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Mossberg: Windows 7 Leaves Vista in the Dust



windows_seven_spoof_logoWalt Mossberg is the dean of tech critics and when he speaks it’s like those old advertisements that proclaimed when (I forget the name of the finanical company) speaks, others listen.

Mossberg may be a bit late to the game in talking about the Windows 7 Beta, but he’s joining the near universal praise the new OS from Microsoft is receiving by saying Windows 7 leaves Vista in the dust.

I’m not sure it leaves Vista in the dust or not from my early testing, but those driving Windows 7 machines can certainly see Vista trailing behind in the rearview mirror. The video review is also worth watching.

Check out Mossberg’s thoughts here.



  1. Gavin Miller

    01/22/2009 at 10:13 am

    Hmmm. Well, yes but he immediately starts talking about Vista ‘incompatabilities’. Well, if your stuff won’t work with Vista it sure won’t work with Windows 7.
    It’s interesting as well how MS is unbundling key apps, no doubt due to the kicking they keep getting from the EU over competition, yet Apple is able to increase the number of bundled apps, indeed uses this fact as a key sales pitch over Windows. I was amazed how much is included with OSX on my Mac Mini.

    Anyway, I think Windows 7 will reignite interest in Windows as an OS. Even Mr Ubuntu thinks so –

  2. Tim

    01/22/2009 at 10:36 am

    As I understand it, the change to Windows Live Essentials is in fact part of the anti-trust settlement. It’s really a shame that people who were so for the judgment now will be complaining that Windows does not include what has come to be called “basic functionality.”

    The double standard Gavin mentioned between Apple’s increasing inclusion of apps and the forced removal of them in Windows frankly is one of the most frustrating parts of this competition to me as a consumer.

  3. T Man

    01/22/2009 at 11:26 am

    The name you were looking for is scandal ridden E.F. Hutton, who is no longer.

  4. JC

    01/22/2009 at 11:30 am

    Note that when you buy OSX, you don’t get all those extra programs. You only get all those extra programs when you buy a Mac.

  5. Djblois

    01/22/2009 at 11:37 am


    that is a false argument – You can’t buy OSX by itself, you can only get it on a Mac – so he was right.

  6. Tim

    01/22/2009 at 11:39 am


    Do you lose them if you upgrade editions of OSX on a Mac (ie Tiger to Leopard)? With the exception of OSX86, if you buy OSX, you have a Mac so it seems to me the point is moot.

  7. GoodThings2Life

    01/22/2009 at 11:43 am

    As I said over on jkOnTheRun,

    I have to say, I can’t stand his perspective most of the time since he is so biased towards Apple, BUT the fact that he’s praising W7 so highly is a very good sign that Microsoft is actually getting things right this time.

    Windows 2000 was the same way… maybe Microsoft just loves to end each decade on a high note… 3.0 was the first successful version in 1990, then 2000 in 2000, and now 7 leading into 2010…

    As for Windows Live, I definitely feel like it should be included on the Windows 7 DVD as an optional install for the folks who have limited Internet connectivity to download the 134MB installer.

  8. JC

    01/22/2009 at 12:59 pm

    Djblois: Of course you can buy OSX by itself. It’s right there at Amazon. Yes, technically it’s an upgrade. However, if Apple has release upgrades of those extra programs in the meantime, you don’t get them when you buy the OSX upgrade. That’s not the case with the programs bundled with Windows

    Tim: The point is that when Apple upgrades those programs, you don’t get them when you buy the OSX upgrade. You either have to buy them separately, or buy a new Mac. OTOH, when Microsoft upgrades their bundled programs, you do get them when you buy an operating system upgrade. That means there is, in fact, a difference between what Apple does and what Microsoft does.

    I’ve seen people slam Apple because they argue that those programs do not, in fact, come with OS X. Likewise, I’ve seen people slam Apple because they consider those program to come with OS X. It seems to me to be only fair to slam Apple for one of those, not both.

  9. Djblois

    01/22/2009 at 1:53 pm


    Ok I get your point now. I do agree with that you can’t argue against a company for two contradictory reasons. Furthermore, apple should not give them away with an apple computer if Microsoft is not allowed to bundle them with Windows.

  10. Osiris

    01/22/2009 at 3:03 pm

    Is the author of this article even doing this comparison with SP1?

