Home > Microsoft > Microsoft – the path ahead Microsoft – the path ahead Submitted by Tom Bierce 2004-01-07 Microsoft 72 Comments Some say that Microsoft’s major markets are mature and saturated. What lies ahead for the software giant? A retrospective and overview on the issue here. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 72 Comments 2004-01-07 11:36 pm Anonymous But the parts I read, it seems to be anti-MS biased from start to finish. Anyway, I’m waiting for Longhorn and this whole WinFX thing … a Windows API written for .NET seems a lot more appealing than the current Win32 incarnation, at least for someone who is not a C++ programmer 2004-01-07 11:48 pm Anonymous This is a really, really long webpage… Think I’ll have to take reading breaks or something, hehe. To WorknMan, though, there does seem to be a bit of a bias present, but it’s nothing that’s not completely understandable. From what I skimmed so far it seems to be an examination of facts and figures, mostly. 2004-01-07 11:48 pm Anonymous What is Microsoft Doing About Security? – Denial has always been Microsoft’s “remedy of choice”, blaming “dumb users”, “criminal hackers”, and “poor administration” for security problems … – FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) is Microsoft’s second line of defense … Ok, so I guess the security enhancements and much improved firewall coming in Windows XP Service Pack 2 just flew right under this guy’s radar. Of course, such things must happen when you’re writing biased articles. I’m not saying that this guy doesn’t have some (or even a lot) of valid criticisms, but how are people supposed to take articles like this seriously when it is so obviously one-sided ? 2004-01-07 11:49 pm Anonymous I don’t see where he’s wrong in anything you just quoted. Microsoft has only recently changed it’s tune on security and started taking it at least halfway seriously, and I hope that the author’s statements are false in time. 2004-01-07 11:52 pm Anonymous Many of the things it rambles on about are no longer correct. The common argument that Microsoft is DOOMED DOOMED DOOMED even with 50 billion (not 43) in the bank is that no other divisions are making money other than Windows and Office. This is no longer the case… The MSN division turned a profit in the last quarter for the first time. Not a huge one, but the sorts of people who wrote articles like this one seemed to hinge on the belief that Microsoft couldn’t make anything other than Windows and Office profitable. Well, now they have. His .NET criticisms are completely outdated as well… there is huge developer interest in .NET right now and it has nothing to do with “lockin”– look at the Mono project for example. 2004-01-07 11:55 pm Anonymous I don’t see where he’s wrong in anything you just quoted. Umm, well … the tone of what I quoted indicates that MS is doing nothing about security. Now, I don’t know how big of an improvement the security stuff will be in SP2, but why would not an even-handed article even bother to mention it? And the part about the Linux desktop threatening Microsoft’s monopoly … I mean, this guy just strikes me as yet another open source fanatic trying to convert people to his religion. 2004-01-07 11:56 pm Anonymous Great article, though very long, so here are some vague comments. As a Linux user, I must admit that Longhorn looks like being a great OS. Whatever my problems with Microsoft’s ethics are, from a purely technical point of view they are making some interesting (WinFS) and fun+exciting (easy to write managed 3D apps integrated with the desktop) and useful (theoretically(!) better security) developments. But, they are going to be faced with the same challenges Linux has now, moving both users and developers to a new and unfamiliar environment where their familiar apps and APIs no longer work. They are already pushing the limits of the backward compatability (from the article “Win2003 is incompatible with all existing Microsoft server applications,”) which has always been their strength, so the question is, will Longhorn push Microsoft users a little too far? 2004-01-07 11:58 pm Anonymous I don’t want to start a flamewar or anything, but Linux is the officially stated largest threat to Microsoft, from Microsoft’s point of view. The Linux desktop, given more time, is going to pose a serious threat to Microsoft’s monopoly. And it’s been noted that this article is out of date. That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t some valid points to take into consideration. 2004-01-07 11:59 pm Anonymous i wonder if they have fixed the problem with the firewall in sp2. i heard that the firewall rules is aplyed realy late in the boot process so you can get affected of worms while you boot the computer . like blaster if you just had closed the ports in the fw and not installed the update then you could get inffected while booting 2004-01-08 12:13 am Anonymous “Microsoft’s SmartPhone (Stinger) initiative to dominate the high end mobile phone market is on life support” Jeremy is right, this article sure seems dated. MS smartphone is steadily gaining steam in the mobile industry and is by no means nearing its death. Though it won’t be able to challenge Symbian in the near future, MS is building momentum for smartphone (Moto and Samsung are among the handset manufacturers that have already released MS based smartphones). 2004-01-08 12:13 am Anonymous That’s a pretty crazy loophole right there. Hope it’s been remedied if that’s the case, since I personally use the Windows XP firewall. I have cable and am able to keep up-to-date with patches, but still… Gotta get my firewall installed in Linux, too, pretty soon here. Hehe. 2004-01-08 12:19 am Anonymous I must say, I love the way people have been talking about Microsoft and Linux without spouting flames (so far :-). I agree that Microsoft has been sleazier than they’d need to be to earn much respect, but the author’s tone does make his arguements sound a bit more like invalid zealotry. The Linux Desktop does pose a big long term threat, but it’s not a huge, red alert, all hands on deck horror for Microsoft. It’s a competitor that sets new rules when compared to past competition. 2004-01-08 12:26 am Anonymous He has a well designed site and he emphasises what makes him seem intelligent Using big bold type… this is drivel and extremely biased. Hell i’d be the first one amoung my friends not to use a microsoft product, but this is going too far even for me. The open source initiative does not need people like this on their side, it just makes the normal ones seem like raving zealots. 2004-01-08 12:52 am Anonymous Funny how Richard Stallman, the founder of the GNU project, makes pretty much anyone look timid compared to his views on non-free software. These people are but a subsect just as Windows fanboys who can find no fault in their favorite OS are a subsect. And hey, at least he’s not using the blink tag! 2004-01-08 12:59 am Anonymous Oh I know about them being a very small section of the entire free software using public…it’s just they are the most vocal and sites like OSNews jumps at the idea of putting this vomit on their front page. Objectivity is hard to find in journalism…but it’s easier to find in more professional journals than some guys website that looks like he threw it together in 5 minutes. 