back to article Dual screens, fast updates, no registry cruft and security in mind: Microsoft gives devs the lowdown on Windows 10X

Microsoft has made some bold claims about its forthcoming Windows 10X operating system, which will run on the dual-screen Surface Neo device. Attendees at the Microsoft 365 Developer Day, held yesterday, were told Windows 10X will maintain state separation between the operating system, drivers and applications, which will …

  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    The Win32 container seems absolutely bizarre. One per system and RDP?

    It was clearly an afterthought,

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I'd say that's Microsoft's way of encouraging people to change the way they write their applications.

      1. Daniel von Asmuth
        Windows

        Windows 10 why?

        This Windows 10X seems to be unable to run many Windows 10 applications, like Vista broke XP software. Who is going to use it?

        1. MrGutts

          Re: Windows 10 why?

          The people who are going buy that new Surface Neo tablet thing-a-bob coming out this fall. It will be running 10x.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Windows 10 why?

            And what reason would I have to choose this vs an iPad?

            1. NoneSuch Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Windows 10 why?

              "And what reason would I have to choose this vs an iPad?"

              None whatsoever. Of course, the same question could be asked of the iPad.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Sadly 25 years of existing Windows software will never get rewritten. If Microsoft treat all that software - productivity, games, music players, intranet, open source etc. as an afterthought, as a second class denizen that either doesn't run or suffers poor performance / emulation, they may as well toss Windows 10X onto the bonfire with all their other failed efforts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if that's a stepping stone to some future option of running the Win32 guest container in Azure, rather than on the local PC hardware?

      It would help with low-power PCs running high-workload Win32 Apps. It would help with Windows-on-Arm running Win32 Apps, and it might be related to the new X-Box 'cloud' streaming thing. (Which I can't recall the name of. Sorry, I'm not a gamer so I didn't pay attention.)

      RDP works, so this might be the way.

      It's that, or I'm just over-thinking things and seeing something that isn't there.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        re: Win32 on Azure

        sure says MS....

        Only £9.99/month. Sign here!

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: re: Win32 on Azure

          The Win32 and apps running on Azure with an RDP desktop client would mean that your desktop OS would be irrelevant as long as it could act as a RDP client. But is also means that subscription holy grail is MS is inevitable.

      2. Adelio

        Always assuming you have a "working" internet

    3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      It sounds a lot like what happened with Win95: all the old 16 bit apps ran in one address-space and continued to cooperatively mulitask, whereas the new 32 bit gaps got their own address space, pre-emptive multitasking and sensible APIs.

    4. Fluffy Cactus

      I don't know what Windows 10X is or does,

      What I do know is that, the latest Windows 10 update (aka destroyd-ate) ended up destroying the

      "Dropbox system" I had on my computer. Now, I didn't and wouldn't use Dropbox on my own accord,

      but just because a client (a human, not a computer) used it to send documents to me, that's why it

      became an issue. Dropbox needs a lot of help. But MSFT does not give a lot of damn, about anything!

      Once again, and for the 357th time: Does MSFT ever test its updates in a real live environment?

      I think: No! Noooo! Not ever! Not even close!

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge
    Joke

    Er, who?

    Erin Megiddo, corporate veep for Windows and education

    I think you mean Eran Meggido, who may well be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Er, who?

      Erin Megiddo, corporate veep for Windows and education

      I think you mean Eran Meggido, who may well be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

      I've noticed that name before. "Meggido" being an alternate name for the ancient city of "Armageddon".

      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: Er, who?

        Any relation to Deedee Megadoodoo?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Says these Surface Neos will be getting Intel Lakefield, so no ARMageddon.

      3. Michael Hoffmann

        Re: Er, who?

        I thought Armageddon simply means "the fields of Meggido". A sign that the final battle will be nice and open and not urban warfare (or the Five riding out against the Auditors).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Er, who?

          Just don't let Mr.Megiddo visit Tadfield.

      4. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Er, who?

        Does he have seven mystical daggers?

      5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Er, who?

        "Meggido" being an alternate name for the ancient city of "Armageddon"

        As with most things theological, it's a little more complex:

        Meggido was a real place - an important trade city for the Caananites and, after them, the Israelites. Armaggedon is only used in the Book of Revelation (which should sound a warning since the vast majority of that book is symbolic). So, while it could relate directly to Meggido, it's more likely a symbolic representation of the final battle where the world powers are defeated by a returned Christ.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Er, who?

          vast majority of that book is symbolic

          Whereas the rest of the bible is bullshit.

          1. John_3_16

            Re: Er, who?

            "Bible is bullshit" is covered by freedom of speech & choice laws, I guess. Sounds like you are one of the "true believers" where M$ is concerned. IMHO, there is more truth in the bible than there is in anything produced, printed or said from M$.

            M$ will relinquish their position in the OS hierarchy if they keep releasing updates that cause more damage than they fix & release new versions of OS's that will not run half of the software that exists on users computers. IMHO.

            Biblically, I take the opposite view. M$ is bullshit & the bible has never screwed up my computers.

            God bless & protect us, one & all, from the approaching M$ OS apocalypse.

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: Er, who?

              How the hell did you infer that from my comment?

              1. Fluffy Cactus

                Re: Er, who?

                Triggering from something you said, buit now forgot!

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Not Windows 11 then

    It sounds more like Windows 10 Millennium Edition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Windows 11 then

      >It sounds more like Windows 10 Millennium Edition.

      Or Win RT SE.

    2. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: Not Windows 11 then

      Millenium Falcon maybe?

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I think the biggest problem for Microsoft is that dual screen devices are some what of a niche product and I don't see they suddenly becoming the go to form factor. Therefore if Windows 10x is only for dual screen devices uptake of the new OS will be pretty low.

