You may love Linux or hate it, but when a distribution is complete, there's very little hesitation by commercial operators when it comes to getting the completed operating system out there. The Ubuntu 9.04 release candidate was posted on April 16 with final code promised for seven days later on April 23. The final Ubuntu 9.04 …
Where's that on the quadrant?
Yes! open source it! Turn a cash cow into a . . . what exactly?
For all the other things Microsoft do, Windows and Office make the vast majority of its money. No matter that it takes an age to do a release, they are still creaming huge margins off the current software.
Never mind the quality, feel the width of the code.....
It's typical of the world's most arrogant software company to think that because there are more lines of code, it's obviously better.
The reason that Linux et al have an easier time is that it started on a very firm foundation coming from BSD Unix and some extremely talented programmers - where windows.... well it had none of these advantages.
Color me confused, but I don't buy it
"Windows is far more complicated. It has millions more lines of code. It is far more integrated with other products and has a larger ecosystem of hardware and software that it must ensure that it works with. Hence, slower release cycles."
1. Tighter integration of Windows with applications should, it seems to me, simplify things and reduce the amount of code.
2. Larger ecosystem? Well, gee, I've put Ubuntu on two machines, one an ancient junker, the other a modern dual core affair, and it "just works". And as for software, I've got three distinct word processors on my Ubuntu box, and they're not Word, Werd, and Wurd.
3. Slower release cycles? But why so much slower? XP came out when, 2001? It's eight years later and Vista2 still isn't out of the starting blocks, while Linux has been updated over and over.
I'll stick my neck out and say that the reason Windows is an unmanageable mess lies in Microsoft's incompetence: they only *think* they know how to write good software. I'll add in the baleful influence of marketing while I'm at it, and for good measure toss in the end-to-end DRM installed at the behest of Hollywood. Fuck Microsoft. Fuck Hollywood.
Perhaps Microsoft is right
An open and shut case of apples and oranges, m'lud.
Ubuntu developers did not write Linux, they wrote small parts of the Ubuntu distribution. Much, or even most, of what many people think of as Linux (e.g. ALL the GNU tools, Apache, BIND, X Windows, and so on) is separate.
I've built later versions of all-the-above on Linux (and Solaris and FreeBSD). Does that make me a Linux distro maker? No. But to varying extents that is what Linux distro makers do.
I'm not deriding Linux distro makers. But you are comparing a company, Microsoft, which builds most of its own OS, with Canonical which essentially repackages Debian into something called Ubuntu. Again, I'm not saying that is a bad thing, and Ubuntu is a very nice distribution. It's very polished. But they didn't write most of it.
A more honest comparison might be between Microsoft and Debian, and The Register has had things to say in the past about delayed Debian releases.
After the Vista debacle I'm not surprised that MS is apparently being more cautious this time. Why wouldn't they be? Who would get the blame if MS releases Windows 7 and some widely used piece of software doesn't work exactly as expected? Or some "feature" is broken?
And the Point?
Another opportunity to bash Microsoft. Ubuntu got the code out in time, so what? Has that done anything to improve their market share or make them anymore than a niche system for enthusiasts, servers and people who 'have' to choose free? I think not? I'm still waiting for a Linux distro to show up that I can pop on my hardware, then go to Best Buy and pick up a game that will load without tweaks to 20 million lines of code. (go ahead with the insults on my intelligence - as is common when the sanctity of Linux is questioned, however, I'm capable of amending code to get things working but as a consumer, that should be done already so I don't have to bother). I think its a smart thing for MS to wait and get it right. Xp wasn't perfect out of the gate, neither was Vista, but they are both solid now (begin flames from fanboys of niche systems) and so can Windows 7. I think once the OS is out on the street it will do really well as time and market share will tell.
Stop sign - for pointless articles aimed at bashing MS; then again it is the Reg :-P.
Comment on ‘Windows 7 and the Linux lesson’
"...it'll arrange a huge artifice of a global launch replete with glowing customer and partner endorsements and paid-for whitepapers from IDC all pointing to how this version of Windows is the best yet, and will make you more productive that the last version."
Dude, you should get a Pulitzer for that!
It's so funny because it's true, esp. the IDC part.
Keep up the good work
Why Windows 7?
"Windows 7 offers very little different from Windows Vista"
That's right - it doesn't
want to know why?
Microsoft billed Windows 7 as the system to replace XP and it will. With Windows 7 they've shaved Vista down so it will run on a Netbook spec PC, which will solve the problem of having to maintain the supply of OEM's of their old XP system which, due to Vista's bloat, is currently unavoidable for Netbooks.
