In an article in Small Business, James Gaskin estimates that Windows Vista is likely to cost USD$3.5k-$5k per user. Of course, this includes the upgrade to Office 2007, but also for new hardware. This seems very high to me, but Gaskin defends his views here.
With just a few days to go till MS declare Vista Gold, this can not be great news. Many readers will know that MS released RC2 late last Friday. I have it running on my laptop, but only as a test - I'm back to XP for day to day use. Sadly. The reason why is simple: my main mail and news reader, Turnpike does not work well - it continually crashes (requiring an entire re-build of the mail and news databases and the address book. I also appear to have lost mail, which is not acceptable.
If I have a choice between a working mail /news client and the latest RC from MS, there is no question which I'll take. I want to use Vista, but it's just not stable enough with my set of apps. I continue to believe it's not ready for release - and my advice to our customers is that while they should investigate it, and get to know it, they should wait for SP1 to move into volume deployment. Not a popular bit of advice in Redmond sadly.