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Windows Operating Systems Software Technology

Windows 7 Won't Have Compact "MinWin" Kernel 580

Posted by kdawson
from the starting-over-is-hard-to-do dept.
An anonymous reader points us to an interview Microsoft's Windows 7 development chief, Steven Sinofsky, did with CNet. He reveals that Windows 7 will be a further evolution of Vista, and will lose the rumored MinWin kernel. "We're very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they'll work the same. We're going to not introduce additional compatibilities, particularly in the driver model. Windows Vista was about improving those things. We are going to build on the success and the strength of the Windows Server 2008 kernel, and that has all of this work that you've been talking about. The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server 08 is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well."
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Windows 7 Won't Have Compact "MinWin" Kernel

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  • by Nossie (753694) <IanHarvie@@@4Development...Net> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:08AM (#23568877)
    oooooh that was quick.. /marks that one off the list/

    shall we have a pool as to what will be next?

    (and yes I know powershell was released as an addon)
    • For Vista, they promised loads of stuff, then stripped most of them out, presumably for a later version.
      Thw MinWin kernel has been touted as non-production from the start IIRC, so that at least comes as no surprise at all.

      I do wonder what all Windows 7 will not have; I would rather make a list of that.
      For instance: WinFS, MinWin, capability to operate with less than half a terabyte of RAM, users... add to the list as needed; maybe after we define what Windows will not have, we can guess at what it will have.
      Sadly, I only have bloat on that list so far...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @09:12AM (#23570141)

        For Vista, they promised loads of stuff, then stripped most of them out, presumably for a later version.


        These Linux/Mac zealots always have something to complain about. Microsoft stripped that stuff out of Vista to give the users a fast and snappy system everybody could enjoy on any PC. If they kept all those features Vista would have been a real slug instead of the lightning fast OS it is now.

        [/sarcasm]
      • Don't forget the DRM! Not to mention a swap file that gets pounded no matter how much RAM you have!


        Seriously,as someone who Beta tested Vista I have to wonder what they were thinking. The thing ran like a slug on my 3Ghz Celeron with 2Gb of RAM and thrashed the HDD so bad I honestly thought it was going to burn the drive up. IMHO they got too wrapped up in design by committee and in slapping as much DRM as possible in the hopes of becoming "The Apple of Video" instead of looking at what their customers actually wanted or needed. And now with Ballmer about to kill off XP when there are plenty of single core rigs with 512Mb of RAM being sold which will just make Vista look like even more of a POS as it wasn't made to run on that kind of hardware. But that is my 02c,YMMV

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gazzonyx (982402)
      I call dibs on a databased backed file system being the next casualty of slippage! I'll target it for being yanked six months from now. Seriously, is Windows 7 supposed to have the new FS that they dropped from Vista?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:31AM (#23569115)
      I didn't even know winFS was still alive... Or is FS short for Frankenstein?

      But your comment is exactly what I was thinking. We've seen it before, the touting of features on the next-best thing from Redmond, and we were much amused. They were constantly dropping features off the list, up to the point where there really were no technological advancements left in Vista.

      They really appear to be doing the same: "The Windows 7 marketing speak will be a further evolution of our experiences with marketing Vista".

      (and to the mods: parent should be modded insightful, not funny)
      • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:00AM (#23569333) Journal
        They were constantly dropping features off the list, up to the point where there really were no technological advancements left in Vista.

        What about the ability to slow down a computer to the point that you need a new computer, so you have to buy a new computer with another copy of Windows preinstalled?

        Doesn't that count as a technological advancement?

        That said, I still haven't read of a single feature of Vista that would compel me to shell out any more of my hard-earned money.
        • by chdig (1050302) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @09:19AM (#23570253)
          You're treating Windows like you treat desktop Linux.

          With the Linux desktop, whichever variety you choose, there remains large technological advancements before it is usable by the general public. With Windows, it works, and has been working for over ten years for the majority of people.

          Vista has improved many small things that always ticked me off with XP. Better file browser, better wifi controls, but really, a countless list of small changes that make just make desktop life easier. If you want to see quantifiable changes with something that is about feel (the desktop), I'm afraid you won't find it.

          Speed-wise, SP1 made everything more responsive and quicker, and switching between windows seems a lot better than on XP. And we all know that hardly anyone installed XP on old computers -- preferring at the time their old Windows 2000, but eventually XP won people over as they upgraded.

