Thursday, September 9th 2021

Microsoft Dives into the Internals of Windows 11

Microsoft released a fairly detailed run-down of the under-the-hood changes it made to Windows 11 over its predecessor. The operating system is optimized for a zero-trust work environment. This explains making a hardware TPM 2.0 device a minimum system requirement. The company may even penalize PCs running unsupported hardware with no access to security updates. The company also described fine-grained application performance prioritization, which automatically prevents "trivial" apps from taking up too many system resources.

Apps running in the foreground also automatically get a higher app priority. This is particularly useful when your CPU is bogged down with a heavy workload, and you're trying to open a new app. The OS automatically rations resources to ensure the app you just launched is prioritized, making the experience snappy. This technology carries forward even to the Edge web-browser, where the tab that's active has more priority, and tabs that haven't been accessed in a while are put to "sleep" (i.e. their memory is completely paged, and they're given least system resources). Microsoft calls this "Sleeping Tabs." Microsoft claims that the feature can reduce memory savings by around 30%, which could be handy for your foreground tasks. With the feature enabled, the OS (or Edge) handle prioritization automatically.
Although not mentioned by Microsoft, older reports point to Windows 11 being optimized for the new breed of hybrid CPU architectures, with awareness of "performance" and "efficiency" cores, so it can work with the processor to send the right kind of workload to the right kind of core. Besides performance and efficiency benefits, this is also key to avoid ISA mismatch between the various CPU core types.

Another key design push from Microsoft has been to improve the "always-on" experience, making your PC as accessible as your phone. Windows 11 features an optimized resume-from-sleep mechanism which, with Windows 11 logo-certified PCs, features a special sequence of turning on hardware that's powered down (i.e. the CPU, storage, networking, etc.,) and preserves the application priority states as the system returns to a wake state. This reduces resume-from-sleep times by 25%. Microsoft also worked on improving the performance of Windows Hello (biometric login), reducing Hello user-authentication times by 30%.

Microsoft also worked to reduce the overall disk footprint of the operating system. Most in-built apps come as stubs, which are either loaded from over the web at first launch; or remain compressed. Unless accessed at least once, an in-built app never posts background activity, and doesn't line up for updates, either.

The company tried to explain the steeper system requirements for Windows 11, and much of this has to do with the clean break to Intel 8th Gen Core and AMD Ryzen 2000 series (or later) processors. These are the first CPU microarchitectures with on-chip TPM 2.0 compatible security. The OS also requires UEFI, legacy booting using CSM is no longer supported. Also, third-party drivers to certain hardware are required to conform to the new DCH driver model. Microsoft claims with tighter control over hardware and driver models, it is able to ensure a "99.98% crash-free experience."

Microsoft assures that all your Windows 10-compatible software should work seamlessly with Windows 11, as if it were a feature-update. The company set up a service called App Assist to fix compatibility problems by working with the application's developers.

The Windows Update service model will also receive an overhaul. Rather than two feature-updates (typically Spring and Fall), the company will only release one feature-update per year, typically positioned in the second half. Windows Update has been overhauled to only fetch specific pieces of software that need updates, which translates to up to 40% reduction in bandwidth consumption.
Add your own comment

54 Comments on Microsoft Dives into the Internals of Windows 11

#1
ThrashZone
Hi,
Don't like your boards new bios... and you want to use an older seems you'll get a big so what penalty and install it anyway from MS or else :cool:
Posted on Reply
#2
Gruffalo.Soldier
I'm the only one
with awareness of "performance" and "efficiency" cores

Geared for new Intel Big/Small i wonder
Posted on Reply
#3
Vya Domus
As much as I hoped for big.LITTLE architectures to say away from desktops it looks like it's going to happen anyway. The time of affordable high core count CPUs has ended, it's crappy "efficiency cores" from now on. And I fully expect AMD to jump on the big.LITTLE boat soon, there are big profit margins to be had. Thanks Intel for ushering in a new age of technological regression.
Posted on Reply
#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Gruffalo.Soldierwith awareness of "performance" and "efficiency" cores

Geared for new Intel Big/Small i wonder
I wouldn't rule out AMD working on a big.LITTLE of its own.

