back to article Microsoft's 'ordinary Joe' promises Windows 7 bliss

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has wheeled in an "ordinary" developer to re-assure folks that Microsoft won't repeat the mistakes of Windows Vista in Windows 7. Microsoft employee Larry Osterman has been brought out to say Windows 7 won't slip, and it won't contain the kinds of bugs that dogged Windows Vista with hardware and …


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  1. RW
    Gates Horns

    I'm not optimistic

    Esp. since this bit of PR puffery fails to mention one of the most serious blights on Vista, the ludicrous DRM.

    Since the workers are now in charge[1], maybe someone will design a bug for last minute incorporation in the code base that allows, via a simple reg hack or[2] simple tickbox in Control Panel[3], the owner of the computer to turn off DRM.

    "Oh, dear, we made a little mistake! Tsk, tsk."

    Other objectionable features in Vista that need to be purged: just read El Reg and draw up your own list.

    Suggested design criterion: if the owner/operator of the computer perceives no benefit from the cpu cycles expended on a function, drop that function.


    [1] appropriate in what was once called "the Soviet of Washington"

    [2] even better

    [3] or whatever the devil they call it these days

  2. Steve Roper
    Gates Horns

    And like its ill-fated predecessor... will be loaded to the gunwales with DRM crap telling me what I can and can't do with my files, even those I create myself; and it will still require the computing power of the seti@home distributed network just to display the desktop.

    No thank you. Do not want.

  3. Henry Wertz Gold badge


    Brilliant! If you never give an actual shipping date, it can't slip!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course it won't have the problems Vista had

    He's quite right; W7 won't have the same problems that Vista had.

    Most of the initial compatibility problems for Vista were caused by significant changes to the driver framework; which MS made to improve things going forwards.

    Now that most companies have finally jumped on the bandwagon those compatibility issues are largely a thing of the past. Even if they weren't, by the time W7 ships they will be, simply as the older devices will be obsolete by then.

    If they repeated the same mistakes again I'd vote them for a good kicking. The question is, what are the new mistakes? With all major projects there are a few; time will tell what these are.

  5. John O'Hare

    Less is more? More or less.

    "In Vista it would have been much harder to convince senior management to abandon features," Osterman reckoned.

    I thought that shitloads of useful promised features actually had been abandoned in Vista and were replaced with lots of not so useful features that was the actual problem with Vista.

    "One of the messages that management has consistently driven home to the teams is 'cutting is shipping', and they're right. If a feature isn't coming together, it's usually far better to decide NOT to deliver a particular feature then to have that feature jeopardize the ability to ship the whole system," he said."

    So what he's essentially saying is that Windows 7 will also not have the features promised in windows Vista. Cutting useful features and shipping a bloated OS full of unwanted features is what the problem was to begin with.

    Vista SE..ven

    Now coming to you in versions :

    - Instant On

    - Basic

    - Rare

    - Medium

    - Well done

    - Super Duper


    - Cloud (or strata, stratum, strati, whatever)

  6. michael bolland


    Windows Visa sounds about right considering the price we paid here in the UK.

  7. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Other wisely

    I didn't read the article because my brain was slowly sinking in a broth of its own tears. Is Microsoft owning up to something?

    Or seeing the light or what?

    Are they about to produce an OS that works properly or works otherwise capably or what?

  8. Tuomo Stauffer

    Let's see

    "By integrating the test teams into the planning process at the beginning"? What? What happened to agile? So - they have had even more design problems than I thought. Integrating all teams at the beginning was the mantra when I started with computers 1972! Has worked well since then.

    Now - I still don't think that 7 will make a difference, big corporates just can't change the design / development culture that fast, maybe 8?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much spin control, so early

    rather than convincing me that everything's fine in in Win7land, serves more to suggest that there's a fuck-up of truly astonishing proportions in progress

  10. James Pickett


    "Windows 7 won't slip"

    Can we have a date, then? Ladbrokes will be open soon...

  11. jonathan keith
    Paris Hilton


    Let's hope that miracles happen, and one of the "features" that the "Ordinary Joes" cut is Vista's shitty DRM.

