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Why Windows Vista doesn't suck

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#1
2008WindowsVista

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Why Windows Vista isn't bad 

Windows Vista: it's the OS everyone loves to hate. Still today, several years later, I see it being criticized for having high system requirements and being a memory hog. But is it really that bad? I think not. In this article I am going to explain why I believe Windows Vista deserves more respect and really isn't bad, and hopefully convince some of you XP and Windows 7 fans that Vista is a very viable OS, especially by today's standards. So let's begin. 

Windows Vista, when released, introduced a completely different and totally new kernel and driver model than that of its predecessor, Windows XP. Introducing a new kernel caused compatibility issues with legacy applications, and an entire new driver model caused a number of driver compatibility problems. I'll admit, Windows Vista truly wasn't ready when it was released in its RTM version, as it still caused heavy disk I/O which drastically decreased the life of hard drives and degraded performance. There were also issues with OEMs, that hadn't yet released drivers for Vista or released drivers that didn't work well with the new driver model, and OEMs forced Vista onto hardware that barely met the system requirements for Windows Vista. They also stuffed it full of OEM bloatware which caused it to be even slower for users. However, in this article I'm going to explain how those problems were fixed and are now non-existent in Windows Vista.

The Rise of Vista: Service Pack 1 released

In 2008 with the release of Vista SP1, tons of issues were resolved, and speed was greatly improved. Some improvements made in Service Pack 1 were: Faster copy times, heavy disk activity was toned down dramatically, and tons of apps and drivers had finally caught up with Vista, but there were still some issues. Vista, even with SP1, was still lackluster and needed some work, to hopefully get people off Windows XP for good. There was still the slow boot up and shut down time, as well as a few instability issues. But soon, Microsoft was going to fix that in its next Service Pack for Windows Vista.

Vista at its peak: Service Pack 2 released

With the release of Service Pack 2 in April 2009, Vista was finally what I would call ready, and Microsoft had managed to finally advance the OS far ahead of Windows XP. Improvements in Service Pack 2 were: even faster file copy times, boot up time improved dramatically, stability greatly improved, memory (RAM) usage was toned down, UAC was refined to be less annoying (while keeping the OS secure), and support for newer types of hardware was added, including support for blue-ray discs. At this stage, Windows Vista was, in my opinion, a worthy successor to Windows XP, and was almost perfect. However, the hate still raged on in most people's minds.

Why people still hate Windows Vista

Vista is still hated by the majority today, and I believe I know why. Early adopters that tried Vista didn't give it a second chance. They tried it once, either hated it or loved it, and never looked back at it again. So they just hopped back to the trusty old Windows XP and waited for the next version of Windows to arrive, that being Windows 7. Despite service packs improving the OS, people still didn't give Vista another chance, and forever concluded in their minds that it was a failure. I've also had people tell me that they hate Vista because they "heard bad things about it". And a lot of people just jumped on the Vista hating bandwagon without even trying it, which in my opinion, isn't a smart thing to do.

Why Windows Vista deserves more respect

Windows Vista introduced many new technologies that are critical to Windows 7's existence. Some people may not realize this, but Windows Vista was critical to Windows 7's success. Had Windows 7 in its form today been released instead of Vista, Windows 7 would've received criticism for the same reasons as Windows Vista. It also had high system requirements (identical to Windows Vista's in fact) compared with XP, and it retained a similar kernel (only slightly refined from Vista) and an almost identical driver model introduced by Windows Vista, which makes it a complete departure from Windows XP as well. Compatibility issues would've existed, and Windows 7 would've been installed on underpowered hardware, just as Vista was, and users would've complained about slowness, and jumped back to XP, just as they did with Vista; which is why I believe Vista deserves more respect.

Why Windows Vista is much better than Windows XP

Some people might have trouble swallowing this, but Windows Vista truly is a large step up from Windows XP, in many ways. One large criticism of Windows XP was security, and despite Microsoft improving the security by releasing Service Pack 2 for XP in 2004,  Vista really abolished that problem at a much higher level. With a stronger Windows Firewall and User Account Control that was refined over time to be less annoying with updates, Windows Vista is much more secure than Windows XP. 

