back to article Windows 11: The number you have dialed has been disconnected

Ever wondered why no network exec has picked up on writers' pitches for Desperate Tech Bros? The reason is simple: the market is already saturated. Tune into any technology reviews channel on YouTube over the last month, and you'll see them sweat as they try to pad out the minutes with "Ten ESSENTIAL new features you NEED to …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    So it's finally been said : Borkzilla can't make a new OS version worth a damn. Oh sure, Nadella can change version numbers all he wants, but's just wind, there's nothing substantial.

    Now, maybe the notion that there will never be new hardware is pushing things a bit far, but it's certain that whatever may come out will not need a new OS version. A driver will suffice.

    So yeah, let's stop degrading the user interface with useless widgets that offer clutter and not much more, and stop pretending that they need a new OS version. Make Windows more modular.

    And hey, since the last update, you can now actually uninstall Cortana ! So, progress is being made, albeit at the rate of an asthmatic slug.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Amen

      It's not just borkzilla.

      There is very little around that's worthy of a major version number being ticket up, and we should be ok with that.

      1. Havoc71

        Re: Amen

        I'd be happy if they gave me the option to turn off all the telemetry for all time, let me log in with a local account instead of trying their damnedest to force users to login with a Microsoft account and support perfectly good hardware that isn't yet fit for the eWaste heap. What is it about paying for a windows licence when they keep turning the telemetry back on every time they force an update to your machine, either we are the product and it should be free with no way to turn off the telemetry or you pay for a licence and the telemetry is off by default.

        Think I might switch to Linux once Windows 10 is out of support

    2. simonlb Silver badge

      Re: Amen

      The only progress MS can really do now with Windows is to provide a decent and easily customisable UI to replace the abortions they've nailed on since Win8. Themes are not a new thing and XP had an option to change to 'Classic mode' which reverted to a Win 2000 desktop, so why don't MS just offer a free 2000, XP, Win7, Vista (or Win8/8.1 if you really want to) theme that gives you a choice of a properly functioning desktop that is easy to use, intuitive and actually works? You should not need to run a search to find a locally installed application on your PC, it should be in the menu with everything else, arranged logically and easily accessible. Not the woeful mess you have to fight with today.

      Yes I know someone will pop up now and say, "Use this app to fix it.", but that should not be necessary. MS, get your shit together and give your product customers a choice, they've paid for the bloody OS so give them a sensible option here.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Amen

        Themes in Windows XP were an incredible bodge job of Microsoftian proportions:

        1) Draw the window using the standard chrome

        2) Draw over the top of this using the Windows XP theme.

        It's also very important to ensure that as much as possible it's harder and harder to tell where one window stops and another starts

        Now we have the abject stupidity of a new feature called "dark mode" which is another layer of dumb on top of the operating system. The same operating system that a few versions ago allowed users to change the damn system colours, including providing pre-packaged themed colours. Well behaved applications, respected these colours and rendered their interface appropriately. All the OS needed adding was a "user has picked a specific theme" to aid applications in swapping images out and that was it. OK, a "per application" dark mode would be very useful too. Instead we have yet another botched mess of applications doing things whatever way they feel like it and Microsoft partly implementing the same being touted as a massive new feature.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amen

          fuck windows and it's 1 pixel window edges that are pretty much invisible, every time i try to resize the fuckers i end up clicking on shit I didn't want to in the background.

          1. PB90210

            Re: Amen

            Big pain is trying to get a window to display the scrollbar so you can scroll the sodding screen because the bit you want is always just out of sight

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Amen

              thats just our age..... Win 3.x/ NT bars that took up much more space, these days we're dealing with <1px accuracy.

            2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

              Disappearing Scrollbars

              There's a special place in hell for whomever invented disappearing scrollbars ... right next to whomever invented the speed-bump.

              1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                Re: Disappearing Scrollbars

                But not as uncomfortable as the one for the inventor of the phrase "won't someone think of the children"

          2. ScrappyLaptop2

            Re: Amen

            I'd be happy if Explorer would stop popping into focus from the bottom of the desktop window stack every time I try to get something done.

        2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: Amen

          "Dark Mode"! That really pushes my buttons. It infects all OSs these days. Combined with indistinct window borders it's a bloody nightmare for those of us with less than ideal sight.

      2. Mostly Irrelevant

        Re: Amen

        I only use search to find apps installed on any of my machines (phone on up). It's much faster than even clicking through one level of menus. Death to application menus as a concept!

    3. Knightlie

      Re: Amen

      Yep. Just do one last major release to reinstate the Window 7 UI.

    4. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Amen

      Don't worry, for Windows 12 we will see the return of Active Desktop, since Apple did introduce it on its latest macOS iteration...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pad out the minutes

    I thought ChatGPT wrote those articles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pad out the minutes

      ... pad out the minutes - the author was talking about you tubers, but to those everywhere whose niche is based in flab, your days are numbered --- Uncle Sam wants your job, and is just itching to press the Alt-MAN to delete you.

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: pad out the minutes

      It was done by Copilot, keep up!

  3. Monochrome

    Tim Cook's punishment?

    The new screensavers in Sonoma are only downloaded when selected (except I assume the default one, which is included).

    They also automatically get removed when the disk getting full full. See the Ars Technica Sonoma review page 8 under the heading "macOS uses purgeable storage to “prevent” screen savers from eating up disk space".

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

      What you say is true but the hacks that write the drivel that gets published here, HATE anything to do with Apple. It must be a condition of employment and IMHO, has gotten worse since this site went all American.

      I wonder how many of these so called journo's own or use at least one bit of Apple kit? That should be a mandatory disclaimer whenever they write about El Fruity.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

        To be honest, the Cupertino Fruit Company do usually deserve a good kick. Although in this case it feels the author has been a little bit free with their artistic license.

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: hacks that write the drivel that gets published here, HATE anything to do with Apple

        On an article explaining how Windows 11 is bollocks you're moaning about an anti apple bias.

        You don't complain about the drivel hacks have written about MS, Google, IBM or any of the other tech giants.

        What's so special about Apple? You think el Reg should take the piss out of everyone else but leave your favourite tech alone?

        1. Zack Mollusc

          Re: hacks that write the drivel that gets published here, HATE anything to do with Apple

          Apple is 'tech' again? Cool, these last 40 years of it being fashion have been really disappointing.

        2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: hacks that write the drivel that gets published here, HATE anything to do with Apple

          You think el Reg should take the piss out of everyone else but leave your favourite tech alone?

          Us long term readers expect El Reg to take the piss out of absolutely everything. Mercilessly.

      3. nematoad

        Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

        ,,, has gotten worse since this site went all American."

        As have you apparently.

        British usage is to use the word got. A little clumsy sounding and does not roll of the tongue like gotten, but there it is.

        The strange thing about got and gotten is that gotten was previously used in British English, and went over to America with the settlers. Here gotten fell out of use but continued in the US. There is a fossil usage still in British English in the form of "ill-gotten gains."

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

          "Gotten" was forgotten?

          However "it has become worse" is not clumsy sounding and does roll off the tongue smoothly.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: However "it has become worse" is not clumsy sounding and does roll off the tongue smoothly.

            But IMO using "become" sounds too passive, as if the worsening was somehow accidental.

