Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Nov 2012 15:17 UTC
Windows "As we pass the one month anniversary of the general availability of Windows 8, we are pleased to announce that to-date Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses. Tami Reller shared this news with industry and financial analysts, investors and media today at the Credit Suisse 2012 Annual Technology Conference. Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades." Not bad, but there are the usual asterisks, as Ars notes.
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RE[2]: But....
by TemporalBeing on Wed 28th Nov 2012 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE: But...."
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

"How many of those were "downgraded" to Win7?
How many of those were Win8->Win8 upgrades? (e.g. User didn't like the edition that came and tried upgrading to a higher level).
In the end, how much is real sales vs. double counting?

The issue with quoting numbers from WinVista and Win7 is that there was double and triple counting of sales in there. The question is, how much of that is going on with Win8?

All-in-all, not impressed.


Any proof of any of this? Probably not.


The sales numbers they were providing were proof enough.

Sales are based on licenses sold. Vista Pro included a license for XP, so did Win7. During the first few months when MS was claiming record sales, it was also shown that most were reverted to XP systems. So, sale of Vista/Win7 did not necessarily mean someone using Win7.

Now add to it the fact that with WinVista and even more so with WinXP, most got a very limited version of Windows (sale #1), and would therefore need to upgrade the version (sale #2). While one can technically count these as separate sales of separate licenses (they are), it would in fact be double-dipping the sale for the same system. So unless you differentiate this in the numbers (which was not likely) then you have inflated numbers.

My question is - are they doing the same with Win8. There are certainly fewer versions, but as Win8 systems seem to be sitting on the shelves their sales of 40 million in the first month seem a little unbelievable - it's not like 7.5% of the US population went out and bought a new computer in 1 month - and if its world-wide, that's even less remarkable.

[q][q]And, BTW, I'll only use Win8 in a proper environment - in a virtual machine where Windows belongs.


Oh good for you. Can you open source Linux guys just leave the snide remarks for once. Every thread that even mentions Microsoft you gotta mention how crap it is.

Windows 7 and 8 are perfectly good Operating systems. XP and Vista were a bit flakey until a couple of service packs, but have been pretty solid.
"

WinXP was hardly flaky at any point in its life. Just like Win2k, and Win7 they were all pretty solid releases. The issue with XP is the interface - its very eX-Professional - very childish.

WinVista's biggest issue was driver support and that was primarily due to MS changing driver interfaces at the last moment - between RC2 and RTM. The other big issue was UAC - something MS had been warning developers about for a long time.

Win8's biggest issue is the UI. I'm sure its just as stable as and better performing than Win7 - namely due to the Windws Dev process put in place since the start of Vista.

However, Windows still remains a major security whole, and one that can only be plugged properly in a virtual environment. it's just the design of the system and its APIs. It's yet to be seen whether the WinRT API will help resolve the security issues of Win32 - I haven't looked at it very closely yet.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: But....
by lucas_maximus on Wed 28th Nov 2012 21:11 in reply to "RE[2]: But...."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18



The sales numbers they were providing were proof enough.

Sales are based on licenses sold. Vista Pro included a license for XP, so did Win7. During the first few months when MS was claiming record sales, it was also shown that most were reverted to XP systems. So, sale of Vista/Win7 did not necessarily mean someone using Win7.


Doesn't really matter, Gym memberships work on this very principle. Also even if you half the numbers it is still pretty impressive the number of sales.

Now add to it the fact that with WinVista and even more so with WinXP, most got a very limited version of Windows (sale #1), and would therefore need to upgrade the version (sale #2). While one can technically count these as separate sales of separate licenses (they are), it would in fact be double-dipping the sale for the same system. So unless you differentiate this in the numbers (which was not likely) then you have inflated numbers.


Again it is still a purchase, it is still money going into the kitty.

Also interestingly, nobody criticises Adobe for this pricing model ... Would it be soo hard to consider that they are rewarding existing customers by lowering the price for the update?

My question is - are they doing the same with Win8. There are certainly fewer versions, but as Win8 systems seem to be sitting on the shelves their sales of 40 million in the first month seem a little unbelievable - it's not like 7.5% of the US population went out and bought a new computer in 1 month - and if its world-wide, that's even less remarkable.


