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Microsoft shows off speedy Windows 8 boot speeds

Blog video posted on MSDN displays boot times of 8 seconds on Windows 8

With Microsoft’s BUILD conference and Windows 8 unveiling right around the corner, the company is hard at work hyping up their latest OS. Now in a video posted on the company’s MSDN Windows 8 blog, Seattle’s latest OS is put to the test and its zippy boot times are demonstrated.

As displayed in the video (embedded below), a Kernel Platform Group employee shows a completely powered off notebook booting into Windows 8 within 8 seconds. The feat was apparently achieved thanks to a hybrid hibernation/shutdown, where the user session is closed but the kernel is written to a temporary “hiberfile”. This “hiberfile” (which is smaller than a full hibernation file) is then read upon booting up the PC, where the OS also takes advantage of the multiple cores found in modern computers by doing some parallel reading.

Interestingly, a Microsoft survey indicated that 57% of desktop users and 45% of laptop users actually shut down their machines rather than putting them to sleep, and as such boot times were focused on. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any mention of the effect of installed startup programs on the boot speeds, but we can’t wait to see this in real-life testing and definitely recommend viewing of the video below.

Representation of different phases between cold boot and fast startup.


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Omar Qudsi, 2011-09-10 (Update: 2021-05-18)