In this case its XP thats bloated with one quadrillion security patches, other bug fixes and added "features".
XP can be lightening fast but it demands some tinkering if your hardware isnt really high end. A XP SP3 system with almost all bloat running (system restore inactivated) did boot very fast with an I7 2600K@5.2 eventough the system disk was a normal 1Gb 7200RPM HDD. So fast in fact that you never had time to see any load screen, it seemed the system went from listing devices to the desktop more or less instantly 😁. On the other end of the spectrum we find these nice Netburst systems running fully updated XP SP3 with in best case 1GB memory... rebooting Windows is something you plan in advance.
Agreed on this. "Modern" Windows XP can get out of hand in terms of bloat, especially relative to "original" hardware for XP (computers from 2001-2002). Since Windows Vista, Microsoft has done a lot to improve that experience on more middle-of-the-road machines, and Windows 7 and 8 continued on that. IIRC similar articles to this were written for Windows 7 vs Vista, and Vista vs XP, all showing roughly consistent, or improved, performance as time went along. I think the biggest "gotcha" that most people come upon, and where the complaints about "increasing bloat" in newer versions of Windows may stem from, is opening up Task Manager and seeing "oh my gosh it's wasting so much RAM!" in Vista, 7, or 8. Most of that is the result of SuperFetch doing what it's supposed to do though, and that memory usage will scale (to an extent) as system memory size scales - it will also dump a lot of that stuff out of memory as applications require more memory. So seeing a Win7 box "idling on 1GB of RAM" is not uncommon at all, but that isn't a bad sign compared to Windows XP only showing 200MB in use. That extra memory actually being used should be helping with application load times, among other things.
Here's a fairly long article (that doesn't seem to have many graphs for its data - prepare to read 🤣 ) that compares Vista, XP, and 7:
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/ope … ta-vs-xp-615167
http://www.maximumpc.com/windows-7-review-xp- … chmarks/#page-4
If Windows 8 runs faster on these low end system thats just great but not really a good enough reason to upgrade any old relic unless Microsoft makes Windows 8 (or 10) totally free.
Microsoft has confirmed Windows 10 will be free for Windows 7/8 users. I don't know if this is a global program or not though.