back to article Windows Vista woes killed MS Pinball

Pinball, the popular game shipped with desktop versions of Windows from 32-bit Windows 95 to XP, didn’t make it into Windows Vista because Microsoft just didn’t have the time to port its code into a 64-bit version. So says Raymond Chen, author of MSDN Blog The Old New Thing and a long-time member of the Windows Development team …

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Also look at...

How the "proper techies" generally, despise windows NT 6.2 with a passion (the technical name of win 8)

Infact most also despise embedded DOS, just like people will soon learn the core differences between Virtual and Physical hosts!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Also look at...

Luckily for MS 99.9999 % of the buying public are not "proper techies"

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JDX
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Re: Also look at...

Apart from the 'proper techies' who run servers, who are surely the most proper of all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Also look at...

Embedded DOS? have you heard of PowerShell?

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FAIL

Re: Embedded DOS? have you heard of PowerShell?

Two completely different things. One is an embedded OS, the other is a scripting language.

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Stop

Re: Also look at...

The version of Pinball from Microsoft in the Windows 8 Store is excellent...

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Re: Also look at...

"Apart from the 'proper techies' who run servers, who are surely the most proper of all."

No offence , but "proper techies" are the ones who write the code that runs the servers. The people who run them are called admins for a reason. Its like comparing the people who design cars with the people who drive them.

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Holmes

cute. except... win8 has pinball fx2 via the Microsoft Store (free app)

no idea if its any good as I don't mess with games.

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The Microsoft Studios FX2 is also available on the Surface. Free with one table, more cost extra.

The free "Mars" table is on the over complex side, kind of like the last of the real pinball games when they were trying to compete with video games. Not the same as the classic MS Pinball.

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It's very good, as it happens

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Anonymous Coward

'Free' as in bundled together with the default installation of the OS

No need for an internet connection, no need to mess with an app store.

And definitely not give Microsoft a chance to brag about download counts on its online app store.

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Pie

It's a great pinball game, although like most of them I never understand the way to get 'big' scores.

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Happy

How does Win7 fit in?

So there's no pinball in Win7 either, and it seems to be doing OK. How does that fit into the theory?

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Meh

Re: How does Win7 fit in?

Must admit, in the 20 months that I've had a Windows 7 machine, I'd never noticed it was missing!

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Facepalm

But it's not 64-bit so you can't have it?

Good grief. Just tried my copy of NT pinball.exe on Win7 and it runs just fine. Running as a 32-bit program works. So what the hey?

Oh... It was Vista's problems running 32-bit programs that stopped them. Yes, Now I remember tweaking weird options to make old programs run under Vista.

Great, now you've ruined me for hours... stewing on Vista I'll have to zone out playing pinball...

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Bronze badge

Re: But it's not 64-bit so you can't have it?

Raymond explained this himself in the article's comments section - at that point in development, their Setup infrastructure couldn't cope with 32-bit exe files getting mixed in! (A bonkers limitation, IMO, and apparently one they fixed later, but I can understand them not wanting to put that effort in just to keep a freebie game working.)

Knowing Microsoft got suckered like this (comment-free source) I feel slightly better about having to kludge around a mass of undocumented outsourced Java spaghetti at work. Only slightly, though.

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Devil

AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

"nobody at Microsoft ever understood how the code worked (much less still understood it), and that most of the code was completely uncommented"

So atleast new we know why M$ is the way it is. Does anyone, even Billy boy, know how the code works in Windows? And apparently they go with the popular concept comments in the source are for newbs. Why not just code Windows in the mindfuck language?

Anyway....AAAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh god I can't stop laughing at this one. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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FAIL

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

In your amusement you seem to have missed this line: "That thinking derives from the fact that Microsoft didn’t write the game: an outfit called Cinematronics did."

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Facepalm

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What part of " but given that this was code written several years earlier by an outside company" don't you understand? It's not like it a core part of the kernel.

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P_0

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

MS should have rejected it after looking at the source code for five minutes. No comments, no documentation? No money. I've done that before.

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Unhappy

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHA@E Haines

So what? They should have done due diligence on any code they buy and ship to customers. If it wasn't properly documented then WTF might have been going on inside it? And how would they maintain it? (A: They didn't).

Yet more worryingly, what if MS commissioned Cinematronics to develop the shipped Windows version? If that is the case then MS are fully accountable, and it suggests that other MS code is similarly flawed. Given the lead time they had on pushing out Vista (about five years), if it really took that long to port a few million lines of code and required them to leave out the frilly bits, it would suggest that that too was of an equally inspiring standard as pinball, wouldn't it?

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Happy

Re: P_0

I did read it and found it utterly hilarious that M$ saw this game and it didn't raise any red flags. This tells me that they didn't practice due diligence and send this back so that it could be properly documented.

Still find it funny as hell.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

But the OS/2 article pretty much said Microsoft didn't comment much either. So I guess that outside company just followed the methodologies of Microsoft.

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Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The trouble is the same goes for a lot of the code that was written inside the company as well. This is why they have been so reluctant to move from Intel and why your ARM tablet which is several orders of magnitude faster than our old Windows machines apparently cant handle some office documents and VB stuff from the past.

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FAIL

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

James, read the bit where it says that MS Pinball came from Cinematronics.

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Windows

Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yes but numpties like that just cant resist having a rant about MS, as they sit there, writing such verbal bollocks on a XP laptop with Word, but just daren't admit it...

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Re: AAAAAAAHAHAHA@E Haines

They should have done due diligence on any code they buy and ship to customers. If it wasn't properly documented then WTF might have been going on inside it?

