I can recall how, back in the day, Bill Gates would walk among us and was just as jazzed as we were about the new capabilities. Multimedia! Videoconferencing! Education!
Now he comes out like Dick Cheney from an undisclosed location into a TV studio (as he did this morning on CNN), and you know he's doing it by rote. The launch of Windows Vista feels like a root canal. The new features are not "killer" (sorry Ed) and the cost is not small -- not if you want your applications optimized.
It's not like this in the game machine business. (Wii!) It's not like this when Apple launches new products. (The cult of Steve.) The reason is that, on those platforms, new applications really are coming out, new ways to interact, new ways to think of what's essentially a computer.
Because the desktop Linux industry, such as it is, has been amazingly quiet these last few months. It's all about stability or cost, never ease of use, never great new features and applications.
VARs who are trusted by their clients can, for less than the cost of a Vista upgrade, quietly leave Windows, delivering new hardware (and maybe some keen peripherals), charging what they now charge and gaining customer control.
But that's not sexy, either.