Windows 7 "Great For Games," But What About GFW Live?

From PC World: Let's level set. In terms of raw frames per second, games actually perform on par with Vista, so no, we're not talking a return to Windows XP days. But speaking toward general performance, from the time it takes the operating system to be functionally accessible after you've logged in, to the disk-crunching and memory-swapping processes that comprise that hugely relativistic metric we call "the enduser experience," it feels like another animal entirely.

It took me over a year to noncommittally switch to Vista. Even then, it's been a turbulent relationship. My tolerance levels for each Windows iteration extends to game performance exclusively. For older, less intensive stuff, Vista works fine. But for muscular heavyweights like The Lord of the Rings Online and Crysis, I routinely ghost-restore old XP images. I could really care less about DirectX 10. The difference between 30 and 60 fps means absolutely nothing to me.

But between 20 and 30, or 15 and 25? Another matter entirely.

That said, raw performance hasn't been a personal bugaboo for months, now that my up-clocked hardware's finally wrestled bleeding-edgers like Crytek to the mat (not to mention obsoleting the need for a standalone space heater). Windows Vista or Windows 7, the difference hardly matters — a least to me — anymore.

At the same time, I'm increasingly skeptical about the other branch of Microsoft's big "extreme makeover" games push. I'm talking about its Games For Windows branding approach.

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