Why Windows Vista (SP1+) is Better Than Windows 7

You’ve been brainwashed. Brainwashed by clever marketing and the classic underpromise-and-overdeliver strategy employed by Microsoft to fix the mistakes they made with Vista.

I know, I know, everyone told you Vista was bad. You maybe even used Vista pre-SP1, on a “Vista Capable” machine way back when it launched and concluded that it was horrible. Or, maybe you heard all the bad press and skipped on it altogether? Stuck with XP, then switched straight to 7. Is that what you did?

Well, regardless, I am convinced that Vista is the superior operating system. So vastly superior, that I am going out of my way to ensure that it replaces all the systems that I have been tricked into installing Windows 7 on. At work, at home, and for my clients. I am going to make an argument in this article as to why I believe that Vista remains superior.

I challenge someone to list 7 reasons why Windows 7 is better than Windows Vista. Actual reasons. “Features” like Aero Snap, Jump Lists, and the new taskbar do not necessitate an entirely new operating system, so they don’t really count. Those could easily be implemented into Vista, if it were not abandoned in the wake of Windows 7 by the new CEO, Steve Ballmer. So, we begin with a mini history lesson:

Windows Vista was a major disaster. Microsoft suffered from heavily over promising on features (remember WinFS?) and failing to live up to their own hype; and they really hyped it up. Naturally, normal people don’t care or know when a new Microsoft operating system is launched, but the tech community does. So, to over-promise and under deliver, and miss your self-imposed deadlines again and again, the disappointment becomes palpable.

At the time, 64-bit processors were becoming more ubiquitous, and Windows XP 64-bit Edition had a plethora of issues with drivers and was not widely adopted — so they were under immense pressure to release the OS.

Vista Beta 2 came out in 2006, and it was an absolute disaster. If you looked at it funny, or moved the mouse too quickly, it would crash. It was completely unusable, but Microsoft insisted that it was intentional, and that they were planning to fix all of the bugs at once, at the end, prior to RTM. They did, although there was still the issues of heavy disk I/O in the final RTM as well as a large number of driver issues in the final versions.

Much of the problems with Vista stemmed from an overzealous Search Indexer, incomplete drivers from third party manufacturers, UAC, and underpowered systems. RAM was still moderately expensive at the time, and Vista did not work very well with only 1GB, which was common on low-end systems.

After Beta 2, Microsoft shipped release candidate versions and finally the RTM. They continued to fix all of the issues rapidly, releasing patch after patch. All the while, Vista was hammered in the press, blogs and forums repeatedly for problems stemming from the aforementioned.

This negative press was not without merit. Vista was truly very slow, and despite the improvements, they felt minor in the face of a computer that was so severely hampered. Especially when the computer was branded as: Vista Capable.

Finally, with Vista Service Pack 1 (2/2008), the operating system became relatively stable, and performance was drastically improved. However, plagued by the hasty launch, not enough enticing features over XP, and an insipid ad campaign (“the wow starts now“), there were very few who gave it a second review.

Microsoft later attempted to “prove” that they had fixed Vista with the Mojave Experiment, in which they secretly video taped people who had heard that Vista was bad, and had them interact with a supposed “new” operating system codenamed “Mojave.” Evidently, over 90% of the participants thought it was great and an improvement over XP and/or Vista, and expressed shock/surprise when informed that they were actually using regular ‘ol Windows Vista. Of course, bias is to be expected.

After the release of Service Pack 2 (4/2008) and subsequent updates, performance continued to improve and was on par, or superior to that of Windows 7. None of this ever made it to the press because Windows 7 was under-hyped, under-promised and over-delivered by releasing early, since Microsoft learned their lessons with Vista. Moreover, Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ad-campaign for 7 was well executed.

So, what’s wrong with Windows 7? Why have I become so negative about it? Here’s 7 reasons why I think Windows 7 is a downgrade from Windows Vista (asterisks denote a subjective comment):

1. Windows 7 removes features

What’s missing? Well, where’d the QuickLaunch go? Oh, right, it got consumed into the massive start menu. Where’d the Show Desktop icon go? Moved, to the right hand side (this drives a lot of people batty, believe it or not). Windows Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, DreamScene, just to name a few, no longer come with the OS, they have to be downloaded manually with “Windows Live Essentials” (except for DreamScene, which is totally gone…why?!) — this is not an improvement by any means, just gives the illusion of “less bloat.” But don’t worry, you can put the QuickLaunch and Show Desktop button back — it’s just not exactly all that easy to do.

2. All system tray icons are hidden by default

Is this a problem? I think it is. Microsoft’s attempt to unclutter the taskbar by hiding all third party systemtray icons is a nuisance. How many times have you had to try to explain to someone to “click the little arrow to the left” over the phone to a client, family member, or friend? Hiding all systemtray icons does little in the way of solving the “problem” of the systemtray. As a result, I often find myself just showing all icons on the systems I administer and repair.

3. Libraries

After much annoyance, I finally get libraries. I understand why they exist. I even think it’s a semi-cool idea … but it doesn’t work. Try and copy the path of a file you’re looking at within a Windows 7 Library into another Explorer dialog box. Go ahead. I’ll wait. What’s that? You can’t?

