Finally, faster boot times

As PCs have gotten bigger, better, and faster, the time between turning the durned things on and being able to use them has somehow grown. I hate it; I finally wound up leaving my PC on all the time. But then I'm a freak with a big electricity bill. For the average consumer, Microsoft may finally deliver something much better: fast boots in Windows ME.

MS announced today that they're working with OEMs to cut boot times on their next Win9x upgrade:

Microsoft has also made several improvements in Windows Me to enable faster-booting PCs, including registry improvements, removal of real mode and faster device initialization. In addition, Microsoft has provided a boot-time-measurement tool for computer manufacturers to help enable a true ``fast boot'' PC, with boot times of 30 seconds or less. This tool will help computer manufacturers identify which drivers and devices provide optimal boot-time performance on any given PC configuration.
You can find more info at Microsoft's site on how POST times and device initialization will be streamlined. Some of MS's recommendations look like common sense ("have the BIOS turn on UDMA mode instead of waiting for the OS drivers to do so," for isntance), but I'm glad to see some attention being paid to these things. (Thanks to the 'shack for the link.)
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