back to article Microsoft's Windows 8 goals revealed

Microsoft's successor to Windows 7 is taking shape - and that shape looks suspiciously like an iPad supplementing a diet of media with online services. A set of Microsoft slides, apparently leaked online here and expanded here, have mapped out the company's design and feature goals for Windows 8. Among those goals: Windows 8 …

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  1. mafoo

    Concept Machine

    It also seems that they have stolen the 2012 olympic mascot for the all in one form factor

    http://msftkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Windows-8-Machine.png

    Incidentally - if you google image search "2012 Mascots" its not until the 5th before the first picture of them, but ill save you the hasse: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/5/19/1274285749487/London-2012-olympic-masco-006.jpg

  2. Alastair 7

    Instant startup

    An idea... I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons why this has never happened, but:

    Why not basically store an image of the system RAM upon startup? Reloading that into RAM would take a few seconds, but not that long (especially if stored on SSD). I realise there would be a problem when you installed a new program that registered stuff on startup, but perhaps that would force a one-off restart next time the system boots. Or if you want to get really clever, fire up some sort of VM in the background that does a reboot on a virtual machine then stores *that* RAM.

    1. Dale 3

      Hibernation

      You can already do that, it's called hibernation. The trouble with current implementation is that you still have to wait for the hardware BIOS to do whatever it likes to do before even giving the OS the green light, and it takes a non-trivial amount of time to copy the 2GB of memory image from hard disk to RAM. It's still better than waiting for the system to boot from cold though, but there is massive room for improvement, not least with some help on the hardware side.

      Sticking the RAM image onto an SSD however is a great idea. Even better one of these hybrid HDD+SSDs that people are starting to talk about which could make for a more efficient use of the SSD.

    2. Mike48US

      hybernation

      What you are suggesting sounds a lot like the "hibernate" function which is at least as old as Win2k, maybe older. However, I have seen very horrible things happen to laptops when the Hibernate function is used and the battery start dying. If the memory image file is corrupted while being written to disk, then every time it starts up it's going to load that corrupt image.

      Not a real pain to fix, but not a lot of fun either.

    3. Daniel 1

      Plus, of course

      Some miscreant could insert a lightweight boot disc for an other operating system, boot the comp, edit the RAM image on disc, then reboot the machine with the new, compromised, RAM image.

      Of course, you can maybe try encrypting and sand boxing the RAM image... but that requires a boot process that launches a decryption service, first, from somewhere the bad guys couldn't have got at it, and decrypting the RAM image as it unzips into physical RAM... But what manages the decryption service, when there isn't an operating system running, yet?

      Hang on. What was the objective, again? Fast restarts?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Hibernate

      I use hibernate all the time on my desktops and laptops. Means my stuff comes back same as it was when I shut it down, plus I do my bit to save a few penguins and polar bears too by not leaving the "desktop heater" on when I am not about!

      1. The BigYin

        You don't need hibernate...

        ...when you can get to an operational desktop in under 45 seconds. I have this right now, why do I need Windows 8? In fact, I can cold boot Lucid on an old P4, log into that and have Gnome up *faster* than Win7 can handle a user login on a Core2 Duo.

        MS is losing the plot big style.

  3. jim 45
    WTF?

    gotta be kiddin me

    I guess there's no longer any point to keep saying "these guys just don't get it."

    Facial recognition? Is this April 1? Who the heck needs, or wants, yet another buggy layer of software preventing them from getting Windows started? I actually worked on facial recognition some years ago. It is in no way, shape or form ready for a consumer product. Who cares about multi-user personal systems anyway? Who cares about "user desktop preferences"? No one I know.

    They can't solve Windows' performance problems, and they can't produce a light, fast version, so they're offering a souped-up reset button? Am I SURE this isn't April 1?

    Google's OS is going to boot in 7 seconds. Is anyone at MS even aware of that?

  4. Tom 35

    Facial recognition being the biggest.

    What? Sounds more like a gimmick to me. Could be kind of creepy too, if they plan to grab a copy of the face data for other uses.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here...