Windows Vista is also better optimized for modern hardware, and takes better advantage of multi-core processors than Windows XP, and has a full-fledged 64 bit version. XP had a 64 bit version, but it was based on its server counterpart, Windows Server 2003, which caused compatibility issues and was not widely adopted. Windows Vista also has more secure networking, and with Service Pack 1, tests showed Windows Vista outperformed Windows XP in the file copying area, just as Microsoft had claimed to improve with the update. Windows Vista also introduced DirectX 10, which delivered much richer gaming graphics and better performance than DirectX 9.0c which was the last version available for Windows XP. 

Windows Vista also introduced support for USB 3.0, which was much faster and more efficient than USB 2.0 that was available on Windows XP. Although, most USB 3.0 devices will still work—in a technical sense—with Windows XP because they’re backward-compatible. However, they will fall back to USB 2.0 compatibility and transfer data at about one-tenth of the potential speed of USB 3.0.  Also, Windows Vista introduced a much faster, more efficient, and more convenient search. Open any explorer window or open the start menu in Vista, and there's most likely search present there. In Windows XP, all you have out of the box is the classic search from previous versions of Windows. And although it works, it's still not as convenient or as efficient as it is in Windows Vista, because you only have it all in one place, rather than throughout the system like in Windows Vista.

Although it really wasn't necessary, Windows Vista introduced a very elegant desktop composition engine known as Windows Aero, which looked, to me anyways, much more appealing than the Luna interface that was in Windows XP. And it was refined to be less resource intensive with Service Pack 2. 

Windows Vista: a viable choice for many, even today

Windows Vista was truly ahead of its time, and by today's standards, it still pretty much meets everything most people would want from an operating system. It's very similar to Windows 7. It works well on modern hardware, as it's optimized for multi-core processors, and works with most of the latest third party software. And it also supports 64 bit computing very well, just as well as Windows 7 in fact. And much better than Windows XP did. I'm not saying we should all just switch to Windows Vista, but if you're still using Windows XP, upgrading to Vista with Service Pack 2 wouldn't at all be a bad idea if your hardware can handle it.

Conclusion

Well I'll leave you with this, and I hope I helped some of you realize why Windows Vista was really a misunderstood operating system. Today, Windows Vista is much better than it was in its infancy, and is no longer "crap" like people have claimed that it is. As long as you run it on compatible hardware and keep it up to date, it will run just fine. In fact, I use Vista (or server 2008 as a workstation rather, the same as vista pretty much) as my main OS, and it runs just fine. And I don't understand that if someone that likes Windows 7 tried Vista today with Service Pack 2 installed on modern hardware, how they could still hate it- but that's just my take on this. If you know why please explain.

Thanks very much for reading!

-2008WindowsVista

Edited by 2008WindowsVista, 09 August 2014 - 11:14 PM.

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#2
11ryanc

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Very well said.


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#3
2008WindowsVista

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Very well said.

Thanks. Glad you liked it.



#4
jaclaz

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Well Vista was not "misunderstood". :no:

 

It sucked :w00t: (and sucked big :ph34r:) at the time it came out and was senselessly pushed to customers on generally much underpowered hardware.

 

After 2 (two) SP's it became "good enough" :), but that took 3 (three) years (and in the meantime the "average" machine became much more powerful in terms of processor and Ram available), which is - in operating system terms - an eternity.

 

JFYI (about the USB3.0 assumed "superiority"), it makes no sense, there are XP USB 3.0 drivers for *some* hardware/controllers and there are missing Vista drivers for some other controllers, examples:

https://downloadcent...x?DwnldID=19880

http://www.intel.com...b/CS-033072.htm

 

But it is IMHO true :) that nowadays a Vista SP2 is  not much different from 7 (please read as Vista SP3 ;)) and that it can represent a valid OS :yes:

 

jaclaz



#5
11ryanc

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I've been using Vista a few years now, truthfully I can't complain about it. Well right off the back I can tell you Windows Update and UAC are hell, both optional services of course.

