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Longhorn Beta is Disappointing 1086

Posted by Zonk
from the time-for-extreme-programming! dept.
bonch writes "Well, Longhorn beta 5048 was released a day before the start of WinHEC 2005, suggestive of the fact that it is not terribly impressive. Paul Thurrott (a Windows writer whose previously reported review of Mac OS X Tiger was updated after user feedback) confirmed this today in day two of his blog from WinHEC. Microsoft needed something big to kill the hype of competitors, but screenshots show minor visual updates from the last beta, and to quote Thurrot: 'This has the makings of a train wreck.'"
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Longhorn Beta is Disappointing

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:13PM (#12352523) Homepage Journal
    'This has the makings of a train wreck.'"

    What? How many killed and injured? An unfortunate choice of words, considering what happened in Japan. I think that's a bit colored anyway from someone who hates mornings and is undoubtably in a less than spritely mood.

    I thought the bit about "Longhorn will run fine on a 1GHz computer with 256 MB of RAM" being good (This is good news for today's PC users, some of whom are concerned that they won't have the PC muscle needed to run the next Windows.) rather disturbing. Sounds like the thing is going to be an absolute pig, like XP and 95 before it. (Remember when they said you could run 95 in 8MB? We found you realistically needed 24MB) Even though RAM is cheap, I'm not fond of loading 1GB into a box and then seeing about 1/3 of it taken up by stuff 'I may need and would be really neat if already loaded in memory so IE and other apps would appear to load quickly.' A bit like asking if someone has a pen knife and they hand you one of those swiss army knives with the works, when all you need is just a small sharp blade for 5 seconds (you spend 30 seconds trying to find the actal knife blade in the Victorinox monster.) A PC is a hole in your desktop into which you continually shovel money. With Longhorn you'd better get a bigger shovel

    Lovely screen shots. What about the operating system are they supposed to convey, other than it looks more annoying than even XP (I don't do icons in Explorer windows, I do Details.)

    • by rpozz (249652) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:19PM (#12352584)
      Longhorn will run fine on a 1GHz computer with 256 MB of RAM

      Following on from what you said, considering that the system requirements for XP Pro [microsoft.com] state a 300MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM, the real requirements for this thing could be huge. I'm sure many of you would strongly disagree with the idea that XP can run acceptably with 128MB of RAM.
      • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:26PM (#12352660) Journal
        "I'm sure many of you would strongly disagree with the idea that XP can run acceptably with 128MB of RAM."

        Windows XP runs fine on 128MB of RAM. The problem comes when you try to install or run applications which require any memory whatsoever.

        But Windows XP runs fine on 128MB of RAM.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Windows XP runs fine on 128MB of RAM. The problem comes when you try to install or run applications which require any memory whatsoever.

          Office 2003 on my Sony N505VE (333MHz Celeron w/128MB RAM) runs reasonably well under Windows XP.

          But Windows XP runs fine on 128MB of RAM.

          That's better than what can be said of many Linux distributions (I'm thinking Fedora Core 3 here). Same with OS X (I'm thinking Mac Mini here).

          Seems to me that Windows is less resource intensive than its closest competition.
    • by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:43PM (#12352816)
      Calling something disastrous "a train wreck" is a long-established idiom that isn't going to just go away because a train wrecks. And frankly, I think calling it "an unfortunate choice of words" is just a big, steaming load of language-police bull crap.
    • by macslut (724441) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:47PM (#12352865)
      I would expect the system requirements of Longhaul to be significantly *less* than XP. Microsoft has already cut so many promised features, it will actually be a downgrade by the time it launches. Of course you'll still need like 1GB of video RAM if you want that spectacular icon preview feature that is all that is Longhaul.
    • Longhorn will run fine on a 1GHz computer with 256 MB of RAM

      Sure. Microsoft also told everyone that Windows 95 would run on a 486-66 with 4MB of RAM just fine too. And it did. If by running you meant lurching like a drunken backpacker with a cast and crutches.

