Why Windows Vista Won't Suck over at ExtremeTech. A couple of thoughts.
The second point is the automatic disk defragmenter (second screenshot). Uhmmmm.... wasn't this a feature in Windows 98? Wasn't this removed in Windows XP for some strange reason? Hasn't MacOS been doing this truely automatically for 5 years now (OS/X automatically defrags files under 20mb just through general use of the system, whereas Windows requires you to say "defrag my disk").
"Sleep mode" - basically they are using the instant off/on that OS/X laptops have had for 5 years now on desktops, which is cool. Basically a less sucky 'hibernate'.
Improved networking stack, very nice, of course, you only get benefits connecting to other Vista machines. Go figure. Anyone want to bet if a) the new stack is open and b) if it is, and were implemented on *unix, the benefits wouldn't work? </cynic>
I'm sure it'll be nice for those moving files around at lan parties or in the local network though.
Media center... *yawn*
On page 3 I find that your audio drivers won't BSOD you anymore. Uhmm.... "yay". Built in speech recognition just like OS/X (and possibly before). Per-application audio control, been there, done that.
Better built in mail (outlook express finally overhauled!), good, hopefully this will be less of a virus magnet than the current iteration. Built in calendar app, photo viewer app, good to see. What I've seen of media player 11 it's less ugly now. Course, I wonder if it'll still have the same stupid UI issues it has now (ie: the hidden window frame that even though it can't be seen it still has an effect on the window).
The new Aero engine looks sexy, but I'm going to guess by the time that Vista is out technologies like XGL will be out and "standard" on the Linux desktop. I personally set up the latest Ubuntu with XGL and wow, very sexy. The screenshots of the new Vista UI does look quite nice though. It will be a delicate balance of "looks good" and "eyecandy overload".
Better security - Yay!