Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:00 UTC, submitted by Dan Warne
Windows Vista's installation process is dramatically different to any previous version of Windows: rather than being an 'installer', the install DVD is actually a preinstalled copy of Windows that simply gets decompressed onto your PC. It is hardware agnostic so it can adjust to different systems, and you can also install your own apps into it so that your Vista install becomes a full system image install. There's an interview with a Microsoft Australia tech specialist as well as a story that looks at some of the pros and cons of image-based installs.
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RE
by Kroc on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:26 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I remember them talking about WinPE in 2003/4, saying that a Vista install would take 13 minutes.

An interesting comment was that WinPE would allow distributers like Dell to use SOAP to allow users of a website to customise the software on their machine order, and in the factory a web service could be preparing a WinPE image for them that includes their software selection ready for the machine.

Reply Score: 1

Antitrust paradise
by davidiwharper on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:26 UTC
davidiwharper
Member since:
2006-01-01

The antivirus/security market invaded by OneCare, the imaging market overtaken by WIM, and the music market taken on with URGE: where does it end?

Microsoft is taking on their rivals in so many markets with Vista it's unbelievable!

Edited 2006-07-24 11:27

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Antitrust paradise
by Kroc on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:01 UTC in reply to "Antitrust paradise"
RE[2]: Antitrust paradise
by hobgoblin on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Antitrust paradise"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

well urge is just a service, basicly its ITMS.
lets see what microsoft comes up with as a software part of zune...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Antitrust paradise
by CPUGuy on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:10 UTC in reply to "Antitrust paradise"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

OneCare is not bundled with the OS and is a pay-for service.

Windows Photo Center is basically stuff that XP could already do, just more polished.
They can't get in any trouble for this as there is no advanced application coming bunlded with Windows for free.

And Urge is MTV's music service, not Microsoft's.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Antitrust paradise
by CPUGuy on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:12 UTC in reply to "Antitrust paradise"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, WIM is nothing new, you have been able to deploy Windows over a network for many many years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Antitrust paradise
by DrillSgt on Mon 24th Jul 2006 17:12 UTC in reply to "Antitrust paradise"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The antivirus/security market invaded by OneCare, the imaging market overtaken by WIM, and the music market taken on with URGE: where does it end?

Microsoft is taking on their rivals in so many markets with Vista it's unbelievable!"


Okay, I'll bite. What does WIM or URGE have to do with Microsoft, except for the fact that the software was written for use on windows? These are not Microsoft companies. OneCare is Microsoft, but not the other 2.

Reply Score: 1

hmm, strangely interesting...
by hobgoblin on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:11 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

that this comes from microsoft realy suprises me.

it sounds all to well tought out...

now i just wish they would get that beast (vista) down to size, it seems all to expensive in terms of computing resources just for a os...

and im not sure i like the comment about it still requiring all those extra technologys like WDS and whats not. they will require me to use a windows server to deploy over networks? sorry but no thanks. i can pull that of using linux and a ftp server running on just about any os...

Reply Score: 1

looks familiar
by gustl on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:22 UTC in reply to "hmm, strangely interesting..."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

"im not sure i like the comment about it still requiring all those extra technologys like WDS and whats not"

Looks like talking about openness and cross-platform, but doing the same old lock-in dance with Vista as they tried to do all along their historic path.

Reply Score: 2

RE: looks familiar
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:32 UTC in reply to "looks familiar"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

this is such a non-issue, it's not even funny. If you're installing enough Windows to really use WDS, you probably have a Microsoft rep and can afford to purchase and admin a single Windows server for deployment purposes. You already need an admin to prepare the images and keeping Server 2k3 updated and working is not a very daunting task.

Reply Score: 1

Excellent
by stlpcsolutions on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:39 UTC
stlpcsolutions
Member since:
2006-07-18

Microsoft inventing nothing new and copying technological ideas from the open source community, and independent programmers.

Can they invent anything, or simply pool ideas together and sell them for a fee?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excellent
by DrillSgt on Mon 24th Jul 2006 17:18 UTC in reply to "Excellent"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Microsoft inventing nothing new and copying technological ideas from the open source community, and independent programmers.

Can they invent anything, or simply pool ideas together and sell them for a fee?"


What other OS uses this technique to install? To my knowledge neither OSS or Mac OSX installs this way. I could very well be wrong, but there is always an installing packages message , not a decompressing message. The message of "Copying the install image" in a Linux install only copies the GNU tools required for the install, not an actual image.

