I’ve installed Vista RC1 and am putting it through its paces, and after hours of review, it’s clear: RC1 is a winner. Up until now I’ve been a skeptic, but this version of Vista is fast, clean, well-organized, and with plenty of driver support. Microsoft may well meet its shipping date.
The changes are obvious even during installation. Vista installs in about half the time on my machines as beta 2 did.
Driver support is superior as well. In beta 2, Vista wouldn’t recognize the built-in Wi-Fi adapter on my Dell Inspiron E1505. This time around, it recognized it without a hitch.
Networking, in particular, has been improved. The newly renamed Network and Sharing Center, for example, is far more useful, with one-click access to a variety of file and folder sharing options.
Overall, there are plenty of nice touches, including a Quick Launch icon to launch Windows Flip 3D.
There’s a lot more as well, and I’ll be writing about them in upcoming blogs. But it looks to me as if Microsoft is on track to delivering Vista on-time, and the operating system appears to be a winner.