back to article Windows 7 — It’s like Vista, only less annoying

Today, Microsoft will start official downloads of the Windows 7 Release Candidate. It's the last-planned release of Windows 7 before Microsoft sends the polished code to OEMs and starts boxing up the bits as product. It's been nearly four months since Microsoft released its only Windows 7 beta, and it's likely that further …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    XP just runs applications?

    I want an operating system that runs my applications without getting in my way. XP does this more or less fine so why do I need a new windows? What does it do that XP cant do? Companies dont upgrade only for the reason of compatibility to old software, its mostly the cost of doing it versus the benefit gained. Most companies find XP is fine and upgrading thousands of machines to a new windows is more than its worth.

    In the end most company users use Word, Excel, Outlook and the web, even then they dont use more than 10% of the features.

  2. Tony Paulazzo

    £160 for...

    >Windows 7 is mostly the same as Windows Vista, but it is an unequivocal improvement<

    Yea, the Wow! starts here. And they wonder why piracy is rife, perhaps consumers are tired of getting ripped off.

    Heh, my motherboard fried so I updated, new MB, CPU and HD, reinstalled Vista and it wouldn't let me activate. Phoned up my friendly local Microsoft who said the activation code was tied to the old MB and basically tough titties, buy a new copy of windows.

    So, screw MS, time to try something different.

  3. Rob Welsh

    Too late

    I've already moved to MAC OS X because I want to just work and not fight with my OS everyday. I would have moved to Ubuntu but it's not quite filling all my requirements yet. Also I'm furious at Microsoft for producing Vista and selling it to me for £200, then admitting it was basically a piece of crap, nice one - wankers!

  4. James Loughner

    It is soooo last century

    When will you be able to do this???

    or shall we compare

  5. Somethingelse

    But what about...

    But what about VSync option back in for 3D, and a way to lock the wallpaper or Theme!?

  6. Goat Jam

    Windows 7

    "Aero Peek, which displays a full-screen preview of an application before you switch to it,"

    Eeek, that sounds terribly annoying. Perhaps it will be better than it sounds in practice.

    "It depends [...] on what Microsoft calls online IDs"

    In other words it is infected with some with some manner of user controlling DRM. No thanks. There are open source equivalents that dont you require users to give all their base to Redmond.

    "In the beta, you could drag a folder to Libraries in Explorer and it would automatically be added as a new library. What you then have is a link to that folder in a central location[...]. Microsoft then figured that some users would not appreciate the difference between links and copies and would delete the original folder, thus losing their stuff"

    Good greif, are Windows users really that dumb? No wonder Windows is so bloody nannying all the time.

    "If you try to add certain kinds of network drive to your library, such as a Linux appliance stuffed with MP3 files, you get a bewildering message stating that the drive cannot be included because it is not indexed."

    Well, colour me shocked. A Microsoft product that doesn't play well with other peoples products, who woulda thunk it? Microsoft are the software equivalent of Sony really.

    "Underneath, Windows 7 is mostly the same as Windows Vista, but it is an unequivocal improvement."

    Really? It sounds like it would be more ethical to release it as a Vista Service Pack instead of making Wintards go and buy it again after just having been gypped with their Vista purchase.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    When will they ever learn?

    People don't want a semi-transparent taskbar (KDE 4 rip off!) if the OS it's running on is insecure and built on the same old Windows "any website or application can have write access to the core system" bullshit.

    Either Microsoft copies the Unix security model or it goes down in history as the biggest "POS toy sold as a serious tool" ever.

    I just do not know how they have the nerve to use the words "improved security" in the same sentence as the word "Windows". They could be forgiven for Win95 and maybe 98, but everything that's come since then should be in the Museum of Corporate Crimes and Rip Offs.

    What is reveals of human psychology is most interesting. People are actually prepared to pay for a product they KNOW is broken and insecure and that they KNOW will require constant attention and more money spending on it to help it be more secure and that even that is not enough to protect against new and effective threats (blaster worm anyone?).

    This is way beyond Stockholm Syndrome.

  8. Rob Moss

    "The wow starts now"

    Hey I hate to rain on the parade here, but honestly.. After the Vista farce, is rebranding the same OS really going to fool anyone? I for one am considering a MacBook Pro as my next laptop purchase

    Two quotes that I found hilarious

    "Windows 7 also eliminates a Windows Vista feature whereby every GDI window was held in memory twice, reducing memory consumption and speeding performance." -- What a step in the right direction, congratulations Microsoft for fixing a monumentally large f*ck up! No wonder Vista consumed over half a GB of RAM at the desktop

    "the wow starts now." -- The wow never started, the only "feature" was the windows-tab, the UAC was a farce and made the O/S unusable.

    I do like the authors writing style, seems to be more unbiased than most Microsoft writers

  9. Richard

    That's great but what does it have the XP doesn't?

    The return to 'core competency' may be all well and good but what exactly does Windows 7 have over XP? Don't bother quoting latency improvements in the GDI layer because whilst I know what you're talking about the vast majority of Windows users couldn't give two hoots. If it looks like XP, tastes like XP, then they will wonder what is the point in upgrading? With all the mess that Vista brought with it the end users are going to be quite rightly sceptical and with nothing tangible to gain in upgrading to Windows 7, they will stay away in droves. A couple of little tweaks such as small versions of windows when task switching is just a gimmick and a minor improvement. As a geek I remain unmoved by the changes as they've essentially taken a step back from the nice looking but very poor performing Vista. I'd just like someone to explain to me how it's all perfectly possible in a relatively slow PC in Linux (compiz) but they managed to totally guff it up in Windows...

  10. Aaron Singh
    Thumb Up


    Finally I can get away from Vista.

    It's trying to to turn me mad.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's like Vista, only less annoying

    my experience of the beta was that it was vista only *more* annoying. Maybe it was just me, but the removal of all of the configurable bits really made it a pain for me to use.

    I'm one of those odd people who actually likes the classic start menu, and find the xp & vista versions nearly impossible to use. I also found the removal of simple things to be annoying, i don't want the explorer to automatically go to my user area unless i use a menu option, i happen to want it to go straight to my list of drives, or as currently have seperate links on the quick launch bar for each drive, as i have bucketloads of the things that store all my data.

  12. James Pickett


    "polished code"

    That's new - perhaps they could use it in their PR. It would be about as accurate as 'the Wow is now'...

  13. Brian Whittle

    release date

    Seeing as Microsoft have set up windows 7 showcase roadshow Dates (in the UK) as starting from 14th of May I think we can safely say it will be here very soon.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Just as long as...

    There is an option to disable that crap new taskbar!

  15. Anonymous Coward



    The question is:

    Will it blend?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if this is like new coke....

    Nothing could be as bad as Vista so "7" looks good.

  17. michael

    am I the only one

    who looks at a lot of the new features in an os and thinks "how can I turn them off" I mean I am sure they are fun and pretty but how many of them are useful?

  18. Marco van de Voort
    Jobs Halo

    So Vista customers get a free upgrade?

    For suffering Vista for several years before this fixpack came.

  19. Shane McCarrick
    Gates Horns

    Windows 7.....

    So- in short Windows 7 is eventually making a stab at where Vista *should* have been. Its almost disingenuous of Microsoft to sell it as a wholly new operating system- its Vista built from the bottom up- with many (but not all) of the annoying flaws minimised, mitigated or removed.

    What will be really interesting is upgrade pricing for those of us unfortunate enough to endure Vista for the past few years- personally I think the ethical thing to do would be simply roll out Windows 7 as SP3 for Vista (SP2 due out imminently anyhow).

    Microsoft gives all monopolies a very bad name :(

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "media streamer" "online ID"

    A whole Windows 7 article and no mention of DRM? Just hints of things that might - just might- be DRM-related? What gives?

    Vista was all about protecting high value assets, preventing any kind of copying of HD content, stuff like that, and consequently it had massive effects on system internals and perceived performance.

    Has Bill *really* given up that ambition in Windows 7, or is it still the same as Vista under the hood in that respect?

