183 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007
It's really disappointing to see that after the 8.1 update was so easy and smooth, that they release update 1 as 5 separately installed Windows updates. It's ridiculous. In some ways, Update 1 is a bigger update than 8.1 so would've been deserving of 8.2 in my opinion. Deliver it via the store and you've got an easy upgrade experience. If you really need to use Windows Update, do it as 1 or at most 2 updates, not 5.
Dropping support for Windows 8.1 if you don't go to update 1 is also crazy. According to the lifecycle page, Windows 8.1 has the same lifecycle as Windows 8, but then they come out and say you won't get updates on a Windows version that is barely 6 months old if you don't install the Service Pack.
I like Windows 8.1, I like the Start screen, I ignore TIFKAM same as most people. Where I think companies or individuals are being criticised unfairly, I will defend them, but good god Microsoft you do some damn indefensible things sometimes!
My former employer, a college, run their students records system off Oracle DB running on Windows. It works very well. Tweak a couple of minor settings and it practically looks after itself.
Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft
Sometimes you have to make big changes in your product that necessitate a more involved migration process.
Microsoft's failure is in not going to the effort to make the migration path smoother. You can go from XP -> 7, but not XP -> 8, but you can go 7 -> 8. MS would be in fewer admin's bad books if they automated these processes so even if it is 2 separate steps, you do it in the background thus making the choice of migrate or not that much easier.
Having said that, I don't think not migrating because it is hard is sufficient excuse. Have a go at MS for making it difficult by all means, they deserve it. That, however, doesn't stop it needing doing, even if it is harder than you would like.
You shouldn't be running 12 year old PCs, so why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?
Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft
You could say this for almost every software product in existence.
The software industry is built on incremental improvements to an existing code base until supporting that legacy becomes too much, at which point you get yourself on to a new more modern one. No one rewrites the product on every version, nor should they.
If you're coming from XP, I would say 7/8 is a significantly new OS in terms of features and architecture. Going from 7 to 8, it is more of an incremental change.
Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft
The writing was on the wall for XP regardless of whether or not Windows 8 was a success.
The double standard here is that no one seems expect any other company to support a 12 year old operating system, it's only MS who must have some devious master plan behind dropping support for XP, other than it being 12 years old of course.
It's not reasonable to expect any company to support a product that is more than a decade old when they have released 3 major versions in the meantime. Exclude Vista for a moment as it is pants, and even if you don't like Windows 8, Windows 7 is far superior to XP.
No one seems to expect to be able to buy a phone with Cupcake on it, why on earth are they so attached to XP? I liked XP in the day but Windows 7 is far better.
The end of life for XP isn't news and MS have given everyone plenty of time to move over.
Re: What the hell did they expect?
Desktop software is no harder to find or use in Windows 8 than it has been in any previous iteration of Windows. If anything, the fact that Windows 8's search is better than previous versions makes it easier to find applications, regardless of whether or not they are Metro apps.
I never used search before 8 because I always found that I could find what I wanted quicker manually, that is no longer the case and for anything that is not pinned to my start screen, I almost exclusively use search to find it where as I used to just open an explorer window and go spelunking in program files.
The whole Metro thing is open to debate, but the claim that Desktop apps are any harder to use than they have been previously is simply false.
This is a good move.
Server 2012 aka "The Cloud OS" delivers some great features both for Azure and Private data centers but you get all the goodies even if you are just running one or two servers in your company, and it doesn't force you in to using any of them if you don't want to. This is what Windows 8 should have done, innovate but don't force people in to it.
Get it right and they will come. Satya is perfectly capable of getting it right when left to get on with it, he has proved that.
The only big question now is whether or not he will be left to manage Microsoft how he wants to and how Microsoft needs him to, or if Gates and Ballmer will be controlling him from behind the curtain, stopping him from making real progress.
At this point, I am cautiously optimistic.
It's just typical of Microsoft that when they do do something really good, they don't tell anyone about it. Infopath was/is an absolutely excellent idea well implemented, one of the hidden gems of Office.
Here's hoping they don't f**k up it's successor.
Re: "Windows phone = loser"?
Never happen. Picking someone else's OS over their own would be complete suicide for Microsoft, it's like the CEO of Ford driving around in a Fiat 500.
I'll be going for the 1020 on my next upgrade, or the functional equivalent at the time as I am thoroughly sick of Android. Every update reduces my battery life, the last update means I can barely get a full day out of a full charge while not touching it all day. It came loaded up with crapware (both from Google and HTC) that I am simply not permitted to remove AND this crapware keeps starting itself somehow. I've never used Twitter and have no use for it, but every time I go to the task manager. the Twitter app is there sucking my battery and CPU, and that is just one example of this.
