Windows optimize

Windows 8: Microsoft can do it fast, cheap, or right

Deb Shinder doesn't think Microsoft can afford to cut corners making Windows 8 for the sake of speed and/or cost and risk not getting it right.

Most of us -- especially those of us who have worked on projects with set deliverables -- have heard and used the saying that goes "Do you want it fast, do you want it cheap, or do you want it right? Pick two." The implication is that you can't have all three, and most of the time, that holds true.

Now Microsoft is faced with a dilemma as the company ramps up to deliver the drastically revamped next generation of Windows. They're under pressure from some corners to do it fast, and there is always a contingent that clamors for them to do it cheaper, but can they afford to cut corners for the sake of speed and/or cost and risk not getting it right? I don't think so.

Hurry or not?

There's no big hurry to get a new desktop operating system out there. Many individuals and companies are just now in the process of upgrading from XP or Vista to Windows 7 and still getting to know the "new" OS. It was released just two years ago; folks who stuck with XP for a decade are hard-pressed to see any good reason to trade in the current model anytime soon. IDC is already predicting that Windows 8 will be "largely irrelevant to users of traditional PCs."

Windows 7 is a big hit. People like it -- even many of those who swore their undying love for XP. They aren't going to want to give it up without a compelling reason. The average consumer won't mind at all if Microsoft takes its time coming out with a new version of the OS.

On the other hand, the pressure is on for Microsoft to get a Windows 8 tablet into the game. Following the release of a Forrester survey purporting to show that interest in a Windows-based tablet is shrinking, a number of pundits have opined that the window of opportunity is closing fast or that it may already be too late for Microsoft to catch up in the tablet market.

Personally, I have issues with both the research and the conclusions. The survey samples (both in the case of the Q1 survey that showed 46% of respondents interested in a Windows tablet and the Q3 survey showing that number at 25%) were not particularly large. The first was based on 3,835 respondents, the second on only 2,299. Is that really an accurate representation of the millions of potential customers who will be purchasing tablets in the future?

In addition, who decides when a market is "sewn up"? At one point, it seemed "too late" for anyone to beat Apple in the smart phone market, but then along came Android. As I've mentioned many times before, Microsoft has always excelled at coming from behind to take over a market segment (web browsing, word processing, server systems). It's not over 'til the queen-size female vocalizes some music, and I see no reason to assume there's a cut-off date after which the iPad must be declared the official "winner" of the tablet war for the rest of time.

Nonetheless, those at Microsoft are undoubtedly at least a little worried by the numbers. They've been talking about Windows on ARM for quite a while now, and with a deluge of Android slates hitting the shelves this holiday season, you know they're just chomping at the bit to get a horse in that race.

Is the price right?

Each time a new version of Windows is released, I hear complaints about the price. The full retail price of Windows 7 Home Premium is $199. Full retail price of Windows 95 was $209.95. Sure, the Pro and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 cost more, but Home Premium is the edition that most consumers (the people I hear complaining) use, and it's the edition that's directly comparable to Windows 95.

Of course, these days the comparisons are always with Apple, and we hear endlessly about how "Snow Leopard cost only $29." The problem with that argument is that Snow Leopard wasn't, even by the standards of many Mac fans, really a new version of OS X -- it was more like a service pack. Well, guess what. Microsoft doesn't charge anything for service packs. Just imagine the outpouring of protests if Microsoft had charged $30 for XP SP2, even though it added new features.

OK, what about the cost of OS X Lion, an actual new edition? You can buy it for $69 on a thumb drive. However, you can't compare that to the full edition of Windows, because you can't install it on a computer that didn't already have OS X installed. You can install it only on a Mac, and you can't buy a Mac that comes without an operating system. So you have to compare it to the upgrade pricing for Windows, which lists for $119.99 but can be found for less at some retailers.

Yes, you'll probably still pay a little more for Windows, but for that price you get the ability to install it on the hardware of your choice, including hardware that's much less expensive than the hardware you're forced to buy to run OS X. Oh, and if you're building your own computer, you can get the System Builder's edition, which is the full edition with SP1, for $99.

Then there's Linux, which you can get at no cost at all. You'd think, with pricing like that, everyone would have abandoned both Microsoft and Apple long ago, but Linux still has less than 2% of the market share, according to NetMarketShare's November 2011 statistics. Sometimes there are hidden costs to "free" solutions, and given the number of people I know who have tried some iteration of Linux at one time or another and then came running back to Windows (or bought a Mac), it seems price isn't the overriding factor for most, even in a tough economy.

