Linked by Adam S on Thu 10th Jul 2008 16:58 UTC
Windows Gadgetzone.com has an interesting artcile on 20 things Windows 7 MUST include (their emphasis, not mine). They begin "Despite its enhanced security, improved CPU scheduler and excellent stability, it's still the flawed gem in many critics' eyes. But can Microsoft win back the XP crowd with its upcoming Windows 7 offering? The fact is, they have to." My Take: Not sure I agree with them all -- do home users really care about WinFS? -- but some, like home user licensing and simpler management of startup items would be really compelling features for upgraders.
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Change the title
by fretinator on Thu 10th Jul 2008 17:08 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Change the title to "20 Cool Things We'd Like To See in Windows 7".

I mean, come one, few of these things will ever happen, or even need to happen, from Microsoft's perspective. Many people do not understand the guiding principle of MS development - "Good Enough". Windows, Office, etc. just have to be good enough. The game is all about market dominance. They did WHATEVER they had to do to get market dominance. Back-room deals, arm-twisting, financial incentives, etc. Now that they have it, everything flows from the dominance. Schools, businesses, and home users feel the desperate need to stay compatible. So as long as Windows 7 doesn't explode your computer, it will be a necessary upgrade. OEM's will switch to it. When people buy their new computer, they will switch to it. That's the story! Everything else is just fun chatter, but certainly not a "must" for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Change the title
by gustl on Fri 11th Jul 2008 12:20 UTC in reply to "Change the title"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

3 Things Windows MUST have next time:

- REAL symbolic links
- Multiple virtual desktops
- Hard dividing line between users and system without exceptions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Change the title
by casuto on Fri 11th Jul 2008 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Change the title"
casuto Member since:
2007-02-27

3 Things Windows MUST have next time:
- REAL symbolic links


Vista already has it!!!
A lot of users should learn about Vista, before asking for something...

Edited 2008-07-11 14:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Feature #7
by DeepThoughts on Thu 10th Jul 2008 17:22 UTC
DeepThoughts
Member since:
2006-10-04

"7. OS Restoration via imaging

System restore is a great companion when things go wrong. But sometimes the damage is too severe. By integrating a user friendly imaging solution, the user would be able to install everything they want, and then simply create an image of the setup. This image would be saved on another HDD or partition ready to restore in the case of a system failure."

So... What they want is the complete PC backup feature that exists in Windows Vista (Business, Ultimate and Enterprise)?

It seems like they request features and yet don't even know what features Windows already have... (Sure, the could mean that the feature should be included in every version if Windows 7 but thats not what they've written.)

Edited 2008-07-10 17:23 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Feature #7
by linumax on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:05 UTC in reply to "Feature #7"
linumax Member since:
2007-02-07

Agreed, plus, consider the monopoly cries! Furthermore:

9. Program Caching
Currently, Vista caches commonly used software into RAM so that it launches faster. The main problem with this approach is that it confuses users into thinking Vista is using several hundred MB of RAM just for itself. A simple toolbar notification stating ‘Vista is caching your programs to improve speed. Click here for more information’, would end all the confusion.


I don't think typical user knows or cares about the way operating system manages resources, should OS give constant updates of its inner workings to user?!! In case of technical users, well, they already know that Vista is caching apps in memory.

8. Microsoft Toolbox
This is an idea we came up with which we believe would benefit many users with compatibility issues. The feature would list current drivers and patches for all installed hardware, games, and software. By having this all in the one place (possibly within Windows Update) users can keep their system up-to-date without seeking drivers and patches manually.


Windows already looks for new drivers and Microsoft applications. A unified way of extending this to all applications, games, etc. -if done correctly- could be useful.

4. Better out-of-box burning capabilities
...

Nero, Roxio, Ashampoo, Ulead and others WILL sue. EU fines Microsoft 10 Gajillion dollars.

If you need more than Windows provides, there are free, good enough, alternatives available.

3. Diagnostic Tools
It happens all the time, you build your own PC and the OS install constantly crashes. You blame the OS, but really, something else is at fault (such as the RAM). If diagnostic tools similar to Memtest were included, issues like this could be detected without the need to find third party software.


Vista already has a Memory Diagnostic Tool built in. Go to start > type 'memory' > select and run > Vista restarts... .
Other tools have been available since 2000. Again, a complete solution will get MS sued.

2. Faster Boot and Shutdown
This seems to be something that constantly plagues Windows. A faster boot time would be a great first impression to many critics, and it’ll save valuable time, especially when restarting for updates.


Vista, on my Macbook Pro, takes about 25~30 seconds. Updates that require reboot are not THAT frequent, and I don't see any reason other than that to restart your machine.

A simple startup interface (not as daunting as the current MS Configuration Utility) would help users disable what they don’t need running.

Good Idea.

Another feature would be to schedule programs to start after a certain amount of time. This would prevent the computer struggling to open several programs in one hit.

Very Very bad idea. Users think system is ready to use, then out of blue, windows starts loading apps. Other confusions can happen too (dependent apps, etc). Maybe, a user managed way could help, but that is still not for 99% of users.

This article has some good points, and several flaws, mostly rising from the fact that the author has not explored Windows thoroughly enough to be a able to criticize it.

[Edit: I forgot to whine about number of pages in article. It could be done in 2 pages.]

