This is a guest post by Kieran Cummings, a network/server admin. Kieran tweets as @sortius My week with Windows 8 I decided over the weekend to install Windows 8 on my Dell XPS 15z. It's no Precision Workstation, but it’s definitely up to the task of running Windows 8. After resizing my main partition and readying my machine …
Did better than I did
I lasted a little under an hour of use before I had to give up, it took longer to install it.
Got stuck on the "pictures" screen, unable to leave. No icons, no menus, no way to navigate back to that odd start screen. Only way out I could find was to hard power down the machine
I found out later that you may be able to press the Windows key, which this (old, but fantastic key feel) keyboard doesn't have
Re: Did better than I did
It took myself and my boss ten minutes to figure out how to get out of Metro apps without using a keyboard without having to look it up. Ironically, we were testing on a touchscreen PC which is supposed to be the primary focus of Metro. (Hint: Drag from the top of the screen to the bottom where you get ZERO visual indication until you're right near the end that anything will happen).
The experience wasn't all that bad, though. I could see with some modifications and freeware you could basically make it like Windows 7 (which, like its predecessor Vista, we skipped because of said usability / retraining issues) with a proper Start Menu. But that's kinda the point of an OS - to be usable.
The whole Metro thing seems a misguided fad and nothing more than Active Desktop Done Even Worse. There was no need to remove the Start Menu at all and no need to forcibly Metro-ise things. Underneath, it's Windows 7, with no Start Menu option (freeware already exists to reinsert one), and some hideous "Front Page" thing that works like Active Desktop wallpaper did back in 95 (and about as successfully). You can see why you'd want that on a phone or maybe a limited-use tablet but on any PC it's just out of place and damn wrong. My first experiment was to see what happens when you "unpin" all the Metro junk. You end up with a single icon that lets you click to Desktop. Perfect. Now if we could just scrap that (now useless) page entirely, I'll be well chuffed.
Drivers were good, even on the single-DVD preview we didn't have to download anything to get it running on a Windows-7-certified touchscreen PC, speed was good, compatibility was good (I work in schools - we ran a lot of very old educational software from our existing network and it all seemed to be fine). It was all ridiculous interface issues that got in our way (we couldn't actually work out how to get it to let you log in as the same named user on different domains without having to type in the entire domain each time - try teaching that to 6-year-olds, or convincing teachers its necessary. Maybe I'll have to look into a login replacement for that) and nothing that wouldn't be fixable with ten minutes, a large hammer, and standing over a developer at MS. We were expecting an AWFUL lot worse.
I just hope the group policy updates contain an awful lot of options to get rid of the nonsensical junk that pops up and the remaining issues (dunno what that hover-on-the-bottom-right menu that has search, browse, etc. is supposed to do exactly, or the popup about changing default browsers, we want to be able to turn off Metro apps except for ones we authorised on the network, etc.) because we can't really avoid this release.
We've saved literally tens and tens of thousands by skipping Vista and 7 but now it's starting to cost more to support XP in terms of machine support (i.e. try getting it to install on Intel AHCI drivers without a lot of faffing about, large hard drives, touchscreens, lots of Windows-7-only drivers, etc.) than to upgrade. Fortunately, that saved money means the upgrade hardware should be more than powerful enough to cope with anything, so long as we have the actual OPTION to turn off junk we can't get on with - and that spare power and budget can easily be put towards virtualised XP instead if we really struggle to do so.
Metro just joins the list of "In principle: good. MS execution, timing and FORCED use: bad" ideas, alongside Microsoft Bob, Active Desktop, et al.
Re: Did better than I did
Don't know why you seem to think Win7 requires retraining. We've had no problems with it and we have some serious technophobe users. You definitely will need to retrain people for Win8 and Win7 is a decent OS so you'd be better off moving now before the train wreck hits.
Re: Did better than I did
Did better than I did too. I couldnt even get the damned thing to boot from bootable media. I tried three times and then gave up. GRUB wouldnt even recognize it and its pretty damned good about figuring out what weird OSes are.
Even more evidence that I'll be giving Windows 8 a pass. Any of my customers want it, they're going to have to sign a waiver stating that Im not responsible for it fucking their systems up. I figured it was going to be like Gnome 3 and Unity and be something geared mainly toward tablets, I cant even state that as I couldnt even install it.
Re: Did better than I did
You're (un?)lucky. I didn't manage to get it to install yet. Not in VirtualBox anyway. Gives a hard stop before it says more than Windows.
