Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

Summary: 2.32GB compressed down to 1.51GB.

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Web delivery of software, be it games or operating systems, is rapidly superseding the DVD disc. In preparation for this, Microsoft is working on making Windows 8 optimized for download over the internet.

Over on the Building Windows 8 blog, Christa St. Pierre of the Microsoft Setup and Deployment team explains some of the new mechanisms Microsoft is employing to put Windows 8 on a diet before sending it down the pipes.

Starting with a Windows 8 .ISO file (which for x86 consists of 874 files and 200 folders), the first thing done is to create a package of the necessary files by removing duplicate files and compressing the resources. This takes the 2.32GB .ISO file down to 2.10GB, a saving of 9.5%. Then the package is compressed using an algorithm designed specifically for Windows 8, which compresses the download package by an additional 28%, taking the final download to a manageable 1.51GB.

To make sure that the download survives the travel across the internet Microsoft will use its tried and tested Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) as the default transport protocol to send files. Not only does BITS verify that the data downloaded is in good order every 10MB, it also offers the ability to pause, resume, and restart the download.

Another cool feature added to the Windows 8 download package is the ability to copy the data to a USB flash drive or burn it to a DVD before continuing with the install. This appears to be a far better mechanism than the one used by Apple to deliver Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' over the web.

As well as putting Windows on a diet, Microsoft is also streamlining the installation process, allowing Windows 7 to be upgraded to Windows 8 with as few as 11 clicks, a massive 82% fewer clicks than it takes to upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7. And power users need not worry - this has all be done with no loss of functionality or customization.

Microsoft has also improved the compatibility report tool, making it clearer and easier to use.

Also made clearer are the options for upgrade and migration.

Microsoft has also released details of how upgrades will work and what people will be able to migrate across based on what version of Windows they are starting from. The best, easiest upgrade will, of course, be from Windows 7.

Great work Microsoft! I look forward to seeing these features in action!

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Windows

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  • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

    Dang, that is very impressive. Microsoft is not holding back on Windows 8. Less disk space, less clicks, improved software. No wonder everyone is impressed with it.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

      @LoverockDavidson_
      Well from my perspective Microsoft is holding back on Windows 8 by not really taking advantage of modern hardware just because they want to adress all kind of hardware (especially low power ones like Tablets) with the same O.S. Even though it is impressive that Microsoft has been able to lower the specs requirements of Windows 8 from Windows 7, i would also love that the O.S really scale well for more powerful hardware.

      Assuming that i am the kind of guy who uses high end hardware, i would really like that my O.S fully take advantage of this high end hardware to offer prettier U.I or unique features.
      For example the Metro U.I could scale from the simpler form it has on the developper preview, on tablets or low power hardware to a very sophisticated U.I with advanced 3D effects and transitions.
      The desktop could also scale from the Windows 7 like desktop to a 3D,hollographic U.I with advanced effects and support for virtual desktops.
      timiteh
      • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

        @timiteh this sounds like the Android approach, one that still lags on even the most powerful available devices (e.g. HTC Rezound). The idea going forward by Microsoft is a good one - that the OS should be optimized for the most minimum of specs to run the basic tasks it's programmed to run. App developers are the ones who should worry about programming to take advantage of hardware. Windows 8 will not impair apps from doing so. E.g. Flash sucks on Apple computers not because of Mac OS X or Apple computers, but because the DEVELOPER approaches Mac OS X close to the same way it does Windows. Developers have to optimize their code as well as their app development philosophies for resource efficiency as well as performance. That is a problem incumbent upon the developer, not the OS maker. I support Microsoft in scaling for optimization instead of bloated specs wars. Those netizens who always post their rig specs in their sigs look quite dumb, like they get so much done with those specs. If Windows XP were optimized for minimum specs, a lot of the more "powerful" hardware would not be needed. But because so much is running and consuming resources that, if XP were optimized, would not have been the problem. The idea is to work smarter, not harder. The lesser the code, the simpler the steps to complete tasks and the better optimized the OS is for minimum specs, allowing MORE unused resources to be consumed on demand by apps instead of being fought over by a bloated OS and resource-hungry apps. Users should be able to determine what KIND of users they are, and, therefore, what hardware specs to get. After you get past the fact that Windows will be an OS optimized for lower specs but likely to perform better the higher the specs, it's up to the app developers how well they optimize their apps for powerful hardware or a wider range of hardware the way that Microsoft is doing with Windows 8. My guess is the developers will benefit from hybrid native app:web app development, limiting the drain on the hardware and minimizing the need for a heavy spec sheet. But, while Windows 8 is becoming an OS that is created equal for more devices in lower spec levels, that doesn't mean that it won't allow for power use if the hardware it's installed on is Watson-like.
        trollCall
    • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