    Plus if they can make updates take less than 90 seconds on Windows 10 x why does it still take forever and a day on the desktop Windows 10 OS?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Dual screen?

      I used two screens on windows since about 2002.

      Also most legacy applications use Win32.

      This is re-arranging the deckchairs on XP 64 Itanic version. Very short lived.

      Big issues Win10:

      Poor compatibility older applications, which is the main reason to run Windows at all.

      Sidelineing and making Win32 / WinForms support and performance poorer than XP / Server 2003

      Garbage too flat GUI that is less customisable than Vista, Win7, Win2K, NT4.0, NT3.51, NT3.5 etc.

      Settings all over the place.

      Separate treatment of "Apps" and "Programs" in startmenu etc. Users do not care how it is implemented.

      Evil MS Store for "Apps"

      Inability to remove stuff

      Removal of settings, or hiding them, or making them Enterprize only.

      Too many versions. Let's go back to having "Workstation" and "Server" versions.

      Telemetry

      Having to use console command line for stuff that used to be in the Control panel

      Illogical grouping of settings in the multiple places. E.g. why are "Storage" settings for which disk Profiles are stored on under Updates?

      I have test box with Win10. I gave away the Win10 10" tablet that has a Keyboard Dock last night, it's so useless. It actually has Micro HDMI and easily supports a 2nd display.

      >

      >

      Microsoft has lost the plot on Physical local windows on a Laptop (or the convertible ultra to Tablet) with their concentration on Cloud and stupid widget like apps really originally designed for a phone they don't have.

      1. aks Bronze badge

        Re: Dual screen?

        Many valid points.

        Microsoft have track record of putting older versions of the OS in a black box. Remember XP as a guest VM inside Windows 7? Not actually necessary if you go through all the exe files and adjust their compatibility settings.

        Personally, I prefer the flat UI/UX. Hated XP icons. Hate Android and Apple icons. Too decorative. Solid colour desktop. No animations. Why not allow alternative decor? We don't all like the same thing. For me, operating systems are my daily workbench, not my place where i relax.

        1. ThinkingMonkey

          Re: Dual screen?

          You have posted a direct contradiction, sir. You said "We don't all like the same thing.", to which anyone would naturally agree, then immediately said "...operating systems are my daily workbench, not my place where i relax." Well, for many, it's NOT their daily workbench. It's the place where they relax.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Dual screen?

            I don't see a contradiction there. They state their opinion that the design as it currently is suits them, and provide a reason why they like it. However, they acknowledge that not everyone likes that, and suggest multiple options so people can select the one they'll like the most. These seem logical and connected to me.

            1. simonlb Silver badge

              Re: Dual screen?

              Correct, so why hasn't Microsoft even provided any Win7/Vista/XP/2000 UI alternatives for users to switch to in Win10 yet? Other versions allowed it, and the various distros of Linux have them so why won't MS provide them for Win10?

              1. Test Man

                Re: Dual screen?

                Probably because it was a headache to support (in a basic sense, having to ensure that windowing elements all lined up and were still useable - if you've used WindowBlinds you know how hard it is to have a theme that actually was consistent for all elements).

                Not saying it can't be done, but it's something that might have been analysed and decided that it wasn't essential to throw lots of resources at.

          2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: Dual screen?

            Not really a contradiction. For many, an OS interface is nothing more than a workbench. For others, it is a place where they like to relax. That's actually all part of us not liking the same things.

            Personally, for me, the OS interface is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. I use it for work, and I use to to relax.

      2. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: Dual screen?

        With the rap nonsense it looks like they are preparing to run windows in the cloud for you.

      3. Fluffy Cactus

        Re: Dual screen?

        Mega excellent!

        More banana-cream PIES into the face of all that is MSFT!

    2. ThinkingMonkey

      Niche as in really niche. It's just the usual "If we promote it 'til it's blue in the face and manufacture 20 million of them it'll become standard, right? And seeing as how we invented it, we'll be so rich the banks won't even be big enough to hold our money." thinking.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Or maybe an opportunity for them to trial new OS ideas in a confined niche, rather than rolling them out to the whole of the long-suffering Windows 10 user base.

  5. Shadow Systems Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Way to go...

    Accessibility software such as screen readers won't be able to load upon startup? There goes being able to use the login screen or any other screen prior to the OS completing the load.

    It can run as a background service but how are we supposed to access the system tray menu options from which we manipulate options, check for updates, or otherwise interact with the reader to control how it works?

    The reader has to load on startup & put its hooks into the kernel level ring so it can intercept the normal video output, OCR the hell out of it, & read the results to us in as close to as real time as possible. Prevent those hooks from reading *everything*, keeping it from "seeing" anything but the single "container" in which it's running, and you've just made it a requirement to run instances of the reader in every single container. If the reader in $Container1 can't read the screen in $Container2 then we've got to launch another instance in $Container2 to get it to read the contents therein. At which point we'll have multiple voices babbling from multiple containers. Good luck wrapping your head around all that noise -- it'd be akin to trying to follow a whispered conversation in a noisy, crowded, boisterous sports bar on rugby finals night.

    And not letting software add right click menu options to the file explorer? Thanks a lot. Kiss "scan this file with A/V", "Add this file to Foo.Zip", or "Open this file with..." style options. How do you propose to restore those functions? I can't see how you can prevent the explorer hooks & still retain functionality that you can't get with a simple double click to trigger the file. What if the default file handler is set to a program that is no longer installed on the computer? Like you installed Word, it crashed more often than a demolition derby driver with their eyes closed, and now the Word hook points to software that doesn't exist because you uninstalled it in disgust? We need the "open with..." option so we might change the default program used to open that particular file. Having to jump through (multiple) control panels to find the default file handler options & edit the bits there isn't exactly a trivial task when you've proven you enjoy hiding everything seemingly at random "because we can!"

