Windows Vista celebrates its first birthday

Microsoft’s Vista celebrates its first birthday today. Official spokespeople for the world’s major computer giant claim that Vista has brought best revenues ever to the corporation. However, the new system has received a rather negative reaction in the world. Microsoft had to make quite a number of modifications and adjustments to make Vista attractive to consumers.

Prior to its announcement on July 22, 2005, Windows Vista was known by its codename "Longhorn". Development was completed on November 8, 2006; over the following three months it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers, and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide to the general public, and was made available for purchase and downloading from Microsoft's web site. The release of Windows Vista comes more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, to date the longest elapsed time between successive releases of Microsoft Windows.

Windows Vista contains many changes and new features, including an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Windows Aero, improved searching features, new multimedia creation tools such as Windows DVD Maker, and redesigned networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems. Vista also aims to increase the level of communication between machines on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and digital media between computers and devices. Windows Vista includes version 3.0 of the. NET Framework, which aims to make it significantly easier for developers to write applications than with the traditional Windows API.

Criticism targets include protracted development time, more restrictive licensing terms, the inclusion of a number of technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected digital media, and the usability of the new User Account Control security technology. Reviewers have also noted some similarities between Vista's Aero interface and that of Apple's Aqua interface for the Mac OS X operating system. Moreover, some concerns have been raised about many PCs meeting "Vista Premium Ready" hardware requirements and Vista's pricing.

Before the release of Windows Vista, expectations for the new operating system were high, fueled by both promises of new features, better security, and a better user interface, as well as the five year period since the release of Windows XP. Large numbers of businesses and consumers planned on upgrading to Vista. However, after its release, it was met with harsh criticism for low hardware support, high system requirements, relatively poor performance, and for not making big enough improvements since the release of XP. This prompted many users and businesses to hold off on upgrading to Vista and even caused some to replace Vista installations with XP. These results further led to low adoption levels of Windows Vista and generally poor public review, as reflected by its title from PC World as the biggest tech disappointment of 2007 and from InfoWorld as #2 of Tech's all-time 25 flops. The actual usage share, as measured through web browser user agent strings, show Vista to have approximately 6.9% of the desktop OS market as of December 2007, which has since increased to 8.294 percent.

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