Vista start-up times

I'm in Redmond at the moment, after a quick breather over the border in Canada, I've got over my jet lag and I'm ready for an 8 day stint in darkened rooms with 5 or 6 thousand slides, and catching-up with my Microsoft colleagues from round the world. I've been told two or three interesting things already with a comment "We're expecting to start talking to customers about this at Tech-Ed EMEA" - if you're thinking about going and haven't booked your place yet, what are you waiting for.

When a lot of us get together there are a couple of pairs of questions which come up every time:

  • Why can't product X include feature Y ? and Why can't the next release of product X be out sooner ?

These questions come from different parts of the room and it gives us some idea of what the product managers out here have to go through when setting their priorities.

The other question-pair is

  • Why can't we make PC manufacturers do X - or Why can't we stop them doing Y ?

People with any length of memory will remember the trouble we got into for leaning on companies not to install Internet Explorer and not Netscape. The EU told us we had to offer Windows without media player to give Real Player a better chance.

The problem this has made for us - and for our customers is that today's PCs are loaded with all kinds of crap. There's even a product the PC DeCrapifier* to get rid of all the junk: it's simpler than my advice to reformat any PC you buy and reinstall a clean version of Windows.

Eileen has a great post "Why does Vista Take so long to Start-up ?"   - which should be subtitled "and what can I do about it ?", because she answers that question. If you're running Vista you get to the same functions through defender, but the way Eileen puts forward with MSCONFIG is more direct.

There is another question though ... Why are you restarting Vista ?  Vista has really good power management, it will slow the processor when it doesn't need to be running flat out, sleep can be managed by group policy, or you send the machine to sleep at will. If you need to power down completely, then hibernate is still better than shutting down and rebooting every day. If you let the machine sleep it can wake up and run jobs - like making the shadow copy used for previous version - if you boot the machine each morning not only does the OS have to load, repopulate caches, logon , load user settings, and then start the programs Eileen was talking about, but then it needs to run those jobs.

One of the statistics I've seen today is moving 10PCs with CRT Monitors to Vista with Power Management is environmentally equivalent to taking a car of the road. I know this is vague, and since it comes from the US where the average car uses more fuel, it might take more PCs to be upgraded back home to equate to one car. I'm going to try to find where the numbers come from.



* I haven't used it, I just know it's out there. Other products to do this may exist.

Comments (1)

  1. techiebird says:

    Hi James – great post.  I came here after reading Eileen’s :o)

    The reason I restart Vista (albeit about once or twice a week, certainly not every day) is because I have too many flaky apps and devices that either start to hog resources (and aren’t easy to restart to get them to release again) or just don’t cope well with going in and out of standby or hibernate.

    It’s a shame that the operating system itself is probably more stable and resilient than ever, but the increasing number of add-ins and toolbars we add to (even the best behaved of) our apps means we jeopardise this stability with every productivity-enhancing widget we install.

    With time-to-market being more important for most small app developers than long-term stability, and small, single-purpose apps and add-ins being more popular than ever, I can’t see the picture getting much better anytime soon, at least not for the home user.

    On the plus side, my work desktop is locked down more than ever and runs just fine.  The more crap I install at home (no, I never learn) the more evangelical I get about locking things down at work!

Skip to main content