          But, like another poster referenced, you likely wouldn't spend money on an os anyways. A few hundred bucks spread out over many years for something that I spend hours with daily, and makes things go easier IS worth my hard-earned money, and the frustrations saved over XP are worth it because I value my time.

          For very similar reasons, when it comes to servers, I'll never use Windows, and instead stick with Linux -- less frustrations, more reliable performance.
          • by PRMan (959735) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @09:58AM (#23570759)

            With the Linux desktop, whichever variety you choose, there remains large technological advancements before it is usable by the general public. With Windows, it works, and has been working for over ten years for the majority of people.

            Agreed about Windows for the last ten years, but the new Ubuntu just works. And I am a long-time Windows user that has tinkered with Linux since the 300 MHz days, constantly hearing about how it was the "year of the Linux desktop".

            But I had a 1GHz laptop with XP that locked up all the time. I could never find the culprit (probably a driver or IRQ issue). I installed Ubuntu, it found all the hardware automatically, asked me my WAP password and away I went. It's fast and usable now, instead of slow and unreliable.

            And we all know that hardly anyone installed XP on old computers -- preferring at the time their old Windows 2000, but eventually XP won people over as they upgraded.

            I don't know any such thing. I was at three companies where everyone was upgraded to XP. People loved XP. Businesses waited for the correct timing in their budget, but there was little doubt that it WOULD be adopted. Vista is universally reviled and most businesses I know are saying that they will NEVER go to it.

            I also value my time and have no problem spending a couple hundred on a new OS. But having dealt with Vista and Ubuntu Hardy Heron I would say that Ubuntu is way more hardware compatible and takes far less time to set up and install. And seeing how difficult it is to get software to run on Vista, it won't be long before Linux is more software-compatible as well.

            Fully 40% of my software in my business wouldn't run on it without major work (and many of these were Microsoft titles), about 25% never did run at all. Every software install on the test machine was a pray-and-hack affair. It was exactly as if I was trying to get the software to run on Wine or Mono, instead of Windows.

            Linux has easily passed Windows in hardware compatibility. Who ever thought we would see that day? Now the attention will go to software compatibility, and when Wine and Mono improve a little bit more, Linux will have the advantage there as well.

            And I predict that it will happen before Windows 7 comes out.

          • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @11:29AM (#23572121)

            With the Linux desktop, whichever variety you choose, there remains large technological advancements before it is usable by the general public. With Windows, it works, and has been working for over ten years for the majority of people.

            I disagree with this. For the most part the problems preventing Linux from being usable to everyone as a desktop are not technological ones. Lack of application compatibility and lack of hardware drivers are the two main issues and both are the result of the state of the industry. Were Linux and Windows switched market share tomorrow (by an act of Allah) in a year or two people would be complaining that Windows is not ready for the desktop because application developers, hardware manufacturers, and computer OEMs were targeting Linux. This is not to say, they are not real problems, only that they are no more a technological fault of Linux that they are of Windows.

            Vista has improved many small things that always ticked me off with XP.

            I agree Vista does include numerous small improvements and features; but I'd also argue it includes anti-features as well, designed to benefit MS or their partners at the expense of the end user (more draconian DRM for example). I'd also argue that it is MS's monopoly on desktop OS's that is the reason why there is so little advancement in the field. Traditionally, one of the main problems with monopolies is that they retard innovation in that market because the monopolist has little incentive to put time and money into improvements because customers are going to buy whatever they make anyway. Other companies are likewise discouraged from investing in innovation in the market because the monopoly power means it will cost more for less return and with more risk than a healthy market. Face it, there is plenty of room for improvement of OS's. Hell, Vista still doesn't even have a spell checker that works in all my applications and uses the same dictionary, let alone other universal services. It's been what, ten years since the first OS with that feature was shipped (then killed).

            Speed-wise, SP1 made everything more responsive and quicker, and switching between windows seems a lot better than on XP. And we all know that hardly anyone installed XP on old computers -- preferring at the time their old Windows 2000, but eventually XP won people over as they upgraded.