I've no guarantee that WinPho will be any better, but it's either that or iOS and Apple are even worse than Google.
This is really the wrong place for an anti-Android rant, but MS articles are normally filled with pro-Linux rants so being off topic isn't unprecedented.
Why, why, why do these companies keep getting contracts? It beggars belief, there can only be a healthy amount of backhanders going on to explain this?
Minister: But why should I give you the contract, you've fucked up every one you have ever had.
Capita: I'll quote you half of whatever everyone else has quoted and here's 10% of the extra 500% I intend to charge the government in 'overruns' before failing to deliver anything useful.
Minister: You've got a deal!
Or is there a lesson here? Never attribute to corruption what can more easily be attributed to our Government being run by a bunch of f**king idiots!
Re: it all begins to sound
All they had to do was give users the option of whether they wanted classic or classic + touch and allow them to easily switch between the two if they changed their minds. Server 2012 has this ability with Full GUI -> Partial GUI -> Core (command prompt only) and it works great.
Windows 8 Desktop (TIFKAM and start screen aside) is actually a pretty solid OS and a good incremental improvement on Windows 7. TIFKAM is where all of the controversy has been. Making it optional would've prevented consumers and businesses from turning their backs on upgrading and making them easily switchable would allow users to ease in to it as TIFKAM and the Windows marketplace matured, thus luring people in with quality apps rather than trying to coerce them to use something they don't necessarily want. It is perfectly possible to completely avoid TIFKAM (bar Start Screen) on Windows 8 if you want, but the configuration is a little beyond Joe User.
I like the Start screen on Windows 8.1, but there are still relatively few apps in the Windows store that I have any desire to use. If I, a software developer who is generally a proponent of Windows 8, has no real interest in the app ecosystem and don't really see much worth using over the desktop equivalent, then what chance do they have with the average user?
If you've something radical and new that you want people to use, you make it easily accessible to them and make it appealing so they actually want to use it. Relying on upgrade cycles to force the change upon users has clearly backfired here.
As stated by m0rt, it is probably more likely that the compromised accounts had poor passwords (p@ssw0rd1, mic0s0ft1, etc) and it has nothing to do with the quality of the products per se. Unfortunately, you can create the most secure system in the world but if it is password protected, simple human laziness will defeat you every time unless you have a decent blacklist of rubbish passwords.
I'm not defending allowing poor passwords of course, but it's important to note that the people setting these passwords are probably marketing people who have post-it notes on their monitors with all their passwords, as opposed to the people writing the software itself.
The various court orders and secrecy agreements Microsoft and others are forced to abide by don't offer them any remuneration for data they provide. Again, this doesn't make it okay, but it's important to draw the distinction between being legally forced to hand data over to a government agency and willingly selling it. These two things are not the same.
What's with all the downvotes?
The site is run by Troy Hunt who is a very well respected security researcher whose reputation is far too valuable for him to do anything screwy with the data people enter. Maybe I should of stated that in my original post.
He doesn't store the details you enter and even if he did, I'd trust him with my data over a lot of other companies, at least he understands the need for security and how to implement it.
I was just trying to offer some help so people can discover if their accounts have been compromised, think I won't bother next time!
Idiots, that is all.
For reference, an excellent new (and free) service that was launched recently to help people determine if their details have been included in this and other big data breaches:
Enter your email or snapchat username to see if you have been a victim of this and other data breaches (Adobe, Yahoo!, Sony, etc)
Re: Shame - Win8 needs a good virtual memory stress testing tool
Same experience here. I use Chrome on my Windows 8 desktop at work and home, out of habit more than anything else, but I have a Dell Mini 9 (Atom 1GB RAM) which I use for email and Campfire and I use IE11 Metro for Campfire. Chrome barely stutters to life on this device but IE11 runs quite smoothly.
I haven't yet made the time to use the IE11 dev tools but I have seen them in action and they look better than the rest these days.
Microsoft making a better, smoother, faster browser than Chrome and Firefox? What the frak is going on?
Re: Skype for linux?
We've run Skype on Windows and Linux, and we've found that the connection is quite flaky on the Windows machine (an admittedly ancient laptop) but consistently decent on the small embedded board running Ubuntu.
It's not stellar on either of them but I suspect this is more down to network configuration/broadband speeds than anything to do with Skype itself.