This version of Windows 7 is not, as advertised 2 years ago, the componentised virtual machine minwin core system - that'll be Windows 8! (that’s why they’re able to tell the media that release 8 is coming soon – they’ve got a couple of years head start)
Vista for Netbooks and that's ALL Windows 7 is
Microsoft must think their customers are sooo stupid - if you've got Vista, unless you're thinking of buying a Netbook, don't bother buying Microsoft's latest offering because you've already got it. Just download the red fish in a tank wallpaper and save yourself a few hundred quid!
Ms Os !
Do microsoft still do OS's ?
Of course nothing has changed....
M$ is waiting for Apple to release their next version of OSX so they can copy/ steal everything new and crap it into the final version of windows 7.
What Linux worry?
Linux doesn't worry about hardware compatibility, that's your problem
Spot on, for the most part
I think this view's a bit cynical, but true for the most part.
The one point I wouldn't cede, though, in the interest of fairness:
[QUOTE]and how Windows 7 offers very little different from Windows Vista or how little it's changed during the build process[/QUOTE]
In functionality I'd say yes. They focused on fixing bugs and speed. From what I've read, Windows 7 is still more resource-intensive than Ubuntu, but not by the ridiculous margin vista showed. As a Linux fan I do give Microsoft credit for debloating Vista.
Not difficult to stick to a given date...
...when you don't care what state the software is in. The previous release of Kubuntu came out bang on schedule. This, despite knowing that bluetooth support was completely broken. I wouldn't trust the ext4 file system available on this new release either. Data loss is a real possibility. Microsoft needs a successor to Win 3.11, 98SE and XP, not another WinMe or Vista.
If this means taking a while longer to get it out, so be it.
Critical Path Analysis lacking?
Gee, wouldn't an organisation the size of MS have someone using Critical Path techniques to parallel some of those tasks?
I mean, knowing that they have to be done <b>sometime</b>, an' all...?
Or are they so stuck in single-threading that they can't even multi-task the business, let alone the software?
Ubuntu still has a long way to go to catch up to Windows 7, especially when you consider things like user-friendliness. There are significant design oversights, for example you have to get into the terminal to perform simple tasks like changing a volume label. How does that sound?
Testing is good and Ubuntu has too little of that. I thought I would have a better experience with Ubuntu after a year...
What, no relevant figures here?
Comparing the needs of Linux user groups to the millions times more users of Windows, corporate, home and otherwise might be more useful than merely saying that one flavor of Linux gets a release candidate issued when the final code release is already planned.
What you may have missed is that the true LTS code won't be available for some time, with no firm date set.
Flames, because I will probably be seeing some...
Sighs. . .
Want to say first off I am neither a lover of hater of MS or any other OS out there. I have used and still do use Ubuntu, Windows <insert OS here> and Mac OSX on maybe not a daily basis but I do use them.
"You may love Linux or hate it, but when a distribution is complete, there's very little hesitation by commercial operators when it comes to getting the completed operating system out there."
Lets see here shall we Gavin? Windows has 88% of the market share. *nix (all 50k version of them) has umm lets see has .9% of the market. . .you can find proof here
Wouldnt it make more sense to work out as much as possible before you release something with that much market share?
"The same cannot be said of Microsoft and Windows. And that's causing some frustration among those who want to get on with Windows 7."
Firs thing here, Windows and Microsoft are 2 different OS'? Yeah lets leave it at that shall we? Personally Im of the mindset of wanting as much of it finished and as bug (yes I know there will be issues) free as possible, and for such a large market share there are going to be more problems found then on something with .9% of the market share.
"OK, Ubuntu is no Windows and Microsoft will say Windows is far more complicated. It has millions more lines of code. It is far more integrated with other products and has a larger ecosystem of hardware and software that it must ensure that it works with. Hence, slower release cycles"
So if you know this why compare then?
"However, Windows 7 was finished ages ago. Yes, we had the beta in October - but since then very little in the build appears to have changed. We've had performance improvements and bug fixes, but Microsoft's been on the triage fast track, to the alarm of some early testers."
Ok lets break this down shall we?
Win7 being finished? yeah doubtful seeing as its a damn beta. Beta means just that unless you forgot the definition.
