Microsoft - What's Going On?!?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by BarfBag, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. BarfBag macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2004
    There's something I don't understand about Microsoft...

    Why are their operating systems so crappy? What's going on in what we don't see, the Windows core? I just don't get it...

    This is an odd question, I know. But can someone please explain it to me? Will Windows remain crappy as long as they base it on NT/DOS?
  2. Cooknn macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2003
    Fort Myers, FL
    Here's a quote from John Dvorak
    Here's the entire article Spaghetti Without the Sauce.
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    there are several reasons why Windows has problems in my opinion

    it has to have backwards compatibility, which doesn't let MS start from scratch and get things right

    Explorer is too integrated into the whole OS, causeing huge security problems

    hardware, so many different combinations and varients inevitably lead to instablity in my opinion

    im sure there is more but i think these are huge factors
  4. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Then there is the monopoly factor.

    With Windows and its 95% market share, Microsoft ONLY needs to be "just enough".

    There's no reason to start from scratch when, even though the code is a huge buggy mess, it works good enough that people aren't switching in droves.

    As long as it remains good enough, Microsoft retains their market share and has no reason to dig through all that code trying to rewrite everything.
  5. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    If I am Microsoft, I would start a paralled project - Longhorn and a completely new OS that is written from scratch. I would release Longhorn to ease the transition, and then release the brand new OS. I would basically limit the hardware it supports, and thus help stability. Yeah I would force some hardware companies out of business, and be called draconian by some, but what the hell, Microsoft has the power and the money, they can force hardware to become more consistent.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    But, erm, as good an idea as this is, isn't this basically what happened when MS started the NT core with NT3.something, and slowly built it up in the background until Win2k, when there stopped being non-NT home versions of Windows? So they basically did just this, not so many years ago.

    And NT was originally more limiting in things like HW it would support, but I think that when you're world is the Windows world and the antitrust eyes are all on you, I'm not so sure that MS can really effect a change that would simplify hardware down to the level of complexity in the Mac world. And the Apple, "Our market is too small, we don't have resources to build drivers and support all this h/w," argument doesn't work when you're MS.

    I think I agree with what Dvorak said in the quote Cooknn posted. Going back to simplicity and consistency in something like the Windows app world, even on the plane of look and feel, is tough once you let the cat out of the bag. It'd be like trying to get everything on the web to look and act the same way. You can release standard, but no one is in charge, and no one can force their implementation.
  7. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    But MS doesn't write most of the drivers for non-MS hardware. If they were to start with a completely new OS system it would require the HW vendors to conform to the newer driver framework, those that don't would risk obsolescence. Macs would be compatible with a lot more hardware if vendors would take the time to write drivers for the OS.

    In my opinion the biggest problem with the windows is the level of access/integration that applications have with the OS. I believe that at least 75% of MS security problems would be a non-issue if their applications were standalone applications rather then OS plugins.
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Maybe...but what's to stop them from writing kludge drivers? They exist for Macs too... Macs work wonderfully with every printer that doesn't involve installing software from the printer manufacturer, which I think is also true today on Windows. But when you install mfr software, it becomes a nightmare. And scanner mfr software is even more evil. Again, OS X has a very nice integrated framework in ICA, but other manufacturers do provide kludgey kinds of drivers. In the Mac world, where marketshare is small, the scale of the effort detracts from manufacturers doing this, and so you have relatively little of this. But by the very nature of the scale of the Windows world, it will be impossible to prevent this.

    Another good example is installers. OS X has two very good standard ways of installing - drag and drop, and the installer application. And if companies follow the rules, getting rid of apps they install using the BOM is very easy. But you still have examples like Norton AV, where not only does it not uninstall in an Apple way, but even the included uninstaller didn't work, and they had to provide a second uninstaller by download to replace the first one. :eek: You see a little of this on Macs, again, I think, because of the small market. But you see tons and tons of it on Windows, and no matter what Windows does to improve the architecture, I still think you will see lots of rule-breaking. you think the OS can actually be written in such a strict and structured way that these things can *only* be done in the right way? And if they do this, will it still have sufficient flexibility to keep the core of important developers? I don't mean that rhetorically, actually. I'm not sure if it could be done. My concern is that shedding 95% of the development on your OS is easy. Shedding the right 95% -- the losers who write bad code -- that's the hard part. :(
  9. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Right now, I am using a Dell Inspiron 2500 Laptop with a 10 GB HD and 128 MB RAM and running Windows ME. It is my grandparents - it has viruses and it has spyware and no firewall but I can't install any of those things because the companies don't support this configuration anymore - so why does Microsoft?

    It has nothing special with it - its old, crappy, and a lame excuse for a laptop - the only GOOD thing about it is its 2 USB 1.1 ports. Dell and Microsoft still support this machine.

    If this was an Apple computer running OS X, it would have UPDATES! (I cant logon to Windows Update with this computer either). It would at LEAST have shipped with 256 MB RAM and a real video card. And, so what if it was more expensive, in the long run it would have been better.

    The reason for crappy OSes by Microsoft is NOT 100% Microsoft's fault. I guarantee that if this computer was better, the OS would be better. Alas, it's not.

    If this was the same OS of Windows ME with 256 MB RAM by Alienware or a good company, than the OS would be able to be upgraded, not freeze, etc.

    So, using this nice dial-up connection on the worlds worst laptop, I can say that it is not Microsofts fault.
  10. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Just how much code commonality does Longhorn have with XP? It seems like a lot from what I've read.

    It seems to me that Microsoft's biggest error is to keep adding to Windows' functionality without trimming fat at the same time, leading to over-complexity, inefficiency and bugginess. Taking on features year after year without doing a substantial redesign of the core OS is a bad idea.
  11. jesped8 macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2005
    Of course Windows has problems, but you people seem to be forgetting one important issue... Windows is A LOT BETTER than it used to be! Of course I don't know, but I suspect that a lot of you people in this forum do not use PCs regularly. Perhaps you made the switch to Apple when Windows ME or 98 were out, and decided not to put up with a faulty OS anymore. That's fair enough, because those OSs did really suck. But XP is very secure, in fact, it's the most secure OS Windows has so far built, with very few faults in it.

    Secondly, the reason Apple computers have so little problems with crashing compared to Windows computers is that with a Mac practically every software product you need comes standard. Windows cannot do that because it wouldn't be fair competition. If Windows decided to build their own antivirus program they would have Norton and all the other antivirus companies on their tails for creating a monopoly. The same goes with practically any piece of software they can add. In Europe they're not even allowed to include Media Player. This means that when people buy a PC and expect it to be ready to go right away, they're gonna get dissapointed, big time. They think that the antivirus software included is enough, not knowing that Windows, by law, are not allowed to make an antivirus system that actually works. Then they curse their new computer to hell when it crashes four minutes after being connected to the Internet. (Seriously, four minutes is the average time a computer lasts online without protection.)

    If you buy the necessary antivrus software when buying a PC, and buy proper third party software from known and trusted developers rather than download random stuff on the internet, Windows XP is gonna work fine for you.
  12. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    A brand new 3ghz PC at work with 1gb RAM & XP Pro/SP2 which is not even hooked up to the web has given me more heartache in the last month than any recent Mac ever could.

    Windows is still awful.
  13. jesped8 macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2005
    Sorry to hear that. My PC desktop with Windows XP works without any trouble.
  14. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    That's quite a good system, yet it's giving you bother? Has to be XP :p

    I had to use my old desktop PC the other day. God lord, i was in agony. Normally I wouldn't really mind, but arghh, it was just terrible.
  15. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    the computer isn't crappy, that's just how technology was 5 years ago. so the os that went with that computer was obviously windows ME, since xp wasn't available. there are plenty of computers out there that are crappy and have xp but that doesn't mean anything, doesn't mean they should have windows ME installed bc they are crappy computers. you should install xp on it and then put norton internet security on there and it would run good.

    and what are you talking about if dell were a better company? i didn't know they made better operating systems for better computer companies. it's the same damn OS so i don't see what you're talking about. sounds to me like you need a little help with understanding how everything works. it isn't helping that you continue to run the original operating system that came with that laptop over 5 years ago. upgrade yourself and keep the machine up to date and you won't have a problem.
  16. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    If I may emphasize the brilliance of this statement with a simile: it's like getting the toothpaste back in the tube.
  17. BarfBag thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2004
    I'm a regular PC user (look at sig). I HATE Windows XP. This is a home built PC too.

    I'll agree with you on one thing, XP is the best Windows so far. But Mac OS X Tiger is so much better!
  18. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Since timelessblur is no longer around, I feel I don't have to bash Windows at every opportunity - so ...

    ... XP isn't that bad. In most of the big things (except for security) it works fine, and I am able to get my work done using it with no major problems. I'm behind a firewall and have a virus checker installed, and regularly check for spyware, so both my PCs are clean. I've never had a BSOD with XP, but my laptop has "seized up" a couple of times, where nothing would work, not even task manager - it wasn't pegged at 100% CPU, it just stopped responding - and the only way out was to disconnect from mains and remove the battery.

    However, it fails in the details. There are some things that are incredibly annoying for me. The following are just a few that come to mind as I write:

    1. I'm a software developer, and a command-line junkie (call me oldfashioned, but I hate IDEs), and I miss a proper "Terminal" application - the DOS window is a joke. Still, that means I had to install cygwin, which is probably better than anything MS could produce.

    2. The default Windows installation comes with too many unnecessary background services turned on. If you're a single PC not on a network, why do you need the "Computer Browser" service enabled? These eat up resources and memory, especially the file indexing service.

    3. It hides options. If you don't change things regularly you have to search through multiple windows and menus to find the option you need. For instance, some time ago, it seems I changed the default font size for MSIE. It's just slightly too big (as if you did Ctrl+ on firefox), but I just can't find the option to reduce it. I expect some Windows apologist will respond with "you dumb ass! go to menu option X and select Y and Z!! how much easier could it be????" But it's just not obvious to me.

    4. Why does Windows Update require opening up MSIE? It seems to me that an OS update service should be a separate application that couldn't be spoofed.

    5. I'm one of the minority for which SP2 just didn't work.
  19. Tech^salvager macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2005
    Portland, TX
    I don't see any problems with XP sp2 or any NT based OS so far. nor have I had many.
    I heard that windows 2k3 is a really good NT OS

    windows NT and the ones using NT don't need DOS to run at all. now the 9x kernel did run on DOS.
  20. slb macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    New Mexico
    Windows 2000 was their best release. XP was just funny ("OS X? We'll call ours Windows XP! Aqua interface? We'll use blue and orange bitmaps and call ours Luna!").
  21. slb macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    New Mexico
    Microsoft already plans to release its own antivirus software and will bundle it with Longhorn. :) They will do the same with their recently released anti-spyware application as well.
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    So is *that* what they call the "format" command now? ;) :eek: :D

    Actually, although I couldn't resist that one, I'm in the camp that thinks Win2k was actually quite good, and that XP is not too shabby, at least in its Pro variation.

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