Vista: Whatever happened to fast boot?

Vista: Whatever happened to fast boot?

Summary: Anyone else remember when Microsoft used to talk about making Windows Vista (or Longhorn, as it was then known) a fast-booting operating system. Fast, as in cold boots that were 50 percent faster than those possible with Windows XP? Something obviously went awry.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Anyone else remember when Microsoft used to talk about making Windows Vista (or Longhorn, as it was then known) a fast-booting operating system. Fast, as in cold boots that were 50 percent faster than those possible with Windows XP?

Something obviously went awry.

As Computerworld is reporting, a number of Vista users are none too happy about Vista boot-up times. Some are questioning whether Microsoft is advocating that users just put Vista into sleep mode, as opposed to shutting down systems on a daily basis, to mask the sluggish boot up.

(And it's not just boot up speeds that are troublesome. Vista shutdown is as slow as molasses, too, Computerworld is reporting users as saying. And app-loading times are nothing to write home about, either.)

Microsoft has been touting the sleep/hibernate modes as the preferred ways to "shut off" Vista systems. As former Windows Chief Jim Allchin blogged in December:

"Everyone knows that turning a TV off doesn’t really turn it off. It is still available to receive the remote control signal, etc. so that it can come back on quickly. We wanted to emulate this for Windows Vista machines.

"To the degree possible, 'off' equals 'sleep' in Windows Vista, where the system state is saved in RAM. This creates the best balance of user experience for speed of resuming and lowest usage of power. However, if the PC is running on batteries even that minimal power usage could drain the batteries eventually. Remember the top goal here is to make sure that we can enable a fast on experience (like your cell phone) and a fast off experience, while still making sure that you don't lose your work when a Windows PC is turned off. To do this, we created a new approach that we call 'hybrid sleep state' that is the best of the sleep and hibernate modes (which existed separately in Windows XP)."

From the reaction on the Vista support forums, it doesn't seem like users are cottoning to Microsoft's sleep/hibernate Vista settings.

What's your take? Does Microsoft need to rethink its Windows power-management defaults with Windows Seven and beyond?

Topic: Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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