Very little being changed? What about that which was fixed that we DONT know about? Its not like we wrote it and know exactly what was changed right? Not to mention what if they have made changes that they havent released yet? Games do it all the time. As for alarm? Umm no I would rather it be as close to finished as possible instead of a half assed product (yes this is going to start flames on me....ill just insert the spit in my ass right now to make it easy)
"The only significant difference between last October's beta and the release candidate will be the inclusion of an anti-trust button. This will let users turn off Internet Explorer 8, along with other Microsoft applications, and has been included to satisfy European regulators who feel that Microsoft is hurting competitors by shipping its applications with Windows."
As for the "anti-trust button"? ODFO ok? So they added it who cares? I guarantee that 99% of the people who buy a system with Win7 on it wont care or even know about it. Not to mention we dont know what stuff they changed/fixed without telling us about it.
"Yet the evidence speaks for itself."
Can I see this "evidence" you speak of? Oh right, YOU DONT WORK FOR MICROSOFT. Moving on. . .
"Then, Microsoft's got to let marketing teams construct fancy SKU pricing and packaging options while holding endless meetings about meetings."
Wouldnt you "construct" fancy packaging (ignoring the SKU pricing since that is irrelevant here" to catch the eye of those who are looking for something? Guess you dont care about making a profit eh? And as for the endless meetings you know this how? Oh right its a guess.
"Which is remarkable when you consider how Windows has become a commodity, and how Windows 7 offers very little different from Windows Vista or how little it's changed during the build process. A company other than Microsoft might have open-sourced this beast years ago, in order to free itself from the cost and delay of having to keep re-inventing the wheel. That's why IBM created Eclipse for development tools and others jumped on board."
Commodity? Tell me how much of a commodity it is when EVERY GAMER uses it? What about Businesses? And pretty much everyone of the other 88% that use it? Explain how its a commodity please. How do you know a company other them MS would have Open Sourced it years ago? Lets see, has Blizzard Open Sourced the code for WoW to allow others to have their own servers? Yeah I didnt think so. As for IBM's Eclipse, you have firm numbers of how many jumped on board? Whats that? Maybe 1 million? Ok then I guess that most of the worlds population there then.
"Microsoft could learn from the commercial backers of Linux distros that put the technology and users first."
All I have to say is this Gavin. . .
You sir are not only a fanboi but also an idiot. Have a nice day.
Give me a break
Some one needs to tell the hardware manufacturers that it is not Microsofts job to make sure their shit, which follows standards like a blind seeing eye dog, works.
Give em a break
I'm no M$ fan boy (is anyone?) but I say give them a break, considering the platforms and applications that windows supports, they do a pretty good job. I don't think you'd get the same number of people whining if ubuntu was broken somehow (my 10 year old linux app won't run anymore!)
Wasn't it not that long ago that people were complaining that MS is moving too fast?
Linux is on time all of the time
Microsoft is slow to adapt and change, eventually the world will forget it is even there.
As a person who has used a Linux desktop for twelve years ( Debian 6 "squeeze" now )
it is obvious concerning development cycle differences.
In spite of the naming conventions in Linux... It is a continuous evolution without stopping for anything... one version leads into another, ever evolving.
As it is now the kernel of Linux, all by itself, is the largest software development project on Earth.
In time Microsoft will just fade into history. If they were not mentioned so much now, I would not even know that they exist at all.
Windows 7... or sub-versions
As someone commented on another El-Reg article; there are to be different flavours of Windows 7 to appease the Netbook owners. And to force them to update to better OS / hardware this netbook flavour is to be limited to 3 concurrent apps... If true.. then the testing phase is likely to be even longer whilst they work out how to simplfiy their code (or use some kill-bits).
In the end- the idea of open-sourcing windows is likely to create a bigger 'gulp' - are you sure people will want to see how well we wrote stuff? Probably open them up to a whole raft of anti-trust law-suits etc.
If there is any beast which should be able to say - enough. We go back to the drawing board and start afresh - but reuse the good bits - it should be MS. However probably far too many interested parties / managers who wish their section to be included to enable this to happen
One day people will realise that thinking outside of the box - and giving resources to people to do this- can be a real means to get new products. If MS released an OS which booted in 2 seconds; worked flawlessly with minor bells and whistles (why animated fading menus?) then they would have a killer product.
XP worked why reinvent the wheel?
Oh, 64 bit systems & terabyte memory!
Want it NOW!
Entirely agree. The Windows 7 Beta is the best operating system yet in terms of speed, system resource use, looks and usability. It is more free of bugs than its rubbish predecessor and works as efficiently as XP on any decent spec machine.
Let us have the operating system now so we can kick Vista into the same draw as the Millennium Edition.
Yes M$ rush it out please.......
