Microsoft TechEd Africa - Day 1

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 03 Aug 2009
Microsoft Tech EdWell, for the next few days I am at Tech Ed in Durban – and man its impressive. Have to say, after visiting quite a bunch of academic conferences, it is quite a change of pace to see the magnitude of this conference. But enough about the conference – I just want to mention a few things that stood out to me today.

Windows 7

As a big supporter of Windows 7, I cannot help but feel that the presenters of this product were not properly prepared. I have used Win7 since its beta days – it is one of those products that has made me believe in Microsoft again. I have never had a single problem with it, and I have updated all my machines to Win7.

The Win7 guys tried to show off its new deployment methods, and Windows 7 beaconswhile nice, the demos failed. They were particularly excited by installing off a flashdisk, which also unfortunately failed. But to be honest, I think its great as well, and I look forward to carrying around a boot flash disk with Win7. This is off course also great for users of netbooks.

Windows 7 also runs great on lower end hardware like netbooks – Aero glass renders on these machines as well. They showed off a Mecer netbook with a multitouch, which is coming to the market at under R5000. If this indeed the case, I can see multitouch becoming a very capable interface. (but typical of Mecer, I want to see the quality of the hardware before I am convinced).


In an excellent presentation by Jayesh Mowjee I was introduced to modern methods of identity theft and hacking. I have to say I was taken aback by the number of tools to enable you to steal someone’s identity without too much effort or a nominal fee. Also surprising is the list of security threats – social engineering is still the major security threat. Also, disgruntled and uninformed employees are huge security risks.

At the end of the day, the biggest security investment is still physical security and lockdown of software. Windows 7 will include Applocker which will help a lot with this types of issues, seeing as you cant really change the people, but merely steer them in the right direction. Sad, but true. (I however don’t agree with DRM, but that’s a different story.)

Tags: #tea2009

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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.