Microsoft’s Windows Vista dog slow; even outperformed by ancient XP

“In the latest Mac versus PC ad, that put-upon Windows guy quietly concedes he’s ‘downgrading’ from Vista to XP. He may have good reason: new tests show that the older XP runs common productivity tasks significantly faster than Microsoft’s newest operating system,” Paul McDougall reports for InformationWeek.

“Researchers at Devil Mountain Software, a Florida-based developer of performance management tools, have posted data from their most recent Windows performance tests — and Vista, even after it’s been upgraded to the new Service Pack 1 beta package, is shown to be a laggard,” McDougall reports.

“Devil Mountain researchers ran a mix of tests comparing existing versions of the operating systems — the original Vista and XP SP2 — and versions that had been patched with the latest updates — Vista SP1 beta and XP SP3 beta. Tests were also run on machines with 1 Gbyte and 2 Gbytes of memory,” McDougall reports.

“Windows XP trounced Windows Vista in all tests — regardless of the versions used or the amount of memory running on the computer. In fact, XP proved to be roughly twice as fast as Vista in most of the tests,” McDougall reports.

“Microsoft rival Apple is seizing on the Vista backlash to promote its new Leopard operating system. Its latest ad is an attempt to portray Microsoft as a company that’s tone deaf to user concerns about Vista,” McDougall reports. “‘Ask not what Vista can do for you, but what you can do for Vista,’ says the PC guy, posing as a politico. Given the latest research, an increasing number of Windows users may end up seeking a new candidate.”

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “7over” for the heads up.]


  1. I watched in horror recently when someone tried to run a PowerPoint presentation on a brand new HP with Vista. First, they couldn’t figure out how to get the projector to recognize the video signal. I watched them reboot the computer at least 4 or 5 times and it was agonizing waiting for the thing to boot up.

    I quietly asked the owner what they thought of Vista and the immediately commented how frustrated they were with how slow it truly was.

    My oh my, what a dog.

  2. Add me to the list of Mac converts. My kid bought a Vista notebook a few months back, and I quickly learned it is an OS that I absolutely despise. I’m not religious about it: I find XP SP2 to be a decent stable OS. But Vista is just disgusting.

    So, now that we have our new iMac running Leopard, I’m just wondering what took me so long. I get the feeling that I’ve stumbled upon a computer from 50 years into the future. It just works, and blindingly fast at that.

    Leave it to MS to turn the latest Intel processors into dogs.

  3. In all fairness, this reminds me a lot of when OS X replaced OS 9. Everyone was moaning about how much slower it was, how it just didn’t feel as snappy, and so on.

    In reality, though, this kind of thing is unavoidable when you go from an OS with very limited visual effects (and a “shared canvas” drawing model) like OS 9 or XP to one with lots of snazzy effects and a composited drawing model like OS X or Vista – among other changes. There’s simply more the computer has to do. (In the long run, I think this change makes the computer feel MORE responsive, not less, because you don’t get windows turning into giant erasers and similar bizarre effects when other processes are blocked waiting for IO – but I digress)

    What’s funny about Vista, though, is that Microsoft basically had their hand forced into adding the degree of visual effects (and thus slowness) they did by Mac OS X. Yet instead of doing what they know best and creating a quick and dirty knockoff of Quartz, they decided they’d try and leapfrog Apple with Aero. I don’t fully understand the differences, but a friend who works for MS was explaining to me how Aero is superior to Quarz – something about how rather than just using a 3D engine to composite flat “texture bitmaps” (windows) like OS X, Aero actually treats every window as a full 3D object in space (which enables the wonderfully useless Flip3D effect).

    It almost feels like the Office and Windows teams switched places for Vista and Office 2007. Used to be that Office was bloated and awkward to use, and Windows, while crummy, was at least somewhat minimalistic and humble. Now Office 2007 is much more streamlined (at least the UI), and Vista is the bloated, over-designed product. Weird.

  4. Vista is Bill’s way of saying:

    Look yo’ll shiatheads, I can put anything I want out there and you will still buy it, and if you don’t buy it, your company will and you will have to use it, like it or not.
    I am the king of the pc world, bow down and eat my shiat.

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