It's funny, here at Microsoft when we finish a project, we "release to manufacturing" which is implied to mean that we carry the "golden copy" of the product to the replication factory which they then use to manufacture millions of packaged copies for everyone. This manufacturing might start right away, but most people will not get their copy until next year. It's been a very long road for Vista, but it has finally RTM'd. Over the next few months Microsoft IT will be rolling it out to everyone here at work. Volume license business customers will get their copies by the end of this month, while regular PC users will get their copies on January 30, 2007.
From my perspective I'm glad it's finally shipped. I hope all my underwater stock options become wildly valuable! I'm also glad because since it's "done" there's a very good chance that Apple will finally fully disclose what ever secrets they were hiding from us at WWDC. MacWorld in January will be the perfect time for Apple to try to 1 up Vista, and I'm sure they know it.
I've been playing around with Vista and I've watched a few demos, but it's not on my main PC yet. Even with my limited knowledge of the features in Vista, there are two features I'd like Apple to copy right away: ASLR and Windows Meeting Space.
Address space layout randomization (ASLR) is a computer security feature which involves arranging the positions of key data areas, usually including the base of the executable and position of libraries, heap, and stack, randomly in a process' address space.
Basically, this really has a chance at making Vista much more secure. I'm all for it. More info can be found here.
Windows Meeting Space
This is a very cool collaboration application included with Vista and referenced from Microsoft's Tips and Tricks document as follows:
Collaborate with a co-worker.
Want an easy way to share files and applications with a colleague or customer—even when you may not be part of the same network? Windows Meeting Space is a new experience in Windows Vista that enables you to start an impromptu collaboration session with other Windows Vista users. Simply open Windows Meeting Space and start a session. Windows Vista will automatically detect other Windows Vista users that are on the same sub-net infrastructure or close enough for you to create an ad hoc (direct PC-to-PC connection) wireless connection. Once you have invited them and they have accepted, you can share documents by simply dragging a document to the Handouts area on the bottom right which instantly replicates that file across the other meeting participants’ machines. Dragging the file to the presentation area on the left side starts application sharing, enabling the other participants to watch as you present that file. If someone has a good edit for your file, you can make that edit in real time, or pass control of the application directly to that participant for them to make that edit for you.
This tool works with any document or application and finds people near by just like Bonjour. It's a little less concurrent than SubEthaEdit, but for all your applications! Having something like this, system wide on the Mac would be very cool.
And yes, I think the MacBU is at least partially responsible for inspiring the cool new Vista box. :-)