So with all our blogging about the happenings in Kendall Square, we snagged an invite to the Windows 8 Launch Party for college students held Friday at The NERD Center. 888 registered guests and The Spiro Boys courtesy of Kendall Press were there taking in all of the action as well as a few cool snaps.
There were raffle giveaways every thirty minutes. Xbox games, lots of Kinect action on the dance floor; product demos garnered gifts for the brave who presented features after only seeing/touching and playing with a Microsoft Surface for about ten minutes.
The windows 8 interface looked optimized for tablets and great for real time communications and book/video reading while traveling. To me, this represented the closest to a paperNpixels touch for magazines that I can now read online, while commuting (on public transit). Ezine’s galore looked easy enough on the new Surface device. Did I say? The launch coincided with the launch of Microsoft Surface – More on that tool at a later time.
Education Evangelist, Edwin Guarin @edvangelist was our host showing off the full power of the New England Research and DevelopmentCenter (NERD) and engaging the large crowd in a ton of activities. We learned that Microsoft has a whole community section of their website and business focused on students and Edwin is certainly their contact for free, legal software and excitement over Microsoft products and jump starting their transition from student to business person.
Northeastern University was very well represented in attendees. Must be the business and innovation students and not just programmers looking for networking and foodie opportunities. We heard a lot of shout outs from Boston University, Boston College, MIT, Harvard, Wentworth Institute of Technology and U Mass, Boston. The odds were good for raffle winners as we heard Olin School of Engineering and the one lady from Simmonscalled out, but claimants had to be there at the time of the drawing in order to win.
1. Microsoft has a big stake in regaining its edge in the tablet world. We wouldn’t count them out after what we saw
2. Consumers need to evaluate business communication requirements when deciding between small smart phones and larger tablets and what appears to be an interesting hybrid in the Surface with its physical plug ins and optional keyboard
3. With students as early adopters, bringing new skills to the workplace, established businesses can leap frog their competition when they best understand how to reach a wider range of audience for their goods and services.