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Microsoft Upgrades Vista Kernel in SP1

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the new-toys-for-your-tech dept.

Microsoft 231

KrispySausage writes "One of the big features discussed in early speculation of Windows Vista SP1 was the kernel upgrade, which was supposed to bring the operating system into line with the Longhorn kernel used in Windows Server 2008. With Vista SP1 going RTM, there hasn't been so much as a peep from Microsoft about the mooted kernel update. Has it happened? Well the answer is yes it has. Presumably the main reason for Microsoft's silence on the subject is that as they're keen to promote the improvements and enhancements to Vista, rather than placing emphasis on a kernel upgrade, which some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability."

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confused (5, Funny)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308366)

I thought "improvements and enhancements" was MS marketing speak for "newly-introduced instability".

Re:confused (4, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308512)

I've always figured that the period after they declare they'll no longer support the product is that sweet spot when it will finally function predictably.

Re:confused (5, Interesting)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309084)

It's interesting you say that--I just installed the release candidate for SP3 on my XP VM, and I'll tell you--it made a huge difference to the performance of XP. It now functions just fine with the meager amount of RAM I allotted to it, and it functions well with Office 2007 (i.e., it doesn't take forever to open or run slow) despite, once again, the meager amount of RAM I allow it to use.

And, of course, as you noted, XP is losing support next year--just as it's running better than ever!

Re:confused (4, Informative)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309374)

And, of course, as you noted, XP is losing support next year--just as it's running better than ever!
No, it's not. Microsoft supports all operating systems for 2 years past the last service pack.

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3223 [microsoft.com]

Re:confused (5, Informative)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309510)

Ok, I don't like replying to myself, but I didn't do enough research.

When a new service pack is released, Microsoft will provide either 12 or 24 months of support for the previous service pack
When support for a product ends, support of the service packs for that product will also end. The product's support lifecycle supersedes the service pack support policy
Windows has a 24 month policy

Mainstream support for Windows XP Pro ends 4/14/2009, which means they're not going to sell it or add new features to the core OS.

Extended support for Windows XP Pro ends 4/8/2014, which means no new updates at all past that point.

Re:confused (1, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309580)

Well, maybe whatever comes after Vista (if it even comes out in a reasonable amount of time) will replace my Bootcamp XP by 2014.

Re:confused (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310052)

Always skip one version of the OS. In my case I went from Win98 to WinXP.

Re:confused (1)

theoxygenthief (1230132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309618)

I think he was referring to reports that MS will stop selling XP in June/July.

Re:confused (-1, Flamebait)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309086)

Oh, Vista's function is completely predictable: shitty.

Of course, as a media center (and only as a media center) it's actually the best option right now, and what I'm stuck using on my media PC. Brain... exploding....

Re:confused (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309998)

Of course, as a media center (and only as a media center) it's actually the best option right now,

What do you mean, "as a media center"? Can you not use Debian/Ubuntu or something?

Re:confused (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308854)

Insightful?

Dumbass mods.

This is opinion.

consumer vs. geek (4, Insightful)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308368)

Not to mention that almost everything they've done to promote Vista has been aimed at the end-user, the joe-blow consumer. That user has no idea what the kernel is or why they should care -- it's just geeky mumbo-jumbo that would scare their target Vista audience.

Re:consumer vs. geek (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308490)

now that I have my joke out of the way, thats right mods it was a joke not a trolling attempt. I really think you are probably right about their motive.

So they're afraid... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308372)

The kernel might pop?

Risky Business (4, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308376)

"which some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability."

now who would think that? Honestly now, lets see some hands. You in the back, PUT YOUR DAMN HANDS IN THE AIR!

Re:Risky Business (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308930)

"which some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability."

now who would think that? Honestly now, lets see some hands. You in the back, PUT YOUR DAMN HANDS IN THE AIR!
LOOKOUT! The guy in the back has a CHAIR! It's Ballmer, everybody DUCK!

Re:Risky Business (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309184)

and wave them like I just don't care?

Re:Risky Business (0, Offtopic)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309584)

sure, if it helps. You may also use one of these [ytmnd.com] in case you are only able to wave your hands like you do care.

Risk... (4, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308388)

When adding ANY code, there is risk of security vulnerabilities and potential exploits. Sadly, most people seem to not know this.

Re:Risk... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308450)

exit(-1);

Re:Risk... (1, Troll)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309718)

I just provided a new exit() function and changed the library search path to find my library first. Your machine is pwned.

Re:Risk... (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309470)

While any code can introduce risk for security vulnerabilities and exploits, I think the point is that people would rather have patches for KNOWN security vulnerabilities and potential exploits.

Bias (-1, Troll)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308392)

As much as I hate (detest, revile) to admit that a good Vista is good for everyone in someways (slower viruses, etc.), ... oh wait. I can't get over hoping Vista dies a horrible flaming death. I don't mean to flame/troll... I know I'm biased.

Re:Bias (3, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309062)

As much as I hate (detest, revile) to admit that a good Vista is good for everyone in someways (slower viruses, etc.), ... oh wait. I can't get over hoping Vista dies a horrible flaming death. I don't mean to flame/troll... I know I'm biased.


I am similarly conflicted. On one hand I want the spectacle. On the other I know that I'm just going to have to support it over the phone for my parents.

And let me just head off anyone who is going to suggest "install Linux for them" or "get them to buy a mac..." I will say that I live thousands of miles away from them and, quite frankly, they're getting older and the change would probably be more trouble than it is worth.

-matthew

Re:Bias (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309784)

old people can still remember dos and lotus 123.

Re:Bias (1, Redundant)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309848)

I live thousands of miles away from them
That's one of the arguments *for* installing Linux. Very easy to support remotely. Just whack Ubuntu on, and tell them it's Windows Vista or something.

Re:Bias (2, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310084)

That's one of the arguments *for* installing Linux. Very easy to support remotely. Just whack Ubuntu on, and tell them it's Windows Vista or something.


They're old, not stupid. Besides, supporting Linux isn't the issue. Just getting them to the point where supporting it is the only issue is the issue. My dad runs so much Windows-only crap that it isn't even funny. He's uses the computer for much more than web browsing and email.

OS X would be my first choice for them.

-matthew

Re:Bias (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309308)

Well, the GUI is so cumbersome, it's no wonder that even the viruses are slowed.

Re:Bias (1)

theoxygenthief (1230132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309692)

ROFL. Well, atleast with Vista's DRM you're guaranteed those viruses are 100% Authentic Genuine made for Vista viruses. And the Spyware popups look pretty and transparanty too!

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309948)

i bet you speak for your own experience, here i have none of that.

Its funny to watch all these comments, and check which ones are really productive comments and which ones are from 12 year old kids.

Oh and no im not a Microsoft defender, neither Unix neither Apple by the way.
Its just i think people should wait to see and comment on what they know, and when they comment try to be productive.

Oh, joy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308396)

Prepare for a new worm. They either:
1. Fixed something exploitable
2. Created something exploitable

I doubt they found everything. Even less likely they actually fixed what they did find.

"Either"??? (2, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308772)

This is Micro$oft we're talking about. They fixed 20 exploitable things and put in 30 more exploitable things, but will refuse to admit the 30 in the name of "security through obscurity."

What?! (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308402)

Seriously, you're telling me that a version number jump in the kernel during a Service Pack is somehow news? And not only that but *unconfirmed* reports of that. *With screenshots*. Wow.

And what does it do. What does the new 0.0.1 add to Windows? Dunno. There isn't a word about it in the article, just some screenshots of version numbers.

How the bloody hell does this make the front page?

Re:What?! (1)

sundarvenkata (1214396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308506)

I totally agree with you. Also why would it matter even if MSFT change the kernel given that the enterprise deployments of Vista are still lukewarm.

Re:What?! (0, Flamebait)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308682)

More to the point, how is the article titled "MS junks, replaces Vista kernel" when ou have a .0.0.1 increment?

Re:What?! (2, Insightful)

Dada (31909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308702)

What I find most surprising is that Slashdot's headline is quite tame compared to the source "article". Usually it's the opposite.

I've been out of the loop for a while... What's the geek news site that has replaced Slashdot? There must be one... Of course that's a rethorical question: anybody who found it would be there and would've stopped reading /. altogether.

Re:What?! (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308786)

What I find most surprising is that Slashdot's headline is quite tame compared to the source "article". Usually it's the opposite.
You aren't implying that the editor read the article and deemed the title too strong? Blasphemy!

Re:What?! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308770)

I agree. Horrible article. I looked for new info about what the kernel upgrade had, but he didn't know...? WTF?

That Windows Vista SP1 would have a kernel upgrade has been known for almost since the start of SP1, easily for months at least.

Articles have even already been written about what the new kernel contains. Even by Microsoft, something this guy doesn't seem to even know!

Here's the deal, although in some sort of "prerelease" form:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/c/5/9c5b2167-8017-4bae-9fde-d599bac8184a/kernel-en.doc [microsoft.com]

And here's a pretty detailed "changelog", although it doesn't separate kernel changes from the rest:
http://www.istartedsomething.com/20071208/vista-sp1-changelog/ [istartedsomething.com]

Re:What?! (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309074)

Here's the deal, although in some sort of "prerelease" form:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/c/5/9c5b2167-8017-4bae-9fde-d599bac8184a/kernel-en.doc [microsoft.com]
Oops, sorry, that isn't quite it, it's for the SP1-less Vista and Server Longhorn. Well, some parts of it may apply, because Vista SP1 *is* largely the "Windows Server Longhorn" kernel, now named Windows Server 2008.

Here's something that should be a bit more accurate:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/4/a/f4a35b2b-2f62-4104-a3e6-5f7bc1318e9f/Notable%20changes%20in%20Windows%20Vista%20SP1.pdf [microsoft.com]

However, it again doesn't separate the changes in the kernel from the rest, but to a reasonably experienced programmer, one should be able to distinguish some of that from the rest. For example, the new random number generator is likely a kernel change, etc...

"two exploits fixed" (1)

XHIIHIIHX (918333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309832)

Ya gotta love the wording here:

"Also coming with SP1 but not in the current release candidate, we will also be including updates that deal with two exploits we have seen, which can affect system stability for our customers. The OEM Bios exploit, which involves modifying system files and the BIOS of the motherboard to mimic a type of product activation performed on copies of Windows that are pre-installed by OEMs in the factory. The Grace Timer exploit, which attempts to reset the "grace time" limit between installation and activation to something like the year 2099 in some cases."

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20071208/vista-sp1-changelog/ [istartedsomething.com]

Re:What?! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308904)

How the bloody hell does this make the front page?
It gives the anti-MS monkeys another opportunity to bitch and moan about Microsoft and/or Vista. Look for the same old tired comments about DRM, and mini-reviews about Vista ending with the comment "so I installed Ubuntu and have never looked back".

Same old Slashdot. Same old shit.

Re:What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309142)

> How the bloody hell does this make the front page?

Umm, did you check the Posted by name?

Re:What?! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309322)

We get posts that are 'newsworthy' every time the Linux kernel increments, so why not the Vista kernel?

I for one see it as a good thing, but yeah it's not newsworth. Anyone who's been following the development of SP1 even a little bit knew there would be a new kernel. That's good as it means MS is addressing bugs and other issues in the current kernel.

Re:What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309872)

How the bloody hell does this make the front page?
/. hadn't used the Borg Gates or Broken Windows graphics in the past couple of hours. They desperately needed an excuse.

And any Windows/MSFT related article is a guaranteed boost in hits since you'll get the usual "Marketing Speak", "Windows updates break? No!", and other worn out non-jokes.

Re:What?! (3, Interesting)

SleeknStealthy (746853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310082)

I agree that the article is weak, but I downloaded the leaked rtm and installed it this past Saturday on my laptop. I had originally moved back to xp on the laptop because of the obvious performance problems with vista. However, sp1 makes a massive difference on a few different levels:
1. suspend / resume
2. memory consumption
3. Finally fixes the horrendous performance when copying files
4. Network performance is excellent even when listening to music.

Overall on a laptop that is not my primary computer I am pleased with the huge difference sp1 actually does make. I am sure within a few more weeks my mind will change, but there is not question about the increase in performance.

The real reason why SP1 is not ready (-1, Flamebait)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308434)

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080205/real-reason-vista-sp1-not-released/ [istartedsomething.com]

Sinofsky's devs still have work to do, it seems. I mean come on; what the fuck changed between XP and Vista to kill file transfer times like that over a 1gbit network?

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (2, Informative)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308622)

In case you haven't noticed ... Vista is a new OS and _not_ an incremental update of XP.

The overall design of it may be good but of course there is going to be bugs at this point in the game. It seems like everyone keeps forgetting how complicated an OS is.

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308758)

In case you haven't noticed ... Vista is a new OS and _not_ an incremental update of XP.
And yet they managed to introduce many of the same bugs that exist in XP.

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309474)

And yet they managed to introduce many of the same bugs that exist in XP.
Even though you're an Anonymous Coward I'll bite. Care to elaborate on these bugs?

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309414)

New OS huh? So they rewrote everything from scratch eh? Completely changed the way we use an operating system?

