Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Aug 2006 19:22 UTC
Windows Microsoft has begun sharing ideas on how to design a Vista PC as part of what it calls the Vista Industrial Design Toolkit. The kit, which has been distributed to about 70 different companies, offers PC and peripherals manufacturers as well as product design firms a number of ideas on ways to shape PCs and related hardware to complement the operating system's new features. The kits, whose design ideas remain under wraps at the moment but are believed to convey ideas of simplicity and elegance, comes as Microsoft pushes to release Windows Vista in the coming months.
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Hopefully with shiny new keyboards
by Ford Prefect on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:05 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

We need some more keys on the keyboard. What about a "Vista Search" key, where you can directly jump to the new search frontend to search for all the OS' features which where promised.

Reply Score: 2

Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

You need MORE buttons? OMG ;) Out of 20 extra buttons on my keyboard i use 3. (volume, mute, play/pause)

/me wonders if he missed a hint of sarcasm

Reply Score: 1

Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Sorry, this was sarcasm about the "Windows" keys introduced with Win95. And about missing features. This would show the difference between a "search" and a "find" dialog. The search for promised vista features would get insatisfiying results.

Reply Score: 1

Here's an idea...
by bolomkxxviii on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:20 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

How about an "oh Sh_t" key for when you get a blue screen?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Here's an idea...
by DrillSgt on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:49 UTC in reply to "Here's an idea..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"How about an "oh Sh_t" key for when you get a blue screen?"

Well, since blue screens don't happen with XP or Server 2003, I think it is a pretty safe bet they won't happen with Vista either.

On the other hand can we have one of those for when X locks up and the computer requires a hard reset? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Here's an idea...
by rcsteiner on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea..."
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

What color are the traps in your world? :-)

(I don't use XP, so I honestly don't know)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by DrillSgt on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"What color are the traps in your world? :-)"

Never seen one with XP in all these years honestly. I have heard of a blue screen, and experienced them up through Windows 2000, but I have never seen one with XP. My X does lock up requiring the machine to be reset though. Loses all responsiveness including being able to switch to a terminal as both keyboard and mouse become unresponsive.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Here's an idea...
by andreibosco on Tue 8th Aug 2006 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Here's an idea..."
andreibosco Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, when XP *really* crashes, it autoreboots but if you disable it, you will get a blue screen. But you're right, to get it your XP must be very broken, or have a bad ram or something.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Here's an idea...
by Jesuspower on Wed 9th Aug 2006 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Here's an idea..."
Jesuspower Member since:
2006-01-28

or install iTunes (UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME). ;)

Actually, I really can count the number of times XP has bluescreened on both hands.
Usually, when Ive seen it die, it just wont boot, but then thats a driver or hardware issue most of the time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Here's an idea...
by Jokel on Wed 9th Aug 2006 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Here's an idea..."
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Thats because XP does not show a blue screen by default. It just reboots. If you want to see a blue screen you have to configure that.

So - the only reason you did not see a blue screen is that Microsoft has disguised it.. Every time your computer suddely reboots for no obvious reason - in reallity there was a disguised blue screen..

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Here's an idea...
by DrillSgt on Wed 9th Aug 2006 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Here's an idea..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Thats because XP does not show a blue screen by default. It just reboots. If you want to see a blue screen you have to configure that.

So - the only reason you did not see a blue screen is that Microsoft has disguised it.. Every time your computer suddely reboots for no obvious reason - in reallity there was a disguised blue screen.."


Actually no, as I disabled the automatic reboot, so would have seen a blue screen should an error have occured. The only reason why I have not seen a blue screen is because I have a clue.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Here's an idea...
by Rayz on Wed 9th Aug 2006 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Here's an idea..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Okay.

But my PC doesn't reboot either.

Haven't had a crash (or reboot) since I bought the PC two years ago; that's on a machine running three application servers, looking after a network and playing games.

I wish my Powerbook was half as stable, while only being asked to do half as much (though it does have a much nicer keyboard).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by kernelpanicked on Wed 9th Aug 2006 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

I don't use Windows but my wife does. As others have said the default behaviour in XP is to reboot, but if you turn that off you'll get a wonderful shade of RSOD, yes red.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Here's an idea...
by butters on Tue 8th Aug 2006 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I haven't experienced any blue screens on XP either, but I find the constant "disk thrashing of pain" (DTOP) to be almost as annoying. I appreciate Microsoft's very noticeable progress on stability, but they have a lot of work to do on performance optimizations.

Of course I haven't seen their code, but from a user's prospective, it seems like their page caching algorithms have been to hell and back. They've certainly done some aggressive optimization of several special cases that have tradeoffs for more general usage patterns. For example, analysis has shown that Windows XP performs ridiculous amounts of readahead during video playback, which thoroughly clobbers stuff that you might want cached (e.g. filesystem metadata).

It just takes forever to do anything in Windows XP, and a lot of it can be traced back to poor paging performance. Sometimes I wonder where all that noise is coming from as I read my email at work. Then I see the disk activity light going bonkers and I realize it's just DTOP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by apoc on Tue 8th Aug 2006 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
apoc Member since:
2006-03-24

your disk is probably highly fragmented.

as for the page caching(swap||paging file?), yeah, windows could use more RAM instead of dumping everything to the HD, it exists to be used right? one thing to do is to reduce the paging file to a minimum, or, if possible, disable it at all, it's the best thing to do.

