back to article Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

Microsoft is putting on its poker face amid growing rumors that it plans to unveil "Windows 9" at the end of next month. For weeks and weeks now, it's been speculated that Redmond's next major operating system release, known thus far by its code name "Threshold", will make a public debut in 2014: it's believed Microsoft will …

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WTF?

Apples and Oranges (or Windows, I guess) much?

What exactly does a desktop/laptop OS made by Microsoft have to do with a new iPhone? Pardon me, but I don't see the connection. MS is not exactly competing with an iOS device through a version of traditional Windows. If it was a version of Windows Phone then yes, it would be foolhardy to launch a product in that market segment immediately following new Apple products.

If Apple was unveiling a new OS X version or even new Mac hardware then it might be cause for delaying it, but since full fat Windows has little to nothing to do with an iDevice, I see no reason that the launch of new iDevices would affect the launch of a new Windows version at all.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: FrankAlphaXII

"What exactly does a desktop/laptop OS made by Microsoft have to do with a new iPhone?"

Headlines and deadlines. It'll be interesting to see the two go head to head for coverage, if they happen at the same time.

C.

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Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

I don't understand the competition either.

Apple are going to pull a "yet another iPhone - much like the last one and a lot like the next one" out of the hat.

MS are going to fail miserably at covering up the W8 catastrophy and short of pulling a W98 menu out of their hat it is likely to simply come over as an apology.

Either way the two subjects' appeal, or lack appeal, to two very different user groups.

This is like comparing Ford bringing out a new pickup truck at the same time as Sikorsky showing of their latest helicopter....

As for the headlines/deadlines obviously I am only going to be interested in one or the other and in my case it will be the Windows Apology. ( Would love to see Bill up on the stage - the ANdel, Noddel, Nandel,Noodela, whatisname guy just doesn't cut the mustard.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

So they're really going to go back on what they said about how the full screen menu was the best thing they've done?

Every single Microsoft employee, shrill, and fanboi ranting & raving about how amazing it was, and the rest of us were just stuck in the times, resistant to change, etc.

You think Microsoft have finally listened to what their real users have been shouting on MSDN since the very first preview - only to be told to STFU?

Can you imagine it? "behold! after 2 years of research - we have invented what we believe to be the best way to launch your applications: A start men.. er.. start panel!"

Maybe they'll begrudgingly give us our precious menu back, all right - but look at the "leaked" screen shots! It's just the metro screen squashed into a 3rd of the screen, ffs! Giving us by the minute weather, stock, and facebook/twatter updates.

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

MS can wrap it up any way that they please, it will not change the fact that they fucked up and have a lot of ground work to do in order to repair this sorry state of affaires.

As has been mentioned in the forum, a lot of people simply want the choice, they want an either/or situation. Choice between the Old menu or the New , what they don't want is an imposed system.

MS have tried a little with 8.1, they will probably do a little more with 9 but it will still remain an apology, wrapped up in some Buzzword Bingo speech.

Have they listened to their users, maybe a tiny little bit but they probably have listened to their "financial experts/shareholders"... who want to see figures improving/advancing.

Windows 8 was part of the "One OS to rule them all" process that hasn't quite made a hit. ie it has made nothing more than a tiny ripple.

But now MS have the shitty positon of trying to repair their mess, of squirming out of the rathole and hoping to rebuild user/shareholder confidence.

If they don't use W9 as an apology and pull some magic out of the hat then the share prices will probably start to drop and that hurts, a lot...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Rebuild shareholder confidence? Have you SEEN our stock price recently? Highest it has been since the nineties! No issues with shareholder confidence!! At all!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

"our"?

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WTF?

Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Yes, telling wasn't it. Always go slow and preview a post such as this would be good advice methinks...

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Or maybe it wasn't a mistake. I used to work for them and I spent every lunch hour reading and commenting on sites like the Reg. Maybe AC is perfectly happy to openly admit s/he is a Microsoftie, and all your pointing and going "HA!" is just that and more.

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

"Our"??

Sorry but Apple is not a football team.

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Vic

MS is not exactly competing with an iOS device through a version of traditional Windows

They're competing for cash.

Contrary to the beiief of many marketroids, punters do not have infinitely deep pockets. Whilst the overlap between iPhone buyers and W9 buyers might not be as large as for certain other combinations of stuff, there will undoubtedly be some people who are the targets of both marketing campaigns.

Vic.

[ Who isn't the target of either campaign... ]

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

As I understand it, Windows 9 will configure itself according to the hardware it's installed on and give you the option to change the default if you like.

