I'm not sure if this phone was running cupcake or donut, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it was cupcake (there are supposedly speed improvements in donut.)
Yeah, it would have been 1.5 - the problem with the Hero is that because it's so heavily customised, you can't just update it to Donut and run with it, unlike the Sapphire/Magic/myTouch3G.
Having said that though, there is a recent official firmware update that supposedly significantly speeds the device up. I don't actually have a Hero, but I've tried one of the backports to the Magic hardware, and it seems to work fairly well.
However, I'll have to agree with the spirit of your post; the Hero's OS is biting off more than it can chew. Sadly, 1st-generation Android hardware is underpowered for such things.
I am pretty sure in the properties dialog for a file (possibly only for shortcuts) there is an option "hotkey" (or something like that) that lets you assign any hotkey (probably including ones using the Windows key) to running that program.
unfortunately not. CTRL+ALT combos only, I'm afraid.
The Scroll Lock key is useless but not harmful
I beg to differ - my work uses this arcane software package for some services (Ericom PowerTerm). It has this "feature" that stops the screen from updating if Scroll Lock is on.
Couple that with some of the keyboards at work having a retarded layout where Print Screen/Scroll Lock/Pause are directly above the arrow keys, and you have a recipe for annoyance.
As for backwards support (or abandoning it) that worked well for Apple.
Lots of things work well for Apple, including;
Let's see Microsoft try that and get away with it. Oh wait, they tried and didn't.
Fahrenheit is useful for giving the public a good idea of what temperature scales are involved
This is only true for a small percentage of the world's population.
One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.