InfoWorld, Windows 7 and benchmarks: a trio of trouble


I wasn’t going to call attention to the lengthy InfoWorld article that benchmarks Windows 7 Milestone 3, but after further thought, I’d be remiss if I let this slide. After all, more viewpoints are generally better than fewer ones. However, it exemplifies why we try not to put too much stock in benchmarks, although as a courtesy for those that want them, we often do run benchmark tests on devices. I really don’t have a problem with anyone looking under the hood at Windows 7; in fact, I’m doing that myself on both my MSI Wind and my Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC. What I’m not doing however, is making grand sweeping statements of doom and gloom about Windows 7 based a pre-beta, test release. Unfortunately, and dare I say, irresponsbily, I feel that’s exactly what’s being done at Info World.

The fact is: the version of Windows 7 provided to Microsoft PDC attendees, which is the same version I downloaded as part of the Windows 7 beta program, is not the latest and greatest version of Windows 7. It was meant to give people an idea of where Windows 7 was headed, not to provide the final optimized, de facto look at it from a performance standpoint.

Although the InfoWorld benchmarks show little or no benefit over Vista, my own personal experience is far better. Can I provide detailed numbers to back that up? No, because the version isn’t intended for that purpose. I did offer a few high-level bits of data such as processes upon startup and the Windows Experience Index, but that’s generally as far as I went and that’s as far as I’m going from an empirical standpoint.

In some ways that’s more than I wanted to say on the topic… and in some ways not enough. Suffice it say: I’m disappointed in the article and I hope I’ve explained why. I’ve certainly made my share of writing mistakes as well, and I’m glad that readers have called me out on them when they feel I’ve done so. It makes be a better person and writer. Hopefully, the author of the ill-conceived article at InfoWorld takes my thoughts in the same vein.

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