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Gold - Windows Vista

Microsoft finishes work on Windows Vista has word that Microsoft's new operating system has been deemed ready for prime time, and is due in stores on January 30:

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. finished work Wednesday on its long-delayed Windows Vista operating system, and said the software would be broadly available Jan. 30.

The announcement means Microsoft will meet just barely its revised goal of putting Vista in consumers' hands in the first month of 2007.

Windows Vista's code was released midmorning Wednesday to manufacturing a step that allows the company to begin making the copies that will be distributed with PCs and sold at stores, said Jim Allchin, co-president of the Microsoft division that includes Windows, in a conference.

"This is a good day," Allchin said.

Microsoft had previously said it would release Vista to big business clients at an event at the Nasdaq Stock Market on Nov. 30, and Allchin reiterated Wednesday that corporations who buy Windows licenses in bulk will get the new system this month. That's also in keeping with the company's revised release schedule.

The release will be the first major upgrade in more than five years to the operating system that powers most of the world's personal computers. Vista boasts improved graphics, more effective tools for finding documents, pictures and other items on personal computers, and a new Internet browser, among other changes.

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73 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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73. Re: No subject Nov 14, 2006, 15:10 Ecthelion
 
Shadowrun, Halo 2 and Fable 2 are all going to be Vista only. Now, while I can live without those three piles of shiite
But... Halo 2 is so cool! It lets you use two guns - two! Oh wait, PC gamers were able to do that way back in Hitman: Codename 47. I forgot. So console shooters haven't actually added anything to the genre. I was confused by all of the Halo fanboys who think the Halo games are the best thing since sliced bread.

And then there's Fable 2, which is supposed to make your penis bigger or something. I'm sure Peter Molyneaux is making ridiculous promises about the sequel, so he might as well throw some "it will increase your sexual potency" claims in there too.
This comment was edited on Nov 14, 15:13.
 
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72. Re: No subject Nov 12, 2006, 21:29 DrEvil
 
Or if it would let me run AVG anti-virus.
It does

Or if it didn't take up a gig of RAM just idling there.
It doesn't


edit: Here's a decent page that compares the overhead of commands between dx9 and dx10

http://tomshardware.co.uk/2006/11/08/what_direct3d_10_is_all_about_uk/page6.html

I'm not putting much faith on current benchmarks. I plan to give Vista a few months for drivers to mature, and for it to actually become available before I start looking at the performance difference. There's potential there I think, but we shall see in the coming months I think more in that department. I'm a bit optimistic of Vista after several of my friends reported to me actual improved performance over XP in several games on RC2. Obviously nobody should be expecting to run it that well in older hardware. It's a 'next gen' OS basically, and I could give a rats ass how much memory it takes up, so long as when I launch my games it frees up what it needs, which as I understand it, is part of what it is designed to do. We'll see what happens in the coming months.

This comment was edited on Nov 13, 02:33.
 
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71. No subject Nov 12, 2006, 04:57 Icewind
 
What it all comes down to for me (And I'm willing to bet, for most diehard PC-only gamers) is the fact that from here on out, most, if not all, PC games will be Vista only...or have several key features that are Vista only.

Shadowrun, Halo 2 and Fable 2 are all going to be Vista only. Now, while I can live without those three piles of shiite, I keep wondering how far it will go. Could Diablo 3 be Vista only? World of Warcraft 2? Neverwinter nights 3? Elder Scrolls 5? I can't help but wonder how long an XP user has left until they are forced to upgrade.

Vista wouldn't worry me so much if it wasn't so bloated and RAM hungry. Or if it would let me run AVG anti-virus. Or if it didn't take up a gig of RAM just idling there.

If people want to upgrade to it and follow MS down the path to the PC Gamer paradise they're building, fine, You have my blessing. I just don't think locking out all previous windows versions from the get-go just because you want to force people into upgrading is very fair.

At least it wasn't until about 4 years after 2000 hit that you started seeing "XP only" on all the game boxes.

