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Microsoft banishes usage graphs so Windows 8 can show 640 cores

Plotting a many core future
Fri Oct 28 2011, 16:30

SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft has tweaked the processor usage viewer in Windows 8 making it easier to monitor large numbers of processors.

Microsoft showed off changes to Windows 8 task manager earlier this month but waited until yesterday to unveil changes it made to viewing processor core usage. Gone are the line charts, to be replaced by a simple percentage and a heat map.

According to Microsoft the use of heat maps, similar to what it has done with processes, allows users to view more data easily. The firm said that Windows 8 will be able to display real time usage of up to 640 cores, though we think most will settle for eight or 16 for the time being.

Microsoft's emphasis on viewing usage levels of up to 640 cores is really neither here nor there. Machines with that many cores are likely to be servers and the market for third party monitoring software, including all sorts of resource metrics aside from core usage, is worth millions. Resorting to the performance tab in task manager is really a last ditch effort for users desperate to find out what is going wrong.

What is more interesting is that Microsoft has to show off these changes now in order to try to build up hype for Windows 8. Perhaps Microsoft is realising that the shine of its Windows 8 Metro user interface might not be enough to tempt existing Windows users to part with their cash once again. µ


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