It's June 7, Day 1 of Microsoft's TechEd conference in New Orleans. I'm here along with 10,500 or so others to get updates on Microsoft's IT products and services.
The first bit of news of the day, via my ZDNet colleague Ed Bott, is that the beta of Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack (SP) 1 is coming in July. (No word on when the final is due out; the rumor has been circulating that it will be before the end of this calendar year.)
Microsoft officials shared some initial info on SP1 a couple months ago. They said on the client there will be no new features, just bug fixes and security updates rolled up into a single deliverable. On the server side, however, there will be two new features added to SP1: A new graphics acceleration platform, known as RemoteFX, and an add-on to Hyper-V.RemoteFX is based on desktop-remoting technology that Microsoft obtained in 2008 when it acquired Calista Technologies. The new addition to Hyper-V that will dynamically adjust memory of a guest virtual machine on demand.
Microsoft also is rolling out today a beta of Exchange Server 2010 SP1. Microsoft officials said back in April to expect this beta around TechEd and the final to be released before the end of this year.
New features/functionality on tap for Exchange Server 2010 SP1 include archiving and discovery updates, Outlook Web App improvements, mobile user and management improvements and “some highly sought after additional UI for management tasks,” the Exchange team has said.
Microsoft also has released the final version of its Windows Server AppFabric technology and has made it available for download. (Microsoft released a near-final release candidate of Windows Server AppFabric in May.)
Windows Server AppFabric is the new name for several Windows infrastructure components, including the “Dublin” app server and “Velocity” caching technology. Microsoft is touting Windows Server AppFabric as providing elasticity and high availability for Web applications, as well as delivering more development and management of on-premises Windows apps. Windows Server AppFabric requires Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and will be free to customers with Standard and Enterprise editions of those products.
Update: Other tidbits from TechEd Day 1:
* Microsoft has updated the Windows Azure software development kit (SDK), adding .Net Framework 4, Visual Studio 2010 (RTM version) support and IntelliTrace support.
* Microsoft said it will be offering spatial data support and access to 50 GB of SQL Azure database. There's a new public preview of the SQL Azure Data Sync Service, a tool for controlling how data is distributed and synced across multiple datacenters. Microsoft also is working on SQL Server Web Manager, a tool for developing, deploying and managing cloud apps.
* Microsoft has made available to developers the Bing Map App programming interface to developers via the Bing Mapp App Software Development Kit (SDK). Developers who write apps using that SDK will be able to submit them for possible inclusion in Microsoft's Bing Maps app gallery.