Mindcraft: The final chapter

NT outperforms Linux on every test at a rematch of the operating system trials.

Andrew Leonard
June 26, 1999 4:00PM (UTC)

The numbers are finally in from the latest comparison between the Windows NT and Linux-based operating systems. Linux fans should prepare to grit their teeth -- Windows NT has, as expected, won this round. According to PCWeek Labs, Windows NT performed better than Linux on every single test -- regardless of what hardware platform or combination of software applications was used.

The PCWeek Labs test was a retest of an earlier "benchmark" comparison conducted at the behest of Microsoft by the Mindcraft performance testing lab -- and much reviled by the Linux community. This time, the results weren't as bad for Linux, but Linux advocates will also have a harder time dismissing the numbers. Red Hat Linux programmers were on hand for the new tests and gave it their best shot, apparently with considerable help from PCWeek.


Microsoft will no doubt make hay over the new numbers, but according to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, some of the improvements necessary to boost Linux performance have already been made, and will be incorporated in new public releases of Linux this fall. Speaking before a group of Linux users in San Francisco on June 14, Torvalds also noted that in the past, Linux developers hadn't been motivated to hack Linux specifically in order to do well on benchmark tests.

But now that Microsoft is directly engaging Linux, said Torvalds, they have become extremely motivated. NT may have won this round, but the fight looks far from over.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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