back to article Will Microsoft parachute Windows 7 in early?

Redmond has refused to spike speculation that it is racing to pump out its successor to Vista – Windows 7 – earlier than originally expected. Windows 7 (AKA Blackcomb then Vienna) had initially been rumoured to hit the market in 2010, but expectations are rising that it will make a crash landing in the second half of 2009. …

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  1. Kenneth Chan
    Gates Halo

    As Long as it works!

    But could we really be sure? KC

  2. Aaron Harris
    Linux

    Vista Replacement

    I thought Ubuntu 7.10 is the Vista replacement, it was for me...

    Only Kidding all OS's have there place, even Vista or Windows 7, 8 or 9

  3. michael

    but shurly

    windows 7 (aka cr*p face) will just be vista with bits on

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do I count thee?

    I have never understood this numbering scheme. By my count, shouldn't this be Windows 9: 3.x, 95 (4), 98 (5), 2000 (6, and ME doesn't count), XP (7), Vista (8), "Vienna" (9).

  5. Dirk Vandenheuvel

    Do they care?

    "Could this be Microsoft execs having Vista panic attacks behind closed doors?"

    I don't understand this. If Vista doesn't sell surely MS makes money on XP. So why panic? $$$ is being earned anyway.

  6. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    The greatest accomplishment of the devil...

    It amuses me that in the midst of world-wide feedback that Vista is the pariah of Microsoft, Microsoft still sticks to claims of wide adoption and great feedback.

    I provide service to about a dozen regular business customers who have all shied away from Vista. They have either been warned off by professionals, industry analysts, or got it on a home computer and did not like it. One office got Vista on a couple of laptops and these laptops have nothing but problems.

    The problems with Vista are very real, and I see where Microsoft will silently throw Vista off the bridge wearing cement shoes to sleep with the fishies and ME.

    Paris, for the fishies and ME.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Not including the delays?

    You've missed out the obligatory delays from Redmond. H2 2010 will be the actual delivery date at least.

    Maybe this is just a ploy in the way that some people set their clocks 10 minutes fast to ensure they're not late?

  8. The Mole

    Late features

    Surely Windows 7 is just going to be all the bits that they left out of Vista as they ran out of time? So windows 7 will just be what Vista was promised to be late. Perhaps Microsoft have realised that their releases are always late and so by aiming to be early they may actually hit on time?

  9. Brad

    remember Windows ME?

    It too was the last stab at dolling up an overworked OS, and was replaced as soon as it was released.

  10. Luke Wells
    Paris Hilton

    Lets hope they learn from their mistakes.

    Hopefully, Vista will teach Microsoft that people don't want slow bloated operating systems with hundreds of multimedia bolt-ons, that need half a gig of ram just to boot to the desktop. Surely there is a market (business) for a simple stable operating system with no bundled crap and no integrated web browser (Notepad and Calculator can stay!)

    We will never ever install Vista here, it looks too much like a toy to be classed as a serious business tool and the recommended specs are way too high for a business to Roll out thousands of pounds worth of hardware upgrades across the offices just so that we can have an even more bloated media player.

    Hopefully MS will release "Windows 7 - Business edition" or "Windows 7 - User that has a Clue edition"

    more likely they will release "Windows 7 - Bloatware standard" and "Windows 7 - Bloatware Megabundle"

  11. Alan Lukaszewicz
    Go

    Drop the Windows moniker?

    Would it be better to drop "Windows" from the brand name?

    Maybe to call it Microsoft Vienna (for example)

  12. Ash
    Thumb Down

    What in the blue sh*t?!

    They release a shitty (non)operating system late, with half of the features which made it reasonable removed, wich breaks a lot of 3rd party applications and had almost NO hardware support out of the box, and which nobody with any shred of common sense has avoided like AIDS, and then they have the audacity to flip those who did adopt it off and shake the "it'll be out of date next year" stick again!

    Please, someone make a linux distro which works out of the box, plays games, and introduces decent support for developers to create apps for the platform.

    We'll pay. We will pay quite a lot.

  13. Johnny FireBlade
    Gates Horns

    Since when?

    "Pulling such a major release forward would be out of character for Microsoft."

    Since when? Microsoft has been releasing software that isn't ready/finished since the beginning!

  14. b166er

    seth

    interestingly, you like totally missed out NT dude, probably the best windows everrrr

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Re: How do I count thee?

    3: NT3

    4: NT4

    5: 2K

    5.01: XP

    6: Vista

    7: 7

    Obviously there must have been something before NT3 - possibly (assuming MS counts from 1)

    1: DOS

    2: 3.x/95/98/ME

  16. David Arno
    Coat

    You are counting it wrongly

    Seth Galitzer,

    Windows 95, 98 and ME were all windows 4 (v 4.00, 4.10 and 4.90 respectively). XP was windows 5, Vista is windows 6 and the next one will thus be 7.

    2000 wasn't part of that numbering system. There was windows NT3, NT4 and 2000 (NT5) and then that series was killed off when NT5 (2000) and windows 4 (ME) were joined before becoming XP.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It doesn't matter.

    I'm not going to spend a lot of time wondering about Windows 7.

    Microsoft has consistently shown that they know only one way to "improve" a product; make it bigger and more bloated. When the market rejected Windows ME, they were able to sidestep to the leaner and more stable Windows 2000 and its offspring, Windows XP.

    But there's no escape route this time. Vista is shameful and we all know that its successor will be even bigger and more bloated, with a collection of new features that no one wants.

    I'm staying with XP for as long as possible. After that, I just don't know.

  18. Giles Jones Gold badge

    XP

    "I don't understand this. If Vista doesn't sell surely MS makes money on XP. So why panic? $$$ is being earned anyway."

    It's called return on investment. If you blow billions on a product that fails then it's pretty serious. Especially when the competition surges ahead.

    Bad for Microsoft's reputation too.

    I don't think at this time that you can play Blu-ray or HD-DVD under XP? I thought that was one reason for Vista, the limitations on graphics cards and monitors. Secure channels only.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Numbering scheme

    Presumably the numbering scheme is limited to NT based versions. So after NT4, we have 2000 (5), XP (6), Vista (7 - beta), and Windows 7 to come.

  20. Gordon Jahn

    Re: Counting

    MS ditched the Win3.x/95/98/98SE/ME codebase after ME - the numbering there doesn't mean much for these former "Consumer" OSes - enterprise should've been on Windows NT through 3.5 and 4 (through all 6 service packs) at this time.

    Since then, the numbering all followed the Windows NT scheme with NT4 succeeded by Windows 2000 (5 - "completely new", DRM, etc), XP, (5.1 - new UI skin and some incremental improvements over W2k), Vista (6 - more DRM no-one seems to want but MS)... and then into the murky future.

  21. Anthony Metcalf

    RE: How do I count thee?

    At a guess....

    Windows 9: 3.x, 95 (4), 98 (4.5), 2000 (5), ME (4.6), XP (5.5), Vista (6), "Vienna" (7).

    Based on Codebase, i.e. jump to 32 bit dropping the non-nt kernel base, security re-writes as major version increases.

    Saying that, the numbering scheme should really ignore 3.5 and 9X/ME as the current code base is from the NT4 tree, and hence uses that numbering scheme. It happens to co-incide well though.

    (and yes, it too some jiggery-pokery to get the numbers sensible, then work backwords to what MS would think are reasons for a major version jump.