It was remiss and arrogant of them not to offer that option in 8. It also didn't help that ODMs didn't make much of an effort with touch-screen laptops (a shame really, hope it still catches on, after all, it's good to have the option of touch).

It just reinforces the understanding that you skip a release and then wait for service pack 1 :D

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Pint

Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Maybe if they listen to the users feedback, the shareholders would benefit. If you have a stable OS with a simple to use interface, maybe people would buy it? And then the shareholders would profit? Oh, wait, this is planet earth, logical thinking like this will get you in trouble.

Have a pint and forget your troubles!

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Sorry but Apple is not a football team.

No, it's a cult.

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Your're right about this: not competing products in nearly every sense.

But, Apple's announcements and iPhone releases get attention from blogs to tech to general press. So there's that. On release weekend, a lot of press will be talking about first weekend sales, saying it was enough or it wasn't enough or the polka dotted one was a disappointment because, well, who needs actual numbers to pronounce? There will also be first weekend discussion of how quick the top one sold out and then further contention as the flame-fanners argue over sales growth or withheld delivery to simulate popularity. In short, iPhones will get a lot of ticks in the news cycle twice next month.

That said, I see a release date guess of the 19th from the writers I respect. It is also the last month of Apple's 4th Quarter. I think two weekends of the new, shiny, as last year, would be preferred.

If September 30 is a Windows announcement, it will get attention. (If. Microsoft makes phones, right? They wouldn't have laid off the Nokia person who remembers that it's good to have new consumer-pleasing product at Christmas time, yet, right? Shouldn't we get a new Lumia or two?)

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Re: Apple's Yawn and Windows Apology

Apple are becoming like Nintendo every day.

Slightly different hardware platform, same software franchise.

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Anonymous Coward

Back to the future.

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I think it's about time that Microsoft start copying all the Linux desktop environments like Xfce or maybe KDE 5 or Gnome 3. :) They are, after all, best at copying others' ideas and making people pay through their noses for that.

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Which in turn copy Microsofts and Apples desktop metafore. So what exactly is your point. Everyone copies everyone else's ideas, its nothing new amd Open Source has been a major copier of anything and everything they possibly can get away with.

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IJC

No point in copying anything from a Linux GUI. Microsoft only copy things that are successful.

Just look at how Microsoft has beefed up Powershell over the last few years to give the Linux sysadmin types a command line to play with.

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Anonymous Coward

>>> Just look at how Microsoft has beefed up Powershell over the last few years to give the Linux sysadmin types a command line to play with.

Lol, true.

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Something useful in Windows Administration? It only took 25 years.

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@IJC

>Just look at how Microsoft has beefed up Powershell over the last few years to give the Linux sysadmin types a command line to play with.

I like powershell, I hate the CMD.EXE shell app with a passion, though ... it sucks. No tabs, weird keyboard shortcuts for copy & paste, crap to resize..... I just need a handle to that crap to throw it out the window, or at the window cleaner who's in the way.

Powershell is great, connecting via ssh from *nix

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@ SineWave242

>I think it's about time that Microsoft start copying all the Linux desktop environments like Xfce or maybe KDE 5 or Gnome 3. :) They are, after all, best at copying others' ideas and making people pay through their noses for that.

You know Cygwin ?

http://x.cygwin.com/screenshots/cygx-xtow-alphademo-20130805.png

or

http://x.cygwin.com/screenshots/cygx-rootless-openbox-20031224-0010.png

Ok, screenshots show crappy XP, but I am sure you could get that with 8 as well ...

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Powershell is not a bad scripting language. I find the way you pass objects interesting, it makes some things easier, plus it's the only one on Windows that almost works out the box.

However, as a shell (command prompt) - it's just nasty. You must be a big MS fanatic to want to put up with it.

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and IJC works for MS.. :) :P

successful?? take a look at how 'known' linux was a few years ago.. now almost everyone knows what ubuntu means... :)

successful? look at nokia.... MS thought they were onto a good thing... that is why they sacked 18,000, most of them ex-nokia employees.... :/

powershell?? dunno who uses it - certainly not those in offices, or at home...

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No tabs

What was the last version of cmd.exe you used?

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Open ...

What part of free and open source don't you understand? Microsoft is completely welcome to take any or all of the Linux desktops and to use them commercially. They'd just have to comply with the GPL. Principally, they'd have to make the source of any modifications they make available on the same terms as the source they started from. And if they went beyond "mere aggregation" and integrated parts of (say) Gnome into the Windows kernel, like they presently integrate parts of the Windows GUI into the Windows Kernel, then they'd have to open-source the Windows Kernel as well. All of it.

