Microsoft released a video this week that demonstrated how fast Windows 8 can boot on standard PC hardware. The company claims that when testing a computer running Windows 8 against a computer running Windows 7, the Windows 8 machine usually booted 25%, and sometimes up to 75% faster.
“Few operations in Windows are as scrutinized, measured, and picked apart as boot. This is understandable—boot times represent an effective proxy for overall system performance,” wrote Windows division president Steven Sinofsky in a Thursday blog post. “Boot times represent an effective proxy for overall system performance and we all know the boot experience is an incredibly important thing for us to get right for customers.”
A video that Microsoft provided, which can be found below, shows Windows 8 booting on a modern HP laptop in approximately 7 seconds. The reason why Windows 8 is able to boot so fast is because it hibernates the kernel as opposed to closing it, which has been the norm in other iterations of Windows.
Sinofsky explains that “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.”
In addition to kernel hibernation, another new feature that Microsoft has incorporated into the Windows 8 boot process is the simultaneous loading of drivers with the hibernated files, which makes the entire process more efficient when used with a multi-core processor.
“Another important thing to note about Windows 8′s fast start-up mode is that, while we don’t do a full ‘Plug & Play’ enumeration of all drivers, we still do initialise drivers in this mode,” Gabe Aul, a director of program management in Windows wrote in the same blog post. “Those of you who like to cold boot in order to ‘freshen up’ drivers and devices will be glad to know that is still effective in this new mode, even if not an identical process to a cold boot.”
Microsoft promises that hybrid boot mode will result in a faster start-up time regardless whether a machine is using a traditional hard-disk drive or an SSD.
More details are expected at Microsoft’s BUILD conference, taking place next week in Anaheim, California.
Tags: windows 8