Windows Vista: Pros and Cons
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Microsoft Windows operating systems are considered to be one of the most discussed in the IT world. Rapid development of users’ needs demands constant upgrading and leads to release of new versions. Comparison of various characteristics of two versions presents special interest, for it enables to both inform the customers about the advantages of a certain software product and make valuable conclusions for groups of developers. Windows Vista, preceded by Windows XP, possesses a range of specific features which let to define what version is better, but only from a relative point of view.
Windows Vista was released worldwide in January 2007, almost 5.5 years later than its predecessor. Combined with the launch of the new Microsoft Office, the year turned out to be commercially successful. What concerns comparison of two versions of operational systems, a lot of factors can be taken into consideration. The number of experts is more inclined to assess the new Windows version negatively. Internet security which provides integrity to the system is essential for such software, and this component is analyzed by several experts. DDoS attacks were in focus of investigation of R.S.R. Gade, H. Vellalacheruvu and S. Kumar. The findings of the scholars revealed that Windows XP operating system turned out to be most prepared and capable of dealing with ICMP-Land Attack when Windows Vista showed considerably worse results. Research of another security aspect, Vista’s vulnerabilities, conducted by T. Zimmermann, N. Nagappan and L. Williams allowed concluding that that “classical software measures predict vulnerabilities with a high precision but low recall values”.
Some characteristics of Windows Vista possess a fair share of unpredictability. One of such features is connected with Aero Glass interface which makes work with this operating system more appealing visually, “with transparent windows and animated transitions”, and is a new development compared with Windows XP (Krazit). But this innovation turned out to be very battery-life consuming for notebooks. When users turned this facility off, they saw that power consumption was practically the same as in Windows XP. However, in the case when this facility was turned off 2001 operating system surpassed the 2007 in terms of battery efficiency. In such a way, power management did not work so well for this version. But developers found a way to deal with the problem and designed a minimalist modification called Vista Basic. Other customers’ and experts’ complaints included incompatibility of the two operating systems. Particularly, it is pointed out that Vista blocks XP drivers connected with audio and video content which caused problems in work of various peripheral devices. Automatic upgrading also turned out to cause a series of problems for users, as it is reported in The New York Times article citing the results of Dell Corp. investigation on the matter.
When a year after the launch of Windows Vista users revealed reluctance to upgrade to the new OS and continued to actively use XP, the reasons for such a resistance were investigated. Randall Stross emphasizes that a fair share of such prejudices were caused by severe criticism of 2007 software claiming that “Vista’s reputation preceded itself”. Microsoft even faced lawsuits when customers were mislead by Windows Vista Capable stickers implying high compatibility and performance level. The positive outcome of it was that certain changes were resorted to.
Advantages of Windows Vista over XP are less numerous and evident, and it would be true to say that they are also less marketed, no matter what reasons and explanations are given in order to justify the product and make it more attractive. However, for an objective comparison of the two operating systems delimiting of Vista’s benefits is essential. This Windows version definitely has some improvements and innovations compared with the previous one. The first thing to pay attention to is the visual aspect, and introduction of Windows Aero user’s interface. Customers should not forget that it has four modification variants, and everyone can choose a certain type that will comply with all the individual demands. It should also be taken into consideration that XP was designed at the times of less powerful hardware, and it means one must make allowances for Vista before accusing it of incompatibility. Mike Williams confesses that with the development of the internet XP became “less safe to take online” (3). According to the results of his tests, OS released in 2007 proved to run some games better than XP did. Apart from that, Vista supports DirectX 10 gaming, which is a standard for graphics and sounds capable of generating new effects, better quality of picture and can generally improve gaming performance (4). These findings are important for a large focus group represented by gamers. Windows Media Center is a part of Vista’s package, when in order to obtain functionality of this kind with XP users had to resort to additional tools. In practice it means that less codec problems are likely to emerge. Other benefits of the kind include “improved networking connectivity, Windows DVD Maker and HD support in Movie Maker” (6). In terms of internal security Vista outperforms XP too: it can manage its system memory in a more dynamic way which reduces the likeliness of crashes connected with drivers. Finally, such a networking benefit as optimization of TCP/IP was universally received as a clear advantage of Windows Vista over Windows XP.
New software is elaborated according to the ever-increasing needs of the modern computer users. Logically, developers try their best in order not to disappoint customers and make as many improvements in their product as possible. Windows Vista was severely criticized for high power consumptions to support the interface and some incompatibility issues compared to Windows XP, but it also brought crucial innovations like better internal safety and media performance. With all the flaws and benefits, it is for users to decide what operating system to use.