The Engineering Windows 7 (aka "e7") blog at MSDN is providing us with a useful look at how the performance of Windows 7 is being analyzed in this week's blog post. So, what are the major subsystems being analyzed? Some of them include:
Memory usage: trying to balance time versus space (disk, memory)
CPU utilization: keep it as low as possible to improve multi-user scenarios and reduce power consumption
Disk I/O: reading, writing, paging performance for both traditional and solid-state drives
Boot, Shutdown, Standby/Resume: working with system vendors to make these operations as fast as possible
Base system: balancing "on-demand" loading of resources with the need to keep performance at as high a level as possible
Disk footprint: working with the space demands of device drivers, help system, optional components, diagnostics, and logging information
What hardware is Microsoft using? In contrast to the popular view that Redmond tests Windows only on the fastest hardware, the Engineering Windows 7 group is using a variety of 32-bit and 64-bit platforms with varying amounts of RAM (1,2, and 4GB), hard disk types (5400 rpm, 7200 rpm, and solid state), and various Intel and AMD processors for performance measurements, and is also using conditional code to customize Windows for particular hardware. And, if you wondered if you should opt into the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program, the e7 folks point out that it provides useful (and anonymous) data on how systems in the field are working.
One of Microsoft's goals in setting up the e7 blog was to get a wide range of user comments to help shape the direction of Windows 7, and with over 60 comments on this blog post alone, it's working. These comments aren't fanboy "Windows rules" or "Windows sucks"-level invective, either. They're thoughtful suggestions on everything from how customizable the user interface should be to how to improve the Registry. If you're concerned about the future of Windows, you should stop by and have a look - regularly - and add your two cents through their comments feature (as well as ours).