Windows Vista is an operating system created in 2007 by Microsoft, designed to be the successor to Windows XP. It introduced Windows Aero (short for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open), a set of interface and design guidelines based around the glass (to take advantage of desktop composition technology Microsoft developed for computers with good graphics cards), into the Windows ecosystem. Windows Vista has been negatively reviewed by most people. Its internal codename was Longhorn, but in 2006, its final name, Vista, was what the OS was called from then on. It was known to be quite unstable, and very few PCs could actually run it at the time. This caused Microsoft to rush out Windows 7, which was what Vista should have been.
Windows Vista's logo
In many universes, Vista is known to be the evilest Operating System in the world, and using it can cause numerous problems for the user, from system crashes to BSoDs, to other terrible things.
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Development on Windows Vista started shortly after XP was released to manufacturing. It was given the codename Longhorn, but the Vista name wasn't chosen until several years later. Longhorn was initially going to be a stopgap release between Windows XP (Whistler) and Blackcomb (the codename for Windows 7). However, Longhorn acquired many of Blackcomb's planned features. Since there were so many features in development, the codebase got so bloated and buggy that by late 2004, Microsoft was forced to scrap what they had and start over. After the development reset, they needed to go with a different development strategy. They were careful to bug-test some planned features before they were put into the OS, and if they couldn't get some features ready in time, they were simply cut from the OS.
In 2007, Windows Vista was released to the public. It wasn't received very well, as many people had issues with the OS. The original release of Windows Vista was very buggy, and Windows XP driver compatibility was sketchy. Not only that, but Vista's hardware requirements were much higher than XP's, and many computers of the time simply couldn't handle Vista. This resulted in many people either not upgrading at all, or downgrading back to Windows XP. Many of Vista's issues were patched as time went on, and computers got much more powerful because of Vista. By the time Windows 7 was released, computers were more powerful than when Vista was first released, and many of Vista's issues were resolved at this point.
In TTS universes
Windows Vista in the Thunderbirds101 Universe was created in the year 2007 by the Virussians. It was a virus designed to look like an OS. Using Vista would cause your computer to crash nearly a million times in a nanosecond.
The name ViSTA stands for Virussian Spy, Tracing and Annoyance, while Vista in real life has no secondary etymology.
Windows Vista in the FairPlay137-TTS Universe is similar to the real Windows Vista. Back when Windows Vista was released, it was a buggy mess and nobody used it. However, Windows Vista improved over time, and around the time Windows Vista SP2 was released, several companies, namely Channel 302 Studios, started using it. However, it was quickly overshadowed by Windows 7.