I installed Vista build 5365 last week. This was just a short time after putting 5308 on bare metal instead of a VPC. And now instead of just "checking it out" and "looking around" I was actually using the OS to do work, specifically writing code. (I was doing Word and Powerpoint work on my other laptop which is still on XP.) There's an interesting emotional thing that happens when you get out of the VPC and onto the metal, and especially when you stop demoing and start doing.
There are some things here I am just loving, somewhat to my surprise.
How long have I been annoyed by having to retype the extension when i rename a file? A decade at least. This is a tiny thing but ooo-weee I like it.
The easiest way to tell what I love is when I try to do it on my other machine and feel a momentary irritation when I can't:
This is a Windows Explorer and the address bar is all buttony and live. So I don't have to click up three times, wait while lists of things I don't care about update, and then drill back to where I want. I keep trying to do this on XP, I have it completely internalized already.
Like Scott Hanselman, I have a LOT in my Start menu. I like this in-place effect a WHOLE lot better than the cascading-off-to-the-side-forever approach.
One thing I was hating: where is Start, Run? I can't live without Start, Run! Turns out Windows-R still works. So does right-clicking on Computer and choosing Manage to get all the MMC stuff you need to admin your box.
Speaking of adminning your box, the User Account Control takes a bit of getting used to. More than once I have had to close Visual Studio and re-open it as admin so the COM component can get registered as part of the build process. But I am developing some habits there and expect to internalize those quickly too. I have a feeling we will all be on Vista sooner rather than later.
ps: don't draw conclusions about visuals from these shots, I don't have Glass on the laptop (it's an old one) and I don't have anything for screenshots other than Shift-PrtScr then paste into Word. It's nicer in person, really.