Microsoft demos super fast boot times in Windows 8

Microsoft releases demo video of Windows 8 booting in 10 seconds.

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Windows, windows 8

Microsoft has a surprise for users tired of waiting forever while their computers boot up. It will take less than 10 seconds for a Windows 8 PC to go from powered down to the start screen, according to a Microsoft video demonstration. The speedy boot is thanks to a new hybrid system that mixes processes used in cold boots and hibernation mode. Microsoft showed off the new functionality in yet another blog post on its Building Windows 8 blog.

Thanks to the influence of tablets and smartphones, users are more accustomed than ever to having instant-on access to their devices. This can make it feel like you've stepped back into the dark ages while you wait a minute or two for your PC to boot. Nevertheless, more than half of all PC users (57% of desktop users and 45% of laptop users) opt to turn their devices off instead of letting them go into sleep or hibernation mode where the computer can resume much faster, according to Microsoft data.

Reasons for preferring shut down can vary, Microsoft says, from wanting to save on power or people preferring to start their sessions fresh with no left over processes from earlier (I suspect there's also another group of people who avoid sleep and hibernate, because it never quite works properly on their PCs).

But even though a slight majority prefer to shut down, that still leaves a large chunk of Windows PC users who use sleep and hibernate modes over cold boots. In Windows 8, Microsoft said it wanted to create a shut down process that would appeal to both types of users by hitting three basic goals: nearly zero power draw when the computer is shut off, a fresh session after boot, and a quick startup time.

To reach these targets, Windows 8's default shut down mode does what it refers to as a 'session 0' hibernation. Basically, the computer shuts down normally, but the Windows kernel session gets saved into a hibernation file and then the computer is shut down. Normally, the kernel session is shut down completely--the kernel is the OS' core component that acts as a link between applications and data processing at the hardware level. Storing the kernel session results in a small hibernation file that can be read back into memory much faster than starting everything from a traditional cold boot, according to Microsoft.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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