Windows 9 is now Windows 10

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martindtanderson
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Windows 2000 was from the NT line of OSs. A business version of Windows. ME followed the 16/32bit Consumer line.

It wasn't until Windows XP that NT was re-orientated to replace the consumer codebase. And is the reason you got XP Home and XP Pro.

After that, Windows Vista was going to be a HUGE change, and so much of the core of Windows was re-architected, and the process of modularising Windows began, which is now why Windows can run on small ARM based devices (phones and IoT kits), right up to big Servers and in the cloud.

Nick Harvey wrote:My spare machine here is currently running Windows 3.11 under DOS 6.
That's my first computer experience, right there :) Those were the days...
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cwathen
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

martindtanderson wrote:Windows 2000 was from the NT line of OSs. A business version of Windows. ME followed the 16/32bit Consumer line.

It wasn't until Windows XP that NT was re-orientated to replace the consumer codebase. And is the reason you got XP Home and XP Pro.
Whilst it's true that XP was the point at which they decided to go with a unified codebase, the idea of 'business' and 'home' versions of Windows was invented specifically to cover the Windows 2000/ME situation (and led to 95/98 being retconnected as home OS's)

Prior to this, 95/98 was simply sold as the mainstream version of Windows suitable for most users (including business users) who probably weren't connected to anything more than simple peer to peer networks (or no network at all which was very common at the time) and cared more about features and hardware support and were willing to tolerate the potential issues with security and stability of running on a DOS-based platform to get that (if they were even aware such issues existed), whilst NT was for specific usage scenarios where up time and security was more important than keeping up with the curve on hardware and software innovations. This did of course lend it to serious number crunching business workstations (and of course servers) but it was still very common (possibly more common) to see Windows 95/98 deployed on business hardware. If you read mid-late 90's hardware reviews NT is quite rare to be supplied as standard even on hardware intended for the business market.

Even though NT Workstation was a better client OS for large networks, due to the better hardware and software support in Windows 9x it was still pretty common to see networks which had NT (or Netware) servers but Windows 95/98 clients - the logon clients even supported connecting to domains to allow for this which modern 'home' versions of Windows don't.

The problem with 2000 was at launch there was a crippling lack of driver support which took several months to resolve. This meant that initially it wouldn't support a lot of the hardware used on Windows 9x machines whereas it was pretty much a drop in replacement for machines fully supported by NT4 Workstation, and even once the drivers problem was resolved it involved end users having to download updated drivers from the internet in an era when they expected to install from the disks included with the hardware and never thought of updating drivers.

I'm pretty sure that has more than a little to do with the decision to push 2000 as a 'corporate' OS where it was going to be deployed and supported by an IT department who understood it and would be a nice boost in functionality for users of NT4, and then to rush out ME as a 'home' OS which would work with Windows 95/98 drivers thus providing launch support for all existing hardware and be simple for inexperienced users to install. I believe the original plan until quite late in the development (I will try and find a source) was for Windows 2000 to be sold as a replacement for both Windows 98 and NT4, being suitable for users of both.

Rather ironically, the issues which prevented the codebases converging at that point rather than on XP were pretty much solved by the time ME was actually released, adding one further nail to it's coffin of redundancy (along with being slow, buggy, and cutting out real mode DOS support which was a particularly odd move given it was the only tangible thing you would lose by moving over to the NT codebase and therefore one of the only real reasons not to do so once it matured in Windows 2000).
cwathen
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Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

So, Windows 10 is now a year old. The free upgrade offer ended on Friday 29th July and now you need to pay to upgrade...well except you don't.

They have ended the offer 'for the general public', but in tandem announced an 'upgrade extension' for users of 'assistive technololgies' which currently has no end date. The spirit of this is for people with disabilities who buy specialist IT equipment to help with a disability or use the ease of access features (like the screen reader or the onscreen keyboard) to still have access to the upgrade. Putting aside the question of quite why this group of people need more time but others don't, this is also easily circumvented.