    Question is, what will make & different enough from vists to be called a major version jump?

  22. Michael Jolly

    kinda worrying...

    ..if its true, it will leave lots of people up the (vista) creak and i doubt any PC running vista (now) will be able to run it to its fullest

  23. Neil Hoskins

    @Seth

    Windows 2000 is really NT5. XP is just NT5.5. Presumably, then, Vista is NT6.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    2nd death knell for Vista

    The 1st was the fact that nobody wants, needs nor likes it (well almost nobody). Now, 2nd, it is to be replaced before almost anyone has bothered to look at it beyond those who have been force-fed it by the likes of pc world. Truly, it is the 2nd coming of WinME.

    Now, will the next one be a slimmed-down version of it or the rather more expected ultra-mega-super-you-thought-vista-was-bloatware behemoth that we are all dreading?

  25. John Munyard

    The Dilemma

    I not sure this really changes Microsoft's underlying sales problem, which is that most users (and more importantly clients) get pretty much all the functionality and resiliance they'll ever need with Windows2000.

    Everything they've done since then has been bells and whistles. For example what was the rationale behind renaming the long standing "Add/Remove Software" option from Control Panel in Vista? In what way was the old option failing to do it's job?

    The more they just needlessly fiddle about with it the more frustrated I become. Perhaps if their next OS didn't need a Dual-Core PC with 2Gb of memory and a monster graphics card just to run they'd make some sales, but what do I know...

  26. Paul Smith

    W2K was Windows 5

    Windows 2000

    Microsoft (R) Windows

    Version 5.0 (Build 2195: Service Pack 4)

    Copyright (C) 1981-1999 Microsoft Corp.

    This is still my companies main developer OS.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Real version numbers

    Windows 2000 = NT5

    Windows XP = NT5.1 (not 6, not 5.5, not ME+2000, not 5.01)

    Just type "winver" at the command line to see the real version numbers

  28. herman Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    MS Slogan: Semper Deterior

    The problem is one of attitude at MS. Their OS releases are always bigger and slower. If they don't refactor the code, then Win7 is doomed to be even worse.

    The bottom line is that MS is a SW marketing company. Their SW development teams are simply hopeless.

  29. Norman Wanzer

    @Ash

    "Please, someone make a linux distro which works out of the box, plays games, and introduces decent support for developers to create apps for the platform."

    I think they call that MAC OS. As much as it pains me to admit it (I'm a windows guy). MAC might be doing for Unix/Linux what no one else has managed to do - give it a standard. If other Linux platforms can adopt the installer process, and someone can write a free DirectX equivalent for Linux or Mac I would switch to that OS in a second.

    For me 2000 was the last ok windows. XP is still too bloated for my taste. I'm really getting tired of trying to defend windows to customers when MS keeps making dumb mistakes. I wish Gates hadn't given up control back in 2000. It seems as soon as he did the decline of MS accelerated. He might just want to make money but he also learns from his mistakes. An ability the current board seems to be lacking.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Been here before...

    MS have released complete snafus before...anyone remember the misbegotten wretch that was DOS 4.0 and how relieved we all were when, years later, DOS 5.0 was released?

    By the way, you need an icon for us grumpy old men with antediluvian memories.

  31. Oli Wright
    Stop

    @Ash

    "which nobody with any shred of common sense has avoided like AIDS,"

    Wait. What?

  32. Craig

    Vista 'not so bad'

    Well, some poor user has to stick up for the OS in a barrage of obligatory Vista-hate, so it might as well be me.

    I like Vista, I have no software / hardware problems, and it runs faster than XP does on the same machine (dual boot). It's taken a while to get used to it, but now I find myself trying to do 'Vista things' at work where I still use XP.

    Releasing Windows 7 so soon would be a mistake I reckon. XP only got where it was by sticking around long enough for everything to work. MS need to stick with Vista until it properly matures.

  33. Mr C

    cant unbloat Vista now

    as the title says - MS cant unbloat Vista now because ppl would accuse them of either bad programming or intentional bloating.

    And so, they're forced to creating something 'new' and call it "innocative" and "reprogrammed from the ground up"

    i'm betting it'll be running a whole lot smoother with less memory requirements than todays vista

    If vista wasnt so bloated it would probably have been somewhat of a success story since XP is old and ppl really do want new stuff once in a while.

  34. foof

    XP was a minor upgrade to 2000

    NT5 was renamed Windows 2000. I still have a NT5 beta somewhere. XP is NT5.1. I lost interest in Windows after that so I'm not sure what 2003 and Vista version at.

    The NT branch was completely separate from the 1, 2, 3.x, 9x, Me branch.

  35. Mage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Versions

    There are TWO parents to Windows with different Numbering.

    XP is

    C:\>ver

    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

    Server 2003 is I think 5.2 or so

    Vista is NT 6.0

    The earliest NT is 3.1, as the previous codebase in that tree was called MS OS/2 (yes MS, not IBM, I've seen a copy, 1989 I think). the Warp is post NT2.0 / AKA MS OS2 and joint IBM/MS OS/2 is earlier than 1989. (NT 1.0 effectively).

    I have NT3.1, Nt3.5, NT3.51 (patch due to Win95 APIs used by 16bit MS OFFICE 95 made to NOT run on Win32), Nt4.0, NT2000 (NT5.0), XP (NT 5.1), Server2003 (NT 5.2 I think).

    The Win2.0, Win286, Win386 Win3.10, Win 3.11, WinFWG3.11, Win95, Win95a, Win98, Win98SE, WinME is not an OS, but a GUI layer on DOS.

    (I have all those except Win ME)

    ver at cmd (NT) or ver at Command (DOS based Windows) will show version.

    I may either wait for Win NT 8, stick with XP or run Linux. Actually I have 3 versions of Linux on my XP via VMWare.

  36. Dave
    Stop

    Count them...

    "I have never understood this numbering scheme. By my count, shouldn't this be Windows 9: 3.x, 95 (4), 98 (5), 2000 (6, and ME doesn't count), XP (7), Vista (8), "Vienna" (9)."

    No. 95 is (4), and 98 and Me are both just 95 with bells on, so they're all (4). 2000 was never meant to be a home OS. So Vienna is 7.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ foof

    Yeh i remember the win2k beta that had the XP luna interface before they ditched loads of features to get it out the door intime. This is really why XP came out so soon and ME was borne this should never of been if MS had managed to stick to a roadmap.

    And as mentioned above the Windows 7 referes only to the NT line of Windows OS which have nothing to do with 3x or 9X.

    MS are in a tough place now i think pretty soon Vista will be ok but it's image is now ruined. Do MS stick with it or just release a new version that's much better (here you go peolpe all solved) but this will rub people who have bought Vista the wrong way. I imagine they'll feel like people who bought ME.

    Having said that i've not really had any issues with Vista at all and the imaged based deployment is a dream.

  38. Ryan Barrett

    Start from the ground up..

    ..is what Microsoft need to do with the next version of Windows.

    Rebuild everything, so they end up with a very streamlined OS with non of the legacy support included.

    To provide 'legacy support', they should provide application level virtualisation - so every old application runs in its own virtual machine.

    They'd need to aim it at a similar 'recommended' spec as Vista (or less if not using legacy support).

    Sure, it'd cost us an extra 2-5gig diskspace for the 'virtual XP', but it'd be worth it.

