Microsoft Windows Vista Vs Windows Xp

Discussion in 'Windows XP / Older OS' started by RACERPRO, May 4, 2008.

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Microsoft Windows Vista Vs Windows Xp, What do you Use

  1. I Use Microsoft Windows Vista 32 or 64

    46.3%
  2. I Use Microsoft Windows XP 32 or 64

    53.7%
  1. dogtrack

    dogtrack MDL Novice

    Aug 18, 2008
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    Well, for what it's worth...

    ...I have just bought a new Laptop which has Vista Ultimate onboard.

    Took me a couple of days to find my way around under the Hood.

    Made a selection of changes from the default, as I use the machine for photography and videography. So I am not interested in how pretty the OS looks. I want to use the power of the machine for the task in hand. I liked XP, it worked well stripped to the bone...VISTA, I love it to bits. Cold boots in under a minute and Render times are quicker by far.

    The OLD hardware consisted of P4 3.6GHz, 2 Gig Ram with 256 MB of V-ram. Which ran faultlessly for 5 years.

    The NEW hardware consists of C2D T7500, 3 Gig Ram with 512 MB of V-ram.
    And hey, I can even watch TV while I am waiting.

    Just a personal perspective:- I dont ride the upgrade train. I run a machine with the OS that it arrived with +SPs and UDs. When it runs out of steam, and becomes uneconomical to repair, I replace it. That is the path I have followed since my introduction to PCs, back in those days of Amstrads and the wonderful Locoscript...ok, forget the wonderful bit then. :D
     
  2. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7: Microsoft Peeks Inside

    After months of silence, more Windows 7 information pours out of Microsoft: It's the second blog post in four days. Quick, where's the Twitter feed?

    The post, called "The Windows 7 Team," was blogged sometime today. My RSS reader dates the post as 4 p.m. yesterday, even though it wasn't there a few hours ago. The timestamp on the blog site is 12 a.m. today, but the first comment isn't until 4:46 p.m. Whatever the time, it's one long inside-baseball kind of post, presumably written by Steven Sinofsky, senior veep of the Windows and Windows Live Engineering group. I'll take—and you should, too—insidery stuff over nothing.

    My writing here is a bit snarky—simply can't resist—and will be so for the rest of this post. So, this is as good a place as any to praise the Engineering Windows 7, or E7, blog. It's good to see such an influential Microsoft executive as Steven Sinofsky blogging about Windows Vista's successor and using the blog as means of soliciting community, customer and even competitor feedback. The Windows Vista Team Blog, by comparison, is a marketing vehicle. So far, E7 is looking like a place for two-way conversation.

    Now, returning to the regularly scheduled snarkiness--Steven sets the record straight, and I am just so pierced because of it:

    To the surprise of both Jon and I a number of folks questioned the 'authenticity' of the post. A few even suggested that the posts are being 'ghost written' or that this blog is some sort of ploy. I am typing this directly in Windows Live Writer and hitting publish. This blog is the real deal—typos, mistakes, and all. There's no intermediary or vetting of the posts.

    Since I was one of those people suggesting the PR "vetting of the posts," I'll take that as a well-deserved slap in the face. Oh, but it hurts. I really didn't need the slapping. Reading this paragraph convinced me there could be no ghost writer:

    In general a feature team encompasses ownership of combination of architectural components and scenarios across Windows. 'Feature' is always a tricky word since some folks think of feature as one element in the user-interface and others think of the feature as a traditional architectural component (say TCP/IP). Our approach is to balance across scenarios and architecture such that we have the right level of end-to-end coverage and the right parts of the architecture.

    PR folks gag over sentence structure like this. Damn, the paragraph reads like how I sometimes write. Mercy me.

    By the way, the above paragraph is kind of important. Steven looks inside organizational areas where the Windows development team is working. He additionally observes:

    Some have said that the Windows team is just too big and that it has reached a size that causes engineering problems. At the same time, I might point out that just looking at the comments there is a pretty significant demand for a broad set of features and changes to Windows. It takes a set of people to build Windows and it is a big project.

    I've never heard that said. Have you? There have been loud complaints that Windows, meaning the code base, is too big. But the size of the team developing it—I dunno.

    I'm pulling a long quote/alphabetical list from the post, because of what it reveals about Windows 7.

    "Some of the main feature teams for Windows 7 include (alphabetically):

    * Applets and Gadgets
    * Assistance and Support Technologies
    * Core User Experience
    * Customer Engineering and Telemetry
    * Deployment and Component Platform
    * Desktop Graphics
    * Devices and Media
    * Devices and Storage
    * Documents and Printing
    * Engineering System and Tools
    * File System
    * Find and Organize
    * Fundamentals
    * Internet Explorer (including IE 8 down-level)
    * International
    * Kernel & VM
    * Media Center
    * Networking - Core
    * Networking - Enterprise
    * Networking - Wireless
    * Security
    * User Interface Platform
    * Windows App Platform

    source: microsoft-watch.com
     
  3. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Walls Without Windows

    Microsoft is about to unleash its $300 million Vista marketing campaign. Can negative perceptions be changed?

    That's an answer that can only come from seeing the campaign. Marketing isn't just enough. Microsoft has to do the right marketing.

    According to today's Wall Street Journal, the advertising campaign will be something like "Windows, Without Walls." Reverse is the situation now. A bunch of walls stand between potential customers and Vista adoption. Reasons are many, with negative perceptions being high among them.

    "Too many enterprise decision-makers are accepting out of hand all of the fear, uncertainty and doubt being proliferated on the Internet by those who do not know about which they speak," said C. Marc Wagner, a services development specialist at Indiana University in Bloomington.


    Crash Course Marketing
    Marc rightly identifies real perception problems. Many IT managers I have talked to are satisfied with Windows XP, and they have heard too much about Vista's compatibility and usability problems. It could take a whole lot of marketing to change widespread negative perceptions, assuming Microsoft can do so effectively.

