Weekend open forum: Windows 7 target to boot in under 15 seconds

By on September 5, 2008, 8:50 PM
Last week Microsoft began rolling developer updates on the next-generation Windows through the Engineering Windows 7 blog. For better or worse, the first topic they decided to touch on was boot time, a particular feature of previous and current iterations of Windows that has been heavily criticized for only getting worse despite of the incrementally faster hardware running on PCs today, not to mention the reiterated empty promises of instantaneous boot times.

Now it seems Microsoft has become more serious than ever on improving startup experience, dedicating a full team to improve times for booting, resuming from sleep, and resuming from hibernation. The blog post details some of the under the hood tasks needed on boot and some of the challenges that have prevented Vista (for example) from cutting down significantly on boot and resume times.

The ultimate challenge goes along these lines: "In the lab, a very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds." But is that fast enough?

Should that figure account for applications running at startup as well? Could third party developers be aligned for improving the overall Windows experience? Will Windows 7 sleep mode finally work as well as intended despite of the variability of system configurations? And last but not least, is boot time still relevant at all?

Discuss.




User Comments: 21

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dustin_ds3000 said:
wow this would be great but most likely wont happen
aolish said:
what about all the DX10 claims that were made before vista was released. About how FAST it was going to be.... something about offloading the load from CPU and giving it to GPU. That didn't work out to well. :/
DarkCobra said:
Sounds great but I too will believe it when I see it. There's usually a tradeoff somewhere for such things. As an example, the computer may boot up to desktop within that time frame but your programs may well take longer for full availability. However, we shall see and I sure hope they can pull this off.I just hope they take their time in developing this new operating system and get Windows 7 "right" instead of getting it "right away". Rushing it to market to replace the "not so beloved by all" Vista would be a mistake.
eafshar said:
sleep modes works well on my laptop...gets me to well come screen within 20 or so secondsand most applications are running after i log in... so im not sure how well sleep mode is suppose to work?... instantaneous start up?
windmill007 said:
Microsoft making anything faster than the previous version?? I know it won't happen ..if it does we must be in another dimension.
mootz said:
my VISTA PC boots up in about 30 seconds anyway, who cares how fast your computer turns on?Microsoft should focus on better things than this rubbish
mopar man said:
I would love to have a faster boot up. I have always hated having to wait as long as 2 minutes for it to get fully booted. If I am in a hurry (often) then I usually look for ways around getting on the computer if it's not already completely up. In my opinion, if they are doing this, they will probably deal with the issue of programs not being available immediately. Why waste time getting the computer itself to boot fast, but make you spend 3X the amount of boot time to do anything.
captaincranky said:
[b]Originally posted by DarkCobra:[/b][quote]Sounds great but I too will believe it when I see it. There's usually a tradeoff somewhere for such things. As an example, the computer may boot up to desktop within that time frame but your programs may well take longer for full availability. However, we shall see and I sure hope they can pull this off. [/quote]The whole idea of fast boot times does seem to run contrary to the "superfetch", we'll get it running before you even think you need it concept. I look forward to even more elevated hardware requirements. 8 Gigs of RAM oughta about do the trick. Am I exaggerating, well I'm not sure.
liverpool9 said:
It will be great if they can pull it off. The comment about the 8 gigs or ram. that is already out i saw it in a machine the other week so but the time windows 7 comes out we should be seeing more than 8. Hopefully this 15 second thing does work out. the sleep mode should only take like 5 or 10 seconds then.
sngx1275 said:
I too was wondering how this aligns with superfetch.. Even if you get to the desktop in 15 seconds, you will have intense hard drive activity for at least 2 more minutes as it background loads programs into the RAM. So unless hard drive speeds dramatically go up you will still have chattering for a while, although supposedly anything you want to do takes precidence over background loading so you won't notice. In reality though I think it does hurt initial performance by a bit.As for waking from sleep, they really out to take at look at how OS X does it. I have an old Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz, and it wakes from sleep to usable in under 5 seconds.
old101 said:
Yet another gimmick from Microsoft. They want to outfox Firefox, and outdo Opera and provide a safe, stable and fast browser that is amenable to appearance changes and specialized add-ons. If they don't the world marked will dictate what European Union already mandated - separate IE from the OS. IE is not free, somebody is paying for it's maintenance and development. That somebody is a user of any other Microsoft product. At some point these users will refuse to pay for the product they don't use.
old101 said:
Yet another gimmick from Microsoft. They want to outfox Firefox, and outdo Opera and provide a safe, stable and fast browser that is amenable to appearance changes and specialized add-ons. If they don't the world marked will dictate what European Union already mandated - separate IE from the OS. IE is not free, somebody is paying for it's maintenance and development. That somebody is a user of any other Microsoft product. At some point these users will refuse to pay for the product they don't use.
kimsland said:
I say with 8Gig of Ram (as standard)Then yes, Windows could boot in 12 secondsNote: Presently without any 3rd Party software or drivers (or anything, other than Windows installed) I believe Windows will presently load in about 30secs (This is not including the BIOS. Just from the point Starting Windows) it might be even quicker, not sure, because I usually start loading Drivers and programs and updates and all.Windows on its own (which no one uses!) is very quick
mom2techsupport said:
[b]Originally posted by mootz:[/b][quote]my VISTA PC boots up in about 30 seconds anyway, who cares how fast your computer turns on?Microsoft should focus on better things than this rubbish[/quote]it could be rubish, but it's important rubish for some people. i went to quite some length to help reduce boot time on one of my kids' laptops. he needs to be ready for taking notes as quickly as other kids are getting out their paper. for the record, his pc boots in 7 seconds. i'm pretty sure microsoft can handle 15.
Obi-Wan Jerkobi said:
I'm not one to worry about boot time. I mean, my Hackintosh, takes 2 minutes to boot. But once the OS is up, it's quick. I barely have to wait 2 seconds for most programs to load, maybe only like 4 seconds for iTunes.
phantasm66 said:
I wish these things did boot instantly and that I never saw the little hourglass once.
nitefang said:
Um what is the huge deal about boot times? I mean sure it would be great if you could press the power button and be at the login screen but I am much more concerned about what happens after the login screen. Is the start time really that important just as long as it doesn't take forever?
DarkCobra said:
Nitefang is absolutely correct. I think for "most" of us boot up times just aren't that critical an issue. Sure, nobody wants a system that takes minutes to load, but come on . . . does it really make all that much difference if your boot up time is 15 seconds or 25 seconds? I mean really. I'll repeat what I said before . . . I'd rather have the developers get the next operating system "Right" then have them rush it to us "Right Away". How stable the system is AFTER boot-up (as Nitefang states) is what's really important! I'd rather have a stable system delivered to me in 60 seconds than have yet another problem laden system available to me in 10 seconds. Silly me huh?
PanicX said:
From a tech support point of view, boot times are huge. This is because threw the normal course of the day, routine troubleshooting requires rebooting a system. Doing this dozens of times a day on many user PCs is a huge time sync. And better yet, if they could get Windows7 server to boot that fast would be outstanding. I've got several production servers that when rebooting will take almost 15 minutes to come back online.
iandvedwards said:
I somehow can't see this happening, but you never know! Stranger things have happened!
windmill007 said:
I agree Panicx..Boot times are important to us techs..get them under 5 seconds and I will gain a few months of time in my life to do other things. I don't see how others think boot times aren't important. They also must think slower computers by installing vista or Norton anti-virus , etc are just the price of progress...LOL
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