Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 20th Apr 2006 00:00 UTC
Windows "I still remember the day very clearly. It was Monday, October 27, 2003. Several thousand developers - and, let's face it, quite a few garden variety Windows enthusiasts - charged into Hall A at the Los Angeles Convention Center like teenage girls at a Justin Timberlake concert, volleying for the best seats. I've been to more Bill Gates keynotes than I can count, and this was the first time I ever saw anyone climb over other people in order to secure a better view (no offense to Mr. Gates, but he's not exactly a dynamic speaker). It was PDC 2003 and everything was right with my world." Read more of the editorial here.
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Great Editorial
by ApproachingZero on Thu 20th Apr 2006 00:41 UTC
ApproachingZero
Member since:
2005-11-10

Great editorial and honest analysis from somebody who's been such a fanatical Windows cheerleader over the years it was alternately comical and sickening. To see his unbridled Longhorn optimism gradually turn into dark Vista pessimism over the last few months has been fun to watch. Welcome to the club, Thurrot.

The only two points I would disagree with Thurrot on are:

1. He blindly assumes that Microsoft is being honest in its January 2007 ship date, a date which makes no sense at all. In light of all the missing and incomplete features and nasty bugs he has encountered, I think it's safe to say they're not going to have a Gold Master by August. C'mon Thurrot, how many times does Lucy have to pull the football away from you before you stop believing she's going to let you kick it this time?

2. He states in his last paragraph that Vista will top Mac OS X in some ways. He fails to mention what those ways are. He crapped on all of Vista's "OMG WOW" features throughout the course of his very long piece, so what are the great things it has that are going to be superior to OS X? He also fails to take into account that Vista will be competing with Mac OS X Leopard, an OS we haven't seen any of yet. (It may even be competing with the OS after Leopard. I really wouldn't rule out another year delay at this point.) Seems like his last paragraph is just there to soften the blow and take the edge off the 20 paragraphs before it.

Edited 2006-04-20 00:45

Reply Score: 5

RE: Great Editorial
by sappyvcv on Thu 20th Apr 2006 00:45 UTC in reply to "Great Editorial"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

There are 4 previous parts, and that's where he covers the mostly positive stuff. Read those, then read this one again.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Great Editorial
by ApproachingZero on Thu 20th Apr 2006 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Great Editorial"
ApproachingZero Member since:
2005-11-10

If you're talking about parts 3 and 4, because I don't think parts 1 and 2 ("Installation" and "Setup") count, there's nothing in there where Thurrot says, "This feature or application is better than what is offered in Mac OS X." His kindest words are for the Windows Calendar, the new photo management application, and Windows Media Player, which he says are "as good as" or "blatant copies" of iCal, iPhoto, and iTunes.

I'm just trying to get at the specifics. If he thinks there are some features or applications in Vista that are actually better than what can be found in today's version of OS X, I would like them to be clearly mentioned by name. Maybe that's part 6?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Great Editorial
by stubear on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great Editorial"
stubear Member since:
2006-04-09

He did say that the text only approach to the UI in iTunes is not necessarily the end all be all and WMP11's new UI proves this point. Personally I can't stand the box OS X puts you in when you try to do anything truly useful with iPhoto or iTunes. Perhaps I'm expecting more logical functionality but is there a reason why Apple doesn't offer an artwork find utility with iTunes?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Great Editorial
by dr_gonzo on Thu 20th Apr 2006 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Great Editorial"
dr_gonzo Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, I would have thought that finding an album's artwork automatically would be the next logical step in iTunes. Maybe Apple doesn't want to do this because the music that you buy in iTunes already has the album artwork embedded in it... Maybe it's a selling point or something....

Anyway, I use the amazon album artwork widget (http://www.widget-foundry.com/widgets/amazonart.htm) to get artwork for my ripped CDs.

Reply Score: 1

Uh? RE: Great Editorial
by renox on Thu 20th Apr 2006 11:29 UTC in reply to "Great Editorial"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

> Great editorial

Wait you're talking about an editorial where a guy says that he is/was all excited about a new GUI *look*??

If it has been feature like Expose which helps finding windows, I could have understood, but getting excited over eye-candy..

Reply Score: 1

Wow
by Snake007uk on Thu 20th Apr 2006 00:41 UTC
Snake007uk
Member since:
2005-07-20

I have to admit the point about the glass windows was spot on, I thought it was the one on the right... but then you see the on the left has the blue side arrow highlighted.

Anyway... i wasnt surprised about vista having anything spectacular.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wow
by hobgoblin on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:45 UTC in reply to "Wow"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

that blue side arrow have nothing to do with it.

check the image below. there is multiple windows there, but only one active one. only one window have a colored trio in the upper right corner (minimize, maximize, close).

Edited 2006-04-20 01:46

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wow
by ma_d on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Yea, but that's really hard to quickly pick out.

I'd bet that by the final release the translucency percentage will be close to 0% for the focus'ed window and close to 100% for other windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wow
by hobgoblin on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

its a matter of habbit.

when first starting with a desktop, any clue given as to what window is the currently active one will be hard to pick up (alltho bigger ones are allways quicker to learn).

still, it would have been good if they had keept the colored top bar around (as in, giving the whole top of the active window a colored bar). atleast that would be consistent with older versions to a degree, and give a larger notice.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Wow
by ma_d on Thu 20th Apr 2006 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

No. It's definitely not just habit. It's a combination of sub-consciously knowing what to look for and visibly being able to distinguish it in as many regions of the screen as possible.

Really I think a tint for the focus'ed window would probably help.
On thing the glas lets them do is have wider window controls without it being butt ugly. Personally I've always found invisible window controls to be butt ugly, but hey, I'm not everyone.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wow
by Hands on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

Exactly, check the image below. Only one window has the colored trio in the upper right corner as you pointed out, but again, only one window has the colored arrow. I realize that this is a function of browser history (there is actually a page to go back to), but there is still room for doubt with either image.

What happens if the upper-right corner of the active window is off the screen? I don't have a problem with translucent windows like others seem to. I actually think they can be used for improved UI, but why miss the opportunity to use the whole window border to indicate active vs inactive. Why limit a very useful visual cue to an even smaller portion of a window?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wow
by hobgoblin on Thu 20th Apr 2006 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

or, why maintain a colored button in a inactive window...

like the image from winxp shows, the top bar, the buttons and the drop down menu text all becomes grayed out when being inactive.

basicly its a problem of being to subtle about it for sake of looks (a problem i have encounterd myself when trying to theme a desktop setup).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wow
by n4cer on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:50 UTC in reply to "Wow"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to admit the point about the glass windows was spot on, I thought it was the one on the right... but then you see the on the left has the blue side arrow highlighted.

The one on the right is the active window. The active window's close button is lit, the min/max/close buttons are embossed, and if it was an application window rather than an explorer window, it would also have highlighted title text.

Non-active windows have non-highlighted title text and flat, clear min/max/close buttons as seen on the left window.

Edited 2006-04-20 01:54

Reply Score: 4

Blue-Back-Arrow - mouseover inactive wnd ?
by pg--az on Thu 20th Apr 2006 06:25 UTC in reply to "Wow"
pg--az Member since:
2006-03-15

Oops - just tried it, an enabled back-button DOES tend to fool you, even in XP.
My visual brain seems to scan for "brightly colored shiny things", that the brightly-colored-shiny-button is logically not as relevant as the close-box, that logic is too complex to load into my personal visual scanner !

