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  • Gralla: Why Windows 10 may never get another killer feature

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Gralla: Why Windows 10 may never get another killer feature

    This topic contains 33 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by

     NetDef 1 month ago.

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    • #321659 Reply

      admin
      Da Boss

      Interesting conjecture from one of my favorite writers, Preston Gralla, in Computerworld: There haven’t been any “latest and greatest” features introd
      [See the full post at: Gralla: Why Windows 10 may never get another killer feature]

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #321676 Reply

      AlexEiffel
      AskWoody_MVP

      “So expect Windows to continue to become more reliable and stable over time, as it has been getting under the Windows-as-a-service strategy.”

      Not sure about that. I still think that Windows as a product understood as both Windows 7 and Windows 10 have become less reliable and stable with the new WaaS era than what Windows was in the past.

      If you follow Preston’s line of thought, Nadella could have focused on the cloud, diverted resources there, cut development costs while still providing a stable OS foundation with less emphasis on useless new features that disrupt stability, plus a better focus on security and privacy. There was no need for WaaS. Users didn’t ask for it. Change and complexity are the enemies of security.

      Keep the old 3 years cycle, let people not update for the full 10 years of support if they don’t want to, patch without breaking, don’t develop unless it is critical or can’t affect the foundation. Everybody would continue to buy Windows because of legacy applications, the fact that Windows was already very good the way it was and inertia. Now they have given many people a reason to ditch Windows with WaaS and their monetization schemes and there are more version of Windows that there have ever been. Nobody wins.

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      • #321721 Reply

        warrenrumak
        AskWoody Plus

        There are a ton of new security and privacy features with new versions of Windows 10.

        You want those, right?

        There’s the problem — introducing security and privacy features is usually what causes the instability you’re scared of!

        Take the new user-mode font installation system in 1809.  This is actually a security feature, because it means that users don’t need Administrator privileges to make their PowerPoint use the new company font.  The font resolution code underneath had to go through a lot of major changes to get this to work….. but the bugs weren’t worked out by the time 1809 was ready for release.  But release it they did….. and it was one of the reasons why 1809 had to be pulled.

        The history of Windows is littered with stuff like this….. security features get added, and applications stop working.  The Core Isolation and Memory Integrity features, e.g., help protect against the types of attacks that Wannacry used, but it also broke motherboard manufacturer-provided overclocking tools, anti-malware tools, some user-mode device drivers, and so on.

        How long do you have? I could literally go on all day about the things that’ve gone wrong in the pursuit of better security.  ASLR broke stuff.  UAC broke stuff.  UIPI broke stuff. Tighter permission defaults in C:\Windows\ broke stuff. Stopping kernel table patching broke stuff.  ActiveX Filtering and IE EPM broke stuff.  On… and on…. and on…. and on…..

        That’s why rants along the lines of “focus on stability and security instead of new features!” cannot be taken seriously in the real world.  And once you understand the sheer number of applications and libraries that’ve taken a dependency on insecure beahviours and techniques — sometimes unknowingly…. you’ll understand why that is.

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by
           warrenrumak.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        Lugh,
        b
        • #321737 Reply

          Steve S.
          AskWoody Plus

          Focusing more on these unglamorous aspects of Windows security and backing it up with more testing in-house and greater partnering with third-party application developers, could go a long way toward keeping these kinds of “breakages” at bay. Craftsmanship vs “moving fast”. But then, I’m old skool. 😉

          Win7 Pro x64 (Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1809, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

          • #321932 Reply

            warrenrumak
            AskWoody Plus

            Oh, if it were only that easy.

            You’re familiar with the Radeon HD 2000/4000 issues that’ve cropped up with Windows 10 in the last couple of years, right?

            AMD no longer supports those chips with new drivers but people want to use those chips with Windows 10 anyways. It’s totally reasonable, given that the Radeon HD 4890 (from 2009) is comparable in performance to the brand-new Radeon Vega 6 notebook GPU.  AMD is trying to drive sales of new hardware instead.

            Now let’s say Microsoft wants to make a security, reliability or performance improvement in the graphics stack, but doing so will break that one specific driver.  What’s Microsoft supposed to do?  Keep Windows insecure because 0.001% of its users want to use a 10 year old video card?

