Yup, it's broken all right. A minimal example that works fine on XP SP2 (and starts playback within 2 seconds or so even when I throw a 50 MB .wav at it) fails pretty epically on Vista.
The XP machine: Desktop from 2003 or 04; XP SP2 as mentioned; Creative EMU 10K1 sound hardware (according to the XP hardware management interface).
The vista machine: Laptop from 2008, Vista home premium SP1. The sound chip identifies itself as a "conexant high definition smartaudio 221". The driver is the manufacturer's (not a generic Microsoft driver); I haven't knowingly updated it since buying this box.
My minimal .cap contains just the Directsound object and an event saying "Start of layout -> Directsound: autoplay file ..." (whether or not the file actually exists makes no obvious difference).
Under Vista, no runtime window appears at any point. The system hangs for about half a minute, and when I say "the system", it's pretty thorough -- the mouse pointer responds only intermittently, and the task manager window stops updating. This is followed by the crash dialog:
"Runtime error - X - An unexpected error occurred and the application was terminated. You may be able to find out more information about the crash by Debugging, and attempting to reproduce the bug."
Through the debugger it's pretty much the same: hangs half a minute as above, starts drawing the debugger window (incomplete; still no runtime window anywhere), hangs for another 20 seconds or so and exits to crash dialog:
"Runtime error - X - A crash inside the runtime has been intercepted! The crash may be a bug in Construct. Please report this to scirra."
Want this copied to a bug report over on Sourceforge?