            Surely they actively decided to reach out, and deliberately *got* some extra "worse", just so as to add it ... no? :-D

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: However "it has become worse" is not clumsy sounding and does roll off the tongue smoothly.

              《But IMO using "become" sounds too passive,》

              We could go a bit biblical ... "has begotten worse since this site went all American."

        2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

          No, it’s not that simple.

          In some English language variants spoken in England, “gotten” is indeed the past participle of “get”. It is clear that you do not speak one of these variants, but even in the South-eastern ones which really love to use "got", you will still hear "gotten" in stock phrases or older formations like “ill-gotten”.

          The reason why Americans use “gotten” isn’t that they made it up; but rather that at some point after the US separated culturally from Britain, speakers of British English began to use the grammatically-incorrect, but shorter, “got” as the past participle of “get”*. The new usage stuck, and has become the norm in most parts of Britain and the colonies that took longer to leave its orbit; but within England itself, the older form still carries on - I believe it’s more common in the North of England.

          The form “gotten” is evident from the beginnings of modern English in the 14th century. Bacon, Shakespeare and the King James Bible all prefer it, and today, verbs that were related to “get” such as beget and forget have kept the “gotten” form in their past participles.


          * I don’t know why this happened, but I’d guess it was probably part of the then-popular, but idiotic, idea that English (a Germanic language that had been retrofitted with French vocabulary) should follow the grammatical rules of Latin - after all, this was the reason for all the other stupid grammar “rules” that bear no relation to how native speakers actually use English.

          1. Recluse

            Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

            As a person who went to a comprehensive school (unlike my mother who was grammar school educated) its a delight to be educated by the learned readers of the Register, not only in technical IT matters, but also the history of England and its grammar.

            Embarrassingly I often feel that my multi lingual friends have a considerably better grasp of the subject (I fear I might be demonstrating my inadequacies in this written response)

            That said I do know its “similar to” and “different from” …

            1. MyffyW Silver badge

              Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

              As a comprehensive girl, I too welcome a little bit of further education from my accomplished peers.

              As a north country girl, though, I don't have any experience of using gotten in a left-pondian manner.

            2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

              Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

              If you're interested have a read of

              Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue - John McWhorter

            3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

              Of course, you have to take such explanations with a grain of salt (not the ones upthread in particular, necessarily, but in general). There is a vast corpus of lore about English grammar, usage,1 diction, orthography, dialects, etymology, and so on, and much of it is at best weakly supported by the evidence, if not outright contradicted. Someone's already mentioned the efforts of Augustan writers to Latinize English, giving us such nonsense as the prohibition on split infinitives – a useful, if accidental, feature of English that should be welcomed by those interested in style.

              Online debates about English often devolve into, if not start from, a series of jejune2 arguments appealing to such sources as dim memories of lessons learned from elementary-school teachers.

              And, of course, there are many matters which are largely subjective, such as English punctuation. There pundits are primarily divided into the "scientific" school (punctuate according to grammatical structure3) and the "natural" school (punctuate so it feels right) – and the latter into the aural camp (punctuate to insert pauses where a speaker might) and visual (make it look pretty). Some reprobates will even suggest that the punctuation scheme might follow the dictates of style and change depending on purpose, tone, audience, and the like.

              1When people refer offhand to English "grammar", they're more likely to be talking about usage or mechanics. Not always, of course, but more often than not.

              2An English loan-word, a modification of the Latin ieiunus, "fasting", and meaning "thin", "wanting". Not, as commonly held, related to French jeune or anything like it, and has nothing to do with age. Kingsley Amis notes a reprehensible tendency among some authors to add accents to it.

              3The readiness of English grammar to parse ambiguously apparently is not an obstacle.

              1. shraap

                Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

                A good comment overall, but the pedantic right-pondian in me feels the need to come in, push my glasses up my nose and "well-actually": I think you'll find it's "pinch of salt", not "grain of salt" in these here parts.

                Seriously though, absolutely right: there's this persistent insistence on static, rule-based English, while at the same time everyone glories in English's ability to evolve and adapt and be a living language. Part of me wonders whether this tension is a part of _why_ English seems to thrive as a language?

                1. Dagg Silver badge

                  Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

                  "pinch of salt", not "grain of salt"

                  From what I understood "pinch of salt" rich as you actually had nice table salt, "grain of salt" poor as you had raw rough salt corns.

          2. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

            Thank you. A magnificent explanation.

            But you forgot (or more appropriately, I should say have forgotten) to use the appropriate icon ->


          3. abend0c4 Silver badge

            Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

            It's interesting that we have retained so many of these Germanic past participles that often involve a vowel shift and end in "en" - ridden, trodden, sodden (which comes from "seethe" and originally meant "boiled"), etc.- and yet "gotten" has evolved. It possibly has something to do with frequency of use, given that "get" has become something of a factotum in the language.

          4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: “gotten”

            I feel quite sad for people using that word. Better than "goteleven" though.

          5. Dagg Silver badge

            Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

            The use of "gotten" also exists in the antipodeans due to the point of separation and the source group from the UK. New Zealand has a very large Scottish sourced population base that brought its language base with it.

          6. mdubash

            Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

            It's worse than that. In the US, the phrase 'Can I get <whatever...>?' (heard in shops) is endemic. Of course you can get <whatever>. The phrase should be 'May I have <whatever>?'

            But here in the UK, 'Can I get...' is heard with increasing frequency. Grrr.

        3. xyz Silver badge

          Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

          I do like the American "bit" rather than "bitten" as in "I've been bit." Sorry.... watched From Dusk Till Dawn the other night.. Santanico Pandemonium still makes my abdomen go funny.

        4. Potty Professor

          Re: the word GOT (was Tim Cook's punishment?)

          One of my pet hates is the word "got". It is an ugly black weed that grows up through any cracks it can find in the English language, and should be avoided at all costs. Its only valid use is as the past tense of "to get", but it appears to have wormed its way into everyday usage. There are other examples of word misuse, but this is the worst.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: the word GOT (was Tim Cook's punishment?)

            Thanks, got it!

            (Yes, it's rather cacophonous for a single-syllable word, isn't it? An awkward little word to stub your toe on as you trip along.)

      4. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

        Hate Apple? Not in the slightest.

        Apple started it when they got all childish and refused to speak to El Reg just because they cast doubt on exactly how "magical" Apple devices were.

        But when it comes to being childish, do you REALLY want to take on the publication that proudly boasts "Biting the hand that feeds IT"?

      5. Old Used Programmer

        Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

        I make considerable use of fruity named company computers. Just not *that* fruity named company.

        1. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

          Likewise, and whilst I suspect I know which particular berry, just checking in case you are still an Apricot user?

      6. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

        elReg were famously blacklisted by Apple's PR department years ago. Apple wouldn't ever respond to them, even for simple queries.

        1. mdubash

          Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

          They weren't alone: as I recall (as an ex-practitioner of that particular craft on PC Magazine), every non-Apple mag had to practically get down on their hands and knees and pray obeisance to the great black-jumpered one (for it was he in those days) to get review kit, and even then you'd be lucky unless you promised favourable results. So we didn't...

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

      How big are the screensavers?! All the OS's I have to hand (Win10, 11, Mint21, 22) have around 1 megabyte of screensavers. You'd probably save more space by deleting the stock background pictures.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Tim Cook's punishment?