      Hearing that as the "just fine" spec makes me very concerned for what the real just fine spec is. Probably 1 gig of RAM and a 3GHz processor, I am guessing.
      • by Digital Pizza (855175) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @08:30PM (#12354175)
        Back in the day I decided to challenge Microsoft's 4MB RAM minimum for Win95, so I took out the 16MB stick of RAM from my system at the time (AMD 486DX4/120, normally 20MB RAM - funky board with four 30-pin slots and two 72-pin slots), leaving 4MB.

        The only way I could get it to even boot was to disable the Soundblaster 16 driver. The drive didn't take a break at all from swapping until I shut down.

        Technically, it ran. I'm not looking forward to Longhorn.

    • by vacuum_tuber (707626) * on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @09:12PM (#12354436) Journal
      This has the makings of a train wreck.
      An unfortunate choice of words, considering what happened in Japan...

      You're right. Let's begin using more sensitive terms for such things and then we won't have to check the news every day for disasters before we open our thoughtless mouths.

      "Train wreck" could be "rail transport guidance mishap (RTGM)"

      "Plane crash" could be "aeronautic ground avoidance exception (AGAE)"

      "Tsunami" could be "exceptional aquatic waveform event (EAWE)"

      "Earthquake" could be "sudden geological tension release event (SGTRE)"

      "Flood" could be "unexpected hydrological intrusion (UHI)"

      "Fire" could be "unwanted thermological surge cause by excessively rapid oxdidation of ambient combustibles (UTSCBEROOAC or UTSCEROAC)"

      "Atomic attack" coule be "aggressive chain reaction event unfortunately proximate to valuable life or property (ACREUPTVLOP or ACREUPVLP)"

      "Heart attack" could be "biogenic oxidant supply chain problem resulting in catastrophic system pump failure (BOSCPRICSPF)"

      "Vomit" could be "retrograde migration of partially processed biological fuel mixture (RMOPPBFM or RMPPBFM)"

      By using the abbreviations we could all pretend that nothing ugly happens or exists. "Hey, be careful with that! You could have a BOSCPRICSPF!" "What the fuck did you call me, pissbrain?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:13PM (#12352526)
    It's even uglier than XP, which is no small feat.
    • by NatteringNabob (829042) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:38PM (#12352765)
      I haven't been able to look at the screenshots as the site appears to be slashdoted, but I find it impossible to believe that any UI could be uglier than XP. My major complaint with XP isn't really the look though, it is the incredible amount of screen space it wastes in favor of eye candy. The first thing I do with an XP machine is set it back to Win95 mode and pick the classic skin for media player (which is truly an abomination with the default skin). Of course, these days I hardly run Windows at all since Fedora Core 3 does everything that I need a computer to do, and does it better and for less money than any version of Windows. I doubt Longhorn will be a train wreck as there are millions of people that will upgrade no matter how good or bad it is, and Microsoft will spend billions persuading them it is the best thing to do. It is amazing that people never catch on to the old wine in a new bottle trick. Of course, in the case of Windows, we aren't just talking about any old wine, we talking about vintage 30 year old Gallo Hearty Burgundy.
    • by John Seminal (698722) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:43PM (#12352819) Journal
      It's even uglier than XP, which is no small feat

      I agree, I don't like the look of XP, that is why when I use a XP machine I change the look back to windows classic. One I do that, it looks and feels exactly like my windows 2000 machine.

      And what do those screenshots tell us anyways? I did not see anything new, something to make me excited about the new windows.

      Maybe Microsoft is stuck in their 1998 way of thinking, when the new "version" of windows had people lining up outside of CompUSA at 5am to get a good space in line to be the first to own the new version. That will not happen again. Windows 2000 can do just about anything a user wants, it can play DVD movies, surf the web, play games. Why do we need a new version of Windows?

