Vista vs. XP - gHacks Tech News

Vista vs. XP

300 Words into replying to some comments made by Rarst on my post yesterday about Microsoft I decided I may as well publish it like so as a new post… that’s what happens when you have the power of authorship =P

No I don’t want to make this too serious and I hope I don’t seem like I’m ranting, I just felt that since Rarst’s views are probably shared by a few of you we could open up the discussion even more.

“In my opinion Vista has bad reputation for a number of reasons… And they better fix those reasons, not reputation”

I think that Microsoft has fairly clearly been doing this, by first spending 2 years working on Vista fixes, compatibility issues with partners and finally releasing SP1 this year. Now it’s time to work on reputation, which brings us back to the new Microsoft campaign.

“[Vista] IS slower. It can’t be faster by design. All people saying it is faster are either comparing it to really crappy XP install or are using self-hypnosis.”

I really think this is purely a perceptional thing now. There are plenty of third party tests which have grudgingly shown Vista to be equal or superior to XP on identical hardware. This can only improve with time as well. Here is Ed Bott’s view:

“If you bought a bottom-of-the-line, loss leader system in 2004, you may find it unacceptably slow. But any mainstream system purchased after early 2004 should be just fine with Windows Vista.”

 

“Tons of internal DRM crap that slows some critical tasks like file copying to a crawl.
Crappy performance on notebooks (on normal notebooks, not upper-class that pack more hardware than average desktop). High system requirements (if it could work on XP-level hardware adoption process could be way more smooth)…”

I’m pretty sure these are some of those Vista myths that where circulating around a year or so ago. You know that DRM is completely optional right? And I have personally encountered it only twice in 7 months. While Vista did require higher system requirements when it came out, so did Windows 95 AND Windows XP. A few years later and the hardware has caught up, everyone’s forgotten about it and we’re ready to complain over the next resource-hogging eye candy OS.

Btw on the DRM thing again, again, Ed says:

“Much of the DRM code in Windows Vista is a a straightforward upgrade of the infrastructure introduced in Windows XP and Windows Media Player 10.”

 

“I keep hearing complains that Vista puts priority on internal tasks and freezes user out (especially on relatively underpowered stuff like notebooks). ) It is supposed to work in idle, doesn’t mean it always does. And some stuff like DRM crap runs realtime by definition”

Vista does put programs into non-responsive mode far more rapidly then XP, but it also recovers from this significantly better. I rarely ever have whole system crashes like I did with XP.

“I am not Vista hater for the sake of it. But I am greatly disappointed with it. It is boring upgrade stuffed with crappy features, slower and with higher system requirements. Not something I want to replace my XP with”

I understand upgrading to Vista may not seem worth it, but if you are purchasing a new computer what possible reason could you have for not simply getting the vastly superior OS? I also think this shows a little lack of foresight as Vista provided the necessary architectural changes to create far greater Windows versions in the future. Increasingly we are seeing Longhorn concepts being incorporated back into Windows.

Rarst also requested some specific examples of Vista’s improvements over XP, here is what I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Streamlined and improved start menu including Windows Search
  • Integrated search in Windows Explorer
  • Windows Media Player 11 and Windows Media Center
  • New and improved applications including:
    • Windows Mail
    • Windows Photo Gallery
    • Snipping Tool
    • Media Encoder
    • Windows Calendar
    • Movie Maker
    • DVD Maker
    • Internet Explorer 7
    • Windows Contacts
    • Windows Meeting Space
    • Windows Defender
  • Windows Aero of course, and some improved customizations options
  • Security improvements:
    • Windows Defender
      • Start-up blocker
    • Windows Firewall
    • UAC (perhaps a little over the top, but still a good thing!)
  • Improved Control Panel navigation
  • New Parental controls including
    • Account permissions (blocking specific programs)
    • Time tracking, limits and reports
    • Games rating controls
  • Administration and troubleshooting Tools
    • Error tracking and reporting
    • Event log
    • Reliability and Performance monitor
    • System health report
  • System maintenance tools
    • Regular Background defragmenting
    • File backup and restore
    • Improved Hard Drive partitioning
  • Improved audio, now individual programs can be adjusted, for example low volume system sounds and high volume media player
  • ReadyBoost
  • Improved sharing capabilities
  • Improved wireless connection (I’ve been seeing XP users have far more trouble connecting to Wireless then I ever have)
  • Better performance management for laptops

And that’s about enough for now.

Vista is certainly not perfect, there are still plenty of annoying things, but it definitely is an improvement over XP. Some things I cannot forgive with Vista however include painfully slow right click context menus, the locking of files so they cannot be deleted and the removal of the progress bar in the defragmenter. Thanks to Rarst himself I discovered Unlocker which can fix the deletion problem, so thanks! =P

 

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Comments

  1. unruled said on July 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    not to piss in your soup or anything, but of the features you listed, almost all of them have been ported to windows XP. (Windows Search was brought over yesterday via updates).

