Microsoft has dramatically reduced boot times for the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, demonstrating an eight-second boot from a cold start.
The fast start-up mode represents a huge leap forward in terms of boot time, according to Gabe Aul, director of programme management for Windows.
"Boot times represent an effective proxy for overall system performance, and we all know the boot experience is incredibly important for us to get right," he said on the Building Windows 8 blog.
"Data shows that 57 per of desktop PC users and 45 per cent of laptop users shut down their machines rather than putting them to sleep. Overall, half of all users shut down their machines rather than putting them to sleep."
The key difference between Windows 8 and Windows 7 is that the kernel session is now placed into hibernate mode instead of being closed down.
This significantly improves boot times because reading the system state and memory contents from the hiberfile and reinitialising drivers is much faster this way, Aul explained.
Aul pointed out that Microsoft has designed Windows 8 so it should not have to be booted that often, but the fast loading times will be very welcome for those who switch off their machines at the end of each day.
Resuming from hibernation has also been improved in Windows 8 with a multi-phase resume capability that uses all of the cores in a multi-core system in parallel, splitting the work of reading from the hiberfile and decompressing the contents.
"The fast start-up mode will yield benefits on almost all systems, whether they have a spinning hard drive or a solid state drive [SSD], but for newer systems with fast SSDs it is downright amazing," Aul added.
Emily Wilson, programme manager from the kernel platform group at Microsoft, demonstrates the eight-second boot time in the video below:
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