    Spend 5 years doing that and we'll all be happy.

  39. Richard Gadsden
    Boffin

    Windows versions

    Windows 3.0

    Windows 3.1

    Windows NT 3.1

    Windows 3.1 for Workgroups

    Windows 3.11 for Workgroups

    Windows NT 3.51

    Windows 95 (4.0)

    Windows NT 4

    Windows 98 (4.1)

    Windows 2000 (5.0)

    Windows Me (4.9)

    Windows XP (5.1)

    Windows Vista (6.0)

  40. Not That Andrew
    Joke

    This means nothing to me.

    Well? someone had to say it.

  41. Matt Haswell
    Gates Halo

    Windows 7 - wake me up when it matures

    Doesn't matter if they rush out Windows 7 - I'm still going to wait for at least 1 service pack. Let someone else discover the problems with the new OS and I'll move when it actually gives me something stable to use.

    Vista sounds like I may have to wait until SP 2 or 3 though - they need to be able to sort out the basics like copying files around before I'll give it a try.

    I'm on XP now - but it was only usable after the second SP.

    If I want to play games then it has to be windows (sorry Apple and linux - but that's the way the world works) - but I can be patient and wait until something actually needs the latest system (and Direct X 10) that I want to go to. The game Crysis was supposed to be "it" but the difference in graphics is marginal at best. Then again the games companies know that the 360 console uses DirectX 9 - why bother making something that will only run on Vista instead of something that will run on Windows 2000 upwards and the (very profitable) Xbox 360 with some minor porting?

    Now if I could only get the games companies to stop dumbing down PC games since they're developing for the 360 as well then I'd be satisfied. I have a mouse and keyboard, not a gamepad.

    "Good Bill" icon due to the rarity of it being seen...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The only reason I am still running Windows...

    ... is .NET and Visual Studio. These are by far the best development tools known to man. But I have to say, that is because I am still running XP. My friend recently bought a laptop, and all he could find were ones with Vista pre-installed. Sooner or later it seems like MS will end support for XP, and then I am not sure what to do. Umbuntu and Java I guess :-S

  43. paul clarke
    Gates Horns

    Nice man at Comet said...

    ...Tough!!

    When a colleague of mine attempted to purchase a laptop with Windows XP Pro installed rather than Windows Vista.

    I had warned her of the appalling performance of Vista and driver issues with her current hardware. She explained to the nice chap at comet that she did not want a laptop with Vista. So she left the store after making her feelings known and went on-line and purchased one from Misco.

    Why are these people not listening to their customers? She bought the exact same laptop that was on sale in Comet. The difference was that Misco offered it with XP Pro.

    Microsoft please note - Vista is WORSE than ME. It is simply the worst OS to be FORCED onto users. Where is customer choice?

    grrrrr......

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worthless speculation

    Don't believe a word from MS until they've got an actual release.

    Why?

    Track record.

  45. David Simpson
    Gates Halo

    Same old 98 whinning

    I love all the people crying about never switching to Vista it's so retro! reliving 2001 are we ?

    I use vista on both my pcs and although i have had lists of bugs and problems sp1 rc fixed them all.

    How are you going to use your pc in a few years if you stick with XP ? probably just like present 98 users do or rather don't.

    I have never particularly liked XP so i welcomed Vista, it is bloated and memory intensive but then i though that of XP when i got it on my new laptop in 2002, my transition to Vista has been much smoother than the 98 > XP was.

    Windows 7 will probably be alot more modular (like vista was supposed to be) X86 hardware will be running your phone, car and home by the time 09/10 rolls by so it would make alot of sense to be able to scale the OS to your hardware.

    By the way everyone should consider that Vista requires between 1-2GB of ram to work well, I'm sure that 2GB will be minimum spec by next year so why would Windows 7 need to have a lower RAM requirement ?

    Windows 7 will also be getting rushed seeing as Vista has no touch or gesture ala iPhone and leopard and that really will be the next big thing in OSes not to mention AMD and Intel rushing to integrate CPU & GPU which will totally redefine just how smart a GUI and user interface can be.

    Stop living in the past with the win98 users and remember the tech industry moves fast XP will be almost useless in a year and a half because what it doesnt support will have become common place.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Apple Playbook

    Why not take a page from Apple and come up with major (pay for) updates/features/releases to the OS at least every 18 months? Just make sure that the features are cool looking, and if the don't work just "delete" them from the next release! Apple came out with OS 10.0 in 2000, 10..1 in 2001, 10.2 in 2002, 10.3 in 2004, 10.4 in 2006 and 10.5 in 2007. Each a paid update along with the typical "by the latest hardware to maximize your enjoyment" of the latest "release".

    Now if Apple would allow their OS to be installed, easily on any other system board instead of hardwired on their own I would be very interested to run OS X on a Dell/HP/Toshiba/Sony or any other custom built computer system!

  47. Mage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Branches

    Versions of the DOS windows proir to 3.1 were frankly useless. Hence Excel & Word originally done for MAC.

    While BSD is a nice version of UNIX, Apple abandoning the power PC and the real Mac OS is ultimately doomed. A good PC is cheaper and more reliable HW and Linux less frustrating OS. Why PAY for BSD / Linux? Hence Apple removing "computer" from company name. They are high markup reseller of "designer" low quality Chinese gadgets now. Read about iPod markups.

    OS/2 is definately the pre 1993 1st release of NT as NT3.1

    XP still has the OS/2 registry entries.

    NT3.5 you could still choose NTFS or OS/2 HPFS as filesystem.

    Windows Branches:

    If it can only use FAT/FAT32 it's a GUI on DOS.

    If it can read/write HPFS and/or NTFS then it's NT.

    Real Linux/UNIX FS designers still dream about NT's token based security and Transactional FS that has has streams since ver 1.0. (though most apps don't use them). Try pulling out power during a write on XP and Linux EXt3 a dozen times on both and see which is most damaged (NT may be OK, Linux may be bad on 1st try)

  48. Nic Brough
    Gates Horns

    Versions?

    >Obviously there must have been something before NT3 - possibly (assuming MS counts from 1)

    Real geeks count from 0. Microsoft can't actually count at all.

  49. Mage Silver badge

    XP 2002

    April 2002 I got XP. I'm still running the same copy, never reinstalled on same 1.8Ghz P4 laptop. Beats New Core Duo 1.6GHz Toshiba laptops running vista.

    I don't install rubbish, I have NT4/Win98 style classic desktop and all un-needed services off. No AV either. (silentrunners.org to check occasionally).

    I've gone through upteen versions of Linux since then though.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ryan Barrett

    "Rebuild everything, so they end up with a very streamlined OS with non of the legacy support included."

    Sounds a bit like Windows x64 which loses alot of backwards compatibility.

  51. RW
    Dead Vulture

    @ Gordon Jahn

    "MS ditched the Win3.x/95/98/98SE/ME codebase after ME -"

    Given bugs in Vista that turn out to have also infested Win3.1, it's clear MS by no means ditched the *entire* codebase. My guess is that they reused a great deal of it and that Vista's problems are largely due to Vista reusing a hodge-podge of undocumented code written by people who've long since left MS.

    That's also a likely reason MS has resisted documenting their network stuff for the EU: they don't have any documentation other than the source code itself, which no one in Redmond fully understands.