Edited 2008-07-10 19:16 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Feature #7
by netpython on Fri 11th Jul 2008 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Feature #7"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

If windows would be genuine modular then people can cry whatever they want.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Feature #7 - point on loading apps
by jabbotts on Fri 11th Jul 2008 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Feature #7"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If they can write it so that dependent apps where opened previous to apps further down the chain then that is not a big issue. The real issue, for my anyhow, is taking focus by default.

If I'm working in a program and I know I'm going to need another heavy program, I'll start it loading then go back to my first task. The new program begins to load and the splash screen takes focus away from the task I want to be doing. I turn off the splash screen when the option is available. Now I have the large program take focus away from what I'm doing. I can't tell you the number of times I've looked away from the screen only to look back and find the second half of my input spread across fields in the new program.

(I'm the user, I'll bloody tell you, the computer, what task I need to work on. You just go and load the damn program in the background and wait until the user is ready for it.)

They would have to correct that everlasting bug so that focus remains where the user prefers it and new windows open in background.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by namespace
by namespace on Thu 10th Jul 2008 17:44 UTC
namespace
Member since:
2008-07-07

Windows will still suck until they will give up on Windows Registry.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by namespace
by renhoek on Fri 11th Jul 2008 16:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by namespace"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

Oh, you prefer the unix "every config has a unique syntax" approach? or the osx "where the hell is the config?".

The real problem is that Microsoft is not instructing developers on how to use windows. The registry was a good idea, having a centralized and structured way of storing the configuration of apps is great. Only developers are not using it and it's really bloated with all kind of never used crap.

The registry could use a lot of cleaning up, but the idea is better than the alternatives.

Reply Score: 1

Gaming Mode
by Budd on Thu 10th Jul 2008 17:53 UTC
Budd
Member since:
2005-07-08

I like the idea of a gaming mode. Not like it will steal console market but definitely a nice move.

Edited 2008-07-10 17:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gaming Mode
by stabbyjones on Thu 10th Jul 2008 23:53 UTC in reply to "Gaming Mode"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

most of this is already done somewhat in vista and sometimes earlier...

aero turns off when you load up games. that's at least partly a game mode. it ran games for me just as well as xp.

you can already customise a windows iso with nlite etc and as long as IE and WMP engines aren't required in the base install then that will be enough.

winfs... hahaha

IE8 standards compliance by default.

microsoft toolbox? sounds like turning windows update into synaptic.

i've never used the vista imaging myself but i've been told it's pretty good at deployment.

if msconfig is daunting (tickboxes next to each item) then you really shouldn't be running it.

Reply Score: 2

Performance; DRM; Backwards Compatibility
by cyclops on Thu 10th Jul 2008 18:03 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

How about we focus on what are the main things wrong with Vista Performance; DRM; Backwards Compatibility.

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm... Deja Vu...
by shadow_x99 on Thu 10th Jul 2008 18:06 UTC
shadow_x99
Member since:
2006-05-12

The whole article feels like Déjà-Vu... Those "needs" were advocated since Vista initial release...

Reply Score: 1

:-)
by netpython on Thu 10th Jul 2008 18:37 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Awsome list.

I like that imaging and modularity part.

Reply Score: 1

v 20 things they must do
by robertojdohnert on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:09 UTC
RE: 20 things they must do
by fretinator on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:15 UTC in reply to "20 things they must do"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Considering 32bit is still the lead selling chip and continues to be and probably will be when Windows 7 is released


Say what? As far as I know, almost all computers are now sold with 64-bit processors - either the Intel Core2 Duo or the AMD Athlon/Turion X2 (or even Quads!). Only a tiny handful come with mobile Celerons or similar class models. Just because most of these computers are sold with 32-bit Vista, that does not mean the processor is 32-bit. I think the vendors shy away from 64-bit due to driver and software compatibilty issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE: 20 things they must do
by atsureki on Thu 10th Jul 2008 23:15 UTC in reply to "20 things they must do"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Interesting but not all are feasible. Considering 32bit is still the lead selling chip and continues to be and probably will be when Windows 7 is released, making it 64bit only will only hamper Microsofts ability to push Windows 7. The world will make the transition but doing it now wont help Microsoft or even the Linux guys.


The other reply is correct. If you're talking about x86 home computers, 32-bit chips are essentially out of the market.

Indeed it won't help Microsoft, as compatibility, especially of the backwards variety, is what sells their software, so in fact it might help Linux.

Also do some research WinFS is not a NTFS replacement, it was a relational database. I say WAS because WinFS is dead.


Relational databases already exist, as they did when WinFS was announced. WinFS was going to be a relational database filesystem stored as XML. That idea turned out to be as absurd as it sounds, and Microsoft's first response to its failure to come together and perform within reason was to reduce the scope of their goals for it, which is probably where you got the idea that the FS in WinFS stands for something other than FS. But you are right about one thing: WinFS is dead.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 20 things they must do
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 11th Jul 2008 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE: 20 things they must do"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

WinFS used SQL as its backend, not XML.

The project was essentially a research incubation that got picked up by some windows execs much to the chagrin of the folks actually producing it. The technologies behind WinFS got distributed in various ways, including into FeedSync and ADO.NET, so it's not like WinFS failed to produce anything.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: 20 things they must do
by atsureki on Sat 12th Jul 2008 06:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 20 things they must do"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

WinFS used SQL as its backend, not XML.


