Microsoft reveals incredible instant boot feature of Windows 8

By Tom Warren, on 9th Sep 11 5:19 am with 139 Comments

Microsoft revealed another new feature of Windows 8 on Thursday.

The software giant has been working hard to improve boot times in Windows 8. Boot times is a fundamental metric that is widely discussed for Windows systems. “Few operations in Windows are as scrutinized, measured, and picked apart as boot,” admits Microsoft’s Gabe Aul in a blog post on Thursday. “We all know the boot experience is an incredibly important thing for us to get right for customers.”

Microsoft says that 57% of desktop PC users and 45% of laptop users shut down their machines instead of putting them to sleep. The company has found that most people shut down their machines as they like to use no power when they are sitting idle. Microsoft’s challenge was to design a Windows 8 boot that had a zero watt power draw when off, created a new session at boot and includes fast boot times when pressing a power button on the PC. ”In Windows 7 we made many improvements to the boot path, including parallel initialization of device drivers, and trigger-start services, but it was clear we’d have to get even more creative (and less incremental) if we hoped to get boot performance anywhere close to fast enough to meet all of these needs,” admits Aul.

Microsoft has designed its Windows 8 shutdown to close user sessions but hibernate the kernel session. This reduces the amount of data that hibernation mode needs to write to disk, making it faster to read and resume. Microsoft has tested the feature across a variety of systems and claims it’s 30-70% faster on most systems they have tested. “It’s faster because resuming the hibernated system session is comparatively less work than doing a full system initialization,” explains Aul.

The new startup mode will benefit HDD or SSD systems but Aul admits that with SSDs “it is downright amazing.” Microsoft demonstrates the feature using a system with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Microsoft has also built an option in the UI to revert to the standard Windows 7 shutdown/cold boot behaviour.

Microsoft will unveil Windows 8 to the world next week during its BUILD conference. If you’re interested to know what has been revealed so far checkout our “Windows 8: What we know so far” article that includes all the latest confirmed and leaked Windows 8 news.

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    OMG, 8 seconds, thats insta upgrade for me. BUILD cant come soon enough

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    I can’t believe my eyes… its impossible? what about the programs? 

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    I can’t believe my eyes… its impossible? what about the programs? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreirlopes Andrei R. Lopes

    UNBELIEVEBLE… I want it so f**ing bad. Please 2012, come faster to us.

    • Guest

      hopefully before December 21st so we get time to play with it before the zombies come

  • http://www.awesomeannie.com/ Sean M

    That video was incredible, fast boot times are always welcome. Bring on Windows 8!

    • Chinonso

      It is Pure witchcraft I tell you. :)

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      She’s a WITCH!  Burn Her!!!!

    • Anonymous

      lol

  • http://twitter.com/ondraster Ondra Moravek

    And again, they showed us parts of the UI itself :))

    • Anonymous

      And the pin board with lots of pictures and notes. I’m sure Tom and others are examining them pixel by pixel for W8 clues as we speak!

  • Ramireztime

    Don’t blink while watching the video.

  • Anonymous

    WTFFFFFFFFF

  • GP007

    What about for older BIOS systems like my i7 920 desktop?   I mean I’m not going to upgrade the mobo and cpu anytime soon, RAM though yeah, only have 3GB.  I hope the BIOS boots are faster (not counting the long POST time some systems have).

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      I don’t see how it would effect the BIOS at all.

      But I always sleep my desktop & laptop anyway.   All fans, etc. shut off, but comes back instantly without ever going through a POST.

    • Anonymous

      Which Windows version do you run? Is it 7?

      I’ve never been able to rely on XP for sleep recovery.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Marston/542557737 Jonathan Marston

      XP’s sleep never worked right, but I use it on 7 all the time and it works great. 1-2 seconds for my HP tm2 to resume from sleep.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      Yeah 7.   If you’re still running XP you’re missing out….  Windows 7 “just works” in so many different ways.  They truelly did an excellent job with it.