    Don't even get me started on the RDP crap. I disable that fucking nightmare the first chance I get. Services set to disabled, not even manual start, so nobody can have a snowball's chance in Satan's arse of using it as a potential avenue of attack. IF I want it, and that's an IF more rare than honesty in a politician, I've got to re-enable it, reboot, & only then is that door open. I promptly slam it shut, bolt the door, & hang the "beware the leopard!" sign on it to prevent it being used.

    MS, would you PLEASE stop shooting yourself *and your customers* in the feet? At what point will you wake up & realize we've grown sick & fekkin tired of constant trips to the ER & left to find a healthier way of life?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Way to go...

      Given the trajectory that accessibility in Windows has enjoyed thus far since Windows 7, I am expecting a continuation of that trajectory in 10X.

      Maybe Win32 will be regarded as legacy soon and see no more improvements regarding accessibility whereas UWP will get all the goodies.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Way to go...

      "Kiss "scan this file with A/V", "Add this file to Foo.Zip", or "Open this file with..." style options. How do you propose to restore those functions?"

      Will shell:sendto still work? Put shortcuts to the things you want in there. Notepad gets added there to every system I administer.

    3. Andytug

      Re: Way to go...

      M$ seem to have given up with accessibility, witness the update that removed almost all the scaling options from display settings, forcing users to install third party apps to get them back. If you're on a works PC with GPO lockdown then you can't do that...….

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Way to go...

        Given how badly broken windows scaling is with there own programs, never mind the enterprisey stuff, I'm not entirely surprised MS canned it.

        your right about accessibility being broken by that. I wonder how tbe DDA would be applied to it?

    4. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: Way to go...

      From experience: From approxmately 1993 to 2016, I had never found a problem with the

      basic concept of copy and paste. A k a Ctrl C and Ctrl V.

      Leave it to MSFT Office 365 to mess that up.

      Now, I get messages like "There is a problem with the clipboard" and "You may be able to

      still paste the info to its destination"

      Ask yourself: "Why would any software corporation mess with something that worked just fine for

      the last 30 or 40 years? "

      Leave it to MSFT to do exactly that! Do they respond to inquiries? No of course not!

      Do they ban you from their "MSFT community" for asking questions? Yes they do!

      Are they insane? Apparently yes!

  6. Nugry Horace

    That diagram reminds me a little of Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture -- all the Win16 apps in a single v86 session, while DOS and Win32 apps each get their own. Except now it's Win32 apps that all get locked away together in the VM with the padded walls...

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

      Which was garbage compared to NT 3.1 in 1993, never mind NT3.5x, NT 4.0, Win2K/WinXP (NT 5.x) on ANY CPU. The NTVDM and WOW was only used on NT to avoid switching to 16bit mode (Which Pentium Pro didn't really have) and for 16 bit x86 on Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC etc.

      Win10 (32 bit OR 64bit OS on x86-64 compatible CPU) ought to be able to run any Win32 SW for any version of x86 NT based Windows ever. I quite accept needing a VM for Win9x/ME, not for properly written Win2K, XP, 2003, Vista, Win7.

      MS needs to forget any other CPU platform for Windows. That sank with the Itanium and again with the death of Win 7 / 8 / 10 on ARM, because ARM is madness for most corporate & legacy Windows programs (the reason people buy windows) almost all of which is native x86-32 Intel or x86-64 AMD. There is very little important stuff that runs properly on a non-x86 VM.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

        It does seem they are trying to lock Win32 away in its own box so it can be thrown out one day, which I guess would also help with non-x86 compatibility.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

          Aren't efforts to maintain 32 bit capability hampering efforts to get Windows into the 21st century? Apple dropped 32-bit support in iOS a couple years ago and last years MacOS update (Catalina) dropped 32-bit support from the desktop. OK, the Mac user base is smaller but it's not caused a great cry of outrage. All app suppliers were given several years to update and all the mainstream ones managed it fine. A few legacy ones disappeared but nobody was taken by surprise or has called foul (at least not loudly or not yet)!

          There are a few users that still need 32-bit capability and they have two options: not upgrade to Catalina (Mojave, which kept support but warned users, will be supported for quite a few years yet); or run an earlier MacOS as a VM - in Parallels, users can even run VM apps on the host desktop.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

            Aren't you confusing Win32 the name with the CPU architecture? It's still called Win32 even for x64 architectures.

            1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

              Re: Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

              There's still a helluva lot of legacy code that is 32 bit.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

            Aren't efforts to maintain 32 bit capability hampering efforts to get Windows into the 21st century? Apple dropped 32-bit support in iOS a couple years ago and last years MacOS update (Catalina) dropped 32-bit support from the desktop

            Yeah (and the Catalina move generated all sorts of "Eeeevil Apple" headlines despite the fact that it had been telegraphed for at least two years - during which all the software companies had ample time to upgrade their applications. The place where it did fall down was if you used old, no longer maintained applications and utilities).

            The issue is that MacOS doesn't have the variety and amount of old software - whereas Windows does. And killing Win32 applications will pretty much remove the reasons why a lot of corporates use Windows - running legacy applications.

          3. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

            Re: Windows 3.1 / 95 architecture

            32-bit compatibility is just a matter of keeping alternate versions of libraries installed and some extra syscall machinery around. The vast majority of compatibility issues Windows faces are from poorly behaved applications that either rely on undefined behavior or just plain do things they're not supposed.

  7. John 104
    Trollface

    What's in a Name?

    When it was MAC OS X, Apple were very adamant that it wasn't os 'ex' but that it was OS 'ten'.

    If we follow the same logic, this new OS from Microsoft should be called 'Windows Ten Ten'

    1. jonathan keith Silver badge

      Re: What's in a Name?

      Windows Tex.

      Yeehaw!

