back to article Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Each time there’s a new version of Windows, Microsoft bills it as “the best Windows yet," understandably enough. History teaches us that each time Microsoft tries to really stretch itself and push the development envelope on Windows, it backfires. Windows 8 was the most recent stumble in Microsoft’s journey, with Redmond …

  1. Big_Ted

    Not too sure

    I wonder if with so much cloud and virtual server useage in enterprise systems they will start to look at the old dumb terminal approach using something more on the lines of a chromebook or simiar in place of the laptop.

    Given the choice I for one would rather just have to maintain the server farm and not worry about the devices out there that the user prefers to use, ie a tablet or phablet etc instead of a PC.

    No more windows except for some of the servers, lovely....

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Not too sure

      We've been using thin clients for over a decade, but it looks like they might be thrown out and Windows PCs coming in...

      Our mobile users all seem to be switching to Surface Pro 3s. I bought one privately and showed it off at work, since then everybody wants one.

      Windows 8.1 probably has about a 60% share of our Windows end devices, although Windows 2008R2 TS is still the most used desktop environment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Not too sure

        big_D

        Gotta love those downvotes for doing nothing than stating your own experience.

        H8ters gotta H8.

        I much prefer Win8.1 over XP & 7 now, it has some annoying things, but now I find 7 more annoying than 8.

        Prefer Win Phone over Andriod

        but prefer Linux / Apache over IIS

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Not too sure

      No more windows except for some of the servers, lovely....

      I've never really understood why a server O/S needs Windows. I recently completed a six-month sentence contract where I had to migrate legacy applications from Windows 2003 to 2008. There were about ten servers, so it amounted to a lot of very repetitive point-and-clicking while following checklists. The IIS management interface is especially heavy going (not to mention gratuitously different between 2003 and 2008).

      It's not that I'm a command-line machismotist, but the use of a Windows UI to manage servers makes it difficult to guarantee that the same thing is done everywhere. Microsoft never seem to have grasped this point. Windows was launched with a crap command interface inherited from MS-DOS, which they've tried to enhance with obscure extensions.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Not too sure

        Did you look at using PowerShell to run commands and automate the process?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not too sure

          Did you look at using PowerShell to run commands and automate the process?

          Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations? By the time you've converted the manual point+click script into an automatic script and tested it you could have got a junior/student to perform it manually on 50 machines - and even then, there will always be something that just can't be done without the GUI.

          The killer feature of Windows is everything is accessible via the GUI. The command line was just hacked onto it later.

          1. Hellcat

            Re: Not too sure

            There is an awful lot you cannot do with the GUI that you can do easily, and most importantly repeatedly with powershell. A lot of advanced Exchange administration is PS only, and even for the basic stuff, who wants to run through 20 mouse clicks for 1000 users when you can just pipe it in with csv?

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Not too sure

              2012 is more Powershell based, the OP was doing a migration from 2003 to 2008, which assuming it was since the release of 2012 is it's own kind of messed up.

              For me the gui has it's place for some tasks, and a shell is good for others, and both are good for starting pointless arguments.

              1. sisk Silver badge

                Re: Not too sure

                2012 is more Powershell based, the OP was doing a migration from 2003 to 2008

                I was responding to the idea that Windows will always need a GUI. In 2008 Powershell wasn't up to running the whole system yet, but it got there eventually.

                It's now 2015... can you actually use the system without a GUI, yet?

                My Powershell knowledge is such that if I had a Win2012 system then yes I could. Unfortunately our servers are all still on Win2008 and budget constraints mean we're unlikely to update any time soon.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Linux

              Re: Not too sure

              Wow, they've added a command prompt to Windows where you can automate tasks? How innovative. What will they think of next??

          2. sisk Silver badge

            Re: Not too sure

            and even then, there will always be something that just can't be done without the GUI.

            From what I've been told, as of Windows Server 2012 not only does the GUI just act as a front-end for Powershell but most of the time it actually tells you what command it's running. So if you're paying attention you can point and click once and it writes the script for you. And in 2012 you can install the system with no GUI at all (as a server should be in my penguin-addicted opinion).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not too sure

              And in 2012 you can install the system with no GUI at all

              It's now 2015... can you actually use the system without a GUI, yet?

            2. Corborg

              Re: Not too sure

              I don't know why you are down voted for this. As an example when you perform anything in Server Manager such as promoting a server to be a domain controller the last step of the wizard shows you the script, you can copy and paste it in powershell, keep it as documentation or adapt it to run on many servers instead of using the gui every time. Hell you can run the server in core mode so there is no GUI and do everything on powershell if you really want to.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

            So many people on here think their windows knowledge from 15 years ago makes them an authority now. There's is very little need to automate the GUI using powershell, a lot of the GUI in the latest windows is just a wrapper around the powershell functions. You seldom need to "automate GUI operations" when you can just invoke the things the GUI was going to invoke...

            You know that to run Windows 3.1 you typed "Windows" from the dos prompt? Hardly hacked onto it later....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

              You know that to run Windows 3.1 you typed "Windows" from the dos prompt? Hardly hacked onto it later....

              Actually, the command was "win". Rather ironic since I didn't get that winning feeling when the Program Manager appeared.

              1. Cpt Blue Bear

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                " You know that to run Windows 3.1 you typed "Windows" from the dos prompt? Hardly hacked onto it later....

                Actually, the command was "win". Rather ironic since I didn't get that winning feeling when the Program Manager appeared."

                Someone had probably written a batch file for him...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Someone had probably written a batch file for him.

                  Actually, and this will surprise you, I haven't started up Windows 3.1 from DOS for more than 20 years and I didn't remember that it was "win" and not "windows". Nice distraction from my rather more relevant point that the command line was not bolted on later....

                  1. Hans 1 Silver badge
                    Boffin

                    Re: Someone had probably written a batch file for him.

                    Actually, it was bolted on later - we are talking NT-based systems, here, NOT DOS/9x.

                    The cool thing about powershell is that a lot of the stuff that works in ksh works in Powershell ;-) .. Ok, backticks are backslashes, use $(<command>) to execute a sub-command ...

                    Yes, Powershell is worthy, CMD.EXE is piss-poor - I much rather prefer to ssh into the windows box from UNIX or GNU/Linux with a proper terminal.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                Actually, the command was "win"

                You could rename the binary ("lose" was popular), but MS disabled that ability in a later version for some reason. :)

              3. Someone Else Silver badge
                Devil

                @ Stuart Longland -- Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                Actually, the command was "win". Rather ironic since I didn't get that winning feeling when the Program Manager appeared.

                In the name of Truth in Advertising, I always renamed the file to lose

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. Radio Wales
              Flame

              Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

              Call me old-fashioned if you must... but wasn't windows.3.1 really just a GUI nailed onto DOS 6?

              XP was hailed as the first of the line where windows ran in it's own environment...

              or at least that was how Micro$oft spun it to me - at the time.

              Talking about spin...

              Seeing as M$ has taken everyone for a fairground ride with 8 and the absolutely TORTUROUS upgrade path to 8.1 that has taken quite literally tens of thousands of people up to six months of tuning KB's to discover that it wasn't even worth the bother, I think the least they could do is support 7 through to when 8.1 is due to expire to try to make amends for all the pain that they inflicted on people that just wanted to get some work done on their sodding computer.

              ...thus speaks the retired IT guy that knows his way around computers but wonders why the hell he has to jump hurdles for everyone with a computer that knows I'm a retired IT guy. (Sorry mate, it came with 8 when I bought it - and I don't want it)

              Me? I just cut the crap and restored 7 and am living happily ever after. 7 IS the new XP and M$ has a way to go to get past that fact.

              9 disappeared en route, presumably because too many people would have wanted a free upgrade, showing once again that M$ continues adding to it's track record of making it's customers pay for it's cock-ups - I honestly wonder how it is that they still have any customers, they are gonna need to pull a bloody big rabbit out of their hat to convince me to upgrade when 7 takes care of everything I ever need out of a computer.

              1. big_D Silver badge

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                That would have been NT was the first Windows that ran it's own environment - although they initially hailed NT as a core OS that you could mix-and-match GUIs on top of, but nothing really ever came of that.

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                  That would have been NT was the first Windows that ran it's own environment

                  No, it wouldn't. That was Windows/386, released in 1988. But thanks for playing.

                  (And it's "its own environment".)

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                Seeing as M$ has taken everyone for a fairground ride with 8 and the absolutely TORTUROUS upgrade path to 8.1

                WTF?

                Either run an update or run from windows store. How the hell is that torturous? Never once had an issue.

                1. Topperfalkon

                  Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                  Good luck doing that if you have more than one hard drive.

                  Took me a while of searching when 8.1 first came out that it was that causing the upgrade to fail, because the actual error returned by the installer was absolutely useless

              3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                Windows NT was the first real OS from MS, and is the father of Windows 2000, Windows XP and later versions. I seem to remember that Windows 2000 was more stable than Windows XP, since for XP they made concessions to allow games to run better, and thus opening up the platform for more abuse from the application programs.

                DOS and the ugly add-on Windows [1,2,3].[0-9]+ was mostly a bag of drivers with no protection from misbehaving applications, and only cooperative multitasking (if one was lucky).

                Windows NT was created by people from DEC who knew about real operating systems. Gates earlier was into Unix, but greed and stupidity led him to not do away with DOS in a timely manner, and instead imposing hurt on the general ignorant public. (RSI from Ctrl-alt-delete was a real prospect.)

                He also dumped the rather nice OS/2 just to not give IBM any leverage. All business decisions, with no regard for the end user experience.

                I'm mostly using OS/X nowadays, as it brings together a slick GUI (better than windows in so many ways) with a nice Unix.

                1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                  If you don't think I'm right, and thumb me down, at least let me know what you think I got wrong!

                  1. big_D Silver badge

                    Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                    @anonymous boring coward

                    your post started out well, which is why I upvoted it, then I got to the last couple of paragraphs and nearly changed that to a downvote.

                    You went from providing useful, upvoteworthy information in a relatively unbiased form, then you suddenly sounded like an OS X fanboy and the last part of your argument doesn't hold water these days - and in any case, it is down to personal preference, I switched from Linux to OS X to Windows as my daily driver over the years. I still use them all, but I prefer Windows, that is a personal preference and like your rant at the end, has little, if nothing to do with the topic at hand.

                    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                      Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                      Thanks for your reply!

                      I'm no "fanboy". This is the first time I've even mentioned I use OS/X.

                      It's pretty slick, that can't be denied. Using it with a touch pad it's a lot like using iOS, so Apple is obviously working hard to converge the feel and subjective GUI performance of the platforms. Scrolling is getting more like iOS (even on my underpowered old Mac Mini driving two 24 inch displays), unlike Windows which feels so 1990s still. When I fire up Windows 7 it does feel like going back at least a decade (on a much, much more powerful energy sapping rig). I also use Ubuntu and various other Linux versions. I started using Linux circa 1991. I liked it better in the early days when it wasn't as bloated as most distros are nowdays. In 32MB of RAM I could open 100 Netscape windows -those were the days. Of course Flash and various other annoyances hadn't appeared yet.

                      I also enjoyed my Wyse terminal hooked up to a AT&T 3B2 (used a multiple virtual terminal emulator for screen swapping on the VT100 terminal). Real nice keyboard on that one, with the control key in the right place -which incidentally OS/X allows me to configure too (right where the mostly useless Caps Lock sits).

                      Oh, and if you are an old Emacs user, OS/X implements most of the cursor movement and edit keybindings in all input fields! For example right here in the browser when I'm typing this. (just did CTRL-K, CTRL-Y just to verify)

                      A large negative with Apple is that they tend to abandon old-ish hardware that would be able to run the latest OS/X with only some small penalty (performance, or turning of some feature). I don't like that.

                      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                        Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                        Server is odd. Everything in a GUI I have found in a powershell - its just easier to do in a GUI than a silly command documented badly. However there are quite a few things missing in GUI that you can only do in a powershell script (clustering is a big culprit here).

                        Problem with MS is the way things are FORCED onto you (using the GUI remotely on server 2012 was awful at least they fixed a huge chunk of that in R2)

              4. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                "..thus speaks the retired IT guy that... wonders why the hell he has to jump hurdles for everyone with a computer that knows I'm a retired IT guy."

                What you need is this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/388b/

              5. Blitterbug
                Facepalm

                Re: that was how Micro$oft spun it to me...

                tl;dr (well, about half of it)

                But have a DV for the horribly dated use of M$ throughout.

              6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                Call me old-fashioned if you must... but wasn't windows.3.1 really just a GUI nailed onto DOS 6?

                Good lord, no. MS-DOS 6 wasn't released until a year after Windows 3.1 went GA.

                More importantly, from Windows/386 (a version of Windows 2.1) on, Windows on an 80386 or better-class CPU could run in "386 enhanced" mode. In that mode, Windows had its own protected-mode kernel and ran unprotected apps as Virtual-8086 tasks. DOS was no more than a bootloader.

                The idea that Windows NT was the "first Windows OS" is simply wrong. Windows/386 running in 386-enhanced mode was Microsoft's first Windows-based OS. DOS was still present as the bootloader, but once Windows started up it was discarded.

                My first job at IBM was working on the largely-forgotten "DOS 4.0 and Windows Kit", and that included working with pre-release Windows/286 and Windows/386. We even had the source code, or a good chunk of it, anyway. It was actually kind of fun in those days, particularly after one of my colleagues wrote a replacement for the "MS-DOS Executive" (the precursor to Windows Explorer) that had enough functionality to be useful. The 'Kit also included some handy apps - an equation editor, a data-graphing package - which made it decently useful for the university undergrads it was aimed at. Never took off, though. And I didn't use it myself, since I had access to proper UNIX workstations and could write my papers in roff.

                1. captain veg

                  Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                  > DOS was still present as the bootloader, but once Windows started up it was discarded.

                  Untrue.

                  Some DOS calls would be intercepted by VMM/VXD, but not all. Right up until WinME an API call could still end up serviced in real-mode DOS.

                  -A.

              7. Arthur Dent

                Re: Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?

                I found upgrade from 8 to 8,1 extremely easy, not in the least torturous. I didn't have to tune any KBs. And I find the 8.1 GUI at least as good as the Windows 7 GUI, better than the XP Pro GUI, and infinitely better than the Vista GUI. It lets me use a decent command language, run 5 instances of sql server using 3 different releases (2008R2, 2012, and 2014) ,allows me to use an old-style start menu, makes it very easy to work as an unprivileged user instead os having all sorts or privileges (as used to be required to work efficiently under XP and various Unixes), in general it doesn't present any problems.

                Maybe having first started messing about with computers 50 years ago has made it easier for me to adapt to changes in OSs and UIs that you seem to have found adapting to Windows 8.1.

            4. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. CheesyTheClown

            Sadly, you're doing it wrong

            To properly alter a server, you need to :

            a) Backup/Snapshot the configuration

            b) Write a verification test

            c) Write the change script

            d) Execute the change

            e) Execute the test

            f) Execute all the previous tests to ensure that not only does the new change work, but it hasn't broken how the other features of the system work.

            g) Roll back the change if any tests fail

            h) Store documentation of the change and it's results in a change management system (like Git)

            So... if you think this is better handled by a human, you're simply doing it wrong and should in fact be fired. Your company REALLY doesn't need you and you certainly should not be called a Senior

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not too sure

            "Have you actually used PowerShell to automate GUI operations?"

            Every day.

            " By the time you've converted the manual point+click script into an automatic script and tested it you could have got a junior/student to perform it manually on 50 machines - and even then, there will always be something that just can't be done without the GUI"

            Only if you are a moron. Most of the GUI tools actually run Powershell under the covers...

            There is almost nothing these days that can only be done via a GUI - and lots that can only be done via Powershell or outside of the GUI.

        2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Not too sure

          @big_D Did you look at using PowerShell to run commands and automate the process?

          Yes, but having expended time in the past on learning the two previous attempts at a Windows command interface, and with the client breathing down my neck for instant results, I felt I couldn't afford the time for yet another. Why couldn't they implement a standard scripting language? There are plenty to choose from.

          TBH, Windows servers aren't really my area of expertise, and it was supposed to be a development job, not server migration. I suspect I was only there because I have background knowledge of the legacy applications running on the servers.

        3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Not too sure

          OK, so I decided I'd better look at PowerShell. The introduction I was reading said you could enter ls for a directory listing. I was quite impressed to find that Unix commands are included. So I entered the directory command I use most.

          ls -ltr

          Get-ChildItem : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'ltr'.

          At line:1 char:4

          + ls -ltr

          + ~~~~

          + CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Get-ChildItem], ParameterBindingException

          + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NamedParameterNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetChildItemCommand

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not too sure

            I'm pretty sure it didn't state that the command format was identical to UNIX! Powershell uses far more common sense / English type expressions:

            Try:

            get-help ls -full

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not too sure

        So you haven't heard of Powershell then? I'll bet I could have finished your contract job in 1/4 the time using Powershell to automate and verify the work ;-)

      3. Someone Else Silver badge

        @ Kubla Cant -- Re: Not too sure

        Windows was launched with a crap command interface inherited from MS-DOS, which they've tried and failed to enhance with obscure extensions.

        There...FTFY

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Trollface

          Re: @ Kubla Cant -- Not too sure

          @Someone Else

          "Linux was launched with a crap GUI inherited from UNIX, which they've tried and failed to enhance with obscure half arsed attempts at one"

          There...FTFY

          1. boltar Silver badge

            Re: @ Kubla Cant -- Not too sure

            "Linux was launched with a crap GUI inherited from UNIX"

            Err, unix doesn't come with a generic GUI. It comes with X windows which is a networked graphics server. The GUI is just a bunch of libraries sitting on top and you can have a number of different GUIs and/or Window Managers. Unix had all this back in the late 80s when Bill Gates still considered DOS to be advanced. Took MS 20 yeas to play catch up and they still haven't replicated all of the functionality yet.

            1. david 12 Bronze badge

              Re: @ Kubla Cant -- Not too sure

              Funny, all the copies of unix around here came with a generic GUI.

              Even Linus T doesn't think that unix == the kernel.

              1. boltar Silver badge

                Re: @ Kubla Cant -- Not too sure

                "Funny, all the copies of unix around here came with a generic GUI."

                ITYF there will be more than one installed so the "generic" one you're talking about is whatever WM is kicked off in the xinitrc file. If you had a clue you might realise this.

                "Even Linus T doesn't think that unix == the kernel."

                It isn't. Its the kernel + filesystem + all the admin & userland tools and sub systems NOT including graphics. The majority of the worlds linux/unix systems spend their lives as headless servers or embedded devices - not desktop PCs. They don't need graphics. Something MS only cottoned on to in the last few years. But then their "servers" have always been a bit Fischer Price compared to unix and mainframe systems to be frank.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Even Linus T doesn't think that unix == the kernel.

                No, now: systemd == the kernel.

            2. Arbiter

              He's joking, you burke

              Boltar was released without a sense of humour. As yet no-one has tried to upgrade him.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not too sure

        "I've never really understood why a server O/S needs Windows"

        If you mean a GUI, then Server 2008 works just fine without a GUI installed. We run most of our 2008 servers without the desktop / GUI.

        From Server 2012 onwards, the default setting is no GUI.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Not too sure

      At my most recent publishing role, now five years ago but out in the real world and completely unconnected to anything in tech, every desk was kitted out with a thin terminal that presented a Windows desktop from a server upstairs. It was running Server 2008, I think; for me to know that it was likely in the 'winver' box so I'm not clear whether it was virtualisation or just headless multi-user on a single OS instance — nothing ever happened that would make it clear. Not that it matters so much when it's all in-house anyway.

      Being run on a sufficiently fast internal network, the only thing that felt odd was that everything was rendered at 8bpp, but this was the sort of publisher where we spent our days just poring over text so it was no real impediment.

      The terminals were very cheap (but not in the shoddy sense); certainly a lot dumber than a Chromebook.

  2. Yugguy

    It's not difficult you know

    It's quite simple really.

    Revolutionary is for bleeding edge geeks in California.

    The rest of us, in mainstream business, who employ and have to support REAL people who struggle in to work through traffic, have kids and families and holidays and bills and worries, we DON'T WANT revolutionary. Ethel who works in HR and has only just got to grips with Windows 7 and the UI that's basiclally been the same since Windows 95 doesn't want to have to relearn EVERYTHING she's struggled to learn in the last 15 years.

    We don't mind small changes, bit by bit, but we don't want to have to be retraining ALL our staff because some divorced from reality developer is all excited about the latest new UI.

    Give us evolution, not revolution.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: It's not difficult you know

      I agree, although I must say a lot of computer iliterates I've come across have been able to accomplish more, more quickly with Windows 8.

      One user, who had started with XP, then 7, never really understood PCs - she even saved a document, wrote 5 pages, printed them, saved them, deleted the 5 pages and typed in 5 new pages, printed them, saved them, then couldn't find the first 5 pages she had written and saved! With Windows 8, things suddenly clicked and she proudly announced, after half an hour alone with the PC, that she had installed her first application on a PC - and she had been using PCs for several years at that point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        That's less "use-case" and more "useless case". I'd take some convincing to accept that being able able to click-install something from the windows store, means she was more productive in any meaningful sense.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        lot of computer iliterates ... never really understood PCs... couldn't find the first 5 pages

        Good for you, that the target users of Windows 8 are those who are unable to use a computer.

        Personally, as an IT professional, I want a bit more than that.

        1. Dinky Carter

          Re: It's not difficult you know

          ... but it's all still there!

      3. Naselus

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        "...With Windows 8, things suddenly clicked and she proudly announced, after half an hour alone with the PC, that she had installed her first application on a PC - and she had been using PCs for several years at that point."

        You let a user who couldn't operate Word properly have install rights on a PC? You don't happen to work for Sony Pictures, by any chance?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        "One user, who had started with XP, then 7, never really understood PCs..."

        This sounds like a training issue, or someone was having her on.

        As far as this one particular user I didn't like knows, she still needs to print then email the pages to herself from the MFC to have a backup. Once page at a time. God help her when they come after her because they've instituted a mailbox quota.

      5. Dinky Carter

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        Astonishing down-voting on your post!

        What are people pissed off about?

        I too prefer Windows 8.1 to 7. Mind you, I rarely dip into Metro, except for the excellent App launcher.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not difficult you know

      "Ethel who works in HR" - if she can't adapt, then just sack her. It's HR, no-one will notice.

      1. Bleu

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        I saw what you did there. Well done. Can't see what the drones downvoting are on about.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        Ethel is the one who has to organise all the training courses for everyone else and then hound them through the online training courses to make sure the expensive courses which no-one wants to do get done.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "if she can't adapt..."

        Ah, 19 HR people who've mastered the art of mouse clicking. Probably Ethel and 18 of her colleagues. Well done all of you, now get back to something unproductive as usual.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: "if she can't adapt..."

          windows 8 was done badly though. It should have given people the choice either touch screen friendly or mouse friendly. touch screen is all well and good until the first menu appears from the traditional GUI underneath metro; most of the time you need to select the actual bars to scroll not just finger drag anywhere. Check boxes are tiny on 7" windows tablets, drop downs are a nightmare to click and drag bars become an exercise in frustration when the page spills into horizontal scroll - and this is just changing a resolution.

          Metro was a tack on job and was (overall) badly done.

    3. Jim 59

      Re: It's not difficult you know

      Windows 7’s big plus wasn’t that it tried to make a big statement...

      Slight re-phrase:

      Windows 7’s big plus was that it didn't try to make a big statement...

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's not difficult you know

      "Ethel who works in HR"

      HR?

      Works?

      Oxymoron detected.

    5. Alain

      Re: It's not difficult you know

      The same goes for us admin folks. I'm a die-hard command-line fan, but I just can't get a solid grab of Powershell. Admittedly, having passed over half a century on this planet, my brains isn't what it used to be and certainly not as flexible but why the heck did they have to reinvent the wheel like this? Couldn't have it been done with an extension of CMD and more external commands? or at least add what doesn't fit as an evolution of VBScript?

      I mean, I can administer Unix boxes using the same shell I was using 25+ years ago. Of course, there are big changes from then, but it's still a familiar environment, I never had to re-learn the alphabet like I feel I have to do now with this Powershell crap.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: It's not difficult you know

        Couldn't have it been done with an extension of CMD and more external commands?

        No. The cmd language is fundamentally broken. Fixing it would break existing cmd scripts.

        or at least add what doesn't fit as an evolution of VBScript?

        Well, that's more plausible, particularly since WSH (Windows Scripting Host, which actually runs VBScript scripts) supports multiple languages; at least JScript is implemented, so there's an alternative to VBScript (which I find horrible) in the same engine. And WSH has both CLI and GUI modes. Combine WSH with WMI and it's a plausible admin interface.

        Of course, it's still around, as far as I know. Has it been removed from more recent versions of Windows? I know Powershell is the only scripting interface for some tasks (eg some Exchange stuff), but lots of things have stand-alone CLI tools, WMI interfaces, or WSH interfaces.

        why the heck did they have to reinvent the wheel like this?

        Because every other computer scientist wants to create a programming language. And Powershell's OO model does have some things to recommend it. It's highly parallel with a lot of conventions, so different commands - including the extensions written by third parties - generally support similar options and behaviors. I don't find it viscerally attractive, particularly; I use Cygwin bash as my Windows shell. But I've worked with Powershell and my team has developed some substantial extensions for it, and for actually writing scripts (as opposed to ad hoc twiddling) it has some real strengths.

        I mean, I can administer Unix boxes using the same shell I was using 25+ years ago.

        Shrug. I can administer Windows boxes using the same shell I was using 25 years ago. Well, it'd be Cygwin bash running in Bourne Shell emulation mode, but close enough.

        I never had to re-learn the alphabet like I feel I have to do now with this Powershell crap

        Sorry, but that's a feeble objection. Microsoft acknowledged that their existing CLI administrative tools were insufficient. They looked at the problem and decided to fix it properly, with a tool that was robust, consistent, and could handle future requirements cleanly. "I don't wanna learn something new" may be a reason to ignore the result, but it isn't a valid critique of it.

        When I started doing AS/400 development in the late '80s I had to learn a system that was nothing like any I had used before - not at all like UNIX or Windows or MS-DOS or VMS or ISPF/TSO on MVS or any of the others. It wasn't much like anything else in the world, except the never-released Future Systems and some aspects of System/3x (which I'd never used). But I sucked it up and learned how to work with it. When a new system comes along you can adapt or you can refuse to do so, but blaming it for being new is childish.

    6. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: It's not difficult you know

      >Give us evolution, not revolution.

      Straight from the Apple advertising script.

      It may be new, revolutionary and magic, but its always the same X that you know and love.

  3. Roger Greenwood

    "..stopped retailers and PC makers from selling .."

    There's your headline right there. If only we could all do that - only sell what we want, not what the customer wants.

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: "..stopped retailers and PC makers from selling .."

      If, indeed, Microsoft has stopped retailers and PC makers from selling machines with Win 7, someone should tell Dell. http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/desktops-n-workstations?~ck=mn#!facets=80770~0~16063830&p=1. And HP. http://store.hp.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/us/en/mlp/desktops/windows-7. And Tiger Direct. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/guidedSearch.asp?CatId=6&sel=Detail%3B163_1173_37563_37563&cm_re=Desktops-_-Spot%2004-_-Business. And probably others.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: "..stopped retailers and PC makers from selling .."

      "only sell what we want, not what the customer wants."

      No, you buy what you *think* you NEED, not what you think you want.

      It's called marketing, you may think you are unaffected by it, but you are. A good marketing person makes you think YOU came up with the idea of NEEDING it, not someone else wanting you to have it.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "..stopped retailers and PC makers from selling .."

        "A good marketing person makes you think YOU came up with the idea of NEEDING it"

        Meanwhile, back in the real world, real marketing people make me realise that they're trying to make me think that I came up with the idea of needing whatever it is. And succeed in pissing me off to the extent that even if, by some remote chance, I actually need whatever it is I'll buy it from someone else.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hellooooo UBUNTU...

    When the day comes that it is no longer feasible to run Win 7, it will be time to convert all my machines to Linux.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

      Meh, why wait?

      Steven "Had Ubuntu as primary OS for six years now" Raith

      1. Alan Bourke

        Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

        I'd like to run some business software and play games is why wait.

    2. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

      Why wait until then? I began the switch as soon as I saw the Win8 preview.

      1. Tim Bates

        Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

        > Why wait until then? I began the switch as soon as I saw the Win8 preview.

        We've been looking for for a suitable "idiot friendly" (from an updates and maintenance POV) distro to sell preinstalled on computers since XP's demise was announced. The Windows 8 preview was an encouragement to that process.

        Sadly the most easy-to-keep-updated distros tend to force stupid changes on people, and the ones that don't force stupid changes tend to require a reinstall to update major releases.

        1. david bates

          Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

          All the XP machines that I support now run Mint 17.1 - Its an LTS release and is good till 2019....MATE means that anyone used to XP is happy in minutes.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

      Why post as AC?

      Are you Bill or Steve from M$? You're preaching to the linux choir here... I should know, I got down voted for punching Linus.

    4. Jim 59

      Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

      Unfortunately Ubuntu has similar problems, packing a tricksy, "converged" UI that loathed by many. Ubuntu wants to use the same UI on all desktop and mobile devices. A bit like MS and Windows 8.

      Buy strange coincidence, the number one Linux distribution is Mint, which is just Ubuntu with a normal desktop interface. Funny, that.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

        "By strange coincidence, the number one Linux distribution is Mint, which is just Ubuntu with a normal desktop interface. Funny, that."

        Especially the XFCE version.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

        It's possible to get something akin to the traditional Gnome 2 interface with the gnome flashback (previously called fallback) UI that is in the main repositories. It's not quite the old interface (it's actually a Gnome 2 UI built in Gnome 3).

        And Cinnamon is in the Ubuntu repositories now.

        And it is also perfectly possible to use Xubuntu (community Ubuntu distro) or Lubuntu mainstream release if you don't even want Unity installed.

        This is what people wanted all the time. Choice. If Microsoft had provided the ability to select a 'traditional' desktop, maybe they would not have had too many people choosing it initially, but there would have been a slow conversion, and they would not have alienated their customer base.

        1. IsJustabloke Silver badge

          Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

          No, "most people" don't want choice. What *most people" want is to plop themselves down in front of a PC that looks feels and smells like the one they're used to. "Most people" get that experience at work using windows machines. "most people" see their PC's at home as just "a thing" that does "some stuff" and that's it. They have no interest in cutely named software that sort of does what the windows box does but only after they've waded through pages of "stuff" that might just as well be written in klingon, that they need to get onto their box, so that they can sorta do the things they are already doing with their windows box. "Most People" are not techies. I have a laptop that runs mint, the overhead in learning what bits do what things makes using it a pain in the arse.... feel free for lambast me for not wanting to take the time learn how to do it but frankly I spend my days fucking about with recalcitrant software, in the evening I just want stuff to work and whether you like it or not windows does that for the vast majority of people that use it.

          Seriously, the users of this forum are mostly IT techie types but don't let that fool you into thinking you are the majority; you're not.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

            'What *most people" want is ... a PC that ... smells like the one they're used to.'

            Burning?

          2. Justicesays

            Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

            You would be surprised.

            When my fathers windows disk failed to boot, I got him to boot from a knoppix CD I had left as an emergency OS. He used that as his main OS for a month, managed to browse the web and set up his printer, before I got around to a tech visit.

            I put him back on windows though, as he couldn't play medal of honor on Linux.

            My dad is 70

          3. Adair

            Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

            Hard day at the office wrangling Windows, eh?

            Mint, Windows, OS-X---come on, apart from the fanbois who just can't handle the truth, everyone who cares knows that all OS's and their various GUIs suck. I mean we're talking about trying to make a fiendishly complex system reasonably simple for your average non-techy human being to use. Result: modest success, with plenty of hairy bits around the edges and under the shiny still lurking around to trip up even highly experienced geeks.

            Windows sucks, it's crap, has been for years, and MS are still trying to come up with a glossy cover that doesn't reveal too much or too often the abject crapness behind the scenes.

            Linux is crap too, but it's a different kind of crapness.

            OS-X---don't get me started; what a steaming pile!

            So, pick your poison, learn it, use it; but for pity's sake don't waste your time turning your preference into a religious issue, or crowing about how much better it is, because it isn't---it's just a different kind of crap that you happen to prefer.

            You're obviously keen on Windows. I clearly think you are some kind of masochist.

            1. chivo243 Silver badge

              Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

              @Adair

              Well put, up vote! The best tool for the job. What is your poison? It's always interesting sharing good ideas.

              1. Adair

                Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

                @chivo243

                My name is Adiar, and I am a Linuxoholic. My last fix was yesterday.

            2. Cpt Blue Bear

              Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

              @ Adair: have another upvote for succinctly paraphrasing a rant I've been giving for a decade and a half.

              A colleague once summed up the Windows vs Apple interface question thus:

              "Nobody likes Windows and everybody bitches about it so MS spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying and mostly failing to make it better. Apple users love their interface so Apple haven't touched it in a decade and it fucking shows"

              I'd add that the Linux / Unix crowd are too busy trying to get their sound cards to work to worry about what a GUI looks like* or the first thing they do open a terminal anyway.

              * Disclaimer: I have actually never had an issue with sound under Linux - this is rhetorical hyperbole.

              1. P. Lee Silver badge

                Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

                >* Disclaimer: I have actually never had an issue with sound under Linux - this is rhetorical hyperbole.

                Utter tosh! Sound works perfectly under linux.

                We're busy changing sub-pixel hinting settings on our system fonts.

            3. desht

              Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

              I think you might enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d85p7JZXNy8 if you haven't seen it already. 13 years old but barely dated. The song itself starts at 1:25.

            4. This post has been deleted by its author

            5. Jim 59

              different kind of crapness.

              it's just a different kind of crap that you happen to prefer.

              Well, yeeeees kinda. But not quite. Most Linux users have used Windows, or still do use Windows (at work). Although some of them are annoyingly zealous converts, they have all used Windows and so their preference for Linux has some basis.

              Also Linux is free.

          4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU... @IsJustabloke

            OK. You're right.

            But eventually things have to change. Putting in a way to keep things enough the same to satisfy people like you (and me - I do echo your statement about just using it which is why I use Gnome Flashback), whilst allowing adventurous souls to move forward allows a stepping-stone migration of the sort that Windows 8 did not allow.

            This was what I meant by choice.

            But I wanted to point out that although Unity on Ubuntu looks like they were following the same approach as Microsoft (take the new interface or don't use Ubuntu), sanity prevailed, and a user can still choose something a little more familiar.

            I have two family members for whom a new and different UI is completely inappropriate, but who have to stick with Windows because of software issues. One is my 85 year old father, who is comfortable with the WinXP/7 UI, and would find it too onerous to change (he would probably just stop using the computer), and the other is my wife, and I don't do anything to rock the boat there, for fear of the repercussions!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU... @IsJustabloke

              "the other is my wife, and I don't do anything to rock the boat there, for fear of the repercussions!"

              Good thing I converted all my PCs to linux just in time when Windows was so horribly unstable (that was before XP major fixpack came out), and my family put up with a new environment since it was still better than constant crashing on Windows.

              Now that they are so used to Linux gnome2 style, they use XFce. My wife even forced me to install Linux on her new Mac so she can still use what she is used to, and still claim to have a computer that "all her friends have."

            2. IsJustabloke Silver badge

              Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU... @Peter Gathercole

              No argument from me about things needing to change but I can't see the vast majority of users ever finding a compelling reason to change. I imagine that most of them have invested the time to get to grips with whatever OS they're comfortable using and don't really want to invest the overhead in learning something else when they have a box that already does it perfectly well for them.

              I do tinker with my lappy but only if I have the leisure to investigate how to do "x" otherwise I just want to do "x" so I use my PC

              I'm a software engineer of nearly 20 years experience, I consider myself to be a bit of a techie.. if I find switching to Mint (or whatever) a pain in the arse, then what chance for people who just want to turn on a box, go clickity clicky and then walk away?

              It may be that one day, people will be able to buy a Mint powered machine the way they currently buy a Windows pc from PC World.... pay for it, take it out of the box, plug it in.. choose a user name and away they go.

              The fact is, and a good number of zealots *really* need to understand this, linux in whatever flavour, is a VERY long way from that stage. I make no judgement on the rightness or wrongness of this, simply offer it as is.

          5. Jim 59

            Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

            I have a laptop that runs mint, the overhead in learning what bits do what things makes using it a pain in the arse.

            You don't say if your difficulties are with the user interface (UI) or other stuff. Mint with the Mate desktop is extremely simple. It looks and feels rather like Windows XP. The backend is obviously Linux. If you have never used Linux before there will be pain, but to compensate, some things are easier eg. no viruses or confusing popups.

            1. IsJustabloke Silver badge

              Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

              I've no complaints about the look and feel, its more about "Ok I'd like to do "x" how do I that? So I have to invest time digging about finding out what tool does "x"... if I don't have it.. where do I get? How do I install it? How do I invoke it? How do I use it?

              None of this is particularly difficult or impossible, my point is that I;m at home, I *just* want to 'X', I don't want to teach myself new stuff.. i *just* want to do 'x' and then go and do something else.

              At some point I'll have some spare time so I'll figure out how to do and that's great but now I want to do 'y' and teh whole shebang starts again.... Obviously there are points where both things touch but I think you can see my point.

          6. Fred T

            Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

            "What *most people" want is ..a PC that .. they're used to."

            Except when what they are used to is not good enough. We had so many problems with Windows back then, before XP became "good enough", that I converted all our home PCs to Linux. Now that they are "used to" Linux, they even use Linux in a Mac and not touch OS/X. These are non-techies mind you.

  5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Most hated version of Windows

    Sorry but for me this is still Windows ME.

    I've had Vista nag me (Which can be turned off) and Windows 8 is just Windows 8 (Shell Replacements can still customise the experience) but they don't randomly blue screen and require OS rebuilds every 6.2 miliseconds

    1. Bleu

      Re: Most hated version of Windows

      I never had the misfortune of experiencing ME, but 3 and 3.1 were very bad. Interesting that it was also the point where Windoze took off with management.

      1. theblackhand

        Re: Most hated version of Windows

        Not sure if you can count Windows ME.

        It was so god awful that most people stuck with Win98 (or 95 in corporates) and jumped to NT4/2000.

        Did MS even release it as an OS or just for coffee coasters?

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Most hated version of Windows

          I only ever saw Windows ME installed from factory, around that time was when a lot of people were buying their first computers.

          My own an Evesham Vale machine (So no my experience is not with a dodgy copy) came with 128MB ram, it was unusable and crashed minutes in on its first boot. It was okish with 512MB of ram but a costly upgrade at the time that most people could not afford.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Most hated version of Windows

        "I never had the misfortune of experiencing ME, but 3 and 3.1 were very bad."

        There were technically much better operating systems in terms of multitasking or stability or otherwise; Windows 3.x was bad but as a whole package it was miles ahead of competition on PC platform back then, and most importantly it had lots of software available.

  6. Reg T.

    MS Security

    will doubtless be as bad or worse in Win 10. If they cannot now issue security "repairs" without displaying their rampant incompetence, breaking macines in the "fixes" , what exactly did the author suppose would change with 10?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: MS Security

      So no Linux or Apple machines have been screwed up by an update?

      Try using a search engine, you may be surprised.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm switching from win8 to ubuntu gnome this weekend

    I can't see why I should pay for an OS with stuff I don't use (metro apps) and with backdoors built in for the NSA.

    I never thought any year would be the year of linux on MY desktop but after using it in VMs for a year or so I now can't wait for the weekend... it has got much better since I first started looking at linux about 10 years ago... and now that so much is done in the cloud legacy apps like office are becoming dinosaurs.

    Up yours MS!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm switching from win8 to ubuntu gnome this weekend

      Good luck!

      I did the same a few months ago, and it's as though you've got your computer back. A few years ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd EVER move to Linux.

    2. Jim 59

      Re: I'm switching from win8 to ubuntu gnome this weekend

      @AC use, Mint, not Ubuntu !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm switching from win8 to ubuntu gnome this weekend

        @AC use, Mint, not Ubuntu !

        No. Do what you want.

        That's the killer feature of Linux.

      2. ColonelDare

        Re: I'm switching from win8 to ubuntu gnome this weekend

        Jim 59> @AC use, Mint, not Ubuntu !

        I think you mean ´Unity´ (being the default UI for Ubuntu). As pointed out above, Mint is based on the Ubuntu chassis - it´s good but each can choose their prefered UI.

        Personnaly I use Ubuntu/Unity on my desktop - excellent for big screen, multi-document editing & graphics, but i am writing this using Ubuntu/XFCE (light weight desktop) on my HP 11 Chromebook (c/o Crouton). Also excellent, very XP-like but without the blue-screen!

    3. aqk
      Linux

      Re: NOW 2016! from win8 to ubuntu gnome this weekend

      It is now 18 months later.

      So... did you switch? How was the experience? Please keep us informed!

      Oh wait...! You're another anonymous coward. Sorry.

  8. IcyBee

    Why does all Windows 8 criticism focus on the UI?

    For me, the most noxious element is the way it tries to bully you into using a Microsoft account to log in to your PC. It is impossible to set up 8.1 without one - you have to create a local account afterwards.

    I only want to log in to Microsoft when I want to use Microsoft services, which is a small fraction of the time I use my PC.

    1. Alan Bourke

      It's not impossible

      ... the option is just well buried.

    2. david 64

      Fud, Fud, Glorious Fud!

      LMGTFY - "windows 8.1 setup without..." oh look there it is in the drop down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not very obvious, is it?

        http://www.hanselman.com/blog/HowToSignIntoWindows8Or81WithoutAMicrosoftAccountMakeALocalUser.aspx

        There should be a "Skip" button on the page where it asks for your ID.

        Visual Studio is doing the same kind of thing. It's a piece of fucking shit, if you ask me.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        >LMGTFY - "windows 8.1 setup without..." oh look there it is in the drop down.

        You have to go to *Google* (or indeed any search engine) to find out how to avoid having to sign up for an online service?

        I think that says it all.

        Yes, I went round and around in circles before I found the right option and it gets worse if you install skype. MS have managed to make Skype on Linux so much better than Skype on Windows. I'm not sure if its intended to showcase their skill to Linux folk or if the marketing and advertising team (who clearly worked on destroying the old MSN client) forgot about the cross-platform group.

    3. Steven Davison

      Yes, you can setup a machine without one.

      At the bottom of the page, click the 'Don't have a microsoft account' link, then again at the bottom of the page, click 'Sign in without a microsoft account'

      very clearly laid out... NOT!

      1. Paul Shirley

        ...and so far you can still use the same 'Don't have...' way to a local login in Win10. Don't be surprised if they hide it better (or remove it completely) by launch though. They're raising the friction though, couldn't test download a Store app without handing over a Microsoft account AND give the app permission to rape it, hopefully I'll never need an app enough to actually accept that crap.

        1. Anonymous Bullard

          permission to rape it

          No, you've consented to it with the promise you'll get something in return. In other words, you pimped it out.

    4. Fuzz

      The trick to not being forced into using an email address to log in is to make sure you aren't connected to the Internet when you're setting the computer up. So don't join your wireless network until you've created your account.

    5. DropBear Silver badge

      "For me, the most noxious element is the way it tries to bully you into using a Microsoft account to log in to your PC"

      Funnily, that reminds me why I can't access Ubuntu forums anymore - one day they just decided I need to sign up for an "Ubuntu Single Sign On", my old forum login was not good enough anymore. I said no thanks and walked...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Install Win8.1. without an MS Account

      @IcyBee, that's cobblers. You can install Windows 8.1 from scratch without an MS Account.

      - On the "Sign in to your MS Account screen", click the "Don't have an account" link.

      - On the "Create a MS account" screen, click the "Sign in without an MS account" link

      This allows you to create a local account during the installation process...

    7. Tom 64

      'For me, the most noxious element is the way it tries to bully you into using a Microsoft account to log in to your PC.'

      That's not the worst part. The worst part is that microsoft accounts can only have a maximum password length of 16... WTF

    8. RISC OS

      Why does all Windows 8 criticism focus on the UI????

      That is an NSA requirement ;)

    9. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      "It is impossible to set up 8.1 without one - you have to create a local account afterwards"

      I've set up multiple machines without one. try reading what you are ticking next time.

  9. Rob Carriere

    I feel kinda odd being a Microsoft apologist, but there is a kind of sense to this. Feature expand, consolidate. Feature expand, consolidate. And so on. Somewhat reminiscent of Intel's tick, tock model. (Except they tend to get both the ticks and the tocks right.) All the people who have screamed bloody murder at Win8 have helped shape Win10, just as the Vista outcries helped create Win7.

    I'd like to think there has to be a more elegant way to do this, but that's easy to say from a comfy chair on the sidelines.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No. All they do is polish the turd so people think it's great because it's not as shit as the last one.

      People will rush out to buy Win10 because it vaguely has the start menu - even though we've had it for years before now. It's like they wanted Win8 to be awful, so the next version looks great.

    2. auburnman

      I have to say Microsoft's tick tock has been less Feature expand, consolidate than GUI replace, OH SHIT RETREAT over the last couple of iterations.

      1. Rob Carriere

        Heh. I like that phrasing. :)

        More or less what I meant, although it's not limited to the GUI. (Vista admin access, anyone?)

        They're experimenting (Vista, Win8). And like all good experiments, some of it turns out to be crap. So then they keep the good bits and retract the bad ones (Win7, Win10). And thus progress is made -- at least, I know very few people who prefer XP over Win7 for reasons other than trying to keep prehistoric hardware or software up and running.

        Like I said, arguably they shouldn't be doing their experiments on paying customers. OTOH, this stuff is tough, especially when you think of the very wide range of computers and network setups Windows has to run on and the even wider range of skills and preferences of their users.

        <evil grin>

        So, give them a break and then switch to Linux.

        </evil grin>

  10. ColonelClaw

    I notice scan.co.uk are still selling Windows 7. Not sure for how much longer, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I notice scan.co.uk are still selling Windows 7. "

      Only OEM versions though. They stopped selling Retail versions ages ago. It was annoying having to buy two OEM packs instead of one Retail pack. As I understand Microsoft's OEM licence for W7 - you can only re-activate it on the same motherboard. Replace the motherboard and you need an unused key to activate it.

      Even with the W7 Retail version there was an interesting re-activation quirk. If you upgraded the motherboard - no problem. If you then cloned to a new system disk - it said you had an illegal copy. Leave the cloned disk on the shelf for about 3 months - and then it is happy to run with the same motherboard as a legal licence.

      Seems as if they built in a timing window between hardware changes - presumably to prevent too many clones. They apparently didn't consider that people often upgrade hardware in small steps over a period of a few days. A new hard disk should not be regarded as a significant change.

      1. Bleu

        That is very frightening. I think I will still be able to find a legit. copy second-hand in Akihabara, but how evil is it to tie the product to the motherboard and chipset?

        Very.

        I cannot extract the Windoze 2000 from my old IBM Thinkpad, but I believe I should be able to if I want. I bought it. They have a 'recovery partition' system, but that makes it very difficult to make new partitions.

        That has been the case for laptops since ages ago, in any case, for any OEM license for assembled hardware.

        The Internet sure has many bad consequences.

        If I set a device up, I sure do not want Internet connection and control to be compulsory, major reason for avoiding the iPod for one.

      2. ColonelClaw

        If it's any help, Scan are *extremely* generous in what qualifies on the hardware front for making an OEM purchase. Speak to a sales rep if you need a copy.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before that, Windows Vista was the pariah

    and before that, Windows 98

    pretty regular. You might think MS would start taking notice... not!

    1. Ashton Black

      Re: Before that, Windows Vista was the pariah

      Fair point, but 98-SE was pretty good. Before that Windows ME was teh ebil!

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Before that, Windows Vista was the pariah

        The almost forgotten Windows 2000 was pretty stable. I didn't have many support calls for Win2000 back in the day. Maybe there is still an installation cd around someplace and some VM space I can relive the glory days.

        ME just seemed really very extremely redundant if you already had Win2000. My ex's first winbox came with ME, and with in a few evenings of troubleshooting ME, I mistakenly put in the my copy of Win2000 and no more tears. Maybe I'm comparing commercial apples to industry oranges?

    2. Havin_it
      Joke

      Re: Before that, Windows Vista was the pariah

      We hear this a lot, but what are they really supposed to do about it? Would simply skipping version numbers be enough to trick the Curse? (If so, then W10 will be one to avoid!)

      Or do they actually have to go through the whole rigmarole of actually building the crap version, then just forget to release it and get on with the good iteration?

  12. Glenturret Single Malt

    Painful?

    What exactly is painful about switching between desktop mode and the other one? It involves touching one key on the keyboard - something I have now just done over 100 times without rolling on the floor in agony.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Painful?

      > It involves touching one key on the keyboard - something I have now just done over 100 times without rolling on the floor in agony.

      It isn't the key-press that's the problem, its the mental context switch out of you work environment and into a full-screen menu system which is jarring. Its a bit like a carpenter looking at his toolbox and being unable to see what he's working on at the same time. Initially, the design is relevant to a small screen form-factor where all the screen space is required for the function. By putting on the desktop, MS wants the toolbox (windows) to be important. It isn't. Its just a way of getting stuff I want to do, done. Adding hubris to a design flaw doesn't make for a happy vendor-customer relationship.

  13. Someone Else Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Each time there’s a new version of Windows, Microsoft bills it as “the best Windows yet," understandably enough.

    And each time, equally understandably, they're wrong.

  14. Kaltern

    Linux.

    I said it once before. Give those less fortunate than ourselves a mostly terminal-free environment and software much easier to install than current tar files, and I would imagine the uptake would be immense.

    It's all very well spouting off about how Windows Sucks and why Linux Rocks, but you forget that we are all slightly more intelligent than the vast majority of Minesweeper players, and unless a Linux distro is developed with the same user experience as Windows 7, it'll always be a desktop just for 'geeks and IT Admins' (as someone explained to me recently).

    Mint is close, but it isn't quite there yet.

    Dare I say, there needs to be a unified 'app store' - much like iOS has (ughh), not repo's spread around everywhere, and linux devs who actually WANT to use it.

    Hey, don't look at me like that.... :|

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux.

      it'll always be a desktop just for 'geeks and IT Admins'

      Good!

      Let's keep it that way - we don't want to use something dumbed down for Grandma.

    2. Martin
      Happy

      Re: Linux.

      there needs to be a unified 'app store'...

      And so there is on Mint. It's called the Software Manager.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Linux.

      @Kaltern

      You'd be much more convincing if you wrote as if you knew what you were writing about.

    4. Adair

      Re: Linux.

      Kaltern, what's it like back there in 1998?

    5. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Linux.

      Linux is getting there.

      I've met a number of people recently, all europeans,not UK/US who use Linux (all Ubuntu, all Unity) and who from what I can gather from chatting rarely or never go to the commandline at all. Of course they are not exclusively using Linux, all still have Windows or OS-X fallbacks.

    6. Fred T

      Re: Linux.

      "mostly terminal-free environment and software much easier to install"

      I find Fedora repos good enough for that. Many packages also exist in opensuse build factory, so there is nothing to fiddle with tar and build. If I had to rebuild, I just use mock.

      Besides, my users don't do the upgrades and install. I do it for them over the network, without leaving my chair, using ethernet wake-up and ssh.

  15. Fintan

    What a rubbish article

    Microsoft hails its latest technology as being amazing and better than all previous versions. Well DUH! What company doesn't?

    The rest is just a regurgitation of info surrounding the last few windows versions and what's in the next version. Slow news day? "Bring your 2 year old child to work to write an article" day?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Post Windows World

    Microsoft are deluded, the world has moved on, the operating system no longer matters. Web apps are the future. I can even run Photoshop on my Chromebook, it doesn't kill the battery (still good for 10 hours use), and all the heavy lifting is done server-side on monster server farms.

    Having everything local for you to lose/mess up is now mostly a thing of the past.

    Most businesses could move their entire organisation to the cloud storage and web apps, and get themselves some proper security. (with cloud storage, users don't email docs, all the security is handled serverside with 2 factor auth).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Post Windows World

      "Most businesses could move their entire organisation to the cloud storage and web apps, and get themselves some proper security. (with cloud storage, users don't email docs, all the security is handled serverside with 2 factor auth)."

      s/cloud storage/someone else's computer/g

      What's this "security" of which you write?

    2. Jim 59

      Re: Post Windows World

      and all the heavy lifting is done server-side on monster server farms

      You mean like it was in the 1940s ?

      ...my Chromebook...

      It's a dumb terminal.

      Having everything local for you to lose/mess up is now mostly a thing of the past.

      Unless you want to do something serious.

      Most businesses could move their entire organisation to the cloud storage and web apps, and get themselves some proper security

      Companies don't want to lose control of the data necessary for their survival.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Post Windows World

        "Companies don't want to lose control of the data necessary for their survival"

        Remind me how that worked out for sony pictures again? Cloud and web apps secured with 2factor author world have prevented it or vastly isolated it.

        1. Jim 59

          Re: Post Windows World

          "Companies don't want to lose control of the data necessary for their survival"

          Remind me how that worked out for sony pictures again?

          Is Sony Pictures still in existence ? If so, the data that was stolen was not necessary for the company's survival.

    3. Berwhale

      Re: Post Windows World

      You should try getting compliance sign-off to host proprietary company or confidential client data in a third party data center that the you are not allowed to visit or carry out an audit their physical security.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Post Windows World

        No problem, already done. Not everyone is a Luddite afraid of new stuff. When you look at the sane facts of cloud storage, enforced 2 factor auth and web apps, everything else isn't very secure at all.

        Read and digest: http://philstephens.com.au/security-for-google-drive-businesses/

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Post Windows World

          "Read and digest: http://philstephens.com.au/security-for-google-drive-businesses/"

          I had a quick look. I came across this "Instead of documents being emailed around the company, they can be shared via email. This means that all that is sent is a link."

          What's to stop emailing links being done if the storage is in-house? Alternatively, what's to stop complete docs being emailed if storage is on someone else's computer?

          Whilst not wishing to cast aspersions on Google's security measures (other, of course, than the fact that they're open to hidden NSA demands in a way that an in-house system isn't, a major consideration if you're in the EU) the generic issue still exists. You're now dealing with three attack surfaces, the in-house one which may now be smaller; someone else's which, as another commentator has pointed out, you can't visit or audit its physical security; and the connections between the two.

          It's not Luddism to point out the smoke and mirrors. Nevertheless, maybe I'll adopt "and Enoch shall break them" as a sig.

          1. Planty Bronze badge

            Re: Post Windows World

            The key point is that you can force 2factor auth by group policy. Yes you can send a link, but it's useless, you need to know the account password, AND your browser to have the 2nd auth token.

            This totally eliminates the threat of unauthorised remote access to your documents and emails, which is how sony pictures got owned... Idiot CEO could have emailed plaintext passwords internally to his hearts content..

        2. Jim 59

          Re: Post Windows World

          Not everybody's compute requirements are the same. You or I might be happy using Google docs to draw up a flyer for the local garden fete. That does not mean Nissan will be putting the code control system for their automotive firmware on it. ARM won't be doing their logic simulations on Google docs. Natwest won't... statutory accounts... sharded database... hardware accellerated.. etc etc.

          IMO public cloud's biggest customer base is domestic users doing homey stuff. Potentially a very big market.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Post Windows World

            I agree, that there are some types of business where cloud storage is not appropriate, banking, as you mention. But as I pointed out, given that most IT departments are so crap at security, even mega-corps like Sony Pictures, ARM and Nissan would be far better off with cloud from a reputable vendor (like Google, who DO allow high level audits of their data centers. We recently did one).

            The sad fact is that all you will need to do to own most companies big or small is to throw a few infected USB keys in the car park or local coffee shop and let the human element do the rest...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too late...

    Switched to Ubuntu as Windows XP passed on. The original aim was to see if it was possible and practical - most people I deal with are straight up Microsoft Office types - but I had the feeling I'd be forced to jump to Windows 8 eventually but hated the UI.

    Turned out switching was surprisingly painless. A few changes which took a week to two weeks or so to get used to. Then it actually started to be easier than Windows - way easier. There's no gunk or needless pretty pretty or mindless pop-ups or services sucking up resources in the background. I can just get on and do stuff. Things work. Applications have menus! And they don't munge or interfere with each other. And it's way way faster.

    If you're doing anything IT-y it makes a huge difference eg coding or administrating linux servers because it feels like you never leave home. I still get to support a number of Windows 7 users and every time they need something fixed it's like a battle - me versus the OS - their ease of use is my pain in the rear. Linux isn't nirvana - MS Office still has a few productivity shortcuts I miss, but not enough to make it 'gotta-have-windows' any more.

  18. PiltdownMan
    Headmaster

    Just a little thing, but...

    My issue with Win 8/8.1 was not the Start BUTTON, but the START MENU. Now that the proper Start Menu is back in Win 10, I am quite happy to live with the additional Metro menu page with it's active buttons on it - a quite useful function, in my eyes.

    I can't wait for the next Win 10 update (Tomorrow?)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business model?

    Adobe and Microsoft are moving towards software rental by monthly subscription for applications. Is Windows 10 going to be the one where Microsoft implement that policy for the OS?

    Their W7 and Office licences have already apparently been restricted to the life of the PC on which it is installed. It is not clear what hardware components can be replaced/upgraded before the licence stops working. After my experiences with W7 it would be likely that even a disk change might not be permitted.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Business model?

      >Adobe and Microsoft are moving towards software rental by monthly subscription for applications.

      I think here is where they will come unstuck. A lot of people & small businesses install windows and Office and sweat the assets for years and years, with the system mostly used with some invoicing and customer management application. They don't want or need an ultra-reliable internet connection (that's chromebook out) and they don't want to keep paying for things they don't use that much (Office software rental or upgrading windows every two or three years).

      Write some accounting/invoicing/customer management software for Linux and put it on Steam. Write it to QT if you want to go cross-platform or use VMs. You can then provide an option for off-site data backup. Then the user pays for what they really need.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Business model?

      @AC

      All praise Volume Licensing! Let me hear ya say it children! Volume Licensing! Hallelujah!

      I feel for the admins (budget) who can't take advantage VL it really makes life easy.

  20. Kev99 Bronze badge

    Forget Win10

    I tried Windows 10 Technical preview in December. YUCK! I couldn't get it off my PC fast enough. Which entailed reformatting the hard drive it was on as there was no way to uninstall it. I'll stay with Win7.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Ahh Windows Ten… holding on to face the music.

  22. Zog The Undeniable

    Windows 8, and 8.1, sucked. I'd rather use Linux Mint and do on the desktop PC but, in the case of my HP Pavilion laptop, Linux support for the wireless interface is a bit iffy (drops WiFi regularly) so i ended up paying for Windows 7. Oh, and I also ended up paying for a dual-boot copy of Windows 7 for the desktop because I needed to drive a Reflecta film scanner with no Linux support. So MS have done pretty well out of me; the Windows 8 tax and then a copy of Windows 7. Maybe it's a strategy to release a rubbish product every other version, and benefit from the downgrade market.

  23. Sanlorenzo

    MS - ditch the dogma and succumb to reason,logic and customer opinion.

    Ever since NT I have been wondering why commercial reason and engineering logic seems to have eluded those who make the ultimate decisions concerned the development and sale of new products at MS. This especially as I have met many of them (at least from that era). People have liked and still do like the Windows interface partly because its familiar to them and partly because they have had to in the past, and are loath to invest the time and money in learning anew. But the GUI look and feel, and the underlying system structure are almost entirely different issues. Whilst it is undoubtedly true that "screens sell machines" (a phrase I first heard in the 1970s from a salesman at Data General Corp when referring to DG's Star-Trek inspired Dasher VDU with blue phosphor), the ability of the system to cope with matters like efficient thread/task scheduling,coping with errant user code, and general installation and maintenance work-flows are critical matters that determine the actual cost of ownership of a desktop, as well as shaping the user experience. So I ask Microsoft, "since you have such vast resources at your disposal, why haven't you written a new system in the mold of unix? You know by now that in the real world, the architectural differences between unix style and NT by Vax-VMS style have been settled strongly in favour of unix, and yet you dogmatically ignore the facts as experienced by the techies in every major MS site, corporate, gov, ngo et al. Imagine the ecstasy and goodwill you would create by providing your users with an ultra-fast and responsive interface on legacy hardware. Imagine how happy users would be to see no more "oops sorry its broken" dialogs and worse! True, my experience is a little out of date; and in my idle moments I have been wondering if Win10 will finally be a unix style system with a warm and cosy Win7 style GUI on top, bundled with a new Office suite and a vmc for legacy Windows apps.......? Is MS big enough to hold its' head up and make the change? If MS can't stomach the idea of a complete change, how about a choice for your customers; a unix based Windows and or a 'traditional' Windows? Of course, that would be letting your customers make the change for you.....and who said they were always right?

    1. bpfh Bronze badge

      Re: MS - ditch the dogma and succumb to reason,logic and customer opinion.

      Thinking about it, this is more or less what MacOS X has become. A clean, coherent and usable interface with standard look and feel for tools and utilities, on a solid unix base.

      This is what gets me about Linux, and as much as I love it as a server operating system, there is little consistancy, and even with mainstream distros on a well sold laptop, you get wierd bugs, and you end up going back to a console window to get stuff done, and this is not acceptable for John Q. Luser (and frustrating for me when I get home and i have to reboot Linux 'cause the wifi drivers have crashed again coming out of hibernation)

      Will Windows ever go down this road? Probably not, but I can but hope!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the DVs…?

    That was me. It's not that I love Windows, I don't. I just hate humanity.

  25. Brian Allan 1

    Long Live Windows 7!

    After the fiasco of Windows 8/8.1 it will be a long (long, long) time before our company tries a new Microsoft operating system! Maybe at about Ver. 4 or 5 of Win 10...

  26. Scientist & Saint

    Talking of the UI....

    Anybody care to offer odds on M$ abandoning their unbelievably arrogant position of thinking that _they_ know better than _I_ do what colours _I_ want for things on _my_ screen?

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    No, thought not.....

  27. aqk
    Linux

    ?? I don't understand!

    I've been running Win 8.1 for some time on a multi-screen desktop, and much prefer it to my old Windows-7, whose PC is now sorta collecting dust- I only boot it occasionally to do Win-Updates.

    I just installed Win-10 on (or over) my backup/test XP + Ubuntu dual-boot system and it runs even better! So I may upgrade the 8.1 system, or at least the old Win-7 system to 10 soon, once I kicked Win-10's tyres...

    Now I gotta remember where I left my microphone so I can try Cortana....

    Oh yeah- I also have Ubuntu on these systems- remember how installing Win-8 would clobber the GRUB?

    Well, the Win-10 upgrade does not! After it was installed and a reboot done, GRUB was still there, and I can still dual boot!

  28. Captain Mainwaring

    Non - IT bod here

    Having spent the last 3 years working in HR, one thing I have particularly noticed that there is a lot of what I would call serious professional-grade apps available entirely online, without any need for locally installed components. These apps include Sage accounting suits and HR database, to name just a few. Having recently purchased a Chromebook out of my own pocket for home use, all of these apps are available directly on this new laptop as though I was sitting at work on my Windows desktop.

    My point is this though, if more and more professional grade apps are going to be available directly from the cloud, is a full fat, fully featured operating system like Windows 10 going to be required to service mundane everyday office tasks as in the past? Or is a lightweight cloud-orientated OS like Chrome going to be sufficient in a majority of cases? I'm not an IT professional and my comments might seem a little naive, but from a common sense point of view, I can't see the mainstream Windows PC business model from the past continuing a long time into the future.

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