“Last year, Microsoft merged its two Windows lines–9x/Me and NT/2000–into one, Windows XP. Now the company is launching three new XP-based products. To learn why, PC World editors Harry McCracken and Yardena Arar interviewed Microsoft’s top Windows guy–Jim Allchin, vice president for Microsoft’s Platforms Group. Here’s a partial transcript of the conversation.” Read it at PCWorld.
Microsoft on Custom XPs
2002-12-15 Windows 25 Comments
was it not microsoft who, during the anti-trust trial, whined about having to create “other versions” of XP.
I can already see the comeback. Well we have a business model for other verions in this case. Well they have a business model for a single striped down version as well.
into your living room. Not satified with having Bill own some back room in your house with his MS dominated PC? Why wait? Let Bill into your living room! Now you too can have the all-seeing all-powerful Bill right in the center of your living room! Won”t that be fun?! Want to have all your VHS, CDs, DVDs, Cassette Tapes, Reel to Reels and all other media products controlled by Bill? Hurry, the line is forming now!
(pretty scary thought, eh?)
“Last year, Microsoft merged its two Windows lines–9x/Me and NT/2000–into one, Windows XP”
Uh ? What is that ? Windows XP is nothing more than Windows 2000 with a better DirectX implementation, and a general update of the NT line. There’s no “merging” with the 9X line whatsoever…
You can still see the name “Windows NT” in the damn thing, too. “Windows NT 5.1” or something like that…
The names don’t matter any more. It’s all just marketing. Who cares if the information given to the “masses” is just plain nonsensical. The computer industry is great at nonsensical.
They didn’t merge much code. if any at all. But they merged the productline, so to say.
Instaed of having Win98/Me for home and Win2k for pro users, they now have XP for both – hence the Home and Pro editions.
W2k was marketed at so-called professionals that were considering NT. MS judged that these co-called professionals did not need the lower-level services of DOS legacy to do whatever they do in their offices (run MS Office, mostly).
Win98 was marketed towards everyone else. The people who were still using DOS apps, the people that still had their entire HR department using an old crappy ASCII-based management program and playing games. WinMe was marketed towards the “must have the newest version of everything” people who would give them more money and the wanna-be computer geeks who heard about this strange bad thing called “legacy” but weren’t going to be savvy enough to recognize that the OS is exactly the same as the previous version (albeit with more bugs, that they also would not notice).
The fact that Windows XP is now the offering for everyone else (in the home edition) is based more on the fact that MS judged it was time to risk alienating users of DOS-requiring apps, that computers had enough raw power that the higher overhead was justified on “non-pro” user budgets… and that XP is the cuter, more cuddlier version of NT to date.
I’m blabbering. The point is, the technology isn’t the issue. MS could make Windows XP into a text editor OS if they really wanted to, it’s their code. The decisions and the “truths” that MS will make and claim are only ever based on two issues: “is it our choice to make?” and “how can we get the most money at any given time?”
A. Our dream is to move to where these panels are anyplace in the home, a lot of them, and we didn’t want to do that work in Home Edition. We wanted to do it in Pro. . . . That’s the long-term vision of what we’re trying to get to there. But it’s a valid point.
Actually, that is wrong, Jim. The only reason is because Pro has remote desktop. It is one of its features. By making it available to Home, it brings down the value of Pro.
= huge pile of shit.
has anyone noticed that xp no longer displays the blue screen of death? nope. just freezes instead. BIG improvement.
and i just love all those helpful wizards, reminds of kindergarten.
>> “has anyone noticed that xp no longer displays the blue screen of death?”
If you were a programmer, you would have already seen that screen millions of times
(and no, I’m not that bad at programming )
” It’s obviously better for IHVs [independent hardware vendors] because they only have to write one driver and it will work everywhere.”
Now that the anti-trust trial is over, Linux and Mac no longer exist. I wonder if this lower burden on device manufacturers would make them a little more likely to develop drivers for Linux.
