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back to article Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista

When it comes to Windows 7, Microsoft hasn't just learned from the mistakes of Windows Vista. It has picked up a thing or two from Apple's OS X, judging by first impressions. The executive leading Windows 7 said Tuesday that Microsoft realized it shouldn't forge ahead on Windows 7 and deliver an operating system unsupported by …

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Coat

I'll believe it when I see it

The trouble with articles like this is that we rely heavily on Microsoft handouts for the substance, and they are willing to say anything that is likely to get the punters interested in buying. It's good that they have finally realised how much Vista is flawed, but they still haven't quite got it through their thick skulls that completely replacing an OS to satisfy the whims of the marketing department is doing them more harm than good.

Why does XP need to be completely replaced? If the only reason you have is "because it's old", then the marketing oiks have won and you may as well forget any good intentions you might have with W7. Vista is a dead end, a flawed release that should be left behind. Start again and produce something that is actually an improvement on XP rather than try to find excuses and cut chunks out of the flawed body. Don't just put out loads of buzzwords to try to placate the people having to make sense of the mess and, above all, don't make promises you can't keep.

After all, there's a reason why I still have a working RISC OS system under the desk beside my more up to date kit. It might be dated, and it might not do everything that a modern system can do, but it does what it can do well, without fuss and without the shedloads of bloated wizards and "helpful" crud that Microsoft feel I should have. When I want it to. Not several seconds down the line once the system decides I need to do it or when some process finishes analysing every nuance of my request. And it does it on a processor that is considerably less powerful than the systems in common use these days.

So go on, Microsoft. Bite the bullet. Admit Vista was a mistake and consider the alternatives, OS X included. Drop the bloat, the resource hogging crap and the DRM and put out something decent for once. It's only your profit margin that you need to consider.

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Jobs Halo

So Redmond finally got their photocopiers started

only took 'em three years, mind you...

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Alert

Uh...

"Also, Microsoft has heard that Windows Vista was a resource hog."

Oh, THEY only just realised that now?

"The company is scaling down the code base and tickling up performance to run on netbooks and existing PCs - so you need to buy a replacement machine."

Based on what you're saying, surely that should be "so you DON'T need to"?

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Jobs Horns

OH NO!! Not the Spinning Beach Ball of Wait n Wait n Wait ...

and the EVER BUGGY OS X Updates features!! Ya know, every OS X is BUGGIER than the bugs that they are fixing ... knocking out hardware, 3rd party Applications, hey even Apple applications!! Don't think so? Just take a look at the macfixit.com home page and the archives!

I'm just hoping that there won't be that childish bouncing dock icon or magnification mode for the aged or stupid.

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Behold! The Future of Windows!

I suppose then that Snow Leopard will be a "preview" of Windows 10?

On a slightly more serious note, it does appear that Microsoft has learned from the Vista debacle, which is commendable. They've taken the teething issues of Vista and decided to improve upon it instead of trying to drastically reinvent the wheel again.

The interface, from the various screen shots I've seen, does look like the bastard offspring of an unholy Aqua/Aero union, but there is time to polish it up. I'm not keen on blotting up the desktop with widgets, though. If they were "borrowing" from the Mac OS playbook, they could have gone whole-hog and made a Dashboard (though Apple would let that stand for all of 10-seconds).

The sort of interesting dilemma Microsoft has in borrowing so much from OS X is they do give the impression to the average man-about-town that Apple had it right all along, and Microsoft is trying to play catchup now. That can't be good.

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Gates Horns

Could it be....

that 2009 will be the year that Windows is "ready for the desktop" ?

Nah, MS advocates say that every year but it never happens...

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Jim

Windows 7

Will wait to get the beta but as far as the UI goes with Julie Larson-Green in charge, she the same woman who gave us office 2007 and put up a wall when it came to choice. A major complaint in Vista was there was no choice when it came to the UI so Microsoft put the very same woman in charge who was totally against choice for Office, talk about making the same mistakes over and over again. The only thing I can say if I wanted Apple, I would buy apple, I want Windows, why can't windows have it's own identity, why dose it have to be a knock off of Apple?