            This problem is repeated over, thousands of times across thousands of software & hardware products.  There are easy performance fixes Microsoft cannot make to .NET Framework because it would break some old applications.  There are weirdo optimizations in old games that cause all kinds of problems in new versions of Windows, because the devs didn’t play by the book back then.  Even something as seemingly simple as increasing the maximum path length, or renaming “System32” to “System64” on 64-bit systems are almost completely out of reach because of third-party software.

            And there’s no way Microsoft could effectively coordinate with literally every software development team in the world to make these fixes as they become necessary. So many dev teams are slow, inefficient, underfunded, or stodgy, and generally aren’t capable of doing timely testing & fixes.  Or the development team was disbanded because the company went out of business.

            I really strongly recommend that everybody reads the book “The Old New Thing” by Raymond Chen.  It’s old now, but it remains relevant, and a full reading will express what I’m trying to get across much more clearly.

             

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        • #321977 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          All changes in software code tend to introduce bugs.  It hasn’t all been security and privacy features– there’s a lot of changes in there that I most assuredly do not want (though I’m not Alex, I’ll answer as if you had asked me).   Things like userspace font rendering (if it can be done without too many costly context switches that reduce performance) are fine, but we never asked for UWP, or Metro, or tiles, or Cortana, or a weird UI that looks like a giant phone screen on a 23″ monitor half the time, or “apps,” or gradually moving Control Panel to “Settings,” or Gaming Mode, or Timeline, or WaaS, or having control taken away from us over updates, and all kinds of other changes they’ve made to benefit themselves at the expense of the user.

          What people have overwhelmingly asked for is more years of what they already have with Windows 7– lack of security and privacy features and all.

          We wouldn’t need “privacy features” if MS hadn’t decided to slurp up whatever information it feels like.  Windows 7 as released (before the DiagTrack update was added) was already feature-complete on privacy– make sure that CEIP was turned off and you’re all set.  Windows was already optimal privacy-wise years, even decades ago.

          If MS wasn’t so adamant about preventing people from truly being able to control their own private information and their own PCs, there wouldn’t be any need for privacy features now.  I’d be perfectly happy with the level of privacy I had with Windows 3.0 back in 1990!

          Even now, privacy in Windows 10 doesn’t need to be the complicated mess that it is.  Have an OFF button that takes it back to the privacy level people had with Windows decades ago, and it’s done, from the user’s perspective.  MS does not want to do that, of course, or they would have, since it could not be any clearer that this is what people want.  They try instead to tell us that we have more privacy features than ever before, pointing to the vast new array of switches for privacy things.

          Yes, there are certainly more switches, each controlling a narrow slice of the privacy pie, but that gives them an “out” if anyone takes them to task for continuing to slurp up data on any of the things that are not covered by one of those narrowly-focused switches.  The more complex it is, the easier it is to claim that the data they continue to slurp up even with all the switches in the “off” position weren’t ever meant to be configurable by the user.  In contrast, a single “everything OFF” switch is easy to comprehend, easy to use, and is definitive– if there’s any telemetry after everything is supposed to be turned off, that’s something that shouldn’t be there.

          All of these many privacy features are not meant to protect the user’s privacy.  They provide cover for Microsoft to continue to continue to violate it.  They’re a means for MS to maximize their data collection while making it seem like the customer has more control than ever.  More privacy switches and features doesn’t equate to more privacy!

          UAC was introduced with Windows Vista in 2006, so it certainly should have had any bugs worked out by now, more than a dozen years later.  It caused problems because Microsoft had released Windows XP with the “everyone’s an administrator” model.  Software devs expected everyone running XP to have wide-open admin rights, which was a safe bet given that this was the normal mode for XP as preinstalled on millions of machines.

          Trying to use XP on a limited account is extremely frustrating, as it is apparent that very little thought was put into usability without admin privileges.  Those who did try to use XP in user mode almost certainly got frustrated and went with the crowd if they had any administrative work to do at all (like any home user who does not have an IT department to handle such things).  I know I tried to run limited because of the security issues, and that got hair-tearingly old real quick.

          By the time Vista finally came out, people had become accustomed to running admin privs all the time, and they’d amassed software libraries that depended on that– and if they were going to migrate to Vista, their existing software had to work.  Windows has always worked with software written for older generations of software in that way, and it’s a big part of why Windows has been such a success.