        How about an option to not install unnecessary crap in the first place?

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Built to last

    "Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10."

    The future is "Windows as a service."

    Windows isn't dead, but the idea of version numbers could be

    Welcome the Windows 11!!!oneoneone

    1. nojobhopes

      Re: Windows 10 was the last

      You are correct, we've heard this before

      "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows that will ever be released" - The Register

      "Why Microsoft is calling Windows 10 'the last version of Windows'"- The Verge

    2. PB90210

      Re: Built to last

      The big problem happens after Win12...

      Hmm... Windows 12A... Windows Vista...

      1. Adrian 4

        Re: Built to last


        Windows 3

        Windows 3.11

        Windows 95

        Windows 98

        Windows NT

        Windows Vista

        Windows XP

        Windows 7

        Windows 8

        Windows 10

        Windows 11

        Windows 12

        (apologies if I got some wrong)

        Yes, it must be about time for another meaningless renumbering.

        1. Andy Mac

          Re: Built to last

          IIRC, 95 = 4, XP = 5 and Vista = 6.

          1. Psion1k

            Re: Built to last


            It is of note that:

            - There are two types of version numbers, being "standard" Windows, which includes Windows 3 and 95 etc., as well as the NT versions, including Windows 2000 and above.

            - A lot of the "Major" Windows updates after Windows 2000 (NT 5.0) are actually considered minor version updates according to the system version (e.g. Vista (NT 6.0) is the same base version up to Windows 8.1 (NT 6.3)).

            This sort of reflects the article's assertion that very little has changed under the hood for most releases.

          2. Steve Jackson

            Re: Built to last

            Yes, but W9x was the other 4.0 Remind ME (because I didn't go there)?

            NT 3 (& .5)

            NT 4.0

            2000 was 5.1

            9x left it's mark quite meaningfully I think

          3. david 12 Silver badge

            Re: Built to last

            IIRC, 95 = 4, XP = 5 and Vista = 6.

            95 was a separate product, and it was only incidental that it had the same major version number as NT 4.x

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Built to last

          You forgotten millennium edition, no surprising as everyone want to pretend it never existed

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: Built to last

            Windows 95, 98 and M.E. were all 4.x

            The reason there’s no Windows 9 is depressing. When XP arrived, some software would check the OS version to ensure that the user was not on too old an OS. One way to check was to substring-match the OS product name against "Windows 9", thus bailing out if it found "Windows 95" or "Windows 98". Of course, this was the wrong way to check the version, but we all know that developers regularly choose the wrong way if it's the quick way, and the chance of this kind of stupidity was high enough that Microsoft decided to jump to 10 and avoid the possibility altogether: after all, the people who are most likely to use old, crappy hard-coded software are corporate clients, and they buy a lot of Windows licences.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Built to last

              I still remember the mess installing a program on the preview versions of Win10 was, since MS decided to change to internal version number using by Windows Installer to 1000.

              It was promptly reverted to the same number as the previous Windows version, since otherwise no MSI based installation could succeed if it was checking that number..

          2. chivo243 Silver badge

            Re: Built to last

            You owe me a session with a shrink! I purposely left ME out of an earlier post. LOL

        3. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: Built to last

          Upvote, but where is win2000? The best winstall I ever used.

        4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Built to last

          Your first entry was actually Windows 1 and Windows 2.0, and Windows 2 had the enhanced Windows/386 version. (Windows 2 also had a 286 mode, but apparently it didn't get a special name from Marketing.) There were various point releases. It took several releases to get to Windows 3.0. (And then there was 3.0, 3.1, 3.11 aka W4WG, and 3.2.)

          I wrote commercial software for Windows 2.0 et seq. back in the day. It was a job. I wasn't sad to switch to UNIX. (Or even to OS/400, which was ergodic — it was hard to get the machine to do anything, but when something wasn't allowed by the strict access controls you got this nice little report queued up for you to read, as a reward for your efforts.)

        5. Safepage

          Re: Built to last

          Windows 2 - crap

          Windows 3 - ok

          Windows 3.11 - good

          Windows 95 / 98 - crap

          Windows NT - ok

          Windows 2000 - good

          Windows Vista - crap

          Windows XP - ok

          Windows 7 - good

          Windows 8 - crap

          Windows 8.1 - ok

          Windows 10 - good(ish)

          Windows 11 - crap

          30 years of Meh / Hmm / Ooo

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Built to last

      Work recently proposed "upgrading" me from 10 to 11. I declined. 10 works fine, all my applications software is running fine, why should I court disaster?

      Truth be told, I was happy with 7, and 10 seems pretty much the same. I'm sure (hah!) there's much new and improved behind the curtain, but what I have works fine, so I'm in no hurry to tempt the fates.

      Besides, I think I'm 1.5 years into a 3 year hardware upgrade cycle...

      1. Psion1k

        Re: Built to last

        A lot of people are disliking the idea of Windows 11, with most people citing one or more of the three reasons:

        01) Everything Windows 11 does, Windows 10 can do if desired, though it may need to be configured/switched on.

        02) A lot of Vendors still don't support Windows 11 and use it as an 'out' to not provide support.

        03) It is a lot closer to a Mac interface, one of which they would have purchased ... if they had wanted a Mac in the first place.

        There are other reasons of course, but those are the three I normally hear. Underlying all of that is the requirement for new hardware (supposedly) to basically get something you consider that you don't really want or need. The "required" hardware requirement can be largely bypassed, so you cannot even justify a minimum hardware spec as a reason to have Windows 11.

        Unfortunately, the biggest push to upgrade is merely going to be MS stopping support for Windows 10, same as always. Most companies are having to comply with a framework of some sort that includes "Only Vendor supported hardware and software is allowed", meaning once MS say no more support, they HAVE to upgrade (whatever that takes) or be out of compliance, which can have a prohibitive effect on insurance premiums for unwarranted exposure etc.

        1. david 12 Silver badge

          Re: Built to last

          The major Browser vendors only support "supported" versions of Windows.

          The major JS frameworks only support "supported" browsers.

          When Win10 drops out of support, the JavaScript frameworks will force users onto the newer version number.

        2. Keith Langmead

          Re: Built to last

          04) You use RemoteApp, which when combined with the Toolbars* functionality works fairly seemlessly with the task bar... but MS binned off Toolbars in Windows 11, ignoring complaints in testing about its ommission, thus making RemoteApp far more of a faff to use than it was before.

          * for those unaware, with RemoteApp you can't pin the shortcuts to the task bar (or the desktop or elsewhere) because they get regularly refreshed/recreated, but you can create a Toolbar that links to the folder containing the shortcuts, and then add that to the taskbar, allowing you to fire up a remote app connection from the task bar just like you would with a local app.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Built to last

      WaaS. winders as a service. Get it over with and make it so…loose the version number. Apple, same deal, loose the cute names… AaaS

      The writer is right, there are no new tricks to add to a computer, but perhaps there are and this old git can’t learn any anyway?

  5. stiine Silver badge

    Or nacOS Sonoma.

    Really? Apple's going to add 10 years to your ban.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    So have we reached, forty years on...

    an OS which can be considered a mature product?

