Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 31st Aug 2011 19:42 UTC
Windows Over the past few days, Microsoft has been talking about improvements made to Windows 8 on its 'Building Windows 8' blog at MSDN. Strangely enough, the improvements mentioned were either dealing with the classic desktop, or were demonstrated using the classic desktop - and not the fancy Metro user interface which is supposed to be Windows 8's big new thing. Today's post finally gives a little more detail about how the classic and Metro UI work together, but questions still remain.
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Well... is that so exciting?
by churlish_Helmut on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:01 UTC
churlish_Helmut
Member since:
2010-04-12

I have to think about preinstalled Win 8 Versions on my new PC, which dosn't contain a Explorer at all - i have to buy a crappy one on the marketplace.

Well, I'm to pessimistic, but i think on the business Level, theres no need for the metro shell. So, there must be a way to load the classic environment without metro.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by joekiser
by joekiser on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:08 UTC
joekiser
Member since:
2005-06-30

The classic desktop has always been a separate application in Windows. In fact, we've always had the option of killing explorer.exe and replacing the UI with litestep, bb4win, Object Desktop, whatever. What's interesting is that Microsoft is developing another shell for the first time since Windows 95. If the past is any indication, we will be able to keep the traditional desktop for some time yet--progman.exe was included all the way up to Vista. Whether or not the new Metro UI becomes the next Explorer or Bob is yet to be seen.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by joekiser
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by joekiser"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, Explorer.exe - but this goes deeper. If you believe his words, this covers lots of other things as well that go far beyond just Explorer.exe. I mean, just killing Explorer.exe will do fcuk all for battery life - it's everything else underneath that doesn't get loaded either. He's talking about how deep it all goes, and from that, it would appear that Metro isn't just 'Metro.exe', but a whole load of stuff underneath it to support it. A new userland, if you will - not just a shell.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by joekiser
by benhonghu on Wed 31st Aug 2011 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by joekiser"
benhonghu Member since:
2008-08-24

The question is, how deep? My guess is: not much beyond explorer.exe

Think about it, the Metro interface is powered by IE 10, and IE runs on the same Win32 API as any other "classic" application. So non of the underlying stuff shall be removed.

Reply Score: 1

Trident Rendering Only
by asupcb on Thu 1st Sep 2011 03:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by joekiser"
asupcb Member since:
2005-11-10

Metro will only need to utilize the Trident rendering engine and not the entire IE10 application to run. I'm not really sure what dependencies Trident has but one would assume that it only needs Win32 APIs when in use as the embedded rendering engine in an application such as IE.

I assume it works the way WebKit does.

Edited 2011-09-01 03:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Trident Rendering Only
by Laurence on Thu 1st Sep 2011 08:16 UTC in reply to "Trident Rendering Only"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Metro will only need to utilize the Trident rendering engine and not the entire IE10 application to run. I'm not really sure what dependencies Trident has but one would assume that it only needs Win32 APIs when in use as the embedded rendering engine in an application such as IE.

I assume it works the way WebKit does.

I would imagine that it would still need DirectX (unless MS are thinking of reinventing the wheel). I don't know if Win32 is a dependency of DX or even if it is, if MS are unpicking that. Either way we're not talking that much deeper than running on top of a Win32 layer.

Plus Win32 APIs are still pretty bare metal in terms of the entire Windows API stack. It's when you start including .NET and Java runtime environments that you start moving away from core Windows user land.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Trident Rendering Only
by benhonghu on Fri 2nd Sep 2011 01:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Trident Rendering Only"
benhonghu Member since:
2008-08-24


Plus Win32 APIs are still pretty bare metal in terms of the entire Windows API stack. It's when you start including .NET and Java runtime environments that you start moving away from core Windows user land.


