Windows Vista in generally considered not much of a success by microsft and I've heard many computer support shops recommend against it. The typical opinion is to stick with XP then upgrade to 7 but I am just curious as to how many people here do recommend vista.

  • 1
    What environment are you supporting? How many seats? Are your apps internally or externally developed? What sort of users do you have? How controlled is your hardware?
    – Adam
    May 19, 2009 at 14:25
  • No Adam I am interested in someone saying yes they have recommended vista because they required _____. May 19, 2009 at 14:28

14 Answers 14


I have a Vista laptop that runs fine, but no I would not recommend anyone pay to upgrade to it with windows 7 getting closer to launching.

As for a business decision: If you're lucky, Windows XP is on all of your machines. In our case we have 2-4 thousand XP machines, but some of our software breaks in Windows Vista. We're documenting that and looking into costs for newer versions, but we will not be buying new versions until we've tested them on Windows 7.

There is no business advantage of changing to Vista for us, but we will most likely look at moving to Windows 7 and updating things so that we do not fall behind as an organization.

From a company aspect unless you have a business case for moving to vista, don't bother. You can stay compliant with PCI, GLBA, and SOX without it, and all of your users are used to it.

Spend your time familiarizing yourself with Windows 7 and start updating documentation for end user guides.


My organization decided to stick with Windows XP, which for me is torture, since I use Win7 at home.

As for running Vista, I personally have had ZERO problems running it on my network, and no problems with laptops in my department using Vista Business.

Most of the anti-Vista stuff I've run into are from non-technical users who have heard "bad things" (think the anti-PC/Vista Apple ads) - and most of these users don't like the way XP works either.

As for recommending Vista, I would, because for the end user, they fixed so many little XP annoyances, like needing administrator approval to plug in a new flash drive (I hate supporting that one!)

  • 2
    For the end user they also changed how the help desk would walk them through a great many things. It isn't a technical reason but causing more and more help desk tickets is valid to a business. If you're considering Windows 7 and don't have Vista, just skip Vista. If you don't, you'll have users an additional OS to support for years.
    – sclarson
    May 19, 2009 at 18:31

The fact that Win7 includes the "XP Mode" license (for Pro versions) - versus $99 XP downgrade rights on your Vista license - seems to speak for itself. Kudos to Microsoft, honestly, for having the guts to admit they made a bad call, and move forward.

We've got one intrepid Vista user in the office.

  • There are some printers he can't use
  • There are some corporate apps he can't use
  • There are some administrative tools (for Microsoft products) that he can't use because he runs Vista

Basically, he's got an XP virtual he needs to keep running in order to successfully perform his job. We'll need a better scenario than that before we get a desktop OS change approved by management.

  • Hey, you just described me! ;) Although I am putting RC on my laptop tonight. May 21, 2009 at 3:27

I'm running Vista Business SP1 and Vista Ultimate SP1 and have not had any issues. I haven't seen Windows 7 yet, but I have heard that it is very much like Vista just easier to use. If I had a choice now, I would wait until Windows 7 comes out and go straight from WinXP to Windows 7.



I would wait for Windows 7, it has a lot better performance than Vista and is much easier to use. It is also remarkably stable, even while it was in Beta I didn't have a single problem with it despite daily use.

I would not recommend Vista for almost any environment, I'd rather go for Windows XP instead.


When answering the ultimate question of whether to upgrade to the latest and sometimes greatest version of Windows, one must always distinguish between consumer and business recommendations.

First for the consumer, Vista is a significant improvement over XP in useability and reliability. The only thing to keep in mind is that Vista loves the latest hardware. The Vista experience is quite different on a brand new machine as compared to a 3-4 year old clunker. Minimum system requirements = minimum performance. The question then remains; But now that Windows 7 is in RC shouldn't I wait to buy a new PC? If you are asking that then my answer is yes, YOU should wait.

For a business, a major consideration is user training. In our organization, all new PCs purchased within the last year or so have come with Vista. But, before being put into production, they are imaged with our standard XP-based load out. Our goal is to have a standard workstation OS version across our entire organization for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the fact that Vista won't run well (or at all) on our older machines means that we will upgrade when one of two things occur. Either we get to a point where most of our workstation hardware has been replaced or Windows 7 comes out and is as light and airy as the Betas and RCs have been. I'd love to upgrade our users to Windows 7 and I hope the performance claims are true.

Another option for businesses that is gaining popularity is to virtualize the desktops and move them to the server room. A company moving to this solution wouldn't even have to fork over much for thin clients. They could instead use the existing workstation hardware as the client.

Overall, I'd say it is an exciting time for OS technology. So the answer to your question is maybe. :)


I updated to Vista at home, and have come across no major problems. It does take a bit of getting used to as many things have been renamed and moved, and MS seemed to take a lot of flack for what is an all round better OS.

Saying that, I wouldn't reccomend anyone upgrading to Vista from XP. I would recommend taking Vista on a new computer and not taking the option to downgrade.

