First, a sincere welcome to the Pro-Mac community. I’ll agree every OS has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Many a good idea has been interpreted by different groups and if you search through my posts, I think you’ll come to find I’m not going to participate in “Which came first” discussions. I’ll read your posts- the good and the bad though- they’re all appreciated as a part of the conversation provided they’re constructive (criticism or kudos). I also won’t censor you here unless you’re profane. In the end, all of your comments will help us build a better product- pros and cons.
One important note about Windows Sidebar. It’s come to my attention that someone got a very early build of Windows Sidebar, stripped it out of Windows Vista, and may or may not be distributing it. Windows Sidebar has not been officially released by Microsoft and I will not comment on it other than to say developers and end-users are strongly encouraged NOT to download and install any software that says it’s from Microsoft and not from Microsoft servers. It could be malware, a virus, or something else- you just don’t know.
As for why Windows Sidebar wasn’t made available to developers as a part of the PDC build, sometimes development schedules don’t line up exactly. Windows Sidebar will be available around Windows Vista Beta 2 to testers/developers. Trust me that you want to wait and start building for the platform at that time.
I hope that helps, I’m on vacation for a few days- in the meantime, I encourage you to submit your questions about Windows Sidebar here for inclusion in our FAQ and an upcoming interview with the team for Channel 9.