It's almost launch: Do you know where your killer Vista apps are?

Microsoft is beating the bushes for Windows Vista application partners of all ilks -- even open-source ones.

Earlier this summer, Microsoft announced it had lined up 1,000 application vendors to commit to releasing Vista-optimized applications within three to four months after the product shipped. Now that Vista is finally set to be released to manufacturing in a matter of days, rather than months or years, where are these elusive app vendors? 

Who out there is ready for a new day

While some independent software vendors (ISVs) no doubt are locked away in their labs, putting the finishing touches on their super-secret Vista-optimized apps, others are still in a holding pattern.

Accordingly, Microsoft is beating the bushes for application partners of all ilks -- even open-source ones. On the Microsoft Port 25 site, which is the Microsoft open-source software lab blog, Microsoft officials said they were interested in building Vista app-compatibility resources aimed specifically at open-source developers.

"Recently we posted about, an online resource for Vista Application Compatibility questions/guidance. After posting we received some feedback that with some changes they could become much more useful for Open Source Developers. Based on this feedback we are going to create a set of resources specifically tailored for the open source developer/ISV," blogged one of the Softies.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has finalized its Project Glidepath 2.0 resources for "MicroISVs."  (MicroISVs, in Microsoft parlance, are one- to three-person development shops.) The 2.0 Glidepath release includes guidance, sample code and a Visual Studio 2005 add-in, called the Project Glidepath Repository Manager, which delivers tools and templates for helping to build .Net Framework 3.0 applications for Vista.

Back in mid-June, Microsoft invited more than 800 ISVs, independent hardware vendors (IHVs), systems integrators, retailers and other channel partners to a "Vista Partner Marketing Day" in San Francisco. At that event, Microsoft spelled out the 14 key "scenarios" that it had identified as being crucial to Vista acceptance.

One example: digital-photography, or, as some Softies prefer to call it, "digital memories." Vista will include the built-in Photo Gallery functionality. But Microsoft is looking to partners to provide cameras, processing and storage services and other value-added deliverables to supplement Vista.

Microsoft is making no bones about its interest in partners who can help the company upsell Vista.

Applications that require fancier monitors, new kinds of peripherals, higher-end routers, etc., are all high on Microsoft's partner-priority list. Apps that build on top of the .Net Framework 3.0 technologies, like Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, Windows CardSpace, will all get top billing, too. Microsoft will be more inclined to show off apps that showcase Vista's Aero interface, like industrial design and manufacturing apps, than those that are less graphics-intensive.

Anyone out there heard about or seen any apps you'd consider killer for Vista?