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Windows 7 vs. Vista: Which is Better?

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/26/2010

While a lot of users are stuck with the eccentric and odd-behaving Vista, Microsoft has rolled out Windows 7. Now which one is better? Is Windows 7 really better than Vista? Can Windows 7 justify all the hype surrounding it?

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    Windows 7 vs. Vista : Battling It Out

    Windows 7 was rolled out on a red carpet and a lot depends on the success of Windows 7 for Microsoft. However, the question still lingers on everyone’s mind: Is Windows 7 better than Vista? Let’s unveil Windows 7 and Vista together and see if Windows 7 is really that much better than Vista or not. But first, the facts: Valve’s Steam Hardware Survey – one of the largest surveys in the world – states that Windows 7 finally overtook the much criticized and somewhat hated Vista, according to the survey conducted in January, 2010.

    The 64-bit version of Windows 7 is the world’s second most popular operating system. In just about 3 months, Windows 7 has touched a double-digit market share. Currently, it stands around 9.78% according to NetMarketShare. In case you are wondering, it took Vista a year to reach this level of market share.

    Those are just facts. Still, is Windows 7 better than Vista? In a word, “yes.”

    Let Go of Vista - You Can’t Drag Its Weight Any Longer

    I would vote for "floating glass windows” any day. I stare at the screen for so long that blue is now repelling for me (Vista). The aero glass look of Windows 7 is indeed welcoming. Newer and more power graphics cards, sound cards and many more multimedia devices along with a really monstrously powerful Direct X should blow your brains out.

    You Can Control UAC Behavior Now

    A recently published article on Techrepublic calls Visa an “over-protective” mother when you are 30. The User Account Control in Vista has been a major source of irritation to many Vista users due to the constant “Are you sure you want to do this?” kind of questions popping up every time you want to do something. What’s even more irritating is that these questions are asked for a relatively harmless activity without any security hazards. Windows 7, for a change, at least allows you to control this behavior to an extent, although the UAC as such hasn’t been eliminated.

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    The Hardware Sits Tight Once Again

    Remember the hellish experiences that users faced when they upgraded from XP to Vista and then realized that the graphics cards don’t co-exist with the new operating system? What about those relentless hardware-software mismatch errors? Windows 7 now has extended support for graphics and sound cards across vendors. You can literally use pretty much any hardware configuration on Windows 7 and finally, you don't have to live with those nasty experiences of hardware-software mismatch.

    Boosted Boot-up Times

    Vista had a really serious problem: the time it takes to boot-up. If you are an always-on user, this shouldn’t have been of much concern to you, but can you imagine the frustration of a moving, traveling Vista user? Windows 7 now boots up incredibly fast – a few seconds and it’s up and running, beating Vista in this aspect hands down.

    Lots of Other Cool Improvements

    Windows 7 is not just visually appealing but a lot of intuition and forethought has gone into designing it. The side-by-side windows auto-size feature, for instance, allows you to open two open documents side by side with each one the same size. This improves your productivity and also minimizes clutter allowing you to view easily, work faster and manage your documents well. Further, another really visually appealing and cool feature is the “task bar preview” which allows you to see the whole graphic image of the window instances open at that time unlike the "stacked open instances" that could be seen with XP and Vista.

    I can’t help but spit the results out here. Windows 7 is leagues ahead of Vista and comes with a strong design and great features. The new Microsoft operating system breathes a fresh lease on life and is pretty powerful under the hood. The looks and the great glassy feel to it are good to go as well.