Tom Skerritt and

Remember the photo of the mystery actor from my post a month or so back? Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, it's Tom Skerritt. If his name doesn't ring a bell, I'm sure you've seen one of the many, many projects he's been involved with: MASH, Alien, Top Gun, Contact, and one of my personal favorites, A River Runs Through It, just to name a few.

Most of the work we do as Technical Evangelists involves partnering with companies who are taking a very early bet on our upcoming technology. It's our job to help them understand what we're building, why it does (or doesn't) make sense for their project, and to lead them from design through implementation, to testing, and finally, to RTM. In the process, we get a lot of great real-world feedback about how to improve our products, our customers get to create innovative solutions that are released ahead of their competition, and we both generate "evidence" in the form of case studies, videos, and web sites like

Since my readership is generally very technical, I'll warn you ahead of time that the site is intentionally non-technical in nature. It's meant to illustrate the kinds of applications that can be built on top of Windows Vista, but it doesn't dive into the details. Think of these as short video "teasers" that inspire, not advertisements or instructional videos. That said, there is a lot of expertise that has gone into these applications, and this is only a small subset of the great work that's going on. Believe me...I've seen some very cool stuff, and you'll get to see more and more of it as we get closer to launch.

Almost all of the applications use the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) for their visuals. Many of the applications also use the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to send and receive data over the network. For workflow, the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is used, and InfoCard comes into play too. Don't think of these technologies as the only way to create applications like this; rather, think of them as a way to drastically amplify your development productivity and at the same time, benefit from their tight integration with Windows Vista.

Kudos to these early partners for their fantastic work! By the way, you can already download and play with the iBloks application that is featured on the site.