Allchin's Last Act: Vista Pitchman

After 16 years at Microsoft, Jim Allchin, co-president of the company’s Platforms and Services Division, is retiring in a couple of months -- when much-delayed Windows Vista finally ships to customers.

In the meantime, however, he's been flogging Vista to one of the operating system's key constituencies: third-party developers. Allchin recently published an open letter to developers on the Windows Vista Developer Center blog on MSDN, hammering on the opportunity that Vista represents for developers.

For instance, Allchin states that analysts predict as many as 200 million people will be using Vista within two years of its launch. He underlined that opportunity by pointing out just how many early adopters the company has already recruited to its cause.

Many of those users will want to purchase applications and management tools besides the ones that Microsoft is selling. Not that third-parties have ignored the coming tidal wave of sales potential.

Instead, Allchin’s intent is to get the last stragglers into the fold and to send out an overall message that the company believes it can ship Vista on the latest schedule -- to business customers in November and to consumers in late January. The message: Get a move on or miss the early phases of that coming sales boom.

"More than 1,000 companies are engaged in our early adopter programs, and some of the initial work I've seen has simply blown me away. People will just love these applications -- from new DX10 games to cool Sidebar gadgets to new rich visual enterprise applications," Allchin’s letter says.

To read the full text of the letter, go here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services,, and .NET magazines. Contact him at [email protected].