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

Thank you!

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

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

CNET Reviews Windows XP Beta 2

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the blue-screens-everywhere dept.

Microsoft 591

Imran wrote: "CNET has an in-depth review of Windows XP's second beta release, with focus on performance, stability, and the new Mac OS-ish interface. Lots of screenshots, too."

cancel ×


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

Re:Dumbing it down.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340434)

I'd rather kill IE 6 for linux

Q. Why would an operating system need 3 gigs of hd (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340435)

A. Because it's imitating MacOS!

ba-dump-bump ching!

...but seriously, folks...

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340436)

Anyone with access to the machine can just pull the plug. Big fuckin deal.

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340437)

Would you rather they just unplugged the computer?

Take a look at kde2.1 and konqueror (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340438)

As long as you do not install excessive x-windows fonts, kde2.1 looks real nice. Also konqueror is equal to IE 4. It supports java and javascript and css. The font issue has been worked out with kde 2.1 and many apps like kdevelopment 1.4 and konqueror look very similiar to windows xp when you first use them. ALso kde 2.1 supports anti-aliased fonts with qt 2.4 right out of the box. Its crisp and clear and sweet. It takes more ram but I have 200 megs of it so I did not notice. :-)

However I was told that windows2000 halts and grinds and swaps like mad wiht only 256 megs. Who would of thought just a few years ago that a half a gig of ram would be needed just to run a consumer OS. I remember an old windows95 joke. Q.)Why did ms call windows95, 95? A.) because it took a whole 95 megs of hard drive space!

While this joke is not funny anymore the point that 95 megs of hd space being too big and now mroe ram is required fo w2k then entire hd space then its predecessor is quite amazing.

Anyway try taking a look. Its a littel cutsey and bright but kde2.1 is very modern and light years ahead of gnome.

Re:Automatic Update is a feature? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340445)

I think you're letting your paranoia run away with you. Do you seriously believe MS with 24 billion cash in the bank would bother to chase you down and make you give them a couple hundred dollars for a legal copy of Windows ? I seriously doubt it.

MS has always been and if they stay on track always will place a higher priority on the proliferation of their software over making money on every copy of it.

All actions I've seen MS take to prosecute software pirates have been against people reproducing it and selling it on mass. People who've copied it to learn its features are never going to be persecuted by MS as they are their foot soldiers carrying it into the front lines in the work place.

I think your mistake is that you believe MS is as short sighted as yourself.

The broadening gap. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340446)

I've always had a use for windows despite my Linux leanings. Alway those need to have apps that required booting up into win95 and recently win98. But the other day, I was on irc and somebody mentioned windows XP. And I didn't even know what it was! And even more recently I watched debate over the NET thing and couldn't help but sense that I'd been drifting away from something, since I've not looked into NET that much either. I really don't have an /active/ dislike for MS products. I've just been too busy with Linux to spare much time looking into the other half of the computer world.

Microsoft has been busily 'redefining' things and taking all their followers with them. Meanwhile others like me are drifting someplace else. I make no claim as to which group is drifting in the more appropriate direction, just that the distance is increasing. I get the feeling that when the NET applications begin to come around, that this distance will be something that is a pointed aspect of one's chosen OS. Keep in mind I have no intention of saying what is good or what is bad in this case. Just that there is an irreconsilable gap that is growing that will play a part in all of our futures. I think it's safe to say that Microsoft is the cause of this. They are trying to distance themselves from Linux and it's working. It's as if they're demanding a person to choose one camp or the other. I mean, you're either doing NET with microsoft or not doing it at all!

They're gonna split the world right down the middle. Hard to say just exactly what the impact is gonna be but I can't help but think it's gonna happen. They're embracing and extending to whoever listens. How much effort should the linux world devote to trying to stay compatible with Microsoft? Perhaps that depends on the quality of their endeavors. But if it's just some business game they're playing it seems a waste. A waste of their time and everyone elses.

Holy F*CK (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#340447)

2GB hard drive space? 128Meg RAM minimum? What are they trying to run here, Nautilus (rimshot)

Seriously though, is this the 'future' of software? Bloatware? Where will this leave users with yesterdays computers? Oh [] right.. []

My biggest gripe tho is the 2GB they talk about needed. The biggest, baddest install of Debian I can come up with is smaller then that, and we're talking about enough development tools and libraries to recompile the kernel, the display server, the UI... I don't even want to think how big Visual Studio XP will be. Save me!!!

Wait a second... (2)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#340456)

The *new* Mac-OSish interface?

Gosh, where have I been?
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

how will the firewall effect P2P? (3)

Sanity (1431) | more than 13 years ago | (#340469)

I note that there is now a built-in firewall, I wonder what this will mean for P2P applications such as Napster, Gnutella, and Freenet. Will this application permit incoming connections? Will software producers need to get "authorized" by Microsoft to allow the application through the firewall? What does this mean for free software on Windows?


Re:XP will be skinnable (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#340481)

Yes it will, however the skins have to be digital signed by microsoft before you can use them...

Actually... (1)

Bake (2609) | more than 13 years ago | (#340486)

If I try to eject the CD in Linux when it's mounted it won't eject. And that's the way it's been since I started using Linux some 5 years ago.

UI (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 13 years ago | (#340498)

Linux, by contrast, has much more stable UIs.

