Steven Sinofsky talks about the Windows Team’s efforts with this new release of Windows to make it a release that lives up to all users expectation when it comes to performance in all categories, CPU Utilization, Disk I/O, Disk Foot Print, Memory Usage and more.
‘Performance is made up of many different elements. We could be talking about response time to a specific request. It might mean how much RAM is “typical” or what CPU customers need. We could be talking about the clock time to launch a program. It could mean boot or standby/resume. It could mean watching CPU activity or disk I/O activity (or lack disk activity). It could mean battery life. It might even mean something as mundane as typical disk footprint after installation. All of these are measures of performance. All of these are systematically tracked during the course of development. We track performance by running a known set of scenarios (there are thousands of these) and developers can run specific scenarios based on exercising more depth or breadth.’
Personally, I believe a lot Windows Vista’s performance issues relates to how it is setup and what it is setup on. The OS tries to scale this according to how powerful a computer is. For instance, if you have little RAM, with an insignificant shared memory Vista will give a lower tier UI called AERO Basic, since using AERO Glass would be too strenuous performing on such system. Even if you have certain model discrete video card and certain amount memory, Vista will consider what’s best for you to give you the best experience. Hopefully this will be improved in Windows 7 in a way that they can get the most out of their system. Because regardless, Vista tries to make the system acceptable, the added application equation often makes the system performance less powerful and unproductive.
We have criteria that we apply at the end of our milestones and before we go to beta and we won’t ship without broadly meeting these criteria. Sometimes these criteria are micro-benchmarks (page faults, processor utilization, working set, gamer frame rates) and other times they are more scenario based and measure time to complete a task (clock time, mouse clicks). We do these measurements on a variety of hardware platforms (32-bit or 64-bit; 1, 2, 4GB of RAM; 5400 to 7200 RPM or solid-state disks; a variety of processors, etc.) Because of the inherent tradeoffs in some architectural approaches, we often introduce conditional code that depends on the type of hardware on which Windows is running.
This something I have particular issue with, especially how the system rates your performance. For instance, I have Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit installed on a system with the following specs:
- 3.2 Ghz P4 32-Bit
- 2.6 GBs of RAM
- nVidia Geforce FX 6200 512 MB AGP
- 250 GB drive
Yet my Windows Experience Index rating stands at 2.3. Personally I believe at least a respectable 3.5. So, there needs to be a delicate and better way to rate a users components. Regardless of all of this, my system handles Vista beautifully especially with the recent Service Pack 1 update.
Read the entire article here