 
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70. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 11:32 DrEvil
 
The overhead in directx is pretty high. There are calls known as 'draw calls', which are the calls that actually perform the drawing work, and the calls themselves have pretty high overhead to a point that many developers attempt to keep them under ~2000, which can sometimes be tricky to do, since depending on the shadowing method, number of dynamic lights, multi-pass rendering and such, drawing a single object can end up being 2-5+ draw calls. OpenGL draw calls aren't near as expensive, and I've read it is one of the areas where DX10 has improved much on.

I agree with you though, all kinds of advancements like that are likely going to have their gains eaten away by the increased appetite of the new OS. In the end they could have increased DX10 performance by 200% over DX9, but if the OS is eating that new performance up it doesn't mean jack shit to to end user.

 
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69. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 10:13 Optimaximal
 
Well, yes and no. It's true that everyone always running in admin mode is a security issue. However, the reason most people do that is because a user in Windows CAN'T FUCKING DO ANYTHING.
There-in lied the problem of reverse engineering a corporate operating system to make it home user friendly. They had to do this with XP because (as we all know) it was based on the NT/2K Core.

Altering it would have taken twice as long to market, cost twice as much for the end user (like Vista seems to be) and would likely be thrice as buggy.

 
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68. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 00:20 Creston
 
Well all very amusing but you're basically ignoring driver issues as being the major factor (and with a new driver model this isn't shocking) and the fact the DX10 _will_ see a huge drop in DX overhead for gaming

Well, that's what we ASSUME to be the reason. I'm not saying it is, I'm just saying that if the OS is about 300% more resource consuming than the previous OS, I somehow doubt that games are going to run as well or even better on it. So if a year from now, games still run 10+% faster on XP, I'll be the first to say "I told you so!"

As for the DX overhead in gaming, I don't have that much knowledge on DX and so I'll take your and certain developers' word for it. One thing I wonder though. How much overhead is DX currently taking? Is it really that much? Is it that much that Vista's own added resource-hogging will still be nullified by the gains from DX10?

I say no. That's based on nothing but a pure guess, but it seems a reasonable one. I don't think I have many games where DX9 took 512MB of memory...

Creston


 
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67. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 00:17 Creston
 
Anger management issues aside

My anger manages me quite well, actually.

but if you allow a user to do _everything_ then the same goes

Not EVERYTHING. Just the things that you'd expect a user to be able to do. Like installing software. And if you keep a user unable from altering OS critical files and areas, I'm not sure how those virusses would ever become terribly dangerous (provided there are no security leaks, ofcourse).
In the end, a virus has the same rights that YOU do, so if you don't have rights to overwrite the kernel.dll, the virus won't either.

but apps on Windows are built around the lack of a good security model and so they expect you to be admin

Right, because they HAVE to. Because the user can't install them. If the user could have just installed them, there would have been no need for the apps to force you into being an admin.

allow the user to elevate an app for a short time to admin status

Well, the Run As feature has existed for a long time, but it never seemed to work all that well, in my experience. There'd always be areas you just couldn't get into, especially in the registry.

Hey, if MS is looking into changing that with Vista, then good deal. It's taken them another ten years, but maybe a Windows OS will finally get SOMETHING right.

it'll take user buy-in to the new security model to change things to the way they SHOULD be

That won't be such a problem, I think. Right now a user can't do anything, so if you give them a bit more rights, I doubt any user would have an issue with it.
Also, I don't think MS should be concerning themselves with the idea that "Well, stupid users are going to run havoc with the Windows install then."

That's not MS's area to worry about. They need to make a safe and secure OS, and one way to do that is to minimize the amount of time that said OS runs in unrestricted mode (ie admin).

Sysadmins can always lock Windows down further if they have to, but it's a fucking pain right now to try to get a user to have the rights to do anything. In my opinion MS has been going about this completely the wrong way.

Creston

 
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66. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 00:08 Creston
 
Tell me, have you ever worked in an eviroment where the average user is a complete moron?

The reason why they can't install shit, is because, well - THEY DO INSTALL SHIT! And you don't want to infect you corporate network with shit.

Besides the average use have the tools already installed to do their work. They don't need other stuff, if they do, the admin will do it.


Yes I have. Frequently. I've been in support and admin for over 12 years. What you say is true. However, in 95% of the companies that I worked for, users wound up still installing everything they wanted, either because they got admin passwords, or got local admin, or got "temporary admin" or whatever.

But you're kind of missing the point. The reason everyone at home runs in admin is because you can't do shit as a user. If you allow a user to install software into a USER DESIGNATED AREA, and actually build your OS around that UDA so that while they CAN install software, it CANNOT affect your critical system files, your registry beyond the designated area, etc, realistically they wouldn't be able to fuck up all that much.

And in the end, shrug, if a user fucks up, pop in the Ghost disk and ten minutes later they're back up and running.

I also seriously doubt that that was the reason MS had such a monstrous discrepancy between user and admin where rights were concerned.
(and yes, I'm aware of the existence of the power user.)

Creston


 
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65. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 12:46 wtf_man
 
Your alarmist tone reminds me of XP's activation naysayers.

XP's activation is bad enough. Very inconvenient for users that swap hardware a lot (Like gamer enthusiasts). You have to ASK MS's PERMISSION to use an OS that YOU BOUGHT. That's just fucking wrong, right there.

It may not be a big deal / that inconvenient to a lot of people... but we're talking about the principle , here.

NOW, MS has taken the next step... Blocking updates is one thing... actually turning off shit in your OS is another. A very big line that SHOULD NOT BE CROSSED.

So... to all you "non-alarmists"... what's next?

Next OS... they'll completely shut down your shit?
You actually LIKE having your OS "phone home" every time you update???

The principle has less to do with the Pirates, than it does screwing over the legit users with INTRUSIVE CRAP. (Same as the stupid insert the CD / DVD for a game... and having to go through the annoyance of finding a no-cd hack... and I definitely BUY all my games)

And you "pro-MS" people keep giving them MORE control... an inch at a time.

THAT's what pisses me off, as a consumer.

If you all would take a stand and not buy the fuckin thing... MS would be forced to back down from the CRAP (Like they already have done, somewhat, with the EULA). Instead, you all are blinded by the STUPID FUCKING EYE CANDY.

/shrug
This comment was edited on Nov 10, 12:54.
 
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64. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 09:24 Dwarf_Snowninja
 
Depends on where you work. This is anectodatal, but the office I worked at for 2 years, most of the people there knew enough about computers to know that having to switch back and forth was annoying and inconvenient. With most of our projects being on a time-table and with only a limited number of it people in the office, sorry but having the admin install everything ISN'T time effective and in turn, cost effective.

And KB, stop talking like an ms parrot. There ARE issues with vista and saying they don't exist or saying they're from the end user is jumping to conclusions.

 
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63. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 04:47 Tim
 
Well, yes and no. It's true that everyone always running in admin mode is a security issue. However, the reason most people do that is because a user in Windows CAN'T FUCKING DO ANYTHING.

Why do I need to be a local admin to install software? Why can't a user do that? Isn't that in the very definition of a user? That they USE things? Like...I dunno, software?

You should only be an admin when you're changing system specific settings, like your swap file, messing with the registry, that sort of thing. A user should be able to install software into a user defined area, ditto for any .dlls that need to go into Windows\System32 (which should have been subdivided into System32\SystemCritical and System32\UserCritical ) and ditto for any registry keys that SHOULD go into HKey_Local_User.

But because MS made a user completely useless, what else are you supposed to do? Switch around constantly? Come on, who the fuck wants to deal with that shit.

A marginal amount of thinking about this would have saved a lot of security leaks.

Creston

Anger management issues aside Yeah I get where you're coming from but if you allow a user to do _everything_ then the same goes for any virus, trojan or malware Mr. Stupid User (tm) executes. You don't run as root in linux do you? Yikes..

