Microsoft cares about the amount of formatted, usable storage space users get on their Windows-running machines. The Redmond-based company announced today that, in an attempt to provide users with more storage on their hard-drives, Windows 10 operating system will use some impressive space-saving techniques. The forthcoming operating system uses file compression technology to save around 1.5GB of storage on 32-bit systems and 2.6GB on 64-bit machines.
Furthermore, the software firm notes that it is also stopping using a separate recovery image on its latest desktop operating system. PC makers use a separate recovery image on the computers they ship. Depending on the operating system version and the manufacturer, the space could be anything from 4GB to 20GB. The system recovery image shipped by the PC makers includes the disk image of a licensed Windows copy bundled with driver software and some other essentials and bloatware.
But will it work on all Windows 10 systems? The short answer is no. Microsoft notes that whether or not its latest compression method would work on a system depends on a number of factors including the amount of RAM the system has and how quickly its CPU decompress algorithms when retrieving system files. If a system meets both the requirements, the compression technique will kick in. It seems Microsoft is also planning to test it out in an upcoming build of Windows 10.
But is this compression reliable enough? Microsoft thinks so. “On the topic of compression performance, we conducted extensive analysis and tuning for the first iteration of system compression (called WIMBOOT, we have a little more to say about WIMBOOT further below.) Windows 10’s iteration of system compression retains that performance tuning and gains the advantage of tuning and enablement based on performance data from in-market devices. System compression enablement through software means Windows can adapt as the device landscape evolves,” the company mentions on a blog post (opens in new tab).
These space saving techniques aren't designed for Windows phones just yet, but the company assures that the future Windows smartphones will utilise this technology. While laptops and desktop computers will be able to take advantage of the extra space, tablet users are likely to see the most benefit from this. A number of cheap priced Windows tablets have sold in the last couple of months and they all seem to ship with 16GB or 32GB of storage space. With Windows’ system files taking up less space, users will be able to store a lot more files on their devices.