Well that’s aggravating because everytime you click a shortcut like Music on your start menu, it takes you to the music Library, even if you just have one Music folder! Can you replace the shortcut on the Start menu to go directly to your Music folder? No. You cannot. I won’t add a separate section, but HomeGroups annoy me in a similar fashion. I’m sure they’re great for some people — but in general, I just get a lot of “what’s homegroup?!” from people trying to do very basic filesharing across their networks.

4. Windows Media Player 12

Have you used Windows Media Player 11? It’s pretty simple to use. Yes, the defaults are still annoying, but the interface is vastly superior. Try it yourself. Use WMP 11 and then switch over to v.12 which comes with 7 and see which makes more sense to you. The illogical layout of the software is mind boggling to me. This isn’t exactly a Windows 7 issue per se, but since Microsoft made a specific decision to remove WMP 11, I find it worth mentioning. Also, it looks like you can fix it here.

5. Search

This, for me, is the real trouble with Windows 7. In Windows XP, you can download the optional search indexer from Windows Update. Its heyday was really with the search add-on version 2.0, which was an extremely precise search indexer that you could control with a decent amount of precision. In Vista, Microsoft took it to the next level by deeply integrating the indexer and the UI throughout the operating system. Vista’s search solution, once the Indexer was optimized with SP1+, is very powerful and incredibly easy to fine tune. Observe the control you can exert over your search in Vista:

Now, let’s juxtapose this with Windows 7’s search “improvements”:

So, here is what I can’t do with Windows 7’s search:

Force a search in a non-indexed, or partially indexed location. So, let’s say you just added a folder and want to do a quick search in Windows 7… you can’t, because the indexer hasn’t caught up, and you cannot force the indexer to start on command. So you’re screwed. This is a constant problem that I run into all the damn time.

– Change the search path without first performing a search, and then scrolling to the very bottom of the search results. Who was the genius who designed this?

– Perform complex filters quickly. In 7, I have to use that awkward drop-down menu to manually select each filter, and then scroll back to the left to change my search parameters. This is incredibly cumbersome and unintuitive. Totally fails the grandma test. In Vista, if I want to find a song, I just type one word of the song and then click the “Music” button and bam — it appears immediately.

– Inconsistent search-related glitches (see also Bugs, #6, below) which for whatever reason cause known search results not to materialize. Video evidence of this that I documented is here, on a fully patched, legally licensed, MSDN version of Windows 7 Ultimate. I’m not the only one complaining, either. This is a real problem that simply didn’t exist before 7.

– Oh, and see how the text becomes blue in the search box once I type the word “in”? Well that’s because Windows 7 thinks that I am using a search “operator,” and thus it is not returning any results. If I type the exact same search query into Vista’s search box, it would return results. In order for me to make 7 search for the word “in” I have to put it in quotes in order to “tell” 7 to search it, and not to use it as an operator. Do you think your clients are going to figure that out? I doubt it.

6. Bugs that never get fixed

Microsoft has the capability to fix problems. They proved that with Vista. In my years with Vista, I observed Microsoft fix the operating system relatively quickly. Each problem slowly disappeared, and by the time SP2 hit, nearly everything that was a concern vanished. Yet somehow, that isn’t happening with Windows 7. My biggest #1 problem with Windows 7 is the Explorer refreshing bug.

Have a look at that link. You’ll find that this is a bug that has persisted throughout every single version of Windows 7, and despite innumerable complaints, it isn’t fixed. Windows 7 launched in 2009, and it is now 2012 — it remains unfixed, and inconsistent. I have lost track of how many times I have had to explain to clients that the reason why the file that they saved to the desktop/folder isn’t appearing is because it sometimes won’t refresh automatically and that they have to right click and hit refresh or press F5. Of course, F5 won’t work on Microsoft keyboards because you have to first press F-Lock to enable standard keyboard behavior. This is aggravating, and Microsoft appears unable or unwilling to fix bugs of this magnitude, despite their brilliant engineers on staff.

Other bugs are equally frustrating. For example, after installing a completely legal MSDN version of Windows 7 Ultimate, with keys from Microsoft, activated and operating for a few months, Microsoft released an optional hotfix to determine if your specific instance of Windows had been illegally activated. Since mine were not, I installed the patch on a couple systems that I had running at the time. After restarting, they were flagged as counterfeit copies. After calling, Microsoft double checked the keys and could not determine why they were being flagged as counterfeit. So, I had to manually remove the hotfix to get my legal copies of Windows 7 working normally again. Moreover, I then had to set all the computers to not automatically download updates because with Windows 7, you are forced to install downloaded updates when shutting down. You cannot bypass it as you could in Vista. This “problem” resulted in my having to unplug the systems that had downloaded the updates so that they wouldn’t install the broken hotfix.

There are of course many more, but those two are what come to mind.

7. Taskbar & Explorer changes

The Windows 7 taskbar is subjective. Some people like it just fine, and some detest it. I fall in the middle. I find the auto-grouping to look nice, but irritating as it slows me down. I find the missing quicklaunch, and the auto-hidden systemtray icons problematic, but we’ve already discussed that.