From the sounds of it, he could mandate classic ASP and Access and it wouldn't be any worse than it is now!
Re: how does it compare to...
I've never used SAP but a typewriter would be more advanced than Agresso.
Re: The State of PC-World today
Have to agree with others on their prices, not as bad as they used to be. I wanted to buy an ASUS MemoPad to replace the wife's aging Dell Netbook, PC World were the cheapest bar none.
I went in to the appallingly stocked store and while looking at the device and checking out some of the others while I was there, I overheard a salesdroid and a customer trying to figure out the type of each port on a tablet. I couldn't see the ports they were pointing at and debating on HDMI or USB and whether or not it could be used to connect the tablet to a TV, but as I could see the back, where the ports were handily labelled, I can inform you that they were referring to the Micro-USB port, not that I told them that...
I then hastily left, ensuring not to make eye contact with anyone and politely rebuked the 17 offers of extended warranties from the till-droid before leaving as fast as I possibly could.
Re: If not free...
This is what they did initially with the upgrade.
If I'd had to pay full whack, I'd still be on Windows 7. But 15 quid is disposable income, so you'd see much better uptake I suspect.
Even better, offer it free/reduced to all XP owners with hardware that meets the minimal spec. Kill 2 birds with one stone.
On Azure, Virtual Machine disks are stored as VHDs in blob storage, so would only count as one object regardless of how many files were contained within the file system of the VHD itself.
If the 8.5 trillion includes each row in a storage table, I can see how they could get up to that number. If you counted everything I have in blob, queue, and table storage, I would be easily in to the millions and I am a very small time user of Azure. I suspect we're comparing Apples with Oranges here...
Re: Flashing news!
Dynamics CRM and Sharepoint development teams are the ones who deserve that moniker if the issue truly is that their web pages are crap and IE11 isn't forgiving enough to render them properly.
It's great that MS are finally trying to be standards compliant but for $deity's sake, make sure your own web apps are standards compliant first!
One scary thought emerges. IF these applications work fine in Chrome/Firefox, then does that mean that IE11 is now more standards compliant than Chrome and Firefox? Scary thought!
"cash wasted on IT assets that have now been written off to the tune of £140m in taxpayer money to date"
Only in government can you piss £140m up the wall, with more to come most likely, and still have your job! If you've managed to make that a much of a mess of it when there aren't even 1,000 people on it last I heard, then you need to go work on the friers at McDonald's which may be more responsibility on a level more suited to your talents.
Re: You forgot one thing...
It was good in it's time, but as stated by yourself others, it's had it's day and doesn't support things it really needs to in the modern world.
This has been a long time coming so if they really did just recently spaff a load of money on XP licenses, then they have no one but themselves to blame.
Windows XP is 12 years old and, as much as I loved the old gal, all good things must come to an end and M$ capitulating to Beijing will only make the transition more painful in the long run as it will just make everyone complacent and then they'll leave switching until 5 minutes before whatever new expiry date they negotiated.
As a good will gesture, Microsoft could offer them a good deal on a load of Windows 7 licenses. Or alternatively, they've got a load of Surface RT's gathering dust in a warehouse, maybe the PRC are the only ones on the planet desperate enough to buy them!
Given the downtime some of the cloud providers have had this year, it would be nice to see a plot of who had the most downtime and how severe that outage was.
For instance, Microsoft's glitch with deployment last month would rank relatively low as nothing actually went down, you just couldn't deploy.
However the certificate expiry outage, the other one they had that I can't recall the cause of, and Amazon's various EBS clusterf**ks would rank higher as there was actual loss of availability.
It would be nice to see, once and for all, whose cloud provider has the worst actual availability.
Both Nadella and Mulally have their plus points, Nadella has pointed Windows Server and Azure in a good direction. As Charles Manning said, Mulally can offer non-MS, non-IT business perspective which could also be invaluable.
I don't really care who it is as long as it's not Elop, he should join Apotheker in the list of people who shouldn't be left in charge of a sweet shop, let alone a multi-billion pound business.
The whole TIFKAM thing personally doesn't bother me, but I get why others don't like it.
All Microsoft had to do was do exactly as they have on Windows Server. On server, you have the choice of Core, GUI, or a halfway house that keeps MMC but is otherwise GUI-less. If they had done this with Windows 8 and given you a choice of Touch+Classic which would be what we have now, or just Classic, which would be Windows 8 desktop, maybe still with the start screen but without all the rest of the TIFKAM stuff (or even optional Start Menu/Screen), Windows 8 would have been considered a success.