At worst count we are still talking millions of licenses sold.

WinXP was hardly flaky at any point in its life. Just like Win2k, and Win7 they were all pretty solid releases. The issue with XP is the interface - its very eX-Professional - very childish.


Actually Windows XP was very flakey. There was piss poor support from programs at the time (most used hacks from the Windows 9x line). Some drivers just didn't exist (OpenGL on S3 cards was just a no-no and S3 cards were fairly common or SIS cards in Laptops).

Most of the time you could use a Windows 2000 driver, but I have run into cases when you couldn't.

Let not forget about the MS blaster worm.

Also the default display driver in Windows XP RTM does not support anything past 1024x768 ... thankfully I found nlite.

WinVista's biggest issue was driver support and that was primarily due to MS changing driver interfaces at the last moment - between RC2 and RTM. The other big issue was UAC - something MS had been warning developers about for a long time.


I fail to see how UAC is any different to OSX and Ubuntus "sudoing" to admin.

UAC was a good thing IMHO. I know it isn't perfect, but at least made people pay attention to the installer.

Modern problems with XP were that it was painful to install updates, Windows Vista, 7 and 8 they just happen in the background and I can still use my PC.

Win8's biggest issue is the UI. I'm sure its just as stable as and better performing than Win7 - namely due to the Windws Dev process put in place since the start of Vista.


The Metro/Modern UI is a matter of debate, but it doesn't mean that Windows 8 is insecure OS or that it isn't functional in Desktop mode (tbh I really haven't missed the start menu).

However, Windows still remains a major security whole, and one that can only be plugged properly in a virtual environment. it's just the design of the system and its APIs. It's yet to be seen whether the WinRT API will help resolve the security issues of Win32 - I haven't looked at it very closely yet.


Actually Windows has been pretty damn secure since VISTA, most of the exploits require a user actually running code as Admin ... no system not even OpenBSD/Linux etc can protect against that.

There aren't many holes when it comes to the actual OS itself. It is rely on the user being dumb. The only virus that has been successful was Stuxnet, which took security experts years to decipher its inner workings.

Unlike MacOSX which still ships on Mac with the firewall turned off.

I really wish these myths from the past (which was true until Windows XP SP2) that you keep clinging onto are laid to rest.

And if you even quote the number of malware for Windows, it is because it is the most popular desktop OS, not because it is insecure ... Android has had similar problems (and Nokia smart phones early 2000s ... bluetooth viruses).

The same security precautions on Windows can be said about any OS.

This isn't 2001 anymore.

Edited 2012-11-28 21:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: But....
by WereCatf on Wed 28th Nov 2012 21:21 in reply to "RE[3]: But...."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Actually Windows XP was very flakey.


Especially before the first service packs, what with no firewall and plenty of completely open services that had no security whatsoever. Even after service packs XP was and still is full of holes.

I fail to see how UAC is any different to OSX and Ubuntus "sudoing" to admin.

UAC was a good thing IMHO. I know it isn't perfect, but at least made people pay attention to the installer.


Indeed, there isn't much of a difference between UAC and how e.g. Ubuntu does things, the problem instead lies mostly with applications insisting on needing admin rights; the constant demand for admin rights just trains people to ignore UAC prompts and just click on the "yes" - thingy, something that even I do these days before I've even noticed it. Applications and games should really, really drop that behaviour, and even installers should only request for admin rights if the user wishes to install the app/game system-wise; the sane, more secure default would be to install these per user, thereby also not showing up the UAC prompt.

The Metro/Modern UI is a matter of debate, but it doesn't mean that Windows 8 is insecure OS or that it isn't functional in Desktop mode (tbh I really haven't missed the start menu).


On my laptop I installed Start8, disabled Metro, disabled hot corners, and set the system to boot straight to desktop; there isn't really any difference between that and Windows 7 except the theme, and therefore it is indeed just as functional. It may not be worth the upgrade from Windows 7, but it is plenty worth it if one is using WinXP or Vista.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: But....
by TemporalBeing on Thu 29th Nov 2012 15:03 in reply to "RE[3]: But...."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"

The sales numbers they were providing were proof enough.