The “Lock” button on the start menu is missing in 7. It is now located under the “>” arrow to the right of Shut down. There’s no particular reason for this change that I can see. The “change view” button is unintuitively* located on the right side of the Explorer window, rather than on the left as in Vista. No reason I can think of as to why this was changed, and there’s no ability to customize it.

The Windows Calendar is gone from Windows 7. It came with Vista, but they removed it — but you can go out of your way and download it with Windows Live Essentials.

AeroShake. Arguably, AeroPeek and AeroSnap are useful, but AeroShake simply hides all background windows when you “shake” a foreground window. This often happens to me by mistake, and I find it irritating. It can be disabled, but it’s too technical for your average user. Moreover, why are these features OS specific? They could easily be appended to Vista, but Microsoft chooses to make them 7-only, as if they are a reason to “upgrade” your operating system (kinda like Siri on the 4S).

More importantly, sortable column headings only appear in Details view, now. There is no way to change this back.

The bottom line is: where’s the upgrade? All I am seeing here are minor changes, missing features, screwed up search, bugs that never get fixed, and other annoyances. Why on earth is this operating system still being priased so much over Vista?

I’d like to see 7 reasons why Windows 7 is an improvement over Vista (SP2).

Comments (118)

  1. fizike1

    I installed a 32 bit version of Windows Vista Basic and boy is it up and running from the first millisecond it starts…This caused me to do a google search for Vista and 7 and I came to this article…Thank You so much for giving information of the background of these operating systems…Windows 7 (64 bit or 32 bit), in my opinion, is still safer to use than Vista-safe in security and performance…where Vista is superior in the sense that it seems to directly-no compromisingly do whatever you ask it to do…I highly recommend Vista on a capable machine and person ;) while 7 can is widely appealing and easier to adopt for everyone.

    Thanks again for the article.

  2. Michael King

    “I highly recommend Vista on a capable machine and person…”

    I wish I’d said that :) Well put, and thx for providing me with my new and future response to one of the sheeple when they inevitably say Vista is baaaaaaaaa-d…;)

  3. Ryan — Yes, I am quite sure I have used a computer before. Are you sure you read my article? Please re-read the section on Search and try to give me a reason for why you think Search has improved. I wrote the article to refute exactly what you’ve said. Please provide citations.

    fizike1 – You are very welcome.

    Michael King – You are also very welcome. It’s nice to be able to provide a citation, and I am pleased to provide them.

  4. Also — with respect to Classic Shell. The “Metro UI” is not just a minor inconvenience, it is a catastrophe. The *average* computer user will never install Classic Shell, they will suffer with Metro/Explorer weirdness and wonder why computing has gotten so much worse. See my latest article for more information.

  5. Dan

    I think Ryan must be high or just not very bright. Vista search blows 7 away. Vista is a much smaller foot print and very fast. As far as ssd, it’s advised to always use the manufacturers garbage collection utility as the OS (7 or8) trim can’t always be trusted in comparison to what the manufacturer program can do. I now use 7 on one partition more than Vista only for the reason that the damn computer wakes from sleep much faster than Vista, that always was a bug in Vista. Win 8 is another whole story, a nightmare, it’s a failure. It’s not worth my time to explain it, it will be gone soon!!!

  6. casey

    Hi I completely agree with all your points and because I read this i have installed vista ultimate and 7 ultimate on the same computer.

    windows vista ultimate experience

    I found that vista was easier to use and was faster than windows 7 (once I put service pack one and then two on it) and the design was better and sleeker than when I had windows 7 installed I also love the task bar and the quick launch and im glad that they got rid of the “my” in front of every thing and it runs so much smoother than win 7 did.

    windows 7 ultimate experience

    When i ran windows 7 on my computer it was bad it lagged and crashed ( 3 times when trying to install 2 when on the internet)and windows aero got 1.1 int the index thing it took so long to boot and was slow hate the new task bar and the file search they added the “my” thing back and put the show desktop icon in the right corner and the huge task bar was anoying and the quick launch is gone :( the icons are messed up and what the heck is libarys and why did the change the shut off button

    Over all I think im staying with vista untill windows 9 comes out or something beacuse windows 7-8 are just plain bad (not to be mean to 7 lovers)

    my computer specs

    dell dimension 3000
    intel pentium 4 3.00 GHz
    2 gigs of ram
    GeForce 8400 GS
    DirectX 10.1

  7. This has been an incredibly interesting read …. and as others expressed, just what I was looking for by way of a Google search. Thanks so much for your post Samuel and to all the comments. It saved me from upgrading my HP DV9680 to Windows 7. I’ll stick with Vista Home Premium and see how it works, now that the gpu has been repaired on the motherboard.

    I gotta admit that, I too, had a bad impression about Vista … for the same reasons as others posted about the early release, low power and memory problems. But the more I use it, the more I like it! I’m only running a 1gb of memory, with more on order. Even with that, Vista seems to perform pretty well on this AMD duo core 1.9GHz laptop.

    I haven’t tried this yet because of memory constraints, but I’m hoping the “virtual machine” aspect for running Windows XP will work out, I’ll know very soon now.

    Wish you all the best in staying with Vista as long as you can. By the way, I still have one “old” machine running Windows 98 so I can play “Mist”! LOL

  8. Mike

    You want 7 reasons? I’ll do my best to limit my response to 7.

