I’m in San Francisco for Microsoft’s worldwide Whidbey launch event, which took place today. Wintellect built a lot of the content for the launch–the slides and demos that the presenters used–and we were here to make sure everything went smoothly. Rich Hundhausen, Steve Borg, Jason Clark, and I poured a lot of blood into this project over the past few months and it was gratifying to see it all come together.

The theme for the launch was “Ready to Rock.” Before Steve Ballmer stepped on stage to deliver the keynote, Microsoft surprised the audience by having Cheap Trick perform their song of the same name. At the post-launch party tonight, Cheap Trick is performing a full set that includes such classics as “I Want You to Want Me“ and “Surrender.” For an old guy like me who remembers when Cheap Trick hit it big in the U.S. with “Live at Budokan,” it’s quite a thrill to see them perform in a personal setting.

Last night and again this morning we got to hang out with the band backstage. Here’s picture of me and lead singer Robin Zander. Here’s another of me and lead guitarist Rick Nielsen. Both are really cool guys. Here’s a shot of Cheap Trick doing their sound check last night. They were dog-tired, having just flown in from a gig in Detroit, but even so their sound check was full of energy and a real treat to witness. Sometimes it pays to be a geek!