Windows only locates some minimal items to the front of the disk. The rest are still located all over the disk. The save most of their time by delaying most items until a user has logged in. So you get the window up front asap and the apps you need later. They also have an 'integrated' windowing system and kernel. Putting X into the kernel would speed up boot time tons...
of course it would lead to a lot of problems.
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