Apologies for the lack of service on IDF issues. This will be remedied later this week. Lots to say, and as soon as possible it'll be said. (*)
Meanwhile, just a quickie: you may recall a prediction that Microsoft's mis-steps over Vista, XP and the suddenly fashionable low-end portable PC market would lead to the company giving off contradictory signals about Windows 7 all over the place, just to put up a smoke screen in lieu of your actual reality.
I go away for a week, and what happens? "Windows 7 next year!" says Bill, who should know. "Er, by 'Windows 7 next year', Bill means not next year. Or not Windows 7. But definitely not both. Or either." says the company, by way of clarification. Meanwhile, XP is most definitely going to be killed at the end of June 2008. Except for the places where it's going to be allowed to live until 2010.
You or I would be patted on the head and sent to St Ballmer's Home For The Terminally Bewildered, were we to present such a wonderful bouquet of messages as a strategy, But then, you or I don't have Microsoft's track record in this department.
(*) I sat next to a one-sniff-every-five-seconds woman on the flight back from Shanghai. In 13 hours, I make that 9360 sniffs, and I heard them all. And they heard me: with a wallop and a crash, I've been hit by Shanghai Surprise Flu, and spent the weekend in fever-hallucinations about yellow croaker in squirrel nutlets with the face of Mike Magee. Excellent value, but it hasn't worn off yet.