Its marketers describe its benefits as being clear, connected, and confident. No, it's not a new antiperspirant, but
Windows Vista. By confidence, Microsoft means functionality that could also be described alliteratively. Reliability is
promised from an improved driver model that may require you to throw out your old hardware. Resilience should help
Windows avoid spyware on peer-to-peer networks fought by major record labels so that they can install their own. And
responsiveness should keep your system performing smoothly and minimize delays. For example, Microsoft notes that
Windows Vista should start up and shut down as quickly and reliably as a television set.
The latter goal is laudable since, while most PCs have more than enough horsepower to handle everyday uses, many encounter bottlenecks when they're starting up or waking from standby mode. The problem is simple contention. A large number of processes are initiated when Windows starts and even fast PC processors and fast hard disks get overwhelmed. The problem is exacerbated if you run little system tray programs, especially if they hit the already taxed hard disk, or you don't have enough RAM and rely too much on virtual memory. Backup and file synchronization programs as well as search programs that need to update their indicies can add minutes to startup times.