Now that the end of the year is upon us and everyone is anxiously awaiting their return to the office, a quiet retreat away from the hectic maelstrom of holiday cheer, it became quite obvious to me that what everyone really wanted and should have found stuffed in their stocking was a gift of insight from this Wayward fellow, a charcoal briquette of premonition for the year to come.

 

I know, I know, this is what those half-sober technology columnists do in order to fill out their quota of babble through this eggnog season without putting much effort into it. Fortunately, I’m not one of those; I’m just some poor slob with more nerve than noodle standing on a metaphorical soapbox in the middle of a town square, shouting, preaching, pandering to a public, hoping someone, anyone will stop by and listen long enough for me to get to the good bits without me having to put too much effort into it.

 

So you are still here? Fabulous! Let’s get on with it then. 2007, everyone is anxiously awaiting 2007 like a windstorm about to tear across the land, uprooting trees and crashing them down over power poles, placing the populace into a panic for weeks, huddled in their homes, cold and desperate for a warm cups of coffee and the soothing glow of their TiVo’s. Well, maybe that’s just me. Luckily, the power is back on and I’ve already forgotten those days of furtive foraging, living off the ‘land’ like a wild animal, reduced to searching through the ‘Costco’ cupboard for non-perishable food items abandoned long ago. The ordeal was nightmarish, and I’ve come through it a changed person. Forced to fend for myself for so long, I’ve learned quite a bit. Like how to tear down and repair a malfunctioning electric generator so I didn’t have to spend the rest of the week in the dark.

 

Power rules!

 

So that’s why I know what's on everyone else’s mind, and how they are planning to spend their 2007.  No, not stockpiling food and water for the oncoming storm. No one bothers doing that. The human animal is too shortsighted to bother with either the past or the unpredictable future. Power is what is on your mind; not simply getting it but using it, now, for gadgets and gizmos no Neanderthal could have possibly imagined; new things sucking power through umbilical lifelines stretching to the wall, to the rooftops, across the city and to the massive hydro-electric power plants capturing the energy of the elements surging through enormous steel turbines, nature harnessed for the good of mankind.

 

So what is everyone waiting for? What will 2007 bring that will consume everyone to the point of rapture? Thought I wouldn’t get to the point did you? Thought I’d just keep rambling, hoping you’d wander away to the next crazed zealot on a soapbox nearby, so you’d never figure out there was nothing truly to be learned, no insights, nothing but sidetracks and detours around a sinkhole of vanity? Well, then, you’d be wrong. Because I do have a point, even if I can’t find it at the moment; it’s on a 3x5 card I put in one of these pockets, somewhere.  Ah, here it is.  I wrote it down last night in a half groggy daze and knew I’d find a use for it today. 

 

Vista.  What you are all anxiously waiting for is Vista. And, not why you think either.  It’s because Vista brings you power.  More power than you’ve ever had before.  I’m not talking about features either. I’m talking about Aero that slick new user interface with its glassy look and 3D windows. It’s got power written all over, and not because it’s intrinsically cool. It’s because it needs more oomph than you’ve got in your less than cutting edge mail-order desktop, and especially more oomph that your cut-rate work machine can muster. So its upgrade time all around, and whether you choose to improve the glitz of your home machine, you’ll probably be spending much of 2007 convincing your management of Vista’s necessity and the worth of upgrading everyone’s box. Because finally there’s an operating system that requires enough pixel performance that they can no longer deny you a decent 3D graphics card. And that means you can finally upgrade from solitaire to World of Warcraft, for those extended lunchtime breaks. 

 

You know you want to.