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Author Topic: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?  (Read 5993 times)

urlwolf

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ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« on: April 20, 2009, 03:28:51 PM »
Quote
As some commentators have suggested, there may be a bunch of IT departments that adopt Windows 7, but if they do it will be out of annoyance and necessity (if Microsoft finally phases out Windows XP) and not out of the desire to benefit from any new advances in Windows 7. There are none.

It didn’t used to be this way. Installing a new operating system used to be like getting a whole new computer. Installing Windows 95 over Windows 3.1? That was a huge improvement. Installing Windows 2000 on top of Windows 95? That was a big leap forward. There were reasons to upgrade back then, for example:

    * Windows 95 - Greatly simplified interface; much more friendly to the average user
    * Windows 98 - Improved multimedia capabilities and built-in Internet functionality
    * Windows 2000 - Industrial-strength Windows NT code base, but in a much more polished package
    * Windows XP - Unified the Win9x and WinNT/2K code bases; allowed businesses to standardize on one OS
    * Windows Vista - ?
    * Windows 7 - ?

Part of what’s going here is that the computer operating system has achieved a level of maturity and efficiency. You could even say that work on the OS has reached a point of diminishing returns. How much more efficiency can we wring out of it? What other major innovations are waiting out there?

ZDnet on why windows 7 may not matter anymore.

MilesAhead

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 04:18:25 PM »
Someone who configured mini-computers and got me interested in programming told me "An Operating System is at its most robust and powerful just before obsolescence."  :)

40hz

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 04:58:38 PM »
I think the simple existence of so many Linux distributions speaks volumes about the notion of a post-Windows era. It isn't so much that people are considering Linux instead of Windows for their OS. It's more that many people no longer care what they're running as long as they can get to the web with it.

And in that framework, it becomes very hard to justify paying a few hundred for a general purpose OS like Windows when free alternatives are readily available. So if not for general purpose computing, then what?

I think games and DRM-protected media will be the only two things that ultimately keep Windows going.

But maybe Microsoft has already seen their future. And that future boils down to a sophisticated entertainment appliance that looks something like an XBox on steroids.

Unless Apple gets there first. Again. ;)

 8)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 09:22:08 PM by 40hz »

f0dder

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 04:59:36 PM »
It's not true that Vista and Win7 haven't added anything... anybody claiming so should do a little research.

Windows Vista: added transactional NTFS, prioritized disk I/O, UAC :-*, and (not so important, but nice) a smoother GUI (if you have the GPU for it - could've/should've been done more efficiently).
Windows 7: doesn't have that much end-user visible new-niceness (though it has usability enhancements), is a sort of "polished Vista" - but has some nice improvements for running on (and scaling to) higher-end hardware.

...and XP unifying the 2k and 9x codebases? :huh: :huh: :huh: - the systems might have been unified, in the sense that Win9x was dragged into the backyard and shot, and XP was made a more consumer-oriented system than 2k. But unifying the code bases? come on.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 05:02:10 PM by f0dder »

zridling

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 10:18:31 PM »
I think the simple existence of so many Linux distributions speaks volumes about the notion of a post-Windows era. It isn't so much that people are considering Linux instead of Windows for their OS. It's more that many people no longer care what they're running as long as they can get to the web with it.... And in that framework, it becomes very hard to justify paying a few hundred for a general purpose OS like Windows when free alternatives are readily available.

I came to this conclusion a couple of years ago. The fact that a legal copy of Windows is expensive and licensed, not sold. Using Windows -- for me -- means agreeing to a number of increasingly harsh restrictions. For most Windows licenses, you can't keep the software when you change the hardware. You sometimes can't even give your software away. Who exactly can run the software? On which computer? How many copies can you make? Can you install it on another machine inside the same house? Are updates forced or voluntary? What happens if I lose my media? How come Dell or HP doesn't give me a physical disc for Windows when I buy one of their computers with Windows on it? Why am I forced to buy a copy of Windows when I buy most any retail computer, even if I do not intend to use it?

........................... I could do this all day........................

