When I purchased my Dell M1330 last year it came loaded with the Windows Vista OS. Yeah, I was one of the lucky ones who got to run the first version of Vista. It was quite an adventure. Imagine buying a new car that looks really cool but as you are driving down the road you can't help but notice the odd part falling off. "Oops! There goes the rear view mirror. I don't really need that. Oops! There goes the trunk lid. That's just for looks. Oops!... ". You get the idea.
Well, I am pleased to report that I have found a way to run Windows Vista very reliably AND improve it's performance. My solution is to add a bit of open source software! I switched my M1330 to Linux about 9 months ago and have been gradually weaning myself off of all of my Windows software. Once in a while though, I need to be able to run something under Windows (less and less often as it turns out). So, for those occasions I have created a virtual machine with Sun's VirtualBox software and installed the latest version of Vista. The result is nothing short of amazing. I find that Vista runs seamlessly inside Linux so much so that it seems even faster than when it is running natively. Not only that but I can run all of my other old operating systems as well ( even at the same time if I want to! ).
Microsoft is alpha testing their new Windows 7 OS now. I don't know if it's going to be any better than Vista but I am sure it will look great and like a boy scout helping someone cross the road, I bet open source will be there to help.