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Anyone else think that...

...Vista could be the best thing to happen to Microsoft in quite a while? Looks like they've learnt, albeit the hard way.

Still gonna stick with Ubuntu myself but my missus seems quite pleased that it's better than Vista (on first impressions at least)

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Pirate

Win Win

A better Windows is a Win Win for everyone. PC users get a less sucky experience whilst Mac users get end up with a better Mac OS X due to this competition forcing Apple to innovate. As a Mac user the tweaks to the task bar don't bother me, the more similar Windows is to OS X the easier it is to move between platforms.

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So what did they actually learn?

other than its a good idea to carry on changing things and in doing so annoy the hell out of users who hate change? The ribbon was bad enough on Office which ticked users off since it was so different. Using a dock instead of the older and more familiar Start menu is going to do nothing but utterly confuse the Joe Blogs consumer again.

The dock is bad enough on a Mac, it's just bloody stupid to add one to Windows. It's going to do nothing but bite them on the ass again when users just look at it, see nothing familiar, and continue to go back to XP, or some Linux varient which ever increasingly move to look like XP.

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J
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Ah, yes...

The benefits of competition, how refreshing.

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Jobs Horns

Dock is a crock

Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is.

While I haven't obviously used nor seen the new Win7 taskbar, the nice thing about the Windows taskbar was that it was simple - it showed you the list of currently running programs, and you could switch between them - it didn't try to be anything else. Another much nicer thing in Windows than OSX was that it had the name of the program that was running, rather than just some silly icon - IMO moving to icons only is a very BAD idea.

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LOSING?!

Losing money on netbooks? Losing money? When somebody fits out a computer with Linux, Microsoft may not GET the money they think they deserve. But they don't lose anything.

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Improving registry performance?

The Windows registry is an architectural tar pit and always has been.

Its stinking corpse should have been hung from a gibbet years ago, as a warning to other OS designers not to implement such an epic fail again.

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Flame

Microsoft is Ignorant

@ Michael Jarve

Microsoft has not learn anything. They are denying that Windows Vista was a failure. If you read through their PR, what they are saying is "We've improved our already successfull OS Vista".

I hope that this recession will have big impact on both Microsoft, and Apple. Apple's OS X is good, but they are also evil, and abusive towards customers.

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Just make it chew gum and walk at the same time ...

As a Mac, Solaris, Linux and reluctant Windows user, one of the things I could never figure out is why Windows disk I/O is so crap given that it runs on the same hardware as all the others.

If MS could only do one thing, it would be to keep the rest of the operating system going while it accesses the disk. For goodness sake it's been over 22 years (yes that long) since Windows 1.0 first hit the streets. You would have thought that at least one of the 100,000 employees could learn how to program interrupts properly in that time.

If they could manage that it might even become useful ...

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Gates Horns

Webster Phreaky is back!

You been out or something, man?

This was an article about Windows, mind. So no need to slag off the OS X implementation in the comment section.

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Anonymous Coward

Gotta Laugh

If you believe MS bloggers "Mary Jo Foley" She gets a column in all sorts of tech rags these days...

The MS Behemoth can change its spots overnight. Look at the pretty windows 7 bling! We wont tell you what were gonna try and charge you more for this time. Simultaneous open sockets [DONE], Features we removed since the last version [DONE], someone elses code [....], They're on a winner with full office that deactivates after a month... So perhaps a subscription to unlock each processor core after two.

They keep on rehashing the same stuff, bat, wsh, powershell, letalone what they do to the poor winapp coders. Since moving to the Unix's life has involved so much less rehash, so much more reuse :_)

Licensing nightmare OVER Ya!

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Anonymous Coward

are they just just 'doing sound bites' again??

If they had any sense, MS would get the main good features of Linux/BSD/ etc.......... ........ (yes I know OSX is a very much modified version of similar..)

- command line totally separate from GUI - GUI crashes, just start another from the command line.. ( Is it at all possible to do this, or is it just too 'intertwined' over the years ??? )

- impossible to use root without having to *always* authenticate manually (Hey I'm no expert, so please correct!!)

- no reboots needed!!!!!! even when major components replaced/upgraded..

these are my main reasons for lovin Linux.... MS, are you man enough????

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Rob
Stop

A nice bit of MS bashing I see.

The drag-and-drop of task bar items isn't exactly new, people have been asking about it for years (it should have been in vista), hell all of this stuff should have been in vista. There are windows theme programs which I'm sure can emulate drag-and-drop already anyway.

For all those that moan about the Office 2007 UI change, it's the best thing that ever happened to office, people just don't like change. Once you get used to it (yeah it can be a pain working out where everything is at first and it does take a bit of time), it's just so much better than the old system, you wonder why it hasn't been around before.

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joe
Flame

Ohh Webster

Before you open your mouth google for windows problems. Everyone knows there are more and always will be more. Ooo you can come up with a few sites. How many can you come up with if you search for windows? How many tom dick and harrys out there have a PC speed and cleanup applications for registry fixes spyware, malware and IE browser hijacking? Why do windows users have these problems? Simple! Its a flawed platform that is filled with legacy bloat.

You sir obviously don't use anything other than windows so YOU have no basis or legs to stand on. Microsoft can and should learn from others if (i mean have) they lost the ability to produce an operating system that just works. That would include Apple, moron.

POWER TO THE BEACHBALL!!!! At least us Mac users have something animated to watch instead of the BSOD!!

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Unhappy

Bugger

I don't like the Mac OS X interface. Its clunky, cockhanded and always in the bloody way. You cant beat a quick launch and start menu.

When you use a Mac don't you feel you have been given a crayon instead of a pen?

Still seems that most mac users cant colour between the lines though:P

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Gates Halo

What were Microsoft execs thinking (or not)?

I still wonder how an operating system that can take 5 - 10 minutes to start up, an hour to shut down (installing updates) and 5 minutes to open some applications even made it past the boardroom at Microsoft. What were Microsoft executives thinking (or not)?

At the same time Ford, GM and Chrysler were still pushing massive SUVs despite rising fuel costs.

How many paper MBAs does it take to ruin a company?

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Dock and app shortcuts

>In a nod to OS X, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps

>into the doc to access them quickly. It'll be possible to open applications from the

>doc that are coded to support Windows 7.

Is this ignorance or incompetence talking? Even Win XP allows you to easily drag app shortcuts into the start bar "shortcut" area, or into the quick start area on the task bar at the bottom, or or or or or.

The great strength of the Windows interface is that you can do a lot of things in a lot of ways, adapting it to how you want it to look (like changing colours and sizes and widths of window elements/surrounds/margins/etc etc etc. You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks.

With OS X it's one way only, and screw you anyway. Apple's dock is just shite. Finder is shite, with shite cross-application drag and drop and selection interface.

Unfortunately the great strength of Microsoft Windows (being able to make it do things in the way you choose) is being smothered by MS desire to ape Apple's "there there little boy - we won't give you freedom so you can't screw it up" school of interface design. They've lost confidence in their own ability to design a decent interface, and are now just doing me-too Mac rubbish.

Except that while Apple make it dumbed-down, they make it elegant. MS is just making it dumbed down and opaque. Vista? Vomit!

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Stop

You must be kidding!

So MS make some changes to the task bar and therefore it's OS X like?! WTF!?

This is Vista, with more refinements. Think of it as the Win98 to the Win95. Same underneath but with some tweaks and improved eye-candy. The fact that the anti-Vista folks - including the media - are falling for this is quite simply unbelievable.

