A few days ago a story passed by my news aggregator about how under Vista if you are playing audio, your network connection will be affected. I just saw a new post by Robert Love about Those Dang DPCs Clogging the MMCSS which goes in to explain a bit more about this, and compare and contrast the same kernel systems in Linux.
In other words, consuming half of your processor is (surprise!) detrimental to multimedia playback performance. At this point, it becomes clear that the process scheduler folks and the networking folks are bitter enemies and do not converse. Consequently, the obvious solution of fixing the abhorrent networking performance was bypassed for a quick bandaid:[...]