I really want to like Windows 7.
On one hand, I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy.
On the other hand, I use their software everyday at work. And if the market leader massively improves their (somewhat crappy) software, it forces the competitors to get better too.
For instance, IE8 seems much faster and better than IE7 (and of course IE6). This will hopefully wake up Mozilla and force them to improve on Firefox.
Regarding Windows 7, I can see that the memory footprint is lower, and that's a good thing.
=====> But it still _feels_ much slower than XP in everyday use! =====
I am talking about the little things that make up the experience of responsiveness. It just takes a noticeable amount of milliseconds more when I click on an icon, until the OS reacts. Opening a new browser window just have that extra lag. Copying files feels slower. Etc.
At first, I sort of liked Windows 7 and ran it for a couple of weeks. Then I booted back into XP (not a fresh installation of XP, mind you). I was depressed by how much snappier XP feels. I was hoping to have a good reason to ditch XP.
Makers of desktop operating systems should focus intensively on responsiveness. The OS should react as fast as possible on any user request, regardless of whatever else it is doing.
It's fair enough that some heavy calculation takes longer time if you have some other heavy job or service running, but the initial latency from any user request until you get some sort of reaction should be as low as possible. And XP is much better in this regard than Windows 7 or Vista (and also faster than all Linux distros I've been running).
To use an analogy from network land: I would much rather have 10 ms ping times and 1 Mbps than 1000 ms ping times and 100 Mbps.