It’s that time: Time to start plotting the travel schedule and penciling in the Microsoft events (that we know about so far) for the new year.
CES 2011: CEO Steve Ballmer is the kick-off CES keynoter on January 5 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Microsoft execs are remaining tight-lipped about what’s on the agenda, but early leaks have indicated that Ballmer is going to talk about Microsoft’s and its partners’ plans in the slate/tablet space (again, like he did last year). While some are expecting Microsoft to share details about plans to port Windows to ARM and/or about Windows 8, I’m thinking Windows Embedded is a more likely topic — and possibly the operating system that will be behind whatever kind of new slates/tablets the Softies unveil at the show this year. The Windows Embedded team has posted a CES press preview article, making it seem as though Windows Embedded Standard devices will be one of the big pushes for the company at CES.
Dynamics CRM 2011 launch: The virtual (Webcasted) launch event is January 20, 2011, for Microsoft’s “CRM 5″ release. The Online version of the product will be available in January; the on-premises version in the first quarter of 2011.
Mobile World Congress 2011: In February (14-17 in Barcelona), Microsoft is expected to talk up some of its future update plans for Windows Phones at the show. Maybe we’ll hear a bit about “Mango,” the next release of the Windows Phone OS (possibly 7.5) that some of my tipsters have said will deliver in-browser support for HTML5 and Silverlight.
Microsoft MVP Summit: This year, the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) invite-only summit is slated for February 28 to March 2 in Bellevue, Wash.
Game Developers Conference 2011: Could Microsoft be ready to share more about its future plans for Kinect by February 28? (GDC runs from February 28 to March 4 in San Francisco in 2011.)
Microsoft Management Summit 2011: In Las Vegas from March 21 to 25, MMS will be dedicated to the latest on all products and services management-related. Expect possible updates on Windows Intune, the various System Center products, virtualization and more.
Convergence 2011: The annual confab for Microsoft Dynamics ERP/CRM customers and partners is April 10 to 13 in Atlanta. There will be news around the upcoming versions of Microsoft’s four ERP suites, no doubt — and maybe even some very early CRM 6 talk (?).
Mix ‘11: A beta of Silverlight 5 is one of the expectations for this year’s Mix, which is happening (sadly again) in Las Vegas from April 12 to 14. Maybe we’ll see the final Internet Explorer 9 release at Mix, as well.
TechEd 2011: Microsoft’s annual educational conference, where the talks (typically) focus on already-announced products, is happening from May 16 to 19 in Atlanta this year. Who knows: Maybe we’ll hear more about the Office 365 rollout (which my sources are hearing will happen around the first week of June).
E3 2011: This year’s game extravaganza is June 7 to 9 in Los Angeles. As usual, lots of Xbox, Xbox Live, games and game peripherals should be on the agenda.
Worldwide Partner Conference 2011: It’s off to Los Angeles again this year for Microsoft’s annual partner confab, taking place from July 11 to 14.
Professional Developers Conference 2011: No dates or location on this one (yet), but many Microsoft watchers are expecting this year’s PDC to be where Microsoft rolls out a public beta (or at least a Community Technology Preview) of Windows 8.
Any other Microsoft-specific events already in your calendar? How does your calendar look like? What’s on top of your mind for 2011? My personal calendar will be determined with upcomming Microsoft System Center 2012 releases. I’m looking forward to explore these new releases. In particular the integration of managing on-premise and off-premise infrastructures,which will become more and more ‘transparent’ or ‘seamless’.
For now I wish you all the best for 2011