    Most of the stuff in the slides looks like straight forward extensions of things that have already been in Windows for a while now. Which is exactly the sort of thing MS should be pushing when they're two years out from release. There isn't much time to do anything terribly radical and anything cool enough that can still be implemented could feasibly be picked up by a competitor and tossed in their latest offering before MS could get Win8 out. --Everybody steals from everyone else in the OS arena anymore.-- This also looks to be something of a discussion piece, designed to give some of the OEMs an idea of what they'll have to look forward to. It also allows them to solicit ideas from outside of MS in areas that are most important to consumers.

    Having said that, a lot of the little details look pretty cool. Things like the facial recognition and logoff+hibernate should at least be interesting to see. The quality reports in the app store sound like they could be extremely useful to developers. Though that comes with the obvious caveat that the apps are phoning home to say where they crashed. Its also somewhat interesting to see that MS considers slates to be a seperate market from the tablets that they've been pushing.

    The push button reset doesn't really do much for me. It seems to be a glorified version of the regular system restore, which I've never had much luck with.

    I'll look forward to seeing more concrete details, as well as the more awe inspiring features as Win8 gets closer to launch though.

  6. jake Silver badge

    So ... Windows 8 gives me what, exactly ...

    ... that I haven't had with Slackware for the last 10+ years?

    Except all the Microsoft "WeTreatOurCustomersAsCriminals[tm]" stuff, that is.

    No thanks.

  7. Goat Jam

    Microsoft aping apple again

    and failing again too I expect

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Seriously, enough MS

    Tablets, App stores, 'the mother-f***ing Cloud' - enough already, stop ruining windows - you don't need to jump on all those bandwagons.

    As far as a techie like me is concerned there's nothing wrong with XP!

  9. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
    Pint

    Unreal.

    Microsoft have lost the plot. The company needs to focus on simplification of their offerings, their licensing and their user interfaces, not this mutli-tentacled hydra.

    Two operating systems. Just two. A full-fat x86/x64 operating system (Midori,) and a lightweight ARM variant. (Windows CE 8.) No home edition. No Pro. No Phone 7, 6.5 not-phone-7-but-still-based-on-it, etc.

    Windows, and Windows Mobile. One designed to kick ass, and one designed to sip power. Back them up with a fantastic suite of online application offerings and give the whole mess a single user interface, single-sign-on and shared storage.

    This is all technology Microsoft has already, but simply hasn’t had the vision to put into place. Microsoft has to either out-innovate or out-execute their competition, and so far they have failed miserably on both fronts.

    It’s time for Microsoft to go back to basics, and simplify all of their offerings. I honestly wish I could take over for a few years and make these required changes. Microsoft owns some great technology, but they need to vision to tie it all together. I would rather that Microsoft remain a strong competitor; if for no other reason than to keep Apple, Google, Oracle and HP honest.

    Sadly, they seem set to follow IBM on their course of slowly fading into oblivion.

    A pint: to what could have been.

    1. The BigYin

      C'mon!

      We're talking about an OS that still needs to reboot after almost every update and every install! Un-feckin-acceptable.

      They don't even have an integrated package management and update system. Every app needs its own checker and update process. Pathetic.

      When they fix these problems (and others) they'll crow about how it is all their idea. Despite the fact that Unix/Linux/etc had this for ages.

    2. rciafardone
      Stop

      not so much...

      You seem to confuse failure to innovate and improve with actual economic failure. They are quite different.

      Linux is great in the innovation department but fails badly on the economic one.

      M$ is making as much money today as ever and despite the whole hype about Apple surpassing it they still have MORE NET INCOME at the end of the year, and by several billions.

      Microsoft will not try a new strategy for their OS line until the money REALLY starts to go down, when they REALLY start to lose market share. Do you remember the netbook debacle? MS acted smart allowing OEMs to ship with XP again and all the market they lost to LINUX distributions like UBUNTU was almost totally recovered, without investing 1 penny in R&D because they just used and old product that they knew will move the netbooks well. After all “weak” netbooks today are way more powerful than the average desktop 10 years ago so…

      Apple isn’t going to take that market share away from them, Apple knows it, that is why they have shifted to this super closed hardware/software ecosystem aimed to people with medium-high to high level of income, which mean never getting over the 20% market share in any field (OS, phones, etc) But they don’t care, because it makes them a lot of money anyway.

