Windows Vista

Windows Vista is a superb operating system. It's vastly more secure, more capable, more stable, and with more new and useful features than any previous version of Windows. And yet... the rumors and myths are more prevelaent than ever. Rarely does a week go by where I don't have to debunk the myths that Windows Vista is 'horrible' and should be 'avoided at all costs.' Just this week, I received an email from a client stating that "...a local computer person told me that Vista may be scrapped, somewhat like the old Windows ME edition - - - and they recommended purchasing the Windows XP PRO rather than Vista. Have you heard any of that - or is it just talk?"

Here is my response:

"Regarding Vista, the truth is that Vista is far and away superior to XP- in many ways including security, functionality, ease of use, and stability. My primary system is Vista and I always recommend Vista over XP, unless you’re stuck with a legacy application or obscure piece of hardware that is not supported by Vista, but those are very rare now. Also, XP is no longer being sold in retail channels by Microsoft, so now you can choose Vista…. or Vista. :-) Not to sound patronizing, but whoever was telling you otherwise is either uninformed or inexperienced."


It's highly frustrating to hear these rumors abound. The facts are that Windows Vista is:

  • Much more secure-Windows Vista has fewer than half the security vulnerabilities of Windows XP. It's also 60% less likely to be infected by spyware or malware than Windows XP SP2. And in early 2008, Windows Vista was shown to have 89% fewer vulnerabilities than MacOS X 10.51, making it the most secure Windows release to date. It also includes powerful features like Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption and Parental Controls as well as User Account Controls which prevents unauthorized programs from accessing the OS.
  • More stable - With Windows Backup and Restore Center you have a powerful backup utility built-in.
  • Has more useful features- such as better integrated search, SuperFetch drive optimization and cache, a more useful Start Menu where you can hit start and the first few letters of a program's name to launch it, a more improved and powerful Windows Media Center for your home entertainment needs, a very powerful video editor called Windows Movie Maker, that comes with Windows- unlike iLife/iMovie that you have to purchase on a Mac. Also included is a powerful Windows Photo Gallery to manage your digital photo collection.
  • Much prettier, thanks to the new Aero interface, which is a beautiful translucent interface brought about by completely revamping the way the Windows graphics system works- no longer using bitmaps for screen draws, as every other version has done, now windows is rendered using true vector graphics, allowing unrivaled clarity, draw speed, and graphics stability.
  • A better gaming platform with DirectX 10- The new graphics and audio standard. At the core of DirectX 10 are its application programming interfaces, or APIs These APIs allow game developers to take full advantage of the power of modern 3D graphics accellerators and surround sound cards. They also control low- level functions, including 2D graphics acceleration; support for input devices such as joysticks, keyboards, and mice; and control of sound mixing and sound output.
  • More likely to run out of the box thanks to better driver support- Windows Vista now has the most complete driver compatibility of any Windows Operating System. All you have to do to experience this is install Windows Vista on a PC, and note how few (if any) manufacturer drivers you have to track down and install compared with XP. True, when Vista first came out, many manufacturers were still playing catch-up and didn't have Vista drivers for their hardware, but this has changed. In fact, XP faced the same issues when it first came out.
People fail to realize that these same arguments and complaints were heard about Windows XP for years after it came out. People complained that the hardware requirements were too steep, that it was slow, insecure, unstable, you name it. Now, history repeats itself with Vista.

That said, I do not recommend that you install Vista on anything short of a dual core system with 1GB of RAM, so don't go upgrading all your XP systems to Vista- that would be a mistake. But certainly for any new systems, make sure you are running Vista, to take advantage of the massive new improvements it brings.

Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, as of June 30, 2007, XP is no longer being sold, so people either need to get used to using a better, more powerful operating system like Windows Vista, or you can move to a less productive operating system like Ubuntu Linux or Apple OS X- they are valid options in their own right, but lack Windows compatibility and power, as evidenced by the still tiny market share of Apple and Linux.

Microsoft is starting an interesting ad campaign focused on correcting the bad (and incorrect) perceptions of Vista under the theme. And it's about time. Microsoft has sat back and let Apple fabricate stories about Vista that are simply not true, but people for some reason believe them. Here is a very interesting article talking about a component of that ad campaign, where Microsoft rounded up people who had bad perceptions of Vista, then showed them a 'new' operating system code named Mojave, to get the users' feedback. 'Wow' they exclaimed, this is great. What they didn't know, is they were using Vista.

Comments

Hi David; I work on the Windows Vista team. I see you have referred to the Mojave experiment in your post. If you are interested in learning more about the Mojave Experiment would love for you to check out www.MojaveExperiment.com which launched today. Let us know your thoughts.

Thanks for your passion for Vista!

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