Compare Windows XP with Windows Vista

With the introduction of Windows Vista, Microsoft has surged ahead in bringing out new features to old operating system Windows XP. In Windows Vista, Microsoft revamped several features which were present in Windows XP! If you are moving from XP to Vista, it's time to compare Vista Vs XP. Are you ready?

Compare installation phase

Let us start discussion on comparison from the process of installation itself. In Windows XP, the system prompts for user information, CD-Key, and other information etc. after the process of copying files is done. In Windows Vista, it will ask for information such as computer name, CD-Key before the copying process. One cannot install Windows Vista in drives formatted using FAT32 file systems! One need to have NTFS formatted partition for installation of Windows Vista, which aims at secured future operating systems. Security in FAT32 is less compared to NTFS. Installation process was also fast, compared to Windows XP.

Booting process

Next significant change is in the booting process. The NT Boot Loader which was present in the other older operating system has been replaced by Windows Boot Manager. Windows Vista does not allow storing our own or application files in Windows installed boot drives such as ‘C:’ for security reasons, for users including administrator.

Start Menu

Microsoft redesigned the desktop items, such as start menu. The task bar which consist of start button, which is similar in look of Windows XP start button. But, the default color of the task bar has been changed. Instead of classic blue, the default color has been changed to coffee black.

Aero & 3D Effect

There is a new feature called “Aero” which is enabled for use if the system contains a high graphics card, which supports DirectX 9.0 and higher. This feature which is not present in Windows XP enables one to view the open windows as 3D windows. The task bar and open windows can be given translucent, which means semi-transparent effect, through “Aero” option.

Larger Icons on Desktop

The address bar of the Windows Vista Explorer is redesigned to show path as “Computer > Local Disk (C:) > My Folder > My Next Level Folder >” instead of “C:My FolderMy Next Level Folder” which was in Windows XP. The icons appearing on the desktop has been made larger compared to Windows XP. Microsoft has done away with word “My” in the terms such as My Computer, My Document, in Windows Vista.

Sidebar to save time

Microsoft brought a side bar similar to the side bar of MS-Office 97. Programs can be quickly accessed, through customizable buttons provided for the purpose. We need not navigate through Start > Programs > Program Group > Program Name” to run a program. Instead, we can create a short cut on the side bar such that Program Name can be directly accessed.

Adding an old hardware devices have a problem in Windows Vista too, similar to Windows XP. It is said that Windows XP Compatible hardware doesn’t have any problems. Hardware devices which are not detected by Windows XP have problems in Vista too. So, look for a logo “Windows Vista or XP compatible” before buying the hardware. Some old devices can be made to work, if the manufacturer of the device can provide the needed XP or Vista compatible drivers. But, some old devices or the system itself may start to behave differently when we install a XP or Vista compatible drivers which are provided by the manufacturers.

Parental Control- Lets you control your Kid's activity

Vista on the other hand, has a new feature called Parental Control, which is not present in Windows XP. Parents can control their children who make use of the computer for playing their popular games. Parents can now deny access to the computer, deny playing games, and deny even surfing internet. Parents now even can check the status of guessing passwords.

Better Gaming performance

Performance wise, vista surges ahead compared to Windows XP. The various tests such as iTunes encoding, Photoshop CS2 image-processing, 3D games testing using F.E.A.R., has shown that better performance can be achieved in Windows Vista, than Windows XP.

Additional cost to computer user

But, with Windows Vista, it is hard time for people with old systems, as they need to burn some of their extra energy, in purchasing hardware. The RAM needed to be at least 256 MB. One cannot run Vista Aero feature, without a good 3D graphics card that too should support Direct X 9.0. Performance will be slow, if the processor speed is lower than 2.0 GHz.

Final Thoughts

One thing is sure, Windows Vista surely will be a replacement for Windows XP, in terms of performance, number of rich features, the way it manages the computer resources etc. As Vista is in beta phase, we can expect decent performace when it finally comes put. Let us wait & watch.

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