2004-01-08 1:07 am Anonymous Here Here! 2004-01-08 1:14 am Anonymous Bias is in the eye of the beholder. To you it may seem like verbal vomit that’s simply an incoherent mess of M$-bashing, but others will see it as an interesting point-by-point article on Microsoft’s current and future challenges. The article isn’t nearly as old as some people would like you to believe, it’s quite plainly dated on the top “23-Feb-03 – rev 12-Oct-03”. I don’t see what the issue is, really. What’s going on here is simply hypocritical and there’s no discussion hardly on the points made in the article. I’ll start it off: “Our technology allows content providers, enterprises and consumers to control what others can do with their digital information, such as documents, music, video, ebooks, and software. Become a key leader, providing vision and industry leadership in developing DRM, Palladium and Software Licensing products and Trust Infrastructure Services” — Does anyone else find it infuriating that Microsoft would tell their regular consumer customers that Palladium is all about ushering in a new era of computing that will be nothing but great for everyone, when at the same time they’re telling corporations and other customers that it’s a great way to lock-down your content from the end-user? It’s a bald-faced lie that Palladium poses any benefit to regular joe schmoe consumers, and especially consumers that know what they’re doing. P.S. — Dear God, please don’t have anyone yell at me for using the word consumer. 2004-01-08 1:24 am Anonymous I note he hasn’t updated much since the PDC. Longhorn will not be incompatible with all previous Windows software. I doubt even Microsoft could manage that. Files will still be stored on your hard disc, cdrw, usb key etc, they will just be hidden under the database layer when placed in a WinFS store. A lot of his ideas are in the right direction, MS is gradually exerting more control over both the hardware and software industries. The importance of 3rd party Device driver development is being controlled with various Class Drivers and reference implemenations. For the consumer it means things work right out of the box, but it leaves a lot less room for specialization and innovation. For example the feature set of current 3D accelerators is driven almost entirely by Microsofts DirectX 9 specification rather than on 3rd party innovation and research. 3rd party software potential is being reduced through .Net. It raises the abstraction layer of the platform and reduces programmers to just snapping together MS authored componants to solve domain specific business problems. Yes it can increase software robustness, improve security and increase developer productivity, but it also moves a lot of potential Computer Science innovation from the 3rd party developers to the CLR developers. MS is assuming control of an ever larger portion of the platform, its becoming a Microsoft PC, with 3rd party ISVs IHVs and OEMs struggling to maintain profit share and differentiate themselves in the market. The longhorn platform will be very pretty, it will enable web, email, digital media, secure content delivery, web service clients etc. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing much innovation or computer science research projects based on it. Linux is becoming the platform for high performance, business, scientific and engineering applications, Longhorn will remain something of a toy in comparison. I’m very glad there is a viable alternative platform. I intend to make sure I have one of each. The problem with the XP firewall not starting up in time will be fixed with XP SP2. It will block everything during boot, except those services required during startup, dhcp, dns, active directory etc. 2004-01-08 1:24 am Anonymous in: http://www.arstechnica.com/wankerdesk/04q1/sp2-beta-1.html “The Service Pack 2 ICF provides one more notch of security above its predecessor. In XP SP1, there was a delay between the initializing of the networking layer and ICF. I allows found this problematic, as during Blaster’s reign I have seen XP machines with ICF enabled get infected during startup. With the new ICF, Microsoft has inserted a static rule that will allow the firewall to provide protection until the ICF is fully started. With this basic setup the computer will be allowed to communicate with DNS, DHCP, and an AD server for policy reasons.” 2004-01-08 1:30 am Anonymous cheezwog But, they are going to be faced with the same challenges Linux has now, moving both users and developers to a new and unfamiliar environment where their familiar apps and APIs no longer work Maybe, but I’m personally looking forward to WinFX myself. Having been a VB6 programmer previously, I now learning C# and it’s looking pretty sweet. Not being a C++ programmer, I don’t particularly care for the current incarnation of the Win32 API Miles Robinson I don’t want to start a flamewar or anything, but Linux is the officially stated largest threat to Microsoft, from Microsoft’s point of view. You’re probably right, but then … is that saying much? Linux trying to take on Microsoft on the desktop is like going after a tank with a toothpick. I’m not saying that Linux can’t be a great desktop OS for a lot people, but I would imagine that on the deskop, MS sees Linux as little more than a minor annoyance at this point, and certainly not shaking in their boots. The Linux desktop, given more time, is going to pose a serious threat to Microsoft’s monopoly Maybe so, but IMHO, not how you think. People say that no single corporation could ever ‘control’ Linux because of the GPL, but … Right now, we are seeing a trend of companies like Xandros taking the GPL’d parts and adding their own proprietary stuff on top of it. I think you will see this trend continue until the ratio of GPL/proprietary is like 30/70, or maybe even 20/80. I think there will be just enough GPL stuff on there to make it run efficiently, which (I would guess) mainly includes the non-GUI stuff (kernel, GCC, etc). Of course, there will always be free distros like Debian, but the problem with the open source crowd is that they seem to want to stay seperate and do their own thing (ie – the seperate DE’s) instead trying to band together and take on MS as a single unit. And that’s fine, except Linux won’t ever pose a threat to MS until/unless this changes, or until some greedy corporation comes along and does it for them, in which Linux on the desktop will be something along the lines of ‘AOL Linux’ … dumbed down like Mac OSX, and nothing like the way it is now. (Whether you see this as a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion I guess.) When Joe Sixpack has a choice between a Free distro like Debian and one that AOL provides (or will provide), my hunch tells me he’ll go with whichever one has the most marketing muscle behind it (unfortunately). The article isn’t nearly as old as some people would like you to believe, it’s quite plainly dated on the top “23-Feb-03 – rev 12-Oct-03”. In which case the work being done on SP2 should be included, lest how can you NOT call this article biased? I don’t see what the issue is, really. What’s going on here is simply hypocritical and there’s no discussion hardly on the points made in the article. I don’t really have a problem with a lot of the points presented (some I don’t have any knowledge of so couldn’t speak anyway), I just think that it is very one sided, like the guy is trying his hardest to give us only one side of the story. Aesiamun The open source initiative does not need people like this on their side, it just makes the normal ones seem like raving zealots You mean there are normal ones ? j/k 2004-01-08 1:33 am Anonymous Just look at how many hardware/peripherals that would not work with linux/oss desktops or would not work to the fullest. Paying full price for a bleeding edge video card, yet get only less than 50% of its functionality is a BAD choice. 