Can you remember opening a Microsoft Mouse package and finding a 3.5inch diskette that was labelled Windows? For those of us who remember this, you probably don’t want to admit to your age!

The first time I worked with Windows was 1988, I was trying to setup a DOS program to run within Windows 2.0 and there were some compatibility settings I had to set. Back in the day, Windows programs were very simple programs, menus were a joke, a few items and most people were running DOS applications through Windows. I can remember advising clients about IP and back in the 90s when you had to buy a third party product so that Windows (DOS) would support IP.

Fast forward to 2005, the 2005 PDC in LA…was the first time I saw Vista. As I watched the demos I reflected on how far Windows has come over the years. I also thought about OS/2 and how IBM botched that product. Remember token ring? SNA? OS/2 Warp? For those that attended the PDC 2005, watch the Change the world video – brought back some memories.

What amazed me about Vista was how consumer driven it was…the cool factor! For those that have entered the industry over the past 10 years, there was a time when you had to be concerned about all aspects of connectivity. Today, we take much for granted regarding the desktop and servers. Though Microsoft is sometimes viewed as mad scientists trying to take over the world, it important to offset that view with how things were before Windows had a massive install base – we could’nt take simple things such as IP and the Internet (basic connectivity) for granted.

For me Vista is the first version of windows I have purchased a book for in 15 years! Yes, that much has changed and I didn’t want to learn the hard way. Over the past few days I have sat down with my windows Vista Inside and Out book and put on a pot of coffee or crack open a beer and read. I’m amazed at how far the technology has come! Typically I could care less about Operating Systems (being a SharePoint guy). The basic services provided with Ultimate are incredible, the intuitive layout of the OS and many other aspects that many take for granted.

For those that bash Vista, look around for an old version of DOS or some other archaic operating system and you will appreciate how far things have come. Yes Xerox PARC (Developed the first mouse, a windows variant, network protocols) and MAC were ahead of their time but they never had the adoption Microsoft and the PC has experienced.