Edited 2006-04-20 06:34

Reply Score: 1

If Anything
by dswain on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:20 UTC
dswain
Member since:
2005-07-03

His writing makes and reaffirms one point: Something drastic is going to happen under MS (and more particular, Windows) sometime soon. It seems to look like that Windows is really in need of being rebuilt or redesigned or just downright replaced sometime soon. To make advancements worthy, they may try this, if it's cost effective at all.

Speaking of which, wasn't there some writing recently (within 6 months or so) about some project at MS talking about designing a new OS (or at least kernel) that they had spoke about for a little while? I don't recall the name anymore, so I can't find a URL about it, but it'd be neat to be reinformed about that again. Maybe it was just nothing, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE: If Anything
by d0nk3y on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:29 UTC in reply to "If Anything"
d0nk3y Member since:
2005-12-15

Interesting points - and it just caused a random thought to pop into my head.

One of the problems they've [Microsoft] had historically is backward compatibility - this has made it really hard to make major changes to Windows 'under the hood'.

Perhaps using the new VT technology from AMD/Intel (the same stuff that is going to bring some amazing virtualisation capabilities to all OS's, they'll be able to shovel current Windows compatibility into a virtual workload and still have everything look quite seamless.

Almost like Wine, but using VT to keep things locked away from the rest of the OS and with a seamless window type look for the user.

Reply Score: 3

Backward compatibility isn't that hard to manage.
by rcsteiner on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE: If Anything"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Once again, I bring up the example of OS/2, which managed almost complete backwards compatibility (WIN32S 1.25b and later excepted) with 16-bit Windows 3.x by running one or more actual copies of a rewritten Windows (called WinOS2 by IBM) in virtual DOS machines.

This is something Microsoft itself failed to do with its 32-bit Windows flavors, choosing instead to implement the DOS and Win16 subsystems in a way which is far more limited (and less flexible or secure).

The same thing can be accomplished using the Virtual PC technology that Microsoft recently acquired. Just do the same thing -- run multiple copies of the Windows 2k kernel in multiple virtual machines. No fancy hardware required -- the support in the CPU for this has existed since the 80386 days.

Maybe Intel's fancy new hardware will help a little bit performancewise, but with today's high CPU clocks it really isn't necessary.

Reply Score: 2

d0nk3y Member since:
2005-12-15

Yes - I see your point and agree. VT would just give a performance boost rather than a 'new ability'.

Reply Score: 1

RE: If Anything
by Wemgadge on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:37 UTC in reply to "If Anything"
Wemgadge Member since:
2005-07-02

Re: MS Roadmap:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_codenames

Blackcomb is the next windows after Vista... now renamed Vienna

Reply Score: 1

RE: If Anything
by situation on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:27 UTC in reply to "If Anything"
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

You mean their Singularity project from the MS research branch?
http://research.microsoft.com/os/singularity/
That was their idea for a total rewrite, hope that helps...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: If Anything
by pauls101 on Thu 20th Apr 2006 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE: If Anything"
pauls101 Member since:
2005-07-07

My understanding is that Singularity is a blue sky research project with a focus on security and using managed code (a la .NET). Nothing I've read sounds like it will be ready anytime soon, and I'd be in no hurry to adopt a completely new OS using .NET technology just because MS says it's more "secure." Bottom line: it'll be years, best case.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: If Anything
by situation on Thu 20th Apr 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If Anything"
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

Of course it is certainly a pipe dream, I was just trying to help the parent poster as what he seemed to remember sounded a lot like Singularity.
Considering how long Vista (even with many features removed) is taking to be released, Singularity would be more than years off, I'm thinking decades ;)
It would be nice though, but most pipe dreams are.

Reply Score: 1

RE: If Anything
by siki_miki on Fri 21st Apr 2006 14:04 UTC in reply to "If Anything"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Operating systems kernels aren't supposed to be rewrited every here and now, they are supposed to be improved, overhauled. Rewrite is too radical, you loose all good tweaking that was put into the OS by years of hard work. Do I need to mention that not even MS does have time and resources to do the rewrite often?

Looking at linux, it took a long time to get it to current state-of-art. Most parts of code were rewritten, but gradually, and on working kernel. It's important to have upgrade plan: design a new part, interface it with older parts (and maybe have more stacks in parallel), but leave it open for interfacing wit future parts. Make sure that you don't produce regressions, and that it is (if required),a complete superset of a previous feature set. Make sure all is working as supposed and is properly designed before it becomes part of mainline (or before you port all drivers to it ;) ). Gradually replace other related kernel parts with more advanced stuff that fully takes advance of new subsystem. Linux is a proof that rewriting a kernel isn't necessary (well, in most cases).

Building all from scratch is also a risk of overdesigning or not considering what might be obstacle until it is too late. It also might become deprecated by the time it is finished.

Reply Score: 2

Wemgadge
Member since:
2005-07-02

And in the past parts too. In the past, many at OSnews have targeted him as a Windows Troll, a sycophant. In light of his recent columns I think that Thurrott has redeemed himself in my eyes. As a writer of opinion columns, for the longest time he expressed the belief that WinXP was better than OSX, and he has a right to that opinion. But he has shown balance in his reporting by detailing his earnest efforts to successfully switch his wife to OSX, and also in this review. You can see in the reporting that he IS rooting for Vista to be a better OS, and he is saddened that it won't be all that was promised. Over all, a great editorial, and it also shows that Thurott isn't just a paid shill for MS. Great job Paul! Cheers.

Reply Score: 5

truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

Being a beta tester for Vista, I can say that Paul hit all the right nails about Vista.

Vista has a couple of real nice features, many under the hood changes, new GUI but nothing else. It's not going to kill Apple OS X, and it still miss the many great quality apps found in Apple iLife.

Mabe they will do it right the next time, in 2012...

Reply Score: 5

Spot on
by thecwin on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:45 UTC
thecwin
Member since:
2006-01-04

He really gets what's irked me about Vista since I saw the first screenshots: they were putting things in that looked good, but that would be painful to use.

Just glancing at certain things, they might look cleaner and smoother, but then you realise they've just taken out the things that help you differentiate it from other windows (or differentiate window components from other window components), and solved problems that were never there.

For example, last time I checked, the Vista open dialog box was probably the worst open dialog I've ever used bar GTK+1. As you typed the filename it inserted a file into the dialog where it was going to be saved, except with a slight red tint. Did *anyone* actually have any trouble understanding that when they save a file, it's going to go in that folder?

While on the topic of the open dialog... it looks too much like an explorer window. Yeah great.. consistency and all that, but if you get *too* consistent, you can't actually differentiate the different dialogs. Is there much reason for a save dialog to have the entire functionality of an explorer window, or is it just adding complexity? For the most part, I've never really felt the need to see all my files when I try to save.

Talking from a security point of view also, it'd be nice if they kept file management operations out of the save/open dialogs, and just leave that to the file manager. You could then implement rules to restrict applications themselves to basic save/browse/open on the user's documents directory, and only having full rights on the application's data directory.

Also, Vista seems to have taken the OSX-esque route of having non-explanitory icons on buttons without a text label, requiring the user to break their workflow by waiting for tooltips on the buttons. I only need to use tooltips/help on OS X and Vista. XP, KDE and GNOME never ever required such things, even when learning for the first time, except when using the odd stupidly designed 3rd party application.

Edited 2006-04-20 01:46

Reply Score: 3

Great unbiased editorial
by nzjrs on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:47 UTC
nzjrs
Member since:
2006-01-02

Many people at osnews have accused Paul of being nothing more than a windows troll. While one article does not make the man, this sort of honest writing proves that he is a writer of some worth.

