Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Nov 2007 19:01 UTC, submitted by xpnet.com Research STaff
Benchmarks "'What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away'. Such has been the conventional wisdom surrounding the Windows/Intel duopoly since the early days of Windows 95. In practical terms, it means that performance advancements on the hardware side are quickly consumed by the ever-increasing complexity of the Windows/Office code base. Case in point: Microsoft Office 2007 which, when deployed on Windows Vista, consumes over 12x as much memory and nearly 3x as much processing power as the version that graced PCs just 7 short years ago (Office 2000). But despite years of real-world experience with both sides of the duopoly, few organizations have taken the time to directly quantify what my colleagues and I at Intel used to call 'The Great Moore's Law Compensator'. In fact, the hard numbers below represent what is perhaps the first ever attempt to accurately measure the evolution of the Windows/Office platform in terms of real-world hardware system requirements and resource consumption."
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llanitedave
Member since:
2005-07-24

"it's not only because of lazy or bad programmers that bloat went up, it's often because of the reasoned choice for a framework or easier language."

To a certain extent that's true: A general-purpose application written in Python takes more resources to do a GUI output task than one coded directly in C.

But I don't know enough to say whether most of MS Office is written in high-level languages, or if it still uses venerable C++.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

To a certain extent that's true: A general-purpose application written in Python takes more resources to do a GUI output task than one coded directly in C.

But I don't know enough to say whether most of MS Office is written in high-level languages, or if it still uses venerable C++.


From what I understand the GUI of Office 2007 now uses Winforms 2.x rather than the native Window controls.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
To a certain extent that's true: A general-purpose application written in Python takes more resources to do a GUI output task than one coded directly in C.
"""

Keep in mind that the Python library doing the GUI output likely *is* written in C. Feel the power of the snake! ;-)

Many of one's common calls to Python libraries are calls to optimized C.

Reply Parent Score: 3

llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

Keep in mind that the Python library doing the GUI output likely *is* written in C. Feel the power of the snake! ;-)

Many of one's common calls to Python libraries are calls to optimized C.


True, and maybe true to a certain extent for all high-level languages, but I'm not sure that it's relevant. Otherwise there would be no performance difference between Python and pure C. But Python needs to make many more C calls to do mathematical operations within a nested loop, for example, than hand-coded C would.

So to the extent that applications are now written in Python (or Ruby, or Perl) rather than C, you use more computer resources to run them.

My only point in this is that something along these lines might explain some of the larger size and lower relative performance of more recent applications, including Office, IF Office is using more high-level abstractions rather than simpler low-level calls.

It's not intended as a criticism, nor a knowledgeable pontification, only proposed as a possible explanation.

Reply Parent Score: 1