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Windows 7 vs. Windows XP On a Netbook

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the all-battery-life-claims-are-lies dept.

Windows 397

Justin writes "Many in the industry are counting on Windows 7 to bring the netbook market to the next level. Having netbook manufacturers ship netbooks with 7+ year old Windows XP pre-installed surely deterred some from joining the ranks of households with the small, light and portable netbooks. It seems Microsoft has addressed most of the pitfalls of Windows Vista on a netbook by increasing battery life and performance to be very close to that of the lighter-weight Windows XP. Legit Reviews has the full scoop of battery life and performance tests pitting Windows 7 against Windows XP on the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA Netbook." I'd like to see a follow-up with a few different Netbook-friendly Linux distros, too.

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397 comments

Lighter weight XP??? (2, Funny)

cjonslashdot (904508) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871013)

Lighter weight Windows XP - now that is a contradiction in terms!!!

Re:Lighter weight XP??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871063)

Lighter than Vista is... still not even close to my 20mb-RAM-on-boot Slackware install though.

Who cares about these tests? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871107)

They're running hardware tests. On a netbook. It's not going to tell them about which the better operating system is. This is some retarded shit.

Re:Lighter weight XP??? (1, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872045)

Well, what about a lighter weight windows 2000? I mean that's what XP is.. 2000+bloat. Until games "required XP" (in fact, only 3 DirectX DLLs, copied easily enough from an XP system) I was plenty happy with 2000. But now one must worry about security updates which don't happen anymore. I'm leaning towards Linux these days. Same basic stuff, without the bloat. Plus the MS agreements where you don't own rights to the software in your computer are becoming an issue. If I can't use software in the approved way, or someone programs a kill switch, then I don't really own a computer do I?

So what? (5, Insightful)

LeinadSpoon (1602063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871057)

I thought the point of netbooks was to have a computer for accessing the internet and that's about it. Last I checked, XP could access the internet. I don't see the point in putting Windows 7 on your netbook at all.

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871127)

The point of installing Windows 7 is to keep Linux OFF a netbook!

Re:So what? (-1, Flamebait)

wipeMyButt (1411817) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871303)

Right... it's not about MS making money, they hate doing that. The only reason they woo the OEM's is because they hate Linux and want to it off of computers.

And who modded that as insightful?

Re:So what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871671)

/facepalm -- Keeping Linux off the Netbook IS about making MS money.. are you new here?

Re:So what? (1, Troll)

Smegly (1607157) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871363)

Many in the industry are counting on Windows 7 to bring the netbook market to the next level.

[Citation needed] Who in "the industry" think this, exactly? Perhaps they mean bury it one level down, rather than take it to the "next level". Windows XP runs significantly slower on Netbooks, Vista 7 hasn't got a hope in hell of outperforming XP on a netbook. Smells like MS AstroTurfing to me....

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871783)

If your whole point in installing Windows 7 is to not run something else, then just think of the money you could save by just not buying a netbook. Or a PC. Or a broadband or dialup Internet connection.

I choose my O/S based upon what it does run.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871957)

Anonymous coward would like to point out that you've missed the point entirely

Re:So what? (5, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871163)

DirectX 10, silly!

Seriously, though, Vista changed quite a few things under the hood. The only reason you don't see more Vista-only software yet is because it was, well, a flop.

If Windows 7 catches on, it won't be long before you run across software that refuses to run on XP.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871315)

If Windows 7 catches on, it won't be long before you run across software that refuses to run on XP.

Which is necessary to Microsoft's survival, being their own biggest competitor and all.

Re:So what? (3, Informative)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872083)

If Windows 7 catches on, it won't be long before you run across software that refuses to run on XP.

Which is necessary to Microsoft's survival, being their own biggest competitor and all.

It could be necessary for progress in general. Although, maybe I'm mistaken and you'd prefer to retro fit your gasoline engine powered vehicle with a pair of oxen? I'm just sayin, at some point the past "version" becomes so obsolete you may no longer wish to support it. It may also be that the costs of maintaining support for said obsolescence is simply higher than abandoning it.

Re:So what? (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871471)

If Windows 7 catches on, it won't be long before you run across software that refuses to run on XP.

It's common today to find software that won't run on anything older than Windows 2000. That's largely because Windows ME, 98 and 95 were not based on NT. To assume Microsoft would release another NT based operating system that is so radically different that it would spawn "Windows 7 only" software is not only wrong, it's downright asinine.

Re:So what? (1)

synthparadox (770735) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871193)

Well XP isn't going to be sold forever, and as it is now you need to pay a premium to get the Vista Business edition with the XP downgrade, so this article is actually quite good in promoting the confidence of consumers to buy Windows 7 for their netbook instead of looking for some hacked method to get XP on their shiny new netbook in the upcoming year.

TL;DR: When XP is no longer available to buy, I won't worry about putting Windows 7 on the netbook.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871253)

Security for starters. Vista changed a lot under the hood to improve security. So if your netbook is only for accessing the internet, there is actually more, not less, reason for dumping XP.

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

LeinadSpoon (1602063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871405)

I've ran XP for years and never had a security issue. Standard practices such as not opening attachments from people you don't know and keeping everything updated do wonderfully. Yes, not everyone follows them, but maybe after a few security problems, they'll learn.