          UAC in Vista was something that should have been baked in from the start of the consumer-level NT paradigm, but because it wasn’t, it had to be engineered around the very “everyone’s an admin” paradigm they had created with XP.  Had they done that right in the first place, they wouldn’t have had to try to fix the hole they’d dug themselves into.  I’m glad they finally got with the program, but I’m not inclined to give them a break on any instability caused by having to remedy their own lack of foresight.

          People have been asking for another Windows 7 for years.  If MS had simply kept the Windows 7 UI for Windows 8, it would no doubt have been a rousing success.  I’d probably still be using Windows if they had done that instead of (or in addition to) Windows 10.

          Even more years of the actual Windows 7, along with the lifting of the embargo on newer CPU architectures, would make millions of people a lot happier than they ever will be with 10.  Windows is a mature product that is feature-complete, and has been for many years.  It doesn’t need any new “killer” features!

          MS didn’t try to reinvent the Windows wheel to give users more security… they did it to try to gain lost ground in the mobile market, to save money on Windows development costs (QA department), and to monetize Windows in ways they never did before.  This is all stuff users don’t want, but no one asked them.  These stability-destroying changes weren’t being done for the users’ benefit.  All of this upheaval in the code that has caused all these issues was mainly for things the users did not want, but had to be in there anyway, ’cause Microsoft wants to monetize them now.

           

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          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by
             Ascaris.
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          • #321987 Reply

            Arvy
            AskWoody Lounger

            Windows is a mature product that is feature-complete, and has been for many years. It doesn’t need any new “killer” features! […] All of this upheaval in the code that has caused all these issues was mainly for things the users did not want, but had to be in there anyway, ’cause Microsoft wants to monetize them now.

            I’d say that sums it all up extremely well. In the final analysis, Windows users are faced by a long-term choice between acceptance or rejection of those realities and, in the latter case, getting ready for the “big jump” to something else.

            I suppose that my own response might be said to involve a little of both. I see no significant advantage in “stop-gap” measures attempting to fend off Microsoft’s obvious intention to use “all necessary means” to displace earlier Windows versions with their monetized creation and its ongoing developmental process. To the contrary, the way I see it, that would just be imposing more inconvenience on myself while preparing for the inevitable switch to a different OS.

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        • #321994 Reply

          AlexEiffel
          AskWoody_MVP

          Warren,

          I like your posts. You have a professional dissenting opinion compared to many traditional Askwoody members and you make good points that enrich the discussion.

          Although your arguments are valid in this case, respectfully I think you are making a straw man of my position and you might present a false dilemma in the same post.

          I am not that naïve and I do not necessarily want all security improvements right now. For a lot of them, I could wait till I buy a new computer, or I simply don’t need them because I don’t experience many of the issues they are supposed to fix since I configured Windows in a way that doesn’t enable my users to easily shoot themselves in the foot and that makes Windows less vulnerable to other issues that those security improvements help mitigates. For example, our users don’t need to choose their fonts and I wasn’t affected by wannacry because I disable the vulnerable protocols on Internet facing computers and I don’t miss them.

          Some security features are nice to have, some are not worth it that much. I was fine with EMET as an optional component of Windows 7. I was fine with activating Mandatory ASLR when I felt like it after updating those bad ATI drivers to prevent blue screens. I didn’t need a new OS shoveled down my throat every six months for this. I liked the idea that the OS stays as it is and you can change a few things as a power user if you feel like it, but I don’t like that Windows 10 resets settings, change the way it works in ways that I have to review everything every 6 months to make sure they didn’t again introduce something I don’t want. I also don’t like that they introduce new features with their potential to create more security issues, because new code rarely brings less bugs compared to a trusted old stable code base.

          Microsoft created a lot of the mess they put themselves into by introducing features first, security last for a very long time. ActiveX (such a bad idea), admin in XP, integrated IE in Windows 98, letting programs write to lots of places they shouldn’t, not having apps in single directory but having them be installed with lots of parts here and there and the invention of the registry, having way too many ways to have auto start programs, etc. They always favored features and complexity, too much coupling everywhere to enable people to do all kind of things they shouldn’t do in a more secure context. That might have served them well in the past to push exciting things that we not necessarily needed, but we are going in a world where more sandboxed apps makes more sense than anything to enable more security. I don’t think that many things Microsoft created was necessary to have a great desktop experience and I would argue that many of the security improvements that are pushed are there to fix things that were not well-thought from the start in terms of the security. IE should never have had ActiveX, it should have been sandboxed, not coupled tightly with the OS, etc. It’s dead, now.