The importance of getting it right

Microsoft learned from their experience with Vista just how important it is to wait however long it takes to get the software right before releasing it. Or at least, I hope they did. True or not, there is a pervasive public perception that the problems users encountered with Vista (slow performance, lack of expected features such as a new file system) were caused by a rush to market. This is so even though there were five years between the release of XP and the release of Vista, which is the longest interval ever between Microsoft operating system releases.

Rumors are flying about when Windows 8 will be released. A few days ago, Robert Boland reported that unnamed "sources close to Microsoft" say to expect the first Windows 8 beta in February 2012. There has been recent speculation in the press (neither confirmed nor denied by Microsoft) that the final release may be delayed, with the expected 2012 general availability date pushed back to 2013.

On the other hand, eWeek reported that a leaked slide deck indicates that Asus is preparing Windows 8 tablets before the end of 2012. PCWorld says Nokia is planning to launch the first Windows 8 tablet by June. Could it be that the company is focusing its efforts on the tablet market first, the strategy being to fine-tune and release the touch-friendly Metro-based OS on slates significantly earlier than it starts to sell the OS for the desktop?

Personally, I think that's a good idea. Microsoft already owns the desktop with Windows 7; the tablet market is where the company needs to make a mark. But even there, I hope they don't get too caught up in the pressure to put something, anything, up against the iPad and Android devices. I'm as eager as anyone to get my hands on a real Windows tablet, but I'd prefer to wait and see it done right than to see the first Windows 8 tablet suffer the same fate as Vista.

I believe coming out with a first Windows Phone that, despite its elegant UI, lacked so many of the features and functionality that the iPhone and Droids already had was one of many reasons (including the "carrier conspiracy" mentioned last week) that Windows Phone 7 posted such lukewarm sales figures. Even though Mango went a long way toward catching up, sales haven't picked up much. Maybe with their flagship tablet, they should try a different tactic and wait until they have a really spectacular product that works flawlessly upon release -- even if the wait frustrates people like me.

Also read

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

63 comments
kctobyjoe
kctobyjoe

i **really** enjoy 7; been using Win since the 3.1 days I understand the RIDICULOUS touch screen splash can be eliminated I *may* upgrade to 8 when it shows up but if there is just a HINT that the splash page CANNOT be converted to a 'classic' look all bets are off. I run 7 on every machine I own///GREAT!!! SMARTEST OS yet!

sir.ptl
sir.ptl

I'm retired from international sale so I do have a little experience in this area. It is my belief that too many companies are to readily willing to bend to the pressure (imagined or otherwise) to get a product to market. I believe that if one has the right market positioning one doesn't need to be the first out with the latest (and greatest ?). Take a look at Volvo as an example. When one mentions auto safety, one automatically thinks Volvo. Why? Because that how they've positioned themselves in the market. A major focus of their advertising was related to safety so Volvo became synonymous with safety and they were right up there. And, they made a good product, not one that waas in the shop every other week. If a company like Microsoft were to take the time to really analyze their users and how their software is used, Windows would be a different animal. Personally I would rather wait for a truly exceptional product than buy another 'also ran'. There are too many versions of Windows and they're not so different to justify it. I think it would be better to focus on truly superior products and versions that are really targeted at the different markets than to produce a bunch so-so products every couple of years. We don't need a lot of stripped down versions of the same product. The perpetual rush to market causes a whole galaxy of problems, just look to Vista as an example. I would like to know what the real cost to Microsoft really was too eventually make Vista palatable (eventually). I don't mean just the multitude of fixes and patches, but also on how they are perceived and people bailing out to Linux. I would love to see someone focus on quality rather than quantity or a calender, but I guess those days are gone forever. Unfortunately the dollar overrules logic, ethics and principles.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Microsoft is trying to do three things: Move users to pay for everything AKA some sort of server slave ah.. client so that they can do the phone app (service) thing and charge for everything by the minute. Make one app for every device (not happening) let's look at the Military for this one. The military wants one gun for all things doesn't work and kills lots of soldiers. An M16 doesn't work in the mountains or in a building hallway and a M1 Grand doesn't work in the jungle. Keep a strangle hold on the desktop, which is slowly going away with phones and other devices. Yes, there are people with laptops and desktops, but the PC is not king any more and Microsoft will lose these users if they don't get a good, reliable, slowly changing operating system that doesn't piss off these conservative users. Microsoft is confronting all these challenges with group think, bean counter mentality. Doesn't work

