First a bit of background.
I've been working on computers for the last 25 years.
I've used everything from a Commodore PET, all the way up to "bleeding edge" hardware that came with NDA's like most people won't, but you might, believe.
Except for the Commodore gear, I've built every. single. computer. I've ever owned.
From DOS, to Windows 3x, to WFWG, 95, 98, NT, XP, & eventually, Vista.
So when I say "I know how to configure a Windows system to run as fast as possible on the hardware it's given.", I mean just that.
Now, given that, would you care to explain why I can't get VISTA not to suck up resources like a starving Hollywood Actress face-down in an All You Can Eat buffet line?
GUI set to Classic with zero eye candy; nothing but the essential Services running; Antivirus & Firewall; all the drivers up-to-date.
But it still runs like a dog with no legs.
Yet, on the *exact same system*, literally just rebooting & choosing a different OS, XP screams like a banshee?
Again, GUI set to Classic with no eye-candy; Services paired to the essentials; AV & Firewall; drivers up-to-date.
Better yet, reboot & choose Ubuntu, & the thing feels nearly *sentient*.
And that's WITH *ALL* the eye candy turned on; all the "services" it feels like running are; and all the drivers are up-to-date.
If a system of the following specs: 2GHz 64bit processor, 2Gb DDR-PC5300 RAM, a 512 Meg ATI Radeon X600 PCIe video card, & 500Gb SATA HD: is capable of running every OTHER OS I throw at it like a champ, why is Vista unable to do much more than crawl?
And if people like me can't get Vista to run well on mid-to-high level systems, what hope does the "Average Joe" have of getting an off the shelf system (from Dell, HP, WalMart, where-ever) that runs Vista worth a damn?
"Vista Capable" systems aren't (there's a Class Action suit currently attempting to prove that); "Vista Ready" system rarely are; and anything that's capable of running Vista *WELL* is well-nigh out of the price range of the common user.
If "Grandma Mary" can read her email, surf the web, watch YouTube videos of her grandchildren playing with kittens, type up her recipes for Pumpkin Bread, & play the occasional game of Bejeweled, all on a system that Vista considers "inadequate", then what reason does she have for buying a new system that Vista DOES approve of?
There is no reason.
Her "old" system does what she needs, & Vista offers nothing she wants.
THAT is the situation of 90% of the consumers out there.
What they have is fine for the job, works, & doesn't cost them anything to continue running (beyond the electricity & ISP charges).
If they decide to buy a new computer, chances are it'll come with Vista pre-installed, and unless it's an "Uber Rig" (with a price to match), they're going to wonder why they just dropped a fat stack of cash on a system that feels SLOWER than what they supposedly upgrade from.
You and I might be able to tweak the system to run faster, but they probably won't, and the first person they're going to blame is Microsoft.
"Because my old computer with XP worked, it was just a bit slow. This brand spanking new machine with all the bells & whistles, currently runs Vista like a snail at a drag race."
My grandmother is happy with a machine very similar to what I described above (it's got a 256Meg AGP card instead, & only a 100Gb HD, otherwise same Mobo/CPU/RAM), so, please, tell me why she would want to upgrade?