Reducing runtime memory in Windows 8

Fundamentals such as memory usage represent a key engineering tenet of Windows 8. In building Windows 8 we set out to significantly reduce the overall runtime memory requirements of the core system. This is always good for everyone and especially in a world where people want to run more and more apps at the same time or run on systems with only 1 or 2GB of memory. The laptop we talk about in this post is the exact same one we talked about at the Windows 7 PDC in 2008 – an off-the-shelf, first-generation, ATOM-based netbook with 1GB of memory. This post details our efforts around memory footprint and was authored by Bill Karagounis, the group program manager of our Performance team. --Steven

The runtime memory usage of Windows 8 is an important factor in determining the Windows 8 system requirements, as well as the broadened spectrum of devices that will host Windows 8. As you know, we’re delivering the complete Windows 8 experience on SoC-based devices characterized by low power consumption. This makes it even more important to leave lots of memory available for multiple concurrent apps and to sustain the overall responsiveness of devices.

Something that might not be obvious is that minimizing memory usage on low-power platforms can prolong battery life. Huh? In any PC, RAM is constantly consuming power. If an OS uses a lot of memory, it can force device manufacturers to include more physical RAM. The more RAM you have on board, the more power it uses, the less battery life you get. Having additional RAM on a tablet device can, in some instances, shave days off the amount of time the tablet can sit on your coffee table looking off but staying fresh and up to date.

Memory usage goals

Our goal with Windows 8 from the beginning was to ship with the same system requirements as Windows 7. We know if we do even better that there are more resources for apps, even if we keep the published requirements the same. It is fun to think about what the "low end" hardware looked like in 2009 and how you can't even find things like 256MB memory modules anymore. We wanted to ensure that people running on Windows 7-era hardware would have the option to easily upgrade their existing machines to Windows 8 and take advantage of the functionality it has to offer. We also expect that many machines that predate the Windows 7 release will run Windows 8 based on the experiences we’ve had with older machines we intentionally keep in our performance test infrastructure.

An important task for Windows 8 was to make room for new functionality while looking for opportunities to reduce the memory consumed by existing functionality and consumed across the board. Windows 8 is tracking well towards meeting the goal we set ourselves.

Task Manager memory use comparison

The easiest way to make a ballpark comparison of Windows 8 vs. Windows 7 memory use is to install both operating systems on a 1GB RAM machine (minimum OS RAM requirement) and compare them when they’ve been rebooted multiple times, and then idled for a while.

The Windows Task Manager contains the main view of system memory through its “In Use” statistic (described in detail in this doc). The below graphics compare memory consumption on Steven’s 3+ year old netbook that he was using at the //build/ keynote recently, running Windows 7 at idle, and then with the same machine running Windows 8.

Windows 7 Task Manager. CPU usage: 5%, Memory: 404 MBFigure 1 – Memory usage in Windows 7 SP1

Windows 8 Task Manager. CPU usage: 1%, Memory: 281 MBFigure 2 – Memory usage in Windows 8

The specific hardware making up a machine, memory use of drivers, and even uptime can cause variability, so memory results will be different on different machines (or even the same machine at different times). As you can see though, Windows 8 is doing well relative to Windows 7.

For a bit of extra fun on a test machine, go to device manager and disable your display adapter (unload the graphics driver). You’d never run your machine this way but this does give you an even closer approximation of the memory use of Windows itself. With a disabled graphics driver, the machine above gets under 200MB after idling for a while.

NOTE: For Windows 8, a clean install also contains the extended Windows Defender technology, which, for the first time incorporates complete antimalware functionality – also optimized for memory and resource use per Jason’s blog about protecting you from malware. (This functionality does not exist on a clean install of Windows 7 where we would recommend that you add security software).

Making room in Windows 8

We made hundreds of specific changes to minimize OS memory use in Windows 8. I’m going to call out a few specific areas that resulted in substantial memory savings.

Memory combining

When assessing the contents of RAM in a typical running PC, many parts of memory have the same content. The redundant copies of data across system RAM present an opportunity to reduce the memory footprint even for services and OS components.

How can this happen? Applications will sometimes allocate memory for future use and will initialize it all to the same value. The application may never actually use the memory as it may be there in anticipation of functionality that is the user never invokes. If multiple running applications are doing this at the same time, redundant copies of memory are in the system.

Memory combining is a technique in which Windows efficiently assesses the content of system RAM during normal activity and locates duplicate content across all system memory. Windows will then free up duplicates and keep a single copy. If the application tries to write to the memory in future, Windows will give it a private copy. All of this happens under the covers in the memory manager, with no impact on applications. This approach can liberate 10s to 100s of MBs of memory (depending on how many applications are running concurrently).

Service changes and reductions

OS services configured to run all the time are a significant source of ambient memory use. When assessing the set of OS services during Windows 8 planning, we decided to remove a number of them (13), move a different set of services to “manual” start, and also made some of the “always running” services move to a “start on demand” model. This is where a “trigger” in the OS (like device arrival or the availability of a network address) causes the following to occur:

  1. The service starts.
  2. The service does its thing (whatever that happens to be).
  3. It hangs around for a while to make sure there isn’t anything else to do, and
  4. The service goes away.

You’ll notice that Plug and Play, Windows Update, and the the user mode driver framework service are all trigger-started in Windows 8, in contrast to Windows 7, where these services were always running.

Of course we have added a ton of new functionality (and new code) to Windows 8. Some of this new functionality is packaged in the form of new services. Of these new services, two are auto-started; all others are manual or trigger-started.

Doing the same job with less memory

As Windows executes applications and performs its own system housekeeping, program files and data are loaded off the disk into main memory. During Windows 7 and Windows 8 development to date, we’ve analyzed the pieces (pages) of memory during normal execution and how often they were referenced. The idea here is that if you’re going to pay the price for allocating a piece of memory, you’d better be using it (referencing it) often. If you’re not referencing that memory often but need it, consolidate it with something else.

Shortly after we shipped Windows 7, we applied a similar technique to several of the low level components of Windows dating back to the early days of NT (early 1990s). The work included re-architecture of code and changing data structures to completely separate “hot” parts of memory (frequently referenced) from “cold” parts. By densely consolidating the hot items, we brought down the overall runtime memory cost.

Given the nature of the changes (low-level OS), we wanted to get the work done as early as possible in the schedule to get ample runtime on the changes. To date, these changes have been in place on Windows 8 for almost 2 years with thousands of Microsoft employees using the product to get their daily jobs done. And we’ve seen consistent results showing memory usage reduced by tens of MB on an average machine.

Lazy initialization of the “desktop”

Back in June, you saw Steven and Julie introduce the Metro style UI for the first time. We expect many people using tablets to spend a lot of time in that environment, typically using Metro style apps. As part of that demonstration, we also showed that for Windows 8, you can also bring forward your existing applications and use them in the very familiar desktop environment.

From a memory perspective, we’ve taken advantage of the fact that there will be some set of devices on which users will stay in the immersive, Metro style UI almost all the time. In this instance, Windows 8 will only initialize OS components unique to the desktop environment when necessary. This is another source of memory savings, approximately 23MB right now. (Note that Task Manager runs in the desktop, so the memory numbers shown above include its cost).

More granular prioritization of memory

Windows 8 has a better scheme for the prioritization of memory allocations made by applications and system components. This means that Windows can make better decisions about what memory to keep around and what memory to remove sooner.

For example, antivirus programs (AV) do various checks on files when they are being opened by other programs. The memory that the AV program allocates to check virus signatures is usually a one-time allocation (it is unlikely that specific memory will be needed again). On Windows 7, the memory is treated as if it had the same priority in the system as other memory (say, memory allocated by a running instance of Microsoft Excel). If memory became scarce, Windows 7 could end up removing the memory that helps another running application (like Excel) stay responsive for the user, which wouldn’t be the best choice for system responsiveness in this case.

In Windows 8, any program has the ability to allocate memory as “low priority.” This is an important signal to Windows that if there is memory pressure, Windows can remove this low priority memory to make space, and it doesn’t affect other memory required to sustain the responsiveness of the system.

To wrap up, I’ve called out our philosophy and approach to reducing memory usage in Windows 8. You’ve seen some sample results and I’ve just scratched the surface on some of the engineering work done to date in this area. One thing I haven’t discussed at all is the Windows 8 application model, and process lifecycle changes made to make new Windows 8 apps more “memory friendly.” Look out for this in the //build/ content and in future blog posts, as it’s also a really important part of the story of reimagining Windows.

We’ve already come a long way but we’re not done.

--Bill Karagounis

Comments (200)
  1. amuser! says:

    Nice! Looking forward to seeing more about fundamental thinks in Windows 8 !

  2. Divjot Singh says:

    Is there going to be new WMP? A metro styled ?

  3. Everyone loves smaller memory footprint + improved optimization. Good job!

  4. Yeah Windows 8 will be even faster than Windows 7 🙂

  5. Eric says:

    Helps take the sting out of Start bar-gate. If for nothing else, I might use Win8 for all the memory improvements and just disable Metro on my workstation. You do a lot of talking about tablet power consumption, but what of gains to desktops? I'm no expert on hardware, but will battery savings indirectly translate into (plugged in) power savings in any way?

  6. Kutler says:

    This is just great!  It helps answer the Linux crowd who constantly scream about "Windows bloat", makes Win8 better for embedded systems, Win8 will run faster because more memory will be available for caching, and it implies that MS is still improving the kernel and not just the GUI layer and Metro.  

    I hope you'll do more articles on kernel changes like these.  I also hope you'll talk more about booting from flash media and the possibility of, say, something like a Windows version of DD-WRT to run on wireless access points or other skunk works projects.  And will there be a new version of SuperFetch which will be enabled even when there is a SSD drive?  Thanks!

  7. Irfanfare says:

    Since I'm using Win7 in a triple boot with WDP, I'm certain its running pretty faster than the other two.

  8. jader3rd says:

    Memory combining looks dangerous to me. I hope it doesn't slow things down too much as the OS needs to figure out what is identitcal and what isn't.

  9. LTD says:

    This is a far more interesting improvement and far more useful than the metro UI.  I'd like to see more information about this type of thing.  Right now I've no plans to upgrade or recommend we buy this corporately.  If it lets me slow my hardware refresh rate that would at least be one selling point.  

  10. Hi Steven Sinofsky

    I can see that you preferred to start a new blog prior to give the awaited answer(s) to your previous one !

    My question remains :

    Will (professional) desktop users be able

    – to boot right into the Desktop environnemet?