"WinFS tries to bridge the worlds of traditional relational databases, objects, XML, and file systems of unstructured documents with the concept of metadata over files."

I wasn't talking about anything they eventually had working. Their initial plans were basically to fill a partition with XML. Unfortunately wherever I read that has since been buried in the shifting clouds of vapor, so it's impossible to talk about what WinFS "is" or "does;" only what announcements Microsoft made throughout the saga.

For those who don't believe me that FS stands for filesystem, have a look at the Wikipedia page from before the authors fell in line and retconned Microsoft's plans: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=WinFS&oldid=18359481

Wikipedia's biggest source of inaccuracy is that they're too much like the news media; no investigation or examination, just reporting the official version of the story.

Reply Score: 2

Comments
by ebasconp on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:12 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

20. Modularised OS

"Think Linux here".... Linux is by far less modular than the NT Kernel; in several aspects, including binary backwards compatibility.

19. XP Virtual Machine

If we are talking about drivers, a VM running in userland does not solve the problem, because it must talk ultimately with real mode drivers [running in the real thing].

15. Productive GUI

I am not a "Windows advocate", but the Windows UI is the most familiar UI available.

5. 64bit only

I like the "64bit" approach, but "64bit only" discriminates older machines and small devices [ultraportable PCs, PDAs, SmartPhones, etc.]... The best approach should be "word width agnostic" I think.

Edited 2008-07-10 19:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comments
by Alboin on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:36 UTC in reply to "Comments"
Alboin Member since:
2007-10-17

If we are talking about drivers, a VM running in userland does not solve the problem, because it must talk ultimately with real mode drivers [running in the real thing].

I would think that a communication layer could be achieved so that emulated drivers could act naturally with the rest of the system. Almost like wine; not really an emulator.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comments
by atsureki on Thu 10th Jul 2008 23:01 UTC in reply to "Comments"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

20. Modularised OS

"Think Linux here".... Linux is by far less modular than the NT Kernel; in several aspects, including binary backwards compatibility.


Userspace, not kernel. Windows treats the userspace like protected system software, rather than anything the user actually owns. Try to delete Movie Maker in XP. It's like an evil magic trick.

A modularized Windows would both put an end to those shenanigans and produce a method for doing away with such unwanted binary cleanly, not that Windows needs any more settings dialogs. Vista is a step in the right direction, but the changes it allows are still quite superficial. "Think Linux" in terms of power to the user, as in every example the author gave.

15. Productive GUI

I am not a "Windows advocate", but the Windows UI is the most familiar UI available.


I wonder whether you mean "familiar" in the purely subjective sense or just that more people have seen the Windows 95 desktop model than any other. In either case, Microsoft keeps messing with it, especially the desktop, My Computer, control panel, and start menu, so that advantage goes away quickly. The real problem is that they add to it without regard to how people actually use computers and without a clear sense of how developers should add their software to the interfaces. Instead, they try to make it a backwards-compatible "all things to all people," i.e. the folder->menu metaphor still dominates the start menu, but they somewhat imitated the NeXT dock metaphor with "pinned" items in XP, which are not compatible with the previous top-level shortcuts or IE4 quick launch, so they added yet another set of top-level shortcuts, and then put a search bar on it to bring the whole mess together. Where did your app land? No one knows. Search for it the old-fashioned way or the new-fangled way, your choice.

What's worse is that the newest idea is always the default one, so it's only the power users who explore these things for fun and would be quick to learn the new ways that know how to get back to the old, familiar interface. When Joe User upgrades, he's lost without a map. It's really not terribly familiar after all.

5. 64bit only

I like the "64bit" approach, but "64bit only" discriminates older machines and small devices [ultraportable PCs, PDAs, SmartPhones, etc.]... The best approach should be "word width agnostic" I think.


64-bit-only is the only way left to make 64-bit good. They already missed the Common Codebase boat, so all they can do is prune away the 32-bit side. No more of this multiple codebase mess that they temporarily parted from when they merged on NT as of XP.

Microsoft is insignificant in the portable device market (and UM/Tablet PCs are just an insignificant market). Besides, what they put on PDAs is not desktop Windows, obviously. Vista already discriminates against old and light machines with its severe system requirements, so there's no way they're shoehorning that beast onto a phone.

Portable devices are a non-sequitur. There's no reason in the world that the existence of Windows-branded software for 32-bit ARM portables should impede the maturity of their flagship product on their actually-profitable core market of 64-bit x86 home computers.

Reply Score: 3

Writer is ignorant of Vista
by soonerproud on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:28 UTC
soonerproud
Member since:
2008-03-05

Some of the writers ideas are excellent, but many are already a part of Vista.

20. Modularised OS

Vista is already modularized as is Server 2008. The difference is that Microsoft made it easier to customize Server 2008 than they did Vista. Vlite exist because Vista is already modularized.

19. XP Virtual Machine

Not really necessary now. People already complain about bloat so adding a virtual XP is just going to add to that bloat for only a small segment of consumers who will actually ever use it. Make it a separate download option for those who truly need it.

