back to article Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer

Windows Server "8" beta is out, and everyone reading this should sit up and take notice. This isn't a boring iteration on a previous server operating system wherein a few tweaks have been achieved and nothing really changes. Server 8 - along with the suite of associated 2012-ish server applications - is nothing short of a …

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  1. Bill Neal
    Happy

    Awesome

    Its about time M$ did something productive not only for their company, but all of us. Even as a 'nix user, I can't wait to get my hands on it.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      FAIL

      Re: Awesome

      Let's hope it knows what day it is too, although the odd half day outage here and there caused by schoolboy programming errors doesn't seem to bother the British Government when choosing its cloud supplier.

      1. Homer 1
        Mushroom

        Awesome?

        Hardly.

        Mr. Pott is going potty over Windows crawling ever-so-slightly towards the sort of functionality we've seen in *nix since day one, like some prehistoric amphibian slithering out of the primordial soup straight into a quantum physicist's laboratory. It'll make a nice pet, I'm sure, but I can't see it being especially useful. Franky I'd rather have a poodle.

        Pott's sycophantic, superlatives-laden fawning is making me retch. NFS and a proper CLI is hardly something worth popping champagne over. SMB is of zero interest to me, and Hyper-V is a rather sad joke (no, but seriously):

        'The issue blew up last Friday in a forum comment by Thierry Carrez, an OpenStack release manager, who suggested that Hyper-V support code should be removed from the next release of the framework. On the OpenStack Launchpad developer forum , Carrez described the Hyper-V support as being “broken and unmaintained” ... In reply, Ken Pepple, director of cloud development at Internap Network Services, wrote: ”Hyper-V support is missing support for even the most basic functions – volumes, Glance, several network managers, etc. We investigated it for our service, but found it only borderline functional.”'

        http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/openstack-developers-ditch-buggy-microsoft-hyper-v-support-57951

        What I'd like to know is: has Microsoft finally managed to figure out how to completely eradicate the GUI from their "server" operating systems yet (and no, an MSDOS terminal window on a minimal, blackbox-style desktop is NOT equivocal to "no GUI")?

        Call me again in another 40 years (although hopefully Microsoft will have gone the way of the dodo by then, so you won't need to).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Awesome?

          Mr. Pott is going potty over Windows crawling ever-so-slightly towards the sort of functionality we've seen in *nix since day one,

          And *nix is rawling ever-so-slightly towards the sort of user friendlyness we've seen in Window since day one,

          Call me in another 40.

          Oh don't forget, if it wasn't for windows,we would still be running a propriety Unix on a Propriety IBM box, using propriety thin clients, for a mere £10,000 / seat.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Awesome?

            "if it wasn't for windows,we would still be running a propriety Unix ...."

            Absolute nonsense !

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Awesome?

            "Oh don't forget, if it wasn't for windows,we would still be running a propriety Unix on a Propriety IBM box, using propriety thin clients, for a mere £10,000 / seat."

            Clearly you were not working in computing in the days you try to abuse: I was. if you really wanted non-proprietray, BSD ran very well, thank you, on Vax and others (BSD on Vax was very popular in universities and research institutions). Even the others were generally BSD plus, with some AT&T and later SysV. Pyramid had a good RISC system with "universes", one universe representing a UNIX stream, e.g. ATT or BSD, so you could choose. I even had a tiny (within 64K) UNIX on an old DEC Pro. .IBM (AIX) was relatively late into the game and, was never really a mass player. HP-UX was a bit off-beam; but it soon changed to be conformant. BSD was always there and still is. There were scores of suppliers offering UNIX and then we got XPG and Posix, so that if one programmed to those standards (I still do on principle), your scripts and code would run on any UNIX or even, with a bit of luck, VMS, Primos and others in Posix mode.

            Not sure if Linux has really got a true Posix/XPG conformant mode yet, nor if on all variants. I only know that serious programmes can need tweaking for different flavours. As for Windows - highly compliant, as long as one works just with Windows. OSX is fairly good; then again, it is a BSD descendant. All scripts and code that I wrote for Ultrix, Solaris, AIX and others seem to build and run on OSX.

            Oh, forget this stuff about servers vs. desktops for UNIX. The difference is mainly the hardware configuration and the addition of more software that one could, in fact, add to a desktop or laptop and make them into servers, if the software is not already there.

            ..

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. Homer 1
            Mushroom

            Re: Awesome?

            If by "rawling"(sic) you mean surpassed Windows by an order of magnitude years ago, certainly.

            Apparently you haven't been paying attention. Windows is the OS that made browsing Web pages and opening E-mail attachment dangerous. How "user-friendly" is an OS plagued by millions of viruses, excruciating bloat and BSODs (or the new and improved KSODs), exactly?

            If it wasn't for Windows, people might actually have a choice of decent operating systems when they buy a PC, instead of having Microsoft's dysfunctional crapware shoved down their throats without option.

            It's highly unlikely their options would've been limited to just Unix. Believe it or not, there was a time before the Wintel duopoly when there was actually a lot of choice in the market.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Awesome?

          "....Microsoft will have gone the way of the dodo by then...." Amusingly, people have been predicting the death of The Beast "in the next x years" every year for at least twenty years now. Each time, M$ simply pulls out the stops, either in applications or developer support, or "openness" / embrace-and-stifle, or simply marketting muscle, and carries on raking in the cash. I'm a big RHEL fan but it doesn't make me blind to the capabilities of either Windows Server or of the M$ juggernaut. Those that undersetimate The Beast are likely to be waiting a long time for it to die.

          In my business, for example, we could probably remove 99% of M$ software (and probably 95% of the UNIX and mainframe too) and replace it with Linux and OSS offerings, but the integration task is such a challenge that M$ (and the UNIX OS and app vendors) are pretty safe for now. We are beyond the low-hanging fruit, a lot of that's been switched to RHEL/SuSE, but pushing Linux deeper into our enterprise is a tough sell.

          I see M$'s biggest issue as trying to overturn the dominance of VMware in the virtualisation arena. Hyper-V isn't that bad but VMware has the hearts and minds of far too many customers now.

    2. Ilgaz

      Because they have credible rivals

      For desktop clients on enterprise, apple doesn't really count and they made clear that they will never step on their foot except some markets.

      Linux desktop? Sadly, still 1% and saying as a person who never liked Linux, they don't deserve that tiny percentage. Especially after seeing what the legendary conservative Debian stable has become in terms of usability.

      Game changes on server business, there is IBM,Red hat, Suse, *bsd and oracle. These rivals are the reason which they have to produce good software or redhat comes and wins the contract. Linux on server is something IBM has to support on a $30m mainframe. It is that serious.

      Anyway, just think what would happen if they had a credible rival on business client space. If I was a Microsoft fan, I would hate the low percentage of Linux desktop, not laugh at it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awesome

      Wondering how many of those downvotes are for the dollar sign.

      Maybe it's a workaround to a 'nix keyboard driver problem.

  2. Tim Parker

    PowerShell

    Although there sounds like there is a lot of interesting developments here, for those that most use Windows server resources at least, (effectively Unix-ifying the overlying OS interfaces by the sound of it, and extending the influence of Tcl/Tk in PowerShell) - I was intrigued by the statement

    "Interesting, as PowerShell scriptability is another important marker of Microsoft's growing commitment to openness and standards."

    What standards would the use of .NET objects (PowerShell objects) being showing commitment to ?.. openness is a given for a command interface, as a closed interface is no interface at all (except by reverse engineering and blind luck). Genuine question, i'm just completely unaware of any relevant standards.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: PowerShell

      As I see it - and as it has been explained to me by others as well - the standards are all related to heterogeneous operation. Essentially: the ability to manipulate the operating system (and *all* relevant server applications) to address everything from power management, thread assignment, disk/network/driver/user/etc. management and more. The game being player here is big. Huge. This isn’t about the nice-to-have but functionally irrelevant ability of $open_source_team to access $feature.

      It is about the ability to create a cloud of hundreds of thousands of instances of the operating system and have them managed by centralised command and control software. Microsoft would really like that software to be theirs (system center X,) but that is now in no way necessary.

      Microsoft of a decade ago would have had a series of impenetrable APIs and proprietary protocols to do everything. Now, they have made a firm commitment to have literally everything run through PowerShell. PowerShell is well documented, and – by this point – mature. The “standard” in question may be one of Microsoft’s own creation, but the reason behind the standard – and how Microsoft has gone about its implementation – remains true to the spirit of standards-based computing. I.E. “do something in a well documented way that anyone can tie into and use.”

      Remember that PowerShell goes far beyond just Server. System Center everything 2012 is PowerShell controlled. Exchange is PowerShell controlled. SharePoint, Forefront, SQL…all of them.

      This isn’t just “a cute way to access some features.” It is a conscious decision made from within Microsoft to make the entirety of their product offerings something that can be programmatically addressed by anyone running any application from any operating system. I can’t think of a better definition of standard. That seems more of a “standard” than some others which claim the name. (802.11n “standards process” being a great example, though the 802.1Qbn “VN-Tag” is another travesty of an example.)

      It’s a complete reversal for Microsoft compared to a decade ago. About time.

      1. Oninoshiko
        Stop

        Re: PowerShell

        I Think you are missing his point.

        PowerShell is YASL (Yet ANOTHER Scripting Language). We already have more scripting languages then I can count,all of which are known and understood by programmers and (more importantly) sysadmins everywhere. WHY make a new one?

        Ideally, if they really DID have a commitment to openness, they would have designed interfaces to existing languages, preferably with the API being as similar as possible to exestiting APIs on other system. I see NO advantage of PowerShell over scripting facilites on other OSes.

        (Note: I HAVE used powershell for interfacing with both Windows and VMWare, so I'm not (completely) talking out of my ass here)

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: PowerShell

          The way I had it explained to me: PowerShell made sense because it was an easy and familiar approach for the squillions of extant .net programmers that existed.

          Also: the APIs exist independent of PowerShell. Nothing is holding anyone back from extending another scripting language to do the same thing, if they like it better. If you are willing to make a serious attempt, I am almost positive Microsoft will not only welcome it, but probably devote resources to help.

          Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness. They are making a cloud play. Public and private. That means making sure that their software can be managed and addressed by as many people as possible. .net made sense to start with – it was the community that already existed around their products. Thus PowerShell made sense.

          But moving beyond that? Microsoft have already worked hand in hand with several organisations to extend PHP support (including work on some PHP libraries), Node.JS and others.

          If you want your favourite scripting language to support the manipulation of Microsoft’s OS and applications, maybe you should ask them to support it? Maybe a project is already underway to ensure they do…

          1. The BigYin
            Mushroom

            @Trevor_Pott Re: PowerShell

            "Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness."

            Now I know you have been at the "Kool Aid".

            MS has been anti-open since the get go. They are threatening to sue open OSs. The had the UK government remove the requirement for open standards. They oppose open standards in Europe. It took the EU commissioner to force MS to cooperate with the Samba team. MS railroaded the ISO body into ratifying patent-encumbered standards. MS is forcing OEMs to make hardware to Windows-only. MS changed the EULA to the Windows tax is even harder (if not impossible) to claw back.

            What part of "a strong business case for openness" does all that (and more) apply to?

            Please stop with the MS propaganda.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: @Trevor_Pott PowerShell

              Oh, you'll get no disagreement from me here. MS is anti-open from a philosophical standpoint, no question. But they have discovered that there is money to be made in openness, and that has reflected in their approaches to their recent server products.

              Make no mistake, Microsoft is not “the good guy” in any sense. But quite frankly, which enterprise software companies are?

              You are correct, Microsoft have done very bad things, and have behaved like a pack of vicious assholes. Great. Every single person in these forums knows that. BUt it is entirely irrelevant to the conversation at hand.

              The issue is the openness of Server 8, and the 2012 series of server software. Regardless of the moral reasons behind choosing an “open” path, it was chosen. This results in some very easy-to-use and powerful software.

              Does that make Microsoft the good guys? Hell no. They have at least another decade of behaving not like multi-billion-dollar dongs to go before they earn anything like “trust.” (Which they are busy eroding by not listening to their customer base re: ribbon && metro, AFAIC.)

              But that doesn’t change the value of the products on the table, nor the easy of using the things. Nor the fact that having such a product out is going to be a huge change in IT. Here is the first Microsoft Server OS that really and truly can be completely managed by, interoperated with and otherwise integrated into a fully heterogeneous environment. Not because people reverse engineered everything, but because the ability to do so was designed into the product.

              Don’t mistake anticipation of a specific product for condoning decades of douchebaggery.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: PowerShell

            > The way I had it explained to me:

            By whom? Do tell.

            > PowerShell made sense because it was an easy and familiar approach for the squillions of extant .net programmers that existed.

            Oh that's all right then - improve the lives of all those dumbed-down, commoditized 'developers' by forcing yet another non-transferable tool into their 'skill' set.

            > Also: the APIs exist independent of PowerShell. Nothing is holding anyone back from extending another scripting language to do the same thing, if they like it better. If you are willing to make a serious attempt, I am almost positive Microsoft will not only welcome it, but probably devote resources to help.

            Which, based on the bitter experiences of the last 15 or 20 years, would be our cue to run away screaming as fast as we can in the opposite direction.

            > Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness. They are making a cloud play. Public and private. That means making sure that their software can be managed and addressed by as many people as possible. .net made sense to start with – it was the community that already existed around their products. Thus PowerShell made sense.

            Try and remember why .net came into existence in the first place. *cough*Sun*cough*m'lud*cough*

            > But moving beyond that? Microsoft have already worked hand in hand with several organisations to extend PHP support (including work on some PHP libraries), Node.JS and others.

            See the above paragraph - they extended Java too.

            > If you want your favourite scripting language to support the manipulation of Microsoft’s OS and applications, maybe you should ask them to support it? Maybe a project is already underway to ensure they do…

            If you want to keep foxes off your lawn, asking the army to fly over and spray it with Agent Orange probably isn't the first idea that would spring to mind.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: PowerShell

              "improve the lives of all those dumbed-down, commoditized 'developers' by forcing yet another non-transferable tool into their 'skill' set."

              MS have actually led the way by introducing object-oriented scripting that is in many ways better than the text-bound scripting in Unix Land. They probably hope that others will follow their lead, so those skills WILL end up transferable, with more capable developers/admins.

            2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: By whom? Do tell.

              Separately by two Microsoft MVPs who focused on PowerShell, and in two separate interviews, one with the one of the folks in charge of the storage division and another with one of the upper-mid-level dudes in the server division. That's enough independant corroboration for me.

      2. blondie101
        FAIL

        Re: PowerShell

        But why pay for a proprietary solution when you can get it all for free. MS is no playeron the internet cloud providers and I don't see it changing. Is there one compelling reason?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: PowerShell

          My time is worth money. The time of my staff are worth money. If you save me so much time by making you product easy to use that you offset the cost of "proprietary," then there is a damned good reason to buy that product. (And is it really proprietary when the APIs are well documented, available, and future developments are being done in the open?)

          "Free as in beer" software is only "automatically better" than "proprietary" if you place zero value on the time of the people who must use and administer it. Any and every piece of software has to be looked at from a multitude of angles to find a realistic TCO.

          In many cases, proprietary is cheaper than not. In many other cases the reverse is true. An open standard/language/interface/source code/whatever that can only be understood after having 50 years of theory injected directly into your eyeball then jacking into the matrix whilst whistling the Dr. Who theme in exactly the right pitch is completely useless. Whereas an application that costs me $750, takes 5 minutes to set up, and just works for the next ten years pays for itself in no time.

          1. Tinker Tailor Soldier
            Paris Hilton

            Re: PowerShell

            I think everyone is missing the point of why a new shell was invented. Basically, it was an attempt to define a richer way to pipe together operators than input and output streams of text. The idea was that if you exchange objects then a human can always view them (through appropriate deserialization) and code can operate on it in a more predictable way. Hence kluges like grunging through human readable output with sed and awk could be avoided.

            That at least is the idea, and motivates why other shells weren't deemed sufficient. How well this all really works is more open to debate.

          2. Oninoshiko

            Re: PowerShell

            "The way I had it explained to me: PowerShell made sense because it was an easy and familiar approach for the squillions of extant .net programmers that existed.

            Also: the APIs exist independent of PowerShell. Nothing is holding anyone back from extending another scripting language to do the same thing, if they like it better. If you are willing to make a serious attempt, I am almost positive Microsoft will not only welcome it, but probably devote resources to help."

            Yes, you like MS and Windows. It is the only solution for you, WE GET IT. I'm in a hederogeneus enviroment. I have Linux, Solaris, BSD, MacOS, Windows (server and desktop), and ESXi; best tool for the job, wouldn't have it any other way.

            "Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness. They are making a cloud play. Public and private. That means making sure that their software can be managed and addressed by as many people as possible. .net made sense to start with – it was the community that already existed around their products. Thus PowerShell made sense."

            I never assumed malice. I assumed ANOTHER case of NIH-syndrome, but now that you mention it, MS's busness case is for getting users onto their platform and keeping them there. Promoting skills which are useful outside of their platform is not something which, long term, is useful for them.

            I've used it, It's an okay scripting language, BUT I can see no compelling advantage to useing it over any number of other languages, except MS has taken care of the API-bindings for me (that IS a compelling reason to use it (in the windows enviroment), but not enough to justify it's existance). It also means I CANNOT reuse ANY code from other platforms, nor as effecently use my existing staff.

            Later on...

            "My time is worth money. The time of my staff are worth money. If you save me so much time by making you product easy to use that you offset the cost of "proprietary," then there is a damned good reason to buy that product."

            Funny, that's EXACTLY the reason why writing an entirely new scripting language to expose these features makes no sense. MS isn't looking after me with this, they are trying to get me to aquire a MS-excluseive skill. I'll admit, It did work, although I am still nowhere near as fast in PS then in any number of other scripting languages.

            "An open standard/language/interface/source code/whatever that can only be understood after having 50 years of theory injected directly into your eyeball then jacking into the matrix whilst whistling the Dr. Who theme in exactly the right pitch is completely useless."

            I've yet to encounter more then a handful of scripting languages which fall under this, and I wouldn't advocate them for wide-spread usage. Noone here is, as far as I can tell. Ergo, this is a non-sequitor.

            "Whereas an application that costs me $750, takes 5 minutes to set up, and just works for the next ten years pays for itself in no time."

            PLEASE call me when MS provides this in the virtualization space. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. I have been hearing MS claim to be the best platform for vitrtualization since they where trying to bribe us with 1USD chips at VMWorld '08. The weren't then. They may be getting more useable, but I'm not yet convenced. As it stands, the last time I needed a fix because MS screwed something up, the responce I got from support (at my cost, both monitarily and a couple weeks of my time, mind you) was: Yep that's a bug. The fix will require massive disruption to you're entire user-base with and hundreds of man-hours of downtime for your userbase to fix.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: PowerShell

              “Yes, you like MS and Windows. It is the only solution for you, WE GET IT. I'm in a hederogeneus enviroment. I have Linux, Solaris, BSD, MacOS, Windows (server and desktop), and ESXi; best tool for the job, wouldn't have it any other way.”

              Actually, I loathe MS something fierce. They’ve never done me any favours, and their licensing shenanigans that are very anti small and medium enterprise. You know, pretty much my entire client base. Doesn’t prevent me from recognising when they make a good product. As to heterogenous environment, well…yeah. For the past 10 years.

              “I never assumed malice. I assumed ANOTHER case of NIH-syndrome, but now that you mention it, MS's busness case is for getting users onto their platform and keeping them there. Promoting skills which are useful outside of their platform is not something which, long term, is useful for them.

              I've used it, It's an okay scripting language, BUT I can see no compelling advantage to useing it over any number of other languages, except MS has taken care of the API-bindings for me (that IS a compelling reason to use it (in the windows enviroment), but not enough to justify it's existance). It also means I CANNOT reuse ANY code from other platforms, nor as effecently use my existing staff.”

              All good points. But I would have to say that you are wrong about the NIH syndrome. It wasn’t invented just for the sake of inventing something in house. They had their own reasons that made sense given the extant customer base. And frankly they didn’t give much of a damn about catering to all the *nix admins who weren’t paying them money anyways. Why would they?

              “Funny, that's EXACTLY the reason why writing an entirely new scripting language to expose these features makes no sense. MS isn't looking after me with this, they are trying to get me to aquire a MS-excluseive skill. I'll admit, It did work, although I am still nowhere near as fast in PS then in any number of other scripting languages.”

              Microsoft had the choice: cater to their own customers for whom PowerShell was a natural evolution, or cater to the people who don’t pay them money for software because…why?

              “PLEASE call me when MS provides this in the virtualization space. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. I have been hearing MS claim to be the best platform for vitrtualization since they where trying to bribe us with 1USD chips at VMWorld '08. The weren't then. They may be getting more useable, but I'm not yet convenced. As it stands, the last time I needed a fix because MS screwed something up, the responce I got from support (at my cost, both monitarily and a couple weeks of my time, mind you) was: Yep that's a bug. The fix will require massive disruption to you're entire user-base with and hundreds of man-hours of downtime for your userbase to fix.”

              System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. I will be the very first person to stand up and say that Hyper-V is pretty pants. And SCVMM releases to date have sucked pretty bad. But when you really start using SCVMM 2012, (and Hyper-V in Server 8 has some shiny blue crystals worth a boo as well!) it starts to fall into the realm of “well holy shit, it just works!”

              With one caveat: their entire notion of how to do this pretty much relies on your having a mid-sized deployment. Now, if you have a big enough setup that you can do neat things like “have the hosts evacuate all the VMs to another host, then update in sequence,” the Microsoft “private cloud” hullabaloo works like a hot damn.

              For smaller deployments, we get into the licenceing issues that form the basis of my seething hatred for pretty much everything to do with Microsoft. They have fantastic stuff in the Server 8/various things that are 2012 lineup. Really, truly awesome offering.

              And outside the lab I probably will never get to use them as they were intended. I just don’t have customers that large. Still, I was glad to have had a week to run this stuff in the lab. I have another three weeks worth of articles that will rely on playing around with this test lab, and I look forward to it.

              But after that, it’s back to the world of KVM and VMWare 4. 4, because VMWare ESXi 5 licenceing guts its use as a production hypervisor, and the V-tax priced it out of the SMB market. (If it weren’t for KVM, I’d be a wreck about now.)

              MS have done a good thing with Server 8 and the 2012 suite of server products. Can we please try to take them on their own merits instead of spraying our collective prejudices around like they meant something? Microsoft are deserving of a great deal of finger wagging for a great many things.

              PowerShell isn’t one of them. It’s one of the things they did right.

              1. Hayden Clark
                Unhappy

                Re: PowerShell - managing servers with a shell.

                I've (briefly) contemplated managing a Hyper-V Core installation using the command prompt. Having looked that examples of the shoddy, inconsistent mysteriousness of the CLI to the OS, I quickly abandoned ship and persuaded our one Windows 2008 Server instance to manage it remotely. A task so complex, that somebody was obliged to write a script to semi-automate it (hvremote.wsf).

                Even if the CLI could be set to adhere to a sensible design convention, the unholy mess that is the registry, and the multifarious internal dependencies that you can't follow without a process tracer, means that fixing and managing the machine configuration is needlessly hard.

                The CLI is simply a thin wrapper over the interfaces that the GUI uses. Yuk.

          3. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Shortcuts are an illusion.

            If you design a system expecting it to be managed by trained monkeys, you will end up with a system that looks like it was managed by trained monkeys. There's really no getting around that. The superficial top layer of the interface is the least interesting aspect of the whole system. Being able to actually understand the system is what separates the competent NT admins from the ones that have to be rescued by Unix SAs.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: PowerShell

            > My time is worth money.

            More fool your employers in this case Trevor.

            Sorry, if you're going to have to spend your whole evening sitting in the comments section, defending and re-editorializing the article you wrote, it might be time to admit it just *didn't stand up in the first place*.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: PowerShell

              " if you're going to have to spend your whole evening sitting in the comments section, defending and re-editorializing the article you wrote, it might be time to admit it just *didn't stand up in the first place*."

              Way to affirm the consequent dumbass..

              He's providing valid points in support of his own points and the suggestions/opinions of others, as well as accepting valid criticisms from others. If you think people should make contentious statements and then stick their fingers in their ears when the criticism rolls in, go join a church.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                @AC Re: PowerShell

                You write an article that says "Metro is stupid and prevents me from adequately multitasking under these scenarios" and you are "publish[img] articles here whose sole point is to demonstrate that you failed to learn how to organise windows (and work) using workspaces." (Neither workspaces not windows being a feature of Metro...)

                Whereas when I write an article that says "hey guys, Server 8 is actually looking like it might be pretty good!" then I am a sycophant and a Microsoft shill.

                The ones I love are the seething rage about how I must either be a paid shill, or totally wedded to Microsoft (with added blinders on!) It doesn’t make me upset. These sorts of internet piranhas don’t hurt me in the sad place. They make me laugh at the supreme idiocy of their statements!

                I have spent the past two days popping my head up for air from the middle of trying to unpack a .deb so I can gank the source, edit it, compile it into a .rpm and then run distribute the thing to my many and varied CentOS servers – only to have the damned thing blow up on some obscure dependency or other that is normally installed in Ubuntu but not RHEL – just so that I can answer comments.

                Comments about how deeply in love with Microsoft I am.

                Then I go home, where I am ass-deep in some obscenely long bit of python that I am hoping to turn into a cascading firewall supplement to my IDS. I am building this to deal with the RDP bug. (Mostly it works, I am now at the point of trying to slap a nice PHP interface on it.) I have to do this because there is an absolute requirement to have a Server 2000 system’s RDP port on the net. (Not on 3390, thank $deity.) So I need to put something out in front of it that will detect attempts to compromise it. IP restrictions at the firewall only help so much: you can spoof IPs.

                But hey, I don’t know about scripting, or the power of a “real shell” or any of that crap. Because I’m a “junior admin” who “can’t live without his GUI” and so forth.

                In this context, participating in the thread is probably closer to trolling on my part. I am absolutely fascinated by all the diatribes. By the flat out fallacious statements and by the seething hatred. There are so many various prejudices in play here it’s hard to know which way is up.

                If there is one thing that makes me sad about all of this, it is the realisation that the very same people reasoning in this thread with such vehement hatred are probably a representative sample of why we can’t have nice things. One guy asks “why would Microsoft cater to it’s own know-nothing developers instead of to people like me, who use real operating systems?”

                Because he’s an asshole. That’s why.

                Why would anyone expend time and money catering to a religious fanatic who is avowedly bent on your destruction, and is a douche about the whole thing besides? Especially when the opportunity is “make something for the people who treat us nice and give us money?”

                I’ve written about it before. The attitude of the open source community is one of the major reasons why individuals and companies don’t want to engage with them. Even when there is a commercial advantage to be had in promoting interoperability (and there has been since ~2005), in my opinion, this exact attitude is why it has taken so long for Microsoft to create an operating system that is “open,” and why it took meta-governmental entities to push them into it.

                There comes a point where herding cats and taking shit all the time isn’t worth the relatively minor increase in revenue.

                So yes, this makes Server 8 a big deal. In spite of all the shit that they have taken, Microsoft have produced a stable, feature rich and (if you ignore the completely unusable interface) good operating system that is as open as one could possibly expect whilst still being closed source. That isn’t going to set a religious zealot’s world alight.

