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Microsoft Windows Technology

Microsoft's Looming 'Single Windows Ecosystem' 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-slices-it-dices-it-bluescreens-occasionally dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Xbox on Windows 8? A shared PC-tablet OS? Hints have been coming fast and furious from Microsoft about what their next-generation OS strategy will look like. It may be that at its heart, Microsoft is doing what it should have been doing for the last 5 years: building a set of modular OS components for different platforms that work together when need be, rather than a group of competing and incompatible OSes with superficially similar branding. In other words, the company may be getting out of its own way, at last."
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Microsoft's Looming 'Single Windows Ecosystem'

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  • It's no surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flyerman (1728812) on Friday July 15, 2011 @05:20PM (#36780832) Journal

    Considering the strength of Windows comes from its backwards compatibility with a large field of Programs(before they were called Apps), it makes sense that Microsoft will want to leverage that over all available media.

    It's a very good decision, which is surprising in it's own right.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What will likely happen is that it'll end up like recent Ubuntu releases. In case you haven't been following Ubuntu recently, they've apparently tried to support all sorts of devices, from netbooks to laptops to desktops to workstations to servers. The outcome hasn't been good, and many users have been very unhappy.

      What works for one type of device often doesn't work very well for others. Take Unity, for instance. While it might be only slightly shitty on netbooks, it's not pleasant to use on laptops, it's

      • by Hatta (162192)

        That's why it's modular. You wouldn't use netbook modules on a desktop.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Take Unity, for instance. While it might be only slightly shitty on netbooks, it's not pleasant to use on laptops, it's hellish on desktops, and it's an absolute disaster if you're using a workstation

        1. They were a bunch of ass-hats for releasing a too early buggy as fuck version of Unity (v0.2 or something) for netbooks back in October.
        2. They should be careful not to frighten their not so nerdy users by doing random not quite thought-through shit, since they are after all the only Linux-based alternative to M$/Snapple for normal users who don't want to make sweet love to their terminals.
        3. That being said, I do think it is a good idea that they actually try to challenge the desktop environment convent

        • by obarthelemy (160321) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:23PM (#36781386)

          Actually, that Grub2 shit pisses me off more. Tried 11.04 on 4 PCs, Grub2 by itself made it fail on alf of them. On one, a very vanilla mb+CPU/IGP+RAM.HD (no fancy dual-booting stuff, mind you), Grub2 just hung. On the other one, a Nettop with too many partitions for its own good, Grub2 just listed at least one entry for each partition, including the data ones, the restore ones, in a random order. Talk about user-repulsing wall of text as a first impresison of Linux... and don't even dream about firing gedit and editing that menu into shape: it's the new, better grub ! You can't do that anymore !

          It ain't broke... Let's fix it !

          Then, and only then, do you get to that Unity other shit, where the dock just HAS to be smack in the middle of my dual-screen setup, 'coz letting put it on the side would just be.. .would just be... would just BE ! Next version will put the dock across the middle of the screen, 'coz it's so nice, people need to see it more ! And don't try and put folders on there, 'coz no one needs shortcuts to folders !

          • by jimicus (737525)

            It ain't broke... Let's fix it !

            Yeah, grub2 appears in Debian Squeeze too. Not Impressed.

            The biggest benefit of grub over LILO was "you don't need to rerun lilo when you change the config file" - that's gone now. Oh yes, and instead of one fairly small, self-contained, relatively easy to understand config file you now have several and the config files aren't config files at all, they're scripts which are run in order to create config files. You're explicitly NOT meant to hand-edit the config file. What is this, sendmail? It's a bootloader

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        As the other poster said, that's why it's supposed to be "modular".

        KDE is already like this. Underneath, the components are mainly common to all platforms, but it has different UIs for different devices. The one for regular desktop computers is basically the same as it's always been, with start button, task tray, pager for multiple workspaces, etc. But then there's a stripped-down version aimed at netbooks that you can switch to.

        This is totally different from Unity and Gnome3, whose developers believe th

    • Just one small question...