It's not a light OS no, and MS pushing something like this to OEMs back in 2007 was just flat out asinine. But as said in this post, Windows 7 would have suffered the same fate as well as it's system requirements are nearly identical. Both truthfully scream 4 gigs or more for best performance, though 7 does a bit better with 2.

No hate towards Windows 7 intended, but I avoid it because:

- Advanced searching tools are complete crap

- It forces Auto Arrange within Explorer windows

- Libraries are forced even on single user accounts, creating 2 directories to have to access just to get to the same media.

- It parks processor cores while in use for AMD FX machines, causing degraded performance. (Hotfix is available)

 

That's of course just personal preference. I believe both are usable OSes, and both a big upgrade from XP.

 

Found myself content with Manjaro/Arch Linux as well, but compatibility has me booted back to Windows within a week :P


Edited by 11ryanc, 10 August 2014 - 11:49 AM.

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#6
Tommy

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If I was forced to use a newer MS operating system, I would also choose Vista. I like the older Windows Media Player 11 and the fact that it's got more personality in it than Windows 7 does as far as colors go. I think Windows Vista would do alright on a 2009 and newer machine. I think some tried to run it on a machine that was just too slow for it.


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#7
2008WindowsVista

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Well Vista was not "misunderstood". :no:

 

It sucked :w00t: (and sucked big :ph34r:) at the time it came out and was senselessly pushed to customers on generally much underpowered hardware.

 

After 2 (two) SP's it became "good enough" :), but that took 3 (three) years (and in the meantime the "average" machine became much more powerful in terms of processor and Ram available), which is - in operating system terms - an eternity.

 

JFYI (about the USB3.0 assumed "superiority"), it makes no sense, there are XP USB 3.0 drivers for *some* hardware/controllers and there are missing Vista drivers for some other controllers, examples:

https://downloadcent...x?DwnldID=19880

http://www.intel.com...b/CS-033072.htm

 

But it is IMHO true :) that nowadays a Vista SP2 is  not much different from 7 (please read as Vista SP3 ;)) and that it can represent a valid OS :yes:

 

jaclaz

I agree that Vista sucked when it came out, as I said in the article it wasn't quite ready yet. Also I agree that the Service Packs came too late, and honestly I believe if MS had waited until OEMs had written proper drivers for it and made sure that it wasn't going to be installed on a 1 Ghz celeron with 512 MB of RAM it would've been "good enough" to start with. However there still would've been compatibility issues, as Vista differed greatly from Windows XP under the hood. Also, about USB 3.0, yes, there are drivers available for XP, but they only make XP recognize USB 3.0 ports for that specific motherboard. Once you try using a device with the USB 3.0 ports, Windows XP will fall back to USB 2.0 compatibility mode, which will cause a bottleneck in speed as far as data transferring goes, or at least that's what I've been told. I may be wrong.

Yep. Vista SP2 is indeed a fine OS, and I think if people that still hate vista gave it a chance they'd like it. I have a friend that said his cousin used to hate Vista, but he let him try it out with SP2 and he said he liked it. He thought 7 was still a little better but thought that Vista SP2 was almost just as good. 

And what I meant by Vista being misunderstood was people still thought that it sucked even though SP2 fixed almost every problem wrong with it, as they didn't give it another chance after trying out the RTM version. 


Edited by 2008WindowsVista, 10 August 2014 - 08:32 PM.


#8
MagicAndre1981

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I was using Vista since Build 5456 and loved it compared to XP which I was running before. I never had any real issue with the RTM it was a gigantic step compared to that ugly XP.


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#9
jaclaz

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 However there still would've been compatibility issues, as Vista differed greatly from Windows XP under the hood. Also, about USB 3.0, yes, there are drivers available for XP, but they only make XP recognize USB 3.0 ports for that specific motherboard. Once you try using a device with the USB 3.0 ports, Windows XP will fall back to USB 2.0 compatibility mode, which will cause a bottleneck in speed as far as data transferring goes, or at least that's what I've been told. I may be wrong.

 

Yes, possibly you have been misinformed.

