I just got back from New York and the Windows Vista launch—“The Wow starts now!” This event was the consumer launch, so there’s not a lot of news to report. The event tried way too hard to be über-hip, though. Although I’m too old to know who the performers were, they were terrific and worked the crowd as hard as anybody possibly could. But to no avail. They should know that an audience of oh-so-unimpressed journalists and geeks don’t do audience participation—or even applaud politely, for that matter. I won’t name names, but someone whose name is often mispronounced to sound like that of the author Henry David Thoreau, even used wax earplugs to dampen the LOUD drumming and music. I’m sure it was an incredible concert, but, sadly, the musicians were performing for the wrong audience.

If you want to learn about Vista and keep up with the IT side of the new OS, you might be interested in our new Vista Update email newsletter, which will start going out tomorrow to those who sign up at http://www.windowsitpro.com/email/index.cfm?action=Main. Also, if you haven’t already seen Paul Thurrott’s incredible (and funny) story about the comedy of trying to purchase one of the innumerable versions of Vista, check out “Have Fun Purchasing Vista

Vista Activation

Anyway, that trip to New York is my excuse for not posting to this blog for such a long time. So now I have a huge backlog of things I want to throw out here.

First, I want to close out the discussion in this blog about Vista activation and Windows Genuine Advantage. Obviously, the Vista team isn’t going to spend any more time on this discussion in this blog. I think they’re dismissing this as an unproductive gripe session rather than an opportunity to really talk to IT pros in public. Oh well.

So I’ll give Bill Stewart the last word: “I don't think we ought to call it ‘Windows Genuine Advantage’ for the simple reason it doesn't confer an ‘advantage’ to anyone but Microsoft. It's copy protection, pure and simple. . . . The core concept is not difficult to understand: The purpose of copy protection is to benefit the vendor, not the users. Let's just recognize it for what it is.”

I guess the Vista team prefers its official feedback mechanism as a way to get input about the product. Mike Dragone reminded me about the Windows Feedback Panel. You can sign up to give the Vista team access to some of your information, and occasionally participate in surveys, by going to this link. This panel is a little different spin on the Dr. Watson idea of letting Microsoft collect data about how you use your PC, rather than a true feedback opportunity, but it’s a way to have some input.

ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 RTW

(Would anybody outside the technosphere be able to make any sense at all out of that string of characters? )

Last week Microsoft announced that it had released ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 to the Web. The company said, “This tool provides Web developers with the essential tools to simplify building next-generation, AJAX-style Web applications through seamless integration with the .NET Framework and Microsoft platform.” New features of this release include enhanced training capabilities made available by: Virtual Labs, MS Learning Online Clinics, resource kits, third-party reference materials and online tutorials. In addition, ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions will be available under the Microsoft Reference License: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/licensingbasics/referencelicense.mspx. This is meant to help with application debugging, maintenance and interoperability by letting you view the ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions code.

You can learn more at http://ajax.asp.net/. Also see Scott Swigart’s commentary in our .NET Briefing email newsletter: http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=95065