There are many that believe OEMs do not care about the free space that is left on the device after an operating system is installed. Many 16GB capacity smartphones and tablets, end up with just around 7GB of usable space.
Microsoft, however, has added a handy new feature in Windows 8.1 Update that allows these 16GB storage capacity devices have 12GB free with this new option.
Going by the name of Windows Image Boot (shortened as WIMBoot), this new method changes the typical way that Windows is installed on new PCs from large image files. Image files, in this case, being archives, just in case you were wondering.
This is what the company has to say about this neat new feature:
“Effectively, you copy the WIM file into a separate “images” partition (just like you would for a recovery image), then use DISM to create pointer files from the standard C: operating system volume into the WIM file. These pointer files are completely transparent, and Windows knows how to boot the operating system (keeping all the files in the WIM) when configured in this setup.”
So essentially, WIMBoot keeps all these files compressed, saving valuable storage space as a result. Redmond confirms that tablets that will hit the market in the coming months will have their OS installed via this WIMBoot method.
Users will, luckily, no seen no difference when they explore their storage, and can browse their C: drive folder just as they do so with the normal method.
There is a little bit of a performance impact, as expected.
But 12GB or something free is great, though. Particularly for devices that come with limited storage capacities. Let’s just hope hardware vendors do not use this as an excuse for not expanding the capacities of devices, but then again, this is a feature best suited for small, affordable slates.