I'm still in the middle of multiple multi-year Win7 rollout contracts.
Today, 13 January, is the day on which Microsoft's Windows 7 passes from mainstream support into extended support. The milestone is the first on the road to Microsoft pulling the plug on January 14th, 2020. Windows 7 is a widely-admired version of Windows, as it is more stable than its predecessor Windows Vista and did not …
Banks lol - was at a cashpoint the other week -- the one next to me then crashed and rebooted something called OS2 Warp?
Consider yourself lucky. The upgrade path for those ATMs over here has been Windows NT. Yes, I didn't say XP or Vista or 7. I said "Windows NT". I fear those ATMs...
Banks lol - was at a cashpoint the other week -- the one next to me then crashed and rebooted something called OS2 Warp?
Consider yourself lucky. The upgrade path for those ATMs over here has been Windows NT. Yes, I didn't say XP or Vista or 7. I said "Windows NT". I fear those ATMs...
At least both OS/2 and Windows NT (<= 4.0) based ATMs are immune to almost all* attacks via USB.
(* the BIOS might recognise USB HID and do PS/2 keyboard/mouse emulation.)
But that's why you're deploying it - W7 is now stable so you can lock it down!
MS have effectively promised there will be no new functionality in W7, so there is little risk of MS now doing a 8->8.1 style and level of change.
The downside as we saw with XP (and previous versions), MS refusing to put key new functionality into XP such as: SATA drivers, Fully fledged WiFi client ...
Given the mess up with 8, and the delivery timescale constraints on 10, I expect 10 to contain little new real functionally with much being reserved for 11. Which is just fine, provided it ships in c.2017, as I suspect few enterprises will contemplate a wholesale upgrade from 7 anytime before then.
A real question is when will MS stop selling a 32-bit desktop OS, my money is 11 coming in a 64-bit version...
Its nothing to worry about as its only the end of MAINSTREAM support which is defined by MSFT as the period "when new features CAN be added"..question, can you remember any "new features" added during the previous 5 years? Can you remember any "new features" added to Vista during its mainstream period?
I've tried and the closest I can come up with is Dreamscene for Vista which was IRL just a CYA to keep MSFT from getting a class action over Balmer saying those that shelled out 3 bills for Vista Ultimate would get "Ultimate Extras" like preorder DLC. Other than that? yeah I can't think of nothing.
Might as well say "Windows 7 is kinda sorta possibly in the middle of its life, if it don't get extended like XP did" because we all saw how many times MSFT had to hit the time out button on XP, wouldn't surprise me if they have to do the same with 7.
Now that would be an intersting move, from 7 to 11, are they thinking about bringing back Bob and dressing him in a green grocer's jacket.
[MS Please stop fucking about radically with the interface and everything will be hunky dory, Desktops are desktops, tablets are tablets, phones are phones... My car dashboard does not use the same UX as my microwave, which is different from my radiator controller and I am happy that way .]
MS Please stop fucking about radically with the interface and everything will be hunky dory, Desktops are desktops, tablets are tablets, phones are phones...
You dare suggest form should follow function? What's wrong with you?
Microsoft put out an add-on pack for Windows 95 called MS Plus (hmm, sounds like something requiring penicillin to cure). It offered a lot of tweaks for the desktop and people really liked it. Rather than forcing consumers to pick from the one UI they offer, I can't understand why they don't extend the idea of desktop themes to the entire UI, allowing home users to set things up however they want and BOFHs to define every aspect of the UI in corporate environments.
Yes please, let's have UI fragmentation just like Linux, that's the way!
The biggest strength of Windows (and the biggest fuck-up of Windows 8) is that you can sit down at any Windows PC and find a familiar environment, and instantly be productive without having to re-learn basic things. This benefits both home and work users, since a lot of people use PCs at home and at work. So please don't let's allow home users to fuck things up however they want. One UI - one good UI - for everyone, please.
Yes please, let's have UI fragmentation just like Linux, that's the way!
And do you know why there is so much UI fragmentation in Linux? Consider GNOME 3, KDE 4 or Unity, for example. The predecessors and many of the successors such as Cinnamon or MATE ended up the way they were for exactly the same reason as why people bitch and moan about Windows 8.x - the people behind the UIs didn't listen and instead went on their merry way without realising that the design used in classics such as KDE 3 ended up that way because people were familiar with them. They did what users wanted them to do. When you look at KDE 3 you may notice a certain similarity with the XP/Vista environment. Heck, I even still use KDE 3 myself, mostly because of the crappy job that the KDE team did with KDE 4 IMHO. GNOME is the same; if it wasn't, Cinnamon and MATE would never have come into existance.
So it is with Linux, so it is with Windows too. Same cause, same effect. Microsoft had Sinovsky, Linux has Poettering. Same shit, different packaging.
"for exactly the same reason as why people bitch and moan about Windows 8.x - the people behind the UIs didn't listen"
Unfortunately you're wrong about Windows 8. The reason for the Windows 8 UI is that people who are now bitching and moaning are the same people who declined to join the "customer experience improvement program" while their mum merrily said fine, go ahead. If you want your say then have your say. The people whose clicks were anonymously sent to MS are very happy indeed with Windows 8 and 8.1 but sadly they don't comment on El Reg so it seems a little one sided. Just you watch, the very mention that we could have made it better will get me a thousand down votes while everyone ignores that what I said makes sense. We may be unhappy about Windows 8 but the reasons are clear and documented by the team that wrote it. They blogged the reasoning behind every change and by George their reasoning was sound as a pound based on the evidence they had. For instance, not one person in the CEIP clicked somewhere other than the menu after clicking Start - this led to the crazy assumption that once Start was clicked that's all the user wanted to do so full screen would be more effective use of the screen. Madness.