    – to work with the classic (Windows7) start menu?

    Are you avoiding this issue by starting  a new one ?

  11. Temp says:

    @Site-Jumper Please use the previous post for your question

  12. Yannick says:

    I had the chance to test Windows 8 and I can say it's a good system.

    You are about to give a new vision of Windows. And I hope one day that I will not have to tweak windows with reg keys to make it better. The change are good for services because this is what people want.

    Keep working on your weaknesses and keep up the good work.

  13. @Site-Jumper

    I think they've made it pretty clear that the Start Menu is now the Start Screen and having two different versions of the same thing makes no sense.

    What makes the Menu better than the Screen anyways? It is a bit visually jarring but after a while you do get used to it.

  14. I installed Windows 8 Developer Preview on VMWare. Developer preview contains many bugs! we can decide in alpha or RC versions what Performance options added!

  15. Robert4WPF says:

    Another feature of Win8 that I can applaud without reservations.  Assuming, of course, that the memory reductions don't have too high a CPU cost.  Curious though, does the new combining of identical memory pages apply to user applications as well as system processes?  I assume it does, but just want to be sure.

  16. win8wow says:

    See, it's not a bad operating system. I don't know why everyone is so mad at it.

  17. win8wow says:

    See, it's not a bad operating system. I don't know why everyone is so mad at it.

  18. Great work on memory usage improvements!


    At this point, the start screen will replace the start menu. I can think of great ways to utilise it at work to get better access to my professional programs and company news and resources.

    From the last post, I think it's clear that the Windows team is fully aware of the current limitations found in the developer preview. Remember, the preview was released purely to allow developers to start playing around with Metro apps and doesn't include a number of refinements and features that will be on the full version. Until the beta comes out, I'd stay optimistic and congratulate the team on the current progress! (I LOVE that you no longer get a warning to send files to recycle bin. Most appreciated feature so far!)

  19. far says:

    this is awesome!  but still i am hoping that the requirements for windows 8 are lower than windows 7!!! and it would be great to see how much memory it consumes after installing all the apps and drivers in the long run…

  20. @ TEMP

    @ Sentinel24

    @ Arrow22

    I was not seeking for your answer

    I was asking a question to Steven Sinofsky

  21. lylz says:


    You are a dumb ***

  22. xpclient says:

    Wow!! The performance improvements you guys have been doing post Vista are EXCELLENT! Such improvements are always welcome and this will be the 2nd Windows release to run better than the previous one on the same hardware! I can't thank you Microsoft enough for keeping requirements same as Windows 7.

    Since we are on the topic of performance, I would like to talk about servicing. The single biggest area where Windows critically needs performance boost is servicing. Servicing has been extremely slow since Vista and patches takes several minutes to install and service packs take hours to install. Even if I download and keep all patches in a folder and install them through a PowerShell or batch script, it takes hours to install patches. Please improve upon this in a major way. Compare that to Windows XP, where I can install Service Pack 3 in 10 minutes and patches that were released on 2nd and 4th Tuesday install through an unattended script in seconds. I really recommend the Windows team to measure and compare the time XP takes for servicing operations and Windows 7/Vista take for servicing. In fact, what Windows 7/Vista has achieved by fast clean image deployment to machines in 15 minutes, it takes away by taking users' time for servicing. Small updates which are in KB should install in a jiffy, unfortunately, that's not the case. I see lots of I/O activity going on while it "searches" for applicability of the patch, then installs slow to the CBS store, then does some heavy duty I/O at logoff, again at logon (Please wait while Windows configures updates). The more patches the slower it gets. Servicing is a blemish on an otherwise fast and responsive OS. Some improvements have already been made in Windows 7 over Vista for servicing but it is nowhere near the performance of XP servicing. (Don't get mad at me for saying this bluntly).

  23. *ROFL*

    Bill why do you lie here? Memory usage is only reduced by 32MB. The important thing is the commit, not what is currently in the RAM (working set).

    I told this a user in the forum, too:…/b4831b6b-dca4-4609-b6a1-7181da71b894

    Look at my cool Vista picture. Hey the bad Vista uses less memory after applying your dirty tricks 😀

  24. For the comparison, is the Windows 8 machine in the Metro Start Screen or are they both in the Desktop mode?  I'm assuming that the Metro Start Screen uses fewer resources in general than the Desktop.

  25. @Huntsman85

    MS cheated 😉 Windows 8 uses 32MB less memory compared to Windows 7.

  26. That goes to prove my point in the previous blog posts, most of Microsoft teams are doing a fantastic job in the kernel and in general in the whole system. You guys are making one of the best operating systems out there building on the successful decisions during the Vista project reboot which evolved to Windows 7. Yes I know Vista had problems but kernel wise it contained the seeds for some great improvements that really flourished within Windows 7.

    If only it wasn’t for your marketing team driving your UI development and coming up with the Start Screen that kills the desktop experience.

    Pity though I cannot really enjoy the news since I am lost at this point: I love developing for this OS more than anything. The native APIs and the attention to detail are second to none. Can you please somebody talk some sense to the rest of the teams and show them what can be achieved when performance and overall user experience is put ahead of short term marketing gains.

    With the “Lazy initialization of the desktop” you managed to save some memory. Can you also do the opposite, i.e. can we disable the metro madness in the desktop and have a proper Windows desktop system, optimized for productivity? That way we can save more memory and keep our sanity.

  27. @Huntsman85 — yes it has all of Windows 8 running (as I talked about in the //build/ keynote 1 and is described here).  

  28. Always good to have something improved. Memory might not be a big issue with windows 7 but still, Well done…

  29. xpclient says:

    What's the story of the 2 Task Managers? Is the new Task Manager going to be activated only when Metro UI is on in the final RTM build? Why does the new one not have everything the old one does? There are a ton of issues with the new one. Functionality on some of the tabs like Networking is completely different instead of being a superset of old one. The new Task Manager consumes far more memory than the old one and is missing the ability to remember the last active tab, window management functions (Minimize, Maximize, Tile, Cascade) on the Processes tab (what was formerly called the Applications tab), and "Show processes from all users" option. For the new one, the process name has to be the first column on the Processes tab for keyboard usability. What is the order of tabs not the same in the new task manager? Also, please don't remove the old Task Manager as I have apps which depend on and work only with the old one. Can you add showing process integrity level to the Task Manager(s)? The new one should have been written by extending the old one, not overhauling it.

  30. Dominic says:

    Keep up the good work, I think that windows 8 looks great.

  31. Hi, good improvements, but I have a question…..Does windows 8 will work on pcs with 256mb of ram?For me we must to have the options for the different services/system usage……Also, some games require more ram in windows 7 & Vista than in windows xp…..It will be the same for windows 8?I hope that this will be true…..but for now, good job 😉

  32. Excuse me, not true, but different

  33. mt327000 says:

    I'm glad to see what Windows 8 will use less memory than Windows 7. This should make Windows 8 a much better platform for memory-intensive applications.

  34. sajimon says:

    Barca85, it is clearly stated in the text, that 1GB is minimum.

  35. HopefulButDistrustful says:

    I think it's great that small incremental improvements to the memory footprint are being targeted. These tend to be huge costs for small gains.

    That said Andre.Ziegler's point has gone unchallenged so I suspect he's right in that Microsoft is spinning the truth through manipulation here. Steve, care to comment?

  36. @Steven Sinofsky

    Someone on the previous post is lying and pretending to be me. I AM NOT the person who posted this comment:

    "Guys! Guys! This is a brand new UI! Stop repeating the same comments! I happen to love the UI! If you are going to act like this then go spam another blog! There are over 2 billion people who like the start screen more than the start menu! It's reality people!!! If you block this comment I will (not quote what the user said)."

    Obviously, I disagree with everything this user has said.

  37. Galen says:

    This is entirely off topic, but Microsoft, Windows 8 looks beautiful, Windows phone 7 already is beautiful, but these blog entries are a wall of hard-to-scan and hard-to-read text.

    These posts are my entry into Windows 8 and the look and feel here matters more than you might think. I love the openness, but I don't find myself finishing them. They're too dense to read (and a little too long).

    Make this blog readable and beautiful – the investment is worth it!

  38. mt327000 says:

    I wish I understood how anonymous blog comments worked.

  39. @The Fake mt327000

    You're doing it again. I do know how anonymous blog comments work, and that the name mt327000 is not tied exclusively to me. However, the name mt327000 carries a specific meaning, and if you spam the comment threads pretending to be me, how will my reputation hold up when I post something on the forums? I NEVER post anything with swear words or words that are replaced by asterisks, but you do. That is an important difference. Stop posting comments in my name.

  40. Robert4WPF says:

    I think the comments feature on here needs a little work.  I assume the "24 hour" hiatus was to resolve the problem where comments got lost if other users had posted between the time you started typing and hit the Post button.  It'd be nice to have the ability (but not requirement, anonymous is good sometimes) to use our Windows Live login for comments, to protect our user names.

  41. Despite the misrepresentation issues on this blog, the post:

    "I'm glad to see what Windows 8 will use less memory than Windows 7. This should make Windows 8 a much better platform for memory-intensive applications,"

    is mine. I do acknowledge the fact that there are good things about Windows 8.

  42. Jack says:

    So it wont fit into my IBM with 640k.   Darn.

  43. @Robert4WPF

    You're right in saying the comments feature needs work. Someone has pretended to be me in the blog comment field twice now. We do have the ability to use or Windows Live logins for comments, as I'm using mine to type this one. Using Windows Live ID for login should be a requirement, as it prevents multiple users with the same display name from posting. This is why people get fired from their job when someone else has the same name as them, because people assume that they are the ones who posted the comment using their name. That's also why I haven't given out my name online. The name mt327000 is just a display name, which is not actually tied to me in the real world.

  44. There's something else that needs to happen to the comments on this blog: prevention of duplicate comments. I accidentally submitted my previous comment twice.

  45. I feel stupid for not noticing that I could log in; still amusing though that my profile is not shared between the MSDN blogs and MSDN forums; I'm Robert4WPF over there, and apparently RobertWG over here.  Anyway, anonymous comments should not allow using a registered username.

  46. Chris says:

    I really hate the metroUI right now as a user with a large monitor, I think windows has been going down a path where it takes up way too much space. I love the utility of seven, but I wish the UI took up LESS space than it currently does in windows 7 and be more like windows xp in terms of "less is more" design.

  47. JDG says:

    There are some rumors going around that the new AMD Bulldozer CPUs need some adjustments to the Windows scheduler in order to work to full efficiency, and that these adjustments will never be released to Windows 7, only Windows 8. Is this true?