I was very interested in his points about no clear indication of which window is on top. This is a huge flaw!.

Also, linux is spoken in the same breath as OSX and windows 3 times in that article. I think if a previous microsoft troll is now directly comparing the three in the same light then Linux IS IN DAMN GOOD SHAPE!

Looking forward to the future

Reply Score: 5

nuts...
by hobgoblin on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:56 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

thats the single word that covers the UAP.

i cant think of any OS that is that anal about stuff.

but then i have allways wonderd why when i switched a existing win2k user profile from admin to superuser, the icons on the desktop would reset.

basicly its seems that microsoft isnt able to design a balanced security system. either its to open, or its so locked down that even NSA admins will have to unlock functions...

hell, i have a win2k account that have the start menu as a large single column. but if i change it into a superuser account, the start menu goes back to being a multicolumn setup. and if i go into the options to change it, the options are not locked or anything, but they never apply...

wierd? maybe. its like windows is playing mother chicken and keeps going "sorry, but i cant allow you to do that". the worst thing any user can experience is being protected from themselfs. atleast give them a illusion that they are in control...

Reply Score: 2

RE: nuts...
by n4cer on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:00 UTC in reply to "nuts..."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

It should be noted that UAP support isn't complete yet, and many of the complaints Paul has about it are known issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: nuts...
by hobgoblin on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:13 UTC in reply to "RE: nuts..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

should have guessed that. still, i fear that microsoft will screw it up somhow ;)

Reply Score: 1

Performance
by Yogurth on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:57 UTC
Yogurth
Member since:
2005-07-20

I agree with everything he said in the article and as a user from OS general design point I was hit the most with Virtual Folders removal and stoopid dialog boxes(these are incredibly annoying).

He seems to avoided the biggest issue in Vista: PERFORMANCE.

I have never tested beta OS that was this slow on current generation of boxes, and all betas(win 2000, win 98, win xp) were performance wise inside 5% of final product. If this is how Vista final will behave...it will simply fail on many markets.

Reply Score: 5

v That man is depressed
by ronaldst on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:12 UTC
RE[2]: If Anything
by kaiwai on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:22 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

One of the problems they've [Microsoft] had historically is backward compatibility - this has made it really hard to make major changes to Windows 'under the hood'.

Perhaps using the new VT technology from AMD/Intel (the same stuff that is going to bring some amazing virtualisation capabilities to all OS's, they'll be able to shovel current Windows compatibility into a virtual workload and still have everything look quite seamless.


Even easier, dump all backwards compatibility, include a free copy of VirtualPC along with a copy of Windows XP in the form of a bootable VirtualPC image, and voila, compatibility.

Hopefully then, the speed will be so crap, you'll see customers virtually marching upon these lazy software companies to produce patches, free updates and upgrades for customers who have migrated to Vista.

Sometimes the only things businesses understand is the noisy sound of the great unwashed masses refusing to purchase goods that don't meet their requirements - namely compatibility with the latest operating system released on the market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: If Anything
by kaiwai on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:33 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean their Singularity project from the MS research branch?
http://research.microsoft.com/os/singularity/
That was their idea for a total rewrite, hope that helps...


Why re-write something, that will require every application to be re-written when the problem can easily be solved by ditching the backwards compatibility Windows has for DOS/Win16 and Win9x compatibility so it is pure Windows NT, and win32 without any of the work arounds and backwards compatibility.

Nothing is wrong with NT persay, what is wrong is when Microsoft puts 'ease of use' and 'backwards compatibility' ahead of security, stability and reliability.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: If Anything
by edwdig on Thu 20th Apr 2006 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If Anything"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

Why re-write something, that will require every application to be re-written when the problem can easily be solved by ditching the backwards compatibility Windows has for DOS/Win16 and Win9x compatibility so it is pure Windows NT, and win32 without any of the work arounds and backwards compatibility.

DOS and Win16 compatibility aren't part of the core of the NT line. DOS apps run through NTVDM (Virtual Dos Machine), which is similar to Linux's DOSEmu. Win16 apps run through WOW (Windows on Windows), which is a set of libraries that translate Win16 calls into Win32 calls. On Win64, NTVDM and 16 bit WOW aren't supported (x86-64 has no 16 bit support when in 64 bit mode). Win32 apps are run through WOW.

Win95 and WinNT are just two different implementations of Win32. The major difference between the two is single user vs multi user. There isn't too much being done to help with compatibility between the two, so you wouldn't gain much by dropping it.

The NT kernel itself is good. The issue is Win32 (particuarlly GDI) is horribly designed. You can't fix that without breaking everything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: If Anything
by kaiwai on Thu 20th Apr 2006 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: If Anything"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The NT kernel itself is good. The issue is Win32 (particuarlly GDI) is horribly designed. You can't fix that without breaking everything.

You could easily replace that with a UNIX/BSD userspace, and work up from there, and keep the NT kernel - NTFS is already POSIX compliance, supports all the UNIX'isms without any problems.

Microsoft could also embrace the FreeBSD core, port the good features of Windows NT line, like NTFS, and work up from there - and better still, they can prorprietise it if they don't want to go the OSS route; it would be a win for Microsoft.

How to do it? easy, start work on it now, release Vista, announce that Windows Vista is in the last in the Windows NT/Win32 line; push support for Windows Vista out to 4 years after Microsoft BSD is released, making it 8 years in total, giving software companies enough time to make a gradual move along with customers.

Heck, and at the same time, why not get it UNIX 2003 certified; will look nice on the front of the box product.

Then atleast with a new start based on a well recognised (technology wise) product (FreeBSD) with respect in the IT community, they can avoid the mistakes they made when designing Win32, by ensuring that things are clearly and cleanly layered rather than jumbled to gether (right now) in that if you change one thing, it could possibly root something up further up the chain.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: If Anything
by rayiner on Thu 20th Apr 2006 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: If Anything"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft lives and dies by compatibility, so a changeover like that would never happen.

Ironically enough, NT was designed so that a changeover like this never needed to happen. You see, back when NT was created, microkernels and multiple-personality OSs were a big thing. NT was originally designed as a multiple-personality OS with personalities for POSIX, OS/2, and Win32. The executable crss.exe is actually the Win32 personality module. It used to run in userspace, alongside other personality modules. Over time, more and more of the system became dependent on the Win32 personality, the other personalities were eliminated, and finally crss.exe was moved into kernelspace and tightly integrated with the kernel.

If the original NT design had been preserved, Microsoft would've had a much easier time with Vista. They could've left the Win32 personality unchanged, and developed a new .NET personality for managed code. The .NET personality would run on top of the NT kernel, and be free from the backwards compatibility demands of Win32. Over time, as more apps moved to the Vista platform, the Win32 would be marginalized. On most systems that never used legacy apps, the Win32 personality would never get loaded, even though it would be available in a pinch for those occasions when compatibility was required.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: If Anything
by kaiwai on Fri 21st Apr 2006 03:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: If Anything"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Rayiner, you bought up some interesting things; unfortunately/fortunately (which ever way one wishes to look at it), I was in Amiga land with the joys of Workbench 1.3.2, Kickstart ROM and the 'guru meditation' :-)

If one wanted to go back further; why didn't they preserve their Xenix line, and eventually move to SYSV? develop a nice gui onto of that, and voila, you would end up with a fairly stable, secure and reliable system, without the need to go the NT route of 'lets re-invent the wheel'.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: If Anything
by rayiner on Thu 20th Apr 2006 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If Anything"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

NT isn't as clean as it once was, and Win32 itself was never particularly clean. Also, remember that a lot of backwards compatibility isn't limited to DOS/Win16 (those actually run in WoW, not on the bare machine), but is in the code of NT.

