back to article Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista

When it comes to Windows 7, Microsoft hasn't just learned from the mistakes of Windows Vista. It has picked up a thing or two from Apple's OS X, judging by first impressions. The executive leading Windows 7 said Tuesday that Microsoft realized it shouldn't forge ahead on Windows 7 and deliver an operating system unsupported by …

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  1. Chika
    Coat

    I'll believe it when I see it

    The trouble with articles like this is that we rely heavily on Microsoft handouts for the substance, and they are willing to say anything that is likely to get the punters interested in buying. It's good that they have finally realised how much Vista is flawed, but they still haven't quite got it through their thick skulls that completely replacing an OS to satisfy the whims of the marketing department is doing them more harm than good.

    Why does XP need to be completely replaced? If the only reason you have is "because it's old", then the marketing oiks have won and you may as well forget any good intentions you might have with W7. Vista is a dead end, a flawed release that should be left behind. Start again and produce something that is actually an improvement on XP rather than try to find excuses and cut chunks out of the flawed body. Don't just put out loads of buzzwords to try to placate the people having to make sense of the mess and, above all, don't make promises you can't keep.

    After all, there's a reason why I still have a working RISC OS system under the desk beside my more up to date kit. It might be dated, and it might not do everything that a modern system can do, but it does what it can do well, without fuss and without the shedloads of bloated wizards and "helpful" crud that Microsoft feel I should have. When I want it to. Not several seconds down the line once the system decides I need to do it or when some process finishes analysing every nuance of my request. And it does it on a processor that is considerably less powerful than the systems in common use these days.

    So go on, Microsoft. Bite the bullet. Admit Vista was a mistake and consider the alternatives, OS X included. Drop the bloat, the resource hogging crap and the DRM and put out something decent for once. It's only your profit margin that you need to consider.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    So Redmond finally got their photocopiers started

    only took 'em three years, mind you...

  3. Jason Togneri
    Alert

    Uh...

    "Also, Microsoft has heard that Windows Vista was a resource hog."

    Oh, THEY only just realised that now?

    "The company is scaling down the code base and tickling up performance to run on netbooks and existing PCs - so you need to buy a replacement machine."

    Based on what you're saying, surely that should be "so you DON'T need to"?

  4. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    OH NO!! Not the Spinning Beach Ball of Wait n Wait n Wait ...

    and the EVER BUGGY OS X Updates features!! Ya know, every OS X is BUGGIER than the bugs that they are fixing ... knocking out hardware, 3rd party Applications, hey even Apple applications!! Don't think so? Just take a look at the macfixit.com home page and the archives!

    I'm just hoping that there won't be that childish bouncing dock icon or magnification mode for the aged or stupid.

  5. Michael Jarve

    Behold! The Future of Windows!

    I suppose then that Snow Leopard will be a "preview" of Windows 10?

    On a slightly more serious note, it does appear that Microsoft has learned from the Vista debacle, which is commendable. They've taken the teething issues of Vista and decided to improve upon it instead of trying to drastically reinvent the wheel again.

    The interface, from the various screen shots I've seen, does look like the bastard offspring of an unholy Aqua/Aero union, but there is time to polish it up. I'm not keen on blotting up the desktop with widgets, though. If they were "borrowing" from the Mac OS playbook, they could have gone whole-hog and made a Dashboard (though Apple would let that stand for all of 10-seconds).

    The sort of interesting dilemma Microsoft has in borrowing so much from OS X is they do give the impression to the average man-about-town that Apple had it right all along, and Microsoft is trying to play catchup now. That can't be good.

  6. kissingthecarpet
    Gates Horns

    Could it be....

    that 2009 will be the year that Windows is "ready for the desktop" ?

    Nah, MS advocates say that every year but it never happens...

  7. Jim

    Windows 7

    Will wait to get the beta but as far as the UI goes with Julie Larson-Green in charge, she the same woman who gave us office 2007 and put up a wall when it came to choice. A major complaint in Vista was there was no choice when it came to the UI so Microsoft put the very same woman in charge who was totally against choice for Office, talk about making the same mistakes over and over again. The only thing I can say if I wanted Apple, I would buy apple, I want Windows, why can't windows have it's own identity, why dose it have to be a knock off of Apple?

  8. Scott

    Anyone else think that...

    ...Vista could be the best thing to happen to Microsoft in quite a while? Looks like they've learnt, albeit the hard way.

    Still gonna stick with Ubuntu myself but my missus seems quite pleased that it's better than Vista (on first impressions at least)

  9. Chris
    Pirate

    Win Win

    A better Windows is a Win Win for everyone. PC users get a less sucky experience whilst Mac users get end up with a better Mac OS X due to this competition forcing Apple to innovate. As a Mac user the tweaks to the task bar don't bother me, the more similar Windows is to OS X the easier it is to move between platforms.

  10. Allan Rutland
    Thumb Down

    So what did they actually learn?

    other than its a good idea to carry on changing things and in doing so annoy the hell out of users who hate change? The ribbon was bad enough on Office which ticked users off since it was so different. Using a dock instead of the older and more familiar Start menu is going to do nothing but utterly confuse the Joe Blogs consumer again.

    The dock is bad enough on a Mac, it's just bloody stupid to add one to Windows. It's going to do nothing but bite them on the ass again when users just look at it, see nothing familiar, and continue to go back to XP, or some Linux varient which ever increasingly move to look like XP.

  11. J
    Thumb Up

    Ah, yes...

    The benefits of competition, how refreshing.

  12. Paul
    Jobs Horns

    Dock is a crock

    Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is.

    While I haven't obviously used nor seen the new Win7 taskbar, the nice thing about the Windows taskbar was that it was simple - it showed you the list of currently running programs, and you could switch between them - it didn't try to be anything else. Another much nicer thing in Windows than OSX was that it had the name of the program that was running, rather than just some silly icon - IMO moving to icons only is a very BAD idea.

  13. Dr. Ellen
    Thumb Down

    LOSING?!

    Losing money on netbooks? Losing money? When somebody fits out a computer with Linux, Microsoft may not GET the money they think they deserve. But they don't lose anything.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Improving registry performance?

    The Windows registry is an architectural tar pit and always has been.

    Its stinking corpse should have been hung from a gibbet years ago, as a warning to other OS designers not to implement such an epic fail again.

  15. Jesse Dorland
    Flame

    Microsoft is Ignorant

    @ Michael Jarve

    Microsoft has not learn anything. They are denying that Windows Vista was a failure. If you read through their PR, what they are saying is "We've improved our already successfull OS Vista".

    I hope that this recession will have big impact on both Microsoft, and Apple. Apple's OS X is good, but they are also evil, and abusive towards customers.

  16. Blue Pumpkin
    Thumb Down

    Just make it chew gum and walk at the same time ...

    As a Mac, Solaris, Linux and reluctant Windows user, one of the things I could never figure out is why Windows disk I/O is so crap given that it runs on the same hardware as all the others.

    If MS could only do one thing, it would be to keep the rest of the operating system going while it accesses the disk. For goodness sake it's been over 22 years (yes that long) since Windows 1.0 first hit the streets. You would have thought that at least one of the 100,000 employees could learn how to program interrupts properly in that time.

    If they could manage that it might even become useful ...

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    Webster Phreaky is back!

    You been out or something, man?

    This was an article about Windows, mind. So no need to slag off the OS X implementation in the comment section.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gotta Laugh

    If you believe MS bloggers "Mary Jo Foley" She gets a column in all sorts of tech rags these days...

    The MS Behemoth can change its spots overnight. Look at the pretty windows 7 bling! We wont tell you what were gonna try and charge you more for this time. Simultaneous open sockets [DONE], Features we removed since the last version [DONE], someone elses code [....], They're on a winner with full office that deactivates after a month... So perhaps a subscription to unlock each processor core after two.

    They keep on rehashing the same stuff, bat, wsh, powershell, letalone what they do to the poor winapp coders. Since moving to the Unix's life has involved so much less rehash, so much more reuse :_)

    Licensing nightmare OVER Ya!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    are they just just 'doing sound bites' again??

    If they had any sense, MS would get the main good features of Linux/BSD/ etc.......... ........ (yes I know OSX is a very much modified version of similar..)

    - command line totally separate from GUI - GUI crashes, just start another from the command line.. ( Is it at all possible to do this, or is it just too 'intertwined' over the years ??? )

    - impossible to use root without having to *always* authenticate manually (Hey I'm no expert, so please correct!!)

    - no reboots needed!!!!!! even when major components replaced/upgraded..

    these are my main reasons for lovin Linux.... MS, are you man enough????

  20. Rob
    Stop

    A nice bit of MS bashing I see.

    The drag-and-drop of task bar items isn't exactly new, people have been asking about it for years (it should have been in vista), hell all of this stuff should have been in vista. There are windows theme programs which I'm sure can emulate drag-and-drop already anyway.

    For all those that moan about the Office 2007 UI change, it's the best thing that ever happened to office, people just don't like change. Once you get used to it (yeah it can be a pain working out where everything is at first and it does take a bit of time), it's just so much better than the old system, you wonder why it hasn't been around before.

  21. joe
    Flame

    Ohh Webster

    Before you open your mouth google for windows problems. Everyone knows there are more and always will be more. Ooo you can come up with a few sites. How many can you come up with if you search for windows? How many tom dick and harrys out there have a PC speed and cleanup applications for registry fixes spyware, malware and IE browser hijacking? Why do windows users have these problems? Simple! Its a flawed platform that is filled with legacy bloat.

    You sir obviously don't use anything other than windows so YOU have no basis or legs to stand on. Microsoft can and should learn from others if (i mean have) they lost the ability to produce an operating system that just works. That would include Apple, moron.

    POWER TO THE BEACHBALL!!!! At least us Mac users have something animated to watch instead of the BSOD!!

  22. David
    Unhappy

    Bugger

    I don't like the Mac OS X interface. Its clunky, cockhanded and always in the bloody way. You cant beat a quick launch and start menu.

    When you use a Mac don't you feel you have been given a crayon instead of a pen?

    Still seems that most mac users cant colour between the lines though:P

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    What were Microsoft execs thinking (or not)?

    I still wonder how an operating system that can take 5 - 10 minutes to start up, an hour to shut down (installing updates) and 5 minutes to open some applications even made it past the boardroom at Microsoft. What were Microsoft executives thinking (or not)?

    At the same time Ford, GM and Chrysler were still pushing massive SUVs despite rising fuel costs.

    How many paper MBAs does it take to ruin a company?

  24. dodge
    Thumb Down

    Dock and app shortcuts

    >In a nod to OS X, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps

    >into the doc to access them quickly. It'll be possible to open applications from the

    >doc that are coded to support Windows 7.

    Is this ignorance or incompetence talking? Even Win XP allows you to easily drag app shortcuts into the start bar "shortcut" area, or into the quick start area on the task bar at the bottom, or or or or or.

    The great strength of the Windows interface is that you can do a lot of things in a lot of ways, adapting it to how you want it to look (like changing colours and sizes and widths of window elements/surrounds/margins/etc etc etc. You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks.

    With OS X it's one way only, and screw you anyway. Apple's dock is just shite. Finder is shite, with shite cross-application drag and drop and selection interface.

    Unfortunately the great strength of Microsoft Windows (being able to make it do things in the way you choose) is being smothered by MS desire to ape Apple's "there there little boy - we won't give you freedom so you can't screw it up" school of interface design. They've lost confidence in their own ability to design a decent interface, and are now just doing me-too Mac rubbish.

    Except that while Apple make it dumbed-down, they make it elegant. MS is just making it dumbed down and opaque. Vista? Vomit!

  25. Steve
    Stop

    You must be kidding!

    So MS make some changes to the task bar and therefore it's OS X like?! WTF!?

    This is Vista, with more refinements. Think of it as the Win98 to the Win95. Same underneath but with some tweaks and improved eye-candy. The fact that the anti-Vista folks - including the media - are falling for this is quite simply unbelievable.

    Windows 7 has the same architecture, security changes and system requirements as Vista. With that basis, it implies that the only issues with Vista were drivers and hardware requirements..... which pretty much left us mid-way through 2007.

    I'll probably be in the vast minority, but as much as I rushed out to get Vista - which I'm glad I did (no problems at all and a BIG improvement on XP) - I won't be running out to get Win7 unless some other big changes are promised.

    Win7 is Vista re-dressed so media and critics go "oh, it runs well on hardware at the moment, and there's lots of driver support... it's so much better than Vista".

    Marketing delivered...

  26. Iain
    Go

    Baldrick: "I hear there's good money to be made down at the docks"

    Docks seem to be the marmite of the OS world, you either love or hate them. I am in the love camp (ha!) but I can certainly see improvements. I find using a combination of a dock and the taskbar is actually the best way forward, so am pleased Win7 seems to be going in this direction. Still not happy about having to move the mouse to see what is open. If MS do it right, they could get the spectre of Vista behind them. From the screenshots it is still going to be a graphics memory hog though, no improvement there. XP to 2010 for most windows users I suspect.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Change the record please...

    "Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is." Translated - "I've only the recordplayed with OSX in a shop, but, being the nerd that I am, I am an expert on UI design and as I don't understand the simplicity of the dock, I deem it to be TERRIBLE..."

    Things change - it's called progress. It's what the IT industry used to thrive on until luddites that were supposed to become surveyors/accountants "because of the pay" decided to go into IT "because of the pay". Vista isn't brilliant, but it's a hell of a lot better than the IT media hacks make out. It proposed some interesting solutions to the average users stupidity. For instance, where UAC falls down is over geeky language for the average user (Windows after all is aimed at the lowest common denominator, and if it isn't, THATS where MS are going wrong) - and, yes it is a little over zealous - but make it learn (checkbox - don't ask again) and use plain and simple language.

    It should be exciting that MS are trying to move GUI's forward - even if they are heavily influenced by Apple - or KDE for that matter. What's important is that the biggest OS install base keeps with the times. The fact that we still "discuss" operating environments is bad - computing should be beyond that now. I'd like to see MS produce a kernel that is based on all these patent infringements Linux is supposed to be making, instead of a rip off of CP/M.

    For all you so called IT experts out there that fear change - can you fuck off so the rest of us can move forward please?

    Is there any estimation on when Webster Phreaky is due to go through puberty?

  28. Gulfie
    Alert

    Windows 7 - runs on OS X Inside ;-)

    SO the provenance for Windows 7 is Vista and OS X? How will the anti-fanbois cope with this? More to the point should Microsoft be worrying about the OSX Dock patents?

    I was also intrigued to hear that with a touch screen you can use iPhone style gestures - again, is there a risk that Microsoft are trampling on Apple patents?

    As a user of both Windows XP and OS X I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try (and hopefully upgrade to) Windows 7. Looks like Microsoft have got their act together at last. Just hope the revised Vista codebase is up to the challenge. I can't see Microsoft abandoning that line of attack, after all everybody in Windows world, not just MS, has been writing code and drivers for it for a good two years now...

  29. Ascylto

    @ Webster Freaky

    So, the ECT didn't work then?

    Still, I'm sure you enjoyed the break with the doctors and nurses and the nice man with the electric probes.

  30. Pete

    yes, but it's still only Vista Mk2

    and from what I've read, there's nothing new and compelling that I'll be able to do with it that I can't already do with XP. Any O/S by itself is irrelevant - it's merely a platform for running applications. Sadly Vista makes that far too hard and that's it's problem.

  31. Thomas Silver badge

    @Dock haters, Webster

    "Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is."

    What are you talking about? The dock is a collection of icons that are linked to programs. They have a visible mark if that program is currently loaded. If you left click a program that isn't loaded, it loads. If you left click a program that is loaded then it becomes frontmost. If you right click a running program you get a context menu, if you right click an unloaded program you get basic options to load it or remove its icon from the Dock.

    Normally you add icons for to the dock by dragging them on to it, remove them by dragging them off it.

    You can also drag and drop files onto icons on the dock to open that file with that program.

    To be honet, if you find that confusing then I'm not sure you're qualified to use a computer. The Dock (including the NextStep predecessor and very similar RISC OS thing) has been praised because humans are much better at recognising images than text, so it lets you find what you're looking for more quickly.

    Incidentally, if you want to feel a bit of Microsoft's frustration, try dragging and dropping a file onto an open program on the taskbar. You'll get a window that says "You cannot drop an item onto a button on the taskbar. However, if you drag the item over a button without releasing the mouse button, the window will open for a moment, allowing you to drop the item inside the window" - i.e. "we know what you wanted to do and wish we had a mechanism for doing it, but we don't and it's a bit too late now".

    Per Webster's "I'm just hoping that there won't be ... [a] magnification mode for the aged or stupid." - you're now against old people and you impliedly think that people with vision difficulties are stupid?

  32. Alexis Vallance
    Paris Hilton

    What?

    "Influenced by the dock?!! The dock is a TERRIBLE and confusing piece of user interface. It doesn't know what its purpose is."

    It sound like you are the one who's confused. The dock's main purpose is obvious, with plenty of extra additional features. It's the single best thing about OS X.

    What an odd comment.

  33. Julian

    @ LOSING?! By Dr. Ellen

    The only reason M$ are loosing money in the Netbook market is that they are subsidising Netbooks with XP installed in order to gain leverage (unfair advantage) in that market.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Issues

    You would think they would try and get Vista running properly before launching a new operating system. I think Vista is a throw away operating system like Windows Me. They needed revenue so they released Vista to keep the money flowing while they developed the real replacement for XP.

    I own a Vista laptop and it does not shutdown properly most time, hangs, is slow and generally sucks. I has 2 gig of memory and a dual core processor so you think it ought to have enough resources to run the operating system correctly.

  35. Gav Powell
    Thumb Down

    Yay OS X

    One of the many things that irritated me about Vista was it looked and to a certain extent felt like OSX, now it;s officially deliberate?

    I don't like Apple's operating system - if I did, I'd buy an Apple computer. IE7/8 are ripffs of firefox, the OS itself is going to be ripped off from Apple and i'll just bet windows 7 is crammed with all sorts of applications I have no need for but are built into the damn thing in any case.

    Makes ya mad...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 reasons...

    ...why Windows might never get rid of bloat ...errr... features: 1) profit 2) tie-ups.

    Profit: if a version of Windows w/ a lean kernel is shipped, not only would MS be forced to price it considerable cheaper (compared to other versions), but more people would choose it. There goes a chunk of their profit.

    Tie-ups: do you think the RIAAss. and MPAAss. would allow a single version of WIndows w/o DRM ..errr.. "secure data path"? Of course not! A setup taht would only be used for browsing or document encoding should never be forced to have a DRM component. Heck, even if a system is for multimedia viewing, if the user doesn't want to play Blu-Ray, why stick DRM component in the kernel?

    Until the day Windows is released with a truely modular/configurable kernel/system (and not the pseudo-variants Home, Business, Ultimate, etc), it will always bloat.

    Ps. if a user doesn't want to use legacy software, and just those specifically made for the newest OS, regardless of available software, why doesn't the user have the option to remove the feature that supports legacy software?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Blue Pumpkin, re: Windows disc IO

    I've got to agree with that. When I first started work in a Windows development shop and got my first taste of Windows 98 on a PIII, I was shocked at how much slower it was at simply duplicating a file on the local HD, compared to my old PowerMac. Admittedly Macs still had SCSI hard discs back then, but I could still do something if I put the file copy into the background, unlike Windows.

    My second vote for a 'just fix this and I'll be satisfied' list - stop Windows applications from stealing the focus. Even that TweakUI button that specifically says it will stop applications from stealing the focus doesn't work.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Back to the future

    In a nod to OS/2, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps into the doc to access them quickly

  39. David Austin

    There are some problems with your comment

    Looks intresting, but I'll wait for the Beta before I put the salt down.

    Oh, and Microsft - Seeing as there is a large userbase pinning for XP Back... How's about giving us back Luna & Energy? First thing I did with Vista was find a Luna Theme pack. The most usable start/task bar you managed to make... and you threw it away after one release.

  40. jake Silver badge

    @Webster and all other fanbois

    <rant>

    GOD/DESS, but you lot are boring ... Especially you, Webster.

    As a preface, a bit of my background (not in calendar order!):

    My first "Personal Computer" was a Heathkit H11A hobby computer. At the same time as dad & I were building the Heath, I was connecting to the Stanford Tymeshare system using an acoustic coupler and a teletypewriter (I was supposed to be learning COBOL, Fortran and BASIC, but mostly played Wumpus & StarTrek). I first sent what we now call email to a friend at MIT, regarding an IMSAI 8080 another friend and his dad were building. I was an early member of the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto. I was a phone phreak, and still have a dozen or so Crunch whistles in a box somewhere. This was all when I was a teenager.

    The first system that I personally owned that I consider to have been a "real computer" was an AT&T 3B1. I had been familiar with UNIX for about a decade at the time (I've been using UNIX for over 30 years, and have a Guinness & coffee stained first edition K&R, signed & dated by Dennis & Brian to prove it). I got the money to buy the 3B1 working as a backup monkey in a mainframe shop (I used to speak SNA like a native). As I continued in school, I learned TOPS-10, and then the internally much different TOPS-20. I owned a small VAX cluster at one point, for reasons I still don't really understand.

    In the early-mid 80s I was involved with <telco>, and became friendly with SS7 and the ins & outs of the [T|E]-carrier standards, and all the hardware involved. Later in the 80s, I was involved with Sun Microsystems, IBM, NET, and Cisco. I was a consultant for Amdahl in the early 90s (they didn't listen, and are now owned by Fujitsu. Cause & effect? Probably not, I'm not that good!).

    Along with my bang path addresses at Stanford and Berkeley from the early '80s, I was an early adaptor of The WELL and BIX. You can probably find News posts of mine at DejaGoo from before TheGreatRenaming[tm]. The TCP/IP stack you use to connect to teh intrawebs probably still has code that I contributed, regardless of platform. (I'm not narcissistic enough to look for either).

    Along the way, I was in the right time and place to help beta-test the IBM PC (at Ford Aerospace in late 1979 or early 1980 ... We had PC-DOS 0.98, the UCSD P-system, CP/M, and of course the built-in ROM BASIC). I have followed along the DOS/Windows trail over the years, mostly out of self-defense. I believe I have the only copy of DOS 3.0 in existence (outside MS) that has the internal networking hooks turned on. I have working legacy machines running virtually every version of DOS and Windows that were made available to the public. Most rarely boot anymore, and should probably be recycled. You might say I'm kinda familiar with WinDOS. I had a dual core, 4gig Vista box for a year or so; it now runs a BSD variation and is a backup file server. I don't like, use, or support, Vista. I think I'm done following Microsoft's software.

    Apple has been in my office since the 5802 days, first as a curiosity, then for Pagemaker, and now for video editing. Little else, other than testing software for clients. I have a wood-cased 5802, a Lisa, some NeXT gear, and various other bits of Apple trivea that I purchased new. I do NOT have an iPod, an iPhone, or any other mass-market iThingies. I'm not iNterested.

    There is more, but to avoid further yawning, I'll stop.

    I think I've learned enough to be allowed to have an opinion.

    Basically, all you nit-wit fanbois trying to pretend you know "which OS is best" or "which hardware is best" or "which application is best", or whatever, are wrong and should shut the fuck up until you have a clue what you are talking about.

    THERE IS NO ALL AROUND BEST. So shut up. Stop it. You're embarrassing yourselves.

    All OSes suck. All hardware sucks. All applications suck. All fanbois suck.

    There is only the best OS/hardware/application combo for a specific user and/or a given situation. But it all still sucks. Learn it. Love it. Treat it as a mantra. Your blood pressure will drop, and you'll have a chance of living past 30 ...

    </rant>

    That said, just for full disclosure ... After the AT&T UNIX PC, I ran Mark Williams Coherent at home. I had been using Mark Williams C compiler for a couple of years, and liked their product. When Mark Williams Group obviously was having problems, I looked around and discovered Slackware 1.0. I've been using it as my personal desktop ever since. I do use Windows, mostly for AutoCAD. I also still use a Mac occasionally, mostly for video editing. But my go-to system is Slackware. NOT because I'm religious about it, but simply because I haven't found a better solution for my needs. If I find a better solution, I'll switch.

  41. me
    Jobs Horns

    Is it 64 bit???

    Will it be 64 bit only? Will it include 32 bit as well? Will there be really good driver and software app support for 64 bit??

    Or are we all gonna stay in the past and forget about progress?

  42. Cthonus
    Dead Vulture

    Does anyone proof read any more?

    "The company is scaling down the code base [...] to run on netbooks and existing PCs - so you need to buy a replacement machine."

    I think the word 'not' is missing.

    "In a nod to OS X, you will be able to drag and drop icons for your most-used apps into the doc[k] to access them quickly."

    My faith in articles is inversely proportional to the quantity of typos and spelling errors.

  43. Sean Aaron

    Emulation of OS X is a good thing

    If they will also eliminate the idiotic way XP locks focus on every config window that opens up then I might be able to finally use it without swearing. THAT's the part of OS X they SHOULD be copying.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    BBC review

    Have a look at the BBC 'preview' clip at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7696648.stm

    Watch the chap on the left try to move a window. Ha, again ha and thrice ha!

    Can't say I was to impressed by our 'guru' trying to magnify a picture either!

    ...are they deliberately making Linux look good?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dodge

    "You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks."

    This is precisely why there so many unintuitive, unusable and downright bloody awful PC apps out there.

    Want a title bar in 22 pt Comic Sans? no problem!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Drag & Drop Taskbar

    Oh, please.

    I've been using drag and drop on the taskbar (and in the system tray as well, come to that) on Windows 2000 SP4 for years.

    http://nerdcave.webs.com/taskbarshuffle.htm

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    OSX Dock

    Of all the things to be influenced by, Microsoft choose that utter piece of shit that is the OSX Dock.

    They've obviously learned NOTHING about usability. (Innovation, my arse).

  48. Eric Dennis

    "Look like OSX"??

    So it's going to have a dock like OSX? Why bother buying Windows if it's going to look and feel like OSX?? May as well have a Macbook be my next PC, accept I already have an investment in a desktop and laptop PC running Vista. My Vista systems perform extremely well with no problems. Nice to know I won't have to replace my PC's in two years. Wasn't planning on it anyway.

  49. Bob Ginger
    Black Helicopters

    @Thomas, Re: Dock Haters...-

    Thomas says:

    Incidentally, if you want to feel a bit of Microsoft's frustration, try dragging and dropping a file onto an open program on the taskbar. You'll get a window that says "You cannot drop an item onto a button on the taskbar. However, if you drag the item over a button without releasing the mouse button, the window will open for a moment, allowing you to drop the item inside the window" - i.e. "we know what you wanted to do and wish we had a mechanism for doing it, but we don't and it's a bit too late now".

    ----------------

    Could it be that they're being *just* different enough to avoid running up against somebody's patent or other?

  50. David Kelly
    Thumb Down

    @dodge

    "The great strength of the Windows interface is that you can do a lot of things in a lot of ways, adapting it to how you want it to look (like changing colours and sizes and widths of window elements/surrounds/margins/etc etc etc. You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks."

    Rubbish, that's one of it's greatest weaknesses. Applying skins to a GUI doesn't make it any more useful. If anything it makes it less useful. Ever heard of a something called "consistency" ???

    Tell me, just how much did Aero improve *productivity* on Vista over XP?

    Incidentally you CAN change things like window colours, fonts, etc. in OS X if you really want to pimp up your desktop but Apple don't provide an easy way to do this from a control panel.

  51. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Webster thinks the disabled are stupid?

    >I'm just hoping that there won't be that childish bouncing dock icon or magnification mode for the aged or stupid.

    The magification mode is for people with eyesight problems, people who are partially sighted!!

    Do you think it is funny to mock the disabled?

    As for the elderly, why shouldn't they be able to use a computer? many of them are quite wealthy!

    I'm sure if you ever had an accident leaving you disabled then you would be glad of any assistance you could get.

    For the record I am not old or disabled, but I can appreciate that everyone should be allowed to use technlogy where possible.

  52. NB
    Joke

    @thomas

    what's all this left click, right click nonsense? Everyone knows mac users can't handle a mouse with more than one button without their tiny fad-following yuppy minds imploding!

    Linux, because I like being able to make my GUI look and feel like any thing I damn well please.

  53. James Dunne

    Perhaps a dumb question.

    Why's it called Windows 7?

    3.1

    95

    98

    NT

    2000

    ME

    XP

    Vista

    Windows 9?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Webster

    Wow... Webster... you really ARE an idiot aren't you? And I thought you were just pretending...

    Of course MacFixIt.com has info about problems people are experiencing with Macs - it's a TROUBLESHOOTING site - and the main one for Mac users.

    No one has ever claimed Mac OS X is perfect, or that no-one will ever have any troubles with a Mac. Not every problem on that site is a bug though... Just the same as not every problem with Windows is a bug either.

    Perhaps you should take a few minutes to look at all the hundreds of thousands of 'problems' with Windows, spread across hundreds of Windows Troubleshooting sites, before claiming Mac OS X is buggier, based on the contents of one or two Mac web-sites.

    I'm amazed your Mom still lets you on the internet unsupervised...

  55. tempemeaty
    Alert

    There's nothing like the real thing..

    Why buy an copy when you can have the real Apple?

  56. Thomas Silver badge
    Joke

    @NB

    It's not that they can't handle a mouse with a right click; it's just that they needed 21 years of training.

  57. Grant
    Thumb Up

    Magnification

    Comes in damn handy running a mac-mini hooked up to a big TV screen.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @2 people...

    @Why's it called Windows 7?

    3.1 = Not NT

    95 = Not NT

    98 = Not NT

    NT = 3, 3.1 then 4

    2000 = NT 5

    ME=Not NT

    XP=NT Client 5.1

    Vista=NT6

    Therefore, you're left with Windows NT7

    @Richard Drysdall

    "...When I first started work in a Windows development shop and got my first taste of Windows 98 on a PIII, I was shocked at how much slower it was at simply duplicating a file on the local HD, compared to my old PowerMac. Admittedly Macs still had SCSI hard discs back then, but I could still do something if I put the file copy into the background, unlike Windows..."

    You had a serious problem with your system then, I never used w98 with any P3s, but NT4 and later 2000 and they were significantly faster than this, still with IDE etc. etc.

  59. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "built on the same kernel"

    There goes any interest I could possibly have had in Windows 7.

    Same kernel, therefor same embedded DRM.

    So I'll stick with XP yet again.

  60. Marcus Fil
    Happy

    @Webster Freaky

    Back to the bridge. Billy is expecting you. x

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rob

    @Rob:

    "For all those that moan about the Office 2007 UI change, it's the best thing that ever happened to office, people just don't like change. Once you get used to it (yeah it can be a pain working out where everything is at first and it does take a bit of time), it's just so much better than the old system, you wonder why it hasn't been around before."

    You could apply the same logic about Linux. People would get used to it, it is so much better than the old (Windows) system etc etc.

  62. Mick F
    Jobs Horns

    MacTards

    OS X - for people who cannot install a driver without a support call.

  63. Alastair

    Re: "No one has ever claimed Mac OS X is perfect"

    Well, the Apple adverts kind of do, that's the problem. I'm a happy Mac user (switched a few years ago) but I do have problems now and then with crashes etc. The way Justin Long and Co. present the Mac in adverts suggests that it'll live longer than you will.

    That, and they convey an overpowering sense of smugness. Terrible.

  64. dodge

    @ Sean Aaron ... +1

    >If they will also eliminate the idiotic way XP locks focus

    >on every config window that opens up then I might be able to finally use it without swearing.

    Yeah, I'd like to find the knucklehead that decided this was a good idea -- so that when you really need a bit of information from a window that's hidden under a daughter window, you're screwed...

    @ AC...

    >This is precisely why there so many unintuitive, unusable and

    >downright bloody awful PC apps out there.

    I was talking about the standard Windows environment (dialogue boxes, etc), not app skins... if the particular app interface is ugly you can choose to not use the app. I designed a nice little "desktop theme" for XP that takes away the ugly, Tonker Toy "My First Little Operating System" look of standard XP. Takes about 5 minutes to set it up like you want, and save it.

    Ugly interface design is not Windows only. Some of the interface designs for Mac under Cocoa are really grim too. I'm looking at you, Twhirl.

  65. Paul
    Jobs Horns

    @Thomas

    "What are you talking about? The dock is a collection of icons that are linked to programs. They have a visible mark if that program is currently loaded. "

    Yeah, a tiny little blue speck of light below it. This is really obvious for new users isn't it?(not) Maybe you think this is really obvious, but this will not be totally obvious to a new user who hasn't decided to join the cult of Jobs. Current versions of Windows to are arranged in a much more logically partitioned view - if you want to do something new, you click on the 'start' button; if you want to open something that already exists you use the taskbar. The 'quick launch' toolbar muddled this slightly, but at least (unlike the dock) there was still a partition between launching a new instance of a program, and currently running instances.

    " If you right click a running program you get a context menu, if you right click an unloaded program you get basic options to load it or remove its icon from the Dock."

    wahahahahaha!! Right-clicking on a Mac!

    "To be honet, if you find that confusing then I'm not sure you're qualified to use a computer."

    It is not about the average el Reg reader, but rather about users who have never seen the UI before.

    "The Dock (including the NextStep predecessor and very similar RISC OS thing) has been praised because humans are much better at recognising images than text, so it lets you find what you're looking for more quickly."

    I'm sure humans are better at recognising images, but what about if you have a new program and have no idea as to what the hell the image means!! Microsoft's approach with the 'Quick Launch' was fine - frequently used and recognisable programs launched with only icons; currently running programs show both the icon and descriptive text - surely there is nothing wrong with showing both?

  66. blackworx
    Coat

    Mine's the one with the well-preserved copy of XP in the pocket.

    "the hard work's already been done and the pain has been endured"

    ...Except all those devices for which the hard work hasn't been done and the pain is ongoing.

    "Because Windows 7 is built on the same kernel as Windows Server and Windows Vista, there won't be a re-working of that ecosystem"

    Loose translation: "expect more of the same." And furthermore, how is this "avoiding" Vista?

    If it works (which it might) and it works quickly (which it probably won't) then it will be Good and it will sell. If it is a tangled mass of useless knobs and whistles like Vista then it's MS moving one step further away from its domination of the PC OS market; no bad thing imho.

    But, above all, please please please - no dock. It's annoying in Mac OS; just think what MS will do to it.

  67. kissingthecarpet
    Gates Horns

    @James Dunne

    Because NT(New Technology) is 1-4, 2k is 5, XP is 5.1, 6 is Fista , so 7 is 7 ( 3,9x & ME were DOS-based - they don't count)

  68. Mark Boothroyd
    Gates Horns

    @James Dunne - Why's it called Windows 7

    The version number is based on the Windows NT versions.

    Windows 3.1 was NT 3.1

    Then we had NT 4.0

    Windows 2000 is actually Windows NT 5.0 (2000 was just a branding thing)

    Windows XP is NT version 5.1 (again more branding (and explains why Win 2000 drivers also work under XP, as it's basically the same OS, just a new UI)

    Vista is NT version 6.0 (yet more branding)

    So MS have just picked the next version number in line, being version 7. (no more stupid branding finally!).

    The 9* and ME versions have nothing to do with the current windows line-up, as they were based on a different architecture/kernal, which was scrapped once 2000/NT 5.0 came out.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    @Mick F - twatard.

    RE: "OS X - for people who cannot install a driver without a support call."

    Drivers? I think you'll find that's generally a Windows thing... I've never had to install a "driver" on any of my Macs, not for any mouse, keyboard, scanner, digital camera, video camera, printer, mobile phone, CD/DVD drive, hard disk - anything...

    Windows - for people who like installing drivers for EVERYTHING - even a f*cking mouse.

    Windows - for people who like being unable to completely uninstall anything they previously installed, thereby quickly slowing their PC down to a crawl within weeks.

    Windows - for people who like having 7 confusing versions of the same OS and not knowing which one they need to do what with

    Windows - for people who like doing half as much work in twice the time a Mac user does.

    Windows - for people who like making life hard for themselves.

    RE: Mac OS X perfection - "Well, the Apple adverts kind of do, that's the problem."

    Well, Microsoft adverts would have you believe Vista is perfect too and runs on any PC, yet everyone here knows its far from it. MS also claim Vista has been a success. Perhaps they've bought the word "success" and re-defined it - not in my dictionary though.

    Everyone (even Webster) knows deep-down that Mac OS X is CLOSER to perfection than Windows will ever be. That's why there's so much hatred towards Macs from Windows users. It's pure jealousy. They just can't admit they bought an inferior product so attack the competition to make themselves feel better.

  70. Alex
    Happy

    @MickF

    OSX - for people who (a) don't need to install a driver or (b) don't need to call support.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Vista is great - no seriously

    I have earned in excess of two thousand pounds in my spare time downgrading[sic] Vista to XP for people since Vista started to appear. Thank you Microsoft - much appreciated. Long live Vista.

  72. Matthew
    Thumb Down

    looks like

    We'll be staying with XP for yet another generation... or moving to linux.

    They just don't get it do they.

  73. David Kelly
    Thumb Down

    @Paul

    "wahahahahaha!! Right-clicking on a Mac!"

    Think you're funny huh? OS X has supported multi-button mice since 10.0 yet idiots like you think it's clever to joke that Mac users never right click. Grow up why don't you.

    "I'm sure humans are better at recognising images, but what about if you have a new program and have no idea as to what the hell the image means!! "

    Don't recognize an icon on the dock? Hover over it with the mouse and you see the program's name. It's hardly rocket science FFS!

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    i've said it before, but it bears repeating

    (1) built-in recovery and backup (CD, DVD, HDD; it should be able to create a slip-streamed

    cd/dvd of the current installation)

    (2) force apps to use their own files only - no registry entries by apps

    apps install in their own program folder and may make shortcut on

    start-program list or desktop only

    (3) no app install can require a reboot

    (4) no windows updates should require a reboot

    (5) all updates to windows create an automatic rollback file

    (6) rock solid and secure (no BSODs)

    (7) proper device interfaces that don't change with every release

    driver updates should not require a reboot

    (8) no drm

    (9) no nagware or registration

    (10) apps cannot automatically register for startup (except maybe AV & Firewall

    (11) multi-processor capability and transparent support for amd/intel/?

    (12) there shoudn't be but ONE version available with ALL options loadable

    (a) can anyone tell me why I can't have file manager functionality?

    (b) can anyone tell me why there are still only 15 hardware interrupts available?

    (c) can anyone tell me why windows can't do what Irfanview does?

    (d) can anyone tell me why I can't really multi-task?

    (e) can anyone tell my why any app can lock a window in the center of your screen?

    and no, i really prefer the win-xp classic look (win98, if you prefer)

    @webster - please report to the deck - it's your turn over the barrel

    @Iain - Docks seem to be the marmite of the OS world

    HA HA...read that and thought you said marmot...joke's on me as they both come from the same base.

  75. vincent himpe

    Enough !

    with the eye-candy. I don't need fancy new icons and buitton shapes. The buttons in windows 3.11 were fine for me. The added right click features and some smart menus in Win XP are perfect. Just make the overall perfomance a lot better , and give me control over what tasks to run , and when to run them. Move a directory containing 10.000 pictures on Xp takes 5 seconds. On vista it takes hours. Vista needs to re-index all the pictures , mark them off in directory 1 , store them in directory 2 re-dinx them , sends them through the visrus scanner. etc etc etc. while all it has to do is change the root location of the directory. Its changing a node in a linked list for crying out loud!. it's a friggin pointer update for a file system. It should take only a few microseconds to do that. Not hours.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    What's in a name?

    Windows 7 heh? Sounds like a giant leap backwards (95, 98, 2000...) If anything, that's what they should have called Vista.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @jake

    "you are a sad, strange little man"

  78. Ivan Headache

    @dodge and @The Dock's a crock

    "The great strength of the Windows interface is that you can do a lot of things in a lot of ways, adapting it to how you want it to look (like changing colours and sizes and widths of window elements/surrounds/margins/etc etc etc. You can CHOOSE how you interact with the OS, and to a great extent how it looks."

    I'm sitting here reading el reg on a winXP box (not mine I might add, I'm on holiday and I have to use someone elses computer) and I am completely bemused why everything I want to do on this machine is so much more complicated than it is on my Mac. Why is the screen space taken up with so many irrelevances? Why is there a great big green button occupying the bottom left corner of the screen where I'd rather have part of my browser window? Why has it got start written on it? I started ages ago. Shouldn't it have changed to stop or pause or something by now? Why have I got that windows excuse for a dock taking up so much room. Whay would i want to make window margins wider? There's little enough room on the screen as it is. An as for doing things in lots of different ways - what so special about windows? I can do lots of things in lots of different ways - you obviously have had a look at mac in PCWorld and been frightened by it and then think you know it all.

    I don't profess to know it all so tell me, can you do this on your incredibly sophisicated and easy to use (sorry, versatile) windows box. ( I don't know so you can tell me). Boot it up and then disconnect the mouse. Now get your email. Write a new email, attached a photo to it and send it. Then open your browser and search for something and open your WP and write about it while referring back to your browser and periodically looking at your new emails. Can you do all that? Please advise.

    And as for the dock - well, I've posted before, when it first appeared I wasn't that enamoured with it. Now I wouldn't be without it

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James Dunne

    ROTFLMAO

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Still playing loose with system files?

    If any application install can still dump its stuff into system directories and even overwrite files there, then it is no better than its predecessors. Fingers crossed...

  81. jake Silver badge

    @og

    Who are you quoting? I missed the original ... [1]

    However, no, I'm quite happy. If you mean any of the other meanings of the word, that may be your perception. You're welcome to it. Enjoy :-)

    I'll cop to strange ... most of us who grew up in the suburbs of the South Bay Area in the late 50s thru' the mid 70s do seem strange to outsiders. Was an odd time and place ... Couple that with a good deal of time in Yorkshire during my highschool years, and some people find me downright weird. I'm fine with it.

    Not little. 5'11", 170ish (twelve and a half stone, or there abouts).

    If you mean I'm a long winded git, then I'll cop to that ... We have a mare who is threatening to foal early, and we're watching her around the clock. I'm taking the 6PM to 2AM shift, and I get bored. I figure sharing the boredom with others might lighten my load ;-)

    [1] Yeah, I know, og is probably a noob ...

  82. Norfolk Enchants Paris

    @ivan

    Why would I want to unplug the mouse?

    However....

    unplugged mouse.

    opened my email client using windows button, arrow keys to select Outlook, enter key.

    Oh look, new email. Tabbed over to the list of email. up and down arrows. Opened latest offer from Argos. Closed again fairly promptly as I don't want a hairdryer or inflatable bed. created new email (Ctrl-n) inserted picture (alt key, arrows to Insert, arrow to File, select file, hit enter, send email using CRTL-S)

    Opened browser using qwindows key, arrow keys and enter key. Hit Tab to enter address bar. Went to a famous web search engine. Hit Tab to enter the search box, typed in Ivan Headache. Saw a facebook entry (you?) and some comments about Android and Acrobat 9 by yourself - am typing now and referring to the search. Opened Word (same method as for other apps) and wrote a short missive on why you might want a 50 page pdf rather than the same in HTML (incidentally, I agree with you.)

    All do-able, and all done quite quickly. The mouse just makes it easier. But why would you want to? What was your point - did you think it couldn't be done on a PC?

    Happy to help your education!

  83. Ivan Headache

    @Norfolk Enchants Paris

    "The mouse just makes it easier. But why would you want to? What was your point - did you think it couldn't be done on a PC?"

    Thanks for that. I didn't know if it could be done that's all. It's just that I get sick of idiots saying that macs are for simpletons and that you can't do anything worthwhile on them.

    I was working on Macs 12-13 years ago dubbing foreign language films. That's when I got to appreciate the simplicity of the system. I got my work done - I wasn't constantly fighting the computer (unlike my colleague on a Windows box in the workshop). As the system developed things just got easier.

    I don't know why I'm on facebook - I'd better have a look (I don't have a facebook account).

    I notice that you haven't commented on my remarks about the general appearance of Windows (this machine is XP), does that mean you might be a slight agreement?

  84. Paul
    Thumb Down

    Dock is still an illogical crock

    Not only is the dock illogical, but it clutters your screen with icons for lots of programs that you aren't even using at that time, therefore distracting the user from the task that they are trying to perform.

    At least with Quick Launch there is a clear partitioning, so you know where to focus your eye if you want to see running programs. If Microsoft introduce such a feature, then I think that it is very important for them to clearly sort and partition between programs that are running, and those that are not (and not like Apple with an unordered scattering of little non-obvious blue specks on icons here and there).

  85. Rich Turner
    Pirate

    @AC

    Inline:

    (1) built-in recovery and backup (CD, DVD, HDD; it should be able to create a slip-streamed cd/dvd of the current installation)

    Already in Vista

    (2) force apps to use their own files only - no registry entries by apps apps install in their own program folder and may make shortcut on start-program list or desktop only

    Many apps already do this but many apps apuse the registry. Some apps do need to update the registry to store per-user settings and/or per machine config. A few apps have to register themselves in the registry in order to allow other software to find them.

    (3) no app install can require a reboot

    In all reality VERY few apps require reboot ... but they opt to test less and force a reboot in the installer. Contact those app vendors and give them hell. They're just being lazy.

    (4) no windows updates should require a reboot

    Sometimes, updates require core OS/Kernel infrastructure to be patched which can only be done after shutting down major OS components. This requires a reboot.

    However, the number of circumstances where this is truly necessary are smaller now than before and smaller still in Win7.

    (5) all updates to windows create an automatic rollback file

    Already in Vista.

    (6) rock solid and secure (no BSODs)

    BSOD are caused by buggy code running in the kernel. 90% of the time, BSOD are caused by 3rd party drivers. This is why Vista introduced a new video & printer driver architecture that reduced the amount of driver code running in kernel. Although initial drivers were pretty buggy because the infrastructure was so new, things are A LOT better post SP1.

    If you're seeing BSOD, make sure your drivers are up to date.

    (7) proper device interfaces that don't change with every release driver updates should not require a reboot

    Sometimes, changes to the driver infrastructure are necessary (see above). This happens VERY rarely however.

    Some drivers require reboot because they cannot be shut down and restarted without rebooting the kernel.

    (8) no drm

    Then you don't get to play DVD/BluRay. DRM is required by RIAA etc. You don't like it? Complain to them.

    (9) no nagware or registration

    You gotta prove you paid for it. However, I agree that this can be made less obtrusive.

    (10) apps cannot automatically register for startup (except maybe AV & Firewall

    This is necessary for some hardware to work. Better still would be to make it easier for you to find out what apps are running and why.

    (11) multi-processor capability and transparent support for amd/intel/?

    Has always been a feature of Windows.

    (12) there shoudn't be but ONE version available with ALL options loadable

    Should or shouldn't? I am guessing the former.

    Due to licensing, MS shipped versions sans DVD decoder, saving per-copy license fees and passed those savings onto customers that don't need DVD: Vista Home Basic.

    (a) can anyone tell me why I can't have file manager functionality?

    File Explorer.

    (b) can anyone tell me why there are still only 15 hardware interrupts available?

    Hardware compatabillity mostly. More interrupts would only make your machine more complex, slower and more prone to bugs anyhow.

    (c) can anyone tell me why windows can't do what Irfanview does?

    Because Windows is an OS. It can't do everything for everybody. In fact, in Win7, MS is opting to move some apps (Movie Maker, Mail) to a separately downloadable Live app suite. Reduces size, bloat, bugs, security threats, etc.

    (d) can anyone tell me why I can't really multi-task?

    Because you're a little slow? ;) Windows has been able to Multi-task since Windows 2.0.

    (e) can anyone tell my why any app can lock a window in the center of your screen?

    If you mean a system modal dialog? Actually, they can't! They manage to achieve a similar effect through trickery! ;)

  86. daniel Silver badge
    Happy

    @James Dunne

    You forgot some:

    Windows 2

    Windows 3

    Windows 3.1

    Windows 3.11 (Aka WFWG)

    NT 3.51

    NT 4

    95

    98

    ME

    2000

    XP

    2003

    Vista

    2008

    Windows 15 would be closer to the truth!

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virtual PCs

    I'd like to see Windows 7 be 64-bit only, and include a copy of XP running as a Virtual PC for any old software that just won't "play nice" with the new environment.

  88. Norfolk Enchants Paris

    @ivan headache

    I always thinks that the Apple v. Windows UI is a matter of opinion. What some people love, others despise.

    I have a mac mini w/ OS X Ocelot or Serval or something...anyway, there are things that drive me mad about it and things I love. For example I don't like the 'boingy' effect, but I do like the speed and slickness generally of the interface. I also have Win XP machines and I find them intuitive enough. I also have an Ubuntu machine (which I am fond of as an ex-Unix whzz) and a few with GUI-less OS'sl (1 x CP/M, 1 x SCO Unix).

    My favourite ever was SGI's IRIX machines - I loved working on those - but again others hated the GUI and went straight to BSH, BASH and so on.

    Horses for courses and pick your own style.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @jake

    "Who are you quoting? I missed the original ... [1]"

    GIYF (of course) but to make it easier for you:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114709/quotes

    "[1] Yeah, I know, og is probably a noob ..."

    I guess there's no noob like an old noob

  90. Ivan Headache

    @Dock is still an illogical crock

    "Not only is the dock illogical, but it clutters your screen with icons for lots of programs that you aren't even using at that time, therefore distracting the user from the task that they are trying to perform."

    No it isn't. The dock isn't even on my screen yet I use it all the time. All the screen space is mine. This browser window comes right to the bottom of my screen. The icons are always in the same place (unless you have magnification turned on - which is for newbies only). There's nothing random about it. I have mine arrange so that the apps I am likely to be running all the time are at one end, My productivity apps are in the middle and my recreation apps are at the other end.

    The only time the dock changes is if you open an app that isn't already in the dock. Its icon will appear at the right hand end of the application section and will remain there until you kill it, the others will shrink slightly in size to make room for the newcomer, and then grow a little when it goes away.

    The only thing I agree with you about is the stupid fluorescent ball to indicate running apps. In Tiger (the previous version of OSX) and its predecessors, the fluorescent ball was a blatantly obvious black triangle. Clear as day. The ball is too transparent and too easy to not see.

    That's why I run an app called TigerDock. It still has the balls but they are obvious and easy to see.

    Using the dock is like typing. I've been using macs for a long time now and when I have to work on a PC I get really frustrated that the command key is in a different place, as are the @ and the ". My fingers know where they want to go to find those keys. they dock is the same, my hand knows where to mouse to to get a particular app - even though I can't see the dock until the mouse gets there.

  91. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    All the average user wants

    As a home user who really doesn't give a flying screw about OS, ( Microshaft, or Crapple ) Can someone just tell me this.

    Will Windows 7 boot faster than Fista?

    Will it actually allow me to use my current hardware and peripherals without me going on hunt the driver, or "This hardware is old, be a good little consumer and upgrade"?

    Will it run at a reasonable speed? on average hardware

    Is it secure, robust, and reliable?

    If not, I ain't interested.

    I want a Ronseal OS. "It just does what it says on the tin" , that doesn't get in the way

    Paris 'cos she knows a co*k when she sees one

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    This is total Bull - OSX revisited.

    First of all, Vista’s Desktop already plagiarizes OSX Tiger's desktop: can no body see that? Plus the icons in Vista are a rip off of Linux KDE eye candy icons!

    Why are they saying, they have “learned” a thing of two from OSX - when they’ve been trying to synthesize the OSX looks on Vista already.

    If this is the mentality of Microsoft, the “pretend we didn’t know about it” brigade, then MS is loosing the talent it had. Where are the guys behind XP? Who’s the idiot who decided to copy the docking strip from OSX? He needs a reality check.

    Already, Win 7 is sounding disappointing. Why should we become back-door Mac users?

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Vista is already an OS X Synthesis - a poor one.

    First of all, Vista’s Desktop already plagiarizes OSX Tiger's desktop: can no body see that? The icons in Vista are a rip off of Linux KDE!

    Why are they saying, they have “learned” a thing of two from OSX when they’ve been trying to synthesize the OSX looks on Vista already.

    If this is the mentality of Microsoft, the “pretend we didn’t know about it” brigade, then MS is loosing the talent it had. Where are the guys behind XP? Who’s the idiot who decided to copy the docking strip from OSX? He needs a reality check.

    Already, Win 7 is sounding disappointing. Why should we become back-door Mac users?

  94. Mike
    Coat

    Change the record

    Oh come on -we've heard the same thing a million times over - Microsoft is 'copying' Apple. You said it when Vista was released, now your saying they are still doing it with Windows 7.

    I hate to tell you, but obviousily you've never heard of Microsoft r&d - who have been working on Microsoft surface for 5 years. So no - multi-touch is not an apple invention. Having optimized code doesnt some how translate into an 'apple idea' nor is it anything apple have.

    Sure Microsoft had windows mobile before the Iphone... obviousily Apple copied such features as 'picking up the phone' and 'sending text messages' - obviousily. I'm getting my coat - its the one thats got a clue.

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