Windows 8 bogged down by legacy baggage

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Original poster
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
So the inevitable is already happening.

I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, those are all fixed in $NEXT_VERSION. And they’re finally ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF.

Also, there’ll be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It’ll be awesome!

I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.

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http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/windows-8-bogged-down-baggage-183309

Microsoft's Windows 8 bogged down by legacy baggage

Microsoft trumpets Windows 8 refresh/reset as a feature, but actually reveals bloated Windows 7 legacy code it's carting around

The latest post on the Building Windows 8 blog talks about the OS's new "push-button reset" and what it entails.

I can't imagine a more graphic description of exactly why and how Windows 7's legacy bogs down the design of a modern tablet OS. Microsoft chose to build its new tablet OS on top of its old desktop OS, and man, the chickens come home to roost on reset.

In the iPad/Android world, a tablet reset is roughly analogous to a Windows reboot. If your tablet isn't working right, you reset it and (with extremely rare exceptions) it works again. The process takes maybe a minute.

If you want to wipe everything off of your iPad prior to selling it or if things are intensely screwed up and you want to re-install everything from scratch, there's a simple and fast four-step procedure for backing up to iCloud or iTunes, refreshing the OS, and slapping everything back on the Pad again. Android doesn't rebuild everything, but what is backed up to Google -- plus all your purchased apps -- will be recovered once you sign onto your Android device again.

Not so with Windows 8.

Windows 8 has two options: With reset, everything's deleted and Windows gets re-installed. With refresh, all of your files and many of your settings remain, and Metro-style apps survive the trip, but everything else gets wiped out. The precise settings that remain are still being tweaked, but they include your network connections, drive letter assignments, and wallpaper. There's also no word yet about how the two options interact with, for example, Windows Restore Points or Shadow Copies.

Microsoft posted some timing runs and says that a refresh takes 8 or 9 minutes, and a quick reset on a clean machine takes 6 minutes. Of course, that doesn't include the time to re-install any legacy apps.

There's a world of difference between the iPad/Android approach and the Windows 8 approach, and it can be summed up in one word: baggage. Windows 8 has to bring along all of that bloated Windows 7 code and set it to survive the reset.

Then there's the really scary part: In the iPad/Android worlds, resetting's an embarrassing, last-ditch kludge that's rarely employed. By contrast, Microsoft trumpets Windows 8 refresh/reset as a feature:

In Windows 8 Beta, there will also be a tool that you can use to create a bootable USB flash drive, in case even the copy of Windows RE on the hard drive won't start. You'll be able to start your PC with the USB drive, and fix problems by refreshing your PC or performing advanced troubleshooting. And if your PC comes with a hidden recovery partition, you'll even have the option to remove it and reclaim disk space once you've created the USB drive.​

Microsoft even includes a DOS command-line tool that lets you set up your own Refresh image. Quaint -- it's almost like bundling a tool in your new BMW that lets you personalize buggy whips.
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Microsoft, due in part to their fear of alienating current users (that is, MS lacks guts), combined with their misguided idea of trying to bring into being a tablet married with a desktop OS (with not one, but two UI's layered on top, more on that here: http://siliconfilter.com/hands-on-with-windows-8-on-the-desktop-a-confusing-jumble-of-uis/) - I'm already getting confused - results in a situation where MS wants to be all things to all people without being particularly effective in any area.

What's going on here? MS' solution to stay relevant in a market that has moved on without them in key areas is really the cheap, lazy way out. A single OS (Windows 8) that will work on tablets and desktops? This has all the makings of a train wreck.

MS has always had a problem understanding that User Experience and software optimized for the device (not just in terms of performance, but in terms of actual use BY PEOPLE) go hand in hand.
 
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Schtumple

macrumors 601
Jun 13, 2007
4,906
131
benkadams.com
Thanks for posting the entire article, be nice to hear your views and not just an extended blog link.

I've given up hope in caring about windows, yes I use it everyday at work, do I care if they're mucking up their tablet OS? No, Microsoft have long lost their path to anything sustainable, whilst I won't dare give them a timeframe of demise, but unless they can actually be bothered to say "hey we're doing things the wrong way if our competitors products are faster, better and more reliable than ours" I don't predict good things for MS.
 

imahawki

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
612
8
I was reminded how spoiled I am on OSX (recent convert) when I had to troubleshoot a problem for my Dad that ended up being a registry related issue. What a PITA! Are they getting rid of the registry in Windows 8?
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
842
1) LTD, I'm just going to say it. You really have a major bias.