Microsoft's basic problem is that its APIs are unmanagable. Win32 is a mess of antiquated functionality that's so integrated its difficult to isolate into pieces that can be isolated and easily deprecated.

Linux isn't known for its backwards compatibility, but it actually handles it in a pretty sane way*. The "written in stone" kernel API is relatively small (a couple of hundred calls). Everything on top of it is highly modular, and clearly seperated. X11 is seperate from GTK+, etc. Evolution is handled by gradual deprecation of whole libraries. Eg: GTK+ 2.0 doesn't carry around compatibility baggage from GTK+ 1.0, because it exists concurrently with the older library. Older applications can still use the old library, while newer applications can use the new one. Eventually, the older applications are ported to the new version, and the old library can dissapear. This takes up more memory, to be sure, but its a much more robust design.

* In other words, the mechanism is sound, but since there is no one entity that can say "this is the ABI!", compatibility cannot be maintained in practice. The same mechanism, if implemented by someone like Microsoft, would work much better, due to organizational factors.

Reply Score: 1

Vista will be a success for MS
by nii_ on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:36 UTC
nii_
Member since:
2005-07-11

A good article.

The reason that Vista will be a success for MS though is nothing to do with features or quality or ease of use, but to do with the simple fact that almost every Personal Computer will be shipped pre-installed with MS Vista.

The masses have already shown to date that they don't really tend to buy PCs without an OS or an alternative OS (except for from the big commercialized names like Apple). All MS will have to do is release any new OS improved over the last MS Windows XP and it will automatically be very profitable for Microsoft. It will even be pushed by the big names like Dell etc. in order to sell more PCs.

Feature comparing, for 'Ease of Setup' (of say printers and file sharing etc.) for the not so computer-savvy, MS and Apple lead.
For 'Security and Stability' MS has been far far behind Apple also behing the Linux-based distros and *nix based systems.
For 'Graphical Desktop Features', as Vista is now scheduled roughly for an end of 2006 release, I would say it is also behind Apple with its continually improving pretty OS X GUI, and also behind the new XGL and AIGLX based Linux distros (with their transparency, wobbling menus and windows and their spinning 3D desktops - For instance try out the 'Kororaa Xgl Live CD': http://kororaa.org/ ).

XGL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xgl
AIGLX http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIGLX

But, still I expect Vista will be a great success for MS profit-wise and for continuing lock-ins and thus continuing their path to the future.

Again, nice article.

Edited 2006-04-20 02:41

Reply Score: 5

RE: Vista will be a success for MS
by n4cer on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:50 UTC in reply to "Vista will be a success for MS"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

For 'Graphical Desktop Features', as Vista is now scheduled roughly for an end of 2006 release, I would say it is also behind Apple with its continually improving pretty OS X GUI, and also behind the new XGL and AIGLX based Linux distros (with their transparency, wobbling menus and windows and their spinning 3D desktops - For instance try out the 'Kororaa Xgl Live CD': http://kororaa.org/ ).

Just because MS doesn't expose these effects to end users by default doesn't mean the system isn't capable of producing such effects. MS did wobbling window and other such demos in 2003 at WinHEC. Vista is still capable of such effects. They just aren't used by default.

Reply Score: 3

ApproachingZero Member since:
2005-11-10

Just because MS doesn't expose these effects to end users by default doesn't mean the system isn't capable of producing such effects. MS did wobbling window and other such demos in 2003 at WinHEC. Vista is still capable of such effects. They just aren't used by default.

Yeah but XGL works on today's hardware. Even the toned-down Vista effects that are on by default require an Alienware to work smoothly. Therein lies the difference.

Reply Score: 1

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah but XGL works on today's hardware. Even the toned-down Vista effects that are on by default require an Alienware to work smoothly. Therein lies the difference.

The DX 9 hardware Aero Glass runs on has been around for 3 years. You don't require cutting edge or costly hardware to run Glass. The toned-down effects are no different than other effects as they are all shader programs.

Reply Score: 2

ApproachingZero Member since:
2005-11-10

Vista with its transparency turned on crawls and is choppy on my Dell Latitude D800, 1GB RAM, 64MB Video RAM (nVidia card). I just tried the live CD of Kororaa Linux, (Gnome with XGL), and it flies. I can't believe the performance and the cool things it can do. Wobbly windows are cool, the transparency is as good as OS X, and its Exposť rip-off is better than Apple's (smoother, bouncy, more playful). Once the major distros start shipping with this, and polish up and modernize their themes, Linux might actually pull ahead of OS X in terms of advanced eye candy. I can't believe I'm saying that. Ubuntu, take us there!

But anyway, if XGL can do all of these advanced transparency/zooming/wobbling/rotating/sliding effects on my hardware so quickly and smoothly, why can't Vista do the same? I think once Leopard, Vista and the next-gen Linux distros are all out at the same time, Vista will be by far the slowest. XP's greatest strength today is that it seems to have "teh snappy" advantage over Linux and OS X. I don't think Vista is going to have those same bragging rights.

Reply Score: 5

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

But anyway, if XGL can do all of these advanced transparency/zooming/wobbling/rotating/sliding effects on my hardware so quickly and smoothly, why can't Vista do the same?

Alpha NVIDIA drivers for one, though I'm running an NVIDIA 6600GT and don't experience the choppiness you're talking about.

I think once Leopard, Vista and the next-gen Linux distros are all out at the same time, Vista will be by far the slowest. XP's greatest strength today is that it seems to have "teh snappy" advantage over Linux and OS X. I don't think Vista is going to have those same bragging rights.

I think you shouldn't make performance judgements about an RTM build based on a beta OS and alpha drivers. NVIDIA still has a long way to go in getting their Vista drivers to the level of their XP counterparts (as does ATI and others).

Reply Score: 1

el3ktro Member since:
2006-01-10

... just as XGL and all the technologies around it are beta, too. But still, I'm using XGL on three machines now without any problems, it's super-fast, looks beautiful and is quite usefull too.

Tom

Reply Score: 3

proforma Member since:
2005-08-27

>Yeah but XGL works on today's hardware. Even the
>toned-down Vista effects that are on by default
>require an Alienware to work smoothly. Therein lies
>the difference.

Now listen to Thom who has actually used Windows Vista. Direct X 9 was released in 2002 and Windows Vista will be released in 2007. Doh!

Here is a link:
http://cogscanthink.blogsome.com/2006/04/07/aero-will-run-fine/

So much for that theory huh?

Linux needs to focus on driver support. Because they don't own OpenGL like Microsoft owns Direct X, it makes it harder for them to get something decent that works for more than one set of people.

Reply Score: 0

ApproachingZero Member since:
2005-11-10

Now listen to Thom who has actually used Windows Vista.

Yeah I'm gonna listen to Thom, who just yesterday posted that Apple forces you to use an Apple mouse to navigate OS X.

And I have used Vista. Its performance is crappy. And that can't be "just because it's beta". Even Thurrot doesn't buy that line.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Vista will be a success for MS
by Tweek on Thu 20th Apr 2006 04:13 UTC in reply to "Vista will be a success for MS"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

You have some good points.
But the printer file sharing deal isnt one of them....