      And back to Linux distros, the problem is not the system, and is not the unwillingness of people to change, IT IS THE APPS STUPID!!! (no that you are stupid, I am just appropriating an old joke). Only when developers start to create apps for linux (COMERCIAL APPS THAT MAKE MONEY) will average Joe start to consider have it on his business and home. Problem is, developers will not create apps for a system that has such a small market share, is a vicious circle.

      As SaaS evolves, MS iron grip may loosen, but there is a danger that just like Apple did, MS could (will?) try to develop a close ecosystem to capitalize in their current dominance, which would trap us even more in this situation.

      Solution? Grab the market share by cheating. Forfeit this nonsense about not allowing proprietary code on your free systems, keep the forks, but make it sure that they are still compatible. And more important: Develop a true transparent sandboxed windows/DOS emulator capable of running any windows game or general app on Linux, as a integral part of the system, not a program you have to install or God´s forbids “configure”, which is a geek code word for: “it aint gonna do shit until you learn how to make it do it”.

      By being able to run all the old and new apps and games, and that ONE app that keeps Joe under the tyranny of MS. And when a decent market share is in Linux hands (maybe something like 15-25%, but a % of distros that can all work together, it is no use if we have 20% but divided in 1% each that are not compatible with each other) THEN AND ONLY THEM may developers listen and start making native apps for Linux, because EVERYONE FOLLOWS THE MONEY.

      Heck if this succeeds even MS will star making stuff for Linux, they may even launch their own fork.

      Then you will see true innovation again… because EVERYONE FOLLOWS THE MONEY.

  10. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Huh

    Windows performance degrades over time? Mine doesn't. The boot up time lengthens a little but my work machine boots while I'm on my way into work and I hardly ever reboot my laptops.

    But overall it sounds like a potential damp squib. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Zzzzz is now!

    Whatever happened to the Longhorn Laundry List of actual innovations in desktop computing? Did they just suddenly stop being important once they were ripped out of what became Vista, or are they still too hard to implement? Or is it, once again, a question of the release cycle needing to marry up tot he marketing cycle?

    1. The BigYin

      What happened?

      They landed on Linux (and OS X etc) around 5-10 years ago. Do keep up, it's clear MS hasn't.

  12. Geoff Campbell
    FAIL

    Hmmmmm

    I wonder if Bill Gates has sold his Microsoft shares yet?

    GJC

  13. John Sanders
    Linux

    So...

    WindowsNT all over with several new useless layers of bloat. And rather than occupying 12gb on the HD it will occupy 20gb to store all the extra coolness.

  14. Mokey Joe

    More fud

    Nice to see Microsoft bringing up the rear...

  15. N2 Silver badge

    Yawn

    Here we go again, same old shit, different day

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Kinect to recognise facts and log them on

    Apparently in Windows 8...

    Anyone else concerned about this, considering it's inability to tell simple things like left from right?

    http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/hands-on-microsoft-kinect-review-673321?src=rss&attr=all

  17. Dale 3

    Face recognition

    Heh, nice idea but it will end up being a gimmick. They will still have to make you enter a password, otherwise anyone could hold up a photo and get into your account. As long as there is still a password required, facial recognition doesn't add anything that clicking on one's name doesn't already do, and more accurately.

    On the other hand, if they could make a short-range identification token replace the password, I would be very excited. (Well ok, not excited, but I would like that.) Even something like a bluetooth connection, so when my mobile phone comes in range of the PC it forgoes the password requirement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Too Late

      My linux laptop already locks it's screen when my bluetooth phone isn't in range

      1. Graham Marsden

        Err...

        ... and what happens if you leave your phone at home or it gets nicked...