17. Gaming Mode

It exist in Vista already. It is called Superfetch and priority io. These two additions to Vista free up the extra resources needed for gaming already. Now that drivers are mature, benchmarks show Vista has performance parity with XP when it comes to gaming.

15. Productive GUI

One person's productive GUI is another's nightmare. I find the new directory structure, start menu, ,explorer and the integrated search function do improve productivity. I do agree that Microsoft needs to make it easier to customize the interface to each individuals needs.

13. WinFS

WinFS was not a replacement file system to NTFS. It was supposed to be an enhancement by making NTFS more object oriented. Microsoft has changed the name, though I cant remember what that is.

10. Standards Compliant Browser

IE8 is standards compliant and will be a part of Win 7. Does this guy even pay attention to the tech news at all?

8. Microsoft Toolbox

This already exist. It is just not a part of Windows and requires the user to download the Vista compatibility tool. Microsoft is launching a new tool called the Compatibility Center in the next few days.

7. OS Restoration via imaging

Already a feature of some versions of Vista. This needs to be in all versions though.

3. Diagnostic Tools

Already a feature of Vista. Does this guy even use Vista? It is called the Reliability and Performance Monitor. This is available on all versions of Vista.

2. Faster Boot and Shutdown

Vista already boots and shuts down faster than XP as long as you don't load the startup with a million programs or perform the wrong tweaks. (Like turning off the Readyboost Service. Readyboot depends on Readyboost to work.) I can boot into Vista in 30 seconds and shut down in about 15. I have an old 939 based AMD system.

1. Simplify and manage startup items

It is called Software Explorer and is built into Windows Defender on Vista. How much easier does this guy think you can make it?

This guy has no clue about anything concerning Vista.

Edited 2008-07-10 19:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Writer is ignorant of Vista
by mallard on Fri 11th Jul 2008 08:32 UTC in reply to "Writer is ignorant of Vista"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

You seem to have made some mistakes there:

17. Superfetch is a system that automatically loads programs and DLLs that windows has decided that you use frequently. It *may* speed up the *loading* of *some* games, but is not at all related to a "gaming mode".

2. I have near-default setups of both XP and Vista on my computer (C2D 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 2x250GB SATA drives XP on one, Vista on Other) and XP starts up much faster than Vista.
Readyboost has nothing to do with startup. It is a system that lets you use a USB drive as a pagefile cache. If you are not using it, you may as well turn it off.

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

He's not totally incorrect. The service that runs readyboost also manages the boot caching system.

Reply Score: 2

soonerproud Member since:
2008-03-05

You seem to have made some mistakes there:

17. Superfetch is a system that automatically loads programs and DLLs that windows has decided that you use frequently. It *may* speed up the *loading* of *some* games, but is not at all related to a "gaming mode".

2. I have near-default setups of both XP and Vista on my computer (C2D 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 2x250GB SATA drives XP on one, Vista on Other) and XP starts up much faster than Vista.
Readyboost has nothing to do with startup. It is a system that lets you use a USB drive as a pagefile cache. If you are not using it, you may as well turn it off.



You need to go back and read what I wrote one more time.

Superfetch works in conjunction with priority io to clear your memory and move all unnecessary processes to the page file. This effectively is exactly what the author was calling for, the freeing up of all unnecessary resources. Your view of Superfetch is a lot simpler than the actual process really is.


Vista starts faster for me than XP, as it does for many other people. You need to go back and check to see what is starting with Vista.

Readyboost service has everything to do with start up times. Microsoft created a function of Readyboost called Readyboot that does depend on the service. Here is a quote from an article describing Readyboot.


ReadyBoot
Windows Vista uses the same boot-time prefetching as Windows XP did if the system has less than 512MB of memory, but if the system has 700MB or more of RAM, it uses an in-RAM cache to optimize the boot process. The size of the cache depends on the total RAM available, but is large enough to create a reasonable cache and yet allow the system the memory it needs to boot smoothly.
After every boot, the ReadyBoost service (the same service that implements the ReadyBoost feature just described) uses idle CPU time to calculate a boot-time caching plan for the next boot. It analyzes file trace information from the five previous boots and identifies which files were accessed and where they are located on disk. It stores the processed traces in %SystemRoot%\Prefetch\Readyboot as .fx files and saves the caching plan under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ecache\Parameters in REG_BINARY values named for internal disk volumes they refer to.


The entirety of this article does an excellent job of explaining Superfetch too.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc162480.aspx

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I find that vista starts a bit slower (on the order of 10-15 seconds or so) then xp on my laptop, but networking starts much quicker. by the time you are on the desktop on xp, it is another half a minute or so before you are on the interwebs, on vista by the time I am on the desktop the network is up

Reply Score: 2

WinFS.... yeah, right!
by eantoranz on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:29 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

Sure..... GüinFS is going to be in Güin7... like it was going to be in what? Güin95? I wouldn't hold my breath till it shows up.