    2. coconuthead

      Re: What's in a Name?

      TENEX was an operating system, for the old 36 bit PDP-10, developed by BBN and later purchased by DEC. Presumably HP still owns the trademark, so the "X" in "10X" can't be pronounced "ecks" without infringing that.

    3. David Austin

      Re: What's in a Name?

      This is a company that thinks Xbox One X and Xbox Series X are 1) good names 2) Will not cause any confusion being different products.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: What's in a Name?

        "Windows Phone 7 Series" being another very silly example of such naming

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: What's in a Name?

        Wasnt the XBOX One not released back in 2001? I still have one of those as opposed to two dead 360s. I've since seen good sence, and got myself a PlayStation3 since then.

    4. Evil_Goblin

      Re: What's in a Name?

      Shortly to be followed by Windows Snowy?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a Name?

      As X is a Roman numeral I read it as "Apple OS decimus".

    6. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: What's in a Name?

      Or.. Windows 100 (i.e. 10+10)

    7. katrinab Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: What's in a Name?

      Or Windows 100?

      However, I, and everyone I know calls the iPhone XS the "eye phone excess".

    8. dajames Silver badge

      Re: What's in a Name?

      When it was MAC OS X, Apple were very adamant that it wasn't os 'ex' but that it was OS 'ten'.

      I always heard "MAC OS X" as "Macho Sex", for some reason ... at least when spoken by USAans who pronounce "OS" like the last syllable of "comatose" rather than the last of "candy floss".

      "Macho Sten" sounds like a Rambo parody set in the home guard ...

  8. Fonant

    I'm enjoying Fedora these days, ever since Win10 decided it didn't want to start up, and a day of trying to fix it failed.

    Everything I use still runs on Fedora, or has a (often better) replacement. Joplin instead of Evernote, for example.

    1. RLWatkins

      Enough.

      Mom is running Win7 w/ good anti-virus... until I set up a Suse box for her.

      She had a Win8 VM on her Win7 box so she could show her friends how to do things with their new computers, doesn't regard Win10 as worth the learning curve. She's 85 and just can no longer be bothered with Microsoft's we-changed-the-UI-beyond-recognition-to-encourage-you-to-buy-it-again nonsense.

      I'm 62, have been programming for fifty years, and am starting to feel the same way. I'm virtualizing my Win7 dev box and Win10 test box for customer-related work.

      For day-to-day use? Who needs them.

  9. Matt_payne666

    Its not windows as people know it - Change the name...

    Ok, so looks like they are taking the Android/iOS approach, sandboxing everything... pros and cons to all that doing away with the registry and forcing UEV of sorts onto the user also isnt a bad idea, but... the name has to be a clear change from Windows - to the uninitiated Windows is windows - be it XP, 7, ME, Vista, 10 - there is a familiarity that people expect - RT, S, Neo all sound like the familiar evolutions of the same comfortable experience so people will get wigged out when they cant load stuff, or cant copy and paste, save things to desktop or any manor of ordinary everyday tasks that are now changed.

    Make it different and call it something different so the user expectation is managed. then - once its there, FFS just stick with it! dont can it after 18months... it takes a while for things to settle and people to warm to them.

    1. aks Bronze badge

      Re: Its not windows as people know it - Change the name...

      So what happens to the promise that Windows 10 would be upgraded rather than for us needing to pay through the nose for each new release?

      1. steelpillow Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Its not windows as people know it - Change the name...

        The correct technical phrasing is, "It's Windows, Jim, but not as we know it."

        On April 1 we must all spread the story that Clippy is being reincarnated as a tribble.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Its not windows as people know it - Change the name...

          Yes but it must be a 25% different tribble, ya know for licencing issues.

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Its not windows as people know it - Change the name...

      Call it Microsoft Doors. Like Windows, but with knockers, shiny handles and a bit bigger.

  10. phuzz Silver badge
    Gimp

    " the Win32 container is new, though apparently it borrows technology from the Windows Subsystem for Linux"

    Firstly, to whoever said "the new version of Windows will basically be Linux with a Windows skin", you're not far off.

    Secondly, this clearly leaves the door open for WSL to run on Win10X, quite possibly as a container. This way you'll be able to run packaged Linux apps 'natively' on Windows (sort of like backwards Wine), and you all know what that means right?

    It's the year of Linux on the desktop!

    (not sorry)

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Mushroom

      If you can't beat them... JOIN THEM! Then embrace, extend and extinguish it.

  11. Peter2 Silver badge

    Something has made a C:\TEMP directory in the proper place unasked, for which mercy the user guiltily feels grateful.

    I'm still doing this, maybe one or two years after she wrote this originally.

  12. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I wonder if Microsoft are going to build this OS to work better with dual screens, push for dual screens and insist on dual screens (but still work with one), in the same way they designed* Windows 8 to work with Touch, even though nobody wanted it on their desktop machines, for example. They wanted people to use touch so much that they made the system work the same way on tablets, phones, laptops and desktops, even if they didn't have touch sensitive screens.

    *I think the word is 'congealed' rather than 'designed' but you know what I mean.

    1. DiViDeD Silver badge

      ... if Microsoft are going to build this OS to work better with dual screens ...

      Or how about, and I know I'm going out on a bit of a limb here, but how about they remember that a lot of their home users, and up to 100% of their business users, run their OS on 2 or more large, HD or UHD monitors and not insist that every one of their "apps" (and have you noticed that even Visual Studio is now described as a 'desktop app'?) opens full screen, padding itself out with massive areas of whitespace as though it's surprised to find itself running on anything other than a 6" phone screen?

      I run with 3 monitors at work, 4 at home, and every application insists on opening full screen on the "primary" monitor only. (except games, for some reason - most games allow you to choose which monitor they fire up on). In the old days of small, low res CRT monitors, each app would start in its own floating window. Now we have these huge hi res monitors which could more easily support that configuration, it's full screen or nothing, generally with no clearly defined border to make moving or resizing windows that little bit easier.