 

Or you have fallen victim of one of the zillion senseless FUD spreading articles by MS shills :ph34r:, you know, like ;):

http://www.pcworld.c...w-yes-now-.html

 

On supported hardware (i.e. where a proper XP driver is available), a USB 3.0 device connected to a USB 3.0 port, with the proper USB 3.0 driver properly installed will transfer data at USB 3.0 speed.

 

But however there is some truth in the XP being actually slower in benchmarks than Windows 7 (which does not automatically mean that Vista will behave exactly like the latter) as actual results may  vary greatly on specific hardware (and "quality" of drivers) and may be affected by differences in other OS subsystems/caches and what not, see:

http://www.passmark....k_benchmark.htm

 

jaclaz



#10
vinifera

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except s***ty performance even under sp2

I simply hated it coz of its clunky file manager and whole system wide ui

 

7 got better less cluttered FM, yet again system wide ui still sucks, but I guess with M$ you can't get it all

finally 7 SP1 runs better to me than vista SP2, so why downgrade  -_-

 

in fact if XP had option for scaling of folders/image thumbs to bigger

and 7 taskbar (tho viglance somehow helps but it aint it), i'd switch back to XP even today


Edited by vinifera, 11 August 2014 - 05:26 AM.

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#11
Ponch

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Vista doesn't deserve such an article today. Saying that if Vista was called "7" people would have hated 7, (which is basically what you say in a whole paragraph), well... of course.

Because Vista came full of problem then solved them doesn't make it good, Peope expect a new OS to fix problems of the previous OS, not problems it has introduced itself.

Today, Vista is not "bad" nor is it a "viable choice" (?) on any hardware. It is just irrelevant. Don't get emotional.



#12
2008WindowsVista

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Vista doesn't deserve such an article today. Saying that if Vista was called "7" people would have hated 7, (which is basically what you say in a whole paragraph), well... of course.
Because Vista came full of problem then solved them doesn't make it good, Peope expect a new OS to fix problems of the previous OS, not problems it has introduced itself.
Today, Vista is not "bad" nor is it a "viable choice" (?) on any hardware. It is just irrelevant. Don't get emotional.

You misunderstood what I said.
I said if Windows 7 "in its form TODAY" had been released instead of Vista, it would've suffered the same fate, because it's a complete departure from Windows XP, just like Vista, as compatibility issues would've existed because of the new kernel.
You know, I love how people think 7 "fixed" everything, when all they did was tweak the interface and remove some unecessary features from vista (i.e. Dream scene and sidebar) so they could claim that it uses less RAM.
7 still has the same kernel and driver model as Vista.
How is it not a viable choice? Vista supports modern hardware, and I use it on my custom built PC. And it runs great.
Well, can't please everyone I guess. Vista had to set the standards before 7 could successfully uphold them.
Vista may be irrelevant for you, but it's still going strong for me. And yes, there's a whole community that still uses vista.
Emotional? Who here is emotional?

Edited by 2008WindowsVista, 11 August 2014 - 10:14 AM.


#13
2008WindowsVista

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except s***ty performance even under sp2
I simply hated it coz of its clunky file manager and whole system wide ui
 
7 got better less cluttered FM, yet again system wide ui still sucks, but I guess with M$ you can't get it all
finally 7 SP1 runs better to me than vista SP2, so why downgrade  -_-
 
in fact if XP had option for scaling of folders/image thumbs to bigger
and 7 taskbar (tho viglance somehow helps but it aint it), i'd switch back to XP even today

That's your opinion, and I respect it.
However I use server 2008 and it seems to run much faster than Vista.. I wonder why? It even runs faster than Windows 7 for me, but the UI is the same as vista so you probably wouldn't like it.

#14
11ryanc

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I've yet to understand where all this negativity towards Vista comes from. Yes I understand how horrible it must have been in it's early release, in fact I've been there before. Ended up back on XP at the time (this was in 2008). Yet here I am perfectly content with it today. This probably the third Vista machine I've owned now and I have not yet found any major complications.

