While Service Pack 1 for Windows is right on track for delivery by the end of March 2011, Microsoft is continuously kicking the operating system up a notch.

An illustrative example in this regard is KB 2454826, an update designed to boost the performance of Windows 7’s underlying graphics platform.

According to the Redmond company, in addition to speeding up the UX, the refresh is also designed to touch up the functionality associated with the graphics platform.

The software giant also revealed that enhancements have also been delivered in relation to XPS printing and the Media Foundation.

“This update contains the following new functionality, performance improvements, and solutions to issues: More »

1. Enable pipelining

Browsers are normally very polite, sending a request to a server then waiting for a response before continuing. Pipelining is a more aggressive technique that lets them send multiple requests before any responses are received, often reducing page download times.

To enable it, type about:config in the address bar, double-click network.http.pipelining and network.http.proxy.pipelining so their values are set to true, then double-click network.http.pipelining.maxrequests and set this to 8.

Keep in mind that some servers don’t support pipelining, though, and if you regularly visit a lot of these then the tweak can actually reduce performance. Set network.http.pipelining and network.http.proxy.pipelining to false again if you have any problems. More »

Is your Windows Desktop dotted with files? Have you noticed that your fast computer has been running slower and slower? Do you see the hard drive light often flashing while you wait for the computer to respond to an action? To speed up your computer, clean your Windows Desktop.

How Many Files are on Your Desktop?

Each time Windows starts, operating memory is used for all files on the Desktop. If those files are Shortcuts, the total amount of memory used will be small. If however, there are several or dozens of files on the Desktop, those will use lots of operating memory, essentially for no purpose or gain.

With less memory available, the computer runs slower because it has to swap out information from operating memory to the hard drive. It does this process (called memory paging) to keep everything the user wants to do, running at the same time. More »

There should come as no surprise that the IE team continues to work on Internet Explorer 9, even though it doesn’t share with the public a flood of quasi-useless Builds.

It appears that IE9 is now up to Build 9.0.8027.6000 (according to one source), a development release which supersedes Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 7 which was released recently, labeled 9.0.8023.6000.

And as users would expect, IE9 Build 9.0.8027.6000 doesn’t bring anything new to the table, being instead just a refined version of what early adopters can themselves download from Microsoft.

IE9 PP7 was released on November 17th, 2010, two months after the Beta Build was offered to testers, and exactly one year after Microsoft first demoed Internet Explorer 9 to the participants at the Professional Developers Conference 2009 and to the world. More »

Microsoft confirmed this issue, and noted that IE9 is not to blame, but that at fault is an incompatibility between the next generation IE browser and old hardware.

It appears that reports of poor performance for IE9 came from users that compared the speed of the new browser with that of older versions of Internet Explorer. The older releases of IE were faster especially on webpages that had complex graphics.

The issue is related to the HTML5 performance enhancements built into Microsoft’s next iteration of IE.

IE9 brings to the table hardware acceleration, leveraging the computer’s GPU (graphics processing unit) in concert with the DirectX APIs in Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP2. More »