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A Mixed Review For Windows 7's XP Mode

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the weak-solution dept.

Windows 137

The Register writes "If one thing excited people more than the disclosure of the Windows 7 Release Candidate's availability, it was the news of Windows 7 XP Mode. The Reg's Tim Anderson gave Windows XP Mode a mixed report in his review of the Windows 7/Virtual PC combo. Overall, the level of integration is excellent and Windows XP Mode showed strong potential. However, responsiveness of applications was sluggish and the seamless integration between Windows 7 and XP proved confusing."

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137 comments

As pointelss as... (-1, Offtopic)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803587)

This reminds me of my fruitless attempt to make Gnome look and feel exactly like Windows 3.1

Re:As pointelss as... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27803607)

It's often strange how one thing will remind us of another completely unrelated thing. The human mind is a confusing beast.

Re:As pointelss as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27803863)

My mother was eaten by a mind, you insensitive clod!

Re:As pointelss as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804391)

This reminds me.

Does anyone have any good lesbian sex torrents I can have a link do?

Lesbian Strapon Porno HERE! No Torrents, all mpg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27805007)

Hey what's up guys? You heard, and I'm going to write it. There once was a player named "yabbitboy" and he had the Lesbian Index and Strapon White Pages, but alas they are slowing down because all the girls are growing up and the amatures are takin' the scene. But that doesn't mean we can't look at all the old stuff:
  http://www.thinkreel.com/archive/index.php/t-11838.html [thinkreel.com]
  http://board.freeones.com/archive/index.php/t-97036.html [freeones.com]

Sorry those lists weren't URL friendly, but hey at-least they are available. If you prefer almost the same as the above but in thumb-form, try
  http://www.magicteapot.com/search.php?q=strapon&galt=m&ob=&t=on&showall=1&st=160 [magicteapot.com]

And last and not least, make certain to browse for the scene lists so you know what actual Strapon Lesbian scene you are looking for in an often dualistic video title. I myself prefer the Keri Windsor vs. Kiki Daire [adultbouncerhost.com] in "Carnal Coed Confessions Scene 4" or Keri Windsor vs. Eva Angelina [jansgalleries.com] , however a good amatueur lesbian tribulation scene (lesbians hopping in bed) [redtube.com] would do a better job.

Rarely does Nina Hartley ever make a good appearance, so I prefer when she is with a younger woman to dominate her [tube8.com] as the case may be several times [vidz.com]

On a side note, does anyone have any issues with downloading all the good shit when you're horny as fuck, but then after you jack-off 10 times in the toilette you then delete all 100MB of the good shit because you think you'll never do it again? I think your ol' doctor has problems himself, or he doesn't like the laws in relation to me getting caught with the data when I'm not horny and ashamed of it.

Until we meet later, be well.
Dr. Dean Adildo, MD, BS, DDS, WD40

Virtualbox? (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804799)

This works for me when I need to run Windows only applications (like SQL Server Management studio) or if I don't trust the odd error message I sometimes see using Wine (like the Watchguard firewall management interface). Just turn on VirtualBox's 'seemless' mode.

I suppose this is a last resort though - not a typical desktop activity for my regular productivity software.

Windows gives you the what? (4, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803619)

If one thing exited people

I don't think that phrase means what you think it means...

Re:Windows gives you the what? (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803657)

If one thing exited people

I don't think that phrase means what you think it means...

But the irony is delicious. A Freudian slip perhaps?

Re:Windows gives you the what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806441)

Somebody explain... was it ironic or just funny that he messed up that Simpsons "the ironing is delicious" quote???

Re:Windows gives you the what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804193)

Reminds me about that bash.org quote about quitting people from a channel--doesn't mean what you think it means

http://www.bash.org/?362137 [bash.org]

This is familiar.. (5, Funny)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803629)

It sounds like OS X with the OS 9 compatibility layer...

Except for the part where OS 9 wasn't better than OS X

Re:This is familiar.. (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804861)

Just for the record, both IBM OS/2 and Windows NT had VMs for backwards-compatibility. In fact Vistas still ships with the old school NTVDM, and Windows 7 probably will too.

I know that Mac users kinda missed the entire 1990s technology-wise, so this is worth posting. ;)

What's missing? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803643)

Did they really change enough to warrant something like this? What is Win7 lacking that prevents older applications from running?

