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Microsoft Further Discusses Windows 8's Boot Process

In its first post-BUILD blog post, Microsoft further discusses one of the more incredible things about Windows 8: Its ability to boot from a dead start in just seconds. While incredulous Mac users continue to insist that Windows 8's blink-and-you'll-miss-it boot times must simply be fake, Microsoft says that's not so. Windows 8 is just really, really fast.

"The Windows 8 boot experience will reflect the personality of Windows; it will be fast and fluid, seamless, and beautiful every time," Windows program manager Billie writes in the post. "By leveraging the capabilities of UEFI and working together with the ecosystem, our goal is for the PC to power up to the manufacturer’s logo and stay on that screen all the way from POST to Windows logon UI."

Of course, Microsoft previously described how it achieved the incredible boot times in Windows 8. This time around, it's providing more context around PC booting with the new OS:

Hardware improvements. Windows 8 still supports legacy BIOS interfaces, but also the more efficient and modern Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) found on new PCs. UEFI provides support for unique Windows 8 features like Secure Boot and Managed Boot.

No more boot animation. Windows 8 boots so fast, Microsoft removed the boot animation because it was just slowing down the process. Now, you'll see the manufacturer's logo for a few seconds and then the lock screen.

OOBE. The first time you turn on a Windows 8 PC, you'll step through an improved, touch-capable Setup experience. That means you can set up a Windows 8 PC without having a keyboard or mouse, assuming you have a touch-screen.

Dual-booting. As with previous versions of Windows, you can dual-boot between Windows 8 and its predecessors. But this time around, there's a new graphical (and touch-capable) screen for choosing the OS. You can also change boot options (to put from USB, for example) and access other options, including recovery tools.

I've experimented with every one of these features in the Developer Preview build. And I can tell you from experience on several systems--not just the loaner Samsung 700T slate--that the single seconds long cold boot experience is as real as it is exciting. This really is a new era for Windows, and that's as true on today's PCs as it will be on the new form factors of the future.

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