    1. UI Customization – Slideshow backgrounds, improved start menu customization (can’t add Downloads to Vista start menu, why? I download things), downloadable visual themes are nice too. I just wish they added more screensavers.
    2. Taskbar/System Tray – Network status icon in Vista is pathetic. The little “globe” that appears whenever it wants to is so nondescript. 7 gives you wireless connection strength at a glance, and a red X is easy to understand, even for the most uneducated of end users. Hiding icons is nothing new. XP did the same thing, and I have to tell customers/clients to “click the little arrow” all the time, no matter what. It reduces clutter, and Windows 7 makes it easier to change the settings on which notifications appear in the tray. Action Center is a nice added feature, too.
    3. Quick launch? Nobody uses that anymore. For one, unless you expand it to take over half of the taskbar, it hides most of your programs, and adds an extra step to open them. It was replaced, logically, by the Pin Program to Start Menu feature that works way better. I often install Rocketdock anyway, which mimics the one feature of Mac OS that I love, to dock application shortcuts.
    4. Windows Media Player . . . Sucks and always has. VLC FTW. That’s a wash.
    5. When Vista gets corrupted, it is GONE. No fix, just backup and reinstall. Windows Update nickels and dimes you all the way through the process, and they bomb and fail way more than Windows 7 updates. In-place Upgrade works sometimes, after uninstalling PowerShell for THE MILLIONTH GODDAMN TIME!!!!! but when you encounter a Vista System that is pre-SP1, and Windows Update isn’t working, it takes less time to back up user data, reinstall from an SP2 disc, and restore everything than it does to repair the system as-is. Windows 7 is repairable 90% of the time. You can manually install an update or two, restore and clean up the system without blowing it all away and starting over. That’s the main improvement, the ability for the OS to repair itself. Vista was unfinished, and by the time it was finished, it was too late.
    6. User Account Control – You can disable it in Vista, but then you have Security Center with the pissy little red shield all the time, unless you mod the registry or turn off notifications altogether, which is not a good thing. Win7 lets you disable UAC, turn off notifications, only for that portion, and still receive messages about your antivirus, updates, and driver/program issues. Win7 also adds the option to ‘not dim the desktop’ for UAC notifications, which I prefer as a happy medium.
    7. Vista is due to reach end of support in 2016/2017. It’s already a 7-year-old OS, and will go bye-bye soon enough. It took them 2-3 years to get it right, so it really only had a 2-year useful life cycle before Win7 took over. That’s pathetic in itself.

    Does anybody else notice that Vista seems to destroy hardware, too? I get more Vista machines with bad hard drives than any other OS. It just seems to churn when starting up, shutting down, and checking for updates. It doesn’t end processes when you tell it to, and locks up frequently. Vista was a half-assed, rushed attempt at a new OS, and that’s exactly what it remains.

  9. Bob

    As long as you don’t run shady executibles , Vista can be used without an antivirus program. It really is that secure. Great OS.

  10. Mike (commentator on Jun 2, 2013),

    You are so wrong in so many ways. I’ll make an article explaining why, soon.

  11. GregW

    What a great article was pushed out. I’d like the fact a lot that there’s so many fans of Vista OS out there. I’m kind of a man who always tries something new to finf out if there are really better and I’ve been trying both version of Win7’s Prof 32 and 64 bits (free academic) on my XPS M1530 despite to date there are no special drivers for 7 but all Vista work find (downloaded from Dell web). I tried so hard to stick with 7 for months swapping around back and forw my disk images for Vista and 7’s mostly bacause of games and usually web/home usege but I couldn’t find any pros things that 7 has over Vista. Even some games like Diablo3 and FIFA11/12 run much smoother on Vista than 7. After SP2 for Vista I cannot see any reason in moving to 7/8. Maybe we (vista users) will need to consider to move to later OS after 2017 but will see.
    Please can anyone correct me if I’m wrong but I think M’soft stopped providing updates for Vista Ultimate any more. At least I haven’t seen any updates for Vista Ult since really long time.





    If you people think Windows 7 is bad then just see what W8 is made of !

    Though i still have the refreshing problem in 2013 WTF ?

  16. Andres

    Hey.. Good article and I think like you, Windows Vista does all the task that users needs.. After SP2, finally was the operation system that Microsoft wanted it to be since it was launched.. But as you said, then came windows 7.. And 7 had to be sold!

  17. 11ryanc

    I agree 100 % with this post, Windows Vista is is by FAR better than Windows 7 (a.k.a stripped down Vista). I just can’t see how blind people are to not realize that Windows 7 is nothing more than Vista with a new name. I love Vista, and it far superior to Windows. There are so many great things about it, the theme alone is a good reason to use it :P
    Anyways, good post. Finally someone who feels the same way I do.

  18. Jon

    I realise that vista is meant to be good now but when you had a pre SP1 copy and were forced to ‘downgrade’ to XP because it repeatedly froze, kept corrupting your hard drive and necessitated phoning MS because it wrongly identified itself as an illegal copy; it’s pretty hard to forgive.