      It looks like they are bringing the same mentality to Windows 8.  Leaner, faster, more capable, and “just works”.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      Yeah 7.   If you’re still running XP you’re missing out….  Windows 7 “just works” in so many different ways.  They truelly did an excellent job with it.

      It looks like they are bringing the same mentality to Windows 8.  Leaner, faster, more capable, and “just works”.

    • Guest

      XP sleep recovery was hit or miss depending on hardware. W7 sleep is virtually bullet proof in my experience on numerous machines. The only time I’ve seen anyone have a problem is when they had the wrong bios option selected.

    • Guest

      “But I always sleep my desktop & laptop anyway.”

      Me too. Which is why this is interesting and desirable for many but not really relevant for me.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      I don’t see how it would effect the BIOS at all.

      But I always sleep my desktop & laptop anyway.   All fans, etc. shut off, but comes back instantly without ever going through a POST.

    • http://meercat9.com/ Billy Moffat

      My 1.6GHz single core Atom CPU, 1GB DDR2 Ram, 5400rpm HDD could cold boot in about 16 seconds (including about a 5 second BIOS/POST) to the desktop in the milestone 1 build. I think as long as you don’t have the attention span of an Apple user you should be fine :P

    • Guest

      “I think as long as you don’t have the attention span of an Apple user you should be fine”

      LOL.     

  • Anonymous

    Tom put this video on engadget.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterKremzar Peter Kremzar

    Yes this boot speed up would be very helpful. I always have to shut down my computer and not to hibernate or sleep it because there is a very known bug in Windows for a very long time.
    Every time it wakes up from hibernation it doesn’t load the color profile. And this is very important to me because otherwise it doesn’t show the colors correctly.

  • http://adrielsonlinedomain.com/technology Adriel Dennis Mingo

    Aweeesome!! Can’t wait for BUILD to see more stuff and of course the Windows 8 launch!

  • http://twitter.com/pierrerv Pierre Venescar

    Dude, that is freaking awesome. I totally want that. (my Nexus One can’t do that)

  • Michael Hole

    Cannot wait :)

    So will this be indistinguishable from normal shutdown?

  • notahacker

    Wonder what windows 9 will do
    ….. HOLYSHITZZZZ

    • Anonymous

      3 and a half more years……

  • http://www.facebook.com/sir.mahdi Mahdi Negahi

    mac killer

    • http://hackerthedude.blogspot.com/ HTD

      In technology industry, you don’t kill what’s already been killed.

    • http://twitter.com/RashidSaeed Rashid Saeed

      yea. You rather clone them.

    • Guest

      Welcome, new troll.

    • Guest

      He probably meant the new MB air, which surprising (given its relatively weak processor and expensive price) is selling very well.

    • http://twitter.com/iammikek iammikek

      yup. microsoft is certainly going to do that. like they did in the mobile and audio player market.

    • Guest

      Zing. Welcome, new troll.

    • Anonymous

      wow… ignorant people.. first zune was never intended to do anything else but test this new metro UI. second, in the mobile, windows mobile was good years ago, but then it didn’t have great UI nor ecosystem, which means not a nice platform with alot of apps…. thats why they created windows phone. that means, obviously you cant do in a year what others have taken 4 years.

      if you are that ignorant, well… i dont care. but please learn a little and use logic ;).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ross-William-Mcewen-Page/725648025 Ross William Mcewen-Page

    That’s INSANE!!! Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  • Candid Calum

    I think that was faster to boot up than my Windows Phone, ha. Incredible :)

  • http://twitter.com/RashidSaeed Rashid Saeed

    Looks good. Could we have the specs of that fat HP laptop?

    • Anonymous

      EliteBook 8640p (Intel® Core™ i7-2620M, 8GB, 160GB SSD)

      “fat HP”… but powerful? its better something powerful to a non fat nor powerful enough overpriced piece of crap of a monkey diarrhea at least ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Wheezle211 Wheezle

    I think some perspective is needed here. The OS boots that fast, but it hasn’t even attempted to load the desktop or any programs.