Re:So what? (3, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871691)

My experience supporting XP users is that even if I train them not to click blindly on just anything they still get personal email from their luser friends and family who are malware-infected, so it's just a losing proposition. Much as I'd love to see everyone adopt Linux, realistically I am sort of looking forward to win7 being society's default OS. So far, my testing appears to indicate it will be a lot easier to supporrt than XP has been.

Re:So what? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871687)

The vast majority of the security improving changes in Vista are user facing (mostly the default configuration and UAC), not under the hood.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871899)

Actually, no.

ASLR, Internet Explorer's Protected stuff (which not one of the competitors has), Bitlocker, the new Firewall (which finally has a nice group policy settings), service hardening using restricted accounts, NAP inclusion, kernel patch protection, etc. etc.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871331)

Not in my case. I run Firefox/IE on mine, but also use Outlook, Word, Excel, and various other apps including a custom car tuning application. I use my netbook (AspireOne) more than any other laptop I've ever owned. I've also got Windows 7 RC on it, and it runs great with 1.5MB of RAM. At least for me, I use a Netbook for far more than accessing the Internet.

Re:So what? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871385)

1.5MB of RAM? Wow. Thats really light-weight, even for Windows 7!

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871797)

Yeah, I meant 1.5GB of RAM :-) Been a long morning already!

Re:So what? (5, Interesting)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871459)

The point of netbooks is to use them for whatever the fuck you want. Just because they are called "netbooks" doesn't mean I'm only allowed to access the internet with them.

On my netbook I can browse the internet, write an essay in OpenOffice, watch 720p movies, run an FTP client, play CS:S. Upgrading to Windows 7 makes all of these things faster.

Re:So what? (1)

LeinadSpoon (1602063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871615)

Well, perhaps this is just personal preference, but while you can use pretty much any computer for anything, you might have more success with other computers. Just as you could browse the web by downloading pages with telnet, you could do whatever you want on your netbook, but if you're doing anything where performance becomes an issue, it makes more sense to me to just get a better computer and run XP or Linux on it.

Re:So what? (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871551)

I thought the point of netbooks was to have a computer for accessing the internet and that's about it. Last I checked, XP could access the internet. I don't see the point in putting Windows 7 on your netbook at all.

7's ~0.5 second sleep and awake times are a nice boost over XP, and on my Mini with 2 gigs of ram Firefox opens under 7 in 1/2 the time it took to open in XP. Also, when I boot up I can start opening programs as soon as the desktop loads, where in XP the whole system would freeze for seconds at a time during the 60 seconds after a boot, possibly because of the JMicron controller in my SSD. I'm not sure how I generally feel about the new taskbar in 7 at its default settings (i.e., OSX Docklike), but on the tiny screen of a netbook the reduced taskbar clutter is great. Windows management features like mouseover-full size Window previews make me feel a lot less claustrophobic in the tiny netbook world, as well.

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

gparent (1242548) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871647)

Windows 7 is better and faster. It'd be kinda like using Ubuntu 9.04 instead of 6.06.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871795)

Faster than XP? I've seen benchmarks, but a clean install of Windows 7 was slower than my old install of XP x64. 7 may be faster than Vista, but not XP.

It should be noted though that the Windows 7 MS is hyping for netbooks has MANY services disabled, where as they are comparing it to an XP that hasn't be similarly optimized.

Re:So what? (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872003)

Um, I just went through the article and XP was faster in basically every bench mark.

What feature does 7 provide you that is a huge benefit over XP, especially on a netbook?

Re:So what? (1)

Dahlgil (631022) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871885)

That goes for notebooks as well, for which I thought the only point of them was to write notes...

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871953)

Since XP can access the Internet, I don't see the point in putting Linux on your netbook either.

Re:So what? (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872053)

Actually, the reason I have a netbook is as a laptop replacement. It's half the size, half the weight, and cost half the price of my previous laptop but has twice the HDD space, twice the RAM, and twice the number of threads per CPU (but the same clock speed). Netbooks may have been overtly marketed an email/word-processing/internet appliances, but they're clearly being used for additional tasks; tasks that netbook owners and potential buyers seem to think warrant a newer operating system.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872055)

I thought the point of netbooks was to have a computer for accessing the internet and that's about it. Last I checked, XP could access the internet. I don't see the point in putting Windows 7 on your netbook at all.

Well, let me play devil's advocate and throw out some ideas for you...

1) Security, there truly is a major level of security between XP and Win7. This goes from the built in malware tools, to even IE running in protected mode so it is technically more secure than running Firefox or Chrome, as the browser doesn't even user level rights. (This is why the Flash and recent IE exploits you have read about (that can even affect OS X and Linux are IMMUNE on Vista or Win7 when running IE.) - I know, this is hard to hear and I hate saying it myself, but is true.

2) Network features. Running through the airport and having the new Win7/Vista networking stack features is freaking awesome, as it not only does really good at just hooking into the WiFi, but also remembers. So that if go back through Denver it knows not only how to connect (which all OSes should do), but it also knows how to classify the network and flips on the Firewall on the fly and correctly sets all sharing settings based on the profile of the network there.

3) 3G features - Networking Again - 3G if you have the latest drivers from most manufacturers, and you have a 3G netbook, or even a 3G phone that you are tethering, the Network connection is treated more like a WiFi connection, and gives you instant information from the same interface, with Bars, Speed, etc, and again automatically just hooks you into the network and again applies the level of firewall security and sharing crackdown that you have specified.

