OK, so it's about a month since I installed Vista on my lovely 2GHz Core 2 Duo home laptop, and I can't say I'm unreservedly enthusiastic.
Let's start with the look of the thing, which is clearly one of the OS's main drawing points. It does look pleasant - so much so that when I changed the theme to "Windows Classic" in an attempt to get the performance back up, I actually missed the Vista feel and switched back again.
The other thing I like about it is the fact that I very rarely hear my laptop whirring anymore. This is fairly important.
What I don't like is that it takes longer to start up than XP did, and certainly takes about twice as long as XP to shut down. Hungry games like Oblivion also no longer run as efficiently. What does bump my Oblivion back up to normality is utilising ReadyBoost (pseudo-RAM from an SD card in my case), but frankly that technology doesn't seem to make as much of a difference as it should.
(Gamers: please note that I have Oblivion on pretty much the lowest settings. My laptop only has a gig of RAM, but the game ran fine on those settings under XP. It seriously struggles under Vista.)
Now, I understand that Vista is the OS we're going to be using for the next few years, and I understand that, while my laptop is new, a gig of RAM is going to be considered pretty weak in a couple of years' time. However, if I was thinking like a consumer here, and if I'd really been expecting "the Wow" to start now, I'd be pretty cheesed off.
As it happens, I'm thinking of it a bit more like a tech hack, and taking the long view makes me feel a little less cheated. But thinking that way also makes me wonder when a truly user-friendly version of Linux is going to become available.
Not that it will let me play Oblivion...