> The reason for the Windows 8 UI is that people who are now bitching and moaning are the same people who declined to join the "customer experience improvement program"
The revisionism is strong with this one. Microsoft intentionally ignored the loud outcry from the pre-releases due to arrogance and it not matching their corporate strategy. Also just because Microsoft got rid of their paid beta tester teams doesn't mean everyone should be an unpaid Microsoft intern to help them conqueror the world. That kind of attitude is why people laugh when Microsoft falls flat on its face.
"Windows 8 were developed in abject isolation from the outside world, because Microsoft disbanded the beta testing teams that had previously offered feedback at a very early point in development. Here, Microsoft was cherry-picking from the Apple playbook -- creating products in secret -- while ignoring the most important parts of that company’s strategy, such as its emphasis on keeping its products aggressively simple and effective. Dictating from on high only works when you make something that everyone loves."
>Just you watch, the very mention that we could have made it better will get me a thousand down votes while everyone ignores that what I said makes sense.
No you will get 20 down votes tops and the reason is because you are flat out wrong. Microsoft went out of their way not to listen to users because in their arrogance they knew best. The market had something else to say. Its also not my job or responsibility for them to make more money.
"Microsoft went out of their way not to listen to users because in their arrogance they knew best."
No, no, Microsoft went out of their way to ignore the minority who were very vocal in the technical community who had not participated in the CEIP. Their statistics clearly showed at the time that the majority of users would be happy with the changes. Just because on El Reg we hear the opinion of techies doesn't mean those techies are a majority or that they are right or even representative of normal users. Microsoft have billions of users to keep happy, and if a million techies don't like it then fine, that's still very nearly a billion users who are not unhappy. This was especially so with the weak arguments put forward by techies who claimed that a full screen menu somehow wasn't a menu, and a hidden button wasn't a button and didn't exist. They did make a bunch of mistakes on Win8, most of which were fixed on 8.1 but their reasoning for those changes was very sound, and with the evidence at hand many product teams would have made the same choices.
Wow Lusty you are something. You should see if you can get a job writing on Sinofsky's blog. They might even let you write the article trying to revise the history of why the APIs didn't converge before he was improperly shit canned. As I quote above Microsoft once again went me too trying to be like Apple and went out of their way to eliminate early general user feedback.
"Unfortunately you're wrong about Windows 8. The reason for the Windows 8 UI is that people who are now bitching and moaning are the same people who declined to join the "customer experience improvement program" while their mum merrily said fine, go ahead."
My mum had windows 8 and hated it. Something about a touch interface OS on a computer with no touch screen. Gee my brother got chewed out for upgrading her.
Windows 8 was a total ballsup. The more new stuff you shove in, the more you should leave stuff the same. If the computer didn't have a touch screen it should have looked exactly like 7.
"My mum had windows 8 and hated it. Something about a touch interface OS on a computer with no touch screen."
Yes, your mum came to that conclusion by herself. Is she a techie then, to have noticed it was a touch enabled interface? My mum was "quite pleased the buttons are bigger". Which sounds like a genuine comment from a middle aged woman?
>Microsoft had Sinovsky, Linux has Poettering.
Had being the key word. Even the dinosaur Microsoft figured out Win8 was a butt fumble almost immediately and got rid of the reason and have been slowly recovering since. Poettering on the other hand is still around fucking Linux up mainly because Red Hat benefits from most OSS becoming one monolithic Linux only hairball.
The dreaded "fragmentation" of Linux involve a small number of UIs that each are less unlike each other than Metro is to anything else. The kicker with Linux is that if your OS vendor pulls a Metro or a Unity, you aren't just hung out to dry. You can just use what you're used to.
What allows that "fragmentation" is a double edged sword and it's not all bad.
It means I can retain my UI when Canonical runs amok.
If you want to really annoy and confuse "normal" users, give them a Mac.
>one good UI - for everyone, please
That will be Motif then...
However: Motif was based on IBM's Common User Access (CUA) guidelines (as were Microsoft Windows and OS/2) and so had a visual appearance and mode of operation similar to that of Microsoft Windows (Classic) and OS/2. This, deliberate strategy, was to facilitate users using both Windows and Unix workstations and applications. I suspect MS decided that with the improvements in Linux, the Windows Classic UI/UX potentially made it too easy for users to switch to Linux, thus the Win8 UI was more an attempt to be different (as are the changes introduced into the MS Office UI).
> you can sit down at any Windows PC and find a familiar environment, and instantly be productive without having to re-learn basic things
Err, no. It's only familiar if you have used a similar Windows version before. Try installing a Windows 3 copy somewhere and get someone who's never seen one to use it.
> one good UI - for everyone
You are not an engineer, or in the business of designing things, I see. For that matter, is not that the way Microsoft tried to go one or two years ago, rather ill-advisedly it would appear?
PS: I feel tempted to point out that all your requirements may be met by installing emacs, but I fear the vi brigade will downvote me into oblivion. :-)
I suggested this years and years, possibly decades ago. Since then I have changed my mind. You people are not average users. Average users are thicker than pigshit and can barely find the power button. Changing anything causes them to panic. Allowing them to fiddle with options is a recipe for disaster. Suggesting DIY shell configuration is a malware wet dream.
