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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: Hyperthreading...
By buzznut on 5/15/2009 5:01:13 PM , Rating: 1
So the question for me is still, does this mean Win7 will finally be more optimized for quad core processors? How many threads are we talking about?

I think its hard to find apps that take advantage of four cores currently. I mean useful apps, like games!

Anybody who doesn't think intel and M$ are already in bed together and have been for many years just isn't paying attention or is suffering from an extreme form of naivete that really isn't healthy.

RE: Hyperthreading...
By Chaser on 5/15/2009 5:21:06 PM , Rating: 3
Anybody who doesn't think intel and M$ are already in bed together and have been for many years just isn't paying attention or is suffering from an extreme form of naivete that really isn't healthy.

Indeed. It's truly a conspiracy if Microsoft makes improvements to it's O/S to achieve greater performance. Props for uncovering it for all of us!

RE: Hyperthreading...
By adiposity on 5/15/2009 5:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it. Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X are all optimized for Intel processors. 3/4 (-Mac OS X) are optimized for AMD. What do you mean they are "in bed"? They definitely partner to provide features, and Microsoft tries to take advantage of Intel as best as possible.

Or are you referring to things like Intel forcing Microsoft to Vista certify their integrated video that couldn't do Aero? That's more like monopoly throwing its weight around.

Anyway, I think you are right, hyperthreading after having quad cores is probably not necessary. In some cases (more than 4 threads, obviously) it will help. There are benchmarks... Hopefully this means that Microsoft splits the OS threads into smaller threads that can more fully saturate the processor and complete menial tasks more quickly, but who knows.


RE: Hyperthreading...
By foolsgambit11 on 5/15/2009 6:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
This optimization is different from the optimization for multiple cores. Windows can already utilize multiple cores. This is specifically about balancing workloads when some of those 'cores' are actually HT 'logical cores'. It shouldn't have much effect on non-HT enabled (but still multi-core) setups, depending on exactly how they implement the optimizations.

The way I've understood things (and I don't claim to be an expert) is that, when it comes to multicore processing, we're in an ugly transition period. An OS like XP handled multiple cores in a way that worked well for a small number of cores, especially since the overhead was low, but it became increasingly inefficient the more cores you added. Vista/7 handles multiple cores in a way where the initial overhead is larger, but the additional overhead per core is much less. So at 4 cores, XP actually handles multicore support more efficiently, but at 8-, 16-, and 24- cores, the advantage is increasingly Vista/7's.

As a side note, does anybody have a guess when we'll see 8 physical cores, either on a single die, or even on a single package?

RE: Hyperthreading...
By leexgx on 5/15/2009 7:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
windows 7 code supports 255-256 cores, windows vista code supports 31-32 cores

the info is for optimization not support and applys for there server versions as well that run on 7 or vista code
basicly thay may support more cores then whats listed above

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