I must admit that I had a very brief encounter with Windows Vista several months ago but decided that it would be a higher priority for me to dogfood the Office 2007 programs than Vista. Brian Valentine sent out an e-mail last week, encouraging everyone to try the new Vista Beta 2 Refresh build (#5472), so of course, I just had to give it a shot. I figure that by now, Vista should be fairly stable, so I decided to use my primary machine, a Toshiba Protégé M400 with a dual-core CPU and 1 GB RAM, to test it out. First, I made sure that my data files were completely sync’d over to my backup/demo machine, a Toshiba Tecra M5. [I use FolderShare to do the sync’ing, and I highly recommend the tool.] Next, I swapped out the M400’s primary HDD with a spare one that I happen to have lying around. Then, I PXE booted to install Vista over the network via the RIS (Remote Installation Service). It took about 45 minutes to complete the installation, but wow, Vista looks amazing (see screenshot below)! And I don’t even have Aero Glass enabled because the WDDM driver for the M400 isn’t available yet. Still, compared to Windows XP, Vista is simply beautiful. I actually feel more inspired by the new graphics, colors, effects, etc. And I can honestly say that my M400 is running slightly faster with Vista than it did with Windows XP! I’ve only been using Vista for a couple of days, and yes, there have been the occasional quirks, and I have had to do a forced reboot a few times, but overall, I’m really love it, and I don’t plan on going back to Windows XP.
Oh, I’m also using a pre-Beta 2 Tech Refresh build (#4319) of Office Pro Plus 2007, and all of the apps are working quite well with Vista. I think that beta testers will be very happy with the Office B2TR either on Windows XP or Vista B2R when they get a chance to download and try it in about a month or so.