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MS Vista Look and Feel To Go Cross-Platform

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the everything's-coming-up-milhouse dept.

Microsoft 365

Robert writes "As part of the announcement of the next generation look and feel for Windows Vista, Microsoft said that it will make a subset of the new presentation layer available for other platforms. 'Windows Presentation Foundation', the look and feel which provides the rich front end for Vista, will also eventually be available in compact form for other platforms such as the Apple Macintosh, older versions of Windows, and smart devices such as phones or PDAs."

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Linux (5, Funny)

LamboAlpha (840950) | about 9 years ago | (#13583885)

No linux?

No market there (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583902)

No market.

It's hard to take an advanced GUI like Vista and implement it on a text console the most true Linux users are still stuck with. It might be possible on KDE/Gnome, but those people aren't really Linux users and don't count.

Re:No market there (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 9 years ago | (#13584073)

KDE users already have translucent menus, translucent xterms, multiple-desktop pagers, completely configurable widgets, etc.

Porting the Vista gui to linux would be a step backwards for us.

Also, from the article:

eventually ported to ... older versions of Windows
ah, another reason NOT to upgrade. So why are they doing this? Perhaps its to try to keep people from defecting to linux, or to OSX or another of the BSDs.

Their market share has nowhere to go but down, and they know it. It's just a question of how far, how fast. With this anouncement we can say:

Microsoft Confirms: Windows is Dying.

Redmond, December 2007

4 months after the much-delayed release of Vista earlier this year, Microsoft confirms that its market share is the lowest ever.

Steve Ballmer confirms that it is all part of Microsofts' grand strategy to concentrate on the business and consumer desktop market. "We have always been devoted to giving the sheeple, I mean consumers, the best possible user experience. Our committment to this has led us to rededicate all our resources to that end."

"We are committed to maintaining our technical leadership. That is why I am announcing Windows Utopia, the next version of our OS, due sometime in 2020. It will feature, among other things, a new advanced configuration system based on 7-bit ascii files, which, with our special gui toolkits, will allow the advanced user to modify some parts of how the system functions between reboots, as well as auto-system-restore, which will reimage your system at boot time, so that you ALWAYS have that Original Microsoft Experience."

"To further show our committment to the end user, we will be spending $100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Dollars) in soft money to our partners in congress and the senate during the upcoming election year, to ensure that nothing comes between our customers and their DRM-locked-down computers." Mr. Ballmer said.

"As for the latest attempt of Apple to buy us out, we will be giving one free share of Microsoft with every copy of Vista sold. We want everyone to understand that what's good for Microsoft is good for America, and this is the best way to do that. In your face, Jobs!"

Industry analysts were too embarrassed to comment, except for Maureen (The MOGTroll) [] O'Gara, who was heard talking with some guy named Biff who was muttering that this latest move would send Microsoft shares "To Teh Moon!", and Laura Didio, who had 3 white papers to show that Vista had lower TCO and more functionality on a laptop than Slackware 0.9 on a PDP. Unfortunately, while her Vista laptop weighs less than a pound, the optional 40-pound battery pack (necessary if you want to run a fully-patched, DRM-enabled version for more than the 10-minute boot/call home using mandatory satellite link with traceable gps/mandatory reimage/update process) fell off the table, smashing Mr. Ballmers' foot.

In a later interview, Ms. Didio confirmed that Mr. Ballmer's chair-throwing skills have improved. "I think he really has a shot at winning the event in the 2008 Olympics, and that Microsofts' $25 Billion donation to the IOC has nothing to do with adding the event at this late date." she said.

Its nice to have Microsoft as such a deep well for comic material.

Re:No market there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584159)

I'm really curious why someone would want to copy windows look and feel... even macintosh users can't possibly be getting excited about this.

Re:No market there (3, Funny)

daniil (775990) | about 9 years ago | (#13584250)

To make the transition away from Windows easier, of course.

Re:No market there (0, Troll)

Teresh (911815) | about 9 years ago | (#13584084)

You're absolutely right. Linux is far too inferior to be able to handle the complex eyecandy Vista offers. I mean, heck, Windows won't be able to support it until a year from now. Yup, I'd reckon Linux won't be able to support that for a few ye... Wait, isn't X11R7 coming out in October? Linux can't have graphics! It can't be able to support as much eyecandy a year sooner! They're just a bunch of kids writing code for free! This is madness!

Why contaminate? (0, Flamebait)

eggman9713 (714915) | about 9 years ago | (#13583889)

I use a mac and love the interface. How can you improve on perfection. If you have to have a windows interface on your mac, then you must be afraid to go out and learn something new, and mo' betta!

Re:Why contaminate? (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | about 9 years ago | (#13583895)

and of course it will be bloated and slow things to a crawl! Also, it doesn't matter how much iCandy (sorry, bad pun) you put into vista if all the stuff worth having in it (Monad shell, WinFS, etc) is removed before shipment.

Re:Why contaminate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583941)

and of course it will be bloated and slow things to a crawl!