I quite agree - I have two cars, one built in 1989, the other in 2011, by very different manufacturers. Both have similar instruments in similar places, a gear stick, rear-view mirror and steering wheel in the same places, doors and wheels in the same places (OK, one has the hand brake on the right, and a few buttons and switches are different) but fundamentally they work the same way. I want computers to do the same. I don't expect my keyboard layout to change every time I buy a new one, ditto with my desktop OS. Fine, when I buy my first driverless car (sometime in the 2040s) THEN I'll expect a radical change of instrument layout, but only because the function has changed!
Fine, when I buy my first driverless car (sometime in the 2040s) THEN I'll expect a radical change of instrument layout, but only because the function has changed!
Fine until you discover the trolley problem resolution mode/emergency mode is "over to you" - a fall back to full manual control...
But look at how your phones changed in the past forty years... in the '70s I had a rotary deal fixed phone. Later they had a button keyboard - then they became mobile, still with a keyboard. Then the keyboard went away, and to make a call you have fist to unlock the phone, get to the phone app, and then either select from a list of contacts or invoke the keyboard... of course what didn't change depends on the relative position of your ears and mouth...
Cars didn't see much changes because retraining the drivers could be expensive and dangerous - that's why you don't see joystick instead of wheels, even if some high-end cars may have F1-alike gear commands. Of course some components like wheels needs to be in the same place because physics dictates so, like doors on the roof or bottom will be a little uncomfortable. Some controls like turn indicators have been in the same place for ages, up to the point that people don't care about them at all today, and forgot to use them when they should - especially since they don't use the rear mirror but to check lipstick or tie before getting off the car, and find that position today a little uncomfortable, in the middle of the wheel it would be more useful.
But there was a time around the '80s when some genial engineers decided to put the claxon button on the indicator lever insted ot the wheel, or putting the parking brake command in places where the passenger can't activate it in case of an emergency. And most moder cars require you to disassemnble half engine to replace a failed bulb... and in my car the gear stick interferes with the climatization controls.... bad UI design as well. Also, it is now often common to put the tachimeter and rpm dials apart from each other, with some display with far less useful (but colorful) informations in the middle, like the current date, outside temperature, radio station, etc. Some have rpm on the right, others on the left. I would by far prefer to have speed and rmp data in the center (and always in the same order), and auxiliary informations on the sides. Again, bad UI choice dictated by marketing reasons and not ergonomics.
But looks at airplanes, where specific training for each model is needed. Boeing planes still have a yoke, while Airbus models have joystick-like sticks on pilot sides (meaning pilot an co-pilot use one the left hand and the other the right hand...). But cockpit UIs follow much more stricter rules - important controls and dials are well placed and always in the same position, because a pilot is trained to scan them in a given sequence which ensure safety.
"Some controls like turn indicators have been in the same place for ages"
Not entirely true. Some models here in Oz have them on the right stalk (which is correct), others have them on the left stalk. The wise road user eventually learns to recognise that if the wipers begin to operate then the approaching vehicle may well turn across your path.
I suspect the left-stalkers are cheap factory conversions for the Oz market.
I think my indicators/wiper controls have switched sides with almost every change of vehicle - which was quite frequent when I used to drive off-road for fun. (Sometimes during that period I had two cars on the go - one for general day to day driving, and a 4x4 for the mud plugging, and the indicator/wiper controls tended to be on the opposite side in each!)
I haven't done that in donkey's years, and I've now had the same car on the road for about four years - but every once in while, I do still try to indicate with my wipers.
"My son's car in Thailand (where they also drive on the left) has the indicators on the opposite side to my own car here."
If it's a remotely recent car then what you mean is the stalk with indicator glyphs is on the opposite side. The actual function is computer controlled and you can move it with a laptop so that in theory you could turn the lights on with the horn button or lock the doors with the indicator stalk :)
But look at how your phones changed in the past forty years... of course what didn't change depends on the relative position of your ears and mouth...
Phones changed because the functionality changed. With the introduction of automated switching gear you no longer had to bounce the lever a few times and say "Hi Mildred, can you connect me with 8394 Chicago?... Thanks Mildred" as you could dial the number directly. Function changed slightly with the DTMF making buttons more efficient. Trust me when I say I shouldn't get started on "smart" phones where the phone part is more an added-on afterthought than principle function but even the ears and mouth relation no longer has a bearing on the phone design if you're using an ear bud and mic which could easily be in finger cots on your thumb and little finger.
Actually manufacturers would quite like to replace the steering wheel with something like a joystick -- it would free up a lot of interior space and make left/right-hand-drive conversion much simpler -- but they are not allowed to. Current regulations require a solid physical connection between the steering control and the steered wheels.
"Current regulations require a solid physical connection between the steering control and the steered wheels."
I'm not sure where it says that. I've certainly driven something that only had a hydraulic connection between the steering control and steered wheels (and hydraulics don't work when the hydraulic oil is solid!)
I must be old because it feels like just a few months ago that I installed the Windows 7 free beta a little while before its release and later purchased a copy...
I honestly don't see myself upgrading anytime soon, I really just don't need an OS, the one I've got works fine.
"What about the rest of us old timers who can still remember installing the early version of Excel with "Windows 286 Runtime" on a 286 PC from 5 1/4" floppies! I'm only in my 40's!!"
Pahhh, my favourite was an Office install in which one had to install from 32 floppies.
Come back Lotus Symphony all is forgiven.
And so the IT industry will get another opportunity to "persuade" customers to buy a new OS, complete with new bugs, incimpatibilities and UI "enhancements", not to mention updated applications (software vendors take their lead from MS), and new hardware platforms,
And for every component change, cross-(in)compatibility will necessitate updates of other components, resulting in a chain reaction of continual change
It would be interesting to see estimates of the proportion of revenues in the IT industry that is spent by customers merey to stay in support - no functional changes, no business benefits, just standing still.