        1. Albert Gonzalez
          Linux

          bluetooth security

          If you don't have the phone, simply must use the logout button on the screen.

          The name/password login is always admited.

          The bluetooth login is optional.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Simple

          I just type in my password.

          Computers work for me, not the other way around

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fast boot

    is pointless, if you're trading off the usability. It doesn't matter if my desktop appears in 5 seconds, if you've done that by delaying all the services and startup programs, increasing the overall time before you can realistically use the machine.

    vista and 7 do this to some extent, your desktop appears nice and early, but it's still actually booting in the background, just hiding it from you. fine as long as you don't need what hasn't finished starting.

  19. Kingprawn
    Gates Halo

    Nice to see things like.

    Build deep customer relationships.

    Agree on Privacy and regulatory guidelines.

    At an early stage of planning. Some other companies should take note. I'm not saying MS is perfect but they does seem to be better than other big IT companies.

    Bill because lets face it; rather him than Jobs.

  20. Glyn 2
    Grenade

    What???

    "It also suggests Microsoft feels it cannot stop the performance of Windows on PCs degrading over time"

    You can, stop making your code hugely overblown and slow. Maybe go back to giving users control over their own computer, if they've got the power to do stuff, Windows doesn't have to.

    Also

    "The Windows 8 customer will reinstall applications by visiting Microsoft's Windows Store"

    Great, if everything's online, the average user is going to go over their ISP's 2Gb a month download limit if they install/reinstall or gawd 'elp them, hit the reset button.

    Would anyone trust the reset button wouldn't kill all your personal stuff on your computer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      @Glyn 2

      "Great, if everything's online, the average user is going to go over their ISP's 2Gb a month download limit if they install/reinstall or gawd 'elp them, hit the reset button."

      Good point, but I wouldn't worry about it - by the time they actually release the operating system we'll all have fibre to the house. If history is anything to go by (and it usually is with MS), this OS will be years late.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      @Glyn2

      I picture the reset button, if done properly, as the lovechild of SFC /scannow and a windows "repair install."

      We'll have to see how that one plays out...

  21. Daniel 1

    What they really need...

    Is a file system that has any place being used in this century. Diddle around with the rest of it, as much as you like, but when one of the core activities of your operating system still using a code base that originated in early 1990s, your operating system is doomed to be a 'chugger'.

    There probably remains a massive world of hurt at the heart of Windows Development around what happened over WinFS in Longhorn, and I guess that enough senior executives still hold madly entrenched lines against each other, over the "axing-not-axing" of it, but it seems like there is no concerted effort to move on from it in their commercial products. "WinFS", or something like it, or maybe something not like it, will be along 'Real soon Now' - and has been for over half a decade.

    Either deliver a smooth, lightweight WinFS for use in future Windows, or drop it for good, and develop something else. People buying Windows 7, today, are buying NTFS - and that's just mad. Goodness knows, there are enough examples of implementations they can just copy, if they must copy; but to continue using an approach to disc data-management which made sense in an age when quarter gig was a BIG hard drive, no longer makes sense.

    Over integration and over optimisation has long been cited as a key Windows flaw (the famous "50 dependency layers" from Phil Su's "Broken Windows Theory") - and it remains astonishing that people in COSD will assert that it is physically impossible for any one human being to understand how a job of work gets from the interface level of Windows, down to the hardware layer, and back again - but *that* file system is one part, that they could surely dump, in order to reduce that number of layers, and thus human beings needed, to a more reasonable level?

    Or has WinFS already grown beyond 50 dependency layers, all by itself, and that's why they're so coy about using it outside of a lab?

    There comes a point where backwards-compatibility becomes an obstacle to proceeding forwards.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Hear, hear!

      After I reach about ten million files on a given partition, the entire thing turns into poo. Both EXT3 and ZFS do significantly better with large numbers of files. Time for NTFS to be replaced.

