Microsoft/Intel tool to speed app launching

Intel's Application Launch Accelerator (IALA) will be integrated into Microsoft Windows 98, officials of both companies announced this week. The IALA is a utility that uses an "optimizing algorithm" to speed up program launching by as much as four times. At the Intel Developers Forum on Monday, Intel demonstrated the utility on two otherwise identical machines. Without the accelerator, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint loaded in 12 seconds. Using IALA, the three programs were up and running in 3 seconds.

Interesting, the program accelerates frequently used programs most efficiently, so if you use Word 97 every day, it will load faster than other apps you use less often.

"\[The IALA\] profiles applications and understands exactly what happens so that when you load applications, it looks at the code path that application is taking," Phil Holden, a Windows product manager, said. "If a user is running Word, Excel and PowerPoint, it will optimize the disk based on their usage. If you use Word the most, the fastest experience will come when you click on Word. If you use Excel not as frequently, the performance will be slightly less."

The IALA will make its first appearance in Windows 98 Beta 3, expected in October. In the final release, it will also be integrated with the disk defragmenter program in Windows 98

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