Under Linux, if you launch an application, a helpful item appears in in your program list (what you might call the "Start bar" in Windows) that says "starting Firefox web browser.." You get the same thing if you double-click on a Word document, and get "starting OpenOffice Writer.." But with Windows, you get nothing. I've mentioned this problem before, but it's an issue that keeps coming back to bother me. There's just no feedback that I've started an application under Windows.
For example: this morning, I came into the office, booted my laptop. When the Windows Vista desktop appeared, I clicked on the quick-launch icon to start the Firefox web browser. Nothing happened. After a few seconds, I realized I must have clicked an edge or something, didn't really click the Firefox icon, so I clicked it again.
Again, nothing happened. My hard drive light was indicating a lot of activity, but Windows clearly wasn't launching Firefox. Maybe the quick-launch bar isn't working, for some reason? I tried double-clicking the desktop icon for Firefox, to launch the program that way. Still, nothing happened. In an act of desperation, I used the Start menu to launch Firefox that way.
When Firefox still hadn't appeared, I decided Firefox must be aborting when it tries to start. Fortunately, my laptop also has Google Chrome installed on it, so I clicked on that to start Chrome.
About 10 seconds later, 4 Firefox windows suddenly appeared, quickly followed by a Google Chrome window. WTF!?
Windows really did launch Firefox that first time I clicked on it, but because there was no feedback to let me know Windows had done something, I didn't know that.