dimonic
dimonic

The argument of "hidden costs" for using free software is a miss-representation of the facts here. Windows is extremely cheap compared to the alternatives. When you can buy a Windows PC for $329 with a Windows 7 license (AMD 350 based system), the license is effectively discounted to beneath notice. Linux is basically competing with "free", and always has been. Over the years, I have had many acquaintances of limited means who have cobbled together older machines, but they have preferred to steal windows licenses than take Linux for free, because they can. I am pretty confident that if they HAD to pay $100 for Windows, a significant percentage of them would have installed Linux instead. Similarly Office - I personally use Libre Office, but as long as people can pirate MS Office, at free, it is hard to compete with. The only significant drawback to not using Windows is the games. And I would argue that the Mac suffers dfrom the same issue - except that it has gained enough traction to get some of the game titles - much like Android has.

blarman
blarman

You argue that "The first was based on 3835 respondents, the second on only 2299" and therefore these aren't representative. Have you done a statistics analysis on this? A typical presidential poll is only about 2000 people and they are accurate to within 5%, and usually within 3% (when they use random sampling instead of cherry-picking respondents). If you think its not representative, do a little analysis to back up your claim. Your arguments on price are transparent even to the blind. Compare the upgrade costs to the upgrade costs, and - even though I've never used Mac OS - I can see that its cheaper by 1/2. The kicker you even forget to mention is that that single license of Mac can be applied to as many home computers as you want - something you can't say for Windows. It's mostly irrelevant anyway, since you don't buy a computer for the operating system, you're buying it for the applications you plan to run on it! I freely admit: I personally want to see more competition in the market. We have seen the huge advances in the last 5 years that are the direct result of Apple and Android coming into the market and challenging all comers. Why was that missing for the previous 15? Do I think Microsoft can get Windows 8 right? Yes. Does that mean they are going to be able to overcome 5 years of absence in the mobile market even if they do? We'll see, but it's going to come down to the apps, and with the new interface requiring a whole new IDK...

yagar
yagar

You said Windows 7 is a big hit. If it's such a big hit then why are there still, after two years, such a big number of business sticking with XP. That number is over 40%. When you take into consideration that quite a few of these new machines come in with Win 7 on them only to have the hard drive formatted and XP put on them. It counts as a sale of Win 7 but it is not. I do not have one business customer that has tried Win 7 that likes it. Unwilling to change, probably. They order Dell's I put XP on them. I have tried Win 7 and it's ok but I find it a step backwards to have to open far more windows to accomplish something in Win 7 than in XP. Things are suppose to get simpler, easier not more complex and harder. You mention OS X as being nothing more than a service pack at a cost of $29. Windows 7 was not much more than a service pack for VISTA, fixing what should have been when VISTA was announced. Yea, there are some new features but not one's that cost the user five times what the OS X "service pack" cost. I have one customer that is so pissed off with Win 7 they are talking about going to a MAC the next time they upgrade. I admit I live in a real small town in a rural area. The results I see are from the environment I live it. I communicate with tech's in other areas and they tell me they are seeing some of the same results. In going to Windows 8 I wonder if it will be a big flop with so many already not wanting to change/learn Windows 7, just wondering. Another thought is if you look at MS history...every other operating system seems to be a failure 2000/98 - Win ME - XP - VISTA - Win 7. Where does that leave Win 8?

partners95
partners95

The solution is for Microsoft to release two versions. The tablet / smartphone version and a desktop version. Move most of their resources to do it fast/cheap and right on the tablet version. . The time pressure Microsoft feels is for a tablet system. Move the resources temporarily away from the desktop specific enhancements to get the tablet core right. And then and only then when they get that right, move onto the desktop version and enhance the core tablet system with all the extras for the desktop users There is little end user need / demand for a new desktop operating system. It can wait, just get it right so there is ultimately a smooth flow from tablet to desktop.

rindi1
rindi1

In my point of view m$'s approach for Windows 8 is a completely wrong one. It looks as if that OS should be a successor to Windows 7, while in my point of view it should be a successor to the current m$ phone OS whatever that is. What are the advantages of touch screen capabilities to those who use a Workhorse PC that doesn't have a touch screen, which I believe are the majority? To me it looks like they are making the same mistake Ubuntu made with their current OS. All they have done with their new desktop is to chase users away from them to other distro's that are more usable on a standard PC. With Ubuntu it takes most users much longer to navigate to the app they need and start it, it just isn't how you would work on a PC. It may be fine for tablets and phones where you have no keyboard or mouse.

