Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Mobius Redmond 2003: Day 0 and Day 1 (Half of it)
Posted by Jason Dunn in "EVENT" @ 05:00 PM
Day Zero: The W Hotel
I arrived in Seattle after a very bumpy flight, and settled into my hotel room at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle. I enjoy staying at the W – it’s very soothing and relaxing. It’s not for everyone though, because I heard a few people commenting later that the hotel was “strange”. They turn the lights in the hallway down low, and it has a late-evening feeling all the time, which is just fine by me! The smile on my face was enormous when I was told at the registration desk that in addition to covering my hotel costs, Microsoft was going to pick up the costs for high-speed Internet access. That shows you how much they understand the people they invited – Internet access is critical to what we do, and the T-3 connection at the W made for a snappy Web experience.
Cabled Internet access, for me at least, is mostly a dead technology (although I’ll always use it for fixed computing stations) – I wonder when we’ll see WiFi access in our hotel rooms? I noticed that they had some sort of Intel Centrino demo station and WiFi access in the lobby (for a fee). It might be a bit of security nightmare though, because I’ve been at conferences before that offered WiFi, and people don’t remember to remove the shares on folders, so they end up exposing half the data on their laptops to other users. It would be a great feature in Windows XP to recognize when a user is connected to a new WiFi network, and temporarily disable the shares while attached to that network, but re-enable them when attached to the normal business/home network. Even the simple step of changing the default network name from MSHOME would be a small help.
The evening event was a meet n’ greet type mixer where various delicious appetizers were served while the Mobius attendees mingled. Several Microsoft people showed up as well, including Derek Brown, so we had fun reminiscing about the various projects we’d worked on together over the years. I had a chance to meet some of the new faces, including Lisa Gade from PDABuyersGuide, which is always enjoyable. All too quickly, it was nearing midnight and the room was shutting down, so I headed up to my room to spend some time doing email. We were being picked up by a bus at 7:30 AM to brave the infamous Seattle traffic, so it would be an early morning.
Day One: Microsoft Campus
Bright and early we were on a bus traveling down to the Microsoft campus. For those that haven’t seen it, it’s difficult to imagine one of the world’s largest software companies existing in a collage campus like sprawl, but it works well for them. Redmond is a beautiful place, always green and lush, and I enjoy spending time there.
Figure 1: Mobius attendees
After a brief introduction by Jason Gordon, the event organizer, the first presentation of the day was by Jonas Hasselberg, Lead Smartphone Product Manager. Jonas is the person who helps to define what features goes into the product. He started off his presentation by talking about the Motorola MPx200 Smartphone, and specifically about the weight that Motorola brings to this market. Motorola isn’t just making one phone – they’re a big builder, and they build product portfolios. Reading between the lines here, it seems Motorola will be releasing multiple phones based on the Smartphone platform. Motorola is initially targeting the prosumer market – the people who buy their products in retail stores, and are generally willing to pay more for new technology.
Figure 2: Jonas presenting