Good news for anyone who has ever sat patiently waiting for a Windows application to load up on their personal computer. Microsoft Corp has gone to Intel Corp for its Application Launch Accelerator software, which Microsoft will license and integrate into Windows 98. The companies say the combination of enhancements in the Windows 98 operating system, and Intel’s technology, will significantly shorten the time it takes for applications to load from the hard drive. Existing techniques for PC storage subsystems use defragmentation techniques, which arrange individual files into consecutive clusters. The Application Launch Accelerator apparently uses enhancements in Windows 98 to arrange data in blocks which can be used when the application is booted in a sequential fashion, which reduces the need for random disk access and speeds disk access. The companies claim the increase in speed will be dramatic, 3.7 seconds with Win 98 and Application Launch Accelerator compared to 11.3 seconds without, to load Word, Excel and PowerPoint on a Pentium II. The Intel technology will be included in the next beta version of Windows 98, due by the end of the year, Microsoft says.
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