back to article That AMAZING Windows comeback: Wow – 0.5% growth in 2015

With new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella keen to cram Windows into ever more devices, the operating system behemoth is now forecast to swell by no less than HALF a percentage point. Folks at Gartner told us Windows accounted for 13.96 per cent of the 2.33 billion devices shipped globally in 2013, and that they expect a dip this …

  1. Ole Juul

    What's to look forward to?

    It seems to me that everything people liked about Microsoft is in their past.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: What's to look forward to?

      People liked Microsoft in the past?

      I thought we just put up with them because we had little or no choice?

      Steven R

      1. Zack Mollusc

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        I quite liked the way you could load stuff into high memory.

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        I liked Microsoft in the past. Once, I was one of their most ardent supporters. There are still many things I like about the technology Microsoft provides, and I respect a great many of the people that work there.

        That said, on balance, I feel the star has faded. They have not kept the faith with their customers and there is no reason to trust them about anything.

        Once, Microsoft was a company I wouldn't have hesitated to by my business and that of my clients on. Today, I use them only when no viable alternative exists. It's a shame, too...because in many areas Microsoft has some of the best technologies on the planet. Ah, well...

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: What's to look forward to?

      >>"It seems to me that everything people liked about Microsoft is in their past."

      Stupid statement. How can people prefer the poor-security, slower and less manageable XP to modern 7/8? Or IE 6/7 to versions 10 or 11? Office 2013 is far more capable than older Office versions and the interface is cleaner too and it supports open standards unlike the older proprietary only versions. You get sleek ultrabooks and work-focused tablets, none of which you had in the past. They've built proper scripting into the OS at a fundamental level and you have management capabilities on Server 2012 that older versions never came close to. Not to mention that it's superbly adapted to be virtualized. Microsoft products are far better (more capable, more manageable, better hardware usage) than they used to be.

      What you've written is rubbish.

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        You obviously have experience with MS-Windows. I don't. However, I hear lots of people griping that they loved XP and don't wish to change. I also notice that the price of Win7 went way up recently, as did Office2010. I figured that was an indication of what was going on.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          Okay, then I apologise for the rather strong wording of "stupid". Misinformed would be a better and less confrontational term. Things get a bit heated here with a lot of very aggressive comments, not infrequently easily disprovable as well.

          I don't know about the price of Windows 7 relative to general inflation - I'd have to check. I wouldn't read too much into small price rises, however. That's what prices do. And yes, you do find some people griping about how XP still works for them. They're entitled to use it if it suits their needs but it's far less secure and far less capable than Windows 7 or 8 and that's objectively provable. The security model in XP and before was extremely limiting. From Vista onwards, it's very good. MS have improved things in many areas. Go back ten years and I was pretty anti-MS. These days I really like their products.

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            > MS have improved things in many areas.

            I still dislike them quite a lot but I have to give you that. They recently fixed quite a lot of the most inacceptable shortcomings in their products. I still regret 2000's footprint, but 7 is rather glaringly better than any other of the previous incarnations (other as in not 2000, obviously). I couldn't comment on 8.x.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            "I wouldn't read too much into small price rises, however. That's what prices do."

            Not in high-tech, they don't. Not as the super-dooper-expensive high-tech becomes a commodity, at which point, they plummet like a stone. Compare, f'rinstance, the price of a gigabit switch today with 10 years ago.

            There is, of course, one glaring exception.

            Proprietary software

            Led by Microsoft.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: What's to look forward to?

              >>"Compare, f'rinstance, the price of a gigabit switch today with 10 years ago."

              Three problems with your analogy. Firstly, this product hasn't changed in ten years. A Gb switch is still a Gb switch. There is no active development, no research costs to recoup - any changes are trivial and unnecessary. Secondly, ten years ago it was modern technology whereas today we're now seeing 10Gb switches! I could buy a laptop with specs from ten years ago and expect the price to be massively lower - commoditized as you say. But I don't because I want something that has kept pace with the rest of the world. Thirdly, it requires no care or updates.

              Saying that something which hasn't changed in ten years and needs no support is a good analogy for OSs is badly mistaken. Unless you're arguing that modern OSs are pretty much the same as they were ten years ago. In which case I invite you to have a quick read here (n.b. it may take you a while).

              1. Mike Pellatt

                Re: What's to look forward to?

                A Gb switch is still a Gb switch

                Compare what's on the PCB of a current Gb switch with one manufactured 10 years ago. That will give the lie to your assertion that "There is no active development....". Of course, the goal of all that development was driving the manufacturing cost down (you know, commoditisation) rather than putting (mostly) all sorts of nice new shiny in so that Marketing can claim all sorts of new functionality.

                Really, the software business model is completely out of kilter with every other product category in the industrialised world, and badly needs some serious disruption. The cloudy rental model isn't it. And I don't believe the problem is technological (software development models and all that)

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: What's to look forward to?

                  >>Of course, the goal of all that development was driving the manufacturing cost down (you know, commoditisation) rather than putting (mostly) all sorts of nice new shiny in

                  Which supports my point. It's not analogous to an Operating System which does have new features added. I already linked you to the GIT source of the Linux kernel and invited you to take a look through. It beggars belief that you think all those developers have been putting in all those hours over all those years yet the OS hasn't grown in significant ways. In fact, it's pretty insulting.

                  >>rather than putting (mostly) all sorts of nice new shiny in so that Marketing can claim all sorts of new functionality.

                  Yeah, you call it "new shiny" for "Marketing". You're simply telling us how little you know about the improvements in OSs. Virtualization, better RAID, vastly improved security models, modern hardware support, new APIs, hibernation, support for new filesystems, networking protocols, graphics handling. Again, go and read the link I posted to the Linux kernel source. LOOK at all those changes. Then come back and tell is it's just "new Shiny" for Marketing and that comparing an OS to a switch that hasn't changed its technical specifications in a decade is a good analogy.

          3. Stuart 22

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            "Okay, then I apologise for the rather strong wording of "stupid". Misinformed would be a better and less confrontational term."

            Which still presumes you have an exclusive on how best to configure our company IT. As you know nothing about it may I say that may be both presumptuous and even wrong?

            We were a mixed XP/Linux environment. The Linux bit arose from the disaster that was Vista. The XP bit was helpful in maintaining legacy applications. The security aspect was containable and we would have preferred to continue as is until the legacy apps died naturally of old age.

            Removing XP support threatened to take XP over our risk threshold. Win 7 & 8 had issues with legacy apps and some of our hardware. It was just easier, cheaper and faster to take the hit on legacy apps (which we had been ducking) and go all-Linux.

            So there you are - one unfortunate outcome of Microsoft's decision to 'roll their base'. It also means that we are unlikely to trust Microsoft again. We were Microsoft Partners and evangelists for something like 10 years. Yet we moved in the opposite direction to you.

            You might have made the right decision for yourselves but please do not blow your credibility by presuming to know what is best for every other old XP shop.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: What's to look forward to?

              >>"Which still presumes you have an exclusive on how best to configure our company IT. As you know nothing about it may I say that may be both presumptuous and even wrong?"

              You may not. Anything you can do on XP can be done as easily or more easily on Windows 7 / 8. Or shouldn't be done at all. I fully invite you to find a counter-example. For that simple reason I don't need to know anything about your own company's configuration to make my statement. I'd say that anything you find an advantage of XP over Windows 7 / 8 is actually just legacy software. And indeed your later paragraphs confirm that. The existence of legacy software says nothing about which OS is superior. (It only says that the legacy software writers haven't written it well as software which uses the documented XP APIs is pretty forward compatible as I understand it).

              Such an argument indicates nothing about which OS is better any more than if I tried to argue that Win7 was a better OS than GNU/Linux because software X was written only for Windows. I wrote that Win 7 / 8 was better than XP and I even defined better - superior security model, more capabilities, better use of hardware.

              That some are trapped in the past doesn't contradict anything that I wrote. And seriously - XP was replaced seven years ago this year. Lack of investment by some companies in their IT is not an argument I will accept to support "people prefer XP". Being trapped is not preferring.

              >>"Yet we moved in the opposite direction to you."

              You've made an assumption there. Outside of home use, I mostly work with organizations with CentOS (and occasional Debian). I never said anything about organizations moving OSs. I was just talking about what I know - technical and usability comparisons between OSs.

              >>It also means that we are unlikely to trust Microsoft again

              Because an OS released in 2001 thirteen years ago has finally been retired after twice extending the deadline for cutting off patches finally, seven years after they stopped selling it?

              How many software and OS providers do you know that offer support seven years after their product's end of life? You don't even have to pay for that support - the patches are openly distributed? I just don't get this "unlikely to trust Microsoft again" line.

              1. Chairo

                Re: What's to look forward to?

                @h4rm0ny: I have bad news for you. The car you bought 3 years ago uses an engine that is in production since 15 years now. We would like to provide you spare parts, of course, but our production line is ageing and we can't be arsed to invest in such old rubbish that hardly gives any return. You understand our situation, do you?

                So you better throw it out and buy a new up to date model. It also has lots of new features, like an integrated dashboard camera. That one we also use for our licencing model, btw. - just to be sure no one else than you drives it. Also you are not allowed to transport more than 2 passengers. I'm sure you understand. Oh - don't lose the internet connection. Your car won't start anymore otherwise. And don't be late on your monthly licence fees, too.

                What? You want to keep your old car, that "just works"? Of course we can't stop you from using it, but there are all these fuel leaks suddenly... And the brakes tend to fail in that model nowadays. Also the passenger doors might suddenly open. You would really be so much safer in the new model. And look at all these new beautiful, shiny cockpit instruments!

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: What's to look forward to?

                  >>"@h4rm0ny: I have bad news for you. The car you bought 3 years ago uses an engine that is in production since 15 years now. We would like to provide you spare parts, of course, but our production line is ageing and we can't be arsed to invest in such old rubbish that hardly gives any return. You understand our situation, do you?"

                  I understand that when people have to switch to poorly thought out car analogies in order to argue against something that it's best to dispense with the entire flawed response. You are aware that is not sufficient to simply start talking about cars and expect that to carry any logical weight without showing that cars are actually analogous to operating systems? For example you ramble about "there are all these fuel leaks suddenly" which suggests you think that MS have suddenly introduced bugs into existing XP systems. Or that a new car wont start without an Internet connection! Something that applies to neither 7 or 8 which I was talking about.

                  TL;DR: Making a bad analogy isn't argument.

                  1. Chairo

                    Re: What's to look forward to?

                    You are aware that is not sufficient to simply start talking about cars and expect that to carry any logical weight without showing that cars are actually analogous to operating systems?

                    There are quite a lot of similarities between providing service for vehicles and service for software. Both are complex technological systems, difficult to create and to maintain. Both have interface problems and might be mission critical. Both can be significant investments for a company.

                    And most important, both need maintenance during their complete lifetime.

                    Car suppliers are required by law to provide parts for a minimum time after end of vehicle production and sales. This is a basic requirement to allow product maintenance.

                    Analogous the availability to fix bugs and security holes is a basic requirement to allow maintenance of computers. If the producer of the software abandons it, while it is still used in a productive environment, it is nothing else than gross negligence.

                    As a fact, end of sales of PCs pre-installed with Windows XP was October 22, 2010. Microsoft could not be arsed to provide support for even 4 years. PCs have a lifetime of between 3 to 8 years, so I would say, they cut it short. That also fits to the number of 25% of WinXP usage in the internet.

                    If Microsoft doesn't want to give away patches for free, I'm completely OK with it. But they have to make them available for a reasonable fee for the expected lifetime of the product. 10 years seem to be fair for end user products. As for company products that are used in productive environments, I think 20 years would be reasonable. Again, for a reasonable fee, of course. Alternatively they might open the source, to allow servicing by 3rd parties.

                    People are traditionally accepting a lot of abuse from software vendors. Far more than they would from any other supplier. As software is now becoming a commodity, it is time software companies take their responsibility serious. Otherwise they WILL be regulated. Just as car companies were.

                    1. h4rm0ny

                      Re: What's to look forward to?

                      >>"There are quite a lot of similarities between providing service for vehicles and service for software."

                      And quite a lot of differences. But if you actually read my post rather than shifting topic, I wrote that Windows 7/8 were significantly better than XP and said nothing about services. Well I did say something about services - I wrote that legacy inertia said nothing about the quality of the OSs. If you don't disagree with that, then don't try and find different misinterpretations of what I wrote so that you can disagree with my post. OP said that what "people" liked about MS was mostly in the past. I don't see an argument that someone still has legacy apps they can't get rid of - which is what you're previous post which I replied to disputed - does anything to prove that.

                      In short, you're writing paragraph after paragraph attacking your own strawman. Well, that and the odd swipe at MS based on nothing I wrote:

                      >>"As a fact, end of sales of PCs pre-installed with Windows XP was October 22, 2010. Microsoft could not be arsed to provide support for even 4 years"

                      End of Life for XP was known long before that and XPs replacement was out three years before that cut off date. If MS immediately cut off availability of XP the moment Vista came out, they would be doing a disservice to their enterprise customers who had large XP deployments and just needed to add in replacement PCs from time to time. And I strongly suspect you would be quick to condemn that if they did. But any IT department buying in an explicitly legacy OS in bulk when its replacement had already been out for three years and that replacement's replacement had already been released to manufacturing (7 was released to OEMs in July 2009) should be strung up. There's no way you can cast that as negligence on MS's part.

                      Using your reasoning in your post any cut off point for support for XP would be negligence. But there comes a point in any software lifecycle where the update is no longer a patch, but a new version. There's only so many updates you can release before you have to put a new number on it.

                      But again, this is just picking out parts from a rant that has little to do with the post that you are actually replying to and undermines what I actually wrote not at all.

                      1. Chairo
                        Pint

                        Re: What's to look forward to?

                        The post I was actually replying to originally was your answer to Stuart 22's post. He made the following point:

                        Removing XP support threatened to take XP over our risk threshold. Win 7 & 8 had issues with legacy apps and some of our hardware. It was just easier, cheaper and faster to take the hit on legacy apps (which we had been ducking) and go all-Linux.

                        You wrote a lenthy reply that can be put into 3 sentences:

                        1) Win 7 and 8 are technically superior to XP (Obviously they are)

                        2) Legacy apps should be moved over, instead of dragged along infinitely (That is one solution, but not forcibly the best - it depends on the business case)

                        3) It is OK for Microsoft to stop patches for XP, as they supported it for seven years after end of sales. (Wrong - they supported just 3 1/2 years).

                        The analogy I used was intended to show you that it is not OK to stop support for perfectly running hardware after just ~3 years end of sales. Even if the technology behind is already older. Microsoft is trying to force their customers to upgrade. IMHO that is not OK. Your argument, that Win7 and 8 are technically far superiour to Win XP is true, but that is only one aspect of point 2).

                        Oh, this one:

                        Using your reasoning in your post any cut off point for support for XP would be negligence. But there comes a point in any software lifecycle where the update is no longer a patch, but a new version. There's only so many updates you can release before you have to put a new number on it.

                        You realize that's BS, right? As long as you only plug holes and don't add new features, code can stay remarkably stable for a very long time. And no, not any cut off point for XP would be negligence. I proposed 10 years for workstations and perhaps 20 for servers.

                        Anyway - here it is already past beer o'clock. Cheers!

                        1. h4rm0ny
                          Pint

                          Re: What's to look forward to?

                          >>"3) It is OK for Microsoft to stop patches for XP, as they supported it for seven years after end of sales. (Wrong - they supported just 3 1/2 years)."

                          Ah, you're right - I mispoke. I meant to write seven years after it had been end of life'd. I.e. MS were now selling the replacement version. Yes, MS do keep selling it after the new version is released. As they should. But I worded things incorrectly - thanks. I stand by my point though. The end point for patches was known long ago and two replacement versions had been released by the time that actually happened. I think it reasonable to start placing blame on the IT department if at that point they are still buying in XP in any major way so the 3 1/2 years after they stopped selling it isn't a good marker, imo. We'll obviously differ on this, but that's my position and I feel it is supportable.

                          Anyway, we agree on #1 which is the important one to me. Obviously there is *always* more that can be done in terms of support, whether that means longer support or cheaper. In MS's case, the continued patches are free, but they don't last as long as some people would like. So logically there will always be someone who disagrees on #2 and #3 for as long as the OS is in use. #1 was the point I was really making and if it seems obvious, consider that it was a simple response to the OP who argued that what people liked from MS was behind them. That cannot logically be reconciled with the newer OSs being better than the older OSs. And you agree that they are better.

                          Of course several people then took issue with my original post. Mostly by changing the argument.

                          >>"You realize that's BS, right? As long as you only plug holes and don't add new features, code can stay remarkably stable for a very long time"

                          In principle I agree. However, you have to keep in mind what a mess XP actually is. A horrible mess imo, coming from a UNIX/Linux background. If after seven years of no new features and weekly patches it still needs more, that's really just testament to its shitness (pardon the vernacular). After seven years of patches, it should BE at the point you talk about. So either it is, in which case those who use have vastly diminished need for continued support. Or it's irredeemable. I kind of lean toward the latter, but remember that anti-virus companies still offer support for it and that's the main thing that is needed by this point, no?

                          >>"Anyway - here it is already past beer o'clock. Cheers!"

                          No problem - see icon. I'm glad we came to a better point in our discussion. For context, there is a lot of reflexive modding down of anything good about MS in these parts by some. Even purely factual posts will get heavily modded down, sadly.

                        2. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: What's to look forward to?

                          You realize that's BS, right?

                          She/he probably doesn't. nothing worse than a born-again-microsoftian

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What's to look forward to?

              ---- Which still presumes you have an exclusive on how best to configure our company IT. As you know nothing about it may I say that may be both presumptuous and even wrong? ----

              If you look at her other posts you'll see she has makes a habit out of doing that.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: What's to look forward to?

                >>"If you look at her other posts you'll see she has makes a habit out of doing that."

                I supported how my statement was not dependent on their particular set-up. Supporting one's statements is all that matters.

                And with regards to the other poster, I'm not a Microsoft fan, I'm a technology fan. I happily defend any good technology from partisan attacks and have done so. If you've read enough of my posts you'll have seen that. The MS defences are just more common because MS comes in for a greater amount of unsupportable attacks.

                The OP wrote that the things "people" liked about MS were mostly in the past. I highlighted that Windows 7 / 8 were technically superior to XP and that this was logically incompatible with old stuff being preferred (unless you wish to argue that people prefer technologically inferior products). Everything I've posted in this thread has been a direct response to people attacking that perfectly reasonable position.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What's to look forward to?

                  As the anon. coward above, I actually agree with you. Sorry, just in an evil mood and decided to entice the gnubois. For what its worth, have an upvote anyway

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            Oh god.. OS bickering - in this day and age?

            It really doesn't matter, any more. There is only one platform for the future: The Web. It doesn't matter what you use to connect to it, it's all roughly the same. It doesn't matter what you use to provide to it - nobody sees it, and nobody cares.

            Get with the times. Look at what the kids are using now - that's the future. Just like us on our personal computers - but we've had our time now.

            My kids really couldn't give a shit about their OS - I put Mint on an old XP laptop for them... didn't bat an eye lid, as long as they had a browser.

            Microsoft are slowly realising this, why can't their cheerleaders?

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: What's to look forward to?

              Get with the times. Look at what the kids are using now - that's the future. Just like us on our personal computers - but we've had our time now.

              There's a slight difference, between the arts of production, and consumption.... LEARN IT.

              Phablets are never gonna replace things, like the Netbook, Notebook or Desktops for the production side of things, that your "Kids" are consuming today. And they're not gonna be for a very VERY LONG TIME YET.... If ever...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What's to look forward to?

                There's a slight difference, between the arts of production, and consumption.... LEARN IT.

                Phablets are never gonna replace things, ...

                [s]he said the OS was irrelevant, not the device it's running on.

        2. jason 7

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          In my experience as a local IT Guy, once you move those people who love XP over to 7 or 8.1 then they don't want to go back after a week or two. I moved a lot of baby boomers and older over to 7 or 8 back in March/April and none of them have gone back to their old XP machine nor would they want to.

          It's the usual "I'm comfy/secure where I am" syndrome, thats all. Once you put a faster more capable machine in front of them then they realise things have moved on.

          As for Windows 7 going up in price. I'm still paying the same price if not less than I was a few months ago. No change there as far as I can tell.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            jason 7,

            When you moved those people did you just upgrade their existing machine from XP to 7/8 or did you supply a totally new machine?

            If it was a new machine then I think there is the reason that non of them has gone back. If you used the old machine did you make it dual boot so they could change back if they wanted to?

            1. jason 7
              Facepalm

              Re: What's to look forward to?

              @Ivan4

              New machine.

              Why would you get someone to pay for a new OS and to install it on a 6+ year old machine with parts that will likely fall over in a year or so.

              Why would I make someone continue to suffer running a old Athlon PC with 512MB of ram and a less than stellar 160GB HDD?

              Dual booting an old wreck doesn't make financial sense. Nor good use of my time.

              They get a new machine fully setup with all their data and email migrated plus a training session on how to use it.

              Sometimes you just have to move on.

          2. ScottME
            Linux

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            "I'm still paying the same price if not less than I was a few months ago."

            Mate, everyone on Windows is paying the price, and will continue to do so for as long as they stick with it.

            Me, I prefer the price of Linux, and its bastard child, Android.

      2. tirk

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        >>Stupid statement. How can people prefer the poor-security, slower and less manageable XP to modern 7/8?

        Me for one, since you asked so nicely.

        >>What you've written is rubbish.

        Did I say nicely? My mistake.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          >>>>"How can people prefer the poor-security, slower and less manageable XP to modern 7/8?"

          >>"Me for one, since you asked so nicely."

          The question was "how" not "if". Go ahead - the forum is yours. I said XP had poorer security, was slower and was less manageable than Windows 7 and 8. Explain to me how you prefer XP over 7 or 8 in these regards.

          >>"Did I say nicely? My mistake."

          It was rubbish to say 'what people liked about MS is in the past'. Most people hated MS back in the day for a start! Its products are much more respectable these days. You saying you like XP doesn't make a sweeping statement about what "people like" any better. Now I'll be interested to see you justify XP as a better OS than 7 / 8. A preference based on "get off my lawn" tendencies is no good argument, imo.

      3. keithpeter
        Linux

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        "How can people prefer the poor-security, slower and less manageable XP to modern 7/8? Or IE 6/7 to versions 10 or 11?"

        I actually agree with this bit (but I tend not to call people names as that just provokes a negative response).

        I currently use a well designed and maintained system at work with Windows 7 like clients (we log into a server), roaming profiles, lots of software, and it is reliable and reasonable to use on core-duo/2Gb class desktop boxes. Secure RDP sessions mean I can keep the employer's data on the employer's system and work at home now and again when needed. Classroom kit just works. On the occasions when it doesn't, a quick call to support initiates a remote session (students always find that funny) and usually the problem is sorted without wasting too much of the lesson.

        I can't help contrasting that with a previous employer. 50:50 the classroom kit would actually boot and when it did it took 10 minutes. Support was summoned by messages in a bottle. You had to take your data in on a stick as the classroom kit logged into a different domain from the staffroom clients and the staff domain was purposefully blocked in classrooms.

        It should be said: no plans at all that I am aware of at current employer to go near Win8.

        "Office 2013 is far more capable than older Office versions and the interface is cleaner too and it supports open standards unlike the older proprietary only versions."

        Now that is where I have to start disagreeing. Microsoft's definition of 'support' for open standards is like Putin's definition of 'democracy'. I have plenty of words to describe recent MS Office interfaces but 'cleaner' isn't one of those.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          >>"Office 2013 is far more capable than older Office versions

          >Now that is where I have to start disagreeing.

          I don't get why MSOffice now insists in hiding your document whenever you want to do something with it, like save or print; that's completely idiotic and serves no purpose that I can fathom (appart from "annoying the user for the heck of it", à la Clippy).

          But MSExcel can now draw graphs that don't look like the dabblings of a 3-yo with a box of coloured crayons (still not a great graphing tool, but at least semi-usable now). So there's progress.

        2. CaptainCorrection
          Headmaster

          purposefully blocked in classrooms

          Greetings

          I expect you mean "purposely" (intentionally) rather than "purposefully" (done with determination).

          Thank you!

          1. h4rm0ny
            Thumb Up

            Re: purposefully blocked in classrooms

            Never has a username been so suited to a post!

      4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        "Office 2013 is far more capable than older Office versions and the interface is cleaner too and it supports open standards unlike the older proprietary only versions."

        Office 2003 still does everything I want. I have yet to find a single feature in the later versions that I personally or any of my clients give a damn about. Office 2013 has a rubbish interface design by lobotomised slugs and fawned over only by insects with compound eyes. Open standards should always have been a part of support for every version.

        Also: 2003 never crashed even remotely as much as 2013 does. I hate the damned thing, and hope it gets consigned to a vista-like oblivion very, very soon.

        1. Tannin

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          Trevor wrote: "Office 2013 has a rubbish interface design by lobotomised slugs ..."

          Wonderful turn of phrase there!

        2. Charles Manning

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          Ribbons might look cute,but they are anightmare to deal with for Joe Sixpack.

          You can't find what you want to. Therefore more calls to the help desk. Therefore increased cost of operation.

          It's a help desk nightmare. Stuff moves around so it is almost impossible to lead someone through actions over the phone. Result, longer and more frustrating calls, more helpdesk people needed, more stress, less productivity.

          In the 1960s, Boeing designed the 747 in 16 months. a tiny fraction of what it took to design any other 7x7 since then. But then they didn't get slowed down by productivity tools.

          1. Dani Eder

            Design times

            > In the 1960s, Boeing designed the 747 in 16 months. a tiny fraction of what it took to design any other 7x7 since then. But then they didn't get slowed down by productivity tools.

            I used to work for Boeing. Productivity tools have nothing to do with how long it takes to design an airplane, since they are designed on CAD/CAM software like CATIA. Instead, what has happened is the complexity of the airplane and the factory has drastically increased. Aluminum is a uniform material, while the graphite composites have directional weaves that have to be specified. A 1960's airplane effectively had no digital electronics. Today's planes are stuffed full of computers everywhere.

            Another factor in recent decades is the demand of other countries for a piece of the production, in return for their national airlines placing orders. Spreading the work across different countries with different languages and time zones complicates and slows down the design and production coordination.

      5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        How to prefer XP to 7/8

        XP machines were competitively priced. Wiping of XP and installing Debian is easy. Show me a modern Windows box for under £100 (excluding monitor, keyboard and mouse) that I can conveniently wipe and install Debian on.

        Microsoft's insistence on 'secure' boot convinced me to keep old X86 hardware going until low priced ARM became fast enough. My last ex-XP machine will be retired next week and replaced by a faster 4 core 1GHz (Fanless!) A9 ARM (That is were the £100 price point came from).

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: How to prefer XP to 7/8

          > My last ex-XP machine will be retired next week and replaced by a faster 4 core 1GHz (Fanless!) A9 ARM (That is were the £100 price point came from).

          Care to share the vendor name? I used to build my own boxen but at that price point I may give in to laziness...

        2. jason 7
          Meh

          Re: How to prefer XP to 7/8

          So switch Secure Boot off.

          I've done it. Not difficult.

          1. h4rm0ny
            Thumb Up

            Re: How to prefer XP to 7/8

            >>"So switch Secure Boot off. I've done it. Not difficult."

            I see you've already been modded down by at least one person who doesn't know how to get into the BIOS.

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: How to prefer XP to 7/8

          >>"Microsoft's insistence on 'secure' boot convinced me to keep old X86 hardware going until low priced ARM became fast enough."

          Secure Boot isn't Microsoft's technology - it's a product of the UEFI consortium which is about thirteen big hardware players such as Samsung, Lenovo and others. MS have one seat on the consortium and if you think they're pushing companies like Samsung around you have some weird ideas. The only thing that MS "insisted" on is that Secure Boot could be turned OFF by a physically present user. It's one of the requirements for Windows 8 certification. I can link you to the requirements document if you really don't believe that.

          All that aside, Ican't understand why you would stay on old hardware because of something that is as easily turned on or off as it is to change which drive you boot from. (Seriously, enter the UEFI on boot, just as you would an old BIOS, and select "Secure Boot: Off").

          I especially don't understand why you held off in favour of ARM when you state Secure Boot is your worry as the MS "insistence" that Secure Boot can be turned off only applies to x86. On ARM the manufacturer can lock it to on if they wish and MS can't stop them. You have it precisely backwards!

      6. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        OMG! Look everyone - it's the AntiEadon[tm].

      7. Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure

        You sound so much like a Microsoft employee that I am going to disregard your comment

        There! I bet that hurt...

      8. BongoJoe

        Re: What's to look forward to?

        Stupid statement. How can people prefer the poor-security, slower and less manageable XP to modern 7/8?

        I have a number of machiens here in my home office. Some run XP and some run Windows 7.

        I do my nightly database runs for my business on the XP machines as these involve lots of tens of thousands of SQL statements each day and even on ancient equipment the code runs faster on the XP machines than they do on the new faster machines running Windows 7. By about a factor of five or six.

        I can set off my run at about 6pm on the XP machines and then by about nine or ten in the evening the XP machines are finished with the run. By breakfast the Win7 machines are still chewing it over. That is, if they haven't died due to their somewhat strange implmenentation of ADO (no, I am not rewring tens of thousands of line of code to match this week's version of the Microsoft Database of the Week).

        Furthermore, starting up the XP machines takes no longer than the W7 machines. And didn't I read somewhere that that shutdown/startup on Windows 8 was nothing more than a clever hibernation rather than a boot from the metal?

        Windows XP may have its flaws but when you compare it to Windows 7 speed is certainly not one of them. I made the mistake of 'upgrading' to Windows 7 because Adobe Lightroom wouldn't work on XP any more and that was one application which I needed the update for.

        As for Office? Well, one can't beat the flexiblity of the old menu system. If one doesn't want certain things on the menu then a few lines of VBA will sort that out. Want other things in? Again,. a few lines of code would sort that. Office 2013 may be better and cleaner if and only if you wish to share Microsoft's idea of cleaner.

        And speaking as a developer who sometimes maintains some of the many billions lines of VS6 code that's out there; I can tell you that Windows 7 and Visual Studio 6 are a match made in hell and for any decent sized project won't even load, let along compile, under Windows 7.

        Faster? No chance. Better? Not if one is developing or, worse, if one has many thousand files in a folder that's pointed to by a library pointer such as 'My Music'. More secure? not sure about that; they have to get past my firewall,my scripts, my add-ons and the third party software. Since I don't go to dodgy pr0n or download sites I can't tell the difference.

        One of my clients is moving to w7 on all of their machines. I would love to see how they get on with their required 3rd Party Active-X plug ins for IE6.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: What's to look forward to?

          >>"I can tell you that Windows 7 and Visual Studio 6 are a match made in hell and for any decent sized project won't even load, let along compile, under Windows 7."

          I honestly find it hard to believe that projects cannot be compiled on Windows 7 or that Windows 7 cannot run any "decent sized project". I also find your comments that Windows 7 takes six or more times as long to run the same process. IF that is true in your case, and it contradicts my own experiences of performance and reputable published metrics, then it must be down to something else.

          If Windows 7 is six or seven times slower than XP that must explain all the gamers I see rushing out to install XP to keep their framerates up. /sarcasm. Think this through - do you really think it wouldn't have been noticed when Windows 7 came out that it was massively slower at the same tasks than XP? That IF this is true, then it's something very peculiar to your set up?

          >>As for Office? Well, one can't beat the flexiblity of the old menu system. If one doesn't want certain things on the menu then a few lines of VBA will sort that out.

          Or for the majority of the world, they can right-click on the ribbon / icon they want and remove the icon. The only reason you like your commands buried in a nested menu system is because that's what you're used to. Which might be an argument for you to carry on using the old system personally, but is not an argument that the old is better than the new. The horizontal ribbon layout allows one to get away with a lot less nesting and therefore searching around than the old menus - objective fact. And the fact that the icons are still grouped into sections within that ribbon preserves the virtue of organization from menus.

          1. BongoJoe

            Re: What's to look forward to?

            > h4rm0ny

            "I honestly find it hard to believe that projects cannot be compiled on Windows 7 or that Windows 7 cannot run any "decent sized project". I also find your comments that Windows 7 takes six or more times as long to run the same process. IF that is true in your case, and it contradicts my own experiences of performance and reputable published metrics, then it must be down to something else."

            Alas, I am not the only developer who has come across this issue. One developer I know works in the ol industry and they have loads of C++ applications which won't even load into the development IDE.

            I am fortunate as my project does load into the IDE and thugh I can edit it in VS6 I have to compile it on an XP machine because the compiler dies on Windows 7.

            Oh, of course, it works fine on smaller projects but get something meaty in there and it just borks.

            Now, I didn't mention anything about frame rates so the gamer argument is not relevent. As it happens I play some game on my W7 machine and it's fine. In fact, that is where the emphasis seems to be for most of the Windows machines these days.

            I did say something about hammering out tens of thousand of SQL statements in a run. One doesn't get many games where this is a requirement and if it is then it's perhaps a game that I don't wish to play.

            So I can only assume that you twisted my argument by replacing SQL bashing with gaming tramerates and, anyway, isn't that mostly down to the graphics card and not so much the operating system?

            My set-up? Right out of the box. Though I do tweak both operating systems for speed but even if I don't do so it makes no difference. So, back to you; when has the last time you have compiled a C++ project with dozens of thousands of line of code in VS6 under W7/8?

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: What's to look forward to?

              >>"So, back to you; when has the last time you have compiled a C++ project with dozens of thousands of line of code in VS6 under W7/8?"

              Never, I'm actually a UNIX programmer (at least when I still program. I'm mainly project managing and consulting these days). HOWEVER, I find it staggeringly hard to believe that Windows 7 could be so massively inferior to XP when compiling code. There is something very wrong here if this is happening to you and I don't believe it has any relation to general performance, hence my comment about gamers deserting Win 7 for XP. Which wasn't an attempt to "twist your words" but showing that there isn't a general failure of performance in 7. In fact the metric I have seen show 7 to be faster.

              Given that such massive performance drops as you claim are not general, you should look to your own project to see what might be causing it, rather than condemning Windows 7.

              1. BongoJoe

                Re: What's to look forward to?

                "you should look to your own project to see what might be causing it, rather than condemning Windows 7."

                Are you are assuming, or asserting, that I haven't done that already? Beleive me, I have gone through the code where it handles the various database objects time and time again and it makes no difference.

                I've recoded the way the databases are handled from the queries to the connections and it makes no avail. Shove lots of thousands of calls through and then it grinds to a halt. I've had others look at the code and there's nothing that they can find that's wrong.

                Now, if I am having problems with my little data industry and people in other industries are having the same problems then does it sound like it's a problem with my code in my Windows environment when some of the other major companies have the same issue.

                This is the problem with MS; they come up with a great marketing triumph and tell us that we should move over to it and we say, okay, but what about these porting issues with your tools on your platforms using your methodologies using your guidelines and in every way prescribed by your company and it's now broken, what are we to do? The only real response we've had from Microsoft is "oh, just port your massive projects into our new bloaty language and you'll be fine".

                And that's not too hard to believe is it? I've done UNIX back in the days of SCO and the various AT&T implementations and it was so much different. But this is how it is with MS; they give you a tool, tell you to use it and then leap off onto a new venture and tell you to come along and catch up when their new tools don't work with their old tools

                As I have said before; these projects work if they're itty-bitty bits of code with a few thousand lines. Start to get something large in there and it breaks apart. And heaven help you if you make the mistake of upgrading your browswer because that really truly breaks VS6 so one is stuck on IE9 if one is using any web controls in the code. And that's nothing to do with the developer, his environment it's just the way that Microsoft barge ahead and just do cursory testing of what's gone before.

                At time I am sure that they've not tested anything more than printf("Hello, World"); in their labs but that's the way that it is. You may be safely insulated from this mess in the Unix world and, truly, I wish that I were there with you. But the fact remains that try to open a large project in VS6 and compile it under W7 and you're going to have serious issues.

                I, and many others, have found this. And, as I have said the Official Solution is to rewrite the whole bloody lot. Oh yes, W7 is good for playing on, I agree. I'm off to blast something into little bits now whilst my code compiles on my old machine next to me.

                Beer o'clock someone said?

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: What's to look forward to?

                  >>"Are you are assuming, or asserting, that I haven't done that already? Beleive me, I have gone through the code where it handles the various database objects time and time again and it makes no difference."

                  Well I'm certainly not asserting, because I don't know. I'm assuming that you haven't done so in sufficient depth to identify where it's going wrong because otherwise you would know, by definition. And yes, there is an implicit assumption that it is possible to diagnose the problem in my argument I admit. But I think that is reasonable - you may not uncover the precise cause, but with sufficient code profiling, you would be able to compare the runs on XP vs. 7 and see what calls are taking increased time. Probably you would narrow it down to a very small area and that would help diagnosis.

                  I'd also observe that you appear to be using Visual Studio 6. As that came out in 1998 and actually (iirc) runs on Windows 9x, you might (should) see some benefits moving to something more modern. Honestly, I'm almost surprised VS6 runs on Win7.

                  But anyway, this is probably unproductive. Beer o'clock as everyone is saying - this is probably enough argument for one day. ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One thing that if going against Microsoft is that players are getting away with behaving in a way that got Microsoft hauled over the coals and utterly wing-clipped a decade ago.

    One thing in Microsoft's favour, however, is that the shine is coming off of Apple products as people are beginning to realise that they're over-priced devices with normal functionality and that Android is the new virus-magnet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      players are getting away with behaving in a way that got Microsoft hauled over the coals

      That's because Microsoft was a competition starving monopoly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC: A bit like an old felt tip pen that's been pressed too hard by a four-year-old, your comment doesn't seem to have a point.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Microsoft told us it does not comment on 'third party resources"

    Unless they commissioned it themselves.

  4. Tim 11

    There's not much wrong with windows

    If you exclude the Windows 8 UI for obvious reasons, the Windows (desktop + server) platform is really not at all bad for people who are sat at a desk while they work - and that is a hell of a lot of people. The reason people aren't buying laptops any more is simply because there is no compelling reason to change them, not because they're using them less. This might be a problem for MS shareholders, but it's not per se a problem for the users, or even the software vendors.

    What is a problem for the users is the fact that MS are getting ever more desperate in chasing the mobile market, leading to stupid design decisions, which is having the side effect of making the windows desktop less usable and cannibalising what would otherwise be a pretty stable market.

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: There's not much wrong with windows

      MS are actually producing some decent stuff right now it's just being ruined by the marketing types that are obsessed with everything Apple.

      Google is loosing it's sine through its data slurping obsession and the malware that's on Android

      We're actually seeing the Apple-for-work fad start to fade now. Reality has bitten and it's being noticed that these devices are actually quite hard to get to work in a large multi-user environment and they need a lot of back office support (MDMs etc) anda re missing useful things like USB ports and removable storage. Apple tabs are being put down and request are starting to come in for Windows laptops again.

      Even in schools where iOS and the apps can work very well, it a PITA because it's hard to move the device between individuals and they often need to sign up to itunes whether they want to or not.

      People have stopped laughing at Windows Phone since MS / Nokia started selling good phones at budget prices. I've noticed a lot of improvement in the App store with 8.1. Not sure why they persevere with the overpriced Surface.

      Even if Win9/10 goes cloud / client based it'll probably be optional and there will be offline working. even Chromebooks have offline capability now. Not everyone lives in a metropolitan area with wall to wall 4G. Lots of us have to live with a poor 2G signal.

      MS will never be 'cool', it's the OS of school and work. If they gave up on cool and worked on 'practical' and 'usable' they'd at least firm up their core customers. Plus lots of people like devices which just work without bells ans whistles.

      1. jason 7

        Re: There's not much wrong with windows

        I must admit I had a few customers (about 4) I thought I'd 'lost' a while ago as they decided to switch over to Apple for work use. Nothing wrong with their older Windows setup but I think they had bought into the Apple ethos kind of. Shiny stuff is nice.

        Anyway fast forward 18 months later to today and they are now all back on Windows machines. It just didn't work out for them I suppose.

        I've had some good offers on partially used Macbook Pros though!

      2. wikkity

        Re: People have stopped laughing at Windows Phone

        Yeah, even the best jokes grow less funny with time.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: There's not much wrong with windows

      Strangely, since I'm looking to get a Windows phone soon, it's actually all far more difficult than it ought to be. Which if MS are trying to get market share, it shouldn't be.

      What I seem to be seeing is that the cheaper devices are not brilliant, though they are quite, maybe even too, cheap. But the better devices are much more expensive than they deserve to be, or that I want to pay, with nothing in the price bracket between. The higher range devices seem to be about twice as expensive, but not twice as good.

      1. 0laf Silver badge

        Re: There's not much wrong with windows

        Just after I wrote "since MS / Nokia started selling good phones at budget prices" I saw the prices for the new Nokia 930. I see the marketing droids still have the idea that expensive sells. WinPh will only sell if it's exceptional value since it doesn't have shiny appeal and never will. I picked up a 920 for £83, that seems like a good deal, £500 for a 930 doesn't look like very good value in comparison especially when it's within £50 of a rumoured price for the iPhone6. MS won't beat the king of shiny with a 10% discount.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: There's not much wrong with windows

          Olaf,

          Yes. I'm looking at a contract phone.

          Comparisons are difficult, whicever retailer I look at and they seem to be doing it deliberately, because there is no direct way to compare models, they all seem to have different ranges of specs. But the 625 price seems to be the same as the 635. Which is slightly more than a 620, but a 1020 is more than double, and a 1520 half as much again as that. (Carphone Warehouse).

          Is the 1020 with data/calls twice as good as the 620 with data/calls? (bearing in mind that a significant part of the cost is the same for both, the cost of calls/data etc).

          More to the point, where is the phone priced between the £13 a month 625 and the £26 month 1020

          I've spent the last two weeks trying to make sense of it all and have come to the conclusion that this is deliberately made confusing. It's hard not to see this as coming from Nokia, rather than the retailers.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: There's not much wrong with windows

            That confusion comes from the retailers, the phone manufacturer, and most importantly from the network operators. They all rely on confusing you, to keep you from comparing prices between rival offerings and buying something cheaper.

            It's the network operators who really thrive on it, but the others play along because it's profitable all round.

    3. Dani Eder

      Re: There's not much wrong with windows

      > The reason people aren't buying laptops any more is simply because there is no compelling reason to change them, not because they're using them less.

      I have two desktops and a laptop that are 5,8, and 10 years old. I'm seriously thinking about replacing the 10 year old one. The pace of core hardware improvement (i.e. the CPU) is much slower than it used to be, and the market is saturated. I'm not about to buy a 4th computer, and every office worker who needs a computer for work probably already has one. So it is now a replacement market when either gradual improvements or hardware failure demand it.

      Annual sales data ignores the installed base. If you are selling 300 million new PCs a year, but only disposing of 150 million broken or obsolete units, the installed base is still growing, even if annual sales are down from what they were a few years ago.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No real change, due to no real alternatice

    Windows is the way, and will be for decades to come.

    OS X is restricted to one (vastly overpriced) platform. Has known issues with management at enterprise scale. It does at least have support for many common applications.

    Linux, too hard to use for normal people, no real support for common applications including all add-ons (e.g. Word, Outlook, AutoCAD, Photoshop etc). Can, at least, be used at enterprise scale but management not as slick as Windows.

    So people stick with Windows. I can only see this changing if Windows 9 and 10 are as equally unpopular as Windows 8. But by the time 10 rolls round, it will simply be a thin client and MS will have everyone locked into the proprietary cloud. For ever.

    Once you data and compute are in someone else's cloud, they have you hostage. And as Azure is MS-only, you are well and truly screwed.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: No real change, due to no real alternatice

      >>"Once you data and compute are in someone else's cloud, they have you hostage. And as Azure is MS-only, you are well and truly screwed."

      Sounds catchy - but it's wrong. I have a whole bunch of documents and files in OneDrive. I can pull them off and put them elsewhere at any time. I have properly structured VMs in Azure (yes, Azure offers GNU/Linux) and I can pull the applications and data off them easily and move to another hosting provider at any time. I just SSH in, tar up /srv and my Apache and MySQL configs and copy it all down.

      You haven't actually thought this through / are not actually familiar with Azure.

    2. Charles Manning

      Re: No real change, due to no real alternatice

      "Windows is the way, and will be for decades to come."

      No, web is the way - has been so for a few years and is increasingly so.

      As the OS gets less and less relevant, MS is going to fight harder to make money.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Can, at least, be used at enterprise scale but management not as slick as Windows."

    It actually costs more to license too if you want either of the 2 main enterprise flavours! Add to that the high TCO of a Dev Ops team, and complex non scalable management based on text files and windows Server looks attractive for most uses - with perhaps the exception of web scale websites - but even then, keeping Linux secure is much more effort than with Windows Server - with an order of magnitude more patches to evaluate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And as Azure is MS-only"

      No it isnt - you can run say Linux if you still have a UNIX stack to support. And much of Oracle's stuff is also fully supported. And its very easy to export VMs and data if you want to get it out again from Azure. And there are tools to convert to say vSphere format if you wanted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ""And as Azure is MS-only"

        No it isnt"

        Please list me all providers with a list of Azure clouds. Hint: It's a list of one.

        1. h4rm0ny
          Facepalm

          >>>>>>And as Azure is MS-only

          >>>>No it isnt

          >>Please list me all providers with a list of Azure clouds. Hint: It's a list of one.

          You cannot possibly be this stupid. Azure is the name of a product line which supports a variety of products including a number of Open Source ones. You might as well say that Ubuntu is proprietary because only Canonical provide Ubuntu ("a list of one"), rather than recognize Ubuntu is the name of Canonical's GNU/Linux product line. Or argue that Codero hosting is "Codero-only" because only servers hosted in their data centres have their name attached.

          OP argued that Azure was "MS only" and therefore users were "screwed". They were factually wrong because I have Linux boxes on Azure right now. They didn't know what they were talking about.

          Only in your demented random association machine excuse for a brain would this make sense.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            OpenStack (to pick one) can be run by anyone with the hardware and will.

            vSphere (again, just a random example) can be run by anyone with the hardware, will and money for licenses.

            In both above cases I can move the entire stack (lock, stock and barrel) between competing providers and not give two shits.

            Azure? Not so much. You have to do a lengthy re-build of the stack on a new cloud and migrate data/apps/vms across. It's more work and a PITA.

            Why?

            Because **AZURE IS MS-ONLY**. There is no alternative "Azure provider". All your various management tooling and dashboards will be tied into the MS-only APIs.

            Do you understand?

            "Ubuntu is proprietary"

            Not quite (although Canonical do provide have proprietary products), anyone and re-spin Ubuntu (e.g. Mint).

            "They were factually wrong because I have Linux boxes on Azure right now."

            So what? Azure is still MS only. Name me one other Azure provider. Go on.

            1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              > Azure is still MS only. Name me one other Azure provider. Go on.

              WTF? Of course Microsoft Azure is only provided by Microsoft, it's the bloody name of their bloody cloud. Same as Amazon is the only provider for AWS and VMware is the only provider for vSphere etc*. It doesn't make it "MS-only" in any commonly-accepted meaning of the term. Because MS also sells the whole stack that you may or may not run on their servers, "MS-only" does mean that you can run only MS software. That's the "only" in your "MS-only"; and because they will let you run plenty of things not related to Microsoft in any way, it's definitely not MS-only. The servers will be "MS" but the OS can be Debian and the DB can be Oracle, perhaps with Apache to present the web front-end... so, how is an Azure/Debian/Oracle/Apache stack "MS-only"? Care to explain?

              * it's in no way limited to cloud: that's how brands work. Care to name a Ford Mustang not provided by Ford? An O2 phone line not provided by O2? A Wilkinson razor blade not provided by Wilkinson? I could go on all day.

    2. Maventi
      Happy

      "complex non scalable management based on text files"

      It's extremely scalable and also simple to document. It's also makes version control nice and easy using Git or whatever you prefer. Try that with group policies!

      "...with an order of magnitude more patches to evaluate."

      On the plus they come in a consistent and well documented package format, are easy to deploy and they almost never break things unexpectedly so the evaluation process is much easier. At least in my real world experience anyway, but what does that matter?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gartner

    The same company that said Windows Phone would wipe Apple off the map by 2015 - http://venturebeat.com/2011/04/07/windows-phone-beat-iphon/

    To make their predictions they have a revolving dartboard containing bold statements and spurious figures that they throw knives at blindfolded. Any knife that remains in the board is their latest bold claim.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Gartner

      I thought they cut the head off a chicken and let it run around until it finally collapsed onto one of several defined regions on the floor. They have revolving dartboards now?

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Gartner

      I thought Gartner predictions were for sale, and if you didn't buy, they would predict growth for your biggest competitor at your expense.

  8. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Market growth / Sales

    MS Would make more due to volume selling

    1) A SP4 roll up / bug fix /some feature for XP £4.99

    2) Selling an XP classic based on (1) with all the STUPID stuff off by default (i.e. Classic shell with minimal animation, no personalised menus/Icon hiding, no auto run, all server and other vulnerable services off by default (no File/Printer sharing by default), new users NOT administrator by default, no startup /welcome screen, log in only, file name endings off, no Active X in Browser / Email. No desktop remote HTML or email remote HTML, remote images or Active X by default etc etc. £19.99 Or £29.00 on a USB stick (able to run from USB)

    Of course actually I have no desire to see Apple, MS, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Google, Amazon etc be more dominant or successful. Time for USA dominance to be diminished. Let's have some fresh innovation without the American cultural arrogance.

    Yes MS IE, especially 6 was stupid. XP though isn't inherently slow and insecure. Problem is stuff on by default, people being admin, stupid MS IE & Outlook and badly written apps that needed gurus to set them up so non-Admin users could run them.

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Market growth / Sales

      "badly written apps that needed gurus to set them up so non-Admin users could run them."

      You mean that non-admin users can _use_ applications?

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Market growth / Sales

      >>"Yes MS IE, especially 6 was stupid. XP though isn't inherently slow and insecure. Problem is stuff on by default, people being admin, stupid MS IE & Outlook and badly written apps that needed gurus to set them up so non-Admin users could run them."

      IE6 was actually very much loved by many at the time - it was ahead of everything else in features. The problems were that MS they exploited that lead to shut out other browser makers with some nasty tricks and that Mozilla made a terrible error in trying to rebuild Netscape from the ground up rather than an iterative process - which put them even further behind. The reason that IE6 has been such a pain to finally kill off is not that it was a disaster, but that it was a success. There weren't even mature standards for half the things we take for granted these days. Throw in ActiveX and it created a tarpit that we've only just escaped from. But it wasn't "stupid". It was a huge triumph for Microsoft. (A triumph that MS have been paying for ever since with their inability to kill it off).

      Your comments about the problem being "stuff on by default" or "people being admin" are ignoring the cause of these things - which are that XP has a far weaker security model than Vista onwards which is really what causes people and processes to need to be admin by default. You'll note that on Windows 7 / 8 very little is. The reason is only slightly more educated developers and more that the new model means people don't have to do this to get it to do what they want.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: @h4rm0ny

        "ignoring the cause of these things - which are that XP has a far weaker security model than Vista onwards which is really what causes people and processes to need to be admin by default."

        No, the problem is a legacy one that MS allowed, and in some cases encouraged, bad security practice so they ended up with an OS that could not be properly secured because the software for it assumed all sorts of privileges that were removed by Vista and later to make things better.

        I have at least one package that I can't run on XP without admin, or on later, because it needs to modify registry keys (now secured) for f-all reason.

        Do I change OS and pay ~£1k for the latest version (and also change code using it), or so I run XP in a VM just for that job?

        Yes, Windows 7 is a whole lot better OS than XP, but that is not going to make up for the sort of business legacy that is the reason folk use Windows in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Paul Crawford

          "I have at least one package that I can't run on XP without admin, or on later, because it needs to modify registry keys (now secured) for f-all reason."

          That's be the developer/vendors fault then. I can recall as far back as 1998, MS whitepapers[1] recommending that application software shouldn't write to system registry keys. I know because I warned my boss at the time that we shouldn't be doing it. I was fobbed off. Until a client whose IT was run by IBM called us up and said they couldn't install the software. Why ? Because whatever else you might think about IBM, they do things by the book - the same whitepapers as [1]. And *their* book said installations should not need admin permissions (this was NT4 days).

          Result was a very hasty rewrite, and an boss who regretted answering me in an email .....

  9. David Lawton

    We have just moved from running Windows on the client for the last 2 decades to Mac OS this year. Its just over a 100 user base. Our end users and happier then ever, the Macbook Air battery lasts ages and is ultra light, and very fast. They are a dream to manage with Profile Manager and Munki compared System Centre Configuration Manager. We now have less support requests then ever before. We also gave them an iPad at the same time again managed with Profile Manager.

    Whats odd is the very thought of having Macs just 5 years ago and i would have sworn, i detested them. But now i would not want anything else. They make the best laptops i have ever used. We still run Microsoft on the backend infrastructure for our Domain Controllers, DNS , Exchange email and SQL Servers.

    Noticed a lot of businesses starting to use iPads, like Barclays, and McDonalds. Apple might start to get very serious in the business market soon, maybe not with OS X, but iOS defiantly which will further decay the need for a fixed desktop PC in some situations.

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Will be two new licences soon

    I am building some PCs for my sons, was a rush as we all wanted to avoid Win8

    So two more WIn 7 licences .

    Oh and they will be dual boot with Linux Mint Cinnamon 17

  11. vmcreator

    In 4 years - what is an OS?

    Google and VMware will finish the job, when apps plug straight into a Appvisor.

    No more OS guys :-)

  12. tempemeaty

    Dear Dell

    This is your PC businesses future. Do you want one? Who's OS are you going to run your PC's on...when Microsoft has transitioned beyond PCs?

    "Microsoft is still trying to transition beyond PCs into ultra mobile and phones," said research director Ranjit Atwal. "They are not making inroads, the volumes are still pretty small relative to the overall market."

  13. Herby Silver badge

    As the saying goes:

    Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it.

    Many have asked for things compatible with Windows (of whatever ilk) and they have been stuck in the Microsoft web for ever more.

    Just now people are coming to realize that other alternatives exist, and to the detrement of Microsoft, have gone to them. These are the people who don't want all their eggs in one basket. Rightly so in my estimation. YMMV.

  14. Franklin

    Microsoft? Microsoft? That name sounds familiar. Wait, don't tell me, it will come to me...

  15. All names Taken
    Alien

    Business lost?

    I wonder if all the inroads android and linux derived stuff are making if supermarkets, distribution centres, ... basically computationally sophisticated, cohesive wide ranging IT dependency but verging on the humdrum day-to-day really has a better solution in wi-fi-ed devices of all shapes and sizes talking to something securely (???) internally networked?

    EDIT: basically as a product Windows is no longer a player, sophisticated reliable interfacing between a variety of devices is? Windows is dead?

  16. Zot

    People don't listen.

    I'm guessing that the general public took MSs message of 'warning, no more updates' as simply, 'we won't be bothering you anymore.'

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Truth4u

    folks cant wait to run windows

    we need to make satya the next billionaire guys come on get your wallets out dont be shy get them out

  19. Mikel

    Gartner

    This is a serious pullback from Gartner's prior report. Remember that last year Gartner swore the PC would have a tiny sliver of growth. But then in January the dire news: down over 9 percent.

    You may expect them to post a similar update six months hence. The macro issue of Windows 8, combined with an imminent release of Windows 9 is going to have consumers putting off their purchases until they see if the new one is also a stinker.

  20. John Doe 6

    Even as a Certified Microsoft Hater®

    I have to say that 0.5 % is quite large amount of units (and money).

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