    I've got my doubts about what Microsoft can do. According to the Journal, Microsoft is paying Jerry Seinfeld $10 million to appear in some of the advertising. This wouldn't be Jerry's first stand-up gig for Vista. Last year, HP featured the comedian in "The Computer Is Personal Again" commercials. In November, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows product management, told me that Microsoft would do more co-marketing campaigns like HP's.

    Newer HP marketing "Crash Course" features Shaun White giving "tips for school and beyond." I have to laugh. Why would any PC company use "crash" in marketing a Windows PC?

    I'm wondering about what's really coming, when the ad campaign launches, which, according to the Journal, will be in early September. The supposed "Windows, Without Walls" campaign uses comedians, just like HP's "The Computer Is Personal Again" campaign. Are the Journal's rumors mixed up? Will Microsoft and HP be working together? Or is Microsoft just lifting ideas from HP's campaign?

    Several of my colleagues called HP's Jerry Seinfeld ads "silly." I think they're OK, but Microsoft would have to do a whole lot better to turn around negative Vista perceptions. The Journal claims the new ads would also feature Microsoft's semi-retired chairman. Does nobody at Microsoft remember the debacle of putting together Bill Gates with Jon Stewart for the Consumer Electronics Show keynote a few years back? If Jon Stewart can't make Bill Gates funny, nobody can—not even Jerry Seinfeld.

    source: microsoft-watch.com
     
  4. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Sunlight Shines Through Vista Gloom

    The role reversal has started. Some enterprises are upgrading Windows XP to Vista, rather than downgrading to XP from Vista.

    Yes, you read that right. The enterprise gloom hanging over Vista may yet lift. But Forrester Research's weather forecast is based on a few months of trended data. The winds may be shifting, but those dark clouds of negative Vista perceptions hang low overhead.

    Still, Microsoft can use any good news about Windows Vista, and a new Forrester report has got some. The long-winded title: "Corporate Desktop Operating System Trends, Q4 2007 Through Q2 2008: Windows Vista Deployments Are Finally Ramping Up, While Mac Continues Its Slow March on the Enterprise." The analyst firm monthly surveyed more than 50,000 enterprise end users from 2,500 organizations to compile the operating system trends.

    "A new trend has emerged," writes report author Benjamin Gray. "Windows Vista migrations are now coming from Windows XP machines, which is a shift from when Forrester previously reported on these desktop OS trends." He emphasized that "the earliest adopters were mostly limited to Windows 2000 shops that were finally replacing their aging hardware with the newer Windows Vista OS preinstalled."

    But earlier Forrester data also showed percentage growth gains of three-to-one to Windows XP compared with moves to Vista from Windows 2000. So there's a dark lining to this silver cloud. Windows 2000 migrations to Vista may be subsiding, but XP got more of them.

    source: microsoft-watch.com
     
  5. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft to target Windows XP Pro users with Genuine nagware notifications

    Microsoft is stepping up its war on software pirates by rolling out new Windows Genuine notification software for what it is calling its most pirated version of Windows: Windows XP Professional.

    In an August 26 posting to the Windows Genuine Advantage blog, Director of Genuine Windows Alex Koch said XP users should expect Microsoft to begin rolling out a new version of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notifications starting this week. Microsoft is expecting the rollout to take several months.

    The new WGA notifications, which Microsoft will deliver via Windows Update, will behave like the WGA notifications introduced with Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 back in December 2007. Specifically, users whose XP copies are deemed “non-Genuine” will see their screen backgrounds default to black and notice a translucent notice, warning them that their Windows might be counterfeit.

    The WGA notification update is going to make it easier for Microsoft to detect stolen or pirated software, as well as fake product keys, Microsoft officials said. It will add new hindrances for users trying to circumvent product activation, as well, according to the new blog post.

    The new release is aimed specifically at XP Professional users. From Koch’s post:

    “Another thing we’re doing with this release is focusing on the product edition that is most often stolen. This will reduce the number of customers that will be offered the package. This release will be offered to the most pirated edition of Windows XP and therefore to users with the highest likelihood of having a non-genuine copy, those using Windows XP Pro. We’re also offering it to those using editions based on Pro code such as Tablet and Windows Media Center, but plan to narrow the offering to Pro in future releases.”

    XP users who previously have not opted in to WGA notifications will be asked to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA), rather than an installation wizard. Users who agree to the EULA are agreeing to allow the anti-piracy validation control to auto-update itself with fewer releases.

    “Microsoft is making these changes to simplify the installation process (making it easy for customers to stay up-to-date), to increase the effectiveness of these notifications, and to align experiences across Windows XP and Windows Vista,” according to a statement provided by a company spokeswoman.

    Microsoft received kudos from many users when it replaced the Vista non-Genuine “kill switch” with mere nagware. I wonder if XP Pro users will feel the same….

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  6. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft IE 8 - Great Performance

    For weeks, Microsoft has been dribbling out information about IE 8, which has to be released as a public beta this week to make the self-pronounced August release. The most recent IE 8 blog post discusses new privacy features.

    In rereading the post, from yesterday, Aug. 25, I'm thinking that I should have cared more about IE 8. Ridiculous blogs have interpreted new IE 8 privacy features as "porn mode." That's a dramatic mischaracterization of privacy enhancements that are arguably trendsetting. IE 8 will give users more control over privacy than any other browser. It's not "porn mode" but something much bigger. After deciding to write this post, I IMed my editor: "Someone should send dunce caps to ... every other blogger using that term. Idiots." I wanted to say something else, but, hey, there's nothing private about instant messaging.

