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this is subsite Microsoft to tweak Windows 7 for multi-core processing - TechAmok

Microsoft to tweak Windows 7 for multi-core processing - [software]
09:30 AM EDT - Oct,01 2008 - post a comment

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:
At the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in late October, Microsoft execs are slated to discuss "the key architectural changes Microsoft is making to Windows to enable the efficient execution of parallel software," according to a session description on the PDC Web site. I asked Microsoft for more specifics as to what's changing in Windows 7 with regard to parallel-processing support. A spokeswoman said "Microsoft is not commenting on this level of detail regarding Windows 7 yet. " I got a few hints about what's on the drawing board, however, from Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer. "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 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 first pieces in the next generation of Windows."

As one example of one Windows feature that needs this kind of rebalancing, Mundie cited the user-mode scheduling model. The existing Windows scheduler has "too much overhead," Mundie said. He noted that Microsoft has introduced a new trial model as part of its Robotics Development Kit runtime. Microsoft's robotics toolkit includes new concurrency and coordination (CCR) and decentralized software services (DSS) runtimes that are optimized for distributed/multicore computing. While Windows today can handle machines with a few cores, it's not designed to exploit machines with 8, 16 or 32+ cores. I'm doubtful Microsoft will make too many tweaks to the lower-level operating system layers with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in order to keep user disruption to a minimum. But the early seeds designed to make Windows a better parallel/asynchronous-processing platform are being sown, starting in 2009.

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