I'm currently doing development in a windows environment. My client is strictly Pro-windows. Good or bad, its not my choice(I do not want to get into Pro-Linux/Anti-MS argument). My role is architect. One of the main reasons that I'm getting paid is to make sure the lifetime of application is a long one. Therefore I need to know what MS is working on, their vision, their research, etc., regardless whether some of these technologies come to existence. Does this mean I start designing to these technologies now? No. But I have to take these things in consideration and transfer this knowledge to my client. When and if these new technologies come out, we will be prepared to estimate the value and to take action or no action.
So while it may not be interesting or relevant to you, your client, or how do technology, its very relevant to me and my client. There is no way you can argue against that, its value is not one that can be universally determined.
As for whether these things are vaporware, the only thing long term in the article is longhorn. The rest is coming very soon.