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Preventing Another Vista-like Release With Windows 7 396

Posted by Zonk
from the plenty-of-time-to-get-it-right dept.
CRE writes "An article at the OS News site details how Microsoft could best avoid Windows 7 becoming another Vista-esque release. The author advises Microsoft to basically split Windows in two. Windows 7 would be a new operating system based on the proven Windows NT kernel, but with a completely new user interface, with backwards compatibility provided by VMs. In addition, to please business customers and other people concerned with backwards compatibility, Microsoft should create 'Windows Legacy', basically the current Windows, which will receive only security and bug fixes. Relatedly, APCMag is reporting that Microsoft has moved Julie Larson-Green (the driving force behind Office 2007's Ribbon UI) over to work on Windows 7's interface."
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Preventing Another Vista-like Release With Windows 7

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  • by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:38AM (#19969431)
    Horrible idea, would never be put into practice. MS already spent years merging the 9x consumer brand into the NT-based line. There's no reason they would then spit it again and have to deal with two not fully compatible platforms, requiring a separate support base for each one.
    • Where's the problem? They'll support the business line and for the "consumer line" you'll get a shrug and a "well, if you'd have bought our well supported product, you wouldn't have that problem".

      It works for ISPs, hardware and other businesses, think it wouldn't for software?
      • by mhall119 (1035984)
        That is the opposite of the article's suggestion. The article suggests that the "business line" be the legacy version that doesn't get any new features, and the "consumer line" be the main focus of future Windows development.
  • Why not bite the bullet and go with an OSX type operating system? It'll be a bit painful but it'll cure a lot of the security woes and actually be a major upgrade instead of a major security update. Both Mac and Linux are running that style OS on an Intel platform isn't it time Microsoft surrendered and dumped Windows for a more stable and secure approach.
    • by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:47AM (#19969581)
      Mac users are a loyal fan base making huge OS Changes that breaks all sorts of compatability less damaging. People don't use windows because they are loyal to microsoft, or even like windows, they do so because all their software runs on it. Braking all that compatability would cause many users to rethink what OS they would rather use, free OS like Linux, OS with a good HUI like OS X, or perhaps try some other OS's if all their software goes down the drain then they will most likely feel a grudge toward Microsoft for obsoleting their software investment, and look somewhere else. By doing so I would figure that Linux could rise to about 30% market share, Macintosh would be about 20% and 45% towards windows and 5% going to other OS's from 95% market share to 45% would kill Microsoft or at leat cause a ton of problems for them... Or carry on as they did before and allow a slow leak in market share over decades which would lead to the normalize rate much further in the future vs. Jumping to it right away.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      Yeah, it's about time they gave up the platform that got them and kept them #1 in the market for some many years. What are they thinking?

      If Linux or OSX ever manage to take over a dominant market share, I fully expect to see a 'nix-based Windows that has a WINE-like compatibility layer. Until then, Microsoft is probably best served by continuing as they have.

      I love the idea of easy porting of my favorite KDE apps (K3B, Quanta Plus, etc) to Windows, but I just don't see a complete Windows rewrite as being
      • If Linux or OSX ever manage to take over a dominant market share

        I wouldn't expect OS X to take over dominate market share, (as I type on my Mac) The fact that OS X only legally runs on Macs, means that all the other people who sell PCs will put an other OS on it.

        Linux could have a chance if they get some real inovation and developers who are willing to work on the booring deatils in the OS. Linux is as well polished as a wire brush metal. The sharp edges are now gone, but it still a far cry from a shiny lu
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jedidiah (1196)
          Shiny happy Windows style installers have been available for Linux since when the consumer version of Windows was still just a glorified MS-DOS shell.

          The notion that there is some lack of "InstallShield for Linux" is one of the more absurd bits of FUD that's cropped over the years (now decades).
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by FlatLine84 (1084689)
            FUD or not, not everything is is easy for Joe Schmoe to install on Linux as it is on Windows. Besides apt-get or yum, or even cpan, it's a pain in the balls for the home user to install something and get it to work. Hell, even using yum or apt-get, a lot of times you still have to play around with conf files to get something to work. Too many years of being given that, and the average person won't spend the time playing around to get something to work.
          • Yes but how often are they Used... I would say about 90% of the software that I download for Windows (including open source projects) install by doubling clicking Install.exe

            I never said there wasn't a InstallShield for linux. But they don't use it. Either you need a custom application to connect to a Distribution Friendly internet site (Debian, Ubento), or some crazy package management software that has software packaged. That assumes that everyone has S0libKickADeadHorse installed as default on their OS.
        • by Trillan (597339)
          Sorry, but Linux will never dominate the market. That 10% will never be added, because its uninteresting to the geeks.