How small can you make a Zen1 core (originally designed for 14 nm) with TSMC 5 nm?



Source: My magic ass.
Posted on Reply
#6
BSim500
"The operating system is optimized for a zero-trust work environment."
Honestly if I worked at one of those, I'd be more interested in changing jobs than OS...
Apps running in the foreground also automatically get a higher app priority.
I thought that was normal since Win95, maybe even 3.1? What was "Game Mode" for W10 all about if not prioritising the foreground game?
Although not mentioned by Microsoft, older reports point to Windows 11 being optimized for the new breed of hybrid CPU architectures, with awareness of "performance" and "efficiency" cores, so it can work with the processor to send the right kind of workload to the right kind of core. Besides performance and efficiency benefits, this is also key to avoid ISA mismatch between the various CPU core types.
So older games may run worse under W11 than W7-10 if Windows "guesses" the workload incorrectly? It would be nice for TPU to test some of those.
Another key design push from Microsoft has been to improve the "always-on" experience, making your PC as accessible as your phone
No thanks. I want the opposite - an OS that simply starts programs, and then gets out of the way and shuts the f*** up for once.
Microsoft also worked to reduce the overall disk footprint of the operating system. Most in-built apps come as stubs, which are either loaded from over the web at first launch; or remain compressed. Unless accessed at least once, an in-built app never posts background activity, and doesn't line up for updates, either.
I'd be far more impressed if MS let you uninstall everything you didn't need or didn't pre-install crap-ware in the first place...
Also, third-party drivers to certain hardware are required to conform to the new DCH driver model. Microsoft claims with tighter control over hardware and driver models, it is able to ensure a "99.98% crash-free experience.
If that includes GPU drivers, I'd say the reverse is true and I've seen far more issues with forced updates of DCH drivers than with regular "Legacy" ones. "Where's my GPU Control Panel", "Which version did you download? If you downloaded the DCH version you need to go online to MS Store to get the GPU Control Panel. It's only the non-DCH drivers that install it normally without the BS"...
The company set up a service called App Assist to fix compatibility problems by working with the application's developers.
Is this service on top of App Readiness, Application Identity, Program Compatibility Assistant, Problem Reports and Solutions, etc? How many more layers of this crap is needed for Windows to understand how to start Windows applications without having it's ass wiped by "assistants"?...
The Windows Update service model will also receive an overhaul. Rather than two feature-updates (typically Spring and Fall), the company will only release one feature-update per year, typically positioned in the second half. Windows Update has been overhauled to only fetch specific pieces of software that need updates, which translates to up to 40% reduction in bandwidth consumption.
So the printing subsystem will break only once a year vs twice but it's still more unstable than LTSC?
The company may even penalize PCs running unsupported hardware with no access to security updates.
"No more forced updates" actually sounds like a plus given W10's track record...
Posted on Reply
#7
Drash
"...clean break to Intel 8th Gen Core and AMD Ryzen 2000 series (or later) processors. These are the first CPU microarchitectures with on-chip TPM 2.0 compatible security..."

Iirc my 6700K on a Gigabyte Z170XP SLI mobo has this - that's gen 6. Total crock.
Posted on Reply
#8
neatfeatguy
With how Windows 10 "updates and/or security fixes" had a really good track record of breaking stuff....I'm not interested in shifting to a new OS from them. Bad enough I've had OS and file breaking issues with Windows 10, I don't want another OS that causes more issues with their forced updates.
Posted on Reply
#9
john_
Vya DomusAs much as I hoped for big.LITTLE architectures to say away from desktops it looks like it's going to happen anyway. The time of affordable high core count CPUs has ended, it's crappy "efficiency cores" from now on. And I fully expect AMD to jump on the big.LITTLE boat soon, there are big profit margins to be had. Thanks Intel for ushering in a new age of technological regression.
They will have to jump either they like it or not. Because that Big little setup gives a huge marketing advantage to Intel.
It can advertise the same number of cores as top AMD models, knowing that 90% of consumers will never know the difference.
Can advertise top performance, based on the big cores.
Can advertise exceptional efficiency, based on little cores.