I was with you until this point. Sure Linux has much more stable UI if you are talking about the command line. But when it comes to GUI, well... let's just not even go there. It would have made a lot more sense if you compared it to MacOS, which has had consistent GUI for a looooong time. But I'm sure Mac fans will be happy to point that out.

Re:Mac OS-ish (2)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 13 years ago | (#340523)

You'd think so, considering all of the bloody hell that Apple screams when someone creates an interface that even resembles Aqua.

(Note: Aqua may be a word meaning water, but it's still a trademark of Apple Computer Corp. Hell, so is "Apple" for that matter.)

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

everything new is.. new again? (1)

banky (9941) | more than 13 years ago | (#340528)

Once upon a time, there was an old joke: "Windows 95 is MacOS '84". Seems like they once again grabbed MacOS features:
1. The login dialog with all users listed. I sure hope that in a large network, it'll just show the logon name box.
2. The big-ass icons. OSX, anyone?
3. Big, bright, lots of pretty colors. Granted, this isn't a Mac thing per se, but Macs (IMHO) have always been more colorful, ahead of the rather drab PC world.

I'm glad MS finally realized that their interface, while common and consistent, isn't the best. Still, I can't help but think they're just ripping off what has come before them and "innovating" it. YMMV.

Re:Man.. that was way harsh. (2)

banky (9941) | more than 13 years ago | (#340529)

OK, fine, I'll bite.

My girlfriend and I both have Dell Inspiron 5000's. Both came pre-equipped with W2k. I nuked it and loaded up Mandrake 7.2.

Once, while playing Hoyle's Card Games, she bumped the CDROM eject button. It ejected. The game hung. The OS hung. She had to reboot (hold down the power button, etc).

Once, while hurriedly opening and closing Word documents, her mouse pointer disappeared. Gone. Poof! OK, fine; "Hit alt-f4, honey, and close Word down." No dice. Hmmm. "Hit the Windows key, honey, see if it comes up." Came up blank. Hmm. "Ctrl-alt-delete?" Now she was pissed at *me*, like I was causing all this. We eventually got it to reboot.

Another time she suspended, and it woke up, started to come back to life, and then just froze.

Mine runs like a dream. I note that XFree86 4.0.2 seems to really detest suspend mode, but that's no real bother for me most of time.

W2k is more stable than NT4, but its not perfect. In fact, its just starting to get usable, and I fear that all this new crap will hurt more than help.

IE for Linux (2)

Mooset (9986) | more than 13 years ago | (#340530)

Microsoft makes IE 5 for Solaris (6 is on the way). You can put a Solaris machine on your network (the OS is free now and old Sun hardware is easy to find) and have IE in Linux via X11. A great way to impress your friends.

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 13 years ago | (#340536)

Windows XP is meant for the home user, so it doesn't have to have the same multiuser capabilites that Linux or other UNIX'es do.

All a home user really needs is a separation of the user folders (like email folders, documents etc), and this has been supported at least since Win98, because most likely, no more than one person will be logged into a system anyways.

Also, even a non-root can shut down a Linux box. Ctrl-Alt-Del will reboot my Linux system as a user. And with GNOME ( and perhaps KDE?), there is a menu option to shutdown as user. (Yes, it can be disabled, but dists. like RedHat and Debian turns this feature on by default).

Re:Holy F*CK (1)

billybob (18401) | more than 13 years ago | (#340562)

a couple of MONTHS ago, you bought a 10 gig for 140??? you got ripped off. last month i bought an IBM 40 gig harddrive for 110. You point still holds that 2 (or 3) gigs isnt that much based upon how much harddrive space you can get these days for so cheap. 3 gigs still seems extreme though. OSX, with all the developer tools, is only about 1.5 gigs.

Shutting down - foulup central. (3)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 13 years ago | (#340568)

I notice on the screenshot for the login page [] two things:
(1) The number of running apps that some users have open, including the Administrator.
(2) A button to shut the machine down.

Does this mean that non root^H^H^H^HAdministrator users can shut down higher privaleged (sp) programs? And services? All this time after the original release of NT (1994?) do Microsoft still not understand multi user OS's?


Re:MacOS-ish Interface...Uh-huh (1)

miahrogers (34176) | more than 13 years ago | (#340583)

Aqua is a very good UI. Have you used it? Apple is making strides once again, of course there are problems, for example animation is annoying when you're trying to run effects on 600 meg audio files and it's slow.

I have been using osX intensely since the Public Beta, and I have used OSX PB, OSX build 4K17, and Build 4k78 (the final version). It has steadily improved. Apple has produced an operating system of the future, and it can do things with graphics that would amaze you. Under normal conditions the Aqua interface is incredibly fast and responsive, and quick to navigate.

I also don't know what you're talking about with people saying the osX cds were fake.. I think some people were surprised that apple left the build id (4K78) in the "about this computer" Window. Some people thought apple mistakenly shipped two versions, but that is far from shipping a "fake" osX.

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

I_redwolf (51890) | more than 13 years ago | (#340609)

So what? I've been able to do the same such things with Xwindows for like 10 yrs now.. What's your point?

Re:skins (2)

micahjd (54824) | more than 13 years ago | (#340612)

that new interface looks like a skin to me... and yet Microsoft still hasn't thought of a skinnable UI

There must be some reason they don't include a customizable UI. I know it's not a hard thing to do. I'm the author of the Open Source GUI PicoGUI [] and it must have taken about 1000 lines of C to write a fast theme interpreter. Maybe they just don't like giving people choices? Or maybe they want Windows to have a distinct look so they can target their advertising to it and make people upgrade to make their desktop pretty.

Oh well. I like enlightenment :)

Re:skins (2)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 13 years ago | (#340615)

In fact, the design and method MS is using to implement "skinning" has caused some concern in the community of various commercial and open-source Windows shell replacements. There was recently a thread on the Litestep [] mailing list about some of the contortions that will now be required to do what was previously a simple modification to the registry (or .ini files for the 9x OS versions) to replace the explorer.exe shell.

Sure you can still skin windows but with XP MS is apparently moving towards requiring the explorer.exe shell in order to do so.. thus leaving the user without a choice again. Well, a choice dependent on the terms and whims of MS. And explorer.exe is notoriously bloated and slow, especially in comparison to the Litestep shell (which is a shell based upon module loading in essence)

I don't see this as a good thing.

I would highly recommend to those who still use Windows at all to investigate some of the various shell replacements [] out there. I avoided Windows like the plague after becoming used to how *nix will allow me to setup a shell to work the way I want to work and not the other way around. Litestep in particular is the only reason I have MS on one of my boxes, it's that sweet.

Plus I still get a kick out of people asking me how I managed to get Office working in Linux. :)

Oh yeah...Activation.... (3)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 13 years ago | (#340617)

The current builds have to be activated, just like a retail copy. When I've done the activation is has been quick and easy. If you don't have an Internet connection you have to call...but since mine are connected I just do it over the internet.

Also, there is a difference between activation and registration. Registration is optional...that's where you fill out the form and send them info about you and your system. If you do not activate the system it will start warning you in a week. If time runs out the system won't be useable until you do activate it.

Dumbing it down.... (5)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 13 years ago | (#340618)

I've been using the beta of XP, and so far it has been stable...especially for a beta. The interface takes some getting used to, and frankly, I find it a little too cutesy. Also, they have dumbed down a lot of the file options so that a user will have to try and delete important things. So, you have to spend the first 15 mins after an install turning off these self-protection options.

Games have been working fine.... IE6 is nice (I'd kill for IE under Linux).... The install was easy.... And the stability is there.

Man.. that was way harsh. (3)

citizenc (60589) | more than 13 years ago | (#340619)

I'm sure your post won't be the first -- I don't understand why everybody keeps slagging on MS. I'm currently running Windows 2000 Server as my webserver in the corner of my room; it runs Apache, an FTPdaemon, and ActivePerl, and has had an uptime of almost 3 months, completely error free.

I'm getting really tired of people just blindly assuming that Microsoft is going to turn out a poor piece of software. Have you even RUN Windows 2000? It is the most stable operating system I have ever seen, and yes, I've run Linux as well.

This isn't flame bait, or a troll, or anything else -- it is simply my opinion.


Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (2)

be-fan (61476) | more than 13 years ago | (#340620)

Running Windows XP? Home edition? Not everything is a *NIX server folks.

I really loved... (1)

Chris Brewer (66818) | more than 13 years ago | (#340622)

The screenshots of the dialog boxes (I assume that's what they are) with the white text on the slightly off-white background. Good one cnet/MS...

Or is this just 'disabled' items because they haven't implemented them yet...


Re:Automatic Update is a feature? (1)

CmdData (68013) | more than 13 years ago | (#340625)

Well we wouldn't want people to steal something that they have not paid for. The MS programmers need to receive payment to take care of their families and if you steal the software that they make you are going to hurt them in the long run. This is one reason why MS takes precautions to keep theft at a minimum.

Tell me whether Windows XP is stable and secure! (1)

n3bulous (72591) | more than 13 years ago | (#340640)

This is the name of the link to take you from page n-1 to n. The last page doesn't say anything about XP being secure, so I guess we all know what to expect!

Preinstalled, ideally. (1)

friode (79255) | more than 13 years ago | (#340645)

Microsoft says you'll have the best experience only if you buy a brand-new system with XP preinstalled.

Of course you will. Then you don't get to find out how difficult* windows is to install from scratch.

* About as difficult** as Debian, in case you were wondering.

** That is to say, practially impossible if you don't know what you're doing, difficult if you think you know what you're doing, and an absolute piece of cake*** if you've done it before.

*** Until you hit hardware conflicts or crappy drivers, then you're toast.

The new empire's foot soldiers.. (1)

T.Hobbes (101603) | more than 13 years ago | (#340683)

from the article:

The new software plays DVDs and also rips CD audio into well-compressed WMA files (a proprietary format that combines good sound quality with smaller file sizes than MP3).

And I'm sure microsoft will be as open with their wma format as the mp3 format was.

Re:Automatic Update is a feature? (2)

Benley (102665) | more than 13 years ago | (#340685)

It even goes beyond that. In order to even use the system *at all* for more than 14 days, you must "activate" the system with Microsoft. You can generate a key with any number of keygens, but if it isn't one that MS's servers like, they won't let you run their OS.

It sucks, but that's what they are up to. The goal, I suppose, is to stop people from casually warez-ing their operating system. I fully expect Office 10 to be this way, as well as any further major MS software releases.

