Windows

10 predictions for Windows 8, revisited

Before the details emerged on what to expect from Windows 8, Brien Posey went out on a limb with his predictions. Here's a look at how he did. (Hint: Not so good.)

Back in 2011, I made a series of educated guesses about what we could expect from Windows 8. At the time, there were almost no concrete details available about the new operating system, and I had no inside information. Now that Windows 8 is about to be released, I thought it might be fun to look back at my predictions and see how I did.

1: ARM Support

This one was kind of a gimme. Microsoft had announced that Windows 8 would run on ARM long before I compiled my list of predictions. Technically, however, it isn't Windows 8 that runs on ARM, but rather a Windows 8 variant called Windows RT.

2: Separation from the server

My second prediction was that Microsoft might have to get away from developing Windows desktop and Windows client in parallel. My reasoning was that the two operating systems were becoming too different, especially with Windows 8 beginning to support ARM processors. Obviously I got this prediction dead wrong. Microsoft designed Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 as a part of the same development cycle.

3: OS on a diet

For as long as I can remember, people have complained that Windows is an overly bloated operating system. In fact, one of the reasons why Windows Vista never caught on was that it was bloated and ran slowly. My prediction was that Microsoft was going to dramatically reduce the size of the Windows 8 operating system. I based the prediction on the idea that the OS would have to run on PCs, ARM devices (such as tablets and phones), and run from a USB flash drive.

We won't know for sure how large Windows 8 will be until it is released. But I decided to compare the contents of the Windows folder on a machine running Windows 7 Ultimate against the same folder on a machine running the Windows 8 Release Preview. The Windows 7 machine's Windows folder consumed 21.25 GB of space. That same folder on a Windows 8 machine consumed 10.94 GB of space.

It is worth noting that Microsoft's stated system requirements for the Windows 8 release preview are 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) of disk space. These are identical to the system requirements for Windows 7.

4: Goodbye to 32-bit support

Pretty much every computer that's being sold today includes a 64-bit CPU, and this has been the case for quite some time. So I predicted that Windows 8 would not run on 32-bit PCs.

Although I haven't heard any official confirmation, it seems that Windows 8 will be available in 64-bit and 32-bit editions after all. The public betas have all been available for both 64-bit and 32-bit systems. I have to admit that Microsoft really disappointed me with this one. I thought that we had surely moved past the days of 32-bit computing. On the upside, at least consumers with older systems may still be able to take advantage of the new operating system if they choose.

5: Virtual plugins

My fifth prediction needs a little bit of explaining. I said that Windows 7 was actually a model for Windows 8 in some ways. As you will recall, Microsoft offers something called Windows XP mode in some editions of Windows 7. With Windows XP mode, Windows XP runs as a virtual machine, but in a rather unique way. Users can either use the Windows XP desktop or they can run applications transparently through the Windows 7 desktop, even though those applications are actually running on Windows XP.

My prediction was that Microsoft would use the same model for Windows 8. I thought that instead of providing backward compatibility to legacy operating systems within the Windows a kernel, Microsoft would create virtual instances of legacy operating systems that function as plugins to Windows 8.

Microsoft chose not to design Windows 8 in this way. Instead, it is including Hyper-V in the desktop operating system so that users may use it to run virtual machines.

6: Heavy reliance on the cloud

My sixth prediction was that Windows 8 would be heavily focused on the cloud. After all, over the past couple of years Microsoft has gone all-in with its investment in cloud technology. I predicted that Windows 8 would enable cloud applications appear to users as if they are installed and running locally.

Actually, I feel almost guilty for making this prediction because it was a bit of a no-brainer. It's also one of the few predictions I got correct. Microsoft is even referring to Windows 8 as a "cloud-enabled OS."

7: Native support for virtualized apps

My seventh prediction was that Windows 8 would feature native support for sandboxed applications. For example, I predicted that Internet Explorer would run in a sandboxed environment as a way of preventing malicious Web sites from infecting the system.