AMD can't touch that with only big cores. It will be winning in some heavily multithreaded benchmarks, but it will be losing in both efficiency and performance.
Because it's easy to write an article where the author will be pointing at the fact that the PC usually runs idle or at lower loads. Measuring total power consumption at a period of time, Intel CPUs will be ending up cheaper on the power bill. It's also easy to test some games or apps or run some single threaded benchmarks and show that Intel CPUs are faster. Intel still offers top IPC and top CPU frequencies, so AMD will have to do some magic, get a couple of years ahead of Intel just to come at parity. We have seen this in those last years.
Posted on Reply
#10
windwhirl
BSim500What was "Game Mode" for W10 all about if not prioritising the foreground game?
IIRC, that and shutting up notifications and updates while playing. However, it seems it was deprecated in 1809?
docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/desktop/gamemode/game-mode-portal

BSim500So older games may run worse under W11 than W7-10 if Windows "guesses" the workload incorrectly? It would be nice for TPU to test some of those.
There should be some clear way for Windows to discern it. First and foremost, the use of fullscreen mode and/or DirectX APIs. Additionally, if the game is that old, it's unlikely it will run worse since it won't be expecting to make use of hardware that far outclasses everything that was available in its time.
BSim500Is this service on top of App Readiness, Application Identity, Program Compatibility Assistant, Problem Reports and Solutions, etc? How many more layers of this crap is needed for Windows to understand how to start Windows applications without having it's ass wiped by "assistants"?...
To be fair, Application Identity is a security layer. Program Compatibility Assistant deals with old applications that have not been updated to be fully compliant with whatever changed over the years as new Windows versions came and went, Problem Reports and Solutions deal with those by telling Microsoft if something is going wrong with some aspect of the OS when interacting with the apps. And App Readiness is as obscure as it gets for me, since I don't understand what's its actual purpose.
BSim500"No more forced updates" actually sounds like a plus given W10's track record...
You're probably not the only thinking that.
Posted on Reply
#11
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
The operating system is optimized for a zero-trust work environment.
Zero trust from user or from Microsoft (Microsoft have had little trust from many users since/from win 10)
Posted on Reply
#12
Vayra86
Hey look a depressive topic on a new Windows version that's getting released.

Its like some things never change, such as the fact we're still using Windows PCs.

I think so far we've seen MS is keen to listen to the market, because its their livelihood, and the market doesn't take kindly to any sort of big change. So yeah, this will go back and forth like it did with previous Windows versions. And in the end we'll have something that just works. I agree, the road is bumpy. But its a road and the OS has unique selling points.
Posted on Reply
#13
zlobby
So, basicalky nothing new in comparisin with Win 10? All of those are already available i Win 10 if one wishes to enable them.
It seems Win 11 will simply enforce them on compatible hardware. Meeeeeh!
Posted on Reply
#15
TheoneandonlyMrK
I can't help but think one of their ideas is totally balls.

Only updating packaged apps if used once.

Wtaf it's already the case that whenever I want to game I have to update shit first , despite auto updates ,wtaf?!.

Now even f£#@&#@ paint might need to update before I convert evidence into TPU fact.

Great.

And err securily, securily to the dance floor please someone's passed out.
Posted on Reply
#16
zlobby
dorsetknobZero trust from user or from Microsoft (Microsoft have had little trust from many users since/from win 10)
Yeah...

