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TechEd turns artistic

01 Oct 12

TechEd 2012 went artistic and global this year, with New York Times’ data artist in residence Jer Thorp showing the exciting side of data, while Microsoft launched Windows Server 2012 from the Auckland event.

Thorp helped open Microsoft’s annual conference by combining science, art and design to develop visualisations, arguing the screeds of data in the world can be made more exciting and less complex. “Data has character – it’s not just numbers,” Thorp said. “Each set is bespoke and can be used to create a meaningful visual that people can relate to and interact with.”

Thorp offered insights into how data can be made more palatable, using examples like the fall of Communism, vanity Tweeting and mapping names onto the September 11 memorial.

Microsoft’s Scott Wylie had kicked off the keynote session saying the next 12 months will be ‘the biggest year of launches in Microsoft’s history’, with the reimagining of the entire product line and the progression of touch-enabled interactions driven by the cloud.

Paul Thurrott, Microsoft blogger, author, podcaster and Windows IT Pro magazine news editor, followed with an update on Microsoft’s key product releases, including Windows 8 and Office 2013 while demonstrating the world’s largest multi-touchscreen, the 82 inch Perceptive Pixel.

Server 2012 launched

Microsoft launched Windows Server 2012, the world’s first cloud-optimised OS, from the Auckland event, saying it expands the definition of a server OS, incorporating traditionally separate technologies such as advanced storage, networking, virtualisation and automation capabilities.

“Windows Server 2012 is the world’s first genuine cloud OS, which has been built from the cloud up to provide one consistent platform across private, hosted and public cloud environments,” Bradley Borrows, Microsoft NZAzure and Server business group lead, says.

Microsoft says new features will offer clients more processing power, storage and flexibility.