I am sure you have been called upon by a neighbor to do exactly those tasks. The average person simply doesnt do those types of things, they have you do it for them or they have you step them through over the phone.

Either way, the ease of use is immaterial at this point, both are relatively easy

Reply Score: 2

nii_ Member since:
2005-07-11

Rather I meant printer set up, and file sharing set up, etc.

Indeed equipment and server setups have been getting easier and easier in Linux for the non computer-savvy, but still those tend to be straightforward in MS Windows XP rather than often having to find various pieces of information yourself like in Linux.

For those who have computer experience it is indeed quite immaterial, but for so many users out there, they just want something to be plugged in and work - printers and other computers about their house included.

However, in terms of USB devices I do think that the Linux and Apple 'automatically appear on the desktop without user disturbance' approach is much better than the MS Windows XP 'user-interrupt' approach. In MS Windows XP, a short time later it interrupts me and then informs me that I have plugged something in as though I didn't know. For hot plugging USB devices it is a much more 'natural' and pleasant experience in Linux OSs and MAC OS X.

Edited 2006-04-20 04:37

Reply Score: 2

henrikw Member since:
2006-03-03

"For hot plugging USB devices it is a much more 'natural' and pleasant experience in Linux OSs and MAC OS X."

On my Mac, hotplugging usb-devices are't so pleasant.. if I remove the usb-stick/camera/whatever without unmounting it I get an errormessage.. I know its there for a reason, but there has to be an easier way..

Edited 2006-04-20 13:38

Reply Score: 1

GStepper Member since:
2006-03-08

"On my Mac, hotplugging usb-devices are't so pleasant.. if I remove the usb-stick/camera/whatever without unmounting it I get an errormessage.. I know its there for a reason, but there has to be an easier way.. "

The only workaround is to get used to unmount a device before uplugging it.

On the other hand half of the times I try to "unmount" a USB key from a win XP box I get the "Not now, device is busy" error box, in that case, no toher way than unplugging the device a la barbarian...
I prefer OS X and Linux way of dealing USB storage .... ;)

Reply Score: 2

Paul....
by kaiwai on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:36 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Paul hasn't changed his tune, he does this all the time, its like a wave; it does hype, hype, hype, doomsday, doomsday, mini-hype, doomsday, then when the new product is released, he'll come out of the closet with his cheerleaders uniformed.

He'll dance around claiming, "OMG! its unbelievable! how could I ever question Microsoft! they've done something amazing!" then spit out 4 weeks of 'indepth analysis' along with the necessary sound bites from 'those in the know' at Microsoft (more free PR for Microsoft) as if it were the second coming.

Sorry, this is the same Paul over again, hype, deflate then rehype again. Its the equivilance of asking what Bill Gates thinks about their 'future line up'.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Paul....
by mono on Thu 20th Apr 2006 08:41 UTC in reply to "Paul...."
mono Member since:
2005-10-19

"Paul hasn't changed his tune, he does this all the time [...] when the new product is released, he'll come out of the closet with his cheerleaders uniformed"

I agree. But i think it's somehow consistent. There is nothing new in this article. He just collected all the bad things to warn Microsoft again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Paul....
by kaiwai on Thu 20th Apr 2006 09:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Paul...."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree. But i think it's somehow consistent. There is nothing new in this article. He just collected all the bad things to warn Microsoft again.

Some how consistant with his typical cycle; remember he went on a Windows XP slamming feast, then when service pack 2 came out, he was gushing over it like some sort of hot super model.

A few months later, he was back to 'slamming it' with an article on how his wif just *loves* her Mac, this is just more in the cycle.

Like I said, mark my words, when Vista is relased, we'll have a review of it by Paul, and he'll be purring like a kitten.

As for this article, its just 'ooh, look at me, I too can be skeptical, along with other clueless journalists! I'll throw my 5 cents worth into the discussion and hope my website hit goes through the roof!'

The sad fact is, he also tries to play the so-called 'windows fanboy in impartial technology analyst clothing' - he wants people to think that he is impartial so that some how his arguments will carry more weight; sorry, his bad facade and opinions hold even less weight than Dvorak.

I can say, atleast where I stand, when I offer my 5cents worth, I'm open to saying that all software and hardware sucks, some just sucks less than others, and hec, I'm quite willing to bash the software I like, and praise the software I dislike when deserved, the problem is, Paul has turned it into a cycle of hate, love, hate, love based on some sort of 'mission' rather than trying to form impartial opinions on Microsofts products.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Paul....
by Ookaze on Thu 20th Apr 2006 15:05 UTC in reply to "Paul...."
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Sorry, this is the same Paul over again, hype, deflate then rehype again

More than that, he is still a big zealot.
Evidence is that he can't help using "Linux and Apple fanatics", but never for MS side.
He prefers using "Windows fans" for MS side.

Reply Score: 1

v Dumb
by CrazyDude0 on Thu 20th Apr 2006 05:22 UTC
RE: Dumb
by MechR on Thu 20th Apr 2006 06:21 UTC in reply to "Dumb"
MechR Member since:
2006-01-11

But the difference isn't nearly as obvious at first glance as it could be (and should be, for usability). Vista ought to be doing the lightened-titlebar thing like WinXP, and maybe even some transparency cues.

Reply Score: 2

Apple vs Microsoft
by flobberchops on Thu 20th Apr 2006 06:40 UTC
flobberchops
Member since:
2006-04-18

Apple has a better roadmap with regard to compatibility wheras Microsoft hold onto compatibility back to the Windows 3.11 era, thats far to long. If banks etc want to use old apps they use old Platforms like Windows NT and alot do along with OS/2, any apps they run on new platforms are web based usually that are hosted on OLD platforms. I wish Microsoft treated compatbility like Apple did. Apple got alot right they just have to stop cheerleading themselves blindy and accept it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple vs Microsoft
by thebluesgnr on Thu 20th Apr 2006 09:24 UTC in reply to "Apple vs Microsoft"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Compatibility is the single most important thing for Microsoft. If they didn't have that there would be nothing to keep customers from looking at competing products.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apple vs Microsoft
by rcsteiner on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple vs Microsoft"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

If Microsoft was really interested in compatibility, they would have created a much better virtual DOS machine for their 32-bit Windows flavors.

Instead, they seem far more interested in slowly phasing out their older APIs than in supporting them.

Reply Score: 1

Vista will only fail if...
by pclapham on Thu 20th Apr 2006 06:42 UTC
pclapham
Member since:
2006-04-13

- It blue screens at least once a day
- Your existing hardware doesn't work on it
- The program i ran on XP dont work anymore

Otherwise, it is set to win.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vista will only fail if...
by TezKAh on Thu 20th Apr 2006 07:22 UTC in reply to "Vista will only fail if..."
TezKAh Member since:
2005-07-06

how do you define win?


and XP matches all three of your criteria... hmm...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Vista will only fail if...
by rcsteiner on Thu 20th Apr 2006 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Vista will only fail if..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

"Win" probably means "continues to be the most commonly used desktop OS for most home and business users"...

Reply Score: 1

proforma
Member since:
2005-08-27

If you read Channel 9 one of the thing he is angry about with the security prompts is in the process of being fixed. I guess he does not watch channel 9.

We have known for years that WinFS wasn't going to be in Vista at launch but would ship as a free add-on later.

The other things are small and can be fixed or are in the process of being fixed.

