I knew it wouldn't be long until the Windows 7 FUD machine kicked off. The prize for the first such article goes to InfoWorld's Randall C. Kennedy and his "Windows 7 unmasked" piece.
I could expend a lot of digital ink on de-construction the piece, but I'm not going to (Alienware have just sent me a new Core 2 Extreme M17 notebook to play with for a few weeks, so I'm distracted!), Instead I'll just concentrate on a few issues I have with the piece.
- My first issue is with Kennedy's choice of benchmark tool - DMS Clarity Studio. Bottom line, I have trouble accepting this tool as a valid benchmark. OK, as part of a comprehensive roundup, this tool does provide a useful data point, but when used alone I view it with suspicion. There are far more established benchmark suites that can be used.
- I don't understand Kennedy's obsession with thread count. There's very little that you can take away from totting up the OS thread count, and to jump to the conclusion that more threads is bad is naive. You might as well throw a cup of tea into the PC and read the leaves.
- Equally, looking at process lists to try to determine how much the OS has changed is pointless.
- RAM consumption is also a weak metric. It would be better to benchmark the same system with different amounts of memory installed. That tells you far more about how the OS uses the available RAM.
- The compatibility issues that are raised in the article are interesting, but it's important to remember that Windows 7 is in a pre-beta state and that apps like Skype and Daemon Tools will probably be updated many times before Windows 7 goes RTM. However, application compatibility is something that Microsoft needs to keep a very close eye on.
- From the comments it seems that Kennedy is testing build 6801 of Windows 7. This is a pretty old build. Once a new build is released any data you collected from old builds is instantly obsolete.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree that tech pundits need to be all over Microsoft when it comes to Windows 7 to make sure that the Vista mistakes aren't going to be repeated, but we also need to be fair and approach Windows 7 free of the Vista goggles.
I'm off back to the Alienware notebook ...