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Microsoft Suffers Leaks, Lagging Sales Numbers As They Look Forward To Windows 8

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the expect-it-to-get-much-worse dept.

Windows 386

nandemoari writes "With only a few weeks until Microsoft's Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is released, Microsoft is already looking for people to help with Windows 8. An April 14th job ad posted by Microsoft says the upcoming version of Windows will have new features like cluster support and support for one way replication. Apparently the Windows 8 kernel is being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. Windows 8 will also include innovative features that, according to Microsoft, will revolutionize file access in branch offices." Relatedly, several users tell us that both 32 and 64-bit versions of the Windows 7 release candidate have been leaked into the wild via p2p networks. The current leaked version shows little change beyond bug fixes, so it would seem what you see is what you get. This all comes as Microsoft posts quarterly sales that have fallen for the first time in the company's 23-year history. Seeing a 6% drop in revenue and a 32% drop in earnings, some within the Redmond giant expect the downward trend to continue.

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Buh? (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707263)

How is this a leak? Or news?

Re:Buh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707299)

How is this a leak?

Because the RC hasn't been officially released.

Re:Buh? (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707533)

Neither. It has been posted prior to every previous OS release by Microsoft, replacing only the current and next OS names.

In particular, they include this statement every time: "provide dramatic performance improvements"

And is "revolutionize file access in branch offices" the filesystem MS promised for Vista, or is that still DOA?

Re:Buh? (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707911)

WinFS is likely dead and buried.

The branch thing is their method of caching files on a machine on the local network.

Apparently 7 does it very well, so I don't know what 8 is hyping it up for.

Re:Buh? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27708021)

And is "revolutionize file access in branch offices" the filesystem MS promised for Vista

Microsoft never promised a new filesystem. WinFS was an abstraction layer running atop NTFS.

Re:Buh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707969)

Microsoft Suffers Leaks, Lagging Sales Numbers as They Look Forward to Window 8...

How is this a leak? Or news?

That depends entirely upon what Microsoft does when they get to this "Window 8" they are looking forward to. If they order some herbal marketing Viagra to stiffen up their flaccid sales record, get some rubber plugs to stop those leaks and present us with an Innovative product we'll all be alarmed. If, however, all Microsoft does is order a king sized McDonalds meal once they get to "Window 8" we'll all breathe a sigh of relief.

leaks (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707281)

Leaks are the cool way to release news now days. I just don't ask from where it leaked (ewww).

Yet another new version (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707289)

So thats saying that what isn't out yet is already being replaced, so why should i upgrade.

How about just make something that works?

Re:Yet another new version (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707321)

Because they'd rather spend tons on R&D, marketing, support, etc. for something people don't want to buy (Vista, Windows 7) than to continue to press discs for something people do want to buy (XP).

Re:Yet another new version (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707545)

Because they'd rather spend tons on R&D, marketing, support, etc. for something people don't want to buy (Vista, Windows 7) than to continue to press discs for something people do want to buy (XP).

Don't forget beating hardware manufacturers into submission.

Re:Yet another new version (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707555)

This.
I'd have preferred if Vista hadn't existed.

If only they stuck with XP, just issuing service packs every so often.
It's not like they weren't willing to screw around with the internals (SP2 changes)
Its not like they couldn't get people (shareholders) excited for a service pack. ("OO LOOK, SHINY AND GLASS-LIKE LOOK")

They could have spent more time on Office and other stuff. (like that "Cloud computing" OS thing)

I'll remember this when i build my time machine.
And i will prepare Google with anti-chair missiles.

Re:Yet another new version (4, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707603)

Why don't they just sell service packs? As in you get upgrades with X features like Aero Glass, a new explorer, etc. but keep all your settings and applications. Like Apple does. Or some Linux distros except obviously it's free.

In marketing though I wouldn't call it a service pack. But you get the idea.

Why don't they just sell service packs? (2, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707991)

As in you get upgrades with X features like Aero Glass, a new explorer, etc. but keep all your settings and applications. Like Apple does.

Apple doesn't sell service packs. Going from 10.4 to 10.5 is an upgrade not a service pack. You can download and install service packs for free just as with Windows. And while you can keep some of your applications not all will work. I found that out when I upgraded from Tiger, 10.4, to Leopard. My security suite, with an AV, firewall, and backup software were broke with the upgrade. After I did a compleat install instead of just an upgrade on top of Tiger. The same with my utilities.

Falcon

Re:Yet another new version (4, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707575)

I want Windows 7... kernel... I don't want its shell (explorer et al) though. The idea of moving to an interface that does things differently, I don't have a huge aversion to. The idea of moving to an interface that can't do the things I can do now in Win2003... well that's just plain silly.

Re:Yet another new version (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707701)

I have very little experience with Win7 (just a small amount of time in a VM hosted inside WinXP on a system with only 1GB of DDR ram).

What's changed in the Win7 interface that reduces usability?

Re:Yet another new version (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707709)

The idea of moving to an interface that can't do the things I can do now in Win2003...

For example ?

Re:Yet another new version (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707985)

"For example?"

Take a pre-vista Windows. Make sure the taskbar is unlocked (in right click menu), and add a new toolbar such as the Address or Quick Launch (if you don't have one). The left hand side of this bar has a drag bar, which you can move it around, or pull it out of the taskbar and dock it to the top or sides of the screen, creating a new dock bar which you can populate. This, along with freelaunchbar [freelaunchbar.com] I find very useful (example, my desktop: screenshot [tinypic.com]).

