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Last post Author Topic: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)  (Read 99759 times)

Lashiec

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #225 on: February 17, 2009, 01:52:45 PM »
Em, after reading the comments in Slashdot, I think it would be wise to wait until there's a real analysis, and not just a random guy commenting its findings without providing real evidence. For example, the "Win7 allows programs like Photoshop to stealthily insert themselves in your firewall exception list" is OLD, ĀµTorrent has been doing this for years in XP.

Lashiec

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #226 on: February 26, 2009, 01:40:26 PM »
During the brief FUD debacle, development of Windows 7 towards the first Release Candidate has continued, including some minor tweaks to the OS behaviour and features. Nothing groundbreaking, but some of them are more than welcome, like #2
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 02:00:07 PM by Lashiec »

f0dder

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #227 on: February 26, 2009, 01:59:03 PM »
Sounds like a good amount of polishing changes :Thmbsup:

I just wish they would allow custom themes that aren't signed by MS... and of course also focus on performance, memory footprint, etc :)
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Lashiec

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UAC: The big mess
« Reply #228 on: March 05, 2009, 09:02:56 AM »
Around a month ago, blogger Long Zheng and developer Rafael Rivera demonstrated how to exploit two security flaws in Windows 7 UAC: one to disable the same UAC sending mere keystrokes, and the second one to autoelevate (giving administrator rights to a program without UAC prompts) any given program using rundll32 (part of Windows, which allows DLLs to run). After some confusing statements by Microsoft, the flaws were acknowledged, and somewhat fixed (I understand the second flaw can still be exploited).

Turns out that at the same time those flaws were made public and discussed in the Internet, another developer, Leo Davidson, found another flaw in UAC which essentially makes the whole system useless. Using ordinary methods built into Windows, Leo was able to inject arbitrary code into a 'trusted' process and break all kind of havoc in the system.

Peter Bright published a concise summary of the research just hours ago at Ars Technica, for those who wish to avoid the most complex technical details. The discovery does not only affect UAC but also Microsoft credibility as it seems Microsoft apps can happily bypass UAC prompts while 3rd parties had to either make users deal with the prompts or redesign their apps so they require the prompts as less as possible.

The outcome of this for now is that all the usability improvements Microsoft made for UAC in Windows 7 were for nothing, and the only way to stay secure is to raise that lever in the configuration and go back to Vista's behaviour.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 09:11:44 AM by Lashiec »

f0dder

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #229 on: March 05, 2009, 09:09:06 AM »
The outcome of this for now is that all the usability improvements Microsoft made for UAC in Windows 7 were for nothing, and the only way to stay secure is to raise that lever in the configuration and go back to Vista's behaviour.
Let's hope they get this fixed. Win7 is after all still in Beta mode...
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app103

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #230 on: March 21, 2009, 02:45:48 AM »
I am surprised Zaine didn't post this before me, since he is such a big ODF supporter...


Microsoft Supports ODF

Quote
What may not be so widely known is that Windows 7 (the latest version of Windows which was available as a free beta) ships with a copy of WordPad that supports ODF as standard as the screenshot shows below:

zridling

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #231 on: March 21, 2009, 04:31:59 AM »
I am surprised Zaine didn't post this before me, since he is such a big ODF supporter...

 ;D Actually Sun wrote that plugin and made it available to Microsoft Office back in February. I noticed, but didn't think it was Win7 worthy.

tool_options.jpg

It just kills me that Sun did what Microsoft could and should have done in the first place instead of FUD-ing and fighting. They used freely available open source code to build seamless, intuitive support for ODF into MS Word. No unmaintainable XSLT. No funky, redundant additional menu items. No tortuous workflow designed to make users treat ODF as second class. No pre-requisite for the OOXML add-in to make it work.

Now if we could start to work on an open filesystem for Windows....

app103

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #232 on: March 21, 2009, 05:44:33 AM »
;D Actually Sun wrote that plugin and made it available to Microsoft Office back in February. I noticed, but didn't think it was Win7 worthy.

February of this year? Microsoft made the announcement in May of last year, that ODF support was going to be added in Office 2007 SP2.

But, I didn't say Word, since Word still doesn't officially support ODF because Microsoft hasn't added it yet. (sure you can go get a plugin for it from somewhere else, but that isn't the same as it being including in it, as part of the product, by Microsoft)

And Word (or Office) isn't part of Windows any way. It's a separate product, and an expensive one, at that.

