So I installed Vista Enterprise on a VMware Workstation instance over the weekend. After five days or so, I find that, well, it's certainly more attractive than Windows XP, and certainly more annoying with the constant barrage of confirmation dialogs, but I don't hate it. In fact, I liking lots of it so far.
A few brief notes, since I'm short on time:
1) It's very pretty. Still not as fluid as OS X or Beryl, to be sure, but much prettier than XP.
2) The things I really like (gadgets, searching, smooth look) are the same things I like about Mac OS X. Funny that.
3) There are going to be lots of people looking desperately for the Start and file menus. ("Oh, you can click on that circle thingy?")
4) It's huge. A default install with Office 2007 is 14GB for some reason.
5) The file system sure ain't WinFS, but it's also more fluid than XP. For instance, I originally installed it on a 16GB VMware disk, but quickly had only 500MB free. Running
vmware-vdiskmanager -x 40Gb Vista.vmdk, then booting Vista, opening the Disk Manager and selecting Extend Partition did the trick on the fly, on the boot partition. Nice.
6) Some apps that work perfectly on XP bail on Vista, or refuse to install at all. It appears that they're having issues with the new security measures, but I can't be 100% sure. I can be 100% sure that it's a big pain, however.
7) I have managed to bluescreen one instance already, but that might have been due to VM issues.
8) Apple's new Get A Mac commercial is pretty much right on target. Allow. I wouldn't be surprised if in the home setting, most people disable the confirmation dialogs since they will be perceived as constant annoyances. That will mostly obviate this new security model.
9) I would definitely prefer Vista to XP for those times that I need a Windows system for work in the lab, but I'm currently running an XP instance and a Vista instance simultaneously, since I can't be guaranteed that all the apps I need will function. This will certainly hinder enterprise adoption, at least in the short term. Bummer.
10) It's very pretty.