    [ElReg hung while attempting to post this, sorry if this is a duplicate]

  21. Jess
    Thumb Up

    FAR less annoying

    I have found Vista intensely annoying on every system I've used it on.

    The WIndows 7 beta I've found pleasant to use.and it has been almost exclusively used on a system I was planning to run linux on, and I've been using a second system with it too (one which would otherwise have probably been given away - 512MB RAM 850 P3).

    The thing that I'm concerned about is re-installing a system that is actually working very nicely..

  22. Jim Macdonald


    So if you get the 64bit version of Windows 7, do you get the 64bit version of XP?

  23. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Less annoying than Vista?

    Well, that's a fairy large territory to move into. I've seen a large move towards the fruit-folk of Cupertino driven solely by the frustration of watching Vista grind its gears going nowhere.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, um... Why bother?

    What's the gain over XP?

  25. Aaron

    Start Menu

    But it still has the hideous Vista style Start Menu and no option to revert to a Classic Style Start Menu. With the Classic Style and a little drag dropping you can arrange to have every program accessible within 2 clicks and they are always where you left them. But with the 'improved' Vista Style items jump about documents get mixed in and it's generally a mess.

  26. Zack Mollusc
    Thumb Up

    Exciting stuff!

    I am thrilled to learn from the article that microsoft have competency again. I cannot remember when it had it last, but i am sure someone will remind me. Was it dos 3.3? That was pretty good back in the day. Until you wanted a partition over 32MB. Anyway, I am now saving up for windows 7 to replace the Ubuntu on my OptiPlex GX260. I can hardly wait.

  27. D@v3

    company's core competency.


  28. N

    Yet another

    shining example of "The Emperors New Clothes"

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much for testing..

    "synchronous calls in the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) can cause "a frozen desktop anywhere from 100msec to several seconds".

    So now we know one of the reasons why Vista was so bad. But wasn't it rigorously "tested" before release? How can something as bad as this apparently slip through testing? Actually how did so many of the "features" in Vista sneak through (like the freeze if you select a complex folder structure for delete) when it got so much testing.

    AS W7 seems to have had much less testing than Vista how do we know that another huge glitch like this isn't just waiting in the wings to bite us when we least expect it?

  30. Iain Purdie
    Thumb Down

    Virtual XP

    I still think this feature is utterly pointless. If your applications only work stably under XP then why would you upgrade your systems to W7, only to run them in a virtual machine? Surely the best solution would be to leave the things with XP "proper" installed. From the sound of it, security patches will continue to be issued anyway.

    The only reason at all I can see for moving to W7 in this instance is if a machine physically packs up. Due to MSs ridiculous licensing tying XP to the machine on which it's installed, you won't be able to install the OS (legally) on a replacement box so you may be forced onto W7 and virtualisation.

    Methinks a change in licensing policy for XP should be forthcoming along with the release of W7.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only problem with the XP virtualisation...

    ..that I can see is going to be the speed. Last time I tried XP virtually hosted on top of another Windows, it ran at about 30% of the speed of the host system. Queue lots of "my database won't-run / is-crashing" on those apps where the minimum speed requirement is P4 2.5Ghz, and the virtualised XP is running at the equivalent of a P4 800Mhz.

    Sage Line 50 will be one of those :)

    Queue lots of "we don't support this product in Virtualised XP sessions" plastered all over the (virtual) packaging as a result.

  32. stim

    The Best

    this is the best OS ever made!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thanks for the article. I was almost tempted by 7 until I read how it's basically Vista with a new skin. Considering the constant argument I have with my works Vista laptop about simply connecting to networks, let alone actually doing something useful, I think the answer is "they can keep it".

  34. Tony
    IT Angle

    Give IT a go...........

    Guess I will reserve judgment until I get calls off frustrated friends/family asking me to Install XP for them.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And you wonder why...

    The mac fanbois laugh at windows? The should rename it Windows 7 windows for masochists.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    @stim "this is the best OS ever made!"

    There really is one born every minute isn't there? The OS on my DVD player is better! It never crashes and it does exactly what it say's whilst being completely intuitive. Tool.

  37. Alf Faiweather
    Gates Horns

    Arrived fresh in the post this morning...

    My lovely new disc and licence for Windows XP Pro...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Nice Wndows 7!

    I've bin using this RC now for around a week now (Good old Pirate Bay), on my old Dell D800 laptop (2.1GHz, Pentium Mobile, 1.5GB RAM, 250GB HDD - OK, so I upgraded it a little!). IT RUNS A TREAT. Can't wait to purchse the RTM version.

  39. Anonymous Coward


    Let it die, put it to rest and lets just get on with our lives.

    Customers know what they want, and its XP. Keep on giving it, patched up nicely, thank you - you should have built a monetary update policy into your business model, you're paying the price now.

  40. Phil

    To all the people wondering "why this over XP" about security updates once XP ceases to be supported, which I would wager isn't very far away.

    XP is now 8 years and (almost) 2 releases old.

  41. Ben Rosenthal

    sounds good

    about the increased performance over Vista, think I'll be stealing this one though as I don't qualify for an upgrade (a patch that makes Vista run as nice would stop me though and I already have virtual PC with XP sp3 installed).

    am I the only one that turns all that Aero guff off asap?

  42. Anonymous Coward

    can't run my old game...... fortunately it does run on

    linux in "compat mode" ;-) with accelerated graphics, mind you ........

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Too late

    I already made the switch to Mac OSX and could never go back, it's still years ahead and is an example of an OS that greatly enhances efficiency rather than obstructs. I just run SUN Virtual Box with my old XP for things like Rosstech's Vag-Com software. If I had old hardware lying around, I would install UBUNTU and just use it for typing/email/internet/skype.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Vista GDI Probs fixed?

    It stinks when a company will admit they have problems with their product and try to flog you an upgrade to fix it. Come on!! Vista is so fucked you can't fix the problems any other way than to sell us a new OS?

  45. Big Bear

    @Goat Jam

    “Good grief (sic), are Windows users really that dumb? No wonder Windows is so bloody nannying all the time.”

    Yes, yes they are…

    Remember that Windows has a stupidly high percentage of installed base globally, and that people like many of the folk here who just know what they are doing is an extremely low percent of the population. I’m generally IT savvy but not really into operating systems as to me they are a means to an end, namely running applications for fun at home or for profit at work, but when I was playing around installing the latest Ubuntu last night, one of the first steps let the user partition the drive and it asked whether I wanted to stick 9.04 alongside or over Ubuntu 8.04 – I can imagine 99% of the people using computers scratching their heads at that stage. Let’s face it, people are dumb and the Penguinistas have yet to quite reach that level of simplicity to break fully into the mass market.

    And before the open-source abuse starts, let me just say that joe public just wants someone to tell him what to do and how to do it, and his eyes will quickly glaze over when the reply involves asking which distro he has as one will need a apt-get and the other a yast and so on and so forth – until the infighting stops Linux will never overtake Windows as each flavour is individually better, but there is a lack of overall focus and trying to find a goal. Unfortunately the open-source world does not lend itself to an overall strategy as variety is its biggest advantage and Achilles heel, with too many leaders trying to move in too many directions.

    I personally liked Win7Beta, and once Vista got configured it started behaving itself well and neither of my Vista machines have crashed since SP1 came out. In fact, the last crash I remember was Firefox a couple of nights ago on one of them!

    PS. For the guys talking about liking the classic start menu and toolbars – I found myself turning them back to the Vista version as I kept forgetting I wasn’t on XP anymore and the different locations Vista stores stuff meant I kept wandering to wrong folders! Plus I’d go back to XP and keep on trying to use Alt-Up to navigate with then punching the keyboard when I couldn’t go up a level… best feature introduced in Vista IMHO!!

  46. MnM

    it will be a free upgrade

    one way or another.

    Vista resets my mouse speed to sloow after... every... single... update...

  47. Rob

    Only one thing interests me

    I had Vista foisted on me when I bought a new PC. The reseller wanted an extra 200 quid for the same macine running XP, so I bottled my frustration and accepted Vista. Whilst i've used it for the last 2 or 3 years (or however long it's been now) I can honestly say i've not really had any problems with it (beyond the annoying freezes when copying large stuff). But the biggest problem with this is that I didn't want it in the first place and while I haven't had any problems, there's certainly nothing in there that XP didn't do for me that would have made me buy Vista through choice.

