I'm back in Berlin for the Microsoft TechEd conference. It's huge- thousands of people, and even though the exhibition halls are like aircraft hangars they are packed with people, desperate to get free croissants, T-shirts and other baubles.
There's a lot of "IT pro" (windows admins) content, in the exhibitors and session schedule, and developers like me have thinner pickings (unless you just want croissants and T shirts, which evidently most do).
The only new stuff for developers is Windows Phone 7. The demo stand with various windows phones to try was always packed, and yes, they do look nice. Some cloud stuff, which is clearly a key target for Microsoft. Otherwise it's a rehash of the Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4 introductory stuff from last year, which was fine last year when it was new but it's a little tired now. Very thin pickings on ASP, a single (introductory) session on MVC, a little on parallel. There is quite a bit on Silverlight, but everyone outside this audience now thinks Microsoft have killed it.
The goody bag is just a simple sports sack (I'm still carrying the rather nice laptop bag from last year). No free Windows 7 Ultimate disc this year (well, you do get a TechNet subscription so that's 5 licenses there, but still.) The free stuff from the vendors in the exhibition hall is showing signs of the economic downturn too. Lots of competitions though.
Only 3 more days of crowds, food, beer, and T-shirt collecting to go.