      Nurse! My pills!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Few things, Windows 10X is currently only for foldables.

        HiRes monitor mean Smaller pixels, so unless you like to read tiny text, multiple open windows per monitor isn't an option, unless you're sitting close to a large screen.

        As for VS being called a desktop app, so what? It's an application, so therefore an app. Apple may have wanted to limit "Apps" to iPhone OS apps, but many of us didn't.

        Microsoft deserve some hate, especially when they half arse attempt stuff, then pull out when you're starting to enjoy it. But can we at least make sensible comments, otherwise it looks like we're a bunch of fuck wits. I obviously am a fuckwit, but let's try to hide it.

        1. paulll

          "As for VS being called a desktop app, so what? It's an application, so therefore an app. Apple may have wanted to limit "Apps" to iPhone OS apps, but many of us didn't."

          And there's the downside of Visual Studio's shallow learning curve; We all have to suffer encountering software written by the kind of people who call all programs,"apps."

          1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Actually, the difference between App and Application goes back way before the iPhone. Put simply, an App is a small program that is designed to perform a limited amount of functions. An application is a larger program designed to perform many functions. The MS Office apps on mobile devices fit this definition because they have a subset of the functionality present in the full applications. This definition has been in use (to my knowledge) since the early days of Java, which was used to write a lot of simple apps for specific functions.

            That doesn't mean that the OS should really distinguish between them though. At least on an interface level (on a lower level, it often does need to, maybe it needs to spin up a runtime). All the user cares about is that he or she runs the given app or application and it does what he or she wants it to do.

            1. dajames Silver badge

              Put simply, an App is a small program that is designed to perform a limited amount of functions. An application is a larger program designed to perform many functions. The MS Office apps on mobile devices fit this definition because they have a subset of the functionality present in the full applications. This definition has been in use (to my knowledge) since the early days of Java, which was used to write a lot of simple apps for specific functions.

              When I first used the word "app" it was just an abbreviation for "application" ... and this was a LONG time before anyone had heard of Java.

              Funny how language changes ...

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge

          HiRes monitor mean Smaller pixels,

          but more of them, so text can be easily read in a smaller window. Nobody's saying each window has to be 200x200 px here

          VS being called a desktop app, so what?

          believe it or not, there is a difference between a software package used to develop enterprise applications, and, say, a fart app. Thin line, I know, but "app" carries its own lexicological (is that even a word?) baggage and associations

          can we at least make sensible comments, otherwise it looks like we're a bunch of fuck wits

          You're new around here, aren't you?

        3. dajames Silver badge

          HiRes monitor mean Smaller pixels, so unless you like to read tiny text, multiple open windows per monitor isn't an option, unless you're sitting close to a large screen.

          A high resolution monitor needn't mean small text. Smaller pixels mean that for a given text size the characters can be better-defined, with fewer jaggies and less obvious anti-aliasing, making it clearer and easier to read.

  13. Down not across

    Not a desktop replacement for Win 10 then

    If Win32 container is using RDP behind the scenes, then I suppose" fast path" won't inclue access to GPU which more or less rules out use for gaming. This leads to the conclusion that 10X can't be intended to replace current Win 10 on desktop. Unless I completely misread the article? I am aware of things like RemoteFX that allegedly work to some extent with DirectX.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Not a desktop replacement for Win 10 then

      From the looks of the device it is a replacement for your tablet.

      I might be interested if it is cheap. But it won't be, so they'll sell 12 of them and scrap the whole project in a year or so.

    2. Def Silver badge

      Re: Not a desktop replacement for Win 10 then

      DirectX has worked over RDP for well over a decade now. It's a little slow over a network, granted, but I see no real reason for that to be an issue when running on the same hardware.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Not a desktop replacement for Win 10 then

        I'm afraid you missed the point. RDP can let you interact with it, but only if the processing occurs on the remote machine. It does not allow you to inform the remote machine that you have a GPU and it is welcome to compute on it. Therefore, the assumption is that programs running in a container connected via something like RDP won't be able to access the device's GPU.

        However, although that was the original point, I'm not certain about it. I could see the container itself having access to the GPU, as if it was on the remote machine, and therefore allowing such programs to run. I don't know that that's the case, but I could see it. If it is structured that way, then programs requiring GPU acceleration would likely continue to work, although given the scale of the device the GPU is probably not the fastest thing around.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Not a desktop replacement for Win 10 then

          There's no reason why the RDP protocol couldn't be updated to let the "remote" machine just send GPU commands to the client for rendering there - as it does for regular rendering today. The application would just see the RDP display driver as being compliant hardware and work as normal.

  14. IGotOut Silver badge

    So this will be...

    Another WinRT/ Windows on ARM/ WinPhone / UWP then?

    1. ilovecookiez

      Re: So this will be...

      B-but it's got DUAL SCREENS this time!

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: So this will be...

        WHOOP DE DOOO!

      2. ivan5

        Re: So this will be...

        Might help if one of the screens was an e-ink like the old enTourage eDGe.

  15. J. R. Hartley

    Windows Mobile

    We're going back to the early 2000s

  16. karlkarl Silver badge

    Win32 for legacy apps...

    You mean all programs that people run? Just think of all those hundreds of Linux ports (Gimp, dia, filezilla, firefox, libreoffice, blender, etc). They are all using Win32. Are they legacy?

    What about Visual Studio, Office, Unreal Engine 4? All Win32. Are they legacy?

    Microsoft; you need to learn what legacy means before you can even think about improving Windows.

    1. really_adf

      Microsoft; you need to learn what legacy means before you can even think about improving Windows.