  48. As a "point of order" about these comments, shouldn't we try to keep them relevant to the particular topic?  I'm all for discussing Metro and the Start Screen issue, but it will bury this topic if we discuss it here, and I think the memory improvements are worthy of a few comments too.  

    I'm also curious whether further improvements to the memory issue are in the works, and how much the Disk footprint is being looked at.  If the footprint is small enough, Win8 might be an viable upgrade option for some older XP systems.

  49. @Chris: That is actually a very good observation.

    From one hand the memory, power, CPU requirements for Windows is going down because of the excellent work some dedicated Microsoft employees are putting in.

    In the same time you have the UI people thinking that everybody needs a big grid of squares and rectangles in their face to do their job. They are taking the whole desktop real estate and they leave you with nothing every time you want to access the start menu.

    What a major contradiction…I wonder what they will do for the Windows 8 server edition. This needs a Start Menu too, are they going to force fed us more rectangles?

    If I was working for Microsoft at this point in time outside the Metro UI teams I would be outraged how a bunch of (no calling names) managed to ruin all my good work with a simple screen. Then again I would be still in a better position than the managers that took these decisions, they have no much time left before they start cleaning their desks.

    @RobertWG: Read the article again and you will see that the UI comments (in case you refer to those) are very relevant to memory. Saving memory is done though the clever use of the UI too. But of course the cleverness seems to stop when it comes to the desktop experience.

  50. @jader3rd – We’re always sensitive about resource consumption across the board: memory, cpu & energy efficiency. With memory combining we’ve been careful to assess the cpu implications across a wide variety of platforms and processor architectures. The other thing we’ve already done and will continue doing is fine tuning the memory combine trigger taking into account user demands on the system, user presence and battery life.

  51. Reducing memory footprints is always a welcome step but i hope that "memory reducing algorithms" will not affect system overall performance

    For Desktops/notebooks users [2GB+ RAMs] ,hope to see performance improvements with "adding more and more RAM" ,as RAM is a cheap alternative for boosting performance.

  52. Great work team, keep it up.  I have really been trying to give Windows 8 a real spin, and the more I use it and discover the little tricks, the more I like it.  Keep it up….although I would like my Metro App to have access to Midi devices….PLEASE., PLEASE, PLEASE….

    For the record, I get the start screen.  It works for me, even on my laptop without a touch screen.  I really like it.  Don't think of it as a replacement for the start menu, but rather, for all those pinned items on the taskbar, the shortcuts on the desktop, the widgets (that I turned off because they really didn't fit for me, but I love Live Tiles), and pinned programs on the top of the start menu.  That is what the start screen is….then, organize by importance…most important stuff in the first block, etc.

    Finally, this little trick is important.  When at the "start" screen….when looking for an application, just start typing the name of the app.  That's it.  WAY COOL.

  53. M4__ says:

    I give up with this blog. I will waiting for W8 Beta to see what is going on. I really like Windows, but all I can see here is a big NONSENSE. It seems crazy talk. Windows team is talking about things that nothing have to do with W8 DP. Zero word to developers about WinRT, for example. Windows users (amateur, professional, whatever) are not heard by Windows Team. WT don't answer any important question. This team is constantly resorting to "our telemetry says" crap to justify all taken decisions, or they just are responding silly stuff like "yes, you will be allowed to change the background". It is annoying. And I don't care if W8 consumes just 1MB in memory if the new user experience is broken. I think that Desktop is incompatible with Metro. If Metro is a radical future for Windows, I don't want Windows' past in same place. But they seem to be OK with that. Saludos.

  54. Lance says:

    @Steven (or any MS employee)

    Is this UI a done deal or is Microsoft willing to look at other options that may be less objectionable fro PC users?

  55. orcoipod says:

    @ Andre.Ziegler

    Are you kidding?!?

    The total free memory in Windows 7 is 609 MB while in Windows 8 is 733

    733-609 = 32?!? lol

    think before you write…

  56. @Andre.Ziegler – The working set trimming policies between windows 7 and windows 8 have not changed and we’re not emptying working sets for the sake of the demo / blog post.

    "Commit" is a secondary metric that is different to the actual set of pages of RAM allocated in memory (which is the primary item that determines the number of apps that can run and overall OS performance / responsiveness). An application can "commit" 50MB of memory, but under the covers Windows won’t physically allocate 50MB of RAM (or pagefile space) right then and there. The memory manager in Windows is inherently frugal with the actual pages of memory in use, so pages of RAM will only be allocated when the application or system process tries to touch the memory itself.

    A useful analogy to use here is the hotel reservation process. I.e. you make a reservation with a hotel and that reservation is confirmed. You then feel confident that if you show up at the hotel you are guaranteed you will get a room. The hotel won’t allocate the specific room until you actually show up. If you don’t show, the room will never be allocated.

  57. John says:

    @M4 dev –>…/BUILD2011

    For me these services are disabled in windows 7.

    – BitLocker Drive Encryption Service

    – RemoteRegistry

    – Security Center

    – UPnP Device Host (No UPS)

    – SSDP Discovery

    – Windows Backup

    – Windows Time

    – Windows Defender (MSE is enough)

    – Windows Firewall (meh)

    – Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

    – Encrypting File System (EFS)

    – Bluetooth Support Service

    – Offline Files

    – Parental Controls

    – Print Spooler (I don't have a printer)

    – Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support

    – Remote Desktop Configuration

    – Remote Desktop Services

    – Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector

    – Routing and Remote Access

    – Telephony

    – Windows Biometric Service

  58. @Bill Karagounis [MSFT]

    Then why isn't my build using 281 MB of RAM. I'm using the 32 Bit version with Intel GMA 945 drivers yet when I boot up windows (not the desktop) it is using 47% of RAM. I don't see the point in telling us that it's using 25% of RAM when it's been idling for an hour. XP was able to go back to the 200s the second all the programs closed and went to the 100s after a couple of minutes. I don't see the point in telling us a very omitted truth.

  59. Klimax says:

    @MainstreamGamer 7 Oct 2011 3:05 PM:

    First you didn't tell much about machine – don't forget that hardware can take huge amount of RAM.

    (and drivers as well)

    Elitebook I write this post on has reserved for HW over 1GB of RAM.

    Windows can't do much about it.

    Second we don't know what version they showed in this post – it might be quite newer. What we have is alpha not even beta.

    Simply quite more things to consider…

  60. Klimax says:

    @MainstreamGamer 7 Oct 2011 3:05 PM:

    First you didn't tell much about machine – don't forget that hardware can take huge amount of RAM.

    (and drivers as well)

    Elitebook I write this post on has reserved for HW over 1GB of RAM.

    Windows can't do much about it.

    Second we don't know what version they showed in this post – it might be quite newer. What we have is alpha not even beta.

    Simply quite more things to consider…

  61. Steve Niner says:

    Maybe you can do something for the little man too.

    When little man genius installs 100 applications (and those apps rely on their own start up services) when booting, all these apps start all at once and freeze the computer for 2 minutes. But on their own, these apps & services start pretty damn fast so maybe there's a way to serialize them?

  62. Alireza Noori says:

    Thanks for this great article. It was sure fun to read. I wish to congratulate you on the awesome job you've been doing in memory management of Windows 8. It seems that not just memory but Windows 8 is doing pretty job in system resource management.

  63. @Bill Karagounis [MSFT]

    you're mixing reserve and commit. Use TestLimit (-r -m) to see the differences.


    "Committed Memory"

    Testlimit’s –r switch has it reserve virtual memory, but not actually commit it. Reserved virtual memory can’t actually store data or code, but applications sometimes use a reservation to create a large block of virtual memory and then commit it as needed to ensure that the committed memory is contiguous in the address space. When a process commits a region of virtual memory, the operating system guarantees that it can maintain all the data the process stores in the memory either in physical memory or on disk.  

    The commit limit is the sum of physical memory and the sizes of the paging files.

    The amount of committed virtual memory for all the active processes, called the current commit charge, cannot exceed the system commit limit.

    The current commit charge and commit limit is tracked by Process Explorer in its System Information window in the Commit Charge section and in the Commit History bar chart and graph:

    On Vista and Server 2008, Task Manager doesn't show the commit charge graph and labels the current commit charge and limit values with "Page File""


    Windows 7 shows commit (data commited to the Windows and all apps is shown correctly in the TaskMgr). The sum of all commits is 549 in Win8 and 581Mb in Windows 8. In my Vista Demo it is 363MB and only 146MB are still in RAM, the rest is paged out (because I forced this).

    Give me dumps of both systems to query the Pfn Database, or RAMMap snapshots or xperf traces to see who is right. I'm sure I'll see a lot of HARD page faults in your xperf trace from Windows 8.

    Sorry you simply called NtSetSystemInformation(SystemMemoryListInformation) twice (removing working sets and flushing modified data). This removes the data from the RAM and writes it to the page file. Et voilá you simulate a lower memory usage. Why don't you post videos like all the other times? Because you know that you can't show the 281MB without hacks! I read several magazines and all tried to get the 281 and all failed (see user "MainstreamGamer" here in the blog or in the forums). Now make an educated guess why?

    The only improvement in Windows 8 is to fix the regressions from Windows 7 compared to Vista which causes huge outstanding allocations of pool memory (AIFO – (A)llocated (I)nside (F)reed (O)utside). You now free them earlier and only allocate them when needed. This gives the 15MB paged pool improvement at boot. The improvements shows after some time. Here Windows 8 doesn't allocate 1GB paged pool (File, MmSt) when working with CVS tools like Git, SVN or other tools which enumerate files on the HDD (FindFirstFileW, FindNextFileW). This is indeed a bugfix which I like.



  64. Serge says:


    > you're mixing reserve and commit. Use TestLimit (-r -m) to see the differences.

    No he's not. Reserve only reserves *address space* while commit "reserves" actual pages (as name suggests, it's a commitment to allocate pages – not actual allocation). Seriously, don't be so aggressive, you can end up being fool (and you actually are) here.

    With memory combining pages are not even trimmed (not to say flushed to pagefile) – they are still in working sets – only are shared across different "clients". So YOU ARE cheating here – not MS.

  65. AndyCadley says:

    @Andre.Ziegler Commited memory can, however, be in the pagefile and is not necessarily in physical RAM. There are in fact cases where commited memory that is backed by an application binary will never be loaded into RAM throughout the entire lifecycle of a process.

