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Intel Microsoft Windows Technology Hardware

Microsoft Lifts XP Mode Hardware Requirement 205

Posted by kdawson
from the marketecture-in-action dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This week, Microsoft published a patch that allows Windows XP Mode to run on PCs without hardware-assisted virtualization. Which begs the question: Why the bizarro requirement in the first place? Was it an honest attempt to deliver an 'optimal' user experience? Or simply a concession to the company's jilted lover, Intel Corporation — 'a kind of apology for royally screwing up with the whole Windows Vista “too fat to fit” debacle,' as the blog post puts it."
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Microsoft Lifts XP Mode Hardware Requirement

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  • My best guess.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@nosPAm.jawtheshark.com> on Friday March 19, 2010 @11:52AM (#31538974) Homepage Journal
    The "weird" hardware requirements are probably due to the fact that they expected AMD and Intel only to produce CPUs with hardware support for virtualization enabled. The fact that one of the major CPU manufacturers didn't, is most likely what bit Microsoft in the ass. Still, some OEMs also are at fault, I think: Just recently I got to look after a defective laptop (RAM module was broken...) and I looked in the BIOS. The CPU could do hardware virtualization, but by default it was disabled in the BIOS. Why? I have no idea...
    • Re:My best guess.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday March 19, 2010 @11:54AM (#31539018) Journal

      Taking perfectly good hardware and disabling functionality and then selling it a discount isn't new. It certainly isn't new for Intel. Remember the SX series of 386s and 486s, with the FPU disabled, though still on the chip?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jawtheshark (198669) *

        Yes, I have known Intel for a long time *sigh*.

        Just a minor correction... The SX series for the i386 was that the data bus was at half width (16-bit)... The SX for the i486 was indeed a disabled FPU. (Remember the Overdrives? Simply a i486 CPU that disabled the original i486SX)... Aaaah, going down the memory lane.

      • Minor nitpick:

        The 386SX didn't have an FPU. It was actually identical to the 80386, with a 32-bit CPU, but it was seated on a 16-bit bus to save costs. Like a Motorola 68000.

      • by zero_out (1705074) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:12PM (#31539360)

        It's very common for Intel to make 6 different CPU chips that are exactly the same, but use a laser to cut a single connection on the chip to make sure it runs at a certain speed. Sure, you can overclock the CPU, but it still has one of its throttles turned down. These chips are then sold for 10-50% less, depending on which connection is cut.

        It costs them exactly the same amount to design and manufacture a 2.4 GHz model as a 3.0 GHz model. In fact, it ultimately costs more to gimp these chips, because they have to pay an engineer to design this mechanism, and buy/maintain the machine that does the gimping. Although, this does mean that I can get a gimped chip for slightly less than the cost to produce it by having someone else pay for the overpriced ungimped version. Still, I think I would rather pay $200 for a 3.0 GHz model, and not have the option of a slower model, than to pay $180 for a 2.4 GHz model while enthusiasts pay $900 for the 3.0 GHz model.

        Not only are you right that this has been done for a long time, but it's also become common practice.

        • Re:My best guess.... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Dog-Cow (21281) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:34PM (#31539754)

          It's quite likely that this is done due to manufacturing defects that prevent some chips from running at the maximum speed. Testing is done to find the highest stable speed, and it's altered fix that speed as the max.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by wiredlogic (135348)

            The screening process lowers the cost of all their processors because it allows Intel to salvage a saleable product that would otherwise have to be tossed out at %100 loss if marginal processors couldn't be restricted to operating conditions where their reliability is guaranteed. There is no nefarious plotting involved here. It's a natural response to the difficulty of making high-performance devices with small feature sizes.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          All chips in the same family come off the same die. Defects and such make each capable of running different maximum speeds. Yes, some are just gimped for the hell of it but they're all from the same die anyway. Which makes perfect sense, it's not always a scam, some chips just aren't capable of running at the higher speeds. It is pretty much always done this way, it's how CPU manufacturing works (one die, different speeds).

        • by LtGordon (1421725)

          Still, I think I would rather pay $200 for a 3.0 GHz model, and not have the option of a slower model, than to pay $180 for a 2.4 GHz model while enthusiasts pay $900 for the 3.0 GHz model.

          The pricing is part of the product strategy. If Intel could sell Core i7 Extreme's for $200 and still make as much money as they do now, they would. But, the reality is that the "enthusiasts" are effectively subsidizing the lower cost that you get for your "standard" model. Otherwise, your model would be more significantly more expensive and less competitive with, say, AMD's offerings.

        • by Mashdar (876825)
          I'm not sure about these days, but it used to be that the clock rate for chips was roughly based on substrate impurities. A less pure substrate was more prone to heat up, and had to me throttled down. The top-of-the-line chips were from batches of exceptional substrate quality. Also, AMD has designed their current lineup with independent cores they can disable (selling a 4-core chip as a 3-core chip when one is defective). This helps yields, which are very important for their bottom line. The 'unlocking' c
      • by TrancePhreak (576593) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:14PM (#31539426)
        These days a lot of that happens to keep yields higher. They take chips where one part doesn't meet their standards and disable then, then sell it for a discount. Reduce, reuse, recycle or something. Where do you think AMD tri-cores came from?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Remember the SX series of 386s and 486s, with the FPU disabled, though still on the chip?

        Grandpa, is that you?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The "weird" hardware requirements are probably due to the fact that they expected AMD and Intel only to produce CPUs with hardware support for virtualization enabled.

      I think its more a case of "If you want to use legacy apps you need to upgrade hardware".

      Microsoft gets the hardware vendors to agree to all their crazy demands by promising a bump in sales when a new version of Windows is released.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Friday March 19, 2010 @11:58AM (#31539110)

      The "weird" hardware requirements are probably due to the fact that they expected AMD and Intel only to produce CPUs with hardware support for virtualization enabled. The fact that one of the major CPU manufacturers didn't, is most likely what bit Microsoft in the ass. Still, some OEMs also are at fault, I think: Just recently I got to look after a defective laptop (RAM module was broken...) and I looked in the BIOS. The CPU could do hardware virtualization, but by default it was disabled in the BIOS. Why? I have no idea...

      AMD did. Intel just makes chips for whatever their customer wants. Like how all Intel Macs have VT support, but it's iffy elsewhere (if an OEM can get a discount over chips with no VT, they'll take it).

      As for disabling VT support, it's probably to avoid "blue-pill" type malware from hitching a ride underneath the OS. At least, that's a reasonable explanation if you have the setting. Sonys don't (at least, they didn't use to), which was more of an OEM thing by trying to be more Apple-like in control. (After all, Apple doesn't give you any control in the matter. Except well, they see the need for VT and have it enabled).

      Ironic, too, since Sony and Apple use EFI firmware from the same company (Insyde).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jawtheshark (198669) *

        As for disabling VT support, it's probably to avoid "blue-pill" type malware from hitching a ride underneath the OS. At least, that's a reasonable explanation if you have the setting

        Yes, I heard that lame excuse before too. With so many higher end machines being sold having it enabled (heck, my el cheapo Turion X2 bought in January 2007 has it!) malware should be using it already. I haven't heard of a "blue-pill" type infection in the wild yet. Does it exist?

    • by zero_out (1705074)
      What about those 386 PCs that had a turbo button that would allow it to run at twice the speed (66 MHz instead of 33 MHz)? Nobody ever turned it off, so why have the button in the first place?
      • Re:My best guess.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by LiENUS (207736) <slashdotNO@SPAMvetmanage.com> on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:04PM (#31539228) Homepage

        What about those 386 PCs that had a turbo button that would allow it to run at twice the speed (66 MHz instead of 33 MHz)? Nobody ever turned it off, so why have the button in the first place?

        For older games built for 33MHz processors that utilized the clock rate for timing.

        • What about those 386 PCs that had a turbo button that would allow it to run at twice the speed (66 MHz instead of 33 MHz)? Nobody ever turned it off, so why have the button in the first place?

          For older games built for 33MHz processors that utilized the clock rate for timing.

          Yup. I had a bunch of games like that. Used to be fun when someone else was playing, to hit the turbo button on them... Instant GAME OVER.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          The funny thing is, I never saw any software like that for 386s or even 286s speeds - and I still had a turbo on my 486 I think. I did use the turbo on my 286 that would turn it down to 8086 speeds, because I had some games that depended on that. For all the other computers it was just a meaningless "reduced speed" mode that wasn't standard in any way.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by AvitarX (172628)

            Wing Comander needed it on my friends computer (and maybe mine I forget).

