Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Abandon Vista. We don’t need another desktop OS

Over the last 24 hours I haven't been able to help myself but dig a little deeper into the Vista story and I have to tell you, I've not read more fascinating content on the Internet than I found at the Mini Microsoft blog in the comments section on this post.

There are an amazing 400+ comments but don't let that deter you because all the good stuff is right at the top. Basically, it's a whole bunch of Microsoft developers and staffers bitching about everything from compensation, hours, shipping schedules, management incompetence, accountability and so on. If you want to take a real peak under the hood, forget Scoble, this is where the real naked conversation is going on. (The quality of comments decreases exponentially after the post gets slashdotted and the geek mob arrives but the dude behind mini Microsoft has provided a summary of the best comments here).

Basically, the thread gets down to the fact that Vista is a bloated product and Microsoft has become a bloated company, with one staffer comparing what M$ has become to the old Big Bloated Bluey.

The real problem for Microsoft is it has invested about as much money as the Gross Domestic Product of more than a few African nations in an operating system that became out-of-date about a year before it was due to ship. The simple fact is we don't need another desktop operating system. We need an Everywhere OS.

When was the last time you smacked your PC across the display because XP didn't look pretty enough or was lacking some key feature you needed. Don't ask me because I couldn't tell you.

Now tell me when was the last time you found yourself at a loss because there was some file on your home PC that you really needed when you were on the road. I reckon I have that problem once a week, at least. Do you use multiple computers too? Find it frustrating trying to remember how you set up the file system on each one?

I've written before how I think Google is working towards an online/offline future. Now if Microsoft really wanted to trump the big G, this is where they could hit them with a great big plank of four by two.

Start the foundation of your next operating system with the kind of technology that appears to drive Omindrive or Sharpcast (I say appear because both are still pre-public beta so I've not played with either yet). Don't tack online tricks onto the back of a desktop. Start with this model. Get replication, synchronisation, online/offline file system models right first and foremost and then tack everything else on around it.

I don't care if you have to start again, nobody does. Build a skinny Windows emulator for those apps that some customers just have to have, but once you give developers a platform to build all of their applications according to the online/offline model, who's going to want to keep a desktop bound application, anyway.

Change the paradigm, Microsoft and watch the innovation flourish. Re-energise your devs with a project that really does matter. Enabled your third-party developers to re-cast their applications. Give people a real reason to upgrade their software and give our industry a real-lift in the process. Build the Everywhere OS. Let me centralise my desktops, my favourites, my preferences, my file structure and have it follow me where ever I may go. And while you're there, start again with security so that we can make this model inherently protected.

Because once you enable true online/offline, all these AJAX applications start to look pretty lame. Finally, you enable the software industry to build true, rich applications that can natively harness the collaborative and everywhere nature of the Internet.

And guess what, as an added bonus for software monopolisits who call within the next five minutes, free to you, a subscription model! Finally you have a genuine reason not only to ask your users to pay for that up-front upgrade, because who the hell wouldn't upgrade to the Everywhere OS, plus you can charge them an annual fee for their online storage requirements.

Google may be heading in this direction with G:Drive, GDS and Lighthouse but they're at a fundamental disadvantage because they don't control the OS of-choice today so they have very little leverage in regard to the offline part of the equation. Apple are more intent on pushing into the loungeroom and the open source brigade would take a decade to regroup and respond to this kind of initiative. In fact, really only Microsoft has both the online and offline clouth plus the developer network to properly pull this off within the forseeable future.

Maybe Microsoft is headed in this direction with Live? However, it doesn't appear to be. I don't think it can do this until it makes the strategic decision to let loose it legacy model and start again from scratch. But I reckon if you took 50 of the smartest devs in Microsoft and gave them a project like this to sink their teeth into, they'd probably beat out Vista, if they didn't have to worry about the backward-compatibility issue.

Hell, if Microsoft won't do it, maybe there's a start-up out there who can. OS X wasn't created by Apple let's remember. Build this and I reckon you'll have Bill and Steve coming knocking on your door in double-time flat. You can even have my Everywhere OS name, free, gratis, on me.

The industry needs this. Build it and we will come.

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Filed under: Microsoft

55 Responses

  1. Stiennon says:

    I think you are right. MSFT has finally hit the wall of diminishing returns. Their product strategy of dominating every computing device by controlling the OS and then selling the applications is collapsing underits own weight. There are just too many changes coming too quickly for MSFT to lead them all.

    As a futurist it is easy to predict that sometime in the next 10 years MSFT will lose its dominance. Are we starting to see that now?

    And BTW, you can almost piece together your Everywhere OS now. Use Firefox on a simple OS (Debian, whatever) and use all web based apps. Writely, Salesforce, Amazon S3, etc.

  2. cyber_rigger says:

    We need a better window manager
    with better window manipulation features.

    Here is my prototype using Linux/Gnome/Sawfish.

    http://perfectwm.blogspot.com/

  3. Da Boobs says:

    Dude, that is the most horrible idea ever thought up. Operating systems are not going anywhere. We reserve the right to be independant from your 1984 style web based OS.

    Bah Humbug!

