Friday, May 24, 2024

Microsoft to Deliver Shorter Boot Times with Windows 8

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Few things in computing aggravate users and developers alike as much as waiting — particularly waiting for Windows to start up or shut down — especially in comparison with, for instance, Apple’s MacBook Air.

With Windows 8, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) hopes to ameliorate that slow boot problem, according to a post this week on the company’s new Building Windows 8 blog.

“We designed Windows 8 so that you shouldn’t have to boot all that often … But when you do boot we want it to be as fast as possible,” Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live Division, said in an introduction to the post by Gabe Aul, a director of program management on Windows 8, Thursday evening.

“Using this technique with boot gives us a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems we’ve tested,” Aul added.

Part of the reason this hybrid model is faster is that there is less work for the CPU to perform.

“But it’s also faster because we added a new multi-phase resume capability, which is able to use all of the cores in a multi-core system in parallel, to split the work of reading from the hiberfile and decompressing the contents,” Aul said.

Whether or not Microsoft’s engineers can finally accomplish what they’ve been promising for a decade or more, of course, remains to be seen.

That is likely to become somewhat clearer beginning on September 13, when Microsoft is rumored to be planning on giving Windows 8 development systems to attendees at its upcoming Build conference in Anaheim.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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