back to article Steve Ballmer window-dresses Windows 8

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer confirmed yesterday that the company's "next generation of Windows systems" will be released in 2012. Interestingly, Ballmer also acknowledged the Windows 8 name, which up to now has been batted aside by Microsoft flacks, who have been keen to keep details about Redmond's next OS off the news …


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  1. The Jase
    Gates Horns


    Too soon after Win 7...

    1. Kebablog
      Gates Horns

      Too Soon indeed

      Definitely too soon, most large businesses are still on XP (well, current and last couple of contracts still are).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Windows 8

    Will Microsoft this time make Windows 8 Windows v8.0 ? Will they avoid the embarrassing debacle of Windows 7 being Windows v6.1 ?

    1. Ben Holmes


      Not sure about that. The only people who cared were those who would look for any excuse to poke fun at Microsoft. I'm no MS apologist, but there are surely bigger fish to fry than "OMG teh version number does not equal teh product namez !!!!!1111ELEVENTYONE!!11"

      Just saying.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Nah, it'll be V7

      You're forgetting, this is Windows, where on a 64 bit release, all the 64 bit DLLs sit in System32, and the 32 bit DLLs sit in a folder called WOW64...

      1. Piro Silver badge

        Ahh, yes

        A delightful clusterfuck.

        Beer, because you'll need a few trying to understand what they were thinking

      2. Someone Else Silver badge
        Gates Horns


        Leave it to Microsoft to put in a V7 engine and call it a V8...

    3. /dev/null

      Alas no...

      The beta releases of Windows 8 so far have had a version number of 6.2.x, apparently.

      1. Powerlord
        Jobs Halo

        Windows 6.1

        The reason Windows 7 is 6.1 and Windows 8 is likely to be 6.2 is because of stupid software vendors who naively check for the presence of Windows XP. They did something like this:

        if (version >= 5 && subversion >= 1)

        This is false for W2k (5.0), true for XP (5.1), false for Vista (6.0), and true for Win7 (6.1). If Win7 was 7.0, it would have been false for Win7.

        This was discussed on the Windows Team blog, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to make links in El Reg's comments.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          One word

          Utter Rubbish!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 14:32

            Technically that's 2 words. Plus an exclaimation mark.


            1. stuartnz
              Thumb Down

              Hoist on one's own pedantry?

              Nice to see Bell's First Law (aka Skitts, Muphry's etc.) still proving true. In standard English orthography, I believe that there is normally only one "i" in exclamation.

              1. Anonymous Coward



                I stand corrected.

          2. deadlockvictim

            oh dear

            two words, surely?

        2. Captain Thyratron


          Conceivably, you could just paste the URL there.

        3. nyelvmark

          ...but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to make links in El Reg's comments...

          I know what you mean. I tried using a friend's phone the other day - well, he called it a phone, but I couldn't find any way of checking how many Facebook friends I have. I tried to tweet about it, but it didn't seem to understand that, either. Finally I looked in what it called "Games", and, guess what? No Angry Birds.

          Why is it that so many so-called Interweb companies don't understand the basic needs of the user? Sure, Powerlord could have used "copy" and "paste" commands, but you need to mouseclick "Edit", then "Copy", then "Edit", then "Paste" (difficult now that browsers hide the Menu bar), and the user then has to do the opposite.

          So come on, El Reg - stop denying us basic functionality and allow us to use embedded javascript so that readers don't need to do anything at all to upvote my posts.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up


            That was the funniest thing I have ever read. I appoint you king of the world.

        4. Stoneshop

          Like so:

          There's a hash mark to the right of the comment title. It's a link for that comment.

    4. Fat Jez

      kernel version

      They went with 6.1 instead of 7 as a lot of software that would otherwise be compatible with Windows 7 would have refused to install on a major version increase of the Kernel, i.e. it was written to check for the presence of NT6.x and not install on anything higher.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    You trust a chair throwing tosser like that

    "We've added touch, and ink, and speech"

    Weren't they already "Added" in 2007 when they developed "Surface".

    What is is about Ballmer that just makes you want to hate him, is it the pot belly, the smarmy look.

    At least Bill looked like a nerd/geek, Ballmer just looks like a fat, extremley wealthy, untrustworthy, chair throwing piece of nothing.

    If I owned my own company I am quite sure I would not be using that guy to present my products.

