|No, Vista *is not* Longhorn. Longhorn failed. The head of the development devision literally went to Gates with a big chart that was something like 30 feet long and 5 feet wide (don't remember the exact numbers), told him, "This is what we know about how all the pieces fit together in XP and what its going to look like in Longhorn. Its *not possible* to make it work right with the new features you want added." They scrapped Longhorn and did a rework on significant portions of it, which is how they derived Vista. However, a lot of what was supposed to be in Longhorn will never appear in Vista, since it still has most of the fundimental flaws and dependency issues.|
So no, Longhorn and Vista are not the same thing. They are closer than the people developing it would probably like, but they are more close siblings, one of whom had terminal cancer. All the stuff you mention where changed is *why* its called Vista, not Longhorn. Those where all the parts they could redo and stabilize, without a complete rewrite of the OS. Its also not just the file system that is going to be missing, though I don't remember at the moment what all else they had to throw away.
As I said, the problem isn't that it isn't better. The problem is, and MS knows this, Windows, as it exists, is reaching the end of its life cycle. They can't improve it much past where it is now with Vista without radical changes to the OS, which *will* break compatibility. Even their own development staff have admitted as much. This isn't to say its not an improvement, not better then the previous versions, etc., but its literally a dinosaur, which isn't fairing well in a world that requires adaptation to requirements that it can't impliment, so can't compete with.
Seriously though, these two sentences are really funny when taken together:
"If by vaporware you're talking about the new file system? I say who gives a fuck. It probably would've inconvenienced me more than anything, judging by the probable performance issues with it."
"As for bloated, I really don't give a shit how much resources stuff I have use as long as it uses them for the right reasons."
So.. What is the "right" use for resources? More fancy buttons, mattel style graphics and useless crap that makes it look pretty, but doesn't actually do anything? Because more than 90% of the changes they are making are "in" that useless garbage that doesn't in any way shape or form improve what the OS itself "does", just what it looks like. Personally, it pisses me off when I need a new $500 graphics card and twice the memory of the prior OS, just so that I can boot the damn thing, and "all" of it is because of the useless GUI elements they added that won't do anything at all to help me use the machine, but does waste massive ammounts of resources that would have gone, on the older OS, to running "real" graphics applications and games. And its even more insane when in most cases these elements would take "less" resources to produce on a more efficient OS, or could be simply turned off, without effecting the ability to use any of the software.
Oh, and don't even get me started with their plan to sell 5-6 different versions, then make you pay for upgrades when you suddenly realize the new application you installed won't work because X is missing and is only found in the next more expensive version...
But heh, if you are satified with getting the shaft from these people again, getting 80% of the improvements you really don't need at all, just to make things look pretty, having to buy all new hardware (or at least losing much of the existing performance and resources on what you already have), etc. more power to you. Personally the only reason I even got XP was lack of some key software I do use for Linux and having gotten tired of the slow creeping disease that infected 98 and which slowly ate away at it like some sort of strange necrosis, which was only solvable by radical transplant once a year...