BETT Show 2010

The BETT show is the world’s largest Educational IT Tradeshow and this was my first year there…what a time it was!

The Good Old British weather made an appearance, giving us 4-5 inches of snow on the Wednesday morning; the day I and 2 colleagues travelled down to London! I wasn’t sure if I’d get to the train station and, even if I did, would the train be running? Would the tube be working? As it turned out, everything went fine and we got to London on time.

However, the weather did manage to make it a bit more difficult for me. Due to the snow, our big, heavy, all in one PC didn’t arrive at work until after the kit was taken down to London…which meant that yours truly had to carry it down on the train! It was certainly a learning experience and here are some of the lessons I gained:

  • All in one PCs are pretty heavy
  • Boxes and snow don’t mix
  • Boxes are always a bit bigger than the gap you’re trying to get through
  • Cardboard is a terrible material to use for a handle

Bechtle are quite a broad reseller so we had various attractions on our stand including ultra short throw projectors & ASUS Eee PC’s/Box’s…but the best bit was my Microsoft software section 🙂 The centre piece was the aforementioned 23” HP Touchsmart Q600 multi touch all-in-one pc:


Unfortunately, this is the best picture I’ve got of the Touchsmart…you can see the Surface Globe running on there if you look past the reflection!

Brilliantly, this came with the Microsoft Touch Pack pre-installed…which is just as great as it seemed when I heard about it. The Surface Globe is based on Virtual Earth and is a fully multi-touch globe with great deep level zoom available plus, in places like London, New York etc, they’ve got 3D monuments in there too 🙂 Everyone loved this app…especially as it’s got such an obvious use in schools. Put one of these in the library or the classroom and Geography just got a whole lot cooler!

Most people went to have a look at their house and got quite excited when they found their car. However, we had a few people who found unfamiliar cars outside their house and looked a little worried as to what had been happening!

Of the other apps in there, the Surface Lagoon went down very well…the water effects are SO realistic it’s crazy!

International Reach:

Although Bechtle were at BETT 2009, I wasn’t so I was quite surprised by a number of things, especially the pulling power of the show. I spoke to people from South Africa, Norway & Malaysia among others…they’d come all the way to London to see what new advances there were in Educational IT this year…I really didn’t expect there to be so many international attendees.

There were also a number of international exhibitors. There were quite a few from Germany and the furthest afield I saw was Brazil!


It was great to finally meet a few people from Twitter…(always good to meet in person) and a shame that i missed meeting so many other people. Even though I was there for 3 days, there was hardly any spare time…if not before, hopefully BETT2011!


Despite my best intentions, I only took a few pictures (and most of those aren’t very good!) so I can’t do the photo gallery I had planned, but here are the few pics I did take:

IMAG0011 IMAG0031 The Bechtle Stand…                                    The Bechtle stand (in action)

IMAG0025 IMAG0030

The Dell robot…                                           Ode to Olympia…


A shot of some of our freebies, including the awesome Slinky…surely the best giveaway of the show?! 😉

As you’ll no doubt have spotted, our t-shirts were a lovely super bright yellow…not my choice at all, but it did make it easy for people to find me in the hubbub!


Thanks to everyone who came to visit us on the stand and everyone who listened to me talk about Windows 7, Office 2010, Sharepoint 2010, Educational licensing and everything else. It was great to meet so many people from all over the world and hopefully we’ll build up some great relationships over the coming months/years 🙂

Microsoft Windows 7 Touch Pack

To mark the “anniversary” of Windows 7 Multi-Touch, (AKA Windows Touch) being discussed at the D: All Things D conference in 2008, Microsoft have released the Windows 7 Touch Pack.  This is a set of 6 multi-touch enabled apps that will be available with Windows 7; it is comprised of 3 games and 3 MS Surface applications.

Microsoft Surface Globe: This is based on the Virtual Earth 3D engine and, using multi-touch, allows users to navigate different area of the globe as well as getting local info and “pinning” top locations. A demo video can be found here.


Microsoft Surface Collage: Users can arrange photos with their fingertips to create personalised desktop backgrounds.


Microsoft Surface Lagoon: A screensaver that supports multi-touch interaction. “Ripple” the water with your fingers or watch fish gather around as you press down.


Microsoft Blackboard: A game which may also educate! In this physics based teaser, users must arrange various gears, fans and levers to move objects towards the finish.


Microsoft Rebound: A touch based, electrified version of air hockey that can be played online.


Microsoft Garden Pond: A modern version of a Zen garden, this app allows you to guide your Origami creations around the peaceful ponds and pools with your fingers.

It will be up to the OEM’s whether they include some, all or none of these applications however, following general availability of Windows 7, Microsoft will look to expand this.

Some may see these a great features, some may see them as nothing but filler but if nothing else, they do a great job of showing how clean, easy and fresh multi-touch application can be on Windows 7.

You can see even more over at the Windows Team Blog.

Windows 7 Pre-Beta Features

The Windows 7 Pre-Beta Build will be available to PDC 2008 attendees from Tuesday 28th of October (tomorrow) but Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet has got some info on what features we can expect to see:

Device Stage – a central location for customers to more easily interact with devices, ranging from printers, cameras, cell phones, media players, etc. Device Stage will only recognize “Device-Stage-enabled” peripherals.

Action Center – a self-diagnosis feature to help users troubleshoot problems with their Windows 7 systems

A new Animation Framework for customizing animations

New Task Bar & Shell Integration

Multi-Touch & Gesture Recognition

There isn’t much more info on these features as of yet so roll on tomorrow!!

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