posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 10:58 UTC

Thom
Randall,

It is wholly and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand whether or not a certain change in the kernel only affects certain customers, but not regular consumers. Even if a change only affected Major Tom, the end result is still that your thread count metric should notice it. Seeing that it doesn't notice the changes that I highlighted, it seems pretty clear to me that your thread count metric is flawed. That's just my opinion though - we'll see what our respective readerships think.

This is unrelated to whether or not the changes that I mentioned really are, as you say, only relevant to datacenters. The improvements made to the kernel that allow it to scale up to 256 processors are bound to be accompanied by changes to SMP in and of itself, which most certainly does affect basically every newly bought computer today (apart from the mobile Intel Atom, are there even single core machines being sold?). Changes in the memory manager obviously affect customers too, since memory management is one of the most basic and important functions of a kernel.

But the change that is most certainly going to affect *every* user of Windows is MinWin (by lack of a better name). By eliminating upward calls, and by untangling the web of dependencies in the very core of Windows, Microsoft will be able to make changes to these core elements in an easier fashion, without causing as many breakage in parts higher up the stack. I don't know in what possible universe that is not seen as an improvement. This could benefit every user - maybe not right away, but it will, in the future.

Let's move on the next point you wish to discuss. I'll be clear: I don't need to prove that Vista's performance has improved between RTM, and now. Others have already done so for me, and I trust those people a whole lot more than my own perceptions.

For instance, a major source of problems during Vista's early days was the instability and immaturity of Vista's graphics drivers, which needed to conform to a new driver model (compared to XP). Benchmarks suggest that these problems have been ironed out, and that Vista's graphics performance has increased (as of SP1) to the level of Windows XP [1] - this was written in May 2008, and we've already seen more updates and fixes since then.

Another, much more detailed and elaborate benchmark comes from AnandTech, who professionally benchmarked Vista SP1 after its release [2], and concluded that it improved boot/shutdown times, and fixed the extremely aggravating and utterly braindead 'file copying bug', a bug that contributed to a large degree to the overall feeling that Vista was slow. They also note that Vista's performance had improved steadily during the first year after its release, with bug fixes, patches, and other updates.

There are countless other reviews and reports that clearly state that Vista has improved over time, but I won't detail them all. These articles are mostly published after the release of SP1, so they do not take the patches and updates since then into account [3] [4] [5]. These are just some random plucks off the net, there are many more.

Add to this my own personal experiences - I run Vista on my Aspire One netbook these days, something which would've caused me nightmares during the RTM days. In addition, even some of the most avid Vista detractors on OSNews have admitted that Vista has indeed seen performance improvements since its release.

I'm ready to move to the next point on your list.

Thom

[1] http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2302495,00.asp
[2] http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=3233&p=1
[3] http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2192546,00.asp
[4] http://techreport.com/articles.x/14463
[5] http://www.insidehw.com/Software/Operating-System/Windows-Vista- Service-Pack-1.html

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