After meeting and chatting to @bennuk I was invited to go to this event at Microsoft in Reading, along with @Daniel_Parker. We were both intrigued about the possibility of stepping foot on the Microsoft site. I would have been happy with just that, however the draw to come along was added to by the promise of food and giveaways. Being a student means both of these are a way to the heart! I didn’t even mind losing a lie in!
Many, and I mean many, Microsoft products were presented and demoed at this event (saw a quick blog update after my comment). This event was in a unique format; varying timeslots from 5 to 15 minutes were allotted to each presenter for them to deliver their presentation in. This really added entertainment to the day. Not only drawing attention, but also the addition of a horn blast to say that a presenter had run out of time certainly prompted some laughter.
List of Demos
- Bing Maps
- Community Clips
- Worldwide Telescope
- Live @ edu
- Office Web Apps
- Windows Live Messenger
- Bing Translate
- Windows Live Writer (beta, using an older version for this blog post!)
- Windows Live Photo Gallery
- Windows Live Movie Maker
- Maths Worksheet Generator (exactly what it says on the tin)
- Photostory 3
- Office Moodle Add-In (saving and opening to/from Moodle)
- Digital Literacy Curriculum
- Office Ribbon Hero
- Mouse Mischief (hilarious audience participation)
- Internet Explorer Accelerators
- XNA Game Studio
- Partners in Learning and Innovids
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The presentations were all a small number of slides along with demos of the products, with a few even causing spontaneous clapping! Some of the software did things I would think only a high powered computer could do, not to mention cost money, but my computer can handle them fine too. To easily be able to embed some aspects of these onto a website or in day to day use means that you not only get a slick and easy to use product, but it can be shown off too, all for free!
Naturally a presentation day wouldn’t be a presentation day if it didn’t have a few technical hitches. These were well covered for and the momentum didn’t stop while things were sorted.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I quickly realised my misconceptions about what Microsoft’s campus was like were wrong. It was an extremely friendly and efficient atmosphere. Everything seemed to tick along nicely. Never with a dull moment.
I will blog about a selection of these products soon. But some of the products aren’t quite available yet, so I will have to wait until I can get my hands on them.