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Windows 8 Will Introduce Super Speedy 8-Second Boot Times

by Killian Bell | September 9, 2011September 9, 2011 6:00 am PDT

Jealous of your Macintosh friends who own one of Apple’s recent MacBook Airs which boot up in the blink of an eye? Well, good news, my Windows brethren: Windows 8 will introduce super speedy boot times that will see your PC running in just 8 seconds.

In a new blog post on Microsoft’s recently launched Building Windows 8 blog, Gabe Aul, a director of program management in Windows, details the “fast startup mode which is a hybrid of traditional cold boot and resuming from hibernate.”

First, Aul explains Microsoft’s mission:

Our challenge then, was to design a way to meet all of these desires on today’s PCs without requiring some special new hardware. These were our goals:

  • Effectively zero watt power draw when off
  • A fresh session after boot
  • Very fast times between pressing the power button and being able to use the PC.

In order to achieve these goals and dramatically reduce Windows boot times, Microsoft has developed a process which simply hibernates the kernel session rather than shutting it down completely:

Now here’s the key difference for Windows 8: as in Windows 7, we close the user sessions, but instead of closing the kernel session, we hibernate it. Compared to a full hibernate, which includes a lot of memory pages in use by apps, session 0 hibernation data is much smaller, which takes substantially less time to write to disk.

Using this technique with boot gives us a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems we’ve tested).

Those improvements make for Windows 8 boot times that take just 8 seconds in Microsoft’s teaser video (above), which are a huge improvement over those seen from Windows 7. Endless boot times were always a huge niggle for me when I was a Windows user, and this improvement alone would be a huge reason to upgrade for me.

What do you think of faster Windows 8 boot times?

[via TechRadar]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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