Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 11th May 2013 21:41 UTC
Windows "Windows is indeed slower than other operating systems in many scenarios, and the gap is worsening." That's one way to start an insider explanation of why Windows' performance isn't up to snuff. Written by someone who actually contributes code to the Windows NT kernel, the comment on Hacker News, later deleted but reposted with permission on Marc Bevand's blog, paints a very dreary picture of the state of Windows development. The root issue? Think of how Linux is developed, and you'll know the answer.
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RE[3]: This is anti-MS propaganda
by leech on Mon 13th May 2013 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is anti-MS propaganda"
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

I guess I'll feed the troll....

Seriously, what functionality does Windows XP have "Out of the Box" that any of the mint/Ubuntu Linux distributions don't have?

The only thing XP has going for it out of the box is Paint, Notepad, Wordpad, IE and Outlook Express.
Oh, maybe I'm missing solitaire and minesweeper....
Oh, you can search for files, and regular file management stuff. But what else?

Any Linux distribution (yes even from the days when XP came out) had more applications and a full office suite by doing the default desktop install.

Here's some anecdotal evidence to support the opposite of what you're saying.

This was a few years back, but my sister's friend had a crappy eMachine, which had a motherboard go bad. I tried to find a replacement, but unfortunately ordered her one that used PC133 memory, of which I only had a 128mb stick. Ubuntu (I think it was 8.04) ran on it, but slowly. OpenOffice loaded in about 5 minutes! Exact same hardware, dual booting with Windows Xp took about 10 minutes to load OpenOffice!

So you can berate Linux all you want, but the truth of the matter is that it still has leaps and bounds better memory management than Windows does. Ever look at your memory usage on Windows? I can pretty much guarantee that it's using Page file, even though it still has physical memory. I NEVER see this on Linux. We buy RAM for a reason, Microsoft... fix your damn memory management!

Reply Parent Score: 5

triangle Member since:
2013-05-13

What does XP have out of the box that Linux does not?

For one, it works. That's a pretty big one. Let me elaborate.

Yes, Linux sometimes works. XP allways works and works fully. That is a huge difference. The function of an OS is to be an OS... not to supply you with a huge amount of free software. By the way, there is huge amount of free open source software for win also. Look up softpedia.

So let us compare specifically how the OS compares out of the box. I'll state 4 scenarios. All 4 scenarios will consider what the experience would if we were to install an OS today.

SCENARIO I - 10 year old computer.
---------------------------------
CPU: Athlon XP 2500+
RAM: 1 GB
Mobo: NF7 Series
GFX: Ati Radeon 8500
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1

Current Ubuntu, Mint, etc will not work on this system. Score F-.

A legacy Linux distro will work partially on this system. Videocard will barely work and sound card will partially. However, and this is vital... because of the flawed centralized software repo scheme no new software could be used. This effectively means no security and very limited functionality/productivity. So in effect, installing a legacy distro is not an option. Score F.

Windows XP:
-Works perfectly. Everything fully functional and optimal.
-Super fast and light. Like computer was brand new!
-No junk comes with OS
-Can install any new software.
Score A.

SCENARIO II - 5-6 year old system
----------------------------------
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.X GHZ
RAM: 3 GB
GFX: Ati 2 or 3000 series or NVIDIA 8400
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1

New Ubuntu or Mint. With Ati shit out of luck. F-
With NVIDIA will work. Will be slow but but speed wise usable. Of course new GUI systems like unity and gnome 3 are total crap and that should be taken into account. Let's pretend classic is used. in this case the score depends highly on hardware. You are playing the hardware lotto. If run virtualized, the score is an F because the harware can't handle with enough speed the hog that Linux is.

Legacy Linux. Can't be run for sane reasons as above. No axs to new packages/software. Score F-.

Windows XP:
-Works perfectly. Everything fully functional and optimal.
-Super fast and light. Like computer was brand new!
-No junk comes with OS
-Can install any new software.
-No vitalization problems.
Score A+.

SCENARIO III - 2 Year OLD system
---------------------------------
CPU - AMD Phenom
RAM - 4GB
GFX - ATI 48XX
SOUND - Creative 6.1 or 7.1

Current Ubuntu or Mint, works but not fully. Minor isues with sound card and major issues with video card. Gaming out of the question unless you downgrade x server blah blah. Score C-.

Legacy Ubuntu or Mint. Not an option for above reasons and also pointless.

Windows XP:
-Brilliant. Everything fully functional and optimal.
-Super fast and light. Absolute speed demon.
-No junk comes with OS
-Can install any new software.
-No vitalization problems.
Score A+.

CONCLUSION
------------
One of the key functions of an OS is that is should work. Sometimes Linux does works but often it does NOT! You must play the hardware lotto. Yet it is the goal of an OS to make hardware work. So it fails at this very basic level.

Also, Linux does not age well. It is not usable with older hardware because that forces users to give up on new packages/software and security. In fact, even 2 year old hardware becomes obsolete real fast as with the Radeon 4XXX series forcing people to buy new hardware.

For hardware to work you need proper driver flexibility. Linux does not have this. Yes, this is a business issue not just an engineering issue but alas the result is the same. You are lucky to even get your hardware working. In Windows land you always have full hardware support.

In windows you can keep your software. They are not obsoleted by package updates.

Also, in the land of Windows... you can run up to date new software on old hardware.

In short Windows as an OS fulfills all the needs that an OS is supposed to fulfill. It is flexible and has long term hardware support. XP is 13 years old and is still marvelous.

I should also add that software developed for Microsoft still works for the most part in newer OS's because of the amazing backwards compatibility MS always achieves.

In short Windows has none of the problems Linux has.
With two exceptions of course, it is not free and not open source.

Edited 2013-05-13 07:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

triangle Member since:
2013-05-13

I'm not arguing that XP is the best OS ever. I think that for the most part Windows 7 is better than XP. Obviously it supports modern hardware fully. The question is are current Linux distros on the same level yet of 13 year old XP. I say no. The above considerations are elementary consideration for an OS. Essentials. Linux fails on these and Windows scores extremely high (better than any OS). I am only considering these elementary considerations here. If we were to consider usage elements then I would argue that Linux isn't even yet on the level of Windows 95. Windows 95 was much easier to use/admin than Linux is today (or ever has been). Sad but true.

I should also correct my post for scenario 3. XP should score a B or a C and not an A since it does not support 64bit and more than 4GB ram...hence not fully the hardware after all. But at the same time Microsoft has Win 7 which would score an A in that scenario.

Edited 2013-05-13 07:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

1) You are comparing to ubuntu/mint, etc.. Try comparing to something solid like OpenSuSE or Fedora.
2) Yes, linux installations can break but it gives you tools to easily fix it. I gave up on windows XP in 2004 after a horrible experience with Microsoft support where an idiot eventually suggested I format. I had stumbled only a NTFS bug. the microsoft support person denied the bug but it was eventually fixed in Vista.
luckily I didn't and I used a linux rescue CD with ntfs write support to fix my windows installation.

Reply Parent Score: 3

yoshi314@gmail.com Member since:
2009-12-14

i call BS on your argument. score F.

I have an old (~7 years) system which ranks somewhere between your 10year old and 7 year old examples, and i don't have to degrade to unsupported legacy linux installations to use it.

The argument of no-junk windows xp installation and everything working out of the box can be thrown just out the window - i mean, there's outdated IE and you are missing most of the drivers for your hardware. and the whole system is rather vulnerable out of the box, unless you roll a custom installation media streamlined with all of the hotfixes so far.

Also, you silently assumed to run default desktops given distro comes with. I can use gnome3/kde fairly comfortably, although i prefer simpler setups more. in such case older systems might struggle. but not every distribution comes with beefy desktop option by default.

You also forgot to notice that windows xp is going to become unsupported soon.

> Also, Linux does not age well. It is not usable with older hardware because that forces users to give up on new packages/software and security.

BS. you can run recent releases of distributions on fairly old hardware. I run archlinux on laptop from 2004, and i keep it up to date.

do not make the assumption that recent linux versions are only for top-of-the shelf hardware. do not make the assumption that there is only gnome3/kde or other resource hogging desktop for linux. do not assume that old hardware only works with linux distributions released more than few years ago - there are linux distributions that will work well on older hardware while containg up to date software.

> In windows you can keep your software. They are not obsoleted by package updates.

Try installing some stuff written for xp on windows7 or 8. Or try installing something that requires most recent directx on windows xp. and then tell me it's not being obsoleted.

There are more and more apps getting left behind. And that includes drivers for older hardware - some hardware from winxp era is not getting drivers for modern windows releases. at some point there will be hardware with no xp drivers available. i doubt it will happen anytime soon, but it's a matter of time.

on linux you at least get the comfort of having your hardware supported as long as there are people using it, and it works realistically. even if it's discarded, you are free to fork the kernel or make a group of interest to restore given feature.

you can fire up fairly recent linux system and it will work with your hardware, recent or ancient. the exceptions are hardware that's truly obsolete (like 386, with its ram restrictions) or hardware nobody uses anymore (ancient modems, really old and obscure graphics cards) or hardware nobody has written drivers for yet.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yes, Linux sometimes works. XP allways works and works fully. That is a huge difference.


It is a huge difference, but you have it the wrong way around.

Example:

SCENARIO I - 10 year old computer.
---------------------------------
CPU: Athlon XP 2500+
RAM: 1 GB
Mobo: NF7 Series
GFX: Ati Radeon 8500
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1

A legacy Linux distro will work partially on this system. Videocard will barely work and sound card will partially. However, and this is vital... because of the flawed centralized software repo scheme no new software could be used.


I'll call your bluff:

Athlon XP 2500+ CPU is fine.
RAM: 1 GB is fine.
Mobo: NF7 Series: I can't say for sure but there shouldn't be an issue: http://www.linuxcompatible.org/compatdb/details/abit_nf7_s_linux.ht...
GFX: Ati Radeon 8500 : supported by the radeon open source driver from Xorg. Works flawlessly out of the box.
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1: http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?2216-Linux-Compatibility-... : An old sound card, based of the emu10k1 sound chip, that works perfectly in Windows and Linux, with hardware mixing.

So this system should work flawlessly out of the box with the latest Linux distributions.

SCENARIO II - 5-6 year old system
----------------------------------
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.X GHZ
RAM: 3 GB
GFX: Ati 2 or 3000 series or NVIDIA 8400
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1

New Ubuntu or Mint. With Ati shit out of luck.


Here is the list of ATI cards supported by the radeon open source driver as reported by the command "grep ATI /var/log/Xorg.0.log" under the latest Kubuntu 13.04 distribution: http://justpaste.it/2m4m

In other words, you are full of it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

For one, it works. That's a pretty big one. Let me elaborate.

Yes, Linux sometimes works. XP allways works and works fully. That is a huge difference. The function of an OS is to be an OS... not to supply you with a huge amount of free software. By the way, there is huge amount of free open source software for win also. Look up softpedia.

Softpedia is filled with "DOWNLOAD NOW" links that go to different software than what you're looking for, not to mention other sites that fill open source software with their own toolbars and other malware / spyware. See below about Linux working...
So let us compare specifically how the OS compares out of the box. I'll state 4 scenarios. All 4 scenarios will consider what the experience would if we were to install an OS today.

SCENARIO I - 10 year old computer.
---------------------------------
CPU: Athlon XP 2500+
RAM: 1 GB
Mobo: NF7 Series
GFX: Ati Radeon 8500
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1

Current Ubuntu, Mint, etc will not work on this system. Score F-.

Use Debian. Wheezy just came out and I bet you it'd run flawlessly on that setup. Ubuntu and Mint go for the newest hardware, and generally don't try too hard to support older hardware. I had Debian Wheezy running fast on a Pentium 2 with 512MB of RAM a while back. Only issue I had on that system (at the time, it should be fixed now that Wheezy is stable) is that I couldn't use full Gnome-Shell because the video card I had only worked with the legacy nVidia drivers, which wouldn't work with the newer kernel (hardly Linux's fault, that's all on nVidia.)
A legacy Linux distro will work partially on this system. Videocard will barely work and sound card will partially. However, and this is vital... because of the flawed centralized software repo scheme no new software could be used. This effectively means no security and very limited functionality/productivity. So in effect, installing a legacy distro is not an option. Score F.

Radeon 8500 is hardly a new card. Blame ATI for not supporting their video cards worth a crap. I have an AMD3200HD in a laptop and it's not all that old (from 2009?) and they've already dropped support for it. Grabbed the fglrx-legacy drivers from experimental and haven't had issues since. Again, as far as the repositories go, use a distribution that doesn't suck. Debian is the best for long term support, while the actual support isn't as long, the upgrade paths are more or less flawless. I went from sarge, to etch, to lenny to squeeze on my server. Only reason I finally re-installed is because the hardware got old and I upgraded to a 64-bit system. There were methods for converting from 32-bit to 64-bit Debian without re-installing, but it seemed like a royal pain in the butt, so I just reinstalled after backing everything up. Can't even do that on any Windows system.
Windows XP:
-Works perfectly. Everything fully functional and optimal.
-Can install any new software.
Score A.

Of course it's quick and fully(?) functional, when there isn't any software installed. Once you start installing software it gets fat and unresponsive. Thank the registry for that. And it is very rapidly becoming that you can't install any software. You're permanently stuck on DirectX 9 because Microsoft is forcing you to upgrade. I know, because I would have probably stuck with XP if it weren't for newer games all supporting Direct X 10+
SCENARIO II - 5-6 year old system
----------------------------------
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.X GHZ
RAM: 3 GB
GFX: Ati 2 or 3000 series or NVIDIA 8400
SND: Creative sound blaster 5.1

New Ubuntu or Mint. With Ati shit out of luck. F-
With NVIDIA will work. Will be slow but but speed wise usable. Of course new GUI systems like unity and gnome 3 are total crap and that should be taken into account. Let's pretend classic is used. in this case the score depends highly on hardware. You are playing the hardware lotto. If run virtualized, the score is an F because the harware can't handle with enough speed the hog that Linux is.

Use KVM with QXL, or are you talking about Linux being the guest and Windows being the host? In which case it's Windows' fault that Linux is slow.
Legacy Linux. Can't be run for sane reasons as above. No axs to new packages/software. Score F-.

Tell that to my friend who supports legacy systems using RHEL 3 and 4, and ancient FreeBSD systems that customers refuse to upgrade. Sure it's a pain, but it's possible.
Windows XP:
-Works perfectly. Everything fully functional and optimal.
Score A+.

Installing guest drivers on XP can be annoying. But sure, if you install yourself and then (as above) start installing a bunch of stuff, it gets cluttered real quick. Basically to be usable as an 'operating system' it has to have applications installed, and installing those applications is what slows XP down. It's been a known issue for as long as Windows 95 has been around.
SCENARIO III - 2 Year OLD system
---------------------------------
CPU - AMD Phenom
RAM - 4GB
GFX - ATI 48XX
SOUND - Creative 6.1 or 7.1

Current Ubuntu or Mint, works but not fully. Minor isues with sound card and major issues with video card. Gaming out of the question unless you downgrade x server blah blah. Score C-.

Legacy Ubuntu or Mint. Not an option for above reasons and also pointless.

You keep mentioning sound card issues. I never had any issues with my Audigy cards, except when they finally started to make weird popping noises (which started in Windows) I've had MORE issues with getting them working in new versions of Windows than I ever have in Linux. Granted I didn't buy the X-Fi 'til much much later, and didn't have to wait for Creative to open source their drivers, but once I had one, I didn't have any issues with it.

CONCLUSION
------------
One of the key functions of an OS is that is should work. Sometimes Linux does works but often it does NOT! You must play the hardware lotto. Yet it is the goal of an OS to make hardware work. So it fails at this very basic level.