I remember the time when my boss was running Windows 98 (windows xp had recently come out), and there was a virus/security warning put out that Microsoft released a "test" for.
We downloaded the test and ran it ... it said something like "Congratulations you are not susceptible to the threat, have you considered upgrading to one that is?"
MS seem to have forgotten what users want on a desktop OS. The article says that in 2020 then it's likely Windows 11 will be upon us, but the only people who will want to use it in 2020 will be government, banks, and bigcorp.
Funny, they tried to push Windows in a consumer direction and the customers ran away. They're trying to catch up with them by making Office run everywhere.
Been happy with linux at least at home where I have the choice since 2000.
What users want is highly subjective. For some its a full 'desktop', for others something more minimal laptop, netbook, phone, tablet works just as well.
Desktops will evolve, they are still the workhorse of the user world. If you have a desk job you need some form of computer that operates efficiently in that context. Or do you believe office workers will all be sitting on sofas with mobile phones/tablets in hand being as productive?
For most people a tablet or phone (or even something through the TV is sufficient for web/email and other casual use.
Currently the ui is fragmented between phone through desktop, increasing the learning curve on moving from one to another. It's sensible to try to unify that so that a desktop shares some of the traits and common cues of the ui on smaller factor devices. This is what Microsoft were attempting (and got wrong) and what Gnome, KDE and Canonical with Unity are alse aiming for although all in different ways.
General purpose computers should adapt to the hardware depending on what input devices are connected. Interfaces that are appropriate for one kind of terminal, are entirely inappropriate for others. The user shell should be able to know what is connected and act accordingly.
Different inputs require different approaches because they don't all have the same capabilities.
Terminal sans mouse. Graphics terminal with mouse. Touchscreen. IR Remote. These are all capable of different things and apps need to reflect that. So does the shell.
if there is a mouse attached, or no touchscreen attached then this tablet nonsense should hide itself by default.
Feed the output of lsusb into some if statements. It's really not rocket science.
Pull out your head, mate!
It is called SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, commercially maintained and supported so you don't have to endure Linux community smugness.
Now if big corporations would like to look at it that's another totally different matter. At my current workplace they have the licenses for it but they never bothered to certify it as a desktop and when I asked why is that, nobody had any answer because it has never crossed their minds.
Yes I know various distro's exist that are targeted at the enterprise, but as we all know the enterprise desktop is a lot more than just the Win/Linux distro, which is why a desktop OS refresh requires a little forethought.
Personally, I would hope that those in the Linux Enterprise Desktop space will be using the 2020 opportunity (and the pain enterprise have/are experiencing in migrating off XP) to lighten the wallets of VC's et al, because I believe there is a real opportunity (particularly in budget constrained government departments) for the largescale deployment of open systems.
(@AC: Up voted because your comment did contain constructive information.)
At least recovery and re-installing appears far easier with Windows 7 than with Windows H8. I see a never apparently ending stream of people having issues trying to recover windows 8/8/1 machines that have ended in never again land. I gave up on it during beta time when they ruled out fully functioning (with 8) CPUs, I guess that the load of whatever was in H8 did not get any better with time.
I guess it is too much to hope that 10 might get that done better?
"It's going ten to the dozen with all the Windows repair processes, validating the registry and all sorts of stuff."
Windows does not 'repair' anything as a background process - neither does it 'validate' the registry and more than it does when it first loads it. If Windows thinks it needs to repair anything it will tell you.
"So Windows 7 is more reliable by doing lots of housekeeping."
No - it's more reliable by design. See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2008/10/15/engineering-7-a-view-from-the-bottom.aspx
"This is a massive change from Vista – in Vista, since the code was complete we’d have simply checked in the code and let the test team deal with the fallout. By integrating the test teams into the planning process at the beginning we were able to ensure that we never put the test organization into that bind."
"To be fair, Win7 IS more stable than XP"
To be fair, that isn't my experience. I've run a number of VMs and Ghosts with XP and Win7 (and others) over the years and the only XP system that needed to be tossed and rebuilt was XP64, whereas several of the Win7 ones (and all of the Vista ones) have eventually died of old age. (That is, eventually, the monthly cycle of updates left them unbootable.)
Been deploying Windows 8 for a few years now.
With Classic Shell deployed as an MSI, pretty much it works the same in a domain environment. I agree that, at home, I use Windows 7 but - you know - Windows 8 really isn't that bad. And I say that as someone who held off on the "new" Offices for years, was stuck for XP until 7 was viable (and some time past that on some machines). I am a stick-in-the-mud.
But 8, with the usual "Let's fix this for my domain users" is pretty much there. The extra faffing isn't really that noticeable when you have several hundred new GP options to go through anyway. The users barely notice or care and half of them don't even realise it is 8 (when they've been told to stay off 8 by their children/techy friends).
Sorry people, it may not be ideal and it may be ugly in places, but all OS are. In a domain environment, the tweaking necessary to get it back to "sensible" is just normal. The only thing that really annoys me (and it's not 8-specific)? Simple things still can't be done in GP.... how do I specify the user logon image? Can't put it in AD, no, you have to pee about with scripts and copying over local files. How do I turn off accessibility options? Can't do it in GP, have to deploy registry-editing GP's or block access to a certain program in the System32 folder.
Not specific to 8... I still don't get why MS release an OS or an Office suite where every option the user can customise isn't available in the GPO's...
I deploy Classic Shell. It has the "Don't start in Metro" option turned on (again - GP-configurable with Classic Shell's GP settings). You boot, login, go to desktop without seeing Metro at all. Everything else is pretty much the same.
