Windows 8 to dramatically reduce memory usage

Windows 8 - Reduce memory usage

Microsoft described the goals to dramatically reduce Windows 8 memory usage in their new Building Windows 8 blog.

One thing that the software giant wants to do is to ship Windows 8 with the same system requirements as Windows 7. Reducing the memory usage that Windows 8 utilizes is one of them. This will increase the system performance, that way applications can run more efficiently and in portable devices such as laptops and tables, will increase their battery life.

“Something that might not be obvious is that minimizing memory usage on low-power platforms can prolong battery life. Huh? In any PC, RAM is constantly consuming power.” said Microsoft’s Bill Karagounis in the Windows 8 blog post. Sometimes manufactures are forced to add more physical RAM to act against applications and operating system memory requirements, but “The more RAM you have on board, the more power it uses”

There are hundreds of changes in Windows 8 that will help to reduce memory usage, some of them include:

Memory combining

Memory combining allows Windows to efficiently evaluate the content of system memory during normal activity and locates duplicate content in RAM. Windows will then only keep one copy by freeing up any duplicates, and Windows will create a private copy if an application needs to write to memory in a feature. “This approach can liberate 10s to 100s of MB of memory (depending on how many applications are running concurrently).”

Prioritization of memory

Windows 8 brings a new way to prioritize memory allocations, in other words, Windows can now make smarter decisions about what memory to keep active and what memory to remove — if needed. Windows 8 applications can assign memory as low priority, then the OS can remove it to allow applications with high priority tasks.

Less memory use for general operating system operations

The software giant is aiming to reduce the memory footprint while executing applications. Windows 8 will consolidate HOT items in the system memory which will bring down the overall runtime memory cost. Thanks to this, Microsoft has seen a consistent result of memory reduction by tens of MB on average per machine.

Service changes and reductions

Windows 8 now have improvements in a good number of services and some of them will start manually. Microsoft is also making the introduction of start on demand model for services, that way they will only start when required, in services like Windows Update, Plug & Play devices, and many others.

Only loading the desktop components when required outside of Metro style

Another Microsoft’s goal is to load the operating system components unique to the desktop only when needed. This will also help to reduce memory usage in Windows 8.

As a demonstration the software maker, showed the reduction of memory usage in Windows 8 by comparing to identical netbooks, see the image below.

Windows 8 vs. Windows 7 - Memory usage

Source Building Windows 8

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].