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Are Windows 7 Testers Going Unheard?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-make-it-faster-and-easier-please dept.

Windows 394

nandemoari writes "Windows 7 beta testers are disputing whether or not Microsoft is taking notice of their feedback. The dispute follows a blog post by Steven Sinofsky, the man in charge of engineering Windows 7. He notes that in one week in January Microsoft received data through Windows 7's automatic feedback system every 15 seconds. According to Sinofsky, it's impossible to keep everyone happy. That's partly because there are only so many changes Microsoft can make to the system and still finish it, and partly because in many cases testers often have opposing views about a feature."

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394 comments

hmmm... (4, Insightful)

myVarNamesAreTooLon (1474005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000467)

I think that's his way of saying "We can't make all the users happy so we're going to do our best to make sure none are happy."

Re:hmmm... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001207)

I think that's just your way of saying "I'm a PC, and I run Linux! So, no, you can't do anything fun with me."

Re:hmmm... (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001271)

Here's my take: Microsoft took 6 years to release Vista. While I realize they're hemorrhaging market share (how sad), they should consider taking a bit of time to meet as many user needs as possible. The end result will be a product that people actually want to use rather than Vista with a little less suck.

Of course, that would require a re-engineering of the development philosophy [joelonsoftware.com]. Longhorn/Vista was a perfect example of how "too many cooks spoil the broth". Microsoft needs to get back to being customer-focused if they want to compete.

Unheard? (5, Insightful)

nairnr (314138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000473)

I suspect there is a big difference between unheard and ignored!

Re:Unheard? (0)

XaviorPenguin (789745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000583)

*A conversation overheard by a Microsoft Employee*

Gates Yelling at top of his lungs: WHAAAT?!

Ballmer: Don't worry about them Sir, they are just expressing their thoughts on our new operating system...Just ignore them.

Gates Continues yelling, incoherently: WHAAAAAAT?!

Re:Unheard? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001045)

Yup because they Ignore the requests to remove the useless DRM. There is no legitimate reason to be pulling the secure audio path crap.

All DRM needs to be removed ,they need to tell the RIAA and MPAA to shove it up their rear sideways and be done with it. DRM has no legitimate use in the OS.

Re:Unheard? (0)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001411)

In my experience with software testers, they just want to be heard and feel like they are contributing. If you don't respond to their every finding they will go up the chain of command and tell people they are being ignored.

publicity stunt (-1, Troll)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000477)

The public beta was a publicity stunt...nothing more. Microsoft doesn't really care what a bunch of 'Joe plumbers' have to say about their OS. They have a QA department for that.

Cunning stunt (0)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000527)

Truly, Microsoft must employ master debaters and cunning linguists to come up with these schemes.

Re:Cunning stunt (0, Redundant)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000989)

You must be a cunning linguist too. I read that as cunnilingus. Oops.

Re:Cunning stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001111)

Yes. Yes, that was the joke. Congratulations. You might also want to point out what you read "master debaters" as, while you're at it.

Re:Cunning stunt (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001173)

What's so funny about master debt eaters?

Re:publicity stunt (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000637)

Maybe. But I do think that customer feedback is crucial to Microsoft at this point. And I think they know that. They really can't afford for Windows 7 to get the same public backlash that Vista got.

Re:publicity stunt (1, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001059)

They really can't afford for Windows 7 to get the same public backlash that Vista got.

Haven't you noticed the stepped up astroturfing? They've about got it covered.

Re:publicity stunt (2, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001709)

They really can't afford for Windows 7 to get the same public backlash that Vista got.

And yet, it will. News are made today, not reported, and the media found out with Vista that "new OS by redmond monopolist sucks" makes for more headlines, better headlines, over a longer time period, than "next windos version exactly as expected".

The media will eat them, because they're sharks and they can smell blood.

