back to article Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

A new version of Windows was once a big deal. Upgrading was expensive for everyone, with warehouses-worth of physical media being pushed into retail channels to displace the old. It couldn't happen very often, so version numbers became signifiers of great importance. That hasn't been true for more than a decade. What has been …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is an OS for?

    This nearly hits the nail on the head

    An OS exists to let other things do their jobs reliably, swiftly and painlessly.

    What IMHO is missing is "And gets out of the way of the user ASAP"

    I was on holiday in Iceland when W95 was released. Even the normally placid Icelanders went mad over it. There were lines at the Computer Shop on the day of release. Was that an Apple release by mistake? (only joking)

    As someone who started studying Operating Systems in 1974, I have to say that since then the more popular the OS is, the more in the face it is and then tries to mould you into doing things the way the owners of the OS deems. Windows and to a lesser extent macOS is just like that. Linux without a windowing system is the best we have at the moment for getting out of the way.

    Since the marketing A-holes took over in Redmond, Windows has got more in your face and more restrictive. Some of the reasons for the restrictions are well-founded but many are because the marketing gods have gone overboard with 'make it so' conditions.

    To many, W11 is a pointless upgrade to W10 but I'm sure like everything else these days, a [cough][cough] subscription can't be far behind.

    Like W10, I'm gonna pass on W11.

    Have a happy Monday people,

    Your friendly GOM

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: What is an OS for?

      And preferably allow a choice of window managers... not every workflow looks the same - the OS doesn't need to be the window manager as well.

      1. Lon24 Silver badge

        Re: What is an OS for?

        Category error. Post unbundling and third party OS suppliers the point isn't software - it's revenue. The assumption is the software differences are small. Hence many have jumped to the conclusion it's a cosmetic marketing exercise. Really?

        What's the difference then to Microsoft whether you use 10 or 11? If it's based on the same T&Cs then the answer is hard to fathom.

        No - when it comes to the announcement - forget the features (or lack of them). Listen for the commercial terms. Will they provided free upgrades back to all the original Windows 7 users (plus the 'unactivated'?). Will the versions be similar (S, Home, Pro etc) or will they find an interesting way to suck revenue from the user rather than the PC supplier or corporate licence?

        That's why I think we should be relieved if its simply a cosmetic marketing version and not something more serious. Like the current CEO has become envious of how Oracle's CEO paycheck is derived. Otherwise it may be your licence, not the software, that is being EOL-ed in 2025.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: What is an OS for?


          Exactly this. Aside from the fact that markting has to justify it's existence every once in a while, my feeling is this will be about dropping as many aspects of '11' into the As a service category as possible.

          I wouldn't be surprised if patches are renamed as upgrades along with as many changes as possible to describe standard features as added value features.

          I can see this as Much ado about nothing but it will cost you.

          1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: What is an OS for?

            There's always Linux.

            Luckily I haven't used (M$) Windows since 2008. I can still watch movies, play games, use Office tools -- all at zero cost.

            And I get Bash too. That makes me so many times more productive than anything I ever did on Windows.

            Who uses Windows again?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What is an OS for?


              Last time I read about this it was 1.3 billion active users

              1. Someone Else Silver badge

                @idiot taxpayer here again -- Re: What is an OS for?

                Last time I read about this it was 1.3 billion activecaptive users

                There, FTFY.

            2. Esme

              Re: What is an OS for?

              Good heavens, I've been a very happy Linux user for many years, and even I'll downvote that one! 8-}

            3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

              Re: What is an OS for?

              "I can still watch movies, play games, use Office tools -- all at zero cost." - RegGuy1

              If you had a job, you'd know it's a Microsoft Office universe. It just "is". No one cares if I like it. My job requires reality based thinking and a lot of collaboration.

              1. Chronos

                Re: What is an OS for?

                Office indeed. And Teams, Sharepoint, Azure, O365...

                The OS is pretty much an afterthought. MS under Nadella have achieved what His Billness wanted back in the day: They own the mechanisms used in business to get work done and they did it so quietly that nobody noticed.

                1. Morat

                  Re: What is an OS for?

                  Yes, exactly.

                  MS have become "The cost of doing business". They take a slice off the top of pretty much every business in the world.

                  Everyone in IT knows there are alternatives but they're even less popular with users because they're unfamiliar. Except Apple, and sod that.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: What is an OS for?

            "markting has to justify its existence every once in a while"

            Does not compute.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: What is an OS for?

              "markting has to justify its existence every once in a while"

              And limiting themselves to finding out whether people would like to be able to fit fire nasally is not in their genes.

          3. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: What is an OS for?

            along with as many changes as possible to describe standard features as added value features.

            You misspelled 'value addled features'.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: What is an OS for?

        the OS doesn't need to be the window manager as well.

        Nor does the built-in window manager need to be 2D FLATTY FLATASS FLATSO (with NO other choice available), instead of the 3D Skeuomorphic appearance that actually SOLD WINDOWS TO THE PUBLIC in the FIRST PLACE (remember 2.x vs 3.0?), simply because a handful of PFY "engineers" at Micros~1 (along with Sinofsky and the inventor of 'the ribbon') suddenly *FELT* it should... (and would NOT backtrack on the obvious mal-design, even though our W.I.M.P. desktops ARE STILL NOT PHONES).

        Nor should it take away all of the capabilities that had actually SOLD the previous releases to the public (like end-user customization and built-in games and utilities that DO NOT THROW ADS AT OR SPY ON YOU). Arguably, these '7 and earlier' features sold new computers FASTER than the "more 'modern' OS" machines sitting NEXT to them on the shelves. (I recall MANY El Reg articles that pointed such things out, in the 2014-sh time range, THIS being one of them)

        Nor should it sling ads, spy on you, require an on-line cloudy logon (to avoid the strong-arming or access any previously included options), FORCE you to update (or download updates) when you do not want it to, And so on.

        From the article: Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem.

        No. It is SUPPORTED. "Better" would be Windows 7, XP, and 2000. But THEY are not SUPPORTED any more...

        1. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: What is an OS for?

          I may not agree with you on a great many other things, but in this I am in total agreement.

          XP post SP3, 7 post SP1 (and pre-telemetry 'updates'), and windows 2000 post SP5 were solid, reliable bedrock Operating systems that did the job.

          I am not looking forward to having to install a new OS on my home rig when this one finally stops getting A/V definition updates.

          1. JassMan Silver badge

            Re: What is an OS for?

            I used to think XP was mostly bloat because I could not imagine what an ultra-mega-overbloated monster the current Win10 would become. Once it exceeded 32Gb without any apps I just gave up and wiped the Win10 partition never to be seen again.

            The only justification for inventing Win11 would be if they made a usefull OS which would run in an 8GB partion with full office suite so that the rest of your disk could be used for user data.

            1. Anonymous Kiwi

              Re: What is an OS for?

              Debian Cinnamon runs comfortably on 6 GB, 8 if you want third-party apps. You can update when you want to, and no restart is required.

              I thought that was bloated.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: What is an OS for?

            Win2K was peak Microsoft. It has all been downhill from there.

          3. quxinot

            Re: What is an OS for?

            (from the article:) "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem."

            What in the actual fuck? Is there a good version that doesn't screw everything up constantly out there and I've just not had the luck of seeing it yet?

            Windows 10 is not good in any situation that requires a stable platform to run software on. Or hardware, reliably. I can see the appeal if you are playing bleeding-edge games perhaps, and require the latest shiny features, and that isn't a very large portion of what many of us use our computers for....

      3. LDS Silver badge

        "And preferably allow a choice of window managers..."

        What made an hell for UI developers under Linux? One of the reasons the "year of Linux on the Desktop" is still set at Star Date 2123847891273981289317891.2?

        Because Apple OSes - always regarded the pinnacle of UI design - let you choose how the UI should look?

        The OS MUST dictate the environment - UI included - so you know you will find a coherent environment from machine to machine, and developers will know how their UI will look and behave on any machine.

        User in exchange get applications that behaves - at least for common operations - the same way, although the Web crazy made too many application a bunch of ill-designed UI cobbled together to look like web sites - which requires you to discover for each new one where the hell commands are - and often even what a command is - and of course needing always a mouse.

        The fact that Windows UI went backwards when Nadella put in charge some cheaper incompetent people doesn't mean windows managers are a bad idea - instead it's time Linux understand the need of a coherent system and choose a standard UI for all distros and a standard API.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: "And preferably allow a choice of window managers..."

          "so you know you will find a coherent environment from machine to machine, and developers will know how their UI will look and behave on any machine."

          You collected a lot of downvotes, I think it's because you mentioned developers. They know what they need and should be able to get it or make it so. If you had mentioned ordinary users instead then I would agree with you completely. As a power user (not a developer), I find the best use of my time is *not* customizing the environment and UI, but in learning how the bog-standard features work. Not that I like it the standards. But at least when the lowly users ping me for help, I can tell them how to do things in ways that they can understand. (I use the command line a lot, no matter which OS. The type of user I have in mind, when they see that, say "Oh, you use DOS." I don't even bother to correct them.) All that said, you have described how an OS *should* work for ordinary users. But MS with their repeated, pointless, and inconsistent UI changes can't even get that right.

          EDIT: Now I see Trollslayer said the same thing more succinctly.

        2. Esme

          Re: "And preferably allow a choice of window managers..."

          Good heavens, if any Linux distro tries to force a desktop environment on me, they'll have to pry Xfce from my cold, dead hands. But then - I'm far close to being just a User than you lo, these dayst! :-}

      4. Trollslayer

        Re: What is an OS for?

        Fine for geeks but the majority of users they want something that runs and is useable plus they can ask people they know without finding they chose a different window manager from the people they know.

        Assuming all the window managers have all been tested fullly.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What is an OS for?

          Those of family and friends who ask me are told that if it's W10 I don't know.

          If it's Linux I don't care - I use KDE but for those I set up with Zorin it's something else (Gnome IIRC) but it just really, really doesn't matter.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: What is an OS for?

          And that's why the default window manager is usually fine. Gnome or KDE I don't care. On a lower powered box XFCE. Not a problem.

          I used to use ion3 when I was doing more software dev than I do now.

          Currently stuck with whatever apple throws at me, which is very annoying in certain edge cases, but generally works well enough.

          Haven't done any serious work on anything from Redmond in a long while now. And that was on stuff that other people looked after, I basically needed something to run a set of shells.

        3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

          Re: What is an OS for?

          Fully agree. There's a lot of help for Linux out there but working out the question is often more difficult that implementing the answer.

    2. Abominator Bronze badge

      Re: What is an OS for?

      But Systemd.....

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What is an OS for?

        The systemd-cancer is just one init of many. There are other options, as is well documented here and elsewhere. If you don't want the cancer inflicted on you, don't use it.. Simples.

        Here's the same link in plain-text for those who prefer it:

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: What is an OS for?

          I do like the way systemd is the only init with a "not" option.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: What is an OS for?

            It's really sad, because systemd isn't inherently bad. The core concept of an init system that handles dependencies, restarts and a config system is a good one - a service should be able to specify that it provides $service_type and requires (eg) an Internet connection and for something providing $other_service_type to already be running and should only be started once those conditions are met - and restarted if shut down waiting for thise

            AFAIK, the other leading inits rely on the service itself having scripts for the conditions, the sysadmin manually getting the order right and the like. Very fragile.

            With systemd, it really seems like the lead developer is the problem.

            1. Chronos

              Re: What is an OS for?