But rather than designing Internet Explorer to run as a sandboxed virtual application, Microsoft introduced Enhanced Protected Mode and a number of other new security features. One of the big reasons why Microsoft decided not to completely sandbox Internet Explorer was that it wanted to preserve Internet Explorer's ability to interact with other desktop applications.

8: A bigger distinction between the consumer and the enterprise versions

My eighth prediction was that Microsoft would make the professional version of Windows 8 small and lightweight but would load up the consumer version with lots of extras that aren't found in the professional version.

In actuality, Microsoft is making a big distinction between the various versions of Windows 8 and Windows RT, but aside from the fact that Windows RT will include Microsoft Office preinstalled, it is the Windows 8 Enterprise Edition that will see the vast majority of the features that aren't included in other editions. For more details, see this feature comparison chart.

9: Hardware to drive software sales

My ninth prediction was that Microsoft would use support for specialized hardware to woo customers back to PC environments. I fully expected Windows 8 to have native support for the Kinect sensor, for example. Even though I seem to have gotten that prediction wrong, one could say that Microsoft has used hardware to drive sales in the form of Microsoft Surface tablets.

10: A new name

My final prediction was that the operating system would not be called Windows 8. Every few years, Microsoft's marketing team likes to switch things up and rename products, and it just seemed like it was time for Windows to be rebranded. From a PC perspective, I got this prediction wrong. However, the ARM version of Windows 8 was named Windows RT (for Windows Run Time), so I guess I wasn't completely off base.

Conclusion

I think that the one thing this article proves is that I am not a psychic. By my count, two of my predictions came true, at least four of my predictions were very, very wrong, and the others fell into a grey area somewhere in between.

How about you?

How well does Windows 8 map to your early predictions and expectations? Are you pleasantly surprised or disappointed? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.

About

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.

66 comments
Naqv
Naqv

Informative discusstion here.

guillerme
guillerme

I'm quite impressed and curious how will it change the OS conception.

SpiritualMadMan
SpiritualMadMan

I am sorry, But, if the only apps useabe are Cloud based then I'm going to Linux! *Maybe* the Cloud is a great off site back-up, But, maybe the NSA is shifting through everything oing to/from the Cloud, encrypted or not. Ever hear of government Back Doors? And, as we continue to see the erosion of freedoms in America. Any data accessible can and will be misrepresented and sed against either in a court of law or released without disclosure,,,,

tolubalogun
tolubalogun

You wrote the predictions and also wrote how and why you got it wrong? I say way to go man.

darkstartito
darkstartito

The subject might confuse you but here is my view, There is not a single tablet and smartphone that I can use to do my everyday work. At first I was excited to see iPad but then I was bored within one week, Bought Motorolla Xoom, same lame laggy OS (even with ICS) as my Galaxy S II. Never used it since. No offense to all the Mac/Apple and Google lovers.To me these devices are just for passing your boring time and you can only do some certain things like browsing, facebooking, Googling or may be to create some samples with Garage Band :-) . [quote]But for idiots like us we still need a [b]desktop[/b] to actually do some proper work.[/quote] This is the second time in my life I'm excited about Microsoft after windows 2000. Yes I'm being really honest. I saw Windows 8. Downloaded the first consumer preview, has been using it for last 3 months roughly. Boy this is so smooth. My Softwares run like charm. Yes Microsoft now you have one more fan. I've used MacOSX, Linux (RedHat/Ubuntu/CentOS). But this is good. I've told one of my best friends roughly two years ago that we should have a OS with tiled interface. I've also told him that I want to run the same app on my desktop on my tablet and on my phone. Yes microsoft you have done it by using the same kernel. PS: You might think that Microsoft has probably paid me to say these but hey, I was an Apple lover, I was an Android lover. But I just got sick of craps. And now the way Samsung and Apple are busy screwing each other I feel like these two freaks are taking us for a ride and the Media just loves to talk about them.Long live Microsoft and hope that you will go far with Windows 8 and along with Nokia.

martosurf
martosurf

Windows... Windows... that reminds me of something, what is it? Oh, wait, yes, of course! Windows is that buggy software which offers so less to the customer for so much money, yes! Poor of me, I'm just an IT homeless running for free -discounting my $$$ contributions to F/LOSS projects- one of the best GNU/Linux distros available coupled with KDE SC 4.8.4-3, one of the best Desktop Environments available :P Again: who cares anything about Windows?

enderby!
enderby!