4) Resume from Standby or Hibernate - Set your Power Button to hibernate and you can flip the netbook on and off as fast as you can open your phone. The speed differences in resume from standby are good, but the hibernate resume features are fast, and when you are trying to rebook flights running through an airport, you appreciate these little things.

5) Then add in 1000 other new features over XP, from better application boot times via Superfetch, to pulling up tons of information from a simple search. There are also the nice corporate features that work better and are handy from newer ways it deals with Offline files and access remote servers, to even NTFS features that do a bit extra to keep previous versions of your documents with you at all times, without even having to back them up every hour.

And this could go on and on and on, as the full list of several thousand features were contrasted between Win7 and XP that really do make things easier and work better than an 8 year old OS. (From bluetooth to even having the right printers appear based on what network I'm roaming on at the moment, just little things that are nice.)

----

Finally, netbooks are NOT ONLY for just browsing the internet. They are low power computers, and you seem to discount that there are users running Office, and Photoshop, and Corel, and Illustrator, and even playing games on these computers. There is a difference between getting a crap Web inteface to my documents when at the airport, and actually opening the application they were created in and just editing them.

You can also find 'geeks' like myself playing an MMO on netbooks, and sure it isn't 60fps, but 20-30fps on a device isn't bad, and ironically, most of the games that the Netbooks can actually run, hold their own and often run faster under Win7, as it does a better job of silencing background processes.

There are also the times, I just want to read an eBook, watch a movie, listen to a book, or listen to music, and then the Netbook becomes the ultimate PMP, and you will find me with headphones on and my Netbook is shoved in my briefcase. (Oh and on flights where space is tight, again, they work quire well for movie viewing, you are getting a 8-10" screen for you and anyone you travel with and about the same battery life as a generic brand or iPod touch when playing Video content.

So when it gets back to 'more than the internet', I say ya, and hell ya. I was one of the last people around to get a netbook, and by circumstance had to grab a 3G one on a trip because II was out in the middle of 'Internet is a facy word ville'.

After a few weeks of ok XP performance, Win7 was installed and haven't looked back. Also it is amazing that with 3G on the device and even with the tiny 3Cell battery, it is surprising how much I use the netbook at times and places I never even considered. Messaging with friends and take the computer to the kitchen and fix dinner, or garage, etc.

Heck I grab my bluetooth headset and walk and jog with it in my pack because I started a messenger conversation with a friend in Europe and it was just easier to grab the netbook and throw it in, have Win7 flip from WiFi to the 3G network seamlessly just go. Let alone saving on Cell costs and I had my photos, music to share with my friend and a webcam. It was like hanging out with them sitting in a park, and ya I got a good 2-3hrs battery life on the generic 3cell.

But this secondary part is more about why netbooks are more than just internet devices... If I was force to pick between the cooleset HTC or iPhone or a $50 netbook, I would still go with the netbook, and keep a tiny cheap cell phone for calls.

would be nice if they fixed RAID in windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871077)

trying to mirror 1TB drives without success using RAID-1 in software on windows 7 resulted in corrupted drives. would be nice if M$ fixed that first. also the black screen when installing windows 7 on a modern HD4850 from ATI would be nice. win7 is still not ready for prime time.

Re:would be nice if they fixed RAID in windows 7 (3, Informative)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871515)

We're running several RAID configurations, even on many of our notebooks with dual-HD configurations. RAID 0, RAID 1, etc...

Not sure what issue you are seeing, but maybe you should complain to the HD Controller MFR as this would be the first place to yell, as they not only make the driver, but once the OS passes off HD read/write commands to the driver and then the HD Controller for the RAID, the OS has little to do with what happens then.

I personally know that some RAID MFRs are crap sadly, but even running Linux, the drivers are and HD controllers are still crap.

Haven't seen the ATI Black screen, unless it sets your video mode to a native resolution and you havea 1990s monitor, but even then it should pop back or you could reboot and adjust this in safe mode.

Re:would be nice if they fixed RAID in windows 7 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871733)

he said SOFTWARE RAID. i've had this problem as well. it involves the resync/resbuild process which fails.
you click on resync and it resyncs to healthy and then about half a minute later with software raid windows 7 marks the raid array as degraded. sync is seriously broken. hardware raid just works but is not portable if your controller fails.

Re:would be nice if they fixed RAID in windows 7 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28872105)

Well, it depends what he meant by "software raid". The "professional" editions of Windows have built-in software raid requiring no special hardware. Then there are things like built-in raid on motherboards which are actually implemented in software. If it's the former, Microsoft is to blame. If it's the latter, Microsoft is not to blame. Or maybe he was using special hardware (controller, etc) that has a faulty driver in the IO stack.

This sound a little like (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871119)

Doom 2 versus Quake 2 on a 386.

Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (0, Offtopic)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871125)

(Sorry, this is somewhat offtopic, but it was the first thing I thought of when I saw the comparison between Windows XP and Windows 7.)

I once saw someone here on Slashdot mention that Microsoft should not have shipped a 32-bit version of Vista, opting instead to push only the 64-bit version. While it seemed like an odd statement at the time (despite the fact that my home XP machine was an AMD64 processor), I find myself agreeing with it on Windows 7.

