I installed a Wildblue system late last year for a guy that was a Beta tester for Microsoft. He was running a beta version of Vista. It looked really neat. To me (at least that version) looked a lot like XP, just prettier. I don't know anything about the specs or anything.
You guys might be interested to know that I'm an alpha tester for Microsoft and please don't ask how I got selected to become an alpha tester. I just did beta testing for a very long time and was contacted about becoming an alpha tester. One of the benefits I get is being able to pick and choose what alpha and beta programs I want to be involved with. In other words normal beta testers must be invited to test Vista while I can just opt-in to test Vista and have access right away from any point during the beta period and download the latest available beta from Microsoft Connect. I don't do much testing that much now but I do try a few milestone builds from time to time and do some heavy bug reporting but again time is my issue.
I'm interested in the transparent buttons and flip 3-D windows interface. It would make desktop navigation that much easier when I have 8-10 things open at once.
On the Dell website, they have a blurb about Aero Vista and Basic Vista(like XP) requirements. The windows link posted by Tate has a lot more info than it used to.
To take advantage of Aero Vista(Windows Vista Home Premium), you need a dual core processor or Pentium.
1GB of Dual Channel Memory
and a high end graphics card. (ATI or nVidia)
*Subject to change (their words)
If Vista is anything like XP, I'll go for it. I've not had a system crash or BSOD since I got rid of WinME.
It works pretty well but it does have its problems. For example if I dual-boot with Windows XP I still haven't found a way to even access my XP partition as it denies every request I make. Speed is very good considering that its a beta but again I haven't had much time to check anything out yet as I just downloaded and installed the newest build on connect. Install takes longer than XP does and I mean a lot longer and I'm using an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ overclocked to 4800+ with watercooling along with 2GB of RAM with 2 XFX Nvidia Geforce 6600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCIExpress 16 in SLI mode. Also everything ran very very fast but not as fast as you would expect but Aero and the GUI happens to be very good almost wicked. But I can see to use the full features you will need a fast computer system and 1GB just isn't enough. At least running this beta I took out two of my four 512MB sticks of RAM so I had 1GB still in dual channel mode and things were much much much slower than I would have expected and I'm not exactly sure why as I didn't see any major leakage but that extra gig at least in the beta made a huge difference. I expect this to change greatly as the product gets close to shipping as it will be optimized greatly for performance.
But it feels very very stable compared to many betas I've done including Windows XP and with that said I think the final product will be quite good but only time will tell as with anything.
I got to play with the August build of Vista, but it didn't have viable NIC drivers on the one machine I tried it on. It ran better on a Dell PpowerEdge 2850 server I was supposed to be installing Win2K3 on, but it made a nice test for a few days.
I saw the Dell support page that basically said if you just bought a Dell desktop PC thinking you're going to be able to run Aero on Vista, think again. It reminded me of BB or CC selling analog TVs knowing that in three years, they can't be used for OTA without spending more money.