Re: Did better than I did
My recommendation, after having a similar experience to yourself, stock up on Windows 7 licenses in a couple of weeks, when the upgrade price of £14 or whatever they usually charge kicks in, and buy those too, then use Windows 7, until Windows 8 sp2.
Just so you know in future, for keyboards without the Windows Key, press Ctrl + Escape. Does the same thing.
On topic, I still have yet to try Win8 here at work but I am feeling more and more like we should not even bother.
Re: FAO: Fashtas
Ctrl + Esc != logo key, even in Windows.
Re: Did better than I did
I had the same experience within VirtualBox - after trying a few times it finally booted into the installer and ran to completion but wouldn't boot that install. (As a side note you'll need at least 8GB of disk space for the installer to let you continue to partitioning.)
After trashing that virtual disk and creating a new one I tried booting off the install disk a few more times and got into the installer again after bringing up the boot menu and selecting CD from the list. That install ran to completion and came up again after reboot and since then has booted reliably - although it still takes an age on the black 'Windows' screen.
Once it was up and running I had to give the VM 2GB of ram and a second core to run smoothly. If I hadn't wanted a copy of IE10 for testing and had some time to kill I wouldn't have persevered.
If you take "It's really fast at not working" as "promise performance" there's something skewed. They did great on W7, but everything they've done with 8 has been crap. Sure, 8 will do fine on a tablet, but not every computer is a tablet, nor will it be. Production Windows systems require more than M$'s Metro crap and hokey multimonitor functionality.
But how did work fare?
Apart from all the bugs you describe I kinda missed out on your experiences with the environment itself. How did work turn out to be? Surely you tried again to "download a file, run an installer and write an e-mail" ? How did all of that turn out on the end?
All I'm reading in this article is that Win8 RP still has a lot of bugs. Well, yeah; even as a Win8 critic I kinda expected no less. Another problem is that there is no way for us to tell if those bugs were actually Win8 related or were caused because you tried to insert a rogue PC into a work domain while systems administration might not have authorized you to do so.
No offense intended; but the idea alone to try beta software in a working environment strikes me as totally absurd.
Re: But how did work fare?
The fail here is you.
He tried to download, install and write an email and it crashed, why would he try again?
Since he states he is systems administration you'd expect he authorised himself to connect the Win8 laptop to the domain.
Re: But how did work fare?
"He tried to download, install and write an email and it crashed, why would he try again?"
Because he's writing an article on it for a major UK tech news site and we want to know whether Win8 is at fault or if he missed some minor configuration detail with his exchange configuration or domain permissions. Note also, he didn't say "crashed", that's your reading comprehension gone awry. He said he couldn't get it to recognize his Exchange server.
Re: But how did work fare?
@j4rmony:"Note also, he didn't say "crashed"
From the article: "Downloading a file, running an installer and writing an email at the same time ended up with hard crashes"
So yes, he didn't say 'crashed'. 'Crashes'.
In previous Windows versions the often broken network layer just broke networking for an unpredictable length of time till. Seems with a OS determined to be online that now intrudes into the rest of the OS.
Connecting to a DC
Anyone looking at what lies ahead (viz Windows 8 and Server 2012) would want test it in as identical sitation as their current Windows systems work in.
Thus adding to a Domain is something I'd expect to do as a matter of course.
I've done the same and seen very much the same events.
I've even tried Server 2012. Oh my. what a dissapointment it is after 2008.
The new model of doing everying via a remote mgt systen is not going to find a lot of friends esp in the SME space. If you only have a DC plus a couple of DB or App servers will your business let you spend more £££ on a new managememt system.
This release has all the hallmarks of being a mega failure.
I will be advising ALL my clients NOT to upgrade to Windows 8 or Server 2012.
I will also be refusing to do any paid for work on these new releases until at least this time next year. I will (like a good many other SysAdmins) have to get to grips with the mauling MS has given to a perfectly good OS. I'm certainly going to have to rethink a lot of my SOP's. Until I'm happy with them these are definitely marked as 'Not fit for purpose' alongside any Linux that uses Unity or Gnome 3.
They will all get it right in time but at the moment, Sorry but not thanks MS.
