Vista Readiness Labs at Tech.Ed 2006, Boston

19 06 2006

Tech Ed 2006, Boston

The Windows Vista Readiness Labs at this year’s TechEd was a grand success! It was great to represent, my company, Fujitsu along with my colleague, to work with a talented group of individuals from Microsoft and Altiris. The Vista Readiness labs were designed, primarily for Developers, to provide attendees with hands-on-experience on mitigating common application compatibility issues on Windows Vista.

Vista Readiness Labs

For more information on developer readiness on Windows Vista, visit the official Vista Developer Readiness site. Also, be sure to download tools and documentation from this page.

Vista Readiness Labs

I was one among several proctors for the Vista labs, held in room 108, at the Boston Convention Center. The hands-on sessions were designed to take no more than 45 minutes to complete- attendees were rewarded with a Vista backpack and automatically enrolled in an XBox 360 give away!

And the XBox 360 Winner was…drum roll please…Paul Yu, Vancouver BC!

Vista Readiness Labs

Awesome Attendance
The Vista readiness labs took-off slowly, but soon gained lot of interest and momentum. The average daily attendance was expected to be around 200, but to everyone’s surprise, and albeit delight, the first day’s attendance topped off at 388! The attendance trend grew each day, topping off at 1350 by the end of the event.

Vista Readiness Labs

The overall feedback from the attendees was just phenomenal- almost all of the attendees mentioned that they are more familiar and prepared with Vista application compatibility mitigation, after attending the labs, than before.

Vista Readiness Labs

Vista Readiness Team:
[Top row] Mark (Microsoft), Uday (Microsoft), Newsha (Fujitsu), Manmeet (Microsoft), Michael (Microsoft)
[Bottom row] Mahesh (Fujitsu), Rick (Microsoft), Vishal (Microsoft), Jim (Altiris)

Special thanks to Robert Doi (Microsoft) for sponsoring the Vista Readiness labs- these labs were very timely and spot-on at TechEd. Thanks to Manmeet Bawa (Microsoft) for organizing and managing the labs, Kevin White (Ally Marketing) and Scott D. (Ally Marketing) for coordinating the event, Jay Lendl (my boss) for the opportunity to attend TechEd 2006. It was great to be part of the event and I hope that I get to do it again :)

Vista Readiness Labs
Vista Readiness Team:
[Top row] Uday (Microsoft), Chris (Microsoft), Manmeet (Microsoft), Michael (Microsoft), Jim (Altiris), Michael (Microsoft), Yu (Microsoft)
[Bottom row] Rick (Microsoft), Stacy (Altiris), Jim (Altiris), Vishal (Microsoft), Mahesh (Fujitsu)

Key Information and Stats
Thanks to Manmeet Bawa (Microsoft) for providing me with the following details, vital stats and pictures:

The main goal of the lab was to educate Developers and IT Pros on Windows Vista Application Compatibility.

Seven different application compatibility scenarios- including User Account Control (UAC), Version Checking, Mandatory Integrity Control (MIC), Session 0 (Isolation) and Windows Resource Protection (WRP)- were highlighted through a demo in the Hands-on-labs (HOL). Attendees were also invited to install their apps on Windows Vista and have our Lab Proctors help with blocking issues. We were informed that based on the size of the room, past history and the fact that our labs were late in building up a marketing momentum we should expect approximately 500 attendees at this lab. A special thanks to Yu Chen and Maarten Van De Bospoort for building such an instructive lab.

Here are the final stats from the event:
Lab Capacity: 40
Total Hours Lab was open- 40hrs
Final Lab Attendance- 1,350
Windows Vista Jumpstart Kit CDs distributed- 1,200 (stock finished halfway through the event)
Windows Vista Beta 2 distributed- 1,200
Average Lab Sat score- 4.95/5.0

Vista Readiness Labs
Manmeet (left) with attendee #1000. Behind Manmeet is Stacy (Altiris), Scott (Ally Marketing) and Kevin White (Ally Marketing)

Attendees included Developers, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, IT Pros and Academia. The lab attendance does not factor in the hundreds of people who couldn’t get into the lab itself but were handed out copies of the JumpStart Kit instead. By any measure we far exceeded our goal of reach for this event. As a first-of-its-kind, this event has been a great step forward in our Breadth effort for Apps Compat, especially in terms of making our audience aware of Windows Vista Readiness and equipping them with the knowledge and tools (via the JumpStart Kit and content on to support this platform.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the attendees, especially the MCTs, the TechEd committee has expressed their interest in incorporating our HOL in their TLC track for future TechEds. This is a wonderful testament to the quality of the lab, which becomes all the more noteworthy considering the compressed time frame this event was organized in. The HOL and supporting document is now available for download at

Vista Readiness Labs
For more information, visit





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