@Wayland Sothcott - Onwards and Upwards? I don't think so...
Wayland tells us: "We could freeze all hardware right where it is and the computer industry would still produce faster computers. Software would slim down and speed up. With Vista, Microsoft is using software to drive the hardware market which does not seem to want to follow."
Now this sounds great, ideal in fact. But I'm afraid that this is idealistic fantasy.
We might all like to think of software development as continual fine-honing of software, optimising here, tweaking there, until you are left with a smaller, faster, more refined piece of code.
Sadly this is nothing like the reality, certainly as far as Microsoft is concerned, but regrettably most other developers too. The problem is that making code more secure only serves to add bulk to it in most cases. Bounds checking, input validation and the like all require more code. We have seen Firefox, sadly, become more bloated and slow with every security update they release. Don't get me wrong, I still love it and use it, but it isn't getting any faster, at least not at the moment (version 3?).
I like the ideal, I wish code was becoming more refined, faster and smaller. But that don't make it so. The reality is that securing code only makes it more bulky and slow in the vast majority of cases. And that is without mentioning the effects of adding new functionality, and other inexplicable bloat for which Microsoft has become renowned.