All you need to do is go to a link on Microsoft's website, where a small EXE will download and then the upgrade will start with no further checks.

Doing this is already being branded 'unscrupulous' on several websites but I don't think what they've done is legally watertight against abuse; you only need to state that you use AT, not that you actually need to use them, that you use them regularly or even confirm that you are disabled. There's no 'I agree' box linking to pages of terms & conditions either, just a small number of FAQs. Open the narrator or the magnifier, play around with it for a few minutes. You now use AT, free Windows 10 upgrade. You don't even need to be actively using AT now, their own FAQs state you are still eligible for the upgrade if you are planning on using them in the future.

This would seem pretty easy to argue your way out of in the unlikely event of a challenge.

Personally, I think they are well aware that people will see this as a loophole and intend for it to be used when it has recently become clear that they will miss their target for number of devices on Windows 10, whilst still saving the embarrassment of having to backtrack on the official 1 year offer.
Martin Phillp
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As I continue to use Windows 7 until support ends, I'm glad I was able to remove the GWX Control Panel on Saturday.
TVF's London Lite.
JAS84
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Joined: Fri 12 Aug, 2011 10.23
Location: Hull, UK

steddenm2
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun 05 Jun, 2016 12.01

And the print spooler. Every time I print it doesn't leave the queue when it's finished and have to delete it manually. Not annoying at all...
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dosxuk
Posts: 580
Joined: Thu 07 Feb, 2008 21.37
Location: Sheffield

JAS84 wrote:Update breaks webcams:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37154516
"Update breaks poorly written webcam apps" would've been a more accurate title.
cwathen
Posts: 1132
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Don't have any problem with my webcam (or the print spooler either), but then I did have a strange problem where a powered USB hub I used to give me USB ports on my desk wouldn't work after the November update. It appeared in device manager but the service wouldn't start. It was previously fine on RTM Windows 10, the update broke it. Hardware fault was ruled out, it was fine on other operating systems. In this case the anniversary update has fixed it and it now works fine again. Never got to the bottom of what the problem was. Perhaps the brave new world of continuous development on Windows rather than it being a fixed product that will be eventually replaced with a new version comes with a price if they have the safety net of it being acceptable to do less testing than before, knowing that updates and patches are far more trivial to push out than they have been previously. It also is unclear how much they are relying on the insider programme to rubber stamp builds as being up to scratch, it might give them a huge amount of diversity in terms of hardware but it is also not necessarily being tested in any kind of structured way, so a problem which only happens in specific hardware combinations may not even be noted by someone with that hardware.

Possibly they don't even want to worry too much about this now that the shelf life of a given build in production isn't very long; the OS has only been out for 13 months and we're already on the 3rd main version of Windows 10. Compare that to Windows 7 which has not had any fundamental changes in 5 years, and you can see much more effort going in to that build.

I think again though this underlines why at least the professional version needs to have the ability to control what updates are installed, and be able to uninstall them (without them being automatically installed again). What if this print spooler problem happened to a mission critical system running your till's receipt printer? The Enterprise version may well have the functionality, but there are plenty of non-Enterprise level installations which are just as mission critical, and since there is no way of (legitimately) getting hold of Enterprise (or an equivalent 'Ultimate' version, as we had with Windows 7) outside of volume licence agreements a small business can't even choose to pay extra for the functionality if they want it.
robschneider
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed 14 Aug, 2013 14.53

How many businesses have switched to Windows 10 at this time though?

We seem to be at the point we were with Windows 7 where Windows XP was 6 years ago. Windows 7 was the "current" version of the OS, but XP was still the version of choice in most workplace environments. Now, Windows 10 is the "current" version, but the majority of workplaces are still hanging on to 7.