2) The article composer is forgetting that Windows 8 isn't designed JUST for tablets, nor is it designed JUST for regular computers. It's a hybrid. Does OS X keep ALL your installed programs when you have to re-install? No. In fact, if a quick reset of your computer to reset it back to a fresh install is only 6 minutes, you have accomplished A LOT. People who are going to be using Windows 8 on a tablet are most likely going to be using Metro apps over legacy apps. People using Windows 8 on a computer are going to be using legacy apps over Metro apps. This is the perfect way to keep them in balance. If you have some Transformer-Prime-esque tablet-laptop and you're constantly switching from Metro apps to Legacy apps I can see the issue, but otherwise, I see no problem at all.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
1) LTD, I'm just going to say it. You really have a major bias.

2) The article composer is forgetting that Windows 8 isn't designed JUST for tablets, nor is it designed JUST for regular computers. It's a hybrid. Does OS X keep ALL your installed programs when you have to re-install? No. In fact, if a quick reset of your computer to reset it back to a fresh install is only 6 minutes, you have accomplished A LOT. People who are going to be using Windows 8 on a tablet are most likely going to be using Metro apps over legacy apps. People using Windows 8 on a computer are going to be using legacy apps over Metro apps. This is the perfect way to keep them in balance. If you have some Transformer-Prime-esque tablet-laptop and you're constantly switching from Metro apps to Legacy apps I can see the issue, but otherwise, I see no problem at all.
Unless you are doing your imaging, Time Machine is no fun for restoring.

I would appreciate if someone could enlighten me if OS X has a feature like the hard linking mentioned in the Windows 8 articles. Anything the Arstechnica's articles escapes my memory.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
842
Unless you are doing your imaging, Time Machine is no fun for restoring.
The point was it's not there instantly with a refresh. The Mac doesn't instantly start re-installing your apps. You have to tell it to. That's exactly the same with the iPad, Android tablets, the iPhone, EVERYTHING.

If you want to wipe everything off of your iPad prior to selling it or if things are intensely screwed up and you want to re-install everything from scratch, there's a simple and fast four-step procedure for backing up to iCloud or iTunes, refreshing the OS, and slapping everything back on the Pad again. Android doesn't rebuild everything, but what is backed up to Google -- plus all your purchased apps -- will be recovered once you sign onto your Android device again.
Windows 8 has two options: With reset, everything's deleted and Windows gets re-installed. With refresh, all of your files and many of your settings remain, and Metro-style apps survive the trip, but everything else gets wiped out.
If you reset anything, a phone, a tablet, a computer, does it keep ALL your information with it? NO. NO IT DOESN'T. On the iPad, you have to re-download your apps via iCloud, purchase history or your PC. What about music or videos or other content on iTunes that's not from the iTunes Store? Same exact story with the iPhone. On an Android tablet you have to physically go and copy your music back, copy your videos back, re-download your apps individually. On a Mac you can restore from a Time Machine or a System Image. You can restore Windows 7 with a backup or System Image. There's NO OS on ANYTHING that as soon as you restore, your content instantly returns.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,030
647
Pennsylvania
*LTD*, I'm not sure whos khool-aid you've been drinking, but your facts are straight up wrong. There is no new file system, just the same old NTFS we all know and love. The rumored new file system is for the server only, and it has nothing to do with the rest of the article which you posted.

Secondly, when OS X has a 6 minute wipe and reinstall the OS + apps + data feature, please let me know.

Thirdly, who said anything about Windows 8 tablets having legacy baggage. Windows 8 will, but Windows 8 for tablets that can compete with the iPad will run the ARM version of Windows, which does NOT include legacy code. And if it's stability is anything like Windows Phone 7, even a simple reboot would be an "embarrassment", let alone a full reset.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
842
*LTD*, I'm not sure whos khool-aid you've been drinking, but your facts are straight up wrong. There is no new file system, just the same old NTFS we all know and love. The rumored new file system is for the server only, and it has nothing to do with the rest of the article which you posted.

Secondly, when OS X has a 6 minute wipe and reinstall the OS + apps + data feature, please let me know.

Thirdly, who said anything about Windows 8 tablets having legacy baggage. Windows 8 will, but Windows 8 for tablets that can compete with the iPad will run the ARM version of Windows, which does NOT include legacy code. And if it's stability is anything like Windows Phone 7, even a simple reboot would be an "embarrassment", let alone a full reset.
THANK YOU. This is exactly the truth.
 

darkplanets

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2009
853
0
Make no mistake that the tablet/ARM build of W8 will not have all that extra baggage. That said, legacy support isn't bad. I don't mind baggage personally, so long as it doesn't impede progress (ie Rosetta)-- taking up extra space on my HDD isn't exactly an issue in this day and age, so long as the underlying code is only executed when needed.