Reply Score: 2

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

We have known for years that WinFS wasn't going to be in Vista at launch but would ship as a free add-on later.

No we haven't. WinFS was announced as part of Vista just as Thurott claimed. It was backed out only about a year ago or so.

Reply Score: 5

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

It should never be released. Let me explain.

WinFS was to be a database file system, it was to mate with SQL server. However Microsoft implemented SQL by using RPC.

RPC is embedded deep into Windows and it is the most vunerable part of the system for malware.

Microsoft is trying to push Vista as a more secure system.... but the two things are in conflict.

So, to keep the system looking more secure, it needed to cut on on the bits that use RPC the most.. ie WinFS.

You should expect never to see it.

Reply Score: 2

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

WinFS being cut wasn't because of security. It was because it wouldn't be ready to ship in the timeframe they wanted Vista to ship, in part due to additions they wanted to make after getting feedback from PDC. I'd expect to see it released within the next 2 years.

Reply Score: 0

proforma
Member since:
2005-08-27

>For 'Security and Stability' MS has been far far
>behind Apple also behing the Linux-based distros and
>*nix based systems.

Vista comes out ahead here because the OS does virtualisation of the registry and also because
of features that are re-written that are secure.
For example an image format that is tied down and if the image is not an image it will not show it.

Also IE has a layer of protection from the OS. It is partitioned from the OS. Firefox does not have this feature.

Also for stability the drivers are in usermode now and not kernel mode and the kernel is lean and mean now with very little driver code, only code that is needed for speed reasons is left in there.

The drivers are also now created from the ground up and with D3D 10, there is no legacy code.

The 64-bit version of Vista that comes with each release has protection so that the kernel is protected even more so that rootkits can't just take over the OS. You have to be approved by Microsoft to allow for this.


>For 'Graphical Desktop Features', as Vista is now
>scheduled roughly for an end of 2006 release, I
>would say it is also behind Apple with its
>continually improving pretty OS X GUI, and also
>behind the new XGL and AIGLX based Linux distros
>(with their transparency, wobbling menus and windows
>and their spinning 3D desktops - For instance try
>out the 'Kororaa Xgl Live CD':
>http://kororaa.org/ ).

This is not true at all. Windows Vista can do all of that. All windows are polygon meshes. The entire desktop is 3D but it looks 2D. You can do all of the things those desktops do but it's not practical. If it's not practical then why do it.

We had an OpenGL desktop for windows that made each icon into a 3D cube. This has been done for years but nobody uses it and guess why? Because it's not practical and there is no use to it.

3D is great, but you need to be able to make it practical. This isn't the virtual reality world of the early 1990's when anything that was 3D was better than 2D and that is just not true. It depends on how you use it, not that use just use it because it looks cool and its 3D.

Reply Score: 4

Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Vista comes out ahead here because the OS does virtualisation of the registry and also because
of features that are re-written that are secure


And so Vista comes out ahead of what ? Of Windows XP ?
The GP said it was still far far behind other OS, and it seems it still will be.

For example an image format that is tied down and if the image is not an image it will not show it

It is about time ...

Also IE has a layer of protection from the OS. It is partitioned from the OS. Firefox does not have this feature

But you said it is a layer of protection from the OS !! If it was, Firefox not having the feature is irrelevant, as the feature is in the OS.

Also for stability the drivers are in usermode now and not kernel mode and the kernel is lean and mean now with very little driver code, only code that is needed for speed reasons is left in there

I don't understand. Most drivers will benefit from a speed point if you put them in the kernel. So what you're saying is that they left most drivers in the kernel ?

The drivers are also now created from the ground up and with D3D 10, there is no legacy code

Pure speculation. You talk like MS is creating the drivers ... I'm pretty sure what you say here is false. Each vendor has its policies.

The 64-bit version of Vista that comes with each release has protection so that the kernel is protected even more so that rootkits can't just take over the OS

Now this is utter BS. You just can't protect from a rootkit, if you're vulnerable to one. Rootkits are designed specifically to take over vulnerable systems, and work around every protection. Rootkits are used once the attacker is in the place, it's too late for your kernel to do anything.

This is not true at all. Windows Vista can do all of that. All windows are polygon meshes. The entire desktop is 3D but it looks 2D. You can do all of the things those desktops do but it's not practical. If it's not practical then why do it.

Then why MS puts the glass effect that is a regression from the old Luna themes, from a usability standpoint ?

3D is great, but you need to be able to make it practical. This isn't the virtual reality world of the early 1990's when anything that was 3D was better than 2D and that is just not true. It depends on how you use it, not that use just use it because it looks cool and its 3D.

Then it seems MS has some catching up to do to XGL and the like, given what is said in this edito.

Reply Score: 5

proforma
Member since:
2005-08-27

>Apple has a better roadmap with regard to >compatibility wheras Microsoft hold onto
>compatibility back to the Windows 3.11 era, thats
>far to long. If banks etc want to use old apps they
>use old Platforms like Windows NT and alot do along
>with OS/2, any apps they run on new platforms are
>web based usually that are hosted on OLD platforms.
>I wish Microsoft treated compatbility like Apple
>did. Apple got alot right they just have to stop
>cheerleading themselves blindy and accept it.

You do know that the 64-bit version of Vista which comes with almost every version of Vista save one only runs 32-bit and 64-bit apps right?

That is right, it will not run 16-bit windows apps.

There is a Virtual PC program that comes with Vista Ultimate that you can run windows 3.1 apps by using an older version of Windows and installing it on the Virtual PC app.

Apple has went the other route, kill all compatiblity with previous versions so that basically nothing except recent stuff runs and I don't think that is right either. There has to be a balance and I think 32-bit and 64-bit apps is that balance.

Reply Score: 4

Call for Perry Mason
by moleskine on Thu 20th Apr 2006 09:43 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

This reads like the case for the prosecution, but to get a balanced view we really need the case for the defence. Vista has good things going for it and it isn't going to be a disaster (even if some think it is a disappointment). In any case, it will become ubiquitous fairly quickly from pre-installation on the vast majority of all new PCs sold. So, where is the good news?

Two things stand out here for me. First, the curious way in which a company containing the best and the brightest, with almost unlimited funds, can embroil itself in a bureaucratic management nightmare. This seems at the root of a lot of the problems.

Second, we may have reached an impasse in interface design. Humans are wired in a certain way and can only take in so much, in certain patterns, before information overload sets in. We no longer see a pattern we can make sense of, just a mess. It is possible that software has become so complicated that no one has figured out how to design an interface to pass through this. We may well stay at this rather uncertain stage until other interface methods start to arrive, quite a few years down the line, such as speech. This isn't something specific to Microsoft, of course.

In the meantime, if Microsoft wants to prove that it isn't the "bad" Microsoft of yesteryear, it could start with a few simple things. Like, settling the dispute with the EU, taking a cooler attitude to the Hollywood DRM-maniacs and laying off the patent threats against Linux that Ballmer likes to make from time to time. Until it does, a lot of folks are going to continue to judge Microsoft rather harshly.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Kroc on Thu 20th Apr 2006 10:04 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Very good read,
Apple's way of presenting a feature that's not complete is "We've got the API and frameworks, but no UI", and Microsoft's idea of presenting a feature that's not complete is "We've got the UI, but it's all wrong"

Reply Score: 1

Design by Microsoft Committee
by MikeekiM on Thu 20th Apr 2006 12:16 UTC
MikeekiM
Member since:
2005-11-16

This always happens with MS.
A bunch of guys, that don't understand the problem, come up with an inferior solution.

