If Microsoft really wants to tweak solid-state drive performance in Windows 7, then perhaps it only needs to look back. As ComputerWorld reports, Patriot Memory claims that the venerable Windows 2000 outperforms its modern successors when running on SSDs.
Patriot reportedly found Windows 2000 to be "5% to 8% faster" than OSes like Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X, and Linux, although the report doesn't say exactly what tests those numbers apply to. Patriot Engineering Manager Saeed Arash Far commented that Vista actually outperformed XP in the same benchmarks, but Windows 2000 trumped them both.
Far's explanations sound a little strange, though. He says Windows 2000 performs better because it "doesn't run any applications in the background," and he adds that "with XP, you have the luxury of turning off background applications. ... With Vista, you can't." As far as we know, all modern operating systems run tasks in the background, and Vista's Computer Management console lets you manage services in much the same way as XP's. Win2K may be a little easier on system resources than its successors, though.
In another batch of desktop productivity, system startup, and shut-down benchmarks, ComputerWorld says rival memory firm Micron also found that Vista and OS X both outperformed Windows XP. Micron attributes XP's poor performance to its failure to align data in 4KB blocks. As for Windows 7, Microsoft will supposedly make sure the upcoming operating system doesn't automatically defragment SSDs. The new OS will "delete 'garbage' data in advance" in order to improve write speeds, as well.