That said, I think W8 and OSX need a new FS... but that's just me. I feel like Apple and Microsoft are just spot patching certain things along as time rolls on. For example, I'd love if Microsoft just killed ActiveX.
 

vitzr

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2011
2,766
3
California
So the inevitable is already happening.

I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows.

This has all the makings of a train wreck.

MS has always had a problem understanding that User Experience and software optimized for the device (not just in terms of performance, but in terms of actual use BY PEOPLE) go hand in hand.
You've got to be thrilled ...Enjoy :D
 

boss.king

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,240
56
Another classic from *LTD*... Please try to do actual research based on facts from credible sources, it will save you further embarassing incidents like this.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
The point was it's not there instantly with a refresh. The Mac doesn't instantly start re-installing your apps. You have to tell it to. That's exactly the same with the iPad, Android tablets, the iPhone, EVERYTHING.

If you reset anything, a phone, a tablet, a computer, does it keep ALL your information with it? NO. NO IT DOESN'T. On the iPad, you have to re-download your apps via iCloud, purchase history or your PC. What about music or videos or other content on iTunes that's not from the iTunes Store? Same exact story with the iPhone. On an Android tablet you have to physically go and copy your music back, copy your videos back, re-download your apps individually. On a Mac you can restore from a Time Machine or a System Image. You can restore Windows 7 with a backup or System Image. There's NO OS on ANYTHING that as soon as you restore, your content instantly returns.
The quaint command line tool even allows you to make your own custom image with your own desktop applications to preserve when reimaging. Even if you do not use your own custom image, it will leave you a HTML file on your desktop of applications that were not preserved.

You can even migrate over to a recovery USB flash drive on an OEM system and delete the OEM's recovery partition!

In Windows 8 Beta, there will also be a tool that you can use to create a bootable USB flash drive, in case even the copy of Windows RE on the hard drive won’t start. You’ll be able to start your PC with the USB drive, and fix problems by refreshing your PC or performing advanced troubleshooting. And if your PC comes with a hidden recovery partition, you’ll even have the option to remove it and reclaim disk space once you’ve created the USB drive.
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/04/refresh-and-reset-your-pc.aspx

It is a long article but the short video at the end does cover everything you need to know in a very concise format.

There are plenty of things of benefit if you are the go to technology guy or the enthusiast that just has to have everything your own personal way.

There is also this article from today.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/05/virtualizing-storage-for-scale-resiliency-and-efficiency.aspx

So that is where Drive Extender went...
 
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MorphingDragon

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2009
5,160
5
The World Inbetween
So the inevitable is already happening.

I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, those are all fixed in $NEXT_VERSION. And they’re finally ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF.

Also, there’ll be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It’ll be awesome!

I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.
This sounds more like Linux than anything else.

*Cough* Gnome 3
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Fact is, and I'm not surprised...MS simply HAVE to retain a certain amount of legacy coding, corporate customers etc. who are not about to rush out to upgrade.

I have made similar comments on a Windows based forum on which I still retain a little interest, and the general groundswell of opinion is that if MS don't get this right, they will be in some difficulties with front end products like Office etc.

Bulk licensing isn't cheap, I for one am glad that I ditched my last Windows based machine over a year ago. The bloated format, constant updates, anti virus software etc. just made the damn thing a pain to own.

Time will tell if MS have this right, so it's a little early to make a definitive conclusion, the front end ( from what I've seen ) looks good, but then, so did Windows 7's.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,785
211
UK
Yep. Because OS X contains no legacy code what so ever. :rolleyes: I for one am glad M$ support apps older than 5 years old on their OSs.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,439
31,479
Boston
Microsoft, due in part to their fear of alienating current users (that is, MS lacks guts), combined with their misguided idea of trying to bring into being a tablet married with a desktop OS
Most of the article is BS, but you have a point here. Tying a tablet and desktop OS is not a good idea. The metro UI on the desktop just doesn't appear to be working.

I'll find out for sure, when win8 comes out for public beta

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Microsoft posted some timing runs and says that a refresh takes 8 or 9 minutes, and a quick reset on a clean machine takes 6 minutes. Of course, that doesn't include the time to re-install any legacy apps.
I think this is cool however, MS has made some great inroads in performing a lot of performance enhancements with win8, this is just one facet.


btw, OSX is bloated and carries legacy code as well. Since 10.5, the bloat has increased quite a bit and now 10.7 is the worst offender
 

nick9191

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,271
1
Britain
It's funny how OS X carries with it about... what is it now... 40 years of legacy baggage ;).

