Windows 8 to feature improved memory management

By on October 10, 2011, 1:30 PM

Windows 8 will have a smaller memory footprint than previous versions, providing better performance to systems and devices using small amounts of RAM. Since the OS will be fully compatible with ARM SoC products, having plenty of available memory on hand for multitasking is a must.

A new post on the Building Windows 8 blog outlines the memory usage goals of Microsoft’s next-gen operating system and some of the steps the company has taken to achieve them.

One method of reducing memory usage is by combining. On a typical PC, many sections of memory contain identical pieces of data. This happens because programs will often allocate memory for future use and initialize it all to the same value. Often times these programs end up not using the additional memory they have set aside. If multiple applications do this, there’s an excess of memory being utilized to store identical data.

Memory combining allows Windows to assess the contents of the system RAM and free up duplicate copies of data, consolidating it into a single copy. If an application needs that memory in the future, Windows will make a “private copy” just for that app. All of this happens behind the scenes and is said to free up 10s to 100s of MBs of memory.

Another area that Microsoft developers are working on are services in Windows. The team has removed 13 services, moved several more to a “manual” start state and changed others that were labeled as “always running” to “start on demand” mode.

Start on demand is classified by something triggering the service, such as a new device arrival or the availability of a network address. When this happens, the service will start and do its job. It then lingers around for a bit to see if anything else needs to be done. If not, the service ends, freeing up memory once again. Things like Plug and Play and Windows Update are now all trigger-activated tasks in Windows 8.

For tablet users that will likely stay in the Metro UI the majority of the time, memory costs from loading the desktop environment can also be saved, which is approximately 23MB.




User Comments: 12

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---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Now we're talking improvement!

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting, will have to read up more on this though :3

RH00D RH00D said:

Thank god we no longer have the green on black graphs that have been in Windows for way longer than they should have been. But really, I hope they have more of these types of improvements to show us.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just the services optimization alone could be huge for performance. The amount of physical services and processes that are continuously running is often ridiculous, although they did seem to clean it up quite a bit for Win7. Looks like Win8 is another much-needed step in the right direction.

It's funny how things are coming full circle, in many respects. Computing started out requiring absolute efficiency and concise coding to fit into tiny operational parameters that were available. Then memory, storage, and processor power erupted in size, and so did programming bloat and resource gluttony. Now, we're getting back to small concise and efficient requirements to fit into the tight constraints of mobility.

Rasta211 said:

Great news for Windows 8. Now they need to implement a native windows "Gaming" mode where it turns off all non essential services not used for your games and gaming devices.

Nima304 said:

Rasta211 said:

Great news for Windows 8. Now they need to implement a native windows "Gaming" mode where it turns off all non essential services not used for your games and gaming devices.

Definitely. I like this current development, though. On Windows Server 2008 R2, my server uses ~760MBs of RAM running just Windows, no applications installed. That's a hell of a lot of RAM, out of 6GBs. In comparison, CentOS 5.5 only uses around 24MBs.

Guest said:

They going mobile could have some good effects on normal desktops as well, a sign we're going away from the increasing bloat in everything or am I just overly optimistic?

Guest said:

this would be great but the reality is that manufacturers need to kill off so much of their own bloatware to be useful. but we all know that this will not be happening due to the fact that they get paid to put that bloatware on the systems to help supplement the cost of production. once there is a truly slim Win system without all the crapware then it will be great. this is of course not taking into account the system builders that only install Win.

Huspower said:

Either Microsoft didn't optimized thier windows 7 system in the first place therefore we find this particular version improved and thus most of us who purchased windows 7 will be disappointed indefinitely or Windows 8 is trully a breakthrough and it needs years to implement the system to be ready on the shelves. Nonetheless, Microsoft is gaining out of this.

Guest said:

More RAM is all ever I wanted

gingerbill said:

huspower said:

Either Microsoft didn't optimized thier windows 7 system in the first place therefore we find this particular version improved and thus most of us who purchased windows 7 will be disappointed indefinitely or Windows 8 is trully a breakthrough and it needs years to implement the system to be ready on the shelves. Nonetheless, Microsoft is gaining out of this.

So if windows 8 is better it's poor from microsoft ? not how i would think. I just got windows 7 myself you just have to accept that if 8 is better that's good in the long run . They can't not make 8 better so people with 7 are happy , that makes no sense. I think microsoft have been moving in the right direction in the last few years , i'm happy with 7 and glad i avoided vista .

edwaruma said:

thats a good move win8 is promising to be a good os

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