Wireless Network - I use a Linksys WUSB54G usb wireless adapter, Vista does not have built in drivers for this wireless adapter. As a result, I was not online after installing Vista. I had to go download the drivers from Linksys and manually install it on Vista in order to go online. Vista connected to my wireless network but "had limited availability". It took 3 retries for it to establish a successful connection - weird.
Windows Mail - unable to connect natively to my Hotmail account, it asks for a POP3 or IMAP settings. I hope MSN/Hotmail will be supported natively by Windows Mail.
Windows Messenger - where is it? I can't find a native IM client. I suppose I could download one from http://ideas.live.com, but won't Vista ship with one by default?
- Printers - Vista failed to find my shared printer on my Kitchen Win XP machine. I had to go to Start Network and click on Kitchen and then manually select the shared printer. I wonder why the Printer Wizard could not find it on its own.
- HP OfficeJet 7400 Series - The print wizard did find my wireless OfficeJet 7400 printer, but it was unable to identify the version automatically - It identified it as "HP Ethernet Multi-Environment". I was able to manually browse for the correct drivers and they installed successfully.
- Virus Protection - no antivirus software was included with Vista at this stage - probably by design. But I found it weird that while there was no virus protection there was spyware protection - Windows Defender. I would rather have anti-virus than anti-spyware if I could only have one. I am off to http://ideas.live.com to install Windows Live OneCare.
- Solitaire - Cool visual effects, lots of cool sounds (it will get tiring after a few games), and I won the first game I played!
- User Account Control - whose idea was this? it is a joke right? I must have dismissed about 50 of these windows just in the first hour of exploring Vista. All I was doing was using Vista, not downloading 3rd party applications. I was just configuring Vista (custom background, adding printers, exploring). This needs to be re-thought before it is launched or it will drive people nuts.
- Photo Gallery Viewer - Awesome! Looks awesome! I haven't placed any of my own photos here yet, but just playing around with the sample pictures it was great - awesome user experience, great photo screen saver, great full screen mode! Congrats. I do wish it were a bit faster, i dislike the fuzzy picture that quickly fades into a sharp image as you navigate from photo to photo. I had to see what performance will look like with my 14MB raw files. Maybe my PC is not up to spec though -- Pentium D 3GHz (dual core), with 2GB of RAM, and ATI Radeon X600 video card.
Enough playing around. I am going to install an IM client (Windows Live Messenger), VOIP (Skype), anti-virus (one care), Office 2003 and then let my family use this computer for a few days to see how it holds up to our daily PC chores.