              Unit files are quite good; your comment about rcorder problems is bang-on.

              The problem is I would like to be able to read up to date log files when journalctl -xe blah... falls over into a cesspit of its own making and fails to pass what made it crap itself on to syslog. If Lennart could split systemd out into - oh, the irony! - Unix-like modules that do one thing well in their own PID, I wouldn't have a problem with it. The fact that he never will is what makes so very many of us into bitter refuseniks.

              Also, while we're criticising Poetteringware, Pulseaudio. FreeBSD has had kernel mediated snd(4) multiplexing since, IIRC, FreeBSD-5 and it does not need a sodding userland daemon or complex policies and group management to work.

    3. Bruce Ordway

      Re: What is an OS for?

      Same as our friendly GOM...I'm gonna pass on W11 (like W10)

      >> compared to Windows 7.... Windows 10 has won hearts


      >> 8, let alone Vista

      OK, I'll concede that I'd use Win 10 before those two

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: What is an OS for?

        I was forced to use windows 10 by my employer, because 7 was going EOL.

        Fortunately, the team that was tasked with getting it ready to roll out and go spent a LOT of effort making the OS do what we wanted it to do, removed or disabled as much of it that we didn't want it to do as possible, and generally made the transition as gentle as possible for our userbase. Since [RedactedCo] pays microsoft rather a lot of money every year, we got the enterprise flavor of win10, which allowed us to remove the ads, dial the telemetry back as far as possible, and since we also have SCCM in the environment, control the patch and update deployment. We did run into a few speed bumps, like updates breaking the calculator app (WTF?!?!?!) and other "modernUI" apps, but we worked things out and it's more or less stable, if not reliable. (I have some quibbles about how it handles display switching / detection, etc. but I'm also something of an edge case.)

        THis new version? it looks like lipstick on a pig. No Thank You.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: What is an OS for?

          and since we also have SCCM in the environment, control the patch and update deployment.

          Our lot has seen fit to allow you to choose between NOW, NOW+1h, or NOW+4h (if you really really must and grovel appropriately, and you can only postpone once), but if they decide that today is the day and now is the moment, the only way to avoid it is to hard power off your system and only power it back on at a time where you can afford the time to wrestle their helpdesk.

          That this is not at all conducive to continuing work as needed is totally not their concern.

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Re: controling Win10 telemetry and patching

          I will take this time to remind everyone that most of this level of control on Win10 is indeed available to home and SOHO users via the free app, Windows10 ShutUp

        3. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: breaking the calculator app

          So, copying Apple again?

          IIRC about the PPC ->x86 transition (10.5?, or was that the time they borked xterm if you were using a client on an other-endian machine) using the Mac calculator app in Programmer RPN mode would do odd things when switching between radices after logical operations. Thankfully, I still had my HP-16C in the drawer, and even more fortunately, the batteries still had enough charge to work.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: breaking the calculator app

            I wonder how many El Reg commentards still have an RPN calculator in/on their desk, and still use it. Mine's an HP-45, my birthday present to me in 1974 ... The HP-35 also still works, but is stored under glass sans batteries (Dad's gift to me, Xmas '72 ... one of the few bits of hardware I treasure).

    4. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: What is an OS for?

      All these posts and nobody tries to answer the original question.

      The OS is there to provide an abstraction layer over the hardware and to provide the necessary services for applications to run. That's all.

      If vendor bundles a new email program, it's not an OS upgrade (Apple, I'm looking at you!).

      Yes, the window manager isn't strictly part of the OS, but it makes life a lot easier to have a consistent UI out of the box. What you choose to do after that is your problem, but should be a possibility.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What is an OS for?

        "All these posts and nobody tries to answer the original question."

        That's because the original poster answered his own question.

        I suspect it was mostly rhetorical anyway ... I'm fairly certain that all but a very small handful of El Reg readers know what an OS is.

    5. Jonathon Green

      Re: What is an OS for?

      Well, there’s Operating Systems, and then there’s all the other shit which comes in the box with them…

    6. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: What is an OS for?

      Out of 6 boxes I have

      1 desktop W7

      2 laptop W7

      1 ultraportable Linux Mint

      1 Old HP Laptop W10 so I can test things

      1 Desktop W10 waiting for jumble sales to restart so it can stop taking up space.

      Yup I also love W10 (11 or whatever)

    7. Sil

      Re: What is an OS for?

      Windows 10 is a very fine OS and has mostly improved with time.

      I'm super happy it is compatible with hardware I'm still using, launched in 2003, with last firmware in 2007 and newest available drivers from 2010 and using an interface long forgotten: FireWire.

      Pretty sure this wouldn't be the case on a Mac, nor on Linux for lack of driver.

    8. Anonymous Kiwi

      Re: What is an OS for?

      IMO Windows 7 was great. There was no shit about Bing, Edge or the absolute mess of a Microsoft Store. It was fast, stable and had nice translucency effects. I have poor vision, and I liked having a bright blue titlebar on the active window. Now the text is slightly lighter.

      I use a couple of OSes now, not one of them is windows. I have hoped Windows 11 might give me a decent reason to use it but Microsoft doesn't seem to care about what's underneath. Otherwise my 7-minute boot times wouldn't be a thing.

    9. Plest Silver badge

      Re: What is an OS for?

      Of course you will rent your O/S very soon. Heck, we rent compute time and storage online now and it drives most of what we do. You rent your phone contract and while you're paying off that phone during the 2 year contract you're technically renting it. You rent your video delivery services, you rent the kit that delivers your internet. If you use Adobe software, you rent that. Although I worked it out for what I get from mine and that one is actually bloody good value for what I get from my subscription.

      Why wouldn't the next logical step be to rent the O/S on your own devices you paid for? An untapped market for tons of cash! You paid £1000 for that phone, you paid the 2 year contract to own the hone, well now if you want keep using it, pay us every month or we shut the phone's O/S down freeloader!!! You want keep running Windows on that PC you built? Too bad moocher, you better cough up! Mwhaaaaaa!!! Money money money!!!!! (*)

      ( * - No I don't agree at with it all, just playing D's advocate here! )

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is an OS for?

        "Of course you will rent your O/S very soon."

        And all the killer applications get tied to O/S's that stop getting supported in three years, just like consoles. Hey, look ma! Planned obsolescence with practically no alternatives unless you have the deep pockets to fund your own projects which inevitably become trade secrets unto themselves...

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Going back in time

    In the "olden days" this would simply have been called a Service Pack.

    W10 SP1? or given all the 4-digit builds and Hx releases, SP12?

    Footnote: given that this version will be EOL'd at the end of next year, it's hardly worth the bother of installing. What will come after it?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Going back in time

      Or W10 R2.

      I don't really care what they do. I'll use what I need to do the job, the whole thing has lost its old novelty appeal of new things being offered. I don't spend time playing with an OS, I launch my applications and forget the OS and whatever it is doing behind.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Going back in time

      Adding features in a service pack? Like that want to get into trouble for doing that AGAIN...

      No I think they basically seem to be saying "we'll do UI revisions as a major version number, everybody that actually cares about what it does under the hood, well, just carry on as normal".

      Which is sensible, but I also think there may be a danger of them very quickly saying "ah, Windows 10 is legacy, we're not going to do any updates other than security", in hopes of driving hardware sales worldwide (mainly as a favour to HP, Dell, etc). Which is a handy thing to do, just at the time there's a worldwide chip shortage.

      Oh, I'm confused. Clearly I need more coffee.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        They have said that

        Windows 10 now has a sunset date.

        What isn't yet clear is the licence terms of Windows 11.

        If they roll the license forward with the same terms, then fine. I don't care, and tbh it's easier for support if I don't need to dig to find the Windows 10 20h2 or build number.

        - but FFS give us back an API so we can stick the *real* OS version in a log file.

        1. Geoff Campbell

          Re: They have said that

          Powershell - [environment]::osversion.version


          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: They have said that

            Obvious, really. The only better way to do it would be to use a straightforward versioning system in the first place and make it readily apparent where to find that information.

            1. Geoff Campbell

              Re: They have said that

              To be fair, Powershell has been the recommended management interface for this sort of stuff for years.


    3. jonathan keith

      Re: Going back in time

      Win10 SE

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Going back in time

        ME, not SE

        1. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: Going back in time


          Windows ME - All the shininess of the windows 2000 UI (which was WONDERFUL), but slathered on top of the windows 98 SE codebase, with all the shoddiness that it had, and somehow less reliable to boot.

          And don't get me wrong- windows 98SE was the most solid version of that kernel. ME was Microsoft's last attempt as providing an update for that codebase that wasn't based on the NTOS kernel.

          1. Andy A Bronze badge

            Re: Going back in time

            MS officially announced that the upgrade path from Win98 would be to Win2000. Everyone would move over to a model where applications did not run with kernel rights.

            Then the marketing department got in the way, and the heap labelled Windows ME arrived.

            If only W2K had had enough clout to flatten the bump in the road....

            1. EnviableOne Silver badge

              Re: Going back in time

              Win Me was a hybrid of 98 and Win2000 as XP wasn't launch-ready as it was supposed to be for 2000.

              Me was a marketing stopgap to get the funds to finish XP.

              XP was the end of the MS-DOS kernel migrating to the NT kernel for consumer OS, and Me was its last hurrah.

              You can track it through the actual version numbers, Me is windows 4.9 and XP is NT 5.1

  3. hammarbtyp

    "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem."

    But for some reason every few weeks I have to break my workflow while an enforced reboot is put on me.

    Windows 10 is better than its antecedents, but we are left with the historical poor design decisions going back to windows 3.1, while more modern OS's such as ChromeOS are far less painful, its just that we have become so used to it, people thinks its normal to have to restart your whole hardware to fix bugs

    1. Dave K

      The thing is, in many ways Windows 10 is not better than its predecessors, and after 6 years of updates, Windows 10 is still very rough and messy in many areas. Windows 7 was a far more polished and consistent OS to use - and even then it was far from perfect.

      Rather than continued gimmicks and useless "features" that are brought in with a big fanfare before quietly sinking, I'd like MS to spend some time focusing purely on the user experience for once and making it look pleasing and consistent.

      Tidy up the UI and make it look pleasant, user-friendly, consistent and customisable - Windows 10 currently looks flat, bland, dull, lifeless and inconsistent. The constant monochrome icons are also not user friendly. Sort out the "Settings & Control Panel" mess once and for all. Improve the update process so that I don't have to reboot after every single little update. Fix the "busy" logo as well so that it's a continuous loop, rather than one that keeps stopping and starting like some cheap, temporary placeholder. Some new sounds that don't sound as if they were knocked out in half an hour by an intern with a cheap keyboard would also not go amiss.

      As it currently stands, Windows 10 is not a nice OS to use and many areas feel half-finished. Question is, will Windows 11 address any of this, or will it just be another ugly, inconsistent and half-baked mess I wonder?

      1. Evilgoat76

        Here here

        10 is not a step forward, or a pleasure. Take my morning. A CCTV system that breaks so often due to updates screwing with stuff that it's on a reboot schedule and I'm typing this reply at cost to my customer while I babysit it doing 21Hwhatever. Pre win10 reboots on this system were measured in months and were only maintainance.

        And the outlook issue this morning. Fixed by creating a new profile and then deleting it, the mere act fixing the broken one.

        Or the CNC machine that randomly goes to a "public" profile and locks itself away behind its firewall away from. The CAM system.

        Or the user that randomly has edge override defaults and mangle PDF files. It's a freaking Web browser.