2004-01-08 1:42 am Anonymous Just look at how many hardware/peripherals that would not work with linux/oss desktops or would not work to the fullest. I don’t think this is a very valid criticism – because when it comes to hardware devices, there are a LOT of shitty drivers/software written for them in Windows, so just because there is ‘official’ support for a particular device, I wouldn’t necessarily say it counts if the software for it cannot stay up for longer than 20 minutes without crashing and burning (assuming there were no other software alternatives out there). When I buy a device for Windows (any device), I always do research and see how well it runs in Windows and if the drivers and such are up to par. If you do this with Linux also, I don’t see you having any problems. I think the only exception to this is if you absolutely WANTED ‘xyz’ device. For example, I wonder if the new mini-iPods will work out of the box in Linux when they come out. As for software choice in Windowos, I have personally never wanted for anything. Just about any genre of app I’ve been interested in, it seems like there are at least three dozen options in which to choose from, some better than others of course. 2004-01-08 1:51 am Anonymous Well, if you are careful about what hardware you buy (like Linux and MacOS users have to be) then this isn’t really such a problem. For example, I make sure to buy NVIDIA cards, whose drivers are 100% as good as the Windows ones. You have to be more careful, but that’s all it really is. 2004-01-08 1:54 am Anonymous yeah, microsoft is doomed. So are you and I. It’s just a matter of when and how desperately we struggle before the end and what we leave to the world. I’ve had to use Windows in work for about 8 years now. There have been problems – but on the whole it’s been enjoyable. As an OS, I can’t say I like it as much as the VMS systems I had to work on before Windows, but at least it’s easier to write your own programs and you have more power over your workspace. 2004-01-08 2:17 am Anonymous right… I’m not familiar with the analogy… 2004-01-08 2:35 am Anonymous Well, if you are careful about what hardware you buy (like Linux and MacOS users have to be) then this isn’t really such a problem.. So a user HAS TO be carefule to choose linux compat. hardware ? Isn’t that considered limiting the user’s choice ? I wouldn’t necessarily say it counts if the software for it cannot stay up for longer than 20 minutes without crashing and burning …. Look at this lin-zealot logic – windows drivers have to be considered crashing and burning. Isn’t 20 min up time better than ZERO up time ? For many tasks, 20 min. is more than enough to get the job done. If linux is so good, why is there the need to wrap win32 drivers for linux’s use ? 2004-01-08 2:37 am Anonymous Why not just get a cable modem router with a firewall built in? They aren’t that expensive. 2004-01-08 2:41 am Anonymous Let me just say, WorknMan, thanks for the response, I was hoping for an interesting discussion, heh. Since you dissected my post, I’ll do the same to yours. And that’s fine, except Linux won’t ever pose a threat to MS until/unless this changes, or until some greedy corporation comes along and does it for them, in which Linux on the desktop will be something along the lines of ‘AOL Linux’ … dumbed down like Mac OSX, and nothing like the way it is now. I don’t buy the argument, myself, that the Linux community needs to band together into some amazing superpower that Microsoft will not stand a chance against. Linux has progress so far through the will of developers and end-user input, it’s always been a loosely-organized community that, while strong, has divisions upon divisions upon divisions. The fact of the matter is that, even though the Linux community may argue quite often which distro is the best, or which latest piece of software is the bomb, the community on a whole still has direction. Linux doesn’t need corporate power, Apache doesn’t have IBM Apache or Novell Apache, and it’s a world-class web server that has garnered incredible amounts of respect and leads the web as far as amount of sites being run on it. The same is true for Linux, people will use it if it works for them. Corporations will use it if it can do what they need. The problem right now is not Linux expanding in the markets that it is primarily oriented towards at this time (Networking, serving, other tasks of similar nature), but rather what’s available right now in terms of software. Linux is expanding in scope and a new focus has been put into the sights: The desktop. 2.6 was a great step, even if it wasn’t primarily for desktops, and 2.8/3.0 are going to be wonderful if current developments are any indication. You’re probably right, but then … is that saying much? Linux trying to take on Microsoft on the desktop is like going after a tank with a toothpick. I’m not saying that Linux can’t be a great desktop OS for a lot people, but I would imagine that on the deskop, MS sees Linux as little more than a minor annoyance at this point, and certainly not shaking in their boots. I hate to say it but what do you mean is that saying much? Even Apple, the company that set the baseline (After Xerox) for how a personal computing experience should be, is less of a threat to Microsoft than Linux, according to Microsoft execs. Linux is assaulting Microsoft relentlessly in the networking and serving market. Microsoft is struggling to maintain it’s userbase as Linux gains acceptance. It will only be a matter of time until Linux is a more suitable solution for the average home-user desktop (And it already is for most people, the e-mail, music, web, and chat group, provided they use something like Lindows or Xandros and avoid a lot of the guts of a Linux system), and Microsoft is already crying foul over some country’s attempts to standardise a Linux-based desktop for (internal?) government use. They’re offering huge discounts to customers in Thailand (Is that the right country? It’s one of those), Windows XP and Office XP are being sold for practically nothing, all because of a threat that a move to Linux may be imminent. I must respectfully disagree with your analysis of how seriously Microsoft takes the long-term Linux threat, when leading execs in the company are sending out memos saying to never give up a sale to Linux, to study Linux and how it works, and they start offering incredible discounts just to maintain a current userbase. The Linux boom hasn’t even begun, but it’s quite plain that if things proceed as they have been, by 2006 (When Longhorn should be released) Linux will be in a very favorable light. 