Re:What's missing? (5, Interesting)

commlinx (1068272) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803709)

Did they really change enough to warrant something like this? What is Win7 lacking that prevents older applications from running?

When I moved to Vista x64 I created a few VMWare XP virtual machines and it did ease the pain of having a handful of applications that wouldn't run under Vista. It's probably not aimed so much at mainstream applications that will have any Windows 7 incompatibilities patched quickly, more at a few legacy niche applications that may otherwise prevent an enterprise from moving to Windows 7.

As another example I have a few USB device programmers and other electronics gear that are end of life so don't have Vista USB drivers, however they would have been expensive to replace so there's no way I would have moved to Vista without being able to use them under a VM.

Re:What's missing? (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804519)

Ya in general use, you find no problems. I'd place Vista 64-bit as having a compatibility between 99%-99.9% I've used all kinds of apps including engineering software, video editors, DAWs, game, compilers, and so on and nearly everything works without flaw. However there are apps that don't. Some can be fixed by hacking around with settings, though that is beyond many users, but some just flat out don't work. They are all old, of course, some of them are 16-bit apps (64-bit Windows doesn't have a compatibility layer for 16-bit).

So something like this is useful for the old apps that are still needed, but never getting upgraded. Hell at work (engineering department at a university) we have some computer that run DOSBox to run old DOS apps, because that's the only thing that controls a given piece of hardware.

While most apps get updated for current systems, not all do. In fact, not even all hardware does. For example if you search around, you can located modern motherboards, like Core 2 boards, with ISA slots. Now why the hell would you want that? I mean even PCI is now on the deprecation list. Well, because some companies in very specialized fields are stuck in the past. Our chip fab has that problem. They have equipment which only has an ISA interface to the computer and the company refuses to make a PCI one. Thus, it is either use an old computer, or buy a new board with ISA support.

So this XP layer is kinda like the ISA boards: Not needed for the majority of people out there (hence why it isn't in there by default) but available for those stubborn apps that won't update.

Re:What's missing? (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804965)

> I'd place Vista 64-bit as having a compatibility between 99%-99.9%

You must be joking. IÂtried Windows 7 Beta in 64bit, and I have a surprising amount of applications with 16bit installers around. Yes, they are a few years older, but they would still do the job, and still work, if it was not for the installer.

I know that Microsoft is doing some fudging by automatically replacing the installer binary with a 32bit version in recognised cases. But obviously that did not work for some applications, or I would not report this problem.

From this perspective, including XPM is probably not a bad idea. Although I fail to see why "the seamless integration between Windows 7 and XP proved confusing". Either it is seamless, or it confusing, hm?

Re:What's missing? (1)

headbulb (534102) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805493)

http://blogs.msdn.com/craigmcmurtry/archive/2004/12/14/301155.aspx [msdn.com]

16bit installers are detected and replaced with a 32bit installer.

See bottom of document #1

Re:What's missing? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806011)

That's a neat trick. I had a lot of trouble when first trying 64bit windows due to 16bit installers. Generally, I'd extract the installer manually if Winzip/Winrar would handle it, or I'd find another machine to start the installer and then find where it extracted to in the temp folder and copy that over. Of course, that was before I found Gentoo and left the world of windows (mostly) behind.

Re:What's missing? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806067)

Our chip fab has that problem. They have equipment which only has an ISA interface to the computer and the company refuses to make a PCI one. Thus, it is either use an old computer, or buy a new board with ISA support.

I've run into similar problems. Did you know there's multiple different types of PCI slots? They're differentiated by a divider in the slot itself, much as AGP 4x was differentiated from 8x. Most PCI cards are universal cards and most slots are the newer, 3.3v(?) kind.

VirtualBox (4, Interesting)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805581)

Several Vista users I know hate it so much they asked me to install VirtualBox [virtualbox.org] running XP - after they saw it running on my wife's Mac. (She only uses it because some sites use browser plugins not available for OS X - another effect of the monopoly).

Re:What's missing? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804317)

One of the problems people had when Vista came out was that MS dropped a lot of the old legacy APIs, this is why Windows 7 has the "XP Mode".

Re:What's missing? (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804879)

Can you tell us which documented "legacy APIs" aren't supported in Vista?

