How Is Windows Vista Different from Other Operating Systems?

Many people would agree that Vista is probably the best and worst operating system Microsoft has ever put together. It’s the best operating system from a security and possibly a reliability perspective. Even though it requires substantial hardware to run, Vista tends to use the hardware more efficiently so you actually get better performance. However, there are the downsides of too much security and very high hardware requirements to consider too. Just how much security or hardware do you need to perform word processing tasks?

Windows Vista Compared with UNIX
UNIX is probably the most similar to Vista in terms of architecture. There are many different flavors of UNIX, however. Each flavor has a different user interface, and not all of them are graphical. As a group, UNIX operating systems are 32/64-bit, secure, and capable of running on a number of processor types. UNIX is mostly a server OS these days; it’s not very popular as a client OS anymore. In the past, artists and designers have used high-end UNIX-based workstations to create special effects for films. Vista, however, supports high-end 3D protocols. Running Vista on a high-powered 64-bit processor will give you equal processing power to those UNIX workstations, with the added punch of Vista, for a fraction of the price.

Vista also adds managed code to the mix. No, Vista doesn’t run everything using managed code, but you’ll find that the .NET Framework does appear with regularity as a requirement for Vista applications. Using managed code can improve system reliability and security. Using MONO ( lets you run the managed code on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and UNIX systems, so in reality, these other operating systems are losing their edge in platform independence. You may eventually see Windows applications in the same places you see everything else. In short, Vista is closing any gaps it had with UNIX and is making significant improvements in the areas where it already excelled.

Windows Vista Compared with Linux
Linux is a freely distributed 32/64-bit OS, a variant of UNIX. Many shells are available that add a friendly graphical face to Linux, making it more accessible to the average end-user than standard UNIX, but with all of UNIX’s stability. A large segment of the Linux fan base is the “anti-Microsoft” crowd that sees Microsoft’s industry dominance as a very bad thing and wants to counteract it in any way they can. They love Linux because of the philosophy behind it—free and constantly being collaboratively improved. In the end, the main reason for owning a computer is to run applications, right? So, it’s important to choose an OS that runs the applications you need. Some business software companies have released versions of their applications that run on Linux, but the majority of applications still run only on Windows (including Vista).

Windows Vista Compared with the Macintosh OS
Like Vista, the Macintosh OS is a 32/64-bit environment with built-in networking capabilities. Despite its well-known and intuitive interface, the Macintosh OS lacks many of the powerful features found in Vista. Object linking and embedding (OLE), Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI), and Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) are all unfamiliar to Apple users. There’s also a relatively limited amount of software available to the Macintosh market as compared with the Windows market. The latest version of the Macintosh OS and Vista do have some significant changes to consider from previous editions. The Macintosh has received a well-deserved reputation for supporting magnificent graphics. That’s one of the reasons that this operating system is so popular with anyone who works with graphics. In this respect, the Macintosh operating system is still superior, but Vista is definitely making inroads. At some point, you can expect Windows and Macintosh to duke it out over the graphics issue. The Macintosh OS is also no longer limited to special Macintosh hardware. Apple made the interesting choice to give up that unique hardware and now you can find the Macintosh OS running on an Intel system near you. Consequently, Windows has lost a bit of its edge for running on open hardware. There are even reports that some people have gotten Windows and the Macintosh OS to dual boot on a single machine.

Source of Information : Sybex Mastering Windows Vista Business

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