Experiences vary widely
This would be in direct contrast to my own Win8 personal deployment. It's a member of a domain, which doesn't have a large amount of group policy. SCCM client is fine. Office works fine. Metro apps launch just fine (your experience with Metro apps not launching has been noted by others on the MS forums). So it'll be a group policy breaking Metro apps, somehow.
I'm using it as the day-to-day host for a stack of VMs (including my corporate SOE VM) and running apps, connecting to other networks etc. I've not yet had any crashes or BSoDs, though VPN setup was annoying, requiring a logoff and logon to connect.
The inbuilt mail/calendar clients are ActiveSync clients, so the PC is treated the same as a mobile device (enforce PIN/password, screen lock etc). If you have working ActiveSync and AutoDiscover then the setup should find things; any problems will likely be that the internal and external addresses for servers will differ (so they may work only in the environment in which they were set up originally, be that internal to the network or outside the network).
Biggest annoyance is Metro apps not working behind an authenticating proxy. This is probably the killer bug for any corporate deployments - they HAVE to work, and work well. Right now they don't work at all.
If you've used the Win7 Start > search functionality, or you use a scroll mouse, the Start panel should "just work" - you hit the Windows key, start typing what you want, and press enter (maybe an arrow or two). Or you hit the Win key and use the mouse to scroll (though I still wish the Start panel would treat mouse-down the same as touch, and mouse-up as release on the background so you could drag it).
Overall mark: 8 out of 10.
Biggest takeaway: Stop moaning about the start panel because it isn't going to change. It's going to be there on Windows Server too. Try USING it for a full week - don't stop after an hour because you don't like it. And if you don't believe me, cast your mind back to 1995, and I pretty much quote the newsgroups: "OMG the Start button is horrible! I want Program Manager back. Why should I put my mouse all the way down to the corner to start a program? What's wrong with the way it was?"
@ShelLuser: He IS the network/server admin. He is the one who SHOULD be trying it out, though perhaps not the daily driver, even if that's also my preference.
Re: Experiences vary widely
I don't need to use that retarded and utterly broken Metro interface for a week to know that it's a completely worthless, unintuitive and obstructive mess.
I've managed to latch on to a multitude of other similar "start panel" systems in five minutes or less - if it takes a week to figure out, it's broken.
Re: Experiences vary widely
Broken? Well it is a preview so bugs are present. But there's only one way to know if you find something isn't intuitive, and that is to use it. Metro is easy to use after 5 minutes. Start menu is on bottom-left, where it always been but is now 'invisible'. Hover top-left and drag down shows metro apps. Hover top-right and drag down shows settings. Okay, it isn't great. But it doesn't take that long to get used to it. Or maybe, adunno, it's 'cause I ain't old.
Re: Experiences vary widely
And if you don't believe me, cast your mind back to 1995, and I pretty much quote the newsgroups: "OMG the Start button is horrible! I want Program Manager back. Why should I put my mouse all the way down to the corner to start a program? What's wrong with the way it was?"
The Start button was horrible, and it still is. Fortunately there's no need to use it. When I need to run something and it's not in the path for one of my bash or cmd sessions, it's just a quick Ctrl-Esc, type, Enter. Moving the mouse pointer is slower.
The Win95 UI's saving grace was that it was largely based on the principle of staying out of the way of actual work. It replaced the application-style Program Manager with relatively unobtrusive UI decorations and a few hotkey sequences, leaving most of the screen real estate and other UI resources to applications.
Metro moves in exactly the opposite direction, shoving its UI controls into the user's face. The Metro team clearly decided to dictate how users work, based on some rather dubious UI/UX/UIM research. It doesn't matter whether it's "usable" or "intuitive" (a largely meaningless term in UI work); the problem is that it's uncompromising. The first release of OS/400, driven through a twinax 5250, was "usable" and easy to learn, too. That didn't make it good (though frankly I prefer it over Metro).
Check your group policy isn't messing around with UAC.
That and anything to do with COM permissions.
Other than that, domain accounts do work OK on Win8.
OK isn't acceptable for corporate though.
Plain and simple, MS missed
I've played with W8 on an old (circa 2006) single core 2 GHz Athlon64 and I have to admit it was pretty snappy even with only 1 GB ram and an equally old nVidia card. I didn't expect much from such outdated hardware and it wasn't up to par on keeping up with heavy workstation duty. Pro/E 5 did run admirably well but compared to modern workstation computin' iron there was no real comparison. Sure it wasn't exactly the most convenient set up but the old beast ran reasonably well and certainly better than a D525 Atom I'm using as a lite HTPC.
