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June 21, 2008 4:29:53 PM

"Microsoft has tried repeatedly to transition XP into end-of-lifespan mode, but has found that PC makers are constantly looking for ways to give customers what they want -- an XP OS."

DELL's June 18th deadline for phasing out XP has passed, and DELL has been forced by customer demand to continue to offer it - with a charging $50 to DOWNGRADE from VISTA.

M$ is losing it's a$$ on VISTA (for good reason) and now must overcharge for XP in order to make up the loss.

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June 22, 2008 6:39:06 AM

When was the last time you actually tried Vista and formulated your own opinion... rather than regurgitating the same old crap over and over?
Anonymous
June 22, 2008 11:33:39 AM

Sorry to burst your Vista bubble bit I work on Vista computers every week and find it to be a pain in the ass. It's bloated, networking is much less user friendly, there are USB problems and don't get me started on UAC. (I know you can disable though there are certain programs that won't run with it disabled.) Other then Aero & DX10, what features are in Vista that are not in XP?

Grumpy

P.S. Not everyone has a Intel Q6600 CPU; E-VGA 780i SLI motherboard; E-VGA E-GeForce 8800GT; OCZ Vista 4GB dual-channel kit to run Vista. Try it on a $500.00 computer from Wal-Mart.
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June 22, 2008 8:14:14 PM

That's why I don't buy a $500 Wal-Mart special. People have to learn that if they want eye-candy, they have to spend money. If you buy a bargain basement computer, you can expect a bargain basement experience with it.

Vista runs just fine on modern hardware with at least 1GB of RAM... I'd recommend 2GB, of course. A lot of computers that are pre-loaded with Home Premium are coming with at least 1GB and a good chunk have 2GB standard.

I work on Vista computers daily... my office computer has Vista Business, my laptop has Home Premium 32-bit and as you saw, my gaming machine has Vista Ultimate 64-bit. What you're saying about Vista now was being said about XP seven years ago... nothing ever changes. When Windows 7 is released, everyone will of course complain about how bloated it is and how it won't run with old hardware. You'll be afraid to let go of Vista the way you won't let go of XP.
June 22, 2008 11:20:46 PM

Agreed with Zoron.

My "crud" pc runs vista fine, amd 64 3300+ @ 2ghz, 2 gigs kingston ddr ram and a 6800gt, and on my main pc...am2 6400+, 4 gigs ddr2 ocz ram, and a mere sapphire 3650, my pc runs faster with vista than xp, gaming has better performance on same settings (dont ask me how...) start up time is faster, and in 2 months ive yet to lag, crash or have a program freeze.

Vista owns, XP is good, but vista owns, 64 bit ftw
June 23, 2008 12:27:12 PM

Quote:
Other then Aero & DX10, what features are in Vista that are not in XP?.


Too much to list, but here's a partial answer:


Kernel and core OS changes

The new Kernel Transaction Manager enables atomic transaction operations across different types of objects, most significantly file system and registry operations.

The memory manager and processes scheduler have been improved. The new CPU cycle-based thread scheduling gives a greater fairness and more deterministic app behavior. Many kernel data structures and algorithms have been rewritten. Lookup algorithms now run in constant time, instead of linear time as with previous versions.

Windows Vista includes support for condition variables and reader-writer locks.

Process creation overhead is reduced by significant improvements to DLL address-resolving schemes.
Windows Vista introduces a Protected Process, which differs from usual processes in the sense that other processes cannot manipulate the state of such a process, nor can threads from other processes be introduced in it. A Protected Process has enhanced access to DRM-functions of Windows Vista. However, currently, only the applications using Protected Video Path can create Protected Processes.

Thread Pools have been upgraded to support multiple pools per process, as well as to reduce performance overhead using thread recycling. It also includes Cleanup Groups that allow clean up of pending thread-pool requests on process shutdown.

Data Redirection: Also known as data virtualization, this virtualizes the registry and certain parts of the file system for applications running in the protected user context if User Account Control is turned on, enabling legacy applications to run in non-administrator accounts. It automatically creates private copies of files that an application can use when it does not have permission to access the original files. This facilitates stronger file security and helps applications not written with the least user access principle in mind to run under stronger restrictions. Registry virtualization isolates write operations that have a global impact to a per-user location. Reads and writes in the HKLM\Software section of the Registry by user-mode applications while running as a standard user, as well as to folders such as "Program Files", are "redirected" to the user's profile. The process of reading and writing on the profile data and not on the application-intended location is completely transparent to the application.

