back to article Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

In a stunning example of consensus-building, Microsoft has somehow persuaded the big names of silicon that it would be better for all concerned if they quietly euthanize Windows 7 and 8.1. Accordingly, Redmond, Intel, Qualcomm and AMD have occupied the same room without injury long enough to promise that future products like …

  1. Steven Roper

    The more they push

    the more people they will push onto Linux or Apple.

    1. msknight Silver badge

      Re: The more they push

      It's happening here. Steadily, more friends are coming to me to install/learn Mint. They don't like what Microsoft are doing, and where they're heading.

      They've seen the headlines of M$ hiking prices at their whim, lowering entitlements and changing the rules after the dotted line has been signed, and they don't like it.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: The more they push

        "...coming to me to install/learn Mint."

        Still a modest barrier to exit then, at least in the minds of the would-be apostates.

        Microsoft are presumably betting that most people won't have a Linux-y friend that they can go to. Based on today's market share, they might be right, but the internet can help you find friends so what we're (they're) really dealing with here is the growth of an invasive species in an ecosystem (non-business users with little or no legacy software to worry about) that has no natural defences against it, and that can undermine such cosy assumptions at exponential speed.

        1. BobChip
          Linux

          Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

          The real obstacle to going Linux is not learning how to install or use it. It is having the courage to take the decision in the first place.

          I have several desktops running Mint 17. Windows users who have never even heard of Linux will sit down in front of them and just use them. Some don't even notice that Libre Office and Calc are not M$ Office. Eventually, someone will ask me "Why have you set it up that way..." and then I explain.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

            Thats whats so laughable the Linux's of yesteryear were a bit of a pain, where you had to setup your own partitions up just to install the damned thing. Thankfully now installing Linux is as easy if not even easier to install then Windows 7. That almost every Distro that matter also has Open Office, and GIMP as standard. Means I don't have to waste my time installing M$ Office, or Photoshop Elements. Whoever thinks that a simple copy of Mint can NOT stand against Windows 7 is likely either a Gamer or a heavy professional so locked in to that ecosystem to care.

            For everyone else, who'd just need a simple browser, email (as

            Iikely Yahoo, Hotmail or, Gmail), along with a decent Word Processor. Mint has you well, and truly coverd. Moreas the shame that Valve aren't pushing Linux as hard as they should be doing.

            1. Chemist

              Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

              "For everyone else, who'd just need a simple browser, email "

              I think we can be a little more ambitious than that.

              Darktable or RawTherapee for RAW photo development/manipulation

              Hugin for panorama creation

              Kdenlive for NL video editing

              Thunderbird for e-mail

              Google Earth

              VLC or MPlayer for media

              Inkscape for vector drawing

              More language compilers/interpreters than you could possibly want

              etc.

            2. NotBob

              Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

              Thats whats so laughable the Linux's of yesteryear were a bit of a pain

              Just got a low-end W10 laptop for the better half, changed over to Linux on this (formerly W7) system.

              Turned off the spy crap on hers, it works like a dream. Mine? OpenSUSE failed to boot post-install, UBUNTU keeps crashing.

              Linux of this year is still quite capable of being a pain.

              1. keithpeter
                Windows

                Symproms - Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

                "OpenSUSE failed to boot post-install, UBUNTU keeps crashing."

                What is the make/model of your laptop?

                When you say crashing, is that a kernel panic (black screen with a dump of some registers and all controls frozen, you have to press power switch to reboot) or is it just that daft popup window that says something about internal error? If latter, it isn't serious but I agree not what you want with an unfamiliar system.

                PS: At work I have a small PC with an atom processor and 2Gb of RAM. Windows 10 for Education actually runs rather well on that low end hardware. Pity about all the data swiping/corporate politics around what appears to be an actual improvement.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: Symproms - The more they push - the harder they will fall

                  "What is the make/model of your laptop?"

                  Plenty of other questions - What version of OpenSUSE/Ubuntu? Did a live-CD work ? does the memory check show any problems ?

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

                OpenSUSE failed to boot post-install, UBUNTU keeps crashing.

                You did first use a LiveCD to confirm whichever Linux distribution you wished to install would actually run and recognise your hardware?

                I've had problems with some installs determining that because the system contains a x64 capable cpu, the entire system is 64-bit compatible... In these circumstances, I have had to force a 32-bit install.

            3. Ahab Returns

              Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

              I just built a fresh desktop box for a non-techie relative and Ubuntu was the obvious choice for a peaceful tech support life.

              A couple of years back it would have been Windows 7 for me, but now, Ubuntu just works. No half life, no licence fees, no admin user installing nasties and everything they need is Web based.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

            The real obstacle to going Linux is not learning how to install or use it. It is having the courage to take the decision in the first place.

            Actually, the real obstacle is going to be Linux support of the new chipsets (ie.Intel's Skylake and “Kaby Lake” silicon, Qualcomm’s "8996” silicon, and AMD’s “Bristol Ridge” silicon) and the integrated peripherals.

            But once this is solved, I agree the second hurdle is finding courage...

            Does anyone know if the Linux community has started development work on these chipsets?

            1. Chemist

              Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

              "Does anyone know if the Linux community has started development work on these chipsets?"

              AFAIK the latest kernels support Skylake e.g http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel-xeon-skylake&num=1

            2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: The more they push - the harder they will fall

              > Does anyone know if the Linux community has started development work on these chipsets?

              With the first x86-64 CPUs, Linux was the first implementation.

              """Linux was the first operating system kernel to run the x86-64 architecture in long mode, starting with the 2.4 version in 2001 (preceding the hardware's availability)."""

              The initial Windows x86-64 implementation worked on AMD but failed on Intel CPUs.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          "Still a modest barrier to exit then, at least in the minds of the would-be apostates."

          Is the barrier more or less modest in comparison with migrating to a new version of Windows?

          Even for business users the barrier to migrating to non-legacy Windows has proved substantial if it won't run business-critical legacy Windows applications.

        3. td97402

          Re: The more they push

          NEWS FLASH:

          Sales are down for all PC makers except APPLE. Wonder why that might be?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The more they push

            "Sales are down for all PC makers except APPLE. Wonder why that might be?"

            There are several hundred PC makers perhaps? PC sales in 2015 Q4 ~75m. Mac sales in 2015 Q4 ~6m.

        4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          @Ken - Slurp is delusional if they think someone can not get Linux installed. Linux geeks have friends and the friends know others. It may be indirect, geek referred by a friend to help the friend's family or other friends.

          Also, as more geeks and semi-geeks install Linux and get familiar with the bigger the pool of Linux geeks gets. If this scenario happens, it will be a slow drip, that is slowly accelerating as geeks and semi-geeks abandon Slurp. Then, apparently very suddenly, the Linux adoption rate accelerates as the masses jump on board. The best advertisement for Linux is people using daily.

      2. EastFinchleyite

        Re: The more they push

        "to install/learn Mint"

        An interesting but not surprising choice. Not so long ago Ubuntu was the default choice for Linux newbies. That this seems to have changed to Mint is possibly due to the hopeless Unity desktop that Canonical foisted upon us.

        I hope this trend continues, with PC users increasingly only accepting what they want i.e. an efficient, secure and unintrusive OS with a classic desktop GUI which is clearly not what Microsoft and Canonical are offering.

        1. msknight Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          @EastFinchleyite

          To a degree, I make that choice for them. Coming form Windows, if I presented them with a choice of different desktops, it would confuse them. Just give them something which works and looks familiar, and away they go. LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC, Firefox, a few other bits and pieces, show them where the icons are, and away they rock. Minimal training needed, really. Although I'm having to revisit the Firefox choice with the certificate rejections, but so far it hasn't been too dire.

          One is on Unity, but given the multiple monitors, the side pop-out gets so annoying. I said that when it came time to rebuilt the workstation, that I'd, "mint," it like I did his other half's laptop... but, er, that was a while ago and I still haven't had to rebuilt it yet.

          Unity was great at, "netbook remix," but when they killed the remix and brought out Unity, that's when I left ubuntu. I was also using the music store they had and the cloud storage, but instead of charging for the storage (and I for one, would have been happy to pay a few quid a month for the cross-platform cloud) - they binned it anyway and didn't give anyone a choice. Cannonical have made some very, very bad decisions these last few years... and feeding all desktop searches to Amazon (initially, without an off switch until people complained loudly) was another bad judgement call, IMHO.

          There are some concerns that Mint doesn't keep its packages up to date... but that's a double edged sword. Stability is a great bonus, and they love how they're not forced to update until they're ready to do so, and aren't nagged anywhere near as much as Windows used to.

    2. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: The more they push

      Obligatory Star Wars quote:-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wntX-a3jSY

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: The more they push

        Or:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd8hy032uLc

        "I'm altering the deal. Pray that I don't alter it any further"

        1. MysteryGuy

          Re: The more they push

          "I'm altering the deal. Pray that I don't alter it any further"

          And then there's the 'Robot Chicken' version :-)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpE_xMRiCLE

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: The more they push

      I was pushed to Apple a long time ago... OS X 10.0.. I can't say I'm so happy with Apple many years on. I think they lost the love around 10.5 or 10.6.

    4. SundogUK

      Re: The more they push

      I'm certainly not going to Win 10, so I'm putting a plan together for Mint with a Win 7 VM for gaming...

      1. mythicalduck

        Re: The more they push

        I tried both WINE and a Win7 VM (in VirtualBox), I couldn't get either to work sufficiently well. So at the minute I've got a Win7 partition that has Battle.Net/Starcraft 2 and Steam and that's it...

        Should I get to a point where most of my steam games are playable on Linux (or I don't actually care about not playing them), then I'll probably erase the partition, but for now it'll have to do.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          I have to say that if you're going to VM, you want the base hypervisor to be something decent. VirtualBox has never really cut it for me.

          VMWare is a good base option and will happily offer 3D acceleration to Linux and Windows guests, from a Linux or Windows host.

          The money I spent on a copy of VMWare Workstation has paid for itself 10 times over. And I primarily work on HyperV servers at work.

          Hell, if you tweak, you can even run MacOS on it. (I didn't say that).

          If they force my hand, it'll be a Linux install at the base, a VMWare VM for everything else, and probably even a Linux VM for actual everyday work (because isolating the hardware is good for future compatibility and moving that VM to other machines, and because snapshots/rollback are worth their weight in gold).

        2. steamnut

          Re: The more they push

          I've a number of XP and Win7 systems running on Virtualbox under SUSE and I never have any real problems with the set-up. I also have a Win 2003 server (that's reall legacy for you) under Virtualbox.

          The 2003 server hardware was going fast and we virtualised it using a VMWare tool and my customer says it runs better than ever.

          Micro$oft are sounding more desperate by the day to get us all on Win10, Azure and Office 365. The real reason has nothing to do with our "immersive experience" (yuk) but more to do with regular direct debit payments.....

          1. td97402

            Re: The more they push

            I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. For Microsoft to reveal why they are pushing so hard on Windows 10 adoption. Changing Windows over to a subscription service is one possibility to expect. Perhaps they are in a "survival mode" believing they lose everything if Windows 10 fails as the last two releases have done.

        3. Kruzman

          Re: The more they push

          Install PlayOnLinux to manage your WINE games, ive had no issues with steam or starcraft

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I tried both WINE and a Win7 VM (in VirtualBox)" ....

          "I tried both WINE and a Win7 VM (in VirtualBox)" ....

          or perhaps you can ask the vendors if they have any plans to make a linux version availible now that Microsoft is making things difficult.

          Steam I know are already pushing vendors to make linux versions of existing games and as most linux distributions are not optimised by default for gaming maybe you might try steamOS which is.

          Game developers are going to make games for operating systems that their customers use, if you do not make your game devs aware that you would like their game to run as well or better under linux as it did under windows then you are again tying yourself to windows.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "I tried both WINE and a Win7 VM (in VirtualBox)" ....

            I think it's great that Valve has (kinda, sorta) encouraged game devs to develop for their flavor of Linux. The only problem is that they need to convince the hardware folks at NVIDIA and AMD to create advanced drivers for that operating system, which they are failing to do. Drivers exist for Linux, but performance is significantly worse than on a Windows machine.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more they push

        "with a Win 7 VM for gaming..."

        Use Linux as the VM if you want Windows for gaming (Hyper-V is more efficient than Linux based hypervisors).

        Also you miss out on the significant performance improvements of Direct-X 12 if you stick with Win 7. If you are only using it for games, why cut off your nose to spite your face?

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: The more they push

          Unless you use KVM and IOMMU to get full GPU support in the VM.

          Something that really doesn't work properly in HyperV.

          Works in KVM though. Hell, LinusTechTips ran seven gaming VMs off one (admittedly chunky) workstation recently.

          Come back to us when HyperV can do that. And no, RemoteFX doesn't count.

          Steven R

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The more they push

            "Something that really doesn't work properly in HyperV."

            It's worked properly in Hyper-V since Server 2012 / Windows 8. Yes Remote FX does count as it does a similar thing. However Hyper-V also supports SR-IOV, which is IOMMU on steroids....

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: The more they push

              "It's worked properly in Hyper-V since Server 2012 / Windows 8. Yes Remote FX does count as it does a similar thing. However Hyper-V also supports SR-IOV, which is IOMMU on steroids...."

              With off the shelf software like Windows 7/8/10 Home edition and a basic HyperV server install, yeah?

              No, didn't think so. Software Assurance and Enterprise Edition required, yeah?

        2. Piro

          Please

          I'm hoping on Vulkan, for one. DX12 is just another lock-in.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The more they push

          "(Hyper-V is more efficient than Linux based hypervisors)."

          Based on what? And running what?

          Marketing level statements here.

      3. David 138

        Re: The more they push

        Windows 10 is far from a great OS but its fine to use at the moment. Another year or so of updates and it should be one of the better OS MS have shat out. Either way its still better than Linux and OSX for most task. Especially if you game.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          "it should be one of the better OS MS have shat out."

          Is that damning with faint praise or praising with a faint damn?

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: The more they push

            Thankfully now installing Linux is as easy if not even easier to install then Windows 7.

            How many people actually install any OS?

            Bet you that 99% of Win 7 users acquired their PC with it already on, they might have had to supply some information on first boot but no installing.

        2. BobChip
          Linux

          Re: The more they push etc..

          Surely the objective of promoting your latest and greatest OS should not be to find that even it's fans regard it as "far from a great OS", and that after "Another year or so of updates it should be one of the better OS MS have shat out." - though I must agree with your description of the manner in which Microsoft have "pushed it out".

          Fact (1) is that Linux - my choice is Mint - is already an excellent OS for work-related tasks, and fact (2) is that the world does not consist entirely of gamers; though to be fair the gaming community are still not well supported. That is already changing, and will probably take place in less time than the "year or so" it may take to get Win 10 half way sorted.

        3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          > Another year or so of updates and it should be one of the better OS MS have shat out...

          If you don't mind that the interface/desktop is severely F-U-G-L-Y....

          There is simply NO way to make the W10 interface look other than something designed by a 6-month-old with crayons and a full diaper...

      4. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: The more they push

        I appreciate your enthusiasm but a VM is no place for gaming.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The more they push

          Windows runs everything in a VM already and has done so for years, a VM under linux tends to have a lower overhead than under windows as less useless rubbish like office and IE components is loaded when you boot.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The more they push

      "the more people they will push onto Linux or Apple"

      The value will still be so near zero so as to make no difference. Even with the success of Android on low end devices, and of Linux in the server world (almost entirely at the expense of other UNIX based systems), pretty much no one uses Linux on a PC desktop or laptop.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: The more they push

        Beg to differ, as I write this on my Linux desktop. I only boot Windows for gaming or when I need to use an app that won't work on my current Linux distro, like my company VPN or my EPROM burner.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The more they push

        "pretty much no one uses Linux on a PC desktop or laptop."

