Windows Vista's less than stellar reputation and poor uptake are due in large part to the heavy demands it makes on system hardware. When Vista appeared in the autumn of 2006, PCs and notebooks were less powerful than today's machines. But even with modern hardware, anyone using a Vista-based system soon senses that this is an operating system suffering from the software equivalent of having the handbrake left on.
Microsoft cannot afford a repetition with Windows 7, and so has optimised all of the OS's major system components. From startup to login, everything in Windows 7 is faster.
Microsoft has now finalised Windows 7 and announced its Release To Manufacturing (RTM). Build 7600.1685 has been chosen for the RTM, and ZDNet used this version test the performance of Windows 7 against Vista and XP on various platforms.