Windows 7 has the same architecture, security changes and system requirements as Vista. With that basis, it implies that the only issues with Vista were drivers and hardware requirements..... which pretty much left us mid-way through 2007.

I'll probably be in the vast minority, but as much as I rushed out to get Vista - which I'm glad I did (no problems at all and a BIG improvement on XP) - I won't be running out to get Win7 unless some other big changes are promised.

Win7 is Vista re-dressed so media and critics go "oh, it runs well on hardware at the moment, and there's lots of driver support... it's so much better than Vista".

Marketing delivered...

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Go

Baldrick: "I hear there's good money to be made down at the docks"

Docks seem to be the marmite of the OS world, you either love or hate them. I am in the love camp (ha!) but I can certainly see improvements. I find using a combination of a dock and the taskbar is actually the best way forward, so am pleased Win7 seems to be going in this direction. Still not happy about having to move the mouse to see what is open. If MS do it right, they could get the spectre of Vista behind them. From the screenshots it is still going to be a graphics memory hog though, no improvement there. XP to 2010 for most windows users I suspect.

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IT Angle

Change the record please...

"Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is." Translated - "I've only the recordplayed with OSX in a shop, but, being the nerd that I am, I am an expert on UI design and as I don't understand the simplicity of the dock, I deem it to be TERRIBLE..."

Things change - it's called progress. It's what the IT industry used to thrive on until luddites that were supposed to become surveyors/accountants "because of the pay" decided to go into IT "because of the pay". Vista isn't brilliant, but it's a hell of a lot better than the IT media hacks make out. It proposed some interesting solutions to the average users stupidity. For instance, where UAC falls down is over geeky language for the average user (Windows after all is aimed at the lowest common denominator, and if it isn't, THATS where MS are going wrong) - and, yes it is a little over zealous - but make it learn (checkbox - don't ask again) and use plain and simple language.

It should be exciting that MS are trying to move GUI's forward - even if they are heavily influenced by Apple - or KDE for that matter. What's important is that the biggest OS install base keeps with the times. The fact that we still "discuss" operating environments is bad - computing should be beyond that now. I'd like to see MS produce a kernel that is based on all these patent infringements Linux is supposed to be making, instead of a rip off of CP/M.

For all you so called IT experts out there that fear change - can you fuck off so the rest of us can move forward please?

Is there any estimation on when Webster Phreaky is due to go through puberty?

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Alert

Windows 7 - runs on OS X Inside ;-)

SO the provenance for Windows 7 is Vista and OS X? How will the anti-fanbois cope with this? More to the point should Microsoft be worrying about the OSX Dock patents?

I was also intrigued to hear that with a touch screen you can use iPhone style gestures - again, is there a risk that Microsoft are trampling on Apple patents?

As a user of both Windows XP and OS X I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try (and hopefully upgrade to) Windows 7. Looks like Microsoft have got their act together at last. Just hope the revised Vista codebase is up to the challenge. I can't see Microsoft abandoning that line of attack, after all everybody in Windows world, not just MS, has been writing code and drivers for it for a good two years now...

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@ Webster Freaky

So, the ECT didn't work then?

Still, I'm sure you enjoyed the break with the doctors and nurses and the nice man with the electric probes.

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Silver badge

yes, but it's still only Vista Mk2

and from what I've read, there's nothing new and compelling that I'll be able to do with it that I can't already do with XP. Any O/S by itself is irrelevant - it's merely a platform for running applications. Sadly Vista makes that far too hard and that's it's problem.

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@Dock haters, Webster

"Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is."

What are you talking about? The dock is a collection of icons that are linked to programs. They have a visible mark if that program is currently loaded. If you left click a program that isn't loaded, it loads. If you left click a program that is loaded then it becomes frontmost. If you right click a running program you get a context menu, if you right click an unloaded program you get basic options to load it or remove its icon from the Dock.

