Since most Microsoft fans and Windows enthusiasts these days are focused on installing new Windows 10 builds, or asking Dona Sarkar when the latest build will drop, it is sometimes easy to forget Microsoft’s past Windows ventures. While Windows 95 and 98 were ushered out long ago, and Microsoft ended support for Windows XP just three years ago, today marks the 10 year anniversary of the release Windows Vista, the Microsoft operating system that users loved to hate.
Though Vista had a fair share of issues, it did modernize Windows and bring several new operating system features which we continue to see in Windows 10 today. For instance, Vista introduced the GUI visual style named Aero, a simpler search component called Windows Search, redesigned networking, enhanced Windows Live Essentials tools, and also several other multimedia tools.
Coming five years after the successful release of XP, Windows Vista, (which was codenamed Longhorn) was plagued with many issues when compared to Microsoft’s previous operating system. Users who adopted the operating system frequently faced glitches, crashes, and massive driver support problems. In fact, upon announcing that he would be leaving the company, former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer mentioned that his biggest regret while at Microsoft is Windows Vista.
“Oh, you know, I’ve actually had a chance to make a lot of mistakes, and probably because, you know, people all want to focus in on period A, period B, but I would say probably the thing I regret most is the, what shall I call it, the loopedy-loo that we did that was sort of Longhorn to Vista. I would say that’s probably the thing I regret most. And, you know, there are side effects of that when you tie up a big team to do something that doesn’t prove out to be as valuable”
Microsoft officially ended mainstream support for Windows Vista in April of 2012, and is planning to end extended support to April 2017, just a few short months away. Other companies have also stopped supporting Vista, and Firefox has even announced that it would drop support in September of 2017.