I agree MS stuffed it up, dropped the ball, kicked themselves in the gonads by creating an environment where users were left with no choice but to run as admin to 'FUCKING DO ANYTHING' - my point was, they're trying to change that ethos and that isn't a bad thing. You ask why you have to be an admin to install stuff - well, in general, you shouldn't - but apps on Windows are built around the lack of a good security model and so they expect you to be admin. I'm hoping that'll change - of course, they'll still be occasions when an app needs to make potentially dangerous changes to the system and that's where UAC comes in - to allow the user to elevate an app for a short time to admin status (which means a lower window of opportunity for malware). You shouldn't be installing software all the time and so this shouldn't be so much of a bind.

Yes, it's MS' fault that we're where we are - but it'll take user buy-in to the new security model to change things to the way they SHOULD be. I don't hold out much hope as most people will see security as an obstruction based on what they're used to with XP. Security requires compromise and Windows users don't do that IMHO.


 
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62. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 04:38 Tim
 
Fortunately, it's not as if Microsoft touted Vista as the Windows for Gaming, so we can't really blame them for it sucking so bad for games.

Oh wait...

Unless every single dev stops making games for XP, I'm not switching. I fail to see a single benefit in Vista. Ofcourse, MS's monopoly will simply FORCE everyone to switch, yet again.

Well all very amusing but you're basically ignoring driver issues as being the major factor (and with a new driver model this isn't shocking) and the fact the DX10 _will_ see a huge drop in DX overhead for gaming. Time will tell I suppose but i'll not be shocked to see the same game running faster on Vista in DX10 mode next year - or at least with a deal more eye candy (there's always a tradeoff there).

We all have a choice tho and you're right - until there's a tangible benefit for YOU then don't make the switch.


 
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61. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 03:19 KBenna
 
Tell me, have you ever worked in an eviroment where the average user is a complete moron?

The reason why they can't install shit, is because, well - THEY DO INSTALL SHIT! And you don't want to infect you corporate network with shit.

Besides the average use have the tools already installed to do their work. They don't need other stuff, if they do, the admin will do it.


--------------------------------

it's how we got into such a mess with Windows in the first place isn't it?

Well, yes and no. It's true that everyone always running in admin mode is a security issue. However, the reason most people do that is because a user in Windows CAN'T FUCKING DO ANYTHING.

Why do I need to be a local admin to install software? Why can't a user do that? Isn't that in the very definition of a user? That they USE things? Like...I dunno, software?

You should only be an admin when you're changing system specific settings, like your swap file, messing with the registry, that sort of thing. A user should be able to install software into a user defined area, ditto for any .dlls that need to go into Windows\System32 (which should have been subdivided into System32\SystemCritical and System32\UserCritical ) and ditto for any registry keys that SHOULD go into HKey_Local_User.

But because MS made a user completely useless, what else are you supposed to do? Switch around constantly? Come on, who the fuck wants to deal with that shit.

A marginal amount of thinking about this would have saved a lot of security leaks.

Creston


------------------------

 
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60. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 02:44 Creston
 
it's how we got into such a mess with Windows in the first place isn't it?

Well, yes and no. It's true that everyone always running in admin mode is a security issue. However, the reason most people do that is because a user in Windows CAN'T FUCKING DO ANYTHING.

Why do I need to be a local admin to install software? Why can't a user do that? Isn't that in the very definition of a user? That they USE things? Like...I dunno, software?

You should only be an admin when you're changing system specific settings, like your swap file, messing with the registry, that sort of thing. A user should be able to install software into a user defined area, ditto for any .dlls that need to go into Windows\System32 (which should have been subdivided into System32\SystemCritical and System32\UserCritical ) and ditto for any registry keys that SHOULD go into HKey_Local_User.

But because MS made a user completely useless, what else are you supposed to do? Switch around constantly? Come on, who the fuck wants to deal with that shit.

A marginal amount of thinking about this would have saved a lot of security leaks.

Creston

This comment was edited on Nov 10, 02:47.
 
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59. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 02:38 Creston
 
Game performance is another thing entirely - personally I think this is driver related (we should be in a better position by shipping date) and DX10 should have a performance jump again (as it's more efficient).

Fortunately, it's not as if Microsoft touted Vista as the Windows for Gaming, so we can't really blame them for it sucking so bad for games.

Oh wait...