Normally you add icons for to the dock by dragging them on to it, remove them by dragging them off it.

You can also drag and drop files onto icons on the dock to open that file with that program.

To be honet, if you find that confusing then I'm not sure you're qualified to use a computer. The Dock (including the NextStep predecessor and very similar RISC OS thing) has been praised because humans are much better at recognising images than text, so it lets you find what you're looking for more quickly.

Incidentally, if you want to feel a bit of Microsoft's frustration, try dragging and dropping a file onto an open program on the taskbar. You'll get a window that says "You cannot drop an item onto a button on the taskbar. However, if you drag the item over a button without releasing the mouse button, the window will open for a moment, allowing you to drop the item inside the window" - i.e. "we know what you wanted to do and wish we had a mechanism for doing it, but we don't and it's a bit too late now".

Per Webster's "I'm just hoping that there won't be ... [a] magnification mode for the aged or stupid." - you're now against old people and you impliedly think that people with vision difficulties are stupid?

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Paris Hilton

What?

"Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is."

It sound like you are the one who's confused. The dock's main purpose is obvious, with plenty of extra additional features. It's the single best thing about OS X.

What an odd comment.

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@ LOSING?! By Dr. Ellen

The only reason M$ are loosing money in the Netbook market is that they are subsidising Netbooks with XP installed in order to gain leverage (unfair advantage) in that market.

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Anonymous Coward

Vista Issues

You would think they would try and get Vista running properly before launching a new operating system. I think Vista is a throw away operating system like Windows Me. They needed revenue so they released Vista to keep the money flowing while they developed the real replacement for XP.

I own a Vista laptop and it does not shutdown properly most time, hangs, is slow and generally sucks. I has 2 gig of memory and a dual core processor so you think it ought to have enough resources to run the operating system correctly.

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Yay OS X

One of the many things that irritated me about Vista was it looked and to a certain extent felt like OSX, now it;s officially deliberate?

I don't like Apple's operating system - if I did, I'd buy an Apple computer. IE7/8 are ripffs of firefox, the OS itself is going to be ripped off from Apple and i'll just bet windows 7 is crammed with all sorts of applications I have no need for but are built into the damn thing in any case.

Makes ya mad...

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Anonymous Coward

2 reasons...

...why Windows might never get rid of bloat ...errr... features: 1) profit 2) tie-ups.

Profit: if a version of Windows w/ a lean kernel is shipped, not only would MS be forced to price it considerable cheaper (compared to other versions), but more people would choose it. There goes a chunk of their profit.

Tie-ups: do you think the RIAAss. and MPAAss. would allow a single version of WIndows w/o DRM ..errr.. "secure data path"? Of course not! A setup taht would only be used for browsing or document encoding should never be forced to have a DRM component. Heck, even if a system is for multimedia viewing, if the user doesn't want to play Blu-Ray, why stick DRM component in the kernel?

Until the day Windows is released with a truely modular/configurable kernel/system (and not the pseudo-variants Home, Business, Ultimate, etc), it will always bloat.

Ps. if a user doesn't want to use legacy software, and just those specifically made for the newest OS, regardless of available software, why doesn't the user have the option to remove the feature that supports legacy software?

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Anonymous Coward

@Blue Pumpkin, re: Windows disc IO

I've got to agree with that. When I first started work in a Windows development shop and got my first taste of Windows 98 on a PIII, I was shocked at how much slower it was at simply duplicating a file on the local HD, compared to my old PowerMac. Admittedly Macs still had SCSI hard discs back then, but I could still do something if I put the file copy into the background, unlike Windows.

My second vote for a 'just fix this and I'll be satisfied' list - stop Windows applications from stealing the focus. Even that TweakUI button that specifically says it will stop applications from stealing the focus doesn't work.

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Happy

Back to the future

In a nod to OS/2, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps into the doc to access them quickly

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There are some problems with your comment

Looks intresting, but I'll wait for the Beta before I put the salt down.

