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MS Upgrades To Be Smaller And More Frequent 267

duplicantk8 writes "Following the numerous delays to the Vista launch, MS is planning to have more frequent and smaller incremental upgrades, according to the Financial Times." From the article: "Those delays are set to end late next year with the simultaneous launch of new versions of Windows and the Office suite of PC applications in the company's most significant new product cycle since Windows 95. The new versions of the company's key PC software are likely to rekindle higher growth after a period that saw its growth rate slip below 10 per cent for the first time last year, according to Wall Street analysts. Mr Ballmer's comments are the most public sign yet of the dent to Microsoft's confidence in its core development process that resulted from the Vista delays."
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MS Upgrades To Be Smaller And More Frequent

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  • Reboots (Score:5, Funny)

    by Average_Joe_Sixpack ( 534373 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:11PM (#13567815)
    Wonder if they have finally figured out a way to update the OS without performing a reboot.
    • by CiXeL ( 56313 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:24PM (#13567985) Homepage
      it reboots your system for you. really pissed me off how many times i lost work to it.
      • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:46PM (#13568237)
        I updated several of my devices without a reboot. Those sort of patches seem rare, and likely for good reason.

        The catch is that if you need to patch a critical system file, it's orders of magnitude more simple to just replace it upon reboot (since nothing's running). Otherwise you need to close down any applications and services that are using that file. Some system files are used by the GUI interface itself, at which point you're crossing your fingers and hoping it pops back to reality during the patch process.

        It's probably technically possible to do certain patches without rebooting, but you'd have to have a savvy enough user to shut down and bring back dependent services. Linux admins are used to that sort of thing. For home users, it's far easier to simply reboot.
        • by caluml ( 551744 ) <slashdot@@@spamgoeshere...calum...org> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @02:26PM (#13568762) Homepage
          From what I understand, Linux doesn't lock the files like Windows. You can overwrite a file that's already open, and all new opens of that file will use the new contents. I've certainly never seen an error like: "cp: Error: Unable to copy file - destination file locked" or similar.
          • From what I understand, Linux doesn't lock the files like Windows. You can overwrite a file that's already open, and all new opens of that file will use the new contents. I've certainly never seen an error like: "cp: Error: Unable to copy file - destination file locked" or similar.

            Inodes are a feature of all file systems under UNIX and unix-like systems including Linux. When you access a file, it's 'locked' in that it will not vanish on the process that opens it...yet, each process has a different inode.

            • Slight clarification: The inodes are per-file per access.

              If you have an app that loads 3 libraries, it has 3 different and unique inodes.

              If another program loads the same libraries, that program has 3 different and unique inodes...for a total of 6 inodes between the two programs.

        • > The catch is that if you need to patch a critical system file, it's orders of magnitude
          > more simple to just replace it upon reboot (since nothing's running). Otherwise you need to
          > close down any applications and services that are using that file. Some system files are used by
          > the GUI interface itself, at which point you're crossing your fingers and hoping it pops back to
          > reality during the patch process.

          Yes. But a lot of that is due to the fact that MS never really structured the system
      • I assume that you're using a corporate workstation? Talk to your sys admin. The Windows Update options are configured via a group policy object. IIRC, the default option is not force a reboot if someone's logged in, so they may have changed it for some reason.
    • by putko ( 753330 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:30PM (#13568061) Homepage Journal
      That's not funny.

      I think the folks who suffer with Windows are used to rebooting for all sorts of reasons. E.g. IE runs too slow, my app just crashed, I need to install a new program, something is not working, ...

      Due to their inability to admin their own machine, some resort to throwing it out and trying again, with new hardware.

      I think it is the Unix admins who have the fetish for the no-reboot. Or perhaps a single, precisely done reboot [daemonology.net], to remotely bring up a machine with an entirely new OS.

      Similary, folks who use windows think they need anti-spyware, anti-virus, extra-special firewall crap --- because they think there's no way a computer can withstand the tide of crap without extra-special help. It is just impossible to imagine that an OS [openbsd.org] could withstand it all.

      Lately it seems that hardware companies are in the game -- e.g. Intel processors with features designed to make up for the deficiencies of Ballmer's bunch in Redmond.
      • Lately it seems that hardware companies are in the game -- e.g. Intel processors with features designed to make up for the deficiencies of Ballmer's bunch in Redmond.

        Back scratching at it's finest. Microsoft bloats it's OS and applications, so people have to purchase a new computer and pay the Intel and Microsoft tax.