Because it seems that a well-written Win95 program will still run perfectly. Its the stuff that depended on undocumented APIs or bug-compatibility that has the problem.

Re:What's missing? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804597)

The ability to run 16 bit programs. Yes, there's still lots of them around.

The ability to provide read/write access to c:\Program Files\ and c:\Windows\ or whatever they are called in Windows 7.

Re:What's missing? (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804747)

The former you can possibly make a case for. Getting rid of the latter is one of the big reasons for Vista/Win7.

Eventually you will either have to transfer your app to a VM or rewrite it entirely. Especially if you're running a closed-source consumer OS on consumer equipment. Hardware and software advance, old equipment fails, and software suffers from 'bit rot'.

There are exceptions to the rule of obsolescence, but they're not relevant to a discussion on windows, and vice versa.

Re:What's missing? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806209)

The ability to run 16 bit programs. Yes, there's still lots of them around.

Is Win7 64bit only? It can't be, they're touting it for netbooks. Did they drop support for 16bit from the 32bit release? Back when I used Windows, this was an issue on XP64, but I only encountered 32bit apps that had 16 bit installers, and it sounds like they've got something special for this case.

The ability to provide read/write access to c:\Program Files\ and c:\Windows\ or whatever they are called in Windows 7.

Don't they just prompt you with the UAC as in Vista? Hell, Vista also has a overlay of program files in c:\users\[username]\appdata\ (or there abouts) so a program storing config information in c:\program files\[application]\ can be redirected to your user folder. Again, this doesn't sound like anything new to Win7 or anything that would require XP mode.

Re:What's missing? (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804859)

It's not what they changed but the non-sense application writers have done. realMyst is a great game but there were alot of fudges written into it so it barely functions in windows xp, Discworld 2 is anouther example and alot of game installers were written to an inordinate amount of information to a Win 9x registry which they can't do in Vista/7. Currently I use Virtual PC with a mix of Win98/WinXp virtual drives to play these older games.

Re:What's missing? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806245)

alot of game installers were written to an inordinate amount of information to a Win 9x registry which they can't do in Vista/7.

Can't you just right-click, run as administrator? Me thinks the registry isn't the problem, but I don't doubt something else is. I believe UAC prompts if something tries to write to someplace in the system.dat portion, so running as administrator shouldn't even be required.

Sounded like KDE 4.x! (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803653)

...Overall, the level of integration is excellent and Windows XP Mode showed strong potential. However, responsiveness of applications was sluggish and the seamless integration between Windows 7 and XP proved confusing...

I submit:

In the above quoted statement, substitute KDE 4.x for Windows 7 and KDE 3.5 for Windows XP. It still makes sense.

Ironic to say the least.

Re:Sounded like KDE 4.x! (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804739)

Well, KDE 4 with Qt 4 is installed to my OS X, running as native application, using OS X frameworks although it needs some testing. I suspect it is same deal on KDE/4 Windows too.

OS X one: http://pdb.finkproject.org/pdb/browse.php?summary=kde4 [finkproject.org]

KDE 4 has made such a revolution with possible future of running in embedded systems, phones and anything you can imagine. What did Vista or 7 achieve?

Re:Sounded like KDE 4.x! (1)

pizzap (1253052) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804873)

I submit:

In the above quoted statement, substitute KDE 4.x for Windows 7 and KDE 3.5 for Windows XP. It still makes sense.

Ironic to say the least.

He,

Windows always looked a lot like KDE.

What I find disturbing... (4, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803661)

I find it disturbing that people could become become acclimated enough to Vista's horrendous interface that XP is somehow confusing.

Re:What I find disturbing... (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803669)

s/become become/become

Hey, it's 0100 EST, and I've been coding for ten hours straight :).

Re:What I find disturbing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804431)

Hey, why are you posting to Slashdot, then?

Get back to work you slacker!

Re:What I find disturbing... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804843)

I find it more disturbing that a feature 'found in windows Vista or windows 7' has been around in XP the entire time and peopple are just NOW noticing it (left-click the 'remove hardware' icon in the taskbar when you have something plugged into USB.)

It's sad how ignorant most people are, that they're shown something very old as if it were something new and they go "oooh, shiny!"

Re:What I find disturbing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27805825)

Isn't this what Apple makes a living from?

I wish I could run Ubuntu 9.04 in 8.10 mode. (2, Interesting)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803679)

Then I could watch YouTube in fullscreen. Maybe this could be a way of solving legacy code problems. Why make a new OS backward compatible when you can completely scrap old code. Use a virtual OS for backward compatibility.

you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27803827)

Use VLC with all the goodies and get the flashload extension [flashload.net] for FF. Saved copy if you want it for timeshifting purposes of course, and fullscreen if you want it. Adjustable aspect ratio, all that stuff. Have vids YOUR way, not THEIR way.

Re:I wish I could run Ubuntu 9.04 in 8.10 mode. (3, Informative)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803937)

"sudo aptitude install virtualbox-ose"

Install 8.10 and the guest additions, enable seamless mode, boom, it's the exact same thing Microsoft is doing with Windows XP on Windows 7

Re:I wish I could run Ubuntu 9.04 in 8.10 mode. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804017)

Why can't you watch Youtube in Fullscreen? I just tried it, and it worked fine?

I must not understand what they're trying to do (1)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803697)

Couldn't you just run it in a vm?

Re:I must not understand what they're trying to do (2, Informative)

zxjio (1475207) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803875)

This is a VM integrated graphically into the Win7 GUI. FTA: "Most of the features called Windows XP Mode are really features of the new Windows Virtual PC." Their "virtual application support" for the top Win7 editions just makes it more convenient.

Re:I must not understand what they're trying to do (2, Interesting)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803889)

Did you even read the article?

Re:I must not understand what they're trying to do (2, Funny)

Windowser (191974) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804289)

Did you even read the article?

You mean, we are supposed to read it ?

Re:I must not understand what they're trying to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27805069)

I see that I am replying to a comment. Since the /. forums are write-only, however, I don't actually have anything meaningful to say. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, are we supposed to read it?

Greed makes you do stupid things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27803767)

I predict something that will stop being patched against vulnerabilities in 2010.

Oh wait, it's already been announced for XP.
Looks like there will be a major increase in costs for new chairs at Microsoft. /me ducks

You know it's bad when (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803799)

The feature your customer base is most excited about in your new product is that it can run the years old version nearly as well as the old version would run on the bare hardware (if they could get a license for that).

Licensing problems with XP? (2, Interesting)

hoarier (1545701) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804025)

So skip it and go straight to Win2k. No "authentication" nonsense with that.

Re:You know it's bad when (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804429)

The feature your customer base is most excited about in your new product is that it can run the years old version nearly as well as the old version would run on the bare hardware (if they could get a license for that).

Aw, c'mon. The reason why this gets so much attention these days is that it was a new, previously unannounced feature, with long-reaching consequences. Everything else we already saw in the beta several months ago (and, in case you missed the reviews back then, they were mostly quite excited, too).

Re:You know it's bad when (1)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804447)

When the reality is you want to upgrade, but one stupid old app you use once a month is keeping you from doing it, it's a really good feature. Whether we like it or not, xp is going by the wayside. Already some newer hardware does not have xp drivers, and even more does not have vendor supported xp drivers. Not to mention, there really is some tech in Vista, and more coming in 7, to be excited about in a business enviroment. The problem until now for many enviroments has been the migration path has been taken from being a difficult task to a nigh-impossible task due to 1 or 2 legacy apps that have no replacement, and no active maintainers. This tool potentially makes the path just "difficult" again. Businesses still are not gonna run out and buy 7 upgrades for their existing machines, but as new machines come in something like this will make them a lot less hesitant.

Re:You know it's bad when (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805925)

I'm not claiming XPM is a bad feature, just the opposite. It seems it is the best feature of the new OS. I can imagine smoother ways they could do that, but at least they provided something to address the large legacy software base.

I'm not even claiming that Windows 7 isn't a step up from XP, just that it's not what the customer base is clamoring for.

Re:You know it's bad when (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804811)

Of course, XPM is free with windows 7 professional upwards - and ironically, it's the one of the few ways to get a new XP licence unless you're buying a netbook or downgrading vista licences.

I dunno about you, but installing XP on new standalone hardware (using our legacy VLK licences) is a royal pain in the bum these days. Needing a floppy disk to install the SATA drivers, or patching the OS ISO, futzing around trying to find compatible sound card drivers, wireless network card drivers, the multitude of patches (thank $deity for SP3 rollup, it was getting rediculous post-patching SP2 even with WSUS).

You'd be amazed how many people are stuck on XP because of one or two legacy specialist apps that haven't been updated in forever, and simply won't run on a more modern OS. Giving people a simple way to still run them for no additional cost really will be useful to break with the past, and move forwards. When was the last time you tried running an 8 year old version of a linux distro or OSX on modern hardware?

Sure, some people prefer XP, or windows 2000. Fair enough. Me, I like 64-bit support and having more than 4GB of RAM, so XP simply doesn't cut it any more (XP64 is an utter abomination). Vista 64 is ok, but windows 7 beta and RC are simply better. Free virtualisation, plus a free copy of XP is a hell of a better deal than vmware workstation, which doesn't run on windows 7 yet anyway. Virtual PC works for OSes other than the bundled XP, btw - I've been testing it, and you can have multiple different VMs too, including linux.

Re:You know it's bad when (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806261)

Agreed, installing an old OS on arbitrary new hardware ranges from difficult to nearly imposable. If for some reason I actually had to run something like Radhat 9 today, I'd even adopt a similar strategy and install it in qemu.

XPM is a good feature. The problem for MS is that while they would like their customer base to be excited about the other features of Windows 7 and then happy that XPM removed the obstacles to upgrading, instead, they're just relieved about XPM and luke-warm about the rest of Windows 7.

I really get the sense that what the customers really want (that MS could but won't give them) is XP SP4 with drivers for the latest hardware. I'm not saying that's the right choice overall, just that that's what they would choose.

games ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27803919)

can it virtualize the GPU or use one GPU for the XP VM and the other for XP ?
if so, it would be a killer app. snapshots, rollbacks, images for xp games machines. awesome.

Re:games ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804321)

My understanding is that it's based on the seamless remote desktop originally designed so that remote running applications on a central server could seamlessly be available to users locally.

If so, then performance of games would be as good as 'via remote desktop on a reallllly fast LAN' - in other words, no.

Re:games ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27805875)

Yes, you are correct; no usage of acceleration or 3D. It works over RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol); in fact you must be a member of the "Remote Desktop Users" group (or an administrator) on the XP machine in order to use it.

Microsoft = Awkward & Confusing Integration (3, Interesting)

uberzip (959899) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803925)

I actually tend to like Windows and other Microsoft products but for some reason whenever they have to make a change for security or try to integrate something new, they seem to do so in a completely confusing way. For instance, could the extra security on IE 6&7 for allowing active x controls be any worse? What about the macro warning on basically any useful Access DB? It wouldn't surprise me if the XP compatibility feature in Win 7 is indeed a confusing mess. My theory is that they design this stuff by committee rather than having one smart person architect the stupid stuff. Thus, interface and process design gets convoluted and confusing. Ok, so this is all still in beta but it often surprises me why a lot of this stuff gets to public beta before people notice the confusion. I think the UAC was a good example of this... it should have never got out the door in its initial state.

Wine on Win7? (2, Interesting)

skiminki (1546281) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803935)

I was just thinking that occasionally Linux runs Windows applications better than Windows. So, could I use Wine on Windows 7 and forget all about that VM hassle and sluggishness?

Word I Heard (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#27803949)

Word I heard is that because PCs can't virtualize devices that an XP VM under W7 will run like crap - although on AMD processors it will be a little less like crap due to better memory virtualization than Intel yet has.

Re:Word I Heard (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804047)

Word I heard is that because PCs can't virtualize devices that an XP VM under W7 will run like crap - although on AMD processors it will be a little less like crap due to better memory virtualization than Intel yet has.

This is especially a problem if you try to run a 3D game on a modern GPU under XP VM.

Re:Word I Heard (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27805477)

It's not designed to run 3D games. I read the article that the OP is referring to in his "the word I heard" comment. The problem isn't what XP mode can't do, the problem is that the person who wrote the article wanted XP mode to be a fully functioning XP install hiding behind his Windows 7 install that can do anything his old PC could do. It's not, and it's not intended to be.

Windows XP mode is basically the Windows 7 version of Vista Enterprise Centralised Desktop (VECD) that was released a few weeks back. It is intended to provide a layer of compatibility for legacy business applications to help drive adoption of Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft built it because there are a large number of legacy business apps that simply won't work with the Windows Vista/7 model, and that was a major factor in slowing business adoption.

When Vista was first released Microsoft included licenses to run virtual copies of Windows with the Enterprise/Ultimate versions of the OS so that legacy applications could still be run via VirtualPC when the host machine was upgraded to Vista. Apparently that was too confusing for some people, so they tried to create a more seamless integration of VirtualPC with VECD/XP Mode, so now applications are presented in a similar fashion to Terminal Services RemoteApp or Citrix sessions. That's it.

i just got off the toilet (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27803959)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

legacy(?) windows (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804033)

If you can't run programs designed for Windows XP and earlier natively on Windows 7 and the use of the XP emulator mode required to run those programs, is Microsoft moving away from the native backwards compatible philosophy they have maintained for Windows(?) so far.

That's what it looks like or am I missing something, I didn't bother with Vista and I haven't tried Windows 7.

This does not go far enough... see apple (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804361)

MS needs to kill backwards compatibility and start over on windows.

Windows 8 should (IMO) only run managed code. All apps would be written in .net (be it C# or C++.NET) and have only the .net API to work with. Anything that needs to be added to that API could be added quickly.

Backwards compat would be handled like this, with a W7 (or maybe even just XP) VM with a seamless mode on.

-No more registry
-no more unmanaged code (and thus security issues, which MS will NEVER solve)
-no more 15 versions of the 20 year old API to support

Treat the next windows like apple did OSX.

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804417)

MS needs to kill backwards compatibility and start over on windows.

True.

But backwards compatibility is the only real reason why people buy Windows, so by killing compatibility for technical reasons, they'd kill the commercial reason for using Windows.

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (4, Interesting)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804565)

So MS should do a total rewrite of Windows? Oh yeah, theres no chance that would turn into a massive boondoggle, the software development version of a giant pit you shovel money into and never get anything out of.

While I agree theres definitely a ton of legacy crap to be thrown out, it works. While I'm sure the programmers will be happy, a total rewrite means throwing away a decade of lessons learned the hard way.

Apple had a lot of advantages in their situation that MS does not. For one thing, they controlled all the hardware. This meant no massive effort to get drivers made for an os that is still years away.
The mac development community was much smaller, tighter knit, and connected with Apple then Window's has ever been. They supported it because Mac OS X would bring a lot of things missing in 9 that caused them a ton of headaches. There was very little in the way of custom in-house apps written for Mac, because there was very little corporate mac use period.

Finally, and perhaps the biggest, was the fact that for most users, their experience with the new OS would be on new hardware, at a time when hardware was improving at break neck speeds. There is a much bigger difference to the end user between a 200 mhz processor and a 400 mhz processor then a 2 ghz and 4 ghz.

The PC world and the Mac world are different. Apple firmly leads the Mac world. Microsoft is the big dog of the pc world but as Vista has shown, it has limits. Backwards compatibility is one of their biggest selling points. Windows works, its not alway pretty, but it works. Tossing out something that works to start over is the quick path to having nothing at all.

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804673)

There's just one problem with that idea : there are two reasons why MS still dominates, one of them is that people don't want to drop it because it runs every programs they ever needed. Kill backwards compatibility and suddenly it's no more an extra burden to move over to an alternative. In such a scenario it would be an opportunity for anyone else to attack and make people switch.

By the way, in my mind there is something seriously lacking in the OS market. Very basically, you have the declining commercial giant, Windows, the distant (in that it works on specific machines only) alternative in Mac OS X, and the free alternative(s) in Linux/Ubuntu. In my mind the OS market lacks a sharp teethed who would push yet another commercial OS to replace Windows and who'd be aggressive about trying to push Microsoft down the hill and take its place.

The Windows giant is weakening and all you have to help it fall is the "here have my OS for free" Linux guys and the "sell your $200 computer and buy our $1,500 computers instead" Apple guys. There's definitely something missing here, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a challenger appear within the next 5 years.

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805085)

A real challenger wont appear because above all else its DRIVERS DRIVERS DRIVERS.

What the hell am I going to do with an OS that doesnt support any of my shit? This is the real reason that Vista never took off. While lots of new hardware has Vista drivers, theres still plenty of old hardware. I wouldn't install Vista on some of my machines even if it was free because of it.

Linux is in the same boat. Open Source can't solve this problem, either.

The only real contender is Apple, because of the very few drivers actualy needed, but that is not exactly a selling point for I would ask the same question again: What the hell am I going to do with an OS that doesn't support any of my shit?

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805121)

You're right, I think that answers my question. Unless... could an hypothetical contender make his OS compatible with XP drivers? The way I see it, an aggressive challenger set out to eat Microsoft's piece of the pie would try to succeed where Microsoft is failing on the backwards compatibility by supporting stuff the hard way, i.e. a better "XP mode" based on a better VM than Virtual PC (not that hard) or even Wine, some compatibility layer with Windows drivers and so forth, until it beats Microsoft at being Windows, both by being a better OS, by being fundamentally unrelated and therefore "fix" the virus problem and by supporting the old stuff that everyone cares about not through legacy code but through virtualisation, emulation, compatibility layers..

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (1)

notseamus (1295248) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804851)

I might be wrong, but wasn't Windows 7 supposed to be that total rewrite of Windows that was needed?

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804913)

>MS needs to kill backwards compatibility and start over on windows. BTDT. Its a stealth corporate project. It's called, "Linux." Not even the insiders know...

Re:This does not go far enough... see apple (0, Troll)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805649)

firstly, you'll have problems if they did that as a lot (ie nearly all) of the .NET framework is a managed wrapper over the underlying, native, Win32 or COM code that already exists. You didn't think .NET was completely new and 100% 'pure' managed did you? How naive.

Most of MS security issues are architectural, ie design issues, that will not be solved by a rewrite in .NET, you'd still have stuff like conficker or smiley central replacing icons and allowing the user to unwittingly run the virus app.

As for 'anything that needs to be added could be added quickly', lol. When would that be? service pack 1? how about a Windows update patch - you'd never be able to release anything unless all your target computers were fully patched to the absolute latest version, but even then you occasionally find updates that are not installed because they break existing things (eg many corporates still run IE6 because of broken apps on IE7).

No, if you want a brand new, completely fresh OS to work with that doesn't suffer from nearly as much "legacy crap", then you want a Mac or Linux. Sorry, but you'd get better results that way, MS releasing a .NET onyl version of Windows would be so broken (and require so much RAM and CPU) that it'd destroy their established market base.

OS/2 for NT, round two. (2, Interesting)

os2fan (254461) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804445)

I think it's another re-run of OS/2 1,x PM virtualisation under NT 4. When you install this package, the program launcher still lives in the host system, and any commands to start an application visits the host, and then switches to the virtualisation.

Compare OS/2's virtualisation of Windows 3.x. OS/2 still launches the app, but it does not do a graphic repaint of the current host screen to do this.

Not made for games (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804613)

XP mode is for use of internal apps, NOT games. That is why it is shipping with the business line.

Re:Not made for games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806533)

XP mode is for use of internal apps, NOT games. That is why it is shipping with the business line.

Then what is for games? Is it "Too bad, so sad; the publisher should have become a bigger company so that it could qualify for an Xbox license"?

Re:Not made for games (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806677)

Then what is for games?

An instance of a VMware machine with XP installed on it. If you have even a year old dual core box it'll still be stupidly fast. If you don't have a computer that good, go buy a new computer, you cheapskate.

Keep the real thing in small space (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804707)

If I purchased a brand new OS from MS, my only reason for running a old OS virtualised would be updating firmware of my device (e.g. via USB2), using my USB2 gadgets which has no support for Windows 7 yet and so on.

Virtual PC's big issue on OS X and Windows is, it is not supporting USB 2 and doesn't give a "pure" USB 1.1 support either. So, if you have something that needs Windows and healthy USB support or USB 2 support, you are out of luck. Virtual PC 7 for OS X does emulate the x86/MMX same time but I was really surprised when I heard its x86 version (freeware btw) doesn't support either.

Having USB supported claim is one thing, having USB2 supported just like the real PC is another. Ask Intel Mac users who tried to use Blackberry software on Sun Virtual Box. It can't handle weird things Blackberry does with USB so everything goes crazy. No data loss though and it is a reported issue (hopefully fixed). Nokia Software update (for firmware updates) has problems with virtual machines too, not sure about Sony Ericsson weird stuff that can't run reliably on a real PC even :)

I suggest keep a real (and conservative, no betas, hacks) XP on D: , sparing 15 GB partition to it and use Windows 7 as main partition. You may also have advantages as you can "fix" Windows 7 disk issues, config issues, files from XP side. It is the exact thing I do on Mac, I always keep previous major version (without hacks) in a very conservative sized partition just in case.

Re:Keep the real thing in small space (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805683)

I suggest keep a real (and conservative, no betas, hacks) XP on D: , sparing 15 GB partition to it and use Windows 7 as main partition.

Why don't we have hypervisors of some kind or a BIOS that would let both OS's run simultaneously, essentially on the bare metal, and allow switching back and forth? (I'm sure there are technical problems I'm unaware of that make this impracticable; but given a machine with enough memory, why couldn't someone do it?)

My solution is a KVM switch and two boxes with different OSs.

Linux + VirtualBox (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804925)

is a good combination for running anything windows, it seems to rein in the evilness that microsoft put in to windows. it basically reduced windows from being an OS that wont play nice with other OSs to just an app that is owned by Linux & VBox...

+1 (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805609)

Until we can eliminate Windows entirely.

The killer (and necessary) feature here would be VirtualBox snapshots: When your Windows install gets taken over by malware, just revert to a clean snapshot.

Reccomended for masochists everywhere! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27804937)

FTA:

"The seamless integration can be confusing. Even when running underneath a virtual application, the XP instance can launch dialogs and notifications in Windows 7, and it may not be obvious that they come from the VM rather than the host. One example is our old friend Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications, which popped up when I started Access 2000."

Ahhh...running XP within Windows 7 and getting WGA notifications. So much more painful than banging nails into your dick...

mixed opinion of the reviewer's intelligence (2, Interesting)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#27804939)

He has a 3 GB RAM machine, and left the VM size at 256 MB. I was getting sluggishness at work with XP installed in 512 MB VMware VM's. Even minimalist and cheapo netbooks come with 1 GB minimum, to properly run XP (and Home edition, at that). Try installing XP (SP3) and Word on an actual PC with only 256 MB of RAM, and then load them up and I'll bet it's sluggish as well.

Re:mixed opinion of the reviewer's intelligence (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#27805677)

Untrue, and I have an anecdote to back that up. A user brought in an old Pentium-233 laptop with 160MB of RAM. The laptop ran WinXP (forget which SP, but this was before 3) and Office 2003, and it was actually really fast. Word would launch in about 3 seconds from a fresh reboot. Excel was similarly fast.

I'm certain the difference was that /nothing/ was running, especially no anti-virus (and no viruses either).

So 256MB of RAM should be plenty for just one app at a time under XP, if you don't have any background crap running.

I replaced XP. YMMV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27806571)

I've been using the betas for a while now and have had no griefs. The reason for the upgrade was simple, I built a new pc, it needed to be able to use more than 4gb of ram.

I use the x64 version of win7, and I have personally not had any problems with any of my old applications, or games. I've never bothered with compatibility mode. I just run the apps and games, and they run.

The interface like the control panel and how you do networking for example I do not like, and having to manually re-enable the quick launch on the taskbar was annoying.

Other than that, I like it. It replaced my XP install. The only hardware I have that doesn't pick up automatically is an old webcam. No loss.

I mostly use this pc for games, old games, new games, and so far everything I've thrown at it has played. Games that would sometimes have problems with dual core systems in XP actually run correctly without need to change affinity manually. Such as unreal engine 2.x games like Postal 2, and so on. So far the only problem with this is Windows 7 not picking up my legit STALKER DVD, so I have to use a crack for a game I paid for. I usually do that anyways so no big deal.

I never thought I would like it, I figured it would be prone to crashing and just a vista service pack. I disabled UAC and have had no problems since.

I personally plan on using the betas until the official version comes out, which I will pirate.
Why lie? It's not like I paid for XP either.

Oh, and I don't work for Microsoft. I just was pleased with how well everything worked for me.
*ducks*

YMMV.

answer this question (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 4 years ago | (#27806743)

why does windows 7 have a compatibility mode setting for vista service pack 2 also?

I thought SP2 wasn't out yet.

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