Oh, and Microsft - Seeing as there is a large userbase pinning for XP Back... How's about giving us back Luna & Energy? First thing I did with Vista was find a Luna Theme pack. The most usable start/task bar you managed to make... and you threw it away after one release.

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Silver badge

@Webster and all other fanbois

<rant>

GOD/DESS, but you lot are boring ... Especially you, Webster.

As a preface, a bit of my background (not in calendar order!):

My first "Personal Computer" was a Heathkit H11A hobby computer. At the same time as dad & I were building the Heath, I was connecting to the Stanford Tymeshare system using an acoustic coupler and a teletypewriter (I was supposed to be learning COBOL, Fortran and BASIC, but mostly played Wumpus & StarTrek). I first sent what we now call email to a friend at MIT, regarding an IMSAI 8080 another friend and his dad were building. I was an early member of the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto. I was a phone phreak, and still have a dozen or so Crunch whistles in a box somewhere. This was all when I was a teenager.

The first system that I personally owned that I consider to have been a "real computer" was an AT&T 3B1. I had been familiar with UNIX for about a decade at the time (I've been using UNIX for over 30 years, and have a Guinness & coffee stained first edition K&R, signed & dated by Dennis & Brian to prove it). I got the money to buy the 3B1 working as a backup monkey in a mainframe shop (I used to speak SNA like a native). As I continued in school, I learned TOPS-10, and then the internally much different TOPS-20. I owned a small VAX cluster at one point, for reasons I still don't really understand.

In the early-mid 80s I was involved with <telco>, and became friendly with SS7 and the ins & outs of the [T|E]-carrier standards, and all the hardware involved. Later in the 80s, I was involved with Sun Microsystems, IBM, NET, and Cisco. I was a consultant for Amdahl in the early 90s (they didn't listen, and are now owned by Fujitsu. Cause & effect? Probably not, I'm not that good!).

Along with my bang path addresses at Stanford and Berkeley from the early '80s, I was an early adaptor of The WELL and BIX. You can probably find News posts of mine at DejaGoo from before TheGreatRenaming[tm]. The TCP/IP stack you use to connect to teh intrawebs probably still has code that I contributed, regardless of platform. (I'm not narcissistic enough to look for either).

Along the way, I was in the right time and place to help beta-test the IBM PC (at Ford Aerospace in late 1979 or early 1980 ... We had PC-DOS 0.98, the UCSD P-system, CP/M, and of course the built-in ROM BASIC). I have followed along the DOS/Windows trail over the years, mostly out of self-defense. I believe I have the only copy of DOS 3.0 in existence (outside MS) that has the internal networking hooks turned on. I have working legacy machines running virtually every version of DOS and Windows that were made available to the public. Most rarely boot anymore, and should probably be recycled. You might say I'm kinda familiar with WinDOS. I had a dual core, 4gig Vista box for a year or so; it now runs a BSD variation and is a backup file server. I don't like, use, or support, Vista. I think I'm done following Microsoft's software.

Apple has been in my office since the 5802 days, first as a curiosity, then for Pagemaker, and now for video editing. Little else, other than testing software for clients. I have a wood-cased 5802, a Lisa, some NeXT gear, and various other bits of Apple trivea that I purchased new. I do NOT have an iPod, an iPhone, or any other mass-market iThingies. I'm not iNterested.

There is more, but to avoid further yawning, I'll stop.

I think I've learned enough to be allowed to have an opinion.

Basically, all you nit-wit fanbois trying to pretend you know "which OS is best" or "which hardware is best" or "which application is best", or whatever, are wrong and should shut the fuck up until you have a clue what you are talking about.

THERE IS NO ALL AROUND BEST. So shut up. Stop it. You're embarrassing yourselves.

All OSes suck. All hardware sucks. All applications suck. All fanbois suck.