"Sometimes I wonder where all that noise is coming from as I read my email at work."

lol, odd

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by Troels on Wed 9th Aug 2006 09:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Aww, but it is so fun to get all your programs swapped out because you copied a large file :-) But hey, it makes sense. I mean, it is perfectly sensible to discard often used parts of memory so we can preserve the data that has been touched only once, right?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by chrish on Wed 9th Aug 2006 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

The VM subsystem in XP remains remarkably retarded. It swaps out minimized applications (because, obviously, you don't want them anymore, right?) regardless of how much RAM you've got.

My machine has 1.5GB of RAM. There's no way it needs to swap for what I normally do with the machine. But if I minimize Firefox for some reason (say, I've got some work to do in Word or whatever), it gets swapped out. If I pop it open a few minutes later, it's swap-o-rama time, and the disk thrashes for a few seconds. If I check Task Manager, it claims I've got loads of free memory. And yet, I have to wait... ridiculous.

- chrish

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Here's an idea...
by indech on Tue 8th Aug 2006 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea..."
indech Member since:
2005-12-06

While not as common, blue screens can happen for various reasons. I've experienced them thanks to good wireless drivers. While ymmv, my advise: never buy D-Link products.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by Jesuspower on Wed 9th Aug 2006 04:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
Jesuspower Member since:
2006-01-28

My first dlink card:
installed driver, rebooted, inserted card: blue screen. It turned out to be their wireless client and not the driver though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Here's an idea...
by chrish on Wed 9th Aug 2006 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea..."
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

I've gotten bluescreens in XP; I disabled the stupid auto-reboot feature because I wanted to know why it was magically rebooting itself randomly.

Turns out that my motherboard (ASUS P4G8X Deluxe) plus a Radeon 9700 requires "AGP Fast Writes" disabled... which you can't do in the BIOS, unfortunately, so you have to remember to do it in the driver.

The bluescreens are hidden by the automatic reboot. Either way, it's a nasty thing to do to the user.

- chrish

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Here's an idea...
by SpasmaticSeacow on Wed 9th Aug 2006 17:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea..."
SpasmaticSeacow Member since:
2006-02-17

Whether XP or W2K3 blue-screens or not depends on the apps used and drivers installed (not to mention there's ways to intentionally make them die). Good for you if you don't get them or get them often, but unfortunately lots of us get them yet still.

Vista? Well, seeing as how until recently it was susceptible to the "ping of death" again, I wouldn't put much faith in it quite yet. Apparently they rewrote the TCP/IP stack for Vista and the new stack had many of the same errors as earlier NT stacks and would BSOD on malformed packets. Again, this is fixed, but you're talking about a product that hasn't had an opportunity to get the "kinks" ironed out in real-world testing. MS was estimating several 10's of thousands of bugs for release -- hopefully they won't all be show-stoppers, but no doubt a few are.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Here's an idea...
by DrillSgt on Wed 9th Aug 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"Whether XP or W2K3 blue-screens or not depends on the apps used and drivers installed (not to mention there's ways to intentionally make them die). Good for you if you don't get them or get them often, but unfortunately lots of us get them yet still."

Agreed on this. My point was that they are few and far between, and that there is no difference between the blue screen and X locking up the computer so it requires a hard reset. I have experienced the X lockups, not the reboots or blue screens. It was just a response to the person making it sound like it happens constantly. True that a faulty driver can cause it..and that is where my job comes in as a sysadmin stopping people from loading crap on their computers. That tends to stop any blue screens or reboots.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Here's an idea...
by apoc on Tue 8th Aug 2006 23:07 UTC in reply to "Here's an idea..."
apoc Member since:
2006-03-24

lol, the blue screen joke lives on

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Kroc on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:45 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

So, more stickers to collect then?

Reply Score: 2

I want my PC to look secure and stable.
by rcsteiner on Tue 8th Aug 2006 20:47 UTC
rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

Is that too much to ask. :-)

10 years ago, IBM made their IntelliStations look sleek and powerful by making them jet black. Maybe Windows PCs should be made bright blue with little white characters all over them... Or clouds?

Reply Score: 1

Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Does a bright blue case with white fluffy clouds on it look secure and stable to you? :-)

When i think of as a secure and stable computer i think more in the lines of this:

http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=151&code=020

Nothing like a big hunk of iron for durability :-)

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

These boxes are pretty secure and stable as well:

http://www.unisys.com/about__unisys/news_a_events/photos.htm#produc...

Reply Score: 1

for which market exactly?
by butters on Tue 8th Aug 2006 21:02 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

I won't belabor the fact that this was on Slashdot about two weeks ago, but I would like to ask Microsoft who exactly they're targeting with these design guidelines.

It doesn't take an expert in the computer industry to realize that the growth opportunities are almost exclusively on the low-end. Microsoft doesn't need to figure out how to sell to the Alienware or acrylic case mod crowds, they have that market locked up, minus some that left for Apple a few years ago.