            Most people don't have a clue what an OS even is. People were never "won over" by XP, so much as it became ubiquitous because it was pre-installed on every home computer and eventually it was needed in business as well (despite the speed problems) for application compatibility. The drawback of speed didn't go away, but was made less important as the hardware people were running gradually was replaced with faster gear. Doubtless the same thing will happen with Vista.

            But, like another poster referenced, you likely wouldn't spend money on an os anyways. A few hundred bucks spread out over many years for something that I spend hours with daily, and makes things go easier IS worth my hard-earned money, and the frustrations saved over XP are worth it because I value my time.

            I'm a professional in the computer industry and I have no problem shelling out cash for an OS. In fact, I've shelled out cash for WinXP, Vista, and OS X. Additionally I make use of Ubuntu and Solaris on the desktop and numerous other OS's for server use. That said, I do not yet recommend Vista for corporate use and don't use it as my main, Windows desktop because of numerous issues of which performance is only one. I expect within the next year those issues will mostly be resolved, but truthfully, I expected the same thing a year ago and it hasn't quite happened yet. Application compatibility is better, but still not good enough for me to do my daily work on it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lord Apathy (584315)

          That said, I still haven't read of a single feature of Vista that would compel me to shell out any more of my hard-earned money.

          DirectX 10 is going to be it then. Ever more games are going to start requiring it to use the best features. Same with graphics cards. What's the point of building that ubber quad core gaming beast with a nvidia 90000^2 graphics adapter if you are using directx 9 and it only looks like you are running a 6600?

          If you want to keep running the latest software, including games, on a PC then the upgrade to vista is inevitable as night and day. Or you could just buy a ps3 [sony] or a xbox 360 [microsoft]

      • They were constantly dropping features off the list, up to the point where there really were no technological advancements left in Vista.


        But look at all the DRM technology they built into every layer of the APIs!
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:05AM (#23569373)

      oooooh that was quick.. /marks that one off the list/

      shall we have a pool as to what will be next?
      I predict they'll chop that list down until the final release looks like Vista with a shiny new GUI that robs any performance gains made by hardware over the last few years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300)
      Microsoft wants windows to have all the cool stuff that Other OS's have but they want it their own way. I just don't see why Microsoft just doesn't bite the bullet and license some already made technology except for trying to reinvent it. Don't Deal with WinFS just use License ZFS. Why bother with powershell use the Unix shell methods. This is one reason for Linux and OS X stability. Except for reinventing all these core features they just modify and use existing tested features made by someone else.

      Part
    • In other news, Microsoft employees were spotted in computer stores across the country writing the number 7 on existing Windows XP and Vista boxes using Sharpies.
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:09AM (#23568883)
    The current fortune cookie ("User hostile.") at the end of the page is somehow very fitting...
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:16AM (#23569479) Journal
      The current fortune cookie ("User hostile.") at the end of the page is somehow very fitting.

      Offtopic? Look, Steve, stop wasting your mod points and go throw a chair. That comment hit the nail right on the head. What are you Microsoft shills worried about? I find all Microsoft programs to be user-hostile, especially the OSes.

      Moving stuff that you knew where it was to somewhere you have to hunt for it, as Microsoft does with every new program and operating system, is as hostile as you can get. It's not just hostile, it's downright mean.

      The incredibly long number you have to type in when you install a Microsoft OS (XP, Vista, presumably 7) is hostile. Having to activate is hostile. To demand that I trust you without your trusting me is hostile, would you put up with that from a human being?

      The allow/disallow I keep reading about in Vista sounds hostile as all getout. Maybe they're reducing the user-hostility by ridding Windows 7 of it? I doubt that.

      Why does Microsoft seemingly hate its customers? It is user-hostile as a company and as such can't possibly write non-user-hostile OSes or programs.

      If I see that comment when I metamoderate, whoever modded it won't be getting any more mod points. The same goes for whoever modded a href="http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=565875&cid=23568891">this comment offftopic as well. Are there any mods today that don't work for Microsoft? This is just too obvious.
      • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @09:16AM (#23570195)
        Agreed, "offtopic" is the wrong moderation for the GP post. The correct moderation would be "flamebait".


        Saying "Microsoft sux" is not remotely insightful, and is just going to stir people up. Any idiot can do that. What one should do is what you did, saying "Microsoft sux" and listing why you think so. That provides something to the discussion... "Microsoft sux" by itself is just trolling/flamebaiting. (nb: I'm not the mod you're bitching at, I don't have mod points today. But if I did, that's how I would've modded it, and why.)

