Sunday, January 18, 2009

Windows Vista vs. Windows 7 Beta – Speed and Memory Footprint

During the last days, many people wrote about Microsoft's new operating system Windows 7, which was release as Beta 1 on January 9th 2009.

Yes, I was one of them, who tried it to download at these Friday evening… without success. Well, I tried it on the next Monday morning, after Microsoft canceled the download-limit of 2.5 mio. downloads.

At first, I would like to say something about my work background. I’ve never used Windows Vista at work, just at home on my wife’s computer. I only used, or I would say more tested, it on virtual machines. At work, I use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1. I could gave all vm’s just 1 gigabytes of RAM, so I have nearly identically machines for Vista and 7. When I talk here about Windows Vista, I mean a Vista with service pack 1 and all updates.

Windows Vista

There are no big difference during the installation of Windows Vista and Windows 7 Beta. It’s very easy to handle. Both are completely covered in a graphical user interface. A few clicks there, a few clicks here, give the computer a name and don’t forget your password and just wait a few minutes…Ready!

But then, then you get the big big surprise. Windows 7 Beta is much faster in the boot sequence then Windows Vista. I’ve made two screen captures, the first is from Windows Vista, the second is from Windows 7 Beta. I stopped the time from when I switched on the vm until I saw this screen.

Windows 7 Beta

There must be enormous differences in the internal boot sequence when you Windows 7 Beta needs nearly only the half time to boot than Windows Vista.

Time for booting
Windows Vista 90 seconds
Windows 7 Beta 50 seconds

In my opinion, that difference is highly remarkable.

Another aspect, especially for older computer or mobile computer like netbooks is the memory footprint of the operating system. That is one reason why Windows XP is still sold with netbooks.

If you have an older office computer or a netbook with 1 gigabytes of RAM, it is important that the operating system takes care of his own memory needs. Windows Vista don’t do that so nice and need just for the operating system nearly 420 megabytes of RAM. With the same desktop configuration, Windows 7 Beta just need 360 megabytes of RAM.

Memory needs for the operating system
Windows Vista 430 megabytes
Windows 7 Beta 360 megabytes


Well, I am not a friend of Windows Vista, but I could become a friend of Windows 7. For that early beta-version, it is fast, stable and looks much better then Windows Vista. Microsoft is with Windows 7 on a better way, than they ever were with Windows Vista.