    Simply put: IE 8 will let its users decide to whom they release information about their browsing habits. There are also security benefits to the new privacy features, which could be useful for limiting increasing malware risks posed by file-sharing or social networking sites. I'll be interested to see how the new privacy features work with parental controls, seeing as how IE 8 also could allow troublesome teens to better hide online activities from parents.

    Internet Explorer has long had better privacy controls than competing browsers because it supports P3P, or Platform for Privacy Preferences. Because of P3P, IE has more granular control over first-party and third-party cookies and what users do about them. For years, I've used custom settings under IE's Privacy control to "block" third-party cookies and to "prompt" for first-party cookies. P3P support offers some opt-in, where the user can once and for all accept or reject all cookies from the originating site.

    Firefox 3 improves the open-source browser's cookie controls with an option to "accept third-party cookies," which is on by default. The user can also specifically designate Web sites for which cookies are always accepted or rejected. It's a nice implementation, but IE 8 is set to greatly extend cookie control and how session data is handled. Microsoft is catching up on its early privacy lead and, in some respects, retaking it from Firefox.


    Great Performance: How to build a faster browser
    As we started planning what we wanted to accomplish with IE8, we made a conscious decision to improve how people use Internet Explorer to browse the web. Broadly stated, some of the areas we pinpointed for improvement include browser startup, navigation, and user interactions (including AJAX-style interactions within a webpage).

    Part of that focus has translated into our investment into new features like Web Slices, because in some cases the fastest browser is the one that does not need to load a webpage at all. Beyond these efforts, we have also concentrated on improving IE as a web platform.

    When we took a hard look at our goals and considered what we could do to build the best browser we were presented with a quandary. On the one hand, we could focus very narrowly on scripting performance, trusting that our investment would noticeably improve our users’ browsing experience. Alternatively, we could invest more broadly in realistic scenarios, measuring heavily-used subsystems and investing our optimization effort accordingly. We opted for the latter approach.

    After some analysis, what we found was that investing the entirety of our effort on improving JScript would not substantially improve our users’ browsing experience in most cases. For a sample of the type of data we used in our analysis, I’ve included below a breakdown of the CPU cycles consumed by some of our key subsystems when navigating to the top 100 sites in IE8 Beta 1:

    Notice that when navigating to the top 100 sites the systems exercised in typical JScript/DOM benchmarks (e.g. SunSpider) account for less than 10% of the total time. Furthermore, we analyzed several common AJAX applications and performed similar analyses, with similarly surprising results:


    source: microsoft-watch.com
     
  7. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsofts Codename a day: Geneva

    As I announced last week, I’m holding a short but sweet Microsoft codename contest this week, with the prize being a free signed copy of my Microsoft 2.0 book (which I will ship anywhere in the world to the winner).

    Since I announced the rules and regulations, I’ve gotten more than a few interesting submissions. I was seeking from readers new (but real and existing) Microsoft codenames which I’ve had yet to detail as part of my growing Microsoft Codename list. I will be running some of the best ones (as judged by yours truly) on my blog this week.

    Without further ado, let’s get to it.


    Codename of the day: Geneva
    Best guess on what it is: An identity metasystem including a new security token service and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) version 2.0

    Meaning/context of the codename: The federated identity folks at Microsoft seem to be favoring Swiss codenames as they fill out their product family. Geneva is just one of these. There’s also Zermatt (another Swiss desination). Zermatt is the programming model for Geneva. And then there’s Zurich, the .Net-based Software-Plus-Services infrastructure that Microsoft is slated to unveil at the Professional Developers Conference in late October.

    Back story: Geneva is expected to be one of a number of building-block cloud services that Microsoft will deliver as part of its “Zurich” infrastructure. Zurich will be comprised of an identity service, connectivity service, workflow service, storage service, virtualization service and others, tipsters say. Sounds like the tentative delivery target for many/most of these building-block services is the second quarter of 2009.

    Additional info: Microsoft is presenting at least one session on Geneva at its TechEd conference in Barcelona in November.

    Got a Microsoft code name you’ve been wondering about? Send it my way before the end of this week and you just might win my end-of-summer codename contest. (Winners names will be kept confidential unless they want them publicized. So don’t be shy: Microsoft employees, customers, partners, competitors and others are all eligible!)

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  8. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft Claims Windows 7 Is Not Making Vista Irrelevant

    Even if it is virtually Windows Vista at the core, or at least an evolved form of Vista, Windows 7 is being artificially dissociated from its precursor.

    At the start of August 2008, Microsoft finally put an end to the deafening silence surrounding the Windows 7 project, and started actually communicating bits and pieces about the next iteration of the Windows client. The most relevant initiative from Microsoft is the Windows 7 Engineering mouthpiece with contributions from Senior Vice Presidents Steven Sinofsky and Jon DeVaan, and the Windows 7 Engineering team members. However, Microsoft claims that the pitter-patter of barely significant Windows 7 details is not making Vista irrelevant.

    "Windows Vista is still very much relevant today. There is still very much to say in regards to Windows Vista and lots more experiences to blog about surrounding Windows Vista and Windows Live. Our blogs here won't be going away. We continue to add value to Windows Vista with releases such as Windows Search 4.0 and coming soon the Beta 2 release of Internet Explorer 8. You can also expect us to take part in the ongoing discussion taking place from the Engineering Windows 7 blog on building the next version of Windows as well," revealed Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc.

    The most representative aspect indicating that Microsoft is breaking away from Vista with the next version of Windows, is the fact that the E7 website is hosted under the Internet Explorer brand umbrella, and not under that of the official Windows Vista Team Blog (with the Windows Experience appendix). E7 is not even a Windows 7 blog per se, but a source of information, and the agora designed to catalyze an open dialog on the way Microsoft is building the next version of Windows.