      • by chdig (1050302) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @09:31AM (#23570389)
        If you believe all that is hostile, then you must really believe that that annoying sudo thing is hostile. Or that you never know where apt-get or rpm will install various elements of programs is hostile. And let me guess: you find that verifying checksums to be hostile as well (those checksums are oh so long!)?

        Sounds to me like you believe that anything you're not comfortable with is hostile, whether it's sensible or not.

        It's a hostile world we live in.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I suspect people who post things like this don't run Vista. Everyone I know who got it with a new machine kept it, enjoy it, and have not had any problems with it so far. But read /. and you'll find these so-called administrators, power users, etc telling nothing but horror stories. It seems to add some ammo as to why myspace users rank so much higher on IQ than /. according to that retarded 60 second test linked the other day. :)

        I won't be running it, but that's because I don't buy pre-built machines with
  • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:09AM (#23568891)
    Why would we believe these guys in Redmond again? They have sold us vaporware for decades. They promised the cool new file system in Vista and it was scrapped early in. They are going in the right direction--abandoning the hamstring of backwards compatibility--but who has any faith in Microsoft's ability to execute? I think I know the reason too. Microsoft has always selected the highest rated developers. Well, ratings may judge raw intelligence but not creativity. And it is the latter thing that is in short supply. Microsoft just does not attract creative rule benders. Instead, it attracts go alongs--people who followed the rules and did the right thing all along--which leaves them with high scores on standardized tests but bereft of any creative initiative. This has been my experience, at least.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:23AM (#23569031)
      In my home business, I'm down to ONE program that runs only on Windows (ebay Blackthorne). ONE. (Wine doesn't cut it).

      Otherwise, I could be running on OS X for 1 laptop and the PCs would be switched over to Ubuntu or something similiar, maybe RedHat.

      Years ago, the internet was hamstringed by many windows only incompatibilities. Firefox evened the playing field there. Most programs were windows only (Quickbooks and Tax Programs can run on Mac now).

      Windows grasp in my business is tenuous indeed. Granted, mine is a small business - but aren't many in America?

      Plus in Linux, it's simple not to include a webbrowser. You can do the same in Windows, IIRC, (actually just turn it off), but there always seems to be a workaround on firing it up again. Those are one of the biggest productivity killers - my employees should be surfing at home.

      It's not that I care about licensing fees, but my operation is too small to hire someone technical who knows how to do everything the right way and I find the Windows boxes need the most babysitting. Time killer = Money Wasted.
      • by giorgiofr (887762) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:56AM (#23569947)
        Is it so hard to drop all non-SMTP, non-DNS traffic at the firewall? Add protocols to the whitelist as needed. Besides, it's stupid to rely on the lack of a browser to prevent users from surfing, as they just need to bring it from home on a USB stick or mail it to themselves. Blocking at the firewall works much, much better.
    • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:32AM (#23569119)
      I disagree that MS hasn't hired creative people. They were the home of the "Cowboy Coder" who would do anything to make code faster. This was a big advantage in the 1990's, when MS products tended to be faster than 3rd party code. But these hack-fest programs are a bitch to maintain, cowboy code is littered with side effects someone else has to find and eliminate, and (worse for MS) compilers and computers have gotten better.

      Good, maintainable, understandable code is now perfectly fast. MS's competitors now have the advantage from a good code bas. Meanwhile, the development process at MS as stagnated. (Remember the story of the shutdown dialog in Vista. Twelve people all working on code various degrees away from the trunk. Not good.)

      But I agree with your assessment that MS hasn't delivered on the cool. Apple is eating their lunch in the good looking and working camps. Linux is still king of the UNIX-like environment that seems to be in a Renaissance now. Still, MS has a big install base. They've worked hard to use incompatible file types to build lock-in. The aren't going anywhere for a while.
      • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:58AM (#23569317)
        Also, .NET has really withered on the vine. Though you will always be able to find shops that use .NET, the general consensus that I've heard is that .NET is dying.
        • by Westley (99238) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:19AM (#23569513) Homepage
          It's amazing what you can believe based on "general consensus". I've certainly heard "general consensus" that Java's dying, along with C, C++ and Ruby. Of course, every time I've heard a "general consensus" one way, there have been plenty of people claiming a "general consensus" the other way too, which kinda defeats the idea of consensus to start with.

          I don't remember hearing that Python's dying, but maybe I've not been listening carefully enough.

          It does make you wonder what people are going to be using in a couple of years' time, with all of these platforms and languages dying out...
        • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:20AM (#23569515)
          Also, .NET has really withered on the vine. Though you will always be able to find shops that use .NET, the general consensus that I've heard is that .NET is dying.

          That's so so so not my experience in the market.

          There's much more demand (as measured by people trying to hire me to use the appropriate technology) currently for my .NET skills than my Java skills.
        • whut? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by thermian (1267986) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:36AM (#23569695)
          Nonsense, .NET is quite possibly Microsofts one winning strategy in the programming language world.

          I'm guessing you haven't used it, since you mention hearing it's dying, but not your own experience with it. You should give it a go, it's actually rather nice in its c# form.

          Given that it is compatible with both Linux and Mac versions of .NET, I don't see it going away any time soon.

          While your at it, try IronPython, the .NET compatible version of Python. That's bordering on seriously cool.
      • by Admiral Ag (829695) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:50AM (#23569857)
        Regarding the Apple comment. Apple had a chance to really shoot forward in the OS wars, but they seem to have spread themselves a bit thin in the last two years. Leopard being delayed because of the iPhone was one, and the number of bugs in Leopard is another (I like it, but I've had more problems crop up with Leopard than any other OS X release, and I have run all of them).

        Apple has a chance to beat Windows 7 to the market with an OS that would be absolutely superb. I hope they seize the chance. I fear that their rapid increase in marketshare and product range might make this difficult.
  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:09AM (#23568893) Homepage
    "..and will lose the rumored MinWin kernel." So in other words, the only thing really going for Windows 7 has been dropped. I feel that many businesses were holding out for Windows 7 to fix all the problems that Vista introduced.. it looks likely that this is not the case. If this shift is confirmed, then I really suspect that a lot of Microsoft houses will begin to dump the platform altogether.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:30AM (#23569099) Homepage

      So in other words, the only thing really going for Windows 7 has been dropped.

      Yeah, that follows the pattern.

    • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:32AM (#23569121) Homepage Journal
      Strange how such bad news could also in hindsight be some of the best news of the decade :)
    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:39AM (#23569161) Journal

      OTOH, consider this: Windows cannot be fixed without breaking backwards compatibility.
      Therefore, in order to offer a new product, the old one should be abandoned, which cannot be done at the present point in time.

      Imagine, then, that this possible decline of Windows is actually planned.
      We know Microsoft is working on a new Windows kernel, on a wholly new operating system and whatnot... could it be that they are actually planning to lower their market share (thus dodging some anti-trust bullets), and then offer something new and improved, even if it proves to be Unix reinvented?

      Or is it too much to expect from a behemoth?

      • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:07AM (#23569391)
        Except that systems are powerful enough nowadays to run virtual machines. So Microsoft could have Windows 7 be backwards incompatible (taking advantage of any speed boosts that this gives the OS and Designed-For-Win7 applications) and they could include a free "Windows XP/Vista" virtual OS to run applications that require backwards compatibility. If done right, the virtual OS would be seamlessly integrated into the main OS. You wouldn't even know that Old Application #7 was running on a virtual OS instead of the regular OS (except, perhaps, for a bigger memory footprint and slightly slower response rate).

        IIRC, Apple did this when they moved from their old OS to their current one and it did wonders to ease the transition while still allowing Apple to break free of the shackles of backwards compatibility.
        • IIRC, Apple did this when they moved from their old OS to their current one and it did wonders to ease the transition while still allowing Apple to break free of the shackles of backwards compatibility.

          And thousands of Linux / MacOS X geeks are doing it with Windows on a daily basis for all those applications that need Windows.
          By it either by using compatibility layers like Wine (which reaching a 1.0 milestone) or using virtual machines like VirtualBox, VMWare, Xen, etc... (I saw the "seamless integration" mode of VMWare on a MacOS X and its really nice). And these virtual machines are only running out-of-the-box plain Windows on out-of-the-box plain hosts. Imagine what Microsoft could achieve, given tha

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ozmanjusri (601766)
        Windows cannot be fixed without breaking backwards compatibility.

        Write a new, well-designed OS. Include a minimalist Win32 environment in a VM sandbox. Basically, Wine for Windows to run legacy apps.

        Apple has done it twice.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by teh kurisu (701097)

        I found this announcement disappointing because I had hoped that MS would make that clean break with Windows, and deal with backward-compatibility using virtualisation. I was about to say so, and cite Apple's use of emulation in the move from OS 9 to OS X as an example.

        It's not a like-for-like comparison, though, because Apple's market share was negligible, and any negative impact would have limited consequences.

        If virtualised backward-compatibility was done badly in a hypothetical Windows clean break,

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mhall119 (1035984)
      What's interesting is that MinWin was supposed to give Windows 7 the ability to run on low-spec hardware like the EeePC or OLPC. Without that, will Microsoft have to keep supporting the XP line on such platforms, or abandon that market all together?
  • Cynical First Post (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Byron II (671689) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:10AM (#23568901)
    Great, an article telling us what Windows 7 isn't. While they're at it, somebody should write a story about how it doesn't use the Linux or MacOS kernels either. From the start Microsoft has been telling us that MinWin is an experimental, non-production kernel and that it wouldn't be in Windows 7. Now CNet reports it and its like new news all over again. Yawn.
  • by sqldr (838964) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:11AM (#23568909)
    We're very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7

    What, all five of them?
  • Disappointing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blahbooboo3 (874492) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:12AM (#23568913)
    Disappointing that the first exciting thing coming out of MS OS in a long time is now not even to be a part of Vista part 2. MinWin had me thinking that MS was starting to change back into the company of its golden era (i.e. late 80s - 90s) when it released operating systems with new features that made one excited to buy the latest and greatest OS.

    Oh well, maybe this will enable the year(s) of the Linux on the desktop (smile)?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by somersault (912633)
      I don't think a modular OS is exactly a 'new feature', unless you just mean new to the Windows world ;) I also had thought maybe they'd got a grip of themselves, but they're just too lazy or scared to rebuild everything properly from the ground up. The best thing for them to do to improve the OS would be to forget about backwards compatibility, but that would also be one of the worst things they could do because it leaves users open to try other alternatives if they're going to need all-new software anyway.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:13AM (#23568931)
    ...now, what exactly?

    Not only could the average user not find an advantage in Vista over XP (remember, users rarely care what's under the hood, they just want to use the system), now even geeks won't see a difference between the old and the new system?

    Ok, let's be constructive. We heard now what will not be different between Vista and "Windows 7". So what will? Because, well, if it's the same... I'm no marketing guru, but I guess even the marketing guys in Redmond might have a hard time selling the same product again.
    • by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:28AM (#23569077) Journal

      It'll be simple for the marketing drones:

      Do you remember the last time you had a steak? A really big, thick juicy steak. Yeah, that was great, wasn't it. That was XP.

      And then you remember how it clogged up your colon, and you couldn't do anything for a day or two? That was Vista

      And then you remember how it all finally came out, when you spent a half-hour on the can, insides being stretched to Hello.jpg proportions, tears laced with internal-bleeding running down your face, screaming and punching holes in the bathroom drywall, until finally at last everything was right again, and wave of adrenalin-induced euphoria washed over you once the pain was gone, finally gone? That was Vista SP1

      Don't you want to experience that wonderful feeling of eventually bliss all over again? Windows 7, coming soon to a colon, urr, computer near you*.

      (c)Windows(tm) Marketing(tm) Team(tm) 2008)(tm)

      *Steak not included

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cp.tar (871488)

      ...now, what exactly?
      Not only could the average user not find an advantage in Vista over XP (remember, users rarely care what's under the hood, they just want to use the system), now even geeks won't see a difference between the old and the new system?
      Ok, let's be constructive. We heard now what will not be different between Vista and "Windows 7". So what will? Because, well, if it's the same... I'm no marketing guru, but I guess even the marketing guys in Redmond might have a hard time selling the same product again.

      Ah. You are of course young and inexperienced, and you are unaware of the completely new and reworked[1] Start menu, improved compositing[2], and 3D multiple desktops placed on the faces of a Modron Clippy-like Windows/Office assistant who will put all the Cancel or Allow? messages in a funny-looking message balloon for your convenience[3].

