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Microsoft is reportedly hard at work on Windows 8.  (Source: Oxenti)
OEMs given an early update on Windows 7's successor

Not wanting to rest on the laurels of Windows 7, the best-selling operating system in its storied history, Microsoft is racing to develop its successor, code-named Windows 8.  That upcoming product is rumored to be slotted for a late 2011 launch.

A Microsoft enthusiast blog called 
Microsoft Journal has posted some leaked pieces of information from a presentation Microsoft gave OEMs about the upcoming OS.  The site, run by Francisco Martin, quotes Microsoft as writing, "Windows 8 PC's turn on fast, nearly instantly in some cases, and are ready to work without any long or unexpected delays. When customers want to check e-mail, sports scores, or play media they love to reach for their PCs because they can get to what they want quickly."

Along the lines of improving startup times, Microsoft wrote that it wants to work with OEMs to focus on improving POST performance, S3 resume performance, and general performance optimizations for each of the Off states.  All of these improvements would ultimately yield a system that is ready for action faster.

The blog also cites Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 3.0 as critical tools in Windows 8's drive for fast computing.

The OS reportedly will also integrate hardware sensor-driven improvements found in smart phones into desktops and laptops.  The leaked text states, "Windows 8 can adapt to changes in ambient light, so that the display is always easy to see."

It also talks about facial recognition-based login technology, stating, "Camera integration will likely be ubiquitous in 2010: Windows 8 could detect my presence and log me automatically."

The post also mentions potential 3D-TV/graphics improvements, including a 3D-display-ready version of DirectX.  Hard drive encryption performance improvements also appear to be on the agenda.



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Instantly?
By Motoman on 6/28/2010 3:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
How are they going to boot "nearly instantly?" I call shenanigans.

Unless you're booting a tiny OS from firmware, or something like that, I don't buy any computer booting "nearly instantly."

I'll believe that when I see it.




RE: Instantly?
By moriz on 6/28/2010 3:19:59 PM , Rating: 1
it could be that the system never actually powers down. rather, it enters some kind of new sleep state that can be restored quickly, and it still functions even if the power has been cut.


RE: Instantly?
By Motoman on 6/28/2010 3:36:40 PM , Rating: 4
Any kind of sleep state isn't "off." Still consuming power, and still maintaining system state.

I'm talking about a cold boot from power off.


RE: Instantly?
By Drag0nFire on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Instantly?
By Motoman on 6/28/2010 3:59:04 PM , Rating: 4
At the very best, you're simply finding some kind of grey area for defining what "nearly instant" is.

10 seconds is nowhere near "instant" as far as I'm concerned. Although I think it would be impressive if an OS could boot that fast - from the first bootup to every bootup of that machine forever.

"Near instant" to me implies something like sub-second. Like, I can see that time has passed, so it's not instantaneous...but it's close. 10 seconds isn't close - nor is 5. 5 would be quite impressive...but not nearly instant.


RE: Instantly?
By marvdmartian on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Instantly?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/28/2010 8:17:49 PM , Rating: 3
Windows 7 Home Premium - $149.99
How does that cost an arm and a leg?

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Windows-7-Home-Pre...


RE: Instantly?
By xaders on 6/28/2010 8:56:10 PM , Rating: 5
here is a better deal for students.
if you have an email address ending (.edu) or any active email from a college or univiersity. windows 7 pro upgrade for $29.99 & microsoft office 2010 professional for $69.95.

(http://www.microsoft.com/student/office/en-us/defa...

both are digital download and would recommend paying $13 each for a phyisical media and some states their maybe state taxes. id got this deal last year around the same time from my old college instructor. windows 7 was about 2.5gb .iso download and can do a full "clean" install on any computer.


RE: Instantly?
By xaders on 6/29/2010 3:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
correction, on typing error, microsoft office is $79.95,


RE: Instantly?
By therealnickdanger on 6/29/2010 9:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Instantly?
By YashBudini on 7/5/2010 9:37:49 PM , Rating: 1
"Windows 7 Home Premium - $149.99
How does that cost an arm and a leg?"

How many times have you repurchased this reinvented wheel?


RE: Instantly?
By Luticus on 6/28/2010 4:23:20 PM , Rating: 3
If it boots in stages loading only the most important features required for security, login, and drawing the operating system environment that way it could "half boot" and let the user have at the environment while it finishes up in the back ground.

