"They won't line up", my a$$. The Phoenix launch had over 100 people show up. When the doors opened up at 10pm, the line was all the way down the front of the building. It wasn't as many people as I had hoped, but it wasn't the Xbox 360 launch either. At the same time, there were a lot of people who hadn't heard about Vista until that evening, which was really cool.
The last 1/3 of the line
They opened the doors, and after they handed out the badges, we all scattered. Almost immediately, I saw that there was an HP TouchSmart PC on one of the end-caps. So I brought a couple people over to do some demos. A little over an hour later, I still wasn't done answering questions and showing off all the little features in Vista. It was really cool.
So anyway, former NFL Player and ESPN Radio Commentator Ron Wolfley was on hand for pictures, and he spent a fair amount of time with each customer, which was nice. He was a great guy. Outside, there were hotdogs, drinks, and music, and the tents had people rotating through constantly.
FINALLY, Midnight rolled around, and they brought Vista & Office out on carts. Within minutes, all of the Ultimate editions were gone, and they even had some Signature Editions to sell. Most of the Home Premiums were gone fairly quickly too. I didn't see one copy of Home Basic on the shelves... not sure what the plan was there.
Of course, I made it my personal mission to get out and tell everyone about the Windows Vista Family Discount. Practically everyone I talked to owned more than one computer at home, and was shocked that there was a way to get such a deep discount. I really hope that people take advantage of it while they can.
There was still stuff going on all day Tuesday, so I came back around 5pm to lend a hand until the giveaways ended at 7pm. The store was packed. Chad, the Microsoft Rep on hand to coordinate everything, was back giving demos in the front of the store. There was a crowd of about 10 people around one of the kiosks up front, and I wasn't there but 2 seconds when he asked me to give demos again. So I walked a few of them through the media features in Vista, including a very nice couple and a guy who was curious about the "bad DRM that he heard about in Vista".
At one point, Chad came back and gave me a really cool Windows Vista '07 jersey, autographed by Ron Wolfley, the NFL player from the night before.
I'm going to get it framed, along with my "Vista07" license plate. Anyway, it was really cool of him to do that, and I just wanted to say "Thanks" here in public.
Anyway, I did a few more demos, and then left about 7:20pm. I really hope my future Mother-In-Law's school won the $25,000 computer lab, because I didn't hear who won while I was there.
All in all, I ended up spending over 3 1/2 hours showing people the really great work Microsoft has done over the last 5 years. And it was well worth it.
You know, I thought the whole "Wow starts now" thing was kinda ridiculous. But, having given 20-30 demos to regular people over the last couple days, I've never heard so many "wow"s over an operating system. People seriously never thought that Windows would look that great. The Top 5 'Wow' Moments of the event:
- Flip 3D
- Media Center TV Search
- Start Menu Search
- Word 2007
- Burning Photos to Video DVD
It was really fun to see people's first reactions to Windows Vista. There wasn't a single person I talked to that was like "Nah, I'm not really interested." Even on Tuesday, where the only thing going on was the giveaways.
Thanks to everyone I got to talk to... it was great meeting you. I had an absolutely wonderful time, and it made me wish that I could go around the country and demo Vista to consumers for a living. I met some truly wonderful people.
Well, that's it for me tonight. I'll have some more thoughts up tomorrow.