Windows XP vs. Vista: An Explosion of Opinion

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When I posted a little survey concerning the news that Microsoft plans to discontinue most sales of Windows XP on June 30th, I expected lots of people to take it, and for the sentiment to be overwhelmingly pro-XP. They did, and it was. (More than 3500 people completed the survey, and 83 percent of them are unhappy with Microsoft's move.)

I was startled by how many people took the time to not only participate in the survey but share their thoughts at length--and by how diverse their opinions were. Some folks were raving fans of XP; others just grudgingly tolerated it. Some reported nightmares with Windows Vista; others said they were happy Vista campers. More than a few said that the prospect of an XP-less world was prompting them to consider dumping Microsoft operating systems altogether in favor of Linux or Mac OS X.

Over the next few pages, you'll find a sampling of the 1000+ comments the survey prompted. If they inspire you to share your own thoughts, we're still listening--just leave a comment on this article.

XP Plaudits

"Windows XP has mature to where is the best OS in the market. It's better then Leopard or Tiger from Apple. It's more convinient than Linux and it has gone to a point that I feel it is very secure. Of course nothing is 100% secure, but Windows XP comes very close. The performance is much better than Vista and right now there are more compartible programs to XP than Vista. What would had me jump into Vista, a new file system and a faster seach engine, it's not being deliver. So why switch? Vista is a XP with a fancy look, nothing more. XP has become as secure as Vista, without the slowdown."

"Microsoft seems to want to force us to change to Vista and thus pay an exorbitant price for an OS that is only marginally more advanced (if at all) than XP. I like XP, it's stable, and it works with all of my hardware and software -- why should I switch?"

"XP to date is Microsoft's finest OS. They should have improved on it and called it Vista. I use both OS...and XP is still less tempermental. I can run any hardware on XP. Vista is still problematic.'s like Beauty and the Beast. Vista is all beauty...while XP works hard and keeps things in pretty good shape."

"XP is a great and efficient operating system - and extremely streamlined able to handle all the tasks I ever need to use such as multimedia, internet, document and administration. Even the performance of new PC's (quad core etc) being introduced on the market run poorly when using Vista operating system (most laptops even with a minimum of 2Gig memory run slow), and this is just unacceptable. In this day and age, a PC which is watch while you wait groaning under the strain of Vista is pathetic. On the other hand, 2Gig with XP results in a very fast and responsive operating system. Until 64bit PCs become mainstream, then perhaps it might be about time to think about a new operating system such as Vista. In the meantime, XP should definitely stay. Microsoft have miscalculated the views of many in the industry as well as end-users just for the sake of boosting their bottom line."

"Windows XP is, in my opinion, the best OS Microsoft has developed. It's fast (being able to run decent on 128MB of RAM, and runs wonderfully on 512MB), and it's very user friendly. Vista is a resource hog (anyone remember Windows 95? Yeah...), needing at least 1GB of RAM to run smoothly. 512MB runs fine, but does run as a slow XP would, and that's terrible. I myself, love XP, and hate Vista. I will continue to use XP as my primary OS as long as possible. I think Microsoft should continue the sales, and support of XP to give the people choice, which is what people really do want."

"I've downgraded numerous times ( from Vista to XP)... actually, let's call it Upgraded. XP has all the features most people need and is very reliable. Vista has been difficult and does not offer anything new I need."

"XP -- solid, reliable, customizeable, yet still retaining a lot of backward-compatibility with older hardware/software. Vista -- makes the simple tasks done in XP (i.e. copying data files directly to CD) difficult and cumbersome. UAC? An insult to everyone's intelligence (and not customizeable -- it's either full "on" or full "off"). Much like Apple's iTunes inability to sort playlists by track number AND year, Microsoft has adopted the approach that THEIR way is better, and we'll tell you how the programs will work, what they can do, what they won't do. I hope XP thrives for many years to come, until Microsoft gets it right (XP is pretty close)."

"XP! IT WORKS! I DON'T LOVE IT - BUT IT WORKS! Please leave it alone. Note to Bill, if you must continue to develop, develop a perfect XP. Or a perfect ME or 2000 or 98 or 3.1! That would be quite a vista."

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