The Bogus Vista vs. Windows 7 Debate

If you love Windows XP, you’ll hate Windows 7 – says Ed Bott on ZDnet.  Windows 7: Mojave My Ass –complains Jason Perlow. Dwight Silverman confirms: Sorry, but Windows 7 isn’t a return to Windows XP, while others don’t refrain from some name-calling.

Sorry guys, you’re all wrong

You’re debating the merits of an operating system based on it’s UI.  Sure, if you migrate from XP to Win7, some of the changes can be confusing – but it’s an initial change, the learning curve is not that steep.  I actually side with Ed Bott here, the search box to launch programs is a more user-friendly approach than having to remember the names of all *.exe files a’la XP. 

But it does not really matter.  Mojave my ass?  Mojave was a bogus experiment (in fact a PR blitz dressed up as an experiment) showing happy “users” who liked the Vista UI – but hey had no chance to assess what fails in a short demo, and that’s what doomed Vista, not appearances.

Windows in all flavors, be it XP, Vista or 7 is not an application.  It’s a friggin’ operating system whose job is to get us into applications and get out of the way.  In today’s flurry of blog posts Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has the right approach, presenting performance tests – yes, performance is key to judging how good an operating system is.

The other key criteria is how invisible it stays. Think about it: any time you have to get down to OS level typically means something does not work right.  It’s the stupid unexplainable little things like:

  • Vista and XP computers not finding each other on a home network until you apply an undocumented patch to the XP machines
  • Simple copy or delete operations taking forever
  • Not being authorized to move / delete files on my own computer even after elevating to Admin mode, killing UAC and a number of weird cryptic options that take an IT deapartment to deal with, not a home user
  • Windows upgrade failing if more than 3GB memory is installed
  • The latest Windows upgrade causing printer and camera drivers from several vendors reinstall themselves (some take 30 minutes or more, kinda big deal)

The list could go on, but I think you get my drift:  Windows 7 (and any other OS) will be judged on how well computers will run, let users interact with real application without having to touch the OS itself.

Finally, to address the speculation about Windows 7 upgrade paths, let me just reiterate this:

  • Win7  should be released as  Vista Final (meaning it works)
  • It should be provided it as a free upgrade to Vista
  • It should come with a letter of apology to all Vista victims

OK, I know we have fat chances for the apology – but I really mean the free upgrade part.

(Cross-posted from CloudAve – to stay on top of Cloud Computing news, analysis and just our opinion, grab the CloudAve Feed here.)


  1. As much crap that Vista gets, it is a wonderful OS. This of course is post SP1, but great either way. Once I turn off the fluff and UAC, I cannot tell the difference in appearance or performance. The main thing for me when it comes to Vista has nothing to do with it being a home OS. The real value that Vista provides is to the IT department and a smart admin who can utilize all it has to offer. If you have Win2k8/Vista environment and have knowledge of them, you can literally cut your workforce by a 1/3. Deploy master images to all types of hardware, group policies for almost anything you can think of. No more 3rd party apps for either. Developers were slow to catch on to Vista, not entirely MS fault. Why should they always be the ones supporting backwards compatibility? Should apps from 2000 really still work with Vista, is it that big of a deal if your old version of Photoshop 5.5 doesn’t run?

  2. Daniel,

    Unfortunately Vista is the OS sold on all consumer PC’s not made my Apple. It does not have a home vs. corporate version.

    Listen to yourself: group policies, master images, knowledge of OS: the individual – or small business – user does not know anything about these. Nor do they have an IT department.

    For all I know you may be perfectly right – I am simply not qualified to judge Vista’s merits for corporate IT. All I know is it’s a complete disaster for individual users.

  3. XP was plagued by the same issues that Vista is when it first came out, but that was 8 years ago. It had bad driver support and lets not even forget Windows 2000 or ME. It is not wise to go out and get a new OS. Give Vista another year and it will be better, give another 4 years and it will be XP.