  66. AndyCadley says:

    @Andre.Ziegler Commited memory can, however, be in the pagefile and is not necessarily in physical RAM. There are in fact cases where commited memory that is backed by an application binary will never be loaded into RAM throughout the entire lifecycle of a process.

  67. AndyCadley

    Commited memory can, however, be in the pagefile and is not necessarily in physical RAM.


    that's exactly what I talk about all the time. the 549MB are commited and 281 are in the RAM, the rest (268 MB) is paged out into the page file.

  68. Serge says:


    It's not in pagefile. It's not even trimmed. Well, you don't have that many options: either you can just admit that you've been wrong (every human being make mistakes) or continue your embarrassment and prove that you prefer trolling over truth.

  69. @Serge

    why do you think this? Where do you see your facts? Tell me why do you see this in your way. 1 thing MSFT fixed in Windows 8 was holding multiple copies of the wallpaper in the RAM. This is the reducing of copies mentioned in the blog post. The rest is setting services to start on demand or automatic delayed. What a massive "improvment". This can be done for years.

    MSFT should show a picture of the ProcExp Systeminfo with the commit charge history. My Vista demo is cheated, yes you see this in the working set/private bytes columns. Do you see such thing here from MS? Showing a picture with the usage of the physical RAM is useless. Why does nobody outside MS can get such values? After a fresh Windows 8 DP install I have 600MB commit. We need more data what MS did to get this.

    On Technet Edge there was also a 10minute talk about the topic, 1 day later it was removed. This says everything.

  70. Jeff says:

    Windows 8 boots faster than windows 7… also programs load faster… to MS guys, just keep up the good work., =)

  71. please improve HDD Partition Management in Windows 8!

  72. Windows 8 definitely works much much better and slicker/faster than any of the previous versions…The Boots-up/Start-up/Apps/Internet….everything is quicker….and I deliberately have this installed on what is normally a very slow & sluggish machine – Compaq 2510p.

    I'm sure with further tweaks, it'll be even better.

    Great works guys 🙂

  73. @Andre.Ziegler

    Your distinction between reserving and committing memory is correct. Bill’s post is accurate; he was referring to the difference between committed memory and memory accessed by the application (which actually takes up physical memory).  As mentioned, from a performance / responsiveness point of view we’re much more concerned about physical memory usage (for the reasons stated above).

    Yes, the system could be made to look this way by emptying working sets and flushing modified pages, but as Bill mentioned, that is not what was done. After boot, the machine was left idle for several hours (as you can see from the uptime in the screenshot). As a result, unused pages were removed from working sets and this policy is identical between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    As mentioned in the blog, a new feature in Windows 8 combines identical pages in physical memory. This reduces physical memory usage but does not reduce commit. Memory combining is just one of the improvements contributing to the difference in physical memory usage.

    Even from a commit perspective, keep in mind that Windows 8 has many more features (e.g. complete antimalware functionality, Metro style UI, etc.), but still uses fewer resources as compared to Windows 7.

  74. @Mehmet Iyigun [MSFT]

    Drop the stinking Metro UI and improve Windows 8 performance even more.

    I do not want seeing stupid rectangles that according to you are also eating up precious system resources.

  75. Xero says:

    @Windows OS Division, Microsoft

    The idea of reforming the task manager is great, after hearing that way to kill/close Metro style app is coming forth. But there is something more I expect from the task manager. Please comment if it can be determined. On my Dell laptop, sometimes I experience 90%-100% CPU usage on Windows 7 and the system response to key-strokes and mouse is reasonably effected. This happens while doing the routine task, like buffering (Silverlight, Flash, HTML5) videos on web or watching them locally in media player and sometimes with some graphics heavy website. So, I open my Task Manager, under processes I sort them by CPU then memory and try to close some top resource consuming processes. After closing some random apps each time, the CPU usage quickly decrease down to 3%-10%.  Not necessarily the first in the sorted list is causing a problem. But after observing the change in resource usage and then closing the suspicious processes or services solves the problem.

    Now, two questions:

    1. Is it deterministic that specifically which process or service is causing the resource abuse at the time of 100% CPU usage? Or estimating which process/service, if closed, can prevent us from that holocaust?

    2. Can it be implemented in task manager in such a way that it helps us figuring out the culprit process/service nicely when the CPU usage > 80%?

    @mt327000, whats up dude? Are you really excited spamming in here and on each blog post? You better first make a list of your suggestions and then post it as a single comment. Microsoft Windows is a proprietary product. If you disagree with everything Microsoft is doing with Windows 8, then I bet you must have found a better OS and you need to go for it. In other words, in that case you are not welcome here. The only thing you can do is assess and extend your suggestion in some persuasive way, rather than discarding the idea under consideration altogether. I agree with lot of your suggestions but you need to revise your way of conduct; be precise (on topic) and be clear (what you like and what you don't). Hope you first understand what I am saying before rushing to start an argument with me (which is again highly predictable).

  76. Danny says:

    Great job! It's impressive to see how much work has gone into Windows 8 and we  still have more to come. I can't wait!

  77. @mt327000 — Sorry you're user name string was impersonated.  You should sign in with a liveid then.  We specifically enable anonymous comments based on feedback from the Windows 7 blog where people were very negative about any authentication required to comment.  This obviously degrades the quality of the dialog but it also reduces friction when sharing perspectives.  So everyone has to work within the downsides.  

    Keep in mind even if there was not a user name field, people could sign the comments with any string that might seem like "impersonation".  

    In general, @Xero has some good thoughts above for how to provide useful comments.  Obviously comments that just say something is bad or a failure provide no value to the conversation we're having.  The comment equivalent of playground insults doesn't do much for any of us reading them or participating.  

  78. Fascinating. A few comments/questions:

    1. "In any PC, RAM is constantly consuming power." "Having additional RAM on a tablet device can, in some instances, shave days off the amount of time the tablet can sit on your coffee table looking off but staying fresh and up to date."

    What potential is there for engineering the ability to power-off unused memory modules, and power these on based on demand? Roughly equivalent to CPU core parking.

    2. "Memory combining is a technique in which Windows efficiently assesses the content of system RAM during normal activity and locates duplicate content across all system memory. Windows will then free up duplicates and keep a single copy."

    So memory combining does not occur during application memory allocation – it's not a combine_on_allocate system – but instead occurs as a periodic sweep of total system memory. Is that correct? Might this change in the future? You seem to be hinting at this when you say "One thing I haven’t discussed at all is the Windows 8 application model, and process lifecycle changes made to make new Windows 8 apps more “memory friendly.” I guess i'll just have to wait for upcoming blog posts to find out. 🙂

    3. "When assessing the set of OS services during Windows 8 planning, we decided to remove a number of them (13), move a different set of services to “manual” start, and also made some of the “always running” services move to a “start on demand” model."

    Good news, but note to editors; this is an excellent example of info that could be expanded on in a side-bar. Technet Magazine does this often and well. Ditto the section "Doing the same job with less memory".

    4. "From a memory perspective, we’ve taken advantage of the fact that there will be some set of devices on which users will stay in the immersive, Metro style UI almost all the time. In this instance, Windows 8 will only initialize OS components unique to the desktop environment when necessary."

    … and the other set of devices will usually require loading the Metro style UI *and* the Explorer shell – negating a significant chunk of the improvements described in this post. 🙁

    5. "In Windows 8, any program has the ability to allocate memory as “low priority.” This is an important signal to Windows that if there is memory pressure, Windows can remove this low priority memory to make space, and it doesn’t affect other memory required to sustain the responsiveness of the system."

    Great work. Are there only two memory priorities (normal and low)? Can memory priorities of processes be observed (or changed)?

    6. One thing not covered here that i'm curious about is; when a large file-set operation occurs (by user), presumably Explorer is working via the file system cache. For backup operations (for example), does this mean the FS cache is being filled with 'one-off' data, and consequently application and user data is possibly being forced out for no good reason? What is being done in Win8 to prevent this? Has there ever been discussion at MSFT of the notion of auto-switching to a dedicated copy tool for large copy operations – one that uses utilizes the FS cache more intelligently from a users PoV?

  79. @HopefulButDistrustful @Andre.Ziegler's comment was answered after lunch 🙂  Sorry for the delay.  There was no spin at all.  The people you see commenting that are authenticated [MSFT] folks are members of the development team.

  80. contextfree says:

    I'd be interested in more detail on how the combining works (and any potential added CPU costs or other performance caveats). Is there a possibility of doing something like a Channel 9 Going Deep video on this, as was done for stuff like the removal of the global dispatcher lock in Windows 7?

  81. This is awesome Steven. Really like the performance improvements in Windows 8. But, I still hope that the Start Menu & Start Screen coexist in Windows 8.

  82. MN03 says:

    Hello Steven (and MSFT team),

    I have installed the development release on my laptop since it was released (I store all my important documents and files on a external HDD/skydrive) and am using it for all sorts of things like: gaming/office/web surfing/etc. And I must say, it's very stable. It crashed zero times for me (well, except when I installed a bad ATI driver instead of the engineering sample provided through WU).

    At this point, there is only one thing that I'm not using, and that is the metro interface. It still feels very unnatural to use it with a mouse, and I hope you guys will address this.

    I love the ribbon interface in explorer, despite all the negative comments (you guys even provided a hide button, what a luxury).

  83. This might be off topic but i've waited to see a post on here about it since day 1 and i have not so i have to ask. What are you guys doing towards speech recognition in Windows 8? Speech recognition has been  one of the features i have tried to use since Windows XP and i have not seen a major improvement towards this. This is an area i would think you guys at Microsoft would dedicate some resources into improving. From logging into windows using voice recognition by saying a phrase to starting up Apps, increasing volume, increasing screen brightness, checking time, performing simple calculation, turning off computer, putting windows to sleep, waking windows from sleep. Would you guys be incorporating some of the things you have learnt from Xbox360's voice recognition functions into Windows 8?

  84. @Steven Sinofsky

    Dear Steven, did I read your reply correctly? Did you just say:

    “Obviously comments that just say something is bad or a failure provide no value to the conversation we're having.”

    If you mean “one line comments” like “this sucks” or “I don’t like it”, then I totally agree with you and you should stop reading this posting, it is irrelevant and maybe offending.

    If on the other hand you really mean, “any comments that disagree with Microsoft’s direction no matter what the reasons explained in the posting”, then I do not agree with you at all, so please read on.

    Who do you think you are? Does Microsoft consider itself having the best developers in the world? Is Microsoft making no mistakes? Are you telling us that these blogs are just an advertisement of your new features without any chance of a dialog and disagreement?

