While Microsoft is keen for us to move to Windows Vista, we've got other ideas. With a brand-new service pack and a slew of useful add-ons XP works better than ever. Here are 50 tools that can extend XP's useful working life still further.

When Microsoft launched Windows Vista, it promised us improved speed, stability and security. Well, so much for the first of those promises: many users who made the switch to Microsoft's prettiest operating system (OS) yet have found it slower to boot up, slower to open and close applications and slower to transfer files across a network.

Stable Vista may be, but stability without compatibility isn't much use either. So on top of the expense of shelling out for Vista in the first place – and, in many cases, splurging on pricey hardware upgrades to accommodate the new OS's increased performance demands – it wasn't even guaranteed to work with the programs we'd grown accustomed to using.

Granted, Microsoft shouldn't shoulder all the blame for this, since software developers and peripheral makers had due warning of Vista's arrival and the form it would take. Even so, it came as little surprise that Windows XP's successor was greeted with about as much enthusiasm as a migraine.

Windows XP, in comparison, has grown in popularity, with a number of users professing themselves grateful for the opportunity to ‘downgrade' the Vista machine they'd bought with early-adopter haste to the tried-and-trusted XP OS.

Making this downgrade an option late last year was, in itself, an acknowledgement on Microsoft's part that all was not as rosy as it might be with project Vista.

NEXT PAGE: Vista's failure to launch > >

  1. 50 tools to help extend Windows XP
  2. Vista's failure to launch
  3. XP: Trick or tweak?
  4. XP-alidocious!
  5. Windows XP – your rights
  6. Windows XP – Support goes on
  7. Market pressure
  8. The save XP campaign
  9. How to downgrade to XP

50 free Windows XP tools

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  4. Five essential XP web-browser add-ons
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