I have almost no time right now, and will post my usual "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" article at length later. The good news is, there really is no ugly. There's plenty of very good stuff, a few things I still put in the bad category -- but not that bad. Just not interesting and not yet dead.
The new stuff is fantastic -- Quickr is going to be interesting, and clearly they have confidence in it. More details on it when I write the longer post.
General First Impressions:
- More People -- there are a LOT of people here. It's packed, and it's an excited crowd. Gab and I had two packed full sessions on security Sunday and the opening general session was jammed -- and IBMers as well as exhibitors had to view it from a relayed site.
- The opening party was fun, food was good, and I had a nice time taking a couple of hours out of work.
- The band that started the show was FANTASTIC. I really enjoyed myself and had a great time.
- Mike Rhodin did a great job, didn't over talk the numbers, kept his comments brief and on target -- and well spoken. He's improved a great deal over the years.
- The whole session moved faster, hit highlights and had the guts not to dwell on every point.
- Buzzword use was kept to an absolute minimum.
- The first product mentioned was Notes. Notes is the core tool, and was called "The one and only strategic mail platform at IBM". It can't be clearer than that.
- LOTS of great UI improvements in the Notes Client.
- Sametime continues to improve
- There's a renewed push at IP telephony (although there are MAJOR problems still that nobody likes to talk about - more on that later)
- The only slow part was the mandatory Portal push, which was at least better targeted. It was much more about explaining what Portal is and what it is good for -- what it does and why it matters. It remains telling that this version 6 product still requires such an explanation, but given that it's part of their strategy it was presented as well as it could be. It really doesn't hold a candle to doing many of the same things in Quickr. One person next to me muttered "if it doesn't have an 'nsf' back end I'm not interested in it'.
Special thanks to Lawrence Micallef for snapping this picture and sending it to me when my camera phone wasn't up to the task. That's an 'iexplore.exe' crash error message up on the room monitor outside the opening session. They really should use Firefox for that job.
Have a great conference, I'll blog more later.