Sales are based on licenses sold. Vista Pro included a license for XP, so did Win7. During the first few months when MS was claiming record sales, it was also shown that most were reverted to XP systems. So, sale of Vista/Win7 did not necessarily mean someone using Win7.


Doesn't really matter, Gym memberships work on this very principle. Also even if you half the numbers it is still pretty impressive the number of sales.
"

But we're not talking about Gym memberships.

We're talking about Microsoft boasting about its sales and its misleading practice in how those numbers are determined. Two very different things.

"Now add to it the fact that with WinVista and even more so with WinXP, most got a very limited version of Windows (sale #1), and would therefore need to upgrade the version (sale #2). While one can technically count these as separate sales of separate licenses (they are), it would in fact be double-dipping the sale for the same system. So unless you differentiate this in the numbers (which was not likely) then you have inflated numbers.


Again it is still a purchase, it is still money going into the kitty.
"

Yes, it is money in the kitty.

Questions is: How many would have only purchased one license for what gave them what they wanted first if they were able to? Or if they were informed properly? Or if the product level did what they wanted?

The point is that the change in how Windows licenses were structured from XP to Vista and how those licenses were counted and compared was entirely misleading.

Also interestingly, nobody criticises Adobe for this pricing model ... Would it be soo hard to consider that they are rewarding existing customers by lowering the price for the update?


Adobe doesn't do the same thing, and hasn't changed the pricing model and compared apples-to-oranges boasting about its sales.


"WinVista's biggest issue was driver support and that was primarily due to MS changing driver interfaces at the last moment - between RC2 and RTM. The other big issue was UAC - something MS had been warning developers about for a long time.


I fail to see how UAC is any different to OSX and Ubuntus "sudoing" to admin.

UAC was a good thing IMHO. I know it isn't perfect, but at least made people pay attention to the installer.
"

I agree, UAC is very much like the sudo functionalities in other OS's. The problem was not the introduction of it, but rather the lack of software being ready for it.

For MacOSX, there was a very clear line - the OS8/9 to OSX transition. Pre-OSX applications didn't have to concern themselves with a UAC feature, and OSX applications by had to by the very nature of the underlying OS that Apple adopted.

However, historically MS has been sloppy in APIs which require Admin/root privileges, and those which they've encouraged developers to use. As a result, many applications and APIs used functionality that was only suppose to be used by an administrator. When UAC was introduced, applications simply were not ready.

Now, it's not entirely MS's fault - MS had been telling application developers that the change was coming for several years.

So the issue with Vista was not so UAC itself, but how often the UAC interface came up due. Most of this was fixed by Win7, but it was considered a black mark for Vista - rightly or wrongly.

"Win8's biggest issue is the UI. I'm sure its just as stable as and better performing than Win7 - namely due to the Windws Dev process put in place since the start of Vista.


The Metro/Modern UI is a matter of debate, but it doesn't mean that Windows 8 is insecure OS or that it isn't functional in Desktop mode (tbh I really haven't missed the start menu).

However, Windows still remains a major security whole, and one that can only be plugged properly in a virtual environment. it's just the design of the system and its APIs. It's yet to be seen whether the WinRT API will help resolve the security issues of Win32 - I haven't looked at it very closely yet.


Actually Windows has been pretty damn secure since VISTA, most of the exploits require a user actually running code as Admin ... no system not even OpenBSD/Linux etc can protect against that.
"

SELinux has the ability to. While it is not used much by normal desktop users, Linux has security capabilities that go far beyond what Windows has.

There aren't many holes when it comes to the actual OS itself. It is rely on the user being dumb. The only virus that has been successful was Stuxnet, which took security experts years to decipher its inner workings.


There are still many holes; many bugs that were reported back in Win3/95/4/XP/Vista/7 that are still there in Win8. Microsoft's policy is that they don't fix it unless it's being actively taken advantage of.