    So useful comments as you define them are: “I love what you have done so far, can you please make this box appear less blue than it is”, or maybe “that square there should be 200 pixels wide but I love your square, please don’t get offended”?

    I think at this point you have two choices: either you retract/rephrase your comment or you just admit you are a blog dictator and bully.

    I have every right to criticize Microsoft because I am paying customer and because I am also generating millions for them by promoting Microsoft products in my workplace.

    When somebody says something is bad you should stop and listen. They will of course have to explain why is bad but still that is the first indication that maybe there is a problem. Judging from the previous blogs there seems to be a problem people are having with the Metro UI and desktop applications. They simply don’t like it for very valid reasons. Based on your logic of course, their comments are not worth reading because they say that Microsoft did something bad or it is going to be a failure.

    Can you please come down from your throne and talk to us about the “problems” we seem to have with your new direction instead of looking just for comments that reinforce your misconception of reality.Here is a good book I would advise you to read “The Emperor's New Clothes”.

  85. LeoStorm85 says:

    @StevenSinofsky. Are you also working on an embedded version of Windows 8 (I mean without GUI). It would be great to unleash the power of Win32 API for signal processing.

  86. alvatrus says:

    Just out of curiosity:

    Can you do a post on how the MinWin effort affected performance, security and maintainability of the Windows code, and a status update on this project?

    (Hopefully this is still -slightly- on topic.)

  87. MN03 says:


    Moron, he obviously means the "this sucks" comments, you just wasted a wall-o-text whining like a little spoiled brat.

  88. Drewfus says:


    Thanks for the rant, but it's really not a difficult concept. If a comment or commenter is just mindlessly and repetitively negative, without adding any support for their position, this just wastes everyone's time. About all you needed to say is that this also pretty much applies to comments that just amount to gushing praise. They are not any more informative than just ticking "5 stars" at the top of the post.

    The best policy in terms of getting your message across might be to think in terms of a framework like PMI – Plus, Minus, Interesting.…/newTED_05.htm

    In this context it might be a good idea to replace 'Interesting' with 'Ignores'. So in my comments above there are about 4 positives, 1 negative, and 1 (maybe 2) ignores = +4 – 1 – 1 = +2.

    The point is that a framework like this "forces" you to be analytical, not just completely negative, positive, aggresive or emotional. Microsoft can be analytical with this too – by adding up everyone's scores 🙂

  89. @Drewfus: Yes, you are right…I accept the criticism.

    @MN03: Read his reply and learn how to argue constructively.

  90. GeekJobs says:

    If the reimagining windows paradigm is really true, i hope things like drive defragmenting, disk cleaning, registry cleaning, partition management are improved. I don want to pay for software to move MFT on the drive to partition it. These basics go against the philosophy of great software, the OS should take care of its own backend. Again, it is off topic but when you see the popularity of software like ccleaner, tune up utilities and similar junk among pc users, the importance of the stuff I'm talking about becomes clear.

  91. @Steven Sinfosky

    Thank you for responding. Fortunately, I came to the same conclusion that you did, that all my future comments need to be made when signed into my Windows Live ID.


    What "spamming" is this? Are you basing your opinion of my comments on what the fake mt327000 posted? I think I have been perfectly clear about what I like and what I don't like about the UI. So far, I have not mentioned the Metro UI on this thread. My comments were about the commenting system and about how someone else posted comments in my name, but had nothing to do with Metro. As I said before, there ARE things that I like about Windows 8. The reduced memory usage, for example, should be a huge benefit for daily computing jobs. I like the Ribbon interface in Windows Explorer, and even the Metro UI isn't all bad. My first comment here, which should have been the only one until someone pretended to be me, was entirely positive. If you read my second post, I was QUOTING someone who posted a comment with my username, but was not me.

    I understand exactly what you're saying. You expect me to jump in and start criticising the Metro UI. I won't do that here. This topic has nothing to do with Metro. Please READ the comments I posted before you start complaining about them.

    If you see a post here from me (not the other user) that you consider spam, which one is it?

  92. @Steven Sinofsky

    Do you think I've posted comments that are "the comment equivalent of playground insults?" If so, it might be better if you just tell me directly. I've tried very hard to avoid saying anything insulting, rude, or bad, other than to point out legitimate complaints about the Metro UI. Never once have I resorted to insulting other users on this blog, using bad words, or anything like that, and, if you've been reading my comments, when I dislike something, I usually explain why I dislike it before I just give up and denounce it as "bad." I never posted any comments with the intent of "spamming," "trolling," or anything similar. Every time you've indicated that you're not happy with my comments, I've apologized. That's not something you see in comment fields every day. I've tried to do what @Xero has asked, but it looks like there might be something that I am thinking that doesn't come across in my comments. If so, I don't know what that is.

    Your comment and @Xero's comment genuinely bother me, because it looks like you actually think I'm having fun "spamming" the comment fields with senseless complaining, and I swear that I am not. If you could tell me what's wrong with the comments I've already posted, I would appreciate it.

    Before going any further, I should tell you that I have always had a strong tendency to say what I think directly, rather than dodging around a topic. For me, this means saying exactly what I think of the Metro UI, but I've tried to be scientific and support my opinions with links to other views, and in the case of my "Click Counts" case study, even hard statistical evidence.

  93. @Steven Sinofsky

    Please try to understand, behind the mt327000 label is a real person, with real opinions, and my comments about Metro are genuine. Not only that, but I am a person who always follows the rules, and does what I am supposed to. Do I sound like the kind of person who would spam comment threads just for fun? If you see me breaking rules for comments on this blog, it might be better for you to tell me directly. If the timinng of this comment seems strange, it's because it's actually 7:23 where I live.

  94. @Steven Sinofsky

    I'm not asking you to point out every violation, but if you do decide to respond to what I said, like you did to my "please stop demonstrating touch" post, you can tell me if my comment is a problem rather than leaving me to figure it out for myself. Doing this (and possibly turning off anonymous comments) should improve the quality of this blog a lot.

    Maybe it's time for "A Note from the Author."…/556340.aspx

  95. Xero says:

    @mil_8, I agree with you that extending criticism or our wishlist to the Windows team is our right being consumers or stakeholders of this ecosystem. If you spare a moment to read on, you will find what is my intent on criticizing people like mt327000 who flood the comments space with (perhaps) some constructive comment repeatedly (or split one concept in patches) and creates nuisance as soon as there is any blog post published. Therefore, many people avoid posting comment after lots of rubbish and hence less "positive criticism" and more "noise"!

    @mt327000, "You expect me to jump in and start criticising the Metro UI. I won't do that here"

    Excuse me? Did I mention ANYTHING about Metro? Your posts are scattered and need to be focused and concise. Your criticism can be useful if you just mitigate the noise your comments are producing and be focus on topic. "This comment system has problems"…. this has nothing to do with Task Manager in Windows 8. I am not expecting you to say things once in a persuasive manner. Lot of people here trying to say the same thing which you do in multiple comments and flooding the comments space. So, if you want to run the point and wana lead in "positive criticism", do it nicely and effectively so we can refer to it in our comments (e.g. +1, agree or disagree with your idea due to ABC reason). You started this nonsense argument which I highly predicted. You don't have any point and you are lame. Just saying!

    P.S. come up with a great idea and say it ONCE so other people can support or disagree with it. Give others space, don't flood the comment space and read some book on commenting ethics.

  96. @Xero

    I'm done discussing this. You can rant, rave, and call people "lame" all you want to, but I can't reason with someone who posts comments like this. I appreciate suggestions, but not if they are surrounded by insults.

  97. Recurrent non-english visitor says:

    @xero says

    "Microsoft Windows is a proprietary product. If you disagree with everything Microsoft is doing with Windows 8, then I bet you must have found a better OS and you need to go for it. In other words, in that case you are not welcome here."

    I don't agree with that. We are customers. Users. We pay for the product. We also establish a psychological relationship with this product or brand. We love it, we hate it or we ignore it. That is how mind and marketing work. If Microsoft doesn't wants to hear unqualified feedback, well, they should shut down this blog or pay for professional consultants. Problem resolved.

    But there is more than that. Many make a living of this ecosystem, so if this people see "dangers" in this matter they have all rights to warning about them.

    PS. I really hate this comment system.

  98. amaneyden says:

    looks like w8 taskmanager appearance changed alot since developer preview launced

  99. Quppa says:

    > It is fun to think about what the "low end" hardware looked like in 2009 and how you can't even find things like 256MB memory modules anymore.

    I think this is important. These optimisations sound particularly helpful for older and less powerful systems like tablets, but surely only a small proportion of users ever upgrade the version of Windows that comes with their machine. Given that 16GB of RAM can be bought for under $100, it seems reasonable to expect that in many cases Windows 8 will be run on computers with ample memory (relative to the system requirements).

    If some of these changes result in performance penalties (what's the overhead for starting a service?), does it make sense to use them on higher end systems?

  100. Mez says:

    I'm still on Vista, so I'm really looking forward to these memory improvements in Windows 8.

    Although I also use openSUSE_x64 Linux, with the LXDE desktop, and that only uses 90Mb memory on boot, so there is still something more to aim for guys 🙂

  101. Nice job, team.

    Keep up the great work.

    As @Quappa said, we should hear more about how we can tune performance for more capable systems.  That makes sense, as, by and large, computers are getting faster and cheaper (Per MB, Per Mhz, Per MIP) very day.

    -Enjoy Windows 8!

  102. Xero says:

    @Recurrent non-english visitor, did you read my second comment? Seems like we both are trying to talk about the same thing. Some criticism which makes sense, yeah!

    @mt327000, you literally don't have any idea what you are talking about. I didn't say anything about Metro UI in the first comment that you were blatantly accusing me of. Seems like you are probably guilty of trolling against Metro UI in the previous posts!  Now you are feeling insult? Do you count how many times you are posting same thing in every blog? You should limit the number of posts and bring about some quality.

  103. @Xero

    I stand corrected.

  104. Xpuser says:

    looks great. Hoping to finally upgrade from xp.

    If only pagefile usage goes down, or ideally we have no pagefile whatsoever.

    Not using it by default unless absolutely necessary would be ideal.

    On a low end hdd with 60 mb/s, or worse, sd cards or flash media this matters.

  105. VMWare? says:

    Would Memory Combining in the Hyper-V parent partition be the like of TPS in VMWare ESX?

  106. @mil_ I'm sorry I was not perfectly clear.  Obvioulsy I am referring to comments that simply express dissatisfaction and don't provide anything additional to have a discussion about.

