Microsoft makes more promises for Windows 7 performance

Not another Vista -- that's the continuous underlying message being made on the Engineering Windows 7 blog. Plus the team is emphasizing that Windows 7 will remain compatible with Vista drivers, say the blog's writers Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, and Michael Fortin, one of Microsoft’s Distinguished Engineers and head of the Windows Fundamentals feature team. Windows 7 will perform great, Sinofsky wants the public to know, provided you understand how his team is going about measuring performance.

Sinofsky says he is well aware that performance has two forms -- the actual speed at which the operating system operates under various conditions, and the perceived speed it operates. In other words, a product might perform well but people think its performance stinks and this can happen because of expectations or because the operating system is getting blamed when, say, a slow Internet connection is at fault. But underneath the hands-in-the-air, not-our-fault posture, the team is making some very real promises that Windows 7 will be lean and fast. They say people will see real speed increases, and experience perceived performance boosts, in the following areas:

  • Faster boot up time, standby/resume, launching common applications.
  • Reducing the time it takes for the OS to recognize a reinserted USB device, particularly a flash drive.
  • Faster playback of DVD movies.
  • Improved response and memory usage of the desktop window manager including taskbar and start menu.
  • Reducing the operating system's overall footprint.
  • Reducing freezes and hangs.

Time -- and independent benchmarking -- will tell if Windows 7 meets expectations, exceeds them or fails. The fact that Windows 7 engineers are aware is a promising sign.

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