It wouldn't be "instant on" but it could be close in theory. Granted if a method like this were used then technically it wouldn't be completely booted instantly but it would appear to be on and ready to use to the user rather quickly.

Though this is obviously speculation and i have no real idea how well this could be tweaked into working.

Also i think a solid state HDD and really fast RAM would help with booting quickly, especially if they improve POST times because that's where a huge hit to boot times happens.


RE: Instantly?
By B3an on 7/3/2010 11:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
I can see under 20 seconds being possible.

Win7 on my RAID0 SSD's loads in under 15 seconds. The POST is what takes the longest. So if MS work with manufacturers to get POST times down i can see it being close enough to nearly instant, especially on the even faster SSD's that will be available by then.


RE: Instantly?
By MozeeToby on 6/28/2010 4:35:33 PM , Rating: 3
Running Windows 7 on an SSD I can be at the login screen in ~15 seconds and at the desktop in less than 25; and that's on a laptop. I'd be willing to bet that with a high end desktop you could be at logged in and ready to go in 20 seconds, which is enough to blow people's minds right now.

I remember a few years ago, Gigabyte released something they called i-RAM. 4 dram slots with a battery backup that, to your computer, looked like a harddrive. Small capacity, and extremely expensive, but they claimed less than 4 second boot times.


RE: Instantly?
By HotFoot on 6/28/2010 6:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
I got myself a X-25M 80 GB and put Win XP on it. The computer I have takes about 6 seconds to go through POST. Then the screen would flash and within 4 seconds XP would be good to go.

Then I installed Win 7 and I'm back up to about 20-25 seconds for total boot times, sometimes slower if there's updates installing.


RE: Instantly?
By B3an on 7/3/2010 11:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
Thats because Win7 waits for the fade in animation of the Windows logo to finish playing before it will go to the desktop (even if windows has already loaded).

Disable it and boot times will be faster.

1 – Click on the Start Menu.
2 – Click on Control Panel.
3 – Click on System and Security.
4 – Click on Administrative Tools.
5 – Double click on System Configuration.
6 – Click on the Boot tab.
7 - Tick the box "No GUI boot"


RE: Instantly?
By crimson117 on 6/29/2010 10:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
A battery backup ram-drive is no different from low-power sleep state with actual ram and an external UPS. Eventually the battery runs out (granted, that might be months/years) and you have to cold-boot.


RE: Instantly?
By myhipsi on 6/30/2010 10:43:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I remember a few years ago, Gigabyte released something they called i-RAM. 4 dram slots with a battery backup that, to your computer, looked like a harddrive. Small capacity, and extremely expensive, but they claimed less than 4 second boot times.


Yeah, I was one of the suckers that bought one :) Don't get me wrong, at the time, it was the fastest "drive" on the desktop. I had it loaded with 4 gigs of ram, which was very expensive at the time (over $600.00 for the board and the ram). I had Windows XP installed on it. The sub-4 second boot time is bunk, it was more like a modern day SSD, it improved boot times over a traditional HDD, but it was nowhere near 4 seconds. The problem I had with it, and I suspect the reason why it never went anywhere, was the on-board battery, it would get extremely hot at times. After about a year or so, I would get random system file corruption, and after a few reinstalls, etc, it eventually died altogether. Sure enough, when I inspected the board, the battery was bloated and presumably, fried. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted :)

I think one way to truly achieve an "instant on" OS, is to incorporate 20 or 30 GBs of high-speed flash right on the motherboard, with some sort of direct link to the CPU (much like ram is today). Of course, that would be prohibitively expensive right now, as motherboards and CPUs would have to be redesigned to accommodate such a thing.

My 2 cents.


RE: Instantly?
By someguy123 on 6/28/2010 9:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
The blog is probably just exaggerating.

It's most likely a comparison to his current setup. When I switched from mechanical to SSD everything felt like it was instantaneous in comparison, even if it took a few seconds.


RE: Instantly?
By TSS on 6/29/2010 8:20:51 AM , Rating: 3
My friend finally got a new rig the other day, with windows 7 on it. While we where talking, the rig just shut itself down, and my friend explained he hadn't turned sleep mode off.

