I foolishly attempted to try to use my microphone under Vista for the first time.
My microphone worked fine in the past with Windows XP.
No such luck with Vista. Checking the Creative site to see if there were new drivers for my SoundBlaster Live! sound card brought me the news that Creative would not be writing any Vista drivers for this older card.
So, I did a bit of research and bought a Creative Xtremegamer sound card.
The sound is much improved, but attempting to use the microphone (which took a lot of research and fooling around with to enable) is still a no go. At least I can see some movement on the audio bar while attempting to "train" the microphone, but it still isn't usable for gaming, Windows Speech Recognition, navigation or any other function.
Looks like my new research project is to find a decent microphone with some kind of a volume boost.
As usual there is NO HELP on the Microsoft site. Vista still sucks and it is not a product that Microsoft should be proud of.