Comparison between Windows XP and Windows Vista

This article talks about the differences between the two operating system, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Learn the advantages of one over the other and a detailed comparison between the two.

Windows XP was and is still a great product. It changed the way people looked at computers. It has had the longest lifetime for any other Windows Operating System. It once came to a point in its lifetime where the term "computer" could easily make you imagine a computer with a white-on-green color start button with a blue taskbar. It was a major uplift from the old Windows 98 class of Windows Operating Systems by providing rock solid stability, security with best user interface of its time. While the Operating System was good, nothing lasts forever. Users started to get problems from different dimensions. While some said that XP's user interface was boring, some complained that it did nothing to prevent the viruses lurking around the internet and other users' USB drives from entering the system. Errors started to occurs and more and more situations were getting common which could crash the once so stable Operating System. On the other side, Microsoft wanted to make more money. They wanted to bring something better to the world, push the competition back from coming up and solve the problems which its users were facing.

Windows Vista was the result of all this work. It took Microsoft 6 years to develop and bring to the desktops of users worldwide. It was so because of the famous email which Microsoft chairman "Bill Gates" sent to the employees all over the company to focus on the 'security' of the new Operating System which was being made. The result was that it took a lot of time to make Windows Vista. So let us see some of the changes which Windows Vista brought to the new desktop:

1. Look of Windows Vista: Windows Vista came with a tagline of "The WOW starts now!" and it was true for the user as far the looks were concerned. It came with the new look and feel called AERO. It had transparent window titles and borders and that made Windows Vista look just great. You could preview all the applications running using the well advertised 'flip switch' where all your application windows would arrange themselves as a stack which was shown in a waterfall style. This would make you happy as far as the looks were concerned.

It also came with a completely new set of icons which would grow in size and shrink depending on how large you wanted them to arrear and they wouldn't blur out when they grew bigger. You could see the thumbnail preview of the files inside the folders and that made it easier to locate your content. This was special helpful with the folders which contained pictures.

2. New Internet explorer – Windows Vista: Internet Explorer version was now in version 7 which removed the 'Internet explorer' uniqueness for the web programmers by adhering to more web standards. It could render pages faster and has a feature of opening more than one web page in one window using tabs, much like Mozilla Firefox did. This was much better than in Windows XP which came with internet explorer 6 and would not display more than one web page in one window. Technically internet explorer removed the vulnerabilities to a great extent which were exploited by malicious hackers to gain control on remote systems. Now a crash of Internet Explorer would not freeze Windows and you had better control over your browsing.

3. No (default) administrator account: In the new version of Windows, the 'default' administrator account was removed and that meant that a remote user would not be able to connect with the username 'administrator' because there was no such account, unless of course except when the user created one. This made the security rise quite more than previous releases.

4. Computer operates in limited account: Most of the computer users are unaware that running a computer with an administrator account makes the computer vulnerable to attacks and gives the programs running on the computer the ability to 'do-anything'! A program could read and delete any files, change permissions or do other automated tasks as it wanted because of the administrative abilities it posses when run from an administrative account. This was one of the reasons why windows XP got infected by viruses every now and then. Windows Vista removed this situation by making a change in the way the administrative accounts would run. All accounts including the accounts with administrative powers ran in the 'limited' mode unless the user explicitly ran them as an administrator. When programs wanted to do some activity which only an administrator could do, it would open a dialogue box asking for the confirmation from the user. In case the user is not running one of those accounts which possess administrative powers, it would ask for the password and only after supplying the correct password, the program requesting the action would be allowed to continue.

5. Windows Vista Multimedia Features: Windows Vista was designed with multimedia in mind. While Windows XP could do it well, Vista was designed to do it better. The Windows Vista kernel was programmed in a way that it would be able to prefer the multimedia programs more than the other programs running on the system. While the technical details may not be clear to the users of different classes, it is worth a mention as an overview that Vista was programmed to 'notice' the usage of the processor. As multimedia applications make more use of the processor, Vista preferred those applications than others. This made Vista handle more multimedia than windows XP and in a better way.

6. No FAT32 for C drive: FAT32 is a file system which was in use in the Windows Operating System since Windows 95. It was great when Windows 95 was launched because it came with the features which made it work better. On the other hand, Windows Vista had different needs. It was designed with security in mind and FAT32 did not provide any security. Since it is obvious that before protecting the contents of the computer, the Operating System itself should be protected, FAT32 was removed as an option to be used on the C drive. This made the Operating System achieve its goals more clearly.

7. DirectX 10 in Windows Vista: DirectX technologies are a trademark of Microsoft and are used in the Windows Operating Systems to make smooth multimedia use including music, videos and especially games. The new version of DirectX allowed for more glory in games with more realistic effects. The version 9 used in Windows XP was supported but a completely new dimension was opened. This was great news for the gamers.

These improvements made Microsoft confident to stick the tag of "The WOW starts now!" I hope you enjoyed reading them as well!

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