And, of course, there's still more than a few XP installations hanging about in workplaces.
robschneider
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed 14 Aug, 2013 14.53

cwathen wrote:
Philip wrote:Whilst we're on the subject of old software being good enough. If you don't need your computer connected to the internet or run (most) modern programs, Windows 2000 is still a damn fine operating system. (Like, for example, running older programs or games in a virtual machine).
I think Windows 2000 is the most underrated version of Windows ever. From a technical perspective it was much more of a step forward than XP was (and isn't even that much older). It just wasn't marketed properly (the decision to bottle on doing a home version of 2000 and instead pushing out Windows ME for home users didn't help either) and the fact that it didn't look much different to 98/NT4 led people to write it off as such.

And to be fair, 2000 can run Firefox 12 which still (just about) cuts the mustard for web browsing (it can even run newer versions with various hacks). The aforementioned Office 2003 also runs under 2000. If you accept the (pretty negligible) risk of anything nasty happening with it being connected to the internet having been unpatched for almost 6 years and having no modern firewall or current Virus scanner it will still get the job done.
I loved Windows 2000. Simple, functional, unbloated and ran like a dream even on fairly low-grade machines.

Had a home version of that come out instead of ME, it would have been a roaring success - I daresay XP might not have happened for a good few years (and Microsoft might have not had to try so hard to eventually force it to die.) Most hardware from the 2000's will work on it as well if you feed it XP drivers.
cwathen
Posts: 1132
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

How many businesses have switched to Windows 10 at this time though?
Surely that isn't the point - if Windows 8 was the 'miss a version' which didn't get big penetration into business just as Vista was before it, then 10 has to be what businesses will eventually migrate to, and you would expect migration to be under consideration at businesses now, even if full roll out might still be 2 or 3 years away. It doesn't say much if the constant cycle of mandatory updates can potentially break something that was working. SMEs aren't going to be running Enterprise which has longer support for individual builds and has control over updates, they are going to be running Pro, and the ability to delay things for a little while isn't enough.

As I said earlier in this thread, at an SME the 'IT Department' is often just a function of someone working there, and having previously been such an 'IT Department' , it is quite enough to make sure the server stays up, keep up with hardware failures, keep up with minor things the users want done, make new hardware play nicely with esoteric EPOS hardware and keeping up with updates to your EPOS system, along with finding time to build test rigs to test patches and updates, newer operating systems and newer hardware, along with doing the rest of your job outside of IT, without worrying about the operating system on your production machines pulling down a forced update which breaks compatibility with something critical to then have the finger pointed at you for allowing this to happen.
We seem to be at the point we were with Windows 7 where Windows XP was 6 years ago. Windows 7 was the "current" version of the OS, but XP was still the version of choice in most workplace environments. Now, Windows 10 is the "current" version, but the majority of workplaces are still hanging on to 7
I think the bigger question will be whether Windows 7 will become another XP problem for Microsoft - putting aside the number of people who ran it unto 2014 (and some who continue to do so now), XP was a decade old before there was any change to it being essentially ubiquitous in business use - you didn't see much Windows 7 around until 2011/12. Windows 7 is now 7 years old, and has been replaced twice (or as many as 5 times depending on how you look at it) yet still has the largest market share of any Windows version by a considerable way, and is still near ubiquitous in business. Realistically, it is still going to be in common use in 3 years time when it is 10 years old, just like XP was. Given that the world didn't end if you carried on using XP past April 2014 as Microsoft claimed would happen, will people choose to plough on with Windows 7 past 2020 and give Microsoft another OS they struggle to kill off?
And, of course, there's still more than a few XP installations hanging about in workplaces.
Certainly, as of last week when I was in a branch, Natwest's entire branch network still seems to use XP workstations. I am also aware of a national financial institution (albeit not a bank) whose branch network updated the workstations to Windows 7 but to this day features a 'server' in every branch which is actually an XP Workstation. Even brand new replacement 'servers' will have an XP image installed on them. This is because the back end database for their customer management system will not run on anything newer. Yet these machines host customer data of the most sensitive kind (full details of every customer, their name, address, phone numbers, data of birth, employment details, salary details, bank details including account and card numbers, pretty much everything you need to defraud someone), despite being hosted on an unsupported operating system.
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