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Windows 8 To Natively Support ISO and VHD Mounting

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the new-tools dept.

Microsoft 656

MrSeb writes "With a masterful nail in the optical disc coffin, Microsoft has announced that its new operating system will natively mount ISO disc images. On the slightly more enterprisesque side of the equation, VHD files will also be supported by Windows 8. Both new features will be smoothly integrated into Windows 8 Explorer's ribbon menu, and mounting an ISO or VHD is as simple as double clicking the file. This is obviously an important addition with Windows 8 being available on tablets — and in a year or two, it wouldn't be surprising if all software is made available as an ISO on a USB drive which can be read by tablet and PC alike."

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Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253546)

it wouldn't be surprising if all software is made available as an ISO on a USB drive which can be read by tablet and PC alike

I hate to say it, but I think Apple's "walled garden" formula is probably the one that's most likely to succeed--for tablets anyway. No loading software on USB drives (Apple's tablets don't even have USB ports), no mounting ISO's, no unapproved outside software. Everything is downloaded through the official app store. And Apple/Microsoft get their cut, of course.

Even more scary is the possibility that this could become the model for not just tablets, but also PC's in the future. About the only thing stopping this now is tradition and bandwidth limitations/download caps. The days of walking into Best Buy and buying a game or application and getting a physical copy of the software could well be numbered. Of course, Linux will still be there, but how many developers will devote resources to Linux development when Apple and MS can pretty much guarantee them a locked-down, piracy-free platform (even if they do take a cut of the action)? For that matter, how many hardware developers will be making locked-down PC's that won't even let you install Linux without some hardware hacking?

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253580)

That will be a terrible world to live in. But there is no way this could happen in a couple of months, it'll take a couple of years to even get a quarter of the population into it.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (2, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253586)

Yeah, well, that's just like, your opinion, man.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (5, Insightful)

reashlin (1370169) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253628)

Linux will still be there, but how many developers will devote resources to Linux development when Apple and MS can pretty much guarantee them a locked-down, piracy-free platform (even if they do take a cut of the action)?

The same people that do it now - for the same cut they take now. Mostly because people working on such products don't want restricted platforms. They enjoy the ability to install what *they* want too. This crap about protecting me from myself and not letting me install {mal,crap,free,whatever}ware is preposterous and an idea I'd happily see put in the bin.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253646)

That battle was lost on Slashdot thanks to Apple fans and Microsoft haters. Everyone was up in the arms about Palladium and DRM in Windows, but when it came to Apple, it was a meek surrender on here without a whimper to some extremely strong and abusive DRM. And we still hear some nonsense about DRM in Vista and Windows 7.

Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253834)

it was a meek surrender on here without a whimper to some extremely strong and abusive DRM.

Look, I was and am a staunch fighter against DRM.

But that was mostly for media, because I wanted the ability to easily transfer files between devices. For music, Apple is the company that finally ended DRM. For that you should thank and support them, not curse them.

For video the matter is different, but note that when it is up to Apple - for instance in the case of the WWDC videos for developers - there is no DRM present on the media. So plainly Apple would just drop DRM video if they could, but content providers have not seen the light yet. In fact Apple just dropped a more advanced use of Video DRM - TV rentals.

Lastly we come down to applications, which is what you may be talking about. But here the DRM is a benefit to most people, because it ensures you have a signed application that you know has not been tampered with. It is about as un-restrictive as such a system could be - Apple mandates developers allow the application to be distributed across multiple devices, when some application developers would make you pay per-device if they could.

So in what way is what little DRM Apple uses "abusive"? Please give clear examples.

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253880)

Um, I have to jailbreak an Apple device that *I* own to do what *I* want with it? This is like saying "To make sure you don't electrocute yourself or burn down the house you bought, the local authority is going to control what you plug in to any given 15 amp socket."

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253940)

Um, I have to jailbreak an Apple device that *I* own to do what *I* want with it? This is like saying "To make sure you don't electrocute yourself or burn down the house you bought, the local authority is going to control what you plug in to any given 15 amp socket."

They do, via "UL Listing" and innumerable safety and electrical code requirements. Its just not overly draconian.

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254176)

Um, I have to jailbreak an Apple device that *I* own to do what *I* want with it? This is like saying "To make sure you don't electrocute yourself or burn down the house you bought, the local authority is going to control what you plug in to any given 15 amp socket."

They do, via "UL Listing" and innumerable safety and electrical code requirements. Its just not overly draconian.

That's QA, not DRM. The Apple model is more like: "No flying toasters [youtube.com] . Because they draw too many amps. They don't draw more than 15 on their own, but they draw 3.1-7.5a. They meet the spec, but if you plug in two of them, you might trip a breaker as 6.2-15a is too close to tolerance, and at the very least, your lights going dim makes Apple's iHouse look bad. Yes! I know your kitchen has 20a outlets. Too bad. You might try to make 8 slices of flying toast in your bedroom. So no flying toasters."

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254030)

Well there are laws about what I'm allowed to do in my home in terms of electrical work without a licence, but then again the worst that would happen if I start prodding around sockets with a screwdriver is many times worse than the worst that can happen if I have a DRM-free music file. One of these things perhaps is needed to protect me as a consumer, the other clearly not.

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254040)

It's an appliance. The fact that you even have the ability to jailbreak it says something about its functionality. Really, if you don't like the features -- or require features not present -- there are lots and lots of other devices from which to choose.

<grumbling>This is like buying a motorcycle and being upset it doesn't have a trunk. If you wanted a trunk, don't buy a motorcycle...

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253982)

It's about as unrestricted as a system which is completely restrictive can be. Application signing is a good thing, but I should be able to trust other sources (including myself) and not have to rely on the mothership to tell me what I can and cannot run on my own device.

Re:Explain "Strong and Abusive DRM" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254152)

For starters, i cannot put on my iDevice my own MP3's without going through the iProprietarytunes scanner.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254174)

Well, the reason that Apple gets a "pass" on DRM is because the overwhelming majority of people on here who oppose DRM don't even consider an Apple product because of the cult-like nature that Apple has promulgated for years.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253686)

Even more scary is the possibility that this could become the model for not just tablets, but also PC's in the future. About the only thing stopping this now is tradition and bandwidth limitations/download caps

And the fact that its hard to make the business case for paying $1500 per upgraded workstation rather than $500? And that Microsoft could never pull off an Appstore like Apple did? (anyone remember the Windows Marketplace, haha?)

Microsoft's app stores (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253826)

And that Microsoft could never pull off an Appstore like Apple did

So how exactly do Xbox Live Arcade and Xbox Live Indie Games fail?

CS101: Programming on paper (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253706)

Even more scary is the possibility that [requiring all applications to have been digitally signed by a device's manufacturer] could become the model for not just tablets, but also PC's in the future.

Then how would computer science education work? Would schools be able to afford $99 per platform per student per year "programmer's licenses", or would schools switch to a model preferred by E. W. Dijkstra [wikipedia.org] in which all programming assignments are done on paper?

About the only thing stopping this now is tradition and bandwidth limitations/download caps.

Given the general failure to expand the single digit GB/mo cap for wireless (satellite and cellular) Internet access in the United States market, I don't see this happening as soon as some alarmists predict.

For that matter, how many hardware developers will be making locked-down PC's that won't even let you install Linux without some hardware hacking?

Given the general trend of opening up, from the BREW model (just slightly more open than a game console, must convince wireless carriers to carry the product) to the Xbox Live Indie Games/iPhone model ($99 per year plus 30% of sales, open to all adult developers in supported countries, approval rules are public) to the old Android model (locked bootloader, but "adb install" allowed and usually also "Unknown sources") to the new Android model promoted by HTC (unlocked bootloader), I don't see this happening as soon as some alarmists predict.

+1 realism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253874)

Agreed. I think slashdotters are unjustifiably elitist when it comes to guessing how many system builders, hardware enthusiasts, gamers, amateur programmers, CS students, and all-round geeks are out there, who are never going to accept a locked-down PC.

Apple have a monopoly over nothing more than their own platform, and are the easiest company luser customers to laugh at from a distance. It's nothing like how scary windows domination was back in the day, or have people forgotten?

Posting AC for going against group-think.

Re:+1 realism (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254000)

I remember Windows domination quite well.

That's a walk in the park compared to a platform where the likes of GEM, Linux, and GCC can never even get installed.

Re:CS101: Programming on paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254028)

Even more scary is the possibility that [requiring all applications to have been digitally signed by a device's manufacturer] could become the model for not just tablets, but also PC's in the future.

Then how would computer science education work? Would schools be able to afford $99 per platform per student per year "programmer's licenses", or would schools switch to a model preferred by E. W. Dijkstra [wikipedia.org] in which all programming assignments are done on paper?

First of all even Apple doesn't prevent you from writing code. XCode is free, and can compile native OSX code, and can run iOS code in an emulator.

If that were inadequate, some professor would create a development environment that suites his/her needs and distribute it for free in the app store. Repeat as needed until there are enough development environments floating around that any reasonable curriculum can be handled by at least one of them.

Even the iPhone has a few Javascript, and Lua IDEs, as well as several general purpose text editors. The main reason development environments aren't common on iOS is that no one wants to write serious code on an iPad, and there isn't much worth scripting on one either.

And if that weren't good enough, you could do what my school did and have all homework assignments done on a server, which the students ssh into. That way the whole school just needs one copy of the toolkit on that server.

Licensed C64 Emulator Rejected From App Store (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254204)

If that were inadequate, some professor would create a development environment that suites his/her needs and distribute it for free in the app store.

Apple would probably just reject it, just as it had rejected some old Commodore 64 games two years ago because the emulator they ran in allowed the user to reset the emulated machine to the REPL of ROM BASIC [slashdot.org] .

And if that weren't good enough, you could do what my school did and have all homework assignments done on a server

Which would, in the alarmists' prediction, require a separate paid-up programmer's license per user account.

Re:CS101: Programming on paper (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254076)

Even more scary is the possibility that [requiring all applications to have been digitally signed by a device's manufacturer] could become the model for not just tablets, but also PC's in the future.

Then how would computer science education work? Would schools be able to afford $99 per platform per student per year "programmer's licenses", or would schools switch to a model preferred by E. W. Dijkstra [wikipedia.org] in which all programming assignments are done on paper?

All taught thru something like tryruby.org, or done entirely in javascript in a browser.

"Recently" I've heard of two classes being taught by logging into servers and working there. I took an advanced COBOL debugging class on a AS/400 and never used COBOL again, and a friend took a C++ class where he ssh'd into a department linux server. I believe they logged heavily to detect cheaters (hmm, this guy matches that guy, and that guy spent a total of 4 hours and 100 invocations of vim and g++, and the other guy spent 30 seconds running vim and his only keystroke was a ctrl-V and he only ran g++ once.....) Both situations certainly avoided the inevitable "desktop support problems" noob CS classes seem to have. From memory, the c++ class "submitted projects" by locking down the GIT server via a cron job at a certain date and time.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253742)

Really sadly, they will because most people don't know how to use computers. The walled garden works for them because they are users of one or two tasks. Maybe a little light reading and some e-mail swaps of hate messages, pictures of puppies etc.. Beyond pressing a button to activate a task, they are lost. Using an email program and using facebook does not make one computer literate - not really.

Sad but true. In thus venue (slashdot), people generally know how to use a computer. Out there, a lot of people are hard of thinking.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

optymizer (1944916) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253802)

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253900)

Yes, of course there will always be jailbreaking. But locking down both the hardware and software is pretty effective for mainstream users. I mean, how many people really have jailbroken PS3's and 360's that they use for pirated games? Sure, they're out there. But not many of them. It's certainly not like back the day, when almost NO ONE I knew actually *paid* for a PC game.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253856)

I have no problem with regular users being somewhat walled in, but the idea that I should be forced to play some hardware vendors game for my own good is pretty noxious to me. It is a substantial step backwards.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254044)

The garden doesn't even have to be walled.

Just present the user interfaces to the user as you want them to be used.

Leave the rest of the system to those that care and would bother. If people are such rubes anyways, they simply aren't going to be able to find the sharp edges that they can cut themselves on. The whole prison lock down thing really isn't necessary.

The future is here now, and it is better (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253930)

Even more scary is the possibility that this could become the model for not just tablets, but also PC's in the future. About the only thing stopping this now is tradition and bandwidth limitations/download caps. The days of walking into Best Buy and buying a game or application and getting a physical copy of the software could well be numbered.

You say that like it was a bad thing.

The problem with your assertion tis this; what were you getting with the physical copy that was any different than you get via an online App Store like Steam?

I mean, almost any game that is in a store is ALREADY laden with protection. And frankly that protection is often much more odious than what you get via Steam.

The thing I am sad to lose is resale ability (really the ability to lend a game to a friend), but that lives on in consoles more strongly than in the PC world, and that model is even more locked down than the PC... so I don't see any DIFFERENT danger than what we have already in that regard.

However I am annoyed at losing resale value, the features Steam grants are worth it to consider games as very expensive rentals instead of purchases.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254084)

In the consumer (non-nerds like us, think your grandparents) space, this is most likely the way this will go. Most consumers do not want nor like to deal with all the crap of a computer system. They just want it to work so they can update their Facebook with drunk pictures and play little games. How much money would Angry Birds have made if we all had to go to the store and get a shrink wrapped version of it????

In the business space, this could be an evolving trend where the app store is on a server in the data center that is controlled by IT (nerds like us) so that the mindless minions in the non-IT departments do not hurt themselves. How many IT people here wish they could (or have) locked down the Windows OS installs in your company so that the minions cannot load software at their choosing.

In the nerd space, there will always be the need for "classic" computers for those that do the building of apps for the rest. However, as you might be aware, we nerds are a limited % of the total population, I would guess 15%. We will still buy laptops and workstations for the work we do, but that is all who will.

If you do a usage analysis of those in the first 2 groupings, you will see that the "classic" computer does not really fit them much anymore. This is what the Post PC world means. There will always be PCs for those that need them. Look at the high end Mac Pro workstation, with 2x 6 cores and 64GB of RAM with 4TB of hard drive. This is not a workstation anymore, it is a fucking supercomputer, and I wonder how many they ship a year with these specs.

It comes down to the old right tool for the job. Less and less is this tool going to be a classic computer for more and more people.

Re:Sadly, I think Apple might win on this one (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254114)

Windows will never be locked down like iOS because Microsoft cares about business customers who want to run a variety of off-the-shelf and proprietary apps. If tablets ever become mainstream in business they will be running Android or Windows 7 because the ability to load any code you please is vital in that setting, unless you use it as a glorified web browser.

been done (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253604)

its new operating system will natively mount ISO disc images...mounting an ISO [...] is as simple as double clicking the file.[/quote]

Another popular desktop OS which shall remain nameless has been doing this since forever.

Re:been done (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254160)

Another popular desktop OS which shall remain nameless...

Not Linux then.

Old news for the rest of us (2)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253610)

Yeah, well my Linux boxen have been doing that for ages. Windows is behind.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253668)

How many times has your mom needed to mount ISO images? This is purely a developer feature.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253998)

In Soviet Russia ISO images mount your.... never mind.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254070)

It doesn't matter if it's a "purely developer feature".

This sort of idea is old news with Linux. It's old news for Unix in general where everything is a file anyways.

Also, this is the sort of thing that Apple uses to install software with.

So the idea that it's irrelevant to granny is just clueless anti-intellectual nonsense.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253702)

Clearly, they should just give up any thought of improvement.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254092)

They should "think harder" and more frequently.

Giving Microsoft brownie points for being a bunch of lame sandbaggers is just stupid.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253726)

Yes, what's your point? The fact that this feature should have been implemented before now isn't a reason to not be happy that it's finally being implemented.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253988)

Yes, what's your point? The fact that this feature should have been implemented before now isn't a reason to not be happy that it's finally being implemented.

It's such a simple feature, and such a useful feature it having not been implemented before is news.

Seriously what do windows users do if that want to read an .iso ? Burn it to a disk every time ? There has to be something that mounts or unpacks .iso files on windows already.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254038)

Most windows users are completely confounded by the concept of an .iso. If you ask most windows users to burn an iso for you, they will almost certainly burn it as a file not an image.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254046)

There's software that does it, I use it all the time. It just hasn't been in the OS itself before.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254184)

I use imDisk but pirate use deamon-tools

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253792)

Who cares about features backported to bloody Windows 8. The Windows I'm running is 90 versions ahead.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253882)

First, the plural of box is boxes, boxen is not a word. Second, you have been able to mount isos using "mount -o loop blah.iso" using root privileges in a console for ages. No Linux desktop has, afaik, made it as easy as just double clicking the file.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253922)

... boxen ...

Yup, that's where I stopped reading.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254074)

“No, Brian. Let me show you.” So she asked this kid who knew everything,Irwin. “Irwin, what’s the plural for ox?”
“Oxen. The farmer used his oxen.”
“Brian?”
(chuckling) “What?”
“Brian, what’s the plural for box?”
“Boxen. I bought 2 boxen of doughnuts.”

(http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Brian_Regan)

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254064)

First, the plural of box is boxes, boxen is not a word. Second, you have been able to mount isos using "mount -o loop blah.iso" using root privileges in a console for ages. No Linux desktop has, afaik, made it as easy as just double clicking the file.

It should be easy enough to let users mount .iso's under linux. Distros likely do this already.

Having said that I normally do it as root.

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254066)

First, the plural of box is boxes, boxen is not a word.

If you had a sense of humor, you'd understand where "boxen" came from [youtube.com] .

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

xororand (860319) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254148)

You can use "fuseiso" to mount not just ISO-9660 images but also proprietary formats like NRG (Nero) and CCD (CloneCD) without root priviliges.

There's already an existing GUI for another program: "CDemu", an actual CD drive emulator.
http://www.my-guides.net/en/images/stories/virtual-dvd-linux/gcdemu-2.png [my-guides.net]
http://cdemu.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Old news for the rest of us (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254168)

Nautilus has been doing just that for a while...

You'd think Linux users above all would be aware.. (1)

Borland (123542) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253904)

...of the power of 3rd party contributions to a platform: Daemon Tools, Magic ISO, Clone DVD, etc are all tools that perform ISO mounting quite well. Some are free solutions, some are not. Win 7 has ISO burning built in, but not mounting.

Re:You'd think Linux users above all would be awar (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254058)

Oh. Windows 7 supports ISO burning natively? Great. That's the most important feature that Windows haven't had. Now I can burn new Linux disc on that computer without downloading anything else. (after that I'll install it) :)

Although I've mostly moved to memory sticks as an install media. But Windows still requires DVD (possibly even two).

OSX has had this for ages, too. (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253934)

Yep.

Re:OSX has had this for ages, too. (1)

d.the.duck (2100600) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254036)

That's cuz OSX is based on BSD.......

Re:OSX has had this for ages, too. (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254124)

True, any UNIX/POSIX OS comes with mount, but the GUI functionality is there because Apple saw the benefits to everyday users and chose to include it.

This is new.. really? (2, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253626)

Mounting up an ISO by double-clicking has not been available on Windows? This has become second nature for me on Linux. I guess I just don't spend enough time with Windows. ;-)

Re:This is new.. really? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253704)

Sadly, no. You currently need to use third-party software to mount an ISO. Still, progress is progress.

Re:This is new.. really? (1, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253902)

I'd like to see you double-click to mount an ISO on Linux without any third party software. For that matter, I'd like to see you do *anything* with Linux without any third party software. Booting the kernel without that third-party bootloader isn't so easy. The ability to double-click an ISO on a Linux system relies on a rather lot of third-party software, from the bootloader, to the shell environment, to the windowing system, to the window manager, to the desktop environment, to the file manager...

It's kind of a double-standard, claiming that Windows can't do something without third-party software when any given Linux distro is nothing but a collection of third party software arranged in a certain manner. I love Linux, but fair is fair.

Re:This is new.. really? (4, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254012)

You're using the term "third-party software" in a difference sense than bigstrat2003 was. You mean it in the sense of "anything other than the kernel". He/she meant it in the sense of "anything that didn't come with your distro". Big difference. And in this case your definition isn't as accurate, since from the user's perspective the question is "can I mount ISOs after installing the operating system without having to acquire any other tools?" And until this announcement the answer for Linux was yes, while for Windows it was no.

Re:This is new.. really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254156)

So, what the hell is your definition of "not 3rd party software"... Does it have to be copyright by the same entity -- and why would that be the defining factor?

Why can't we compare the collections of software that you get when you install the OS? There is not double standard here.

Re:This is new.. really? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253908)

Yes, it's good to see that they've thrown in a feature available on pretty much every desktop Linux distro for ten years.

Re:This is new.. really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254138)

Yes, it's good to see that they've thrown in a feature available on pretty much every desktop Linux distro for ten years.

Clearly it hasn't been a big necessary feature for the majority of Windows users. There are three groups who might need it: system administrators who archive CD media in ISO format, tech nerds and "power users" who do the same, and "software pirates." The first two groups are not averse to using third party software to do pretty much anything, and MS doesn't care about the third group.

As the physical media become obsolete, more disc images will be distributed in digital ISO format by default, so more basic users will need such features. As to why ISO would still exist if the physical media did not, there's nothing terribly wrong with the format as an inert filesystem, so why make the world more complicated by inventing something else?

Re:This is new.. really? (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254162)

Actually, Microsoft had their own ISO-mount software for quite some time (10 years or so), so you didn't even need third party software until recently.
It's just that it wasn't installed as standard, you needed to go to Microsofts website and download it yourself.
Unfortunately, it apparently violated GPL so MS had to take it down a while ago.

ISO mounting? (2, Interesting)

instagib (879544) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253632)

Are they talking about

mount FILE.ISO /media/iso -t iso9660 -o ro,loop=/dev/loop0

or is this something more advanced? If not, how is this news?
And if optical media would be obsolete, why would one want to continue using ISO files?

Re:ISO mounting? (2)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253688)

It's news because it's a feature that Windows has lacked.

Re:ISO mounting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253728)

Because that is not at all advanced for the average Windows user... Honestly, I am surprised that Microsoft or any other software company expects the average user to know what an ISO is.

Re:ISO mounting? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253732)

And if optical media would be obsolete, why would one want to continue using ISO files?

Well, not all BIOSes are smart enough to be able to boot flash drives, so we still need some older-school tools to carry around Linux installers.

Re:ISO mounting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253760)

Basically because sometimes it's nice to be able to disseminate files in a read-only container with built-in checksumming support to detect corruption.

Basically the reason why applications on Linux are provided in your deb, rpm, tar, ..., and apps on Mac are typically provided as a dmg or iso.

Compressed Folders (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253890)

Basically because sometimes it's nice to be able to disseminate files in a read-only container with built-in checksumming support to detect corruption.

Windows has supported PKZIP-compatible "Compressed Folders" since at least Windows XP. And if ISO 9660 file system images are so "read-only", then how does packet writing work on an actual CD? The only true read-only container is a digitally signed one.

Re:ISO mounting? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253842)

Because optical media is not obsolete.

Re:ISO mounting? (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253978)

Please post a link to a recording of a phone call where you talk your grandmother or parents through that command you just described, on their computer. Maybe after you go through that, you'll understand :)

Re:ISO mounting? (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254102)

Why would you walk your grandmother or parents through a command over the phone when you could just ssh in and type it yourself?

Re:ISO mounting? (1)

ischorr (657205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254032)

As other posters mentioned, it's news because Windows (finally!) would do it out-of-the-box, but because you don't have to remember nerd syntax or jump through any technical hoops to do it.

And I don't think there's a huge parallel between the ability to run an "obscure" CLI command versus cross-the-UI intergration ("obscure" in the sense that 90+% of users will never, ever learn it, and it's not their fault). If you knew what you were doing you could always MAKE Windows handle disk images like ISOs, but since it was relegated to the world of nerddom, it's never really taken off on the Windows platform.

One of my favorite userspace concepts in OS X (besides App Bundles, which I still think are something that Every Other OS should be implementing as a primary way to build applications) has always been the innate concept of file-as-disk. It's rue that there's no technical magic to it - the concept of mounting a file as a virtual disk is old - but the fact that it's commonplace for Regular Users is a great thing. For software distribution to regular users, backups, doing mastering, etc - it's just another way to deal with data that the average user can deal with. I've been getting software digitally distributed to me that way, etc. for 10 years. That's a nice place to be.

Whoa (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253640)

Might we be approaching the year of the Windows desktop!?

Microsoft. Jack of all trades. Master of none. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253662)

After a couple decades... Windows will do what i've been making windows do all along.

Yay?

Re: Microsoft. Jack of all trades. Master of none (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253972)

"With a masterful nail in the optical disc coffin, Microsoft has announced that its new operating system will natively mount ISO disc images.

"Masterful"? That'd be like Ford waiting till 2012 to add a reverse gear to their transmissions? I don't think "masterful" is the word I'd pick. "slow cluestick" maybe.

Niiiice (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253678)

PowerISO is usually one of the first things I install after a fresh installation of Windows. I'm glad that's one less piece of software I'll need to worry about.

On a related note, how long will it be before anti-piracy groups accuse Microsoft of facilitating piracy with ISO support???

Re:Niiiice (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253888)

We'll still need PowerISO. MS' version wont do it all, just like their internal ZIP compressor is half-arse.

It really couldn't do this before? (2)

macshome (818789) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253694)

I'm a little baffled Windows doesn't do this natively. I remember using Alcohol120 and what not back in the day, but I would have assumed image mounting would be in the OS already.

I know on the Mac you can create, manipulate, and use all sorts of images without any add ons.

ISOs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253718)

... or Microsoft ISOs?

Extend, embrace, extinguish.

ISO 9660 + Joliet (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253968)

It'll probably support ISO 9660 file system images with Microsoft's "Joliet" extension [wikipedia.org] that has been around since Windows 95 and which all major PC operating systems already read.

It's about time (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253734)

I've had to use third party tools to do this for a VERY long time. You'd think they would've built this functionality into Vista/7, considering that OS X and pretty much every flavor of Linux have had this for nearly a decade now...

Once again, following Apple's footsteps (3, Interesting)

jht (5006) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253764)

You know, I have to give Apple all these props (yes, my life is filled with iThings, but still), but once again they set the standard. Macs have been mounting ISO images and DMG files for the last decade - I was really surprised when Vista dropped without this basic native ability and even more so when it didn't make the cut for Windows 7. Sure, most PCs still ship with optical drives but it's been more convenient for years now to ship image files than .EXE installers or zip files in most cases. You'd think that Windows would have gained this ability before now.

As said earlier in this thread, the App Store model now will begin to take over for most packaged software and for Windows as well. Linux users have downloaded from repositories for the better part of 20 years (ever since the RPM). Mac users have downloaded DMG installers forever, and now have an App Store. Retail software distribution is going down the toilet.

The only wildcard is bandwidth capping - the carriers all want it, none of the users and none of the content providers want it. More and more things are going digital. Something's got to give, and within the next year or so we'll know which it is.
 

FFS, Classic Mac OS could mount... (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253992)

... 3.5" floppy images - that's how old this idea is.

Re:Once again, following Apple's footsteps (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254004)

it's been more convenient for years now to ship image files than .EXE installers or zip files in most cases.

How exactly is an ISO 9660 file system image (.iso) more convenient than a Microsoft Installer package (.msi)?

Retail software distribution is going down the toilet.

Not entirely yet, but it will once wired broadband reaches more rural areas or once wireless broadband providers drop their single digit GB/mo caps. Until then, it'll take upwards of five months to download a full-size BD movie or PLAYSTATION 3 game over satellite or cellular Internet.

Re:Once again, following Apple's footsteps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254050)

I stopped understanding why everyone must hate Microsoft years ago. Microsoft had shit security and was breaking arms and legs to have their way with the market.

Now that enough people are actually using Apple it unsurprisingly turns out its security was shit all along as well. The breathtaking lockin customers are letting Apple get away with in the form of their appstore controlling the entire software market and dictating to their customers what software they can or can't use far exceeds anything I remember Microsoft ever trying to do.

I don't understand the fanboyism for any operating system. They are increasingly becoming commodities. It increasingly does not matter. Microsoft and Apple are both corporations legally obligated to make their shareholders happy. Providing value is an incidental.

Once again, following Linux's footsteps (4, Insightful)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 3 years ago | (#37254194)

You know, I have to give Linux all these props, but once again they set the standard only to have Apple copy them and claim innovation. Linux boxes have been mounting ISO images and other image files for well over a decade now.

Windows 8: Mobile Edition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253780)

Hey, guess what that becomes in acronym form?

Yeah, they can play with their OS all they want, but the people who actually use their computers as something other than Office 20XX and "that thing that lets me browse the internet, you know, Facebook, Youtube and my email" will be sticking with 7 for what appears to be a long time in the future.

I wonder if they ever got around to fixing that hilarious lag spike in their TCP/IP stack caused by Windows' obsessive-compulsive network connectivity scans.

Mounting as simple as clicking a file (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253820)

which has also been moved to the dumb fuck ribbon

VHD is natively supported by Windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253824)

VHD is natively supported already by Windows 7, although not with a nice interface in Windows Explorer, but via a less-nice interface in WMI

Since a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253912)

This has been supported natively since a long time. See http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/b/6/7b6abd84-7841-4978-96f5-bd58df02efa2/winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_21.exe

It just was not bundled, and actually the UI is crap. But it is supported.

Matryoshka Software (4, Funny)

Phleg (523632) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253914)

and in a year or two, it wouldn't be surprising if all software is made available as an ISO on a USB drive

Why stop there? I plan on shipping my software by printing the ones and zeroes, faxing it to myself, scanning it in as a JPEG, and pasting that into a Word Document. Only once that's done I'll tarball the Word doc, encode it on an ISO filesystem, and finally write it to a FAT32 USB stick.

But sometimes you need a real drive (1)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253944)

As an aside- I spent days trying to get a firmware upgrading ISO to load in Linux via thumbdrive on a netbook and eventually gave up and bought an external USB DVD/CD combo drive. Sometimes it just isn't worth it. It is one thing if you are trying to install a Linux distro or do a live USB version of a distro, but another if you have a custom ISO. But, this is great news- something that Windows should have had long ago. Even though Virtual Clone Drive is free, so it really isn't that important.

ISO on a USB drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37253950)

Why would the programs be distributed as an ISO on a USB drive?

If thes oftware companies are willing to ship their software on USB drives, they can simply put the installer and all the required files directly on it, not requiring the user to mount an ISO first.

Such innovation! Hold me I feel faint! (1, Insightful)

BigCigar (38560) | more than 3 years ago | (#37253990)

First new methods for copy and move, then a new file explorer with a 6" toolbar and now mount ISO images? Whoa! There is a company with innovation! Bards, book authors and bloggers will be singing Microsoft praises for such innovations in Windows 8!

Yawn. Now to go back straighten out my sock drawer.

Welcome to where everyone has been for ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254026)

Mac OS X and Linux have been able to do this for years and years. Its about time Micro$oft caught up.

Unsupported filesystems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254178)

How it will happen when trying to mount an ISO or VHD with unsupported filesystems without suitable 3rd-party file system drivers installed, for example an ISO with HFS+/UFS or a VHD with any non-Microsoft partitions...

lolwut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254192)

"an ISO on a USB drive which can be read by tablet and PC alike"

um... no, if it's shipped on a thumb drive it won't be as an ISO

Win7 Supports VHD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37254196)

Windows 7 already supports VHD creation and mounting.
It's buried in Computer Management, but there are 3rd party tools to make it easier (shell extensions).

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