  4. cyberbaguioboy says:

    hey phil, imagine a world without Windows? I can. But since I have no other choice this time, I won’t. Tried open source-based OS, but my PC games don’t run on it. I’ve been using Solaris 10, but it lacks plug-ins I need to check out some blogs. And did I say, I’ve been a Windows user since, er, can’t remember. Point is, I’m still getting the hang of XP and they come out with another OS. Why? Dunno, mine is working fine. But you’re right, Google will be the web 2.0. They are headed in the right direction (with the recent acquisition of a word processor firm). I recently had a conversation with an MS exec when another colleague of mine butted in and said, “You know what, my beef with MS is that I cannot open TIFF files created by MS software–name escapes me now. But when I used Picassa, it worked!” I’ve been downloading a lot of software to make my PC work better and faster. in the future, I imagine a world there broadband is pervasive, and we’ll need just Google (or something else) or Gmail to start working.

  5. Who Cares? says:

    Your credability went out the window when you typed M$.

  6. Jack says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Although other companies have tried this, none have really had much success. Google might do it, and if they do, the Google Desktop Synchronization app might be one of the essential big vista apps. Apple has been playing aroud with this when they created .Mac. Although still far from fin ished, it shows some serious potential.
    If MS wants to keep up with Google and Apple, they should absolutely start leaning their OS in this new. ewb-based direction.

  7. Rob says:

    Uh, you might mention that much of what you ask for is already working in Mac OS X. When I add a contact to my address book at work, my address book at home is automatically updated. When I add a bookmark, it shows up on all of the different Safari versions I use, both at home and at work. When I’m working on something I want to be available to me when I’m not at the office, I put it on my iDisk; then I can access it equally well from my Mac at home or someone else’s Mac when I’m at a customer site.

    I get a local copy of the iDisk when I’m offline and it automatically synchs with the big server in the sky when I connect to the network.

    All of the complicated issues of synchronization are just taken care of behind the scenes by iSync and iDisk. It’s easy to set up and just works from then on.

    If Apple was willing to rent me 20 gigs of hard drive space (instead of the more modest 500M they allow for now), I could probably keep everything on there and have my file system available everywhere.

  8. Sargasso_C says:

    Some interesting points in this article, especially the clear road map to Microsoft’s salvation. My rebuff, if they made this much money by writing what is widely regarded as the worst operating system in the world, why would they now want to do it properly?

  9. Patrick S says:

    Thats what they said about XP, with its funky new lunar theme. IT was way better than any older OS. Vista is so feature complete now!

    Stop Whining!

  10. nn says:

    credibility |ˌkredəˈbilitē| noun the quality of being trusted and believed in : the government’s loss of credibility. • the quality of being convincing or believable : the book’s anecdotes have scant regard for credibility.

  11. The best mention you’ve made here is that Microsoft has hit the wall.
    There is no posterchild example to compare what is happening to Microsoft to.

    It’s a very unique situation where the company has lost touch with it’s OS product. They charge too much for the negligable differences it offers – and that’s my biggest beef. After that, its security and yeah – functionality.

    “Desktop” in general is trying to evolve. Windows is holding it back. Linux isn’t cutting it either. I like both for different reasons, but I just don’t see what people need and want coming from Windows OR Linux.

    I’m waiting on Google. I really am. If the world thinks the ground is shaking from Google’s gears turning – you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Google is a frothing, smoldering volcano – ready to erupt. It has to be, or this dark lull for innovation will go on forever.

    What’s that little bit about things changing, but nothing changes? Yeah….

  12. spank says:

    Hey #5, I’m pretty sure he used ‘M$’ to reflect the overall thoughts of the commenters and was just paraphrasing. Read that other post and its comments for a better context. (Notice he didn’t use the term anywhere else in the article.)

  13. DG says:

    Agree that a new paradigm in OS could offer many advantages but as a gov. IT employee, there is too much invested in the current architecture. Government moves very, very slow. Windows 98 is still the standard on some of the hardware we are forced to use.

    But you can smell the change coming.

  14. moo says:

    Google operates like an AirLine, they do not have ENOUGH seats (storage), they rely on the fact NOBODY will use up ALL their storage quota. They overbook.

    Its a doomed model.

  15. Jon Roberts says:

    I don’t think we need an “Everywhere OS”, just an easier method of setting up VPNs. Once IPv6 becomes common, it will be trivial to connect your laptop, home, and work computers. You could even throw in a 3rd party storage account, and all of this could work seamlessly with the local filesystem. Currently, NAT makes this nearly impossible for most people.

    We certainly need to keep the desktop OS and local applications, at least until everyone has a cheap gigabit connection to the net.

  16. Vincent says:

    Forget about it, you are totally wrong. Vista WILL be the last OS Microsoft EVER produces. It will also be the BIGGEST platform to hit the market and will change EVERYTHING about computing. Vista is NOT about the User Interface. It is about the application programming behind. It is Microsoft’s final answer to Java. Just look at how hard they are pushing WPF, VS2005 and other technologies and you begin to see the true intentions of the Vole.

    People should stop looking at the surface of the brand-new shiny OS, and start peeking at it’s inner workings. So much has changed in there, that’s where the meat really is and that’s what developers want. Windows has never been about shiny UIs. It’s value resides in the HUGE developer base it enjoys. Vista is the BIGGEST offering Microsoft EVER made to it’s developers.

