Like several of my colleagues here at TechRepublic, I attended a couple of the Windows Vista Launch Events this week. I give credit to Microsoft for putting on a pretty good event. The muffin and cheese pastry I had with the freshly brewed coffee was top notch. I got to the event early in the morning so I got to choose from a full compliment of breakfast treats. The facilities were crowded but as a veteran of such events and of that part of town, I was able to find restroom amenities beyond the hotel's meager offering.
Notice how I have yet to mention anything about the actual presentation or Windows Vista. That's because they were not really what I had hoped for. And I don't mean to say that I'm sorry for attending. The events were helpful in many ways. But too much time was spent on marketing --- on trying to convince me that I need to run out and get Vista right now so I can Alt-Tab through programs in cool 3D. That's like the car dealer who tries to close the deal by showing me the two cup holders in the console.
While I like the Aero Glass interface and its less flashy sibling Aero, it is not the thing that will seal the deal with me on Windows Vista. In the morning session, we got a glimpse at Exchange Server 2007 --- that is something I wanted to see more of. In the afternoon section we saw how developers can use the various components of Office 2007 to create user friendly applications --- again, that is something I want to explore further. Vista's clever use of the graphics processor to display media images while freeing up the CPU for other activities was very interesting. I'd like to know exactly how that works.
I fully expect Vista to be the operating system of the next PC/Laptop I buy, but I don't see myself upgrading just to upgrade anytime soon. The differences between Windows XP and Windows Vista just don't seem to warrant a change right now. Perhaps Microsoft already realizes this and that is why they didn't try to compare XP and Vista head-to-head too often. It also would have been nice if they had passed out copies of Vista to the crowd. I mean, name a better way to get widespread adoption --- giving 1500 IT Pros a copy of your software.
I'm looking forward to the next MSDN Event here in town where the more technical and practical aspects of Vista and other Microsoft software can be explored. I'm already thinking about that next muffin and cup of coffee.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.