Preston Gralla

Tests show Windows 8 Consumer Preview is much faster than Windows 7

March 23, 2012 7:09 AM EDT
One thing you'll like about Windows 8: Even though it's only in its preview form, it's already faster than Windows 7. And as development proceeds, it should only get even faster.

PC World ran a series of benchmarks on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and found it beat Windows 7 handily, even though the new operating system is still in an early version and has yet to be fine-tuned for performance.

The magazine ran Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the same machine and found that Windows 8 was 14% faster than Windows 7 on the WorldBench 7, the magazine's comprehensive performance benchmark. It also started up 35% faster, and was 50% faster when it comes to Web performance. Windows 8 lagged behind Windows 7 in an office productivity test by 8 percent, and was essentially tied with Windows 7 for a content creation test.

Given that the later stages of development are usually used to fine-tune performance, you can expect Windows 8 to get even faster when it's released.

These numbers don't surprise me. I'm running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on an Acer Aspire One netbook and it's quite speedy. It starts up fast, is extremely responsive, and rarely displays lags. The only time I've noticed any lagginess is when I'm browsing the Windows Store.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Windows Vista at launch had performance problems, and Microsoft did a very good job in Windows 7 of making the operating system faster and leaner. It targeted even better performance for Windows 8, very important because the operating system is being designed for tablets, which tend to be less powerful than traditional PCs.

The performance boost may take some of the sting out of using an operating system that for now at least has many people complaining is somewhat of a kludge because Metro isn't designed well for mice and keyboards, and because of the poor integration of the Metro interface with the Desktop.

As these test results show, if Microsoft could fix those problems, it would cleary have a winner on its hands.