    Now all those bad feeling have left my system I will get back to installing our new tape drive.

    1. /dev/null

      Nothing new then...

      "touch, and ink, and speech" - didn't they have touch and ink in Windows XP Tablet Edition? And even before that in Windows (3.1) for Pen Computing? And speech (presumably recognition rather than synthesis...) is hardly bleeding-edge technology now is it?

      Yet another pointless GUI redesign and no doubt more power-consuming gratuitous eyecandy - is that the best they can do?

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      "chair throwing tosser"

      Would that not be simply "chair tosser"

      I'll get me coat

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        chair [throwing] tosser

        Brit slang does have a propensity for being inadvertently redundant...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Gates Horns

        Re: "chair throwing tosser"

        Or chair-tossing tosser. Or just tosser, perhaps.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Obviously it's...

      "What is is about Ballmer that just makes you want to hate him, is it the pot belly, the smarmy look."

      Given that I like big bellied men, it's obviously...

  4. Mikel

    Just enough wiggle room

    There's just enough wiggle room in between those statements to squeeze in a W7 SP1 in 2012, and for the "Windows 8" you "hear about" to be the usual babbling of the bloggerati and the real thing to both called something else and not arrive until 2015. It's a tight fit, but it's there - and it's the kind of misdirection he revels in. That would mean that Nokia is sunk.

    But by all means let's remind everybody that the work they're pouring into a W7 rollout has planned obsolescence built right in. Again. The train to crazytown doesn't have a destination: it just goes around and around and around. The crazytown part is that the passengers can ride it forever believing that one day they'll arrive somewhere wonderful.

    1. KjetilS
      Paris Hilton

      SP1 in 2012?

      SP1 came out previously this year.....

    2. Greg J Preece

      W7 SP1

      You know that's already out, right?

    3. dogged


      Win7 SP1 is already out, but please, continue to be a smug knob-end on Internet message boards. It might get you laid one day.

      1. hplasm

        *You* can of course-

        Personally vouch for this?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Yeah, everyone should just move to Linux as that never has any new versions coming out. Oh, hang on.

      1. E 2

        Linux versions

        Well the kernel has been on 2.6.x for years now.

        Not that I think that's a good or bad thing, just saying.

  5. George 24

    I can't wait

    Bring it on. I don't care if you love or hate M$ or Apple or Linux (what ever flavor). The more choices we will have in the tablet space the better. And if we can finally have a tablet that will run corporate applications and activeX, fantastic.

    Before bagging M$, wait for the OS to come out, it may be real good... who knows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      > activeX

      Er, what now? Seriously?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The only active-x based corporate application I can think of sharepoint, and it's an utter bucket of shit.

        Doesn't really help that it's overused to the point that most of the time a samba share would suffice.

        1. E 2


          Look under the hood of most MS products - much of what you see will be implemented with COM/DCOM/ActiveX interfaces. Really.

    2. Captain Thyratron

      Parse error near "fantastic"

      Might be that "will run corporate applications and activeX" part.

      Wouldn't it instead nicer if most or all of the "industry standard" corporate tumorware that haunts the desktop Windows ecosystem and compels Microsoft to do terrible deeds in the name of backward-compatiblity had to start from scratch on tablets and the like and take just as long to get as awful as their desktop relatives.

      This is a market that is growing explosively with or without "corporate applications and active X", so it's not like failure to support the stuff will do it any serious harm. Hence, there's a fine opportunity here for cruft prevention in a relatively new and unsoiled market. And to hell with anybody who wants Lotus Notes on a Windows 8 tablet.

      1. CmdrX3


        M$ - You mean some people still use that, kind of like those people who use crApple or Linsux. Do let me know when you arrive back in 2011.

  6. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    I simply can't wait. I hope there will be "A new way to view photographs," like the last five releases of Windows. And I'm looking forward to at least another sixty-seven new options in Control Panel, as it currently looks a little sparse.

    Let's hope the speech recognition is better than the one they tried to demonstrate in Office...

    1. FIA Silver badge

      re: Ooooohh

      > I hope there will be "A new way to view photographs,"

      TBH I'd just be happy if I could rotate them without overwriting the original.

    2. Miek

      Re: Ooooohh

      I'm waiting for them to over-simplify everything so that all the options I want to access are buried deeper and deeper in the system. Finding the IP address on XP used to be a 3-click process involving one window pane. On Vista and 7 this is now several more clicks and 3 effing windows. I know I could use cmd but that's not the point.

