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Microsoft Details How It Made Windows 11 Faster Than Windows 10

Screen capture from Microsoft's "Windows Mechanics" video.
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Steve Dispensa, Microsoft's VP for the Windows Management team, recently explained some of the under-the-hood changes that make Windows 11 feel snappier, more responsive, and more performant than Windows 10. The video, posted to Microsoft Mechanics YouTube channel, aims to showcase how intricately connected hardware and software are, and the steps that Microsoft took to ensure that Windows 11 improves the user experience.

Windows 11 has an improved resource management system - there are now higher priority levels attributed to foreground functions (essentially, the program window you're currently focused on), reducing the amount of processing power that's eaten up by background processes. 

This prioritization of the work that matters to the user at that precise moment in time also extends to browsers, which are notorious resource hogs in any system: Windows now has improved its ability to pause inactive tabs, thus reducing the amount of system resources demanded from the underlying system - and improving performance on your active tab. The improvements here are nothing to scoff at: Steve Dispensa says the system can have 32% less memory usage and reduce CPU utilization by 37% due to this new tab sleeping function.

Microsoft has also optimized the code that calls hardware functions, reducing the delay between user input and the actual instruction being carried out in hardware, thereby reducing idle time and improving user-perceived responsiveness. This also has a knock-on effect on memory usage and overall performance: optimized instructions reduce memory footprint and improve resource handling from idle to active states.

Microsoft also deployed newer compression techniques that reduced overall OS disk usage, and extended this technique to Windows 11's update functions. Due to the new update engine in Windows 11, Microsoft promises that updates won't require as many resources as they currently do. They'll also have feature performance handling and smarter, faster update delivery that reduces the overall size of the Windows update by 40%.

Finally, Steve Dispensa talked a little about how this ecosystem of improvements have led to a sleep state philosophy that's closer to phones and what Apple has done with MacOS, in that resuming from sleep now has seen a 25% improvement which leads, in his words, to a near-instant resume from sleep for most users - with the added benefit of power savings for mobile devices that comes from the ability to enter faster sleep states without compromising on the work that's being carried out.

  • Heat_Fan89
    That sounds all good and nice but it comes across as marketing fluff. It's no different than what Apple does to try and sell you their latest hardware. I am NOT anti Windows 11. What is key for me is will Windows 11 improve how I play games? Will they run faster because the OS has been optimized? Windows 10 touted Game Mode which allowed games to run run faster. It was similar to the MS-DOS days where you created your own Autoexec and Config.sys batch files for playing games.

    IMO from all the games I played in Game Mode, it had zero effect on those games. The framerate and experience was pretty much the same. So we'll see if Windows 11 really makes a big difference where it counts the most for me, games. If not I'll stick with W10.
    Reply
  • Colif
    i wish they stop acting like only people who will use it own laptops

    clearly their ad company thinks they do

    Details about how to performs will have to wait until its out and people can compare exact same systems against each other. I can't tell you myself as I haven't played a game in 11 yet.

    Thats 1st time I heard about any changes that aren't just graphical.
    Reply
  • A Stoner
    I get much of my multitasking work done in background, I certainly hope that these features are either smart enough to know the difference or can be toggled off.

    I might open 7 tabs in a few seconds and I want those tabs populated when I get to them.

    I do not want cell phone capabilities on my desktop.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    I'm impressive how Microsoft can make so many good and bad changes to one OS.

    On one hand, these improvements are very, very good. I hope they can find other points of improvements.

    On the other hand, it's not just an OS, it's an entire MS solution. OneDrive by default, Teams integrated, Edge, online accounts, data collection everywhere. Is it so hard to just get an operating system upon which we can install the services we need, instead of getting a bulky spying monster that we need to chop down?

    I mean, seriously, this news alone makes me want to use W11, but then all the other issues feel like too much of a compromise.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    These are some good updates.

    Windows 10 is already very fast on my system but I will take it. However I won't touch Win 11 until 2022. I'll let others beta test it on release.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    salgado18 said:
    Is it so hard to just get an operating system upon which we can install the services we need, instead of getting a bulky spying monster that we need to chop down?

    If you want to avoid the espionage factor, then dual booting some sort of open source operating system is a must - the BSDs or Linux.

    Google really mainstreamed turning its users into the actual product and at this point I cannot name a thing that Google doesn't spy on, but Microsoft and Apple cannot help themselves but to also dip into people's lives and data following Google's creepy lead.
    Reply
  • Sam Bi
    Is this an admission that prior to this new release they really had crappy software and did not have the appropriate developers ?
    Or, they were in a conspiracy with hardware mfgs to force us to upgrade to make up for the software deficiencies ?
    Hey, just asking for laughs
    Reply
  • mitch074
    I have a GREAT idea : how about removing the cruft from the OS itself to make it faster? Stuff like constant indexing, spying on the user, trying to sync an account that isn't setup, trying to phone Microsoft servers all the time, running 1000+ background services and processes for whatever reason...
    No? Ah well - I'll keep my penguin then.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    This is marketing BS. And it even sounds like they're approaching from a Browsers perspective, not even talking about general tasks (hard threads?) utilization terms, so this makes the header/title of this really bad/inaccurate. So... Either the article is written (or reported on it) incorrectly, or MS doesn't know what it is talking about (not that marketing teams ever do, anyway).

    Regards.
    Reply
  • drajitsh
    A Stoner said:
    I get much of my multitasking work done in background, I certainly hope that these features are either smart enough to know the difference or can be toggled off.

    I might open 7 tabs in a few seconds and I want those tabs populated when I get to them.

    I do not want cell phone capabilities on my desktop.
    I also have a similar tab usage style, and i also think that it is pertinent.
    Reply
  • drajitsh
    Improved control over browser -- does that mean that you have to use edge to benefit from Win 11?
    Reply