Redmond Diary

By Andrew J. Brust

Blog archive

Getting Ready to Share

This is my 100th post to this blog, but it's also, in a real sense, my first. That's because, starting now, my blog will be syndicated on and, the same sites that carry my monthly column, Redmond Review.

For those who haven't read my posts or columns before, allow me to present a quick intro. (For everyone else, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph.) My name is Andrew Brust, and I'm a Microsoft MVP and Regional Director. I don't work for Microsoft -- they've just assigned me and about 140 other enthusiasts in their circle, around the world, that title. I've been a practitioner, writer, speaker and entrepreneur in the Microsoft ecosystem for about 15 years. Much has changed with Microsoft and its technologies in that time, but a surprising number of patterns and phenomena in Microsoft's strategy, product cycles, PR and marketing plans have remained remarkably consistent. Some of those similarities, and some of the differences, are good for Microsoft and its customers; some less so. A while back, I made it my hobby to opine on Microsoft product developments and market moves, mostly through frequent quotes in the tech industry press. And about a year ago, I formalized this practice by starting to write Redmond Review. The problem with starting the column has been that, frankly, I have given it much more attention than this blog.

By getting my blog in front of the same online readers as the column, I have more than ample motivation to post often and, in effect, make the blog a extension of the column, where I can cover highly current topics, without the dual challenges of press lead time and word count limits.

One such current topic, and a decent justification for this post's cheesy title, is Microsoft's SharePoint Conference, which starts this Monday, October 19th, in Las Vegas. This is the preview party for SharePoint 2010. Although the product won't ship until, most likely, the summer of next year, we'll learn a ton about it this week. We'll also learn much more about Office 2010 and the Office Web apps. SharePoint's market is quite big (Microsoft said a while back that it's a billion dollar annual business for them) and it's getting even bigger. The product's penetration within corporate customers is proving a formidable analog to that of Lotus Notes in the 1990s. So this show will be a very important one for Microsoft, and that's why I am attending it, for the first time.

The SharePoint show will also cover the next wave of Microsoft's Business Intelligence (BI) stack, which combines SharePoint and Office 2010 with the upcoming SQL Server 2008 R2. Since Microsoft decided to forego holding its standalone BI conference this year, the SharePoint show serves as the de facto BI show too. This is of huge interest to me, as my firm, twentysix New York, specializes in Microsoft BI and I sit on Redmond's BI Partner Advisory Council (PAC). In fact, the PAC is meeting over the weekend on-site in Las Vegas, so the next several days will be a real BI festival.

I'm psyched for the conference and excited to be covering it for a broad audience. So I'll be posting a daily summary of the SharePoint Conference here on Monday and Tuesday nights. Catch it at, or, of course, my blog's home at And if you'd like live coverage of the conference keynotes, just follow me (@andrewbrust) on Twitter. The tweets will provide factual coverage of the keynote announcements. The blog posts will analyze those and other of the day's announcements in more depth.

I hope my missives from the show will be helpful to you, and a fun read. For the SharePoint show at least, what happens in Vegas will not stay there.

Posted by Andrew J. Brust on 10/19/2009

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