To make a few key points about the preceding review:
1. Microsoft Press & O'Reilly Media are in a strategic alliance to produce Microsoft Press books and other resources. There are still lots and lots of people working at Microsoft who are at the center of Microsoft Press publishing.
2. Anyone who buys a print edition of this book gets a free, downloadable, fully searchable PDF of the book. You just follow the directions on a voucher card in the back of the book, register (completely free) at Safari Books Online, use the unique code on your scratch-off voucher card, and you'll be able to view the book online or download the book.
3. The link book's exercise files are here: [...]indeed, some readers have found the link descriptions a little hard to read; we're working to fix that in upcoming titles and in reprints).
4. The reason we replaced having CDs in books with making material available online is: bundling CD-ROMs means those media can get scratched and cracked, and even removed from books while at the store (not the case with Amazon, of course). Also, system configuration issues can get in the way. Someone sits down with their new book, the CD doesn't work, they're frustrated. We've switched to making ancillary files available online, which has been deeply appreciated by most of our readers (which isn't to de-legitimize the opinions of those who'd still prefer a bundled CD, of course.) As well, it makes it possible to update those files as necessary throughout the entire life of a book.
Hoping this helps,
--Steve Weiss, associate publisher, Microsoft Press / O'Reilly Media (steve[at][...]