2004-01-08 2:43 am Anonymous Because I can do it all already in any OS I’m using. I don’t have a nice little personal network, yet, so a router is unnecessary at this stage. When I get a few slave boxes, then I’ll prolly consider it. 2004-01-08 3:08 am Anonymous his choice means that its ready for him; I have’nt seen many “lin-zealots” pushing Linux based systems down “peoples throats” for a very long time now. I have however heard people express interest in the platform or rather specifically, Gnome. oh and the applications, ask the current software houses to port it, if enough people ask, maybe it will happen. 2004-01-08 3:35 am Anonymous This whole article was nothing more than FUD directed at Microsofts future offerings. I disagreed with some of the authors points and some of them were just flat out wrong. Also funny that many of his “references” comes from the register which is a very anti-MS and biased towards Linux. This article is nothing that any qualified IT professional need pay attention to. For anyone that is interested about knowing about Trusted Computing and Palladium, I did a presentation about it and posted it on my website awhile back. http://www.geocities.com/rjdohnert/computer.html I wrote this presentation with information I got from Microsoft at a Truted Computing discussion and I asked a whole bunch of questions and I also wrote a PDF about the availability of Open Source software on Windows that I have had many compliments about. 2004-01-08 3:52 am Anonymous Just a pedantic detail (sorry), the Win32 API is actually C based. MFC is C++ based, though. 2004-01-08 3:53 am Anonymous I think you’d reach a lot more people if you were to make that .ppt available in a web slideshow format instead. I don’t have OpenOffice.org installed and don’t want it installed, nor do I know of any other Linux apps that can read .ppt files. 2004-01-08 4:17 am Anonymous I also uploaded the file in Flash for people who dont have an application that can read .ppt the link is http://www.geocities.com/rjdohnert/trustedcomputing.swf 2004-01-08 4:23 am Anonymous > Linux trying to take on Microsoft on the desktop is like going after a tank with a toothpick. Nope. Think of it this way – M$ (I’m a zealot trying to stop Linux is like the little boy with his finger in the dyke trying to stop the dam… > I think you will see this trend continue until the ratio of GPL/proprietary is like 30/70, or maybe even 20/80. Hogwash. For two reasons: 1. You think a company with a distro is going to rewrite GNU fileutils, binutils, XFree86, KDE, GNOME, CUPS, httpd, Mozilla et al which together make up virtually the entire distro? OK so some of those aren’t GPL’ed but you get the point. They sure as hell aren’t proprietary. 80%? Niche apps may be closed source – think Photoshop, games. Think Click N Run (shudder). 2. Closed source won’t work in the *long run*. If your source isn’t free and I hit a bug, I have to Google or else call you up for support. Will you fix a bug (adda feature) just for little old me? Even if I’m willing to pay through the nose? OTOH if your source is free, and I find a bug in it, I may be able to fix it and send in a patch (If I wasn’t such an idiot, of course . Everybody wins! The crowd is going wild! See? > I think there will be just enough GPL stuff on there to make it run efficiently, which (I would guess) mainly includes the non-GUI stuff (kernel, GCC, etc). Umm GCC makes an OS run efficiently? And if the *kernel* is replaced, it is NOT Linux. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. At least, it is highly unclear what you mean. 2004-01-08 4:49 am Anonymous The power of leverage will kill MSFT. 2004-01-08 5:00 am Anonymous You all are pretty optimistic for an operating system that has the same amount of users as Windows 95. 2004-01-08 5:02 am Anonymous I think I agree with you to some extent. Commodity software is going to go OSS. The stuff that everybody needs, like email clients, web browsers, office suites, IM clients, etc. Developer tools will also go OSS, for obvious reasons. Sever stuff will also go mostly OSS, like SAP and Apache. What will remain closed will be high-end client-side stuff like Photoshop, Maya, Matlab, etc. There will be lower-end OSS counterparts (Gimp, Blender, Octave) but they will really compete one notch down from these apps. The will, however, probably remove the market for lower-end versions of these apps, like Paint Shop Pro. 2004-01-08 5:09 am Anonymous The reason MS is on top is because they’ve consistently had access to next-gen PC technology 2 years ahead of everyone else. IBM, Intel, and MS have controlled the platform for 20+ years now. The mass-media (money people) have been ardent suporters of MS since Win-3 came out, exhorting users to upgrade to a 386 box, so whats new? Like the man in the article I bought a used 486 box from a corporate selloff and installed OS/2, a video board, and some memory, I like to get my work done. I use a logo certified Win-Me box for web surfing and digital photography. It seems logical that a software maker would be deeply involved in hardware design. how else would one expect a complex digital system to work otherwise? The biggest problem for MS is the fact that Win-32 can’t be maintained over dial-up. Astute users have known all along that the 56k modem was not the cause of all the webs latency problems, it was everything else that was causing the slow web experience. I was perceptive enough not to buy into the Win-XP + broadband hype. Those that did are not only getting data-raped themselves, but are also potentially screwing-up the future of the web for the rest of us that know better. 2004-01-08 5:10 am Anonymous “I’m not interested in anything that Microsoft produces. I will never even try Longhorn. Microsoft simply does not exist. I only pray that they don’t screw up the whole computer industry while their dictatorship is falling down” Please step away from the keyboard, go outside and get some fresh air. You are taking computers too seriously. You are slipping away from reality. I am not joking or being saracastic. 2004-01-08 5:25 am Anonymous What will remain closed will be high-end client-side stuff like Photoshop, Maya, Matlab, etc. Actually there already is a native version of Maya available for linux. http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/index.shtml Thought id just mention it 2004-01-08 5:29 am Anonymous Bah sorry, there used to be a link there for a scaled down opensource version of maya. I think it was called open-maya or free-maya. 2004-01-08 6:01 am Anonymous Maya does run natively on Linux, as well as a lot of other high-end 3D stuff, Linux seems to be quite popular in this area. But its still closed source 2004-01-08 6:17 am Anonymous “I’m not interested in anything that Microsoft produces. I will never even try Longhorn. Microsoft simply does not exist. I only pray that they don’t screw up the whole computer industry while their dictatorship is falling down” Without M$, we would probably still be paying $30 per pop for Netscape and using a GUI without a decent file selection dialog. 