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Intel Operating Systems Software Windows

Vendors Rally While Windows Sleeps 321

Posted by kdawson
from the metaphors-just-don't-get-any-better dept.
Anti-Globalism sends along a PCWorld article outlining two technologies from Intel and Dell that do an end run around Windows. "Dell, Intel and their partners announced last week new technologies that represent major leaps forward for mobility. The companies seem to have discovered the secret to making such bold leaps: Cut Microsoft out of the deal. One technology involves enabling users to gain instant access to a laptop's e-mail, browser and other basic functionality — without booting Windows at all. The second technology enables an Internet-based message to wake a Windows PC from sleep mode. These new technologies are perfect metaphors for what's happening in the industry... Windows is asleep while Microsoft's own partners give users what they really want."
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Vendors Rally While Windows Sleeps

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    OMG, 1996 called, it wants its story back.

  • by duckInferno (1275100) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:43PM (#24652385) Journal
    Put microsoft's hand in warm water while they're at it. We'll get the next version of Windows a year early!
  • WTF is this shit? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573)

    Wake on LAN is ancient.
    Dual booting is ancient.

    • Re:WTF is this shit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sexconker (1179573) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:47PM (#24652459)

      Fuck it, I'll reply to myself.

      "Microsoft has been pushing Remote Desktop and its communications software for years. But apparently it never occurred to anyone in Redmond that people might want to leave their PCs in sleep mode, then have them turn on for remote access or VoIP calls."

      Remote Desktop supports wake on LAN.
      When you try to connect, it tries to wake the machine up. If the machine has wake on lan enabled, and you don't have any NAT issues, it'll work.

    • Microsoft Challenge? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nymz (905908)
      Perhaps there is a group that would like Microsoft to enter and control the motherboard and hardware markets. Or perhaps someone is just regurgitating anti-MS propaganda in order to feel smart without actually thinking for themselves. I guess that as long as they stay out of political discussions, I can live with it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know, seeing as how the submitter calls himself "Anti-Globalism" (with a link to his website) and he includes some stupid, Slashdot-pandering quip in the summary about how "Windows is asleep", I'd say this person has engineered this story so kdawson would pick it up (thinking it would be perfect for the Slashdot crowd) and promote his own website.

      Slashdot, you have been gamed.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:46PM (#24652435)

    One strategy for Microsoft in order to counter this trend is to modify its Windows OS license in a way that specifically prohibits this kind of set-up.

    This way, a laptop will have to run a non Windows OS in order to be participant in DELL's "DELL Latitude On" or INTEL's "Intel Remote Wake."

    I know this is not illegal.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:47PM (#24652457)

    It takes way too many resources. Maybe 3 years down the line, but Microsoft really dropped the ball by ignoring the reality of the fastest growing segment in computer sales.

    Because of this, Apple is having great sales on the high/upper-mid-end with it's very nice line notebooks and Linux is getting a start on the lower end.

    Without Vista, I don't think it would have been possible for Linux to get a foothold.

    The year of Linux on the Desktop is distant, but thanks to Microsoft, the Year of Linux on the notebook looks like it's becoming reality sooner rather than later.

    And the way a distro like Ubuntu evolves so quickly from year to year, I think it's a mistake that MS can't afford to do again.

    In a few years, we'll see that MS was the one who dropped the ball to allow the competition the elbow room to come in.

    It's also making things worse by having so many different versions and while it's debatable that Vista should have been wholly 64bit (definitely by Windows 7), MS doesn't even have the decency to provide 32/64bit on the same disc but is trying to grab every nickel it can from it's customers who chose one or the other (many discs don't qualify from alternative media).

    • Correction (Score:5, Funny)

      by sexconker (1179573) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:49PM (#24652473)

      Apple is having decent sales in the overpriced, zealot segment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by flyingfsck (986395)

      "Without Vista, anti-trust law suits and billions of dollars in fines, I don't think it would have been possible for Linux to get a foothold."

      --there, fixed it for you.

    • by j0217995 (597878) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:10PM (#24652717)

      Really? Linux on the laptop is growing? Just based on non scientific study but i'm in a lot of airports across the United States. I can count on the one hand the laptops I've seen that are running Linux this year, 2. I do see a growing a number of Macs, but I am hearing more and more of the Vista startup sound on Laptops as the year goes on.

      If this growth in Linux laptops are growing, I haven't seen them

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Freaky Spook (811861)

      Sorry call BS with that.