Reply Score: 1

Ubuntu
by diegocg on Mon 24th Jul 2006 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

What other OS uses this technique to install? To my knowledge neither OSS or Mac OSX installs this way


The latest ubuntu version does this. It has a install image that is copied file by file to your destination partition by a python script. The image is a 600 MB file placed in the CD, but with kernel help it shows to the world as a filesystem tree that you can mount and read.

Actually, Ubuntu goes even further than Vista. Ubuntu uses that same image to run a CD-live - a cd live that logs you in a standard gnome session. The same image containing a standard Ubuntu install is used to run a CD live and to copy a Ubuntu install to your hard disk. Once the installatin is finished, it removes in your destination system (via apt-get) some packages that were preinstalled in the install image to implement the cd-live funtionality and that are not need anymore once the system is installed. Simple and clean. It rocks.


This also allows you to partition your disk using the same (graphical) tools you'd use in a standard ubuntu system once it's installed. No more crappy embedded partitioners. No need to write a partitioner for your installer. No duplication of functionality. You also can connect to the internet and google something that you may need, using firefox. Or you just can read your favourite web pages while the system installs, or play a game or listen to music. I just love this, I hope other distros do the same in the future.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ubuntu
by DrillSgt on Mon 24th Jul 2006 18:03 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The latest ubuntu version does this. It has a install image that is copied file by file to your destination partition by a python script. The image is a 600 MB file placed in the CD, but with kernel help it shows to the world as a filesystem tree that you can mount and read."

Great, thanks. That explains why I have not seen it as Ubuntu does not run on my system, let alone install. Any debian based distro kernel panics during install, as does slackware. I use Suse due to this, so have not seen the image.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Excellent
by phoenix on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

DragonFlyBSD has been using this technique since the 1.0 release a year or two ago.

Ubuntu 6.06 Desktop CDs use this technique.

Kanotix and Knoppix have been using this technique for quite a while.

The FreeBSD 5.x and 6.x install CDs do something very similar, although not quite a "copy the CD to the harddrive" (the install CD comprises a full, live, CLI version of the OS, as well as compressed tarballs of the same bits).

IOW, this is not all that new. It's been used by several different projects over the years.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excellent
by jmansion on Tue 25th Jul 2006 03:33 UTC in reply to "Excellent"
jmansion Member since:
2006-02-20

Oddly enough, where I work, 'reuse' and 'learning from others' and 'moving on from past mistakes' and 'adapting to current requirements' are all valued.

Microsoft certainly DO innovate, they have a huge R&D capability - one of the problems is that its focussed on getting product out of the door hence the bizarre number of database access technologies, for example. But they brought ODBC out and Sun followed with JDBC, they brought DCOM and DTS and Sun countered, and there are other examples.

You can't seriously expect them NOT to react to trends for addon system components, garbage collected languages, GL accelerated UIs etc can you?

I'm generally grateful to Microsoft. I got screwed over by them on OS/2, but in the year when I payed through the nose for a Sparc5 clone and a Sun C++ developer license, my MSDN Universal subscription cost *less* than the Sun C++ compiler with a deficient compiler and a half-baked UI builder, and comparing Universal's goody-box to the Sun package left a bad taste in the mouth. And as for the price-performance of the Sun, well, lets not go there. (Still got it, though it runs NetBSD now.)

Microsoft have done a lot to commoditize development products, systems software and the like so that its affordable to most developers, and even if you much prefer the current open tools, its worth remembering that Mircosoft did this, not IBM, Sun or Novell. Or RMS.

We all cherry-pick what Microsoft does - and vice versa. Its competition, right?

Reply Score: 2

From APC magazine pros/cons senseless
by sbenitezb on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:54 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"Also, Vista is hardware-agnostic"

What??

"All WIM images feature one of two compression technologies – LZX or XPress. LZX gives greater compression when space restrictions are an issue, and is the option of choice when installing from fast media like a DVD.
For CD/DVD-based installs, WIMs can be split into multiple SWM files for media spanning. XPress is a faster compression algorithm, and gives the best performance when deploying the image across a network."

Let me understand. You use a slower but good compression algorithm to store an image in media like a DVD where you clearly have enough room, and a faster but not so good compression one when installing from a network?

Reply Score: 0

natbudin Member since:
2006-07-24

"Let me understand. You use a slower but good compression algorithm to store an image in media like a DVD where you clearly have enough room, and a faster but not so good compression one when installing from a network?"

Yeah, actually, you do.