    "The one thing you won't find on the Engineering Windows 7 Blog is major product announcements. The focus is to simply the engineering of Windows 7. Not only can we expect posts from both Steven and Jon on the Engineering Windows 7 Blog, we can also expect to hear from other members of the engineering team who are essentially building the next version of Windows as we speak," LeBlanc stated.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  9. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    How to Downgrade from Windows Vista Business or Ultimate OEM Edition

    A lot of users still don’t getting used to Windows Vista. A lot of reviews have been labeling Windows Vista as bloated, hard to use, tons of compatibility issues, inconvenient, not user friendly, not stable and etc.

    Unfortunately, Windows XP has been phased out, and now most OEM desktop and notebook computer from brands such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Acer and other shipped and pre-factory installed with Windows Vista rather than Windows XP.


    According to Microsoft:
    OEM downgrade rights for desktop PC operating systems apply to Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate as stated in the License Terms. Please note, OEM downgrade versions of Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate are limited to Windows XP Professional (including Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP x64 Edition). End users can use the following media for their downgrade: Volume Licensing media (provided the end user has a Volume Licensing agreement), retail (FPP), or system builder hologram CD (provided the software is acquired in accordance with the Microsoft OEM System Builder License). Use of the downgraded operating system is governed by the Windows Vista Business License Terms, and the end user cannot use both the downgrade operating system and Windows Vista. There are no downgrade rights granted for Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Home Premium.

    For user who doesn’t want to pay any more payment to OEM brand vendor after paying a hefty price to buy the desktop PC, laptop or notebook computer that comes with Windows Vista Ultimate or Business edition, but want to downgrade to Windows XP, try the following trick to activate Windows XP for free yet legitimate genuine workaround.

    1. Retrieve and record down the product key for the Windows Vista Business or Ultimate edition that is currently installed. There are various tools available for reveal the product key installed in Windows, or you can look at the OEM Certificate of Authenticity sticker pasted on the machine’s casing.
    2. Find a valid legitimate Windows XP Professional setup CD media and install Windows XP on the system. User can use any valid, but not pirated copy of VL media, retail (FPP), or OEM CD such as those coming with old PC.
    3. After installation, log onto Windows.
    4. When asked to activate Windows (or go to “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “System Tools” -> “Activate Windows” or right click on “Computer” and click “Click here to activate Windows”), click Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to active Windows now to use automated phone system to activate Windows.
    5. An Installation ID will be displayed on screen in Step 3, together with an option to select the location where user is nearest to in Step 1.
    6. After selecting your country, toll and toll-free phone numbers to call to connect to Microsoft customer care is displayed. Dial to call the corresponding number.
    7. Follow the automated voice recognition and response system to get to talk with a human customer care representative. The phone system will initially require Installation ID to be entered. Just input anything so that after a few failed attempt, user can talk to a human.
    8. Tell the customer care representative that you would like to downgrade from Windows Vista to Windows XP. When asked, give the Windows Vista product key you have and the source of the Windows XP media used to install the machine.
    9. After validation by Microsoft customer care, a Confirmation ID will be given, which should be entered into the Step 4 of “Activate Windows by Phone” wizard to activate Windows proper. If you wish, you can request for a new Windows XP product key too.

    source: mydigitallife.net
     
  10. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Non-Windows Microsoft OS Midori – "The Windows Killer"

    Windows is one product that is not lacking in Nemesis candidates. From Apple's Mac OS X to the open source Linux, to RIA cloud-based operating systems, potential Microsoft Windows killers are advertised in a variety of scenarios incongruent with reality.

    Microsoft's own non-Windows platforms Singularity and Midori are the latest additions to the list of items designed to supersede Windows as the Redmond company's current flagship product becomes antiquated, obsolete and inferior. However, Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich indicated that a Windows killer, especially Midori, is nothing but a pipe dream.

    An evolution of the Singularity project from Microsoft Research, Midori is a componentized platform written from scratch in managed code, and an incubation project under the leadership of Eric Rudder, senior vice president, Technical Strategy. The leaked information on Midori, combined with the shock of Microsoft reinventing the OS, catalyzed a wave of speculation about the complete exclusion of Windows from the future of the Redmond giant's platforms. Russinovich indeed confirmed that Midori was cooking under Rudder.

    "The Midori incubation, [developed] under Eric Rudder, and that's basically taking the concepts of Singularity, which is a totally managed .NET collected OS, and investigating ways to make the [operating system] really scalable across different nodes and asynchronous responsive and they've got this asynchronous programming model they're building on top of that," Russinovich revealed.

    However, the Microsoft technical fellow is not as fast when it comes to jumping the gun on the future of Windows. In fact, Russinovich indicated that even with projects like Singularity and Midori, the evolution of Microsoft's operating systems will lead to... Windows.

    "As far as the future of Windows, and Windows being something not based on what Windows is today... I'm working in Windows, I'm not working in Midori, I'm not working in some other incubation. So I think that kind of answers the question right there about what I think will happen to Windows, and that is that the future will be Windows of some kind," he forecasted.

    The reason is, of course, related to the work that has been already poured into Windows, an effort that is by no means limited to Microsoft. In fact, the largest ecosystem of software and hardware solutions in the world today is built around Windows. Microsoft is simply not going to throw such a legacy away. "It just doesn't make sense to me. What amazes me is that people just say let's throw everything away and start over, because there's so much that's been invested in things that are in Windows," Russinovich added.

    In the video fragment embedded at the bottom of this article, starting with 27:10, Russinovich discusses Midori and the future of Windows. Microsoft is hammering away at the first Beta of Windows 7, the successor of Windows Vista, and the next major iteration of the Windows client, and plans are already in place for the delivery of Windows 8, which will succeed Windows 7.