Now the changes in development method introduced during the development of Vista will certainly help. For example, Microsoft has had a very poor history of keeping fixes in places - it was a common occurrence that one patch would fix a bug and another would re-introduce it; and not uncommon for that to happen multiple times. With the refactoring that has been going on since the start of development for Vista that should be more under control - at least one would hope.

Unlike MacOSX which still ships on Mac with the firewall turned off.


Most OS's are secure by default. Thus a firewall is not necessary. On Unix systems (of which OS X is part of) what you can do is limited - you can only open a port below 1024 if you are root; and if you are not root, any damage is limited to the user the software is running as. It is the same on Linux.

And if you even quote the number of malware for Windows, it is because it is the most popular desktop OS, not because it is insecure ... Android has had similar problems (and Nokia smart phones early 2000s ... bluetooth viruses).


The malware for Windows is only in part due to its popularity. It is also (and more importantly) due to the design of the OS and the security issues that are prevalent within it. It is furthered by OEMs taking money to pre-install software that users may not otherwise want or buy.

And, Android does not really have an issue with Malware or Viruses. Yes, there are people that write some malicious stuff for Android; however, just like any other non-Windows OS the user has to specifically install it and grant it permission to do what it wants to do. Android itself has a far better security model than Windows ever had.

[p]The same security precautions on Windows can be said about any OS. [/q]

Windows - even Windows 8 - does not have the security precautions of the other OS's out there.

Windows was designed for a single user that, just like DOS, had full access and control of all the hardware. Security was an after thought for Windows.

Comparatively, all others OS's on the market - Linux, Mac OSX, VXworks, etc - were designed for multiple users from the start and as such security was designed in - even if only in basic form - from the start.

Before you start spouting off on how security is not an issue for any other OS because of MS's market size, learn a bit about the design differences between Windows and everyone else - they're very important when it comes to security.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: But....
by Lennie on Thu 29th Nov 2012 15:22 in reply to "RE[2]: But...."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

You do know that a virtual environment does not give any security garantees ?

It is just an other layer of extra code and (security) bugs.

Not being able to use proper encryption because of bad random seeding also is a big issue in virtual environments.

If you want some security and virtualization, then I suggest QEMU/KVM but with SELinux to contain it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: But....
by TemporalBeing on Thu 29th Nov 2012 18:42 in reply to "RE[3]: But...."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

You do know that a virtual environment does not give any security garantees ?

It is just an other layer of extra code and (security) bugs.


Yes, virtual environments have their own issues.
However, they also mitigate many - not only do you need to penetrate the OS you're running in, you also have to penetrate the virtual environment and its hosts - which is made a lot more difficult when the host and guest OS's are not the same (as is my case).

So for me - you would have to penetrate Windows, VMware On Linux, and then the Linux OS; and if you wanted to do anything beyond what my Linux user could do, you'd have to do a root penetration as well - this all assuming I don't suspend/shutdown the guest OS while you're trying to do it.

There is also much less software installed in that environment that could lead to a penetration to start with.

Not being able to use proper encryption because of bad random seeding also is a big issue in virtual environments.


Now you're assuming I need encryption within the virtual environment. While some may, I don't.

Even so, you can install hardware encryption technology into the VM if you needed it. So that is not really an issue. VMware, VirtualBox, QEMU, KVM, and others are also smart enough to use the underlying OS for things that require such functionality as well.

If you want some security and virtualization, then I suggest QEMU/KVM but with SELinux to contain it.


Agreed.

My primary purpose is software development and testing, not every day use. The most those systems use the Internet is for updating the tools using Windows Update.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: But....
by zima on Tue 4th Dec 2012 13:20 in reply to "RE[2]: But...."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

WinXP was hardly flaky at any point in its life. Just like Win2k, and Win7 they were all pretty solid releases.

XP was a massive pain pre-SP2. Win2k was from the blissful days of pre-internet security mindset.

Windows still remains a major security whole, and one that can only be plugged properly in a virtual environment. it's just the design of the system and its APIs

Security-wise, there's nothing wrong with Windows itself since Vista; it's just unsafe practices of devs and users, to which any OS would be susceptible.

Reply Parent Score: 2