      1. JPO

        Definitely not too hard

        It's four clicks and 2 seconds in W7

        - Click network icon in task bar

        - Right click the network you use and choose Status

        - Click Details

        Voila! All IP-information and lots more.

        Too hard?

        1. D@v3


          Unless I'm missing something, I think your wrong.

          - Click network icon in task bar (check)

          - Right click the network you use and choose Status

          (there are only two things that are clickable, one is the refresh button, the other is the open network and sharing centre, neither of which are right clickable)

      2. DF118

        "i know I could use cmd but that's not the point"

        You use a Tux icon and claim command line use to be beside the point...? I'm confused.

  7. TeeCee Gold badge

    "We've added touch, and ink, and speech."

    I regularly do something that uses a UI like that.

    It's called "reading aloud from a book".

  8. advocate


    I would love it if microsoft actually managed to release something as awesome as surface for tablets but at a much more reasonable price.

  9. hplasm

    So now Ballmer too

    Has Windows H8?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Seriously? That was an attempt at a joke!?!?!

      1. hplasm


        Has this icon.


        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Joke

          You're obviously too young to remember The Fast Show and/or have been tittering away at Little Britards, erm, Britain thinking that television comedy must be a recent invention. Sheesh!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @ Too soon after Win 7...

    Not really MS said that they would release a desktop refresh every three years so it looks like they're on schedual for once. Windows 7 has mainstream support until 2015 and another 5 years after that of security updates to I don't think anyone rolling out now will be panicing.

    The whole version number thing is getting a bit tired it was simply to aid compatability if MS really needed to avoid embarrasment and it really was an issue i'm sure they could of made the version number 7 quite easily. It's no different to XP being 5.1 and Server 2003 being 5.2, Windows 7 is just a product name like XP it really doesn't matter PLEASE get over it. Sigh

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      No it's not

      XP is two letters. 7 is a number. 7 = 7.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        It's "Windows XP" & "Windows 7" not XP or 7 on it's own. Oh and who gives a damn anyway? Just MS haters.

    2. Captain Thyratron

      re: version numbers

      Similarly, I was never quite able to bring myself to give a toss that "Solaris x" meant "SunOS 5.x", and I think that's been going on since 1992.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are we still doing this? Windows XP (SP2) was a pretty decent OS. Vista wasn't great (ok - it was terrible). Windows 7 is a vast improvement. Windows 8 will hopefully be another step forward.

    Obviously, I have no issue with people having opinions, but it would be nice if on an MS story there was 95% less "Phfnar, M$ they're shit!" in the comments and more grownup discussion about what is actually going on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree...

      I also find the abuse personally directed at Balmer (and anyone else) rather unpleasant and downright childish.

    2. Kevin Bailey

      it genuinely puzzles me...

      ...when people think Windows XP was any good.

      Apart from it's slowness and instability it misses so many features which you get as standard with Ubuntu or MacOs.

      It can't even connect seamlessly to an SSH share for a start. Multiple desktops - no. Time machine like backup - no. Easy access to tens of thousands of free apps - no. An update system which updates every single bit of the system AND apps in one click - no. Free upgrades forever - no. Can be run be any ordinary user easily without needing dedicated teams of tech support - no. Etc etc.

      1. Quxy

        It was just such an improvement

        It's because XP was the first version of MS WIndows that was genuinely usable in a professional networked computing environment. (No, I refuse to give that honour to NT4, given its terrible hardware support and general unfriendliness.)

        Sure, today XP seems awfully outdated next to modern Ubuntu or RedHat installations. But to be fair, it held up much better in comparison ten years ago. And it was just such a relief to those of us forced to use Windows...

        1. Davidoff

          No, it wasn't.

          "It's because XP was the first version of MS WIndows that was genuinely usable in a professional networked computing environment."

          No, it wasn't. WindowsNT 3.5 was already 'genuinely usable in a professional networked computing environment' (I've seen servers with uptimes of several years), and so have been its successors NT 3.51, NT4 and Windows 2000. The limited hardware support was hardly an issue in an environment where mostly certified brand name machines are bought anyways, and both NT 3.5(1) and NT 4 had quite long HCLs which still included a lot of standard hardware (and many hardware vendors not on the HCL did provide NT drivers). Of course NT 3.5(1) lacked the more modern Win95 GUI, or support for PnP (which at this time in fact was more 'Plug'n'Pray' and caused tons of issues in Win9x). NT4 then got support for ISA PnP but that was basically only implemented to configure jumper-less ISA cards like certain Soundblaster cards. But then, instead of relying on the half-arsed attempt to true PnP NT left distribution of ressources where at that time it belonged to, the BIOS.

