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Windows 7 RC

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Caliante, May 12, 2009.

  1. kpedersen

    kpedersen New Member

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    If Microsoft workers get a "special" copy... They certainly kept it a secret from me haha! Guess I am just a student intern though so perhaps its for senior management only!
    I'll keep you updated :)
     
  2. drhowarddrfine

    drhowarddrfine Member

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    I bought a notebook last month that I was going to convert to FreeBSD but, since I code web sites, I find it convenient being able to test Internet Explorer when I'm moving around. Otherwise, I live in Firefox and cygwin and never use anything else.
     
  3. ChuckOp

    ChuckOp New Member

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    Yes, I do work for Microsoft, but love FreeBSD

    At this moment I'm employed by Microsoft, but that's ending soon as I'm moving from the Seattle area to Florida.

    I was part of the Windows 95 Program Management team, and also worked on Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. I was part of the group that implemented speech recognition in Windows Vista and Windows 7. I also worked on Internet Explorer, versions 3 through 5. When I wasn't working full-time for Microsoft, I was writing books and doing consulting work on LDAP and directory services.

    Of course my comments are solely my own and not reflective of any of my employers.

    FYI, I'm not trolling - I love FreeBSD and have been using it on-and-off since 4.3. I've always loved "true" Unix and can't stand Linux.

    I don't know what "PR crap" you're referring to, but what makes you think that the people at Microsoft, like any organization, don't need legacy support? We have badly designed internal websites that do incorrect version checking just like any other company for just one example. I know of at least one co-worker who was using the DOS version of Microsoft Word for notetaking up until a few years ago.

    There is nothing half-baked about Windows. In fact, I would put it's stability and robustness up against any other OS in a heartbeat. Testing at Microsoft is simply the best and finely honed.

    Now, obviously there are compatibility issues. The ability to load kernel-level drivers exposes users to system crashes, but that rarely happens with Microsoft provided drivers. Third-party, particularly unsigned drivers, are often the culprits.

    The original architecture that allowed for all sorts of hooking into the operation of the shell has also led to a number of issues. It's amazing how much software interweaves itself into the OS without good reason. Everytime you right-click on a folder or file item, the shell has to load the code from all the applications that want to provide functionality. If any of them fail, the shell can recover, but it's often slow and painful user experience. The shell team has done a good job of working around the worst offenders (app compat hacks that have to be done for third-party software).

    That's the problem with being hugely popular - is that you simply can't say "well, we're fixing an issue that causes a number of crashes" because if that means a popular application or utility will cease to work, you've just given organizations reason not to upgrade. You have to work with the third-party companies to fix their own problems, and when they won't or can't, try as much as possible to fix it for them or work around it.

    A really good blog on this stuff is Raymond Chen's "The Old New Thing" that discusses many of the problems of legacy support.

    Anyway, when I see statements that slam Microsoft and Windows, which is easy to do, I push back. :)
     
  4. graudeejs

    graudeejs Member

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    Now be honest, does MS use Linux for their servers (just joking)?
     
  5. ChuckOp

    ChuckOp New Member

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    None are design flaws

    Oh, I strongly disagree. The access control lists are system-wide and apply not only to filesystems, but to kernel objects and even network directories (LDAP-based).

    I get it that it leads to confusion - for example you can have a read-only restriction on a file "share" (which is a system-object) while the directory (a file system object) allows for read-write access.

    It's not at all like Unix and that bothers many people. Access control can be very fine-grained and is intergrated with auditing, which is important for many organizations.

    Fragmentation is a problem greatly reduced in NTFS than in the FAT-family of file systems.

    Since Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, background defragmentation keeps the problem to a minimum. The strategies used by UFS and ext3 to reduce fragmentation are dependent on physical characteristics of the discs themselves, something that cannot be depended upon in NTFS.

    While I agree that fragmentation can be more of an issue in NTFS than in UFS, I disagree that the result is horrible performance. It depends on how applications create, read and write files. Given the same application logic on both platforms, I assert that NTFS performance will be within -/+5% of UFS performance. If under a particular application logic fragmentation is a serious problem, that can be countered with out changes to the application.

