While I'm on the subject of system updates, here's another I want to talk about: Ubuntu Linux, which is what I have on my Dell Mini 9 netbook. At the end of October Ubuntu officially upgraded from 9.4 to 9.10. (Or, according to their whimsical naming scheme, from "Jaunty Jackalope" to "Karmic Koala". I wonder what will happen when they get to Q?)
Though I was warned against trusting the automatic update process from 9.04 to 9.10, it worked just fine for me. All my data, settings, and apps were still there. (I still backed up my data first, though. Only a fool doesn't back up before a major change.)
While the improvements aren't as dramatic as the Blackberry upgrade, there are some nice ones. Probably the biggest one from my point of view is that the faulty driver for the Mini-9's graphics chipset has been fixed. It's not as dramatic an improvement as I was hoping, but it does make video run more smoothly. Flash is still problematic, as it apparently is for all Linux flavors, but it's a bit better than it was.
Firefox 3.5 is now part of the default system. There are a lot of other apps with new versions as well, like Open Office. The login screen is improved, with some language and accessibility options you can set before login. You can now turn off Bluetooth from the menu bar instead of having to open an app and type in the superuser password. File windows have a slightly more compact arrangement, a new icon set, and multi-tabbing capability. On new installations, the much more efficient Ext4 filesystem is used (but not on upgrades, so I didn't get that.)
I've been using it for a week now, and I haven't seen any problems. I'll let you know if any show up.