  107. Guys, don't be fustrated. MS not going to let us without the choice to choose "classic" start menu and to leave that metro s…

    Right now they think that they won't give us the chance. Because they know that no one will use start s… if it's optional. [well, there will be a few facebook, MS fan]

    So, they try to force it otherwise no one will use that useless thing. That's why THEY DON'T ANSWER that certain sensitive question. Because they NOT SURE yet! They belive less and less that it's feasible. They will announce it like a 'world savior plan' only the LAST moment before the RTM released. a commiserate.

    Steven Sinovski – “Obviously comments that just say something is bad or a failure provide no value to the conversation we're having.” Yup, I never see that you guys answer any notable comment yet.

    Few days before you belived that it would be fine to sell people an UI where they can't even close a window.[facepalm] And you explained why it's SO cool. Until you got a comment: what about privacy?! Since than you doesn't rule out the possibility. You don't even think about that before some user around the world ask you about it. Now that's explains a lot.

    MS, your attitude about w8 is so non-professional.

    You bite the hand that feeds all of you.

    Sorry for my bad english!

  108. Steven Sinofsky: "Obvioulsy I am referring to comments that simply express dissatisfaction and don't provide anything additional to have a discussion about."

    There's really few comments like You mention. Most dissatisfaction comments[there's a lot, like 80%] is provide a LOT of information that worth discussion.

    Stop looking us idiots please!

  109. Windows 8 developer says:

    @Prettysure, "Few days before you belived that it would be fine to sell people an UI where they can't even close a window.[facepalm] And you explained why it's SO cool. Until you got a comment: what about privacy?! Since than you doesn't rule out the possibility. You don't even think about that before some user around the world ask you about it. Now that's explains a lot."

    What? Come again??

    You English is not bad its poor!

  110. You doesn't follow this blog?! Than I can't help you!

  111. @Quppa, @Drewfus

    Addressing the question on “combine” and resource use. There are a few factors at play around the combining decision (trigger). From a performance point of view, we’re inherently averse to adding to important code paths (burning additional CPU) in the OS, especially when a user is present or when the user has asked Windows to do something (application launch, feature access, compute bound task or media playback etc.). Additionally, if and when we combine, we also want to ensure that the yield is worthwhile.

    The confluence of these two factors leads to the decision to do this periodically rather than on allocation. We take into account user activity, overall system activity, decaying algorithms etc. so that a user would never be impacted by this and it wouldn’t be a hit on battery life. Like the hot/cold separation I mentioned in the blog text, memory combing has also been in the builds for years, with thousands of employees banging on it and hundreds of years of automated test runs across a broad variety of processors.

  112. Mike Cramer says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    You know, back when you took over Vista development and us beta testers got the raw end of the deal compared to the XP team, and the general lackluster performance of Vista at release (and history has shown just how much of a mistake it was to release when us testers kept saying it was definitely not ready)–I really thought you were not the right man for the job of the Windows Team.

    But looking at the improvements made with Windows 7 and these new improvements coming down the Windows 8 pipeline makes me believe far differently these days. I'm not sure what changed, but these overhauls of Windows between product release cycles are just so amazing compared to what one would expect a product development cycle to be that I can't believe they're being done.

    There are a lot of amazingly smart and talented people on the development of Windows to make all of this happen so quickly. Send my kudos all around and keep up the good work.

  113. Dave Nickason says:

    I just hope that those of us who like our i7 desktops with 8 GB of RAM and dedicated video cards aren't going to pay a performance price so that Windows will run on a device that works from a AA battery.

  114. Hi again everyone!

    Thanks for reading another interesting published post of your efforts in made/planned enhancements.

    I'm no engineer, so my lines here won't be that detailed:) No need to be scared.


    Suggestions/ Feedback:

    1. There are one thing which could be included in the 'Task Manager',  when something happens

    for a reason it's usual I think many needs to Restart a running process from time to time.

    Please give the choice for all shown processes to be Restarted and not only the Explorer.exe

    Always been a precious wish.

    2. Imagine many heard of the bug with 'Lost Restore Points' in Windows 7 when running XP in dual boot.

    From what I understand, a big part of the problem was incompatibility issues backwards with references like paging files, meta data,  shadow copying & so on. Any precautions taken this won't happen again ?


    Tip for users, magic button:

    Versions Vista, Windows 7 has one possibility in Turn off the process for explorer in the

    startmenu. Perhaps there some which haven't explored this yet. Then be my guest, keep reading.

    Open your Startmenu and right-click in an empty space during the same time –

    Any of the combinations are used:

    Ctrl + Shift or Shift + Alt, In get up Task manager Ctrl + Alt + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Del

    'Windows Developer Preview' doesn't seems to having this feature "yet"



  115. @Mike Cramer  Thanks Mike.  I would say the team is doing all the work you're seeing.  Part of doing this blog is so you can see all the folks that make up building Windows.

  116. Leopoldo Gomez says:

    Unable  to type here

    I found several issues, how to go next, how to close an app, several time look like freeze…is in developing….

  117. @Steven Sinofsky, your apology is accepted. Now it is also my turn to apologize for crossing the line a bit with that post.

  118. Great work and God bless. wonder why windows is hated so much, i think the rivals are the ones that are more evil than satan himself 10^100

  119. @Steven Sinofsky

    Please disable the ability to post anonymous comments on this blog. The quality of comments here seems to be continuously degrading. I like the ability to post comments about Windows 8, but this is getting out of hand. On one side, I have someone posting comments with the name "mt327000" in the name field that don't even remotely resemble anything I would post, and on the other, user Xero is posting firey messages about bad comments and seems intent on stirring up trouble under the guise of reacting to what I said. Something is wrong here. This NEVER happens to someone like me. I recommend disabling the ability to post anonymous comments immediately, as this should clear up problems with foul language, pointless comments that get in the way of a valuable discussion, and other issues common to comment fields like this one.

    Again, I never intended any harm or offense with any of my comments. I apologize for any trouble I may have caused. If you ever see me post a comment or comments that cross the line between useful information and spam, feel free to let me know. I don't want to cause any trouble.

  120. Stefan says:

    What is fixed in Windows 7 should be fixed in Vista instead. What will be fixed with Windows 8 should be a SP to Vista. Instead of thinking of Your paying customers (now ex) that bought Vista You want to kill this as soon as You can. You should really think about paying customers, because if You just kill different operatingsystems to be able to release something new You will loose customers. I still think of sue Microsoft for their lies in the ads about Vista. You still haven't delivered what You promised !

    2nd try to post this.

  121. Stefan says:


    Are Your comments worth more than other peoples ?

    Shouldn't You change Your name if someone use Your ?

  122. @stefan

    You get a fresh copy of the latest version of Windows when you purchase a new computer. It's always been Microsoft's business model to have new versions for significant changes. Essentially, you're complaining that Microsoft isn't philanthropic enough–which is an odd criticsm of a business. (If it were a non-profit organization, that would be different)

  123. @Stefan

    No, my comments are not worth anything more than anyone else's, but there is an important distinction to be made. mt327000 is my registered display name on my Windows Live ID. The other user just typed "mt327000" into the name box, without tying it to a specific account, and this was almost certainly a reaction to my comments. Are you the one who has been misrepresenting yourself under the name mt327000? This is against the rules on this blog.

  124. @Stefan

    No, my comments are not worth anything more than anyone else's, but there is an important distinction to be made. mt327000 is my registered display name on my Windows Live ID. The other user just typed "mt327000" into the name box, without tying it to a specific account, and this was almost certainly a reaction to my comments. Are you the one who has been misrepresenting yourself under the name mt327000? This is against the rules on this blog.

  125. valinor89 says:

    I would like to know if all those optimizations will help with IO loads, in a standard HDD the UI can hang when other programs cause hight disk load. Why do I have to wait to open My Computer when I'm copying a huge file?

  126. Steven Sinofsky says:

    I love this commenting system! There's nothing wrong with it at all.

  127. @"Steven Sinofsky" (the fake comment with gray letters)

    Are you kidding? Do you actually expect me to believe that the comment posted with gray text is from the real Steven Sinfosky? I actually laughed when I read your comment, because it is clearly not Steven Sinofsky who posted it. The real Steven Sinofsky admitted that the comment system is flawed, or that allowing anonymous comments degrades the conversation, so obviously he would not say "There's nothing wrong with [the comment system] at all."

    @Steven Sinofsky (The Real Steven Sinofsky)

    This is why anonymous comments shouldn't be allowed. Clearly, this comment was not posted by you, but someone who doesn't know about Live ID logins might think that it is. Perhaps you can figure out who is impersonating other commentors by his IP address?

  128. Rather than continue this discussion on the blog, I have posted information on the MSDN forums asking for assistance. Many of the problems regarding misuse of my username are now out of my hands, so please read my forum post and take appropriate action.

  129. Just another Steven says:

    @mt327000 – I totally agree with you regarding the impersonating thing, I just used that name to try and get my point across, which obviously worked! Anonymous comments are great and all, but not so good when the name people use is the same as your Live ID, especially when they use that name to bring 'the real' into disgrace.

  130. @Just another Steven

    It doesn't help that I'm the one who responded to your post, and am also the one who was a victim of this impersonation problem in the first place. Obviously, you weren't Steven Sinofsky, but your comment might get the real Steven Sinofsky's attention. I encourage you to click my forums link to read the full "blog problems" story from my perspective. It REALLY bothers me when people like @Xero start saying things like that about me when I was just trying to clear up a problem that still hasn't been resolved.

  131. @Bill Karagounis [MSFT]: Thanks for the elaboration on memory combining.

    @Quppa: "Given that 16GB of RAM can be bought for under $100, it seems reasonable to expect that in many cases Windows 8 will be run on computers with ample memory (relative to the system requirements)." "If some of these changes result in performance penalties (what's the overhead for starting a service?), does it make sense to use them on higher end systems?"

    That's one way of looking at it. Another is; that 16GB only seems like a lot (relative to system requirements) *because* Microsoft has engineered Windows to 1) be frugal with memory 2) run memory optimizations and 3) consolidate services. It's amazing that for so many years new Windows releases were associated with significantly greater resource requirements, but now that trend has not only stopped, it has *reversed*. Maybe it will become common soon to hear that Windows does not have enough 'bloat' 🙂

    @Andre.Ziegler: The bottom line is; things are heading in the right direction. Why get bogged-down arguing the details?

    @mil_: Cheers

  132. Anonymous user says:

    @mt327000 please stop constantly posting about the broken comment system.