      [1] pinched from KDE
      [2] ditto from Compiz
      [3] don't ask.

  • Some old story... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apathy maybe (922212) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:13AM (#23568935) Homepage Journal
    Let's see now... MS develops great new technology, but only so far as so that it can be seen what potential it has. MS hypes (to a greater or lesser extent) this new technology. MS explains that actually this new technology won't be used in the next version of MS Windows.

    What was that really good filesystem we were going to see in Windows XP, sorry I mean Vista?

    Oh right, this time it is because of backwards compatibility, rather then any other reason. But still, people keep saying it, why doesn't MS just dump the crud, go with a great new secure system (MinWin sounded like a good start), and use emulation to support all the old software?

    With drivers (the specific reason given here), they could easily have a backwards compatible layer implemented above the microkernal for drivers that needed it.

    Meh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by falcon5768 (629591)
      there is a very good reason they dont. Apple and Linux. Microsoft backed themselves into a wall where they WILL lose a decent amount of marketshare if they upset the balance of power and do a major revision of everything they sell, but are likely to lose marketshare slowly but surely too if they dont to linux and Apple who make no quarms about dumping out of date and obsolete aspects of their system.
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:14AM (#23568945)
    Is there anything actually wrong with the NT6.1 Kernel?
    I mean, Vista has it's problems, granted, but can any informed person here state what's so bad about the Kernel itself, since that's what's causing all the fuss??
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Trusted" Computing, anyone?
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cephalien (529516) <benjaminlungerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:16AM (#23568961)
    Isn't this slow and steady 'removal of promised features' what got us Vista in the first place?
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

      by n3tcat (664243) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:24AM (#23569035) Homepage
      Exactly. Vista started out with a lot of "admin" hype, as they were supposed to add all these additional features that would make administration a breeze compared to previous iterations. The problem is that they waited too long, not for the adaptation of XP to become so widespread, but simply too long for the rumor/hype to carry Vista into the workplace.

      I'll bet their target now is to generate hype, then cut features, and try to slip the product out before the hype wears off and everyone finds out it was a sham ad campaign.
  • by mistersooreams (811324) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:18AM (#23568979) Homepage
    "drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they'll work the same"

    Bzzt! Logical inconsistency detected! Abort/retry/fail?
  • by EXMSFT (935404) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:18AM (#23568989)
    Augh. The entire concept of MinWin has been lost to time. It's NOT a custom kernel. It's NOT a kernel rewrite. It is, and always was, the literal minimal version of Windows. MinWin was never a shipping feature that any customer would care about - in fact in the first iteration it was intended as the first, required, component of Windows embedded - the fully componentized version of Windows.
  • by LinkFree (1112259) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:20AM (#23569005)
    "We're very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7"
    Windows 7 will be incompatible with just about every third party application. Any compatibility with other Microsoft will be purely incidental.

    "We are going to build on the success and the strength of the Windows Server 2008 kernel"
    We're making it an even larger resource hog. Idling, Windows 7 will likely occupy 2 or more cores, and 4GB of ram.

    "The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server 08 is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well."
    We're going to try our best to make Windows 7 so convoluted that no one can possibly discover the vast security holes.

    Hope this is a bit easier to read.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:22AM (#23569017)
    Heck, as long as they fix the many problems with Vista and make it the product Vista should have been, it will probably sell quite well. In fact, they've practically created a new OS market with all that nice new hardware going out the door with Vista pre-installed: the "Vista replacement market". Currently that huge market need is being satisfied by Windows XP (a sale is a sale), Linux, and (if people get fed up enough and switch hardware) Mac OS X.

    Who would have thought Microsoft could have figured out a way to sell *two* Windows licenses per machine (one for Vista, and one XP license when people downgrade)? It's brilliant! Well, as long as too many people don't switch to other alternatives, but en masse migration is a long way off. Still, it would be nice if Microsoft offered a more modern "Vista replacement OS" once Windows XP is completely phased out. Windows 7 could fit that bill.

    Well, unless it is so bad people will want to downgrade to Vista. That's a scary thought.
  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <AdHocTechGuy@[ ].com ['aol' in gap]> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:22AM (#23569025) Journal
    M$ is hoping for a "WinWin" kernel.
  • Wait. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ludomancer (921940) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:34AM (#23569127)
    "...and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well."