Rob C
Rob C

A MS employee was discussing Win 8 on a blog recently. He said they have to get rid of the Start Menu, as users hate it. MS still have not realized that (power) users hate the Win 7 Start Menu. Those users do not hate Start Menus, they just hate MS arrogance on foisting something new on us, with no option to revert back to what we know and like. (Ribbon was another example). PS Business needs a robust simple OS, not something flashy.

noydbt
noydbt

Microsoft is insane to even be talking about Windows 8, while businesses are in the middle of moving not just from XP to 7, but also to a 64 bit environment. The time to think about Windows 8 is when MS no longer needs to reboot my computer every week or 2 with bug fixes.

peter_erskine
peter_erskine

If ever there was a company with the skills and resources to write THREE new operating systems (one for tablets, one for phones, and one for the desktop),Microsoft is it. Each is a separate requirement. No doubt there ARE three builds controlled by compiler switches, but this won't really give the necessary low-level optimisation or meet the user requirements properly. From what has been shown in previews, the worst-hit is the Desktop version. Steve Balmer said this project was their biggest risk. Well, they've failed. Why did it need to be a risk? Couldn't Microsoft afford to write a proper new and improved Desktop O/S? I think the management (all levels, top and middle) have been very, very stupid and incompetent!

vezycash
vezycash

The success of windows 8 on tablets is largely outside their hands - The pricing of ipad is $499 in the minds of every customer (yes even those who end up paying $800 still feel its $499 plus customization fee) and as a result, any other thing that does not match or beat that price is guaranteed to fail. THERE IS NO ARGUMENT ON THIS POINT. The issue is this - can Microsoft smartly release a tablet version that is vastly underpriced to help reduce final cost of the tablets so that hardware makers can make a decent profit? If Redumund is not filled with knuckle heads, they should know that who ever has an os that is tighly integrated with an app store and has more than 500 million devices running that os would make more money eventually. This my good friends is what Microsoft should be worried about - a super cheap Os could help bring out super cheap tablets - THIS IS WHAT THE MARKET WANTS. All Developers who are complaining today would shut their mouths as soon as they know that their are 500 million or more devices running Windows 8. No Amount of marketing would help convince developers except they've got a Steve Jobs working with them - They Don't. Let the numbers convince developers - If Microsoft should remember anything from its years in experience, it should be this: [ul][*]Investments are made by thousands of other companies in or on the platform with numbers on their side. [/ul] [ul][*]Eventually, people would just buy what's popular, what their friend is having. If you doubt, ask yourself the reason for Ipod's continual success. You would find that people (late adopters who are quite many in numbers) make their decision simply because others use something, still not convinced, look at facebook[/ul] KIndle fire in my opinion is crappy but it's price is "right" plus it is bundled with a few services that Amazon plans to collect millions in app, movie, book and other fees - this is the model that works. Techrepub, feel free to repost this comment and let those windows guys come to their senses - I would send this to them to myself but they have the HABIT OF NOT LISTENING TO ORDINARY GUYS LIKE MYSELF. Cheers Vezycash

jfuller05
jfuller05

"I hope they dont get too caught up in the pressure to put something, anything, up against the iPad and Android devices. Im as eager as anyone to get my hands on a real Windows tablet, but Id prefer to wait and see it done right, than to see the first Windows 8 tablet suffer the same fate as Vista" So true. Don't directly compete with iPad and Android, instead be innovative, but do it smart or "right" and "cheap." They should make windows 8 right and cheap, release it on their tablet (also made right and cheap), then release Windows 8 on desktops.

father.nature
father.nature

"Factory-installed on your new PC per manufacturers' agreement with Microsoft" trumps "fast, cheap and right" any day. That's how we got Mistake Edition and Vista. It wasn't like we had a choice unless we built our own or scrapped what we'd paid for and installed our preferred OS, which relatively few end users do.