As if every complaint about it is either outdated, or just a flat out myth. I've seen people today, in 2014 complain about how Vista takes up "half" their hard drives. Well yes it can easily fill up a 30 gig thumb drive, and so can Windows 7 along with any other semi modern OS, yes even Linux in some cases. Think KDE is light? Think again. I would love to see Vista cluster any modern HDD, mainly because it's simply not possible. The typical size hard drive for a personal computer usually isn't even under 200 GB, in most cases probably higher. And yes I know what your getting at next, fragmentation. Well if my cheap 180 gig drive from an HP Compaq 6500 can run stable for nearly a year I've used it with little to no fragmentaion, well just how bad could it possible be? UAC is complete crap and everybody knows that, disable and move on with your life. Even though toned down in Windows 7, it's still a nuisance and often breaks. Aside from that Windows 7 is WORST with administrative persomissions for power users. Windows 7 enforces stricter policies on taking control over registry items etc.
The shell of the OS, bulky? Umm ok. I don't see how as it's close to both XP and 7, but ok. I find giant taskbar buttons and forced Explorer Auto Arrange pretty bulky ;)
Vista is no end all be all of OSes, and I'm not trying to stress that it is. But in short it still is a viable, practical system despite it's biased reputation.


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#15
Ponch

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I've yet to understand where all this negativity towards Vista comes from.

From Vista itself! People hated it. Were they all wrong ? By the time they got used to it, 7 came out (which as you all say is just the same as Vista, just better), Seven had an other advantage; it came out on hardware that was twice as powerfull, and that's why people did not hate it. Saying that Vista is a viable choice for many today is like saying XP SP2 is a viable choice. I don't hate Vista, I don't hate SP2, it simply wouldn't come to my mind to use them unless it was already installed on a machine, but that would not be "a choice". Cheers.



#16
11ryanc

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I've yet to understand where all this negativity towards Vista comes from.

From Vista itself! People hated it. Were they all wrong ? By the time they got used to it, 7 came out (which as you all say is just the same as Vista, just better), Seven had an other advantage; it came out on hardware that was twice as powerfull, and that's why people did not hate it. Saying that Vista is a viable choice for many today is like saying XP SP2 is a viable choice. I don't hate Vista, I don't hate SP2, it simply wouldn't come to my mind to use them unless it was already installed on a machine, but that would not be "a choice". Cheers.

 

Well that's your opinion and I respect that. But as a whole it's safe to say it is a usable OS. Both have positive and negative sides to them. I still prefer Vista for various reasons.

Yes your absolutely right there, by the time Windows 7 was out it was pre-installed on machines double the specs of that in 2007. Better hardware, identical OS, everybody falls in love with it.


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#17
2008WindowsVista

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I've yet to understand where all this negativity towards Vista comes from.

From Vista itself! People hated it. Were they all wrong ? By the time they got used to it, 7 came out (which as you all say is just the same as Vista, just better), Seven had an other advantage; it came out on hardware that was twice as powerfull, and that's why people did not hate it. Saying that Vista is a viable choice for many today is like saying XP SP2 is a viable choice. I don't hate Vista, I don't hate SP2, it simply wouldn't come to my mind to use them unless it was already installed on a machine, but that would not be "a choice". Cheers.

 

"Saying that Vista is a viable choice is like saying XP SP2 is a viable choice"

Not at all.

Windows XP SP2 (x86) has been unsupported since July 2010. The 64 bit version has poor 64 bit support (lots of 64 bit apps don't work on it, examples are Waterfox, Palemoon, and iTunes).  And has been unsupported since April 2014, not to mention that it's poorly optimized for modern hardware and is stuck on DirectX 9.0c which means any modern game that requires DX10 or later (and most do nowadays) won't work on it. It has also been known to have tons of driver issues.

Vista SP2 on the other hand is supported until 2017 and most 64 bit apps support it (only one i can think of that recently dropped support is photoshop CC). And it works well with modern hardware and bears close resemblance to Windows 7 in the way it handles core scheduling and RAM usage, and nowadays driver support (if you have AMD or Nvidia graphics or amd chipset, intel recently dropped support for vista) is fine.

