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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.
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.