It's definitely an RC... still quite a few little annoyances and bugs, but it's definitely out of Beta. Beta 2 was so unusable I installed it, used it for a few hours, then promptly blew it away. All while taking Bill's name in vain, and convincing myself that Microsoft was about to lose massive market share on the desktop front. But Vista Build 5600 is going the extra mile on my machine. On first impressions, it rocks!
Sure, there are a few niggling things about parts of the interface. And talk about bloat - it was chewing up ~520Mb or RAM while idling. But to be honest, I don't care. As a gamer, I understand the concept of software built for the next generation of hardware all too well. And that's exactly what Vista is. I don't give a damn that I could get a fully functional Linux box running in 1/10th that amount of memory utilisation - I've got 2GB of RAM in my box, what is the point of not using it!!! In a year or 2's time, when Vista adoption is really hitting it's stride, 2Gb of RAM will be standard on a new machine, maybe even sub-standard. And with terabyte drives for the home just around the corner, I don't care about the 11Gb of disk the OS takes up either.
I've taken a bunch of screenies that you can all check out. Over the coming weeks I'll be getting stuck into some application testing, and no doubt giving the ACT 5.0 beta a workout. Just like I did with earlier versions back when I was a desktop engineer doing packaging and compatibility testing for the early XP rollouts. I'll run it up in Virtual Server for that, it will be a good chance to see what Vista is like without Aero, how it runs as a VM, and whether the beta 2 Vista VM addtions do anything.
And speaking of XP, although Vista is very cool, I don't think there will be widespread adoption for a few years. I also predict XP will become another Windows 98 - favoured by gamers and those who want an OS with less overhead. But then again, Xp still has another 6 years of life before support runs out. I'm sure the successor to Vista will be out by then.
And with regards to my previous post, I've never been so happy to be proven so utterly wrong. I was fully prepped to switch to Linux on my desktop (but stick with Windows servers - it's what I know). But after a few days with Vista RC1, I won't be looking at Linux anytime soon, if ever (not counting the service console of ESX ;-)