Is Windows 7 Faster than Windows XP, It’s Faster than Windows Vista

I had a friend ask me is Windows 7 faster than Windows XP, and I did not know.  I knew that it ran faster than Vista, so I went to work.

First, my laptop has never known Windows XP and it never will, I do not like XP and prefer Vista over it and love 7 over both of them.  Some would say I am nuts but as a computer technician, the newer versions of Windows make my life easier.  This laptop is a Compaq Presario C700 (C712NR) with 2 Gb of Ram and an Intel Core 2 Duo T5850 running at 2.16 GHz this also runs an Intel Mobile 965 Express Graphics Chipset.  The laptop came with Vista Home Premium 32bit and I installed Windows 7 Enterprize 32bit.     Below is the Windows Experience Index from Vista.  Please note that the Index range is from 1.0 to 5.9 in Vista.

Windows Exprierence Index form Vista

Windows Experience Index from Vista

As you can see the laptop does ok but below is the Windows Experience Index from 7 it seems like there is not much of a difference. Please note that in 7 the Index range is from 1.0 to 7.9 and that might be why the numbers are different.

Windows Expierence Index from 7

Windows Experience Index from 7

The difference in the numbers is interesting however I also ran Pass Mark Performance Test in both operating systems.  I figured this would give me a good answer if Windows 7 was, in fact, faster than Vista.  In Vista the Performance Test got a total score of 537.8 while in 7 it got a total of 590.4  I think these numbers speak for themselves.  Vista is slower than 7 the benchmark proves this.  So then what about Windows XP?

Well, my father has a computer that I figured would be a great it is a home-built machine with an Asus KV8 SE Deluxe motherboard with an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ running at 2.2GHz and with 2 Gb or Ram and an ATI X800 XT All-in-Wonder.  It already has Windows XP installed and it has never known Vista, so I partitioned the hard drive and installed Windows 7 Enterprize 32bit.  Pictured below is the Windows Experience Index from Windows 7

Windows Expierence Index in Windows 7

Windows Experience Index in Windows 7

As before I ran the Pass Mark Performance Test on both operating systems and here are the results you have waited for.  Windows 7 got a total score of 390.1 where Windows XP got a total score of 440.6  XP did better in 2D and 3D graphics than 7 and that could be due to the lack of proper driver support, as time goes on I’m sure that gap will close.  Really XP does not do that much better than 7 but it is a little faster.  Still, my mother was using Windows 7 for the first time today on my father’s computer and really liked it and wants to use it more, and she has never used Vista.

So is Windows 7 faster than Windows XP? Nope, but Windows 7 is faster than Vista but just a little slower than XP, not bad Microsoft, not bad at all.  If you are thinking of making the jump to Windows 7 the numbers speak for themselves, go for it.  The new Features and the fact that it is more energy-efficient make Windows 7 worth the upgrade, even if it is a little slower than XP.

The Top Six New Features in Windows Vista

Windows Vista brought a lot of change and a lot of new features.  Love it or hate it Vista changed the game. I could not decide on five so here is my pick of the top six new features in Windows Vista.  Let’s revisit them.

1. Windows Defender, spyware, and adware have been a big problem for a while.  I was glad when Microsoft introduced Windows Defender into Windows, it offered an extra layer of protection.  It is not the best program out there for this purpose, I prefer to use Spybot and Ad-Aware to remove spyware but Windows Defender does active protection and does not use up much system resources doing it. Also, it is updated through Microsoft Update making staying protected easy.  You can also download Windows Defender for Windows XP.  You can get it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/resultsForProduct.aspx?displaylang=en&productID=f8f1c499-e587-48a5-ac81-164e850dca48&nr=20&sortCriteria=Popularity&sortOrder=Ascending&stype=ss_sd

Windows Defender in Windows Vista

Windows Defender in Windows Vista

2. Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets, This was an awesome upgrade to Windows allowing more customization to Windows by allowing anyone to make a gadget and being able to download them.  There are gadgets that do just about everything and they are all free. Pictured below are some of the gadgets I use every day. Yeah, there is a gadget for that!  You can download more for Windows Vista here at http://vista.gallery.microsoft.com/vista/SideBar.aspx?mkt=en-us  Now those should work for Windows 7 but the official website is here at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/downloads/personalize?T1=desktopgadgets

Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets

Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets

3. Instant Search, I hated having to use search to find anything in Windows because it took forever, but in Vista is it ever easy.  Type a few letters and bam its there.  I love it and I can’t say enough about it.  You can update Windows XP with instant search too, get it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=55C18CB3-C916-4298-ABA3-5B98904F7CDA&displaylang=en

Instant Search

Instant Search

4. The Network and Sharing Center, This is a little gem in Vista allowing networks to be managed more easily, it also saves Wireless Network information, so finally you did not have to retype in your security key every few days to reconnect to the wireless. Sharing was also simplified and made it easier to share information at home.

Network and Sharing Center

Network and Sharing Center

This just made networking easy and if you had a problem it could try to repair it for you, a much-needed feature.

Windows Network Diagnostics

Windows Network Diagnostics

5.  Windows DVD Maker, a simple program so you can share your videos and pictures with family and friends on DVD.  Not too shabby, but it is simple.  Hey not bad for the first version of the program.

Windows DVD Maker

Windows DVD Maker

6.  Windows Update, this is not really a new feature but so improved it might as well be,  finally Windows Update and Microsoft Update did not have to be accessed from a browser.  This is hands down the best decision Microsoft made in Vista.  A program that did Windows Update, awesome!

Windows Update in Vista

Windows Update in Vista

It is nice to see new features when Windows is released and these top six new features in Windows Vista really made Windows better.  Computing changes and it is good that Windows tries to keep up.  If you are running Vista or thinking about it I would suggest upgrading to Windows 7, it takes Vista strong points and makes them better.

Check out my list of The Top Five New Features in Windows XP it is a blast from the past.

Or check out my list of The Top Five New Features in Windows 7

The Top Five New Features in Windows XP

Well Windows XP was released in 2001 and I did not know much about it at the time of its launch.  I admit when it was first released it felt like a glorified service pack for Windows 2000.  While Windows 2000 is its ancestor, Windows ME was its spiritual ancestor.  But it did feel like they simply took all the features of Windows ME and shoved them into 2000 and tweaked it a bit.  While it is true that Microsoft took and joined its home and professional lines to create one Windows desktop version, there was more to Windows XP.  It would become one of the most used operating systems of its day.  So I have gone back and created a list of the top five new features in Windows XP.  Let’s revisit them.

1.  The Luna theme, for the first time in a long time Windows was not a drab gray color.   The interface seemed more warm and welcoming, it was a nice change.  One that I wanted when I first saw it.  Now is was also nicknamed the Fisher-Price theme and Windows was even called Windows XP Fisher-Price Edition, but it was a nice improvement.  It started people skinning Windows by hacking files as well, It actually inspired and made people ask What If? Could I make Windows look like…?  I have to admit it, it really was a good change.

The Blue Luna Theme in Windows XP

The Blue Luna Theme in Windows XP

2. Windows Media Center, while it was not released with Windows XP at first and was never offered as an update, it was a neat thing you could do.  Use your computer to record TV.  It offered a media driven hub for people and even was imitated in some forms so others that did not have the Media Center version of XP could enjoy it, and was also imitated on Linux.  For some, their computer became their DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

Windows XP Media Center

Windows XP Media Center

3. Fast User Switching and Local Users, While local users were not exactly a new feature they were so greatly improved and finally brought to the home computer.  This changed a lot of things for home consumers.  Finally, parents could have an account for their kids  to mess in while their background and icons never changed.  But the nice feature here was the fact that you did not have to log someone out to use your account, you could switch them.

Users Control Pannel Applet

Users Control panel Applet

Fast user switching made sharing the computer in a household very easy.  Remember too that Windows XP was released in a time where there was usually was only one computer in a house.  It would not be till years later that computers would come down in price and we would see almost as many computers in a house as tvs.  The Fast User Switching was not only needed, it was a good move.

Fast User Switching Option

Fast User Switching Option

4. Windows Firewall was originally called the Internet Connection Firewall until Service Pack 2 was released with a revamped version of the firewall that was enabled by default, unlike the earlier version.   Microsoft did this after so many computers were getting infected with viruses and spyware.  the Windows Firewall helped a lot and provided those who could not afford to buy a firewall for their computer some protection.

