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MS to license Intel software

To speed software start-up, Microsoft will incorporate Intel?s Application Launch Accelerator technology into Windows 98.

Microsoft (MSFT) will license Intel (INTC) technology that boosts software speed.

The Redmond, Washington, giant will incorporate Intel?s Application Launch Accelerator software technology into Windows 98, according to the two companies.

"The combination of Intel's Application Launch Accelerator technology and key advances in the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system will significantly shorten the time it takes for software applications to load from the hard disk drive," according to a prepared statement from the two companies. Windows 98 is due in mid-1998.

Intel has already been demonstrating a prototype of the technology on Windows 95. Beta versions of the software show dramatic improvements, reducing application launch time by up to 70 percent. This applies to the launching of applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Netscape.

Unlike existing defragmentation techniques, which arrange individual files into consecutive clusters, Intel's Application Launch Accelerator "uses new capabilities in Windows 98 to arrange data blocks used during application start-up in a sequential fashion, thereby reducing the amount of random disk access. On a hard disk drive, sequential disk accesses are many times faster than random disk accesses," according to the two companies.

These technologies will appear in the next beta release of Windows 98, expected to be available later this year.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.