You know you can't knock Vista because now the hackintosh people come out and defend it.
Stuffit Expander is third party software, the compression in Vista is as slow as hell and explorer takes a good 30 seconds to come up(longer sometimes). Also transferring data on Vista is slow, to a usb key it's as slow as USB1. It took Microsoft about 6 months to fix the USB issue and all the rest of you poor Vista users will have to wait for SP1 and hope it's fixed.
Paul Thurrot is on the defensive just like Microsoft is, it's like Apple are close to getting 50% market share or something. He and others need to learn not a go on the defensive to much when your favorite OS has 90% of the market.
However, let's be honest: whenever Microsoft loses *any* market share at anything, it's heralded as the Beginning Of The End. As far as the USB key issue; I have one of those USB keys, and quite a lot of it has to due to the speed mismatch between the USB2 High-Speed *standard* and the actual speed of the interface used by most USB keys (the same USB keys are no faster in other operating systems, so it's hardly a failing unique to Vista).
The compressed folders option in Windows Vista is, in fact, derived from third-party software (specifically, from WinZip); however, part of the thing about deriving a feature from a third party (especially when you're the 800-pound gorilla of operating systems, as Microsoft still is) you *cannot* be seen to kill your competitors (in short, there has to be a reason to add a third-party compression program, from the same source (WinZip 11 Pro) or a competing source (WinRAR or even 7-Zip), otherwise, hostile governments (the EU) will tilt at you like so many Don Quixotes).
Apple, on the other hand, has done a *very good job* at portraying itself as *David* competing against *Goliath*; this is even though it is not really competing against Goliath heads-up at all.
While the Hackintosh crowd has opened that wall to the point that the more adventurous of us can actually install Apple's operating system onto reasonably ordinary non-Apple PCs, the absolute *last* thing that Apple wants to really do is *bless* those efforts. Apple's spin is that they are, first, last, and *always*, a *hardware* company (that just happens to make a lot of cool software). In short, we're not really competing against Microsoft (who makes Office:mac, the productivity suite of choice for most OS X users) and *especially not* against the hundreds of Linux distributions for those same PCs (even though OS X' share of the total X86 marketplace is smaller than that of Linux as a whole, it is larger than any single distribution; it wants to *stand apart*).
However, at the same time, the Hackintosh crowd is also exposing a rather nasty factoid that Apple's spinmeisters would love to have kept hidden: OS X is no more secure at its base than any other operating system on the same hardware. It's an operating system designed by human beings, and like any other operating system designed by human beings, it will have issues. The bugs in OS X are *different* from those in Windows Vista (understandable, as the two operating systems have different structures) and both have their share of backward-compatibility woes (in case you have forgotten, any application that is based on Unsanity's APE won't work in Leopard; that nasty problem is shaping up to be far larger than the largest such similar issue with Vista). However, as someone that runs both operating systems (and on the same hardware) both operating systems have their strong points (and both have their weaknesses).