    Like a fridge?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

      I use the example of a washing machine, where there are actual updates that make a difference to performance, but nobody cares, they buy a new one every 10 years or so when the old one breaks.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

        "buy a new one every 10 years or so when the old one breaks"

        Only to discover that the price has gone up and the build quality cheaper and nastier.

        1. Tim99 Silver badge

          Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

          Our last 3 washing machines were made by the same Scandinavian company >>===========>

          The first one was good, and we liked it. Its spin speed 1400RPM and lasted >13 years. We replaced it with a similar model, spin speed 1800RPM, the user interface was now mostly electronic - It threw a bearing and lost a counterweight after 7 years. Both models were labelled 'Made in Scandinavia". The latest model has an entirely electronic controller, which when switched on displays "Inspired by Scandinavia" (Presumably made in China?), spin speed back to 1400RPM. The start button (Presumably inspired by U+23EF) worked for me about 95% of the time. Mrs Tim99 could successfully start it about 50% of the time. We called the service agent. They sent a child who waved his phone around near it and "did something" (Short range RF communication?). He suggested that if it did it again we should reset the firmware - I have, twice. Mrs Tim99 can now successfully start the washer about 90% of the time.

          I am not optimistic about the machines reliability or longevity...

    2. Craig 2

      Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

      Ha! Fat chance of that... A quick perusal of the Windows 11 update history shows issues regularly being fixed with drivers and OS functions that have been around for decades.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

        "history shows issues regularly being fixed with drivers and OS functions that have been around for decades."

        Along with those decades old bugs

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

          And the occasional Windows 3.x-era file dialogue box still buried in obscure corners of the OS!

          1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

            Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

            Indeed the screensaver control panel is still there, even though most of it is ignored, and MS has deprecated screen savers in favour of sleeping, which brings its own set of problems as apps not built for sleeping need reauthentication…..

            1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

              Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

              NOT if you have a mouse wiggler or such...

              1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

                Re: So have we reached, forty years on...

                Dim objResult

                Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

                Do While True

                objResult = objShell.sendkeys("{NUMLOCK}{NUMLOCK}")

                Wscript.Sleep (2000)


  7. Mike 125

    It's not hard

    "There is no user benefit to any of this any more, just bloat, annoyance, and tedious reviews."

    On a personal level, if MS offered to cut all the garbage including telemetry, since Windows 7, keep security, kernel and filesystems updated to latest, and stop threatening to kill my old Dell Windows 10 lappy dead, I'd happily pay a modest subscription.

    I'm guessing that would apply to most small to medium business users.

    But that makes far too much sense for MS.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's not hard

      There might be a difference between yourself & MS as to what counts as "modest".

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Subscription

      When subscriptions for old hardware drop below the value of a mysterious gift from laptop OEMs your computer will be nobbled in the next OS update.

  8. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    The problem is that the stock market wants blingy new functionality every couple of years. What users (well, this one at least) would like is for them to focus on fixing bugs that have been in the OS for years. I could rant and bore you with my list for MacOS and I'm sure there are equivalent lists for Windows, but a if Tim Cook stood in front of a 20m screen with an audience of thousands and his big announcements were that they'd fixed the bug where iCloud synch gets stuck at 99% and you could now paste UK street addresses straight into Contacts then the share price would plummet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... despite loud cheering from sections of the audience, who have been irritated by these bugs for years.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Nobody in California has pals with a street address in UK

  9. peteC7x

    Same should and MUST be said of Linux and the myriads of absolutely worthless and useless distributions that exist. I mean why does "the world" need 5 flavors of the same distro's release so that people can have any desktop manager they want under the sun???

    Do people go to distrowatch and simply flip a coin and take their pick for today's install?

    This point has come to Linux wayyy before it even hit Windows. If you want to speak about bloated, then you must always start with the Linux ecosystem for the past 20 or so years.

    The world needs STABILITY!!! commitment and longevity. Yes, we do not need (not sure about want) another version of ANYTHING!!!!!

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Yes, Linux has lots of options. Was about to write a case for the defence, but then I remembered this little gem:

      "The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users."

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        The BIG difference with Linux is you are not compelled to use any distro. If you have the patience and a reasonable intelligence you can build your own specific version. Linux from Scratch is your friend (sort of). I did do that once very many moons ago. It was a educational, albeit exhausting experience - that I won't be repeating!

        Devuan for me these days.

    2. ICL1900-G3

      Same with cars. Why do people need all these different options? Who do they think they are? One model should suffice for anyone, let's call it...the Trabant?

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        One model should suffice for anyone, let's call it...the Trabant?

        No, the Bugatti Centodieci, list price $9 million, only 10 made. That should deal with traffic congestion.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Trabant? Either this new standard OS is what the US corporate lobbyists agreed to, so it’s of no consequence to their sales, or Linux really must have gone downhill since 1999 when Neal Stephenson likened Linux to a tank.

        [ ]

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "let's call it...the Trabant"

        In any colour providing it's black.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Doctor Syntax - There was a joke in my native country

          about why Trabant is not being painted black : it is to allow people to distinguish it from Mercedes.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Number of distributions

      You could delete the bottom fifty and perhaps a thousand people might notice.

      The x5 for window manglers exists because the majority of users lack the computer literacy to install multiple manglers and change the default for their user name.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Number of distributions

        They have been trained by commercial offerings to think that a different interface means a different product.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're complaining about Linux being bloated, on a Windows article? Seriously? I'm running up-to-date Linux on 3 machines, all of which are incapable of running Win11. Two of the three run MODERN Linux much better than they ever ran BACK-THEN Windows. (The third has never been infected with Microsoft bloatware.)

    5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      This beer's for you, peteC7x, for being willing to stick your dick in the hornet's nest. I agree with you that there's no such thing as a mature Linux desktop distro for the reasons you state. There are endless fiddly choices available, but it's very difficult to find a Linux desktop GUI that Just Works, and every Linux GUI development team needs to put their own imprimatur on the UI in the same way and for the same reason that a dog needs to piss on a fire hydrant.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "but it's very difficult to find a Linux desktop GUI that Just Works"

        Oddly enough, IME the difficulty of a desktop that Just Works lies with Windows.

        You need to realise that there are several Linux distros that are good for production - they get name-checked here often enough.

        There are a lot of others which, I think, exist for various reason (such as Neon which exists to showcase the current KDE desktop) of because someone has there own idea of what an OS should be with Linux providing a good base on which to do that and the GPL providing encouragement. Unless one of these latter chimes with your own idea of what an OS should be like you can ignore them.

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Tried Mint?

        I find it reliable and it was easy to install.

        It doesn't suck any worse than Windows(tm)

    6. MrDamage Silver badge

      > Do people go to distrowatch and simply flip a coin and take their pick for today's install?

      - Far too many choices for a simple coin flip. Most of us use a randomising script.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    we don't need Windows 12, businesses and OEMs don't need Windows 12.

    BUT YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT ANYWAY... and BTW, there will be no way to stop the download and upgrade short of disconnecting from the internet. WE OWN YOU Sucker!

    MS in the 3rd decade of the 21st century. What a [redacted]

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: But...

      Getting a bit shouty there. Have a dried frog pill - I have plenty.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: But...

        Don't Simpkins have them in their product range?

