I went down to the Denver stop on the Heros Happen Here launch events and as you can tell by this post, I left early. The IT Pro section was in the am and the developer section in the afternoon, but I grew a little tired of the developer keynote and after watching the SQL Server sessions in the morning, I decided I was better off leaving and not fighting traffic than sticking around to learn more.
I have to say I was a little disappointed with the morning session. I did get to see some people and spend time talking with them about various issues, and that's always something I enjoy. I learn some things, hear what people are doing and more importantly what they think about SQL Server. I get ideas for editorials, content on the site, and even how to better focus things.
The event, however, was really a marketing event, with canned demos and lots of slides that look to highlight the cool features and Wow you into buying or upgrading. Not necessarily a bad thing, but there was a shortage of good information given. Especially in the SQL Server sessions.
Kevin Cox and David Gollub tag-teamed the SQL sessions and these guys are both good presenters. However their demos were blowing up, less than half of them working, and that was disappointing. It tended to make SQL Server 2008 look like it's not ready for prime time. It's not even feature complete right now, but it looked really bad today. No major errors, but the demos didn't work and with two smart guys up there, it makes me think that there is really too much complexity to some of the new features. Policy Management, which I've barely scratched the surface on, was very confusing and tripped these two up a few times. Then the CDC didnt' work, which I've had trouble with and scratched my head on more than a few times. There was also the data mining add-in that disappeared; not something that you want to have happen when you're deploying or even demo'ing in your company.
I'm sure these demos worked in practice, but them not working live shows that there's a lot of work to be done.
On the flip side, the Windows Server Core demos were neat and I liked the idea of virtualizing a number of Cores that handle specific tasks, each separted from the other.