    I accept that win 7 is not perfect but I have been running it for nearly 3 years now and it has not crashed once and stability is my number one requirement for an OS.

  19. Thanks so much for this. I was more than happy to give a link to this website on my youtube channel, 2008WindowsVista. This article explains so much that I never could, telling just how awful Windows 7 is. Thanks again for this.

  20. plast0000


  21. plast0000

    1-you can customize vista but there are no themes in microsoft website and it’s more customizable than 7
    2-that’s not an upgrade
    3-alot of people are used to quck launch and the new task bar is some what buggy and if you read the article he will tell you that the task bar is not an upgrade
    4-no one uses this without downloading media codecs
    5-when it’s corrupted you will have to insert your installation disk and choose the repaire option
    6-they minimized the UAC in 7 ut this resulted in more malware
    yes vista destroy the hardware IF YOU DON’T HAVE SP1 AT LEAST

  22. trevor

    as a microsoft life time user i do like windows 7 look and feel the best conpaired to alll other Ms o/s i mean it is quite simple to use after a few mods you need to make!

    i believe was vista come out it was over produced and there for the technology at the time wasn’t ready for the market
    when i got vista i was quite happy with it and felt little to no lag because i had 6GB of ram in my PC in 2006 and i haven’t upgraded since!
    my only complained about the hole windows OS is the fact is microsoft is not going with user opinion they are going in to a tablet market trying to get rid of the PC all together! this is clear in windows 8! windows 7 is the true last Microsoft desktop experience… this is sad but true!
    i believe the PC grants to much power to the common man with information at are finger tips the people in control realize this after the facts have past so they want to switch the methods now from here on out and the future beyond…

  23. Michele

    I never gave reason to what people said.

  24. Joel

    I’m no tech expert but I’ve been using Vista for years now. Ever since I got my laptop, actually. Over time I’ve seen my friends get windows 7 and 8, and they’ve all complained about the horridly annoying things that happen to them. It’s good seeing an article like this prove that Vista isn’t as bad as people think. Not to mention proving that windows 7 is terrible.

  25. This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve
    found something that helped me. Appreciate it!

  26. Anon

    The solution is simple.

    Just quit using MickeySloth WinBlows and you’ll be freed from your life of damnation and dispair.

  27. Great work! This is the type of info that are meant to be
    shared around the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for no longer
    positioning this post higher! Come on over and discuss with my website .
    Thank you =)

  28. Nick

    Here’s another problem they still haven’t fixed, the Safely Remove Hardware. It doesn’t work either in Vista or 7. It makes me wonder who’s giving the green light for these OS’s to be release and what’s the purpose.

    By the way, Windows 98 and XP went thru the same problems in the beginning but they were fixed with either a Second Edition or Service Packs that came later. Personally, I would like to see a Second Edition instead of the half baked Service Packs. But anyway, the point is that Microsoft is purposely sabotaging their product.

  29. NT

    Vista and 7 it’s almost the same core, so what can be changed ? Apart some tweaks and SSD support (which can be done via programs on Vista) it’s all the same. And what I see it that even on my hardware which shoudn’t be compatibile with vista (I have my really moded and heavily tweaked version on i5 4670k and GTX 770) is faster or about the same with Seven. It’s really weird. Only Win8 is sometime faster than Vista.

  30. 11ryanc

    Agreed with this article 100%, people look at me like I’m crazy for using Vista SP2 over Win7. But all I see in Windows 7 is weird changes that make things more difficult, the lack of many features, and additional bugs and issues. The problem however is support, Vista is only 3 years away from being dropped from all support and updates. One thing I did find though is that Windows Server 2008 , both R1 and R2 will be on extended support until 2020. It uses the same kernel as Vista and can have almost all the features enabled. Both use NT 6002, so I’m assuming Server 2008 updates could be used under Vista? Even so, I doubt compatibility will be helped at all from that. There are already software vendors out there that support Windows XP and Windows 7, yet completely skip out on Vista. Why? Is what raises the question of the day. So just wondering what you’ll be doing after support ends. Must be some way to clamp onto it after support, I’ve seen people running Windows 2000 with new programs and hardware. So going down the road of unofficial support, there must be a way…..
    Anyways great article, pointed out a lot of good view points about the matter.

  31. michael diemer

    Here’s my recent experience with “rediscovering” Vista. I have a Gateway GT5656, which came with Vista Home Premium. I never updated it, because I was never online with it. After a while, I upgraded to W7 Home Premium, which I figured was the logical thing to do, in light of all the bad press Vista had gotten. Just recently I installed a new hard drive, and after installing the Vista disk that came with the computer, I decided to check out Vista a bit before upgrading with my W7 upgrade disk. I went all the way and now have SP2, fully updated. Now I am blown away by this OS. It seems like Vista is actually the newer OS, rather than seven. I had a lot of problems with seven, from frequent Display Driver Failures (how irritating is that?), occasional Blue Screens, and general lackluster performance. Plus, it’s ugly, compared to Vista. I am cursing myself for having bought that W7 upgrade disk. To make it even worse, I had to take it to Best Buy to install the 64 bit version, as the installation disk was defective. Not Microsoft’s fault, but it just added to the overall frustration I’ve had with W7. Maybe if I had bought Pro, things would have been different (I stayed with Home Premium). So now, I am looking forward to at least 3 years with this wonderful OS. I’m hoping that somehow it can go longer than that. Maybe someone will figure out a way to keep it safe. Are you listening, Kaspersky?

