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Windows Operating Systems Software Microsoft

Looking at Longhorn 793

Posted by michael
from the proudly-imitating-all-of-Mac-OS's-flaws dept.
ShinyPlasticBag writes "Paul Thurrott has an excellent preview of Longhorn milestone five over at his Supersite for Windows. It looks like this may be Microsoft's equivalent to OS X -- the next version of Windows will have a 3D accelerated desktop and other graphical goodies. In addition to this, it will include a journaling file system, so us mere mortals can enjoy what Linux Geeks have had for years."
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Looking at Longhorn

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  • by joeszilagyi (635484) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5876133)
    ...Windows 2005 will be Macintosh 1997.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:06PM (#5876140)
    git with the program dude.
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by NETHED (258016) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:06PM (#5876144) Homepage
    Here [cofc.edu] is a mirror.

    I Didn't get a chance to fix the links to the images, so Here is the directory with a dump of them. [cofc.edu]

    (And where is the Coward option?)
  • by httpamphibio.us (579491) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:06PM (#5876147)
    I didn't know what it was... hopefully this'll be useful for other people.

    From whatis.com

    A journaling file system is a fault-resilient file system in which data integrity is ensured because updates to directories and bitmaps are constantly written to a serial log on disk before the original disk log is updated. In the event of a system failure, a full journaling filesystem ensures that the data on the disk has been restored to its pre-crash configuration. It also recovers unsaved data and stores it in the location where it would have gone if the computer had not crashed, making it an important feature for mission-critical applications.

    Not all operating systems provide the same journaling technology. Windows NT offers a less robust version of the full system. If your Windows NT system crashes, you may not lose the entire disk volume, but you will likely lose all the data that hadn't yet been written to the disk prior to the crash. By the same token, the default Linux system, ext2fs, does not journal at all. That means, a system crash--although infrequent in a Linux environment--can corrupt an entire disk volume.

    However, XFS, a journaling file system from Silicon Graphics, became a part of the open-source community in 1999 and, therefore, has had important implications for Linux developers, who previously lacked such insurance features. Capable of recovering from most unexpected interruptions in less than a second, XFS epitomizes the high-performance journaling filesystem of the future.

    The earliest journaling file systems, created in the mid-1980s, included Veritas, Tolerant, and IBM's JFS. With increasing demands being placed on file systems to support terabytes of data, thousands upon thousands of files per directory and 64-bit capability, it is expected that interest will continue to grow in high-performance journaling file systems like XFS.
    • by n1ywb (555767) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:31PM (#5876366) Homepage Journal
      No journaling file system guarantees that any unsaved data will be preserved in the event of a system crash. Data that's in RAM in the disk write cache is lost in the event of a crash. That has nothing to do with the file system.

      Journaling file systems are transaction based. If a transaction fails partway through (IE the system crashes) the state of the disk is the same as if the transaction had never started, and is thus always consistent.

      You would have to be doing something extra weird to risk corrupting an entire ext2 volume in the event of a crash. Also the article doesn't mention that ext3 IS ext2 with a journal added, it's not a totally different file system. In fact an ext3 file system that is cleanly unmounted can be mounted as an ext2 file system, FYI.
      • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:33PM (#5876813) Homepage
        Well, ext3 has the data=journal option which journals _everything_ including file contents. There is no disk write cache.

        About this 'transaction based' stuff... the question is does any user application support transactions? If I run 'rm *.o' in a directory and the system crashes halfway through the rm command, is the state rolled back to what it was before the command started? I doubt it. Each individual unlink() call might count as a transaction, but unlink() is supposed to be atomic anyway.

        It would be neat if filesystem transactions were available to applications. For example, take the most obvious way to save a file that is currently open in an editor: truncate the file and write it out again. Without transactions this is horribly unsafe, the system might crash after truncating or there just might not be enough disk space to write the new version. But if you could write code to do:

        begin_transaction();
        ftruncate(fh, 0);
        write(fh, buf, size);
        end_transaction();

        it would be just fine. (Of course, you'd need to check the return value from end_transaction() to make sure everything went okay... you might even check the individual ftruncate() and write() calls in order to bail out early.)