It's important to note that in and of itself, legacy baggage isn't bad per say. There's good and bad legacy stuff in Windows (COM+, ActiveX being the "bad" stuff).
Yeah.. But good legacy baggage :D Besides it's a little different, OS X is a modern Unix core with layers on top. It's not as if they're using the Unix fathomed in the 60's.

Microsoft put no thought into the design of earlier Windows operating systems, and due to their desire to keep a constant level of compatibility they have a constant battle between improving something and breaking compatibility. Stupid things they did many years ago without considering the implications such as running everything as admin without so much as a "hey, this could be dangerous". They can't even claim ignorance on that matter, because Unix has had that feature for 40 years, pure incompetence on their part. They tried UAC with Vista, that broke a crapload of software (antivirus and such), which just further highlights the problem. They're the only company who hurt themselves by innovating.

Also interesting is their different ideologies to backwards compatibility. Apple scrapped OS 9, made a abstraction layer for OS X (classic), which they scrapped in 2006. Microsoft get their new clean fresh NT kernel and dump all of this legacy code on top.

As an example, Windows 1.0 apps running on Windows 7.

Edit: I should clarify my post refers to desktop Windows releases, not the version for ARM.
 
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wpotere

Guest
Oct 7, 2010
1,533
1
Yeah.. But good legacy baggage :D Besides it's a little different, OS X is a modern Unix core with layers on top. It's not as if they're using the Unix fathomed in the 60's.

Microsoft put no thought into the design of earlier Windows operating systems, and due to their desire to keep a constant level of compatibility they have a constant battle between improving something and breaking compatibility. Stupid things they did many years ago without considering the implications such as running everything as admin without so much as a "hey, this could be dangerous". They can't even claim ignorance on that matter, because Unix has had that feature for 40 years, pure incompetence on their part. They tried UAC with Vista, that broke a crapload of software (antivirus and such), which just further highlights the problem. They're the only company who hurt themselves by innovating.

Also interesting is their different ideologies to backwards compatibility. Apple scrapped OS 9, made a abstraction layer for OS X (classic), which they scrapped in 2006. Microsoft get their new clean fresh NT kernel and dump all of this legacy code on top.

As an example, Windows 1.0 apps running on Windows 7.
First, they didn't "try" UAC they implemented it. It is in 7 as well and like many other features will be a constant moving forward. You say it broke the compatibility of the software but us that MS's fault or the company that created the software for not making sure they were ready for the release, and how is this any different than Apple pulling Rosetta? Apple had a history of forcing users to buy new software at every new OSx release. That is OK, but if MS does it, then it is a bad thing. Like Apple, MS also degrades services which forces companies to re-write their applications to better support he new version. This is no different from Apple as well. Both companies do this, not just Microsoft. :rolleyes:

If a programmer can reuse old code, they will. I know, I am one.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,480
St. Louis, MO
First, they didn't "try" UAC they implemented it. It is in 7 as well and like many other features will be a constant moving forward. You say it broke the compatibility of the software but us that MS's fault or the company that created the software for not making sure they were ready for the release, and how is this any different than Apple pulling Rosetta? Apple had a history of forcing users to buy new software at every new OSx release. That is OK, but if MS does it, then it is a bad thing. Like Apple, MS also degrades services which forces companies to re-write their applications to better support he new version. This is no different from Apple as well. Both companies do this, not just Microsoft. :rolleyes:

If a programmer can reuse old code, they will. I know, I am one.
Exactly - I can't help but think that LTD and others here would be outraged if, for Windows 8, Microsoft said "We're starting fresh. No Windows 7 or previous apps will run natively in Windows 8. But here's a virtual machine you can run them in. It might work. It might not. Good luck"

That's essentially what Apple did for the OS9 to OSX and PPC to Intel conversions. And if an OS9 app didn't run in OSX, or a PPC app didn't run on an Intel Mac, no one blamed Apple. They blamed the developer. If UAC or some other new feature in Windows 8 breaks an application, that's the application developer's fault, not Microsoft's. They've had more than enough time with the Windows 8 beta and SDK to update their app and test it before Windows 8 gets released to the public.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
Yep. Because OS X contains no legacy code what so ever. :rolleyes: I for one am glad M$ support apps older than 5 years old on their OSs.
I can compile 40 year old code on OS X. ;)

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Yeah.. But good legacy baggage :D Besides it's a little different, OS X is a modern Unix core with layers on top. It's not as if they're using the Unix fathomed in the 60's.
They are still compatible with all the legacy APIs required to qualify for Unix '03 certification (at least in 10.6. They haven't certified 10.7 yet)

OS X is not actually a modern Unix core, no more than it uses the Unix fanthomed in the 70s (I don't count an initial release in 1970 or so something from the 60s ;) ), it uses no Unix code per se. It uses BSD code (80s), some Carnegie Mellon code (80s) and NeXT/Apple (90s and 00s) code. AT&T's (Bell Labs') code base is not found in OS X, they probably don't even have a license with Novell for the copyrights like HP/IBM/Oracle do.