    I can see the same thing happening with W7. Nothing in there interests me (except getting the freezes fixed, which really should be rolled out to all Vista users!). Out of all the new 'features' the one thing that intrigues me is getting decent touch screen abilities, but only because I think it might be useful in the way that I have my machines set up. 'Course, i'd still have to buy new monitors and stuff, so it's not going to happen quickly anyway.

    I never thought i'd say this but.. i'll be sticking to Vista thanks. (Actually, my XP Netbook gets more use time these days - some things are just good and fast at what they do I guess)..

  48. N

    Core Competency ?

    Is ripping people off, repeatedly.

  49. James Robertson


    I still have a PC at home running windows 2000. its not connected to the internet, so no security problems, and it runs great, We run XP at work and there is no way in hell I will let them upgrade to Vista, or Windows 7 We don't need a new system XP works fine.

    Why pay MS to run Virtual XP on Windows 7, I'd rather buy a Mac and run XP in VP mode than give MS anymore money.

    They should rewrite windows from scratch, and forget about legacy software, Bring out XP security fixes as required for those that still need to run XP on older machines, and then they can have a new OS for new machines that is written for new machines and software.

  50. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    What's the gain over XP .... over 98SE ?

    I'll acknowledge XP is more capable than 98 in some respects, but if they aren't needed capabilities it's not a loss not having them.

    If I can skip upgrading to Windows 7 ( Vista SP 2 ) that's another saving I can make, money which can go towards buying hardware which makes 98 run at the speed of light compared to pedestrian performance on top-end systems required of the latest bloated OS's.

    If nothing else, 98 doesn't have a user interface which makes it look like "My first computer". Eye candy for the masses ( and some Linux distros are no better ). Useful configuration options seem to be increasingly hard to find as Microsoft dumbs down the interface experience.

    Mine's the one with the Win 95 boot disks in the pocket. The "Wow" starts when exactly ?

  51. Steve
    Thumb Down

    Virtual XP

    People don't stick with XP because they want XP, they stick with it because they *don't* want Vista. Mostly that's because it is slow, and is incompatible at driver level with many apps.

    A non-hypervisor virtual XP isn't going to fix either of those problems.

    My guess is that µSoft know this, and expect no-one to use Virtual XP, so that they can then claim "look, XP is really dead, no one uses it now" and can finally drop it.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Big Bear

    How many people *actually* install Windows? Its only geeks/nerds that ever really do. Sales of netbooks with Linux preinstalled were doing really well. The only reason MSFT got in the act was that they saw what cash cow netbooks were...

  53. Richard Preston

    Job done

    Had Vista. Didn't like it. Tried W7 beta. Bought a Mac.

    Like taking a stone out of my shoe.

  54. Ben Boyle

    @James Pickett

    "Polished Code" should of course read "polished turd"

  55. KB

    Reason to upgrade?

    I had Vista foisted on my with the purchase of a new PC - but you know what? After I got used to where everything was (and after SP1 sorted out some of the bugs like file moving inexplicably hanging) I have actually grown to quite like it.

    The UAC nagging is the only remaining annoyance; otherwise it's reliable, stable, fast (on a Quad-core Q6600; 3GB RAM - nothing special) and good to look at. All my old peripherals from my previous XP machine worked fine so maybe I was lucky, but still - no complaints.

    With 7 looking to put Vista into an early grave (and I understand why MS need to do this for business reasons) I'm faced with the decision of whether to upgrade or just stick with Vista until I next come to replace (or do a major upgrade) on my PC, by which time Windows 8 will probably be on the horizon.

    I've no use for the touch functionality; Libraries sound pointless for anyone who actually stores their files sensibly in the first place; I don't like the idea of the new taskbar (I've never let windows 'stack' open instances of the same app - give me a separate tab for each so I can see what I'm doing) and alt-tab in Vista is fine for task switching...

    So yeah, if this was a free Service Pack for Vista I wouldn't object to it, but I can't see any reason to spend money on it if you're already a Vista user.

  56. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    XP's life expectancy

    " about security updates once XP ceases to be supported, which I would wager isn't very far away."

    A poor wager, since the results are already in. Microsoft are still shipping XP, so laws in many countries oblige them to support it for a few years more anyway. If they bundle it with premium editions of Win7, that obligation continues for the lifetime of Win7. In any case, OEMs making turnkey systems have been assured by Microsoft that XP will be both sold and supported until about 2017. That puts XP about half-way through its supported life.

    Obviously the level of support will tail off. The core code is pretty stable even now, so it's hard to imagine XP *needing* much in the way of support (compared to the rest of the MS product line) in the next few years.

    There's also the fact that XP support is "special" compared to previous releases. The inclusion of virtual XP with Win7 is an admission by MS that they believe there are large numbers of corporate customers running old software that won't ever run on new versions of Windows. MS are therefore faced with the choice of cutting large corporates adrift, or supporting XP.

    And to forestall the usual whining about "why can't they fix the apps?", let's be clear about who "they" are. In a closed source world, *most* of the people who might buy a new operating system are not in a position to fix any of the apps that they intend to run on it. The original software vendor may no longer exist, may charge an exorbitant fee for what *they* see as a port to a new OS, or may just not be interested in dusting off the old code for an uneconomic handful of customers. Consequently, *Microsoft's* customer, the end-user, demands 100% backwards compatibility or else they can't and won't upgrade.

  57. Robert Forsyth

    Wait for the third version

    Traditionally MS take three tries to get it right, if Vista is version 1, W7 version 2, W8 version 3. After that they start mucking it up, but recover by version 6.

  58. sandiskboy

    I'm going for Snow Leopard

    After 2 years of trying Windows for the first time I have had enough, How do you guys put up with this crap? Snow Leopard sounds way cooler than Windows 7.

  59. Chris Williams
    Thumb Down

    I'm not spending money on it

    I foolishly bought Vista Ultimate to run on my laptop and the only thing about it that's ultimate is the fact that its the ultimate (as in 'last') version of Windows I intend to purchase.

    Since its launch, I have read and heard complaints, but also counter-arguments and support for Microsoft's attempt to improve the user experience, enhance security and reliability et al, but my own personal experience has been one of almost unending frustration.

    If I were only to use my machine for word processing and browsing the web then undoubtedly it would match the job, but I have had problems with file consistency, performance and have seen more blue screens than ever I did with XP.

    It's no exaggeration to say that running Vista (on a laptop that replaced a perfecly reliable XP laptop that was stolen) has cost me frustration and lost time that amounts to several days of lost productivity and, for that reason, I can't say that it was "fit for purpose". Sure enough, SP1 took care of some of the *really* ridiculous problems like taking hours to copy a few files, but that's like buying a car and only having the accelerator fitted at its first service!

    I'm no IT idiot, and Microsoft operating systems have run my computer's since the days of DOS 2.0, so I have lived with the foibles of Windows since its rudimentary beginnings in the 80s. I have watched it take over corporate PC networks where (in my opinion) it comes a distant third, fourth or fifth place to Novell eDirectory (a proper, fully functional and completely transparent network directory structure), Linux, etc. in terms of manageability, performance and reliability, but I have grown to accept working with it as part of my job -- on the desktop in fact, I'd say it's not done a bad job since Windows 2000.

    This, though, is different. Vista has never grown on me. I have never come to actually like it and, even after two years of using it, curse it on an almost daily basis.

    Vista cost me good money, and now I'm supposed to say "ah well, never mind, they made a mistake... the next version is bound to be better." Well bollocks to that: Windows 7 might bring me the things I paid for Vista to bring me, but I'm not going to pay top whack for it again.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi, I'm a PC

    [Mac] Hi, I'm a Mac

    [PC] and I'm a PC

    [Mac] I do graphic, music and multimedia in a way that'll blow your mind - and I'm secure!

    [PC] Y'uh huh...

    [Mac] Yeah, and look how damned shiny and easy-to-use I am!

    [PC] Y'uh huh...

