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