One of Microsoft's stated goals for Windows 8 is for it to run on any system capable of running Windows 7, which at a minimum will require the its resource usage to remain the same as its predecessor's. Today on the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft's Bill Karagounis details how the company has worked not just to maintain memory usage relative to Windows 7, but to reduce it, with an eye toward making it run acceptably on ARM-based tablets that lack the beefy processors and multi-gigabyte RAM banks of today's PCs.

One improvement to the memory manager allows it to search for duplicated items in memory, and to unload all but a single copy to save space (the Windows installer and image deployment tools for enterprises do something similar to reduce the size of the install media, keeping one copy of a given file and a record of everywhere that file needs to go on the hard drive rather than, say, five copies of the same file). Another allows developers to designate certain parts of programs and processes as "low priority," meaning that when the OS needs more memory it can maintain system responsiveness by removing those less-important bits from RAM first.

The OS's other major memory-saving trick comes not from reprogramming major programs and services, but changing how and when they run. Many services in Windows 8 - Windows Update, the Plug and Play service, and others - run only when they're needed, while in Windows 7 they run in the background more or less constantly. By changing some traditional Windows services to run only when triggered and making many new-to-Windows 8 services behave the same way, the OS can save RAM without actually shedding features.

For more, Microsoft's blog post is as always more exhaustive and detailed than what we've reported here - it's linked below for your convenience.

Source: Building Windows 8 Blog

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • dayanth - Friday, October 7, 2011 - link

    And I suppose Windows 8 will run faster than previous versions and make people twice as productive than they were in Windows 7?

    South Park sums it up nicely -
  • inighthawki - Friday, October 7, 2011 - link

    Did you try reading the article? Or are you just unjustly biased?
  • michal1980 - Friday, October 7, 2011 - link

    he's one of the wall street protesters so forgive him for now knowing what his protesting
  • blue_falcon - Friday, October 7, 2011 - link

    +1 to michal1980
  • tayb - Sunday, October 9, 2011 - link

    If you can't figure out what occupy wall street is about or don't care I feel very sorry for you.
  • Money Loo - Sunday, October 9, 2011 - link

    By the looks of things YOU are the only one here who doesn't know what occupy wall street is about.

    Also, shot in the dark here...but...umm...where-tf did that even come from? If you just left FOX news and wanted somewhere to complain about occupy wall street this is the wrong place.
  • Nfarce - Monday, October 10, 2011 - link

    Several protesters were interviewed last week, and they could not even state why they were there and what the mission was. One brainiac just said, and I quote: "I'm just angry. I don't have a reason. Can't I just be angry without a reason?"

    We aren't going to be turned into a fascist/neo-Marxist government run state of nation, so deal with it, protesters. (Fascism = government control over private industry and Marxism = no individual property rights).
  • Sandblaster44 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Nfarce must be the blond FOX barbie who has never had a problem in her life. She broke up with Ken to come defend Michael.
  • DarkUltra - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Too bad some of the protesters where caught off guard, or even mis-quoted. But the issue is very real, and the real criminals should be punished. But don't get me wrong, I really believe in capitalism and the pursuit of money. It drives the well being of us all with mass production and cheaper food, new technology and new products, new movies etc.

    But it should be well regulated so we don't get crises like we have today, that was triggered by the rotten house loans in USA and the reckless economic engineering and borrowing by the Greece government.

    Here is a good comment from

    Obama was the chance for the US to avoid this sense of alienation and
    despair, and he took the low road--kowtowing to Wall Street and giving
    the banksters everything they wanted. The chance was misused and
    abused. What is the alternative to our system? It is well-regulated
    government for the people, not winner take all capitalism. Capitalism
    does work, just like crime pays, but it has to be overseen by
    responsible people and the rewards and punishments for participating
    in capitalism have to be appropriate. There is a common good! The
    government's job is to enforce it. That means that the abusers in the
    banks-- those who bet on defaults, for example-- cannot be allowed to
    do so. It is simple, but not easy. Obama had a mandate, and flouted
    it. Let the chaos begin, since it is unavoidable. Jane Smiley
    California Sep 28, 2011 4:15 PM
  • SoCalBoomer - Friday, October 7, 2011 - link

    Well, faster than previous versions (which the article didn't mention) and be less resource intensive than previous versions (which the article did mention), yes.

    We've already seen demos, and enough people have the alpha release to verify. . . so, yes.

    Productivity is up to the individual, and for me that means a slough of monitors (2 over 2) and I'm wondering how Win8 will work on that. . . because that will directly impact my productivity.

    But, you know, nice troll.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now