Vista stumbles through first birthday

One year after Microsoft officially launched its Vista operating system for business, it's fair to say that it hasn't been a smooth ride for the software giant.

One year after Microsoft officially launched its Vista operating system for business, it's fair to say that it hasn't been a smooth ride for the software giant.

Announced with the usual marketing razzmatazz that accompanies a new addition to the Windows family, there were high hopes that Microsoft could prove its detractors wrong with a product release which showed that innovation and risk taking were back on the agenda for a company that appeared to be stuck in a rut.

That didn't happen. While Vista can be seen as an evolution from Windows XP, not even Microsoft can claim it's a giant step forward. Some critics argue that Vista was hamstrung before it even hit the streets, after Microsoft decided to pull some of its most innovative features, such as the beefed-up filing system known as "WinFS", to get the product out the door.

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The improvements over XP that were included appeared to some users to be mostly cosmetic — like the Aero user interface, with its 3D approach to sorting through windows. It's flashy but not really a killer reason to upgrade — and something that Mac fans have argued was standard in OS X for years.

Performance has also been a factor, with Vista branded by some industry researchers as the most processor-hungry operating system to ever come out of Redmond — something that jars with the current industry drive towards energy efficiency and green IT.