        Similarly, shell commands could be an individual transaction. So if you said 'tar x archive.tar' then it would be guaranteed that either the whole archive unpacks successfully, or the filesystem is untouched. Who knows, this might even make shell scripts a reliable way to write small programs.
      • by g4dget (579145) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:13PM (#5877073)
        Journaling file systems are transaction based. If a transaction fails partway through (IE the system crashes) the state of the disk is the same as if the transaction had never started, and is thus always consistent.

        That's just wrong on several levels.

        First of all, the file system is not consistent after a crash: journaling file systems need to replay the journal in order to make it consistent. This is no different in principle from non-journaling file systems (which, traditionally, also have incorporated various features to permit recovery), it just happens to be faster.

        Second, I/O APIs usually do not define a notion of "transaction" at the file system level, and even if they do, there aren't a whole lot of guarantees you can make that are particularly useful. In fact, journaling file systems and transaction-based file systems really are very different things. A journaling file system can be used to implement a transaction-based file system, but it can also be used just to implement fast recovery.

        Third, for performance reasons, very few journaling file systems journal file content; they only worry about meta-data. And NTFS falls back a step further by making particularly weak guarantees. For example, if I create files "a", "b", and "c" in that sequence, with three separate programs, after a crash, any combination of those files may be present, and their content may be arbitrarily messed up.

      • IE vs. e.g. (Score:5, Funny)

        by The Monster (227884) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @07:56PM (#5877959) Homepage
        IE the system crashes
        Do you mean 'e.g. the system crashes'?

        Oh. I get it now. You just have the order wrong:

        IE crashes the system
        That makes perfect sense now.
    • I'd just like to add to that...

      XFS, while I love it for its performance, journals metadata only. So files won't be lost, but their contents may be. ReiserFS is very similar. EXT3, while much clunkier, does data journaling as well. For these reasons I use XFS on /tmp and /home/public (FTP/SMB area) partitions, and EXT3 on more critical ones.
      • Dude, you should use a RAM-based filesystem for /tmp. You shouldn't rely on /tmp being persistent across a reboot.

        I believe (if I'm not mistaken) ramfs is the way to go for /tmp. It's a RAM disk that can push to swap as needed. The reason you want to do this is that most temporary files exist for less than 30 seconds. Thus, there's never any reason to touch the disk for these unless there is simply not enough RAM.

        If a RAM-based fs doesn't turn your crank, then just use the one that performs the b

  • Journaling FS (Score:5, Informative)

    by VValdo (10446) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:06PM (#5876155)
    Microsoft's equivalent to OS X...will include a journaling file system, so us mere mortals can enjoy what Linux Geeks have had for years."

    And OS X users have had for months [macosxhints.com]...

    W
    • Re:Journaling FS (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      Microsoft's equivalent to OS X...will include a journaling file system, so us mere mortals can enjoy what Linux Geeks have had for years."
      And OS X users have had for months...

      And what Windows 2000 users have had for years [microsoft.com].

      • The NT line has been using NTFS for over a decade now.

        The submitter of the article was simply an idiot looking to mention "Linux" in some way in a Slashdot article summary.
    • oh, goodie (Score:4, Insightful)

      by g4dget (579145) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:16PM (#5877094)
      Is this a competition among Microsoft and Apple to see who is less outdated?

      Journaling file systems are, what, a couple of decades old? Microsoft didn't invent them. Apple didn't invent them. The real question is: what took either of them so long to incorporate them?

  • Filing system (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Neophytus (642863) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5876172)
    In addition to this, it will include a journaling file system, so us mere mortals can enjoy what Linux Geeks have had for years.

    The big question is if like NTFS it will be proprietary. Even after years of reverse engineering the NTFS nut still hasnt been cracked, and if FAT32 support is not included then people may be put off from dualbooting longhorn and another OS.
    • Re:Filing system (Score:3, Interesting)

      by deadsaijinx* (637410)
      I wouldn't quite say that. NTFS might be proprietary, but progs like Partition Magic [powerquest.com] have been able to partition the mystical NTFS. Though the price does shy away many a person. Personally, I'd rather use a second HDD to dual boot anyway, that way if one disk fails, I still have the other operating system.
      • by ukyoCE (106879)
        At least for me the problem is being able to use the same data from both operating systems. I have to use Fat32 for most of my data so I can cross between linux and windows XP. I wouldn't even have XP installed right now if there was no file system that both Windows and Linux could read. I'd never even be able to give Windows a fair try for my desktop if i couldn't access my school work, mail, bookmarks, etc.
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:01PM (#5876597)
      The new big feature of the filesystem is not that it's journalling.

