Microsoft recently released Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) through its Customer Preview Program. This is the third evaluation copy of Windows Vista that I have tested. It took up nearly 11 GB on the hard drive. Not much has changed since Build 5539 (Pre-RC1). Symantec Antivirus 10.1.4 is still incompatible with Vista in this version. Although when I submitted the program error, Problem Reports and Solutions under the Control Panel says, "Microsoft has reviewed this error report and determined that this problem will be fixed in Windows Vista RTM." In other words, it'll be fixed in the final version.
Grisoft AVG Free antivirus version 7.1.405 seems to be working properly with Vista now as I was able to install it, update the virus definitions, and run a virus scan successfully. However, I did find it odd that by uninstalling Symantec Anvivirus it broke AVG Free and I had to reinstall.
I think the average user will enjoy extras such as the Windows DVD Maker to easily create photo slideshows or videos and add music, etc. Although we've known for some time that this was going to happen I was disappointed when I tried to add my Hotmail e-mail account to the Windows Mail program (the successor to Outlook Express). Microsoft will no longer be supporting Hotmail or other HTTP, web-based e-mail through Outlook Express/Windows Mail for free accounts. You must have an MSN subscription.
Another annoying thing is that when you are viewing files through the explorer, it hides the menu bar (i.e., File, Edit, View, Tools, etc.) You must hit the ALT key to reveal the menu. This can be changed by hitting the ALT key, then selecting Tools, Folder Options, clicking the View tab and then selecting Always show menus. I'm a fan of using the Windows logo key + Tab to cycle through open windows in a 3D view (similar to ALT+Tab).
As far as networking is concerned, in Windows Vista RC1, as in previous versions, both IPv4 and IPv6 are turned on by default. Also enabled by default on the network connection is a Link-Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) protocol that discovers other computers and devices on the network and maps the network's topology or layout. When I issued the ipconfig /all command, I noticed another adapter labeled Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface which is apparently a service that allows computers that are behind firewalls to connect to each other. There is still much that can happen and it will be interesting to see what features Microsoft turns on or off by default. We'll have to wait until the final version!