More about Windows 7 Performance
Microsoft has been quoted as saying that it was not creating a new kernel for Windows 7. Anyone who’s ever used any flavor of Linux knows that even small changes in an operating system’s kernel can make for big variations. But apparently there’s a difference for Microsoft between new kernel and refined kernel. Maybe they’re right, but which is it?
I’ve been trying to get actual information for a while now about just what Microsoft has changed in Windows 7 to effect supposed performance changes. This Windows 7 Developer Guide, published in October 2008, while vague, shines more of light on it than the entire Windows 7 Reviewer’s Guide or anything else I’ve read on Microsoft’s Windows 7 site. Here’s a direct quote from page 8 of this guide, which describes the performance changes in Windows 7:
“Windows 7 maximizes hardware energy efficiency and scalability while maintaining high performance. Energy efficiency is improved through reduced background activity and new support for the trigger starting of system services. Windows 7 also offers improvements in the Windows kernel that enable applications and services to scale efficiently between platforms. Performance of many features and APIs is improved in Windows 7 versus Windows Vista. For example, driver performance on servers is optimized by new user-mode and kernel-mode topology APIs. Graphics rendering is considerably smoother and faster. Accessibility performance is also significantly faster than before.”
So let’s translate that:
1. “Hardware energy efficiency …”
Translation: Windows 7 saves electrical power.
2. “Improvements in the Windows kernel that enable applications and services to scale efficiently …”
Translation: The apps that the kernel permits to run have a longer leash.
3. “Performance of many features and APIs is improved in Windows 7 versus Windows Vista.”
Translation: Microsoft finished refining Vista features and the ways in which applications interface with the operating system.
4. “…Driver performance on servers is optimized by new user-mode and kernel-mode topology APIs.”
Translation: I don’t really know, but drivers will apparently perform better on servers.
5. “Graphics rendering is considerably smoother and faster.”
Translation: We get that.
There’s been a lot of talk about “MinWin,” a small core of Windows 7 that according to some reports has been made self contained by changing the way DLLs and APIs are structured. It makes sense, but has it really happened? Microsoft doesn’t appear to be talking about this.
I hope to get a briefing, and if I do, I’ll post about it.