  22. tony 33
    Grenade

    restart?

    well is obviously a good idea to startup quick as all you ever do with windows is reboot for one reason or another!

    also the goals, aren't they what the latest version of Ubuntu already does?

    grenade as i just pull the pin out with the word 'ubuntu'

    mine the flak jacket please

  23. hp

    fast boot/face recognition

    My missus works for a magazine publisher and theyre think of developing for the iPad - they have a couple to play with and I had a couple of hours on it the other night. Boot time is between 1 and 2 seconds. This means (for example) you use it to immediately enter someone in the address book etc rather than writing it on a post it and typing it in later. I wouldnt have thought face recognition wasn't useful - as said you'll still need a password otherwise someone could just hold up your photo. Also if this is a wish list of features for a prooduct not yet developed by microsoft it'll be a couple of years before you see it in real life.

    Regards

    Hugh

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as a man whose role was to hunt and kill animals.

    What I'd really like is more of the Office bar where all the easy to read words are replaced with yet more multicolour icons that I've got to remember, and all look the same to male oriented brains.

    Oh and no up button. I've lost count of the number of times a day I think to myself, "Do you remember they used to have an UP button in explorer? It was like the stone age. Why did anyone need to go upwards in a heirarchy?"

    1. AceRimmer
      WTF?

      No up button?

      An up button in windows vista/7 is redundant, just click the level you want to go to in the address bar

      And the office address bar is so much neater now. Everything is nicely organised and always in the same place no matter who's machine your using. My male orientated brain, having learnt the new system can now go for a quick kill shot every time

      1. Glyn 2
        Heart

        bwa ha ha

        "And the office address bar is so much neater now"

        What's neater than just the information you need

        where you used to have

        C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12

        which showed you exactly where you are

        now you have

        > Computer > Local Disk (C:) > Program Files > Microsoft Office > Office12 >

        except when you don't have the explorer window maximised when you get

        << Microsoft Office > Office12 >

        where if you can see the old path you can see all of it

        Extra padding around everything isn't neat, it's wasteful

        "Everything is nicely organised and always in the same place no matter who's machine your using."

        The up button was in the same place on every machine. The size of the drop down button is different for each directory as it's the size of the directories name, so they're not always the same size.

        Why do the expand directory arrows disappear when you're not hovering over the folder list? You have to wait while they fade in so you can see them. What is the thinking (was there any thinking) behind this? All it does is give you some more of your vaunted whitespace but at the cost of being able to see at a glance without moving the mouse whether a directory has any subdirectories.

        My personal male oriented brain wonders what the logic is for this.

      2. Glyn 2
        Pint

        also

        If you're in a folder that's on your desktop, how do you go up to see the desktop, you have to mouse snipe a 5 pixel dropdown and then slide down to desktop.

        That's neater than aiming at a big button and clicking once?

    2. Annihilator Silver badge
      Boffin

      Up button

      If you really REALLY miss it, alt-up works just as well.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
        FAIL

        @Annihilator

        I /do/ miss the up button. Quite a bit. And no, alt-up does not "work just as well." I'm not a bloody Mac user who ctrl-clicks because he doesn't have a real mouse. The issue with simply removing the up button is the sheer arrogance of how it was done. Give us the OPTION to enable it if we so choose, while turning it off by default. You can totally remove it from the operating system in one or two more generations of product.

        It's called deprecating a feature. It shows respect for your users by giving them time to adjust to the new order. Microsoft want to know why their reputation is going down the drain? This crap /right here/. They lack respect for their customers. They have taken an Apple “you vill do it my vay, und you vill like it” approach. If I wanted that crap, I’d buy Apple!

        The same can be said of the ribbon bar crap. This was a changed that was simply forced on it’s customers. There was no deprecation of old features or gradual introduction of new ones. Also, don’t give me any crap about “you have a choice to buy it or not to.” There are no viable alternatives. (Down fanboys. Back IN YORU CORNER! I’ve got a broom!) Once you start getting complex xlsx or docx files using features not available in Office 2003 you start having to upgrade. The only saving grace is the excellent UBit menu that has given us time to transition our users to that accursed blasphemy of a ribbon bar.

