Finally! Vista is out and I have my hands all over it. I installed it on two machines and started testing it. Problems started during the installation, it failed to find any drives.
Problem: Both of these machines had promise IDE/SATA controller cards (Ultra 133 & TX2300) and Vista failed to recognize both.
Solution: Use Windows XP drivers! I am surprised but it worked. It's really cool that during the Vista set up, you can plug in a usb device and it will immediately recognize it and let you install drivers from there. So, I downloaded the XP drivers for both cards and Vista happily accepted them and showed me my hard disks.
Problem: After the installation, I had no internet access because it did recognize my Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit network card but failed to find a suitable driver for it.
Solution: Yep, XP drivers work just fine. Once I had internet connectivity, I was able to download the beta drivers for my Creative Sound Blaster Live 24! I still seem to have a problem with the microphone but did not look deeper.
Problem: I installed Office 2007 and tried add my .pst files. I got access denied. When I checked, I realized that all the files in all the drives except the one I installed Vista were read-only. Even though permissions seemed OK as I was in the administrators group, and administrators group had Full access to all files and folders in all drives.
Solution: I created a new group and added my account and my wife's account in it. Then, I made this new group the owner of all files and folders by taking ownership. I then added this new group to the drive security on the top level and then replaced the permissions throughout my system. After logging off and logging back in, I was able to access all files and write to them. I went back to XP to see if anything was broken but other than "Recycle bin is corrupted, empty it?" message all was fine.
So far all the application I was running XP are working on Vista except McAfee Antivirus Plus Suite... It is not compatible with Vista and when I installed it anyway, it crashed explorer and everything else. I had an unusable system, so I had to reboot and log back in safe mode to uninstall it.
Windows Vista comes with a firewall like XP (but more advanced) yet because Enterprises would not let them, they would block all inbound traffic except allowed but no outgoing traffic, which is not acceptable to me as this means leakage! I am yet to find a firewall that would work seemlessly with Vista.