Now that the countdown to the launch of the next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system -- officially called Windows Vista for now -- has officially begun (particularly given the release of the first beta CD), we here at ZDNet have decided to dedicate a blog to it. Since we wanted a place to cover anything that's fit to print about Windows Vista as well as some of Microsoft's other forthcoming technologies (such as Windows Mobile 5.0), we're calling it Microsoft Vistulations. That said, the bulk of the content will be about Windows Vista and will focus on documenting my observations as I look to live, eat, and breath Windows Vista between now and the time it's officially released (slated for the second half of 2006). This means using Windows Vista as my production system, even though it will be in beta for a while. This was the same approach that I applied to testing Windows 95 before it was released and it really positioned the tech newspaper I worked for at the time (PC Week, now eWeek) to authoritatively assess the final product.
In addition to our ongoing testing observations, we'll also be looking to include pointers to other noteworthy Vista coverage from around the Internet. For example, already, the blog has pointers to Microsoft's whitepapers on Vista, the brewing controversy of Vista's digital rights management technology, Microsoft's relationship to Hollywood as its bodyguard, and a pointer to Ed Bott's FUDbusting of some blatantly false statements about Windows Vista. I've also posted links to eWeek's coverage of Vista's Freeze Dry feature as well as answers to questions that ZDNet's readers already have about the AMD Turion 64-based Acer Ferrari 4005 notebook that's serving as my Vista test system. Today's blog entry has to do with how I'm setting the 64-bit system up in a way that I can test Vista anywhere, but don't have to lug around a second system to get my job done (hint: it involves multiple partitions and virtual machines). More testbed blog entries are on the way as I look to really dial this system in for the rigors of beta testing (such as frequent rebuilds of Vista's installation).
Feel free to tune your RSS readers to Microsoft vistulations' XML feed so that regular updates are piped to right to your desktop and please let us know by using the comments area or by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org what you think of the new coverage.