    For a start, making your first point about Win7’s multi-touch is pretty pointless, since I dont know too many consumer devices with the technology and at this point its like saying “Vista leaves Win98 in the dust because it has built in WiFi Support”…

    Secondly like so many of these anti-vista pieces we’re seeing lately, the author fails to quanitfy or even qualify his actual qualms with Vista other than using general terms like “compatbility of hardware and software”, “quicker” and he parades around isntalling software as a feat…did these programs not work in Vista:

    ‘I also successfully installed and used popular programs from Microsoft’s rivals, such as Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Reader, Apple’s iTunes, and Google’s Picasa. All worked properly, even though none was designed for Windows 7.’

    Look Vista had problems on Launch, poor driver support and the original version was a bit slow and clunky ill grant that. But alot of patches and in particular SP1 turned that around. I have been using Vista on both my home, work and laptop computers and have found it to be nothing short of stables, quick, and vastly superior for multi-tasking.

    So much so infact that on my home computer, besides quicker boot-up I personally did not find Windows 7 to be a magical speed demon that allowed me to magically work quicker or do anything I havent been able to do on Vista.

    Chances are when its released ill run Win7, my point is though its built on Vista. Vista has come along way and wasnt what it was on launch and I question why everyone has this blind following to Win7 given how similar it is to VISTA…one wonders if Consumers have finally accepted that Vista-style Windows isnt going anywhere and are now unsconsciously accepting this fact.

  11. GoodThings2Life

    01/22/2009 at 5:17 pm


    Perhaps you’re new and don’t realize, but this is The whole point of the site is about mobile devices that use multi-function technologies like Tablet PC’s and Touch PC’s, so YES, Touch can be and is a very big deal for probably 99% of the readers here.

    Have you ever read anything Walt Mossberg rights? He’s the biggest Mac Zealot there is second only to the Almighty himself, Steve Jobs. If Walt is taking time to praise Windows, it can be as general or specific as he feels he needs to be, and to his credit he will actually give you specifics if you ask him.

    Well one man’s “vastly superior” mumbo jumbo is another man’s worthless pile of dog fecal matter, so if you actually like Vista that much, kudos to you, but it doesn’t change the fact that Vista is the equivalent of Windows ME 2.0 according to 98% of the people who have had the misfortune of using it. Even WinME had its supporters.

    Hey, I doubt many will argue that W7 is the equivalent of Vista Second Edition. I know I won’t… but here’s the thing… 98 and 98SE were worlds apart in terms of performance and stability, and so is Vista and W7. I’ll take W7 over Vista any day, and from the sounds of the tech community– so will a significant majority of others.

    Now, because I don’t want to let you get away with accusing me of being general the way Walt was, I just want to be specific… I love the new interface of W7 because it finally allows me to have EVERYTHING I do in one place, on one bar, and STILL be organized.

    On my system, it supports my solid state drive natively rather than needing dozens of half-baked tweaks and settings just to minimize performance lags, so yeah, that’s a big deal. I had XP running with 30 processes on bootup just to make it boot up within a minute on my work network (including group policy support and such), but the same system with nearly 60 processes out of the box boots up in 23 seconds! I can only imagine the boost when I sit here and start tuning it up a bit.

    The fact that people are installing it on low-end netbooks and other old hardware without issue is also a good thing. Vista crawls with anything less than optimal hardware conditions where W7 is performing anywhere from moderately reasonable to really well.

    I’m a firm believer in questioning hype, but every now and again even I find a product that just makes me say, WOW that’s convenient.

  12. Osiris

    01/22/2009 at 6:19 pm

    I realise this is a mobile tech site….and yes Win7s new features in that area are welcome however that wasnt what his article was about, it was about praising Win7 at the expense of Vista. My point was the technology is barely even making its apparence in the market, therefore you cannot fault Vista for *not* having the tech inbuilt, just like you cant say Win98 sucked for no inbuilt wireless control.

    There is alot of hype surrounding Windows 7 and im not suggesting it doesnt make improvements and run smoother on a range of machines etc etc, however suggesting Vista was a failure or that its dust when so much of Win7 is VISTA and built on VISTA so plainly and when ppl are too lazy or blinded to even try SP1 vista I take offense to.

    Oh and heres the difference between WindowsME and Vista…Windows XP wasnt built on WindowsME…Windows 7 IS built on Vista! You cant call Vista a failure when Win7 is a stone throw away from Vista SP2! ffs.