There is only the best OS/hardware/application combo for a specific user and/or a given situation. But it all still sucks. Learn it. Love it. Treat it as a mantra. Your blood pressure will drop, and you'll have a chance of living past 30 ...

</rant>

That said, just for full disclosure ... After the AT&T UNIX PC, I ran Mark Williams Coherent at home. I had been using Mark Williams C compiler for a couple of years, and liked their product. When Mark Williams Group obviously was having problems, I looked around and discovered Slackware 1.0. I've been using it as my personal desktop ever since. I do use Windows, mostly for AutoCAD. I also still use a Mac occasionally, mostly for video editing. But my go-to system is Slackware. NOT because I'm religious about it, but simply because I haven't found a better solution for my needs. If I find a better solution, I'll switch.

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me
Jobs Horns

Is it 64 bit???

Will it be 64 bit only? Will it include 32 bit as well? Will there be really good driver and software app support for 64 bit??

Or are we all gonna stay in the past and forget about progress?

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Dead Vulture

Does anyone proof read any more?

"The company is scaling down the code base [...] to run on netbooks and existing PCs - so you need to buy a replacement machine."

I think the word 'not' is missing.

"In a nod to OS X, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps into the doc[k] to access them quickly."

My faith in articles is inversely proportional to the quantity of typos and spelling errors.

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Emulation of OS X is a good thing

If they will also eliminate the idiotic way XP locks focus on every config window that opens up then I might be able to finally use it without swearing. THAT's the part of OS X they SHOULD be copying.

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Jobs Horns

BBC review

Have a look at the BBC 'preview' clip at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7696648.stm

Watch the chap on the left try to move a window. Ha, again ha and thrice ha!

Can't say I was to impressed by our 'guru' trying to magnify a picture either!

...are they deliberately making Linux look good?

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Anonymous Coward

@Dodge

"You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks."

This is precisely why there so many unintuitive, unusable and downright bloody awful PC apps out there.

Want a title bar in 22 pt Comic Sans? no problem!

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Drag & Drop Taskbar

Oh, please.

I've been using drag and drop on the taskbar (and in the system tray as well, come to that) on Windows 2000 SP4 for years.

http://nerdcave.webs.com/taskbarshuffle.htm

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OSX Dock

Of all the things to be influenced by, Microsoft choose that utter piece of shit that is the OSX Dock.

They've obviously learned NOTHING about usability. (Innovation, my arse).

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"Look like OSX"??

So it's going to have a dock like OSX? Why bother buying Windows if it's going to look and feel like OSX?? May as well have a Macbook be my next PC, accept I already have an investment in a desktop and laptop PC running Vista. My Vista systems perform extremely well with no problems. Nice to know I won't have to replace my PC's in two years. Wasn't planning on it anyway.

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Black Helicopters

@Thomas, Re: Dock Haters...-

Thomas says:

Incidentally, if you want to feel a bit of Microsoft's frustration, try dragging and dropping a file onto an open program on the taskbar. You'll get a window that says "You cannot drop an item onto a button on the taskbar. However, if you drag the item over a button without releasing the mouse button, the window will open for a moment, allowing you to drop the item inside the window" - i.e. "we know what you wanted to do and wish we had a mechanism for doing it, but we don't and it's a bit too late now".

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Could it be that they're being *just* different enough to avoid running up against somebody's patent or other?

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@dodge

"The great strength of the Windows interface is that you can do a lot of things in a lot of ways, adapting it to how you want it to look (like changing colours and sizes and widths of window elements/surrounds/margins/etc etc etc. You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks."

Rubbish, that's one of it's greatest weaknesses. Applying skins to a GUI doesn't make it any more useful. If anything it makes it less useful. Ever heard of a something called "consistency" ???

Tell me, just how much did Aero improve *productivity* on Vista over XP?

Incidentally you CAN change things like window colours, fonts, etc. in OS X if you really want to pimp up your desktop but Apple don't provide an easy way to do this from a control panel.

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