>If you were a programmer, you would have already seen that >screen millions of times
>(and no, I’m not that bad at programming )
btw, for me, kylix & gcc have yet to produce 1 blue screen.
actually, i only use windoze for midi & audio authoring, and i had to revert to windoze zero zero to actually make it thru one hour without locking the os.
while you & i might not be that bad at programming, music vendors are absolutely terrible. steinberg cubase, emagic logic, and cakewalk sonar are the bane of my existence. and the drivers for pro audio/midi hardware are even worse. echo, motu, aardvark and m-audio all seem to be in a desperate race for the coveted title of “worst drivers on the planet.” right now, they’re all about neck & neck for 2nd place only because NOBODY can top digidesign for absolute total miserable garbage. i still want my money back for session 8 and protools. bastards.
“i still want my money back for session 8 and protools. bastards.”
Another opportunity to start a linux-on-the-desktop flamewar; Here goes :
Linux is going nowhere on the desktop without software. Professional, I mean.
I kick Win into the bin when Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro 2.0 runs fine on Linux.
“has anyone noticed that xp no longer displays the blue screen of death?.”
Welcome on earth. That is a fact for MANY years now, since NT4 (well, at least since 2K). But the crappy linux zealots made an honor marketing point to remind everybody’s of the ol’ windows days.
“nope. just freezes instead. BIG improvement.”
Strange. Never happen to me, even with intense programming/debugging sessions, and lot of game play, tons of third party R&D … still my XP at home and 2K at job need a reboot maybe every 6 months.
But maybe I have a clue how to NOT screw purposely a system.
“doo doo + poo poo”
Typical Linux zealot argument. So cerebral and intellectual. You guys give a so great reputation for the rest of the (smart and nice) Linux community.
From the user’s point of view XP is a much better OS than its predecessors. The average user is not going to have any more problems with XP than they would have with any other OS. It’s the first MS OS I feel confident in recommending. (My criterion is – If I recommend this, how many phone calls will I get about “I can’t find my xxxxxx”) Please note I am not saying it is better!
It may not be perfect when programming, but neither are Linux or Mac OS. They all have pimples!
Nice OS, shame about the business practices.
To anyone for whom WinXP has never crashed, try doing Pro Audio on WinXP and then welcome to my world. Most Pro Audio Drivers are crap as and the hours wasted in getting the bloody thing working properly (harder than video or anything else) it makes your head spin. I pine for the day when I can drop Windows as an Audio platform and don’t even try to mention Mac cause the idiots who create bad audio drivers for Windows are just as bad on Mac. Thing about Linux is at least we wouldn’t have to rely on vendor audio drivers.
Now BeOS, didn’t Nuendo beta on that kick Win2K’s ass when demoed a couple of years ago. Where is BeOS when you need it )-:
Snide, not-so-clever insults aside (doo doo + poo poo), Windows XP does display the BSOD when it panics. I had a really crappy USB camera (Ezonics, avoid like the plague!) and it would spontaneously lock up my XP computer quite frequently. I have never had problems with it crashing except when I used that stupid camera. It does not wait for you to press a key, it just displays the Blue Screen and restarts (or sometimes it dumps memory which may take a few minutes). But using signed drivers (those that are approved), I have not had any problems to speak of with stability. Big improvement .
… they could put a windows install on a zip disk. That is the versions of windows “I” would pay for. I spend a great deal of time with a new windows install tweaking it, killing boot processes, and removing/uninstalling useless crap. If Microsoft sold an XP Pro “Lite” version I think many technical users would flock to it.
PS. My box never crashes
<To anyone for whom WinXP has never crashed, try doing Pro Audio on WinXP and then welcome to my world>
Actually, I use Win XP Pro, Sonar XL 2.0, and Gigastudio, and my setup is working quite nicely. The only problem I had is for my Echo Mia soundcard. The original driver kept rebooting my PC (basically a BSOD). I did update my driver through Echo’s website and have not had a problem since.
Usually most people are intelligent enough to know when they are shooting their own argument in the foot. I guess as bad as “Pro Audio” programmars at making drivers, “Pro Audio” users are at making logical conclusions. Case in point:
“Most Pro Audio Drivers are crap as and the hours wasted in getting the bloody thing working properly (harder than video or anything else) it makes your head spin. I pine for the day when I can drop Windows as an Audio platform and don’t even try to mention Mac cause the idiots who create bad audio drivers for Windows are just as bad on Mac.”
