updated 04:20 am EDT, Fri September 9, 2011
Windows 8 to boot in around 8 secs
Microsoft is promising ultra-fast boot times of around 8 secs from powered off to booted. In the video embedded below, Microsoft demonstrates how quickly its new OS will start up in its new 'fast start-up mode'. To prove that the boot up is genuine, the Microsoft employee shows a battery removed from a laptop before slotting it in and commencing an extremely fast boot up demonstration.
Microsoft telemetry from Windows 7 machines shows most users completely shut down their machine, either to save power, or by looking to 'start fresh' for the start of each day. Even though Microsoft argues that hibernation might be a better option for quick restarts in Windows 7, Microsoft has been working hard to drastically improve boot from cold in Windows 8.
Microsoft manages this feat by closing a user's sessions during shut down, but instead of also closing the kernel as it does in Windows 7, the OS in Windows 8 hibernates the kernel. As the session 0 hibernation data is much smaller, it takes substantially less time to write to disk.
Microsoft says that the new fast start up mode will benefit all systems, whether fitted with a spinning hard drive or SSD. But systems such as tablets, typically fitted with SSDs, will boot up the full Windows 8 OS in around the 8 sec mark. This will be particularly important if Windows 8, on ARM for example, is going to challenge Apple's fast-boot iPad with its instant-on capability.
The new OS also retains the ability to completely close off the kernel too, which can be achieved by using Restart, for example.