To say we were well received at the Microsoft Blogger’s Event yesterday would be an understatement. We were extremely well received. The occasion was: showing the progress of Windows Vista Beta 2 and Office System 2007 Beta 2 and networking with the Belgian bloggers.

First surprise: Vista on a Mac

Microsoft David VandenboschMicrosoft Tom Mertens
The presentation of Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 were done on a Mac (MacBook Pro)! Tom (“Developer Audience Marketing Manager”) did his intro, and when David (“Development Platform Advisor”) flipped up the screen of the laptop, there was that bright brash apple right in our face. Looks like Bootcamp didn’t have to wait too long to find its way on Microsoft desks.

Windows + Tab: Flip 3D
The demo went flawless, with as high points: “Flip 3D”, “Live Icons” and a vivid discussion on security (unsurprisingly, it’s better now). Some people in the crowd had been testing Office 2007, and could easily ask the hard questions (“Ok, you can blog with Word 2007, but can you include pictures?Coolz0r) As one could expect, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook are better than before, but my heart bleeds knowing that people with bad taste have now got even more tools to make despicable designs of even the most mundane documents.

Microsoft LegalAfter that we got a short speech of the person in charge of “Windows Genuine Advantage“: the anti-software-piracy initiative of Microsoft. There we learned that they typically go after the ISV (shop), and not as much after the single end-user with a not-actually-fully-legal version of Windows/Office that he/she is typically not aware of. Phew.

Surprise 2: Lobster at the waterside

One can only admit that both location and catering were top notch. There we were, a bunch of weirdos with a blog, and we get the red carpet treatment. We did behave, though: no one got drunk and no food was thrown in a fight – not that I remember anyway. We did take a lot of pictures.
Microsoft Eten
We ate and chatted alongside a lovely little pond, while the birds were happily whistling and the fish were joyfully doing the O-thing with their beaks.
Microsoft Resto
After that we went in and played with the half a dozen laptops with Vista that were placed there. The Media Edition looks really neat, certainly when running on a nice Acer screen (AT3201W or AT3203?).
I left with the certainty that my first install of Vista is imminent. I want me some of that.

Surprise 3: price of the Acer screen

A massive screen like that, for €1200?? Ship it already!

More pictures @ pietel.be.