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Microsoft put no thought into the design of earlier Windows operating systems
A bold claim. You're saying bringing on David Cutler of VMS fame to write the first Windows NT was a process that didn't involve thought ? Writing the OS with as many independant sub-systems, a micro-kernel architecture and full multi-user/pre-emptive multi-tasking, a HAL that abstracted underlying hardware making multi-platform support possible (MIPS, Alpha, x86, PPC (remember that one ?) and even an internal Sparc build), with a filesystem that supported the highest-end ACLs to rival even Novell's had no design at all ?

Frankly, I think that's a little ignorant of the history of Windows NT. As much as I loathe Microsoft for their anti-competitive practices in the 90s, I have to give them credit for Windows NT. It was really a breakthrough OS and it managed to displace the big-iron Unix workstations of the days (I have a relic Sun Ultra 5 here, anyone remember when doing any 3D work with either OpenGL or high-end packages meant running Octanes/O2 from SGI ?) in the market to establish dominance before being adapted to the consumer market with Windows NT 4.0 (first version to allow graphics driver direct access to graphics hardware), 2000 much more so (better Direct X and multimedia support) and finally with Windows XP.

At least try to understand the technical side if you're going to comment on it, especially if you're going to bash. Bash for good reasons (MFC, COM+, Active X), not in a general sense that often is rooted in myth and hearsay for less technical oriented FUD.

Exactly - I can't help but think that LTD and others here would be outraged if, for Windows 8, Microsoft said "We're starting fresh. No Windows 7 or previous apps will run natively in Windows 8. But here's a virtual machine you can run them in. It might work. It might not. Good luck"

That's essentially what Apple did for [...] PPC to Intel conversions.
No, it's not. Platform porting is quite a different beast from supporting legacy APIs. Apple's frameworks are supported on both Intel and PPC and most code is just a recompile away from working on both platforms.

Just look at the open source packages you can compile for both PPC and Intel on any Mac. The problem is vendors don't bother recompiling old code, they'd rather sell you the new code. This leads to abandonned software.

What you're talking about, "leaving behind old software" is either API and ABI compatibility breakage. Apple really did a good job here frankly. Breaking away from OS9 (which really was EOL, heck, they were years late with breaking away with it), but preserving most of its API through Carbon works great (again, code is often a recompile away).

BTW, Microsoft did remove Win16 from WOW (NTVDM) recently with the introduction of 64 bit versions of Windows, breaking all Windows 3.1 applications on those installations, unless the developer specifically targetted the special subset Win32s runtime that could be optionally installed.

This is the same issue Apple did with OS9 to OS X basically.

Compare apples to apples when making analogies. ;)

Anyway, there's a freaking big difference between the consumer space (where Apple is) and the entreprise market (where Microsoft mostly resides). Microsoft has to have longer support life for their stuff by virtue of contracts they have with partners/customers.

I really hate when you guys force me to debunk misinformation and FUD spread about Microsoft. Frankly, I really don't like them, but I'm actually educated about their history and their stuff. Seriously, if you don't know what you're talking about when you bash Microsoft, it only hurts your own credibility.
 
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wpotere

Guest
Oct 7, 2010
1,533
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Seriously, if you don't know what you're talking about when you bash Microsoft, it only hurts your own credibility.
That was my point above and you did a great job of laying it out. The way that some are posting, they are bashing MS for working to secure the OS but then turn and bash them for having it insecure. Pick a side... Bottom line is that times change quickly in the OS realm and if you removed all of the legacy you would force everyone to buy new software. In our current economy that would go over like a lead balloon.
 

smoledman

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2011
1,912
309
In a sense, Microsoft was cursed by not having a huge down-period like Apple in the 90s where they could just throw away their CEO and throw away the legacy code(OS 9 - OS X). Apple had the luxury of starting from scratch and building up a fresh new ecosystem, Microsoft was so continuously successful that they had no choice but to keep dragging the legacy code behind them like a ball & chain. That Windows 8 has a new kernel, application model, new filesystem is a sign that is about to change.