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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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Hyping hyper-threading?
By DXRick on 5/15/2009 3:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds like marketing hype to me. The linked article at IW says
quote:
The catch is that the applications themselves must be written in such a way as to take advantage of hyper-threading. To date, only a small percentage of apps include that capability.


I have learned Win32, MFC, and .NET and don't remember seeing any ability of the application to control the creation of new threads at that level. The app can see the number of processors (real and virtual) but not know which is real or virtual. The app can control the priority of a new thread, but it's always better to let the OS determine what processor it runs on, since the app can't know what else is running on a processor.

I know MS and Intel are working on improving multi-threading, but I thought this was at an OS and chipset driver level, not application.




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