by: bubba murarka
David Weiss posted a great virtual tour of the Mac testing lab in Redmond. You should read it because it has a great personal style and shows off a great side of Microsoft that is often missed. Plus, where else can you see 150 mac mini's lined up so neatly.
As noted in the comments earlier, Paul Thurrott recently posted a part five of his review of the February Vista CTP. Boy, was it a candid and frank article about what he saw as shortcomings with Vista. Over at Channel 9 a bunch of folks discussed it at length. Reading it was an interesting emotional experience because parts of me have been frustrated with Vista and the challenges we have had getting it released. At the same time, I had worked directly on a feature of Vista before my new gig and knew how hard so many people were working to make Vista the best possible OS it could be.
With mixed emotions in tow I started to look around the net for stuff about Vista. It was great to come across articles about why Vista won't suck. Likewise, it was interesting to read Scott Berkun's perspecitve from the outside looking in. Capping off the look around was a read of the other four part's of Paul's write up on the Vista February CTP.    
Quick point to stress – this is Bubba Murarka speaking, not Robert Scoble. Why say that? Robert is a great ambassador for Microsoft because he is honest, open and knows how to articulate his thoughts and engage through blogging.
So what do I think?
First is that Paul Thurrott really loves Windows and wants to see it be the best it can be. By being blunt he has given us concrete feedback that we can try to act upon. Feedback is why we have CTPs.
Second is that people inside Microsoft read, think, and talk about articles & feedback like Paul's. That leads to positive action and change. This was loud and clear from the numerous emails and IMs sent my way asking if the article was going to get posted to here.
Third is that Microsoft is going to learn a lot from shipping Vista. The dedication to changing and improving things is tangiable. Changes are happening because people are taking accountability and really want to make Microsoft the best it can be.
Will people say this sounds just like a fanboy trying to spin a negative article? Sure. Do I truly believe the three points I just typed above? 100%