If I had been referring to Word, you are right...it wouldn't have been worthy of mentioning in a thread about Win7. But that wasn't what I said or what I was referring to.

What I said was Wordpad, which comes with Windows (this is what make it worthy of mentioning in a thread about Win7)...what has always been a second rate poor excuse for a word processor, that traditionally never supports anything that you really need to open. An application that has remained virtually unchanged since Win95.

I am referring to this thing that looks like the results of a beginner's tutorial in coding:

SNAG-00209.pngWINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
Quick! What Windows version is this from?

Microsoft finally gave it a facelift, an update, and in Win7 it officially supports ODF now, out of the box, before Word officially will.

wordpad.pngWINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
This is Wordpad from Win7.

Lashiec

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #233 on: March 22, 2009, 01:03:20 PM »
Quick! What Windows version is this from?

Win2K?

Shades

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #234 on: March 22, 2009, 03:56:40 PM »
Windows XP (classic mode)?

40hz

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #235 on: March 22, 2009, 04:06:55 PM »

It just kills me that Sun did what Microsoft could and should have done in the first place instead of FUD-ing and fighting. They used freely available open source code to build seamless, intuitive support for ODF into MS Word. No unmaintainable XSLT. No funky, redundant additional menu items. No tortuous workflow designed to make users treat ODF as second class. No pre-requisite for the OOXML add-in to make it work.

Now if we could start to work on an open filesystem for Windows....


Well...if you're gonna confuse the issue with common sense and logic, we might as well end the discussion right here. ;) ;D

app103

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #236 on: March 22, 2009, 05:30:22 PM »
Windows XP (classic mode)?

Bingo!

But it could just as easily been mistaken for Win95's Wordpad:

win95.png

Darwin

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #237 on: March 22, 2009, 10:31:50 PM »
Windows XP (classic mode)?

Bingo!

But it could just as easily been mistaken for Win95's Wordpad:

(see attachment in previous post)

Well... yeah, but it was in classic mode, no?

To be honest, it's been so long since I had themes enabled on any XP box that I have no idea what Wordpad looks like "XP themed" - is it the same as in classic mode, or...?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

app103

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #238 on: March 22, 2009, 10:40:31 PM »
- is it the same as in classic mode, or...?

Yeah, but looks like it was made by Fisher-Pricew instead of Microsoft.  :D

Darwin

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #239 on: March 22, 2009, 11:04:00 PM »
- is it the same as in classic mode, or...?

Yeah, but looks like it was made by Fisher-Pricew instead of Microsoft.  :D

 ;D Very true!

It's not so much better in Vista...

Wordpad in Vista.pngWINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Lashiec

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Wait, what?
« Reply #240 on: April 27, 2009, 12:46:21 PM »
Looks like Microsoft is giving away copies of XP with every copy of Windows 7 you get. If that's how they intend to finally bury the old OS, they're doing it wrong :P

I wonder if that 100% compatibility figure also includes games...
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 12:49:28 PM by Lashiec »

f0dder

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #241 on: April 27, 2009, 12:59:39 PM »
Quote
I wonder if that 100% compatibility figure also includes games...
It's done through Virtualization, so it won't be exactly the same as running on a real physical XP machine. The answer to your question will likely be the same as "does VirtualPC support DirectX hardware acceleration properly".

I'm not really sure what I think of this thing, it seems like extreme overkill to me.
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Lashiec

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #242 on: April 27, 2009, 01:14:46 PM »
The answer to your question will likely be the same as "does VirtualPC support DirectX hardware acceleration properly".

Yeah, I was afraid of that. VirtualPC is really behind the competition regarding graphics acceleration support, and that's even with the leaders in that area offering lackluster performance compared with the real thing. It would be really nice to have it, though.

I assume this is more of a nod to businesses looking to adopt Windows 7 than anything else.

f0dder

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #243 on: April 27, 2009, 01:29:43 PM »
Yeah, I was afraid of that. VirtualPC is really behind the competition regarding graphics acceleration support, and that's even with the leaders in that area offering lackluster performance compared with the real thing. It would be really nice to have it, though.
To be fair, it's a pretty darn complex thing to get right. Trying to emulate a GPU and getting acceptable speeds would likely be unfeasible. So instead you'd have to come up with some "passthrough" mechanism, possibly by intercepting DirectX/OpenGL calls and routing them outside the VM... this is OS-specific, hard to get right, and opens the possibility for breakout scenarios - which you don't want happening :)

I wish that MS would force software developers to fix their damn bugs instead of keeping backwards bug compatibility. But I know it's not realistic, and if they attempted to do it, people would bitch and moan.