Argue or not whether this would be useful to you, the fact is that Vista/7 just won't let you do it*. You can move your taskbar, sure, but all my attempts to create a second, as in my screenshot, have failed*.

I also use a tool called xneat which allows the rearranging of task buttons on the taskbar. This has been "superseded" in 7 (perhaps vista too?) - but, as far as I've found, buttons move with other buttons in the application (so moving one messenger task button moves them all with it). I group task buttons by task, not by process (so my work related chat windows go next to my work related putty windows for example, then chat windows to my friends next to browser window containing facebook). You can do this in 2003. 7, however, enforces grouping based on its own metric of what a group should be. I've not been able to break them apart so I can group them as I want.

Again, arguments whether this would be useful to you or not aside. It is to me, it's functionality that was there, and has been removed*.

(*If I am wrong on any of these, please somebody correct me, because this is a showstopper for me, I would really like to be able to do these!)

Re:Yet another new version (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707809)

That's how I felt about KDE 4 when it first came out. As time goes on it's turning out to be a much nicer/cleaner interface overall. Maybe this will happen with Windows 7? (Windows Vista is KDE 4.0, Windows 7 is KDE 4.2?)

Re:Yet another new version (1)

therealmorris (1366945) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707827)

What's Windows 2003?! And what is it that you can no longer do in 7?

Re:Yet another new version (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707893)

Windows 2003 == Windows Server 2003.

In essence, it's the server edition of XP-SP2.

For future reference, Windows Server 2008 is essentially the server edition of Vista. This isn't a totally accurate statement, mind you, but it's good enough for a simple explanation.

Re:Yet another new version (4, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707677)

I'm not sure there's a single industry in which the average business puts out a product without at least starting to plan the next one.

Re:Yet another new version (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707877)

> I'm not sure there's a single industry in which the average business
> puts out a product without at least starting to plan the next one.

I'm sure you are correct. However I'm pretty sure this is the first time Microsoft has hinted about V+2 before V+1 shipped. Up to now the cycle has been:

1. Release. This is THE product you must have. It fixed everything you hated about V-1 and is just packed full of awesome.

2. As customers actually buy V and find it creates as many problems as it fixed, even after the first service release announce the upcoming V+1 in development. Release some internal builds and screenshots to the tame tech media to begin working the hype up. Yup, V+1 is going to be the bomb, every feature you could possibly want is going to be in this puppy, it will finally be secure and you will even have whiter teeth!

3. As release date passes without a release start removing features. Make sure all the pirates and tech media have a recent build. Ensure all reviews are between the upcoming release and competing shipping products to suck out their oxygen. Nah, who needs NDS when Active directory is coming any day now and will rule!

4. PROFIT! ; Goto 1

This time Windows 7 isn't even being hyped as more than a corrective for the stuff people hated in Vista, no real new features. The new features are now being hyped for V+2. Which is only more evidence that 7 is just Mojave/Vista SE.

Re:Yet another new version (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707685)

I'm still waiting on Mojave. There was a demo last year but they have kept quiet on its progress, kind of like Apple does. I can't wait!

Re:Yet another new version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707889)

You're joking, right?

Re:Yet another new version (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707909)

Just about every technology company has people working on products designs more than one revision out. This is not new, anyone surprised by that fact is just being flagrantly naive.

Re:Yet another new version (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707929)

Firefox 3.5 isn't out yet, and they are already working on FF 3.6. There are things being worked on outside the main kernel tree that will not be released for several more kernel versions.

yeah well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707291)

We all have to suffer through the leaky assholes that infest this forum.

Just kidding! Have a good weekend!

Trash talk (4, Insightful)

200_success (623160) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707301)

It's vaporware. Announced features tend get dropped from Windows during the development process. Don't believe anything from Microsoft until it's released.

It's just a floater (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707355)

Almost, but not quite. Microsoft just ran clustering up the flagpole to see who would get excited.

Fuck yeah. (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707379)

This all comes as Microsoft posts quarterly sales that have fallen for the first time in the company's 23-year history.

This is a perfect opportunity for trash talk! Suck on failure, Microsoft! Sales looking a little limp this quarter? I guess that's why they call it both micro and soft!

Heh. More seriously, as Joel points out [joelonsoftware.com]:

Microsoft has an incredible amount of cash money in the bank and is still incredibly profitable. It has a long way to fall. It could do everything wrong for a decade before it started to be in remote danger, and you never know... they could reinvent themselves as a shaved-ice company at the last minute.

It's good to see a hint that this fall might finally be starting, but even in this economy, it will be a long time before Microsoft dies.

Re:Fuck yeah. (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707435)

If inflation keeps going the way it's going, any actual cash reserves are a big mistake... and it could easily get worse.

Re:Fuck yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707657)

So they move a few billion from cash into I-bonds. Big whoop.

Re:Fuck yeah. (4, Informative)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707801)

They don't have large actual cash reserves. That is just slang for liquid accounts. They have a whole team of people who sit around forecast the exact amount of cash necessary to do things like make payroll and A/P at certain times. Then, they manage a whole slew of really low risk investments that come due around the time they need the cash. The rate on really low risk investments investments is by defintion the expected rate of inflation for that period + the time value of money. It's not hard to find investments like TIPS (Treasury Inflation protected securities) that guarantee the proper rate of return.

Re:Fuck yeah. (5, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#27708003)

> More seriously, as Joel points out:

Joel is wrong. A few years ago he was right but he obviously hasn't looked at Microsoft's latest balance sheet. They blew through the cash horde paying us stockholders dividends to keep us from going after em with pitchforks. Used to be they carried zero debt on their books, not anymore.

Go look it up, it is shocking how fast they went from more money than the Pope in Rome to a normal profitable company. And now the recession is upon them, netbooks are encroaching on their fat margins and there isn't much excitement in corporate America to engage in a mass hardware refresh to get Windows 7.

The computing landscape is about to change, the old guard who built the industry is retiring/dying off and things are about to make the shift from high flying growth to stable basic industry.

a dead Microsoft? (3, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#27708049)

It's good to see a hint that this fall might finally be starting, but even in this economy, it will be a long time before Microsoft dies.

I'll be at the start of any "I hate Microsoft, they're evil!" line, but I DO NOT want to see MS die. We need more competition not less.

Falcon

Re:Trash talk (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707395)

It's vaporware.

Although very cynical at first glance, it has a lot of merit. Many product announcements included a lot of hot air and were dropped as the release schedule came closer. The only problem is that the same behaviour goes into the "cry wolf" direction. These feature-news-drops are not taken as serious as before. This makes me wonder what part of the drop in earnings can be attributed to lost credibility.

I agree (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707411)

Microsoft wanted to add a file system with SQL access. They wanted to add that to Windows 2000, then XP, the Vista. And they announced a lot of other features which are normally not added to the final product or they do not fulfill any of the promises they made.

Re:Trash talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27708025)

I don't believe after they're released either.

New OS naming trend? (1)

CrystalX (1299317) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707353)

Maybe we're seeing a new trend in the way Microsoft will be naming their OSes in the near future.

First it was by year:
* Windows 95
* Windows 98
* Windows 2000

Then it was by special name:
* Windows ME
* Windows NT
* Windows XP
* Windows Vista

Now maybe we'll be seeing names based on internal version numbers:
* Windows 7
* Windows 8
* Windows 9 (maybe?)

Re:New OS naming trend? (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707413)

Microsoft realized after Apple's OSX that their current naming scheme robbed them of the ability to release Windows X, which would be similar to Windows, but more streamlined, and with flames painted on the sides. They went back to the standard sequential number scheme so they could legitimately call a release "Windows X" without looking like poseurs.

Re:New OS naming trend? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707757)

I'm sure they'll avoid looking like poseurs by simply putting the X in front.... X Windows.... has a nice ring to it.

Re:New OS naming trend? (1)

deanston (1252868) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707921)

Yeah but 'X' is so 90s - ActiveX, Macromedia MX, CFX, X-Files, Gen-X... Even OSX will have to evolve pretty soon when 10.7/8/9 eventually gets here (assuming Apple won't skip them). May be MSFT is really hoping that by getting to Windows X quickly people will confuse it for XP and actually pick it up.

Re:New OS naming trend? (5, Funny)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707445)

Microsoft will adopt the a scheme of releasing incremental versions once a year like clockwork, starting with Windows 7 in 2009, Windows 8 in 2010, as so on.

Finally, in 2097, Microsoft will re-release vintage Windows 95 as the OS of choice for ancient computers dug from the rubble of the post-apocalyptic nightmare world.

Never let it be said that Microsoft doesn't have its corporate eye on the future.

Re:New OS naming trend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707941)

That's all non-sense. If you follow the trend of ms losing about 1% market share each year, then around 2050 it will loose it monopoly on the OS market and by 2096 the number of Windows user will reach exactly 0.

2097 is the year of the linux desktop!

Re:New OS naming trend? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707585)

First it was by year

???

What about Windows 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.11?

Re:New OS naming trend? (1)

CrystalX (1299317) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707651)

What about Windows 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.11?

Didn't even think of those. They were before my time I'm afraid. :-)

Re:New OS naming trend? (4, Funny)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707737)

What about Windows 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.11?

You have to remember, that for a majority of /. these days, there weren't any OSes before Windows 95 because everyone was too busy fighting dinosaurs.

Re:New OS naming trend? (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707689)

* Windows 9 (maybe?)

Close. By that time Linux will have gained enough steam with things like Suse 13 and Mighty Mandrake that they'll change the name to make sure they don't look inferior. It'll be called Windows 9000: Accounting Alan.

Re:New OS naming trend? (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707789)

To be fair ... NT had a numbering scheme. In fact, NT was the main reason why I liked MS back in the day. That came to a screeching halt right after W2K though. W2K is the last piece of MS software that I can say I liked, but I still think the NT 3.x line was the best stuff they ever put out. NT 4.x was when the "edition" forks started and everything started degrading from then on.

Re:New OS naming trend? (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707919)

The situation has actually been even worse...

Windows [Workgroups ] 1-3.X (Discontinued in November 2008)
Windows 95, 98 & ME
Windows NT thru v4?, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Win7
Not to mention the CE's, Mobile and Embedded variants.

They've been mixing up the naming for a long time now, totally confusing things. They REALLY need to stick to 7,8,9, etc. even if they have a couple variants of each they consistently called something like Home, Workstation, Server, Mobile, Embedded.

Re:New OS naming trend? (2, Insightful)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707987)

The first NT came out before they started using year numbers, and continued while the year numbers were being used. And 2000 came out around the same time as ME. Basically, MS has no naming system, unless you count schizophrenia as a naming system.

point of reference (4, Informative)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707387)

Point of reference: Apple Q2 sales of Macs fell 3% [allheadlinenews.com] as opposed to MS' 6%, but ipods and iphones were still growing, giving the company a net profit. Couple this to the data over the last year or so showing that usage share of windows operating systems has been eroding a 1-3% a year [hitslink.com] for the last four years, it appears that microsoft seems to be losing, but it's slow going. It could easily turn around with a new successful operating system by MS.

Re:point of reference (4, Insightful)

footnmouth (665025) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707507)

I have a great memory, and to be honest it's a massive PITA. I can remember when people wanted MS to succeed against the might and nastiness of Big Blue (IBM). Now it's all comers against MS, with Apple and Google getting most of the plaudits and building an empire. If it continues, Apple and Google will be the big bad corporations in a couple of years and us, the nerds, will either fondly remember "good old MS" or hang on hard to a new trend / company.

Or Linux will be ready for the desktop :-) *

* I troll, I troll, I'm typing this on my Centos machine

Re:point of reference (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707767)

At least Google has a habit of playing fair, and is providing services by simply being better. Microsoft since it's inception has been a deceptive, double-dealing company. Remember how MS-DOS got started? [about.com] Lots of corporate back-room deals and chicanery. Microsoft has NEVER excelled technically. They've always bought or stolen their tech, and then spun it like it was always that way. Amazingly slimy yet effective businessmen, but not the technical geniuses every layperson thinks they are.

Re:point of reference (1)

shay_rossignol (1540595) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707845)

Or Linux will be ready for the desktop :-)

We can all hope..but it'd be odd not having Microsoft around as an example of what not to do in terms of programming...

Re:point of reference (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707975)

Bullshit ... no way ... I remember the bad IBM and the good IBM only came after techs turned their backs on what was Big Blue. MS has alienated a lot of developers, they're poised for some serious pain in the coming years. They may turn it around, but they'll have to stop their lock-in games, just like IBM did, and that's gonna take away all their pricing power. MS won't go away, but it won't look anything like the company are today before the bleeding stops.

Re:point of reference (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707559)

Even *if* Apple did become a dominant player in the OS market, there is no reason to believe they would be any less abusive of that position than MS has been.

Re:point of reference (5, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707623)

Even *if* Apple did become a dominant player in the OS market, there is no reason to believe they would be any less abusive of that position than MS has been.

Why do we need a new "dominant" player? Why can't we just have a plethora of OSs that inter-operate at a basic level and let users and companies cater to one or all of the preferred OSs?

The best thing in the world of software will happen when no one company has a stranglehold on innovation... take a look at the web for example... lots of innovation until IE dominated, then Firefox broke the domination and now you have IE, FF, Chrome, Safari, Opera and a whole host of other browsers that adhere standards (for the most part) and web developers write to those standards (and tweak for specific browsers)... innovation is picking up pace again.

To come back to your point, yes Apple would make as evil a monopolist as Microsoft, but I'd prefer if they all had to compete for my $$.

Re:point of reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707891)

lots of innovation until IE dominated, then Firefox broke the domination and now you have IE, FF, Chrome, Safari, Opera and a whole host of other browsers that adhere standards

Not to be pendantic, but Opera's been around since the mid 90's, and I don't think FF has had that much of an effect on their marketshare or standards adherence.

Re:point of reference (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707899)

Because the standards are never standard. No one ever actually perfectly adheres to the standards and that makes development suck and users suffer. Even worse, people add on to the standards and then developers actually use that crap that's been tacked on - Before you know it you're locked in just like you were before. That and you have an awesomely splintered codebase where you've got custom code all over the place to take advantage of the "enhancements" one OS has that another doesn't.

Last but not least - you have the situations where you come across bugs in the actual API you're programming against. Now you've got special code to deviate from the standard / code around that bug for just that OS.

I'm not going to say that I wouldn't love to see it happen (I really would) but I will say that I have serious doubts that it ever will.

Re:point of reference (1)

colonelxc (1467119) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707813)

Mod parent up, just look at Apple where it does dominate the market, mp3 players.

They try their hardest to make it so that only their software will interface with it. Only thanks to the hard work from some reverse engineers do we get nice integration from 3rd party apps.

Then once their software tries to update, it always wants to install safari for windows users. I don't know if my apple update is broken, but I have to uncheck the safari box every time to keep it from installing.

Re:point of reference (4, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707679)

Despite MS sales dropping 6% and profits dropping ~30%, they're still somehow the 3rd most profitable company in the world according to Fortune. They're ahead of even GE! So who's ahead of them? Exxon and Chevron.

Re:point of reference (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707787)

It could easily turn around with a new successful operating system by MS

They could however, there are some key things against them. An example would be the cost advantages of linux, with it being good enough for most uses. You may say so what but there are some ARM based computers in the works (see below) that can be sold for $200 dollars at profitable margins (whether they will be is another matter). Keep in mind that netbooks if cheap enough sell with Linux on them, as 2008 showed (with more windows share for higher priced netbooks, for various reasons). Others will follow if ARM based computers succeed.
Apple is also not stagnant, as can be seen here [uspto.gov] from their patent applications for a 3D GUI, the register [theregister.co.uk] and appleinsider [appleinsider.com] also carry more details. How flat would MS party for windows 7 be if jobs announces this interface as the new interface for snow leopard, just as Linux takes a even bigger chunk of their market share.
Skytone [engadget.com]
OLPC [engadget.com]
Pegatron [engadget.com]

Feature freeze? (4, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707417)

Isn't it a good thing that they are concentrating on the bugs from the betas, instead of adding features? Perhaps users of the final release wont feel like beta testers this time?