    Paris, because she didn't protect her digital content.

  12. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Unfair on Jim Allchin

    Jim Allchin saved Vista from disaster, the fact that the OS is so slow and DRM laden (Apple has DRM, but it doesn't cripple the performance of the OS) is not his fault. He retired the day Vista was released (smart move).

    He wrote a memo to Ballmer and Gates in 2004 saying Microsoft had lost their way and he would buy a Mac if he wasn't working at Microsoft. So the guy really is in tune with how bad things are at Microsoft. I would imagine he's bought that Mac by now.

  13. blackworx

    Powell Motors' Homer anyone?

    Powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a nerf ball

  14. Doug Sloane

    Yeah right

    "To bolster Osterman's credibility as an "ordinary" guy appearing on the official Microsoft Windows 7 channel, Sinofsky said Ostermann had written the post without any prodding."

    Does this remind anyone of captured US airmen being wheeled out in front of Iraqi cameras to proclaim that of their own volition they now believe all infidels should leave the holy soil ? No ? Thought not. Me neither.

  15. Piers

    Windows 7 will be finished...

    ...when they release SP1.

  16. Michael Habel

    Jo the Plumber



    2)Working Drivers that are not riddled by Bollywood / Nashville Media Mogles telling us [Microsoft], what we [the End-User] can do with our stuff.

    3)Windows Desktop Search 4.0...

    This Sh!t needs to go! >:-(

    Everyone 's harping on why Fista is so damned slow?

    I tell you why it's (likely), so slow, it's probably why my XP SP3 has slown down so much, and that was cause of WDS 4.0. I finaly figured it out by having to stop the Service and the finally removed it. Now speeds are ~seemingly~ back to normal. Having just done a fresh install of XP SP3 I have added a new friend to the Update KB905474 (e.g. the WGA Call-Home Update), that I will never allow on any of my systems again.... Yep it's WDS 4.0.

    4)Get rid of the fecken' DRM No One wants it, and no sane person outside of iTunes wants it either!! Leave that Garbage to the likes of Electronic Farts or whoever, it's not needed in an Operating System.

    5)Get a working MCE setup for People who DON'T like in the Feckin' USA!

    Ok it's not like €urope is getting any better, but, dammit where is the support for DVB-C, DVB-S, DVB-S2 + Access to the Common Interface to view Pay-TV?

    You do realize that your lossing ground to the Penguin here right?

    Granted MythTV is a joke (and a bad One at that), but, VDR is another story altogether.

    The only thing holding that back is the need for ancient hardware (MPEG2 Decoders) these so-called Full-Feature Cards, with only 2Mb RAM for OSD. Oh so very Dbox2 or '90's depending on your view.

    But, it WORKS!! Which is more then I can say for WMCE or VMCE!

    You want me to ~think about~ Vista SE cough (sorry) Windows 7 cough.

    Fix the above!!!

    I choose you Tux (now if only someone wold make a working MHEG5 decoder that actually worked under VDR!! <3

  17. Dom

    English as spoke at Microsoft

    'Larry is one of the most “experienced” developers' - well, is he or isn't he?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My title is: "Required".

    "Does this remind anyone of captured US airmen being wheeled out in front of Iraqi cameras to proclaim that of their own volition they now believe all infidels should leave the holy soil ? No ? Thought not. Me neither."

    I half expect their advertising to include Jane Fonda talking to a line-up of the developers.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @michael habel

    As a myth user and wintard (I use pretty much all unixes at work as well), I'd have to say that it's not MythTV that is the joke, it's the Linux support for video. Case in point - I have a pinnacle 72e based USB2 DVB-T stick, it's the main receiver for my MythTV, when I first got it (about 2 years after the chipset had first been sold), I plugged it into my vista box and that was it, a couple of clicks later MCE was setup and working. Then I tried to connect it to my Mythdora box, once I'd finally got the drivers installed (which required a fair amount of researching, downloading and compileing) I had a working system, this took about a week. It still takes up to 10secs to change the channel, because the drivers in v4l-dvb are buggy.

    MCE might have something to worry about, when Linux sorts out its video and drivers are commonly available, this ain't happening any time soon though...

