Well, I finally got the 64-bit version downloaded via the direct links provided by Download Squad.
It's currently installed on my AMD test box (Athlon 64 2.20ghz/RAM=2gb/NVidia chipset with onboard GeForce 6100 graphics) which is probably not the best platform to run it on. But it is equivalent to what most of my clients are using (if they're running a 64-bit CPU) so it provides me with some idea of what to tell them when/if they ask.
First impressions: very smooth install on a raw drive with only 2 reboots. Total time for the install was a little over 25 minutes from initial power-up to a functioning desktop with no surprises along the way. (I thought putting a Betta Splendens
on the default desktop was kinda cute.)
All my major hardware was recognized except for one 1Gb NIC card. This card also needed a driver installed under XP so it's no big deal (although Ubuntu 8.04 did
recognize and configure it automatically).
I only ran into one glitch so far. At one point, when I went to change the desktop theme, Windows Explorer crashed and had to restart itself. Other than that, everything seems to be working ok. I'm going to have to really push it when I figure out where everything is and get a little more comfortable using it. Microsoft obviously put some serious thought into the new control panels and system management tools.
IMHO: The "new look" is functional but boring
with a capital B. (What is this fetish with baby-blue lately?) The best I can say about it is that I like it better than Vista.