Windows 8 vs Windows 7(speed) That's about it in terms of significant feature changes, but Microsoft would have us believe that Windows 8 is much faster than Windows 7 - it certainly works on the same hardware, which removes one barrier to upgrade. (And it won't be an expensive upgrade, either.) Bill Karagounis, Principal Group Program Manager for the Windows 8 Fundamentals Team, recently claimed that startup times were 40 percent faster than Windows 7 on the same hardware, and that the memory footprint of the new OS is '10 to 20 percent better'. He said that the Windows code base comfortably scales on all devices from tablets right up to workstation PCs, and demonstrated Windows 7 and Windows 8 running on similar laptops, with relatively low specifications (including just 1GB RAM). According to a demonstration Karagounis ran, Windows 7 uses 389MB of system memory, Windows 8 only 330MB. And this in an operating system that includes more functionality. Karagounis also showed how an older Asus UltraBook with a second-generation Intel chip could boot from cold in just 8 seconds. However, he said that Windows 8 was intended to be what he called 'always on, always connected'. 'You don't boot and shut down Windows 8', he said. Further, he suggested that the OS was designed to be always running switching on and off instantly like a smartphone. He demonstrated the power draw of an Intel-system on a chip Windows 8 slate, using virtually no power in sleep mode, with only the occasional tiny peak when it checked for or received data. The device was, he said, connected to the web, working in the background in a mode he described as 'connected standby'. Karagounis sent an IM to the slate, at which point he power draw peaked and the device set off an alert. This status applies to Windows RT PCs, and Intel SoC PCs . In the demonstration the power draw goes up instantly something then happens, and then drops off quickly when so-called connected standby kicks in.