This is only tangentially related to topics we've discussed in class, but this item from assertTrue discusses the end user impact to splash screens. Basically, the author suggests that the splash screen (i.e. the loading screen, when you start Photoshop, or Office, etc.) just makes things feel slower.
As a programmer, I recognize there's a trade-off here. The proposed solution isn't really workable (show a screenshot that looks like the application, then cache mouse gestures to make it seem like the application is doing something.) However, I'm sure there are other solutions that would work better.
For example, the K Desktop Environment on Linux has a style guide that asks developers to put splash screens inside the program window. That way, the splash screen doesn't block your view of other windows that you could use while the other application is starting.