Sunday, August 30, 2009

Windows 7 and hardware compatibility

A major selling point of the new operating system Windows 7, is its compatibility with existing hardware and xp so emulated. While it is speculated that trade is a bet dictated by the global crisis, we must not lose sight that these products are developed almost a day after he was released the previous version, while still no sign of future economic problems.

Speculating a bit about reasons, there is a more important condition for the evolution of the operating system and is the limit of 4 GB of memory for 32 bit systems. In general, each jump versions Windows operating systems implied a growing commitment of memory (*) and processing for the teams involved, leaving the park almost obsolete existing hardware. The 64-bit technology on the other hand, although it has some years of development and allows the increase of RAM, it has a full range of customized software to work fully in these environments and have a slow integration into desktop PCs. The challenge then was reduced to jump directly and without anesthesia to 64 bit in both hard and soft forcing a mass update for both users and organizations; or dimensioned to park 32-bit hard, trying to optimize resources for improved use of memory (physical limitation that can not exceed 4GB capacity) with better market acceptance and allowing a more gradual insertion of new systems and RAM up to now inconceivable number 17179869184 GB limit (currently commercial equipment rarely exceed 128 GB).

And the decision has been made, but it is not surprising that the next generation of applications and operating systems are 64 bit native. As we can see that many signal-art computers with 32-bit operating systems already incorporate a chipset to support 64bit.

(*) Note: To take into account the proportions of memory requirement, a system XP needs 256 MB of memory to run comfortably, while a Vista requires 1 GB system to have a yield equivalent (4 times). If we apply Moore's Law adapted to this progression, we see the impossibility of creating an innovative operating system without hitting the memory limit mentioned.