Review of Windows 7 vs Vista and XP

I was a beta tester for Windows 7 (in fact, all the way back to Whistler; I missed out on Chicago) and this is an honest review of what I think about Vista, Windows 7, and XP, with 7 being the primary focus. This review assumes you are familiar with XP.

Windows 7 is a major upgrade from Windows XP, if this is the route you are taking, you missed out on a lot of new features brought about by Vista, and you might be a little overwhelmed at first at everything that has changed in 7. However, if you were a Vista user, then the only things to really take note of, from a users perspective, is that the Start bar has received a major reworking. Getting familiar with the new start bar is pretty easy and will come naturally after a few days for most people.

Under the hood, as they say, is what most people are interested in, because "Vista was so full of bugs, etc." However, I've used Vista extensively with little to no trouble. Vista's main faults were driver signing enforcement (users who were early adopters, found that they didn't have good enough hardware and drivers to match), and a new strange user interface. Networking also went from simple in XP, to quite a pain in the rump if you didn't have a solid understanding of networking. This upset quite a few people, because XP worked just fine, and Vista ran really slow on their computer and wanted to eat up all their ram, resources, etc, and they couldn't set their network settings as easily.

Enter Windows 7. It's Vista, with all the patches, and instead of just assuming everyone has a super beast computer, it adapts resource usage based on your hardware. So install it on a Super Computer, it will actually utilize the resources available (unlike Windows XP, but just like Vista). Likewise, place Win7 on a netbook, and it will become very conservative with resource usage (like Windows XP, NOT like Vista).

Other than that, Win7 is very much like Vista.

Link to original Review
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Comments (5)

b0lsc0ttIT Manager


I have viewed this a couple of times and held off on responding.  However I wanted to provide some feedback and I hope this will be helpful.

I was expecting and hoping for more.  I read the first paragraph and thought, "this is for me."  I work with Vista but am not a big fan and am definitely an "XP user."  As I read further though there wasn't anything unique or very informative.  Definitely not what I had hoped after the first paragraph and assumed with the time you have had with it.

The article was good overall and I am glad it was published.  I am glad I read it and thanks for your efforts.  I just wanted to post this (I think I may have been the "wasn't helpful" vote) because I was hoping for more.  Of course it takes time to write a great article and can be hard to make it stand out.  I hope you have thoughts on a topic for another article and I look forward to it.  I just also hope that this comment will help you as you work on it.  Good luck and I hope this will be helpful.

Of course also remember that it is just my opinion and thoughts. :)



Thanks for the input! It actually inspires me to write more effectively. The article was really aimed at the people who are writing many reviews about how much better Win7 is and how poor Vista was.

The article was kept lite on specifics and stuck with generalizations for the sake of simplicity.
I've thought about doing an in depth review comparing the usage of shadow copy space and ram usage etc etc, but I didn't think anyone would be interested in that. (didn't want to bore anyone)

I may post a more in depth - technical, review, would anyone like to see one?
Good review! I'm certainly glad I read this! Unfortunately, I am still using XP. I will consider win7 for my next OS. Thank you for the review, it was certainly an interesting read.

Spaceyavin (a.k.a. Impersonator)


I'm going to be the bad guy. Like b0lsc0tt, I came looking to this article as a way of looking for another opinion about Win7, prior to considering an up grade to a relatively new laptop that is running Vista Home.

Frankly, the lack of detail is disappointing. Something geared toward the average user (and remember -- "average" includes the people who will be buying their first computer at WalMart the day after Thanksgiving) is really what I think would interest a lot of people.

For example, your comment above mentions "usage of shadow copy space" -- which doesn't mean a thing to my mother (who has USED computers for twenty years). What WOULD mean something is an article that advises her whether her circumstances -- she mostly does email, searches and websites, and looks at YouTube and The Onion occasionally -- would require the investment.

I use my XPPro machine, which is not a year old, to do all kinds of things though -- web development (including graphics), a little database work and a lot of writing -- at what point should I consider upgrading, considering my system as is works fine? Generalities and simplifications are the same ones that could be made by almost anyone on inspection of watching two machines, one with Vista and one with Win7, running side by side -- so this isn't anything new.



Well I thought I brought some important points to light to the average A+ IT guy, who is the one who usually makes those recommendations TO people. I really love your honesty, but I think if anything I've mislabeled my article as a few people seem disappointed that they didn't get what they wanted out of it.

In my article I'm saying Win7 the same as Vista, if you have Vista, and it works fine, there isn't a lot of reasons to upgrade. If you're using Vista, and having a lot of trouble, that may be because your computer isn't fast/big enough, and Win7 is a godsend for you. If you're using XP, please skip Vista and goto Win7 as Vista has been ousted like WinME and the support will eventually vanish. If you're running XP, then try it out first to make sure all your apps will run correctly (as with any new OS). It will out perform XP and many many ways, and there are very few drawbacks, if even any at all. I run CS4 on Win7 and I had a small amount of trouble, but it runs WAY BETTER than on XP. I do not use a scratch disk, so that's another generalization.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clearer, but I didn't intend this to be an article for grandma. It's lite reading for the average IT professional, without getting to much into the details.

I hope my article can be appreciated for what it is, and not for what it is not. And it's not for grandma, sorry granny, I love you, but I didn't think you'd be on EE, so I saved that for the Cnet and consumer report guys.

Thank you very much for "being the bad guy" I'm the type that like harsh criticism, as long as it makes valid points, and I think yours are valid. I hope I cleared that up a bit.

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