Re: Who has faster multitasking OS/2 or Linux or Windows XP
BeOS has a very reactive multitasking architecture - in fact, it was one of its selling points. It used fine-grained threading with a fully preemptive kernel to achieve a high level of responsiveness.
When compared with recent competitors (Linux 2.6.x, Windows NT5, OSX), it doesn't show a perceptible difference, though. That's because the technologies BeOS used are now present in all of them. IMHO, it is still superior to Windows because a given application could hardly lock the whole system (something still easy to achieve today under Windows).
It is pretty hard to determine who has "the faster multitasking" - given the common power of today's CPUs, the context-switching costs are hardly a problem anymore (except for specific cases, like real-time scheduling). The two points that are really relevant today for a desktop environment are:
- How responsive applications are;
- How clever the resources distribution is.
Windows NT5 (The kernel of Windows 2000 and above) multitasking is responsive, but not very clever: an application can get all the CPU, resulting in an overall locked, unusable system. Linux tends to favor intelligent resource management - it is much harder for an application to hog the CPU; on the other hand, it can sometimes be less responsive as NT5, since the "top" application may not get as much CPU time as it would under NT5.