Now me and my friend have both been into computers for a long long time and we always turned sleepmode off because it would either crash something, make windows unstable enough so that you had to reboot anyway, or it just took longer then a reboot to come back up again.

I turn it back on to see what happens, it flicks on like it was just the monitor that was turned off. Instant as instant as instant gets. My friend saw my face and he said "incredible isn't it?". I couldn't belive it and spend the next 5 minutes staring at the screen to see what had crashed. Nothing. It almost felt....unnatural.

Just mean to say, it's possible these days. I wouldn't have thought so had i not seen it with my own eyes. Logical though when you think about it, as long as you don't power down the RAM you have a really really fast but small harddrive. And compared to 15 years ago i've got as much RAM as they had HDD space so it's not all that crazy anymore.


RE: Instantly?
By FredEx on 7/2/2010 12:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
At the very best, you're simply finding some kind of grey area for defining what "nearly instant" is.


Besides "nearly instant" it also states "some systems". It is not saying all systems. Shoot, with Win 7 with a clean install my desktop booted in about ten seconds. Removing some crap loading sped it up then to a few seconds. It greatly depends on what you load at boot. A lot of people just check e-mail and maybe a web site for news. They don't need anything extra to load.

I'm a tech geek with a career background in the same and often am experimenting, so I don't ever expect "instant" or "near instant" boot times. My system fully loaded with all the crap I use does not take a minute to boot. For what I do and load I think that is darn good.

Some could argue this until the proverbial cows come home, but it comes down to what a person expects to be able to load at boot and system config. Also, what does the future hold. Who knows, by the time in 2011 that Win 8 would come out we may have a cheap way to have a non volatile bank of RAM for the OS to reside in and SSD's will be much faster than what are available now and will be more common.


RE: Instantly?
By bugnguts on 6/28/2010 4:19:48 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you this is possible, but about 1/3 of my boot up time is the BIOS start up/check so if they say instantly then I am thinking it might be one of the following: some kind of deeper sleep mode, mother board makers changing how BIOS start up or they are just referring to the OS load time.

Since OS and BIOS are read from different source perhaps with multithreading its possible to prep and run through both, but it seem certain things in the BIOS must be up before anything else is done. Many mother boards allow over-clocking adjustments be made in the OS so this suggest some things can be done during or after OS start up. I'm no experts but that's my two cents.


RE: Instantly?
By Curelom on 6/28/2010 4:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
I bet there would have to be hardware requirements for the nearly instant to work. Maybe they're moving away from BIOS machines. Storing info in flash, etc.


RE: Instantly?
By Pandamonium on 6/29/2010 1:44:05 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe Win 8 will force OEMs to stop using BIOS and finally make the transition to EFI.


RE: Instantly?
By hughlle on 6/28/2010 4:58:22 PM , Rating: 1
don't ask me how, it pisses me off. if i set my computer to sleep, and try and bring it back, it enters a continuous hard restar cycle, fast enough that the power button can't turn the thing off. the only solution is to turn off the PSU for 10 seconds or so. upon resuming from NO POWER it will come back to it's previous state (using win 7). not sure if it's normal etc, but it happens, and pisses me off.

that aside, Microsoft are being greedy, and unless the new OS's come at minimal pricing, they will greatly hamper their sale over a lack of willingness to upgrade as you know there'll be a new one coming out fairly soon. they need to slow things down and improve what they have. i wouldn't buy win 7 now that i know there is a new on in the works for less than a year later. it also means that people who are not like us, who take time to learn a system before they are comfortable copying and pasting etc, will find that everything they have learnt has been flipped upside down. (from doing things for my parents, i know that they have massive difficulty in moving from one OS to another)


RE: Instantly?
By hemmy on 6/28/2010 5:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
XP -> Vista is abnormal for Microsoft, look at every other release interval, this is how they always do it.


RE: Instantly?
By hughlle on 6/28/2010 7:33:54 PM , Rating: 1
xp-> vista was abnormal because XP was good. now it seems like they are just releasing it one after another, almost like linux distro's.

i do not have to detail microsofts reputation and history. just because they are big and powerful doesn't mean they should release a product every few years. xp was great, it felt like an investment. i truly feel sorry for the companies that bought into vista, paying tooth and nail. just reminds me of iphones, thinking that your clientbase is so firm that they'll buy into anything. there's a good reason i didn't pay for vista..


