Windows 7 won decisively only in our Office Productivity test. Our test uses the Productivity section of Futuremark’s PCMark benchmark tool, which includes typical office tasks like editing text, launching applications and scanning for viruses. On this test, Windows 8 was roughly 8 percent slower than Windows 7. It’s worth noting that Futuremark is in the process of updating its benchmark suites for Windows 8, and those updates could change this result.
These performance numbers will likely shift in the coming months as Microsoft releases updated versions of its new OS. The Windows development cycle will stretch for months and will include driver updates, performance tweaks, and general optimizations that are bound to improve things. Windows 8’s dramatic new interface may not be a runaway hit with PCWorld readers, but the numbers don’t lie: even in its early form, this is promising to be the leanest, most efficient incarnation of Windows to date.