        Arrogance is a symptom of pride, and pride doth most definitely goeth before the fall. Microsoft’s inglorious fade into the shadows of irrelevance over the past decade, despite major releases such as Windows 7 is the proof of this.

        They either change their approach to dealing with customer demands, requirements and their own reputation, or they will die.

        1. Glyn 2
          Thumb Up

          Help is at hand

          I've been using

          www.classicstartmenu.com

          for a while. It puts the up button back in and the old style start menu without the obnoxious search box and it fixes a few other niggles as well. It only takes up 1k of memory too, so it's not like some other add ons which fill memory with useless rubbish you'll never need.

          P.S If someone can explain the reasoning that you can disable the start menu search box from searching but it stays there but does nothing, I'd appreciate it. You can kill it altogether but you have to disable all searching on the PC. They're microsoft's toys and you'll play with them the way they want you to !!!

  25. Happy Camper
    FAIL

    Sound like MS enough to be true

    I just like that MS are accepting of the degradation over time. Ubuntu doesn't. 18 months and counting with no noticable slow down. I dare say jobsian PC's are the same? IT can be done, just not by MS.

    The sticky point for me though is anything that means we have to download from them following an incident will not be great.

    In the real world servers stall, demand outdoes supply and I can't see a 400 seat Insurance company, NHS, call centre etc. Being happy at having ALL their software require some network connections. Especially as BT run the UK's infrastructure. Look at 'Steam' following a game update, replace it with win8 SP1 and multiply by a large number.. There are more businesses with work PC's than gamers and Steam stalls, not because it is steam but because BT can't hack it. What of throttling which riddles the UK because we ain't got the infrastructure. That would be great, the NHS throttled because each PCT has to upgrade their 1000+ PC's over night from the same N3 connections.

    Lunacy. MS are quickly being the also rans, only legacy keeps them in the picture and that will change.

  26. Andy 70

    oh for god's sake

    can we not just get windows7 sorted and working as a standard platform please?

    all of this stuff sounds like it can be bolted onto what ever windows platform already exists... nothing new or revolutionary. just pandering to the drooling masses who currently spend their hard-earned at the apple store or itunes or whatever.

    and anyway, i don't understand how they are targeting enthusiasts. as anyone with half an interest has things running how they want, on a pretty tight system.

    only ever done a rebuild for performance problems on kiddies laptops where they've installed anything and everything flash game / smiley toolbar related.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    There's the money shot!

    "The Windows 8 customer will reinstall applications by visiting Microsoft's Windows Store."

    One day, in the not too distant future, I can imagine almost all PCs and devices will have their own app stores. It's a great way to stop people copying stuff for themselves, if the device is locked down and the only way to get software is through a sanctioned, online store.

    I hate the idea, no control over what you paid for? Not a nice prospect, but this is business and money talks.

    I am dreading the day when OSX goes the way of the iPhone/iPad and you need an app-store to run anything. That will be a sad day indeed. It will happen one day, just too tempting not to, mark my words!

  28. bobbles31

    need a what?

    "can't stop performance degredation over time." without taking Apples approach of banning any app that doesn't work the way that they want it and making apps run in a sand box.

    Come on geeks you can't have your platform freedom and reliable performance from the OS. Not every app developer is as security and resource conscious as I am sure that you are.

    1. Rattus Rattus
      Linux

      re: "can't have your platform freedom and reliable performance from the OS"

      Of course you can, it's called Linux.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    App store? What for?

    Jailbreak the device and install what you like. It's not like they'll be able to prevent this from happening.

  30. Stephen Channell

    Microsoft Store -> nothing new

    Apple fanbois might think that the MS store is a copy of the Apple store, but Microsoft first did in the eighties as an attempt to kick-start package development for Microsoft Xenix.