          As a hard core geek myself, I used Ubuntu for over a year before it decided it hated the particular combination of my video card and monitor (neither of which changed). Four days of troubleshooting later, I still have no picture.

          Sure, I'm doing something wrong. Sure, someone can come along and tell me how stupid I'm being, and explain the right modeline to put into my xorg.conf file. (Althou
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jZnat (793348) *
          If you're looking for polish and consistency (well, those don't seem to coexist happily very often; think about it), look no further than Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mandriva, Linspire (which will be based on Kubuntu if it isn't already), and Fedora. I look forward to KDE 4 for a polish that should surpass any polish or consistency you come to expect in Windows (yeah right; polish, maybe, but consistency on Windows? laughable) or Mac OS X (polish definitely, and consistency is still weird when it comes to the GUI; I
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)
        You are confused.

        The platform that made them #1 was MS-DOS.

        The rest was just inertia and network effects.
    • by cerelib (903469)
      I am wondering if slashdotters will love it or hate it if Microsoft went of and forked FreeBSD to create a new version of "Windows". Some would be happy because at least they are going to base it on Unix, but I think many people would complain about how Microsoft is abusing open source. Hopefully they would at least wait and see if Microsoft contributes any changes to the community. Hell, half of the work is already done for them if they would contribute a group to hack WINE for compatibility and then pu
    • by leandrod (17766) <l.dutras@org> on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:59AM (#19969773) Homepage Journal
      The issue here is proprietary lock-in. If MS would fix all the architectural problems of MS Windows, it would basically be a new OS. It could keep parts of the kernel, but the userland interfaces would change so much that only VMs could keep compatibility -- and with them comes a huge resources consumption boost on an already heavy architecture. But resources are not the main issue: it is that the new applications would be so different from old ones that vendors would most likely do something cross platform and MS would loose proprietary lock-in.

      Also, it would take so long that GNU/Linux would have a huge window of opportunity, with the added benefit of low resources usage and true backwards compatibility.

      Finally, it would be so different from MS Windows and so much like GNU/Linux or the Hurd that people would see the king is naked.
    • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:00AM (#19969791) Homepage
      I have been saying essentially the same thing for years and years since the discussions about Win32 weaknesses that cannot be fixed without a restructuring of the API.

      The Win32 API is a complete mess. Backward compatibility is important to be sure. But the future of stable operating systems is also an issue. Apple couldn't have been bolder in their move to create OSX. They created an entirely new OS and provided some really buggy means to run OS9 software... believe me, it certainly sucked but it generally "worked." It was more than enough motivation for people to migrate to the OSX versions of the same packages they've been using, but for those not willing to make the move for whatever reason, they were able to limp by.

      Applying the same idea to a new Microsoft OS would probably work better. Virtualization environments on the PC have come a long way in a relatively short time. One might even suggest that it's fairly mature technology. (I'm not quite ready to say that myself though.) But to provide backward compatibility through virtualization while at the same time creating something like "Win64" and making it completely new, more modern and at the same time tossing backward compatibility out the window (figuratively speaking) would probably bring new life into the "struggling under its own weight" OS and the company who makes it.
      • by plague3106 (71849)
        Then you'll be happy to know that Win32 is going to go away. The idea is for .Net to replace Win32 just like Win32 replaced DOS.
    • by dc29A (636871) * on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:08AM (#19969905)

      and dumped Windows for a more stable and secure approach.
      You know, I am probably going to get modded down to hell.

      But what makes you think Windows is less stable and less secure than *Nix or OSX? Other than people and their dogs running Windows as administrators (that's more an education problem vs Windows security), Windows is not less secure than *Nix or OSX. In fact, things like file system security is better than *nix, IMO. Windows ACLs just own, it's a breeze to use them versus the obscure *Nix FS security.

      And for stability? The only time my Windows box crashed was because of piece of shit ATI drivers. People need to get away from the Windows 9x crashing every 3 minutes mentality. XP is rock solid (didn't drive Vista enough to tell on it's stability). I am currently running a VWare GSX server on Windows 2003, the only time I reboot is to install OS patches. Crashes so far: zero, nada, zilch. Been running it for 7+ months. Hardware: Do it your own el-cheapo components.

