One of the beta sites has screenshots of the latest Vista build.
It’s not too difficult to see that they cut out a lot (As predicted by Joseph). It’s just nicer chrome over a more polished drawing engine… but the kernel is essentially the same. This OS will have an impact only when it is the default OS that a Dell ships with next year. Most people will probably wait for SP1. It will be interesting to see the adoption rate once this goes out. I’ll get it on a new computer about 1 year from now, if they get it right.
Anyways, we did install a beta build of Vista here at work. It’s definitely a beta, and it was usable, but it definitely didn’t blow me away to the point of “man, I have to have this”. I think the machine was already wiped for another employee to use.