The Once and Future Champ: Windows XP

Well, here's yet another reason not to be excited by Windows Vista. According to benchmark testing conducted by researchers at the Florida-based Devil Mountain Software, Windows XP with beta service pack 3 has twice the performance of Vista, even with its long-awaited service pack 1. Yikes.

One of the bennies of Vista's SP1, due in next year's first quarter, was to improve the speed and performance of Vista.

Tested both with and without SP1, Vista was considerably slower than XP with SP3, taking a little over 80 seconds to complete the test (compared to 35 seconds for XP/SP3). According to company officials, Vista's performance with SP1 improved less than 2 percent, compared to its performance without SP1. XP's performance with SP3 increased 10 percent. The test was conducted using a Dell XPS M1710 test bed with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 1GB of memory, and put Office 2007 through a series of productivity tasks including the creation of a compound document.

If SP1 fails to stimulate more interest in Vista among corporate users than what Microsoft has been able to muster so far, it could prove to be a significant setback for the product. Typically, corporate users wait for the first service pack of a Microsoft operating system to arrive before getting serious about evaluating it for deployment. XP has proved to be so in-demand that Microsoft has already extended the deadline for PC makers to make XP available on new systems from Jan. 31 to June 30. And, with talk swirling that Microsoft will sun set support for XP some time in early 2009, many IT shops are soon going to face a tough decision about whether to stay with XP or migrate to an operating system that will cost them more money and that they have little enthusiasm for.

Posted by Ed Scannell on 11/29/2007 at 1:23 PM


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