As it stands today, 32-bit Windows is quickly becoming too small for many business and industrial uses, and it's very affordable to build a high-performance home machine with more than 4GB of RAM. (Case in Point [newegg.com].) In fact, with intensive web applications and sophisticated desktop tools (yeah, some of them are bloated) chewing more memory than ever before, it just doesn't make sense to get anything less than 4GB (nay, 3GB if you're running Windows 32-bit!) except for a few edge cases.

Unfortunately, Windows has been kind of lagging on the 64-bit front. By treating it as sort of a bastard child (like they treated all their non-i386 NT versions), Microsoft managed to ensure that hardware manufacturers wouldn't make an effort to support 64-bit windows in a non-server environment. Which is frustrating as I've started bumping up against that once-awesome 4GB barrier.

In an attempt to turn this into a slightly more useful conversation rather than a one-sided rant, I was wondering if I could get some opinions on using virtualization as a solution? With Windows' poor track record as a 64-bit OS, I have been thinking about running a 64-Bit Unix and virtualizing 32-bit windows for backward compatibility. I've already had some success with virtualizing Windows 7 on a MacBook, and have even been able to get desktop integration working. (Quite spiffy that. Though the two interfaces occasionally confuse my wife. She's the primary user of Windows, needing support for some specialized programs with no real alternatives available.)

Does anyone here have experience with setting up a system like this? Do you use Xen, VMWare, Sun VirtualBox/OpenxVM, or some other solution? What do you use as your primary OS? Linux has come a long way, but the upgrade treadmill is still frustrating. Especially with the seemingly regular ABI upgrades. Does anyone use [Open]Solaris x86_64 as a host? Do you have 3D Graphics completely disabled, or have you found a good way to allow all OSes solid and reliable access to the underlying graphics card? Do you bother with mounting virtual shared drives to move data between the OSes, or do you have a home NAS for storing data? (I'm leaning toward a NAS myself.)

Just a few thoughts, anyway. Thanks in advance for experiences & suggestions! :-)

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871307)

The RC of Win7 was released as both a 64bit version and a 32bit version. While they may not be pushing it, 64bit computing is making inroads into the consumer market.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (3, Informative)

lyml (1200795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871337)

The intel atom cpu is 32 Bit. Shipping no 32 bit whatsoever would eliminate you from this very popular market.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871697)

Well not quite. There are 64-bit Atom processors. However, they're currently not being used in the mini-notebooks. Those are currently use the N series of chips which are 32-bit only.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871347)

The "bastard child" appellation applies to XP 64. Under Vista, hardware manufacturers have been pretty good about providing 64-bit support, as far as I can tell.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871785)

64bit programs are still "bastard children" under Windows, because they're trying to keep everything as backwards compatible as possible.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871815)

The "bastard child" appellation applies to XP 64. Under Vista, hardware manufacturers have been pretty good about providing 64-bit support, as far as I can tell.

Really? Well, then you don't have a Broadcom 5700, 5701, or 5702 NIC. These NICs work fine on 64-bit Linux with the tg3 driver, but on Vista, they're not even supported. You have to use the XP driver, which doesn't work right.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871371)

May have been me.

32-bit should have died with XP.
Vista should have been 64-bit only.

No existing applications / devices that were 32-bit only had to worry, there was still 32-bit XP dammit.

But ok, whatever, fuck it, Intel was still flogging 32-bit CPUs for some reason, and people are morons. Fine.

But Windows 7? WHY THE FUCK do we need 32-bit versions of Windows 7? FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (3, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871469)

Why not have 32bit? There is no real compelling reason for most people to have a 64bit OS so why force people to buy all new hardware when what you're trying to do is sell an OS? Most people that brag about having a 64bit system have no idea what they're talking about, they just brandish it around and keep yammering on about it like it's some awesome thing.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871683)

Because having 2 versions makes shit harder for those who make hardware, for consumers who are confused, and for software developers, who will take the lazy route and support 32-bit primarily, while shafting the 64-bit users with shoddy, half-assed implementations and support.

64-bit is fucking awesome when done right. In many cases you can get more than double the performance vs 32-bit (anything to do with photos, audio, video, etc. decoding, editing, encoding, etc, or sciency shit, or porn simulators.). Add on the ability to natively address more RAM than the paltry 4 GB, and you've got yourself a winner.

You want 32-bit instead of 64-bit? You have legacy hardware and drivers and shit? You're a goob? Last I checked you could still buy 32-bit XP licenses, and your current licenses wouldn't expire.

I'd also like you to show me a case where someone who wanted to upgrade from XP to Vista/7 would be able to (no hardware changes needed) go with the 32-bit version of Vista/7, but not the 64-bit version.

Odds are it's because of a printer or wifi adapter that doesn't have a 64-bit driver.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871589)

No existing applications / devices that were 32-bit only had to worry, there was still 32-bit XP dammit.

Anyone know if the XP-mode of Windows 7 is available in the 64-bit version? (I haven't tried it)

But ok, whatever, fuck it, Intel was still flogging 32-bit CPUs for some reason, and people are morons. Fine.

PAE, which allows up to 36GB on 32-bit. Intel has another 64-bit architecture, dontchaknow....it's called Itanium. They didn't license the amd64 instruction until Microsoft decided to embrace "X64."

