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Microsoft begins work on its 2020 Windows releases in new preview (arstechnica.com)
55 points by rbanffy 67 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 85 comments



The biggest problem with Microsoft is them not sticking to their strength. I was an avid fanboy till Windows 7. This was an OS that could cater to power users- keyboard shortcuts, powershell (shitty console but anyway).

They started running after the touch segment and deliberately removed the keyboard interface. They didn't get the app-buyers and the keyboard people (like me) probably left them.

Linux is mature now, onedrive has replacements and I can use the web-interface of onenote or the full interface with dual-booting. So I don't need Windows as a developer anymore.

I know Satya Nadella directly or indirectly monitors this board and I know this wasn't his doing but remember when Mr ballmer (the same guy who let this stupidity happen) chanted developers, it was for a reason- if you don't cater to power users and developers your platform will not see apps and then you lose regular users too.

I say this personally too- I had a Windows specific app Idea that I had to drop because Windows was unusable for me. I know MS gets a lot of 'hate' and irresponsible advice so they probably just ignore most so called suggestions but I am being honest, I really want to use Windows, I genuinely think that Macs are overrated and Linux has an app problem- but I cannot. I can offer one terse advice- don't force stuff on people. Give them options. That was Windows's biggest strenght


> They started running after the touch segment and deliberately removed the keyboard interface. They didn't get the app-buyers and the keyboard people (like me) probably left them.

I get that for ordinary users it's a dealbreaker, but I never understood this complaint about the Windows 8 touch UI from power users or developers. It takes maybe 5 minutes to download and install Classic Shell and suddenly you have a classic UI that lets you forget the new Windows 8 UI ever existed. Otherwise the OS itself was quite better than Windows 7. How that UI change makes it such a dealbreaker just makes no sense to me. If you'd complained about your Linux kernel they'd have just said boo-hoo and told you to go compile your kernel to your liking... but now when it's Windows's turn suddenly the start screen is a showstopper for the whole OS you were such a fan of?


Let's start with Windows 8. The unintuitive horizontal scrolling was because of touch users.

Jump to Windows 10 in its present state ruled by Nadella. The anti keyboard campaign is accelerating. The new control panel aka settings menu is designed for touch and mouse only.

With classic Windows, shortcuts were discoverable through ordinary usage. Now, you've got to Google em.

Not only that, context menus used to have unique shortcut keys. For instance, keyboard right-click, plus R used to activate the property menu. Now it simply goes btw two options and requiring the enter key.

Windows was ugly but some features worked or failed reliably. Now the replacements are beautiful but slow and break inexplicably e.g. The network interface is fine, but slow and will stop working if you turn it on/off often.

Bluetooth connection has become a try your luck activity.

Finally, the new control panel is just frustrating and confusing for simple tasks. It's a step back in usability. Tasks that used to take two clicks now require five or more. Some things are no longer possible


If you're going to complain about the speed and convenience of developing certain types of software on Windows compared to a Unix system, then I'm with you 100%. I'd rather use Arch to work on anything that's not specific to Windows because most of the open source kits I use were originally developed on and for a Unix-like OS.

You know how long it took me to setup my Linux laptop to make it usable though? About a week, to fix all the little annoyances and things that were just missing. I actually had to build some of my own little utilities with things like `xdotools` or whatever, to get it to be feature complete in my eyes. And I'm positive that many here will disagree but Macs are not even able to made usable IMO (especially for heavy keyboard users), so I typically only touch my Macs for testing websites and compiling iOS apps.

Meanwhile, in about 5 hours last night I setup a brand new Windows gaming box for my nieces with offline, non-Microsoft account logins, "ads" (aka suggested apps) removed from the start menu, tons of games from Steam and of course Fortnite from Epic games... It took me about 20 minutes of just going through each and every setting in Settings to turn off all the features I didn't want. A couple other things I wanted to turn off were in the Group Policy Editor. This is the same way I setup all of my Windows dev and entertainment boxes and things always run fine after initial setup. (In my house we have like 6 Windows boxes, 2 Linux stations, a Mac Pro, a Macbook Pro and quite a few iDevices. The OS that gives me the least amount of annoyance is Windows, by far. Linux gives the most freedom, but with some annoyance. I find Macs and iDevices the most limiting and annoying of all unless you compare them to Android. We do have some old dead Android devices lying around, but nobody uses them anymore because they stopped receiving updates. We did get one Chromebook for my wife instead of a new laptop and it's pretty nice for remoting into her Windows desktop or for visiting the world of Android apps from time to time. The battery life is amazing too...an Acer Chromebook 14.)