That's when it hit me, when I ran the HTPC and W8-Metro side by side I suddenly knew exactly where Metro belongs, on the set top. I switched the Athlon64 W8 combo to the TV with VGA and a speaker cable, I did mention it was an old video card, and proceeded treating it like an HTPC sans remote because I didn't really want to put in the time. It worked well enough but was still a bit clunky and no remote was going to really help or so I thought.
I happened to glance just under the TV and that is when I saw it. Figuring "what the hell", I gave it a shot but it just didn't work. Either my hardware is too old and won't recognize the USB connected Kinect or W8 isn't Kinect ready, actually I know now it's the latter. This is where the title I chose comes in. It would be a total no-brainer to have a virtual touchscreen operated by a Kinect. The Kinect could be switchable or net ready and be able to be shared between an HTPC and Xbox assuming they weren't the same thing so you could both record the [insert unmissable tourney here] and finish level 2 of Halo 421 or some-such. This is what MS missed, the perfect blend of home theater experience and mobile UI. I say that because while the whole "Smart Glass" thing could be cool, I'm not feelin' the luv and please get Metro off my workstation and in my Media Center. Please.
Oh for the patent trolls, Mr. Myhrvold, it's trivial and I've hereby published this prior art and could use a million other remote systems like Nintendo's, Sony's, zigbee, cell phone, radar or sonar mapping, bat shit stink detectors and other methods and systems that should be obvious to those skilled in the art, so fuck off.
Re: Plain and simple, MS missed
You've had the same realisation I had 6 months ago while installing Win7 on my Atom HTPC. Metro + Kinect could make for a great user experience on a TV but it ain't going anywhere near any of my desktops.
Year of Desktop Linux
Pretty sure I've heard this same crap every year since I can remember.
But running what distribution..... And what desktop?
This very much reminds me of the conversations after the launch of Gnome 3. . . At least with that one there was a choice though
If you have issues getting Win8 to play nice with AD, you're going to have a whole lot of fun with Linux.
Until I dont have to faff around with manually mounting a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM every time I want to read data from the damned thing instead of listening to music, and until Linux unifies around one or two distros and two desktop environments, there will be no year of desktop Linux. Its just too complicated for a desktop user that doesn't have someone knowledgeable to play personal IT department for them.
Also, until FSF makes the Public License as easy to understand as the BSD or Apache Licenses, lawyers and more legally inclined types are going to be unfairly skeptical of it for home use, where huge legal departments don't exist except for the mega rich.
For instance, It amazes me that people even on these very forums don't get that GPL licensed software can be sold commercially and that commerically sold software under GPL can still be modified and repackaged. That says one thing to me, people don't understand how it legally works because the Law Professor FSF chose to write the thing made it too hard for developers and users alike to interpret. I dont think Stallman, et al. intended that one bit. Despite their individual failings and "Sheldon Cooper"-isms, they're a pretty benevolent group of people.
All of which is a true shame, Linux is the only credible alternative (and one I personally like). Plus, Linux doesn't require overpriced "custom" hardware that doesn't justify it being overpriced because it isn't really custom, its just "pretty". I really like Linux, Ive been a loyal Fedora on KDE user since it was still Fedora Core, but I like it enough that Im not blind to its many faults. I also use Windows 7, but Im not blind to its many faults either.
Another huge problem with Linux, especially here at El Reg, is the incredible amount of self assured, childish smugness that the Linux communities have. It really put me off for a large number of years that it seemed like everyone else that was using Linux would ONLY use Linux, would bitch at others endlessly spouting just as much FUD as Microsoft does, and acted like dicks to everyone that chose not to primarily use Linux.
Stop trolling, I can't remember the last time a distro that didnt pop up a dialogue box asking me what I wanted to do with the media on the cd/usb stick/phone etc on insertion of the appropriate plug.
Since fedora was fedora core? wtf, Autoplay on media insertion has been in there since it was Redhat linux, long before they span off the fedora wing. It even works on my gentoo boxes...
Maybe you might look that the new millenium has started, and perhaps the slackware floppies you use as install candidates might be a bit out of date?
> getting Win8 to play nice with AD, you're going to have a whole lot of fun with Linux.
I have one recurring issue with getting Linux working with AD: the domain admins who don't want Linux on their domain.
Once you get past the office politics, the technical side of getting Linux onto the domain is trivial...