Just performing a desktop-to-desktop comparison between it and Windows 7, it is faster, uses less resources and has some really nice touches.
The vision of merging the platforms was a desirable one, but badly implemented. As the author notes, internal fighting between departments completely ruined that vision, meaning it will take them years of unravelling what they now have to achieve what they wanted in the first place.
Is no one capable
of making functional high-quality hardware any more?
Possibly showing my naivety here, but would it not cost them less to just make something that works rather than have to support easily breakable low-quality crap?
Re: Those things won't fix it
Agree with everything there.
I'd not touch Windows RT at it's current price but if I see a Surface RT at firesale prices ala HP Touchpad, it would definitely be worth a go.
Re: Not entirely retarded.
I think a lot of it comes down to internal politics, the original idea was that you would be able to "write once, run anywhere" but it didn't come off in the end.
I can't remember where I read it but I remember an article that suggested Steven Sinofsky and/or the Windows team refused to work with the Windows Phone team, so they both went their separate ways and we end up with the massive missed opportunity that we now have.
Imagine if Windows 8 had been released and suddenly you could write apps that worked on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows RT with little to no change. It may not have changed the perception of the interface itself, but I suspect a lot more developers would've given it a go and the story for the Windows Store would be vastly different to how it is now.
Re: Windows 8 and 8.1 are to force the masses to want Metro UI
People with no IT budget who want VMotion-like capabilities...
Re: Basically, another bloody version
IE11 on Windows 8.1 is really fast, even on a low specced old Atom Netbook. Never liked IE10 but 9 was pretty good and they have been far more standards compliant since IE9, still too slow for daily use in my opinion though.
However, there seems to be a major difference between the pure developer side of Microsoft (ASP.Net, Azure, EF, SignalR, etc) who are all doing really good work and being as open as possible, and then there's the gimps who are stuck in Microsoft's past who continue to score own goals for the company and shoot themselves in the face repeatedly.
XBox One AlwaysOn debacles, no IE11 for Windows 8, IE11 on Windows 7 half-arsed, the list goes on. Someone needs to points these idiots to the Dev departments to see how they should be operating.
You get people to move to new OSes and platforms by making it worth their while with features, not by making it as painful as possible for them to stay where they are!
Re: How many worldwide wobbles are we up to now?
Already posted this once, for some reason it didn't make it!
I think we're up to 2 or 3 this year, 2 major ones which caused a lot of downtime. This one was just a deployment inconvenience, not even remotely a "meltdown", but definitely a "cock-up"
Complex, distributed global systems are hard, no surprise there. All cloud providers have had down time in recent years, it would be useful if someone kept a tally of number/severity of outages so we could see who was faring worse.
"Cloud" is a trade off, you exchange the convenience of not having to deal with managing your own infrastructure for potentially less up time if their systems have problems. To me this is a worthy trade-off, to others possibly not.
Re: I havent personally experienced this but....
A friend of mine had the same issue recently when moving in to a brand new estate. There was no Virgin so BT was his only choice, they failed to turn up 3 times before they could be arsed to actually turn up and install his line. The first two times they cancelled the appointment but didn't tell him, the third time they just plain didn't bother to visit.
Interestingly, according to the representative of the construction company that he spoke to, the reason BT was his only choice was because they'd made a deal with the construction company that wouldn't allow Virgin to lay their lines during construction and somehow actively prevents them from doing installations on site for X years after completion. How on earth can that be legal?
No digging out of product keys required. Open store, click on half page button for Windows 8.1 upgrade, go away for 2 hours, come back and its done, easier than Windows Update in my case as my work has a baulked WSUS install that screws it up.
I don't use IE day to day for the same reason as everyone else, but IE11 is a lot faster than IE10 and generally more pleasant to use.
Blocking Windows 8 users from getting it though is ridonculous!
Re: Cloud hype
Thank <deity/> for Tivo!
Re: Cloud hype
"Cloud" in the sense that it is implemented currently is about scale, not reliability. Unfortunately, no one told the marketing people so they continue to espouse the reliability aspects which just gives people unrealistic expectations.
We run several services on Azure, which has an infrastructure and set of services that is far more powerful than anything we could ever afford to build. To us, this is worth the potentially reduced availability, your mileage may vary.
If you take a site from your own servers and expect it to have the same uptime on cloud with no extra effort to make it resilient to failure, you're going to be disappointed.
As of now, none of my service are affected, looks like I managed to dodge a bullet there.
Until we have a blue sky of death icon, the nuke will have to do.
