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20 Features Windows 7 Should Include 901

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the downhill-since-dos dept.
Damian Francis writes "Australian computer expert Vito Cassisi has come up with a list of 20 features that Windows 7 should have. The article includes features like modularized OS, new UAC, program caching, standards compliant browser and a whole lot more with explanations as to why these features should be included. With Windows Vista only receiving a luke-warm reception, Microsoft needs to make sure Windows 7 is a winner from the get go." What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery?
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20 Features Windows 7 Should Include

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  • Easy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Naqamel (1138771) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:50PM (#24184853)
    What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery?

    A Linux kernel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Ronnggpq:

      Emacs

    • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Funny)

      by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:58PM (#24185041)
      Satan just called, he says he'd rather it stay nice and toasty down there.
    • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:00PM (#24185079)

      What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery?

      What is the one thing MS can do that no one else (realistically) can do these days? Games. They need to start thinking Windows needs not be a one size fits all approach. Why can I not install the most basic framework of the OS and DX in order to utilize all available resources of my rig?

      I'm sure I'm not the only one at their without any choice in OS simply because my computer is most often used for games. Which if it's going to be that way, don't make a guy who tunes every bus speed and multiplier he access too use the same OS install his grandma would use to check her e-mails.

      • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Trashman (3003) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:06PM (#24185175)

        ...
        They need to start thinking Windows needs not be a one size fits all approach. Why can I not install the most basic framework of the OS and DX in order to utilize all available resources of my rig? ...

        What you are reffering to is called an Xbox 360. I'm not saying that it's right, but it seems like that is the direction MS is taking games in.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Talderas (1212466)

          Unfortunately, the domain of strategy games has sorely lacked footing in breaking into the console market. Sure there's a few, but they're all turn based. You just can't get games like Starcraft, Warcraft, or any other type of Real Time strategy on a console.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by negRo_slim (636783)

          What you are reffering to is called an Xbox 360. I'm not saying that it's right, but it seems like that is the direction MS is taking games in.

          Yes that is the direction they are taking console games in. North American PC gaming is a different beast, always has been and always will be.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pla (258480)
        Why can I not install the most basic framework of the OS and DX in order to utilize all available resources of my rig?

        You can - Microsoft sells that under the name "XBox".

        Joking aside, personally, I would say Windows needs less stratification among the various versions. Have a standard version, a server version, and if really neccessary, an uber-high-end-server version. No more than that. Well, perhaps the embedded version (for those softcore wimps who think "embedded" means "only" 64MB of RAM and a
      • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Orion Blastar (457579) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ratsalbnoiro>> on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:28PM (#24186675) Homepage Journal

        Actually the Internet File sharing Pirates have an answer to that, it is called Tiny XP. It is the bare minimum you need from XP to play games on it.

        Microsoft has Windows PE, of which BartPE [nu2.nu] and Reatogo [reatogo.de] are based on provided you have a legal Windows XP SP2 or higher CD-ROM to use to create the smaller version of XP on for just the basics. They are what the Ultimate Boot CD [ultimatebootcd.com] is based on and there exists an option to install that to the hard drive instead of the standard XP. I've used it and it does not even ask you for a valid CD-Key to install BartPE or boot from it. You just have to own a copy of Windows XP SP2 or higher to use it, while it works with XP SP1 and under, I wouldn't recommend it. I even heard it can use Windows Vista for a PE version of Windows, but I never tried that.

        It is either BartPE or some variation, or wait for ReactOS [reactos.org] to at least get a beta build. ReactOS 0.3.5 came out in June 30th 2008, but Slashdot seems to be ignoring it and BartPE and variants. ReactOS is an open source OS based on WINE that is being written to run at least Windows XP/2003 code under it and use XP/2003 drivers. It is not ready for prime time yet.

      • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:31PM (#24186745) Homepage

        They need to start thinking Windows needs not be a one size fits all approach.

        Funny, I have more of a problem with the way in which Microsoft refuses to use a one-size-fits-all approach. How many different versions of Vista are there? How many of Windows 2003 Server? And it all feels like a scam to me, like they're hoping you'll buy the cheap version, realize that it's lacking some minor but important feature, and then be forced to upgrade to the Super-Ultimate version that's expensive because it has tons of features, most of which you'll never use.

    • by vivin (671928) <vivin.paliath@nOspaM.gmail.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:08PM (#24185229) Homepage Journal

      21. Microsoft Bob!
      22. Clippy7 /ducks

      • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Monday July 14, 2008 @05:08PM (#24187399)

        How about the capability to lock my damn task tray and desktop? I really get annoyed with every little program loading some shit in to my task tray or dropping useless icons all over my desktop. It would be nice to have some way to say only these programs can be in task tray or these icons on the desktop only.

        Maybe better program control is the answer. I really hate having to go into Program Files and disable the permissions on NMindex and the other shit nero installs and runs as a service with out my permission. Maybe in the task manager have an option to kill a program and add it to a list that will never be allowed to run again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kramer2718 (598033)

      What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery? A Linux kernel.

      You are joking, but I have a bet going with a good friend of mine that MS will ship a UNIX or Linux kernel within 20 years.