        Make 11 a version of 10 that is as stable, reliable and easy to maintain as 7 was.

        1. Rich 2

          Re: Here here

          Windows running a CNC machine? Wow!

          I’ve always considered Windows (of whatever version) to be completely unsuitable for anything other than maybe knocking up a letter in word. Letting it loose on any embedded system, especially a mechanical one, is asking for trouble - Windows has always been a toy OS (no other OS past or present would consider daily reboots acceptable) and had no place in any environment that does anything the least bit useful.

          1. Jon 37

            Re: Here here

            Sadly, there are far too many device manufacturers who drop a whole Windows PC into their product. Then fail to update it. This includes fancy electronic measuring equipment (oscilloscopes and more specialist kit), it includes multi-million-pound medical equipment, computer controlled manufacturing equipment, and lots more.

            1. Dave K

              Re: Here here

              Yep! Place I worked at previously had a factory full of CNC machines. The majority of them ran Windows 95 (yes, I'm not kidding!). They were firewalled to hell, but actually worked pretty well surprisingly. The newer ones had Windows XP (again, heavily firewalled now).

              1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

                Re: Here here

                Had a dive into the stash of stress tested IDE HDD's for a pair of the smallest ones available so a friends MOT emissions tester could be brought back to life. This was a country village garage & the owner wasn't likely to invest serious money before his retirement in a replacement system.

                The HDD was failing & needed to be cloned to a replacement drive & have another with the image file (Future future replacement drive) dropped on it. As the PC at the heart of it couldn't read the larger capacities that were the norm (30 - 40Gb) & being phased out in favour of SATA.

                Cue a pint...well Free MOT from the owner.

                1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                  Re: Here here. Where?

                  As the PC at the heart of it couldn't read the larger capacities that were the norm (30 - 40Gb) & being phased out in favour of SATA.

                  Couple of solutions I've used:

                  PATA-to-SATA converter (plus in your case a small enough SATA disk, of course). Used a few different ones who all seemed to work as advertised.

                  PATA SSD. 2.5" form factor, but that just requires a connector adapter and a mounting bracket for 3.5". Never seen a Libretto 110 boot that fast. Still available here and there.

                  PATA-to-CF, also 2.5". Probably not as robust against flash degradation as a real SSD, but good enough for a year or two of moderate use, after which you copy the card and plop the new one in.

            2. cray74

              Re: Here here

              Sadly, there are far too many device manufacturers who drop a whole Windows PC into their product. Then fail to update it.


              I stay gainfully employed with materials engineering problems at an aerospace factory, which is less a matter of software than trying to figure out why an epoxy had bubbles in it or paint didn't cure. But my mechanical, electrical, and optical colleagues have been complaining about the recent forced upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7 on their CNC and test hardware.

              Since the device manufacturers don't issue refits (at least not upgrades that make company security happy), we've been painstakingly figuring out how to convert software and drivers to Win7 by ourselves, or mating new computers to the factory gear.

              Soon, soon we'll catch up with the world of 2009.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Here here

              Our confocal microscope (on which much research depends) runs on Windows, and the microscopy guru had to petition the IT crowd NOT to push updates down the network, as they regularly rendered the microscope unusable. IT would stop the updates until they forgot and once again the confocal system would die. Last I checked it ran Windows 7. I don't know how the microscopist has evaded the banishment of Win7 systems upon end of support. Maybe he took my advice and pulled the machine off the network, leaving people to retrieve results on USB sticks -- or maybe floppies, as IT has mandated USB encryption, often rendering the sticks unreadable under Windows. (Admittedly, they're never readable on non-Windows systems.) But I digress.

            4. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: Here here

              Name and shame the manufacturer. On the biggest billboard you can find.

              There are "embedded" versions of Windows.

              They are very customisable, do *not* go looking for updates on their own etc etc.

              If you put the desktop or server version of Windows into a device like CAM then you deserve to be fired. From a cannon. Into a lava pit.

              1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                Re: Here here

                > There are "embedded" versions of Windows.

                As when flung in rage at a wall.

          2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

            Re: Here here

            The controls we have are all either a custom OS (a popular Japanses brand) or a german application running on top of a Linux OS with an XFCE desktop.

            However the germans did offer a version that ran on top of windows and there was a big note in the mantainance manuals saying "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW WINDOWS TO RUN UPDATE"

            so everyone bought the linux version instead and now they dont offer a windows version.

            Slightly more seriously, it really doesn't matter what OS is being used.... if the software has a fault it will crash the machine regardless (in my line a crash means more than a BSOD).

            We had one machine move without being commanded....... then it did it again while I was trying to fault find the thing.... with the door interlock on... eekk (the whole control system got ripped out and sent back to germany to find out why it did it)

            Anyways.. back to windows... the next version should be called POS because thats what windows is.. also I would not be surprised if the next version of windows after that would be a windows UI running on a Linux kernal...

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: Here here

              You do know there is a version of Windows explicitly called POS?

              It's an embedded edition designed for point-of-sale devices, like tills and self-checkout.

              1. spireite Silver badge

                Re: Here here

                But Windows is a POS to many....

          3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Here here

            Windows running a CNC machine? Wow!

            Calm down now.

            <whisper>better not mention Windows for Warships</whisper>

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Here here

          I'd have to ask why a CCTV system is running anything as heavyweight as Windows. You could probably get away with controlling it from a Pi Zero, or even less. After all, what does it have to do? Manage recordings, view playback, maybe some sort of backup? If it needs a full-blown OS at all, then a flavour of Linux is going to be more than sufficient. It could probably provide all the functionality you needed with no OS at all, and the software running directly on embedded hardware like an arduino, wired up to some buttons and a monitor. The only thing you need the OS for is programming the thing in the first place, and even then, once you written the software, you could probably push it onto the device from anything that can talk to a serial port.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: Here here

            Because the camera's software is Windows-only.

            We had some Vivotek cameras and the software recorder/manager supplied by them was surprising not crap, but it was over 5 years after UAC was enforced by MS that they fixed their software to not require the poor minimum-wage sod checking stuff to be administrator.

            I am sure there are better options, but when faced with stuff that "works" mostly and spending weeks trying to find a better alternative you just put it on a Win7 VM for no updates and firewall the hell out of it.

          2. Ferry Michael

            Re: Here here

            I think you underestimate large CCTV systems with 5000+ cameras. The last system I worked on would use a dual 6 Core Xeon - 24 threads to display 40+ HD video streams with 2 high end video cards. Video recorders with up to 600TB storage - 180 * 4TB hard drives and 10G Ethernet. Then there are the alarm databases, integrated mapping. I've had video recorders and management PCs hitting Windows non-paged memory limits with tuned network drivers. Also used to hit graphics card and PCI Express bandwidth limits.

          3. Evilgoat76

            Re: Here here

            Because decent camera software that the end user can manage themselves, supports their 32 5mp cameras and cpu/gpu acceleration doesn't exist under any other platform. Pi4 has no chance.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: Here here

              The odd thing is that Linux is better suited, albeit on amd64 or the big ARM.

              CCTV needs high bandwidth networking and storage and real-time transcoding.

              Broadcast is a harder problem and they mostly use dedicated hardware running Linux.

              1. Shannyla

                Re: Here here

                Looks at the very recent Sony media server/recorder in our 4K TV Studio and its various control workstations...

                Yup, definitely running Windows 8...

                Works fine.

              2. Scott 26

                Re: Here here

                if CCTV has such high bandwidth (etc) demands, why in the Almighty fuck, is footage shown (say in the news) always look crap.....

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        YES. *ALL* of what you said.

      3. Cinderellaphant

        Yes! And when you buy a pro version to use in a domain in a business, WTH no IT want to see Minecraft, Xbox etc in the start menu!

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Or, even better, make the domain setup option as fucking hard to find as possible and instead have an installation process that insists on setting up the system as a personal system for a single specified Microsoft 365 user (who is given local administrator rights of course).

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "I'd like MS to spend some time focusing purely on the user experience"

        User interfaces on software in general have gone downhill ever since developers marketroids started focussing on "user experience". The more they focus the worse it gets.

        "User experience" is shorthand for breaking what works. Interface, including user interface, is shorthand for presenting a consistent view of a mechanism even when the implementation behind it changes.

        1. Dave K

          Exactly. Some marketdroid or designer probably thought for Windows 10's TIFKAM programs to re-do the icons to make them simple and consistent. Sounds noble! Unfortunately, the result is a load of monochrome icons that all look identical at a glance. Hence the "clean and consistent" approach for them has actually damaged usability. Icons are supposed to look visually distinctive so you can tell them apart at a glance.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "Icons are supposed to look visually distinctive so you can tell them apart at a glance."

            And also indicate their function. True a "Save" icon that looks like a floppy is meaningless in terms of a current visual reference but it had become part of the visual language. Replacing the existing visual language with something else is like replacing your English prompts with Elbonian.

            1. Andy A Bronze badge

              Exactly - and this stupidity has been going on for some time.

              Who decided that the icon for "safely remove a device" ought to be a child's drawing of a cat?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'User interfaces on software in general have gone downhill ever since developers marketroids started focussing on "user experience". The more they focus the worse it gets.'

          Summed up in just two words... "Boaty McBoatface'

    2. Def Silver badge

      If you are comfortable with not keeping your machine up-to-date, pause updates, and then open RegEdit.

      Browse to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings

      Change PauseFeatureUpdatesEndTime, PauseQualityUpdatesEndTime, and PauseUpdatesExpiryTime to a future time of your choosing. (I usually just bump the year up a notch.)

      Windows updates can be irritating, but most people turn their computers off every day (and updates will kick in before powering down), and the vast majority of people won't update their computers manually - forcing updates on people is the only way Microsoft can keep most Windows machines reasonably up-to-date. When compared to the alternative of millions of out-of-date, compromised/virus ridden machines, the minor inconvenience of a forced updated every five weeks or so (with the normal pause period) is by far the better option for everyone.

      1. hammarbtyp

        "If you are comfortable with not keeping your machine up-to-date, pause updates, and then open RegEdit."

        unfortunately on work machines, IT decide when you update. Yes they sometimes give you 4 hours grace, but thats not much help when you are in the middle of a long term test, or you take a day off and find you cannot remote access your PC bce it has been rebooted and waiting for someone to physically login to complete the update.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Ah but then at least you're on the clock.

          I think we get a 24-hour grace period for mandatory updates once hitting the snooze button no longer works (we have some proprietary software controlling our updates in addition to standard Windows updates), but it's a bit easier for me because all my work machines are now at home and my main machine is a laptop anyway. All our team have administrator access to our Windows machines too, so we can still control most updates ourselves.

          But I suspect if I needed my machine to be up and running 24/7 for a couple of weeks for a business critical test or something, a quick call to IT would get that machine moved off the update schedule for that time period.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            re: Ah but then at least you're on the clock.

            That means SFA when the bosses want to know why the week long soak test failed after six days and had to be restarted. They want to know because they want the effing product to ship so that they can get $$$$ of revenue.

            Trying to explain that the failure was down to a Windows update reboot just won't cut it.

            IT will naturally duck and dive and deny all knowledge of the update rollout.

            Windows is a PITA, a boil on the bum that won't go away, an itch on your back in the one place where you can't scratch it etc etc etc

            Most of us have to live with the steaming pile of dog poo. There is no way that MS can ever sweet talk us into liking the POS.

