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What’s The Big Difference Between Vista & Windows 7?

Monday, January 27th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Quick Tips

Frank writes:

Hi, I have been a professional programmer/architect for over 25 years, my Sister has been for over 35 years. My thought is this We have never found anything wrong with the Vista (Pro) OS. I don’t get it, we both had it it since it first came out. My wife had Windows 7 and I don’t see much functional difference. Is it all just marketing?

Part of the issue with Vista was change. It was very different from XP.  Some programs that worked with XP, didn’t work with Vista.

Some of the difference include the Windows 7 XP mode that allows you to run a virtual XP machine. (I used this a lot at a previous job where the software was nearly a decade old). Win 7 also allows you to pin almost anything to the taskbar and it came with a native ISO burner, has improved handwriting recognition and improves performance on processors and boot performance.

It’s a bit like the differences between 8 and 8.1. Except 8.1 was free. 

I was fine with Vista and  asked this same question to an IT guy a few years back and he grumbled and said, “It’s just different.” 

I’m curious to know what other users think about the differences. Let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia


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10 Responses to “What’s The Big Difference Between Vista & Windows 7?”

  1. Keld Herbst says:

    Vista is more “greedy” than Win7 about computer power and RAM

  2. Doug says:

    I agree with Frank, at home we have a Vista Desktop and Laptop, and a Win7 Laptop. We are very happy with either system.

  3. Steve says:

    Dependent on what applications was used and hardware used with Windows Vista, I have seen the biggest problem (depending on hardware) when office was used vista tend to hold onto the ram that was used and in some cases would keep increasing the ram use till the operation system would crash. If a pc was left on often when the user came back the pc would be locked up or very slow. The entire ram would be in use. However Windows 7 is very stable as well as windows 8.1


    mcse/mcsa IT Technician

  4. AJ says:

    I, too, could not figure out what the “bad” deal was about with Vista. I had no problems with it. It wasn’t that different to me. At work I used different OS, so, maybe the transition was easier for me than for most people. The same is holding true with Windows 8. My daughter is having so many problems getting adjusted to it (and hates it), whereas, my grandson and I are OK with it.

  5. Camille Sauvager says:

    I was baffled too, and enjoyed Vista and didn’t really see much difference.

    Now Windows 8….. First time I’ve seriously considered going to a Mac, just because the new Windows OS changes everything I use a computer for in a negative way. (for me)

  6. Richard Brewer says:

    I use win 7 and win Vista and I like them both. I do see a few differences but they do not cause me to hunt up a win 7 machine over a win vista when I need to use a computer.

  7. Jack Campbell says:

    Yes, I think it is nothing but marketing, and from what I’ve seen and heard
    Windows 8 is well on the way to marketing themselves right out of the business of providing systems for personal use

  8. Barbara H Staples says:

    I have two Vista laptops and have alwayswondered why there was so much hate mail for Vista. I like it very much because the start menu scrolls on one side of the screen instead of all over the screen. I had so many programs on my xP machine that I couldn’t see them all. Of course that’s my fault for having so many but I much prefer the scrolling start menu. I also have a new laptop that came with version 8 and have upgraded to 8.1 although I don’t see any difference between the two. I had an XP machine but it died. The switch went on it and can’t get another.I guess there is always someone who will complain about new versions no matter how good they are. But I for one like Vista and also like 8 now that I am getting used to it.

    • MarkJ says:

      Barbara, Just FYI that option was available in XP also it was just off by default. I won’t swear it was in XP from the start but for sure it was in XP with SP 3. All you had to do was right click the start menu, click customize, go to the advanced tab and near the bottom was a check box for scroll programs. I suspect Vista has a similar option if you want the old XP way back but I don’t have a Vista machine here at work to check that.

  9. MarkJ says:

    I never used Vista until it got to SP2 so I can’t really say from personal experience what it was like, however being in the IT industry I read many articles and columns. For most people from what I remember it was like you said that it was different, especially the user account control that kept asking “do you want to allow this program to do this”.

    The other big issue though was as you implied there were a lot of programs that ran fine in XP that simply would not run on Vista when it first came out. Most of that has been fixed.

    To me today having used Win 7 before I ever used Vista, Vista looks and feels like an unfinished version of 7, which in fact it sort of was. It just doesn’t have the same polished finished look and feel, IMHO.

    I think another issue may have been that it took quite a bit of compute power and memory to run and systems have simply caught up with it since first release. Couple that with the fixes that M/S put through in the 2 service packs for memory management etc. and I suspect it is much better today than it was when it was first released.

    I have it on a couple of systems and have installed in on several systems for other people that needed to get off of XP and systems had keys for Vista.

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