    • Wasn't that very capability one of the features promised for Windows NT 4.0?
  • by JordanL ( 886154 ) <jordan...ledoux@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:12PM (#13567825) Homepage
    I don't think they can get much smaller than the changes planned in Vista.
    • by Iriel ( 810009 )
      On a serious note, I think this is the reason so many features were taken out of Vista. I've already read about things like the hallowed WinFS to be available as a downloadable patch to Windows 2000 and XP machines as well as Vista.

      Something tells me that with the increasing popularity of broadband internet in the home, Microsoft can hold back features and release them as 'special' or 'premium' updates to make up for an otherwise sub-standard OS upon its launch. As long as enough people can reasonably downl
    • I don't think they can get much smaller than the changes planned in Vista.

      That's why Microsoft is secretly researching quantum-changes; changes so small they cannot be detected even by diff!
    • Re:Smaller changes? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:39PM (#13569472) Journal
      Hmm, I don't understand this joke. :-s

      I suppose you haven't used the latest versions of Vista? I was just doing it and is totally confused by the new Explorer UI, and I'm pretty used to working with Windows. I can't imagine what Vista similar to this form will do to my mom. When others seem to be trying to simplify, MS sure is going the other way.

      For example, if you go to Documents from the Start Menu, you're seamlessly put in a virtual folder. Not really a physical one where the files are, but a folder based on a file search. The files there can be in several different places, but you don't really notice easily as the searches are now instnataneous thanks to the new indexer (a good thing in all this mess). So then you try to go to your *real* documents folder and find it's in a completely restructured place (hint: Documents and Settings is no more in Vista). And there you have the changes involved when you just try to go to a folder.

      It's really, really, a lot of changes in this build, feels like more to me than going from NT4 -> 2000 actually.

      And that's just the end-user thing. What's in there for devs? Well, an entirely new development API from scratch -- WinFX is there to succeed Win32, and it's anything but similar, don't even think of having it being backwards compatible. While Win32 was C libraries, this is .NET framework based. A side effect is that you can no longer develop in C++, in that case you need to use Managed C++, which is very much incompatible with regular C++, with even new keywords introduced like "gcnew" for "garbage collected new" and "^" for a garbage collected pointer, etc.

      I'm actually starting to believe Microsoft may be introducing *too much* stuff in Vista at once for devs and end-users alike. To develop Windows Vista apps, you're best off in using Visual Studio 2005 (not out yet), .NET Framework 2.0 (not out yet), and three recently announced products which didn't even have a counterpart before. Then you can start developing Avalon (a new API) apps in XAML (a new language) and a .NET language of choice. No, simple C or C++ won't do it at all, it's totally incompatible. You need e.g. VB .NET, C#, J#, or Managed C++.

      So don't come here and tell me there can't be much smaller changes. ;-) This is an OS I think administrators will fear of rolling out due to its changes, not to speak of its new hardware requirements because it heavily uses the GPU as a desktop renderer (another not too tiny change btw).
  • nice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:12PM (#13567833) Journal
    We want to make life easier by giving only one update a month... then a few months later... we want to ensure timely security patches, so we will release them as soon as we make them...

    I think they're trying to please too many people at the same time... this is called 'impossible'... ;)
    • Re:nice (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JordanL ( 886154 )
      You know, as long as they use things like DRM to manage updates, they're going to have trouble. It's the dubious copies of Windows that need the updates the most, and it would be a shame if MS excluded them to spite them, and in turn, spited every other computer on the same network.
      • Re:nice (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shmlco ( 594907 )
        Your right, they should still install updates. In fact, they need to install an update that inadvertently opens up about 50 nasty eat-your-machine exploits on "dubious" copies of Windows. Then after the viruses kill 'em off, we no longer need to worry about those computers.
      • Microsoft has had DRM since......XP? Wasn't XP the first version required to "phone home" and verify itself? And Pirates had a version out that bypassed this before the product shipped.

        In fact, if I remember correctly, when Service Pack 2 came out, it effectively nullified a lot of "dubious" XP installs. It didn't worked, obviously.

        We can wax-poetic about DRM, but the idea of incremental updates is a step forward.

