How I Would Do A Windows 8/Server 2012 Launch Event

A man’s mind can wander when he’s driving for endless hours over boring featureless motorways.  So I got to thinking: how would I put together a Windows 8/Server 2012 launch event?

Even before things kick off, I cozy up the press.  That’ll be two streams of work.  The tech press are more aware and will have different questions.  The ordinary press need lots of love – many of them only report tech news around the time of Apple launches.  Get them onside, start setting the agenda and getting the public aware that something is coming.  Use the press to get news of the public launch details out.  Then on to the actual launch events.

There will be one multi-track launch event in every country, followed by smaller single track events on a regional basis.

The big event: To get things warmed up you need some music.  Not some of that custom bought “Kenny G would cringe” muzak that’s usually used right before an opening.  No, I want Bat Out Of Hell, and I want it LOUD … louder than everything else.

Then on to the keynote.  This has to be the most senior MSFT person in the country.  For a global launch, it has to be Ballmer.  In regional launch events, it has to be the local MD.  People need to see how important this thing is.  It’s not “just another version of Windows”. 

Then bring out the BGs or whatever for Windows 8 and Windows Server & Tools to talk about their respective products.  This will be level 100 intro stuff, to highlight important features and why people should be excited.  Important to remember that 99.99% of people don’t stay informed like us nerds.

Then the event breaks into 3 tracks.  Each track has an associated sponsor who gets their own time slot.  Each track has multiple sessions, with maybe 5/10 minute breaks to allow people to move around.  The tracks are:

  • Consumer – with a consumer related sponsor (preferably some large retail chain that’ll be selling Windows 8 devices on the GA day)
  • Business – this is the IT pro and decision maker track.  There are sessions on Windows Server, Windows 8, and the “better together” story.
  • Developer – What good is an OS without apps, and devs will need to be educated about the new app model and the Store.

Regional events would also need to be done.  It would be impossible to do the entire multi-track thing for them, so I’d go with a “best of” road trip, with maybe a single sponsor.  I liked how MSFT Ireland did the Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 road show: business side of things in the day, and consumer in the evening.

That’s my five cents and the ramblings of a person who has spent too many hours on the M1/M4/M6/N20/M8/M7.

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