Revisiting Windows Vista 14 Years Later
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Dan, Vista came out in 2007. That’s 16 years.” Or maybe you’re a normal human being and didn’t just know that off the top of your head. Well, either way you’re correct. Windows Vista, previously known by its codename Longhorn, was announced on July 22, 2005. It was released to manufacturers on November 8, 2006, and was available to the public on January 30, 2007. 2023 - 2007 = 16 years, so why did I leave this obvious error in the title? Because I didn’t make the leap to Vista right away.
I was quite happy on my beige XP desktop. It wasn’t until the fall of 2009 that I got a new desktop running Windows Vista, and it didn’t last terribly long. As I’ve discussed before, I liked the graphical design of Vista and my all-in-one HP desktop had the horsepower to run it just fine. It was really the UAC prompts that drove me crazy. That, combined with the itch I had to try something new, is what ultimately led me to Linux for the better part of the next decade.
If you ask just about anyone to make a list of the worst versions of Windows you’ll inevitably see three on that list every time. Windows Me. Windows Vista. Windows 8. The order tends to vary, but those three are always there. Me personally? I think I’ve made my opinion on Windows Me perfectly clear, and I really hated the UI changes in Windows 8. But being a decade removed from XP as a daily driver, and having a more nuanced view on operating systems as a whole, what about Windows Vista? Well that’s what we’re going to find out. I am planning to install a Windows Vista virtual machine and spend at least a few weeks with it to give t a fair shake. I know there will be limitations with using a 2007 operating system in 2022, but if I can do it with Windows 2000 or XP, Vista should be easy… I hope.
The goals here are simple:
Record and document what it takes to get Vista installed, updated, and ready for day-to-day use.
Explore the Vista desktop and UI, and see if the updates that came out later in its life improved the user experience with things like UAC.
Successfully publish at least one article to The Retro Millennial from Windows Vista.
Try out various Vista spins and theme packs such as Vienna and the like.
Give a final review of Windows Vista and a figure out if the hate is truly deserved. (It really might be!)
Try Vista with Me!
For any of you brave enough to try your hand at using Windows Vista once again, I invite you to install it and give it a spin. I’ll start a Vista chat thread where we can discuss it and will share the cool stuff that people are doing in a future article. And if you are feeling really ambitious, maybe use the button below to start your own Substack for all to enjoy!
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