Thom claims that Windows 8 does more than just swapping out Explorer as the default shell. I'm just wondering how much else you can swap out, given that Metro needs Trident, which needs Win32 and COM, which needs basic windows services like the registry, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Trident Rendering Only
by Laurence on Fri 2nd Sep 2011 13:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Trident Rendering Only"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Thom claims that Windows 8 does more than just swapping out Explorer as the default shell. I'm just wondering how much else you can swap out, given that Metro needs Trident, which needs Win32 and COM, which needs basic windows services like the registry, etc.

Well yeah, that was the point of this thread; so now we're just repeating ourselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by joekiser
by Halo on Sun 4th Sep 2011 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by joekiser"
Halo Member since:
2009-02-10

That line of reasoning does not follow.

Microsoft already has a version of IE for Windows Phone 7 which doesn't rely on the underlying Win32 API.

I don't think it's a reasonable asssumption that IE10 relies on Win32, and as such you can't conclude anything about Windows 8.

I will be very surprised if the Win32 userland hasn't been modularised so it isn't loaded by default.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by joekiser
by kristoph on Thu 1st Sep 2011 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by joekiser"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes, and no.

First, contrary to popular opinion, the bulk of battery consumption on Windows is actually driven by various processes unrelated to the shell.

In Windows 8 the shell itself is a number of programs launched on demand. Only the 'on demand' part is really any different from previous version of Windows. A cursory examination of the running state of the machine does not suggest that Microsoft has really modularized the old shell that much more than it was in previous generations.

Also, all the underlying shell infrastructure (dll's and various services that support them) is often required by programs and this has to remain for compatibility reasons.

In fact, there will be two shells and all supporting infrastructure along with two sets of assets like icons, etc.

Windows 8 is basically a sort of transitionary OS. One would hope that one day Microsoft actually bites the bullet and makes the old shell an optional install but that probably won't happen for a OS generation or two (if ever; abandoning old software is just not in Microsofts DNA).

Personally I think that Microsoft will likely have two OS', one which will be used for lighter weight, consumer oriented hardware, tablets, etc, and a business/professional version that will support the old stuff.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by joekiser
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by joekiser"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I was just thinking about that, and I just ran a search for Progman.exe. ;)

I remember replacing explorer.exe with iexplore.exe on a kiosk PC once, to keep students from messing with it, and this was back in 2002-2003.

I haven't thought of those in a while. I wasted many hours messing around with Litestep. More recently, Cairo Shell (http://cairoshell.github.com/) was started in to try to improve on Explorer.exe.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by joekiser
by plague on Wed 31st Aug 2011 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by joekiser"
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

hehe, I did the opposite the last day at school.
I replaced explorer.exe with calc.exe and my classmates did similar stuff to the rest of the computers, just to mess with the teachers who had to clean up our mess for next years students.. ;)

Ah, the good ol' times. ;)

Edited 2011-08-31 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by joekiser
by TemporalBeing on Thu 1st Sep 2011 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by joekiser"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

hehe, I did the opposite the last day at school.
I replaced explorer.exe with calc.exe and my classmates did similar stuff to the rest of the computers, just to mess with the teachers who had to clean up our mess for next years students.. ;)

Ah, the good ol' times. ;)


Well, if they ran the things anything like my school district did, then it didn't really matter - the machines just got reimaged over the summer without any particular attention to the state of the computer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by joekiser
by Flatland_Spider on Thu 1st Sep 2011 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by joekiser"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Ghost is a wonderful tool. Rebuild one machine then fifteen minutes later the rest are pristine again. ;)

My friends and I would mess with the Windows 98 startup and shutdown screens. We would do it in the middle of the school year. I'm not sure if that makes us dumber or bolder.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by joekiser
by andih on Thu 1st Sep 2011 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by joekiser"
andih Member since:
2010-03-27

The debian based clonezilla is my favorite ;)

Too bad windoze locks to its hardware.. That makes it a pretty useless OS in my opinion.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Comment by joekiser
by marcus0263 on Thu 1st Sep 2011 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by joekiser"
marcus0263 Member since:
2007-06-02

I'll second that for Clonezilla, it's outstanding. Every box I build I clone and image to archive. It's saved my ass more than once ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by joekiser
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 2nd Sep 2011 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by joekiser"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Clonezilla is nice. Unfortunately, it wasn't around eleven years ago when I was in charge of student labs. The FOSS world has really come a long way from where it was in the late 90s.