      How will these modules break up? I mean, if you build an app for Windows 8 on one UI paradigm, how does it suddenly translate to another (without a huge pile o' multi-anticipatory bloat at either the app or API side of the equation)? Or, err, is it all going to be lowest-common-denominator (e.g. the WP7 Metro UI) and called good? ...and how will legacy apps actually use that if a module critical to said app is missing? I'll just table the whole architecture thing for the moment, be

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Don't sweat the little stuff. Magic pixie dust and Balmer's retirement will make everything magically wonderful, and reverse Microsoft's present footprint from Titanic Public Utility to nimble, cutting edge, relevance.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don;t think anyone is going to seriously entertain the idea of loading {existing application} onto a Windows 8 x86 desktop, then expect to do the very same thing with the exact same install binaries on a Windows 8 ARM tablet

        Why not? Apple has a way to aggregate several binaries for different architectures compiled from the same source code for years now. Of course you do have to compile separately for every platform, but why would the developer care? He just clicks "Build" in Visual Studio, and it does it all for him.

        • I don;t think anyone is going to seriously entertain the idea of loading {existing application} onto a Windows 8 x86 desktop, then expect to do the very same thing with the exact same install binaries on a Windows 8 ARM tablet

          Why not? Apple has a way to aggregate several binaries for different architectures compiled from the same source code for years now. Of course you do have to compile separately for every platform, but why would the developer care? He just clicks "Build" in Visual Studio, and it does it all for him.

          The problem is that you essentially need to write different UIs for the different form factors, which increases the amount of work for the developers. They'd more likely just write the one UI for their target platform form factor, and ignore that it doesn't work well (or at all) for the others.

      • by Mia'cova (691309)

        There are multiple UI targets for the single OS platform. You can develop a native, rich, highly optimized, and awesome interface for the phone, xbox, or desktop if you want. The advantage is that everything else doesn't have to be rewritten. Simple apps will be more of a lowest-common-denominator with HTML/jscript-based UIs. That's more of your typical smartphone weather app example. On your desktop, you could just pin it in the sidebar. Developers would also want to think about touch and mouse/keyboard di

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Leverage? Paradigm? And not a single comment (rightfully) deriding you and the GP?

        What the fuck is going on here?
      • There was a video of Windows 8 a while back... it switched seamlessly back and forth between running tablet-style (Metro) apps and traditional apps. When switching to a traditional app, a regular old Windows desktop with a Start button and a taskbar came into view...

        Might be confusing or not ideal, but it would get the job done, and is something I'd be prepared to live with.

        Think I'll stick with Win7 for the next few years though...

      • Hopefully in a similar way that Qt does: By separating the UI from the backend, providing a simple way to design new UIs. The only "drawback" might be that even Windows-targeted developers need to think about their SW Design and start to write better structured Quality-Apps.:-)

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      They were called Programs? All that time I thought they were Excees!

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Considering the strength of Windows comes from its backwards compatibility with a large field of Programs(before they were called Apps), it makes sense that Microsoft will want to leverage that over all available media.

      It's a very good decision, which is surprising in it's own right.

      Indeed, but legacy apps aren't likely to make an appearance on ARM-powered phones and tablets any time soon.

  • The "Windows 8 will play XBox360 games" rumor is COMPLETELY FALSE. It's economically infeasible - emulating that system playably would require either a breakthrough in emulation, or a set of system requirements so high as to be unheard of (I'm talking "dual-socket server processors", something very, very few PC gamers have, let alone XBox gamers).

    Now, maybe, just maybe, they'll be offering compatibility with the original XBox - that's completely feasible, although not very high-demand. Or, perhaps, they'll

    • by geekoid (135745)

      While it may be false, it is not be economically infeasible ..I mean what you seem to think they need to do would make it economically infeasible ,but they don't need to do that at all.

    • I suppose they could do some hypervisor (by way of Hyper-V) cookery, though they'd have to emulate the architecture as well.

      But that said, and seeing how PPC emulation actually works on x86? Err, yeah, not really seeing it happen, at least not very efficiently.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        But that said, and seeing how PPC emulation actually works on x86? Err, yeah, not really seeing it happen, at least not very efficiently.

        As a rule of thumb that's pretty accurate for emulation in general. The only reason Apple were able to get away with it is because by the time they moved to x86 CPUs, the PowerPCs they had been using were falling seriously behind - even then there was apparently a slight performance penalty to running things under Rosetta on the first x86-based macs.

        • The only reason Apple were able to get away with it is because by the time they moved to x86 CPUs, the PowerPCs they had been using were falling seriously behind...

          This year's Xbox 360 isn't much faster than 2005's Xbox 360.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        and seeing how PPC emulation actually works on x86?

        Using JIT emulation or recompile in advance?

        Apple and Alpha both have shown on multiple occasions that you can emulate another architecture rather well if you put some effort into it. JIT types of emulation suck ass if you're not running on the same architecture, but using AOT recompilation makes the initial startup/load suck, but runtime generally is doable if it can talk to native libraries.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Not if they only let you play the Live market games they have in their game store. That sounds far more likely.

    • by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:14PM (#36781306)
      What seems more likely to me is that the next Xbox will run on x86-64, and basically run a stripped down version of Windows 8. So there would be no emulation fakery required. Sure, the first generation of games would require very expensive PCs, but three or four years down the road, a decent gaming PC could boot into "gaming mode" and play Xbox games easily.
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        That is the most likely scenario. OS unification is a forward looking task. It requires planning for the future. I can remember a time when MS was unifying corporate and consumer code bases. It seems to have worked out pretty good.
    • by mgblst (80109)

      Bullshit. Most of XBox 360 comes from the video card, the much faster intel chips are more than capable of emulating the xbox 360 chip, just need a compatible video card, and away you go. Even now, especially in the years it will take this to come out. (Have Microsoft ever released a new OS on time, and no, Windows 7 is not new, nor was XP, nor was 98. 95, 2000 and Vista we noew OS's, as much as the fanboys would like to forget).

      Would they do it, that is the question.

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        The problem is that emulation is NEVER equal in speed to the original. In fact, emulating PowerPC is usually

        The GPU, however, is actually much easier to emulate. Especially given the non-ISA-specific nature of them - even the XBox uses the same shaders and functions that PC games use.

        • by Mashiki (184564)

          That would be, because shader functions are backwards compatible. But you're sure not using shader v5 on a xbox.

        • It doesn't have to be equal to the speed of the original. It has to be "just not slow enough that's it's slower than it was originally when emulated on a much newer processor." Anyway, a high end emulator, such as the type that was once made by the Transitive company for Apple's Rosetta product, is more like a just-in-time compiling emulator than anything else. I tested their SPARC-to-x86 version at one time, and it tore down SPECfp and SPECint benchmarks like no tomorrow.

          So while you did not say this, I de

  • One Ring to rule them all...

    Hey, at least it will make the jobs of the virus, trojan, and rootkit writers easier -- cover multiple platforms with a single zero-day! That's progress!
  • One OS (Score:2, Funny)

    by gtall (79522)

    One OS to rule them, One OS to bind them, One OS....to lead them all to perdition.

    • by lucm (889690)

      Maybe you mean one "iOS" ?

      Oh my mistake. Same thing, different monopolistic company.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      One OS to rule them, One OS to bind them, One OS....to lead them all and in a patent bind them.

  • by phonewebcam (446772) on Friday July 15, 2011 @05:40PM (#36781008) Homepage

    based on Linux, a set of modular OS components for different platforms that work together when need be. Since 1991.

    • Or based on Apple's success with iOS, which derives directly from OS X/Darwin.

      There are really big advantages to keeping one solid, portable 'core' OS and building libraries that can be 'scaled down' for mobile devices. Just look at how Apple's small team of OS developers have things set up:

      Darwin becomes OS X and iOS...
      Webkit is the browser and JavaScript app runtime on both platforms.
      The CoreAnimation API that accelerates OS X eye candy is used in iOS to do the screen drawing (ala DirectX on Xbox and WInd

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) *

      It's cute how Slashdotters think Linux is the center of the universe. Linux on the desktop is so statistically insignificant as to be practically non-existent, and platforms like Android are based on APIs that simply run onto of Linux but were written by commercial companies like Google (a proprietary search and advertising company, no less).

      • by grcumb (781340) on Friday July 15, 2011 @08:42PM (#36782286) Homepage Journal

        It's cute how Slashdotters think Linux is the center of the universe.

        Linux is not the centre of the universe. Linux is the glue that holds the universe together[*]. Even Windows PCs would be a damn sight less useful if it weren't for the presence of Linux everywhere from Google to your home router.

        Linux on the desktop is so statistically insignificant as to be practically non-existent, and platforms like Android are based on APIs that simply run onto of Linux but were written by commercial companies like Google (a proprietary search and advertising company, no less).

        That's a non sequitur. Since when does liking Linux - and using it professionally or for fun - have anything to do with its commercialisation? Free is still Free. And for the less dogmatic among us, even proprietary software has a place in the Linux world.

        ----------------
        [*] Albeit in a wonderfully inconsistent, semi-anarchic way. ObXKCD: http://xkcd.com/224/ [xkcd.com]

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Linux is not the centre of the universe. Linux is the glue that holds the universe together[*]. Even Windows PCs would be a damn sight less useful if it weren't for the presence of Linux everywhere from Google to your home router.

          Neither home, my home ISP, my office, or the colo where our servers reside use Linux anywhere in their infrastructure. The colo obviously hosts some Linux machines for customers, but you use Linux for network infrastructure when you haven't grown up enough yet to use the proper OSes.

          Your little router might because you went out of your way to find one that did, most people don't, and neither does their router.

          That's a non sequitur. Since when does liking Linux - and using it professionally or for fun - have anything to do with its commercialisation?

          It doesn't, and thats the point, which you proved. Your lust for it has clouded your judgement, w

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      Modular in source, but still monolithic in runtime, since 1991. NT and OSX left behind monolithic kernels in the 1990s.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Remember all the promises Microsoft has made before Vista about Longhorn, and modular OS with object FS, and all that cool stuff.

    In never happened. Any of it. ANY of it.

    • Well, to be fair they tried something similar back when they named everything not welded to the floor ".Net"...

      Maybe this is just a reprise of that?

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Actually, most of it did happen. Compatibility issues and having to start over with vista due to the ass pounding they got in the security area forced them to rethink the strategy.

      WinFS was available for download for a while, as were many other things they worked on for Vista before they had to rethink it all.

      But hey, don't let facts get in your way.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday July 15, 2011 @05:43PM (#36781028) Homepage Journal

    Once upon a time, handheld and portable devices were extremely limited in power, necessitating a special-purpose cut-down OS.

    But with the advent of gigahertz plus and dual core CPUs for portable and handheld devices, it's now possible to run the same core OS on virtually all devices, enabling that common code base that allows a truly modular operating system. Sure Linux has been doing that already for years, but it was designed that way -- Windows wasn't.

    • by scamper_22 (1073470) on Friday July 15, 2011 @05:59PM (#36781190)

      "Sure Linux has been doing that already for years, but it was designed that way -- Windows wasn't."

      You say that as if what Linux did was a good thing.

      There's a reason MS dominated the desktop. They made the desktop work. While some Unix person would just deal with slow graphic performance on a consumer PC, MS did all kinds of tricks and integration to make it work. Just try windows 95 on an old computer. Then try Linux around that time. You will not find it comparable. Windows 95 produces a superior experience by far.

      *nix might have been designed a certain way... but its why they lost the war on the desktop. They built it in an ideal manner and closed their eyes when things didn't work nice. They ignored their customers.

      It's the same reason why Office became popular. MS did things like save the file in binary to improve save performance. A more *nix minded person would have insisted on a 'proper' file format.

      Microsoft has plenty of smart people who were more than aware of the *nix way of building an OS... most of this stuff was figured out a long time ago.

      And so MS begins the long transition to the ideal OS, dealing with backward compatibility... the whole works. Can they do it... who knows. Will it be successful... who knows.

      But I don't think there's any to be proud of in saying Linux was designed that way.

      • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:07PM (#36781240)

        There's a reason MS dominated the desktop. They made the desktop work.

        No, they made the desktop cheap. Windows 3.1 was a joke compared to Unix workstations or even Macs of that era, but a PC with Windows cost less than a Mac and far less than a Sun workstation.

        • by cusco (717999) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ybxib.nairb>> on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:51PM (#36781610)
          Sure, a Windows NT machine was far less expensive than any of its competition (most large shops skipped 3.11), but what made it work was the simple fact that you could take something directly out of Excel and dump it into Word. You could connect Excel to your dBase or Paradox database, write a macro to do something with it, and print it in near WYSIWYG on any printer. Absolutely no one else could do that at the time. Not Sun, not AS400, not Linux, not Apple.

          My mom's coworker had three computers on her desk, a Wang word processor, an Apple running VisiCalc for accounting, and some ugly CPM machine with the customer and case file database. To get data from the customer database she brought it up on the screen and typed it into the Wang. Forget KVMs, none of the three machines had even vaguely compatible plugs on the keyboards or monitors. You'll never hear her bad-talking Windows, because she remembers what her work space was like before.
          • by profplump (309017)

            Microsoft originally wrote Office (or as it was sold at the time, separate programs for Word/Excel/etc.) for the Mac. It came out int 1984. The Windows version didn't come out until like 1989.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              And cut and paste between applications in MS Office didn't work very well for quite a few years after that.
              • by tsa (15680)

                And cut and paste between applications in MS Office didn't work very well for quite a few years after that.

                And later they broke the cut and paste option again by pasting all the properties of a text with the text as standard. How annoying! And the worst part is that a while later the OpenOffice team had copied that behaviour from MS! Grrr!

        • by rust627 (1072296)

          There's a reason MS dominated the desktop. They made the desktop work.

          No, they made the desktop cheap. Windows 3.1 was a joke compared to Unix workstations or even Macs of that era, but a PC with Windows cost less than a Mac and far less than a Sun workstation.

          No, they made the desktop (relatively) cheap, if you bought it bundled.
          They made windows ubiquitous.
          and with an ecology that made installing and running programs a relatively brainless affair (click on "install.exe") that anybody could do.
          Yes windows 3.1 was a joke compared to other stuff around at the time, but you didn't have to worry about "apt get" routines or broken dependencies
          If a program didn't work it was a rare thing and most people stuck with commonly available programs and just lived with BSOD.

        • by KliX (164895)

          You were literally the problem to the adoption of unix. You still are.

      • There's a reason MS dominated the desktop.

        Lots of different reasons actually, of which the one you listed was a rather minor one compared to the rest of them.

      • Win95 was so bad it drove me to linux. Win98SE was usable, but I challenge you to put bare first release Win95 on anything and see how crappy it was. For example, the drivers and the core behaviour of the thing were so bad it crashed me me every time I tried to close it down, simply because it decided to play an exit sound in a different way to all the other sounds it played.
      • And there was stupid me thinking all these cases against Microsoft, abusing their monopoly (like punishing vendors with discriminating Windows prices when they want to offer PCs with pre-installed Linux as well, see VOBIS) and their embrace-extend-extinguish strategy of mudding Javascript with their own extensions so that 80% of web pages didn't display properly on competing browsers anymore, keeping their Word format messy and undocumented in a way that they were not even themself able to create any downwa

    • by maxume (22995)

      Saying that Windows is designed differently than Linux is like comparing a pickle to an orange grove.

      Now that I used a stupid analogy, allow me to explain myself. The Linux kernel and the NT kernel are different, but they aren't as fundamentally different as you think. The GUI configuration of Windows that Microsoft ships is a lot heavier than many Linux distributions, but that isn't really about the design of the operating system.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well, it is true. Windows NT was designed to be a true microkernel with user-mode application subsystems under which multiple platforms could execute and be managed concurrently and independently from one another. Linux was designed to be a monolithic kernel to run the GNU toolkit as a temporary solution while waiting on HURD. Both have come a long way from their origins.

        Microsoft didn't intentionally design the mess that is Windows. NT was intended to run OS/2 as the primary subsystem, which it continu

        • Linux was designed to be a monolithic kernel to run the GNU toolkit as a temporary solution while waiting on HURD.

          I don't believe that Linus Torvalds ever waited for HURD.

    • by Elbereth (58257) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:44PM (#36781550) Journal

      Come on. AmigaOS, OS-9, and QNX all had amazingly modern features, back in the 1980s, running on, in some cases, 8 bit hardware. In fact, it turns out that RIM bought QNX Software Systems, according to Wikipedia. There's no reason for the OS to be special purpose or cut-down. The problem is with loading up the hardware with extraneous features, such as the ability to play DVDs or streaming media, while keeping the energy consumption minimal. The real innovation is that today's integrated hardware can easily play DVDs, while giving a useful life to embedded devices, thanks to both improved battery technology and energy consumption. It's not that the operating systems can finally have breathing space.

      Seriously. Take a look at what the Amiga could do with a 7 MHz 68K CPU and 256KB RAM. Then, once your mind is blown by that, try out OS-9 on a 6809 CPU, dating back to the late 1970s. Both have features that only appeared in the 2000s, in more mainstream operating systems. QNX can even boot up a GUI environment, with a web browser and networking stack, on a 1.44MB floppy disk. Linux, Windows, and MacOS X can only dream about that (not that they are bad operating systems or anything -- it's just something they can't do).

      It's a matter of priorities, really. Do you want to have your operating system coded in hand-optimized assembly language, with all the maintainability problems that brings? Or do you want an easy to maintain, C++-based operating system, that caches everything in the (presumably available) gigabytes of RAM of a modern PC? You can have features, performance, and low system requirements, but it takes a lot more effort than if you simply emphasize features. It also takes a lot more training.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Sure Linux has been doing that already for years, but it was designed that way -- Windows wasn't.

      Didn't Linus Torvalds himself essentially say that Linux would probably never run on a non-x86 processor?

  • A shared PC-tablet OS?

    The submitter sees value in this, but I'm not sure why - apparently he wasn't paying attention for the past ten years. Microsoft did exactly this with Windows XP Tablet PC edition... and that fell flat on its face.

    Seeing hints that Microsoft is still thinking the same way is not a surprise but a disappointment; and it shouldn't be construed in a positive manner by fans of the company.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Agreed. Now, if they had announced that Microsoft Surface would be the common code base for all platforms, they'd really have something.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:55PM (#36781642) Journal

      Tablet PCs failed because they tried to be PCs first and tablets a distant second. The UI was never properly optimized for touch, for example - it was assumed that a stylus and handwriting input is all you need. That is why it fell on its face.

    • by Mia'cova (691309)

      Same OS doesn't mean the same UI. Examples: iOS = OSX, Android = Linux. This is more in reference to MS dropping the windows CE platform which I believe was the base for the 360 and WP7. You don't have to expect every edition to support the same features. The phone wouldn't have the 'standard' windows desktop for example. But at the same time, you'd want the phone to support the same audio, video, usb, etc drivers for simplicity. Then when you put an ATI chip in your phone, they don't need to rewrite everyt

    • The TabletPC platform failed because of the lack of promotion. Microsoft and the OEMs (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, etc) have never -- to this day -- to advertise Tablet PCs. I have never seen a Tablet PC ad anywhere. Ever! Not even in brochures mailed by the aforementioned companies! They don't even appear on the Home Page of those OEMs. They've bastardized the technology from the start. Then they waited for someone with more vision and interest in it to fully capitalize on the idea. This someone turned o
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday July 15, 2011 @05:54PM (#36781146)

    All those connected platforms running one OS. This kind of exacerbates the monoculture drawbacks.

  • Finally (Score:2, Funny)

    by Cajun Hell (725246)
    Only read the summary, not TFA, but it sounds like they're finally switching to Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This was Microsoft's previous failed strategy. Windows everywhere didn't work and they have failed to make any other compelling OS. So now it is back to Windows everywhere.

    Microsoft is trapped by their own success. In order to make a truly modern, compelling OS, they have to dump the old stuff and break compatibility. It is that very compatibility that has been their success so far. The big risk to breaking it is that once people have to start with a new OS, they start looking at alternatives.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:38PM (#36781502)
    and it's just silly to say they should have been doing this. It's only recently that a chipset that powered phones was beefy enough to run what people expect out of a desktop. Kudos to Microsoft for picking up on this as soon as they have. Android is a real threat. People love the idea of taking their phone, plugging it into a doc and having the same UI look & feel. Android + HTML5 apps + cloud is a credible threat to Microsoft. The cool thing is, they're moving on converging all the platforms as a result. Real innovation from competition.
  • With webOS on their phones, Touchpad tablet, and soon (as announced) on their PCs - isn't HP already moving in that direction?
  • We don't really need diversity in computers we should just learn to run Microsoft on everything from watches to mainframes because windows is the best operating systems ever. If it wasn't for Microsoft there would be no innovation anywhere so basically we should have a formal Microsoft tax and just pay Microsoft to own everything.

    It's a good thing that Microsoft use their patent portfolio to stop anyone else in the industry from trying to make anything new because Microsoft would do it better anyway so why

    • by Twinbee (767046)

      Wonderful post. I love your 2nd last semi-parseable sentence with 'every', every other word :)

      I would only add that developers should pay our saviour, yes, but also be locked in so that if they develop for Windows, they can't develop that software for other OSs, ever. After all, what would be the need?

  • It's not the mobile phone hardware that is catching up with desktop PCs. It's the expectations of the consumer that have been getting comfortable with a watered-down computing experience, one that feels like a reasonable trade of lower complexity for lower capability.

  • God DAMN Crapdot 2.5 ... or whatever the fuck you assholes are calling this latest piece of shit. Now I can't even submit a story (Las Vegas Web site VegasInc reports that on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Hunt fined copyright troll Righthaven $5,000 for failure to disclose Stephens Media, Inc.'s financial interest in Righthaven's suits against Web sites it accuses of plaigarizing Las Vegas Review-Journal's copyrighted content. Hunt also ordered Righthaven to disclose the full text of its origin

  • With this and GNU Hurd possible in Debian 7, are we finally going to see mainstream OSes with microkernel architecture?
  • Microsoft has a long history of saying they are doing this and that and then never delivering.

    Not holding my breath, and would of course, wait for service pack 1 on any new OS before using.

    And we ain't playing no Xbox 360 games on Windows 8. Ain't happening.

    And how many times has MS said they were going to go all gungho with gaming on windows? what, 5, 6 times now? Every OS they release?

    I'm a big stoner, and yet my memory seems way better then most of you.

    MS ain't doing shit, but talking. That's prett

  • The Xbox OS is like the 640k for everyone remark, it's been variously admitted and denied that it's impossible to find a solid citation any more. But the Xbox already runs an OS derived from Windows 2000, and the 360 already runs an OS derived from the Xbox OS; further; it likely borrows code back from the Windows code base anyway, because the same code runs on both Xbox and Windows with nary but a recompile (though it may not work satisfactorily for one or the other if it's not designed to run there, e.g.

  • All your apps will become legacy and have to be recoded or entirely rewritten in their new Windows Tiered Foundation (WTF) framework to run on the new system, because God forbid that Microsoft should provide a decent upgrade path from .net.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

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