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Windows 7 Team Improves Speed of Start Button

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 30 comments

With the huge pool of Windows 7 beta testers thanks to the publicly released build 7000, Microsoft has been tracking various performance measures and the progress its made in the latest versions.

One such metric that Microsoft is tracking is the time it takes between the click of the start button and the appearance of the menu, which is measured in milliseconds. The Windows 7 team posted two graphs showing the improvement since the beta.

Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta)Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta)Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7033Start Menu Open Times for Windows 7 Build 7033“Some caveats first—the sample sizes are different (after all Beta did go to a far wider audience) and these numbers shouldn’t be taken too literally since they really do just represent a snapshot,” explained program manager Chaitanya Sareen in the Windows 7 blog.

“The different colors denote performance against the ‘interaction class’—the acceptable experience range defined by each feature team. In this case we want the Start Menu to appear within 50ms to 100ms,” Sareen explained. “A trace capturing tool running on each machine lets us investigate and fix what may be impacting performance.

“The charts shows in Beta 85% of interactions were within the acceptable range (i.e. green or yellow, but not red). After examining the traces and making some optimizations, we find 92% of interactions are this range for a more recent build.”

Last week, we went over a few of the more notable changes to the Windows 7 taskbar that we thought to be the most useful.

Although Microsoft isn’t sharing when we might see a new version of Windows 7 released to testers, the rumors are pointing to April 10 as the target date for the Release Candidate.

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  • 22 Hide
    E7130 , March 2, 2009 1:23 PM
    jsloanjoy, i still think windows xp is better and windows 7 is nothing but microsoft's effort to put lipstick on vista pig and shake us all for more money because their stock price has fallen off the cliff since it's high.


    Stop your trolling, you post the same crap on every Windows 7 article. We get it, you will be sticking with an aging OS.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    E7130 , March 2, 2009 1:23 PM
    jsloanjoy, i still think windows xp is better and windows 7 is nothing but microsoft's effort to put lipstick on vista pig and shake us all for more money because their stock price has fallen off the cliff since it's high.


    Stop your trolling, you post the same crap on every Windows 7 article. We get it, you will be sticking with an aging OS.
  • -1 Hide
    A Stoner , March 2, 2009 1:45 PM
    It is good that they are doing such detailed investigations and fixes. Here is hoping that UAC gets a bit more of this, such as a more intelligent version of UAC that is directly linked to anti-virus software. The truth is that UAC is a worthless device with the exception of self propogating virus's that somehow lauch themselves silently. When you click something and want it to run, that little reminder is just going to be clicked yes every time. Thus, unless windows comes back and says that the file is a virus, everyone just clicks yes.

    Current UAC

    Are you sure you want to run program you downloaded from internet?
    Yes
    Are you sure you want to run program that is unsigned/signed?
    Yes
    Program wants to make changes to your system, do you want to allow it access?
    Yes
    Program wants access to the internet, Allow once, always allow, block?
    always allow

    There is no ability to make that file permanantly click and use. First, through infinity times you click that file it goes through the same
    UAC steps, and the only part that is not is the access to internet. Thus UAC is a constant nag that never learns a thing.

    What I think a good UAC would be like.

    Windows recognises that actual mouse hardware clicks were used to click the download file as well as to initialize the start of said file and then refers to anti-virus software to see if any action needs to take place.

    No virus, no popup.
    Virus, popup.

    While not perfect, there are also heuristic virus scans that look for virus type activities of files to decide if there is a new unbranded virus present.

    It can, as an option selected by user in settings, warn that a file is an installation type as compared to a run type. Instead of saying system changes, it would say install software. Settings could even be setup to warn for specific system changes. Such as, adding files to start launch menu, or to registry, or any other bootup sequence database, giving some actual information to the user as to what the file is actually doing. Then I would actually welcome a popup. Once the popup is intialized the system should then allow the user to select check marks as to how to handle this file in the future.

