Two months ago, I wanted to compare Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux in terms of applications performance. I thought that since most of Linux programs are cross-platform and available for Windows, it could be a good idea to see how only platform change can affect the performance of a particular application. One of my reasons was also to verify whether or not Linux is capable of getting the most out of new hardware technologies. However, I only had a Pentium 4 HT machine, and even though I went ahead with the test, I knew it was not going to answer that.
A lot has happened since; Ubuntu 8.04 came out, and I was happy with it. Microsoft finalized their third service pack for Windows XP, and best of all I upgraded my PC with an AMD Athlon64 X2 5600+ CPU, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM and a GeForce 8600GT VGA card.
I decided to test again, especially after I read in the news that Microsoft has made clear its intention to take on Linux in the low-end computers market. Microsoft will exclusively rely on Windows XP for that purpose, cutting down its price by more than a half, and building on the extreme popularity of the 7-years-old operating system.