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back to article Microsoft prints get-out-of-jail card for Vista Home

Microsoft execs admitted today that its decision to open its Windows Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions up to virtualisation was a "get-out-of-jail" card for the unloved platforms. Redmond appears to be placating customers who are stubbornly unwilling to upgrade to Vista by bringing virtualisation to the flagging party …

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Coat

...like fitting wheels to a tomato ....

time consuming and utterly pointless ....

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Gold badge

Windaz 7

Given Windows 7 is out next year it seems like Vista really will be the unloved version of Windows just like WinME.

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Joke

Good idea

But maybe making it open source and free would entice a couple more people to try and make it worth using.

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Gates Horns

Excuses

"a security risk in Vista that had prevented Redmond from relaxing its licensing terms"

Not sure I follow that, but it doesn't look good for future MS openness. No change there, then.

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Gates Horns

Oxometer alert!

"O'Neil also dismissed what he reckoned were "myths that large amounts of applications are not supported" in the new OS. He claimed that, compared to the market release of XP, Vista was performing better at software compatibility issues."

Please put the following letters together to form a word that refers to male genitalia..

b o l l o c k s

In what reality is Vista performing better? The main reason that there were problems back when XP first came out was because, outside of enterprises, most folk were still running W'95/98 apps that were designed for FAT32, not NTFS. That's not the case now, so Vista's apps compatibility problem must be due to summat else... hmmm, wonder if that might be something to do with it being utter w4nk, and that M$ deliberately excluded everyone else from the development process.

fook Windows, it's utter t0ss.

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Unhappy

Title

Yeah, you can run Vista Home flavours in a virtual machine, but you can't run a Virtual Machine in Vista Home.

How do I run an Ubuntu VM with Home Premium, none of the VM servers will install in Vista Home Premium.

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...like fitting wheels to a rotten tomato ....

more like...

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Flame

Bah.

Well I'll never know, since the Vista install on my spanky new OEM laptop is singularly unable to update itself, no matter what I try. (*%$*^% thing.

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Flame

What utter tosh some people speak

"a security risk in Vista that had prevented Redmond from relaxing its licensing terms"

What evidence does anyone have about that? Surely not a journo just guessing? Nah that would never happen.

Seems more likely to me they just wanted to push people the more expensive Business or Ultimate Edition or the Enterpise Edition only available on VL and avoid the cheap home versions being used in enterprises in mass virtual environments.

As for the comment about XP "only" having problems with NTFS - there was WAY more than that especially on apps that were never ported to run on NT or 2000 but just ran on the 9X family. What short memories people seem to have.

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Still not good

"It did tell us there had been a security risk in Vista that had prevented Redmond from relaxing its licensing terms."

That's just pure crap. The only thing that could prevent a company from relaxing its licensing terms is third-party licensing or agreements with a third-party supplier.

As for changing the EULA to allow virtualization, that does literally nothing for the people already running Vista. Old copies of Vista were shipped with the old (no-virtualization) license, so any changes to the EULA are not available to users of those old-license products.

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Starting to see a plan here

I have often thought that vista is ME2 and will be replaced quite soon but had no idea what by. My guess now is an OS built from the ground up to be used with virtualisation, with the server and client as 2 completely separate components.

The writing isn't exactly on the wall for stand alone OS's but there are viable alternatives thanks to virtualisation and with the world and it's dog touting online apps and "software as a service", the door is open for an OS and filesystem that isn't tied to one specific box. With the kind of devices in use now it will need to be usable on everthing from phones up and keep everything in sync if used on multiple devices simultaneously. That will mean a central server somewhere and lots of new protocols and "enhancements".

Linux is doing this for me on the box here already and the unix based system does this well but a line in the sand allowing for a standard virtualisation platform would allow any kind of software to run on it with the minimum of problems. So a game would come as a system image and not care about the box its running on as it doesn't need to know about drivers and hardware, same for a virtualised OS or even a virtualised office app.