For what I do on the computer -- mostly access and share information and files through a browser -- Windows just gets in the way of that compared to Linux. Thus there's no need to send another dime to Redmond. Use what makes you happy; and I'll do the same.

wreckedcarzz

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 10:30:56 PM »
For what I do on my laptop (not my primary machine anymore, but nonetheless) I saw no need to keep using Windows Vista on it, and switched to Linux (Ubuntu, specifically). I lost absolutely no functionality and do the same things I did, with the same apps I used (open source FTW), just faster and simpler. As far as the OS debate goes, until you bring up the topic of (commercial) games, I (personally) have no reason to run Windows anymore. That is the only reason it sits on my two desktop computers - and with every release of WINE (or CrossOver Office, or whatever you prefer), the time ticks away on those as well.

Just my opinion :two:

Ehtyar

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 10:33:16 PM »
I'm sorry F0d Man, but seriously...I think when someone lists reasons for upgrading, they would be reasons someone somewhere actually gives two craps about (no, that's not meant to be taken literally, but you do get my point). That's not to mention that any improvement in Vista came along with utterly horrifying performance (yeah sure you might not have experienced that, but you can be certain the majority of users did), outrageously high requirements, and constant unnecessary hard disk usage.
[end rant]
Unfortunately, Microsoft still has a strangehold on the PC market, and no one has, as yet, came up with a model that provides enough advantages over Windows, and is a widely known, that the average Joe would consider switching.

Ehtyar.

J-Mac

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 01:19:14 AM »
It's not true that Vista and Win7 haven't added anything... anybody claiming so should do a little research.

Windows Vista: added transactional NTFS, prioritized disk I/O, UAC :-*, and (not so important, but nice) a smoother GUI (if you have the GPU for it - could've/should've been done more efficiently).
Windows 7: doesn't have that much end-user visible new-niceness (though it has usability enhancements), is a sort of "polished Vista" - but has some nice improvements for running on (and scaling to) higher-end hardware.

Not enough there to convince the larger part of the market - companies/corporations - to upgrade. And as the linked ZDNet article mentions, they are really the only part of the market that has a choice as to whether or not to upgrade their OS. Most consumers never really "chose" Vista - it was just the OS already pre-installed on their new computers.

Jim

Ehtyar

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 01:57:23 AM »
Most consumers never really "chose" Vista - it was just the OS already pre-installed on their new computers.
Which *SUCKS*!

...

*ahem*

Ehtyar.

wraith808

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 09:22:08 AM »
I truly don't know why it gets such bad press.  I've had my moments, but most of those have been a result of wanting to do things myself, and vista 'protecting' me from messing things up, because it wanted to fix it (and admittedly did- if not as fast as I wanted).  But overall, it hasn't been a bad experience.

40hz

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 09:50:08 AM »
I truly don't know why it gets such bad press.  I've had my moments, but most of those have been a result of wanting to do things myself, and vista 'protecting' me from messing things up, because it wanted to fix it (and admittedly did- if not as fast as I wanted).  But overall, it hasn't been a bad experience.

Good point. But then the question becomes whether or not your "not bad" experience is worth $150-300 when you can have an equally "not bad" experience for free?

A corporate buyer once told me that (from her perspective) most tech marketing seems to say little more than: "Don't use their crap - use our crap!" -or- "Don't hire those jerks - hire our jerks"

Sometimes I think she's right. ;D

« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 09:51:52 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2009, 12:33:07 PM »
Well, in the scheme of things, I fell into the Vista is already installed, why not try it.  I've even received free upgrades to vista that I didn't install b/c of the press and the feeling of "it's already working, so why try something that everyone is complaining about."

The real reason(IMHO) to upgrade from 3.1 to 95/98 to XP was software- there's no such impetus for Vista.

MilesAhead

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2009, 01:53:23 PM »
The fact that a legal copy of Windows is expensive and licensed, not sold. Using Windows -- for me -- means agreeing to a number of increasingly harsh restrictions. For most Windows licenses, you can't keep the software when you change the hardware

My favorite gimmick for shrink-wrapped software, is the notice on the side of the box that says "by opening this package your agree to the licensing terms yadda yadda.." and then it informs you to see the license agreement inside the box!!!  Talk about a blank check!!!  Just sign here, we'll fill in the terms later!!  Don't worry, be happy!!

