Finally. Someone says something nice. I had a Vista laptop. It paved the way for the RAM experience we were just talking about on the Electron thread. ;) So, I turned off a lot of unnecessary stuff to get it much lower and faster. The driver verifications were great, it added an integrity model, it integrated search, reliability was boosted outside of then-incompatible hardware, and so on. It was really a beta they rushed out of what they really wanted which turned into Windows 7. I loved that given it was Vista’s advantages with the resource profile of Windows XP with right configuration. Windows 7 Pro is still my favorite… and last… Windows.
Only thing I didn’t get is why author hated Windows XP. Many of us thought it was great after they polished it a bit with service packs… typical with Microsoft… since it combined the benefits of Windows 2000 with the consumer-oriented Windows. It was a tougher OS that let us have fun too. It got good enough in apps and reliability on common hardware that many people were clutching SP2+ tightly even as Windows 7 got stable. So, a bit weird to me for the animosity as opposed to “Windows 7 is better and it’s time to upgrade.”
Vista was the Chapter 11 to the technical debt WIndows accumulated over the years. Without putting the struggle up-front, we’d still be dealing with a lot of the stupid shit.
Vista’s biggest security innovation was more of a UX thing - the ability to elevate privileges of running processes.
Well, that and the drivers if you count availability. The driver model changed. Microsoft also had them use SLAM for formal verification of interfacing. So few crashes and blue screens. Of course, people didn’t notice for a while due to initial incompatibility of hardware.
I liked Vista, although I didn’t use it much, already on Linux way before it came out. It clearly showed which software (applications, drivers) were complete crap and should not be used in the first place, also not on XP.
Obviously it didn’t really help people who just wanted to attach their printer which didn’t work in Vista, but it felt a lot more similar to Linux back then regarding hardware support, either it worked properly and out of the box, or it didn’t at all.