        What you're missing out on here is that the more Windows breaks with its past the less the differentiation between a legacy Windows -> W10 and legacy Windows -> non-Windows migration.

        The less the differentiation the more readily people will choose the non-Windows option.

        The more people choose the non-Windows option the easier it becomes to choose it.

      3. Chemist

        Re: The more they push

        "The value will still be so near zero so as to make no difference."

        And if you really believe that my anonymous 'friend' ( and you almost always are anonymous) why do you spend so much time trying (desperately it seems) to convince everyone else about this ?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more they push

        "... pretty much no one uses Linux on a PC desktop or laptop."

        Yea, just millions and millions of users.

        But of course, if you don't ever read anything else than IDC numbers of "market share", you might think so, as Linux on desktop is rarely sold, thus 'market share' is almost 0.

        Amount of downloads would be a similar number but those aren't easy to get because distributed delivery and IDC doesn't collect them, so they don't exist, right?

        Also 'market share' shows any laptop as MS-laptop because you can't buy laptops without windows- licences, MS-tax. Regardless of actual OS used.

        So no, you have no idea and you rely on bad, mostly made-up statistics.

        1. Chemist

          Re: The more they push

          I mostly agree but "shows any laptop as MS-laptop because you can't buy laptops without windows- licences, MS-tax."

          You can - I've got a very nice i7 that I'm writing this on. I would say that you have to look quite hard but I know of at least two outlets in the UK. What you will have to do though is install your distro of choice.

    6. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The more they push

      They did this with W9x, Windows NT, 2000 and XP, where is the news here?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: The more they push

        They did this with W9x, Windows NT, 2000 and XP, where is the news here?

        No they didn't!

        If you want you can still install these MS OS's on modern cpu's, yes things might get problematic - trying to run W9x as the host OS on a quad core i7, and these old OS's won't recognize or use cpu features outside of the subset defined for the minimum platform requirement.

        What the MS cartel are proposing is some mechanism to prevent you from running an old MS OS on a modern cpu; ie. destroying the x86 compatibility that Intel has worked hard to maintain over the decades.

        As I've pointed out on another comment, this could have massive ramifications on hypervisors and the use of VM's that utilise the x86 compatibility modes to run VM's directly on the hardware. So whilst your W10 host OS may run on the new CPU's, your W8/7/XP/2K/9x VM's won't...

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          They have just said that the old OSes won't be updated to support new features in new CPUs and they won't guarantee that they work. That is exactly what you described with W9x on a quad core i7.

          As far as I can see, they aren't proposing a way to block Win7/8/8.1 from running on newer hardware, they just won't guarantee it will work.

          Like XP before it, you might find that new C-States aren't supported, for example, and hibernation etc. might need to be disabled. In the release I didn't read anything that explicitly stated that Intel will be dropping X86 / X64 in the next generation of CPUs.

          1. The First Dave Silver badge

            Re: The more they push

            " In the release I didn't read anything that explicitly stated that Intel will be dropping X86 / X64 in the next generation of CPUs."

            Of course not - their PR people get paid a ridiculous amount of money to ensure the Press Releases only ever contain 'positive' news.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          > What the MS cartel are proposing is some mechanism to prevent you from running an old MS OS on a modern cpu

          What they really want to do is to also prevent you from running _non-MS_ OS on a modern CPU.

          For example with Windows 10 OEMs can now make 'Secure Boot' permanently on which makes it more difficult to boot another OS. This may be tied to 'loyalty discounts' so if they do this they get an extra few dollars discount.

          By convincing Intel to make 'Windows 10 only' CPUs and making 'loyalty discounts' to OEMs dependent on using those CPUs, then the cheaper machines (or more profitable ones) will not only not run Windows 7/8 but also not run Linux/BSD. It may be that the discount will make Windows 10 'free' to the OEMs.

          The question is: what would be in it for Intel and AMD ? Will Microsoft pay them to do this? Will MS threaten them with making Windows that will _not_ run on their current chips? That seems unlikely. It is not as if 'Win10 only' CPUs would be cheaper to make, or would suddenly have such a large volume as to have efficiency of scale.

          It did seem that this was attempted before. In the mid naughties it is alleged that MS was working on a 'next gen' Windows running on the PowerPC Xenon, as used in the XBox, so that it could make 'XPC' boxes that would not run Linux, or anything else . The system would be .NET based using managed code running on a CLR. This was supposed to follow on from XP but they couldn't get it working and so had to throw together Vista from existing bits and pieces.

          Microsoft's plan is obviously to change their revenue stream from selling products to services. 'Selling' involves one-time purchase. 'Services' involves annual or monthly fees (as with Azure or Office360) or a percentage cut (as with app store). To make that transition they need to lock in the need for services, such as for updates, or cloud or ability to buy, or rent, software.

          Note: they did manage to convince printer manufacturers to make 'WinModems' and 'WinPrinters' (GDI) that would only work with Windows. They were cheaper because they had no processing capability, relying on patented propriety Windows drivers to do the processing, but once you bought them you were locked into Windows to use them*. Today it is just as cheap to have full printer capability because the cost of electronic components is so much less.

          * some WinModems and WinPrinters do have Linux drivers.

        3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          > these old OS's won't recognize or use cpu features outside of the subset defined for the minimum platform requirement.

          Motherboards came with CDs. After installing Windows you would install the software on the CD (which had appropriate sections for whichever Windows version it was) and various drivers and utilities appropriate to the chipset and CPU. In this way new features could be added to the base platform. For example Windows XX might have had no mechanism to monitor or control fan speed or CPU temperature but the software on the CD added this*.

          Will MS be able to prevent motherboard and chip makers from continuing to add Windows 7/8 software to handle newer CPU features ?

          * Retail machines already had this built into the installed software by the OEM.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: The more they push

            Motherboards came with CDs. After installing Windows you would install the software on the CD (which had appropriate sections for whichever Windows version it was) and various drivers and utilities appropriate to the chipset and CPU. In this way new features could be added to the base platform. For example Windows XX might have had no mechanism to monitor or control fan speed or CPU temperature but the software on the CD added this*.

            This works to a certain degree for chipsets and other motherboard features, but it won't work for new CPU features, the whole OS needs to be recompiled to take advantage of new Opcodes.

      2. td97402

        Re: The more they push

        "They did this with W9x, Windows NT, 2000 and XP, where is the news here?"

        No, they most certainly did not. This is the most brazen, arrogant upgrade push that I've ever seen Microsoft do. I paid for a retail Windows 7 license a few years ago with the understanding that I could count on updates until 2020 and I could move that Windows 7 to a new machine when I wanted down the road.

        Now they tell me, screw you, you want to upgrade to the current hardware, you are changing to 10 and that is all there is to that.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: The more they push

          Now they tell me, screw you, you want to upgrade to the current hardware, you are changing to 10 and that is all there is to that.

          No, they are saying that it may not work or may not take full advantage of new hardware - exactly the same as other legacy versions of Windows.

          Windows 7 will probably boot on a Kabylake, but it won't take advantage of any new CPU features and MS won't guarantee its stability. If you look at XP and W9x, that is pretty much the same situation. Some processor features in Core i processors aren't available in XP and some cause compatibility problems and you have to disable some CPU features in the BIOS.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The more they push

        "They did this with W9x, Windows NT, 2000 and XP, where is the news here?"

        False. I still can run any of those on new hardware if I want to: It's called 'PC compability'.

        Not too simple on XP, but possible. But next version of hardware will break the compability and will work only with Windows 10. Monopoly abuse at its finest.

        Happily (for MS) Linux or other non-windows OSes suffer at the same time, this is a blatant move to kill an open architecture and back to stone age, vendor-spesific hardware.

      4. CFWhitman

        Re: The more they push

        "They did this with W9x, Windows NT, 2000 and XP, where is the news here?"

        With all those systems that you just mentioned, they didn't do this until they ended support for the operating system altogether. This is entirely different than that. This is partially ending support for people who expected it to go on until 2020 when they bought the product.

        It's true that this doesn't mean that Windows 7 won't work on the new hardware. However, Windows 7 on the new hardware will basically be in the same boat that Windows XP is as far as hardware compatibility is concerned rather than what people expected.

    7. MrTuK

      Carrot first and now the stick !

      Well to state the obvious, we all knew MS would do everything in its power to usher all users kicking and screaming if necessarily onto the dreaded data slurping latest Windows edition.

      But even I am quite astonished to the lengths it is going with the FUD etc it is stating like Windows 7 is no longer secure, GWX updategate etc !

      Surely they must know that they are actually encouraging users to look at other OS's especially one of the many Linux Distro's out there, for me personally I am very happy with Win 7 64 Pro and by responding to this post I am obviously in the No camp for Win 10 at any cost - While Win 7 serves my purpose I will remain a Windows user (Only because of a couple of games that I also use my Laptop for and do admit if it were not for these then I would be using a Linux to browse the internet etc.

      I understand that some people out there use certain Windows software that locks them into MS windows like myself for the moment !

      The thing for me is the principle, the OS on my Laptop is supposed to be for my convenience, but MS has turned that on its head and now just because they are giving it away free they believe that they own all what you do on it, all the browsing they want to use for making money on what your habits, interests etc are whereas since I paid for and use Win 7 I believe that that they have no right to this information.

      Win 10 will never let you use you PC/Laptop without trying to gather data that they can use, no matter what tick boxes etc you click or what registry elements you set/change. The only way is to be completely disconnected from the internet which then devoid's the use of a modern day I.T device.

      Yes I own two Android device's and don't use them for anything except phone calls and text and FB and a few games like Mahjong and Soliaire, no I don't use my Android for purchasing and would never input any credit car details into them as I don't trust it, that is what my Laptop is for so from this point you can understand my absolute reluctance to ever put Win 10 on it. So MS do what you will I am not jumping, yes I have disabled WU's and only install what I verify NOT to be backported Win 10 dataslurping updates of any kind.

      I wonder how many people have reverted to Win 7 after understanding exactly what MS are doing/monitoring/data slurping, I wonder if any numbers would ever be released, I doubt it. It will be interesting to see people getting annoyed at MS when they start force feeding adverts within the OS, I can just imagine a family PC when several people are using it, especially children and parents start getting MS OS adverts for games or whatever the children are browsing or vice versa when children keep getting adverts completely inappropriate due to father peeking at porn sites !

      How will MS know who is using the computer/laptop to be able to differentiate between family members ? Because I'm not sure how many families use different logins for each family member, and just because father logged into his porn or local DIY website doesn't mean that they are actually the person using the machine at that point in time, maybe he got up to go to the loo and wife or child sits down to do their own browsing or whatever !

      All I can say is it is a mine field and not everyone wants a Webcam to distinguish who is using the machine without you having control of when its in use or not, nah the only upgrade for me will be to Linux, probably Linux Mint as I am hearing good things about it and never in a million years will I use Win 10 on my personal I.T. equipment and I have been a MS Windows user since Win 3.0 !

    8. Mikel
      Gimp

      Re: The more they push

      You don't deserve Linux or Apple you dirty cur, and you don't deserve Windows 7. You took Windows 8, and Vista and ME. You took activation, registration, Windows Genuine Advantage and Software Assurance. You stood idly by while they took away your Netscape, your NetWare, your WordPerfect and Borland and Nokia - while they asserted their dominance over the world and you.

      You crave punishment because you are not worthy. You don't know what is in the Windows box. You don't need to know. You don't want to know. The existence of the box is proof of Microsoft's dominance over you and your lack of understanding is proof that you are unworthy of anything better. It is their excuse to mete the punishments you hunger for, to mewl about and provide the tears they thirst for, and your excuse to submit. But your hunger will never be sated, their thirst never quenched because it is your natures. Microsoft is your master and you are their bitch.

      Now lick the boot. Lick it clean you dirty dog.

      /The icon might as well have been the whole comment.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The more they push

      "the more people they will push onto Linux or Apple."

      Except Apple has roughly half the same support period for each version of OSX. OSX Mountain Lion being the latest one to fall out of support after approximately 3 and a bit years. Windows 7 has been going for over 7 now.

    10. Vince

      Re: The more they push

      You've hit the nail on the head.

      I'm very much a Microsoft / Windows person. Actually, I *was*.

      Windows 10 is utterly atrocious in my view, and I'm not at all happy with it on the test systems I've been experiencing it on, and I have thus zero intention of moving off Windows 8.0/8.1 (and yes I like Windows 8 series!). The Windows 10 nonsense and the more aggressive "you will have 10, oh yes you will, we will force it down your throats" approach on the older versions has really annoyed me.

      Beyond that, the Win 10 Mobile experience really sucks. It's not even close to being finished, and the volume of problems, limitations and bugs in it are astounding. That's all before you get as far as the pretty considerable "app gap" problems in that platform.

      Accordingly, despite running a business that supports Windows, despite having an extensive amount of Microsoft technology in my home, I've actually started buying and looking at alternatives. The straw has very much been found that broke this camels back.

  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Microsoft: douchecanoes extraordinare.

    Asshats. I hope they drown in their own hubris. That goes for all who support them in their customer-hostile ways.

    The trust is gone. May they never earn it back.

  3. Adam 1 Silver badge

    Yeah. Can't see Intel sitting around and copping that one. If they mean that they won't extend the kernel to access new features on the newer silicon, that is fair enough, but if they cripple the kernel so it refuses to run on those CPUs, good luck to them. It won't end up where they expect it too.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      And if the new hardware won't boot old Windows, does that mean it won't boot old Linux either? Do we expect Redhat, HP, Oracle, IBM etc. to sit back and let that happen?

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        > does that mean it won't boot old Linux either?

        No, Intel will just release 2 versions of their new CPU range. A Windows 10 edition and a wink wink nudge nudge alternative older operating systems version like Linux or perhaps something else.

        I can already guess which series will have the higher run in the fab.

        1. Paul Shirley

          "Intel will just release 2 versions of their new CPU range"

          ? Looks more like the plan is to provide no driver or other software support for new silicon except for Win10. Which is basically no change from today, the CPU keeps working, just never notices new features.

          They'll get away with neglecting legacy Windows to death. Apply it to Linux,BSD etc. and even the US regulators will reconsider breaking up Microsoft, then fining the parts till they can't afford to fsck with the market.

      2. Chika
        Flame

        Now we see some of the reasoning behind UEFI. Now we see the thinking behind the original lock down proposals for the XBone.

        Now we see that the monopolistic practices of Merkan corporates have no interest in providing an open playing field and will resort to cartel-like tactics to bully the market into line. Their line.

        It's nothing new. Microsoft and IBM did this before to get the likes of MS-DOS and Windows going in the 1990s, killing off nearly everything else because nearly everything else brought in nothing for the cartel.

        I'm disgusted. Not surprised, but absolutely disgusted.

        1. Chika
          Trollface

          Ooo! Already my downvoting shadow has moved in! More, please!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I am presuming that Microsoft will limit CPU versions via the microcode they and intel bodged, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/11/memory_hole_roots_intel_processors/

        "Old" hardware won't get an fixed MS microcode on newers OS and they prevent the hardware vendors releasing their own version. You can bet some of the microcode contains MS validation methods that produce spurious errors under windows and optimisations that are not enabled by default in the hardware vendors microcode, so yes it will continue to effect "other OS" in terms of only hardware vendors optimisations for old and non-microsoft. The solution is ofc to run the old windows in a VM and if AMD and Intel are stupid enough to allow themselves to be limited on non-MS OS then they deserve go under.

        Seriously time for these fools to loose all their patents so someone with integrity can make their unhampered replacement

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Can't see Intel sitting around and copping that one.

      Well that depends on whether Intel/AMD wish to see their CPU's used in VM platforms, because this strategy effectively means these platforms have to be incompatible with legacy x86 x64/x86-64 assembler on two levels: firstly such code is unable to run natively on the hardware and secondly there is no simple way an hardware emulator/interpreter, can map such instructions...

      So the only real option is for MS to read the cpu-id and determine whether Windows can or can't run. The only involvement this requires from Intel/AMD is for them to make the cpu-id hard coded and hence unalterable by their CPU management application.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      I'm guessing it will be the same as with W9x and XP. New features won't be accessible (E.g. MMX opcodes in W95) and if, for example, new power modes are introduced that cause conflicts, you might need to disable hybernate and sleep in W7.

  4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Question to Supplier of hardware...

    ...Is this PC fully compatible with Windows 7? Does it come with drivers for Windows 7?

    (In the old days I used to ask this question whenever I needed a Windows 7 machine backgraded to XP Professional for a customer).

    In the UK the onus is on the Supplier to provide goods fit for purpose.

    So suppliers: Do you want to listen to MS, or do you want to sell lots of hardware? (Or to keep your fingers crossed and hope you don't get too many returns?)

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

      You seem to have missed the bit where Intel and AMD promised to stop making such hardware.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: You seem to have missed...

        Admittedly yes, I had. But is this behaviour uncompetitive? Actually, it's probably not, because M$ are effectively asking for their own products to be trashed.

        However, is this the kind of behaviour you, as a customer, want to see from a supplier? Definitely not, and this is where customers will vote with their feet. Unfortunately the sales statistics M$ collates in the aftermath wouldn't necessarily correlate "this stimulus caused this effect".

        Going back to the uncomptetitive bit: If they ask Intel, et al to trash other manufacturer's products then that is grounds to take action: I would have thought, but then again, the law isn't always based on conventional logic.

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: You seem to have missed...

          "...this is where customers will vote with their feet. "

          Only if they know that they have an alternative.

          Sadly most people are unaware that Gnu/Linux even exists and the markup on Apple stuff is a disincentive to those on a restricted budget.

          I would love MS to shoot themselves and the others in the foot with this idea but can't see it happening. Inertia, ignorance and fear of the unknown may be too strong to lead to a revolution in consumer IT.

          And that's a pity.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: You seem to have missed...

            "Only if they know that they have an alternative."

            I'm sure that today you didn't know a lot of things you didn't know in the past but now you've learned about them.

            Other people learn too.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

        The fun thing about cartels is that there is always tremendous commercial pressure to break them.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

        "You seem to have missed the bit where Intel and AMD promised to stop making such hardware."

        OTOH they're not going to cut themselves off from the Linux server market are they? So the Linux drivers will be there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

      "...Is this PC fully compatible with Windows 7? Does it come with drivers for Windows 7?"

      No sir, it's an obsolete OS that went out mainstream support a year ago.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

        "No sir, it's an obsolete OS that went out mainstream support a year ago."

        and yet I can buy a Windows 7 Professional laptop, on Dell's website, today.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

          and yet I can buy a Windows 7 Professional laptop, on Dell's website, today.

          And Dell are licensed by MS to sell Win 7 Pro pre-installed until the first anniversary of the launch of Win 10...

          I suspect this is the reason why MS talk about the change only occurring during 2017 (probably on the anniversary of OEM's ceasing their sale of Win7 machines and so 'honoring' the one year consumer guarantee that is common across most of the world).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

          "Windows 7 Professional laptop, on Dell's website, today"

          You can. But aren't you, when you look at the small print, actually buying a laptop with 8.1 Pro and using your downgrade rights to have it installed with Windows 7.

          eg this little tidbit from the customiser on the Dell website

          "Windows 7 Professional (64Bit Windows 8.1 License, Media)- English, ....[Included in Price]"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

            The Dell site lists the laptop I (same a/c) was looking at as "Windows 7 Professional English, French, Spanish 64bit (Includes Windows 10 Pro License)" [note 'includes', not 'is' - so it's a Win7 license with Win10 included]

            It does not state that it is shipping a newer Windows with downgrade rights; it states Windows 7 Professional as the operating system with an included Windows 10. It's also offering me an option to purchase three year support for my Windows 7 laptop. The only other mention of Windows 10 is the recovery CD.

            Also, Win 10 to Win 7 isnt a downgrade, it's spyware removal (joke. sort of.)

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

              Re: Dell (and practically any other major OEM) website

              You do need to go into the specification details which may also require you to engage in a chat session. At one time Dell were very bad saying a system shipped with "Windows 8", Only by chatting to Dell was I able to determine that on the Consumer side of the website this meant 8.1 Core/Home, whereas on the Business side it was 8.1 Pro.

              Likewise with respect to the actual COA shipped. Currently OEM's can ship Win7Pro with any of the following COA's: Win7, Win8, Win8.1 or Win10.

              Also those in the market for Win10 need also to read the small print, as it is likely to reveal the system actually ships with 7/8/8.1 and will require the user to available themselves of the free download from MS...

              Finally, there is the question of recovery media/partition. Here it seems that OEMs will tend to install the recovery partition with the version installed on the HDD and ship physical media appropriate to the COA, which if different to what is actually installed will require the user to create their own recovery media from the HDD.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

        "No sir, it's an obsolete OS that went out mainstream support a year ago."

        No sir, it's not. As the article says, they all sat in a room and decided not to write drivers for an OS which will go end-of-life in 2020 and is still being sold by OEMs.

        If it works, good for you. If you close the lid and it doesn't sleep or it doesn't wake up, tough shit, they can't be bothered to write drivers. Anyway, GWX will be along in a minute to update now or update tonight.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

          > No sir, it's not. As the article says, they all sat in a room and decided not to write drivers for an OS which will go end-of-life in 2020 and is still being sold by OEMs.

          A OEM version of Windows is licenced to the machine that it is installed on when you buy it. Updates for that version _on_that_machine_ will be available until 2020.

          Moving that copy of Windows to another, newer, machine or to a newer CPU is a breach of licence. You do not have the opportunity to require drivers for newer hardware.

          Retail (non OEM) copies of Windows were not tied to any particular machine but were specified as to the particular range of hardware requirements at that time. You wouldn't expect a copy of Windows 7 to install on an IBM POWER9 computer or a RapsberryPi2, why would you expect it to work on a 2017 Intel i9 ?

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

        "No sir, it's an obsolete OS that went out mainstream support a year ago."

        Then I'm not buying from you. Or do you have something else to offer?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

          "No sir, it's an obsolete OS that went out mainstream support a year ago."

          "Then I'm not buying from you. Or do you have something else to offer?"

          Answer: Goodbye then. 99.9% of customers wouldn't even know what they might need to ask that question so we don't give a fuck. Try the outdoor market.

          The usual problem on Register comments is that people think the whole work thinks like a Register reader.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

            "The usual problem on Register comments is that people think the whole work thinks like a Register reader."

            I think you missed the article's headline: "Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10" Business users tend to have IT staff advising them who are more likely to think like a Register user. They're also more likely to have legal advisors who might also think like a Register user if they look at the current T&Cs.

            1. Matt Quinn

              Re: Question to Supplier of hardware...

              "Business users tend to have IT staff advising them"

              Really? - In the UK around 96% of all businesses are micro-entities with around 1/3rd of those operating below the VAT registration threshold. And oddly enough, even on the lower slopes of the SME (3.9%) market, I see little evidence of many 'Howard's Way' style legal eagles and/or IT 'staff' kept fed and watered behind glass walls (or even in the boiler room)...

              Making the decision as to who is the right expert to call in for a particular job often falls to someone who really lacks the expertise to make that decision... 'Go figure!' - As they will insist on saying in the States. - It's only ever a few hours to the next milking time.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    Nothing Ever Changes

    A lot of people thought when Nadella took charge of Microsoft that the old ways of Balmer and Gates were put out to pasture. They started to embrace open source code, they started to support Linux. They were doing what Apple did in the late 90's - make themselves look better by behaving better than the competition.

    But we all knew it was horse manure, and this article proves that.

  6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    You *will* allow Win10 on your domain !!

    So if a business hires new staff and needs a new PC or two for them to use, the choices are either to use an officially (and rather pointedly) unsupported OS or get used to managing a mixture of Win7 and Win10 machines on their domain.

    Clearly MS were *very* upset by the XP experience where everyone vaguely corporate elected to downgrade their licence on a new PC. It will be interesting to see how poor the unsupported experience turns out to be. Since modern silicon tends to include an entire GPU (and cheaper machines tend to depend on it), there's scope for it to be "pretty poor indeed" if that GPU gets no support.

    Still, it's no different from any other service pack.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: You *will* allow Win10 on your domain !!

      If the business uses its own build of W7 it will expect the machines it buys to support that rather than whatever the standard vendor install is. They'll want to specify H/W that does that. If the H/W turns out not to do that it'll be returned PDQ.

      1. JimC

        Re: You *will* allow Win10 on your domain !!

        Nice idea, but believe me because I know, if the IT department can't buy machines that support the standard desktop installation it's the IT department that gets the abuse, not the manufacturer of non backwards compatible hardware.

  7. Fihart

    Anti-Trust suit impending.

    Collusion between rival hardware manufacturers to benefit a third business ?

    Anyway, bloody stupid because it will stifle sales of new PCs and, thus, depress sales of new processors.

    Microsoft obviously has suicidal tendencies -- and mostly we are watching and shouting "Jump !"

    1. Chairo
      Mushroom

      Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

      That was my first thought as well. They form a cartel that forces their customers to follow an unloved business decision.

      Compliance? We have heard of it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

        This is MS we are talking about - they'll simply buy enough Congress-critters and Senate-weenies to have any anti-trust investigation taken out and shot.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

          "they'll simply buy enough Congress-critters and Senate-weenies"

          Other jurisdictions are available. And collectively bigger.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

      I would hope there will be a lawsuit at some point. If this is game they're playing, there had damn well better be "non-OS'd" machines available. I wouldn't want to buy a new PC, pay MS their duty and then load up a non-MS OS. This almost smells like what they pulled a long time ago... lock up the OEM's and you end up paying MS whether you use their OS or not.

      Damn twatdangles.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

        I wouldn't want to buy a new PC, pay MS their duty and then load up a non-MS OS.

        How is this different from the current situation? Granted, no-OS machines exist on desktop PC:s from small "garage assemblers", or you can buy a "barebone", but getting a usable laptop with no OS is hard.

        1. GregC

          @MacroRodent

          getting a usable laptop with no OS is hard

          It's not really - most of the laptops from PC Specialist, for one, can be ordered without an OS. Granted they aren't a high street retailer, but they're a good sized online seller.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: @MacroRodent

            "they're a good sized online seller."

            And presumably growing. They used to be in a small unit just down the road from me. They've moved at least twice since then, presumably to bigger premises each time.

        2. Salts

          Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

          @MacroRodent

          Don't have any windows machines now, but in the past when you first boot a new laptop you get the choice to refuse the license agreement, once you have done this you used to be able to ask for a refund of the license fee. People need to start pushing back, if you can't get the license fee back as they say it is part of the deal send the whole laptop back as unfit for purpose.

        3. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

          Granted, no-OS machines exist on desktop PC:s from small "garage assemblers", or you can buy a "barebone", but getting a usable laptop with no OS is hard.

          Obviously, you never tried. Do you really believe that corporate purchasers purchase their PCs with Windows and then pay extra for Volume Licensing? Here's how to purchase a laptop without an OS from Dell:

          http://www.geek.com/chips/buying-a-dell-without-windows-is-not-easy-but-possible-1302452/

        4. Dave K Silver badge

          Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

          It depends where you shop. Just before Christmas, I had the pleasure of helping my German father-in-law buy and set up a new laptop to replace his ancient Vista machine. In Germany, there are loads of Lenovo, Asus laptops etc. available from major retailers which come with basic FreeDOS installed and no Windows license (and a substantially cheaper price as a result).

          The big manufacturers offer Windows-free kit in countries like Germany, so why is it so difficult to get them here?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

            "why is it so difficult to get [FreeDOS] here?"

            CurryWorld recommends Microsoft Windows 10.

            When you see that kind of thing on an advert, what does it signify?

            For example, does it signify that the advert was significantly funded by MS (fair enough, arguably) and maybe that other back room deals went on?

            My experience of Germany and Germans says to me that in general (exceptions apply) there are many more people interested in quality, and quite a lot fewer people interested in branding, than we have in the UK. It also seems to me that Germany is quite happy to deal with small independent traders who know their stuff, whereas in the UK an independent might not be so reliable. The independents are less likely to be of interest to MS's corporate/channel people than an easy target like CurryWorld.

            If the MS Gold Partners (or whatever status the likes of CurryWorld have) start selling too many non-Windows boxes it might ring alarm bells with their account person at MS, and it might lead to a reduction in co-operative marketing funds and such, in line with normal MS practice.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

        "This almost smells like what they pulled a long time ago." It does, doesn't it? Perhaps the antitrust people who settled things should be woken up and told their job wasn't done .... and anyone who buys a machine pre-loaded with an OS they don't want is entitled to a rebate, covering either the retail cost of that OS or the labour required to remove it, whichever is the more painful for the vendor :)

        "Also, make a note of the word 'twatdangles'. I like it. I want to use it more in conversation". (Gen. Melchett, sort of). Certainly applies here ;-)

        1. Chika

          Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

          "Also, make a note of the word 'twatdangles'. I like it. I want to use it more in conversation". (Gen. Melchett, sort of). Certainly applies here ;-)

          I suppose so, but cockwombles is the one I'd probably use.

      3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

        > I would hope there will be a lawsuit at some point. If this is game they're playing, there had damn well better be "non-OS'd" machines available.

        I don't see many lawsuits where someone bought a Windows Phone 8 and thought they should be able to install Android (or Windows Mobile 6.5). Why would anyone think that a Windows 10 PC should be able to run some other OS?

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. agatum

      Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

      > and mostly we are watching and shouting "Jump !"

      And seems that they jumped. Now we are watching them fall. I am having popcorn and beer and enjoying the show, all the way down.

      Slurp treats world as their oyster, but not in a good way (admitted, they are not alone in that).

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Big Bottom

    Reminds of the children's movie Robots... The company everybody loved is no longer making parts for old robots, only expensive upgrades. I have to believe this M$ ploy won't end happily like the movie did...

    Looks like I'll be either building my own windows box(if I ever need another one) or I will be exploring the possibilities of Linux.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Redmond, Intel, Qualcomm and AMD

    Exactly the behaviour you would expect of a CARTEL, whose primary motivation is continually to churn its customer base, regardless of consumer interests.

  10. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Linux

    An Open Letter to Intel, Qualcomm & AMD...

    MicroSoft has recently asked you nice folks to neuter your more recent products for the good of Windows 10. I just like to inquire if such limitations shall be placed on other non-MicroSoft Systems, and how you felt about this?

    ... So can anyone else smell the desperation from Redmond yet?

  11. AlbertH
    Linux

    Here we go....

    M$ have finally made a decision that's SO bad that they're going to permanently - and probably fatally - injure themselves. At last it's Game Over for Windows in the corporate sphere!

    We now have a number of very high quality Linux distributions that are supported - properly - for the long-term. Ubuntu, Mint, Suse are all perfectly usable by business. They're stable, reliable, fully supported and can even run legacy Windows software if it's really necessary.

    The "learning curve" is now very shallow - my recent experience of training new users showed that it took just a matter of a few minutes to show each of them the "new way" to do things. All these distros have options for remote maintenance....

    1. frank ly

      Re: Here we go....

      "... can even run legacy Windows software ..."

      Maybe we'll see producers of popular 'Windows only' software issuing Linux releases of their products?

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Here we go....

      And they'll slip nicely into enterprise AD infrastructure with the minimum of support required.

      Oh, hang on.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Here we go....

        "And they'll slip nicely into enterprise AD infrastructure with the minimum of support required."

        All part of the MS lock in.

  12. moiety

    Is it just me, or is this beginning to smell a bit clipper-chip-ish?

    Apart from a bit of end of life assistance (which is possible the way MS is behaving); I can't think of a single reason why disparate, rival firms would go along with this. If I was still in the Windows market; W10-only support would equal no sale. It's also going to massively piss business off...end-users can just change to Linux; but businesses may not be able to so easily.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "end-users can just change to Linux; but businesses may not be able to so easily."

      However, if business can't change to W10 so easily the choice becomes more balanced.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something missing here

    So Hardware suppliers are colluding with microsoft to ensure that only the new 'best' windows will work on their new hardware? That means that they will sell less new kit to businesses that want a bit more power or just replacements. The net effect will be a reduction in sales for such reasons.

    The only reason for buying new (assuming you want to stick with Windows 7) will be because your machines no longer perform or function as needed

    So is that what's missing from the picture : an agreement between Microsoft and the Hardware vendors whereby Microsoft promise to kill Windows 7 on old machines while manufacturers promise to ensure that it doesn't run on new machines?

    And what about Linux? Lots of assumptions here that it will be an alternative to Windows 10 on new hardware, but that will depend on hardware suppliers being free with the needed information.

    Something very smelly going on here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something missing here

      That's a very good point.

      We kill Windows 7 by removing security updates (2017), you kill Windows 7 by removing or crippling the code and an unexpected effect is that it also cripples Linux. That then forces everyone that needs a new machine onto Windows 10 or Mac and increases sales for the hardware cartel.

      Where does all this leave Microsoft's Server roadmap? Will they bork Win7 support in that as well with an update?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Something missing here

        "an unexpected effect is that it also cripples Linux. That then forces everyone that needs a new machine onto Windows 10 or Mac."

        But if this is crippling at CPU level it's also going to cripple the Mac unless they're part of the cartel because Mac also runs on Intel. Also, don't you think Linux would code round this pretty quickly?

  14. NobbyNobbs

    It wont make any difference in the end. Big corporates will upgrade as the consultancies and auditors will scare them about compliance and risk. Many IT managers will get another year of safe employmemt managing the upgrade.. Contractors will make a nice killing in the migration, companies will make a nice killing on upgrades for incompatible software. The money will keep churning around as Microsoft dictates the PC sales market (which is what this really is evidence of). MS & hardware are desparate to get the upgrade cycle kick started again as they have shot them selves in the foot pushjng "the cloud save your day".

    Smaller companies who cant afford to will retain old PCs and run windows 7 well beyond end of life, some may move to Linux, more will move to Apple (in the end commercial support is considered king of compliance).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "some may move to Linux, more will move to Apple (in the end commercial support is considered king of compliance)"

      Are you saying all those Linux servers dominating the web aren't compliant?

  15. David Roberts Silver badge
    Coat

    The big fight will begin....

    ........in April 2017 when they try to prise Windows Vista from my determined grasp.

    Windows users the world over will rally to my banner as I take on Microsoft in the mother of all battles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The big fight will begin....

      I wish you and the other user the best of luck.

      1. Fading Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: The big fight will begin....

        I still have two machines running vista (HTPCs) - font rendering is far sharper than Win 7 or above at 1920x1080. Admittedly I am looking to migrate both onto a Linux variant at some point.

    2. GregC

      Re: when they try to prise Windows Vista from my determined grasp.

      I have to say, on the list of "things I thought I'd never read" that comes pretty high....

      1. Britt Johnston
        Windows

        RE "things I thought I'd never read"

        It doesn't surprise me. Any wish to leave a working OS alone is much better than an announcement that on new hardware, your working OS will probably be trashed on a Tuesday update when you least expect it.

        How about Cyanogen to build a neutral UEFI, though probably removing the old one will be harder than building your own around a neutral (or Mac) motherboard.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The big fight will begin....

      Re: April 2017

      Probably best advised to start preparing, as come April 2017 your options will be much more constrained.

  16. James 51 Silver badge

    I'll be keeping a hold of my A6 for a while longer than I though then.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Definitely time to buy my new PC now, then, while I can still get both Win7 and HW it runs on (and of course set it up with multiboot for Linux etc). By the time I'm ready to change it again who knows where MS will be.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Windows

        By the time I'm ready to change it again who knows where MS will be.

        Under a bridge, with a cardboard box for shelter.

  17. Novex

    The only reasons I went to Linux Mint (not a bad decision, I might point out) was that Microsoft buggered up Windows 10 with restrictions on managing updates; added in tons of 'we want your data in our cloud' telemetry to it; and retrocompromised Windows 7 with the same telemetry shit. If they 'corrected' those two things on Windows 10 properly so I could actually have control of my PC, then I'd have welcomed Windows 10.

  18. James 29

    To be honest, buying brand new hardware and expecting it to downgrade and run clunky old OS versions is something you shouldn't expect anyway.

    Win7 and 8.1 OEM downgrade rights end later this year, so all new PC's will come with 10 out the box. All MS is saying is that if you choose to change this, your're on your own.

    Alternativly I would stock up on Broadwell era systems now if you wanna keep 7 around.

    1. Roo
      Windows

      "To be honest, buying brand new hardware and expecting it to downgrade and run clunky old OS versions is something you shouldn't expect anyway."

      Binary compatibility is a major selling point for PCs, destroy that and you destroy the reason most people buy Wintel boxes.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > Binary compatibility is a major selling point for PCs, destroy that and you destroy the reason most people buy Wintel boxes.

        It would only be necessary to stop Windows 7/8 (and Linux) from _booting_ on the new CPU. Once Windows 10 has booted it can provide all the binary compatibility required - with patented propriety emulators if necessary.

        The way to get this implemented is to give OEMs a 100% discount for Windows 10 (normally $100 to OEMs) on computers that use these CPUs. This would make the retail price of these $200 cheaper than 'standard' computers. The buyer demand would force OEMs to demand these CPUs from Intel and AMD.

        The same happened with WinModems and WinPrinters (GDI) in the late 90s. The machines were cheaper but Windows only. However, electronic became cheap enough that 'full feature' modems and printers were just as cheap.

        Microsoft is trying to get this lock-in back.

    2. cd / && rm -rf *
      Gimp

      "Alternativly I would stock up on Broadwell era systems now if you wanna keep 7 around."

      Haswell is OK too. It's Skylake et seq you want to avoid.

      Icon = typical Win10 user.

      1. Chika
        Gimp

        Icon = typical Win10 user.

        Gimped, in other words? ;)

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "To be honest, buying brand new hardware and expecting it to downgrade and run clunky old OS versions is something you shouldn't expect anyway."

      That, of course, depends on which OS you decide is clunky and whether you regard the version change as an upgrade or a downgrade.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and they wonder why so many less PC's are being sold...

    nuff said

    1. Andy Non Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: and they wonder why so many less PC's are being sold...

      One thing for sure; if mainstream hardware vendors introduce "Windows 10 only" restrictions it just creates a market for those manufacturers willing to circumvent those restrictions. I recently bought a high-spec low-price desktop computer directly from a small manufacturer in China (via amazon.co.uk) that came with Ubuntu pre-installed and a USB stick with Windows 7 drivers. I put Linux Mint on it; installation was quick and problem free. One sale less for the UK high street PC vendors.

  20. Shufflemoomin

    I've been using Windows since 3.1 and I honestly don't ever remember a situation where a CPU wouldn't run a recent version of Windows. This seems like such a shitty tactic to pull. They're doing everything they can to force people onto this crappy OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I've been using Windows since 3.1 and I honestly don't ever remember a situation where a CPU wouldn't run a recent version of Windows.

      I think the situation being discussed here is the other way round: that brand new, yet-to-be-released hardware potentially won't properly run an *old* version of Windows (i.e. Windows 7)

      But it's a bit of a non-issue. Sure, Microsoft may not support Windows 7 running on new hardware which didn't exist at the time Windows 7 was released. But if there is a market demand for it, the hardware vendors will provide their own Windows 7 drivers.

    2. David T-Rex

      I don't think they are saying it wont run. They are saying it wont support the new features of the CPU and it will be up to the HW supplier to write any drivers needed for Win 7 & Win 8.x -MS wont do it.

      Didnt you need a specific version+ of windows to use MMX extensions?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "it will be up to the HW supplier to write any drivers needed for Win 7 & Win 8.x -MS wont do it."

        Assuming that MS will "sign" those drivers or allow unsigned drivers to be installed.

    3. Jess

      situation where a CPU wouldn't run a recent version of Windows.

      I recall an issue with Windows 95 where it wouldn't run on certain high speed AMD processors. Pentium 2 was fine. (But emulated 16 bit code iirc, so wasn't always fast)

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: situation where a CPU wouldn't run a recent version of Windows.

        I recall an issue with Windows 95 where it wouldn't run on certain high speed AMD processors.

        AMD K7; I had two. The problem was windows installer code running "too fast". Shitty coding. There was a workaround. The problem never occurred with NT4.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: situation where a CPU wouldn't run a recent version of Windows.

          Typo alert! AMD K6-2 processors running at 350-MHz or faster, not K7.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    genius!

    you can run any non-MS OS, as long as you build your own chip to run it on.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: genius!

      "as long as you build your own chip to run it on"

      There are plenty of foundries building ARM.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: genius!

        Asian chippery?

        "Me run you a looong time"

        (Hopefully if QA has worked)

  22. Falmari

    Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

    I really don't see what the problem is. Do you really expect Microsoft to support future hardware that will be manufactured 7 or more years after the initial release of Windows 7.

    Since 22/10/2009 there have been 2 new releases of Windows (8/8.1 and 10) and mainstream support for Windows 7 ended 13/01/2015. It makes perfect sense for manufactures and Microsoft not to support Windows 7 on new forthcoming hardware.

    I would like to see Apple support a 7 year old version of their OS running on their latest hardware or Google supporting 7 year old Android on the latest phones.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

      If Microsoft offered a suitable replacement operating system we wouldn't be having this conversation.

      As it stands, Microsoft has only offered up a tinker toy riddled with spyware that doesn't stop spying when you try to turn it off and which removes from end users control over the most basic and critical aspects of their own operating system, such as updates and when the system reboots.

      I'm sorry, but Windows 10 is simply not fit for purpose, full stop.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

      >Do you really expect Microsoft to support future hardware that will be manufactured 7 or more years after the initial release of Windows 7.

      The issue isn't the support Microsoft gives. The issue is that MS is asking other companies not to write proper drivers for W7 for their new hardware. They're asking hardware manufacturers to try to make W10 look better by sabotaging the W7 drivers.

      They could have let Intel write any drivers they want - how can you trust a company which deliberately intervenes with third parties ask them to make their older products rubbish in the hope of making the new ones look better?

    3. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

      Microsoft dont write most of the drivers that add-on hardware or new cpu variant need, the hardware makers write them.

      As for perfectly reasonably not to support... I have JUST got rid of a (Dell) Win7 box that originally came installed with Win98se; the ONLY hardware upgrade in all that time was a DVD drive.

      You missed the point, M$ arent saying THEY wont support 7&8 with software, they are saying they have strong armed the cpu makers into BLOCKING 7&8 from running on newer cpu families; that is a very different thing, and as suggested, my be illegal under various laws across the globe.

      Assuming they manage to go ahead with this, I would not be surprised to see any needed software driver being issued directly by the hardware makers, regardless of what they say now; Microshite may still be a powerful company, but if this goes ahead, they will be a "dead man standing" by 2018.

      Who wants to bet they havent already sent us an update that will detect a new cpu and refuse to run the OS??

    4. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

      I really don't see what the problem is. Do you really expect Microsoft to support future hardware that will be manufactured 7 or more years after the initial release of Windows 7.

      Not if they can get away with it, no.

      That's not the issue here, though. The issue is that Microsoft have persuaded the hardware vendors also to drop support for older versions of Windows -- which may be convenient for Microsoft but is not in the best interests of the user community or, I'd argue, of the hardware vendors themselves.

      1. James 29

        Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

        You may not realise, but new CPU generations generally introduce issues with Windows, generally these are fixed quietly by Microsoft via Windows Update.

        MS is going to stop doing this, which isn't unreasonable for such and old OS

        When was the last time you used a 6+ year OS on a brand new:

        Nexus

        iPhone

        Mac

        Windows has been a bit of an odd one out here. I wouldn't be suprised even if a old version of Linux wouldn't work properly on a brand new system.

        All the other moaners: its not exactly hard to configure the privacy settings. There are various other 3rd party apps which wll allow you to disable these settings (and telemetry) if it bothers you so much.

        Windows 10 is a pretty good sucessful OS. The bashing and 'Use Mint' etc comments here are getting tiresome

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

          "All the other moaners: its not exactly hard to configure the privacy settings. There are various other 3rd party apps which wll allow you to disable these settings (and telemetry) if it bothers you so much."

          And all the 3rd party app makers have to do is keep up with the Microsoft in the arms race as the latter re-enable the settings via updates.

          1. ITS Retired
            Holmes

            Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

            And the same people praising Microsoft for their over extended microcontrol, control that interferes with what people want to do with their own computers, and in private, would be up in arms if the government tried to do the exact same thing.

            Why is that? Corporations good, government regulation bad? To most people the world is a little more complicated than that. Not enough regulations are at fault here.

            What is happening here, is that Microsoft wants to be the ONLY operating system allowed to run on new hardware, regardless of purpose. Regardless of the sensitivity of the data on said computer.

            Want to run Linux? Bribe someone in China for a proper CPU and chip set. Not rich enough? Too bad, you will comply.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

          Windows 10 is a pretty good sucessful OS. The bashing and 'Use Mint' etc comments here are getting tiresome

          I thought Lord Denning had snuffed it.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

        The issue is that Microsoft have persuaded the hardware vendors also to drop support for older versions of Windows

        MS must have been doing this for quite a long time. The Adaptec SCSI driver that came with my Canon FS 2710 slide scanner only worked with Win2k using a workaround they never published or WinXP. The driver doesn't work under Vista or Win7. Canon have never released an updated driver.

        I have never purchased another Canon product.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

      It makes perfect sense for manufactures and Microsoft not to support Windows 7 on new forthcoming hardware.

      You should try thinking about this using more than one core.

    6. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

      "I really don't see what the problem is. Do you really expect Microsoft to support future hardware that will be manufactured 7 or more years after the initial release of Windows 7."

      Well, this is going to be a problem with W10 MS will be having in spades in a few years time, particularly as it is supposed to be the last version of Windows...

      Working through the details of what has been announced, I suspect that during 2017 we will see a NEW!!! edition of Windows '10' (10R2 ?) that will not run on the MS defined 'legacy' cpu platforms, so that MS only has a single single (x64 ?) code-base to maintain for Win '10'.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Shock Horror new CPUs won't support 7 year old OS

        > a NEW!!! edition of Windows '10' (10R2 ?) that will not run on the MS defined 'legacy' cpu platforms, so that MS only has a single single (x64 ?) code-base to maintain for Win '10'.

        That has happened all the time. Windows 1 ran on 8086, Windows 3.0 could run on 8086, 80286 or 80386 but Windows 3.1 dropped the 8086. Windows 95 required at least a 80386. NT 4 required a 486 or above. 2000 was Pentium only, and also dropped MIP, Alpha and PowerPC.

        When Vista was released MS announced that this would be the final x86-32 release and all future versions would be x86-64 (but they still continued with 32bit).

        Current Windows 10 (allegedly the same code base) runs on x86, x86-64 and ARM7.

        But that is the reverse of what the article was about.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something is going on!

    Alongside Apple pulling iAds, I fear some triple collusion is taking place.

  24. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Just wondering

    Back in the day, hardware manufacturers were able to crack IBM's monopoly by utilising BIOS chips that had been "clean engineered" without reference to the original IBM code. Shirley we must be reaching a point where it's feasible to engineer an OS (and chips, maybe) that can run existing Windows software, without Windows.

    Not VM software, but a complete OS. I know WINE goes some way to achieving this but I'm thinking of a standalone setup

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just wondering

      WINE is *exactly* what you are describing: an implementation of the Windows APIs/ABIs so that Windows applications can run, without having a copy of Windows OS, and without virtualization.

      Unfortunately this turns out to be next to impossible to do completely. So many applications rely on undocumented interfaces, or undocumented behaviour of the documented interfaces.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_(software)

      Sun used to have the commercial "Wabi", but I that only implemented the old Win16 ABI, and you still needed a copy of Windows 3.x.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi_(software)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just wondering

      Its called ReactOS https://www.reactos.org/ and it "works" but is not ready for prime time use yet

    3. Vic

      Re: Just wondering

      Shirley we must be reaching a point where it's feasible to engineer an OS (and chips, maybe) that can run existing Windows software, without Windows.

      If Oracle wins its suit and gets the courts to recognise APIs are copyrightable, it might become technically possible whilst being entirely illegal in the US...

      Vic.

    4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Just wondering

      > Not VM software, but a complete OS.

      Look for ReactOS

      https://www.reactos.org/

      1. cd / && rm -rf *
        FAIL

        Re: Just wondering

        Downloaded ReactOS live CD .iso. Burnt to disk. Booted machine from CD. Blank screen.

        OK, it's an alpha, but I expected a little... more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just wondering

          Why would you? It's in early development.

          Did you check the compatible hardware list?

          https://www.reactos.org/wiki/Supported_Hardware

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Just wondering

      Alternatively you could use a hardware virtualisation tool such as QEMU, that we can expect will be enhanced to support the execution of x86/x64 code on Intel's future processors, and continue to run OS's other than those MS decree should be used.

  25. thomas k

    And the obvious solution

    is to rush out Windows 11, that looks and acts exactly like Windows 7, with all the under-the-hood improvements of Windows 10 but minus the data slurping. You know, give people something they *want* to upgrade to rather than trying to push a POS no one wants down their throats.

    But I really don't see that happening.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the obvious solution

      they could rush out W11 but M$ want the Telemetry - "sorry data mining" so it wont go away.

      the best option for MS to appease the companies and individuals that are complaining about W10

      Telemetry

      GUI

      Updates

      ETC

      is to launch a PAID for version that has NO Telemetry, Updates as per all previous versions ie Optional as and when the user wants them, and GUI to give W10 as standard but give a W7 clone as an option.

      99.9% of uses will buy or get updates to OEM / standard retail versions and only the rest that are on a Volume licence or pay through the nose and know where to get it will be on the W10s (safe, secure, slim, NO Spyware call it what you want) version

      This allows M£ to keep the store which they hope will be the route to purchase software in the future so they can still get future and ongoing revenue from people purchasing this version of W10

      I would spend hard cash on a copy of this version if not its W7 and Ebay if i need "new" hardware to run it until 2020

  26. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Enough of this.

    It's time to put my money where my mouth it. I need a Win32 compatible environment. Microsoft isn't going to provide one. It's time to back ReactOS as strongly as I can.

    https://www.reactos.org/

    Maybe if enough of us stop bitching and start pitching in, we can win. The odds aren't great..but the alternatives are pretty crap*.

    *Oh, hi, systemd!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enough of this.

      > It's time to back ReactOS as strongly as I can.

      Business to application vendor: "Do you support your application running under ReactOS"?

      Application vendor: "No."

      Business: "Fair enough. I'd better stick with Windows 10 then"

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Enough of this.

        Just because this is true today doesn't mean it will be 5 or 10 years from now. Getting to the point of support has to start somewhere, and it's a fuck of lot better than praying for change or help that simply is not going to happen.

        Maybe ReactOS will never be suitable for the enterprise. Or maybe it will. The Russian government appears to be tentatively backing development now as they seek an alternative to Microsoft, and it's open source so if they try anything funny we can eventually audit the thing for back doors.

        Maybe nothing comes of supporting ReactOS, but I would rather go down swinging than just passively take it from Microsoft for all eternity.

        1. GregC

          Re: Enough of this.

          I would rather go down swinging than just passively take it from Microsoft for all eternity

          If I could upvote this a thousand times, I would. Everyone sitting back and saying "well, what can you do..." is another person effectively saying to MS that they can just carry on doing what they like.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: "Fair enough. I'd better stick with Windows 10 then"

        Application Developer: Yes, it may work on Windows 10 Today, but you and I have no control over what updates Microsoft is going to force down your throat tomorrow, which could render the application unusable on Windows 10.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: "Fair enough. I'd better stick with Windows 10 then"

          Application Developer: Yes, it may work on Windows 10 Today, but you and I have no control over what updates Microsoft is going to force down your throat tomorrow, which could render the application unusable on Windows 10.

          This always was the big issue with Win10 and why it really has no place in the enterprise. Because this announcement makes clear, MS will be introducing stuff into Win10 in 2017 that is likely to break stuff.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Enough of this.

        'Business: "Fair enough. I'd better stick with Windows 10 then"'

        Business: "Fair enough, your competition does."

        FTFY

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Enough of this.

          A close relative of the same theme:

          A single Win10 machine is preserved for support purposes (so the problem can be reproduced in an environment the relevant vendors will support). The rest move on to whatever non-MS Win10 replacement is appropriate.

    2. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Enough of this.

      "It's time to put my money where my mouth it. I need a Win32 compatible environment. Microsoft isn't going to provide one. It's time to back ReactOS as strongly as I can."

      I am not convinced that's the best option if all you want is a Win32 compatible env in the near future, the ReactOS folks have been at it for at least 8 years that I know of - and it's still alpha. The risk with ReactOS is they are copying a big player's product with a strong case of Not Invented Here Syndrome, so there is a high risk that they'll deliver a poor solution rather than copy a good one.

      WINE looks like the "safer" option given the current state of play - but I'll bet you've considered throwing your weight behind WINE and thought better of it. I am curious to know why you chose ReactOS instead.

      1. Vic

        Re: Enough of this.

        WINE looks like the "safer" option given the current state of play

        I don't think that matters.

        ReactOS is GPL-compatible - so if either camp gets something good going that the other one doesn't have, it is encouraged for that to be copied over...

        Vic.

        1. Roo
          Windows

          Re: Enough of this.

          "I don't think that matters.

          ReactOS is GPL-compatible - so if either camp gets something good going that the other one doesn't have, it is encouraged for that to be copied over..."

          That's a good point, but the ReactOS team would have to get over the hatred of all things POSIX & UNIX that was evident in previous visits to their website first. I guess ReactOS could get forked if that remains a problem.

          Unfortunately that wouldn't address the concern that Redmond's IP lawyers would have a field day in court should ReactOS get to the point where people are migrating over to it en masse, I can't see MS taking that kind of competition lying down.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Enough of this.

            I can't see MS taking that kind of competition lying down.

            Agree that they are likely not to take this lying down, however because they have gone big time on patents, they may actually have little real choice in the matter; because both utility and design patents are life limited: 20 years in the case of utility and 15 for design. So effectively most things in win95 are available for re-use unless they were explicitly copyrighted. And in a few more years the same will apply to XP...

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Enough of this.

        > rather than copy a good one.

        "Copying a good one" is called 'copyright infringement' and is liable to penalties.

        1. Roo
          Windows

          Re: Enough of this.

          > rather than copy a good one.

          ""Copying a good one" is called 'copyright infringement' and is liable to penalties."

          I had that in mind alongside the NIH when I wrote the original sentence. :)

    3. Chika

      Re: Enough of this.

      *Oh, hi, systemd!

      Pro: Mint doesn't force it on you in current releases.

      Con: Mint haven't said that they won't in the future.

      Bloody Poettering...

    4. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: Enough of this.

      "I need a Win32 compatible environment."

      What's wrong with Windows XP run as a virtual machine?

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Enough of this.

        "What's wrong with Windows XP run as a virtual machine?"

        1) Virtual machine != security.

        2) I have applications that need physical access to ports or cards to drive things.

  27. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Second Sourcing

    When I used to work for London Transport, one of the things that used to be insisted upon by one of the departments I worked for was that all components had to be second-sourceable. This was built into British Standards, but I've forgotten the nitty gritty details it was so long ago. TTL and CMOS chips were fine because there were various manufacturers. CPU's were more of an issue, but in those days Intel licensed manufacture of their chips to other manufacturers, so in practice there wasn't an issue. I seem to remember IBM were one of these licensees.

    Nowadays things have moved on and it seems such policies are deemed to be insane for "moving forward" technologically. But when you think about it, a technological brake needs to be applied, sooner or later, before technology disappears up its own orifice.

    Industry needs to start clamouring for Second Sourcing, again. The problem is still, that licensees need to look at what exactly they are taking on board.

  28. phuzz Silver badge

    Think of the engineers

    The is another side to this that everyone seems to be missing. Imagine how happy the software engineers were, when they were told they'd only have to write and support drivers for Win10 and not half a dozen older OS's as well.

    After all, Apple's control of their hardware, and consequent reduction in the different hardware they have to support is part of the reason for the success of OSX.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: when they were told they'd only have to write and support drivers for Win10

      By definition that is akin to nailing jelly to the wall.

  29. Florida1920
    Headmaster

    Windows experience

    Euphemism for "rape by corporation."

  30. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    MS trying to boost PC sales?

    That's certainly how I read this. Windows 10 was supposed to boost PC sales. But we all know how well that has worked.

    So maybe introducing hardware incompatibilities is a way of helping both MS and the makers? Can't see enterprise customers being terribly keen on this and home users are switching in droves to cheap but perfectly functional tablets.

    I wonder whether we'll start to see companies moving to Citrix on Android for legacy stuff? Again, MS is shooting itself in the foot by not making the Edge browser available for Windows 7 and 8. Windows 11 is pretty good but, with development now frozen, companies have even more reasons to install a second browser such as Firefox ESR.

  31. Wolfclaw

    So Microsoft lying to users about the capabilities of Windows 7 not bad enough, they now deliberately cripple it Windows 7/8/8.1 by not supporting CPU's that exceeding the official requirements specifications. PURE GREED !!

  32. theOtherJT

    Let me see if I'm getting this right...

    What they're saying is that because Windows 7 was engineered for older CPUs it requires various compatibility type stuff for newer ones, which MS will no longer be providing.

    Now, if they're talking about things like SSE* and other extensions to the x86 (or x86_64) spec, that's fine. New stuff is invented, old OS doesn't know it exists, so won't use it - but that shouldn't stop the old OS from running, surely? It just means you don't get access to all the new shiny that the CPU can provide.

    Unless they're pushing a version check into Win7 that checks what kind of CPU it's running on and then flat refuses to work unless it's a known good (in which case, don't install that particular update) the only way I can see them preventing Win7 from running on _any_ CPU that supports the x86_64 standard is for them to get the chip manufacturers to change the way the chip reports it's capabilities.

    I have to assume that very early in the boot process Windows tries to determine what the CPU is capable of by running some instructions, and if it doesn't get answers it likes it'll stall with "Unsupported architecture" or similar.

    So, for this to work, despite being x86_64 capable, at that point these new CPU's say "Sorry I don't know what you want from me. I'm an x86_64_Forced_Upgrade" at which point Win7 will go "Well, as far as I can tell this isn't an x86 compatible CPU, so I give up"?

    *Whatever version of that we're on by now

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      Re: Let me see if I'm getting this right...

      I'm damned certain that what Microsoft is doing is not certifying WHQL of any driver for anyone's new CPU's except under Windows 10. That they can get away with, with or without any other firm's cooperation. The only way possibly around that just might be flipping Windows over into Test Mode, something I've been doing for since WHQL drivers have been required as legacy has been something of a requirement here.

      1. theOtherJT

        Re: Let me see if I'm getting this right...

        Yeah, but CPU's don't really require drivers. This is what I'm confused by. The CPU needs to be able to run the OS kernel long before any drivers are loaded, so the only thing they could withhold access to is extensions like SSE, MMX etc, which one might well argue we don't actually care about most of the time, seeing as the ones we already have are quite adequate. If it's an x86 CPU, it's an x86 CPU... unless they've managed to get the CPU manufacturers to start making x86 CPU's that lie about what they can actually do when polled by the mechanism that Win7 and older use to determine what CPU they're running on.

  33. J J Carter Silver badge

    The hate energy from El Reg is high today!

    How many vendors have announced their legacy software won't be certified on new hardware without a murmour?

    But as it's MSFT, the El Reg scriblers go berserk.

    I used to visit this site to laugh with El Reg, now I laugh at you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The hate energy from El Reg is high today!

      The hate energy from El Reg is high today!

      How many vendors have announced their legacy software won't be certified on new hardware without a murmour?

      But as it's MSFT, the El Reg scriblers go berserk.

      I used to visit this site to laugh with El Reg, now I laugh at you.

      The brown cow is staring at my bicycle...The green apple is ready for the cider press...the green apple is ready for the cider press...Aunty's dentures are on the bedside cabinet...Aunty's dentures are on the bedside cabinet...

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: The hate energy from El Reg is high today!

      "I used to visit this site to laugh with El Reg, now I laugh at you."

      No, you didn't.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The hate energy from El Reg is high today!

      "now I laugh at you"

      Mutual.

  34. Mikel

    So you don't like this?

    I have some bad news. They have a lot farther to go in this direction. This is not the last of it by any means. You WILL take Windows 10 if you stay on Windows at all.

    1. zero2dash

      Re: So you don't like this?

      "You WILL take Windows 10 if you stay on Windows at all."

      Care to bet on that?

      -Updates are disabled on all my machines.

      -Any 10, telemetry or CEIP updates have not been installed on my machines. I have a script to sanity check this whenever I want.

      -I'm also running GWX in Monitor mode.

      Windows 10 won't make it to my machines.

      I don't give two $#!ts about "after 2020" either, because I'll still be running 7.

      If anything, at that point I'll have a 7 host with a Mint guest and I'll use Mint for anything that needs the internet and lock down my 7 host otherwise.

      1. Mikel

        Re: So you don't like this?

        Their software is their software. It is not, apparently, obligated to even recognize your settings let alone honor them. Sooner or later they will find a way to get you to take it. Maybe they will bring it in through your browser and their ad network. Or maybe an update that triggers the upgrade after a period of time. Somehow, some way, they will win. And they only have to win once.

        1. zero2dash

          Re: So you don't like this?

          Their software no longer talks to them unless I allow it.

          If I want, I can deny it at the level 2 layer (firewall/NAT) and they won't be able to do a damned thing about it either unless they come to my home and physically access my firewall configuration. (I don't feel the need to do that yet, so I'm relying on layer 7.)

          Again - the upgrade will not hit any machines I don't want it to. Very rudimentary network basics in play here. I don't want it, I won't get it. I have enough behind me to completely prevent it from ever happening.

          I also don't use their browsers and I block all ads using uBlock Origin so I'm not worried about it there either.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Secure boot?

    Possibly a dumb question here: does (UEFI) secure boot come into this picture in any shape or form?

    Is it conceivable that chip and system vendors will have divergent Windows and non-Windows product lines?

    Feeling a bit dim today. Illumination welcome. Elimination (of Windows) may apparently arrive sooner than many people have been expecting.

  36. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Policy U-Turns

    Unlike some of the poorly thought through decisions made at boardroom level in recent history, this is one that is more difficult to reverse if M$ later decide to do a U-Turn. The funny thing is that if they do, Intel will produce little stickers which say "Compatible with Windows 7" on them, so that customers can differentiate between MSFolly PC's and more recent ones.

    Come to think of it, this may be something suppliers will do anyway, reinforcing the point that there is something a bit iffy with the latest version. If this filters through to the average Joe on the street, this will put the pressure on M$.

    1. elDog Silver badge

      Re: Policy U-Turns

      Sort of like the non-GMO labels that the US gov't wants to prohibit (bad for GMO businesses).

      The negative (MSWin) of a negative (collusion with HW vendors). Get those sticky labels ready.

  37. Sil

    Fair game

    Fair game IMO, why would old OS be supported ad vitam eternam ?

    Just compare the support of Windows to that of Android, iOS or OS X and see if its better.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: Fair game

      Would or should?

      Because there's tens of millions of lines of code out there written on older Operating Systems using an older development platform (Visual Studio) which don't compile nor run properly on later operating systems.

      All of these applications were written by Microsoft's tools on Microsoft's machines using Microsoft's guidelines and with Microsoft's assurances.

      That's why.

  38. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    +1

    This is excellent news. The development of the PC has been held back by backwards compatibilty for legacy operating systems for years, and here's MS telling the hardware designers not to bother any more. A bit surprising when MS's USP is backwards compatibility, but still - their choice, their funeral.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: +1

      A strategy that worked out really well for Nokia...

  39. Keith Glass

    I should be wearing a Princess Leia gown for this, but. . .

    . . . .the more you tighten your grip, the more systems slip though your fingers. . . .

    - Princess Penguin Opensourca to Grand Muff-up Ballmer

    (grin)

  40. Asterix the Gaul

    I dual boot Ubuntu 14.04 & W7-64 bit.

    IE is crap,always has been IMHO.

    I have often railed against W8,8.1 & W10.

    It's been obvious for years,at least since W8,that M$ were moving along the MAC route,so that they 'own' users, make them use their own version of Apple Store & then raise prices at their leisure.

    I will NEVER downgrade W7 64 bit for any newer version of Windows.

    There's so many browsers available for the internet(IE blocks many D\Loads-Firefox doesn't),there's WINE API for gaming,or use STEAM.

    I'm not aware of using DX12 in W7,even on a VM?

    If using WINDOWS, just switch off Event Viewer Logs that are sent to M$,of course there is a minimal chance of thing's not working at some point in the future,but that's better than ,losing one's privacy to uncle Sam isn't it?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's getting really, really boring...

    ...maintaining a mental list of what I can and can't do with Windows now.

    Especially when it is so very easy to get Mint, install, and then carry on as I was.

  42. MissingSecurity

    Ah, my good IT firends...

    I think I've hit that moment when I stop pretending things are going to happen because I want them too and start accepting things as they are.

    Here's why Linux isn't really going to take over the market:

    1) Windows 10 is good, I'm not even a windows fan, but it's definitely a good OS. MS has issues, but saying W10 is bad is like saying Linux is too technical for the average person. Their both fallacies.

    2) Windows Server is still easier to use, manage, and connect systems than Linux. Sorry that's the case. I may be able to run an LDAP system for little to know cost on Linux, but I don't need to know all the intricacies of LDAP, KERBEROS, and NFS and SAMBA to have a working network. I know IT admin should be able to do this, but hell, I see Linux admins have trouble with this.

    3) The operating system that takes over Windows in business will not be Linux (maybe a derivative), but I think the best a company like Red Hat and Canonical can hope for is making progress on the server front such as Web Servers and Application Server (Weblogic, Tomcat, etc).

    4) Without developing cross platform, we're not moving forward on Linux. As Dev's we still suck at this, and pretend that also as we just build web platform is "cross-platform". The two main choices in business are .NET and Java, and to be honest neither are bad, but their also old had and this whole section of programming is what people call "mature" IE boring.

    1. nilfs2
      Headmaster

      Re: Ah, my good IT firends...

      "2) Windows Server is still easier to use, manage, and connect systems than Linux. Sorry that's the case. I may be able to run an LDAP system for little to know cost on Linux, but I don't need to know all the intricacies of LDAP, KERBEROS, and NFS and SAMBA to have a working network. I know IT admin should be able to do this, but hell, I see Linux admins have trouble with this."

      Imagine if a doctor said something similar, like "I don't need to know how the human body works, just tell me where to cut". If you are not willing to learn how things work, you should not be on IT...well, there's always management and marketing.

    2. Salts

      Re: Ah, my good IT firends...

      >> I don't need to know all the intricacies of LDAP, KERBEROS, and NFS and SAMBA to have a working network.

      Ah, Windows Admin click, click, click config method

      click, check if working, nope

      Click, click, working? nope

      Click, click, click, working? nope but that nearly always works

      Click, click, click, click, click click, panic, panic, panic, click, click, click ....

      Do here they are getting power shell, new windows admin interview question -- can you type :-)

  43. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "I don't need to know all the intricacies of LDAP, KERBEROS, and NFS and SAMBA to have a working network."

    Of course you don't. What was your point?

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Trained monkeys and other nonsense...

      >> I don't need to know all the intricacies of LDAP, KERBEROS, and NFS and SAMBA to have a working network.

      > Of course you don't. What was your point?

      I've seen what this Microsoft mentality produces. It produces ignorant gits that can't handle anything that's the slightest bit unexpected. They also tend to ignore very BASIC issues that are spelled out with a map and a flashlight in the most rudimentary vendor documentation. They really have no clue what they are doing and don't care to. Sure they can deploy something that seems functional but it's really a ticking time bomb that may explode in your face at any moment.

      If an NT admin isn't a menace and waste of skin then they are perfectly able to deal with Unixen (not just Linux) too.

  44. nilfs2
    Coat

    Most apps are web now

    The OS is irrelevant in most cases, just don't buy apps that don't have a web version and make your life a lot easier.

  45. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Boffin

    I think I'll go back to OS/2.

  46. Jess

    I suspect this will be a bit of a gift to the second hand market.

    Up until XP became tricky to get, I had not seen any large corporate buy second hand kit.

  47. Bladeforce

    Does anybody else think...

    ..we are getting hoodwinked over the real numbers of Linux on the desktop?

    Also you have to ask yourself..why cant Microsoft just update their kernel like Linux does to support Skylake?

    Are they such fools with their inhouse programming?

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: Does anybody else think...

      I'm sure they can. They just don't want to.

  48. AllieNeko

    I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

    Have people actually used Windows 10? It's fantastic. I have been a Mac user for years, and just got a Surface Pro 4. It's what computing should be. I've deployed Windows 10 at work, as well... with a great deal of success. It's a fantastic OS, and I'm sure no Microsoft fanboy.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      Well, the problem is Microsoft knows you like it because windows called home telling them so.

    2. Vic

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      I'm sure no Microsoft fanboy.

      First post! Welcome to The Register

      Vic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      "and I'm sure no Microsoft fanboy."

      I'm sure that you are. We're a pretty cynical bunch here and such wild enthusiasm on a first post is usually quite indicative.

    4. Erik4872

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      I'm not in the camp of breathless "Windows 10 is malware!" people, but the truth is that Microsoft is making It very difficult for average users to use their PCs in non-smartphone mode. Their justification seems to be that people are fine with Apple and Android phones phoning home, and it's pretty obvious that Microsoft wants to turn end user platforms into phone-style terminals. It does take a lot of work, and it's a moving target, but it is possible to disable almost all of the communication.

      I think Microsoft did a decent job fixing up Windows 8.1, and I'm no longer using 7 personally. But, I work in an environment that will be very slow to update from 7 due to a lot of legacy code. And when we're talking legacy, we're talking un-replaceable 16-bit code in some cases. Big businesses have stuff like this, and it'll take something like cutting off support to get them fixed; that's just real life.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @Erik4872

        Their justification seems to be that people are fine with Apple and Android phones phoning home

        Fixed that for you. In case you missed it, Apple is actively marketing iOS as an alternative to Google's snoopy and information selling ways, at least in Tim Cook's statements. They aren't making ads that say that, but privacy is a difficult concept to sell to the general public.

        The important difference between Android and Windows is that you don't pay anything for Android. Selling your personal data is the trade you make for having a wide selection of cheaper phones thanks to the Google developing and giving away Android to the world at large. Paying more for iPhones is the trade you make for keeping that personal data safe[*].

        Microsoft wants to have it both ways, making you pay for Windows, and collecting money from selling your personal information. People may be "fine" with this based on Android's market share, but how many consumers really know that's the choice they are making by selecting Android, or even if they did/do believe the price premium of an iPhone is worth it to avoid that?

        [*] Not claiming Apple collects absolutely no personal information, but what they collect isn't to feed a massive worldwide hungry advertising beast that is never sated like Google's. Apple makes so much money from selling iPhones that they'd probably lose money trying to sell personal data like Google, because if they did those who consider that an important differentiation with Android might figure "what's the point in paying more for an iPhone" and that loss would outweigh whatever extra cash they could make from selling people's personal information.

        1. WatAWorld

          Re: @DougS

          DougS, I have not read any credible claims that MS _sells_ the telemetry from Windows 10 to anyone. Do you have any links to the contrary?

          All the actual data out there on what it is used for is to debug, tweak, and adjust the OS and the third party software that runs on it.

          So the data from Windows 10 might go to third parties, but it would only be data relevant hangs and crashes of that particular third party's software when it runs on Windows 10.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: @DougS

            The aggressiveness with which they are trying to force people to Windows 10, and once in Windows 10 to give up personal information, leads me to believe that they are, or if they aren't today they will tomorrow. If the bulk of the install base is forced onto Windows 10, and they change the EULA when it forces you onto 10.1, what recourse do you have? Especially if your PC isn't even CAPABLE of running Windows 7 should you wish to go back?

            Microsoft brought this upon themselves by making Windows Update act like malware, and now using the worst lock-in tactics of the past to not allow computers sold later this year to run an OS that will still have several years of full support life remaining. For all the hate directed at Apple in some quarters, what Microsoft is doing here is so far beyond that that in less than a year Microsoft has regained its crown from Apple of "most hated company at El Reg" (just look at the post counts on these recent Microsoft articles vs Apple articles, and the nearly uniformly negative tone...that was not the case a year ago)

            I don't particularly dislike Windows 10, I might even have considered upgrading to it if it was just a better Windows 7 that undid the folly of Windows 8. But the way Microsoft has been acting since Ballmer left has quickly eroded the goodwill they earned with me - grudgingly at first, when Windows XP turned out to be the first Windows I ever used that didn't crash constantly on me (at least after the first couple service packs) and later with Windows 7 which was the first Windows good enough that I sometimes forgot I was using a Microsoft product at all!

      2. WatAWorld

        The default in Windows 10 installed on a desktop computer is desktop mode.

        @Erik4872 "Microsoft is making It very difficult for average users to use their PCs in non-smartphone mode"

        Windows 10 completely solves that issue. To get desktop Windows 10 into smartphone mode you have to dig in the settings and actually change them.

        The default in Windows 10 installed on a desktop computer is desktop mode.

    5. Jess

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      I wouldn't go as far as saying fantastic. (Unless Windows 8 is your reference) But I have found it a decent OS. I find it far faster than Windows 7 on the PC I'm typing this on. I certainly wouldn't bother with 7 on any machine for myself.

      If the telemetry is of concern, then migration to a different OS entirely is what is called for, not sticking to a previous version. (And I certainly won't rule that out for myself, my PC laptop is already dual boot 10/mint.)

      As someone pointed out earlier, saying Windows 10 is a poor OS compared to previous versions is as valid as saying Linux is too techie.

      However, pushing people over to it as they have been doing, is wrong.

      It is not a big enough improvement over 7 to be worth the bother for many people, and especially for anyone with an investment in software that might not work properly.

      (Of course the story is a bit different for anyone with windows 8 on the desktop, software issues should be far rarer, and 8 is vile.)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

        "If the telemetry is of concern"

        There's an implication that it isn't of concern to you.

        Have you read and understood the T&Cs? Go back and read them again.

        Read the bit that says they keep your login credentials. Can you find anything that limits it to login credentials to their services? The bit that days they won't keep login credentials for your bank or your work if they feel like it? If you can't find that doesn't it worry you, even just a little?

        The same thing about keeping details of your transaction - can you find anything there that restricts them to just purchases from MS & not M&S?

        Or did you think that this was just an oversight & MS couldn't find a lawyer to check them over?

        1. WatAWorld

          Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

          "Read the bit that says they keep your login credentials. Can you find anything that limits it to login credentials to their services?"

          There is common law and judicial precedent that when you are the one writing the contract any ambiguities are interpreted against you.

          Microsoft wrote the contract therefore "login credentials" would be interpreted narrowly, in other words applying only to MS's products and services.

          BTW, do you sign on each time you use The Register or iTunes -- or do you allow The Reg and Apple to store your login credentials?

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: "do you allow The Reg and Apple to store your login credentials?"

            Wrong question.

            If you signed up with iTunes then iTunes needs to keep your login credentials otherwise your account wouldn't exist and there would be no mechanism for signing in. So let's look at what I think was the intention:-

            "Do you allow your PC to store your login credentials?"

            Only if I trust the PC that I am saving it on, and the complete path (which will vary) leading all the way back to the provider of the service, unless there is end-to-end encryption. Actually, you can scrub that last bit, because from what I have seen just lately, there are arguably so many opportunities for MITM (Man in the Middle) interception that it might just as well go plain text to not draw attention to its content.

            Or there is another permutation:-

            "do you allow The Reg to store your login credentials for iTunes, and do you allow iTunes to store your login credentials for The Reg?"

            Are you CRAZY?? (In answer to that question, how many people "out there" use the same password for everything?).

            So I think I've just proved that the world is MAD MAD MAD Mwwaahh!!!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

            "do you sign on each time you use The Register or iTunes -- or do you allow The Reg and Apple to store your login credentials?"

            In 20+ years in IT I think I've come across a tiny handful of organisations, all incompetent, that store my actual login credentials.

            I take MS's wording, and the discussion that has resulted, to mean that the credentials are stored in a reversible way, ie they can get the originals back.

            Every organisation with a clue who wants me to authenticate stores something which isn't my original credentials but is derived from them in a way that allows me to authenticate without allowing the organisation to know exactly what the originals were.

            Why can't MS do this and say it's what they do?

            ps

            was this business about "login credentials" in the EULA for previous Windows versions? If not, what's changed?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      In case you haven't noticed, the hate isn't for Windows 10 but for Microsoft (and soon the Hardware companies) for trampling over their customers in their insane demand that we all move on (I won't say 'Up') to Windows 10.

      If they stopped treating us all like shit then I, for one, would say very little more on the subject of Windows 10.

      1. AllieNeko

        Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

        Who do you think treats you better? Apple no longer supports ANY old version of OS X after new hardware comes out. Buy a Mac introduced after El Capitan came out, and Yosemite won't boot on it. Just the way it is. Microsoft's saying that maybe, just maybe, there will be limited driver support for the next generation of Intel CPUs on an OS that came out SIX YEARS AGO.

        Don't like Apple? Well, how well is modern hardware supported on ANY Linux distro released in 2009?

        Microsoft has the longest support timelines of anyone in the industry, yet is somehow made out the bad guy when they end support? That is what's completely illogical to me.

        There's plenty to hate about Microsoft, but this idea that they have short support lives for their OS is just bizarre, as is the idea that Windows 10 is a bad OS (it's amazing... and I used to really dislike Windows...). It's fast, light, finally gets things like colour management and display scaling handled properly. And it looks darn good. Privacy? Damn, maybe, but that's everyone - even mainstream Linux. Ubuntu sends all your searches to Amazon...

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

          "Microsoft has the longest support timelines of anyone in the industry, yet is somehow made out the bad guy when they end support? That is what's completely illogical to me."

          No, it's not illogical. Firstly, MS only real selling point has been backwards compatibility. Secondly, the combination of a radical change in business model (monetize the stupid customers, and manage the stupid customers' machines for them, no matter what they actually want), with backporting some of that crap to Windows 7, as well as nagging incessantly, and downloading massive installation binaries without asking first, all makes the blood boil on anyone with integrity.

          Microsoft's arrogant behaviour towards what is supposed to be their customers is flabbergasting.

          If they show contempt for their users, then the users will show contempt for them. Does MS really think they are too big to fail? Good luck to them in that case...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

          "Privacy? Damn, maybe, but that's everyone - even mainstream Linux. Ubuntu sends all your searches to Amazon..."

          Maybe you (and most of the rest of the meejah) didn't notice, but there is actually more than one credible Linux to choose from. Even if Ubuntu isn't one of them any more, for the reason you mention and maybe others, there are still alternatives which don't have the same challenges.

          Have a lot of fun.

          1. AllieNeko

            Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

            "Maybe you (and most of the rest of the meejah) didn't notice, but there is actually more than one credible Linux to choose from. Even if Ubuntu isn't one of them any more, for the reason you mention and maybe others, there are still alternatives which don't have the same challenges."

            Did you read where I said "mainstream"? I love Fedora, personally. But to MOST people who aren't in a tech field Linux = Ubuntu.

    7. Vince

      Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

      Have I used it? Yes.

      Have I used every previous version? Yes

      Do I like Windows 8.1 a lot? Yes

      Is Windows 10 utterly terrible? Yes, and remember, I *like* the previous versions, so I am not the anti-change sort.

  49. Erik4872

    Big shift for enterprise customers!

    I work in "enterprise" end user computing. For those unaware. the typical desktop OS and hardware lifecycle is like this:

    - OS images and software packages are certified and used for as long as possible. Sometimes this can be for a very long time if applications require an OS or hardware feature that gets dropped or changed.

    - Enterprise desktop and laptop hardware from the Big 3 (HP, Lenovo, Dell) is on an 18-month sales cycle.

    - Enterprise desktops are on a very conservative update track compared to consumer machines. Often, this is because they're sold into places that still need legacy stuff like serial ports, full BIOS emulation, and the ability to run very old OSes (even if the vendor doesn't explicitly support it.)

    - Because of this, the progression usually is:

    - Intel/AMD comes out with whizzy new architecture

    - Enterprise desktops are released pretty far into the architecture cycle, and sometimes skip the "tick-tock" architecture change and opt for the die-shrunk version of the chip.

    - New models are released with some overlap of the old ones to ensure companies have time to make sure all their applications work on the new hardware.

    This announcement from Microsoft is a big shift. They're basically saying that anything you buy after a certain date will not be able to run supported Windows 7. I don't know what they're planning to tie this to, but it basically sets an expiration date for Win7 even for the most conservative Windows shops.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: Big shift for enterprise customers!

      SCADA OEMs still buy 20 year-old CPUs.

      For example, Intel announced that 80386 production would stop at the end of September 2007.

      And that merely meant they stopped making new ones. There was still a stock pile to be used up.

  50. A Ghost
    Megaphone

    And so we come full circle.

    I've already said how 2015 was the official end of the Golden age of computing, so I'll stop with that now.

    But now this, so soon into 2016. It's just coming thick and fast - an onslaught. Dataraped and helpless victims that we are, we are now getting hardware raped. Crikey. Where will it end? Ballmer and the boys in monkey masks breaking in with rubber hoses to re-educate people when they find out you are refusing to be micro-chipped with a Win OS? [I know he no longer works there, but the imagery was too good to pass up - forgive me]

    When I first saw a computer in the late 70's - an Apple with Green VDU - it was a mysterious machine. Kept hearing about these things called 'computers' and here was one you could touch. A few clueless computer programming lessons later, plus a bit of source code input to my ZX81 from a magazine to play 'space invaders' type of thing, it all went a bit quiet on the computer front until a few years later - 1999 in fact, I had to design a spec for my g/f's computer for college. Rich parents she had and I had a budge of 3000 quid. That got you a 200MHz cput and a 2GB hard disk, etc.etc.

    It was barely fast enough to run the programs of the time - photoshop being one of the main ones, but it worked. It even ran the first VST (Virtual Studio Technology (c) Steinberg Soft und Harware) where actual analog synthesizers could be 'emulated' digitally. It blew people's minds.

    Then what could be achieved via software went light years ahead, and with it, the hardware to make it all work. Fast forward to today where we have things like the Holy Grail of Audio - Melodyne - where you can reach in to recorded polyphonic music and extract and manipulate individual notes from within via DNA (Direct Note Access) - they said it couldn't be done. But somebody had an idea somewhere and it was done. It doesn't get much better than this.

    You now have pretty much 100 percent virtualisations of old analog hardware like the Korg Legacy series, that are all and more that people need to make music. We have Digital Audio Workstations like Ableton Live, that can take an audio clip and with a right click it will analyse it and break it down and translate it to MIDI. They said it couldn't be done. Another Holy Grail found. You get the picture.

    And of course, even budget systems such as I run (i5), can operate this software absolutely perfectly like a dream (unless you're one of those nutters that puts an eq and comp and fx on every insert and send) as long as you don't use the most thirsty of VSTs - you'll be fine. We even have the capability to put in 16GB of RAM if you run large sample libraries in Kontakt, say. Still not enough for some people, but sometimes nothing is ever enough for some people...

    But...but.... and it's a big 'but', we now have Microshaft true to their name, shafting their own customers after those customers paid for their OS (it wasn't free was it?) either by forcing on winX or leaching and draining their customers time by malware nagging. Let's leave out the moral implications of what they are doing with slurp for the moment, and just stick to having a computer that works.

    Driver support is always a bug bear with audio stuff, but it kind of works ok for the most part now, especially as we have things like ASIO to help us along. Don't install the multi-client version though or you might end up with a totally borked system as it wipes out your boot info and whatnot - or use it at your peril on a fully backed up system, as I did. It took me a week to sort out and it's still not right, but that is for another discussion...

    So the problem is not that we don't have geniuses that can write the most magical and wizardry of software. It isn't that the hardware is not fast enough to run it now - it is. It's the fact that these bastards have a monopoly and are playing fast and loose, abusing their position of power and abusing their paying customers into the bargain.

    NO - YOU CAN NOT KEEP USING THAT SOFTWARE PAST NEXT YEAR!

    You will upgrade, and if the software writers can't keep up, then your software just won't work any more - tough titty boohoo.

    How the fuck did we end up in this position. This could have been a new Golden era of computing. The one that everyone strived for. It's here folks, it's here. We made it happen - all the software programmers/engineers/beta testers/graphics designers - we did it.

    And microshat pull the rug out from under us all. Total utter bastards. I won't even buy a microsoft mouse from now on.

    That audio software will not work in any other OS. The devs already have their work cut out supporting Mac (if they do) or maybe even Linux if you arer Bitwig or Reaper (Justin Frankel who wrote winamp and is held in very very high regard by the whole audio community). 64 bit drained the life out of the smaller devs and VSTs that use things like Synthedit or Flowstone as their framework will possibly never work on 64 bit. But 64 bit had to happen (depending on your perspective). Everyone just cracked on.

    But now this. Purposeful crippling of hardware and by extension of that software. Some smaller devs such as LinPlug have obviously seen which way the wind was blowing by discontinuing their (perfectly good working) older software, just in case new OS changes render them useless. They see what's on the horizon. And it's a monster.

    So, in a year or two, if my current compo goes kaput, I will have to source a second hand one to run the software I paid thousands and thousands of pounds for. I could have cracked it, but I paid for it, because I have integrity. What microshits are doing is showing not just a total lack of integrity, but an absolute absence of moral character that I can not differentiate from a common or garden burglar.

    Already we are seeing major snafus with drivers and software not working on Win X, but apart from that - I don't want to be data raped.

    So, my win7 machine gets unplugged from the net. The system frozen in time via a golden image. And I will have to be extremely careful and picky about buying or putting any new software on there - being careful to keep new clones for every step I take, should it bork. Thankyou microsoft, thank you so much.

    I will now use Linux Mint or whatever distro I fancy (fatdog64, Knoppix, AVLinux etc.) along with my winOS replacement for general computer use (probably a flavour of Mint). I even went to the darkside and bought a Chrome book for my brother such is my sheer hatred for all things microsoft now.

    And now this on top. These bully boy bastards are not going to stop. I despise them with every inch of my being, and if they want personal war with me, they shall have it.

    The Golden age of computing is over. You know, from when it used to like, be fun. Now we are entering the age of Attrition. I wonder what other dirty tricks they have got up their sleeves. Nothing they do will surprise me from now on. Not even this did. But to be so blantant. What balls. The balls of a bully, knowing full well he can indeed throw his weight about and there's not a damn thing his victims can do about it.

    For now. I for one, can't wait to see these nasty bastards get what is truly coming to them. They really are suffering some kind of insanity, but they are a danger to others, and now they must be stopped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: And so we come full circle.

      Sometimes, one upvote just isn't enough. Well said.

    2. Mikel
      Linux

      Re: And so we come full circle.

      Well said, but... we tried to warn you. A thousand times. You would not listen. You berated us, you scoffed at our tinfoil hats, our nerdy calls to "freedom!" When you talked to us at all your answer was "it works," with a sneer.

      OK, fine. It sucks. But you we told you it would and you chose it anyway. Own it. Admit some share of responsibility before you go all apoplectic.

      Upvote though. That was high art.

  51. J J Carter Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Mint Imperial?

    Most of my 3500 users don't know what the OS is and care less. They do care that the tools the use to run the business (ERP, MS Office, EDRM, MI, e-mail, Skype, smart-phones, ...) are there 24*7 and are easy to use (SSO, familiar UI) and we care all end-user devices are centrally managed and controlled from our operations centre.

    If anyone can explain how Linux Mint fits the reality of corporate IT, please let me know. I won't hold my breath.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Mint Imperial?

      > If anyone can explain how Linux Mint fits the reality of corporate IT, please let me know. I won't hold my breath.

      Most tools required to run an office don't require the underlying OS so much since in general, platform specific binaries are a relic of the past. This is especially true in a larger environment with an actual ERP system. Smaller shops not so much... but you excluded those as soon as you started with your alphabet soup.

      You also raised the bar in terms of the level of IT support available.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Mint Imperial?

      Are you by any chance based in Stockholm? You certainly exhibit the syndrome.

      If something comes down the MS upgrade channel that overnight obsoletes the boxes those 3500 users are running on you'll happily put your hand in your business's pocket & write out an order for 3500 new boxes, won't you?

      I once ran a Unix unit in a shop where the IT management had a similar one stop shop mentality. They were going to replace my system in 6 months time. For years and years. Eventually I retired. I regret not being there to see what happened in the end. Their one stop shop was for VAX/VMS.

    3. WatAWorld

      Re: Mint Imperial?

      The problem with Linux is that it is open source.

      Open source was supposed to be "bug free" and "vulnerability free" because so many people would be donating their time to checking it over, debugging it and testing it.

      Well it has turned out that far more people have far more thoroughly examined and tested Windows than Linux.

      It isn't just that it is open source, although as Poodle proved with OpenSSL, even vast market dominance won't get the personpower necessary to test and probe shareware sufficiently.

      OS X is not thoroughly tested either, because it is not so popular as Windows, the hackers can't be bothered, and Apple doesn't bother because hackers don't bother.

      That extensive testing and probing by hackers of MS products is why targeted organizations like banks and governments use MS rather than products "designed for security from the ground up".

      Designed for security, yes. But tested and probed sufficient to actually deliver security? No !

  52. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Flame

    Microsoft Anthem

    I can almost hear the Microsoft Men's Choirs singing their anthem, "Rawhide" to the troops as they code this stuff.

  53. DougS Silver badge

    So here's how you get around it

    PC OEMs will demand pre-Kaby Lake CPUs from Intel, because their enterprise customers will demand PCs that can run Windows 7, because enterprises don't upgrade to the latest Windows just because it is out. They want the fewest transitions possible, which is why most of them skipped directly from XP to 7, and will probably skip directly from 7 to 10 or 11.

    Even those skipping directly from 7 to 10 don't want to go to 10 today when 7 still has so much life left. Those upgrades are very disruptive and expensive, and can take a year to roll out from start to finish (not including testing/pilot deployments)

    If Dell won't sell Skylake based laptops to enterprises because Intel won't sell Dell Skylake CPUs, I think a lot of enterprises will simply halt their upgrade cycle. If they do that look for 2015's nearly 10% drop (which is the fourth consecutive year) in PC sales to be a drop in the bucket compared to what 2017 looks like when Intel is trying to push Kaby Lake and a lot of enterprises do not want it due to its crippled inability to run Windows 7.

    I would be very worried if I was running a PC OEM. That market is already dropping like a rock, it does not need Microsoft increasing gravity from the current 9.8 m/s^2!

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: So here's how you get around it

      ...and of course, add to that the fact that the machines we have now are SO FAST that there's no point updating them. I'm still getting by perfectly well on a desktop that's 7 years old in my office, because nothing I do there requires it to be any faster. Sure, one day it will pack up and I'll need a new one, but I have no need to update, and as long as I don't need to I'm keeping accounts happy by not requesting budget for it.

  54. cantankerous swineherd

    I'll be looking for a new computer + os in the next few years and it won't be windows...

  55. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    So, Window 7 marketshare is basically the West Bank of Microsoft?

    Starve, make unliveable, occupy, control, lock down, settle, hope it dies by itself....

  56. tempemeaty
    FAIL

    Baby Birds

    All the hardware companys' income is so dependent on McDoodysoft they can't survive without that mama bird. At this point my new name for all the CEOs of all the PC hardware companies is "Baby Birds" who will never fly on their own. This is the nest they made by doing nothing for their independence. So all these CEOs are now just Baby Birds...

  57. Mikel

    Windows 10 saved my life

    It started with my Surface Pro 4, which I was using to synch my meds calendar. It failed to wake from sleep again and I just lost my wits on the train and started just wailing away on a railing with it (it may have been past time for the meds). Another passenger came to help me and I flung it at him, regrettably embedding it corner first in his forehead (did I mention the build quality? These things are sturdy and very slim!). Naturally I was arrested, and so when the train derailed on what would have been my commute home, I was in the pokey and didn't die with everyone else. And now I have an Android phone with Google Calendar for meds tracking and am current on my meds while I await the competency hearing.

    Anyway, that's how Windows 10 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 saved my life! Windows 4 lyf (but of course, not until I'm off court supervision).

  58. ben_myers

    Carrot & Stick?

    Microsoft sure knows where to stick the carrot, asking everyone to bend over in unison. They've arrived at the perfect strategy to drive people away from Windows, Bing and all their cloud crap. But let's see how the world reacts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of corporate sheep who bought into "You can't go wrong with Microsoft", a serious absence of critical thinking, no different than the IBM-Think of (OMG, was it?) 50 years ago.

    Sad thing is that Windows 10 is quite OK, once Microsoft surveillance and ads are shut off.

    Finally, it's a large steaming pile of horse manure to say that drivers from Windows 7 won't work with Windows 10 and vice versa. I'll bet some school of hackers figures out how to make those Windows 10 work with Windows 7. If not, it will become yet another lame excuse to make perfectly good hardware obsolete. No surprise here. Microsoft always screws up the driver model to make it easy for IHV's to render hardware obsolete. And, THAT, is what keeps the Wintel computer industry alive in this age of people already using alternatives like tablets, phablets, smartphones, and Apple i-stuff.

    1. Vic

      Re: Carrot & Stick?

      Microsoft always screws up the driver model to make it easy for IHV's to render hardware obsolete. And, THAT, is what keeps the Wintel computer industry alive

      Yeah, but it also means a cheap supply of second-hand, fairly new kit for us FOSSers :-)

      Vic.

  59. wsm

    This can't be right

    When found to be a monopoly, Microsoft was supposed to be forced to play nice. How will the entities that enforce the various agreements with regulatory agencies make it so Microsoft actually produces a functional product without the worst of the latest self-serving possibilities we are now seeing?

