Windows 7 not faster than XP after all

  1. IBM PC DOS 2000! 
  2. FreeBSD 7.2 + Xfce 
  3. FreeBSD 7.2 + Gnome 
  4. Windows XP SP3 
  5. Debian Lenny + Gnome 
  6. Windows 7 RC 

My relative subjective view of sluggishness/performance on a ThinkPad X40. Shorter bars are better.

Because my ThinkPad X40 came with a licenced copy of Windows XP Professional it meant I didn't need to go out a buy a copy of Windows 7 to run a few university specific applications; provided I use XP on this machine due to OEM licence restrictions of course.

I had the same experience Chris DiBona discussed on a recent episode of Cranky Geeks with Windows 7. After hearing all the hype surrounding it, I installed it on this 1.4GHz Pentium M notebook and it ran slower than molasses. I really mean it, it was painful. Even with the ugly Luna theme enabled (which I turn off to make it look like the classier Windows 2000) Windows XP ran circles around it. That's to be expected when we're comparing a decade old OS to a new one, but that's not what all the pundits and bloggers are telling me I should expect.

Windows 7 is faster than XP! It's the greatest OS in history! Leaving aside another discussion on astroturfing and suspiciously saccharine sweet reviews for 7, I get the feeling once the general public has it we'll still be hearing people wanting to downgrade to XP. Eager people running release candidates are not truly representative of the largest userbase for desktop operating systems in the world.

The problem for Microsoft is their Mac OS X eye candy envy is causing them to change their product into something most of their customers don't want. Microsoft has the opportunity here to further secure the market for business users like my dad who shrugs his shoulders at all the pretty icons and gradients on my Macs. He doesn't want superfluous visual effects, he wants a thin layer OS that's secure, easy to maintain, that stays out of his way and juts lets him run his office, chemistry and CAD applications. His entire company is still on Windows 2000 Professional. And speaking of another well established user base, I'm sure there are plenty of gamers who would also love to have as thin a layer of an OS as possible.

I tell you what, for people like my dad ReactOS is looking more appealing every day. When they release 1.0 my dad might want to buy a few bottles of Champaign.


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