Vista has a new Superprefetch feature which is supposed to help launch applications faster because it is supposed to predict the future.
Essentially it will give a perceived boost in performance to the user by predicting which applications may be run next and prepares for it.
I don't know really whether this is such a great idea - surely it would be better to help developers make applications that load faster rather than trying to paper the cracks? And surely this will effect processor performance further?
The application I work on loads in less than a second and is usable and can load substantial files of half a gig of compressed data and be ready to work with in under a minute. Also, because of the multithreading the program is still usable whilst the loading process is going on.