      The vast majority of Windows crashes are due to defective hardware and/or drivers. Ever installed an unstable driver on Linux? Ever had a hardware failure on OSX?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        I hope you don't get mod'ed down, because you're spot on. Microsoft have nothing to gain from ditching NT; it's a fairly nice kernel architecture, and has a few advantages over existing *NIX kernels. A few subsystems need a bit of performance tweaking, but that's true of any OS.

        The problems with Windows are all at the Win32 layer. This is a huge problem for Microsoft, since their biggest competitive advantage is backwards compatibility. There is a lot of Win32 software around. Hardly anyone runs Win

      • by jedidiah (1196)
        What makes me think that Windows is such crap?

        The horrible state my work machine is. This is a win32 system managed by "professional sysadmins".

        The horrible state my mother-in-law's Dell desktop is in.

        The horrible state there other PC was in that led to them getting the Dell desktop.

        The occasional problems that the clued-in engineer spouse has had with her various Windows machines.

        A pre-OSX ma
  • Which of the 8 versions of Vista would that be then? I look forward to the 64 different flavours of Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows Legacy Home Basic, and so-on and so-forth. The variety of Windows available is one of many ways that the whole OS should be simplified.
    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      I agree; avoid the confusion.

      Does anyone else feel Microsoft would do better to get a clue from customer service? First rule of thumb, find out what your customer wants to DO with your product as opposed to forcing a matrix of features upon them which they may or may not know they need or want.

      From my own experience MS could offer the following flavors:

      • Windows Home: basic, home user for internet usage, budgeting, word processing, music, pictures and video.
      • Windows Business: still basic, but geared towa
  • kiss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:39AM (#19969455)
    Keep It Simple Stupid the problem with Vista was that Microsoft wanted to make the Ultimate Operating System, that would put all other Operating Systems to shame (And give to us all the features they promiced us in Windows 95)... But with all the problems with such a large project then ended up with an OS that is arguable slightly better then their old one. I have tried myself to do ambisious projects and they always go over budget and over time, and end up having to do a lot of cuts. I learned not to go crazy and make the ultimate just get it to work correctly and impove on the other one, That way everyone is happy.
  • "Windows Legacy" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:39AM (#19969457) Homepage
    It's called a service pack. And you can slipstream them right into the install (new XP discs sold today include SP2). There is no need to split it into a different product.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:42AM (#19969483)
    As long as Microsoft can maintain a quick pace of innovation, Linux will always be chasing behind it.

    Once the problem becomes well defined and stable, Linux will catch up and O/S will commoditize.

    The longer the release cycles- and the more windows UI changes with those releases, the more likely people will change to linux. I'm ready except for Everquest. Everything else is open source on my boxes now.
    • by vfrex (866606) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:07AM (#19969899)
      Its worse than that for Microsoft. The cost to develop a new OS has increased exponentially (with the complexity) since their 3.1/95 days. That trend isn't going to reverse, and it is going to become impossible for Microsoft to innovate and profit from the OS alone. That is why widespread support for ODF can break them, and why they are fighting it so hard.

      The OSS model is working a lot better at spreading out the complexity and costs of innovating within an OS. Its simply a more sustainable "business" model than Microsoft's.
    • As long as Microsoft can maintain a quick pace of innovation, Linux will always be chasing behind it.
      It has been a long time since Microsoft and innovation used to be mentioned within the same sentence. This is not how they maintain their position in the marketplace.
    • ...and where is that "innovation" exactly?

      All I see are pointless changes to the UI and the occasional bit of inescapable DRM put in place to apease the RIAA or MPAA.

      Most of what people "gush" about when they talk about Microsoft products where features available in non-microsoft products more than 10 years ago.
  • Ribbon UI... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:43AM (#19969493) Homepage
    ...Microsoft has moved Julie Larson-Green (the driving force behind Office 2007's Ribbon UI) over to work on Windows 7's...

    Oh, no...

    As for the future Windows, I say build it to be a VM store, capable of taking on the personality of any VM---allowing you to have new fancy features as well as the legacy Windows (heck, maybe they should include everything, all the way to DOS, Win3.1, etc.). You don't really `need' an OS (assuming they figure out ways of enabling you to efficiently use the hardware from VM)---you might have a `primary' image that you use all the time, and a buncha others provided for compatibility with previous versions.
    • by ThosLives (686517)

      You don't really `need' an OS (assuming they figure out ways of enabling you to efficiently use the hardware from VM)

      Hrm. It seems to me that if you're running on a VM instead of an "Operating System" then your VM is your operating system. At least, the traditional definition of "Operating System" is "the bit of software that goes between the applications and the hardware as an abstraction layer." The only things I've seen that don't need "operating systems" are embedded applications which are the only t

  • Split = nuts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:44AM (#19969541)
    How about releasing a single OS that scales suitably and automatically to the users' dynamic needs, rather than piling options on the user who neither knows nor cares what the options do.

