Last year at this time the government of Tunisia was using Open Source and was anti-Microsoft. So Microsoft did something unusual in the “battle” and just let their products and technology speak for themselves by putting on the first annual North Africa Developers Conference in Tunis, Tunisia. The event was a smashing success since about 90% of the technical content was delivered by 3rd party developers and was not the typical MS Marketing crap. Microsoft Europe, Africa and Middle East CEO Jean Philippe Courtois delivered a keynote and met with government officials. Us Regional Directors were all over the place giving technical sessions, presenting case studies, and doing ask the experts booths.
So this year the conference was held in the logical location of Casablanca, Morocco. Microsoft has been in Morocco for 10 years and is the headquarters of the sub. There is lots of development going on in Morocco so the attendees were top notch.
So there is debate over where to have the NDC next year. Many at Microsoft North Africa think Algeria is the place to have it, but may be worried that attendance might not be as strong as in the past two years. But those who argue for Algeria think that Microsoft has another great opportunity to lets its technology speak for itself in a newly emerging market. Hope it is held there!