Today I went to Day 1 of the Microsoft Developer Days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. One of the keynote speakers was Rafal Lukawiecki. He is a highly rated speaker at events like TechEd.
I have attended previous sessions by Rafal and was generally impressed with his presentation skills and the content of his presentations. Unfortunately today his talk seemed to be too marketing inspired and he had sometimes trouble separating fact from fiction. For instance, he claimed "Windows Vista builds on top of WinFX". Isn't that a little hard when WinFX isn't even installed out-of-the-box in Windows Vista?!
Of course from a licensing perspective I can understand why Microsoft wants us to think that Windows Vista is a powerful new platform for application developers. But the truth is that there isn't that much new stuff for .NET developers that will only work on Windows Vista. Most of WinFX will be delivered for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well. I am very excited about WinFX as an application developer and I am very excited about lots of improvements in Windows Vista as an end-user. But those are very separate things.
Do I regret that Windows Vista doesn't have more unique things to offer to .NET developers? No. I really appreciate that Microsoft makes WinFX available for down-level versions of Windows. Forcing companies and users to upgrade their OS to a new version just to run your latest-and-greatest app will probably not be a succesful tactic. This way the uptake for WinFX will be much quicker and we can take advantage of it sooner rather than later.