This weekend I installed the ‘Release To Manufacturing’ (RTM) version of Vista.  This is the same disk that will be shipped to the general public at the end of January.  This disk is provided to MSDN Subscribers early, so that developers can make sure that their products work with the new version.  And I’m lucky enough that my company has purchased copies of MSDN for us developers. 

The Good
  • The install was *very* easy.  Not too many questions, setting up the disk was easy, it recognized almost everything, and the process was very smooth.
  • The new UI is nice.  The effects for opening and closing windows are cool.  The live previews on the task bar is pretty cool.
  • The Sidebar looks like it might be more useful than I first thought.  It will *definitely* make Widescreen monitors a hot commodity.  One thing that differentiates the Sidebar from Apple’s Dashboard is that the gadgets can be displayed while other programs are running.
  • IE 7 on Vista looks good.
  • Games are fun, and addictive.
  • Per application sound volume!  Yeah!
The bad
  • Windows Mail that is included with Vista DOESN’T WORK WITH HOTMAIL!!!!!!  Why the hell did they create Windows Mail or re-create Outlook Express if it’s not going to work with Microsoft’s main email provider?  What kills me is that to use Hotmail/Live mail, you are supposed to use Windows Live Mail Desktop.  Why develop 2 email clients?  Is it the fact that Windows Live Mail Desktop includes Advertisements?
  • Sound card drivers.  Ok, so this isn’t a peeve with Microsoft, it’s with companies that support Microsoft.  And really, I can’t blame them, they only got an RC1 a month or so ago.  And, the drivers have to be re-written (again!)
  • The install *still* did not create a password protected Admin user, then a Lower Access User.  Grrr!!!
  • The interface is VERY different.  I’m glad they’ve made the changes, but I can’t help but think people are going to be confused.
  • The little button that looks like the power button on the main menu is actually a ‘suspend’ button.  I agree with Joel Spolsky about the Off menu.
  • Why didn’t Powershell get included ‘out-of-the-box’?
  • Migrating settings from my old OS to my new OS.  Why, oh, why, can’t moving things be easier?
The undecided
  • UAC (User Access Control).  I like the concept behind the feature.  The RTM version is a LOT less annoying.  I don’t like the fact it can be turned off.  If you want to run with no UAC, you should run as the super user.  Anyone else should be *REQUIRED* to input passwords to install software and do things that can mess up the machine.

I will continue to try working with Vista.  Once I get my software setup on Vista, and get the audio drivers for my Firewire card, I’ll have more thoughts.

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