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Reengineering Windows Boot Experience

September 23rd, 2011 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

Phew! We’re all back from BUILD and focused on our next milestone. It is fair to say we had an awesome time showing everyone Windows 8 in depth and all of our speakers and Microsoft attendees are unbelievably appreciative for the warm reception you gave the product. We know it is early still–a developer preview–and there are lots of questions. We’re going to be answering them in new posts as we focus on using the Windows Developer Preview (WDP) as a baseline–so if you haven’t been running it, consider it sort of like a prerequisite for many of the blog posts.

Boot is the sort of effort that gets no respect. It is either too long or all the work to make it nice and pleasant hopefully goes unnoticed since you never want to boot your machine. I remember a meeting many years ago where Bill Gates said (paraphrasing) “Boot is a one-line function call that computes a constant yet takes forever: fBoot = SystemBoot()” At the same time it seems like everything boots these days—phones, TVs, cable TV boxes, even my TV remote boots. In building Windows 8, we set out of take advantage of some new technology and revisited some old assumptions to totally rethink the boot experience. We also wanted to make it more accessible and better suited to devices without keyboards. Of course, we also did a lot of work to continue to minimize reboots altogether, but this post is about what happens when you do boot. Billie Sue Chafins authored this post. She is a long time program manager who spent many years on user interface design, and in this release she helped us to focus on the boot experience (in addition to the Metro style app sharing contract which you can learn about from BUILD here).



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