Re: Long File Path support
"Yet other systems have had it a lot longer, without said issues..."
These other systems have issues of their own. For one thing, they almost certainly don't run <insert-important-and-private-internal-app-here>. If that's not important to you, go ahead and run other systems, but you can hardly blame Microsoft for supporting their existing customers.
Actually they will. I have a number of <insert-important-and-private-internal-app-here> on my systems, usually small scripts to automate jobs I'm to lazy to do via typing a couple of command lines or things where I'd rather not have to remember/look up what I am supposed to be doing again. And I don't do Windows. Well not very often anyway.
Actually the registry hack isn't safe. For 25 years, MS have promised developers that a 260-character buffer will be able to accomodate an arbitrary path. If you quietly raise that limit, all that happens is that end-users suddenly find that the filename they type is not the one that actually gets used by the program. At best, that's a bug. At worst, it is a security hole.
I've had to clean that mess up often. I've seen something break with Windows where you get some recursive paths, which very quickly pass that tiny 260 char limit1. I've seen AMD drivers seem to do this a bit (or at least the AMD driver files/paths get messed up, not necessarily their fault, but they do have lots of little files (and I mean lots!) with long names in paths with long names). If you're lucky you can fix them by renaming some of the folders to single character names, once that's done you can delete the messed up folders. Otherwise you need to do something else to get the problem fixed. The only MS tool that can fix that issue is format2, but you can go in with Linux and delete the offending path without issue.
1 You're right. You can get a fair bit in 260 chars
2 Actually I never thought to try power shell when I came across those situations. Was quicker and easier3 to boot into Linux, delete the offending path, and reboot into Windows
3 From experience of course, could take longer to learn Windows power shell commands than it would just to use a familiar Linux GUI :)