Sheesh, it's good to have Apple back in the game,
otherwise Vista would have shipped with XP++## Improved look and feel.
It would be smart of Microsoft fanatics to pick up an Apple product and keep that Microsoft "innovation" copy machine running.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Design by Microsoft Committee
by sappyvcv on Thu 20th Apr 2006 13:52 UTC in reply to "Design by Microsoft Committee"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

You think people at Microsoft "don't understand the problem"?

That's one of the most inaccurate statements I've read on this site in the past few days.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Design by Microsoft Committee
by naelurec on Thu 20th Apr 2006 19:29 UTC in reply to "Design by Microsoft Committee"
naelurec Member since:
2006-02-15

Hehe.. I think they understand the problem quite well.. unfortunately, it isn't the same problem that users are having.

Microsoft's problem: Maximize profit.

Solution:
1. Hype OS to get people from migrating to another system.. Make it sound like the best thing ever (politician speak)
2. Delay out the OS for as long as possible (a fresh WinXP license still sells with virtually every new computer sold..)
3. Reduce promised features over the last phase of development to make it "good enough"
4. Introduce other "features" which will ensure a user will eventually want to upgrade to a newer OS in a few years (this article lists them)

Over the past decade, this process has been used over and over..

Reply Score: 3

RE: Great unbiased editorial
by Stock on Thu 20th Apr 2006 12:24 UTC
Stock
Member since:
2005-08-31

Also, linux is spoken in the same breath as OSX and windows 3 times in that article. I think if a previous microsoft troll is now directly comparing the three in the same light then Linux IS IN DAMN GOOD SHAPE!

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps it's the cynic in me but what I took away from that article was a feeling of down playing Vista. So far all I've heard is how great Vista will be and "so much more than anything before". I think Microsoft has worked out that people aren't buying it and they need a strategy to curb the hype. The article even goes so far as to say "[Vista's] not horrible. It's just not what was promised. trying to convince us to buy it anyway and look forward to the next version.

Just my 2 cents.

Reply Score: 1

Panacea
by dcibils on Thu 20th Apr 2006 12:29 UTC
dcibils
Member since:
2005-12-28

Take away Mach microkernel from OS X. Put Linux instead on it's core, leave the FreeBSD services layer and all the OS X propietary stuff on top.

There, you have a wonderfull desktop and inherit all the drivers from the Linux world.Perhaps some fine tuning would be required.

Then, sell OS X as a $99 OS for any PC, perhaps with less features, and leave the "Ultimate" OS X experience for those who have a Mac.

For most 80% of users, that would be wonderful.

So, you want OS X on your PC .. you have it.
But .. if you want the best-of-breed version, then .. buy a MAC.

Kind of OT .. I know.

Reply Score: 0

WinFS vs. BeFS
by Galley on Thu 20th Apr 2006 13:26 UTC
Galley
Member since:
2005-10-27

BeOS had a fully-journaled 64-bit file system, that allowed the user to run queries, (and save the queries for instant results). This was 10 years ago! WinFS sounded intriguing, but apparently we'll never see it.

Reply Score: 4

Shame on you, Microsoft.
by aGNUstic on Thu 20th Apr 2006 14:10 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

"Shame on you, Microsoft. Shame on you, but not just for not doing better. We expect you to copy Apple, just as Apple (and Linux) in its turn copies you. But we do not and should not expect to be promised the world, only to be given a warmed over copy of Mac OS X Tiger in return. Windows Vista is a disappointment. There is no way to sugarcoat that very real truth."

Wow. Nice to see this from a Windows spigot for once.

Reply Score: 1

Honest Assessment
by segedunum on Thu 20th Apr 2006 14:37 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a pretty honest assessment from someone who has actually been a very, very vocal Microsoft supporter. He even goes so far as to say that a lot of what Microsoft has done was illegal (which it is from a monopoly point of view) and that Microsoft has been mismanaged by people who have a paranoia about crushing any opposition and building roadbloacks into Windows. This has clouded their judgement regarding getting stuff done that actually works.

The UAP thing is a classic example of Windows awful underlying structure, the existing applications and installers out there that need to work that are the way they are because of that Windows structure and Microsoft's complete misunderstanding of how to go about it. I think maybe Ubuntu with sudo has that user authentication thing right, and if they can work on making it more user friendly (explaining why this application needs admin authentication) and making it unobtrusive then they may have it sewed.

I'll have to dig out by Vista beta, but I'm not sure why the Windows Firewall asks permission for so many things. Maybe Microsoft doesn't want to stop the market for third party firewalls, virus and anti-spyware software? Maybe if Microsoft created something that worked then it would wipe out much third party software and be deemed anti-competitive?

The translucent Windows were also interesting, and shows just what can happen if you get blinded by the eye candy rather than usability.

Just goes to show you that Microsoft faces the same problem as Apple, and Gnome and KDE with all that clutter versus features stuff that goes on.

Reply Score: 1

if PT writes like this....
by eantoranz on Thu 20th Apr 2006 14:50 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

So PT is now one unbiased writer just because he's writing so pathetic things about Vista? I still think he is a MS Troll... but he found Vista so hoooooooooooooorribly bad that there was no way he could have writen something stating otherwise..... well, IMHO.

Reply Score: 0

RE: if PT writes like this....
by sappyvcv on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:48 UTC in reply to "if PT writes like this...."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Then he is not a troll, because a troll would not do that.

Reply Score: 1

Finder lookalike
by GreenDot on Thu 20th Apr 2006 14:55 UTC
GreenDot
Member since:
2006-01-24

Is it me or does the explorer interface favor finder?

Reply Score: 1

My honest opinion
by sappyvcv on Thu 20th Apr 2006 16:55 UTC
sappyvcv
Member since:
2005-07-06

I actually agree with Paul here on a lot of things. Microsoft really dropped the ball on Vista. They screwed up and are seeing a huge backlack in the various communities over it. They deserve it.

I expect, or hope, to see heads roll when once Vista is shipped. Doing so now will only make things worse. I hope to see them start to think twice about promises so far in advance.

Vista is a disappointment in so far as what was promises and what is being (or will be) delivered.

HOWEVER, all that aside, I am still looking forward to Vista. I think a person can be disappointed in a product from a standpoint of what it could have been vs. what it is, but still enjoy the final product.

There is still some cool stuff going into Vista that I want to use, and I think Vista still has a chance of being better than XP in a lot of areas.

Make no mistake though, Vista is still a screw-up, but even a screw-up can still be good.

Reply Score: 1

mm .NET - where did that go?
by rtfa on Thu 20th Apr 2006 20:13 UTC
rtfa
Member since:
2006-02-27

Wasn't managed code also suposed to be part of the intergal OS?
I can't really remember but i think that also got dropped because it was dogslow

Reply Score: 1

RE: mm .NET - where did that go?
by n4cer on Thu 20th Apr 2006 21:55 UTC in reply to "mm .NET - where did that go?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Wasn't managed code also suposed to be part of the intergal OS? I can't really remember but i think that also got dropped because it was dogslow

Managed code was never supposed to be integral to the OS in terms of kernel or low-level architecture. Managed code was and is part of the OS via the new API set offered (WinFX) that is set to supplant Win32/64. Avalon (WPF - presentation), Indigo (WCF - communications), Workflow (WF), and WinFS (in beta)are all managed code. And, of course, the existing .NET framework is included.