        • The pirates did little work in removing the calling-home functionality of the oh so popular FCKGW release of WinXP. What they did is release a Corporate Edition of WinXP, which was designed to use a volume licence key, and therefore not call home in the first place.
    • Not when "ensuring timely security patches" is the same thing as telling someone to purchase Windows Vista 3.1r6 from the local Best Buy ($199 after rebate).
  • by Misanthrope ( 49269 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:12PM (#13567839)
    For some reason windows update will be replaced by the commands.
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Great (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dancpsu ( 822623 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:13PM (#13567843) Journal
    These "smaller and more frequent" releases were formerly free bugfixes. Now they will be crap you have to pay for. I think we'll see things like the service pack issues where small fix #9 worked okay, but #8 and #10 had horrible issues.
  • too ambitious? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sqlrob ( 173498 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:14PM (#13567851)
    Wasn't WinFS originally supposed to be out with NT 4, and they *still* can't make it?

    • How is Microsoft TOO ambitous. WinFS seems less ambitious than Hans Reiser's file system. How is it it that a very driven individual can out do Bill's Army? It seems that MS doesn't have as much ambition as Reiser, at least when it comes to file systems. Reiser 4 rocks and I'll bet it will be the cornerstone of some mind blowing advances in areas a s diverse as XML storage/quering & Object databases when other start making plug-ins.
    • With SQL in your name it's funny that you mention this. Apple just threw in all the stuff MS wanted with WinFS when Apple gave us Spotlight on OS X 10.4. The reason they were so quick to do it is in small part due to an extra kernel call for each filesystem write which logs the data to a database and in large part due to the fact that they didn't write their own database for it. They're using MySQL to power Spotlight where Microsoft is trying to use an in-house database for WinFS.

      Never overestimate the powe
    • That's OK, nobody wants it anyway.

      Hans Reiser knows what he's doing - the goons who came up with WinFS didn't. There's a reason it's not done after 10 years, maybe?

      There are people at Microsoft who understand this but they piss in the wrong washroom.
  • Woody? (Score:4, Funny)

    by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:16PM (#13567879)
    Does this mean that microsoft will have more releases than Debian Woody?
  • It won't help (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ruprecht the Monkeyb ( 680597 ) * on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:16PM (#13567882)
    Smaller, more frequent upgrades will cost more to publish, will increase their support costs, and won't result in increased sales/upgrades. Most home users upgrade automatically when they buy a new PC, most corporate users upgrade en masse when there is good reason to do so. Trying to shorten the upgrade cycle in the corporate environment will backfire. Smart IT managers will still only upgrade when there is a compelling reason to do so, and now they might have the opportunity to cherry-pick smaller upgrades that would theoretically be less expensive.

    Microsoft almost got it right with XP, but then they got greedy/stupid at the last minute and fragmented the product line (first Pro v Home, then Media). The 31 flavors of Vista is bad enough, but to compound that with multiple, more frequent upgrades will be even worse.
    • Re:It won't help (Score:5, Insightful)

      by theantipop ( 803016 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:21PM (#13567946)
      It has yet to hurt Apple. I don't see the difference between the proposed schedule and what OSX has doing for years.
      • True, but (so far as I know -- I don't work with Macs much) there aren't multiple flavors of Mac OS X (aside from server). Plus, Apple doesn't have the wide-spread corporate presence that makes enterprise upgrades such a pain. And besides, we all know that anyone with a Mac is just a sucker with more money than they know what to with that will buy anything Steve tells them to :)
      • I think one big difference is Windows activation. Most of the OSX users I know "borrow" a friend's disc when then next .x release comes out. They reason that they own/bought 10, so they don't feel bad about "borrowing" 10.1, 10.2, 10.x. Once 11.0 comes out, most of them will purchase it (or a new machine).

        With Windows activation, you'll actually have to pay for each rev. *That* is going to hurt...
  • by SpaceLifeForm ( 228190 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:17PM (#13567900)
    This is what happens when the marketing people drive the development process. You end up with lots of crap.

    Compare to non-proprietary development where there is no rush to create features, and security issues get resolved quickly.

  • by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:17PM (#13567903)
    Just change his name to Steve and call it a day.
  • security-enhacing and non-pain-in-the-assing?
  • Beleaguered (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sg3000 ( 87992 ) * <sg_public@NOSpAM.mac.com> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:18PM (#13567912)
    Remember the 1997 buzzword "beleaguered"?

    Does anyone else remember in the mid 1990s when Apple announced the same thing? It was around 1996 [lowendmac.com], and Apple was finding it impossible to get its next generation Copland/Mac OS 8 operating system out the door. I think it was then-CEO Gil Amelio who announced after several years of delays that Apple wasn't going to do monolithic releases any longer. They would do little ones to be more manageable. Eventually, they came out with Mac OS 7.6, Mac OS 8 (what many considered to be 7.7), and Mac OS 9. That's also when they started shopping around, looking at Be and NeXT.