Re:publicity stunt (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000649)

Of course it was. It was "Mojave" open to the public. Been saying that all along. But I also have to agree with the pragmatic answer to the question about whether or not Windows7 testers are being ignored. I tend to believe that if the feedback opposes "the plan" whatever that may be, the feedback goes ignored and if the feedback is a compatibility issue, they will likely consider it and weigh it against opposing factors such as what compatibility breaks or complicates.

There is nothing inherently evil or bad about this approach in my opinion.

Re:publicity stunt (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000943)

But their mistake is in allowing too many beta testers. They knew it would be impossible to handle the volume of feedback. They wanted the positive PR, plus the ability to say, "Sorry, we're too busy" to a lot of the requests.

A better beta test would have been more restricted so all feedback could be considered. They're obviously not interested in hearing all the feedback.

Re:publicity stunt (4, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001149)

From the article

Microsoft hasn't done a great job of explaining to the millions of people who've tested Windows 7 that the beta stage is more about catching problems than significantly changing the way the system works.

My impression has always been that alpha testing is for determining whether or not to continue with an approach, and beta testing is for exercising the system to weed out sufficient bugs to continue with a final release. The beta testers complaining sound like they just went in with unreasonable expectations.

Re:publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001563)

Oh the irony: "truthsearch" pulling stuff out of his a$$ instead of searching for some truth. How about reading about some of the feedback and the changes from it:

http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/02/26/some-changes-since-beta.aspx

Re:publicity stunt (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000677)

Microsoft doesn't really care what a bunch of 'Joe plumbers' have to say about their OS. They have a QA department for that.

QA doesn't do software testing.--Microsoft has a Software Test Engineering department for that. QA just makes sure every group in the company follows the right processes.

Re:publicity stunt (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001039)

QA doesn't do software testing.--Microsoft has a Software Test Engineering department for that.

      So what the hell do they need beta testers for? Oh wait, buzz, marketing, free slashdot advertising, etc... sorry...

Re:publicity stunt (2, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001269)

So what the hell do they need beta testers for?

For broad spectrum testing. You think it's easy for a team of Test Engineers in a company to test every single possibility on every conceivable platform? For something as far reaching as a consumer operating system, it's a great idea to get thousands of people to do the basic hardware/software compatibility testing and others for you for free.

Re:publicity stunt (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001773)

QA doesn't do software testing.--Microsoft has a Software Test Engineering department for that. QA just makes sure every group in the company follows the right processes.

Probably just sloppy nomenclature. In some other companies, test engineering is a job of the QA department.

Re:publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000785)

microsoft.... q/a.... hahahahahahahahaha. You're a funny one.

sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000479)

And frankly do we care...

Opposing views... (5, Funny)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000497)

Users: No drm!
RIAA/MPAA: drm!

Re:Opposing views... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000553)

Users: No drm!
Pirates: Go ahead, use drm - we don't care, we can bypass anything!
RIAA/MPAA: drm! - it helps us fight pirating
Government: drm! - it helps us pad our wallets
Microsoft: drm! - it helps us pad our wallets

Re:Opposing views... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001181)

People who already use and are aware of OSS: No DRM!
Average Windows User: DRM?

Re:Opposing views... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001289)

Artists: Yeah, man, I hate DRM. It steals fro- What's that you say, A&R guy, more heroin? Party time!!!!! Whoooo! What the fuck were we talking about?

Re:Opposing views... (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000777)

The thing you're missing is that they're not selling software. They're selling software as a service. They're trying to be more like Google.

Google has a massive farm of computers that they leverage. Microsoft wants one too.

The difference is, Google was stupid... they went out and bought the hardware. Microsoft is smarter. They're just going to seize control of yours. In the business world, they call that "externalizing costs".

Re:Opposing views... (2, Interesting)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001143)

Users: No drm!
RIAA/MPAA: drm!

I'm not sure why you've been modded Troll, unless maybe you were felt to have lacked a point, but I only wish that most users were sufficiently interested and educated as to be aware of the DRM. Or the impact that it has on their machines, or its usability.