You can get around that in Windows. You just need know how to do it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by joekiser
by f0dder on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by joekiser"
f0dder Member since:
2009-08-05

I used to run a very stripped-down version of win95sr2 (boy, could you cut out a lot of gunk back then!) with shell=4dos.com . Didn't really use lots of Windows apps back then, but Win95 offered decent multitasking and faster (and much more stable!) disk caching than smartdrv.

Ah, the memories ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Tuishimi
by Tuishimi on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:13 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder if they will call it explorer.exe?

Reply Score: 2

Singularity
by moondevil on Wed 31st Aug 2011 20:14 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think Microsoft is slowly bringing what they are learning with Singularity into their mainstream OS, and also what was originally the Longhorn plan.

Windows Phone 7 is mainly a .Net runtime that uses classic Windows CE as the kernel and support services.

Maybe Windows 8 will introduce more from the same concepts then.

I for one am curious to see what they will actually announce on BUILD.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Singularity
by kaiwai on Thu 1st Sep 2011 03:04 UTC in reply to "Singularity"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I think Microsoft is slowly bringing what they are learning with Singularity into their mainstream OS, and also what was originally the Longhorn plan.

Windows Phone 7 is mainly a .Net runtime that uses classic Windows CE as the kernel and support services.

Maybe Windows 8 will introduce more from the same concepts then.

I for one am curious to see what they will actually announce on BUILD.


There was an interesting interview (can't find the link sorry) where some time in the future there was a hint that eventually Windows Phone will use the Windows NT kernel and core - maybe it is a matter of time for hardware to catch up and NT to be slimmed down for such an environment.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 31st Aug 2011 21:36 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I tried to see the page but I got this error:

http://imagebin.org/170468

Go Microsoft!

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 31st Aug 2011 23:51 UTC in reply to "..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14
Gates rant
by justSomeGuy on Thu 1st Sep 2011 06:42 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
justSomeGuy Member since:
2011-08-30

Wow, that's a pretty hypocritical email. About the only complaint that might be a result of lazy/underperforming employees is that the website was slow. Everything else is down to the fundamental nature of windows.

It's basically complaining that windows doesn't have a dependency tracking package manager.

Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable? The file system is no longer usable. The registry is not usable. This program listing was one sane place but now it is all crapped up.


What's wrong with file system? Does he mean the explorer file manager? It didn't become too bad until vista I thought. But in 2003, he says unusable? Surely he isn't talking about the actual fs, because what casual users ever mess with file permissions, etc?

And complaining in 2003 that the registry isn't usable? Wikipedia tells me that the registry originated in 1992, so Bill is about 11 years too late here. The registry was always doomed to failure.

And last, about the add/remove programs thing, he actually has a point here. I have no idea how they managed to so royally screw this up between 2000 and xp. Maybe I have rose-colored glasses, but I don't remember things being that bad in 2000. But again, this is the result of not having something like aptitude.

And why is all this hypocritical? Because he's complaining about the things which are prime ways that MS uses to make money. Why should they make something like aptitude? They're not in the business of making it easier for people to get software on their computer with just a few clicks, and a nice roll-backable interface. Third parties have to be able to send out installers with exes that have to be run as root. They need to run as root to install copy protection. Bill wants to change this to make it harder for third parties to install their copy protection? Third party app lockin is a major reason many people need windows, and thus are sending money to redmond at all.

And where does a portion of this copy protection metadata get stored? In the registry of course. And MS allowed whatever exe to write wherever in the registry the user has permission, not in a dedicated registry directory for that app. This is, of course, partly to facilitate copy protection (the other part being complete stupidity wrt security), and what makes migrating installs of windows apps (and windows os installs) such a royal pain.

So did Bill send this out expecting a bunch of grunts to wave a magic wand?

"Let me get this straight sir, you want me to take on the responsibility of fundamentally changing some of the software paradigms which are necessary to third party developers, and therefore, our own business? After they've festered for all these years, getting worse and worse, making money for you all the while? No sir, I will not be the one to take the heat for that, and .... you're dumb."

But on the slow website and bad form validation, he probably had a good point. I only wonder if he was just trying to "discipline the troops", all the while knowing full well the truth? Or if maybe he seriously has no idea how the software actually works? Or maybe just in a bad mood, and not very good at giving orders? (Hint: don't give orders which are destructive to essential core of the company. Some naive employees might take you seriously.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Gates rant
by atsureki on Thu 1st Sep 2011 07:29 UTC in reply to "Gates rant"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

What's wrong with file system?


For starters, the massive depths you have to go to to change permissions just to allow yourself to see some of the files on it, and the opaquely named directories those files reside in. Basically, the fact that the OS itself has decided you're not allowed to modify things you might actually want or need to modify, not that you can tell because the file and directory names are useless.

Does he mean the explorer file manager? It didn't become too bad until vista I thought. But in 2003, he says unusable? Surely he isn't talking about the actual fs, because what casual users ever mess with file permissions, etc?


In Mac OS X, I can copy my home directory or ~/Library across installations and be completely migrated. In Windows XP or newer, if I try to copy my Documents and Settings or User folder, I get an endless stream of permissions errors. You need tools specially designed to work around the Windows voodoo. In short, you are not in control, because the filesystem is not usable.

And complaining in 2003 that the registry isn't usable? Wikipedia tells me that the registry originated in 1992, so Bill is about 11 years too late here. The registry was always doomed to failure.


Only because Microsoft names everything with hashes or serial numbers like Q329048, which, as Gates points out, is meaningless.

And last, about the add/remove programs thing, he actually has a point here. I have no idea how they managed to so royally screw this up between 2000 and xp. Maybe I have rose-colored glasses, but I don't remember things being that bad in 2000. But again, this is the result of not having something like aptitude.


I remember Windows 95 being unable to uninstall Red Alert from my mom's work laptop. She didn't use it for anything, so I played RTSes on it. She got in some trouble for that. The Add/Remove Programs pane is nothing but registry entries pointing to scripts. It's a tenuous system with many weak links, but yes, it used to at least look clean.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Gates rant
by justSomeGuy on Thu 1st Sep 2011 08:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Gates rant"
justSomeGuy Member since:
2011-08-30

Good points. I completely agree about trying to migrate windows profiles.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Gates rant
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 1st Sep 2011 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Gates rant"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Pretty much true. I always thought Gates was referring to different things that were originally meant to be human understandable but now aren't. The registry seemed like a good idea at some point. A central registry for all settings. So all of your programs would be have the same way! But then COM got its hands on it so each com control had to install itself in the registry to let every program that could ever use it could figure out what features it provided.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by Gone fishing on Thu 1st Sep 2011 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Here’s my Bill Gate rant experience.

I have a legal and fully updated Windows 7, I was living in Lesotho and now have a job in Kiev. I sell my old PC first taking out the hard drives and sell with a copy of Ubuntu installed – why ship a PC from Maseru to Kiev? – Nothing criminal in moving country.

I buy a new PC add the hard drives and boot – needless to say Ubuntu starts perfectly detecting all the new hardware although it is a little battle to get the 5.1 working on the new sound card. Windows is surprisingly easy (at least with the driver install CDs) the main problem being removing old drivers and associated utilities.

Next day I start up the box after a Windows update and am informed I have an illegal copy of Windows - I choose my words carefully here, not I might be a victim of counterfeit Windows; but that this IS an illegal copy. I click on the activate Windows and it won’t activate over the internet, but gives me the option to add my Windows serial no – which I do. I’m then informed that I have changed my hardware (true) and I need I can ring MS.

The free phone number does not work; the toll number takes me to an phone activation service in Ukrainian, which I don’t understand - I give up and go to bed. Next day I ring the UK number and am informed I need to key in a 50 digit number from the PC into the phone. This is tricky as the PC isn’t near the phone – I give up. Next day I work with my son as a team to key the 50 digit number, however, when I press the keys on the phone and nothing happens. I Give up and have a beer – I then work out that my phone is on pulse dialling and turn it to tone. I try and ring the UK number (an international phone call) nothing happens. I turn the phone to pulse (Ukrainian phone system doesn’t use tone dialling). Once I get through to MS switch to tone dialling and in a relay with my son key in the 50 digit number. Then MS gives me another 50 digit number which I write down on paper and transfer it to the PC.

Finally I have a now magically transformed legal copy of Windows.

So Windows is easy and usable – don’t make me laugh.

Edited 2011-09-01 20:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Windows Desktop is an App?
by dc.ricardo on Wed 31st Aug 2011 21:38 UTC
dc.ricardo
Member since:
2009-06-02

Finally! Maybe now Microsoft can call the OS MicrOS. And we would be able to run different desktops with different toolkits and, who knows, VIRTUAL DESKTOPS!?! 4??? Oh!!! wait...

Reply Score: 1

Shell Replacements
by grable on Wed 31st Aug 2011 23:27 UTC
grable
Member since:
2006-11-24

I just hope i can still replace the Shell, cant stand the default.
And i dont particularly like the new shell either.

Ive been using SharpEnviro for many many years, cant stop now hehe.

Reply Score: 1

You hit the nail on the head Thom
by Mr. Dee on Thu 1st Sep 2011 01:20 UTC
Mr. Dee
Member since:
2005-11-13

While Metro is a great achievement having a full fledged Touch Ready UI, I honestly don't want it for point and click. I prefer classic. When I do get a Tablet or convertible, I am sure I will use Metro as the default. So I hope there is an option in Control Panel where I can uncheck Metro and make Classic my only default on my laptop.

Reply Score: 2

D'oh!
by marcp on Thu 1st Sep 2011 08:47 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

It's like everyone decided: "let's make something completely new!" and force it on users even if it's a bad idea [Windows 8 ribbon, metro, Gnome 3, shell, unity].

First of all: people have their habits. My habit is to have al of my information in places I want to have it and to have highly configurable interface. Well, Windows 8 and Gnome3 + unity takes it away from me ]Gnome 3 has only few configurable options].
It seems that UI designers think that users are horribly stupid and can't use configurable desktop. D'oh!

Secondly: progress can certainly be a REGRESS, which we can observe in a lot of the situations. Unfortunately - most designers don't even want to hear that their "youngest child" is unintuitive, counter - productive and so on ... this is not a scientific approach that IT is involved in too. This is an emotional approach.

I wish I could have more options - always. Let's say that Gnome 3 is released. I'd like to have a Gnome 3 option to use Gnome 2 GUI [it can be built-in module] - just like Windows XP classic mode. At present moment people have to FORK projects like KDE3, Gnome2, etc, which is wrong.

Edited 2011-09-01 08:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: D'oh!
by orestes on Thu 1st Sep 2011 09:11 UTC in reply to "D'oh!"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

You're missing a critical difference between the *nix and Windows worlds. With Gnome 3, KDE 4, Unity or what have you, you aren't forced to use them at all. Whine all you want about the design choices the dev teams make, you will *always* be free to move elsewhere. An army of angry penguins with fricking laser beams on their heads ain't going to show up at your door and hold a gun to your dog's head unless you choose Gnome-shell.

MS, otoh, you really are sorta stuck with what they throw at you. Eventually 7's going to stop being supported which means you either conform or move off the platform. Unfortunately for most of us, that isn't an option if we want to stay relevant in the digital world.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: D'oh!
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 1st Sep 2011 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE: D'oh!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

MS, otoh, you really are sorta stuck with what they throw at you.


Nonsense. There are countless shell replacements out there.

Eventually 7's going to stop being supported which means you either conform or move off the platform.