However, I don't think you could be more wrong about the usability of Windows, particularly with the keyboard. Windows is more easily navigable with just a keyboard than any other desktop OS that I've seen. The macOS has the worst keyboard navigation. Most Linux desktops including my favorite (XFCE) follow after the Windows style of keyboard navigation, albeit with more bugs than actual Windows.

> The anti keyboard campaign is accelerating. ... For instance, keyboard right-click, plus R used to activate the property menu.

That's just because you have 2 menu items that both use the _R_ keyboard accelerator. You can easily remove one of them with the registry editor or change its shortcut. (The second menu item you're complaining about is the "Compress to <filename>.zip" command, which you should remove and replace with 7-zip anyway IMO.)

> The network interface is fine, but slow and will stop working if you turn it on/off often. ... Bluetooth connection has become a try your luck activity.

Haven't seen this. I use a laptop at work and I often switch off between wifi and lan. I use bluetooth headphones all day, no problems...

> Finally, the new control panel is just frustrating and confusing for simple tasks.

I find it vastly superior to other systems. The search works better than it does on my Macs where Apple just highlights all the matches in the System Preferences instead of giving a normal search result. I can generally find everything I need from the main Settings app whereas with my Manjaro system, I have about 20 different control panels for different things.


Looks changed, but a lot of actions worked the same in Windows 8 from what I remember. The start screen obviously looks different from the old start menu, but in both 7 and 8, you could hit your super key and start typing something to search, which for me was often how I launched applications or found settings. You could still open the run box with super-r, they added that new menu with lots of options like shutting down (super-x IIRC). A lot of people didn't actually try to use Windows 8 like power users. I often defended it early on, and was of the opinion that the visual changes barely mattered. I stopped using Windows entirely before Windows 10 came out. More because I always thought GNU/Linux was better and I'd finally gotten brave enough to go all in than because of a Windows change.

I also tend to advocate for a minimal tiling window manager over the major desktop environments in the GNU/Linux world, but something I noticed is that Windows has some really specific keyboard shortcuts that not even GNOME and KDE had. Using Windows without a mouse is surprisingly doable. You can even hit super-b to move the cursor to your tray icons, and from there use space/enter to "click", your menu key for right click equivalent, etc. I think having good keyboard shortcuts in a GUI is really underrated. I use a lot of command line stuff, but a GUI with good keyboard shortcuts is sort of the best of both worlds.


Pretty sure that early versions of windows were specifically designed to be usable without a mouse as it couldn’t guarantee that the ropey-old DOS-era IBM compatible it was running on actually possessed one.

This was in stark contrast to early MacOS which was specifically designed to be unusable without a mouse.


Maybe, but they kept it up across different products over time.

Excel has amazing keyboard shortcuts. Last time I used it (admittedly in 2003) you could do everything except drag the fill handle by using the keyboard.


A lots of the Windows 8/10 design decisions are outright mistakes, not even controversial.

Like in Windows 8, you had to place your mouse on the far right of the screen to access certain features. Fine with a small laptop touch screen, but clearly they haven’t tried it on a 4k, 42” non touch screen at native resolution where the side of the screen is far far away in term of mouse travel.

I believe to this day, the Windows 10 start menu search feature is non deterministic (I removed Cortana and web search). I can search twice the same words and I won’t see the same results, seems random. You can search “SQL management Studio” and “SQL server management studio” won’t show up at any point of the typing (it did in Win7). It feels just broken.

Having two control panels with some settings in one, some others in the other, and because they progressively move them you are never sure where to find them is just bad.

I have many other examples like that. They are not a matter of taste, it is just bad QA and bad design.


