Things Microsoft Shouldn't Do: Promise Faster OS Release Times

from the just-saying dept

Microsoft is famous for shipping software late. That’s why it was no surprise when they delayed Vista again and again and again. It’s status quo for Microsoft. So why is Steve Ballmer going out and claiming that Microsoft will never again have this big a delay between releasing operating systems? At the same time, Bill Gates is saying a much more responsible thing: the product shouldn’t be released until it’s ready. Speed to market and the gap between releases shouldn’t be as important as getting it right. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t always get things right either — even with the delays. In fact, for whatever changes Microsoft is pushing these days, it still seems like Vista is going in the wrong direction. With more and more services and applications (finally) moving online, why isn’t Microsoft focused on building a lightweight, easily extensible platform that can be built upon, rather than building up an increasingly bloated, do everything, operating system?

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Comments on “Things Microsoft Shouldn't Do: Promise Faster OS Release Times”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Is Microsoft really the same OS?

Different “country” versions of the OS behave quite differently, even if they look the same superficially. It’s quite possible for Word files with Japanese characters in them to literally destroy American computers, speaking from personal experience. Maybe Microsoft is taking the bloatware approach because they dont’ want people from 50 countries downloading the wrong modules and making their computers burst into flames.

But of course, you knew KFC is really a Japanese company, right? Not an image the American branches want you to see.

Tyshaun says:

Re: Re:

“why isn’t Microsoft focused on building a lightweight, easily extensible platform that can be built upon, rather than building up an increasingly bloated, do everything, operating system?” …maybe because nobody will buy an operating system with less features?

I agree. While online apps are all the rage nothing can replace the speed and convienence of having your files and apps on your hard drive.

Also, reality check, not everyone has fast reliable internet access (Which is almost a prereq for using online apps).

Finally, who wants to plug into the internet to do every little thing, sounds like a recipe for disaster when the internet connection fails for some reason (which happens more often than your hard drive failing, things server outages, Telco problems, local hardware issues, heck, the weather!).

mkam says:

Re: Re: Re:

If Microsoft has its way, you will need that internet connection just to have your OS run for more than 30 days. With the way that the business has been heading I think the lightweight and more net-centric arguement carries some weight. Good luck with that 7 Gb OS that decided that you are using an illegal copy and decides to stop working.

Just Me says:

Vista is rabbish

Have downloaded a copy of Vista from MS website to check it out. Don’t like the interface at all. plus, it’s too slow to my liking and kept getting all those stupid security messages that I couldn’t get red off.

Above all, as a Java developer, every time I try to compile an application, it prompts me with a security message (which I couldn’t get red off), then opens a new DOS window, and closes it even before I could see the results of compilations.

For those reasons, I don’t really care when they’re going to release it…as I am sure it would be as secure as the previous releases of MS Windows.

Chris says:

Re: Vista is rabbish

Wow, Justme is a perfect example of somebody who know enough to be dangerous, but yet not enough about an OS to be a good support person. You can turn off the security warnings. You just have to change the setting in Windows Defender. BS, that you can’t turn them off. Yes, I admit they were very annoying, but all you have to do is look for them. I think Vista looks much better than XP, or any other MS OS that they have put out. Doesn’t run slow on my machine, but just don’t have any software support as of yet. But I expect that in a beta. Justme, don’t forget what a beta is. It’s software in testing. NOT FINAL RELEASE. Don’t judge it as such.

Ninja says:

Re: Bah

First of all, you lose all credibility when you say you are a Java “programmer”, and repeatedly misspell words like “rid.”

Those “stupid security messages” are one of the huge features of Vista – even administrators run with the minimum priviliges of a normal user unless they need them. That means viruses be completely unable of doing any real damage to your computer, unless you specifically give them permission in the “stupid security message.”

Because of the new security model, Internet Explorer runs by default in a special “restricted mode” in a separate process with zero permissions and any file access redirected to a special “fake” folder. This means any online attack would be more or less impossible – completely compromisng Internet Explorer 7 would give you access to, um, nothing.

Compare explicitly authorizing administrator priviliges for individual tasks (such as clicking “no” to a virus wanting to wipe your Windows directory or change the registry) and an incredibly secure Internet Explorer with Windows XP and, yes, it is more secure.