                But I like it. It will make my life easier, and provide a good ROI to my customers. In spite of – not because of – the many and varied packs of piranhas that lurk in the forums on the internets.

          5. Displacement Activity
            Thumb Down

            Re: PowerShell

            Sorry, Trevor, I don't get it. I spend a lot of time writing C. Microsoft never got around to supporting the 1990 standard, but they still claim to have a compliant C compiler. When I write multi-platform code, I have to put in lots of hacks to support MS. This is symptomatic of MS's entire approach to standards: develop your own variant, subvert the existing standard, lock in the user to the MS world-view. We all know this, and we've seen it everywhere: Java, C, JavaScript, the net, IE, you name it. Give the customer a nice cosy feeling with a GUI and some Mogadon, and they'll forget about the outside world. So, MS is now claiming to be more open on its server products, and giving us a CLI, but who actually cares? (a) I don't believe them, (b) existing MS users don't care anyway, and (c) I've already got all that, it works, it works great, and it's supplied by someone who isn't out to screw me by developing myriads of pointless new stuff that has no value and only exists to lock me in. *That* is what distinguishes 'open' from 'proprietary'.

            And I don't buy your "$750/5 minutes/works for the next 10 years" argument. But life's too short to go into that.

          6. Carl
            Thumb Down

            Re: PowerShell

            Wow my SweepingGeneralisations Detector just exploded.

          7. Tim99 Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: PowerShell

            I have been around this stuff for 40 years and have used *NIX, proprietary minis, Novell, and Microsoft servers (back to the days of PC LAN/LAN Manager ).

            No Microsoft server product has EVER cost $750, and taken 5 minutes to set up, and "just works for the next ten years". Why would I believe them now? The *NIX stuff from the 1980s still works fine ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Tim

      ""Interesting, as PowerShell scriptability is another important marker of Microsoft's growing commitment to openness and standards."

      What standards would the use of .NET objects (PowerShell objects) being showing commitment to ?"

      Its not merely .NET, its also the underlying WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) structure. If an application or service supports WMI then it can be automatically managed by using PowerShell. This is just my guess: but since WMI's structure is fully open for developers people should be able to utilize it in their own software. Obviously its supported in .NET but can also be utilized through C++.

      I think that's where the 'open' statement comes from. As to commitment.. Since they continued to support WinRM / WMI in Server 8 they basically continued to support an already existing administrative layer. At least that's my guess on this.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: @Tim

        It's more than that. Microsoft have made it policy internally that all future Microsoft Server products fully support PowerShell. So much so that they are not allowed to develop a gui until the PowerShell scriptlets exist. Any and all future Microsoft Server products will be 100% PowerShell, with the GUI nothing more than a push-button method of running a scriptlet.

        System Center 2012 is an excellent example of this.

      2. Tim Parker

        Re: @Tim

        "If an application or service supports WMI then it can be automatically managed by using PowerShell. This is just my guess: but since WMI's structure is fully open for developers people should be able to utilize it in their own software. Obviously its supported in .NET but can also be utilized through C++."

        Ah OK - cheers - that's what I was missing.

  3. Arrrggghh-otron

    Don't count your chickens just yet...

    "Technologies that last year were only accessible to most well-funded of enterprise IT departments"

    Just wait until the marketing people see all those 'premium' features and decide to slice them up into different versions so that the best features require a premium license...

    Jesus I'm cynical, and I hope I'm wrong.

    1. Charles Manning

      "Jesus I'm cynical, and I hope I'm wrong."

      Fool me once, shame on you.

      Fool me bloody hundreds of times, shame on me!

      MS have a long history of doing all sorts of bait and switch nasties.

      WinFS and predecessors were touted to be part of every release from 1990 to 2006, yet never made it into final products.

      MS kicked off NT3.x with a commitment to POSIX to lure in the *nix server people. Once they came over, POSIX support was discontinued.

      So does anyone really believe all this talk of "open"?

      1. Stephen Channell
        Meh

        Re: "Jesus I'm cynical, and I hope I'm wrong."

        Replacing the POSIX subsystem with "Services for Unix Applications", can't exacly be called a backward step. "basic" POSIX complinance was spec'd to enable {MVS, VMS, VME} and other mainframe OS's to support a "basic" level of portability.. and did not spec a shell or a C compiler.. POSIX is not UNIX. Yup Windows POSIX subsystem was window dressing for US govi contracts..

        So what of the replacement? MS bought Interix which is a full BSD operating system shell (think Cygwin) repackaged it and gave it away (as SFU then SUA).. and enabled Visual Studio to target a full BSD API including X-Windows libaries.. but Interix/SFU/SUA is no where near as popular as Cygwin, and does not include an XTerm

  4. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
    WTF?

    seems a bit arse about face to me

    "If you want to run a fleet of Windows 8 servers from Linux"

    Windows, the natural choice for server OS, coupled with Linux, the natural choice for desktop OS.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
      Mushroom

      Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

      I use Microsoft Bing for my search engine, and Google to download ebooks. I buy Music from Amazon and have an open source phone. If I want a form before function desktop operating system, I buy Microsoft. And I turn to Linux and Apple to give me a desktop operating system that allows me to get actual work done.

      I turn to OpenFire/Asterix to give me a complete and easy-to-use unified communications setup, and Microsoft is making the best server software around. The most popular Linux available - Android - is under massive patent attack, being sued for copyright infringement and suffers from several legitimate accusations of lack of "openness."

      Microsoft is making inroads towards the delivery of an open server suite (despite it being proprietary source code, it is remarkably open), is engaging with the open source community, writing open source code, and is even becoming price competitive in key areas such as virtualisation.

      VMware, meanwhile, is putting together more and more productivity and collaboration software tools. HP is the #2 major networking provider, Cisco sells servers, Nortel is no more, IBM doesn’t make PCs, and Dell has a complete enterprise stack that is actually competitive and relevant.

      Research in Motion has squandered the blackberry empire, though that corpse is still twitching. Apple owns the tablet market and is under investigation on numerous fronts for various antitrust violations.

      Novell got bought out by Attachmate (who?), Twitter appears to have replaced the 6:00 news for a significant chunk of the population, and Facebook is somehow valued at $stupid_number_of_Billions.

      And SCO still isn’t dead yet.

      The world, it is upside down. Anyone who chooses to constantly judge anything in IT based upon 10yo+ prejudices is a fool.

      1. Levente Szileszky
        Stop

        Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

        Trevor_Pott wrote:

        "And I turn to Linux and Apple to give me a desktop operating system that allows me to get actual work done."

        No offense but unless you are into some Mac-only (cr)application I am really not sure what kind of work you could do faster on a such an ass-backward GUI like OS X - I think Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI to get any work done.

        And linux as a desktop... seriously? I *do* run linux (RHEL/CentOS) for several servers, physical and virtual but I have yet to see one linux distro that I would suggest as a primary OS for anyone but my enemies. If you are a geek, yes, if your job involves lot of linux mgmt, yes but for a general purpose desktop for people who know next to nothing about anything "OS", to get things done easily and quickly? Sorry, UI is still not there yet: http://www.ubuntu.com/tour/en/

        Windows 8 is... well, I really don't want to burst into heavy cursing so let 's just say it was pretty dishonest to bring it up as an example for Windows. :P

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI

          Sure, but very soon here you won't be able to buy it. The world marches on. Apple and Linux are not the go-to operating systems for "getting things done" because they have magically become better. They are thus because Windows got a hell of a lot worse.

          You can hold up Windows 7 as "la la, example of whosawhatsit" all you want, but in a very short time, it's gone. You won't be buying your home PC with it, and the downgrade rights will only apply to VLK/SA customers, and so on and so forth. As with XP, so too Win 7.

          $deity have mercy on us all.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI

            The only advantage Windows ever had was the perception that it is the monopoly. That means that software is created for it that's not created for anything else. In any other aspect, it has always been inferior to all of it's rivals. Doesn't matter if it's 1988 or 2012.

            Use Windows if you need to. Just don't kid yourself that it's worth anything on it's own.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Levente Szileszky
            WTF?

            Re: Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI

            Sorry but this is just FUD, nothing else. W7 will be available for YEARS, I bet anything or MS will quickly kill itself.

            FYI you can still buy XP for cheap if you want and if you have bought a retail boxed one it you can still install it on anything..

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
              Pint

              Re: Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI

              Windows 7 will not be available for years. Downgrade rights applicable to OEM copies of Windows 8 will face the same sorts of time restrictions that Windows 7 did. OEM copies of Windows 7 will cease more or less at the same time as Windows 8, and retail Windows 7 will dry up soon thereafter.

              Large corporates with SA agreements will be able to downgrade, but that doesn't let Joe Bloggs who bought a Dell at Future Shop turn his computer into something that allows basic functionality like multitasking. (Well, more than 33/66 two-tile side-by-side, anyways!)

              Smaller businesses who can't afford SA - ones for whom the purchase of the raw hardware with the OEM sticker is already a major expenditure - are pretty much boned here too. They won’t be seeing “years” of Windows 7 availability.

              That’s okay. Windows simply isn’t necessary for them anymore anyways.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. eulampios
          Happy

          "La Clemenza di Tito", @Levente Szileszky

          >>I think Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI to get any work donе

          Didn't you get that even Microsoft is suggesting to get ones hands more on the CLI and makes it clear that it is a better and faster, sometimes the only way to get a (complex) job done.

          >>but I have yet to see one linux distro that I would suggest as a primary OS for anyone but my enemies.

          Now in this very line I can discern a true Christan, for it had been said onto us "Love your enemies...". You go even further adding: "we get to use an inconvenient, ugly, fraught with viruses, banking trojans system, staying in fear of another leap-year bug, so you, dearest and beloved enemies, could have a better OS."

          There is a grain of... joke in every joke

        5. Displacement Activity

          Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

          What he said was "to get actual work done". He didn't say anything about a fast UI, which has got nothing to do with actual work.

          A lot of us actually do real work on Linux "desktops", without being "geeks" (WTF?!), or without being involved in "Linux mgmt". In the (Electronic and Software) engineering world, an awful lot of people either (a) run a Linux desktop, or (b) run an X server from Windows to a Linux box (what I do), or (increasingly, and perhaps surprisingly) run Linux on a hypervisor on Windows. And I'm prepared to bet that a *lot* more people do this than run Linux servers.

          @Trevor: well, Ok, I guess you do make some sense after all :)

          Apart from Bing.

          1. Chemist

            Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

            "A lot of us actually do real work on Linux "desktops""

            Ditto in science

          2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

            For eveyrthing except searching Microsoft properties (technet, MSDN, MVA, Microsoft.com, etc.) Bing returns (on average) better results to me than Google. I noticed this started happening about 8 months ago.

            So now I use Bing. *shrug*

        6. Jani-Matti Hätinen

          Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

          Levente Szileszky wrote:

          "No offense but unless you are into some Mac-only (cr)application I am really not sure what kind of work you could do faster on a such an ass-backward GUI like OS X - I think Windows 7 is probably the fastest EVER generalist UI to get any work done.

          And linux as a desktop... seriously?"

          Ah yes. What horrors one must endure on the Linux desktop. Virtual desktops, middle-click paste, configurable fonts, configurable keyboard shortcuts, focus follows mouse, universal run&search dialog, multitudes of scripting options, an actually functional CLI, window management that doesn't completely break down after opening more that 2 windows, ssh and other remote protocols built into the system, session management that opens up all your applications on login so you can pick up exactly where you left off yesterday, and the list goes on.

          It truly is a horrible environment for getting real work done.

      2. Carl

        Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

        Research in Motion has squandered the blackberry empire, though that corpse is still twitching.

        And SCO still isn’t dead yet.

        Are you saying RIM is as dead as SCO?

        OMG. Mate you're priceless.

    2. Don Mitchell

      Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

      Linux is not a natural choice for desktops, in fact it has failed enormously in that area. The compeition is all on the server side. If you talk to people at big ecommerce sites, it's a choice between stable software and big fees from Microsoft, or much less stable Linux which has lower direct fees but lots of associated costs of hiring programmers and dealing with frequent emergencies.

      At one major ecommece site in Seattle, they call their Linux programmers "ferel engineers", because of the total lack of any kind of systems engineering ethos in the OSS hacker community. They depend on a handful of senior engineers to herd cats and maintain some order in the process of keeping a complex website up and running 24/7.

      One of these engineers described Linux as a single-app OS -- you set up your website and then tune Linux until it doesn't crash anymore, and then you don't even breath on the system for fear of destabilizing it again.

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

        Yes because everybody knows that windows server require no expertise of any kind when it comes to develop and deploy windows applications.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

        Ah ! - your usual FUD I see

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

        Erm...think you need your sarcasm radar testing mate

      4. vallor
        Linux

        Re: seems a bit arse about face to me

        Don, Don, Don -- he was being sarcastic. Look at the title.

        And I don't know who your example site is, but it really sounds like a lot of FUD. It sounds like you're talking about the Linux of 10-20 years ago -- nonsense about a lack of stability? Puh-lease.

        We've had a solid experience with Linux, which runs on almost all of our 362 servers (and growing). Those are mostly physical servers -- not virts.

        And when Win7 came along, I started playing with it on my Fedora desktop in kvm virts, using virt-manager. I've seen Win8, and I'm installing Win8S in another virt, just to see how "open" it really is. I've had my hopes dashed by MS before, so I'm not getting my hopes up -- but I'll give it a fair look.

        Heck, I've even run Win7 on my bare hardware, just to run Duke Nukem 4-Ever. The gentleman is right: the IT world _is_ upside-down in some ways -- because if they can finally release DN4E, maybe MS will stop playing games and get it right this time.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Impressive...

    ... how this company manages to elicit gushing blogfawnery by... promising to do what everyone else has been doing for ages. Sorry to see Trevor is such a fanboi he in fact needs his vendor to go the CLI way to start and "change his way of thinking" toward what us greybeards* have understood and loved for... longer than many a reader has been alive.

    This really doesn't tell me why I should bother with the latest bunch of reinvented wheels from a vendor well-known for curvilinearly-challenged reinvented wheels, when my existing collection is well-tended, well-understood, well-regulated, and in fact is looking pretty spiffy. Why a gui-addict would try? To reap benefits that also can be had shelling yet more enterprise-y dosh to expensive consultants and third party sofware vendors? There's enough of those that you needn't exect yourself. All that it's told me is that Trevor's wanted to try this unix thing but really didn't dare lest his vendor would frown on it. Now that there's something like it with his own vendor's special sauce on it, we get to read something that can cause caries over the internet. You sure you didn't get paid for writing this piece of adpinion?

    * Disclaimer: Writer may neither be grey nor sport a beard IRL.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Impressive...

      bitter much? Maybe you should retire, things are changing and it's obviously upsetting you...

      1. Goat Jam
        WTF?

        Re: bitter much?

        "things are changing"

        If you think the long term future of computing involves dominance by MS products then I suggest you get a job flipping burgers.

    2. Eddie Edwards
      Happy

      Re: Impressive...

      I disagree with what you say but I love the way you said it :)

    3. xj25vm

      Re: Impressive...

      Well - Trevor does have a way of getting overly excited about stuff before actually delving deep enough into said product or feature. Just the fact that he keeps on repeating "the way it was explained to me" is quite telling. I'd rather prefer a review from somebody who sweated over a product for a good while longer before passing on a verdict - not just clicking few buttons and believing what's been told to them - so they can quickly move on to reviewing some other "greatest and latest". But maybe that's just me.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Impressive...

        Don't know about you, but when I tend to do silly things like ask the folks who made the software I'm using "why did you do this?" Especially when after long sessions of "sweating over a product." Experience has taught me that as valuable as "figuring it out for yourself" can be, having the logic behind an application explained to you can save a great deal of time.

        Even better is taking the time out to do both. That's why I didn't write up my reviews of Windows 8 and Server 8 the day the betas dropped. I spent a week breaking them repeatedly. But yes: "the way it was explained to me," by the good folks who make the thing. So that I am not making assumptions based on nothing more than cynicism and personal prejudice.

        I’m funny that way.

        Oh, and as to the "latest and greatest" jibe...I suspect you'd get a good laugh from most people who know me at all, sir. I am about as anti-"new because it is new" as a person can possibly get. To level that particular accusation at an individual known for their "get of my goddamned lawn" attitude about nearly everything demonstrates noting excepting a lack of research on your part, sir.

        I stand by the hard work and research I’ve done regarding Server 8. It is a damned fine product. Frankly, that’s not something I can say about too many things these days.

        1. vallor
          Linux

          Re: Impressive...

          Did it play well with cygwin?

    4. dlc.usa
      Pint

      Re: Impressive...

      Congratulations. It's difficult for an AC to earn an upvote from me. Well said, Sir or Madam, as the case may be. And I DO have a gold and silver beard (but pure golden moustache and hair so far).

  6. dssf

    For a moment, I almost felt..

    Humbled...

    But, money is the real game-changer. And, no matter how much MS, Apple, or others have in the bank, depletion will change their game if they are "too open"... Just let there be a surge of 12% upwards in Linux users disclosed to be attaching to MS' open servers....

    But, we'll see. Maybe I'll be humbled after all...

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
      Pint

      Re: For a moment, I almost felt..

      Over 30% of my clients base have made firm commitments to Apple desktops for thier next enterprise refresh, backed by a fleet of the Microsoft Servers. The rest are still evaluating, but Windows 8 is finding zero support so far. Several are quite impressed by Mint, and I suspect that before the month is out, I will have my first signed contract for a Linux Mint desktop deployment with a Microsoft server backend.

      The times, they are a-changing...

      1. Khaptain Silver badge
        FAIL

        @Trevor_Potts

        Something I don't understand here.

        I would like to see the business case for Apple Desktops. Are they being used in conjunction with Parallels in order to run XP/W7, if so then whats the point of paying "way over the top" for hardware, what is the added value for the company.

        Windows 8 is not even in an RTM stage, so what exactly are they evaluating, a beta version within an enterprise environment , you must be joking right. It will be quite some time before any serious company rolls out W8 Server into production. if anything you might just have some techies checking out W8 for their personal pleasure, which is completely understandable..

        What does impressed by mint mean exactly, thats a very vague statement. If anything a company would be impressed by an application not by an OS. Or is this just a case of trying to win a contract on the false basis of the OS being "cheaper in the short term".

        On top of that the possibilty to use Linux in the work place has existed for many years, so what exactly is a-changing.

        There is a vague smell of "matière fècale" in the air.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

          The business case for Apple is the same as that for Microsoft back in the day: it was what users were familiar with, and that familiarity increased productivity. As to using Parallels to run XP/W7, no...nobody sees the need. A couple of shops are going to stick to an App-V implementation for a little while (to run their few remaining legacy Windows-based applications,) but expect that this will be gone in 3 years.

          Outside of a rapidly dwindling list of companies, there simply isn’t a need for Microsoft-based desktops any more. They are an option, but they are not a requirement.

          As to people evaluating Windows 8...believe it or not, there are non-techies who take the time to do such things. Particularly when the company they own is running on some fairly old hardware. Old enough they recognize the absolute requirement to upgrade in the next 12 months, as equipment failure rates are starting to get out of control.

          At that point, taking a boo at Windows 8 makes sense; it gives these folks a sense of where Microsoft is going. What Microsoft's vision and plans are: how committing to the Microsoft ecosystem will shake out over the next 3-5 years.

          You can make all the bold statements you wish about how “real companies behave according to your personal prejudices,” but the real world is ever so much more intricately faceted than all that. A 50-seat company looking to do a complete replacement of its entire desktop rollout is probably looking at a significant capital expense to do so. They also are not likely to be the folks replacing on a 3 year rotation, as per propaganda. (Indeed, at least one of these organizations are replacing Pentium III workstations running Windows XP.)

          Shockingly, these sorts of people fret about things like “ROI,” and “TCO.” They care about the likelihood of getting kneecapped or sideswiped 3, 5 and 10 years from now. They have their own take on how the tech industry has shaken out…and they don’t get given any door prizes at any conferences.

          So yes, in the real world I am seeing lots of people moving towards Apple desktops in the enterprise. I am seeing people looking at Mint and saying “that looks more usable than a lot of things, especially when we use LibreOffice, VDI and cloud-based services to do everything.”

          At the end of the day, I don’t care what my clients use for their desktop. I am happy to support their business in any way I can. I will take the time to do needs assessments, go back to my lab, bash together a few demos and take the time to explain the pros and cons of each. When asked my opinion, I give it…but I will not blithely adhere to any form of propaganda. I will take into consideration the needs of the specific company and give them a recommendation based upon those needs.

          For some, that is Apple. For some that is Linux. For most small (<15 bodies) businesses that is “BYOD, use cloud services.”

          Funnily enough, I get a great response from approaching my customers with an attitude of “let’s see what fits your business best” rather than “this is the software that real businesses uses, alter your business practices to suit.”

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

            "Outside of a rapidly dwindling list of companies, there simply isn’t a need for Microsoft-based desktops any more. They are an option, but they are not a requirement."

            I think this is probably the most significant result of the iPhone/iPad/Android market of recent years, a lot of people (i.e. beyond the geeks trawling and trolling these boards) now realise that Windows is *not* the be-all and end-all of personal computing, for some things they are way nicer, and ultimately choice is good.

            I certainly applaud your approach to assisting companies with thier IT needs.

            Myself, I don't see much reason for Windows server unless you have important windows-only stuff, so I embrace the penguin instead. I just wish Ubuntu had not lost its mind with Unity :(

            And if I had a wish list, then MS doing a non-ribbon Office suite for Linux would be it - I would pay £100-200 for it working properly. Oh, look! There is a unicorn outside my window!

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: I don't see much reason for Windows server

              I know that a bunch of die-hard *nix folks will say very mean things, but here's the whole truth of the matter: because it is the best damned operating system on the market for a number of different usage cases.

              I use Linux, Unix and even Apple server when and where they make sense. But where I spend the early 2000s pushing Linux as the best server platform available, MS has today taken that crown. It might not be something a lot of people like to hear, but I do suspect they haven't actually given the thing a fair chance in the past 5+ years. Server 2003 was a good OS. 2003 R2 was fscking gorgeous. 2008 was pants, but 2008 R2 is a sexy, sexy girl.

              From what I have seen of Server 8, the desktop UI is shite-on-a-stick, but hot damn that OS does the thing, and does it well. I can forgive the stupid iOS wannabe interface, because it is simply so very fit for purpose.

              Understand me here: I am not a Microsoft fanboi. I am not rich enough to be a Microsoft fanboy. The truth of the matter is that in a lot of cases I cannot afford their stuff, and neither can my customers. Open source fills the role in most areas quite nicely.

              But there are usage cases where it makes abundant sense to find the money, and to put up with the ridiculous, intrusive and time consuming “licenceing audits” that are now mandatory for all volume licensed shops in Canada.

              I loathe Microsoft’s licensing shenanigans. I abhor most of their business practices. I think that their attitude towards end users is appalling, and I hate that they take 2-3 years to offer technologies that other people have had on the market for ages.

              But when Microsoft finally gets its crap together and incorporates things into their server OSes…they generally work. What’s more, they are easier to use and understand (in most cases) than the equivalents offered by others.

              That’s Microsoft’s schtick. They are second best. Firmly, entrenched, unashamedly. But there is a great deal of money in not pushing the boundaries of everything all the time. They let other companies pioneer the technologies, fall on their faces trying to make those same technologies comprehensible, then implement their own version with a usable interface and good documentation.

              Is Windows Server the best, most advanced operating system for any given technology? No. But you know what? Taken together, as a package, it is the most reliable, robust, stable and easy-to-use server package available on the market today. It is feature rich, it is interoperable with just about everything, it complies with every standard I care about, and it comes with great enterprise-level support.

              To me, that makes it the best server operating system for a huge number of circumstances. Specifically those in which I want to put something in place, remotely administer it, but still give the client some ability to make changes on their own. (For example, most of my customers are quite adept at creating users in AD, managing shares, etc.)

              That way I don’t waste my time on piddly little crap, and can concentrate on real problems that other people can’t reasonably solve without 10 years of experience.

              Mind you, I also use Webmin for my *nix server religiously, and find my customers love it too…

              1. multipharious

                Re: I don't see much reason for Windows server

                Love this tirade!

                Thank-you for saying this. I was specifically looking through here for this defense. I agree with you on the Windows Server being a rock solid OS. It handles things and doesn't fall over. Years of working with Enterprise customers have helped Microsoft develop a Server product that is simply impressive, and I think it is cool that they are ditching the eye candy desktop for a more embedded, API driven, and virtualized future.

          2. Haileri$
            IT Angle

            Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

            Whilst I find your other comments laudable, I'm hazarding a guess that you're very much underplaying the application compatibility issue here. Most clients I suspect haven't got only a "few remaining Legacy Windows-based applications". They may be using different delivery methods to move the dependancy away from the desktop but HTML 5 apps all around isn't quite there yet? I'd be interested to see if El Reg have any stats to substantiate this statement - quite willing to be proven wrong. :)

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

              It's an article I'm working on, to be honest. But I think the numbers (especially in SMBs) that are moving away from traditional x86 software would surprise you. The Register for example, is almost entirely run using cloud-based services.

              And it isn’t simply a question of “cloud based.” Lots of applications are cross platform. Microsoft Office – as one example – has a Mac version. LibreOffice works on all sorts of things. So on and so forth.

              Additionally, lots of companies are porting software to Apple. Those Win32 apps you might still need…use App-V or – at worst – VDI. Start investing the money in moving your data out of these backwards applications and into something that offers more choice.

              It won’t work for everyone. Some companies legitimately have industry-specific software that is now and will forever be Windows-based. But the lock-in isn’t nearly as strong – or as all encompassing widespread – as it was 10 or even 5 years ago.

              What I would like to see is not just a survey of “how many admins feel they could live without Windows,” but a right proper Freeform Dynamics uber survey that looks at the size of the organisations, the age of the organisations etc.

              Start ups for example don’t tend to get trapped into that kind of legacy. And I suspect that larger organisations are far more likely to have a collections of applications that intuitional inertia doesn’t allow them to ditch.

              But it all starts somewhere. My clients are predominantly SMEs. And here there is a remarkable movement away from MS on the desktop. More so than I would have thought possible even two years ago.

              1. Levente Szileszky
                FAIL

                Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

                "But I think the numbers (especially in SMBs) that are moving away from traditional x86 software would surprise you. The Register for example, is almost entirely run using cloud-based services"

                You realize that you are NOT making any sense here, right?

                Or just having hard time understanding that those "cloud-based services" (sic!) are still running on x86 or that running a website never been a desktop OS function at any company?

                Seriously, it's about time to get out of that survey-, PR- and other BS-based bubble of yours and start reading forums, talking to people etc.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
                  Pint

                  Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

                  Script-based software (as with most HTML 5 applications) is not x86 in nature. It can run on any architecture for which all the apps to process it exist. I have several ARM servers, customers of mine have deployed SPARC and Power infrastructure.

                  In addition: I did say “traditional x86 applications.” As in client server, client must be Windows-based, lots of configuration information, etc. lives on the client, etc.

                  More and more, for any locally-installed apps, I am seeing deployments where

                  A) the app exists across a broad range of platforms

                  B) the config and all the data live in the cloud. (Private, public, or a mix.)

                  That makes “what operating system you run on your desktop” functionally irrelevant. Every year we are getting closer, and companies that aren’t dragging along the cruft of 20+ year old applications are finding themselves able to just walk away from Windows.

                  And many of those who do have the 20+ year old apps are finding that App-V and RDS are perfectly acceptable for provisioning of these few remaining legacy applications.

                  Microsoft Windows as a client operating system exists to provision legacy software, period. Their success or failure over the next 10 years is not guaranteed. A lot depends on how well Metro is received.

                  And they know it.

                  If you disbelieve me, then I invite you to please contact Microsoft directly and try to get the ear of Mr. Ballmer. If you are successful, I am certain he will detail to you exactly why it is that Microsoft is going “all in” on the cloud. They are quite literally betting the farm on the concept, because they know that for the first time since the company’s inception, there is a very real chance of losing the desktop.

                  Cloudy service provisioning is Microsoft’s plan B. And rightly so! If they ever get their licensing sorted, then they have a realistic chance of remaining a big player. Their server stack is fantastic, and it is increasingly ready to both provide private cloudy awesome and integrate with Microsoft’s public cloud offerings.

                  And soon, I will be able to get Office on any device I choose via HTML5. Microsoft Dynamics, too. IN fact, pretty much everything they offer is being prepared to operate in a platform agnostic fashion as a cloudy offering.

                  Just in case. Why is that, I wonder, if Microsoft on the desktop is such a sure bet? A slam dunk that can’t be questioned? Why waste the R&D, make the capital investments and risk alienating thier entire developer and reseller base with a cloud play if Windows is so utterly unassailable?

                  Answers on a beer mat, please.

                  1. Levente Szileszky
                    WTF?

                    Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

                    Ohh, so many juicy errors in one post...

                    1. Right because SPARC or Power are SOOOO COMMON for web hosting... :D

                    2.

                    A) surprise, multiplatform apps are available for almost a decade. On desktops, yes.

                    B) And? It does not mean anything as far as getting rid of desktops. At any rate syncing configs across several desktops, which is one of the most basic uses of any cloud, just reinforces desktop use...

                    >That makes “what operating system you run on your desktop” functionally irrelevant. Every year we >are getting closer, and companies that aren’t dragging along the cruft of 20+ year old applications are >finding themselves able to just walk away from Windows."

                    Just entertain me: just how the hell did you end up with this deduction after making one largely irrelevant point and another one about a baseline cloud feature that *helps* desktop to survive...?

                    TL,DR: syncing configs or running apps on multiple platforms mean nothing about getting rid of Windows desktops. Seriously, it's just silly.

                    And you are clearly seem to be confusing desktop OS deployments with cloud-based web applications - and the funniest part you are using the same propaganda crap that Ballmer et al is using to push their crappy Metro junk.

                    OTOH you accidentally admit one of my points, namely that if Windows 8 tanks - as I expect it unless they restore our Star Menu and make that Metro junk optional - then it will be because of Metro and subsequently it will finally break MS' firm grip on the desktop OS market.

                    This, however, will have nothing to do with your imagined 'cloud-based, non-x86, iTard-oriented' dreams. Sadly (for you, I guess), desktops are here to stay.

                    >Cloudy service provisioning is Microsoft’s plan B. And rightly so! If they ever get their licensing sorted, >then they have a realistic chance of remaining a big player. Their server stack is fantastic, and it is >increasingly ready to both provide private cloudy awesome and integrate with Microsoft’s public cloud >offerings."

                    You really need to lay off the MS Kool-Aid, man - after running them since NT I can confidently say their server stack is pretty far from "fantastic". Is there a better one for general server use? No, there isn't. But that does not make it fantastic at all, it's a resource hog and it's a clunky mess.

                    And the "awesome" (sic) "integration", like everything with Microsoft, always remains paperware, I bet - just look at OWA, they still insist on buying Office while world+dog already moved to Google Apps.

                    Did I mentione Microsoft's AWFUL, HORRIBLE RELIABILITY?

                    I know, I know, you are a sysadmin, you don't care about things like that...

                    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                      Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

                      So not only do you make the logical error that "because something is infrequently used for an application, it is irrelevant," you hold up a series of decade-old prejudices as absolute fact in the same post.

                      Your entire interaction with this thread thus far boils down to "everything run by everyone in the entire world should be run exactly the way I do things, based up on my archaic prejudices, experience from a decade ago, some things I read in a magazine and the technologies, applications and configurations I am personally familiar with."

                      Any individual who might step outside your comfort zone is someone you feel the need to attack, and belittle. Not with handy things like evidence, science, case studies, statistics or anything that might possibly be of value.

                      All you have as bald assertions, anecdotes and the internet-given ability to take snippets of a comment completely out of context, make a load of assumptions and then apply the whole kit and caboodle as though it were somehow "fact."

                      That is called trolling. You’re quite lucky I’m not a moderator here, I’d have given you a vacation. You border on violation of The Register’s rather lax forum rules. Personally, I subscribe to a slightly different theory about forum behaviour, and I am a great believer in having the rules rigedly enforced.

                      Some people just don’t have anything to contribute to a conversation. Your comments thus far have demonstrated why. Attempting to alter what I wrote to say something other than it does so that you can set up a series of strawmen to knock down is simply not constructive.

                      If you are in fact using your real name, then I will take the time out to remind you of an imoporant fact: these forums are indexed by Google. You may want to consider that before you continue to post.

                      1. Levente Szileszky
                        Holmes

                        Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

                        Oh pleahse, cut it. You replied to me and I quoted you and asked specific questions and voiced very specific criticism - now when you'd have to explain your point you are crying out loud for moderation?

                        Seriously.

                        BTW I find it cute that you linked Ars here - if you were a regular there then you'd know where to find me there any time of the day...

                        PS: "these forums are indexed by Google."

                        No shit Sherlock, really? :)

                        FYI I know it sounds a rather weird concept but as I said I am willing to stand up for my opinion, I don't mind reading it back few years later, even if I turned out to be dead wrong - errare humanum est as the well-educated Hungarian would say. ;)

                        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                          Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

                          No actually, you haven’t really asked any questions. You've made a lot of statements and assertions and done a lot of name calling based upon false assumptions, but precious little of "here is something you said, can you clarify." I especially love the part where you make the presumption that because I support the decisions and choices made by my clients that I am advocating their position. As somehow correct in all circumstances.

                          So yes, I do believe you have stepped over the boundaries of polite conversation. I hold to the idea that folks should add something to the conversation. A bit of wit or humour here and there is fine – certainly a norm here on El Reg – but ad hom attacks based upon false inference in comments otherwise loaded with logical fallacies have no place in civilised discourse, sir.

          3. Levente Szileszky
            WTF?

            Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

            "Outside of a rapidly dwindling list of companies, there simply isn’t a need for Microsoft-based desktops any more. They are an option, but they are not a requirement."

            Aye, iPads for everyone.

            Or is it Apple, the world's biggest PC maker? (I kid you not, some Appletard was seriously arguing this a year ago: http://blogs.computerworld.com/17986/apple_to_dominate_pc_market_in_2011_estimates_show)

            I guess that's why PC shipments are more-or-less continuously growing for a decade now, with Mac sales still stagnating at single-digit market share?

            No offense but have you ever had a proper job yet? (And, no, journalist is not a proper one, I've been a journalist for several years, I know it is not.:P)

            FYI there are COUNTLESS jobs you cannot do without a desktop or a laptop. Seriously, there are LOTS of 'em.

            Mr Pott, I understand that you are some Mac user and you are excited about things that you haven't even tried yet but pleahhhhse...

            ...I expect *some* knowledge and facts here, if I want to read utter BS hyperboles about the Jobsian 'post-PC world' then I will go and check out some idiotic Mac-enthusiast site. Thank you.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
              Pint

              Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

              Um...what the fuck?

              A) I'm not a journalist for my day job. I'm a sysadmin. Small and medium enterprises are my specialty, but I do consult for larger organisations ranging from post-secondary education institutions to some of Canada's largest companies to government agencies.

              The journalism/writing/columnist/blogger/whatever this gig counts as is a fun side endeavour.

              B) I have no idea where you get the idea that I am a Mac user. That would imply owning a Mac. I support Macs in the field. More and more every month. I have a Mac in the test lab of my largest client that I can remote into from anywhere should I need to figure out how to get X done. Based on Windows 8 client, my next PC will almost certainly be a Mac…but that is quite a was down the road.

              My Alienware M18X does me just fine on the desktop. (Win 7 Pro, Server 2008 R2, Win 8 Client, Win 8 Server, CentOS 6.2 and Fedora 16 /w Cinnamon are the installed OSes, just in case you are wondering.)

              My Netbook is a Samsung NP-NF210 (Fedora 16 /w Cinnamon and Win 7 three-legged-dog edition.)

              I also use a Galaxy Tab (original 7”: rooted, but stock gingerbread,) an ASUS Transformer TF-101 (unrooted, Ice Cream Sandwich,) and two Android phones. (Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Desire, both rooted, both CM 7.1.)

              My consulting company runs on Windows Server 2008 R2 as the virtualisation and storage layers, CentOS 6.2 to provide web services, and Google Apps + Libre Office for collaboration and communications. We maintain a strict BYOD policy regarding endpoints.

              I support customers with many and varied policies regarding servers and end devices such that I see Windows, Linux, and Mac both in the datacenter and on people’s desks. I support Blackberries, iOS devices and Android in the field…with nary a Win Phone 7 to be seen, and the last Win Mo 6 gone ages past.

              So what – exactly – makes me a “Mac user” amidst that background, sir? I’m quite curious. I'm rather proud of the diversity of my experience, and I go to great pains to broaden it every chance I get. New hardware, new software, new operating systems, new cloudy, SaaSy services.

              An open mind seems to me far more likely to capture knowledge than one that is welded shut.

              Time for a beer!

        2. Antoine Dubuc
          Headmaster

          Re: @Trevor_Potts

          You insolant little mote of poop. Yes, you failed.

          It's "Matière Fécale"

      2. AdamWill

        Re: For a moment, I almost felt..

        "I will have my first signed contract for a Linux Mint desktop deployment with a Microsoft server backend."

        Good lord. I wish you joy of it. Should keep you employed for a while...

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
          Pint

          Re: For a moment, I almost felt..

          Um...the company I personally own runs MS server backend (Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, VDI, App-V, SQL server, Exchange - as a local synchronisation point for Google provisioned mail - and Forefront.) Email/office/collaboration provided by Google and BYOD desktops consisting of Windows XP, 7 and 8, Fedora 16 + Cinnamon, Mint, Apple, Android and several mobile devices.

          Web services are CentOS 6.2 (or in the process of being migrated to CentOS 6.2) running on top of those Hyper-V servers, and they are quite happy, thank you. Planet Telecom provides me a hosted Asterisk solution to which I plug in my OpenFire server for unified communications. Wireless gear is Netgear WNDR3700 V2 access points running OpenWRT, and the edge systems are Intel Atom boxes running CentOS 6.2.

          Everything Just works, doesn't give me a lick of grief, and I've never had an easier time running any network in my entire life. I don't get what the big deal is about heterogeneous environments. I’ve been supporting them for almost a decade now, in the real world. I find them easier than trying to put up with the weaknesses of one company’s offerings just so that you can get a discount on the products they do well.

          Get the thing that does the job well, with the requirement that it play nice with others. Assemble all the various bits together, use standards and open protocols. 10 years ago? Pain in the ass that probably wouldn’t work. Today?

          Business as usual.

      3. vic 4

        Re: For a moment, I almost felt..

        > Linux ... desktop ... Microsoft server

        Have I just entered the twilight zone?

      4. David Neil

        Re: For a moment, I almost felt..

        You do realise the article is about Windows 8 Server and not Desktop, right?

      5. Davidoff
        FAIL

        Apple in the enterprise

        "Over 30% of my clients base have made firm commitments to Apple desktops for thier next enterprise refresh,"

        Who in its right mind woul decide to buy premium-priced home computers (which is what Macs are, unless they are buying Mac Pros) which zero remote management capabilities, from a vendor that has zero enterprise-class support offerings and which is known for high price levels and an astonishing inflexibility when it comes recitifing one of the many flaws in its many products?

        Today's Macs are home computers. The only exception might be the Mac Pro, but especially the single processor variant is so overpriced that it's beyond insane (the dual processor version isn't that badly priced, but lacks the capabilities and the expandability which can be found in workstations from other vendors which cost around the same).

        Mac OS X (sorry, 'OS X' as it's now called) is clearly aimed at consumers and their iOS toys and not at businesses. The short product cycles and Apple stinkin attitude towards security are a nightmare in every enterprise environment.

        Seriously, unless applications which are only available for Mac are actually required then buying a Mac for an enterprise is plain stupid. Aside from the issue that it easily can be interpreted as your company being wasteful and overpaid by your clients.

        Says someone who is a Mac user since 1993.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Apple in the enterprise

          "Who in its right mind..."

          Photographers mostly. 3D render types, video editing types and every single graphic design anything I have ever run across. There is a strong loyalty to Apple amongst this group that I cannot even begin to understand. There is also a persistent sense amongst them (fuelled I suspect by trade magazines) that "Apple is what everyone else who does X uses."

          But for all the flapping about “Macs are toys,” the things can and do participate in an enterprise network quite well.

          Especially if you aren’t a died-in-the-wool GUI admin who is terrified of a little scripting and some command line. Puppet works great for enterprise Mac deployments. Windows provides stable servers that the onsite tech can use for minor updates and change. (Although I am starting to deploy more CentOS with Webmin, as people become less afraid of web-based management tools.)

          So frankly, I don’t see the issue. If you want Mac on the desktop…fine. I can support that. I have the tools available to me to manage Apple desktops. Those same tools (or similar) can be used to support Windows, Linux or anything else you want.

          The better question is “who in their right mind” gets religious about computers for $deity’s sake? Some folks need to get laid, methinks. It's a tool. I don't exactly see the comments section on my local Rona filled with jihads over the details of various different hammers...

          1. Levente Szileszky
            Devil

            Re: Apple in the enterprise

            "Photographers mostly. 3D render types, video editing types and every single graphic design anything I have ever run across. There is a strong loyalty to Apple amongst this group that I cannot even begin to understand. There is also a persistent sense amongst them (fuelled I suspect by trade magazines) that "Apple is what everyone else who does X uses.""

            Whoooah, Mr Pott, now you have surprised me - you are a lot more clueless than I assumed...

            ...this kind of sophomoric nonsense about Macs and "graphic design" and "video editing types" is really hilarious. Thanks for the fun though.

            FYI there is an old joke out there that "Macs are better for Photoshop"...

            ...and yes, it's a joke, even among faithful Mac users because even they know it's utter BS.

            Oh and my ~60 illustrators, compositors, high-end 3D animators, medical visualizers, volumetric renderers, layout/UI designers, web and software developers + 2 Avid Nitris DX suites + our entire render farm...ALL of them running Windows 7 on Precision T3500/7500 WS and say hi to you! :)

            1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

              Levente Szilesky - courtesy makes the world go round

              Trevor is perfectly capable of speaking for himself.

              But's what with the ad homs? A bit of civility, please.

              1. Levente Szileszky
                IT Angle

                Re: Drewc - courtesy makes the world go round

                I'm not sure which post you are reading but there wasn't any ad hominem - I'm simply surprised by the silly post he made hence the word "clueless"... me & probably thousands of illustrators etc DO think if someone seriously argues that Macs are better for 'graphic design' then he is clueless.

                No offense but this is my firm opinion.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: Drewc - courtesy makes the world go round

                  Where - once - did I argue Macs were better for graphic design? I said my customers believe this. I don't care what is "better." I care that my customers are comfortable using whatever they want to use and that they feel it increases their productivity.

                  I believe my customers are in the best position to assess their own desires, needs, workflow and requirements. I can provide assistance and advice, but at the end of the day they are the ones who have to use it. If they believe that Apple is the best choice for them, I will support them.

            2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
              Pint

              Re: Apple in the enterprise

              I have plenty of Windows photography clients. I have some Mac photography clients. The Windows ones are almost all universally moving to Mac. Not at any urging of mine; but of their own volition, after examining the alternatives for themselves.

              So I have to ask; who are you? What are your credentials? What makes your personal experience, your anecdotes, your bold assertions backed by nothing all so without flaw? Why should anyone believe what you have to say? Especially when you make several repeated errors and assumptions in your posts, ones that could have been avoided by simply reading this very thread?

              To top it off, instead of cogent arguments backed by statistics, science, surveys, or…anything, really…you supplement your case with vigorous ad hominem attacks.

              You have done nothing but severely harm your own credibility. I will continue to provide my customers with the services they request. From my large render farm clients, to photographers; consulates to bakeries. Straight through to the hosting companies and colo facilities I consult with.

              Individuals and organisations will continue to examine the options, and choose that which is the best fit. Be that Windows, Linux...or even Mac.

              In the meantime, go get yourself a pint. You seem a little worked up.

              1. Levente Szileszky
                FAIL

                Re: Apple in the enterprise

                Oh, do you really think I care about my "credibility" in a forum like this? :)

                And, speaking of credibility, the "Macs better for graphic design" idiocy tops it off completely, trust me - you've lost all your credibility to make any claim about Macs or design firms, period.

                "So I have to ask; who are you? What are your credentials? What makes your personal experience, your anecdotes, your bold assertions backed by nothing all so without flaw?"

                Errr, *you* are asking me? Sweet irony... you repeatedly posted the pinnacle of all clueless Mac claims, just right here and you keep insisting on it.

                "Why should anyone believe what you have to say? Especially when you make several repeated errors and assumptions in your posts, ones that could have been avoided by simply reading this very thread?"

                First, it's the internet, nobody has to to believe anything. Secondly how about reading my post before you reply? It's all there, in the last sentence. Heck, I'm one of those weird people who use their real name here... amazing, I know.

                Repeated errors? Not really, at least nothing in this thread, provided you even understand what I wrote.

                "I have plenty of Windows photography clients. I have some Mac photography clients. The Windows ones are almost all universally moving to Mac. Not at any urging of mine; but of their own volition, after examining the alternatives for themselves."

                Right... so now the "video editing types" (sic) became photography clients. Slowly but we are getting there...

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
                  Coffee/keyboard

                  Re: Apple in the enterprise

                  At this point, you're not even making sense sir.

                  A) I never argued which was "better" for graphic design/video editing/whatever. My customers have told me what they want. I support them.

                  B) I have many photographers as clients. Some quite large school/grad/sports shooting houses. Some small portrait shooters. I have customer that run video rendering farms, customers that do graphic design for print media, customers that do graphic design for web work, customers that do video editing, 3d editing and more. Nobody "became" anything here.

                  I think you are just skimming posts in a frothing rage looking for things you disagree with and then rolling your face around on the keyboard while screaming invectives before hitting post.

                  Not a good look.

                  1. Levente Szileszky
                    Devil

                    Re: Apple in the enterprise

                    Mr Pott...

                    c'mon.... this is embarrasing and not for me - read back your own posts.

                    BTW did you read all these comments here making fun of your cute little ravings about MS' $next_greatest_server_product which you haven't even tried? This really should give you/your unconditional love a pause...

                    (FYI being the person responsible for all things future I did and I even tried to set up a cluster but it was a futile attempt. I might give it another try though.)

                    Anyhow - here I'm hoping we can still get to the bone of your "Windows desktops are not required" point...

                    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
                      Facepalm

                      Re: Apple in the enterprise

                      I stand by everything I've said here. I have set up my test labs for Server 8, SC 2012 (especially SCVMM), SQL 2012 and so forth. I am still running them today, running all sorts of tests for future articles.

                      But comments which state that I have an "unconditional love" for something or other really just defeat your own point. You are not only hyperbolising, but using entirely fallacious extrapolations to label me "a Mac user," state that I am somehow trumpeting "iPads for everyone," or that I, personally am holding up Apple as the be-all-and-end-all of a platform for graphic design.

                      Let me be entirely blunt here: you are full of shit and you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

                      If you care so much about BYOD, why Windows-on-the-endpoint is not actually a requirement of enterprise computing anymore or any of the other topics discussed here, then simply stay tuned. I am sure they will all be addressed in future articles. (I have several planned that cover these topics.)

                      As a side note: I am unsure why your inability to set up a cluster in a Microsoft environment (something for which there are many detailed walkthroughs available) should in some way be projected onto the entirety of the systems administration community. Nor do I understand why your inability to use previous generation software to do so has any relevance whatsoever to the ease of doing so in Server 8. There’s a push-button wizard for setting up private cloud clusters, for $deity’s sake!

                      I believe you should take some time to investigate the concept “theory of mind.” It is relevant and applicable to your comments.

  7. Magnus_Pym

    Call me cynical but...

    ... haven't we been here before? Embrace, extend and extinguish.

    1. GreenOgre
      Thumb Up

      Re: Call me cynical but...

      Brings to mind the words of George Santayana:-

      Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

      and while we're there:-

      Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished to readily.

  8. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Bring back TS2 seminars if you wanna push it right

    Back when Microsoft was preparing for 2003's eminent release it held numerous TS2 seminars around the country. Essentially free training and pretty cool door prizes. It was thanks to these seminars that I began an empire of 2003 and SBS 2003 deployments.

    Do the same with 8.

    Paris, an empire.

    1. Paul Shirley

      ...and in a short post Microsofts success is explained

      Bribe the right people.

      1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        Re: ...and in a short post Microsofts success is explained

        Offering free training on an upcoming product to technically adept people is win, IMNSHO. Call it bribery, if you desire. I know a number of people doing the same work I do, some longer than me, who didn't have a secure footing to sell or use 2003 to its fullest potential. I, on the other hand, was ready to go as soon as it hit the ground.

        It was a great benefit to me, and to Microsoft, to have technically-capable presenters put on these TS2 seminars to show not just the front-line feature sets but also show the really "neat" things they know can be done with the system. Was the same for Windows Mobile and its ActiveSync integration. I can not only work with, but also push and support, a product much better with good training up-front.

        And it's not just Microsoft: when I was a shoe-dog in a previous life, Nike, Reebok, Asics, and others often sent training materials which delved into some of the technical aspects of the various shoes. Regional, and I believe store managers, also went to training in which reps from the company made similar presentations.

        So, yeah. I'll play with Server 8 and Hyper-V 8 (hoping that the later corrects the 2003 server lock-up issue present in Hyper-V 2008 R2,) but having a live presentation is golden.

        Paris, golden, too.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: ...and in a short post Microsofts success is explained

          Bizarrely...Microsoft Virtual Academy is proving to be actually useful for this role. They had a bunch of really pants tracks, but the newer stuff has proven to be really good. You should really check out the SCVMM 2012 tracks to see what I mean.

          You will walk away being able to use the thing.

          1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Microsoft Virtual Academy

            Thanks. I'll definitely give it a look-see. I've generally found in the past that webinar-style offerings and on-line videos don't work well for me. Not sure what it is, but being in the same room as another meat-bag seems to impress information better for me. And SCVMM is a huge target for me, right now, so it'll be worth the look.

            To belabor the point, a little, the in-person events also give a great opportunity to network with other in-the-trench workers.

            Paris, in the trenches.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Microsoft Virtual Academy

              It isn't optimal. But it might just be "good enough." I was floored when I actually learned something from one of the MVA tracks. They've come a long way since they started that site.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the nick of time

    Here's hoping they'll keep the interface of Win7, that way I can make use of the new Win8 functionality without having to run 'Metro'. Maybe MS should introduce a Windows Server 8 Lite version, you know, something you'd run on your laptop. Reading the comments about Win8, I believe there might be a burgeoning market opportunity there.

    As for PowerShell, it is the one thing MS have done since, well, ever, that is actually any good.

  10. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Hmm.....

    Well after about 2 decades of broken promises from Microsoft one should be cautious.

    There are essentially 2 problems I see here:

    1. How many of those new features will be available in the standard version, how many will require 3rd party software?

    2. There is a large amount of legacy software out there running on Windows (server). Software which often needs a GUI despite being a server. Software that nobody dares to touch, let alone integrate with Powershell. So you won't exactly get much use out of it. You'll still end up with trying to debug buggy software written in the 1990s by someone who didn't quite understand his programming language nor the operating system he's using. (I admit have been one of those programmers back then)

    1. Matthew 3

      Re: Hmm.....

      When you need to support that kind of legacy software isn't that where HyperV could step in?

      It's sounding mature enough to consider and of course, as a bonus, any vulnerabilities or issues with the 'buggy software written in the 1990s' are kept under control in a virtual machine rather than messing up the nice clean host server.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.....

        Well but why use a Windows host then? It can just as well run on a Linux host, which people already do for years. So no change here.

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Hmm.....

      The advantage here is that the OS itself can be better managed from the command line/PS which will please a lot of admins.

      Applications are a completely different ballgame, they are the responsability of the developer, not Microsoft..

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.....

        The beauty of Unix, and why command lines are so useful on Unix is that most programs work with text which you can easily process at your command line. If it wasn't for the integration of nearly all programs into the command line it would be virtually useless.

        Besides you could control many aspects of a Windows system for years on the command line. For example the whole "networking" stack was accessible via the "net" command. You could even start and stop services that way. So again, maybe some improvements, but nothing "game changing".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @Christian

      Its simple really.. If the applications support the current administrative models (WMI, RPC) then they can be controlled using PowerShell (to a certain extend anyway).

      Most applications I came across already supported RPC calls thus allowed remote administration out of the box anyway. An example of that could be hMailServer. I have an "admin section" installed on my local Win7 client and can use that to remotely connect to both servers (through RPC).

      So there's nothing really new there. As to no GUI; it doesn't matter. In my example above I'm already using the gui part on my client (and the server part without a GUI).

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: @Christian

        You're lucky then, so far much of what I've seen didn't provide such interfaces. If you are lucky the server installs as a system service.

  11. /dev/null

    Finally...

    Microsoft gets a clue about server OSs: " everything in Server 8 can be manipulated via APIs and PowerShell scriptlets. GUIs are simply ease-of-use layers that offer a visual method of scriptlet control."

    What are the chances of MS dropping the name "Windows" from "Windows Server 8" altogether? Otherwise it'll be the world's most inappropriately-named OS...

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Finally...

      Personally, I hope they do. The thing isn't named yet, and Server doesn't deserve to be shackled with references to the abomination that is Windows 8. How can a company produce two products with such completely different cultures? Server is about giving you the tools to do what you want, how you want as easily as is possible.

      Windows 8 is about telling you to change how you do everything, because MS knows best, and it’s all for your own good. I can’t believe these two operating systems are made by the same company. Boggles the mind.

      Here's hoping Microsoft obtains clue, and simply calls it "MIcrosoft Server."

      No bloody A, B, C or D.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: Finally...

      Keep in mind that everything is optional and that CLI usage isn't mandatory. So people can basically decide for themselves what they want to use, the old remote desktop will still be available for those that want it.

      Of course; with Server 8 that also means having to deal with Metro which I'm sure will scare a lot of people away. It seems MS is convinced that those people will then resort to using the CLI but quite frankly I'm not convinced. Not upgrading to this particular server version is also a liable option.

      You don't have to miss out on PowerShell either; this is even available for MS Server 2003.

  12. PaulR79

    Server team should do the desktop OS too.

    I read a lot before about how the server team was doing a better job than the desktop team, especially when it came to security. It'd be a great thing to see them build the desktop product as well, it would save me running the server OS and getting the "This won't work on a server OS" error message.

    1. Mark 49

      Re: Server team should do the desktop OS too.

      I and others have been making that argument for years.

      What few people realise is that the kernel core is identical between server and workstation and has been for many years. Whilst Vista got hammered, Server 2008 with the same kernel ran appreciably faster and was far more stable. Indeed, I ran Server 2008 with the desktop add-on instead of vista and was quite happy.

      There are only two differences that happen when the kernel core is delivered to the two teams. A series of registry tweaks to optimise the performance profile for either sever or workstation. The second thing that happens is each team puts its "apps" on top of the kernel. The apps in the server are typically services that require strict standards compatibility and are only allowed in the build if they have passed rigorous testing.

      On the other hand it seems that the workstation team can chuck in any bloated, crap app that is the current "cool" flavour of the month. The result is that the workstation runs slow and crashes. You really wouldn't believe that it's the same kernel.

      There is another factor, though. When people install a server they usually do so on better quality hardware. Expecting a workstation build to run as well on a $500 PC compared to a $10000 server machine is not realistic, but people do blame the o/s rather than their pockets.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Hardly as exciting as you make it IMO

    And the reason for that is that all those cool features (IMO they really are) which will directly affect us sysadmin's aren't exactly new.

    Why I'm not that much impressed here? Well; don't take this the wrong way: I think PowerShell by itself is an /awesome/ development when it comes to Windows systems administration. Its very flexible, very versatile and best of all: because its build on .NET it also allows you to fully utilize whatever .NET provides you with. Add support for WMI objects to the mixture and I think it becomes obvious why PowerShell can be very exciting for systems administrators.

    But the underlying foundation, even with PowerShell 3.0 (better put: Windows Remote Management 3.0) is still based on .NET and WMI. The main differences in this new version are mainly aimed at supporting File and Storage and virtualisation ("fallback") services. Not that surprising given that this server version has overhauled that section.

    So not really exciting. Its nice that we now have a NET TCP/IP Cmdlet "Get-NetIPAddress" but honestly; there's nothing new here which can't already be done:

    Get-WmiObject Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter "IPEnabled = True"

    This gets me the settings of all network devices which have been setup with TCP/IP support /and/ have an IP address assigned (this only gives you a selection of info; if you want it all (or filter it yourself) pipe it into "Format-List").

    Sure, having a single Cmdlet can be easy, but do you honestly think us sysadmin's haven't made our own functions for this stuff by now ?

    As such I don't think this is as exciting as its being presented here. Truth be told; I'll take Server 2008 over this one any time; Metro is too intrusive and time consuming.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    very active participants within the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA),

    In my experience that means "working very hard to block any open standards that might threaten their proprietary interfaces"

  15. gerdesj Silver badge

    Server - Ha!

    Why should there be a difference between "server" and "workstation" (desktop, phone whatever)? Sometimes I want my computer to be a server and sometimes a desktop and usually both. Why should we have to bother with the arbitrary difference?

    The answer is nearly as old as IT - it's a marketing thing. You pay more for a server OS than you do a workstation OS.

    I don't exactly run the "usual" stuff on my systems - (Gentoo) Linux everywhere but I do get to decide what constitutes each system.

    Some are "servers" eg my rather popular mail n web proxies which have no GUI at all apart from a few web apps or my home MythTV backend (with added PBX n fileserver goodness and no GUI apart from web apps).

    My laptop has Squid and Dans Guardian on it - handy for hotel WiFi or tethered surfing. Oh and it has Samba for those times when I have to shuffle multi GB ISOs to my customer systems and Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL and a lot more for demos, playing and other stuff.

    Is it a "server"??

    Who gives a shit - I've got wobbly windows! and your OS looks crap - and so will Windows 8 "server"

    Cheers

    Jon

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Server - Ha!

      I forgot to mention that this horrifically inexpensive thing has a rather good NFS implementation and it speaks CIFS*.

      Oh and is Kerberized (http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Kerberos_Windows_Interoperability) to the point that I can deal with nearly all MS offerings and a lot more - mmmm Single Sign On.

      * This article speaks of SMB (from memory - I can't be arsed to hit the back button) v 2.2. Now IIRC SMB == CIFS, ie CIFS is a marketing change of name for Server Messaging Block - a good thing too, possibly, CIFS ?= Common Internet File System. I *think* Samba supports the latest protocols. I also seem to recall that Samba is nowadays the de facto reference implementation for CIFS (MS use it for testing *their* efforts)

      Sorry for the ramble ...

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Server - Ha!

        SMB != CIFS!

        Why you should never again utter "CIFS": http://t.co/ZgTej3NU

        1. gerdesj Silver badge

          Re: Server - Ha!

          Sorry, you're absolutely correct - why should I refer to that nonsense as I have for the last n {n:n?=15} years, when a far better nomenclature existed - silly me.

          Server Message Block is clearly a better name than Common Internet File System any day.

          I'm sure that I'll mend my ways for using Samba for the last 15+ years and getting my pronunciation and/or abbreviations wrong.

          Cheers

          Jon

  16. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Thanks, Linus

    My thoughts in reading all this were simply that someone must have put a petard under the seats of Microsoft's management. Radical improvements to their server offering? Why would they do such a thing? Oh, yeah, they've noticed that they are losing market share in servers because its one area where FOSS offerings really can offer exactly the same functionality for most customers. Another such area is web browser, where we saw MS doing sweet FA for several years after IE6, until Firefox came along and started hoovering up market share. MS suddenly discovered a need to create a more standards compliant browser and (a couple of revisions later) have pretty much managed it.

  17. Mark 49

    But why the Metro interface

    As good as the server is, or may be, I'm still aghast at the way Microsoft have forced the use of Metro on the server. Why ?

    How many servers are going to be run on a touchpad ? Server management is typically done by power users who use rapid keyboard shortcuts and mouse clicks. They also tend to have multiple apps open side by side to compare and swap information. Metro makes this virtually impossible.

    Yes, PowerShell has been around for a long time now and can be very useful and powerful. But when it comes to administering servers I still need my multiple management apps open.

    Metro on the server is a big big fail as far as I'm concerned.

    1. John Sanders
      Meh

      Re: But why the Metro interface

      Why you ask?

      Obviously it is so you can enjoy of an enormous clock in the login screen, and never miss the time... ever!

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: But why the Metro interface

      Your arguments against Metro apply to the desktop, too, and it is being pushed there regardless. I think Microsoft just feel they have to push their phone UI everywhere. They want the same market share in phones as they have in the desktop space.

      Let's hope they get what they wish for. :)

      On the other hand, if they've made a genuine effort to mitigate this by making the Powershell UI a complete solution, you might (in this coming version) be able to do without your multiple management apps.

  18. sensible

    Really?

    "Windows Server 8's equally radical approach is to provide us with the ability to do whatever we want to do in as open and standards-compliant a manner as is possible."

    Sorry but FreeBSD has long been providing the ability to do what you want in a much more open manner than Microsoft will ever allow. It's used by those in know and professionals for a reason - it checks the boxes that matter for a server OS, namely security, stability and all-round robustness.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microwho?

    Are those guys still going? Wow. It's like 1998 all over again.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Pig, Lipstick and Parachute

    So MS has hired a cosmetics expert to "smarten up" their pig called Windows. Now it surely is the prettiest pig in town. Also, they dropped the pig down the Grand Canyon with a parachute attached. That makes A Pretty Pig Which Can Fly !

    Less metaphorically, it is interesting that MS can read ElReg, where I have blasted them in the past for not having proper commandline support. They got rid of the CTO who called Google the "commandline of the internet" in an attempt to ridicule them, of course. That was the idiot who foisted Lotus Notes on innocent little kids and office drones.

    I am currently porting a C++ Windows app on win7/64bit and it is slow like a snail as compared to the 32bit version. After some profiling and looking at MS code I know why this is the case, but I will not go into the specifics here, like I did with my analysis of the benefits of the CLI as opposed to a GUI. Do your homework yourself !

    Suffice to say that just using standard techniques from algorithms and data structures would boost performance of that particular windows library code from O(N) to O(1). Knowing this kind of mistakes from debugging explains why Google simply steamrolls them with things like Chrome. All they need to do is to apply well-known techniques in a thorough manner instead of being lazy retards who just aim to "meet deadlines" and "be feature-complete".

    But I am sure there is a sufficient supply of PHBs out there to sell this contraption in serious numbers for in-serious application scenarios like serving files for 20 or less users.

    Here's a nickel boy, get yourself a CentOS CD.

  21. darkpill

    A day late a penny short. It's great that they care now, but we are in the post of era. Cloud is where it's at, and they are at the bottom of the barrel in that landscape.

  22. gerdesj Silver badge

    Windows server 8 - broken before launch.

    I've lost track of how many features of a modern OS I'd have to lose to use this nonsense.

    It's not even released and yet it's still behind.

    The last effort called itself 2008, after that was 2008 (R2) and going back was 2003 et al. Shit marketing.

    Why on earth would anyone get excited by this?

    Cheers

    Jon

  23. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    So, let me get this straight...

    On the one hand, we have an operating system with over 20-ish years of history and development behind it, that consists, essentially, of a kernel derived initially from MINIX, onto which a ton of services, tools and applications have been piled on. These were cherry-picked from the likes of BSD and its peers over a period of 10-20 years, without much effort put into making them play nice with each other.

    None of these applications are particularly consistent in how they interact with the user and his preferred shell. One tool will return a simple value, or a string. Another may return text file in its own peculiar format. Another will return a text file in yet another format. So I need to write glue code that parses these files and processes them before handing them to a third tool for further crunching. On top of that, these tools and applications are rarely consistent. Some might prefer one escape character system; another might just require everything be in quotes. A third might accept regular expressions, while another does not. Some might support Unicode at the CLI level, others might not. Or the CLI itself might not do so properly. So I have to jump through a bunch more hoops to get it to recognise, say, an IDN-compliant domain name.

    But, hey! That's what scriptable shells are for, right? Who cares if it takes me more time and effort to get things done?

    *

    On the other hand, I have a server that provides me with tools, services and applications that all work seamlessly together, with a single, standardised textual user interface.

    No need for extensive glue code: you just point one tool at another and they already know how to communicate properly. PowerShell supports Unicode too, so no worries there regarding localisation. (Note to UNIX fans: not everybody speaks US English. Nor should they have to.)

    Nor do I need to keep a stack of reference docs to remind me which peculiar formatting quirk or command-line parameter sequence each tool requires. Learn one and you've learned them all. All these tools just work together, as if they'd been crafted by the same mind, instead of by a thousand different minds over a period of 20-odd years—in some cases, while clearly either drunk, or stoned out of their minds.

    *

    Microsoft has done an Apple on their server by aiming for a consistent user* experience. Seriously: this is exactly how I'd have expected Apple to design OS X Server, if they hadn't already bought in a BSD-derived OS as their starting point. It's absolutely spot on. I wish I'd had this when I was administering a college network ten years or so back.

    Incidentally, .NET is an industry standard. Last time I checked, the Common Language Infrastructure was a full-on ISO standard. You can claim some tinfoil hat shenanigans if you like, but I'm afraid that doesn't change the fact that it really, truly, is an honest-to-god ISO standard. Deal with it.

    * (By which I mean the server administrator, not end users at the far end of the chain.)

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Deluded Lemmings

      On the one hand we have an entire family of interoperable operating systems that have been doing the heavy living for business and the Internet for decades. They have a time tested design and a stable common interface. They don't need to indulge in so much "game changing" because they got it right the first time (or at least close enough).

      The "clone of minix" is just one example. Trying to belittle it won't erase the rest.

      "server" and "game changer" kind of have no business together. If you don't understand this then you really have no clue about any of this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      About as straight as a non-EU-standard-conforming cucumber

      If you mean 'linux', er, no, it bloody well wasn't 'derived from minix'. Minix is a microkernel, linux never was. There's actually a fair bit of interesting academic bickering between ast and linus about it. Well-known, if you catch my drift.

      Agree with the shoddy interfacing linux system tools tend to deliver, with a couple footnotes. Gets worse with the stuff done to "embedded" versions (busybox comes to mind). The people writing those things clearly didn't really understand how to make a tool generate output useful for other tools. Or humans, for that matter. A well-regulated unix (*BSD for one^Wa few) has very little of that problem. utf-8 itself was designed to pass right through non-utf8-aware tools, so shouldn't be a problem. What is a problem is incessant utf8-ising like, oh, certain manpage collections that then get dumped on your terminal verbatim even if it isn't configured for utf8. (And some of that actually gets worse when using provided-for-the-purpose GUIs.) Certain linux distributions have that much worse than others. Generally the ones with the spiffiest graphical installer. How coincidental. Bit of a pity most people that've even seen outside windows only saw 'linux', often only one with exactly such a spiffy installer. There's much better to be had, which is one of the industry's best-kept public secrets. On such a well-regulated system, scripting is not a chore.

      And otherwise? Install your fave programming language and script in that. perl, python, ruby, java if you must. You have so many options it's not funny any longer. It's also quite easy to set the locale to something sensible (generally 'C' and certainly NOT 'en_US' since collation is pants there) to make tools behave predictably for the tools reading their output, and put it back for the back-end that talks to humans. Personally I still go with 'C' locale --named that way for a reason, too-- for just about everything despite not being a native speaker of English at all--if I need better support for displaying the other languages I speak I tend to en_GB.ISO8859-1. But then that's just how I grew up with the thing, and error messages in a different language would require more thinking, not less.

      And that horribly gratuitously overloaded acronym a honest iso standard? Knowing that is about as useful as that other iso standard by the same company. Alright, a hair more useful, as the other has zero conforming implementations. This one might have one, tied to a specific platform, the other option is usually behind a release and somehow never fully 100% compatible. Gee, whodathot. It certainly makes sense for redmond to push it as they've planned to do for years and years. For the rest of us, especially those in heterogenous environments, maybe not quite as much.

      On a related tangent: It really is quite amazing how their dealings with getting their stuff into 'onest iso standards managed to diminish the iso standardisation process in the process. It became a required tickbox item in their 'war against the competition', so they ruthlessly went and threw resources (getting their 'most valued partners' to sign up and vote, or else!) at the problem until they Ticked That Box, Booyah! Those quite transparently astroturfers then didn't show up for subsequent votes for other standards, giving rise to quorum problems. Maybe not the best argument to show how shiny happy and nicely washed their faces are to the world.

    3. dlc.usa
      FAIL

      Re: So, let me get this straight... OK, I'll help you

      "On the one hand, we have an operating system with over 20-ish years of history and development behind it, that consists, essentially, of a kernel derived initially from MINIX, onto which a ton of services, tools and applications have been piled on. These were cherry-picked from the likes of BSD and its peers over a period of 10-20 years, without much effort put into making them play nice with each other."

      Here's your missing detail. GNU/Linux scales. All the way down (wristwatch and probably the coming nanocomputers) and all the way up (bare IBM mainframe big iron? Sure, if you really want to, but it would make so much more sense to run tens of thousands of zLinux virtual instances under the original and still industrial-strength virtualiztion OS, now badged z/VM, because z/VM is superior to KVM). Microsoft operating systems don't scale.

      I do feel a need to point out Linus used the POSIX standard to develop his kernel and the differences between kernel 1.0 and 3.0 are what you would expect after two decades of serious development. 'nix rules the networks by virtue of merit, plain and simple.

    4. eulampios

      not true

      Derived from Minix, you say? How certain are you?

      As far as

      >>None of these applications are particularly consistent in how they interact with the user and his preferred shell. One tool will return a simple value, or a string. Another may return text file in its own peculiar format. Another will return a text file in yet another format. So I need to write glue code that parses these files and processes them before handing them to a third tool for further crunching. On top of that, these tools and applications are rarely consistent.<<

      It's all baloney. Not "peculiarly consistent" ? Why would they almost all the time they work so flawlessly in pipes?

      After all this surreal stanza how one would believe in "I have a server that provides me with tools, services and applications that all work seamlessly together, with a single, standardised textual user interface..."?

      As ever before M$ begot another freak, it calls to its loyal trolls to make it fly. Pardon me, not really interested.

  24. IGnatius T Foobar
    Linux

    Windows is slowly turning into a bad clone of Unix.

    Slowly but surely, Windows is turning into a bad clone of Unix. Given enough time it will start to resemble the awful proprietary non-unix minicomputer operating systems of the 1980's. Imagine that: decades after killing off Novell, Microsoft finally figured out that it's not really a great idea to have an operating system with a GUI that can't be turned off!

    Since we see that Microsoft is building a poor imitation of unix, why not just get ahead of them and use a true state-of-the-art unix such as Linux?

  25. Mikel
    WTF?

    Game changer indeed

    When Bob Muglia walked the plank you had to know something new and interesting was on the way from Server & Tools. It's even more amazing than I had hoped for.

    Microsoft's incredibly popular, remarkably fluid, socially savvy phone interface. With integrated Facebook, Skype and Twitter. On your enterprise domain controller.

    Why didn't I think of that?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another example...

    Of /why/ PowerShell is honestly a /power/ shell environment when it comes to Windows administration. However, this is also another example as to why this new server (I'm focusing on the Windows Remote Management 3.0 part obviously) isn't hardly as game changing as the author makes it.

    The fun thing is is that PowerShell is full Object Oriented commandline environment (OOCLI ?). You don't deal with mere text or collections; you're dealing with objects which can all have their own unique properties, functions and methods. To make this even more interesting; it also fully supports the Windows Component Object Model (COM).

    I'd say its pretty much common practice to check for software updates on a computer (be it server or client) every now and then, and when you have a few of those it can be tedious if you need to logon to all of them individually...

    That is where PowerShell & COM can come in:

    $WUSession = New-Object -ComObject "Microsoft.Update.Session"

    $updates = $WUSession.CreateUpdateSearcher().Search("IsInstalled=0 And Type='Software'").Updates

    Now "$updates" contains all the update descriptions. To get a good overview (and also if an update has already been downloaded and/or installed yet) simply process the collection of objects:

    $updates | Format-List -Property Title, isDownloaded, isInstalled

    Now that is what I call power at your fingertips. This beats having to logon to remote computers using remote desktop only to see if there are updates available! Imagine running this with one command across all your servers or clients... Oh wait, you can ;-)

    SO, back to the article.. There is a lot of new stuff for PowerShell, sure. But what about software updates ?

    No, there isn't any. Yes, it supports 'Windows Server Update Services' (Wsus) but that is /not/ the same. That is an infrastructure which can run on your server to distribute updates towards your clients. Ideal in an enterprise environment, but what about small to mid-size Windows networks which may even have chosen to perform maintenance on the clients manually ?

    So more precisely... Its nice that they added Cmdlets for something as trivial as requesting information about your tcp/ip settings, but why haven't they added native support to allow people to check up more easily on Windows updates ?

    It took me quite some time to 'hack' that COM class (Microsoft.Update.Session) by searching & studying MSDN but getting information about my network adapters took me no longer than 5 minutes (that starts with "Get-WMIObject -List *network*" for example).

    SO pardon me for not being all that impressed yet with the current updates to PowerShell.

    1. eulampios
      Facepalm

      inventing a square wheel?

      The PS' syntax looks ugly to me so far. One can wonder why hasn't there been a single OO shell yet?

      It might be because it would be ugly, overcomplicated stuff? BTW, to check if there are any updates available with aptitude I do: "sudo aptitude update" with && sudo aptitude safe-upgrade"

      I read how Microsoft explains its way to reinvent a square wheel by saying that it suits Windows environment the most. Well, get outside this env. and try parsing some html, yes, it is text. So what you're gonna do without sed, awk, grep, perl and such?

      Hence, call me when M$ gets to finally reinvent a more circular wheel.

  27. Andy 70
    Windows

    just so long as we can install windows 8 and change a reg key to turn it into server 8, everything will be fine.

  28. wanderson

    Windows Server 8

    One thing that article author did not mention is that most of the "Standards based" changes to Windows Server 8 were due to fact that Microsoft does not own these add-on feature technologies and therefore must conform to copyright use on "Open source" functionality added or they could not implement all of the features it wished due to restrictions placed on their software use.

    The "Wow" he expressed about the file system is sorely over stated as Microsoft burrowed "what it could" from Oracle ZFS file system, whereas Operating Systems like Solaris and FreeBSD use the full power and flexibility of ZFS.

    How second rate is therefore it's grandiose Windows 8 file system.

    Almost every thing referenced by author is standard fare for UNIX/Linux for many years. He need to get a life.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows Server 8

      It's the Opera syndrome.

      In browsers, Opera has everything first but implements it in a bag-of-shit way that you have to be brainwashed into a cult-like state to accept.

      *nix server administration works much the same way.

      Luckily, for browsers, we have Firefox but MS have now actually made IE9 usable, standards-compliant and fast.

      Server 8 is IE9 server. All the cool toys from *nix packaged in a way that doesn't make non-cultists want to vomit.

      1. wanderson

        Re: Windows Server 8

        It is obvious that this commenter and several others are totally ignorant about modern *nix administration, as there are excellent tools sets available for that purpose that are easy to use, unless one has only the "brain dead" mentality of most Microsoft Windows Server admins, who generally only understand software admin developed to the lowest common denominator for intelligent beings.

        All these feeble attempts to distract others from facts that Linux and Unix Operating Systems - the better known and quality releases - have always been more flexible, scalable (PC base to Super computer), secure -need we say more, and significantly better ROI than any iteration of Windows server -even when it is Free.

        1. dogged

          Re: Windows Server 8

          the "brain dead" mentality of most Microsoft Windows Server admins

          stopped reading when you went all *nix bigot.

  29. Danny 5
    Happy

    makes sense

    This has been in the cards for MS for quite some time now. It's in line with comments i made a while ago regarding Apple, Google and Microsoft.

    The more i see, the more i'm convinced i was right, Apple and Google are now the bad guys and Microsoft is the good guy.

    i made the comment partly as a joke, didn't expect it to become true.

  30. Jonjonz
    Linux

    Drink the Koolaide Much?

    You want a total laugh and commentary on the 'success' of Win8, go watch Lockernome's Dad try and use it.

    Those sharp corners are just plain UGLY, UGLY, UGLY.

    1. dogged
      Thumb Down

      Re: Drink the Koolaide Much?

      go watch Lockernome's Dad try and use it.

      In a VM. On a Mac. With help from his Appleista kid. That looks like a fairtest to me!

      Oh wait...

  31. Levente Szileszky
    Stop

    Server 8 looks, err I mean works great but...

    ...they REALLY need to put that crackpipe down and get rid of this utter PoS Metro-like UI.

    Seriously, it's so f'n annoying, no, rather maddening that I'd probably never upgrade any of my servers unless some of the new things are very-ver-very-very-very-very-very-very-very pressing.

    As I said about Windows 8, you big bald fart: stop messing with our UI, you are playing with fire here. You'll lose a LOT of money on postponed Windows upgrades (I will not upgrade *any* of our ~100 workstation licenses if Start Menu won't be back/cannot disable that junk called Metro altogether) but you might lose EVEN MORE if you screw up my server UI.

    Yes, *some* stuff I only manage via RSAT but there are several occasions when I have to RDP into the servre - now with this PoS fugly-useless Metro even the idea makes me angry...

    ...and the fact that you promise a lot (SMB2.2, active-active file sharing clusters etc) will not change this, trust me; I might upgrade those 2-3 servers *if* S8 indeed will show improvement in my tests but the rest will die with 2008 R2 if I cannot get my proper Start Menu etc/Metro.disabled or uninstalled.

  32. Pat 4
    Facepalm

    Hmm

    Okay... so maybe it's a good product. Maybe it's well made, solid, good performance and finally has the same features everyone has had for decades. And really... that's a GOOD thing.

    But... changes the way you think about IT???

    That's a bit far fetched innit? Really??

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
      Pint

      Re: Hmm

      Not at all! Here's the straight, honest poop: how my dinky little 15-man companies can have real virtualisation. Something resembling a SAN, with replication, and some form of HA.

      Two servers, both identical. Each with a Raid 1 for the OS, a RAID 10 for the VMs, and a RAID 6 for bulk data storage.

      Light up all your VMs on server 1. Have server 1 replicate all data with DFSR, and do Hyper-V replica with the VHDs over to Server 2. Server 2 sits there and does nothing excepting accept the file transfers. Something kills server 1. Server 2 picks up immediately, lights up its duplicate copies of the VMs and we are up and rocking in no time.

      Microsoft is even working with Dell to ship single units that have two servers with all of this baked right in. So yes, that changes everything for my SME customers. They are finally getting enterprise-level computing, including HA-(ish) virtualisation for less than the cost of a sysadmin’s salary.

      My mid-level customers (250-ish bodies) will be able to deploy entire private clouds with push-button simplicity that basically look after themselves. No need to babysit them at all.

      Have people been able to do this for ages with VMWare? Sure! But drop the cost of something by an order of magnitude and it really does change everything. Look what happened when cars became affordable…

      1. Levente Szileszky
        Stop

        Re: Hmm

        No offense, Sir but you are AT LEAST exactly one year late

        > Microsoft is even working with Dell to ship single units that have two servers with all of this baked right > in. So yes, that changes everything for my SME customers. They are finally getting enterprise-level

        > computing, including HA-(ish) virtualisation for less than the cost of a sysadmin’s salary.

        Dell introduced NX3500 last Spring, first in two flavors, out of which was 2x Storage Server 2008 clustered + 1U UPS, with local MD storage. Later it disappeared, only the Exanet-sourced Dell Fluid FS (or whatever it was called back then) version remained available (small bro of the EQL FS7550 IIRC.)

        They also had HA clustered NX setups since Server 2003, to be honest...

        ...so the revolution will not be televised, I'm afraid. :)

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Hmm

          Actually, I was referring specifically to the ones that were designed to be used with Server 8, and the new "all Microsoft" solution to providing HA in a two-node scenario. The reason that matters has more to do with the ability to add nodes later and expand well into "private cloud" fun based upon SCVMM 2012 offerings.

  33. Daf L

    I only need one feature...

    Can you yet add user rights to a file/folder multiple layers down and Windows automatically create a folder traversal path for that user to reach it - as per Netware circa 1995?

  34. Idy
    FAIL

    Metro

    Metro. On a server. Really?

  35. Pinkerton
    Trollface

    I think...

    ... that my copy of AdBlock Plus must have expired!

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Ramazan
    Facepalm

    PowerShell? Are you joking, mr.Trevor?

    Why do I need any other kind of shell? There's POSIX shell and environment, and the MS bastards even used to do their half-arsed SFU in the past. There is Cygwin, and lighter options (mingw IIRC). But even with that, where's bloody package manager? I mean "apt-get search foo" and "debfoster bar"? For core packages, not "Cygwin stuff only"? Let me guess - not possible, with PowerShell or BlahBlahShell either. Because you can't really use both Windows and Server in the same statement, this doesn't compute.

  38. Mips
    Childcatcher

    Got to be April 1

    Yeh

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