      I think Microsoft know full well what legacy means, this is just the (wishful) thinking of one part of the organisation that is at odds with other parts, those being more in touch with reality.

  17. Stu 18

    I actually heard a good talk from a Microsoft guy at a conference once

    All about better user experience and hiding annoying pop ups and making things better for the user. They must of fired that guy, way to 'out there'.

    Business at the speed of thought..... unfortunately it seems many peoples 'thoughts' are more like Homer and less like Einstien..... Doh!

    At Microsoft they eat their own dog food - apparently. So as an IT professional I guess I'm paid to pick up dog sh@t all day.

    I realise windows 10 has been around for a while now, but many of the people I see are still emerging from Windows 7 and 8x - so common to hear I hate that 'new' interface. Which is after all this time is a half polished stone. They'll be pleased that it is all changing again.

    I wonder what 'official document storage areas' are - funny I thought it was an apple thing to not cater for the idea of multiple logons, shared file storage, organised corporate data.

    All or nothing permissions e.g. for the camera - fantastic, really must have got the entire c-suite working hard on that to come up with something so advanced and cutting edge.

    I'd like to see something real to back up that no AV claim. Perhaps if any customer is hacked during the supported lifetime of Windows 10x then they automatically get .5% of our profit for a year. Some skin in the game eh? Instead of mindless BS.

    Whole thing probably written by their AI anyway...........

  18. Aseries

    Here we go again.

    Everytime a new Windows is fed to the users it is like a Kabuki Play. Early Adopters jump right in and enjoy battling with teething problems. Mouldy Figs swear they will die before their current version is ripped from their grasp. Linux Evangelists have a field day with righteous conversion speeches. Business and Corporate users get caught between legacy applications and approaching support deadlines.

    I can hardly wait to watch the fun.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Here we go again.

      Linux Evangelists have a field day with righteous conversion speeches. Business and Corporate users get caught between legacy applications and approaching support deadlines.

      I'm getting a feeling....wait for it....almost like the solution is somewhere in this bunch of words....almost in my grasp....

      Drat, it passed. Where do I sign for extended paid OS support and the new subscription app "upgrades"? Plus retraining? It's just the company's money after all, and fixing the problem is more than my job's worth.

      Icon for the intelligence of the IT managers that keep doing that year after decade.

      Meanwhile, back in reality, the open source software I installed happily gets whatever job I needed done, and doesn't care what era it dates from, minus a compilation fix or two now and then. Doesn't keep demaiding paid upgrades, doesn't silently send my data to Redmond / NSA / KGB / PLA 61398, doesn't threaten to radically change its feature set if it needs a security fix, can't be remotely deactivated by a central "Store", etc.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Here we go again.

        Look mate, the software is picked first (and the software is usually in fact chosen by the business driven by their automation requirements, not IT) and the OS that bit of commercial software requires is then used. 9 times out of ten, that bit of commercial software is written for Windows, with the one in ten being totally platform agnostic via being a web app.

        If a large group of people are doing things that appear stupid to you then you might want to consider that you might be an unwitting victim of illusive superiority, and that large group of people actually doing the job might actually be doing it for a reason other than abject stupidity.

        In my particular environment I have a case management system which probably triples the effectiveness of somebody using it. There is no open source equivalent, and I have trialed the sole case management system available in our industry that is platform agnostic. It would mean that our users would fall from having 3x productivity to having about 1.5x productivity since being delivered via a web app it's incapable of communicating with a desktop PC in any meaningful way. (so no deep phone system integration, having to manually process emails rather than integrating with systems, etc)

        The saving of not having to do proprietary software upgrades would be utterly dwarfed by the cost of the productivity losses. Even at a single user level, the cost of halving productivity is doubling the staff cost. Say your paying somebody the minimum wage at 40 hours per week. That's a cost of £14,784 yearly in direct payments to the employee, plus costs of employers PAYE contributions, pension payments etc. The quick and dirty metric used is to add about 50% to the cost of the wage, which comes to £22,176 for that single person on the minimum wage. Multiply that by the number of users, and start flinching. (And all of our employees are being paid well more than the minimum wage!)

        And the cost of those proprietary software upgrades? Windows desktop is basically FOC from a business perspective; you can't buy a computer without it cheaper than you can with it and we buy new computers on a 3 of 5 year basis anyway, so that's not a cost.

        The only costs are Windows Server and usually Office licenses. Since extended support is 10 years on Office you can actually use it on two or three PC refreshes if your being tight. (depending if your doing 3 of 5 year replacement cycles on hardware) The cost of office over that time period even at £200 a copy works out as £20 a year. We pay more for the users tea, coffee, toilet paper etc.

        Server licenses are more expensive, but we're running Server 2012R2. It's going EOL at the end of 2023. Again; do the math on the per year cost. It's cost basically the wages of somebody on minimum wage for one year as of almost a decade ago and is going to be replaced in just under 4 years time. Again, take that cost and divide it by the service life; it's pretty much a rounding error on business expenses compared to hiring even one additional employee.

        The costs of task effective software are far greater than the savings to be had by not paying for the licenses of it and using something adequate instead of outstanding. If FOSS developers would like to develop an industry beating bit of software then we'd be quite happy to pay to license it, but we literally cannot afford to use FOSS software just to avoid the irritation of Microsoft making frigging stupid decisions on a frequent basis even if personally we might like to.

        Anybody making decisions on their personal preferences before business requirements will harm their business. You can easily do the math as to how much this would financially cost even in a tiny company. The business is going to realise sooner or later that you are not making decisions with your employers best interests at heart and this harms your career since eventually your going to get replaced/outsourced as a damage control measure by the business. If you've pissed off the business you work for then nobody else is going to want to hire you.

        Hence we are effectively stuck using software that most of us despise far more deeply than you can ever begin to conceive of.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Here we go again.