10 years ago, my biggest wish about my computer was that once I could earn that extra $100, I would go buy the Adobe Type Manager Basic for that four decent font families to be used with GhostScript. Back then, Ghostscript fonts were so ugly, it was just beyond comprehension. I am quite happy that M$ killed Netscape/Mozilla, this bloated piece of thing has never brought the same level of functionality as IE has being doing since IE3.0. Yes, M$ didn’t invented too many things, but it is this company that bring a lot of usefull innovations to the hands of average joes – TrueType fonts, Anti-Alias displaying tricks and Unicode, just to name a very few, at an affordable price. IMHO, it is a such a SHAME that even today in year 2004, 10 years after win95 beta, that a file selection dialog mockup for Gnome could draw over 200 heated discussions on this board that’s for the “future of computing”. 10 years ago, we windows programmer knew how to use the OF_EXPLORER flag to switch on or off the then “new explorer” style file dialog on win95, which was an eye candy but a bit of slow on an Intel 386/25 with 8 MB of main memroy. Can you image your multi GHz machine today with OSS/GNU desktop is trying to duplicate what a 25 MHz cpu did 10 years ago with win95 beta ? 25 Mhz and 8 MB, that was where I started out writing my first win32 application and around spring 95, I upgraded to pentium 90 with 32 MB of main memory – I paid over $930 for the memory alone. That’s enough money to buy two 1 GB Compact Flash cards now, due in part, I guess, to M$ monopoly. That said, I do use linux and I am a vi and Gnome kind of guy. 2004-01-08 6:20 am Anonymous “Maya does run natively on Linux, as well as a lot of other high-end 3D stuff, Linux seems to be quite popular in this area. But its still closed source ” Sorry I meant that their was an open source project based on maya. Im trying to find it on google but all I get are warez and crack sites :S 2004-01-08 6:23 am Anonymous I suspect Longhorn compatible CPUs to be capable of running in both paladium and “legacy” mode, just like the current Athlon 64s are capable of both 64bit and 32bit modes it will be set at boot which mode you run it in so Linux should have no probs with it. In fact I would speculate that the lack of paladium is the real threat to linux; the high speed internet of today coupled with the total lack of effective protection of software, games, music, movies etc and easy P2P programs are the reason that 12 year old girls have suddenly stopped buying CDs. Even if Linux had 50% marketshare, what kind of developer would care to develop for it when Win has paladium? (assuming it actually works) 2004-01-08 6:28 am Anonymous > You all are pretty optimistic for an operating system that has the same amount of users as Windows 95. I assume you directed that at me You mean same amount of *desktop* users. Servers is an entirely different ball game, agreed? I agree with you (hey, can’t argue with facts), but remember it’s not the *numbers* that are important now, it’s the *buzz*. The momentum. I’ll drop names: IBM, Novell, Sun, HP, Dell, Intel..ah heck, just go to OSDL’s website and see for yourself. Momentum grows. Right now it’s the technically sophisticated who will take the plunge. For instance, in grad school there were a rising number of students with dual boot laptops and desktops, at least the CS and EE crowd anyway. Anyone else seen this, please chime in. Next, the corporate desktop. Next more h/w vendors fall over themselves releasing specs for their preciousssss so they get good, well maintained drivers and watch the hordes snap em up from the shelves. (Nvidia, ATI, this means *you*). It’s almost there now – NICs, USB devices, TV tuner cards, SCSI adapters blah blah…and we get a nice feedback loop going. Finally (and that’s a *bit* farther), the end user desktop. Aka Aunt Maggie. She’ll be compiling her own kernels, yes sir. I know I’m reaching here Finally, numbers don’t mean a lot. Remember IE vs. Netscape? Marketshare swung in how many months? A period of a few months in Internet time is decades in the other industries. Things change in a jiffy = (ticks since boot . Yes, yes, that was *just* a browser war. And yes, M$ ‘won’. But you get my drift. You may disagree with what I say. But it is inevitable 2004-01-08 6:32 am Anonymous You’re blowing this file dialog thing out of proportion. Nothing else in GNOME is anywhere near that behind the times. Technologically, Linux desktops are on a par with Windows. KDE is probably quite a bit ahead of Windows on many counts. What’s missing is polish, and applications. Those things aren’t so much a matter of technology, but simply of organization, maturity, and time. 2004-01-08 6:35 am Anonymous That’s pretty much for sure. These days, most people pay for cable TV and satellite TV services and guys tweaking black boxes or H cards are the minority. Today, if a guy offer me a win31 machine for free, do I care ? No, because without net connection and a decent browser, it is pretty much useless. 2004-01-08 6:53 am Anonymous You’re blowing this file dialog thing out of proportion. Nothing else in GNOME is anywhere near that behind the times. Technologically, Linux desktops are on a par with Windows. KDE is probably quite a bit ahead of Windows on many counts. oss desktops are far behind what windows has today beyond the file selection dialog, there isn’t a comparable file manager with decent speed and features at the same time, not to mention Unicode support, task based UI, integrated Input Method Editor, on the fly menu editing, reliable drag and drop support, in-place editing to name a few. in fact, without a mouse, oss desktops are pretty much useless. What’s missing is polish, and applications. Those things aren’t so much a matter of technology, but simply of organization, maturity, and time. Most guys prefer to date a pretty girl and the same hold true for this desktop thing. It is true that it is not so much a matter of technologies, but what lacking in oss desktops is that a variety of technologies won’t work together. 