            Come on MS... at least give home uses the chance to schedule updates to happen at say 4-6 weeks after they are releases and for the update system to give us countdown warnings. You know sensible stuff that any sane company would have done years ago but this is MS that we are talking about...

            1. Def Silver badge

              Re: re: Ah but then at least you're on the clock.

              That's a problem with your bosses. Not Windows. If they don't understand the limitations of the IT policies your company has in place, they need to be educated.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Rock, meet hard place

                Bosses require you to do the impossible, defying any limitations set by those IT policies they probably signed off themselves.

                And IT just goes by the severity label issued by some threat researcher, even if that's for a driver or DLL they have blocked installation of as it's not supposed to be used anyway.

        2. spireite Silver badge

          Well you say that.....

          My bunch use SCCM or Intune - not sure which... and I occasionally get bugged about the fact that my machine is running a patch version from the 'future' - i.e. not the companies official 'release'

          Yep, I can't use Windows Update (even though I am a local admin) as they have it locked down, but I can use the alternate methods - mostly

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        I get updates coming through regularly (today, so far, they've been about sound) but having to reboot to install them is very rare. Just as well, as I use Linux and don't have the simple, intuitive solution of "open RegEdit.

        Browse to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings

        Change PauseFeatureUpdatesEndTime, PauseQualityUpdatesEndTime, and PauseUpdatesExpiryTime to a future time of your choosing."

      3. Adelio

        If only you could rely on Microsoft NOT to mess updates up. Then forced updates would not be so much of a problem.

    3. deadlockvictim

      "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem."

      You need 32GB free space on your C:drive so that you can download the latest massive update? No thank you. Ubuntu does it daily and while a tad annoying, I live with the 30s needed to run the update.

      Windows, imho, reached its zenith with Windows 2000. NT4 & XP (after SP2) weren't bad and Win2K3 was a nice little server and its desktop version (Win XP 64-bit edition) was well in use on my work machine until it went of support. And if the glossy UI is your thing, then Windows 7 wasn't too bad either.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        I remember NT 4 workstation with great nostalgia... it never got better for me after that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I remember NT 4 workstation with great nostalgia... it never got better for me after that."

          Your mouse has been moved. The system will now be restarted for the changes to take effect.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        I'd contest XP as being included with the zenith. Isn't that when phoning home for (re)activation started?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yup. That nearly scuppered the Intel Centrino launch in London.

          Had to set up satellite Internet to get them to boot!

    4. LDS Silver badge

      "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem"

      Actually, it became the only choice for those unable to buy 7 support, so to keep on running Windows applications the only choice was to switch to 10.

      I did the month 7 support expired - not before.

      While Windows 10 is still a problem - one people have to live with. And I bet 11 will be even a bigger problem.

      (No, I can't switch to Linux for lack of applications and hardware support - both at work and home - at home I could switch to Apple but it's a problem on its own too).

      1. Daniel von Asmuth

        Re: "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem"

        The version that sucked least was Windows 2000. It was sort of stable. The GUI was almost usable.

        How many PCs will be bricked trying to upgrade to Windows 11.

        P.S. What will be the version number of Windows 11? Why can't they think of a catchier name like 'Windows XQZ' or 'Fall Guy Edition'.

    5. MrDamage Silver badge

      > "But for some reason every few weeks I have to break my workflow while an enforced reboot is put on me."

      Turn off Fast Start in power management. That way your machine actually shuts down when you tell it to, and does a full restart on power up, instead of going into a wanky hibernation mode.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Amen to that, caused us so many issues with machines slow performance\running out of resources & despite users telling us they had powered down.

        Added the disabling of Fast Start into the build process.

  4. fedoraman

    Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

    They skipped Windows 9, to get to Windows 10, and then it was going to be ten - forever? No more upgrade cycles, just a continuous gradual improvement? Didn't last so long, it seems.

    And by the way, Windows 10 might not break, as such, but its far, far from nice. How about collecting all the scattered control options back into the Control Panel, mmmm? And maybe a consistent skinning? Its fun to see those old style (but to me, nice) dialog boxes and panels pop up from time to time. Windows 7 is not dead, its still in there, somewhere.....

    1. Steve Kerr

      Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

      From memory (might be a little wavy due to a slight concussion from falling off a horse on Saturday during a showjumping lesson where my horse went thru rather than over the jump but she is young and still learning)....

      Windows 9 was skipped because there is stuff still embedded in windows from the 9x days which means having internals flagged as 9 would/could cause much entertainment with random weirdness happening due to version name conflicts.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

        I think they also wanted to avoid the bad publicity potential of, "Windows? Nein!"

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Name conflicts

        > conflicts

        My initial reaction was to raise an eyebrow/scoff, then I remembered...

        I once did a fast contract on a platform I used to work for, to update/extend a piece of core code for a very large Tier 1 bank, said code installed at a fair number of Tier 1 & 2 banks globally. ~All of whom were wholesale layer: your bank's back end desks trade thru them to get the job done. And large in market scope, not just size; the P&L system I wrote for them wound up running ~10% of the EU's M3 (!!). E.g., just re the cash portion, 10p of every pound/euro you ever spent or earned from the mid-90s to the mid-00s went through my system.

        This contract's code was someone else's, historical, a little stick-on bit at the tail of a MAJOR codebase. Basically, it took a report output from internal object to external file in various formats, eg PDF. Tiny, an afterthought, but critical.

        It was written in Mountain View just down the road from Silicon Valley and Google depending which way you turned out of the driveway. By a top-flight local Stanford boy, the creme de la creme of Silicon Valley's finest, as all our California Dev shop's boys were thru the 80s&90s.

        It was a jaw-dropping, eyes-out-on-stalks horror of entirely self-modifying code with all variables' names "i", "f", "f2", "c", etc., no comments, no indenting, lines run together,... Quite similar in appearance to what you get from a JavaScript obfuscator. Only, more cryptic: it was building code then executing it to build another layer of code to be in turn executed, to... I described it at the time as looking like it was written by an incredibly intelligent 14-year-old writing his first non-Assembler program. The actual algorithms were a couple of layers deep implicit within the self-modifying algorithms. All finally implemented by looping evals of concatenations of "c".."c9" s.

        Yet within that... "Currency" was a reserved word.

        If you ran a report which used a variable called "currency", it crashed.

        For a bank. Trading dozens of currencies every day, and in serious size. (This, and several of our clients, were central banks. Deal-flow globally. Every report split by currency.)

        Name conflict. Couldn't handle the word "currency".

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Name conflicts

          "in Mountain View just down the road from Silicon Valley"

          Eh? Palo Alto and Mountain View are the first two cities in Silly Con Valley. Always have been, always will be. Followed by Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino, followed by Santa Clara, Milpitas and San Jose, roughly in that order. Note that San Francisco is not now, and never has been, a part of The Valley regardless of what the pretentious twats at Salesforce have to say on the subject. It started at the North end of the Santa Clara Valley and moved South.

          " and Google"

          Google is a Johnnie-come-lately, and didn't even exist until the late '90s. They were pretty small until they started expanding rapidly after their IPO in 2004. It just seems like they have been the 900 pound gorilla for a long time.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

      Apart from the marketing "opportunities", the main advantage is being able to declare Windows 10 EOL and, therefore, no longer be obliged to provide updates.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

        It might be cynical of me but I see the move to Windows 11 being mainly financial from Microsoft point of view. They initially hailed Windows 10 as being the last version of Windows and therefore there was an assumption that MS would keep providing updates and patches to it indefinitely.

        But with the majority of large organisations now finished the migration onto Windows 10, MS have probably foreseen their revenue from new Windows licenses drying up and so looked for a way of milking their business customers as they are the ones who have the deeper pockets, and the general public have now got used to the fact that Windows is sort of free now.

        So one way for Microsoft to increase Windows license revenue is to stop supporting Windows 10 in another 4 years, make a few basic UI tweaks to Windows and they push it out as a new OS.

        It will probably be a free update to home users but all those enterprise customers will have to pay to upgrade to Windows 11 if they want to keep getting security patches. Or MS might be trying to push them to move to paying for Azure instances of Windows 10 which will probably continue to get updates passed 2025 since the underlying Windows code will probably stay the same.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

          Anybody who believes what MS or any other vendor says without serious thought deserves what they get. As you say, Microsoft specifically said that Windows 10 would be the "last" version of Windows ever - yet here we are with yet another pig of an OS wearing lipstick.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

          Windows 10 isn't free to enterprise already so not sure what you're on about.

          We have to sign up for volume licensing agreements and pay for software assurance and CALs based on our number of FTE staff.

          That software assurance allows us to always have the latest version of what ever software we've licensed so going from 10 to 11 will make zero difference to us in terms of licensing or licensing costs.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

        > the main advantage is being able to declare Windows 10 EOL and, therefore, no longer be obliged to provide updates.

        I suspect the real advantage will be to finally drop such things as: 32-bit processor etc. support, a whole bunch of CPU's that don't support various hardware attributes now considered essential, remove support for a load of 'old' devices, printers etc.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

          They will only drop 32bit support if they want to die.

          The vast majority of line-of-business applications are 32bit. Apple can get away with telling their fanboys to buy everything again, Microsoft cannot.

          They would have kept 16bit if it had been technically feasible. There was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth when that went away.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

            There's a difference between 32-bit applications and 32-bit processors: you can happily run 32-bit Windows applications on any x86-64 chip.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

              Yes Windows 11 effectively allows MS to end of life Windows 32-bit. ie. Windows 10 32-bit

              Which is what I should have said instead of 32-bit processors/motherboards.

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

                Well, kinda.

                The whole 32bit version of the Windows C API needs to remain, even if it's mostly marshalling into the "real" 64bit guts.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

                  Yes, the continued support for 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit Windows distribution is an interesting question. Particularly, as MS have had 64-bit distributions of their products for some years now. Also be careful about using "Win32 API" remember there has been 64-bit version around for some years that is colloquially referred to as Win32 API, even though MS would rather people called it the Win64 API or even WinRT...

                  However, it would not surprise me if MS doesn't offer a W11 in a 32-bit distribution; thus leaving the 32-bit architecture support to niche products such as ArcaOS and various Linux & BSD distributions.

    3. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

      Marketing may be part of it: 9 in English sounds like “nein “ in German

    4. Andy A Bronze badge

      Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

      The recent insider builds have consolidated Windows Accessories, Windows Admin Tools, Windows Powershell and Windows System into one fresh heading, labelled Windows Tools. It's not another level of menu, but a window full of icons, much as most people used Control Panel.

      So now Windows Tools holds Control Panel, which by some insanity holds Windows Tools.

      Thankfully, they shifted Notepad out of this twisty little maze of passages onto its own heading. That's why it became a Store App.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

    You are the Product. You and your PC with all it's secrets are all owned by M$.

    1. Dave Null

      Re: With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

      Nice edgy mask profile pic! Have you considered moving out of 1990's era Slashdot?

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

        That happens when you check the "Post anonymously?" box.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

        You profile tells us that you have had an account here for over six months. If you haven't figured out that the "profile pic" is actually the icon that gets used for anonymous posts yet, then maybe you'd feel more at home shouting your rage into the face of readers of the Daily Heil, or Daily Excess instead?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: home shouting your rage

          Or being brainwashed by the likes of Fox News or Sky News Australia (even more rabid than Fox)

          1. Uncle Slacky

            Re: home shouting your rage

            Or GBeebies...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

        Talk to El Reg!

    2. Sudosu

      Re: With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

      Windows 11, now with improved telemetry.