      I would like to see Micrsoft do 2 things they won't. 1) I want greater control of my PC, but with the push for more DRM, I will get less control of my machine. And related to #1, I want to have tools work my way, I want to opt-in rather than opt-out, I want most services turned off unless I turn them on. 2) I would like Windows to come with some more software than just solitare. I'd love to see Windows come loaded with OpenOffice and Mozilla, and a ton of Open Source software. It would be a great sign of stregnth, to give away those products and then tell people "You have Open Office which is good, but for something really great come and buy Office".

      I doubt Windows will do any of those things.

      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:50PM (#12352889) Journal
        Maybe Microsoft is stuck in their 1998 way of thinking, when the new "version" of windows had people lining up outside of CompUSA at 5am to get a good space in line to be the first to own the new version. That will not happen again. Windows 2000 can do just about anything a user wants, it can play DVD movies, surf the web, play games. Why do we need a new version of Windows?

        Because at some point Microsoft will force the upgrade by sabotaging existing Win2k installs. No more service packs, patches or support. Doubtless WMP-Longhorn will get some delightful codecs that will not work on Win2k.

        • by charstar (64963)

          Doubtless WMP-Longhorn will get some delightful codecs that will not work on Win2k.


          Or anywhere else for that matter. I still can't play many .wmv files on my 'amd64' build of Gentoo.
  • Shut Do! (Score:5, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:14PM (#12352530) Homepage
    "Shut Do..."? [winsupersite.com] What the heck is that? Have they decided to bring Microsoft Bob back as a plucky caveman named "Shut" or something?

    (On a serious note, it'd probably be a good idea to fix that--otherwise, grandma's gonna have a hard time figuring out what the "Shu..." button does on her large-text setup...)

    • Re:Shut Do! (Score:5, Funny)

      by fizban (58094) <fizban@umich.edu> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:32PM (#12352712) Homepage
      That's the Homer mode you see there. "Shut.. Doh!"
    • Re:Shut Do! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Storlek (860226) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:43PM (#12352822)
      grandma's gonna have a hard time figuring out what the "Shu..." button does on her large-text setup
      It starts a game of shuffleboard, of course.

      What I'd like to know is, have they done anything to make the actual shutdown dialog more useful? The button icons completely fail to depict what they're supposed to be. I had to use a Spanish computer one time and couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I'd never used Windows XP before, and those buttons are [somethingawful.com] absolutely [somethingawful.com] meaningless [somethingawful.com] without the text underneath them.
  • Pre beta review (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe U (443617) * on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:14PM (#12352534) Homepage Journal
    Wow, a pre-beta release that isn't feature complete has 'the makings a train wreck'.

    Give me a break, it's not even considered beta 1.

    It's like complaining about interior design of an unbuilt house.

    'OMG, I didn't want open walls and exposed wires! I wanted green wallpaper.'
    • Re:Pre beta review (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rodness (168429)
      On the other hand, since they seem to have be pushing most of the important bits forward to release them for XP because of the delays in the Longhorn schedule, I'm just not at all surprised that their screenshots look like XP with a new coat of paint.

      I really don't know what else they can do that's going to be terrifically revolutionary other than under the hood improvements. And they're being very tight lipped about those (what a shock).

      I'm just glad that I heard somewhere (I think it was a cnet article
      • Re:Pre beta review (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joe U (443617) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:24PM (#12352649) Homepage Journal
        I would be very suprised if the shell was a high priority in beta 1, especially when they are changing the graphics subsystem and parts of the file system.

        You can't go and toss up a new shell using new technology that hasn't been designed yet. Wait till RC1 to review.
      • Re:Pre beta review (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:43PM (#12352811) Homepage
        It does seem interesting that they've been shedding features, seemingly backing off from most of the things that were supposed to make Longhorn special. In the mean time, Apple's powering along and giving Mac users exactly what was promised in versions of MacOS X. I think that's a bad sign by any standard.

        Another bad sign is that they claimed that it would be finished in mid-2006 and now it's "holiday" 2006. So in theory they might release December 24th now.

        As I remember them, betas of MacOS X were feature-complete but very slow, and then speeds improved as the release got closer. I wouldn't expect enough changes in the interface to make it less than disappointing to these reviewers.

