Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Windows 7 To Skip Straight To a Release Candidate

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the iteration-is-for-wimps dept.

Windows 856

b8fait writes "The head of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows development confirmed that Windows 7 will take the unusual path of moving straight from a single beta, which was launched earlier this month, to a release candidate. Sinofsky fleshed out the plan today and hinted that just as there would be no Beta 2, the company would also not provide a RC2 build. In other words, there may be only one released build of Windows 7 before it ships, possibly much sooner than even some of the most aggressive rumors about Windows 7. How much different can Windows 7 really be with such a shortened beta cycle?"

cancel ×

856 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This seems abrupt (5, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677913)

For what is touted as a major OS release I really can't believe that a single beta can get the job done. Either they are rushing it, or it's really just a minor change to Vista.

Re:This seems abrupt (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678005)

How many betas does a service pack need?

Re:This seems abrupt (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678299)

How many betas does a service pack need?

"Regression testing"? What's that? If it compiles, it is good, if it boots up it is perfect." - Linus Torvalds

Re:This seems abrupt (5, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678393)

There's a difference with the Linux kernel developers though. The kernel itself isn't released to "end users" in the same way Windows is released to their "end users."

Distributions take a specific kernel they want to release... test it, package it and release it to actual end users. If there's a problem with some functionality beyond the kernel level, its the job of THOSE developers to make sure its working with the new kernel and notify the kernel developers if work needs to be done.

This is what most people don't understand about linux. No one installs and uses "Linux," they install an operating system that happens to use the Linux kernel's functionality. "Using Linux" is a misnomer when its used in the same context as "uses Windows."

Re:This seems abrupt (5, Funny)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678317)

How many service packs will this beta need?

Re:This seems abrupt (3, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678359)

How many betas does a service pack need?

If anyone has any doubt that Windows 7 is just Vista rebranded, read here:
http://dotancohen.com/eng/windows_7_vista.html [dotancohen.com]

Re:This seems abrupt (1, Interesting)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678009)

Do you smell that??? That is the smell of desperation...

I think this action is actually quite smart considering how bad vista go abused in the marketplace. I guess we now know, however, that Windows 7 will also be known more as a Vista SP3.

Is it a coke classic move? (3, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678179)

They can basically replace an unpopular product and hope to get some bump in marketshare out of it?

Re:Is it a coke classic move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678433)

They can basically replace an unpopular product and hope to get some bump in market share out of it?

But would that bump exceed the market share lost with the unpopular product?

Re:This seems abrupt (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678021)

I guess it depends on what constitutes a "release". They could spend another year and a couple hundred builds and still call it "Beta 1".

But yeah, I kind of get the feeling that they think the problem with Vista is just PR. They've managed to build some hype around Windows 7 and have gotten people to say some positive things, so they're going to kick it out the door and hope to get the sales that Vista has been missing.

I think they might be missing the point, though.

Re:This seems abrupt (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678073)

How many RC's do most projects plan for? I mean, if it goes to RC, it's a "release candidate" for god's sake! Unless you find a show-stopper bug during that time, then of course you then release it! I do think it's weird to have so few beta builds though - I suppose they didn't do many changes between beta and the RC?

Re:This seems abrupt (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678119)

How many RC's do most projects plan for? I mean, if it goes to RC, it's a "release candidate" for god's sake! Unless you find a show-stopper bug during that time...

And that's the point. "Release Candidate" is supposed to mean, no known bugs remaining, abuse this until you find one.

So, you put the RC out for a month or so, or until someone finds a showstopper bug. When you find one, you put out another RC.

In other words, "as many as it takes." The fact that Microsoft is planning a specific number of them is kind of irresponsible -- if anyone was wondering that "Release Candidate" is Microsoft's slang for "Beta", this should seal it right here.

For what it's worth, Vista had enough showstopper bugs on release day, it's hard to believe it ran through any kind of release candidate process.

Re:This seems abrupt (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678219)

True, but the whole point is, its RC, it is planned to be release worth. By this very nature, to plan for more than 1 makes no sense, since you already think you are ready to release. Planning for 2 RCs is like you are planning for your QA team and Betas to have failed. Granted, it happens, and then you change you plans, but, simply put, there is no reason to plan for more than 1 RC, since you already think you are ready if you are putting it out.

Re:This seems abrupt (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678341)

In other words, "as many as it takes."...For what it's worth, Vista had enough showstopper bugs on release day, it's hard to believe it ran through any kind of release candidate process.

