I love to jump to conclusions about a forthcoming update to HTC's Hero phone, but the evidence does seem to suggest that the universal moaning surrounding the device "lagging" has driven HTC to pull their finger out and do something about it.
I have to say, as a HTC Hero user, I'm not finding this lag a problem, just an annoyance. An update to resolve this would in fact have a massive impact in those choosing to compare the HTC Hero with the iPhone, where their only difference is the responsiveness differences, and that's down to the way the two devices operate. HTC Hero can run many apps at the same time (multi-tasking) and iPhone cannot except a few core apps of its own. If the Hero can run as smoothly as the iPhone, then that will be a massive one-up on the much more expensive counterpart.
This video by Paul from Modaco shows an early release of the ROM, and although short, shows a pretty much lag-less HTC Hero.
I'm staying sceptic at the moment as there is a little lag showing up on the device at around 1:22 where the widget loading gives a VERY SLIGHT jigger, however reports from others that have managed to get their hands on the pre-release ROM such as Evan Selleck of the HTC Hero Facebook group, seem convinced that the update is a winner.
My scepticism in these reports is that the most noticeable lag only comes up after extended period of use, and I've dealt with most of mine through the experiments I've been running. These people have just reset their phones, which always seems MUCH faster after doing so and for a few days. Time will tell exactly how much this update improves the performance, and I'm sure HTC will have been on the case, and will continue to be as long as people have a need to report the problem.
When is this update expected? Rumours say mid-September, which would be about the right time-scale considering the timing of these leaks put out for people to test and report on.