A small but talented team is out at the Microsoft Tech Ed Europe 2004 show in Amsterdam, with Editor Matt Loney and Intern Supreme Ingrid Marson following the plot. You might expect a huge event in Amsterdam, stuffed full of itinerant hacks and propeller-head coders, to generate a lot of naughtiness: I couldn't possibly comment, but I'm sure that Matt and Ingrid behaved impeccably throughout and never even thought of partaking in the Dam's dangerous distractions.
If you want more, you'll have to buy me.
However, with Microsoft in control there was little need to hit the whacky baccy. Take Jonathan Murray. VP CTO EMEA, OBE, GCMG and bar. He appeared like a mighty vision on stage to give the keynote -- accompanied not by pole-dancing girls, as one might have hoped, but by endless PowerPoint slides. Mesmerising, even to those not still a little giddy from the previous night -- until one came up with a road map with Longhorn scheduled for 2008.
Amazing. Longhorn -- known inside Microsoft as Longerhorn -- had slipped another year, and this just weeks after the last huge Microsoft briefing. And we were being told in the most public way possible.
"No, no, no!" explained the PR afterwards, perma-grin looking a little more pasted on than usual. "It was a mistake! He meant to type 2007. Really. Longhorn in 2007! Yes? Yes!"
Ok. We'll believe you. It's a little like Santa Claus getting December and March mixed up, or Nasa temporarily forgetting that Cassini was heading for Saturn and putting up a picture of Bognor instead, but these are the sorts of mistakes that are easy to make when you're chief technical officer of a company and are talking about the biggest event of the next three years.
I'll give the final word to Diary pal Peter Ibbotson, who was so excited at the Tech Ed voice over IP phone system that he called me on it, Just because he could.
"It's me, Peter. I'm at Tech Ed. They've got this really cool phone sys…"
And that was that.
And that was that.