Press Windows key and it brings up the Start Menu. (However, sssshhhh, don't tell my users, press Shift+Windows and it brings up Metro!). Disable the sidebar etc. as much as you can and you'll never see anything Windows-8-y again. It just looks like Windows 7 that's been prettied up and locked down (e.g. the network interface taskbar icon looks a little different, Autoplay - if you have it enabled - looks a little Metro-y, etc.)
Rolled it out to 500 users who had had a VERY bad experience with a previous (botched) 8 deployment, and they were about ready to scream at the mention of 8. It was only afterwards when they then started coming to me saying "Does this work in our Windows 7?" that I told them what we had. They're not the most-observant of users (the techy ones spotted it obviously but also didn't care as they could see I'd toned it down), but I had more trouble from 32- / 64-bit software issues than I ever got out of having Windows 8 on the desktop.
I was trying to identify (for my own amusement) how using Win 7 is compared to 8, this is what came to mind.
Windows 7 uses keyboard, mouse and you look at the screen.
Windows 8 they glued many of the keys together and presented it Fisher Price style on the monitor, now you have to tap the side of the screen, keyboard, or both, while clicking one of the big mash up buttons and hoping the screen does not take over the room.
I can use both, I chant "Why!?" often when using 8.
When I move away from 7 I hope it is to an OS where I quietly mumble words like nice, oh yeah, clever, thanks, not WTF NOW! WHY DID YOU BREAK THAT AS WELL!
I'm just not convinced MS will be any part of it.
>have not had a desktop in the house for 8 years and not had windows since xp
The only reason I have Windows at home is some equipment makers (in my case the really sore point is a film scanner) who neither release Linux drivers, nor provide enough information for the open source community to create them.
I have come to the conclusion this is really a case of planned obsolescence. Closed-source drivers eventually stop working on Windows, as Windows itself changes internally (good luck using an old device that only has a XP driver on Windows 7!). So the user finds it easiest to solve the problem by buying a new device, even if the old one is in perfect working order and fulfils his needs.
There ought to be a law against this...
I use an old scanner with XP drivers with Windows 7. MS supplies a handy virtual XP machine free of charge...
Yes, if you have Windows 7 Professional or better. Home computers typically come bundled with Windows 7 Home, and I'm not going to pay any more Windows tax than absolutely necessary. MS also no longer patches XP and their page about "Install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7" now warns not to use XP mode for any PC connected to the internet.
Long ago, when I was gainfully employed, I sat and stared at monitors all day. I finally broke down and got a prescription for glasses that are focused about 4" past the end of my fingers. I wear bifocals mostly, but the "computer glasses" are a necessity. But, for the laptops I own, I use a wireless keyboard/mouse anyhow. Hate that stupid little touchpad. The alternative is to run a HDMI cable over to the bigscreen TV, plop down in the recliner and compute.
Much as I dislike Apple, what choice do I have? Between EVIL and EVILER? At this point, I'm convinced Apple can't be more evil.
Yeah, I was thinking about Chrome, but after the abuse of Linux, I just can't see myself going that way. I feel like I wasted too many years hoping Ubuntu or something would grow into a viable economic model.
The real lesson of Microsoft is you can produce the worst software in the world and ram it down people's throats via the manufacturers while your EULA protects you from any liability, and it's still a working economic model. Unlike their software, the economic model works extremely well.
OSX used to be a nice clean and nag free experience. But obviously the sort of plonkers who worked on Windows must have started working for Apple since the nag screens and popups have started to appear in increasing amounts.
Bought a new Macbook Pro and it took about 30 minutes before I could use it, I suspect it was downloading lots of patches in the background before letting me use it.
So if I rate the Windows user experience a 7, I'd only give OSX an 8 now, would have been closer to 10 before now. Finder still sucks.
Actually you may have fewer than that. See http://blogs.technet.com/b/pki/archive/2013/11/12/sha1-deprecation-policy.aspx.
Starting in 2017, MS may stop accepting code signing certificates using the SHA-1 algorithm. Now, whilst Win7 is happy to support SHA-256 for applications, its kernel only recognises SHA-1. Consequently, if you want to sign a driver after 2016, you will need a certificate that was issued (using the SHA-1 algorithm) before 2017.
I assume that MS will issue themselves a signing certificate soon (if they haven't already) that has a decade or so of validity, but third-party vendors will be affected. Since certificate vendors variously offer 1, 2 or 3-year validity on their stuff, driver vendors who don't notice the date may find that their last remaining SHA-1 cert has expired (in Jan 2018, say) and they are therefore *unable* to issue driver updates for Win7. (At least, not without also explaining to end-users how to fiddle with their system to tolerate unsigned kernel code.)
The security landscape for Win7 could start getting interesting well before the 2020 cut-off.
(Edit: I'm assuming MS can't/won't retrofit SHA-256 to the Win7 kernel, since if that was possible/economic, it would have made sense to do so before they announced the deprecation of SHA-1. I also note that the same argument applies to Server 2008 R2.)
I highly doubt that companies are going to agree to migrate their work base every 7 years just because MS says so.
Desktops are going out of fashion, and with them is going MS's influence. MS will have to resolve itself to being just an OS provider, and the OS is going to have to resign itself to the back seat. Where companies are concerned, what is important is the applications, not the OS.
We are at the end of the upgrade treadmill, but MS apparently hasn't got the memo. The days when upgrading last year's hardware was justified by performance increase are gone and with them, the need to have a new OS for the new hardware.
MS : you need to make an Operating System, not a Consumer Experience. Get the bells & whistles out of the OS, so that upgrading one does not impact the other. Make your code able to update the kernel as the hardware evolves without endangering the apps that are needed. And, while you're at it, make the UI fully configurable.