Besides, you’re pretty dumb if you can’t figure out how to use a compiler.

ebrke says:

Re: Vista is rabbish

You may be impatient with the security messages, but you better get used to them. Unless MS gets with the program and implements least user priviledge, there’s not going to be a hope in hell of containing all the malware circulating on the net. Those of us on *nix learned to cope and so can you.

TerminalX says:

Re: Vista is rabbish

XP is quite secure and Vista adds to it… the popups that you are speaking of is called “user access control” and is meant for security keep in mind ITS BETA its not complete yet…if you are having problems then send it to Microsoft…hence why you would download a BETA product…to me it sounds like you shouldnt be downloading betas to begin with… and you can shut off the user access control so you dont get those warnings but Microsoft recommends you don’t so that feature can be further tested…and one more before I go it doesn’t matter how secure Microsoft makes the OS until we get smarter users Windows will always have problems…typically people using other OS’s are more advanced and don’t download and look at things they know will cause harm to their pc

Tim Patterson says:

Combat Piracy and Sell More Units

If Microsoft were as smart as they were ruthless, they would sell an incredibly stripped-down Windows with a super-strong IP stack, solid memory management, virtualization, and a better file system for $49.99 a pop TO EVERYONE– even the hardware vendors.

Then, sell all the extra stuff- WMP, office, etc… on top of that.

They’d cut piracy to zero and reduce their ever-increasing costs of maintaining a securing a 15-year old codebase. In ten years, Microsoft must have spent BILLIONS on Internet Explorer… money that could have been spend building a better mousetrap.

Michael Murdock (user link) says:

Microsoft and Fast OS releases

two things that do not go together. A fast OS release and a company hell bent on screwing one up. The worst thing about windows is that anyone would think of releasing it quickly.

Had Gates and co. did things differently in the beginning they’d be fine, but they paved a way for people to become infamous by screwing others. Amazing how the tide turned. Bill with his famous “You can’t use that, but you can license it from us” set the computing world on its butt figuring out how to loan software to people (read your end user license agreement if you’re not sure what I mean, you don’t own it, you’re renting it).

However, you cannot legally rent it to others, you have to create it first before you can rent it to others by creating your own license agreement.

What Microsoft should do to get back on point is start releasing something to plug all the holes in that piece of swiss they call and OS and allow people to work vs. have to fix it on a daily basis. If they’re not sure how to do it, I will lend them an hand…for a price.


Brian says:

Re: Why stick with Microsoft?

Me: well if I scrap my machine and replace it with one that has full driver support, yeah, I could (and do) run Gnu/Linux or Solaris. Unfortunately, having spent long hours designing a machine that way outperforms stock desktops even three years later, I’m not willing to do that. Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP1, XP SP2, and Vista preform very nicely on her. For my next computer, which I’m designing now, that may be a different story.

TerminalX says:

Re: Why stick with Microsoft?

because you cannot play good games or make music on Linux… You can make music on a Mac but cannot play games on one…XP runs great and has no issues if you patch it and know what you shouldnt and should do on your pc (Mac users have to do the same) and Linux has new updates and distros coming out all the time to fix bugs in previous versions…Linux is far too complex for the common user…the average user is not going to compile the drivers or do anything with a command line…Mac is too expensive for the common user as well and with a PC you can build it however you want in any shape you want

Anonymous Coward says:

“why isn’t Microsoft focused on building a lightweight, easily extensible platform that can be built upon, rather than building up an increasingly bloated, do everything, operating system?”

Maybe that is because not everyone is having internet connection all the time as we speak? In addition, all the internet security hoes have made it not always preferrable to run programs from remote servers. At last but not least, when the user OS is so stripped down and all the programs depend on remote servers, Microsoft has to make a much more powerful OS to support. Either way, Microsoft has to make a more powerful server OS, why not just make all OS powerful when you are making server OS powerful?

Swati says:

With more and more services and applications (finally) moving online, why isn’t Microsoft focused on building a lightweight, easily extensible platform that can be built upon, rather than building up an increasingly bloated, do everything, operating system?

Well, they do have or whatever that was on the side. And I agree with a few others…the internet is not as ubiquitious or reliable as I’d like to believe it is.

Why do so many people invest in MS anything anyways? Because they can’t afford something that works better… LOL A MAC

Because many things that I want to use are not developed for a MAC. Especially games.

zzzZZZZZ says:

same ol' same ol'

“linux is better”, “mac is the best”, “ms sucks”…..these arguements, i mean claims, are so compelling, i can’t believe anyone hasn’t made them before….