10 years for a file dialog doesn’t look promising 2004-01-08 7:02 am Anonymous For instance, in grad school there were a rising number of students with dual boot laptops and desktops, at least the CS and EE crowd anyway. Anyone else seen this, please chime in. ———- At our school, the first-year CS class (on Scheme is a required course for all engineering and science majors and has a UNIX tutorial. This is mainly because the school network runs on Solaris, and you need to be comfortable in UNIX to do stuff like submit large documents to the bulk printing office. In the CS program, most classes are taught on UNIX. So you either have to have a Linux install, or spend a lot of time ssh’ed into the Solaris cluster. The fun thing is that while students often use Linux to write the programs, the teachers use Solaris to grade them. So your code has to be portable too! 2004-01-08 7:19 am Anonymous there isn’t a comparable file manager with decent speed and features at the same time ———- Konqueror is pretty much instant to me, and it can sure as kick Explorer around in terms of features! not to mention Unicode support ———– Are you high? Both KDE and GNOME have excellent internationalization, part of which is good support for unicode. MS lists 24 localizations for WinXP. GNOME lists 30 full translations, and KDE lists 45. Pango and Qt 3.2 will happily render any unicode you throw at it. task based UI ———- You mean wizards? KDE has quite a few wizards, and the Xandros review mentioned support for many more. Again, this is a polish issue, the technology is there. integrated Input Method Editor ———– You mean XIM? on the fly menu editing ———- This one is actually true. At least, KDE doesn’t have it. reliable drag and drop support ———- Examples? in-place editing to name a few. ———- What the heck is “in-place editing?” in fact, without a mouse, oss desktops are pretty much useless. ———- I’ll restrict the discussion to GNOME and KDE, but both are completely keyboardable. The Linux community is full of people who hate the mouse, and the sheer power of the keyboardability of OSS desktops shows. Would you like to give a specific example, or are you making things up? 2004-01-08 7:30 am Anonymous > there isn’t a comparable file manager with decent speed and features I use Nautilus and it is pretty slow. Not sure why. On a pretty fast PC too. > not to mention Unicode support, That can’t be true. >on the fly menu editing, Yeah, buggy. > Most guys prefer to date a pretty girl and the same hold true for this desktop thing. Yes, but if you want a stable relationship you need to look for *character* What can I say? It’s an acquired taste. I acually liked CDE. The fonts SUCK. But I fiddled with the colors, changed the theme, changed the default desktop background blah blah, and it wasn’t bad. In fact it was nice. I’m weird. And I really really like KDE / GNOME desktops. I spent some time (OK, LOTS of time) tweaking the theme – Blue Crux for the windows, Crystal icons (oooh shiny and Gnome mimetype icons instead of the dull Bluecurve ones etc. etc. And you know what? Strangely enough I’ve *never* felt like doing the same on The OS That Must Not Be Named. Well, I might have tried once or twice, but the thing is, it is so fricking UGLY I just gave up on it. I mean, I went back to Classic instead of Luna or that other one whatziznehm? Ugh. > It is true that it is not so much a matter of technologies, but what lacking in oss desktops is that a variety of technologies won’t work together. Crap. In fact, that’s too vague to be called crap. GNOME = GTK+, KDE = QT. Care to be more precise? OK OK I’ll be honest – I like tall chicks, alright? 2004-01-08 7:32 am Anonymous Gnome is the best desktop experience I’ve ever used. I put WindowsXP where it belongs – in the garbage. 2004-01-08 7:33 am Anonymous I had to do a few extra things for Fedora Core, such as installing Java2, Flash, and new Icons for the desktop, but this is the most responsive high quality desktop anywhere. 2004-01-08 7:45 am Anonymous >, or spend a lot of time ssh’ed into the Solaris cluster. Sun Cluster? Or Veritas? Either way – nice! > The fun thing is that while students often use Linux to write the programs, the teachers use Solaris to grade them. So your code has to be portable too! Can be a pain if you need several libraries. If you need just the C library plus sockets and maybe one or two more, then that’s fine coz the recent versions of both are (mostly) POSIX now. Did that a while ago on Solaris SPARC and Linux. But that code never worked on Solaris x86! This is way OT btw. 2004-01-08 7:46 am Anonymous My fonts are great If you give me a little more info about your setup, I could probably help get thinks looking nicer. Fonts are so easy to do right in Linux: use the stock FreeType. Turn on the bytecode interpreter if you have a normal-res CRT, and disable it if you have a high-res LCD (or just like OS X-style fuzzy text And use good fonts – Vera is fine for most everything except a good small screen font like Arial (or Helvetica). Fonts are important, and there is no reason Linux distros should get this wrong. Nautilus is slow, but 2.6 should be much faster. At least, if they keep the pace they did with 2.2 -> 2.4 2004-01-08 8:09 am Anonymous task based UI ———- You mean wizards? KDE has quite a few wizards, and the Xandros review mentioned support for many more. Again, this is a polish issue, the technology is there. Take a look at this page and you will understand it is not just simply a bunch of wizards http://tty.netfirms.com/taskui.htm It is not about tech tricks, but how to make people’s life easier. not to mention Unicode support ———– Are you high? Both KDE and GNOME have excellent internationalization, part of which is good support for unicode. MS lists 24 localizations for WinXP. GNOME lists 30 full translations, and KDE lists 45. Pango and Qt 3.2 will happily render any unicode you throw at it. localization is more about UI language translation in the real world. Unicode support is not about localization (l10N), but globalization (I18n). If a user uses LANG=en_US, the system should still display other languages, including Far East Double Byte languages with no trouble. Take a look at http://hk.yahoo.com What you see in the caption/title area should look very similar to the red yahoo logo in the main page, but a bunch of digits in squares. OSS ware will usually crap out on DBCS content on linux with locale set en_US. On windows, mozilla will display title right, but can’t open or save a file with UNICODE file name. reliable drag and drop support ———- Examples? Drag a program file in a file manager to desktop, then there should be a shortcut on desktop to that program. in-place editing to name a few. ———- What the heck is “in-place editing?” Editing a DOC file inside browser, for example. Another, insert a picture in OOo, then you can still edit it with in OOo’s window using GIMP. In general, if you use mozilla to open a PDF on the net, you should be able to read it inside the mozilla window, vs. mozilla launch another PDF viewer. 2004-01-08 8:16 am Anonymous > Most guys prefer to date a pretty girl and the same hold true for this desktop thing. Yes, but if you want a stable relationship you need to look for *character* There is a difference between looking for a date and looking for a spouse. I know Samba is pretty good, so I put it on a computer in a closet and than use XP’s explorer to do file management over a network connection. OSS desktops are either handicapped in feature or too ugly to look on a daily basis 2004-01-08 8:17 am Anonymous 😀 Methinks thou doth wasteth too many hours laboring over eye candy I meant CDE fonts suck on *Solaris*, never ran CDE on Linux. Wait…there’s CDE for Linux? Don’t think so… Most of the time I just use gnome-terminal, Anjuta / KDevelop and Mozilla. That’s monospace for two, and Luxi Sans on Mozilla 1.4 with Xft support. w00t! All hail Mozilla. Fonts are pretty sweet, thank you. How do I turn on the…bytecode interpreter? 2004-01-08 8:24 am Anonymous IMHO, any deskop since win95 on windows will beat Gnome pants off, unless you enjoy editing menu entries using a text editor. 