> people even on these very forums don't get that GPL licensed software can be sold commercially
You might like to reflect on the fact that those having difficulty with such concepts are generally not those of us writing GPL software.
As with so much you read on the Intertubes about GPL, the reality is surprisingly simple, but people want you to think it's much harder. Oftentimes, you'll then find a connection between these harbingers of doom and some other company which stands to profit from that confusion. We need mention no
> Also, until FSF makes the Public License as easy to understand as the BSD or Apache Licenses, lawyers and more legally inclined types are going to be unfairly skeptical of it for home use, where huge legal departments don't exist except for the mega rich.
When was the last time you read the EULA for Windows?
The GNU GPL is a whole lot shorter and a hell of a lot simpler.
It's not just exchange mail it cannot connect to - it doesn't pick up my gmail either (personal or corporate).
Re 'stop moaning about the start panel because it isn't going to change'... I have tested Win 8 for a few weeks to give it a fair crack of the whip. But the start panel doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.
Firstly, removing the start button was pointless. They still have a gap (although smaller) where it was, but now it's just harder to click with a mouse, because it's only the corner which is clickable. So it doesn't save space really, it just hides something you're going to have to use a lot so you cannot see it, and made it harder to click.
Secondly, the start menu on Win 7 shows instantly (at least with my settings). The start panel in Win 8 has the swooshy animation, so it takes about half a second to appear. That becomes really quite annoying after a while when you want to get things done fast.
Thirdly, the start menu could run with small icons, so i can get all my programs on there without having to scroll, and I can create a nested folder structure for things I use less. The start panel doesn't have any nesting ability, and the big clunky tiles mean once you install SQL Server with Advanced Services, already you have a ton of tiles going right off the edge of the screen. So now you need to scroll the start panel. Let's just stop a moment here - in Win 7 I have a menu that covers about a quarter of the screen, that i can have all my programs without any scrolling. In Win 8 I have a whole page, but I need to scroll? And the scrolling isn't nice either - the trackpad doesn't scroll nicely so I have to use the mouse to click right or left buttons in metro to scroll.
What I cannot understand is why Microsoft have not retained the option for customers to default to a 'classic' Windows model, with start button and menu, etc. They've always done this in prior versions, for example, you can tweak Win 7's taskbar to work more like XP, and even now you can still set Windows to open new ones for each folder like in the original 95.
I use Ubuntu 12.04 and 11.10. AT least I can change my desktop if I don't like Unity. Try that with Metro
Nothing like a MS post to,....
bring you kind folk out of the wood work
But after using Win8 for quite a while now I do agree with some of your points, AD support is a bit odd, Metro usage is less but only because there isn't any development on it yet, if over a product cycle a tool gets updated and ported to a desktop/metro UI then this will obviously increase
What I don't get is the random crashes and Exchange problems you had, Exchange works perfectly well for me and haven't had a single crash, there must be some local issues around this, perhaps some conflicting software/hardware
In terms of joining a domain, id rather wait to pass judgement until we have a "Work" version of the OS rather than a RP of the desktop version
seems a bit unfair to slate the whole thing around domains at this stage.
Re: Nothing like a MS post to,....
But isn't the idea of a release preview that its what they are going to release so it should pretty much work? I could understand your don't use it in a domain if this was a beta but it isn't. If MS want this to work for business then joining a domain, using AD accounts, and not Live accounts, and being able to fuction through an authenticating proxy have to work flawlessly
Authenticating proxies are painful
There are so many hoops to jump through to get those to work it's unreal.
I never did figure it out properly and it appears that nobody else has either.
My software can detect the proxy and authenticate itself, but cannot use the system authentication, the user has to re-enter login details.
Firefox and many other applications are the other way around.
Even more applications (eg Dropbox) don't do either, requiring you to manually set all the proxy details.
So how are you supposed to do it? The only application that mostly manages is IE8, and that fails if there is a different proxy for HTTP and FTP.
Re: Nothing like a MS post to,....
Re: Exchange problems:
I would have made it a member of the domain before trying exchange. That's personal preference though.
However, when I got my WP7, I had problems getting it to talk to exchange, after lots of blaming the phone and generally bitching, it turned out that I had some corrupt settings on the server which were preventing it from syncing with mobile hardware. Check your local event logs and the exchange servers logs, it may well give you an error number that will allow you to have a look on the Internet for a solution.
