First impression is positive. I just loaded 2012 onto my older XP-32bit laptop. This baby just had it's 4th birthday. I am going to need it extensively for the next 6 months and I was wondering if I would need to replace it now or be able to take my time and replace it next summer. I do realize that if I want to run 2013 it will need to either be replaced completely or have the OS upgraded. The rest of the specs in case anybody is curious: Core2Duo E 6850 @ 3.00 ghz. System says it has 3.25 GB ram.Not quite sure how that happened but Xi did a major warranty overhaul on it and I know some things changed from my original configuration. nVidia 1800M graphics card.
Installed 2012, sp1 off the dvd that arrived a couple of weeks ago. No surprises during that process. I designed a simple injection mold with no problems. Did some surfacing and saw nothing unexpected. I am kind of a `blue-collar' user so was mainly interested in performance and core features. I noticed that the convert entities command was reverted back to it's pre-2010 interface. I never figured out why that got changed in the first place and hated it at first. Eventually got used to it and now it's gone again-whatever........The hole wizard works slightly differently in that the first instance does not get placed where you started the command. I think I like that. Did not have a need to freeze the feature tree of anything I was working on but I can see that it will be useful on complex parts while I am developing fancy parting lines and shut off surfaces. No crashes in 2 days of use and I didn't notice the software slowing down my flow like I have on some previous releases. Takes really long to start up the first time after a shutdown, but I attribute that to running on this older XP machine. Fairly zippy after the first time. All in all a very undramatic experience.
One minor annoyance is that I don't seem to be able to stop FeatureWorks from asking if I want to recognize features of imported parts-even when I have it totally un-checked under tools, options. If that is the only thing I find, I'm a happy guy.