Every high volume OS will always require patches to defeat those who use their misdirected genius to try and defeat the security of a popular OS!
XP will always need patches and so will Vista. However, Vista is MORE secure than any other OS I have ever used. I have deliberatly visited known sites that use malware and found my system clean using VISTA RC2, especially with the 64 bit version as it has a secure kernel protected by "patchguard" which is what is angering Norton, etc because it would make it difficult for them. They need access to the kernel to continue what they have been doing.
P.S. Have you ever tried to uninstall Norton?
I hate to be a kill joy but do you really think Microsoft is going to get it right the first time. Vista is probably a great OS but XP was suppose to be the greatest thing since chucky peanut butter.
Look at all the patches.
I'll wait a year or two to see how bad the patches are and how many times it is knocked down by some hacker,and how many times it crashes a computer: and then after they unscrew all the glitches, then maybe I'll install it.
I figure I will have to eventually install it because they will no longer give support to XP.