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This paper evaluates Microsoft latest Operating System (OS), Windows 7 and compares its performance to that of Windows XP. Similarities and differences between Windows 7 and Windows Vista are noted. The performance evaluation of the systems is carried out using freely available benchmarks to characterize the behavior of the Operating Systems (OSes). The evaluation is carried out without any performance tuning on any of the OSes. Windows 7 was found to be more secure than Windows XP due to the benefits that UAC provides. It was also found that if one runs Windows 7 in any mode other than the most secure UAC mode, they work with the same security as that in Windows XP.
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