  32. LinuxGeek

    Another comment, Vista looks cool, unlike 7. 8 is even worse! As a Linux fan, I use KDE mainly, and it can be themed to look like Vista or 7.

  33. plast0000

    vista supports pentium 4 processors while 7 can’t , making vista a better choice for those who use old hardware

  34. plast0000

    and 7 also doesn’t support XPDM chipsets

  35. Vistaforever

    Finally a good article that isn’t biased about Vista. Personally I believed for other people who said Vista is bad and I used XP then switched to Win7. But I have a netbook and just for fun I installed Vista (I run a lot of virtual machines), because when I was a kid I liked the Vista’s appearance and always changed XP to look like Vista. I was surprised how fast it was. Win7 is slow on that old netbook but Vista was powerful and fast. It used only 200-300mb instead of win7’s 800mb. I loved wmp 11 on XP and Vista’s photo gallery and wmp 11 were better than Win7’s. Sadly I gave the netbook to friends and they run Win7 on it.
    Also Win7 has a serious error with the explorer. Sometimes it just loading the bottom green bar and nothing happens. And you have to close the windows and reopen to be able to see what’s inside it. My old laptop HDD died – service couldn’t fix it, but luckily I could – so it could have been I/O error you say BUT… Win7 does it on ALL computers/netbooks/laptops I have/had. It’s win7’s fault along with the non-refreshing windows.
    Thanks for the article it was good to read!

  36. T.Terlemez


    After many years, I am using Windows Vista (SP2).
    With the reasons which you said I didn’t used Vista for years (XP or Windows 7.)

    Windows Vista with SP2 is very good. I found your site while searching google about this situaiton (windows vista (SP2) vs. Windows 7)

    Excuse me, if my english is not enough good.

    Good days.

  37. Smelly

    I prefer Linux however I do admit to using Windows 7 as my primary os. Honestly we are asking the wrong kind of questions, there really isn’t any difference between Vista, 7, 8 or the up coming 9.

    Their all the same effin code base with tweaks, the major difference is actually 8 and up. As Microsoft seems more committed to pushing everything into the cloud and is obsessed with tablets. But otherwise same ass technology no real change in functional features and over all look.

    With that said “YES” I do believe Vista deserves more credit. It is an interesting conundrum, it was at the height of its inception the bridge between old and new. They might have dumped out substantial useless features but they also brought in a boat load of security patches and fixes not prevalent in either 7 or 8. Even though most claim 8 to be fast and better secured.

    What I didn’t like about Vista was probably Microsoft’s strange tactic to add DX10.1 what we should have seen was DX11 straight up but they decided to screw people over. And also helped gpu developers to cannibalize gamers. Many years today no one is even using DX 10.1 no one even used it to make use of any major features other DX10 itself.

    Now Microsoft is doing the same in the way of Windows 8/8.1 by introducing DX11.1, in many ways Window 8 is the Vista of the next generation.

  38. @Smelly Actually, with the platform update, Vista got DirectX 11, as well as some back ported features from Windows 7.

  39. @Mike You are wrong in many ways. Allow me to correct you.
    1. Vista has dream scene which is much more visually appealing, however it is a bit CPU intensive, but if you have a high-end PC it works just fine, and you can download 3rd party software to emulate the Windows 7 Slideshow background feature. Can’t add downloads to start menu? of course you can, ever heard of “Pin to start menu”?
    2. The network status icon in Vista is not pathetic. The globe lets the user know when you are connected to the internet, and a red X appears when you are disconnected, which is easy to understand. Also if you’re connected to WiFi, you can hover over the icon and it will give you wireless strength at a glance. Windows XP doesn’t do this. Also you can turn on an activity animation which will show whether you’re downloading something or a website is being loaded, and the animation will stop when it is complete. This is useful when I am waiting on something to finish downloading in the background when doing something else. And guess what? Your precious “improved” Windows 7 doesn’t do this. Vista allows you to customize the icons too, it may not be as convenient as 7’s dragging them into a box, but go into taskbar/start menu properties and you can customize how you want them displayed. Action Center is the same thing as Security Center in Vista, it just looks different visually. It still serves the same purpose.
    3. I use quick launch and the 20ish% of people that still use XP use it too I’m sure. And like your claimed “superior” pin to task bar method works any better? You can fill up your task bar with icons and make it look like a hot mess just as easily, and they copied this from OS X anyways. And if you have several windows of the same application open, it takes longer to select the one you want because they show those stupid huge ass thumbnails and you have to go and find the one you want, whereas in Vista you can just instantly click the one you want. And if theres a lot of them open and they combine into one task bar button, you can then just click the one you want from the list- it’s not that hard.
    4. Just your opinion. Windows Media Player 11 is just fine, install K-Lite Codec Pack and you’ll be set. I use it and have zero problems with it. However I like VLC more, I just don’t understand how WMP “sucks”.
    5. Are you kidding me? I’ve been able to successfully recover tons of Vista systems, just go into safe mode and do a system restore for christ’s sakes. It ain’t rocket science. And about the Updates failing, that’s just BS. The platform update for 7 was complete shit, it installs core schedulers into 7 that aren’t compatible with it, resulting in degraded performance. Also one of my friends on Facebook posted a video of after installing updates on their 7 system, it completely fucked it over- and I’m talking about even the ‘Windows 7 Professional’ logo on the login screen even disappeared- 7 updates seem to be dodgy since MS is focusing more on their precious 8.1. I’ve brought Vista fully up to date as of September 2014, and not a single problem. So we can throw that shit out the window.
    6. Go on the MSFN forum and look around, someone on there found that Vista was actually more secure than 7 because of the UAC. It will notify you if something tries running in the background without your knowledge, and in 7 if you set it too low things can run in the background, like Malware or spyware, and so it makes your system less secure. Also if you look at the infection rates for Windows, Vista has a much lower infection rate than 7 and even 8. I don’t understand, UAC doesn’t slow down productivity at all for me. All you do is click “Continue”. If you’re that lazy you shouldn’t be using a computer.
    7. Vista was fine to begin with. It was lazy hardware vendors that didn’t write drivers for it correctly, they waited until it was too late, which resulted in tons of problems. This isn’t the fault of Vista, they had 5 years to do it in. And they put Vista on the shittiest hardware they could find. They installed it on single core semprons and celerons with 512 MB of RAM- and you can try running any MS OS on its minimum requirements and it will always run slow. Sadly the thing about support is correct.

