NEW YORK--If consumers like the new Windows 7 operating system, they'll have the much-maligned Windows Vista to thank.  
In part, that's because Windows 7 actually builds on the under-the-hood changes that came with Vista. But, it also turns out that the vast headaches created by Vista were just what the PC industry needed to improve their cooperation......  
........McKinney noted that Microsoft's initial overtures to the computer makers were met with a fair bit of skepticism. "Is this legit or is this just trying to appease frustration," McKinney recalls thinking. "It quickly proved out that Microsoft was serious."  
That said, McKinney noted that neither HP nor the other PC makers got exactly what they wanted. "It wasn't like Microsoft just sat there and took up every piece of feedback," he said. "There was give and take."  
Microsoft also had harsh messages for the PC companies. The vast amounts of preinstalled software that they were shipping on consumer machines, so-called "crapware" were slowing down systems and hurting the PC's image.  
The computer makers and Microsoft began looking at each piece of software, whether it came from the PC manufacturers or a third party, and measuring its impact on the system. Those that were bogging things down were told to fix their software or else got pulled from new PCs.  
The result is that Windows 7, in many cases, can boot up more quickly and go in and out of sleep in a matter of seconds. Consumers will also notice they get systems that are a lot less cluttered, in some cases with nothing more than a recycle bin on their desktop when they first boot their PC.  
I'm using the RC right now.
FoolProof: I have only tiny complaints. Some of the preferences menus seem a little bit poorly organized. In terms of performance, I haven't even seen a hiccup. I'm rather impressed.