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How Vista Mistakes Changed Windows 7 Development 483

Posted by kdawson
from the expensive-education dept.
snydeq writes "For the past several months, Microsoft has engaged in an extended public mea culpa about Vista, holding a series of press interviews to explain how the company's Vista mistakes changed the development process of Windows 7. Chief among these changes was the determination to 'define a feature set early on' and only share that feature set with partners and customers when the company is confident they will be incorporated into the final OS. And to solve PC-compatibility issues, Microsoft has said all versions of Windows 7 will run even on low-cost netbooks. Moreover, Microsoft reiterated that the beta of Windows 7 that is now available is already feature-complete, although its final release to business customers isn't expected until November." As a data point for how well this has all worked out in practice, reader The other A.N.Other recommends a ZDNet article describing rough benchmarks for three versions of Windows 7 against Vista and XP. In particular, Win-7 build 7048 (64-bit) vs. Win-7 build 7000 (32-bit and 64-bit) vs. Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3 were tested on both high-end and low-end hardware. The conclusions: Windows 7 is, overall, faster than both Vista and XP. As Windows 7 progresses, it's getting faster (or at least the 64-bit editions are). On a higher-spec system, 64-bit is best. On a lower-spec system, 32-bit is best.
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How Vista Mistakes Changed Windows 7 Development

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @09:54PM (#27144411)
    We have talked about W7 performance on netbooks [slashdot.org] which will only allow to run 3 apps. Perfect for an antivirus, a firewall, an antispyware, the WGA [microsoft.com]... oh crap!
    • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:19PM (#27144681)

      My six year old laptop can run Windows 7 acceptably. It's not fast, but it's good enough to be usable for email, web-browsing, even YouTube videos. Therefore, I'd expect W7 to run fine on netbooks.

      That said, there's the question of why you'd want it on a netbook. It's different enough from previous versions of the OS that your grandma would probably prefer to just use XP, like she has been for years. And if the user is willing to accept a change, why pay for W7 when you can use some form of Linux, custom tailored for netbooks?

      The main draw of Windows is compatibility with all the apps out there. Netbooks aren't going to be running those apps, so why bother with Windows?

      • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:41PM (#27145429)

        > That said, there's the question of why you'd want it on a netbook.

        And that is their problem. Lets assume they really do make it faster than XP. (I know, but go with me here.)

        You are looking at netbooks. Three options are lined up:

        1. Linux. Cheapest on display, looks pretty but not Windows so it makes you a lottle nervous. (From POV of lifetime Windows user)

        2. Windows XP. Only a few dollars more than Linux, familiar, safe choice. That's why it is smoking the Penguin now. Of course this is only because Microsoft is basically giving it away.

        3. Windows 7. Folks say it actually runs a little faster than XP! Of course you pay even more than XP but you only get to have three apps open.... unless you pay a LOT more.

        So hands up if you would pick option 3. Uh huh, and that's their problem. Cheap XP stopped the Linux threat but now XP is likely to kill Windows 7 just as dead on the netbook. And if they kill XP the odds are pretty good that the penguin will resume rampaging all over the netbook market. But if XP is kept available and security updates are kept going how the heck do they get the corporate desktops to do a full refresh? Because they WON'T believe Windows 7 will run so well they won't have to refresh most of their hardware. And in this economy that probably isn't in the budget, especially if staying put on XP is an option.

        And all these careful plans are subject to being void if the ARM netbooks ever show up in force and live up to their prerelease publicity. Because then it is full Linux with OO.o, Firefox+Flash+plugins and repos with thousands of apps vs WinCE fighting it out in a segment where the prices will be falling into the $100-$200 range. Even if Microsoft 'wins' the hit to their revenue stream from competing with zero is going to start to hurt. Meanwhile those $400 x86 netbooks are falling to $300... at least if the cost of a Windows license stays cheap... but then it kinda has to since Linux isn't likely to have a price increase.

        And it gets better. As more corporate IT peeps learn Microsoft is handing out XP licenses for darned near $0 but won't let them get it unless they pay extra on top of a full Vista Business license they just might start asking their Microsoft sales weasels questions that really have no good answers. Or run some Linux pilot projects and make sure word get back to Microsoft, since that seems to get their attention. More downward pressure on revenues.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @12:26AM (#27145839)

          You are looking at netbooks. Three options are lined up:

          1. Linux. Cheapest on display, looks pretty but not Windows so it makes you a lottle nervous. (From POV of lifetime Windows user)

          2. Windows XP. Only a few dollars more than Linux, familiar, safe choice. That's why it is smoking the Penguin now. Of course this is only because Microsoft is basically giving it away.

          3. Windows 7. Folks say it actually runs a little faster than XP! Of course you pay even more than XP but you only get to have three apps open.... unless you pay a LOT more.

          So hands up if you would pick option 3. Uh huh, and that's their problem.

          They are paying OEMs to put Windows XP home on netbooks. Savvy people are buying these, wiping the disk, and putting Ubuntu on them. A full, unconstrained version of Ubuntu. Exactly what Microsoft cannot compete with and doesn't even want to try.

          Savvy people such as the French gendarmerie:

          http://www.osor.eu/news/fr-gendarmerie-saves-millions-with-open-desktop-and-web-applications [www.osor.eu]

          I find it amusing to think of Microsoft subsidising the hardware of my ex-XP Home-now-Ubuntu netbook.

          The really amusing thing is going to be watching Microsoft try to figure out how to get Windows 7 installed on future netbooks in place of XP Home ... and yet still make a profit.

          Same price as current XP Home ... no profit.

          Reasonable price for Windows 7 ... no Windows 7.

          • by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @12:54AM (#27146053) Journal
            I just love this stement in the article:

            The decision in 2004 to move to open source, was raised by one of the Gendarmerie's accountants. "Microsoft was forcing us to buy new software licences. This annoyed our accountant, who tried OpenOffice." According to Guimard the proprietary software maker then started lobbying the Gendarmerie, which is how the general manager found out about the experiments. "When he saw OpenOffice worked just as well and was available for free, it was he that decided it should be installed on all 90.000 desktops."

            Talk about firing both barrels of a 12 gauge footgun!

            • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @06:59AM (#27148149)

              not as good as these 2 choice quotes:

              The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority."
              love that one.

              According to Guimard the move to open source has also helped to reduce maintenance costs. Keeping GNU/Linux desktops up to date is much easier, he says. "Previously, one of us would be travelling all year just to install a new version of some anti virus application on the desktops in the Gendarmerie's outposts on the islands in French Polynesia. A similar operation now is finished within two weeks and does not require travelling."

              suddenly it doesn't seem such a good move.. to one IT support engineer who is still crying into his coffee :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by David Gerard (12369)

          For comparison, a MIPS notebook is currently available and doing reasonably well in the UK and the Netherlands: http://littlelinuxlaptop.com/ [littlelinuxlaptop.com] - the firmware is ass, but the haxx0rs have come up with their own distro which is presently at early-beta stage.

          (I've tried typing on one. I can actually touchtype properly on it, which I can't on an Eee 701.)

          A MIPS or ARM chip of a given processing power will always give better results with less heat than an x86, because RISC is actually better for that sort of

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      We have talked about W7 performance on netbooks [slashdot.org] which will only allow to run 3 apps. Perfect for an antivirus, a firewall, an antispyware, the WGA [microsoft.com]... oh crap!

      The 3 app limit will only be for the starter edition, which is being aimed at "developing markets." Expect African, Asian, and South American users to be dissatisfied and perhaps unwilling to use Windows 7 when they're targeted.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by westlake (615356)
      We have talked about W7 performance on netbooks which will only allow to run 3 apps.

      We were talking about a third-world starter edition for absolute beginners that can run on hardware far less robust than the ATOM netbook you can buy at any stateside WalMart.

  • release date (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:00PM (#27144465)

    Moreover, Microsoft reiterated that the beta of Windows 7 that is now available is already feature-complete, although its final release to business customers isn't expected until November.

    Between now and then, Apple will likely have released OS X 10.6, and there will have been two new release of Ubuntu.

    I wonder what's moving faster: Microsoft, or the goal posts?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jurily (900488)

      I wonder what's moving faster: Microsoft, or the goal posts?

      Like it hasn't been proven enough with Win2k and Vista?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Between now and then, Apple will likely have released OS X 10.6, and there will have been two new release of Ubuntu.

      You're comparing apples and oranges. Each new release of OS X might, at best, be compared to a service pack. It's still the same operating system, same applications, same API, etc. And new releases of Ubuntu... That's not really a fair comparison either. "Windows 7" might have perhaps 40 applications shipping with it that the user might actually interact with on a regular basis. But most linux

      • Re:release date (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:23PM (#27144713)

        You're comparing apples and oranges.