  17. anony says:

    Rich application virtualization is what MSFT really needs, that is what live is supposed to be all about. If you read that leaked email you would see they are trying to move off the os domination scene and into the services genre. Hopefully “live” will allow your OS of choice, if not it will not see everyone adopting it. I’m sick of desktop config anyways, as I am sure most consumers are. The way I see it Vista missed its mark and should have been dropped, the problem with doing that is MS would lose its compatibility monopoly, which by the looks of it, it is slowly losing anyways. msft needs to open like apple, and google if it wants to retain its stature, of course that means dropping the domination business, which means a change in mindset. Rather than do that they will move to three tier, enterprise, desktop, services, thats a large thing to tackle. ImO the three tier model its doomed to have one teir crush another. I got my money on google os, they have there dirty little spiders all over the web.

  18. Jeff says:

    Thats a very interesting concept. However, I can’t agree with you more.

    I manage a laptop and a desktop and it drives me crazy when one of the two is out of sync. I like things organized and clean, and thats hard to accomplish with 2+ systems.

  19. Ed French says:

    Perhaps M$’s answer to this is their acquisition of Groove and its impending integration with sharepoint? But I take the point that it should run within not on top of the OS.

  20. nn says:

    Maybe a little history can really help us see the picture clearly?

    Current computer architecture hasn’t changed much since John Von Neumann.

    UNIX started becoming an OS in 1969, of which Linux and OSX are based.
    The whole *nix ideas of kernel subsystems and multiple concurrent users
    has lead to very STABLE and virus resistant platforms. There is an inherent design philosophy that all UNIX, LINUX, BSD, MACOSX, etc… share – and that has taken 37 years to develop.

    37 years of making a BETTER and SAFER engine in your car.
    37 years of making a BETTER and SAFER stove in your kitchen.
    37 years of making a BETTER and SAFER washer and dryer.

  21. Che says:

    Windows has never been about shiny UIs.

    Actually, that’s all windows has ever been about. Unix was 30 years ahead of windows in the 70s, but didn’t have the shiny UI to make it usable for Joe sixpack. They sure haven’t lost that functionality edge in the past 30 some years, and you can bet your buttons Vista isn’t going to close the gap.

  22. Vincent says:

    The distributed OS thing is just a dream. It’s like the ISP-controlled megacomputer with just plain dumb terminals at each user’s home. The idea first seems advantageous (the user can move it’s computer from place to place or even access it at different places at the same time), but requires so much infrastructure that it is not viable right now. That’s why you see things like ultra-portable computers with large hard disks, 60GB iPods, Blu-Ray discs and all these external storage units. People want data portability, but the Internet just isn’t going to offer them virtual data portability at an acceptable speed / cost right now.

    Microsoft knows Vista is the last OS they’ll EVER make, so they are focussing on making it the GREATEST OS for developers so THEY can make applications that enable data portability. As #21 said, keeping things organized and clean on 2+ systems is very hard to accomplish, and MS knows that. They just don’t want to get too wet about it right now as they believe the infrastructure is just not there to support true data virtualization.

    Vista, the UMPC, the Xbox Live service, all these are key elements that need to be there _and solid_ before any real virtual data mobility will be available. At least that’s my opinion.

  23. Vincent says:

    #24 said: Actually, that’s all windows has ever been about. Unix was 30 years ahead of windows in the 70s, but didn’t have the shiny UI to make it usable for Joe sixpack.

    I have to disagree… Unix was and is still today a specialty-driven OS. It can essentially be adapted to do any task better than anything else, but general-usage flavors of the system just doesn’t pierce the market. I don’t want to enter into a Linux vs. Windows war, but I think the current stranglehold Microsoft has on PCs can’t be because people are stupid Joe sixpacks.

    Now, about the shiny UI, Windows is very much more about that than Unix, but I was making more reference to what innovation there is into the OS. Each revision of MS’s flagship product contains various graphical changes but it’s main updates were always more deeply within. Just look at the changes from 3.1 to 95 (adding new APIs for games, driver models, etc.), from 95 to 98 (adding web software and more multimedia capabilities), 2000 (let’s skip ME please…) where MS successfully forced almost everyone switch to NT architecture… Anyways I think you get the point. Visuals is one thing for MS, but it’s not the major reason for OS revisions at all.

  24. Brad says:

    Give Bill Gates the benefit of the doubt that maybe he has done some thinking (he’s pretty good at that you know) about the future of the industry. You have it exactly backwards with regards to Vista: it will be the biggest enabler of online+offline integration the world has ever seen. In three years you *will* be running WPF/XAML/.NET apps in your browser, and they will make AJAX apps look like crude toys. As for Google, I’d be surprised if they aren’t smart enough to be working on their own blockbuster WPF apps right now.

  25. Vincent says:

    #27, you are right on.

  26. Ace says:

    I personally don’t want my information/favorites/settings to follow me everywhere. I enjoy the fact that I don’t have work things on my home machine and my fun home things on my work machine. If I need to get a file from one computer to another I have CDs, USB thumbdrives and a laptop. At this point I have too many computers. One for work, one for the road and two at home. I don’t want to connect all of my computers to a central service and depend on someone else for my connectivity between them all. So you can access your bookmarks from the road. Whoopie. I haven’t seen one single service, product or good reason to have or need an “everywhere OS”. I have a phone will a full web browser. I have a laptop with wifi. I have SSH tunnels to my machines at home from work. I don’t need an OS to take over any of those functions.

    *sigh*

    What I want, is an OS thats interoperable with as many formats, systems, applications, hardware, etc, as possible. I want an OS that’s nearly transparent. I don’t want to even know it’s there. No configs, no settings, no system files, nothing. I want to turn on a machine to do a task, do it, and turn it off again and not have to think “ok, did I put that .dll in the right folder” or “ok, which one of these 4 million check boxes do I check”. Hell, I don’t even want a desktop. I don’t. I just download junk to it anyways.

    What MS needs is not an operating system that goes everywhere. What MS needs is a simple yet feature robust operating system that’s clean, bug free, compatable and ready to be USED by next generation technology, not to be ALL those next generation technologies at once.

    Clean and simple is what needs to happen. Write the code without the bloat. The idea of making Vista a unix/linux type system with a basic system kernel and then add to it was a good one. They should stick to making that kernel solid, and let us worry about what we want to plug into it.

  27. Tony says:

    At last, an “out of the box” thinker, with a clear view: focus on the data, and forget the front-door (OS). In other words: focus on the content, and forget that packaging.
    Let’s also have a look how “

  28. Vincent says:

    #29, WTF are you doing with a computer! Buy an Etch-A-Sketch and try not shaking it too much…

  29. Shawn says:

    For everyone out there that think google is the answer to this “everywhere OS”, I disagree. Google is getting a bloated feeling to it. Too many tools in one spot with not enough integration. Feels like they just keep “tacking on” more stuff instead of working things in.

    I think if they make a desktop it would be very bad, and that this whole idea of an “everywhere OS” is a pipe dream. Really think about it. This is a REALLY BAD idea. Sit down and work it out on paper. Betcha it looks as good as communism did at that stage. Now we can have a computer everywhere we go. in a car? theres your directions, maps.google.com! gone camping? google “what to do while i camp”. A computer is a information/production tool. When your home its for information, when your working, its for producing (if you do that kind of work)

    This is all we really need computers for. Everything else is just adding bloat to our lives. with blaot comes stress, blablabla. Mor people eat at mcdonalds, people die of heart failure at the age of 14. PERFECT! Do we need better information? better graphics for movies games? no. What we need better movies and games, what we need is more uses for the information we have at our fingertips. our lives are bloated enough, we need to calm down as a race, and just take time to smell the coffee.

    I’m done blabbering on.

  30. Sean says:

    Phil, you really need someone to edit your articles before you publish them. You also need a copy of “The Elements of Style.” You also need to learn how to use periods and question marks.
    Sean

  31. Phil Sim says:

    Sean, I generally write my blog posts in about half an hour at about 2am in the morning with my eyes hanging out of my head as the very last thing I do before I crash. This stuff is basically stream of consciousness and while I’d love to be ablet to pay more attention to my blogs and go back and edit them, I just don’t have the time.

  32. ratingo.com says:

    One of the greatest mistakes which software company can make is to completely throw away existent application and start developing a new version of it from scratch.

    This mistake brought down Netscape (it was having more than 60% of internet browser install base until they started to develop version 5.0 from scratch – they missed all deadlines, they decided to jump into version 6.0 but they were already late and, since it was completely new product, it did have bad performance and truckload of bugs) and will bring Microsoft, if they decide to develop whole-new OS.

    I don’t agree with “it’s gonne be 1984″ argument… we already place online the most valuable information which ever could be, including on-line banking. The new healthcare initiatives, including HIPAA law, also require EMR to be in electronic form. It’s heading there, like it or not.

    If tomorrow some company offers free “Internet Computer” which can do browsing, gaming, text / picture / video editing and costs around $100 upfront (or even for free!) and $19.99/mo, I bet millions and millions of people would buy it.

  33. bokela says:

    I think that this discussion had gone to far. I’m not some IT expert but I see one thing for now, if you all cry for everywhere OS, but I think that it will be very hard to play music, watch video, have full DVD experience, and as someone mentioned, play games on it.

    You will need middle layer. Layer between your hardware and some everywhere OS on some storage server in some-who-knows-where country.

    Image this, if you want full OS experience you will need i dont know how fast internet speed to stream up to 24 fps hi resolution video and audio at once to be able to enjoy some good movie.

    You will need i dont know what kind of architecture and infrastructure to implement and recognize all those hardware that you machine have. Some kind of drivers for hardware. I dont imagine that there will be special box if you want to use GoogleOS, and a special one for MSLiveOS, or what ever. So, you still need a computer machine on other side. We are talking here about full OS experience, not some word edit-publish software, how much storage you will need for mp3, mpeg, jpg, …, multiplied by 1000. I dont want to just check email, write some doc file, edit spreadsheet, publich images. You can do that right now and you dont need everywhere OS. By some better equiped cell phone or PDA.

    What we need here is complete new architecture + infrastructure. Not to mention all other developing and compatibility problems.

    The core to this problem is this: you still need some kind of layer, middle OS, middle layer OS that will syncronize data flow between you current computer box and your account online. And when you think it out you still can do just a couple of things that you can do everyday with desktop apps, and upload it on some storage site, or put on storage disk, and use again on some other location. Do you see that we are here and we are running in the circle about this topic.

    If all this architecture is possible, only, just now only, the Microsoft has dominance over your computer boxes. There are millions of computer users that think that Windows is the only OS that exists. So Microsoft has this middle layer, and here is his advantage over Google. He can now just play and can make Live really live, and can work out all compatibillity + synchronization + and what ever else issues.

    Admit that.

    Thanks for yours time everyone.
    Didn’t wanted this to get so long, but…
    I’m from Serbia sorry about any grammatical or spelling errors.

  34. Advantages of Vista & IE 7

    Okay, I’ve been reading a lot of the blogosphere for the past 2 months and from what I see, people have been hard on Vista & IE, very very hard. Microsoft should prove it’s credibility but everybody uses Windows XP to the core and then …

  35. Nice post. Have you heard of SunRay technology? Checkout this discussion : http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/jclingan?entry=betting_against_the_network

    SunRay users have learned, for some years now, to rely on the network, and forget about the desktop.

  36. planetinternet says:

    Maybe someday we do not need operation system (OS) anymore. OS should be a built-in “soul” in any computers, gadgets, servers or whatever. So who care about the delay of Windows Vista?

  37. alucinor says:

    It seems all these new web services coming from Microsoft, Google, and the web 2.0 companies forcibly centralize users’ data. One of the most basic tenants of web architecture is decentralization. What we really need is to move forward, not backward, and give users’ more control and ownership of their data. This means universal formats becoming standard, such as RDF, so that if I want to store pictures on Flickr, I can easily port them over to some other system without having to re-upload and type in all my metadata again.

    Better than a network OS would be to equip client operating systems with software agents that could act as your personal system admin. If you want access to your data from anywhere, you access it from your server, not some central Google or Microsoft server. We need to enable Joe Sixpack to be his own admin with little effort.

    Centralization always creates fragility on the Web.

  38. Morten says:

    This blog is just crap. I want a quality OS that is easy to use and works when it is supposed to. From what Ive seen so far of the Vista version, is contains many good ideas.

    I dont think Ive ever seen anything like it on any other platform… unless you are a total nerd and live your life in binary world.

    from a nerd with one leg still in the real world…

  39. [...] A year before its due for launch Vista is already outdated. This article argues Microsoft need to abandon its current OS strategy and build a new operating system built from the ground up on the online/offline model.read more | digg story [...]

  40. FedUpWithMSMarketing says:

    I tell you what I don’t think there is anyone in the world that feels like we need Vista.

    Other developers and network engineers have made fun of my desktop as everytime MS upgrades I have to tweak the desktop so it operates and looks more like NT 4.0 (Windows 95)
    I sure haven’t felt like the Windows OS needed and look and feel changes maybe a better file manager.
    They may make fun of me doing what I do but every once in a while they come to a sudden realization of why I do what I do.
    There was some talk of being able to use KDE 4.0 on a Windows box anybody else hear about that? I would get rid of the XP desktop for a KDE interface any day of the week it does what I want and need.
    While we are at it did we really need Visual Studio 2005 they should have let us compile .Net 2.0 under VS 2003 all did was update the librariess and it is not a very complete update at that…

  41. JZ says:

    An OS should be a nearly transparent platform which utilizes the hardware in the cleanest and most effecient way possible, allowing the user to run applications in the cleanest and most effecient way possible. It’s rather depressing to survey the field of OS’s and not see one that tightly holds to this philosophy. Windows, OSX and Linux all have their pros and cons, but ultimately they all fail to deliver what an OS should. If I could mandate one thing about these OS’s, it would be the following…

    Linux – Develop a slim, standardized desktop version. If this doesn’t happen, hardware/driver support will never improve to the point where Linux can take the next step. If I have a top of the line 1900XT and X-Fi, what can I do with them on Linux? Standardization > hardware support > app support.

    OSX – Get the OS to run natively on PC’s, people don’t want to dump their superior PC hardware and options for an OS. Like Linux, it also needs to slim down.

    Windows – Stop fighting the user! We don’t want DRM, we don’t want Windows Genuine Advantage, we don’t want multigig bloated installations featuring your latest second rate applications. Why can’t I have a slim Windows OS that simply allows me to run Windows applications? Such an OS would probably take up 100MB and be scorching fast.

  42. reaves says:

    Great job guys… Thank for you work…

  43. Jack always says:

    - Microsoft is the BEST, like or not..

    – No, wedon’t need “Everywhre OS.”

    – GoogleOS.. Who cares?

  44. [...] Posted by bobmorris on March 30th, 2006 Abandon Vista. We don’t need another desktop OS. [...]

  45. Sasiraj says:

    Everyone who is against microsoft or not educated on the happenings inside microsoft world.
    Microsoft is technically making right moves at the right time. Vista is much needed technology for the bandwidth that we have available today.Also VISTA is in reality inpenetratble by Hackers. All the Antivirus shops should go running for the money. I bet a Million dollars on microsoft, Microsoft is not going away, it certainly will stay the course over the years. May be you will see a different model of using software.

  46. [...] of the highest-trafficked posts I’ve ever written on this site was this piece – Abandon Vista. We don’t need another desktop OS -about the need for a very-different operation system to what is installed on our computers today. [...]

  47. Xtreme says:

    Vincent is a complete moron. He appears to be the kind of person who, in order to make people like him, will get on his hand and knees and lick their boots. His uplifting Windows is no different. Have you paid any attention to ANY of the Windows versions? Have you paid ANY attention to the differences between them? Simply put, Bill Gates could sell refrigerators to Eskimos. He convinces them that they need it when in fact they do not. Likewise, it is the same with Windows. The only leading edge that Windows has is that tons of games will play on it. He convinced game companies that they NEEDED his system in order to play, which is a lie. You can structure a game to play on any platform, if you’re intelligent enough. Other than that, there is nothing spectacular about Windows. Nothing original, either. As with the start of Windows, the trend continues by stealing from others. Vista is no exception. IE7 is a complete ripoff of Firefox. The “new” technologies found in Vista are complete ripoffs of Apple’s new system. And I found a couple other technologies that were complete ripoffs from Linux. Pay attention to the contents of Vista. Everything is “Microsoft” oriented. Vista is mob-like in structure, eliminating software choice and forcing you to use inferior Microsoft software. Ever use some test programs for checking out Firewalls? Windows firewall FAILS! ZoneAlarm kicks its @$$. Not only does ZoneAlarm stealth your system from the outside, but it also doesn’t let things on the inside go out unless you say so. Windows firewall lets EVERYTHING reach out to the Internet without your knowledge, whether it requires access or not. Why would my Microsoft Word need access to the Internet? It doesn’t! This is how viruses are pulled into your system. From every test program out there to test your firewall, Windows fails. Not to mention that with each new system all they do is cram new features in without configuring them properly or the like. It’s like a amateur getting a hold of a chat script and each “cool” feature he comes across he tosses into the script without considering how it works with the rest of it and how it will bog it down. Windows needs a complete overhaul restructure. It needs to start at the beginning and build from there. Not simply toss this item in and that item in. Not to mention that with the new Vista Office, apparently if you open a document written by another program and make changes, it encodes it so that the only program that will open it is Vista Office. So if you want to access your document, you have to buy a key from Microsoft that unlocks this code. With Vista, Microsoft has more control over your computer than you do. The last decent OS from Microsoft was XP, and MOST people will NOT touch Vista with a ten-foot pole. MANY people are looking for alternative OSs because of the bullshit that Vista presents. There is any number of OSs out there that offer better functionality than Windows and provide the same software (in abundance) for either a better price or for free. Consider Windows vs Linux. From a fresh system, installing Windows takes 30 to 45 minutes. That doesn’t include your sound card, video card, office software, graphic manipulation software, DVD software, burner, webcam, digital camera, etc., etc., etc. To install Windows (not including any games you might want to play), Office, sound and video, webcam, firewall, anti-virus, Flash, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, printer, NForce drivers, DVD burner and player, special keyboard and mouse (such as wireless or optical), digicam, anti-spyware, Power Archiver, takes upwards of 2 hours installing. I tested Linspire, Fedora, Kubuntu, and OpenSuSE on my system and, from a fresh start, the installation takes 10 to 15 minutes. EVERYTHING worked when I logged in (with the exception of my webcam, which is easily solved). It recognized all my hardware without the need for an installation CD. I was LITERALLY up and running in minutes – NOT hours. I had my office software, my graphics programs, my firewall/anti-virus, a host of internet software I’ll probably never use, and MORE. And instead of spending upwards of $5000 for software (Windows $300, Photoshop $770), you have equivalents for free. AND, Linux has a LOT of decent games, such as the type you used to play on your Commodore 64 (with better graphics), rather than the 5 fields that games today fit into, every game being the same as the last except for graphics and units. Windows games are developed for the psychopathic, whereas the games for Linux that are reminiscent of the Commodore 64-style games are made for children and family. Not some person that will eventually run out and shoot up his school or run someone down for 10000 points. The last Windows OS I will ever own will be XP. With the exception of their activation bullshit (which only allows you so many formats before you have to start calling in to Microsoft to activate it, as well as so many upgrades to your system before you have to do the same thing), it leaves me in control of my computer and allows me to have my choice of software without much limits (compared to Vista). With Vista, if it ain’t Microsoft, you’ll be hardpressed to install it.
    And those who talk negatively about Linux obviously haven’t tried it, are ignorant of the facts, are just too plain lazy to learn it, or all of the above. I run Windows off one harddrive and Linux off another. Guess which one I use the most. I know nothing of Terminal code and I make my way around Linux just as if I were using Windows. I don’t notice the difference. It is seamless for me. So to say that it’s too hard to learn because you have to use the Terminal is a load of pigswallow. For those who are gamer enthusiasts, buy yourself a game console. For those who are Photoshop buffs, get a Mac. For those who are not gamers, but use their system for the every day projects such as graphics or office, get yourself a Linux. I am in no way a Linux enthusiast. I made a choice to test Linux out for myself and see what it was like, and for your common every day tasks, there is no difference that a Windows user couldn’t perform. I have been using Windows for years (and Commodore 64 when I was a young lad), and my first install and use of Linux was seamless. You can’t tell you’re on another OS. Rather than kick against the waves, why doesn’t Microsoft build its own Linux distro (adhering to the same principles as all others). Different distros have different things to offer. If I knew anything about programming, I would create it myself because I can see the entire thing in my mind. Someone needs to sit down and create a Linux distro from scratch (which isn’t hard to do) that is well-rounded. If you have the minds that are willing to do such, it is easy to accomplish. And not only will you have a more stable, more reliable, and less virus prone OS, but you can enhance the security, too. If I had the money, I would hire a team to do just this. Taking the positive features of the various distros and combining them together, obtaining proprietary codecs and such, and builing the ultimate OS, which WOULD rival Windows. People need honest reviews of Windows and Linux and Mac OSX and Solaris, etc. Not reviews made by lackeys who just want to lick someone’s boots. Vista was found to have FOUR major holes in it this month alone, allowing your system to be hijacked and used as a botnet. Does Microsoft not test stuff before they send it out? What do they do all day, play Solitaire? If you’re a Windows lackey, fine. Shut up and stick to your swiss cheese OS. For the most part, I like XP. I will keep this OS, but it is the last Windows I will ever use because Windows is becoming mob-like in its activity, robbing the user of their freedom of choice. I don’t have time to organize my thoughts, otherwise I would make this post a point-by-point lesson from from topic to topic. Rather than being a spoon-fed lemming who gets their information second hand from unreliable sources, use your God-given brain and test out the alternatives yourself. People can say Oh Henry bars are gross, but unless you try it, you can’t make an informed decision. You are merely re-stating regurgitated words that you have been spoon-fed like a baby. Make up your own mind. Download a LiveCD of Linux and give it a test run. If Linux was as poor as some people make it out to be, why has Dell begun selling PCs with it pre-installed? 4 distros, to be precise. Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE, and Red Hat Enterprise. If you buy a Ford because you know your Ford and you have used your Ford for years, how can you speak of a Ferrari? To drive a Ferrari instead of a Ford, you’ll never notice the difference. Both have a steering wheel, a gas pedal, a brake, etc. There will be minor things you notice that are different, but overall it gets you from point A to point B just the same. Don’t be afraid to test drive a Ferrari because people say they’re too fast and rare and whatever else. So what if it’s not a four door. Adjust. I have never used Linux before in my life. I have now been using it for a month, and have barely touched my Windows. Try it for yourself. You have nothing to lose. At most, you’ll figure out what you like or dislike and make your choice from there. But if you haven’t tried it, you have no valid opinion about it. So like I say, shut your mouth and use your swiss cheese OS. I’ve used Windows for years, and Linux for only a month (maybe two), and I can honestly compare and contrast the two. Windows doesn’t hold a candle to Linux (or to what Linux could become if people made a well-rounded distro). I’ll leave the comparing of Windows to Mac to those who have used the new OS. I know I never cared for the earlier one (back in 1999). So Vincent, get your head out of Microsoft’s ass and actually learn the facts behind the systems. You’re blindly trying to support a version that has had its feet planted in the grave from the beginning. Maybe you should read honest reviews about Vista rather than lackey-promoted ones. It is a bottom-of-the-barrel scrapping version. Do you want Microsoft to control your PC, or do you want you to control your PC? I suggest you look a little more deeply into Vista. I know several computer stores that won’t even touch it, not to mention the number of people I know who want to get AWAY from Windows and do NOT want to touch Vista. Google is apparently planning their own distro of Linux, so with their other works, I suggest you watch closely. Google might just make that well-rounded distro I would like to see made and end up rivaling Microsoft. Why settle for just the desktop when you can do the whole system?

