Yeah, I know, the world just flipped upside down for me, too. ;)
SquareMans has some intriguing notions about where WotC could take this new functionality, but I think a shift of that magnitude is too great to pull off without an edition change. But then, I'm already in shock that the VT might actually see the light of day.
And this isn't entirely useless to us old-schoolers, since the interface appears to be rules-agnostic, from what I can tell. Be interesting to keep an eye on this one, and see where they take it.
UPDATE: Oddysey, whose young eyes are keener than mine, is doubtful of the VT being rules-agnostic:
...we don't know that it doesn't, for instance, keep track of where you can move based on your combat speed. It's clearly calculating turn orders and tracking your defensive stats, and this is just the DM view.
The player view might have, say, a list of the powers that you've got, and track whether you've used them and roll for you.
There must be some kind of support for the system built in. Not sure how much, but there has to be something that would give people a reason for using this rather than, say, Fantasy Grounds.
So maybe it's just easier to use, but I can't see WotC competing on interface. ;p
The initiative tracking is going to be an issue in itself, for old school applications.
Since so many of us use alternative initiative systems.
So yeah, don't be buying any DDi subscriptions just yet. ;)