        Those indications make me feel the Longhorn project is in deep trouble.

        *

        I worked in a job when I had to support mainstream (non-computer people) with Windows systems.

        Most of them seemed to like the Windows XP interface better because it was more cheerful. In fact, a few of them even liked Hotbar and didn't appreciate my suggestion to improve their slug-like performance by removing it. It was, after all, pretty.

        So don't expect that everyone acts like a geek and removes it. I'm a pretty hardcore geek myself and even I prefer XP's interface to Windows 2000's gray Depression City.

        Of course I prefer MacOS X to either, but you get the idea.

        D
        • Re:Pre beta review (Score:5, Insightful)

          by BandwidthHog (257320) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:58PM (#12352988) Homepage Journal
          Those indications make me feel the Longhorn project is in deep trouble.

          I'm starting to think that they're at the same point Apple was at in the 90s: every attempt to build a modern successor to OS 9 from scratch crashed and burned horribly. They finally climbed up out of their grave by purchasing NeXT and turning NeXTstep into Mac OS X.

          How will MS tear themselves out of this cycle?
          • by Phillup (317168) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:27PM (#12353276)
            How will MS tear themselves out of this cycle?

            They'll buy the remnants of Amiga and fsck it up so badly that not even the most rabid fan would ever touch it again.

            Then when they've had a good laugh, they'll get back to work and add another 128MB to the memory requirements.
          • by Heisenbug (122836) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:36PM (#12353341)
            I'm starting to think that they're at the same point Apple was at in the 90s: every attempt to build a modern successor to OS 9 from scratch crashed and burned horribly.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taligent [wikipedia.org]

            It seems that Apple was working on "an object-oriented OS on top of a new microkernel" in C++ since *1988*, following System *5.0*. They finally gave up on it in 1996, when they bought NeXT, which had many of the same concepts and was released as part of OS X in 2001 ...

            It's a lot like reading the history of the space program, isn't it? First you've got airplanes that can go into space being ready any day now, and Mars by 1980, and now we're just happy if we can get satellites into orbit ...
      • Re:Pre beta review (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Total_Wimp (564548) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:18PM (#12353204)
        I'm just glad that I heard somewhere (I think it was a cnet article in the last couple weeks) that they're going to improve the ability for laptops to be members of multiple domains. That's a big plus...

        ...only if it's easy to disable. The last thing I need is my users joining to another domain and getting a)the other domain's domain admins have Administrator rights over the laptop and b)all the logon scripts and group policy of the other domain are convieniently applied to their computer. Translation for all you Unix and NetWare admins out there:it's like hopping over to a client site and giving root on your laptop to their admins. Why would you want to do that?

        I have actually had end users join their laptops to the domains at client sites for one reason or another and my head started spinning around and smoke came shooting out of my ears. If they make this any easier I'll start doing flips in mid-air, I'm sure.

        Like I said, easy to turn off then no problem. Easier to turn on and I will cry.

    • To be fair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:29PM (#12352691)
      MS has been working on Longhorn even longer than they worked on Windows 95. So its appropriate to comment on the state of the beta after billions of dollars of work over a long period of time.

      After 4 years, if this is all they can show, then I'm buying stock in Apple, because if MS attempts to "lock down" digital "rights", then people will be sprinting towards the Mac platform just as fast as they can to get away from this abortion of an OS.
      • Re:To be fair (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:38PM (#12352758)
        if MS attempts to "lock down" digital "rights", then people will be sprinting towards the Mac platform just as fast as they can

        Sure - sprinting to buy a whole new computer, new set of applications, new games, etc just so something that they don't understand or even know about isn't part of their OS.

    • Re:Pre beta review (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rei (128717)
      As someone who runs Linux "development" versions (currently using FC4T2) and even runs unfinished software downloaded CVS at times, all I can say is, "I expect more from a preview version".

      Seriously - you take prereleases so you can play with all of the neat new features; the downside is that you have to deal with the nasty new bugs. Something is wrong with this beta if you don't get new features... :P
    • Re:Pre beta review (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:49PM (#12352880)
      Wow, a pre-beta release that isn't feature complete has 'the makings a train wreck'.