The author mentions a 2003 AD structure. I assume this means running a 2003 exchange server too?
If the inbuilt windows mail client works in the same way as Outlook on Mac, it'll require 2007 onward.
Re: Exchange issue
"The author mentions a 2003 AD structure. I assume this means running a 2003 exchange server too?"
I was thinking the same thing about Server 2003 AD itself and joining the domain. I personally would only expect restricted functionality without an accompanying upgrade to Server 2008 or later.
Re: Exchange issue
Inbuilt mail app seems to work fine if back-end server is 2010 and you have autodiscovery set up with a proper third-party cert.
Damned if I can get the thing to connect to 2007 or 2003.
Haven't had AD connectivity issues though. Will be attempting replication of issues in lab...
It's the future
This article reminds me of my attempts to play Diablo 3 recently. I'm only playing the single player game, yet on 3 days over the last 10 or so I haven't been able to play because of various server-side problems. It's just crazy, and I won't be buying Blizzard's next game.
It looks like this way of thinking is coming to us at the operating system level too. God help us all.
I'm amazed there's no driver support for the Intel GMA 500 GPU in my netbook. I can use the Win7 one but it runs like crap. Hardware assisted H.264 playback can't maintain 24fps which it could do perfectly on Win7 so something is definitely less efficient in the video department.
1, 2 skip a few...
ME, Vista, 8, anyone notice a pattern? All those have been interleaved with damn good releases, a cynic might even suggest that they were deliberately crap to make the rest look better but I think MS just makes a beta a major release every other version.
Like many others, I think 8 will be good (for a given value of) on tablets but unless you can lose the Metro interface I'll be sticking with 7 for a while yet.
Oh, and Linux? Yeah, my HP laptop which Vista and 7 installs and runs perfectly on refuses to allow WiFi access without some magic chicken waving, random lockups, random unresponsive desktops (although the pointer still moves) . Formatted.
I'll try again wiht the next latest, greatest distro in a few months time (triumph of hope over experience) but until then I've put 7 back on it.
Is business likely to want Win 8 anyway?
Just kind of thinking about my customer base, there are still some who haven't moved to Win 7 and those who have are not even considering Win 8. Those who haven't moved to Win 7 will do this year. Given the amount of work that such a project involves I respect a business decision that says we will maybe look at Win 9 or even Win 10. Win 8, personally I find the release candidate to be really nice, but I belong to neither of the Church of the Fruity nor the Church of The Penguin. I was massively disappointed in the february customer preview but the release candidate for me has struck my interest. The apps are better and to be honest it looks great. So, those who cannot really find anything good to say will grab onto their only real beating stick and that is enterprise use, which I solidly believe Microsoft know they won't win over so haven't really pushed to please. The consumer has been the major play over the last few years with the various technologies and welcome Microsoft to that arena. Those who consider that the penguin will make it to the desktop in 2013, well I think that was said in 2012, 2011, 2010....2003.....
Re: Is business likely to want Win 8 anyway?
Business is the bread and butter of MS. Nobody else can really afford their fees. And the reason they've owned the home market for so long is because they went after the business base first. Then they went after the school base, and configured it pretty much like their business base. Anything that doesn't work for business will ultimately be an Epic Fail for MS. What I don't understand is why little old me can get that and all those people with the fancy degrees in those lofty decision making positions at MS don't.
"I never thought Microsoft would move in this direction and force people to use a certain service to access local applications."
Somehow, this move doesn't surprise me in the least. It's been a general trend in software for ... nearly a decade, I'd say. I'm just surprised that MS has taken this long to get around to it.
"I suspect this is due to Active Directory accounts not being Live! accounts. It’s very odd that MS has opted for the Metro interface requiring a Live! account to be used. There are plenty of people I know who do not have and do not want a Windows Live! account.
As a colleague said to me: This is like those apps and websites requiring you to have a Facebook account. I couldn’t agree more, and it is rather disappointing. I never thought Microsoft would move in this direction and force people to use a certain service to access local applications."
I can conceive of no earthly reason for me to use Live! *ANYTHING* ever. Live! is so bad it cannot be described. I suspect this will (a) generate a lot of live accounts that will never be used and (b) hacks to disable Windows accessing it. Or perhaps MS will get the message that no one wants its web service crap - because it is all crap these days. Live! is crap, Hotmail is crap, etc.
Sounds like a typical Microsoft Day
Nothing changes --- however often we pay for it.