Re:Opposing views... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001363)

Isn't it obvious? Microsoft has infiltrated /. ! They don't want us to know their evil DRM plans...

Re:Opposing views... (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001499)

Or the fact that besides that complete bullshit slashdot article that was posted makes everything think there is some massive DRM in Windows 7.

My previous comment sums up that slashdot article quite nicely: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1130241&cid=26882509 [slashdot.org]

or Ars Tech article: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/02/oh-the-humanity-windows-7s-draconian-drm.ars [arstechnica.com]

TL;DR version: Windows 7 has DRM but same DRM from Vista and almost all users will not be bothered by it. You can crack Photoshop and record audio once software gets properly updated (and their cracks).

Re:Opposing views... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001611)

What impact does the DRM have in my day to day operations of my computer? Examples that I can test would be nice.

no shit? (4, Insightful)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000507)

"Kernel 2.8.1 beta testers are disputing whether or not the linux community is taking notice of their feedback. The dispute follows a blog post by Linus Torvalds, the man in charge of engineering Kernel 2.8.1. He notes that in one week in January the linux community received data through Kernel 2.8.1's automatic feedback system every 15 seconds. According to Linus, it's impossible to keep everyone happy. That's partly because there are only so many changes the linux community can make to the system and still finish it, and partly because in many cases testers often have opposing views about a feature."

Re:no shit? (5, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000619)

This is just standard practice for any chain of command. When I solicit feedback on documents I write at work, I often get conflicting opinions coming back. It's then my job to decide which opinions to accept in the final work. It is not my job to make everyone happy. That does not mean that I don't listen to the feedback I solicit.

Re:no shit? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000923)

I often get conflicting opinions coming back. It's then my job to decide which opinions to accept in the final work. It is not my job to make everyone happy.

      This is just standard practice for any chain of command. When I solicit situation reports, I often get conflicting briefings coming back. It's then my job to decide which briefings to accept when I decide how to defend Berlin. It's not my job to make everyone happy. That does not mean that I don't listen to those briefings that sound more optimistic. -- Adolf Hitler, 1945.

Re:no shit? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001015)

How can Microsoft possibly listen to that volume of feedback? By making the beta too open they overload themselves with more feedback than they can possibly handle.

Their mistake isn't in trying to make everyone happy. It's in asking absolutely everyone to give them feedback.

Re:no shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001513)

Well, hopefully they have people picking through the feedback and seeing what comes up the most often, and maybe some people randomly browsing for unique ideas that are worth implementing.

It is possible to manage such a conflicting volume of information.

Re:no shit? (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001403)

Conflicting advice is a good thing.

I had a boss that would tell me one thing on day 1, forget and tell me the opposite on day 2 (sometimes hour 2 or sentence 2), forget again by day 3. I took that to mean I could flip a coin or decide which I thought was better.

Re:no shit? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000735)

Yeah I'm not really sure what the problem here is. I imagine that there are more beta testers then coders, MS has to evaluate the flood of info coming in, prioritize everything, and get back to it. MS's job isn't to respond to every single Beta Tester with a personalized "ok we fixed your problem now", their job is to get the project done.

Frankly EVERY SINGLE product I've seen that has a public beta has these EXACT SAME complaints from the public.

Most of the comments here just sounds like a bunch of whining to me.

Re:no shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001091)

This is the single stupidest reply I ever read on /. and that's real bad, BAAAAAAAAAAD!

If I don't agree with the Linux developers, I can always grab the code and use it in any way I want to. Now try to do that with Micro$oft stuff...

There might be no spoon but there certainly could be a fork!!!

Re:no shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001311)

I can always(yawn)..grab code and use it (yawn)..
blah
blah
Micro$oft
blah.

$ -> boring and stupid.
most people CAN NOT just "grab the code and use it anyway" they want. There is nothing easy about modifying your own OS.

Re:no shit? (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001417)

you're not on topic.. the idea behind my reply was to show that users giving feedback to any application's developers (open source or not) is simply that, feedback, and you should set your expectations accordingly and understand you do not know all the ramifications your suggestion could involve, the ratio of time spent vs how important it is, preventing feature creep, and more.

if you've ever written an application, you'll know that one user will commend a feature as being invaluble, while another tries to rip you apart and tell you how it should change.

this has nothing to do with open source

Re:no shit? (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001569)

SOLUTION! Don't buy Windows! Seriously, I don't have anywhere near the programming skill or knowledge to modify an operating system nor do I have the time or desire to acquire it. I rely on acquiring an operating system that already fits my needs. Whether an operating system is open source or not has very little direct impact on my decision to choose it. And the fact that a software development team can't possibly make every user happy about everything has nothing to do with it being open source or not.

Re:no shit? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001777)

there are only so many changes the linux community can make to the system and still finish it,

Finish it? Linux is a permanently moving target, releases are made when the kernel and distro compilers want to (or they've agreed to). Its not like Microsoft where they have to get it out before a certain date or the share price collapses.

and partly because in many cases testers often have opposing views about a feature."

yup, but you can guarantee the Linux community listens, argues, debates, argues some more and relatively quickly everyone is in agreement - including those who have forked the codebase and made the changes that they wanted all along!

Opposing views about a feature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000535)

Does that mean that the users "oppose" the management decision to keep a crappy feature?

Or perhaps the users think it should get fixed and management says 'screw the users, ship that pig [devinmoore.com]?

Is Microsoft willing to hear? (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000539)

I don't think so!

Re:Is Microsoft willing to hear? (1)

tulcod (1056476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000693)

Well yeah, but there's a difference between not listening to everyone and not listening at all.
Plus, I don't think it's impossible to read all the messages: I take FAR less than 15 seconds for news replies, so depending on the size of the feedbacks, 15 seconds is enough.
Also, consider that you can hire people to do that for you?

Major usability issues (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000541)

How about the litany of major usability issues that Windows has had for years that MS wants to constantly ignore? Especially given that Gates has sent memos out criticizing the Windows team, and they still don't address these issues.

Usability took a big step backwards with Vista, and most of those issues haven't been addressed in 7.

I'm not sure they were will. Is 7 better than Vista? Yes. Is 7 better for enterprise users when paired with Server 2008? Certainly. Is 7 better than XP for Home users? Not really. Don't believe the hype.

Re:Major usability issues (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000863)

XP with DirectX 10/10.1/11 and UAC plz.

Re:Major usability issues (0)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001177)

Just google for a DirectX 10 download on some kind of russian website I don't have time for to find myself ATM. Works on XP. UAC? Download a virusscanner and log into XP with a user account instead of an (default) admin account.

Re:Major usability issues (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000883)

Is 7 better than XP for Home users?

Yes. The security improvements in Vista are real.

Re:Major usability issues (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000917)

If they can manage to use it. I can't tell you how often my coworkers have been telling me they just can't figure out their home computer because of Vista. I've converted more people to Linux that way.

Re:Major usability issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001051)

See, the security improvements in Vista are real.

Re:Major usability issues (2, Insightful)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001047)

Listen. I'm going to let y'all in on a secret. Well, maybe not so much a secret as something you might not want to admit in polite company.

There are alternatives to Windows. Several, in fact. The quality of these alternatives ranges from high quality to very, very high quality.

For the "I'm a user and don't want to learn how a computer works", there is OS X. A fine OS if I ever saw one. Also, there is a GNU/Linux distribution called Ubuntu, which works wonderfully out-of-the-box on most modern hardware. For most users there are equivalent software packages for the ones they are used to on Windows.

For the people that want to end the pain and finally bask in the glow of OS heaven, there is always BSD. An OS that doesn't get enough credits, btw. Rock solid (and that is the unix definition of solid, not the windows one).

There is no reason to be stuck in Windows bondage land. You don't need it. Really, you don't.

Let those guys in Redmond rot, they deserve it. Not only for the utter rubbish they release, but also for the total disregard for their customers.

There is way out, I can only point the way. You have to walk the road yourselves. But I guarantee you bliss, joy and well-being. It's up to you.

Re:Major usability issues (5, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001153)

There is no reason to be stuck in Windows bondage land. You don't need it. Really, you don't.

Really? Because my multitude of games and windows-specific programs beg to differ. Of course, I don't strictly need those programs, but by that same standard I don't strictly need a computer at all.

I'm going to let you in on a secret, and it's not something you mention in company of Slashdot users and OSX nuts: people use what they like and are familiar with, and windows is good enough to get the job done. Vista is still miles ahead of Ubuntu in typical, every day usability, and this is coming from someone who likes to fire up the command line and edit iptables by hand. The gui in Ubuntu is still brittle and requires a lot of command line usage to use it like I want to use it. Windows, on the other hand, works a ton better without ever touching the command line. For a good server, I'll use Ubuntu. For a workable computer to play games on and browse the internet, I'll use windows.

This choice is reasonable, logical, and entirely dependent on opinion. If someone tells me I'm wrong, all they're doing is showing that they're being irrational. I like windows, and it's not because I'm masochistic, it's because it's just plain more usable for what I do.

Re:Major usability issues (1)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001661)

I'm an avid gamer myself. Yes, games are developed mostly for Windows.

I have the good fortune to really like the Half-Life (and spin-offs, like Team Fortress) series of games. Those run quite well under Wine. The framerate isn't as high as on Windows but it works. It works well enough that I can play a very enjoyable game.

Sure, I would like to play every new game that comes out! Absolutely! But I have to choose between Windows and playing all games. For me, that decision has been made. It isn't Windows.

I don't share your views on the usability of the Gnome desktop, for me it works better than the Vista (or XP) desktop. You may be right that familiarity is most important.

All said and done, if you like Windows, by all means keep using it. Just know that there are alternatives (that may require you to give up certain things you are used to now), is all I'm asking.

Be happy. Is all.

Re:Major usability issues (5, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001203)

And if you're an enterprise user with 1000's of computers and 1000's of users all needign to share data and collaborate? Well then there's Active Directory. God knows I'm not a Microsoft apologeist but I haven't seen anything that even comes close to the power and ease of use there is in Windows Server and Active Directory.

Re:Major usability issues (3, Insightful)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001717)

Unix was sharing data and enabling users to collaborate when Redmond still thought DOS was hot and sexy.

The fact that you are brought up in a Windows environment doesn't mean there aren't other ways to accomplish things. Really.

Sinfosky is right... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000581)

According to Sinofsky, it's impossible to keep everyone happy. That's partly because there are only so many changes Microsoft can make to the system and still finish it, and partly because in many cases testers often have opposing views about a feature."

That is the first smart thing I've heard anybody from Microsoft say in a long, long time.

Re:Sinfosky is right... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000827)

But it's still not wise to seemingly ignore ideas, no matter how diverse. That's why they put it out there, for people to test and provide feedback. If you don't want feedback, don't pre-release it.

Re:Sinfosky is right... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001141)

True, but you have to understand the nature of software test engineering. Test engineers follow well-thought out test procedures that uncover software bugs that can not be ignored. Beta tests are a free-for-all-bitch-fest that have more value as an advertising tool than they do identifying software bugs. As my PM likes to say, there are "nice-to-have" features and then there is shit-hits-the-fan-broken-ass-code. Guess which gets fixed first.

Also, it is nice to solicit feedback, but it is impossible to act on most of it (or any of it, depending on how far in the development cycle you are). If anything, those comments might stick in the back of some developers head for the next prototype.

Re:Sinfosky is right... (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001157)

There's a difference between ignoring ideas and not implimenting them though.

If you had to respond to each piece of feedback, all you would end up doing is responding to feedback.

Re:Sinfosky is right... (1)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001071)

However, without a public accessible bug-tracker, you can't be sure they aren't honest and are just ignoring everyone.

Constant reminders (2, Interesting)

Povno (1460131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000705)

I think Microsoft has taken their basic desire to keep control of their products from the hands of those that would redistribute (with or without modification) to the point it has become an annoyance. There must be other ways to go about protecting your product without constantly harassing and then blacking out unregistered copies. Alerts of all kinds, not just these, had become only a slight annoyance in XP. They're now moving in the direction of inappropriate.
I don't want to be yelled at constantly by my operating system.

Come on... (1)

Linktoreality (1487087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000765)

Really, I think we'd all prefer if they released a finished product that wasn't buggy as all get out- sure, it may take longer to finish it, but we've learned that good products sell better once they're released than shitty products that are released too soon.

Re:Come on... (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001381)

Really, I think we'd all prefer if they released a finished product that wasn't buggy as all get out- sure, it may take longer to finish it, but we've learned that good products sell better once they're released than shitty products that are released too soon.

That would be suicide for Microsoft. Their business model relies upon people wanting badly enough to remedy OS bugs that they'll actually pay for the bugfix^H^H^H^H^H^Hupgrade.

FTFA: 2000 bugs fixed (5, Informative)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000799)

FTFA:

To date, we have fixes in the pipeline for nearly 2,000 bugs in Windows code (not in third party drivers or applications) that caused crashes or hangs.

Yet the trolling headline screams "ZOMG, M$ doesn't listen to users!!!"...

But wait, there's more!

To date, we have recorded over 10,000,000 device installations and over 75% of these were able to use drivers provided in box (that is no download necessary). The remaining devices were almost all served by downloading drivers from Windows Update and by direct links to the manufacturer's web site. We've recorded the usage of over 2.8M unique plug-and-play device identifiers.

2.8 million pieces of different hardware, and over 7.5 million installations had all drivers included, "almost all" could be downoaded easily. No matter what you think of Microsoft, that information is pretty much astonishing.

Re:FTFA: 2000 bugs fixed (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001191)

I would absolutely love to see a good, solid comparison of the number of devices each of the Major OSs out there purported to supporting both out of the box and after an automatic system update.

I'm sure Windows 7 would be near the top of the list, but I'd be very interested in knowing just how much hardware something like Ubuntu supports. Linux, by it's very nature, runs on almost anything - but does almost anything run on Linux?

And, of course, I'd expect MacOSX to be somewhere near the bottom, but still nicely ahead of *BSD and co.

Re:FTFA: 2000 bugs fixed (5, Interesting)

Stickney (715486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001315)

I only wish Linux had numbers like this. For all the hours I've spent building ndiswrapper or ATI display drivers on any number of boxes... I don't even have that much weird hardware, but Linux printing support is way behind, 3D display is way behind, sound support is sometimes flawless and sometimes nonexistent.

Not that I'm about to use Windows, but it would be nice.

Re:FTFA: 2000 bugs fixed (1)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001651)

2.8 million pieces of different hardware, and over 7.5 million installations had all drivers included, "almost all" could be downoaded easily. No matter what you think of Microsoft, that information is pretty much astonishing.

Not really, no. Ten or even five years ago, I would have been impressed a lot more. Since then, hardware has come a long way. Just count the number of different connectors on a new PC and compare it to an older one. Almost all new hardware is connected via a very short list of connectors (USB, PCI, nothing for a long time, AGP, firewire, analog line in/out, etc.)
At the same time, the variety in the market has gone down. How many video card manufacturers do you know? Seven, eight years ago, most geeks could have easily listed half a dozen without any hard thinking.

I am, in fact a lot more astonished by the fact that Linux includes almost as many drivers, with practically no third party writing them for them.

So in summary: Yeah, they write an OS that works with almost all the hardware that is usually designed specifically so that it works with their OS. Sorry for my failure to be mightily impressed.

Vista Feedback wasn't heard, so why not? (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000801)

As someone who vigorously feedbacked Windows Vista and many of it's bugs and UI issues (some of which were addressed after release, some in Windows 7 and none at all), I can say that Microsoft doesn't listen to their beta testers. I was in an IRC channel discussing a wireless bug with some other beta testers, at least 9 of us feedbacked it, and were dismayed that the bug still existed in release, one year later.

Which is why... (1)

avatar4d (192234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27000901)

they should just give freedom of choice:

...and partly because in many cases testers often have opposing views about a feature.

Dear Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000925)

Dear Microsoft!

I liked the desktop effects. Please implement the POSIX standard though.

regards,
beta tester

Re:Dear Microsoft (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001057)

I liked the desktop effects. Please implement the POSIX standard though.

There is a POSIX subsystem in Windows. It's been there since WinNT days.

Re:Dear Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001281)

Have you tried using it...?

Re:Dear Microsoft (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001429)

Dear Microsoft!

I liked the desktop effects. Please implement the POSIX standard though.

regards, beta tester

That would make too much sense. Also, it would be seen as a sign of giving into Linux. Of course, Microsoft can always just claim they own the patent for POSIX and sue the pants off everyone.

personal take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27000961)

I know this will be an unpopular viewpoint here on /., because I'm praising Vista over XP, but here goes...

I will not upgrade from Vista to Win7 -- simply because of the downgrade in the taskbar. I participated in the beta program, and I actually sent feedback asking them to bring back the quick launch bar and allow processes to be ungrouped. I included a long explanation of why their current implementation hurts my workflow, and I explained that I would consider it a ship stopper issue.

p.s. I used XP as my primary OS since Jan 2003, and then I started using Vista some starting in mid-2007. At first I didn't like Vista, but it grew on me, and I finally retired XP and switched to Vista full time last November.

Re:personal take (1)

bpjk (305635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001193)

Right-click taskbar, select Properties, in the "Taskbar Buttons" drop-down, choose "Never Combine"

Re:personal take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001727)

I tried that before sending feedback (and even mentioned it in the report). And no, it doesn't do what you think it does.

Hint: There is no setting that lets you have [ notepad firefox notepad ]. You can only have [(notepad notepad) firefox], or [ firefox (notepad notepad) ].

This is a VERY serious design flaw.

When even Bill G is unhappy with MSFT products (2, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001125)

Since even Bill Gates is unhappy with the product experience on Windows, and they ignore him, what makes you think they're going to listen to Win 7 Testers?

He owns the company.

Stupid Article (5, Informative)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001135)

That's funny, I read this [msdn.com] blog post from Microsoft today that detailed some of the changes made since the beta, all thanks to feedback from said beta.

It's quite a sizeable list and apparently only a small amount of the changes made so far. Considering nobody outside of Redmond (With the exception of a few select partners) is supposed to have access to anything other the beta, who's actually making the claim that the feedback is falling on deaf ears? Sounds to me like Microsoft IS actually listening for once.

It's Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001255)

George Bush does not care about Windows 7 testers.

Hey, thanks. (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001523)

In the early 1990's we started instrumenting Word and learning about how people actually used the software (this was before the internet so this was a special version of the product we solicited volunteers to run and then we would collect the data via lots of floppies).

Appreciate all your effort in creating the internet.

*clap* *clap* *clap*

[John]

Windows 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001703)

I used Windows 3.1 then switched to 95 about 10 years back and then switched to Windows 2000! You guys are way, way, way behind!

How to deal with opposing views (1)

i'm lost (1247580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001763)

Release more versions of Windows 7, that way everyone can get exactly what they want.

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