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Head to Head: Windows 7 vs Windows Vista

In our latest head to head, Windows 7 faces its immediate predecessor, Windows Vista. Will Vista be able to mount any kind of challenge?

Vista's backup was an improvement over XP's basic tools, but it didn't let you choose what you wanted to backup, which resulted in very large cumbersome backups. Windows 7 trumped it with a much more granular approach letting you easily choose what to back up and where you want to put it.

While Windows Vista shipped with DirectX 10, this was mainly of significance to gamers, and proved to be something of a damp squib in that regard anyway. Windows 7 ships with the next generation Direct X 11. Of more significance in Vista was the arrival of the Windows Display Driver Model, which enabled the whizzy effects of Aero Glass. Windows 7 takes the SDDM to version 1.1 which can take advantage of hardware acceleration to reduce memory usage and improve performance.

In terms of whizzy though, there's little to beat the fact that touch is cooked into Windows 7 itself. While there isn't much immediate benefit to businesses, it works nicely in machines such as HP's touch smart range. Windows Vista can just stand and admire that one.

When it comes to getting work done, Windows Vista proved to be something of a problem if your hardware wasn't compatible, but with Windows 7 Ultimate we get Windows XP mode providing full compatibility for older apps from within the new operating system.

As ever, while Vista moved things on from XP, Windows 7 adds some intelligence and well thought out advances that could make a real difference to what you use your computer for.

Winner: Windows 7

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