    "If you look at how much work has been put into the kernel, the Windows kernel is, in my opinion and the numbers back this up, the most scalable kernel, the one that supports the most drivers of any kernel, hardware devices than any kernel on the planet, if you just focus on the PC hardware and server-class hardware," Russinovich pointed out. "And that's just a huge investment, a huge asset that we've got and I don't think that it makes sense to just toss that. It does a great job, and it's not perfect, and there's no kernel that's perfect, or OS that's perfect, but that's probably million of man-years of work that's gone into tuning it, and designing it, and implementing it."

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  11. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 -- Approach to System Performance

    Many folks have commented and written email about the topic of performance of Windows. The dialog has been wide ranging—folks consistently want performance to improve (of course).

    As with many topics we will discuss, performance, as absolute and measurable as it might seem, also has a lot of subtlety. There are many elements and many tradeoffs involved in achieving performance that meets everyone’s expectations. We know that even meeting expectations, folks will want even more out of their Windows PCs (and that’s expected). We’ve re-dedicated ourselves to work in this area in Windows 7 (and IE 8). This is a major initiative across each of our feature teams as well as the primary mission of one of our feature teams (Fundamentals). For this post, I just wanted to frame the discussion as we dig into the topic of performance in subsequent posts. Folks might find this post on IE8 performance relevant along with the beta 2 release of IE 8.

    Performance is made up of many different elements. We could be talking about response time to a specific request. It might mean how much RAM is “typical” or what CPU customers need. We could be talking about the clock time to launch a program. It could mean boot or standby/resume. It could mean watching CPU activity or disk I/O activity (or lack disk activity). It could mean battery life. It might even mean something as mundane as typical disk footprint after installation. All of these are measures of performance. All of these are systematically tracked during the course of development. We track performance by running a known set of scenarios (there are thousands of these) and developers can run specific scenarios based on exercising more depth or breadth. The following represent some (this is just a partial list) of the metrics we are tracking and while developing Windows 7:

    * Memory usage – How much memory a given scenario allocates during a run. As you know, there is a classic tradeoff in time v. space in computer science and we’re not exempt. We see this tradeoff quite a bit in caches where you can use more memory (or disk space) in order to improve performance or to avoid re-computing something.
    * CPU utilization – Clearly, modern microprocessors offer enormous processing power and with the advent of multiple cores we see the opportunity for more parallelism than ever before. Of course these resources are not free so we measure the CPU utilization across benchmark runs as well. In general, the goal should be to keep the CPU utilization low as that improves multi-user scenarios as well as reduces power consumption.
    * Disk I/O – While hard drives have improved substantially in performance we still must do everything we can do minimize the amount that Windows itself does in terms of reading and writing to disk (including paging of course). This is an area receiving special attention for Windows 7 with the advent of solid state storage devices that have dramatically different “characteristics”.
    * Boot, Shutdown, Standby/Resume – All of these are the source of a great deal of focus for Windows 7. We recognize these can never be fast enough. For these topics the collaboration with the PC manufacturers and hardware makers plays a vital role in making sure that the times we see in a lab (or the performance you might see in a “clean install”) are reflected when you buy a new PC.
    * Base system – We do a great deal to measure and tune the base system. By this we mean the resource utilization of the base system before additional software is loaded. This system forms the “platform” that defines what all developers can count on and defines the system requirements for a reasonable experience. A common request here is to kick something out of the base system and then use it “on demand”. This tradeoff is one we work on quite a bit, but we want to be careful to avoid the situation where the vast majority of customers face the “on demand” loading of something which might reduce perceived performance of common scenarios.
    * Disk footprint – While not directly related to runtime performance, many folks see the footprint of the OS as indicative of the perceived performance. We have some specific goals around this metric and will dive into the details soon as well. We’ll also take some time to explain \Windows\WinSxS as it is often the subject of much discussion on technet and msdn! Here rather than runtime tradeoffs we see convenience tradeoffs for things like on disk device drivers, assistance content, optional Windows components, as well as diagnostics and logging information.

    We have criteria that we apply at the end of our milestones and before we go to beta and we won’t ship without broadly meeting these criteria. Sometimes these criteria are micro-benchmarks (page faults, processor utilization, working set, gamer frame rates) and other times they are more scenario based and measure time to complete a task (clock time, mouse clicks). We do these measurements on a variety of hardware platforms (32-bit or 64-bit; 1, 2, 4GB of RAM; 5400 to 7200 RPM or solid-state disks; a variety of processors, etc.) Because of the inherent tradeoffs in some architectural approaches, we often introduce conditional code that depends on the type of hardware on which Windows is running.

    source: blogs.msdn.com
     
  12. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

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    Windows 7 Performance Pillars

    Attempting to avoid the rather sluggish experience that has become inherently associated with Windows Vista RTM, Microsoft promised, through the voice of Steven Sinofsky, that Windows 7 would not set a single “bit” out of Redmond until it would meet a set of performance criteria.

    The Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, is determined to have the next iteration of the Windows client rise up to the new performance standards as early as the first Beta, but especially with the gold version.

    “Performance, as absolute and measurable as it might seem, also has a lot of subtlety. There are many elements and many tradeoffs involved in achieving performance that meets everyone’s expectations. We know that even meeting expectations, folks will want even more out of their Windows PCs (and that’s expected). We’ve re-dedicated ourselves to work in this area in Windows 7 (and IE 8). This is a major initiative across each of our feature teams as well as the primary mission of one of our feature teams (Fundamentals),” Sinofsky stated.

    The very subtlety of performance depends on a variety of factors, as Sinofsky indicated. And in this context, making Windows 7 fly will require optimizations across the operating system, with emphasis placed on memory, CPU, disk I/O, boot, shutdown, standby/resume, base system and disk footprint.

    “How much memory a given scenario allocates during a run. As you know, there is a classic tradeoff in time v. space in computer science and we’re not exempt. We see this tradeoff quite a bit in caches where you can use more memory (or disk space) in order to improve performance or to avoid re-computing something,” Sinofsky said.

