Microsoft on Monday revealed more details about the upcoming Windows 10 operating system, explaining how the OS has a more compact footprint compared to previous iterations due to its new compression method for system files coupled with improved Windows recovery that will give more storage space to users.
In a blog post, the Redmond-based tech firm detailed that its new system file compression algorithm in Windows 10 saves 1.5GB in 32-bit Windows systems and 2.6GB in 64-bit systems. Microsoft adds that Windows 10 phones will also use a similar compression algorithm to give comparable storage savings.
The firm states that the OS comes with smart compression technology that assesses the computer's performance to choose which compression factor, or if compression is to be used at all, to use when upgrading to Windows 10. OEMs will carry out their own suitability assessment to enable system file compression in new Windows 10 machines.
The firm added that compression of system files in every situation may not be ideal as it can also adversely affect the device. Some of the factors taken in to consideration to determine if compression is needed or not are the device's RAM, the type of hard disk, and the speed with which the CPU can run the decompression algorithm. The firm also detailed the use of compression for Windows Store apps. "Not only does Windows 10 intelligently use compression to keep the system footprint efficient, Windows 10 also uses compression to keep store apps' footprint small," the blog stated.
Microsoft will also be doing away with the WIMBoot "special deployment configuration" it had unveiled with Windows 8.1 Update, ensuring more systems are capable of taking advantage of the new system file compression system that doesn't require a special install process.
Furthermore, Microsoft has improved recovery tools in Windows 10 to offer more storage space. The new OS's Windows' Refresh and Reset functionalities are now designed to work even without a separate recovery image, saving from up to 4GB to 12GB of space depending on the manufacturer. "Phones already have a storage-optimized recovery solution, so, unlike compression, this enhancement is only for tablets, laptops, and desktops," said the blog post, adding that the Refresh and Reset functionalities will instead rebuild the operating system in place using runtime system files. Microsoft says that not only does this use less space, it also ensures recent operating system updates are already installed after recovery.