Microsoft Management Summit is for the HardcoreUnless you’ve been living off the grid somewhere in Alabama the past few years, you’ve noticed that Microsoft has stepped up its advertising campaign in just about every aspect of digital media. According to Forbes, Microsoft’s advertising budget outpaced its sales in 2011, and though the financial news outlet may have overestimated the amount that Microsoft spent on its Windows 8 marketing campaign, one can certainly judge by the volume of commercials encountered at every turn — from TV to radio to Internet ads — that Redmond certainly wants us to know that the tech giant hasn’t lost its might in the marketplace. Particularly in the areas of cloud computing, enterprise computing, and mobile computing, Microsoft is looking to dominate, and for anyone willing to take a bet that the company dominance in enterprise computing will continue and spread to the cloud and mobile computing sectors, Microsoft Management Summit is the event to watch (this week, anyway).

Microsoft Management Summit is for “Hardcore Geeks”

Taking place in Las Vegas, Microsoft Management Summit 2013 is billed as an exclusive event for “the brightest IT professionals from around the world.” Obviously, Microsoft isn’t being vague about its intentions; according to the event’s About page, only hardcore geeks need apply, “with session content delving into the 300 and 400 level.” Now I’ve been taking IT courses for several years — most recently one on Windows Server 2008 — and even I don’t know what “300 and 400 level” means. I can only guess that we’re not talking about 101-level college courses (such as English 101, my personal favorite). Microsoft Management Summit aims to be a gathering of the elite.

Personally, I usually cringe at the idea of a gathering of elitists. But this is not a country club filled with the one percent drinking fine Scotch and smoking expensive Cuban cigars in a country club. This is the type of elite group anyone should be proud and unembarrassed to become a part of: one of the best in a particular field. In this case, that field happens to be IT, and even those not inclined toward Microsoft’s products and services would benefit from keeping up with what the company has to offer. Even diehard Linux gurus understand the need to stay abreast of what the competition is up to. And fortunately for those of us who can’t afford to make the trip to Vegas, Microsoft Management Summit sessions will be freely available to watch on demand within a day or two of the live presentations.

As a geek myself, I aspire to become a hardcore one, so I’ll be following Microsoft Management Summit throughout the week to see what I can pick up. I’ll also be watching Twitter hashtag #MMS2013 and checking Channel9 (for which I wish someone at Microsoft would make an official Roku channel so that I don’t always have to rely on hackers to make the content available for the device) for recordings of MMS sessions. I know there are plenty of you in LockerGnome’s Help! forums that’ll be interested in the event — even those of you who feel that Microsoft has lost its way in the server market. Care to join me? I’ll bring the cigars. You can bring the Scotch.

Oh, and one more thing. Alabamians, I’m one of you now, and have been for nearly four years now. Just so you know.