          The main reason why XP has received so much laudatio is simply it is that when it came out the unification of the NT stream and the Win9x stream was completed. Windows 2000 was the first NT variant that was developed to be used in both the professional market and the SoHo market (which was occupied by Win9x before) and therefore included things like full DirectX support (which NT4 never had), but being a first W2k suffered from the fact that many programs were still developed for Win9x. It also lacked the visual appeal for consumers. It was the first Windows version that fits in everything from a kid's gaming PC and Mum Clueless' typewriter-replacement and web/email station to office PCs and CAD workstations.

          With Windowsxp MS did almost everything right (from a business point of view!). It had built on W2k's strengths and worked on many of its weaknesses, one being the desktop. Additionally, when XP came out in 2001 most new programs were already developed for the NT line (or at least W2k).

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Plenty of hammers in that toolbox

          Oliver, I don't know what sort of industry or environment it is that you work on, but may I respectfully suggest that "giving a clue" in any of those matters you've touched is not something that you appear particularly effective at.

    3. Mark 65

      Step forward

      Improved file copying speed would be much appreciated. I have no idea what it's doing whilst copying files (looking for copyright infringements?) but it takes so much longer than either Linux or OSX that it's embarrassing.

  12. Mikel

    Ah yes

    That would be SP2 then.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It'll be interesting to see how this turns out. Win7 was a breath of fresh air after Vista and WinPho7 looks to be a nice intuitive mobile OS. I wonder if MS will be able to get the best of both their current products into Win8?

    Unlikely I'll use it, though, except as a virtual machine on my linux box or if (in the unlikely event) I buy a tablet

  14. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    I'm an OSX fan at the moment but after the turnaround they achieved with Windows 7 ( after the debacle that was Vista ) I am genuinely curious to see how good Windows 8 will be. Might even tempt me back if it's that good!

    1. phlashbios

      Horses for courses

      Here's a novel suggestion. Use whatever suits you for a particular purpose. I have Android on my phone, a laptop with Win 7, a Mac Air, a netbook running Ubuntu 11 and even an Xbox running XBMC. I use each of these items for different purposes and each runs the OS I want/need it to run. I have no partisan views, I just use the right tool for the right job.

      My guess is that MS will make a good enough job of Windows 8 across a variety of platforms to make it an attractive and usable OS. And guess what? If it suits my needs for a particular role, then why wouldn't I use it?

      Only the fanboi or the immensely stupid would choose or criticise an OS based upon subjective and/or emotive criteria.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Horses for courses

        > Only the fanboi or the immensely stupid would choose or criticise an OS based upon subjective and/or emotive criteria.

        Or launch parties. There will be launch parties won't there?

        1. E 2

          Launch Parties

          And lots of drugs at the launch parties! Lots and lots of drugs!

      2. The Fuzzy Wotnot


        Rather touchy aren't we?

        I was merely suggesting that MS has started fighting back and I had a genuine interest, you seemed to have used that as an excuse to have a pop.

        If you must know, I use Solaris, Linux and AIX at work running multi TB Oracle DBs, administering 75 servers from a Ubuntu and Windows XP desktops. I use OSX at home for the main desktop as I enjoy the easy life. I have 6TB FreeNAS server running in the spare room as the family movie and music store. I also have one original Xbox running XBMC for the nippers, a hacked Apple TV2 running XBMC and laptop running Fedora for when I'm out and about. I think that's a pretty wide spread, although granted very little Windows.

        So I wouldn't consider myself a fanboi or "immensely stupid", as you put it. Perhaps in future you might like to consider reading a comment in the spirit it was intended instead of jumping to narrow minded conclusions just because OSX or Apple are mentioned!

  15. Gordan

    What's the point?

