The computer that I am now using (on my vacation) is not mine. Also, it has Microsoft Windows Vista (and, to be sure, no other OSs on it). I am thus stuck with Vista.
When I first started using this computer, to my surprise, it was actually quite quick in loading applications (like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Office 2007). As it turns out, this is because the computer (somehow, for whatever reason) has not been restarted in days. Someone else made the computer shut down about a half hour ago. (UPDATE: This was as of yesterday. I am now typing this from a different computer that uses Microsoft Windows XP. However, I will continue this post.) For one, it took about 5 minutes to shut down because Vista decided to sneak in updates before shutting down; other Windows users have complained about this unwanted behavior, so count me among them as well. Then, when I turned the computer on, I got past the initial screen (allowing for modification of the BIOS) and moved on to the Vista loading screen. One minor complaint I have is that there is no symbol (except for small print at the bottom) to show that this is Windows Vista; previous versions of Windows would have a giant Windows symbol along with the version codename and a loading bar.
Then, the screen went black for 5 minutes (I did, in fact, time this). At first, I thought the computer might have frozen, but then I reminded myself that it may just be taking a very long time to load. (This computer is only about 2 years old, so it is (or should be) much faster than my 6-year old computer.) Sure enough, after those 5 minutes was when I finally saw the login screen. After logging in, it took another 5 minutes to reach a usable instance of Mozilla Firefox (I also timed this). (I used Firefox because (1) it is the browser with which I am most familiar and (2) no major operating system preloads the Firefox libraries, so performance should not be biased due to operating system choice (e.g. Konqueror's libraries are preloaded by KDE, Epiphany's by GNOME, Internet Explorer's by Windows, and Safari's by Mac OS).)
Really? 10 minutes from powering it on to reach a usable webpage?
That is, in a word, ridiculous.