The Tech-Ed 2010 bag review

, posted: 3-Aug-2010 16:30

Amazingly enough, it's been another year since the last Microsoft Tech-Ed which, errm, was held in 2009. This year's SuperMegaGeekFest starts on August 30 and ends on September 1 and delegates attending get a bag.

I was lucky enough to spot a hapless Microsoftie wandering around the Viaduct in Auckland with onesuch Tech-Ed 2010 bag, smacked him in the chops and stole it to give you lot a quick preview*.

Without further ado, let's have a look at The Bag.

Tech Ed 2010 bag 1

This year's model is arguably the most stylish bag yet. Made of rubberised plastic that feels durable, this floppy courier bag doesn't fail in the fashion stakes. Festooned with fancy geek code symbols that represent… social media and intarweb stuff I think (there's an @ symbol there), you could almost take the bag into an OpenBSD user group meeting and not be disembowelled for proprietary software crimes against humanity. Almost, because while Microsoft resisted clamours to print gaudy sponsor logos all over the Tech-Ed 2010 bag, there is subtle little branding on the side to show that this is a Redmond-approved carry case:

Tech Ed 2010 bag 3

Flung open, like C# syntax errors thrown to the wind, the bag looks like this:

Tech Ed 2010 bag 2

It's a fairly rudimentary yet useful design really. You don't get the marvellous stove-top sack system with a keep-pizza-warm food box from a few years ago, but the 2010 bag should do good service. The smell of the bag is somewhat nondescript but not unpleasant. The cats haven't had a go at the bag yet, which helps.

As you'd expect, the 2010 bag can be used to lug computers around. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone but look, what did I find inside?

Tech Ed 2010 bag 4

A nice, soft laptop galosh, that's what. Very cool, but clearly not designed for macho and manly laptops like my Dell Studio 1735:

Tech Ed 2010 bag 5

I guess a tiny little 13-incher could be squeezed in though, like a Macbook.

Inside the lappie galosh, I found Microsoft's new Windows 7 White Screen of Privacy Protection.

Tech Ed Bag 2010 7

This new product will go on sale once it gets out of beta stage and yes, it is totally excellent. It really does work, exactly as promised:

Tech Ed 2010 bag 6

With the W7WSoPP applied, nobody and I mean nobody, can tell you're tweeting and screwing around on Facebook when you should be paying attention to those high-rated Tech-Ed 2010 sessions.

That was it though, for bag contents. To my disappointment, there was no HP StorageWorks X510 Data Vault in the bag. I tried out the X510 for a PC World home networking feature and quite liked it so really, the bag should come with one of those.

New Zealand Tech-Ed 2010 delegates can buy the X510 for a discounted price which isn't bad I suppose. Microsoft is keeping schtumm about the other stuff that might go into the bag, such as leaflets, pens, bottle openers and key-ring tasers so we'll have hang on for a little bit longer to find out.

A trans-Tasman Tech-Ed 2010 comparison is warranted. The dirty Aussies have their Tech-Ed before NZ this time on the Gold Coast and get a Crumpler messenger bag. A full ticket to that event costs A$2,100, or around NZ$2,610. NZ TechEd is considerably less pricey. Early birdies got in for $1,500, but it's now up to $1,800 with 98 per cent of Tech-Ed tickets sold as of writing this. Wonder how many were sold to cost-conscious Aussies?



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*Actually, Microsoft's PR people sent the bag to stop me mugging the staff of one.

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