Zero trust but we somehow have to trust OEM/ODM and their supply chain, as well as Microsoft too, that they won't embedd any backdoors or intentional weaknesses (*cough* XTS *cough*), or simply skipping most of the security during the design phase?

Zero trust in the sense @dorsetknob meant it.
Posted on Reply
#17
mechtech
I wonder if can have an offline account???
Posted on Reply
#18
defaultluser
zlobbyYeah...

Zero trust but we somehow have to trust OEM/ODM and their supply chain, as well as Microsoft too, that they won't embedd any backdoors or intentional weaknesses (*cough* XTS *cough*), or simply skipping most of the security during the design phase?

Zero trust in the sense @dorsetknob meant it.
Yeah, Lenovo already pulled that shit several years ago, and because there is very little Encrypted communication between system and input devices enforced by the TPM module, it wouldn't be very hard for them to continue this sort of Spyware data collection!

thehackernews.com/2015/09/lenovo-laptop-virus.html

To me, Windows 11's TPM Module with a universally-identifiable number makes this thing just as bad as buying any of the pre-hacked systems, or an Xbot
Posted on Reply
#19
zlobby
mechtechI wonder if can have an offline account???
'X' Doubt
Posted on Reply
#20
ARF
john_They will have to jump either they like it or not. Because that Big little setup gives a huge marketing advantage to Intel.
It can advertise the same number of cores as top AMD models, knowing that 90% of consumers will never know the difference.
Can advertise top performance, based on the big cores.
Can advertise exceptional efficiency, based on little cores.

AMD can't touch that with only big cores. It will be winning in some heavily multithreaded benchmarks, but it will be losing in both efficiency and performance.
Because it's easy to write an article where the author will be pointing at the fact that the PC usually runs idle or at lower loads. Measuring total power consumption at a period of time, Intel CPUs will be ending up cheaper on the power bill. It's also easy to test some games or apps or run some single threaded benchmarks and show that Intel CPUs are faster. Intel still offers top IPC and top CPU frequencies, so AMD will have to do some magic, get a couple of years ahead of Intel just to come at parity. We have seen this in those last years.
I think this is nonsense. Please explain how will Alder Lake with only 24 threads on a broken 10 nm process be both faster and more efficient than the mighty 32-thread Ryzen 9 5950X, let alone the coming 3D V-cache Ryzen 6000?
Posted on Reply
#22
Wirko
Vya DomusAs much as I hoped for big.LITTLE architectures to say away from desktops it looks like it's going to happen anyway. The time of affordable high core count CPUs has ended, it's crappy "efficiency cores" from now on. And I fully expect AMD to jump on the big.LITTLE boat soon, there are big profit margins to be had. Thanks Intel for ushering in a new age of technological regression.
If you had a choice, and could buy a CPU in an 8+8 or 10+0 configuration from the same manufacturer at the same price, which one would you choose?
Posted on Reply
#23
R-T-B
btarunrThe company tried to explain the steeper system requirements for Windows 11, and much of this has to do with the clean break to Intel 8th Gen Core and AMD Ryzen 2000 series (or later) processors. These are the first CPU microarchitectures with on-chip TPM 2.0 compatible security.
No, they aren't.
zlobby'X' Doubt
Dunno. Latest beta lets you.
Posted on Reply
#24
RedBear
Wow, they are outright lying about Intel 8th Generation and Ryzen 2000 being the first CPUs with integrated TPM 2.0, this is pretty ugly in terms of public relations.
Posted on Reply
#25
dyonoctis
btarunrI wouldn't rule out AMD working on a big.LITTLE of its own.

How small can you make a Zen1 core (originally designed for 14 nm) with TSMC 5 nm?



Source: My magic ass.
Someone else magic ass said that zen 4 will be used for the small core :
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment
Copyright © 2004-2021 www.techpowerup.com. All rights reserved.
All trademarks used are properties of their respective owners.