Ubuntu has very little plug and play ability with even the most simple USB devices, one of the several reasons I can't be bothered with it.
I think it's hilarious that El Reg is saying Microsoft is dragging it's heels, it is planned for release in 2010 and we will still be getting it early, its more important we get it right than getting it very early.
No comment about Snow Leoaprd how long has that been in beta for now ? since the middle of last year.... funny how that wasn't mentioned, must a slow news day I'd rather be running 7 in three months than Ubuntu now.
Nice analysis but failure to understand the nature of the beast
Leave aside the merits or otherwise of Windows 7, the fact is that M$ is bound by its very nature to behave this way over a new release. And when I say its nature I do not mean that it is institutionally evil or the spawn of Satan (though I'm also not ruling this possibility out...) - it is a huge multinational capitalist enterprise with a dominant or monopolistic position in several of its markets whose inherent logic is maximising shareholder value.
How else can it do this with a product like Windows 7 other than by spending almost as much time and money on roll-out and marketing as on engineering the product itself? So M$ is not only keen to claim that the latest Windows kicks the competition in the pants but is also a "must have" if you're using an older version of Windows. Witness the way M$ has been dragged kicking and screaming into extending the life of XP time and again (thereby eating into Vista sales) because it does the job well enough for most institutions and individuals and probably better and/or more cheaply than Vista does. M$ wants sales, not customers content (enough) with a seven year old OS.
Compare this with Canonical and Ubuntu. Yes Mr Shuttleworth can be heard around release time singing the praises of Wacky Waterbuffalo but Canonical's shareholders do not benefit directly from increased downloads or even installations of Umbongo. However there's no shareholder value to be had in fewer installations or short-term installations, only in more widespread and long-term use of the OS. Hence like other mainstream Linux distros it stands or falls on quality engineering: stability, security, usability, longevity, scalability and the like.
"Microsoft could learn from the commercial backers of Linux distros that put the technology and users first."
I suspect Microsoft could learn more from Patrick Volkerding's one man show than any of the corporate distros. He does what needs to be done, and little else. Result? Rock solid stability, and a not-quite regular release cycle.
"Ubuntu is no Windows"
There is a God!
First lesson to be learned from Vista and W7
You can't force people to hardware update because the OS don't support that external hardware.
Maybe people just do: ok, printer.scanner,... not supported = won't touch the new OS (besides I'm happy with it and informal stuff suggests avoid new OS anyway).
Pure Drivel & FUD
Anyone that says Windows 7 was finished ages ago definitely hasn't played with multiple builds, the changes between build 7000 - 7068 have quite a few changes in functionality, behavior, and bug fixes. In fact I reported 8 bugs in Build 7000 alone. As for Ubuntu having a release candidate for only 7 days hardly gives any time for testing, but then again Ubuntu / Debian have always pushed down updates pretty much from day one of installing a final versions. Whereas most of Microsoft's updates are only security patches to maintain stability by not introducing different versions of software.
Windows 7 is amazing, and I can understand why people want it fast tracked but it is just not ready yet. It is by far a much better desktop environment then Linux is for the average user, but I will give Linux kudos for being a considerably better server platform (give me a good old text editor for my configuration files!!).
Good old fashioned bitchin'
I've never read such nonsense -
"Windows 7 was finished ages ago", "yet, for all its completeness, Microsoft can't let Windows 7 go.", "The message is clear: there's nothing left to do on Windows 7"
But set against the admission that -
"We've had performance improvements and bug fixes", "now Microsoft's got to hand the code to hardware and software partners for testing", "it's got to make sure the Windows 7 integrations work with the wave of new products - like Office 2010 - plus existing software".
I see nothing impressive in final releases swiftly following release candidates, and should a bug show up later it can be argued that it failed to show due diligence in testing. Nor do I see any reasoned or rational argument against Microsoft's due diligence and longer times between release candidate and final release.
Sure Microsoft could skip all that and then people would be bitchin' about Windows 7 being buggy, incompatible, asking why Microsoft didn't issue an RC then fix the bugs before going to final release.
Leave the developers and companies to determine their own development cycles and time frames. Users always want everything, want everything now, and think they know better than those involved in the development. Always a PITA.
Paris : Who I nominate as proxy to give the author a good slap.
Ubuntu Jokealope is so good
it took me 2 days to fix everything they had broken from the previous version. It now is harder for the average user to get video and music to 'just work' as it no longer offers to get the codecs you need if they are missing. Compiz is seriously damaged and my tv tuner no longer works. It is a joke that they want 900 dollars for support.