It won't happen any time soon. It wasn't so long ago that Microsoft was trying to argue that the GPL was unconstitutional or suchlike (I vaguely recall them calling it "communist"). Give them another twenty years to come around (if they last that long... Oracle Windows or Google OpenWindows seem less unlikely at present! )

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WIndows 8, SP2?

We'll have to wait to see what arrives but the timing suggests that this is the more polished version of Windows 8.1 and not a major re-write.

I'm not a great Win8 fan but watching the kids use it, it's clear that Microsoft got the interface right for the next generation of users. I don't really like the touch interface myself - at least not on a non-touch-PC - but I can make it work and I'll be very interested to see what this new version looks like given that they appear to be listening to their user base. Regardless - there's a huge pent-up demand for a new version of Windows that will work in the business / desktop environment and if they can get this right then they'll have another winner.

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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

there's a huge pent-up demand for a new version of Windows that will work in the business / desktop environment

Really.

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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

it's clear that Microsoft got the interface right for the next generation of users

All the next generation users I know are predominantly using Android devices, with a few using iOS. I know of none who are using Windows 8.x.

The wife, on the other hand - a current generation user - does have a Win8 laptop, with Classic Shell installed, but uses the touch features only to scroll up and down pages, and nothing more.

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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

"it's clear that Microsoft" took "the interface right for the" previous/current "generation of" Android&IOS users, dumbed it down some more then slapped it on devices it didn't belong on. Hardly the interface of the future, this is MS trying what it used to be expert at - stealing other peoples bandwaggons.

But because they slept right through the rise of tablets and smartphones then persistently ignored customers as they tried to catch up, this time they dressed up the product as something new but forgot to steal what makes it work!

Worst of all it's not hard to improved on IOS or Android. I spent this week struggling with an Android TV box and its absolutely inept UI using remote controls, there's plenty of scope to do better. MS chose not to even bother.

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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

The primary complaint about 8.1 is in a relatively small portion of the code base - how applications are launched and what should the OS do for people who prefer a more traditional experience (i.e. something akin to the start menu).

Once you go beyond that 8.1 is a mature and stable operating system. I expect if Microsoft were to produce some form of mini metro that users could choose to pop up instead of a full screen from the start button that most of the objections would taken care of. At the same time allow metro apps to live on the desktop and be proper peers of "classic" apps. At that point I think they'll have cracked it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

But the look and feel is, to most people, the OS.

If they cared about the OS core, and not the UI.. then we'd all be using Linux.

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a53

Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

An o/s you have to work at to make work ? No thanks, I thought it was supposed to be the other way round.

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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

"it's clear that Microsoft got the interface right for the next generation of users."

Yep, in the future if the need arises for people to use their fingers to fling things or mash the screen a certain number of times, we'll be all ready. There is no doubt that simple people can do simple tasks with a tablet OS, but there is a reason that no one invented the sausage-interface-wand before now. Trying to use a meat-stick to control precise movement is inefficient, well for anything other than throwing birds at pigs.

There is a simple solution to the 'Win8 GUI sucks' problem and it will solve itself. We only need to wait for the programmers at Microsoft to try to make the next version of Windows while using it. The huge hits to workflow and the unfriendliness of the current OS will have to be addressed at that point.

I blame Sinofsky.

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Vic

Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

but there is a reason that no one invented the sausage-interface-wand before now.

We tried it in the '70s. We called it a "light pen" back then, but it's functionally little different from a touch interface (aside from bing necessarily single-touch).

It wasn't very successful because it's ultimately not a very nice interface except for a few specialised situations...

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

Just let us have Win7 interface as an option at installation time.

Easy peasy.

All problems solved

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

If you want a Win7 interface, then use Win7.

Don't like it? tough titty

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

I do use Windows 7.

For those of us old enough to still think of an OS as the OS, and the UI as the UI (i.e. separate bit linked entities), Windows8 (the OS) has many significant improvements, therefore many of us would like the benefit of these improvements, without the unnecessary imposition of a broken UI.

There is not one Windows8 machine where I work, and we are an MS partner, build software based on Windows tools etc. etc. Those of us who tested it, binned it in very short order. We are a software development company peopled by windows developer nerds, so this result, given the skewed sample space is telling.

