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Windows 10: The Next Chapter [video] (microsoft.com)
117 points by finnh on Jan 21, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 176 comments



I don't know, but this whole "I refuse to consider [product X] before I've even seen it" thing doesn't strike me as the sort of open-minded, objective attitude a good engineer should have. Great for Apple's bottom line, though.

I've gone back and forth between Mac and Windows boxes for years. I have a MacBook Pro and a Dell XPS 12 with Win8.1 and I use them interchangeably. They're both perfectly usable and both have their pros and cons.

I want to see what Microsoft has to offer--especially curious to see if they can leverage their desktop size to resuscitate their mobile platform.


Ditto.

I was an MS person for about 18 years but the range of hardware for high end laptops running MS has become poor. I finally eat my own hat and bought a Macbook Pro, with Parallels...have to say, it's a very impressive integration and experience. Not sure would I go back.


Curious what you use as a Terminal replacement in Windows? I tried cygwin a few years ago and it was painful. Windows Powershell isn't standard enough for me.


> Windows Powershell isn't standard enough for me.

Then Windows isn't standard enough for you. The traditional UNIX toolset does not work on Windows - something as simple as chmod, or the concept of files being owned by users, works entirely differently. Things as simple as mv have entirely different semantics - there isn't a guaranteed atomic file rename function (well, actually, looks like one was implemented in Windows Vista... which doesn't work on network drives, including redirected folders which are used to map your home directory transparently to a network drive in many companies).

In administering Windows systems, practically nothing is implemented as text mangling, so text mangling isn't a core part of the system's interface.

Once you've thrown out all the stuff that works differently or can't be implemented reliably, you don't have a terrible amount left. If you want some subset of the GNU toolset for development, there's MSYS and a few other projects.

Or you could learn how to use a system that doesn't buy into the UNIX monoculture, which has been a detriment to operating system research and development for the past couple of decades.


> Or you could learn how to use a system that doesn't buy into the UNIX monoculture

My first computer was a ZX Spectrum. It didn't run UNIX.

> which has been a detriment to operating system research and development for the past couple of decades.

You're claiming that having access to free Operating Systems, with free tools and access to the source for them all has stifled OS research? That claim appears nonsensical on the face of it. Care to expand?


> Care to expand?

Certainly. It's not access to free OSes that's the problem - it's that both the major one and most of the minor ones are derivatives of either UNIX or the POSIX specification. (Haiku is the only semi-popular one which attempts to do something different.) There's little chance of stepping outside that box in any major way.

For example, a slowly-moving research project of mine is to build a fully functional OS that uses capabilities, per-application sandboxing, a generic object store instead of a filesystem, a built-in intra- and inter-computer RPC mechanism, standardised configuration (from the network admin level downwards), and a powerful Smalltalk-based GUI for managing all of this, on the idea that today's information workers need better ability to manage and script their system, including building new applications out of existing ones. The Linux ecosystem doesn't provide a meaningful, standardised interface for doing so for many office-y applications or complex formats.

While you could theoretically layer all this on top of POSIX (and in fact, that's the first implementation of my system), you are at the same time throwing away 99% of POSIX, and you are highly expected to maintain compatibility with apps for the system you're building on top of - which likely don't fit in with your system's design, and doesn't encourage the creation of applications for, or modification of existing applications to fit, your new system design.

This sort of greenfield R&D is what's been missing. Even universities are primarily stuck getting POSIX running on various kernel architectures, avoiding the topic of OS design entirely. You could point towards Android as a counter-example, but that's not a desktop OS - its primary competitors were proprietary OSes made by the smartphone vendors, and it's still not really capable of being used as a primary OS.


> it's that both the major one and most of the minor ones are derivatives of either UNIX or the POSIX specification.

How is that the problem? How does that stop you from doing anything?

> you are at the same time throwing away 99% of POSIX, and you are highly expected to maintain compatibility with apps for the system you're building on top of

Expected by whom? Who has any expectations for your own personal research project? I'd fully expect an experimental OS not to have any apps at all, besides basic utilities.

I'm not going to point to any OS as a counter example, because you haven't made clear how the existence of any other UNIX-like OS prevents you from doing anything. If you want to do "greenfield R&D" then go ahead. No-one is stopping you.


It doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything, but the result is that non-POSIX OSes will never take off in any meaningful way, therefore research is close to worthless.


New POSIX OSes won't take off in a meaningful way either (whatever 'meaningful' means). It's nothing to do with it being POSIX or not, it's just difficult to get traction for a new OS. Linux faced exactly the same issue when it was released.