            When it started it asked you if your computer was fast or slow. allowing for 4 combinations of turbo and game speed.

            one worked on my computer, another on my friends, and 3 other combinations failed to work for either of us.

        • Mechwarrior was one. I'll never forget putting that on a fast machine and watching the game speed get insanely fast.
      • I heard that was for some games, written for the 286/8088, that didn't work right at "turbo" speeds.

      • by TheKidWho (705796)

        You don't realize what that was for? Some programs were designed for the 33mhz processor and were timed for it. By running a 66mhz processor, your program would run 2x as fast which in some cases was undesirable. Hence the Turbo button.

      • First off 386s ran at 8 or 16 MHz (typically). Second, the purpose was to play older games that were tied directly to the clock and expecting to see 8 megahertz. So if you didn't enjoy playing Turbo Pacman or Turbo Wing Commander, you could press the button and slow everything to normal speed.

        Aside-

        I found an old laptop with a 386. I was surprised how responsive the machine was even though it's only ~0.02 GHz and a mere 0.01 gigabytes of RAM. Why is it that we could run Microsoft Word on such low specs

        • by asdf7890 (1518587)

          First off 386s ran at 8 or 16 MHz (typically).

          While 8 and 16Mhz was all that was available initially, it certainly wasn't uncommon to see 25 and 33 Mhz models later. AMD even put out 386SX and 386DX chips intended to ran at 40MHz and it was claimed by some to run faster than a 486@25MHz for some tasks. I had one of said SXs in my machine at the time and the machine certainly didn't do badly compared to the 486s running at 25MHz at school at the time (though I never ran anything to scientifically test the relative performance).

        • by psbrogna (611644)
          I think programs have generally grown bloated because
          • it's easier to code to high level libraries than to rewrite a stack,
          • once everyone's addicted to high levels libraries they want more of it and the libraries grow in functional scope,
          • in some environments, as library interfaces evolve, multiple versions of the same library are installed side-by-side in an environment rather than doing the harder work of preserving backward compatibility or updating the calling code

          If mature software architectures (su

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Why have programs grown so bloated.

          My guess is these factors all play a role:

          • the "higher level" style of programming -- where you lose some control but can supposedly create more apps in the same unit time. I'm not convinced that this is a win for anyone. I'm a bit of a control freak though.
          • the insistence of cramming every conceivable options into a program. Yes, most software allows you to check and uncheck options but it's a tedious process and most people just do the "typical" install, resulting in GB of extra crap they will never use.
          • P
          • >>>The industry as a whole (not real-time OS's or some portable / embedded device programming -- most of them still "get it") has adopted the view that programmer time is expensive and hardware is cheap.
            >>>

            They are probably right. When you can buy a brand new PC with 2 gigabytes and 2 gigahertz, and it only costs $300, there's no need to waste programmer time/labor expense trying to optimize the software to fit inside 0.01 GB or 0.01 GHz. In 1990 it was necessary to devote that labor tim

            • When you can buy a brand new PC with 2 gigabytes and 2 gigahertz, and it only costs $300

              Since when does a new laptop with 2 GB RAM and 2 GHz CPU cost 300 USD? I thought Microsoft was still limiting cheap "ULCPC" Windows licenses to smaller CPU and RAM.

        • by perlchild (582235)

          Back then, if the program didn't run on your hardware, especially an office suite designed for businesses, it was the software developer/packager's problem.

          Now it's yours...

          A combination of moving from lotus-quattro-wordperfect/ms office
          to
          just ms office, with maybe star office/open office if you know how.

          Lack of competition was never a good thing.

          That you need a more powerful computer to run the same software is considered a feature by microsoft, or at least, it seems to be, considering they act more like I

      • by Zantac69 (1331461)
        I stumbled across a copy of tank wars that I used to LOVE to play on my old 286...fired it up onmy current system and its bloody impossible to play - everything just goes too fast when adjusting tank settings! But...of course...I had to d'l the 3d enabled port that someone did.
      • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:25PM (#31539604) Homepage Journal

        Nobody ever turned [the speedup button] off, so why have the button in the first place?

        Nowadays, CPU speed settings are most useful for battery-powered computers to let the user trade off performance against battery life.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The CPU could do hardware virtualization, but by default it was disabled in the BIOS. Why? I have no idea...

      At least it could be turned on. Sony computers with processors that support virtualization have the feature disabled in the BIOS and there is no option to enable it.

      • by plague3106 (71849)

        Hmm... not sure how true that is. I think because of the fact MS forced virtualization for XP mode, sony released a firmware update which enables you to change the setting.

        My Vaio laptop was like that initially. I bought it with Vista installed (w/free upgrade to 7 when it came out). I applied to bios update and switched on virtualization after I installed 7.

        So I guess the moral of the story is to check your chip; if it supports it, then check sony's site for a bios update.

        • Hmm... not sure how true that is.

          Here's the article [gizmodo.com] discussing it.

        • by Khyber (864651)

          "Hmm... not sure how true that is."

          Very True. On HP laptops, both consumer and commercial, unless you paid for ABSOLUTE TOP OF THE LINE you got a processor with VT disabled in BIOS with no way to turn it on.

          And this was before Vista even had its first service pack.

    • It's to prevent hypervisor based rootkit attacks

      https://www.microsoft.com/taiwan/whdc/system/platform/virtual/CPUVirtExt.mspx [microsoft.com]

      For systems that are destined for a server role (and for only these systems), enable the virtualization extensions. The threat of running malicious code as an administrator on servers is reduced through Windows Server policies and organizational best practices.

      For systems that are destined for a client role, disable (and lock off) the virtualization extensions.

  • begs the question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This doesn't mean what you think it means. Why do some people (mostly nerds) insist on using this term, when it is obvious they don't know what it means or how to use it?

    This must end.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      So, this begs the question on how to use "this begs the question".
      • by FauxPasIII (75900)

        Example of begging the question:

        Q: Provide evidence that the Christian God exists.
        A: The Bible proves that God exists. The Bible is a reliable source because it is the word of God.

        • Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works...

          the pic [komplexify.com]

          the shirt [shirtaday.com]
        • Great example. I like it.

          Question though. (Just for fun, let me play Devil's Advocate for a minute, I know it's just an example, and I see what you're trying to educate here.)

          If the question is "Provide evidence that the Christian God exists", and one definition the dictionary provided for "proof" is "anything serving as such evidence", and then if I provide the Bible as evidence, have I not offered proof?

          Let me only slightly change the answer though: "The Bible helps prove God exists. The Bible is a re

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      Why do purveyors of prescriptivist poppycock insist that a term means something other than the meaning ascribed to it by the majority of native speakers?

  • The bigger announcement was that they were dropping the stupid VDI licensing thing. Paying an extra $23/year on top of the outrageous fees we already pay for Select and Open licenses just for the privileged of using the desktop OS licenses in a virtual environment was just stupid and I'm very glad it was dropped, might make it a bit easier to find a positive ROI on a VDI project now.
  • by Mekkah (1651935)
    Clearly it isn't Intel over AMD, it could support both Intel VT and AMD-V. Don't throw out the hate without justification!

    ars technica [arstechnica.com]
    Thanks for pointing that out ColdWetDog.
    • by asdf7890 (1518587)

      Clearly it isn't Intel over AMD, it could support both Intel VT and AMD-V. Don't throw out the hate without justification!

      I think the claimed Intel/AMD distinction is not about which particular set of visualization helper modes were supported - it is about the differences in general availability of the features between the manufacturers. I think *all* recent AMD chips have the relevant support, whereas Intel are still segmenting their market by putting out chips both with and without - see http://news.cnet.com/some-intel-chips-dont-support-windows-7-xp-mode/ [cnet.com] for one example of this being discussed.

  • by jwietelmann (1220240) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:05PM (#31539248)
    http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/21/2329249 [slashdot.org] Windows 7 Memory Usage Critic Outed As Fraud, Subsequently Given Front Page Story on Slashdot for Some Reason
    • WTF. Seriously? Slashdot is sourcing these jokers? This article is written by the same guy who was pretending to be the CTO of Devil Mountain Software and then got fired by InfoWorld after he was outed. What a tragedy....
    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:25PM (#31539592)

      If the editors paid a tenth as much attention to the story as the commentators did, I'll be pissed that they're giving this bozo even more traffic as a reward for passing bullshit off as fact.

      Since they don't, I'll instead just have to remain pissed that the editors don't pay a tenth as much attention as the commentators do.

      Hint for Slashdotters: anything posted by the Exo Performance Network is pure bullshit. Don't believe a syllable without independent verification.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What makes you think Slashdot editors actually RTFA. They just got to the part were Microsoft was criticized and then hit the post button, who cares about the source of the information.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      It looks to me as if he's just got a sockpuppet he uses to troll people. Trolling means page views and page views means ad revenue. What's the problem really? He was writing for a bunch of IT trade rags, not the New York Times.

    • I'm really amazed to see this joker being linked to as well.
  • by blueskies (525815) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:12PM (#31539370) Journal

    Why all the begging?

    • by slashkitty (21637)
      I know. Sometimes you wish that slashdot has a real editor for the homepage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How die alone in 5 easy steps:
      1. Go to college.
      2. Major in math/engineering/CS.
      3. Take a logic class from the philosophy department so you can blow it off and get an A.
      4. Armed with your logic lingo, smugly correct everyone's technical misusage of the phrase "begs the question."
      5. This isn't really a step. This is just the part where you die alone.
    • by Spatial (1235392)
      They're bad at cards. Didn't know how to raise.
  • non VT runs dog slow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alen (225700) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:14PM (#31539420)

    i've run the desktop version of VMWare on my laptop and it's very slow compared to the VT version of Windows XP Mode on the same laptop.

    it's the same old complaints. people want a feature but if it's not supported in hardware and runs extremely slow they will scream on the internets how stupid microsoft is for making it so slow on 6 year old hardware that otherwise runs Windows 7 very well

  • by stonecypher (118140) <(stonecypher) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:17PM (#31539478) Homepage Journal

    There are many, many other possibilities than the two derogative possibilities offered. The one which seems most likely to me is that Microsoft thought "well, it's in all new hardware, it probably isn't worth the time and cost of implementing a software solution," only to find out that market demand existed.

    Another possibility is that it took them time to produce an implementation of sufficient quality.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Unfortunately, the software only thing was the way Virtual PC (which is whats actually being used) until the most recent versions, where they went from software only to hardware only virtually over night for no readily apparent reason other than they could do it.

    • Really, I'd say if you don't have a chip that supports VT/AMD-V you don't really want to be using XP mode. It is going to be all kinds of slow. This is partially because VT speeds up virtualization but also because it implies an older CPU. After all, ALL Core 2s and up have VT, as do some Pentium Ds. You want a reasonable amount of hardware to run Windows 7 and then run XP on top of it. I don't think that this was an unreasonable requirement.

      However, some people seem to think they should be able to do all t

  • Right now I use VMware player to run an old XP install for some stuff that requires XP, and it works pretty well. Does this patch mean I won't need to do this anymore, or is this patch only available to the windows 7 professional or whatever licenses? Side note: I just recently bought windows 7 home premium and I gotta say, things have improved a lot since XP. I'm a mac user and I think I might actually like windows 7 better (shock, horror). Windows 7 works great on my imac (besides that weird audio stutte
    • by jonbryce (703250)

      With Home Premium, you will still need to use VMWare or another 3rd party program for your virtualisation requirements. The full version of Virtual PC might work, but XP mode won't. The main difference I suppose is that the other programs don't ship with a copy of Windows XP, whereas XP Mode for Windows 7 Pro and above does. Also, I don't think you get the seamless mode, you have to run XP within the program window, or access it remotely using RDP or VNC.

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)

        Well actually, XP Mode doesn't ship at all (probably to save space on the retail disk) but has to be downloaded. But the license to use it only comes with Pro and above. Seamless mode is indeed available, though Virtual PC's isn't as good as VMWare's Unity (ironically enough)

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Officially, it's only available for Windows 7 professional. But I think that's only on the honor system through the download page. It's not "supported" on home premium. Though I've never tried it, since I'm a Mac user too (running XP in VirtualBox and only for IE6,7,8).

    • I'm just curious why you went with Home Premium rather than Pro or Ultimate. I'd think those products would be more suited to the /. crowd. If you're going to use Windows, don't you want to use their "best"?

      (And yes I'm really curious, I use XP Pro but not 7. The members of our MIS team who have tried 7 have run into some issues so we haven't adopted it yet. I'm holding out until they have time to pick it apart before I spend any real time on it.)
  • Virtual PC blog (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday March 19, 2010 @12:38PM (#31539822) Journal

    Explanation of this decision [msdn.com] from Virtual PC blog:

    Why is Microsoft making this change to Virtual PC now?

    Because of you :-) We have heard loud and clear from customers that they need to be able to run Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode on systems that do not have hardware virtualization support. So we are going to enable this.

    Why did Microsoft release Windows Virtual PC without this in the first place?

    There are two main reasons here.

    The first is that we believe that customers will get the best virtualization experience on computers with hardware virtualization support. This has not changed – and even though we are releasing this update I would strongly encourage anyone who is looking at buying a new computer, and intends to use virtualization, to make sure that they get a system that is capable of supporting hardware virtualization.

    The second is that we had hoped that by the time Windows Virtual PC released – hardware virtualization support would be prevalent enough that this would not be an issue. We were wrong on that. Bummer.

  • Is there a link to it anywhere ?

    I actually rtfa and there's no sign of one. I really can't be bothered searching MS site to find one as the CPU on this machine has VT on CPU and enabled in BIOS
  • The answer is probably that hardware virtualization is simply easier to implement. MS wanted to get the feature out of the door and to customers. They probably expect that a large number of Windows 7 users are on newer hardware likely to have VT. Then later updated the software to support software based virtualization in order to allow it to function for more people.

    Adding features (in this case software virtualization support) through updates is hardly newsworthy...

  • by Orange Crush (934731) on Friday March 19, 2010 @01:12PM (#31540460)
    With actual links so you can download the patch to enable XP mode on previously unsupported processors, for instance:
    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/03/microsoft-removes-vm-hardware-requirements-from-xp-mode.ars [arstechnica.com]
    Why the hell is this Exo-Blog post being cited? The author of TFA doesn't cite a goddamn thing.
  • Begs != raises (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday March 19, 2010 @01:13PM (#31540464) Journal
    The phrase "begs the question" does not mean "raises the question", or "makes us ask the question", though lots of people are using it in that sense. Begs the question means, it assumes the as true what it intends to prove. The Latin phrase "petitio principii" means, the answer (or the answerer) begs (petitions) the questioner to be accepted as true, to concede what is being contested.

    But this mistake is so common, so many people are using it this way, it is high time we start de linking "begs the question" from "petitio principii".

    • by Jeng (926980)

      So the only way to understand why "begs the question" does not mean "raises the question" is because of how someone in history mis-translated the original latin?

      Rather than complain about the current usage of "begs the question" how about re-translating "petito principii"?

      • Rather than complain about the current usage of "begs the question" how about re-translating "petito principii"?

        You expect Latin to evolve in the same way English evolves? Sorry, mate. Latin and the people who wrote and spoke it have been dead a long time. You'll have as much luck changing their minds as you would removing the nail from that dead parrot and getting him to perch more comfortably.

        Kudos to the OP for an intelligent post.

        • by Jeng (926980)

          You expect Latin to evolve in the same way English evolves?

          I expect Latin to stay the same, but someone along the way went and tried to translate some latin to english, and they failed. So now there is an English phrase that has a meaning that does not match up to the words used. I expect people to re-evaluate what things that were done in the past to see if they match up with the present or the future.

          The whole "begs the question" debate is that many people want to use the phrase literally, while others have attached a very weird meaning to that collection of wo

    • Someone on Slashdot cleared this up a while back [slashdot.org], in an elegant way. "Begging the question" (intransitive) is just a special case of "begging the question of ..." (transitive), where the implied object of the intransitive form is the question the debate was meant to answer, but ended up begging.
    • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @12:20PM (#31549946) Homepage Journal

      In common English, as practiced by most people "begs the question" no longer means "petitio principii". It now means "this information begs that a question be asked, that wasn't".

      Of course, we are in a transition. "Begs the question" in taken as logical fallacy by some, and as colloquial expression by others.

      There is a perfectly reasonable expression used to replace "Begs the question" -- circular reasoning.

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