There's a great deal of talk about how Vista (when compared to Windows XP) doesn't provide value to most users. I think much of this stems for the fact that we have yet to see many applications that truly take advantage of the platform and have created applications that make us feel good when we use them.
Of all the numerous designers and firms I work with I'm not sure anyone understands that better (or is able to execute their vision better with WPF and Vista) that a firm by the name of Thirteen23.
Some of the folks from this firm will be sitting on one of my panels with me at MIX on next generation interfaces and I'm hoping I can convince them to show more of their work at SxSW this year too.
They've built two beautiful applications that show the power of Vista and the graceful and beautiful applications that can be built for it when one applies great design to our platform. As the Vista adoption curve matures I'm sure we'll continue to see firms like Thirteen23 prosper.
So what are the two applications they've created that I love so much? The first one is an update to their MixMe 07 application they created last year. This year they've focused on creating an elegant tool that let's me keep track of all of the sessions that I want to see this year. It's a great complement to our own Flotzam tool to keep track of the buzz at MIX. You can download it here.
The second application is a simple, yet elegant chat tool. I find myself using this over my other chat tools because I simply find it more pleasurable and easy to use. Called Continuum. You can download it here.