Though "beta" and "release candidate" are supposed to mean particular things, the truth is that what they mean depends on the developer using them. Microsoft in particular usually does plan on having a set number of betas and a set number of release candidates. For them, "beta" seems to mean, "stable enough to be used, but everything is still subject to change; feature incomplete." Release candidate seems to mean, "feature complete, time to squash bugs." Their release candidates are what lots of developers would call "beta", and usually they have at least 3 betas and 3 release candidates.

So as far as I can figure, that Microsoft is planning on only doing one of each probably means one of three things:

  • Microsoft feels very confident about the current state of Windows 7 both in terms on its feature set and stability, and they just don't see the point of prolonged testing.
  • Microsoft is rushing to push Windows 7 out the door ASAP.
  • Microsoft has modified its development model and is referring to milestones differently.

Re:This seems abrupt (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678123)

the term RC is abused so much these days ;( but 1RC is what all projects should plan. 1 beta makes sense if you consider it a service pack for vista

Re:This seems abrupt (4, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678111)

"Either they are rushing it, or it's really just a minor change to Vista."

Yes

Re:This seems abrupt (2, Funny)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678139)

Dude, Vista was the first beta.

Re:This seems abrupt (1)

Slacksoft (1066064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678151)

At work we've been calling it Windows Mojave 2.0. I can't imagine that this really isn't just Vista with a fancy new service pack with some desktop UI changes, some additional tools, and multi-touch enabled.

Re:This seems abrupt (4, Informative)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678199)

For what is touted as a major OS release I really can't believe that a single beta can get the job done. Either they are rushing it, or it's really just a minor change to Vista.

Having run the beta since its release, I can say it's more the latter than the former. Windows 7 is prettier and feels faster than Vista ever did on the same hardware. Underneath, Win7 kernel feels like it's about 90% the same as Vista. WinXP SP2 was arguably as big a change (or bigger) than Win7 is to Vista. I think it's ridiculous that MS is making customers pay for this as an upgrade when it's really a very pretty service pack.

That said, there are a couple of very rough areas still present in Win7. The ones I've found thus far are:

- It breaks quite a few AV packages, but then again what major system change (SP, upgrade, etc.) doesn't?

- The Windows Mobile Device Center is unusable with most phones. It just crashes when I plug in my AT&T Fuze (aka HTC Touch Pro).

- IE 8 is something of a disaster right now. All kinds of rendering issues. It shows a lot of promise but is probably the most "beta" thing in Win7.

- Windows Media Player is seriously buggy. There was an announced bug that adding MP3's to the library would irreversibly trim a few seconds from every file. Eek! Glad I don't use it.

There is one thing I find comfortably similar between Vista and Win7: stability. My Vista setup had not one single BSOD in over a year of operation. Never. Not once. It would routinely go any length of time between reboots that I cared to go, although I typically rebooted for patches once a month. Win7 has been rock solid stable, much more so than any previous MS beta OS I've ever used and way more stable than the Vista betas. Honestly, since I don't use IE or WMP, they could release Win7 today and I'd have no problem using it as my production OS. The WMDC is kind of a pain, but I sync OTA so I really only use it to add/remove files from my phone.

And the pricetag of Windows "7"? (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678203)

What a clever way to charge for a service pack to Vista.

1. Sell Crud
2. Create Crud Polish
3. ... (skip the qa)
4. PROFIT

Re:This seems abrupt (2, Insightful)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678227)

However, MS has been more conservative with betas this time round. It's more like betas were in ye olden days—the beta is stable with only a few bugs to be squished. The Release Candidate will, I suspect, be what it says on the tin: ready to go, unless a major bug is found. Considering that Vista's betas were alpha-quality, and its RC was like a rushed beta (i.e. alpha quality too), I wouldn't be surprised if the RC was identical to the RTM in all but the branding.

Re:This seems abrupt (1)

moriya (195881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678367)

Don't quote me on it. I haven't done extensive research on it. But from what I have glanced over, a lot of people seem to have little problem with the beta. It runs fine. There are little issues. And some are saying that it's release-worthy. I do not know if they are smoking crack or if they're telling the truth with a mid-range or "average" computer running it. That's something people will have to find out when Win7 is out in retail.

If the OS is truly that stable during beta, then I see no point in keeping it in beta. So it makes perfect sense to push it into RC and see if it can be given the RTM stamp of approval.

Re:This seems abrupt (5, Informative)

AlphaZeta (1356887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678377)

From the version number [kerrywong.com] it looks like Windows 7 is just a minor update to Windows Vista (6.1 versus 6.0).

It's the same as vista (5, Funny)

Bredero (1154131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677919)

... because vista is actually fine

Re:It's the same as vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678033)

thats actually what I was going to guess, its basically Vista with a bit of tweaks and extra fluff. Seems more similar to what most would call a Vista 1.5 release

Re:It's the same as vista (3, Funny)

Asztal_ (914605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678233)

It's actually based on Mojave. Do your research.

Its good to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677931)

that Microsoft is standing true to their Beta-status software heritage. It's all beta from now on

testing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677935)

i hear they're head-hunting some testers from Google, so all should go swimmingly.

Vista (0, Flamebait)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677939)

SP3.

I like the way they think (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677941)

Vista was shoved out the door too early without enough time to season. So for their second whack at it, which they've conveniently renamed to disguise the fact that it's a second whack, they're shoving it out the door too early without enough time to season. Consistency is a good thing but not when you're doing it wrong.

Re:I like the way they think (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677987)

Bulk that up a bit and you could get work for the Register.

Re:I like the way they think (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678225)

And here I think you should have been modded insightful instead of funny.

Re:I like the way they think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678235)

http://despair.com/consistency.html

Shouldn't look at it as a new release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26677961)

Really how much is new? They mostly fixed a lot of problems and restructured some things. Normally it'd be a major service pack release but they need a name change to get ride of the Vista name stigma. Classic marketing ploy if all else fails rename it.

Marketing play (5, Insightful)

homb (82455) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677967)

Windows 7 is mostly a marketing play. It should have been Vista SP2 with the usual bunch of very useful cleanups, accelerations and simplifications (i.e. what Vista should have been).
However, the name Vista is now such a disaster that they had to change the name.

Re:Marketing play (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678171)

still want a superlite version with no browser, 'security' or other 'features' that I will not want or will choose a superior product myself - just make it a desktop and welcome mat to the internet.

Re:Marketing play (3, Insightful)

Thugthrasher (935401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678335)

I understand your logic, but... without a browser, how exactly would you GET a browser? Do you happen to have a CD with Firefox/Chrome/Opera/Whatever browser you use sitting around? Remember, there isn't a way to download programs in Windows like the package management software in linux. You need a browser to get a browser. Now, they should make it easy to UNINSTALL their browser once you have a different one, but that's a different story.

Mmmhmmm, this argument again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678385)

Let me guess, you're a self-perceived power user? Are you the type that is obsessive about the memory usage of every program you use (how dare those programs use that memory! They think its actually there to be used!) And do you think that task manager actually shows you memory usage?

Anyway, name another OS that you can easily install without any browser or security features. Ubuntu doesn't count, you have to fuss around with apt and start ripping packages out.

Never mind that if Microsoft shipped a version of Windows without IE, the core IE components would still be there, as they are used all across the system for various applications - Help applets, documentation browsing systems (MSDN), and email clients. You cannot impugn this as an architectural flaw without dragging KDE and OS X (I believe) into it as well, because they do the same thing. So, essentially, you're wanting Microsoft to remove iexplore.exe so you can feel like you have a "less bloated" system. The same goes for WMP (which I don't like at all) - the codecs are used all throughout the system, from watching cutscenes in games to viewing videos in web pages. The dream of a fully component-based OS seems like a good idea, but it means that developers can't count on quite as much being installed and available - you'd have to code for the least common denominator or tell users that they need to pull out their OS CD to install a product.

Also, the thought of shipping an OS without a browser is not wise -- how will people download their preferred browser? How will they download ANYTHING? Are you going to get your grandmother on the phone and explain how to use wget? Do you expect ISPs to start shipping out CDs again in this economy?

While I, too, would like a streamlined OS, it isn't going to happen. The whole argument is very much a naively idealistic pout session of why things can't be tailored exactly to your specifications, as if you were the only customer there was. I suppose you can use nLite to cut components out, but have fun diagnosing why some features and products just break silently when you remove components that were never meant to be removed. And Linux suffers from the same thing. You can't even decide what packages you want install when you install Ubuntu now.

Pay-Twice-Scheme. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678265)

Windows 7 is mostly a marketing play.