    [Penguin] Hi guys!

    [PC & Mac] Hmmm?

    [Penguin] Me so leet on servers! I R reddy fur desktop now, kthnxbye

    [Mac] ooooh kay - so, I've got graphics, music, multimedia and I'm just so damned dripping with cool that I could single-handedly turn back global warming and bring about the next ice age - our little penguin pal over there has got servers all wrapped up nicely almost as well that little red imp chap, where is he by the way? And the penguinistas play nice with all these little netbooks too... so "Mr I am a PC" - what've you got apart from spreadsheets?


    [Mac & Penguin] DAMNIT!

  61. Niall Campbell

    You can polish a turd

    as many times as you like but it will always remain a turd.

    Am I the only one to think that desktop improvements (sic) are yet another p-poor attempt from Microshaft to come up with a UI like Mac OS-X?

    The sooner we see the back of a company which resembles its own software (over-blown and bloated) the better!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "So what's different since January's beta? Aero Peek, which displays a full-screen preview of an application before you switch to it, has been extended to alt-tab switching as well as taskbar thumbnails, so you no longer need the mouse."

    Ah, so just like KDE has been able to do for ages? KDE will even show the active window content in the preview. So if you watching a video in a window , the video will continue to play in realtime in the preview pane.

    MS, get a clue!

  63. James Whale
    Thumb Up

    Win7 is good - you haters need to get over yourselves

    Been using the beta for several months - runs like a dream on my Samsung NC10 netbook (1.6GHz Atom, 2Gb RAM) so should fly on higher specced machines. Take the visual pleasantries of Vista, chuck in the speed and stability of XP and add new dimensions of intuition and polish, and you have Windows 7.

    Don't knock it till you've tried it folks - a lot of you MS haters are going to be eating your words quite soon...

  64. Peter Mc Aulay

    Core competency

    That would be games and hardware, then.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    " Quad-core Q6600; 3GB RAM - nothing special..."

    You have got to be kidding!!!!!!

  66. Anonymous Coward


    "Windows 7 also eliminates a Windows Vista *feature* whereby every GDI window was held in memory twice, reducing memory consumption and speeding performance"

    I do so hope there was heavy use of sarcasm accompanying the word "feature" in there...

  67. Anonymous Coward


    I have to laugh at all you "Wot's it do that XP doesn't??" whiners! I bet you all said the same about DOS when Windows 3.0 hit didn't you...?!!

    Listen if you don't like the OS then DON'T USE IT. And if you don't already, then why not just shut the fuck up and stop bitching about something you don't use?

  68. michael

    re:What's the gain over XP .... over 98SE ?

    proper multi user support and networking protocols especial for wireless, vastiley improved support for usb devices. bundled automatic updates over the internet and that is just of the top of my head

  69. Andrew Kemp

    ...sad buch

    The usual MS bashing crap... Have you actually used Win7...?

    It's a lot improved in terms of speed over Vista. To those pulling up the same old and out of date garbage about security, Vista/Win7 with IE in secure mode is more secure than anything else.

    "Why upgrade, what's new over XP" - yeah, I bet you were the same moaners groaning when XP was new "why upgrade, what's new over 98..."

    "Lots of pretty icons and taskbars", "turn it off" - yep, why use an interface at all, let's all go back to a command line and show how 733t we are...

    And of course, they stole the see through taskbar off KDE, how dare they, can't they think up things themselves... Grow up, you think KDE invented their desktop interface? So what, using windows, pointers, menus, mice I guess is all copying as well, why can't these OS designers think up their own ideas - how dare they use something that works, they must create their own stuff whatever the case...

  70. Peter Kay

    @Tony Paulazzo

    So, you bought the OEM version which is tied to a motherboard and then complained because... it's tied to a motherboard? That's why it's OEM - it has strings attached and is not supposed to be used by end users who don't know the disadvantages (tied to a motherboard, no support calls bundled). I'll grant some online shops aren't exactly very clear about this though..

    If you replace it with the same model of motherboard it should work, and if that model of motherboard is no longer available Microsoft *should* enable it on the new one (of course they might reasonably say at that point, that replacing a 975X based motherboard with a X58 isn't a like for like change, for instance..)

    It was exactly the same with XP; if you want to move the license about the full retail version is required.

  71. Chris Williams

    @James Whale

    Not everybody who posts negative comments about a specific experience with a specific product is a Microsoft hater.

    You may not have posted in response to my post, but I sympathise with many of the above comments so please allow me to respond in kind:

    I'm very pleased that your experience has been good, and I have seen many a posting not dissimilar about Vista itself, but perhaps it is you who needs to get over the fact that some people are dissatistied and frustrated with good reason.

    I am not a Microsoft hater. I am not even a Windows hater, and I am no Mac or Linux fanboy, but whether you dismiss it out of hand or not, my experience with Vista has not just been bad, it has been lamentable.

    If this were any organisation but Microsoft, we would allow ourselves to conduct such discussions without always making the assumption that it's to do with our liking or otherwise of its former CEO and representative personality, or because we have a liking for engaging in pub-style banter over which is the undisputed king of corporations, Apple or Microsoft.

    I drove a car for a while that had problem after problem. My mate has almost exactly the same model but had no such problems: he couldn't deny that I was experiencing tribulations that would rightly make me think twice about buying from the same manufacturer again, even if he wasn't.

    I'm not suggesting that there won't be anything good about Windows 7, but rather was making the point about having spent money on an OS that was basically shit and having to spend money again on its replacement.

  72. Rick Giles

    @ Tony Paulazzo


    Not to sound like a fan boi, but give Ubuntu a try.

    -Mines the one sitting next to the ancient (by current standards) laptop that runs Slackware 12.2 faster than my new one runs XP...

  73. Dark Ian

    Copying files...

    I wonder if this Windows release still does that infuriating thing when you're copying a large folder tree to a new location, and one bad file is found and the whole process is stopped - there's no 'Skip this file?' dialog box.

    Still, I didn't buy Vista, and I doubt I'll buy this. XP does everything I need from an OS at the moment.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    James Whale....

    No no no....2gb ram....higher specced machines.... hmmm . Dont need polish or intuition from my OS thanks ;)

  75. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    @James Whale

    Sure, I'll try it. You going to give me the £160? Thought not.

  76. Anonymous Coward


    all this MS bashing does get very dull and repetitive if you don't like it don't use it don't bore us all with how brilliant every other OS is the fact of the matter is if MS products where really that bad they wouldn't have got as far as they have it’s easy to use does the job it’s asked of maybe not brilliantly but well enough to be usable Linux maybe perceived as the best thing since sliced bread. But for joe public Ms just works and 99% of all software works on it to some degree or another. Most of the time it’s 3rd party software that is the route of the problem not MS. Personally I’m indifferent to all OS’s as I don’t really care what brand it is so long as it runs my software library, which windows does. Linux on the other hand is just a ball ach to get most software running. I have more interesting things to do in my life than sit down and learn a 20 page code just to install a media player. Once Linux gets to the point where its point and click then I’ll revise my position on it. And by point and click I mean 5 clicks and its done not 2 click type some weird shit and then maybe just maybe it’ll work without me have a degree in computer engineering. Apple I just hate full stop over priced crap that it all style and no substance

  77. Sarah Harper
    Thumb Down

    The only downside..

    The only downside of Vista and W7 over XP, is the "flavours". I liked the simple Home, and Professional editions, instead of hundreds of different things. No doubt W7 Ultimate will cost a fortune like Vista Ultimate did, which a lot of people simply can't afford. XP Pro never cost that much, and "migration" to W7 will be very slow, so it would be beneficial to reduce the price to something reasonable.

  78. David Viner Silver badge

    @Tony Paulazzo

    Your MS drone is incorrect - a company I worked for could always get XP re-activated on the original licence even after changing the MB on a PC. Phone MS back and insist that they allow you get activated on your original licence. Explain slowly and persistently that the motherboard failed and you could not obtain a similar one so had no choice but to replace it (motherboard production life is measured in months, not years so getting an exact replacement is nigh-on impossible nowadays) . Also, tell them in no uncertain terms that if they effectively steal the use of your licence from you then you will definitely NOT be buying another Windows licence but will be installing Linux instead (they won't like that!).