    Clearly, im in the loosing side of this argument, but if you love Win7 and want to get on the Zealots band wagon, fine go ahead, but get a clue and try an upto date version of Vista for yourself before jumping on the mass generalisation train and bagging it out to prop up Win7, when that in itself makes little sense since so much of Win7 is?……yes VISTA!

  13. Ben

    01/22/2009 at 6:31 pm

    I’ll agree that Windows 7 appears to be a large improvement over Vista. And though vista wasn’t a spectacular success, I hardly think it was as terrible as so many people claim. Overall, the basics are the same, and I don’t see anything that really blows me away, though i am certainly excited about win7.

    However, that aside, who cares if Win7 is better than vista? With win7 coming out in about 1 year, it would be pointless to upgrade to vista from xp now, unless you bought a new computer that came with vista pre-installed.

    I’m all for experts (or whoever) saying that win7 is a great OS, but it seems so pointless to constantly make the comparison to vista, as if they were somehow saving people from falling into the dreaded trap of upgrading to vista.

  14. Osiris

    01/22/2009 at 6:56 pm

    Ben, great post and comments of which you seem to acknowledge both points of view regarding the two OS’s like a rational and logical human being.

    Also I believe the details are yet to be concreted in but wsnt it revealed at CES that if you buy a computer after July that comes with Vista you get the Win7 upgrade for free?

  15. Josh Einstein

    01/22/2009 at 7:02 pm

    Cracks me up. These “I love 7” writers are actually people that never gave Vista a chance after beta and just sang the Vista Sucks chorus. Now they are realizing what I’ve been saying all along. Vista is a rock when it’s not a crappy OEM install and has proper drivers.

  16. Lorie Ghamy

    01/22/2009 at 7:19 pm

    Vista is really a rock ! And i verify it often when i do strong High-Definition Video Editing (with 2 To of HD rushes). No memory management problems like with XP ! Windows 7 is just an evolution…

  17. Frank

    01/23/2009 at 2:14 am

    The problem with Vista was that when it came out the manufactures had no stable Vista drivers. Now, because Vista is out for a while and they were able to code proper drivers for Vista, Win 7 does not have this problem. It’s based on Vista and that’s why everything works.
    Because of the lack of drivers and lack of software I stayed with XP. Now, because they’ve solved this issues, and because Win 7 has some nice improvements I will take Win 7 when it’s out. In my opinion Vista was more like a huge public beta. Manufactures were able to develop proper drivers and working software, users were able to criticize the new style and MS was able to develop a better OS, Win 7.

  18. G. W. Brown

    01/23/2009 at 12:42 pm

    Is the recently available Fujitsu ST6012 slate tablet an ideal platform for Windows 7?

    Any thoughts on when this tablet would be offered with this OS pre-installed?

  19. ChrisRS

    01/24/2009 at 4:36 pm

    With regard to Vista, you will not notice many of the problem areas if you are working on a stand alone computer.

    I have had great results with Vista with regard to stability. I am running Vista Business ion a Gateway 295C. I works well. When connected on my network at work things are great. When I VPN in to work things are iffy. I spent hours and hours and hours for over a month setting things up. Even know I often have to connect, disconnect and reconnect befoe I have access. Automatic updates often break this. WHa tworks on XP does not work on Vista.

    With regard to SP1, it is simply not availabel to some users. SP1 was available for automatic down load for over there months when I finnally gave up on gateway posting updated drivers. I had load a generic audio driver (That did not actually work) let SP1 install, then reload the original audio driver. This is a gateway issue, but a normal user is not going do this just to get SP1. I needed to to resolve the inability copy large files across a net work. For people like that, SP! does not exist. My Vista PC is my work computer – I do not have an IT deprtment – I cannnot afford a lot of down time. I will install SP2.

    I amm not a anovice, so I think these are valid concerns. There are many places that these problem do not show up. Just because you have not run into them, DO NOT ASSUME that Vista nay-sayers do not a valid reasons for their positions.

    If Windows 7 is going to make my computer faster, or if there is some new feature, such as the improved TIP, that I really want I will consider Windows 7 – but can not risk being an early adapter. Liek VIsta it will proobably be relegated to shipping on new computer. If the the upgrade price is nominal (An admission from MS that Vista was not ready for prme time) I will think of it a s SP3 and risk it.

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