Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet tested pre-beta Windows 7 release 6956 against Vista RTM and Vista SP1. Win 7's snappy boot time and dominance in other tests suggest that a good OS is on the way.
Early on, we showed you completely non-scientific evidence of Win 7's pleasingly fast boot time. (Shutting down is another matter—my build (6801) sometimes takes forever.) I was glad that Kingsley-Hughes—using a Phenom 9700 quad-core system with ATI Radeon 3850, 2GB of Corsair Dominator RAM and WD's 10K RPM Raptor as primary drive—managed to demonstrate that the fast boot isn't a fluke. By the way, Vista SP1 had the slowest boot.