  31. DEAD4EVER
    Thumb Down

    windows 8 haha

    ok seriously microsoft i thought your release plan for windows was every 5 years not 3 years is this because your trying to compete against apple and maybe ubuntu and your desperate. now ive been on windows 7 for a good phew months now and its fine all my programs work have no issues with it been stable. but the fact is we the consumers cant afford to keep going out and buying a new version of windows its exspensive and buissnesses well they really cant afford so sorry microsoft but your gonna have to rethink your ideas.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      @Dead4ever

      Microsoft isn't on a 3 year schedule. They are on a 5 year one. They seem to have taken Intel's "Tick Tock" approach to heart. They release a gigantic steaming turd (eg: Vista, Office 2007 or Exchange 2007.) They then polish it profusely. (Windows 7, Office 2010 or Exchange 2010.) They then "rethink everything" and release another steaming turd (Windows 8) which they will polish profusely (Windows 9.) Rinse, repeat.

      It used to be you didn't buy a Microsoft OS until SP1. Now you don't buy it until there's a minor version number. (NT6.1 instead of NT6.) I wish they would realise that “release dates” don’t matter so much as “actually usable software.”

      Maybe the idea to merge their consumer strain with their business strain was a terrible, terrible plan. Consumers seem to need this “refresh every few years” in order to be satisfied. Businesses would rather a five or even ten year refresh cycle, but with a stable and reliable operating system than one that is constantly ‘evolving’ without any actual testing.

      Businesses want Red Hat, not Fedora. Microsoft need to have both.

    2. Baskitcaise
      Headmaster

      I... eh?... what?

      Where to start?

      But there again I have not got all night.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not like Apple please

    I can't be the only person who doesn't like the Mac UI. Some of us choose MS Windows for a reason.

    I've replaced the search tool and would like to replace windows explorer with something with a lot fewer animations.

  33. Fatman
    Flame

    Windoze 8 goals

    This part just really cracked me up:

    `It also suggests Microsoft feels it cannot stop the performance of Windows on PCs degrading over time, so it wants to give users an easy fix.`

    I have an easier fix: `Use Linux`.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Just waiting

    ...for the first person to talk about "source code".

    "we don't need a new version" a criticism rarely heard about version 4 of this 'phone or that browser, or version 2.2 of that other 'phone, or version 10.10 of that other o/s... are they in more pressing need of replacement or something?

    @Dead4ever, yes I imagine that many barely literate consumers have difficulty affording £70 every 3 years.

  35. Adam Nealis
    FAIL

    M$ leading from behind as usual.

    "Windows 8 slates will support touch and use facial recognition to pull up the users' profile - presumably application settings, documents and services."

    I think I have identified the first Windows 8 feature to be sacrificed.

    "The reset button is a sign Microsoft is aware performance is of paramount importance to consumers and enthusiasts - two customer groups Microsoft has highlighted in its slides as its target users. It also suggests Microsoft feels it cannot stop the performance of Windows on PCs degrading over time, so it wants to give users an easy fix."

    When did MS ever give a shit about performance? Why should I believe them now?

    "Windows 8 slate

    planned Windows 8 Store

    reset button

    .

    .

    .

    trying to differentiate Windows 8 from Apple"

    Playing catch-up again.

  36. Robert Moore
    Flame

    Am I alone here?

    I just feel lately that Microsoft is becoming more and more irrelevant.

    Microsoft has always been a "Me too" company, but lately it seems like they can't even do that right.

    Linux IS ready for my mother.

    Android is beginning to take off.

    Apple computers are increasing market share.

    Love it or hate it, the iPad is hugely successful.

    Love it or hate it, the iPhone is hugely successful.

    So Microsoft is trying to compete against all of that simply does nothing.

  37. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    What I'd like...

    Performance killers in windows:

    The registry. A diabolical idea in the first place, badly implemented, insecure, prone to write-through problems and an absolute bugger to support when a system fails. Which they do. The continual growth and fragmentation of the registry rapidly hoses a system's performance. An OS provided standard way of storing settings in sensible locations, now that would have been a good idea, as long as the files generated are small, efficient, text based and independently accessible just in case a user with a death with (or a techie) needs to make manual changes.

