Not a day goes by in which InfoWorld fails to receive a flaming comment or e-mail attacking InfoWorld's Enterprise Desktop blogger Randall C. Kennedy and his recent analysis of the pre-beta version of Windows 7. As time goes on, it gets more personal. Recently, I received this little gem: "Randall C. Kennedy is a jaded, personally hurt, pathological liar who only does a disservice to your Web site."
What could cause such invective? The article that really poked the hornets' nest was "Windows 7 unmasked," in which Randall lays out his argument that Windows 7 is a simply a point rev of Vista. The attacks came fast and furious. How dare Randall benchmark pre-beta software? How could he possibly draw conclusions based on the evidence he presents?
[ Randall C. Kennedy is not gentle with the pre-beta version of Windows 7. Check out his arguments in "Windows 7 unmasked." ]
Several of Randall's detractors have pointed to a critique written by Thom Holwerda, managing editor of OSNews. It was held up as a smackdown and, as it turned out, it was also well written. So what else could we do but invite Thom to debate Randall one on one?
Thom graciously agreed. The ground rules for this e-mail debate were simple. Each message would be of reasonable length. Changes of subject would not be used to circumvent points of disagreement. And both parties would avoid descending into name-calling or profanity. Otherwise, we would not edit the exchange, except to correct spelling or grammatical errors.
I think you'll enjoy the results on the next pages. You'll find more light than heat here, although the discussion is spirited. And while it helps to know something about the inner workings of Windows, both Thom and Randall keep their arguments clear and jargon-free. As Thom says in the final line of the debate: "It's up to the readers to decide which of us is making more sense."
--Eric Knorr, editor-in-chief
Randall to Thom:
The kernel count is in fact a good indicator, if not used in isolation
After reviewing your "rebuttal" article, I find that you seem to agree with the core point of my original piece: "In all seriousness, Microsoft has been very clear that when it comes to under the hood, there won't be many changes between Windows Vista and Windows 7. There will be optimizations to improve performance, but nothing drastic."
So, now that we've established that we both agree that Windows 7 is not a major upgrade to Windows Vista (at least as far as "under the hood" is concerned), we can move on to the first major objection in your "rebuttal" text:
"First of all, the number of threads running within a kernel says absolutely nothing whatsoever about how many changes have or have not gone into the kernel ..." (Note: I preserved the emphasis on "whatsoever" from your article.)