Windows 7 is far superior and I run Macs.
"...and works as efficiently as XP on any decent spec machine."
Considering that this is two versions later, shouldn't it be more efficient? What you wrote above is, at best, damning with faint praise.
DRM Still A Core Component?
And the question I still haven't seen answered regarding Win7.... Has it retained the end to end DRM that Vista uses? If the answer is yes then it won't be going on any of my systems. I will not be treated like a criminal by technology that cannot work.
Almost Had It There
As an aside, this story reminds me of the Father Ted scene where he attempts to remove a tiny dent from a car body panel by knocking it out gently with a hammer, but ends up trashing the entire thing.
@ John Freeman
"I'm still waiting for a Linux distro to show up that I can pop on my hardware, then go to Best Buy and pick up a game that will load without tweaks to 20 million lines of code"
Hmmmm, you've obviously not played any games from Bethesda's stable then? Yes, I'm looking at YOU, Fallout 3. It's not just Linux that needs tweaking to get things to work...
@ David Simpson
"Ubuntu has very little plug and play ability with even the most simple USB devices, one of the several reasons I can't be bothered with it."
What utter rubbish. I have many USB devices and Ubuntu works just fine with all of them.
Ubuntu rushes out with show stoppers
The problem with ubuntu is that when it ships, it ships with massive problems.
8.04 shipped with broken Windows network share browsing which worked in 7.10. It was still broken in 8.10 and is in 9.04 although simply adding "wins" to the hosts: line in /etc/nsswitch.conf fixes it.
8.04 killed laptop hard drives. They released a partially working fix in 8.10 and it's finally been iradicated in 9.04
9.04 ships with knowingly broken Intel drivers which is a problem when a lot of stuff it is being installed on has Intel onboard graphics.
I could go on but Bugtraq is listed with lots of posts about show stopping stuff found in pre-release which are listed as show stoppers and still make it through to final.
I'd rather an OS, which is the base on which your computer was built, was released when it's as ready as feasibly possible without any of the monumental stuff Ubuntu releases have which really shouldn't make it out. IMO it shows piss poor quality control.
WNT = (VMS+1)
"The reason that Linux et al have an easier time is that it started on a very firm foundation coming from BSD Unix and some extremely talented programmers - where windows.... well it had none of these advantages."
<cough> Dave Cutler </cough>
@Of course nothing has changed....
Seems like they have copied Apple with Windows 7. The next OSX release is focused on slimming down the OS and making it faster.
"In time Microsoft will just fade into history. If they were not mentioned so much now, I would not even know that they exist at all."
Wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which piles up first.
Tux, cos it's not his fault Linux fanbois post comments after smoking crack.
Ubuntu upgrade - very painless
One difference between MS and Ubuntu is that I upgraded my Ubuntu desktop overnight. It was free, it worked, it looks great, its faster and it works on my 6 year old hardware (it was top of the range then!). Everything works, even all my DVB video capture cards and they are definitely non-standard.
When I upgraded one of my families desktops, Vista took out the bootsector and forced a reinstall. It wouldn't work with the firewire card, it was slower, looked like "my first computer" and cost money. Result? We downgraded to XP.
If only I could pursuade the wife to run Ubuntu, as I spend half my time fighting her computer on Vista. It's networking is terribly fragile, it is slow, cumbersome and bloody minded. My daily mantra of "Its Vista, save your work, reboot, and then if its still a problem I'll look at it" has definitely got to the stage where I need a placard with on as the spoken words are beyond the grating stage with her.
Looked at Windows 7 - and yes, it does look like an improvement. But then, the bar was set pretty low. What was wrong with XP anyway?
Quit with the MS bashing El Reg
Been playing with the Win7 beta, and those idiots who keep saying its not different from Vista should just shut up and go use it.
Yes, it may look like it, and underneath there is alot of it there, but then again does it really matter when its out performing XP? (and thats in real world tests on old hardware I've been using it on when swapping from XP to 7 on them....its up to 10% faster!...and no I never tried Vista on them as the results would be pretty obviously slower if not possible at all on some of the hardware specs).
As for the wonders of how perfect Ubuntu is and how it "just works"...frankly it just doesn't. It's a pain in the arse most the time, and for a much more reliable, polished and just install and go install found Suse the best of the bunch. But part of the reason why MS has to actually bother about testing unlike Ubuntu and co is because it has an immense installed user base and things have to be made as smooth as possible.