We want to USE our computers, not watch your installation screens.
6-7 years is fairly normal. In a big corporation, you usually wait a year for a new OS to 'mature'. Then you spend a year configuring your builds. Then three years rolling the 20000+ items of kit etc. out.
Then another year doing mop ups. Then two years trying to get it all working.
Then you wait a year for the new OS to 'mature'...
Quite why MS has decided to go to a new OS every 2+ years cycle when their biggest customers move on a much longer time frame, I don't know.
"and for a version of Office that actually works."
Sorry but I use Libre office. I have no problems with it so far at home or at work (my work systems are all linux as it is my preference). I have barely touched MS office since 2000 which I did think was pretty good but I didnt like the versions that followed. Since then I have used open office and Libre office and I am in the process of helping a primary school transition some of its systems from a very outdated MS office to libre office (cost reasons).
I guess it depends what you do with it.
> and for a version of Office that actually works.
I have never been impressed with msoffice. Not now. Not ever. Back when companies were originally turning it into Microsoft's 2nd big monopoly I was less than impressed and wanted to use SOMETHING ELSE.
msoffice is just Lemming-ware.
I'm a cop in Police Scotland and our i6 program which is designed to bring together the national infrastructure under one system of force-accessible programs such as custody management, crime reports, court reports, etc, wont be released until all the PSoS terminals are updated to Windows 8.1.
I have to say, I was very impressed when this came out that they had decided to shoot that far ahead rather than aiming for Windows 7 - currently we're all on XP.
It's due to roll out this year. I don't expect it to go well.
"wont be released until all the PSoS terminals are updated to Windows 8.1."
Is that the now-unsupported-for-security-updates vanilla 8.1, or the still-in-support-until-MS-change-their-mind 8.1 Update?
The question should give a clue to how badly this will end, because your vendors will try and lock you in (with expensive day rates and change clauses), and Microsoft will already be plotting to end support for 8.1 Update as soon as they possibly can. Whilst the obvious solution is to foreswear all Microsoft products, and support your own Linux build, I can't think of any examples where this has actually worked. Anyone?
I recommend you go back to paper and quill.
Just don't give a damn about marketing product names. Marketing people brain works in a very different way than most people one. Common sense, etc. is absent. They live in a different world where everything is possible.
I believe "marketing" should become a recognized type of mental disorder, and treated as such.
Quite. MS adopted a policy part-way into the XP era of not slipping new features in with service packs and as far as I can see they've followed it quite religiously, introducing no new features with anything ever since. I would guess that the last new feature added to Win7 was Win7.
Memo to MS, a service pack with the last few years worth of patches rolled up would be nice.
> Memo to MS, a service pack with the last few years worth of patches rolled up would be nice.
Amen. I installed Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 (the MSDN image) on a laptop yesterday and it had 176+ updates to install; took about 6 hours to grind through it all. Admittedly, this was an older machine with spinny-disk storage, but you'd think Microsoft could at least merge all the updates into the ISOs they make available - to save traffic on the WU servers, if nothing else.
Yes, I could have used DISM or something similar to merge the updates into the image myself, but I only had one machine to build, then clone.
Our corporate IS only just upgraded everyone from XP to Win 7 last year.
And that caused all sorts of problems with USB and serial port drivers (needed for debugging chip firmware); mostly sorted now. Win 7 does seem more stable than XP.
It may be a while before they move on to Win 11 or whatever the latest version is.
This is exactly why Home & Business versions of the OS should be on different cycles. MS had it right 20 years ago with 2 separate lines, NT for the work place, 9x for the home.
Microsoft should have a VERY long term release of Windows that you can only get if your a Volume Licence customer so your effectively paying them every year to maintain the release, and use service packs to keep it modern when new technologies come out. i.e. a Windows XP Service Pack 4 release with built in SATA support.
Its going to be XP all over again, and so soon too this is getting silly when the end result is we will just be running the same Applications as we were.
"Microsoft should have a VERY long term release of Windows that you can only get if your a Volume Licence customer so your effectively paying them every year to maintain the release"
They already do. Windows XP was publically supported for ~14 years and support is still available via a custom support agreement. Sometimes you just need to move on...
I've been thinking that if MS wants to push out an OS every 2 years or so then they should go to a alternate Domestic and Business release. That way you would get around 5 years between business releases (and domestic).
Also it would mean you wouldn't have to have too many unwanted features in either release.
"Security patches will continue to flow until 2020."
Very good, as those are the only things I'm expecting from this Redmond lot. Staying on W7 on my Mac VM until 2020 ... I'm happy with what I paid for W7, with (just) that.
"You've got either a few months – assuming Windows 10 ships by year's end as planned – or five years to find out. ®"
Let's assess the situation every year within the next 5 years, to see if MS finally has a clue on UI, gaming techno, and what not.
After the deadline, the market (gaming, tablet, office, etc ...) will have an answer. I really hope MS will be part of it, but I'm not betting a single E on this ...
Well, I got at least nine years from the time I purchased my mirrored-drive-door G4 Mac in 2002 until Apple dropped PPC support with OS X 10.7 in 2011.
From then until until I retired it in '13, I just kept it patched as security patches were released. Was still doing illustration, doc layout, and music and video editing on it until I upgraded.
What was your point, again...?
