Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Apr 2017 21:17 UTC
Windows

Released to manufacturing on November 8, 2006 and shipping to consumers on January 30, 2007, Windows Vista had a troubled development and a troubled life once it shipped. But it was an essential Windows release, laying the groundwork for Windows 7 and beyond. For all the criticism that Vista and Microsoft received, the company never really backtracked on the contentious aspects of the release. After a while, those aspects just stopped being contentious.

I reviewed Windows Vista way back in 2006 for OSNews, in two parts, followed by another look at the operating system five months later (my fascination with post-XP Windows started all the way back in 2003, when I wrote a Longhorn review for OSNews - three years before I actually joined the OSNews team).

The importance of Windows Vista cannot be overstated. In hindsight, it was probably the most important Windows release since Windows 95, as it was a massive overhaul of countless crucial aspects of Windows NT that we still use and rely on today. A new graphics stack, a new audio stack, a new networking stack, a complete overhaul and cleaning of the lowest-level parts of the kernel, and so much more.

Windows Vista ended many terrible design decisions from the XP and earlier days. No more kernel access for developers, a new driver model, no more programs running as administrator, and so on. Microsoft forced Windows users to bite the bullet and endure endless UAC dialogs, but it all paid off in the end.

And on a personal note, Windows Vista came after Windows XP, and Windows XP was one of the worst operating systems I have ever used. I despise Windows XP, and would rather use a $200 2005 Acer laptop with Vista than a fancy 2009 Sony VAIO or whatever running XP. Windows Vista set the scene for Windows 7 to murder Windows XP for good, and for that reason alone, Vista gets 56 thumbs up from me.

Vista was part of a very large undertaking inside Microsoft to completely overhaul the low-level parts of Windows, to prepare the platform for the next decade and beyond. It led to Windows 7, Windows Phone, Windows on the Xbox One, and countless other variants. Not all of those are or were successful, but each of them are still fruits of the incredible engineering work Microsoft's women and men undertook to salvage the architectural trainwreck that was Windows XP and earlier.

They did an absolutely amazing job, and on this day, I commend them for it.

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You're not wrong
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 11th Apr 2017 21:57 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

But for me the real beauty of Vista was the organizational change that they had to make to stop longhorn and start over from scratch. It started Microsoft on the journey to a better place. It also helped that they had little to no credible competitor in the os space. Still they started losing people to OS X. Back when Apple still cared about it.

The horror, is also the opportunity cost of that restart. We were promised the culmination of the cairo project. Object oriented file systems built on top of sql server! They lost quite a bit of talent in that time period as frustrated project leads left MS for Google.

Longhorn/Vista would have bankrupted any other company at the time.

Reply Score: 7

Vista memories
by gsyoungblood on Tue 11th Apr 2017 22:20 UTC
gsyoungblood
Member since:
2007-01-09

My memories of Vista were all the horror stories so many people were telling. It was an awful system according to all of them. Unstable, problematic, and nothing but a headache.

Then it came time for me to order a laptop for a dev project that had to support Windows and C#/.Net. I ended up getting Thinkpad T61p that came preloaded with Vista (Pro?). I have to say, it worked quite well. Everything seemed to be just fine, and mostly stable. Sure the UAC stuff was annoying, but not insurmountable.

Overall I was pleased with it, both Vista and the laptop. I still have that Thinkpad by the way. Upgraded beyond the system specs at the time, and now running Server 2012 for some dev projects.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Vista memories
by WorknMan on Wed 12th Apr 2017 00:56 UTC in reply to "Vista memories"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

My memories of Vista were all the horror stories so many people were telling. It was an awful system according to all of them. Unstable, problematic, and nothing but a headache.


Well, they made a lot of changes that broke a lot of old stuff. But as long as the hardware and software you were running on it was compatible, it was fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vista memories
by Stephen! on Wed 12th Apr 2017 10:51 UTC in reply to "Vista memories"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

Sure the UAC stuff was annoying, but not insurmountable.


Better than nothing. Considering it took around 20 years of Windows to even reach the point of UAC being implemented.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vista memories
by dark scizor on Fri 14th Apr 2017 12:44 UTC in reply to "Vista memories"
dark scizor Member since:
2006-03-19

To tell the truth, the first time I tried the beta on my Athlon XP system at the time, they were heavy. A couple of years later when I got a Phenom based system geared towards the 64bit version of the OS, it wasn't as bad, and by the time I upgraded to Windows 7, the speed difference wasn't that big.

Reply Score: 1

W2k
by judgen on Tue 11th Apr 2017 22:28 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Windows 2000 was and is the only post NT3.5* os i have liked. If only drivers were available i would probably still be using it for those rare times i boot into windows. Today fore those increasingly rare occations i use xp x64 (i run it with networking disabled) as it has all the drivers for my hardware (vista does not) and more modern systems really struggle with some essential industrial machinery (if they work at all). When the 30 year lifespan of those machines end, hopefully i will never have to boot into windows again.

Reply Score: 10

RE: W2k
by BlueofRainbow on Wed 12th Apr 2017 03:39 UTC in reply to "W2k"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

I like your statement

When the 30 year lifespan of those machines end, hopefully i will never have to boot into windows again.


as I have the same wish - but I have not yet found what I'm looking for.....

One thing - it is likely that these essential industrial machinery will not have modern cost-effective replacements. I think there might be some industrial control systems still running on PDP-11s because it would be prohibitive to replace the entire factory and I/O interfaces!

I also liked Windows 2000 because I could still have some "control" over it. Since then, my capability to fully control the system has steadily declined with every new version.

Edited 2017-04-12 03:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

I'd take bird-flu over Vista any day....
by gan17 on Tue 11th Apr 2017 22:44 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

I despise Windows XP, and would rather use a $200 2005 Acer laptop with Vista than a fancy 2009 Sony VAIO or whatever running XP


You sure about that? Vista was atrocious on entry-level hardware. I remember hard drives clicking and thrashing so loud I shone a torchlight into my PC case wondering if there were insects breeding inside. Pretty sure Hercules wouldn't have his place in mythology if one of his labours involved using a Vista PC.

Reply Score: 10

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Those Compaq trashing, literally, into death. Rest in peace. Don't come back, please.

Reply Score: 2

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Vista on release day, yes I agree. But after SP1 it became a different beast. Stable, little fanfare, and most of the issues being caused were fixed by the GPU and Chipset makers fixing their drivers.

I happily ran Vista on low end hardware. Until windows 7 came along ofc..

Reply Score: 2

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Until SP1 Vista really required 2 GB RAM. Every system that shipped with 1 GB and Vista was a dog.

Now, honestly, a large part of that was the shovel-ware. Vista, all by itself, really could run in 1 GB RAM. But with an antivirus and other junk, it was terrible.