But historically, "new" OSes have had many detractors, it just seemed to be more intense this time.

Win95 had its detractors, everyone whinged about 98, NT4 was a resource hog, no one liked ME (which was fair, it was rubbish), 2000 broke too many things, XP was too different from 98 and 2000. XPSP1 introduced incompatibilities, and XP SP2 broke every security program. And all of these required at least double in hardware to what was needed previously, and didn't support half the hardware that people already had.

From a corporate point of view, Vista and v7 introduce a lot of things that will take getting used to - redirecting writes to the registry and "program files" being major, so it's not just a case of popping it in as a direct replacement.

  • I've recently upgraded to Windows7. As I've come from Vista it really feels like "Vista SP2", rather than a whole new OS.
    – Tubs
    May 11, 2010 at 12:43

Our work specifically recommends against Vista due to a single critical application incompatibility. That still hasn't stopped several users installing it anyway and just living with the grief. With Win7 around the corner, we've been designing around the application incompatibility since we know we'll have a lot more Win7 around than Vista, probably within a month of release. This is a case of end-users pressing IT change.


With Vista, I've found that shares perform poorly compared to XP / Server2003 - for example, XP clients with mapped drives are disconnected nearly immediately after use, causing minimal or many-second delays when reconnecting.

Also the Explorer UI on Vista has some unacceptable delays - for example opening a folder containing photos that haven't been previously indexed can take many seconds to process before it allows you to select a group of photos.

Other than that, Vista is quite good.


I have XP, Vista, and 7 (on my Mac) as virtual machines. Best to worst: 7, XP, Vista.

I'd wait until Windows 7 comes out, personally. It's much zippier.

  • Where does OS X fit in to your best to worst? Just curious. May 21, 2009 at 3:28

Running Vista myself at home for the past year+, I have had little to no problems. However, I usually do not recommend it to my users, as the interface is 'different' and much clunkier to work with. Users typically hate change and Vista can be a huge change (especially with browsing the computer). Add to the fact that Vista has a bad rap, users go into it with a negative attitude, which makes them even more intimidated/infuriated.

As others have said, I would have them either downgrade to XP (if possible for there system) or wait for Windows 7 to be released. While 7 is 'different', it does give you a slightly more XP'esque feel. I think in the end you will have happier users.

The few times I have recommended Vista, was for full usability of a Tablet PC and another for a really sweet deal on a laptop (where XP downgrade was not offered).


Most of the really good and useful changes are under the hood and also mostly directed at running Vista in corporate environments together with Server 2008 - making maintenance, deployment and configuration much easier than with Server 2003 and XP.

For a consumer end-user however these changes matters very little (except perhaps some improvements in stability which however is countered by what often feels like a slower UI response even though the operations themselves are actually faster than in XP). What they see is some rather annoying UI-changes and a bunch of useless extra consumer-oriented bloat.

So, for a company, sure - go for it, there is much to gain - but you've got to upgrade the lot and have an Active Directory and server environment that really can take advantage of Vista as well - and the technical know-how (and need) to do it more effectively than with previous generations. Many Windows administrators know practically nothing about what a real Microsoft environment can and should do for them ^^

This far into 2009 however, I'd say wait for Windows 7. There's only a few months left and Windows 7 is practically the same now rather mature code-base as Vista - with the same maintenance features but with some decent user-side tweaks (and some more really neat enterprise features).


If you need to use more than 4GB on a Windows machine, I've heard Vista 64-bit recommended over and over . I use it, and it runs great. Windows XP 64-bit was a nightmare for me.


Windows 2000 (version 5.0) was a great advance in the Windows NT line of operating systems, but it lacked some features and the polish that came with Windows XP (version 5.1) a year or so later. I think that Windows Vista (version 6.0) and Windows 7 (version 6.1) are analogous. Windows 7 is going to be more polished, and the nearly three years since Vista's release has been enough time for major hardware and software vendors to get their acts together and write their code code correctly, so Windows 7 will not suffer from as many of the problems that plagued Vista at release.

I used to think that the ideal situation was to keep all corporate machines on the same Windows version, but I have changed my mind as of late. Save your money and just use whatever version comes on the machine when you buy it. You will have to make sure that your Group Policies and scripts are configured appropriately to work on multiple platforms, but you would have had to check them all anyway for a mass-upgrade project. You can use Vista right now for testing with your line-of-business and custom in-house applications; if they work on Vista, they should work on Windows 7. (You could use the Windows 7 Release Candidate for testing, but you may encounter problems that won't exist in the release-to-manufacturing, and you would waste time troubleshooting.)

If you need new machines now, but you want to skip Windows Vista and have only XP and 7 in your environment, go ahead and buy them with Vista, and then purchase Windows Client Software Assurance (SA only, not an upgrade license). This will entitle you to upgrade to Windows 7 when it is released (for less money than an upgrade license) and will give you other benefits as well.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.