    I don't agree that "fragmentation" is a design flaw, it happens on all file systems.

    Oh please! NTFS has supported hard and soft links since Windows 2000. Symbolic links are used throughout Windows Vista (for example, the default user AppData directory points to \ProgramData). The resource kit includes mklink and all the regular filesystem internal commands (dir, rm, del, etc.) understand and support links.

    Don't confuse the shell .LNK files with symbolic links. The shell .LNK files are not the same, but provide similar functionality for GUI users.
     
  6. Oko

    Oko Member

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    Now that is really very, very nice and informative post from somebody who knows his job. You exactly pinpointed the things which makes systems like BSDs "superior" to Windows. Unlike MS open source projects can easily break backward compatibility and in particular they can brake compatibility with third party software. Your post also explains correctness of OpenBSD team approach which doesn't allow third party binary blob drivers nor kernel loadable modules which makes OpenBSD so incredibly stable.

    I wish you could elaborate little bit about difficulty to support such a wide variety of often crappy hardware. Also Windows supports incredible wide amount of features not found on any other OS. For that reason Windows kernel is large comparing to Linux (probably not for a long time ) but in particular compared to BSD kernels.

    This is why is so important IHMO that BSDs remain simple systems for power users instead of accommodating clueless n00bs. If any system once goes down that path it is just going to become another Windows and I do not mean that in derogatory sense.

    Can you explain why is MS so often offender of various RFCs? Is that a
    conscience decision to put other Vendors out of business? Is there are any particular reason but PR to have for instance your own mail protocol
    (exchange) or for poor implementation of open protocols.

    What about security? Could you compare the feature of Windows with OpenBSD?

    Could you also elaborate about one of the biggest problems of Windows deployment and that is the lack of truly competent Windows system administrators and users.
     
  7. ChuckOp

    ChuckOp New Member

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    Lengthy Reply...

    Thank you, very kind. :e

    What is "superior" or "inferior" is just a matter of matching a solution to a set a of requirements. When it comes to legacy support and the attendant problems; Windows is a victim of it's own success.

    I don't know much about OpenBSD, but if that's the case, then of course. Few drivers in the Windows world require kernel access, but in the case of graphics adapters, it's a requirement - otherwise you can't get the speed necessary.

    All of Windows' security certifications are predicated that only signed, certificated drivers are used.

    There's not much to elaborate on - it's difficult. The biggest problem is not the coding, after all it's only written once. ;) The biggest problem is in the testing matrix. x86, AMD64, IA64 architectures, several dozen languages (including middle eastern, Far East, right-to-left reading order), and then add several product editions. To get good testing coverage for a particular feature, you have to test on them all. The build process alone is incredible.

    A friend of mine and a reviewer of my Active Directory book, Mark Russinovich, has written extensively about the Windows kernel, including a comparison of size and functionality to Linux.

    Depends on your requirements. All systems conform to evolving requirements. For Windows, supporting "clueless n00bs" is a requirement!

    First let's dispel a few myths. Microsoft gains no advantage anywhere by closing out other vendors. The success of Windows (Microsoft's cash cow) is predicated on a very healthy software ecosystem.

    I think you'd find that any organization supports standardization as much as it needs to and not much more. No one buys a product because it's "IETF approved!" :p

    For 6 months in 1999, I worked on "Platinum," the codename for Exchange 2000. The roots of Exchange go back to the late 80's and Microsoft Mail. From that came the Mail API (MAPI). MAPI was a rich, heavy-weight programming interface that fully supported various transport protocols, clients and servers.

    This was around 1992-1994, and it was not clear that any of the email RFC's in existence at the time were sufficient for the needs of large organizations. MAPI became the way Microsoft did email, and it was very complete and worked well. Just like Lotus, Novell, IBM and any number of software vendors of the 90's, each had their own email protocols and only implemented SMTP to transfer mail in and out of their own systems.

    MAPI supported secure authentication long before SMTP/SSL was commonly available, and organizations did not want employees using IMAP/POP clients sending clear-text passwords either. So, organizations opted for the proprietary Exchange-MAPI-Outlook end-to-end system.

    I know Exchange 5.5 and certainly Exchange 2000 supported SMTP, IMAP4, and POP3; in addition to MAPI.