  6. thondwe

    Marketing and Licencing Depts

    Tech Peeps -> Marketing Peeps -> You can have another number/name/rounded rectangular windows - no go away

    Tech Peeps -> LIcencing Peeps -> You can have a switch to disable a feature based on licence key -> no go away...

    Guess that's another benefit for Open Source - no Marketing Dept, and no Licencing Dept!

  7. aar

    Not all is well

    As a developer, Windows 10 still has one major defect. The simple operation of opening a file (CreateFile API) is excruciatingly slow. Even when all antivirus functionally is disabled, it is nowhere near Linux or BSD.

    A concrete example: a large Java project takes about 25 minutes to compile on Windows. The same project takes about 3 minutes to compile on same machine on Linux that is running as a VirtualBox guest under Windows. The build all happens in a single process, the problem is not CreateProcess (which also would be slow).

    The same problem was evident when Phoronix ran various benchmarks on Windows LInux subsystem (the first iteration). On many benchmarks the Linux-inside-Windows managed to be faster than real Linux. But any file activity, and Windows was several times slower.

    Why do they not fix CreateFile?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Not all is well

      I do not believe it has always been this way. The biggest problem most likely isn't CreateFile() itself, but the various 'Shell' versions of things that open files, or ".Not" itself. They like to get all "object-ie" and do a bunch of potentially unnecessary stuff up front, rather than as needed, and my observations concluded that this is PRIMARILY the source of file system and application startup slowness.

      One of the worst offenders is the 'File Open' dialog box. Strangely, in Linux and BSD (when you use gnome or mate) it has similar problems, since the gnome and mate 'file open' seems to want to do previews, which suffers from the same *kinds* of performance issues. Granted, it's FASTER in the POSIX+X11 world, but it's EVEN FASTER if you fill the list with files FIRST, and then background query them when users need a preview (or any other details about that file), and NOT read EVERY! SINGLE! FILE! to discover its type BEFORE or WHILE filling a list of files in a directory. [that would be the 'anal-retentive-object-oriented' way to do it, where EVERYthing is ALWAYS 'an object' whether it makes sense or NOT]

      So I'd say the SAME *kinds* of bad programming practices exist in Linux and BSD ports/packages, at least as far as the desktop environment is concerned. And this easily points out WHAT and WHY.

      (now, where's my clue-bat, I need to 'educate' some junior-level programmers)

      1. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: OO and junior level progammers

        Spot on @bb but the problem is a misunderstanding of what an object is as well as what it represents.

        Experienced programmers soon learn that they should not flood their data-set with stuff but instead set up placeholders and then populate them “jit“.

        This also applies to populating large database lists to present to users who will be scrolling through them.

        I have re-discovered that, the hard way, more than once.

    2. Def Silver badge

      Re: Not all is well

      CreateFile does a few things to make your life easier. Like translating UTF-8 paths (and any other encodings) to UTF-16, converting / to \, and following shortcuts. I presume it also handles filesystem hooks for virus scanners and system restore and other such services which is where your main bottleneck will be.

      When working on Age of Conan, I encountered an issue where CreateFile would hang for 20-30 seconds when opening one of our data file. After much back and forth with Microsoft (we were registered developers so had personal contacts we could turn to), it turned out that the file in question had a file extension (there's a huge list here) that system restore considered a vital system file and backed them up every time the file was opened for writing. These were 2GB files.

      Renaming the files solved the issue.

      1. Rich 2

        Re: Not all is well

        “ it turned out that the file in question had a file extension … that system restore considered a vital system file….”

        It’s this kind of brain-dead design that helps make Windows such a shower of shit! Just blindly doing “stuff” because it thinks it’s a good idea. And wasting your time trying to work out why the hell it’s doing such shit.

        Let me count the ways thou art shite… (oh hang on - I think I’m going to need a bigger calculator!)

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Not all is well

          Yes and no.

          Part of the requirements for secure system certification require the OS and installed applications to be resilient to tampering by rogue users and/or software. Our data files were installed into the ProgramData (iirc) folder as per the Windows recommendations, and as such were considered part of the system that should be protected.

          As long as you are aware of what is going on and are aware of how to mitigate against that, on the whole it's not a bad system.

          (That said, I don't know for certain whether System Restore would kick in for *any* file regardless of its location, or whether it really does just care about known folders. I agree that covering the whole filesystem would be more than a bit dumb, but protecting application data installed into known locations isn't.)

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Documentation is key

            The "known folders" still aren't very well documented, so many developers pick an inappropriate one because they don't know better and can't easily find out.

            It's very annoying.

            Then there are the idiots who hardcode the path instead of looking it up, but there's no helping some people...

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Not all is well

        The main problem here is that the OS is just looking at the file extension, and not the initial bytes of the file, to determine the file type. This may of course be one of those occasions where the type of system file in question would be unstructured, and not have predictable initial bytes, but that begs the question, "why?" when determining the type of a file isn't exactly a new problem to solve.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Not all is well

          One size does not fit all. Consider a common container format (ZIPs) that has become the go-to container for a lot of different things. Now how do you identify its intended purpose without an extension, given ALL of them are likely to have the same internal signature?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Not all is well

            It's a zip. You unzip it and then read the uncompressed file's Magic Number. Simples. Been doing it with compressed TAR files on un*x for close to half a century.

            Meaningful file extensions should have died with CPM. Perhaps earlier.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Not all is well

              WHICH file, though? Container formats tend to have more than one file in them, and not in any particular order.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Not all is well

                Which file? The file you are looking for, of course.

                You don't know which file you are looking for? That's what the Mk I Eyeball is for. Might take a while in larger archives, but it's hardly my fault that whoever packaged that zip (your choice for this conversation) didn't include some kind of manifest.

                Note that one can easily pull a list of files in any given zip and check the Magic Number on those files, then filter, sort and list to your heart's content. Silly extensions should be ignored as superfluous, and possibly not matching the actual filetype in the first place.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Not all is well

                  "Which file? The file you are looking for, of course."

                  WHICH file are you looking for is the key. You're trying to identify a mystery file that may not have a coherent-enough structure to properly identify it. There's also the possibility of "chimera" files that can correctly identify as more than one type of file simultaneously. Plus, suppose it's something like a raw data stream and therefore unstructured by default.

                  Put simply, one size cannot fit all. After all, DNA can't distinguish between monozygotic twins.

                  Plus there's the matter of baggage. Your proposal means the file manager needs to include a ZIP support library, which opens up potential holes.

  8. LastTangoInParis

    Keeping up with the Jone ... er Jobs

    Of course MacOS has gone to 11, and quite rightly so seeing as a huge amount of breaking stuff came in, not to mention a whole new CPU family. So Windows has to go to 11 too. But will the promo video feature Spinal Tap?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Keeping up with the Jone ... er Jobs

      it would definitely have to use Marshall amplifiers (they go up to '11')

      1. Sudosu

        Re: Keeping up with the Jone ... er Jobs

        Or Soldano's, if you can swing the cost.

  9. Rich 2


    “Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem.”

    I’m sorry - are we thinking of the _same_ Windows 10? The MS one, yes?

    1. haiku

      Re: Eh?

      Was wondering much the same.

      OTOH it does provide tech journalists with at least one guaranteed column per month: "How to fix this month's 'Patch Tuesday' screw-ups'"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      Drugs. The story author is on some really strong drugs. I'm not sure what the Kool Aid is spiked with, but it makes dried frog pills look tame in comparison. Massively tame. Patheticly so. Like LSD compared to plain aspirin.

    3. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      He's half right. Crashes are now very rare. The problem with 10 is the update stuff.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        It's true

        I honestly cannot remember the last time I heard of a BSOD on Windows 10 that wasn't failing hardware.

        macOS on the other hand has BSOD pretty easily.

        For example, macOS cannot recover at all if the GPU driver crashes (pretty common on Intel Iris), and requires a reboot to update it.

        Windows 10 has neither of those limitations.

  10. steviebuk Silver badge

    Not completely

    "Get angry if you must at the rolling back of reality. Utilise weary disdain by all means, it helps. And if you must look on the bright side, at least we're rid of Skype."

    There is a user at work, and I've still not worked out why, where Skype keeps fucking reinstalling itselfs. Pretty sure its one of those apps that gets installed where you can use the powershell command to uninstall, but sure enough a few days later, the fucker reinstalls itself ):o(

    1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

      Re: Not completely

      Persoanally I've never had a single real problem with Skype (occasional - vary rare! - connection failures, but I'll live with those).

      I see nothing 'bright' about doing away with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not completely

        Mark yourself 'away' and within 24 hours it will mark you 'available' again. It can fuck off.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Not completely

      Skype keeps re-installing itself

      so, not "applications as a service", but more like "unwanted applications as a VIRUS"

  11. mihares


    Personally, I completely lost interest in Windows after 7 —having started with 3.1. The best of the bunch, IMHO, has been XP x64 edition, which actually was a Windows Server 2003 with XP written on it in crayon.

    I have the feeling that, when MS Office will work decently on Wine (or whatever future Linux Subsystem for Windows), there will be very little point left in having a Windows OS anyway…

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: LSW

      So many games don't work on Linux so we're stuck with it for a while. Unless you're not a gamer then its fine or enjoy a console instead. I prefer gaming on PC to console.

      1. Sudosu

        Re: LSW

        Steam has gotten a lot better with Linux games, even in the last year or so...but still not quite good enough for me to drop my Windows dependence.

        I don't think EPIC does Linux at all.

      2. i1ya

        Re: LSW

        Many games are broken only because of windows-only DRM. And DRM is a must for massively-multiplayer AAA titles like Fortnite or PUBG. As for lesser titles, Proton is so good now that I rarely encounter windows-only game that is broken on Linux.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: LSW

          Also some of the independent developers I like where they are one man shows, at least one of them has said it was a ball ache coding for Linux and there wasn't enough market for it so he's newer games aren't on it. I like Linux but will always have to keep Windows for gaming.

        2. Andy A Bronze badge

          Re: LSW

          It's not just games that stop people shifting away from Windows. The software I use every day only has a Windows version, and was last updated in 2014, after which the developer retired through ill-health.

          Just run it under WINE, people say. WineHQ explains that its test status is "garbage".

          There's absolutely no point in running it in a VM inside another OS. That just multiplies the effort required.

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: LSW

            There's absolutely no point in running it in a VM inside another OS. That just multiplies the effort required.

            I don't entirely agree with that. Once you've created the VM image, it will (or should do) be easily transportable across machines as you fix/upgrade/reinstall them without having to deal with trying to reinstall a specific Windows version or possibly have to hunt for drivers etc.

            If it all runs on current version of Windows, then I kind of see your point but you still leave yourself open to the possibility that forced Windows update renders the application non-functional.

      3. mihares

        Re: LSW

        I don’t play video games (at all, not only on a computer), so I’m not affected.

        But the situation, at least as far as the underlying graphical subsystem is concerned, has massively improved on Linux: for AMD we have a nice nice driver in the Kernel and, as long as you don’t do too much crazy s**t with your setup, you’re also very fine with Nvidia.

        So games can come to GNU+Linux as soon as they feel like, which will be as soon as the desktop user base will be large enough I guess.

    2. Spoonsinger

      Re: LSW

      Office 2003 works fine on Wine.

      1. mihares

        Re: LSW

        I’m dusting off that juicy Office XP premium edition CD-ROM in a box right now. It’s got FrontPage in it!