RE: Instantly?
By AlexWade on 6/28/2010 9:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
This may or may not help you. Windows 7 has a bug in which large hard drives affect the sleep state. I was having a problem with the sleep mode in Windows 7, but I downloaded a hotfix to fix the problem.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977178
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975599


RE: Instantly?
By lagitup on 6/28/2010 7:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Any kind of sleep state isn't "off." Still consuming power, and still maintaining system state. I'm talking about a cold boot from power off.


If you take a look at the leaked slides, they are moving from power off to "log off + hibernate" as the new default off state, so if they can get the POST to stop taking all of its unnecessary time then we're talking seconds to bring the hibernate file back into volatile memory.


RE: Instantly?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/28/2010 8:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if WinFS is going to finally debut?


RE: Instantly?
By amanojaku on 6/28/2010 8:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
WinFS as a file system is effectively dead, and its future is unclear. Many of its technologies found their way into other products, however, and are in use today.

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/JonUdell/Where-is-W...
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/winfs/


RE: Instantly?
By rburnham on 7/3/2010 12:10:47 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I want to see the cold boot speeds. I see no use for sleep mode. If I am done using my computer for the day, it gets turned off.


RE: Instantly?
By JonnyDough on 6/29/2010 6:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
It's more likely to track user habits even better (including things like the time of day that that User #X gets on and checks their email), and to not load certain programs into memory until just before they are going to be used. Along with SSD's and incorporating the hardware better/working more closely with motherboard vendors to finally get replace BIOS...I'd say its a ruse as well. While it may appear to boot faster, the code itself is not necessarily any faster and I would say that it will rely more heavily on hardware technological advances. You can't take an operating system and have it secure and stable by magically "trimming the fat". If Windows XP could have been faster, they would have made it faster. Fact is the code in place was in place for a reason, and your system had to read through it. Sure, they may be able to streamline the code a little...but if you see any huge gains I highly doubt it would be to magically reworking an old formula. Computer hardware is changing, and with it the software changes. I do hope though that they've found a way to return system resources to the system when they are no longer being used or when/if there is some sort of program error.


RE: Instantly?
By Silver2k7 on 6/30/2010 11:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
"it could be that the system never actually powers down. rather, it enters some kind of new sleep state that can be restored quickly"

It could be that their counting on that computers in late 2011 will all have a SSD or a SSD/HDD hybrid for a boot drive wich will make things launch faster.

Perhaps phase change RAM will come into play ?
RAM that keeps its information even when the power is off.


RE: Instantly?
By Silver2k7 on 6/30/2010 11:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps replacing BIOS with UEFI also contributes to faster booting ?

UEFI motherboards will probably start launching this year.

Since without UEFI your future OS harddrives/SSD's will be limited to max 2.1TB.. but with UEFI it opens up for booting from new 2.2TB+ harddrives (Seagate just launched a 3TB external).


RE: Instantly?
By mtcoder on 6/28/2010 3:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 made great leaps with instant on, if they can work to free up some of the POST time, with hardware vendors then yes you can get nearly instant on. Key with windows 7's boot and what they are pushing more in windows 8 is the service start up, most services now wait or dont even start till requested. This helps a bunch, the other part is the core OS which is required to run windows has became super small, and with more modules being put on standby load, you get faster and faster OS loads, then as you need to load other components you see a small decrease in preformance but your typically running 99% free ram / cpu so its fine to consume a bit more.

Right now with window 7 it only takes the OS on my machine about 5 seconds to go from POST to me sitting on desktop. Now count in POST and its around 20 seconds, so if they can focus on making POST to OS faster, then yes near instant will work just fine.


RE: Instantly?
By Motoman on 6/28/2010 3:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
Don't suppose you have any way to demonstrate going from the POST screen to the desktop in 5 seconds, do you?

I have installed Win7 on plenty of high-end PCs...and don't think I'd ever make that claim.

If someone has managed to do such a thing, I don't know, maybe with like RAID 0 SSDs or something, I'd like to see it.


RE: Instantly?
By Entz on 6/28/2010 4:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah 5s from bootloader to desktop is a bit fast its really not that far off for someone with a SSD and reasonably fast CPU/Low amount of crap installed.