You are probably correct about one of the causes of bloat for Windows. I've always wondered how fast and small Windows would be if we had the option to create a customized kernel at install time. The Linux I used in the past had this, and the result was a very device specific but efficient OS. With Windows this would need to be an option, since recompiling the kernel would never pass the Granny test. And Granny would be ticked if she could not just plugnplay her new all-in-one printer.

Han CNX
Han CNX

You didn't, by any chance, compare an older installation of Win 7 that has been running for a while and been receiving updates right? Because all of the service pack installation files and other updates, and even unistall information of all applications also goes into %WINDIR%. Looking at everything combined I suppose MS avoided 'massive bloat' that you could have expected from bolting on a Metro interface while keeping the old Win 7 interface. But a massive diet, it's not.

rexrich2k
rexrich2k

It just goes to show how sophisticated both software and hardware are getting. I used to predict these things closely too. Im afraid this is the real begining in the natural progression of computing and so we are begining to see hardware and OS's merge into the unexplainable. Or maybe I should say, not worth understanding. Kind a like looking under your new car's hood. I can make a 90% accurate prediction: I will miss the Desktop pc same as I miss building and tuning my car engines. ;^;

TechRepublic
TechRepublic

Well, hopefully you don't get paid for doing IT stuff, 'cos you'll be a poor person. I find it either a joke to even try to make predictions about what may be, just like those that say what the new iPhone will be like and what the new president will do and other such crap. Maybe if we had less junk articles about rubbish and more real things that are relevant and true. The internet is full of rubbish, why add to it? Unfortunately, by adding junk articles to the internet will mean search engines will bring up rubbish results for something quite meaningful. About time this sort of article ceased. Probably be easier to write about real stuff, too! All I do is think of writes such as this are actually just looking for something to write for the sake of writing. Dish up a crap article for readers, hopefully they won't notice it's crap! A real disappointed reader, here. I'm fed up of reading artilces about predictions, it is a craze and TR has stooped to the low point here of copying the mass of people that write such utter junk! Going by your record hit rate here, I think you need to find a job that you're good at - this certainly isn't it!

Gisabun
Gisabun

Microsoft kept Win 2000 development together, then split for Server 2003 and XP and brought them back [roughly] together for Server 2008/Vista and Server 2008 R2/Win 7. Since they are based on the same core, why split again? [PS - Did you know that Windows Server 2008 R2 support will die the same time as Windows Server 2008?] "one of the reasons why Windows Vista never caught on was that it was bloated and ran slowly" - More likely people ignore the REAL hardware requirements. Like what Apple did, Microsoft should stop a processor below a certain level or amount of RAM. But what they keep on doing is advertising the minimum requirements that make any one of us laugh. Intel P4. You kidding me? 32-bit won't die for at least another version. Microsoft would probablyu be warning developers beforehand that 32-bit support would die. they would drop a bombshell like that a few months before the OS comes out.

sarai1313
sarai1313

first of all sorry about the spelling.8,16,32 and 64 are very inportant for things like building systems that were design with 8 bit subsystems and manufactures whos systems also were built with 8 bit systems.thaving the newest computer and O.S. to run and monitor the subsystems save them a ton of money not having to replace everything they run on.Oh ever heard of an S.D.card for disk space.I thought you guys were "I.T" techs you should know this.yes?

bobabrahams
bobabrahams

Windows Vista is Windows version 6.0. Windows 7 is Windows version 6.1. So what version number is Windows 8? And if it's version 8.0, what happened to version 7.0?

1ndy
1ndy

Microsoft should have listened to you(us) when they were building Windows 8. It would have been a better product.

M Wagner
M Wagner

In #3 for instance ... Your assumption was that users complained that Vista was too fat ... but the complaint was not about the use of disk space ... it was about the use of RAM. Since the 1990's Microsoft had always published system requirements based upon what would WORK - not what would work WELL. Windows XP for instance, was supported to work with 64MB of RAM but it actually struggle with twice that (128MB of RAM). By the time SP3 shipped, Windows XP barely got by with 512MB. In short, no matter what Microsoft said, you needed to at least DOUBLE, if not quadruple, the amount of RAM in your system, for optimal performance with Windows XP. Windows VISTA was the first OS to break the 1GB barrier for RAM. Microsoft claimed it would run with 512MB on an 866MHz system - and it did - but EXCEEDINGLY poorly! Using the "tried and true" quadruple RAM rule though, Vista ran pretty well with 2GB of RAM. For many Widows XP users, however, this meant a new PC. What killed Vista was that Microsoft finally put an end to legacy support of poorly-written software and, after so many years of Windows XP, users were exceedingly unhappy that the new Vista kernel (NT 6.0) would not run their old software on their old hardware and peripherals. (That was true of Windows 2000 as well but no one remembers that.) Like Windows XP, Windows 7 was a performance upgrade of its predecessor. Windows 7 is built upon and improved (Vista) NT 6.x kernel but you would never know it. Though Windows 7 performs better on a 512MB than Windows Vista (and even outperforms Windows XP in the same system) Microsoft declared it acceptable with as little of 1GB of RAM, and they were correct. Windows 7 does run acceptably well with only 1GB of RAM. Nevertheless, the Windows 7 "sweet spot" is still 2GB of RAM. On an x64 system, the "sweet spot" is 3GB - though today's systems generally run better with matched pairs of RAM in order to take advantage of dual-channel access to RAM. I would always recommend 4GB on an x64 system. Windows 8 is an significant improvement over Windows 7 in this regard. Also built on the (Vista) NT 6.x kernel, I am running Windows 8 (x86) on a 2009 Dell 1GB INSPIRON mini ant it runs very well. In #4, you point out that you expected 32-bit (x86) to go away - and so did I! Now I understand why it didn't go away. First and foremost, Windows 8 is a consumer-oriented product. Many consumers are buying an iPad to use as an auxiliary device with their Notebook PC. With Windows 8, many of the advantages of a tablet are already built-in to the Metro interface - quick start-up, instant access to applications, instance access to the Microsoft store, and to the store of any vendor with an application in the Microsoft store. The consumer who already owns a Windows notebook (or netbook) may upgrade to Windows 8 - at a steep discount through JAN 2012 - and not need to purchase a second device to get many of the advantages of a tablet device. By offering Windows 8 in an x86 version, MS has given users of computer made as far back as early 2007 the opportunity to upgrade their desktops, notebooks, and netbooks to Windows 8. As for #5, I think you are close ... but only as it pertains to the Metro interface. Windows RT is an ARM port of Metro. In order to insure 100% compatibility with Windows RT, I believe that Metro is running running the same binaries on both x86/x64 hardware as it is on ARM hardware. I suspect that both are running under Run-Time modules and that it is only these Run-Time modules which are running natively on either x86/x64 or on ARM hardware.

vhac1
vhac1

nobody knows the future. That's why i don't put my trust in any experts unless you can verify his track record. That's why the financial experts, political experts are just a bunch of hacks. Point and case, in the beginning the experts said obamacare wouldn't be struck down. Then looking at the argument of justices, they believe it WILL BE. Then the verdict comes out and it's not. So, i believe any expert when they put it down in writing and have some skin in the game.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

Numbers 4 and 8 are still very big problems that Windows-8 is not handling well at all. (4) The 32-bit version has best be able to handle 16-bit applications. 16-bit and 32-bit applications are still the core of business operations. Eliminated support of those at MS's risk. (8) Its one thing to make business/enterprise oriented OSs and have consumers/third-parties come up with Registry hacks and workarounds to make it "consumer friendly". Quite another when Windows-8 comes out as a consumer oriented OS, and now the business/enterprise venue has to come up with Registry hacks and third-party workarounds. One would have though Microsoft would have learned, and provided "on board" customization--i.e., installation choices on UI and other mechanisms of OS operation.