  48. Xtreme says:

    Sasiraj,
    Your ignorance is quite amusing. And, as I said, based upon second-hand information like the spoon-fed lackey you are. If Vista is so “impenetrable by hackers” as you claim, why this month alone were there FOUR major holes that could be exploited, leading to your system being hijacked and used for a botnet. Windows is inferior to far better programming. By the way, I suggest you learn your terms. Those who threaten system security are NOT called hackers, they are called crackers. Learn your history – not media portrayal.

    Jack,
    Windows is the WORST, like it or not. Get used to the truth and the facts.

  49. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says:

    Oh! My aching head.

    When I first saw ExtremeTech’s Why Windows Vista Won’t Suck, I thought: “Aha, sarcasm.”

    Nope. I was wrong.

    They really were saying that Vista is pretty good.

    Oh please.

    First, let me say, I’ve been running Vista myself for quite some time. Next to me at this very moment is a Gateway 835GM. Under the hood, it has an Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz dual-core processor, an Intel 945G chipset, 1GB DDR2 (double data rate) DRAM, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and built-in Intel GMA (graphics media accelerator) 950 graphics. That’s a fairly powerful machine. Which is a good thing, because it’s the only PC in my office of 20 PCs that’s got enough oomph to run the Windows Vista February CTP (Community Technology Preview) build 5308 without driving me into fits of rage.

    Mind you, it’s not enough machine for Vista. I could run any Linux with all the bells and whistles on it without a problem. But, even though this system meets Intel’s recommendations for a Vista-capable Intel Professional Business Platform, it still doesn’t have the graphics horsepower needed to carry off Vista’s much ballyhooed three-dimensional Aero Glass interface.

    My point is, though, that while I write a lot about Linux, and I prefer it, my real specialty is that I know operating systems of all types and sorts, including Vista.

    So when I say Vista sucks, well, I know what I’m talking about.

    “Suck” is a relative term, though. Vista will be better than XP, which has easily been Microsoft’s best desktop operating system to date.

    However, Vista also requires far more hardware oomph than previous Windows systems. I’d say Intel’s recommendations are pretty much a minimum for Vista. I would only add that if you expect to see the fancy desktop, you need to invest in, say, an ATI Radeon XPress 200, an Nvidia nForce4, or a high-end graphics card.

    The truth is that very, very few people are going to be upgrading their existing systems to Vista. To make it work well, you’re really going to need a new computer. If you didn’t buy your PC in 2006, I wouldn’t even try to run Vista on it.