    "Make it go."
  • Release Success (Score:5, Interesting)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:45AM (#19969545) Homepage
    Deliver all the features you promise, and a few extras, when the time is right.

    It's that simple.

    Whether or not the Vista release was successful or not is generally troll bait but from my personal perspective it had none of the things I wanted and featured many things I didn't. I certainly won't be touching it until well after SP1 and even then only if there are several great games for me to play. It was a release "failure" to people like me who expected some goodies and a new Windows iteration but Microsoft delivered a more restrictive operating system. No thanks!
  • Office 2007 UI? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhreakinPenguin (454482) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:45AM (#19969549) Homepage Journal
    If they're planning on making the next Windows UI mirror Office 2007 then count me on the list of people likely to never buy it. The Office 2007 UI is horrible and badly done. Never before with MS products have I felt the desire to kill someone after using a software. Well except for that time I tried using MS Plus but that's a whole nother article.
    • Re:Office 2007 UI? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:57AM (#19969737)

      If they're planning on making the next Windows UI mirror Office 2007 then count me on the list of people likely to never buy it. The Office 2007 UI is horrible and badly done. Never before with MS products have I felt the desire to kill someone after using a software. Well except for that time I tried using MS Plus but that's a whole nother article.

      I beg to differ. First of all, they're not going to 'mirror' the new Office UI into Windows 7. If they wanted to do that, they would just need some code monkeys. They moved the guy who did it into Windows 7 development, which I think is a good move looking at how he improved the usability of Office. Lets hope that he work a similar type of magic for Windows.

      I find the new Ribbon UI leaps and bounds ahead of the UI in Office 2003. The menus are just way more accessible instead of navigating through a labyrinth-like maze of dropdowns. You are more likely to use many features while you never knew even existed earlier because navigating was a chore. Also, I think it makes very good use of the extra pixels that modern screens have(a few years ago, it would have been a colossal waste of screen space).

      Take the anecdotal evidence for what it's worth, but almost every person at work seems to love the new interface. I think that this is a good move by Microsoft.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)
        "They moved the guy who did it"
        No they didn't the moved the gal that did it.
        She is a woman at least from the pictures I saw.
    • It's perfect to create vendor-locking though.
      Once regular people get used to having mighty-morphing-menus everywhere,
      imagine a "Joe-user" trying linux or OSX after that.
  • YAWV (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nachoman (87476) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:45AM (#19969551)
    I don't think the answer is to provide yet another windows version. Having a "new" and "legacy" version is only going to make the problem worse. Imagine if Microsoft came out now and said they were going to support XP for 5 more years with fixes as the "legacy" version. Now no one will be forced to upgrade. Many people like XP better but accept the fact that eventually they will need to go to Vista. For Microsoft, they want to keep people at their latest version because it is easier to support the newer and hopefully "better" code than the old.

    I think a a better way is to do smaller incremental releases. Sure MS may only want to make people drop the 200$ every 4-5 years, but they could make make their service packs yearly and include more new features (similar to XP SP 2). Then when it comes to the next Windows release it hopefully will not be such a drastic change for users.
    • Hmm, I dunno. I think you might be on to something, but only if MS changes their license to a pure subscription. The reason for this is simple (IMOHO): MS ~needs~ to have a large perceived benefit (new car smell) on a new product in order for most people to be willing to plunk down a chunk of change for an upgrade or to be excited about it. Therefore, you get these big changes bundled up into NEW VERSION XYZ.

      Software assurance doesn't function like a true subscription based license model, both because if yo
  • Another Windows? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Now if it actually incorporates VMs for backward compatibility built on the proven NT kernel, I think they may be onto something. What I see as the problem here is that Microsoft is going it alone like it has so many more times in the past. If this were a joint-venture between M$ and VMWare or some other company of that ilk, I could forsee this being a successful product.

    Unfortunately, M$ won't do that and this product will be hyped to the max and actually provide a lackluster experience for users.
  • Since when has Microsoft ever done anything specifically to make your life easier, your migration easier or your overall cost of ownership cheaper?