      It just makes too much sense. They get many bug fixes for free and don't have to do kernel maintenance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Their first commercial product, Xenix, was a unix os. They should dust it off and start from there like Apple did with Mach + BSD.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by peragrin (659227)

          Can't, MSFT sold XENIX to Santa Cruz, who sold it to caldera who sold it to SCO who relicensed only part of it back to MSFT.

          Unix Recursion. inevitable it is.

    • by Rival (14861) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:34PM (#24185699) Homepage Journal

      Seriously, this is the root of many of Microsoft's problems. They need to stop bolting on poorly-designed "features" and work on reliability and functionality.

      Honestly, if Microsoft made a solid, secure OS without all the "value-added enhancements" and profit-driven lock-in tactics, then public opinion of them would be much higher. I would be very happy to see them shift all OS business to their server-level products, because they really are significantly better than their consumer-level OSs. If they spun off their end-consumer products into another business, fine. Those people who like their bells and whistles can buy them, and those who just want a stable and secure platform would have it also.

      Yes, I know, use and love Linux. But I also worked at Microsoft (Windows 2000 team,) and am proud of having worked on that OS. There are alot of good developers there, but they have no say in the management direction. While I was there, I saw ME in development, and couldn't believe that I was working at the same company. I was embarrassed for the team.

      So, we'll see how Windows 7 turns out. MinWin is a great idea, and I hope (but don't at all believe) that the mentality behind it will influence the rest of Windows 7. But with Ballmer now completely unrestrained, I'm sure it will be trash. Things really went to crap there after he took the helm in 2000.

      • by The Living Fractal (162153) <banantarr AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:10PM (#24186347) Homepage

        I don't disagree with you. Someone needs to throw a chair at Ballmer. I don't know what kind of stranglehold he has on MSFT but it's clearly very tight. I think Microsoft is suffering from bloat and lack of coherent vision from the highest levels. Buying Yahoo, for example, is just more bloat. Why buy Yahoo when, if you did it right, you could defeat them and not have to absorb their problems too?

        They're suffering from incompetence. All of the talent is going elsewhere. When Gates was at the helm over a decade ago he was ruthless AND made the right moves. Ballmer is ruthless and making the wrong ones. This course only leads one place.

      • by theJML (911853) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:44PM (#24190945) Homepage

        You hit the nail on the head here. They really need to rethink the OS before they move on. Most of the features they add are pointless memory suckers that most of the world will never use. The OS needs to be a memory lean, small footprint, stable system. I know they're in business to make money, but coming out with another OS just because they think it's time isn't really the answer. Some could argue Vista is a big flop. I for one, have been running it for a year with zero problems. I will say UAC isn't their best idea, but once you get up and running you don't really see it on a day to day basis. As far as memory, it's no worse than XP was on this box and seems to run faster and with much less issues (probably because it can use all the 64bit drivers and such, where as the bastard stepchild XP64 could barely stand up half the time). Uptime I've actually been impressed with (well, for Windows. It was up for 4 months, best I could manage with XP was 3 weeks). (/me looks at his linux box up 395 days...) Disk space, again, it's not as bad as the rumors, a full install on here was 2.5GB. Still, A similarly capable linux distro could have done it in under a gig (and does on my second PC). Though in all honesty, does it really matter that much? I mean even if it was a 10GB install, it'd still be a small percentage of a 320GB-1TB drive.

        Sure there are some cool things that'd be nice. Built in Snapshots and Thin provisioning, De-duplication, Remote Replication, a good full 3d interface, ability to swap drivers on the fly, ability to trim the kernel or compile in commonly used drivers directly to the kernel as modules, a GOOD media player (10 and 11 are massive steps backwards), a real contender for the browser wars... one that follows INDUSTRY Standards. etc...

        But IMLTHO, what I think they should do is JUST STOP. Vista's really fine, and I don't want them to try to fix what ain't broke, that's what got us Windows ME. Sure Vista may not run on older hardware well (though my Athlon XP2500+ with 512MB RAM and a 15GB drive runs pretty well with it), but that just means it needs polish, not replacement.

    • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Funny)

      by eno2001 (527078) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:47PM (#24185941) Homepage Journal

      Since most of the humor impaired anti-Linux crowd have moved over to Digg, I'll play devil's idio... err... advocate.

      Yeah. Like that's a good idea... When you put Lunix on a computer, guess what? It doesn't come with drivers. The Fortune 500 businesses that make drivers for their equipment only do so for Windows and you can't use those drivers on Lunix. So what happens when you buy a brand new scanner or printer, or video card? You have to rebuild the kernel, pray to the gods CUPS and SANE, throw holy water over your shoulder and hope like hell that you don't have a $200+ brick sitting on your desk. Think that's going to make things easier for Microsoft because I don't.

      It's like Ballmer said, "Applications! Applications! Applications"! Personally, as an important executive in a Fortune 500 company, I don't have time to waste recompiling kernel after kernel and then installing software from raw source. I want things to work and I want them to work RIGHT NOW! My time is worth a lot of money and I need programs like Photoshop and Flash so I can write betas of databases my company creates so I can get the imagination-free coders under my charge to build things like normal people want. (Never let a database developer start coding until you have the prototype fully functional in Flash!)

