I am baffled by the apparent high scores, would you happen to know if these are on a scale of 1.0-6.0? (like ice skating?)
Currently, 5.9 is the highest score available.
MS left room (presumably to 10.0) for the future releases of improved hardware which should then attain higher scores - or so I read on their site regarding the experience scores.
I am running Vista Business (32 bit) with a good processor, video card and 4 GB RAM (PC 6400) and the OS still feels like "bottled up" potential, as though it is waiting for something to set it free. Perhaps this is due to extra processes, search capabilities waiting in limbo, or simply a superfetch and filled memory modules with no clear paths (or adequate historical use patterns recorded) to use efficiently.
It seems like the new display driver model is both smooth and at the same time; able to hide slowness by delivering the graphics in a fade instead of a draw. I do not get the impression that any of the video chipset providers (ATI/AMD, nVidia or Intel) are going to fix this lack of responsiveness without some re-coding and/or patching from MS (SP1 or SP2?).
XP on the other hand - at least on this rig - is very snappy with few hiccups. Not as fabulous to look at, but feels extremely stable. Always good for the power user, gamer, or general user alike.
One item that I have noticed is that the UAC does not seem to get updated information regarding 'unknown publishers' which seems to be a problem. I have seen erratic behavior with Photoshop CS3 with the UAC turned on. After having done at least 20 combined clean installs of both Vista Home Premium and Business on this rig (I know, call me crazy) - I have had only 3 or 4 installs that allowed Photoshop CS3 to load without crashing with UAC using a normal double-click of a shortcut to the '.exe' or the actual '.exe' (not set to 'Always run as administrator').
Setting the Photoshop executible to 'Always run as administrator' as a response to the crashing always results in the 'unkown publisher' warning and a second clicking to load the program. Not a ringing endorsement for UAC (although it could be a PEBKAC somewhere in my installation procedure - ).
Anyway, because I am not a gamer and want explore my sense of adventure for a bit - I will continue to use Vista for while. I can always reinstall XP if the program crashes become excessive. I do admit to thinking about doing just that at least once a day!
BTW, good thread.