    Vista was by all counts a RAM hog. The current version of Windows can swallow every last piece of RAM, and still appear hungry for more. At the same time, Microsoft failed to make Vista faster than Windows XP on similar system configurations. In this respect, processor utilization is also an item worth considering. As hardware evolves and CPUs with multiple cores become the standard, there will simply be an increasing amount of horsepower for Windows 7 to use. However, Microsoft is tweaking the operating system in order to reduce utilization and power consumption as much as possible.

    “Disk I/O - while hard drives have improved substantially in performance we still must do everything we can do minimize the amount that Windows itself does in terms of reading and writing to disk (including paging of course). This is an area receiving special attention for Windows 7 with the advent of solid state storage devices that have dramatically different “characteristics”,” Sinofsky added.

    At the same time, Windows 7 will sport faster boot, shutdown, and standby/resume times. The Redmond company is focusing greatly on making Vista's successor as fast as possible in these areas, where Windows has traditionally suffered greatly.

    The Windows 7 base system is also analyzed and in the process of being optimized. In this context, the Redmond company is working to tune up the amount of resources used by the base system, before any of the third-party software is loaded. However, Sinofsky stated that componentizing the base system into on-demand pieces might be a move that would eventually end up hurting performance rather than helping it.

    “Disk footprint – while not directly related to runtime performance, many folks see the footprint of the OS as indicative of the perceived performance. We have some specific goals around this metric and will dive into the details soon as well. We’ll also take some time to explain WindowsWinSxS as it is often the subject of much discussion on technet and msdn! Here rather than runtime tradeoffs we see convenience tradeoffs for things like on disk device drivers, assistance content, optional Windows components, as well as diagnostics and logging information,” Sinofsky explained.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  13. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

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    Is Windows too expensive?

    I’m really hoping that Steven Sinofsky will kick off a discussion about Windows 7 pricing over on the Engineering Windows 7 blog sometime soon. I’m not holding my breath because the chances of seeing an open debate on pricing is highly unlikely, but I can dream, can’t I?

    My take on the issue of Windows pricing is that as things stand, Vista (OEM, upgrade and new license) is too expensive compared to the price of hardware. When a decent PC cost $1,000+ it wasn’t unreasonable that an OEM copy of the OS system builder would set you back some $100+, but now that you can put together a good quality PC for $260, it really doesn’t make sense that buying Windows Vista should add a third again to the price.

    I think that deep down, Microsoft knows that Vista is too expensive. Back in February we saw Microsoft do something that it’s not well known for and cut the price of certain upgrade editions of Vista (Vista Ultimate dropped from $299 to $219, while Home Premium went from $159 to $129).

    Another thing that Microsoft could do to help home users who have more than one PC is introduce a family pack such as the one that Apple has (5 licenses for $199). I think that something like this from Redmond would encourage upgrades and help to make piracy a less attractive option.

    Given the reception that Vista has had, along with the price drop we saw in February, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Windows 7 coming entering the market at a cheaper price point.

    Aside …

    Just for laughs I decided to pay Dell (a company gaining market share at the expense of the bottom line at present) a visit and see what the price difference was between an Ubuntu-powered system and one running Windows. I configured two XPS M1330 notebooks (Ubuntu|Windows) to have a similar spec (I couldn’t get them exactly the same because the wireless network card differed between the two … not that it matters that much).

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  14. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Microsoft: Disable or Remove the Pilot of WGA Notifications

    Microsoft is providing end users with the instructions necessary to disable or remove altogether the WGA Notifications anti-piracy mechanism from Windows XP.

    However, according to the Redmond company, only the pilot version of the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications can be either rendered useless or uninstalled completely. The software giant says that the general release build of WGA Notifications will automatically remove the version deployed in the pilot program. At the end of August 2008, Microsoft made available an update to WGA Validation and WGA Notifications for Windows XP (including SP3).

    "These instructions have not been tested on the general release version of the WGA Notifications. Therefore, these instructions are not supported. Microsoft will offer the general release version of WGA Notifications to users who uninstall the pilot version at a later date. These users will obtain the general release version through the Microsoft Automatic Update service," the company informed.

    According to the Redmond giant, the pilot versions of WGA Notifications range from 1.5.0527.0 to 1.5.0532.2. Via Add or Remove Programs, Windows XP - Software, Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications, and "Click here for support information," users will be able to find the version data for their respective installation of WGA Notifications. In order to simply disable the anti-piracy mechanism, users will have to change the extensions of the following files: "WgaLogon" and "WgaTray" to .OLD. After the renaming process the two items should be %Windir%\system32\WgaLogon.dll to %Windir%\system32\WgaLogon.old and %Windir%\system32\WgaTray.exe to %Windir%\system32\WgaTray.old. A restart will be required in order for the process to be complete.

    For the manual uninstalling of WGA Notifications, the same steps as above have to be followed, but in addition, users will have to "unregister LegitCheckControl.dll by using Regsvr32. To do this click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK. at the command prompt, type the following, and then press ENTER: egsvr32 %Windir%\system32\LegitCheckControl.dll /u. Restart the computer," Microsoft informed.

    In addition, users are required to enter the following at a command prompt and hit Enter after each item: Del %Windir%\system32\wgalogon.old; Del %Windir%\system32WgaTray.old; and Del %Windir%\system32\LegitCheckControl.dll. And in order to complete the uninstallation there are two registry subkeys that will need to be deleted: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\WgaLogon and KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\WgaNotify.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  15. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7 must avoid the marketing trap

    Windows 7 must avoid the marketing trap that Vista stumbled into.

