Word 2007 has a very low memory footprint?

With two open documents (admittedly, no pictures) Word 2007 took only 2MB active memory, and 16MB virtual memory, according to task manager. Sounds to me like Microsoft should give up on working on OSes and development environments.

Why? Last few days was a torture for me, trying to handle Firefox (300-500MB VMem), Visual Studio (regularly 400-500MB VMem) and Windows Live Messenger (50MB) at the same time. On a laptop with 512MB RAM, and paging file on a very fragmented volume. Admittedly I ran only WLM during last evening, but still, even without it it was a horrible experience.

Worst part of all? Mozilla’s Firefox 3.5 is supposed to be fastest and lightest (and according to some test, it does take least memory). But if after several hours of work it cannot release the resources, someone’s done their job in a very sloppy manner. I have only Blogger open at the moment, and Firefox’s RAM usage is 294MB and VMem usage is 476MB. And I restarted it about an hour ago, and in the meantime I was studying from a PDF file, not surfing (effective surfing time? about 10-15min) What went wrong there?

Sounds to me like many many MS and non-MS teams could learn some lessons from Word 2007 team. Even UI design: once you get over the initial shock of the Ribbon interface, and once you understand it’s a very intelligent substitute for a toolbar, not menu, you can handle it. But that’s another topic, and I’ll say a few words later on. Who knows? Maybe in a few years someone will go and dig this blog’s archives out.

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