Buisness Week: Vista: Slow And Dangerous
pans the new security features in Microsoft's Vista. If User Account Control (UAC) is turned on, you get repeatedly interrupted for stuff you have no idea what it is, like Windows notifying MSFT of something. But turning it off leaves you as open as under Windows XP.
Personally, I am quite happy not using Windows Vista. The problem is that MSFT has apparently browbeat most of its major vendors into installing it on their computers. I have asked both Dell and HP if I could buy an XP laptop, and neither seemed willing to provide one.