    I believe that Exchange 2000 defaulted to using ESMTP as it's internal transfer protocol. Whether or not organizations use the IMAP/POP client interfaces is up to them. I know that I'm using IMAP to get my chuckop@microsoft.com email via Thunderbird on FreeBSD 7.2. :e

    Regarding incomplete support of RFC's; it's a matter of what the customer needs. Do they need 90%? 99.9%? RFC's are a moving target that do not conform to product design and shipping schedules. We build in what we can, when we can, as long as it's important to the customer. Customers usually don't put standards support in their top requirements. When customers do put standards support in their requirements, we support the standards as best we can when the product ships.

    Open source products have much more of a need of interoperability with a wide variety of other products and thus depend more on standards. Also remember that standards often follow inovation and engineering advances. Products usually exist before the need for standards emerges. If everyone did exactly what the standard states and nothing more - on what basis would you sell the product?

    FYI, I attended W3C meetings when HTML4 was being debated. Some of the same people who are now working on Mozilla were at those meetings in 1996 wanting to see Netscape's <LAYER> tag be implemented instead of CSS. Microsoft was pushing for CSS because it was a better from a engineering point of view, whereas <LAYER> was a kludge derived from graphic design constructs. So whenever someone says "Microsoft isn't supporting CSS2.1 100%" I think back to those meetings, when we were the ones advocating CSS in the first place. I've also been a part of the W3C's working groups on web accessibility and on the various Voice XML standards.

    I can't really. My Windows security knowledge is limited and I have no idea of what OpenBSD brings to the table in that regard.

    Well, I wouldn't say that exactly, but I understand what you mean. As with any complex system, be it high performance automobiles, aircraft, you-name-it, it all comes down to how it's operated.

    One of the nice things about the BSD-world is that it's user-unfriendly-ness keeps the entry bar pretty high. Windows on the other hand strives to be accessible to anyone. People who use Windows assume that they can manage Windows as well and that leads to problems.

    As with anything complex, those with more education and experience will get better results.

    Look at it another way. Windows has an installed base of nearly 1 billion users. If 0.5% are "clueless n00bs", that's still 5 million people! :e

    Thanks for the message,
    -Chuck
    chuckop@gmail.com
    http://friendfeed.com/chuckop/
     
  8. ChuckOp

    ChuckOp New Member

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    No, but there might be some OS/2 print servers...

    Actually, the building I was in for 2 years had the "Linux Lab" on the first floor. I had a friend who worked in that group.

    I know your post was in-jest, but the mantra at Microsoft is to "eat your own dogfood". Meaning that you are constantly using the development builds of your own product on your main machine. It brings stability to the product very quickly in the development cycle and rapid feedback as features are added and refined. During Windows 95, I would kick off automated installations of the build from the previous day, assuming it made it out of the build lab okay ("self-host" vs. "self-toast" :) )

    I think Hotmail was running non-Microsoft software for a few years after acquisition, but that was eventually changed.
     
  9. DrJ

    DrJ New Member

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    Thanks for the interesting posts.

    The irony is that I can get FreeBSD to stand on its head and do tricks. While I use Windows a lot (from 98SE to Win7, harkening back to the earliest DOS versions) I have no clue on how to do the same things there. So I'll personally never confuse myself with a Win expert in any flavor.

    BSD is a snap in comparison.
     
  10. graudeejs

    graudeejs Member

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    ChuckOp, Very interesting post :D
    Thanks
     
  11. SirDice

    SirDice Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    AFAIK hotmail was running on FreeBSD (before MS bought it), they started off by replacing everything with W2K. Unfortunately for them that didn't work out too good (it more or less buckled under the load). To solve that they put back the FreeBSD servers on the backend but left the frontend W2K. I'm pretty sure it's all Windows these days.

    And as for security, I do know a fair bit about it. Having worked for many years as a security specialist for a large banking/insurance company and a renowned security company. When most people blame Windows for having glaring holes and stating that *nix is so much more secure it basically tells me two things, they don't know anything about windows and they don't know anything about *nix either.

