Head to Head: Windows 7 vs Windows Vista

In our latest head to head, Windows 7 faces its immediate predecessor, Windows Vista. Will Vista be able to mount any kind of challenge?

Overall

We assumed that this would be a clean sweep for Windows 7 at the start, and we were right. It's pretty much a case of whatever Windows Vista can do, Windows 7 can do better. And quite a lot more besides.

While you would expect an operating system to be better than its predecessor, this hasn't always been the case for Microsoft. Take Windows ME as an example, being a step back from Windows 98, and well, Windows Vista for Windows XP.

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It's clear from this comparison that Vista did bring many major changes to the table compared to the excellent but simply dated XP, but Windows 7 has really polished off its rough edges. The response to Windows 7 from end users is testament to what Microsoft has achieved here, and with its relative affordability, free alternatives have lost some of their lustre, particularly if they don't really bowl anyone over.

Of course, many believe that Microsoft has merely played catch up to Apple with MacOS X but at least Windows users don't have to feel too inferior anymore, and businesses can get on with the job of modernising with confidence.

Winner: Windows 7

Verdict

Windows Vista can lay claim to introducing many features and enhancements over Windows XP, but it really needed a major overhaul to make it work as a coherent whole. So much so that it took a whole new operating system to get it right. Windows 7 is far more than Windows Vista Service Pack 3 and using it will make you feel like you’ve got a new machine.

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