In a recent Springboard series episode moderated by Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich, available via this link (WMV), the discussion focused on Windows Vista does emphasize the performance gap between the RTM and SP1 milestones of the operating system. Inferior hardware infrastructure and resources are but one of the aspects which contributed to Vista delivering poor performance. According to Russinovich, the ecosystem hardware and software solutions as well as the components of a specific IT infrastructure can negatively impact the performance of the operating system, in addition to the inherent shortcomings of a RTM build. But in the end, SP1 was an undeniable breath of fresh air for Vista.
“There are a number of really good fixes that went into SP1 to improve performance across things like boot, file copy performance. So there was an emphasis by Microsoft to really have SP1 focused on addressing some of those performance concerns. But I think that it's worth talking about the ecosystem maturity and the fact that we are seeing a lot of these drivers for common devices really improving on not just performance but also power management which is often a trade-off that has to be made in devices. How effectively can we perform at high speeds but also on battery power as notebooks are becoming more and more prevalent in the ecosystem. So that driver maturity has really helped a lot in terms of the kind of performance that people can expect on a Vista platform,” stated Gabriel Aul, Principal Group Program Manager for Microsoft, Windows Performance.