    As Apple discovered--and now, I guess Microsoft is discovering the same thing-- it's really hard to keep backwards compatibility, drive new features, and do it within a reasonable budget when you have a big installed base. Apple's installed base was never more than a small fraction of Microsoft's, but Microsoft's resources were also proportionately more extensive.

    Microsoft is having as many (or more) delays with Longhorn/Vista as Apple had with Copland/Mac OS 8. In the mean time, Apple bit the bullet with NeXT/Mac OS X back in 1997, and now they're seeing some pretty good returns on their investment. Releases have been fairly rapid, and they've introduced lots of innovative features.

    So as far as coming up with their next OS, Microsoft, you can use the word now. Apple doesn't need it any more.
    • Re:Beleaguered (Score:5, Informative)

      by sg3000 ( 87992 ) * <sg_public@NOSpAM.mac.com> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:47PM (#13568260)
      I can't find the original article, so here's the only reference I could find:

      During his keynote speech at MACWORLD Expo Boston ... Dr. Amelio announced a fundamental shift in the way that Apple delivers new operating-system functionality.

      Dr. Amelio stated in his keynote speech that Apple is changing its strategy to deliver new functionality through incremental releases rather than large monolithic releases. Moving forward, Apple intends to follow the industry model of shipping software releases in incremental segments. ... The motivation for this change is that Apple believes that its current model of monolithic system-software releases isn't working, and that it doesn't allow Apple to get software advancements out to customers and developers soon enough.

      I found a similar statement in a Boston Globe article from August 8, 1996:
      As far as Apple's new operating system, known as Copland, Amelio wouldn't give a release date, saying instead the company would begin selling components of the new operating system as they become available. Such
      piecemeal advances in the operating system are part of a broader shift by Apple away from big, monolithic upgrades. "Copland is going to appear, but it's going to appear over a series of releases," said Amelio.

      Who would have thought that about a decade later, it would seem like Microsoft was having the same problems:
      Microsoft has overhauled its core software development practices to avoid any repetition of the delays that have bedevilled the next planned version of Windows, according to Steve Ballmer, the company's chief executive.

      The changes, along with plans to release more frequent, less ambitious versions of the widely used software, mark a significant shift in Microsoft's approach following one of the most troubled new product cycles in its 30-year history.

      "We attempted something that was beyond the planning and conceptualisation of the system," Mr Ballmer said of Windows Vista, the much-delayed version of the software that is now planned for late next year.

      "The product cycle has been longer than it should have been," he told the FT.

      Of course, what fixed Apple was not doing incremental releases. They had to do a step-function switch to Mac OS X.
    • To add, there are many changes still going on in OS X, that backwards compatablity is being broken in release to release (.3 to .4 had major changes). Changes that has Cisco and MS running to catch up since VPN Client go broken and so did some features of VPC. There will be even more breaks when 10.5 comes, since the kernel is always getting new features and major changes.
      • There are some breaks release to release but Tiger had a big shift in Kernel API's - the promise is that going forward that API should be pretty settled and OK to ride of top of. Tiger was a shift of a magnitude developers should not see again for a while.

  • My Linux boxes running yum?
  • by FerretFrottage ( 714136 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:24PM (#13567989)
    Wouldn't you love the be the developer who gets Ballmer or Gates as your pair programmer.

    [developer]:You forgot to comment that code

    [Ballmer]: (pickup chair and tosses it smashing his triple head display of Dell 2405 monitors) The code comment's itself!!!

    [developer]: What about best practices? I'm suppose to be learning from you.

    [Ballmer]: Well then start by getting off you ass and picking up that chair. Now with both hands on the arm rests.....NO NO NO...use you're back to lift, not your legs.

  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:26PM (#13568018)
    It is like Microsoft is really have woken up finally and started to do something. Last few years I have had that expression that all what Microsoft wants to do is bullying it's customers. Now they are trying to impress everyone with PR shock, flooding in massive with lots of info about new products.

    Yeah, they feel competition, and I thank any single Linux/BSD/Solaris distro, Firefox, Apple for that. Because it is all what we need to get IT really work for common crowd - to be useful, productive, etc.