    Seriously when did that happen? When has anything Microsoft done as regards any of those points been undertaken as a panicked reaction to market complaints and screaming after the fact? Every single time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tehcyder (746570)

      Since when has Microsoft ever done anything specifically to make your life easier, your migration easier or your overall cost of ownership cheaper?
      I thought the problem with Microsoft was that they always tried to be too nice to their users (e.g. maintaining backward compatibility with existing software, hiding important system options) at the expense of genuine innovation and improvements in security and stability?
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        Well they do do this. However, it's for the benefit of Microsoft Corp and not for the benefit of the end user. It's also done in the crappiest, easiest and cheapest way possible rather than being done robustly in a manner that allows them to move forward.

        The whole "VM" thing is something they should have done with an XP-esque release made in 1992.
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:48AM (#19969619)

    Windows 7 would be a new operating system based on the proven Windows NT kernel, but with
    First thing they shouldn't do, if they don't want end up with another Vista, is to promise features before they are implemented, tested and integrated. It is a lose lose situation, just like it was when they were marketing Longhorn.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:57AM (#19969739)
    Vista wasn't ill received because of the incompatibility. Plain and simple, it was not a step forwards. It wasn't something that improved your working, playing or surfing experience in any way. If anything, it was a step backwards.

    Add various real and perceived problems with privacy, the data hunger of MS, the dread of DRM/TCP and other rather negative reviews, and you see the reason why Vista wasn't the next Win95 hype.

    The problem is that XP already has everything the user wants. It can play games, it's compatible with almost any current hardware right out of the box, there is no USB (WinNT) or WiFi (2k) that would require him to update, whatever hardware he wants to plug in, XP can take care of it. Whatever software he wants to run, XP can do it. DirectX10-only games are still far from reaching the shelves, and no business software that I'm aware of requires Vista. The user interface of XP has all the main features that make working, surfing and playing in Windows enjoyable, and all the kinks and wrinkles were also taken care of by third party software vendors (where "vendors" does not necessarily mean you had to pay anything for the soft).

    Basically, the reason why Vista didn't sell like hot cakes was simple: It was not needed.
    • by Nephilium (684559)

      Just a side note... DirectX 10 only games are out... but the only ones I've seen are the ones released by MS themselves...

      Nephilium

    • by Avatar8 (748465) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:14PM (#19972939)
      All good points, and I agree: Vista was not enough of an improvement to warrant an upgrade. From my experience, I purchased a new computer in February this year (Core 2 Duo E6600, 2Gb RAM, 2x nVidia 8800 384Mb cards in SLI, 320Gb SATA) that I felt would easily exceed Vista requirements and provide me the promised "gamer experience."

      Install was easy if not quick. The UAC pop ups were expected and not so annoying to begin with. I started clearing them and changing the factors that caused them. Everything I did caused another one. I started trying to get my SLI and dual screen setup to work. Vista would never see the second screen. I went to download the latest nVidia driver (~60Mb) via IE 7. It took it nearly 12 minutes over my 15Mb FiOS connection. Installed the driver and still Vista would not see my second monitor. That did it for me. Three hours was enough time wasted when I should have been surfing at the speed of light and playing.

      Installed XP and updated it in less than 2 hours. Downloaded the same ~60Mb patch via Firefox in less than one minute. By hour three I was playing World of Warcraft faster, more smoothly and more richly than I'd ever seen it before.

      I could have eventually worked through the technical glitches, but there's no way I can improve Vista and IE 7's sluggish performance THAT much.

  • Virtual Machines (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:58AM (#19969751) Journal
    with backwards compatibility provided by VMs

    That just gave me an interesting idea: Why doesn't MS ship fully functional versions of previous OS's, wrapped in a VM, with newer versions? What would they lose? I know I'd be far less worried about upgrading to Vista if I knew I could load up a built-in VM of DOS 6.0 or Win98SE or WinXP and play all my favorite shareware games from the '90s as easily as the latest-and-greatest. Same goes for here at work...it would be nice to know that some of our older software could just be loaded in a VM until the vendors catch up with Vista. As long as they maintain security on the sandbox itself, they wouldn't need to worry overmuch about keeping the old OS up to date, and it's not like people would be buying Vista just to exclusively use it to run XP, but it would make for a much more obvious upgrade path than the current hard cutoff in backwards compatibility.
  • I'm quite happy with the Vista Kernel thank you very much. I find the multitasking I/O and http stack to be working better than NT. If you have speed issues then try using the XP desktop that is there in Vista. If you have driver issues, well yes it's not as good as XP on the driver front. If anything I think maybe a Vista Embedded Light or something could be made that has a smaller footprint and only runs .NET 3.0 apps.
  • Isn't it a little premature for Microsoft to be working on the next Windows release? Wouldn't it be more seemly for Windows to _finish_ VIsta first, i.e. fixing the big problems with it and delivering all the stuff that was promised to be in it (in the days when it was still called Longhorn?)
    • Isn't it a little premature for Microsoft to be working on the next Windows release?