2004-01-08 9:54 am Anonymous http://tty.netfirms.com/taskui.htm ——— I was expecting more. Some little icons in explorer do not make for a “task-based UI.” And I don’t think they’re a very good idea, it seems like a crutch for not making the normal functionality more accessible. Not to mention, it adds a totally different paradigm: in my experience, people think in terms of programs, not files. If they want to burn a CD, they start a CD burning program. I mean it would be trivial to do (its a planned feature for KSidebar), but I don’t think we should. Unicode support is not about localization (l10N), but globalization (I18n). ———– KDE and GNOME support i18n just fine. Take a look at http://hk.yahoo.com What you see in the caption/title area should look very similar to the red yahoo logo in the main page, but a bunch of digits in squares. ———— Looks fine on my machine: http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg990h/kde_32_screenshots/kde-chinese… Maybe you forgot to install the proper Chinese fonts? Just drop the Arial Unicode font into /usr/share/fonts. On windows, mozilla will display title right, but can’t open or save a file with UNICODE file name. ————– Konqueror displays (and saves) the page just fine. Note the KWrite window in the above screenshot and the Japanese filename in the titlebar. Drag a program file in a file manager to desktop, then there should be a shortcut on desktop to that program. ———- *turns desktop icons back on* *drags /usr/bin/quanta onto desktop* *starts up quanta from the icon* *wonders what the heck Anonymous is talking about* *turns desktop icons back off* Works fine over here! In general, if you use mozilla to open a PDF on the net, you should be able to read it inside the mozilla window, vs. mozilla launch another PDF viewer. ———– Oh, you mean component embedding? Hell, KDE is *built* around component embedding. Read up on KParts sometimes. I can embed frickin VIM into KMail if the mood strikes me! PDF’s open up right in Konqueror, as do videos, text files, KOffice documents, OpenOffice documents (if you have Cuckoo installed), and basically anything else that has a KPart viewer. 2004-01-08 10:31 am Anonymous http://tty.netfirms.com/taskui.htm Like Rayiner, I was expecting more. This looks like they took the entries of the present contextual menus and put them in the file manager. They have specialized folders too, and I wonder if you have let’s say some image in your music folder will you have the rlevant tasks? Those who consider this a task based UI are just people longing for one button mice;-D 2004-01-08 10:45 am Anonymous fired up knoppix and tried hk.yahoo.com, fonts are ugly select file | save as got index.htm as filename, not what the title said as in IE6. Tried smb://ipaddress to another linux box with a UTF8 partition, and DBCS file names up as garbages – definitely not Unicode as what windows explorer did as in this link http://tty.netfirms.com/samba3.htm in my experience, people think in terms of programs That’s two generations behind – document centric and task centric. When you want a beer, do you think of your car or your card ? People want to get jobs done, not dragging arial unicode to a linux partition, not turning the desktop icon on, not installing some package as meaningful as Suckoo 8-))). lin-zealots like to drum up the choices beats, anything you want as long as there is a K, G or L in front of it. BTW, when I opened a web page, there is an entry on the context menu for burning a data cd using k3b, after clicking it, there is this lovely error messages “Can not find the following files: /” Pretty L33t 2004-01-08 11:00 am Anonymous http://tty.netfirms.com/taskui.htm Like Rayiner, I was expecting more. This looks like they took the entries of the present contextual menus and put them in the file manager. They have specialized folders too, and I wonder if you have let’s say some image in your music folder will you have the rlevant tasks? Those who consider this a task based UI are just people longing for one button mice;-D One relevant click is better than two – you have a 4 door sedan doesn’t mean every time you get into the car you have to open/close each and every doors. Isn’t that one click link represent one more choice ? This simple link again put oss desktops in a potential copycat position behind windows – the difference is between NOW and maybe 10 years later, if ever , huh ? 2004-01-08 11:18 am Anonymous I mean it would be trivial to do (its a planned feature for KSidebar), but I don’t think we should. The point is to make people’s life easier – it might be a trival idea, but again it’s the attention to details that set M$ apart from oss geeks/zealots. Most people are lazy cats, so in a way, meeting the need of this sort of laziness drives the technology going ahead – wheels, car, remote controls, etc. The difference is lighting a fire using a ligher vs rocks 2004-01-08 4:03 pm Anonymous Like Rayiner, I was expecting more. This looks like they took the entries of the present contextual menus and put them in the file manager. Maybe one of the three items in the “Music Tasks” box is in the context menu from Win2k (that being the “play all” selection, which would only actually be available if you selected all of the music files in the folder). The “File and Folder Tasks” box is definitely a group of items from the context menu, though some of those items may be nested in the menu. They have specialized folders too, and I wonder if you have let’s say some image in your music folder will you have the rlevant tasks? This is what I believe to be the biggest limitation of Microsoft’s approach in XP. Since the first box on the tasks pane is based on the folder type, you’ll have music tasks in a music folder, pretty much regardless of what types of files are in the folder. Additionally, the task pane itself is part of the view settings for folders, which are not saved on a folder-by-folder basis, but instead are only saved individually for a limited number of the last directories viewed. This means that if you don’t use the task pane all the time and don’t visit your music directories very often, you may not see the task pane at all when you go back to them (though the task pane will still have the Music Tasks box if you select the option to view the pane in those directories). Since the default directory type in XP is “Documents”, iirc, the only way to get the music tasks to show up is to either use the default “My Music” directory, or to adjust the settings for a directory or group of directories. The same thing goes with pictures, which have their own directory type as well. All of that being said, we’re talking about a UI developed over 2 years ago, and it’s not likely that it will change until Longhorn comes along. There are many more important features of WinXP to me, such as being able to use metadata (including MP3 tags) as fields in a directory list view. Being able to play a file or group of files from the file manager isn’t really a big thing to rave about (nor CD burning or purchasing music), especially since it’s only awareness of context comes from a setting in the directory’s properties rather than from actual context. Those who consider this a task based UI are just people longing for one button mice;-D I would say that the file manager is a fairly small portion of the “Task-based UI”. You also have to consider the updates to the start menu and task bar, as well as the fact that the default setting for the desktop on a clean install is to have all desktop icons turned off (except the recycle bin iirc, but since I generally set the recycle bin to not be used and then remove it from the desktop, I can’t be sure). 