Building Windows 8

An inside look from the Windows engineering team

November, 2011

  • Building Windows 8

    Minimizing restarts after automatic updating in Windows Update

    • 217 Comments
    Before the Internet, updates such as service packs and "patches" were impossibly hard to come by. You ordered upgrade "media" or maybe bought a magazine with a CD in it. Of course, the Internet changed all that. In fact, when ftp.microsoft.com was first set up, among the first services was the ability to get updates for MS-DOS and Windows. With the introduction of Windows Update, we invested heavily in building not just a software delivery service, but a commitment to delivering...
  • Building Windows 8

    Building a power-smart general-purpose Windows

    • 154 Comments
    In this post, we look at the broad topic of developing an OS to reduce power consumption. We've seen an ever-increasing emphasis on power management in the OS from two perspectives. First, as Windows 8 comes to market, it is easy to see two-thirds of all PCs shipping as portable devices operating on batteries some or most of the time. And second, in the workplace, there is an increasing demand for desktop machines with a reduced carbon footprint as we look to save energy wherever we can. In all cases...
  • Building Windows 8

    Updating live tiles without draining your battery

    • 151 Comments
    One thing that is becoming far more commonplace across all of our “screens” is the idea of lightweight notifications. Originally, Windows Gadgets were to offer this type of functionality—the idea is a quick heads up display for some critical information (news, weather, sports scores, or line of business events are a few examples). However, the startup time and model of Gadgets are not compatible with reducing overall power consumption (something that is important in a desktop and...
  • Building Windows 8

    Improving the setup experience

    • 134 Comments
    Installing Windows is a complex operation that provides an incredibly unique capability—the ability to run a new version of Windows on a vast array of hardware configurations and combinations that were designed with no knowledge of a future Windows, even a version with substantial re-architecture of the Kernel. While most people do not experience the full code path of setup/upgrade (because they buy new PCs and choose to get a new version of Windows that way), even orchestrating the new PC “out of...
  • Building Windows 8

    Enabling large disks and large sectors in Windows 8

    • 128 Comments
    One of the most basic services provided by an OS is the file system, and Windows has one of the most advanced file systems of any operating system used broadly. In Windows 7 we improved things substantially in terms of reliability, management, and robustness (for example, automating completely the antiquated notion of "defrag" ). In Windows 8 we build on this work by focusing on scale and capacity. Bryan Matthew, a program manager on the Storage & File System team, authored this post...
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