Windows Vista

What Does Windows Vista Mean?

Windows Vista is Microsoft’s PC operating system that followed Windows XP and preceded Windows 7. It is known for its dramatically augmented visual display and stringent security advancements. Key features include the Windows Aero display (which is an acronym for “advanced, energetic, reflective and open”), instant search via Explorer windows, Windows Sidebar and advanced parental controls.


Techopedia Explains Windows Vista

Windows Vista began as a project codenamed Longhorn in 2001. The Vista platform was announced by Microsoft in the summer of 2005, then released for manufacturing in late 2006. On January 29, 2007, Bill Gates hosted a public launching of the Vista operating system in Times Square.

The intent behind this dramatic upgrade to Windows’ flagship operating system was a more robust and secure user experience, and although this was achieved to an extent, the system was ultimately perceived by many as far too restrictive and frustratingly incompatible with a diverse range of third-party software and hardware. As a result, the Vista platform remains one of the less popular Windows operating systems, and many users opted instead to either stick with XP and/or wait for the often preferred and upgraded Windows 7.

Mainstream support for Vista ended in 2012, just five years after its release, with extended support ending in 2017.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.