Upcoming XP Service Pack Boosts Performance

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Although Microsoft is desperately trying to get the public at large to accept its new Vista operating system, Windows XP continues to outperform its younger sibling by a significant margin, and a new service pack will soon widen that gap. According to Devil Mountain Software, an independent software testing company, Microsoft’s latest update “delivers a measurable performance boost to this aging desktop OS.”

As reported in the company’s blog, a Dell XPS M1710 with a 2GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and a GeForce 7900GS was used as a test bed for comparison between different versions of XP, as well as Vista. A graph depicting results of the test shows Service Pack 3 shaving about 10 percent off benchmark completion times using OfficeBench, which simulates operations in the Microsoft Office 2007 suite. Vista lagged behind both versions of XP in the tests, completing tasks in twice the time.

In response to criticism of the first test, the company ran new tests giving the computer another 1GB of memory and using Office 2003 rather than Office 2007. Both changes were expected to narrow the margins between Vista and XP, but the results were hardly noticeable. “Instead of being over 2x slower than XP on the same OfficeBench workload, Vista is now ‘only’ 1.8x slower,” the company reported after the Office 2003 tests. Speed increases for SP3 remained.

The continuing popularity of Windows XP has been a bane for Microsoft. In September, the company was even forced to extend the period it would sell the operating system in response to consumer demand.


Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

Getting Windows 10 updated doesn't have to be so painful

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 one year from now

Microsoft is set to end extended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, putting a halt on the free bug fixes, and security patches for most who have the operating system installed. 

This ‘computer mouse’ sets the new size standard for portable computing

The Raspberry Pi is an amazingly capable little computer and it's small enough that it can fit just about anywhere. Even in a computer mouse — if you're willing to build a custom chassis for it.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for January 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.

Don’t even bother with the rest. Here are the only laptop brands that matter

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.