Introduction To Windows And Operating System Comparisons Computer Science Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Windows OS have been for a very long time popular among computer users for the past few decades. Its popularity among users today is still unshaken. However, its recent OS, Windows Vista has changed all that. Despite being in the market for many years, Windows Vista received a rather poor reception. So bad that some users prefer to downgrade their laptops from Vista to XP because users reported that it actually increases their laptops battery lifespan. The introduction of the newest OS Windows 7 only further complicates things. By comparing all the Windows in the later sections. We'll find out which emerges to be the best.


Back in 2001 when Windows XP just presents itself, it was designed to run smoothly with a 300MHz Pentium II CPUs with only 128MB of RAM. Therefore it wouldn't be a surprise if that lightweight OS would run without any problems on today's processors. Windows claims that their newer OSes can optimise and run more powerful features and modern hardware, however all this extra functionality only slows us down.

To find out more, a test is conducted on each Operating System with an average spec PC. The system which includes 2GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon HD4550 graphics card and an Intel dual-core E5200 CPU. The system is then installed with Windows OSes XP, Vista and the latest Windows 7. At first, the boot time wasn't a surprise as Windows Vista took the longest to boot, followed by XP and lastly Windows 7. bootscreen.png

Then, copy speeds were tested. This can be split into 2 categories, first, the copying speed of large files and second, the copying speed of smaller files. Surprisingly, when it comes to copying larger files, Vista managed to win over XP by a little. Both were beaten by Windows 7 though. Other the other hand, when it comes to copying smaller files, Windows XP won over Vista and again Windows7 was the fastest. This can be applied to application test as well. Such as Excel spreadsheet or PDF file.

Knowing this, a pattern can be spotted. With Windows 7 producing excellent results that are coming close to beating the performance of XP and of course triumph over Vista. It's quite fantastic given that Windows 7 is still in its beta stage. When the drivers are done, we can expect way better performance that it already has now.

Performance winner:

Windows 7

Windows XP

Windows Vista


There were rumors saying that Vista would optimize our TCP/IP, and it was very welcomed into the world of computing. However, it's proven after several test that Vista didn't live up to that compliment. Although there're factors proving that Vista's networking works well such as transferring large files but, typical test were conducted and found that XP works better than Vista.

Well, we can't say that Vista doesn't have any useful networking features to offer though. The Network Map that Vista has to offer displays a useful graphical view of all our devices. They also have the Network Setup Wizard which is genuinely helpful. It is easier to connect to other networks as well compared to XP, while WPA2 encryption keeps your network secure. And if any problems may emerge, there's always a detailed status report. The Diagnose and Repair option will then take over to help you solve the remaining problem without much input from your part.

Windows 7 homegroups

Windows 7 introduces a new simple way to create a network so that we can securely share our pictures, music, videos and documents called Homegroups. The catch is that Homegroups only works for Windows 7. If you have an old OS then you would have to do it the old way. Once you've figured out how to that, it's hard to imagine why you would use Homegroups in the future. The predicted scenario would be that people would just continue to create and manage their networks the old way. Still, Windows 7 have improved Vista's networking and XP as well. Windows 7 winning in file transfer speed test. With that, Windows 7 can be said to be significantly faster at transferring larger files.

Networking winner:

Windows 7

Windows XP

Windows Vista


Although in many ways XP has won over Vista. For security reasons, Vista has the upper hand. Windows XP still receives their regular patches until 14 April 2014, but what it's lacking is Windows Vista's reassuring security developments. This results Windows XP to be less safe to take online than it once was.

Some Windows Vista users say that Windows XP is less irritating to use because of Vista's User Account Control (UAC) that easily prompts you when you make system changes. This however is a good thing as it limits what the malware can do and therefore makes your PC safer on the web.

Windows uac

Other than that, UAC also provides other useful features such as Internet Explorer's Protected Mode. On further explanation, this feature limits what IE can do, preventing your hard drive and registry from being written on. ActiveX watches over your toolbars and any add-ons with the same level of security.

Lastly, Windows 7 has improved the UAC to be less irritating to users. You can choose how many security alerts you will see will Multiple security levels. This solves the problem of annoyed users because their system is free from any other third party meddling with UAC hiding in the background.

Encryption has been really well developed in the recent years. Software such as BitLocker provides full protection in Vista and Windows 7. The only catch is that BitLocker only comes with high end Windows OSes. Even low-end Windows 7 and Vista users will be positioned with Windows XP.

Modern Windows security comes with as little as possible changes but their system services are more isolated and run with less privilege. This in return reduces the damage of what malicious codes can do. A new TCP/IP has improved encryption and authentication options, making it way harder for malware to attack the key system functions.

With this, we can conclude that in terms of security Vista is unquestionably more secure than XP but Windows 7 once again wins over Vista because it kept the Vista's best features while adding new controls to reduce the hassle of UAC.

Security winner:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP


The most important requirement for gaming nowadays is that the OS should be able to run all of your games. Windows XP which had been around for many years longer than Windows Vista apparently remains a very good choice for compatibility. Many of our latest games are written o be compatible with Windows XP.

When it comes to hardware, a similar case can be seen as most new hardware come with compatibility with Windows XP. When compared to Windows Vista, XP users have larger variety choices because they can access older hardware.


This doesn't mean the newer OSes are deprived. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have added support for gaming which is DirectX 10. But it is very costly to get a graphic card like that in our current market.

Vista has one problem when it comes to gaming that is, its performance issue. Windows Vista as we know doesn't make the best of our RAM. Tests shows that Windows 7 managed the best when it comes to frame rates.

Gaming winner:

Windows 7

Windows XP

Windows Vista