          I don’t have a big IT department to spend a lot of time figuring out each detail that changes in Windows all the time. I don’t care for the new features. I liked to have the 3 years cycle and being able to keep some PCs on an older version for as long as supported without feeling the need to upgrade. I never upgrade PCS. I never found it worthwhile. I just buy the new OS when I buy a new PC and I use apps that are compatible with them all. I easily kept all the PCs safe by locking everyone tight, keeping them updated and disabling a lot of things in Windows. I almost never reimage PCs because I never need to, I don’t use fancy deployment tools, nor servers to manage Windows and I was fine like that for many years, focusing on business and enabling it to make money with a simple computing experience. Maintenance is where we spent the least amount of time and money. Our computers ran fast for many many years and people would say they’ve never had such good computers before in other businesses. Not everyone can afford that lack of flexibility and such a focus on security, I admit, though. The users don’t run the show and some would say it is bad but in our line of business, I think it is fine.

          Yes, for a big enterprise with resources that can afford digging deep into Windows newest and greatest all the time and share the costs over thousand of employees, the new model might make a lot of sense. But for SMBs like us, it is a big fail in my opinion. I’m a firm believer that one shouldn’t need professionals to maintain computers on a regular basis, for a lot of SMBs. My set it and forget it approach worked great until Windows 10 came, then costs started rising and time spent fixing stupid issues too.

          I would just like the ability to run an LTSC version and let people who like to look at new features all the time and being forced to have an OS reinstall every six month have their party. Everyone’s happy. And a big off switch for all telemetry and cloud or privacy invading features.

          So, I don’t think it is that unrealistic to ask for a focus on stability and security. Windows 7 well tweaked with EMET was more certainly more stable than 10 and I would say maybe more secure than most Windows 10 installs done in SMBs or Home contexts. You don’t need every new security feature either when you are already not letting users choose fonts anyway, you only use ASLR compatible apps and drivers, you never allowed IE anyway, you already used only apps that were compatible in user mode because you ran XP in user mode when UAC came out with Vista and you are a bit lucky to be in an environment where all of this is possible.

          Hear the rant as please do not give me new features and change Windows every 6 months and instead just patch the old code when vulnerabilities are found. Yes, some nice things about security can’t be implemented fast that way, when they can’t be added the way EMET nicely supplemented Windows 7 with more security. But it is worth more money to me to not benefit from those right away and avoid the hassle of WaaS. And even if they did introduce those but didn’t change so much else, maybe it would not be so bad. So I don’t think the choice is between security and WaaS or significantly less security in the real world and the previous model even though I admit your arguments are certainly interesting and valid.

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          • #322174 Reply

            warrenrumak
            AskWoody Plus

            What I am stating here isn’t a “straw man” or “dissenting opinion”.  It’s the truth — whether anyone likes it or not — and will be backed up fully and completely by the tens of thousands of people who’ve worked on Windows at Microsoft over the last 15-20 years.

            Proper application & driver compatibility is freakishly complicated, and there aren’t that many people who really truly understand how thick the minefield is.

            Not being able to see a minefield don’t mean it isn’t there.

            Look, it took me a full decade to get my head wrapped around this.  It involved talking to PFE’s, working with PSS to resolve app-compat issues (they made me a QFE at one point in the Windows XP days), reading almost the entirety of Russinovich’s Windows Internals books, reading Raymond Chen’s blog on a daily basis since 2004, reading real Windows source code, and so on and so forth.

            I call it being a professional.

            The nature of your ranting suggests to me that you don’t assess how Windows works with the eyes of a professional.  That’s okay… there’s no expectation that you need to be a professional before you have an opinion about your frustrating experiences with Windows.

            But, I do suggest you be more careful with where you get your information from.  If your method of learning is listening solely to tech journalists — the Paul Thurrotts, Mary-Jo Foleys, and yes, Woody Leonhards of the world — then you’re only going to get the part of the story that makes people angry.  “What bleeds, leads” as the newspaper people used to say.

