Microsoft Surface at Emirates Lounge, Dubai

by Shijaz Abdulla on 02.02.2010 at 22:35

During my recent trip to Dubai, I came across Microsoft Surface units in the Emirates Lounge at Dubai Airport Terminal 3.

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The Microsoft Surface units had a variety of applications, games and media on it for passenger entertainment. I found an intuitive application that lets one customize and send a postcard via email. Here’s a video of that application that I took on my cellphone camera.


I was holding the cellphone with one hand, so I couldn’t demonstrate true ‘multi-touch’ 🙂

The Emirates lounge also had many xbox units with some exciting games, including Forza Motorsport. The whole lounge is pretty hi-tech, except for the internet kiosks, which still ran Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6 in a lockdown mode, that allows only one browser instance to be opened with no tabs!

Dynamic Datacenter Workshop, Dubai

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.02.2010 at 15:03

Last week I was in Dubai for the Dynamic Datacenter workshop along with two partners from Qatar – Mannai Trading and EBLA Consulting.

Among Qatar attendees, we had Pradeep Joy and Johny John from Mannai Trading and Bashar Badr from EBLA.

The course provides IT Professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to install and configure the underlying components of a Microsoft Dynamic Data Center solution. Partners were trained on how to onboard a Proof of Concept using the DDC Toolkit. The products include Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, System Center Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager and Virtual Machine Manager.

The trainer was Jeffrey Roach from Wright & Robbins (a Microsoft vendor based in Seattle) and it was four days packed with excitement and interaction. Jeff is now in Prague, delivering the same workshop to our European partners.

DDTK-H Workshop

While we were in Dubai, we also got a chance to attend a separate Unified Communications Sales training, which included a hands-on user experience of Microsoft UC solutions.

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Tech Ed 2010 Dubai: Early bird offer

by Shijaz Abdulla on 03.01.2010 at 19:17


I posted earlier about Microsoft Tech·Ed. It is the premier technical education and networking event for any technology professional interested in learning, connecting and exploring a broad set of current and soon-to-release Microsoft technologies, tools, platforms and services.

  • Only Tech·Ed combines knowledge, expertise, inspiration, connections and friendship… all at the one event.
  • Connect with International and Local Technical Experts, Microsoft Staff, Partners, MVPs, community influencers and industry peers

Immerse yourself in 3 days of intensive technical learning and discussion at Tech·Ed Middle East 2010. No other event provides such in-depth knowledge in such a short time.

  • Learn through 2 keynote addresses and 99 technical education sessions
  • Ask your questions in over 30 focused interactive discussions
  • Touch the technology through 22 PC-based instructor-led training labs
  • Meet with product experts and see product demos at the Technical Learning Centre
  • Explore industry solutions at the Tech·Ed Partner Expo
  • Connect with peers and industry leaders at the evening social functions

Register before January 31, 2010 and save US$130 on your registration fee.


Gulf Tech Talk [Partners only]

by Shijaz Abdulla on 31.12.2009 at 08:02


Microsoft takes great pride in inviting Gulf partners to Tech Talk. One of the key objectives of the initiative is to help build partner capacity especially on leading-edge Microsoft technologies: To achieve this is Microsoft invites partners to quarterly events where you can experience the best training available to better yourself, your company and your customers.

Microsoft’s success is directly related to their relationships with Partners and the ability to listen to, understand and service the needs of our partners better.

Date: January 7th, 2010

Venue: Microsoft, Building No.8, Dubai Internet City

LiveMeeting is available for partners outside the UAE.
For more information/registration, please contact me.




Arrival / Coffee

08:30 AM


Introduction and Welcome keynote

09:00 AM

Wael / Salim

SharePoint 2010

09:15 – 10:15 AM

Mohammed Alaa

SharePoint 2010 session: The purpose of this session is to walk our partners through an overview of the SharePoint 2010 capabilities with a focus on the different investment areas, of this major release. The session is optimized for Partners’ Technical Decision Makers (TDMs) that are already familiar with SharePoint 2007


Exchange 2010

10:15 – 11:15 AM

Zahid Tikrity

Introduce the new version of Exchange and highlight some of the key new features and architectures


Coffee Break

11:15 – 11:30 AM


Business Intelligence / Performance Point

11:30 – 12:30 PM


Business Intelligence :  Review the latest developments and trends in Microsoft BI/DW platform
Performance Management Solution :  Discuss Performance Management solution overview along with products and technologies