    Here is another idea for a really good way to cut back on virus'. Have windows run a virtual version of itself during installations. Put an icon on the desktop or taskbar once the virtual installation is completed, the user then has a chance to verify that they like the installation and can click the taskbar icon to either have that virtualization deleted or appended to windows. Any virus would only be in a virtual windows that once shut down would be gone forever. So, as long as the virtual windows installation is secure from the actual windows, there would be no chance of a virus getting free because a click on the delete installation or a simple reboot would wipe the virtualized virus off the system.

    These things add actual security, give actual information to the user, and are valued added, as compared to what UAC does now, which is give every user a terrible spouse in the form of a computer that constantly nags you as to what you are doing.

    Cuddos for Microsoft working on the details, now to see them move that detail oriented thinking into where it is going to matter most for people who will not use Vista, because Windows 7 as it stands is just Vista with a couple curtains and blinds installed over the windows.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2009 2:52 PM
    While I like Windows 7 alright, I have to partially agree with Stoner... I definitely like 7 more than Vista, but it really lacks any real innovation. I recently wrote MS (probably uselessly) in a feedback that I don't understand how 7 warrants the money to uprade from Vista, assuming it's the same price as Vista upgrades/ full editions are. I'm not a Mac lover, but since literally being forced to buy one for school, I've come to appreciate OS X. QuickLook lets me hit the space bar for an almost instant preview of a file. Time Machine, while not exactly full-featured backup, is painless to use and pretty intuitive. Expose is an excellent alternative windows management method.

    So what does Windows 7 have over Vista? Aero Peek? Ok that's kinda nice. Little tweaks here and there, but my enthusiasm for Windows 7 has seriously waned since I first installed it because it does seem to be simply a fresh coat of paint. There is no innovative feature that says "this will increase your productivity, or your entertainment while using this OS." It's a lighter weight system, and I'm sure many will appreciate that, but they need to update it a heck of a lot more than that to convince me to spend a couple hundred dollars to upgrade. In that way Stoner's likening it to a service pack is actually very accurate, I think.

    Anyway, I don't want to rant, and I like Windows 7. But it kills me that they're parading this as a brand new OS. For XP users, sure charge the full amount. But especially for Vista users, how could this possibly be worth more than $50 for an upgrade?
  • 0 Hide
    skittle , March 2, 2009 2:55 PM
    Diff
    A Stoner...Statements from almost all the reviews stated that if you have working drivers for Vista, you will have working drivers for Windows 7. That sounds like for the most part Windows 7 is almost completely a clone of the Vista kernal...


    Statements from those same 'reviewers' also say that they like windows 7.
    New (updated kernel), but the same driver model.
    They chose to use the same driver model for a very good reason. Your just used to thinking that because its windows, it needs new drivers for every release.
  • 9 Hide
    tayb , March 2, 2009 2:58 PM
    A StonerActually you are the troll. We have legitimate arguments to make against Microsoft and this is our forum as much as it is yours to put OUR views of what we want out there. Yes we will stick with an aging WORKING OS if microsoft refuses to hear our concerns and address our needs in an operating system. Just like we already know you are in love with Windows 7 and Vista, so why don't you stop putting your crap all over users who comment in Windows 7 articles that do not like Windows 7? We get it, you love it, now move on, blah blah blah blah. You are really a useful person, I mean you have accomplished so much with your writting, really put all us Windows 7 haters in our place and shut us up.Windows 7 is nothing more than lipstick on a pig. While they may have changed the undergarments a bit, the real changes are simply cosmetic and nothing that could not have been a service pack for Vista. Statements from almost all the reviews stated that if you have working drivers for Vista, you will have working drivers for Windows 7. That sounds like for the most part Windows 7 is almost completely a clone of the Vista kernal.What does that mean? It means that Microsoft is making a service pack into an operating system. There are plenty of reasons for them to do it. The first is that they get the chance to reframe the software, where Vista has a bad name, Windows 7, if they get away with it, will have a better name, even though it is the same OS with a few service pack level upgrades and updates. Second, they can sell more copies of Windows 7, which, as I have said before is nothing more extravagant than a service pack, to all the people who bought Vista. They get to charge for this service pack...


    Pipe down. I didn't both reading beyond the first sentence.

    Windows 7 has better performance numbers than XP and nice graphical user interface to go along with it. It will also support nearly every piece of hardware or software that was written or updated to work on Vista.