            Getting angry about the existence of UWP, for instance, it just ridiculous.  It’s a great library for developing UI, and solves a ton of problems with WPF, Windows Forms, MFC, and especially Win32 that were almost completely unfixable within those platforms.  Like… we’re talking 10% of the development time of Win32 to get something basic that handles touch, pen, screen-readers, high-DPI, multi-monitor, clean non-Admin install/uninstall, sleep states, etc.etc… this is all pretty good stuff, right?

            But, because people allow themselves to be informed by journalists (who make their money by drawing attention to themselves) instead of engineers (who make their money by knowing what they’re talking about), we’ve ended up with a lot of folks who are completely misinformed about UWP.

            I recommend taking a step back from the anger, applying some professionalism and learning the real thing.  This is a good life lesson in general.

             

            • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by
               warrenrumak.
            • #322288 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              But, I do suggest you be more careful with where you get your information from. If your method of learning is listening solely to tech journalists…then you’re only going to get the part of the story that makes people angry.

              Getting angry about the existence of UWP, for instance, it just ridiculous. It’s a great library for developing UI, and solves a ton of problems with WPF, Windows Forms, MFC, and especially Win32 that were almost completely unfixable within those platforms.

              There is a prime example of the MS attitude.  You might as well have said, “Don’t listen to people who don’t like what we’re doing!  They don’t know what they’re talking about, so you should ignore them like we do.  We’re smart, so believe us instead.”  That attitude is the problem, in a nutshell.

              No one asked for UWP, WaaS, Cortana, forced updates, unwanted app downloads, tiles, unwanted web searches via Bing when all we want is local searches, not to mention conscription as beta testers, but has MS listened?  Nope– they’ve given us responses very much like this, attempting to refute what Windows users are saying about Windows, explaining why what they have given us and forced us to use is better than what we actually want.  That’s not how it works!  It’s their job to listen to customers and give them what they need, not to try to force customers to listen to you and accept being forced into what you think they need.

              If UWP was an answer to a question someone had actually asked, it would be a selling point, not one of a laundry list of unwanted things that MS is trying to force on its user base. You don’t need to force people to accept things if the product is actually something they are looking for.

              UWP (and Metro/Modern/TIFKAM before it) were, first and foremost, quite obviously about trying to force a credible app store for Windows phones into being by giving app developers the perception of having a market before any significant number of Windows 8 or 10 phones were out there in users’ hands.  Had it been designed around a PC environment with PC users’ needs in mind, it might be perceived differently, but it wasn’t.  It’s designed around tiny screens and touch, which have little or no relevance to 99% of PCs (and that won’t change, since touch is a poor ergonomic fit for non-handheld devices). It’s designed around creating the kind of walled-garden, single-source infrastructure that MS salivates over as they look upon the iOS App Store and Android Play.  Like nearly everything else in Windows 10, it’s quite clearly designed for Microsoft’s needs, not those of Windows users.

              The bits of Windows 10 that are already done in UWP are the very same bits people are complaining about when they say the UI is terrible, and MS insists on giving us more and more of it.  It’s the remaining Win32 UI bits that people still like (although having an option to get rid of the often hated ribbon would help that too).

              Frankly, because of the experience with Windows 10, GNOME 3, Unity, etc., touchscreen incompatibility is quickly becoming a must-have feature for me, because it means that the UI is going to be optimized around the input devices I will be using, rather than hopelessly crippled by the compromises necessary for a touch regime that isn’t even relevant to the platform.

              From the very beginning, Windows 10 has been a lot about Microsoft talking over Windows users  and not a whole lot of listening to them.  MS has the power to force people to accept garbage in the short term, as they did in the browser wars with IE, but ultimately it won’t last long.  Windows has had a monopoly on the desktop for decades, but they haven’t used it to force people to accept terrible Windows versions before now.  No one was forced to accept ME, Vista, or 8… in each case (though 8 was a work in progress), MS went back to the drawing board and developed the rejected product into what people wanted.  They apparently learned the wrong lesson from those experiences!

              I’d have hoped that Microsoft would conclude that people won’t choose to upgrade to a new version of Windows if it isn’t what they want, so it’s better to give them what they want.  The lesson they apparently learned was that people won’t choose to upgrade to a new version of Windows if it isn’t what they want, so better not give them a choice.

              That’s the problem with Nadella-era Windows and WaaS.  Too much arrogance, too much thinking it’s all about Microsoft and what they want, not enough concern for what the customers are asking for.  Instead of trying to tell the Windows users why they’re wrong for wanting something different, maybe they could try figuring out why Microsoft is wrong about what those users need.