    Most (security) problems users have with Windows stem from the fact nearly all of them work as an Administrator (and it doesn't help when this is the default). On *nix you would have a similar situation if everybody just used root. The mantra on *nix has always been don't login as root however. Quite a lot of the current malware on windows simply doesn't work if you remove the administrator rights from your day to day account. There's no way a regular user can install a rootkit, keyloggers or BHOs.

    This is no guarantee though, it still leaves you open to viruses, trojans and worms (the fact that most of them don't work without admin rights says more about the virus writer then the security of the OS). Their reach is severely limited and that'll make it easier to clean up. Unfortunately from that user's point of view this really doesn't matter. S/He is still going to be pissed when the MP3 collection or all your scriptures get deleted. Which is also the reason linux or bsd users should be careful. Even though you're not running root I'm sure quite a lot of the desktop linux/bsd users use the same account every day. And there are plenty of spaces an ordinary user can write to. It's also quite simple to get something to start automatically when you login (HKCU on windows, ~/.login on *nix e.g.). Heck, you can even leave it running in the background when the user logs off.
     
  12. drhowarddrfine

    drhowarddrfine Member

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    I've had an issue with two laptops. My son moved into an apartment in Chicago where he goes to school and I went there to visit. He has Vista. I had just bought a brand new laptop and had it for only a week so Vista was still on it. I could not connect using a direct connection to his cable modem. Never did figure out the problem but there are hundreds of links in Google to "local access only" and I can't get on the internet but it works fine at home.

    I was able to get a Linux Live CD and that accesses the net just fine.

    My wife is in Chicago now and has the exact same problem with her Vista laptop.
     
  13. drhowarddrfine

    drhowarddrfine Member

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    I read an article by an ex-Microsoftie, recently, that the problem is the internal testing works great at Microsoft because it's finely honed to Microsoft's internal setup but doesn't work outside of this test area.
     
  14. drhowarddrfine

    drhowarddrfine Member

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    Do you have any comment on the long fight between Brendan Eich and ECMA trying to get Microsoft to show up on time for voting? And when, after the vote is done, Microsoft shows up to object to the vote?

    Do you have any comment on Microsoft's Chris Wilson not showing up for HTML5 Working Group meetings, his lack of participation and not returning emails or phone calls even though he's the co-chair of the group?

    Any comment on IE8 being 11 years behind all other browsers in web standards support?
     
  15. drhowarddrfine

    drhowarddrfine Member

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    Tis true. Hotmail ran FreeBSD till MS switched it over to whatever they use now.
     
  16. Oko

    Oko Member

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    Now, are you suggesting that I should use Windows machine as a firewall for my OpenBSD desktop;)



    Which is actually true for quite a few less know "user friendly" distros of Linux.


    What about daemons (services)? To me Windows was always a black box so I am genuinely curious about that.

    What is Windows partition scheme really? Again having only / and swap on Unix doesn't make it very secure either.

    Script kitties of course. Qualified attackers especially one paid by major nation states are harder to defend against.


    I hope this is not true at least in BSD world.
     
  17. Beastie

    Beastie Member

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    What do both of you mean by that?
     
  18. fbsduser

    fbsduser New Member

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    Long time *NIX user here and quite new to Wintendo, got a few questions for you. How can I run "PC" games in my Linux PC without Wintendo? How do I activate Wintendo´s built-in quick-save/quick-reload. There was a tuto in youtube to activate it, but it was removed and all I remember is it said something about placing a file called hiberfil.sys in the root of the Wintendo system partition.
     
  19. fronclynne

    fronclynne New Member

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    So, no buffer overflows anywhere that allow privilege escalation? It's all written in befunge now!? MS continues to amaze and delight!
     
  20. roddierod

    roddierod Member

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    I just wanted to share my experience with installing Windows 7.

    The Machine:
    Dual AMD Opteron 246(2 Ghz), 2GB, 72 GB Hitahchi U320 drive.

    1st Attempt:
    Windows 7 Enterprise, disk image created by my employer.
    This image would not boot on my machine although the hardware guys told me it was bootable, so I ran it from XP. Once the installer started I had to choose to overwrite my install since direct upgrades from XP aren't allowed by Windows 7. I choose advanced setup which only gave me an option to format my hardrive. No choice on my "components" to install or not. Click next and it off....after an hour, it finally reboots and hangs at finishing installing components or whatever the exact message was.