I think that MS missed the point of what an OS is supposed be with Win8. The OS (Operating System) is the thing that let me use the programs that I want to do stuff with. It handles the various interfaces such as disk, mouse, keyboard, other programs and me. It's only function should be to make doing these things as easy as possible. I don't want it to be a web browser (I'll choose one myself, thanks very much) it's not a means of entertainment (I have games and movies for this), it's an interface. If the interface sucks like it did in Win8 then it is a monumental fail, nothing else matters. Every focus group and marketing exercise told MS that TIFKAM was an abortion and yet the corporate arrogance made them persist. Let's hope that they listen to the customers and do the right thing, otherwise the future is going to be even brighter for IOS and Linux.
"[...] have Microsoft fixed the laughably slow file copying yet?"
Copying a lot of files on XP was relatively slow. Annoyingly the process was prolonged by it doing some destination disk housekeeping for quite a while afterwards. That meant having to wait to remove an external back-up disk. W7 seems to be faster at such large directory copies - and, more importantly, the external disk is released for removal within seconds afterwards.
XP also seemed to have file number limits which would cause a copy to be aborted - especially if the old destination directories had been deleted first. W7 handles those same directories with no problems.
These comparisons were on the same hardware - although the SATA source disks may have been slightly different models.
As you can see Windows 8 is over twice as fast at large file copies.
(It is fractionally slower on multiple small file copies though due to the larger amount of metadata and transactional logging on NTFS.)
> Windows 8.1 outperforms the latest Ubunto in copying large files if that's what you mean.
I guess I will have to grab some of my BD images and find a Win8 box then.
Although the problem with Windows in this regard really isn't speed. Something like this is really more of a batch job. The problem with Windows is it's stupid locking and how it handles that locking during a large copy operation. What should be a partial fail becomes a total fail.
Then you need obscure and arcane tools to work around what should be a simple single drag and drop operation that your great grandma could handle.
This approach also makes it harder to deal with malware/adware that piggybacks on freeware and shareware packages for Windows. I should be able to toast any DLL if I want to.
Know the bug you mean: That was one of the major reasons Vista RTM Was so crappy.
Been fixed since Vista SP1 (And a hotfix for RTM), and GUI file copying (Especially dealing with conflicts and duplicates) has gotten better in each subsequent release.
... Still, not a patch on good ol' Robocopy.
>Know the bug you mean: That was one of the major reasons Vista RTM Was so crappy.
That bug was "5 minutes to copy a 4kb file", it now takes ~1min on Windows 7+/SSD vs ~150ms on Linux(any version), Mac OS X(any version), Windows XP, OS/2, MS DOS, you name it ... on PATA disks, of course.
God yes. What a pain that little feature is.
Copy or move a whole bunch of files, and for some reason one can't copy.
Whole bloody job falls over.
Did it report the problem , skip and continue, no.
Did it report the problem and ask if you want to continue, no.
Did it stop, report and give you the option to decide what to do next, no it f****ing didn't.
Just bloody fall over.
What a f****witted bit of design that was.
"I haven't used Windows in years: have Microsoft fixed the laughably slow file copying yet?"
Yes, but they haven't fixed the bug whereby the two pane of Explorer (folder tree on the left, folder contents on the right) can be pointing at (ie, have selected) a different folder. On the other hand, they do claim to have UI tested every version of Windows in the intervening period with millions of real end-users, so maybe it's just me who thinks that is bonkers.
"they haven't fixed the bug whereby the two pane of Explorer (folder tree on the left, folder contents on the right) can be pointing at (ie, have selected) a different folder."
I can only assume you are either trolling or are incredibly dim witted? The right hand pane is a drill down on the folder selected in the left hand pane, so what you describe is obviously by design.
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IIRC, Amazon rolled out a major order entry, inventory search, payment & shipment tracking system to over 200 million desktop users last year.
No need to call the bouncer over, I'm getting my coat. Please leave my Chrome running on Win 7 when I get back from paying the Hypocrite Tax.
I keep telling myself, in my more optimistic moments, that the shift to a shorter product life cycle can only be a good thing. If Windows N only lasts 2 years before the new one comes along, then perhaps people will stop writing awful software that can only be run on one specific version of one specific OS and start thinking about portability from the get go.
Of course, it won't, and even if it did it would seem that 5 years - and even if there's a new Windows in 2, the support will extend for 5, so there might as well not be - is just about long enough that people will tolerate the disruption, so we still get crap.
Keyboard/mouse users all seem to agree that the W8 user interface was hopeless and the 8.1 update is only a little better.
But once Classic Shell or one of the other interface add ons (Stardock) is installed, W8.1 seems to be excellent. I did a full install of W8.1 on a three year old Samsung W7 i5 laptop and it is now much much faster. My take would be that MS had for the first time(with W8) to design an operating system for the underpowered touch screen tablets that W8 was supposed to work on and couldn't rely on faster and faster machines as they had done when going from XP to Vista. Just a thought....
Or you could have just done a little bit of training within your department to remove your ignorance and configured W8.1 with ClassicShell and some sensible group policies so your users didn't notice any difference like mine haven't.
Carry on blaming everyone else though.
ClassicShell has about as much to do with the actual UI as a Win 7 themepack for XP. Sure it LOOKS like Win 7 but once you start working with it? You'll quickly start running into areas that are still Metro and a PITB. Don't take my word for it, start launch control panel programs in ClassicShell and see how long it is before you get "Metro'd".
My users are following my lead and staying with Win 7 until Win 10 has shown to be free of gotchas.
We work on a rolling roll out, so get to laugh at the companies who were still putting XP. Late in 2010 we accepted windows 7 was good and started to roll out all new computers with it on, unless there was a technical reason not to. So now we have no XP left and are waiting to see what 10 looks like before we decide to do this again.