  4. Daniel,

    Now we’re on the same side, no need for a new OS. Microsoft knows it too: Win7 is really Vista Final, based on everything we hear about it. It just had to be re-branded for all the bad rep Vista earned.

    • For all the bad rep Vista earned nobody has a real reason not to like it, it is a little different, but a more secure OS. It gets a bad rep from the average user who does not like change. But i’ll say it again…get over it, Microsoft doesn’t care if people do not like the new interface.

      • Robert D. Zmigrodski says

        Matt —
        Let us know how you feel about it later; after you've tried all of its features. I hate it . It is slow, not user friendly, and 10 steps back from XP
        Microsoft better care what people think, because I'm switching to an Apple the next time I need a new computer!

  5. James Patrick27 says

    I agree that the OS should be judged on performance rather than appearance and that Vista’s “slowness” is primarily due to all the garbage running in the background. Unfortunately you have to be more tech savy to run Vista efficiently then you do Windows Server 2008 (an OS superior to Vista in every way except price).
    Microsoft is laying down a great framework but the true next OS will be only 64 bit so that developers can take advantage of 64 bit processing anything else is just repackaging and/or a waste of time.

  6. Vista as a OS is great as far as security goes. UAC is a great feature, no matter how much people complain that the prompt for elevation is a pain, it is there to protect people. The only time it pops up is when you are changing settings, if the average user see’s this a lot they should not be doing what they are doing. Vista compared to xp is black and white on the security outlook, and even user freindly functions. The more I hear people complain about it I just say get used too it. Is it a bad thing Vista warns you about programs that try to download themselves and change you settings???? I don’t think so.

  7. Vista a better OS? Hardly, Vista is another ME style failure. Even MS has given up on it, otherwise they would milk it for a few more years before releasing Win7. Vista is bloated, slow, and if I wanted an OS that assumes I am mentally retarded, I would have bought a MAC. These OS’s that pretend to protect unsavy users from themselves only dumb down the already mostly incompetent every day user, instead of helping them to become more tech savy. But who cares why 2+2=4 as long as you have a calculator right? I want an OS with a very small footprint. Something that uses almost no resources and is very stable. Leave the pretty UI for the mac crowd.

  8. Hey everybody, I am definitely not a computer expert, I’m still a student.
    I have used XP since it was launched and with SP3 it does not give me any problem. I enjoy music production, and that takes a lot of energy from a computer to process all the audio. I use for music production an Acer Laptop Dual Core 1.6 GHZ 512 MB RAM, low spec, but it runs my programs very smoothly until I absolutely overload it. I also have an AMD desktop running XP SP3 on 1 GB RAM (forgot the processor’s spec). The laptop is about 1 and half year old, and the desktop is about 4 years old.
    Recently I got a new HP Pavilion dv7 with Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHZ and 4 GB RAM running Vista.
    I am the ordinary user, although I believe I am competent as I always solve my XP problems by myself, and by XP problems I mean viruses.
    When I turned on the HP Vista running laptop, I installed a basic antivirus and restarted it, but it wouldn’t start again. Apparently there’s a bug that causes it to lose its boot record! After long hours of frustration, it finallt started. I installed the usual progs (MS Office etc.), restarted it, same thing happened.
    I use photoshop from time to time, I have it on the desktop and on the HP high-spec laptop, it runs in XP as smoothly as it runs in Vista. So finally, I dare say that a low spec computer with XP is an equivalent of a high-spec computer running Vista.
    I’m an XP fanatic. I don’t like Vista.

  9. dont say like that vista is a crap. microsoft fixes this problem on the arrival of vista sp2. it has an amazing hardware support including bluetooth, wifi , blueray disc recording. and its performance is almost same to windows 7. some guys saying vista sp2= windows 7 in performance. i love vista and now im thinking to upgrade my os to windows 7. it still not lauched completely. im waiting for that. thanku for reading. my computer specification is pentium dual core with 2gb ram on vista sp2 operating system.


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