This is just, as we say in Venezuela, along the lines of: Wasting gunpowder on Zamuros (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_vulture)

Reply Score: 1

How about 20 thing NOT to include
by tuaris on Thu 10th Jul 2008 20:41 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

20 things not to include in Windows 7

1) Product Activation
2) Windows genuine advantage
3) Aero
4) UAC
5) WMP
6) IE
7) .NET Framework
8) DRM
9) HDCP Support
10) Windows media center
11) Windows Deskbar
12) Windows Mail
13) Windows Messenger
14) Silverlight
15) Windows Live
16) Windows Desktop Search
17) Windows marketplace
18) Windows Movie maker
19) Windows Calendar
20) Windows Photo Gallery

A lot more, but I did say only 20 for now.

Reply Score: 0

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

3) Aero

Why not Aero? It is a nice UI, if the users want to have all the eye-candy Aero provides... good for them... [you can disable it if you do not like it]...


7) .NET Framework

Why not .NET framework? It is a good development/application platform and Microsoft promotes it.

Reply Score: 3

tuaris Member since:
2007-08-05

3) Aero

Why not Aero? It is a nice UI, if the users want to have all the eye-candy Aero provides... good for them... [you can disable it if you do not like it]...


OK, I can understand liking Aero. I'm a minimalist, i like simple GUI's that don't eat up CPU.

But...

7) .NET Framework

Why not .NET framework? It is a good development/application platform and Microsoft promotes it.


Your being sarcastic? right?

Edited 2008-07-10 21:23 UTC

Reply Score: 0

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Your being sarcastic here right?


Not at all!!!

.NET Framework is a very good platform in several senses:

* Abstracts several low-level things doing the application programming easier for the common mortals.

* The .NET Framework Base Class Library is a good object oriented framework (quite similar to the Java one).

* The CLR is optimized and provides a lot of nice features (including memory protection by software, garbage collection, exception handling, unified datatypes, etc. etc.).

* WCF and WPF are really powerful frameworks.

Reply Score: 4

OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

OK, I can understand liking Aero. I'm a minimalist, i like simple GUI's that don't eat up CPU.


First off, Aero is disabled when any full-screen 3D application is launched (Note that this almost always excludes games that you run in windowed mode). Secondly, the Aero user interface uses so little additional CPU/memory that it's completely negligible on any system that is actually specced to run Vista. There are plenty of things to dislike Vista for, Aero is not one of them. Check out some benchmarks if you don't believe me.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=107
http://channel9.msdn.com/forums/Coffeehouse/262100-Does-Disabling-A...

To quote a post in that second link, "There is only one benefit after disabling DWM as a service - several megs of RAM. But bloody "svchost" eats much more. Better to kill him." To put it succinctly, if you've got DX9 or better graphics hardware with ~256MB of video memory, disabling Aero will degrade your windowing performance.

I personally hate using any pre-Aero interface since that usually means redrawing issues when there's any sort of load going on on the system (And sometimes that's not even a prerequisite).

Reply Score: 1

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

1) Product Activation
2) Windows genuine advantage


Right. Sounds good.

3) Aero

Why? You can turn it off. It's gotta have some sort of UI. Anyway, if you actually used Vista, it's really much nicer than Luna.

4) UAC

Definitely.

5) WMP

No problems here, if the DRM is actually gone. There has to be some media player out of the box. As much as I personally dislike WMP, what do you propose, they write a whole new tool? Isn't that what WMP11 basically is?

6) IE

Good, so 95% of the world won't have a way to download Firefox? Trust me, IE8 is shaping up to suck with CSS again, so IE is going to kill itself before anyone else kills it.

7) .NET Framework

Perfect! Now if I want to install any of the dozens of very useful Microsoft apps written in C#, I need 150 MB of .NET 1.1, 250MB of .NET 2, and 125 MB of .NET 3. All because I can't spare the half-gig of space on my 250GB hard drive.

8) DRM

I agree in general, but what part of DRM has actually had any effect on you while using Windows? For me, after 6 months on Vista, I haven't hit any limitations.

9) HDCP Support
10) Windows media center
11) Windows Deskbar

Fine.

12) Windows Mail

Windows Mail is orders of magnitude better than OE if your mailbox has fewer than 25000 messages.

13) Windows Messenger

Is that even still included?

14) Silverlight

I don't install or run it, but everything I've seen and reviewed suggests Silverlight is easier to program, faster, and friendlier than Flash. I dont see how it's any worse than Flash, which is running on something like 97% of all PCs.

15) Windows Live

What is that? A generic name for nothing in particular? What IS included?

16) Windows Desktop Search

Disable-able.

17) Windows marketplace

Totally agree, but is that an app or just a link?

18) Windows Movie maker

Bill Gates agrees with you, but I don't know why it needs to go.

19) Windows Calendar

By that logic, Apple should remove iCal.

20) Windows Photo Gallery

That app is perfectly fine. It sucks compared to Picasa, but it still does as intended.

A lot more, but I did say only 20 for now.

You need "a lot more" to convince me. And trust me, I'm a Mac only guy outside of work.

Reply Score: 1

angelochoa Member since:
2006-11-20

I don't understand your problem with the .Net framework, can you explain ?

Reply Score: 1

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

The only problem I have with .Net is why they can't just roll up all the frameworks (?) into one nice package. This nonsense about needing .Net 1.1 SP1 or .Net 3.5 is BS.

Reply Score: 4

mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

The only problem I have with .Net is why they can't just roll up all the frameworks (?) into one nice package. This nonsense about needing .Net 1.1 SP1 or .Net 3.5 is BS.


