Second, I'm very curious to see how the Windows App store plays out. The #1 thing it needs to do to improve Windows as an OS is distribute free software. There is a lot of excellent free software available for windows like chrome, firefox, VLC, foobar2000, texmaker, Notepad++, uTorrent, etc.. Users have to go to different websites to download everything. This is such a pain that people have come up with installers, like ninite, that aggregate free software together into a single download. Ninite doesn't have everything I use, but it can easily shave hours off of setting up a new Windows box!
One major advantage of an App store is that software distributed through it can be policed for malware and viruses. If MS could get users to use their store as much as possible there is the potential to improve security of the OS. The only way MS can do this is to build their store up as a trusted and comprehensive distribution center that is all most users need. MS should view it as a failure on their part whenever users are forced to go elsewhere to get software, even software that competes with Microsoft products or which duplicates core functionality of the OS. That's where Apple's App store failed! In order to do this, MS needs to devote resources to lowering the barrier to publication in their store. Don't get me wrong, I am dead-set against Windows moving towards an entirely walled-garden iOS style ecosystem. The ability to install software from outside the store should be preserved, nor should it be limited in any way. However, I would welcome a central distribution point for Windows software like what Linux has.
Debian's APT package management system is brilliant. Even 10 years ago it would have made today's Apple App store look sad and pathetic. It is both comprehensive and incredibly smart in how it makes software modular with clear dependencies that are managed automatically for the user. This is the dream that all application stores should aspire towards. Redmond and Cupertino, for the love of your users, please start your copiers.
With regards an APT for Windows, I don't see how that wouldn't be possible to add to Windows as a third party thing. With a nice GUI and search and a default catalog of quality mainly OSS software with no toolbars or BS and have it also keep everything upto date.
That way you could just install it on all of your relatives who use Windows's computers and tell them just to download everything from either that or the MS app store.
So, basically, burn respective .iso to a USB key, boot from it, install, enter the key from the sticker on the bottom of the laptop - done. Caveats are (a) limited choice of languages (b) lack of some brand-specific drivers, but if you run English version on a common laptop, it's very straight forward.
I noticed that starting with Vista, the distinction between OEM vs Non-OEM key seems to have been reduced. This makes life easier when there is no recovery partition or the hard-drive is hosed. Whereas with XP, you did have to use an OEM version for the key to work.
I have not had any issue validating windows using the above versions of Win 7, as well as a few vista cds that I believe are retail, as long as there is an OEM sticker on the laptop. Every so often I have to call in and do the automated telephone activation, but they are valid CD Keys and I think that is probably tied to how often the key was activated.
Having said that, at least with Vista, the disc the manufacturer gives you is often locked to a specific laptop/bios/board.
reason number 1001 why I hate windows
So, not your phone number, or the match of the given code with your computer's IP and usage when you go online?
and then there might be a specific patch or workaround that's been applied by the oem that keeps the computer from exploding, but they sold it anyway because you can blow yourself up as much as you like AFTER voiding the warranty.
That's not a clean install.
A clean install is buying a retail version of Windows and blasting it down on your HD.
Recovery DVDs recover what the hardware vendor put there in the first place.
Or you can buy a computer that doesn't come with Windows in the first place.
You can wipe a Windows 7 install and do a completely clean Windows 8 install.
Now I think about it these just seems like such an obvious idea that I'm surprised nobody ever did it.
Go tell your mom to format her hard drive and let me know what she says. I don't know about you but for most of us the answer would be "what?".
ninite seems just like what the doctor ordered and I cannot believe I haven't heard of it until now.
I know what I'll be trying out when we get new dev-machines at work and need to go through yet another reinstall. Thanks a bunch :)
But for the standard "Pro" versions of Windows available at Best Buy for $65, you can run anything you want, including a lot of legacy apps all the way back to Windows XP.
HAHAHAHAHA IT'S LIKE I'M ACTUALLY LIVING IN 1997