I have a similar search setup to yours at work. I type 'm' and get management studio every time. My previous computer developed it, and then it took some time for my current one to get it, but now it always works. I agree that there's some sort of learning going on with the search.


Is there an explicit strategy or vision for Windows?

Does anyone know what it is?


Classic Shell is no longer maintained. It works okay-ish today, but while it was still maintained, its developers had to regularly fix it, because it does rely on undocumented APIs. It's a pretty safe bet that it won't work in the 2020 release, and I'm not aware of any good alternative.

A lot of Linux (and Windows) users don't realize it, but the amount of work that independent developers put into making Windows 10 (and Windows 8) useful for non-consumer applications, like software development or CAD, is breathtaking. There's probably an order of magnitude more people involved in that than in FOSS desktop development right now. This obviously says a lot about Windows' popularity (which, post-Windows 2000, is actually not all that undeserved), but it also says a lot about just how astonishingly terrible some of its design decisions were. Twenty years ago, the kind of hackery that gave us Windows Blinds was considered amazing, but borderline useless, because who the hell needs that after the age of 16. Today, that kind of hackery is essential because who the hell can use that after the age of 16?

There has been no shortage of poorly-though UI changes on Linux, either, but you can at least avoid them there, because you have several choices of desktop environments.

(Edit: yes, I know about OpenShell. Its last bugfix was in August last year.)


> Classic Shell is no longer maintained. It works okay-ish today, but while it was still maintained, its developers had to regularly fix it, because it does rely on undocumented APIs. It's a pretty safe bet that it won't work in the 2020 release, and I'm not aware of any good alternative.

First of all they did continue it on a fork, but in any case, what's this obsession with recent commits? Lack of recent commits means broken software? Have you actually used Classic Shell? I've been using it for years on Windows 8 and 10 and it's been working fine on both despite the lack of maintenance. In my mind it didn't need any.


I have to use Windows on a few machines, so yes, I have "actually used Classic Shell", and have occasionally hit some of the bugs. I dug into one of them but it's been so long since I've written any Windows-related code that I can't really do anything useful anymore :(.


> It takes maybe 5 minutes to download and install Classic Shell and suddenly you have a classic UI

1. Where would a user even learn about a "Classic Shell"?

2. Why would a power user install a third-party thing that radically changes the way the system looks? And one whose development stopped in 2017?

3. And, in general, why? It's the OS' job to provide interfaces for power users.


1. Google old start menu. It's literally the top result.

2/3. Sigh. I didn't realize setting up Classic Shell was so much harder than setting up a Linux box for a power user, I'm sorry. Power users definitely should be the ones to expect their OSes to be perfect for them out of the box, and it's definitely nuts to expect they'd be the ones to customize their systems.


The problem with this is primarily that it's not the default. It's a remedial action to make a poorly functional system usable at a basic level.

People in the know are aware of Classic Shell. Most people aren't. Most people won't take any remedial actions or even find out that there are options; they'll live with it, hating it, and despising Windows even more. The number of people who go to the effort of installing Classic Shell is a tiny minority of the total userbase.


Classic Shell is now unmaintained because MS kept iterating and breaking the APIs being used for it.


The maintained version is Open Shell: https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu


Looking their commit history, all the last "fixes" were rebranding. If I see it right, the latest substantial fix that is an actual improvement was:

https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu/issues/53

A patch by Ivo Beltchev himself! In the just world the man would be paid by Microsoft until the end of his life just for what he did up to now.

The critical fix before that was important and made by the new maintainers:

https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu/pull/33

It also shows that it's a real work keeping everything functioning with each Windows release.


The problem is, Microsoft Does Not Want to support people using older versions or things which permit emulating older versions.

They saw what happened when they let people drag their feet on XP to avoid change, and are seeing it happen with 7, and have been scorched-earthing everywhere to avoid this recurring.

That and being fed up with {customers coming to them having cherry-picked individual patches they thought were important from WSUS and then having unreplicable issues, users who just outright disabled updates of any severity} were why 10 is now a rolling release One Big Patch you cannot permanently disable updates for.

It's a shame, because from a technical standpoint, Windows 10 has a lot of things I like, but from a usability standpoint, it's sometimes worse than Vista.


