’s free in Switzerland! (two words really difficult to see in the same sentence..)


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