Compatibility and Microsoft Windows

Discussion in 'Community' started by iSpud, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. iSpud macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2004
    Why can't Microsoft build a new operating system from the ground up and have a "classic mode" similar to Mac OS X? Is this what the purchase of Virtual PC is all about?

    (Please no Microsoft bashing and flaming, Intelligent Discussion Please, I'm an avid Mac user with a question ) :)
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    too many people would not understand and complain about this, plus Microsoft would never do this because if they cant even get the features they want into Longhorn how would they build a whole new OS from the ground up?

    but seriously, i dont think it would work for Microsoft because of the larger user base, compatibility issues, and people just plainly not understanding it at all
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Yes, that's exactly what MS have in mind, but their stated plans are to have a server product that does this kind of thing, rather than desktops.

    Windows currently has something very much like Classic in it. It uses virtual machines to run DOS and 16-bit Windows programs.
  4. iSpud thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2004
    That's true (DOS and 16 bit apps). I just don't understand why Microsoft just doesn't do a ground up. As with OS X, it will take a few years for people to migrate, and there will be those who like the legacy, and those who like the new MS OS.

    Companies will make new products for this new Windows, and people will eventually buy new computers.

    Reality is a whole lot more complex than theorizing, however :rolleyes:
  5. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    The reason that MS won't do a ground up is to hold their current user base. There are a whole lot of Windows users, consumer and professional, that don't like Windows, and want to go for one of the alternatives. However, they can't justify the cost of learning a new system and paying for all new software. However, if MS goes ground-up and breaks that, then those customers will finally get the excuse they need to stop buy MS products. Therefore Windows MUST provide perfect backward compatibility or suffer greatly.

    That's why MS relies so heavily on this function. If they can continue to persuade customers that it would be cheaper to stay with them instead of migrating they will keep their begrudging user base.
  6. Zaty macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2004
    For most PC users, their machine is just a box they use to get their work done. Which means they only buy a new one when their old PC either breaks down or gets way too slow for them. So, MS and PC manufacturers wouldn't sell more computers no matter how much better such a newly written Windows would be. I also agree that compatiblity with older software is much more important on the Windows plattform than on the Mac. Furthermore, even if MS developed a pretty good emulation mode, this probably wouldn't run games, so all game developers (as well as developers of certain other software categories) would have to re-write their software. By the way, that was one of the reasons why heavy gamers stuck to Win98 for quite a long time after the introduction of Win2K and WinXP (Some of them still do), for it took developers some time to make games run as smoothly on 2K/XP as they did on DOS-based Windows versions.
  7. mrdeep macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2003
  8. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    Windows probably would be better if it were rewritten from scratch atop BSD, supported the use of one mouse button for the sake of improved accessibility, let you make PDFs from the print window, would even run most of the old games, and worked on RISC chips, all while retaining support for Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office. But then it'd be OS X, wouldn't it?

    The people who don't like Windows as is really just need to see if a Mac would meet their needs, or failing that Linux.
  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    A few years ago, I heard about a ground-up rewrite codenamed Blackcomb. I don't know what happened with it though.
  10. iSpud thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2004
    I liked the Joel on Software article.

    On a lighter note, I say Microsoft should capitalize on the reality show craze and have a show called Extreme Makeover: Windows Edition. Programmers from all over the world get to do whatever they want to Windows to make it over. Gut it, redesign it, whatever. A week later it is revealed to the world.
  11. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Blackcomb = XP. It was supposed to be a rewrite. Wasn't. Longhorn was supposed to be a rewrite. Now it really isn't. Notice a patern?

    Apple could afford a rewrite. Actually they couldn't afford not to. Microsoft doesn't have that luxury. They focus more on profit and deadlines than writing good software and coming up with new ideas. You could say that they brought it upon themselves, so now they are so deaply intrenched in the mess they've created, it's kind-of a quagmire for them. They can't do much except add some new features and much needed better security to what they already have.

    Build a house of twigs on quicksand, you get what you deserve.

    Edit: Apparently BC comes after LH. I was thinking of whatever crappy name they called XP before it was called XP. According to this BC was oringinally LH, but with all the changes LH has had, BC will be later and be what LH was supposed to be. Still, it was supposed to be a rewite released in 2003. Didn't happen. Confusing isn't it? At least we finally got Rhapsody, more or less. And it was worth it. Who knows, we may see something new from M$ yet.

    But I doubt it.

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