All OSes these days are an evolutionary process. I would argue all software is. Take the old stuff, make some improvements. This makes sense since re-inventing the wheel is a waste.

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309740)

New OS huh?
Yes.

So they rewrote everything from scratch eh? Completely changed the way we use an operating system?
No and no.

All OSes these days are an evolutionary process. I would argue all software is.
This makes sense since re-inventing the wheel is a waste.
Agreed

Take the old stuff, make some improvements.
Depends.

You're right that a lot of software development is evolutionary. You try not to duplicate work that doesn't need duplicated. Just because don't write (anew) all the code does not imply that it's an update. You may have a good set of libaries that can be used. It's not all solely make improvements to old software. Sometimes the design of the system limits how well you can continue modifying it and then you have to redesign and rewrite it.

I do see where you're coming from, sometimes there's a fine line between if a piece of software is more of a redesign or more of an update. It can blurred, however I point you to here [wikipedia.org] . I standby my opinion that Vista is more of a new product then an incremental update of XP.

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (1)

Shadowland (574647) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309666)

> It seems like everyone keeps forgetting how complicated an OS is.

Including Microsoft....

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (3, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308734)

Maybe you should, you know, keep up. Network and sound drivers are both now userland. Network purposefully yields to the sound driver when its playing sound so you don't get choppy sound. There's a bug where it yields too much. And only if you're copying files on a LAN, IIRC. It was missed because they didn't do testing on a gbit network card.

This has been known almost since Vista's release... where have you been?

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (4, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309410)

"...where have you been?"

Waiting for his download to finish...

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (2, Insightful)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309638)

Quote
                "they" didn't do testing on a gbit network card.

And, this means that *I* am supposed to? The reason I spend money on an OS is to assure that it has been tested; if I do the testing there are plenty of no-cost alternatives.

Quote

                Network and sound drivers now userland.

Is this good? Back to the gbit network, that would be 100mbytes/second of data. Passed through kernel (i/o priviledged) layers back to "userland" (non i/o priviledged), back to kernel (process isolation) and to another process. What this means: A block of data (of, say, 50K) needs 4 process/privilege transitions. 2000 blocks per second to saturate the link -- that is 8000 context switches per second.

But then, processors *are* cheap these days.

Re:The real reason why SP1 is not ready (1)

ChronoReverse (858838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309960)

The reasoning is precisely because we have cheap and fast CPUs we can now sacrifice some performance (it doesn't take much to deal with fast ethernet) in order to get more stability. In the case of network and sound, driver faults, for instance, won't (shouldn't anyways) take down the system anymore. It's all theory of course, but I can see the reasoning at least.

A Kernel upgrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308448)

So they've decided to distribute linux afterall?

good for vista or bad for 2008 server? (1, Insightful)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308456)

As bad as Vista has been doing, this better be a huge upgrade, or 2008 server is setting itself up as a huge flop from the get go. Unless of course they assume that servers are run by professionals who don't need the "allow or deny" pop-ups, and don't watch HD videos with special DRM.

Re:good for vista or bad for 2008 server? (1, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309018)

As bad as Vista has been doing, this better be a huge upgrade, or 2008 server is setting itself up as a huge flop from the get go.

Vista and Server 2008 have very different target margets, so you can't really judge how Server will do based on Vista's current market performance.

Unless of course they assume that servers are run by professionals who don't need the "allow or deny" pop-ups, and don't watch HD videos with special DRM.

Again with the DRM FUD. I'll point you here [slashdot.org] rather than repeating myself and others over and over again.

Re:good for vista or bad for 2008 server? (0, Troll)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309202)

My beef is not with the market performance but the physical performance compared to XP. And even quoting Bott's highly controversial claims doesn't make the DRM FUD; it's there, and it does use cycles, and would be detrimental for a server kernel if it is using system resources uselessly.

Re:good for vista or bad for 2008 server? (3, Insightful)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309588)

What the hell are you talking about? Trollish troll is trollish eh?

Anyway, I'll bite. Windows Server 2008, like any decent server should have, is based on user permissions and if your user can't perform a given task, you can escalate to admin rights (OMG JUST LIEK SU!!) and do your thing. And obviously there won't be the same issues as on Vista because it won't be used as a desktop. At least it shouldn't be.

And the fact it's not a desktop means that the HD videos thing doesn't even matter.

The Kernel can't be any better... (4, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308482)

They didn't put any electrolytes in it...

Re:The Kernel can't be any better... (2, Funny)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309204)

They didn't put any electrolytes in it...


Please. SP1 has more electrolytes than your body has room for. It'll run so fast they'll think your computer is from Kenya!

I was kind of hoping to see a performance review.. (4, Interesting)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308484)

..of SP1 RTM, kind of like what the exo performance/xpnet people did late last year.

I am one of the many who switched back to XP..performance on my tablet stunk with Vista. However, I did like some of the ease-of-use mobility features, but it wasn't worth the grief of performance and drivers.

I would like to run Vista....I just need a compelling reason to do so.

Re:I was kind of hoping to see a performance revie (4, Interesting)

afedaken (263115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309216)

Finally, another tablet user!

I occasionally game on my unit, so now I'm running an XP/Vista dual-boot, but msot of my work time is in Vista these days. For my unit, it doesn't seem to be appreciably slower than XP was, (but to be fair, I'm not running Aero Glass since the integrated graphics don't support it) and some of the features work noticeably better.

For me specifically:
- Handwriting Recognition is improved. (In both English, and Japanese.)
- Searching was greatly improved.
- Hibernation to file now restores properly every time.

System specs:
Toshiba R15-s822
1.6GHz Pentium M
160GB HD
2GB RAM
Vista Ultimate.

Would you tell me a bit more about your Vista experience? Specifically, was it the over-all experience that sent you running back to XP, or was it the tablet specific features?

I dont get it (5, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308502)

I do not get it. On my Suse box I see Linux kernel updates all the time. So Microsoft Updated the kernel to match 2008. How do we not know the only difference between the two kernels was 10 lines of code or something? So the version/build number changed. We do not know what changed. Can a normal user tell exactly what the differences were between Windows 2000 and XP (NOTICE I SAID NORMAL USER!!!) no they can not. I do not think normal people (the majority of Microsoft's user base) will know the difference. Maybe someone working for an anti virus company will notice or maybe a slashdot reader but not the majority of the users. Honestly I think this is just more slashdot fud on the front page to bash Microsoft for doing something that Linux does every few months.

Re:I dont get it (1)

Bruitist (987735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308742)

Of course they can tell the difference between 2000 and XP, the theme changed!

Re:I dont get it (3, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309324)

Can a normal user tell exactly what the differences were between Windows 2000 and XP (NOTICE I SAID NORMAL USER!!!) no they can not.
Do "normal" users play games, have wireless networking, use webcams, unzip files, or switch between users?

Re:I dont get it (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309526)

fast user switching?

My wife would notice that missing very quickly if we downgraded to 2000. And she would fall in the category of "normal user"

Re:I dont get it (1)

oatworm (969674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309764)

Umm... one comes with the "Classic" theme and one comes with the Windows XP theme? One keeps nagging me about how I don't have anti-virus software or my firewall is disabled and the other one doesn't? One says "Windows XP" when it boots and the other one says "Windows 2000"?

The list kind of goes on like that.

Or maybe because it doesn't matter much? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308526)

It's long since I got excited about a Linux kernel update. Since I upgrade the kernel along with everything else perhaps it's hard to say, but on the plain non-virtualized desktop running conventional applications there aren't any revolutions going on. There's new drivers but in theory every USB device is already supported by Linux, it's the userland bits that are missing. Don't get me wrong I'm sure there's a lot of important developments going on, I just don't see it affecting me. Or if it does, it's some months later when applications or the control center improves somehow. I think the situation is much the same for Vista...

Re:Or maybe because it doesn't matter much? (2, Informative)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309364)

I know Linux kernel devs have been switching up the schedulers lately. Well, last year or so. You could conceivably notice that and even get excited about it depending on how it helps multimedia and such. For any other OS, changing the process scheduler and pager would be a pretty big deal.

Of course, it *is* just the kernel. There is so much more to a modern OS that it is hard to stay focused on the kernel unless you're a developer.

-matthew

0.0001? Are you kidding? (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308652)

That's how much you rev the version number by when all you are doing is fixing bugs that only required very minor code change.

That's just dumb (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308712)

In other news, Linux v2.6.19.3 was released on February 5, 2007 (6 days after Vista). There have been 75 new kernel releases since then. Source: going to ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/ [kernel.org] and counting ChangeLogs since then.

I'm not sure why this is news.

Re:That's just dumb (1)

A little Frenchie (715758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308914)

because with Linux you can see what changed so you know what you should test to make sure your software still work

how can you do that with closed source?

this could or couldn't be a big issue, only the future will tell

Re:That's just dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309148)

and every time I've updated the kernel I've had to reconfigure VMware

yay

What would be the difference? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308722)

What is the difference between the Vista and Longhorn kernels? What advantage would I see from this upgrade? Is it more stable? Are there features (scheduling features I'd guess, better realtime support maybe?) that Vista doesn't currently have? Other than the danger of introducing new and exciting bugs, why do I even care?

Re:What would be the difference? (3, Informative)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308994)

This is in the area of Really Bad Analogies, but bear with me anyway: Windows 2003 was the followup to XP. Quite a few users who got their hands (ahem...) on Windows 2003 think that it is a very solid workstation OS, handling a few situations better than XP. If blatantly ignoring the lack of drivers, XP64 (which is derived from the 2003 codebase) is also solid. More polish went into handling high-load cases and simple bugfixing, things that were never justified to backport to XP. (SP2 carried over some things and added a few, so until Windows 2003 SP1 was released, there were two clear forks again with non-overlapping features.)

What does this mean for Vista SP1? Well, there should be very little reason to use Windows 2008 as a desktop OS. One could imagine that some geek/pro user workloads (network/disk I/O, anyone?) might be improved. On the other hand, these changes should already be in the SP release candidates, and the reviews of those haven't shown any big changes. A practical concern would be that the platforms should be similar from now on, like in the W2K days. I guess that will make at least some hardware vendor developers happy. Maybe this will also mean that additional hotfixes more acutely needed for server scenarios will trickle down to Vista.

I just got done... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308732)

...licking and sucking my wife's feet. Mmmmmm... they were good and smelly, too.

Not Worried About New Instability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308766)

some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability

As opposed to the pervasive long-standing instability inherent to Windows operating systems?

mooted or muted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308846)

What made the Kernel upgrade moot? Methinks the author meant muted.

Desktop Kernel Instability? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308870)

That's some kind of contradiction along the lines of "military intelligence." I kid.

Slightly off topic:
Vista desktop + openldap win32 binaries + apache and bind = GNU Windows Server?

openldap on win32: http://www.openldap.org/lists/openldap-software/200705/msg00152.html [openldap.org]
apache2: http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi [apache.org]
kerberos5: http://web.mit.edu/Kerberos/kfw-3.2/kfw-3.2.2.html [mit.edu]

Granted, the average win32 admin will hit a wall because Microsoft does not design their product, documents and services for an admin smart enough to DIY.

Openldap/kerberos5/apache2 opens many, many more security/identity/authentication possibilities than Microsoft's active directory.

As long as they.... (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308946)

As long as they get rid of that stupid "calculating time to transfer files" dialog.

Standardize code base (4, Insightful)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308988)

From the article:

So if you look at it one way, the Windows Vista "kernel upgrade" isn't a fundamental update, but rather, an alignment of the two operating systems.


This is a smart move. It's easier to develop one kernel than two, so standardizing the two made sense. They've had more time to beat on Server 2008 and test it, and are incorporating those changes.

The end user won't see this, but the end user doesn't care. Their flashy GUI and UAC (snicker) will run faster as a result.

Vista SP1 (1)

beastmoon (1232596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309020)

Now for more than 1 year launching, microsoft release SP1 for vista? is that so fast?

Typical Slashdot mountain out of a molehill... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309090)

There is no separate "Windows kernel" and "server kernel" or whatever nonsense the article is talking about. There is one Windows kernel...the current version as of late 2006 shipped with Vista RTM, the current version as of now shipped with Vista SP1 and Server 2008. Not clear why anybody would expect anything different.

vnig6a (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22309106)

Re:vnig6a (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309172)

Very subtle /sarcasm

Wrong End of the Stick! (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309126)

Ah slashdot, how wrong you are. It's 100% completely the opposite of "introducing new instabilities", rather, you could say the build 6000 Vista kernel has been a beta test for the new Windows Server 2008 kernel, which people are already proclaiming the leanest, meanest yet [eweek.com] , and now after a years solid thrashing on the desktop is ready for the server room and prime-time desktop too. Yes, Vista RTM and indeed the Windows kernel 6.0 has, to all intents and purposes, been a test-bed for the shiny new Windows Server System, and what better way to do it than to install it on 10% of PCs worldwide?!


Think of it this way; which does Windows need more of a foot-holding in; the server market or the desktop market? Let me give you a clue [wikipedia.org] .

FAIL (2, Interesting)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309162)

First of all, I don't want to use Vista. I now run a half crippled XP because HP refuse point blank to supply XP drivers for this model.

Vista is a failure. Even though people complained non stop when XP came out, the adoption rate was MASSIVE when compared to Vista.

Microsoft: From the moment the very first Longhorn alpha were leaked to P2P networks, and people got a taste of the new MS vision, Vista was doomed to fail. Even though there was a complete rewrite, it was all downhill from this point.

I suggest you put this one down to experiance Microsoft and realize that your user base is becoming more and more knowledgeable and discerning. Your old tactics will not work for much longer.

Let see if you can come up with something REALLY good with the new MinWin (Windows 7). From what I've heard about the kernel development, it takes a lot from the modular approach used in many Unices, and if MS can build a (fairly) open, and moreover loosly coupled modular system, then I think they'll be onto a winner.

Re:FAIL (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309362)

Vista is a failure. Even though people complained non stop when XP came out, the adoption rate was MASSIVE when compared to Vista.
Got any sources for that? I've heard the opposite that's all, or at least it's doing not badly - http://blogs.pcworld.com/techlog/archives/003944.html [pcworld.com]

Re:FAIL (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309566)

HP notebook?

I'm running a Compaq, recently took over by HP ... look at some of the (slightly) older or (slightly) beefier models of the notebook you are running, and download their XP drivers (they have XP drivers available on other models). 9 times out of 10, it'll work. That's how I got XP running on my Compaq laptop.

That being said ... after a few weeks of tinkering, I deleted the XP partition and stuck with Vista. It really was a comparable experience in the speed and stability department, and offered some niceties I liked.

Ignore HP... (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309628)

...and go after the reference drivers for your components. Pull the make and model numbers off of your chips that you need drivers for and head after them via Google.

Re:FAIL (5, Informative)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309736)

First of all, I don't want to use Vista. I now run a half crippled XP because HP refuse point blank to supply XP drivers for this model.



This doesn't necessarily mean that the drivers don't exist. They'll be harder to find though. Here's what you do:

1. Go to Control Panel -> System
2. Click on the Hardware tab
3. Click the Device Manager button
4. For each device with a Red X or Yellow !
        a. Right Click and get Properties
        b. Click the Details tab
        c. Select "Matching Device ID" from the dropdown.

5. Shake Google for those Strings. Sometimes you'll hit paydirt just searching for the part before the ampersand.

You can also use tools like AIDA32 and Unknown Device Identifier to identify the hardware. Once you've identified your hardware, you'll probably do OK with the actual manufacturer's reference drivers. While it's possible that a vendor like HP is using slightly bastardized versions of standard chipsets that thus require custom drivers, that usually isn't the case. You may even be able to get the drivers from HP themselves if there are similar models that were supplied with XP.

Re:FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310010)

Wow. A scant 3 months ago, I watched Ubuntu Gutsy install easier then Windows XP SP2. (Supplied nVidia drivers didn't work with XP, but Ubuntu nailed it straight out of the box.)

Today, I hear that in order to use Windows XP to it's full capacity, you have to scour the net for drivers and install them yourself? Meanwhile, Ubuntu recognizes all my devices without any tinkering.

Ann Coulter said she'd vote (and campaign!) for Hillary Clinton if McCain got the Republican nomination.

Dogs and cats, living together!

The world has gone crazy!!!

I cant wait to get my hands on it!Nice to Exper (1)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309394)

The Vista kernel, is probibly the ONLY thing going good for it. ONLY. Nothing else seems to be some kind of 'improvement' The UI blows, Mabye a smidgen of DX10, interesting, but coming to XP, sureptitiously. BUT not on any production machine, or one that I cannot run multiple OSs on.

The Longhorn kernel? Probibly another improvement, technology wise. Really just M$ Business as usual.

"Service Pack 1 remains the milestone by which many companies and consumers judge when a Microsoft product is truly bug-free and mature enough to deploy."

Now that is Sad. Windows 2000 is just getting to be a good product, after Service Pack 4+. Stable, but still has that pesky scheduler that blows...but for single applications or games, its pretty good. Only crashed once, so far in about a year. I downgraded from XP, when SP2 cut my frame rates in half, ate a ton of Ram for lunch, and cut the netspeed again by half.

XP maybe maturing in the next few years, but I cannot wait to look at the LongHorn Kernel:

There are a few presentations about the Vista kernel, that make me want to upgrade, but even at a 15% discount at CompUSA liquidation, I am still not buying. ( Home and business editions probibly come with a 'limited' kernel. ).

Re:I cant wait to get my hands on it!Nice to Exper (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309992)

The Vista kernel, is probibly the ONLY thing going good for it. ONLY. Nothing else seems to be some kind of 'improvement' The UI blows, Mabye a smidgen of DX10, interesting, but coming to XP, sureptitiously. BUT not on any production machine, or one that I cannot run multiple OSs on.


Media Center. As an HTPC operating system, Vista is, bar none, the best option right now. There's really no argument that Linux's driver support doesn't come close to Vista's driver support when it comes to support of products like TV tuners. And due to a lack of DRM, Linux doesn't support the current implementation of HDMI, either, which limits its use with modern HDTVs. (let's not get into the argument about whether DRM is a good or a bad thing, the fact is that it's here). So on a driver support level alone, Vista is better than Linux *as a media center HTPC*. That's a question of market penetration, though... Linux doesn't have enough of a market share to justify developping drivers for it by fringe developpers. The TV Tuner market really is a fringe market compared to, say, the video card market. This is why Hauppauge, or AverMedia don't make Linux drivers for their hardware, while ATI and NVidia do.

Comparing user interface, Vista's MCE interface is *way* better than XP's. It's night and day. Vista's menu options are better laid out by category, the font they've used is crisper, cleaner, and easier to read, and the ability to overlay the menu on top of current video playback (rather than shrinking the display to a bottom corner, though it does that sometimes too) is a subtle but very useful difference, allowing you to pick what you want to watch/do without actually having to stop watching what you're doing now. Having used MythTV, I can tell you that the Vista Media Center interface is a lot more useful for me. Coupled with the driver support, it really is the best option for a Media Center/HTPC out there. Unless, of course, you compare it to Apple's offerings... in that respect, they're about equal. But Apple's stuff costs a lot more.

If Vista SP1 is based on 2008 Server (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309460)

are the 2008 Server changes made to address the incompatibility issues Vista had with older software? If they are, then great.

What I had originally heard was that Windows 2008 Server and Vista SP1 were going to be based on XP code for compatibility issues in order to make the OS more stable and more compatible. I am not sure how much XP code was used on the new kernel.

Since I support many friends and family members who have Vista machines, I am thinking of buying a new PC with Vista preinstalled on it, and hopefully SP1 to see if it fixes the problems that the original Vista had. As I recall the original XP also had instability issues and compatibility issues and XP SP1 fixed those, and then XP SP2 made even more improvements and made XP more stable and more compatible.

What I hope is that Vista SP1 ends up being what the original Vista had promised. The only thing is the hardware requirements for Vista are 3 times or more the requirements that XP had. So of course upgrading an XP machine to Vista is going to run it slower. Vista on a newer machine made in 2007/2008 should run a lot better than Vista on a 2004/2005/2006 machine.

If all else fails, I hope that ReactOS [reactos.org] is developed into a stable build in 2008/2009 some time. People need to keep an eye on that open sourced OS. Once it goes into beta testing, it is in alpha right now, but 0.4 or 0.5 will enter Beta testing and be good enough to use as an alternative to Windows.

Keep in mind that Windows 2008 Server is based on Windows 2003 Server, which was based on Windows XP. Windows Vista was not based on Windows XP, but was a rewrite attempt. Vista and Longhorn are actually too different projects, Vista was a rewrite of Windows, while Longhorn was based on Windows XP. At least that is what I heard.

Re:If Vista SP1 is based on 2008 Server (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309942)

As far as I'm aware, that's not true. Microsoft ditched the "two separate kernel paths" paradigm with Windows XP. Longhorn _should_ be just a derivative of Vista, albeit a much more polished one. The system is pretty obvious at this point - consumer release (XP), server release (Server 2003), consumer release (Vista), server release (Server 2008). All they're doing is putting the newer Server 2008 kernel into Vista, no different than upgrading my kernel in Linux.

I'm definitely open to someone with a source correcting me, though.

You have to wonder (4, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22309622)

If that was a good idea. Microsoft spent so much time replacing things that worked with XP, for example Networking, that on Vista they were not mature at launch. I'm sure the new kernel is actually a nice piece of work, but IMHO they should wait until Windows Server 2008 SP1 then replace the kernel on Vista with one that is leaner and proven to be stable.

You know it's not that we don't like new features and upgrades, it's just that by 2007-2008 we expected Microsoft to be better at designing OSs. Should they get an automatic pass with every OS release just because "hey, you know they will get it right by SP2". I say phooey to that. Demand more.
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