    Im sticking to XP on my 3800X2 pc with 1GB of ram, mainly because I’d need at least 2GB in vista to run at comparable speeds in vista.

    So, in that sense, why should I?
    it might be a simple input, and if I get a new system I will give vista another try, but until then Im happy with XP. I like fast performance, and don’t care so much about looks. XP Classic user :P

  2. Rarst said on July 24, 2008 at 3:41 pm
    Reply

    I am still at work and going to reply in-depth later.

    I just feel I need to make one thing clear – my comments are mostly about Vista as replacement for XP (on existing hardware or with upgrade that must be taken into account than). It is very important issue as XP is still heavily dominating OS and Vista is supposed to replace it.

    I don’t really care about new computers with Vista – it’s times less important issue for those.

    PS Martin could you please make quotes more clear? I can filter what I said myself but it going to look like mess for the rest. :)

  3. joshua said on July 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm
    Reply

    Ahh crap… there was no block quote css… I thought there was… well I hope you guys can figure out who says what then!

  4. inoxllor said on July 24, 2008 at 4:01 pm
    Reply

    Well, I just installed a slim non-official version of Vista: TinyVista – it fits ONE CD and I am happy with it – very fast.
    (There is also a TinyXP edition for those interested – which I use on my old laptop).

    You may find those via torrent search engines.

  5. Rarst said on July 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm
    Reply

    >I think that Microsoft has fairly clearly been doing this, by first spending 2 years working on Vista fixes, compatibility issues with partners and finally releasing SP1 this year.

    I’ll believe this when first question user ask about their new notebook is “can I have XP on this?”. Really, we have boom of IT-troubleshooting services around here and “replacing Vista with XP on notebooks” is one of the most advertised ones.

    One of the most wrong things with Vista that it only works good on good hardware. You can argue that this was case with XP but XP had huge tasty parts like networking that made upgrade worth it. Vista has no new features of such level.

    >There are plenty of third party tests which have grudgingly shown Vista to be equal or superior to XP on identical hardware.

    Sure, I can beleive this if you take new PC with 4Gb of RAM. Take few years old one and suddenly Vista sucks comparing to XP. Even better – try Vista on netbooks like Eee PC and than say it is equal to XP in performance. :)

    >I rarely ever have whole system crashes like I did with XP.

    XP in current state (SP3) is extremely stable. Vista may be sufficiently stable after SP1 but it is not an advantage over XP.

    >I understand upgrading to Vista may not seem worth it, but if you are purchasing a new computer what possible reason could you have for not simply getting the vastly superior OS?

    I may consider it for new PC, but as I mentioned – much more interested in upgrade process (both personal and work-related). “Vastly superior” is very arguable. :)

    >I also think this shows a little lack of foresight as Vista provided the necessary architectural changes to create far greater Windows versions in the future.

    Anything wrong with napping till “far greater” and not wasting money on Vista (and hardware) when it is not really needed upgrade? :)

    Features feedback is strictly from my personal preferences.

    >Streamlined and improved start menu including Windows Search
    >Integrated search in Windows Explorer
    >Windows Media Player 11 and Windows Media Center
    >New and improved applications including:

    Don’t care, I don’t use most of them in XP either. I don’t want bundled crap, I want features that only OS can offer (again – think networking revamp in XP. THAT was OS feature).

    >Windows Aero of course, and some improved customizations options
    Cute eye candy. And very screwed story with pushing clearly underpowered hardware as Aero capable (Microsoft/Intel scandal).

    >Security improvements:
    Make a poll “Do you trust Windows to handle all of your security-related tasks?” :)

    >Improved Control Panel navigation
    Replaced clear XP system with something hyperlink styled. Don’t like it. Setting should be structured, not searched.

    >Administration and troubleshooting Tools
    XP has like more of this most users ever use.

    >System maintenance tools
    Decent but again – these are bundles, hardly features.

    >Improved audio, now individual programs can be adjusted, for example low volume system sounds and high volume media player

    Very nice. Not a problem to add same to XP thou.

    >ReadyBoost
    Total finance-inefficient crap. Buying RAM instead does much more good.

    >Improved sharing capabilities
    >Improved wireless connection
    Hadn’t tried them, have nothing to say.

    >Better performance management for laptops
    It’s a joke, right? :)

    >Thanks to Rarst himself I discovered Unlocker
    yw :) Thanks for links, they are huge help for newbie blogger like me.