  11. Roland6 Silver badge

    Change and the obsession with the new…

    It’s funny how todays A4 ruled pad and Biro are uncannily similar to the A4 ruled pads and Biros I used 40+ years back, and the stuff I wrote on them(well the sheets I kept) are still readable without special tools…

    Perhaps there is a lesson there for MS et al…

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

      Curiously, I find I have spent so much time on a keyboard in the forty years that I can read stuff I wrote then a lot more easily than I can read stuff I wrote yesterday.

      1. Lon24

        Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

        You can read ... HANDWRITING. How quaint ;-)

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

          You can read ... HANDWRITING. How quaint ;-)

          Not quaint, scholastic. (I recently was chatting with a historian about medieval scribal handwriting. It's a whole other world.)

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

            >” a historian about medieval scribal handwriting. It's a whole other world.”

            Being able to read medieval scribal handwriting is probably an asset when faced with pre 1941 German fonts (the banning of which was probably the only good thing that can be said about the Nazis - although to save face etc. they said the German fonts that had previously been used were Jewish fonts and thus not German, naturally there is no evidence of this).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

              of course there is no more evidence, they needed the lead of the banned fonts for bullets!

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

            It is indeed. So is my handwriting. Both are alien.

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

      God, there's always one who insists in sticking with some ancient technology or other isn't there? I'm personally loving the new Bic365 subscription model. OK, sure, the pen's the thickness of a rolling pin, takes 3 minutes to boot up before I can write anything with it, and the latest update that means it supports left handed operation only is taking some time to get used to, but I'm sure it's better because everybody else is using them too and at only $10 a month you have to say it's a bargain!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

        Cheapskate, you really should have got the Hic365 connected one - it comes complete with tethered cable and dock(*) and refil subscription. The really nice thing about it is the website and app where it gives you real time feedback on your pen usage and alerts for low usage - which are really useful as if you don’t regularly use your pen the nozzle blocks and you then have to waste time going through the cleaning routine by scribbling on spare sheets of paper.

        (*) ( )

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Change and the obsession with the new…

          Not certain, but calling it the "HPic365" might improve this?

    3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: A4 ruled pad

      Microsoft has, I feel, had some kind of input into the design of the A4 ruled pad. When you want to remove a page, the glue in the binding is often so strong that it tears the page, sometimes to the extent that, if you want to file it in a ring binder, new holes need to be punched. /grumble

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: A4 ruled pad

        But, but, but, my ruled pads are glued along the top edge, not the edge with the holes in.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          Re: A4 ruled pad

          Then they are likely not compatible with the Bic365

  12. FF22

    Completely wrong

    The article is completely wrong. Because it's not that innovation is not happening in the tech space, even in OSes, or that it would be less in absolute terms, than before. It's just that our tech and OSes are already so complex and can do so much, that adding the same amount of new stuff to them will bring less and less change in absolute terms, because of the already existing huge base you compare it to.

    Another thing is that just because you have so much and so many things in an OS, and they have to work with so many stuff, and support all kinds of apps and hardware, any change introduced in them would affect a lot of other things, which would also need rework, or would change to the worse. This makes it harder to introduce changes that are fundamentally different, and innovation usually happens in smaller areas and at the endpoints, where there's less stuff depending on them.

    And finally, in today's connected world, what the OS itself can do will be less and less relevant, and the things it does it does not alone, but coupled with other services, devices and entities - be it a cloud service from the same manufacturer, or a social media site from a competitor. Sometimes this is inevitable because of how stuff works, like generative AI not able to effectively run on a local computer or the model weighs used in them being trade secrets. This, again, makes changes to existing stuff harder, but also makes it less important what the OS itself does, because the available functions can be extended also through the connected services.

    All in all innovation is not slowing, but it will be less and less evident that it's happening, because of the factors laid out above, and also because as we get more and more intelligent services and implementations the advances will be less apparent to the end users, because they won't result in front end complexity (and actually might make things there even simpler), and because it's only the front end / UI and the results that the user is seeing, not how all this works behind the scenes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Completely wrong

      So, what you're saying is, that there is less new stuff being added into modern OSes (because there's already so much there), and really there is less that needs to be added. In other words, pretty much what the article said.

      1. FF22

        Re: Completely wrong

        No. That's not what I wrote, but the result of your apparently really bad reading comprehension. The good news is that you can re-read what I wrote above any time, and even multiple times, and possibly understand what it actually is.

    2. Konaphc

      Re: Completely wrong

      While I don't agree that the article is "completely wrong", you make a point about the existing abundance of features that make new ones less significant to compare with. I place the burden for that on Microsoft for insisting on being all things to all people over the years, rather than satisfied with just being an operating system. I understand the reason for it, because owning all the money in the world is The Only Thing Worth Living For. But I think in essence that's how we got here.

    3. Dagg Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Completely wrong

      Bloody hell, that looks like it was written by AI or a management consultant!

  13. Roland6 Silver badge

    >” And finally, in today's connected world, what the OS itself can do will be less and less relevant”

    And that is why MS are doing so much UI in-your-face change, it’s not needed or necessary, just that MS need to be in people’s faces to justify their prices and financial market valuation. Some in MS recognised this was going to happen circa 2 decades back, hence the gradual migration to subscription since then.

  14. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    I thought Micros~1 had worked this out with Windows 10. They promised it would be the last version. And then they changed their minds...

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Rule One

      Microsoft Lies.

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      Who the fuck cares? Seriously. Is your life really so devoid of meaning that you are reduced to complaining about whether someone said Windows 10 would be the "last" one? What the fuck does it matter? It's just a name. Does the name have any influence over the product itself? No? Great, so there's no point constantly bringing it up!

      I don't give a flying fuck if they call the next version Windows Final and then they decide to call the next one Final For Reals, and then Final We Really Mean It This Time. All I give a shit about is whether there's anything compelling in the new version for what I use my computer for. The "last version" joke stopped being funny pretty much as soon as people started making it, because it was never really that funny at all. It's not even clever by nerd humor standards. It's like if someone who knows nothing about computers tried to make what they thought was a computer nerd joke, and everyone just cringes because it's so bad.

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm sure W12 will arrive and it will have a big new feature: subscription only.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...and most likely, given away free, with a 3 month trial period.

      After which, Clippy will make a re-appearance and remind you, via a countdown clock, that unless you buy a subscription, your PC will stop working and all your work will be inaccessible (due to built-in encryption used on all your saved work).

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Ten ESSENTIAL new features you NEED to know"

    Try Linux Today. Links to all manner of listicles and How to install X on Y

    1. teebie

      "Ten INESSENTIAL new features you ARE ALLOWED to know"

  17. karlkarl Silver badge

    We *do* need a Windows 12.

    - One that fixes all the broken crap introduced after Windows 2000!

    - One that re-removes all the telemetry and spyware introduced mid Windows XP!

    - One that re-adds an effective GUI which was lost when Windows Vista was introduced.

    Those still limiting themselves to Windows, need these corrections more than they think. It is painful to watch a Windows users struggle along these days.

  18. Cruachan

    This came up a few months ago in a completely different thread, essentially MS's marketing is triumphing over the tech side, plus OEMs want to shift boxes with the promise of something new as well.