Edited 2006-04-20 21:57

Reply Score: 1

Windows security model
by c0d3h4x0r on Thu 20th Apr 2006 20:22 UTC
c0d3h4x0r
Member since:
2006-04-20

First, you get a File Access Denied dialog (Figure) explaining that you don't, in fact, have permission to delete a ... shortcut?? To an application you just installed??? Seriously?

Paul is misunderstanding the Windows security model. He (his user account) didn't install Firefox -- an admin account did, and the shortcuts were placed on the "All Users" desktop profile so that they will appear on all users' desktops. A normal user account doesn't have permission to delete anything (shortcuts, files, etc) that are shared by all users of the system. If Paul understood the Windows security model, then these warning dialogs would all make sense to him.

That said, the fact that the Windows security model is confusing to people isn't a surprise. Most home users have no concept of "user accounts", because most home users only use ONE administrative account on their system at all times, with no password set, with autologin turned on. Most home users of XP never even *see* a "user account", so they are blissfully unaware of the entire concept. They certainly don't understand that multiple user accounts may exist, with different privelege levels, and that a special "all users" profile is writable only by admins and readable by everyone.

The real problem here is that the mental model of the system that users have is not actually how the system works. Whenever the mental model held by users differs from the actual model, you'll have huge usability problems due to the disconnect. People always assume their own mental model is accurate, even when it's not. That's just human nature.

The only solution is to make the actual model more transparent and obvious to people. This is where so many software designers take the wrong approach. The solution to usability problems isn't to hide how things work (out of some misguided effort to hide away complexity), but to simplify how things actually do work and to then make the actual model as transparent and obvious to the user as possible.

Applying this approach to Windows:

- Autologin (such that you can get logged in to the desktop without entering both username and password) should be eliminated, even if there's only one account on the computer with no password set. This way users are forced to immediately understand that in order to use the computer at all, you have to be inside the context of a "user account".

- Items that are shared by "all users" (start menu entries, desktop shortcuts, files, etc) should not be freely intermixed with the user's own private items, but should instead be clearly and separately called out. For instance, there should be a visibly separate division on the start menu between "your shortcuts" and "shortcuts shared by all users". This would make it transparent/obvious to users that some things are only theirs, while other things are shared by all users accounts.

- All program windows should list in the title bar or frame, in a very clearly visible spot, the user account that the program is running under.

- Whenever a program needs admin access to perform an operation, and the user is asked to provide credentials to grant access, there should always be a checkbox to "always grant this program access to perform this operation, and always use the credentials provided here".

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows security model
by Ookaze on Fri 21st Apr 2006 09:26 UTC in reply to "Windows security model"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

He (his user account) didn't install Firefox -- an admin account did, and the shortcuts were placed on the "All Users" desktop profile so that they will appear on all users' desktops. A normal user account doesn't have permission to delete anything (shortcuts, files, etc) that are shared by all users of the system. If Paul understood the Windows security model, then these warning dialogs would all make sense to him

But you are not the one that must adapt to the OS, the OS has to adapt to you.
So you must be an expert to use Windows correctly, to understand and accept all the annoyances it puts on you ? I already knew that, you just confirmed it.
And so it won't change in Vista. What you describe is a OS with bad usability.
Why did the admin install its files in the user account with a permission prevented the user from manipulating what should be its files ?
Sorry, if I did this by hand on any OS, I would put the blame on myself, not on the user that can't manipulate the file.
Unless I don't want the user to manipulate the file, in which case I won't allow him to change it.
The Vista behaviour here is utterly broken.

That said, the fact that the Windows security model is confusing to people isn't a surprise. Most home users have no concept of "user accounts", because most home users only use ONE administrative account on their system at all times, with no password set, with autologin turned on

Excuse me ? I'm on a Linux system and fairly understand user accounts. But sorry to tell you that the Windows security model is as confusing to me than to the people you describe.

Most home users of XP never even *see* a "user account", so they are blissfully unaware of the entire concept. They certainly don't understand that multiple user accounts may exist, with different privelege levels, and that a special "all users" profile is writable only by admins and readable by everyone

Depending on how it's convenient, Windows people say that home users don't even see a user account, or that they have multiple accounts, or that they have a network with file sharing and network printer. And they say all these incompatible group of people are the same group.
What you say here is that Windows is too complicated for home users, and yes I agree.

The real problem here is that the mental model of the system that users have is not actually how the system works

Yous say again that Windows is unusable.

This is where so many software designers take the wrong approach. The solution to usability problems isn't to hide how things work (out of some misguided effort to hide away complexity), but to simplify how things actually do work and to then make the actual model as transparent and obvious to the user as possible

And now you testify that Windows is unusable and never will be usable. "Make the actual model as transparent and obvious to the user" ? MS has never done that, and I speculate they will never do it.
The worse here, is that you mix "software designers" with "Windows developers".
Sorry, there is a world outside MS, and they've done it right for decades.

- Autologin should be eliminated, even if there's only one account on the computer with no password set. This way users are forced to immediately understand that in order to use the computer at all, you have to be inside the context of a "user account"

Why not ? But they have to fix other things from Windows XP (perhaps they did already) : when you come from sleep, you have direct access to the session that was open when you've gone to sleep. Other OS do it right and show a locked screen, where you have to enter your password.

- Items that are shared by "all users" (start menu entries, desktop shortcuts, files, etc) should not be freely intermixed with the user's own private items, but should instead be clearly and separately called out

This is another seriously broken thing in Windows. There are shared things, which clearly should not be shared. A "start menu entry" should not be shared, this is nonsense. Visible by all, yes. But not shared. What if someone wants to remove the entry from its menu ?

- All program windows should list in the title bar or frame, in a very clearly visible spot, the user account that the program is running under.

Good idea, I see what you mean. Except that this is the consequence of a broken security system.
You should not need to know the user account a program is running under, but fix the program and the OS.
Again, other OS don't do that, except when you are logged on another machine.

- Whenever a program needs admin access to perform an operation, and the user is asked to provide credentials to grant access, there should always be a checkbox to "always grant this program access to perform this operation, and always use the credentials provided here"

Big security problem, or big annoyance as soon as you change your password.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows security model
by glebd on Tue 25th Apr 2006 15:57 UTC in reply to "Windows security model"
glebd Member since:
2006-04-25

I'm a Vista beta tester. I've installed Firefox under an admin account, and when trying to delete its shortcut from my Desktop, I've still got all the dialog boxes Paul has mentioned. This is a completely brain-dead pseudo-security feature users will switch off instantly if they can.

Reply Score: 1

VFS on an sql server
by werpu on Fri 21st Apr 2006 07:23 UTC
werpu
Member since:
2006-01-18

a wet dream of filesystem developers since beos, and everyone who touched it failed. Reason, set based structures do not match well with tree like organisational structures.
Everyone and that really means everyone who has tried it has given this dream up for the sake of having a simple indexing mechanism instead of a full blown vfs on top of a relational data store.
If Microsoft had studied the history and papers they would have known that upfront (one word BeOS) but looking at the past so that they do not replicate the errors others did was never the strong side of them. But at least they were able to row back, normally they feed their reinwent the wheel dreck to the users (speaking of the failure COM and ActiveX where everyone warned upfront)

Reply Score: 1

RE: VFS on an sql server
by n4cer on Fri 21st Apr 2006 07:53 UTC in reply to "VFS on an sql server"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

BeOS would not have offered a history for MS to study since MS was working on OFS at around the same time the Be guys were working on BeOS.

Reply Score: 1