    I know Windows 7 is generally considered to be a vast improvement on Vista, and I am inclined to agree. It is Vista that went on a diet and had all the annoying and unworkable features removed. But should we really be considering it an improvement? Or is that perception of an improvement borne purely out of the previous release having been a total disaster? Is it really an improvement on XP, and especially XP x64 (based on 2003 Server kernel)? Having tried both extensively, I do not believe it is. I'm sure it will woo some with the new teletubby interfaces, but if that is all a new version brings, it is blatantly not a justifiable reason for an upgrade.

    Windows 8 really needs to come up with some features that are impressively useful, rather than yet another dumbing down of the user interfaces and removal of more control and configurability. So far all we have seen is a decade of stagnation in terms of features with a big V(ista) shaped dip in quality in the middle, accompanied with an ongoing deterioration in performance and a corresponding increase in resource requirements with nothing genuinely useful to show for it.

    1. nyelvmark

      Windows 7 is generally considered to be a vast improvement on Vista

      Not for people like me, who bought Vista knowing its shortcomings, believing that Microsoft would eventually fix them, as indeed they did - but as a new product called Windows 7, which I need to buy to fix the fundamental bugs in Vista.

      Everyone said I should have opted for XP, but I decided to be an "early adopter". They were right. I will buy Windows 7 when Windows 8 SP1 comes out. Early adoption isn't for people with only one machine.

      1. Davidoff
        Thumb Down


        "Not for people like me, who bought Vista knowing its shortcomings, believing that Microsoft would eventually fix them, as indeed they did - but as a new product called Windows 7, which I need to buy to fix the fundamental bugs in Vista."

        What bugs in Vista haven't been fixed that are in Windows 7? Seriously.

        The big mistake MS made in Vista was that, while Vista was very sophisticated and had much more going on in the background than the old Windowsxp, MS didn't give the user interface a higher priority, resulting in users getting sick of seeing the rotating circle. There were also some other glitches like the file copy progress box, but most of them have been fixed in susequent updates and especially SP1.

        After participating in the Beta program I also have been one of the early adopters (got Vista in November 2005 when it came out for business users so I even before it was released to the consumer market). Yes, the beginning was indeed very rough, but a lot of the fault for it goes to hardware and software vendors who simply ignored the long-running beta program came up with crap or even none hardware drivers. And this wasn't limited to some few unknown noname vendors, even Nvidia and ATI/AMD were on the list of offenders. It must have been really a surprise for them when MS finally put Vista to market, and it took them more than 6 months to come up with drivers that at least somewhat resembled 'usable'. So yes, initially there were several problems, but 9 months or so later most of them were gone, and I never regretted to have replaced XP with Vista on all but one of my computers. And I'm still using Vista on many of them as the cost of upgrading to Win7 is too high, compared with the negligible benefits.

        Vista wasn't as bad as people say. MS made some mistakes, but it was deliberately damaged by ISVs and IHVs through the lack of initial support. And then there was the press who gladly gave wannabe-scientists like a certain self-declared security 'expert' from Norway a platform to publish his 'analysis' of Windows Vista, which he made without even coming near a PC running this OS, on which he used a mixture of wild guesses and deliberately mis-representing information, and which for most part of it, was just a stinkin' pile of crap.

  16. Mage Silver badge


    Maybe I will upgrade 7 PCs XP -> Win8

    Or leave them running XP till they die

    Or install Ubuntu.

    Hard to decide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Why the troll face?

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    yet again they're promising a new interface - which will no doubt yet again turn out to be little more than a different colour scheme.

    and ooooo its going to have touch support, and speech support. wow.

    I'm not expecting anything else other than a big disappointment. Microsoft are so slow at developing their products that I cant see them having made any significant changes in the time they've had.

    I have no doubt though that the damn ribbon bar will have invaded a little more - and they'll have played hide and seek again with things like network connections and device manager just to be annoying.

    1. Nigel 11

      I hate all GUI redesigners.

      If only the new user interface for Windows 7 *had been* just a different colour scheme!

      Why can't anyone (even the Gnome folks on LInux) understand that not all users see a changed user interface as an improvement. Especially not if it is forced on us in one enormous downgrade with no route back up (XP to Vista or 7). Now Gnome have decided me-too, although at least on Linux there will be the option to keep Gnome 2 while upgrading the OS, for as long as someone deems Gnome 2 worth maintaining.

      Why, for example, did anyone at MS think keeping most of the same control panel applets but renaming them and moving them around so that you can't find them any more using your XP experience, would be regarded as anything other than a confounded nuisance? Ditto Ofice 2003 to 2007.

