SOFTWARE OUTFIT Microsoft is talking up fast boot times for its next PC operating system, Windows 8, and the first demos are impressive.
Microsoft tested Windows 8 startup times in comparison to Windows 7 on 30 computers. The results showed that Windows 8 won every time, with at least a quarter of boot time saved, if not as much as three quarters.
In fact, the boot time was so fast in a video demonstration that it took only about seven seconds from the push of the power button until Windows 8 was fully booted. Of course, this will depend on the specifications of a computer, but it seems that the next version of Windows could give the fast booting Linux operating systems a run for their money.
Part of the reason why Windows 8 boot times are so fast is because Microsoft has taken a different approach than it did with previous versions. For example, Windows 8 hibernates the kernel session instead of closing it, which is significantly faster than the Windows 7 approach. On startup the processes are also divided so that the hibernated files are loaded simultaneously with driver initialisation, which means multi-core processors can be put to good use for quicker startup.
Faster boot time will be particularly handy considering how often a Windows machine needs to be rebooted, but Microsoft is also promising that Windows 8 computers will not need to be rebooted as often.
"We designed Windows 8 so that you shouldn't have to boot all that often (and we are always going to work on reducing the number of required restarts due to patching running code). But when you do boot we want it to be as fast as possible," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division at Microsoft.
Windows 8 is expected to be released some time next year. µ
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