@ the dodo that talks about vista beta, i mean BETA, being slow, well…..maybe it’s logging all kinds of stuff for BETA purposes in the background. i mean, it is BETA.

@ the person that doesn’t like the interface. umm…ok. i don’t like olives or mushrooms.

@ the person(S) that wants a thin OS, run Lonhorn Server Core. it won’t even have a shell. you can do everything (DNS, AD, WINS, FILE, PRINT, DHCP) from an MMC remotely and interface with the OS via CLI. hmm…wait a sec…no IE, no Image Viewer, no WMP….wait a minute….let’s rethink this. i do want my OS to actually do stuff don’t i? hmm….it is written to be used by BILLIONS of people accross the world, in numerous continents, multiple languages, different timezones….this might be a little more complicated than my basic VBScript writing (actually copying stuff posted on sites) and WebDev (again copying other people’s stuff) skills…..

@ those that don’t like all the pop-ups. what do you propose? either not prompting you to block content and just letting it run (in which case you bitch about security), not prompting you and blocking (in which case you bitch about functionality), or prompting you and giving you a choice? you see, anyone that TRULY works with security and systems knows that there is a trade-off between security and funtionality beyond the catch buzz words and blanket linux/mac is more secure phrases. they understand that security has overhead.

you know what, it’s easier to blindly say that MS Sucks and that you guys are right. MS Sucks and you guys are right. Ignorance and mindless ranting is bliss, ain’t it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Funny how they are cannibalizing their own ISV ecosystem that thet worked so rabidly to build up. By entering into markets that are already dominated by big players like Symantec and McAfee (antivirus/security), SAP and SalesForce (web based CRM), Adobe/Macromedia (web multimedia such as Flash) and all the others, they are going to alienate these companies and force them to look for opportunities elsewhere. IBM is already doing it with Lotus Notes client for Linux. Symantec is already retailating with lawsuits over code MS supposedly stole from them. Can’t imagine them pressing that one if they were allowed to keep playing alone in the sandbox. I’ll bet it won’t be long before we start seeing many apps developed for other platforms such as Mac and Linux. Then the ‘but Windows has all the apps’ argument will start to spring some leaks… MS’ burning need to be everything to everyone is going to be their undoing. The delay-after-delay that we’ve seen with Vista is just proof that what MS is attempting is simply too big for one company to pull off.

Kim says:

Should have gone linux..

I should have learned to use linux instead of Windows. I mean it’s a lot better and less of a hassel, esp when concerning money. The only problem seems to be that almost all computers right now anywhere such as internet cafe or librarys are all using windows. It’s like the dominiant right hand cept it’s the dominant OS is this case… =.= y’d I use windows in the firs t place? i’ll nvr noe

Walter Dnes says:

What MS should've done

MS is dropping support for Win98SE today. What they should’ve done is charged $75 or $100 per year and kept on patching Win98SE. WinME and XP home should never have seen the light of day. 98SE was actually one of their better OSs. I don’t care about “under-the-hood” 16-bit versus 32-bit arguments. It was lightweight and you could email and surf etc. It could be installed in less than a gig of disk space, and it screamed in 128 megs of RAM. You don’t want to even ask about Vista’s hardware requirements.

MS has the wrong business model. The “problem” with software is that eventually, you get it right, or reasonably close. At that point, people ask “Why bother upgrading?”. MS has tried to offer “features” coming out of its ying-yang. The result is a big bloated monstrosity that requires you to purchase a new computer. Heck, it requires *A VIDEO CARD WITH MORE RAM THAN WIN98SE REQUIRED TO RUN IN*!!!

Redhat has the right approach for a commercial OS. Charge for support, but don’t keep screwing around with the OS..

??? says:

Re: What MS should've done

bs. There’s no f***ing way I’d pay 75-100 dollars a year just to keep my OS working safely. You’re crazy. If you want to send MS a check for 75-100 dollars every year just to be able to be pig-headed and afraid of change, be my guest, but honestly unless you don’t plan on buying ANYTHING to do with computers anymore, you’re going to need to upgrade some part of your hardware beyond the minimum Windows 98SE requirements. And eventually support for the 98SE platform will drop from app developers as well. What then I wonder?

You keep on sending those checks to microsoft. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

WhooTAZ says:

Redhat Approach....

If MS did the Redhat thing then MS Stock would tank and Billy would be worth maybe a billion.

All the slugs working at Redmond and other remote locations would be pink slipped and well that would be such a sad chapter that everyone would cry but a milasecond and then be laughin their asses……..

MS Suck cow tits………..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I am going to have to agree with the last guy who posted… You mean all these 64bit boxes are merely figments of my imagination…. Well I guess I am going to have to return this MSDN kit, its lying to me telling me about all these 64bit applications…

Wikipedia – Windows 2000

Microsoft offers Windows 2000 Advanced Server- Limited Edition, which was released in 2001 and runs on 64-bit Intel Itanium microprocessors.

so now that you are only 5 years out of date, why don’t you try knowing what you are talking about prior to opening your pie hole

throbi says:


First of all, this year I booted into windows less than 5 times.

I’m using ubuntu for at least ten months now, and I have to tell you that NEW OS DOES NOT NEED TO BE SLOWER THAN ITS OLDER VERSION! I recently upgraded from breezy to drapper (on my 4 years old machine) and the new version boots faster and runs much faster, as the previous! (yes, the upgrade was fast & none of my personal settings were overwritten). I bet that users of other Linux distros usually experience the same thing.

“why isn’t Microsoft focused on building a lightweight, easily extensible platform that can be built upon, rather than building up an increasingly bloated, do everything, operating system?”

The answer is, that they want to own their customers. Start using m$ implementation of something and you’re stuck with it for life! They could also load their “lightweight OS” with open source applications that do everything, even better. But that’s not gonna happen…

wrs (profile) says:

On the other hand, see KDE. It’s a fat puppy, but its integration with — simple but valueble — net services is well. For example the few keystrokes google/wikipedia/whatever web search launch (Alt+F2+shortcut + actual search words).

Since a few days, I have to work under windows, again, and where KDE somedays behaved awfully latency requiring, windows just look not-moving at all. Well, that’s just my impression, and shouldn’t be a starting point for another OS war.

So, me too, I think, MS should make windows just move quicker and faster. — And more rich in valuable features. (Who needs menus fading in/out, while not having easy mouse/keyboard shortcuts at hand to move any windows?)

Just my 2 cents.

Awwwchucks says:

Better this OS Better that OS

Maby all wo complain about OSes should switch over to another OS, be it Linux, Unix, X, Whatever. Then they should start complaining to software/games producers to cater for them too (prices of software might rise because of development costs and in return software would loose options because of development-time issues). In other words; If we all keep on using a car that is available in all colors as long as it’s black, no-one has an incentive to produce red car!

claire rand says:


“lotus notes on linux”

well there goes the neighbourhood…

vista looks ok i guess, needs a ahrdware spec thats way to high just for the OS though. mind you by the time its released that may not be a problem.

not getting it though, that WGA crap means i’m not buying MS again.

Not that they don’t have a right to stop copyright infingment, but pissing off the peeps that *have* bought legit copies..

sorry ‘last straw’ time. I’ll use what i’ve got and take my chances.

Turtle Island says:

Comp,aints against Microsoft

First let me saym Im NOT an avid MS supporter, they frustrate me just as much as the next user. But, however much I dislike them (almost as much as I hate conputers) I also love what they do for me. Without all the windows machines breaking down, I’d have to close my pc repair business.

MS is like EVERYONE else, they work to make money, and in OS’s, that means you have to make new versions every so often, because noone wants to keep paying for an OS they baught 5 yrs ago. Each new version do something MORE then the last one, noone wants to pay for a new product thats no different from the one they have. Even if it does work perfect every time for every user.

As for Linux, Mac OS, Unix, etc., we dont srr as much trouble with those for one simple reason. Not that they are better, but that they are not so widely used. 1% of 50 million is a much higher number of reports then 1% of 100 thousand, but they are both 1% of the total number. Hackers, virus builders, and chronic complainers only attack OS’s that effect the majority of users. So, everyone go buy Mac’s, and for 6 months, if we’re lucky, we’ll all be safe and happy. But Mac will be our next MS inside a year.

Desmock says:

Futile Arguments

What you all are failing to understand are a few different points. First off, Microsoft Vista is far too insanely huge for what it’s worth and not ALL those options are needed. Even doing a custom install, with bare minimum features, it’s still going to require that YOU upgrade your SYSTEM. So, Microsoft is saying “Spend 400 or more dollars on our OS that you RENT, and then go out and spend another 3000 dollars on a computer that can run your brand new OS that you can’t own or modify in any way whatso ever”.

Oh but I’m not about to say, “Go Linux, Go Mac (Ick), Go 98SE.” Because all 3 of those would be incorrect statements. First lets take a look at 98SE, a truly innovative OS for its time. It still in fact has many lovers and I’m sure that 10, 20, even 30 years from now… a computer somewhere will have 98SE on it. But it’s outdated, and no matter how many security patches and hardware support it could get, sooner or later, software would simply not be able to run on it any longer, regardless of the hardware.

Now lets look at Mac, not exactly the best choice in the world either. With all the Mac zealots floating around I wont say much… the crazy stupid bastards that they are. But Mac doesn’t have full support by all software creators, especially including game developers. Mac also refuses to let people like me, do my job, which is fix and customize PCs. You want something fixed… take it to a licensed retailer or send it to the company… but god forbid you put 3rd party hardware in there… or use someone else to fix what isn’t theirs.

Mac tries too hard to monopolize their hardware, which is why it doesn’t have as large of a user base as a normal PC. Not to mention the insane costs of a Mac for that sole fact, that they dont want to go through 3rd party hardware vendors to make production costs cheaper. The OS is innovative… and that should be enough, but it isn’t, so Mac fails.

Now finally Linux, possibly THE best alternative to Windows out there today. In fact I’m still in awe of what all Linux has to offer. There’s only a few problems with Linux. First off, it will never bring in a huge conversion rate for one sole reason alone: Despite the fact that it has a software alternative for EVERYTHING, simple ones at that, it simply has no support for games.

Game developers do not make high end games for Linux, even though the process would be so simple. The reason being? They dont get paid to code software for a free OS. And also some game developers dont want to give out their source code for the game, which is pretty much a set standard on Linux.

Lastly, Linux is pretty much for semi intelligent people. It’s not for the common masses, morons looking to download porn, script kiddies who want to find security holes, and above all… java programmers who dont know how to spell (Couldn’t resist, sorry). It requires some basic computer knowledge to run it minimally, and alot of computer knowledge to make it run as smoothly as you want it to. Because Linux can’t sugar coat options like MS can… because that’d be anti Linux… for Linux is all about power and user options in the purest form.

So all in all, we’re going to have to suffer with MS unless someone out there, who is truly inspirational comes along and leads us out of this oppressive computing era. Sorry people… but… that’s just the way it is. And things will never be the same.

Serenity says:

Re: Re: Futile Arguments

Hmm… I smell a genius.
you really need to pull your head out of the clouds buddy. Or better yet… I will go grab a POS x486 running redhat and I bet I could produce the same terrible trendy music you could with your Top of the Line POS running some prosaic app like cakewalk pro.. unless you are a MAC user, then I just don’t even want to hear it…. In fact… I like MAC, just not the users… this commerical will show you why….

There is some generic software for music on linux here and some other BS… You should also try using SourceForge

Anonymous Coward says:

“those that don’t like all the pop-ups. what do you propose?”

I want an option to disable the pop-ups. Here, how’s this?: “Would you like to allow this action? Yes, No, Always, Never” If my firewall can do it, so can Windows.

Oh and to those complaining about no fast reliable internet access, nobody said you had to upgrade your OS. Why should that hold the rest of us back? That would only give average people a reason to demand these services so coverage can be increased.

To the person who praised Windows 98 – I don’t remember it ever being lightweight or fast on the hardware of the time. I recall many BSODs, endless searches for drivers, etc.

And regarding the Vista beta, I don’t see the point of upgrading. There is absolutely nothing even tempting about it. The interface is clunky and mac-like and all of the decent features they were going to include have been cut out.

Topher3105 (profile) says:

How can you say this is status quo

People will complain about Microsoft for no good reason, and it is just a sign of naive ignorance.

During the 90’s. Microsoft developed 7 versions of there OS, and this not including server versions of NT4.0 and Windows 2000 and mobile CE versions and embedded versions. And guess what, people bitched and complained about how fast Microsoft was rolling out operating systems. People couldn’t understand the need to upgrade from Windows 95 to 98, and the SE and then ME and then 2000. People said it hurt the industry because it forced people to upgrade rapidly wasting money unnecessarily.

Now, people are complaining about how long Vista is taking, saying that the years involved in development, and constant postponement is hurting the industry?


I am sorry, but when it comes to Microsoft, I am tired of the “Status Quo” of being negative about anything they do, especially with there is no thought or reason for it. And the person who submitted this article a completely MORON! It is obvious he knows nothing about Microsoft’s game plan, and has ignored developments in the Microsoft camp in order to lash out with is obvious bias and unfounded hatred.

Microsoft is heavily going in the direction of online services, their whole Windows Live product line is a testament to that. As well as the whole .Net platform which is geared towards developing online services. But they can’t just end traditional desktop application support in one go either. Rather then just saying “Customers want online services” Microsoft is tentatively rolling out online services to see if customers bite. I mean, how many bombs have happened because corporations under or overestimated the needs of customers. Consider that still a large part of the population doesn’t have broadband service, putting all your eggs into online services doesn’t make sense.

As for making Vista too bloated? I mean, come on, get real guys. Microsoft is finally doing what Apple has done, added a decent search index system, gadgets, and other bells and whistles that make an OS easier to use. What people perceive as bloat, the UI, Microsoft is finally utilizing the full power of your system by leveraging your idle GPU to render UI components. The UI does not tax your CPU, thus allowing your CPU to be used for the intention of the application, not to render the application.

Nobody complains about Apple not providing a lightweight OS environment and turning to online services. Its this kind of double standard that I find is just a sign of ignorance, how Apple does everything right, and Microsoft wrong, when in fact they are doing the same thine. Why not complain that Apple should move its iLife applications as online services, rather then weighing down and OS with over 10 gb of files.

Anyways, I am not Microsoft’s champion either, and they have done some vile business practices in the past. But I develop Windows applications, and I have to find the silver lining, and I find that Microsoft is doing more right then wrong these days. Just that stupid moronic people can’t let go of the past, they are still bitter about the whole 90’s Microsoft to realize Microsoft has moved on and making an OS for the 21st century.

Finally, if you have not USED Vista, then you have no business saying there is no reason to upgrade. Use it, even once, and you will find it to be streamlined and worth an upgrade over XP, even in just the way it organizes multimedia. There are numerous performance and power efficiency options that I like (hybrid drives and Superfetch) The only feature excluded is WinFS. But I would still recommend that you get it with a new computer when you buy or upgrade to one because Vista is all about leveraging new hardware features.

Just Another Joe says:

Re: How can you say this is status quo

Ok, honestly you sound like a Microsoft Troll, but that aside, there is no way I’ll spend $1500+ on a new computer simply to utilize a new OS. New hardware features are spiffy and cool, but 80 – 90 % of computer users probably could care less about anything except bottomline functionality. As long as users can find the file they are looking for in their “My Documents” folder, they will be happy with file organization. What most computer gurus seem to overlook is the fact that computers are essentially tv with processing power. All of the output from a computer (save printing) comes out of your monitor and designers, you can only make an OS and the apps look soo pretty. Personally I want a system that works first and looks appealing second.

I’ll admit I am a Mac user, but at the same time Macs are not perfect and I still own an XP system at home. The biggest downfall of the Mac is the lack of Universal application support because many vendors simply choose not to support Mac for whatever reason. To the guy who said OS X is 10 gigs or so, I agree the OS is HUGE to say the least, but the conviniance of being able to plug in just about any device and have it simply work is great. What this guy doesn’t tell you (or may not know) is that you can delete (remove) any unused (or unwanted) printer drivers, fonts, etc. and free up about 2 + gigs of space.

Anywho, just my 2 cents

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: How can you say this is status quo

who says you need to spend $1500 on a new pc? my pc is 4 yrs old and runs vista beta fine and thats with all the drivers not being vista made yet…so speed will increase once drivers are readily avail for the specs area amd athlon 2500 xp + 1.5 gig of ram and a 9600 128 Mb card and I can utilitze the aero and windows flip features fine as well…my system costed me about $500 and that was over 4 yrs ago so I am sure you can find it at half that now

Sanguine Dream says:


With more and more services and applications (finally) moving online, why isn’t Microsoft focused on building a lightweight, easily extensible platform that can be built upon, rather than building up an increasingly bloated, do everything, operating system?