> it's definitely nuts to expect they'd be the ones to customize their systems.

Power users are the ones who actually get tired of customising shit because nothing has sane configuration by default.

I have better uses for my time and brain power.


> I never understood this complaint about the Windows 8 touch UI from power users or developers. It takes maybe 5 minutes to download and install Classic Shell and suddenly you have a classic UI that lets you forget the new Windows 8 UI ever existed.

That statement shows the complete misrepresentation of what happened and the size of the players:

- Microsoft is a company worth 750 billion USD. There are around 1.5 billion users of their OSes in the world. They decide to change the way the users use their OS.

- Microsoft releases "a new OS", people can't use the knowledge they already acquired, and the new implementation is intuitive, buggy and ridden with real UI problems.

- It remains so for a while.

- Eventually one programmer invests a lot of his time to be able to fix the problems intentionally introduced by the 750 billion USD company. He releases his program for free.

- Every new Microsoft's update of OS again breaks the free program of the single programmer again. He has to invest his time to re-implement the functionality that already existed. Before he fixes it, the OS would again effectively be broken on each user's machine (sometimes actually not functioning due to the interaction of the OS and the non-compatible version of the Classic Shell, at best if the Classic Shell is disabled the OS is in its "original" brokenness). The programmer has to maintain the updates and care how his users get them, but he still fights the 750 billion Goliath.

- So the programmer has to be fast enough to adjust his releases with every new Microsoft release, to work a lot for each of those as Microsoft absurdly doesn't care for a single programmer who actually makes their own product significantly more usable for many of its users.

- Eventually the programmer just decides he can't do it anymore: http://www.classicshell.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8147

In short it's a tale of a single programmer making Windows more usable to many millions of users against the active work of the whole managerial structure of 750 billion USD Microsoft(!), the structure directly being paid to effectively make many of their users less satisfied and less productive, to the point of the users being unable or even unwilling to use the OS. It is that absurd.

All that is completely misrepresented with: "I never understood this complaint ...It takes maybe 5 minutes to download and install Classic Shell."


The power users are the goto point for alot of not power users. So you spend hours and hours of 5 Minutes restoring windows to its original state, and reinstalling that over and over again, when the updates come.


To shutdown Windows 8 (not 8.1), you had to swipe from the right to bring up the "charms" thing and that's where the shutdown option was.

I remember myself having to search for "how to shutdown Windows 8" and feeling like a moron because I really couldn't figure it out on my own.


I agree. It’s been a while, but using OG Windows, you’d open start, then ctrl + u or similar (it’s been a while), and you could restart without touching the mouse. I couldn’t figure how to do it (if possible) in win 10.


Alt + F4 ... been the same for a long time


Oh, I remember what it was:

On newer laptops, you typically have to press a function key to activate f4 (by default). On a thinkpad carbon/dell xps 13 those keys are a bit finicky, especially if used to a mac key layout.

In previous windows versions you could press the dedicated windows button then press "u" and the shutdown dialog would open.


thanks. mac convert, forgot.


You had to do this in Server 2012 too, prior to the R2 release. As much as I like Windows, I never understood the point of crow-barring touch features into Server editions...


or just press alt-f4 on the desktop


> I can offer one terse advice- don't force stuff on people. Give them options. That was Windows's biggest strenght

100% this! I lost all respect for Microsoft when it tried to be Apple and started becoming more controlling and limiting user options in windows os - no, you will have to force update the OS, no, we will upload all your data to our servers and spy on you, no, the OS needs a touch interface even if it is on a desktop pc, and so on ...

Apple atleast offers some benefits with its "controlling" philosophy, but Microsoft just focused on the control aspect. And thus forced me (and I am sure many others) to Linux and MacOs.


Huge rant incoming:

My biggest issue is still not knowing how the (ugh..) fuck to remove Candy Crush Saga from my god damned “downloaded” apps list. On fucking Professional I should not have to deal with that crap. All the instructions on the internet I have found seem to no longer work, and it’s the tiny things that add up that really annoy me. It even shows up in classic shell ...


