It seems as though my blogging comes in phases, with short periods of writing often interspersed with (very) long periods of silence :) Heck, in this specific instance, I even let my interop series go unfinished. In my next post on the topic, I plan to talk about exposing managed APIs to purely native clients (granted, not the most common scenario, but someone asked and it's not too hard).

As for this post, I've decided to use it to brag about this past weekend, which has been the greatest mix of work-related fun I've had since I joined Microsoft… I must warn you, you might get jealous (or simply unbelievably bored).

As some of you may have heard, we shipped a new operating system today (V-something) and even a new office application suite (O-something). Leading up to this big bang evolves decades of "man-hours" (completely random guess on my part) and one of the things we like to do at Microsoft is Beta Test. To this effect, months ago, we started an internal competition to encourage employees across the company to dogfood Vista, with the promise of prizes ahead. For every day that we ran the OS on our machine at work, we would get a point and in addition, there was a bunch of ways to get some more points here and there. Once all was said and done and we had played our part in shipping the company's flagship product, there was a drawing amongst the users in the top tier (points-wise). For some reason (let's call it luck), I won the grand prize: an all-expense paid trip to New York to see the #1 Vista launch event in the World. It was a great show with Bill and Steve in attendance and I would post pictures but I have yet to figure out how to work the photo gallery on our blog servers. Needless to say, hanging out in New York for a long weekend is plain awesome, especially for someone from the East coast like myself. Having even lived in Paris for many years, I would still say that the Big Apple is the greatest (f-in) city in the world (although the former remains the most beautiful one). It's been great and I leave tomorrow for a trip to Cairo where I'll be speaking at the Middle East Developer Conference. More details on that to follow.

Here's to another bout of blogging from yours truly.