And people with new laptops would insist on copying their files onto it. Which triggered the new Vista file indexer plus the manufacturer's lame shovel-ware AV. The resulting IO storm resulted in the laptop hard drive trying to shred itself.

Reply Score: 2

Windows Vista
by Alfman on Tue 11th Apr 2017 23:10 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Windows Vista ended many terrible design decisions from the XP and earlier days. No more kernel access for developers, a new driver model, no more programs running as administrator, and so on. Microsoft forced Windows users to bite the bullet and endure endless UAC dialogs, but it all paid off in the end.



Oh my Thom, we're not going to agree very much here ;)

This move to lock down vista by microsoft was done entirely for their control, not for the benefit of users. Signing a driver in and of itself does not miraculously make vulnerabilities go away, while signed drivers are good for auditing purposes, a system running signed drivers is not more secure than one running unsigned drivers. All that's really changes is control over users and developers.

While microsoft uses the notion that security comes at the expense of liberty, they do so for their own convenience and not because it's intrinsically true. Linux operating systems are sometimes considered more secure than windows, and yet linux users didn't have to curtail any freedoms just because torvalds or someone else in control said so. That excuse was created by microsoft to push it's own agenda.


This kernel policy for windows kernel drivers in vista was a big "F U" to windows open source kernel developers in particular, including myself. Consequently many of us were driven away from windows kernel development and windows has never really recovered from this loss of mind share. Sure they had their desktop market monopoly, but whenever engineers had their choice of platform they were jumping ship for other platforms. Now the internet of things, embededded devices, networking, datacenters, HPC, etc are absolutely dominated by linux. Microsoft had all the economic advantages in the world, yet it became it's own worst enemy by repelling the very developers who built these things. Now the company that once called linux a cancer is being forced to embrace parts of it to remain relevant in the future of software development.

Edited 2017-04-11 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 12

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Wed 12th Apr 2017 00:04 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Windows 98 was the last good windows. Had good backwards compatibility added new features without breaking old ones. Worked with all of Microsoft's products. XP was a mess. Broke a ton of functionality on Microsoft's own hardware. Vista/7/8/10 have all been a disaster since. Yuck yuck and yuck. I'll stick to Linux. Where things are broken, but not because they changed them. Merely because they haven't been implemented yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by FooBat on Wed 12th Apr 2017 07:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
FooBat Member since:
2016-09-08

Windows 98 was the last good windows.

At the time of Windows 98 there were not a single good version of Windows invented yet. Don't kid yourself. Just because you feel nostalgic for a particular version of Windows, does not mean that version was good. Windows 9x were horribly unstable, insecure (in fact, they did not even have a concept of security back then) and just plain dumb. For f*cks sake, there were not even such a concept as permissions in Windows 9x!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage
by viton on Thu 13th Apr 2017 03:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Darkmage"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

At the time of Windows 98 there were not a single good version of Windows invented yet

How about NT4?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage
by christian on Thu 13th Apr 2017 09:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage"
christian Member since:
2005-07-06

"At the time of Windows 98 there were not a single good version of Windows invented yet

How about NT4?
"

You've used NT4, right? Stability wise, a big step backwards from NT 3.51.

I think the OP had it right.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by avgalen on Wed 12th Apr 2017 08:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Windows 98 is from the time where people accepted "several crashes/reboots/bluescreens", including the loss of work, per week.
It is also from the FAT-Only time where anyone could do anything on your computer and you could bypass a secure logon by just pressing the escape key.
It is also from the time where DLL-Hell was causing everyones computer to behave unexpectedly after every software installation
It was even from the time where Windows was still a GUI-layer running on top of DOS and could be turned on/off.
I could go on and on, but the main point is that Windows as a good OS can only mean anything based on NT, but nothing in the 1/2/3/95/98/ME line. That line was a decent Program-Launcher, but not a good OS

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage
by Drumhellar on Wed 12th Apr 2017 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Darkmage"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

t was even from the time where Windows was still a GUI-layer running on top of DOS and could be turned on/off.


Stop repeating this. This is false. You should know better.

Windows 98 wasn't a GUI running on top of DOS.

It was a 32-bit, pre-emptively multitasked operating system. It used DOS only as a boot loader, and to provide compatibility for DOS drivers when 32-bit protected mode drivers weren't available.

It was not a GUI on top of DOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage
by Alfman on Wed 12th Apr 2017 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

It was a 32-bit, pre-emptively multitasked operating system. It used DOS only as a boot loader, and to provide compatibility for DOS drivers when 32-bit protected mode drivers weren't available.

It was not a GUI on top of DOS.


I hear what you are saying, it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc ;)

Where is the logical place to draw the line or is it actually more of a gradient? Windows 3.11, albeit less evolved, arguably provides the same win32 API, had it's own drivers, etc. So I'm curious would you extend your argument to Windows 3.11 as well? If not, why not?

While on the one hand I don't really care what the answer is, on the other hand I think it's a neat question: What exactly constitutes an OS?


There were multitasking dos shells, but they did not provide a new API abstraction, so those are just shells.

The java platform provided a comprehensive new API framework, but it lacked an interactive shell or process manager.

What about qbasic? It had an interface to launch programs, an IDE, etc. It obviously makes use of underlying DOS file systems, but then so did Win3.1 and Win95 could as well (If I recall we were still using lantastic network shares mounted in dos under windows95).

What about the old PCs and commodores that booted to a basic interpreter instead of DOS, should those be considered operating systems?

I suppose we could call something an operating system if it implements a file system, but then something like an UEFI shell would qualify because it has it's own APIs, file system, launcher, drivers, etc.

I don't really have a point here, just trying to explore the question in more depth ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage
by Drumhellar on Wed 12th Apr 2017 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It obviously makes use of underlying DOS file systems, but then so did Win3.1 and Win95 could as well (If I recall we were still using lantastic network shares mounted in dos under windows


Windows 95 handled FS access on its own, but just managed really well to be compatible with low level DOS drivers.
Raymond Chen examined how it worked in an excellent blog post
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20071224-00/?p=24063

Windows 3.x, for that matter, had its own interrupt handler, virtual memory subsystem, virtual machine manager, drivers, etc, and bypassed DOS a ton of ways, even for things DOS already know how to do.
Pressing ctrl-alt-del in windows didn't restart the computer like it did in DOS - Windows itself handled the interrupt it generated

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage
by Alfman on Wed 12th Apr 2017 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

Windows 95 handled FS access on its own, but just managed really well to be compatible with low level DOS drivers.
Raymond Chen examined how it worked in an excellent blog post
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20071224-00/?p=24063


Thanks for the link, I didn't recall the exact details, only that the DOS drivers continued to work ;)

Windows 3.x, for that matter, had its own interrupt handler, virtual memory subsystem, virtual machine manager, drivers, etc, and bypassed DOS a ton of ways, even for things DOS already know how to do.
Pressing ctrl-alt-del in windows didn't restart the computer like it did in DOS - Windows itself handled the interrupt it generated


Yea, rewriting interrupts was pretty common practice back then. The biggest legacy holdback by far was real mode memory, a lot of progress was made for providing a "flat real mode" using 3rd party dos extenders.

