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Our Windows Vista coverage began with a hands-on diary by MobilityGuru's Barry Gerber, followed by an assessment of gameplay under Windows Vista by graphics presidente Darren Polkowski, as well as a complete feature rundown of Vista. Barry took the new operating system and its look & feel with a grain of salt, while Darren was disappointed because OpenGL support was dropped along the way, meaning that Windows Vista currently offers horrible performance for graphics applications utilizing the Open Graphics Library.
We are sure that mainstream users will appreciate the improved usability of Windows Vista, and the average office/multimedia user will likely never notice the lack of OpenGL. However, a chapter on the overall performance of Windows Vista requires more dedication. In particular, two things require an in-depth analysis:
This article deals with basic application execution under Windows Vista Enterprise, which is representative of the other editions. We put together a high-end test system and performed a comprehensive benchmark session both with Windows XP Professional and with Windows Vista Enterprise to see if there are differences. And indeed, we found that there are some...
Although the main Windows Vista core has undergone lot of modifications, many of your applications will work with Vista. There is, however, no guarantee. You should definitely try any essential software on Windows before you upgrade.
Process scheduling and thread pooling have been improved in Vista; a deadlock protection mechanism and hardware partitioning for virtualization support were added, together with many more features.
We tried lots of different programs under Windows Vista Enterprise, and came up with a list of software that definitely works.
In other cases there were some issues.
We found Vista updates for the Futuremark benchmark programs 3DMark and PCMark, as well as the popular data compression tool WinRAR. Lots of video-related software such as DivX could no longer be installed; new versions are required. The popular audio player WinAMP 5.32 throws up an error at startup, yet it works properly. Quake IV can still be executed, but the installation program did not work. Applications that run their own memory management won't benefit from Vista's SuperFetch function. For example, Adobe Photoshop takes care of creating a temporary work file every time it launches - Vista has no access to this process and cannot speed it up.
There are some types of software that you should only use if they have been specifically designed for Windows Vista: firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software needs to be Vista-Ready.