The Windows Firewall in Windows XP

The Windows Firewall in Windows XP

5. The Compatibility Tab was a great help.  Most home users were using Windows 98 or Me which ran on top of DOS.  The programs made for these DOS-based Windows versions often times were not compatible with Windows 2000.  In XP Microsoft fixed a lot of the problems with the Compatibility Tab.  Accessible by right clicking on the program and clicking on Properties, this would help the adoption of XP.

The Compatibility Tab

The Compatibility Tab

Windows XP was a good and logical evolution of the Windows product line.  It did have a few new features but it really improved on a lot of old ones and these top five new features in Windows XP really helped to make Windows a better operating system.  It is almost 12 years old now and really is past its prime.  If you’re running XP I suggest looking at Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, they run better on slower computers than Vista.

You can also check out my list of top Six new features in Windows Vista

Also for a blast from the past the Top Five New Features in Windows ME

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 2000

It is hard to say what the best internet browser for Windows 2000 is because of its age so let’s be clear here, if you are still using Windows 2000, you need to at least upgrade to Windows XP.  Windows 2000 is over 14 years old and is just not up to the day-to-day modern internet browsing.  That being said there are still people using it and there are still a few things you can do to make your time browsing the internet in 2000 more enjoyable and secure.

The last version of Internet Explorer released for Windows 2000 was IE 6 Service Pack 1. It is not updated anymore at all and has not been updated with new features to make browsing the internet easier and more secure.  Internet Explorer 6 was first released in 2001 and was no longer supported on July 13, 2010. Now Windows 2000 came with IE 5.5 and I do not suggest you keep that on your system.  Update to IE 6 SP1 and install all the updates for it, however, I do not suggest using it for daily browsing as Internet Explorer is not the best internet browser for Windows 2000.

As far as current major browsers that support Windows 2000 there is only one, Opera.  So which browsers are the best for Windows 2000 and are some of the lesser known browsers maybe a good choice in this case.

I will be running Windows 2000 in a virtual machine within Oracle VirtualBox.  It will be running on Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.  I also have the latest versions of Flash, Java, and Silverlight that support Windows 2000 and you can read about how to get those and how to secure Windows 2000 better.

1. Opera 12.o2, being that this is the only major browser that still supports Windows 2000 it already is far ahead but it also supports major internet standards and supports plug-ins.  Opera in a way is like Netscape in that is supports other functions like e-mail and torrents. I also like its Tab Preview which just gives it a nice touch.  You can get it at  www.opera.com

Opera 12 in Windows 2000

Opera 12 in Windows 2000

2. QupZilla 1.3.5 is not very well-known but is a big help in Windows 2000.  It is a Webkit based browser like Google Chrome or Apple Safari and it is still being developed and updated.  This means it will get security updates and new features as time goes on.  QupZilla is pretty good at being compliment with web standards and it also has a tab preview which I just find to be a great feature, especially when you have multiple tabs open.  You can check it out at www.qupzilla.com

QupZilla 1.3.5 in Windows 2000

QupZilla 1.3.5 in Windows 2000

3. Firefox 12 is the last version of Firefox that works in Windows 2000.  I really suggest you use one of the two browsers above before using Firefox as it will no longer be getting any security updates.  Again use this browser with caution.  It is still very web standard compliant so it will not have an issue displaying today’s websites but as time goes on it will not be a good option.  You can download this version at http://www.oldversion.com/download-Mozilla-Firefox-12.0.html

Firefox 12 in Windows 2000

Firefox 12 in Windows 2000

4. FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 Build 076 is a great option is you have websites that only work in Internet Explorer.  FlashPeak SlimBrowser uses the same rendering engine as Internet Explorer, however, it uses the one already installed on your computer so while FlashPeak SlimBrowser has a lot of great features like Facebook integration and tabbed browsing it will not load any websites any better than Internet Explorer.  FlashPeak SlimBrowser is being developed and updated so it will be safer to use than Internet Explorer and if you have to use it I suggest you give FlashPeak SlimBrowser a try.  I also like the weather update in the Status Bar.  You can check it out at http://www.slimbrowser.net/en/

FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 in Windows 2000

FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 in Windows 2000

5. Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (6.0.2800.1106)  Microsoft does not support this and does not have the modern security that Opera and QupZilla have.  Also, is does not display some pages properly and is slower than the others.  The user interface looks dated and old.  I would not suggest using this for your daily browsing, however, is you are still running an older version update to IE 6 SP1, it will help protect  you a little better and allow other Windows programs to get access to web features better.  You can get it at  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1e1550cb-5e5d-48f5-b02b-20b602228de6&DisplayLang=en

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 2000

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 2000

6. Amaya 11.4.4 is not a browser for everyday use.  This is made by the World Wide Web Consortium or the W3C, who decides what is and is not HTML.  Now this browser is really more for web developers as it really digs into a website to display many components.  It is pretty cool but it does not run any scripts so it is not good for everyday web browsing.  Check it out at http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

Amaya 11.4.4 on Windows 2000

Amaya 11.4.4 on Windows 2000

It is a good thing that Opera and QubZilla have paid attention to the fact that Windows 2000 is still being used to this day.  Windows 2000 is past its prime and I do suggest updating to at least Windows XP as soon as you can, remember all support ended for 2000 on July 13, 2010, and that includes IE 6 SP1.  I will write more articles about Windows 2000, (Like Making Windows 2000 more secure with Free Anti-virus) (And installing Windows 2000 in Windows Virtual PC) As I can see some people still use it.

Also, check out the Best Internet Browser for Windows XP

And check out the Best Internet Browser for Windows Introduction

How To Install Windows Vista on HP Mini 1000 (1030NR) Netbook

I am finally re-writing this article so here we go, how to install Windows Vista on HP Mini 1000 (1030NR) Netbook.  This Netbook has a few limitations that we will have to overcome.  First there is no optical drive and second, the hard drive is an SSD with only 16 Gb of space. I did find that the Mini has an integrated Intel graphics chipset that supports Windows Aero Glass.  Also, the Intel Atom processor only supports 32bit versions of Windows.  The Mini comes with Windows XP, but I figured that the Mini might support Windows Vista but it would take some doing , and so I went to work.

Now the Mini does not have a DVD-ROM drive so I bought an external one for it.  I then booted up and formatted the hard drive with Vista Home Premium. You should be able to use a tool from Microsoft to create a bootable flash drive on another computer if you can not get an external DVD-ROM drive. The Mini has a 16Gb solid state drive in it and I knew that would be a problem later on.  Vista installed without any problems, once the desktop was loaded I went to the Device Manager, and it had a few drivers missing.

Updating Vista on the HP Mini 1000

Because of the small solid state hard drive on this model (1030NR) you are going to want to prep this machine first and disable a few things.  First, you will want to disable Hibernation on this machine.  I have upgraded mine to 2 GB of Ram so disabling Hibernation will save me 2 GB of disk space.  Next, it is a great idea to disable System Restore, again you will need the disk space.  I also suggest setting the size of the Page File, normally I would never suggest this and just have Windows handle it but when space is an issue you want to make sure the system has enough memory to be usable.  Finally, you will want to enable Disk Compression.  This will compress everything on the hard disk and again save some space.  Once you have prepped the Mini I have a few suggestions on updating it depending on how new the copy of Windows Vista is that you have installed.  If you installed Windows Vista that does not already contain any service packs then you will want to download and install Windows Vista Service Pack 1 first.  Once that is installed you will want to click on the Start Button then in the search box type CMD wait a second do not hit the enter key, the results of the search should pop up, right click on CMD and click on Run As Administrator.  Once the Command Prompt is open type in VSP1CLN.EXE and hit enter.  This will run the Vista Service Pack 1 Clean Up Tool.  After this is done you can close

I got Service Pack 1 for Vista installed but there was no room for Service Pack 2.  So I ran the service pack cleanup tool which removes the backed up files and then ran SP2 and ran the tool again after that.  All the other updates installed fine for Vista,  In the long run, I figured that System Restore was going to have to be disabled.  I also set a limit to the Page File as well so it would not get out of hand.

I will say Vista actually runs well on this little Netbook, it is not as fast as my laptop but it works and it is light.   That little Netbook runs Aero Glass just fine.