  20. Richard Rae

    I miss read the title.....

    ..... thought it said

    Microsoft's 'ordinary Joke' promises Windows 7 bliss

    Mines the one with the long sleeves.... and the buckles in the back

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ship it on time, I really don't care...

    I'm quite happy on XP pro for games and Ubuntu for anything else. My works machine is XP pro with a vista licence label on the underside.

    I didn't want Vista, didn't pay for it and didn't install it.

    Unless there is some good reason to install 7 I won' t even look at how much it "improves" on vista.

  22. Nathan Meyer

    Papering The Cracks?

    When Windows95 was in development, IBM OS/2 ran Windows applications better than Windows 3.11. Microsoft chose to so closely integrate their applications and operating system that neither IBM nor anyone else could do that from WIN95 on. The problem with this approach is that you cannot produce a durable OS when applications can invoke each other directly and invade what should be restricted areas of memory. It was only a matter of time until MSFT reached the point where they would either have to deploy severely limited software or build an actual OS that applications run on top of rather than within. It appears they are going for the severely limited option; but at some point they will have to provide something that actually works and scales reliably and is capable of enhancement. I don't think that, as an organization, MSFT has the capacity. Mr. Gates said 10 years ago that if NT5 (later released as WIN2000) wasn't an "enterprise class" operating system; then Microsoft would lose momentum they could never recover. It wasn't , and they haven't. (Interestingly, right after WIN2000 was released is when Mr. Gates began selling larger quantities of stock and backing away from managment of MSFT.) MSFT is moving towards a future where it will be a client display device and game console, and little more.

  23. Ian Ferguson

    Ordinary Joe?

    Would this be Joe the plumber, the ordinary *cough* American?

  24. The BigYin

    Windows 7 bliss?

    That'll be the Linux kernel then.....

  25. John Sanders

    Windows 7

    I think Windows 7 worst issue to be like the one in vista, too much change for the sake of change.

    Windows 7 features the ribbon interface all over the place, and many changes on the task bar, start menu and desktop. A new set of icons. New Explorer window behaviours, etc.

    This alienates and annoy the workers quite a lot.

    The question is: what.s going to happen once the usual lunux distro (Be it debian or RH based) plus wine is good enough?

    Hardware support in Linux is good enough, I could make almost anyone I work for to buy compatible hardware to run Linux. The problem is the software, those tailor-made windows apps, in-house windows apps, and MS Outlook. Once Wine+Linux is fine enough (getting closer by the day) it is easier and cheaper to move to Linux than to Vista.

  26. Nigel

    Judgement reserved

    I'll reserve judgement.

    What the world wants is basically XP SP4. If MS can improve the kernel or the surface glossiness, fine. But if there are new "features" that don't benefit customers, put in there to benefit MS or Hollywood, it'll bomb like Vista, and the leak of customers to Apple will become a stampede. Likewise if an upgrade to Windows 7 on any hardware sold in the last two years makes it run seriously slower than it did before. Likewise if we have to forget everything we knew about deploying and maintaining XP and start over.

    If we do have to start over, why should we start over again with MS? Especially after the Vista debacle. The only reasons we are still customers is inertia, and that XP still works well enough.

  27. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    Unless Win7 has that cancer removed, it has no more of a chance to be on my PCs than Vista did - which is to say nil.

  28. David Viner Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    W7 Features

    "According to Osterman, it's the Windows 7 feature teams are calling the shots on cutting features with management "standing behind them." "In Vista it would have been much harder to convince senior management to abandon features," Osterman reckoned."

    So, after they cut out all the features they can't finish in time to hit the release date, what's the betting that W7's main features over Vista will end up being:

    1) Replaced all ocurrences of "Vista" with "Windows 7"

    2) Upped the kernel version number from 6.0 to 6.1

    3) Erm.... that's it - now pay up please for your shiny new OS.

  29. Craig Wallace

    cut out features to ship 'on time'?

    Err, no. How about, as I really don't want a new OS that is 'just a little different', you instead take as long as you like to ensure ALL the features are in, and work, and only release it when they are. I don't care how long it takes! I might be ready in a few years for a new OS with lots of new features that work. I certainly won't be ready any time sooner for a new OS with some new features, most of which are just eye candy or don't work.