          Since we're looking at this purely financially, OK, I'll have a go.

          First, I'm taking for granted that you have a business continuity plan, refreshed every so often, for what happens if any of the vendors you rely so heavily on decide to either increase prices beyond the break even point or simply stop licensing the software to you (winding up, etc.). I don't see the costs for maintaining this plan in your analysis, but will assume similar costs will accrue from a different angle on the open source side.

          Notably I don't see retraining costs in your analysis. Windows is a constantly moving UX target, most of the apps for it are going the same way. Retraining is expensive, continuous retraining even more so. I'm assuming you did train the employees at least once at some point, so as to ensure the productivity numbers are real and not just a factor of familiarity with other software outside of the working environment, so you should have a cost for that to estimate annual retraining costs in the Windows ecosystem. My employer saw productivity drop to far below 1/3 of what it was when certain classes of employee were forced to Windows 10 and due to the significant costs that accrued an emergency plan was put in place to move those apps to Wine on Linux. Productivity was restored, yes with a bit more outlay, but lessons were learned on over-dependence on proprietary software for business critical operations.

          Part of your business continuity plan also needs to consider how you are handing the Microsoft shift to a subscription model. I see you are relying heavily on pay-once licensing, then keeping that license installed for as long as possible, which makes you a fairly bad customer in Microsoft's metrics. The trend is to shift customers like you onto an annual paid model, especially if you try to grow. Microsoft has always had a model of "dirt cheap for small business to get you hooked, then raise the expense as you grow." -- isn't part of your duty to the company to make sure that growth isn't hindered by outside software vendors and licensing schemes?

          You also need to add the cost of maintaining a proper inventory of all proprietary software usage and licenses, for presentation to external auditors who will screw you to the wall if they find any pirated commercial software installed on any system in your company. These costs, both for software inventory control and for auditing / legal battles are absent in your analysis.

          I'm also unsure of why you didn't include the licensing costs for the business critical application itself in the totals.

          What I've found is that normally when you look at the actual TCO of whatever it is you're licensing, if you've more than a handful of employees in a company that isn't at the wall already, you're getting really close to the cost of writing an in-house replacement built on open software. And when you finally make that step, you can increase productivity even more as the software is tailored to your business processes and is updated on your schedule, not an outside vendor's.

          And I'm not even going into how certain companies need to keep the GDPR fines that will be rolling in, especially for Office 365 usage with protected data, as a significant potential cost on their balance sheets. The early signs of this are already in this asture publication, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows are not GDPR compliant and regulators (and more importantly end users, who can make ICO complaint after providing the protected data) are slowly starting to realize that.

          If you're a victim, it's because your company is either microscopic, doing very badly financially, or manglement doesn't understand the concept of "TCO" and can't read industry trends. Granted, the latter tends to be very, very common, along with backhanders from certain large Washington based corporations.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Here we go again.

            What I've found is that normally when you look at the actual TCO of whatever it is you're licensing, if you've more than a handful of employees in a company that isn't at the wall already, you're getting really close to the cost of writing an in-house replacement built on open software. And when you finally make that step, you can increase productivity even more as the software is tailored to your business processes and is updated on your schedule, not an outside vendor's.

            . . . I find it very difficult to believe that you've ever actually built an in-house replacement for any significant bit of software. Honestly I have to question if you've even seen a significant bit of industry specific complex software. They are both complex, and also often subject to outside regulations that frown on the company having the ability to wipe audit trails. (and if you wrote the software, you defacto have that ability)

            What you are suggesting was tried in our industry by one of the market leading companies. They gave up after spending ~£20 million in software development costs and getting a product that was decades behind the industry standard. The people paying the bills considered the development costs to develop from where they were to feature parity with everybody else in the industry terms of functionality and then considered the possible savings on the license fees, came to the conclusion they'd already spent more than any possible saving would deliver within anybodies lifetime, and then cancelled the project and just bought licenses for the industry leading software.

            I heard about that at lunch during an industry event from a partner involved in that company. One of the directors of the company supplying the software humorously suggested that they just buy the company making the software for £20 million and grant themselves free licenses.

            1. whitepines Silver badge

              Re: Here we go again.

              . . . I find it very difficult to believe that you've ever actually built an in-house replacement for any significant bit of software.

              In point of fact, not only *has* this been done but the result was better than the off the shelf software. Does a specialty CAD package count as "significant" to you? And that's just one example I happen to be aware of.

              Sounds to me like the company in question tried to reinvent the wheel, possibly building the application from scratch on proprietary tooling or libraries instead of leveraging open source tooling and libraries where they existed. I've seen that exact disaster before in a different company, plus they added offshoring to the lowest bidder (needless to say when everyone has a pirated copy of Windows / Office / etc. in said offshoring location, it's the go-to tool). Let's just say the company got what they (didn't want to have) paid for, the application was an expensive, poorly designed monstrosity that ended up scrapped.

              Just like anything else, going for lowest bidder or failing to ensure basic competence can result in some fairly spectacular failures. Doesn't mean the basic decision making that led to the desire for the in-house app was wrong, just that execution was a dismal failure.

              And yes, why companies don't just go buy up the smaller software vendors once they grow large enough is a mystery to me. I'm aware of companies spending more on licenses than the entire value of the software vendor they're paying, for instance -- boggles the mind why they do that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here we go again.

      In my case it's a No(h) play.

  19. Neoc

    My brain kept on inserting "...except for microsoft products" after all these announcements. For example: "in Windows 10X, no startup applications are allowed... except for Microsoft products."

