MultiPoint Server 2011 is another recent release not too many people know about. To date, it has been promoted as a great way to get a classroom up and running with Windows 7 systems as thin clients connected to a terminal services-like server. The server is easy to set up and has tools that allow teachers to control what their students are doing at any given time. A demonstration at TechEd set minds in motion on what else we can do with this box. Disaster relief seems to be an easy fit for something you can just plop down and operate in minutes.
Among the third-party releases that intrigued me, GSX Monitor stood out as a great tool for monitoring Exchange, SharePoint, Domino, BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, and more. The real-time monitoring dash was easy to work with. The install is apparently agent-less (for basic reporting), and it has all the reporting and analytic tools you would expect from a monitoring solution.
Another intriguing resource is Spoon.net, which lets you launch applications from the cloud without installing them on your desktop. Enterprises can check out Spoon Server (2011 version due June 6); with it, you can simplify app distribution through your organization via a private cloud.
Also of note was Falafel.com's EventBoard, a mobile app for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7 that made navigating TechEd (traditionally a nightmare task regardless of the location) a breeze. You could browse the sessions you wanted to attend, bookmark sessions, rate them afterward, and more. It included maps to help you get to your sessions as well, and frankly, it was better than the booklet issued to the audience. Obviously every conference is different, so organizers have to contact Falafel.com to get the details. But I can see this as a must for any show.
There was much more to report, but this is a taste.
This article, "Microsoft betting everything on the cloud," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.