      On top of that, Linux has ZERO support for system and application sounds. If there is one thing that will kill a database application making it in the rough and tumble market, it's a lack of action sounds. Our database sports 1400 sounds for every activity imaginable in the database. My personal favorite is the heartbeat sound when you go into bullet-time mode while scrolling through the database itself. I had to fight a few non-visionaries about putting the sound (fired them actually) into the database! I'll never understand why developers are so bad at grasping the importance of flashiness in a database application. Can you do that in Linux? HELL no! Linux just sucks for databases.

      I wouldn't touch Linux with a ten foot barge pole otherwise it might infect my beautiful and innovative mind. It seems like people who use and like Linux, lack vision and lack creativity. Instead they're perfectly happy with their grey screens from 1984 and all text data. Ugh! NO ONE in their right mind likes that kind of thing. We need the kind of flashiness you see in Vista's Aero Glass interface. That is the pinnacle of innovation in the computer world. NO ONE has ever done anything like that on any other OS.

      So as funny as you think your stupid comment is, I can tell you're just an idiot.

      • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Funny)

        by eno2001 (527078) on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:03PM (#24186241) Homepage Journal

        Uh oh. Looks like someone let the monkeys escape the zoo again and they didn't write Shakespeare.

        For one thing, the Linux kernel has more drivers BUILT IN than Windows includes with their OS distribution. To say that Linux has no drivers illustrates just how limited your experience with the Linux kernel is. Not only that, but the most popular and best Linux distributions actually compile nearly every driver as a module by default so most of your hardware with the exception of the very newest hardware, should work. Printers and scanners, are supported by "drivers" that are NOT part of the kernel at all. Your glib reference to CUPS (printer drivers) and SANE (scanner drivers) doesn't even make this suggestion at all. You sir, are a moron.

        "Develop" a database in Adobe Flash? That's so idiotic I don't even know where to start. You're not a developer, you're a monstrous joke. It goes without saying that you are not a Fortune 500 executive. If anything you're running some kind of sham business if even that. I suspect you're some kind of troll. And... You sir, are a moron.

        Sound and databases? While they could be an option in an application, they're NOT required. When David down the hall wants TPS reports on his desk by the end of the day, it doesn't matter if there's sound or not. And "bullet-time"? WHY? What purpose would something like that serve? Frankly, the BIGGEST database platforms for high reliability are on some form of Linux. They're not on Windows and they're not MS SQL. MySQL and PostgreSQL rule the open source world. Oracle is the top of the commercial world. But it goes without saying that... You sir, are an idiot.

        Vista Aero Glass!? You have GOT to be kidding. It's so lame compared to Compiz-Fusion. But beyond that, what would any of this have to do with DBs? I'll tell you what: NOTHING! Once again... You sir, are an idiot.

    • Re:Easy... (Score:4, Funny)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:48PM (#24185957) Journal

      What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery?

      A Linux kernel.

      And a pony.

    • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday July 14, 2008 @08:11PM (#24189617) Homepage
      I'd settle for being able to stretch/shrink a wallpaper image to the size of the desktop without messing up the aspect ratio. They had a team working 5 years on the Windows Vista shutdown menu, and couldn't find an intern to spend 1 afternoon making it so you can just slap an image on the desktop without it looking like crap.
  • by areusche (1297613) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:50PM (#24184855)
    Sadly what will happen is they will be slated for the final product and fail to make it in. I was really looking forward to Winfs. It design specs and features looked like a big benefit to Windows Vista. I'm still kinda bummed it was never included. :-/
  • Two words (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#24184871) Homepage Journal
    EGA mode
  • Paucity (Score:5, Funny)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#24184875) Homepage Journal

    What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery?

    The ability to boot on a single core with 1GB of RAM in under 5 minutes?

    • Re:Paucity (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sandbags (964742) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:23PM (#24185487) Journal

      Allow the OS to be aware of it's own limitations, and adjust it caching style to accomodate that. If the OS knows it has a slow HDD, it should cach more into RAM. If it knows it's low on RAM, it should cache to disk backround paused tasks. If it's low on resources, unloading (or not loading at all) unsuled items (like fonts, textures, etc) would be awesome, thanks.

      Take it a step futher and have it unload drivers for devices not currently connected, recomend the user terminate programs that are not needed, limit the use of "pre-load" application resources for items rarely used (I don't need itunes and acrobat pre loading crap if I only look at a PDF occasionally, and don't typically play music while working).

      It should recomend TO the user to add more RAM, and be able to communicate the number of minutes or seconds it would save the user to perform the upgrade. If the user commonly runs a lot of programs, and it commonly caches stuff that would otherwise be in RAM, TELL THE USER TO GET MORE RAM, don't assume they know. If HDD performance is causing real-time applications to stutter, or games to have frame skip, tell the user it's too slow.

      Microsoft should also list system requirements, as should EVERYONE else, based on an average system configuration, not on a clean install. Windows Vista runs OK on a cleam machine, but load Outlook, OneNote, iTunes, Acrobat, a domain connection, a few network shares, 2-3 printers, motherboard and network monitoring software, and some AV and spyware security software, and it runs like CRAP! Retailers are not equipped to explain this to people, so lets start quoting resource limitations in REAL WORLD scenarios. Also, games and other real time applications, should list not only the recomended requirements, but what frame rate to expect with a given screen resolution using out of the box settings (and all images on the box should be required to use default settings, or note otherwise that they're using "prefered" settings which should also have their own requirements listing and frame rate expectation). No, it won't be perfect, but if they use benchmarking on real word systems, it should be cloe enough for most people to understand.

      "Game Mode" for the OS is a load of crap. A nice OS embeded script that automatically kills some background stuff, and unloads unnecessary drivers, thats fine, but to be honest, it should do that ALL BY ITSELF, not with a click. The application should be signed, and should be able to request those kinds of resources when it needs them, and background "helper" apps should be the first to go, followed by warnings about any applications the user launched that should first be killed before playing the game. Booting to a seperate mode? no, that's a pain in the ass... Besides, it's not really to OS settings that slow game play, but all the crap you added to the OS.

  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#24184883)

    Perhaps they could take FreeBSD, perhaps with a customized Mach kernel, and add a fancy, easy to use and intuitive graphical user interface?

    oh, wait...

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#24184907)
    If Vista is any measure, Windows 7 should not include marketing driven development.
    • by whoever57 (658626) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#24184981) Journal

      if Vista is any measure, Windows 7 should not include marketing driven development.

      No, they should definitely involve marketing -- just ask them what to do and do the exact opposite

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:16PM (#24186455) Homepage

      I've said this before and I'll say it again-- the problem isn't marketing. Proper marketing involves studying what your potential customer base wants and needs, and producing a product that meets those needs. Microsoft hasn't been doing much of that, at least not for the past several years.

      They really should have the next version of Windows driven by market demand. A big chunk of their market wants openness and transparency. They want formats that can be moved to other platforms, and protocols that can talk with anyone. Having Office fully support ODF in the next version, for example, is a development driven by marketing.

      The problem isn't marketing. The problem is a lack of interest in meeting their customers' needs. If they had sat down in the early Vista planning stages and asked, "who are our potential customers, and how can we improve Windows so that those customers will want to buy it again?" then Vista would probably have been a different product.

      Or if they did sit down and ask those questions, then either (a) the people who were in that meeting were morons -or- (b) the customers they were trying to market to was "morons".

  • 1985 Technology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris_Stankowitz (612232) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#24184917)
    How about multiple desktops?! Native...that don't suck!
  • Tombstone? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:54PM (#24184931) Homepage Journal

    What other features would you suggest to Microsoft if they are to have a hope for recovery?

    A crust that rises.

  • 13. WinFS (Score:5, Funny)

    by asifyoucare (302582) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:54PM (#24184939)

    Yeah sure, straight after Duke Nukem Forever comes out.

  • by millia (35740) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:55PM (#24184961) Homepage

    While I'll go along with the one-version-to-rule-them-all idea, the most important thing?
    Easy external backup, for everybody.
    Apple has it right with time machine. No muss, no fuss, and I had only the tiniest of glitches when I restored onto a newer hard drive.

    And if they don't do this, well, this needs to be a feature of Ubuntu. That'll gain them market share.

  • better command line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bugs2squash (1132591) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#24184971)
    Most of the issues I have with windows stem from lukewarm support of a text command line.

    I don't want to have to run cygwin just to get a reasonable CLI. Even having done that, it's just too hard to manipulate the registry etc. through text commands. I'm sure with a little thought, MS could come up with an industry leading text based interface that I could ssh into with a reasonable way to switch between different users (with different admin privileges) on the server.

    And make them /s not \s for \.'s sake.
  • by NerveGas (168686) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#24184977)

      A "Gaming Mode" to disable some services? When is the last time you said "Ah, crap, my error reporting service is making me lag?"

    And Program Caching notice? The average user doesn't even know that Vista uses RAM. His suggestion would just confuse them more. We need fewer popup notifications, not more. Instead of cluttering the user's view, get stuff out of the way. Interfere less.

    • by Danse (1026) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:19PM (#24185437)

      A "Gaming Mode" to disable some services? When is the last time you said "Ah, crap, my error reporting service is making me lag?"

      Given all the crap people install, and how damn near everything seems to want to make its presence known in the task tray at least, sucking up however much memory it cares to, having some minimal configuration that you can run that just loads the absolute essentials for gaming (customizable of course) would be great to have. Maybe you want to run a lot of that crap when you're just browsing, listening to music, working, etc. But for gaming, you want to kill all of those unnecessary background processes and services.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thyamine (531612)
      This isn't a half bad idea really, especially with Microsoft pushing their 'Games for Windows' initiative. Most users don't have any idea they have services running, let alone which they could turn off. A Gaming Mode would be a simple way to get some resources back.

      Although on the other side, I don't think they'd actually ever do something like that because that would imply that you don't actually need those programs/services to begin with, and demonstrate how much they really are bloated.
  • Jesus. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#24184985) Journal

    Features? It doesn't need new features, most people don't use the features it already has. What it needs is not to suck!