    Don't take no for an answer without speaking to a manager or two first (give the impression that you are prepared to take things much further if you don't get activated).

    Good luck!


  79. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Dont knock it til you tried it

    Why should I even try it ? £150 when Mandriva comes for £0. Virtual desktops ? None, yet Mandriva has those. Don't think I need more reasons.

  80. Andy Enderby
    Gates Horns

    corporate customers ......

    .....Just want to run their core applications as has been pointed out elsewhere here. Allegedly "cool" visual tweaks that require double the graphical hardware cost will acheive little beyond annoying the beancounters, and would do so regardless of a recession. Is it me or have they now completely lost their occasionally flakey connection with reality at Redmond.

    Running word processors, spreadsheets and databse clients really shouldn't require a business to spend a pile on graphical hardware, and when a lower footprint alternative exists, why should they pay for even 2, let alone 3 or 4 gigs of RAM in every box ?

    XP, legacy Win 2000 licenses and even embracing the penguin for those without legacy apps to support, is likely to be seen as a better business bet. According to the Beast of course, these enterprises should all have divested themselves of 2000 in favour of XP, XP in favour of Vista and now, before the bugs have all been rounded up in Vista they should do the same again and make the jump to 7......?

    They are aware that cash is tight right now ? Hello ? anybody there ?

    Wakey fscking wakey !

  81. Big Bear

    @Mac Phreak

    Sorry Mac Phreak – I used that as an example to highlight the, dare I say it, inbuilt geekiness of Linux, where even Ubuntu, which has long been touted as the most user-friendly and hence (ironically) most similar to the two big players, will scare the average user when they have the big screen talking about partitions and other techie matters. I doubt more than single percentage points of users have ever installed an OS, and the vast majority of those will be those ones who reinstall Windows because that’s what their brother’s mate’s neighbour suggested, and I believe that with Windows all you get is the full reinstall option which blows away what was there beforehand with a clean vanilla instance.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ James Whale

    I am using it and there is nothing too good about it at all. Progress made by MicroSoft in the past decade still equals practically nothing. This OS makes me snooze with tedium every time I run it... I've never been so completely bored by an OS "update" and it is appalling that MS is receiving such sycophantic praise from the media for a system that is still so poor. I'll stick to downloading the RC1 and running it in a VM should I ever need anything to do with Windows 7. Fat fucking chance I'll spend anything on the final release though.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: It's like Vista, only less annoying

    @ another anon coward who wrote "i don't want the explorer to automatically go to my user area unless i use a menu option, i happen to want it to go straight to my list of drives".

    You may find this seriously weird but, since Jan 2008 when I bought my last pc, complete with Vista pre-installed, I have been trying to persuade explorer to go automatically to my user area rather than straight to my list of drives. That is, the opposite of your requirements. Perhaps we should swap pc's?

    Maybe this highlights the difficulty any OS or application developer has?

    i.e. Customers. Sorry, I meant Users. Or should that be Adopters?

    You couldn't pay me enough to be Microsoft (or Apple or Macintosh, or whatever that Linux-for Money company is called) - ever. And stuff being Oracle - I fight their handywork every day in the Government Department they conned with their sales talk.

    One day the wold will wake up to the fact that it's all about SALES and not saviours.

  84. Anonymous Coward

    MSDN Down

    Blah blah Windows sucks... except RC1 just got posted and the MSDN site is now totalled... swamped with requests.. looks like they've disabled logins.. ho ho. Amazing that they still cant handle this kind of event ..maybe Windows 2012 Server will? :-)

  85. Eddie Johnson


    No you are not the only one. First thing I do on XP is switch desktop to Classic scheme, then disable the stoopid desktop cleanup to get rid of annoying popups. Stuff I haven't used in 90 days is exactly what I NEED shortcuts to - you don't use it often enough to remember. Then I switch the taskbar to classic mode, delete all the MS crap from the Start menu, drag an Explorer link out from its burial plot in Start/Programs/Accessories and place it directly in the Start menu where its actually usable, then configure it with a "/e,C:\" option so it actually opens somewhere useful (yep, me too @AC). Then you spend half an hour trying to disable all the crap new Explorer options, bring back the Attributes column in details view and finally click on Reset All Folders" and "Apply to All Folders" 4-5 times before it sticks. :( Now log out and you have a 50/50 chance that all your changes stick. As long as you didn't install any patches.

    If W7's big "improvement" is all about hiding all that "complicated configuration" then its an epic fail to me. And why the hell do I want to waste processing power drawing color transitions, roll down windows and transparent title bars when my goal is to actually get some work done, as quickly as possible? Stop with the eye candy MS and realize a computer is a work tool, not a cosmetic accessory.

  86. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Re : michael

    re:What's the gain over XP .... over 98SE ?

    By michael Posted Thursday 30th April 2009 12:25 GMT

    proper multi user support and networking protocols especial for wireless, vastiley improved support for usb devices. bundled automatic updates over the internet and that is just of the top of my head

    Multi-user support - It's my PC, if someone else wants one they can buy their own.

    Network protocols - Works fine for me on wired and wireless and I have quite a LAN.

    USB support - That is 98's weak point but it has supported all USB devices I have.

    Automatic Updates - As if I'd trust those :-)

    Bottom line is that if 98 didn't do what I wanted I'd have upgraded, but apart from MS insisting I do so, there's no compelling reason to, and I guess that's where most XP users are coming from also.

    Besides, if 98 is lacking I can upgrade to XP; still no reason to go Vista or Windows 7.

  87. Jimbo
    Thumb Up

    i like win7

    I've been using Win7 Beta for few months now on my home PC and it's actually pretty good. Runs great on old hardware with 512MB.

    I love some users when they compare it to XP... well next time when virus hits don't blame wndows. Vista/Win7 significantly improved kernel. I have Vista on my latop (new latop with 3GB ram) and it really asks to ACCEPT changes only when I install or upgrade new software, I don't see this to be annoying at all. The system runs very smooth.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is an OS for exactly?

    Surely it's just there to sit between your hardware and your applications and as such the OS should do very little that the user is interested in. For the most part updates should be fairly frequent and minor.

    They can force the gullible to pay for a new release by introducing flashy but ultimately useless "features". The slightly less gullible will be tricked by their putting checks into the install scripts of new apps to stop them installing on older versions. Then there's the final resort of terminating support for the older version.

    The problem with this model is that it just makes them (more) unpopular. If they don't get the new features right then people complain. And when they do have a popular OS then people complain when new apps won't install or support is terminated.

    There again MS have always known how to make friends.

  89. Dick Emery

    What does it have over XP?

    People keep asking what Windows 7 will have over XP. Well for one thing it will allow the use of more than 3GB of RAM which for graphics editing and video editing is a must. Same goes for the 2TB hard disk partition limit. There are already 2TB hard disks out there and even larger RAID arrays. XP is problematic with partitions over 2TB requiring a lot of messing about to get it to recognise over that amount correctly.

    I'm guessing only the 64bit version of Windows 7 will support more than 3GB of RAM fully though?

  90. Andy Enderby

    @ Dick Emery

    A legit point, but surely XP 64 has this already, although I'm willing to confess I'd have no idea on this issue unless I consulted the relevant documentation.

  91. b166er

    I can't believe how lazy you are

    so many here, asking what are the benefits over XP. Why don't you learn to read and then go read about it? Even install it in VirtualBox and have a play, see if you can't turn off some of the features you don't want. I'm amazed you ever found your way out of the womb!

  92. Steven Raith

    Win7 bits

    Couple of points: current RC [well, build 7077....] *does* show you a live preview, providing the window is not minimised - so you do get live video etc with the preview thumbnail and Peek. If the window is minimised, you get a snapshot of what it looked like last, but it's not animated [tested this with youtube...]

