posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 10:58 UTC
IconTwo weeks ago, I published an article in which I explained what was wrong about Randall Kennedy's "Windows 7 Unmasked" article. This was noted by Infoworld's editor-in-chief Eric Knorr, who suggested that Randall and I enter into an email debate regarding the various points made in our articles. We agreed upon publishing this email thread as-is, unedited (I didn't even fix the spelling errors), on both Infoworld and OSNews. We agreed that Randall would start the debate, and that I had the final word. Read on for the entertaining email debate (I figured it would be best to give each email its own page, for clarity's sake. My apologies if this makes each individual page much shorter than what you're used to from OSNews).

Thom,

After reviewing your "rebuttal" article, I find that you seem to agree with the core point of my original piece:

"In all seriousness, Microsoft has been very clear that when it comes to under the hood, there won't be many changes between Windows Vista and Windows 7. There will be optimisations to improve performance, but nothing drastic."

So, now that we've established that we both agree that Windows 7 is *not* a major upgrade to Windows Vista (at least as far as "under the hood" is concerned), we can move on to the first major objection in your "rebuttal" text:

"First of all, the number of threads running within a kernel says absolutely nothing whatsoever about how many changes have or have not gone into the kernel..."
(note: emphasis on "whatever" preserved from your article).

Wow! That's a bold statement for someone who (I would assume) does not have access to the Windows 7 source code! The truth is that, without walking the NT kernel source tree, there is simply no way to *conclusively* make such a statement one way or the other. That's why, in my article, I make a point of establishing the history of this metric and how - over the 16 years I've been working with the NT code base - it has proven to be a good, externally-accessible indicator of kernel churn.

So my response is: There is no way that *either* of us can state *conclusively* that the thread count metric does or does not express change at kernel level. But then again, I never claimed that it does - only that history shows the value changing significantly from major version to major version. Combined with various statements made by Microsoft on the subject, this lack of change - when viewed in the context of the aforementioned history for this metric - would seem to support my own conclusion about Windows 7 being so similar to Vista as to warrant a "point release" or "R2" moniker. A conclusion, I might add, that you have already tacitly agreed to (see first quote above).

Careful with those "absolutes," Thom. You'll find they have a habit of painting you into a corner. :-)

RCK

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