    Vista (Windows 6) was a huge change from XP, and not a successful one at the time. Windows 7 came along (actually Windows 6.1 as it was a "fixed" version of Vista) but it had to be marketed as a big change due to the Vista stigma. Windows 8 was 6.2, Windows 8.1 (a "fixed" version of 8) was 6.3 and 10 was briefly given a similar version number until it was changed to 10. The changes have been incremental for 16 years, but marketing demands new and shiny. PC makers want to put "Windows Vista ready" or similar stickers on things.

  19. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Deja Vu

    I distinctly recall reading on The Register when Windows 10 came out that it would be the last full version, as the era of incremental updates had arrived.

    Plus ca change, and all that.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    macOS on ARM is probably the biggest revolution this past decade...

    ...and yet really that too was invisible to the user. The OS looks/feels the same, the hardware design was just a refresh in some cases and in others, the new tech put in old chassis. The tangible benefits of course are battery life and performance per watt but most of that is marketing verbiage.

    It's incredible that such a huge thing, is actually such a small thing from another perspective. Revolutionary decision, evolutionary appearance.

    And agreed, I remember how exciting it was to play a video on a computer, or then stream a video over the internet (potato quality RealVideo but still video). Now this stuff just exists and nothing particularly exciting happens for the end user.

  21. Watashi

    7 years of Android

    Google has just announced that the Pixel 8 will get 7 years of security patches, so there's no way people will want to buy a laptop with a defined 5 year lifespan. Sure, most laptops don't even last 5 years but customers want to think their shiny new device might last more than that. And if it does last that long, they'll keep using it whether or not it gets updates, leading to bigger botnets and more security breaches and all the big players on the internet being unhappy about fraud, DDoS attacks etc.

    Current system works fine - perpetual updates of Windows editions with the OS just being a fixed cost at purchase and then a platform for everything that makes real money. Yes, the occasional forced retirement of hardware when new security standards come along.

    Enterprise buys MS licencing with everything they need, including OS, so nothing needs to change there.

    Also, MS already tried to drop the version number. Remember that Windows 10 was going to be the last Windows edition with a new number in the name. But they realised that people want a higher number because then it feels like their new thing is better than the old thing even if its not.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: 7 years of Android

      "But they realised that people want a higher number because then it feels like their new thing is better than the old thing even if its not."

      With experience comes the expectation that unless the old thing is a real lemon it will be worse.

  22. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    They charge things, twiddle about with look and feel, and always, always make things worse. The windows 2000 interface was clean and simple, XP was ok, even 7 was useable. And now look at it.

    Yesterday, I was asked to set up a new Windows 11 laptop for someone. Haven't done one for a while, but ok, why not. I trundled through the setup wizard until it gets to the point of asking for a PIN. Nowhere immediately apparent does it describe what a PIN is, so it's reasonable to assume that it's a number. It's certainly a number on my Windows 11 laptop.

    Under the text box where you're supposed to input the PIN, there is a check box (unchecked) with an option to include letters and symbols. I left that unchecked, extracted a number from the elderly soon-to-be user and clicked next.

    No. Sequences of numbers are not permitted. It didn't look like any obvious sequence of numbers, say 123456, that I could recognise, but I extracted another number from the user and tried again. No.

    At this point I checked the box for letters and symbols. Upon doing so, a handy link magically appeared under the check box, telling you what a PIN needs to contain.

    Letters were added, Next clicked and all was good.

    If you're going to call something a PIN, which just about anyone who's ever used a bank card will think of as a Number, but not permit numeric only input, why, for fucks sake, would you hide that information behind a link which only becomes visible when you check a box which is unchecked by default?? Beware of the leopard springs to mind.

    Of course, I may have overlooked something blatantly obvious, but if so it needs to be made rather more obvious than it is right now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's worse than that. "PIN" = "Personal Identification Number". Usage of the term "PIN" implies that it contains numbers and nothing else. But Microsoft decided that...

  23. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    It's Linux

    Windows isn't free (both as in beer and speech) since each computer has a $50 (probably $60 these days) Windows Tax added to it.

    Linux Mint will storm the desktop and relegate Windows to an also-ran.

  24. aerogems Silver badge

    Look a little deeper

    I'm Church of the True Believers in Linux the Divine will be along to downvote me and anyone else who dares no immediately dump all over Windows. But, they're already living in a hell of their own making where they need the validation of others to reassure them that their choice is the correct one. If it were the correct choice, they'd simply be content that it works for them and not have to worry about what anyone else says. So, I forgive them, for they know not what they do. Anyway, on with the blasphemy.

    This is the sort of article I'd expect from the likes of CNet or ZDNet, but far less so El Reg.

    So what if Windows Whatever looks the same as Windows Whateverelse? People whinge endlessly if Microsoft moves something by a single pixel or changes the name of something. Seriously, just look at all the complaints about WinME. They all centered around the fact that it was sort of a preview to the rearranging of the control panel that we'd see in XP a little later. Sure, it's annoying to have to try to locate something when you used to know where it was, but honestly, unless you've got some kind of serious brain damage, it shouldn't be that much effort to learn a new location/icon/name.

    Just because any given version of Windows looks basically the same doesn't mean Microsoft hasn't been busy improving things under the hood. They've been quietly plugging away at improving security for one. Windows 10 introduced a number of new security features like ASRL and encrypting the contents of memory. In Windows 10 most of these were switched off by default, but Windows 11 turned them on by default. Ever since Vista, Microsoft has been working diligently at improving the security of the driver model with each subsequent release. It involved some pain during the first few years when all of a sudden hardware makers had to rewrite their drivers to work with Vista, and all that cheap ghost-shift electronics from China suddenly stopped working, but we're in a much better place having come out the other side. Sort of like the transition to USB-C. It's not fun to live through the transition period, but once pretty much everything is using a common cable type, it makes a lot of the pain worth it. Same could be said of the policy for forcing people to install OS updates. Like everyone else, it annoys me when I have to stop what I'm doing to reboot, but if you stop to look around, you may notice that the number of issues related to unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows has all but disappeared since Windows 10 rolled around.

    As far as the next big thing in computing goes, I blame the open source community for that one. Apple, Microsoft, and Google all have shareholders to answer to. The open source community has absolutely no one to answer to. So, the open source community is in the perfect position to try out all kinds of crazy ideas to see what works, but instead they just spend their days doing poor imitations of whatever Apple and Microsoft are doing. There's just no way to get all the fractious groups in the open source world to coordinate on a single goal the way Apple and Microsoft can by way of the power of the paycheck, but that doesn't mean they can't try out different ideas for UI design. Instead, all we get are a bunch of smug assholes who copy everything Windows and Apple does, poorly, and then claim how they're superior because they aren't charging for their inferior product. Go ahead, try charging for it, see how well that goes for you. KDE and GNOME are usable, sure, but they still lack the polish and refinement of Windows and macOS because they're developed by a disparate collection of people who all have their own pockets of interest, and usually bug fixing and polishing are not as "sexy" as adding new features.

