As a Microsoft employee, it saddens me to see Windows Vista get (what I consider) unfairly slammed. I think there were mistakes during the initial release and we encouraged people to install it on hardware that quite simply wasn’t capable of providing a good experience (i.e. low system memory, slow processor). Vista never recovered from the poor initial reception.
It’s a pleasant surprise to see so much positive news about our upcoming Windows 7. In a nutshell, Windows 7 is “faster and easier” than Vista. I’d encourage you to try it out for yourself. I like it so much that I am taking the release candidate and installing it on all my machines… home desktop, netbook, and primary work laptop.
You can download and install the Windows 7 Release Candidate for free.
Since it is pre-release software you may encounter problems (I haven’t though!). It will be available for use until March 1, 2010.
My take on it is you get the speed of Windows XP + the reliability and enhanced features of Vista. (Plus new features of course – it’s easy to have multiple windows nicely aligned… window manipulation was such a pain in the past).