When I said recently that early Windows 7 reviews based on handpicked bribes, ah high-end laptops, to reviewers and bloggers could only give results that were not a lot different from those of a rigged demo I was more right than I knew. Randall Kennedy put the Windows 7 engine on a real test-bench and discovered that, at the kernel level, "When viewed side by side in Performance Monitor, Vista and Windows 7 were virtually indistinguishable."
In case you haven't used Vista, that means you can expect Windows 7 performance to be lousy. Kennedy ran the same application performance tests comparing XP and Vista and found that Vista ran 40% slower than XP. I've said it before, I'll say it again, if you must run Windows, run XP SP3.
Application tests underlined Windows 7's more than skin-deep resemblance to Vista. Kennedy found, "In a nutshell, Windows 7 M3 is a virtual twin of Vista when it comes to performance." There are also peas in a pod when it comes to being resource hogs. Microsoft can talk about how Windows 7 will work great on netbooks and some people can claim that Windows 7 will run desktop Linux off netbooks, but Windows 7 is no more suitable than Vista is for a netbook.
I can't say that I've looked at Windows 7 nearly as closely as Kennedy has, but I've looked at Windows 7 enough to know that it's no real improvement on Vista. Ironically, the best things I can find to say about Windows 7 are the ones that make it look more like XP. UAC (User Access Control) is being loosened up, so you'll no longer have to give explicit permission every time you want to swipe your PC's nose. And, the user interface, while based on Vista Aero, locates commands in a way that has more in common with XP than it does with Vista.
What's really going on here is Microsoft's same old, same old. Microsoft is trying to pull the wool over our eyes by making Windows 7 look great in staged events and by bribing reviewers with expensive laptops. They're also trying to freeze everyone's purchase plans by making Windows 7 sound like the next great thing, so why would you want to consider say Ubuntu 8.10 or a new Mac?
The answer is that if you're sick and tired of being jerked around by Microsoft, and after Vista I would hope some of you would be, now is the perfect time to considering move to Linux or the Mac. Of course, you can keep hoping that Windows 7 will be the next great thing, but, based on what those of us who are taking a real look at what's coming, you're going to be sorely disappointed.