Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Microsoft Still Trying to Patent Windows Vista's ReadyBoost

By - Source: USPTO | B 19 comments

A patent for Microsoft's ReadyBoost technology, which surfaced first in Windows Vista was recently resubmitted by Microsoft for approval by the USPTO.

The document indicates that Microsoft filed the patent application initially on October 21, 2004 and followed up on February 5, 2009 and May 6, 2010. The most recent continuation was submitted by Microsoft in July of this year in what appears to be an ongoing process to get the invention approved.

Described as "using external memory devices to improve system performance", the document relates to a feature that was heavily marketed during the launch of Windows Vista and is still available, but is largely forgotten by mainstream users today. According to the patent application, the invention covers external memory storage devices that integrate volatile or non-volatile solid-state memory. The idea is to use such a drive "to cache sectors from the hard disk (i.e., disk sectors) and/or slower memory components to improve system performance."

According to the data published, Microsoft found that data read times could be accelerated by more than 60 percent in some circumstances with this technology.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Scanlia , November 16, 2011 3:02 AM
    No. The. Patent. System. Is. Broken.
Other Comments
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 16, 2011 2:10 AM
    so they want to patent putting a pagefile/swap on any external device? m$ is trying to pull an apple.
  • 3 Hide
    mrmike_49 , November 16, 2011 2:35 AM
    theTwizso they want to patent putting a pagefile/swap on any external device? m$ is trying to pull an apple.

    really!

    real basic idea, and actually I think I came up with it first, so M$ needs to pay me
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    nekatreven , November 16, 2011 2:59 AM
    Although I admit that I turn off ReadyBoost and Superfetch on every system I use, I still think you guys are talking out your a$$.

    I wasn't aware that anyone else besides Microsoft had implemented a second swap service for faster solid state devices and an algorithm to detect what should be swapped to 'Boost, what should go to normal swap, and what should not be swapped (based on criteria such as the percentage of random io being done on items needing to be swapped).

    Regardless of my feelings that ReadyBoost doesn't work well enough to be worth the hassle, and that it is 100 times better to spend a few more dollars to add RAM.... you should either start listing the operating systems you know of that also do this.... or otherwise kindly stop spouting trash about subjects that make your ignorance shine.

    (And fyi I am aware that most operating systems implement paging priorities, but for the most part they fill the highest priority swap device and move on to the next. They don't subdivide based on workload, so it isn't the same.)
  • 15 Hide
    Scanlia , November 16, 2011 3:02 AM
    No. The. Patent. System. Is. Broken.
  • 8 Hide
    Pinhedd , November 16, 2011 3:08 AM
    ReadyBoost was largely forgotten after vista for two reasons:

    1. The proliferation of cheap, high density, high speed DDR3 RAM. Windows natively caches some files in the RAM already and most systems today have 8-16GiB installed so there's really no need to use it.

    2. External flash is still heavily bottlenecked by the dated USB2.0 specification. 480mbps peak is nothing compared to the 3gbps link between the same IO controller and the hard disk cache. It's also trivial compared to the RAM caching mentioned avove.

    I imagine the reason that they're still pushing for it is because USB3.0 will allow for today's much larger external flash based storage to boost performance like it was supposed to several years ago.
  • 4 Hide
    livebriand , November 16, 2011 3:24 AM
    Who needs it? Most PCs have 4GB ram now, so that's plenty. I've never used it, for sure.
  • 5 Hide
    alyoshka , November 16, 2011 5:00 AM
    Well, the new X79 boards all have this SRT thing which is actually readyboost.... so you can understand what MS is trying to do, every processor with SRT and every chip maker using SSD caching will have to pay MS..... that's a heel of a lot of dough.....
    All the leading board makers are using this as the new marketing gimmic, so every board that sells......:)  MS has a dime to pocket.....
  • 1 Hide
    alyoshka , November 16, 2011 5:02 AM
    opps...."that's a hell of a lotta money....:) "
  • -4 Hide
    alyoshka , November 16, 2011 5:02 AM
    oops..."opps"
  • 2 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 16, 2011 9:33 AM
    PinheddReadyBoost was largely forgotten after vista for two reasons:1. The proliferation of cheap, high density, high speed DDR3 RAM. Windows natively caches some files in the RAM already and most systems today have 8-16GiB installed so there's really no need to use it.2. External flash is still heavily bottlenecked by the dated USB2.0 specification. 480mbps peak is nothing compared to the 3gbps link between the same IO controller and the hard disk cache. It's also trivial compared to the RAM caching mentioned avove.I imagine the reason that they're still pushing for it is because USB3.0 will allow for today's much larger external flash based storage to boost performance like it was supposed to several years ago.



    Microsoft uses Readyboost on external storage devices that have high performance when it comes to highly random i/o. USB 2.0 isn't much of a bottleneck here. The goal of readyboost is to reduce the load of the mechanical hard drive of random access, which is a mechanical drive's slow point. It isn't supposed to offload sequential transfer operations.
  • 1 Hide
    randomizer , November 16, 2011 9:54 AM
    theTwizso they want to patent putting a pagefile/swap on any external device? m$ is trying to pull an apple.

    ReadyBoost is a cache of (part of) the page file. It does not replace the page file. Doing the latter would be potentially fatal to a running session if the drive was removed during operation, which is why no operating system uses removable drives for swap space. Although it is almost certainly possible for, say, Linux to add removable drives as swap.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , November 16, 2011 12:11 PM
    theTwizso they want to patent putting a pagefile/swap on any external device? m$ is trying to pull an apple.

    By any chance, do you know who owns the patent for the pagefile / swapfile, because if it is also Microsoft then implementation of the same idea using an external device is perfectly valid.
    ...
    Can anyone check this out?
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , November 16, 2011 2:14 PM
    This doesn't seem very fair to non-M$ machines but really, how often is readyboost used, let alone a similar program in a different OS?

    After a quick Google search I'm not sure the page/swap file is even patented.
  • -1 Hide
    hoof_hearted , November 16, 2011 2:33 PM
    blazorthonThis doesn't seem very fair to non-M$ machines but really, how often is readyboost used, let alone a similar program in a different OS?After a quick Google search I'm not sure the page/swap file is even patented.


    I am sure Apple is working on that.
  • 0 Hide
    shafe88 , November 16, 2011 7:14 PM
    hoof_heartedI am sure Apple is working on that.

    If that's the case than it all comes down to who bribes the patent office with the most $$$$$.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 16, 2011 8:09 PM
    Hopefully it's not broad enough that is granted, would cover all caching. Otherwise what's the point as SSD's move mainstream. Cameras that buffer to RAM before writing to the Flash memory would fall under it, and well nearly all the smart phones that have RAM/CPU Cache. The CPU has caches already Intel would probably get mad.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 16, 2011 10:04 PM
    anyone use this with skyrim? i hear that it makes loading almost instant... not verified by me, but just what i hear.

    if its true, i know the present ill give my little brother for christmass.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 17, 2011 6:08 PM
    I'm rather surprised it hasn't been patented yet...I think Microsoft was one of the first to do this.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 10, 2012 2:00 AM
    They should not be able to patent anything the can't explain. In 18 comments there are at least 5 takes on ReadyBoost.

    7 years and they still have not explained it enough to choose to use it. Let's patent lint.