12:30 – 01:30 PM



01:30 – 02:30 PM

Frederico De Domenico

Review the latest developments in operating system virtualization made by Microsoft with the release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, including Hyper-V R2, Windows Virtual PC, SCVMM, and Med-V


Deployment & Systems Management, MDOP

02:30 – 03:30 PM

Frederico De Domenico

Deployment and Systems Management: review the latest developments in operating system and application deployment and systems management made by Microsoft, including MDT 2010, App-V, VDI, SCCM 2007 SP2, SCOM 2007 R2. I will also give some information as to what to expect in the near future.


Unified Communications

03:30 – 04:30 PM

Zahid Tikrity

Unified Communications: Integrating OCS 2007 with Exchange 2010


TechEd Middle East 2010 – Super Early Bird Offer

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.12.2009 at 23:27


Microsoft @GITEX 2009

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.10.2009 at 23:52


Join us at this year’s GITEX 2009 from October 18-22 at Hall 7, Stand B7-1, (Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre) for an exclusive preview of our latest technologies. This year’s Microsoft stand hosts 21 partner and Microsoft pods demonstrating latest products and solutions.


Day 1| Monday October 19th 2009| 10:00am – 11:30am   
SMB panel debates: Understanding risk and combating threats by David Maskell, Security Solution Specialist, Microsoft Gulf   

Day 2| Tuesday October 20th 2009| 12:00pm – 1:30pm   
Business meets IT: Knowing your customers and keeping them by Ahmad Salama, CRM Solution Specialist, Microsoft Gulf   

Day 3| Wednesday October 21st 2009| 10:00am – 11:30am   
SMB Panel debates: Integrating consumer technologies at work by Stuart Simms, Mobile Communication BG Lead, Microsoft MEA   

Day 4| Thursday October 22nd 2009| 12:00pm – 1:30pm  
Business meets IT: Government 2.0: IT in the public sector by Ahmad Salama, CRM Solution Specialist, Microsoft Gulf   

Day 5| Thursday October 22nd 2009| 1:00pm – 1:45pm   
Developer Day: Microsoft Technologies by Anton Delsink, Developer Tools Evangelist, Microsoft Gulf


Vendor Theaters

Visit Microsoft @ the Vendor theaters on Wednesday and Thursday October 21 & 22 respectively; located at the Consumer Electronics Hall at the Trade Center, running a series of sessions around Windows 7, Windows Phone, Windows Live and XBOX.


Tech-Ed 2010 in Dubai!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 06.10.2009 at 12:56

Microsoft Tech·Ed Middle East 2010

The next Tech-Ed Middle East is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 1-3, 2010.

Tech-Ed is Microsoft’s premier technical education and networking conference where you can connect one-on-one with Microsoft insiders and IT peers, get your toughest questions answered and hear expert advice – right from the source!

For updated information, join the tech-ed mailing list, or visit Don’t forget to mark your calendars.

Mixed feelings: Gitex 2008

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.10.2008 at 09:17

Gitex logo -

Been to Gitex yesterday.

Nothing worth writing home about. It was just another ordinary exhibition – lots of small and medium IT companies running very generic PowerPoints at their stalls. A few big players showing off some of their stuff – to me it was all kind of deja vu.

The Chinese pavilion looked… um… red… and colorful with all the blinking LEDs, gadgets, motherboards and stuff. In consumer electronics, Sanyo had this camcorder that you can dip into water, and Sony had the largest High definition plasma. This was impressive.

But I still don’t understand how products can be promoted by model girls wearing heavy makeup and skimpy clothes simply dancing around to music on an open stage waving notebooks, camcorders and gadgets. I don’t know – but the last time I checked – people buy notebooks and cameras by evaluating the specification!

Many visitors poured in to browse everything in general. Some others strolling around looking for stalls with specific interests. Some others were there just to collect the goodie bags loaded with cheap freebies.

For the two hours I spent driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, the further one hour I spent looking for a parking spot (only to find one in the rear end of Parking C – which is the farthest), and for the kilometer I walked in the sun to reach the exhibition hall, and later on – for the two hours I spent in the Dubai traffic jam to get back on the highway, and for the 2 hours back to Abu Dhabi….

… I really don’t think it was worth it.

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