      @LoverockDavidson_

      This is going to be Microsofts biggest release since Windows 95. It will be a game changer across all platforms...save your money peeps. If you buy into a tablet today you'll have a paper weight in 7 months.
      Rob.sharp
  • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

    I'm anxious to try out the beta bits. I might just have to use the beta on an actual install this time as opposed to a VM.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

      @Cylon Centurion

      I have it running on a Vmware Workstation vm and it is pretty good and snappy in it :D
      Viper589
      • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

        @Knix96 I have run it on my Mac with Parallels and yes I agree its smaller and very snappy much more so then Windows 7. If their is a way to turn off Metro I will be even happier when it finally goes final.
        jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
      • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

        @Knix96 - unless you're a member of the Windows team, you're running the developer preview released back in September.

        The DP is not the beta - in fact, it's nowhere near the beta. The DP is obviously quite unfinished in several areas and has a few issues that wouldn't make it past the BVT's and beta quality bar.

        I expect we'll see the beta either announced (or perhaps even released) at CES in January 2012.
        bitcrazed
    • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

      @Cylon Centurion

      Running it on a VMware Player 4.0 here, but to try the touch-optimized interface, you need a touch screen... Using mouse to simulate is so lame....
      yoroto
    • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

      @Cylon Centurion I've got it running on an old laptop (AMD Athlon X2 TK-57, nVidia 7000M graphics, 2GB of RAM, 100GB hard drive space) and it runs smoothly, even better than Windows 7 does on it. You don't need a powerful machine to test it out and get a good idea on how it runs.
      vel0city
  • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

    I am amazed as well, this actually doesn't seem anti-MS ... that coming from AKH... I commented on his anti-MS stuff in the past in other articles ... guess we'll see where it leads ...
    DJK2
  • Is this possible?

    When it's being downloaded, why not include the updates too?
    Joe_Raby
  • Trying To Reinvent BitTorrent--And Failing

    Havin't they figured out anything as basic as the way BitTorrent transfers files? The only thing you have to get via a trusted channel is the .torrent file: once you have that, you can independently verify that your copy of the actual data is genuine, so it doesn't matter where you get it from.

    Or, alternatively, put up a Web page of SHA-1 digests of ISO images. Then those images can be mirrored world-wide, and again, it doesn't matter where you get your copy from, because you can verify it is genuine by comparing the SHA-1 digest from the master site.

    But no, Microsoft can't take advantage of any of this technology, because it mustn't allow anybody else to redistribute its software, as that violates its business model. So it has to settle for inferior, less-reliable alternatives instead.
    ldo17
  • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

    http://i530.cn/UW

    http://i530.cn/UW

    http://i530.cn/UW
    ladgfie
  • Um...see, this wouldn't be a deal except you get paid to write...

    ...I'm relatively certain that ONE of the Ds in DVD stands for "Disk"...

    "Web delivery of software, be it games or operating systems, is rapidly superseding the DVD disc."
    ReadWryt (error)
    • If an ISO DVD still has to be burned, then, no, the DVD is still

      in the equation for "delivery" of the software.

      Going to a flash drive is not much different since it's still needed for the function that a DVD would have served.

      Installing directly from the downloaded ISO image would be much preferable and would bypass the DVD and flash drive altogether.
      adornoe
  • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

    Windows 8 is in the cloud all the time you will have to sync to your desktop all of what you put in the cloud hackers will get so will people can go in and out of your cloud so windows 8 will not be on my computer
    ttx19
    • Say that again, but more slowly, so that, perhaps people can understand

      what you're trying to say. Make yourself clearer and less cloudy.

      It sounded like you were somewhere in the clouds.
      adornoe
    • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

      @jt59 ... erm ... nope! You get to choose whether or not you sync your machine's config etc. into the cloud.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft puts Windows 8 on a diet ready for web delivery

    Why does Windows 8 need to go on a diet?

    Don't tell me it's B L O A T W A R E

    lol...
    ScorpioBlue