One of the best kept secrets from Microsoft regarding SharePoint 2010 (news, site) was something that SharePoint developers around the world were for crying for: the ability to run SharePoint on a desktop environment and not a VM.
You can imagine the cheers that went up through the crowd of over 7,000 at the SharePoint conference last week when they were told they can run SharePoint 2010 environments on both Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP1.
The install works for both SharePoint Foundation -- formerly WSS -- and SharePoint Server.
SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7
Now keep in mind this is just a standalone environment for developers, it's not meant for production at all. And, it does still require that you have a 64 bit operating system.
There are some prerequisites for running an install on Windows Vista and be sure to check out the RAM and space requirements for both Foundation and SharePoint Server.
We know you don't have the beta yet, at least most of us don't, but here's the MSDN article explaining the installation process.