    OK, so the first reason that Vista sucks is that, no matter what version you get, it’s likely to be expensive. No matter what Microsoft ends up charging for it, the only way most people are likely to be running it is when they get a new PC.

    Now, let’s see what my colleagues at ExtremeTech have to say in Vista’s defense …

    Vista is much safer and more secure. “The whole kernel has been reorganized and rewritten to help prevent software from affecting the system in unsavory ways.”

    Well, yes, this is certainly what Microsoft would have to do to make it truly secure. I’ve say that myself. Unfortunately, while Microsoft has worked hard on improving Vista’s security, it’s still pretty much the same old rickety kernel underneath it.

    Need proof? In January, Microsoft shipped the first security patch for Vista. It was for the WMF (Windows Metafile) hole. You know, the one, that my security guru friend Larry Seltzer called, “one of those careless things Microsoft did years ago with little or no consideration for the security consequences.”

    Good job of cleaning up the core operating system, Microsoft!

    Of course, Linux never had this kind of garbage to clean up in the first place.

    The ExtremeTech guys also say that Microsoft has done a good job of cleaning up Windows’ use of memory management and heaps. They’re right about that.

    What they don’t mention is that Linux and Mac OS X have both done that kind of thing well for years. They also don’t mention that for an application to actually get the most from these improvements, it will need to be rewritten. So, if you want to get the most from Vista, be sure to set some money aside for new applications as well as a new PC. You’ll need it.

    They also praise SuperFetch, Microsoft’s new combination application pre-fetching technique and hyper-active virtual memory manager. Intelligent pre-fetching is a fine idea for boosting performance. You’ve been able to use it in any application written with the open-source GCC for years. Microsoft’s execution of it, however, has one of the biggest “What were they thinking of?” mistakes I’ve seen in a long time.

    You see, with SuperFetch you can a USB 2.0-based flash drive as a fetch buffer between your RAM and your hard disk. Let me spell that out for you. Vista will put part of your running application on a device that can be kicked off, knocked out, or that your dog can carry away as a chew toy. Do you see the problem here? Me too!

    I also understand that Vista will have improved TCP/IP networking. It’s nice to know that they’ve finally done something with that open-source BSD code that’s the basis of their TCP/IP network protocol.

    What ExtremeTech doesn’t mention, though, is that Microsoft is also planning on making it so that you can use IPSec (IP security protocol) for internal network security. This is another of their “What were they thinking of?” moments.

    IPSec works fine for VPNs (virtual private networks). But, as John Pescatore, an analyst at Gartner Inc., said about this scheme, “Once you try to encrypt internal communications, your network architecture breaks.” He’s got that right.

    Next up, they say wonderful things about Home Premium Vista having Media Center capability being built into it. Maybe I’m just a little confused here, but after looking at the feature sets, the only thing I see that’s changed here is that they’ll be calling the next media-enabled Windows “Home Premium Vista” instead of “Media Center Vista.”

    They also praise this version for having CableCard support, with the result that you’ll be able to record HD (high definition broadcasts) from cable instead of being stuck with OTA (over the air) HDTV, without turning your entertainment room into an electronics lab.

    Excuse me, but that’s not because Microsoft is being innovative. It’s because they are still not shipping CableCard cards for PCs. Come the day they finally ship — and I’m betting the ATI OCCUR makes it out first — I suspect MythTV and the other open-source PVR (personal video recorder) projects will be right there.

    The ExtremeTech crew also has nice things to say about Vista’s audio support. Mea culpa, it is better than anything else out there. So, Linux desktop designers, it’s time to get cracking on audio support. Vista’s still won’t be out, at the earliest, until the fourth quarter of this year, and that gives you plenty of time to play catch up.

    DirectX10, which is mostly used for game graphics and in the aforementioned Aero, is also much improved. It’s also, however, completely different from DirectX9. Current games, current graphic cards, won’t be able to do anything with it, which is why Vista also supports DirectX 9.

    Here again, I’ll give the Microsoft guys come credit. DirecX10 is a big improvement for the gamers. It’s still not going to make your PC the equal of a dedicated game console, however.

    The folks from ExtremeTech also like the fact that Vista will have many more built-in applications. Isn’t this why Microsoft got into trouble with the Department of Justice a while back? Isn’t this the kind of thing that has both South Korea and the European Union raking them over the coals? Why, yes. Yes, it is.

    Be that as it may, as I sit here looking at my SUSE 10 Linux desktop, I can’t help but notice that I have, for free, every software application I could ever want. Advantage: Linux.

    At the end of the story, the ExtremeTech crew ‘fesses up that “We don’t know that it’s going to be great just yet.” True. And, I don’t know that it’s going to suck yet, either.

    Expensive? Yes. Awful? We’ll see.

    What I do know, is that I really don’t see a thing, not one single thing, that will make the still undelivered Vista significantly better than the Linux or the Mac OS X desktops I have in front of me today.

  50. mehmet says:

    What we need here is complete new architecture + infrastructure. Not to mention all other developing and compatibility problems.

    The core to this problem is this: you still need some kind of layer, middle OS, middle layer OS that will syncronize data flow between you current computer box and your account online. Do you see that we are here and we are running in the circle about this topic.

  51. Cleastded says:

    Hi All!

    I’ve just signed up here and wanted to say hi all!

    Cheers!

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