I've recently had the fortune of playing with Windows Vista release candidates at work. Though I haven't spent much time with them, I can tell you one thing for certain: it doesn't feel any different to me than XP. Sure the windows are translucent and shiny, but shouldn't there be more to this? Come on Microsoft; what have you been doing for the past decade (or however long it's taken you to get this thing out)? The new start menu is horrible. Something that basic should have been left alone at the very least; not made worse.
Anyways, now that Vista has a release date, I'd like to make some predictions for the OS. Due to the headaches that will be coming down the pipeline based on all the new security stuff, I'm betting that few people will adopt the new operating system at first. Those that do adopt will essentially be "beta testers" for Microsoft, helping to work out all the last minute bugs. Things will go rough for several months, MS will reduce the price a time or two to help boost sluggish sales, and people will slowly turn on to it. I'm guessing that it will be another year (or maybe two) before the ball really starts rolling and substantial numbers of people start converting. Corporations will easily take that long before they begin rolling it out. So much has changed in this release that I doubt any large company will be willing to risk converting immediately.
Microsoft isn't helping things by offering seven different versions of the OS. Which version am I supposed to choose? And why should I go with that choice over the other six? Two versions seems complicated enough in XP (the Home and Pro editions). Why must we make things harder here?
To me, it all comes back to the way it feels. If I don't feel substantial change, why should I switch? What I've seen so far doesn't impress me, and I don't plan on switching for several years.