Except you're completely forgetting the whole "hey, we're releasing almost the exact same software, but we're going to charge you for it yet again", play.

Microsoft's taking the bump-the-version-number-and-charge-them-again road, that many of the other big box software companies started taking right before they started to die/get absorbed into other corporate giants.

Of course, by changing a few of the defaults and making Windows 7 the lesser resource hog compared to Vista, it certainly feels different> And by marketing the absolute shit out of it to the tech blogs and writers (that really don't know any better), they get the free pass to sell the same piece of garbage twice.

It's a brilliant business plan. Shame I didn't think of it.

Re:Marketing play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678427)

They could always call it Mojave...

Oh wait.

Release Candidate? (5, Insightful)

Karljohan (807381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677979)

I always thought that "Release Candidate" was english, meaning that it is a candidate for release? How can they then know how many such candidates that will fail to be release quality before hand?

Re:Release Candidate? (0, Troll)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678003)

RC is simply a step closer to RTM than beta. Given Vista's tribulations, apparently nobody at MS cares about release quality.

Re:Release Candidate? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678311)

RC is simply a step closer to RTM than beta.

Then why not call it a gamma?

Re:Release Candidate? (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678229)

I was thinking the exact same thing when I read that. Apparently, MS completely borks their version scheme. To them, Beta means Tech Demo, RC means early Alpha, Gold means Beta, SP1 means RC, and SP2 means release quality.

To be fair to MS, versioning is ambiguously defined, and lots of projects get it terribly wrong. It's almost become meaningless.

Re:Release Candidate? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678259)

How can they then know how many such candidates that will fail to be release quality before hand?

Oh, that's easy.

It isn't the engineers but the marketing and business strategy people that are in charge of determining when it should be released. By definition (or fiat), it's ready when it must be.

As opposed to Debian, which is ready when it's, you know, ready. No matter how many years that takes ;)

[See, I'm fair: I flame everybody a bit]

I think "the one true way" of release management is some sort of compromise. All you can guarantee is either shipping at some date OR shipping at some measurable quality level [this many features, this few bugs]. None of these are particularly exciting.

What works best in practice is probably a reasonable trade-off: we ship in this month, and cut features so that the features we do ship meet a minimal level of quality.

Guess that will make the whole world beta testers (3, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677991)

If Microsoft skips a decent beta then either they don't put much value on beta testing anymore, or they are so eager to leave the Vista debacle behind that they are willing to put a RTM (Release To Manufacturing) sticker on beta-quality code.

This will make all Microsoft users beta testers, and Win7 SP1 will be the real release version

Re:Guess that will make the whole world beta teste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678025)

on beta-quality code.

Well...At least it's a step forward for them then.

Re:Guess that will make the whole world beta teste (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678153)

This will make all Microsoft users beta testers, and Win7 SP1 will be the real release version

Just like Vista, only Vista had 2 additional test releases first. Sounds like its going to work fine.. :)

Not very (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677995)

Not very different. Face it, Windows 7 is simply Windows Vista SP3. Microsoft just can't call it that because of the bad reputation Vista gained thanks to MS's mishandling and misapprehension of what users actually want. What we're seeing isn't a shortened beta cycle for Windows 7, it's a longer-than-usual testing/beta cycle for a service pack.

Re:Not very (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678285)

Face it, Windows 7 is simply Windows Vista SP3. Microsoft just can't call it that because of the bad reputation...

You also can't charge several hundred dollars for a service pack.

Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (5, Interesting)

Pathway (2111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26677999)

I'm using the Windows 7 Beta right now, and previously I've been using Windows Vista.

Is it really that much better? Here are the points I can think of it being better than Vista:

* Faster on Less Hardware - They did make it work better on older slower hardware with less memory.
* Less Annoying User Account Control - It doesn't freak out every time I want to run a program from the desktop. This should be included into Vista with a service pack, imho.
* New Starbar - I like it. Good Job Microsoft. But is it worth the upgrade?

Other than these things... why would anybody upgrade?

Oh... yeah, that's right... Everybody says it's "So much better." Right.

--Pathway

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678141)

* Faster on Less Hardware - They did make it work better on older slower hardware with less memory.

But still slower than XP on the same hardware. Faster than Vista is not saying much.

This should be included into Vista with a service pack

The whole thing strikes me as Vista SP3.

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678245)

Dos runs faster than XP on the same hardware, So saying faster than XP isn't saying much.

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678263)

Except that XP does just about everything Vista does. Can you say the same for DOS?

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678313)

I am sick of the argument that XP is faster on the same hardware. Guess what? 98 is faster than XP on the same hardware! Not only that 95 is faster than 98! OS's evolve and the argument that an OS that is over 7 years old should be the baseline for performance is ridiculous.

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678261)

The "faster on older hardware" feature is pretty damn important for those of us delaying upgrade cycles due to the economy. Windows 7 is faster than Windows XP in some cases because Windows 7 uses memory more effectively. The star bar looks pretty cool, and there are lots of small user interface tricks that add up to be a significant feature.

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (5, Insightful)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678295)

I'm using the Windows 7 Beta right now, and previously I've been using Windows Vista.

Is it really that much better? Here are the points I can think of it being better than Vista:

* Faster on Less Hardware - They did make it work better on older slower hardware with less memory. * Less Annoying User Account Control - It doesn't freak out every time I want to run a program from the desktop. This should be included into Vista with a service pack, imho. * New Starbar - I like it. Good Job Microsoft. But is it worth the upgrade?

Other than these things... why would anybody upgrade?

Oh... yeah, that's right... Everybody says it's "So much better." Right.

--Pathway

What has every new edition of Windows been other than a slightly better UI coupled with more support for more hardware? I mean, 2 out of 3 of your points are about UI, and from what I've been able to tell (also currently running the beta) it makes a fairly large difference. Finding windows/using more windows at once isn't a problem with the new taskbar, and as you said, it is slightly leaner than Vista was.

So why would anybody upgrade? Because the only real reason people ever upgraded their (Windows) OS was security (adjustable UAC helps with that tremendously) and UI. So, yeah, it really is "So much better" to those who don't realize how minimal of a change this is. In fact, its still "So much better" for those who do know how minimal the change is. Hell, I was an XP holdout til the beta. I even have an XP partition on my drive, which I've used all of three times. The UI in 7 just keeps driving me back towards it, and I feel that's the same reason people will upgrade.

That's not to say that Vista couldn't be essentially 7 - in fact, with a simple service pack, it really would be just a slightly beefier version - but since that won't happen, expect people to flock to 7.

The UI is the frontend to the entire OS. Even minimal changes, especially good, solid minimal changes (e.g., the taskbar), make a huge difference in the overall "feel" of the OS. Furthermore, they help increase the usability of the OS - and coupled with running faster, these two seemingly small changes can really help increase productivity on the OS.

So, sure, aside from all these things... why would anybody upgrade? Because only an idiot would discount these things.

Re:Windows 7... Is it really that much better? (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678361)

New Starbar - I like it. Good Job Microsoft. But is it worth the upgrade?

Starbar? I've never heard of it but it sounds cool. Can I get one for Mac OS X?

nomenclature (1, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678013)

and hinted that just as there would be no Beta 2, the company would also not provide a RC2 build.

If you knew you weren't going to release RC1, in what sense is it a release candidate?

Re:nomenclature (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678053)

Some release candidates end up being the "1.0" product. IIRC Ubuntu has done this at least once. I think Wine may have done it with their 1.0 release.

And then I actually read your post...

Right. If you had no intention of RC1 being released then it isn't a release candidate, it's just a "gamma" build rather than a beta.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678015)

They've had two years to work on it so far, and this operating system does look a heck of a lot better than vista, with lots of new features and improvements. Doesn't seem unreasonable that they can pull out a decent new release in two years time. They really dropped the ball with vista's development, essentially having to start it over from scratch. That was just poor management. With a team as large as microsoft has, I see no reason why they can't get an OS release out in 2-3 years.

Answer: not much (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678023)

Now before someone clicks the link and says "but they don't have that menu anymore in Windows 7, the display settings page has been changed", let me say there are other areas (like the LAN connection status window, among about 5 others) where they still chose this lazy/bad design route.

I'm not one to fuss much about UI design (I'm perfectly happy with the Windows standard theme from way back in '95), but there are still parts of the OS where they simply split apart a window with tabs in it, didn't even bother removing the tabs, and dumped it into it's own window. The result is something
like this [imageshack.us] .

Ugly. If they would fix that, I would be perfectly happy with 7.

(On an unrelated note, my friend playing WoW, who would get about dips to ~30FPS on XP in Dalaran, gets dips only to ~45 in Windows 7, with the exact same visual settings. Impressive!)