As someone who does OS installs from a LAN and from CD/DVD media on a regular basis, I can tell you that the major bottleneck these days is media read time. Network installations are generally MUCH faster, because they're being read from a hard disk and sent over a fast local link with more than enough bandwidth. Reading from an optical disk is quite a bit slower.

Therefore, it makes sense to use XPress for network installs (since read time is cheap), and LZX for CD/DVD installs (since it isn't).

Reply Score: 4

Well they would have to speed it up a bit
by shotsman on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:19 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

If the size of the install being banded around is anything to go by.
The downsize of this is a great reduction in flexibility OOTB leading to more post install work and reboots, glorious reboots.
Until we see exactly what gets shipped I guess we will be left thinking that EVERYTHING will be on 'C'. This is not ideal but as the great god microsoft says this is how it must be then that is how it must be...
I expect there will be a lot of scope post install for 'fixing' the OOTB restrictions & Limits.
Personally, I would like to be able to have "Program Files" in its entirety on a separate drive by default but I'm probably in a minority of 1 here.

Reply Score: 1

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Until we see exactly what gets shipped I guess we will be left thinking that EVERYTHING will be on 'C'. This is not ideal but as the great god microsoft says this is how it must be then that is how it must be...
I expect there will be a lot of scope post install for 'fixing' the OOTB restrictions & Limits.
Personally, I would like to be able to have "Program Files" in its entirety on a separate drive by default but I'm probably in a minority of 1 here.


The capability to perform custom configurations has been around for some time via unattended install. If not using that, you could manually move Program Files or Documents and Settings directories post-install and use junction points to refer to the location of those directories. The latter method must be performed in Safe Mode.

Reply Score: 1

Keeping up with the Jones'
by SpasmaticSeacow on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:22 UTC
SpasmaticSeacow
Member since:
2006-02-17

It's already been pointed out that this approach is
something they've "borrowed" from the open source sector which has being doing the same thing for a decade or more.

It's also been pointed out that MS is also making several obvious mistakes in the implementation (perhaps that's innovative).

But the part I'm missing here is why they would want to emphasize that they had a lousy approach before and are trying to learn from the open-source crowd. A lot of people have thought that MS has had problems "innovating" for quite some time -- but right now, MS has a problem in that Wall Street is starting to feel the same way. MS stock is not exactly a hot property ( http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=2y&s=MSFT&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=&c=%5E... ).

MS desperately has to avoid seeming like a wasteful bureaucracy making slap-dash attempts to keep up with "hobby" programmers. Vista and the new Office have got to become unnaturally compelling products with reasonable prices or they're sunk. Stuff like this appears to the suits as a concession that the F/OSS crowd might be more savvy and innovative than old MS (whether tech folk believe it or not).

Reply Score: 2

Image based install
by bolomkxxviii on Mon 24th Jul 2006 15:26 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I look forward to seeing the final shipping version of Vista. It will be interesting to see what can be added and what can be REMOVED from the image and still have a stable product.

Reply Score: 1

cool
by deanlinkous on Mon 24th Jul 2006 17:09 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

thats interesting, glad to see MS can still do things differently, sometimes ;)

Reply Score: 1

I dunno
by kernelpanicked on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:37 UTC
kernelpanicked
Member since:
2006-02-01

I'm a bit skeptical as to how well a Windows install can adapt on, on the fly, to varying hardware. If past releases are an indication, there's no way this is going to work right. Also, don't most people get a machine with Windows preinstalled? These typically come with some piece of crap image cd from the vendor anyway, not an actual Windows cd. Appears to me that this won't really be helpful to that many folks.

Reply Score: 1

re: ubuntu
by gfx1 on Tue 25th Jul 2006 04:11 UTC
gfx1
Member since:
2006-01-20

What other OS uses this technique to install? To my knowledge neither OSS or Mac OSX installs this way

BeOS used it, it just booted from cd and copied
the files over... only the image wasn't compressed
and that was in 1998 way before ubuntu

Reply Score: 3

RE: Antitrust paradise
by davidiwharper on Tue 25th Jul 2006 20:30 UTC
davidiwharper
Member since:
2006-01-01

Okay, I'll bite. What does WIM or URGE have to do with Microsoft, except for the fact that the software was written for use on windows? These are not Microsoft companies. OneCare is Microsoft, but not the other 2.

According to the article, WIM is Microsoft's new installation program for Windows, so I think it is from Microsoft.

As for URGE, even though the service may belong to MTV the issue is that Windows Media Player 11 comes with the service pre-installed. The antitrust concern here is that other music stores may no longer be on an "equal" footing compared to URGE, depending on how deeply it is integrated with WMP11.

Reply Score: 1