    Vista RTM is the one that caused hard drive churning. Vista SP1 fixed that issue. Again, Vista RTM. The problem was caused because the defragmenter was enabled by default, and so it constantly defragged the hard drive, which is what killed it, which is probably why you’ve had destroyed machines with Vista. However with SP1, everything was fixed there. Why do you think the article states that Vista (SP1+) is better than 7?
    Vista will end processes just like Windows 7 does. It does exactly what I want it to, and never locks up if you have it on good hardware and with good drivers. SP2 is also a plus.
    Vista was not a half assed OS at all. It paved the way for new compatibility and it pushed OEMs to make higher end machines. Once everyone got rid of their 2002 XP era hardware Vista was just fine. In fact, Vista was necessary for Windows 7’s success. If Vista weren’t released and it were just 7, you’d be hearing a lot of “Oh I hate Windows 7 because nothing works and its so slow”. Like I said Vista pushed OEMs to make better hardware, and by the time SP1 hit, if you were avoiding Vista, you were cheating yourself of a great user experience. Sadly by the time SP1 got here Vista had such a bad rep that no one wanted it, and it wasn’t Vista’s fault, moreso the fault of the hardware vendors that installed it on cheap hardware and with cheap drivers. If they made better drivers for it in the first place and MS forced them to install it on at least 1 GB of RAM and with a decent amount of hardware space with a dual core processor, Vista probably would’ve succeeded. But there’s still the problem of some legacy apps not working however updates came in and took care of quite a bit of those issues, but if they still won’t work with Vista, they won’t work with 7.
    The only thing pathetic I see here is how you are overlooking these things. After hardware vendors got their act together, Vista was a worthy successor to XP. Improved security, improved networking, more management/deployment tools, integrated search throughout the system, better graphics and tons more. there’s probably too many to even make a complete list.

  40. Jamie

    i love vista it make working and playing easy

  41. I just noticed this
    Microsoft is cutting down on Service Packs and they just turned into updates think about it
    Windows 2000 Up to Service Pack 4
    Windows XP Up to Service Pack 3
    Windows Vista Up to Service Pack 2
    Windows 7 Up to Service Pack 1
    Windows 8 No Service Packs not counting Windows 8.1

  42. Michael Diemer

    I must retract one of my statements from last April. My display driver failures problem returned with Vista, although less so. I recently discovered it was due to a bad memory stick. Now that I fixed that, I have both Vista and Seven running smoothly. however, I must admit I still prefer Vista. It seems to run smoother, shut down faster (although that may be due to my having Carbonite on the Seven drive). So I guess I wou,d say at this point that they are very close. I’ll probably check out windows 10 as it’s a free upgrade from seven, but I hate to lose the aero look. I think that was one of MS’s best innovations. It makes using your computer an aesthetic experience. but I guess that’s not important to most folks.

  43. Thiago

    I aways love vista. Reading this article, only make me love it more much!

  44. der_zorn

    Spent hours recently contemplating update from vista to win 7 on my old quad 64-bit machine in order to be ready for Windows 10 (next fall?). I went through all the vista hate for years, but did not realize how good it became after SP-2, until a Mac user (professor at a local university) told me how impressed he was with the final version of Vista. Indeed, I became more impressed with Vista capabilities when encountering the impossible performance of Windows 7 on lower end machines (I know that Win 7 is very good on high end machines, my professor friend recently built an 8-core monster with liquid cooling). Because of the limbo era, I ended up spending most of the last five plus years working with various Linux versions on my lower end machines. I finally purchased a new Haswell (7) Intel processor quad machine a year ago with Windows 8 on it (now 8.1) which I like very much over my small negative lower end experience with Win 7. I expect to upgrade the Win 8.1 machine to win 10, but also wanted to upgrade the Vista on the older quad. I also have several apple mac machines. Now I am thinking I will just keep the Vista as long as I can – efficient legacy really is valuable in a squeeze. Thanks to all the people who have kept your VISTA thread alive with additional comments. Perfection or nothing usually means nothing. Stay diversified and appreciate the fit if it still works.