Microsoft needs to figure out how they're going to sell Vista PCs in the sub-$300 range--probably even cheaper. That's where you pick up hundreds of millions of potential customers in the developing world's burgeoning working class. How is "purposeful contrast" and elegant curves going to help put PCs in the hands of these people?

There's absolutely no way that the major OEMs are going to let Microsoft tell them how their hardware shook look. They rely on this for product differentiation, and it's a part of their branding strategy. Do you really think that Lenovo is going to use contrast and curves on their ThinkPad line? No way, the generally spartan (read: plain black) color scheme and sharp bezels are a big part of the ThinkPad brand.

The retailers that are most likely to heed Microsoft's design recommendations are larger beige-box vendors, mostly based in Asia, who are exceedingly price conscious. Do you think they'll invest big bucks on premium case designs?

Reply Score: 4

House made out of glass.
by ThanhLy on Tue 8th Aug 2006 21:04 UTC
ThanhLy
Member since:
2006-03-14

New PC cases will be made out of glass to match the glass-like Aero UI. If they're smart, they'll use plexi glass and not actual glass.

I know I'm joking, but I'll fall out my chair if this does happen.

Reply Score: 2

RE: House made out of glass.
by Get a Life on Tue 8th Aug 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "House made out of glass."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Just don't fall into your glass case: you might die.

Reply Score: 2

Funny posts so far...
by suryad on Wed 9th Aug 2006 00:53 UTC
suryad
Member since:
2005-07-09

Not to be OT or anything, but I had a question on the Mac Pro workstation config. It does not support RAID does it? I am in the market for a new workstation and I specced out a top of the line setup and it is 6k including the 30 inch monitor...whereas the monster I was building was already at 9k! Granted it had SLI but I would take an ATI 1900xt over that...and no one uses SLI in Macs yet. So barring that, I would really love to have RAID. I went through the specs of the machine but there was no mention of RAID. For such a bada** machine to not have RAID I would say it is a bit of a downer aint it?

And as to the topic of these industrial design kits, how about Microsoft first get the damn OS out of the door before they talk about designing cases? I mean what would be the point of having the coolest case in the world and not a functional OS to go with it? Just a thought.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Funny posts so far...
by ThanhLy on Wed 9th Aug 2006 01:00 UTC in reply to "Funny posts so far..."
ThanhLy Member since:
2006-03-14

There's no out-of-the-box RAID support but you can install a PCI or PCIe RAID card. I did a quick Google for "Mac RAID card" (then I searched for SATA RAID) and found a bunch of results.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Funny posts so far...
by suryad on Wed 9th Aug 2006 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Funny posts so far..."
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

Thank you very much.

Reply Score: 1

v If they spent this much energy...
by jmcantrell on Wed 9th Aug 2006 03:28 UTC
What you could improve on.
by proforma on Wed 9th Aug 2006 05:42 UTC
proforma
Member since:
2005-08-27

"...on designing software that didn't resemble a steaming turd, they might merit some respect."

Microsoft makes decent software. However you have issues.

Maybe if you acquired some social skills you might be able to obtain a better job as well. Imagine that!

Reply Score: 0

Nutshell
by kaiwai on Wed 9th Aug 2006 08:44 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Although Microsoft won't say it directly, what they're actually saying to OEM's is this:

"Stop making those f--king ugly f--king beige boxes! Jesus Christ! there is more to style than f--king black and gray boxes Dell, and for christ sake HP, stop using that f--king ugly gray and blue, and stop loading their computers full of shit that slow the machine to a crawl!"

Thats what I think Microsoft was trying to get accross to the hardware vendors, but it a more diplomatic way which avoids making PC vendors seem like its run by a a bunch of middle aged white heterosexual males without a styled bone in their body.

Oh, and those Dells that caught fire recently, that was more of a bang rather than a pop.

Edited 2006-08-09 08:47

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nutshell
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Aug 2006 09:26 UTC in reply to "Nutshell"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"and stop loading their computers full of shit that slow the machine to a crawl!"

"because that is for *US* to do"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nutshell
by kaiwai on Wed 9th Aug 2006 09:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Nutshell"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Na, its more the job of third party companies and their crap installer/uninstallers.

I can't wait till the day that developers pull their collective finger out of their ass and start deploying .NET 3.0 applications which can be copied from the source to the destination without the need of an elaborate installation script.

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft Wants Vista PCs to Pop
by netpython on Wed 9th Aug 2006 09:52 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope the title isnt meant ambiquous like:http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32550

Reply Score: 2

More Windows Keys? No thank you!
by ahalsey on Fri 11th Aug 2006 20:33 UTC
ahalsey
Member since:
2006-05-10

I find it very annoying that all the new computers I buy have a Windows key on the keyboard, even though I run Linux. This announcement may mean even more Windows specific hardware. Maybe Microsoft will even suggest that the hardware vendors should embed the Vista Product Activation Product key in the BIOS ROM, so that alternate OS cannot be run on it, as with the XBox 360. Doing so will qualify the hardware vendor for a special discounted price for Vista.

Edited 2006-08-11 20:35

Reply Score: 1