Tag Archives: Microsoft Vista

Microsoft Open Solaris? Microsoft BSD? Microsoft what?


 

I wonder what would happen if Microsoft dropped the Windows NT core, making an about face, like Apple did years ago with BSD and adopted Sun’s “Open Solaris” as the core? No, I am not talking about the movie! Granted I am sure I could write an essay and make some comparisons. What if they took the rock-solid Open Solaris core and built there new Windows 7 upon it, instead of re-inventing the wheel? I doubt that Microsoft would ever consider doing this. Nor will they truly give up on the Windows NT core. MinWin looks promising; however do they have enough time? With the release of Microsoft Vista turning into such a disaster, the next version of Windows will need to be something different. One good reason for moving to a new core would be the ability to concentrate on other areas of their business. Although Windows and Office sales make up a large portion of Microsoft’s revenues, they need to look to the future as these revenue streams slowly erode due to Web 2.0 applications. I have personally tested many different Operating Systems, from Linux to BSD to Amiga (yes they still exist) and other lesser known systems. I have always been amazed on the boot time, applications installed and innovation. This is not to say that Microsoft has not done much over the years.

 

In some ways, Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc., made a smart move years ago by adopting a BSD core. Plugged in with NeXT, it allowed them to concentrate on other areas and develop their core business, and diversify. Microsoft is a large company with a lot of smart people, however they cannot continue with business as usual. Sun’s Open Solaris may not be the best choice for Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft first needs to focus their energy. Sun has lately shown expressions of a desperate company. Yes, they have Java, SPARC and Solaris, but business is slowly dwindling on the server hardware side. It would definitely be a benefit to Jonathan Schwartz the CEO of Sun. The reality is that the popularity of Linux is adversely affecting Sun Microsystems. This could explain the move towards open source along with there moves in other areas?

The fact is however that Microsoft is being attacked on all sides and history waits for no one. Microsoft executives have some hard choices to make, however they better make them soon. With everything slowly moving to the web and more and more non-Microsoft based devices they are slowly becoming irrelevant. What are Microsoft’s choices? Do they need to refocus? Are they just fine? What will Microsoft look like in 2-3 years? What will the technology trends be? Only time will tell, unfortunately time is not a luxury for Microsoft.

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


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Is it time for Microsoft to abandon Vista and move on to something else, as soon as possible?


Is it time for Microsoft to abandon Vista and move on to something else? Maybe Microsoft should consider doing what Apple did and create an OS based on an existing UNIX based system (BSD, Linux, Amiga, etc…). Or maybe Microsoft should “move up the time table” of Windows 7, Min-Win or Microsoft Singularity and make a radical change? Or maybe they incorporate some of the forgotten features of Longhorn into a “new and glorious” Operating System? How about taking some of their experimental technologies, like “Singularity” and fusing it with a UNIX based OS? Or Microsoft just buyout Novell now and make a new Linux based OS (Microsoft SUSE)? Hey, I’m not saying that Vista is totally bad; however it is starting to look more and more like the “Windows ME” situation. My apologies to the Windows ME lovers still out there on planet “Wishful thinking”, but I digress! In some of the business sectors I work in, I.T/MIS departments and various individuals alike will not touch Microsoft Vista or even allow one connected to their network. There are still issues with legacy software and recently purchased hardware. You need to justify making the upgrade and unfortunately for many businesses, but not all, it just is not there. Now, maybe you home users can tolerate the incompatibilities and problems. One of my extended family members recently purchased an HP system with Vista Premium (they forgot to ask for my advice). Let’s just say “she is not a happy camper”! Too many problems and issues with hardware and software left her with no option but to return the “lemon”. She just did not have the time to deal with it and neither did I.