Re:Bloatware extreme (1)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#340686)

<BLOCKQUOTE><I>Why would an operating system need 3 gigs of hd space and 128 megs ram minimum!? That is insane. </I></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, it is. But it's becoming the trend these days. OS X has the same system requirements, of course it would make sense for Apple of all people to ship brand-new, just-announced computers with the ability to run their own OS, but that isn't happening.

MacOS-ish Interface...Uh-huh (2)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#340687)

Mac Zelots have been freaking out ever since the first screenshots of WinXP, making ridiculous claims about Microsoft "stealing" from them.

These are the same people who thought that Apple was shipping "fake" OS X CDs in the retail box to "fool" people until some super-secret "real" release that was to occur sometime after it began appearing on store shelves.

As much as I detest the "everything is a web page" Windows UI, I find few similarities between it and that near-useless monstrosity known as Aqua.

MS simply took the standard Windows appearance, rounded off all the corners, made liberal use of the color blue, replaced the Start Menu with and ugly Start Slab, while sticking the MacOS 9 Rubber Ducky in the public screenshots. Probably in an attempt to bait the Mac Zelots looking for *something* to justify their often irrational and passionate hatred of Microsoft, which is at times, probably enough to make even Linus groan. (The Duck most likey came from a royalty-free clipart collection, the kind that many businesses use.)

Luna is hardly MacOS-ish. It is an even uglier version of the same UI they have been using since 1995, which despite the claims of fanatics, is not very close to the classic Mac UI at all, and even further from Aqua.

The only similarities that I *can* find are that both Luna and Aqua are worse than their predecessors (though Aqua is prettier than Platinum). UI design seems to have taken a nosedive in the past year. The big commercial UIs look and function like really bad GNOME and AfterStep hacks.

Re:everything new is.. new again? (2)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#340688)

Once upon a time, there was an old joke: "Windows 95 is MacOS '84". Seems like they once again grabbed MacOS features:
I should probably start out by saying you are really grasping at straws here.
1. The login dialog with all users listed. I sure hope that in a large network, it'll just show the logon name box.
Login Dialog with all the users listed...hmm...I believe I had that in my Linux box before OS X.
2. The big-ass icons. OSX, anyone
Average monitor size and resolution has increased dramtically from when the current icon sizes were set in stone. This is natural progression here, nothing more.
3. Big, bright, lots of pretty colors. Granted, this isn't a Mac thing per se, but Macs (IMHO) have always been more colorful, ahead of the rather drab PC world.
The fact you bothered to include that on your list really shows the weakness of your argument. Using color in a UI is hardly new, or an example of Microsoft "stealing" from Apple.

Re:Oh yeah...Activation.... (1)

ahaning (108463) | more than 13 years ago | (#340695)

If you don't have an Internet connection you have to call.

How do they activate your system if they can't have their servers talk to your machine?

kickin' science like no one else can,
my dick is twice as long as my attention span.

Er, don't touch that. (5)

rograndom (112079) | more than 13 years ago | (#340699)

Fill up your desktop with unused icons, and Windows XP asks you whether you want to keep them, then sweeps them into one tidy folder.

Hey! I wanted to keep those *there*.

"No David, I think you want to keep them *here*."

skins (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 13 years ago | (#340700)

that new interface looks like a skin to me... and yet Microsoft still hasn't thought of a skinnable UI. pretty sad, especially given how ugly the new default look is. ...then again, WindowBlinds [] is alway an option.

Those aren't B2 shots (1)

fliplap (113705) | more than 13 years ago | (#340703)

Not only are those not beta 2 screenshots, they're not even the latest external interm builds. The previous interm build to b2 was 2458, those screenshots are of build 2428. This is noticable because of the scroll bars and in one of the screen shots you can make out the number 2428 in the lower right hand corner. Considering Beta2 was just released a few hours ago, you can tell they've based this entire review on 2428.

Re:Bloatware extreme (1)

fliplap (113705) | more than 13 years ago | (#340704)

Because most new computers have at least that, and ram is cheap. Plus i have it installed on a 2.1gig 64meg laptop, disable a few services and it runs...well it runs. I'm only using it because i'm a tester, as soon as i get my final boxed its going right to compusa for an exchange. Link (1)

Wateshay (122749) | more than 13 years ago | (#340716)

Does anyone else find it slightly disturbing that the operating system has built into it the ability to purchase cds from It seems like it's IE all over again, although this time I would say it is even worse. Does anyone out there know if that is a customizable list of web links, or if the OS is permanently configured to allow you to purchase easily from, and only from

Question... (1)

Dlugar (124619) | more than 13 years ago | (#340721)

How much un-dumbing down of the OS can you do? The first thing I always do when I install a Windows 98 system is to install TweakUI, turn off all the stupid protections that the file manager gives you (i.e. show hidden files and file extensions), and so forth.

Compared to that classic MacOS, I think that the Aqua (MacOS X) interface is a little too cutesy for my tastes, but just looking at the screenshots of Windows XP makes me want to gag. How customizable is that stuff? If I had to be stuck with that ugly blue taskbar and green start menu I think I would commit suicide.

So how customizable is this OS? Can I get rid of all their new cutesy things? And are there any amazing new features, or did they just make the icons bigger and (sort of) prettier? (The article doesn't seem to mention anything special other than 1) based on w2k and 2) lots and lots of Wizards. Great. Just what I want more of.)


this is great for Linux (1)

small_dick (127697) | more than 13 years ago | (#340730)

Linux seems to run on more and more systems as time passes, yet still has fairly moderate requirements.

I don't you'll ever see Linux distros "recommending" you buy a new pc to get the "...full experience...".

contrast this with windos, which appears to require ever increasing requirements, to the point where only the newest, fastest machines will run MS appears to be moving towards "pre installed" only os releases.

this is great for, low system requirements...espescially for people outside the the "west" -- who tend to have less money to go pissing away for a new PC every year or two.

little Achmed or Pei-Pei can do their CS homework on Linux...while Johnny and Shawna relearn the OSX interface.

Re:CNET writers on drugs (1)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 13 years ago | (#340734)

Secure, stable Windows 2000 code base

Right. Oxymoron alert!

Well, stability is relative. The Unix systems that you probably regard as incredibly stable would be considered dangerously unstable by mainframe people. Win2000 may not quite reach the level of stability found in *BSD or Linux, but it sure beats the hell out of the old DOS based systems. Going from "crashes for no obvious reason" to "crashes only when severely stressed" is a huge win.

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (2)

jedwards (135260) | more than 13 years ago | (#340740)


The right to shutdown the machine is assignable on a user and group basis.

See "local security policy" under admin tools.

By default though, non-admin user's do have the rights to shutdown (on professional, at least)

Re:how will the firewall effect P2P? (2)

jedwards (135260) | more than 13 years ago | (#340741)

You can get P2P to work with the firewall, you need a bit of knowledge though.
E.g. for napster; go the firewall dialog and hit settings, change to the services tab and hit 'add', enter the port number to open.
It's not obvious how to get here, and you have to know the port number, obviously.
For Napster, you are told this in the Napster config (on the 'sharing' tab), but you still have to know where to look.

If XP takes off, it won't be long until there are hundreds of webpages explaining this to novices.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

spinfire (148920) | more than 13 years ago | (#340753)


Re:Man.. that was way harsh. (1)

Rura Penthe (154319) | more than 13 years ago | (#340763)

I agree that MS gets attacked unduly at times, but people have vastly differing experiences. My Abit BP6 was nothing but trouble under Win2k (b2 and release, never used SP1). I crashed on a daily basis, frequently crashing the task manager when I tried to kill a process. Since moving it to linux I have had nearly zero problems (other than diving headfirst into Debian with no prior linux knowledge, haha!)

I will not deny that the majority of people have had a great experience with Win2K, I'm just not one of them. :)

Re:Holy F*CK (2)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#340765)

On my main system I run Debian.
My current disk usage is 1.4GB and that includes everthing (OS, userspace, applications, documents).
From what I remember, a clean install (including X, GNOME and KDE) uses a few (3-5) hundred MB.


Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (2)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#340766)

Having access to a monitor and keyboard/mouse doesn't mean you have access to the system. And even if you do have access to a system, it could just be a remote dumb terminal.


Re:Automatic Update is a feature? (2)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#340767)

MS has never taken any real precautions against copyright-infringement against their OSs (or Office/dev tools).
Lots of their vendor-lock is from people who start out on stolen copies of windows and office and then get sucked in to keeping the format. In effect, they *gain* market by being lax on personal infringers (then they get a choke hold on businesses whose employees use MS products).


Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 13 years ago | (#340770)

I guess you've never seen a computer hardwired to the electrical system...

I have. They lopped off the end of the power cord and maretted it straight inside the power supply. I assume the other end of the cable was "protected" in some way as well. IIRC, this computer was an NCR donation to my high school.

So, unless you enjoy 120v coursing through your body, no, you cannot just pull the plug on a well thought out system.

Re:Dumbing it down.... (2)

shepd (155729) | more than 13 years ago | (#340772)

I'd kill for a system registry for linux. That way IE6 would be that much easier to port to Linux!


XP will be skinnable (1)

InfiX (160201) | more than 13 years ago | (#340774)

WindowsXP final will be skinnable. just thought i'd point that out...

Auto logon (1)

[egal] (160286) | more than 13 years ago | (#340775)

XP also incorporates online authentication using Microsoft's Password, so once you get online with Windows XP, you're automatically logged in to any Microsoft partner sites you visit

As a paranoid person I am, I got scare out of my mind when I read this! Hell, where are the classic security features like multiple credentials and so on? Does SSO realy gets the ups? I hope not, imagien a user on the phone: "Hi, I'm calling to ask why I'm asked a password, what is this?"

No, I hope they turn this feature off, its too dangerous for the avarage user. If they do that much protection-off-the-user-itself-stuff, this should be included. BTW there goes the privacy of milllions of users... oh brave new user, be my consumer!

Re:Holy F*CK (1)

[egal] (160286) | more than 13 years ago | (#340776)

It's about 1.5GB all inclusive. But it sure as hell looks nice ... I even felt the bit of curruption and had to hury booting back to my shell :)

Well, I won't complain, MS does some good and some bad stuff VS .Net is the good stuff, the rest does not need to be of any interest at all.

Re:Man.. that was way harsh. (1)

de Selby (167520) | more than 13 years ago | (#340781)

I think slashdotter's just hate the "home user" target that MS always aims for--even for server products. It makes no sense... I personally find it a little degrading and it makes using the products more difficult.

I haven't tried W2K in a while, but when I did, it was fairly unreliable (almost 95/98/ME unreliable)--until it was configured _just_ right. It was mostly bugs in the OS freezing it in regular fashion. To get some reliability, I simply had to avoid a few things...

I actually hope things have improved. But with the 50,000 item bug list for '95, and the code base for the 2K series being dozens of times larger, I have my doubts.

I though the 9x quality problems would flag the need for a more simple and elegant design, but instead MS makes a huge, complicated, monolithic THING! Oh well.

P.S. Has anyone else noticed that 3.1 seemed the fastest and most reliable MS OS (not including DOS)? (Win '95 in second, '98 in third, ME fourth.) Do my observations here have any base in your reality, or just mine?

Windows XP (or, yet another eye-candy update!) (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#340785)

"Dependability and prerelease software are two concepts that don't belong in the same sentence"

Dependability and MICROSOFT are two words that don't belong in the sentence, save the occasion when the obligitory "lack thereof" is used.

When the article starts talking about the things that are really important, like stability and speed, the results of their findings are instantly dismissed because it's beta software. Well, um, beta should have a few bugs, granted, but it's not alpha software, where the entire thing crashes at every turn! It should have atleast _some_ stability.

"You need, essentially, a new or extremely recent computer, 128MB of RAM (at least; our test laptop was decked out with 320MB), 2GB of free disk space, and, if you're upgrading, you must have Windows 98 or above."

Two gigs?!?!? TWO GIGS!?!??! As if the RAM requirement wasn't horrendous enough. Two gigs is a lot for an OS to take up, even the most bloated. Even though most hard drives are atleast 30-40 GB these days, 2 GB is just insane. They go on to say:

"In fact, Microsoft says you'll have the best experience only if you buy a brand-new system with XP preinstalled."

If this isn't "you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours" politics I don't know what is. Seriously, the tight relationship between Microsoft and hardware vendors could not be any more clear, and it really is a shame that the vendors would allow _any_ third party to have a big say in their chip design.

All in all, the only real diffrence I have seen since Win95 is more and more sounds and eye candy when you click on widgets and animated paperclips.

New and improved, eh?


Re:MacOS-ish Interface...Uh-huh (2)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 13 years ago | (#340786)

The big commercial UIs look and function like really bad GNOME and AfterStep hacks.

uh, AfterStep is a knock of NeXTstep, a UI designed by Mr. Steve Jobs himself which was later revamped and rolled out as OS X.

near-useless monstrosity known as Aqua.

You've never used OS X have you?

Re:Mac OS-ish (2)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 13 years ago | (#340788)

Check out this picture [] comparing the 2 interfaces. Micros~1 even stole Apple's rubber duckie!!!

I Don't Know (2)

Amigori (177092) | more than 13 years ago | (#340798)

I haven't had a chance to try out XP and I keep reading mixed reviews of it. Currently, I'm running Win2k, BeOS, and OpenBSD and am very impressed with all three. Win2k is the best version of Windows ever, IMO. I find it stable, your milage may vary, fairly easy to use, and all kinds of cool tools to use. BeOS is just very plesant to use. It fast, colorful, user-friendly, and light on the hardware requirements. Most of the programs I use in windows, I have found a comparable solution for Be.

I'm starting to like the BSD's more than Linux cause of the central standards bodies. Sure you can say Linux has Linus, but he represents mainly the kernel. Linux, IMO, is branching in too many directions for me. But hey, a server version isn't an appropriate solution for an embedded system and I need a workstation solution.

Anyways, from reading the CNET article, I will not be upgrading my Win2k partition to XP. I don't like the copyright management crap, the phoning home to MS for verification/updates, the new interface looks too cute for me, the hardware reqs. are way too high (maybe its getting time to upgrade), and its an MS OS.


Re:CNET writers on drugs (1)

Grim Metamoderator (178266) | more than 13 years ago | (#340800)

You're an AC. Why should I bother to tell you anything?

Re:Mac OS-ish (1)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340804)

Hehe. That was worth a mod point.

Re:Question... (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340805)

You can turn it completely back to Windows 95 classic mode with a few option tweaks, according to the CNET report.

I find it a little too cutesy as well, but I'd kill to have a Windows 2000 with backward compatibility with some software.

Re:Man.. that was way harsh. (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340806)

Uh, dude. I think you've got issues with the software you installed. Not Windows 2K itself.

I also have run Win2K perfectly for the past few months, with nary a crash (perhaps once or twice, and only when I've been doing really stupid shit like trying to run two copies of Quake 3 as different processes). Hoyle's shouldn't cause an error -- although I have heard some games don't like the CD pulled in Windows 2000 (although, I'd like you to try that, without unmounting, in Linux and see what happens. You'd get some pretty similar, nasty results).

Other than that, did your girlfriend (seems like a moron -- no offense), bump the CD-ROM tray hard enough to unseat it. Did she install Comet Cursor or another pointer manager? Did she disconnect the mouse (Windows 2K detects this and removes the mouse pointer. A nice touch that Linux doesn't have, I may add). All of these things could have caused problems.

I've never had a single issue with word. And if I did, I'd just drop to the Task Manager or even the Command Prompt and kill the process. Just like in Linux.

Re:Man.. that was way harsh. (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340807)

Um, I wouldn't put Win3.1 in the same league. Try running a few games using WinGL and you'll probably toast the machine.

Have you tried installing Windows 2K in a fresh install? Like Linux, upgrading Windows 2K over a previous version is just asking for trouble.

Re:XP will be skinnable (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340808)

Huh? Where did you get that information?

Re:Holy F*CK (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340809)

OS X asks for 128MB of RAM and a gig of free hard drive space. Otherwise, the install doesn't even *run*.

Re:everything new is.. new again? (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340810)

I sure hope that in a large network, it'll just show the logon name box.It's an option. You can set it to the default Windows 2000-like logon menu (the nice feature, though is that it saves the state of the session and tells you exactly what is running for each person. That's a nice touch).

Re:Tell me whether Windows XP is stable and secure (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340811)

Hopefully it'll be as stable as Win2000 (my Win2000 box is still my box of choice), but I can't help but think with all those new flashy graphic menus...

Re:Bloatware extreme (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340812)

Not terribly insightful. It's two gigs.

Not to mention that OS X requires 1 gig and the same amount of memory for its default install...

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340813)

First, Windows XP is supposed to combine both the business and consumer sides of the OS, so no, it's not only for the home.

Second, the Ctrl-Alt-Delete thing to restart in Linux is user-configurable. You can turn that off for added securtity

Re:I really loved... (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#340814)

Disabled. Haven't implemented them yet. The options work but the text to further describe them apparently hasn't been finalized (you try explaining to your mother why she needs a firewall).

Re:Holy F*CK (1)

motek (179836) | more than 13 years ago | (#340823)

Not that you are not right, but...
I bougth a couple of months ago a harddrive, 10 GB for $139. Now guys at this same joint sell a 20 GB for that much.
So maybe it really doesn't matter. At least not to the new buyers.


Mac OS-ish (5)

motek (179836) | more than 13 years ago | (#340826)

I fail to see, how the interface is "Mac OS-ish". Has the use of silly pastel colors been copyrighted by Apple?


Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (2)

thechink (182419) | more than 13 years ago | (#340829)

A non-root user on my Linux desktop computer can shut down the machine, that's the default setting.

In Windows 2000 Professional a non-admin user can also shut down the computer, also the default.

I both cases that default can be changed, I'm sure it can be changed in XP.

The entire story was a troll... (1)

Daemosthenes (199490) | more than 13 years ago | (#340836)

Good lord...I look up and see that over half the comments are "Linux is better than Winblows" or "Linux is gonna be hurtin when XP comes out". My friends, it appears that YHBT by this story. In fact, I believe that YHL. Why don't you all just HAND. Or if you don't want that, why don't you all start a flamewar concerning ninjas vs. pancakes; it makes about as much sense as flaming about Linux vs. Windows.

Re:The entire story was a troll... (1)

Daemosthenes (199490) | more than 13 years ago | (#340837)

Nah. I always enjoy using's quite fun sending people scrambling all over the web to figure them out if they don't know already. Sorry if you thought it dumbed down the post (gee, that phrase has been used a lot throughout the thread) but the message remains the same.

Re:CNET writers on drugs (2)

Alioth (221270) | more than 13 years ago | (#340858)

Windows XP promises to be a stable,

Compared to previous Microsoft OSs, maybe, though Windows 2000 may have signaled a change in this trend.

I disagree. I've been using Windows NT 4.0 since it came out and it has proved to be very stable. I use an NT system for software development: high loads, lots of compiling, running lots of beta (and sometime buggy code) on it and NT doesn't crash. I use one system as a server and its uptime is measured in months (the intervals between power outages). Windows NT even has a half decent command line interpreter (although I hate batch files, and use perl or a shell script run under bash instead).

On the other hand, I do love Linux and I'd rather be developing software on a Linux system. (I actually try and make my WinNT system as unix like as possible, because I find I'm more productive that way). Linux is a lot more efficient for a start. At the same time, I recognise NT is a good operating system. OS zealotry is generally not productive, and I have no problem recognising that both Linux and NT are good operating systems.

I'm sure XP will be a good OS too.

I'm not getting Windows XP. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#340860)

I don't care how much they tout the new "features", or how much they try to force us to upgrade; I'm sticking with Windows 2000.

Why? All I need is the 5-word, 25-character product key (and not some hardware-generated code) to install Win2K fresh, and I don't have to deal with a dumbed-down, "Steve Jobs and the Mac Users" interface. Windows 2000 serves me well, and I'm sticking with it. Hell, I don't even know if I want to install service packs anymore.

Re:CNET writers on drugs (1)

graystar (223824) | more than 13 years ago | (#340863)

I think this sums up the bloatware, logrolling fact :

"In fact, Microsoft says you'll have the best experience only if you buy a brand-new system with XP preinstalled. "

Re:Bloatware extreme (1)

silverpelicanfeather (239382) | more than 13 years ago | (#340892)

Ya, but what's the point if the only thing that runs is the OS? I have 8 gig and that's been fine for everything. I am not going to be a customer for this bloatware.

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

Petrophile (253809) | more than 13 years ago | (#340927)

Apparently, XP allows you to "disconnect" from your login session (kinda like Terminal Server does), and login as another user. Presumably your session state is then swapped out to disk. Similar to using virtual terminals on Linux, I imagine.

Agreed that "N programs running" is a bit of information leakage - hopefully you can disable that.

NT has always allowed unprivledged shutdown (of the machine) from the login screen. Administrator change enable/disable this from the registry. I don't know where'd you get the idea that nonprivledge users can kill other user's processes - NT has never worked that way.

