Windows 8 Boot Time Will Wow, Microsoft Says - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems
News
9/9/2011
01:16 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
The Real Impact of a Data Security Breach
Aug 02, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the real losses associated with a breach, both in the data center ...Read More>>

Windows 8 Boot Time Will Wow, Microsoft Says

Recognizing the need for speed, Microsoft aims to make Windows 8 a contender in the start time competition.

Top Features Absent From Windows 7
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top Features Absent From Windows 7
Tired of being cast as the laggard in the computer boot time contest, Microsoft says that its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system will start quickly.

In a post to the Building Windows 8 blog, Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division, acknowledged the importance of boot time. "[N]o feature gets talked about and measured more," he wrote, which is surprising considering that boot time is only loosely related to the performance and utility of the operating system.

It ought to be possible to ignore boot time, to turn on one's computer and go get a cup of coffee while the necessary files are loaded into memory. But the real world doesn't work that way. Waiting for a computer to boot engenders the same frustration as waiting for the driver in the car in front of you to recognize that the light has turned green. A few seconds can feel like an eternity.

Microsoft's competitors haven't wasted any time hammering that point home. What's the first feature Google mentions about its Chromebooks? "Chromebooks boot in 8 seconds and resume instantly." For those running Windows XP, with boot times measured in minutes, that's a major selling point.

Windows 7 has narrowed the boot time gap substantially, thanks to techniques like parallel driver initialization, but Microsoft wants the process to be faster still. A video demonstration shows Windows 8 booting in ... 8 seconds.

In the blog post, Gabe Aul, a Windows director of program management, characterizes Windows 8's fast startup mode as "downright amazing."

Part of the speed improvement can be attributed to the fact that the Windows 8 demo laptop uses a solid-state drive, or SSD. That's what you want if you're after rapid boot times. That's what Google uses in its Chromebooks. An SSD-equipped MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Lion clocks in at a few seconds more, but some users report sub-10 second boot times.

Yet Windows 8 isn't simply relying on fast storage hardware. Microsoft has also been working on software improvements to make Windows computers boot more quickly. Aul, for example, describes how Windows 8's fast startup mode combines the traditional cold boot process with hibernate mode. In addition, the company has been working with manufacturers to promote the use of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) hardware, which is faster than traditional BIOS.

The change has been a long time coming, and for Windows users, it probably can't come fast enough. Expect further details to be revealed at Microsoft's BUILD conference next week.

Attend Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara, Nov. 14-17, 2011, and learn how to drive business value with collaboration, with an emphasis on how real customers are using social software to enable more productive workforces and to be more responsive and engaged with customers and business partners. Register today and save 30% off conference passes, or get a free expo pass with priority code CPHCES02. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll