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Why exactly is Windows 7 so large?

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 28, 2010 4:17:22 AM

I guess I'm spoiled when it comes to operating systems, I'm used to running Ubuntu and all of the general goodness that comes about with it. My new rig is a Phenom ii x4 965 @ 3.8ghz, 4gb ddr3, gtx460, samsung f3 500gb. I've stripped Windows 7 down to the bare minimum and the OS still eats 980mb just to exist. I know Ubuntu only uses about 150mb with compiz, ect.
How come Microsoft hasn't optimized memory usage and their OS over the years? I still have to restart for basic updates and the system locks memory for its own usage. I would expect a modern file system that defragments continuously or doesn't fragment at all.
Also, their OS doesn't have any added features or out of the box capabilities. I still have to have a driver CD to find the ethernet adapter on my mobo when a 2 year old Ubuntu distro does it automatically?
I'm not bashing Microsoft but I believe they can do much better than this. Such as something similar to ext4 and a modular kernel that can be updated on the fly, along with an improved system for the registry.
Lastly, the install size is freaking huge (not that drive space is expensive, lol). At least with Ubuntu, I get Gimp and some useful office tools in that 2gb installation.

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November 28, 2010 5:07:11 AM

shuffman37 said:
I guess I'm spoiled when it comes to operating systems, I'm used to running Ubuntu and all of the general goodness that comes about with it. My new rig is a Phenom ii x4 965 @ 3.8ghz, 4gb ddr3, gtx460, samsung f3 500gb. I've stripped Windows 7 down to the bare minimum and the OS still eats 980mb just to exist. I know Ubuntu only uses about 150mb with compiz, ect.
How come Microsoft hasn't optimized memory usage and their OS over the years? I still have to restart for basic updates and the system locks memory for its own usage. I would expect a modern file system that defragments continuously or doesn't fragment at all.
Also, their OS doesn't have any added features or out of the box capabilities. I still have to have a driver CD to find the ethernet adapter on my mobo when a 2 year old Ubuntu distro does it automatically?
I'm not bashing Microsoft but I believe they can do much better than this. Such as something similar to ext4 and a modular kernel that can be updated on the fly, along with an improved system for the registry.
Lastly, the install size is freaking huge (not that drive space is expensive, lol). At least with Ubuntu, I get Gimp and some useful office tools in that 2gb installation.



Stay with Ubuntu. That is nothing wrong with it.
a b $ Windows 7
November 28, 2010 5:33:43 AM

Win7 can use a whole lot less than 980MB if it has to. If you're running a program that asks for a LOT of memory, Windows can shrink down to 100-200MB fairly easily - I think my personal record was a time when I was running a solidworks simulation, and Solidworks used up 11.8 of my 12 gigs of RAM (so windows and all other running programs were squeezed into the remaining 0.2 GB). Basically, if anything else needs the memory, it's there for the taking, and when idle at desktop, I don't see a problem with Windows using the extra memory (since it will give it up if needed).

As for the hard drive size? I'm inclined to agree with you there. Windows does take up a LOT of hard drive space, although as you said, HDD space is expensive. I know you can cram a Win7 Ultimate install onto a 4 gig hard drive with some effort, but it's quite a challenge (wheras Ubuntu can fit easily into 2 gigs).

As for the drivers, that's actually somewhat surprising. I've been very impressed with Win7's ability to find drivers for even fairly unusual hardware. I've very rarely had to use a driver disk - the vast majority of the time, Windows finds the drivers for me quite easily.
November 28, 2010 2:41:05 PM

shuffman37 said:
I guess I'm spoiled when it comes to operating systems, I'm used to running Ubuntu and all of the general goodness that comes about with it. My new rig is a Phenom ii x4 965 @ 3.8ghz, 4gb ddr3, gtx460, samsung f3 500gb. I've stripped Windows 7 down to the bare minimum and the OS still eats 980mb just to exist. I know Ubuntu only uses about 150mb with compiz, ect.
How come Microsoft hasn't optimized memory usage and their OS over the years? I still have to restart for basic updates and the system locks memory for its own usage. I would expect a modern file system that defragments continuously or doesn't fragment at all.
Also, their OS doesn't have any added features or out of the box capabilities. I still have to have a driver CD to find the ethernet adapter on my mobo when a 2 year old Ubuntu distro does it automatically?
I'm not bashing Microsoft but I believe they can do much better than this. Such as something similar to ext4 and a modular kernel that can be updated on the fly, along with an improved system for the registry.
Lastly, the install size is freaking huge (not that drive space is expensive, lol). At least with Ubuntu, I get Gimp and some useful office tools in that 2gb installation.


That's all Microsoft for you, what you see is what you get. I'm not happy about the memory usage that it takes, or the size of the operating system it's self, but I still love Windows 7, just as much as Windows XP, which was one of the best OS's ever.
!