    Everything you have said is already known and you're comments are now just repetitive and annoying.

    Yet another thread taken completely off topic by spam.

  133. Joe White says:

    "we’re delivering the complete Windows 8 experience on SoC-based devices"

    What does SoC mean? Please explain your acronyms.

  134. @Joe White says:

    goto bing. type =>  define: SoC

    and get your answer. this is not your classroom :-S

  135. "System-on-a-chip or system on chip (SoC or SOC) refers to integrating all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single integrated circuit (IC) chip."…/System-on-a-chip

    Many ARM based systems will be SoC.…/ARM_architecture

  136. Quppa says:

    @Bill Karagounis [MSFT]: Thanks for the response.

    @Drewfus: That's a good point, and I'm glad that Windows 8 won't require a lot of memory to run well (I've been running the Windows Developer Preview on a 3-year-old netbook and the performance is pretty good, even if the UI leaves something to be desired :)). At the same time, RAM is dirt cheap, so I'd like Windows to take advantage of it with things like SuperFetch.

  137. @Mike Carmer: There were also some changes in the very top level of Microsoft managers responsible for the Windows division.

  138. Windows Phone - Microsoft Flight game! says:

    Please vote for this game in Windows Phone:

  139. Steven B-A-L-L-M-E-R says:

    @mt327000 yeah, I read your blog. It's all very well people complaining for you to stop complaining, but then they themselves are posting as 'anonymous' or some such thing.

    How hard would it be to write some script that once a windows live ID has been used, that username cannot be used in the 'name' field? – this would stop the confusion once and for all.

  140. mt327000 says:

    @mt327000, you are a moron and a psychopath. Disguising yourself as other person and then replying them (yourself) to seek some importance? oo what kind of freak you are you pieceofshit!

  141. AKI says:

    what build of win 8 is the task manager from?

  142. mt327000 says:

    Can you download apps in windows 8?

  143. John says:

    Will there be a new filesystem, so our hdd won't be need defragging.

    Mac, Linux filesystems don't need defragmenting.

  144. @mt327000,Stefen, Hey buddies please keep distance from this comment system, No place for personal fight.

  145. @mt327000 and the copy cat, Please stop fighting over a blog post about reducing memory consumption. You are having an irrelevant conversation that does not contribute to this blog. You two act like little kids especially you mt327000, just stop writing back to him and all of this would have ended a long time ago.

    @Steven Sinofsky (first time typing it without looking up your name) Can you please clarify whether you implemented these memory reduction techniques into the developer preview. That has been my question since last Sunday. Please respond Steven and if you do, thank you.

  146. More fake comments are appearing in my name. The fake poster used the S-Word!?!?! That's terrible! I would NEVER post anything like that. As for all of the requests that I stop discussing the problems with the comment system, this was supposed to be finished two days ago, but other users insist on bringing this issue back up. Which mt327000 are you blaming for this, me or the fake one? The mt327000 who posted the swear word and had a gray username certainly sounds like a little kid. I sincerely hope that I do not. PLEASE STOP posting fake comments in my name! If you wanted an emotional response, you've gotten one. Are you looking to make fun of someone who is new to the world of online comments? Clearly, it was a mistake to ever post anything, but now that I've posted comments, how do I back out when someone is STILL posting fake commetns in my name?

    Mr. Sinofsky, please turn off anonymous comments for the good of everyone. I can't take this kind of abuse anymore! Once again, I NEVER HAD ANY INTENTION of spamming the comment threads, but someone is forcing the issue. Please do something about these problems.

  147. @MainstreamGamer Yes, I am ready to stop fighting. In fact, I never wanted a fight in the first place. I still don't really see this so much as fighting as much as I see it as an attack on me. When you say that mt327000 sounds like a little kid, which mt327000 are you referring to, me or the person who posted comments in my name? If you are referring to the fake comment posted at 4:28/1:28 AM, I agree with you completely. If you are referring to me, I don't know why you think I sound like a little kid. When you say that I should stop writing back to him, I would agree, except that if I don't write back, it looks like I'm posting bad things on this blog (I swear, I am not).

  148. Final Post from mt327000 says:

    To force this issue to come to an end, I have stopped using the name "mt327000." If you type a comment with my new user name, I will alert Steven Sinofsky in the same manner that I did before.

    @Steven Sinfosky

    As you can see, I now have a new user name. I know how this now makes the entire string of comments look pointless and unrelated to existing issues, but I had to do something to bring this problem to an end.

  149. @Steven Sinofsky

    I humbly apolgoize for any issues I may have caused. While I still recommend that you turn off anonymous commenting, I am as ready to end this discussion as everyone else on the blog is. Feel free to delete all of the "WindowsUser78" comments on this thread, as I no longer need them now that I am under a new display name. I also suggest that you delete comments from the fake mt327000. The next time there are problems, I now know that I can change my display name to something completely different.

  150. NEW PC BUYER says:

    Question: i am due for a new pc but am putting off buying one because i am concerned that i will not be able to upgrade windows 7 to windows 8. Is this true? And if it is not true and i will be able to upgrade to windows 8 from windows 7, will i lose any windows 8 functionality by not waiting to be a new PC designed for 8?

  151. NEW PC BUYER says:

    addendum: will this be a free upgrade

  152. @MainstreamGamer Yes.  That is the point of the post and the screen shots showing the Developer Preview.  As Bill said this is a screen capture I did from my personal machine (a Lenovo S10).  All drivers were from Windows Update.

  153. Pax says:

    Nice! Very Good Work! This is the best feature of win 8.

  154. Gigaplex says:

    While memory allocation/usage is being addressed, is there anything happening with regards to fixing the HEAP_NO_SERIALIZE regression? We've used this in the past to significantly speed up tasks but on Vista and later it actually slows things down.

    Description of the regression:…/reason-for-100x-slowdown-with-heap-memory-functions-using-heap-no-serialize-on-v

  155. Eduardo Valencia says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Thank you Steven for all the improvements being made in Windows 8.

    Now we need a new filesystem to stop file fragmentation once and for all ,we also need to start eliminating the registry in Windows and evolve it to something better.

    This will take down practically a lot of the remaining instability in the OS.

  156. Yavor says:

    @ John

    @ Eduardo

    Defragment your hdd? I can't remember the last time I've done this, never had an issue with this in Win7, my fragmentation is always below 5% even on my windows disk.

  157. Xero says:

    I second what Yavor said about defragmentation. Windows 7 had bring lot of improvements including less worries for users to defragment the storage space. Lack of frags may seems like an overhead, but its handy when it comes to block-level sub-allocations. According to a citation at "Comparison of file systems" on wikipedia, fragments were planned for ext2 and 3 filesys, but never actually implemented.

    @Eduardo, about replacing the composite registry with individual XML or settings file, I read an article which explains the strengths and weaknesses of both techniques. I don't have the URL, but I guess if you dig in some previous blog posts (here on B8 you may find it in the comments. It might help you analyse why they are preferring registry store over individualism.

  158. Name says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    Why for every desktop application does not create a virtual windows registry that is superimposed on the normal windows registry to allow easy removal of the application and increase the compatibility of programs and weed out conflicts?

  159. John Smith says:

    What about using that empty memory to cache some data that is likely to be used? Free RAM is just a waste of hardware. Couldn't Windows just load some arbitrary data into RAM when its idle, such as the current User directory, or the last n used programs? If the machine is busy caching stuff while I read my mail, it would be all the faster afterwards.

    It seems to me that using less RAM than available is the opposite of optimal.

  160. @Bill Karagounis

    One of the things you mentioned that could help improve performance is "lazy initialization of the desktop" where desktop services are not loaded until a user opens the desktop. Is there any chance that this could work the other way around, where the desktop is loaded first and Metro elements are not loaded until the user wants to use them? There are many types of computers where Metro will hardly be used at all.

    Improving performance in this manner may be even more important than I thought. This comment box isn't even registering key presses properly on my Windows 8 test machine.

  161. Just curious, if the desktop UI is not loaded when not in use, can the Metro UI be unloaded the same way if one only works with desktop apps? This will likely be the case for a lot of business environments, so it might be worth looking into, if you didn't already.

  162. Parrotlover77 says:

    Excellent work.  I'm excited to see Windows' memory footprint get trimmed down.

    One thing I do hope is that if you plan to never use Metro (which I will never use on my corporate desktops), I hope that can be unloaded too, just like the classic desktop.  Just a thought to save a few more MB for business users. 🙂

  163. See the English text at the end

    Donc je n'avais pas rêvé, j'avais l'impression que Windows 8 était plus performant que Windows 7 et ce n'était pas juste une impression. J'ai installé sur mon portable Windows 8 Developer Preview (en dual boot avec Windows 7) ce week-end et à date j'aime beaucoup. Un peu déconcertant au début de Start Screen mais on s'y fait rapidement.

    J'ai cru remarqué que Internet Explorer 10 était plus performant aussi, très bonne chose.

    Texte traduit par Google traduction

    So I did not dream, I felt that Windows was better than 8 Windows 7 and it was not just an impression. I installed on my laptop Windows Developer Preview 8 (in Dual boot with Windows 7) this weekend and to date I love. A little disconcerting at the beginning of Start Screen but you get done quickly.

    I thought I noticed that Internet Explorer 10 was more powerful also very good.

    Text translated by Google translation

  164. HandNF says:

    It's good to see that Microsoft isn't throwing users off at low-end hardware. If it's fast on a 2008 laptop, then it'll be even faster on a 2013 tablet.

  165. Steven, would you change allocation granularity to something finer than 64k?

  166. Lance says:


    I agree pre-loading the desktop would be great, but I think MS is under the impression it won't be the default (bad call IMHO).


    What would be nice from a user perspective is pre-loading start up items while the user is on the login screen. If the machine only has one user (with a password) load up everything they would need so if they boot up and grab some coffee windows desktop is loaded and just waiting for the login credentials.

    Has there been any new thinking on the start menu and our options as power users or is the metro interface going to be dictated to users that upgrade?  Frankly, windows hasn't "blown me away" yet and I'm still trying to figure out why I'd "upgrade" to this.

  167. @Lance: I would agree with you last statement from an end user’s perspective. If you take out the Metro UI, it is rather hard to identify the main differences between 7 and 8. But from a developer’s perspective I would say that Windows 8 is a gold mine. The APIs these miracle workers at Microsoft are adding to the kernel make me lose sleep at night (in a good sense), I just cannot wait to get to use all these hidden gems in the new kernel/OS level APIs.

