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Microsoft Businesses Software Upgrades Windows IT Technology

Windows 7 Is the Next Windows XP 504

Posted by samzenpus
from the older-is-better dept.
snydeq writes "Windows XP's most beloved factors are also driving business organizations to Windows 7 in the face of Windows 8. 'We love Windows 7: That's the message loud and clear from people this week at the TechMentor Conference held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. With Windows XP reaching end of life for support in April 2014, the plan for most organizations is to upgrade — to Windows 7,' indicating 'a repeat of history for what we've seen with Windows releases, the original-cast Star Trek movie pattern where every other version was beloved and the ones in between decidedly not so.'"
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Windows 7 Is the Next Windows XP

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  • by busyqth (2566075) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:35PM (#41089967)
    That means there won't be any trouble in waiting out Windows 8 for something better.
    • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) * on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:43PM (#41090071)

      You probably won't have to wait long, because Microsoft already has a fall back.

      The Windows 7 interface worked acceptably well in early windows 8, even if you had to registry hack it into making an appearance.
      I predict this will be their fall back position when they see sales tanking on everything except tablets.
      They will flip a switch and presto-change-o the start bar will reappear.

      People are not going to be reaching across their keyboards to smudge their screen on anything except tablets.
      Its not going to happen.

      • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:02AM (#41090629) Homepage

        One thing to consider is that for a large company every major upgrade of the user interface causes a lot of costs while people are learning the new features and how to find how to do it when their old familiar features has disappeared. I'm still annoyed by a few things in the new Office UI.

        And the statistics Microsoft has collected saying for example that the Start button could go away - I don't think that they have realized that the statistics they got is skewed since many advanced users and company admins intentionally unticks the checkbox allowing Microsoft to collect data about your usage. That leaves them with statistics from a large number of home users that are more or less computer illiterate.

        So if you look at how a moron works and design your tools after that then you will make tools for morons. But then you are actually a moron yourself.

        • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jbolden (176878) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @06:38AM (#41092477) Homepage

          That leaves them with statistics from a large number of home users that are more or less computer illiterate.

          Which is the group they are bleeding right now. That's who Windows 8 is aimed at, not losing that group.

          Conversely the "computer literate" are (by numbers) the ones that have the strongest ties to Windows and Windows software. They are the ones who just stay put on Windows 7 for another 5 years or so while Microsoft works through the transition. They are the ones that once Metro apps and Metro hardware become widely available and heavily used switch. They are also the ones who while the most upset about UI changes, are the most able to adapt if they have to.

          • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by d3ac0n (715594) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:42AM (#41095381)

            It's not about "Metro Apps" and "Metro Hardware" it's about usability and basic ergonomics.

            It is simply too much of a PITA for ANYONE, business or home users, to use the Metro interface on a desktop or laptop, even IF they have a touchscreen. (FSM help you if you don't have a touchscreen!) The UI concepts DO NOT WORK with those form factors. And while many people are enjoying tablets and smartphones, there is still a great need for the more traditional form factors if you are doing anything other than multimedia or web consumption.

            The "Desktop PC" paradigm in business is not going away any time soon. It is a well known and understood style and ergonomically works very very well. Metro just doesn't work in that paradigm.

            I anticipate that we will see Metro and the touchscreen UI concept for Desktops go by the wayside within two years. Win8 will get patched to remove the Metro UI (With Metro Apps running in non-fullscreen windows instead) the Start button and Start menu will return and that will be the end of this abortive experiment in "blended" UIs.

            • by jbolden (176878)

              It's not about "Metro Apps" and "Metro Hardware"

              Actually it is. Don't dismiss those issues.

              The UI concepts DO NOT WORK with those form factors. And while many people are enjoying tablets and smartphones, there is still a great need for the more traditional form factors if you are doing anything other than multimedia or web consumption.

              Probably. What Microsoft wants to ensure though is that this is at the application mode level and so only that mode within the application requires those form factors.

      • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:09AM (#41090681) Journal

        I honestly don't know if that will help. After all by SP2 they had worked most of the bugs out of Vista but you still can't get most people to even think of taking Vista on a bet, once the public has made up its mind that is usually it.