Windows Vista supports the PCI Express 1.1 specification, including extended configuration space and segmentation. PCI Express registers, including capability registers, are supported, along with save and restore of configuration data.

Native support and generic driver for Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) specification for Serial ATA drives, SATA Native Command Queuing and Hot plugging.

Full support for the ACPI 2.0 specification, and parts of ACPI 3.0. Support for throttling power usage of individual devices has been improved.

Kernel-mode Plug-And-Play enhancements include support for PCI multilevel rebalance, partial arbitration of resources to support PCI subtractive bridges, asynchronous device start and enumeration operations to speed system startup, support for setting and retrieving custom properties on a device, an enhanced ejection API to allow the caller to determine if and when a device has been successfully ejected, and diagnostic tracing to facilitate improved reliability.

The startup process for Windows Vista has changed completely in comparison to earlier versions of Windows. The NTLDR boot loader has been replaced by a more flexible system, with NTLDR's functionality split between two new components: winload.exe and Windows Boot Manager.

Windows Vista includes a completely overhauled and rewritten Event logging subsystem, known as Windows Event Log which is XML-based and allows applications to more precisely log events, offers better views, filtering and categorization by criteria, automatic log forwarding, centrally logging and managing events from a single computer and remote access.

Windows Vista includes an overhauled Task Scheduler that uses hierarchical folders of tasks. The Task Scheduler can run programs, send email, or display a message. The Task Scheduler can also now be triggered by an XPath expression for filtering events from the Windows Event Log, and can respond to a workstation's lock or unlock, and as well as the connection or disconnection to the machine from a Remote Desktop. The Task Scheduler tasks can be scripted in VBScript, JScript, or PowerShell.

Restart Manager: The Restart Manager works with Microsoft's update tools and websites to detect processes that have files in use and to gracefully stop and restart services to reduce the number of reboots required after applying updates as far as possible for higher levels of the software stack. Kernel updates, logically, still require the system to be restarted. In addition, the Restart Manager provides a mechanism for applications to stop and then restart programs. Applications that are written specifically to take advantage of the new Restart Manager features using the API can be restarted and restored to the same state and with the same data as before the restart. Using the Application Recovery and Restart APIs in conjunction with the Restart Manager enables applications to control what actions are taken on their behalf by the system when they fail or crash such as recovering unsaved data or documents, restarting the application, and diagnosing and reporting the problem using Windows Error Reporting.

A screenshot of Windows Vista's shutdown overlay UIWhen shutting down or restarting Windows, previous Windows versions either forcibly terminated applications after waiting for few seconds, or allowed applications to entirely cancel shutdown without informing the user. Windows Vista now informs the user in a full-screen interface if there are running applications when exiting Windows or allows continuing with or cancelling the initiated shutdown. The reason registered, if any, for cancelling a shutdown by an application using the new ShutdownBlockReasonCreate API is also displayed.

Clean service shutdown: Services in Windows Vista have the capability of delaying the system shutdown in order to properly flush data and finish current operations. If the service stops responding, the system terminates it after 3 minutes. Crashes and restart problems are drastically reduced since the Service Control Manager is not terminated by a forced shutdown anymore.

Memory management
Windows Vista features a Dynamic System Address Space that allocates virtual memory and kernel page tables on-demand. It also supports very large registry sizes.

Includes enhanced support for Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) and systems with large memory pages. Windows Vista also exposes APIs for accessing the NUMA features.

Memory pages can be marked as read-only, to prevent data corruption.

New address mapping scheme called Rotate Virtual Address Descriptors (VAD). It is used for the advanced Video subsystem.

Swapping in of memory pages and system cache include prefetching and clustering, to improve performance.
Performance of Address Translation Buffers has been enhanced.

Heap layout has been modified to provide higher performance on 64-bit and Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems. The new heap structure is also more scalable and has low management overhead, especially for large heaps.

Windows Vista automatically tunes up the heap layout for improved fragmentation management.
Lazy initialization of heap initializes only when required, to improve performance.

The Windows Vista memory manager does not have a 64 kb read-ahead cache limitation unlike previous versions of Windows and can thus improve file system performance dramatically.

