I was working on site this week and thought I saw MacOS X running on a Dell laptop. On closer inspection it turned out to be running windows Vista.
The owner gave me a quick demo, expose equivalent, gadgets, window animation, it looked pretty slick and seemed to run well in 1G of RAM.
We have a recent HP laptop so I thought I'd give it a go at home. I think it's great they have a free download installer available.
The download was great, using an Akamai java download manager on our Optus Cable connection gave me a sustained 1Mbit/sec download rate and I had burned the .iso file to a DVD on my Mac within minutes. (The image is 2.52G).
The installer said it was incompatible with some HP Protect software and forced me to exit and remove it before it would go on. It took some searching to figure out how to do that as the utility has no uninstaller and in the end needed to be killed and the .exe manually deleted.
I did an upgrade from XP and takes over 2 hours to install. There are a couple of mysterious steps including "Gathering files" and "Completing upgrade" that seem to take a long time.
In the end it does look great, clearly security is increased as it keeps asking the user if it's ok for things like the google toolbar to talk to a server. This might be annoying for an end user but it's a bit like running little snitch all the time.
It looks like an improvement over windows XP but I still like MacOS X better, but then again having unix underneath is something I see as very valuable.
There's some nice eye candy, I do like the transparency with blur through window title bars.