    Also, you can pick up a Q6600, 2gb ram and a decent quality mobo for £350 - see here -

    - providing your PSU and chassis are up to it, you slot in a cheap PCI-E GPU and you have a stonking fast machine for well under £400. A Q6600 is nothing special. But it is bloody fast - I can get my one stable at 3.4Ghz with a £25 cooler, and plan to get a bit more than that with a £50 one.

    I've been running Win 7-7077 for the last week on a Q6600/P5Q/8Gb RAM/HD4850 and it's really not bad - I haven't even got round to installing Ubuntu 64Bit edition again yet [I put too many partitions on the HD for Windows to handle...].

    Will I use it day to day? Probably not.

    Will it do for Windows only apps and DX10 games? A damned site better than Vista does, that's for sure.

    7077 is much nicer than 7000 [the beta released a few months ago] as an actual gelled experience - it has a very smooth feel, in the same way OS X 10.5 does, and Ubuntu 8 didn't [even with Compiz etc] but 9.04 is heading for too.

    OSs are getting better across the board I reckon, no bad thing. MS are playing catchup in every major respect from a techies perspective, but they are slowly getting there methinks.

    Steven R

    Currently triple booting XP SP3, Vista Ultimate and Win 7 Ultimate, soon to be quad boot with Ubuntu 64bit :-)

  93. Chris Williams

    Jimbo, there is more to this...

    It is not that Windows 7 is expected to be crap: it is expected to be good in fact.

    It will better handle multiple processors, more memory and will be more scaleable as a base for servers.

    The front end will be cool, file handling will have improved, it will handle mouse gestures, it will run programs we need to keep running in XP mode if necessary.

    But, once again, and in full knowledge that I'm beginning to sound (or have long sounded) boring, THAT'S NOT THE POINT! As a long-term Microsoft customer and someone who is (can you tell) more than a bit disgruntled with Vista, I should not have to pay for a new operating system when the primary reason for getting it will be to put right the cock-such that is Vista, not to update my XP machine.

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT HATING MICROSOFT: it's about having to pay again for something has already been paid for but not delivered!

    I have every respect and sympathy for Microsoft's developers who are doubtless highly talented and motivated individuals... but their wares shouldn't be sold as 'ready for use' until they really are ready for use.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The Cow Farts Now

    And that smell is the big steaming heap of Windows7 under your feet.

    polished code - Yes, you really can polish a meadow muffin. Someone get a shovel and help me pile this W7 back in the spreader.

    @AC - 12:53 GMT - Most of the time it’s 3rd party software that is the route of the problem

    There's the crux of the problem now, innit? MS Win is supposed to be DESIGNED to be used with 3rd party software and should do it right; not like the steaming heap of goat custards that it is. Even Paris knows better than to step in it.

  95. Peter Kay

    @'What does it offer'

    Well, Vista and 7 were designed to start making the system more stable, secure and consistent (i.e. so that you don't get noticeably different features on different hardware), but sadly all the whingers don't understand there are tradeoffs with this..

    Only 64 bit versions of Vista and Windows 7 support more than 3GB RAM. It seems PAE is enabled on Vista, but doesn't support access to higher than 4GB RAM as this has an impact on driver support. PAE is a nasty hack on 32bit Windows Server OS and should be avoided wherever possible anyway..

    To say that XP/Vista/Windows 7 isn't an improvement over 98 is laughable. Just because the improvements can't be seen running a web browser in an English speaking country does not mean they're not there.

    However, the main reasons are

    1) it's no longer supported

    2) No more security fixes

    3) Programs generally don't support 98 any more, because it's a sack of limited, unstable buggy shit that's a horror to program for.

    4) Little new driver support, either.

    The price of computing with a PC is that you have to update your computer and operating system about every eight years or so. This is *not unreasonable* especially given the dirt cheap cost of hardware.

    98, and even XP 32bit, are not architected to cope with all the new media people are/will want to use. Updating operating systems to handle new security threats, better networking and utilising new hardware is not free.

    Do you really think that all the OS vendors are upgrading their architecture for fun? If 64 bit was truly a dead donkey and everyone could cope with a single processor, english interface with piddly disks and naff all memory then someone would not be bothering and gaining competitive advantage.

    As it is, companies have to do forward planning, which is why they have to include features that don't appear to be directly applicable to some people, unless they bother to examine the technical background.

    Which is not to deny, of course, that sometimes they fix the problems in the wrong way and have to try again.

  96. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Why is Vista annoying again?

    I'm running Vista Pro 64 and it's fine. Haven't had many problems other than UAC stuff (with Visual Studio, no less!) The 8GB of RAM on this box helps. Who would use a 32-bit OS when RAM is so cheap?

  97. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Now, the question is what did Microsoft learn?

    To work harder to make every OS (Vista) better than it's predecessor (XP)?

    To not work so hard on an OS (XP) so people won't be pissed when you release your typical "not much" upgrade. (Vista).

    The problem is that XP runs fine on a gig of memory. 2 gigs is insanely great. 3.6 (or whatever the 32bit limit) is God-like.

    How does one "fix" this problem? Create apps that take more memory for little or no added value. How do you force people to adopt these apps? Make them incompatible with their predecessors (Hello? New office format anyone?).

    I went full Mactard a few months ago after using Microsoft since 1990. VMWare's latest release seems to run XP (Visual Studio for work) slower than the hardware would allow, but that's about the only complaint I have.

    On a final note, that Linux desktop demo link someone posted a page or two back looks juicy and delicious. It's an interesting time for the PC (the original definition, meaning personal computer, not MS based) industry. There's actually competition in the computer market, even if it's all i386 based. It feels like if the industry adopted Unix instead of DOS 20+ years ago. Better late than never I suppose. To talk more, call my BBS at .. oh wait, wrong decade.

  98. RW
    IT Angle

    How did MS lay the addled egg called "Vista"?

    Simple: they decided to exploit their monopoly and simply force people to adopt Vista, like cattle being driven to the slaughterhouse.

    Not that MS exploiting their monopoly is anything new, but Vista was a truly egregious example. It's been pretty funny to watch MS recoil in horror when their customer base rebelled and decided to stick with XP. It seems to me an inescapable conclusion that MS, in spite of all their trumpeting otherwise, doesn't know what their customers want, doesn't care what their customers want, and couldn't figure out what their customers want even if they cared. So much for the much-vaunted usability labs!

    What I'd like to know is how much money changed hands, and in which direction, in connection with the ludicrous HD DRM installed in Vista at Hollywood's behest.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all the people complaining about activations...

    Do you know how the activation system works?

    My experience from my vista laptop which had a motherboard replacement.

    For a start every year is a new year it seems, first re-acitvation went perfectly fine via the web, no need to call them at all. Then I cocked something up and had to reinstall again, this time it needed activating, i phoned em up gave the key told em the motherboard was replaced, they gave a quick explaination of why it triggered and activated it.

    Actually i had to phone again a few days later and they activated then as well, had no issues whatsover, maybe its because i was polite on the phone and didn't demand anythin, but requested stuff , firmly if required.

    Or it could be that someones got somethign against what is actually a fair activation system, specally if you compared to some of the game activation systems out there.

  100. GumboKing
    Thumb Up

    @Jason Bloomberg

    ...disable the stoopid desktop cleanup to get rid of annoying popups...

    I didn't even think that was possible. After a quick google on it, I have found where the hidden checkbox under customize desktop is and am now free of the yoke of my every 60 day oppressor.


  101. Charles King
    Gates Halo

    Teh Snappy

    "What's the gain over XP?"

    After having used the Win7 beta for close to 4 months and having loaded it up with a large amount of stuff, it's still as fast and responsive as when I first installed it. My XP partition, however, creaks and groans under the weight of all the junk I've thrown at it.

    What does Win7 offer? A faster, more useable interface. That is exactly what an OS should be doing.

  102. Graham Whiteside
    Gates Horns

    Just do an OS X...

    Microsoft's core operating system is totally rotten. We once had an NT server with a file system containing millions of files. We wanted to copy them to another drive. Bread and butter stuff for an OS one might say. It managed to skip a whole LOAD of files (seemingly at random) without giving any kind of indication an error had happened - made a total balls of it. (no - there weren't any files open by apps) We spent _days_ developing perl tools to verify if all of the files had been copied correctly - enterprise OS my arse!

