Staff at XPnet, a global repository of Computer Performance related knowledge and data, have published an extensive research on the extent of Bloatware.
Case in point, they've paired contemporary Microsoft (opens in new tab) operating systems with Microsoft Office suite: Windows 2000 + Office 2000; Windows XP (SP1) + Office XP; Windows XP (SP2) + Office 2003; and Windows Vista + Office 2007.
The benchmarks, the results and subsequent conclusions returned were startling.
Office 2007 paired with Windows Vista consumed 12 times more memory and three times as much processing power as Office 2000 and Windows 2000.
This, according to the reviewers, proves that what (generally) the hardware gives, software will take. It also shows that incremental improvements are often accompanied by substantial increase in hardware requirements which in turn encourages business users to upgrade.
Although not a definitive guide to how Microsoft Office suite perform generally, the article written by XPnet is a good starting point for those who are on the verge of moving platforms and office suite altogether.