Intel and Microsoft will hold an event next week to discuss collaboration on improvements to Windows 7.
The event, on September 1 in San Francisco, will "share how the two
companies collaborated on key enhancements during the development of
Windows 7," according to Intel. Steve Smith, vice president and
director, Intel's Digital Enterprise Group Operations, and Michael
Angiulo, general manager of Windows Planning and PC Ecosystem at
Microsoft, will talk at the event. Microsoft plans to launch Windows 7 on October 22.
Windows 7 collaboration will be demonstrated by engineers from both
companies, according to Intel. Not surprisingly, Microsoft is working
closely with Intel, whose chips will power the vast majority of PCs
running Windows 7.
In a blog posted in July,
Intel described how Microsoft and Intel "saw unique opportunities to
optimize Windows 7 for Intel processor technology" in the areas of
performance, power management, and graphics.
The blog discusses improvements to multitasking based on "SMT
Parking," which provides additional support to the Windows 7 scheduler
for Intel Hyper-threading Technology. With Hyper-threading, the
operating system sees a single processor core as two cores (i.e., a
dual-core chip becomes a virtual quad-core processor), thus potentially
improving multitasking--or doing tasks (threads) simultaneously.
In addition, improvements over Vista for boot and shutdown times
have been implemented during the Windows 7 development cycle, according
to the blog.
And on Intel's Web site, the chipmaker lists desktop motherboards and associated drivers that have passed logo certification for Windows 7.
Another beneficiary of improved Windows 7 technology: Intel
solid-state drives, which are typically faster than hard-disk drives
and gaining ground in niche markets such as high-end laptops, gaming
PCs, and servers. SSDs will be able to take advantage of Windows 7
technology called the Trim Command. Trim will allow blocks of data to
be freed up for reuse to better maintain the performance of the SSD.
Windows 7 will also do more than previous operating systems with
graphics via DirectX 11. Advanced Micro Devices has described DirectX
11-related technology that enables games developers to create smoother,
less blocky and more organic looking objects in games. And, beyond
games, Windows 7 has the potential to turn a graphics processing unit
(GPU) from AMD or Nvidia into a general-purpose compute engine, used to
accelerate everyday computing tasks like a central processing unit, or
CPU. Specifically, "the compute shader" can be used to speed up more
common computing tasks. The buzz word used to describe this technology
is a mouthful: GPGPU or general-purpose graphics processing unit.