 :wallbash:

Ehtyar

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 03:49:27 PM »
A corporate buyer once told me that (from her perspective) most tech marketing seems to say little more than: "Don't use their crap - use our crap!" -or- "Don't hire those jerks - hire our jerks"

Sometimes I think she's right. ;D
The Mac vs. PC ads are a perfect example, and now MS has stooped to their level and managed to do an even worse job.

*sigh*

Ehtyar.

J-Mac

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 04:54:04 PM »
A corporate buyer once told me that (from her perspective) most tech marketing seems to say little more than: "Don't use their crap - use our crap!" -or- "Don't hire those jerks - hire our jerks"

Sometimes I think she's right. ;D
The Mac vs. PC ads are a perfect example, and now MS has stooped to their level and managed to do an even worse job.

*sigh*

Ehtyar.

Actually, from what I have read the Mac vs. PC ads were extremely effective - for Apple. The newer "I'm a PC" ads by MS haven't been effective - at least not yet.

Jim

40hz

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2009, 03:35:09 PM »
Actually, from what I have read the Mac vs. PC ads were extremely effective - for Apple. The newer "I'm a PC" ads by MS haven't been effective - at least not yet.

Apple's ads are more effective at "preaching to the choir" then they are at "converting the infidels." Otherwise, Apple would be seeing a significant growth in market share.

I think Apple's primary goal for their current advertising campaign is to prevent defections rather than gain new users.

Just my 2¢

« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 03:37:42 PM by 40hz »

rgdot

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2009, 03:51:49 PM »
I know a few long time users who are sick of OS X, I hear less (but obviously not zero) complaints about Vista vs XP, 2000, 98. I understand that this may not be typical but it's certainly true in my case. About end of operating systems, average users will continue buying low (low for their particular period) end computers for the foreseeable future, whether MS can give them OSes that work "ok" with those specs is going to be the bigger question.

MilesAhead

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 06:02:21 PM »
I'm still wondering where all the 386s went.  It's like the Gremlins scarfed 'em all up and hid 'em in a landfill before people found out you could run Linux on 'em.  You'd think you should be able to buy one for $20 or something. Is the scrap value really more than a running PC?  Strange.

J-Mac

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 10:35:48 PM »
I know a few long time users who are sick of OS X, I hear less (but obviously not zero) complaints about Vista vs XP, 2000, 98. I understand that this may not be typical but it's certainly true in my case. About end of operating systems, average users will continue buying low (low for their particular period) end computers for the foreseeable future, whether MS can give them OSes that work "ok" with those specs is going to be the bigger question.

My experience is the opposite. Though I haven't used a Mac since the very first generation, most people I know who do use them are very happy with them. Me? I still stick with Windows but not for any loyalty reasons, for sure. Mainly, the prices are much more reasonable. I have read a few articles that compare the Mac vs. PC pricing and insist that they are almost even if you include all of the same features, but no matter how I look and feature configurations the Macs are always considerably higher. Maybe I just don't know where to look. Additionally, so much of the software I use daily is not usable on a Mac. In some cases there is a comparable alternative but then I would have to add in the cost of purchasing all of those - Unlike Mr. Darwin, I have a LOT of software!  (    ;)  :P  )  And then there are also some programs I use that don't seem to have a comparable Mac program at all.

Anyway, like I said, most folks I know that have switched to Macs - not lifelong Mac owners - seem to be well satisfied. They miss the constant tinkering around with registry hacks, etc., to make the Windows OS's work right; but they don't miss it THAT much!!

Jim

f0dder

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 06:43:57 AM »
I'm still wondering where all the 386s went.  It's like the Gremlins scarfed 'em all up and hid 'em in a landfill before people found out you could run Linux on 'em.  You'd think you should be able to buy one for $20 or something. Is the scrap value really more than a running PC?  Strange.
Does linux still support 386?

Even if the kernel does, I wonder how useful it would be... would you be able to get acceptable X11 performance, for instance?
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 11:54:51 AM »
Does linux still support 386?

AFAIK, the only thing that still supports the 386 in any useful way is NetBSD. It also has driver support for the ISA architecture - which you'll need if you're using a machine of this vintage.

You can even run NetBSD on an old IBM Personal System/2 with MCA slots if you're that kinky! ;D

Just how useful it would be is anybody's guess since an X server wouldn't be doable. But then again, an 80386 is also a more sophisticated CPU than what UNIX was originally developed on so...

I'll bet a real NIX gearhead (who had EMACS down cold) could probably blow my doors off with what he/she could do with such an 'obsolete' setup.

 Like Gypsy Rose Lee said: It ain't how much you got. It's how you use it that counts." 8)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 11:56:26 AM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 12:01:08 PM »
I'm still wondering where all the 386s went.  It's like the Gremlins scarfed 'em all up and hid 'em in a landfill before people found out you could run Linux on 'em.  You'd think you should be able to buy one for $20 or something. Is the scrap value really more than a running PC?  Strange.
Does linux still support 386?

Even if the kernel does, I wonder how useful it would be... would you be able to get acceptable X11 performance, for instance?

For an old machine you could get old code.  When 486 was it, most code was 386.  After Pentium came in you got a lot of optimization branches.  Just going from memory.  I used to run a 16 MHz 386 with 12 MB ram running OS/2 with about 5 layers of network software.  Didn't crash. Once you got your applications loaded off the disk it was fine.  Also you don't need X to run Linux.  Back in 2.0 and earlier kernels most installs put console mode Linux with 6 terminals hooked to F1 to F6 function keys.  If you wanted X you had to configure it yourself.  There are many Linux terminal mode mail programs, newsreaders etc..

40hz

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 04:15:15 PM »
Also you don't need X to run Linux.

Agree. You don't need X at all really. But since the apps most people want to use depend on a GUI, it's a showstopper for about 96% of the people out there.

Getting old code would definitely be a smart move if you could get your hands on some.

I've got an antique 386-20 w/8mb of RAM and WFWG loaded on it that still surprises me with what it can do. I have copies of WordPerfect, MS Word, Quark XPress, Aldus (pre-Adobe) Freehand, Interleaf, Lotus1-2-3. TopSpeed Modula2, Turbo Pascal, Turbo Prolog and a pile of other stuff that all still works quite nicely. You could actually get some serious work done on this machine. Lord knows I did.
 8)

MilesAhead

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Re: ZDNET: Have we arrived in the post-Windows era?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2009, 04:25:03 PM »
Also you don't need X to run Linux.

Agree. You don't need X at all really. But since the apps most people want to use depend on a GUI, it's a showstopper for about 96% of the people out there.

Getting old code would definitely be a smart move if you could get your hands on some.

I've got an antique 386-20 w/8mb of RAM and WFWG loaded on it that still surprises me with what it can do. I have copies of WordPerfect, MS Word, Quark XPress, Aldus (pre-Adobe) Freehand, Interleaf, Lotus1-2-3. TopSpeed Modula2, Turbo Pascal, Turbo Prolog and a pile of other stuff that all still works quite nicely. You could actually get some serious work done on this machine. Lord knows I did.
 8)


Best bet would probably be a used bookstore.  If you could find a book like Slackware 3.0 with the CD still in it.  That thing had the 2.0 kernel.  Once Linux got off the 1.x kernels I don't think I ever got a hard lock.  Had a 486 w/16 MB ram running XWindows.  The X window manager might crash, but I'd just hotkey to a console window, kill X and start it again. Never had to cycle power with that baby!!  Of course what I did have to do was rip my hair out to get stuff to work!!  It's like the inverse of Windows.  Windows you double click install and it goes on, but it breaks easily.  Back then it wasn't just apt-get.  You had to mess with scripts and configure stuff.  Once you got it solid, unless you crashed the file system it didn't break. If you had a UPS you had it made... until you wanted to do something like print stuff on a non-postscript printer.. then more hair loss. :)


It just seems weird to me that you can still find rotary dial phones, but you can't find a 386 that ain't in a museum.  There must be a govt. program where they sent 'em all to India or something.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 04:26:58 PM by MilesAhead »