July 20, 2014

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington DC

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington DC
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 20, 2014

Microsoft had their Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington DC earlier this week.  Here's some shots of some of the the sites nearby the event.

The Washington Monument and US Capitol as seen from the plane.

The White House

The Washington Monument

The US Capitol

We were at the convention center for most of the event.

There was something like 16,000 in town for the events.  These are only a few of the tables they had set up to feed that crowd.

I've been selling PCs for a living since 1993, but the times they are a changing.  Microsoft isn't very focused on PCs any more.  They are much more interested in talking about tablets and other devices.

And their phones!  Did you know Microsoft sold phones?  They are actually very cool, but it's been a slow go for them to gain traction in the US Marketplace.

The coolest thing I saw at the show was a 4K Ruggedized 20" Tablet from Panasonic.  Unfortunately there's not much 4K content out there yet, so $6 grand would be a pretty steep price to pay for this today.  But man, does it look sharp!

I enjoyed stopping by the Supermicro booth and seeing what cool new servers they're selling.  They're one of our biggest vendors at my company.

Microsoft provided us with a nice Happy Hour at the end of each day.  This guy seemed to be happy at his job.

The keynotes were very interesting.  Microsoft wants all it's partners to immediately forget about PCs, notebooks, and servers and start focusing on selling tablets and cloud services.  I gotta get on that.

Microsoft entertained us with some incredible musical acts like Gabriela Y Rodrigo.

And Buddy Guy and Quinn Sullivan.

Here's a couple of short clips featuring the music of WPC 2014.

During the oem dinner, it was nice having the chance to catch up with some old friends like Cami and David

On the last night I was there, the US Partner team invited all of us to a party at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

I always find it fascinating that Microsoft can rent out a place like the Smithsonian, give guests a bunch of free food and booze, and then turn them loose amongst some of the most rare artifacts on the planet.  Just seems like a recipe for disaster.  Although admittedly, I've never seen anyone be disrespectful to the exhibits.

They had a bunch of neat items on display.

I found the space shuttle stuff to be particularly cool.

The simulator was incredibly fun as it allowed you to chase and shoot down other planes in a cockpit capable of spinning you completely upside down as many times as you wanted.  I was a little sick when it was over, but I shot down three of those bastards!

Best of all, I got to make some new friends like this lady who told me she works for TWA airlines.  I'm not sure if she was serious or not.

I also had a great time with Cole Humphreys from Rackspace.  We ended up bumping into each other several time through the evening and so decided to just hang out and visit the rest of the exhibits together.  Cole was formerly in the Air-force, so he could tell me a lot of things I didn't know about this place! 

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