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Anonymous Coward

Their cloud first mobile first OS. Apart from MS, who else is shitting it? Will they give us back our desktop, or are they destroying it even more?

They only released Win8 two years ago. Where 7 was out for 4 years before it's (so called) successor.

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Meh.

The real question for the new Windows is: "Will I get back the Start Menu and a Disable Metro option?" which is probably what most Windows users are asking. If the answer's no, expect it to flop.

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Re: Meh.

Having spent a while using a touchscreen win8 device, my problem is this - there aren't enough programs available in Metro to make it a viable alternative. So you spend your whole time skipping back and forth between Metro and the desktop view, and instead of pressing the large finger-sized buttons in Metro you find yourself desperately trying to tap the tiny 'normal' sized buttons on windows in the desktop.

The charm bar works fine, if you're using a touchscreen but it is an absolute pain if you're using a mouse. The same goes for app switching. I think that it Microsoft had delayed the Win8 release for 12 months to allow manufacturers to build more touch-ready devices and had put the effort in to getting more programs ready for Win8 (Mozilla have given up developing the Metro Firefox, for example) we wouldn't all be haterz.

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Re: Meh.

The answer is probably you will get a mini metro launcher with tiles and some options which appears when you hit the start button. I think most people would be perfectly satisfied with that.

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Re: Meh.

If they were just to add an option that let you open desktop mode apps in fullscreen mode (the F11 one) and then switch straight back to Metro when you close them it'd be a huge improvement on the user friendliness of Metro. As it is, even on the tablet I have the interface is awkward as hell to work with

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S.O.P.

This is S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure) for Microsoft. When they release a failed version of Windows, they claim the next version is coming out *real* soon now, just a few more months now... for however many months or years it takes them to get the next version ready. Regarding Windows 9 being ready (or a test version being ready), I'll believe it when I see it (being reviewed online or whatever) and not a day earlier.

The thing that always amazed me about this technique... and indicates Microsoft's continued anti-competitive abuse of monopoly position*, is that a normal company ("company A"), if they say "something much better is coming out soon!" usually *decreases* sales as people hold out for that better model, or buy from someone else if their product seems a bit ahead "company A"'s model.

*Not 100% monopoly, but for anti-trust purposes a "monopoly" is generally defined as >90% of the market, and abusing this position to maintain and extend this monopoly, for example by making agreements force-bundling their software with almost every PC sold and not honoring the license clause saying the software can be returned for a refund.

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Re: S.O.P.

a normal company ("company A"), if they say "something much better is coming out soon!" usually *decreases* sales as people hold out for that better model,

It's hard to decrease Windows 8 sales as they have already been pretty low as it is. People are holding out on W8 already, keeping to their old iron. However, there is a slight skew on numbers because people buying Windows7-loaded PCs are actually buying a "Windows 8 license with downgrade rights" so it adds up to the W8 count, even though W8 isn't even being used.

MS is even doing this with their sales numbers as of late with the Xbox division. They know the Xbox1 is flopping so now they report "X Xboxes sold" lumping 360's and XB1's into a single group. The empire is sinking, but MS has a lot of cash reserves and OS lock-in so the double-whammy won't kill them. They have all the time in the world to roll out a decent Windows version. However, the Xbox division might actually end up being a casualty if things keep going the way they're going.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: S.O.P.

It's a bit like a good cop bad cop routine. I often wonder if they've got two separate development teams, one crap one and one not quite so crap one. The crap one has produced Windows 98, ME, Vista and W8, the not quite so crap one W95, XP and W7. Now it's the turn of the not quite so crap one to produce W9. Let's hope there's an upgrade path from W7 making it possible to miss out the nightmare of W8 altogether, but I won't hold my breath...

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Re: S.O.P.

The other part of the SOP is to keep the last good one (XP, then Windows 7) working and available to corporate customers until the new good one is well-accepted. Provided they don't kill Windows 7 before an acceptable Windows "9" is well-established, they'll survive. (Though they really should have kept XP on life support as well, once the complete corporate unhappiness with Windows 8 became apparent).

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Re: S.O.P.

The crap one has produced Windows 98, ME, Vista and W8, the not quite so crap one W95, XP and W7

Don't you have 95 and 98 transposed? 95 was crap. 98 was like XP: not brilliant on its first release, but by the time it got to 98SE it was quite acceptable for its time.

(I once ran 98SE in a VM on modern-ish hardware, just for old time's sake. If you want to see an OS boot really fast, try it yourself. And no, it didn't crash within a minute. )

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