I'm no ms fan but they seam to be doing it right this time, move feature work and innovation to windows 8, while a 'stable' branch of the code is finalized for release.

Re:Feature freeze? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707639)

In the OSS world it's called "release early, release often" (example [mysql.com])

But hey, one mans 'terrorism' is another mans 'shock and awe'.

Re:Feature freeze? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707707)

Sort of, but if all you are doing is fixing bugs, what's the point of having a new version? Why not just stay with your old version, which people kind of like?

The main difference I see between Microsoft and Apple is that Microsoft is directionless. A new way of sharing files? That's so 1990. It's as if they are looking for something to add to their system, because they know they need to do something! Contrast that with the feature set for Apple's Snow Leopard [wikipedia.org]. if you look at the list, you see clearly where they are headed: making the system faster, cleaner, more reliable, and improving access for developers to modern hardware. They also do things in small enough increments to make sure things don't blow up (like Vista: it's always a risk when you make too many changes).

Because no one can see the direction Microsoft is taking their OS, it is reasonable to assume that it will not be an advance: some random changes and feature additions that may or may not be welcome, but it will essentially be the same thing. Kind of sad, but then I have no special love for Microsoft.

Re:Feature freeze? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27708041)

Exactly right. They need to solidify Win7 to prevent another Vista-style holocaust.

If Win7 does what Vista did, MS will be sucking wind on the OS front.

Windows 2000 (3, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707437)

Windows 2000--still the best version they ever made. Simple, clean, and snappy. Try it on a modern PC. It's so wonderfully fast with an interface that stays out of the way. If Windows 2000 had supported my laptop in 2002, I wouldn't have made the jump to XP. I would have used Windows 2000 for many years.

Windows 7 looks like Vista with an OS X Dock. I can't stand Aero, and there doesn't appear to be any refinements to it, so that's disappointing. The cloning of OS X's Dock and window management behavior is another amusingly obvious ripoff that Microsoft and its supporters will deny (the common talking point appears to be that the inspiration was Windows 1.0, not OS X). The option for the classic Start menu has been removed. I really dislike Vista's Start menu and how you scroll inside it to get to things. Thankfully, the search field is a faster, better launcher.

Snow Leopard will be fun to compare to Windows 7. While Microsoft has been moving in a direction of adding more visual flair with each release, Apple has been removing flair from OS X. Right now, it almost resembles NexTStep's dark gray. Once they replace the harsh, blue gel scrollbars with iTunes' clean ones, I'll be really happy staring at my screen all day.

Re:Windows 2000 (4, Informative)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707745)

2003 dude, all the way. Switch to windows classic (start menu, taskbar, window decoration, folder views) and disable the 'themes' service which seems to intercept graphics calls and the result is snappier than 2000, esp with boot/shutdown times taken into consideration (with concurrent service start/stopping that came in 2001's XP).

Throw a couple of UI enhancements on (launchy [sourceforge.net], freelaunchbar [freelaunchbar.com]) and you're away. Nothin beats it. One of my problems with 7ista is that you can't create a second bar on the screen (eg, add quicklaunch toolbar, and try drag it to the top or side of the screen. You now have a new bar, great for adding an address toolbar, a freelaunchbar, website bookmarks etc). I don't understand the mentality behind removing functionality.

Re:Windows 2000 (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 4 years ago | (#27708047)

I use the desktop bars as well. I think I read somewhere once that they were going to remove them post-XP because the number of people who knew what the hell those were for and actually used them was vanishingly small, and they had some security problems (you can run an IE instance inside with a registry hack).

But at least for the way I used those things, the Vista start menu more than makes up for their loss. My personal view, of course.

Here we go again (1, Redundant)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707473)

Every time MS starts up the hype train they start promising the world. Total kernel rewrites, new filesystems, fancy features. Then over the course of the following years they begin to slowly peal them back until we get what is a shadow of the initial promise. Now they are not the only ones who do this (I'm looking at you Sony), but it has become so predictable I don't even listen to what they say until beta. Even then things often don't make it to final release.

Re:Here we go again (3, Insightful)

CrystalX (1299317) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707565)

Keep in mind that in this case we are extrapolating features from an MS job posting, not from an official press release. Therefore this isn't exactly hype we're looking at here - but rather internal plans which may change as time progresses.

Microsoft Suffers Leaks, Lagging Sales Numbers as (2, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707477)

We will see if this trend continues, it could get much worse before windows 7 is due. If as planned a number of companies, such as Pegatron release [engadget.com] in June as planned.
Just imagine the effect if these cheap netbooks sell in numbers, ARM will be the new hotness as far as business would be concerned. They would be cheap (actually at the $200 price point, with enough margin to make a profit). Companies would be queuing to produce computers with ARM chips running Linux. As it is Microsoft is probably losing money due to marketing payola, with not as much revenue comming in from netbook installs (I have heard of only $5 per machine). Lets just hope these ARM netbooks turn up.

Re:Microsoft Suffers Leaks, Lagging Sales Numbers (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707859)

The problem with ARM is the nasty little thing that is known as flash. Has anybody managed to get flash video to play on ARM yet? last I had heard that was a big nope. Folks won't be happy if they can't go to Youtube, and sadly I have been coming across more and more websites lately(especially big media sites) that if you don't have flash all you get is a big plugin symbol on a useless blank page.

So while I wouldn't mind a $199 Netbook for checking email on, i just can't see the college kids down the street being happy with something that won't play their videos. if they manage to solve the flash problem though, they could really undercut everybody. I have even seen sites talking about the 400MHz Netbooks going for $99. At that price they would be impulse buys. And more importantly at that price and form factor folks won't be caring if it runs Windows or not. And unlike x86 a 400MHz ARM is actually quite snappy. But we'll just have to wait and see if they figure a way around the flash problem. Because it is increasingly looking like more and more of the web simply won't work in the future without flash. It has just become too popular for website building.

Likable but not compelling vs XP (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707505)

This is the first time I've looked at Windows 7. Some of the features seem like nice additions -- like the new ways to minimize/unminimize windows, and the left/right tiling feature for comparing two files or folders (something I do a lot). But in all honesty I don't feel compelled to upgrade from XP.

Windows XP Mode (5, Informative)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707527)

I think the most interesting new feature will the new Windows XP Mode which is
basically Virtual PC running Windows XP client seamlessly on the desktop. Most
likely it will gain interest in enterprises planning to upgrade XP installations.

http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2009/04/24/secret-no-more-revealing-virtual-windows-xp-for-windows-7.aspx [winsupersite.com]

Re:Windows XP Mode (5, Interesting)

Titanium Angel (557780) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707669)

This is one of the most important developments in Windows history and will shape the future of Microsoft's operating systems. XP Mode will finally allow Microsoft to remove all of the legacy crap that's been holding Windows back for at least a decade.

Re:Windows XP Mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707795)

Yeah right, like they'll actually go ahead and do that.

Re:Windows XP Mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27708043)

This sounds great, and is it not exactly how Apple moved on from OS9?

Right (1)

Godji (957148) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707531)

Apparently the Windows 8 kernel is being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements.

Sure, why not.

Windows.. Eight? (1, Insightful)

AndrewDBarker (1532289) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707551)

Can we just get Windows Seven out first?! Jebus.. I'm starting to think one reason Apple might be so successful is because they don't sweat the small stuff and release information about their NEXT OS even before their newest one isn't even released. This is PATHETIC and it makes me angry. I'm upgrading to Seven's beta tomorrow on my new pc, but all this talk about Eight makes me want to puke.

Re:Windows.. Eight? (2, Insightful)

colonelxc (1467119) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707647)

You do realize this is normal business practice, even for Apple right? These companies don't just sit around waiting for things to happen. All the features and new tricks they wanted to try in an OS have already been fixed for Win7. Unless you're suggesting the whole Microsoft R&D department should take a 6+ month break.

This is not a press release, this is not the "hype machine". This is just a job posting for a company that is confident that it has a future, at least long enough to make it worth filling this position. Basically, this is not news, and there is nothing for you to be upset about.

Surprisingly negative outlook in this summary... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707581)

...given that MSFT was up 10% today.
http://www.google.com/finance?q=msft

Ummm.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707629)

"Apparently the Windows 8 kernel is being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. Windows 8 will also include innovative features that, according to Microsoft, will revolutionize file access in branch offices."

Umm..from the 'Job Details [microsoft.com]':

"For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices."

The core engine they are talking about (dramatic performance improvements), IMHO, is not Windows kernel itself, but the storage layer core engine.

Stop confusing people, pls.

In other news... (2, Funny)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707643)

In another exciting memo Microsoft states they're looking at some interface improvements for new Windows 10!

When beta is actually beta (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707705)

The current leaked version shows little change beyond bug fixes, so it would seem what you see is what you get.

A beta that's actually truly feature-complete as God intended, oh my! Such a quaint old-fashioned thing to do in 2009...

Dear Microsoft.. please listen to your users (0, Troll)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707819)

Dear Microsoft,

I am a frustrated user. I am frustrated because you are continuously making it difficult for me to use your software. You are making it even more difficult for me to buy your software.

I called Microsoft yesterday.. I wanted a clear answer on exactly how many licenses I need of Windows XP in order to develop software that will run on a Windows environment. The first guy I talked to told me I need one license per virtual machine. I asked him if I needed a license every time I copied the virtual machine to start a separate project. He said that I do..

Then I asked how do I get VLK licenses like the big corporations do.. He told me I need to talk to that department and.. okay.. long story.. I'll fork my rant here.. Send me message if you want me to continue my licensing rant in detail.

Next rant: Windows Vista.. Stop telling me it is better than Windows XP. But, also stop telling me Windows 7 is better than Windows XP. Out of all the Windows desktop operating systems I've used, Windows XP 64bit seems to be the most stable and the most user-friendly (and software developer friendly).. So why are you making it so goddamn hard for anyone to buy Windows XP 64bit? Anyone that understands anything about software knows that Windows Vista was a miserable attempt to wrestle control away from the user..

Next rant: Why are you forcing Vista on everyone that buys a computer in the store?! There have been multiple times I would've purchased a store computer for convenience (for home or workplace) if it just had an option for XP.

Next rant: DRM. Fucking stop it. Start enabling people - not disabling them. Stop listening to media companies that are trying to force you to handicap your operating system. People pay for stuff that's convenient. Make it convenient as possible. Stop installing WGA spyware on everyones' computers.

Next rant: Stop changing interfaces for the hell of changing interfaces. Give me a 'compatibility mode' interface. For example.. Leave an option for toolbars to look like Excel 2003 in Excel 2007.. Or.. leave an option for Windows Vista to behave like XP.. And, if you don't put 'classic startmenu' back into Windows 7, I swear to God I'll never buy it.. I will use XP. (I'm using Windows 7 now.. I want my fucking classic startmenu. How dare you try to guess what program I feel like using.)

Next rant: Stop adding more steps in the process to get anything done!!! In Windows 95, Startmenu > Programs displayed everything.. Then.. Windows 98/ME/XP started scrolling and hiding shit by default.. How the fuck is that more convenient? It's just one extra click.. How about changing an IP address? It is easier and quicker in XP than Vista.. How about changing resolution? so much easier in XP than Vista.. or Windows 7..

Next rant: Stop choosing the dumbass options for everyone by default.. give a 'poweruser' setting during setup so Windows explorer doesn't try to hide exensions, hide details, hide operating system files..

Next rant: No puppy dogs.

Next rant: Build disk-imaging into the OS. Let me install a drive, go to disk manager, and copy my old drive.. It's easy as hell to program.. And it's easy as hell to do in linux.. make it easy to do in Windows.

Next rant: Be stricter with developers.. Make the OS so it has to explicitly ask the user to 'run on startup' or 'run a popup daemon' that will annoy us to upgrade all the time..

Next rant: Follow your own fucking standards. If I disable all icons on the desktop for my users in group policy, I should not have a 'Windows media player' and 'Help and support' link on the desktop. Also, likewise with Printers link and Outlook express.

Next rant: Spend some effort on file organization. Windows 7 shortens the paths to 'documents and settings'.. but it is no more organized! Stop making 'My Music' folders on computers that have no music and never will!

Next rant: Stop wasting GUI space.. How is a thicker window border any more convenient? How about I get to control the size of the program display? I should be able to right-click on any window and make it 50%.. or 150%.. hell, we should have Vector graphic guis by now.

Next rant: Has there ever been a fully-successful disabling of autorun that does not re-enable after applying Windows updates? Autorun is lame! I just leaned over to physically place a cdrom into my drive.. how does it popping up whether I want it to or not saving me any time?

Next rant: Listen to Bill Gates.. The one email I read about how Windows Movie Creator was a dog was beautiful.. But you clearly haven't listened.. After that email, you went on to make Vista.

Next rant: STOP MAKING ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF WINDOWS. Either sell seperate products or just give us the options of what features to install and make the OS the same. If I got a Windows install media, I should be able to type in my code and install Windows (though, why should I even have to do that.. I don't gotta do that on linux or mac). Give us a standard OS. Also, Windows 32bit or Windows 64bit SHOULD NOT BE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF WINDOWS. Hell.. why even make a new 32bit OS?

Damn.. I could do this all day.. It's not meant as an insult.. I am just really really frustrated.. so frustrated that I learned linux and realized it wasn't scary.. Think of this as free advice.

Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707823)

Microsoft claims that big emotions come from big words. Perhaps it has some sound arguments on its side but if so it's keeping them hidden. I'd say it's far more likely that Microsoft always tries to rationalize its squibs with compelling gobbledegook about some "greater good". Why do I tell you this? Because these days, no one else has the guts to.

When some stupid, hopeless demented-types first introduced me to Microsoft's audacious pleas, I felt that civilization had reached a nadir of bleakness. In that context, one could say that I can guarantee the readers of this letter that Microsoft and I disagree about our civic duties. I contend that we must do our utmost to test the assumptions that underlie its theatrics. Microsoft, on the other hand, believes that every featherless biped, regardless of intelligence, personal achievement, moral character, sense of responsibility, or sanity, should be given the power to nourish unenlightened ideologies. Microsoft is capable of only two things, namely whining and underhanded tricks. Microsoft's propaganda machine once said that Microsoft would never give voice, in a totally emotional and non-rational way, to its deep-rooted love of antidisestablishmentarianism. So much for credibility!

Microsoft is an interesting organization. On the one hand, it likes to make serious dialogue difficult or impossible. But on the other hand, what we're involved in with it is not a game. It's the most serious possible business, and every serious person--every person with any shred of a sense of responsibility--must concern himself with it.

I used to think that barbaric lamebrains were the most apolaustic people on the planet but now I know that Microsoft has never disproved anything I've ever written. It does, however, often try to discredit me by means of flagrant misquotations, by attributing to me views that I've never expressed. In the end, I can't count the number of times I've wanted to resolve our disputes without violence. Let me express that same thought in slightly different terms: If there's one thing that Microsoft's good at, it's spreading the germs of hatred, of discord and jealously, of dissolution and decomposition. If we don't remove the Microsoft threat now, it will bite us in our backside eventually. As I have indicated, if nepotism were an Olympic sport, Microsoft would clinch the gold medal.