Appearently the problem is the people who are writting the software you use for audio editing. You even drive the point home farther by remarking that same people who write sub-par programs for the windows platform do the same on poor job on apple’s platform. Which, in my utterly stupid non audio producing point of view, would seem to say that its that particular software vendor’s product and not Microsoft’s or Apple’s products. Instead though I must be missing something very important because you conclude that its obviously MS and Apple’s fault. So if you could explain why someone’s third party app makes an OS suck I would appreciate it.
Then there is this:
“Now BeOS, didn’t Nuendo beta on that kick Win2K’s ass when demoed a couple of years ago. Where is BeOS when you need it )-:”
Correct me if I am wrong but BeOS didn’t write Nuendo. So again how does a single third party program tell you how great or not great an OS is?
Maybe this would put what I’m trying to say into perspective, what I’m getting from your argument is something along these lines:
“If I go and install the latest CVS of the gimp on my copy of RH 8, and the gimp seg faults, then Linux sucks.”
The reason I’m using linux for my arguement isn’t because this acutally happens when you try the CVS of gimp. Rather, because if something has the word “Microsoft” in it, invariably people will blame Microsoft; irrespective of its even remotely their fault. Since on most boards there is a hell of lot of leeway when it comes to trolling about MS, (and your more than teetering Piers).
The guy was simply giving an illustration of the fact that famous BSOD still exists in XP.
No OS or distro is perfect — far from it. But you are right. You cannot blame Microsoft for bad third party device drivers.
It is like saying that Linux sucks because the old NVIDIA drivers would occasionally lock the display on my SuSE box one out of maybe twenty times I played a 3-D enabled game.
XP has a big improvement in terms of stability and so has 2000 not to forget it. Still I have seen them panic and had other troubles.
On the other hand, I have also seen a Dual Athlon AMD box running SuSE 8.0 with a Broadcom Gigabit card lock hard doing large NFS file writes with the SuSE approved driver.
No OS is perfect and the amount of arguing on both sides is silly. I prefer linux for certain tasks and Windows for others and Solaris for Others. What am I really honestly against?
The idea of homogenous server environment is what I am against. The idea that one OS and platform is good enough for all tasks and all things is silly.
Actually, those random reboots that people keep mentioning are in fact BSOD’s. By default, XP reboots immediately upon encountering a BSOD. However, there are a few settings under System Somewhere that define this behavior.
The actualy BSOD (I’ve only gotten them from nvidia drivers) is an NT bsod, not a 9x one. The only way out of it is a reboot, no hitting enter and praying. I believe that only drivers can cause one (barring a serious OS failure), not applications.
“You cannot blame Microsoft for bad third party device drivers. ”
I plugged my USB scanner into XP and I got a BSOD. It wasn’t until I downloaded the third party drivers that it worked correctly.
I knew there would be at least one ignorant who would claim that “Microsoft was arguing last year that they can not built custom Windows XP”. That’s not true at all. You believe in what the press says, or distorts. Go and read the court documents, it clearly indicates that States wanted Microsoft to build a Windows XP in such a way that any company with more than a certain threshold number of licenses of Windows XP can change XP code anyway they want, remove or add code, and XP should still function properly. That’s the custom Windows XP the press was talking about, but they didn’t mention what the custom here means clearly. Microsoft bashers without knowing the truth continues and continued to bash Microsoft because of this small detail as they do in many other issues.
What they asked for IS possible… if MS were to redesign the OS to be modular. What they asked for is similar to what Be was trying to do with BeOS (see BeIA). MS doesn’t want to do that. They claim it is impossible to do these things and they are right only in the context of the current code-base. It’s their product and their code. They could change it if they felt it would give them more profit somehow. Otherwise, it’s not something they will do. Not even to make things easier on their own development team in the long run.
“What they asked for IS possible… if MS were to redesign the OS to be modular … “ I quit reading right there.