{ ready.for.take.off.here} Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 & SQL Server 2008 Launch Wave

January 24, 2008

It’s about time I posted!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:05 pm


Hi There

I set this blog up a little while ago, and it was always on my list of things to do at the end of the day, but as always they days get longer and longer – oh well, enough about that – today is the day!

So who am I, why should you read this, why is this guy writing free form coming from his consciousness? (You should see me with a whiteboard marker in my hand!).  I am the Online and Digitals Strategy Lead for Heroes Happen Here and Windows Server.  What does that mean?  Means I spend all my time looking at web pages (sounds like fun hey!) – and it is.  Digital strategy is becoming such a driver, that spending your time trying to build the best experience for customers who want many different online experiences is the challenge.  And I think we really are on a great path with both HHH and the new Windows Server 2008 site we are now designing.  So for those who have not seen the 2008 Launch Wave site – www.heroeshappenhere.com, have a look for yourself, hopefully you will see a new experience from other Microsoft sites you have seen – for those of you who have, make sure you keep visiting as we update is very regularly with new content, experiences and activities.


The website itself, was built with the focus that Windows, SQL and VS users are always in different stages of adoptions, evaluation and purchasing. So in our planning we looked at the various needs for a launch, as well as the various needs for evaluation and adoption.  Then we put them front and center on the site – So our main 3 theme’s – Come to a launch (Register), Download a trial (Evaluate) and Join In (Participate) are right there easy for you to explore.  In partnership with this we also built an amazing amount of content, experiences and activities to match the many customer needs out there for learning, evaluation and adoption.  Lets have a quick look at them

Events (from the top level nav)

This is my second favorite page (we will get to my fav shortly) – this is both a Silverlight enabled control, and a Ajax non-Silverlight experience to ensure that any and all users can access the information.  However with Silverlight it comes to life (oh by the way, we do this on the homepages as well with both a Silverlight and DHTML experience).

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Here are three examples of the 4 pages – rollover the tiles and click through – the default is the sneak peak of the Virtual Launch event – that is for another blog.  From this page you can register for the VLE, link to the physical events, link into the Launch Community Portal and also access a plethora of online content.

Learn More

This page links to all the learning resources we are building for launch including MSLearning training, product sites links, evaluation downloads and what I think is one of the coolest demo environments Test Drives (on instant online demo environment for WS08, VS08 and SQL08 using online Virtualization.

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Join In

This page is all about the community – all about getting involved, what’s going on, how you can find further information.  The landing page enables you to link into the various community sites, as well as a cool Silverlight video of our various community and Microsoft people associated with launch talking about what it means to them, and a podcast series called The Beacon which has in-depth interviews with various launch activity owners so you can hear about what goes on behind the scenes.  Each community page links in various heroes from the community (such as RD’s and MVP), what’s the current Buzz in blogs and forums out there, and the organization/programs that you may be interesting in attending, joining or being a part of.

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Cool Stuff

This is my favorite, and yes you can guess how it got named  – we were sitting in a room planning the site and I was like we need a page of cool stuff – and it sort of never got changed, which in the end was a positive.  This page is another Silverlight control which showcases 4 of the cool activities we have at the moment – there will be more and more as we get close to launch, but lets look at a few.  We of coursed have the VLE (can you tell I am excited about this), we also have a link to the Community Training Portal, and two excellent launch related activities.  The portrait gallery is another Silverlight tool (we have a theme here I think) which enables people to upload pictures and stories of themselves, allows you to share them with other people, comment and is in multiple languages as well.  The Comics Series, is a joint effort between Microsoft and Seagate to release a daily comic based on the lives of IT Heroes.  From here you can see the sneak peak, register for the RSS feed and also help drive the story with an ideas upload section.  As we move close to launch, we will see more cool stuff activities appear on this page, so stay tuned.

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The partners page is where you can learn more information about all our launch partners.  From this page you can access sales and marketing information, offers and downloads for our range of platinum, gold, silver and bronze partners.  You can also find partner neat you through our brand new partner solutions finder tool.  Coming soon (end of January), we will expand this page with new easier ways to find partner including a live chat function to help you discover the exact partner for your needs.

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The register page links in both local US registration and global pages.  From this page you can register for the kick off LA launch event, and following events around the US, plus link to the ever growing list of international sites.  Also by clicking on the LA registration link, you can access information, agenda’s, tracks and session information for he LA launch event.

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Phew – I think that’s all the major one however just a taste of what the site has to offer.  Hopefully you have enjoyed my little tour, and in subsequent posts I will walk through some of the new applications we built / are building, plus maybe drop a few hints of some exciting resources we will be releasing soon


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