Nonmonotonic
Nonmonotonic

Your discussion regarding price is just funny! "really a new version of OS X - it was more like a service pack." Really?

lordshipmayhem
lordshipmayhem

They're competing against Linux,which makes it right (it works, dammit, it improves incrementally, its security isn't the disastrous "by obscurity" model, and it's free as in speech) and cheap (free as in beer). I'm still not impressed by Microsoft Windows.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'll gladly settle for 'right'. To me, one component of 'right' is separate versions for 'traditional' desktop / laptop platforms and for 'mobile' devices.

Jackober
Jackober

I have a Lenovo thinkpad that came with Vista Business loaded. Although Vista worked well for me, i am now tempted to replace it with Win 7. Question is will i have a fluent transfer or will there be, as i expect, hardware clashes. Anybody out there with advice please?

jimbritttn
jimbritttn

ONE: There was NOTHING wrong with Vista; I loved it and still use it! I bought Windows 7 and installed it over Vista but went back because "7" didn't support all the hardware on my laptop (card reader, etc). TWO: Price: There should be ONE version of Windows and it should sell for $50! ALL the versions are on the DVD so you should have the right to use all that is on the DVD that you own.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Gamers would take notice, and gamers drive a large part of the home computer market. That and porn.

rindi1
rindi1

In my opinion most things in Windows 7 work much better than under XP. Also lower end, old hardware will usually be faster under Windows 7 than under XP. The problem is just that companies will always take a long time until they will update their OS's. 2 Years really isn't that much. But as I posted earlier, I don't think Windows 8 will make it. It's just a wrong OS for normal desktops.

mswift
mswift

Changing one digit in one registry setting for systems without touch screens and you will never get Metro on the desktop. I put in my suggestion that Win 8 do this automatically if no touch screen is available at boot. If you have complaints posting them here won't do much good. Posting them in the Win 8 forum will. Start here - http://social.technet.microsoft.com

Slayer_
Slayer_

But Vista and Win7 ruined it, only good addition was the search box.

mswift
mswift

You reboot much less often with Win 7 than you ever did with XP. Have you done a Win 8 install? It is getting too easy. It makes a PC as much of an appliance as any Apple product. Just today a new feature shows you the time cost of add-ons used in IE9. Two clicks reduced response time to each internet access by .33 seconds. The feature tells you whenever your add-ons start costing you more than 1/4 second on each access. That needs to get added to Firefox so users can tells which add-ons cost more time than they are worth.

Rndmacts
Rndmacts

Do you know something we don't. Windows 8 is not slated for release until next year yet you are making statements like "From what has been shown in previews, the worst-hit is the Desktop version. Steve Balmer said this project was their biggest risk. Well, they've failed." Have you seen something the rest of the world has not there has been one preview called a "Developers Preview", it focused on one aspect of the OS and was demoed on a tablet and distributed on a tablet to Developers. There were some aspects of the desktop shown but any developer or person cognizant of how software matures knows nothing in a preview is set in stone unless it is marked as locked, Metro is locked in stone as it is the UI of the current Windows Phone, so developers can start playing with creating applications to take advantage. There are hints at a possable new desktop, but that has not been finalized so everyone telling Microsoft that it is wrong direction is a PASS because it can still be perfected by the time the first beta is released. Then we get to comment on its usefulness. But to say it has failed before even a beta has been seen, people declaring it a fail are stupid and incompetent (your words.) Microsoft released the API's for the Kinnect to work with Windows, I can envision several scenarios where a regular desktop computer with a Kinnect box attached will offer a whole new experience of interaction with the desktop. I am replacing a 60" HDTV with an 85" 3D HD, I think that maybe that 60" unit will be my new monitor with a kinnect box interface. I will wait to see the whole package and make my decision, I won't make declarations based on incomplete information or the fact that people have seen one aspect and are jumping to conclusions about the rest.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Slayer, was your post in the thread at one time and now it is gone?