      Every time someone at MS changes the GUI, a billion people have to spend time re-learning what they already knew well. Every time, because they are distracted by the unfamiliar, some of them will make mistakes with the actual work they are trying to accomplish with their computer. Multiply an hour of wasted time and a day or two of frustration (and occasional consequential heart attacks) by a billion or so Windows users, and that's what the inflated egos of graphics designers and marketeers cost us. Fuck 'em all. I hate them.

      1. defiler

        It's okay - we have a training course for that

        At a price, of course!

      2. Miek

        I agree

        "Why can't anyone (even the Gnome folks on LInux) understand that not all users see a changed user interface as an improvement. "

        It's awful what these folks are doing. Ubuntu is going for Unity, which is quite frankly SHIT. Gnome have made a KDE4 out of their V3 release. I guess everyone will have to bite the bullet and go with these new over-fancified desktops or flee to the XFCE side.

        1. bean520

          Just because there are new interfaces...

          ...doesn't mean you can't install the old ones

          That's the beauty of Linux

        2. Anonymous Coward

          KDE SC

          "Gnome have made a KDE4 out of their V3 release"

          Thus spoke a non-Plasma user.

  18. KB 1

    Bring it on...

    I, for one, welcome the announcement of Windows 8 so soon after 7. I've generally skipped every other Microsoft OS release and it's a policy that's served me pretty well:

    Used 95

    Skipped 98

    Used 98SE

    Skipped ME

    Used XP

    Skipped Vista

    Using 7...

    So let's just get this next one out of the way and I can start being interested in what Microsoft are doing again.

    1. defiler

      You'll have a wait then

      Looks like you're picking up every third one

      95, skip 98 and NT4.0

      98SE, skip 2000 and ME

      XP, skip XP/x64 and Vista

      7, skip 8 and ??

      We'll have looped back to Windows 1 by the time you come back, but on the bright side it'll all work much faster!

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Can we put this attempt at a joke to rest. People have been talking about the "every other" OS in Microsoft's history being bad, but then just skip half the OSs they have released, avoid the difference between the NT line and the home line, and its more recent convergence.

      For example Windows 95 had a bunch separate releases, 95 itself, then OEM SR 1, 2, 2.1 and 2.5. Each was significantly different (for example adding FAT32 or USB support). Certainly as different as 98 and 98SE, so if you are counting those as separate OSs then you should count the OEM Service Releases as separate.

      You have decided to completely miss out NT4 and Windows 2000.

      XP had a lot of service packs, and it can be strongly argued was a pretty poor OS until XP SP2.

      Since XP we've had Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2008r2 as well.

      Please, let's put this old joke to bed. Oh, and just for the record, I've actively used 95 including the OEM SRs, 98, 98SE, NT, XP, Vista and 7. I personally haven't found some to be that much better or worse than others. Generally most of them get better after one or 2 service packs. And in the early days technology was moving so rapidly that new releases became key just to support new hardware.

  19. streeeeetch


    Let's hope we're not going from Windows Heaven, to Windows Hate.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Whut? No coat icon?

      That was painful. Get your jacket, and get out!

  20. Miek

    Bloaty ?

    Will it be twice as slow as Win 7 and Four times as slow as Vista ? I personally abandoned this tripe years ago.

    1. nyelvmark

      Interesting measurement problem

      Miek wrote:

      Will it be twice as slow as Win 7 and Four times as slow as Vista ?

      Hmm. An interesting question, in that we generally measure computer speed rather than slowness, but this is, after all, merely a convention.

      The most common units of computer speed measurement are MIPS (millions of instructions per second) for integer devices, and FLOPS (millions of floating-point operations per second) for computing devices with integrated floating-point hardware).

      Plainly, slowness is the inverse of speed with respect to time, so the integer unit of slowness (for integer machines) must be K/(MIPS - C) where K is some convenient scaling constant, and C is a constant which allows us to choose the zero point for our scale. Similar reasoning applies to floating-point.

      As I've said, it's merely a matter of arbitrary convention whether we measure speed or slowness, but there may well be valid reasons for making the switch: after all, which do you notice more - the speed of your computer or its slowness?

      Unfortunately, a comprehensive search of the literature using all the resources at my disposal* has failed to identify a single universally recognised unit of slowness. I therefore propose to name this unit the "goldwing", in honour of the only motorcycle ever made wherein slowness was a design feature. Other commentards may have better proposals.