Trouble is that word up there, "standards". Who is this article about again?...

cheers

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IT Angle

<<raises hand nervously and asks>>

Um, what's virtualisation?

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Tom
Silver badge

They just wont take a hint...

I wouldnt try and virtualise Vista even if I was allowed to. I can get the same effect by writing a self spawning multithreading endless loop.

I take it W7 will have all the best features of Vista added to it:

Untested, unmaintainable, massive footprint etc.

I can see why MS hate open source so much - they seem to have employed a lot of floss moles who are doing a great job of making cusomers look elsewhere.

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Heart

Vista is awaiting its XP.

Windows 95 - New and interesting but rushed to market, buggy as hell and lacking some important features

Three (ahem, two) years later they issued an almighty service pack called Windows 98 and it got popular.

Windows 2000 (NT5) - New and interesting but rushed to market, buggy as hell and lacking some important features

Two years later they issued an almighty service pack called Windows XP (NT5.1) and it got popular.

Windows Vista - New and interesting but rushed to market, buggy as hell and lacking some important features

I wonder what happens next?

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Go

Virtualization may buy some new converts, but...

"People hate change… And that’s because people hate change… I want to be sure that you get my point. People really hate change. They really, really do.”

(Steve McMenamin Atlantic Systems Guild)

Unless you can offer something real, tangible and worth having after a change, then people won't change. Judging from the press reaction, many people don't see Vista as worth the pain. This is why it is easier to sell Vista bundled on PC's - for a new user, there is nothing to change from.

Now, if people want virtualization, and they can't do that with XP, then they will get a reward for the change to Vista. So I think that this will be a useful step for Microsoft.

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Pirate

VM Paradigm shift & Vista = Windows ME

To me it looks like Microsoft realised mid-way through the development stage for Windows 6 that a) things weren't going to be ready for 2005 and that b) the old idea that an OS is defined largely by the discrete nature of a traditional PC system is becoming obsolete. The result? They delayed the new technologies intended for Windows 6 so as to see which way the wind blew. To keep money coming in and to keep their 'every five years' release pattern going they cobbled together a Windows ME type stop-gap, called it Vista and then released it as though it was a proper next generation OS.

My psychic powers tell me that: The real Windows 6, now being called Windows 7, will be at least as quick as both XP and MacOS (when run it its most basic configuration) because it will be designed to run Virtually as well as on PCs. Surely you jest? You say. Nope - because when Microsoft want to they can put together a decent bit of software. The latest version of Windows Live Messenger combined with new style Hotmail (signing into Messenger now also signs me into all my Hotmail accounts at once!) kicks Google's & Yahoo's ass and IE7 is clearly a better peice of software than Firefox (sorry, Firefox fanboys... but you know its true!). All they need is a big kick in the right direction.

Windows 7 = faster, cleaner, greener and generally more efficient computing. Remember; you heard it here first!

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Stop

All downhill.....

Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007....Admins and End-Users all agree...garbage, the lot.

It took over three years of Service Packs with the XP/2003 "trinity" to finally provide the majority of organisations with an environment that approached five-nines for stability.

Without ongoing IT stability, many companies (and particularly SMEs) cannot confidently expand any aspect of their business....Microsoft's failures are neither insurable criteria or a plausible excuse to offer shareholders.

Many of us are obliged to inhale deeply on Microsoft's output, but instead of them then taking us all forward and enhancing and expanding for effect, they instead head off onto a dirt track, invent a square wheel, and end up ramming crud like this down our throats.

I thoroughly enjoy finding ways past obstacles, but this is just ridiculous !!

Does anyone in Microsoft have a clue how the real world works....?

Considerably more slowly and painfully now, I can tell you.

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Not quite like ME

"I have often thought that vista is ME2 and will be replaced quite soon but had no idea what by. My guess now is an OS built from the ground up to be used with virtualisation"

Considering how long it took for them to squeeze Vista out [1], I wouldn't rate their chances of replacing it with something "built from the ground up" any time soon, though I'm sure that would be much faster than continuing to glue new stuff onto their big ball of smelly old crufty code. But then they'd have to make sure old Windows apps could be run on it, so they're kind of stuck with the existing codebase. Catch-22.

At least with ME, it wasn't the flagship product, and they had XP waiting just around the corner. Instead of having to try to undo the damage, they were able to say "Look, XP is much better than everything that came before, buy it instead" and leave ME in the corner to die quietly.

This time, there is no "just around the corner" replacement for Vista, it's going to be the only game in Microsoft Town for some time. They rushed what they had out the door when it really wasn't ready, badly damaging it's reputation from the start. It doesn't help that there's little compelling reason to choose Vista over XP. Now they have to repair the damage and convince a skeptical public that Vista isn't really all that bad.

Microsoft really screwed the pooch this time. They'll beat Vista into shape eventually, but I'm going to enjoy watching them suffer through it. After all the pain their crappy products and dodgy business practices have caused, it's about time they got some payback.

[1] in much the same way that you might squeeze out a particularly oversized turd that's been stuck in there for a bit too long.

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ahh an old trick this

i believe this is a trick of the trade known as polishing a turd.

I just got a new laptop, and because of my experiences with Vista at work, I stuck for XP (thanks Dell). I firmly believe with Vista I'd still be trying to set up a wireless connection right now.

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Starting to see the plan here

Stan's the Man. The new M$ OS will be Linux + virtualisation (proprietary M$) + a window manager which just happens to look like Vista... because it is the Vista GUI. Users get a new "Windows" which is more secure and reliable than any previous version of Windows - even while we'll be stuck with NTFS, which is has so much security thru obscurity that even M$ can't get into it. And M$? It gets to rule the world (finally really), tho not overnight. It won't care that it doesn't know how parts of its OS work (or don't, as the case may be).

It's not well known that Bill and Steve really fell out after they went to Palo Alto and saw what Xerox had in the way of a user interface. Steve of course got his imitation out first, which meant Bill's me-too had to use piddling useless tiling windows. (He got around that by manoevering IBM into the legal firing line instead of M$, you will recall). Bill will also be aware of Steve's appropriation of a real kernel and OS too, rather than developing them in-house - because in the circumstance it will be an irony to savour. Because Bill in doing the same thing gets the last laugh. Even if Apple puts its OS in a box on a PC World shelf, it won't make a difference.

Blissett's Law of Bandwagons states: Never be first on - never be seen to be last on.

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Fah

Keep flogging away, Microsoft - the old nag isn't quite dead yet...

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Happy

All or nothing is a little bit silly yes?

It seems a bit daft amending EULAs for a general purchasing population in which uptake is likely to be a bit poor.

Far better, in my opinion, is to say "Wanna extend XP, Vista? Contact ... for a revised EULA"

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Alert

Alternatives...

M$ may compare past releases with Vista and try to give the impression its done better with Vista. But the big difference this time is that people have viable working alternatives. I've been trying Linux since 1998 but have never got quite comfortable using it completely as the sole OS on my desktop until last year. Linux distributions have really matured to the point where you don't need a geek to tweak stuff to make it work. I needed NIL command line configuration when I setup Linux on my laptop last year. Another threat is Apple who have made it big with Mac on the Intel platform. The last big threat is OpenOffice. Now nobody needs any excuse to carry on with MS Office any more.

People have good options now and are using them.

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Paris Hilton

IE7 better than Firefox?

I often call Vista the desktop equivalent of a phone tree.

@Shabble

Can you give me indication as to why IE7 is better than Firefox? While I do not consider myself a fan-boy or evangelist by any means, I certainly do enjoy the flexibility that Firefox offers me versus IE7. In fact, what pushed me to Firefox in the first place was that IE6 kept forgetting my tool bar settings. Since then, I have been very please with Firefox.

I used to use Netscape back in the v6 days for the tabbed browsing... brilliant! For whatever reason I went back to IE6. I really enjoy being able to reconfigure the Firefox UI for my use preferences. I also enjoy all of the add-ons I use, like AdBlock and FlashBlock (not used on El Reg, though,) and Sun Cult, Server Spy, Fire Sizer, NoScript, UnPlug, Download Them All, IETab, and a few others which make working on the web a lot more fun and practical.

Now I have shown my hand as to why I like Firefox. I understand that every one has his or her preferences, and I would like to know what drives your love for IE7.

Paris, because everyone has his or her preference.

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Gates Horns

"Security vulnerability"

> One can only presume the software giant has

> now closed that particular vulnerability

tea/monitor interface moment. Yeah, right!

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Gold badge

WIll this make a difference?

So, will this make a difference? Last I had checked/read, the final beta of Vista ran under virtual machines; the release candidate and actual release of Vista did not. It runs some odd ACPI checks that fail under qemu and bluescreens if they fail; last I read it also didn't run uner vmware. As near as people could determine last I checked, these checks were artificially added to prevent running under virtual machines. Sound like WIn 3.1 and DR-DOS*? It sure does to me! So, having the license ALLOW running under VMs might not actually make it that possible to do so (except, I assume, under Microsoft's own VM product.)

* For those who don't know, the WIndows 3.1 betas had extra code that made very irregular checks for features that Windows itself did not use (File Control Blocks (used in DOS 1.0 only), among others) and would bluescreen with error <randomly generated number> when it determined it was running under non-MS DOS. This was commented out in the release version of 3.1, but made Novell spend lots of time trying to figure out why 3.1 beta wouldn't run under DR-DOS (until they found the artificial check code.)

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Paris Hilton

@ Security Risk -v- Virtualisation Licensing

How hard do you guys hit the bong after work? Seriously, six months ago should not be hard to remember. Alright. Set the way-back machine to June 2007, you hippies, to when Microsoft did their first "flip-flop" on the EULA and "virtualization";

"When it announced licensing rules for Vista last year, Microsoft said that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate could run as guest operating systems. The company said virtualization presents inherent security risks and that it hoped by limiting which versions of the OS could act as virtual machines, only sophisticated users and businesses would employ the tactic."

Microsoft flip-flops on Vista virtualization / Published on ZDNet News: Jun 20, 2007 1:25:00 AM (http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6191787.html)

The security risk is really straight-forward; you can skirt around the Vista DRM novelty once you've virtualised the underlying infrastructure, because you can intercept the hyper-visor calls and virtual hardware interfaces in the Host system, outside of the control of all of those signed and encrypted drivers in the Guest system (i.e. at the virtual CPU, virtual RAM, virtual GPU or even easier at the virtual Screen and virtual Speaker [you know, the interface that HDMI was supposed to secure]). This is not a risk to you, it's a risk to Microsoft and its ambition as a media server in every living room - as explained in their (way, waaay-back) Vista Ultimate EULA from 2006;

"6. USE WITH VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES. You may use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device. If you do so, you may not play or access content or use applications protected by any Microsoft digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other Microsoft rights management services or use BitLocker. We advise against playing or accessing content or using applications protected by other digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other rights management services or using full volume disk drive encryption."

Surprises inside Microsoft Vista's EULA / Published Sunday 29th October 2006 23:32 GMT (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/29/microsoft_vista_eula_analysis/page2.html)

In lay terms, its okay for enterprises protecting billions of dollars with electronic security measures to virtualise using Vista, because that only hurts them. But if home-users were to virtualise using Vista, and then play a HDDVD or BluRay Disc with MediaPlayer, then that would be ... a security risk.

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Dead Vulture

Re: Vista is awaiting its XP.

"Windows 2000 (NT5) - New and interesting but rushed to market, buggy as hell and lacking some important features"

Win2K wasn't new and interesting. NT4 was. 2000 was to NT4 was 98 was to 95.

The sad thing is that XP was sold separate. Probably was a similar story to how Ballmer decided XP SP2 should be sold as a new OS. Really, the next release should be given to Vista users as a public apology for the heap of junk Vista is.

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Jobs Horns

VMs in Vista?

"Yeah, you can run Vista Home flavours in a virtual machine, but you can't run a Virtual Machine in Vista Home.

How do I run an Ubuntu VM with Home Premium, none of the VM servers will install in Vista Home Premium."

What on earth?

My VMWare server (as does Virtual Server) has several running machines, on my Home Premium setup.

Current OS list:

Vista x64 Ultimate

Vista x32 Business

XP

Ubuntu

Slackware

BSD

2003 Server

It's not difficult, in fact it just installed and worked in all cases. Suggest a case of pebcak rather than "it doesn't work".

As far as performance goes, it's swings and roundabouts. Vista on my current system is *faster* than XP. It takes 10 seconds longer in total to start, but once it's up and running, performance in 5 different benchmarks show significant improvements. Was a very different story on my older 32bit platform (AMD Barton) where XP had the definate edge. It's a matter of drivers, 3rd party softwares and probably most importantly, user preference.

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Security reason

IIRC because of the DRM - they dont want you to fiddle with it on a virtual machine.. or they just wanted you to fork over for the more expensive version.

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Gates Horns

If you say something often enough, people will believe you

...but not this time Bill, Vista is Cr4p! We are waiting for Vienna or we're switching to Linux.

<<points mocking finger and says>> ha ha ha - you don't know what virtualisation is... errrr um .... neither do I ... <<lowers finger and takes on deflated posture>> eh... does anyone here know what virtualisation does? Does it mean making my operating system "look like" it's working?

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about that XP thang..

"As for the comment about XP "only" having problems with NTFS - there was WAY more than that especially on apps that were never ported to run on NT or 2000 but just ran on the 9X family. What short memories people seem to have."

I actually did include the caveat *outside of enterprises* to illustrate my point but I shouldn't have used the word *only* as there were of course lots more, but nothing like as many as Vista. At the time, the change from FAT to NTFS was what caused average users the majority of problems (at least as I remember it) but we did have a lot of DOS and bodged-up 9x apps that had to be abandoned.

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Flame

Hyper -V-entilation

AutoCad the major design package is not compatable with Vista between 2004 and 2007 releases. 2002 release can be made to run, just about. 2008 release is ok, obviously. But in the middle neither Microsoft nor Autodesk are interested.

Well bugger them I'd say, if there was something else which really did the job.

So this fix is to be welcomed then, or is it. Where is the fix for Vista Business? Oh, can't be arsed with that. I am starting to penguins and other silly stuff.

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@shabble

"IE7 is clearly a better peice of software than Firefox (sorry, Firefox fanboys... but you know its true!). "

LOL an excellent joke *pat on back*... Oh wait, you were being serious. I hope when that cheque arrives from Microsoft it contains at least a 5 figure sum.

Seriously, since switching to Firefox some years ago I noticed the following improvements:

- Firefox runs considerably more responsively than IE7 ever does (even on a higher end machine IE does like to crunch away at the disk)

- Since recommending (practically mandating) to mates to run Firefox instead of IE, the vast number of malware infections they used to get drastically decreased (sorry its the same old story but people like me repeat this statement because it is true). Further, the only nasty malware infection I had to remove recently on a PC was because the user had been using IE.

- The Firefox user profile is nicely contained within a subfolder of 'Documents and Settings' and not liberally piss*d all over the registry. Want to clean out your profile and start again, simply delete that folder.

- Multitude of plugins, excellent auto-form completion and so on...

And no I'm not a Firefox fanboi I'm more a 'right tool for the right job' person.

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Gates Horns

Hypervisor requirement?

This smells a bit iffy, it's only because they're ramping up on their Hypervisor product and want to be able to run the full fleet on there. This is a preliminary step.

My only concern, is that in, say 6 months, they'll revise it to say they Vista Home can only be a virtual machine within their own hypervisor.

As for "old versions" of Vista being under a different EULA, I imagine it'll be a retrospective change. Check the EULA, they can change it whenever they want.

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Linux

Virtualisation, ???

Lol, I run Linux on my PC's as my main operating system (only ever booting to play one of the online games that aren't yet supported by cedega), however as I work with server systems, with web interfaces, I also do some web development, so I'm forced to test on windows, for compatiblity with IE, since there really isn't any useful debugging tools for IE, which doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I find it painful to develop for microsoft programs. Which is why I do 99.9% of the webwork on firefox on linux.

However I test with IE, but I hate rebooting, so I installed VirtualBox, and voila, XP in an virtual environment, can run mulitple instances, and have different patch levels, such as with IE7, with IE6, patched, not patched etc. And reinstalling - lol restore a backup file, and 10 seonds later back to base package :-).. Lovely, and the real funny bit, XP seesm to be significantly faster and more responsive, when running virutally in a linux host enviornment, than runnning natively :->..

So why on earth would I even get vista even if they allow the cheap editions to be virtualised ?. Well at least not until they come with a new browser which won't run on XP.

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Thumb Down

I think I know what this translates to !

"... its management tools were superior to other offerings in the marketplace ..."

Which presumably means a flash GUI, pretty icons, and it all looks so simple that your 5 year old can run it just by clicking buttons. Meanwhile, to do anything actually useful (if it's possible at all) means going round backstage and fiddling in that monolithic ticking bomb called the registry - setting alien sounding strings into even more alien sounding locations and hoping it doesn't make the whole machine die a horrible death.

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Silver badge

@<<raises hand nervously and asks>>

"Um, what's virtualisation?" ... By Dan Maudsley Posted Tuesday 22nd January 2008 17:34 GMT

At the Microsoft level of Business Intelligence ...... Covert AI New World Order Programming aka Black Ops in Green Zones with Red Teams running True Blue CodeXXXX.

And if that is not their game, then they are way behind in that Operating System Field of ARG Play too chasing their sorry tails rather than Pioneering with Partners. But you can be assured that their front man Bob Muglia [he of "Harnessing the Power of Virtualization for Dynamic IT" executive e-mail flame fame] has been tempted with ITs Opportunities and Possibilities.

QuITe whether they are Fit for ITs Purpose all rather depends upon the Rapid Response Teamwork.

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Wow

Amanfrommars seems to have had a 'corporate framework language module" added. This could get scary and will probably make a lot more sense than the real thing :)

@Luther Blissett, cheers for the comment :) I was thinking they would file off the rough edges on vista (need some file for that, a cutting torch would probably be better) but put the focus on the server end of things, play nice for a while then turn up the lockin factor when the heat is off. Eventually ripping out vistas guts-and-offal to replace it with all that is needed for the virtual system. Just after that there will be a new windows release, only as a virtual system but with very good backward compatibility with vista.

All that's not really important as the OS desktop side of things is relatively stagnant compared to servers and will be dominated by unix-based OS's pretty soon , as the server sector is already, if MS don't get there fingers out of their collective arses.

Re-writing windows may look like a no-go but they don't really have a lot of choice, Its grown from a relatively compact single user system in to a bloated great behemoth that's impossible to handle and, from a linux users point of view, is hard to take seriously. They release a new (apparently) all singing, all dancing OS and the world says "so what? XP is fine, thanks anyway" or "what the hell is this sh*te?".

IF.... MS can put out a stable server platform then:

1 they wont have any more of this 'bundled apps' shite that's causing them a lot of hurt and will continue to do so. The desktop will be the app package with various levels of server being the OS.

2 that's where the money is...

3 when your at the top there is only one way to go, and if they don't put out something folks actually want then that's where their headed.

Still, I don't see how they plan to take on the server market. Their going up against various stable, secure and trusted unix-based systems that, mostly, offer better value for money than MS can possibly compete with and they are going up against them with a dipped in shit reputation.

cheers

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Gold badge

@Michael Nielsen

Funny that, isn't it? I've noticed the same thing -- if I'm doing something that would do heavy video, qemu's virtual video card is quite antiquated. Otherwise, virtual XP under Linux is faster than real XP. I think the caching system is just that much better.

A friend of mine also ran GuildWars under wine, and was amazed to find it installed 2-3x as fast, again due to much faster disk I/O 8-). (He thought it might have gained a few FPS playing too.)

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Anonymous Coward

Unenforceable?

I doubt that that part of the EULA was enforceable. It would be like saying "you may not install this software onto Dell branded PC's".

If it's a consumer retail (rather than OEM) purchase you are free to install it on whatever it will physically install onto.

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Gates Horns

why bother

Why are they bothering?

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IT Angle

re : Um, what's virtualisation?

Yeah, I'd like to know too. Can someone explain?

It sounds like something to do with this web 2.0 crap.

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Bronze badge
IT Angle

Can anybody tell me why I would want Vista?

No seriously, I run XP at home, do a bit of word processing, web surfing, and eMail and play a couple of games. The only thing it doesn't do is run domain services, which would be great. For that I need Home Server, you know the one that can't cope with being a server.

I use XP at work, for well just about the same, except the games. Now and again I do a bit of coding and systems administration. If I want to I can run just about any business application I want too on my desktop, or my laptop.

So what does Windows Vista actually give me that I don't already have, what does it give me that I actually need. To put it another way go on may mmy day what's the killer app for Vista.

By the way my next home PC will be a Mac.

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@Simon Painter, @Tim Bates

"""Windows 2000 (NT5) - New and interesting but rushed to market, buggy as hell and lacking some important features

Two years later they issued an almighty service pack called Windows XP (NT5.1) and it got popular."""

Actually Win2K was pretty excellent after SP2, even more so after SP3. I'd say that 2K SP3 was even more stable than XP, and it was missing all of about 3 features that mattered until hardware developed for a while. I ran 2K on my desktop until 2K3 came out, since XP is too filled with 'security center'-type 'features' to help out the typical Windows user in avoiding massive virus storms.

The reason that XP was more popular than 2K was probably because it was sold to regular consumers instead of to the people that typically bought NT.

"""Probably was a similar story to how Ballmer decided XP SP2 should be sold as a new OS."""

Err, XP SP2 is a free download for those that are interested... Unless you're one of those people that thinks Vista is equal to a service pack on top of XP, and trying to make some sort of joke. In that case, you're just silly - there's no way a single service pack could mess up an operating system so badly. Vista is far more 'new' than pretty much any other Windows release in a long long time. Too bad that all the new 'features' are useless. I wish they hadn't scrapped Longhorn - it really sounded like they were heading in the right direction there... Until it was all scrapped for the sake of 'security.'

Meh, you can trust whomever makes the big dev decisions at Microsoft to fowl things up at every opportunity. At least they make it obvious.

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Silver badge

EULAs and the Great Unwashed

How many ever open the media package that might come with their pre-installed PC? None.

If you buy a PC preinstalled with Windows, and don't even know there's an EULA, are you still subject to it?

've bought a few preinstalled PCs (with the disk appropriately partitioned to allow dual Linux installation) and I have **never** had it delivered so that I had to break any seals to get at the computer or otherwise acknowledge the EULA. Not have I had a sales droid run me through the EULA (acknowledge here) as they do with a sales contract etc.

If you don't even know the EULA exists then it is going to be hard to abide by it.

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Gates Horns

@John Chadwick

Of course Vista brings nothing to the table from your perspective. People just keep refusing to understand: the customers whom MS served by releasing vista have absolutely ERO overlap with Vista usees. Usees get this shiny new turd smeared all over their brand-spanking-new supercomputer (compare a Dell XPS' performance to a Cray-I)...and they wonder "what is this shit?"

The customers that MS was paying attention to, the entire time, was the MAFIAA (formerly RIAA and MPAA) who wanted to make sure that they could get paid anytime they wanted to for "content" that the usee had naively assumed he'd "bought" already. That's why you've got so much Digital Restrictions Mindfuck that the ATI video driver contains more lines of code than Windows 98 and Red Hat Linux 5 - combined. It takes that much code to work around the DRM and the massive undocumented 'gotchas' that await anyone silly enough to think that they can put stable code on the thing.

I've been doing the usual family-and-friends-IT-support gig for a while... what I'm noticing with Vista (and bear in mind that I've used and developed for Windows as long as a 'Microsoft Windows' has existed) is that, no matter whether it's Home Basic (aka Toy), Home Premium, Ultimate, whatever.... it's the same turd, it shits upon the usee in essentially the same way, user data gets lost regularly, and it's literally, technically impossible to fully secure against attack.

At least on Lenovo and Dell kit, you can set up a dual-boot scheme so that the owner can boot either Vista or an operating system, depending on whether he wants to accomplish anything with the system. No such luck with the HP systems I've been asked to fix; HP have a "customised" Vista that insists on restoring the factory image if the disk partitions are changed, and will not boot Vista until the system is 'repaired'. Invariably, I've been told to go ahead and repair the system by eliminating Vista. At least what I return to the owner is more functional than what he initially dumped on my table.

People have been calling Vista the "new ME". I think that's being horribly unfair to ME, for the reasons a couple people have noted already. ME was never asked to be a flagship, strategic product; it only existed to protect the MS revenue stream while they got XP ready to shove out the door. Being a hybrid 16-bit system like all the 9x releases, ME also didn't have the delusions of grandeur that Vista has; if you could make something work on one ME box, you could be fairly confident that you could make it work on any ME box. No such confidence applies to Vista.

If our bought-and-paid-for governments didn't allow clickwrap licenses to disclaim liability, Vista would absolutely bankrupt Microsoft, as it would lose each of a seemingly infinite number of lawsuits for deception, unfitness for use and gross negligence. Fortunately for the shareholders and a certain executive who is well-known for exercising by aerial furniture rearrangement, this isn't the case. Or, as another friend put it, Vista is the Corvair of software...."unsafe at any speed".

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Gates Horns

Vista can hurt your career prospects.

"I just got a new laptop, and because of my experiences with Vista at work, I stuck for XP (thanks Dell)."

Good idea. We have a guy here who had the bad sense of using his personal Dell Vista PC + Office 2007 at work, then showed slow or no progress, apparently because his Word documents got munged repeatedly and other Bad Install Snuff happened.

He just got fired.

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Thumb Down

EULAs and the Great Unwashed

I've tried a similar discussion in Denmark, (relating to an airline ticket, but the base problem is the same), I bought a ticket via telephone, I was not informed that changing the ticket would cost the same as the original ticket, however the consumer protection agency of Denmark, cited that I should have gone to their web site and checked the conditions for use (much like the EULA) even though the telephone operator did not indicate that there were special conditions in effect, so the fact that you know there ought to be an EULA, then it is your responsibility to find it and read it - it still applies to you whether you have read it or even are aware of it.

Don't know about the rest of the world, but personally I think it stinks.

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Coat

EULAs and the Great Unwashed

Since posts are veering in this direction. We all need this (from reasonableagreement.org)

"READ CAREFULLY. By [accepting this material|accepting this payment|accepting this business-card|viewing this t-shirt|reading this sticker] you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies (“BOGUS AGREEMENTS”) that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer."

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