Like most of you, keeping up with technology changes can be hard to do. No sooner than you master one technology, you have to learn another one, and your first technology might even become obsolete. (Remember Lotus 123 and Wordstar?)
What the Recommendation Engine provides
The Recommendation Engine uses logic methods and algorithms that are being rendered and delivered in the cloud by SQL-BI on Windows Azure. Right now it is a beta service that will be available on Azure later this year. The Recommendation Engine will provide relevant content in the form of websites, videos, webcasts, and podcasts. Additional technical content will be available as they continue to refine the engine.
How it was built
Microsoft used the Windows Azure Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012. Next, they used Integration Services to pull supplemented content from other Microsoft databases and ran BI Analysis Services to prepare a list of recommendations. These technology recommendations come from content that users tagged on the myContent list. It also takes into consideration content consumed by like-minded peers on myTechEd. Thus your peers, that is like minded tech people, can help you set up your own study tags.
Accessing the Engine
To access the Engine, you must create an account with Microsoft Teched.
You can do this with Live Id account.
Next access the content catalog to select the types of technologies that you find interesting.
Then you can select the technologies from the content catalog.
Hands on labs are available for users to work with and you can set them up.
Here is an example of a lab on how to use Windows Azure Virtual Machines.
This is just one more approach that Microsoft is using to help users stay up to date in the race for technology updates. And note, the content and labs are still available after the TechEd gathering finished.