I have 2 netbooks with Windows 7 and I don't see the life sucking issue. What are you basing that statement on?
Many schools use something like Windows Steady State. Research that and see if you could stand that sort of draconian software.
I have a question, how do campuses, schools, and so on, have it how when you log onto your username the default settings based upon the programs that are installed are the same every time thus making it very smooth every time you use it. I already have my registry automatically backed up every time I use it. I have a netbook, which is why I'm using xp on it, since otherwise the newer operating systems would suck the battery out of it.
But, how do they do it and my computer is running Windows XP Professional. Thanks for the explanation and taking time to read my post.