    If you want to stick with a slower operating system, without the eye candy, without the features, and without the support by all means continue using Windows XP. The bulk majority of us will not be enraged with blind hatred and upgrade to a clearly superior operating system.
  • 4 Hide
    skittle , March 2, 2009 3:02 PM
    And at least Microsoft gives away some service packs for free. How much does Apple charge to upgrade OSX every year? $129.99. But apple would rather you buy a new notebook instead.
  • 0 Hide
    gnesterenko , March 2, 2009 4:32 PM
    Huzzah for Windows 7 and the support it will bring for new hardware including SATA, USB, and SSDs. Shockingly enough, there's users out there who need their OS to support brand new hardware and features. I know I know: Its nothing short of a crime that the Windows doesn't cater just to us regular internet browsers and music listeneres and instead includes features for enthusiasts - maybe they should fire somebody...

    So there you have the reason why jsloans posts are consitently rated in the negative double digits. Honestly, just click the thumbs down and move on, there's nothing new or useful to read there...

    On a more positive note, looks like 7 will come out around the same time as AMD puts out RD890 chipset married to the SB800 and better then 3GH AM3 Phenom IIs. ARound the same time as DDR3 really becomes a logical choice vs DDR2. Should make for some really really tasty overclocking. By the price is right rules (closest without going over), I think 4.5GHz on air will be easily doable within the first week or two(with the black edition CPUs anyway). Its going to be a VERY merry X-mas this year!

    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
  • -2 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 2, 2009 4:32 PM
    dude why bother keep writing books responding to people. you sound like a holy preacher making someone believe in god. know how how much useless BS you write it will not affect anything people think. go back to being stoned as your name suggests. i like windows 7 and i will be getting it because I do not want to keep using an old OS that will be useless in the next 2-3 years
  • -1 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 2, 2009 5:34 PM
    why read reviews when you can just download windows 7 and make your own judgment. unless your talking about the computers users that don't know much.
  • -2 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 2, 2009 5:42 PM
    sorry i fell asleep after the first paragraph what were you trying to say? LOL. ever hear of a brief summary? no matter what you say is not going to affect any of my desicions. I have been in the IT field for 10+ years so there is nothing you say i do not know
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2009 7:16 PM
    For now it might seem to work this improved startbar speed.
    But the Beta generally is a clean system. You can optimize it all you want; what people want is optimization when all programs are installed.

    I bet 100ms of startbar could very well be 250ms-500ms once you got some decent anti-virus, firewall,office packets, compression packets, CD/DVD burning software,and blueray mediaplayers installed.

    On my WinXP taskbar I have about 100 programs and folders installed (folders each with their own programs, uninstall info and some other crap).

    I like optimizations, but not if the end product (with everything installed) will end up being slower than the regular version with everything installed.

    I sure do hope Win7 still has some background activity windows that can be disabled!
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , March 2, 2009 8:21 PM
    jsloani have it installed. you mentioned no one listened to me. why so certain. wait til tom's hardware does benchmarks of windows 7 vs vista vs xp. hopefully they'll compare linux and osx as well.10+ yrs, nice, but not as nice as 30+ years jr. what you been doing building boxes. ;-)maybe my age is starting to show, maybe i'm bored watching the market have a down day, but i know what's behind the curtain because when you look you will see old timers like me playing you'all and getting rich while doing it. :-)so, buy more trash, i would like to retire to some beach in the pacific before i grow too old.re: your handle, captaincharisma, says it all!

    I heard a lot of the same trash talk when XP came out. "Old timers" who then had 20 years experience in the technology market knew without a doubt that XP was just windows 2000 with a fancy new interface. And guess what? It was! Holy crap, who knew? You did, that's for sure. But look what it did for the technology market? It got rid of the trashed ME, replaced the clunky 2k, and turned computers into something the average Joe could install, run, and maintain.

    This is exactly what Windows 7 is doing for Vista, but with even more added benefits. Take this article for instance. They're taking Vista, improving the resource usage, interface, responsiveness, security, and usability. Not only that, but quite a few benches show it outperforms XP, so obviously those expensive programmers with likely only 5-10 years of experience making 80-120k a year at Microsoft are doing something right.

