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Author Topic: The future of MS Windows  (Read 12057 times)

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The future of MS Windows
« on: 01 Oct 2014, 03:15 »

For all those wondering whether the next version of Windows will be called Windows 8.2 or Windows 9, the answer is...
(click to show/hide)
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #1 on: 01 Oct 2014, 05:14 »

However, I didn't think that's how Windows versions were reported to applications, I thought they used GetVersion/GetVersionEx (or nowadays one of the new APIs, now that GetVersion has been deprecated and emulated with 8.1), which always has reported the kernel numeric version (or an emulated numeric version, but never the marketing version), rather than any API to get a textual version (or, rather, the internal code to display a textual version was either hardcoded or itself used GetVersion and a lookup table). And GetVersion was the documented way to get the version since at least Windows 3.0.

Basically, if GetVersionEx weren't deprecated, software would see PlatformID == 2 (which means NT, PlatformID == 1 means the DOS-based lineage), MajorVersion == 6, MinorVersion == 4, on whatever they had called the new version of Windows. (What it'll actually see, normally, is MinorVersion = 2, they're basically always going to report Windows 8.0 from here on out, unless a newer version is in the manifest. There's other ways they want software to detect a Windows version now.)

If they were checking for Win9x, they'd want PlatformID == 1, MajorVersion == 4.  (And, there was quite a lot of software that would have worked perfectly fine on Windows 2000 and XP, that broke because it didn't work on NT 4, and was checking PlatformID... this is a large reason why the compatibility settings existed, so you could have Windows return that it was a different version (as far back as Windows 2000) to the application.)
« Last Edit: 01 Oct 2014, 05:22 by bhtooefr »
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #2 on: 01 Oct 2014, 06:35 »

Some applications check the Windows version by looking at the NT version number, which is why Windows 8.1 is internally called Windows NT 6.3. Vista was 6.0, 7 was 6.1, and 8.0 was 6.2.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #3 on: 01 Oct 2014, 13:51 »


(See 2:20) Shock and awe! The next version of Windows will feature applications that *gasp* actually run in windows!

For real, how did they ever allow Windows 8 to take the windows out of Windows?

Anyway, if this version disappoints again there's always Windows 95 waiting for you. Watching and waiting.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #4 on: 01 Oct 2014, 14:08 »

Yeah, surprise, surprise.  I have enough screen real-estate, that unless I'm watching a film or something, I don't want things to run full-screen.  As much as I tend to complain about Microsoft stuff, I actually think they mostly had things right with Win7.  With the Win8 beta, I actually scrubbed the VM about 20 minutes after installation, because it was just so painful to use on an actual desktop.  I'm actually glad (since I know in my life there are times where I'll have to use Windows), they decided to back-pedal, and go with an interface that is easier to navigate through keyboard and mouse.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #5 on: 01 Oct 2014, 14:19 »

This looks promising. And, interesting that they're working more on tiled window management, although it's definitely not to the point where I'd be able to use it for all my window management. (Then again, I go to extremes of tiling, with a 2880x1800 screen. And if I replace this Mac with a Windows machine, it'll be a 3200x1800 screen, most likely...)
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #6 on: 01 Oct 2014, 14:23 »

I hope Windows 10 is as good as my Windows 8.1, which has a start menu that works and boots to the desktop; it's hard to tell from Windows 7 and performs better.  Mind you, I did have to spend $5 to get a commercial program that makes it do this (there are free ones, but not as good) - and that was a substantial incremental cost (my home copy of Windows 8 cost me £9 through the university).

And my screen's only 2560x1600, so I'm officially jealous (it's an Apple 30" Cinema HD display).
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #7 on: 01 Oct 2014, 17:25 »

I liked Windows 8.1 . It boots in 0.5 seconds.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #8 on: 03 Oct 2014, 20:49 »

Rebooting is for changing hardware, or severe kernel patches.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #9 on: 03 Oct 2014, 20:54 »

Yes, we all know you hate Windows.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #10 on: 03 Oct 2014, 21:18 »

Like I even reboot my Windows box unless there's a major security/stability update that forces it.  One of my good friends uses Windows exclusively, and he still whinges to his wife every time he has to take one of his boxen out to blast out the dust because of "uptime".  Granted, his shit boots a lot faster than mine, but I do have to deal with the bootloader and decrypting 3 HDs, every time it happens.

