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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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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
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.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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