In past years, the release
of a new Windows OS would spur PC OEMs to increase DRAM orders to comply
with the heavier system requirements, spurring big increases in bit
shipments. For example, at the time Windows 98 was released in the third
quarter of 1998, bit shipments increased by 40 percent, IHS said. The
releases of Windows 2000 and Windows XP created even bigger increases,
the firm said.
But this trend has slowed with the releases of
the past two versions of Windows, IHS said. The release of Windows Vista
in 2007 spurred only a 24 percent increase in bit shipments, while the
release of Windows 7—which did not require more memory to
operate—resulted in just an 18 percent increase in the fourth quarter of
2009, according to IHS.
With DRAM amounts in PCs increasing at a
slower rate, the increase in DRAM uptake in the fourth quarter is
attributed mainly to smartphones and tablets, as well as refreshed PCs,
Moving forward, IHS expects that PCs will be less
important to the overall DRAM market. PC share in the DRAM space dipped
below 50 percent for the first time earlier this year, while alternative
devices using DRAM—such as smartphones and media tablets—are raising
their usage and DRAM market share, IHS said.
No big shock here... the "heavy lifting" part of Windows we've known for years, the desktop Win32/64 OS, is tweaked a little, but otherwise untouched. The future Microsoft seems to see is the new tablet OS, WinRT. That's 32-bit, on systems with 2GB RAM (in fact, a decrease from the typical Win7 PC), on processors that are more or less Atom class (the ARM Cortex 9 and Intel Atom cores are rougly comparable, cycle for cycle performance-wise, though typically Intel's clocked a bit higher).
It's also a bit of a tech regression. Most of the tablets are using DDR2 memory, rather than the DDR3 that's been a PC standard for a couple of years. A few systems use DDR3, but they're more at the higher end.
This amounts to a large scale dumbing down of the Windows experience, and the hardware follows that. Sure, desktops and laptops are the same, but that's just it -- no one's pushing them. Plus, mass market Windows machines, whether tablets, laptops, or desktops for most consumer and business use, are all running integrated graphics. So that's another traditional place for DRAM, and it's increasingly being pushed to the fringe.
I suppose that having skipped over Vista, my recollection is that every new Windows required more processor power and more memory than what came before. So to me, this is a welcome change.
Matter of fact, WinXP became porogressivley worse over time, but perhaps that was caused in part by McAfee. As fast as it was when new, XP on the two machines I had it on became a real dog. And this is in spite of keeping the registry cleaned and the hard drive cleaned and defragged. Bootup became painful, even disk cleanup, which used to be a snap at first, became ridiculous.
To the point that I am convinced that Microsoft does this deliberately, to force people to upgrade. Hopefully they're too busy trying to get their tablets working well that they won't have time to screw around, this time around.
January 2016 Cartoon Caption ContestBob's punishment for missing his deadline was to be tied to his chair tantalizingly close to a disconnected cable, with one hand superglued to his desk and another to his chin, while the pages from his wall calendar were slowly torn away.122 comments