I use Microsoft Vista 64-bit business edition, at my place of work. It runs great, but I have 4 GB of RAM, a nice SATA drive and a supercharged video card (512MB); along with a whole host of goodies, however I imagine I am not the “average” person or small business. They say that “time is money” and many I’ve spoken with, who do not want to spend that amount of cash and time with Vista. In addition they are often saying, with an assumption, that they will wait until SP2 (Service Pack 2) before they make the dive into the Vista world; if that even happens. Recently Microsoft came out with their revenue and profit numbers, on Vista. I am sure it was meant to show a positive spin on Microsoft’s financial outlook. It also was probably more to do with the release of Apple’s new Operating System called Leopard. However, how are the OEM and retail figures broken down? How many OEMs are allowing downgrades to XP, just to ensure the sale? Acer, Dell and others have made recent changes and moves; allowing users to downgrade to XP or even get Linux distros like Canonical’s Ubuntu. Microsoft cannot simply bury their electronic heads in the sand and hope the issues go away. Sure Microsoft is large and they can “weather the storm”, however I just wonder how much time Microsoft has before it starts to impact on them as a company? Maybe they are planning something in secret and will take a page from Steve Jobs and say nothing. Maybe Bill Gates will come back and lead them to victory. Or better yet, maybe they should outsource it? Sorry, it was just an idea!

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

WARNING: device driver updates causing Vista to deactivate


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

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

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

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

read more | digg story

New Features Discovered in Windows XP SP3: Is It Better Than Vista?


The principal reason given for the tremendous under-the-hood changes to Windows unveiled early this year in Vista was the need to overhaul the security model. Indeed, Vista has proven to be a generally more secure operating system, though some vulnerabilities that apply to ordinary software impact Vista users just as much as any other.

But now, software analysts testing the latest build 3205 of the beta for Windows XP Service Pack 3 are discovering a wealth of genuinely new features – not just patches and security updates (although there are literally over a thousand of those), but services that could substantially improve system security without overhauling the kernel like in Vista.

According to preliminary reports from Neosmart, testers there found evidence that the company is hardening XP’s network security with added features.

One of these features had actually been on Microsoft’s list for some time, and might actually have caused problems for customers had it been omitted: Network Access Protection (NAP), which is due to be managed by the forthcoming Windows Server 2008. This new service disallows network clients from accessing a WS2K8 server without passing a minimum “health screening,” which checks for the presence of updates and service packs (including SP3) and disallows access to failing clients until they upgrade.

When NAP’s inclusion in WS2K8 was first confirmed in late August, a Microsoft spokesperson contacted BetaNews to make sure we reported it wasn’t just for Windows Server and just for Vista. We assumed that meant it would find its way to XP as well, though the spokesperson declined to be pressed further at that time.

read more | digg story

The Ubuntu coming out party! But where is the marketing and advertising effort from Dell and others?


The final release of Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) will be released shortly and Dell has indicated that it will be pre-installed on some of their Notebooks and Desktop PCs. It will include GNOME 2.20 and the default installation of NTFS-3G, which provides read/write access to Windows (NTFS) partitions. Also included is Compiz Fusion, the 3-D window manager and desktop effects package. Improved plug and play printer support and a host of other features. However the story of success does not rest in the fact that Dell is offering its support to Ubuntu. The big question is the marketing and advertising of Ubuntu Linux. As far as I am concerned Ubuntu is still the best Linux distro available, for the commoners. However, why is there so little advertising of Linux? Is there a reason why Dell is not fully backing Linux? Ubuntu has a chance on becoming a big player for Linux enthusiasts and possibly people who want a PC, but for online and basic home PC usage. But, the progress will continue to be a slow one, as long as no particular hardware vendors helps in marketing the product, in the same way Microsoft Windows is pushed. I sense that Dell does not want to fully upset the Microsoft behemoth. Dell is now offering XP as a downgrade (of upgrade – depending on how you see it), for users that do not want Vista. Vista has experienced extremely bad press, along with a host of problems. The question is since Microsoft is not coming out with a new OS anytime soon; why not help push the Ubuntu Linux cause? Is there more at play than we know? Dell may simply be riding the Linux wave for free, while not helping (spending too much) to promote Ubuntu, at the expense of XP. Also, Linux is still not mainstream in the public eye. At a recent event the subject of Microsoft Vista was brought up. These are not “technically inclined” individuals; however they ALL had nothing good to say about Vista. Many said that they would buy a Mac. Some said “a Mac is hard to use” (did not get that one). However at the price, they could probably purchase 2-4 basic low-end PCs, with Microsoft XP. Only a few knew about Linux, however they said that “it was for nerds and programmers”. Well at least they knew something about it! A little education brought them up to speed, however more work needs to be done. While HP, Acer and others are contemplating Linux ventures, Dell has an opportunity, with its marketing knowhow, to boost the general profile of Linux. I hope Dell jumps on the opportunity, which should help to change the technical landscape for years to come.

 

Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario