7 takeaways from TechEd Europe, day 1

This years TechEd Europe takes place in wonderful Amsterdam. I'm attending the entire conference (from June 25th to June 29th) so expect some blog posts on the hottest announcements and tips as well as information from the Microsoft product teams. Here are the highlights of day 1.

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1. Hadoop on Azure

At the pre-con sessions and the keynote today, Microsoft talked about Windows Azure. And while Scott Guthrie revealed the Azure changes back on June 7th in SFO, here at TechEd Europe we got a bit of an understanding of how Hadoop on Azure will work. (See the recently unveiled website https://www.hadooponazure.com/.)

2. 350,000 downloads of Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate

At today's keynote, Brad Anderson, Senior Vice President at Microsoft, quickly rushed over the benefits and numbers of Windows Server 2012. The first he threw out there: the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate was downloaded over 350,000 times since its release just a few weeks ago.

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3. Hyper-V beats VMware

Microsoft was quick to mention that its hypervisor technology "Hyper-V" is capable of a maximum throughput of 1 million operations per second in a VM. That's three times faster than VMware. They used Iometer to measure the throughput of virtual machines against each other on stage to proof their point. Certainly not bad.

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4. 10 GB file transfer in 10 seconds? ODX!

Tired of having CPU usage shoot up during a file transfer? "Offloaded Data Transfer" (ODX) in Windows Server 2012 allows you to copy files intelligently and a whole faster via ISAs (Intelligent Storage Arrays). For more on how this works, check out the ODX whitepaper.

5. 2400 PowerShell commands

Interested in automating Windows completely? With now more than 2400 PowerShell commands, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 are fully scriptable!

6. Windows Azure has more than 100,000 subscriptions

Mark Russinovich, technical fellow at Microsoft, explains that Microsoft has now over 100,000 active Windows Azure subscriptions.

7. Windows RT

For the first time, Microsoft actually really targeted its ARM-based Windows RT version at businesses. How? Well, yeah, they went the "lock down" route. Since Windows RT devices can't run x86 software they're inherently more secure than their Windows 8 counterparts. Plus, Windows RT will allow companies to side-load apps automatically to all Windows RT devices that join the network, such as this little example app by fictional Microsoft company "Contoso" that allows admins to discover and manage devices:

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