Difference Between Vista and Windows 7

When Windows Vista was first introduced to consumers, constant compatibility issues and lack of user friendly tools and settings made the operating system an instant failure. Many users compared Windows Vista to Microsoft’s biggest failure Windows ME. Windows 7 promised to fix most of the Windows Vista issues. However, when shopping, which operating system should you choose?

Peripheral Support

Windows Vista supports few drivers for peripherals made earlier than 2007. Most manufacturers also have a difficult time creating new drivers that Windows Vista will cooperate with. This causes users to purchase and learn how to use new peripherals to match their new operating system.

Windows 7 supports a much larger variety of drivers. The operating system also recognizes connected devices easier and provides links to manufacturer’s websites and any other pertinent information. This allows users to continue using existing peripherals and allows for easier installation of connected devices.

Start Up

Windows Vista starts fast as long as you only have one or two applications installed. Vista requires multiple system related programs to run during startup. When you add startup features from other programs, Windows Vista can take several minutes or more to start up.

Windows 7 is much more efficient, with all its start up services running together to speed start up time. With fewer services required to run, crashes are much less frequent as well. This is mainly due to fewer conflicts between the operating system’s services and the services of running applications.


Visually, the taskbar is the biggest difference between Windows Vista and Windows 7. Windows Vista displays the taskbar in the right hand corner of the screen with small icons. Users have little control over which icons are displayed and the notifications those programs display. With Windows 7, users have full control over which icons and notifications are displayed. Also, instead of clicking an arrow to display all icons, users can hover their mouse over the area to view a list of all icons and their related program titles.


Windows Vista and Windows 7 offer similar editions with the exception of the Netbook Edition, which is unique to Windows 7. This is a more compact version of the operating system to work better with the limited resources of a netbook.

User Access Control Messages

Windows Vista requires users to give permission before performing many common tasks such as opening a program, installing applications, changing basic and advanced settings and connecting to a network. This is supposed to make users feel safer, but results in annoying most users.

Windows 7 provides users with full control over how and when messages are displayed. Fewer messages are displayed overall as well.

Other Differences

Windows 7 provides support for most touch devices, whereas Windows Vista doesn’t. Windows 7 also introduced Aero Peek, which allows users to make open windows transparent in order to view the windows underneath easily.

Overall, Windows 7 has fixed most of the issues users have had with Windows Vista. Windows 7 starts faster, allows the user to have more control and supports more devices. Though most users have found ways to resolve their Windows Vista issues, new users may opt for the more user friendly Windows 7.


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