        That said after running DP,CP and RP unless you are getting it on a touchscreen tablet or phone I really don't see any real selling points, especially not for business and average consumers. I mean why did XP last so long? Because it worked, by SP2 all the major bugs were out of the way and it did what people wanted which was to boot up and GTFO of the way so they can run their programs, and Win 7 does this even better, with better memory management, jumplists and breadcrumbs make it insanely easy to get back to where you were working the day before, its just a nice OS that works well for businesses and gamers, so why put up with the Metro bullshit? So we can get fingerprints on the new touchscreen we'd have to buy? No thanks.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>you still can't get most people to even think of taking Vista on a bet

          Absolutely right. That's why they changed the NT version number from 6.0 to 6.1 and renamed Vista to Windows Mohave'..... ooops I mean..... Seven.

          I probably would have liked Vista if Microsoft had said minimum RAM was 1 gigabyte. But no they said 512 megabyte instead, which is what my brother's computer came with by default, and so it ran horribly.

          • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jbolden (176878) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @06:44AM (#41092515) Homepage

            Which was one of Microsoft's biggest mistakes. They backed down from the original requirements for Longhorn (which 2g BTW). They cut them again because the OEM's were concerned about a falloff in sales. So they had "Certified for Windows Vista" and "Works with Windows Vista" which was a disaster. Hopefully they don't make the same mistake with 8, though it seems like they are going to.

            If Microsoft just announced that capacitive touchscreen or high end trackpad (min) was required for Windows 8 a lot of the complaints about hardware would go away. By pretending that Windows-8 is going to work well on traditional hardware Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot.

        • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:47AM (#41090933) Journal

          And you hit a key point. XP worked and does work. It worked from the beginning. Vista was crippled by know it all GUI designers who choked on their own fumes because they had their heads up their asses too long when designing things like UAC. Anyway, does it work or not? That is the number one point for business. If it works it wins. If you have two competing pieces, say Windows XP and Apple whatever, it doesn't matter how cool one or the other is (according to fans), to business it matters if it works. And once that is settled, the cheaper of the two wins.

          A lot of people like to cut up Windows but the fact is, it does work solidly. And for a competitive price. It can't crash and get fucked up as bad as some say (at least not in offices/businesses, and not in a way that impacts the bottom line too badly), otherwise businesses would get rid of it. No, paying to have someone to blame is not the reason. Having someone to blame doesn't bring money in. Having working equipment does. Having someone you pay who is accountable and who won't get paid again if they don't solve problems does help make money. Getting something for free and not ever being sure something will be fixed doesn't make money. Paying 4 times what you need to pay on the cool product is a loser too. Especially once enough of the cool products sell to be a profitable target for malware makers.

          No, Windows XP isn't really sexy, but it works, and it runs business software like no tomorrow. Windows 7 works even better. And as far as that goes, I thought Window 2K worked pretty damned good too. Now they hired the same hycrapsia victims to design the interface for 8 as they did for Vista. Hey, we can't use some retarded UAC to make people insane, let's dumb it down so we (the GUI designers) might be able to use it; who cares if the rest of the world aren't as stupid as us? Ah, marketing + graphic artist + pop psychology courses makes GUI designer from hell. They need to get interface designers who understand the real world and not just some abstract thing they got from university and inward focused "industry conferences". And as a bonus they should fire the president. The place has done nothing but go downhill since he took over. Ballmer not Oballmer.

          • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2012 @02:10AM (#41091317)

            XP did not 'work' from the beginning. It wasnt until SP2 it was a respectable and stable OS and even then SP3 smoothed it more. XP taught me to image the drive right after main install finishes because drivers could completely bork the install and you'd be back at square one. . There is still a ton of cruft left in my workflow because of how shitty XP was in the beginning.

          • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @03:57AM (#41091751)

            XP worked and does work. It worked from the beginning.

            Oh boy. No, it didn't. At the release it was just a bloated, slightly more unstable version of Windows 2000. However the biggest problem was the malware explosion, and Service Pack 2 finally got things at a sane level.

        • Re:Excellent News! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bejiitas_wrath (825021) <johncartwright302@gmail.com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @06:38AM (#41092473) Homepage Journal

          And the Windows Server 2012 operating system also has the Metro interface, although once you are logged in it is straight to a command-line interface, but why does a server OS need a fancy GUI for logging in?

      • You don't think you can click on those parts of the screen with a mouse pointer if you have an input device? You think MS is going to alientate 99% of the population whose desktop or laptop doesn't have a touch screen. I think the touch screen part of your comment is off base. But I agree that they will likely flip the switch after enough people flip them the bird. The fact that it is butt fucking ugly and a pain in the ass to use because the ergonomics of using something built for the small screen doesn't

      • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Informative)

        by ras (84108) <russell-slashdot@nOSpam.stuart.id.au> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @03:38AM (#41091669) Homepage

        It's not like you have to wait for Microsoft. The already is an an open source shell [sourceforge.net] the emulates the old Windows behaviour.

      • Re:Excellent News! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Xibby (232218) <zibby+slashdot@ringworld.org> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @11:19AM (#41096029) Homepage Journal

        I predict this will be their fall back position when they see sales tanking on everything except tablets.

        Microsoft won't see Windows 8 sales tanking. Once Windows 8 is released, Volume License customers won't have the option to buy Windows 7 licenses, only Windows 8 licenses. Volume Licenses come with downgrade rights so customers will be installing Windows 7, but Microsoft will be reporting Windows 8 sales.

    • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:48PM (#41090107)
      Ah, yes, now there is a shining endorsement:

      'We love Windows 7:

      Somehow they forget to add compared to Windows 8

      • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:10PM (#41090265)

        Compared to other Windows, Windows 7 has been great. Compared to Linux...well, let's not pick on MS, they've made great, if not entirely monotonic progress. They may yet produce an OS I would use of my own free will, rather than being forced into it.

        • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheLink (130905) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:07AM (#41090667) Journal
          From the "Large Enterprise" point of view the only reason "Windows 7 is the Next Windows XP" is because Microsoft is going to stop supporting Windows XP. They don't need anything Windows 7 or 8 provides. All they care is that Windows XP keeps running the applications they need.

          If Microsoft continued supporting Windows XP, those business would continue running Windows XP. No need to spend time and money to retrain staff, no need to change anything. Not every industry is like the IT industry.

          Microsoft on the other hand NEEDS to keep moving the "goal posts", they need to change things (but not too much). Why? Because if they kept the goal posts stationary for too long someone could come up with a "Windows XP" compatible OS (you can see some already trying with ReactOS, I doubt they'll succeed but Microsoft really has to move).

          If there are viable "Windows compatible" operating systems, Windows would end up like the IBM PC BIOS, with competing BIOS software. And BIOS manufacturers don't make enough money to make Microsoft shareholders, bosses, employees happy.

          Most people don't know what BIOS they run, nor do they need to. To them the different BIOS all work the same and they just focus on using their applications.
          • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Karma's A Bitch (2482188) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:33AM (#41090835)

            Sysadmin here:

            We've migrated about 50 users (salesforce, most are aged 40 to 60) to Win7 from XP about 2 months ago. Here's what's happening for us:

            * No major problems adjusting to Win7 (I've had a couple of quick questions, that's it).
            * Running users as standard users is almost viable (we're having a lot of pain and suffering from all the crapware we have to install (Adobe Flash, Reader, Shockwave; Quicktime, iTunes; Java; etc, etc) -- almost everything on this list wants admin rights to update itself). Users can't install much or tweak much, so much less user-induced OS failure/slowness/malware. We're trialling SCCM for this, so we'll see...
            * Win7 seems less prone to malware infection. I doubt it's anywhere near secure, but it's already doing a lot better than XP. (I'm forced to use Symantec for AV, which is about as much protection as a pincushion condom.)
            * Device drivers for modern PCs on XP is a royal pain; Win7 is ok for now (a couple of bad device drivers for Win7 x64, but much better than XP x64 and good enough for use), and updating device drivers from Windows Update works about half the time.
            * Imaging tools are much nicer.
            * Sleep and hibernate seem to be more reliable. XP would fail to resume 1 in every 200 resumes or so.

            So for us, Win7 is a major step up -- it isn't that it's good so much as it sucks much less than XP (which sucked much less than 98, etc.). Furthermore, ReactOS (last I checked) is far, far, far away from being a viable replacement. MS could sit still for 5 to 10 years and ReactOS would still be far away. Give those guys several more good programmers and the story might be different...

            • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Informative)

              by guruevi (827432) <evi @ s m o k i n g c u be.be> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @01:44AM (#41091219) Homepage

              Sysadmin here:

              * No major problems adjusting to Win7 after I set the theme to Windows Classic. Running it with all the bells and whistles confuses people.
              * Running users as standard users is still the same pain in the neck. Running users as administrators and it will still ask you to click through a bunch of crap which pops up EVERYWHERE. However some applications don't request elevated rights but still need it (Java-based programs for instance) and as a result they simply crash with no message whatsoever.
              * Users are still dumb and will click everything. I simply wipe the system if a malware infection occurs but I don't see a big difference in rate.
              * Device drivers for Win7 is a pain in the neck with the signing and the x64/32-bit. I have to hack in certain drivers and some manufacturers still haven't released a driver and XP drivers although they use the same model and similar kernel simply can't be used for some reason.
              * I never had much use of the MS imaging tools
              * Unless you have bog-standard hardware sleep and hibernate still doesn't work reliably and for some reason laptops keep waking up when closed.

              Other issues:
              * Have an external PCIe card? Won't even hot plug. Needs a full reboot.
              * The MS high-res timer drivers are crap on Windows 7 and software can't take exclusive control over them
              * Video card retrace signals are horribly inaccurate and software can't take exclusive control over them
              * Want to set a system with 120Hz or higher refresh rate? We'll also encrypt that signal for you with HDCP even though no content is playing back and screw up your whole custom DVI-D setup
              * Very slow SMB copy (20MBps where it should be 120MBps). Teracopy (3rd party software) solves the issue.
              * Still no native NFS/LDAP/Kerberos support

            • Re:Excellent News! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by sensationull (889870) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @03:07AM (#41091531)

              Crap, when are you people from. We have been using 7 for two years already across several thousand machines. It is better with security, drivers, self repair, imaging and manageability. With GPO setup on a server you can tweak the newer UI to your liking without needing to roll back to Windows 95 mode.

              Shifting is not that hard, letting the users stagnate just makes things sores when you are forced to switch because you can't get C64 keyboards anymore.

              The same things happened when XP came out, pre SP1 GPO sucked and had all sorts of issues just like Vista and 7. Everyone has selective memories and just want to burry their heads and keep driving their Model Ts.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Actually you are wrong, and here is why....memory. That is what allowed me to get my last customers off of XP, because even my baseline systems now come with 4Gb and the XP 3.2Gb limit means those businesses didn't have the RAM they paid for.

            Now if XP X64 would have been given the support it deserved? Then i could have seen many businesses just going with it, but too few drivers were put out for it since MSFT really didn't advertise or support it so for those with even 4 or 5 year old systems its better

            • by jafiwam (310805)

              XP 64 kicked ass as long as you didn't want to: print, plug in anything that wasn't a keyboard or mouse, play any music on it, upgrade any hardware, use a good video card, play games.

              For doing big, memory intensive stuff it was great. It was also stable as hell. But, in an office, you sorta kinda gotta print once in a while.

    • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JoeMerchant (803320) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:27PM (#41090397)

      Did anybody else feel the "FUD" when XP was announced? It's evil, your software won't run on it, it will have stronger DRM than 98, etc. etc. etc.

      I remember the same thing when Vista was announced, and now 8 is coming and they're playing it up as the big new scary OS.

      I think it's a short-term ploy to drive sales of systems with the old OS "while you can still get it" without a downgrade charge.

      • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:35PM (#41090439)

        Windows 8 isn't big and scary. It's just horridly designed.

        The issues with the bootloader are one problem, that might pose a problem for linux, but are actually a relatively small part of what is problem with windows 8, because windows 8 is a badly designed mess.

        A good overview of some of what is wrong with it http://www.pcgamesn.com/article/why-i-m-uninstalling-windows-8

        This isn't a DRM issue, a compatibility issue (although there is some of that), it's not even particularly evil, at least not any more than anything else MS does. It's that it's a nightmare to use because the design is wildly inconsistent for no apparent reason, and it doesn't seem to actually get you anything for that. If you want to use 10 GB of my RAM that's fine if I actually get something out of it, if you're going to change how to shut down the machine, or how apps work etc. it's just unnecessarily confusing.

        • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DudemanX (44606) <dudemanx AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @03:05AM (#41091525) Homepage

          Windows 8 isn't big and scary. It's just horridly designed.

          The issues with the bootloader are one problem, that might pose a problem for linux, but are actually a relatively small part of what is problem with windows 8, because windows 8 is a badly designed mess.

          A good overview of some of what is wrong with it http://www.pcgamesn.com/article/why-i-m-uninstalling-windows-8 [slashdot.org]

          This isn't a DRM issue, a compatibility issue (although there is some of that), it's not even particularly evil, at least not any more than anything else MS does. It's that it's a nightmare to use because the design is wildly inconsistent for no apparent reason, and it doesn't seem to actually get you anything for that. If you want to use 10 GB of my RAM that's fine if I actually get something out of it, if you're going to change how to shut down the machine, or how apps work etc. it's just unnecessarily confusing.

          The article you linked is not a good overview of what is wrong with Windows 8. It's an overview of what is wrong with Metro. What I've learned in my toying with the betas and my week having RTM installed on my home desktop/gaming computer is that you really can ignore Metro. The desktop is not "an app for Metro". Metro works more like an overlay. The only time I ever see it is when I bring up the "start" menu. The new start menu exists in the Metro overlay but when properly set up isn't all that bad. The problem is with the default layout. It is covered in shitty metro apps. You can uninstall all of them however and pin any and all of your favorite shortcuts. If you need to see the shortcuts that your desktop apps install into the old Windows 95 Start Menu hierarchy you can right click then click all apps. You can of course always type in a search too as in Vista/7.

          So do Metro and the default presentation of Windows 8 suck total ass? You bet, but if you can get over your new giant customizable start menu(and the time spent setting up) Windows 8 is quite the improvement over Windows 7.

          The new File Explorer or Explorer.exe is really great. The ribbon is hidden by default but is there quickly when you want to do things like show hidden files that used to require digging through control panel options. I also really like the quick access to administrator features that pops up when you right click the start button(or what is now the bottom left-hand pixel). MS needs to make that as easy to edit as the start menu. There are built in ISO mounting and burning tools. There are many other little improvements made to the desktop experience. Though I will admit that shutting down is also a little wonky as you need to put the mouse in the lower right corner then then click on settings and shut down. That's the only time I need to use the weird overlay activated in by that corner and all it does is pop up 5 little icons along the right-hand screen edge.

          The biggest disappointment for me in Windows 8 so far has actually been Client Hyper-V. I was really looking forward to this feature and still hope to use it in the future but when the hypervisor is installed my 3D gaming performance takes an fps hit. Most games were still pretty playable but having Quake Live's fps dip down into the 60s is unacceptable. Complaining about 60 fps in a game probably sounds unreasonable to most of you but if you know the Quake 3 and Quake Live engines you understand. Games do run great without the hypervisor in the way though. Hopefully MS can eventually optimize their tech or more likely future/faster hardware will take care of it.

          So yeah take my Slashdot card away, because even though I do hate Metro and agree it has no place on the desktop. I really am digging Windows 8 in spite of that.

      • Vista was a buggy POS and so many things were broken that it was not useable as an IT administrator. Windows 7 is great because they had a chance to iron out all of the bugs. It is expected when you make such a radical shift, but I don't see why MS wants to make such a huge UI change just for the sake of change. For a tablet, sure go nuts I just don't know why they want to push an interface on people that don't even want it on a phone. I suppose it is a way for them to use their market position on the desk
    • Re:Excellent News! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:44AM (#41090915) Journal

      If nothing else though you just gotta laugh when the same site that has TFA has article like Windows 8...Yes its that bad [infoworld.com]. But sadly we all know what this is, its Ballmer's Hail Mary.