    Hard Reboot. Computer boots say it uninstalling Windows 7 because it can't finish install...ok. While it was at it, it also overwrote GAG that was on an entirly different disk!

    2nd Attempt:
    Disconncted all drives except the drive being used for Windows 7.
    Do all the same things...this time after the hour and the reboot it gets further I actually get a black screen that says Windows 7 is starting, and the new fancy Windows logo glows...but it never does anything....HARD REBOOT.

    3rd Attempt:
    For this attempt, I used my Windows 7 Ultimate from MSDN, thinking something must be wrong with the Enterprise disk image...This install goes faster maybe 20 or 30 minutes. It reboots and I back to the black screen with the fancy glowing logo...hang! HARD REBOOT.

    I start in safe mode so I can read what's loading...it hangs at CLASSPNP.SYS, Do research, find out that the Vista bug that caused problems with AMD processors is still present in Windows 7, work around turn off ACHI in the BIOS. Do that. System boots into Windows 7 - but only one processor is showing up. Download and install the 38 patches (36 or 37 of them were critical). Go back into the BIOS and fiddle with different ACHI settings, get the machine to boot with some ACHI setting on, still no 2nd processor...turn off machine. Have not tocuhed Windows 7 since (about 3 or 4 weeks).
     
  21. peetaur

    peetaur New Member

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    Advantages to Windows:

    1. Your local computer dealer has it in stock.
    2. Your local computer dealer will install it for you.
    3. Most software on the market is designed to run on it.
    4. The .doc files you get from 3rd parties via email can be edited without them suddenly changing format around strangely when viewed again by that 3rd party.
    5. It runs a particular mail client, which when mailed an attachment named winmail.dat that violates standard protocols, can actually view the encoded attachment files.
    6. The average person can do basic things in it.
    7. It natively supports the file system you can most commonly expect to be on someone else's computer.
    8. Drivers for consumer devices (eg. phones, network, video, etc.) usually come out first for Windows.


    In other words, (nearly?) all advantages are purely based on its hostile takeover of the market, making the company responsible a monopoly, having nothing what-so-ever to do with quality. So if you use it because of the above advantages, you are reponsible for its position in the market.
     
  22. sossego

    sossego New Member

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    RMS rules, man. You're, like, a spy or a suit. Down with the establishment, man. Free love, free beer, free software, man.



    Nah. It's refreshing to know that you enjoy learning.
     
  23. roddierod

    roddierod Member

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    I'd have to take #4 and #6 out of the list.
     
  24. athos

    athos New Member

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    Woah, this thread is amazing. I never tought that some Microsoft programmer would be in the FreeBSD forums, and would share his/her experience here, those were some truly amazing posts!
     
  25. peetaur

    peetaur New Member

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    #4 You don't think people get annoyed when their documents go all messed up because they made the wrong editor choice and you made the free choice? (and then conclude that YOU made the wrong choice and that you should buy into the monopoly and join them in enforcing the monopoly.)

    #6 (a) You think average people can't do basic things? Or (b) you think that people can do basic things on most free OSses also?

    #6 plus the last sentence I implied that I mostly agree with (b) because the reason they can't do basic things in free OSses is that they have no experience with them, nor friends with experience that can help them learn the basics, since their familiarity was confined to Windows instead. The reason I say "mostly agree" is that they seem to get all confused and think the OS/UI sucks instead of just realizing they need to learn something... so they really can't do simple things because they refuse to learn. And long ago in Linux, you had to use command line to mount your CDROM, run special tools to resize your desktop resolution, etc. But nowadays the only obstacle for basic things really is experience vs ability/desire to learn, rather than the product itself.

    And BTW, I am not against pay software, and biased towards free stuff. I just really strongly believe that things should be driven towards quality, and should be as compatible with other software as possible, and follow open protocols and standards. The people that pay for it, and use it should drive the development, based on their needs. It should not be the people that sell it forcing the people that use it to lock themselves in and reduce the popularity of open software.