This project is well-maintained (and extensively forked). It helps you turn all of that crap off.

https://github.com/Disassembler0/Win10-Initial-Setup-Script

I actually bought a Windows 10 Pro for Workstations license because I thought it would let me cleanly install Windows with just a power user set of functionality and none of that XBox / Candy Crush rubbish. Turns out that used to be true, but no longer. Unless you can find a very particular range of old build images on the dark recesses of the Internet you have to do a standard Windows 10 Pro install and then "upgrade" it to Workstations.


Its absurd. Even on the City Workstations I sometimes use when volunteering are plagued by candy crush saga!


Here- let me do some powershell magic ;)

Get-appxpackage \microsoft\ | remove-appxpackage #asterisk around Microsoft

Now replace Microsoft with windows.

One of these will also remove the store - so careful/congrats


Right-click...


You can’t do that with the “advertisement packages”. Thanks for trying though ;).


Yes, you can. One of the options in that right-click menu is "turn off suggestions" which is how you turn them off.


In my case that is entirely broken. It just leaves it there. That’s why I’m frustrated. Regardless, it’s inappropriate to even have it enabled for a Professional installation. It’s so stupid.


It is broken as of changes in recent months. Want to know how to remove it and keep it from appearing? Go to the store, install it and then once it's truly installed you can truly remove it. If you don't do this the 'stub' will never disappear. Yes, this is the junk a 100k+ staff company implements now. It's baffling.


Jesus Christ, that’s the kind of shit that makes me dread booting windows now then.


What changes? The monthly patches?


Even 8.1 was a retreat from the Win8 strategy, and in Win10 I haven’t seen a touch thing at all (I haven’t accidentally started the on screen keyboard that popped up every now and then in 8). Apart from some annoyances - some people get ads on the start menu for example, and the telemetry is universally hated - new releases of 10 are really just a better 7. The improvements such as better high dpi, better shell, wsl etc make the upgrade from 7 to 10 a no brainer.

My biggest issue with win10 is the services that are on by default and take 48h to settle down (upgrading every store app I never use, doing a full AV scan...). It makes it painful to use in a VM as the VM is unusable when you boot it clean or after a long time shut down. Would it be too much to ask to just “don’t do anything in the background that isn’t obvious and cancellable if it uses any disk, cpu or network resources”?


All the extra padding, whitespace and giant box like elements of design (compare new calc app to old calc app) show that touch is still being pushed. Same with the toggle on/off options for 99% of newer UI windows. Those are aimed purely at one press touch users.


> They started running after the touch segment

Phones and tablets were (and are) a huge market. Everyone chased that market.

> deliberately removed the keyboard interface

Never happened (or I don't understand what you're saying.) Pressing the Windows key on your keyboard and typing the name of the program you want to launch works exactly the same in Windows 7, 8, and 10.

> I had a Windows specific app Idea that I had to drop because Windows was unusable for me.

I'm sorry. You can switch from Windows 7 to Linux, but not from Windows 7 to Windows 8, because the differences between Windows 7 and 8 are too great? Are you being serious?


I find Windows 8 complaints so full of hyperbole. I used Windows 8 daily on my work laptop for years, and these are the items I needed to adjust to.

Launching programs: Windows key + type type <enter> to Windows + S + type type <enter> (I still use that on W10)

Shutting down the PC: click on start to right-click on start

The Windows 8 UI was a failure and it sucks you need to adjust, but come on. I'd prefer Linux too, but changing an entire OS over easily avoidable UI gripes sounds weird to me.


It depends how low the barrier is to switching. For me it's very low. I use Windows at work, OSX at home and Linux frequently at both so the only question is which do I want to use on my home machine? Switching for me is just a question of a few hours work re-installing stuff. Plus as a techie there are benefits just to switching, due to becoming more intimately familiar with a different OS. For me that's a plus all by itself.

As for Windows 8, I did use it daily as my primary office OS for several years and I deeply hated it. These stupid side bars kept popping up all the time, system settings were hard to find, constantly switching back and forth between two completely different UIs grated against my nerves every single time. 10 has the same problems, but straightened out just enough to just be irritating rather than actively painful.

It's not like MacOS has no pain points. I'd love to have easier access to more games, but Porting Kit works just well enough to bridge that gap for me.


No hyperbole-

Win+s was the ultimate snipping tool powered by OneNote.

Shutting down is shutdown /t0

So you see- I know my way around but I still find windows shitty.


Win 10 is pretty ok for keyboard users.


The single biggest change I hope for, is Windows not forcing my computer to reboot for an update. It's kind of acceptable forcing me to update when I reboot myself, but rebooting for me is just a no-go. Especially as it just gets stuck at my BIOS password and keeps the computer on all night.

I know I won't get that wish fulfilled.


I don't know if this is perhaps different for the Enterprise edition?

I use the Enterprise edition, and while it asks me if I want to reboot to update from time to time, I don't remember it ever forcing a reboot - which is just as well, as I tend to go weeks without rebooting (I just put it to sleep when I'm done, so I can resume the next day).

BTW, if anyone reading this thinks Enterprise edition is only available for large corporations, it's not - you get something like 5 licenses with the Microsoft Action Pack, which is incredible value for what you get.


Yes, on Home you have to pick a (12 now? Used to be 16) hour window as not being your active time during which time the OS will just inform you it's rebooting for updates and you don't get a choice. Pro used to be the same, but it hasn't bothered me about in a while so it may have been removed


Hmm, you get to pick a window on Enterprise too, but while it will remind you from time to time, I haven't had it force a reboot.


I'm running education, which should be identical in features to the enterprise version. A forced update just happened to me two days ago, about a week after Windows decided to update to the "October update".


Great. Did they bring back the color-scheme editor?

Now that everyone is (30+ years later) finally realizing that inverse-video color schemes are dumb... Microsoft REMOVED the color-scheme editor from Windows. WTF?


I work using a TV screen from a distance to protect my eyes.

Microsoft pissed me off when they removed the ability to selectively increase font-size of elements like context menus, labels, content / message boxes... Without this, I'd have to zoom everything - font, and icons - pixelated and ugly!

Now I'm forced to use winaero tweaker which doesn't allow all the changes I could in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and earlier versions of Win 10.


> I work using a TV screen from a distance to protect my eyes.

Out of pure curiosity, how does that protect your eyes? And from what?


It doesn't. Eye fatigue is caused by being focused on the same depth for prolonged periods of time. That fixed depth being slightly closer or further away changes very little.

Having a habit of regularly looking away from your monitor and focusing on a distant object negates it. When doing prolonged microscopy work, we were trained to take a break every 30 min and focus on something very close, then focus on something far, back and forth, several times.


I suppose that is to avoid to look at a large screen too close.


With custom UI toolkits more prevalent than ever these days, do such tweaks even work across a wide range of applications?


Generally, if stuff like this breaks I usually drop the application.


That's assuming you can drop it.


Yeah, sometimes that's a problem. Usually, these apps tend to be some sort of web technology, which means I can use them in a browser, so I've been lucky in that sense.


It worked for all the applications I use except one - a music player.

And in that music player, it mostly worked except for some dialog boxes.


Windows is now an OS for amateurs and not professionals.



I totally forgot about this feature from my pre Mac windows XP days


Unless I can install a tiny core and decide myself what modules I need I'm not at all interested in a new Windows. Look at that huge list of services it installs (and often runs!).

Bloaty McBloatface.


I'll stick with Windows 7, thanks.

The last OS that doesn't try to babysit me.


I get this argument from my father in law too so I don't take it as a joke. He had used XP until 1-2 years ago and doesn't care about the security risks of an unmaintained os.


Some people only learn through consequence.


Win 7 support ends January 14th 2020.


Have you met our lord and saviour Arch Linux?


Right, Arch is the perfect distro for someone who wants their system to leave them alone and stop changing things.


I used to think this way too until I tried it. Honestly not as bad as I was told.


I used it as my primary home machine for half a year or so back in c. 2013. I dreaded running pacman -Syu. It seemed like every time, some package required my attention to keep working.


When Windows 7 support ends, I'm very seriously considering switching to Linux as a main OS and keeping the W7 machine for air-gapped single player games.

Probably not Arch though, something a bit more user friendly, like Elementary OS or Solus Linux


As a Gnome purist, I like Fedora. It's curated almost as strongly as elementary and Solus, just with a different set of software.