      They are integrating the filesystem with their SQL engine so that files are easily searchable with the multiple GB hard drives everyone will have by the time 2005 rolls around. The big feature is that it's a database filesystem called WinFS.

      I guess the submitters of the article don't even read the articles anymore! Gotta love the quip at the end of the summary--makes him look even more moronic. NTFS has been a journalling file system since its inception. Many years before ext3 reared its ugly head.
  • Please... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by humming (24596) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#5876201)
    Can someone tell me why I need a 3d accelerated desktop?

    Would it be easier for me to navigate my windows if I could move between them as if I played Quake, instead of just clicking on the particular window I wanted?

    Would I get more girls if my mailbox spun in cool 3d, instead of just opening?

    Would my productivity improve if it took 5 more seconds to open a window just because it had to be animated, instead of just appearing?

    Would it be easier for me to read text if all windows were transparent?

    Is the human mind better trained to cope with windows if they are rotated 45 degrees along some axis?

    I simply don't get the 3d desktop, but then, I prefer stuff that work, instead of stuff that looks good and doesn't work.

    //H, just realized he has another flamebait post on his record. Damn that karma!
    • Re:Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#5876231)
      I'm similarly opposed to the 'eye-candy for the sake of eye-candy' line that Microsoft seem so fond of. But having a 3d accelerated desktop is far more than that. Even if it _looks_ exactly the same, you should expect a performance boost, since much of the drawing work is now being done in the GPU, rather than your CPU. And if you do happen to like eye candy, you get it basically for free (computationally).
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:27PM (#5876333)
      Why do you need a 3d desktop. other than the actual legitimate uses of 3d for presentation of data there are what one might call psycic ergonomics. By this I mean clues and hinting that communicate to your brain things you need to know. A good example from the 2-d days was the way a macintosh icon would have little tracers radiate out form the application to the main window when you double clicked it. like it sort of popped out of the applications icon. IN the modern OSX the genie effect (or scale effect) has much the same effect: when you minimize an open window your brain registers where it was parked without you having to give it much conscious thought.

      3d effect play simmilar roles. the tranparency and shadowing of foregroung and backrgound windows is something you immediatly grasp abd grasp without think about it becuase your brain already knows how po process those clues. like wise throbbing or size changing 3d icons can be subtle ways to grab your attention. Dialog boxes that drop down out of windows again clue you into what window they are refering to.

      now done wrong they could also be wizbang distractions. This is of course what has always distinguished say apple products from others. Apple tends to follow a consisten and understated GUI that just directs your eye where it needs to go.

      3d effects can clrify what is or is not a button, and even what you are supposed to do with it (twist, rock, slide, press)

      no you dont need 3d. heck you dont need a gui. Dos didnt have it even though it did have a graphics mode.

    • 10 make_faster_cpus(intel)
      20 introduce_more_useless_features(microsoft)
      30 goto 10

      its a conspiracy!!! =)
    • Re:Please... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Have Blue (616) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:09PM (#5876657) Homepage
      "3D accelerated desktop" is too easy to misinterpret. What's really going is that a lot of graphics tasks (compositing, mostly) are offloaded to the GPU. The real advantage to having the entire screen as a GL context means that tricks that used to be very processor-intensive are now ready for everyday use. OS X's use of transparency was a bit much for a 400Mhz G3, but a modern graphics card barely notices the load. The Terminal could use transparent windows since day 1, but with a significant performance hit; with QE that hit is gone and some people leave their windows transparent all the time. The genie effect used to take up 100% of pretty much every Mac's CPU, with the GPU handling the grunt work of the bitmap distortion there's enough power left over that DVDs actually keep playing while they are being genied. The full-screen zoom tool (for the visually impaired) uses bilinear filtering, and again with virtually zero performance hit - I use it to watch postage-stamp streaming movies embedded in web pages at full screen.

      A 3D-accelerated desktop is just the logical next step after blitting acceleration from a 2D card.
    • Re:Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NanoGator (522640) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:46PM (#5876902) Homepage Journal
      "Can someone tell me why I need a 3d accelerated desktop?"