It's not that bad. All you really need is .Net 1.1 and the latest version.

Remember, .Net 1.x is not compatible with later releases. Everything has been compatible since 2.0.

Eventually, .Net 1.x applications will die out and all you will need is the latest version.

Reply Score: 2

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

I'm not a developer, so all I have to do is prep systems for in-house apps. I was tolerant of .Net and willing to let it (and it's extremely ugly UI) pass until MS decided not to make 3.5 available to WUS. That's BS. Now I've either got to let a bunch of PCs worldwide phone home to MS, or manually install a 197MB executable prior to installing our app.

At least it's not language dependent. That would be hell to have to install the french version, and the japanese version, and the chinese one. Now all I have to worry about is users complaining their error notifications show up in english. Which is fine with me. The less I need to look at another language, the better.

Reply Score: 2

godlkwrth Member since:
2008-05-30

Comedy gold.

Reply Score: 1

Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Not to forget the horrible Registry.
That, of course, would definitely hurt compatibility, but after thirteen years of a badly working registry i simply can't believe them anymore that they are going to get the countless registry problems ever fixed.

Reply Score: 2

What a bad article
by pysiak on Thu 10th Jul 2008 21:23 UTC
pysiak
Member since:
2008-01-01

I haven't seen such a bad article for ages now. I felt like reading something written by a 15-yr old.

Not only a few of those ideas are not important, but some of them are simply wrong.

tut tut...

Reply Score: 2

A bit misguided
by atsureki on Thu 10th Jul 2008 21:36 UTC
atsureki
Member since:
2006-03-12

In theory UAC was a great idea. It protected people from themselves, but it was too intrusive. An alternate idea is to teach the user the importance of limited accounts and how they prevent the accessibility of nasties such as viruses. UAC should be a single dialogue with 'Continue' and 'Cancel' and an explanation of why the user was interrupted.


Fail. One of the few things Vista did absolutely right is put specific actions on dialog buttons. "Continue" and "Cancel" glued to a paragraph of text is just sloppy, lazy interface design, as a great many Windows 95-era trophy errors will show: enormous, winding blob of explanations and double negatives. Yes / No ?

(The trophies: http://homepage.mac.com/bradster/iarchitect/shame.htm)

Also, I don't understand why so many "My Ideas For Improving Windows" articles say that Microsoft should "teach" users about best practices. How? No one reads EULAs or help files. Make the OOBE even more obnoxious? Force the Tour on everyone? The only way to improve user practices is to retool the interface to make the right way the easiest way.

Speaking of retooling...

19. XP Virtual Machine
It seems that the biggest issue with Vista was compatibility with older software/drivers. A solution may be to include an XP virtual machine which ensures compatibility with said software. Apple did a similar thing when they re-wrote their OS a few years back.


Things that are wrong with this:

1. This does nothing for driver compatibility. A virtual machine can be given control of a device and run the driver for it, but then only the legacy apps can use the device. Anything running natively wouldn't even know it's there. Which is another reason why...

2. Legacy will win. We're seeing it right now. Everyone is still writing XP apps. Running Vista is only practical at this point because of its backwards compatibility, and it's still not a popular choice. It would be stupid to make a program require Vista in the foreseeable future. It would be the same situation if MS made their own Red Box, only the disadvantages of running the new OS would be even more severe than with Vista.

3. All the "make a Red Box" suggestions ignore the real reasons that approach worked for Apple. First, they delivered Carbon to provide compatibility in both directions. Microsoft would suggest developers use .Net languages to the same ends, but managed code is still impractical for large projects. Small-fry business apps and game hacking tools, however, are safe.
Second, the new OS architecture had things both developers and users needed, namely dynamic, protected memory and preemptive multitasking. The only significant technical upgrade Microsoft can propose right now is real 64-bit support, but they kind of jumped the gun on their 64-bit design to keep up appearances against Linux in the server space, so it would be hard to justify a completely new direction now. Secure design is the real problem, but the denial around where that problem lies is too thick to mobilize fundamental changes.
Third, the Mac platform had inherent value that Apple recognized and leveraged into new killer apps. It was better at visual design, movie editing, and user interfaces. Microsoft would usually rather invade a new market than rethink one they're already in, so Windows lacks appeal as any particular specialized tool. What they do have is gaming, yet another reason why native code needs to be compatible into future versions.
Finally, a much greater proportion of Mac users were loyal to the platform itself and willing to follow it in a new direction. Windows users are more inclined only to care that their other software, or even just "the computer," works.

9. Program Caching
Currently, Vista caches commonly used software into RAM so that it launches faster. The main problem with this approach is that it confuses users into thinking Vista is using several hundred MB of RAM just for itself. A simple toolbar notification stating 'Vista is caching your programs to improve speed. Click here for more information', would end all the confusion.


I swear, these people have never used a good computer. It starts out as one "simple toolbar notification," and then it becomes an endless stream of distracting cartoon speech bubbles that will either go away or launch something else when you click on them, all at the programmer's whim.

There's nothing wrong with users taking exception at the operating system eating up all their RAM. It's not the users that need a good talking-to. The OS should not be trying to outsmart its operator, and adding more unprompted messages of any kind, especially condescending garbage to the tune of "I'm doing this for your own good," is a terrible, horrible, stupid idea.