mad-doggie
mad-doggie

i have installed fedora core 10, Ubuntu 9.1 server and desktop, win 7 and a couple others on my PC... Here's what happens: *Fedora 10 and both versions of ubuntu only load up in command line because they cant find a driver for my graphics card. *when i use an older graphics card i still need to get drivers for on-board audio, chipsets and everything. this is apparently easier when the PC is online.. so i decide to use a 3G USB modem... plug it in and no drivers found(bearing in mind that this is the only form of internet i have because its the best offer). at some point i managed to get the sound set up on fedora core 10 and then thought i'd like to play music, since i intended it to be a multimedia center. guess what, it cant play mp3's *win7 runs perfectly, i plug in the USB modem and get connected within a matter of seconds... download all my drivers, install them.. and guess what,,, it works. The ONLY version of Linux i have never had problems with is Linux mint 12(plug and play, drivers work, everything). Don't tell me, or anyone that Linux is the way. It purely isn't user friendly. getting it to actually work is hell. Granted, it has one thing. ABSOLUTE power if/when you can set it up right.

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

Linux is going nowhere on the desktop, amongst ordinary users anyway. Some geeks use it, fair enough, but apart from that they're competing against old Windows versions, Macs and iPads.

mswift
mswift

The problem with Vista was breaking ground for the new drivers. Things with good Vista drives should work properly on 7. I ran Vista on two machines and they upgraded to 7 with no problem.

skinch
skinch

I upgraded a Thinkpad from XP to 7 and it was pretty seamless. After installation I ran Windows Update which downloaded all of the drivers and a visit to the Lenovo website gets you updated versions of any of their software that came preinstalled you on your machine when it arrived with XP installed. It really is painless and performance for me was better.

tnahas
tnahas

Like the other poster said, run the compatibility checker. I have done MANY of these now with NO PROBLEM! ...and I have always been one that preferred a fresh, clean install, but the actual upgrade process has not failed me once yet and I have done it on many types of equipment, from an older Dell netbook (that runs much faster than it ever did), to regular notebooks to desktops. I always cloned the hard drive first, if I was worried that I would loose everything if it failed, though. No problems with drivers with any of the units I have done and have found that most Vista drivers are just fine with 7. Of course, there's always exceptions. Good luck!

seanferd
seanferd

Get it from the MS site. It will tell you pretty much all you need to know regarding your hardware.

CFWhitman
CFWhitman

Vista wasn't so terrible if you could get it to hold together long enough to install all the updates. There were no guarantees that you could get it to that state though. Even then it's like Windows 7 that's slower, takes up more hard drive space, and has network issues (that can cause really low transfer speeds under certain conditions). Also, if Vista supports a piece of hardware, then in my experience you can use the same driver to support the same hardware with 7. What would I want for price? A hundred dollars for Professional would be reasonable. Also, though, get rid of the activation nonsense so I don't have to contact Microsoft when I install it or every time I move to new hardware later. I know that's a pipe dream. Fortunately, I use Linux and don't worry too much about Windows installations. I run an XP virtual machine for my GPS management software (to install new maps and such on my GPS). I'm sure someone will eventually want me to get 7 on a machine at home (I have it at work) so that I can run some game. Maybe someday I will.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

MS allowed vendors to install it on inadequate hardware, and listed inadequate system specs on the retail upgrade boxes. It's good on the right equipment, but not on the bottom-end systems MS declared as 'Vista Compatible'.

jon@Mindmeltproductions.com
jon@Mindmeltproductions.com

Guess it all depends on what you do, but in the 2-3 year span of its release, I bought more PCs on buy.com and overstock w/ XP Pro than any new dell or hp. The entry level Toshiba laptops where slow as hell - even had request to remove Vista and put XP on it! Everyone embraced W7 to get away from VISTA!

james
james

Are you saying Gamers drive porn? lol

Slayer_
Slayer_

I miss them, they were good :(

CFWhitman
CFWhitman

Generally graphical versions of Linux will boot to some kind of graphical user interface even without the correct video card driver as long as your video card is VESA compliant and your monitor is one hundred percent Plug and Play compliant (some older monitors are iffy). You won't have acceleration without the proper driver (same as in Windows), but it should work. Of course both the Fedora and the Ubuntu versions you mentioned are rather outdated at this point, but even they would normally boot to a GUI with most video cards.

abhilash.bhagat
abhilash.bhagat

Well the version of Linux OS that you have been using are Outdated just like win 98, if you might try Ubuntu 11.04/11.10 or anyother "new: linux variant i am sure u will not go back to windows!!