Unless every single dev stops making games for XP, I'm not switching. I fail to see a single benefit in Vista. Ofcourse, MS's monopoly will simply FORCE everyone to switch, yet again.

Creston

 
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58. Re: No subject Nov 10, 2006, 01:03 FreonTrip
 
Actually I'm just legitimately, thoroughly sick of Windows, and of Microsoft continuing to put its needs ahead of those of its paying customers. Vista sounds awful, and I intended to say as much. For ventry to parrot the "oh you'll see, soon this will happen all over again" line just seems insulting, and does nothing to contribute to an intelligent discussion on the subject, let alone address what many people consider valid concerns.

Bleagh. Think I'll go emulate Splatterhouse.

 
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57. Re: No subject Nov 9, 2006, 23:06 rkone
 
The same old shite as when XP was due for release.

In 1.5 to 2 years you'll all be using Vista just like you're now using XP.
With the possible exception of a few radical "burn Bill penguin heads"
The whole "wailing and moaning" process will repeat itself when the next MS OS is due for release.

QFT

FreonTrip: Your alarmist tone reminds me of XP's activation naysayers.

 
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56. Re: No subject Nov 9, 2006, 18:34 FreonTrip
 
ventry said: LOL
The same old shite as when XP was due for release.

In 1.5 to 2 years you'll all be using Vista just like you're now using XP.
With the possible exception of a few radical "burn Bill penguin heads"
The whole "wailing and moaning" process will repeat itself when the next MS OS is due for release.

===========================================================

I don't think that's nearly as true this time around. XP offered an operating system that was essentially a tweaked, user-friendly version of Windows 2000 with similar system requirements. It was a MAJOR step up from the Win9x line of operating systems, and was available at two price points, with compatibility improvements and numerous minor adjustments. The addition of mandatory product activation was inconvenient and a bit silly, but ultimately not THAT egregious.

This is a different story. Microsoft has aggressively limited the capabilities of its users for a line of operating systems which will soon succeed and replace a product that most people have - security issues notwithstanding - found quite agreeable. I'm not convinced that the security model has been significantly improved. The system requirements for anything approximating an optimal experience easily exceed those of Doom 3.* The Aero Glass visual mode seems inefficient and over-the-top. Many of its best features have been stripped away. WGA and integrated DRM effectively monitor what you do and limit what you can do with your PC - if you do something Microsoft doesn't like, they now have the ability to shut down some of your computer's functionality. Don't tell me malware authors won't work to exploit that functionality; witness worms that randomly and repeatedly delete one file from your computer within a certain span of time, and continually nag you to PAY THE AUTHOR MONEY TO STOP.

Long story short: This is much worse than XP was, and it's a sign of Microsoft's arrogance that they think a backlash won't ensue as their competitors are more publicly visible and appealing than ever before.

* No, it's not the very most current game, but there are still lots of inexpensive computers with capable CPUs using integrated Intel video and featuring 512 MB RAM. I also resent - and am perplexed by - the assumption that RAM is cheap. Price fluctuations have occurred repeatedly in the past, but even if they did remain low, IT STILL COSTS MONEY.
This comment was edited on Nov 9, 18:37.
 
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55. Hasta la Vista, Windows Nov 9, 2006, 18:18 frag.machine
 
I have XP on my notebook, and TBH I never had to reinstall it in almost 3 years of every day use. Now, I just built a new game box to me. Only for fun, I got my dusty Windows 2000 CD, slapped on it and... Guess what ? Every piece of my hardware worked just fine. I can play Doom 3 and Quake 4 on it flawlessly, no hiccups or crashes. And it uses nearly 60Mb less RAM than XP when just sitting idle. So, although I have enough RAM, CPU power and a good OpenGL video card to run Vista right now, I prefer to use it in something more productive, like playing games.

This comment was edited on Nov 9, 18:19.
 
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54. No subject Nov 9, 2006, 17:22 aesir05
 
I remember a pic of a guy holding an XP cd with the cdkey on it in front of the xp launch countdown 40 days before launch.

Expect Vista in 15 days time

Although I see no reason to upgrade since XP is running perfectly for me.

 
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