Re:Answer: not much (1)

ChronoReverse (858838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678091)

Interestingly enough, my resolution changing screen in the win7 PUBLIC beta doesn't look like that: http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/6215/resolution7ak4.png [imageshack.us]


With that said, Microsoft has somehow made the new Windows Explorer even more annoying.

Re:Answer: not much (2, Informative)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678325)

I'm not one to fuss much about UI design ... but there are still parts of the OS where they simply split apart a window with tabs in it, didn't even bother removing the tabs, and dumped it into it's own window.

So, you aren't one to fuss about UI design, but you will fuss over a minor cosmetic defect? Also, you borked the link. Here is one that works, and after looking at it, it looks fine, despite being exactly what you describe. With all of the problems with Windows, and even GNU/Linux and software in general, including genuine UI problems (UAC), a minor cosmetic defect is nothing to fuss about.

Working link to minor cosmetic defect [imageshack.us]

Ummm... (1)

Socguy (933973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678037)

How much different can Windows 7 really be with such a shortened beta cycle?

...If you get the marketing right, who cares? ;)

Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (0, Flamebait)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678045)

Didn't Apple release System7 about two decades ago? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_7 [wikipedia.org] So... Microsoft is a bit behind the times, huh?

Re:Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (0)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678165)

Congratulations, you're fucking retarded.

Re:Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (0)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678207)

Didn't Apple release System7 about two decades ago? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_7 [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] So... Microsoft is a bit behind the times, huh?

Congratulations, you're fucking retarded.

Agreed.

Re:Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678273)

Didn't Apple release System7 about two decades ago? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_7 [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] So... Microsoft is a bit behind the times, huh?

Congratulations, you're fucking retarded.

Agreed.

Clearly, OP just made one the lamest comments in the history of Slashdot, if not the Internet.

Re:Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (1)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678283)

woohoo!

Re:Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678281)

Insightful mod please ftw.

Re:Haha -- but didn't Apple release... (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678389)

Oh come on, at least mod parent 'Funny' for the sincere attempt! The followups that don't get it, mod 'Downs Syndrome.'

Microsoft just made another announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678051)

They're skipping the release candidate and going straight to SP2.

In beta for years. (3, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678057)

Vista was the beta.

Snow Leopard (5, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678059)

Of course they're trying to rush the release of Windows 7, Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" is right around the corner.

I guess that Apple ad about Microsoft putting all their money into marketing instead of R&D was closer to truth than some people would like to believe.

Re:Snow Leopard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678243)

I guess that Apple ad about Microsoft putting all their money into marketing instead of R&D was closer to truth than some people would like to believe.

The ad is ironic, since Apple has been spending far more on consumer marketing than MS is set up for. As much as we like it to be about the products, Apple has also been out-marketing MS, including in spending.

Re:Snow Leopard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678277)

I guess that Apple ad about Microsoft putting all their money into marketing instead of R&D was closer to truth than some people would like to believe.

God, I hope you realize how stupid you sound. Please take a step back and think about that sentence.

Re:Snow Leopard (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678409)

Indeed. When Microsoft gets around to rewriting their OS from the bottom up as a UNIX I'll totally buy it. Until then, yaaawwwn!

going down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678063)

Microsoft is slowly flushing its OS down the drain. Rushing to put out another Vista? All they need to do now is push up the date to terminate XP support and Piss off the rest of the windows users. Everyone in my circle of friends is switching to Ubuntu in mass.What is the future going to look like for Microsoft if W7 is just another Vista flop?

did this already (1)

code601 (862671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678075)

I seem to recall a similar thing happened with a piece of gaming hardware they put out and it end up costing them a lot of money.

staffing reasons (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678081)

There's been a speculation on the Mini-Microsoft blog [blogspot.com] about layoffs hitting the Windows team after 7 ships. This could partly explain why only 1400 of the 5000 announced layoffs were said to have been notified immediately.

Someone posted a comment to the effect that, being self-interested, people the Windows dev team should react by dragging out the process as long as possible, hopefully not shipping until the economy starts recovering.

perceived lack of testing affects corporate users? (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678085)

If the testing cycle is foreshortened, will the professional buyers steer clear, until the quality of the release is proven?

or is this O/S only meant for "ordinary people" who have neither the ability to discern quality product, nor the option of choosing anything else (linux aside, but that's a different topic)

Re:perceived lack of testing affects corporate use (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678421)

Regardless of how perfect or not Windows 7 is, at this point, ANY migration away from XP will be painful... companies often have 6 years~ of invested work in it. The company I work for has a custom "build" of it, with many core DLLs recoded from scratch to change base behavior (with the blessing of MS), our own Linux-like package management system, our own set of registry tweaks, and all around, deep, and often unsupported modifications.

Needless to say, a lot of that stuff will ONLY ever work on Windows XP...it made sense at the time, since XP lived for so long, and we skip every other Windows releases no matter what, but now, thats a LOT of stuff to migrate. We have, even in this time of harsh economic environment, the ressources to do it, and we will. There are plans to switch to Windows 7 already.

But the average company? Thats gonna hurt.

It's not aimed at Vista users (4, Insightful)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678135)

Windows 7 is likely more aimed at XP users and people considering the unreasonably expensive switch to Mac.

I don't think it's really aiming to be the next big upgrade for Vista users, although I believe it will be anyway.

If you want to consider Windows 7 a SP, that's not a bad call, since it's built on Vista's backend directly. It's really an overhauled and re-imagined userland which really does warrant a version change. It doesn't act like prior Windows so it is fair to call it a new system, for user's sake.

I've been using the Beta for a while and it isn't a beta like say... an Ubuntu beta. This is a beta of a quality the open source world cannot obtain. We call this a release in linuxland. For this reason, I don't think there's anything strange about them aiming for a single RC.

Alternatively, this could easily be a case of an upgraded installer/software update tool rendering it unnecessary to separate RC releases. They might just upgrade the RC if they need another one.

I think the marketing angle on this is that Windows 7 is correct by design. Besides, Apple releases new versions of OS X that are basically service packs at full price all the time, and they don't even have large public betas. Consider that Microsoft has a far larger and more effective QA system internally than Apple. They CAN release like this-- they've got an army of internal testers aside from the millions of beta testers out there.

Re:It's not aimed at Vista users (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678321)

Any idea if the Gigabit Audio bug is still in Windows 7. To test - play an audio track, then transfer a large file over the network via GbE. You should get the full transfer rate. In Vista it would limit the transfer rate to something closer to 100 Mbs. We were told this was to ensure proper audio playback.

Re:It's not aimed at Vista users (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678363)

Any idea if the Gigabit Audio bug is still in Windows 7. To test - play an audio track, then transfer a large file over the network via GbE. You should get the full transfer rate. In Vista it would limit the transfer rate to something closer to 100 Mbs. We were told this was to ensure proper audio playback.

I am running a 100 mbps LAN in my household, so I cannot test this issue. If anyone else on this thread can do this, I'd be interested to know the results.

Re:It's not aimed at Vista users (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678387)

I think the marketing angle on this is that Windows 7 is correct by design. Besides, Apple releases new versions of OS X that are basically service packs at full price all the time, and they don't even have large public betas.

I never liked the words service pack. I mean, ever since gnome 2.0 released in June 2002, you could say they have been releasing service packs every six months ever since. Every single KDE 4.x is a service pack. The the Apple comment is getting a bit strange as releases have been becoming farther apart but still...10.6 does look "service packie" though more than usual.

Because it's Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678137)

They just polished Vista, which didn't sell, for Windows 7, that won't sell either.
Microsoft era is over, in case it wasn't clear. Don't get me wrong, they will continue to drag and make money for another decade, but their significance as a company able to drive and push new exciting technology has been slowly and painfully fading since around 1998.
Oh well, time to move on for the Paper Hat Windows crowd.

Oh there will be a beta, allright... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678155)

...just like KDE reached 4.2 and only now it got into beta status.

Eye don#t kno@ wh0t al thee commplaints r bout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678169)

I@ be_en wri%tting c0de f$r Micr0s0ft f*r yea))s(send*)

M$ takes a page from Coke (3, Insightful)

ternarybit (1363339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678185)

Vista is the "New Coke [wikipedia.org] " to XP's Coca-Cola, and 7 is "Coca-Cola Classic."

Maybe I'm just jaded/cynical, but isn't this a bit too convenient? MS goes from taking 6+ years developing a bloated, buggy, annoying OS to releasing a suspiciously stable, fast and well-supported OS in less than 2?

Re:M$ takes a page from Coke (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678251)

It is hard to believe but it isn't impossible.

How many of the software developers here think that, given 18 months, that they could make their current project faster/more efficient/less buggy if they didn't really have to add any new features?

I know I could.

Re:M$ takes a page from Coke (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678379)

Actually, MS took 6+ years developing a stable, fast and well-supported OS but it inexplicably got a bad reputation. Then they took 2 years thinking up a new name for it and tweaking the interface so it doesn't look the same.

One thing I wish they'd fucking fix (5, Informative)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678189)

I've been using Windows 7 on my Thinkpad for the last three weeks or so, and I've got a laundry list of bugs, issues and comments, and ironically one of the things that's broken in the beta release is the fucking "send feedback" feature.

I signed up for Microsoft Connect, and I still don't see any obvious way to submit bug reports. Maybe I have to be using IE or something.

And it's not like I haven't gotten Windows Updates in those three weeks. I think they don't really want any actual feedback. They're getting positive notes from the media, and Windows 7 will undoubtedly be far less reviled than Vista deservedly is, but the public beta has been out for a while; it's not like they could escape the fact that no one can send them bug reports.

I really think the fact that the "Send Feedback" button that's on every single open window in Windows 7 beta does not actually allow feedback to be sent is a deliberate move on the part of Microsoft.

Re:One thing I wish they'd fucking fix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678343)

That's how they get away with it. At the end of the day with Windows 7 RC1, they can just claim they never got any negative feedback throughout the beta or the RC, and release it without much more thought. Brilliant! I know some open source projects that could benefit from using this idea. *shoots self in the foot*

Strange Vibes... (4, Interesting)

Neptunes_Trident (1452997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678221)

Call me paranoid, though I am concerned, a feeling like I/We are walking or rushing into fog. I cannot shake the feeling that there is something not right with this Windows 7 hype and a rush to release. Has anyone done thorough security tests on Windows 7? I mean yeah Vista is rough around the edges, and enough hater history to keep it in check, but does releasing Windows 7 really put M$ back on track? I have my doubts about all this Windows 7 hype. Like maybe some nasty surprise comes up after everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Something very strange is being built up here. Or maybe its just I'll never leave my WinXP, except for my Linux. Seriously though.

It may be doomed regardless... (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26678237)

The timing of Windows 7's release being sped up may not help it.

Look at the economy in most countries right now. Many people have either lost their jobs or are fearful for their security. Most firms need maximum productivity with minimum overheads to survive the storm.

Could there be a worse time to launch a new product? Especially when said product is a dubious, at best, improvement on XP. As a home user, and not a gamer, I see no reason whatsoever to switch from XP. For business users, I'm thinking it must be corporate suicide to introduce a new operating system that adds little extra features, and yet has such a different interface that it will require some extra training, and a noticeable decrease in productivity. Never mind the additional cost of licensing and installation.

I simply do not understand how they can possibly think Windows 7 will be successful.

Submitter is an idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678253)

Let's think about this logically (I know, a ridiculous statement at a site where emotions and singular anecdotes trump reason).

Vista was at least 5 years in the making. Windows 7 has been developed since (presumably) 2006. Did you really think that they were going to overhaul everything yet again within that time period? Of course not. 7 is an update to Vista, much in the way that Apple updates OS X every year - a few new features, and more spit-and-polish across the OS. MS probably realized that these massive, long product cycles don't exactly foster accountability in the same way that a more rapid release schedule does. Then again, OSes are not normal applications.

Much to the chagrin of this site, Microsoft's gamble may pay off. Perception is everything in the marketplace. Since Vista's release, more drivers have come out for it, and more software is compatible with it. Consumers won't realize that it is Vista 2.0 - they'll treat it as something new entirely.

Anyway, sorry to intrude with this 'reality' thing.

What's the big deal? Ninnle's better! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678275)

Anyone who decides to migrate to Win7 should consider Ninnle Linux instead. There are no bugs in Ninnle.

Reviewers for Win 7 all bribed by Microsoft? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26678307)

I just read a report that basically all the Windows 7 reviewers were bribed by Microsoft, and their reports are biased. (Yes, included Gizmodo.)
If that is so (and their practices in the past tend to support the idea) then perhaps they have begun to believe their own propaganda.

Meanwhile, XP is still faster. One article suggested this was because Vista and 7 still have all the DRM hooks, which slows down the whole I/O stack massively.

Ubuntu and perhaps ReactOS keep looking better and better...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>