back to article While Windows 7 wobbled, AI continued its relentless march at Microsoft

The gang at Microsoft continued their busy start to 2019, dodging falling masonry, wobbly updates and toppling cloud services. Windows 7 update woes reach the lab (and Windows 10) Some Windows 7 users had a less than productive start to the week as Microsoft issued its usual monthly update… and broke networking for a whole …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Azure not Linux

    Yes, we still have problems getting our heads around Microsoft’s born-again evangelising of Linux, too.

    Adding support for Python 2.7 to Azure hardly counts as evangelising. It's just business. Ballmer's Windows-only strategy faiiled and Nadella was given the job. Revenues from Windows aren't growing, those from Azure are, Python is becoming a key language for the kind of computationally intensive work that Azure is touting and some businesses have big investments Python 2 code.

    More interesting, perhaps, is the idea of adding support for Python as a scripting language for Office as VBA is increasingly rejected by younger programmers.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Azure not Linux

      looks like support of the oldie-but-goodie Python 2.7 breaks their usual "new, shiny only" paradigm.

      Let's hope similar kinds of thinking will leak out into the OS section, such as SUPPORTING WINDOWS 7 BETTER. AND LONGER. Because CUSTOMERS WANT IT. And maybe let us BUY IT LEGALLY pre-installed on NEW computers with NEW architecture (in lieu of Win-10-nic). And so on.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Azure not Linux

        Given the choice, I'd prefer Windows 7 everywhere - at least with W7 I can delete all the unwanted crap from the machine - every time I work on a W10 machine I wonder why MS thinks I need X-Box support while checking email at work.

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Azure not Linux

        You'll be lucky. Windows 7 is already in the soft 'semi supported' arena by vendors. Although it is still supported by Microsoft for security fixes, for things like VR it's flat out unsupported for Windows Mixed Reality, and very grudgingly by the Rift. Many new apps target only 10 or 8.1 as a base.

        Probably not as bad as towards the end of Vista's lifetime, however, when driver vendors had already dropped support and even Microsoft starting hiding information on their website.

        You'd be better moving to 8.1 now, and making plans to migrate to *nix. 10 isn't too bad either, the latest enterprise builds have fixed various issues, provided you're running a standard system on modern hardware. For more legacy/odd systems (pretty much describes 90% of my home kit) it's more of a pain. Work's use of 10 is fine, and the irritating hibernate bugs were fixed in the Fall Creators Update.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Azure not Linux

      "adding support for Python as a scripting language for Office"

      Yet another way to screw a victim with a malicious email attachment.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Azure not Linux

        Yet another way to screw a victim with a malicious email attachment.

        Possibly, although as the store release shows, it can be effectively sandboxed. They're looking for ways for people to continue doing their work in Excel rather than Jupyter Notebook and using Excel just as the output format.

    3. johnnyblaze

      Re: Azure not Linux

      Revenue from Windows might not be growing, but MS need people running 10 to feed telemetry into their AI backend, to push ads, generate store revenue and direct users towards their services. Win10 is just a conduit to allow this to happen.

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: Azure not Linux

        Allow me to correct you:

        <quote>Win10 is just a conduit to allow this to happen ad slinging malware masquerading as an operating system.</quote>

        FTFY

    4. druck
      Happy

      Re: Azure not Linux

      Python is 25% to 40% faster on Linux than Windows in to the bargain.

  2. MrReal

    Never understood the attraction of python.

    Such a sucky language designed to slow down R&D, it's best claim to fame is lack of switch statements, no incrementer and the most types of list/array/tuple/dictionary etc. of anything.

    It's truly a dreadful and hideous thing used only be people who don't know any better.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I'll bite....

      .. so what do you use instead? Perl (not really)?

      JavaScript?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll bite....

        VBA

      2. MrReal

        Re: I'll bite....

        The alternative to Python? PHP of course, it's many times faster to implement the same functionality as Python and works WITH you rather than AGAINST you. The syntax is also similar to C.

        Nothing wrong with Javascript on the client side either, no need to 100k of JQuery if you're not ego surfing.

        Many of us find Python sucks for the precisely the reasons I dislike it. I program scripts to do a job, not as a chance to investigate the missing functionality and bizarre and unnecessary syntax rules it presents.

        Of course if you get paid by the hour and are a masochist then Python is indeed perfect, especially when several different versions are involved, some Mako and Pylons just to make it totally impossible to maintain.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Chacun à son goût

      Never understood the attraction of python.

      Then it's probably not for you.

      Many of us find it good for the precisely the reasons you dislike it, some of which are why it's becoming the first programming language for the new crop of "data scientists" (dreadful term, but there it is) to build their models with.

      1. karlkarl Bronze badge

        Re: Chacun à son goût

        Possibly data scientists and software R&D should already be accustomed to programming in the best language for the job and not require Python "because its easy for beginners".

        Thats a bit like saying astonauts should use row boats because it is easier to learn to row a boat than piloting a space shuttle.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Chacun à son goût

          Possibly data scientists and software R&D should already be accustomed to programming in the best language for the job and not require Python "because its easy for beginners"

          Bit of chicken and egg. It's no coincidence that Python has become so popular in this and other domain of occasional programmers. Of course, it's also no coincidence that the Python libraries mainly wrap around some C++, GPU, etc. code written by real men programmers. And that is just how it should be.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Chacun à son goût

          > programming in the best language for the job and not require Python "because its easy for beginners".

          Being 'easy for beginners' does not prevent it being the best language for the job.

    3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > Never understood the attraction of python.

      Your admitted lack of understanding is not a limitation on its attractiveness. ;-)

      > it's best claim to fame is lack of switch statements

      You say that as if it were a criticism. One of Python's best features is that there is usually just one way to do things. In the case of 'switch' it is if ... elif ... else ... . It does the job.

      > and the most types of list/array/tuple/dictionary etc. of anything.

      Exactly, no need to have to reinvent your own to circumvent the limitations in other languages.

      > used only be people who don't know any better.

      We don't have to know 'better', we just use Python and get the job done. 'Better' is the enemy of 'good'.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        In the case of 'switch' it is if ... elif ... else ... . It does the job.

        Actually, in cases where you might want to use a

        SWITCH
        in Python you can use OO and use dictionary dispatching where each condition is mapped to a function or method because
        if…elif…else
        is foolproof but can be a pain to maintain.

        1. MrReal

          In the cases I want to use a switch I use PHP and a switch.

          Or C and a switch.

          Often a switch is the clearest and easiest way to do something, so what's the point in designing a language to stop you using one?

          There's no technical reason not to have one in Python, it's deliberately awkward. Like incrementers, it's simply awkwardness for the sake of it. No i++? Why? Because someone decided to be awkward as their ego was too big to accommodate the best syntax.

          Why would anyone want to use a language that's deliberately awkward?

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            > There's no technical reason not to have one in Python, it's deliberately awkward.

            Exactly. It is deliberately designed so that, for most cases, there is just one way to do things, and that one way ensures that it is clear to _everyone_ what is being done by the code. Other different languages implement switch in various ways: does it drop through into the next case or require a break?

            > No i++? Why?

            One of the tips for jslint tool is:

            """

            ++ and --

            The ++ (increment) and -- (decrement) operators have been known to contribute to bad code by encouraging excessive trickiness. They are second only to faulty architecture in enabling to viruses and other security menaces. There is a plusplus option that prohibits the use of these operators.

            """

            https://stackoverflow.com/questions/971312/why-avoid-increment-and-decrement-operators-in-javascript

            > Why would anyone want to use a language that's deliberately awkward?

            If you don't like it then don't use it, nobody cares.

  3. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Boffin

    The news comes hot on the heels of Python 3.7 making an appearance in the Microsoft Store, courtesy of the Python Software Foundation. Free, of course, the interpreter is rated for ages 3 and up and allows Windows 10 users to run applications and scripts written in the language.

    To use that, you need a microsoft account which, when Windows knows the password, is used to identify the system you are on for slurping purposes ... so no, never ... or, enter your credentials, use the store to download what you need, when done, on the microsoft website, change your password again ... Windows will moan every now and then that the password is incorrect ("Account problem") but you can safely ignore that ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "To use that, you need a microsoft account which, when Windows knows the password, is used to identify the system you are on for slurping purposes ... so no, never ... or, enter your credentials, use the store to download what you need, when done, on the microsoft website, change your password again ..."

      The hell are you rambling about? What are you really afraid of here?

      Does MS store differ from Android or Apple store in this regard?

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        You need a microsoft store account, which is normal if it were merely used for EXACTLY that.

        However, when you search or ask Cortana something or you use Word, Excel, or Bohr knows what, this info is gathered and sent to Microsoft servers, now, they would love to attach that to an account. Now, as long as the password is incorrect, Microsoft cannot be sure the username you have is exactly yours, so they cannot map that data to you. I tested this, I used an account months ago to download WSL from the store, the changed the password ... then months later, I downloaded something else from the store and worked along, forgetting for a day or two to reset my password ...I then went to mocrosoft site to change my password and then into my account ... there I could see the slurping had started again ...I delete data all is good ...

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > Does MS store differ from Android or Apple store in this regard?

        Probably not, but the distro repository is very different.

  4. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Tick tock

    goes the python clock

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Tick tock

      Already put out a retirement notice for my popular library. But expect existing systems with Python 2.7 to continue to run for a few years yet.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    FAIL

    2015 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch of Windows 10 (aka 10240), is also getting a kicking

    Now you can't even flee to LTSB to avoid the attentions of MS' infinite number of ADHD programmers and one lonely QA greybeard sitting in the corner sobbing.

  6. Uncle Ron

    AI ?

    "Microsoft has spent the last few years slapping the AI moniker on pretty much anything it could." What MS is doing is AI in the same sense that what my toaster does is AI.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: AI ?

      I’m thinking talky the toaster from red dwarf.

  7. RLWatkins

    Embrace, extend, extinguish

    "Yes, we still have problems getting our heads around Microsoft’s born-again evangelising of Linux, too."

    Really? You haven't been a serious Microsoft customer for very long, have you? Recall the Microsoft anti-trust trial, where the company's stratagem of adopting widely accepted standards, then gradually introducing non-compliant features, was described as "Embrace, extend, extinguish."

    Then, recall the company's embrace of ANSI standards for SQL and C++, then their slow drift away from those standards so that users of Microsoft's products found that later migrating their work to compliant, competing platforms had become quite costly. The other term for that is "lured into a lock-in".

    They've been doing this for years. They're not even reticent about it. And why should they stop? It isn't unlawful, and people keep buying into the scam.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019