    3. fedoraman

      Re: LSW


      Like "This isn't a fish license, its a dog license with "dog" crossed out and "fish" written in crayon?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: LSW

        IRL this really happened:

        * kid has guinea pig as pet

        * kid sees something in pet store that says 'cat' on it, wants a 'guinea pig' one, gets bratty about it

        * I suggest taking the 'cat' one and crossing the word 'cat' out with a marker and writing 'guinea pig'

        * kid stops being bratty, doesn't bring it up again

        (everything I ever wanted to learn, I learned by watching 'Monty Python's Flying Circus')

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: LSW

          Better hope the kid doesn't discover Monty Python's Flying Circus, when all your tricks will be revealed.

  12. revenant

    What's the point?

    Marketing of course, as the article says. Could this also be the point where they move to a subscription model for the OS?

    1. Dr. Vagmeister

      Re: What's the point?

      I thought that they would have moved to a subscription model by now.

      If they do for Windows 11, i am wondering what those non-technical people will do.

      I would be quite miffed if suddenly i had to upgrade, and then was asked for money for the upgrade, and the previous is not supported.

      Maybe the strategy is full telemetry for those who do not wish to pay for Windows 11.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the point?

        I'm pretty sure it's full telemetry for all, no matter if and what you pay.

  13. Potemkine! Silver badge


    If MS stops to ship its Professional version with nonsense like the XBox game bar, that would deserve a new version number by itself!

    I nonetheless believe that we'll still need the decrapifier script to get rid of all the MS bloatware

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Bloatware

      Oh this a million times.

      It wouldn't be so bad if there was an easy way to remove the shite. There used to be but MS have made it ever more fucking complicated as they go on. In fact, at least a version or two ago it was all but impossible to remove the fucking xbox add-ons.

      Why? If a version is Professional or Enterprise it has no place for poxy gaming add-ons of any kind as defaults.

      As others have said, pick a control panel OR a settings dialogue and stick to it. Stop shoehorning things in both, or moving them from one to the other here and there.

      Add consistencies back into the settings as well - not sure which version it re-appeared in, but it was a relief when "Change adapter options" reappeared in the status of the network card properties screen.

      What the fuck happened with the updates? MS moved to these multi-gig single downloads that, they promised, when used with Config Manager meant that the OS could download only the delta components they required. OK - I am good with that. One large download onto SUS/MECM then the OS can decide if it needs 10MB or 1.5GB.

      And yet (again I could be a bit out of date here, so happy to be corrected) what seems to actually happen is every frigging copy of Windows 10 gets the full multi-gig patch!

      To be honest, the whole "flat" GUI doesn't bother me that much at all. Having had to work with 8 on release, nothing could match that cluster-fuck and anything is an improvement.

      To me, Windows 7 was the best version MS have managed to release to date. It was stable, secure (as Windows goes), intuitive to use and actually pretty. Even though real-world testing showed that some functionality was actually slower than in Vista, MS did a good job of making it appear faster.

      Oh and I wouldn't even mind the telemetry so much if they'd just be honest about exactly what the hell they're collecting but it's the way it's so opaque that bugs me.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Bloatware

        "I wouldn't even mind the telemetry so much if they'd just be honest about exactly what the hell they're collecting"

        If you knew you might be even more upset.

      2. Andy A Bronze badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Bloatware

        "Oh and I wouldn't even mind the telemetry so much if they'd just be honest about exactly what the hell they're collecting but it's the way it's so opaque that bugs me."

        It's a lot simpler with Google. They collect EVERYTHING.

        We once checked someone's Android phone (with their full permission, and in their presence). We worked out which pub they had lunch in on the Saturday at the beginning of the month, the route they used to get there from their hotel, how long they spent there and the names of Bluetooth devices around them at the time. In the process we found the address of the relatives they visited - before deciding that the stuff was getting far too intrusive for us to even look at. We had skipped over a lot of stuff which was not directly obvious.

        Google already knew this of course. They could also work out things such as income, based on the choice of hotel and the menu at the pub. Join in the same info from those other Bluetooth devices and you can get quite a picture.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bloatware

      Nowadays "Professional" is actually "Home Deluxe". If you want real professional stuff, you need to buy a costly corporate license and set up your own AD and updates servers.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Bloatware

        ...and the installs will still come with Xbox related shite that has no place on anything uninvited.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: Bloatware

          Did actually use the XBox shit to record a process of steps once or twice.

          But having to de-bloat freshly imaged PC's was also scripted into the post image build process* saved a lot of headaches (Icon).

          *For the life of me I don't know why the maintainer of the image file didn't run that script first before creating the image (Or why I didn't suggest it) unless off course it reinstalled itself for every new user account regardless.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: Bloatware

            That kind of shovelware is an auto-install nightmare. Per-user, per-install type of auto-install. Microsoft seemed to have made everything about it as annoying as possible.

      2. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Bloatware

        I was about to say that the last time I checked, both Enterprise and Professional versions (which, at the end of the day are the same thing just a different license) both installed the xbox crap as default, so I thought I'd check again now.

        And that said, my latest updated Enterprise version (21H1 and Azure AD joined) doesn't have the xbox gamebar enabled by default anymore, so maybe they've finally cottoned on to at least that bullshittery.

  14. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Of course a major driver is Marketing, However, Microsoft have been effectively using version numbers again for a long time. They've just been doing what Apple did with osx and requiring a specific update version. The trouble is, for the user at least, it can be quite confusing remembering which specific version is required. Is it 1803? Is it 1909? Or is it 20h2? Much easier to say "Windows 11 is required", at least until Windows 11 22H1 arrives. The difference between what Microsoft have been doing, and what Apple have been doing is that Apple have been using names, which is theoretically easier (that said, it can be difficult even for a pro to remember which came first, High Sierra or Mojave).

    Wonder if Microsoft's rumoured decision to launch Windows 11 is anything to do with the fact that Big Sur is macOS 11? After all, to the uninitiated, this would appear that macOS is more advanced.

    One thing I wish they'd do. Remove the Advertising telemetry, even if that does mean charging for Windows 11.

    1. Rich 2

      Of course, Word went from version 2 to 6. I think the reason was that Word Perfect was on version 5 at the time.

      1. Just A Quick Comment


        Ahhh, WordPerfect 5.1...! Now THERE was a word processor worth having...

        1. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

          Re: Memories

          WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS was clean, fast, uncluttered, worked off a floppy and it was blue. Well, it was blue on EGA or better. Sure, a lot of it was left to the immagination, and you only ever saw the final product when you printed it out, but it was very cool for DOS.

          WYSIWYG has killed the WordPerfect star, in Windows at the time I used Aldus PageMaker and Ami

          Pro, and WordPerfect for Windows was just not as nice as the others.

          Then MS Word was bundled with new PCs, and that was that.

          But, for a few decades, I had this New Yorker cartoon on the wall next to my desk:

          "The bunny did not get the job because the bunny is cute. The bunny got the job because the bunny knows WordPerfect." Published in: New Yorker (21/02/1994)

      2. Kristian Walsh

        Word for Windows skipped to v6 when Microsoft unified the codebases for the Macintosh version (which had reached 5.x) and Windows one (by replacing the Mac code with the Windows and including a poorly-debugged translation layer from Win32 to Mac Toolbox; it was as bad as it sounds).

        Word 6.0 for DOS (the last DOS release) was launched around the same time as the other 6.0 releases, and like the Macintosh version, the DOS version of Word had steadily counted through 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 5.5 versions while the Windows one kept its release versioning on a 2.x sequence.

        1. Snapper Bronze badge

          I remember that! Word 5.1 was really easy to use and very reliable. I stayed away from Word 6 for as long as I could after seeing what a mess MS had made of it. I wish I still had it when I'm working with 365!

      3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Word 6.0 for DOS and Word 6.0 for Windows were launched at the same time in 1993. One might think MS wanted to synchronize version numbering.

        WordPerfect also got to version 6.0 in 1993.

    2. Snapper Bronze badge

      Well, Apple gave you both name and number. macOS 10.13 was High Sierra and 10.14 was Mohave. MS really don't like making life easy for people.

      I suspect one of the largest departments at MS is the one devising the most ambiguous error messages and 'Help' instructions it can!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I've got a shared Win8* machine at work that occasionally pops up an untitled warning during booting with the message 'disk not found'!

        Who are you? Which disk? How did you get to this point without a disk?

        (clicking 'continue' a couple of times seems to get past it with no obvious consequences)

        (*Win10 upgrades still paused by the pandemic)

    3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Much easier to say "Windows 11 is required"

      If it turns around & states "Doctor Who is required", then we are seriously fucked.

      *WOTAN turnup for the books.

      *Sorry but not sorry for the pun (Icon)!

  15. Kristian Walsh

    Big OS improvement, trivial Shell improvements.

    Ironically, it’s in the OS, meaning the kernel and user space libraries, that the biggest changes have been made.

    The kernel upgrades are significant, but unless/until you’re buying a system with a 12th Generation Intel CPU (Or Zen5) and associated chipset, you won’t see many of them. Scheduling on asymmetric x64 CPU cores, PCIe 5 and DDR5 are the headlines, but reading comments from people who have had bugs open, it seems there’s been a general bug-bash on open kernel issues, with longstanding requests finally getting a release date.

    But it’s the graphical shell getting yet another minor makeover that’s most visible, even if those changes are pretty much zero net gain (okay, the “maximise to this part of the screen” thing is handy, I guess...) . This time, the modernising brush is allegedly being wielded further into the system settings dialogs than before, but Microsoft has to tread carefully with those panels, because if they change the appearance of them too much, then about two decades of internal troubleshooting manuals at every corporate customer will become outdated overnight.

    The rather good Windows Terminal is now the default command terminal - no need to install it anymore, and the local-desktop X11 server for WSL apps should now be included automatically when you enable WSL. Nothing new for anyone already using these, but it’s good to have the better options as the default. It also seems that some of the very optional extras (Paint 3D, etc) are no longer in the default install.

    Speaking of, and to end on a high note, Internet Explorer is no longer in the manifest. iexplore.exe now launches Edge Chromium. And there was much rejoicing.

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Are you kidding me ?

    "Windows 10 has won hearts – well, grudging acceptance – for not breaking "

    We obviously don't live in the same universe.

    I live in a universe where Windows 1 0 updating has produced the update of the damned, has repeatedly broken printing and is guilty of incessantly inconveniencing its users with updates at the worst of times.

    Windows 1 0 not breaking ?

    Not in my universe.

  17. Ken G Bronze badge

    Windows 9 or Windows NT 7.0

    The best OS I never used.

  18. PiltdownMan

    That's IT! I'm off...

    To Debian...


    No, honestly, I'm now running Debian 11 on my daily driver :-)

    Wish me luck!

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Not a windows user^H^H^H^H victim

    Thanks for reminding me I made the right decision very many years ago.

  20. Franco Silver badge

    Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Marketing Division

    Of course it's marketing, for all of those gushing over how great Windows 7 is/was under the hood it is Vista R2, but had to be rebranded because of the massive stigma around the Vista name and it's myriad of issues at launch. Vista is Windows 6.0 and Windows 7 is 6.1 internally, even the clusterfuck of Windows 8 is actually 6.2 internally.

    Changing the name to WIndows 11 makes fuck all difference unless they are charging for upgrades from 10, because we've already had 12 versions of Windows 10.

