It was a long day. I was on the train at 8:00 am and off to the Tel Aviv Exhibition grounds to attend Microsoft Discovery 2012 and Think Next Special Edition 2012. Discovery 2012 was the first ever-official launch event for Windows8 outside of the USA that Steve Ballmer has attended!

Microsoft Discovery 2012

Although it was called for 8:30, I could have shown up at 9:30 -10:00.

Thank goodness that I had 2 cups of coffee during the networking/exhibition part of the morning, because the rest of the day was coffeeless. Note to the Microsoft Planning Committee, serve more coffee – all day long. The feed filled quickly with coffee related tweets.

Always keep a scarf in your bag – The auditorium was freezing – actually, I loved that I was cold; it was the first time I felt that way in ages! The visuals were out of this world. The multi level, multi screen stage, combined with live music, dancers and branded video was a director’s dream. It was an amazing concert.

 

Hilz Fuld

 

Did I mention that there were 5000 people there? You need really good Wi-Fi for it to work with so many Techies in the audience. It did go on and off but with unlimited data today – who cares. What I was looking for, was a charging station. I hope that the new Windows8 phones have better batteries than the iPhone.  By 11 am, I was in desperate need of a charge.

The scripting of the various introductions and live demo’s of hardware and software were polished. Microsoft’s leading women rocked the stage.

Amazing new cutting edge hardware was showcased using Windows8 magic. The new buzz: detachable keyboards, notebooks that are tablets, screens that flip and swivel, and of course double screens. Microsoft officially announced 80 new ultra books with Windows 8 on board.

Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft) is in the house! He called Israel “The Hi Tech Country”. He didn’t scream out Developers Developers Developers but he did say Now Now Now! He is an amazing speaker, his energy is phenomenal. He showed off his Surface and officially announced Windows Phone 8 in Israel. Ballmer: “we’re moving from a software company to a devices and services company, all powered by software”.

ThinkNext

From the exhibition grounds we were off to the Tel Aviv Port. ThinkNext2012 Special Edition – but first a well deserved coffee break with my partners in crime (@bydahway the Queen of @TwittaBling and Warptest master @jonathanross).

The first part of the event was Demo Fest.

Here are a few of the amazing start-ups presented:

It took a while to get everyone into the Hangar 11 auditorium.  However, once everyone was in, again the screens lit up. The local Microsoft Team enlightened the crowd about what is going on in Israel with the accelerator, big data, research, and more.

dorkitute

Then once again, Steve Ballmer was on stage together with Avi Hasson (Chief Scientist) for a fireside (fireless) chat on innovation in the startup nation. According to Steve B, following Silicon Valley for innovation and technology is none other than (Tel Aviv) Israel!  And my favorite “Microsoft has more employees in Israel per capita than in any other country in the world” – Pride! His closing remarks were “Innovate well, drive hard, and if it’s really a good idea – email it to me!”

Interesting addition and way to finish the event was five TED like short talks on innovation, education, technology, and art. Interesting. I love the cardboard bicycle.

The winner of the Audience Choice Award went to Flayvr. Congrats!

Summary – Long, good, networking, enlightening, caffeine deprived day.

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