When Vista ships, Apple will have a field day with it and maybe use it in their marketing to promote the next version of OSX. i.e.
"Vista flip 3D, 2 keys, several arrow keys and a mouse click. OSX Expose, one key and a mouse click"
"Hmmmm, the copier must have run out of ink."
"Drop Shadow finally"
I hate to compare Vista to OSX because i dont like OSX (I use XP and OSX at work). However, I've noticed more of my friends and family are switching to Apple. I've been trying to convince them to wait at least until Vista ships, pointing them to the channel9 videos to see what's in store. Unfortunately, aside from flip 3D AND live thumbnails, it's nothing they haven't seen before. And unfortunately, many of the finer details such as transition effects, drop shadow is now the defacto - thanks to Apple.
I am not trying to minimize what has been achieved in Vista. I think it's great. Now that we have this power, USE IT!! Display it in all it's glory along with an awesome consistent design. You say it has Pixel shaders, show it off. Do more things that's never been done before. But do it in a way that adds very impressive functional value. It's just a shame that the only way to show this power to users is to launch Solitaire or to show them Flip 3D. Anything else underneath WPF, like Indigo, is just geek talk that none of my friends or family would understand or care about.
As one poster mentioned, Explorer is probably one of the most used applications. This is Microsoft's chance at showing off what WPF is all about and could be a source of inspirations to Vista UX developers.
I guess what it boils down to is that I'm sick and tired of trying to justify sticking to windows.
I really hope Apple will copy Microsoft instead. And I'm hoping someone at Microsoft is listening to our concerns.