Vista is utter Crap. Windows 7 is pretty good. but it's not better than Windows XP, OSX or Linux.
Windows is just designed wrong, from the ground up, unless they start from scratch and use a "Virtual Machine" to run old apps I don't know how they can ever make windows "not suck".
All said and done, I'd use Windows 7 before I'd use Vista. Vista's memory usage is DOUBLE that of Windows 7, with no programs loaded (Vista about 1gb and Windows 7 about 512mb).
I disagree with this. Due to Games for Windows, and Microsoft's virtual monopoly on computer gaming and dedication to evolving and innovative features, Windows will always be necessary for gaming, and has always had the coolest features. Once again, if you aren't a gamer, then why do you care about performance, and if you are a gamer, then you much upgrade to Win7 for Dx11 and the performance increase. The cool new features are just icing on the cake.
Not only is Windows great, it is necessary for the high-end gamer, and particularly, vista or 7 are necessary, due to DX.
One thing I've been impressed with, with vista, is Windows Media Center, and being able to play music from my laptop wirelessly over my 360. XP might have that too, but that is just something cool I've found out I could do with Windows, very recently. Also, Fallout 3, when you plug in a 360 controller, to a USB slot, the controls are defaultly made the primary controls, and they are mapped exactly as they are on the 360. Even the dashboard button pulls up GFWL and lets you download the expansions in a very cool dashboard like experience. Greatness.