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    • #321682 Reply

      Arvy
      AskWoody Lounger

      “So expect Windows to continue to become more reliable and stable over time, as it has been getting under the Windows-as-a-service strategy.”

      Exactly right, although it could be clearer that the expectation only applies, admittedly with varying degrees of success, to W10 version upgrades.  W7 and W8(.1) users cannot rely on any similar expectation.

      In any case, as I’ve said here several times, if added “bells and whistles” were ever the appropriate focus when the relative merits of various W10 upgrade version options were being considered, they are no longer.

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    • #321776 Reply

      anonymous

      Could it be that WaaS had something to do with trying to turn a good desktop OS into a mobile device spyware/advertising platform? I think you are seeing the product of considerable confused and muddled thinking embedded in W10.

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    • #321777 Reply

      anonymous

      Then what’s the point of feature upgrades then?

      I believe windows can do that perfectly with regular updates and updating the apps

      Can someone explain me, what is the true purpose of them other than breaking computers so that you can buy new ones?

      Now I am certain, the only reason Woody and Ms.Susan tell us to upgrade its cause we won’t have support.

      • #321824 Reply

        lurks about
        AskWoody Lounger

        There are 2 primary reasons to update or upgrade any OS. First security updates and improvements to the OS and key components. The second is bug fixes. As far as new features, the only time they become important is when a new hardware protocol comes out that you cannot somehow retrofit. This is more of a problem with laptops than desktops with expansion slots. With a desktop, buying an expansion card and installing the appropriate drivers may be all you need to do.

        As far as new, killer features in an OS, these are not very likely as OSes are now mature products. Thus, any new features might be ‘nice to have’ but they are not something to make most run out buy a new copy. Preston is alluding to this problem with a lack of ‘must-have’ features. This problem also affects Office, Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc.; they are mature products that have all the key features plus much more that people want and use.

        • #321834 Reply

          Zaphyrus
          AskWoody Lounger

          He means feature upgrades, like from windows 1809 to 1903 , not like Windows 7 to 10

          Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
        • #322725 Reply

          anonymous

          Security updates, improvements to features, and bug fixes can all be done with regular patches; there is no need for a full OS reinstall that comes with a W10 feature upgrade.

          • #322734 Reply

            b
            AskWoody Plus

            Wouldn’t a full OS reinstall wipe out all apps and settings? A feature update doesn’t.

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    • #321814 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      Sorry but Preston’s article doesn’t sit well with me. It’s almost like some sort of PR ad for  Microsoft and WaaS. And the comment that “It’s worked spectacularly” has me scratching my head and actually angers me a bit. Are we talking about the same OS?

      We all complain a lot about the state of Microsoft Windows and Preston’s post will only encourage the direction Microsoft is taking. Windows may not be releasing “Killer features” but there’s a whole lot of features being pushed regularly but maybe not “Killer features”.

      And we know Windows and Office will merge into Windows 365 and currently Microsoft announces new features and changes to Office on nearly a daily basis. It’s mind boggling actually. If you’re an O365 admin you’ll see what I mean in the message center.

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      • #322778 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Mr Natural, while I agree that the article leaves one with that bad impression you describe and for the very reasons you give, perhaps in such article one has to read often between the lines, because the author needs to stay in the good books of MS to carry on with his or her business. But I sense an overall pulling of punches to let, at the same time, a serious criticism get through: the “upgrades” are excuses for keeping up the appearances of genius developers at MS working extra hard to make Windows 10 the best OS ever, always providing, unfailingly and still hot from the oven of their creativity, the latest and greatest features to its users.

    • #321821 Reply

      Chronocidal Guy
      AskWoody Lounger

      “So expect Windows to continue to become more reliable and stable over time, as it has been getting under the Windows-as-a-service strategy.” Not sure about that. I still think that Windows as a product understood as both Windows 7 and Windows 10 have become less reliable and stable with the new WaaS era than what Windows was in the past.

      In an ideal case, yes, the patching process should smooth out, once it hits a good stride.  Even a cube will eventually roll smoothly down a hill, once it gets over the initial bounces and picks up some angular momentum.  But we’re not there yet, clearly, and the bumps and bounces have seemed to be getting bigger, not smaller.