File systems
Transactional NTFS allows multiple file/folder operations to be treated as a single operation, so that a crash or power failure won't result in half-completed file writes. Transactions can also be extended to multiple machines.

Image Mastering API (IMAPI v2) enables DVD burning support for applications, in addition to CD burning. IMAPI v2 supports multiple optical drives, even simultaneously recording to multiple drives, unlike IMAPI in Windows XP which only supported enabling CD recording for one optical drive at a time. Windows DVD Maker can burn DVD-Video discs, while Windows Explorer can burn data on DVDs (DVD±R, DVD±R DL, DVD±R RW) in addition to DVD-RAM and CDs. Applications using IMAPI v2 can create, and burn disc images. IMAPI v2 is implemented as a DLL rather than as a service as was the case in Windows XP, and is also scriptable using VBScript. IMAPI v2 is also available for Windows XP.

Writable UDF File System. The Windows UDF file system (UDFS) implementation was read-only in OS releases prior to Windows Vista. In Windows Vista, Packet writing (incremental writing) is supported by UDFS, which can now format and write to all mainstream optical media formats (MO, CDR/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW/RAM). Write support is included for UDF format versions up to and including 2.50, with read support up to 2.60. UDF symbolic links, however, are not supported.

Common Log File System (CLFS) API provides a high-performance, general-purpose log-file subsystem that dedicated user-mode and kernel-mode client applications can use and multiple clients can share to optimize log access and for data and event management.

File encryption support superior to that available in Encrypting File System in Windows XP, which will make it easier and more automatic to prevent unauthorized viewing of files on stolen laptops or hard drives.
File System Mini Filters model which are kernel mode non-device drivers, to monitor filesystem activity, have been upgraded in Windows Vista. The Registry filtering model adds support for redirecting calls and modifying parameters and introduces the concept of altitudes for filter registrations.

Registry notification hooks, introduced in Windows XP, and recently enhanced in Windows Vista, allow software to participate in registry related activities in the system.

Support of UNIX-style symbolic links. Previous Windows versions had support for a type of cross-volume reparse points known as junction points and hardlinks. However, junction points could be created only for directories and stored absolute paths, whereas hardlinks could be created for files but were not cross-volume. NTFS symbolic links can be created for any object and are cross-volume, cross-host (work over UNC paths), and store relative paths. However, the cross-host functionality of symbolic links does not work over the network with previous versions of Windows or other operating systems, only with computers running Windows Vista or a later Windows operating system. Symbolic links can be created, modified and deleted using the Mklink.exe utility which is included with Windows Vista. Microsoft has published some developer documentation on symbolic links in the MSDN documentation. In addition, Windows Explorer is now symbolic link-aware and deleting a symbolic link from Explorer just deletes the link itself and not the target object. Explorer also shows the symbolic link target in the object's properties and shows a shortcut icon overlay on a junction point.

A new tab, "Previous Versions", in the Properties dialog for any file or folder, provides read-only snapshots of files on local or network volumes from an earlier point in time. This feature is based on the Volume Shadow Copy technology.

A new file-based disk image format called Windows Imaging Format (WIM), which can be mounted as a partition, or booted from. An associated tool called ImageX provides facilities to create and maintain these image files.

Self-healing NTFS: In previous Windows versions, NTFS marked the volume "dirty" upon detecting file-system corruption and CHKDSK was required to be run by taking the volume "offline". With self-healing NTFS, an NTFS worker thread is spawned in the background which performs a localized fix-up of damaged data structures, with only the corrupted files/folders remaining unavailable without locking out the entire volume. [31] The self-healing behavior can be turned on for a volume with the fsutil repair set c:1 command where C presents the volume letter.

Windows Vista has support for hard disk drives with large physical sector sizes (> 512 bytes per sector drives).

The NLS casing table in NTFS has been updated so that partitions formatted with Windows Vista will be able to see the proper behavior for the 100+ mappings that have been added to Unicode but were not added to Windows.

Drivers
Main article: Windows Driver Foundation
Windows Vista introduces an improved driver model, Windows Driver Foundation which is an opt-in framework to replace the older Windows Driver Model. It includes:

Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM), previously referred to as Longhorn Display Driver Model (LDDM), designed for graphics performance and stability.

