I downloaded the latest (and perhaps the last) Microsoft Windows Vista Release Candidate (#2 Build 5744) over the weekend (it took 12 hours, btw). The first thing I installed it on was… a MacBook running the current Parallels Desktop for Mac release candidate. The Parallels RC has an experimental Vista installation option that seems to work pretty well with Build 5744. The installation process was just as fast (and maybe a bit faster) than installations of earlier Vista releases on a real PC (under 30 minutes on a 2GHz MacBook). Parallels’ experimental Vista installer options gave it 512MB RAM and I left it at that since I only have 1GB RAM in the MacBook. Vista booted fine but didn’t see the network card. However, installing Parallels Tools (a simple click on the Parallels pull-down menu) fixed this without even requiring a reboot. Vista seems to run fast enough to comfortable use the MacBook with Parallels for further testing.
The file containing the virtual hard drive is just under 6GB (having not yet tried to run the Compressor on it) which is much smaller than the 9GB file generated using previous Vista beta releases installed under Parallels Desktop for Mac and Virtual PC 2004 (running on a Windows XP box).
The Open Source ClamWin Antivirus software installed fine to provide the test Vista installation with some virus protection.