    Just one idea off the top of my head, is to create a UI that isn't just capable of being navigated using only a keyboard, but one that is designed from the ground up to use only the keyboard. I'm sure out there, there's someone else who has a great idea that could revolutionize the way we do things, if they could just get people to stop aping Microsoft and Apple long enough to try it. Sure, maybe a lot of the ideas will flop, but the great thing about open source is the source is out there, floating around. Maybe the first person who tries fails, but then a year later someone else comes along and succeeds. Or that second person takes part of what the first person was doing and runs with it in a different direction, which ushers in the next big thing in UI design. But no, anyone who tries this is immediately threatened with excommunication from the Church of the True Believers in Linux the Divine. Everything has to be just like Windows or macOS, but "free" or it won't be accepted. Even though the whole point of using Linux instead of Windows/macOS should be to experience something different, not just a badly done imitation.

    Another idea would be to expand on Microsoft's old live tiles idea. Instead of stupid little icons that sit on the screen and do nothing besides launch the app, how about replace them with widgets that can do double duty? They can do things like show you the first couple messages in your email inbox, or rotate between monitoring different aspects of the system without you having to run the full app.

    How about someone try tackling different window focus ideas? Focus-follows-mind is probably still a ways off, but maybe someone could create a hybrid of sloppy and click-to-focus that marries the best elements of both.

    Someone could take the idea of Microsoft's old Active Desktop from the IE4 days, and implement it in a sane and secure way. Provide an API that makes sure people can't just run whatever random crap they want, but makes it easy to customize some elements of the UI.

    Just because something isn't broken doesn't mean it couldn't be done better. If that were true, we'd still be wandering tribes of hunter-gatherers because who needs this silly farming thing when you can just kill and eat some wild animal and pick berries off bushes? Without farming, there's no need to create permanent dwellings, and without permanent dwellings there's no reason for large numbers of people to gather into villages, towns, and cities. Fixing something that isn't broken is called progress.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look a little deeper

      My experience is that it's exactly the opposite of what you wrote - the new versions look different (so take getting used to), for no apparent reason and no improvement in functionality due to the new look, while the background bugs rarely get fixed.

      Contrast with the FOSS world, where the interfaces often don't change for years (LibreOffice, for instance, still looks like MS Office 97), but have greatly increased capabilities and patched bugs.

      As for "Just because something isn't broken doesn't mean it couldn't be done better", I'm still waiting for Microsoft to create something better. XP was pretty good, but every "upgrade" since has removed features I actually use and added eye-candy that is distracting rather than useful.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Look a little deeper

        Everyone has their "favorite" version of whatever. Usually it's the first one they used, so they "imprinted" on it. Because for the first two years of XP, everyone just absolutely fucking HATED it. Sure, some of it might be the biggest security nightmare the world has ever seen when all those shortcuts MS took to squeeze out the competition like Netscape and Corel, finally had the bill come due. Literally, and if anything I'm underselling it, almost every week for that first two years there was at least one RCE CVE for Windows and/or IE, most of which didn't even require any user interaction beyond going to a boobytrapped website.

        MS just ended up biting off a bit more than they could chew with their initial plans for Vista, such as rewriting the entire OS in .NET, so XP ended up sticking around a lot longer and people got comfortable. It was still a shitty OS that was a security nightmare. I wish they would have kept at the whole rewriting the OS in .NET thing. If they needed to push it back to Win 7 or 8, no problem. It would have been like all the shit people are gushing about with regards to being able to write kernel code for Linux or Windows in Rust, only like 20-years earlier. Plus, it being based on a common bytecode language, so people could write things in almost any other language, so long as there was a means of converting it down to that common bytecode.

        Still, I'll give you partial credit. Of the three people who've downvoted my comment so far, you're the only one who even attempted to mount a counterargument, weak as it was, and posted as an anonymous coward. The rest were just plain cowards.

        1. Tim99 Silver badge

          Re: Look a little deeper

          When XP came out, I immediately configured it to the "Windows Classic" interface (Windows 2000). It was a lot less "shouty".

          I set up a customer's peer networked 6-user SQL "server" with it and noted that with its monochrome desktop background the PC used less resources. Lessoned learned, I still use it on a no-internet Parallels VM on an iMac for my old software.

    2. t245t Silver badge

      aerogems: “I blame the open source community for that one.”

      Is that you billg? Android on third-party hardware ate Microsoft's lunch in mobile space.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: aerogems: “I blame the open source community for that one.”

        And? What does any of that have to do with anything in my post?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Look a little deeper

      "But, they're already living in a hell of their own making where they need the validation of others to reassure them that their choice is the correct one."


      Let me tell you a little story. Some years ago I bought an ex-display W10 laptop, created a Windows reinstall image on a USB* stick and blew it away to install Linux. After a few years I decided I really needed a bigger screen so bought a new laptop. As the old Linux installation was now redundant I decided to reinstall W10 & then add Linux as dual boot.

      A number of attempts at reinstalling failed. Eventually I discovered it would work if I switched off secure boot. Not very impressive given that it's MS who is so in favour of this. Ho hum.

      The reinstalled image would complain about a mis-matched dll for OneDrive or words to that effect. No amount of updating cleared it. Not that I wanted OneDirve, it was just an annoying pop-up. In the meantime I marvelled at Windows Updates: how could it be so slow? Why did it trip over its own feet so often? Why did it need so many reboots? And why did it seem to want to keep installing what appeared to be the same update for an Intel display driver? Eventually, BTW, the OneDrive message went away. Nevertheless it gave the impression of being a lumbering system written by a corporation that doesn't understand the difference between Just Works** and Only Just Works***. I am amazed that anyone thinks that this crud is a viable operating system to do real work.

      I have to admit that a few updates did go smoothly. But I made a post on the thread referring to this month's Patch Tuesday saying I'd checked the speed for a fairly large batch of Devuan updates against that of W10. I failed to do that. The Devuan went smoothly, of course, although unusually it said "update at your inconvenience", not just because of a new kernel but also because of a new daemon. This is unusual because most services are simply stopped and restarted if there's a new version of the daemon but the DBus daemon obviously needs starting before a lot of other. No problem. But the reason I failed is because the W10 update has completely crapped itself. I've had it run long disk-checks and all manner of other stuff but it's still firmly wedged with an error code that's not the one that's widely cited. I've tried the RestoreHealth trick to no avail so it looks like a complete reset is going to be needed.

      So validation? I need no validation to tell me why I run Linux. I have a direct comparison between that, a completely reliable OS, and a hell of Microsoft's making.

      * If the H/W proves faulty it would be preferable to take it back to the shop running an OS the shop understands - providing it's not so faulty the OS is invisible.

      ** Debian or, these days, Devuan

      *** Windows 10 - some of the time.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Look a little deeper

        Cool story, bro. What does it have to do with anything I said? Besides proving one of my points that is. The fact that you were compelled to regale all of us with this pointless diversion just proves my point. If Linux truly were the "perfect" solution for you, you wouldn't feel the need to post these diatribes. You'd just be happy that it works for you, and that's all the more you need to know. No need to proselytize or anything else. Maybe if you were directly asked by someone, but then it would just be a simple, "<shrug> It's what works best for what I want to do."