      Yes, the graphic load is moved off your CPU to your 3D Card, thus improving GUI responsiveness. If that's not a good enough explanation, then try using a dual machine. You'll be surprised at how much more responsive it becomes.

      "Would it be easier for me to navigate my windows if I could move between them as if I played Quake, instead of just clicking on the particular window I wanted?"

      Where does it say that the Windows shell will be like that? + 1 Imaginitive, -1 Offtopic.

      "Would I get more girls if my mailbox spun in cool 3d, instead of just opening?""Would my productivity improve if it took 5 more seconds to open a window just because it had to be animated, instead of just appearing?"

      Would you be more productive if your UI was more responsive while the CPU is busy? (you know, that little thing called multi-tasking?) Meanwhile, animations like that give you more visual elements to 'reflex' off of. I mean, if a light turns red at an intersection, do you start moving because you see the light or because the other cars start moving?

      "Would it be easier for me to read text if all windows were transparent?"

      You don't understand the value of transparency? I have an 'always on top' app on my screen right now that allows me to rapidly switch between desktop and apps within those desktops. It's all icon based, so I made it transparent. I can read text underneat it *and* see what apps I have running without having problems with clashing. You're right, transparent text on transparent text is bad. Icons and transparent text give your screen an added dimension of real-estate. Instead of assuming the worse, look at it's strengths.

      "Is the human mind better trained to cope with windows if they are rotated 45 degrees along some axis?"

      Were you able to read the scrolling text in the intro to Star Wars?

      "I simply don't get the 3d desktop, but then, I prefer stuff that work, instead of stuff that looks good and doesn't work."

      The whole point of it is to offload the graphics processing to the unused 3D Card, and free up CPU stuff for other things. The result is a more responsive UI. To boot, they can add features that some apps will find rather useful, like the task switching app I used (it's called AltDesk btw). The extra graphic goodies are actually quite useful. Imagine running at 1600 by 1200, but resizing a web page window with small text very smoothly. (Current methods create nasty nearest neighbor artifacts.)

      You may or may not care about this, but some of us that spend a great deal of time making good use of our UI find it rather exciting. If I can smoothly resize windows no matter what their native resolution is, that's damn cool.

      "//H, just realized he has another flamebait post on his record. Damn that karma!"

      You made some good points. It's sad, though, that you didn't just ask so you could learn. I mean, if you have to ask so many questions about why somebody's investing a lot of time and resources, then doesn't it strike you that maybe you just don't get it?

      For example, I think Bablyon 5 is stupid. I think the fans overrate it. But I don't go on long-winded rants about it because I know they enjoy it in a way that I haven't discovered. See my point? I'd sound like a total dumb-ass to them if I said "I don't see why you guys are so immersed in such a corny show."

      Heh I hope I made my point instead of pissing everybody off.
  • OSX... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by heldlikesound (132717) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:12PM (#5876205) Homepage
    It's funny to think that in two years Windows might be where OSX is now. Of course, OSX will be two years older at that point as well, and if 10.3 is any indication, Longhorn will not be enough to topple OSX, even if they stopped developing OSX now, (not in marketshare of course, just pure goodness).
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by handsomepete (561396) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5876211) Journal
    Examples of visual effects that will be enabled in Windows Longhorn include:

    Windows tumbling onto the screen.

    Rotating windows.

    Warped windows.

    Ah, just what I've always wanted - A version of Windows that acts like a home video made by my parents.

  • Overhead? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by neuro.slug (628600) <neuro__@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:14PM (#5876220)

    The Microsoft Windows Longhorn desktop is being drawn in a completely different way than all previous versions. Every window will have its own, full window-sized surface to draw to. The desktop will be dynamically composed many times a second from the contents of each window. The goal for desktop composition is to enable compelling new visual effects for both the Windows user interface and for applications created by third-party developers shown on increasingly affordable high-density displays.

    And people say the GUI in Mac OS X has a lot of overhead? Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds like a big drain on the cpu, agp bus, and graphics card.

    • Re:Overhead? (Score:5, Informative)

      by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:26PM (#5876315)
      If you're able to offload most of the new effects on the graphics card - which so far has been quite idle in the desktop environment - this shouldn't be much of a performance drain.
    • Re:Overhead? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jace of Fuse! (72042)
      Every window will have its own, full window-sized surface to draw to.

      Imagine, if you will, the modern equivilant of a sprite.

      In fact, Mouse Pointers have been hardware sprites for a long time. They have their own chunk of memory seperate from the primary display buffer.

      What the new GDI is going to accomplish is essentially putting all Windows in their own private memory space that is placed onto the screen by hardware, not software. The net effect is that things such as layering, transparency, and win
  • Whoa! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:14PM (#5876222) Journal
    It looks like this may be Microsoft's equivalent to OS X

    So, when do we see MS using a BSD kernel for Windows? I mean, there are so many advantages and- ... Hey, why are Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates in front of my house with a torch and a pitchfork?

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:14PM (#5876224)
    With all the detail in the article, one thing is still missing:

    What does the blue screen look like? Is it still blue? Why not red? Has it been changed or improved in anyway ( transparency, DirectX 9 features ) .... ?
  • by httpamphibio.us (579491) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:17PM (#5876243)
    Apart from this image [cofc.edu] the new trend of making next generation operating systems which have giant interfaces really worries me. I always felt the advantage of running 1600x1200 (or 3200x1200 in my case) was to have more workspace, not a higher resolution interface. When OSX came out I installed it on my iBooks, then immediately uninstalled it primarily due to it's absolutely intrusive interface (secondarily due to lack of support for the software I was using at that time. My PC recently suffered an HD crash and I couldn't find my Windows 2000 Pro CD so I installed XP (yeah, I tried linux... Redhat to be exact, and the out-of-the-box ceased to function after two reboots), and came across a similar issue... the interface is too big, too audacious, and clamors for attention.

    In Vegas the person with the biggest, brightest, flashiest sign will make the most money... but when it comes to OSs small, fast, and unobtrusive is the key, too bad nobody else sees that.
  • Bass ackwards? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arvindn (542080) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:17PM (#5876245) Homepage Journal
    Back in the days of Windows 98, when rebooting every couple of hours was the norm, it would have made a lot of sense for M$ to introduce a journaling FS, so that users don't lose data all the time. But now that Windows users too have pretty decent uptimes, I wonder if it is such a big deal, since journaling has a performance penalty.
    • Re:Bass ackwards? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chicane-UK (455253)
      Well the majority of computer users are still susceptible to all the thrills & spills that electricity can throw at you. Surges, spikes, and powercuts are still common place - and not everyone has a UPS under their desk (despite their low cost these days).

      Plus, and lets be honest, Windows isn't THAT solid still.. whilst I think Windows XP is one of the best systems Microsoft have ever produced, I have still seen a few random resets and blue screens since using it. I think journalling filesystems defina
  • by AntiOrganic (650691) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:21PM (#5876279) Homepage
    ...that there are no drive letters in any of the Explorer screenshots? I'm wondering if this signals an eventual move away from drive letters towards UNC-style paths, or referring to volumes by their labels, in a fashion akin to Mac OS.
    • by antiMStroll (664213) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:16PM (#5876705)
      2000 and XP already support drive mounts. Microsfot just hid it really well, no doubt to make it easier on the support lines.

      Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Disk Management

      Select the partition, right click on 'Change Drice Letter and Paths' , select 'Change' and you'll be presented with two option. One is to mount the drive as a traditional letter, the other as a directory.

  • This beats me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fredrikj (629833) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:23PM (#5876292) Homepage
    Not to bash Microsoft in general, but the dialog in this screenshot [winsupersite.com] demonstrates incredibly retarded user interface design.

    "OK" to terminate the application.
    "Cancel" to debug it.

    ???

    And this isn't new either, AFAIK the same dialog has been around since the Windows 9x days.
    • Re:This beats me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sentry21 (8183) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:33PM (#5876814) Journal
      Bash Microsoft in general - this is a perfect example of a general - and common - Windows problem, as well as a problem with Windows application development.

      Problem: Dialog buttons are improperly labelled. Programmers tend to use OK/Cancel dialogs in every situation where there are two options, just because it's easy. Same with Yes/No/Cancel. The problem rears its ugly head most in save dialogs.

      In the Mac OS, the standard is to use a Save/Don't Save/Cancel dialog. You tell the user that the document isn't saved, and they have these three options. If the user has never used the program before, or is the sort of user who forgets things immediately after learning them, or, in the case of several people I know, is visually disabled, they will not know (at a glance) what the dialog is for. They will, however, see the three buttons, which are clearly labelled with what they do, and if they know they don't want to save, or if they know they did something they didn't want to, they can click their preferred option.

      On Windows, Linux, and pretty much every other platform I've used, there is preferred the 'Yes/No/Cancel' dialog. The problem with this is that it isn't descriptive, and the user has to read the entire dialog to know what exactly is being asked. This wouldn't be a problem, except that some of the questions are 'Would you like to save?', some are 'Quit without saving?', and some don't even ask you about saving, but ask about something entirely different. I can't count how many documents I've lost because I click 'Yes' that I want to abandon changes, or 'No' I don't want to save them.

      The 'OK to Terminate, Cancel to Debug' issue is another hideous example, but you can find an unlimited number of them just built-in to Windows and Microsoft's programs. Besides that all, it also provides far more information than the average user cares about.

      Wrong way:
      'Application has generated an instruction that cannot be handled. *bunch of garbage*. Click OK to terminate the application. Click CANCEL to debug.'


      [OK] [Cancel]

      Right way:
      'An error has occured with program {programname}, and it will be closed.' (or something to that effect)


      [Close]

      If the user has a debugger installed (Dr. Watson is not a debugger), then provide a better interface, but as it is, Windows is a major pain to use for many users, for this exact reason: too much information that most users will never be able to use, and will never care enough to try to use. Keep it simple, stupids.

      --Dan
  • by molrak (541582) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:31PM (#5876367) Homepage
    From the article, underneath a screen shot [winsupersite.com]:

    Explorer.exe is now a .NET managed code application, but it crashes frequently.

    Well it's good to know that Windows hasn't changed that much. (yes, I know it's an alpha, but explore.exe crashes have happened to me in every final version of windows that I have used.)
  • Parental Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by selderrr (523988) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:32PM (#5876375) Journal
    New parental controls let parents determine when and how kids use the computer.
    This is one of the things I truly hate about windows : control, control, control !

    They drive it so far that a parent (me) has to control how kids use the computer. That's insane. We have 1 iMac at home for our kids (age 10,7 and 5) and they have to figure outTHEMSELVES when and how to use it. If they have a quastion, they can ask away. If they have a fight, i turn off the machine. It took 3 weeks to find a balance, and now they manage perfectly. No control needed.

    Control is like a handbrake on kids efforts to solve conflicts. You'de be amazed how intelligent the remarksof a 5year old can be if he is forced to find his own words. Quite often, he's capable of handling his big sister better than I ever could !
  • OpenGL 3D interface? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zdzichu (100333) <`zdzichu' `at' `irc.pl'> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:35PM (#5876390) Homepage Journal
    Just like Enlightnment E17 [enlightenment.org]? Or like Transluxent? [uni-karlsruhe.de] Or just as DirectFB [directfb.org] (yeah, I know it's not OpenGL, but who cares?:).

    So who is "innovative" now?
  • Again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by -tji (139690) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:44PM (#5876463) Journal
    "Windows Longhorn will offer sweeping changes over its predecessors and be the most significant release of Microsoft's desktop operating system since Windows 95"

    Isn't this how they describe EVERY iteration of their desktop OS's?

    The article goes on to describe a bunch of features that would make little or no difference to most users.

    Regardless of what you think of their technology, you have to be amazed that they can get so many people to pay ever-increasing amounts of money to "upgrade" their systems to the latest OS.
  • by gadwale (46632) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:54PM (#5876535) Homepage

    The article refers to a UI feature called "stacks". From the article:

    "But there's more new to My Contacts than just the Carousel view. In My Contacts, you can arrange contacts by Name, Email, Work Email, Personal Email, Home Phone, Work Phone, or Online Status, but you can also utilizing a new feature called Stacks. Because you can't actually work with stacks in 4015, it's unclear what the feature does, but you can stack contacts by the same list of criteria by which you can arrange them, and you can also unstack them. Stacking and unstacking might be related to the Carousel view but, again, that's unclear right now."

    Here is a screenshot of the view [winsupersite.com].

    Recently, there was a Slashdot article [slashdot.org] here about a "piles" feature that Apple had patented in June 2001 that sounds very familiar. Screenshot of piles [mac.com] here looks different, but the concepts appear similar:

    "In addition, sources said Panther will finally mark the debut of the much-discussed "piles" GUI design concept, which Apple patented in June 2001. According to the patent, piles comprise collections of documents represented graphically in stacks. Users can browse the "piled" documents dynamically by pointing at them with the cursor; the filing system can then divide a pile into subpiles based on each document's content. At the user's request, the filing system can automatically file away documents into existing piles with similar content."

    Adi Gadwale.

    • by jonbrewer (11894) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:49PM (#5876920) Homepage
      Recently, there was a Slashdot article [slashdot.org] here about a "piles" feature that Apple had patented in June 2001 that sounds very familiar. Screenshot of piles [mac.com] here looks different, but the concepts appear similar:

      It doesn't much look like Apple's "Piles" but more like PARC's Hyperbolic Tree, of 1994 [parc.com]. This bit of software was spun off into a company named Inxight. Navigate their website [inxight.com] using a Hyperbolic Tree. (good to see they eat their own dog food.) :-) (double click an end point when you want to follow a link)

      If M$ finds a good use for Hyperbolic Tree navigation in Longhorn, more power to them. I have played with it off and on since 1998 and have found that without a mega-huge (as in 1600*1200+) resolution screen, you can't get much out of it.
  • Parental Controls (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xchino (591175) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:57PM (#5876561)
    I wasn't impressed by the screen shots, and the features seem pretty weak in general, but the one thing I did like was the parental controls. Is there anything like this for Linux? I just implemented a bash script in about 30 seconds that did this. It simply changes the users login shell from /bin/false to /bin/bash between two given periods. Pretty basic, I know, but I really like the idea of parental controls within the OS, limiting time spent and what not.
  • In their quest to show as little information as possible into as much screen real-estate as possible, Microsoft has set a new record.
    "Oh! I have an idea!" said one Microsoft senior engineer to his underling, "Lets make all the fonts and icons bigger so we can ditch that accessibility control panel and replace it with a "My Yet Another Other Stuff" folder. "Oh yes!" shouted the underling, "and that way we can perhaps hide how painfully slow we make a super-computer crawl."
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:13PM (#5876683) Homepage Journal
    "In addition to this, it will include a journaling file system, so us mere mortals can enjoy what Linux Geeks have had for years."

    4 years from now Slashdot will have a headline about how KDE's 3D accelerated desktop finally reached version 1.

  • by NanoGator (522640) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:56PM (#5876969) Homepage Journal
    I think the 3D acellerated desktop is nice from a "let's offload the graphic chores off the CPU" point of view, and I definitely look forward to the added capabilities that'd be involved like smooth rescaling etc, but I am a little concerned that MS is overlooking an under-utilized aspect of the UI. Sound.

    Now, spare me the "No no, computers should be quiet" lectures because I'm not proposing making the noisy or obnoxious. Rather, I'd like for MS to provide more sound options to add. For example, it'd be cool if progress bars could alter the pitch of a .wav file that's playing.

    It may not be immediately obvious to people why anybody'd propose this, to them I say "think about the information your unblinking ear could receive." A lot of us listen to music while using our computer, right? Well why not provide some extra cues as to what your machine's doing?

    I like to multi-task. I do 3D stuff and find my computer chewing up CPU cycles for minutes at a time. While it's doing that, I fool around on Slashdot or IM or whatever else is entertaining. Sometimes, though, I don't realize when it's done. I just keep an eye on task manager. It'd be nice if I could set up progress bars to generate a tone or drum beat that changes as the process gets closer to finished. I'd like to be able to have scrollbars provide clicking noises to let me know how far they've moved, that way when I use the wheel to move I can have an audio cue to let me know that.

    If I put more time into brainstorming ideas, I'm sure I could cook up a lot of useful things to cue sound effects off to. Sadly, though, I don't always have access to them. I'm a little bummed about that. Adding sounds to Opera to let me know things like when a page is opened has given me a lot of insight into what the machine's doing under my active window.

    Now, again, before everybody tells me how annoying that'd be, consider that every video game you play has a lot of sound effects, and your computer has a volume control. I'd like MS to explore more audio related UI experiences so I have more to play with. That doesn't necessarily mean I want everybody's computer to sound like R2-D2.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:59PM (#5876993)
    When I tested Longhorn a couple of months ago with M2 (i think it was), shortly after booting I noticed that it was consuming 306 out of the 320 megabytes of RAM in my computer. With no programs running besides whatever happened to load on startup with the default configuration.