Although it's easy to sit in the press box and criticize, Microsoft believes that everyone and everything discriminates against it--including the writing on the bathroom stalls. That's just wrong. It further believes that its inclinations are Holy Writ. Wrong again! There's a little-known truth that isn't readily acknowledged by morally crippled harijans: Finding the best way to build an inclusive, nondiscriminatory movement for social and political change is a challenging problem indeed. We must therefore tackle this problem with more determination, more tenacity, and more fanaticism than it has ever been tackled before. Only then will people realize that Microsoft's trucklers like to say, "Cannibalism, wife-swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior." Such frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. If someone wants me to believe something bloodthirsty like that, that person will have to show me some concrete evidence. Meanwhile, I intend to show you that at this point in the letter I had planned to tell you that Microsoft is willing--even eager--to jettison its scruples in order to stay ahead of the pack. However, one of my colleagues pointed out that I wish ethically bankrupt egotists had the gumption not to trade fundamental human rights for a cheap "guarantee" of safety and security. Hence, I discarded the discourse I had previously prepared and substituted the following discussion in which I argue that there are many roads leading to the defeat of Microsoft's plans to malign and traduce me. I indeed think that all of these roads must eventually pass through the same set of gates: the ability to direct our efforts toward clearly defined goals and measure progress toward those goals as frequently and as objectively as possible.

Microsoft's rhetorical performances could profitably be deconstructed in a Dishonest Use of Language class. Not that I've come to expect any better from Microsoft. Needless to say, this makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of Microsoft's featherbrained solutions. (To be honest, though, it wouldn't be the first time.) If Microsoft wants to test another formula for silencing serious opposition, let it wear the opprobrium of that decision.

Yes, a common thread runs through most of Microsoft's imprecations, a thread so delirious that it disgusts me nearly to the point of physical illness, but here is the point that is worth considering: Everyone ought to read my award-winning essay, "The Naked Aggression of Microsoft". In it, I chronicle all of Microsoft's manuscripts from the impulsive to the incorrigible and conclude that one of Microsoft's cohorts once said, "Microsoft can absorb mana by devouring its nemeses' brains." Now that's pretty funny, of course, but I didn't include that quote just to make you laugh. I included it to convince you that Microsoft ignores a breathtaking number of facts, most notably:

Fact: One of history's clearest lessons is that Microsoft should clean up its act.

Fact: A vivid realization of the caducity of life is what motivates me to take steps toward creating an inclusive society free of attitudinal barriers.

Fact: I indubitably don't want to have to hear Microsoft's rambling streams of consciousness.

In addition, any rational argument must acknowledge this. Microsoft's slaphappy ideas, naturally, do not.

Teenagers who want to shock their parents sometimes maintain--with a straight face--that one can understand the elements of a scientific theory only by reference to the social condition and personal histories of the scientists involved. Fortunately, most parents don't fall for this fraud because they know that aside from a few exceptions, this statement is truly valid. Of course, this sounds simple, but in reality, the real issue is simple: I refuse to dance to its homicidal tune. Vile Neanderthals can go right ahead and convict me for saying that Microsoft's words, like opium, hashish, or alcohol, keep the canaille in a trance and oblivious of reality, but History, acting as the goddess of a higher truth and a higher justice, will one day smilingly tear up this verdict, acquitting me of all guilt and blame. Let me back up a little: Microsoft is trying to force me to undergo "treatment" to cure my "problem". Their mission? To gag the innocent accused from protesting wowserism-motivated prosecutions. A necessary first step towards recovery is to look at Microsoft with new eyes, unclouded by a lifetime of false information and deception propagated by abusive twerps. (Yes, Microsoft hopes to finance a propaganda of intensive deception that induces sane and sober people to force square pegs into round holes, but that's an entirely different story.)

Although there are no formal, external validating criteria for Microsoft's unprincipled claims, I think we can safely say that some people don't seem to mind that it likes to treat people's bona fide personal devastation as bathos. What an uncouth, unsavory world we live in! Will someone please explain to me what it is in our lives that can possibly make someone do exactly the things Microsoft accuses licentious sociopaths of doing? Because I certainly have no idea. I am sorry to have to put this so bluntly, but you, of course, now need some hard evidence that whenever a will-o'-the-wisp of feudalism, however unreal, turns up anywhere, Microsoft is off at a trot. Well, how about this for evidence: If you were to tell it that I appear to have gotten ahead of myself here, it'd just pull its security blanket a little tighter around itself and refuse to come out and deal with the real world. If you think you can escape from Microsoft's brutish roorbacks, then good-bye and good luck. To the rest of you I suggest that truculent sad sacks like Microsoft are not born--they are excreted. However unsavory that metaphor may be, when Microsoft was first found trying to steal our birthrights, I was scared. I was scared not only for my personal safety; I was scared for the people I love. And now that Microsoft is planning to ruin people's lives, I'm undoubtedly terrified. Stand with me, be honest with me, and help me place blame where it belongs--in the hands of Microsoft and its unbridled co-conspirators--and together we'll show principle, gumption, verve, and nerve. We'll shoo away it like the annoying bug that it is. I'm counting on you.

Everyone join the chant... "No More Crap" (1)

nhytefall (1415959) | more than 4 years ago | (#27707903)

I am intrigued... IF (and that is a very very big IF) Win7 is half of what it is supposed to be, I may upgrade my wife's Win2K machine to it. Might. If it comes out like Vista... I swear to God I will drop the machine on Redmond from 20K feet.

"Dramatic performance improvements" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27707955)

Am I pessimistic or am I merely conditioned to equate this phrase with loss of backward compatibility?

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