Several editors from Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine are attending the WinConnections and DevConnections shows in Las Vegas this week. Both events are being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and both run from November 10th to November 13th.
The opening keynote for both events was held last night, and consisted of two parts. D. Britt Johnson, product unit manager for data programmability tools at Microsoft, began with a discussion called "SQL Server 2008 - What's in it For You?". The second half of the keynote was headlined by Steve Riley, Senior Security Strategy at Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group. Steve's portion of the keynote was entitled "How IT Will Change in the Next 10 Years - And Why Should You Care."
Johnson's discussion highlighted several of the most significant new features of SQL Server 2008, including new geospatial mapping features and the ability to quickly implement data-driven processes that could be of use to small businesses. Microsoft's Gert Drapers and Goldie Chaudri demonstrated how those features could be combined to generate actionable business intelligence for a hypothetical coffee shop.
Steve Riley's discussion was more strategic and forward-looking, and highlighted the big changes business IT will see over the coming decade. From the rise of social networking to the consumerization of IT, Riley argued that a whole host of changes will impact how businesses deploy and use technology. Some of the discussion veered into the impractical, but Riley's thought-provoking presentation gave attendees plenty of things to think about.