      I have a Dell XPS M1330 running Vista Ultimate, and its been flawless and has been for 9 months now.
      It has dedicated graphics and 3GB of RAM and it has more then enough resources spare to do all of my work.

      At times I have had to host visualised servers on it running exchange and domain controllers while performing server migrations and Vista has performed admirably while balancing resources with the Virtual OS's and running my mail and other programs I usually run.

      I do have a lot of

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)

        It has dedicated graphics and 3GB of RAM and it has more then enough resources spare to do all of my work.

        That *isn't* a normal notebook. That is a high-medium to high performance notebook. For everyone else they are lucky to get 2 GB of RAM and a dual-core CPU. Of course Vista will run on it, but XP or Linux is going to run like 10 times better on the thing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by westlake (615356)
          That *isn't* a normal notebook. That is a high-medium to high performance notebook. Of course Vista will run on it, but XP or Linux is going to run like 10 times better on the thing.
          .

          I dislike echoing one of my own recent comments.

          That said:

          The Dual Core 4 GB RAM 32 Bit Vista Premium laptop at Walmart.com is $850. Acer 16" Aspire 6920-6508 Laptop PC w/ Intel Core 2 Duo Processor [walmart.com]

          The 64 Bit Dual Core Vista Premium laptop with 4 GB RAM is $1000.

          The 64 Bit Dual Core Vista Premium laptop with Blu-Ray and N

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by magicchex (898936)

          Um I'm been bargain hunting lately for a laptop and 3-4GB dual core laptops are what you get for $400-$800 these days.

    • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116473 [newegg.com]
      both 32 and 64bit on a single disc.
    • by FoolsGold (1139759) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:56PM (#24653699)

      Depends what you mean by a normal laptop. For example, I've got a Toshiba Satellite Pro with a Core2Duo 1.66 GHz, 2 GB RAM and a 250 GB HDD. I'm run both Vista Business and Ubuntu 8.04 on this thing and noticed the following:

      * Both systems support standby/hibernation properly, but Vista is quicker to resume from either mode. Ubuntu does hibernate quicker though.

      * Vista actually lasts longer on battery than Ubuntu. I don't have values, merely observations based on the same kind of work (eg. browsing, email, etc). Probably helps that Vista fully supports multiple power-saving features that either aren't enabled in Ubuntu or aren't up to the same level of maturity as in Windows.

      * Ubuntu suffers from a "bug" whereby many hard drives will spin down after several seconds of non-use, which kinda reduces the lifespan Vista doesn't have this issue, although it's hard to determine if that's only because the drive is always flashing every so often.

      * Both systems are zippy enough when configured well, although Vista takes absolutely forever to start from a cold boot which is why standby/hibernation is a must with it.

      Because I much prefer the software selection and functionality of most Windows software compared to Linux variants, I'm sticking with Vista as my primary on this machine, but Linux is certainly getting better for laptops.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        * Ubuntu suffers from a "bug" whereby many hard drives will spin down after several seconds of non-use, which kinda reduces the lifespan Vista doesn't have this issue, although it's hard to determine if that's only because the drive is always flashing every so often.

        I just love finding "bugs" in software based on observations of the tiny blinky lights!

      • by gr8dude (832945) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:55AM (#24655387) Homepage

        Linux is known to be more power-hungry than Windows; I noticed the same on my computers.

        Windows XP works about 40min longer than openSuse11 on the same machine, using default settings.

        Here is some reading material:
        - http://www.lesswatts.org/projects/powertop/ [lesswatts.org]
        - there was a white paper written by folk from Intel, I don't remember where I found it, but it could be somewhere here: http://oss.intel.com/en-us/casestudies/ [intel.com]

        You need to switch to a tickless kernel, and tinker with powertop - that should improve things.

        Note that in my case, none of the powertop tricks had any impact - I was surprised to see that no matter what I did, the estimated time would always be 1h45min. This is still an experiment in progress, so don't count this feedback as 100% certain.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tim C (15259)

      Define "normal laptop". My ex bought what I consider to be a mid-price laptop (around £700) which shipped with Vista Home Premium, and it works perfectly. Plenty responsive enough and no issues that either of us has seen.