Joyfully I keep hearing noises about 10 being free to those with 8.1 licences and so long as M$ don't put a time limit on performing the upgrade, all the PC's running window 7 under downgrade from an 8.1 licence should be good for the future.
Win-98, Ser-2 had us running Smart Suite as a business platform for our non-profit... worked just fine.
Foward many years, we are now a 100 percent Linux shop..Enter the link to IBM Lotus Symponany site.
Hello 2004, Lotus Lives again !! w/ Apache Open Office Compatability and ODF compatability...ouch !!
We standardized on PDF's for Archive documentation of our IP...
IMHO= might be too late for that ODF thingy... PDF's are stable enough for forever media shifting (archival media only lasts 5 years or so).
caveiat= cannot comment on MS as i no longer use it, can comment on ODF's as i convert a lot of them to PDF's for Archiving...RS.
If the software reaches a maturity where it is dependable and reliable, Microsoft ends support and makes a new OS which will also have a death sentence. This will never stop with Microsoft. You will all be Gypsies for the rest of your lives. Microsoft Window is a traveling man. Takes up no roots. If you want your OS to gain roots, choose Linux.
Microsoft's product support Lifecycles means Business & Developer products (IE: Windows pro or Enterprise) are supported for a minimum of 10 years: for example, Windows 7 runs from 2009 - 2020
The longest Linux support I know of is 5 years for the Ubantu LTS editions:
for most non enterprise customers, those are the practical end dates of secure software, with vendor patches. Sure, if you're big, rich, and clever enough, you can shell out for a dev team to write custom patches for Linux, or pay Microsoft for custom support beyond those dates, but for most normal users, both options are out of reach.
If you want long term stability, for most non-enterprise or non-technical customers, Microsoft are a little bit better because of their longer lifecycles.
In fact the only elephant in the room here is Apple, who don't provide any public roadmaps or end of support statements:
@ David Austin
Except, on Linux, the ui does not change all the bloody time, besides, even when it changes, you can still use the old ui ... I used the same ui from 2000 (2002, actually, when I switched from KDE to Gnome) until 2014, then switched to Gnome 3, I will most certainly switch back to a Gnome 2 fork shortly, though.
You have a choice.
Even if you decide to keep your old kernel, for whatever reason, you can still apply patches to it, you have the sources, the source code of the patches ... if you really wanna keep that 2.2 kernel, you can get somebody to adapt the patches to 2.2 kernel ... good luck patching Windows 2000 or XP.
Microswat apparently wants to churn hardware sales, producing operating systems that -- if security fixes were treated the same as auto safety -- cannot run on existing and still productive hardware, refusing to repair deficiencies in their own products that result in what would be massive recalls in the auto business (who can't squirt repairs down a link).
I worked in Avionics in the Army from1964-1980, and some of the equipment I worked with in Vietnam could still be seen in Active Duty Air Force transports in 1990; one enterprising person in Massachusetts, noting that test standards called out a specific instrument, bought the name and rights to build a vacuum tube (valve, to you blokes) Grid Dip Meter first sold in 1949. (http://www.isquare.com/millen/eqpicts/90651.html), much more recently, I worked in the digital loop carrier equipment business, where we made and sold equipment to telco's who expected FIFTY years of service and support. Military electronics, in a 2006--2011 job, had a still going and gegantic (sp) employer, as parts became EOL and unavailable, redesigning equipment first fielded in in the 1970's.
It seems to me that if the concept of implied warranty has any meaning, it applies to legacy products rendered unsafe to use not by acts by the users, but because of manufacturer oversights and omissions, manufacturers who, though GLAD to sell a lot if it, didn't want to fix teir errors after years of even decades while those who'd bought them could and were still being harmed as the mistakes became evident.
It could be worse; an OS update might some day come without warning (they've stopped giving most of us warnings) and a six day count-down to wiping it. Are they selling us ransomware? Not yet, but... there's money in it.
We aren't talking about something utterly primitive like Win 3.0 from 1990 that handles hardware, memory, and well ... everything differently. Windows 7 has proven to be a stable, very usable, mostly safe(r), OS than anything else MS has produced. Yes, there is, inexplicably, a 32 bit version being used in large numbers because MS and the hardware vendors did a deal to save a few cents per install sold to sheep who don't understand - well, anything, inside the box. No other good reason exists for it, as all hardware for the past 5-7 years has been x64 compatible. Win 8.1 and the other "compatibility" fixes miss the point: MS taught us where everything was in their OS starting in 19freakin95 with Win 95, Win 98, Win 98 SE, Win XP, Win NT, Win Millennium(gak), Win 2000, Win Vista(urp), and then got it pretty much right with Win 7! Then, in an instant, they took certain parts of it away, hid functionality, got rid of other stuff, and allowed 8 to be used on non-touchscreen devices. If they had kept it ONLY on TS-capable hardware, it would have been fine. It's a pain on conventional HW!! As long as 7 is kept (mostly) safe, that's what I'm going to use!
Its about time that Microsoft made the software so that it could continue with updates and so on. Lets face it most people will migrate eventually to a later and faster version as computers evolve, however being stupid as MS now is is basically a good way to alienate people. I for example now use open Office, not because its better than my old Office, but because I was told that the Office I bought for windows will not run on 8.1. Frankly MS have lost the long term vision, Certainly I am one of many likely to eveolve if that is the right word to using a software (eg linux variants) that does not keep trying to shaft me!
and of course the bastards will demand you pay another 200-300 dollars for the new os and cry all the way to the bank that people are using bootleg versions of the new os. damn but they piss me off, i just bought a os 7 because of the 64 bit capability with more memory( wife plays farmville2) even though xp worked well enough for my email, blogs,netflix and porno.!!
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