Home opinion-and-analysis Fuzzy Logic Windows 7 performance whoops Vista and XP

Windows 7 performance whoops Vista and XP

The latest Windows 7 6965 build has been tested by ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, and his results show that Microsoft’s promise of a vastly improved Windows experience in Windows 7 is coming true – despite 6956 not even yet at official “beta” status.

As the clock ticks ever closer to the official Windows 7 beta, due to be showcased by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the January 7 pre-CES keynote,  the word is spreading that Windows 7 looks like rocking in every way that Vista didn’t.

From low memory usage, fast boot times, an improved GUI, fewer services on startup, longer battery life, speedy operation and more, users of Windows 7 pre-beta 6801 and the unreleased (but available anyway) 6956 builds are impressed.

Kingsley-Hughes (K-H) didn’t say how he managed to get his hands on 6956, but seeing as it is available from torrent sites as an ISO (converted from the leaked Chinese VHD), you can decide for yourself what the source may, or may not, have been.

K-H has written two blog entries over at ZDNet, with the first post comparing Windows 7 6956 to Windows Vista RTM and SP1, and the second post also adding Windows XP SP3 to the list.

In all cases, bar the Cinebench test, Windows 7 whoops Vista and XP SP3’s binary backsides, a fantastic performance benchmark that simply makes users expect even better from the final release code. Given the beta nature of the WDDM 1.1 graphics drivers, the Cinebench test will hopefully thrash Vista and XP when the final code is released.

Given that 6956 is being touted by bloggers as being close to the final “beta” build, there is the question of what additional Windows 7 surprises Steve Ballmer will unveil at the pre-CES keynote event.

This is especially so due to the “other Steve”, Steve Jobs, rumoured to be unveiling much more information about Snow Leopard OS X 10.6 at the Macworld 2009 event, starting January 5th.

What about the new Blue Badge tool for 6801 users, and where’s Office 14? Please read on to page 2.

Jobs might even release the new OS in full, although Apple’s previous timeline is for a mid-2009 release, so perhaps this is doubtful.

All will be known in less than 30 days, so January definitely won’t be a quiet month in the world of tech.

In other news, Windows 7 6801 users can now download version 3 of the “Blue Badge” tool, which not only enables an early version of the Windows 7 super bar and the desktop slideshow, but also enables “aero peek”, giving you a view of the desktop by making other windows transparent.

Windows 7 6965 users don’t need to bother with the Blue Badge tool as all of the hidden features are already enabled, but some 6801 users are happy to stay where they are and not upgrade as yet, especially given the real beta’s imminent arrival.

There was also news that Windows 7 6933 or 6936 had also leaked onto torrent sites, which still needs the Blue Badge tool to unlock the hidden features, but with 6956 available plenty of people aren’t bothering with older releases but going for the latest and greatest instead.

Microsoft’s other “big” product is its Office Suite, and as ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley notes , there hasn’t been much noise from Microsoft about it yet, aside from a planned 2009 release.

Unsurprisingly, this seems to dovetail nicely with the (unofficially announced) yet planned 2009 release for Windows 7.

So, if you’re keen to legally try out the Windows 7 beta, there’s not long to go, with the beta due anytime between January 7 and January 13, at which time Microsoft’s servers will be melting down with millions of simultaneous 2GB+ .ISO downloads.

I don’t know about you, but January 7 and the latest jig from the world’s best Monkey Dancer can’t come soon enough!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.