  30. Chris

    The point is...

    ... no one's really interested in how 7 (Vista ME) 'improves' on Vista.

    All any-one's now interested in is how, and if, it can improve on XP SP2.

    I don't include SP3 as M$ having grafted on several Vista 'features' completely buggered SP3 up from most users viewpoint.

    Historically XP has been, and continues to be, the best OS M$ has come up with so far. Anything that genuinely improves on it is worth considering. If it doesn't, then it's a waste of money, both for M$ 'developing' it and anyone foolish enough to buy it.

    Personally, I don't care how M$ gets there - voodoo rituals, a change of corporate culture, listening to customers, castrating developers - it's all the same to me.

    One thing I DO know however is that PR fluff won't result in a functional and improved OS!

    So M$ - can the B$ and deliver the goods. This one has to be good. If not... well, a hard rain's gonna fall.

  31. Alexis Vallance

    Not convinced

    Windows 7 is just going to look the same as Vista, and the actual usage of it is going to be no different from Vista / XP / 95.

    Same old Start Bar, same old Explorer, same old Taskbar. They need some new ideas - OS's have moved on.

  32. Leo Davidson

    What DRM are you lot going on about?

    Lots of posts here mentioning how DRM is the worst thing in Vista.

    What are you talking about, exactly? Can you point me to the articles with info on the DRM added to Vista that isn't also in XP and the benchmarks which measure the performance hit from it?

    I hope you're not just referring to the Peter Gutmann "the longest suicide note in history" article which was largely a made-up load of hypothetical rubbish written by someone who had never used Vista and was using worst-case guesses (both about how things might be implemented and, if they were, what the hits may be from them) from other people's forum posts.

    I apologise if I've somehow missed all of the sound information and benchmarks on Vista's horrendous DRM, and if in my two years of using Vista I've somehow not noticed that my PC's performance is terrible. Perhaps I'm living in an alternative universe? I get the impression, though, that a lot of people heard something about "DRM" and "Vista" and decided it must be true and must be the blame for every possible problem without further investigation.

  33. Nic Brough


    >"Windows 7 won't slip"

    Spell check or proofreading fail on their part - "slip" instead of "ship"

    Ok, wishful thinking, but I think I'm with all the other posters - if it's got the DRM of Vista, the shoddy approach to drivers, the abysmal performance chewing up CPU time for stuff I don't need and probably a shed load of other stuff (I went back to XP before I found any more "do not want" items), then this announcement is just the usual pile of stinky stuff that's quite good for the garden.

  34. Andrew Kirkpatrick

    Vista turned me into a Mac user

    ... and I'm not going to even consider going back unless they sort out the PROBLEMS with Windows.

    I couldn't care less about improving the user interface, it's pretty clear that people are relatively comfortable with it. Make it more secure, make it faster and keep it compatible!

    If you change the user interface too much in one go users will feel lost... which Apple have learnt in the past to their cost

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Media Centre

    Microsoft hasn't officially released the Vista Media Center TV Pack, but it is available, and it adds support for a lot of non-US-centric features, such as dvb support.

  36. Alexis Vallance

    @ Andrew K

    I agree with the security aspect, but I disagree about improving the user interface. That's why OS X is nicer to use and why Windows is still trudging on with the same old system that's at least 15 years old.

    The Start menu is a flawed piece of bloat. You spend more time tidying it than navigating through its maze of confusion.

  37. Glyn

    changing rooms

    As long as they give me back the XP explorer and search

    I look in a folder, go out, go back again and it's not details anymore it's huge icons with things I never asked for...grouped argh. Do what I say not whatever M$ think I want.

    And where as I used to be able to right click on a directory and do a search from that point while carrying on doing something else, I now have to stop, search, go back , accidentally close the window......again <DOH>

    if I ever meet the genius('s) behind this it'll be unpleasant for them

    and breathe.....

  38. N

    27 versions...

