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Microsoft has focused on strong multicore support in Windows 7 to deliver superior performance. These improvements will really kick in when developers start using Visual Studio 2010, a software development suite that offers greatly improved tools to leverage the power of multiple CPUs.

Jon Devaan is head of Windows Core Operating System Division and led the Windows 7 multicore improvements.  (Source: CNET)
The company is taking multi-core performance very seriously

Microsoft is ready to put the Windows Vista era behind it and is moving on to a Windows 7 world starting October 22. Among Windows 7's greatest strengths is a combination of power and efficiency.  Faster and with new APIs like DirectX 11, the new OS looks to deliver impressive results, assuming driver makers can live up to their end of the bargain and write efficient drivers for the new OS. 

One strength of Windows 7 that's not always talked about, but is lurking under the surface of many of the operating system's advancements is its improved use of multiple cores.  With Intel and AMD flooding the market with multi-core designs, the gigahertz war is dead and a new war is brewing -- a battle for the most cores, and the most efficient cores.

Microsoft has enthusiastically jumped on the opportunity to utilize this power with Windows 7.  The new OS can support up to 256 cores, versus 64 in Vista.  Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows Core Operating System Division says this change was particularly weighty.  He states, "One dimension is support for a much larger number of processors and getting good linear scaling on that change from 64 to 256 processors.  There's all kinds of depth in that change."

The improvements that enabled the increased number of cores also will improve performance with standard consumer numbers of cores -- typically 2 to 4 -- via improvements in cache and workload balancing.  Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 also features greatly improved support for multi-threading and should allow Windows applications makers to make more efficient Windows 7 apps that leverage multiple cores.

Evans Data analyst Janel Garvin says that is perhaps the most important change.  He states, "An operating system is never going to be able to take an application that isn't already parallel and make it so. Developers still need to multi-thread their apps.  Microsoft has done surprisingly little until recently to help developers write parallel applications, except for their alliance with Intel to promote Parallel Studio."

He continues, "However, in the last year they've made some announcements and promises for Visual Studio 2010 about enhanced tools for parallel programming. It's likely that the success of Parallel Studio has impressed upon them the importance of providing Windows developers with the tools they need to remain competitive going into the future when manycore will be the standard."

Visual Studio 2010 offers many improvements including Task Parallel Library (used for performing tasks like loops simultaneously when circumstances permit), Parallel Language Integrated Query (PLINQ) (used for parallel data operations), Microsoft Concurrency Runtime (scheduling and resource management), Asynchronous Agents Library (provides improved inter-thread messaging), and finally the Parallel Pattern Library (geared for C++ users).

Despite the vast improvements even Mr. DeVaan acknowledges the art of exploiting multiple cores is still evolving.  He adds, "As an industry, we're going to be working hard to make it work better and working with broad set of developers to target (multicore programming) without undue work.  Will these approaches really accomplish it? That's an open question."

With Microsoft's primary competitor Apple also focusing on multi-threading with its developer-geared Grand Central Dispatch multitasking model built into Snow Leopard, the ability to properly leverage multiple cores is a crucial task for Windows 7.  And it appears that the upcoming OS will be rising to the occasion.

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RE: DirectX 1,1
By Belard on 10/14/2009 7:23:08 AM , Rating: 0
I used Windows Me quite happily for three or four years

Good for you. Some PCs did work fine... it had some interesting features. But in reality, it was pushing the Win9x code to the limits. There are people who have had NO/no problems with Vista.

I'm using Win7 now, its NOT playing nice with ALL my programs, but some of them are quite OLD and is more of an issue of the maker of said programs. IE: Version 3 works under Win7, but version 5 doesn't. Its sloppy work as even MS-Office97 works mostly fine under Win7. I have Win7 installed on 4 of my home PCs (MS likes to hear this), but I still won't touch vista.

If you never used Windows Me, then you're bashing an OS you never used and I have no respect for that.

Yes, bought WinME... it was problematic, kinda slow. Screwed up data, unreliable... I don't remember exactly what - its BEEN 9 YEARS! After a week, I wiped the partition, installed Win98se and used that for a few more years. I didn't have such problems with Win98 or SE. The hardware was top-end P3/800Mhz/ASUS with 915 chipset.

BTW: I use experience to come up with an opinion or fact on software and hardware. What I say about any OS, is based on that, not hearsay.

Your "respect" issue is odd. With all the various hardware and software configs when it comes to an OS like MS, you're going to get a majority negative or positive. Kinda of like saying "ATI sucks, GeForce is faster" - A stupid thing to say today (OCT 2009) as ATI's 5800s are clearly the better cards.

If you're simply comparing Windows Me to XP, then you're not smart enough to realize that Windows Me is Windows 4 (the same basic OS as Windows 95) and Windows XP is Windows 5 -- so of course Windows XP was better! ~~realize that you're an idiot.

LOL, you're funny. Just because something is NEWER doesn't make it BETTER. What's better sports car? A 2002 Ferrari 360 or a 2008 Ford Mustang? Tip, the Stallion "horsey" wins. Oh... I guess by YOUR logic, the GeForce 5200 is better than the Geforce 4200. You MAY assume because of the model # and release dates, but in reality the 5200 was half the card for the same price!

And so... when you called "Windows ME is Windows 4 ~ Win5 = XP~", you REALLY should watch who you're calling an idiot!

1 - XP and ME have no relationship to each other.
2 - Win95 = 4.0, WIn98 = 4.1, Me = 4.9
3 - Windows9x(me)is a hybrid of crap-DOS/OS. MS's first consumer GUI OS. (Windows 3x is not an "OS", its a shell) and you think XP is related to Windows9x? LOL!

4 - XP is called "5.1" because its based off the WindowsNT kernal. Remember, NT 4.0? What is 5.0? Oh that's "Windows 2000". Vista = 6.0 and Win7 = 6.1. To a major degree, MS's model numbers are way off. Vista should be 6.0~6.2 (The .x = service pack) So 7 should be... 7.0

Maybe this will help (click the link)

You don't seem to know the differences of Operating Systems and what makes them tick.

Enjoy whatever OS you want. You've got the right to love, I got the right to call it crap. Hell, even MS programmers knew vista was crap. No big secret there.

RE: DirectX 1,1
By Belard on 10/14/2009 5:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
Voting down a message that doesn't have trolling, insults or anything "bad" is childish. Get over yourself.

If someone posts a message thinking that Windows XP/2000 are related to Windows9x... they NEED to be corrected.

Especially if they thing XP is version 5.0 and WindowsME is 4.0. That is funny.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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