Users who have been faithful to Microsoft for a long time will remember how poorly Windows XP was received on its initial release. Those transitioning from Windows 98 found that a lot of their software and hardware was not 100% compatible with the new operating system. It ran much more slowly and used much more memory; users had absolutely no reason to migrate. However, with the release of Service Pack 2, XP finally became a much more secure and reliable operating system. Much in the same way, Vista was initially unable to exceed users’ expectations for increased performance. Just like its predecessor, it ran slowly and took up a vast amount of system resources during simple background processes.
Though it was considered a general disappointment at the time in comparison with XP, Vista made critical changes in operating system structure essential to supporting modern hardware standards. It introduced new driver architecture designed to move core functionality from the kernel (where any instability could bring down the whole system) to user space; a necessary development. Microsoft’s introduction of a standard 64-bit operating system was more than just a display of competition against Apple; it paved the way for new file allocation tables and lessened restrictions on available memory. Once vendors fixed their driver flaws and Microsoft squashed some underlying bugs, Vista morphed into an entirely workable operating system.