My system for example (Vertex 128gb SSD/Q9550/8gb ram):
- Power button to windows start ~27s
- Windows start to desktop ~12s

So if they can drop the Post by a big enough margin, it will be close enough to instant on.


RE: Instantly?
By Pirks on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Instantly?
By Motoman on 6/28/2010 3:33:17 PM , Rating: 5
Newflash - Windows has been doing that for years.

That's not a boot from POST though. And the computer isn't "off." So that's not the topic here.


RE: Instantly?
By inighthawki on 6/28/2010 6:05:49 PM , Rating: 3
It's almost as if you suggest putting the computer into some sort of "Sleep" mode... Sure wish I could do that...


RE: Instantly?
By semo on 6/28/2010 3:38:02 PM , Rating: 3
i'll be happy even if they make ie boot 2x quicker (ie still has its uses in a corp enviroment).

Why does it take so long to open a blank window or even a tab in ie?! I managed to improve this bottleneck somewhat by moving the temp files to a ramdrive but i have no idea what else is slowing it down so much.

As for USB3... I was expecting tha in 7 sp1 and not as a major feature in a future os! It seems MS have been told by the big players that they are in no rush to make this technology mainstream.


RE: Instantly?
By JonnyBlaze on 6/28/2010 10:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
I have usb3 in w7 sp0. They are probably going to take advantage of better with something similar to readyboost.


RE: Instantly?
By Silver2k7 on 6/30/2010 12:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ive got USB3 in Vista SP2.. all you got to do is download and install the drivers for your USB3 hardware :)

But yeah I believe that Microsoft will include the USB3 drivers for the first time with Win7 SP1.


RE: Instantly?
By Nik00117 on 6/28/2010 11:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure MS is counting adaption of SSDs to be more prevalent. I myself intend on adapting to SSDs. My company has stated the next round up upgrades (2011) we intend on switching over to SSDs.

Personally I would feel more comfortable if MS released Windows 8 in 2012 or 2013.


RE: Instantly?
By Silver2k7 on 6/30/2010 12:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
Im sure they are also counting on UEFI adoption for new computers.

BIOS have lasted a very long time, im sure its changed some over time but its time to make the switch now :)


RE: Instantly?
By Jeffk464 on 6/29/2010 1:13:00 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like running the OS in Flash memory would pretty much accomplish instant boot. I mean really you don't update or make changes to the OS all that often.


RE: Instantly?
By cubdukat on 6/29/2010 1:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
Same here.

Ubuntu is one of the fastest booting OS's out there, and it can't even get up in less than a minute, so you know that something like that is a total non-starter for anything Windows.

I hope this isn't another instance of Microsoft promising us something it can't deliver on. That was how they got in trouble with Vista.


RE: Instantly?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 8:34:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How are they going to boot "nearly instantly?" I call shenanigans.


Depends on what you call "nearly". Since I bought my SSD, one could say my machine almost nearly boots instantly. I can see how Windows 8, with improved POST code and more SSD market saturation, can achieve this goal

Also what would really help, but I haven't heard anything on this, is an entirely new OS File System written specifically for the optimization of SSD's. Right now we're using TRIM and SSD controller methods to do things that could/should be done on the OS File System layer.


RE: Instantly?
By krull1313 on 6/29/2010 5:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously "nearly instantly" is a subjective term, but they could optimize post to a couple of seconds then optimize the OS to run on SSD where they are still loading services in the background but you have the login screen.

They already do this to some extent, but they could optimize it much further since modern SSDs have such phenomenal random access compared to even Raptors.


RE: Instantly?
By dsumanik on 7/4/2010 12:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
First off... quit you bickering nerdboners:

Microsoft has promised faster booting with every OS it has ever released.... This is nothing new, and once again it will be a fail...Sh*t takes time to load if you want a fancy UI, secure networking, automatic driver detection, and wonderful things like "windows action center"

We need an order of magnitude faster hardware to achieve this goal, specifically in the non volatile storage department.

Second, this snippet of info:

"Microsoft is reportedly hard at work on Windows 8. (Source: Oxenti)"

is so stupid its embarassing!

Wow.... i cant believe microsoft working on a new version of windows...say it isnt so. I wonder if they will work on windows 9 after lol.....DT has some really insightful columnists making articles these days...


"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs














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