    The first thing Microsoft needs to do is look at everything from the user perspective. What can be faster, lighter, more convenient? What can be more stable? The absolute last thing they need to do is to--even for a second--imagine that bolting some shiny crap onto Vista is going to somehow make people happy with it.

    Christ. Some of the stuff he thinks 7 needs is stuff that would make any knowledgable geek recoil in horror. WinFS?!? Are you kidding me?

    "Game Mode" so I can turn off the resource hogging of my OS and run a game? NO! Pay attention! I want the OS to not hog resources.

    A standards compliant web browser? It's called Firefox. Next.

    Site licensing for the home user? *pause for sardonic laughter* Yea, right, that's going to happen about the time Ballmer gay marries Steve Jobs.

    The only things I think he had right (aside from the impossible things like a modular os, etc) were XP virtual machine/emulation, and a better UAC interface. An XP vm would be a quick and dirty fix for compatibility issues; Mac pulled this with OS9 emulation, and it definitely smoothed their adpotion of OSX. As far as the UAC, Microsoft has always been the king of suck as far as security interfaces go; I almost always end up having to disable security to get the machine to do the crap I want it to do, and while I've got faith in my upstream security, I'm the kind of person who can't ever have enough security, and it pisses me off when some of it is useless. If you have to disable security to make your machine work, it's WORTHLESS (I'm looking at you too Symantec).

    blah blah. End rant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ashbory (781835)

      Features? It doesn't need new features, most people don't use the features it already has. What it needs is not to suck!

      I think you nailed it. The article should be "20 features Windows 7 Should Remove."

    • Re:Jesus. (Score:4, Funny)

      by EXMSFT (935404) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:42PM (#24185855)
      I suggested an XP virtual machine to be built into Longhorn for this exact reason. A senior manager told me, and I quote, "virtualization is not a solution to application compatibility".
  • by urbanriot (924981) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:57PM (#24185003)
    It's mind boggling that third party apps (Ultramon, Oscar) or drivers (Matrox, Nvidia) have had better dual monitor support for Windows since NT, yet Microsoft hasn't implemented any of their features. As far as I can see, nothing changed in regards to dual monitor features since Windows 2000.
  • by FreakinSyco (873416) on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:57PM (#24185009)

    Being that gadget zone is still a fan of the Redmond, Washington, company (although we like Apple too), gadget zone contributor and computer expert, Vito Cassisi, has come up with the 20 Microsoft must do's to ensure the success of Windows 7.

    20. Modularised OS

    The great thing about being modular is that the OS can be modified easily. Think Linux here - in Linux everything is modular and replaceable. For example, you can replace the whole GUI component without affecting anything else. With the abundance of third party applications written for Windows, this would spur a whole new variety of customisation and open-source implementation.

    19. XP Virtual Machine

    It seems that the biggest issue with Vista was compatibility with older software/drivers. A solution may be to include an XP virtual machine which ensures compatibility with said software. Apple did a similar thing when they re-wrote their OS a few years back.

    18. New UAC

    In theory UAC was a great idea. It protected people from themselves, but it was too intrusive. An alternate idea is to teach the user the importance of limited accounts and how they prevent the accessibility of nasties such as viruses. UAC should be a single dialogue with 'Continue' and 'Cancel' and an explanation of why the user was interrupted.

    17. Gaming Mode

    Most Windows users like to dabble in a bit of gaming when on their PC. But the constant demand for computing power by the latest titles (read: Crysis) can leave the majority in the dark. Perhaps Microsoft can offer a mode similar to that of the current 'Safe Mode' which only initiates the required services for gaming. This would minimise overhead and increase performance.

    16. Customised Install

    The avid performance tweakers out there may have heard of the likes of NLite and VLite for XP and Vista respectively. These pieces of software allow you to remove unwanted components from the OS before you install it. This increases available HDD space, and also improves performance depending on the services cut out. Offering the same amount of control when installing Windows 7 would settle the 'Windows is bloatware' activists out there.

    15. Productive GUI

    Microsoft bit the bullet with Vista and changed the GUI to be attractive. This is fine by all means, but the productivity of this new GUI wasn't exactly enhanced all that much. Small things such as multiple desktops and simpler open/save dialogues can make all the difference. Perhaps even let the user modify the GUI to their liking, i.e. toolbar sizes etc.

    14. All for One and One for All

    Vista came out in so many versions that even Chuck Norris was bewildered. There should only be three, Home, Business/Pro, and Server. This would lessen the current Windows ambiguity.

    13. WinFS

    Whatever happened to the infamous NTFS replacement? Windows 7 would really benefit from an improved file system, and such an improvement is bound to attract businesses that shunned Vista for its lack of innovation and improvement. The relational database structure should enhance overall system performance.

    12. Home User Licensing

    Let's say you have 3 PCs in your house, two desktops and a laptop. You want to upgrade to Windows 7, but have to pay three times for three separate licences. In a world where P2P and torrents are commonly used, how many users would slip into the world of cracks and keygens? The solution (to an extent) would be to offer a home licence. A small fee to be able to use the OS up to, for example, five times in the one household would surely benefit both Microsoft and the average home user.

    11. Driver Availability

    Arguably the Achilles heel of Vista was the slow uptake of drivers by device manufacturers. Although this is hard for Microsoft to dictate, it would be in their best interest to promote driver production during the OS development stage. Even if the drivers are beta, it sure beats being left with no hardware functionality.

    10. Standards Compliant Browser

    This isn't mu

  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@@@devinmoore...com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @02:58PM (#24185029) Homepage Journal

    1. edit the boot screen from "windows XP" to say "windows 7", then just re-release it as the new version and continue to refine XP's codebase. problems solved!

  • UAC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlHunt (982887) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:00PM (#24185069) Homepage Journal
    Once Windows programs are written with UAC in mind, UAC won't be such a problem.

    In theory UAC was a great idea. It protected people from themselves, but it was too intrusive. An alternate idea is to teach the user the importance of limited accounts and how they prevent the accessibility of nasties such as viruses. UAC should be a single dialogue with 'Continue' and 'Cancel' and an explanation of why the user was interrupted.

  • by wikdwarlock (570969) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:01PM (#24185099) Homepage
    ...a hope for recovery?

    Isn't this a bit gloomy? I know it's cool 'round these parts to bash M$, but seriously, do we HONESTLY believe that Vista, even the flop that it is, is marking some sort of very likely demise for Windows? Isn't it much more likely, that, as with 98 ME for example, users will suffer through the pains of Vista and M$ will continue to be the majority OS by a large margin for several years?
  • Nearly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:02PM (#24185107) Journal

    new UAC, program caching, standards compliant browser

    From what I've seen from builds so far, UAC is getting modified in that you'll be able to say "Don't bug me again for for X minutes"...program caching is in Vista called SuperFetch...works nicely if you have the RAM (even if people tend to complain it "uses my memory", ironically)...and IE8 is supposed to be standards compliant by default. So, out of that list, 2 out of 3 are already here if you don't use IE, and UAC prompts are rare if you don't use software from 10 years ago.

  • No DRM, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:04PM (#24185145) Journal

    A proper Windows Classic GUI, and MUCH lower system requirements than Vista. Dual-booting XP works fine for running games, and that's all I need Windows for. Make me want to upgrade, don't force me. They tried that with Vista but I got Halo 2 to run on XP anyways. Also try to make UAC less of a PITA.

    The Colin Chapman theory of design applies here: "To add speed, add lightness."

    Vista is a fatass riced-out American SUV with flat tires and the brakes stuck halfway on. Dump that POS and try again.

  • by alan_dershowitz (586542) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:06PM (#24185183)

    It's 2008. Dump the triumvirate of Windows design retardedness:

    1. Drive letters (we are not using CP/M)
    2. Backward slashes for directory separation (we are not using DOS)
    3. CRLF (we are not using a typewriter!)

  • It should include (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sitnalta (1051230) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:08PM (#24185225)

    1) Hardware acceleration
    2) Only two versions. Home and Pro.
    3) An expose function that is actually useful
    4) Multiple desktops
    5) IP over 1394a/b
    6) NTFS support for Readyboost
    7) Built-in support for running on a virtual machine
    8) Better organization in the control panel and start menu.

    And that's just off the top of my head!

  • TFA is crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Interfacer (560564) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:09PM (#24185239)

    I read that article earlier today, and it is complete drivel.
    One of the points is they want to do away with UAC and instead educate the users.
    But otoh they complain that there is no status bar telling people that Vista is using their RAM for caching. So what do you want the users to be: Expert or novice?
    And I'm all for educating users, but
    a) it doesn't work if they don't care and
    b) Microsoft got bashed for not protecting the users. UAC enforces the design guidelines that were not enforced up until now.

    And it has to be 'productive' Fine. You tell them what 'productive' constitutes and they'll be happy enough to implement it. As it is, usability experts find it difficult enough.
    Is 'the gimp' so much better?

    And it has to be rewritten from scratch.
    You can complain about the Shell all you want, but the Vista kernel is an engineering masterpiece, and there are some real design innovations in there. Read 'Windows Systems Internals, 4th edition' if you don't believe me.

    Yes, windows has its problems, but the list in TFA is complete bollocks as far as I am concerned. It is just a bunch of easy catchphrases for getting support from the windows bashers and for getting hits on their page.

  • Package manager (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:09PM (#24185253) Journal

    The centralized repository of software is one place Linux really shines. It can be done more easily with open source software, but as the iTunes store shows us, it doesn't have to be open source. Microsoft could easily offer vendors a place in its own software store that's tied to the Add/Remove programs dialog. Want a freeware program, it's a couple clicks away. Want Photoshop, it's a couple clicks and a credit card number away.

    I'd imagine there would be some anti-trust considerations though.

  • Untrusted Apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FrankSchwab (675585) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:11PM (#24185293) Journal

    1. I want to be able to install an application without having to give it complete and unfettered access to every single aspect of my machine. As a long list of "reputable" companies (Sony, Intuit, Apple, every game engine, etc) have proven, I can't trust any of them. They all want to install rootkits, spyware, adware, whatever they can when I choose to install their app. I can't find out beforehand what they're going to install, I can't easily find out afterwards what they did install.

    Give me a way to sandbox every single app. I don't care if that means that I can't install an app that hooks the keyboard, or the filesystem. I want my machine to continue to run!

    2. Implement a "Snitch" mode for performance. Tell me why my computer takes 3 minutes to boot, and name names. Tell me why my computer takes 2 minutes to shut down, and name names.

    These are OS-level improvements (not eye candy implemented in the windows manager) that would make my life easier. /frank

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:12PM (#24185315) Homepage Journal
    - NO drm shit to slow down the computer
    - No bloating of the system with embedded browsers, players or other shit
    - Modular structure that only installs or loads stuff that is absolutely necessary
    - No 2342532523 different versions that only came to being due to shit from the marketing department
    - No 'we could do it, but we wont give some features to old oses to force you to go up to 7' thing, like the dx10 flop in vista
    - NO 'win 7 certified' logo on computers that cant run win 7.
    - Less chair throwing

    that should get you going ...
  • by MattW (97290) <matt@ender.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:13PM (#24185327) Homepage

    I'd really like a smarmy paperclip that will pipe up all the time and suggest things. Say, it pops up while posting on the Intarwebs and says, "It looks like you're trying to spell the word 'ridiculous'. Can I help with that?"

  • The Text (Score:3, Informative)

    by Paranatural (661514) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:15PM (#24185361)

    Being that gadget zone is still a fan of the Redmond, Washington, company (although we like Apple too), gadget zone contributor and computer expert, Vito Cassisi, has come up with the 20 Microsoft must do's to ensure the success of Windows 7.

    20. Modularised OS

    The great thing about being modular is that the OS can be modified easily. Think Linux here - in Linux everything is modular and replaceable. For example, you can replace the whole GUI component without affecting anything else. With the abundance of third party applications written for Windows, this would spur a whole new variety of customisation and open-source implementation.

    19. XP Virtual Machine

    It seems that the biggest issue with Vista was compatibility with older software/drivers. A solution may be to include an XP virtual machine which ensures compatibility with said software. Apple did a similar thing when they re-wrote their OS a few years back.

    18. New UAC

    In theory UAC was a great idea. It protected people from themselves, but it was too intrusive. An alternate idea is to teach the user the importance of limited accounts and how they prevent the accessibility of nasties such as viruses. UAC should be a single dialogue with âContinueâ(TM) and âCancelâ(TM) and an explanation of why the user was interrupted.

    17. Gaming Mode

    Most Windows users like to dabble in a bit of gaming when on their PC. But the constant demand for computing power by the latest titles (read: Crysis) can leave the majority in the dark. Perhaps Microsoft can offer a mode similar to that of the current âSafe Modeâ(TM) which only initiates the required services for gaming. This would minimise overhead and increase performance.

    16. Customised Install

    The avid performance tweakers out there may have heard of the likes of NLite and VLite for XP and Vista respectively. These pieces of software allow you to remove unwanted components from the OS before you install it. This increases available HDD space, and also improves performance depending on the services cut out. Offering the same amount of control when installing Windows 7 would settle the âWindows is bloatwareâ(TM) activists out there.

    15. Productive GUI

    Microsoft bit the bullet with Vista and changed the GUI to be attractive. This is fine by all means, but the productivity of this new GUI wasnâ(TM)t exactly enhanced all that much. Small things such as multiple desktops and simpler open/save dialogues can make all the difference. Perhaps even let the user modify the GUI to their liking, i.e. toolbar sizes etc.

    14. All for One and One for All

    Vista came out in so many versions that even Chuck Norris was bewildered. There should only be three, Home, Business/Pro, and Server. This would lessen the current Windows ambiguity.

    13. WinFS

    Whatever happened to the infamous NTFS replacement? Windows 7 would really benefit from an improved file system, and such an improvement is bound to attract businesses that shunned Vista for its lack of innovation and improvement. The relational database structure should enhance overall system performance.

    12. Home User Licensing

    Letâ(TM)s say you have 3 PCs in your house, two desktops and a laptop. You want to upgrade to Windows 7, but have to pay three times for three separate licences. In a world where P2P and torrents are commonly used, how many users would slip into the world of cracks and keygens? The solution (to an extent) would be to offer a home licence. A small fee to be able to use the OS up to, for example, five times in the one household would surely benefit both Microsoft and the average home user.

    11. Driver Availability

    Arguably the Achilles heel of Vista was the slow uptake of drivers by device manufacturers. Although this is hard for Microsoft to dictate, it would be in their best interest to promote driver production during the OS development stage. Even if the drivers are beta, it sure beats being left with no hardwar

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:18PM (#24185415)
    1) DRM

    2) UAC

    3) DRM

    4) excessive bloating

    5) DRM

    .

    .

    .

  • Killing Processes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dukw_butter (805576) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:22PM (#24185469)
    I want more control over the O/S and less questioning of my actions by the O/S. For instance, I want the ability to kill a process without further interrogation. And when I kill a process, I don't want to see it lingering out there, requiring me to kill it 9 times. Actually, what the computer needs is a setting to tell it how advanced the computer user is, from say 1 - 10. Where a 1 is a housewife and a 10 is an XP kernel developer. Then, I would set my O/S to a 10, and it would do what I tell it to without question (deleting files, killing processes, etc.)
    • by BlueParrot (965239) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:59PM (#24186175)

      1 - 10. Where a 1 is a housewife and a 10 is an XP kernel developer.

      Actually there's just 4 levels:

      1 - Windows
      2 - OSX
      3 - Ubuntu
      4 - Any other *nix

         

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:35PM (#24185735)

    It seems like the low-hanging fruit would be to copy the parts of Linux and OS X where Windows is still behind. This would include:

    • ZeroConf applied it to all local network services like chat, local Web server, file server, text editors, music sharing, etc.
    • a package manager suited to Windows software (easy install from Web, features to encourage use by commercial companies).
    • virtual desktops, expose, and other GUI innovation.
    • spell checking, grammar checking, language translation, dictionary and thesaurus lookup, and other text services applied usable from all applications.
  • by Dogun (7502) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:52PM (#24186033) Homepage

    20. Modularised OS
    This example is silly. You can use different user interfaces by changing the desktop shell. Hell, there's a posix subsystem floating around there somewhere if you want to use it.
    19. XP Virtual Machine
    'Virtual Machine' is a big buzzword, but the truth is you're going to hit issues with drivers and this situation, and with software that does a lot of heinouss stuff on XP, and with games that hate running on VM, and no matter how much you'd like it to be the case, someone would be whining about how hard it is to sync files to and from the XP VM.
    18. New UAC
    The author's premise is wrong here; UAC is clearly about making sure new apps are authored for the standard user, old apps function the same for protected administrator as for standard user, and making the standard user a more viable option for people. Changing UAC significantly is a bad move for MSFT.
    17. Gaming Mode
    So you should reboot to play games? That's absurd. Services spend most of their time sleeping, and memory pages that aren't in use get paged out when the system is under pressure. I doubt you would see much room for an increase in perf with this 'gaming mode'.
    16. Customised Install
    This is probably fair. The 'advanced install' type options could give you choices like with XP. However, then you would need the DVD in order to add Windows features later. Currently, it does a full install, and just doesn't 'install' certain features that are sitting on the system waiting to be enabled. So, in a sense, you do already have that customizability - but it comes at the cost of disk space in order to be convenient. I'll stick with the option that doesn't force me to dig around for a Vista DVD to enable a webserver, though, thanks.
    15. Productive GUI
    GUI programming and fit and finish are TREMENDOUSLY hard. The author might as well ask for the moon in a picnic basket. He also fails to notice that Vista goes to great lengths to make the UI more accessible for the visually impaired, appease the people who like the XP feel (see the control panel options), and yes, for efficiency - see the 'search' widget at the bottom of the start menu. Explorer views are TREMENDOUSLY more featureful now than in XP, as are the search tools if you don't disable the search indexer.
    14. All for One and One for All
    Author says there should just be one SKU. I agree. Won't happen.
    13. WinFS
    The author blindly asserts the relational database would speed things up. There's a reason WinFS was canceled; to the math. Windows does need a new filesystem, but there's no need to throw out 40 years of filesystem traditions.
    12. Home User Licensing
    I agree, Microsoft should explore alternative licensing and pricing models. But it won't happen for Win7, I don't think.
    11. Driver Availability
    32-bit drivers mostly continue to work. Many services that had UI components are broken by session 0 isolation for services in Vista, requiring a rewrite - and that's a good thing. See 'Shatter attack'. As for 64-bit? Complain to vendors. 64-bit OS isn't that hard to write for. This is not MS's fault.
    10. Standards Compliant Browser
    Nobody has a standards compliant browser. Yes, there's the ACID test, but the test changes with time, raising the bar on browsers. More importantly, Javascript is a mess of a language. So long as it's around, the web is going to be a graveyard of usability and standardization. And the same goes for browser plugins.
    9. Program Caching
    Superfetch. It pre-loads stuff during the start of your process to improve start times. Most people don't even know this is occuring. Why bother them with a popup that would occur at LITERALLY, every process start, and offers no options?
    8. Microsoft Toolbox
    Sort of like a package management system for 3rd party software. Sounds grand. Maybe someday.
    7. OS Restoration via imaging
    System restore is QUICK and CHEAP, but it's not a backup. If you want to back up your system, BACK UP YOUR SYSTEM. Unless reimaging would wipe the

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Monday July 14, 2008 @03:57PM (#24186121) Homepage Journal
    The problem with these recommendations is that they are formulated from the perspective of "What would make Windows a better operating system?" It's being thought of in terms of, what improvements are in the best interest of Windows users?

    That's not how it works. Vista is a shining example of the fact that new features in Windows are designed to be in the best interest of Microsoft. Sometimes the interests of Microsoft and its users overlap (for example, an OS that doesn't crash quite as much will provide a better user experience, but it also saves Microsoft tech support dollars) but more often their interests are conflicting (end users were not asking for more DRM).

    The bottom line is that operating systems are not killer apps. The job of an operating system is to provide a platform for the launching of applications. Do that and then get out of the way.

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