[Update: The issues describe here have been fixed in SP1 ov Visual Studio. Please install SP1 before installing XNA Game Studio]
Disclaimer: At the time of the writing of this post Microsoft does not support running XNA Game Studio on Windows Vista. There are plans to support Vista when it is publicly available early next year. For more information on support check out the XNA Team Blog. This post is by no means a gauranty that XNA Game Studio will work on Windows Vista, and this posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified here.
Note: My experience was on WIndows Vista RTM. If you are on a pre-release version of Vista your mileage may vary.
I recently decided to give XNA Game Studios a whirl, and despite the fact that it is not supported, decided to install it on Vista. Visual Studio C# Express installed along side of my Visual Studio for Team System installation without problems. However, when I went to install XNA Game Studio, the installer failed and rolled back because "Visual Studio C# Express had stopped working." The log file was unhelpful and contained only the following details:
Error 1722. There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program run as part of the setup did not finish as expected. Contact your support personnel or package vendor. Action RegisterWithCSExpress, location: C:\, command: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\VCSExpress.exe" /installvstemplates
So, I said to my self: "Self, I can probably install those templates manually later, there's no need for the installer to fail because VCSExpress is crashing." Perhaps not the best judgement since this crash demonstrates the inherent instability in my environment, but I decided to proceed anyway.
Having already installed the Windows SDK, I installed the Orca.msi located in the SDKs bin directory (Orca is a tool for analyzing and modifying MSI files). I was then able to open up the XNA msi in Orca. I quickly noticed the "RegisterWithCSExpress" action in the ActionText and CustomAction sections. After dropping both these rows from the msi I was able to run the installer successfully. I ran the VCSExpress.exe /installvstemplates command line manually to see if I could get any output regarding the crash, but I didn't get any and it crashed as expected. However, upon running VCSExpress normally I found that the templates had been installed successfully. Considering I've already had another crash when closing VCExpress, my guess is that the crash is happening as its shutting down and not really having any adverse effects.
I haven't actually created anything with it, although I did verify that the a default XBox Game project builds successfully, so no promises about it actually working, but at least it installs.