…it might be becuase the internet, or at least the high speed that would cut download speeds for upgrades and patch to a reasonable timespan, isn’t as commonly available as people (with high speed) think?

Zachary Spencer says:

It's not about the OS...

It’s quite simply not about the OS. Why does Microsoft bundle Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, etc. with their OS?

So you use their formats. You use MS Office and save as a .doc. You use WMP to rip your audio and you save as .wma.

Face it, the majority of computer users aren’t bright enough to download the LAME encoder and set up their windows media player just to encode their CDs in a semi open format.

They also aren’t going to download winAmp/foobar.

If they do use a different Audio Player it will be iTunes, just because it’s easy/popular/they have an iPod/they’ve heard of it/ it looks pretty/ etc.

In which case they’re being swung into AAC, and although it’s easier to swtich iTunes from AAC to mp3, it’s still defaults to AAC.

It’s all about the formats.

If microsoft has 75% of the users using .doc format to save their documents, and if half the music that’s being ripped from CDs is WMA, and if 90% of the browser users is IE…

Then they’ve got a serious advantage over any other platform out there.

THAT’s why they won’t make a lightweight framework.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It's not about the OS...

actually wmp ver 11 can rip to mp3 fine…the reason why they dont make a lightweight os is because the common user doesn’t want it…they dont want to download or change anything they want everything to work right when they open the box…there are far more “average joe” users using windows then power users…Microsoft is going to listen to the majority…and frankly its the average user so until we get smarter users this is the way it is…

TerminalX says:

Re: It's not about the OS...

actually wmp ver 11 can rip to mp3 fine…the reason why they dont make a lightweight os is because the common user doesn’t want it…they dont want to download or change anything they want everything to work right when they open the box…there are far more “average joe” users using windows then power users…Microsoft is going to listen to the majority…and frankly its the average user so until we get smarter users this is the way it is…

Kris says:

Any product that’s main draw is a bundled configuration is simply not going to be what the main part of the public needs. Period. It is simply in the design that not every one is going to need every part of the product. Providing each part separately would be so much simpler, easier to assemble what parts you truly need, and flexible that you would sell a lot more of each part, because more people would see the need for each separate section and would be more willing to get it from you. I hope Microsoft does some thinking about this.

Serenity says:

WOW - You people are rather serious about this.

Windows Vista… Not really that bad from what I have seen of it. I like IE-7 though it crashes on the regular due to attempts to open numerous homepages on load. Though I would say the security features are somewhat limited on XP. MS Office 2007 is intuitive and easier to use that any piece of micro-crap I have seen in years. All in all I like the way they are headed into the integration of the entire home.

I like the fact that now I can run 5 machines and my Xbox 360 and stream ripped media directly to whichever TV in my house. I like the Bluetooth media center remotes.. I like the whole damn package. And I really hate Microsoft, but when compared to the ridiculous standards and BS that Mac’s pull off… or the counter intuitive installation of software media on UNIX or Linux. Though RPM’s are kind of sexy with all there clickable goodness, the days of “make” and “config” will hopefully be coming to an end soon. I personally think that this is seriously a day and age of Pick You Poison. After all who really cares what OS you use as long as you can complete the task at hand in a timely fashion with it. After all I don’t care what browser you are using to view this page or the OS supporting it. Why? Because it’s not mine, that’s why.

I will use whatever OS happens to be there when I turn on the machine. Because after all being good with a computer does not mean you are only good with an application… Like Windows… If you don’t want it, can’t afford it, or simply don’t know how to use it… Then don’t…

Or buy a book….

Turtle Island says:

Who wants bloat and why wait for it?

Buying, and using a computer is just like any of product. Most people want the product to do Lots of things, without having to buy add-ons. Compare it to buying a vehical. We want something thats going to get us from point A to point B, with comfort, some speed, music, safety, etc. Who wants to buy body, then go pick out the sterio, the airbags, the tires, the airconditioner? Well, that sounds like a weekend mecanic to me (which most of us are not). Most of computer users are NOT computer freeks, or experts so they don’t enjoy having to build their system at all. They want it to do everything they need, or might want later, the first time they plug it in.

If you really want a computer system to do what YOU want and ONLY what YOU want, build our own hardware, put it all in a box, then write your own OS and apps. Otherwise, live with the fact that business’ cater to the largest group of customers, not the few select who will never be satisfied with someone elses idea of a good product for the masses.

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