    I’ve been following the Engineering Windows 7 blog closely and I’ve come to the conclusion that while Steven Sinofsky is a man of many words, those words don’t say an awful lot. However, the other day Sinofsky did say something quite interesting:

    We heard lots on this forum about providing specific versions of Windows customized for different audiences, while we also heard quite a bit about the need to reduce the number of versions of Windows. However, there are limits to what we can provide and at the same time provide a reliable “platform” that customers and developers can count on and is robust and manageable for a broad set of customers. [emphasis added]

    This is the trap that Windows Vista fell into, thanks to marketing. Here you have an OS that comes in four retail flavors (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate), but the differences between these editions comes down to little more than arbitrary decisions made for the sake of marketing and being able to sell existing users an upgrade. For example, someone made the decision that home users were idiots and wouldn’t want a complete backup and restore feature, and that business users wouldn’t want to make DVDs. Given this, and what Sinofsky says about needing to provide a reliable platform, I really can’t understand how the Vista experience ended up being smeared over four editions. Home Basic is little more than a “get out of jail free card” for OEMs to allow them to sell PCs with underpowered GPUs and Ultimate was sold to users on the promise of “Extras” which largely turned out to be vaporware. Given how even on-board GPUs have improved over the last year or so, I doubt that a similar edition will be necessary come Windows 7.

    Also, if you exclude Home Basic from the mix, the gap in suggested retail price between Home Premium and Ultimate is $60 (the difference in price for the OEM system builder versions is, oddly enough, $80), and so I really don’t think that increased revenues from the version with more features justifies all the consumer confusion that the various versions create. If marketing doesn’t have a say in things I’m predicting that Windows 7 will come in two flavors (Home and Pro). There’s no reason to have any more versions. Personally, I’d prefer it that Microsoft copied Apple and released only a single version for the desktop, but that’s unlikely.

    What I’d like to see Windows 7 have is a selection of performance modes that would allow you to shut down unnecessary processes and services when you wanted to play a game or use your system for a demanding task. That would be far more use than a bunch of different editions that boiled down to pretty much the same thing.

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  16. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

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    10 fundamental differences between Linux and Windows

    I have been around the Linux community for more than 10 years now. From the very beginning, I have known that there are basic differences between Linux and Windows that will always set them apart.

    This is not, in the least, to say one is better than the other. It’s just to say that they are fundamentally different. Many people, looking from the view of one operating system or the other, don’t quite get the differences between these two powerhouses. So I decided it might serve the public well to list 10 of the primary differences between Linux and Windows.

    1: Full access vs. no access
    2: Licensing freedom vs. licensing restrictions
    3: Online peer support vs. paid help-desk support
    4: Full vs. partial hardware support
    5: Command line vs. no command line
    6: Centralized vs. noncentralized application installation
    7: Flexibility vs. rigidity
    8: Fanboys vs. corporate types
    9: Automated vs. nonautomated removable media
    10: Multilayered run levels vs. a single-layered run level

    Those are 10 fundamental differences between Linux and Windows. You can decide for yourself whether you think those differences give the advantage to one operating system or the other. Me? Well I think my reputation (and opinion) precedes me, so I probably don’t need to say I feel strongly that the advantage leans toward Linux.

    source: blogs.techrepublic.com.com
     
  17. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Over 2 Years of Feedback for Windows 7, and Counting

    Even though Microsoft has only recently started talking Windows 7, in preparation for events such as the professional Developer Conference 2008, WinHEC 2008 and TechEd EMEA 2008, the fact of the matter is that Windows Vista's successor has been in development since 2007.

    In fact, for the past couple of years, namely as early as the end of 2006, the Redmond giant has been collecting feedback on Windows 7. And this process is by no means at an end, as it is bound to continue even following the market availability of the next iteration of the Windows client.

    "Over the last two years we’ve had a team of dozens of professional researchers fielding surveys, listening to focus groups, and analyzing telemetry and product usage data leading up to the vision and during the development of Windows 7 – and we’re not done yet. From our independently run marketing research to reading your feedback on this blog we will continue to refine our product and the way we talk about it to customers and partners alike. That doesn’t mean that every wish goes answered! One of the hardest jobs of planning is in turning all of this data into actionable plans for development," revealed Mike Angiulo, Windows PC Ecosystem and Planning lead.

    In addition to events and conferences such as TechEd, WinHEC, PDC and input gathered through surveys, the largest harvester of feedback is integrated within the Windows architecture, telemetry systems that send millions and millions of records to Microsoft, of course only with end users’ consent, and without any identifiable data.

    According to Microsoft, the marrying of the feedback with the development process of Windows 7 is focused on three key areas. The company needs to ensure an equilibrium between the novelty aspect of the new Windows platform and the operating system's capacity to deliver satisfaction throughout its lifecycle. Another balance has to be achieved when it comes to handling aggregate and individual user input, in order to tailor the resulting product for the general case scenario designed to satisfy all consumers. At the same time, Microsoft needs to deliver the right operating system at the right time, and an example of what not to do in this matter is of course Windows Vista.

    "We have input on key tradeoffs. We have a position on future trends. That’s usually enough to get started on the next version of the product and we stay connected with customers and partners during throughout development to keep our planning consistent with our initial direction but isn’t enough to know we’re ready to ship. Really being done has always required some post engineering feedback phase whether it’s a Community Technical Preview, Technology Adoption Program or a traditional public Beta," Angiulo stated.

    source: news.softpedia.com
     
  18. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Windows 7: Boot time under 15 seconds?

    When Microsoft was developing Vista, or Longhorn, as it was known way back when, company officials were fond of making promises about ways that Microsoft would improve on Windows XP with its next-generation Windows release.


    With Windows 7, Microsoft’s goal seems to be to provide as few promises as possible against which the final product can and will be compared and measured. That said, over the Labor Day weekend in a post by Distinguished Engineer Michael Fortin — who leads the Fundamnetals feature team in the Core Operating Systems Group — Microsoft did dangle one tangible tidbit about Windows 7. From the post:

    “For Windows 7, a top goal is to significantly increase the number of systems that experience very good boot times. In the lab, a very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds.”