Kent Lion
Kent Lion

Linux is getting better, but isn't making inroads because: 1. They're trying to include all the Windows features we never really needed that have made Windows bloated, slow, and buggy; and are therefore also becoming bloated, slow and buggy. 2. They're making flavors we never really needed instead of one good, flexible GUI. Some flavors stand out, but for someone thinking of switching, there's no reliable way to find an outstanding one to start with. Everyone claims theirs is the best, but (for example) after having some familiarity with X-Ubuntu, when I tried Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and Puppy; only Ubuntu didn't quickly show one or more serious failings...until I tried to upgrade to Unity and was told it wouldn't run on a machine that runs XP just fine. So they're also trying to get by on the kind of hype we've come to expect from Microsoft. 3. Linux is so busy with #2, above, that they aren't making sure you can do everything you could with your PC or Mac, or that Linux is truly Linux and not a flavor. Some people still have old Windows applications they want to use, and Wine will not help most of them. Furthermore, until anything written for Linux installs and runs properly on all flavors of Linux, Linux isn't really one OS and no-one will want to market software for it (Turbotax for Linux anyone?). 4. So far, I see no sign that Linux is going to avoid the error that destroyed Atari, that almost destroyed Apple, and that Microsoft appears to be about to make with Windows 8. Trying to combine the tablet and PC worlds, when they have completely different uses is like saying "we don't need sedans, pickups and vans, one vehicle can do everything equally well". Except in a meeting, a good accountant should have little use for a machine without a numeric keypad. For a typist, a mouse, a virtual keyboard on a screen, and a workspace under his/her fingers, are very inefficient for working with words and data. With Windows 8, Microsoft is betting that the current trend of doing away with typists will continue (which it will...until companies begin to figure out how much it costs them to have professionals who often don't know how to type do all their own typing). If Linux also wants to try to be everything to everyone, it will also be inadequate for most of them.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I've installed 7 on hardware that was older even than the XP-era hardware I installed Vista on. Win 7 ran as well as XP did. Vista choked on such hardware. If 7 didn't find drivers, I tried the Vista version which usually worked. If not, the XP version usually did. The point is, a new OS should run at least as well as the old one on hardware that is in common use when it is released, even if that hardware is a year or two old. Not all of us want or need to upgrade hardware just to accommodate a new OS. I can do that with 7, couldn't with Vista (and remain sane). My laptop is designed for 7, the rest in the house is not (designed for XP). Vista would be a pig on those, 7 runs great. As for 8, well, they really need to lose Metro on the desktop. I think they think they are on the Starship Enterprise (TNG) with all the touch-screens. At least they can talk to their computer and get an intelligent response back so they have another option besides pounding on the screen. I was given a Netbook that had 7 Starter. It is a mid-level Netbook and had 1 GB of RAM. I put Win 7 Ultimate on it to see if it would work. Runs just fine. I did upgrade the RAM to 2 GB (the max) and it runs better. The wife uses it a lot and is happy with it. Another problem with Vista (beside the fact that it is a pig), is that it is ugly and looks hastily slapped together. The interface in 7 is much more polished.

JRez
JRez

I have seen it running completely fine on some high spec systems

nwallette
nwallette

What did Vista bring to the table that XP lacked? And, on a related note, why did hardware that ran XP struggle so badly with Vista? Maybe in both cases, Aero? My first test subject was a P4 1.8GHz laptop with 512MB. I installed the beta of Vista. It was unusable. Linux and XP ran just fine. I realize demands increase over time, but typically, gradually and only when there's something new the OS does that compensates for the burden of additional hardware requirements. Vista didn't have that. It was just a pig for no good reason. 7 is better -- they optimized the heck out of it, and it shows. You can run it on late XP-era hardware. It doesn't really improve on Vista in any other way, but it's very well liked in comparison. Beyond a few incremental kernel modernizations that could have just as easily been a service pack or driver update, there isn't really anything new about it. But at least it's not Vista! (xkcd had a poignant take on that.)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The one who plays Games [b]that are[/b] Porn. I seem to remember a large outcry here a few years ago when one of those games became available. Perhaps I should look at games once again if I could only get interested. :0 Col

Slayer_
Slayer_

The breed that wants bigger and faster?

james
james

... but I was just having some fun with the ambiguity of your phrasing. I really did get your point. :)