        I don't think I am. I'm considering the total level of satisfaction with a Windows 7-based system, a Snow Leopard system, and a Ubuntu 9.10 system.

        For example, I consider the difficulty/inability to run iTunes on Ubuntu to be a relevant factor when considering Ubuntu vs. W7. On the other hand, the ready availability of a bizillion applications on Ubuntu affects my happiness regarding my choice of operating systems as well.

        Each new release of OS X might, at best, be compared to a service pack.

        No argument there.

        • Re:release date (Score:5, Insightful)

          by guruevi (827432) <evi.smokingcube@be> on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:58PM (#27145571) Homepage

          For example, I consider the difficulty/inability to run iTunes on Ubuntu to be a relevant factor when considering Ubuntu vs. W7. On the other hand, the ready availability of a bizillion applications on Ubuntu affects my happiness regarding my choice of operating systems as well.

          I don't know what you're ranting about here but iTunes runs in Wine if you really need to have it. There are also a bunch of alternatives that you can use which do a lot of similar things to iTunes (AmaroK is I think the closest)

          Each new release of OS X might, at best, be compared to a service pack.
          That's Microsoft FUD and pure BS. It's the same as saying that Linux kernel 2.6 is a service pack to 2.4. There are a lot of differences between the several versions including but not limited to the kernel. Tiger for example was a 32-bit kernel with the ability to compile and run 64-bit apps and Classic. Leopard has fully 64-bit toolchains and frameworks and removed Classic support while Snow Leopard will be fully 64-bit (based on current pre-releases). Maybe you don't necessarily 'see' the developments because quite honestly, the GUI's for nearly all platforms are fairly mature (and don't necessarily need to be changed a lot like XP -> Vista just to make a difference) but on the inside and performance wise there is a lot of progress to be made on all platforms.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by CrazeeCracker (641868)

            Each new release of OS X might, at best, be compared to a service pack.

            I think the reason for this sentiment is that every release of OS X is a logical development from the last. Same fundamental idea, same feature set, wich a few things tweaked here and there, a few flaws removed, and a few features added.
            With Microsoft, on the other hand, the development from OS to OS is more along the lines of: "fully redeveloped, complete with new UI, written from the ground up, extra extra, etc." Or at least that's

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mjwx (966435)

          For example, I consider the difficulty/inability to run iTunes on Ubuntu

          Some of us consider this a desirable feature.

          Same as when some of us look for an MP3 player we like to make sure it doesn't require a buggy loading program that ties it to one machine.

      • Re:release date (Score:4, Informative)

        by marcello_dl (667940) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:32PM (#27144793) Homepage Journal

        > It's still the same operating system, same applications, same API, etc.

        nope, it's a refined OS, or one with unrefined but new functionality that tries not to break too many older stuff. The same apps run more reliably or faster. The API gets extended instead of changed.

        What you call higher standards are artificial barriers. You live in them for some time, you forget about them.

        To get to MS higher standards Apple and linux should instead reinvent the wheel every iteration, changing the GUIs, getting performance problems in things like file copy...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jstott (212041)

        You're comparing apples and oranges. Each new release of OS X might, at best, be compared to a service pack.

        No, the OSX equivalent to service packs are noted by changes to the minor version number (10.5.5 to 10.5.6 was the latest one — in Microsoft language, that would be 10.5SP6). Major releases (10.4 [Tiger] to 10.5 [Leopard]) involve significant changes to the API and introduce new features to the OS, as you can plainly see [apple.com] from Apple's web OSX page (Apple claims 300 new features added with the

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)

      OSX 10.6 counts as a new OS release? Isn't that a bit like saying that Win 98SE was a new version of Windows? Yes technically they are, but it's hardly a rewrite or necessarily a must have update.

      I'm hardly a fan of Windows, but that's kind of a odd standard to apply. MS could definitely keep up if they were making such minimal updates and charging for them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      I am no microsoft apologist but give them a break as they are at least trying. I use XP, Vista and Windows 7 daily. and Windows 7 actually is the best of all three. They took out all the mental retardation that they put into vista and did something I never EVER would expect microsoft to do. but revert to naming that makes sense.

      Windows 7 is the OS that will save their ass. So it only took them 7 years to get it right... Hey! I just figured out how they got it's name!!

    • I don't expect 7 to be a good operating system, but the time between releases is a very poor indicator of OS quality and performance. Some distributions, like Ubuntu, release small increments often, while Debian release less often but each update usually marks a bigger change. In addition they both cower the other release cycles separately. Ubuntu has LTS releases for those that need stability. Debian has the testing and unstable versions for those that want more up to date stuff. Apple seems to have found

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      Moreover, Microsoft reiterated that the beta of Windows 7 that is now available is already feature-complete, although its final release to business customers isn't expected until November.

      Between now and then, Apple will likely have released OS X 10.6, and there will have been two new release of Ubuntu.

      I wonder what's moving faster: Microsoft, or the goal posts?

      Like most new OS releases, those are likely to only move the goal posts side-to-side. For the most part I imagine the same may be true of 7, but my point is that real meaningful advances in new OS releases are rare.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:04PM (#27144523)

    "How Vista Mistakes Changed Windows 7 Development"

    You got it wrong: Vista was the mistake that caused Windows 7 development.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MrKaos (858439)

      You got it wrong: Vista was the mistake that caused Windows 7 development.

      Nu uh. Vista was the feature that caused Windows 7 development. That's why Windows 9 will be the bestest windows evaaaaaah!!!

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I wish people would stop bashing Vista. I know it's cool to bash Vista, but it's really not bad at all, MS has released far, far worse over the years. Remember Win 95 or Win ME? Those were legitimate dogs.

      Crashed constantly, sluggish, not easy to work with at all. I've been bothered to fix my parent's computer only a tiny, tiny, miniscule number of times compared with the huge number of times for either of those two releases.

      • I wish people would stop bashing Vista. I know it's cool to bash Vista, but it's really not bad at all, MS has released far, far worse over the years.

        Someone on the internet is wrong. Do you wish to continue reading?
        [ allow ] [ deny ]

        • by fractoid (1076465)
          +1, xkcd.

          Honestly, though, I've been using Vista at work for the last week and it's growing on me. The mini-command-line launcher thing in the start menu is tres cool. Everything seems similar enough to XP to be easy to pick up. The shutdown-that-really-hibernates is good too, I wouldn't have tried hibernate if it hadn't just gone and done it for me because hibernate is historically so unreliable, but this's been working flawlessly for a week. I'm still not about to go out and buy Vista for my home comput
  • by mc1138 (718275) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:07PM (#27144569) Homepage
    Love em or hate em, at least this time they're trying to get a sense for catering to their market instead of just trying to shove crap down at people and expect them to buy it because its new and its Microsoft.
    • ...and that would be a first for Microsoft. +1 funny for you. That was a joke, wasn't it?

      as was pointed out in a recent article, they're in the business of selling licenses, not software. They found out they need to license something that actually *works* in order for people to buy it.

      My theory is that Firefox will ultimately kill windows, if not Microsoft itself. Once the mass consumer market finally realize they don't really need anything but a browser and that OS's don't matter, I don't see where Micr

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        My theory is that Firefox will ultimately kill windows, if not Microsoft itself.

        Since Firefox has been getting worse with every major revision, I rather doubt that will happen any time soon.

        I'm currently writing this in Firefox 3, which now crashes all over the place where previous versions never did, which has had yet another moderate and fairly pointless UI revamp of the kind that makes Office 2007 critics rub their hands with glee, which is getting favicons mixed up in all my bookmark folders almost every day, which as far as I can tell can't print anything properly any more, and wh

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:19PM (#27144679)
    MS deigns to send the message that they care about the customer and the community. It would have been nice if they did that the last time. Sorry, I'm already on OSX.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DJRumpy (1345787)
      I agree. I dropped half a grand for a few copies of Vista Ultimate upgrade. I didn't even hesititate. I wouldn't call myself a Windows fanboy but I was definitely on the MS 'team'. I bought the upgrade version, only to find my 'upgrade' copy actually requires me to install XP so that I can then find out that I CAN'T actually upgrade the XP partition. I then have to install a fresh copy of Vista on an empty partition while keeping the XP partition around to prove I'm upgrading.

      Every version of windows bef
  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:43PM (#27144885) Journal

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 7 or 8 times, shame on me ;-)

  • So I read TFA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inject_hotmail.com (843637) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:51PM (#27144953)

    Don't worry, I'm not new. Actually, I didn't "read" the article, I looked at the ratings in the second link and that was it.

    I would like see even "rough benches" of each OS, but, alas, all I see are playskool dumbed-down 1,2,3,4,5 ratings. Nothing to indicate actual facts. Who know how they were rating the damn tests. Cookies eaten per operation? Fingers counted? Beatings about the head?

    Next up, on the Intel with 4GB they claim that overall XP SP3 was worse than Vista SP1? I call BS. And on the AMD with 1GB it said they were the same? As if (I won't comment on Win7's performance, because I haven't run it yet). XP SP3 rated 4th or 5th in almost everything! On the Intel it rated a 1 for "moving 100mb files", and 5 on the AMD...WTF! This guy has 0 credibility as far as I'm concerned.

    By the way, who the hell put the ratings in an image? 100k each, for 1k of data. They don't want people to c/p the results or something? How does anything get done anymore, I want my money back, I'm going home.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dave420 (699308)
      The terms and conditions of Windows 7 beta builds prohibit direct benchmarking, most likely because it's a beta.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:58PM (#27145013)

    I have a Dell Mini 9, and it does just fine with Dellbuntu 8.04. Even the 512MB RAM is fine - the screen size and form factor does not lend to massive multi-app multi-desktop kind of work. It's an über PDA, that I can put Postgres on if I need it.

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:09PM (#27145115)
    Microsoft is still pursuing a marketing strategy to try and squeeze money out of the OS at the expense of their true Customers, the people who actually use the OS. Until they return to serving only the end Customer and not music industry and other competing interests people will continue to move away from them.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:22PM (#27145231)
    Yeah I can make Windows faster than its previous version - but it will take a huge memory footprint hit in the process.
  • the best most favorite thing I could ever have as a fix from vista to windows 7 is the removal of the penalty to stay with XP.

    If I can't have that - well , then. No more microsoft in this house.

  • So sue me.

    First things first:

    He said Microsoft's move in March 2006 to put former head of Office development Steven Sinofsky in charge of Windows development was a key driver of changes in the process. Sinofsky is now senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, and Nash credits him for bringing order to the group.

    They need to fire that guy, and hire me. I'll do it for half the money, and pump out an OS that people actually want. It might even resemble Windows 2000 in its simplicity, and Linux in its features.

    Gavriella Schuster, a senior director of Windows product management, cited the "stop-and-start nature" of Vista's development process as contributing to partners' lack of preparedness for the final release. Microsoft stopped Vista's development in the middle of the process to overhaul the security of the OS, a move that delayed its final release.

    Wrong, they didn't overhaul security, they overhauled the whole damn thing because an OS made out of .NET wouldn't actually run any applications. What's it called when someone re-writes history? [reference.com]

    I still didn't see anything specific to "How Vista mistakes guided blah blah". Guided?

  • by Dead_Smiley (49033) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:41PM (#27145427) Journal
    He was just backing up his porn...

    ***
    4. Move 100MB files - Move 100MB of JPEG files from one hard drive to another

    5. Move 2.5GB files - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from one hard drive to another

    6. Network transfer 100MB files - Move 100MB of JPEG files from test machine to NAS device

    7. Network transfer 2.5GB files - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from test machine to NAS device

    8. Move 100MB files under load - Move 100MB of JPEG files from one hard drive to another while ripping DVD to .ISO file

    9. Move 2.5GB files under load - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from one hard drive to another while ripping DVD to .ISO file

    10. Network transfer 100MB files under load - Move 100MB of JPEG files from test machine to NAS device while ripping DVD to .ISO file

    ***

  • Good but issues. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @01:18AM (#27146231) Homepage Journal

    I hate vista, other than the newer font rendering, its bugs drive me crazy. The links in desktop that tell you "Permission Denied"... The hidden directories. UAC smacking you in the face. The whole OS basically does 2 things. 1. Stops you from doing a task. 2. Annoys you with bugs.

    Now Windows 7, hard link bugs are gone, faster, that great font rendering is there. Super fast tcp, firefox is faster (or at least to the eye..) M$ hid directories even with show directories is on in explorer, thats not really cool, but I understand it.

    Biggest problems? Applications pause if its waiting on a resource, very noticeable and annoying. The window changes color and pauses. Some of my favorite apps dont work yet on x64 version. (aka demon tools) Had to hack my registry to get sound in flash for firefox (fix it adobe, its been broken since vista, should not have to use a registry hack)

    My work laptop uses XP, and when I switch to Vista/Win7 the font rendering is like night and day. Vista/Win7 is crisp and clear. Ubuntu 9.04 is getting closer, 8.10 not so good... No idea what font rendering techniques are different from 9.04 vs 8.10 but its noticeable...

     

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