March 30, 2020

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Windows 7 Enters Parallel Universe

Windows 7 Enters Parallel Universe

It’s becoming clear that Microsoft is taking the first steps towards Window 7  being fully ready for parallel computing. But the fundamentals of the system mean there won’t be any major changes until whatever follows Windows 7.

Parallel computing is a fairly simple concept, albeit one that can be mindbogglingly complex in operation. Instead of a computer operating in traditional fashion, by performing a task one step at a time in logical order, parallel computing involves breaking down the task into multiple parts and carrying out two or more instantaneously.

From a software perspective, this greatly increases the effects of any bugs or loopholes because of the risk one section of a task will be reliant on data that another section hasn’t yet produced. Hardware wise, parallel computing either needs a series of computers working together, or a single machine which either runs multiple processors or a single processor split into multiple cores. These types of machine are still fairly high-end but it’s unlikely to be that many years before they are common enough that Windows really should make the best of them.

Windows 7

The big issue with Windows is that Win32, which is pretty much the brain of the system, really isn’t suited for parallel computing. There’s a long-term plan to replace Win32 (to the point that the resulting operating system would arguably no longer be a direct Windows descendant), but that won’t be happening with Windows 7.

However, ZDnet is now reporting that Vista’s successor will include several under-the-bonnet tweaks to make it do a better job of dealing with multiple processors (or cores). One example is the way Windows prioritizes tasks, which was originally a rigidly fixed process. Vista included some tweaks so that it would take better account of the processor (or processors) it was working on when setting these priorities and Windows 7 will enhance this flexibility

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