      If Microsoft want to compare OS 10.4 with Longhorn as if Longhorn is a finished product, can you really blame everyone else for treating it the same way?

    • Re:Pre beta review (Score:5, Insightful)

      by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:51PM (#12352901)
      Paul has been following the Longhorn evolution for a couple of years. When he says "the makings a train wreck" he means that there has been basically ZERO evolution since the 2004 winhec.

      Not a surprise, it's know that 90% or more of the windows division spent its time working on SP2 until SP2 got released.
  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:14PM (#12352541) Homepage Journal
    The first screen shot is in monochrome, the original Macintosh had more shades of grey than this! :)
  • sarcasm (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) * <mark.seventhcycle@net> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:15PM (#12352548) Homepage
    What is he talking about?

    No more Super Mario Land default theme! I'd say that's a step forward.

  • Screenshots? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:15PM (#12352551) Homepage
    He's complaining that the screenshots aren't very different? I thought the point of Longhorn was primarily the changes within the OS internals.
    I could pop a Ferrari engine into a Pinto, and this guy would complain about the air freshener hanging from the mirror.

    --
    get a free laptop [coingo.net]
    • by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:19PM (#12352590) Homepage
      I could pop a Ferrari engine into a Pinto, and this guy would complain about the air freshener hanging from the mirror.

      ...see, I'd be complaining about how the Pinto suddenly started flipping itself with its own torque...

    • Re:Screenshots? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pavon (30274) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:44PM (#12352832)
      He's complaining that the screenshots aren't very different?

      Where did you get that? I read all the links and a couple other of his blog entries and didn't see anything that mentioned why he disliked it at all - just that he was disapointed, and he will have "more about that later". Which makes it a fairly pointless story to discuss, but ... :)

      If I were to complain about this release it would not be because it was not different, but because many of the changes are bad. Scrollbars in a menu? That isn't an issue with lack of polish leading up to the beta release - that is a stupid idea that should have never made it past the design stage. There are a few other bugs shown - look at the column headers in a non-column view of the new file explorer, but those can be written of as pre-beta problems. The visual theme also needs alot more polish which is understandable for a prebeta, but I like the direction they are taking it.

      But really there isn't much to say until someone that has tried it actally writes about it unlike this story.
  • ME? (Score:5, Funny)

    by shamowfski (808477) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:17PM (#12352562)
    Train Wreck nothing. If we are going to refer to unreleased software as a trainwreck, then what the hell are we going to call Windows ME?
  • It was made very clear that the build for WinHec was soley provided as a platform to test driver compatability. MS still has a couple of months until it releases Beta 1.

    Please hold your flame till then.
    • by scotlewis (45960) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:11PM (#12353141)
      He's not commenting on the objective quality of the OS; he's commenting on the quality of it relative to the last Longhorn release:
      This is a painful build to have to deal with after a year of waiting, a step back in some ways. I hope Microsoft has surprises up their sleeves.

      In other words, the OS is trending from promising towards disappointing. The whole point of the big screen dog and pony show is to build excitement about the coming OS (yes, even at the developer shows). By bringing out a version that seems worse than the last one MS is killing enthusiasm for Longhorn.
  • Train wreck? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:17PM (#12352569) Homepage Journal
    As long as they don't totally fvck up what they already have, I can't see a train wreck.

    Windows ME. Now that was a train wreck.
  • Screenshots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FriedTurkey (761642) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:19PM (#12352578)
    I actually like the new look. It is 20 times better than the default XP theme. I have to switch every XP work machine to "Classic" because I hate the "Fisher-Price" coloring scheme of XP. Computers should look professional and not like "My First Computer".
  • Beta 5048? (Score:4, Funny)

    by commodoresloat (172735) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:19PM (#12352585)
    Is 5048 the expected release date?
  • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:21PM (#12352619) Homepage Journal
    I watched the 1hr45min keynote from WinHec that included a number of longhorn demos. I haven't personally been playing with LH builds so seeing the stuff demoed was new to me. I thought it was nice. The desktop search capabilities that will be in LH client inspite of not having a real WinFS underneath are surprising.

