Let's look at Carol's top 10 list....
#1: which gets so much in your way that you turn it off, and basically end at XP-or-worse security.
#2 & #3: hahaha, as if. The base OS is going to use more CPU, RAM and GPU power for doing basically the same. Friend of mine that does graphics programming said stuff ran noticably slower on Vista than on XP (~360fps vs ~430fps or rougly 20% - but okay, immature drivers etc).
#4: we'll have to see about that. MS did a lot of code rewriting - fresh new bugs.
#6: even more useless eye-candy, and a shell that I'm going to replace with BlackBox anyway. Yay.
#7: Aero, which I'll turn off immediately for performance reasons. And that transparancy crap doesn't reduce clutter as they claim.
#8: *shrug* - thankfully they dropped WinFS. One size doesn't fit all, anyway, some people will like an app like Google Desktop, while I prefer locate32. This is yet a point that doesn't matter.
#9: which will affect end users exactly how much? The improvements I heard of basically sounded useful for high-load fileservers with gigabit-or-faster NICs... and didn't sound like something that isn't doable under XP.
#10: oh. What a big deal. Yawn.
BUT!!! VISTA WILL HAVE DX10 AND SUPPORT FOR HYBRID HARDDRIVES OMG!!11! one one one. Yeah. And while MS will claim that this is for "brand-spanking new architectural reasons", the real reason is of course they need some selling point for Vista, and that's the reason they won't be ading support for those useful features in XP.
And then there's all the DRM crap that, until properly circumvented, will put a limit on what you can do with your own stuff - as well as take up resources because of the extremely aggressive way it's implemented.
cranioscopical: there's a difference between squeezing the last drop of performance from something and handcoding everything in assembly, which is pretty useless today... and then writing extremely shitty, bloated and buggy code with exponentially inflated resource requirements. Vista is, of course, the latter of the two. The frigging core OS shouldn't eat resources at that rate, resources that are much better spent in your apps/games/etc.