So one of my buds at Microsoft has been in NYC the last couple of days for the launch of Windows Vista. Fun tidbits below. They took up two floors of a convention center. The first floor was pure Vista, while the second was for other Microsoft products and third-party software vendors. Packed, he said, didn't begin to describe it. All Microsoft Certified Professionals (which for this purpose meant MCSA, MCSE, or MCSD) that came received the following: - Windows Vista Ultimate - Keyboard - Mouse - "Inside Windows Vista," a technical primer - Shirt & cap - Other stuff The first 200 MCPs in the door got all of the above, plus: - Chopper ride around Manhattan - Three-day stay at the Waldorf-Astoria - Few minutes face-to-face with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer - Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition - SQL Server 2005 - Exchange Server 2007 - Visual Studio 2005 + latest beta - LifeCam VX-6000 - $300 credit towards a certification on the next server version of Windows - Watch & billfold - Other stuff Had I been there, I would have qualified to get all that. There were Q&A sessions all day. In attendance were all types of users: average consumers, casual techies, developers, high-level administrators. The questions ranged from "How do I change my wallpaper?" to "Explain your rootkit memory page protection and buddy-system memory componentizing." They received numerous compliments as well, and my friend had a guy, some technical type, approach him after a session and say: "Look, I'll be totally honest with you. I use your product because I have to. I don't really like it, I have reservations about security, but I'll tell you this much: I am floored at the fact that every one of you fuckers that I've talked to today knew every goddamn answer to every question I asked. I'm used to salesmen knowing the price and little else." Jon Stewart was there, as Bill Gates had invited him. My friend met him and they had a short exchange about Bush that I can't post here.