Only if you define "people" to include "advertisers," which is probably stretching the definition a bit too far.
250 posts • joined 29 May 2012
Re: Death to AMP
I occasionally use the !g, but it rarely gives me notably superior results to what DDG gave me in the first place. So I'm not seeing a huge edge for Google...
Re: 100% funded by the UK government.
Russia Today, an organization 100 per cent funded by the Russian government
There may be many valid criticisms of RT, but this isn't one of them. There are numerous state-funded news organizations in the world, and (unsurprisingly) they tend to be no more biased than the corporate-funded ones.
and classified as propaganda by the Columbia Journalism Review and by the former US Secretary of State
It is to laugh.
Re: Better than plugins
Unfortunately, DRM is demonstrably "bad," which kind of invalidates everything you've said.
Also, to your point 5... It's not about getting access to content. EME won't change that at all. There's shitloads of content now, and there won't be any more or less if we leave EME out of the HTML standard. (What exactly are you expecting EME to enable that you can't see already?? Fairies and unicorns, maybe...)
But by rejecting EME we will have made DRM look just a bit less acceptable. And we'll have kept at least one channel, the Web, fundamentally free of it. Of course, things like Flash will work as before, but they'll remain what they are now - obviously proprietary workarounds - rather than being endorsed as part of the Web's basic architecture. That's an important distinction, and it costs us absolutely nothing, other than having to show a bit of backbone.
I hate to disagree with such a well-reasoned post, but paying the danegeld never does any damned good.
Giving in to the copyright industry on EME will not result in a greater availability of any material, because the copyright industry is in the business of limiting access to content, and it has chosen those limits to be exactly what they are now. They could have opened the floodgates as soon as Internet bandwidth was adequate, but they didn't, and they won't. They could have monetized a huge backlog of old material that's just sitting idle, but they won't do that either, because it would compete with new, overpriced material.
Giving in to Big Content never helps. Microsoft baked DRM into Windows (Vista), but it bought them absolutely no concessions from Hollywood. Because the publishing business today is all about control, and gives up none of it, ever.
As far as restoring reasonable copyright terms, you are absolutely right. But most forms of DRM aren't about enforcing copyright - they're about grabbing extra rights not actually provided under copyright. For example, preventing users from putting movies on a NAS drive, which would be perfectly legal in many jurisdictions. Or preventing paying subscribers from viewing Netflix content while traveling to another country. Or preventing a US consumer from playing a Blu-ray purchased while on holiday in the UK.DRM is very effective in these cases, but totally ineffective at its ostensible role of preventing copying of discs for public distribution.
Bottom line, there's nothing whatever to be gained by accepting EME in HTML, but a great deal to be lost.
Charles 9: "Trouble is, it's ultimately THEIR content."
Trouble is, it's not. It's ultimately OURS.
Copyright law acknowledges that every new work is built on all previous works, and that all creative content therefore ultimately belongs to civilization as a whole - 'the public domain.' In order to allow creators to go on creating new works, copyright grants them strictly limited rights, so that they can reap a reasonable profit. But at no time do they own the content. We all do.
Publishers have framed the debate these days so it's all about "creators' rights." But we, the public, are supposed to have the more extensive and fundamental rights. We might do well to remember that.
Re: Any Restriction Placed on the Internet
Charles 9: "Their content, their rules. Take it or leave it.
My browser, my PC, my money. So... leave it. Definitely. Obviously. Content distributors need us a lot more than we need them. We need the open Internet, and control over our own PCs, WAY more than we need their paid content.
DRM intrinsically needs to be closed and proprietary, and that sucks. There's no logic in weakening open standards just to make DRM suck less. DRM is - by definition - a way of making your device, your software, work against you. That's always going to suck.
The right way to distribute DRM content (if you must) is through a proprietary app, and preferably a dedicated, airgapped device that can only do that one thing. Not in a generic Web browser that wants to be an integral part of my system.
The chief impact of EME will be to force people like me, who have zero interest in watching paid 4K video content in our Web browser, and who never install Flash, to run a Web browser that's capable of watching paid 4K video content - by virtue of incorporating malware-like DRM hooks. A secondary effect will be to help sanitize and validate the concept of DRM, and encourage every Web site on Earth to start encrypting its HTML content.