Edit: I had to straighten all the quotes because they display as gibberish, which was NOT the case in the preview.

Edited 2008-07-10 21:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: A bit misguided
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 11th Jul 2008 08:53 UTC in reply to "A bit misguided"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Windows 64-bit editions run perfectly well, so I don't know why you'd characterize it as "keeping up with linux." NT64 was likely to be one of the first OSes to boot on x64 machines (of course only with internal development builds). It was definitely running on x64 before the real hardware was available, so I don't know how Microsoft could have gotten in on the 64-bit game sooner than it did.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A bit misguided
by cyclops on Fri 11th Jul 2008 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE: A bit misguided"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

lol!!

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1780963,00.asp March 31, 2005

"2003: AMD introduces its Opteron and Athlon 64 processor lines, based on its AMD64 architecture which is the first x86 based 64 bit processor architecture. Apple also ships the 64-bit "G5" PowerPC 970 CPU courtesy of IBM, along with an update to its Mac OS X operating system which adds partial support for 64-bit mode. Several Linux distributions release with support for AMD64. Microsoft announces plans to create a version of its Windows operating system to support the AMD64 architecture. FreeBSD releases with support for AMD64. Intel maintains that its Itanium chips would remain its only 64-bit processors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit

Work Well!? if you say so. The harsh reality is that the vast majority get Vista and XP 32-bit with no legal!? way of upgrading even though 64-bit has been available for...forver and had been the standard since the late P4's.

The reality is that 64-bit is still not the standard, and because of the "propriatery" nature of the Windows platform, it won't be. A binary 32bit program cannot magically turn into a 64-bit one.

Microsoft really is in the stone age, and unforunately most of the industry still dance to there tune.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A bit misguided
by soonerproud on Fri 11th Jul 2008 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A bit misguided"
soonerproud Member since:
2008-03-05

Work Well!? if you say so. The harsh reality is that the vast majority get Vista and XP 32-bit with no legal!? way of upgrading even though 64-bit has been available for...forver and had been the standard since the late P4's.

The reality is that 64-bit is still not the standard, and because of the "propriatery" nature of the Windows platform, it won't be. A binary 32bit program cannot magically turn into a 64-bit one.

Microsoft really is in the stone age, and unforunately most of the industry still dance to there tune.


The reason why 32 bit is still standard is because the OEM's continue to load 32 bit Windows on the vast majority of pc's. 64 bit Windows runs almost all 32 bit applications seamlessly so the vast majority of users would never be able to tell the difference between the two. Programmers won't start writing for 64 bit until it makes financial sense to do so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: A bit misguided
by cyclops on Fri 11th Jul 2008 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A bit misguided"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"Work Well!? if you say so. The harsh reality is that the vast majority get Vista and XP 32-bit with no legal!? way of upgrading even though 64-bit has been available for...forver and had been the standard since the late P4's.

The reality is that 64-bit is still not the standard, and because of the "propriatery" nature of the Windows platform, it won't be. A binary 32bit program cannot magically turn into a 64-bit one.

Microsoft really is in the stone age, and unforunately most of the industry still dance to there tune.


The reason why 32 bit is still standard is because the OEM's continue to load 32 bit Windows on the vast majority of pc's. 64 bit Windows runs almost all 32 bit applications seamlessly so the vast majority of users would never be able to tell the difference between the two. Programmers won't start writing for 64 bit until it makes financial sense to do so.
"

lol

Compatibility in Vista is a problem. There is no free as in beer option for moving either XP or Vista to 64-bit supplied by Microsoft. Limiting a memory hungry OS in Vista's case to 3.5GB. It struggles at 2. Thats ignoring any of if anything goes wrong the only option for the user is to download an illegal copy, why can't they download a legitimate copy, Apple sell music like this. You would think that they make money from SELLING TO OEM's not users. Although I do find it funny how Microsoft dictates what OEM can do with there software like say limiting what machines XP is installed on ;)

As for you second comment...I seem to cope very nicely on my 64-bit only GNU ;) perhaps its all the bags of cash Stallman sleeps on at night.

I'm continually shocked at how backward Microsoft is, and how it drags back the computing industry. Thank goodness those who are prepared to use alternatives can reap the benefits.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A bit misguided
by atsureki on Sat 12th Jul 2008 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE: A bit misguided"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Windows 64-bit editions run perfectly well, so I don't know why you'd characterize it as "keeping up with linux."


Mostly because they didn't do it well enough.

http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2005/01/31/363790.aspx

Microsoft chose the path that adds a non-standard type to their C code for 64-bit capacity, LLP64, leaving "longs" at 32-bit. My (limited) understanding is that this way makes it easier for 32-bit binaries to stick around because interprocess messages anticipate the correct "long" length, but it makes it a more complicated process to port programs to 64-bit because existing code expects pointers (64) to fit in longs (32), which is not among the few rules of C type relations, but it is a long-standing LP32 convention. This way also breaks compatibility with LP64, the code the rest of the world uses, so ready the tinfoil hats. It sounds like the motivator was industry-wide laziness, so a proper 64-bit Windows platform is delayed even further, and when it arrives, it won't interoperate with anyone else's C code. Also, I'm told LLP64 has inferior performance, as was apparently determined more than fifteen years ago in this creaky article I haven't read yet:

http://www.unix.org/version2/whatsnew/lp64_wp.html

I suppose the important difference between Windows and the rest of the software world, as always, is that Windows must support stale binaries. The Mac OS recently had a fresh start, and all its major programs are in active development, and a Linux installation anyone would reasonably expect to upgrade is almost entirely open-source, so recompile and go. Still, neither platform seems to have any trouble running LP32 and LP64 binaries side by side, so I wonder where Windows went wrong.