  45. Scott

    For me, Vista was Microsoft’s peak – it was a downright beautiful OS, it pushed the hardware while at the same time adding real value (security via UAC and memory changes), added really useful functionality (built-in DVD authoring, Windows Media Player was at its best in Vista, etc.) and the whole look & feel and tie-in with Windows Live sites & services was perfect.

    My Dell Core 2 Duo w/ 4GB of RAM lasted me from Dec. 2008 until March 2013 – and it ran Windows Vista for all but maybe 3-4 months total.

    It’s 2015, and I’m trying to figure out what I want to do – get a new PC w/ Windows 7 Pro while Is till can…or find an x64 version of Vista on eBay and build a new PC that will last for years to come.

    Vista will always be the best, no matter what the haters say.

  46. Seya

    Im about to wipe my laptop W7 OS for Vista SP2 64bits, I generally agree with all of you and I like Vista much more than 7 … but since this post was made long time ago I would like to know the opinion of the author on his stance over time: How has aged Windows 7 VS Vista? now that both have reached the end of active support? and how they are against the upcoming W10?
    Thanks in advance.

  47. Matt

    I completely agree in every way and cannot understand people widely praising Windows 7 & 8 over Vista. I pre-ordered 7 but was extremely disappointed upon arrival. It felt like a watered down, blocky, uglier and featureless version of Vista. Almost like a beta of it. No improvement in booting time for me, useful features removed, advanced interfaces and options replaced with ‘simplified’ tablety crap (taken to the extreme in Win8), generally poor UI with annoyances such as Aero Shake, no UAC improvements (apart from not dimming the screen which is utterly pointless), poorer selection of screensavers etc, and of course WMP12…
    I’ll be sad when Vista’s extended support ends in 2 years.
    Can only hope Windows 10 will restore some order to chaos…

  48. Micah

    i am running a mac book pro mid 2012 running; windows vista 3rd prossices ( also known us intel hd graphics 4000). works on windows vista.
    the dravers from intel website even thow newest ones, something. but begger so i use apples, boot camp 4.0.4322 by useing orca. to wotk on mid 2012 mac book pro.
    even other draviles i thoght will not work has on vista.

    soo why did apple sured mid 2010 was the last to support windows vista even xp, if i can run it on my mid 2012 2 yaers newer tune there. last offiser support.

    i for the largest time did try to avild vista; it wasnt untel 7 mouths ago, i trade windows vista becoise i was useing windows 7 refcing to upgrude to windows 8 or whish 8.1 for games.
    games like psychnotes, workt whish on windows 8.1 tune 7 even bitter on vista.

    even the fact i had problems with frmamewotk 1.0 support even 1.1.
    that i use for business use and old games naver updateed sense 1996, at thr time of windows nt 4. even java microsoft vm i stell use in 2015. that can be instyeed on windows 7, however starting in internet explorer 10 even whish on 11. it can not dedct it, it does on 32-bit but it is extmilly begger. soo internet explorer 9, is the last for me.

    windows vista was greet i even got internet explorer 10 platform preview 4. build 10.0.8003.0, to run without a poroplem. however does cross if missing with the debug sometimes but i got it to work.
    even the fact it does have stallabity issels, i thack of luck of updates compared to windows 7.

    i even got dragon naturally spacking premium 13 to work on windows vista even thoew thew cleam it disent, even thew the windows insteller will block you to intell on vista it is passable. i got it to work. fi use it for my dislare, even poor writing skiils. if that works i don’t see any port going to windows 7 and above i whish i downgrudded to windows vista sonner.

    i even got microsoft visual studio 2012 ultimate to work by removing the line, for file managent. however it can be insteed but it is not passable, to lench it becosese of kernal erres. however microsoft viual shell works, so instelling professional plus 2012, works without a problem in the most part. ( thios does not wotk on windows xp at all).

    i even got intel hd graphics 5200 to work on windows vista. but i advise not useing it thew. not for games. but it does work. for casewl internet serving even youtype. even basic appucasnes. however it barly supports aero 2.0 so good luck running high end software.

    i love useing windows vista with my new mac book pro (mid 2012).
    that my windows experience index lewest score is 5.5. that itmassed me apple did a good job.
    intel versen will intell but attempt to use windows experience index. it will not work, soo haa.

    so it is passable to run nawer software on windows vista even microsoft own prodect cleams to not to work on vista does, if you are someone her is comfortable with coding,

    secally Wright Micah.

  49. Sopan Patil

    Thanks a lot buddy. Found a guy who exactly feels like me.
    i love vista more than windows 7 or 8
    i loved inbuilt apps in vista which microsoft replace in windows live essentials. believe me
    “Windows Live Essentials” is Pathetic/Bullshit. etc
    it does not have elegance of classic inbult vista apps.

    Thanks Again for such marvelous article.

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