I’m writing this in a cafe in Bellevue, Wash., after a long day of briefings at Microsoft. As of right now, I’m starting to think the “Month of Microsoft” might turn out okay. I met with people who work on Windows, Windows Phone, Office, Hotmail, SkyDrive, Internet Explorer, Bing, Xbox and hardware. It was a blitz of information and really eye-opening for someone who hasn’t used Windows and other Microsoft products for years. The most amazing part for me was a demo of Windows 8, which isn’t out yet but might see the light of day later this year. In short, it looks amazing. I saw it running on a custom tablet that Microsoft gave out to developers a few months ago. I also saw it on a prototype Lenovo laptop that I am already lusting after. I have always loved Lenovo laptops. They’re built like tanks. Not a lot of wow factor in their styling, but just incredible build quality. You feel like a grown-up when you’re using one. This new prototype has the same amazing build quality but also is really stylish. I’m also hoping Microsoft can send me something with Windows 8 loaded on it so that I can spend time with it.
Anyway: many thanks to the people who took time to give me tutorials. Tonight I’ll be on a redeye back to Boston, and tomorrow the “Month of Microsoft” begins. First up will be moving the Xbox from the play room in the basement to our living room. Next, buy a Zune pass and an Xbox Live Gold membership. Then: unbox the Lenovo W520 that arrived today. Set up Gmail to forward to Hotmail. Get Newsweek mail set up on all these devices. Progress reports to come.