    An HP-UX box deployed in a similar situation managed to do it without fuss, first time. Needless to say we try to avoid Windoze now unless the client REALLY must have it.

    They should have the balls to do what Apple did and use BSD UNIX as the core with a Microsoft Windows Manager / Graphical Environment.

    If they did this and stopped trying to play the "lock in" monopoly game, people might actually WANT to use Microsoft products again rather than using them because they're locked in.

    As for the pricing - £200? They're having a laugh. OS-X is £80 and way better. Just wish apple would release it for use on commodity PCs.

  103. J

    "the wow starts now."

    They were right, after all. But in a way they didn't like.

    @"what does it give that XP doesn't"

    Well, I'm no computer scientist, but I know enough to know that the user visible aspects are not the only, probably not even the most important, ones in an OS. If that applies here or not, I don't know, since I couldn't care less for what the next MS Windows looks like, does or doesn't... But the fanboy brouhaha is always entertaining, surely.

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excuse me, but

    What was that about Links?

    How many decades ago did Unix establish links in the sense that while even one of them existed, your file was still there. MS implemented it so one could delete the link *or* the file? Can I really have understood that right?

    I think I could, because it is typical why-don't-they-get-the-basics-right MS rubbish.

    By the way. Will Office 2000 run in W7? Because there's nothing I need a new Office package for.

    Come to think of it, there's nothing I need a new OS for!

  105. kevin biswas

    98 vs 2000 vs XP vs Vista vs 7

    Well, I loathe vista and am reasonably satisfied with XP if all the crap turned off. I could see why some purists might like still love 2000 or (lord help us) even NT4 but Win 98 ?? come on. I admit it is fast on *really* old kit, but minimal hardware support, no built-in support for USB mass storage, no built in zip support, reboots to change IP address, error-prone fat32 filesystem, 'general exceptions' and 'illegal operations' rife, no real multitasking kernel, abysmal memory management, no hardware abstraction etc. Almost the only thing MS have ever done right was to dump the whole pre-NT OS line in the bin and that was done too late. I guess if you want to give the kids an old P166 laptop with 96 megs of ram to break with impunity then 98 still has a role but otherwise, no. Even MS finally acknowledged that non-NT osses were good for home-lusers only after ripping the good old public off for a last couple of quid with Win-ME.

    Is it only me who feels that 7 should have been called Vista Second Edition in honor of 98SE by the way ? The parallels are striking. Those who called vista ME-2 were also on to something I think.

  106. Sam O'Hare

    64bit is the main thing...

    The reason that I may well end up upgrading is that WinXP x64 is not getting any development. If you work in VFX, you need 64bit for the extra RAM, but currently there are problems with DirectX compatibility, Microsoft aren't updating it and people aren't writing any software for it. Photoshop x64, for example, only runs all of its functions on Vista, and not XP.

    That will be what makes me upgrade, in due course. There will also be plenty of market share due to it being shipped with new machines, as always.

  107. Craig D. Miller

    Basic response time

    I'm waiting for that objective desktop review of KDE/MacOS/XP/Vista/Win7 on the same machine.

    I think there are not many people like myself who (as a cross-platform software developer) bounce between Windows and MacOS and Kubuntu. What I notice is that ALL the OSes have areas where they have unreasonably slow reponse time (spinning cursor, etc) for simple operations like right-click to get a menu. MacOS is comparitively very fast, KDE slower, and even XP has strange long (10-second) delays compared to MacOS. And of course Vista is famous for being so slow that you are thankful for a click that only has a 10-second delay, instead of a 2-minute delay. So for those brave ones who have tried it, how does Win7 compare for basic drag/drop/right-click/search response time?

  108. Anonymous Coward


    Updated Ubuntu to 9.04 last weekend and graphics, wireless and audio all worked first time. It looks beautiful, is amazingly responsive and yes, I can actually run Office 2007 via Wine if I really want to. .NET apps run natively and don't even require Wine thanks to Mono.

    Tweaking it is a doddle, it can look like OSX if I want it to, it has endless graphic managers which allow me to customise the hell out of it if I choose (without manually editing _any_ config files) and I can compile C, C++ and .NET apps via all the totally free compilers and IDE's it kindly makes available to me. I never look back and I'll never go back. I can also remote desktop to Windows servers, too, which I am obliged to do for work reasons.

    £200 buys a lot of beer. I'll hang onto it thanks. MS can go fuck themselves.

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Greg Fleming

    .Net on Linux? Yeah, that'll be the day. What are you running? "Hello World?" "My first program?" Mono is so feature incomplete that it is useless. Huge. heaving wads of the .Net API are just stubs (if they are implemented at all). Nothing of any value can be run using Mono. Nothing.

    I am sick and tired of the fanbois who think getting a form to appear is the be-all and end-all of Mono and need a box of tissues urgently.

    Come back to me in 5 years when they have covered more that 1.4% of the API.

  110. Gary O'Brien

    same old blah blah

    The amount of people who seem to have problems with MS amazes me. I think the last time i had bsod was on NT after installing some lotus shit on it. It reminds of a course i was on some 5 years ago for Netcool and some unix/linux fanboi kept telling me how even his grandmother could break into Windows and all the usual crap, so i gave him my laptop and said "go on genius do it" utter horror on his face. I use linux/various flavours of windows and even had to play with a mac from time to time. To be honest its horses for courses, the only one im not keen on is the mac, love the hardware hate the lockins. And Ubuntu boys , sorry centOS wipes the floor with you. My point is every OS has its problems, hence every OS has its problem forums (yes even mac) Linux is great on a server, but then again so is MS after NT4. I have to look after quite a number of mixed servers and to be honest i couldnt split MS from linux in terms of reliability. BUT some of the apps on linux can be a bit tricky to get going initially. So lets all stop bitching and agree to disagree about the claimed merits of all OS's

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    OK, I really must be in a minority of 1

    I think Vista is good, a W7 public beta tried some time ago was stunningly brilliant.

    Yes, XP is good but finding a program, file, ... whereas Vista (or OS X) using windows button (or Cmd on Mac using Vista with Boot Camp OR Cmd+Spacebar in OS X) is far better than a trawl.

    Something about RC ending on 1 August with limitations starting on 1 July UNLESS a later version of W7 is installed?

    (el Reg: u 'erd it 'eer furst dood?)

    ps - I feel your pain and hope you feel my pleasures :-)

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    win 3.1

    > I have to laugh at all you "Wot's it do that XP doesn't??" whiners! I bet you all said the same about DOS when Windows 3.0 hit didn't you...?!!

    Um, yes. We did actually, and for good reason.

    That was because with most computers of the day you could either run the application under DOS, or windows 3 on its own. It hogged so much memory that nothing else would actually run unless you had an obscene amount of extended memory, which was very expensive in those days as if the computers weren't expensive enough.

    Hence, you could either run Windows for the file manager, or use the perfectly functional one in DOS that we were quite experienced at using. Or 3rd party tools like xtree gold or quickmenu that didn't use significant amounts of the system resources and we were experienced at using. I take it your new to computing?

    And I can't see the point of Win 7 over XP either. :) Its not offering me anything I need that I'm not already doing with XP and a few 3rd party apps like ultramon and a replacement file manager.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It actually works just fine, AC. I am not going to repeat what I've already extensively demonstrated to both myself and those who pay me and my peers who are also investigating the same techniques.

    It's over 25 years since I stopped writing "Hello World" programs. You are clearly misinformed. That's a great pity.

    .Net also runs faster on Linux than it ever did on Vista. Mono isn't perfect but it is more than enough to produce complex commercial software with. It was the original design principle of .Net to be cross-platform and processor agnostic. What a pity it took other than Microsoft (Novell to name one) to make it a practical reality. I got bored waiting for MS to fulfil their promise.

    I've been using MS tools for most of my professional career and I'm telling you it is entirely possible. It also works in both directions.

    I'm not interested in trying to convert anyone. Those who can do, those who can't bitch and moan about how hard done by Microsoft are.

