Time tests loading Word 2008 vs. Word 2007 via an emulator

Today at the day job, I was working on getting Word 2007 to connect to SharePoint on my Mac via Parallels, and it got me to wondering what the load time differences were between Word 2008 12.1.4, Word 2007 via Crossover, and Word 2007 via Parallels.

I ran three tests (four if one of the three tests generated a number out-of-whack from the other two): Three from a fresh startup of the OS, and three from just quitting the app and re-launching it. In the case of Parallels, I quit Word from within the VM and then quit Parallels. I did not do a fresh boot of Windows XP for the tests; I left the VM in a suspended state.

I’ve got the numbers at the end of this post, but from a cold boot time. Word 2007 from within Parallels won, with Word 2007 within Crossover coming in second and Word 2008 natively within OS X coming in third. Warm starts Word 2008 won, with Word 2007 in Parallels coming in second, and Word 2007 in Crossover coming in third.

I’ll admit: there are a lot of apples to hand grenades comparisons happening here. About the only valid point is two separate Microsoft Word Processor have drastically different start times between a native app and one running in a two different emulators. You also can run into some issues if the emulator doesn’t want to start up properly – not to mention in Parallels’ case running an entire OS on top of OS X.

I’m not really sure what to make of these numbers. If you told me Word 2007 running in two different emulators would actually start faster than Word 2008, I would have laughed my ass off. However, in none of the cold start time tests I performed did Word 2008’s fastest load time beat the fastest cold start time tests of an emulated Word 2007. If you rarely reboot your Mac, subsequent loads of Word 2008 are faster, but not dramatically so.

One other difference is looks. I’ve attached screen captures of the three versions below, but I found Word 2007 in Parallels to read clearer because it uses Clear Type. Word 2007 in CrossOver looked the worse since it was bolder than the other two. Word 2007 also interacts with SharePoint and Blogs better; this entire post was written and posted in Word 2007. I’m also enjoying the ribbon interface a little better in Word 2007.

That said, I think it’s unlikely I’ll be doing a lot of work in Word 2007 – mainly because it’s not a native OS X and running Windows XP on top of OS X is too resource intensive. I did find it amazing that it loads faster than Word 2008.


Time Tests

Word 2008:

Cold Start 1: 1:03.11

Cold Start 2: 34.7

Cold Start 3: 1:09.4

Cold Start 4: 1:22.3

Warm Start 1 7.3

Warm Start 2: 6.9

Warm Start 3: 8.4


Word 2007: Parallels

Cold Start 1: 32.7

Cold Start 2: 46.5

Cold Start 3: 43.5

Cold Start 4″ 1:29.8

Warm Start 1: 10.7

Warm Start 2 : 1:36.4

Warm Start 3: 11.6

Warm Start 4; 10.3


Word 2007: Codeweavers

Cold Start 1: 40.8

Cold Start 2: 41.0

Cold Start 3: 38.5

Warm Start 1: 12.8

Warm Start 2 :13.8

Warm Start 3: 11.8






Author: Mark Crump

A long-time Mac user, Mark has been writing about technology in some form for over ten years. Mark enjoys his Kool-Aid shaken, not stirred. He also believes the "it just works" slogan from the ads should have an asterisk: except when it refuses to. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/crumpy. His personal site is www.markcrump.com

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