Clearly, power users who rely on multiprocessor workstations can reap immediate benefits from migrating to Windows 7. However, the list of potential beneficiaries doesn't necessarily stop there. Current-generation Core i7-based PCs and laptops will also reap benefits from Windows 7's more intelligent management of code/cache boundary alignment and similar multicore-specific tweaks. And while the scalability advantages of Windows 7 may not yet allow it to overtake the lighter, simpler Windows XP on dual- or quad-core PCs, it does help to mitigate the significantly higher demands that the new OS places on PC hardware.
All of those advantages that make Windows 7 so compelling -- the improved security, manageability, and usability features -- come at a cost in terms of additional CPU cycles consumed by their respective background services. Thus, making the most of what processor bandwidth is available takes on a new urgency as the layers of software separating hardware from operator continue to accumulate.
But no matter how you slice the results, Windows 7 -- or at least its underlying kernel architecture -- is clearly the future of Intel-based PC computing. This will remain true even if Microsoft decides to gut Windows and do away with all the layers above the NT Executive (MinWin taken to the extreme). The fact is that Microsoft has built a robust, highly scalable, multicore-aware OS foundation with Windows 7, and it should continue to serve Redmond well as it maps out future versions of the OS.
- Windows 7's real killer feature
- Windows 7 on multicore: How much faster?
- How Intel Nehalem processors and Windows 7 work together
- The generation gap: Windows on multicore
- Windows 7 RTM: The revenge of Windows Vista
- PC vs. Mac deathmatch: Snow Leopard beats Windows 7
This story, "Windows 7's killer feature: Windows on multicore, redux," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in Windows 7 and Windows at InfoWorld.com.