I remember using DOS386 and being quite impressed with it's multiuser/multitasking capabilities, like being able to boot up multiple DOS instances and run programs concurrently. This worked pretty well with our preexisting DOS software. In many ways I think Win95 was seen as revolutionary because microsoft allowed MSDOS to become so stagnant, haha.

I do regret that I didn't get to work with OS/2. Oh well, I guess in hindsight it didn't work out anyways.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQdK9owqVd0

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage
by Drumhellar on Wed 12th Apr 2017 21:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Where is the logical place to draw the line or is it actually more of a gradient? Windows 3.11, albeit less evolved, arguably provides the same win32 API, had it's own drivers, etc. So I'm curious would you extend your argument to Windows 3.11 as well? If not, why not?


I forgot to mention that, Win32s (Which was included in Windows 3.11) is not the same as Win32.

It's a subset (hence the 's' at the end) - there are a number of features of Win32 that are not included in Win32s - especially w/r to threading, async i/o, and the GDI. Win32s were also generally limited to 16MB of RAM.

As I hinted at in my other post, I would probably consider Windows 3.1 a separate OS, especially as it was implemented on the 386.

After all, Windows 3.1 provided a ton of what are considered modern operating system features not found in DOS, only accessible via Windows.

Windows 3.1 was actually a remarkable design, overall. When running on a 386 or later, Windows 3.1 was really three operating systems working in tandem - a fully 32-bit preemptively multitasking virtual machine manager, a standard 16-bit instance of Windows (well, not quite standard, but pretty close), and individual DOS virtual machines. Though, it's true that the 32-bit VMM did run as a DPMI client - necessary, I'm sure, if you need to rely on DOS drivers, such as being able to access Lantastic network shares that are implemented via a DOS driver.

In principle, other operating systems could have run in these virtual machines, but Windows and DOS were the only ones designed to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage
by malxau on Thu 13th Apr 2017 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

I forgot to mention that, Win32s (Which was included in Windows 3.11) is not the same as Win32...It's a subset (hence the 's' at the end) - there are a number of features of Win32 that are not included in Win32s...


That's true, but it's a fuzzy line. Win95's Win32 was called Win32c. It, too, is a subset - no security/multiuser, no Unicode, no services, totally different way to refer to devices...and plenty of seriously nuanced details since the whole underlying system is totally different. Clearly the NT team and 95 team had different priorities - and rightly so - but as a lower level developer the differences hurt. Win32s didn't support console applications, and Windows 95 did, but its console was full of bugs (sigh) whereas on NT things tended to just work. So a subset of Win32 APIs exist on 95, and subset of those actually work...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by DonQ on Wed 12th Apr 2017 16:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
DonQ Member since:
2005-06-29

Windows 98 was the last good windows. Had good backwards compatibility added new features without breaking old ones. Worked with all of Microsoft's products. XP was a mess. Broke a ton of functionality on Microsoft's own hardware. Vista/7/8/10 have all been a disaster since. Yuck yuck and yuck. I'll stick to Linux. Where things are broken, but not because they changed them. Merely because they haven't been implemented yet.

I have used Windows since DOS times; I've had no problems with most of these (W3.0, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, W2K, XP, Vista, 7, 10 - ME and W8 skipped). I have ran most NT based OS's for months without single reboot (yes, win updates were disabled - there are very few really required ones). I have never had hardware, not able to run on my current OS (not always out-of-the-box, but using more generic drivers - it is like Linux, yes?). Sure every OS needs tweaking; for example it took about two weeks (and couple of free utilities) to make W10 behave like mix of XP and W7 ;)

Occasionally I have tried various Linux flavors. Yuck yuck and yuck ;) BSD was better, but not much.

Well, my BSD/Linux happened more than 10 years ago (like many Linux users have had last windows experience years ago) - most likely nowadays BSD's and Linux'es are more friendly. But - I don't have any need for changing OS, so does my everyday work require Visual Studio, even at home - thereby I just stick to Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by grat on Wed 12th Apr 2017 17:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

98 was crap. It wasn't even an OS-- it was a gui on top of a stretched-out, pimped-out version of MSDOS.

XP was slightly better crap, but wasn't really a respectable OS until SP2. It at least had a real multi-user OS underneath it (NT), but the security model was far too lax-- "superuser by default" is directly responsible for the proliferation of windows malware and anti-virus vendors, and has led to a lasting culture of insecure practices on Windows that still hasn't gone away.

Vista was a necessary evil, and was the equivalent of ripping a bandage off a 20 year old gaping sore called "Windows Security". Personally, with a machine that was in the vicinity of "recommended" specs, Vista was a great OS, and rock-solid stable, but I knew it was doomed because of the pain of adjusting to actual enforced security practices.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Apr 2017 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Darkmage"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It wasn't even an OS-- it was a gui on top of a stretched-out, pimped-out version of MSDOS.


This is nonsense. OSNews readers should know better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage
by grat on Thu 13th Apr 2017 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02
RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage
by drstorm on Thu 13th Apr 2017 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

Yes, Wikipedia confirms that the claim that Windows 95 was "a GUI on top of a stretched-out, pimped-out version of MS-DOS" is nonsense.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage
by grat on Thu 13th Apr 2017 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

As someone who spent years developing, deploying, and maintaining Windows 95 and 98 builds for several hundred lab seats at a major university, I assure you-- Windows 95 and 98 consisted of a 32 bit environment that booted on top of a 16 bit system. If you took the boot files from a Windows 9x system, you would have "MS-DOS 7.0", and it would be just as functional an "operating system" as MS-DOS 6.x (assuming you added compatible DOS utilities).

It was also the subsystem that Windows 9x used for 16 bit functions, real mode drivers, and any TSR style software-- it was all loaded before the win32 subsystem.

So yes, Windows 95 and 98 were a GUI (and a bit more) loaded on top of an enhanced version of MS-DOS, much like Windows 3.x before it.

It wasn't until Windows NT that windows got a true 32 bit kernel that loaded as the first layer (well, third if you count BIOS and MBR) of the operating system.

My other primary criticism of Windows 9x is that it wasn't truly multi-user-- multiple profiles were possible, but without robust file system acl's (ie, NTFS), security in Windows 9x was a joke.

Since all Windows software from the 9x era expected to have unlimited access to the system, properly locking down NT 4.0, 2000, and XP was also problematic-- convenience outweighed security, and many applications wouldn't function unless they were run as "Administrator", even though they had no need for that level of access.

Getting back to the original article, that was why Windows Vista was both necessary, and a disaster-- It finally started enforcing rules that had theoretically been present since the days of win32s, but that everyone pretty much ignored.

Any software that refused to work under Windows Vista ("Just disable UAC! UAC breaks everything!") resulted in Vista getting the blame, instead of the lazy programmers who'd been scribbling in Visual Basic Studio for decades.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Darkmage
by Drumhellar on Thu 13th Apr 2017 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

So yes, Windows 95 and 98 were a GUI (and a bit more) loaded on top of an enhanced version of MS-DOS, much like Windows 3.x before it.


No, it wasn't.

DOS served two functions in Windows 9x:

-Act as a boot loader
-Maintain compatibility with 16-bit DOS drivers.

It wasn't DOS. It wasn't a DOS extension. It wasn't a GUI on top of DOS.

It was an independent fully 32-bit operating system, offering memory protection and pre-emptive multitasking. It had its own 32-bit drivers, fully 32-bit API, etc etc, none of which depended on DOS.

I posted this above, but you apparently didn't notice it, but here's a very nice explanation of DOS's role in Windows 9x:
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20071224-00/?p=24063

As Raymond Chen writes,
In other words, MS-DOS was just an extremely elaborate decoy. Any 16-bit drivers and programs would patch or hook what they thought was the real MS-DOS, but which was in reality just a decoy. If the 32-bit file system manager detected that somebody bought the decoy, it told the decoy to quack.


Keep in mind that he actually was a Windows developer, for a long time.

Basically, no, it isn't DOS - if you didn't use DOS drivers, DOS code wasn't called at all beyond booting.

And, if you want to consider using it to boot as making Windows 9x merely an extension of DOS, then you might as well include earlier versions of Linux as DOS extensions, since they could also use DOS to boot (remember loadlin.exe?)

Edited 2017-04-13 21:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Darkmage
by grat on Fri 14th Apr 2017 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Darkmage"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Here's the difference between linux + bootloader, and Windows 95/98... I can use lilo, grub, grub2-- all of which load filesystem drivers, and load the kernel.

But they don't stay resident. The bootloader is not required to run the OS.

Windows 95, however, I can run the "bootloader" (MS-DOS 7.x) as a standalone OS-- primitive, sure, but it's what PC's had had for the previous 14 years.

But IO.SYS stayed resident while Windows 95 was running-- In fact, as far as I know, Windows 9x didn't run so well WITHOUT IO.SYS. I suppose it was theoretically possible to unload it (WindowsME got rid of it, but was rightly regarded as a terrible operating system).

Yes, I read Chen's article, and even he admitted he was glossing over a few things-- but the basic concept is that the Win32 shell got first crack at all system calls:

... if it detected that somebody had hooked the int 21h vector, it would jump back into the 16-bit code to let the hook run.


Chen calls the MS-DOS layer a "decoy", but the reality is, it was a 16 bit subsystem that a whole lotta Windows 95 drivers ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED.

Sure, if all drivers had been 32 bit, life would have been wonderful-- but speaking from experience, most vendors produced 16 bit drivers because they could support DOS / Win3.x / Win9x all at the same time.

Windows 95 was a giant leap forward from Windows 3.x, but it wasn't nearly as much of a leap as FreeBSD, OS/2 or Linux-- and two of those were heavily based on older operating systems.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by BluenoseJake on Fri 14th Apr 2017 16:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Windows 98...Right there is the proof time heals all wounds.

Edited 2017-04-14 16:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by Cutterman on Sun 16th Apr 2017 16:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
Cutterman Member since:
2006-04-10

Well, '98 was good when it wasn't falling over, which it did regularly - even on the most carefully maintained systems. Ferking irritating.

I didn't have a Mac and Linux was still at the bootdisk and rootdisk stage.

The Cutter

Reply Score: 1

Comment by malxau
by malxau on Wed 12th Apr 2017 00:22 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

Vista was the first Windows release I worked on, and was a software engineering induction by fire. Sad to see it end, but agree with Thom that it really did pave the way for a lot of things that followed. From a technical point of view, there's often a fairly discrete line between pre-Vista Windows and post-Vista Windows.

Agree with Alfman on kernel signing though. Developers are, for the most part, interested in writing code to enable scenarios; locking any set of people out of any set of scenarios just forces innovation elsewhere. In the long run, the amount of innovation in an ecosystem determines its value.

Reply Score: 2

I ran Vista until very recently
by Temcat on Wed 12th Apr 2017 01:02 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

And I can say that on adequate hardware, it behaved well in my experience. I also like the UI better than Windows 7 (for the most part).

That said, XP was faster and did not present much trouble in terms of viruses or breakage if you knew what you were doing.

Reply Score: 3

sapere aude Member since:
2006-03-07

and did not present much trouble in terms of viruses or breakage if you knew what you were doing.


My memories are quite different...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_(computer_worm)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I ran Vista until very recently
by Sauron on Wed 12th Apr 2017 02:51 UTC in reply to "I ran Vista until very recently"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

And I can say that on adequate hardware, it behaved well in my experience. I also like the UI better than Windows 7 (for the most part).

That said, XP was faster and did not present much trouble in terms of viruses or breakage if you knew what you were doing.


Very true. I still use a XP box now, and a Windows 2000 and a Win98SE one, all for different reasons and software that won't run on newer systems.
All 3 are internet connected but firewalled and have real time virus scanners installed. They have been virus and trouble free for years.
The biggest problem that even new systems won't solve or secure, is the users that willy nilly click on any link or open email attachments that's sent their way.
You can't protect against stupid!

Reply Score: 4

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Just curious, have you attempted the virtual machine route?

Maintaining a Win98SE system or even a W2K one is a bit scary - unless one has an inventory of spare parts or such replacement parts can be still be found.

Reply Score: 4

Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

Virtual machines are fine for software, you cant plug your hardware boards into them though. Apart from that I'm happy with these old systems, you have full control over them unlike this new mess they call Windows 10. How people can run that is beyond me, but then again we are all different and like different things and I'm also happy with that!

Reply Score: 4

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Check this out: http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-Z270M-D3H-rev-10

It's a modern motherboard with PCI slots and headers for serial and parallel ports. I think that means that you have to provide your own external ports, but you have somewhere to plug them into on the board.

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert
Member since:
2014-05-03

XP was a marvellously usable system. Everything in the right place and it just worked for me and many others. OK, the networking was atrocious - and security? Well, if you knew what you were doing it was secure enough for a single-user system. In comparison to Windows 10? I long for a decent desktop interface to return that isn't schizophrenic in operation. XP had its faults but it was simply usable. Win 10 impairs my workflow. Win 8 stopped it altogether, Vista juddered to a halt and vomitted on me. Only Win7 has come close to being solid, and usable as XP. I write this on Win7 now but if my old core2duo still worked I would choose XP for the majority of my work. I miss it a lot.

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Kudos.

Had XP from 2002 onward, first versions were unstable due to early third party support (not everyone made drivers for 2000) but from SP2 then SP3, XP was a breeze to use.

Just had to get rid of that ugly Toys'r Us blue/red default Luna skin for the Oliva one. Or even Classic a-la Windows 2000.

Skipped Vista, now full 7, refuse to go 10, mostly because the UI is a mess with scroll bars disappearing when the mouse cursor is not above (Office).

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

You're wrong, simply because the 'usability' in XP encouraged bad habits and atrocious security practices. XP could be, eh, somewhat secure, it just wasn't practical to use it that way.

XP would be a great system for 1989, and had no place in a networked world.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by sj87
by sj87 on Wed 12th Apr 2017 06:30 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

I won't applaud Microsoft for doing what was necessary tech-wise while at the same time lying to customers and pushing an unfinished, almost broken product to the market. Vista will also be remembered as the most expensive Windows product ever. Had Microsoft come up with Windows 7 as the 'sixth' release, even if it had more bugs than it eventually did, maybe then I would have given them more credit.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by sj87
by avgalen on Wed 12th Apr 2017 08:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by sj87"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Vista was NT 6.0, and was released too early after the reset "BlackComb/Longhorn". There were several major bugs left (filecopy, overly aggressive UAC) and hardware makers didn't have enough time to make decent drivers. All the internal work was done well though, it just needed polishing.

After about 9 months Service Pack 1 was born which fixed the major bugs, drivers started to become available and it was finally ready to take over the world. The best proof for that was Server 2008 which was based on the same NT 6.0 SP1.

From that moment Microsoft has been polishing the internals with the Min-Win project that has resulted in the "OneCore" that now allows this kernel to run everything.
7 / 2008R2 = 6.1
8 / 2012 = 6.2
8.1 / 2012R2 = 6.3
10 / 2016 = 6.4 (renamed to 10.0)

Since Vista the hardware requirements haven't really changed much. Windows 10 runs just as quick or often better on the same hardware as Vista. But since hardware has gotten a lot faster and cheaper since Vista we will always remember Vista as slow and bloated which it actually was compared to XP.

Question for the real geeks over here: XP, even with SP2 or SP3 was a 200 MB install that became a 1 GB OS that ran well from 256 or 512 MB memory. Vista was a 3.5 GB install that became a 8 GB OS that ran well from 1 or 2 GB memory. Of course Vista includes .NET and the WinSXS folder and leaves all install-sources on the harddisk, but what else is included that changed the install from 0.2 to 3.5 GB (1 to 8 GB unpacked)? Windows 10 includes a whole lot more than Vista (store, hyperv, bash) but is barely bigger than Vista

Reply Score: 3

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Vista was definitely better than XP in almost all respects except for the endless UAC prompting (which they toned down later on and mostly removed with Windows 7).

The bad rep it got was probably MS'es usual under-spec'ing of minimum system requirements (it did need more resources than XP). Buy a new machine with Vista or have a decently spec'ed older machine and it was fine. Upgrade with a minimum spec'ed machine and it would run like a dog.

I got a new Dell Vostro with Vista on it, but I made sure the spec was good (Q6600, 4GB RAM). My only complaint was that Dell shipped the machine with 32-bit Vista - I hassled them about that and they sent me a 64-bit Vista install DVD for free.

Reply Score: 3

Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

I was very late to the game with Vista. My system at the time that I'd had for around 5 year was running XP, I built a new Core i7 920 based PC and installed Vista on there. It was only a few week before Windows 7 arrived though and I switched to that straight away.
The little time I did run Vista it was fine and I quite liked it, this was after all the service packs and patches though so I can't comment on it before it was patched.
A mate of mine purchased a new system with Vista in 2007 and he swore and cursed in multiple languages at it, I can imagine what it was like from that. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Never used Vista
by nicubunu on Wed 12th Apr 2017 07:05 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

I, for one, never really used Vista. If, with Windows 95, at some point I had to move to it (that was when every game that mattered started to require DirectX), that was not the case with Vista. When Vista came, I was already deep into Linux for anything work-related and with a lot less time for games. Sure, I still kept an XP partition for games, but the internals didn't matter much, since the whole purpose of the OS was to launch a game, play for a while and then go back to Linux.
Sure, it happened a few times to get in front of some Vista PC to fix some shit (at the time I used to work in IT), but that was the exception: the bulk of computers I encountered were either old and still running XP, or new, bought with no OS and had a pirated XP, Very few people around here bought devices with pre-installed Vista.

Reply Score: 2

Windows XP was good
by FooBat on Wed 12th Apr 2017 07:28 UTC
FooBat
Member since:
2016-09-08

Windows XP was the second best Windows ever (the very best being Windows 2000). Of course, you need to turn off that Teletubbies theme and switch to "Windows classic" to make it look serious, but frankly, even with default GUI it was quite nice to use. Vista was a total catastrophe at the beginning, and that is confirmed time and time again about unshaken public opinion. You need to look very long and hard to find a person who would honestly consider Vista a good (or even acceptable) operating system. Thom being one of those very few people already tells something about both Vista and Thom.
This is again confirmed by the actual lifetime of the OS'es: Windows XP is widely used even today, since people just don't want to let go of the OS that works so well. Where Vista was "widely used" maybe for a year or two, max., and even that mostly because it was forced onto consumer by the combination of being pre-installed on all laptops+lack of drivers for Windows XP for same laptops. And even then many people would bite the bullet and downgrade to Windows XP...
Windows Vista was pre-alpha software at best. You can continue imagining otherwise in your imaginary la-la-land, but it won't make it true.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows XP was good
by avgalen on Wed 12th Apr 2017 08:44 UTC in reply to "Windows XP was good"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Thom doesn't say Vista is a good OS, but that it reset the foundations that made Windows into a good OS.

The reason XP is now used more than Vista is because XP was an end-of-the-line OS. Many people simply didn't have a machine that was capable of running Vista (specwise or driverwise) or had software that stops working after XP. Vista was a beginning-of-the-line OS that evolved into 7/8/8.1/10 and took "all" users with it on that line.

From the "ancient Windows" OS-ses Windows 98SE (not ME!) is considered the best. From the middle-ages that role is for XP after SP2. And from recent times it is 10, although for several reasons Windows 7 is still more common now

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Windows XP was good
by FooBat on Wed 12th Apr 2017 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows XP was good"
FooBat Member since:
2016-09-08

Thom doesn't say Vista is a good OS

Oh yes he does. Both here and in his past reviews of Vista.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by owczi
by owczi on Wed 12th Apr 2017 08:57 UTC
owczi
Member since:
2009-11-04

As they say Thom, YMMV. I have used a single installation of Windows XP from about 2002 to sometime in 2010 on my old desktop and the only issues I ever had were during the first service pack installation, but they were trivial to solve. I did lots of software development on it and lots of Web design / graphics. Personally I think XP was a success, and Vista was a moderate failure. A pioneering release it may well have been, but a bloody nightmare to work with. Win7 on the other hand, I am still on. In retrospect, having used Linux on desktop from 2002 to about 2013, when work finally said NO, I would say that in the earlier years, a Linux desktop was an adventure. Fun to work with if you had the time to fix all new issues after a batch of OS updates, but frustrating in a corporate setting. Things are much better now obviously. Anyhow, to me, XP was stable and painless, and deserves a place in some dinghy roadside attraction hall of fame.

Edited 2017-04-12 08:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Parenting
by avgalen on Wed 12th Apr 2017 09:11 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

I would like to commend Microsoft for sticking with this child and supporting it despite all the trouble it went through. It must have been hard seeing the younger brothers and sisters surpassing it and being more succesful (although they also caused their own problems). But since the life-time of an OS is mostly measured in dog years, with support stopping as soon as the child reaches puberty, I can only say that Microsoft behaved like a responsible parent that did all they could.

Windows Vista
January 30, 2007 (Date of general availability)
October 22, 2010 (Retail software end of sales*)
October 22, 2011 (End of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled)
April 10, 2012 (End of mainstream support)
April 11, 2017 (End of extended support)

Slightly related because "Canonical will provide extended support until April 2017": The oldest non-EOL linux_kernel would be from 4 January 2012, 3.2.88, and will be maintained for another year
source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel#Maintenance

Reply Score: 3

RE: Parenting
by joekiser on Wed 12th Apr 2017 14:39 UTC in reply to "Parenting"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

RHEL 5 just ended support at the end of March. It similarly was released in 2007. Paying customers can get extended support until 2020.

I just migrated a RHEL 5 box to RHEL 7. It's possible to have similar long-term support as what Microsoft provides.

Reply Score: 3

I agree
by crystall on Wed 12th Apr 2017 09:25 UTC
crystall
Member since:
2007-02-06

For all the issues that the initial release had I remember that Windows Vista SP2 was virtually indistinguishable from Windows 7. It could be argued that Microsoft launched Windows 7 instead to remove the "taint" that the Vista name had even though the changes between the late Vista and the early 7 were quite limited.

Reply Score: 2

XP was fine
by birdie on Wed 12th Apr 2017 09:30 UTC
birdie
Member since:
2014-07-15

I absolutely disagree with your assessment of Windows XP.

And UAC hasn't really solved anything, except it introduced an annoyance most people do not understand. PCs running Windows 10 around me are infected with tons of BS despite UAC.

Reply Score: 3

RE: XP was fine
by FooBat on Wed 12th Apr 2017 09:40 UTC in reply to "XP was fine"
FooBat Member since:
2016-09-08

And UAC hasn't really solved anything, except it introduced an annoyance most people do not understand. PCs running Windows 10 around me are infected with tons of BS despite UAC.

Exactly! The only thing UAC has taught people is how to turn off the UAC. That was one of the first things in my (and many other people's) checklist "Things to do after fresh install of Windows".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: XP was fine
by darknexus on Wed 12th Apr 2017 13:45 UTC in reply to "RE: XP was fine"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Exactly! The only thing UAC has taught people is how to turn off the UAC.

Not quite. It's even worse. What UAC has taught the average home user is how to click "yes" to every UAC prompt that comes up. It has taught them to click through anything security related without even looking at it! They don't even pay enough attention to UAC these days to even bother trying to turn it off.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: XP was fine
by joekiser on Wed 12th Apr 2017 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: XP was fine"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?"

This has been a problem since the dawn of computing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: XP was fine
by grat on Thu 13th Apr 2017 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE: XP was fine"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Exactly! The only thing UAC has taught people is how to turn off the UAC. That was one of the first things in my (and many other people's) checklist "Things to do after fresh install of Windows".


Do you also disable your airbags, remove the locks from your doors and windows, and throw out your smoke alarms?

Because that's how asinine disabling UAC is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: XP was fine
by FooBat on Fri 14th Apr 2017 08:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: XP was fine"
FooBat Member since:
2016-09-08

Do you also disable your airbags, remove the locks from your doors and windows, and throw out your smoke alarms?
Because that's how asinine disabling UAC is.

That is totally retarded comparison. These things are not even remotely similar. And yes, not just me, but the absolute majority of admins disabled UAC on Vista. Most of us disable it on Win7, too. Even in the company I currently work at, UAC is explicitly disabled on both servers and workstations, globally and everywhere. And this is a huge multinational company specializing in financial sector.

Edited 2017-04-14 09:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: XP was fine
by zlynx on Fri 14th Apr 2017 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: XP was fine"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Just because they are a huge company doesn't make them smart. Sometimes its the opposite.

I'd think that if they were really smart, they'd have their developers and app vendors fix whatever it is that keeps requesting admin rights.

Regular desktop users shouldn't even have access to the Administrator group through UAC. They should be using a Limited User account.

Does a Linux user need sudo or the root account every day? No. Neither does a Windows user. Some incredibly lazy developers write software that requires Admin, but those developers are just lazy and stupid, not a reason to enable UAC but a reason to not use that software.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: XP was fine
by FooBat on Sat 15th Apr 2017 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: XP was fine"
FooBat Member since:
2016-09-08

Just because they are a huge company doesn't make them smart. Sometimes its the opposite.

I'd think that if they were really smart, they'd have their developers and app vendors fix whatever it is that keeps requesting admin rights.

Regular desktop users shouldn't even have access to the Administrator group through UAC. They should be using a Limited User account.

Does a Linux user need sudo or the root account every day? No. Neither does a Windows user. Some incredibly lazy developers write software that requires Admin, but those developers are just lazy and stupid, not a reason to enable UAC but a reason to not use that software.

No. UAC is useless. Useless and annoying. I agree that many developers are idiots, but UAC us no better. As someone already mentioned, users are already conditioned to automatically click "Yes" on every UAC window in split-second without even looking at the message. This is why UAC is completelly useless and that is why we always disable it everywhere.

Edited 2017-04-15 14:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: XP was fine
by grat on Sun 16th Apr 2017 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: XP was fine"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Well, I guess I'm less pavlovian than you-- when an application requests superuser privilege, I want to know why.

Then again, I've been keeping Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and various versions of Linux safe against the worst the internet can throw at them.

Apparently the IT guys at your major corporation can't be bothered.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: XP was fine
by grat on Sun 16th Apr 2017 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: XP was fine"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

That is totally retarded comparison. These things are not even remotely similar.


Sure they are. Ever had your identity stolen? Financial data compromised? You're a good candidate for it, since you insist on disabling a basic security precaution.

Even in the company I currently work at, UAC is explicitly disabled on both servers and workstations, globally and everywhere. And this is a huge multinational company specializing in financial sector.


Then I hope the next data breach at your corporation bankrupts them-- because there's no damned excuse for sloppy security.

Crackdowns are starting to happen-- St. Jude's just got issued a serious warning by the FDA for "a pattern of of overlooking security and reliability problems".

It's time we start holding financial and medical organizations (and I work for one of the latter) liable for breaches due to stupid security practices.

Reply Score: 2

Short Horn
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 12th Apr 2017 12:15 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Microsoft bit off more than it could chew with Long Horn. What ended up being Vista was rushed and it showed. Couple that with the fact that Microsoft certified equipment to run Vista that was woefully under powered and most home users ended up with a horrific user experience. By the time Windows7 came around most of the rough edges of Vista had been polished, it had become a bit less of a resource hog and commodity hardware had caught up with the demands of the OS. Is there any wonder Windows7 (Vista II) was received so much better than Vista?

Reply Score: 3

It wasn´t so bad
by jgfenix on Wed 12th Apr 2017 13:03 UTC
jgfenix
Member since:
2006-05-25

When it was released it had many problems but with SP2 things improved a lot.

Reply Score: 2

boulabiar
Member since:
2009-04-18

I have submitted an article to be published here, but I have never received an answer.
I've also sent a mail but same thing.

The article is here if anyone wants to give me feedback:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-still-wrong-linux-ecosystem-moh...

Reply Score: 2

I did not like Vista...
by brostenen on Wed 12th Apr 2017 22:34 UTC
brostenen
Member since:
2007-01-16

I did not like Vista at all, except for the design of the UI. I find it more beautifull than 7. Everything else is utter crap to me. Yeah... WinME sucked too, as well as Win8, Win8.1 and Win10. The only four really good Window releases in my eyes, are Win95, Win98se, Win2K and Win7.
Windows XP were not good nor bad. It was ok.

Reply Score: 1

Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Vista was just another joke that MS threw at users

It NEVER should have seen anyone's desktop other than researchers and developers inside of MS. It was NOT a good idea to open it up for users so that they could find all the faults in Vista for MS.

It just shows, again and again and again and again (Window 8, Windows 10 included are they beta versions of operating systems that should never have seen the light of day.

What I'm not saying is that Mac OS X is perfect. Nor any OS. What I'm saying is that Windows isn't in the top 10 of the best OSs out there. MS used illegal methods to gain the majority percentage of users and Bill Gates and company should have been thrown in prison for it.

But enough of the "right" people had enough stock in MS (were they "bribed" with stock, you be the judge) that prosecuting them would work against their bank account. Only when people that didn't have a fat chunk of stock came along and finally did take MS to court and won but half assed what they should have done to top management and the company itself.

Read up on the fine details of Microsoft's business practices. I don't work for nor do I have stock in any tech company. I don't so that I can be less biased for and against any company. The key word is less biased.

The history of the computer industry just shows that if you play within the law you lose. If you play the "win at all costs, illegal or not you win" game, well I'm not for that and companies like that should be prosecuted and stock completely stripped from the leaders of those companies.

Reply Score: 4

Gladly never used it
by cybergorf on Thu 13th Apr 2017 00:05 UTC
cybergorf
Member since:
2008-06-30

Used my pimped Amiga with PPC expansion until 2001 ... than I had to use Win98 for work.
Ater a short period of using XP at home (mostly for games), I switches completely to Linux and FreeBSD.
I just couldn't bear it any more. Still had to "repair" broken installations for friends and family after that. Well - at least I know my enemy well.

A Hackintosh installation convinced my of macOS as main desktop. Sorry Linux - but they got the better window-manager....
Still using Linux of course on servers ans RasPi.

Now I had to manage the switch from Win7 to Win10 at work. Totally different behavior on the exakt same equipment. Most upgrades went well, but for some unexplained reasons on some machines a fresh install seamed to be the only solution... all in all Win10 is still the same old MS &(/%) to me.

It is fascinating to see how people just except all the flaws in that OS. For them it is just the way computers work.
Windows has always just been "good enough". They got the installed basis and so they got the relevant software ... and there is alway that one program that prevents people from switching to something else.

RIP Vista - may the rest of the line follow swiftly. (I know, thats not going to happen...)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Thu 13th Apr 2017 03:36 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Around 1999/2000 I bought a Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 joystick. Microsoft's own product, and when Windows XP was released within a year of that purchase they had completely broken all control panel functionality of that joystick. It took years and many patches to Windows before that joystick became usable again, and they never brought back the force feedback hardness setting which was removed. Windows 98 SE never had any issues with that stick. It also had no issues running old DirectX mode games from the DirectX 5 era (Including Microsoft's Starlancer released in 2000). To this day these games do not run properly in Microsoft Windows XP/7/8/10 without heavy patching using community hacks which didn't come out until after XP had been out for a decade. Windows 98 ran all my old games from MS-DOS and Windows 95. Linux is slowly gaining some compatibility with these games, but WINE is focusing heavily on DirectX 10/11/12 so it's not going to happen anytime soon, but at least the effort is there and appreciated. Even now I can still run Linux games from Loki software without major operating system hacks, and the Force Feedback 2 stick? An email to a Linux kernel developer written in 2008 was replied to within 2-3 hours and was patched the same day. That joystick still works with the current 4.11 kernel on my laptop with 0 issues. Microsoft is shit and as an end user my experience with them has been awful. Even calling their support line to get a driver download link resulted in their support telling me it would be $50 to talk to an engineer to proceed with the call.

Edited 2017-04-13 03:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by dpJudas on Thu 13th Apr 2017 08:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

Around 1999/2000 I bought a Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 joystick.

So basically you're saying you have been bitter for 17 years now. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Thu 13th Apr 2017 08:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Darkmage"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

Kind of, there's a bunch of other things too like the fact they haven't updated the search tools within AD since they were first written. The crazy UI changes which don't improve the experience etc. I have to use Windows for my work and it's a hot mess of silly issues. Like how slow a windows desktop gets when you leave it on for 24-48 hours. Even when it's a managed environment and I have nothing to do with sysadmin of the machine I still notice it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 13th Apr 2017 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Like how slow a windows desktop gets when you leave it on for 24-48 hours.


My Windows desktop - my workstation - is always on. 24/7.

This is nonsense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage
by mistersoft on Thu 13th Apr 2017 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

And it doesn't slow down or occasionally hang, or sometimes crash?? Hanging/freezing is much more common though

And while opening and closing many tabs over a periods of days or weeks, with sleeping only never a full restart is bad enough..

..Nothing seems quite as bad as opening editing, saving, closing and reopening many (large) powerpoint, excel files - and Office(tm) in general. - practically guaranteed to bring your windows system to it's knees if without a restart in a few 100 hours.

of course YMMV. and by your admission does.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage
by drstorm on Thu 13th Apr 2017 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

No, none of that applies to my Windows PC. Never did since the 90s (except for ATI driver crashing Vista in its early days).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Thu 13th Apr 2017 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

Yup the office running like crap affects me every day in my job, would love to run a unix desktop instead, would be 100x more productive for running Cisco Call Manager in a browser and using libre office for office work but it just isn't allowed at the fortune 100 I work for. Yet a bunch of the servers run Linux and we never have issues with them, same as my personal laptop I keep at work for browsing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Darkmage
by FooBat on Fri 14th Apr 2017 08:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage"
FooBat Member since:
2016-09-08

And it doesn't slow down or occasionally hang, or sometimes crash?? Hanging/freezing is much more common though

And while opening and closing many tabs over a periods of days or weeks, with sleeping only never a full restart is bad enough..

..Nothing seems quite as bad as opening editing, saving, closing and reopening many (large) powerpoint, excel files - and Office(tm) in general. - practically guaranteed to bring your windows system to it's knees if without a restart in a few 100 hours.

of course YMMV. and by your admission does.

You're talking complete nonsense. Since Windows 7 (and to some extent XP) Windows is as stable as it gets. I myself would run my home and my work PCs for months and months without a reboot, and there was absolutely no slow-down, no hangs, no crashes, no stability or performance issues whatsoever.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Fri 14th Apr 2017 05:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

If it's "nonsense" I'm happy to video it for you on Tuesday when I'm back at work. It's quite common. Usually browser based or office based.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage
by grat on Fri 14th Apr 2017 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

I don't think anyone at Microsoft understands MMC anymore, so they don't know how to replace it.

200 years from now, Windows Infinity edition will still be using an MMC plugin to manage ADUC.

Reply Score: 2

Hah!
by Poseidon on Thu 13th Apr 2017 05:46 UTC
Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

To me Vista was what pushed ballmer off windows and made Bill Gates make Windows 7 more like OS X much to my shock.

Perhaps to anyone that had a manufacturer certified machine the OS was great, but I ran into a lot of issues with network cards and lack of 64 bit drivers for a lot of hardware.

After everyone got their act together with drivers and Microsoft grew their windows update driver database, Windows 7 was right around the corner so a lot of companies skipped it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hah!
by kurkosdr on Thu 13th Apr 2017 09:54 UTC in reply to "Hah!"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Perhaps to anyone that had a manufacturer certified machine the OS was great, but I ran into a lot of issues with network cards and lack of 64 bit drivers for a lot of hardware.

Compared to moving to XP 64-bit, where you presumably wouldn't have lack of drivers problems?

I can blame Vista for lots of things, but the driver mayhem is not one of them, even if it personally cost me nice tv tuner card (whch wouldn't work even in Vista 32-bit). Getting a new, safer driver model was a necessity, and it was happy coincidence it coincided with the move to 64-bit, which broke drivers anyway, so we had one driver mayhem instead of two.

Exactly! The only thing UAC has taught people is how to turn off the UAC. That was one of the first things in my (and many other people's) checklist "Things to do after fresh install of Windows".

Lemme guess, you also hate sudo and do everything as root? Because you know, that's the equivalent. Don't get me wrong, UAC is not perfect, because it does not tell you what permissions exactly you will grant to the app by pressing "allow" (neither does sudo of course) like Android permissions do, but it is still better than nothing: For example, UAC clues users that this ParisHiltonScreensaver.exe they downloaded really shouldn't bring up a UAC prompt and ask for elevated privileges. Neither should the no-install version of Notepad++ (and if it does it is probably rogue or infected).

MS used illegal methods to gain the majority percentage of users and Bill Gates and company should have been thrown in prison for it.

I don't know what is more wrong with this comment. The idea Microsoft gained majority share with monopolistic practices, instead of using their existing majority share to perform monopolistic practices (hint: in order to be able to abuse your dominant position in the market you first have to have a dominant position), or the fact other companies in the 90s didn't pull similar tricks with proprietary office formats, proprietary video formats (quicktime) and proprietary hypertext formats (Hypercard). Microsoft was the only one condemed because their dominant position made it an actual threat. I dread to imagine what Apple would do if they had a dominant position, considering how they act even when they are the underdog.

Edited 2017-04-13 09:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Vista...
by emphyrio on Thu 13th Apr 2017 06:10 UTC
emphyrio
Member since:
2007-09-11

for me was also the point where fighting for control of a microsoft-run pc became overbearing. In particular, the insane harddisk trashing would continue even after switching the setting (I forget which one it was) which was supposed to turn it off.

Moved my parents pc over to kubuntu and never looked back....

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vista...
by zlynx on Fri 14th Apr 2017 20:32 UTC in reply to "Vista..."
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

There were so many things that thrashed the hard drive. They're still there really, but since I have SSDs everywhere now I never notice.

File indexing.
Antivirus scanning.
Temporary file cleanup.
Defragmentation.
.NET module compilation, every time a new .NET was installed.
Volume Shadow Copy, for restore points.
Update checks.

Linux distros do a lot of these too. It's pretty common for my Linux laptop to wake up on Monday and around 10 AM anacron launches everything that was delayed.

Reply Score: 2

Vista changed everything
by mmcinen on Thu 13th Apr 2017 16:15 UTC
mmcinen
Member since:
2014-10-11

I have only ever bought three versions of Windows: 95, Vista and 7.

Before 95 I used Amiga and Dos computers. With 95 I thought Windows finally got a decent UI and it had "graduated" to a real OS but it was a nightmare. I have never hated a computer with such venom. Vista changed all that. It was the first ever Windows that I considered a real operating system. I got spoiled by Unix and Linux at the university in the mid 90s. With no burden of XP soft- or hardware that many people struggled with, Vista was stable and safe. 7 was even better. I still have that on my hobby computer.

But then what? If that computer needs replacing, there is no Windows to go to (for me, that is). I love my Mac (=Unix) but Macs are at a non-upgradeable dead end.

But Vista, yes, I salute that one. Unfortunately there is no new Vista-moment in sight.

Edited 2017-04-13 16:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1