Joined on 08/30/03
Feels like a brand new system
Pros: You can't beat the flexibility of the Full Retail license. I was debating to get the OEM or Upgrade. But with this, you can install the 32bit first, then switch to 64bit later, even if you upgrade or replace the computer. I did a clean install of Vista SP1 without resorting to work-arounds, and since I didn't need my XP-SP2 OEM license to install Vista, I was able to still use it to create a dual boot system. Nice... The new interface in Vista is fantastic. I liked it even better than I thought I would. My computer feels brand new again. No issues at install, and I haven't run into any bugs or crashes. The OS feels very solid. I love the new Aero effects of course, but the new search features are a close second. It took a few days for me to "settle in", but now everything just feels right.
Cons: New Welcome Center has 4 separate links to Windows Live services, and 1 for Windows Marketplace. A bit annoying, but after the first day you turn off the welcome center anyway. Also wish both versions (x32 and x64) were on the same DVD. There's 2 disks in the box, one for each. No big deal of course.
Overall Review: My box was definitely new and unopened. And the "With Service Pack 1" message on the box was not a sticker- it's printed on the inside sleeve. Both DVD's say "Includes Service Pack 1" on them as well. EcoWhale may have received a repackaged retail box (if the DVD's are new with a valid Key, then it's no big deal), but mine was new and sealed.