My second major gripe, for much the same reasons as application compatibility: It just shouldn't be an issue this late in the game. Just like app compatibility, Microsoft specifically mentioned its diligence with regard to hardware compatibility during Vista's dev phase, yet 6 months post-RTM and I can still stump Vista if I want to. But it'll be something fancy or from a business perspective, unnecessary -- like a recent review of a Genius web cam that required a special driver download.
But if I stick to day-to-day business hardware, I can't complain ... much. I've been through printers from HP, Konica-Minolta, and Epson; scanners from HP, CardScan, and Fujitsu; USB 2.0 and Firewire storage peripherals from umpteen vendors, including cell phone-installed SD cards and digital camera memory cards, and no problems.
Again, I think the file transfer UIs could use work, but they certainly are functional. The clincher is that I've never had a hardware problem that wasn't solved by a new driver. Not one. So just like under application compatibility: 6 months post-RTM, how lax is your hardware operation if you haven't managed a Vista compatibility driver yet? I can't pin that on Microsoft.
Grade: Pass (Yeah, grudgingly.)
Are there parts of Vista I really hate? Sure. Built-in DRM is a biggie in my book, but it doesn't affect my business clients so I'm not slamming it here. The resource hog thing is also annoying, but from a business angle most of these upgrades are associated with new hardware anyway, so again it's not a big issue.
Bottom line: Vista doesn't suck. If I have to give a grade instead of Pass/Fail, it's C+ to B- depending on how cranky I am that day. Or to put it another way, I've only got one XP Pro machine left here, due solely to that app incompatibility agony. When that clears, XP becomes extinct and I'm not looking back.
What's that spell for Enterprise Windows networkers? Pretty much business as usual. No gold stars, but certainly not enough suckage to force the expense, time, and pain of a platform migration for a whole business PC portfolio.
Then again, Vista does suck enough to make that an interesting article: Get two similar businesses running Windows XP, then move one to Windows Vista and the other to the Mac or some Linux flavor. See who has more problems. Any volunteers?