What on earth does the legal process of due diligence have to do with assessing the quality of source code? If lawyers were involved then might explain the fiasco as they might have been satisfied by reams of documentation. Documentation of how code works, as opposed to how to use it, is almost inevitably a kind of obfuscation. Tests are much more important and the degree of test coverage can be measured empirically and if you have high test coverage then you can survive architecture changes. I can imagine that MS was not that keen on software tests when they did XP but would have hoped they would picked up by Vista.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

That being true and said, I doubt the "pinball" game had anything to do with the success or failure of this crapware. I think that all WIndoze versions fail on their lack of merit, including Windoze 8 and all it's poorly written/designed/impeimented iterations.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

Ooh! Keep using Windoze in your comments! It's the best way to look clever and original, after all :) Haven't seen Microsucks or crapware before either. Thank God for people who can come up with new stuff, rather than weakly repeating tired old insults that looked lame years ago ...

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Pint

Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

"Ooh! Keep using Windoze in your comments! It's the best way to look clever and original"

Yes! Also stick a few "M$" in there like the razor-sharp satirists you are!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

Did you ever read about when the Windows 2000 source code was leaked, well quite a lot of it.

It has been analysed and the quality was generally high:

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/2/15/71552/7795

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JDX
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I doubt the "pinball" game had anything to do with the success or failure

No, really?

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Coat

Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

I prefer Microsloth myself. I find them a little slow.

(How many years did it take them to finally start adopting W3C standards? How long did it take for them to start plugging OS holes? How long has it taken them to make a serious attempt at mobile? I rest my case!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "[Windows 2000 source ...] analysed and the quality was generally high:"

Many clued-up folk would rightly believe that. Windows 2000 quality overall (internally and externally) was quite high. Win2K was demonstrably compact, stable, and/but also not very flashy. Bear in mind that it was probably the last major Cutler-influenced release in the NT stream, and that much of the trouble started as Gates-domination increased.

How would the same kind of OS source code analysis look if repeated now? MS Research have lots of perfectly capable Fellows who could do that kind of analysis (as do lots of outsiders). But the MS Fellows just seem to sit on the payroll not doing much at all (Cutler moved to Xbox earlier in the year). I suppose being on the MS payroll stops them going anti-Windows in public.

Merry Christmas.

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Unhappy

Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

... the Windows 2000 source code was leaked ... and the quality was generally high ...

That sounds to me to be damning it with faint praise.

I'd be very surprised indeed if the quality of code in what was once the most widely used OS on business computers in the world wasn't "generally high" ... it's the bits that weren't high that we should worry about.

This isn't a dig at Microsoft, though, it's a cry of anguish at the fact that we software developers still don't seem to have learned how to write software that is uniformly excellent ... and many of us still don't seem to understand the importance or the value of doing so.

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Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

Has "Micro$haft" fallen out of fashion?

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Gav
Headmaster

Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

Yes please keep using witticisms like "Windoze" and "M$". It makes filtering out the dumb comments not worth reading so much easier. Same goes for "Linsux", although you see that much less. And "CrApple". Use of any of these keywords immediately voids anything else you have to say.

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Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck

I also filter out "slowlaris" as well, as it is in the same jest.

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Actually, Daniel B. (was: Re: Microsucks Windoze O/Ss suck)

The nickname was "Slowaris", and even the Sun engineers called it that, which almost makes it official! :-) Rather than re-type(o) it, see my post from a couple years ago:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/441155

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Linux

Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

Well done whoever noticed this - you just doubled the Win8 user base. For a while.

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JDX
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Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

I do love it when Linux users make jokes about other OS not being widely used.

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Windows

Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

Do penguin shaggers, like yourself, have NOTHING better to do with you lives???

If you dont like windows, fair enough, thats your choice. But stomping some supposed morally superior verbal bullshit around makes you look and read like the sad, boring, closed minded fuck wits you all really are...

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Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

I still sadly miss a good pinball game for Linux ... any pointers ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: pinball for linux!

good pinball game came pre-installed on my android tablet

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Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

"I do love it when Linux users make jokes about other OS not being widely used."

Though it is right, win8 is headed to be the next Vista; most corporates have begun win7 migrations and *don't* support win8 at all. One of our consultants got bit by this, he went all "ooooh win8 upgrade cheap" only to get bit at the client's premises: "your setup is not supported. You can't plug your lappy into the network!"

Bummer.

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Trollface

Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

I'll add another fave oft used witticism -

"(insert any year here)...the year Linux goes mainstream!"

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FAIL

Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

Oops! You're a little behind the times aren't you? Goldman-Sachs stats for consumer market share:

Windows = 20%, Apple = 24%, Linux > 42% (all versions, including Android)

Who's laughing now, eh?

ref: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/13/windows_market_share_just_20percent/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good job no-ones using Win 8 then!

"Windows = 20%, Apple = 24%, Linux > 42% (all versions, including Android)

Who's laughing now, eh?"

Does that figure also count almost every consumer switch/adsl-router and other "white-goods". All of those "devices" and not regarded as computers by joe public, they just things that they hope do a rather specific job.

Personally I have never like any linux/unix systems as computers, because without a flashy GUI they make RSTS on PDP's look flashy.

That didn't stop me buying my Kobo e-reader though, the fact that it's running linux is utterly irrelvent as long as it does what it was bought for.

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Decision making

I can only assume that someone in M/S saw the game, thought "It works, it's not too expensive, lets bung it in|" or words to that effect, and didn't think too much about the future.

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Re: Decision making

Probably very true.

It's a fairly good marketing approach as well: MS Pinball was accessible to a lot of people in a similar way to which MS Solitaire is, just not quite such a wide audience (you can sneakily play solitaire in the office, you can't do that with pinball). On the other hand it had a lot more wow factor to it which would appeal more to a slightly younger audience.

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