Shouldn’t regular reboots be a thing of the past ?

A few days ago I linked to a post of Viral’s which showed some of the holes in the hype around Google’s “Chromium OS” or more accurately just-enough-os-to-run-a-browser.   He had an interesting link showing the work from Phoenix to slash the POST time – and you can’t help but be impressed when Windows starts booting within 2 seconds of hitting the Power button, but has booted and loaded a local HTML file into IE in about 15 seconds. I suspect a lot of the speed improvement comes from loading the OS from a solid state disk. But I keep wondering who is it who keeps booting their machines over and over. I often say in my presentations that when I travel by train I notice people starting their laptops up from cold, and shutting them down cold, and under XP up to SP2 I had problems with a machine with loads of memory refusing to sleep, so I can understand that.  I’m a pretty heavy user of my PC, but I don’t reboot for weeks on end. I see it as  like retuning the TV, something you do every few hundred hours of use. When I do, I start outlook, communicator and IE and they remain open pretty much until an update needs me to reboot.

I got to thinking “How long have IE and so on been running”. I’d make excuses for Outlook as I’m running the Beta of 2010.  I put the following command into PowerShell

Get-Process| sort starttime  -ErrorAction silentlycontinue | format-table –auto -property name, starttime, @{name="CPU"; expression={("{0,10:n1}" -f $_.cpu)}}

and it came back with the following

Name                  StartTime                  CPU
----                  ---------                  ---
taskhost              16/11/2009 19:45:24       21.6
dwm                   16/11/2009 19:45:24   10,451.2
explorer              16/11/2009 19:45:25    3,404.1

iexplore              16/11/2009 19:46:25    1,012.0
iexplore              16/11/2009 19:46:33    4,644.0
iexplore              16/11/2009 19:47:44    7,187.0
FOXITR~1              16/11/2009 19:51:33        8.5
iexplore              16/11/2009 19:53:08    3,025.5
iexplore              16/11/2009 19:53:41    2,744.7
iexplore              16/11/2009 19:55:28    4,553.5
mobsync               17/11/2009 10:14:04        2.3
iexplore              17/11/2009 11:14:48    4,331.6
communicator          19/11/2009 11:26:43    2,313.3
OUTLOOK               20/11/2009 11:45:33    4,614.2
FOXITR~1              20/11/2009 13:33:01       32.8

powershell            29/11/2009 13:02:00       22.1

As you can see it’s about two weeks since I logged on, (although the machine has been an out of hibernate and sleep a few dozen times) and I started IE pretty much at once – one of the web pages was PDF which opened in Foxit reader and has remained open (IE 8 spawns multiple instances of itself). Outlook – beta status not withstanding - has been open for 9 days. Some days I wonder if the problem is in the naming of the functions – that we’re somehow conditioned to shutting things down. I should propose to the Windows team they change the labels “Shut-Down” and “Hibernate” and possibly “Sleep”, calling hibernate something like “Save Windows”, so they convey Power-off-and-start-from-nothing-next-time, Power-off-and-resume-next-time and so on.

So I’m curious to know how many people want to see faster boots and how many people see my way of working as one they use now / will use ?