When I reviewed Microsoft Vista before it came out about a year-and-a-half ago, there were two features Microsoft was touting heavily.
One was the ability to quickly check sidebar gadgets and email through a small screen on a laptop lid. Many manufacturers were supposed to come out with laptops designed to take advantage of this feature. I know of one company that did. This feature just seemed to disappear.
The second was the ability to use flash memory to add to the memory available to Vista, thus making it faster. Although many thumb drives came out that are compatible with this, it only was a help if you had 2 gigs of RAM or less. Most modern computers havethat much RAM. Since Vista has sold mainly installed on new machines, this feature also fizzled.
Some might say that Vista itself fizzled. I believe a lot of that is perception. Microsoft has sold millions of copies on new machines. I have used Vista for more than a year and have had no problems. The biggest drawback when it came out, was that some software and hardware was not compatible, and that has been largely fixed.
But still Vista has a bad reputation. It has become conventional wisdom that Vista is terrible, mainly, I think because of Apple attack ads. Vista is far from an essential step up from XP, but it is hardly as bad as its reputation. At this point it seems silly to buy a new computer with XP on it.