Jim Alchin is Co-President of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division and one of the foremost authorities on the development of Windows.

In fact, he's been involved in the development of Windows since Windows NT and its shelved replacement. Cairo. So how does he rate the development of Windows Vista? Make sure you catch this video of the original prototype of Vista - then codenamed Longhorn - from 2003.

"During the fall of 2006 as we were completing the final release of Windows Vista , I was getting a lot of questions about how Windows Vista compared to the original vision of Windows Longhorn.

I had someone on my team go back and look at the feature set that was first discussed at the October 2003 PDC [Professional Developers Conference] and not only did we deliver the key functionality we discussed, but we went beyond and delivered some amazing innovations that we hadn't thought of back in 2003.

Searching and indexing

Almost everything that we wanted to enable for searching, indexing and accessing data is in fact possible on Windows Vista. While we initially thought we would have to replace the storage system with WinFS, we were able to deliver on the vision by simply enhancing the existing system.

Windows Vista includes innovation after innovation. We lead in so many areas including stunning handwriting recognition, speech recognition, TV integration, gaming, and feature after feature such as Shadow Copy, SideShow, ReadyBoost, and more.

I can't tell you how proud I am of the Windows team here at Microsoft and our partners around the world. Their hard work has resulted in a significant milestone for the Windows Platform and their focus on engineering excellence has made Windows Vista the highest quality version of Windows ever."