      I leave the definitions of the constants K and C to the boffins, or to individual users, who may prefer to develop scaling systems that demonstrate that Macs have more (or less) slowness then PCs, for example.

      *figure it out

      1. Schultz

        It's called lag

        If you want letters, go to

  21. Anonymous Coward

    We have a brand new user interface

    With any luck it'll be even worse than Ubuntu's Unity.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      User interfaces

      Seriously, I don't understand this fascination with flashy desktop effects.

      Yes, compositing window managers do have some advantages in their general architecture over more traditional desktops.

      But as for Aero (Microsoft), Aqua (Apple), and the desktop effects of KDE, Gnome, etc... there are times I'm frequently switching between applications on the MacBook here, I've got a bit going on, and the graphics gets the shudders leaving me thinking... "get on with it already". Exposé looks nice, and it's a neat way to show the active windows, but I don't care for the transitions between full-screen application, and the collection of "shrunk" windows that it offers you.

      Wooohooo 3D desktops ... I was happy with the user interface of Windows 3.1...

  22. Someone Else Silver badge

    Oh, my Effing Ghod!!!

    "We're obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows... We have a brand new user interface. [...]"

    The Ghod-awful Ribbon infects Windows! Run! Run for your LIVES!!

  23. FerretOfDoom


    It'll be Windows NT 5.

    Mine's the one missing the HAL.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    A real os for a change?

    To be honest I don't care about the operating system at all. Its all about the applications that you run on those operating systems.

    these days the bulk of my time on a PC is spent with photography. In particular, Photoshop. I have it on several different machines and to be blunt about it the best experience is under windows XP,

    you can put all t bells and whistles and gadgets in there all you like do I care? no..

    Linux is out the window because of no photoshop ( and don't even whisper GIMP, its horrid). I have no interest in buying an overpriced apple mac, so windows it is, and while its working fine that's how it will stay.

    Ultimately the operating system should not matter, It should be almost invisible and just the glue that binds the hardware to the software.

    Maybe its time for windows to go minimalist. All the bells and whistles to become options. just power it up, and have a empty menu with the exception of an "appstore" and hardware manager to configure drivers and to select your operating system components that you need (or not) as you see fit.

    My perfect OS would be one that would just start up straight into adobe bridge

  25. penguin slapper


    They're going to confuse the virus writers by releasing Windows 8, 9 & 10 all at the same time, so those pesky virus writers won't know who's using what.


    What's that?

    Are any of them any different under the hood?


  26. Ed Stewart

    Ha Ha!

    Just updated both my laptop and my desktop to Ubuntu 11.04 works beautiful, who cares for windblows 8.

  27. mamaoyot
    Thumb Up

    Windows 8 Start Faster than Windows 7

    On News Device Gadget Windows 8 Start Faster than Windows 7

  28. johnnymotel

    backtracking already??

  29. Anonymous Coward


    "We're obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows... We have a brand new user interface. We've added touch, and ink, and speech.".

    Yay! Three more ways to get a blue-screen-of-death!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to make windows 8 great

    Put some sort of search function in it. You know, like the one they had in XP and then decided to make impossible for reasons that can only be about spite.

  31. adnim

    Becoming a black box system?

    "We have a brand new user interface."

    He calls it a user interface, I call it control obfuscation.

    Is it just me who doesn't want his OS to do everything automatically, the way the OS designers think I want it done?

  32. E 2

    One thing you can say for Windows

    It is an excellent platform on which to commit acts of virtual mass murder: Doom et co., Quake et co., Half Life et co., the list goes on and on and on.

    There are fewer options to commit virtual mass murder on the Mac, and very few indeed on Linux.

    Therefore Windows has an important use case.


    windows 8 really ?

    microsoft stop it people are slowly upgrading to 7 because its way better than vista and there not gonna upgrade again for 8 they will more than likely stick with 7 till support is dead for it like xp. so sorry microsoft your gonna have to rethink on the release date for 8

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Yes, stop it. Seriously, it's not (way better).

  34. Anonymous Coward


    So, time to start bad-mouthing W7 as the crappiest operating system since W98. Remember, you haven't much time left to do it so that you can be one of the cool guys to lap up W8 the second the hot steaming turd hits the ground.

    /still running perfectly good version of vista 64

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