Call me an idiot... (1)

Protohiro (260372) | more than 13 years ago | (#340931)

Just like to point out that OSX final was released sense in caring of course, its all much more interesting to see screen shots of WindowsXP...


Re:skins (2)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 13 years ago | (#340933)

What are you talking about? Windows XP includes several "skins" and is as fully skinnable by third parties as most modern X window managers are.

Re:Holy F*CK (2)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 13 years ago | (#340934)

You can go get a copy of Visual Studio .NET (That's its name, not Visual Studio XP) right now. Its in Beta 1. Not sure of the exact size in megabytes as I don't have it installed on this machine at home, but it is not significantly larger than Visual Studio 6.0 and may even be a bit smaller.

Re:Dumbing it down.... (2)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 13 years ago | (#340940)

Wine creates a registry to run Windows apps with. I don't know if it keeps it in a db or uses a flat plain old file, but there you go.


Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (1)

mech9t8 (310197) | more than 13 years ago | (#340968)

Um, no it doesn't mean that at all. Why would listing the programs running imply control over them?

It just means that if Dad walks away from the machine with 10 programs running, and Jr walks up to use the machine, he can see Jr has 10 programs running and know that Counterstrike probably isn't going to have a good frame rate at 1280 resolution... Also helpful, Mom can walk up and see if she has new e-mail without logging into the machine.

As a regular user of Terminal Services, I can tell you that MS handles multiuser OS functions beautifully. You can even run a session at work (these are, of course, fully GUI sessions which run acceptably even over a modem), Disconnect (which leaves the session running), and log into the same session from a completely different machine with everything still running just the way you left it...

Assume that there are valid arguments against your position.

Re:Shutting down - foulup central. (2)

mech9t8 (310197) | more than 13 years ago | (#340970)

> By default though, non-admin user's do have the rights to shutdown (on professional, at least)

It's probably assumed on workstations you've got access to the physical machine... which means you've got access to power off no matter what. So you might as well let them close the system properly.

On Windows Server systems, only Admins have Shutdown priviledges...
Assume that there are valid arguments against your position.

128 megs of RAM (2)

JohnnyKnoxville (311956) | more than 13 years ago | (#340974)

to bring you a blue screen in record time.

Re:Holy F*CK (1)

badfish2 (316297) | more than 13 years ago | (#340976)

The biggest, baddest install of Debian I can come up with is smaller then that, and we're talking about enough development tools and libraries to recompile the kernel, the display server, the UI... I don't even want to think how big Visual Studio XP will be.

How big is the biggest, baddest SusE install? I bet it can easily fit over 7 GB worth of stuff on a hard drive. Surely you can think of something better to bitch & moan about than that.

There's only one true multimedia-friendly OS... (1)

badfish2 (316297) | more than 13 years ago | (#340977)

and it's BeOs.

well, it is a MS product (1)

BlueboyX (322884) | more than 13 years ago | (#340983)

They said that it was based off of windows2000... wouldn't that imply that it has simailar stability and security issues?

Re:Bloatware extreme (1)

BlueboyX (322884) | more than 13 years ago | (#340984)

So are you saying that it doesn't really have extreme requirements? That they are just exagerated?

If you are testing it, tell us more please. :>

a poor hacker (1)

BlueboyX (322884) | more than 13 years ago | (#340985)

Indeed, it would be a poor 'hacker' who couldn't manipulate a machine (s)he had physical access to, even if the OS was magically near bug-free.

Also, as long as you can get a copy of any kind of protection program running on your own computer to play with, it will not protect anyone else effectively. Unfortunately, most protections are of this nature(as is necessary for mass production for pc use) so they stink in general.

quick check to see if you have mail? (1)

BlueboyX (322884) | more than 13 years ago | (#340986)

Well, in the corporate world your employers own your email anyway; this is probably a reflection of that princible.

It seems that we have less and less privacy nowsays. :

Bloatware extreme (5)

BlueboyX (322884) | more than 13 years ago | (#340995)

Why would an operating system need 3 gigs of hd space and 128 megs ram minimum!? That is insane. You need to build a system to use the os, rather than getting an os to use a system. I admit the hd requirement is probably for their goback feature, which can proabably be reduced if necessary (the gateway goback program has an option to reduce or enlarge the size of the database, limiting or increasing the extent to which you can 'goback' to). But why is everything else so nasty that even ms admits that it will only work good preinstalled on a new computer? My only explanation is that they made this bloatware in order to get people to pay extra for an outrageously powerful system, since right now most people are either happy with what they have or are paying $450 for a low-end (only 450 Mhz!) Gateway...

It'll suck worse than X-Windows (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 13 years ago | (#341005)

I've been using DOS and Windows since about 1983. At every step, they've tried to make the interface dumber, but I've been able to compensate. I've got a large list of option reversals and registry hacks that I use to fix a Win2K installation to make it "right". Once fixed, the user experience is very nice and smooth, without stupid features for grandma. When I need real power, I just SSH into my linux box from Win2K.

I've absolutely detested anything derived from X-Windows since I first used it in the late 80's. However, recent Linux releases are getting almost usable (except that the fonts are still inexcusable).

From the looks of those XP screenshots, they are embedding the dumb features so deep that it might be unfixable. I might finally be driven to use a Linux box as my primary desktop. (The Orwellian features in XP don't help matters, either.)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

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