I had a fairly new laptop which I decided to have Vista on. I had ordered a Vista Beta 2 DVD earlier and set installing that last weekend. As systematic as I am, I downloaded and ran the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor beta, which told me that my harddrive controller needs to be updated. I ignored that and started installing Vista. The setup was very easy to get going. I anxiously waited for it to finish which took about 30-45 minutes to complete. I had a little issue with my Compaq WLAN200 wireless drivers, but as soon as I installed the Win XP drivers, they just worked fine. Good job on the compatibility of drivers I thought.
I had already installed several earlier betas of Vista, so I was not surprised by what I saw. The experience was much refined and faster. Microsoft has done an excellent job on the user interface. I can't wait to get hold of a laptop that can run Aero Glass. The features that Vista brings to the table are just awesome. I would like to buy a laptop with sideshow capabilities so I guess I will have to wait till mid next year.
A week later into running Vista I found IE to suddenly hang. I traced my memory as to what I installed last week. After a 2-hour uninstall marathon, I finally found out that IE on Vista does not like the Adobe Flash plugin. As soon as I uninstalled that, IE was cured. I will be a little more careful with software installs from now on.
Overall, I am liking the user interface, the features and especially the Media Center. Although, my laptop is not geared towards being a Media Center PC (no TV card), but I still enjoy the Music and Photos section. To my disappointment, I could not play any videos thru. Media Center as it complained about my video card being incompatible. But I could run the same video thru. Media Player. Strange!
Update: I really like the Parental Controls. Now, I can have my kid only play what I want and when I want. Although, a little more granular control on the timesheet would be useful. Like I want to restrict him to play only 1 hr, but between 5PM and 7PM every weekday...
And, then lastly, Microsoft released the pre-RC1 bits last week. I was one of the 100,000 that could download it. I will have to figure out a way to upgrade my Beta 2 version to the pre-RC1 version. I have the ISO file downloaded and will probably attempt a upgrade this weekend.