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Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft

84 posts in this topic

 

I also don't like the direction Windows 8 is going (and so haven't used it, and will wait and see how Win9 turns out),

 

It's amazing the overlap between the number of people who don't like Windows 8 and those who haven't used it. 

 

 

I've used Windows 8.  I've also used Windows Server 2012.  Don't like either, and the (admittedly very selfish) reason is that the UI paradigm is a significant decrease in productivity for the kind of work I do.  I do accept that I'm not everybody and that what does or doesn't suit me is not some kind of universal truth.  None of that changes the fact that it rankles.

 

On the other hand Windows Phone 8 is good, and the Metro interface does work well in Office 2013.  But for server management and network admin the 8/2012 UI is incredibly poor and should never have happened.

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Win95 did have its issues, but Win98 (and Win98SE even more so) was actually quite usable at its time. Maybe not by today's standards, but at that time, it was kind of OK. Windows XP was just awesome, although a bit barebones here and there. I'm still using XP on one machine, and it works quite acceptably for a 12 year old OS.


Every time I read this I can't help but laugh... at XP's release the general feel was 'omg, why do I want this bloated overly bright OS?' ('Tellytubby' like was a phrase I heard often, but I don't know how well that translates outside the UK) and a chorus of "I'll stick with Win98/2k" (depending on your flavour).

Vista gets released and suddenly 'XP is the best OS evah!'... (Vista, for all its flaws, was a solid OS - the biggest problem it had was major companies *koff-nVidia-koff* apparently forgot how to make drivers which wouldn't take down a system if you looked at it wrong..)

Now, I'm not going to try and convince people that Win8 is 'the best OS evah!' but personally I've been using it since launch and the OS itself IS better than Win7 (look into some of the Kernel level improvements if you don't believe me) and at the desk top some things are nicer (I prefer the solid colours to Win7's glass; the task manager is noticeably better; the OS is noticeably snappier) and that's why I find statements like "mouse is being sabotaged" moronic as mouse input works just as before... hell, with the exception of the missing start button (which, yes, I have replaced with Start8 which grants me the net effect of pretty much never seeing the Metro UI) the desktop is just the same as before.

(As to the Office charge; I use Office365 - mostly I use word but despite having my reservations before trying it over all I like the experience; certainly for just sitting down and writing it's very nice, including little touches like the cursor not 'jumping' but 'flowing' forward as you type which, tbh, is the kind of touch I'd expect from Apple. Add to that the web install+update+sync is utterly painless its by far the best version of Office I've used and you'll have to go some to convince me that the free alternatives are better.)
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You're right on the payment front. I forget sometimes that people pay for Microsoft software! There are so many ways to get free versions (legally) that I haven't purchased a Windows OS in years.

...? I'm interested.

The only way I know to get "free" Windows OSes is by buying an OEM machine (OS price included in the product) or being a Microsoft MSDN subscriber (>$700 a year).

How do you get free OSes and Office and such?

 

BizSpark and DreamSpark come to mind immediately. The bar for being a "startup" is quite low and most people here could easily get signed up.

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Every time I read this I can't help but laugh... at XP's release the general feel was 'omg, why do I want this bloated overly bright OS?' ('Tellytubby' like was a phrase I heard often, but I don't know how well that translates outside the UK) and a chorus of "I'll stick with Win98/2k" (depending on your flavour).

XP was basically Win2k with a working Win98 compatability mode. Nuff said wink.png

Also, remember WinMe? Putting XP in between WinMe and WinVista makes it look pretty damn solid.

 

I sat on 98 for ages until upgrading to XP, and sat on XP for ages until upgrading to 7. I'll likely stay here for a while before upgrading to 9, going by history.

That said, the pattern I've internalized is:

98 -> Me = add bloat

Me -> XP = polish

XP -> Vista = add bloat

Vista -> 7 = polish

7 -> 8 = add bloat

8 -> 9 = polish?

laugh.png 

Edited by Hodgman
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Some observations via Ars Technica:

Anyone who describes outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's tenure as a "failure" is wrong. An annualized growth rate of 16 percent in a large, established company, selling into mature markets, is nothing to scoff at. Revenue tripled under his leadership; profits doubled. That's some failure.

 

 

As far as Windows 8, I'm using it regularly on two machines and it's a piece of junk. I liked Vista better, and Vista had far more problems from a technical standpoint. But the improvements in 8 are trivial while the annoyances are numerous.

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I also don't like the direction Windows 8 is going (and so haven't used it, and will wait and see how Win9 turns out),

 

It's amazing the overlap between the number of people who don't like Windows 8 and those who haven't used it. 

 

From what I've seen, it's actually amazing the overlap of people who work with/at Microsoft and the people who recommend Windows 8.
 smile.png

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I use a Win 7 machine(desktop) and a Win 8 machine(laptop). Only little annoyance was the absence of the classical start button in the lower left corner(installed a free add on and then that issue was taken care of, also think the next update will address this), one can just tab the win icon and then a new and better start menu is given(with a very fast search function).  It makes it a little more complicated to use when working in folders and files until one get use to it, but besides that I have never had any big issues with Win 8 on my laptop.

 

I prefer Win 7 because of the look and habits, but Win 8 is a fine system(just too Metro for me, but the gray look fix that issue as well). I also like that Bit locker is a part of the Win 8 pro now, one had to get Win 7 Ultimate before if one needed that feature. 

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phantom, on 24 Aug 2013 - 12:20 AM, said:

    Every time I read this I can't help but laugh... at XP's release the general feel was 'omg, why do I want this bloated overly bright OS?' ('Tellytubby' like was a phrase I heard often, but I don't know how well that translates outside the UK) and a chorus of "I'll stick with Win98/2k" (depending on your flavour).

    Vista gets released and suddenly 'XP is the best OS evah!'... (Vista, for all its flaws, was a solid OS - the biggest problem it had was major companies *koff-nVidia-koff* apparently forgot how to make drivers which wouldn't take down a system if you looked at it wrong..)

That's your opinion, and maybe it's true for some people, but in my case it is as ridiculously wrong as you're putting my opinion (and I daresay that's the case for not few people).

At the time of Win95, I was using a Mac and laughing at Windows users, even though (except for Photoshop) there was no single program on Mac that was in any way competitive with anything from Microsoft. Writing a simple letter took me 3 times as long as it would take a Windows user, but hey... my letters looked (almost indistinguishably) better, and the way I was doing it was "cool". Tell me about Mac users being brainwashed.

But regardless, I used Internet Explorer for Mac for years because it was by far the best browser available. How ironical is that. Still, I only used Windows when I absolutely had to and couldn't avoid it, because you know, Windows sucks and Mac is cool. Those stupid PCs with their IDE disks and ISA/PCI cards, SCSI and NuBus is so much better. *cough*

The NT 4.0 box that I had to use in uni to edit videos was  basically "Windows 95 with the additional property that you only needed to look at them for something to go wrong". But, it had an awesome framegrabber card (much higher quality than the roughly 2x as expensive one I had on my Mac) and a hardware video compressor which worked in almost realtime (note that "almost realtime" at that time meant "only 1 hour" instead of "all night"). That card cost about as much as a medium-class automobile at that time, but hey... university funds are unlimited or so it seems. Oh, and there was a striped RAID with 3 disks and hardware controller, for scratch data. Unimaginable to have such a thing in a Mac at that time.

When I bought my first own Windows PC, after having disgruntled with Apple for scamming their customers over the PowerMac series twice, it came OEMed with Win98SE. My first impression was "Oh wow, this doesn't suck so much at all, actually it's quite cool". I used Win98SE without ever having a serious problem (I once made the disk unbootable trying to install Linux as dual-boot, but that's hardly Win98's fault), until about a year after XP came out, at which time I decided that upgrading might be worthwhile.

When switching to XP, my initial thought after previously having seen it from far was "meh, silly round windows, looks like plastic... but hum...".

 

In contrast to that, my first impression after insert-cd-press-install was "Woah, fucking cool". Windows XP just worked, and it worked well.

You plug in some device, and after (usually almost-automatical) driver install, it worked. No problems whatsoever. No hardware that you could plug in that doesn't work. Using different accounts and file permissions, aside from the somewhat weird approach that MS has taken, once you get used, it works just as well as e.g. Linux does (not necessarily by default and out of the box, admittedly, but if you care then it works very well). Leaving the computer turned on all week, only turning off for the weekend, no problem.

 

The (new) NT4 SP6a boxes that we had in uni at that time ran at about half the speed despite double the processing power and four times the RAM, and when you looked at them from a wrong angle, something went wrong. Woe if you put in a "wrong" USB stick, for that would instantly cause a bluescreen.
I've never seen any such thing as a bluescreen on Windows XP, except for one particular computer which was built by the local computer shop's 17 year old expert using RAM that was incompatible with the motherboard. Note that memtestx86 not only constantly reported errors but also crashed after a while, so I'm inclined to say this wasn't precisely a WinXP problem, but a "very justified" bluescreening on a machine that was simply... defect, no more and no less.

Then came Vista and I didn't even try it once after seeing what trouble it caused for a couple of friends of mine. Slow, unwieldy, that unnecessary toy UI, and regular crashes. In fact, because Win7 kind of "looks like" Vista from far away, I didn't even try Win7 until January 2013 other than once running the preview release in VirtualBox, which wasn't all that convincing to be honest (but in retrospective not Win7's fault).

The initial impression of Windows 7 when actually installing it was "Oh fuck, why didn't I try this earlier!". It was as much an eye opener as WinXP was back in the time. The Aero interface took a day or two until I actually liked the look, but then I didn't want to do without it any more. Performance is great, usability and compatibility is a dream.

Then came Windows 8. I looked at the preview release in VirtualBox, and was immediately set back by the unusable interface. Well, that's because it's made for touch, I guessed. How stupid that they enable that for desktops too, I said. Bleh, not going to use.

So, a few months later, I bought a Win8 tablet-convertible. Now this one does have touch, so Win8 should fly. I didn't buy an Android tablet because I wanted a "real" computer, not just a toy to read mails and surf, heh. Turns out Win8 is just as much shit on the tablet, too.

Booting takes twice as long when "docked" as compared to when "not docked" (i.e. without the keyboard). Why, nobody can figure. Shutting down and undocking (or docking), then turning on again bluescreens. Apparently you're not allowed to remove plug-and-play hardware while the computer is turned off, WTF?

Docking during boot bluescreens on about 1 in 10 attempts. In comparison to the above, that's pretty stable, but still WTF. Docking/undocking during "normal operation" works without any issues. No single problem doing it a hundred times in a row. WTF?

 

Pressing the "off button" on the top of the device puts Windows in "power save", whatever that means (presumably something like S3?). Except it doesn't. Left like this over night, the device has an empty battery the next morning. Turns out that the NAS which is on the local network has audio streaming capabilities, and Win8 keeps WiFi up and running all the time and does some shitfuck polling on the media server every few seconds, which very reliably drains the battery. Awesome. I'm not even interested in media serving.

Booting takes close to (and sometimes upwards of) one minute. What the...? Turns out that once you disable the superfetch service (which according to MS should disable itself automatically on SSD), it "boots" in 7 seconds, but still it hangs for about 30 seconds during login. You wait and wonder whether the gesture you made was well recognized or not (which is an annoying game, too). Once you disable the indexer service as well, it boots in 7 seconds and login takes under 1 second. Seriously, what the fuck?

 

Login gestures themselves are another topic one could rant about for an hour. How hard can it be to draw three lines wrongly? Apparently it's not very hard to do wrong, because I still need 2-3 attempts after weeks of training.

So you're allowed to change the lock screen, great. Except when you have 2 users on your tablet (of which only one has admin rights and the right to change the lock screen), it won't work. And, except it doesn't work reliably anyway. Win8 always loads and displays the default lock screen first, and then loads the one you configured half a second later. Now you're going to say that this is a very unimportant detail, and it really is. However, it shows how pathetically unfinished the product is, even in petty details.
The same goes for the desktop wallpaper. Win7 was perfectly able to do a smooth transition from the login page to the readily loaded as-is desktop including wallpaper. Of course, what else. Win8 will show a solid color desktop, and then load the wallpaper. Even if the computer has been up for minutes and it shows the wallpaper correctly in Metro's "Desktop" tile.

So there is this "awesome" new Metro interface. It arranges my tiles in two big groups (it won't let me place tiles where I want them easily anyway, Win Blue at least seems to somewhat mitigate this deficiency). Too bad that Metro is so fucking intelligent as to choose the gaps and the left margin for you. In its smartness, Metro deems an extra half-large-tile margin as a good idea, which is just enough so the rightmost column does not fit on the screen, it's cut in half. It doesn't help if you scroll the screen to the correct position because it will reset to the default setting every time you close an application. Gee what a luck that Metro is so much fucking smarter than you are.

Then of course there's the issue of system settings and the totally misdesigned new desktop UI with Office-style toolbars which doesn't work for touch at all. And of course the half-assed supply of apps.

It's probably asked too much to integrate touch functionality without requiring a total application rewrite, too. So sure enough, you can use touch in some MS programs, but in every other program it doesn't work or doesn't work properly. Scrolling with your finger in Notepad++ moves the window, and in Firefox it works as intended half of the time and doesn't work half of the time (for example on GD.net).

Note that I haven't even mentioned the missing start menu at all. Yes indeed there is more to Win8 than "no start menu". And no, the proposed "solution" in Blue is not acceptable. It's a mockery of customers rather than responding to customer input.

The one major remaining Win7 issue (the only thing that really annoys me in Win7) that it will fail to reconnect network shares. That bug has persisted in Windows ever since ... always?  Under Win8, it is even worse.

In Win7 and before, it presumably fails because of some race between initializing network and SMB, or so the explanation on some MS blog goes. There are some known "workarounds" for it which work more or less (often less) reliably.
Now in Win8, even after you've booted into Metro UI and the computer has been up for minutes, it will still fail once you switch to desktop, and there isn't even an unreliable workaround.

With touch, it's easy to inadvertedly drag some items in Explorer to some other location, including drives and folders in the mini-tree. This could in very rare cases happen with the mouse too, but with one difference. Once DnD is started, you can complete it "successfully" by releasing the left button or abort it by pressing the right button with the left button still held.

Well, good job that Win8 and WinRT require that touch devices support 10 fingers and good job that it uses only a single finger with no way of doing a right-click or similar thing to abort the drag in such a situation. Good for you to remember to fire up the onscreen-keyboard to press Ctrl-Z afterwards, since "Undo" has magically disappeared from Explorer's menus (or has been hidden so well that I couldn't find it).

Good job that doing a right-click in general is done by holding down 3 seconds, too -- instead of e.g. tipping with a second finger on a device that supports several fingers. Who needs to do right-clicks anyway, except all the time.

Win8 accessibility is great, except it doesn't work. So you think you're super smart and use speech recognition to write your French letters. Because hey, you can talk much faster in that non-native language of yours than you can type, especially with all the accents and stuff.
Turns out this doesn't work. Well, doofus, of course, you need to change the system input language. Still doesn't work.

Well, doofus, you gotta download the language pack and change the complete regional settings. Although now all menus are in French, it still doesn't work, Windows tells you that you need to reboot for it to work.

So you reboot, and Windows tells you it can't enable accessability because of some error (it is still very obviously enabled, consuming system resources, but doesn't work, in either language).
So you decide to turn off accessibility again, and surprise, you can't. Because, hey, to turn off accessibility, you have to go through a dialog which -- for no good reason -- is so big that it won't fit on the screen if you have adjusted the DPI so you can read your high-res display.

You can't use speech recognition to say "Accept", because speech recognition doesn't work, and you can't click the button because it's off-screen. Awesome.

Locked out by accessibility, what an irony (n.b.: You can admittedly get out of the trap by rotating your display, in that case the dialog won't fit horizontally, but you can just see enough so you can press "Accept". This doesn't change the fact that such a dialog is a super moronic design, though -- for accessibility in particular.).

I could continue with this all day long (but life is too short). In one word, Win7 was just about perfect except for some minor annoyances, and Win8 is much worse no matter what you look at.
 

including little touches like the cursor not 'jumping' but 'flowing' forward as you type which, tbh, is the kind of touch I'd expect from Apple

 

That's the kind of "touch" which is total shit, if you ask me. Either you have typed a character, or you haven't. There is no in-between, there are no half-typed characters. Insofar, this is a "feature" that wastes CPU cycles to add something that is misleading rather than helpful. The cursor should jump.

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In my opinion, no matter who the CEO is, Microsoft will go the way of the dodo. This because in the end they are not needed anymore. They don't manufacture hardware like Samsung and other companies do, and with things like Linux and Android out there, companies like Samsung (I use Samsung purely for example) can manufacture products with a familiar software environment and not have to pay royalties for it or require their consumers to buy a $99 OS. I think hardware companies are seeing this, and Android has already come to dominate the mobile space. It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

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It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

 

I do not see this happening anytime soon. Some Linux distros are quite good but they all have a learning curve that the masses are not going to want to adapt to. IMO Linux distros are all one big cluster F!! there are just too many (and a lot of them bad) to ever create a viable replacement to windows. 

 

In all honesty Microsoft needs to adapt to the modern market and redesign their payment systems. The fact is no one wants to keep shoving out over a hundred dollars for a new OS every couple of years. Microsoft needs to learn that free can earn them more money if done correctly. I say Windows home should be free, Pro 20 bucks, and Ultimate 45 bucks. This should be pushed though to all of their products. They have earned quite the reputation being as nothing more than a company that only wants to take you for every dollar you have (A good note on this is that is the goal for every company but when the masses recognize it it becomes a bad thing). 

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In my opinion, no matter who the CEO is, Microsoft will go the way of the dodo. This because in the end they are not needed anymore. They don't manufacture hardware like Samsung and other companies do, and with things like Linux and Android out there, companies like Samsung (I use Samsung purely for example) can manufacture products with a familiar software environment and not have to pay royalties for it or require their consumers to buy a $99 OS. I think hardware companies are seeing this, and Android has already come to dominate the mobile space. It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

 

 

Linux has some problems for the desktop space (vs Windows):

there are some notable architectural issues in the OS (mostly at the distro level) which basically get in the way of general-purpose software distribution and installation;

backwards compatibility has generally been a bit rocky (sometimes old source breaks, old binaries breaking is pretty much standard);

the GUI subsystem is kind of a mess;

most stuff in the GUI "generally kinds of sucks" vs its Windows analogues;

...

 

sadly, probably about the only real "good" way to build a desktop OS out of Linux would basically be to tear a lot of it down, and basically build a more Windows-like environment on top of the Linux kernel. this wouldn't require "abandoning" everything, but wouldn't be a small project either as it would likely involve a pretty fundamental set of reorganizations (rather than simply cosmetic tweaks for the GUI), and probably a fair bit of tweaking to existing software, ...

 

then face the issues of having a Linux distro where most existing Linux software wont build for it without modification, possibly existing './configure' scripts don't work, ...

 

"what do you mean we don't install all our user-application binaries in '/usr/bin/' and put all user-app config files in '/usr/etc/' and all libraries in '/lib/' or '/usr/lib/' ... ?! why should we want to install stuff into '/ProgramFiles/myapp/' and '/AppData/myapp/' ?! why does it not use X.Org and GNOME ?! ..."

 

but, ultimately, changes in some areas would be needed to make 3rd party app installation work well, probably with most of the traditional directories "/bin/", "/lib/", ... if still present, being reserved mostly for OS files, rather than user-applications. well, and actually making a distinction between the OS and 3rd party applications in the first-place, ...

 

better yet if new versions of the OS don't break existing binaries, ...

 

 

while Windows isn't perfect, at the basic levels, most things at least work pretty solidly.

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When switching to XP, my initial thought after previously having seen it from far was "meh, silly round windows, looks like plastic... but hum...".

 

 

This plastic looks was not nice to me too, but XP showed to be quite 'stable' - I would like to call it half-stable, though.

 

I could use it without single reinstallation, 5 years of somewhat

mussy and heavy usage, (lost my installation cd), and it still worked (mostly) and do not slow down too much.

 

XP is internally ugly and has a sluggish shell (as tu ugliness, I distaste the  Documents And Settings  hierarchy ,the way of

 applying the settings in windows -it is just horrible and trash) --

but as a coding or workin environment it can eventually be set 

up and can be treated as a family old car you get accustomed

too)

 

I was using mas os x some time and also disliked the shell of it - in the windows at least there one can use Total Commander as a 

shell when working with files who got reasonable response times 

 

Years ago in the time ow windows 95  I remember there was

some information I read that the windows shell (explorer.exe)

can be fully replaced with the shels you like but where tf it is?

 

 

(In the times of windows95 I got some coll thing called virtual

screen, (few people seen that I think becouse I could enable

this with my graphic card drivers (trident something)) 

it was absolutely fluid working (it was hardware accelerated)

 desktop many times larger than the physical desktop size, whose

 physical you can move by  mouse as a viewport over the big one

 (windows of the programs  you can also make many times bigger

than physical)  - it was nice to get a couple of times bigger desktop than this sad  physical one here

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It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

 

I do not see this happening anytime soon. Some Linux distros are quite good but they all have a learning curve that the masses are not going to want to adapt to. IMO Linux distros are all one big cluster F!! there are just too many (and a lot of them bad) to ever create a viable replacement to windows. 

 

In all honesty Microsoft needs to adapt to the modern market and redesign their payment systems. The fact is no one wants to keep shoving out over a hundred dollars for a new OS every couple of years. Microsoft needs to learn that free can earn them more money if done correctly. I say Windows home should be free, Pro 20 bucks, and Ultimate 45 bucks. This should be pushed though to all of their products. They have earned quite the reputation being as nothing more than a company that only wants to take you for every dollar you have (A good note on this is that is the goal for every company but when the masses recognize it it becomes a bad thing). 

 

Linux does not have a larger learning curve than windows, most people have just been using Windows much longer. It's called the baby duck syndrome. Unless you're mucking around in the terminal a lot, I'd go as far to say that Ubuntu is far easier for someone who has never used a PC before than windows -- my 61 year old mother had no problem with it at least, she has never really used a computer before and figured out on her own how to use the software center by herself. I'd be mighty impressed if someone could figure out how to install software on windows on their own while avoiding being infected by spyware and viruses from downloading random things on the internet.

 

 

In my opinion, no matter who the CEO is, Microsoft will go the way of the dodo. This because in the end they are not needed anymore. They don't manufacture hardware like Samsung and other companies do, and with things like Linux and Android out there, companies like Samsung (I use Samsung purely for example) can manufacture products with a familiar software environment and not have to pay royalties for it or require their consumers to buy a $99 OS. I think hardware companies are seeing this, and Android has already come to dominate the mobile space. It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

 

 

Linux has some problems for the desktop space (vs Windows):

there are some notable architectural issues in the OS (mostly at the distro level) which basically get in the way of general-purpose software distribution and installation;

backwards compatibility has generally been a bit rocky (sometimes old source breaks, old binaries breaking is pretty much standard);

the GUI subsystem is kind of a mess;

most stuff in the GUI "generally kinds of sucks" vs its Windows analogues;

. . .

 

Did you really just say windows has better backwards compatibility than linux?

I can't even run old windows games on my windows 7 PC, games like age of empires 2 or baldur's gate flat out refuse to work(Ironic considering AoE is made by microsoft). Not to mention there's ZERO compatibility with dos. I'd like to just take a moment to point out that these games actually run on Wine, that's ridiculous!

I can run Rogue on my linux work computer, a binary compiled in 1992, running on a computer using Linux kernel 3.8.

 

Windows wins in the third-party support department, but you'd be hard pressed to convince me of any other area.

Edited by orangecat
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Booting takes twice as long when "docked" as compared to when "not docked" (i.e. without the keyboard). Why, nobody can figure. Shutting down and undocking (or docking), then turning on again bluescreens. Apparently you're not allowed to remove plug-and-play hardware while the computer is turned off, WTF?

Docking during boot bluescreens on about 1 in 10 attempts. In comparison to the above, that's pretty stable, but still WTF. Docking/undocking during "normal operation" works without any issues. No single problem doing it a hundred times in a row. WTF?

 

Pressing the "off button" on the top of the device puts Windows in "power save", whatever that means (presumably something like S3?). Except it doesn't. Left like this over night, the device has an empty battery the next morning. Turns out that the NAS which is on the local network has audio streaming capabilities, and Win8 keeps WiFi up and running all the time and does some shitfuck polling on the media server every few seconds, which very reliably drains the battery. Awesome. I'm not even interested in media serving.

Booting takes close to (and sometimes upwards of) one minute. What the...? Turns out that once you disable the superfetch service (which according to MS should disable itself automatically on SSD), it "boots" in 7 seconds, but still it hangs for about 30 seconds during login. You wait and wonder whether the gesture you made was well recognized or not (which is an annoying game, too). Once you disable the indexer service as well, it boots in 7 seconds and login takes under 1 second. Seriously, what the fuck?

 

Login gestures themselves are another topic one could rant about for an hour. How hard can it be to draw three lines wrongly? Apparently it's not very hard to do wrong, because I still need 2-3 attempts after weeks of training.

So you're allowed to change the lock screen, great. Except when you have 2 users on your tablet (of which only one has admin rights and the right to change the lock screen), it won't work. And, except it doesn't work reliably anyway. Win8 always loads and displays the default lock screen first, and then loads the one you configured half a second later. Now you're going to say that this is a very unimportant detail, and it really is. However, it shows how pathetically unfinished the product is, even in petty details.
The same goes for the desktop wallpaper. Win7 was perfectly able to do a smooth transition from the login page to the readily loaded as-is desktop including wallpaper. Of course, what else. Win8 will show a solid color desktop, and then load the wallpaper. Even if the computer has been up for minutes and it shows the wallpaper correctly in Metro's "Desktop" tile.

 

It's interesting that I have exactly none of these problems. I'm using Windows 8 as my primary OS on a MacBook.

 

I get the sense from people that there are a lot of situations where Windows 8 doesn't work that well, but I haven't experienced any of them yet. In fact, on every computer I've used that's had both Windows 7 and Windows 8 (not necessarily at the same time), Windows 8 has been much more stable. Maybe it's just that Windows 8 comes standard on a lot of poorly-configured hardware. I don't know.

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It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

 

I do not see this happening anytime soon. Some Linux distros are quite good but they all have a learning curve that the masses are not going to want to adapt to. IMO Linux distros are all one big cluster F!! there are just too many (and a lot of them bad) to ever create a viable replacement to windows. 

 

In all honesty Microsoft needs to adapt to the modern market and redesign their payment systems. The fact is no one wants to keep shoving out over a hundred dollars for a new OS every couple of years. Microsoft needs to learn that free can earn them more money if done correctly. I say Windows home should be free, Pro 20 bucks, and Ultimate 45 bucks. This should be pushed though to all of their products. They have earned quite the reputation being as nothing more than a company that only wants to take you for every dollar you have (A good note on this is that is the goal for every company but when the masses recognize it it becomes a bad thing). 

 

Linux does not have a larger learning curve than windows, most people have just been using Windows much longer. It's called the baby duck syndrome. Unless you're mucking around in the terminal a lot, I'd go as far to say that Ubuntu is far easier for someone who has never used a PC before than windows -- my 61 year old mother had no problem with it at least, she has never really used a computer before and figured out on her own how to use the software center by herself. I'd be mighty impressed if someone could figure out how to install software on windows on their own while avoiding being infected by spyware and viruses from downloading random things on the internet.

 

 

In my opinion, no matter who the CEO is, Microsoft will go the way of the dodo. This because in the end they are not needed anymore. They don't manufacture hardware like Samsung and other companies do, and with things like Linux and Android out there, companies like Samsung (I use Samsung purely for example) can manufacture products with a familiar software environment and not have to pay royalties for it or require their consumers to buy a $99 OS. I think hardware companies are seeing this, and Android has already come to dominate the mobile space. It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

 

 

Linux has some problems for the desktop space (vs Windows):

there are some notable architectural issues in the OS (mostly at the distro level) which basically get in the way of general-purpose software distribution and installation;

backwards compatibility has generally been a bit rocky (sometimes old source breaks, old binaries breaking is pretty much standard);

the GUI subsystem is kind of a mess;

most stuff in the GUI "generally kinds of sucks" vs its Windows analogues;

. . .

 

Did you really just say windows has better backwards compatibility than linux?

I can't even run old windows games on my windows 7 PC, games like age of empires 2 or baldur's gate flat out refuse to work(Ironic considering AoE is made by microsoft). Not to mention there's ZERO compatibility with dos. I'd like to just take a moment to point out that these games actually run on Wine, that's ridiculous!

I can run Rogue on my linux work computer, a binary compiled in 1992, running on a computer using Linux kernel 3.8.

 

Windows wins in the third-party support department, but you'd be hard pressed to convince me of any other area.

 

 

the issue with Linux and backwards compatibility is that the distros tend to do a bad job with library version issues, and often the maintainers for various 3rd party libraries often make changes which break binary compatibility with existing app binaries (particularly WRT GNOME-related libraries).

 

(this is primarily an issue for programs using dynamic-linking, statically-linked apps tend to be a little more robust, but this is more limiting in many regards).

 

using a binary compiled for one distro with another distro is generally problematic as well.

IME, typically many 64-bit distros also lack *any* support for 32-bit binaries.

...

 

(AFAIK: the kernel supports 32-bit binaries in 64-bit mode, but generally 64-bit distros will omit any 32-bit shared-libraries or loader support, or may sometimes only offer it as an optional package requiring manual installation).

 

 

in contrast, Windows 7/8 x64 generally directly run most apps with binaries going back to the late 1990s without much issue (or, IOW, most 32-bit apps still work).

 

the loss of DOS and Win16 support was a problem on MS's part, but there is still the option of running emulators.

so, apart from needing an emulator, I can still run DOS games and Win16 apps pretty much fine.

 

on Linux, a person also needs an emulator for DOS or any Windows apps, so it doesn't gain any points there.

Edited by cr88192
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In my opinion, no matter who the CEO is, Microsoft will go the way of the dodo. This because in the end they are not needed anymore. They don't manufacture hardware like Samsung and other companies do, and with things like Linux and Android out there, companies like Samsung (I use Samsung purely for example) can manufacture products with a familiar software environment and not have to pay royalties for it or require their consumers to buy a $99 OS. I think hardware companies are seeing this, and Android has already come to dominate the mobile space. It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

Microsoft make most of their money from B2B sales and windows phone 8 is growing extremely fast. http://bgr.com/2013/07/09/windows-phone-russian-market-share/

 

Microsoft is kicking the crap out of Oracle, this is where most of their growth in revenue has come from despite windows server 2012 obvious flaws.

 

Microsoft is not a 1 trick pony and their share price always remains quite stable because of their diversification. They have tonnes of spare cash (not as much as apple mind) and a healthy balance sheet. They aren't going anywhere.

Edited by RivieraKid
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In my opinion, no matter who the CEO is, Microsoft will go the way of the dodo. This because in the end they are not needed anymore. They don't manufacture hardware like Samsung and other companies do, and with things like Linux and Android out there, companies like Samsung (I use Samsung purely for example) can manufacture products with a familiar software environment and not have to pay royalties for it or require their consumers to buy a $99 OS. I think hardware companies are seeing this, and Android has already come to dominate the mobile space. It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.

Microsoft make most of their money from B2B sales and windows phone 8 is growing extremely fast. http://bgr.com/2013/07/09/windows-phone-russian-market-share/

 

Microsoft is kicking the crap out of Oracle, this is where most of their growth in revenue has come from despite windows server 2012 obvious flaws.

 

Microsoft is not a 1 trick pony and their share price always remains quite stable because of their diversification. They have tonnes of spare cash (not as much as apple mind) and a healthy balance sheet. They aren't going anywhere.

 

Windows phones sales are going up because they're selling them at a loss... and nobody still really wants them. I wouldn't be surprised if Firefox phones surpass them in popularity a few months after they really hit the market.

I guess we're not going to discuss the fact that Microsoft is being sued for flat out lying about their abysmal sales figures?

Edited by orangecat
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Windows phones sales are going up because they're selling them at a loss...


And...?

The Xbox and PS3 were both sold at a loss.
iPhones and Android devices are subsidised by contracts constantly - and also, in the UK at least, cost around the same price as a WP8 device, at least they did when my choice was between an Galaxy S4 and a 920 last year, which means the consumers which are buying the phones at the same price as the existing brands.

The biggest problem MS have is that they are entering an already entrenched market which is why they have to see this as a long term project - still, WP8 is third in the world market over turning Blackberry and still growing (although to what extent world wide varies depending on the article you read) so it isn't a done deal yet.

Personally I wouldn't trade my WP8 device for an iPhone or Android device right now (and, depending on the 2nd generation details I would give serious consideration to an Win8 based tablet, my current Galaxy Tab 10.1 is getting a bit long in the tooth)... a year from now when my contract is up and I can renew? Who knows, maybe someone will offer something and I'll swap again.
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It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.


Huh.. I just realised that it's nearly 15 years since I first heard the phrase 'year of the Linux desktop'...
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In all honesty Microsoft needs to adapt to the modern market and redesign their payment systems. The fact is no one wants to keep shoving out over a hundred dollars for a new OS every couple of years. Microsoft needs to learn that free can earn them more money if done correctly. I say Windows home should be free, Pro 20 bucks, and Ultimate 45 bucks. This should be pushed though to all of their products.


I think there is signs of them heading broadly in that direction; I got Win8 Pro for £25 (in fact it was so cheap I brought it twice; once for my main, once for my laptop) and Office365 is the signs of a software as a service setup going forward.

VS already ships with free versions but I'd like them to add 'pro' to the subscription list as well - most so if they are going to update it every year going forward; Paying £10/month is much easier to swallow than the idea of paying ~£400 or more every year or two.

The recent changes seem to indicate that, internally, they do recognise the need to change how they do things it'll be interesting to see how that works out long term.
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I get the sense from people that there are a lot of situations where Windows 8 doesn't work that well, but I haven't experienced any of them yet. In fact, on every computer I've used that's had both Windows 7 and Windows 8 (not necessarily at the same time), Windows 8 has been much more stable. Maybe it's just that Windows 8 comes standard on a lot of poorly-configured hardware. I don't know.


I'm running Win8 on a laptop which started out life as a Win Vista machine (4gig, Core2Duo, from around Dec 2008), moved to Win7 and then Win8 and works perfectly (well, the laptop's battery has long since died but 17" 1920*1200 laptops are so hard to find these days).. certainly no slower than Win7, maybe even faster... (although it's hard to tell as it's using SSDs after an upgrade so it was always pretty quick).
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It only is a matter of time before Linux does the same in the PC space.


Huh.. I just realised that it's nearly 15 years since I first heard the phrase 'year of the Linux desktop'...

 

Maybe you should read it again considering the best selling laptop on Amazon for almost a year runs linux.

I'm not sure why people are so pro Microsoft, I guess closed source walled gardens are fun? Or are we still being convinced that open source can't compete with closed source in smear campaigns?

Edited by orangecat
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Maybe you should read it again considering the best selling laptop on Amazon for almost a year runs linux.


Yes, because one data point clearly proves every thing.
But sure... I'll play your game because why not..

Looking at the 'most popular' laptops on the UK amazon site I see;
#1 Chrome OS
#2, 3, 4 Windows
#5 MacBook Pro
#6 - 20 Windows
#21 MacBook Pro

So, if the Chrome OS sells 10 units and the next 3 WinOS based sell 8 units each they are now selling 2.4:1 in favour of WinOS.
Throw in the MacPro @ 6 units so it's only slightly behind, then the next 14 @ 2 units (5.2:1 Win vs Chrome), then 1 more for the final MacPro (10:7 in Chromes favour)... and, well, do you see the folly in your argument?

And while I wouldn't draw any hard data from it the numbers at the bottom here make the point pretty well on a global scale; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Summary
(When I say 'hard data' I mean I wouldn't point at this and say 'Windows has a 91% market share' but it is a good guide to relative selling amounts globally as the error would have to be VERY significant to bring Linux based OSes into contention in that space.)

(Most surprising thing for me was the Web server numbers with a ~33% split across the board o.O)

I'm not sure why people are so pro Microsoft, I guess closed source walled gardens are fun? Or are we still being convinced that open source can't compete with closed source in smear campaigns?


I think you are seeing 'pro MS' statements where none exist; people tend to be pro-getting-shit-done which, more often than not, closed source apps do just fine. I know how Windows works, I install things and they 'just work' so I have no need nor desire to step outside of that world because I can get-shit-done.

While it has been some years now my experience with Linux during the early part of this century was nothing but frustration and annoyance at the lack of GUI to do things. A programmer I might well be but, as it was at the time, I have no desire to dick around with text files to do things because someone somewhere decided it was The Best Way To Do It.

Maybe this has changed in the last 5+ years since I last had a Linux box spun up but right now my time is limited and so in the battle of 'closed vs open' closed wins as long as it lets me get-shit-done and provides, what is in my opinion, a good user experience. Also no one has shown me that open software CAN compete with the closed software I use; where is open Visual Studio? Where is the open graphics debugging software?

Finally you also make an assumption that because people used closed software they are against free and open source software; this isn't true. In my own case I've released code under zlib in the past and when I do so in the future I will continue to do so. The fact I happen to use Windows as my OS of choice has no impact on my over all support of open source software in general.

Granted my utter dislike and contempt for the GPL means I'm unlikely to willingly install Linux on a machine again without a damned good reason (such as I've a game I want to sell and I need to test it...) but that's a personal side issue.
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I think there is signs of them heading broadly in that direction; I got Win8 Pro for £25 (in fact it was so cheap I brought it twice; once for my main, once for my laptop) and Office365 is the signs of a software as a service setup going forward.

 

 

"When does the promotion end?"

The last day you'll be able to buy Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $39.99 is Thursday, January 31st. I'd guess it'll run up to near midnight Pacific Time that evening but I don't know for sure.

How much will Windows 8 cost after the promotion ends?

Here are the estimated retail prices in USD of Windows 8 as of February 1:

Windows 8 Pro Upgrade: $199.99 (I know, big jump, hu?)
Windows 8 Upgrade: $119.99
Windows 8 Pro Pack: $99.99 (upgrades a copy of Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro)

I see your point the fact is a small promotion is not the solution. A 199.99 upgrade is well overpriced given that windows is on a lot of computers around the world.

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Maybe this has changed in the last 5+ years since I last had a Linux box spun up but right now my time is limited and so in the battle of 'closed vs open' closed wins as long as it lets me get-shit-done and provides, what is in my opinion, a good user experience.

There's a GUI for most things (only the most esoteric stuff can't be done through GUI), the problem is that nobody is going to help you if you ever decide to go that route. Everybody insists on giving out complex stuff to type on the terminal (of course without explaining at all). The end result is that everybody thinks you have to use the terminal and type entire paragraphs worth of commands to do even the simplest of the tasks.

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