Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to join many Microsoft techies at an internal conference in Seattle - a bit like TechEd / IT Forum except that the audience all work for the company. We spent the week working with the product groups to learn about and in some cases debate the latest and greatest versions of our products. It's somewhat frustrating that I can't share everything I learnt with you as much of it is company confidential. The good news is that of course you'll see many of the developments for yourselves over the coming months as the software progresses through beta and final releases.
Generally speaking I saw a great number of advances in ease of use, troubleshooting, security and management features. The latest CTP of Windows Vista introduces some of the much touted cool new graphical interface features together with further integrated search capabilites. I'm running the latest CTP on my laptop in production and have found it to be stable and have found the enhanced interface to increase my productivity.
"CyclingRoo" posted an interesting article discussing their experience of the company's security stance
I met some wonderful people during my visit and can highly recommend a visit to Seattle if you're looking for an interesting holiday destination - the vistas (no punn intented!) are fantastic as the City's surrounded by fantastic mountains and huge lakes.