back to article Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

Readers with good memories may recall that when Windows NT was launched, it came in Workstation and Advanced Server editions, with the former fulfilling most duties of a server. There were no limits on TCP/IP connections, for example. Just as its developer Dave Cutler intended. When, a little later, Linux vendors packaged …

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  1. Updraft102 Silver badge

    And the biggest feature to date: Microsoft has removed Candy Crush and the other consumer junk from the start menu.

    Consumer?

    So 'consumer' means 'you don't get to decide what's installed on your own PC?'

    Is this Satya Nadella I'm talking to?

    1. Erik4872

      Consumer refers to who's paying

      Consumer versions of Windows 10 are "free" and paid for by providing telemetry data. The Enterprise editions, and Windows 10 for Workstations, are paid for by license fees/subscriptions. And yes, the consumer editions are also free billboards for advertising and drivers of Microsoft Store revenue.

      That's the big shift - Microsoft used to care very much about selling a Windows and Office license per box and ensuring that you couldn't use more than one copy. Now, the focus is on making sure that someone is paying the monthly fee to run the software, and they're not as concerned with *where* it runs. And for the free users (Home and Pro,) Microsoft gets sent data about usage that can be disabled in the Enterprise versions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        "Consumer versions of Windows 10 are "free" and paid for by providing telemetry data."

        That's only true if you had a Windows 7/8 version to upgrade from, and you upgraded in the allotted time. Otherwise, you pay for it upfront, then pay for it again through telemetry.

        1. foxyshadis

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          "That's only true if you had a Windows 7/8 version to upgrade from, and you upgraded in the allotted time. Otherwise, you pay for it upfront, then pay for it again through telemetry."

          Just yesterday I was still able to upgrade and activate a few systems to Windows 10 that had never been reserved (domain policy preventing any hint of upgrade), by starting a fresh install and plugging in the product key. Did a couple OEM and one retail, same result. Even if you'd rather upgrade than start fresh, you can still find multiple ways (the "accessibility technologies" link is the most popular).

          It's patently obvious that Microsoft actually wants everyone on 10, come hell or high water, and all those deadlines are just there to get some holdouts nervous enough to do it.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

            "It's patently obvious that Microsoft actually wants everyone on 10"

            As long as they're on 7 or higher to start with. I have a bunch of older kit and they won't accept those serial numbers.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          "and you upgraded in the allotted time"

          Nope it's still free (and legal) to upgrade. it's just not pushed in your face any more.

        3. TheTor

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          Actually, you still can - although officially ended, the upgrade tool still works, and issues valid licences (assuming the previous version is properly licensed too - although using Daz loader works). I actually upgraded a Windows 7 VM three days ago without a hitch...

          http://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          "Otherwise, you pay for it upfront, then pay for it again through telemetry."

          Or not if you choose to turn the telemetry off.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        This is a great summary of one of the main reasons why Windows 10 is unacceptable.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Erik4872 - Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        Small correction, you accidentally typed a "f" in the words "big shift".

        1. Usermane

          Re: @Erik4872 - Consumer refers to who's paying

          Yes, a big and stinky one.

      4. Jim in Hayward

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        And disabled in the pro version. I am still able to prevent the MS Creators Update and subsequent fall update from installing. Plenty of control in the Pro version.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          You're obviously not getting the same full screen 'nag' as my laptop yet then.

          "Your device needs the latest security updates

          Microsoft can't install important security updates on your PC..." (disk space etc due to SSD).

          On 1607 Aniversary Update, the latest nag screen is worst than Windows Vista when it deactivated during a hardware change and gave you full screen notices that you must activate, withholding access to your device.

          This thing pops up all the time.

          1. joed

            Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

            I've been running my "Creators" without any nags other that once per boot whining from "Defender" (its days are numbered anyway as CPU cycles are too few to waste on this underpowered PC). Simply remove all crap from the base image (before it's applied), don't use MS login for everyday account and set all network interfaces to metered (and don't use MS browsers to maintain acceptable level of security and privacy). Still the endgame will likely be switch to Linux or whatever can run FireFox (bitcoin miners have cured me of my gaming inclinations).

      5. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        > Consumer versions of Windows 10 are "free" and paid for by providing telemetry data.

        You are confused. If you buy a computer from an OEM or retail and it has Windows installed then part of the price that you pay goes to Microsoft for the Windows licence. It may be bundled so that you don't see this component of the cost, but it is not free in any sense.

        Certainly, if you had already paid for Windows 7 or 8.1, then Microsoft had, for a limited time, allow an upgrade to 10, but that was not free, it was just part of the price that you paid for the earlier version.

