Why Vista Failed Microsoft Computer Science Essay

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Windows Vista is an operating system released in several variations developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops , tablet PCs and media center PCs. Prior to its announcement on July 22, 2005, Windows Vista was known by its code name "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.

Windows Vista contains many changes and new features, including an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Aero, a redesigned search function, multimedia tools including Windows DVD Maker, and redesigned networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems. Vista aims to increase the level of communication between machines on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and media between computers and devices. Windows Vista includes version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, allowing software developers to write applications without traditional Windows APIs.

Since windows vista is released in the market for home and business world , windows vista was not able to capture the market due to some of the some of the Disadvantages/ Drawbacks associated with this . 

1. Requirements high, 

Windows vista consumes a lot more resources than its predecessor windows XP. For vista Aero to work, you need to invest something more than what you would have expected to invest before. The graphics card requirement is quite high. The graphics card must be of DirectX 10 supported. The required minimum graphics memory on the graphics card is 128 MB. For better performance, graphics memory must be of 256 MB. The minimum hard disk space required is 20 GB for installation of Windows Vista. Processor speed is also expected to be high for Aero to work smoothly without causing any hiccups. The memory requirement for Windows Vista system is high. The system will work smoothly when one has got RAM of about 2 GB installed. Totally, I would like to say that, Windows vista eats up lot of resources, than its predecessor, the Windows XP.

2. Issue with the Drivers compatibility :

One of the common issue with the windows vista is that the ,device drivers compatible for windows vista are not released by all the manufactures of the hardwares ,so many of the device such as graphics card and webcam had compatibility issue with the windows , before purchasing any new device we need to check out for Vista compatible or Vista ready logo, which is put up on the device.

3. Driver signing requirement

64-bit versions of Windows Vista allow only signed drivers to be installed in kernel mode; this feature cannot be easily overridden by system administrators.

In order for a driver to be signed, a developer will either have to pay Microsoft for the driver to be tested by Microsoft's WHQL Testing or, if WHQL testing is not required, to purchase a "Software Publisher Certificate" with which to sign the driver.

4. Flaws in memory protection features

Security researchers Alexander Sotirov and Mark Dowd have developed a technique that bypasses many of the new memory-protection safeguards in Windows Vista, such as address space layout randomization (ASLR). The result of this is that any already existing buffer overflow bugs that, in Vista, were previously not exploitable due to such features, may now be exploitable. This is not in itself a vulnerability: as Sotirov notes, "What we presented is weaknesses in the protection mechanism. It still requires the system under attack to have a vulnerability. Without the presence of a vulnerability these techniques don't really [accomplish] anything." 

5. Speed

Tom's Hardware published benchmarks in January 2007 that showed that Windows Vista executed typical applications more slowly than Windows XP with the same hardware configuration. Many low-to-middle-end machines that come with Windows Vista pre-installed suffer from exceptionally slow performance with the default Vista settings that come pre-loaded.

6. File operation performance

When first released in November 2006, Vista performed file operations such as copying and deletion more slowly than other operating systems. Large copies required when migrating from one computer to another seemed difficult or impossible without workarounds such as using the command line. This inability to efficiently perform basic file operations attracted strong criticism.

7. Game performance

Early in Vista's lifecycle, many games showed a drop in frame rate compared to that experienced in Windows XP. These results were largely the consequence of Vista's immature graphics processing units drivers, and higher system requirements for Vista itself.

8. Software Protection Platform

Vista includes an enhanced set of anti-copying technologies, based on Windows XP's Windows Genuine Advantage, called Software Protection Platform (SPP). In the initial release of Windows Vista (without Service Pack 1), a major component of this was a reduced-functionality mode, which is entered when it is detected that the user has "failed product activation" or that their copy is "identified as counterfeit or non-genuine. The technology was described in a Microsoft white paper as follows:

The default Web browser will be started and the user will be presented with an option to purchase a new product key. There is no start menu, no desktop icons, and the desktop background is changed to black. [...] After one hour, the system will log the user out without warning.

This was criticised for being overly draconian, especially given an imperfect false-positive record on behalf of SPP's predecessor, and at least one temporary validation server outage which reportedly flagged many legitimate copies of Vista and XP as "Non-Genuine" when Windows Update would "check in" and fail the "validation" challenge.