      It's not premature to be generating hype and interest, remember, Gabo is coming!

      I'm afraid we'll have these "articles" (and I say that word with the highest level of irony and contempt) everyday (or every other day) from now until 6 months after the release of the next MS OS, at which point their generously budgeted marketing department will spam us with "news" about their next product.

  • simplicity... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smithcl8 (738234) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:08AM (#19969911)
    Two versions: server and workstation. That's it. No more "ultimate" or "home" or any other stripped down versions.

    For Server: no client access licenses. When you buy a copy of the server software, you can have as many clients as you want. Each server version is capable of everything, including clustering, load balancing, and everything else.

    For Workstation: one interface. It could be new or old, whatever, but exactly one. If it's new, we all need to learn the new version. Don't like that? Get Linux or a Mac.

    Finally, both server and workstation should support a single hardware compatibility list. If your hardware isn't on the list, you can't load it; update the list monthly through Windows Update. There is Driver Signing already, but you can get around it by ignoring the warnings. Eliminate getting around the warnings.
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      This is quite an interesting idea, but I believe this would also be an idea that would completely crush Microsoft due to angry users who for some weird reason wouldn't like simplicity of this. It also sounds like something people wouldn't like due to the hardware incompatibility (how do developers write the drivers to work the hardware in the first place?). Also, Microsoft seems dead set on making a "consumer" version and an "enterprise" version whether you like it or not. :/
  • XP is a good, level building block that's safe for almost everyone (if they run Opera as their browser, haha). Vista's the next generation. We don't need another Windows; we need better versions of the windowses we already have. But definitely put Julie Larsen-Green on the interface, because the mishmash of PARC and X-Windows has grown old already!
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:10AM (#19969939) Homepage
    ...but, by introducing different product lines in their OS, Microsoft will only confuse the customer, and they're way too smart and customer oriented to allow something like that to happen.

    What they really ought to do is something more like what Apple did with the Classic Mode environment for supporting OS 9 applications, which ran within OS X. Thing is, MS will probably have to support theirs indefinitely, while Apple was able to successfully kill Classic Mode within about 5 years.
  • My understanding is Microsoft has turned a profit by its Office suite and perhaps by stamping its name on a variety of cheap hardware, like some two-button mice. In a normal business, you sell off the unprofitable areas and concentrate on what makes you money. Windows doesn't seem to ever turn a profit and there is no reason it is needed to run Office.

    If Microsoft wants to survive, they'd better concentrate on what is profitable and leave the whole Windows behind or better make it 'Open Source' and let the
  • Windows XP was the dramatic rewrite of Windows on a new core, if you are running XP that was almost 10 years on the making.

    Microsoft has already failed at all of these things people want them to do, you have to look elsewhere and fast because Windows 7.0 is just one release after Vista (6.1) it is going to be mostly the same. Microsoft Research hasn't fixed major architectural flaws. The sloppy security of the app platform is just one problem. For example the apps are all hard-coded to 96 dpi and nothing ha
  • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:19AM (#19970073)
    While the FUD machine has done an admiral job at making Vista seem like a steaming pile, that's all it has been: FUD.

    I've been using Vista since November of 2006, essentially days after it was released to MSDN, and it is without a doubt better than XP. The improvements are both obvious and subtle. I'm not going to list them all here, because others have done a good job [wikipedia.org] already.

    So if Vista is superior to XP technically, which was deemed by most as a great success, then Vista being a failure must be attributed to sales data. Many early reports showed Vista having poor sales, but those reports were flawed due to the fact that they compared the launch of Vista to the launch of XP. Vista launched Jan. 29th, long after the holiday season was over, where as XP enjoyed the entire holiday season to boosts its sales.

    Once this was corrected, reports showed that Vista was selling on pace with XP. Indeed, as of March 2007, Vista's sales were double [zdnet.com] that of XPs.

    In addition, despite being released to consumers and businesses separately, Vista's sales were only 4% behind XP, which was released to both simultaneously. In other words, Vista beat expectations [seekingalpha.com] by a long shot.

    So it must be that sales of Vista have stagnated since March... opps, that's not true either. Apparently, Vista sold so well [cnn.com] that it offset the massive hit Microsoft took as part of extending the Xbox 360 warranty to 3 years.

