This time I have gone through about 3 iterations, and ended up with 3 options.
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Mac OS X( !?) - maybe not, my Macbook is ancient...
Right now I am leaning towards Windows 7, but I have a bit of work to make the actual demo work quicker on that platform. If I can't succeed, I will have to fall back to Vista or XP, as much as I like the look and feel of Windows 7. The other advantage is of course the wow factor that Windows 7 has at the moment, but I also don't want this to detract from the actual presentation.
My standard platform for demo is running a VM as Windows Server. When I run the demo, I have a kill button that gets rid of everything unimportant to the demo to conserve resources. I fit the laptop with as much RAM, the fastest storage and go through all the possible OS hacks I can find to speed it up. I basically want to get to a demo that only has what I want the customer to see. I think of this as the Zen of Demo systems ;-)
I am sure some other options exist such as using UBUNTU and VMware, but I am not convinced that my customers would be distracted by less usual platforms, and it would probably raise more questions than I want. I want the demo system to not distract but to appeal to the general product audience.