As I sit in my office getting ready to close up, it is a little after 10pm, September 3rd, 2012. That makes tomorrow a very important day in the world of IT.
Microsoft has announced that on September 4th, 2012 they will make Windows Server 2012, the newest generation of one of the most successful back-end software franchises in the world, available for purchase – in other words, GA (General Availability). For those of us on the front line evangelizing the product, it is a very exciting time.
For myself it is doubly exciting, because as of September 4th, 2012 I am officially joining the Evangelism team at Microsoft Canada – albeit in a less direct way. My new title is Virtual Technical Evangelist – Windows Infrastructure. I have known about this for some time but have kept it quiet for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is superstition.
For the last year I have begun to work much closer with the Evangelism team, with presentations, tours, and blog articles on Server Virtualization, Windows, and many other topics. I have surprised many people in the last few months when I told them that I do not actually work for Microsoft Canada, but with them. My new title simply means that I will be doing more of the same – teaching people and groups about Windows (Server and Client), helping them dispel some of the myths, showing them how to use the technologies better.
It is a very exciting time to be a Technical Evangelist.
Because of the switch I want to put a few things straight. Very little is actually going to change. I will still be running SWMI Consulting Group, and will still be available for private engagements. I will continue teaching both Microsoft and some non-Microsoft technologies in classroom settings. I have spoken with Stephen Rose and Simran Chaudhry, and have assured them that I will still be a Microsoft MVP, and will continue to be an active member of the STEP (Springboard Technical Experts Panel) team, presenting on Windows 8 across the country and, when invited, around the world. None of that is changing.
Something else that is not changing is probably what makes me the ideal candidate for this new (I am the first!) position: my passions. If you have heard me speak or read my articles you know a lot of what I am passionate about, and none of that is changing. I am still a passionate advocate of Hyper-V and the Microsoft Virtualization story, including the Private Cloud managed by System Center 2012. I am still a passionate advocate of migrating clients and users off Windows XP, and will continue the countdown right through April 14, 2014 (by the time you read this the countdown will be to 580 days until #EndOfDaysXP!). You can read it on my blog from time to time, or if you want a running countdown you can follow me on Twitter at @MGarvis. These passions and focuses are not being redirected because of the position I am taking, rather I was selected for the position because my passions and focuses are exactly where a Technical Evangelist (Virtual or otherwise) for Microsoft should be. I have not focused because I have been paid to.
Another passion of mine that will align me to the role is my passion and belief in the IT Pro (and other) technical communities around the country. I will continue to support those communities – whether they are on-line or in person, user groups or otherwise – in the same manner and with the same passionate zeal that I have in the past, dating back nearly nine years. I hope that going forward I will be able to do so from a more official position than I have, but even if that does not happen my support for user groups and their leaders (and aspiring leaders) will not change.
Over the next few weeks we will be crossing the nation with the launch of Windows Server 2012, and following that we will likely do the same with Windows 8. Interspersed with both we will be bringing IT Boot Camps and user group events to you in your city, so stay tuned; it may be an exciting time to be a Virtual Technical Evangelist, but it is a really exciting time to be an IT Pro and community member in the Microsoft ecosystem in Canada. We look forward to helping you along the journey!