Where do we see any upside to this? Nobody has even suggested any way EME will make anything simpler, easier or cheaper for users. The pitch just boils down to: we have to do this, because otherwise those mean old movie makers will get mad with us. Well, screw 'em. If they want to get mad with their own customers, they can go ahead. Whoever replaces them will know better.
Re: What do you expect?
Mozilla's current disastrous direction predates the departure of the "religious" guy.
Re: Tab groups
I tried Vivaldi early on, but it felt like a straightjacket compared to Firefox. Been meaning to try it again - I hope it's evolved a bit. But so far, it's looking like I may be relying on an older version of the FF codebase forever.
Re: I think developers, and users, define "speed" differently.
David 132: Whereas when users talk about "making FF faster" they mean: "I really hate the way it drags like a slug through treacle as I scroll down certain web-pages."
Re: Still using Firefox
phuzz: Oh woe is me for having an easier life.
UI changes that make things different but not easier are a net loss, no matter what kind of arithmetic you want to invent.
Re: 'Taint gonna work...
Eyeo - creators of Ad-block Plus - guesstimate the advertising value of a regular visitor as being on the order of 1 Euro per month. Would you donate that much to, say, your dozen favorite sites? I know I would. Especially knowing that it would help increase their independence from corporate support, and reduce the need for intrusive user tracking in general.
Re: generate the bitcoins based on dwell time
Flattr Plus already uses this model. I'm sure further evolution is possible.
I'm already not seeing ads. But I'd still like the option of easily supporting sites I feel are deserving of it.
Re: Why Bitcoin ?
I'd certainly like to have more choices. Maybe even the option to set Bitcoin as the default for less-trusted sites.
But most of the sites I'd want to support are ones I'd readily trust with my Visa payment. What's more, it's generally only the payment processor that sees your details, and PayPal already has mine.
I hope so. If sites like The Reg won't lead the way, who will?
Many sites would love to reduce or eliminate their dependence on ads. This includes most 'magazine' sites, which always have to worry about losing their objectivity - or being accused of losing it - based on the revenue they get from the very companies they need to cover.
Also, don't forget that ad-blocking will keep sites honest. Taking ad revenue and Brave revenue isn't one of the options - the choice is between taking zero ad revenue from blocked ads vs taking what Brave can collect. Many sites will embrace this, and offer ad-free browsing to Brave (or other solutions) that provide them with similar (or better) revenue.
I predict this model will catch on quickly. However, I'm not willing to change my browser to do it. I think Flattr Plus is a better approach - an add-in to whatever you're already using. I expect there will be other choices very soon.
Re: So what's the difference...
What's different is that with a typical 'protection racket' you don't have a choice. In the case of Brave, your payments are voluntary. For many users, that's preferable to being traced and infected by ads.
I'm on a tight budget, but I've sent donations to a few of my favorite sites. If that process could become easy and automatic, I'd do it even more.
I don't think anyone here is against the idea of change - let alone progress.
This is more like a messy divorce. I'm happy to be building a better future with Linux. But I still hate Microsoft for destroying our long and productive relationship.
Re: @Windows 10
Marty McFly: "I am not for sale."
I'm definitely for sale. But so far, there's been an extremely disappointing lack of buyers willing to meet my base price.
Re: Microsoft continues to destroy the PC
d3vy: "Get a grip."
It's clearly an exaggeration to say it's all Microsoft's fault. What is certainly true, though, is that Microsoft has failed to give anyone a reason to want a newer PC. Windows 10 doesn't let you do anything that you can't on Windows XP.
But what's truly ironic is that in attempting to force everyone onto a single version of Windows, Microsoft has smeared out the number of versions even further. Windows 10 has failed to accelerate the decline of Windows XP. Windows 7 - by most benchmarks - remains the most popular OS in the world. Windows 8.x is declining, but not so much that it can be ignored any time soon. Even Windows Phone was not fully replaced by Windows 10, further splitting a mobile market that was already minuscule to begin with.
Altering the hardware will worsen this situation still further. We'll see a continued demand for older CPU generations, as well as a growth of fixes and hacks to support older versions of Windows on newer chips. Because it's the continuity that people are addicted to, not Windows as such. And newer versions of Windows fail to offer any advantage that would compensate for a reduction in that continuity.
AC: "Endlessly adding backwards compatibility to the latest stuff just adds bloat."
What you forget is that the only real value of Windows over any other OS is exactly that bloat - the ability to run 'legacy' applications from 10 and 20 years ago.
Windows is simply not special in any other way. It's not as flexible, or secure, or manageable as Linux. If I didn't care about running my old Win32 software, I'd be 100% on Linux by tomorrow morning. And so would everyone else.
Re: Mysterious World
Toltec: " I rate Jack Vance, Larry Niven, Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny more highly, to name a few."
I enjoyed Larry Niven's work a lot when it first came out - and continue to revere his short stories. However, I recently tried re-reading Ringworld, and was astounded to realize that it's not just bad, it's absolutely dreadful. Shallow characters, ludicrous plotting, very few interesting ideas or concepts. Shows how mere novelty can cause something to seem better than it really is.
But at least authors like Niven and Zelazny were trying to be entertaining. (And succeeding at least some of the time.) These days, a lot of award-winning SF has too many objectives other than entertaining the reader. With endless pages of verbiage where a single sentence would be sufficient, these books are just way too much work to read. And their Big Ideas tend to be far too small to justify the effort.
Another big chunk of SF is really just fantasy set in space, with endless soap-opera plots and no real point. Frank Herbert was a prime offender. Dune is a great work of SF, but the sequels are just progressively weaker fantasy. That model has become dominant. I shudder whenever I see a new book subtitled "Part One of an Epic New Series." Why don't you see if you can come up with one decent book, before you try to sell me several more? Might as well head over to the Perry Rhodan section...
Re: I have a Kindle paperwhite and have NOT had any computer problems
This can't be repeated too often: anyone who's still afraid of Linux, still mired in the propaganda about how "it's not ready for Prime Time," needs to realize that Linux is already far easier to deal with than Windows.
Linux installs in minutes, not hours. It's free of all the nags and crapware and DRM. It has built-in support for an astounding range of devices, and it doesn't break when you update it (at your convenience, not some idiot's halfway round the world). It Just Works. What's more, the UI - depending on which one you choose and how you configure it - can easily be more like Windows than Windows itself. For example, Mint's MATE UI comes with an alternate 'Start' menu that mimics the beautifully simple hierarchical menu of pre-XP Windows. You don't need 'extras' like Classic Desktop, because the desktop is already 'classic' in ways Windows has forgotten about.
No, Linux can't take over every task from Windows. But it can take over a great many of them (e.g. Calibre for e-books) - and the ones it does take over tend to work easier and better than on Windows. Not everyone gets this yet. I was at a Linux developer conference this week, and as far as I could tell by peeking over people's shoulders, I was the only one carrying a Linux device.
I've been a Windows lover since version 3.0. Today I run Linux on two portables, Windows on my main desktop. More and more, I look forward to using the portables, and dread returning to Windows.
Re: I remember @AC
Peter Gathercole: "...you have a fighting chance of getting it working without having to find another machine and start mucking about with USB memory sticks to copy the driver to re-install."
Thanks for the explanation of how this works in Linux.
I've been very impressed by the ability of Linux Mint to support my mutant former ChromeBook. With Mint 17.1, the trackpad worked, and even the touch-screen worked. Better yet, each succeeding version of Mint makes more stuff work, not less. With Mint 18, a few glitches went away, and my Wi-Fi became much more reliable. I bought a USB-to-Ethernet dongle that only specifies Win and Mac drivers, but it plugged and played without hesitation.
Microsoft has trained us to believe that Updates Always Break Stuff. But it seems that this axiom is not actually hardwired into the fabric of the universe.
If Microsoft could have pulled this off with Win32 applications, it would have been truly impressive. Doing it with a whole brand-new type of app - essentially, with a whole new OS (UWP) - is neither impressive nor particularly useful. It's just a stunt.
Compare what Google is doing with Android N. With expanded mouse-and-keyboard support, and the ability to display multiple apps simultaneously, Android will soon be able to do what Continuum promises. But it will be bringing along the entire gargantuan galaxy of existing Android apps. Hence, much more than just a stunt.
Bottom line: Google is steadily expanding the reach of Android, increasing flexibility in device support. Whereas by pushing a whole new type of app (ironically named "universal"), Microsoft has decreased flexibility and user choice.
Re: Not surprising that...
LDS: "If Elop was a Trojan Horse, what is Nadella? The Grim Reaper??"
The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse.
serendipity: " The alternative seems to be use Open/Libre Office and use a UI from the 90's..."
What's wrong with the UI from the 90s? At least it was designed with usability as the primary goal, as opposed to uniqueness and lock-in. Not even Microsoft's internal testers liked the Ribbon...
Re: Lobby for new/updated privacy laws instead
Boothy: "Wouldn't the EFF be better lobbying for legal changes instead of targeting specific vendors? (Or do both?)."
EFF fights on many fronts. What would make you think this was some kind of either/or situation??
Re: Disk 1 of 2079?
My first experience of Windows was running version 1.0 on a dual 5.25-inch floppy-drive PC (not XT) clone. I can't recall exactly, but it was something like 6 or 10 swaps, maybe more, just to boot to the desktop. But Reversi made it all worthwhile!
Re: MS made me download software...
Charles 9: "'"Is the software that you are using the only possible thing that you can use?'
For many, YES IT IS. Well, either that or the alternative is such a pain to work with as to be impractical."
That's a very negative exaggeration. The alternatives exist, at varying stages of usability. It won't be all that long before we'll start to see superior alternatives on Linux. (I'm sure Mac users will tell you they already exist on that platform.)
* The Steam Linux library is growing fast. Developers are 'crossing over' in large numbers. Have a little patience. Rome wasn't built in a day - and neither was Windows. (Last year's games are always somewhat disposable, anyway. What matters are next year's hits...)
* For graphics, the GIMP is poised to overtake Photoshop within the next couple of years. Also, Creative Cloud is a pain in the butt, while GIMP and InkScape offer an escape from that kind of stupidity. RawTherapee and darktable give away very little to Lightroom. Bear in mind, also, that the Linux equivalents I mention are all free (as in both speech and beer).
* LibreOffice can't replace MS Office for every task, nor be 100% file compatible with it, but it's pretty obvious that LO is improving steadily, while MS Office looks worse with each new release, buckling under the conflicting marketing imperatives being dumped on it. (BTW: "editors" don't want Word files, they want plain un-formatted text - which you can create using anything from VI to your old CP/M copy of WordStar.)
* Firefox and Thunderbird are already identical on every OS. They may not be everyone's choice for Web and email, but they show how easy this transition can be.
Bottom line, yes, there's still work to be done. Or, to put it another way, there's still boundless opportunity for enterprising software developers - something that's been sorely lacking for a decade or more, under the MS monoculture.
Anyway, it's not like Microsoft has left us any choice.
Re: That EFF document is a solid gold reference
Charles 9: "It's called a Captive Market. Where are people going to go when the business software, games, and so on, run on only one operating system? It's hard to jump ship when there's no life preservers and no other ships handy to pick you up."
This is exactly why the EFF report is so important. MS needs to be called out on its offenses, as publicly as possible. This has two benefits: a) it increases the (admittedly slight) chances that MS might modify its tactics for the better; and b) it helps mobilize and prepare the public for a change it doesn't t yet realize would be extremely positive.
At the same time, it's important for expert users to build those 'life preservers' or 'other ships' to pick up where MS sank to the bottom. The technical problems are all solved. All that remains is a PR battle. We need to: a) use Linux; b) tell people we use Linux; and c) help people understand just how easy the transition can be. We also need to support the many ongoing efforts to make Linux more approachable, more of a complete replacement for Windows. Valve's SteamOS, for example: it has a long, hard climb ahead of it, but (unlike Windows) is headed very much in the right direction.
It takes a lot of effort to turn something the size of the global computer market, but it has happened multiple times already. (Otherwise, I'd be typing this on a 64-bit CP/M machine.) Like everyone else, I was a happy Windows user, until Microsoft demonstrated unequivocally that it wasn't competent to be the standard-bearer any more. Now it's too late, the change is coming - might as well help it along.
Re: That EFF document is a solid gold reference
AC: "For a long time MS have had the gamer market sewn up due to DirectX only being available for Windows. Microsoft are continuing to push their DirectX technology through the Xbox one, and Windows 10, but that may not be enough any more. Sony and Valve are pushing Vulkan instead, and increasingly importantly Vulkan works on Android too."
It's interesting to note that the biggest PC game release of the year (so far, anyway) - No Man's Sky - uses OpenGL, not DirectX. I guess Hello Games didn't care about cross-compatibility with a distant runner-up in the console wars. There's lots of room for complaint regarding the gameplay in NMS, or the lack of QA, but the choice of OpenGL is very telling nonetheless.
Total must-have DirectX 12 games, after 13 months' availability: ~0
Adblock Plus blocks Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook ads
Re: I do occasionaly visit Face Book.
I've received numerous email invitations to FB pages from public-spirited organizations, including major environmental groups - and even some privacy-focused 'civil liberties' groups! (They also use commercial mailing services, coded tracking links, and every other dirty trick you can imagine.)
I usually respond by pointing out that there's more than one fight going on. It's great that they want to clean up our Planet Earth ecosystem, but that's no reason they should be helping pollute the online ecosystem. I add that there are plenty of free, open and privacy-respecting alternatives.
So far, not one group has agreed.
Re: When will people learn...
...and a higher premium to not be tracked?
Re: Back to reality for a moment........
David Roberts: "Dedicated Commentards may well pay a subscription to El Reg; I would. However there is a limit to how much I am prepared to pay per month for Internet content."
AdBlock guesstimates that a regular visitor (like a Reg reader) is worth about 1 Euro per month in ad revenue. The amount would be higher for services like FaceBook.
Would I pay that much to the handful of sites I use heavily? You bet! (In fact, I've already sent contributions to a few.) The one caveat: it has to be easy. But there are schemes in place for this, like Flatter. The Reg could lead the way, run it as an experiment.
The ad industry's greatest success has been in convincing us that ads are necessary, even inevitable. They're not. And business models do change. Cars threw blacksmiths out of work, and the Internet has shut down a lot of newspapers. Now it's the ad parasites' turn.
lorisarvendu: "Insulting people who use a site for social contact by posting on a forum which is also used for social contact. The irony of the human race."
The real problem here is that an essential service - "social contact" - has been privatized and monopolized. As Max Schremm has pointed out, it's as if the telephone were controlled by a single global monopoly.
What we need to do - urgently - is to declare 'social media' to be an 'essential service,' and therefore subject to open standards. Then, say, Google, could offer it's own FacePalm site, which would differ from Google+ in that it could freely exchange posts with FaceBook (or any other 'social media' service). Users would then have a proper choice. They might pick a paid service, for instance, and see no ads.
Until that happens, consumers turn to companies that can only partially compete - like AdBlock, which offers to take over security and usability, on which FB is clearly failing. Fortunately, the same legal freedom that created the FaceBook monopoly in the first place now protects those new companies' ability to nibble away at it.
The Way Forward
VinceH: "With you on the no information to advertisers - but ads I'm fine with provided they meet certain criteria..."
Funny thing: if FB were willing to commit to a few of those criteria, AdBlock would whitelist them and the whole battle would just go away. In fact, most users wouldn't be turning to ad-blockers at all, if the ad ecosystem hadn't been allowed to become a polluted mess.
Guys like Zuck like to call AdBlock "extortion," but AdBlock whitelists are first and foremost based on "Acceptable Ad" criteria. Whether Eyeo (the publishers of AdBlock) would demand some extra payment from a behemoth like FaceBook once it had met the Acceptable Ad criteria is something we may never know, since those (entirely reasonable) criteria have never been met, and likely never will be. FB may verbally disparage obnoxious ads, but they won't willingly give up the option of profiting from them.
That unrestrained greed is the root of their problem.
Much smarter, for FB and other services, would have been to embrace AdBlock, and realize that this company was offering to provide them with a valuable service. The quickest way to clean up the ad sewer would be to work with a third party like AdBlock (or others, given that the filters themselves are in an open format). Ultimately, someone will have to take on the task of vetting the ad stream. Users can never trust FB (or its ilk) to do it - there's just too much of a built-in conflict of self-interest.
My prediction: it will happen.
We'll first see major sites embracing some sort of Code of Standards, which will in essence be the AdBlock whitelist, but under their control. This will fail to deliver, and users will continue to subscribe to third-party whitelists. Then, finally, the big Internet players will realize that they need an impartial watchdog even more than their users do.
The Logic of Self-Interest
Doctor Syntax: "The money is in it for the advertising industry for showing the ads. If they really wanted to do something for the advertisers' profits they'd follow the following line of reasoning..."
I once spoke to a spammer on the phone - back when they were stupid enough to put a phone number in their email promotions. He literally screamed at me (from his poolside deck-chair in Florida) about his absolute legal and moral right to bombard me with adverts for penis-enlargement products.
The online ad industry today feels at least as entitled as that guy did. Check this article from the CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the big online-advertising trade group:
The author refers to ad-blocking as "robbery, plain and simple," and an "unethical" "extortionist scheme." And (oblivious to irony) he compares those promoting ad-blocking to gangster Tony Soprano. We, the consumers, clearly do not have the right to control what we see, on our own hardware, via our own Internet connection, if said control interferes in any way with the advertising revenue stream.
The online advertising industry truly is laboring under the delusion that they provide an indispensable service - as opposed to enjoying a pot of gold provided purely by an accident of history and contorted capitalist economics. When confronted by ad blocking, they rant and rave much like the content companies do about piracy - forgetting that content is something that consumers actually want. Warmed by their obscene profits, they've convinced themselves that advertising is an inescapable law of nature, that "advertising helps the economy function smoothly," "keeps prices low" and generally makes everyone happy.
Introducing any workable direct payment system will pop this bubble. When content providers start seeing any other revenue stream, the ad industry will shit a brick, then swiftly fall over itself finding excuses for why its ads suddenly need to be much less aggressive, and much more tightly vetted for safety. That's the logic of self-interest, the only logic they understand.
Codysydney: "And as for El Reg, I would be a supporter and turn the ads on, but the first day I did that I got an autoplay video about NOTHING AT ALL from IBM in the middle of a story. So ABP went straight back on."
I won't allow ads on my (my!) system, as long as a single piece of malware has been delivered that way in the preceding decade.
However, as soon as The Reg starts supporting Flattr or Flattr Plus, they'll start seeing revenue from me. I can't imagine why they haven't already done it. (Unless maybe it violates their deal with some of the ad providers they use.) I'll support these mechanisms not just because I value the content here, but more importantly because Introducing any sort of direct user support into the ecosystem will put the fear of god into the ad companies. (Who currently think they are the Gods of the Internet.)
phuzz: "x86 machines always allow you to modify the Secure Boot settings, as long as you're "physically present". It's only locked on ARM devices..."
Really? What about this:
"Microsoft says that the switch to allow Secure Boot to be turned off is now optional. Hardware can be Designed for Windows 10 and can offer no way to opt out of the Secure Boot lock down."
Re: Surely you don't believe the "security" excuse?
EFI isn't the same thing as Secure Boot. As to whose idea it was... hard to tell, given how closely MS and Intel work together. Both EFI and Secure Boot probably emerged from some joint committee process.
Re: Unless this is a deliberate mistake?
John Smith 19: "Never ascribe to a plan what simple incompetence can adequately explain."
Especially in the case of Microsoft. Not that they don't have endless little plots... but none of them rise to anywhere near the level of cleverness that this leak would have required.
Re: RE: This is refreshing to hear.
allthecoolshortnamesweretaken: "What we have now is basically 1960ies stuff on speed, and a lot shinier, but still nothing revolutionary different from what Johnny von Neumann* dreamt up** in the late 1940ies."
Maybe that's all we ever really needed?
Re: It's not all bad
Cereberus: "It's not all bad."
Now there's a ringing endorsement for a brand new OS, with a 2-digit jump in version numbers.
Re: Deja Vu
Recent NetMarketshare.com stats, based on what's actually being used online:
* Windows 10 = 19%
* Windows 8.x = 10.5%
* Windows XP = 10%
* Windows 7 = 49%
The Windows XP segment isn't going to shrink very quickly. It clearly consists of users (or applications) that are happy as they are.
Windows 7 still has more (active) users than all other versions combined. These people have relatively new PCs, but didn't want Windows 10 when it was free. They're now going to make a shift only when a new PC purchase can't be postponed any longer - and even then, are likely to reinstall Win7, or jump to Linux.
The Windows 8 holdouts are even more interesting. If Windows 10 couldn't woo them, what will?
Hitting almost 20% in one year is pretty good going for Windows 10, but it's hard to paint it as a resounding victory.
Doctor Syntax: "At some point H/W manufacturers may either move to Chromebooks or the like or get together to fund development of an alternative OS, maybe based on Linux, BSD or possibly ReactOS which they can control."
I've tried Chrome, and it probably has its place. But I think Android N may be an even stronger contender. I'm sure there's a reason Google has been adding desktop features like windowing and mouse support. Many consumers would probably like the idea of running the same OS - and apps - on their desktop as they do on their phone or tablet.
This is probably the 'nightmare scenario' that Microsoft tried to forestall with its awkward Continuum feature. Unfortunately, it's a lot easier for Google to make Android run comfortably on generic PC hardware, than for Microsoft to make Windows run on its own smartphone hardware. Still worse (for MS), Google can bring along its entire base of existing Android apps, while Microsoft could only make the stunt work for a tiny number of new-fangled UWP apps.
Likely future: for casual users, Windows Home gives way to Android N; for power users, Windows Pro is replaced by GNU/Linux. PC games shift to SteamOS, and the console world remains divided, with Steam Machines making gradual inroads as the economics of the open, generic PC architecture erode the cost advantage of proprietary games boxes.
Re: Windows 10 a hopeless muddle
TonyJ: " I do sometimes use it for gaming and as it has a DX12 card in it, I can use this feature which isn't available on any other OS."
After a full year of availability, there isn't even a handful of major game releases for DX12. I've yet to run into any game, major or indie, that I can't play just fine on Windows 7. I'm also playing more and more games on Linux, courtesy of Steam.
So what use are you actually getting from this "feature" of Windows 10, that "isn't available in any other OS"?
Re: Pacman & cancer
Hstubbe: "I've been trying to get hibernate to work with windows for weeks now. Ms is giving *no* support at all, nlames the hw vendor. Hw vendor blames ms."
I've lost count of the number of MS support threads I've seen marked "Resolved" by the administrator - but which have continued to accumulate pages of comments, sometimes for years, from users who say the MS fix hasn't worked. In many cases, the recommended fix boils down to some generic boilerplate, like "reinstall Windows," or "try turning your computer off and then on again."
Linux jumps that low bar without breaking a sweat.
Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do
I agree with your diagnosis, but I'm not sure firing Satya is a cure. Most of what he's doing was started by Ballmer.
The real problem is that without a strong Gates in charge, whoever runs Microsoft is at the mercy of the quarterly stock report. Everything MS does these days is meant to look brilliant in the short term, because the long term simply doesn't matter to a CEO who'll be gone and spending his bonuses before it starts to matter.
A secondary problem is that Microsoft has fired (or otherwise lost) a lot of its best, long-time people over the past decade or so. (I used to visit the Redmond 'campus' regularly. Up till the early 2000s, even their marketing dweebs spoke fluent C code. The current crop can't speak coherently about product features, let alone the underlying technologies.) The corporate culture has become fragmented, and there's longer any ability to execute the increasingly complex strategies that managers like Satya dream up.
In short, Microsoft has become just another soul-less, amoral corporation - but, luckily, also an incompetent one.