    (The reason I put a question mark in the headline of my post is because Fortin doesn’t actually go so far as to say that Microsoft is promising to hit the rarefied “in the lab” boot-time measure. But the implication is definitely there.)

    The August 29 post goes on to discuss how Microsoft is aiming to reduce the number of system services in Windows 7, “as well as reduce their CPU, disk and memory demand” as part of the quest to improve overall system performance with Windows 7. Windows 7 will include more enhancements to pre-fetching, which was introduced initially as part of Windows XP, according to Fortin’s post, and more parallelism in driver initialization — two more ways Microsoft is counting on speeding up initial system boot times.

    Microsoft also is working with PC makers to show them ways to improve Windows 7 system performance, as well, Fortin blogged. He wrote:

    “(W)e’d like to point out there is considerable engagement with our partners underway. In scanning dozens of systems, we’ve found plenty of opportunity for improvement and have made changes. Illustrating that, please consider the following data taken from a real system. As the system arrived to us, the off-the-shelf configuration had a ~45 second boot time. Performing a clean install of Vista SP1 on the same system produced a consistent ~23 second boot time. Of course, being a clean install, there were many fewer processes, services and a slightly different set of drivers (mostly the versions were different). However, we were able to take the off-the-shelf configuration and optimize it to produce a consistent boot time of ~21 seconds, ~2 seconds faster than the clean install because some driver/BIOS changes could be made in the optimized configuration.”

    The much-touted official “Engineering Windows 7? blog has provided a lot of words about how Microsoft developers think about building an operating system and how/why certain trade-offs are made. But specifics on Windows 7 features? Sounds like Microsoft won’t be sharing anything substantial on that until it releases a broader test build of 7, which is expected around the time of the Professional Developers Conference in late October.

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  19. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Is Microsoft is putting Windows 7 on a diet?

    Until I had a chance to look at some new screen shots on LiveSide.Net of Windows Live MovieMaker — yet another of the Windows Live Wave 3 services going to beta real soon now — I hadn’t really put two and two together.

    The lightbulb that just went off: As part of Microsoft’s mission to insure that Windows 7 and Windows Live Wave 3 are joined at the hip, Microsoft is exorcising features that used to be part of Windows from the operating system.

    I had a similar, half-formed idea about this earlier this year, when I wrote “Windows 7 might go to pieces.” But now it’s crystalizing further….

    Think this through: Microsoft has been hit with lawsuits (and threatened with additional new lawsuits) over its propensity to add formerly unbundled features to Windows. When I heard about its plans to tightly integrate Windows Live and Windows 7, I immediately thought that the company was opening itself up, yet again, to more potential antitrust actions.

    But what Microsoft seems to be doing, instead, is continuing to gradually remove certain features — like MovieMaker (which one codename tipster reminded me last week has been going internally by the name “Sundance”), Mail, Photo Gallery, Messenger, etc. — from Windows and making them optional add-on services. (MovieMaker, for example, was cut from Windows Vista around the time of the Longhorn reset.)

    Yes, these Wave 3 Windows Live services still have a software component (as required as part of Microsoft’s Software + Service strategy). But to get that component, you are going to have to download the software onto your Windows machine — or at least agree to install it if it’s already preloaded somewhere on a new system.

    Could Microsoft have found a way to secure one of the flanks that its opponents have used to keep the company in check in recent years, specifically, the threat of antitrust suits if and when the Redmondians decide to bundle any new bits with the Windows OS? Can you envision other formerly bundled pieces of Windows that Microsoft could and should turn into Live Services?

    source: blogs.zdnet.com
     
  20. RACERPRO

    RACERPRO MDL Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Is Windows Marketing Nothing or Something?

    Microsoft has formally announced its new Windows marketing campaign. I'm baffled. Are you?

    The first TV commercial, featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, aired last night. Jerry helps Bill buy shoes. Microsoft's press release explains what I had already figured out: "Some may wonder what Jerry Seinfeld helping Bill Gates pick out a new pair of shoes has to do with software. The answer, in the classic Seinfeld sense of the word, is nothing."

    Huh? Isn't advertising supposed to be about something? When I was a kid, singer Billy Preston had a big hit with song "Nothing from Nothing." The song wasn't my taste, but it was a No. 1 hit. From the lyric:

    "Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin' You gotta have somethin' If you wanna be with me"

    A commercial about nothing is nothing. Right? Commercials are supposed to be memorable. Advertising's goal is make an impression and associate that impression with a brand. Maybe I expect too much from Microsoft and ad agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. Maybe I don't have enough sense of humor. Or maybe nothing from nothing really is nothing.

    Here's the problem: Windows Vista is a troubled product that has had little marketing support for about 18 months. Microsoft is spending at least $300 million on a new marketing campaign. I expected Microsoft to capture the imagination and endear people to Windows. The first commercial leaves the viewer remembering Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfeld and the "Conquistador" shoe.

    Two different people I spoke to about the commercial bristled about racism, because of the churros, Hispanic onlookers in the store window and the "Conquistador" name of the shoes. I wouldn't go that far, but I will observe that more air time was given to the shoe store window than to Windows. My wife exclaimed, "Oh, lighten up!" She didn't see any racism in the 90-second spot.

    She said: "To me it's funny—the Hispanic family in the window—because they don't say, 'Oh, it's Bill Gates.' It's the Conquistador." Oh, you mean Bill Gates isn't the Conquistador, honey?

    She laughed at the commercial, by the way. Frequently. Is this like a woman thing, or am I just too much the sourpuss to laugh? The commercial did make an impression on my wife, who described it as "funny" but "strange;" she didn't see the connection to Windows.

    source: microsoft-watch.com