updated 02:50 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
Windows 8 will support up to 640 processors
Microsoft's Ryan Haveson, group program manager on the User Experience team, has shed some new light on the upcoming Windows 8 and its Task Manager in particular. There have been some changes made since the Developer Preview was released last month. It now shows that influences from the tablet-focused Metro interface will spill over into the classic interface, even for title bars.
The Metro-inspired user interface is reflected in the Task Manager with more colors and easier to read numbers, specifically in multi-processor systems. Compared to Windows 7's setup, the new one offers real-time comparisons between the performance of the various CPUs, better definition of each processor's performance when dealing with 64 or more CPUs and finding the processor ID.
The new Task Manager home page uses a heat map that quickly gives a glimpse of how hard a CPU is working, with darker shades of blue representing higher workloads. Hovering over each entry using a tooltip shows the logical processor ID. The screenshots are for a system with 160 logical processors and a simulated workload. Windows 8 will support up to 640 logical processors. At both points, the heat map requires a scroll bar rather than shrinking each field.
Users will also have the ability to set which logical processors each process can use. This is only recommended for advanced users, however.
The Task Manager seen here will go live in the beta release of the software.
Windows 7 Task Manager
Windows 8 Task Manager