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Improved hardware and software compatibility one of the top three goals of Windows 7 development

Microsoft is working hard to make things better for the launch of Windows 7 following the lukewarm reception to Windows Vista. Vista was plagued with early hardware and software incompatibility issues that were one of the main reasons enterprise customers refused to migrate from XP.

Microsoft says that among the improvements in Windows 7 is better support for Hyper-Threading according to Microsoft's Bill Veghte. Veghte says that Microsoft has been working closely with Intel to beef up Windows 7’s support for Hyper-Threading. Hyper-Threading it a technique used by Intel to allow processing tasks to be divided among multiple cores on a processor.

Veghte said at the Microsoft TechEd conference, "The work that we've done in Windows 7 in the scheduler and the core of the system to take full advantage of those capabilities, ultimately we think we can deliver a great and better experience for you. We need to make sure the ecosystem is really, really ready."

Veghte is keen to get people to understand that Windows 7 won’t suffer from the same early problems Vista had that prevented the operating system from making headway in enterprise environments. He says that Windows 7 is "very, very close" to achieving full compatibility with virtually all hardware and software makers.

Microsoft currently expects to finish Windows 7 by mid-August and offer a final version to consumers and businesses by the holiday shopping season. That is a key target for Microsoft as a better operating system could woo consumers to buy new computers for the holidays. Better computer sales is certainly something that both Microsoft and computer makers need. Microsoft has admitted that Windows sales are down 16% in the most recent fiscal quarter.

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RE: somewhat inaccurate
By fezzik1620 on 5/15/2009 1:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing at first, but I followed the link to the article this references. The article defines hyper-threading as:
an architecture where processing is divvied up among multiple processors or cores.

Which sort of contradicts the word hyper-threading in this article has a hyperlink to a glossary that defines hyper-threading as:
(1) A high-performance computing architecture that simulates some degree of overlap in executing two or more independent sets of instructions. -emphasis added

And it goes on to distinguish hyper-threading from Intel's Hyper-Threading. It makes sense to call it hyper-threading on InfoWeek's website, but here on DT where Hyper-Threading is well know it is very confusing. Shane probably should have called it multi-threading; that would have been much less confusing.

RE: somewhat inaccurate
By RamarC on 5/15/2009 3:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
The article has bastardized the definition. Hyper-threading is not "an architecture where processing is divvied up among multiple processors or cores." Hyper-threading was created by Intel and their definition is the gospel.

Microsoft's platform design notes give a more detailed description:
The HT in the processors makes two architectural states available on the same physical processor. Each architectural state can execute an instruction stream, which means that two concurrent threads of execution can occur on a single physical processor. Each thread of execution can be independently halted or interrupted. These architectural states are referred to as logical processors in this white paper.

The main difference between the execution environment provided by the processor, compared with that provided by two traditional single-threaded processors, is that HT shares certain processor resources: there is only one execution engine, one on-board cache set, and one system bus interface. This means that the logical processors on an HT processor must compete for use of these shared resources. As a result, an HT processor will not provide the same performance capability as two similarly equipped single-threaded processors.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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