    I don't care how good or bad the shell is if I am only left with 14 megabytes of RAM to run my programs after booting.
  • by MisterEGecko (569491) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:32PM (#5877188)
    In one of the captions: "The taskbar, Start Menu, and sidebar are almost infinitely configurable. " Where infinity is approximately equal to four. -- The Gecko of Mysteries
  • This news is biased (Score:4, Informative)

    by ThunderRiver (634589) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:39PM (#5877225) Journal
    NTFS is a journaling file system, and Longhorn has a more advanced journaling file system that Linux can't not match. The new file system will classify files for you, from word document to mp3 files. You only need to type in keywords like "Picture taken in Feburary by John" it will show up a list of picture taken in Feburary by the name John. It is too powerful that Linux is still way behind.
    • by simetra (155655) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @07:27PM (#5877808) Homepage Journal
      So, when you save a picture, do you have to fill out a questionaire? I can picture it now:

      Clippy: I see that you're trying to save a file. I see that this file has a .jpg extention. This must be a picture. If you're not comfortable with extentions, I can hide these for you in the future. Please take a moment to fill out this questionaire in order to save your file.

      1. Is this a photo? yes no

      2. Did you take this photo? yes no

      3. If you didn't take this photo, do you have the legal right to save this file to your hard-drive? yes no

      4. If you didn't take this photo, please type in the Name and Social Security Number of whoever did take this photo. (No information is being sent to Microsoft at this time).:

      5. If you're ready to save this, please click Yes. If not, please click No. If you'd like some time to think about it, click Later. If you'd like more information about Microsoft's revolutionary new file system, click Help.

      OK. Please stand by as the information about this file is verified with Microsoft (note: you need an internet connection to proceed. Click Set Up My Internet Now to commit to a 12-month subscription to Microsoft Windows (formerly MSN) and to activate access to your hard-drive.). Once we've verified your legal right to save this file to your hard-drive, you'll be given a short (5-7 minute) questionaire to provide further details about this file to make finding it easier the next time you plan to view it with Microsoft Photo Monkey. Thank you for choosing Microsoft!
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @07:12PM (#5877740) Journal
    Wow, look at the deep blue hues and the dock at the left portion of the screen? What will the guys at Microsoft innovate next!

    Seriously, the colors are cool but strong colors effect productivity. Light hues or grays which the standard Windows desktop is modeled after is actually designed to make you productive. Just ask any physcologist or go to any modern school. Dark gui's however do excite emotions which Microsoft wants so people buy more of their products. Amazing!

    I wonder how modifiable the gui is.

  • by afantee (562443) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @07:32PM (#5877833)
    In the short period of 2 years since the initial release of Mac OS X, Apple has produced 2 major and numerous minor upgrades with significant performance improvement and lots of new features, in addition to shipping an impressive array of innovative hardwares (iPod, Xserve, Xserve RAID, LCD iMac, 17" PowerBook with slot-loading DVD burner, FireWire 800, BlueTooth, 54 mbps 802.11g AirPort Extreme, Gigabit Ethernet) and highly sophisticated software tools such as iLife, iSync, iCal, Keynote, Safari, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Shake, Logic, WebObjects, FileMaker Pro, AppleWorks, Rendezvous, QuickTime 6, iTunes Music Store, and so on.

    But what has the biggest software company done in the same time frame? Surprisingly, very few. Other than the countless security patches plus a Win XP Service Pack and Windows 2003 Server, the only things that come from Redmond are hypes.

    Longhorn is officially a 2005 product with very few features to brag about, and may well be delayed to 2006 or later if the track record of MS is anything to go by.

    It's just incredible that a small hardware company like Apple has somehow developed a bigger and better software portofolio than the most powerful company in the world , and frankly embarrassing when considering that MS is 60 times bigger than Apple.
  • by simetra (155655) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @07:37PM (#5877861) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one who thinks there's nothing lower on the food chain than a Windows fanatic? Like the guy on that webpage, or the creepy wind-bags in PC Magazine? As a Linux Geek, at least I have a clue as to how and why things work; rather than a boner from the latest cute icons and wallpapers.
    Cripes.

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