    ...None of which work!

    sorry, I neither trust or believe Microsoft anything, any more

  39. Steven Wells
    Thumb Down

    XP -> Vista -> Windows 7

    My most prominent problems with VISTA:

    1. Within the entire company where I find my employ, we have not one single running copy of Vista. The reason for this is there are several essential legacy applicatoins we use that run better on linux under Wine[1] then they do in Native Vista. Vista has dropped a large portion of reverse compatability for what? shiny new buttons? a 3% increase in ui streamlining? I'll admit I'm one of "those people" who prefer GUI to Console, but not at the expense of functionality. Bottom line: They need to place higher priority on software compatability then they do to the application's "Prettyness"

    2. Bloatware. Microsoft has made themselves quite clear, short of actual admission, that they care far more about cool gadgets in their software, then they do about reliability, security, stability, compatability, or even simple usefulness. They spent so much time improving UI gadgets in windows XP. Anyone remember the Mojave experiment? How much would you like to bet they installed Vista on the "test machine" and that's it? no internet, no other applications that were doomed to incompatability and failure. Just what's included / built in with Vista. If you run that alone, it looks pretty nice. But it is meant to be an operating system. Not "everything you will ever need". "Forget about buying games, or software, Windows Vista is now everything you wil ever need! What's that billy? you want to play Doom? that's an old game billy, it doesn't work anymore! What do you mean it works fine on your PC under XP?"[2]

    3. I know most of you[3] have been looking at this as the worst feature: DRM. Adding DRM into an OS is a major invasion. That is, if it is forced. If it can be disabled, removed, or opted-out, then I think it is in fact a great feature, should one choose to use it. But to force this on the end user is far more immoral then the piracy that gave it reason to be. You don't put out a candle with a flame thrower, no matter how cool it would look.[4]

    4. Vista has placed far too much priority on adding new features, and far too little on fixing old ones. This has been the attitude of microsoft for a long time. This is their greatest failing [5] and requires dramatic change before they will be taken seriously by more then the naive few who buy anything that's new. Though a few copies may be sold to the paranoid who mortally fear falling behind, only to be beheaded by the new.

    I apologise for the oversized post, I just really was both offended and amused by microsoft's constant ignorance, in their blind drive towards their goal, they burn too many bridges, and Destroy their very means of acheiving said goal. You don't take a road trip and then - in the spirit of getting their faster - start making speed holes in the hood of your car with a pick axe. If that sounds like a detached analogy, you could be right, But I feel that's what they are doing.


    [1] Doesn't mean it runs under wine, it just get's father in the init stage. much farther.

    [2] And yes I know full well that stand alone classic doom can take some coaxing to get running under XP. But at least it can be done, plus with Windoom, Jdoom, and other variants you can get it working nicely on XP. How many of those run on Vista?

    [3] Especially - but not only - the warez / music / movie priates.

    [4] And I admit, it sound fun, until you burn down the house.

    [5] In my opinion / beleif.

  40. IGnatius T Foobar

    Again and again and...

    We've heard this song a million times before. "Yeah, the last Windows release had a few problems, but the next version is coming soon, and it's going to be great! We promise!"

  41. Martin Usher
    Thumb Down

    Needs to be more explicit....

    So Vista is officially buggy and has 'mistakes'? That's a start at least. Now for the upgrade. Are we getting something that's compatible with Vista or capable of running legacy applications? Are we getting something that's modular, that's designed so that unwanted functionality can be disabled? (DRM's a good one -- I can see the business case for it even if I don't like it but since I don't use my computer as a TV I don't see why I've got to be burdened with a bunch of BS to manage my TV watching habits.)

    The one overriding thing that strikes me about Vista is if I had tried to release a piece of software like that during any part of my working life I'd have been shot down by QA and seriously shouted at by the management. I've never had the luxury of being able to manipulate, much less control, my market.

  42. Richard Williams
    Thumb Up

    Faith and one-offs

    I'm feeling like having a strange faith that MS might actually pull 7 off well. Whether it's just the fact that they'll make sure after Vista's RMS Titanic impression (icccce-berrrrrrrrg!) or that everyone's gotta have a car crash on occasion. We've all had that one day when we've accidentally clicked 'shut down' on a remote server, rather than 'log off' - and we curse ourselves reinforce the ability to think twice before clicking and get on with it, better than we were before.