Vista SP2 with a platform update has DirectX 11 and most games will work on it. 

Like I said, I never said we should all switch to Windows Vista. But if you have an old machine lying around that has decent specs and still runs XP, Vista is a "viable" upgrade option as long as it's still supported.

However you are completely correct about 7 being installed on better hardware than vista was installed on. Which contributes to it being so highly praised over Vista.


Edited by 2008WindowsVista, 11 August 2014 - 09:54 PM.


#18
jaclaz

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But if you have an old machine lying around that has decent specs and still runs XP, Vista is a "viable" upgrade option as long as it's still supported.

 

... and you have also a Vista license "lying around", and you have not a 7 license "lying around" ... :whistle:

 

jaclaz



#19
11ryanc

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But if you have an old machine lying around that has decent specs and still runs XP, Vista is a "viable" upgrade option as long as it's still supported.

 

... and you have also a Vista license "lying around", and you have not a 7 license "lying around" ... :whistle:

 

jaclaz

 

If the machine that's old wouldn't Linux make a viable choice? ;) Just say'n


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#20
jaclaz

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If the machine that's old wouldn't Linux make a viable choice? ;) Just say'n

 

Sure :), possibly Ubuntu ;)

 

:whistle:

 

jaclaz



#21
11ryanc

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If the machine that's old wouldn't Linux make a viable choice? ;) Just say'n

 

Sure :), possibly Ubuntu ;)

 

:whistle:

 

jaclaz

 

Unity, yuck.. XFCE and KDE all the way ;)


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#22
Kelsenellenelvian

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On archaic systems (I mean some real P.O.S. ones) Win7 has always ended up being a better performer for me than vista.

 

I see lots of arguing here that you can Extremely easily change the word Vista for Seven and still be saying the same thing.

 

If I had a choice (Which I do) I would always go from Xp then Seven. Just for the fact that the obtainable, hardware, drivers, games and progs for seven are so much more obtainable than Vista.

 

Unless you have a license for vista honestly it shouldn't even be considered. Seven is in essence what service pack 2 was for xp just for vista.



#23
jaclaz

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Which brings us back to the good ol' way of numbering OS versions with Major.Minor :whistle:

http://en.wikipedia....ows_NT#Releases

 

jaclaz



#24
JorgeA

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I went straight from Windows 98 to Vista, never had much experience with XP. I found Vista to be (while imperfect) vastly more reliable (stable) than 98, and incomparably more appealing visually than anything before it (and especially the Fisher-Price XP and its chiclet window buttons).

 

Visuals are important to me. To my mind, Win7 is a less beautiful version of Vista. One of the first things I do when setting up a 7 system is to get rid of those enormous, gaudy taskbar icons and switch to informative text-based buttons. I've even installed a Vista theme (with the IMHO gorgeous 3D taskbar) on one system and am very happy with it.

 

--JorgeA


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#25
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I went from Windows XP (retail upgrade) to Windows Vista (OEM) and then Windows Vista to Windows 2000 when my laptop died and then back to Windows Vista (retail).

 

The reason is that I admit that I used the old computer for more than 11 to 13 years, I found that it is just simply too slow and no longer useful to remain on Windows 2000 (which has been unsupported for more than four years). By using Windows Vista on this new computer for a couple of years, I will be able to still use software that is still designed to run on the aging OS. Windows Vista will remain supported until April 2017, btw.

 

I'm very happy with the OS that I'm using right now. :)


AVA Direct FX AM3+ specs: Zalman ZM Z9-U3 Black Mid-Tower case / ASUS M5A97 R2.0 / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz quad-core processor / Fractal Design Integra R2 500W PSU/ Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler / Western Digital BLACK SERIES 1 TB (WD1003FZEX) SATA III 7200 RPM / Lite-On iHas124 Black 24x DVD-RW / 8 GB Crucual (2 x 4GB) / StarTech SATA-to-CompactFlash Adapter (35BAYCF2SAT) / Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM / EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 520 MHz 1 GB GDDR3 / Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 x64






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Microsoft, Windows 7

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