I managed to get hold of a Windows Vista RTM DVD in December 2006 much before the official release date of January 30th, 2007. I was so excited that I sat up late one night to install it on my Lenovo 8823 3AQ desktop. The installation was slick and fast, taking just 20 minuses to install. But this is where the feeling of excitement turned into one of despair. As I discovered, Windows Vista had turned my Pentium IV powered desktop into something similar to one using a Celeron processor. Not to mention, the graphics sucked big time, the awesome Aero and Flip3D features just weren’t there, which was fair enough as my system didn’t have either an AGP card or an AGP slot which I could have used to insert one. Lenovo had taken Intel’s 865 chipset and removed few slots (including AGP) to bring down the price.
Anyway, after shedding a bucket full of tears, I removed Vista and reinstalled Windows XP, hoping that soon enough I would get a new board, a high-end graphics card (hopefully nVidia), and more RAM (the Lenovo system came with a paltry 512 MB.)
It took me about 2-3 months to arrange the required hardware (thanks to Tina!) and another half hour to once again install Windows Vista. This time round, my system didn’t die on me, and yes, Aero and Flip3D work perfectly.
Interface aside, Vista does have far more annoyances than any of its predecessors, requiring tweaking of security driven but highly intrusive features such as User Access Control and Data Execution Protection to make it work my way. Not to mention going to a zillion different sites to get Vista capable drivers for my hardware and favorite applications respectively.
As I was about to give a negative rating to Vista, I got the Windows DreamScene Content preview for my desktop. Believe me it is exhilarating to have your favorite movie clips as desktop wallpaper.
Though my own system has 1GB RAM (another 1GB is in the pipeline), I strongly recommend that you go in for 2GB RAM in order to fully experience all that Vista has to offer!