Would love to see 7 out soon, but RTM is very important and can't be skipped as you pretty much imply. Look at what happened with Vista? it went to RTM and many companies simply ignored it...hell even nvidia who had drivers in earlier beta's pulled them and didn't finally get any drivers ready till a month after release which was a total screw up. Was that MS's fault? no...it was the bloody annoying companies to lazy to get there drivers ready. 7 thankfully won't be such a problem as in a similar with with Win2k and XP, while there was next to no drivers for 2k by the time XP showed up, and with the drivers being the same if not very similar, everything was working. And so it repeats, Vista took the flak, but now we have drivers for Vista hardware will work much more simply with 7 due to it.
Needs to bake some more
Windows 7 is far from done. I have the most recent build installed on a variety of machines from VMs to laptops. Sleep and hibernate still do not work correctly and with the "green" initiatives these days those functions are being deemed morally necessary. I still have issues with IPsec VPN clients and a plethora of various other problems, so I would say no, Windows 7 is not ready.
Windows isn't an OS
It's an ecosystem - there is just no way to only use the OS section of Windows.
Canonical have a reasonable method of continuous upgrades, even my wife keeps her laptop fully up to date.
There are always dependencies within software ecosystems - letting the software behave in a defined fashion, and declaring those dependencies means that aptitude just handles what is needed. I imagine that various machines around here and work will get an upgrade to Jaunty fairly soon.
If I could use different window managers on Windows then I might look at it, but the "you will use the mouse for everything" interface is just unpleasant. The only reason I touch a windows machine is to update a pesky manglement spreadsheet.
What confuses me
is why they do (and they absolutely will) invest so much money and effort in the marketing blitz for a new Windows version, when it's abundantly clear from the Vista experience that the vast majority of Windows sales are driven by OEMs including it in new PC purchases, while individual sales of retail Windows upgrades are insignificant.
There is a reason for continually updating Windows, and that is to support new hardware and usage requirements for desktop computers. But I can't see the argument for marketing it in the way they do. They are going to exploit their monopoly anyway. Why waste the money?
In the US the appellate court decided that commingled code between the OS and IE was in fact illegal and a violation of the federal antitrust laws. It was the US DOJ that decided it was not going to enforce that legal decision that lead to icons being removed instead of compliance with the law.
Three idiots from Microsoft even testified that they thought removal icons eliminated the commingled code violations. Of course they just lied about what they thought. Unless they were too stupid to understand what commingled code was.
Hopefully the EU Commission will not accept deceit, trickery and lying instead of compliance.
1 week release candidate
Ubuntu should have had the release candidate up for testing for at least a month... how could they get decent feedback from their users from within a week?
"I'm still waiting for a Linux distro to show up that I can pop on my hardware, then go to Best Buy and pick up a game that will load without tweaks to 20 million lines of code."
No, I won't insult your intelligence - I'veknown severeal very, very intelligent people that have had no common sense at all.
However, I doubt that even one of those would try to install a Windows game on a Linux box.
Unfortunately, its the mindset of the average fanboi that if it doesn't tun on Windows it must be crap.
I'd much rather have a company hold a release until it's solid then just cut it on an arbitrary date and patch it up later. The satisfaction of getting a product on the set release date is quickly overshadowed by problems you have to live with if that release isn't up to QA standards.
"Push and patch" (I just made that up) has been an industry habit since the internet allowed companies to release this way. Before the internet went public, companies spent a lot more effort on QA. I wouldn't mind a return to that mindset.
I've got an old laptop as a music server (Damn Small Linux & EDNA music server) originally it used Windows 95, but Windows 98 didn't recognise the USB port (NEC & MS weren't interested in updating)
I've got a desktop that I couldn't install XP on because it didn't recognise SATA drives, and I couldn't be arsed to put a floppy drive in to load a driver.
I've also had printers & scanners that don't work with MS's latest, greatest and 'most secure' product yet.
Microsoft don't want to repeat the "compatability problems with Vista". Why not, its what they've always done.
Hardware problems with Linux get sorted; it might take time but they get sorted. But if it don't work with Windows, bin it.
Perhaps a *much* larger user base has something to do with it?
Linux on the desktop has a *much* smaller userbase, and probably more technical.
Also, there is much less in Linux on the desktop - either support for devices, or breadth of workloads.
The mindless MS bashing is a little boring, and there does seem to be a lot of it on Reg forums, considered criticism is great, but really..read most of the comments here...
For something that's free, it's amazing how little the userbase has grown - at least Apple has people that want to pay for an alternative.....