    However what Microsoft (and indeed every other OS developer on the planet) need to do is make new features such as that fucking task bar news feed opt-in rather than on by default.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Marketing Division

      What task bar news feed? I see no task bar news feed. KDE.

  21. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    Windows 10 is fine only for standard systems

    If you're running a laptop or a relatively standard PC, Windows 10 works fine.

    However, if you're running older hardware or operating in a way unexpected by Windows it's not so tolerant. Installing a 2005 X-Fi sound card (still supported in Windows 10) in my main system involved installing the original build of Windows 10, and then upgrading through two separate major releases. If an installation was tried on later builds it didn't work.

    Not to mention the faffing around with older KVMs which don't work as well as in older releases of Windows.

    Modern software releases suck. They benefit the producers only, not the users. It is not user friendly to potentially break hardware unexpectedly, or to add, remove, or move around functionality on a regular basis as pretty much anything derived from an app store does.

    Windows 10 is a decent OS, and the first couple of revisions fixed some of its more annoying issues. That doesn't mean it's mandated 'one size fits all' upgrades are appropriate for users, though.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 is fine only for standard systems

      Running a moderately aged HP laptop as daily driver dual booting from either the HDD or a secondary mSATA device, Primary is running Enterprise, Secondary running Pro (I use this as a bare bones image, regularly reset to clean & apply the updates (With any additional useful software) before making a fresh image).

      Secondary installed all the devices in device manager, primary has a device that has a error base system with. Last week I did side by side compares, tracked down the offending device\driver, installed the driver & it reported unsuccessfully but yet showed in Device Manager as now installed.

      That lasted until I shut it down to create fresh backup\restore images & was back to square one when it came back up.

      1. Kobus Botes

        Re: Windows 10 is fine only for standard systems

        @The Oncoming Scorn

        One would have thought that with Microsoft's new-found love of linux goodness, they would have fixed Windows' bad-boy behaviour in trampling all over grub during updates.

        We have one laptop in our house that dual-boots with Mageia 8, and almost (if not always) every major update breaks grub, forcing you to repair grub before being able to use the machine again.

        The last incidence happened on Saturday when 20H2 landed.

        1. Kobus Botes

          Re: Windows 10 is fine only for standard systems

          Missed the edit deadline:

          iTunes recently broke in that it no longer sees the music we ripped from our CD's (it is much more practical to use an iPod to listen to our music during long trips, rather that schlepping a shed-load of CD's along (not to mention the posiibility of losing irreplaceble CD's).

          And iTunes have no way of copying one's own music from the iPod to the PC. Aternate solutions offered seems to be dodgy or are on despicable sites like Softonic, hence avoided.

          Not sure who to blame, though. Could be Apple as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windows 10 is fine only for standard systems

            Your mistake was using software and hardware that starts with a lower case i.

  22. Mage Silver badge

    Windows 10 is so much better


    Loads of people prefer more productive XP and 7. It's the worst UI since Windows 2.0, or 3.0 on a Hercules card.

    It might have better insides, but it's horrible to configure and use. Many people have no choice due to corporate applications, payroll or accounts.

    A Windows 11 more like Win98/XP/2003/7 GUI, with properly configurable themes, a single control panel and an end to all the stupid crippled versions: Just Workstation and Server. Maybe a Tablet Edition.

    Control & Setup back all in one place.

    Put back all the GUI stuff removed in Home (most crippled) Edition.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 is so much better

      "Put back all the GUI stuff removed in Home (most crippled) Edition."

      But how could they up-sell if your default version wasn't crippled?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pirate bay

    "There's not much we can do, except decline the hype."

    We can do, like I'm doing, go, and download the newly patched win NT image there, that is only a bootstrap and not an OS, even with dramatically enhanced notepad fonts.

    Like as been said, there is no enhancement since XP ...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...compared to Windows 7 and 8, let alone Vista, Windows 10 has won hearts – well, grudging acceptance – for not breaking."

    Apart from all those times we've read about a Windows 10 update totally borking machines to the point where they had to be totally restored from scratch, you mean? Yes, so much better than Windows 7.

  25. Omnipresent

    I'm afraid you've missed the "what an OS is part."

    An OS is supposed to be the operating system that makes a computer useful for PEOPLE, not for an AI. I need to be able to work the computer, not hand it over to "something" else. What both Apple AND microsoft are doing is telling you "just hand it all over to us, we know what's best for you anyways." wink*wink*

    Say it with me now altogether: "It's not progress if it makes things worse."

  26. SodiumChloride

    Whats wrong with it.

    6 things that are currently / have been wrong with windows 10 for me <rant>

    1 Control panel is all over the place

    2 "you must register to..." - no I don't

    3 "do you want us to share info with Microsoft?" - No I don't - stop asking

    4 "here, have some crap we installed that you can’t get rid of" - Really? - "oh and that crap you thought you uninstalled, well there is an update so we are going to reinstall it and give you another go at uninstalling it"

    5 "we are going to UPADATE NOW, that evening of games you had planned - Ha ha ha no, oh and that one you were playing, yeah we've flipped you out of the for this notification so good luck ALT TABing through back to that DOS emulator which is running in 480 full screen. That isn't going to happen."

    6 The pen tablet I've plugged in years ago does not mean I'm using it as a touch screen device. Please just put it back to how it was/is in 7, XP and 2000 rather than the "pan and scroll" when I want to click on something or select text. Or at least let it be an option.

    Please MS... Don’t think you know what I'm using it for, I'm using it as a pen like a mouse NOT as finger / smart phone. The hardware specs alone would show it’s not a smart phone and "not a tablet" option is checked.


    Other than that it’s all good, but then I mostly just use it for games.. Mostly.

    Can't see any of that being fixed in 11 - Although the update thing has calmed down recently.

  27. 0laf

    I object

    "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem"

    I appreciate it is subjective but no I don't find W10 better than its predecessors.

  28. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    "Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem."

    Damn, my PaleMoon browser doesn't render <sarcasm> tags properly. For a minute, I thought the author was being serious.

    As to the rest, it's adding more "meh" to the "meh" pile. They now need a very tall crane for that, though. With no word that Cortana/telemetry will die, there's really nothing at all to look forward to. Unless you work for MS. Just more meh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      History repeats ...... it is said !!!

      MS once produced Windows ME !!!

      Now we have Windows 'Meh' to look forward to !!!

      Windows 10 has been an experiment that has finally failed ..... hence Windows 11.

      Just go back to Windows 7, fix the most obvious issues which have been known for years and give people an OS that they can use.

      Just how many times can MS get it 'wrong' without the users finally giving up and moving to 'anything' else.

      Windows as a subscription has been forecast for many years, I expect that it will really happen when Win 11 takes over the MS world, it is about the only option MS has left !!!

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: History repeats ...... it is said !!!

        "Windows 'Meh'"

        Genius! I hope you got a trademark on that. ;)

        The sad thing is, probably only 2-3 % of the computer-using population notices how 'wrong' MS keeps getting things. To the rest, it's just "how the computer works". The only ones cursed with the knowledge of "how things should be better" are those of us who've made a career out of tending to these infernal boxes, ie - the folks Microsoft ignores loudest.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 is so much better than its antecedents that it has stopped being a problem.

    go to the area of bold claims that have never been gone to before...

  30. ITMA Bronze badge

    Oh SH*T

    If the most recent "here have it, YER HAVING IT WHETHER YER WANT IT OR NOT" addition to Windows 10 - the pathetic "News Feeds" is anything to go by. God Help Us!

    What horrors must be waiting in Windows 11? "Please sign over your wife, kids, cat, dog, house and cars to continue using Windows"

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Oh SH*T

      What gets me is, why do all Microsoft's attempts to provide "news" (IE / Edge MSN default homepage, the new Windows 10 taskbar News Feeds) inevitably look like a trashy would-be "Hello!" magazine? Always seems to be dumb tittle-tattle about C-list 'slebs and irrelevant Gawker-level "top 10 things you didn't know about sponge" shite.


      1. ITMA Bronze badge

        Re: Oh SH*T

        The day I resort to getting my "news" via Microsoft is the day I book myself in to that clinic in Belgium to move on to the "next life" (if it exists).

  31. David Simpson 1

    It's really simple why they moved up to 11. Apple did.

    Apple has moved off X to 11 and 12, Microsoft has to now play catch up.

  32. Blackjack Silver badge

    "Don't break anything when you're done."

    Ubuntu and Windows haven't fully managed that one. In fact upgrades in Windows 10 tend to break way more that they did in Windows 7.

    And Ubuntu... well... keyboards and even video cards suddenly not working is a thing I had to suffer with it.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Don't just blame Ubuntu. Aim at Redhat!

      This will be the move away from X11, and possibly the vendor drivers for your video card which silently remove support for older cards.

      I think that Wayland will break a lot of X11 functionality, and may also prevent cross network application support from remote machines from functioning correctly, because I don't actually trust the Wayland developers to really understand what it was for. They're an arrogant bunch of pricks who think they understand everything, and actually believe that VNC and RDP are superior to X remote support.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't just blame Ubuntu. Aim at Redhat!

        Your choice over which distro and version to run is much more under your control with Linux than with Windows, I would say

        1. Andy A Bronze badge

          Re: Don't just blame Ubuntu. Aim at Redhat!

          When the answer to "Which distro does the software you rely on run under?" is "None of them", your choice is quite limited.

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

        Re: Don't just blame Ubuntu. Aim at Redhat!

        Peter, a large number of the Wayland developers are/were Xorg developers. They're well aware of the drawbacks of Xorg.

        I know that people like remote X over SSH, it is very useful, and Wayland needs to find a sensible alternative.

        However, remote X is pretty poor too. It's mostly bitmaps over the network these days rather than something more carefully designed like RDP, and it has issues with unstable connections and security.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 11 official press conference

    Microsoft: We have been listening, and we are giving you exactly what you wished for in Windows 11, we will ship by default at no charge 570% more telemetry. I know what you are thinking how can we do this, well the simple truth is that we have upped our game and have now added compression and end to end encryption that is how we have achieved exactly what you have all been demanding. I know you were all worried about your privacy and we have knocked that out of the park with the end-to-end encryption, no one* will have direct access to Microsoft's telemetry.

    * Indirect access via FISA is exempt.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonderful article. But why the snarky remark about Skype? I like Skype. There's nothing better for a short one-to-one conversation (other than a real in-person conversation or the telephone of course)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Just add three more people to the call on different devices and then it's all echoey feedback and some people can't see other people's video depending on what codecs each device understands. This is something only Microsoft could bring to the table.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, that's Teams...

        I just want to IM/chat/share a screen with someone and I'm not forced to switch to to MS's new Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none package that runs like a dog, if you can get past the black screens/white screens (a monochrome version of the BSOD)

        And it's advertised as 'essential' by a coffee roasting company running virtual coffee tastings?!?!

  35. Jason Hindle

    Marketing. Of course it's marketing.

    Same with Apple. They’ve gone from 10 to 11 to 12 in a couple of years. Yet it’s still just good old 10, based on the same basic kernel and bloated with new features, some of which I’m sure we’ll think are quite alright.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketing. Of course it's marketing.

      I guess that bit about macOS11 being built for the M1 ARM processors passed you by, didn't it?

      1. Jason Hindle

        Re: Marketing. Of course it's marketing.

        “ I guess that bit about macOS11 being built for the M1 ARM processors passed you by, didn't it?”

        Oh, so you’re saying OSX should have become OS11 when they recompiled everything for Intel?

        Edit: How does that pan out with something like Ubuntu (I have 20.04 running on both Intel and ARM).