  52. Clint Sharp
    Happy

    Good old MS

    Cranberry sauce to go with that Vista disk sir? As long as I can still buy XP I should be OK then...

  53. JimC

    @David Simpson

    My old 98 Laptop works just fine. It had to have a new hard disk a couple of years ago, which was a bit of a game to find one that was supported in the BIOS, but it still does everthing I want, including running Apache and PHP for development when I need a test system...

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Re; Vista Replacement

    > all OS's have there place, even Vista or Windows 7, 8 or 9

    Of course they have their place. I have a wastebin with one of those "designed for Windows" badges fastened on it. So I just pop the CD in there when buying a new PC. Isn't that what it's for ?

  55. Nick Ryan Silver badge
    Stop

    Huh?

    "Real Linux/UNIX FS designers still dream about NT's token based security and Transactional FS that has has streams since ver 1.0. (though most apps don't use them). Try pulling out power during a write on XP and Linux EXt3 a dozen times on both and see which is most damaged (NT may be OK, Linux may be bad on 1st try)"

    I think you got the wording wrong... it's not "dream", it's "nightmare".

    Streams were only cobbled in to attempt to subvert Apple Macs into cooperating with an NT server. As for transactional, that's far from true - NT's monolothic file system is far from a stable journalled file system and can't be readily replaced. The OS can't access other FileSystems with any measure of integration and the entire security botch that is windows file access rights is very closely intertwined with NTFS. Compare this with your average Linux distro where you can pretty much choose the file system you want to access and it's away... want a safe, fully journalling file system? no problem, want one that's fast but less stable, likewise. Hell, at a push it can even handle NTFS (made rather more difficult given the entirely poprietry nature and closed source of NTFS).

  56. Don Mitchell

    Code Bases

    Dave Cutler and his team, who authored several of DEC's operating systems, joined Microsoft and wrote the NT system. Compared to UNIX at that point in time (1989), it was really a gem -- kernel threads, several mechanisms for managing parallel programming, support for multi processors (not in Linux until years later), asynchronous I/O, journaling file system (NTFS), completion ports, support for event-driven programming, etc. Knowing Cutler, I doubt if he used much or any of Microsoft's OS/2 code in NT.

    Of course, IBM was pissed off in a major way when they saw NT and realized that Microsoft was not just their lapdog. One of their execs said he wanted to put an ice pick in Bill Gate's head. Of course, Microsoft caused IBM to loose control of the hardware completely, since they sold their system to any PC hardware vendor. Nobody hates them as much as IBM.

    Windows 95 (and 98 and ME) was a different code base with a different purpose -- rapid deployment of new features, and it let games and applications play fast and loose. It was never as stable as NT because it was constantly being churned and it let applications do dangerous things. WIndows 9x was routinely patched to "fix" bugs in applications. I remember one patch to Windows 98 was called internally "EUDORAPILEOFSHIT" because it safely caught a bunch of null-pointer dereferences in a sloppy third-party email program.

    XP was not a minor modification of 2000, it was the merger of 9x applications compatability with the NT kernel. That was difficult, letting all those gonzo applications run on a strict OS. Both 2000 and ME were in some sense stop-gap measures of the two code bases, because the XP project took longer than expected.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @David Simpson: Same old 98 whinning

    David,

    Spot on. I bet half these moaning gits have never installed it or if they did it was a beta in a VM or on some crappy old pentium dual booting whatever flavour of their loonix OS they were running that day. Hardly giving the OS a decent chance to see what it's like.

    The comments read like they got written by a bunch of 14yr old Slashdotters who live with their mummies, rather than pragmatic and intelligent IT professionals.

    Me, I got a 2.8Ghz P4 HT dell (300 quid from Europc), with 2gb of memory and a nvidia gt7900 gfx card. I run all the usual toys i need for work and play without issue (VS05, VS08, a couple of SQL05 instances, outlook, IE, Firefox, Fortigate VPN client, daemontools, foobar, synergy, avg, trillian, the list is endless).

    The only problems I had were with nvidias dodgy drivers for the card which don't work properly running in dual head mode when one of the displays is 1920x1200 (fixed by underclocking the vid mem and GPU a tad, no noticable perf difference). The other issue was with Nero which needed an upgrade (had a similar issue with Roxio when I moved to 2k and XP years back so that wasn't a surprise; and I always suspect a new OS release is a good excuse for some vendors to make some bucks from 'upgrades'). Oh..and yeah there was the issue with VS05 and SQL05 but that got resolved pretty quickly. But then...it's a new OS you're gonna have some teething troubles in the first few months.

    There's a load of morons out there who seem to think it's fashionable to diss Vista but there's really bugger all wrong with it. Half the problems are generally with crap software/developers that take shortcuts or never read the Win32 API docs properly (pick up a copy of Old New Thing, you'll be amazed at the shit MS have to shimmy in to replicate unintended behaviours and side effects because some idiots can't read or shouldn't be let near a compiler and editor).

    I also have Vista on my laptop too and it runs a treat.

    Ok...so maybe you might need a better gfx card and a wee bit more memory to get the Aero UI but memory is dirt cheap (25 quid for 2gb) and a new gfx card is hardly going to break the bank. But it was the same when XP arrived and before that windows 2000. But to get these fancy new UI's with transparency and chrome etc a bit extra oomph in the h/w dep is needed but thats the same story for every new wave of OS tech. Loonix + Gnome/KDE is no different, I thought I'd try running Fedora on one of my older machines with an athlon xp1900+512mb of memory. It was unusable once I'd got a few apps going, in fact I could get better perf outa windows 2000 pro running the equivalent applications (mail, browser, music player etc etc).

    So life goes on, Vista isn't as bad as made out to be, but I'd really love to see some actual examples from people of how Vista was so bad it ruined their lives. Hell I'm even looking forward to my old boy upgrading his PC from XP because Vista has been so well behaved so far and seems more joe-schmoe friendly.

  58. Steve Todd

    @Norman Wanzer

    "If other Linux platforms can adopt the installer process, and someone can write a free DirectX equivalent for Linux or Mac I would switch to that OS in a second"

    Anything wrong with OpenGL (and the audio version, OpenAL)?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Do they care?

    Whilst it is true that MicroSoft will still gain an OS license fee for a new PC with XP on it as well as a new PC with Vista there are some material reasons why poor uptake of Vista will have cost MS money:

    -Vista is generally more expensive than XP

    -They lose income from people with XP not upgrading [without buying new hardware]

    -They lose income from people deciding to stick with XP and their current PC rather than buying a super-duper new one with a new OS license

    -They will lose income from both the people who upgrade their hardware but chose linux instead of Vista (and the guy who bought a Mac instead, you know who you are....)

    I am sure the hardware manufacturers are not that happy with MS/Vista and are unlikely to invest as much in "helping" MS develop newer software in future.

  60. Marty McFly
    Gates Horns

    Pairs

    Win95 was revolutionary, but it wasn't smooth. Win98 built upon 95 and smoothed out its rough edges. WinME was simply an anomaly to try and get another round of $$$ out of the old code base.

    Win2000 was a good enterprise OS, but it fell down for the consumer. WinXP built upon Win2000 and has been well received by the masses.

    WinVista is shaping up to be another dog with fleas. Perhaps Windows 7 will be the flea collar which makes this code base usable.

    As for my wish list...

    - Scrap the umpteen different Vista versions. Keep It Simple Stupid - give me a home and a pro version.

    - Scrap the heavy handed DRM. Let the free market decide that. If I do not have a HD DVD / Blueray drive on the machine, I should not be forced to run DRM code integrated into the OS. If the MPAA or RIAA don't like it, then too bad. They can withhold their releases from the offending formats - and we the consumers can decide if we want to buy their products or not.

    - Scrap the fancy interfaces. Or, at least give me a real quick and easy way to convert everything to a "Classic Windows" theme. And I mean everything - not just the wallpaper.

    - Build some real security into the OS. No more of this 'Are you sure you want to run an EXE' followed by a 'Are you really really sure' dialogue.

    My $.02

  61. Mage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Codebase

    Most of the worst features / problems seem to be codebase migrated from ill-considered Win95, 98, ME stuff, obviously written by people that neither understand OSes nor NT.

    Until XP, almost all NT "upgrades" from 3.51 inclusive to Win2000 inclusive are the DOS based GUI codebase of Win9x/ME.

    With Windows For Workgroups 3.11 it was the other way round, 32bit TCP/IP from NT3.x, Win32s and cut down registry derived from NT 3.x, 32 bit video player etc.

    In contrast Win95 was a cosmetic exercise and not much more 32bit than WFWG3.11 with Win32s. Office95 was deliberately hobbled with artifical "new" Win APIs so it would not run on WFWG. Office 95 was mostly 16bit.

    NT HAS ALWAYS used a virtual Machine to run DOS and 16bit Windows softwate (NTVDM and WOW). The 16 bit WOW mapped as many 16bit API calls to 32bit native NT APIs as possible. Win9x never did. It ran DOS and Win16 code without a virtual Machine.

    NT design has gradually detoriated since NT3.51 (the upgrade from NT3.5 existed SOLELY to run Office95).

    With Vista team leader meetings a whole auditorium I doubt any one in MS really understands or controls current Windows Development. It's almost certainly gone past point of no return.

    I used to complain that Linux was a bad copy of a 1976 OS. (UNIX) and NT was the best of OS/2 and VMS and really good. (I was installing NT3.51 Wkstations and Servers). Now Linux is a good enhanced copy of a 1976 OS and NT (Vista) has become a degenerate copy of a 1993 OS with every gimmick MS can think of chucked at it and all the most interesting ideas talked about for NT 6.0 dropped.

    The OLE -> Com -> DCOM stupidity is an example of NT development gone wrong.

    OLE was a Broken idea from day 1 that assumes anyone you send a document to has all the same OS config and applications as you.

    I have some few full unused licences of Word2.0a for Windows 3.x About 4 years ago I copied the stack of Floppies onto gold archive CD. It makes the last few versions of office for most users look very sad.

    Unfortunately there seems to to be too much tendency of Open Office, Gnome / KDE /Ubuntu to ape Mac OS and Windows features that would be better forgotten. However it's still possible to build a Linux with Desktop that works in 32M RAM and 200MHz CPU.

    My 1st NT server was 20MHz 386CPU with 12Mbyte of RAM. It had Internet proxy (Wingate, MS proxy beta toasted it) and was just as reliable as Linux.

    My current server is dual PIII 933MHz with 512M RDRAM (rambus). It's got Win 2K advanced server rather than Server2003(too low a spec) or Linux (HW Raid 5 controller with 8 SCSI drives in two sets on two buses is not Linux compatible). Running Apache, MySQL, PHP/Pear as WELL as WSUS, IIS and MSSQL (Try getting WSUS to run on Apache/MySQL or a Wiki to run on IIS/MSSQL). Not enough RAM to run Linux in VMWARE. We did do it but it paged something fierce.

    You don't want to upgrade RAM at ALL in a RDRAM/RAMbus Mobo. Ever again.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    What Windows OS will run on an 8 core system with oodles of RAM?

    It's probably limited by error correction codings that will slow things down.

    In that sense Apple really do have a good if not peripheral model

  63. Chris iverson

    Versions Again, natter, natter, natter

    Reading El reg instead of working

    Here are screen scrapes for the relevant topic:

    Server 2K3:

    Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]

    (C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

    C:\Documents and Settings\*******>ver

    Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]

    And XP Sp2:

    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

    C:\Documents and Settings\********>ver

    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

    Hmm, appears that server was a bug fix to server 2k

    Ohh well, that my main OS, doesn't crash, has no pretty crap, uses 2k drivers, all games can play on it, and it supports all 8 gigs of my RAM

    Maybe M$ should strip the server components out of server and turn that into windows 7

    my 2 cents

  64. Iain Gilbert

    Visa doesn't seems as bad as folk claim

    Vista HP64 works well enough on my machine, though I only use it for web, music/tv and virtualisation (Virtualbox/VMWare running *nix/XP), though I really need a dual core cpu. At least it's not as ugly as XP (I preferred 2k but it's wifi support it's great)

    Of course I have got 3gb of ram, which helps considerably.

    Personally I'm saving up for one of the 8 core Mac Pros and will run whichever windows version + linux etc via virtualisation on OSX.

    Having "researched" OSX86 I doubt Apple will release OSX for all PCs as the driver support is rubbish in OSX86. I suspect one of the reasons OSX is so problem free is because Apple keep the amount of hardware to a minimum.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    It really depends on what it offers over XP...

    Microsoft has two problems here, what extra can it offer to users and how much power is it going to require to run?

    Over the years Microsoft has offered some clear reasons to upgrade (not always version to version though). Windows 3.x -> Windows 95 provided a completely new interface but more substantially a 32bit OS, the plug and play system, new drivers to work with PnP and so on. And Microsoft was able to get most manufacturers to produce new drivers ready for the launch.

    Windows 2000 - A step forward for NT and it is still used in a lot of businesses (if they weren't bothered with XP why are they going to take Vista??)

    Windows Me & 2000 -> Windows XP, a vastly more stable OS than the original Me and better games support than 2000.

    Windows Vista's biggest selling points are Aero and the UAC, a feature so annoying that a lot of people turn it off negating any benefit. Only to do it properly (make everyone log in with basic access privileges rather than as an administrator) would break too many Windows programs that need access to the Registry, system folders, etc.

    To get people really interested there has to be some real killer features.

    The bloat has got to the point that people are poking it and asking why is it so much bigger and more resource hungry than XP yet does so little more for me?

    Microsoft has to look at Windows the same way Symantec did with Norton 360, look at the products, realise it is way too big and resource hungry and start from the ground up with some more efficient code rather than tacking a bit more on here and there.

    @David Simpson

    Going from 98 to XP was a major change in the underlying structure of Windows, instead of working with a DOS based GUI, XP is based on NT & 2000. Problems with hardware drivers and software not working but I would expect there was a reduction in the number of OS crashes and BSOD as well.

    XP -> Vista the biggest change to deal with is Aero and UAC. Not surprise it was easier going.

  66. Paul A. Walker
    Coat

    Bah

    I can't say I'm interested in their next crappy release. This means nothing to me... oh Vienna.

  67. Brian Milnes

    Hasta, Vista

    I have to be a fairly early adopter, testing out technology in order to advise clients.

    After 9 months of trying (both 32 and 64 bit versions of) Vista, with my (then) brand new shiny laptop, I'm now back to XP, and, "phew, what a relief"

    It just wasn't stable enough. Outlook and IE7 in particular, kept crashing - what a pain. As were the hardware incompatabilties (e.g. wouldn't read the SD card, even when I'd found an arcane, third time lucky, driver having gone to HP support on-line. But even they couldn't help me make it work.)

    So, how can this possibly be a workable option for Microsoft's corporate customers? The support and lost productivity costs, irrespective of the purchase and training costs just make it unviable.

    So, "Hasta, Vista" and "What have you got mañana, Microsoft?"

    Brian

    Director

    Independent Technology Group

    www.ind-tech.com

  68. J
    Joke

    wo!?!

    "Just type "winver" at the command line to see the real version number"

    What!? Command line!?? Heresy! Burn the heretic!!!

  69. Anthony Shortland
    Stop

    not early - just another interim?

    remember when blackcomb was going to be the next ver after xp due in 2005? then it got bumped back and longhorn slotted in as an interim to keep the money coming in... then longhorn got bumped so XP got re-released with nothing other than a marketing campaign (XP Reloaded).

    Sooooooo to me this looks like microsoft AGAIN delaying blackcomb (or should that be Cairo?) to somewhere around 2020 now - and windows 7 will turn out to be an interim with very few new useful features.

  70. J
    Linux

    Problem is...

    "Unfortunately there seems to to be too much tendency of Open Office, Gnome / KDE /Ubuntu to ape Mac OS and Windows features that would be better forgotten."

    Yep, that's a fundamental problem...

    They can't win, you know. Whenever something is different, people scream bloody murder that it's "counterintuitive" and stupid and why didn't the cretin Linux losers do it just like <insert favorite dominant proprietary app>. E.g. The GIMP photo editor, does all 99% of the people need, but they don't know how. To me, it's clear as day -- because that's what I've been using for many years. ;-)

    Then they mimic the colors and icons and quirks and everything from <insert favorite dominant proprietary app>, and people say (ignorantly, for other reasons) "see, these people are not innovative, they can only copy what <fave vendor> does", etc. etc.

    Oh, well. Whatever.

  71. Andrew Smith
    Gates Horns

    NT 6.1

    I'm waiting for Microsoft to prove me wrong but unless Microsoft have been developing Windows 7 for a number of years previous to the release of Vista we're going to be getting NT 6.1 which will attempt to XP to Vista's 2000. It'll round off all the rough edges and make everything that little bit more bearable.

    The Windows 7 moniker is horrible marketing double speak and actually means nothing. Bring back Microsoft codenames based on their vacation locations at least they were desperately pointless instead of pointlessly desperate.

  72. John F***ing Stepp

    But WGA killed my brother (and other stupid crap.)

    The basic difference between Vista and ME is that you can get a stable version of ME.

    Yeah, takes a bit of hacking.

    And why? you might ask.

    ME was 98 third edition; it had all kinds of improvements.

    Then, some really dumb as fuck addins.

    The memory leaks killed the beast; debug manager, that ill thought out version of acrobat reader, other random stupidity . . .

    You really needed to know when to end task.

    I still have a stable version running where I work; for testing.

    If it runs on ME it will run on 98se,98, and 95.

    At the present time we are working on if it don't run on Vista, is it our fault?

    Can we fix it; goddamn IE7; etc.

    It seems to be cheaper to send the knobblers round to our Vista clients, but of course that would be *illegal.

    (*being the only reason you should not kneecap a dumbass.)

    I really do not see Mickeysoft doing a rollback on retarded.

    Win7, when it comes out is probably going to be able to suck start a Ford V8 with a leaky muffler.

    That seems to be the way of the world.

  73. greg

    RE : Apple Playbook

    Different customers, different needs, different views...

    I am NOT a computer guru, and don't plan to become one. I'm your typical John Doe using a computer to access the web, use emails, transfer my legally bought music onto some sort of MP3 player...

    Important to note is I have a family computer. I don't have much clue, but I got a lot compared to wife and children.

    So 5 years ago I decided to get a computer at home, and I went for a Mac.

    I spent a lot of time reading manuals (I know that's very old-school, wife and children just never would have the idea to open a manual when a problem occur...).

    5 years after, I can't remember of rebooting my Mac once except for the Mac securities updates, I never spent a penny on any anti-virus, I learnt how to find interesting free things to solve my problems...

    And best part is I never got wife or children able to screw anything I couldn't solve in 10 secs with the *force application to quit* solution !

    They're happy on Youtube, recieve mails, put music and photos on comp and then on Ipod, and I have had nothing that can remotely remember me of what the word problem means...

    Customers like me LOVE Macs and OS X, and we even know why.

  74. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    OK the right numbering...

    The right numbering, Win95/98/ME was not counted.

    NT 3.1

    NT 3.5

    NT 4.0

    2000 is NT 5.0

    XP is NT 5.1

    apparently, server 2003 is 5.2

    Vista is 6.0

    Microsoft started NT at 3.1 because Windows 3.1 was out at the time, they made NT 3.1 (and 3.5) superficially look like Windows 3.1, and they knew that people would not want to buy a version 1.0 product (so, there wasn't really some other product considered to be NT 2.0 or 1.0...)

    As for AC that says Vista isn't so bad -- sorry, yes it is. You might not think buying more RAM and faster video card to run Aero is a big deal, but you should see Ubuntu with desktop effects run on a machine *WITHOUT* a faster video card and more RAM -- it runs acceptably on a system with 256MB of RAM and Radeon 7200 (as long as it's not the PCI one...). 512MB and Radeon 8000 series or newer (or Geforce 4 and up*) runs great. I'll save my money thanks. The hardware is cheap but it's ridiculous I should have to buy it because Microsoft spent coding time on rights restrictions rather than code optimization.

    *Geforce 4 and up requirement is due to the nvidia driver for older cards missing the composite extension desktop effects need, rather than the cards being too slow.

  75. Joe Cooper
    Paris Hilton

    Counting it wrong

    You're all waaaay off. I can't believe I'm reading this here.

    There were two product lines \ code bases. Windows and Windows NT.

    Windows classic went like this:

    Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.11

    Windows 95 (4.0)

    Windows 98 (4.1)

    Windows ME (4.something)

    Meanwhile the NT product line - a fundamentally different operating system featuring protected memory, SMP support, platform independence and multi-user. It also had a different filesystem.

    NT 3.somethings, NT 4.0

    Windows 2000 (NT 5.0)

    Windows XP (NT 5.1)

    Windows 2003 (NT 5.2)

    Windows Vista (NT 6.0)

    The successor to Vista would be Windows NT 7.0.

    That's the thing here. These are two seperate product lines, that used to exist in parallel.

    The "classic" line was dumped because it was a single-user platform with no protected memory.

    If you're on XP or 2000, you should be able to find references to NT all over the place if you dig around.

  76. Nordrick Framelhammer
    Alien

    Is the cold harsh light of reality finally being seen in Redmondland?

    As soon as I saw these reports my first though was that someone at Macro$loth was finally listening to what the real customers want rather than the few select rich sharholder types.

    Then I realised that thought was a result of the concussion I suffered last week.

    But as far I can tell this annoucement will stop any more momentum that Fista might have gained from SP1 faster than a microphone and camera will stop a politician.

    The only reason I keep a windows box around is for my game, which, up until recently, was only officially supported on Windows 2k (bugs)/Xploitable/Fista. However, now that there is an offically supported Linux and there has been a decent time to sort out any bugs I will be installing Linux (either Ubuntu or that very nice Ubuntu variant called Mint) and testing it out on that. Then the only reason to keep Windows around now is for Supreme Commander.

  77. Mr B
    Coat

    Just to avoid NT 6.66

    Here is the roadmap: Win7 will be a reheated version of XP with a proper support for virtualization (sniggering allowed) so you can still run all your M$ gear plus any fancy OS you may want to try (Win ME, 2k, XP, Vista) because there will be legacy apps that crawl on Vista. There may even be a USparc T2 version to annoy The Sunny Bottom Boys.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Probably a service your gonna have to pay for

    tbh they should put more work into Vista as it isn't that bad, but its a hog on resources and its bloated. How the OS generally operates is pretty good and its nice to see a fresh approach from MS, but tbh they need to optimise the operating system. Alot of the features that come built in should be optional and there should be options to remove them also.

    I will most certainly not be buying another OS with in a year of purchasing vista, that is a joke, i mean Vista hasnt even had its first service pack released yet. and most developers havent had a chance to dev on Vista let alone another OS.

    I will admit Microsoft have started barking up the right tree, specially with Miniwin, if Miniwin's kernal is planned for use in Windows 7 then things will start looking better for Windows when it comes to performance and memory usage.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VISTA is lightning fast

    That's the second time, this week, I read:

    "VS05, VS08, a couple of SQL05 instances, outlook, IE, Firefox, Fortigate VPN client, daemontools, foobar, synergy, avg, trillian, the list is endless."

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/21/calista_virtualization_microsoft/comments/

    Me too can start many things and go to the coffee machine, and when I get back all is well and swapped to the disk so I can write an El Reg comment on a responsive Aero machine. It's a home PC, that's what it is, not an enterprise server. Go for a stress test an get back here to tell us about, with some apps your 100 Gb disk would last half an hour, get the redo logs & db files on the same spindle and watch it burn while the system is waiting on IO.

  80. David Shaw
    Linux

    quoting from El'Reg 8th June 2006

    Quote: One of the big challenges facing Intel and AMD as they move to multi-core processors is a lack of software than can take advantage of the fancy chips.

    "A couple of years ago, I had a discussion with Bill Gates (about the multi-core products)," Gelsinger said. "He was just in disbelief. He said, 'We can't write software to keep up with that.'"

    Gates called for Intel to just keep making its chips faster. "No, Bill, it's not going to work that way," Gelsinger informed him.

    The Intel executive then held his tongue. "I'm won't say anything derogatory about how they design their software, but . . . " Laughter all around. /Quote

    Surely the divine evolution to Windows 7.2.3790 is going to allow for these new fangled dual-cores things that will be on sale around 2010? (mild sarcasm)

    here at the Research Centre, we're an M$ partner and involved in M$ developer programme, hence FREE (well at the point of use) M$ software. We have cupboards 'groaning' with Latvian versions of Vista, French LaVista, German DasVista, even t'Vista in English - Seriously, in the last 9 months , ****not one single colleague has asked for any of the Vista install dvds*** , whilst the ISO XP image is used every week.

    And, I've been buying shiny Apple toys , iMacs , Macbooks etcetera to dual boot in Fedora for our ongoing Communications Research tasks. Apple is back in teh Enterprise. The top managers are going MacBook Pro, I don't think they've seen the 'Air' adverts yet! I've bought the odd HP Xeon (with XP) for our serious coders, but the future doesn't look remotely exclusively Windows Seven.

    and yes, I bought with my own money Windows ME for home use, years ago, hence the Duck icon

  81. Grant

    @ Don Mitchell

    Nice one it's pretty rare that someone knows about the actual development of the NT platform (as a completely new platform), as has been shown here sooo many people think XP is an evolution of the 9x platform.

  82. Sceptical Bastard

    FWIW - my six pen'orth

    Though I confess - sheepishly - to being a bit of a 'nix fanboy running Ubuntu at home, I've used both family trees (and most versions) of Windows nearly every day for fifteen years or more.

    It tits me off to hear Apple and Linux fanboys dismiss Windows as "unusable". Rubbish. The decent versions are stable and capable OSes but the dogs are *real* dogs. And, at default settings, none is secure online.

    Windows 2 wasn't much to write home about. But I used 3.11 WorkGroups for many years (on boxes from 386SX to PII) and it was capable and reasonably stable.

    I never really got on with 95 - it seemed overly prone to BSOD at critical moments. However, Windows 98SE was fine as long as security wasn't an issue (I reckon it was impossible to truly secure any 9xx for internet use). That said, I used 98SE happily it for years.

    I had limited experience of ME but what little I had was *really* bad - Windows ME was a truly awful lash-up.

    Concurrently with 98xx, I worked on (and installed across a small business) NT4 machines. Again, very few real problems though plenty of annoyances.

    W2K (NT5.1) had a slightly flakey start but by SP4, it was IMO the best of the bunch. Fully patched on anything better than PII/128MB, it was fast and very stable. If hardened (and behind a firewall with Opera or Firefox instead of IE), it was reasonably secure too.

    Win XP needed more tweaking, tried to be too-clever-by-half, and introduced a bit too much snooping. But set up right on decent machines, I've used it for years without major problems and quite like it. That said, I still prefer W2K SP4.

    My wife's firm has gone the Vista road from XP Pro. Her IT department has been swamped by problems. I've used her Vista laptop (a high spec Dell) and it is a dog. Another colleague has Vista on an older machine and it is even worse. So far, my personal experience of Vista is that it is - to use a tech term - a pile of bloated shit.

    IMO the NT line has run its course. Forget backward compatibility and legacy support. I think M$ needs to grasp the nettle and design a workable, stable, fast, lean, and - above all - *secure* multi-user operating system from the ground up. Oh, and supply it in just one or two versions not a mish-mash of flavours as with Vista.

    Meanwhile, I'll stick with W2K SP4 and Ubuntu at home and XP Pro SP2 at work.

  83. Mage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Multicores

    Ever since I've used it in 1994, NT does multi-CPU (multicore is similar) not badly. The main issue is applications. Occam, Modula-2, Modula-3, Oberon have good inherent multi-thread models. C, C++, C# and Java have no INHERENT multi-process / multithread support, you must use OS libraries / APIs.

    Few programmers have ever learnt how to write multi-threaded applications. The current popular languages are the pits for it too. So this is main limit to Multi-CPU use, not Windows.

    A second is issue is that unlike Transputer, the architecture is rubbish for multi-core/CPU on Intel/AMD. All memory and I/O is shared. This means that 4 is not anything like as twice as fast as two cores/CPUs and 16 definately on vanishing returns.

    Until EACH core has its own cache, or better still faster RAM and its own RAM & bus, then the RAM & I/O and Mobo is the big bottle neck for 4+ cores.

    Due to the popularity of C & C++ and PC applications & architecture, real multiproccessor SW development has stagnated since the 1986 days of Transputer.

  84. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    Who cares about numbering. It's a turkey

    Windows can't get Excel to count properly, you expect them to get their OS numbering properly? :)

    Though I do like one comment about Vista being the Beta for windows 7. Seems about right.

    Vista is the next ME and if the new minwin kernal is to be believed it seems they are taking a leaf out of linux's books for the next one. So some hope there.

    .....But then you add in M$ management and what the developers think the end user wants and then you end up with a bloatware feast that people have at Christma.s

  85. steve
    Gates Horns

    I'm a rare thing....

    A techy that still uses ME on a home laptop. So that's me blacklisted by the IT community for the next 10 years.

    XP (once all the crinkles were smoothed out, and people seem to forget that there were a lot of crinkles) is a nice operating system that works well and is relatively stable. I've used Vista. I've used pre-installed on a brand spanking new machine and i've tried (and failed) to deploy it to older machines to see how it fairs. It's horrible. It has to be the worst pile of carp ever. There is no way i would buy it for home use, ME is more stable that vista. That's a horrible thought right there.

    I won't hold my breath for the next version of Windows, but you never know.

  86. Trygve
    Unhappy

    @Iain Gilbert

    That's what I thought too, until I got a new games machine (XP) and put vista on my old machine. AMD 4000+, 4Gb, 7800GT and everything runs really well apart from opening or copying files, which sometimes can take HOURS. a system that can run XP + Bioshock without problems should be able to handle Vista - but it can't. This weekend it's getting XP back on it - life's too short for that kind of nonsense.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Apple should subvert their game...

    ...and, in 2009, release a flavor of OSX for PCs.

  88. LiNTEK

    My two cent idea

    It will be a disaster for those XP users who would like to move to Vista at this time. If I am an XP user, I would rather wait for 2k9 before I upgrade my OS.

  89. Grant

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Ha i'd like to see OSX running so well once any old company can build some poor budget hardware and supply some equally bad drivers and lash it all together into a grey box.

  90. Walter Brown

    Bitching and moaning

    Out of all of these comments bitching and moaning, or even defending Vista, i've read 1 or 2 that are actually valid. Definition: a valid complaint contains information 1. from someone who uses the product. 2. about first hand experience encountering performance problems or bugs.

    I'm an independent consultant and small business specialist. i run a 1 man shop, i support various platforms (mostly Windows) all day long, every day. i have clients running Windows server, Novell and Linux, and just about every flavor of desktop OS you can imagine, hell i service a law office still running about 50% Win98 workstations on a novell network.

    I run a variety of OS's with Vista on my both my laptops, XP on my older desktop (because i am smart enough to realize that my old hardware bought in 2002, AMD Athlon XP 3000+ 2gb of ram probably is going to struggle running an OS released in 2007), Ubuntu and fedora on older machines. i have Vista running on the computers of my girlfriend and parents (all of which i support, and no matter how hard i try, they dont pay me for it)

    I say to all you naysayers, put your money where your mouth is... stop reading commentary and tech columns decrying Vista about how bad it is, stop trying to install Vista on shit hardware or ancient hardware. File that fucking P4 1.6ghz e-machine with 512 of ram that can barely run XP and get a modern computer that

    is designed to run Vista, then tell me how bas it is.

    Microsoft never hid the fact that Vista requires more horsepower to run, they never said Vista would run anywhere near even remotely acceptable on old hardware. They've even gone as far as to say, they dont recommend installing Vista on old hardware, so stop bitching that your XYZ box, built to windows XP specs cant run Vista worth a shit...

    After you get a machine that is capable of running Vista, learn how to configure it, yes i will admit, the out-of-the-box configuration sucks, but if you're savvy to get yourself where you're reading this comment, then you're savvy enough to google instructions on how to tune vista to get the most out of it. no third party programs or BS degree in IT needed, just a 3rd grade+ reading skills and small slice of common sense (might be asking a little much there). When your done, come back here and tell me just how bad Vista sucks. after running it for nearly 2 years (including beta) i have a hard time using an XP box, it fells so... like a fisher price childs toy...

    To the guy who's wifes IT department is struggling after deploying Vista, they must either have bad luck, or be doing something wrong, or i just have really good luck, because i'm not having any major problems with any of my clients running Vista, anymore... there was plenty in the beginning, but thru hotfixes they've been resolved.

    To all you Mac fanboi's... piss off... i have more trouble networking Mac's, especially to a Windows server...

    and for a second hardy go fuck yourself to the Mac fanboi's, the ones who think that mac is so secure, over 60% of the macs i support and 2 iphones currently have trojans and other malware happily living on them, with little or no avenues to clean them, because you smug bastards think that Macs are so secure that they dont need anti-virus, Bullshit... no computer code, no matter what flavor, is 100% secure, or free from malware. the truth is this, in the past, the Mac population have been so insignificant it was a waste of time to write malicious code for them, why bother write a virus thats only going to hurt <1% of the population, now Macs are gaining popularity, and guess what jackass, they're getting targeted..

  91. Norman Wanzer

    @Steve Todd

    Nope, nothing wrong with OpenGL. In fact I really liked it when it was used in it's pure form. It just seems most game houses program for Windows (DirectX) or consoles. To be able to get the market share that windows has and make it economically worth the time of the programmers a DirectX port would be needed. I know Cedega is an attempt at this, but it is subscription based and most are avoiding it on principle. Now if there was an OpenCedega (or similar)... I would be on Ubuntu by Saturday. :)

  92. BitTwister

    @Norman Wanzer

    Surely only a cynic would suggest that the only reason DirectX exists is because OpenGL got there first. :/ And with every Windows user <kof> 'choosing' to run DirectX, it's no surprise that games houses also use it - and get locked into it.

  93. Paul Delaney

    @Walter Brown

    "Microsoft never hid the fact that Vista requires more horsepower to run, they never said Vista would run anywhere near even remotely acceptable on old hardware. They've even gone as far as to say, they dont recommend installing Vista on old hardware, so stop bitching that your XYZ box, built to windows XP specs cant run Vista worth a shit..."

    Microsoft lied to you - it'll run on any damn thing, almost all of it's bloated features can be removed or dumbed down and replaced with comparable free software.

    I too am an independant consultant and I was paid to research Vista for potential deployment early last year - this page (a bit dated now) is based on what I discovered:

    http://wintechniques.koolhost.com/

    You're right - without configuration Vista is the worst POS to come out of Redmond!

    :)

  94. BitTwister

    @Walter Brown

    > i have more trouble networking Mac's, especially to a Windows server...

    Judging by the ranty tone of your post I doubt you've ever considered that this might *just possibly* happen because it's the Windows server causing the problem. FWIW, I've networked a Mac onto my LAN with a handful of mouse clicks and waddya know - it.just.worked.

    Mind you, this was onto a LAN which wasn't under the control of some proprietary garbage - this may help give you a clue.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Ubuntu != Linux

    Just to be a whinging old git, but Ubuntu IS NOT another name for Linux. There are many, many, many Linux distributions, and being a bit of and old enterprise fart I hate Ubuntu and love Red Hat EL (or Fedora). Would everyone please, and that includes El Reg, stop using Ubuntu when they mean Linux.

    BTW, I'm not dissing Ubuntu, it's just personal preference that I prefer Red Hat-based distros

  96. elder norm

    Missing the point???

    Perhaps all this bloatware that people talk about is really DRM that does nothing to help the OS and really just kills it. Gates gave in to Universal and paid them $1 for every Zune sold cause --?-- Zunes steal music????

    Then you have all these DRM issues with HD cause --- Windows people steal movies???

    I appreciate the problem, but I think the solution direction was stupid, bloated, poorly programmed. etc.

    Does Microsoft want Windows to move foreward or just make them more money???

    What do you think?

    en

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