    And then there is the wonderful story that Vista has somehow boosted XP sales [computerworld.com], which is completely silly. It didn't boost XP sales. There was a larger proportion of XP sales than were expected, but the breakdown is about 80% Vista, 20% XP. Part of this is thanks to the FUD machine (good job guys) prompting some large OEMs, like Dell, to offer XP on lower end machines. Microsoft underestimated the FUD machine's ability to influence the market. (By the way, there were 7% more XP sales than were expected. Hardly a tidal wave of XP purchases.)

    Sorry guys. I know you desperately want to believe that Vista is a failure, both technically and in terms of sales. But you're wrong on both accounts. 2 years from now, when 90% of PCs are running Vista, you'll probably still claim it's a failure, although you'll fall back to the technical side of things.

    I'll be sure to bookmark my post and repeatedly link to it in all those flame wars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hxnwix (652290)

      I've been using Vista since November of 2006
      Wow... sorry. No wonder you're so angry.
  • The thing is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:19AM (#19970079)
    As XP is the dominant OS out there, I point out that Vista so far is selling better than XP at the same point into XP's life. XP also had most of the same complaints now leveled at vista. I suspect by the time windows 7 (with the inevitiable delays) comes out, most will have an attitude of I'll buy 7 when you pry vista out of my cold dead hands.
  • Windows 7 would be a new operating system based on the proven Windows NT kernel, but with a completely new user interface

    What the **** for?
    How will repainting, and then moving all the icons around help anybody get the next quarterly reports or respond to an email faster? Sheesh! An OS is supposed to facilitate a user's management of their hardware and software. Another 'new' interface that just shifts things around doesn't help anyone, and there is very little else that CAN be done.

    I don't mean to put Li
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:23AM (#19970135) Journal
    First you have show that whatever you are proposing will force the users to walk the upgrade-treadmill. Anything that eases the pain or something that allows them to get off the treadmill is a no-no. So first learn to present the project in the correct perspective. It might benefit the users, it might benefit the developers. But if it offers even a theoretical respite from the upgrade-treadmill, the project is a non starter.

    You seem to be under the impression, there is competition and if MSFT does not do what is best for the customers, they will desert it in droves. Time and again MSFT has proved that its customer base is loyal to a fault and is a sucker for punishment. Now go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan for Windows-7 that will force all the weary recently upgraded to Vista finally dudes to plunck down more money to upgrade to Windows-7.

  • They could keep the Lust, Gluttony, Greed and maybe the Wrath, but loose the Sloth, Envy and Pride - that would speed things up.
  • In windows 7 Unsigned code will be locked down in a sandbox.

    M$ has said they are working a kind of VM like set that will sandbox all unsigned code for the next mayor release of windows as well as fully redone UI.

    First of all if they are this alot of people will dump windows for mac or linux at that point and / or there may be a lot of anti Trust lawsuits.

    also fully redoing the UT / forcing unsigned code to be locked down will brake so many apps that Up take of this will be a lot slower then Vista slow up ta
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @11:23AM (#19971133) Homepage Journal
    The reason you're not seeing the business side jump all over this OS isn't because of just compatibility issues. It's the Genuine advantage.

    For example. here where I work, we had Vista running everything most office workers need; Office, IE, SCT, Even wintegrate, which is an ancient terminal program from 96. There was three reasons we didn't go to vista. One was the System requirements we were not ready to meet, another was that F-secure did not have an official Vista version at the time, but the real reason we decided to stay with XP was simple. The Genuine Advantage is for lack of a better word a total pain in the ass.

    In vista there are two ways of handling corporate keys. One with a Key Management server and the other with a Multiple Activation Key. Under KMS. You are required to have a KMS server on your network, tie it to DNS and give it your VLK (which can be changed if your old key is disabled and propagated to networked PC's). once you do that it will activate any Business version of vista automatically every 3-6 months without entering any keys, but if the computer is no longer on the network (say a Laptop) after 3 months, the system locks you out in a reduced functionality mode which can be described as useless.

    The Second method; MAK isn't much better. basically MS handles the KMS for you. this means that you don't have to worry about traveling users not being disconnected from your network for too long since it works over the internet, but now MS is handling your activations, and you have to contact them every time you hit your quota in order to activate more windows. (which isn't as bad as it sounds. According to MS activation isn't counted against your licence count, and you can request indefinitely) However, if MS sees a huge activation spike. (say your activation rate average goes from 100 a day to 10000000 a day) they disable your key (which brings us to reduced functionality mode for all MAK'ed PC's) and then you must go to each and every MAK managed PC and change the key to a new one supplied by MS.

