[Update 28-Aug 8:30AM PDT: Well, the countdown ended four hours early and the new Windows Marketplace page is now live.]
I’ve been working with the latest build of Windows Vista for the past few days, and in the course of exploring a few features I stumbled across this countdown banner at Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace site:
By my calculations, this site should be open for business at noon, Pacific Daylight Time, on Monday, August 28. It’s a curiously soft launch. No one from Microsoft has pitched this story to me, and the only mention I’ve seen online is this short blurb at LiveSide.
Now, the really curious part is how I reached this site. As part of the setup process, Windows Vista runs a program called Winsat.exe – the Windows System Assessment Tool. This in turn produces a numeric rating for each component of your PC, which in turn gets rolled up into a Windows Experience Index. Here’s how my two-year-old Dell 8300 rates:
See that link at the bottom? The one that reads View software for my base score online? That leads to the Windows Marketplace page, and the URL contains the individual ratings for each of the components in the box shown above, passed as a parameter:
In theory, this should mean I’ll be offered software that matches my system’s capabilities, including upgrades to more capable (and more expensive) versions of Windows Vista as part of the Windows Anytime Upgrade program.
I’ll take another look at this on Monday and see if anything interesting shows up.