In a lot of respects, it was a bad decision, as it badly breaks a lot of backwards compatibility (this is why 16-bit Windows apps no longer run), but it is what it is. (not to mention stupid stuff that POWER, MIPS, and Sparc figured out, like how to access 64-bit registers in 32-bit mode, etc. etc.)

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871771)

We probably don't need it, but I bet millions of people are willing to buy it.

(Personally, I will probably upgrade to Windows 7 when I buy a new computer and 64 bit will probably be a shopping point, but I don't expect everybody to wait)

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871433)

Because you can just go out and grab a $300 netbook with 6GB of RAM, right? Even if you could, not all of the Atom processors support EMT64, though the most-popular ones do.

32-bit is still faster for a lot of things, too. The i486 has been around for 20 years now, amd64 not so long. The compilers haven't quite caught up.

To Microsoft's credit, they are requiring 64-bit for a lot of their enterprise products now. IIRC, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2008 both require either 2k3 or 2k8 64-bit.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871705)

Because you can just go out and grab a $300 netbook with 6GB of RAM, right? Even if you could, not all of the Atom processors support EMT64, though the most-popular ones do.

You probably meant the most popular ones don't. Only the desktop versions of Atom (230 and 330) support 64bits and those are very rare. The most popular are the N and Z series which you find in most if not all netbooks and UMPCs and those are 32bits only.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871825)

Because you can just go out and grab a $300 netbook with 6GB of RAM, right? Even if you could, not all of the Atom processors support EMT64, though the most-popular ones do.

32-bit is still faster for a lot of things, too. The i486 has been around for 20 years now, amd64 not so long. The compilers haven't quite caught up.

To Microsoft's credit, they are requiring 64-bit for a lot of their enterprise products now. IIRC, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2008 both require either 2k3 or 2k8 64-bit.

I disagree. At least on x86-64 there's almost a doubling of the number of registers (twice the number of general purpose and SIMD FP registers). This greatly reduces the register pressure for compilers, which have been keeping up with processors thus far. For example, I use Povray [povray.org] a lot. I can guarantee you that a custom compiled 64-bit binary will definitely render faster than a custom compiled 32-bit binary on the same system.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871507)

I think pre-installed base of 32-bit only processors is the reason. MS always picks installed base over elegance.

As far as 64-bit, 2008 x64 seems nicely supported. Even the gaming/x-fi stuff is working in 64-bit. Great host for all my vmware vms plus fine native gaming. 2008 R2/Win7 promise much of the same plus a betterer wddm.

And you can see the future. Sharepoint and Exchange will be forceing 64-bit. Office will have 64-bit flavors which will be come the default when the installed base is there.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (4, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871565)

Unfortunately, Windows has been kind of lagging on the 64-bit front. By treating it as sort of a bastard child (like they treated all their non-i386 NT versions), Microsoft managed to ensure that hardware manufacturers wouldn't make an effort to support 64-bit windows in a non-server environment. Which is frustrating as I've started bumping up against that once-awesome 4GB barrier.

Please, stop spewing bullshit. Just stop. For almost 2 years now, it has been a requirement to provide both 64 and 32 bit Vista drivers if a manufacturer wanted to get the WHQL stamp of approval. And these same Vista drivers install and work just fine on 64bit Windows 2008 Server as well, I know, because I actually run 64bit Win2008 on a rather obscure combination of hardware and haven't had any issues. I am sure some old hardware does exist that still doesn't have 64bit drivers for Vista/2008, but you really really need to try to actually find such hardware.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872011)

I am sure some old hardware does exist that still doesn't have 64bit drivers for Vista/2008, but you really really need to try to actually find such hardware.

Well, you don't need to try too hard if you have older Dell or HP equipment. See what I mean? [broadcom.com]

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

mkrup99 (1586809) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871569)

Before you jump to that extreme, have you tried running the 64-bit versions of Vista or 7 on your machine? A lot has changed since Vista dropped back in 2006, and compatibility has drastically improved. I'm currently running the Windows 7 RC on two machines, both in 64-bit flavor, and have had no problems thus far with driver or software compatibility. Try downloading a copy of the release candidate and give it a test run, as I think you will find this to be a much simpler and more effective (not to mention much, much faster/better performing) alternative. If you still have problems, then you can jump to virtualization. But even then, consider VirtualPC or VirtualBox on 64-bit 7 running a 32-bit 7 client.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871641)

Somewhere out there in the ether is a blog post or a transcript by someone at Microsoft mentioning that Windows 2008 would be the last 32 bit OS [betanews.com]. They would then push 64-bit everywhere.

It didn't happen. Windows 7 is coming out (I don't care if it's Vista Redux, it's another OS) and it's still available in 32-bit. Not want. As for your question, to be completely vague - I'm using Windows 2008 x64 as a primary OS. It sucks that 32-bit will continue to exist, and judging by the reviews already, it's going to be around for a long time. There go any hopes for decent support for x64 on Windows.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871653)

I'm sure you have your reasons for saying Windows has been lacking in the 64-bit field but would you care to share?

I have been running Windows 7 RC 64-bit without issues, is smooth and I have yet to find an scenario that doesn't work... MPC HC 64-bit was the only 64-bit app I found that is unstable so I installed the 32-bit version (on my 64-bit Windows) until they fix the issues.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871801)

Microsoft managed to ensure that hardware manufacturers wouldn't make an effort to support 64-bit windows in a non-server environment.

I noticed the other day when pricing a low-end ($500) home Dell model that 64-bit Vista was the default OS choice. It hasn't been that way until recently, which is why it popped out at me.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871805)

If you want decent graphics, you need to run it on a Mac for OK graphics performance, or run it natively. None of the other platforms offer anything like as good graphics performance, mainly because their target market isn't interested in it.

VirtualBox (4, Informative)

loudmax (243935) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871819)

VirtualBox is very easy to use and it's GPL. If you use the free-as-in-beer desktop integration tools, then it's quite slick as well. I run a 64-bit Gentoo desktop with 32-bit Windows XP as a guest OS. This gives me all the power of Unix with MS compatibility when I need it. In full screen mode, I might as well be running XP for all you can tell.

I haven't tried 3D accelerated graphics. I understand that VirtualBox has been making strides in bringing OpenGL to the guest host, but they don't have any expectation of getting DirectX working any time soon if ever.

I hope Oracle decides to keep VirtualBox alive. As it is, VirtualBox is great for desktops, but the server side tools aren't in the same league as VMware. With Oracle backing, VirtualBox could become a serious contender.

Re:Windows 7 should be 64 Bit (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872067)

XP x64 was awful, unstable, etc. Vista x64 wasn't too bad. I'm using Win 7 RC x64 and it is working very well, actually, and I haven't run into anything (casual gamer, programmer, use Sibelius and East West sound libraries extensively) that I haven't been able to do... except for one piece of hardware that lacked 64 bit drivers (a rather old 1x1 midiman box).

I initially upgraded to Vista x64 for the RAM issue. I love using Linux, but it wasn't an option since I mostly use my desktop for music (Sibelius is Mac/PC only, does not run well in Wine or virtualized due to midi support, I think... plus there's the sound samples/library issue...) and games (obviously not going to work best on Linux... under wine or virtualized), so it only made sense to install a 64 bit version of Windows. Vista x64 was ok and I didn't have many problems. Windows 7 RC x64 has impressed me so far.

Is it better or worse than Windows? It's stable so far. I'm not stupid, so it's plenty secure for me. Antivirus doesn't slow it down much, etc. I haven't had any software or hardware issues, I haven't had any crashes. In fact, I've had more trouble with Ubuntu running on my older Dell E1505 laptop than I have had with Win7.

I've used VMWare, Xen, and VirtualBox. I like VirtualBox from the "ease" perspective. VMWare was a little more clunky. But I guess the real question is why do you want to virtualize Win 7 instead of just running it? Win 7 x64 is fine... unless there's something you want from a Linux distro that is lacking in Windows, I don't see why - if Windows is more convenient for whatever reason - you don't just run it.

Er? (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871133)

"Having netbook manufacturers ship netbooks with 7+ year old Windows XP pre-installed surely deterred some from joining the ranks of households with the small, light and portable netbooks."

Who, exactly? Anyone who doesn't know what they're doing will blindly buy anything. Anyone who DOES know what they're doing will install any OS they like.

Or was the submitted actually suggesting that netbook buyers were actually LOOKING for Vista?

What, you think people *WANT* vista? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871143)

Vista jokes aside, the fact that people are willing TO PAY EXTRA to get their computer with windows XP is a very good indicator.

Most people/companies are not interested in the new features offered by Vista. They just aren't that compelling.

Then add the fact that Vista is new, slower, compatible with less hardware, some of your current software won't work on Vista, and many people find UAC annoying.

Not a lot of upside, and a big downside for many. The value proposition just isn't there.

Microsoft pulled XP from the retail market to avoid Vista looking like a flop.

Re:What, you think people *WANT* vista? (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871549)

Most people/companies are not interested in the new features offered by Vista. They just aren't that compelling

Most people anyway, have never sat down in front of a Vista machine for long enough to get used to it.

Compatibility, seriously? That hasn't been a problem for literally years. Any computer you buy off the shelf today is going to have compatible hardware and I bet you'd be hard pressed to find individual pieces that are worth buying that aren't compatible.

UAC? Can be turned off in about 5 mouse clicks.

I can't say much about performance except that my $600 laptop has enough power to handle it easily, I know that doesn't capture the netbook market at all, but if you're buying an off the shelf desktop or laptop I highly doubt you'll see any issues. It's true that there isn't a whole lot of big changes to make the transition worthwhile, certainly there's nothing that would make me upgrade an XP machine to Vista.

OTOH, if I were buying a new machine and had the choice, I would, in all honesty, take Vista for the little things if nothing else. Being able to control the volume on a program by program basis is very nice. Being able to search the start bar and individual folders, including things like the control panel is also nice, just to name a couple. The single largest problem with Vista was it's launch, for what it's worth running Vista is actually quite enjoyable for me.

(Please don't blow this post off just because it's not anti-Vista, I run XP at work, Vista on my laptop, and Ubuntu on my Desktop. All have the pluses and minuses, I'm just trying to dispel a bit of the bad reputation that Vista (unfairly IMO) has.)

Re:What, you think people *WANT* vista? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871743)

I would agree with you, but people would pay sometimes twice as much for Advil as Ibuprofin, despite the fact that they are exactly the same thing. People pay 20% more for 'Amplified Wheybolic Extreme protein' as for 'Wheybolic Extreme protein' at GNC even though from a practical standpoint they provide the same results. People buy bottled water when a purifier will taste just as good (in some cases of course bottled water is slightly more convenient, but not all).

People are willing to pay for something lesser based on things other than measurements of quality. In this case the negative-anti-Microsoft propaganda machine has been working really well, with lawsuits, some hardware problems (which weren't Microsoft's fault really), and people like me who are always happy to spread rumors that weaken Microsoft. I don't know if Vista is really that bad since I haven't used it, but I'm willing to tell anyone who asks about the stories I've heard......

In other words, I don't think your metric is really a valid way to measure the situation. On the other hand, it sure makes me happy.

Netbook vs. Notebook (1)

camcorder (759720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871293)

Intel describes a netbook as a platform for playing media and a notebook as a platfrom for creating media. So what Windows 7 is aimed for? Play or create media? If you put both for a netbook, you just waste lots of cpu power for bloat you add in order to create new media.

One of the biggest strenghts of Open Source is to give opportunity to tailor systems for a specific needs. That's why Moblin or Plasma mid and couple of other products aimed to play media only and not bother creating any will succeed in netbook market sooner or later.

Microsoft has a platform gifted with applications aimed for creating media, and that's why it's still dominant and biggest player in desktop/notebook market. But netbooks need none of these applications so their OS.

Re:Netbook vs. Notebook (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871897)

Intel describes a netbook as a platform for playing media and a notebook as a platfrom for creating media. So what Windows 7 is aimed for? Play or create media? If you put both for a netbook, you just waste lots of cpu power for bloat you add in order to create new media.

It's marketing drivel. Don't give it anymore consideration than that. I use my Acer Aspire One to do video encoding, and I don't give a damn what the marketing people say.

Windows $NEXT_VERSION to rule them all (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871311)

Windows 7 betas have been greeted with remarkable positive press. "Of course," said Steve Ballmer, "the betas preview the 'champagne and hookers' edition, which would be way too much for netbooks and explode users' brains. Imagine thinking those little things are computers! So we're releasing what we call Windows 7 Dumbass Edition(tm). It lets you log in and look at the shiny. Even Spider Solitaire has the ribbon toolbar! And you can buy an upgrade to the version that runs programs! It lets you do that!"

Dumbass Edition(tm) comes with pre-installed viruses to make the computer part of the Storm, Conficker and FBI botnets. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

"Some manufacturers were going to release netbooks with ARM processors, which would run Linux or Chrome OS at twice the speed, half the heat and ten-hour battery life, but wouldn't run Windows 7. Microsoft assures us this is a crushing blow for ARM," said Michael Silver of Gartner. "ARM didn't have anything to say to that, just a guffawing sound down the phone. Obviously they're upset and hysterical."

In future news, Microsoft Corporation has announced a limited one-off extension of availability of its Windows XP operating system to April 2101 after criticism from large customers and analysts. This is the fifty-sixth extension of XPâ(TM)s availability since 2008. "Windows XP is currently in the extremely very prolonged super-extended support phase and Microsoft encourages customers to migrate to Windows for Neurons 2097 as soon as feasible," said William Gates V, CEO and great-grandson of the company founder. "Spare change?"

Illustration: Steve Ballmer's joyous expression [today.com] when announcing seeing the latest Microsoft quarterly figures.

Re:Windows $NEXT_VERSION to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871703)

Roy Schestowitz wants to know when you're throwing your next lemon party.

Legit Reviews? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871317)

How much more spam can slashdot get? This is ridiculous.

Linux on netbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871365)

Performance of embedded intel VGA chips is horribly broken in the latest ubuntu remix. It won't likely be fixed for a while.

Can't plug in a sim card to use the built in 3G radio.

Bluetooth support is minimal. Would be nice to tether to my smart phone (since I cant surf directly), but no.

Though all in all I like ubuntu's netbook launcher, and overall it's much less cumbersome than trying to use XP. I will try out windows 7, however, because I'm impressed with what I've seen of it on the desktop so far.

Big achievement?? (0, Flamebait)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871377)

"battery life and performance to be very close to that of the lighter-weight Windows XP"

So Microsoft has created an OS that is almost as good as the one they created 7 years ago?

Wow. Gratz!

Re:Big achievement?? (2, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872027)

Do you honestly think that a stock install of Ubuntu 9.04 uses fewer CPU cycles than, say, Debian Woody? Hell, grab some floppies and fire up that old 286; with all the improvements to Linux over the years, new distros must run circles around the old ones we had back then!

Software becomes more complicated with each new version. Features get added. The UI gets improved. Security gets heightened. The fact the Microsoft managed to include all the new features of the past seven years without significantly increasing power consumption or decreasing performance is indeed an accomplishment.

Also, note the difference between performance and productivity. A GUI is a good example. A command line will always perform better than a GUI. It can run on even the lightest of hardware. But you can (usually) be more productive with a GUI than by typing long, obscure commands into a Bash terminal. Another example is the search indexer: It may be more work for your CPU and hard drive, but it saves you lots of time hunting for files or emails.

Really? (4, Informative)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871383)

Ok, the article isn't off the scale in terms of inaccuracy, but when you see comments like this, how can you trust anything they do or say?

Aero is automatically disabled when unplugged in battery saver mode which makes sense

Aero is NOT disabled when unplugged; instead, translucency is turned off. (The Blur/Glass effect)

Aero itself remains enabled. I know people confuse 'Glass' and 'Aero' and 'DWM' and what the OS, but come on this is a technical review right, shouldn't they get the basic facts that you find on Wikipedia correct or at least maybe, just maybe have a clue themselves?

There are other more subtle errors in the article, and even though it basically says Win7 is doing fine. However, do you notice it forgets to mention that Win7 is performing as well as XP while having search, defender and many other 'heavy' features working properly and still performing as well as XP on a very modest CPU and GPU platform.

Going to leave it here...

Runing windows 7 on my netbook here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871399)

The other day I installed windows 7 on my asus eee 900ha. Previously, I had been running a very stripped down version of xp, which I was quite satisfied with.
After installing windows 7, I'm very pleased with it. Even with a default install, it was performing quite nicely, and was booting as fast as xp did. Its quite fast and snappy, only a slight bit less so than xp was. It tends to use a lot of cpu when doing simple tasks like moving the mouse around the screen, but for the most part that's not a big deal for me. 7 has a lot of neat features that weren't present in xp, so all in all I'm quite happy that I decided to try it.

I see the Netbook in that review... (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871415)

... is probably the same one running their web-server. Holy Slashdotting, batman!

My Anecdotal Evidence (5, Interesting)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871419)

Having run Windows XP, Ubuntu and Windows 7 on my MSI Wind U100 I can say Windows Seven has by far been the best OS. XP ran fine, but it wasn't particularly pleasing to the eye and had some issues running multiple programs at once. Ubuntu looked marginally better but performance wise it was terrible, I couldn't watch a flash video without it seizing up. Windows Seven looks pretty, runs faster than XP and is just better overall.

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (3, Informative)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871663)

That's Adobe's problem, not Ubuntu's. Videos in every player other than Flash will work fine.

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (3, Informative)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872029)

Actually, many open-source drivers do not have hardware support for playing video on the graphics chip.

Regardless of the reason for this (and it may be impossible to fix if they are closed up), Ubuntu is very poor at playing Flash video depending on the chip. On one machine at home, they emulate hardware speedup in the driver using software, but Flash actually does better with it turned off.

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28872101)

That's Adobe's problem, not Ubuntu's. Videos in every player other than Flash will work fine.

I agree, except that in part it is Ubuntu's problem as well - considering that Ubuntu is portrayed as the first step to migration from Windows (I switched with Ubuntu, but I was patient enough to jump through hoops - for my PC configuration - to get it and sound to work. For some others, it worked right out of the box)

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (1)

noonanful (1580915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871865)

I've had almost the exact same experience on my Dell mini 9, tried XP, ubuntu, Xubuntu, OSX and a host of other lightweight linux distros and still found Win7 to be easily the best.

As far as I can tell it runs just as fast as any of the lightweight linux installs i put on it, and in many cases better, while still looking better.

My 2 cents

Strange conclusions? (5, Interesting)

William Ager (1157031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871505)

So, in my interpretation, the Windows 7 netbook had slightly shorter battery life, and performed slightly worse in all but two benchmarks. One of those two was dealing with "next generation gaming performance" that really isn't point of netbooks, and the other was essentially identical to the XP performance.

And the conclusion the reviewers take from this is that Windows 7 is good? Just because it isn't as bad as Vista, and isn't too much worse than XP?

With these sorts of results, XP is going to be with us for a long time. Why is it so hard for Microsoft to make something comparable?

Re:Strange conclusions? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872023)

You would have a hard time convincing me that security can be implemented at no CPU cost and running IE in a sandbox has huge advantages.
So what's not to like?

Chrome OS announcement timing. (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871759)

It is a game invented by Microsoft. Some start up creates a product. Looks like the product has some legs. Microsoft feels, that product could threaten its monopoly or it feels it wants that piece of the market also for itself, or it thinks sabotaging that product would somehow strengthen its position. All it used to take to kill it would be a press release. "Microsoft is planning to release a competitor in the next release Or would make the functionality part of Windows." That is it. Venture capital would evaporate and the product would never see the light of the day.

Now Microsoft is facing the same game from the other end. Very carefully timed announcement by Google that all the OS you would need to run a netbook is coming soon. Vendors do not commit wholeheartedly to Microsoft. Device driver writers do not just hack something that will work in Windows alone and be done with it. Consumers also do not rush out to buy the latest and greatest. Corporations add another action to their evaluation. "What about Chrome OS?". That buys some time. Most vendors cite Chrome OS and demand hefty discount for Win7 in netbook market. Microsoft is forced to sell its OS at bargain basement prices in the fastest growing segment of PC market.

Footprint? (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871765)

Let's see... a bunch of hardware benchmarks, which would be expected to result in negligible difference between different versions of Windows. Does Vista REALLY come out significantly worse than XP on these kinds of benchmarks?

How about something relevant to netbooks? What's the memory footprint? Disk footprint?

What a Joke! (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871881)

Microsoft has addressed most of the pitfalls of Windows Vista on a netbook by increasing battery life and performance to be very close to that of the lighter-weight Windows XP.

What a fracking joke! That the new product is almost as good as the 7 year old one that it replaces.

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