With the build up to Windows 7's Oct. 22 launch gaining steam, it seems Microsoft's very existence depends on the new OS being a marked improvement over Vista. It's doubtful that Microsoft could survive the kind of negativity that hounded Vista.Windows 7 has enjoyed mostly positive reviews and has edged out Vista in head-to-head speed tests, but is it really better than Vista? How, in effect, does Windows 7 solve the Vista problems that frustrated so many consumers and businesses?In a 40-page research report that will be available early next month entitled "Windows 7: An OS for Businesses", analysts at independent research firm Directions on Microsoft explore this subject, with an emphasis on enterprise IT.Windows 7 Bible: Your Complete Guide to the Next Version of WindowsThe report is essentially a guide for IT decision makers who are considering upgrades to Windows 7. Written by Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry along with fellow analysts Paul DeGroot and Mike Rosoff, it highlights areas in Vista that caused the most gripes among IT managers and advises how Windows 7 will solve these problems.The report contends that by addressing the Vista shortcomings that have kept many businesses running the older Windows XP, Windows 7 could revive slumping enterprise PC sales as the economy slowly improves. Exerpts from the report, released to the media this week, outline how Windows 7 fixes Vista's biggest enterprise flaws.Some examples:Vista problem: It has no features tailored for businesses.Windows 7 solution: Features such as DirectAccess, BranchCache and Windows XP Mode, all new in Windows 7, address business needs such as improving connections for remote workers, more efficient use of bandwidth and better business application compatibility. Vista problem: UAC (user account control) is too obtrusive.Windows 7 solution: Most applications in Windows 7 have been updated to work correctly with security alert feature UAC, and UAC has been improved to lessen the number of user interruptions.Vista problem: Poor application compatibility.Windows 7 solution: Most applications that work with Vista will work with Windows 7, and most software vendors have updated their applications.Vista problem: Using encryption feature BitLocker to encrypt hard drives is too complicated.Windows 7 solution: Installation and configuration of BitLocker has been simplified, and in most cases the necessary partitioning will be handled automatically.Vista problem: Windows starts too slowly.Windows 7 solution: The Service Control Manager in Windows 7 has been updated to allow certain events (such as joining an Active Directory domain) to start a service rather than having to start all services at system startup. Are you a Tweeter? Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com\/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com\/CIOonline.