    Lol, and if you're making money off of a new OS, you can only be doing one of three things; "Building boxes", help desk, or Geek Squad. Good job ace, you've got your one-up on me, that's for sure.

    RE: Your profile pic of South Park says it all.
  • 1 Hide
    curnel_D , March 2, 2009 8:34 PM
    ProDigit80+1 on hemelskonijn's comment on the 2000 look!The vista/XP look takes at least 50MB of ram to waste. If I had the choice, I'd also go for the 2000/9x/NT look!On XP I still use that look today,simply because my system runs more responsive. Too many eye candy are just a turnoff on laptops and mininotebooks.I'm sure after a while everyone gets used to the Vista looks, and turn some off,if that helps them gain some FPS in their games.

    What are you morons talking about?

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x9/CurnelD/win7standard.png

    It took me all of three clicks.
  • 3 Hide
    curnel_D , March 2, 2009 8:52 PM
    A StonerFunny how people who have arguments that are pathetic resort to name calling. We have comments about Windows 7. You have comments about names and icons?

    Lol, real cute. It was sarcasm directed at jsloan's comment, or did you forget to read that one? Here it is:
    jsloanre: your handle, captaincharisma, says it all!


    But instead you resort to presumptuous direct insults based on background forum information on another member, and by calling my wife a butt face? (Which isn't my wife at all, super-sleuth)

    But hey, when I start insulting you, come knock on my door. I'll give you some direct answers for them.

  • -1 Hide
    cryogenic , March 2, 2009 9:32 PM
    I'm writing this comment using Windows 7 beta ...
  • -5 Hide
    hemelskonijn , March 2, 2009 9:59 PM
    It took you 3 click's to get it the way "we" wanted it ?, than clearly you dont know what "we" want.

    I wrote my personal opinion and its weird to find that some dude knows exactly what i want even though when i ran on my systems like that it was clearly NOT what i like or want ?

    Thnx a lot for trying to make my world a better and the day you create a script and or guide to make it like i want/like i will be the first to cheer you on and will retry vista and or 7, but dont think you know what other people want ... if you knew you where rich had supermodels for breakfast and bunny's for dinner.
  • -5 Hide
    jsloan , March 2, 2009 10:07 PM
    Curnel_D Lol, and if you're making money off of a new OS, you can only be doing one of three things; "Building boxes", help desk, or Geek Squad. Good job ace, you've got your one-up on me, that's for sure.RE: Your profile pic of South Park says it all.



    i dont know it looks like anyone that posted anything negative about vista got a negative, you sure microsoft is not doing what some company;s were paid to do on amazon, hire people to give positive reviews and attack negative reviews...

    i guess when you don't have much new stuff to sell and you have to make a sales to pay or your kids eduction, your new wife, your ex wife, you resort to paying people to write positive reviews and attack negative ones.

    haven't you'all read what went on with game ratings and reviews...
  • 1 Hide
    curnel_D , March 2, 2009 10:16 PM
    jsloanCurnel_D don't be offendedlook at the bright side hey i set a new record for toms hardware, -18 and the there is still timei guess it snowed and the children were off from skool ;-)they even attacked my avatar, TIMMY!

    lol, you actually got a +1 from me on that post, just because.
  • 2 Hide
    curnel_D , March 2, 2009 10:21 PM
    jsloani dont know it looks like anyone that posted anything negative about vista got a negative, you sure microsoft is not doing what some company;s were paid to do on amazon, hire people to give positive reviews and attack negative reviews...i guess when you don't have much new stuff to sell and you have to make a sales to pay or your kids eduction, your new wife, your ex wife, you resort to paying people to write positive reviews and attack negative ones.haven't you'all read what went on with game ratings and reviews...

    Lol, jsloan, in most posts, I agree with your opinions. Infact, usually you're spot on. But this is one thing I dont. Dont take it personal, and dont think I'm getting too worked up about it.

    I'm sitting second shift at an IBM contract, moving IPs across workgroups. It's boring work, so to entertain myself I'm posting on TH.
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