Re: Oh come on...
Don't know what you're using your computer for but I've been using Windows 8 for over a year and my productivity has gone up after the initial 5 minutes learning curve. If it takes you more than 5 minutes to figure out Windows 8, you really shouldn't be in IT.
Walled garden, as opposed to the completely open ecosystem that is Android and IOS? Difference is the Windows one is optional, I don't use any TIFKAM apps bars the mail app because it is actually quite good. Don't like it, just use desktop apps and carry on. Try that same approach on an Android or iDevice and see how much you have to root the device before you escape their walled gardens.
"Key to Snowden's revelations was the snippet that PRISM operated with the active help of major technology companies."
I think active help is a little generous, to me that implies that these companies had some say in the matter. "Active cooperation with a gun to the head and promises of a long prison sentence if they didn't comply" seems more accurate in this case.
In fairness, isn't that the case for most phones these days?
I don't think any of the OSes have added features in recent years that make me want to rush out and buy a phone just for the shiny new OS, it's all about the hardware.
I'm possibly biased considering 80% of my phone use is the camera, the remainder being texting and Candy Crush, so this suits my uses perfectly.
Re: Windows is Windows is Windows, except for those Windows
Couldn't agree more. The biggest fail from my perspective is that the desktop is there, you just can't run desktop apps. It is essentially only there to service Office and just gives a false impression to the user. If the desktop was completely gone from the RT so it was clear that you could only run Metro apps, then I don't think people would have as many problems with it as it's use case would be a lot clearer. As it is, it just seems a bit half-arsed.
and it is a brilliant device, we just bought one to replace an aging laptop and when it comes to Windows laptops/tablets, there was nothing in the same league for under £1000.
This is good news if they enable pay-per-view at a reasonable price. I just don't have enough time to watch TV to have a Netflix subscription, but if the PPV prices were reasonable, it would be a great addition to an already excellent service.
Re: Conspiracy theory time
Minor typo in my previous post, "was seriously considering" should be "am seriously considering", Lumias are still great phones regardless of who is making them.
Conspiracy theory time
Nice to see the conspiracy theorists are as unbalanced as usual.
Does anyone really believe that Microsoft thought Windows Phone was so shit, that they poured millions in to developing it, put Elop into Nokia in order to peddle an OS that they knew would bring down the value of the company, just so they could buy said failing company, therefore taking on all the risk, and make it to do more of the same that caused it to lose all it's value in the first place?
This is akin to sending someone to shoot a bull only to pay them billions for the carcass so you can watch it decompose. It just doesn't make sense, even Ballmer isn't that far gone.
Having said that, I think Microsoft buying Nokia is a big mistake. I wouldn't be surprised if HTC and Samsung ditch their WinPhos in fairly short order, and good luck getting any other manufacturers to make WinPhos if they're going to be competing directly against Microsoft.
Shame really as I was seriously considering a WinPho for my next phone, you'll be hard pressed to find better hardware in a phone than the Lumias and the OS seems to do everything I want from a phone.
You're kidding right? The developer experience for Windows 8 is an absolute arse and it has very little of the purported interop with Windows Phone that was supposed to be the big selling point of Metro prior to release.
There are a great many voices within Microsoft who understand that the focus should be on developers, not internal politics or egos or empire-building by one division at the expense of another. I am personally hoping for someone like Scott Guthrie (probably not actually Scott as he's not high enough up the chain, but someone with his priorities), the developer and feature story for Azure has improved ten-fold since he took charge.
"Abrams has long been interested in analogue film, using techniques like lens flare throughout his work to evoke the pre-digital era."
Abusing lens flares you mean, the bridge of the Enterprise looks like it uses supernovas for lighting.
I'd definitely have a Surface Pro if they were cheaper, but I just couldn't bring myself to be in the same vicinity as the current generation of Surface RTs. One of the big issues of the RT is that it doesn't run desktop apps while simultaneously giving you a desktop, thus falsely raising your expectations until you realise that the desktop is there only to serve Office, it has no other use.
Ditch the RT but keep going with the Pro, It'd be nice to pick up a Gen 1 in a year or two for a knock down price.
Just to be annoying
Interestingly, all the new toggles in Windows 8.1 don't seem to include the ability to turn the start button OFF. I don't need it (my keyboard has one) and it's using up a valuable taskbar location that I've got quite used to having free for whatever I like.
You can please some of the people some of the time...
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
- Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
- AMD demos 'Berlin' Opteron, world's first heterogeneous system architecture server chip
- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs