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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the double-insulated dept.

Operating Systems 251

snydeq (1272828) writes "Nobody seems to know for sure whether 'Threshold' and 'Windows 9' will be one and the same or separate operating systems, reports Woody Leonhard in his roundup of insights on Microsoft's forthcoming OS plans, expected September 30. 'Many people think the terms are synonymous, but longtime Chinese leaker Faikee continues to maintain that they are two separate products, possibly headed in different directions. Neowin Senior Editor and Columnist Brad Sams appears to have access to the most recent test builds, possibly on a daily basis. He doesn't talk about details, but the items he's let drop on the Neowin forum leave an interesting trail of crumbs.' Either way, the next iteration of Windows will have a lot to say about the kind of Microsoft to expect as Satya Nadella cements his leadership over the flagship OS."

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Which means... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756339)

It will still be god awful for anyone with a keyboard/mouse, on a desktop PC, sitting further than 30cm from their screen.

Re:Which means... (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47756365)

Hey, that's unfair. It could be that Microsoft has some new trend they're blindly jumping on without respect to how well its paradigms work on desktop computers.

Instead of "tablet with a mouse: the OS" we could get a version of windows explorer navigated by playing flappy bird.

Re:Which means... (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 months ago | (#47756607)

Actually, that might just be the improvement to pull Microsoft out of the dulldrums!

Re:Which means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756837)

Actually, that might just be the improvement to pull Microsoft out of the dulldrums!

Agent K: A *person* is smart. People are dumb, stupid, panicky animals, and you know it.

*A* person might be smart, somewhere, but it isn't you [reference.com] .

One-button user interface (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47756873)

we could get a version of windows explorer navigated by playing flappy bird.

That's an interesting idea, at least from the accessibility perspective. I've wondered for a while what'd be the most effective way for someone who can only push one button [oneswitch.org.uk] to control a mouse-driven application.

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756557)

One is the dumbed down version for the average computer user. Could be people who just don't care about their computers and prefer the safety of the walled harder, but also includes morons who spew icons all over their desktop and think their hard drive is out of space once the desktop is full (yes, I've heard that one before!)

The other is for people who actually do important stuff with their computers (power users, researchers, etc.)

Re:It's simple (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 3 months ago | (#47757113)

The other is for people who actually do important stuff with their computers (power users, researchers, etc.)

I read Wikipedia all day. So I'm a researcher. So that means I do important stuff, huh.

Re:It's simple (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47757165)

but also includes morons who spew icons all over their desktop and think their hard drive is out of space once the desktop is full

Hmm, that's actually quite intuitive way to think about it. Let's not be arrogant nerds just because we know how files are actually stored on hard drive.

But the important question is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756349)

WHAT'S THE BUILD NUMBER?!?!?! I must know this number in order to satisfy my Windows fanboy urges!

Re:But the important question is... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47757191)

They should also include different colors for different builds. "It's approaching RTM so this is expected to be a purple or at least a blue build. Definitely purple I would say. Very unlikely to be red."

People love this kind of superficial shit.

W9 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756387)

This should be Microsoft's greatest spyware ever!

i just gave exactly zero fucks (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756389)

i couldn't care less

Re:i just gave exactly zero fucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756521)

Thank god for not saying "could care less".

Re:i just gave exactly zero fucks (4, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | about 3 months ago | (#47756693)

Thank god for not saying "could care less".

I could care less but it's too much effort.

Re: i just gave exactly zero fucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756895)

i wouldcare less if i could. I tried, but each time i read another line of the article I found that although my level of interest was the same, the effort expended was wasted. Next time I'm just going to skip these stupid articles about the next version of windows. The truth is I couldn't care less, and I have proven it to myself.
There will probably be articles in the future that I will care less about, but right now this one I have been the most carefully careless about.

Re:i just gave exactly zero fucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756939)

I could care less over the "couldn't care less" controversy.

Re:i just gave exactly zero fucks (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 3 months ago | (#47757175)

Thank god for not saying "could care less".

In the original context, "I know not, and could care less".

Idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756583)

That's funny, because zero women is the number you've fucked.

Not worth it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756391)

Until MS forces OEMs to sell a clean copy of Windows with zero third-party crapware, I won't even consider it. I've been a Linux user since 1998, and since then, have seen no compelling reason to part with my money. Fact is, when you buy a new Windows PC, it's largely unusable what with all the Kaptalistic crapware and bloat already bringing the system down below peak performance. This is a black eye for the Windows brand.

Re:Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756489)

I'm thinking that after the anti-trust thing Microsoft isn't too excited about limiting the choice of OEMs, even if it's for the better. Perhaps they'll be nice enough to give users a "Restore this installation to Microsoft Recommended defaults" button?

Re:Not worth it (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 3 months ago | (#47756541)

Right, because all PCs are black boxes that won't let you wipe the HD clean and install your own Windows.

Oh wait.

Re:Not worth it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756613)

Right, because all PCs are black boxes that won't let you wipe the HD clean and install your own Windows.

Oh wait.

Actually, most laptops ship with OEM install disks or partitions for reinstalling windows which means that after wiping the HD and reinstalling, all the crapware is reinstalled too. Hurray for the free market!

Re:Not worth it (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 months ago | (#47756707)

True, though one good thing Windows 8 has done is include a disk imaging program utility. Boot your computer, uninstall all the crapware, update drivers, and then image your disk to a $15 USB key. If you ever need to restore use that to put it back to your own clean slate.

Re:Not worth it (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#47756899)

You actually trust that uninstalling the crapware leaves a clean slate?!

Re:Not worth it (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 months ago | (#47757007)

For the most part. Crapware isn't really like Malware you get from the red-light districts of the web. Most of it is just junk installed by the OEM that goes away when uninstalled.

That's not to say it might to leave a config file or registry entry lying around afterwards, but as far as visible, executing processes, most of them respond well to just uninstalling.

Re:Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756795)

That is why I usually reinstall Windows with a pirated disk, using the serial key that came with the laptop.

Re:Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756879)

The problem is that the key from the bottom of the laptop typically works only with the specific OEM installation medium.

Re:Not worth it (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 months ago | (#47757019)

If you don't like it, don't buy it. Nobody's forcing it on you are they.

Re:Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756615)

Sounds good to me. Apart from drivers and things like that, the system should ship with zero extra software. If the OEM wants to, it could include an OOBE selection dialog which allows the user to select either "Yes, install $(OEM) garbageware collection" or "No, leave the system intact".

Re:Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756637)

Hmm, since 1998 you haven't come across an Optiplex? They're pretty clean.
But if you're happy with Linux there's no need to switch. My office is 2/3 Win7, 1/3 CentOS, everyone is happy.

Re:Not worth it (5, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 3 months ago | (#47756661)

You can buy such a computer direct from Microsoft. They call it Microsoft Signature [microsoftstore.com] .

Re:Not worth it (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#47756701)

The problem is defining what "third-party crapware" means. Windows doesn't come with the ability to play DVDs, because of licensing costs. So some OEMs throw in a program to play DVDs because it's easier than dealing with customers who complain that they just bought a computer with a DVD drive that can't play DVDs.

If you want a machine without an OS, you are free to buy one. It's not as though MS doesn't sell copies of Windows to install on computers that you assemble yourself.

Not to mention that MS has done a lot of rectify the situation. With the last Windows 7 laptop I bough, the Product Key included was an actual Windows Product key that would work with any copy of Windows 7. It didn't need a special OEM disk that was available only from the manufacturer. This is much better than the old way where you'd end up with an OEM product key that was essentially useless, because you could only use it with a special CD you got from the OEM which would automatically install all the third party software anyway.

Re:Not worth it (1)

richy freeway (623503) | about 3 months ago | (#47756839)

Not to mention that MS has done a lot of rectify the situation. With the last Windows 7 laptop I bough, the Product Key included was an actual Windows Product key that would work with any copy of Windows 7. It didn't need a special OEM disk that was available only from the manufacturer. This is much better than the old way where you'd end up with an OEM product key that was essentially useless, because you could only use it with a special CD you got from the OEM which would automatically install all the third party software anyway.

This has not been true going back as far as XP at least. The license keys can be used with any standard clean Microsoft OEM disc/ISO.

Re:Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756941)

What? Isn't that exactly what he said? And what is a "Microsoft OEM disc/ISO"? The original Windows image from Microsoft is obviously not an OEM release.

Package manager (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47756969)

The problem is defining what "third-party crapware" means. Windows doesn't come with the ability to play DVDs, because of licensing costs. So some OEMs throw in a program to play DVDs because it's easier than dealing with customers who complain that they just bought a computer with a DVD drive that can't play DVDs.

Then the PC maker could install only Windows plus a package manager analogous to Mac App Store, Ubuntu Software Center, or Steam. Then when the user inserts a DVD-Video disc, the package manager could connect to the Internet and send the machine's serial number to the repository to present a list of "third-party crapware" that the machine's administrator is entitled to install. For a PC configured with an optical drive, this would include DVD player software. If the user knows he's going to play a DVD while away from the Internet, he could start the package manager and install it ahead of time. A copy of the qualified packages could even ship (uninstalled) on the hard drive, with an option in the package manager to purge them to reclaim the space.

Re:Not worth it (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 3 months ago | (#47756955)

And yet one of the things "fought for" by OEMs during the antitrust battles was more freedom to do shit with OEM installs.

So which would you prefer - more freedom for OEMs, or more freedom for MS to restrict OEMs?

Re:Not worth it (-1, Troll)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 3 months ago | (#47756991)

have seen no compelling reason to part with my money

This is pretty much why Linux has never broken through on the desktop. Who wants to develop for a system that people like you use? I've got a mortgage to pay and I'd prefer not to starve to death. I'd rather develop on Windows and get paid actual money than develop for ungrateful Marxist pricks like you on Linux.

Enjoy your lentil soup.

Re:Not worth it (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 3 months ago | (#47757207)

have seen no compelling reason to part with my money

This is pretty much why Linux has never broken through on the desktop. Who wants to develop for a system that people like you use? I've got a mortgage to pay and I'd prefer not to starve to death. I'd rather develop on Windows and get paid actual money than develop for ungrateful Marxist pricks like you on Linux. Enjoy your lentil soup.

4/10 for effort, 1/10 for content. Sorry, but I expect far better trolling.

Re:Not worth it (1)

enjar (249223) | about 3 months ago | (#47757039)

Microsoft forcing things was the cause of a little legal trouble they got into a while ago. Be careful what you wish for.

Also, if you buy from the "Business" side of many Windows PC retailers, you will get exactly what you describe -- a bare Windows install with no additional software / trialware / bloatware / etc. Or you can just buy a retail/OEM Windows license and DIY on a system you built yourself. I did this a few years back for my family's desktop machine, saved a pile of money and was able to configure the PC pretty much exactly how I wanted with a SSD, more RAM and so on.

I hadn't known about the "Signature" thing mentioned in the other replies, but I know where I'm buying from next.

I'll also note that Linux is by no means free of crappy packages. There are some great ones out there, to be sure -- but many distros bundle some substandard crap with them as part of the default install. I'll spend time on pretty much any Linux install I've set up pruning useless packages and replacing them with better alternatives. It's nowhere near as annoying as some of the crap that's bundled with many retail installations of Windows, as it won't pop up a nagware screen in a month, but it can definitely be present.

Re:Not worth it (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 3 months ago | (#47757197)

Microsoft has less leverage with the OEMs than ever. You can get crapware free systems from the Microsoft store. They all come configured by MS without the crapware.

Re:Not worth it (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 3 months ago | (#47757217)

Just get your PC from a reputable OEM. I get mine from a local shop who build machines to spec or provide one of their predefined configurations, and they give knowledgeable advise on tuning, configuring, noise management, etc. They install Windows for you with no crapware (but with the right vendor-supplied drivers, and with any additional software you specify), or without Windows if you so prefer. By the way, over here any shop will sell me an OEM version of Windows if I buy a PC component (motherboard, processor or even just a mouse) at the same time.

Without crapware, Windows is a decent enough OS, except the unbelievable usability choices they made in Windows 8. I'm hoping Windows 9 will fix those mistakes, and that they will not hit me for the full amount when upgrading.

Already? (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47756403)

Is Windows 8 bombing so hard they have to rush the successor that quickly?

Re:Already? (0, Troll)

kilodelta (843627) | about 3 months ago | (#47756577)

Yes in fact Windows 8 did a face plant at it's introduction. Just look at the interface - did an ADHD sufferer design it? It's awful. I mean Windows has long had a tiling option but that just took it to ridiculous extremes.

Something else to note about Microsoft OS's. Odd numbered versions tend to be the most stable - the even numbered are flaming pieces of crap starting with NT4 and then Vista, and Win 8. XP (5) and Win 7 were ok though.

Re:Already? (5, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 3 months ago | (#47756745)

Yes in fact Windows 8 did a face plant at it's introduction. Just look at the interface - did an ADHD sufferer design it? It's awful. I mean Windows has long had a tiling option but that just took it to ridiculous extremes.

Something else to note about Microsoft OS's. Odd numbered versions tend to be the most stable - the even numbered are flaming pieces of crap starting with NT4 and then Vista, and Win 8. XP (5) and Win 7 were ok though.

Yes, the new Tile interface did scare a lot of people off, including the enterprise. It works well with a touch screen but sucks for anyone without it. However, there are number of inexpensive (under $10) and free utilities that fixes the interface so that you boot to the desktop and never see it. But... most consumers wouldn't be smart enough to know this. They were forced to use the new UI.

If you take a step back and look at the latest phones and tablets, the majority of them have tile interfaces in some form or another. So, it looks like some form of tiles will be here to stay. That being said, it doesn't make it a useful UI for a desktop or laptop without touch.

Windows 8 and 8.1 has been just as stable and is faster than Windows 7. You could argue that 8.1 is the odd version, though...

Re:Already? (2)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 3 months ago | (#47757183)

IMO, the best improvement to 8.1 is that it now boots to the desktop. I don't even have to see Metro if I don't choose to.

Re:Already? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47756793)

The interface is fine. Its quicker to get what you need.
The problem as some minor issues with the interface, and a bunch of people on the internet who hate change of any type.

Re:Already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756601)

How could it possibly be otherwise?

Re:Already? (3, Insightful)

armanox (826486) | about 3 months ago | (#47756621)

More like Microsoft keeping to a release schedule? Vista and Office 2007 were way off track, but they've been pretty constant since then.

8 Windows (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 3 months ago | (#47756667)

Is Windows 8 bombing so hard they have to rush the successor that quickly?

Happened with Vista, ME, Windows 2, DOS 4 (iirc). Everyone has to shit a real steamer sometimes look at people in stores trying to use it, it's hilarious but they kept annoying people with UI changes and moving things around so it's really turned into Windows H8 now.

Re:Already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756739)

Microsoft recently switched their dev process to Agile from Waterfall, which means more frequent releases.

Not huge releases, but more frequent

Re:Already? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47757149)

Agile?

don't you really mean Fragile?
Their QC/QA is already very poor. More releases of less tested shite. Oh goody, perhaps the tooth fairy will come with it as well?

Re:Already? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 months ago | (#47756787)

I'm still wondering if the upgrade will be free for Windows 8 users or if they'll expect us to dish out another $100 to upgrade.

Don't get me wrong - WIndows 8.x has some nice features. I'm primarily a Linux user at home and only keep Windows 8 on my laptop (I use it for doing Visual Studio projects). The integration with Microsoft's cloud services is done pretty good.

HOWEVER, the UI is just insane (and I'm judging mostly from the "semi-fixed" 8.1 version - I never bothered with the original Windows 8). Metro is just not intuitive or useful. To make matters worse, system configuration seems to be split about 50/50 between Control Panel and the metro-based "PC Settings" screen (plus the registry in the background for other stuff you can't access from either of them).

It honestly feels like two dissimilar systems that they tried to rubber-band together, with the NEWER of those two systems being the aggravating one. Here's hoping that they ditch most of the bad ideas and clean it up some.

Re:Already? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#47756885)

I'm hoping that they move to more of a Mac model where they will release more frequent updates and charge less for updates. Shelling out $100 for an operating system upgrade on a $400 computer that is 3 years old isn't something I'm likely to do. Especially when computers that old may not have compatible drivers released for the new OS version. I'll just wait until I buy a new computer. Charging $30-$40 for the upgraded version every year isn't much to keep my computer running the latest software.

Re:Already? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 months ago | (#47756979)

Yeah - $30 or 40 may be a bit more reasonable. Still though, computers have gotten pretty cheap these days. I paid $199 for my Windows 8.1 laptop on sale. $30-40 is still a decent chunk of the purchase price to upgrade the OS (which I'm sure when the computer was assembled the OEM was charged next to nothing for the original copy).

It's no faster then (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47756803)

7 to 8.

What do you think, Linda? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756417)

What do you think, Linda?

Why (4, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 3 months ago | (#47756433)

Why hasn't Google given Microsoft the coup de grace and actively developed some desktop/laptop distro ala Chromebook but without the stupid "web only" focus?

If that had built a Chromebook that wasn't built on a stupid fucking premise they'd already own the market and Microsoft would be carved up ready for sale to Mitt Romney's friends.

Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756481)

And you think Google is more trustworthy than Microsoft? Shee

Re:Why (1)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 months ago | (#47756663)

Why hasn't Google given Microsoft the coup de grace and actively developed some desktop/laptop distro ala Chromebook but without the stupid "web only" focus?

Because that wouldn't help them. Google is all about ads. They developed Android only because they were afraid they would be locked out of the emerging mobile systems.

There is no sign that desktop operating systems try to get rid of the browser. The only way to sell more ads on the desktop is to make the browser the OS. Which is exactly what Chrome does.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756695)

Because there's little payoff, it's unlikely to see significant adoption, and they'd have to rewrite basically everything above the kernel since basically everything related to desktop Linux is complete and utter trash.

Re:Why (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 3 months ago | (#47756799)

Because Google is not interesting in developing an offline OS. They are interesting in rushing everyone into " the cloud" (read: their services) so that they sift through your data, catalog you and sell you off by a dozen to advertisers, while still milking you for "extra storage" in the said cloud.

That's you answer. Don't worry about "web focus", MS is moving there as well. Hint: see how easy it is to skip registering with MS online account when installing Windows8 and, consequently, when updating it to Windows 8.1

Cellular monthly caps interfere with Google cloud (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47757033)

Because Google is not interesting in developing an offline OS. They are interesting in rushing everyone into " the cloud" (read: their services)

I don't see how that can work in the present U.S. cellular market. Sure, Google gives 15 GB of storage, but if your cellular ISP doesn't let you upload or download more than a third of that per month, what's the use? The big reason I own a laptop is to get work done while riding the city bus, which lacks Wi-Fi.

Re:Why (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 months ago | (#47756853)

Because "web only" is what Google is about. It works pretty well for them honestly. Android phones and Chromebooks are selling pretty darned well.

For the most part that's what people seem to want these days. Even for the "keyboard, mouse and screen" form factor you'll likely see a shift to those type of devices. As said Chromebooks are already selling very well, but they're also introducing Chrome "desktops" - basically a chromebook that connects to external peripherals (ie, the Acer Chromebox CXI).

In less than 10 years a full computer running local apps won't be commonplace for "regular people" anymore. You'll likely see them relegated to use by content creators, programmers, and hobbyists like us.

It's kind of odd that Linux might finally succeed as the dominate desktop OS eventually - because eventually a desktop OS might not really be a viable retail product anymore.

Leadership is the wrong word to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756439)

Microsoft is a ship without a rudder.

This is the.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756473)

...Year of Windows

Doesn't need much to make it right (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 months ago | (#47756477)

Just a mini metro which launches from the start button and serves a similar role as the old start menus. i.e. something which doesn't cause the user to have a brain fart when their entire screen is hidden and replaced with a massive launcher. Let the user customize it and have access to all apps and control panel etc. That and remove the distinction between metro apps and classic apps on the desktop. Let them both live there. Outside of these issues Windows 8.1 is pretty stable and fast really.

Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about 3 months ago | (#47756575)

The UI of windows 8.x is an abortion, MS needs to totally scrap it and go back to refining the tried and true UI memes

Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47756725)

The problem though is that those UI ideas fail dismally on small-screen touch devices. What MS is trying to do is create an interface that is applicable to conventional mouse-keyboard, tablets and phones. What they actually did was make an interface that tries to be usable on everything, but is pleasant to use on nothing.

From a business perspective, it's about maintaining consistent brand identity across platforms.

Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 3 months ago | (#47757001)

There are very simple ways of having brand identity across different UI. Logo, same icons, etc.

There are you Microsoft, solution to your problem. That'll be $1M

Snap the Start screen (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47757077)

"Snap an App" allows a phone-sized app to fit in a 20em-wide column of the screen on desktops, laptops, and 10" tablets. So why would it be so hard to allow the Start screen to start snapped on desktops, laptops, and landscape tablets? A snapped Start screen would at least be consistent with Windows Phone's Start screen.

Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#47757245)

From a business perspective, it's about maintaining consistent brand identity across platforms.

It's possible to do that by keeping things like names, colors and fonts the same but without shoehorning everything into the same interaction method, you know!

Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 months ago | (#47756951)

WIndows 8.1 is what Windows 8 should have been. I don't hate Metro, I just think it is cumbersome to keyboard / mouse based interface. Knowing keyboard shortcuts, it doesn't bother me that much and setting up the desktop as desired is just as easy as Win 7.

its rather simple, really. (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#47756493)

You see, the next windows will be modelled after the successful launch of Vista. Threshhold will be released in 32,768 independent varieties in order to suck up every possible demographic for a ride on the microsoft money choo choo. one version will contain a golden ticket, in which the buyer is automatically invited to redmond to see the hideous chocolate factory responsible for the mere idea of the windows operating system.

Windows 9 will be the finest windows ever released, that is, to the untrained eye. In fact its simply a cleverly reskinned copy of Ubuntu with a systemd service that occasionally brands you a felon and contests the genuine authenticity of your OS.

Re:its rather simple, really. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756647)

You see, the next windows will be modelled after the successful launch of Vista. Threshhold will be released in 32,768 independent varieties in order to suck up every possible demographic for a ride on the microsoft money choo choo. one version will contain a golden ticket, in which the buyer is automatically invited to redmond to see the hideous chocolate factory responsible for the mere idea of the windows operating system.

Windows 9 Ultimate Edition
Windows 9 Corporate Edition
Windows 9 Media Center Edition
Windows 9 Hand Job Edition
Windows 9 Crotch Rot Edition
Windows 9 Stinky Foot Edition

Counterproductive (4, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 3 months ago | (#47756559)

Microsoft's rush to introduce a new OS every other year or so is a terrible strategy. While I understand the desire to bury the Windows 8 name, that is the only advantage and I'm not sure it is enough to counterbalance the disadvantages.

Microsoft seems to think they need to release a new OS to stay competitive. The thing is, people (with the exception of techies) do not BUY operating systems. They take what is on their computer, be it Windows98 or Windows8. Generally, people do not care about operating systems. Their care that their applications will run, and that their workflow will not be disrupted by a new GUI. Neither of these can be assured if Microsoft keeps pumping out new versions of their OS every few years.

Microsoft has a mistaken belief that they need to reinvent themselves every few years, that it is the chrome that sells their product. They are wrong. It is the 20+ years of backwards compatibility that maintains their dominance on the desktop. Their current strategy is directly threatening their core strength. It may not bring them yearly growth, but when you already have 90% control of the desktop, there really isn't that much to grow into anymore.

Of course, the market /is/ changing. Desktops are no longer the sole computing devices in use by the general public; tablets and smartphones are directly threatening that hegemony. Frequent changes to the core software of the desktop, however, is not going to revitalize the desktop market, however; it will only fragment and weaken it. If sales are declining, it is not because the OS is at fault but because people are buying fewer new computers overall. Microsoft should branch out into new markets with WinRT and WinPhone, sure, but do not do so by cannibalizing their main market.

Microsoft needs to focus on its core strength and not rush new versions to market in vain hopes of recapturing the glory days of the early 2000s. Incremental upgrades, not complete reinventions are the name of the game. Neither end-users nor businesses are clamoring for a Windows 9. Upgrade Windows8 to a usable state (e.g., kill Metro) and then keep it up to date with further upgrades throughout its lifetime. If they keep selling that for ten years they will do fine. Only release a new version of the OS when it is actually necessitated by the technology, not by marketing.

Microsoft, give us a Windows8SE, then live off the OEM sales for five or ten years. Take the time to create a new, stable and well-tested version of Windows instead of rushing into the next Vista or Metro. The users will appreciate having a platform that is not subject to upheaval every other year.

Re:Counterproductive (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#47756677)

If they give us a Windows8SE, they're just going to follow it up with a Windows 9ME

Re:Counterproductive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756755)

I don't think anything you wrote is exactly news to anyone at Microsoft, except for the part where you say that MS should just sit on what they have while the next generation product is in long term development. That's a non-starter, projects with 5 year gestation periods with no customer feedback are notorious for producing failures.

The thing is, people (with the exception of techies) do not BUY operating systems.

Well, you can say that about any system software product, right. Maybe everyone at Apple, Red Hat, LKML, Oracle, Cisco etc can join the Softies on the beach while grateful consumers continue to line up to buy the stuff they've already created.

Re:Counterproductive (1)

some old guy (674482) | about 3 months ago | (#47756841)

What? Let technology drive a technology company's strategy instead of marketing?

Witch! Burn her! Burn her!

Re:Counterproductive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756891)

Hey, they need to keep the malware writers on their toes somehow.

New Windows every year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756633)

We need a new Windows version every year. Better still, each version should require all new device drivers and should be required to run the newest version of Office, which, of course, will use a new proprietary document format that is incompatible with all previous versions of Office. This will maximize Windows and Office license sales and thereby generate maximum revenue for Redmond. I know what you're thinking: 'who would be so stupid as to buy into that?' Well, every state and local government, the federal government, and most school districts, thereby guaranteeing acceptance of all that is new and holy from Microsoft.

Re:New Windows every year... (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47756687)

Or they could use the Firefox and Chrome release cycle, which means three new versions every week.

New rapid release cycle? (5, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 3 months ago | (#47756657)

Our company has a Premier Support account manager at Microsoft, and I can't even get a straight answer out of him, so either the communications are really screwed up about this or they're being very tight-lipped.

I'm guessing that this is part of their new "no frozen releases" cloud-enabled release cycle. It's no secret that Microsoft wants people off the on-premises software because they want to collect recurring revenue. Constantly rolling in new features is going to be the way they get customers used to the idea. Apple does it with iOS, and most people (consumers) are comfortable with constantly-changing software. Businesses are a whole different story.

I still am trying to figure out how Microsoft is going to support enterprise customers with the constant release of patches plus feature changes. (August's Internet Explorer patch broke Java on enterprise desktops, and while it's a good idea for consumers who never update the bug-ridden JRE, it makes for a lot of headaches. There is no end to crappy IE-only, JRE 1.4-only, hastily thrown together "enterprise" Java applets.) Speaking as an end user computing person, targeting master images around SP1 of an OS release has been a pretty good standard. Service Packs or at least Update Rollups have been a convenient point to stop the integration work at, make all the desktop apps hang together, and concentrate on regression testing of patches. Without these big milestones anymore, it's going to get harder to roll out a stable platform for people.

Microsoft's in an interesting spot. They could just ignore business customers and force everyone onto the cloud, which I doubt they'll do right away. I also doubt they'll have the courage to backtrack and give people back all the features in Windows 7. However small it is, they now have a whole App Store ecosystem to support, and it's apparently going to be even more important since they're merging Windows and Windows Phone. Whatever happens, I'm sure someone has said that Windows 9 is going to have to be a huge hit with both the desktop and the tablet crowd. 8.1 is now usable with keyboard and mouse...hopefully Windows 9 will allow desktop-only users to not have to switch between Metro and desktop to do things like use the control panel. I hear the Charms thing is going away-- that's a huge help for desktop users. I think if Microsoft actually listened to customers, then they'll be in a good spot. Traditional desktop users don't want change as drastic as the 7-to-8 transition -- you have to introduce stuff like this slowly. Everyone hated the Ribbon in Office 2007, and some people still do, but most people are used to it now.

I think my #1 feature request would be to put Aero Glass back into the OS, plus better theme support in general. The 2D Windows 2.x look is really awful if you're not on a tablet. The OS under the hood is actually quite good...unfortunately performance and stability enhancements don't sell licenses.

Re:New rapid release cycle? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47756797)

Constantly rolling in new features is going to be the way they get customers used to the idea. Apple does it with iOS, and most people (consumers) are comfortable with constantly-changing software. Businesses are a whole different story.

But businesses are still run by people, so what's going to happen if your 10-years old "business OS" can't keep up with the always-up-to-date OS of phones and tablets? People will switch to OS X at home and after that, they'll want to switch the business too. Lack of software is not a problem, because if there's enough demand, supply will follow. That's what Microsoft is afraid of.

Re:New rapid release cycle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756865)

Great comments. However, I firmly believe that Microsoft Corp. doesn't really focus on the needs of its customers. Consumer/personal market--ignore, small business market--listen to but do nothing, and medium-large business market with lots of Microsoft licenses already--listen to and make small changes in an attempt to foster a perception of cooperation that fixes will come soon. I also firmly believe that the marketing division at Microsoft has totally hijacked and muted the voices of their own developers and engineers. This is the /culture/ at Microsoft which needs big-time fixing by its CEO.

To save you pouring through forum comments... (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 3 months ago | (#47756757)

If I'm reading the Neowin thread, followed by the Neowin articles, properly, the "two windows" speculation thing appears to be because of this:

- In September, Microsoft will release a preview of Windows 9 called "Threshold" to Enterprise customers. The idea is that Enterprises (large corporations) need some time to prepare for the upgrade.

- Threshold is mostly feature complete, but lacks the more significant UI changes that Windows 9 will bring.

- Windows 9 will be released much later and will have significant UI upgrades as well as everything in Threshold.

Because these two versions of "Next generation Windows" have been floating around, some have thought that there are two different versions of Windows.

Change for Change's Sake (4, Insightful)

fallen1 (230220) | about 3 months ago | (#47756769)

I've been in the computer and IT industry in some form for over 20 years. I've seen a lot of changes come and go -- some I've embraced, some I've just dealt with, some I've beat my skull on a wall wondering WTF?!?!

Windows 8 was, in all ways, a very What The Fuck?!?! product. Microsoft did it so that they could increase their revenue stream and lock-in potential - not so they could increase the user experience. There is no situation in this world which you shove a phone/tablet interface onto a desktop or laptop computer with touchscreen penetration rates in those markets of, what?, 2 or 3%? It was bad idea from the beginning and it is still a bad idea now. When most users resort to third party software to give them back the interface that WORKS on desktop/laptop environments and/or adoption of the new operating system is only because users are being given no other choice, then the system was badly designed.

Fortune 1000/500/100 companies are NOT adopting Windows 8.x. Why in the hell would they want the lost productivity from a user being forced to learn a new interface that is not user friendly or conducive to a work environment? They don't. Which is one major reason Dell and HP both started offering Windows 7 Pro installed on Windows 8.x Pro downgraded systems for business.

Stardock is making money, even at $4.99 a pop, for Start8 as a replacement for Windows 8.x sorta-not-really-a-start menu. That says a lot about the state of Windows 8.x adoption and usability.

Even smaller companies that I deal with or have consulted for avoid Windows 8.x and use Windows 7. I've dealt with some hard-headed people who ask why it is cheaper to buy Windows 8 than 7 or "Why aren't we using the latest version?" and so on -- until I sit a laptop in front of them with a standard, out-of-the-box Windows 8.x configuration on it and tell them "Please turn the laptop off without using the power switch." Then I ask them if they could turn their Windows 7 laptops off right out of the box. You guessed it, they said YES, they could turn it off with no problems and I point out the lost productivity from their users needing to be trained on how the access everything and learning how to use the new interface(s). They always purchase Windows 7 systems. By the way, this puts LESS money in my pocket as a consultant because my company would be the ones training them to use Windows 8.x.

Windows 9, if Microsoft has ANY sense left in their Corporate brain, will go back to Windows 7 start menu functionality and leave the Metro interface for phones and tablets. Give desktop and laptop users the interface that works and that doesn't require retraining everyone. Individual user and most small-to-medium businesses I deal with are tired of vendor lock-in. Learn from your mistakes Microsoft.

Re:Change for Change's Sake (1)

Shaman (1148) | about 3 months ago | (#47756813)

All of my "this".

Hardly Nobody (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 3 months ago | (#47756831)

Nobody seems to know for sure

For "Nobody" read "No Journalist".

Unless Microsoft have really lost the plot, I'm fairly certain they know the difference between 'Threshold' and 'Windows 9', and which is heading for release.

FYI - Windows 7 EOL Jan. 14, 2020 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47756927)

At work we're sticking with Windows 7 for as long as it will be supported. I work at an academic institution with many desktop users trying to simply use Office Word and spreadsheets and browsers. That's it.

Windows 8 was a non-starter - all new machines got rolled back to Windows 7 after about 10 minutes of howling about the interface by the users.

Windows 9 might be wonderful, but because of the experiences with Vista and Win8, Microsoft's announcements of a new operating system on the horizon is now a cause of stress and anxiety by most users. Instead of wondering about all of the cool new features that may be coming, most of the users clench their butts and wonder what basic GUI tasks that are easy and invisible now will become mind-boggling convoluted in the next OS that is jammed up their asses.

