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Vista the Last of Its Kind

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the vanishing-breed dept.

337

An anonymous reader wrote to mention a TechWorld story about Windows Vista. According to the Gartner Group, Windows Vista is likely to be the last of its kind. "The problem is that the operating system's increasing complexity is making it ever more difficult for enterprises to implement migrations, and impossible for Microsoft to release regular updates. This, in turn, stands in the way of Microsoft's efforts to push companies to subscription licensing. The answer, according to Gartner, is virtualization, which is built into newer chips from Intel and AMD, and has become mainstream for x86 servers through the efforts of VMware." Speaking of Vista, C|Net reports that a new release candidate is on the way. The average tester should expect it by the end of September.

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Last of its kind? (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | about 8 years ago | (#15984441)

There'll never be another ridiculously late, overhyped, massively over budget, features touted then dropped software project again? ;-p

Re:Last of its kind? I hope so... (4, Interesting)

Lord Prox (521892) | about 8 years ago | (#15984496)

I am rather thankful about all the dropped "features" as they tend not to be so good until v3.0 and tend to be less than standard implementations (Internet Explorer) of technology that simply displaces 3rd party functional products.

As for being late I am hoping that they are taking he time to debug them more than previous products that were shipped to schedule with major problems. Anyhow the longer they take the longer my win2000 will remain viable.



Drop a curse on Microsoft. [i-curse.com]

And Linux ? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984446)

I'll let you in on a little secret - Linux (OSS in general) is the poor mans porn downloading system, and porn has driven its development. No one prints porn, so forget printer drivers. A few people want to upload pictures of themselves naked, so there are a few camera drivers. Scanners, forget it. USAB keys ? Handy for trading PORN. I don't know how to do it, but if some sort of survey could be done I think you would find that 90% of all Linux systems are used for porn excusively. The other 10% are scientists Latexing their papers, and downloading porn. And don't forget, these are the biggest cheapskates in the world. They don't want to pay for porn or software.

^ truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984450)

you have to agree with that post.

Re:And Linux ? (5, Interesting)

joel8x (324102) | about 8 years ago | (#15984463)

I always thought that porn is what drove the latest & greatest in internet technology, unfortunatley in recent years that technology has been classified as spy/mal-ware. I wonder if there are any web 2.0 porn sites out there? Then again, wouldn't one of those "hot or not" sites be considered web 2.0? I guess porn is the true pioneer of the internet!

Re:And Linux ? (2, Insightful)

dominique_cimafranca (978645) | about 8 years ago | (#15984502)

One of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 is that the consumer is also a producer.... Apply that to porn? Gasp!

Amature porn, yeah baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984665)

.. Apply that to porn? Gasp!

I'd actually like that! I'm sick of the overly enlarged tits - waaaaaayyy too big. They look like balloons about to pop! Or Cows udders! Yuk!

Also, I'm tired of shaved snatches. I don't like women who look like they have an 11 yr-old pussy. I want muff - damnit! I actually prefer amature porn.

Re:And Linux ? (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | about 8 years ago | (#15984747)

If we applied that to porn, we'd just get a lot of high-def, low quality porn.

Besides, a similar implementation already exists using the web 2.0 paradigm:

http://www.parm.net/web2.0/ [parm.net] (SFW)

Re:And Linux ? (1)

PRC Banker (970188) | about 8 years ago | (#15984839)

One of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 is that the consumer is also a producer.... Apply that to porn? Gasp!

You mean O'Reilly will patent porn?!

Re:And Linux ? (2, Informative)

broeman (638571) | about 8 years ago | (#15984562)

pornotube.com (don't ask where I know it from ;)

and it is NOT WORK SAFE, that's why I didn't link it. (I wish there were more of these tags on google video, youtube, break.com ...).

Re:And Linux ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984653)

What was previously known as Firefusk is now no more, probably due to legal problems, but the self-proclaimed WebPorn 2.0's Firefox extension lives on.

http://xoxosoma.com/code/firefusk/ [xoxosoma.com]

There are also many Fusker sites which use the Fusker code, but I haven't found one as communal and of quality as Firefusk yet.

Re:And Linux ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984467)

Quite possibly the most insightful post I've ever read :)

Re:And Linux ? (1)

Lorkki (863577) | about 8 years ago | (#15984530)

On the contrary, it seems that the hardware vendors are intent on directing platforms other than Windows to optimal porn use. Printers that won't print, scanners that won't scan and phone line modems (too slow for porn!) that won't call without their Windows-only proprietary drivers.

Re:And Linux ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984645)

You know what? I think you are the biggest dumbass to ever wake up in the morning. I use linux, and I don't use it because it is free. If you will notice, you will see that at least Red Hat is making an "Enterprise" edition of linux that COSTS MONEY! OH MY GOD! LINUX COSTS MONEY? yes, it does, bitch. linux is 600% better than Windows, and about 10-15% better than mac. The fact that this may be the last Windoze OS is music to my ears. I use linux for code development, hacking my network, and other various things that are impossible to do on windows without it crashing.

Motherfucker.

MS Windows != Every OS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984447)

Just because windows is bloated it doesn't mean that all other OSes are. This sounds awfully much like the "Mainframes are dead" and later on the "Unix is dead" (no, not the BSD-troll) predictions.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (4, Interesting)

pedantic bore (740196) | about 8 years ago | (#15984539)

True, the fact that windows is bloated does not imply that all other operating systems are bloated. But the fact remains that they are.

I've seen OSs and apps like word processors and databases grow from things that a handful of people could put together in a few months into things that require 1,000s of engineers years to create millions of lines of code, and each new feature or bug fix seems to require an exponential number of new engineers to add. Nobody can comprehend the whole system any more, except at a very high level. Eventually some sort of event horizon is passed and it's impossible to add anything new because every new engineer gets sucked into fixing bugs ...