wanderson
wanderson

One topic not discussed about Windows 8 in any of the articles or stories, including "10 Predictions...." is that of Windows 8 security and reliability efforts. If most of the code for Windows 8 came from Windows 7/vista but with new interface primarily, it seem likely that all the very real and damaging security vulnerabilities plagueing Windows up to now remain, and that mean Windows 8/RT will still not be as reliable or secure as a thin client - on any thin client OS running on non-Windows Server OS for business connectivity or access. Fortunately for Microsoft, Software-as-a-Service or cloud Computing alleviates many of these Windows weaknesses, but if based on Microsoft Azure, then little has improved since Azure has terrible reliability and security, even crashing repeatedly in short time it has existed, and more than ninety percent of corporation, organizations are using Amazon EC2, OpenStack or other (non-Microsoft) Cloud services. Windows 8 - another marketing gimmick?

steve
steve

I wish you had been right. I can imagine the support issues that would happen by enabling users with a complete hyper-v virtual machine to run the old business software instead of just the app running in a hidden XP machine as with Win7. At least with Win7 they can't fiddle with it. Yes, a few of my companies within the group are still using 16 bit business software. Manufacturing in particular tends to work like that. We do still have a Cobol based system which was a massive investment which is still being leveraged and VERY unlikely to be replaced in the current climate. Looking at the comparison chart on the editions, I do like the ISO & VHD mounting as standard, shame that wasn't in Win7. However that on it's own will not be sufficient to convince me to spend the investment needed to get it working with existing systems. So thanks MS, but no thanks, we will stick with XP and go to Win7 where we have no choice. SB

BogdanC
BogdanC

So, you were mostly off track and barely got a few right : ) But I appreciate you had reasons to sustain your judgement. Only those that try make mistakes, and it's ok : )

blarman
blarman

This one isn't going to go away for a long time. Re-writing applications to run in 64-bit native mode is expensive for any developer/company. And really, what applications absolutely positively NEED the extra memory? I can't name a single client-side application that requires 64-bit operations - unless you're running a 3D CAD program. Databases, etc. are run server-side, and they're the other major memory eaters. I've also personally had a lot of problems with the so-called 64-bit native apps that are out there. Even mainstream programs like MS Office and Adobe Acrobat in 64-bit version have given us problems that magically disappeared as soon as we went back to 32-bit versions. I still see this one as being a low priority, primarily just for the reason that the common desktop really doesn't NEED 64-bit support.

mschore
mschore

Your analysis of the bloat issue is flawed. The real problem with previous versions of Windows was the growing number of processes running. From what I have seen so far, the number of processes running and the amount of memory used is substantially lower and hence performance improved. Disk space is a big fat non-issue.

alan.bourke
alan.bourke

... I would imagine there is a 32-bit version so that it can run all the 16-bit stuff that's still around.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Of course they are. The US applying applying to all communications put legal limitations on internal IS communications, but they ONLY apply provided the communications NEVER cross a US border. Think about that and how the Internet works. If a message is sent from Portland to New York and the best available Internet connection mode shoves it across the border to Canada and back across once near New York, it leaves the US and crosses the border twice, thus giving the US authorities legal right to view it twice. All the communication satellites in use are in International Territory in space and thus outside the US border, thus anything going through them can be legally screened too. When you add in the Canadian facilities as part of the Echelon communications intercepts, anything being transmitted via any radio or wireless signal is also being intercepted and reviewed as part of the Echelon operations. The chances that any communication via the Internet is not pushed across one of those borders is so low it's an almost given that the NSA has the capability to legally review just about all Internet activity that you do unless you, your ISP, and the host server of the site you're visiting are in the same city or very close together. Then the Patriot Act can kick in, and all it takes to give the government the right to look at your data is for anyone whose data is stored at the same server farm, even on a temporary basis, is linked to terrorism and they can legally review all data at that location.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Microsoft to go back to using the International and Industry standards for the Command sets and to encourage the hardware makers to do the same instead of using the Windows specific non-standard ones.

