A few posts ago, I said that the one thing MS should do with Windows 7 is this: get rid of the pre-load "feature" that allows applications to load all (or part) of themselves at boot time. I had one commenter express amazement that I'd call the "Apple Tax" (the premium you pay for getting a Mac) worth it on those grounds alone, and sure - that's hardly my only beef with the revs of Windows I've used. However, in XP (the one I've run the longest), it's a huge problem.
Why? Well, you end up rebooting any system - Windows or Mac - more often than you would like. There are lockups - fairly rare on XP, from what I hear very rare in Vista, and very rare in OSX - but that's not really the source of boot time frustration. The source is the frequent reboots required by vendor provided updates. Most of the recent OS X updates have required reboots, and the vast majority of Windows updates also require a reboot. Here's where the frustration enters:
- I see an update notification. All the tenets of safe computing tell me I should apply it
- I have a bunch of applications open, and I'll have to get out of all of them, then allow the system to reboot
- On the Mac, outside of patch application time, the reboot is fast - when I login, I can start working immediately
- On Windows, I'm forced to wait for all the apps that have registered for pre-load to get done before I can do anything
Once that happens, Windows is stable, and based on the feedback I hear from Vista (SP1) users, pleasant. The entire problem is this antiquated "time saving" system that now wastes time. Get rid of that, and the ground between Windows and OS X will be a lot more level.