The Vista labs are available at certain times for free to companies wishing to make their applications Vista compatible and provide a useful testing and debugging environment. Consultants are on stand-by to help resolve issues which arise. Attendees are given a presentation on new Vista features with known compatibility issues, to compliment the material in the Application Compatibility Cookbook.
Thanks to a virtually unlimited R&D budget Microsoft researchers have learnt that the best way to keep engineers contented and docile is to provide free ice cream (Informix Support in Menlo Park also figured this out and used to have ice cream Wednesdays back in the 90's). An X-Box room helps too.
The good news is we have not seen any major problems with IDS on Vista, just some small issues that we're logging, fixing and documenting; and early performance indications look very encouraging. Hopefully by the end of this week or the beginning of next I'll put some notes together on things to be aware of for IDS DBA's thinking of moving to Vista.
Redmond Souvenir Photos
Dedicated IDS engineers thinking about ice cream
An accurate simulation of what it would be like to be there at the beginning