    Microsoft made a point of the fact that the code for e.g. the desktop will not even be loaded if you don’t use it. I imagine once users DO load the desktop, things will not be quite so amazing.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      True but it validates the idea that you can have a full OS on a mobile device.

      If the OS is modular enough that it boots up FASTER than an iPad or a ChromeBook then it speaks volumes to the flexability of Windows 8.

      You can have the speed and mobility of a touch interface without the weight of the full desktop except when you need it.  This makes it perfect for quickly checking email, twitter, a website, or a small app, while on the go, but at the same time being able to pull up Autocad, Photoshop, or Excel when you need to.

      Windows 8 is going to be huge….

    • Anonymous

      well said..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11814278 Chris Woelfel

      Uhm…did you not see the start screen? That is the “desktop”…-_-

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      That’s one of two desktops you can choose from.  Neat huh? :)

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    WOW!

  • Anonymous

    I suppose the desktop interface isn’t loaded at this time? Still very impressive.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cchance Chris Chance

      That is the new desktop interface

    • http://ahylianhuman.me Rod Davis

      Yeah, I remember them saying that is you don’t go into the Desktop “app,” the code is never loaded.

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    I knew it was going to be fast, but daaaaammmmmnnn……….

  • Musagaid

    I’m using the exact same laptop. HP Elitebook. Cool.

  • Irina Sapunaru

    Lol… My MacBook Pro still starts faster !!! ;)

    • Nomad

      You are so full of shit

    • Anonymous

      Lying is a BAD habit. GOD will punish you in hell. Trolling is even more BAD than lying. Quit Trolling NOW

    • Anonymous

      Recovering from sleep is not a boot…

    • Guest

      What is it about Friday’s that draws all these new troll aliases?

    • Anonymous

      congratulations?…. then why you dont go to your apple sites, i mean, this is WINRUMORS, if you come here to write idiot comments, then… or you are an idiot for not knowing the difference between win and mac sites, or simply you are an idiot AND a troll. so yeah…

      oh i forgot to mention, congratulations!… oh wait, i already said that. idiot

  • Irina Sapunaru

    Lol… My MacBook Pro still starts faster !!! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618268197 Timothy Neinheart

    *drooling*

  • Anonymous

    Lets not get too carried away. Thats probably a clean install, with no start up programs or anti malware client or anything. Also im betting that laptop has an SSD.

    Still, after POST, Goddam that was basically instant! Too fast for a freaking splash screen! You know that you’re seeing something special when a full blown OS outpaces a smartphone let alone a tablet (read: iPad)!

    • Anonymous

      Just got the specs of the laptop:

      EliteBook 8640p (Intel® Core™ i7-2620M, 8GB, 160GB SSD)

      (Building Windows 8 blog: comments from Steven Sinofsky)

    • Guest

      Exactly! And God knows you’ll need at least one AV app, one AM, app, and a few dozen registry cleaners and AS apps to get that thing running! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! It’ll take the boot time backe up to a few minutes! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    • Anonymous

      long laughs always end up with cry.

    • Guest

      How many of these aliases do you have?

    • MacDefender

      Guest is running Mac Defender and using the auto spam feature.

  • Jayb Online

    wow! so fast. . . . . can’t wait

  • http://www.facebook.com/lonnie.beale Lon Beale

    NICEEEEE

  • http://twitter.com/abhi1manyu Abhimanyu Jamwal

    see, thats why they say never tease and abuse the big boys of the school. google and apple never listen. look now, he got pissed off and is showing some real sleek stuff day after day. balmer is surely getting some big bad minds in redmond work hard.

  • Hassan Ali

    Windows 8 all the way!

  • Anonymous

    You know it’s going to be pretty fast when she presses the button and there’s only 18 seconds left of the video to go…

  • Anonymous

    Ummm…. how long did Windows 3.1 take to boot (not including the BIOS run) on a 486 in 1992? About 10 seconds? Now we have machines that are at least 1000 times faster, but this booting issue keeps getting worse? It’s nice that MS is addressing the issue… again… They’ve promised this fast boot stuff before.