    Maybe Vista was a bomb just to really make 7 stand out. Maybe it's the big MS purchasers who are to blame for pushing MS for a release that Vista was never finished properly.

    Oh and before Mac users bleat that Mac OS has always been great - you can't honestly say OS9 was good. Apple were in serious trouble with that Appletalk mess when Jobs rescued them with X. And I do like X very much and have supported both versions.

    Hopefully, we'll see a renaissance for Microsoft desktop OS, something with the simple elegance of OSX and the same amount of attention and quality MS have put into their more recent server OS's and main apps.

    Blimey, my cynical streak has taken a hit today! Sod it - go on MS, pleasantly surprise us! Please don't let us down this time, our hearts won't take it!!

  43. RW

    Premature obsolescence

    Microsoft has a long and unenviable history of deliberately screwing people with legacy hardware & software. I run a couple of Win98 boxes in order to keep a scanner going, plus ancient Win3.1 software that's never been replaced, or was replaced with degraded versions blighted by with featuritis. Examples: Fontmonster; Lotus 1-2-3 Release 5; PaintShopPro release 3; Improv 2.1

    This doesn't touch on the issue of perfectly good computers that simply cannot run later versions of Windows because of Windows' ever-increasing demands for RAM, disk, and CPU cycles.

    The software incompatibilities of Windows can be overcome via virtualization or Wine, but you have to wonder just how much hardware gets junked prematurely because of Microsoft's greed-driven policy of obsoleting old hardware. If anyone at MS claims they're "green", stuff an old scanner up their butt in reply.

    Let's face it, if you're word processing, Word under Vista or XP doesn't run any faster than WP 5.1 under DOS 6.22 on a 386 until you get into a CPU intensive phase such as rendering the output.

    ¿Wonder how many Nigerian children inhaled the fumes this morning of burning hardware obsoleted by Redmond in MS's pursuit of world dominance?

    That's not a flame of anger, it's a flame of burning junk hardware.

    PS: Is there anybody able to persuade IBM to release the source of Improv 3, which was into beta when canned by Lotus Dev. Corp?

  44. Sooty

    i'm hopeful, possibly deluded though

    windows 2000, was a significant improvement when released, but the main reason it wasn't adopted by the masses was it's lack of backwards compatibility with 98 (as well as introducing a new driver model meaning hardware issues). As far as i am aware, xp's main contribution was the addition of backwards compatibility to 2000 (not drivers though). the service packs built on this adding more and more functionality.

    like 2000, vista does have some improvements that are quite nice, the new driver model was introduced, presumably it has some improvements above the drm, and it has a lot of improved file management functionality (admittedly, i get the feeling some of this was geared towards the revolutionary new file system that was supposed to be included, which could explain it's slightly lackadaisical performance under ntfs)

    However most of these are far overshadowed by the annoyances, i understand making features usable by non-expert users, but my experience of vista is that it goes out of it's way to obfuscate anything even slightly considered to be advanced functionality.

    it's entirely possible that windows 7 could be the same thing to vista, that xp was to 2000, and be a big success. Admittedly, in both cases actually charging people for what is essentially a service pack is disgraceful, but it may be the improvement we have been looking, and hoping, for.

  45. Michael Habel
    Dead Vulture

    @Fraser; @David Viner


    While this is true for for any *nux out there, inc. VDR and or Kaffeine. MythTV doesn't really have full support for DVB either. this is not to say that it wouldn't work, quite the contrary.

    But, did you ever have to try to setup a Channel list (DVB-C ~ca. 400 Channels TV&Radio with only MyPHPAdmin or worse still with MySQL on the Command Line?

    Talk about ~fun sh!t!!~ NOT!!

    VDR might have it's downfalls, but DVB-C / DVB-S and with the correct Hardware / Software DVB-S2 as well. I can live w/o the faux MediaCenter Homescreen Thingy.

    @David Viner

    I think Googles' your Friend here granted a passably evil One, but a good friend no less.