Something in the lines of quicktime or iTunes for windows, start that shit up and you basically lose multitasking.

Re:Why contaminate? (2, Funny)

wo1verin3 (473094) | about 9 years ago | (#13584171)

>> Something in the lines of quicktime or iTunes for
>> windows, start that shit up and you basically
>> lose multitasking.

You may want to add some more RAM and move up to 8 MB..... 4 MB just doesn't cut it for a lot of applications.

Re:Why contaminate? (2, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 9 years ago | (#13583896)

I have a XP machine, a Windows Server & a Mac Mini on my desk - I don't see how exactly the Mac interface is better.

I find the Windows Interface better because I am more used to it. I am sure someone who is more used to the Mac will find that interface better.

Re:Why contaminate? (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | about 9 years ago | (#13583906)

I used windows since 3.1 through XP. I made the mac switch two years ago and I won't go back. I think XP is a good OS, but the mac interface definitely is more efficient in my opinion.

Re:Why contaminate? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583921)

Blatant astroturfing.

Mod this Apple-dickhead down.

Re:Why contaminate? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584072)

How about I just dick him down instead? Nah, he'd probably enjoy it too much anyway.

Re:Why contaminate? (2, Insightful)

dirty (13560) | about 9 years ago | (#13584045)

I think a lot of it is the Mac felt like a lot more effort was put into the usability of the GUI. Dialog boxes are a prime example, instead of something like "Save document? OK, No, Cancel" you'd get "Save document? Save, Don't Save, Cancel". So just looking at the button you were clicking would tell you exactly what was going to happen, even if you didn't read the text of the dialog box. It also used to have a very consitent look throughout, unfortunately that's not the case any more, but a lot of us have our fingers crossed for 10.5.

Also, as weird as it sounds, I feel a lot of the eye candy on the Mac serves a purpose. Windows on the Mac have little to no border around them, so the drop shadow on the active window really makes it stand out. Transparency in Terminal can let you read what's behind it and is really helpful for following instructions off of web pages. In Vista it looks like the transparency also comes with a bluring effect which reduces it to nothing but eye candy, and pretty dirty looking eye candy in my opinion (especially when you start piling windows on top of each other).

In the end I think it mostly comes down to personal preference. I had been mainly a Windows user for years after giving up on Linux on my desktop. After I got my Powerbook I can't stand using Windows machines at work anymore, they just feel clunky.

Re:Why contaminate? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583915)

You should have named yourself "Anonymous Microsoft Basher".

"I use a mac and love the interface."
Good for you

"How can you improve on perfection."
Of what? MacOS it not perfect, and no other OS either.

"If you have to have a windows interface on your mac, then you must be afraid to go out and learn something new"
Thats a incredible stupid thing to say.. Whats the new part? What could i learn from not using it?

If Microsoft didnt make it cross-platform, you would be the first to say, that microsoft is a stupid locked company with locked software..

Beside, you apparently havent read the article..
Its all about porting "Windows Presentation Foundation" / XAML, and not making Mac OS look like windows

Re:There could be good from this (1)

Psykechan (255694) | about 9 years ago | (#13583954)

I use Macs too and I like most of the interface but there is one thing that this could lead to that I wouldn't mind at all.

I would love to see good old two pane Windows Explorer (circa 1998) on the Mac. it's still the best graphical file manager out there. Sadly, this will likely not happen. Even if they did bring it over, MS has been slowly moving Explorer away from the decent app that it used to be to something more like Apple's Finder.
...and quite simply, Finder blows.

(Yes, I know that there is Rage Software's Macintosh Explorer [] but although it tries, it just isn't there yet.

Re:There could be good from this (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 9 years ago | (#13583990)

I always found something like Directory Opus on the Amiga to be about the most efficient graphical way of moving files around.. I don`t like most of the graphical file managers nowadays, finder and windows explorer not to mention kde/gnome`s efforts seem to get on my nerves.. so i use the commandline almost exclusively (tab completion, usefull)

Re:There could be good from this (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 years ago | (#13584038)

Also, having and operating system that uses shorter names for standard system directories. In linux I can go to ~, or the more verbose, /home/username. In windows, it's c:\Documents and settings\username\My Documents, where they seem to want to store just about everything, including non-documents. in Linux, my settings are at /etc, and other useful directories include /var, /usr, /root, /boot, and others. In windows it's always /windows/system32 (where's my system64), /program files, and lots of other really long names. All this, and they don't have tab completion by default, and it sucks even if you do enable it.

Re:Why contaminate? (4, Insightful)

cerelib (903469) | about 9 years ago | (#13583962)

It is not about Avalon being the prettiest thing out there. It is the ability to make graphical interfaces very quickly. Since the interface can be designed in XML it allows for rapid development. And to entice developers further they are adding extra platform support. It seems to be a pretty good system.

Re:Why contaminate? (4, Informative)

hattig (47930) | about 9 years ago | (#13584216)

Maybe I misunderstand all of this, but isn't there already a cross platform XML + ECMAScript layout language, that many of us use daily, that has been around for a few years now, and which many applications use already for the interface?

Yes, I'm talking about the interface stuff from Mozilla. XUL [] .

XUL (pronounced "zool") is Mozilla's XML-based User interface Language that lets you build feature-rich cross platform applications that can run connected or disconnected from the Internet. These applications are easily customized with alternative text, graphics and layout so they can be readily branded or localized for various markets. Web developers already familiar with Dynamic HTML (DHTML) will learn XUL quickly and can start building applications right away.

XUL is an XML language based on W3C standard XML 1.0. Applications written in XUL are based on additional W3C standard technologies featuring HTML 4.0; Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 1 and 2; Document Object Model (DOM) Levels 1 and 2; JavaScript 1.5, including ECMA-262 Edition 3 (ECMAscript); XML 1.0. is going a step further by seeking W3C standardization for the eXtensible Binding Language (XBL) (see "Supporting Technologies", below).

If you want to write an application that runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD and Mac OS X, that utilises a common interface across all these platforms, and if you want to write it today, then use XUL.

We should all bow down to Microsoft's reinvention of the wheel.

MS tried this before on the mac (3, Informative)

Saven Marek (739395) | about 9 years ago | (#13584032)

MS tried this before on the mac.

It was a dismal failure

MS Word 6.x on the Macintosh worked, but was heavily bloated, slow, and did not at all fit in with the way the mac worked.

Why? It used a subset of the Windows GUI. It didn't use Macintosh gui calls and was not only weighed down by using an untested (compared to windows gui elements on windows, which has the benefit of being used by hundreds of apps and debugged over time) gui, but worked opposite to how good macintosh apps should work.

It was regarded as a failure even at the time and many people stuck with Word 5.1

Re:MS tried this before on the mac (1)

NickFitz (5849) | about 9 years ago | (#13584089)

This sounds similar to the long-defunct Internet Explorer for Solaris [] . It included so much Windows emulation code that it couldn't run for more than a couple of minutes before crashing, producing the biggest core dump you've ever seen.

Re:Why contaminate? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 9 years ago | (#13584044)

The Mac UI is awesome, but it's far from perfect. There are some things I'd love to see in the Finder, and some I'd like to see go. I would love to have the "shelf" back as a place to hold files up while you drill down into other directories, for example. The expose and window shuffle drag and drop way works, but I'd just like the option of another way.

I don't think any OS has it quite right just yet, but it's a bit of an impossible task. Making an interface that works well for every person is very difficult, unless you allow the individial user to customise everything in minute detail.

This is all well and good, and has been done to some extent on a small scale (just check out Adium's incredible flexibility) but it introduces complexity and makes support a nightmare.

Re:Why contaminate? (1)

killeena (794394) | about 9 years ago | (#13584064)

If you have to have a windows interface on your mac, then you must be afraid to go out and learn something new, and mo' betta!
Or maybe you just don't like the mac interface, no matter how much you try. It is just my opinion, but I hate the mac interface (I know, blasphemy!). I for one welcome our new MS interface overlords.

Re:Why contaminate? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584197)

" I use a mac and love the interface. How can you improve on perfection."

Perfect, except the buttons are on the wrong side, and the menus in the wrong place.

Re:Why contaminate? (1)

Krimszon (815968) | about 9 years ago | (#13584258)

Perfection? Not really. Even the Finder has recently 'found' it's way into the Interface Hall of Shame.

ActiveX and XP? (5, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | about 9 years ago | (#13583891)

Are you saying I can have the security [] of ActiveX and the beauty [] of a WinXP skin with liberal use of transparency? I'm there!

D'oh! I'm on Linux... *snaps* dang.

Re:ActiveX and XP? (1)

cente (785332) | about 9 years ago | (#13583899)

Yah, but as always, eye candy = throw performance into the crapper Seems like they do this just so they keep the sales going to the higher end systems.. aint it grand

Re:ActiveX and XP? (1)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | about 9 years ago | (#13583950)

Indeed. I prefer FVWM2 over the bloat desktops. Ever installed a 'modern desktop' freenix? Yikes!

Re:ActiveX and XP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584046)

Are you saying I can have the security []

Wow, citing secunia as a legitimate security source to mock the clueless. That's just special.

[OT]Secunia (1)

empaler (130732) | about 9 years ago | (#13584070)

As I have many times used Secunia as a source, I would of course like to know why you think it is useless.

Also, if you know (trustworthy) alternatives, links would be much appreciated.

Re:[OT]Secunia (0)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | about 9 years ago | (#13584086)

It's useless because it shows Microsoft's suckiness.

ActiveX Plugin (5, Funny)

imboboage0 (876812) | about 9 years ago | (#13583893)

When WPF/E becomes available, it will be in the form of an Active X control that can be embedded in applications or as browser plug-in.

Yep. Because we all know and love the concept of ActiveX.

Re:ActiveX Plugin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583959)

Yep. Because we all know and love the concept of ActiveX.

