In case you live in a cave somewhere and hadn't heard yet, Microsoft recently released a beta of Windows Vista to the public. Of course I immediately went to the Vista website and downloaded the 3.2 GB ISO. Being the first few hours that it was out, I figured the Microsoft servers were probably being overwhelmed as it took me a while to get the download running smoothly. The next morning my download was complete and I burned a DVD+RW of the ISO and proceeded to install the OS. My first attempt to install Vista was on an extra external USB drive I had sitting around that I don't really use. I wasn't sure if it would work as my computer did support booting an external drive, but it was a beta version after all.
Sure enough installing to the external USB drive didn't work out, so I installed it on my second internal hard drive. The install went smoothly after that and I am currently writing this blog from Windows Vista. To be safe I left Windows XP on my machine and now am successfully dual-booting (Lifehacker has a good tutorial on how to install Vista as a dual-boot). Although I've been running Vista for about a week I haven't expierenced any major issues. The only hiccup occured after Vista installed, I had to get my CD for the drivers to my wireless network card. The flashy appearance of Vista is appealing, but it's certainly nothing to get overly-excited about in my opinion.
So far my favorite thing about Vista is Media Player 11, but you can download that (also in beta) for XP on Microsoft's website. I've never really been too big a fan of Windows Media Player due to the fact that I don't like how it arranges my music in Media Player itself as well as on my hard drive, but I think they got it right this time. The Artist or Album view is great:
For those of you who aren't nerdy enough to know about Vista or have seen the screenshots that are nearly everywhere, check out this website for some screencasts.
And to prove I'm not the only geek out there, the Vista download that was made available to the public was 'the biggest software download in history'. In fact, if you check out Alexa.com, windowsvista.com has a 200,000% increase. That is absurd, see for yourself: