Tag Archives: Vista

Microsoft addresses new reports of forced Windows updates and reboots

Microsoft has posted a long and complex explanation to its Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) blog, explaining the latest case of why software updates are being pushed to users who believe they’ve turned automatic updating off. Here’s the abridged version of what the Redmondians said.

read more | digg story

PC World – Vista Is Still Plagued by Incompatibilities

Vista Is Still Plagued by Incompatibilities. This is not good for the general “Microsoft PR” campaign. With Leopard being released and Linux looking better, Microsoft needs help fast. Albeit, some of the issues are directly Microsoft issues. Hardware and software manufacturers are just not up to speed. However regardless of the fact people are labeling this as a Vista issue. Slowly people are starting to see Vista as “Windows Millennium 2″ or “ME2″ reborn. Microsoft maybe saying that “it is not their fault, so don’t blame us”. This maybe true, but the fact remains that Vista’s perception of a rock-solid OS has been stained. They will have to either fix this perception or call it a loss and move on. For a company that depends on OS sales and software, they do not have time to fiddle with who’s to blame.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Read more from the PC World article below.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Nine months since its release, lots of hardware and software products still don’t work with Microsoft’s operating system, including some that are certified as Vista compatible. If you’re running Vista and you need a multifunction printer, Brother’s MFC-5860CN might seem like a great choice. After all, it’s proudly sold as “Certified for Windows Vista.”

But don’t plan on scanning any documents to turn them into digital files. The 5860CN is capable of doing that, but the optical character recognition software that comes bundled with the printer, PaperPort 9 from Nuance, isn’t Vista compatible. (Brother recommends that Vista owners use Microsoft Office’s Document Imaging feature.) And the printer’s Internet fax option? Forget about that, too. It works with XP, but not Vista.

This kind of Vista support, says Jim McGregor, research director at market research firm In-Stat, is more like torture by small incompatibilities. And nine months after Vista’s commercial release, it’s not at all unusual. Major software publishers and hardware manufacturers are dragging their feet when it comes to supporting Vista, analysts say. While vendors have developed new products for Vista, many are leaving customers who purchased hardware and software before they upgraded to Vista with crippled or inoperative gear, says Chris Swenson, analyst with the NPD Group.
Photoshop Users Upset

Consider the plight of Adobe Photoshop CS2 users who have upgraded to Vista. That software still isn’t fully compatible with the new operating system. Adobe Photoshop CS2 customers have been asking Adobe for a software compatibility upgrade without much luck, Swenson says. “If you want Vista and you use Adobe CS, you are going to have to buy the new CS3 version,” Swenson says. Adobe CS3 ($649) is the only version fully compatible with Vista. Upgrading from CS2 to CS3 costs $200.

Adobe is developing free patches for some Adobe products (PDF) so they run smoothly. Still, the company lists over a dozen Adobe programs that it says either do not support Windows Vista or do not “officially” support Vista. Programs in either category may install on Vista, but don’t work completely. Some products Adobe recommends not trying on Vista at all.

At the release of the Windows XP operating system six years ago, incompatibility issues affected consumers to a much smaller extent, Swenson says. This time around, “vendors wish they could just forget about [XP-era products],” he says.

read more | digg story

WARNING: device driver updates causing Vista to deactivate

After weeks of gruelling troubleshooting, I’ve finally had it confirmed by Microsoft Australia and USA — something as small as swapping the video card or updating a device driver can trigger a total Vista deactivation.

Put simply, your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days) and your PC will go into “reduced functionality” mode, where you can’t do anything but use the web browser for half an hour.

You’ll then need to reapply to Microsoft to get a new activation code.

