Wait until 9.04 one of its goals is to boot even faster. Windows 7 boot is optimized and boots at about the same speed Ubuntu boots right now though as far as desktop loading goes I'm not sure that Windows wins in that.There is a project called fastboot or something that basically puts most all of the init stuff into background at a lower priority and 'cheats' to get to the desktop faster. Looks great to me. My prob is with post and grub. I have a LOT of stuff inside my computer, and it takes almost 10 seconds to just get to the grub menu, and another 15 seconds to get to the desktop. The projects aim is to get those start up things that were put into background eventually started up before they are needed, but not before you are given any functionality over the desktop.
I look forward to it.
One of the questionable things is that networking support won't be up when you get to the desktop, that it will take almost another 5 seconds before it will be up. Soo, I see that as "If the first thing I want to do is jump on the Internet, start up time to web browsing will take almost as long as it previously took to boot. What is the down side here?
Now what I think would be cool is if an onboard Linux could boot up and be used right away, many claiming desktop / web support available within 2 seconds of hitting the power button. What if this could be used while your computer is booting in the same way you use a Live CD while the OS is installing. Then while doing whatever it was you wanted to do, a little message could pop up "Your desktop is ready, would you like to switch now?" This would absolutely rock, and I don't think it would be terribly difficult to integrate.