    I'm not interested in getting in a comparative argument with some other eye-candy oeprating system that apparently ships this month; i'm only speaking about longhorn in terms of what i saw demoed and comparing it to what windows xp does today.

    One interesting thing i noticed is that i thought some of the demos would be a bit.. "cooler". The underlying possibilities with the new frameworks that are going in should really have some growing room in them that the demos really didn't convey.. or so i'd think.

    The Metro format was a surprise to me as well. I'd be curious to see some sort of technical analysis of it. Note also that from a cursory glance it seems like a royalty free format that wouldn't necessarily shut out F/OSS implementations.
  • by MisterLawyer (770687) <{mikelawyer} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:21PM (#12352620)

    "This has the makings of a train wreck."

    Shouldn't that say plane wreck now that Microsoft is using black boxes [slashdot.org]?

  • It's JUST an OS. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:22PM (#12352622) Homepage
    What's so exciting about an OS? Isn't it the apps that we really care about? As long as the OS is secure, doesn't crash, and runs what I want it to run well on the hardware I choose to run it on, isn't that what counts?

    (And tack on "and is open source" as well for the perhaps 3% of the world who really understands why that matters...?)
  • Fester... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:22PM (#12352626) Homepage Journal
    >to quote Thurrot: 'This has the makings of a train wreck.'

    *Dons engineer cap and lights cigar*

    Just call me Gomez Addams!
  • Riiiiight . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erikharrison (633719) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:23PM (#12352639)
    Frankly, I think Paul has the need to call it bad at this point.

    If it is bad, Paul is the guy who should be the one to call it first, he's life is so tied up with Windows Development.

    Second, by calling it a "train wreck" prior to release allows him to provide a nice counterpoint to his ridiculous cheerleading, so that when Longhorn is released, he can whoop and holler and say stuff like "It was touch and go for a while, but MS has released the greatest OS since TOPS-20!".

    The fact that Longhorn likely WILL be a trainwreck is orthogonal to whether Paul would call it one at this point in it's development.
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:26PM (#12352661)
    NOTHING from Microsoft is disappointing.

    I call shenanigans.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pike (52876) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:26PM (#12352665) Homepage Journal
    The commenters on Paul's site are even more juvenile than we are.
  • by magarity (164372) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:28PM (#12352685)
    The Recycle Bin icon casts a shadow to the left. All the other shadows, including RB's own text, casts shadows to the right. Is it because the RB is itself in a shadow world halfway between here and oblivion??? Such subtle metaphysical goings-on in Longhorn!
    • by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:59PM (#12353005)
      I'm glad somebody else pointed this out. This made the rounds internally under the headline "What's wrong with this picture?"

      Look, I'm not gonna criticize Microsoft for showing early, very rough code and having it look ...well, early and very rough. If you go back and look at the Mac OS X public beta, or even the 2004 WWDC demo of Tiger, you'll find that our early builds differ significantly from the final releases of our products.

      But the thing is...every single one of us, to a man, would be ashamed to show something like that in public. Seriously, we'd hang our heads in embarrassment.

      Microsoft's position, of course, is, "Don't look at the icons or the controls. They're not important. We're demoing underlying technology." Which is fine. But that's not how we do things. If you're going to take the time to put a UI on a demo product at all, take the time to do it right. Don't just slap something on there and say, "Oh, this'll all come out before we ship." That's not fair to your product or your customers.

      It's just another sign of the difference between our philosophy and Microsoft's philosophy. I don't think either one is objectively right or wrong, but I won't hesitate to tell you which one I think is better.
      • Steve... is that you???!!!
    • by jd (1658)
      ...the Recycle Bin is in an alternate universe, where light operates in the reverse direction and files magically cease to exist (unless you need to restore them).
  • by Twillerror (536681) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:35PM (#12352736) Homepage Journal
    The slogan is very subject and so incomplete.

