Windows 8 Sees Improvement in Boot Time

When Microsoft release Windows 8, users will see a large improvement on the boot time of the operating system. After doing a bit of research, Microsoft [MSFT] found that 57% of PC users and 45% of laptop users each shut down their Windows computer at the end of each day. The remaining people either put the PC to sleep or hibernated it. As most people want to start with a fresh boot of the OS each time they switch their PC on, Microsoft has devised a way to make the boot time far quicker than previous version of the OS with a test showing an 8 second boot time.

Qualitatively, people say they prefer to shut down because they want to have their PC completely “off” so that it uses no power – either to preserve battery life or to reduce their energy use. Hibernate is also a good option for this since it similarly has no power draw, and many people really like it. However, it’s clearly not for everyone, since one of the other things we’ve heard is that many people want to turn their PCs on and have it be a “fresh start” rather than running all of the stuff from their previous session.

To achieve a fast boot time, Microsoft has created a hybrid way which uses a mixture of how a cold boot works vs a wake up from hibernating. What happens with the Windows 8 boot cycle is that the kernal is saved like when hibernating, but everything else is loaded from scratch. Cutting out the initialisation of the kernal and loading it already from disk makes the boot process a lot quicker.

Microsoft has a far more detailed report of how it works but for those who are not too interested in the technicalities we’ll just say the boot time is about 8 seconds on Windows 8. Check out the video below to see it in action.

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