  20. PickledAardvark

    Registry Cruft

    Back in the days of Windows XP SP2, my colleagues and I were concerned about cruft on student PCs where hundreds of people would log on using roaming profiles in the course of a year. I ran a series of experiments, eventually settling on an automated stress test. Windows XP would startup, logon automatically as a domain test user and load the associated roaming profile (5-10MB), run a brief Office and Internet Explorer etc simulation opening and closing documents, save files to network home directory, then perform a clean logout/restart. I ran the script for several weeks (i.e. thousands of cycles) and observed that startup times, logon times etc were consistent, varying only with network and server loads. Free disk space went down a small amount (>3MB) after each logon and periodically Windows found more free space than the previous logon, more than could be explained for wiping out temp files etc.

    A second test was devised starting with much less free space (200MB or so) on the system disk. The free space figure was guesstimated on the minimum for Windows and application temp files. This time, I also copied some data down to the system disk periodically to reduce free space. XP again displayed its mysterious ability to self repair or to run normally in an unusual situation. Startup and logon times remained consistent until free space was down to about 50MB.

    I have to admit that I was very impressed that Windows XP performed so well during such abuse. The applications used for the user simulation bit were ones that behave relatively well compared to some of the junk that passes for educational or line of business software (I once promised a Geologist that I wouldn't pretend to know anything about Geology as long as Geologists stayed away from Visual Studio). We concluded that Windows XP itself and mainstream applications contributed little to cruft or performance reduction. When things were going wrong, we had to blame unidentified applications, about which we could do nothing. Annual re-imaging of student PCs, painful as it was, was an essential exercise to recover some of the performance lost over a year.

    I've used cruft cleaners on home Windows installations after a mate has installed "something useful" from the internet. Cruft cleaners pick up some of the nasties more quickly than a human operated scan, even if the 3,368 "identified problems" are mostly imaginary. I've never needed one for my own PCs -- if I break them, it takes a lot more to revive them.

    Incidentally, when attempting to virtualise a popular science application suite using AppV, we observed that on startup it read in tens of thousands of Registry values, everything that the suite had written. For a virtualised application with the user bit of the virtual registry on a network drive, this was unacceptable for network load and startup time. The application's publishers were unhelpful at resolving the problem. There was no need for the application to load every single Registry value -- some parts of the suite were small applications accessing only a few hundred values. We concluded that lazy programming -- just load it all -- explained it partly. But there was perhaps more. Loading the application suite Registry from a fast local disk still took a minute or two, and maybe that was the point. If you're charging £5,000 per seat for a commercial licence, the vendor needs to make it seem like a lot is happening.

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: Registry Cruft

      I remember the days Visual Studio 6. I was young, dumb and enthusiastic. Once a year, we re-installed the computers in the lab where I worked, and used the opportunity to install the latest versions of any applications. I was also a little inexperienced, and didn't know about silent installers, so don't know if VS 6 supported silent installs. So, following the instructions I was given , I happily created a "snapshot" deployment on our software deployment system (Wininstall as it was then). Did the before snapshot, then ran the installer, then the after. VS6 dumped files seemingly at random on the C drive, as well as in the install folder (we installed all applications to drive D then for some reason). It also made tens of thousands of registry changes.. Can't remember how we installed it (it's possible I even discovered silent installs with that package), but it was a headache.

  21. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Alert

    Sounds like..

    ..a dreadful user experience is in the making.

  22. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    Huge changes for how apps run...

    So, just like 95, Vista and 8 then? That worked out so well for them.

    I'm sure they'll sort out the inevitable horrific fuckup in 10Y, as per usual.

    1. Neoc

      "... in 10why" FTFY

  23. khjohansen
    FAIL

    Win RT/2

    "for foldable and dual-screen mobile devices" - I've had the ability to use "multiple open windows for decades,

    even though MS has been trying to deprecate its use lately. There may some reputable ideas in there, but this

    is a dead end for users.

  24. TheGriz

    This will go over like a Lead Balloon

    Once again Microsoft "not listening" to their customers. No one is asking for some "Frankenstein-like" operating system. What they want is something that WORKS with all of their applications, OLD and new, and works with all of their pre-existing hardware. No one wants to have to go out and buy a new printer, new scanner, new web-cam, etc, etc, just so everything works together.

    They might as well call this Windows10-ID10T

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    TL:DR version

    "Windows 7,8,9,10,10X will be way better than all our previous s**t releases. No really it will be astonishingly fast (in a good way) and totally secure. You won't believe how good it will be.

    Honest.

    Pinky swear*

    *Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Statements may be inaccurate, misleading or just plain bu***hit.

    1. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: TL:DR version

      Long enough to read. Totally true!

    2. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: TL:DR version

      Does it seem to anyone that software companies are the latest way to act like a MAFIA?

  26. cyberdemon
    FAIL

    My only reason to run Windows natively..

    is the small subset of applications which fail to run properly in a VM.

    Namely games, the occasional CAD package, certain f*cking .NET apps, and anything else that can't run under either Wine, Mono or VirtualBox. VR tends to be the only reason to dig out my SSD-with-windows-on and boot it

    So, how exactly does putting all win32 apps into VMs with RDP routing help Windows' case for continued existence? Certainly i'm not going to be able to run any VR games like that..

  27. tygrus.au

    10X != 10

    This strange 10X version is not replacing the current Windows 10 for desktops and normal notebooks.

    Windows 10X is probably for tablets and bargain basement rubbish that readers of this site won't be buying.

    Stick with the non-X Windows 10 if you're running old Win32 / winforms and apps that do something worthwhile.

  28. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Will not load 3rd party drivers?

    As suggested above this won't be for mainstream PC use.

    The main thing that ties me to Windows is the support for 3rd party drivers for specialised hardware such as SatNav, medical devices etc. and the associated Windows only software.

  29. Fluffy Cactus

    Well, MSFT is a crazy company on whom millions rely on, the same way Trump or Boris is a crazy person on whom millions rely on.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020