Windows Vista was released November 2006. More than 10 years after its release, it is now ending support for the said product. This would prompt Vista users to switch to the more recent version of Windows where Windows 10 is the most common option nowadays.
Originally code-named Longhorn, it was visualized to originally revolutionize Windows with a new file system and user interface. Although, its development has its share of ups and downs, Microsoft had to reset its plans and focus to ship a stable version in the middle of its development. It was a very ambitious project specially the Windows Future Storage file system (WinFS).
All the endeavors for WinFS got cancelled, but Microsoft turned this feature into something else. It ended up being a database that could be searched quickly, with linked data sets and related relationship between files mapped out by the system. Its failure for Vista did not totally go in vain. However some of its features got integrated into Microsoft SQL.
There were some cool features though. One of which is the Aero user interface which is also known as Windows Aero or Aero Glass. This gave users an entirely new way of looking into windows panels that look like glass with blurred borders. Another feature to mention is the sidebar which gives access to widgets. The start menu was also tweaked to make file searches easier in Windows Vista. A built-in 3D flip 3D feature renders live contents of the windows which was intended to replace the Alt-Tab, but this graphically intensive view was rarely used in practice by users.
Their focus on the graphically intensive parts of Windows Vista garnered some flak from users. Older hardware did not perform well with the new user interface and a lot of people missed out the experience to use the newer features. On top of that, it became used up a lot of resources which did not agree well with laptops. Timing did not go well with its release, since during this time, netbooks began its debut and most PC makers chose linux-based operating systems or the more stable Windows XP to be bundled with it due to the fact that netbooks did not handle Vista that well.
Some other issues in Windows Vista that generated widespread criticism included DRM protections for Blu-ray discs and the amount of User Account Control (UAC) prompts during regular use of Vista. Microsoft eventually tweaked its aggressive UAC prompts, but not before they became the source for one of Apple’s many Mac vs. PC commercials.
Microsoft eventually responded to Windows Vista’s many complaints by launching a marketing push to convince consumers it wasn’t as bad as they’d heard. The Mojave Experiment disguised Windows Vista features as a future version of Windows, where participants ranked Vista higher than their preconceived perceptions heading into the experiment. It did little to stem the flow of negative complaints around Windows Vista.
We can say a lot of bad things about Windows Vista. Inspite of all that, it did a lot of good for Windows. It paved a way for a stronger foundation for Windows 7 and 8 specially the search interface. Most of the start menu changes and design ended up still working well with Windows 10 today. Their grand ambition for Vista failed, but the fundamentals pushed forward in design and functionality and security for the succeeding versions.
Vista’s development team was at its worst which led to its demise. They have been obsessed with keeping hold of monopoly of the market and was arrogant at that time. They have lost sight of the customers and missed the opportunities for mobile. Apple was busy building an the touch interface for the iPhone, but Steve Balmer made a mistake in spending money on promoting it with crazy games and other marketing campaigns.
This shows the company in disarray during Vista. Everything started to get better when Satya Nadella took hold of Microsoft. They started to go back to the basics and slowly opened up its doors to listen to customers suggestions and tweaking Windows 10 so it’s continually getting better. Windows might have helped set the basic fundamentals and foundations of the newer versions that people enjoy, but in our minds as computer users, it will always be remembered as a failure like windows ME, Windows 8 without the start button which consumers disliked.
We all bid farewell to Windows Vista, you will always be a part of computer history.