    If I am honest, I have seen new screenshots and well - they don't impress me. So far I have seen a habbit to even KDE guys admit that less is more, don't even talk about GNOME and OS X guys. And here comes Windows Vista with what can I call - detail overblown. Yeah, nothing in the stone yet and I hope they will get rid of that "so-much-details-that-my-destkop-looks-like-page-o f-the-comics-book".

    p.s. I'm not Windows user, I'm Linux/OS X advocate, but still I can't ignore what happens to
    Windows world as lot of my colegues and friends uses it.
    p.s.s. and yes, I think GNOME/KDE guys can create
    much better and more functional eye candy than that.
  • Innovations (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tachikoma ( 878191 )
    If I hear innovations out of MS's mouth one more time I swear...
    All of the innovative features I've heard about in the up coming ms poo (read: vista) is that it will have a cleaner gui (read: like aqua) allow for icons to be representative of what they contain (like osx) and genie like effects for minimizing things (like osx)
    It's such a buzz word these days.
    the only innovation I see is copying other peoples stuff, and suing the pants off of anyone who even glances at theirs.
    I bet all 7 versions of v
  • by freidog ( 706941 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:34PM (#13568101)
    A very minor update to 2000 to convince people to shell out another $100 for a better looking interface, a couple of moderately usefull features little else?

    Isn't that why most of the corperate and even many home users (like myself) of 2000 opted NOT to upgrade at all?

    The article was sketchy, maybe smaller expense, smaller expectations make some sense. Less cost (to MS and the consumer I would think) per upgrade, less benifit, decide to upgrade every few years, but MS has part of the user base upgrading all the time, not just in the year or so after a big software release.
  • Here we go again (Score:3, Informative)

    by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:38PM (#13568146) Homepage
    Those delays are set to end late next year with the simultaneous launch of new versions of Windows and the Office suite of PC applications in the company's most significant new product cycle since Windows 95.

    This phrase gets dusted off for every OS release MS makes. Heard it for 98, ME, 2000, XP, 2003... and will continue to hear it for every other bloody version MS flogs.
    • Note that the statement does not say "a release MORE significant than Windows 95".

      Windows 95 was like the major hit from an artist, where people keep buying thier music for a while because that one osng was so good. Eventually though you realize it's the same old tune and move on.
  • You're a revenue stream. Smaller and more frequent updates means bigger and more frequent payments to Redmond. And more confusion for the poor end users. Can you imagine some poor schmoe at the computer store saying he wants Windows? Which Windows would that be, sir? Windows Basic, Windows Enhanced Basic, Windows Pro...

    And the version tracking for patching and application compatibility testing. Holy crap! It's like the sound of a million sysads saying "Screw you!" all at once.

  • Blah, blah, blah. How is this different from how most software vendors operate?

    Now that we're publishing a new version, version 5.0, we're not going to jump right to 6.0. Instead, please be informed that you will have the pleasure of purchasing versions 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.31, 5.32, and 5.4. Or, if you buy our nifty support package, you can upgrade for free*!

    *Free as in not out-of-pocket since you already paid for it.

    And I'm not even going to get into the fact that a lot of these incremental upgrades
  • Vista was a huge vision: a new metadata-based file system, a new UI shell based on secure, managed code, a new command shell, a new UI based on DirectX that supplants the aged old GDI, a new primary developer API to supplant Win32 including APIs to the new UI and the new cross-platform messaging service, an updated browser, virtual folders, a new development model (look @ MSDN for avalon express applications), just to name a few.

    Some of those features just had to be cut back or removed; with all those chang
  • Deja Vu? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theolein ( 316044 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @01:53PM (#13568350) Journal
    2005: with the simultaneous launch of new versions of Windows and the Office suite of PC applications in the company's most significant new product cycle since Windows 95

    IIRC, wasn't almost the very same sentence used in 2001 prior to the launch of Windows XP?
    • I don't have a reference handy, but I think it was also used at the beginning of the Longhorn developmnent cycle.

      I've mentally equated the phrase "most significant $PRODUCT since Windows 95" to mean WinFS. WinFS will be the biggest visible change in over 10 years, if they ever ship it. That means the day WinFS ships will be the most important release since Windows 95. Maybe they're ramping up again for a WinFS based OS, tying in a new Office to exploit the new functionality of WinFS. It makes sense, and
  • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @02:06PM (#13568539)
    For Linux that is.

    Tell me which corporation will install a new point release of ANY Microsoft OS? Hell, remember service pack 2? That's technically speaking, a whole point release. And where I work, and countless other places, IT managers opted NOT to install it for a *very* long time until the bugs were worked out in that point release.

