Windows XP uses half the memory that Windows 7 uses? I think not

A certain industry tabloid is up to its old tricks again, trying its best to discredit a new-ish operating system from Microsoft while extolling the virtues of the now decade old Windows XP.  This time, it is memory usage that it is using as ammo.  According to the ‘report’, Devil Mountain Software analyzed 20,000 computers that it monitors.  Supposedly, 86% of the Windows 7 machines were using 90 to 95% of the available memory while only 40% of the XP machines were utilizing that much.  Accordingly, the Windows 7 machines were not performing well, compared to the XP machines. 

Performance has been the key thing that this particular tabloid has been using in its quest to discredit Vista and Windows 7. To this extent, they have cited every little two-bit report, study or analysis they can find to prove their point. To be fair, they were fairly positive about Windows 7, but they did not quite endorse it or even recommend it.  They still want to live in the past and want their readers to do so as well.

Devil Mountain concludes that, based on this flimsy report, Windows 7 is much more larger and complex than Windows XP and, thus, the higher memory usage.  They are right about one thing: give 7 more memory and it will use it.  However, performance-at least in my experience-does not degrade.  In fact, in the four machines we have that run Windows 7, none of them have come close to the memory utilization that Devil Mountain wants us to believe.  My desktop machine has peaked at about 75%, but I was: running Visual Studio 2005, converting a WMV video to MPEG 2 to burn to DVD (yes, I still do that with my own video) and I was streaming TWIT Live.  While it is more than possible that some machines could hit the utilization that Devil Mountain claims to have seen, however I do not believe it is as common as they claim.  It has been my experience that, more often, the reverse was true: XP utilizes far more memory and often had to swap out to disk.  And if Windows 7 was truly the overweight beast they claim, then how in hell does it work on a woefully underpowered netbook?  Just sayin’. 

Why the tabloid in question insists on perpetuating the XP myth is beyond me.  XP was fine in its day, but that day ended years ago.  Give it a rest already.

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