        There have been versions of Windows that were free (of cost) such as 'Windows with Bing', and 'Windows 10S' may be free of cost (to the OEM) but these require the user paying Microsoft if they are to overcome the limitations, or if they want any useful software which they must buy from the store.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          "Certainly, if you had already paid for Windows 7 or 8.1, then Microsoft had, for a limited time, allow an upgrade to 10"

          That's "allow" as in "force by every possible means including reversing accepted GUI usage".

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          " If you buy a computer from an OEM or retail and it has Windows installed then part of the price that you pay goes to Microsoft for the Windows licence."

          Having just had to do this for a bunch of desktop machines (where we had the choice between Freedos or "some flavour of windows"), it's about £80 for Windows10 home and £87 for Windows10 pro. The retail price is about £110

          It's slightly cheaper for laptops, presumably because they tend to have fewer cores.

      6. joed

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        I've not heard of a free copy of Windows 10 (outside of not fully legit ones). And 100$ for a "privilege" of running MS' billboard in one's room is particularly bad deal.

        1. Usermane

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          Was a free upgrade from 7 an if you used assitive technology or whatever the name of the gadgets as the onscreen keyboard or the reader.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

            "Was a free upgrade from 7 an if you used assitive technology or whatever the name of the gadgets as the onscreen keyboard or the reader."

            It was a free upgrade anyway. Assisted technology just had a later upgrade deadline. And the free upgrade still works!

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        @"Consumer versions of Windows 10 are "free" and paid for by providing telemetry data." so those users who were force upgraded from windows 7 and 8 had a "free" OS replace the one they paid money for?

        As I remember Windows10 was only offered for "free" to exisiting win7 and 8 users

        @"Microsoft used to care" and "Now, the focus is on making sure that someone is paying the monthly fee" suggests that even though they are slurping fast it isn't making enough money.

        Until they remove the spyware and adverts then why pretend windows is any fitter than say android both are built to maximimise the money to be made by selling their user's personal data.

        That they have effectively discontinued support for windows prior to 10 is so akin to android vendors abandoning their old products as to be indistinguisable.

        It is a telling shame that MS is only ripping offing off the worst inventions in computing now and yet still want to charge for the priviledge of running some of the windows compatable software.

      8. ab-gam

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        That leaves Pro as the Red Headed Stepkid who Looks like the Milkman. You pay extra for it, but are still treated badly.

      9. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

        > Consumer versions of Windows 10 are "free"

        Except they're not. They cost about £80. All the "free" deals went away a while back.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

          "Except they're not. They cost about £80. All the "free" deals went away a while back."

          Free upgrade from a previously licensed Windows version still works. Even though it is supposed to have expired.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Removing consumer junk?

      So why is the Microsoft Store still available?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Removing consumer junk?

        >>>>So why is the Microsoft Store still available?

        It's cool mate, it's like one of those deserted spagetti western lookalike towns, with tumbleweed and everything!

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      "Is this Satya Nadella I'm talking to?"

      no, just us, the choir. *crickets* from Micro-shaft and Mr. Nadella

      Back in 2015, Micro-shaft swallowed their own koolaid and is now Win-10-nic bound in thought and deed, full speed ahead over the cliff like good little lemmings. You will NEVER convince them otherwise.

      The only thing that will fix it is a serious loss in the revenue stream, and a board of directors that's LIVID about it.

      And for this, customers need to have a PROPER CHOICE.

      hint: see icon

      1. Snow Wombat
        Trollface

        yeah... Just look at FreeBSD

        Now I can OS that will change genders every day, and lock me out if mis gender it.

        (See the new "Code of Conduct" update in the FreeBSD community.)

        1. Usermane

          Re: yeah... Just look at FreeBSD

          How good is? Feels as the Ubuntu and similar!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      shame it doesnt bring back the NT4 UI (or 2k, xp, win7)

      until then, microsoft can take a hike. Win10 is still utter garbage.

      1. Patrician

        So, changing the UI on Windows 10 would make it not utter garbage?

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          So, changing the UI on Windows 10 would make it not utter garbage?

          It would be a good first step, but as long as there is still "Windows as a Service" and its insane update schedule, as long as users are denied full control of updates like we had in Windows 7 or 8, as long as there is not a master "telemetry off" switch that really does what it says on the tin (no "minimal" here; when I say OFF I mean OFF) and stays put where the user sets it, Windows 10 will still be garbage.

          I don't want any apps on my PC. I run programs... you know, those things that end up being placed in "\Program Files," which is named that for a reason. An "app" is a program designed for a mobile device that has limited resources (local storage and screen space being most notable, though processing power, RAM, and GPU power are also well behind typical "regular" PCs) and that is written to cope with the handicap of not having a hardware keyboard or pointing device.

          None of those handicaps that require an "app" to be so limited apply to my PC, so they have no reason to be on such a relatively robust device. I don't need them, I don't want them, and I won't tolerate their presence, no matter how much Microsoft's marketing department tells me it wants me to have them. My PC exists to serve my needs, not those of Microsoft or anyone else.

          As long as "bring back the UI from $older_version_of_windows includes deep-sixing everything UWP or Acrylic and returning to a full Win32 UI, these are the other things that need to be fixed before 10 stops being complete crap, Microsoft.

          I don't know if I would ever go back to Microsoft-land after what they have done. Even if they saw the light and fixed all the things I've highlighted here, I don't know if the trust that has been lost can be overcome. I never wanted to leave Windows; I've been using it since 3.0, so it's been my "home" for more than a quarter of a century. It's never been perfect, but I have spent most of that time thinking that it's really pretty decent, particularly in its NT-derived forms. It has its flaws, of course, but all things considered, I found XP and 7 to be the best choices for me, ahead of Linux and OSX/MacOS.

          Windows 10, though... no, just no. As Hall and Oates said, "I can't go for that." As the old adage goes, with appropriate substitutions, "I didn't leave Windows... Windows left me." From the start of my relationship with Windows, it was designed strictly for the PC platform, including a hardware keyboard and a mouse, along with a reasonably large screen (though in 1990 that meant 14 inches). That's what Windows has always been, and what I still expect now. The last version of Windows built to those specifications was Windows 7... after that, Windows left me behind in pursuit of mobile users that it could never get (and even though MS has conceded loss in that market, it still insists on staying the course).

          I'm not getting on the Windows 10 train, Microsoft. I know you think that you're so big that you can bully and force people to accept the utter crap you offer, but that doesn't work on all of us (and over time, I would guess most of us will tire of it). Thanks to your Windows 10 efforts, Microsoft, I'm typing this from Linux right now on my laptop, a PC that now spends 97% of its time in Linux (Windows is still there as dual boot, but I hardly ever use it). I still have five years of life left in Windows 8.1 (heavily modified to get the stupid out), and I might still be using that if you hadn't pushed "the last version of Windows ever" so heavily. I thank you for making your intentions so clear, Microsoft; with GWX and the continued efforts to force Windows users into the Windows 10 prison, I can clearly see there's no future for me with Windows. As long as the insane update schedule and permanent beta quality rule the day, Windows 10 doesn't even exist for me as an option.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Changing the UI by abandoning Metro, store and other crap, and building a windows 10 that had the architecture and performance improvements, but the Win7 UI would be a huge step towards what consumers and businesses actually want...

    5. joed

      that start menu is still full of s... MS, go back to polishing the turd

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Windows 10 for Workstations will now run on Xeon and Opteron machines with up to four CPUs – somewhat short of the thousands supported by Linux"

      Windows 10 / 2016 kernel supports up to 512 CPUs. And that's an artificial limit not a scalability one.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A thought.

    "with up to four CPUs – somewhat short of the thousands supported by Linux "

    Not my area, but I'm guessing that only a few businesses running open source use 1,000-CPU desktops.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: A thought.

      I wondered if perhaps they meant cores rather than actual physical processors (though 4 seemed stupidly low).

      But, googling around it looks like it is definitely physical processors than cores that are limited.

      Not had much luck finding hex socket workstations from a quick search, so a limit of 4 does seem reasonable (especially given they don't want this used on a server). Looks like server edition supports up to 64 sockets.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: A thought.

        "But, googling around it looks like it is definitely physical processors than cores that are limited."

        that's not as bad, then. still not good.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: A thought.

        > a limit of 4 does seem reasonable (especially given they don't want this used on a server). Looks like server edition supports up to 64 sockets.

        This is a pricing issue more than a technical one. The cost of a server licence can depend on the number of cores (not CPUs). The base price is for 16 cores. If you want to run more cores than you need to pay more. (you also needs CALs per client).

        """**Datacenter and Standard edition pricing is for 16 core licenses."""

        For desktop and workstation, Microsoft will also, it seems, be charging based on the number of cores and/or CPUs basis. The 4 core (not CPU) will be the base price desktop OS, while systems with more cores (or more than 1 CPU) will have to pay more for the workstation licence.

        """One customer said he was told there could be a price increase of roughly $70 per operating system for use on systems with processors with four or fewer cores. For machines with Xeon processors with more than four cores, there could be a price increase of roughly $230 per operating system, I was told. """

        """Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is designed for high-end hardware with Fast I/O with persistent memory, fast file sharing, Resilient file system (ReFS) and up to four physical CPUs and 6 TB of memory. """

        http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-may-have-price-increases-in-store-for-windows-10-pro-workstation-win-10-downgrade/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A thought.

          "The cost of a server licence can depend on the number of cores (not CPUs). The base price is for 16 cores."

          Client of mine paid £8K for server licensing for W2k8R2 a few years back, just asked for upgrade cost to Server 2016 it was £35K, same hardware that runs his loads fine. That was the the charity price, full commercial price £132K for his 7 servers mix of single and dual socket AMD Opteron.

          Based on that, I guess the new workstation is going to be based on price gouging.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: A thought.

            >Client of mine paid £8K for server licensing for W2k8R2 a few years back, just asked for upgrade cost to Server 2016 it was £35K, same hardware that runs his loads fine. That was the the charity price...

            I assume the £35K includes the full take-up of his purchase allowance from TT-Exchange, where two core WS2016DC licences are £44 each.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A thought.

              "I assume the £35K includes the full take-up of his purchase allowance from TT-Exchange, where two core WS2016DC licences are £44 each."

              Yes.

          2. jamescarnochan18

            Re: A thought.

            Surely your client should be using the CTX program if they are a non profit? Heavily discounted software across the whole Microsoft product family, sometimes costing less than £20 for server 2016

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A thought.

              "Surely your client should be using the CTX program if they are a non profit? "

              They do, but no only does MS have some brain dead idea of how many cores = "a tradional unit of processor" which seems to use a formula that costs you more money for the same unit of computing power, but the core count means that what was available under the program isn't licenseable anymore witout aditional full cost licenses.

              To me it looks like the MS cores per license doesn't match with the reality of the number of cores in a "main stream" processor and appears to align with an entry level processor. So if you buy a main stream processor now, you need more core licenses.

              This will get worse as you can't keeping adding full speed cores to a CPU, the speed goes down as you add more because of the TDP limit, so the ratio of horsepower : core falls while the number of licenses required increases.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: A thought.

          "For desktop and workstation, Microsoft will also, it seems, be charging based on the number of cores and/or CPUs basis. The 4 core (not CPU) will be the base price desktop OS, while systems with more cores (or more than 1 CPU) will have to pay more for the workstation licence."

          No, Microsoft are not charging by # cores for Windows 10. Only by CPU type.

          What they have suggested is that you will need the Workstation Pro license for systems with Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron CPUs. These are server / workstation class CPUs so it makes sense.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: A thought.

            @TheVogon

            You forgot to click [] Post Anonymously, but your comments are recognisable anyway.

            > No, Microsoft are not charging by # cores for Windows 10. Only by CPU type.

            And yet the Microsoft price list disagrees with you:

            """Update: An OEM price list shared with me by a contact shows the list price of Windows 10 Pro for Workstations (up to four cores) is $144; for more than four cores, $214."""

            http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-may-have-price-increases-in-store-for-windows-10-pro-workstation-win-10-downgrade/

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A thought.

        "Not had much luck finding hex socket workstations from a quick search, so a limit of 4 does seem reasonable"

        It could be that you're seeing H/W designed around limitations imposed by the S/W licensing.

      4. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: A thought.

        >so a limit of 4 does seem reasonable

        Err no!

        I have a Fujitsu Celsius R650 workstation dating from 2007 running XP Pro x64, it has dual quad-core Xeon's. The 2012 R670 gave the option of dual Xeons with 6 cores/12 threads and a choice of XP Pro x86 or x64, Win7 Pro 64 or 32.

        So it would seem MS don't really want this version of Win 10 to be used on high-end workstations, unless they mean a maximum of 4 physical processors...

        1. jab701

          Re: A thought.

          It means 4 physical processors rather than 4 cores.

          IIRC the normal editions of Windows 10 are limited to Dual Sockets (2 physical processors) aren't they?

        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: A thought.

          > I have a Fujitsu Celsius R650 workstation dating from 2007 running XP Pro x64, it has dual quad-core Xeon's.

          So you have 2 processors.

          2 is less than 4, so you're golden.

          It's physical processors (i.e. slots on the motherboard), not cores that this seems to be based upon.

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