Also, Linux does not age well. It is not usable with older hardware because that forces users to give up on new packages/software and security. In fact, even 2 year old hardware becomes obsolete real fast as with the Radeon 4XXX series forcing people to buy new hardware.

For hardware to work you need proper driver flexibility. Linux does not have this. Yes, this is a business issue not just an engineering issue but alas the result is the same. You are lucky to even get your hardware working. In Windows land you always have full hardware support.

In windows you can keep your software. They are not obsoleted by package updates.

Also, in the land of Windows... you can run up to date new software on old hardware.

In short Windows as an OS fulfills all the needs that an OS is supposed to fulfill. It is flexible and has long term hardware support. XP is 13 years old and is still marvelous.

I should also add that software developed for Microsoft still works for the most part in newer OS's because of the amazing backwards compatibility MS always achieves.

In short Windows has none of the problems Linux has.
With two exceptions of course, it is not free and not open source.


I have a lot of games that work in Wine better than Windows 7. I have also been able to get any old binary only software working on Linux with the libstdc++5 libraries installed. I think all of your issues with 'Linux' are really issues with Ubuntu. Try a more stable distribution like CentOS or Debian. You'll find it far more pleasant to use, and work far better on older hardware. Ubuntu is for the New Kids, who like the shiny. Sorry, had to snip some of the quote, due to character limit.

Reply Parent Score: 3

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Why would you install a legacy distro instead of just a lightweight distro? A machine with 1gb of ram is not bad at all, i run virtual machines with considerably less.

Also, XP lacks drivers for much of this hardware by default, which means you have to either use a modified install disc or install the drivers all manually, which can be extremely painful especially if you're not sure what hardware is present. In some cases you might actually need a floppy disc (!) to install XP on a machine where the SATA controller is not supported by default.

Amusing you call a centralised repository flawed, when the windows approach (download arbitrary binaries from random sites) is far more flawed, and requires considerably more user knowledge in order to avoid malware infestations. Also the "flaw" as you call it seems to be that the repository is outdated, but there is no real reason to run an old linux distro when the new ones are available for free.

I'm also curious as to how you had problems with older radeon cards, since i have had no problems using older cards with modern linux distros (7000, 9200, x1600, x1900) and they work out of the box with the open source drivers. Conversely these cards won't work at all with windows 7/8, and in some cases only run on xp if you're willing to accept drivers with known security holes.

XP is not "up to date software", and applications are only still being made compatible with it because many users have not upgraded to newer versions. Linux doesn't have the problems windows has which cause people to avoid upgrading, problems like lock-in, lack of drivers in newer versions, increased hardware requirements, cost etc. There is very little reason to ever run an old version of linux, even on old hardware.

The biggest problem with linux that you highlight, is that many hardware manufacturers are still stuck with the windows mentality of releasing closed source drivers... Open drivers work far better, and are the reason why modern linux supports all manner of hardware which is abandoned by modern windows, especially the 64bit variants. While 64bit linux supports almost all the hardware the 32bit version did simply by recompiling the drivers, once 64bit windows came out only new hardware ever got drivers, and there is all manner of older stuff which is unusable.
And then there's other processors, linux on arm inherits the majority of the drivers from x86 linux, so if you have an arm (or mips or ppc etc) based machine with pci or usb slots, you can plug all manner of hardware in and have it work. If you are running windows ce, or windows rt on such hardware you have extremely limited driver support - because the manufacturers only ever made x86 binary drivers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Ever look at your memory usage on Windows? I can pretty much guarantee that it's using Page file, even though it still has physical memory. I NEVER see this on Linux. We buy RAM for a reason, Microsoft... fix your damn memory management!


I want to add that after using my computer for a few hours yesterday, I was able to turn off the page file without having to reboot, meaning it wasn't in use (It also reported 0MB used in the page file). That is the first time that's ever happened to me in Windows.
That reminds me. I have to turn the page file back on, now that I'm nolonger defragging prior to shrinking my Windows partition.

I'm running Windows 8 with 8GB of ram. Not a small amount of ram, but not a lot, either.

Reply Parent Score: 2