There’s a great post on exo-blog that shows how the Microsoft upgrade cycle constantly negates the periodic performance improvements made by hardware manufacturers. Go figure. It’s written by a former Intel staffer who posts under the “Research Staff” moniker. I can’t seem to find out any more about him (or her).

Here’s an excerpt:

Such has been the conventional wisdom surrounding the Windows/Intel duopoly since the early days of Windows 95. In practical terms, it means that performance advancements on the hardware side are quickly consumed by the ever-increasing complexity of the Windows/Office code base. Case in point: Microsoft Office 2007 which, when deployed on Windows Vista, consumes over 12x as much memory and nearly 3x as much processing power as the version that graced PCs just 7 short years ago (Office 2000).

It’s a fascinating read: “What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away.”.