Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. I'm not sure which is better, or which scales better to massive enterprises. Time will tell on those scores.
I ran a number of CPU and screen intensive tasks, games and business apps under coLinux, and there was no performance drag I could point at. Interestingly, when I ran ports of the same code in the Linux window and Windows window, the Linux code ran more smoothly. Linux showed less jerky motion on the games. Also, Linux was a touch faster for graphics intensive font rendering Linux's OpenOffice versus Windows Word.
Running CPU-only tasks in each window showed almost identical performance. Disk heavy tasks showed varied results: disk reads and directory operations gave about a 10 percent edge to Linux; there was no clear winner for SQL fetches and puts. My benchmarks were just quick hacks to give me a feel for the product and were not formal by any means. I suggest you run a full set of real benchmarks on a variety of operations to get a more accurate result than my, at best, back-of-the-envelope guesstimates.
Basically, this code took a licking and kept on ticking. My preliminary look showed that running bad code in either window would cause that window to crash, BSOD or panic - it didn't cause a real problem in the other window. Running infinite loop disk I/O code did cause some lock ups in the other window, but nothing a "kill -9" (or Window's task manager) couldn't handle in an expected way. Devices are run, it appears, from the Windows device driver: a buggy Windows device driver causes problems in both windows, some serious enough to require a system reboot.
Before opting to put this code in mission critical applications: remember this is still beta code. Test, test and re-test
All in all, I'm impressed. Not awed. But very impressed. And I don't impress all that easily anymore.
And this is still an early beta.
Ross M. Greenberg is a programmer, writer, consultant, and web page designer with experience in Linux, Unix and Windows. He started working on Unix-based systems in the early 1980s. Lately, he's been concentrating on PHP and ASP database programming.