      It's also making things worse by having so many different versions

      There are two versions that the vast majority of people will be exposed to, Home Basic and Home Premium. Yes, business users will also have to choose from Ultimate and Business, but if you go out to buy a PC from a shop

  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:48PM (#24652461) Homepage
    Having the computer work just like a TV, toaster, or microwave is very appealing to many. I don't know MS can't come up with refinements to make the computer "just work", but most of the time email and web are all I need. If someone can make that work at the push of a button, I'll probably use it a lot and so will my parents and grandparents.
    • by sexconker (1179573) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:55PM (#24652541)

      Now it's "I just need web and email.".
      Next month it'll be "Sound would be nice.".
      Then you'll be bitching "Damn we need support for youtube and flickr up in this bitch.".
      Then you'll say "Can we get a fucking IM client and some printer support? It's 2010!".

      Ultra mobile / webtop / nettop / netbook / whatever is retarded.

      • Hopefully if this gets popular then more apps will be made Web Based. As many already are You can currently IM over the web and you just need Flash. Nothing to much to ask for by 2010.

      • by symbolset (646467) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:02PM (#24653211) Journal

        If you want all of that in your long-life Windows laptop, then get yourself a $22 SDHC card and install Ubuntu on it with all the extras. I've tried it. Boots in 3 seconds. No moving parts. Snappy fast and low power if you set it up to turn off your HDD - or better yet, pull that out - you won't need it.

      • FUD about netbooks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jmorris42 (1458) *

        > Next month it'll be "Sound would be nice.".
        > Then you'll be bitching "Damn we need support for youtube and flickr up in this bitch.".
        > Then you'll say "Can we get a fucking IM client and some printer support? It's 2010!".
        > Ultra mobile / webtop / nettop / netbook / whatever is retarded.

        Helloooo, Mcfly!

        This Dell thing is kinda retarded but netbooks aren't. An ASUS EEEPC has sound, it ships with a version of mplayer that looks nice and has pretty broad codec support. Firefox has the flash plug

        • by symbolset (646467)

          "This Dell thing" is not kinda retarded. It's really kinda cool. A long life laptop inside your laptop with Instant on. And it runs Linux. The way SDHC cards are running these days you could socket or solder a 16GB flash drive inside the notebook and install and OS on it, or use it for files. That way a lot of the hardware that burns juice can be turned off unless you need it. Brilliant! Why would you need to wait 7 minutes for Vista to get ready when all you want to do is something trivial like play

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jmorris42 (1458) *

            > A long life laptop inside your laptop with Instant on.

            That's kinda retarded, and an indication of just how broken x86 is. But now that market forces are demanding lower power/longer battery life this seperate SoC is a stopgap measure at best.

            What is needed is for Intel/AMD/Via to start taking power management serious. Give CPU's the ability to completely shutdown unneeded sections, the second core, the SSE, etc. Take clock reduction to the max. Be able to take a clock from 2GHz down to 200MHz with

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      I don't know MS can't come up with refinements to make the computer "just work", but most of the time email and web are all I need. If someone can make that work at the push of a button, I'll probably use it a lot and so will my parents and grandparents.

      To get my parents and grandparents onboard, the computer would need to do more than "just work".

      It would literally need to be stupid simple.
      Minimal UI with descriptive text instead of icons.
      No assumptions that they understand how the UI works or should work.
      No right-clicking the mouse (hello Macintosh)
      etc etc etc.

    • If someone can make that work at the push of a button

      I already do. I push the button to turn on my Monitor.
      Easy as that!

    • Anybody remember the "Swyftcard" for the Apple ][? It was a card with a boot ROM that loaded a PIM-like program instantly.

      Nothing new under the Sun, I guess.
    • by pz (113803) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:25PM (#24653421) Journal

      A long time ago, and by internet standards, I mean in pre-historic times, there was a computer called the Lisp Machine, designed and built at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. We're talking mid-1980s here. That's more than TWO DECADES AGO. Your cell phone would run circles around a LispM.

      One of the amazing things about LispMs is that they came up really, really quickly, despite having very large and slow disk drives. They did this by essentially performing a full boot and then saving that precise memory image (including all peripheral state) to a special part of the disk called a band. This is not unlike the modern laptops' suspend-to-disk feature, except that bands were pretty static. The intent was that you set up your machine just so, and then wrote what you felt was the canonical startup state to the band. Then, every time the machine started, the band loaded in from disk, and POOF! was ready to go.

      It was a radical departure, and one that, unfortunately, was not learned by the industry. I would *love* to have my laptop use bands. Save-to-disk is nice and all, but since laptop hardware (and Linux support for it) is so f-ing flaky, it's far better to have a feature to boot quickly to a known-good state.

      What's the relevance here? LispMs were as fast to boot as you'd expect for a computational appliance. OMFG if I have to boot my current Linux desktop or Windows laptop it takes eons to come up, and that's with hardware that's probably three orders of magnitude faster. Our modern machines should be in a known, operable state in under a second, and the only reason they aren't is poor engineering / pressure from Microsoft.

      • by pz (113803)

        ... and the only reason they aren't is poor engineering / pressure from Microsoft.

        If there's anyone from Transmeta here, they can attest to this. One of my former roommates worked there, and had horrible tales about getting their hardware to boot quickly. Funny thing about these stories were they always concluded with either (a) we found a bug in Microsoft's startup code that was making things run K times slower than they should have or (b) Microsoft specifies that this part of the booting sequence can't be made any faster than X seconds.

  • The second technology enables an Internet-based message to wake a Windows PC from sleep mode.

    Intel and Dell declined to discuss a rumored third technology, where by after the second has awakened your PC, an virus is installed.

  • by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:08PM (#24652691)
    ...the mighty jungle
    The Ballmer sleeps tonight...

    Somebody continue...
  • by bit13 (248667)

    PC World has a decent summary of Intel Remote Wake Technology.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/149863/2008/08/.html [pcworld.com]

    Then there's also the actual Intel site
    http://www.intel.com/technology/chipset/remotewake.htm [intel.com]

  • by dAzED1 (33635) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:21PM (#24652819) Homepage Journal
    Windows kicked itself the ass for short term gains that caused them loooong term issues by making such an expansive "operating system" that comes with many, many things that have nothing to do with, well, an OS. The OS should be a platform by upon which other things are based; so why is it news that this is happening? Did slashdot report when Netware 2.0 came out in 1985 and provided an easy way to do filesharing in MSDOS?

    It's not news, it's fark^H^H^H^Hslashdot.com? Oh, and I know, please tell me about all the things RedHat comes with...except:

    1)those extras aren't forced, they're easy to remove (unless they're gnome...), and they're all OSS

    2)you're missing the point. The point is that the OS shouldn't be expected to provide EVERYTHING. It's not a problem when IBM modifies RedHat to work with their LPARs, and it's not news when someone makes a Windows appliance without Windows. That's supposed to happen, on a regular basis.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Did slashdot report when Netware 2.0 came out in 1985 and provided an easy way to do filesharing in MSDOS?

      Yes they did, but I can't find it. For some strange reason I can't retrieve Slashdot articles that are older than 10 years or so.

  • Isn't Sideshow pretty much exactly what ON was supposed to do except it's attached to the main screen?

    • Isn't Sideshow pretty much exactly what ON was supposed to do except it's attached to the main screen?

      Actually Sideshow is designed to work with a small secondary screen [engadget.com]. As for why it never generated interest for the mobile user/traveler: Imagine having a device that you could use to just browse the web and use email, turned on almost instantly and was very portable! Better still, imagine making calls through it!

      I'm wondering when I can dispense with the laptop completely and just use some sort of flexible/unfolding display attached to the mobile phone, along with a travel keyboard and mouse, at least for

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by im_thatoneguy (819432)

        Sideshow is designed for small screens, however there is nothing which would prevent you from using a full screen except for increased power consumption for the backlight.

        I'm just saying that it's not like Microsoft is ignoring the "Instant On Sub Computer" concept. It's just that Dell is deciding to make their own implementation.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:32PM (#24652941)

    Windows is asleep while Microsoft's own partners give users what they really want.

    Bender: black jack... and hookers. In fact - forget the black jack!

    And don't get me started on the phrase "do an end run around Windows" when it clearly should be "reach around" - at least that's the only way *I* can enjoy my Microsoft products. :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by db32 (862117)

      Grab Windows by the Ballmer? I hope that gives you mental imagery that causes you to kill yourself for mentioning reach arounds, enjoyment, and Windows in a single line.

  • Somebody send it an Internet-based message to wake it, then.
  • Slow news day eh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by deanston (1252868) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:52PM (#24653119)

    I have an ancient machine that plays CD/DVD in 5 seconds without booting - it's called a DVD player.

    Seriously, HP had PCs that can do that 2-3 years ago. Oracle worked on a DB server that can run without booting into Windows OS more than 5 years ago. On new mobile phones you can open up your email within 5 seconds. Stop giving free press to Intel and Dell until they have the real guts to get away from Windows entirely.

  • Been done before... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:01PM (#24653189)
    On my old Alienware laptop there was a button you could press that loaded a minimal Linux distro to play DVDs and CDs without loading Windows.
  • by gsarnold (52800) <{gsarnold} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:02PM (#24654215)

    My new Asus P5Q Pro has a feature called ExpressGate that lets you boot a thin BIOS OS (Linux?) with Firefox, Email, etc. The installer runs from Windows, and it may or may not use data from the hard disk, but you enable/disable the feature in the BIOS.

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:13PM (#24654317) Homepage Journal
    I don't think users would like their PCs to be accessible from the 'net while they have switched them off. That's just what all the law enforcement / domestic surveillance agencies want, a perfect way to spy on people ...

    Similar technology is already used on mobile phones, they can be remotely reprogrammed to pretend that they're switched off while they're recording and transmitting your conversation.

    We don't live in a 1984 world yet, but the usual greedy Megacorps are trying to patent the required technology already...

  • by wonkavader (605434) on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:21PM (#24654369)

    I'm left asking, "What's the windows processor for, once I have a low power, light Linux system which boots in a flash?" I know I'm not currently the norm, but I think I'm more and more the norm. You don't have to add much to the system they're describing to make it everything I want in a laptop. (Not a desktop replacement laptop, but an ultra-portable take-with-me device.)

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:50PM (#24654549)
    I realize that I am probably just beating a dead horse here but most modern OSes simply boot too many services and other infrastructure (drivers, programs, libraries, or whatever else, etc) which most users simply are not going to use in an average desktop login session. It would be nice if the boot sequences in various OSes could be more configurable (Linux is better on this count than Windows) as to what needs to be loaded during boot and what can wait to be loaded as needed on demand. There is also the issue of what does and does not belong in the kernel (aka the Mach vs Monolithic kernel debate), but that is a separate (albeit related) problem. The other technology that would go a long way towards rendering the boot issues moot is the solid state hard drive, but that too still has a ways to go before it can match the number of write/rewrites before failure of the good old mechanical magnetic drives that most of us are still using right now. One solution, which could be interesting, would to have a solid state memory for the core OS so that the boot times are fast, but then load programs from the larger (and slower but cheaper and reliable) magnetic disk until solid state discs are roughly equal or superior to mechanical magnetic drives in expected service lifetime.
  • New Technology (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @12:58AM (#24655151)

    One technology involves enabling users to gain instant access to a laptop's e-mail, browser and other basic functionality -- without booting Windows at all.

    Uh, my laptop already uses technology that allows this, and it allows more than "basic functionality". This stunning new technology is called "Linux".

  • Dell Media Direct (Score:3, Informative)

    by shyster (245228) <.ude.lfu. .ta. .ttekcarb.> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:29AM (#24656631) Homepage

    Before Latitude ON, there was Dell MediaDirect [dell.com], a Windows XP Embedded [microsoft.com] partition that booted in about 10 seconds.

    The only user focused difference between the 2 that I see, is that MediaDirect is/was positioned as a way to access your files - and Latitude ON is positioned as a way to access the Internet.

    Technically, the whole "embed an ARM PC into an x86 PC" may be a better idea than the convoluted MBR and partitioning schemes MediaDirect employed [goodells.net] - but it's certainly more expensive as well.

    Then, as mentioned, there's Windows Sideshow [wikipedia.org], which even Dell is prototyping [sideshowdevices.com]. SideShow [microsoft.com] is more ambitious than Latitude ON, encompassing everything from sinlge line text displays to show system stats, to ARM based Windows Mobile devices to check email, play media files, etc. So far, it's failed to gain much traction in the marketplace - but, I think that it's still too early to call it dead.

    If you take a look at some of the prototype developments [ricavision.com] in the SideShow remote computer spaces, I think you'll agree that all the functionality of Latitude ON is there - it's just a seperate device instead of being housed in the same case as a laptop.

    So - it's not like Microsoft isn't aware or working on this market, Dell and Co. just decided to go their own way. Big deal - happens all the time. While MediaDirect used XP Embedded, other manafacturers were using Linux based OS's. Wake me up in 2 or 3+ years when the market has settled down, and we can declare a winner.

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