The isn't a new phenomenon (remember "The Mythical Man Month"?) but the change is that it seems to have become ubiquitous -- more and more software projects are growing past the manageable size. Hopefully there's another Fred Brooks out there, who will tell us how to deal with all this...

I have a theory; call it "Pedantic Bore's Law": The number of lines of code in a typical release doubles every two years.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (1)

alexhs (877055) | about 8 years ago | (#15984594)

True, the fact that windows is bloated does not imply that all other operating systems are bloated. But the fact remains that they are.

Really ? What about QNX [qnx.com] ? Then there are non-commercial projects like L4... How are they bloated, they're only a few KB ?

Not all developers write crappy unscalable, non-modular spaghetti code...

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (3, Insightful)

hyperlinx (775591) | about 8 years ago | (#15984678)

True, the fact that windows is bloated does not imply that all other operating systems are bloated. But the fact remains that they are.

There needs to be a differentiation made here between "features" in an OS that are required for it to function properly and can't be removed, and the additional programs provided by an OS maker/developer on the installation medium. Not to slam MS too severely, but one reason their future OS's are becoming to bloated is that they (IMHO) are trying to make all these features function on the majority of modern computers without requiring "add-on" software. Examples: firewall and antivirus programs. While I can chose not to enable those "features" in XP or Vista (so I've read), you can't truly uninstall or delete them. The continued addition of such features in MS OSs leads to this "bloat" and worse, because they're tied directly to the internal workings of OS, it inevitably creates additional security holes waiting to be found and exploited.

Flame protection suit on.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 8 years ago | (#15984734)

There needs to be a differentiation made here between "features" in an OS that are required for it to function properly and can't be removed, and the additional programs provided by an OS maker/developer on the installation medium.

If we were to restrict ourselves to the kind of "features" meeting your first description, then an "OS" wouldn't even come with a basic command-line shell. It wouldn't be much good for anything except trivially simple embedded devices.

Not to slam MS too severely, but one reason their future OS's are becoming to bloated is that they (IMHO) are trying to make all these features function on the majority of modern computers without requiring "add-on" software.

Microsoft are hardly alone in this endeavour. Indeed, you can't even argue they are a particularly bad offender, or were the first to do so.

Microsoft, Apple, Ubuntu, etc are all doing this because *that's what the majority of their customers want*.

Examples: firewall and antivirus programs. While I can chose not to enable those "features" in XP or Vista (so I've read), you can't truly uninstall or delete them.

Disk space is cheap. Anyone quibbling over a few tens (or even hundreds) of megabytes of disk space on modern system is really reaching for something to complain about.

The continued addition of such features in MS OSs leads to this "bloat" and worse, because they're tied directly to the internal workings of OS, it inevitably creates additional security holes waiting to be found and exploited.

They are no more "tied directly to the internal workings of the OS" than they need to be, or than the alternatives from third parties or on other platforms are. Just because Internet Explorer doesn't appear in the Add/Remove software dialog, doesn't mean it's part of the kernel.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 8 years ago | (#15984783)

I don't think you understood his argument. He was saying that Windows is screwed up because Microsoft is (more or less) trying to integrate everything into the same huge process. This is in contrast to Linux, where all kinds of stuff are included on the disk but are separate programs using well-defined interfaces.

In other words, there's nothing wrong with shipping a kernel and a firewall on the same disk, but the firewall shouldn't be in the kernel!

To phrase it another way ... (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 8 years ago | (#15984806)

In other words, there's nothing wrong with shipping a kernel and a firewall on the same disk, but the firewall shouldn't be in the kernel!
To phrase it another way ... There is a problem when the firewall software causes the kernel development to be delayed.

Which is what is happening at Microsoft.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | about 8 years ago | (#15984695)

QNX is wonderful.

However, it has not escaped from this phenomenon. Ten years ago, QNX had a downloadable demo image that would fit on a floppy and included a networking stack, windowing system, web browser, and some other nice stuff. How big is the distro today, now that it bundles things like Java and WebSphere?

L4 is a microkernel's microkernel, and another wonderful piece of engineering. But it's small because it's defined to be small. It's not a system, it's a component. (strlen hasn't gotten any larger over the years, but libc sure has...) It's the modules on top of the microkernel that have gotten larger.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (4, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | about 8 years ago | (#15984638)

See the sad thing is they don't need a new operating system. They pretty much hit the nail on the head with 2k. If they adjusted the configuration to give it an "everyman" account, where you can play your games (a lot can't be played without being in an admin account these days), surf the web and check your email without hindrance (but thats all) and a technical account where people like us can get under the hood and fiddle, they would have an all time winner.

Of course thats never going to happen, because M$ needs to keep turning profits, so they add bloat and useless features and eye candy which isn't really sweet at all, which because of their coding practices and beaurocratic structure are full of bugs and in extreme cases just don't work (like vista), in order to sell the same tarted up OS back to corporate customers.

This guy proclaiming the end of OSs like vista is attempting to fix the sociological, organisational, and economic issues of one megacorp with technology.

There are plenty of non-bloated OSes (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 8 years ago | (#15984648)

My favorite (this week) is Austrumi. 50MB and I can't imagine anything my mother would need to do that it doesn't do. It loads itself into RAM ('cause see it's 50MB and not bloated). I remember when I used to squeeze my whole System into RAM on a 512K Macintosh ("FatMac" !!). Runs like greased lightning. I could name a dozen others, but I'll let everyone else talk first.

You hit the nail on the head--middle of your post (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | about 8 years ago | (#15984828)

>>each new feature or bug fix seems to require an exponential number of new engineers to add

Well, you expressed it a bit differently then I would have... but still.

Each new feature you add increases the complexity of the overall system. After you add X number of features, the system suddenly starts increasing in complexity MUCH faster then it does in features. Of course, this is true of pretty much ANY programming (and I suspect non-programming as well) project.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 8 years ago | (#15984723)

Just because windows is bloated it doesn't mean that all other OSes are.

Relative to its contemporaries, Windows isn't "bloated".

"Bloat" is - and always has been - just a term used by computing elitists (ie: geeks) to describe features they personally have no interest in.

Re:MS Windows != Every OS (1)

IndigoParadox (953607) | about 8 years ago | (#15984786)

The fact that there are decent numbers of people with no interest in those features suggests it might be more productive to make them into optional modules, no?

New release candidate? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984460)

Speaking of Vista, C|Net reports that a new release candidate is on the way. The average tester should expect it by the end of September.

Well - you can wait until September if you like, or you can just download the torrent [isohunt.com] .

If you're an Apple employee - this is OK, but make sure you dont download something from Apple - they will fire you.

Re:New release candidate? (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | about 8 years ago | (#15984543)

Well - you can wait until September if you like, or you can just download the torrent.

That's not the first release candidate. RC1 isn't out yet, just build 5536.

Before anybody points out that the ISO filename of 5536 says 'rc1', the version information on the desktop after it's installed says 'Pre-RC1'.

Re:New release candidate? (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | about 8 years ago | (#15984821)

Specifically, it is "Pre-RC1 build 5536.16385". I haven't tried it yet. We tried one a few versions back here at work for our presentation computer with a projector, and it had some issues with IE7 and some of the conferencing sites we use, so we switched back to XP. That may have been IE7 Beta 1 or 2, and we are up to 3 now, so it COULD be fixed, but I haven't had the time for a re-install.

Re:New release candidate? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 8 years ago | (#15984559)

Are you nuts? Don't make jokes like that on Slashdot especially against Microsoft. (includes Apple too!)

They are already mad to this community joking about their fake "successes" each time they do a press release or a paid/shadowy Gartner "research".

I mean check that about what I mean:
http://features.slashdot.org/features/00/05/11/015 3247.shtml [slashdot.org]

There are lawyers who are paid to be evil assholes you know? MS and Apple hires them for some reason :)

Microsoft forgot the KISS philosophy (3, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 years ago | (#15984461)

KISS = Keep It Simple Steve (ballmer) and leave the chairs alone

Speaking of that (4, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 8 years ago | (#15984657)

After many years of excellent service, it's almost time to retire the BillGatesBorg icon for Microsoft stories. Esp. since he won't be with them any more, sorta. I vote for a chair icon. It can be a borg chair, I guess.

Oh yeah, (1)

twitter (104583) | about 8 years ago | (#15984818)

After many years of excellent service, it's almost time to retire the BillGatesBorg icon for Microsoft stories. Esp. since he won't be with them any more, sorta. I vote for a chair icon. It can be a borg chair, I guess.

Sure, we all know that Bill is no longer calling the micro management shots - ha ha ha ha ha, want to buy a bridge? The whole hog co-option of a BSD or whatever else M$ will turn to will make the company less like Bill's Personal Borg Collective too. I propose we adopt a cute little butterfly or something to more accurately reflect Microsoft's intentions and influence.

Re:Microsoft forgot the KISS philosophy (1)

legoburner (702695) | about 8 years ago | (#15984690)

Be careful what you say, Steve can throw a chair a looooong way.

Re:Microsoft forgot the KISS philosophy (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | about 8 years ago | (#15984829)

ACK! You can KISS ballmer if you want to, but I'll stick to my fiancee, thank you very much.

Its a word procssor (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 8 years ago | (#15984465)

Most of the time Windows provides few simple file, display and input services to MS word and excel. I can see why you would want to rewrite it to cut down on exploits, improve scalablity, etc. But why would MS need to create so much additional complexity? Other than the obvious reason that they already have windows built to do what they need and may as well rewrite it since they have all that revenue.

My advice is for Microsoft to spend the next 20 years rewriting windows to run on future quantum computing devices. Word will keep working in the mean time. Should make a killing.

Re:Its a word procssor (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15984471)

. . .why would MS need to create so much additional complexity?

"Trusted" computing.

KFG

Re:Its a word procssor (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 8 years ago | (#15984560)

I think we may have bingo here. What Windows can do already is good enough for 95% of the users, and those that cannot use it for their purposes use something else.

I am continually astounded that CAD software and it's own issues are not heavily bitched-about here as you pay for it also with your taxes. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

Quantum computers (3, Interesting)

Poromenos1 (830658) | about 8 years ago | (#15984490)

Quantum computing units will probably be an addon, like the GPU or the math coprocessor. You only need them to do some semi-specialised stuff like search, I don't think they'd help in displaying graphics and the like. It's scary how they can search an entire space at once though.

Shh, don't tell them ... (1, Troll)

slashbob22 (918040) | about 8 years ago | (#15984544)

Don't tell them that there are computers out there with more power. The way they have been designing Windows so far they will consum^H^H^H^H^H^Hutilize all resources available.

I can just see the minimum requirements for the UI in 20 years.
- Beowulf of Quantum Computing Devices
- 20TB of Memory
- 2MB of HDD (We don't trust you so the OS will run off a Blue-Vinyl(TM) disc)

Maybe this will be the last release from MS of its kind. They are looking to achieve perfection in the UI and it's about the only thing you can guarantee that MS doesnt have on the chop-block for Vista.

Summary of article (5, Insightful)

kjart (941720) | about 8 years ago | (#15984470)

Gartner analysts: We predict Microsoft will start making OS'es like this.
Microsoft: Umm, no - there are a ton of problems with doing things that way (even more than with the way we do things now!!!11)
Gartner analysts: Pffft, what would you know.

Seriously, speculation can be fun, but I find it hard to take these guys seriously.

Re:Summary of article (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 8 years ago | (#15984654)

Microsoft has already set computing back 10 years, I don't see them any reason for them to not set it back any further. Well I guess that is a little unfair to say. But Microsoft tends to keep backwards compatibility for a long time, much longer then say Apple and a little bit longer then Linux. That is why they are in business and so large. You can upgrade the OS and the hardware and your copy of Word for Windows 6. For windows 3.1 will still run, and old Lotus 123 for DOS runs faster then ever. Just as long as there are customers using the older products Microsoft will maintain support for them. So any dramatic change will hurt MS so they will keep it the old way.

Linux? (2, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | about 8 years ago | (#15984480)

So, when's Linux going to take advantage of the hardware virtualization?

Re:Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984501)

So, when's Linux going to take advantage of the hardware virtualization?

What do you mean when? Linux already takes advantage of hardware virtualization?

Re:Linux? (1)

ahsile (187881) | about 8 years ago | (#15984595)

You missed the biting sarcasm...

Good point. (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 8 years ago | (#15984640)

So, when's Linux going to take advantage of the hardware virtualization?

Sarcasm duly noted. Still, I think it should be mentioned that the problems Gartner claim will be solved by this use of virtualization can be solved in other ways than virtualization, and in Linux sometimes are. For example, the kernel and GNOME (or KDE) are separate entities, developed separately, and runnable separately - you can use different kernels with GNOME - e.g. BSD, and you can use KDE/Xfce/etc. instead of GNOME. Perhaps Windows would be easier to maintain and improve if things weren't tied-in as they are, the most famous case of which is perhaps IE.

I really don't see where hardware virtualization used to compartmentalize an OS is a better idea than correct modularization of the OS (which includes choosing the runlevel for the various parts, i.e. it may use 'virtualization', in a sense). Am I missing Gartner's point somehow?

Re:Good point. (1)

baadger (764884) | about 8 years ago | (#15984752)

> Perhaps Windows would be easier to maintain and improve if things weren't tied-in as they are, the most famous case of which is perhaps IE.

Believe it or not, the unmangling of all kinds of Windows components *is* happening in Vista. The most hyped examples are IE7 being ripped out of the shell and Windows Update being made into a seperate application (Anyone else hate how while WU is checking for updates IE becomes unuseable?). This isn't the whole picture of course, there is supposedly also a lot of lower level untangling going on too. Services and their dependencies for example.

> I really don't see where hardware virtualization used to compartmentalize an OS is a better idea than correct modularization of the OS

I agree, I don't think virtualisation has any advantages in simplifying a monolithic project. Of course, if you go the whole hog and setup a *emulated* environment you don't have to worry so much about running on a wide variety of hardware... but then again at the end of the day *something* has to host the environment to start with. Overall virtualisation seems like a horribly expensive way to acheive abstraction and compartmentalization.

If anything the guys at MS Research on the Singularity project have shown how an interesting path to take might well be to simplify the hardware and do away with unsafe programming techniques, virtual memory spaces and make hardware protection optional. The author seems to be suggesting we access virtualisation as gospel simply because it's now in hardware and is now therefore the undeniable future, i'm not convinced.

Re:Good point. (2, Informative)

It'sYerMam (762418) | about 8 years ago | (#15984804)

More than this, what would be good for the toolkits, i.e. GTK, QT and so on, would be an abstraction layer, whereby the program would load a generic "interface" library, and would make generic calls to it, and the user could select between toolkits, but retain their programs. There would be interesting problems to overcome when one toolkit offers a function that another doesn't, but I'm sure there's a way around it :)

This..this..its not even wrong.. (5, Insightful)

rufusdufus (450462) | about 8 years ago | (#15984483)

What does this article mean anyway? Its a bunch of buzz words mixed together in an apparently random order.

Re:This..this..its not even wrong.. (0, Flamebait)

Minshu (989125) | about 8 years ago | (#15984518)

This is just one of many ubargeek threads posted here on /. It serves a single purpose, and that is for those who live off of these buzz words to sit here, cock in one hand, keyboard in the other, arguing over who knows most while all people involved wank off. Sorry, as much as you'd like to believe, knowing THIS much about technology really doesn't mean shit in the long run. Just think about that when they're lowering your casket into the ground. I love elitists because they die just as easily as any other creature.

Re:This..this..its not even wrong.. (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 8 years ago | (#15984617)

That's called sales.

Don't make me vertically align your solutions platform recovery strategy!

Tom

Re:This..this..its not even wrong.. (2, Funny)

cfJeff (957796) | about 8 years ago | (#15984749)

My company adopted this article as our mission statement last year.

http://www.lavarnd.org/cgi-bin/corpspeak.cgi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984799)

They used this tool to write the article: http://www.lavarnd.org/cgi-bin/corpspeak.cgi [lavarnd.org]

        To: All slashdotters
        From: Your Boss
        Date: Sat Aug 26 07:07:03 2006
        Subject: Important Announcement

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                  During this period of company transition, the killer apps provide an indication of the execution. If we can foresee the benefits of the multimedia culture changes, then the ISP will assure us the super-scalar products. The diverse strategic and tactical actions foster multimedia supercorridor, which was outlined recently on our internal Web site.

                  Surely, we can conclude that the market realignment indicate that a Windows-compliant alliance takes the initiative. The professional tangent coordinates market-driven scalable shared memory multiprocessor. We will boldly take over the high-impact market for visual computing.

                  The staffing e-mail achieves a new leadership skills. We absolutely have to develop the compatible information superhighway as well. The seven-habits-conforming standards outsource multimedia supercorridor, on a going-forward basis.

                  We have been looking into the UI. If we can foresee the benefits of 3-D, then multimedia will assure us super-scalar neophytes. We are pleased to announce that massively parallel methods of empowerment interface with the growth years.

                  Now that the merger is complete, time frames are not going to customize. Due to the based missions and the product lines, what has changed is the pace of change. We will long-term kick this idea around.

                  In order to obtain annotation, we took a close look at the win-win parameters to understand what they mean. I think that the next step has possibilities for future technical advances. We are ahead of the sponsorships curve.

Too much complexity? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#15984484)

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to start with a core operating system unit that could then have additional modules and applications bolted on as necessary? You'd have full control over exactly what functions the machine will and will not have. Too bad such a beast will never exist...

Re:Too much complexity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984505)

I hear that the new "Vista" from Microsoft is quite modular.
Other suggestions, anyone?

Re:Too much complexity? (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 8 years ago | (#15984522)

I was going to type a reply to scorn you, but this time I was able to kickstart my brain. Ugh, close call. Now I can sit back and wait for the next gullible person to type the reply and sit back and laugh at him. Thank you for that.

Re:Too much complexity? (1)

PhilTR (190678) | about 8 years ago | (#15984601)

The great penguin in the sky will get you for this!

Re:Too much complexity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984676)

This has been done in research OSes for a while, Singularity from MSR springs to mind.

Too much complexity?-HURD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984722)

"Too bad such a beast will never exist..."



Let's leave the HURD out of this.

Re:Too much complexity? (2, Insightful)

Strych9 (126433) | about 8 years ago | (#15984760)

It did, it was called OS9 (no not the MAC OS-9) but from at the time Microware.

How is this news? (2, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | about 8 years ago | (#15984487)

The slashdot group think have known this since before XP came out and now a research firm predicts what we already knew, 6 years later. Microsoft haven't commented on this so its not worth discussing further (as we already have for years) until some announcement at some MS developer conference mentions it. Oh shit its saturday, slow news day.

More than 50 layer stack for future Windows? (5, Insightful)

five18pm (763804) | about 8 years ago | (#15984488)

That ought to be fun to work with. What will this stack do?

However what is not understandable is how virtualization will be helpful. Sure, you can make a virtual machine run only one process (services), but these services need to interact with each other through some mechanism to do useful work. Will the Windows kernel just do this interaction?

This seems to be oversolving the problem. Service isolation is good, but do you have to go overboard on that?

Re:More than 50 layer stack for future Windows? (2, Interesting)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | about 8 years ago | (#15984568)

Maybe through TCP/IP, making the different parts of the operating system completely independent? Of course this would bring a bunch of other security issues, but updating the different parts would get easier as the only thing that is common between the parts is the protocol. This way the different parts could even be run on different computers, though latency-critical parts should obviously be on the same machine. I'm a bit curious about one part though:

The hypervisor will allow more frequent updates, and will make the Software Assurance subscription scheme effectively mandatory for Windows from around 2010, Gartner said.

I don't really like the sound of that, sounds like yet another DRM scheme that restricts the way we use our computers.

Re:More than 50 layer stack for future Windows? (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#15984667)

but updating the different parts would get easier

I don't have too much trouble updating the various modules of my Linux system. The kernel is seperate from the "services", which are seperate from the GUI, which is seperate from the user apps.

Why can't MS? They maybe could if they wanted too, but they have (or had, for a long, long time) a "we're just developing for a single-user machine" mentality. not thinking about basic stuff like, "hey, maybe it's a bad idea to need to touch the iron".

Making NT the only code bade back in 1994 would have eliminated at the source a heck of a lot of the problems that the Windows world now sees.

Re:More than 50 layer stack for future Windows? (1)

nxtw (866177) | about 8 years ago | (#15984718)

Making NT the only code bade back in 1994 would have eliminated at the source a heck of a lot of the problems that the Windows world now sees.


Had Slashdot been around twelve years ago, everyone would complain about NT's bloatedness and high system requirements over Windows 3.1...

By what means?! (and spoiler (5, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | about 8 years ago | (#15984492)

It's obvious that Gartner doesn't understand computers at all...well, at least Microsoft.

They said Microsoft doesn't agree with this vision, saying it's identified problems with integrating data across partitions and creating a consistent user experience.

And Microsoft's absolutely right on this point. I don't typically defend them, but when groups like Gartner with no experience in computers makes up such ridiculous ideas, I think it's justifiable.

"Upper layers could have dependencies on lower layers, but lower layers could not be dependent on upper ones," the analysts wrote. "This would allow it to lockdown lower layers when complete and worry less about compatibility changes as it worked up the stack." But this redesign is not enough to ease Microsoft's ongoing development and delivery problems, or the deployment difficulties of enterprises, Gartner said.

There's no reason they need to resort to using virtualization to accomplish this task. They could do it now with the current NT code, but it works now so there's no need to fix it for the time being.

It just seems like a waste of resources to completely re-engineer Windows to make efficient use of virtualization that still presents a consistent user interface.

Re:By what means?! (and spoiler (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984536)

> "Upper layers could have dependencies on lower layers, but lower layers could not be dependent on upper ones,"

So we have analcysts who have never written a line of code spouting things from Software Engineering 101 .

Oh, well.

Re:By what means?! (and spoiler (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 8 years ago | (#15984581)

It's obvious that Gartner doesn't understand computers at all...well, at least Microsoft.

Those who can do, do. Those who can't, consult.

frustratingly painful to watch (1)

eneville (745111) | about 8 years ago | (#15984497)

The OS should just allow one to run perl scripts or binaries. We don't need the shell to be so complex that it becomes unfeasible to maintain it. MS should take a long hard look at the likes of WindowMaker and XFCE, or even geoshell etc. From what I can see the 2003/NT5.1 kernel is reasonably stable, which is a first, so this vista release to me is just a cosmetic on (RICE indeed), those improvements to the three year old kernel should be just driver, and possibly performance upgrades.

Re:frustratingly painful to watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984797)

The OS should just allow one to run perl scripts or binaries. We don't need the shell to be so complex that it becomes unfeasible to maintain it.

Whoah! Perl scripts? Don't make it worse than it is. I can't see how integrating Perl into any operating system would achieve anything good...

Garter Press Release not last of its kind (5, Funny)

Jacques Chester (151652) | about 8 years ago | (#15984510)

Slashdot today released a report showing that stupid Garter Group releases will never come to an end.

Instead of critical evaluation or even serious research, the respected organisation will stick by its tried-and-true method of spatial-temporal probability matrix randomisation (marketed under the trademark Making Shit Up, Even If Obviously Stupid).

At a recent demonstration of this technique, Garter Group analysts showed releases on their drawing boards for next week's bullshit sessions, including:

* IBM to buy Apple and force the line back to PowerPC, in order to cripple Microsoft's XBox.
* Sun will no longer release any hardware products, pending a buyout offer from SCO.
* George Lucas will admit he's a dud and bankroll a new new trilogy written and directed by competent artists, such as Britney Spears.

At the time of writing, no Garter analysts were available to comment; being too busy trying to find where the crack pipe got to.

Re:Garter Press Release not last of its kind (1)

Jacques Chester (151652) | about 8 years ago | (#15984517)

Let my post above demonstrate that humour and undergarments do not mix.

Except in Vegas.

Re:Garter Press Release not last of its kind (4, Funny)

dorkygeek (898295) | about 8 years ago | (#15984605)

Gartner is a classic troll. Did you know that every year, 20% of the GNAA's elite is promoted over to Gartner? They are not really open about it, but Gartner is nothing more than the for-profit branch of the GNAA.

It's a classic troll career: with 16, you perambulate the Usenet. With 19, you get your GNAA membership, and work yourself up the organisation. At approximately 25, just having completed a technology-unrelated degree, you are wellcomed to Gartner.

Oh, and, in case you've wondered how to become a member of Gartner's: yes, you have to make a first-article in techworld, mentioning "Gartner". Then you have to join a conference call and are tested about the details of the movie "Bullshit Analysts from Outerspace".

Re:Garter Press Release not last of its kind (1)

orangeacid (909831) | about 8 years ago | (#15984644)

Wow, I sure wouldn't like to be Gartner now. I don't think I've ever seen a company flamed so ferociously for something I don't really understand.

Latest BS from Gartner (4, Informative)

owlstead (636356) | about 8 years ago | (#15984511)

And it's late as well. I don't believe so much in virtualization on this level to create security. I mean, how are the components going to communicate? Sockets? Sockets are their own security problem. Microsoft clearly thinks in the same direction. What we need is a more fine-grained security model, in which applications only get the resources they need. Applications themselves also must be able apply the same security directives to their internal components. Just assigning a user per application won't work either, I mean, I would like to continue to work with my text editor as myself.

Currently, applications can install themselves anywhere they want. They can destroy everything I own, including most things in the registry. They can take every bit of CPU power they like. Any amount of memory. Any amount of threads. Any amount of desktop space (including the whole lot through DirectX). They can even take away my keyboard. I don't think you can solve this by just giving every application it's own CPU and operating system. You can do this by restricting access, and by letting the OS take care of the installation and access conditions (maybe not configuration).

The way to do this is to create dependencies with modules, and create security managers to handle access. This is e.g. part of the Java security model, which is sadly hardly ever used. Microsoft has it's own copy of that of course. It's in .net and works with assemblies. Where Microsoft has an advantage is that it owns the Windows operating system, and can therefore easily use a centralized Virtual Machine (as in MSIL virtual machine), installation procedures etc.

I've little doubt that this is the direction Microsoft is thinking for the long run. Unfortunately they don't seem to grasp it on the same abstraction level that Sun can, so it will probably take time. No doubt it will take double that time for Gartner to understand it. Just running every app in its own OS is much easier to grasp, especially when it is already there.

Re:Latest BS from Gartner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984757)

"And it's late as well. I don't believe so much in virtualization on this level to create security. I mean, how are the components going to communicate?"
[Process 1]---|--[hardware assisted security and process mediater]---|--[Process 2]
BTW In some applications information must be guarenteed not to leak.e.g Three-letter acronyms.

Gartner Group Writing Plan (4, Funny)

beswicks (584636) | about 8 years ago | (#15984515)

1. Collect Buzzwords
2. ???
3. Publish Report

I assume they use a Bot to trawl the internet collecting the latest buzz words, and then another to automatically assemble the report... but after reading that piffle I don't think they would have the compitence to turn on the computer.

Gartner Group Profit Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984674)

1. Collect Buzzwords
2. ???
3. Publish Report

Dude! You forgot

4. Profit! Lots and lots of profit!

These guys are the CIO's version Cliff Notes! They don't have the time (or desire) to do their own research. That's why they pay Gartner and shit load of money!

Well, on that particular topic I'd say (2)

dlrow olleh (886534) | about 8 years ago | (#15984538)

Fuck Slashdot

umm, wait (1)

Klaidas (981300) | about 8 years ago | (#15984545)

The problem is that the operating system's increasing complexity is making it ever more difficult for enterprises to implement migrations, and impossible for Microsoft to release regular updates

I know I'll probably get moderatad as troll/flamebait, but... Well, if we look at Linux (Debian/Fedora/Ubuntu), there's no problem to upgrade to a next release / release updates.
Another thing. I don't think Vista's gonna be "the last of its kind" - it's like 640K should be enough for everybody :)

Dash? (1)

Klaidas (981300) | about 8 years ago | (#15984567)

Mr.Editor, but wouldn't it be much more simple to read and understand the title if it was
Vista - the Last of Its Kind

The dash wasn't invented for no reason you know

Re:Dash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984686)

Indeed you can even wash your cloth in it!
http://www.dash.com/ [dash.com]

About freaking time (3, Interesting)

enharmonix (988983) | about 8 years ago | (#15984577)

Kevin Kelly's Out of Control got me thinking about this a while back. Although the book is a little dated, it is all about network economies and their similarities to ecological systems, and I realized that evolution is at work when it comes to platform adoption. Greater than 90% of desktops run Windows, so there's no variety in the PC platform genepool. Just like inbred populations, this PC pool is unhealthy: it can't adapt and infections run rampant because all specimens are susceptible to the same illnesses.

Of course, who's going to change to another platform when there's no software out there? (No flames please - try to remember perception is everything, and ask yourself whether an average user realizes alternatives exist.) Virtualization, I think, is a good answer to this. I like the idea of "booting" to an application like in the pre-DOS days, and if your games run no x86/x64 architecture, you could bypass the OS altogether to get the most out of games by just booting straight into Halo 4 or HalfLife 3. I also like the end of the API: we can go back to the days of static linked libraries (no version conflicts, ever!) and headers and just build our own OSes from scratch to run in a VM. Since you can virtualize anything, even VMs, you can get cross-platform apps and cross-platform platforms (Java, .NET, etc.) and consumers don't have to worry about physical hardware or their underlying OS components, apart from cost and performance considerations. As far as their apps go, everything could, theoretically, work the same on any system (whether business decisions will allow this to happen, we'll just have to see). In fact, my only worry about this is how to allow for a standard GUI on such a system (but since nobody, not even Microsoft, follows GUI principles these days anyway, it probably doesn't matter).

This is, IMO, a far superior way to do things than how they're done now. So, okay, then, OSS community, please get to work so you will be finished before MS is. Thank you.

Re:About freaking time (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 8 years ago | (#15984823)

While I think you've got a great concept there, have you tried using any 3d app in a virtualized OS? Just a technicality at this point more than anything else, but a fairly large one if we're going to have our systems evolve into things that can boot right into games, and Just Work. As for standard GUI principles - things change. 90% of the people out there are used to the Windows GUI, so while it may not be ideal, people are familiar enough with it. Combine that with the Actually Just Works of OS X (after 10+ years of Windows, I became usefully familiar with OS X in literally a few hours), I think we have some decent guidelines.

Awsome. (1)

LittleBigScript (618162) | about 8 years ago | (#15984603)

"Upper layers could have dependencies on lower layers, but lower layers could not be dependent on upper ones," the analysts wrote. "This would allow it to lockdown lower layers when complete and worry less about compatibility changes as it worked up the stack."

Trying to figure out what this means....

divide the Windows client into a "service partition", controlling system functions such as management and security, and one or more application partitions.

I get it! It is like a Virtual Anti-Trust System!

Seriously, just because Microsoft is having such a difficult time releasing an updated operating system they feel like they can charge money for on the x86 platform, doesn't mean there aren't other companies who are selling updates annually to another operating system.

I thought that Microsoft had a lot of marketing power. Why are they so flaky on delivering an operating system which has no competition. They could sell a service pack to XP and make a fortune.

Given Microsoft's history of progression, I guarantee that this will be the most unstable, insecure, unusual, and unnecessarily complex operating system in it's history. Yes more so than Bob and WinMe.

Microsoft and modularity (3, Insightful)

tjcrowder (899845) | about 8 years ago | (#15984606)

Gartner or no, it seems unlikely that Microsoft would be able to sufficiently modularize Windows in order to do this even if they did agree it was a good direction to go. Modularity and separation of problem domains haven't really been Microsoft's strong suit, have they? I'm thinking, for instance, of how Windows Explorer locks up while waiting for a device (CD drive, network connection) to respond. There are good reasons for not mixing UI and device communications on the same thread, and yet they didn't even bother to separate them in the main user interface to the OS. (Well, they hadn't as of XP, anyway -- 18+ years into developing the OS.) That's just one example of a failure of modularity in Windows. The usual path they seem to follow, be it the message pump (remember when it was one pump for the OS and all apps?) or Internet Explorer, is to go monolithic and only modularize when the monolith fails. Not commenting on the good or bad of that strategy (that would be a different flame wa^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H discussion), but it gives insight into their approach to software development, one which is not particularly friendly to Gartner's ideas...

I'm SOOOOO stupid! (4, Funny)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | about 8 years ago | (#15984622)

I'm soooooo stupid!

Here I am writing code, where the smallest slip can cause serious damage to our company, our customers, and my paycheck.

When instead I could be writing *pure quasi-random blather*, with no consequences even if the stuff is pure blue-sky speculation, and unlikely for a multitude of reasons.

( *must* *get* *job* *at* *gartner* *group* )

( writing sample: )

"Huge monopoly software company will screw their own pooch and dump their cash cows for no visible reason and instead (mumble) (not clear who) will use (completely different type of technology with not much in common with previous sentence) or (hot new buzzword that hasnt been seen-thru yet) to completely bypass all the laws of human ignorance, inertia, established base, software trends, and economics. "

There, that should move me right to the top of their hiring list.

FaIilzors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15984627)

The problem with Vista (1)

argoff (142580) | about 8 years ago | (#15984629)

The problem with Vista has been that innovation and technology growth in Linux follows a trajectory similar to e^x where in the Microsoft space it follows a growth pattern similar to ln(x). When things start out, the appearance is that the ln(x) formula grows at a spectacular rate compaired to e^x, but after a few iterations the exponential growth blows everything else away.

Re:The problem with Vista (1)

JayAEU (33022) | about 8 years ago | (#15984768)

I'd be interested to hear on what statistical data you have based your statements and what you think the current value of "x" is at the moment.

Weak Link in Testing Chain? (4, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | about 8 years ago | (#15984633)

The average tester should expect it by the end of September.
Here is the problem with Windows. Microsoft only uses average testers for their release candidates. Hire some "super-testers" or better yet - An infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of PCs will eventually discover all your b.. Wait a second -- You? Me?... we ARE the monkeys.

*hunches over and arches wrists -- picks at a few keys*

Windows Vienna? (1)

mporcheron (897755) | about 8 years ago | (#15984649)

Wasn't this already presumed, I mean, Blackcomb/Vienna was supposed to be completely different ot the current Windows system including Start menu?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vienna [wikipedia.org]

Step 6 of the Software Life Cycle: Death (5, Interesting)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | about 8 years ago | (#15984650)

Reguardless of what model of software life-cycle you use, software does die eventually. Only instead of calling it "death", software engineers call it "retirement". The retirement phase of the software life-cycle occurs when the product (in this case Microsoft Windows) is removed from service. This happens when the functionality provided by the product no longer is of any use to the client.

As much as some of us have loathed Microsoft and Bill Gates and Windows, it is quite untimely for all of this to happen. Talk about a private sale of the company, the retirement of Bill Gates, and the recent series of product failures is tragic.

Even if we never liked Microsoft, it is sad to watch this mightly sparing partner collapse under the weight of mutual self-destruction. Even bitter enemies mourn the loss of their rivals.

The wonton self-mutilation of Microsoft would be that in its hubris, they kept delaying Vista or Longhorn or whatever it was called in the beginning. Add to that, a list of software patents that while it protected themself from competition, prevented growth and development within the company. Greed settled in because the people in charge were happy making a ton of money with the status quo. Then they started to maximize their wealth by cutting out things that made the company what it was. Outsourcing workers. Removing subsitities and extras (i.e. Vulcan Enterprises which ran TechTV). Shortening the leash of how much code was released.

As the company became more miserly, the man who was the corporate face of this software empire wanted out.

We now see it not just as the death of a software product but the death of a corporation.

Post to Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

toochoos (991616) | about 8 years ago | (#15984711)

Did you see before the post-to-slashdot link at the bottom of the page? It simply posts the story to slashdot, using the submit.pl page, filled with its story.
What do they expect?
That by flooding/spamming, their story will be accepted? It seemed to work!

Someone tell me... (2, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about 8 years ago | (#15984727)

Someone tell me what qualification Gartner analysts have in predicting the future of OS research? To me, this looks like BS, virtualization is a tool for a different problem. But if these analysts have a PhD in OS design, maybe I could believe it. But come on, they are disputing with MS what MS is going to do. Mostly MS doesn't know what it is doing, how Gartner can know more... . Argh..

Why do people even listen to Gartner? (3, Insightful)

EXMSFT (935404) | about 8 years ago | (#15984729)

This is complete BS. Microsoft would love nothing more than to have Windows be a modular snap-together, snap-to-upgrade, easily patched model like this. But to do it properly will require a good decade of work, and a complete redesign of Windows.

Windows as it is designed today is monolithic. You can't separate one layer from another in the "dreamy" way that Gartner is wishing for. The irony is that Netscape once used the term "spaghetti code" to describe the pre-Mozilla rewrite. The same could be easily used to describe Windows in it's current condition.

Gartner analysts often amaze me. I've met a few who deserve the respect of people in the industry. But I've met many more who have an amazing talent for talking out of their bottoms about technology they don't understand. Analysts have the best job. They get to make crack-filled predictions about the future. And nobody ever calls them on them, because in 3-5 years, when it hasn't come true, nobody remembers it, and the analyst is there preaching some hazy, totally new vision of the future (that probably contradicts their earlier "prediction").

In other news... (1, Troll)

Wolfier (94144) | about 8 years ago | (#15984730)

It's also reported that Duke Nukem Forever will have another release candidate by the end of August.

Dumb Clients and Smart Developers? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 years ago | (#15984751)

Will todays generation be saving up for an expensive terminal server OS or a low cost dumb client OS every 6 months?
Will your next box be an xbox?
Low cost, fast gpu and a networked OS that lets you sit back end get on with 'enjoying' portals?
Great for short fun hd streams and myads.
Dial up and drop out. Stuck between pay per play or play per ad.

But what about the developers?
Will they be happy to be locked into a closed DRM net box OS?

My assessment of Gartner Group (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 8 years ago | (#15984801)

Gartner Group is the best proof I can find for George Carlin's theory that the most profitable business in the US is the manufacture, packaging, and redistribution of bullshit. It reminds me of friends of my sister who got a top-notch education, aced the SATs, got a degree from Harvard, and now get paid top dollar to go around giving Powerpoint presentations on how to create "synergy" in an "n-Tier multi-platform Web 2.0 AJAX solution".
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