Not sure how many people this affects but, unlike XP, Vista (and here I'm using RC2 beta), does seem to support FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) very well.

I've only carried out a very limited number and range of tests (detailed in this thread) but these show that FW800 under Vista outperforms FW400 (IEEE 1394a), whereas under XP, the slower FireWire standard was faster!

There's been lots of stuff flying around the net saying that FW800 won't be supported by Vista at launch time and will only follow in an update, but I have to believe from the beta I'm using that this will now turn out to be untrue.

One possible downside, though, support for FireWire networking has been removed with Vista.

However, I tend to agree with Microsoft's reasoning that this has not exactly been a favourite among users.

Indeed, I reckon that the real reason it's not being supported in Vista is because it's caused far more inconvenience and confusion than benefit by being installed as standard in XP (was it in ME, too?).

Truth is, now that Gigabit networking hardware is so often integrated into PCs, it's hard to see any need for FireWire networking - though may be FW800 networking, unlike FW400, could actually outperform Gigabit.

What I'm not sure of, though, is whether the Greek outfit Unibrain will continue to develop the Windows version of its Firenet networking software for Vista and, if it does, whether it will incorporate FW800, not stick only with FW400 (though some of the stuff I'm reading on Unibrain's site suggests to me that FW800 support may already be included in the latest version of Firenet).

I fear the worst, though, cos the software is currently being sold at knockdown prices - $19.95 (€19.95) for $8.95 (€8.95) for each key if you buy three or more.

However, I'll try to find out and report back.