Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and
Learning Summit in Houston (July, 7-11 2008)

In 2008 the yearly Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was held in Houston, Texas.
For me this was a return trip as Houston was the very first city I visited in the United States nearly 10 years ago.
This year my inbound flight coincided with the fourth of July celebrations so after I had settled at the hotel I grabbed a taxi to the park and enjoyed the fireworks display together with thousands of citizens from the Houston area.

Arrival (on the 4th of July)

1: 7/4 Fireworks (1)
Fireworks mark the end of the fourth of July celebrations...
2: 7/4 Fireworks (2)
... in Eleanor Tinsley Park, downtown Houston

Trip to Space Center Houston with friends

3: Guided tour
Guided tour through the Space Center: Harold, Thomas and Rick are ready to go!
4: Mission Control
A view of the NASA Mission Control Center. On screen the ongoing ISS mission
5: Windows XP app
Microsoft Windows XP running an ISS tracking application
6: Live ISS feed
Live feed from the International Space Station orbiting around the Earth
7: F1 engine
Once again a close encounter with the world's largest rocket engine
8: J2 engines
The second stage of the Saturn-5 rocket

Dinner buffet, organized by the Dutch Microsoft organization

11: Some Dutch CPLSs
Marcel v/d Berg (Twice), Eylard Harmsen (Compu'Train),
Vincent Niers (Twice) and Frank v/d Laarschot (Global Knowledge)
12: Swings
The double swing in the R÷CBAR club

Worldwide Partner Conference in the George R. Brown Convention Center

15: EB & friends (1)
And of course the EB Fraley band kicked off the keynote presentations...
16: EB & friends (2)
...with some guest performances
17: Keynotes (1)
Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group
18: Keynotes (2)
Steve Ballmer during his keynote presentation


19: Party flyer
Flyer of the Microsoft Partner Groups appreciation party
20: Party ice
Entrance only with a valid wrist band but the issue here is ... how to get out!
21: Party music
Live music in one of the three clubs that were reserved for this party
22: Party animal
Wim found another girl of his dreams. Classy Wim!

Partner celebration at the Minute Maid Park, Houston

23: Minute Maid ballpark
A partner celebration in Microsoft style: a ballpark filled with tons of foods from different corners of the world, drinks aplenty, live entertainment
including a Karaoke bar, piano bar, live bands, XBox 360 & classic gaming consoles and just a fantastic atmosphere in general
24: Catch!
Thanks to lightning fast teamwork from Thomas I was able to fetch the ball!
25: Naugty girls in fish nets (1)
Live music from a -for me- unknown girls band
26: Naugty girls in fish nets (2) 27: Naugty girls in fish nets (3)
28: Another girls band
More live music & entertainment
29: Ballpark w/ stage view
The music stage as seen from the other side of the ballpark
30: Firworks (1)
And finally the ballpark roof opened up for an impressive display of fireworks
31: Firworks (2)
32: Dutch Microsoft after party (1)
The Dutch Microsoft after-party at Club Rich's, Midtown
33: Dutch Microsoft after party (2)
Wim and I promised Allison to invite her for the next year party

Photo 2: Donna, 3-7, 9-10, 15-18, 23, 30-31: MariŽlle, 11, 21-22 32-33: Wim, 12, 20, 27-29: MSNL dvd

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