OSX is not faster than OS9 although but it is also not much slower. I would expect the final release to be faster than OS9. If it isn't the adoption of it will be slowed as many users simply want speed more than anything else.
Depends on what you do.
The new finder for example is much faster than the old, since it's all in one window.
Program launching is slower, possibly because of debugging code still in place.
Classic applications will probably never be faster than in OS 9, since they are in fact still running in OS 9, and OS X added upon that.
So it depends, although I agree overall it's not really faster. But just the ability to run a command prompt weights that up for me.
Things that are slow(er) in OS X - BETA - [and which HAS TO improve]:
- live window resizing [unusable slow].
- live window dragging [PowerWindows is faster, but OX live dragging isn't that slow, but could improve].
- application launching [sucks].
- QuickTime Player [drops frames, if movie is zoomed. perhaps an ATI issue].
- scrolling windows [but hey it isn't that slow at all].
Things that are faster:
I would have liked a more optimized beta. But Apple wanted to show it off at Paris, and so...
Man, I don't know about live window dragging:: do you have enough RAM? what's the problem?
Live window dragging is really really fast on my iMac rev.A/233 (96 MB RAM)..
Application launching used to suck, but since I opened more free disk space, it's much better. It still is slow.
Yeah, scrolling windows is not really bad considering it's live and it's Quartz content most of the time.
It has to do with GFX acceleration issues & VM management (which needs to be optimized a tad more). Also Desktop is too much of a memory hog, and dock, too.. did you check (in 'top') how much that thing spends?
BTW, there is a patch by Apple coming out soon, but this is still pretty unofficial.
However, I am sure it's mostly going to be bugfixes and stability improvements, it's still not time to remove debugging info.