Ubuntu is always a reasonable choice; I'd recommend it if you don't mind a slightly clunkier user experience, especially around installing software. Compared to Fedora, it comes with a larger range of worse-curated software packages, aimed much more at dabblers rather than end-users. The breadth of documentation for Ubuntu is as much a curse, because it's now mostly obsolete.

(I've never actually used Arch Linux; it just has a very strong reputation of helpful guidance, but DIY and no babysitting.)


I held out on Windows 7 for a long time, but I have to say that now Windows 10 has matured I actually really like it.

In particular I like the high-DPI capabilities, improved console, WSL, Windows Containers, Windows Defender and even the new Start Menu (after removing all the games and cruft, and replacing tiles with things I actually want).


Windows was once quite exciting, it punched above its weight and enabled people to do stuff that they didn't know they wanted to do but were grateful for it.

This energy is now in the browser with Chrome being where the innovation is at.

Microsoft can do whatever they like with their venerable operating system but the days of it being exciting and newsworthy are over. The fun is elsewhere and they have missed the boat with mobile and the internet browser.

I know you can do development on Windows but I only see Apple things at those conferences and in meeting rooms.

Personally I prefer linux and will never believe that the Windows file system will be performant enough to be better than linux, not that this matters for everything but it does if dealing with data. And there is no way for them to fix that due to legacy issues. Decades ago they were going to make a file system more like a cool relational database, that dream died too.


>I know you can do development on Windows but I only see Apple things at those conferences and in meeting rooms.

That's just biased to macbook pros. I might be biased because I work in gaming but windows workstations are pretty great and getting better. Meanwhile, dealing with Apple's increasing anti-professional hardware offering is getting worse every year.


I thought the same thing. It's also very biased towards developers.

The biggest market is not developers and power users. It's office workers, which need email and office, and it's PC gamers and VR enthusiasts that need powerful hardware. Both of these markets are heavily Windows dominated, because it just works better than Linux and Apple. (because Apple has shitty hardware for games and is way more expensive for office usecases)

The casual market is already in the hands of smartphones and maybe tablets. They don't need a laptop to surf the internet, write emails and play casual games.


> I know you can do development on Windows but I only see Apple things at those conferences and in meeting rooms.

When I buy a Dell or a Lenovo laptop, I'm confronted with a bewildering range of computers. I can build a machine that works for me in a couple hours, most probably (and I like the dual storage options). When I buy an Apple, I choose size, processor, memory and storage and that's it. It takes 5 minutes (I have to deselect the UK keyboard and order the US one from here). I had top-of-the-line Dells and Lenovos die on me for no reason. I never had an Apple do that since the late 80's. My wife had a MBP in the trunk when the car was totaled in a rear collision. The computer lived the rest of its life with a scar in one corner and a bent ethernet connector (that still worked flawlessly despite the marginally non-standard shape).

I sometimes indulge in server porn - I wish Oracle, HPE, Dell, and Lenovo allowed us to check prices and configure their 8-way servers more easily - just to check what a single node can be configured with, but, when buying a machine to do actual work, I want as little headache as I possibly can, hence my work laptops tend to be Apples.

The OS is also nicer, and that's part of the fewer headaches.

> Decades ago they were going to make a file system more like a cool relational database, that dream died too.

I watched that dream die multiple times. Even if it lived, I doubt it'd perform well in comparison to file systems that do nothing but make sure the files are properly written and quickly read. I like the idea of metadata that can't detach from the file it belongs to, but assigning meaning to it is something that's better dealt with a couple layers above the FS.


Don’t bother reading TFA. It’s spends a thousand words to tell you that Skip Ahead users are surprisingly getting 2020 H1 Windows, instead of 2019 H2 Windows as expected.

No mention of what those features are.


"Windows 20-20, codenamed "hindsight", will be the first truly open-sourced release of the Windows operating system.

According to the company's CEO Nadella: "Ads and telemetry? Forced upgrades? In an OS? I really don't know what we were thinking at that time. We're sorry." and proceeded to add "Except for candy crush. The bright colors really soothe my nerves when I'm coming down from, uhm, executive decision making."




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