    Most likely, nothing will happen. They're all in it together. It's just that governing bodies have their own way of getting in on the action, with fines, fees and favors that most of us will never know about.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft was supposed to be forced to play nice.

      I think they were. Just not with the general public.

      Of course it might just be coincidence they purchased Skype and killed Symbian.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The EU

    Should seriously beat Micro$oft with a big stick over this, doesn't the almighty WEEE Directive promote "reuse or recycling" ?

    If folks also can't put Windows 7 on an old system because they've nuked the activation servers then this amounts to denying them access (an offense under Computer Misuse Act to boot!)

    I might start collecting Vista OEM stickers at this point, better to have something that can't be force upgraded to 10 and then "you must buy a new CPU to continue using this product"... grr!

    FWIW Vista is actually not that bad and updates will continue until 2022 at the earliest.

    1. Jess

      Re: Vista is actually not that bad and updates will continue until 2022 at the earliest.

      11 April 2017 according to this page http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/lifecycle

      It's usable now (unlike when it was brand new), but were it the only version I had a licence for, I would be dual booting with linux and only using it when specific software demanded it.

  61. WatAWorld

    There is no shortage of cut-price older model CPUs for those wanting to run old operating systems.

    And that is what companies that really want to run Windows 7 will use.

    Using older model CPUs has always been standard procedure for makers of SCADA systems which are tightly married to CPU architectures.

  62. WatAWorld

    Is the tech press so desperate for readers that it has to appeal to Apple Fanbois?

    Is the tech press so desperate for readers that it has to appeal to Apple Fanbois?

    Is there no press left that caters to IT professionals instead of hobbyists?

    Windows 10 is actually very good. Fast, new but with a number of bugs more in keeping with an OS that is several years old.

    I do agree that MS has gone overboard with the upgrade prompts -- there should be no more than one prompt per week. But Windows 10 is vastly superior to Windows 7 in speed and security, and probably even has fewer bugs.

  63. WatAWorld

    Where was the outrage all these years of Apple having this policy?

    Apple has never supported its new OSes only old computers.

    Where was your hobbyist outrage then?

    It was such a non-concern most people didn't even know it.

    And there are some companies that predominantly use Apples. Mac dominate in graphics arts companies. And even their tech departments can cope with it.

    Take Linux as another example. Linux often doesn't support new hardware. Since Linux's creation users have been stuck appealing for volunteers to write drivers for them.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Where was the outrage all these years of Apple having this policy?

      Do they?

      Do you have evidence of Apple dictating to their suppliers that they should only develop for the latest version of OSX and iOS?

      In fact I'm sure Apple will want to see the real details of just what MS have asked Intel/AMD et al, because they have a vested interest in these processors being able to run a non-MS OS...

      1. Jess

        Re: that they should only develop for the latest version of OSX and iOS?

        I think you will find it is down to the tools apple provides, so if they develop on old systems it still works on old systems, if not it doesn't.

  64. N2 Silver badge

    Am I missing something?

    Its something to do with

    Horse, water & drink

  65. MJI Silver badge

    Moving away from Windows?

    I have to use Windows at work 7 64 bit currently as I write WIN32 software.

    We will move away in a few years, but not sure what to.

    To be honest Windows is safe until MS kill WIN32, then it may as well die.

    But do we need Windows at home?

    There is a choice between Linux and a version of BSD.

    My gaming machine is an octo cored machine with yet another version of BSD, playing PC games for me is too much like work.

    My home PC is XP as it works and I have better things to spend money on than replacing functional operating systems. It is dual boot so eventually will go Linux.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Moving away from Windows?

      >To be honest Windows is safe until MS kill WIN32

      2017 could well be the year MS cease supporting Win32 on Win10...

      Remember one of the challenges MS has with Windows is legacy and looking at Win10, 'Edge' etc. it does seem that MS are relatively quickly pushing features it considers to be legacy to one side and ceasing development...

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Moving away from Windows?

        But if they kill WIN32 there is then no reason to use their OSes.

        Force a complete rewrite (there is a .NET escape plan if we HAD to).

        Kill WIN32 then we would HAVE to go something more generic.

        And it took us about 10 years to fully rewrite into WIN32 and still adding new code all the time.

  66. arobertson1

    Linux Mint

    I run a small business. Here is the current set up:

    1 PC using Windows 7, 3 PC’s using Linux Mint (not virtual) & 1 PC stuck on XP (short version - driver issues / don’t ask).

    Most of you talk the talk about switching to Linux Mint / (Ubuntu if you must) etc. but I doubt many of you will. In most cases management will decide and you’ll just scurry along with upgrading to Windows 10, while you complain vigorously about privacy all the way (but not actually doing anything about it). That way your backs covered when the customer accounts all turn up on Pastebin - right? “Must have been Microsoft”. Wrong! P45 for you….

    By far, the Windows 7 and XP PC are the most problematic in terms of keeping patched and up to date - I can spend a whole day on each fannying around with both of them getting them to work and be secure. Windows update, Adobe Flash, Baseline Security Analyzer, various software update checkers, Adobe Flash emergency out of band extra patch, Internet browsers (including IE windae licker edition), undoing Microsoft’s upgrade to Windows 10 and retro Windows 10 spyware on Windows 7 cagar, Adobe Flash extra, extra out of band update fix the second part b (honest gov - it’s the last one this month), uninstalling the obligatory Microsoft “Bork my PC now” booby trapped BSOD recommended update, Surprise!!… Pain in the arse.

    Conversely, Linux Mint just works. Updates (at most) take around ten minutes. No fannying around, no double checking here there, wing and a prayer - just works.

    Every once in a while I scan the network for any issues with security. Surprise, surprise it’s always the Windows PC’s that end up with the problems. In most cases Mint is so quiet on the network that nMap can’t even identify it let alone find a weakness. Windows 7 on the other hand - shut the f*** up! Yet another piece of software required…. Antivirus, Antispyware, Firewall, USB autorun prevention, ASLR, OS configurations, Application rights, Group Policy this, that, this and this, oh wait a minute that one needs a registry edit…… The list is endless. Oh s*** here’s yet another javascript OS vulnerability that bypasses the UAC. Hmmm, yes that sounds like a really sensible idea to allow .js to run natively in the OS. I luv my ransomeware Microsoft!

    Look guys, the only way you will secure your data and prevent Microsoft from grabbing it all (keyloggers, wifi passwords, big jugs online or whatever) is to dump Windows 10 and use Linux. Go on, you know you want to - try it and get your social life back (No, Facebook doesn’t count).

    1. John 104

      Re: Linux Mint

      Running Mint 17.3 since last December. Slowly but surely wrapping my head around the *nix file system and how things work. No where near my Windows chops though. I'll keep using it for home use and keep supporting Win at work. Eventually I'll be as competent in linux as Win and then perhaps my job prospects will broaden a bit...

      Come on Win admins. Take the plunge. I for one am loving the simple interface and no fuss interaction. The only thing I'm missing is Visio and One Note. The rest is provided and works great (Libre Office).

  67. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "Why on earth do they need "Telemetry" from a Windows 7 PC, if NO development or enhancements are to be provided to Windows 7 (8.0/8.1 ?) ????"

      MS must contaminate Windows 7, so it's not an obviously superior alternative to Windows 10.

      That is the main reason. And having telemetry on those obstinate enough to still resist the marching orders to Windows 10. The telemetry isn't really there mainly to improve the OS. It's to monetize the user.

      The irony of it all is that Windows 10 is a decent OS, as far as MS OS'es go. Couldn't they simply have a payed-for version that does not include telemetry at all? I think my limit would be around £40 or so, given that Linux is free, and OS X is free as long as you have a Mac.

      Oh, and without the someone-else-decides-when-to-update crap as well, of course.

  68. JustNiz

    Linux just keeps looking better and better.

    Linux just keeps looking better and better.

  69. A Ghost
    Linux

    It does indeed, and when you get a nice clean working install, it is actually a real pleasure.

    The first time I installed Linux was at v10 - Julia, iirc. I couldn't believe how much faster my hardware was. Things opened and shut instantly, the eye candy was more like a Mac than the kludge that is win7 or the fisher price that is xp. I tolerate(d) those, because you know, need them to get the job done. But...

    If you can take the leap, and you are prepared to spend a bit of time distro-hopping (as I did), you can get some delicious flavours to work with. DreamLinux (discontinued now) was one quite close to the Mac experience. I don't mind Macs (use them in the Studio), and a very large percentage of the professional Audio softs available work on it. Can't afford one, don't like the company etc. etc..

    I've also mentioned I preferred developing (just basic website building) on Linux with XAMPP. You have your bitmap/raster graphics editor with Gimp and you have your Vector stuff with Inkscape (a program I absolutely adore and even have the portable version on win7). I also enjoy running my VMs from Linux. I have several flavours of xp with one only being a few hundred MB in size. Others a Gig or two. They fly like the proverbial shit off a blanket, even virtualised in Linux.

    I have the extra vt instructions or whatever they are on my amd chip (5 years old now) and apart from the usual Catalyst graphics driver problems and probably not having an included proprietary wireless driver, it's actually a BETTER experience.

    I've enjoyed the gorgeous gui/desktop that is KDE - set up my VPNs from there and had it all running off a 8GB usb stick. Took a while to load, but there you go. XFCE/LXDE seems like a mature enough technology to me, and I enjoy using those as well. I still need to fine tune the whole Cinnamon/Mate thing to see what works best for me, but I am going to spend a bit of time with this one setting it all up and imaging it, so if the whole lot crumbles...

    It's really not a problem at all to me. I will just simply lock down and freeze my windows partition and disconnect it totally absolutely thoroughly from the net. With an SSD I plan to put into my aging laptop, I would imagine restarting and rebooting into another partition won't be much slower than logging out/logging on in windoze.

    But again, it's the smaller software devs I feel sorry for. Their life just got harder again. Plus, I am going to think really hard, then think again, then think one more time, if I really need that new sampler/synth/fx that I have a hundred of anyway. So I would say that I really would be loathe now to buy something just for the sake of it and have to reimage everything as I go along. Before every new install, a full system clone will be done, then if successful another one after that. It won't take long and it is worth it for the piece of mind, not to mention it's absolutely necessary when messing about with low level system drivers like audio (did I mention multi-client asio hosed my entire system?).

    So it's all good. Looking forward to it in fact. Looking forward to the wonderful experience that Linux _can_ be. I'll make it work.

    The audio software community is already at saturation point. Only new kids coming up and BUYING new stuff are keeping it going. It's on life support in some quarters. There used to be a culture of crack everything black and blue years ago, but today, kids take pride in buying their software (not all of them I know). The whole cracking scene is all but dead. You still have groups releasing, but they are more sick and tired of the leechers than some of the software devs.

    Interesting times. And microshaft just haven't done any one any favours on all of this as this great big computing machine(ry) thing advances into what could have been a rather pleasant middle age - a peak in fact. They culled it just as it was starting to get good. Bought and paid for by the totalitarian state (is it fair to say we are there yet?) don't expect anything good ever to come out of Redmond ever again.

    Yup, no favours at all, least to themselves. They can't say they weren't warned can they?

    I will only work with Linux from now on. Apart from my frozen DAW.

    If you're machine gets messed I'll put linux on it and windows on a vm or something, I don't know. I'm not going to perpetrate their crap an inch longer. I will not use their services, I will not buy their products, I will not have a good word to say about them, and I most certainly won't encourage anyone else to support the enemy, for that is what they are now.

    A line has been drawn in the sand.

    Linux is good enough and fit for purpose. Windoze is not. Even with all my thousands of pounds worth of software, I can still use it on a machine not connected to the net, so why would I? And 99 pecent of all new software will still let you authorise a machine without an internet connection - a pain yeah - so never mind.

    And once that move has been made, there won't be any going back.

    This is the death throes of a dying decaying desperate organisation. But what do I know? I'm just a paying (ex) customer.

  70. Philippe

    What about Vista?

    I am devastated by this news.

    Here I was so looking forward to install Vista on my next Kaby Lake system.

  71. 101

    Ticking Money Bomb

    It's clear MS is getting tough is for pure monetary reasons. Once a threshold numbers of people and businesses are addicted to W10, then the monthly fee starts. And, I bet it won't be cheap either.

    Also, MS has charged head first into the Mass Surveillance paradigm and I would guess for every W10 user a certain monetary value can be, or has been, assigned for marketing and selling personal data.

    Contracts to world governments alone would likely be multi-billions of any currency you choose.

    Sure, you can say "Linux" but will generations raised on windows really try an alternative? Or will they simply keep smiling while the device cam records them24/7 and pay, pay, pay?

  72. Nocroman

    ISIS has read about this and Microsoft has been added to their special infidel list. I lokk forward to the video's

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's next strategic move

    OK so New chips wont run older Windows OS or new chip features wont be supported by older Windows OS one or the other the Author don't make this totally clear in the article. one is obviously significantly worse than the other.

    SO I believe Microsoft's next move will be within their own products, when they have a critical mass of office 365 subscribers they will make it so Future versions of Office "Boxed" software will no longer be compatible with older Windows OS versions and only Office 365 ES "extended Support" (at a $£ premium) will allow install on older Windows OS versions otherwise its web app versions only for you or There is the Great offer "upgrade your OS at an office 365 subscriber discount only £$ per month" for the upgraded latest version of Windows.

  74. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Dear The Register

    Can you write some kind of "Let's dump on Windows 10" article (a one line article is enough), where we can comment on various Windows 10 features?

    I just so happen to get Windows 10 with a newish laptop, and decided I might as well get to know the enemy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear The Register

      Step 1: Make forensic quality system image

      Step 2: Turn off the spying.

      Step 3: Disable background sharing of W10 updates !!!!

      Step 4: Update to latest version

  75. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Re. new CPUs

    I wonder if its possible to make my own replacement chips, its not that hard if you have enough very advanced technology and in fact existing obsolete chips can act as pin carriers etc if you are careful.

    It turns out that grafting a BCM series SoC and breakout board onto an old S1G2 is feasible thanks to more modern Z axis techniques and differential pin probing to make it stable long term by adjusting the SoC to avoid any questionable lines.

    Its a bit clunky but only a minor heatsink modification would be needed and the resultant system should reuse 90% of the hardware with the offset made up by selling the old CPU to someone as an upgrade.

    Also relevant, hacking S1G2 systems to take an S1G3 CPU and this has also been done successfully.

  76. ben_myers

    That's not all

    My job requires me to install operating systems from scratch, then run the updates.

    After installing Windows 7 SP1 on a system, you can watch paint dry while the Microsoft borg shovels 216-or-so IMPORTANT updates at you, bloating the space used by just the operating system to over 40GB.

    After installing Windows 10 on a system, and turning off all the "Custom Settings" that give Microsoft all the data about you that it wants, the important updates get installed 1-2-3, quick as a bunny. Result is an OS that occupies less than 20GB.

    Not too long ago, the Windows 7 update process went pretty quickly. Methinks there is a coincidence here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's not all

      "After installing Windows 7 SP1 on a system"

      Have you tried this recently (las few months) and had it even update itself reliably?

      I've had three or four goes on three or four systems since late last year for various reasons. It's a nightmare to even get the update process to start. Lots of people have the problem, no one (inside or outside MS) seems to have a known good solution. My research says there's an expired certificate (or something like that) in the picture somewhere and consequently Windows Update refuses to exchange meaningful data. It also refuses to produce a meaningful error message (no surprise there though).

      All suggestions gratefully received. Current medium term option: abandon Windows, permanently. Haven't yet decided whether Suse is the answer (based on my long term experience) or whether to give the Church of Jobs a try for a while, as many of my non-technical friends, neighbours, and even ex-colleagues have been doing.

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