I must be new here

Re:ActiveX Plugin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584035)

Ah... The look & feel (aka insecurity) of windows for the other platform.

Thanks Bill!

Re:ActiveX Plugin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584109)

Yep. Because we all know and love the concept of ActiveX.

"Microsoft... bringing spyware to the masses"

the last thing this world needs is more activex... (and another bush in the white house).

Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (3, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 9 years ago | (#13583903)

What features are in Vista that would inspire me to upgrade besides the UI? Frankly the UI looks big and clunky like XP and flat out ugly... but what is the benefit of Vista?

Why have Vista?

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1)

spikesahead (111032) | about 9 years ago | (#13583927)

Probably for the same reason WindowBlinds [] exists. Some people like flashy desktops with fancy borders and other cool (if not 'functional') enhancements.

It's the old argument of style over function, I personally liked WindowBlinds but not enough to take the preformance hit and some of the hastles of configuring it. Perhaps Vista, being created by microsoft, won't be quite as subject to those limitations. If it's free (or 'free-able') I'll certanly take a gander at it.

But only if I can uninstall it!!

Windowsblinds (1)

empaler (130732) | about 9 years ago | (#13584102)

I used to have Windowsblinds, too, but only to 'shave' the eyepoop from my desktop. I found it too ressource draining and unstable and uninstalled within a few days.

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1)

Gilgaron (575091) | about 9 years ago | (#13584131)

You can use a modified uxtheme.dll to use non-MS themes, which takes no more resources than running luna instead of classic. This doesn't need to be done for flashy looks, there are quite a few minimalist themes out there.

Neowin's forums have a section where lots of themes are posted.

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1)

Rs_Conqueror (838344) | about 9 years ago | (#13584144)

WB is a pretty nice change from the default MS GUI, but yes it is a bit of reasource hog. I unload that thing the second the thought of playing an MMO even crosses my mind.

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 9 years ago | (#13583933)

"Why have Vista?"

So hardware vendors can push new machines with twice the memory, twice the CPU, twice the graphics so when you click on something it sparkles or something before opening.

So Microsoft can push upgrades to improve their revenue stream and make non-MS OS's less compatible again.

So software vendors can push upgrades to improve THEIR revenue stream.

Nothing new to see here....

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1)

hungrygrue (872970) | about 9 years ago | (#13584043)

Actually, I'm rather looking forward to Vista. Microsoft will put pressure on hardware vendors to come out with these outrageous machines at consumer prices, mainly just the effect of greater demand for such monsters. I find it hard to immagine how nicely Linux is going to run on a 4 Ghz dual core box with 2 Gb ram. Thanks to Microsoft's bloatware, I won't have to immagine though - I will be able to afford it!

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (3, Interesting)

DoraLives (622001) | about 9 years ago | (#13584214)

So hardware vendors can push new machines with twice the memory, twice the CPU, twice the graphics so when you click on something it sparkles or something before opening.

I can't wait till Visa comes out.

I deal in free computers, and even wrote a book [] on the subject, and let me tell you, once Vista hits the streets, the whole world is going to be awash with perfectly good machines that I can load Linux on and then give away.

The part that's really making my mouth water is the fact that your present monitor will NOT work with Vista. This is too good to be true. At present, Big Bomb CRT monitors are just laying around like shells on the beach, free for the picking. Vista will then cause the exact same thing to happen with flat panels.

Machines with 60 gig hard drives, 2 gig CPU's, and half a gig of memory are going to become free for the taking. Load Linux on one and you've got yourself a damn fine machine, no matter how many bells, whistles, foxtails, and reflectors your next door neighbor might have on his machine.

I can't wait!!!

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583942)

I think the only interesting thing about your post is that you do not take the initiative to actually browse to Microsoft's web site and read up on vista itself.

Why is your question not answered? Why is your question read as some kind of buda question/answer for others to think it is an inner question upon oneself about the reasons to upgrade when of course no one here will know because like you have not read up on vista. []

Asexual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583977)

I find it intriguing that the person on the picture appears to be either a male or a female.

Re:Asexual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584174)

it's a microsoft mutant

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1)

pwrtool 45 (792547) | about 9 years ago | (#13583967)

Because it's new. You can sell something new. You can't sell someone something someone already ha... Brilliant!

*runs to the patent office*

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1)

hungrygrue (872970) | about 9 years ago | (#13584011)

What features are in Vista that would inspire me to upgrade besides the UI? Frankly the UI looks big and clunky like XP and flat out ugly...
The same "features" that XP has: enormous numbers of bugs, enormous numbers of security holes, vendor lock-in, lack of package management, etcetera. All that Vista adds is DRM and expensive hardware requirements. In short, if this list hasn't made you upgrade from XP to Linux yet, then you will probably buy Vista and continue to use it as well.

Vista's UI Has One Very Big Benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584024)

The benefit of Microsoft's patented Vista XAML UI is...

==> Developers who build software with it will be more locked into Windows than ever before!!!


Oh, you meant what benefit does it have for you?


Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#13584071)

It's easy to believe it's just about the UI, since that's the most apparent change so far from screenshots alone.

Here's a guide to some currently planned features: iew_2005.asp []

Here's a list of differences between the Vista editions: ions.asp []

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584093)

"New Sleep mode. Combining the best features of Standby and Hibernation, the new Sleep mode in Windows Vista enables and disables your PC in seconds, but stores application state to disk, allowing you to resume work as soon as it's come out of Sleep."
Wasn't this the command Picard used to deactivate the Borg on Star Trek: The Next Generation?

Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (4, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#13584245)

"Windows Rights Management Client. Windows Vista will include the latest Windows RMS client."

That just me laugh my head of ..The thought of "Now connecting to" rushed through my head.


Re:Will Vista just be a UI improvement over XP? (2, Insightful)

dumeinst (664891) | about 9 years ago | (#13584162)

Honest question.

Why have XP? I'm still using 2000. Is there honestly any reason to upgrade besides the UI (which I'm not overly fond of anyways). I can't think of a single reason I want XP, let alone Vista on my computer.

libcairo.dll vs avalon.dll avalon.xo (1)

Tei (520358) | about 9 years ago | (#13583904)

I notice a few apps include a libcairo file... ..Its that because vectorial rendering can be per-application enabled? ..Its that usage posible with Avalon?

Nonsense.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583907)

Don't they have anything better to do, like finishing (Hasta La) Vista? ActiveX is the biggest problem on windows. And now they think they can make it cross plattform by using an ActiveX component for a browser plugin?

If it was the first of April it would be interesting...

ActiveX on Mac IE? Has never worked. How about on Linux? Nobody wants that. Why are people using Firefox, well for one it doesn't have ActiveX support! (Okay there is an addon, but almost nobody is using it...)

cross platform for 1.5 years, then out (4, Interesting)

amcdiarmid (856796) | about 9 years ago | (#13583910)

Just like Windows NT. You could run it on PPC/Alpha (with no available programs) for a little-while. Then there was one.

What are they going to do, other than try to bring their DRM to Apple?

I don't get it (3, Interesting)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | about 9 years ago | (#13583912)

iirc Vista is said to take quite a chunk of hardware to run. from the article:

"However, 3D and hardware accelerators will probably not be part of the package."

how, then, will it be possible to put this stuff on even older comps? is this really thought through, or am i missing some obvious point?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Diamon (13013) | about 9 years ago | (#13583982)

how, then, will it be possible to put this stuff on even older comps? is this really thought through, or am i missing some obvious point?

Isn't the obvious point you put the new gui on a machine to slow to run it which convinces the user to buy a new computer which means they buy a copy of Vista bundled?

windowsblinds (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | about 9 years ago | (#13583923)

This is just what windows2000 needs is another windowsblinds only done by Microsft to make it complete.
The only funy thing about this comment is that I think I might be deadly serious.
I havent decided yet.
Will it be sold as XP Plus? This may sway my seriousness.

And put ANOTHER way... (5, Funny)

blakespot (213991) | about 9 years ago | (#13583926)

Today's Top Headlines: "Microsoft passes around the ugly stick!"


More info from someone who actually saw a demo: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583930)

I saw the announcement and a demo on the PDC (well, live through the internet that is). Anyway, the idea of WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere) is to be able to deliver apps using the WPF (codenamed "Avalon") API using JavaScript. So any OS capable running JS will be able to run those apps... whether it's a smartphone, MAC OS X or Linux...

Google (2, Interesting)

happyemoticon (543015) | about 9 years ago | (#13583949)

Google's most exciting technologies are built on AJAX, for cross-platform, web-based, highly responsive user interfaces. This sounds like a bid to beat them at their own game, or force them into irrelivence by making their own technology dominant.

Of course, I wouldn't really believe that they were willing to deliver cross-platform apps. Steve Ballmer just wants to murder Google, and once that's done, they'll abandon the technology.

Re:Google (2, Insightful)

putko (753330) | about 9 years ago | (#13584018)

One "problem" that M$ has is that Windows is now used on embedded devices, and that's likely where the revenue growth will come from. The desktop market has been played out. So they've got to make their crap work on the desktop and embedded devices if they want to get more money for their IP.

If Excel relies on fancy "OS features" like the "presentation layer", they've got to make that work on phones and Macs if they want Office to run on those platforms.

I suspect thing about cross-platform, old-hardware support and so on is just a stinking, steaming heap of Ballmer from the marketing department -- they won't do this work unless there will be money there.

If all they are doing is saying, "we will do what it takes to get Office working on phones and Macs, so that we can keep getting revenues from the non-desktop segments," who cares? Is this really worth talking about?

Well, I suspect the marketing geniuses at M$ are trying to make their required actions sound like really clever things that we eagerly read about and then say, "oh yes, MSFT is in good hands. Buy more stock. Ballmer is God. Give him a chair to throw. Fuck Erich Schmidt. We'll fucking kill that Pussy. Google=E.V.I.L., Sic GNAA and Mr. Hands on Brin and Page, etc."

The thing I notice is this: MSFT is going to blow $100 million on marketing to try to get folks to upgrade. I seem to remember they blew money of this size to try to get folks to use their MSN search -- with no marginal benefit. So MSFT has to spend major money on marketing, and only Allah knows if it will pay off.

What sort of marketing does Google ever do? When they launch software, they don't have to spend $100 million, in the desperate hopes of getting people to notice. Sure, they've got a totally different business model than MSFT, but that disadvantage gets old pretty fast. Ballmer needs to pull some real magic to change that equation.

It won't be part of the Vista release. (1, Offtopic)

Rick Richardson (87058) | about 9 years ago | (#13583956)

It won't be part of the Vista release, set for the second half of next year.

Will they include Clippy... (1)

speights_pride! (898232) | about 9 years ago | (#13583958)

..It looks like you are using a Mac, would you like to see the benefits of Vista?

Separate into layers? (4, Funny)

daveed (545432) | about 9 years ago | (#13583961)

What I want to know is when they'll separate the virus, bug and backdoor bits of windows into layers, so I can use them on other platforms.

Other interfaces? (2, Interesting)

saintlupus (227599) | about 9 years ago | (#13583965)

The question, for me anyway, would be whether or not this will allow users to use a different interface than the Microsoft-standard one.

The main reason I don't use Windows is that the GUI for it is incredibly annoying and unintuitive to me. If I could run something like Windowmaker on top of the Vista kernel, that would get me to buy my first Windows machine in years.

(Not that anyone gives a shit what I think, but hell, I just woke up and I'm feeling chatty.)


Re:Other interfaces? (1)

saintlupus (227599) | about 9 years ago | (#13584000)

Ah, ignore my post. Now that TFA finally loaded, I see that this was not what it was about. The headline and summary here are remarkably easy to misinterpret. Another fine day for Slashdot Editing.


Re:Other interfaces? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 9 years ago | (#13584001)

You can already do this, windows lets you change the window manager already..
However, since 99% of users don`t a lot of apps won`t play well with other managers, unlike on unix where it`s pretty much essential to make your app aware of different window managers..

Ugly Outside, Ugly Inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13583968)

I've always thought XP and it's progeny were garish, geometrically bloated, and clumsy. Christ, in older Windows there's four, count'em, four different ways to close a window. Five if you include an app closing its own window; six if you include the system crash.

This all represents the train wreck of code that lies underneath XP's clown face exterior, but even if the OS it lays on is better why would I want to look at it?

Sometimes the most insight is gleaned from the chaff. Microsoft has shareholders are pounding at the gate; they need another revenue stream.

Near or far, nobody knows, but the end _is_ in sight.

Why PDAs? (3, Interesting)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about 9 years ago | (#13583974)

Come on, my PDA is already a pain to use because it's the OS is trying to be desktop Windows on a tiny machine with a bad screen and no keyboard.

Hey MS, If you're gonna make the PDA entirely unusable, why not go all-out and make it run DOS or *shudder* CP/M or something even more arcane and unsuited for a PDA touch screen. Gary Killdall, where are you!?!?! There is work left to do!

Yes, I know there are DOS prompt apps for PocketPC. No, I don't want to carefully peck in letters with a stylus. Thanks anyway.

My PDA currently has a flaky touch screen that has already been replaced once. When it finally dies, I'm going to get an iPod and get smug. I hear that comes packed in those Apple factory boxes. :)

Oh, great... (4, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | about 9 years ago | (#13583984)

So now Mac users can look forward to combo boxes, tab sets that flip around as you click them, and a start menu that eats half the screen just to choose a program...

It's vaporware (5, Informative)

FishandChips (695645) | about 9 years ago | (#13583985)

The article makes clear that this is vaporware. Microsoft haven't got further than "scoping this out" and in any case it won't be part of the first Vista release. Besides, it could be a few years before someone works out how to stuff a 6800GT into a Nokia cellphone.

Unless ... the borg is stirring ... the mere threat of Vistarizing your watch, phone, toaster, camera, alarm clock, yay, the great globe itself, with dinky beeping sounds, natty symbols and rich interactive content from ... I surrender, master.

Vista improvements (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 years ago | (#13583987)

The problem is, is that microsoft still doesn't look like they've added any real functionality. Why can't I add anotherpanel, along the left side of my screen. With the number of quicklaunch and tray Icon's it would be nice to have those easily accesible, without being crowded and small at the bottom, half of them hidden becuase they don't have the room. Still just one start menu, with all your programs stuck under 1 menu. Where you either have everything in 1 folder, and it's impossible to find anything, or you have organzied everything, and have to click through 4 levels just to get to the program you want. Also, when are they going to have multiple desktops. Like they've had in linux/unix forever. The most powerful interface is one that can be highly customized, so it can work the way I want it to. Windows just doesn't seem to realize this at all.

Re:Vista improvements (4, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | about 9 years ago | (#13584241)

Why can't I add anotherpanel, along the left side of my screen. With the number of quicklaunch and tray Icon's it would be nice to have those easily accesible, without being crowded and small at the bottom, half of them hidden becuase they don't have the room.

1) Load up your quick launch toolbar with shortcuts
2) Right click on the taskbar and make sure "Lock the Taskbar" is turned off
3) Click on the quick launch toolbar's handle, drag it to the side of the screen you prefer, and release.
4) Stare in amazement at a feature you didn't know about but has been present since Windows 98

Also, once it's docked, you can also set it to autohide on the right click menu

Look and feel (2, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | about 9 years ago | (#13583989)

Microsoft doesn't know shyte about UI design.

I hope they stay the fuck away from the Mac, and if they still want to do stuff on the platform, they'd better comply 100% to the native UI, using native widgets and native APIs (Cocoa, or go to hell).

Contrary to popular belief, there is not one single MS app that is crucial for the Mac.

Re:Look and feel (5, Insightful)

FoboldFKY (785255) | about 9 years ago | (#13584147)

Yeah, because we all know how well Apple stuck to Windows look and feel when they ported Quicktime ov... oh yeah. Well, um, at least iTunes is... notwait, scratch that...

But at least they're consistent on their OWN platform! It's not like they would [] ever [] make an app that doesn't fit with all the others!

Granted, Microsoft wouldn't know good UI design if it came along and beat them over the head with a stick, but Apple are just as guilty of "screw you, we'll make our apps look however we want--to hell with native widgets!" syndrome as MS.

Slashdot is rapidly deteriorating (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 9 years ago | (#13584006)

Reading the posts in this article make me realize that the community of Slashdot is very rapidly deteriorating. I've been reading and posting to Slashdot for many years (under another much older ID).

It seems that very recently, a lot of the good, throughtful regular posters are gone, and now we're left with nothing but "M$ sucks, so I don't care." trolls and Linux fanboys.

Now I know that Slashdot has always been a haven for Linux zealots and anti-MS zealots, but that's always been tempered with thoughtful posts, too, that weren't so A. Rabid and B. Clueless.

What I'm wondering is if anybody else has noticed, or if I'm just imagining things. Now, I know a lot of people were talking about giving up on Slashdot in the past few months because the editors have been doing such a terrible job (really bad articles, multiple, multiple dupes, not even correct spelling)... so I'm wondering if a lot of those people really *have* given up and left Slashdot. I'm starting to realize that I'm less inclined to hang out here now, and I've been coming here since... oh, about 1998. If so, where's the next real place for geeks to hang out, as opposed to *just* the anti-MS kids, although I know there will be *some* of that in any geek community?

Or is this all just in my head?

Re:Slashdot is rapidly deteriorating (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13584080)

No, it's real, and if you find a better place, let me know. If you feel destructive or vengeful, there's always, but I haven't gotten involved with that. ;)

Re:Slashdot is rapidly deteriorating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584085)

"Or is this all just in my head?"

No, you are not the only one. But it's amuses me to see people shouting murder when company A does action B and see the same people supporting company C when doing the same action.

Remember when a company patents stuff it's because they want to stiffle inovations, but when Google fills a patent its about giving us a wonderfull insight how... .

Remember when a company locks in to their platform/hardware and threatens another with the DMCA or changing it firmware so that users doesn't have the freedom to use another service, it's bad. But when Apple lockouts other music content providers it's good. Some of the zealots will even refer to the DMCA.

And there are a shitload of examples... . But it's a fun read sometimes but not that I find it informative. Sometimes (sic) Slashdot seems to be beter in spreading FUD than Microsoft :|

Re:Slashdot is rapidly deteriorating (1)

Budenny (888916) | about 9 years ago | (#13584137)

No, its not in your head. Zealotry and bad manners prevent open forum discussion of quite a lot of topics now, and not just here, because rational contributions get drowned out by insults from single issue zealots. More aggressive moderation would have drowned out almost all of this thread - that might be a temporary answer?

See also a recent Vista story: (1)

AEton (654737) | about 9 years ago | (#13584012)

At least Zonk is honest [] when he has to run Slashvertisements.

I smell long term strategy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13584013)

Believe it or not, my guess is that ms is getting the grip of multiplatform computing being the future. Their vision is growing beyond multiple versions of windows for different hardware platforms. The os market is getting more diverse every day, and ms will focus application development in the future.

Let a few years go by and you will see ms targeting all major os platforms with most of their product line, which will include linux next to apple...

By the way, most ActiveX comments are superfluos, as any foreign implementation of the technology is bound to be a nearly full reimplementation.

Microsoft has developed some software for other os in the past and those products have been little surprisingly way better than their windows equivalents... (think internet explorer or the unix frontpage extensions)

Vista "look and feel" for OSX (1)

DocB (688162) | about 9 years ago | (#13584026)

Why would I want to make my OSX 10.5 look and feel like OSX 10.4?

