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Microsoft's internal war: Windows 7 vs. Windows Vista

Jul 09, 2010 by DanM

When two important products of the same brand enter in competition with one another, the outcome, no matter the result, for sure will be satisfactory for the "mother company". In our case, the domestic war between Windows Vista and Windows 7 has lead to lots and lots of free advertising for Microsoft…and the debates keep on going.

…and then there was Vista

Launched as an innovative OS in 2007, Windows Vista should've been the OS that would make Windows users quit Windows XP. But this OS turned out to be hungrier for resources than previous Windows versions. At that time some users labeled Windows Vista as a complete piece of junk, while for others, Windows Vista was just a necessary evil when they wanted to upgrade their OS or buy a new laptop.

I have to admit that at the beginning I was pretty amazed when I saw Windows Vista. With a new shiny interface, very innovative menus, a new hardware detection system (which is very important for basic users), the Aero theme, gadgets, a more friendly approach with multi-core processors, Windows Vista almost tempted me to upgrade from XP SP3.

But, just like in real life, beauty has a price, and so does Windows Vista's new features. Even though the requirements to install Vista are not extravagant, it will still need some extra power.

When it comes to games, Vista's requirements are double than the ones needed in Windows XP. The Aero look also puts a bit of pressure on the resources of a basic PC.

I had the chance to see Windows Vista installed on the following PC configuration: AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core 2.09 Ghz, 4 GB RAM and Nvidia 8600 and I didn't like what I saw. I think that if I would have installed Windows Vista on my PC (Intel Dual Core 1.8 GHz, 2 GB Ram and Nvidia 8500), it would most probably have been a waste of time, not to mention money.

I have a lot of friends who bought laptops that came with Vista, and they too admitted that the OS was moving and loading very slow. They inevitably switched back to XP. Maybe Windows Vista is a good piece of OS and brings noticeable improvements, but for a basic user it counts the load times and the way the PC is performing while using the OS, and at this Vista scored the lowest points. 

For those who stuck with Windows XP (I was one of those guys), the breath of fresh air came on October 22, 2009, when Microsoft official launched Windows 7. 

Here comes Windows 7 in shiny armor

Said to be more "user-centric" than Vista, 7 was presented as an OS which focuses on performance rather than bring in a multitude of features. It seems that this approach was a winning one for Microsoft, 7 succeeding to "become the highest-grossing pre-order in Amazon's history" and to sell more than 100 million copies (in 6 months), surpassing even the XP sales.

As I see it, Windows 7 is a much easier to use Windows XP with an interface borrowed from Windows Vista, and more focused features. So, here come the technicalities and some personal observations:

  • If for running Windows Vista you need a strong PC, Windows 7 runs on all basic computers configurations, even if your system hardware isn't particularly fast
  • I've installed Windows 7 on my PC (Intel Dual Core 1.8 GHz, 2 GB Ram and Nvidia 8500) and the OS is performing very well: good loading times, good performances while playing games, very user-friendly when updating the OS (the hardware drivers are updated automatically and regularly, which is great for basic users) and good resources management
  • The user interface is very user-friendly and easy to use
  • The new design for the taskbar looks very nice
  • Shortcuts can be added easier to the taskbar by using the "Pin" feature
  • The taskbar now displays most commonly used applications
  • New shortcuts allows to maximize a window by dragging it to the top of the screen, minimize it by dragging it to the bottom, maximize to half your screen by dragging it to either edge, or (our favorite) minimizing all other windows by shaking the one you want to focus on
  • Improvements to the combination of key s"ALT+TAB" allow you to immediately find lost windows and you can also use the "Windows" key with the numbers 1 to 0 to launch the first ten shortcuts on your Taskbar. In case those apps are already opened, you can cycle through multiple windows by pressing the app's keyboard shortcut again
  • UI speed is better than in Windows Vista, apps seem to load faster, while dialog boxes appear and disappear faster. In general, I've found myself spending less time waiting for the PC than I did on XP, Vista
  • The Windows 7 install wizard is very easy to use and feels like you already are using a small Windows OS. You really don't have to be a computer genius to install Windows 7

Conclusion

If you decide to switch from XP or Vista to Windows 7, you can't help but notice that Windows 7 offers major improvements when it comes to usability, security, and support for new technologies. If to all these we add fresh features and kernel improvements, then Windows 7 becomes the OS which is going to "make your PC simpler". In other words, Windows 7 is what Windows Vista should have been.


Tags: Business  Future  Microsoft 


Comments


Pandora commented on 5/3/2011 3:31:46 AM

This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I have read. Thanks for posting this informative article.
     

Dan commented on 5/3/2011 6:55:55 AM

Thank you for your nice words. Hope you stop by again!
     

Offshoring Service commented on 5/10/2011 5:00:13 PM

I was about to buy windows vista before but my brother told me that my computer specs did not meet its requirements and I would cost me new computer if I insists on buying it. But then when windows 7 was released I tried to switch OS by brother again told me that windows 7 is the friendly version of vista in terms of computer specs. :)
     

Dan commented on 6/7/2011 1:40:48 PM

At this point all you have to do is to wait for Windows 8 which will be released next year, in 2012 :)
     

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