  6. Thinker said on July 24, 2008 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    @unruled:
    I got A3800+ X2 with 1GB and Vista works like XP. I dunno why people are saying stupid things about Vista memory requirements. 1GB is totally enough for Vista. Recently I bought 1GB more to have 2GB, and Vista works same speed as with 1GB! No diffrence, but since I often run 10 application at once I use all that ram. On Xp would be same.

  7. Owl said on July 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm
    Reply

    The only things I see in the list that seems somewhat interesting are the “Administration and troubleshooting Tools” & “System maintenance tools”. As for the rest there are better products to use imho.

    Windows Search – Locate.
    Windows Explorer – Total Commander.
    Media Player – Take your pick, a bunch of good ones around. KMP, VLC, MPC, Foobar and the list goes on.
    I could continue with the rest, but I’ll leave it at that. To me it’s all fluff that I don’t use anyway.

    From my point-of-view I havnt seen any good reasons to run vista. I make electronic music and all the fluff is just in the way and gives me less memory to move around with. Running xp on a “vista certified” box is like lightning compared*. But sure, I can see how people would like it on a regular desktop computer which they use to check their email, surf a little aso. I would pop in ubuntu or something similar then, but that might just be me :)
    So until I need vista because of some software compability issue (which will happen sooner or later), or I get convinced by something else, I’ll most likely stay on xp.

    *It was a year or so since I tried vista tho, so things have probably improved a little since then.

  8. Thinker said on July 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm
    Reply

    BTW, one thing to say:
    Many says, that all that stuff in Vista can be downloaded for XP too. I assure you, that when you try your to load all those application into XP it will work terribly slow. I checked it ;)

  9. unruled said on July 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm
    Reply

    @thinker: thanks for that input. Something which may be different for you and I though, is that I run a very optimized/customized installation for performance and stability. Im not sure I can achieve the same on vista.

    Nonetheless, I take your note to heart, and as Ive said, if I ever get a laptop or secondary machine, Il give it another go. I play around with it on VMware now mostly, since I can’t mess with my PC during my studies!

  10. Rarst said on July 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm
    Reply

    Spam filter hates me. :( Seems long in-depth response went poof…

    >I assure you, that when you try your to load all those application into XP it will work terribly slow. I checked it

    But you don’t have to load all of them for XP… While you do get all of them with Vista – which greatly contributes to perfomance issues.

  11. Alex said on July 24, 2008 at 8:59 pm
    Reply

    Finally someone speaks a non baised post about Vista, agree 100% I use vista with my new computer and its a better OS tan XO was, far more stable, and the few annoying things I saw were fixed with SP1, and if you add TuneUP utilities 2008, the rest including slow right-clic menus will bother no more.

  12. Roman ShaRP said on July 24, 2008 at 10:19 pm
    Reply

    If you bought a bottom-of-the-line, loss leader system in 2004, you may find it unacceptably slow. But any mainstream system purchased after early 2004 should be just fine with Windows Vista.

    Hmm. Sempron 2600, 256 Mb Ram, 30 Gb HDD – that’s what I had in November, 2004, and the same I saw in offices in 2006 and 2007.

    * Streamlined and improved start menu including Windows Search

    * Better performance management for laptops

    Four words:
    I don’t need all this.

    And if you talk about MS apps and “centers” – you can add fifth word, crap.

    The only good app from MS, on my opinion, is Excel.

    All other MS Apps can (and often must) be replaced by third-parties, often far better.

    Overbloated with unneded things Vista is first MS OS that make people think about Linux seriously. Some of my friends bought notebooks with Vista (and some more intentionally bought notebooks without it). No one Vista survived. I even learned new word – “vistacide”, means killing Vista. People downgraded to XP, or switched to Ubuntu.

  13. Rick said on July 25, 2008 at 12:52 am
    Reply

    Vista has nothing to offer that truly changes the user experience for the better.

  14. Mosey said on July 28, 2008 at 2:39 am
    Reply

    Speaking from personal experience: A good friend (who’s good with computers btw so not a hardware newbie like myself) bought a laptop last year which had Vista installed – something mid/upper range so not the best of the best but it’s pretty good. I only used it myself once properly to do a file transfer, and it was so slow and tedious, that I could have gone away, had dinner and watched a film by the time it had finished transferring one or two gigs. I think it takes less time in XP!
    He finally got round to installing XP and wiping Vista recently, and as he didn’t have many programs installed in the first place, I think it was a fair comparison when he said that there was significant speed increase in using almost everything.

  15. clarence benton said on September 8, 2008 at 5:44 pm
    Reply

    How can i download a visata file to a cd-rw cd and then load it on my windows xp computer. I copied this file to a cd-rw cd but my windows xp computer doesn’t regonize this file.

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