I have been running with a pre-beta 2 build for sometime - and last night decided it was time to flatten my Toshiba Tecra M3 and start over - in part inspired by my colleague Mikes very positive experience.

First the good news - I have a working Tecra M3 with sound, Aero Glass, Visual Studio 2005, Windows SDK for WinFX and other odds and sods all happily running. Vista did a very good job of installing with very few prompts and also did a good job of finding drivers direct from Windows Update. I had a working machine very easily in little over an hour. My mum would have approved.

Now the more problematic bits

  • Initially I had no glass. Turns out I needed a later beta BIOS for my Tecra than the beta BIOS I was on. As it didnt have the correct BIOS it installed a "windows xp" (i.e. not a WDDM driver) from Windows Update. A flash of the BIOS fixed this (NB: I can't see a public place to get the beta BIOS. Sorry)
  • Many utilities and programs did not install first time even when I was logged in with Administrator priveledges. In the end I did get them all to install - in some cases using the "Windows XP SP2 compatibility" option on the .EXE, in some cases by inspecting the install script and manually moving stuff around.
  • Oddly enough - bigger programs such as Visual Studio 2005 installed without issue for me.

Diagnosing glass problems is an interesting one for Beta 2. I will make a moment to do a short post on this soon.

I guess the most striking bit for me is that I am now certain many ISV apps will have issues installing on Vista. I suspect a lot of the issues will be simple to get round - but they will exist. Hence good to see we now have a site focused on helping ISVs get ready for Vista http://devreadiness.org/default.aspx

The most annoying bit for me as an end user is User Account Control as its stand in Beta 2. I must have clicked through 50+ challenges in the space of 3 hours and had completely given up reading them. Doh! The team is still working on UAC and will be reducing these significantly by RC1. See http://blogs.msdn.com/uac/archive/2006/06/01/613098.aspx