cjreynolds
cjreynolds

"So thanks MS, but no thanks, we will stick with XP and go to Win7 where we have no choice." Why does MS always force us to make such decisions?

blarman
blarman

Disk space does matter - especially on tablets which have a limited amount of relatively expensive space. The larger the OS, the fewer apps you can install. While I'm glad that they have made some inroads, it still boggles my mind to think that an OS REQUIRES 10+ GB of space! I suspect that if they got rid of the majority of installed drivers and help they could cut this yet again. Slim and trim should be the mantra.

mschore
mschore

Seriously, 16-bit support??? Anyone still using 16-bit apps should be pulled aside and slapped about the head and shoulders. Then again some companies are still using IE6 to avoid having to rewrite apps--how sad.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I was going to say the same thing. I have clients who still want to run really old 16 bit applications that will not run at all on 64 bit versions of Windows. Rick

enderby!
enderby!

of making some devices (e.g. no more Win printers), but it would be worth it. Some of the devices in the customized OS are the PC hardware components, not just peripherals. This is where a lot of the bloat could also be removed. I, for one, do not require my OS to support thousands of different components. My installed OS contains code to for support of many different CPUs and internal devices which will never be used by me.

nwallette
nwallette

There's a whole repository of unused system files that have been patched over -- just in case someday you decide you want to uninstall updates. And versions of system files so every application can have the exact set of libraries it expects. They may have removed the burden of resolving dynamic linking issues from the user, but now the disk carries it. It's all a huge mess, it keeps growing, and I'm not sure how (or if) it can be fixed. The iOS model (thinking phone / tablet methodology here) is to release the new OS libraries with as much backward compatibility as is practical, and let the app designers fix any lingering issues. Given the Windows market's dependence on obsolete applications, I don't think that would pan out.

silsoy
silsoy

It would have been the first thing I noticed, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see a larger requirement...However, with increasing standard hard drive space being installed on computers and clients saving files to servers, do people really notice?

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

16-bit support? Absolutely! Who is going to reimburse me for the expense of having to rewrite my proprietary 16-bit applications which are working just fine? Forcing businesses to pay to have their applications rewritten for 64-bit operation is foolhardy. (Take a loot at many banking applications. They are still in monochrome DOS 80 column by 24 lines per screen.)

Slayer_
Slayer_

You clearly have no idea how business works.

mschore
mschore

When you enable that kind of behavior are you really doing due diligence?

Slayer_
Slayer_

16 bit runs on emulation in a 32 bit OS, 32bit run on an emulation on 64bit OS's. So why not emulate twice? 64 emulates 32 which emulates 16.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

the set for the Industry Standards, nothing extra is added unless you want to put in both sets and a hardware switch to swap between them - whatever you design it to work with it still needs a set of commands to tell it what to do and they need to match what's coming from the OS. At the moment for something to work on Microsoft Windows you have a choice of multiple sets of command Win 9x, Win NT, Win 2000/XP, Win Vista / 7. To work on Linux or Unix you only need the one set to run on them all, the Industry Standard set. If Microsoft used the Industry Standards you'd only need on set for them all.

enderby!
enderby!

but hardware designed as windows only devices (especially printers) are actually missing hardware needed to interpret those industry standard code sets. It can cost much less to build the hardware when it is Windows only. E.g. a Windows printer does not need the command codes from standard PCL since the heavy code lifting has been offloaded to the OS. Cheap, but it works until someone decides it is no longer supported. Only the consumer suffers. Windows specific devices need to disappear. I think we basically agree on that. My main point is that only code for the devices I use should be contained in my installation of the OS. PlugnPlay is fine if you want it, but I would rather choose efficiency over periodic ease of installation.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

they'd just be the industry standard ones instead of the regularly changed Windows ones.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

because their business would otherwise fail.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

If the people who post in these forums are any indication, it would seem the Windows world is full of people and businesses who's livelihoods depend on being able to run ancient, obsolete applications. I can't imagine what any of these people would do if MS took the same approach Apple takes, where they are much quicker to drop support for older applications. Rick