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      10 seconds for 3.1?? It’s been a long time but I don’t remember it being that fast.  95 took a while.  98 took a while.  ME… lets not go there.  XP was faster than 98.  Win7 has been the fastest for me that I can remember.  Even still, it loads programs at startup and that slows it inevitably.  The real question is will the fast boot start to slow down over time.  I’m guessing it will but I’m still impressed by the video. :D

    • http://meercat9.com/ Billy Moffat

      Microsoft just need a simple interface to disable start-up applications similar to CCleaner. I expect the new immersive applications won’t auto-start without some sort of strict permissions architecture.

    • Anonymous

      That’s after the OS has loaded. I’m only talking about to the point where the OS itself should be ready to use. They should have tackled this back with Windows 2000.

    • Guest

      They tried. Do some research.

    • Guest

      All they need is a simply check on/check off box like in their own product autoruns, only without a ton of tabs and other useless shit that would be too daunting for the average user.

    • Anonymous

      It wasn’t as fast as 10 if there were tons of drivers to load before-hand…. After POST, (from the MS-DOS start message), loading a CDROM and sound driver and it was just about 10 seconds to desktop. Less if you just count from typing win at the command prompt.

      Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista all take WAY longer. 95 was around 45 seconds….

      Check this video out for a comparison.

    • http://meercat9.com/ Billy Moffat

      If you’d rather run Windows 3.1, Macintosh 5 or Atari and get boot times under a second then go ahead. Most people are able to tolerate a boot time of about 30 seconds, and most of the time, to cut down the boot time would mean a reduction in some functionality.

      The hardware has come a long way, and the software is rightfully taking full advantage of it.

    • Anonymous

      Booting up is not a place where someone can claim an OS is “taking advantage” of new hardware. Especially since boot times have been getting longer. It takes less time to move 1GB of data over USB2 than it does to boot these days, and that’s just plain ridiculous.

    • Guest

      About as ridiculous as second-guessing design choices made a decade ago in the face of remarkable OS progress.

    • Anonymous

      if you look at the video, this is boot time including the bios. The battery was removed before th start. The programs are way bigger and there are a lot more drivers than in the days of 3.1

    • Anonymous

      True. And today’s machines are also at least 1000 times faster than the machines of 1992. So, the boot time today of a Windows 3.1 system should theoretically be instant.

    • Anonymous

      True. And today’s machines are also at least 1000 times faster than the machines of 1992. So, the boot time today of a Windows 3.1 system should theoretically be instant.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      Most of the time is taken up through the motherboard POST.  After the POST Windows 8 is instant.

      Windows 7 is also instant if you do a sleep or hybrid sleep instead of a full shut down.  However this requires cooperation from the motherboard BIOS to support these enhanced power modes.

      Taking iOS from A cold boot is just as slow as Windows.  Why hasn’t desktop boot times spead up since 1992?  Well it has…signifiicantly.  The problem is that technology has also gotten much more complicated.  Hard drives are bigger, RAM is bigger, data is MUCH bigger, and systems are much more complicated.  The motherboard has much more to check during a POST, and hard drives have far more data to sling around, and there are many more drivers to load.

      If you stripped all that away ot just a fast CPU, an SSD drive, and skip the RAM and other checks, then you get incredably fast boots.   http://youtu.be/mpWzYsJ-HfY

    • Guest

      Good reply to an otherwise stupid question.

    • Guest

      Progress isn’t linear and neither is focus. There have been near instant boot Windows-based PCs in the past. HP, for example, used to ship one where Windows was on a ROM. Mobile and flash drives have put the focus back on instant boot, and so not surprisingly we’re seeing MS, Apple, Linux investing in it again.

    • Anonymous

      Pal, if you want to prove something, check your materials carefully. In 1995, HP Pentium machine, Windows 3.11, new machine, no crap ware, antivirus anything, boot in a couple minutes. Your 10 seconds is too far.

