Microsoft to tweak Windows 7 for multi-core processing

— 5:05 PM on September 30, 2008

Windows 7 won't be just about polish, bug fixes, and missing consumer applications. According to ZDNet blogger Mary-Jo Foley, Microsoft coders are getting their hands dirty tweaking the new operating system with parallel processing in mind. Foley sat down with Microsoft Chief Rsearch and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie to learn more, and here's what he said:

"Win32 was never designed for highly concurrent, asynchronous processing," said Mundie during a recent interview I had with him last week at the Emerging Technology Conference in Cambridge, Mass.

"Parallelism requires adjustments at every level of the stack," Mundie acknowledged. It involves "the repartioning [sic] of different tasks to different layers. . . . So look for a rebalancing of roles and runtimes. We need to formalize that in the operating system. Expect thei [sic] first pieces in the next generation of Windows."

Mundie went on to cite Windows' user-mode rescheduling model as an example, saying Microsoft has "introduced a new trial model as part of its Robotics Development Kit runtime." The robotics toolkit includes "new concurrency and coordination (CCR) and decentralized software services (DSS) runtimes that are optimized for distributed/multicore computing," Foley points out.

Microsoft should shed a little more light on Windows 7's parallelism enhancements soon. The official Professional Developers Conference website says Microsoft executives will go over the "key architectural changes Microsoft is making to Windows to enable the efficient execution of parallel software" at the event in October. The changes could help Windows 7 better cope with systems that have eight or more CPU cores.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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