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...and everybody knows that but to say that you have to close things down when installing is a load of crap. I have Windows XP installed on a machine and it is blazing fast. Just a few days ago I was downloading some drivers, surfing the web, burning a cd, and installing programs and I was running quite fine with no lag or anything like that. I dont know where people get these ideas from.
Yes Linux is badass and can handle insane loads because I have experienced that and Windows cannot compare to that...but that does not mean XP is a slouch.
And if you tweak XP...then it definitely aint to slouch either. Heck after tweaking I dont have problems like ending up with a sluggish system after a few days of usage ever! You just gotta know what you are doing in XP to get the max benefit and the same goes for Linux as well. But yes the bottomline is Linux > XP in terms of stability and multitasking insane loads.