      Regardless, comparing today’s computer with 10 years ago is not valid, there are a lot things different. My calculator boots in 1 second! amazing ha? 

    • Guest

      Just when you were starting to redeem this alias you go and make an ass of yourself again.

  • Guest

     ”instant on”. Still takes longer than my iPad! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Nobodys going to want to use something that takes longerr than my iPad to turn on and gets viruses! HAHAHAHAHA!

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Except Win8 is a full OS versus a simple mobile OS. :)

    • http://meercat9.com/ Billy Moffat

      Your iPad must have travelled back in time because iPads from cold boot take about 20 seconds at least.

      But your anonymous shit-stirring arse already knows that doesn’t it ;)

    • Penta2100

      cool story bro

    • Penta2100

      cool story bro

    • Penta2100

      cool story bro

    • Anonymous

      come on Tom, cant you do something with this guy?? he clearly is the same person. isn’t there a way to block ips?… everyone has an opinion but this guy is spamming…

      i dont know whats worse, and idiot spammer, or the people who like this idiot posts :/…

    • Anonymous

      come on Tom, cant you do something with this guy?? he clearly is the same person. isn’t there a way to block ips?… everyone has an opinion but this guy is spamming…

      i dont know whats worse, and idiot spammer, or the people who like this idiot posts :/…

  • http://twitter.com/TheTylerHarvey Sent from my toilet

    Fast boot time combined with SSD is going to be drooling fast. I. Want. Now!

    • http://twitter.com/brandnewfunk Brandon

      Judging from the fast start-up time, I’m thinking this may already have an SSD in it. I’d be super surprised if it has an HDD. That would mean a virtually instantaneous start-up for SSD. It would also mean that I’d be even more geeked about Windows 8! But again, it’s more likely that MS would put its best foot forward in a demo video.

  • http://twitter.com/cendol_gan Rey..Rey..Reynaldi

    win8 instant boot save my bandwidth for watching this video, thankyou

    • Anonymous

      I lold. Damn caps…

  • http://twitter.com/cendol_gan Rey..Rey..Reynaldi

    win8 instant boot save my bandwidth for watching this video, thankyou

  • http://twitter.com/swarrior216 Steve

    That blew my mind!  My jaw dropped and my eyes got big.  I have never been this excited for an Operating System.

  • https://profiles.google.com/christopher.gull/ CG

    At 0:24 I was thinking, “oh damn, the video is going to stop before the laptop has booted up”.

  • https://profiles.google.com/christopher.gull/ CG

    At 0:24 I was thinking, “oh damn, the video is going to stop before the laptop has booted up”.

  • http://meercat9.com/ Billy Moffat

    I ran the Milestone 1 build on my Netbook in March. It’s a 5400rpm HDD, DDR2 1GB RAM, 1.6GHz single core, dual thread Intel Atom CPU. It could boot cold after the BIOS/POST stuff to the login screen in 6 seconds (about 16 seconds from pushing the button to the desktop when I disabled passwords). The four lights that form the Windows logo never even got time to form. I was so surprised I spent an hour looking up sites to see if anybody knew why it was booting quickly – that’s how big the difference was – I didn’t even know it was supposed to be faster but it was very obvious on its own merit.

    As for the anti-malware – I’ve personally never used one and I’ve been fine. Also, if speed is ever an issue (like it sometimes is on my netbook) I just disable programs from starting on login from “System Configuration” – most of the crap that bogs down Windows after a while is easily fixed, and the fault of intrusive applications wanting your attention rather than the ecosystem itself.

    Maybe Windows should have a simple list of programs that start on start-up that you can uncheck easily from the system tray so all users can easily optimise their system. Or make it confirm via a special prompt (like UAC) when a program wants to make itself auto-start. It might help stop malware too.

    • Anonymous

      how about a setting like in ie8 that shows how much each program increases boot time and you can decide if the extra boot time is worth launching the program.

    • http://ahylianhuman.me Rod Davis

      Actually, it’s IE9, but that is a good idea.

    • Penta2100

      check out soluto for that

    • Anonymous

      Soluto is one of my “Must have” programs that I install on everything.

    • Anonymous

      how about a setting like in ie8 that shows how much each program increases boot time and you can decide if the extra boot time is worth launching the program.

    • Jinge

      I agree for the prompt on adding automatic launching programs!
      Also the list of programs loading, but you have to differentiate services and real programs…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kmerlotti Kelver Merlotti

    oh no… it isn’t possible. I guess inside this notebook there are 128 64bit quad-core processors, with 256 Terabytes of RAM… yeah, maybe =D 

  • http://www.facebook.com/kmerlotti Kelver Merlotti

    oh no… it isn’t possible. I guess inside this notebook there are 128 64bit quad-core processors, with 256 Terabytes of RAM… yeah, maybe =D 

  • http://www.facebook.com/kmerlotti Kelver Merlotti

    oh no… it isn’t possible. I guess inside this notebook there are 128 64bit quad-core processors, with 256 Terabytes of RAM… yeah, maybe =D 

  • Anonymous

    No wonder it took Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds…

  • Anonymous

    No wonder it took Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds…

  • Anonymous

    No wonder it took Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds…

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    …and this is booting an x86 platform?! The wait is over!

  • Aa

    Having faster boot is good work. But i wonder whats the influence of boot speed on buying decision of consumers/biz. Personally as a laptop user it does not bother me at all, i would rather care if it is fast at realtime when i am using it. But i wonder how many desktop PC users are still around that will upgrade to Win8 for everyday use at all.

    • Guest

      Both are important. But clearly consumers and users are getting used to the “instant on” experience of mobile devices. Therefore the cold boot 45 seconds- 1.5 minutes just wasn’t going to cut it, especially for people deciding between a tablet and a PC.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cchance Chris Chance

    What idiots that think the macbook starts that fast, the macbook RESUMES instant, it doesnt cold boot instant

    • Guest

      Same thing with iPhone or iPod touch. But many just see a fast start and ultimately that’s what matters to most consumers.

    • Anonymous

      My pc does the same thing as the iphone and ipod. When I don’t use it for awhile, the power management makes my monitor go black. I move my mouse and like magic the computer is on instantly. No if you actual turn off the iphone, it takes like 45 seconds to boot.

    • Guest

      Same thing with iPhone or iPod touch. But many just see a fast start and ultimately that’s what matters to most consumers.

  • http://twitter.com/jgmis Joshua Greene

    Epic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Prachi-Desai/100002704672517 Prachi Desai

    We have seen some drastic improvements over the years from Microsoft for faster booting. Windows 7 is far better than Windows XP in booting and shut down time. Hoping Windows 8 to be far more superior. Still there will be some dependencies.
    [Read  More – http://goo.gl/QzBdi

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Prachi-Desai/100002704672517 Prachi Desai

    We have seen some drastic improvements over the years from Microsoft for faster booting. Windows 7 is far better than Windows XP in booting and shut down time. Hoping Windows 8 to be far more superior. Still there will be some dependencies.
    [Read  More – http://goo.gl/QzBdi

  • Hernan Lozano

    “we look forward to you getting to try this out for youself”

  • Anonymous

    Pshhhhh…. doesn’t boot near as fast as my MS DOS 6 box.

  • Winnix18

    UN-FUCKING-BELIEVEBLE!!! THAT’S SO FUCKING GREAT!! I WANT IT LIKE… NOW!!!

  • Winnix18

    UN-FUCKING-BELIEVEBLE!!! THAT’S SO FUCKING GREAT!! I WANT IT LIKE… NOW!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Exyaster Mykal J. Joseph Day

    How beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000688576949 Erik Oegema

    <3 MS

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Viki-Maverick/100002523433166 Viki Maverick

    This is magical.. Like Apple magical… Really…..

  • Dotnetgeek

    thats freakishly awesome…  This is what instant on truly means…

  • Shiro

    Fake! I wouldn’t believe it unless she launched an application.