    The file system. Already mentioned to death, but there should be no need to tie an operating system so tightly to a given file system that they cripple each other. Even a proper journalled file system would be a nice start and would help to reduce the large number of spuriously failing machines that have a small but important file knackered on the disk.

    App store. Reasonable idea, but in the real world - (a) many users don't want to pay the "Microsoft Tax" and get tied in even further into inexplicablly crippled yet intermingled applications from a single supplier and (b) from the corporate point of view - forget it. Completely. Unless it's "done right". An open, *sensibly* documented and designed app-store interface that can link to multiple stores, controllably centrally on a domain if necessary, now that could be useful for an IT shop. This way a corporate IT department could easily list the applications possible, with easy install, re-install, un-install and accounting. Except this kind of thing has been possible for years but now has to be called an "app store" for the public.

    .Net. .NET is the worst DLL hell possible. MS took the existing borked DLL scheme, added a ridiculously inefficient dlocument exchange technology, renamed it a few times, updated it a couple of times more, made the repository even slower and more prone to problems than conveivably though possible and then called it .net. We are now on version 4 of this monstrosity. Running a .net application is a "quick" way to lose huge numbers of CPU cycles doing nothing much useful. What ever happened to releasing new applications that were more efficiently coded and faster, rather than only happening to be marginally faster or often the same speed if the user upgrades their hardware to something twice as fast as previous kit.

    Bugs. Would be nice if Microsoft fixed bugs in the existing OSes rather than release a new version with the same bugs and more "features".

    Hardware. The installation hardware really must be optimised so unnecessary drivers and support can be easily removed from a system, never to clutter and slow it down. There's a reason that VMs (not MS-VM of course) tend to boot so much faster than hardware based PCs. This is because the legacy junk is not present and therefore a PC doesn't have to wait 4 seconds for a response from a "possibly installed" old Compaq ISA raid card thingy that was most likely uncommon in the decade that it was released.

    Shell. Not drawing things twice on the screen would make the OS run rather faster than before (themes). Disable the naff animation effects that's sole purpose is to make a rather fast respond as slowly as any other slower computer. We don't need fading menus, scrolling or zooming windows or other inane fluff that slows the user down when it comes to getting to the information that they want to see. There are ways of putting in tarty effects that don't make a system slow.

    ..and that's just what I can think of for now.

    1. The BigYin

      In summary...

      ...you want MS to release in 5 years what any major Linux distro can do *right now*.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      registry, etc.

      Literally could not agree more with your point about the registry. They had to come up with a tool to limit the size it could grow too (then what do you do when you need to install another app?)! Third party tools to clean it up. Regedit to make the inevitable changes/hacks to get something working right-what a useless pile! They made it so bad, I looked back with fondness at .ini files. Buy a new machine, get another hard drive? Hope you've got the original install disk(s), have fun downloading all the application's patches again! Oh, sure, it's *theoretically* (isn't it?) possible to export/import registry settings and copy the install directories over, but by the time you've figure that out, you might as well have bought a new copy of the application to reinstall.

      .NET/dll hell, too. I think this is part of the reason a Windows installation gets humongous over time, eventually crippling a small (laptop) hard drive/SSD by running it out of space with backups/copies of files.

      App store. I may have to buy the OS, but I'll be damned if I buy anything else MS puts out. There are just too many cheaper/more-secure/more-efficient apps that do the same thing or at least enough of the same thing for me. Of course, if MS does it, everyone will copy them and then there will be 20,000 different app stores to get apps from. Sounds wonderful, I can't wait.

  38. Flybert

    what a waste of time

    honestly, I've never seen such an exercise in mental masturbation

    bet Steve Baumer got off on it though

  39. jim 45

    As others have pointed out...

    ... it's really a non-event for many of us, because their upgrade prices are sky-high, and we don't need new computers right now, thanks. I have Vista only because I needed it for development work and my employer provided it. I have no interest in paying $219 for a Win7 Ultimate upgrade, and I probably won't be buying Win8 either.

    So after 15 years as a Windows developer, I'm not even interested in a new release. And apparently Microsoft sees this as normal and fine.

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