Slayer_
Slayer_

If you look at the scantly clad women in video games. But I was more trying to say that porn also is a major driver for computer tech.

adornoe
adornoe

where I can see a post after submission, and then, I come back and it's gone. So, it's not a new problem and it's nothing to do with a new back-end deployment.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

The engineers tell me that they deployed a new backend and your post may have not made the transition. I'll report it and get someone to look into it - you may not be the only one with a lost post.

mswift
mswift

I tried both Ubuntu 10 and 11 on an HP laptop. It could not find drivers for all the hardware and both Ubuntu versions are slower than Windows 7. When Linux is slower than Windows on the same hardware you have lost the main reason to use Linux

mad-doggie
mad-doggie

MY pc is outdated... dont use a desktop anymore and stopped upgrading it long ago. so technically these distros should contain the drivers i need... but they dont purely because they are useless... some of them look really good... but they are useless... until linux realieses the ease of use that users want, they wont get anywhere.

mswift
mswift

Late model Ubuntu boots and runs slower than Win 7. I installed Win 7 and I had trouble finding a driver for the on board networking on an HP P4 laptop so I had to use a PCMCIA card. XP was slow on this machine so I figured that Ubuntu Notebook would be a good way to keep this laptop useful. Wrong, not only is Ubuntu Notebook slower to launch and run things but it could not find several other drivers the laptop needed although it did get the basic networking driver. Why Win 7 32 Ultimate is obviously faster than Ubuntu Notebook on the same dual booted machine, Ubuntu has lost its raison d'etre.

nwallette
nwallette

I use Linux daily, as a desktop OS even, but the model is fundamentally incompatible with the average user base. As we move more into the instant-on, zero-learning-curve model of Android / iOS / Win8 (?), that disparity is only going to grow. Don't misunderstand, on a server or as an embedded kernel, what more could you want? But the Linux philosophy has always been "do what you want", which is hell for anyone depending on standardization. I'm a Gentoo user and I just assume that "Linux-compatible" packages don't apply to me unless there's an ebuild available for it. 9 times out of 10, your average RPM isn't going to work out of the box. You could say I'm using the wrong distro, but that's sort of the thing about Linux -- you get to pick your distro. Unless you take that away, how can I expect Some Average App to run the same on my box, your box, and some other dude's box?

CFWhitman
CFWhitman

"1. They're trying to include all the Windows features we never really needed that have made Windows bloated, slow, and buggy; and are therefore also becoming bloated, slow and buggy." That's true to an extent with certain desktop environments, but of course there are always other GUIs available for Linux that aren't bloated, slow, and buggy. "2. They're making flavors we never really needed instead of one good, flexible GUI." Well, there are distributions and there are GUIs, and they are two different things. I would say different GUIs are part of what makes Linux flexible. Of course if you want one GUI that is flexible on its own, then there is the more heavyweight KDE (quite configurable, but I'm not into heavyweight environments) and the lightweight Enlightenment 17 (I'm using it on one machine right now, and it's not bad). Of course there are plenty of other options. I think new users tend to find the enormity of options intimidating. The Ubuntu family is so big right now that you can generally find a flavor of Ubuntu that will run like you'd want it to. The packages used for all of them are the same. 3. In my experience many old Windows applications do run OK on Wine. It's the newer ones that give you problems (as well as .NET stuff). Software has been marketed for Linux in the past, and one piece of software will pretty much run on any Linux for the same hardware architecture. Most proprietary software for Linux just installs with an installation script (like Windows programs before Microsoft Installer). Since it contains its own dependencies (or perhaps installs them in /opt), it will run on whatever flavor you like. I used to buy games for Linux and use them on whatever distribution I happened to be running. Firefox is available as a binary download that you can just extract and run, without paying much attention to which distribution you are on. 4. Well, Unity (and perhaps Gnome 3) may be an attempt to commit the error you are talking about, but nobody has to run Unity. I don't. KDE offers different interfaces for touch devices and desktop computers. Then of course there are all the different interfaces to choose from that were the problem in #2 that may be the solution to #4. You can't have everything and throw in simplicity and unification as well. You also have to understand that the whole landscape for Linux is based on the freedom to add another interface or distribution or piece of software. You can't take that away, and if you could take it away, you'd be taking away what makes Linux work in the first place. Without it, Linux desktop use wouldn't be 1.5%; it would be .0005%.