I am a computer technician and I like performance.  I love using her Netbook, Vista runs fine on there.  I don’t understand why the Netbooks with traditional hard drives in them don’t have Vista running on them by default.  I can understand why XP is on the ones with small solid state hard drives because of the space restrictions.  I would suggest to anyone that has the ability to do it to install Vista on their Netbook and try it for themselves.  Also since Windows Vista runs on here, then Windows 7 will as well.  I have since updated to Windows 7 which you can read here.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 64-Bit

I want to take another look at the best internet browser for Windows Vista 64-bit as I wrote this article shortly after starting Useful Windows.  Let’s just say a lot has changed between now and then.  Windows Vista helped to make 64-bit computing a household name and today almost every computer comes with a 64-bit version of Windows.  Since then Vista has been replaced twice, so let’s look at the best internet browser for Windows Vista 64-bit.

1. Opera 19, Opera has come a long way and the latest version is very fast.  They moved from the Presto engine to Webkit (like Google Chrome and Apple Safari) and have done a nice job making Oprea one of my favorite web browsers.  If you are starting to question if Google is watching your browsing habits then check out Opera.

Opera 19 on Windows Vista 64-bit

Opera 19 on Windows Vista 64-bit

2. Google Chrome 32, While Google has been put under scrutiny recently, I have to admit that on Windows Vista Google Chrome is very fast and works great.  I am not always happy with some of the updates that Google pushes out but it is updated very often.  You can not look at web browsers for Windows Vista and not take a look at Chrome.

Google Chrome 32 on Windows Vista 64-bit

Google Chrome 32 on Windows Vista 64-bit

3. Mozilla Firefox 26, Firefox dared to challenge the dominant player years ago and has never stopped.  The current version is still just fantastic and if the other two browsers are not your thing then you need to consider Firefox.

Mozilla Firefox 26 on Windows Vista 64-bit

Mozilla Firefox 26 on Windows Vista 64-bit

4. Internet Explorer 9 64-bit, While Internet Explorer 9 has been a great improvement over earlier versions it is not as standards compliant as the newer versions available in Windows 7 and 8.X.  That being said it is still a great option for Windows Vista as most sites work fine in it.  For the sake of security, even if you do not use Internet Explorer you need to keep it updated since it is part of Vista.  I suggest you download Internet Explorer today.

Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Vista 64-bit

Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Vista 64-bit

5. KDE Konqueror 4.10, Konqueror will be familiar to many Linux users.  It does not have a standalone installer but is part of the KDE software, however, you can choose to just install the base apps.  While the new version of Konqueror is better than versions past I think all the other browsers listed above do a better job.  Still, if you want to check out the KDE on Windows Initiative.

KDE Konqueror 4.10 on Windows Vista 64-bit

KDE Konqueror 4.10 on Windows Vista 64-bit

There are still great options for Windows Vista and I think you will find the best internet browser for Windows Vista 64-bit that works for you.  I also want to thank my friend Ed W. who let me use his computer running Windows Vista 64-bit years ago when I first wrote this article, I am glad to have the resources today to write these articles but I am even more glad for friends like him.

Check out the best internet browser for Windows Vista 32-bit

If you are still using it, check out the best internet browser for Windows XP Professional X64 Edition

Looking to upgrade, check out the best internet browser for Windows 7

The Best Internet Browser for Windows, Part 1 An Introduction

I started this look at internet browsers on Windows years ago. Since then web browsers have changed a lot, so I try to update these articles every once in a while.  Here is a list of the articles for the best internet browser for Windows broken down by version. Feel free to check them out and as always, thanks for reading!

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 2000, it is 15 years old but can still get online.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP 32-bit, Soon to be unsupported but still installed on many machines.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP Professional X64 Edition, one of the first 64-bit versions of Windows, it had limited support.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 32-bit was not received well upon release but there are still a few people who have not yet upgraded their machines.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 64-bit, this version started making 64-bit computing a household name.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 7, this is becoming the next Windows XP and we will be using Windows 7 for years to come.

Also check out my review of browsers in Ubuntu, one of the more popular Linux versions.

I hope to have these articles updated this year and add one for Windows 8, as well as maybe looking at older versions of Windows, and one for Windows Phone 7 and 8.  Make sure to like Useful Windows on Facebook to keep tabs on new articles.