    For a classic example (such as it is), try looking for Soundblaster Audigy + Vista Drivers + Daniel K.

    While this could be and should under normal circumstances be thought of as a "Driver Issue" it's Fistas DRM that's at the heart of the matter. That and Creative thinking that it could make a quick Buck off of those effected by this um Feature by selling 'em an Extagy instead...

    RIP cause Vista was was stillborn at birth

  46. Blain Hamon
    Paris Hilton

    @ Leo Davidson

    "What are you talking about, exactly? Can you point me to the articles with info on the DRM added to Vista that isn't also in XP and the benchmarks which measure the performance hit from it?"

    For a video card to play certain DVDs or other media in Vista, it must pass certification that it's secure. That means, instead of video coming from DVD, being decoded by the app, and sent to the video card, composited, and set to the output, it must be decoded by the app, re-encrypted to avoid unauthorized video card drivers from capturing the video to disk, decrypted by the video driver, composited, and re-encrypted before going out HDMI or visually degraded to avoid unauthorized capture.

    Performance of encrypt/decrypt vs simple copy is left as an exercise of the reader.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Leo Davidson

    Me too, I mean Vista isn't the best OS in the world (according to EVERYONE else in the world) but (for me) it has been more stable than XP (I have never had a BSOD in Vista) and I must, like Leo, be one of the few people to have received a copy of Vista without the terrible DRM that seems to cripple every other users computer.

    I dont do anything spectacular with my PC other than play a few games, bit of email and web browsing so maybe the bad things don’t affect me.

    The worst thing about the latest Microsoft stuff for me is that rather than "enhancing" the products by adding in useful things or fixing all the known bugs is that they just changed everything for the sake of it. No wonder it never got widely adopted when large IT departments looked into it and said to the management "look, it looks nice but it needs a lot more computing power to run, oh yeah every user is going to whine like mad because they are going to have to relearn how to do stuff they take for granted"

    The last part almost seems like the reason Linux never got widely accepted doesn’t it?

  48. Britt Johnston
    Thumb Up

    home vs office

    Vista teams noticed that offices want complete control, full encryption, virus updates, cross-platform integration,... but couldn't really deliver.

    Window 7 guys shouldn't forget that consumers want instant start-ups, few changes, no fiddly messages, integration with all devices, and Vista didn't really deliver that either.

    I hope the split between the two worlds gets real. Otherwise it could be neatbooks for fun and the clouds for business.

  49. Tom Mason
    Thumb Down

    @Blain Hamon

    That article by Bruce Schneier is an interesting one BUT there are a few important things to note. Firstly, while Bruce says there may be theoretical performance implications when playing protected HD content, that's not the same as measuring that performance hit. It may well be negligable in practice, AND his analysis has not come from studying the source code, or doing benchmarking, or anything else. Basically, he's guessing.

    Secondly, there's no suggestion that doing activities other than playing protected HD content are affected at all.

    Thirdly, no-one can really know, since there is no protected HD content available today.

  50. Ron Christian

    no time for new features, or even revamping of old ones

    Whatever people are expecting of Windows 7, they're probably going to be disappointed.

    Considering the current length of Microsoft's design cycle, and the fact that they won't tell us a ship date or even what major new features (or revamped old features) to expect, and the fact that they're telling us ahead of time that there won't be the driver issues of Vista, despite having considerably less time to test said drivers, *and*, considering that Microsoft is now trying to erase the word "Vista" from world consciousness, everything points to Windows 7 as (a) from a technical stand point, Windows Vista Service Pack 3, and (b) from a marketing standpoint, a way to rebrand the code base that was Vista and drum up a greater degree of acceptance.

    If it works, it'll be one of the most brilliant coups by a major software company. To get people to pay hundreds of dollars next year for what amounts to a fixpack for what they paid hundreds of dollars for last year, plus a few new graphics if they're lucky, while at the same time "rebooting" the brand name in the mind of the public, for a fraction of the R&D. Just brilliant.

  51. Eduard Coli

    Dream a little dream

    Reality may be more like Vista rides again but this seems to be a great opprotunity for MS to impress and shell Windows over BSD, Linux or even Xenix.

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