2004-01-08 5:57 pm Anonymous fired up knoppix and tried hk.yahoo.com, fonts are ugly ———– How are they in my screenshot? I know Knoppix doesn’t do fonts to well by default. Install a distro to your hard drive, install the MS core fonts, then tell me how things look. I know that RedHat and SuSE look good out of the box. select file | save as got index.htm as filename, not what the title said as in IE6. ———— That’s because IE6 is wrong. The browser saves it as index.htm because that’s the name of the file! hk.yahoo.com points you to http://hk.yahoo.com/index.htm! Tried smb://ipaddress to another linux box with a UTF8 partition, and DBCS file names up as garbages ——- Please stop saying DBCS. DBCS = Double Byte Character Set. That’s UTF-16. UNIX uses UTF-8. I don’t know if things work over samba, but it works locally for me. Do you have your locale set correctly (en_US.UTF-8 instead of just en_US?) That’s two generations behind – document centric and task centric. ——– Only according to Microsoft. Document-centric was basically a failure. The way people interact with their files hasn’t changed since Win 3.1. The first thing they do when they sit down is start up MS Word or MS Excel and go to the open dialog. People are *afraid* of the filesystem! When you want a beer, do you think of your car or your card ? ——– My car. People tend to think linearly. It goes car -> beer -> [credit] card. Or car -> [id] card -> beer. So I want to burn a CD, I think CD burner -> ISO image -> CD. People want to get jobs done, not dragging arial unicode to a linux partition ———- Arial Unicode isn’t installed on Windows by default either. If you choose an extra language in your system install (at least in Mandrake, SuSE, or RedHat), they will automatically install the correct fonts. After that, its a matter of apt-getting or urpmi’ing the correct fonts. To get Arial Unicode on Windows, you have to buy Office… not turning the desktop icon on ——– Sigh. I don’t like desktop icons. They are cluttersome. I had them turned off, they don’t come that way by default. Its just a matter of dragging the icon to the desktop, just like Windows. not installing some package as meaningful as Suckoo 8-))). ———- Huh? BTW, when I opened a web page, there is an entry on the context menu for burning a data cd using k3b, after clicking it, there is this lovely error messages ———— That’s most likely a Konqueror bug, because it works fine over here (I’m using 3.2-beta). Are you implying that Windows doesn’t have bugs? Until MS gets FTP support working properly in IE, its a completely broken program as far as I’m concerned. 2004-01-08 6:20 pm Anonymous Keep in mind that Grygus updates this memo on an occasional basis; this is not a document that was produced yesterday. If you follow his updates at the bottom of the page, you’ll see that the last update was 10-30-2003. I think he would be one to take a “wait and see” attitude over whether the improved firewall in XP SP2 will really be an enhancement. It’s not what Microsoft promises, it’s what they do, and it’s how their products perform, that matters. Read my own take on Grygus: http://my.core.com/~mrkurt/ 2004-01-08 7:11 pm Anonymous If you follow his updates at the bottom of the page, you’ll see that the last update was 10-30-2003. I think he would be one to take a “wait and see” attitude over whether the improved firewall in XP SP2 will really be an enhancement. I can understand taking that stance on most issues, but at the same time he doesn’t take a “wait and see” attitude in much of his remaining speculation, and even 2 months ago (the last revision) much of his speculation had been proven false or at least the basis for his speculation had changed. It’s not what Microsoft promises, it’s what they do, and it’s how their products perform, that matters. Read my own take on Grygus: You might want to consider updating your own take, as well, given things like the announcement that WinFS is not, in fact, a file system, but instead simply a layer above the file system that changes the way users interact with it (rather than programs), and sits on top of Win32 and NTFS. It should also be noted that although it’s sometimes harder to work on new versions of Windows with older versions of Visual Studio, a new version does not mean the old one is impossible to work with. 2, possibly 3, new versions of Visual Studio will come out before Longhorn is due, and development kits for the early versions of Longhorn will keep updating the documentation and software to produce code for it. With MS scheduling cheap VS upgrades on a yearly basis now, it’s unlikely that the shift will be a major one on the part of developers, and even though they’re coming more often, $50 upgrades don’t look so bad next to the $700+ upgrades of the past, even when they’re every year instead of every 4 or 5 years. Microsoft also promises that the 2004 release of Visual Studio will run on Longhorn, as well as software developed in it, but, as you said, it’s what they deliver, not what they promise, that matters. 2004-01-08 9:30 pm Anonymous It should also be noted that although it’s sometimes harder to work on new versions of Windows with older versions of Visual Studio, a new version does not mean the old one is impossible to work with. 2, possibly 3, new versions of Visual Studio will come out before Longhorn is due, and development kits for the early versions of Longhorn will keep updating the documentation and software to produce code for it. <p>I expressed skepticism about Microsoft breaking backward compatibility where it came to Longhorn because of how MS does business– depending on upgrades from existing users of their products:</p> …Breaking compatibility would be a big roadblock to adoption of Longhorn and achieving what Grygus says is their real goal: generating more revenue from system upgrades. <p>Given that, though, I still think it is worth it for businesses of all sizes to look at open source products. I think it is worth it for developers to look at Java or another non-MS-dependent toolkit. The risk from dependence on MS is too great for me. 2004-01-08 10:16 pm Anonymous The thing is that active net users on windows don’t use IE for FTP download. Please stop saying DBCS. DBCS = Double Byte Character Set. That’s UTF-16. UNIX uses UTF-8. I don’t know if things work over samba, but it works locally for me. Do you have your locale set correctly (en_US.UTF-8 instead of just en_US?) DBCS is not UTF-16 SMB speaks UTF-16, so there is no excuse for not displaying Asian language properly if something is said to support unicode on top of a unicode compatible system. Do you have your locale set correctly (en_US.UTF-8 instead of just en_US?) For Unicode aware programs, it doesn’t matter. Arial Unicode is the worst font to use for Far East Asian languages. When people really need to read these languages, they use NSimSum, Mingli, MingChu, etc.