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Marketing. Of course it's marketing.

      It's easy to tell if you've got a good version of OS X or a bloated mess. All you need to do is turn on the Mac for the first time and check if you get a welcome video which indicates a good version, or not.

  36. jonfr

    Windows 11 - Subscription only

    The first thing I want to point out is that the main reason why Linux is not on Desktop computers is just because of companies and marketing. Most of the Linux distros don't have any marketing. Few do but that is just minor compared to what Microsoft spends on marketing Windows and other programs they make.

    There are now clues that I am seeing that Windows 11 is going to be subscription only based on early requirement (among them is TPM 2.0). I don't know what other requirements are going to be for Windows 11 since this is just what I've found online so far. I guess TPM 2.0 is going to be added to all PC soon from TPM 1.2 (current) and it might not be possible to turn it off. The requirement of TPM 2.0 is what I consider the main clue on that Windows 11 is going to be a subscription only as it allows for hard drive encryption (enabled by default) and prevents hard drives from being moved between computers.

    I guess that Windows 11 is going to be a hard pass or if required to use it from Windows 10. The cheapest option of Windows 11 that I can find (or closer to Windows 10 Pro if possible).

    Everything else is going to be moved back to Debian or Gentoo Linux when I get me a new computer for that. I am only going to use Windows for games in the future. Its not suitable for desktop work anyway.

    1. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

      TPM Modules

      I see many reasons to have a TPM module, for instance if I was a spy for a foreign government, or if I was dealing in tons of Coke(R), or even if I was about to affect a regime change in a nation of my choice.

      I do none of those, and let's be honest, if I did, I would say "I do none of those"...

      But, I love the convenience rebuilding my boxes, mixing and matching hard drives and living without the nuisance of constant on the fly encryption.

      TPM is pretty much the first thing I disable on a box I touch, along with Windows firewall and Defender AntiVirus.

      I am the master of my CPU clock cycles, I am the captain of my soul.

    2. ITMA Bronze badge

      Re: Windows 11 - Subscription only

      "The first thing I want to point out is that the main reason why Linux is not on Desktop computers is just because of companies and marketing."

      Nope. It is MUCH simpler than that.

      95% of the software which we need to run as a business is NOT available for Linux. End of story.

  37. Trigun

    The UI in windows 10 (and probably windows 11) is what really let's it down. From the ever-so-not-useful START menu to naf controls which overlay control panel and which, for the longest time, were broken in places. I love(d) the speediness of windows 10, although if they keep stuffing bloat into it (and windows 11) then that will no longer be a thing.

    My feeling is that windows 11 is more about the microsoft store than anything else - they want to shove it down our throats as much as they can whether we like it or not.

  38. Brex

    But can I still edit the Registry?

    What about sending screenshots to the Microsoft Crash Gallery?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OS update

    allows peripheral manufacturers to eol old equipment by declining to provide updated drivers. Canon seems to have jumped the gun and withdrawn support for one of our printers between one update of W10 and the next

  40. HammerOn1024

    Dear Register, Speak for Yourselves

    "... Windows 10 is so much better than..."

    Yeah... no. So much customization has been lost since XP that it borders on criminal cruelty to animals. Shoot! One can't even get rid of the directory tree in a folder view without every stinking file explorer instance following suit!

    Yes I realize, under the hood, 10 is good, if one can deal with the absurdities of Windows policies, but 99% of the people don't care! They don't use nor manage their systems like sysop's. They want to load and go and customize as THEY see fit.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Dear Register, Speak for Yourselves

      Well, you're not wrong.

  41. Simon R. Bone

    Don't forget the Win3.1 GUI Elements Still In Use

  42. Pen-y-gors


    As a result, the rules for updates now are: "Don't tell me you're updating""

    Well, it half works. It doesn't tell you it's updating, but you find out when you restart for some reason and spend ten minutes watching a circle go round with a "Windows is updating 17% complete Do not switch off your computer" message - Irritating when you're about to deliver a Powerpoint presentation.

  43. petargrom

    You guys, the Register certainly, and most of the UK mainstream, severely devalue IT by insisting tech talk should not be needed in the tech industry.

    If we could just oversimplify it for the average worker, then they'd accept it - sure they would, the agencies then offer 20 pounds per hour for senior architects with 25 years of experience (people that should be paid as much as anesthesiologists and law firm partners).

    Since when do lawyers and doctors insist on oversimplifying what they do just to be declared junior nurses/nursing students?

    Get a grip on reality, please.

  44. goretsky

    Windows 11 benefits the to retail channel


    The article was interesting to read, but I was surprised that it did not mention the IHVs, online shopping sites and traditional brick and mortar stores that in the past have relied on periodic releases of new versions of Windows.

    There are a large number of small business and home users that purchase a PC once, and then use it until a new version of Windows appears or it crumbles to dust.

    For those manufacturers and retailers, this represented a once-in-a-few-years chance to generate some profits as people bought those new computers to run that new version of Microsoft Windows. And maybe a new version of Microsoft Office and whatever antivirus software they use.

    That type of upgrade cycle hasn't occurred since 2015, and it has affected the bottom line of businesses that used to be able to expect them, and the analysts who priced their stock accordingly when they new an uplift was coming.

    Of course, one of the reasons that such cyclical upgrades no longer occur is that improvements in computer performance have slowed dramatically over the years. Processors have gone from triple-digit to double-digit to single-digit levels of performance improvement. In any case, people are going to experience more benefit from replacing their computer's HDD with a SSD if they have a reasonably modern computer. Windows 11 bypasses a lot of those roadblocks to sales, and brings back some of the reasons for buying a new computer.


    Aryeh Goretsky

    1. Precordial thump

      Re: Windows 11 benefits the to retail channel

      So we get to the fundamental dichotomy which explains the heated views when subjects like this come up: what's your model of obsolescence?

      For enterprises in the hundreds or thousands of users, this is just one, slightly bigger, upwards step on the down-escalator of upgrades. It's budgeted for, the IT department gets paid, the costs get passed on to the end user anyway, so just let that set of capitalistic cogs keep on turning.

      For private users and small businesses, it's a big deal, because an endless chain of rent-seeking big businesses all have their hands in your pocket to take advantage of, in this case, a cosmetic change given a patina of significance, which breaks something that was working ok in the first place.

      And the environment gets shafted regardless.

      1. Grunchy Bronze badge

        Re: Windows 11 benefits the to retail channel

        I’ve got news for everybody: I haven’t bought a new computer since 2017. I haven’t bought any new software, either.

        At last, it’s good enough, I don’t need anything better.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Windows 11 benefits the to retail channel

          "I haven’t bought a new computer since 2017. I haven’t bought any new software, either."

          Quite frankly, I do not remember the last time I purchased software for any of the systems at home or for my myriad interlocking businesses. I'm thinking perhaps around the turn of the Century? I remember purchasing Win2K and AutoCAD2K and Office2000 ... after that? I honestly can't remember any purchases after that.

          Has it really been over 20 years? Time flies ...

          Just to shut up the trolls, no I don't pirate software.

  45. Kev99 Silver badge

    Win 11 is better than Win 7? I think not, Roscoe. The user interface stinks, It has more bloat and garbage than any OS before it. The only reason it's taken off is microsoft bribed, cajoled and otherwise threatened all the software and hardware companies to install it or else. I only "upgraded" because so many softwares I had would no long run on win 7. I NEVER had any problems with Win7, not functional, not viruses, not malware. But then I always used common sense and didn't click on every url link that came my way and ALWAYS had Norton or the like running.

  46. Andy A Bronze badge

    Of course they HAVE to change things..

    ... because everybody else does.

    Website redesign happens far too frequently, and is done without cause. It used to be enough to change the odd css file to give a fresh look, but now it seems essential to animate every pixel. "if it still works over a 10Mbps connection, you are NOT trying! Add more video files!"

    When BT shoved out a complete redesign of their webmail interface for the second time in a year, I decided that my then 92-year old aunt deserved NOT to undergo retraining (and me to have to provide it) every time the marketing droids declared "We want it more MODERN! Get rid of that old-fashioned text thingy and replace it with pictures of irrelevant things! And while you are at it we need at least two thirds of the screen to push ads in!"

    So she received one batch of training for an offline reader, and still copes with emailing her friends on the other side of the world.

    Websites, though...

  47. Frank Nicklin

    What we need as IT professionals is not all the guff that Microsoft constantly force up on us. We need a lite, functional OS that works, is quick to update and with all the guff removed. Why does a Pro install of windows install by default, Xbox, MovieCreator, Solitaire, Office Apps, feedback hub, Films & TV, Groove Music, Microsoft Store, Money etc etc etc. At least give the the option of ticking a box as to whether or not I want all the crapware stuff during the install rather than me having to remove it afterwards.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      > Why does a Pro install of windows install by default, Xbox, MovieCreator, Solitaire, Office Apps, feedback hub, Films & TV, Groove Music, Microsoft Store, Money etc etc etc.

      There is also that other why...

      Why are MS still bundling modules that they could easily unbundle and sell in the MS Store...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What we need as IT professionals is not all the guff that Microsoft constantly force up on us."

      As the saying goes, if you want something done right...

      Or put another way, if they want something different, why don't THEY have a go at it?

  48. aregross

    "Microsoft tracked people’s brain activity for ‘delight’ when prototyping Windows 11"

    Was just reading this:

    Obviously they did it for your Brain!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows is only a bootstrap

    Windows is only a bootstrap for useful applications, nothing more.

    What's the point of drum rolling this "absolutely wonderful" new version ?

    Have they added a new font to notepad ? Or round corners or something that ground breaking ?


    PS: meanwhile, MS, don't expect me to pay for this.

  50. Captain Obvious

    They will force many to buy new hardware

    With the stupid TPM requirement. I do hope this kills Microsoft.

  51. Zakspade


    Hmm. I read all the stuff on the hardware requirements - then read about it (allegedly) being installed on a Nokia phone and a Raspberry Pi. So I figured I'd install it on a virtual machine and have a peek.

    I had to hack the thing to get it to ignore the missing TPM 2.0 - but once done, it was sweet. Except...

    Goodness! First you cannot install it without using an online M$ account. With 10 you yanked out the Ethernet cable and went from there (replacing it on the next screen). That doesn't (seem) to work with 11. But it gets worse - far worse.

    A great many of the built-in apps - aren't. They are installed upon first use - via the M$ Store (a bit like Smart cars claiming they were the most online purchased cars - dealer would process your order when you were sitting in front of them - via an online portal - it's called massaging the figures - MS Store is going to become popular - NOT!)

    THEN - if that isn't enough - you are REQUIRED to create a login ID/password to use/unlock each. Edge logs you in transparently - but the photo viewer doesn't.

    I played for a while before it sucked the life out of me.

    When the time comes for me to buy a new PC (in the event of my current computer dying), then I won't be touching Windows 11. I said that about 10, but I relented upon finding ways around the way MS wanted to make me work - but it was a mighty close call. However, 11 has nailed the coffin shut and added a big heavy weight on top to make sure no nails are pushed out...

  52. DeVino

    Want me to be (grudginly) impressed?

    Fix the freaking network and permissions issues.

    So many years of fiddling about. I get something sorted

    then along comes an update and it all breaks again.

  53. Grunchy Bronze badge

    The best part

    The best part of Windows 8,9,10, and 11 is they stopped farting around with the one actually good version, Windows 7.

    For that, I am most thankful.

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

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022