Windows 7 Makes Big Claims – Will it Deliver?
Windows Vista sucks. I don’t have to tell you that. It had a lot of promise – DirectX 10, enhanced and stable 64-bit support, new security features. It was supposed to be faster and more powerful. Except…it failed, or as the kids say these days, it is “full of fail.”…
Vista is a resource hog, its security features are just as much a roadblock as they are helpful, and in general it just performs sluggishly. That Vista is so poor and performs horribly on laptops is one reason Linux / Ubuntu has become a huge part of my digital life. Of course Linux can’t handle games well enough yet (yes, yes, I know about and run WiNE, but it just isn’t the same) so Windows will continue to be my gaming operating system for the forseeable future, and so I am keeping an eye on the next Microsoft O/S, Windows 7.
Windows 7 is starting out with the same promise (and promises from Microsoft) that Vista began with. It is supposed to out-perform Vista, introduce new, more powerful features, and much, much more…just like Vista with XP before it. You’ll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical. Now that the Windows 7 Beta has been out for a few weeks we are starting to see some testing results, particularly benchmarking and comparison vs. Vista and XP. FiringSquad has taken an in-depth look at the Windows 7 Beta and how it stacks up against Microsoft’s other operating systems here.
The results were mixed. It does seem like Windows 7 has become better for general use, being more responsive and loading more quickly. However when it comes to games the results are based on the application tested. In many cases Windows XP is still better while running DirectX 9. In some cases Vista is still better while running DirectX 10. Windows 7 seemed to perform better when running first-person shooters as compared to other types of games, particularly in tests on the mid-range gaming platform.
The authors suggest that some of this is due to driver maturity for XP and Vista, and this does make sense. The results are promising for an O/S still in the beta phase. However, given the claims Microsoft has made about the performance and benefits of Windows 7, I would expect a more commanding lead in many of the areas tested. I am sure that as the weeks pass we’ll see more tests, and better driver support for 7, so we will get a better idea of what performance will be when the new O/S is released. I am keeping my fingers crossed, but remain skeptical that the Windows 7 release will be anything more than a money-maker for Microsoft offering very little benefit for gamers.
The free beta download is available for download here until Feb. 10th, after that it will be only available for purchase. Try before you buy while you can.