Edit:  I have had similar frustrations with Apple kit, but I just don't have to deal with FruitOS these days.
« Last Edit: 03 Oct 2014, 21:58 by hedgie »
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #11 on: 21 Jan 2015, 16:33 »

Upgrades to Windows 10 from 7 and 8 will be free for the first year after it's released.

http://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10-upgrade-free-for-owners-of-windows-7-and-81/
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #12 on: 21 Jan 2015, 16:55 »

Windows Holographic looks crazy.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #13 on: 21 Jan 2015, 16:58 »

Also, interesting that the phone UI is on all devices smaller than 8".

Good thing my 7" tablet that currently runs 8.1 lies in its EDID - it claims to be 8".
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #14 on: 22 Jan 2015, 05:45 »

Upgrades to Windows 10 from 7 and 8 will be free for the first year after it's released.

http://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10-upgrade-free-for-owners-of-windows-7-and-81/

Ooooh I like that.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #15 on: 22 Jan 2015, 05:53 »

From what I'd read, it's actually free forever when upgrading from 8.1.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #16 on: 22 Jan 2015, 06:44 »

They specifically said one year only, if I remember correctly.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #17 on: 22 Jan 2015, 07:15 »

I went looking for what I'd read and I think I may have simply misread some variant of "but those who upgraded for free get to keep it forever". Oops. Well, everyone who's planning to take advantage of the upgrade will do it quickly, regardless.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #18 on: 22 Jan 2015, 07:21 »

One of our laptops at work was killed by a Windows 8.1 update error reboot loop. I mean killed. The vendor looked at it and the boot files had been so totally trashed that the document files on the hard disc were inaccessible.

So, my demand for Windows 10 before I update? Updates are done in a separate memory space and the existing files not overwritten until a virtual boot is carried out to confirm that the new set-up is stable. A second-level safeguard would be to keep a mirror of the last, stable configuration and that, should Windows not boot from the new configuration, default back to that.

I'm aware that this would be hideously memory-intensive. However, given Windows 8's habit of killing hardware or scrambling its own boot files due to update and compatibility issues, it's the sort of assurance I'd need before I'd trust anything more recent than my copy of Windows 7.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #19 on: 22 Jan 2015, 07:39 »

wow what

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #20 on: 22 Jan 2015, 09:19 »

A second-level safeguard would be to keep a mirror of the last, stable configuration and that, should Windows not boot from the new configuration, default back to that.

Imaging your disk beforehand is an option.  Backups are good in any case.

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given Windows 8's habit of killing hardware or scrambling its own boot files due to update and compatibility issues,

Habit?  I've never seen or heard of this happening, and I'm a computer manager.  One single instance in which we know nothing of the prior state of the machine is not a "habit".  Also, I've had not a single compatibility issue going from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 - much better than going between releases of Apple's OS-X!
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #21 on: 22 Jan 2015, 09:42 »

Habit?  I've never seen or heard of this happening, and I'm a computer manager.  One single instance in which we know nothing of the prior state of the machine is not a "habit".  Also, I've had not a single compatibility issue going from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 - much better than going between releases of Apple's OS-X!

I've known precisely four Windows 8 machines. The first two were killed by a recurring boot loop after a failed update. The other two are their replacements. FWIW, at least one of these cases was exacerbated by the fact that the manufacturer's BIOS did not allow for overriding Windows, booting from CD or trying various diagnostic/repair options; last time our company used them, I can tell you!

When Windows 8 first came out, there were actually reports of it deleting the drivers for some recent hardware because it couldn't recognise it. There was also the fact that the company that sold my mother her short-lived Win 8 laptop mentioned that they were being overwhelmed by requests for downgrades to Win 7 from commercial customers.

Understandably, this has made me less than keen to upgrade in future, given my W7 system is acceptably stable.
« Last Edit: 22 Jan 2015, 09:57 by BenRG »
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #22 on: 22 Jan 2015, 10:28 »

Also, I've had not a single compatibility issue going from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 - much better than going between releases of Apple's OS-X!
Apple OS updates scare me enough that I always have to make sure that my backups are up to date before even attempting it.  The only times I've used Win 8, even the public beta (upgrading from 7 in a VM), and trying to get it and Linux to play nice on a dual boot setup for a friend, and finally was forced to disable UEFI and use a pirated copy of 7 (a fact of which I informed him).
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #23 on: 22 Jan 2015, 12:45 »

I've long given up multi-boot setups.  These days, for most purposes (that I'm interested in) virtual machines do OK.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #24 on: 22 Jan 2015, 13:04 »

Windows Holographic looks crazy.
Indeed, I really hope it doesn't turn out to be a flop. So shiny!
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #25 on: 22 Jan 2015, 13:09 »

I hung on to my XP machine for years (Brought it in 2004) and only replaced it with my current Laptop around 2013 after it finally kicked the bucket (had most of my stuff backed up onto Flashdrives by then, but was still in process when it finally gave out.)  Truth be told, if I could have upgraded the RAM and the Harddrive, I probably would still have it.

Current Lappie runs 8.1, and I'm not in any hurry to upgrade.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #26 on: 22 Jan 2015, 16:40 »

I've long given up multi-boot setups.  These days, for most purposes (that I'm interested in) virtual machines do OK.
Usually quite true.  My laptop is a bit under-powered for anything else these days, and for my friend, he insisted.  Funny thing is that about a month or two later, Pipelight started working, and since Netflix was pretty much his sole reason for using Windows, he's just using Mint.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #27 on: 22 Jan 2015, 18:11 »

I kept XP on my desktop until MS dropped support.  I then switched to Linux Mint. 

My new laptop came with Windows 8.1, which I came to loathe.  I made it into a dual boot with Linux Mint 17.1. 

When Windows 10 comes out with its free upgrade, I'll upgrade my laptop to Windows 10, since I figure it can't be worse than 8.1.  However, I'll still keep Mint as my day-to-day OS as a dual boot.

I love Linux Mint.  It just works.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #28 on: 22 Jan 2015, 18:15 »

I love Linux Mint.  It just works.

Yes.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #29 on: 24 Jan 2015, 16:26 »


(See 2:20) Shock and awe! The next version of Windows will feature applications that *gasp* actually run in windows!

For real, how did they ever allow Windows 8 to take the windows out of Windows?.

So they're putting back the things that made Windows.... What's the word?

Usable! That's it, "Usable".

Whoever decided to remove the traditional Start menu in 8 had better be collecting unemployment. Windows 8 might be good on a tablet, but when its on a PC (with a mouse) it becomes completely unusable to someone who is used to the classic Windows style/layout (like me, and the older members of my family).

It takes me 5 minutes to find a progr....app on the computers at work (fortunately, we usually only use two, so they stay open all day).
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #30 on: 14 Feb 2015, 10:43 »

I have a Dell Latitude XT2, which is one of the first generations of Tablet PCs, way ahead of its time. (Essentially, it's what the PC manufacturers are making again these days.) It's my Windows 10 testing machine and, despite having a Core 2 Duo mobile processor and only 3 GB of RAM, the thing runs the Windows 10 technical preview exceptionally well. Anyway, I quite like it and I look forward to it becoming a more mature OS in the coming months.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #31 on: 30 Mar 2015, 10:24 »

I installed StartIsBack within minutes of turning on my current laptop with Windows 8 for the first time and disabled corners and the windows button on the keyboard and set the machine to boot straight to desktop.  Never having to deal with the Metro screen is nice.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #32 on: 30 Mar 2015, 16:20 »

Except for start is back, I am hoping that you did all these options in the OS settings, as they're readily available.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #33 on: 31 Mar 2015, 01:30 »

Masterpiece I know you're a Windows defender to a die-hard degree, but you are aware that most people's criticisms aren't that those functions aren't available but that they aren't the default, right? Most people can barely use a computer - even people who use computers all the time.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #34 on: 31 Mar 2015, 01:48 »

What Gareth said, basically. The biggest problem with Win8 is that its default interface works everywhere BUT a computer (Metro is the interface for X360 and X1, which work pretty nice because the standard input is a gamepad, and I've seen it put to decent use on touchscreens). And 90% of windows users don't even know what the control panel is.

In other news, I can't help but remember one thing that some dude on twitter said about Win10: "Package manager, virtual desktops, code liberation for .NET... Windows10 is shaping up to be a decent Linux after all"
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #35 on: 31 Mar 2015, 03:16 »

So to make Windows 8 behave like Windows 7 takes the installation of a single program.  In return you are using the current version with the advantages of improved kernel performance and other changes. 

Now, given that, the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is in practice less than the difference between different Linux distributions...  and Linuxes vary more under the skin than Windows versions as well (systemd/init; httpd/apache; ipchains/iptables/firewalld - just differences I've been dealing with this week already)... 

The argument for Linux sure isn't for those who don't know what the Windows Control Panel is!  Start8 or StartIsBack will do them fine.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #36 on: 31 Mar 2015, 05:55 »

Gareth, I agree! I just don't trust programs that fuss with system settings if you can do it on your own. And I was offering help.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #37 on: 31 Mar 2015, 05:55 »

Going to offer, I mean.

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #38 on: 31 Mar 2015, 09:24 »

I gave up on Windows 8.1.  I couldn't get it to look or behave how I like no matter how I tweaked the settings.

With Linux Mint, it took me only a few minutes, the very first time I installed it.  And that's me being a neophyte knowing nothing about Linux.  And Linux Mint just gets better every update.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #39 on: 31 Mar 2015, 10:56 »

Well, to be fair, Microsoft isn't alone in interface clusterfucks.  I certainly found Win8 unusable (couldn't even find the control panel for 10 minutes).  But I felt the same way about Unity and Gnome3 over in OSS land.  Too drastic a change in user experience, and at the very least, they'll complain and find work-arounds, if not desert you entirely.  MS found this out with Win8 and trying to unify the experience across portable devices and desktops/laptops. 

I think that the longer one sticks with a certain way of doing things, the more frustrating that moving to a new interface is.  And like it or not, most people who use computers have at least a passing familiarity with Windows, through work, education, or whatever.  I have seen people have difficulty going from Windows to Apple than the other way around.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #40 on: 31 Mar 2015, 15:50 »

The Mac OS is nothing like it was two or three OS's ago. And the very fact that I can no longer access about half the stuff I had on my LC or Performa is pretty much an indictment that Apple is in the same boat as Microsoft.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #41 on: 31 Mar 2015, 16:18 »

I only really used OS X from beta to 10.6, and it seems as though for the most part, the big interface changes were introduced a bit more slowly.  I think I've used 10.8 twice, and at least from the GUI, pretty much everything was familiar enough to work it out a lot more easily than the Win7 and prior to Win8 change, or Apple's own switch from Mac OS classic to OS X.   Win 10 seems like it's going to fix the major UI problems without a complete rollback, which I think is a good thing, since my laptop is getting long in the tooth, and I can't afford to replace it with a Mac, so I'll be working with Win10/Linux.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #42 on: 01 Apr 2015, 07:28 »

Windows is now old-hat.  MS-DOS Mobile is where it's at!

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cesium133

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #43 on: 01 Apr 2015, 07:31 »

I know it's just an April Fools joke, but I actually want to try that.
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Masterpiece

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #44 on: 01 Apr 2015, 08:39 »

It's an actual app for Windows Phone:






cesium133

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #45 on: 01 Apr 2015, 08:54 »

Oh. Is it available for a real phone OS?  :-P
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Masterpiece

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #46 on: 01 Apr 2015, 09:00 »

and I'm off

bhtooefr

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #47 on: 29 Apr 2015, 12:00 »

Holy shit @ what's coming out of Build.

I think this is my favorite part (although it doesn't look like the full Win32 desktop): http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/29/8513519/microsoft-windows-10-continuum-for-phones

Continuum for phones is basically what I've wanted for the past few years in an OS UI - one platform with apps that automatically adapt between phone and desktop UIs.

And, then, there's the whole, Visual Studio importing Xcode for iOS projects to recompile for Windows Universal apps, an Android runtime in Windows, and Visual Studio supporting building for iOS, Android, and Windows. Combine that with what we already knew about Universal apps running inside of the desktop, so now there's serious incentives to write once, and target iOS, Android, and all Windows devices with one app, and it looks like Microsoft has a seriously coherent vision, and I like where this is going.
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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #48 on: 29 Apr 2015, 17:55 »

It's a crazy build. I love it so much.

Kugai

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Re: The future of MS Windows
« Reply #49 on: 05 Jun 2015, 17:02 »

So, got the Icon on my Task Bar to reserve my free copy of the Windows 10 Upgate

I decided to take a punt and reserved it.
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