    So basically, to use Vista you either have a server on your network and pray no one's laptop cripples while their on a business trip, or you contact MS until the break of dawn and pray that no one pirates your key so you don't have to touch 1000 Crippled PC's with the Dreaded "YOU ARE A PIRATE!" message

    Office 2007, however, doesn't have the "YOU ARE A PIRATE!" system built in it and still has the old VLK licencing system like XP. I can guarantee that it's adoption in business is much higher than Vista. I know we're using it here, but Vista is sitting on the shelf.
  • Deja vu (Score:3, Informative)

    by nsayer (86181) * <[moc.ufk] [ta] [reyasn]> on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @11:46AM (#19971493) Homepage
    Wow. A completely new OS with an emulation layer for backwards compatability? I seem to remember that that's happened before [apple.com].

  • by starglider29a (719559) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:16PM (#19972993)
    I'm ambivalent, at best, about the 31 Flavors of Windows. But it raises an interesting point...

    Old computers that still kick A55 and would be a shame to throw out. I have a PIII-400 that stills does what it needs to, and a Mac 8500 that still does nearly everything I ask, except that IE Mac doesn't work on most sites. What we need to do, sometime <BLINK>REALLY SOON</BLINK> is to freeze a subset of computers and OS forever into an R2-Unit standard.

    Recall that the R2 unit loaded into Luke's X-wing was the SAME unit that Obi-Wan used. How likely is it that ANYTHING we have on a computer now will even physically plug in, let alone work in 40 years. Some computers can do 90% of what we need from now until at least 20 years from now. Can we PLEASE pick a set of standards and let that class of computer be supported? For example, ATA-100, USB 2.0 (or Firewire800, I don't care), DVI, RJ-45... I have peripherals in my garage with no computer capable of connecting them. I still have a copy of X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter... as if. Something. Anything.

    And Windows Whatever. XP, XT, 2KSP17. I don't care. That way, as we retire, the Geek Squad can say, "Do you want us to replace your computer? This one's seen a lot of wear." "Not on your life. That G4 Titanum and me have been through a lot together."


    PS: The blink tag was fake.
  • Dimsal failure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theolein (316044) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:23PM (#19973087) Journal
    For Microsoft to be talking about the next Windows release so soon after its first main release in 6 years, Vista, and potentially putting customers off buying into Vista now, speaks legions about just how bad Vista adoption is going (notwithstanding fanboi propaganda FUD like the /. article comparing Vista to OSX marketshare). It says to me that Microsoft must really be panicking, badly.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:48PM (#19973433) Homepage Journal
    Why comment on "Windows 7" at all?

    It's obvious that MS is pushing the PR now in order to draw attention from Vista. Vista is a trainwreck, so they're playing the "look, shiney!" game.
  • by kinglink (195330) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @02:20PM (#19973899)
    More choices is absolutely the WORST idea. We already have what? 5-6 variants of Windows and that's just English. Two completely different versions of windows each with X variants would just complicate the problem.

    What we need is Three things.

    A. Make features, not bullet points. This means give us features to help us. Not a newly designed interface that just looks pretty. Make stability and bug free a FEATURE. Look for features we can't get elsewhere, and ways for us to extend it. That means don't worry about firewalls (ship with Zonealarm) don't give us a weak anti-virus and pretend that's a major feature. Don't pretend "integrated music player" is a feature. Microsoft's current beliefs are bullet points are better than other goals. Games that run at 60 fps are more important than games that are "fun". Office suite that integrate perfectly are better than bug free. Get over it and get us actual innovation. And if you offer Backwards compatibility with old windows code make sure it's 100 percent Backwards compatibility before you ship.

    B. Ignore the side projects. Windows 7 is about WINDOWS not Media player, outlook, office, and the rest. Want to include those? Great make them bug free, and allow us to uninstall all of them, otherwise focus on Windows. Giving us 30 programs along with windows doesn't make you my friend, when I have to work around 29 of them to get MY functionality back.

    C. Cut the price, cut the fat. Two versions of Windows. Upgrade for 100 dollars, Full for 200 dollars. don't try to nickle and dime us saying "well ultimate has..." Ultimate has shit. Either an upgrade or full and make them AFFORDABLE. When Windows costs more than any of 4 tvs I own. (Including a 52 inch CRT) that's a problem.

    Vista died because no one needed it and no one wanted it, but Windows is slowly forcing it's bloated corpse on us. That's what caused the Vista Like release, an unwanted unneeded product who's only benefit is making Microsoft more money and looking pretty.

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