Microsoft and Intel claim to have engineered their respective products to work better together than ever before.
The two firms held a special press event on Tuesday to showcase ways in which Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 takes advantage of new hardware and features in Intel's line of 32nm processors.
Among the topics discussed in the presentation were improvements to energy efficiency, encryption speeds and the performance of multi-threaded tasks.
The companies gave little in the way of actual improvement speeds, but maintained that Windows 7 users will see significant benefits when the operating system is paired with Intel's latest processors.
"The day after we shipped Windows Vista our teams were able to start working in a very organised way on Windows 7," said Ruston Panabaker, Microsoft principal programme manager.
"We were able to go with Intel through the planning, development and readiness of Windows 7."
The companies claimed benefits including better utilisation of hardware for tasks such as encryption and multithreading, and updated hyper-threading features in Windows 7 which can provide significant improvements for tasks such as exporting video.
Microsoft and Intel also hope to build in better security. Intel principal engineer Baiju Patel said that, by using the chip to accelerate the process, disk encryption can be speeded up as much as tenfold, easing the burden of encrypting and decrypting systems.
"The desire here is to make sure that encryption is not a barrier, and that performance is not a barrier," he said.
However, neither company was willing to declare that their combined efforts would make relationships with competitors such as AMD and Apple obsolete. Microsoft acknowledged that it had worked extensively with AMD, while Intel said that it would be pursuing efforts with all operating system vendors interested in using its chips.
The two companies bristled when pressed for benchmark data, and Panabaker said that the company is looking to measure real-world performance rather than using lab tests.
"What we have learned over time is to focus on the responsiveness of the system. The task the user is doing is more important than a benchmark or raw performance," he said.
"What the end user really wants is a system which delivers the performance in the capacity they use."
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