When it comes to business, I think trying new things is always great to do. In this case specifically, I get to go to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) for the first time and I have to admit, I’m pretty excited! If I had to pick a year to go out of the last five, this would definitely be the year because there are so many exciting things to see, learn, anddo. But, like most geeks, I break things down into lists, because that makes things orderly. So, without further ado, here are the top 1000 reasons I’m excited to be going to WPC this year…

 

 
 

 

 
#1 Networking

 
In my humble opinion, the #1 reason to physically go anywhere is to meet other people. Not all of them have to be new people – they can be old friends with whom you are catching up – but making & maintaining personal relationships is paramount to having a “successful” life. And, much to Microsoft’s credit, they’ve done an exceptional job of making it easier to find folks at the show with what they are calling “WPC 2012 Connect.” The application, available to WPC attendees, helps drive you to people you may already know, as well as making recommendations of who to get to know:
 
whodoyouknow.jpg 
 
 
#2 Demos

 
While the #1 reason to go to a show will always be the people, the #2 reason for me is the demos. I can explain to you, numerically, all the stats & specs that make the new line of Ultrabooks sleek & sexy, but it isn’t until you pick one up that you tend to really get a feeling for it. And, I would assume the same is true of Windows 8. I’ve read the reviews of the betas, even watched a few videos, but I believe seeing the Metro UI live – especially on an ultra-cool Ultrabook – will be what leaves me with a lasting impression. It will be that physical act of interacting with it that will really determine exactly how much I should be looking forward to Windows 8.

 
#3 Windows 8

 

Speaking of Windows 8, I’m expecting no small amount of attention will be paid to it and I, for one, will be happy to learn as much as I can! I think the concept of tiles seems interesting, but, from what I’ve read, there’s a lot more changes under the hood. Ideally, I’d love it if I were able to walk away with a “beta” version of Windows 8 pre-loaded on a USB drive so that I can easily load it on one of the several computers I have at home to really run it through its paces!
 
 
 
#4 Office 365

 

If I have to be honest, I only recently moved over to Office 2010 and I’m actually still working to get the hang of it. That being said, I know Office 365 (or as I’ve seen it cleverly written: O365) will be moving forward in interesting ways, so I’d be fascinated to learn more! Especially given the popularity of tablets and general “Cloud” trends, I think this will be a great step forward to Microsoft to keep other productivity apps in check.
 
 
 
#5 Windows on Tablets

 

It should be of no surprise to anyone who regularly reads the news that the Apple iPad has a “healthy” Market Segment Share (MSS). However, I am personally of the opinion that, in the world of “mobile electronics,” such positions can be almost unbelievably volatile. I won’t bore with stats and charts – you can look them up here and here – but Android, as an OS, went from <1% MSS to >50% in just 3 years – and that’s with no less than fourother “major” operating systems (OSes) in competition. If you look at the world of tablets, not only are there fewer competing OSes – iOS, Android, and Windows – but, also, there are no (or at least a lot fewer) “contracts” involved with tablets as there are with most smartphones. I’d argue this could make the tablet space even more volatile. Plus, I know technically how much goodness has been put into the latest round of Intel Atom processors, and I’d like to actually SEE them in action in tablets at WPC!
 
 
 
#6 Windows Phone

 

As already mentioned, the smartphone market can change on a dime. Will the recently announced Windows Phone 8 be the champion Microsoft needs to turn the tide in their favor? How useful will they feel when they are actually in the palm of your hand? All these questions and more are more good reasons to voyage to the Great White North & witness WPC first hand.
 
 
 
#7 Actual Classes

 

Personally, I have never been a fan of the “wise man on the mountain” concept because I think the wisest person you could ever meet would be someone that meets new people, gains new perspectives, and sees new things every day; not someone sitting in a hard-to-reach location. And, it is from this perspective that I really look forward to sitting down and listening to experts explain things to me – from “How to Write an App for Windows Phone” to “How to Turn Techies into Sales People.” I’m signed up for more than a dozen classes and I’m looking forward to taking each one!
 
 
 
#8 Sharing it all with you!

 

I won’t lie – one of the main reasons I’m going isn’t just for my own personal betterment, but also to capture and share as much as I possibly can with you. It is a well-known fact that for nearly every person who gets to go to a trade show, there are a sizably larger number of folks that would have liked to have gone. So, for those who can’t make it, I will endeavor to take as many pictures, tweet as many tweets, and write as many blogs as I can while I am actually at the event, along with the other WPC Social Media Squad members.  It is a huge honor to be part of this squad.   For maximum coverage, I will be tweeting from three official Intel Twitter Handles (in addition to my own) using the hashtag #WPC12:
Additionally, I’ll try to post more blogs when I’m actually on site in this same location and, I plan to amend this blog post to link to the subsequent posts! I look forward to hearing and sharing the partner perspectives of the other WPC Social Media squad members, attendees, and virtual attendees.
 
 
 
In closing, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Geek Jokes:
 
            There are 10 kinds of Engineers in the world…
 
                        Those that can read binary…
 
                                    And those that can’t
 
And yes, I cheated in the title: 1000 in binary = 8 in decimal. 😉
– Eric​​​