Home > Benchmarks > Benchmarking Microsoft Word From 95 To 2007 Benchmarking Microsoft Word From 95 To 2007 Submitted by ahz1 2008-07-23 Benchmarks 22 Comments Andrew Ziem takes a close look at Microsoft Word performance in a benchmark with 4500 measurements in 5 categories covering 6 versions and 12 years of releases to determine whether Word has become slower or faster over the years. About The Author 22 Comments 2008-07-23 2:59 pm acamfield Basically says what a lot of us know anecdotally. My current desktop at home has quad core processor with 4GB of RAM, but I spend a lot of time watching programs load. Funny how programs used to snap up on the screen on my old 286-20 running windows 3.11. Ain’t progress wonderful? 2008-07-23 3:08 pm Kroc No Word 6.0 in the list, my favourite version :'( For office buffs, who want to see the bloat increase over the years visually, you simply must check out Jenson Harris’ articles on the history of office http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/03/29/563938.aspx http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/04/17/577485.aspx 2008-07-23 8:30 pm Doc Pain Funny how programs used to snap up on the screen on my old 286-20 running windows 3.11. Or GeoWorks Ensemble as a complete desktop solution started from DOS. 🙂 Ain’t progress wonderful? It’s just a question how you want to understand “progress”; as it may be concluded from the article, “progress” means to have features implemented step by step that could have existed years before (or have been existing in free / open source applications years before) while you need to update your OS and your hardware to keep the same “usage speed” – I may use this tern to illustrate how users “feel” the speed of their applications, and because this may be a very individual feeling, benchmarks are welcome. As I write here: http://www.osnews.com/permalink?309755 hardware ressources ———————————- = overall usage speed application requirements Due to technical development, the numerator increases, and due to bloat, the denominator increases, too. The quotient seems to stay the same over the years. Yesterday’s applications are as fast on yesterdays machines as today’s applications are on today’s machines. To benefit of the faster hardware of today, you seem to need to run older software on it. Simple math. 🙂 I think this benchmark is (at least) interesting when you want to predict how future versions will behave on future OSes and future hardware. 2008-07-23 3:04 pm Sean Parsons Really, I don’t think anyone that has used MS Word 2007 would be surprised by those results. What I do find interesting is something that isn’t addressed directly in the review. MS Word 2007 functions at approximately the same speed as OOo Writer. I only find that interesting because that is one of (but not the only) chief complaints I hear when people complain about OOo is how much slower it is than MS Office. 2008-07-23 3:55 pm lemur2 MS Word 2007 functions at approximately the same speed as OOo Writer. I only find that interesting because that is one of (but not the only) chief complaints I hear when people complain about OOo is how much slower it is than MS Office. If people are saying to you that OO.org is slow compared with MS Office, then clearly they aren’t up with the times. Current version MS Office (which is Office 2007) in conjunction with current version Windows (which is Vista) is a fair bit slower on the same hardware than current version Linux and OO.org (say Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and OO.org 2.4). Tell them they have it exactly the wrong way around. Edited 2008-07-23 15:56 UTC 2008-07-23 5:27 pm Bending Unit If people are saying to you that OO.org is slow compared with MS Office, then clearly they aren’t up with the times. Current version MS Office (which is Office 2007) in conjunction with current version Windows (which is Vista) is a fair bit slower on the same hardware than current version Linux and OO.org (say Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and OO.org 2.4). Tell them they have it exactly the wrong way around. Linux? You are changing the operating system? Why? Those results are invalid. Benchmarking MS Office 2007 and Openoffice 2.4 on Vista, that is valid and quite interesting. 2008-07-23 6:16 pm WorknMan Linux? You are changing the operating system? Why? Those results are invalid. Benchmarking MS Office 2007 and Openoffice 2.4 on Vista, that is valid and quite interesting. I just fired up Word 2007 on an XP machine (Intel E6550 @ 2.33ghz) and it started in less than a second. I dunno if you can get much faster than that 2008-07-24 10:05 am iserlohn That’s a flawed metric because it is not really possible to turn off the preloading of many of the DLLs even if you disable OSA. Of course from a UI point of view it makes sense, but you would need to compare it with other programs with preloading turned on. 2008-07-23 11:54 pm lemur2 If people are saying to you that OO.org is slow compared with MS Office, then clearly they aren’t up with the times. Current version MS Office (which is Office 2007) in conjunction with current version Windows (which is Vista) is a fair bit slower on the same hardware than current version Linux and OO.org (say Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and OO.org 2.4). Tell them they have it exactly the wrong way around. Linux? You are changing the operating system? Why? Those results are invalid. Benchmarking MS Office 2007 and Openoffice 2.4 on Vista, that is valid and quite interesting. But why would you want to take a couple of reasonable productivity applications such as MS Office and OpenOffice and cripple their performance with Vista? If you want the best performance out of an application … not running it on Vista is a great start. Running it on Linux where you don’t need to concurrently run anti-malware resident scanners and such is also a great improvement beyond that … and inexpensive (because you don’t have to buy the anti-malware software or subscribe to updates for it). The best approach by far then is to get modest bog-standard hardware, preferably without an OS or with Linux pre-installed (perhaps from Dell), and then choose and run the best-of-breed open source applications on it. You are then way, way out in front in terms of value-for-money. PS: BTW, getting Linux pre-installed means that it will work on your hardware without hassle, and it doesn’t in any way involve “changing the operating system”. Edited 2008-07-23 23:58 UTC 2008-07-23 3:26 pm REM2000 Personally i think they perfected office apart from outlook in office 97. All the funcationaility was there, as was the polish. The network i currently manage is on office xp (2002) i see no reason to move to office 2007, i have applied the office 2007 compatability pack to Office XP so they can read and write to the newer format. To tell the truth the only reason i would move everyone to a newer office suite would be to start the conversion of office documents to an open and compatible format, however as i said this is a long way off. Office XP does everything we need. The only app i think microsoft did complete/finish in Office 2007 was outlook, it’s great for productivity and the management of Email, Calendar and contacts, especially when used with Exchange Server. 