So … for two weeks I'm running Vista RC1 (5600) – time for some comments. I'm using Vista on Toshiba Tecra M5 as my main machine, mostly for Visual Studio development, VPC, Internet and e-mail activity. My laptop is dual core with 2 GBs of RAM.
First, it is more stable ten previous builds (Beta2) I used. No more Explorer crashes on media files preview, no more Windows Media Player crashes, everything is working smoothly. I can't recall single process crash since upgrade which might be caused by OS itself (sometimes Miranda IM is crashing but mostly after plugins update).
I've performed upgrade from previous (Beta2) version and it went smoothly, only Bluetooth driver required reinstallation. All drivers and application were in place and were working properly after upgrade process.
It is still a beast when it comes to memory usage – OK, beast if you will compare it to Windows XP. After system boot up it consumes about 600-700 MB of RAM which is huge. I hope it will be less memory consuming before RTM.
I haven't got any BSODs on previous version, and it is still the same on RC1 – maybe because I'm not using Areo interface. My friends who were using Areo all the time with Radeon experimental drivers (we are all running it on Tecra M5 laptops) had some issues with BSODs which are not the case anymore with RC1. Improvement in Vista or improvement in drivers – probably both.
On top of RC1 right now I'm using Office 2007 Beta2 TR which is latest available public beta version of Office 2007. From my point of view this is huge change, as sometimes Beta 2 (before refresh) was unusable, especially with Outlook and Exchange cached mode. Now everything works OK and hiding the Ribbon is one of my favorite options.
So with RC1 we can see stability and reliability improvements in Vista I hope we will see more before it reaches RTM stage. Right now it is stable enough for me to use it as my main operating system, UAC is not so annoying at it was in Beta 2 and it is really doing good work with informing You and requiring Your attention to all major changes in the system.
So .. looking forward for RTM, I hope some more improvements will be made to this system and it will become even faster and more stable than it is now.