    John Smith calls Longhorn disappointing would have been better.

    Essentially slashdot turned a story that should have been called "New longhorn build/screenshots" into major flaimbait.

    I seriously think that Slashdot should allow their subscribers to "vote" on the new stories that most people don't see...or a subset..if to many people think it is bad it gets red flagged for Taco to stare at or something.

  • It Just Works!(tm) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SamMichaels (213605) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @05:56PM (#12352961)
    Looks exactly like XP using an OS X theme...but remember kids, It Just Works!(tm) [slashdot.org]

    Although I'm glad they've decided to use technology created in the late 60s [slashdot.org] (which SCO owns and Al Gore invented) as well as a lovely new password scheme [slashdot.org] guaranteed to create jobs in the IT support workforce from all the clueless office lemmings. Not to mention how IE7 won't be exclusive to Longhorn [slashdot.org] nor will WinFS [slashdot.org] be included.

    So like I said...we're paying $299 for XP with an OS X theme.
  • by jpellino (202698) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:17PM (#12353192)
    We can look forward to another decade of...

    "So how do I stop the computer?"
    "You press 'Start'."

    [Cue head pounding]
  • Windows 2000 Redux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wintermute1974 (596184) <wintermute@berne-ai.org> on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:19PM (#12353212) Homepage
    Am I the only person here who intentionally stopped upgrading Microsoft operating systems at Windows 2000?

    Admittedly, I love three features that I have experienced on XP machines:
    1. Having the ability to monitor network traffic in the task monitor
    2. Running multiple users simultaneously
    3. ClearType
    Despite these nice features, well, there just seems to be some deep, overall suckiness with Windows XP. It doesn't seem right: It's like Microsoft forgot why it was in business.

    Has anyone else experienced this feeling? Is anyone else worried about the day when drivers for new hardware no longer work in Win2K?
  • Ominous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by petrus4 (213815) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @06:37PM (#12353350) Homepage Journal
    Those who dislike Microsoft should rejoice if this beta *is* a train wreck.

    I am entirely confident, and have been for some time, that one way or another, Longhorn is going to represent Microsoft's last stand...this will be made even more certain if it is a failure. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Microsoft have never had a coherent roadmap after NT 4, and that fact is now clearly showing.

    Bankruptcy won't be here for a while yet, but market irrelevance is coming up fast...I'm predicting that by 2012 at the latest, Windows' market share will have almost completely evaporated.

    If you're a Microsoft shareholder, I have one word of advice for you at this point: Sell. This is one ship which, when the sinking process is closer to completion, you really won't want to still be on.
  • That desktop background looks quite evocative [scarydevil.com].
  • by xtracto (837672) on Tuesday April 26, 2005 @07:00PM (#12353551) Journal
    So, for example, the icon for a Word document in Longhorn displays a miniature version of the first page of that document and a Microsoft PowerPoint slide show icon displays the first slide

    Sorry but, don't KDE have this feature now?? and frome quite some time? Again, I think MS is just copying features from other platforms and selling them as Great Inovation(tm)
  • I just got done with their Internet Security and Accelerator training. This, plus the stuff i've seen in Longhorn, plus the other things I've seen remind me of the movie 'The Hudsucker proxy':

    "Idea man treading water"

    Microsoft has not produced ANYTHING compelling in the last three years. It's more an excercise of 'lets sell them on more features', rather than 'lets sell them on something that improves the experience'.

    The constant treadmill arms race of spyware/patch/reboot (Which I've seen take well running machines and reduce them to perma-reboot) plus bloatware that sucks the life out of a P4 with HALF A GIG of RAM. (Have you noticed the difference in performance between a new installation pre and post Office 2k3?)

    So, lets pitch the API, lets pitch the file system (oops, can't do that in time), lets pitch your old hardware, and lets do it in the usual lock-step upgrade deathmarch again.

    I think they've run out of useful features to add...and I think it's gonna bite them in the ass.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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