As computer technology has grown, software and hardware has vastly improved the usability of computers. Many people don’t know that businesses are using HP3000 migration to improve IT infrastructure. Other improvements in technology can been seen in your PCs operating system desktop manager, from windows 3.1 to windows 7. The Desktop Window Manager, or dwm.exe, is the graphical display engine used by modern iterations of Microsoft Windows. Initially introduced in Windows Vista, DWM has dramatically changed the way Windows displays the desktop by moving the process of drawing pixels and images directly to the screen using the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) to the system’s graphics card. This process frees up the CPU to do other tasks instead of focusing on how information is displayed, thus allowing the display of advanced window effects such as three-dimensional page transitions and transparency.
The main focus of the DWM is the enabling of the Windows Aero theme and user interface. Things such as page flips, window translucency, window resizing, and various animations come to life with a vibrancy and smoothness previously unable to earlier editions of Windows. This is all performed by a process generally known as desktop composition. Basically, the subsystems that compose the dwm.exe utilize a persistent shared resource in a graphic card’s memory that retains updated display information so that each Windows application no longer has to keep track of how its particular display requirements interact with other programs and Windows itself. This of course further reduces overall CPU load. While DWM requires programs to be written to make best use of it, older DWM-agnostic programs that normally write directly to the screen employing system RAM can still be used by redirecting their respective output to DWM buffers, though the system’s CPU suffers a performance hit to accomplish this.
System requirements for DWM to work effectively include a fairly modern graphics card or processor that supports DirectX 9.0, Pixel Shader 2.0, and Windows Driver Display Model (WDDM). The graphics system should also have a minimum of 128 MB RAM and support 32 bits of information per pixel. As well, the computer itself should have at least a 1 GHz processor with 1 GB of system memory.
Desktop Window Manager, and the subsequent technologies it enables, represent a fundamental shift in how information is displayed to the end user. This in turn has lead to improvements focusing more on the dissemination of information in general. Where Windows Vista utilized these technologies mainly to improve aesthetics and overall performance, Windows 7 has focused more on the practical use of these technologies to make information more accessible and meaningful, such as the ability to display a thumbnail of an active application when hovering a mouse pointer over its respective icon on the taskbar or by snapping a program’s window to one half of the screen by dragging it to either side of the desktop. Future versions of Windows, such as Windows 8, promise to include even more innovation, including better touch gesture recognition and other interfacing.