A new Kernel-Mode Driver Framework, which will also be available for Windows XP and Windows 2000.
A new user-mode driver model called the User-Mode Driver Framework. In Windows Vista, WDDM display drivers have two components, a kernel mode driver (KMD) that is very streamlined, and a user-mode driver that does most of the intense computations. With this model, most of the code is moved out of kernel mode.

The audio subsystem also runs largely in user-mode to prevent impacting negatively on kernel performance and stability. Also, printer drivers in kernel mode are not supported. User-mode drivers are not able to directly access the kernel but use it through a dedicated API. User-mode drivers are supported for devices which plug into a USB or FireWire bus, such as digital cameras, portable media players, PDAs, mobile phones and mass storage devices, as well as "non-hardware" drivers, such as filter drivers and other software-only drivers. This also allows for drivers which would typically require a system reboot (video card drivers, for example) to install or update without needing a reboot of the machine. If the driver requires access to kernel-mode resources, developers can split the driver so that part of it runs in kernel-mode and part of it runs in user-mode. These features are significant because a majority of system crashes can be traced to improperly installed or unstable third-party device drivers. If an error occurs the new framework allows for an immediate restart of the driver and does not impact the system. User-Mode Driver Framework is available for Windows XP and is included in Windows Media Player 11.

Kernel-mode drivers on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista must be digitally signed; even administrators will not be able to install unsigned kernel-mode drivers. A boot-time option is available to disable this check for a single session of Windows. Installing user-mode drivers will still work without a digital signature.
Signed drivers are required for usage of PUMA, PAP (Protected Audio Path), and PVP-OPM subsystems.
Driver packages that are used to install driver software are copied in their entirety into a "Driver Store", which is a repository of driver packages. This ensures that drivers that need to be repaired or reinstalled won't need to ask for source media to get "fresh" files. The Driver Store can also be preloaded with drivers by an OEM or IT administrator to ensure that commonly used devices (e.g. external perhiperals shipped with a computer system, corporate printers) can be installed immediately. Adding, removing and viewing drivers from the "Driver Store" is done using PnPUtil.exe

Support for Windows Error Reporting; information on an "unknown device" is reported to Microsoft when a driver cannot be found on the system, via Windows Update, or supplied by the user. OEMs can hook into this system to provide information that can be returned to the user, such as a formal statement of non-support of a device for Windows Vista, or a link to a web site with support information, drivers, etc.

[System performance

SuperFetch caches frequently-used applications and documents in memory, and keeps track of when commonly used applications are usually loaded, so that they can be pre-cached and it also prioritizes the programs currently used over background tasks. SuperFetch aims to negate the negative performance effect of having anti-virus or backup software run when the user is not at the computer. Superfetch is able to learn at what time of a given day an application is used and so it can be pre-cached.

ReadyBoost, makes PCs running Windows Vista more responsive by using flash memory on a USB drive (USB 2.0 only), SD Card, Compact Flash, or other form of flash memory, in order to boost system performance. When such a device is plugged in, the Windows Autoplay dialog offers an additional option to use it to speed up the system; an additional "ReadyBoost" tab is added to the drive's properties dialog where the amount of space to be used can be configured. ReadyBoost can also use spare RAM on other networked Vista PCs.

ReadyBoot uses an in-RAM cache to optimize the boot process if the system has 700MB or more memory. The size of the cache depends on the total RAM available, but is large enough to create a reasonable cache and yet allow the system the memory it needs to boot smoothly. ReadyBoot uses the same ReadyBoost service.

ReadyDrive is the name Microsoft has given to its support for hybrid drives, a new design of hard drive developed by Samsung and Microsoft. Hybrid drives incorporate non-volatile memory into the drive's design, resulting in lower power needs, as the drive's spindles do not need to be activated for every write operation. Windows Vista can also make use of the NVRAM to increase the speed of booting and returning from hibernation.

Windows Vista features Prioritized I/O which allows developers to set application I/O priorities for read/write disk operations, similar to how currently application processes/threads can be assigned CPU priorities. I/O has been enhanced with I/O asynchronous cancellation and I/O scheduling based on thread priority. Background applications running in low priority I/O do not disturb foreground applications. Applications like Windows Defender, Automatic Disk Defragmenter and Windows Desktop Search (during indexing) already use this feature. Windows Media Player 11 also supports this technology to offer glitch-free multimedia playback.