Not this bullshit again. Microsoft provides BY FAR the best and longest support for their products in this industry. GNOME, on the other hand, is ceasing all development on GNOME 2.x, even though GNOME 3.0 is far from ready. KDE did the same thing to KDE 3.x.

Really, please try to be honest about these things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: D'oh!
by orestes on Thu 1st Sep 2011 09:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: D'oh!"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

And those shell replacements will free you from the more pervasive UI changes how exactly? Where do they leave you when a program you need demands the new paradigm?

As for support... Gnome and KDE are open source. Sufficiently interested users can, and might I add have done so in both cases, pick up the codebase right where it left off if they really want to. There's also the long term support distros that will be shipping Gnome 2 and possibly KDE 3 until well into the latter half of this decade at least.

Let's also not forget that, for practical purposes, Windows is every bit as "frozen" as those last versions of Gnome 2 and KDE 3. When's the last time you saw major UI development done on a released version of Windows?

Every Windows release *will* hit EOL eventually. just a matter of how many years down the road, and what the landscape looks like when you're forced to make a choice.

Edited 2011-09-01 09:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: D'oh!
by dragossh on Thu 1st Sep 2011 10:42 UTC in reply to "RE: D'oh!"
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

I think you missed the part where they *are* being pushed down our throats even if we don't want them. GNOME 2? Gone in Fedora 15 and the next Ubuntu. Hate Unity? Your alternatives are: GNOME3 whose UI sucks balls, KDE4 which doesn't play well with certain systems and ... the other less full featured shells.

Having to choose between a DE that sucks and a crappy, less-featured one isn't choice. At least Microsoft is keeping the old UI and enhancing it *gasp*.

Edited 2011-09-01 10:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: D'oh!
by orestes on Thu 1st Sep 2011 10:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: D'oh!"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

You could always switch to a distro that better aligns with what you want. $DEITY forbid one exercise choice. ZOMG! Fedora's not shipping Gnome 2 anymore... any of the RHEL clones or Debian will likely still be supporting it when Windows 10 is shiny and new. Or, if you want to drop the "helpless user syndrome" you can install it yourself on any distro you care to mention.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: D'oh!
by lucas_maximus on Thu 1st Sep 2011 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: D'oh!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

You can change distro but upstream won't be supporting it ... which means if anything goes wrong you are SOL.

Edited 2011-09-01 12:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: D'oh!
by orestes on Thu 1st Sep 2011 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: D'oh!"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Upstream's far from the only avenue of support. You won't be seeing new features, but you'll at least be seeing security updates for a long time to come from the vendors who rely on the old codebase

Reply Score: 2

axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

The classic desktop should be the default in PCs, and the Metro in tablets. The Metro doesn't make sense on the PCs, because the most of the time the tasks performed on a PC do not fit well with a touch interface.

Reply Score: 3

Think remote desktop
by joshv on Thu 1st Sep 2011 12:20 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

This will be implemented in the same way the UAC prompt and windows desktop sharing are implemented: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Desktop_Services#Windows_Deskto... . Basically Metro shell and the Explorer shell will just be separate desktop sessions, the same way you and your wife's desktops are separate but run at the same time. I expect Direct X games will route around all this as they do today.

As for usability. I could see myself using Metro shell almost exclusively, as long as 'legacy' apps can be launched from Metro and run full screen. Traditional file management might be difficult, but a good 'native' windows 8 two pane file manager might take care of this problem.

As for Thom's fantasy that this will get rid of all of the old Windows cruft - nope, it will get rid of explorer.exe and whatever desktop window management code might be out there (dwm.exe?). The Metro shell will be written on top of existing Windows APIs. I am certain it won't use all of them, so yes, if you don't run the explorer shell, or any legacy apps under metro shell, some DLLs won't need to be loaded, but much of the old windows API will still be there.

Reply Score: 2

ARM?
by timrichardson on Thu 1st Sep 2011 13:05 UTC
timrichardson
Member since:
2011-09-01

How will this be possible on ARM?

As for not throwing out the baby with the bathwater ... the baby is getting on to 30 years old and it's time he moved out, because we've downsized. This stuff won't work on tablets. Beastly hardware than can be all things to all people will lose because the market has fragmented. In this sense, the PC era is over, just like it is for the generalised devices that owned the camera market and the car market at the time of the Model T. Granted, there's a niche who will want such a device, but it won't be a mass success.
It's a really dumb idea, designed I think to sell into enterprises rather than actually put the user at the centre of the experience. Microsoft goes for such incredibly gentle transitions of technology with years of overlapping support, which must be very comforting for some customers, but it is the fatal enemy of innovation. Large firms have irreversible aging in their DNA, and Windows 8 sounds like a botox solution.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft's Daft Prices
by Richard Dale on Thu 1st Sep 2011 16:23 UTC
Richard Dale
Member since:
2005-07-22

On Dell's Spanish website a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium costs 197 euros, and a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate cost 311 euros. You can actually buy quite a nice computer for the cost of these OS's. A Dell netbook or a Zino are priced about the same as Home Premium and Ultimate respectively, even though they include a Microsoft OS. An upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, where you already own a copy of an older Windows, even costs 125 euros. Or if you have a Dell netbook with Windows 7 Starter it will cost you 82 euros to upgrade to Home Premium.

Obviously tablets are very price sensitive, and if they cost 100-300 euros more than they otherwise would, then people won't buy them. If your tablet drops into something as ugly as the proposed new Windows 8 Explorer UI, then people won't buy them either, even if they cost as little as a Meego/Android/Plasma Active tablet without that extra 100-300 euros Microsoft tax.

I can only see the combination in Windows 8, of Windows Phone 7 Metro style and Windows 7 'ugly style' as a way of holding up revenues. It doesn't appear to be something anyone other than Microsoft would want to have. I just don't understand how Microsoft is charging more for their OSs than they were a few years ago when the hardware was nearly 10 times as expensive. It only works if they have a monopoly as they do for pre-installed desktop OSs. But they don't have a monopoly on tablets, and I just don't see how they can possibly get away with charging the same money for a tablet OS as they do for a desktop OS.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

When you buy Windows Home or Pro in a box for 190+ euros, your paying the retail price point; what they are able to charge the consumer for a nice boxed up copy of Windows install disks. I suspect there is some "not OEM customer" type support included but your mostly paying the true retail price point.

When you buy Wnidows pre-installed on a new machine, you are buying an OEM license previously sold to Dell or whomever and now re-sold on to you. Dell buys in large numbers so they get a volume discount. Dell also has a contract with Microsoft which probably trades some favours for an even lower price per unit. In the end, they are going to pay between 12$ ~ 50$ per Windows license to be included into computer on consumer's behalf.

So, the Windows EULA claims a customer may return Windows unused for a full refund. You can "opt-out" of paying the Microsoft tax if you are not going to be using the Windows OS; it's a matter lf plowing through grief from the vendor and microsoft until one of them pays up. You'll only get about 35$ refunded though; the plausable OEM cost of the Windows license.

If you can find a vendor who sells the OEM license versions then you'll get it cheaper.

On Newegg, 240$ for win7 Pro retail, 130$ for win7 Pro OEM.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Or...

But, you may have limitations with the OEM version. I've read that it binds to the hardware and only accepts so many major component changes or re-installs before you'll need to call Microsoft and have it unlocked. I have an impending re-install that may test this claim officially.

So:
You can get Windows cheap as a pre-install; benefits Microsoft by growing/maintaining market share.

You can get Windows OEM and do your own install accepting potential limitations coded intot he OEM version license.

You can get Windows Retail and pay the full retail price but without the likelyhood of limitations.

You'll pay a different price depending on how you obtain your license copy. Hurray for product pricing based on "what the market is willing to be robbed off" instead of "fair markup on top of our cost to produce".

Reply Score: 1

Richard Dale Member since:
2005-07-22

When you buy Windows Home or Pro in a box for 190+ euros, your paying the retail price point; what they are able to charge the consumer for a nice boxed up copy of Windows install disks. I suspect there is some "not OEM customer" type support included but your mostly paying the true retail price point.

When you buy Wnidows pre-installed on a new machine, you are buying an OEM license previously sold to Dell or whomever and now re-sold on to you. Dell buys in large numbers so they get a volume discount. Dell also has a contract with Microsoft which probably trades some favours for an even lower price per unit. In the end, they are going to pay between 12$ ~ 50$ per Windows license to be included into computer on consumer's behalf.

So, the Windows EULA claims a customer may return Windows unused for a full refund. You can "opt-out" of paying the Microsoft tax if you are not going to be using the Windows OS; it's a matter lf plowing through grief from the vendor and microsoft until one of them pays up. You'll only get about 35$ refunded though; the plausable OEM cost of the Windows license.

If you can find a vendor who sells the OEM license versions then you'll get it cheaper.

On Newegg, 240$ for win7 Pro retail, 130$ for win7 Pro OEM.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=...

But, you may have limitations with the OEM version. I've read that it binds to the hardware and only accepts so many major component changes or re-installs before you'll need to call Microsoft and have it unlocked. I have an impending re-install that may test this claim officially.

So:
You can get Windows cheap as a pre-install; benefits Microsoft by growing/maintaining market share.

You can get Windows OEM and do your own install accepting potential limitations coded intot he OEM version license.

You can get Windows Retail and pay the full retail price but without the likelyhood of limitations.

You'll pay a different price depending on how you obtain your license copy. Hurray for product pricing based on "what the market is willing to be robbed off" instead of "fair markup on top of our cost to produce".


I don't disagree with what you say. But the 35-300 dollars a manufacturer has to pay to Microsoft per machine is enough to make it very hard to make a profit. Because that kind of money is a very large part of the profit margin, like nearly all of it. You talk about 'probably trades some favours for an even lower price per unit', but those favours probably involve restriction on selling other OSs like Linux preinstalled. That might work in the context of the current desktop monopoly that Microsoft has, but not in the case of Tablet OSs where Dell or whoever might well have Android Tablets which are selling quite well when Windows 8 finally comes out.

I don't think the same economics and business model will work in the tablet market. If a manufacturer like Dell is already selling other tablets like Android or Meego based devices that don't have a per device fee that needs to be paid to Microsoft, then why would they want to develop devices that the have to pay extra for with features that nobody wants, like an extremely ugly Windows Explorer running on the tablet?

It makes no sense to me why Microsoft aren't scaling up Window Phone 7 and creating an OS targeted at just tablets with appropriate pricing (ie something like giving it away for -10 to +10 dollars as per WP7), rather than adding tablet support to the expensive Windows 7 to create Windows 8.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The thing is there is a demand for Tablets in Corporate now, most are using iPads that are hard work to get working with Sharepoint.

Microsoft are going for a unified Windows, Office and .NET everywhere.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

TBH Microsoft when it comes to licenses only really seem to care about 1 copy per machine ... I have had the same copy of Win7 OEM on 2 different machines now ... no big problem really.

I am pretty sure they do it against the hardrive unique identifier ... The most effort was free telephone activation which took less a few minutes.

Edited 2011-09-01 20:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

It isn't only the hard drive ID. If it was, I would have had to reactivate when I upgraded my boot drive from a 30GB SSD to a 120GB SSD. And I didn't, Windows just booted up without hassle.

Now, the time when I replaced the motherboard and the RAM (wacky memory errors but only in triple-channel configuration), I did have to phone in the numbers and get an authorization.

Edited 2011-09-03 23:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v ahh
by andih on Thu 1st Sep 2011 18:51 UTC
Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Fri 2nd Sep 2011 23:18 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Oh, I imagine the "classic desktop" slowely taking off on a typical underpowered tablet when You accidentually click "Open" instead of "Save" on a docx file in Your mail. You would cry "WTF???" several times befor seeing MSOffice's splash screen...

Reply Score: 1