  114. Brian Whittle
    Gates Halo

    security security

    Microsoft backed them selves into a corner with the popularity of windows and the lack of security in windows until the vista. They can't start again to many businesses relies on the foibles of windows for their software (lack of security to run software, activex and such)

    Sure OS-x is more secure than windows but Apple threw out the baby with the bathwater to get there. Anyway OS-x to me is still just another flavour (the most popular ) of Linux (sort of)

    No classic Mac OS software will work on a leopard mac.

    Depending on the software windows 98 software will work on Vista and more than likely windows 7

    When you download Mac software these days it mostly expect at least 10.4 so any Mac with an OS before 2005 is excluded

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win7 works.

    I am a hardcore Linux user, so don't confuse me for a Microsoft fanboi. (CentOS is still my primary os) I have been using Win7 for last while for work development. It is a big improvement over Vista, and I actually like using it. There, I did it... I gave Microsoft a I will go and wash my mouth, and hands with soap.

    PS: And for Mac fanboys... You better hope then Apple has their icons dancing and singing by the release of Snow Leoppard to even remotly catch up :)

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Graham Whiteside

    If you couldn't get NT4 to copy files and/or had to spend days creating perl scripts to check files were present on both servers you, or the people involved were seriously out of your depth. Don't blame an OS for the limitations of its users.

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Brian Whittle

    2 things.

    1. Mac OS X is *not* Linux. The Xnu kernel (look it up, you might learn something) is actually based on MACH with a BSD layer sat on it. The commands are similar since they share a common Unix ancestor. Don't make the over simplistic mistake of say they are essentially the same. They are not. It makes you look stupid.

    2. "No classic Mac OS software will work on a leopard mac" So? ITS A DEAD, LEGACY OS. Time to move on. Here in lies Microsoft problem, other than Vista(!). OS 9 was retired officially on 26/10/07, 6 years after OS X 10.0 was released. People that were still using OS 9 software (me included) had at least 6 years notice that OS 9 support would be discontinued. I don't know of many people that took issue with this - those that did were given fair warning so they have nothing to gripe about. Herein lies MSFT's problem. They need to draw a line in that sand and move forward. TBH, the whole "virtualised XP" idea is a good one - but not helpful. Sorry enterprise - time to get with the program (geddit!?). Legacy software cripples development. Being *that* backwards compatible is nothing to boast about - it's shameful.

  118. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up


    Very well put, I totally agree. Sometimes it's best to take the risk, cut lose the old junk and move on.

    This however is MS's big problem, they daren't take the risk of doing an OS X and simply dumping the old way and moving on, as the millions of business's the world over that rely on Windows might just seek out a certain "financially challenged" alternative X86 O/S, especially if it supports the old Win98/2K type apps better than VM'ing them in the latest Windows.

    I feel a little sorry for MS sometimes, not easy trying to maintain a massive bloated mess, clean it up and still give people new eye candy, but then I think of Billy and Steve B's bank balances and think sod 'em! They made their bed's, they can lie in the them! Me, the penguin and the fruit are happy where we are thanks!

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ The Fuzzy Wotnot

    True, true.

    A gross, mega user base with most several versions behind is a difficult one - or so I imagine.

    Too much new stuff and commercial inertia a la Vista and possibly Sys Admin people in a twirl at extended or over extended competencies.

    It seems a tough one but who else is better placed to solve it than MS themselves?

    I read somewhere that linux in all its guises accounts for some 0.88% of the user market - that is not to say 'nix is bad. It is to state an estimation of its user base as a percentage.

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The M$ Route

    DOS 5 & Windows 3.1

    DOS 6.0 screwed data (they stole disk compression from Stac Electronics, but couldn't even do that properly). Fixed by buying DOS 6.2.

    Bought laptop running Windows 95. Later installed Windows 98, when asked why USB port didn't work reaction from MS was "it doesn't, just fuck off" or words to that effect. (Now running DSL as an EDNA music server).

    Bought new computer with 98 installed.

    Upgraded to XP. Bought new motherboard and memory to run XP. When asked why scanner didn't work reaction from MS was "it doesn't, just fuck off" or words to that effect. Bought Vuescan to run scanner.

    Later, new motherboard & harddrive. Discovered could not install XP as new motherboard was SATA and didn't have floppy port.

    Installed Ubuntu.

    Installed XP under VMware to attempt to run 'Activesync' to synchronise & install software to IPAQ handheld. Failed.

    Twelve months later XP was removed as I hadn't used it in a year.

    Big decision - should I rush out in May with 160 quid to buy 'Windows 7' or just say 'screw you MS"?

  121. Claire Rand


    point one, I won;t be using vista or win 7, i moved to a mac and don't plan to come back.

    having said that:

    point two: the virtul machine with a copy of XP is something many people have suggested. indeed once that way or working gets established how hard is it to sandbox certain programs into a virtual machine of their own (MSIE?) which may help with security

    also once people are used to that way or working, or its seemless enough for people not to care... MS *can* alter the core of windows to anything, without most users noticing, this is a huge step forwards. or at least it could be

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, VMs are nice ...

    ... but tend to have limitations.

    Vista with Boot Camp is nicer than Vista in a virtual machine.

    Both are useful all the same.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Well, not before time, frankly..

    I have Macs, Linux boxes, and some Windows. I have to say that the Windows machines are looking like the poor relatives- slower, uglier, less efficient, less stable, more annoying to use.

    Since I need to keep windows around anyway (ok, want, too- left4dead is fun), I would rather windows sucked less than it does right now. XP is reliable, but ugly and primitive and Vista is just a pile of arse.

    As things stand, I use Linux at work, and on my netbook, the Macs for most of my general computing (plus graphics, digital darkroom and DJing), and Windows mostly for games, and for things that require Windows support. Since it seems I can't completely get rid of it yet, I'd rather it improved.

    So, roll on windows 7, as long as they have not only got a clue about not releasing a heavy bloat hog, but also about slimming the price somewhat.

  124. MacGregor

    "...their core competencies" ?!?!

    Sorry, I am just amazed how little it takes to impress the Windows-literati nowadays.

    "Microsoft finally mimic Apple's "preview" functionality after 4 years of trying, and it basically does less of everything that was annoying in Vista! YEAH!"

    I, fortunately, am not as professionally tied to Windows as many who read this forum, and I know this can be very big for a large number of folks, but someone has to keep saying the emperor is only wearing a thong.

    Celebrate Windows 7, have a drink, but if you are an IT person worth more than your MBA overlords, plan a post-Windows strategy and stop waiting for Balmer to keep you in a job.

  125. Andus McCoatover
    Jobs Horns

    It seems this is a Quantum Leap from XP!

    ..quantum leap being a very small jump indeed...

    Why the hell would anyone shell out for this??? WTF does it enable me to do that XP can't? How can this "Enrich my working experience" unless I'm fuc*king the boss' daughter with it? Actually, I'd rather have a couple of days playing with swine flu. The pig'd be a better shag.

    Or, Why the fuc*k would anyone want this over Ubuntu - which does _absolutely_ everything I would use XP for (except to wank over WoW games)?

    Paid-for, proprietary operating systems are sooo last-century. Like VMS, RT/11, DOS, OS/2. Why can't the corporate retards see it???

    OK, Ballmer, lob a chair at me. It's my missus' 50th soon, and we're one seat short for the party.

  126. Simon Langley
    Jobs Halo

    Good but just not good enough

    OK everyone but the most looney M$ fan hated Vista but my experience of Windows 7 is that it is a huge improvement over Vista and still quite a bit better than XP so congratulations for that.

    However, it still doesn't compare to Mac OS X.

    My wife used to run Vista on a decent spec laptop but it drove both of us crazy. She had used various flavours of Windows for years but I still must have spent at least two hours a week fixing things and helping her just to get her work done. Wireless networks were particularly problematical but the whole thing ran like an absolute dog. I bought her a MacBook and about three days after she switched, she just stopped asking for help and I probably haven't spent two hours helping since then (last July).

    Five of my friends have made the same switch and all are delighted by Mac OS X. I have never met anyone who switched the other way. Perhaps they exist, but their rarity is telling.

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smell ...

    my feet

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