    This idea of 'smaller' and 'more frequent' upgrades plays merely into the Linux world's hands. The problem with Windows is that there's a tie-in to everything. So if a change must be made, it affects the OS at the kernel level. With Linux, kernel updates aren't as frequent nor as impacting. However, KDE can release a new version and since it's part of x windows and not attached to the OS in a surgical manner, it really doesn't matter. People don't know that now because Linux isn't mainstream, but they will when they find themselves extensively testing for compatibility with legacy apps they have in-house, or whatever with regards to Windows.

    This is the opportunity for the Linux community to come together and offer a *true* desktop competitor to Windows. As it stands right now, and I know the /. users will voice complaint -- Linux on the desktop sucks. The key to break into that market is ease of use and while as /.ers we can generally 'figure it out' even if we are unfamiliar, the average Joe will not. Apple is going in the right direction there but with limited hardware and inflated prices, it's not a viable alternative for the desktop, as pretty as it is.

    If Linux as a desktop becomes EASY to use (and I mean damned near idiotproof), the server can pretty much remain as it is. Nobody cares about the server when they are using their desktop, especially as an end-user in say, Accounting. They just want to get their figures out the door without having applications crash and close on them.

    Now's the time to do it though.. Microsoft is going to set themselves up badly with Vista... and sometimes you only get one good chance to whack the bad guy in the back of the head. And then kick him while he's down :)
  • Is anyone here planning on buying Vista (Longhorn, whatever) when I comes out? I've being serious. I would love to finally (!) have a rock-solid OS from MS (if this is it). I worried about DRM, though. I don't want MS controlling when and how I can use software, music, whatever on my machine. I'm concerned about the things I read about Vista (with MS cozying up to movie and music corporations). I buy all my media. I do not pirate, and I don't like being treated like one (that go for you to, Valve!)
  • the company's most significant new product cycle since Windows 95.

    Sorry, but are they saying that Vista is somehow more significant than XP? The move from XP to Vista (which sounds like just XP with different colors, and more DRM) is somehow more significant than the move from 16-bit segments to a flat 32-bit address space?
  • This is interesting since usually MSFT is holding back these kinds of things BEFORE big marketing pushes( read product releases ). They do this so that they can make the public think there's a reason to upgrade...

    IMO, this can only mean that there are enough MSFT customers threatening to "move on" instead of waiting for the next great thing MSFT is betting the business on.

    Good luck with THAT Steve. You're gonna need it.

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @02:49PM (#13569020) Homepage
    Smaller and more frequent also means less expensive and yearly. Which basically means that Microsoft is moving to the subscription model it always wanted. Windows users will pay a "small amount" e.g., 20 bucks, every year for minor and insignificant updates. In other words, we'll be paying for what we now get for free.
  • tinfoil hat (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:14PM (#13569234)
    More frequent updates, so that they can slowly lay the groundwork for mandatory upgrades to Vista?
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:24PM (#13569336) Journal
    you mean, more like a virus?

  • by Lordleppard ( 913427 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:36PM (#13569444) Homepage
    Just like Sony Entertainment has been doing for Everquest2, don't give patches for free, charge people. Call them "Adventure Packs" and come up with fancy names so people think they are getting something extra and not something they should be getting anyway. Let's see, call the first critical patch: "The Spyware Saga" and part of the "Adventure Pack" includes a popup blocker and anti-spoofing Software. They can start advertising an Expansion Pack "Vista: The Clone Wars" and have people pay for more patches.
  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:50PM (#13569571)
    Where I work we're only now getting Office 2003 because the IT department tested thoroughly and was waiting for the worst of the (numerous) bugs to be patched by MS.

    No large company is going to install any update or software without some testing first. Short-cycle incremental releases are just more to test, and most companies will probably only bother to test/roll-out when a new feature set looks compelling.

    This sort of release schedule works for Apple because they do not have the huge corporate installed base that MS does--most of their customers are individuals and small businesses.
  • Churn Churn Churn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:55PM (#13569609)
    Criminy imaging the support nightmare this is going to trigger at any third party software developer, not to mention hardware compatability, testing, you name it.

    I can see why MS wants to churn their user base to increase profits, but all this is going to do is piss people off.

    Not only that, but software quality will go down - with SP2 Windows XP is just starting to become good. Now with flavor du jour the OS will never become old enough to be stable.

  • by lildogie ( 54998 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @04:19PM (#13569844)
    Quoth the article: "Executives have talked of taking a more "modular" approach to Microsoft's biggest products, breaking them down into smaller elements that can be worked on independently."

    So does that mean IE will become a module again?

    And the standard release will be the reduced edition?

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