2008-07-23 4:05 pm lemur2 Personally i think they perfected office apart from outlook in office 97. All the funcationaility was there, as was the polish. Office 97 is very weak for long documents. Office 97 has a strictly limited “style store”. Once you explicitly format something, every time you make a change that new format gets stored in the file. There is apparently a list of these “explicit formats used” kept with the file that can only ever be added to … removing stuff from your document does not remove the entries in that list. There is no way to reduce the size of this list in a given document … as you add stuff, and change formatting, the list just grows and grows. Once the list hits 65,000 entries, the document is permanently corrupted. No recovery is possible. Not even saving to another format and re-importing will recover the document. You cannot use Office 97 for a longish document for which sections get replaced on a regular basis. Even for a short document … say a newsletter which you edit each week but leave certain bits in place … Office 97 is guaranteed to eventually corrupt such a file beyond all repair. Far from “perfected”. 2008-07-24 5:35 am NeoX I have to agree with you on those points. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Office 97 was leaps and bounds better then any office to that point I think Office really hit the mark with 2003. I have 2003 on one machine and 2007 on the other, and I still prefer 2003 to the ui and clutter that is 2007. I really do prefer the menus and toolbars versus the no menus and ribbon of 2k7. I guess that is what you get from being a long time Office user… 😉 2008-07-23 5:01 pm google_ninja I am a casual office user, and 2k7 is the only office suite of any kind that hasn’t made me want to run screaming for the hills. Previously, writing anything beyond memos meant large amounts of time trying to find features, and then figure out how they work. Most of my word usage is writing specs and documentation, and neither is a task that I do every day (or every month for that matter). I found OO.o just as bad, just where the little word expertise I retained ended up being useless. With 2k7 it is like night and day. Not only is it easier to find stuff, but there are a lot of desktop publishing features that I don’t remember ever being there before, and putting out documents that look good is very, very easy. Office is always something I had to use at work, 2k7 is the first version I actually went out and bought. If you are a pro at the older versions, there isn’t much of a need to upgrade. But if you are an infrequent user (like me), you have two choices, office 2k7 or iWork on mac. 2008-07-23 4:09 pm rycamor Word 2.0 was the most useable version of Word ever, and much faster than all later versions. And in fact, subsequent versions lost some very nice UI touches, such as the click-drag scrolling Zoom tool, and instead added tons of functionality that almost no one uses, but still cluttered up the interface. Also, the page margin/paragraph/tab tool at the top went from being very easy and sensible to insanely aggravating, since you had only a one-pixel clearance to click in the right spot to adjust the margin. A misfeature which stayed with Word until…well until the last time I tried it in 2003, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it survives even now. That, plus all the “helpful” features that automatically reformatted what I was writing without asking made me give up on Word in disgust a long time ago. What ever happened to having a simple word-processor that just lets you make your own decisions? Even OpenOffice offends in that category, unfortunately. As for the feature clutter in Word, I know they added lots of features needed by those few document experts. That’s why they should have kept those features *out of the way* unless you needed them. In fact I would argue that they should have made a startup toggle between simple/advanced. 2008-07-23 4:33 pm Soulbender Amen. Word 2.0 was the awesome. Plus it fit on a floppy and could even be run from that floppy. Yes folks, on ONE 1.44 floppy disk. 2008-07-23 5:22 pm DBAlex Is that supposed to be impressive? AmigaOS used to fit and be bootable on a whole floppy, with drivers and tools too… And that was all contained within an 880KB floppy… It even had emacs (well micro-emacs) Even OS 3.1 could do that if you were careful… What’s so impressive about _one app_ fitting on a floppy? 2008-07-24 6:19 am Soulbender It’s pretty impressive for Microsoft Word. Emac’s isn’t a patch on MS Word. Sorry, it’s just a horrible text editot. 2008-07-23 5:34 pm Bending Unit I understand but since I don’t have any performance problems I welcome any advancement in functionality. I happen to use Openoffice at home though, it’s good enough for me. (I use it seldomly) 2008-07-23 5:53 pm wrocic Amipro was the best word processor ever. And when it was amalgamated into Lotus Smartsuite, the 98 edition of this was the epitome of ALL office suites. Pity they were crap at marketing. 2008-07-23 5:34 pm martinus Thats a quite useless benchmark. Much more interesting would be how long it takes to write a given text with given formatting, and print it. 2008-07-24 1:15 am larwilliams How come WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS was not included? LOL It was da bomb 2008-07-24 2:07 pm Googol It comes with Windows ever since and serves 98% of plain letter typing needs.