        For me, at this particular point in time, and based on what I'm looking to do, Windows works best, but I don't feel the need to go out trying to tell everyone why Windows is so much better than anything else. If people want to use Linux, or macOS, or *BSD, WTF do I care? Just use it and STFU about it already. We're all very happy that you like your shiny new toy, but we don't need you turning every single conversation around to being about how great your new toy is. A year from now, who knows where life may take you and maybe Linux or macOS stop being such a great OS for you. If/When that day comes, please just do us all a huge favor and make the change QUIETLY. You don't need to run to every apartment in a complex, knock on the door, and breathlessly regale anyone stupid enough to open the door with your harrowing exploits of moving from one OS to another.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Look a little deeper

        >> "In the meantime I marvelled at Windows Updates: how could it be so slow? Why did it trip over its own feet so often?"

        So... how do you rollback failed updates with Linux?

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: Look a little deeper

          Depends on the distro. With some it's a walk in the park, with others it's a bit tedious, and the obligatory last group it's simpler to reinstall.

          However, with all versions, if you've sensibly put your home directory on a separate partition (separate disc would be even better) nothing of value would be lost with a nuke and reinstall.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Look a little deeper

          "So... how do you rollback failed updates with Linux?"

          I'll tell you when that happens. Given that it hasn't happened to me in my long experience, don't hold your breath.

  25. Kev99 Silver badge

    I tried win11 for a couple weeks and it offered me nothing, nada, zilch reasons to use it over win10. And since the rollback "feature" didn't work - surprise, surprise - I had to again download the win10 ISO and wipe the HDD to install it. Thank heavens for my NAS and Aomei. Over the past years it seems every week there's a new problem, bug, security flaw, image that needs to be "fixed" which make me glad I dumped win11. The reality for me is win7 worked perfectly well for me. I never had any security or operational problems with it. IT just worked. And it took up less space on my drive. The only reason I installed win10 is because mictosoft forced its sycophants to rewrite their software to be incompatible with win7, HP being one of the biggest offenders.

    The one thing I don't understand is why I have to load umpteen dozen foreign language DLLs and drivers for non-existent hardware. Is it so hard to include in the install script a simple "what language do you want" option or a "let's check your connected devices to load only their drivers etc" query? You know, just as 99% of applications do.

  26. Ellis Birt 1

    With most commercial application software you pay a 'maintenance' charge every year to get security and feature updates, with the first year bundled with the sale.

    Let that lapse and you'll often end up paying the full price of the package.

    Maybe Microsoft should adopt that model.

    Of course, it is expensive to continue to support older hardware. That is why W11 is forcing us to buy new.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      They already tried that, from Windows 1.0 all the way through 8.1. It resulted in millions of computers being left exposed to security vulnerabilities and being slaved to various botnet CiC systems. You ever notice that things like spam has been quite a bit less the last few years? It's not just that spam filters have gotten better, a lot of that was pumped out by SMTP servers installed on compromised systems. You also don't see DDoSaaS much anymore because it's a lot harder to get enough systems to be effective.

      By giving away the upgrades to Win 10 and 11 for free, bringing in a lot of people from the cold, so to speak, they've been able to really cut down on that shit. Also by making it a requirement that people install their patch tuesday updates. As annoying as it may be, the alternative is worse.

      I wouldn't mind them creating a paid SKU that removes some of the ads, though frankly they're generally so minor and require you to go out of your way to see them, I may not consider it worth the money personally. But, maybe you get like 10GB of OneDrive storage, and some of the more obvious ads can be turned off, for a one-time fee.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Note that 95% of all mails are still spam, like 20 years ago, but they still don't reach the end-users...

  27. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    But but...

    There is one group of people that is very happy indeed with Microsoft.



    Hardware manufacturers.

    1. Scotthva5

      Re: But but...

      and highly paid "migration consultants".

  28. t245t Silver badge

    I don't understand this bit :o

    Linux is a year-round festival of take it or leave it on the desktop, and the kernel tracking genuinely important developments in the ecosystem that the IT clan needs to know about. Users, though? They see nothing and know nothing, and that's exactly right.

    I don't understand this bit :o

  29. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Revolutionary versus Evolutionary

    When was the last time we saw anything revolutionary in this business? iPod/iPhone/iPad? That was a couple decades ago. Everything since then has been evolutionary.

    The OS world is even longer. A GUI over a CLI interface was the last revolution. Heck, with the increased uselessness of the Windows UI, one could even argue it is moving in a de-evolutionary direction.

  30. dag42

    I think machine learning (AI) could be a good reason to want a new OS. Currently AI is not ready for prime time... we're seeing OpenAI, Anthropic, GitHub Copilot etc try out marketability and financial feasibility... but these are early days and clearly nobody knows what they're doing (word is ChatGPT will go bankrupt if serious changes don't happen soon). We'll see what sticks. When AI tech matures it will be natural to have a good ML-centric OS.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Around 2014/5, updating from XP to Windows 10, and finding I couldn't conference for work that day because it broke Skype, which is actually owned by MS. And that was a known by MS to be a "feature" of the upgrade, but there was no warning. (Using Linux now.)

  32. ChrisBedford

    Grumpy old men of the world unite

    I didn't bother to read all 161 offered comments because once you've skimmed about a quarter of any forum on ElReg you can be pretty much assured you've sampled all the opinions in the rest... and oh, boy, do we have a bunch of diehard conservatives here. Not [i]quite[/i] Luddites, it must be said, but the resistance to change is [b]strong[/i] with these ones, eh?

    OK, having said that, let me hasten to add I'm pretty much in the same camp. I do find the constant change-for-change's-sake "improvements" extremely tedious and the way Windows has bloated way out of all proportion is absolutely [i]staggering[/i]. Not even mentioned in the main article: how much slower everything runs since even the first version of Win10 was released. I remember clearly as it was only 7 years ago - and it was - that a Core i7 with 8 GB RAM and a hybrid SSHD was plenty fast to run Office and switch between apps with alacrity... yeah, now, not so much, and that's even if you have stuck with 10. If by some miracle your PC with those specs from that time accepted the "upgrade" to 11 it's going to be - er - sluggish as an ashthmatic sloth, yes. Or was that slothful as an ashthmatic slug.

    [b][i]But[/i][/b] (und ziss is a bick butt) there are some aspects of the UI that have definitely improved, and features added that have definitely added functionality. Have you tried opening a PC with say a 2 versions old Windows and tried to do anything? Apart from trying to remember where to find the controls, because of course Nadella has to move them around, there are many things you might like to change that simply can't be done in the older OS. Yah, sure, go ahead and edit the registry... ha ha ha no thanks, even if that's an option.

    And also But: Apple is no better, and in fact I'd argue that MacOS hasn't really had any meaningful improvements since it was OSX. And while MS haven't really forced a wholesale hardware change since WIndows 7, Apple's "closed ecosystem" periodically renders all existing hardware redundant and they tell you hey, tough titties. Plus, in their relentless Tech Bros fever they have been selling un-upgradeable hardware for a decade now, because obviously since places like MacWorld have been able to add memory and replace HDDs with SSDs and that is seen as taking upgrade business out of Tim Cook's pocket, yes? But not to be mistaken for a Company That Doesn't Innovate, Apple changed the MacOS numbering scheme so that whereas previous huge changes in technology were mere "dot-one" updates, since 2019 they are making tiny incremental changes and giving them whole-number upgrades. Meh. You're going to have to work a bit harder than that to convince me.

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