Re:Vista "look and feel" for OSX (1)

Hikaru79 (832891) | about 9 years ago | (#13584097)

Why would I want to make my OSX 10.5 look and feel like OSX 10.4?

For the same reason a lot of people make their Windows XP look like Win2K ... its more familiar, simple, and light?

I see Slashdot's getting some of that $1e8 (2, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | about 9 years ago | (#13584028)

This is the kind of garbage which the $100 million in marketing is going to buy. It's amazing that ringtones, skins and wallpapers can be a successful part of a marketing strategy which will further entrench monopoly and strip computer owners of autonomy with their own data and hardware.

The use of the word 'rich' bothers me (2, Interesting)

eyebits (649032) | about 9 years ago | (#13584037)

I really hate the use of the word 'rich' in "...which provides the rich front end for Vista." Completely meaningless term that is the kind of 'ad-speak' used by marketing people. The only thing rich about Vista are its creators.

ObRenHoek: (1)

trudyscousin (258684) | about 9 years ago | (#13584040)


Oh god, not again... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#13584042)

When WPF/E becomes available, it will be in the form of an Active X control that can be embedded in applications or as browser plug-in.

*pictures Bill Gates screaming "lalalala!" when presented with report like these [] *

The most obvious reason for this: (1)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | about 9 years ago | (#13584074)

To reuse MSOffice look and feel under OSX. Look at the potential savings:

1. Full-time MacOS geeks on payroll eventually reduced by 90%.

2. No more OSX-specific marketing or tech support materials required -- all W32 Office materials will be perfectly suited to the Apple community (Just add "OSX" to the list of system req's, et voila).

3. Will greatly simplify porting of other strategic apps to the Mac (and eventually linux) platform. In order to properly compete with Firefox, IE must go cross-platform, period.

4. OpenOffice will soon gain critical mass. What Firefox is to IE, OOO will become to MSO -- lack of MSO cross-platform compatibility will become a liability (especially in the eyes of governments and orgs increasingly deploying linux to the desktop). Portable Vista should render porting MSO to x86 (and possibly PPC) linux a snap.

Smart move on Microsoft targeting Mac OS X (2, Insightful)

Been on TV (886187) | about 9 years ago | (#13584095)

Microsoft stand to loose less business even if some of its customers migrate to Mac OS X, because the vast majority of Mac users have bought and use Microsoft Office:mac or even Microsoft Virtual PC. Targeting Mac OS X may therefore be a smart move on Microsoft.

As a matter of fact, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit is highly profitable and will bring in even more revenue as the Macintosh again is gaining market share. Because MBU has done a good job with Office on the Mac often introducing new functionality in this version, Mac users are less likely to jump ship and pick up the free OpenOffice which has a user-interface that would alienate many Mac users. Microsoft therefore has a vested interest in making sure that if a user migrates, the migration is to a platform where it is more likely the user retains a customer relationship with Microsoft.

This in stark contrast to rival open source alternative Linux, where Microsoft would loose both the operating system and potentially an Office license if a customer were to switch. It is therefore less likely that Microsoft will target Linux with their development tools.

Another thing is of course that by supporting OS X, Microsoft can claim multi-OS support, something that makes it easier to keep the US DoJ or European authorities at bay.

I blogged a longer comment on this yesterday for those interested in reading it here [] .

Death and Destruction (0, Troll)

standards (461431) | about 9 years ago | (#13584098)

How the hell can you transfer the Windows look and feel to other platforms?

It's as dumb as taking one culture's social norms and dumping them onto another's culture. Of course, we've learned in the past that such an approach leads to death and destruction.

There are only two options here: (1) Microsoft is stupid, or (2) Microsoft would like to encourage death and destruction.

Side note (1)

shywolf9982 (887636) | about 9 years ago | (#13584104)

Ok this is a bit offtopic but, by looking at the beta screenshots, Vista UI looks like the kind of interface the Empire might like. The taskbar and the start button especially reminds me of Darth Vader helmet. Anyone else noticed?

MFC based? (1)

zlogic (892404) | about 9 years ago | (#13584242)

As I understand, Vista uses MFC as their widget set (or how else will it be compatible with XP-based apps?) or at least has MFC bindings to their new widget set.

If you ask anyone who has worked with MFC or tried to work with it, make sure the person doesn't get too angry and doesn't do any violence.

And now they're saying they're bringing good old MFC to other platforms. What did they do to deserve this?

Expression? (1)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#13584257)

The portability is possible because the underlying technologies of Expression...

When they say "Expression" in the article, are they referring to the (formerly Creature House) program Expression [] ? And if so, is this implying that the Avalon presentation layer is essentially a chunk of that code grafted onto Windows? I admit that I haven't read up much on Vista (or Avalon), but it seems that this is a very poor way of creating an advanced windowing system...

Office 6 redux? (1)

fabu10u$ (839423) | about 9 years ago | (#13584261)

I can't help but wonder if the Mac angle is that they hope to be able to port their Apple apps again instead of writing them from scratch. I suffered through the horror of Office 6 for the Mac and wouldn't make that mistake again!
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