Windows 7 does everything we need it to now with a minimum of bullshit. Most of our users do not need or want new GUI features, thanks. MS can (and should) do anything it likes under the hood to improve the stability and speed of future OS, but don't break the interface!

If Windows 9 is essentially the Windows XP/7 interface with under the hood improvements (apparently there are many good improvements buried under the Windows 8 GUI shitpile, so I have heard), then MS has a chance of drawing back a lot of users it alienated when Win7 EOL rolls around.

It is going to take a few EOL cycles for MS to build back its user confidence *IF* it decides that it really gives a damn about providing a stable user experience. If not...well, nobody, not even MS, is going to be happy in 2020.

 

Re:FYI - Windows 7 EOL Jan. 14, 2020 (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 3 months ago | (#47757021)

Windows 8 was a non-starter - all new machines got rolled back to Windows 7 after about 10 minutes of howling about the interface by the users.

You give up after just 10 minutes? You're clearly not the right person for the job.

Re:FYI - Windows 7 EOL Jan. 14, 2020 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47757247)

spoken like a true fanboi. "Windows 8 didn't work for you so you must be stupid!" Fuck off.

Re:FYI - Windows 7 EOL Jan. 14, 2020 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47757257)

He *wasted* 10 minutes with Windows 8? Fire him immediately!

Re:FYI - Windows 7 EOL Jan. 14, 2020 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47757095)

In my IT circles I hear everyone asking "Can I install Win7 on this?" about new hardware purchases.

Fuck Win8 to death.

Which one? I know (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#47757043)

New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

September 2014, of course.

hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47757161)

Windows 7/8.1(before update 1) are very stable and easier to use than any bsd or linux distro out there. Update 1 made 8.1 look like a clumsy and out of place linux UI with the title app bar and metro context menu. Love the visual studio tools and office 2010-2013 applications not to mention the gaming and other professional apps I have installed.

But I hate it when MS does not give users more option when it comes to configuring the UI. Metro is actually an excellent UI and very damn intuitive but it's not for everyone and they should have implemented an option in settings to be able to disable the whole metro environment including the app store(which is really for touch computing devices) completely. I myself moving towards mobile tablets and ridding of my large,clunky, and loud vibrating 6 bay machine.

Plus, too many damn windows sku's with different licensing schemes. All you see is Windows 8 OEM's on online stores and a lot of people found out that you can't transfer windows 8 professional oem to other machines unlike the system builder oem so for some it's very damn confusing.

dead (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47757211)

Unless it's free... and has some sort of start button... Windows is dead.

People aren't even buying PC's anymore. I build all the PC's for my friends and family. I used to do 20+ a year. This year I've done 1. People have their phones, windows got all wonky and hard to use with Win8, and it's insanely expensive. They can get a chrome book for $200+ Why would anyone that's not hardcore into Games buy a windows PC?

Make the OS free and go back to the ease of use of WnXP/Win7 and people might deal with it. Oh, and they need it to work well on low resource devices. The bloat needs to go.

But which one? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 3 months ago | (#47757225)

I would say either 2014 or 2015, but more than likely 2014 because why would they announce a windows release more than a year in advance?

Which one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47757229)

Does it matter? It will show up in the corner of some carrier's store, where it will be (rightfully) ignored by staff and customers alike. Windows Phone could be the greatest OS in the world, but it doesn't matter ONE LITTLE BIT if they don't have the apps you need. Don't tell me that there are "workarounds", or that you can just go to a website...it doesn't have apps for most consumer electronics, it doesn't have apps for most cable company DVRs (or Tivo for that matter), it doesnt have apps for most bank's online banking...hell, it doesn't even have an official YOUTUBE app! The lack of 3rd party support makes avoiding Windows Phone an easy choice for most. If you are a Windows Phone owner, you fit into one of three categories:

1) You were ignorant about your purchase, and were talked into it by a salesman or friend
2) You are a raving MS fanboi who will buy anything that MS produces, regardless of quality
3) You work at Microsoft.

Never saw a less decisive company (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 3 months ago | (#47757271)

MFC? Visual Basic? Bastardized Java? .Net? Silverlight? Windows CE? Windows Phone? Windows RT? It seems that if you stay with Microsoft, either as a user or as a developer, you will never be able to become an expert in what you do and capitalize on your investment in software and skills. Back in the days of VB6 and IE6, Microsoft was largely untouchable because of the rich ecosystem of useful 3rd party software and libraries as well as universal user familiarity.

By killing everything that works, Microsoft is making competitors lives easy as they can make users comfortable by just keeping things the same. Objective C is still well-supported on MacOSX and iOS. Oracle is sticking with Java as server software development language. First users and developers of Android and Chromebooks will still find a familiar environment.

I hope they actually tough it out and NOT kill Metro and its charms bar. While they are highly irritating to me personally, there are still millions of users for whom this was first experience with Windows and they would rebel at yet another breaking change. Keep them as an option and well supported until and unless users truly lose interest.

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