      I’d like to see what effect it would have if Microsoft just decided to ditch any new features for at least two or three releases, and focus purely on cleaning up what exists as of right now.  Plug all the holes in the boat first, so you don’t have to awkwardly stand on the leaks while you install the leather seats.

      Maybe once the OS is solid, and we have a consistent patch cycle that doesn’t undermine itself with every iteration, they can go back and start building new things onto it that don’t collapse.

      …And it just hit me what the Windows patching process is starting to remind me of..  it’s like trying to get a budget bill passed in Congress.  Not to get political about it, but just in the sense of not being able to fund the absolutely necessary things without throwing pork barrels every which way to appease the different interest groups.  “Sure, we could just patch the security hole in Edge.. but as long as we’re patching, why not throw in that new chartreuse polka-dot theme Bob developed?  And Jim really wants you to include his new triple-click mouse function to try out, and Susan wants the newest Candy Crush, and Bill says he won’t finish the new Settings app menu unless you let him redesign the screensaver selection menu…”

    • #321836 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      The one “killer feature” for me would be an even stabler system than Windows 7, with an updated capability to use the ever-evolving Internet, the WWW in particular, so as to stay capable myself of remaining in useful (and quick!) touch with the rest of the world.

      I am not sure I follow Gralla’s contention to the effect that Windows 10 is becoming more and more stable, when I know from experience that any change of OS can be quite disruptive to work that requires the use of a computer, except, perhaps, under truly ideal circumstances. And that is so even when the new OS has been already in development for some years and I have the ability of waiting as much as one year before upgrading to it, to give its developers, as well as those who develop for it the applications I need, more time to fix all the bugs and iron all the wrinkles that inevitably will show up after the OS goes into wide use. As it is being developed (even if it is in minor ways, every new upgrade still means making changes to the OS itself, not to some applications running on it), Windows 10 does not offer those possibilities, so upgrading to it from Windows 7 is no longer an option for me. And, who knows, perhaps for others, besides me.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by
         OscarCP.
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    • #321848 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      Microsoft is damned no matter what they do. When they were on the three year cycle they were slow, cumbersome, monolithic, could not react to new technologies. Even then each major release was bashed for one reason or another – instability, new drivers, terrible for gaming, broken applications, etc., etc. . The mantra was “wait for SP1”. Now, that they have changed the cadence to try to become more nimble, responsive, and agile they are bashed for exactly the same things.

      Personally, I have had almost no problems with the various field releases of Windows 10 Pro and Home in a variety of business and personal situations. I like the cadence in general. However, I would make changes if I was king. I wo9uld change how they respond to reported problems in the Insider builds. I would have features released when they are ready and not bundle them into a 6 month batch. I would have significant internal changes once per year. I would encourage as much as possible to be decoupled from the main OS so servicing could be streamlined and simplified.

      Also, big/killer changes are in the eye of the beholder. The Linux subsystem is a huge feature for many developers. There are many others which could be listed.

      --Joe

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      Lugh,
      b
      • #321853 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Different types of users, different kinds of needs.

    • #321867 Reply

      Arvy
      AskWoody Lounger

      Then what’s the point of feature upgrades then?

      Good point.  Unless one considers stability and reliability improvements to be “feature upgrades” that terminology is rapidly becoming a misnomer.

      Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
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      • #321876 Reply

        Zaphyrus
        AskWoody Lounger

        My hope is that windows reduce the number of feature updates

        Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
        • #321878 Reply

          Arvy
          AskWoody Lounger

          A hope that is shared by many, I expect, and a distinct possibility IMO judging by the way things appear to be headed recently. My suspicion is that MS just wanted to call their complete “start over” W10 version updates something more attractive than “wipeouts”. 🙂

          Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
        • #321934 Reply

          warrenrumak
          AskWoody Plus

          The number of feature updates isn’t the problem.  Ubuntu has been shipping new releases every six months, too, and you never hear complaints about it.

          There are exactly two problems with Microsoft’s approach:

          1) Updates are forced upon users instead of being provided as a friendly option.
          2) You can’t use the LTSC version as a non-Enterprise customer.

          That’s it.

          Some people like getting new features & capabilities often…. some prefer a slower cadence. If Microsoft were to service both those customer groups with equal respect, almost all the complaints would die off.  Ubuntu does this successfully.  Microsoft can, too.