NT64 was likely to be one of the first OSes to boot on x64 machines (of course only with internal development builds). It was definitely running on x64 before the real hardware was available, so I don't know how Microsoft could have gotten in on the 64-bit game sooner than it did.


Are you sure you're not confusing their development on Itanium with AMD64? They were ready for that race. Pre-developing for AMD's new architecture would be the smart, professional thing to do, but did they actually do it? Intel was convinced Itanic wouldn't sink, and Microsoft seemed to be following in step. In any case, as the other reply pointed out, they were dead last to ship a product, and can we even call it shipped yet? Reports still say poor driver and binary support, 64-bit PCs still come with the 32-bit version, and the only retail package that has the bits included is Ultimate. It's scarce to say the least.

Meanwhile, the main reason 32-bit Linux is still preferred is that users have to steal bits of code from Windows to get everything working right, namely NDIS drivers and win32codecs, while OS X is moving along unimpeded, soon to release the first clean 64-bit desktop operating system.

So how could Microsoft have gotten in the game sooner? By reading that ancient article I linked when it was first published and anticipating the need for LP64 compatibility.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A bit misguided
by amdfollower on Sat 12th Jul 2008 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A bit misguided"
amdfollower Member since:
2008-07-12

Microsoft was definitely tightly in the loop with AMD on x64.

http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2002/04/22/amd-microsof...

A Windows NT development build was running in 64-bit mode within a month of AMD having first silicon, and within two hours of MS getting an engineering sample system to MS developers. (And yes, this "leaked" memo was later confirmed to be real by Dave Cutler.)

Also see:
http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2002/05/31/amd-microsof...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A bit misguided
by PlatformAgnostic on Sat 12th Jul 2008 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A bit misguided"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

LP64 versus LLP64 is mostly a purely semantic debate. The Core OS team seems to have tried both, according to Raymond's reporting on The Old New Thing and found that LLP64 is most practical.

LLP64 actually makes a lot of sense to me, too. We provide WOW64, so if you can't get your application to compile on 64-bit without effort to reexamine all casts from pointers to ints (which are rare since they usually don't make sense except in OS or driver code), you can always just run the 32-bit version of your code. The compiler will helpfully warn you if you're making an incompatible cast from pointer to integral type, even if it's a 32-bit program (as long as you specify /wp64 which warns for potential portability problems). Windows tends to use typedefs for all public API header types and functions, so the underlying compiler sizes only really matter for third party programs. This is one of those things you coul argue about for ages without and resolution because neither answer is wrong.

Reply Score: 2

New UAC?
by fernandotcl on Thu 10th Jul 2008 21:42 UTC
fernandotcl
Member since:
2007-08-12

Wtf does the author mean with that? UAC already is a dialog box that asks if you want to proceed or cancel. He's probably referring to Explorer warning you about requiring special priviledges to perform certain operations.

I've observed things like this before. The general practice is to blame UAC for everything you don't like or understand in Vista. It's acceptable that users behave like this, but not the press. Well, I'm not sure you can call that article part of the "press" anyways (not that the "real" press is much different from that)...

Reply Score: 2

WinFS
by poundsmack on Fri 11th Jul 2008 01:54 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

winfs was never intended to be a file system replacement, more of an adition to add more security and funcionality. Plus with NTSF as it has evolved in server 2008 it is very nice, fast, stable and self healing as i recall. so where teh problem?

Reply Score: 3

Few things I wish they'd add ...
by WorknMan on Fri 11th Jul 2008 13:40 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Integration of 3rd party apps into Windows Update so I don't go to friends' houses and see 900 apps in the task tray with programs running themselves at Windows startup to check for updates

Better read/write access to optical drive because currently, my computer doesn't become unusable when I copy stuff from USB drives like it does on DVD drives

Make Windows Explorer not suck so bad. Sure, I can replace it with Directory Opus (best file manager in the world, but I still have to remote into clients' PCs at work with the dreadful Explorer on it ;)

Make it easier to slipstream all patches and updates into the install disc. I mean, if you're going to try and kill off Autopatcher, the least you could do is throw your customers a frickin' bone.

Kill the registry as much as possible and find a way to build a UAC-style solution to force developers to stop using it. That way, it's easier to back up settings on individual programs if they just used INI/XML/etc configuration files.

Reply Score: 3

Manuel FLURY Member since:
2005-07-05

I completely agree with you !

A more utopic idea I like could be using another kernel (why not linux ?)

Reply Score: 1

Missed suggestion
by ronaldst on Sat 12th Jul 2008 14:54 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

While I agree with a few of the enumerated items, what's missing is Remote Desktop (RDP).

IMO RDP should also be available on home clients. The Windows Server 2003 DLL Remote Desktop hack is a pain to install on Home Premium.

Reply Score: 2