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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: Really HT?
By jonmcc33 on 5/16/2009 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 0
Back with the Pentium 4 and Windows 2000 I wasn't too concerned with the OS using multiple threads. It was all about applications using them and they did. Media encoding performed better with HyperThreading enabled - and it worked in Windows 2000 Pro simply because that OS supports multiple processors.

RE: Really HT?
By Feckless Plaintiff on 5/16/2009 11:41:58 AM , Rating: 3
Windows 2000 is notorious for being a hyperthreading-unaware OS. In many cases, with multi-threaded applications, significant performance degradation has been observed with hyper-threading enabled under this OS. So it's generally strongly advised that hyper-threading be disabled on Windows 2000 machines.

Multi-core is of course different, and as Windows 2000 was designed for multi-CPU machines, it handles multi-core machines just fine. This is very different from treating a virtual CPU as a real CPU and thus incurring unnecessary performance penalties at times.

RE: Really HT?
By BikeDude on 5/18/2009 3:34:02 AM , Rating: 2
FWIW, you are correct.

Some interesting tidbits can be picked up on various MSFT blogs.

"Since the scheduler doesn't realize the connection between the virtual CPUs, it can end up doing a worse job than if you had never enabled hyperthreading to begin with." (concerning NT4/2000)

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