"Some of these apps are mind-bogglingly cool" was the assertion of Microsoft's Windows chief Jim Allchin, who recently called upon developers to start building cool applications for Windows Vista, the next version of Microsoft's Windows OS which is (seemingly still) on course for release in January of next year. Allchin believes that new applications for the OS, which include new DX10 games, Sidebar gadgets and a host of enterprise apps, will make a huge impact on users all over the world.

Industry analysts are expecting a big take up of the new operating system, which promises to be as radical as Windows 95 was back in its day. It is predicted that some 200 million people will upgrade to the new OS within 24 months of its release, and some have speculated that the PC industry itself could receive a massive boost as many people upgrade their machines in order to be able to run Vista.

Vista will include the .NET Framework (specifically, version 3.0), currently a large download for Windows XP users, as well as traditional Win32 APIs. A new release of Visual Studio is slated to make Vista development even easier, and Microsoft's new Expression suite of tools will aid developers even further starting next year.