Released less than three years ago to critical acclaim, Windows 7 has been a very popular operating system. That’s why it’s so hard for many consumers to understand why Microsoft is releasing another OS, Windows 8, in 2012.
As a result, consumer interest in Windows 8 has been pretty minimal. Last week Microsoft attempted to take one big step towards changing that by announcing that anyone currently using Windows XP, Windows Vista, or the Windows 7 OS could download or upgrade to a copy of Windows 8 for just $40.
But the best advertisement for Windows 8 may not be coming from Microsoft. A recent series of speed tests by PC Magazine shows that Windows 8 is substantially faster than its predecessor, and that news alone could drive up interest in the new OS.
PC Mag ran their tests on a single computer: a Toshiba Portege laptop. In this case it came with an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and Intel’s integrated graphics chip. A relatively powerful PC, but no muscle machine.
And what did PC Mag find after running tests in both Windows 7 and Windows 8 on that same computer? They found that Windows 8 booted up considerably faster than its predecessor and shut down faster, too.
In fact, Windows 8 started up in just 17 seconds, twice as fast as Windows 7 at 38 seconds. The laptop also shut down in 9.9 seconds when using Windows 8, and 12.2 seconds when running Windows 7.
PC Mag also found that Windows 8 was capable of rendering video and browsing the Internet at a faster speed, too.
However, there was one area where Windows 8, for whatever reason, actually failed to match Windows 7: file transfers. PC Mag found that the two systems took the same amount of time to move a 500GB file group, while Windows 7 actually transferred a single large file faster than Windows 8!
Despite that setback, the numbers should help Microsoft sell Windows 8. After all, we boot up and shut down our computers every day, but rarely move huge files around.