    Could you guys just go back and evolve Windows 2000 instead?
  • 4. Profit! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 8tim8 (623968) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:36AM (#23569151) Journal
    The Microsoft OS development model:

    1. Promise the next version will be a geek's wet dream
    2. Over the course of the several years of development, slowly step away from each and every major feature
    3. Release the new version which is, at best, a minor upgrade from the previous version.
    4. Profit!

    We are currently at step 2.
  • by theheadlessrabbit (1022587) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @07:51AM (#23569259) Homepage Journal
    I am really happy about this.

    as a linux user, (i befriended the penguin after one day of vista) watching MS drop the ball a second time is good news.

    i can feel it.....

    2010 will be the year of linux on the desktop.

    (at least for some people it will be, just like how 2007 was the year of linux on MY desktop)
  • Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rssrss (686344) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:14AM (#23569471)
    Windows 7 = Vista 1.1
  • by Jeppe Salvesen (101622) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:34AM (#23569679)
    If Microsoft were to break backwards compatibility, it would first and foremost mean that all current windows users would evaluate the opposition. And to beat the competition Microsoft would have to offer better quality at a better price. From scratch, from day one. Yeah right.

    This is the exact reason why Microsoft keeps extending its flawed product while pretending to fix it.
  • Version number? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erikdalen (99500) <erik.dalen@mensa.se> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:41AM (#23569753) Homepage
    If it's just a small evolution of the existing kernel, shouldn't it be Windows 6.2 instead of Windows 7?

    On the other hand Microsoft has never been logical with version numbers, Word 2 -> 5 -> 97 -> XP -> 2007. Exponential growth seems to be what they're aiming for.
  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Wednesday May 28, 2008 @08:58AM (#23569973) Homepage
    SAN FRANCISCO, Redmond, Friday (UnGadget) - With Vista(tm) just out the door, Microsoft is drawing up plans to deliver its followup, codenamed Windows 7, by the end of 2009^W2010. That would be a much faster turn-around than Vista, which shipped more than five years after Windows XP.

    Vista's uptake has been stupendous, with copies flying off the shelves and midnight queues on release day turning into major street riots, police deploying water cannons and rubber bullets, to rival the release scenes for the PlayStation 3 and the Zune. It is expected to give a significant boost to the computer hardware industry, per the Mended Windows Theory of economics. But Windows 7 aims even higher.

    "We have a radical vision for Windows 7," says Steve Sinofsky, corporate vice-marketer for development. "It's definitely the one to wait for. You should avoid buying any other operating system or even looking at them until you see Windows 7 ... Except Vista, of course. That's pretty good. But Windows 7 is just so amazing. Wow(tm)! It's the most fantastic thing ever. Incredible. Mac OS 10.4 can't possibly hold a candle to it."

    So what will be the coolest new feature in Windows 7? According to Sinofsky, that's still being worked out. "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe it's hypervisors, or a new user interface paradigm for consumers, or rotating cubes like in Ubuntu, or WinFS, which is definitely due to ship with Windows NT 4 in 1994. Or whatever Apple puts in Mac OS 10.6, really. Hell, I dunno. What's really shiny?"

    The much-derided Digital Rights Management system in Vista will be worked over. "We'll be including user-downloadable 'tilt bits,' which you can configure to your own liking. It'll require every user to supply a blood sample for DNA analysis, but of course that's only if you want to play *premium* content."

    Independent bloggers Wiki Jelliffe, Patrick Durusau and Alex Brown were incontinent in their praise. "I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will surely go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, that will be all fixed with $NEXT_VERSION. And they?ll finally be ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF. Also there will be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It?ll be awesome! I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION."

    "It's too early for me to talk about it," added Sinofsky. "But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."
  • I couldn't get much past the way he answered each question. It made me think of the way Bill & Steve answer questions about their products. I guess they teach that them in "manager" class. Just a few examples:
    • Well, that's a great question.
    • There are a number of elements of the question...
    • In a way that's a different question.
    • What I think I want to say is what I just said...
    • I didn't actually say that.
    I know that I've just pulled some quotes out of context and sometimes that makes things look worse than they are, but does anyone else see my problems? Do you have a hard time even reading the answers? Very disappointing but, again not unexpected of Microsoft.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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