1. Internet Explorer 9. Go ahead, laugh. It’s a good browser. Just made it my default. 24 hours in and I don’t miss Chrome yet.
2. Fences. Organize your Windows desktop icons. Killer feature – double click desktop and all fences with all icons vanish. Mmmm… cleanliness. I popped for the $9.99 for the pro version, but have received no confirmation or any download link yet. Hmm… I’m sure it will come soon.
3. Windows Phone 7. The WP7 RTM (release to market) tools were, well, released to market this week. You can now download them and start developing Windows Phone 7 apps in the simulator. I just did the two beginner tutorials – one for Silverlight app dev, and one for XNA game dev. Both were very approachable and simple to get up and running in no time. All the code and UI creation was very straightforward. I love the fact that they have two separate frameworks – one for apps and one for games. Brilliant. Really well thought out. I can see myself with a Windows Phone 7 Phone (poor naming though) in the near future.
Overall, I’m pretty excited about what’s going on at Redmond. MS had a pretty big fall from grace and many have not been taking them seriously the last few years. But they have learned some important lessons and are poised for a big comeback. Windows 7 is a great OS. So many good things going on there. IE9 really is a good browser. WP7 has an awesome developer story and everything I’ve heard about the OS itself is overwhelmingly positive.