Andrew Westgarth and Jo Noble have brought a new Microsoft Technology user group to the North East with the launch of NE Bytes. The launch event was held on Wednesday 20th January and I went along to the event to see what it was all about.

NE Bytes revolves around both IT Developers and IT Professionals in the North East who use Microsoft Technologies in their day-to-day work and it also showcases up and coming software in the Microsoft suite of products.

For a launch event, it was great to see the number of people who attended. Over 90 people and the 3 speakers (Steve Smith, Mike Taulty and James O’ Neill) were present.

Highlights and features of Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010
The first session of the evening was given by Steve Smith, a SharePoint MVP and Director of Combined Knowledge (A specialist SharePoint training consultancy). Steve talked about some of the new features in the up and coming release of SharePoint. He covered topics such as Metadata management model, Records management, Records routing, The Ribbon, Office integration, Migration options, Architecture and the new layout of the software.

Silverlight – 2 Years, 4 versions and where are we now?
Mike Taulty
who currently works in the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft UK gave the second session of the evening. Mike talked about Microsoft’s UX technology for RIAs and covered what is available in Silverlight such as various User Interface components; he also demonstrated what is available in the new Silverlight release, Silverlight 4 which is currently in Beta.

Hyper-V with James O’Neill
The third session of the evening was given by James O’ Neill who works on the Evangelist Team. He covered the Hyper-V virtualisation technology which is bundled with Server 2008, including the improvements which were released in Server 2008 R2. He also demonstrated System Center Virtual machine Manager and managing virtualised systems using Windows PowerShell.