How can this crazy situation occur? Read on for the sorry tale.

read more | digg story

Vista and 100 Reasons Why Everyone’s So Speechless

“I wasn’t a big fan of the “Wow” campaign around Windows Vista. But its newest incarnation — 100 Reasons Why Everyone’s So Speechless — might be even worse.” Who is working at the marketing department for Microsoft? Why do set yourselves up for easy jokes?

read more | digg story

Microsoft agrees: Windows is a “really large bloated operating system”

We’re seeing signs that Microsoft is rethinking its monolithic approach to not only the mass-market Windows operating system but the entire family of Windows products from servers down to CE-based embedded devices. While newly minted Windows head Steven Sinofsky continues to play his cards close to his chest, we’re seeing signs that Microsoft is rethinking its monolithic approach to not only the mass-market Windows operating system but the entire family of Windows products from servers down to CE-based embedded devices.

First up is a streamlined microkernel codenamed MinWin, around which a re-engineered Windows line will be built. Described as “the Windows 7 source-code base”, in reference to the successor to Windows Vista which is slated for a 2010 release, MinWin strips back the current NT-based kernel to the barest of bare metal.

“We’ll be using this internally to build all the products based on Windows” said Microsoft engineer Eric Traut, when he slipped the first public glimpse of MinWin into a demonstration of Microsoft’s virtualization technology at the University of Illinois last week.

After loading multiple versions of Windows from the original 1.0 release through to NT 4 – including Windows ‘Bob’ which earned a few chuckles from the audience and which Traut described as “not necessarily Microsoft’s proudest moment!” – Traut fired up an additional VM session to load MinWin, which he called “the core of Windows 7, the Windows 7 source-code base”.

Eye candy, begone: MinWin is so lean that even the Windows flag on the splash screen is rendered using ASCIIEye candy, begone: MinWin is so lean that even the Windows flag on the splash screen is rendered using ASCIIYou can forget about eye candy – the prototype microkernel doesn’t even contain a graphics subsystem in its current build, so the startup screen flashed a Windows flag created with ASCII characters.

You can also forget about almost every other other creature comfort of a modern operating system. Microsoft has ditched the lot in orde to get MinWin down to the point where it takes up 25MB of hard disk space and runs in 40MB of RAM.

“A lot of people think of Windows as this really large bloated operating system, and that may be a fair characterisation, I have to admit” Taut said. “It is large, it contains a lot of stuff, but at its core, the kernel and the components that make up the very core of the operating system are pretty streamlined.”

“It’s still bigger than I’d like it to be, but we’ve taken a shot at really stripping out all of the layers above and making sure that we had a clean architectural layer there, and we created what we call MinWin. About 100 files make up the system in total, compared to the 5,000 files that make up all of Windows.”

While Taut stressed that MinWin was an internal-only project which “you won’t see us productising, but you could imagine this being used as the basis for products in the future.” He later elaborated that “we’ll be using (MinWin) internally to build all the products based on Windows. It’s not just the OS that’s running on many laptops in this room, it’s also the OS used for media centres, for servers, for small embedded devices. It’s used in a lot of different ways, and this will provide the opportunity to move into a lot of different areas.”

read more | digg story

Why I’ve moved from Vista to Ubuntu 7.10

“Have we reached the beginning of the tipping point? I think we may just have.” Since the late 90s I’ve dabbled with Linux, but there have always been compelling reasons to return to, or stick with, Windows. No more, for two reasons: Vista, and Ubuntu 7.10 (ala Gutsy Gibbon).

“Through all this time I have looked forward to each new version of Windows either because I expected it to be more stable, add better hardware support, or correct problems in some other way.”

And now onto Ubuntu.

I’ve been through dozens of Linux distros over the years and while I have wanted to like them, I’ve always found myself a little disappointed in some respect or other. No more.

Ubuntu has the slickest installation I have yet found in any OS.

Ubuntu makes it supremely easy to install extra software packages.

Ubuntu has a wonderfully useful and responsive 3D desktop, in the shape of Compiz Fusion. Ubuntu is fast, and is like a fresh breeze blowing through after my weeks of gazing at Vista, waiting for something to happen.

Ubuntu generally works just fine on my Santa Rosa laptop. I had to spend some time figuring out how to get Compiz Fusion working, but even that is relatively easy.

The other reason that Ubuntu does it for me is that over the past 12 months I’ve found myself increasingly using non-Microsoft products. Google Docs is usually open in a browser Window, OpenOffice.org has been on my home and work machines for some time now, and while I still use Outlook, I find Evolution quite useable. Even for those applications I use that are not available on Linux – such as Mindjet’s mind-mapping software – I find there are often quite suitable alternatives with some degree of file compatibility.

Of course this is just my experience, and this is just Ubuntu. Yet I have had a look at SuSE 10.3 which seems to be equally able, and this is not to even mention Apple’s Leopard OS which is due later this week and which can be relied upon to deliver a ‘wow’ factor that people have simply failed to see in Vista.

Have we reached the beginning of the tipping point? I think we may just have.

read more | digg story

Stripped-down ‘MinWin’ kernel to be at the core of Windows 7 and more…

Microsoft has created a stripped-down version of the Windows core, called MinWin, that will be at the heart of future Windows products, starting with Windows 7, the Windows client release due in 2010.Stripped-down ‘MinWin’ kernel to be at the core of Windows 7 and more

While the Windows team has been working for years on reducing the dependencies in Windows which have made the operating system increasingly bloated and difficult to maintain and upgrade, it’s only been recently that the team has been able to create a separate, usuable new core.

Going forward, MinWin will be at the heart of future versions of Windows Media Center, Windows Server, embedded Windows products and more.

Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut described some of the work the Microsoft Core OS team has done to build the MinWin core during a recent talk he gave at the University of Illinois. The full video of Traut’s talk is here. Blogger Long Zheng clipped out the piece of Traut’s talk which highlighted how the MinWin core will work in Windows 7 and posted it to his site.

MinWin is internal-only and “won’t be productized but it will be the basis for future products,” Traut said. But “it’s proof there is a really nice little core inside Windows.”

MinWin is 25 MB on disk; Vista is 4 GB, Traut said. (The slimmed-down Windows Server 2008 core is still 1.5 GB in size.) The MinWin kernel does not include a graphics subsystem in its current build, but does incorporate a “very simple HTTP server,” Traut said. The MinWin core is 100 files total, while all of Windows is 5,000 files in size.

Traut said he is running a team of 200 Windows engineers working on the core kernel and Windows virtual technologies.

Traut acknowledged tat the Windows kernel is between twelve and fifteen years old right now. He said that Microsoft is operating under the premise that “at some point, we’ll have to replace it (the kernel),” given that it “doesn’t have an unlimited life span.

Traut did not mention Singularity — Microsoft Research’s built-from-scratch microkernel-based operating system — during his talk.

Instead, Traut spent most of his time describing Microsoft’s thinking around virtualization, and how virtualization can be used to ease backwards compatibility and other problems Windows users incur. He did not speak specifically about how Microsoft plans to incorporate virtualization in Windows 7, but did stress that virtualization should not be viewed as a crutch, in terms of improving existing code. He said Microsoft considers application virtualization, like that it provides via SofGrid, presentation virtualization (Windows Terminal Services and “enhancements to core Windows functionality” are all other ways that the company can improve users’ Windows experience.read more | digg story

OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway

OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway…

Now that I’ve given in and decided that the PC Doc HQ is to get at least one Mac (what exactly I’m going to do with it remains a mystery, but that’s not the point) I’ve been spending some time checking out what new features I can expect from Leopard. Apple has conveniently listed 300+ new Mac OS X Leopard features on a single page, and I have to say, Leopard sounds compelling … in theory anyway.

OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway. Browsing through the 300+ new feature (well, OK, let’s first admit that “new features” is marketing hyperbole, some of the features have just been re-tweaked and modified a little) I have to admit that I went “Wow!” more than once. In fact, I might as well come clean and admit that Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the “Wow!” department.

In case you missed that, let me repeat it again:

“Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the “Wow!” department.”

read more | digg story