Since this line of discussion is clearly going nowhere, I suggest we switch gears and focus on another area you touched on in your rebuttal article: benchmarking.
In your article you say, and I quote: "Vista was a dog when it was first released, but these days, after lots of patches, fixes, and a service pack, it's actually quite snappy."
My challenge: Prove it.
Seriously, if you're going to criticize me for supposedly making unsupportable statements about Windows 7, I'd like to see you defend your own statements. Show me your data that proves that Vista's performance has improved measurably since RTM. I've got reams of results to the contrary, so by all means, let's see what you've got.
BTW, pink ponies? Rainbows? Must be the techno -- it's messing with your head. I strongly advise a strict regimen of classic American rock 'n' roll. Begin with Side 1 of Boston's eponymous debut album ...
Thom to Randall:
Whatever you think of Win 7's changes, your thread count metric misses them
It is wholly and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand whether or not a certain change in the kernel only affects certain customers, but not regular consumers. Even if a change affected only Major Tom, the end result is still that your thread count metric should notice it. Seeing that it doesn't notice the changes that I highlighted, it seems pretty clear to me that your thread-count metric is flawed. That's just my opinion, though. We'll see what our respective readerships think.
This is unrelated to whether or not the changes that I mentioned really are, as you say, relevant only to datacenters. The improvements made to the kernel that allow it to scale up to 256 processors are bound to be accompanied by changes to SMP in and of itself, which most certainly does affect basically every newly bought computer today (apart from the mobile Intel Atom, are there even single-core machines being sold?). Changes in the memory manager obviously affect customers, too, since memory management is one of the most basic and important functions of a kernel.
But the change that is most certainly going to affect every user of Windows is MinWin (by lack of a better name). By eliminating upward calls and by untangling the web of dependencies in the very core of Windows, Microsoft will be able to make changes to these core elements in an easier fashion, without causing as much breakage in parts higher up the stack. I don't know in what possible universe that is not seen as an improvement. This could benefit every user -- maybe not right away, but it will, in the future.
Let's move on to the next point you wish to discuss. I'll be clear: I don't need to prove that Vista's performance has improved between RTM and now. Others have already done so for me, and I trust those people a whole lot more than my own perceptions.
For instance, a major source of problems during Vista's early days was the instability and immaturity of Vista's graphics drivers, which needed to conform to a new driver model (compared to XP). Benchmarks suggest that these problems have been ironed out, and that Vista's graphics performance has increased (as of SP1) to the level of Windows XP -- this was written in May 2008, and we've already seen more updates and fixes since then.