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Windows 8 Task Manager improved to show multiple processors

Microsoft, in the company’s Building Windows 8 blog, talks about some of the improvements of the new task manager. These changes will allow users and sever administrators to better visualize, manage and control a larger number of procesors. These changes will be available with the upcoming Windows 8 beta release.

With the release of the developer preview of Windows 8, the features that have been announced so far are mainly tailored to general home consumers, with the easy-to-use touch interface that make it ideal on tablet PCs, and the tiles, dynamic icons, that make put the content first. Lots of powers users have not been totally pleased with the changes that come with windows 8 especially with the new start menu. Microsoft is seeking to alleviate these displeasures by introduced some changes on the desktop side with the new task manager.

In the Building Windows 8 blog, Ryan Haveson, a group program manager on the User Experience team details of some of the improvements of the task manager for users managing more than 64 processors. Talking about the new changes, he describes some of the shortcomings of the task managers as in its current form including:

  • Lack of real-time comparisons: When you are looking at a CPU graph for lots and lots of logical processors, it is the anomalies that are interesting. At scale, it is pretty hard to compare moving line graphs of a 60-second window of CPU utilization to understand what is going on.
  • Tiny graphs: When you get to the 64+ logical processor range, the graphs get pretty small. If you are trying to figure out which processors are being heavily used, you really have to squint to figure it out. When you get over 256 logical processors, you can barely read the charts at all.
  • Finding the processor ID: If you do identify an anomalous graph, there is no easy way to get the corresponding processor ID.

To circumvent these limitations, users will be able to show the processors in a simulated workload making it more readable for power users to compare and find the processor ID more easily. Ryan explains that users will be able to get processor ID by simply hovering over a specific processor. Additionally, users will have a set of controls available to them to, for instance, being able to set which logical processors each process uses. With the new “heat map”, users will be able to monitor up to 640 processors.

These changes will be welcomed among power users and sever administrators. These changes are not available in the developer preview but they will available with the beta version which is rumored to be available soon.

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