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I have clients who still run DOS based applications, but they are not 16 bit applications. These applications will still run just fine, even on 64 bit Windows 7. If no one will pay you for an updated version of your applications, I would suggest that there is something wrong with your approach to your business. Certainly, you could add some new features or functions to your applications, or perhaps fix a few bugs, and while you're at it, update your application to support 32 bit mode. Obviously no one is paying you for your 16 bit applications today, so why not make a few improvements, put out a new release and maybe earn a few dollars while you're at it? Rick

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

nearly all the first generation computer controlled manufacturing machines run on DOS, so they have no choice as that equipment is designed and intended to be used for 50 years or more. There are some other very specialised business apps that are the same way, and some where the new versions are prohibitively expansive for many people. Then you have a few who love the older games as well.

TechRepublic
TechRepublic

To add insult to unjury, there are a number of people I know still running DOS applications!! Hell, what??

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I'll admit I am just speculating about the bloat issue, but lets face it: You say you'll gladly take a little bloat so you can run 16 bit apps. Someone else says they'll gladly take a little bloat so that they can run some old hardware that very few people use. Another guy says he'll gladly take a little bloat in order to do some oddball thing that no one else does... it all adds up! Rick

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

International and Industry standards simply so they can gut peoples' wallets by making sure you have to buy new apps every time they change the command sets. BTW Running something in a VM is NOT having the system providing backwards compatibility, and not ALL XP apps will work properly in XP Mode either.

Slayer_
Slayer_

That 10 megs of OS files for 16 bit OS's too big? lol. I'd take that bloat over having to use a 3 gig VM for the same purpose. Also, I miss my "Edit" command, it's gone in Windows 7 64.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Running Windows XP in a VM under 64 bit Windows works great for running 16 bit apps on 64 bit Windows. I won't pretend to know the exact reason why 16 bit apps don't run natively in 64 bit Windows, but I could venture some guesses: 1) How much time do people spend complaining that Windows is too "bloated?" Maintaining support for ancient technologies in newer versions of Windows is what creates a lot of this "bloat." 2) How much time do people spend complaining about Windows security issues? How likely is that maintaining support for ancient 16 bit applications will allow security issues, given that 16 bit applications are all from the days when no one even thought about security on a PC? 3) How many people actually still want to run 16 bit applications? From a business perspective, 16 bit support is hardly a selling point for modern computers and modern OSes. 4) As other have mentioned, it is quite likely that when the CPU is running in 64 bit mode, it simply cannot support 16 bit mode applications. Rick

GSG
GSG

I used to run some 16 bit apps when the 32 bit systems first came out, and had issues with the 16 bit app failing. It turned out that the issue was the multithreading capabilities iof the 32 bit system when the app wasn't written to support the multi-threading. I can't recall the command at the moment, but I solved it by writing a batch file that launched the application in a dedicated thread at a high priority. All of the other apps ran at a low priority, so this app would always have its own little bit of dedicated memory. It worked pretty good, surprisingly. I wonder if you could emulate a 32 bit environment, then do something like that to run your 16 bit app.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

there is NO reason why the 16 bit or 32 bit apps can't run on a 64 bit system. The issue with them doing so is the fact the apps are designed to give 16 bit or 32 bit instructions while the hardware needs 64 bit instructions. The whole purpose of the operating system is to provide a layer of command and control between the application software and the hardware. Back in the bad old days of Win 3.x the basic install was a 16 bit system running on 16 bit hardware. Then along came 32 bit hardware and Win 3.x still worked quite well. But it was still only working at 16 bit. However, there was a special patch you could get from Microsoft at the time that you could load and it changed Win 3.x and some of the DOS from a 16 bit system to a 32 bit system and you could get a higher performance from your Windows by having more things running at once. It didn't work like a purpose built 32 bit system and the apps were still 16 bit, but you could run a couple of 16 bit apps at the same time as if they were the only things running.

Spannerz
Spannerz

Yo dawg, I heared you like emulation, so we put an emulator inside an emulator. It has to do with the operating level of the processor (x64); think of it like a politician trying to imaging what it's like living in a Ghetto.