Anyway, there's a new article about Win7 enhancements: Engineering Windows 7 Graphics Performance, which is a nice read. A summary:
  • Global GDI locks removed, scales much better with multiple graphics-intensive apps now.
  • Graphics objects no longer kept in system memory, lives exclusively on the GPU with updated Win7 drivers.
  • Much better use of GPU acceleration for GDI primitives, freeing up CPU for other work.

Altogether, those updates should result in a smoother graphics experience and (much!) reduced memory usage. Note that you won't get the reduced-memory and hardware-acceleration benefits with Vista drivers, those require native Win7 drivers (Vista drivers will still work, though). The reduced lockingGDI improvements are independent of drivers though.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #244 on: April 27, 2009, 02:51:35 PM »
It's a damn good idea in my opinion - if this virtual compatibility layer approach is developed properly it should mean that all legacy support in the native Windows can be dropped so that anything running natively can benefit from a leaner and faster operating system.

Provided the compatibility layer only loads when required it would be a huge incentive for legacy developers to update their code to native status which would be fantastic for end users in the long run.

f0dder

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #245 on: April 27, 2009, 02:58:26 PM »
Carol: the problem is that, as far as I understand it, it's implemented as a full effing OS install in a virtual machine - this is cumbersome and takes up quite some disk space. And it's not like you can benefit super++ much from "removing legacy", unless you want to push all native applications to the VM and only run .NET applications directly on the OS...
- carpe noctem

MrCrispy

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #246 on: April 27, 2009, 03:51:48 PM »
This is a great move which was long overdue. I'm pretty sure managed code is the ultimate goal for Microsoft both in the OS (Midori) as well as for apps. It will take a while to happen, and even if it isn't, this opens the way to modernise the API and not have to support all the legacy cruft in Win32.

Disk space and resources are cheap and virtualization is only going to get better. In fact I would like Windows to support native sandboxing for any app - something like SandboxIE, or Protected Mode for any app, not just IE. It would let you run any app you want virtualized, and flag it as suspicious if it tries to cross system boundaries. This would be an awesome feature for both home users and IT.

f0dder

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #247 on: April 27, 2009, 03:56:33 PM »
MrCrispy: until dotNET reaches native performance (memory usage as well as CPU consumption), I certainly hope they are going to keep the Win32 API.

Besides, what does dotNET use internally? :) - it's not like they're going to rewrite the kernel for dotNET anytime soon, and I bet the framework ultimately ends up calling win32 and not the NT native API.
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MrCrispy

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #248 on: April 27, 2009, 04:08:05 PM »
Well, as you know Vista was supposed to use .NET for the shell and all apps. Until they realized they couldn't get it done, performance was too slow, and we got the infamous Longhorn reset which also got rid of a lot of cool features.

You probably also know of Singulariy (kernel) and Midori (OS built on top of it) which are written in managed code. Singulariy is MSR and Midori is in active development. Who knows if one day they will replace Windows, but this statement -"it's not like they're going to rewrite the kernel for dotNET anytime soon, and I bet the framework ultimately ends up calling win32 and not the NT native API" is certainly not going to be true for long :)

IMO .NET apps have large memory latency due to the JIT and GC, which is most visible as increased startup times. But runtime performance is almost as good or better than native code.


Stoic Joker

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Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« Reply #249 on: April 28, 2009, 10:33:20 PM »
It's a damn good idea in my opinion - if this virtual compatibility layer approach is developed properly it should mean that all legacy support in the native Windows can be dropped so that anything running natively can benefit from a leaner and faster operating system.

Provided the compatibility layer only loads when required it would be a huge incentive for legacy developers to update their code to native status which would be fantastic for end users in the long run.

Actually from what I've been reading, it loads completely transparently. A Google search on "Windows XP Mode" will yield a tone of newly released info. but the highlights are:
Free XP license with Business, Ultimate, & Enterprise editions.
Based on VPC7, and has no independent desktop, so apps installed in XP Mode are available and run directly on the Win7 desktop.
Yes their objective with it is to run in the direction you're thinking.

The hang point with Vista was enterprise level customers with legacy apps that were $3,000+ per seat to upgrade if available not wanting to take the "hit" simply stayed with XP. This will give them the best of both worlds and hopefully get them to jump on Win7.

I've never seen an accounting app that needed much from the GPU, so I doubt that will be a concern.