Another early morning, another hotel breakfast.Â This time eggs in a bagel, with a muffin and an apple.Â Again, something to be desired, really.
After another bus ride out to Redmond, they threw us in to a session with a bunch of Sharepoint MVP's.Â The main reason, I think, was to get the Excel guys into a room with people that actually use Excel Services.Â (Although I could be mistaken here, I don't believe that a single one of the Excel MVP's actually has access to a Sharepoint server running Excel services, so it's kind of hard to provide any feedback there.)Â It was interesting, and I could certainly see where we might be able to use some of the functionality at work, but I find the cost of putting in another server, just to lock down an Excel report, kind of ridiculous.Â I'll just PDF things and send them out.Â (Okay, I realize that it's a bit more robust than that, but still...)Â Maybe once I've had the chance to play with Excel services I'll change my mind, but for now, that's where it is.
Beyond that, I'm not even going to mention the session titles, due to NDA.Â I will say that there are some things I'm really looking forward to in Excel 14, and especially in Excel 15... There's some really compelling stuff there.
The afternoon left the Excel folks without a session at one point, so we headed off to the Microsoft Store.Â Pretty neat place, where software, hardware and books are pretty reasonable.
Beyond the best sessions I've ever been to, Thursday also offered a big party at the Experience Music Project (EMP).Â This was kind of interesting, with live Rock-a-raoke.Â (Basically Karaoke with a live band behind the singer.)Â Some of the singing was pretty bad, some great, and some so bad that it was a riot just to see Bob Phillips writhing on the floor in horror!Â Here's some pics from the evening:
This is Ed Ferraro, sporting a nice new hair piece.Â (Funny enough, I didn't know he was there, saw him over my shoulder and didn't recognize him at all. Only when I looked away did I just about give myself whiplash as I recognized who it was!)
A large portion of the Excel MVP team is shown below... from left to right are Andy Pope, Roger Govier, Rob Bovey and Bob Phillips. Myself and Robert Martin are in the black shirts above Debra Dalgleish, then Ed Ferraro (sans extra hair), Jan Karel Pieterse and finally Ron Coderre.
Here are the RibbonX authors at the party... myself, Teresa Hennig and Robert Martin:
And here's Teresa feeling a little dippy at the party...
Finally, here's one of the MVP's pretending that he's Michael Jackson:
I distinctly remember Rob Bovey and Bob Phillips writhing in pain at several of the performances.Â It was almost as amusing as those on stage!Â 😉
After the party closed down, a large portion of us headed back to the Westing by following the monorail tracks.Â Apparently, we crossed to the wrong side when we tried to get into a bar that was still open.Â We were there about 30 seconds before walking out of it.Â I even remember the bartender yelling at one of his patrons "SHADDUP!" when the guy asked what the hell we were doing there.Â Mike Alexander announced to us upon departure that the place smelled of scrotums... LOL!
After a while we found our way back to the Westin lobby bar again, and proceeded to close it down for the 4th night in a row.