    Arghhh…this Metro debate has really dampen my enthusiasm for this gorgeous new OS that Windows 8 is shaping to be. Anyway, last time I checked I verified that Steven has two fully operational ears so I am certain he will listen to his loyal followers at the end.

  168. John says:


    @Xero Was The Windows Registry a Good Idea?. Refer to –>…/was-the-windows-registry-a-good-idea.html

    Back to HDD Defragmentation

    It all depends on how you use your computer. If you works with video editing, photography, 3D modelling, music, hostings server daily. Where you move/copy/delete files.

    Refer to this articles about  disk defragmentation  –>…/disk-defragmentation-background-and-engineering-the-windows-7-improvements.aspx

    We need a new filesystem doesn't need defragging. Guess the only options is to upgrade to SSD.

  169. jhfire says:

    Windows XP – 19 Processes – 192 MB

    Windows 7 – 32 Processes – 404 MB

    Windows 8 – 29 Processes – 281 MB

    That's cute.

  170. jose ruffie reoma says:

    i'm waiting for the new windows 8 os.. it will be an efficient  os of all generation…long live MICROSOFT..i like to become part of your the future..

  171. Bladehawk says:

    Developer API's are great as is lower memory, but only if you loose metro/start screen.  It fails on so many levels on a PC. Touchpad is absolutely horrid to use and mouse and keyboard isn't much better. When you need to zoom out and zoom back in to launch an app it's poorly designed UI.  Loose the start screen on PC's, touchpad it's decent but on a PC it is awful.

  172. GregH says:

    Great job – with so many areas of Windows 8 being worked on – I will be one of those that upgrades, day one.

  173. DirectX 12?

    when will you start letting ATi and NVIDIA in on DirectX 12?

    I'm getting an apocalyptic MacBook Pro and i really hope it has DirectX 12 support for teh games 😉

  174. Good work! it is a WOW improvement, more for low-end hardware or mobile devices. But when the system have a higher capacity, the SO will have same behavior? I mean (in servers), if windows 8 are running in a 16gb machine will retain only a small piece of the avalaible memory instead load the most recursive things in RAM? This forces should go to disk to read, and it haves worst performance. Anyway,Windows 8 seems to will be the best SO that you has released.

  175. mstrobel says:

    Many thanks to the Windows PMs for seeing the value in improving low-level subsystems like memory management, and to the talented engineers who are making it happen.

    Apologies for pouring gasoline on the great Metro debate, but a mechanism to completely disable the Metro UI in favor of the classic desktop and start menu is highly desirable to me.  I have no interest in using touch to interact with a desktop workstation connected to a 30" monitor that sits three feet away from me, and (contrary to Microsoft's claims) keyboard/mouse support in the Metro environment is something of a disaster.  I do not exaggerate when I say that the rather clumsy UI has killed my enthusiasm for the new development technologies in Windows 8.  As much as I would like to spend time with WinRT, I am unwilling to subject myself to Windows 8 at this time, as I find the environment unusable.  A "pure" classic desktop option with a Windows 7-style start menu would make the platform viable to me.

    Note that my issues with the Metro UI are based on usability; I am not complaining simply because I am afraid of change.  I don't mind you "moving my cheese" as long as it doesn't inhibit my productivity.  I immediately embraced the UI enhancements introduced with Windows 7, but so far Windows 8 seems like a step backwards in terms of usability for desktop users.  Metro works "well enough" with touch-first devices (though it still has many issues); for traditional desktops and users who prefer a keyboard and mouse to touch-based interaction, it is simply unaccommodating.  That said, I generally approve of the desktop UI changes: the revamped Explorer UI is fine (though perhaps a bit "over the top"), and the revised "file copy" dialogs are a godsend.

  176. @John Smith

    Windows does in fact contain various mechanisms to intelligently populate empty memory with useful data just as you suggest. It's called Superfetch. We definitely agree that having GBs memory is not useful unless it contains useful data. Here's  pointer to some information about Superfetch:…/SuperFetch_How_it_Works_Myths

    The most detailed public documentation for Superfetch is in the latest edition of the "Windows Internals" book. There's an entire section on Superfetch and related technologies:…/bb963901

    One key thing to understand is that memory populated by Superfetch or other memory manager caching mechanisms is still "available memory" as opposed to "in use memory". Available memory is composed of cached data and free memory and can be immediately allocated by applications if necessary. Our goal with Windows memory footprint optimizations has been reducing memory in use by the operating system. You can easily see this distinction in the above TaskMgr screenshots: Win8 has much less memory in use (281MB vs. 404MB), but it happens to have more Cached memory.

  177. Nina Will says:

    @Mehmet Iyigun [MSFT], thank you for explanation about Superfetch in memory-management!

    Incidentally, do you happen to know anyone responsible for presspass website? Please ask them to get rid of the misleading message "Click Here to Install Silverlight" at the top because I have latest version of Silverlight installed! To wit, checkout;…/09-21OEMFallDevices.mspx

    Same thing happens on Microsoft Flight Simulator game website:…/flightsimulatorx

    Looks like this message is rubber stamped or hardcode rather than having a script actually checking Silverlight plug-in! The funny part is, there is no Silverlight component used on particularly those page. Please take it seriously, that thing is there for ages.

  178. nil says:

    I wonder when Microsoft will finally get a decent tool for memory usage analysis.

    Check  for example…/eclipse-memory-analyzer-10-useful.html.

    Java and Android are still years ahead with regards to memory usage analysis

  179. Stefan says:

    To Steven Sinofsky and Co.:

    Framework.NET 4.0.x…when will there be an update that fix the hangup  of the desktop and networkconnection on Windows XP ? People have told Microsoft over and over about this problem, but do they even care ? No, ofcourse not. Pay for Microsoft's crap and then they don't care…..

    Now fix an update for Framework.NET 4.0.x on XP computers !!!!!

  180. Commentator says:

    Hi, respect to the usage in RAM, in Windows 8 there will be a better and detailed benchmark tool, where we can see the speed of the RAM, his usage, the speed and memory of GPUs, CPUs ecc.ecc.  ? Also, a temperature monotoring of the hardware of the PC (where we can set a temperature of alarm that shut down the pc) will make of Windows 8 the best OS…..

  181. Xero says:

    @Commentator, I am also looking for some better temperature monitoring utility at OS level. Especially in laptops where the CPU usage exceeds 90% due to the high temperature (as in the scenario mentioned in my first comment above).

  182. Edwards says:

    Windows 8 needs a app that monitors –

    Fan speeds: showing rpm

    Temperatures: hd, cpu, gpu, case, all sensors found…

    Clocks/bus speed for cpu and gpu core: mhz

    Voltages: vbat, etc…

  183. Nikola says:

    Loving the thing you did with the services ! really nice job !

  184. @Nil says:

    I wonder when people stop having "strong opinions" on the things they have no idea about.

  185. @nil says:

    It was search for "windows performance tools kit"

  186. zhongyun says:

    No, I don't think so…

    Noticed that–

    Figure 1 : Commit (MB)    581/2038

    Figure 2 : Commit (MB)    549/2038

    And Win 8 is only preview version, so …






  187. @zhongyun says:

    Thank you, we understand what you have said. Thanks for waisting some space!

  188. Kim says:

    @Commentator (the harsh guy), como'n Windows XP is old, its being decades now! How long you want to get served for it? Cut the crap and buy Windows 7 already.. By the way, its way too off-topic!

  189. Commentator says:

    I don't fault anything, Microsoft is doing a very good job in Windows 8, I have only writed that some native apps that monitors the computer would be a very good thing…..I know that there are some "external" softwares that do it, but native and done by Microsoft is extremely better (for example, why put Hyper-V in windows 8?because it's better, is fully developed for windows, it doesn't slow the pc and we don't have to put more money)……some informations about the hardware are written in windows 7, but there aren't so much, also the temperature monitoring it's the most important to implement, as native app

  190. Ian McLean says:

    Can't complain about much here. Nice job!

  191. windows explorer uses high memory when there is too much more folder and drive windows are opened at one instance. so there should be a tab browsing  like improvement in windows explorer . also this trick applies to all other things like notepad word-pad and each and every program running in windows before opening a file of any type should check first for is the default program or service is already open(started)  and the new instance should auto tabbed in that program      

    there is tool seen for xp vista and rarely in win 7 which gives tabbed browsing facility for explorer  and

    and for tool like notepad…/screenshots.html

  192. @Steven Sinofsky

    is there a chance that microsoft implements the good old ramdisk back in the OS?

    With a native 64bit ramdisk many user could increase the performance of the system without installing 3rd party utilities.

    Another feature that i would like to see, is the possibility to move your personal data – like my documents – on another partition, with a single mouse click or even better as an option during the installation process.

    Kind regards


  193. Kev says:

    Shared memory? So we're heading back to the 9x series problems? Let's open the door and see what malware can creep in.

    When are Microsoft going to employ talented software architects?

  194. Bydia says:

    It is nice that Win8 runs well on the Acer Aconia W500P with just 1GB of RAM. However, viewing videos at x2 speed causes video and audio to go out of sync.  Would be nice if that could be fixed. See time at second image at:

    Hope, that whatever changes happen to media that you will keep the ability to view videos at a faster speed.

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  196. TechDud says:

    Any way to expand the "ReadyBoost" feature to support SSD "SuperBoost" containing %temp% & temporary internet files, perhaps even the page file?

    I also wish someone would address the LSASS memory leakage problems.

  197. So if I understand correctly, Windows-8 is essentially a re-hash of Windows-7 which was borne of Vista being a resource pig, which was released because XP was outdated albeit used Code from '98 which was a rebirth of Windows-95 which was an even worse abortion than was Windows-386…hopefully thereby leaving anyone with half a brain to come to the following two conclusions: (1) Windows-8 is simply Win-386 with a few extra lines of Code, and (2) OS-X can't be beat.

    Simple as that, people…simple as that.

    I've been in Information Technologies for thirty years now, going back to the days of VAX/VMS (RSX-11M) on a DEC PDP-11/24. I know of what I speak. Over those years I've worked on thousands of Windows systems and well, frankly, the latest MS O/S has always been as bad if not worse than it's predecessor.

    Life is too short so move on to an O/S that is reliable and productive. To wit, OS-X.

  198. TechDud says:


    you neglected to mention the Win3.x files in C:windowssystem !!!

    However; if you're happy with OS-X, then stick with it.

    Don't bother those of us who have spent 20+ years with Windows when you are clearly biased against it.

    PS:  How's your Time Machine working?  Not always reliable, is it.  

    "In like a lion, out like a lamb"

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