The Offline Files feature, which maintains a client side cache of files shared over a network, has been significantly improved. When synchronizing the changes in the cached copy to the remote version, the Bitmap Differential Transfer protocol is used so that only the changed blocks in the cached version are transferred, but when retrieving changes from the remote copy, the entire file is downloaded. Files are synchronized on a per-share basis and encrypted on a per-user basis and users can force Windows to work in offline mode or online mode or sync manually from the Sync Center. The Sync Center can also report sync errors and resolve sync conflicts. Also, if network connectivity is restored, file handles are redirected to the remote share transparently.

Delayed service start allows services to start a short while after the system has finished booting and initial busy operations, so that the system boots up faster and performs tasks quicker than before.

Enable advanced performance option for hard disks: When enabled, the hard disk drive operates in write-back cache mode, in which all the data that gets written to the drive is first stored in the cache, and then later written to the disk. Both writes and reads are cached in this case. When disabled, the HDD operates in write-through cache mode, in which all data that gets written to the drive is immediately written to the disks and also stored in the cache. Writes are not cached, but reads are.
June 23, 2008 12:39:08 PM

You also might want to check:

.NET 3.0 - Includes Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, and Windows CardSpace. There's also a UI Automation API, and a managed code speech API.

There's a new "Media Foundation" API. The Search tools have been almost completely rewritten, and can be accessed programmatically using both managed and native code. Again, a new API supporting both SQL like syntax and natural language searches (using a 'GenerateSQLFromUserQuery' method).

The Networking stack has been completely rewritten, and includes a pre confiigured Quality of Service module which assignes different priorities based on the content: Time dependent media - such as streaming audio gets a higher priority than tasks which aren't - like downloading files/email.

New Crypto API...


etc...etc...etc...etc...

June 23, 2008 12:53:41 PM

I got an obsolete computer and Vista 64 ultimate works as smooth as butter. halo 2 works as smooth as butter.
June 23, 2008 3:15:14 PM

Quote:


P.S. Not everyone has a Intel Q6600 CPU; E-VGA 780i SLI motherboard; E-VGA E-GeForce 8800GT; OCZ Vista 4GB dual-channel kit to run Vista. Try it on a $500.00 computer from Wal-Mart.


Even on a well specked machine similar to that, Vista is slow even with Service pack 1 in my experience. I've tried Vista 64Bit on my new system a Q6600 (OC 3Ghz), 4GB Ram, SATA 2 HD and 2900XT, to be honest XP was more responsive on my old AMD Dual core machine. What hope does lower machines have? no wonder Microsoft is keeping XP alive until 2010 for low cost laptops.
Anonymous
June 23, 2008 3:55:45 PM

Looks like Scotteq learned how to copy and paste. In the long run, what do all those so called improvements do for the average user?

Grumpy
June 23, 2008 4:01:27 PM

Quote:
In the long run, what do all those so called improvements do for the average user?

Grumpy


I agree technical Jargon sounds impressive, but it's real world usage that counts. Vista is kind of like Marmite you either love it or hate it :lol: 
Anonymous
June 23, 2008 4:27:07 PM

Marmite? I don't even know what it is so I don't know if I love it or hate it. :lol: 

Grumpy
June 23, 2008 4:44:38 PM

Quote:
Looks like Scotteq learned how to copy and paste. In the long run, what do all those so called improvements do for the average user?

Grumpy



You asked the question... I took a little time to provide. Apparently, you don't like the answer. Too bad. Though considering you had to ask in the first place, it's also apparent you don't care to learn, given that it took me all of 5 minutes to grab a list. Given that you haven't bothered to educate yourself on what it can/can't do, we're supposed to take you seriously?? PUH~leeze


So - What have we accomplished here besides the usual ignorant spew??

yeah... I thought so... :sarcastic: 
June 23, 2008 4:48:33 PM

I notice no difference between XP and Vista on my computer... I previously had it loaded up with XP since I hadn't purchased Vista prior to assembling the computer. My games run just as well as they did with XP... and general tasks aren't any slower either.

As has been said many times before... "Your mileage may vary". I can't wait to see how you guys rip on Windows 7.
June 23, 2008 6:04:13 PM

Quote:
Marmite? I don't even know what it is so I don't know if I love it or hate it. :lol: 

Grumpy


Yeast Spread and I can't stand it :lol: 

http://www.marmite.com/
!