      Lets face it with triples and quad cheaper than ever PCs are way past good enough so folks simply won't be replacing until they die, which because they aren't even stressing the chips will be longer than ever, and Google and Apple are drinking MSFT's milkshake while it cries like a little bitch in mobile.

      So no matter how many laugh at them Ballmer is gonna throw that Hail Mary in the hopes of scoring some mobile sales? Will it work....I'd love to say "LOL Fuck no!" but if the rumors are true and Ballmer is willing to shit a billion down the toilet to sell an iPad quality tablet at Kindle prices? He may just manage to buy himself some sales.

      But in any case i think it'll be DOA on desktops, both the chip makers and the OEMs are having a hard enough time moving units as it is, they sure as hell ain't gonna raise the price 40% to throw in touchscreens nobody wants because MSFT wants to be Apple.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:38PM (#41090007)

    At work I run 2 applications on Windows: A web browser (Chrome),and the MS Office Suite (Outlook, Word, and Excel (in that order). If Office was available on Linux, I'd be perfectly happy on Linux.

    I really don't care what the underlying operating system is, as long as it stays out of my way (and it sounds like the new Win8 UI might be annoying).

  • No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yvajj (970228) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:40PM (#41090033)

    Well, Windows 8 isn't even out out. It's not surprising that businesses are going to most likely migrate to Windows 7 first. From an administrative perspective, most admins already know how to deal with all the Windows 7 nuances.

    Windows 8 is a bit of a black box right now, especially from an admin perspective. I suspect it'll probably be a couple of years before Windows 8 becomes more mainstream in corporate environments.

    From a personal perspective... I plan on upgrading to 8 as soon as it's out. For $40 bucks (for a 7 - 8 upgrade), I don't see why not. As a developer, it's compelling to easily transition your desktop app to tablet (and vice versa).

  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:41PM (#41090045) Homepage
    • by Osgeld (1900440) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:58PM (#41090603)

      I love the people screaming about not knowing how to use the OS ... isnt that the whole point of these things, all you need is your finger and an idea?

      "you dont know about alt+tab"

      well guys, if I am going to operate the basic functions of my computer via keyboard, why the fuck do I even need a GUI or even a mouse? I am quite happy with sitting there with one thing per screen and using alt+Fx to switch tween applications,it runs a hell of a lot faster and I can still jump between programs without having to hit alt tab 6 times to jump from app 1 to app 6.

      • by dwpro (520418)

        just as an aside, you can switch directly to apps by hitting windows key + # to switch directly to an app (organized by the location on the taskbar), and can alternate between apps grouped that way by repeatedly hitting that combination.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:41PM (#41090051) Homepage Journal

    If only I could get rid of many of the most annoying features, like those damn pop-up previews along the task bar - f**king hell those are annoying.

    I try to get it to look as plain as possible, I don't go for whizzy aero/glass/whatever looks. I just want things to work, because I'm often stressed and whizzy gets on my nerves.

  • by hardgeus (6813) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @10:49PM (#41090119)

    At first, I thought it was just a silly conspiracy theory that they released an intentionally crappy OS every other cycle, but I'm really starting to think they do it on purpose:

    1) Release good OS with an expected lifespan of around 4 years

    2) At 2 years release crappy OS. The people that bought the OS at 1) are not going to upgrade. All of the people purchasing new computers have no choice but to buy crap. While OS sales take a dip, it's not unmanageable.

    3) Release good OS. People from 1) now upgrade, and people from 2) are desperate to get off the turd they bought. Money now pours in.

    4) See 2.

    • by Skinny Rav (181822) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @01:30AM (#41091149)

      At first, I thought it was just a silly conspiracy theory that they released an intentionally crappy OS every other cycle, but I'm really starting to think they do it on purpose

      On purpose - probably yes. Sinister plan - rather not.

      Every other version is pushing boundaries, taking chances, kind of like KDE 4.0 or Gnome 3.0. Then MS learns what did not work and releases a polished version. So you have Win 2000 followed by XP, then an ambitious failure of Vista followed by Win7. Now it is time for another push with Win8 and ideas tested with it will return in usable form with Win9.

      So "stable" versions provide income while "experimental" versions provide UAT.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Providing they actually reach beta status by April 2014.

  • force feeding (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cyko_01 (1092499)
    how else could they shove all that garbage down people's throats? They have to add necessary-evil DRM-type stupid shit to please the companies that are giving them money, but they know that users will never buy into it once they find out these "features" are in it. So what they do is they release a version with only the crap in it, let that version get all the bad press, and then once the trolls are done ranting about the crap they added, they release a new windows version. That version still has all the cr
  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:12PM (#41090293)

    You used to be able to set a new default shell using a registry setting, way back in the days of yore.

    Can you still do that, or has MS removed that ability?

    It might be worth an experiment to place the win7 explorer.exe in a protected folder on a win8 machine, and then set it as the default shell. That should neuter metro.

    I might pull the msdn evaluation copy and see if I can do that.

  • by humanrev (2606607) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:19PM (#41090357)

    This is the third time I've seen in recent history where Linux has the potential to provide an alternative to corporate and consumer use.

    The first was when Vista came out - I was hearing people clamor that this disaster of an operating system was going to be the catalyst that would result in the rise of Linux on the business/mainstream desktop. But in the end people stuck with XP and Microsoft neutered any sitting-on-the-fence debate with Windows 7. So we failed.

    Then netbooks started to become popular, and I was hearing people clamor that this was a perfect case for Linux on these low-powered devices, and once again it would rise the profile of Linux on user-facing systems. But initial netbooks were released with really shitty distros that were often half-broken and given first impressions matter, these distros did a really poor job of selling Linux. Microsoft was forced to extend XP though as Vista wouldn't work suitably on netbooks, but as far as users were concerned this was great news compared to regular preinstalled Linux distros, and now modern netbooks run Windows 7 just fine. So we failed again.

    Now Windows 8 is out, and we have an opportunity to push the best desktop-focused distros that are out there. A third window of opportunity - will the various Linux interest groups fumble again? If history has shown us anything - probably. I'd like to be optimistic, but if Linux market share doesn't increase noticeably within the next year or two then I think it's obvious that there will NEVER be a Linux on the desktop moment.

    • This is the third time I've seen in recent history where Linux has the potential to provide an alternative to corporate and consumer use.

      And how many people are using Android devices now? Linux might have fumbled on the Desk/laptop, but it's flourishing on mobile/tablet. If there's even going to be a Linux on the desktop "moment", it will probably grow out of the increasing brand-awareness of Android. Linux will stop being the "weird computer geek thing" and start being "the Android OS". That, possibly combined with a Microsoft miss-step,might be enough for them to give it a try on their desktop. Then it's all up Linux's actual performance.

  • by McFadden (809368) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @11:52PM (#41090545)
    is that there is an outside chance that it may finally see the end of Ballmer. He's clearly never had the chops for the CEO position and his tenure has been disastrous. The only thing that saved him was that just as the Vista debacle was at its peak, Jobs lost sight of Mac OS X and turned all his company's attention to mobile devices, just when Apple had the best opportunity in their lifetime to make serious market share gains on the desktop.
    • by jbolden (176878)

      Apple went from 2% of the desktop marketshare to 12% now in the USA. Apple went from losing money on desktop to making almost all the hardware profits in the industry, over 90%. And Apple's share among computers over $1000k reached as high as 90% 3 years ago (though has since fallen).

  • Cat Analogy (Score:5, Funny)

    by guttentag (313541) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @12:38AM (#41090871) Journal
    A non-techie recently asked, "If Apple's new operating system is a mountain lion, what's Windows 8?"
    Without thinking, I simply replied, "Dinner."
  • I never figured out why people love XP yet despise 2000 so much. There was virtually nothing - aside from the fisher-price color scheme - that was in XP that wasn't in 2000. 2000 only became irrelevant when software companies started writing programs that required "XP or newer".

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

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