           

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by
             warrenrumak.
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          • #321936 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            And, I might add, even if Ubuntu, as you mention, releases updates every six months, if my understanding of this is correct, one does not have to install them unless and until one wants to, or the version one has installed gets too old to run newer applications software on it, or is no longer supported and this actually bothers one, for example.

          • #321974 Reply

            Zaphyrus
            AskWoody Lounger

            as long as they are forced, Windows 10 feature updated, WILL always be a problem

            why should I always take the risk of bricking my computer, each time they add a feature?

            As an Anon said above,  if  feature updates were optional, even Woody and Miss.Susan would forbid us to install the majority of them

            Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
          • #322403 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            Ubuntu has two kinds of releases.  Every fourth release is a LTS release, which is supported for five (or supposedly ten now, though I don’t know the details) years.  The other three releases in between are minor releases that are supported only for nine months.  Canonical reports that 95% of their users are on the LTS track, foregoing the short term releases completely.  When it comes time to upgrade, they upgrade from LTS version to LTS version.  Ubuntu derivative distros like Mint and Neon are based only around the LTS versions of Ubuntu, skipping the minor ones.

            It’s similar to the way MS handles Windows 10 LTSB, except that in Ubuntu-land, LTS is the normal release that nearly everyone uses rather than the version that its maker really doesn’t want anyone to use for desktop PCs.  If MS made LTSB into the default Windows variety, the one that’s preinstalled on all of the machines out there, it most certainly would blunt a good bunch of the criticism, and some of that would be because of all of the stuff that’s left out of Win 10 LTSB.

            That would be a huge step in the right direction for MS, and I’d certainly be willing to give it a shot, but it seems terribly unlikely that this will ever happen.  MS has made it really clear what they want LTSB to be used for, and it’s not any kind of regular desktop.  If you’re using Office or Photoshop or browsing or gaming, MS wants you on non LTSB.  People who dislike 10 for many of the same reasons that I do report that LTSB is by far the best version of 10, yet MS refuses to let anyone in the consumer sector use it.  It seems that the monetization and involuntary beta test functions the consumers provide are too important to pass up.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.15.3 & Kubuntu 18.04).

    • #321956 Reply

      James Bond 007
      AskWoody Lounger

      Under Windows as a service, the operating system gets more stable over time and patched more quickly.

      Patched more quickly? Maybe.
      Get more stable over time? Certainly don’t seem to be the case at present.

      Under the current update-every-6-month and 18-month-support-only (except the promised 30 month support in specific Enterprise/Education versions, and of course LTSB/LTSC) regime, I think a major Windows 10 build does not even have sufficient time to get “stable” before it must be replaced to continue to receive support.

      Speaking of “support”, Microsoft’s “support” only means two things for me now :
      (1) Security updates for a specified time period
      (2) New hardware support in new Windows builds

      (1) is nice to have, provided that the updates don’t cause problems themselves. As a person who is prepared to run Windows 7 well past its end of support, I don’t think it is a disaster for me to not receive security updates anymore.

      (2) is little more than meaningless. As an example, Microsoft stated in their Windows Processor Requirements that Windows 10 1703 or later is required to support AMD Ryzen CPUs, but I am happily running Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 10 1507 / Windows 10 1607 on my Ryzen machine. Of course Windows Update in Windows 7 and 8.1 are blocked on that machine and so effectively I am already “out of support” on that machine.

      And new features in Windows 10? I did not find any of them useful, which is another reason I have rejected Windows 10 out of hand.

      Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #322411 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        I think a major Windows 10 build does not even have sufficient time to get “stable” before it must be replaced to continue to receive support.

        1809 has been “stable” for me (and millions of others) for nearly three months and will be fully supported for more than another 15 months. It’s quite easy to get more than a year of stability from each version if required.

        Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Sucker More intrepid Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker "Saluted blockhead" (Group ASAP)

    • #322023 Reply

      radosuaf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Do we really need any killer features? I’d just hope they focus on UI consistency and performance – that’s all I need.

      MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 10 Pro 1809 64-bit
    • #328606 Reply

      NetDef
      AskWoody_MVP

      Not a killer feature for some, but this announcement from Friday perked MY interest:

      https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2019/02/15/whats-new-for-wsl-in-windows-10-version-1903/

      “Accessing Linux files from Windows”

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Gralla: Why Windows 10 may never get another killer feature

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