Today November 8th, Microsoft has released Windows Vista to manufacturing. You can watch the announcement by Jim Allchin on Microsoft's clone of YouTube: Soapbox (*). Actually announcement is a bit of an overstatement since he only says the very short line: "It's Time".
If you want to hear more from the man in charge of developing Vista check out:
If you have been following Microsoft's struggle with developing Windows Vista from what started out as Windows "Longhorn" you will notice that Jim sounds and looks far more relaxed in this video than in the public "Longhorn Update" announcement in August 2005.
This public announcement was preceded by the "Longhorn Reset" inside of Microsoft by about a year. Basically Microsoft threw away a lot of the work they had done on Longhorn and started fresh from the codebase of Windows Server 2003 SP1. They only reverse integrated new stuff back in the main tree that passed several quality gates. Microsoft has come a long way since the Longhorn Reset. Some things have gone (think WinFS), security has become even more important (think User Account Control), downlevel support was added (think WPF on XP).
My congratulations go out to Microsoft and its employees on reaching the RTM milestone. I can't wait to get my hands on the RTM build of Windows Vista (the Ultimate Edition of course ;).
*) Notice how Soapbox even uses Flash video like YouTube and not Windows Media Player.