But why do you need it to take off in a meaningful way? Open Source software doesn't need a particular market share to keep going, it just needs a certain absolute number of people (which differs depending on the software). Is having a small committed core of users not enough for you? If your research is truly useful then that number will grow over time.

Unless you're talking about a commercial OS, in which case Microsoft is your obstacle, not POSIX. Good luck with that.


Maybe, maybe not. IMO, capabilities-based systems are all around us these days, just not in a completely pure form and not in the way most people expected (it's at a higher level, that is, in the way apps are being built on web APIs).

I also note that Microsoft built a capabilities-based OS (Singularity - it's open source, have you considered building on something like this?) and that one of the most important modern contributors to the space (J. Shapiro) now works at MS Research last I read. Given his lifetime interest and work in the area it's not a stretch to imagine what they may have hired him to work on.


I use Cmder, which is based on ConEmu. It looks really nice, and the msysgit version gives you pretty much everything you need out of the box.

https://bliker.github.io/cmder/


I use this everyday and it's absolutely first class.



Cygwin comes with mintty [1] now, which is a decent terminal, though it doesn't match iTerm, Gnome terminal, etc. in terms of features (like tabs).

[1]: https://code.google.com/p/mintty/


I agree on principle, but not necessarily in practice. I go back and forth between Linux and Mac every couple of years, but haven't touched windows since XP. And I won't until they offer a journaled filesystem and a halfway decent shell. What can I say, Mac and Linux have spoiled me. ;)


NTFS does supports journaling – as far as I can tell it's been there in Windows NT from the start, so XP would have been the first consumer version that offered it.

As for the shell, they did have a (barely) halfway decent clone of the OS/2 Workplace Shell in Windows 95, but by Windows 98 they had already screwed it up (trying to make a spatial file manager also be a browser) and every version since then has been a regression. :/


I stand corrected about NTFS and journaling. I don't know, maybe I'm looking backwards with brown colored glasses, but I remember NTFS being a serious weakness of Windows. Has that changed?


NTFS has improved significantly since the XP days. Just one example is its online self-healing abilities and the massive reduction in the time it takes to scan a volume for errors. [1]

[1] http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/09/redesigning-ch...


Free upgrades for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users -- wow, that's different from the Microsoft of old. Clearly they've decided that they've got enough in the coffers to be not as concerned about losing money in the short term to get some good PR.


I think they're making their steady profits from corporate clients and big business solutions, (Azure etc). They have given up on selling Windows to remain relevant in the consumer side, it may be a smart move to keep consumers on the Windows platform as they explore alternative consumer strategies.


Especially after introducing Office 365.

These days you don't get a Office copy to use, you get 1 year free...


I don't think this is a PR move. This looks like a new business model that finally acknowledges the facts on the ground. OS version upgrades for consumers are either free and mostly automatic or they don't happen.

It's not just a Windows phenomenon. I'm sure 90% of Android users would never pay for and actively install an Android version upgrade. Even OS X upgrades are now free, supposedly for the same reason.

So if Microsoft makes very little money on consumer version upgrades anyway, they could just as well let everyone use the latest version for free and make life a lot easier for themselves and for millions of developers.

It's a very welcome move that is long overdue.


When they say "free for the first year" is that "free to upgrade" during the first year it's available, or "free for one year" then you'll pay a subscription to continue using the operating system after that year?


At this point I would consider it in line with what they did for Windows 8. For the first while after release it was possible to upgrade from Windows 7 for $15.

This looks to be an embrace and extend :) of their own idea.... Now free for a whole year.

Obviously more details once it is closer to release but sounds great so far.


Here is the slide from the Verge livecast [0]. It's followed with this quotation

"Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, we'll be keeping it current for the supported lifetime for the device."

I'm not sure what they mean by "lifetime for the device", but I think it means you have a year to decide to upgrade to Windows 8, and then it'll be supported for as long as your device is working.

[0] http://d35lb3dl296zwu.cloudfront.net/uploads/photo/image/191...


That was my interpretation as well, however, people who build their own computers should probably look in detail what the license entails as it may be like Windows 8 System Builder Edition. AFAIK, the System Builder Edition is bound to your computer's motherboard and any changes will make Windows unusable.


It seems that MS is coming around to the idea that charging consumers for the OS is no longer terribly good business, even though they have less skin in the hardware game than Apple does.


Or it's just a desperate attempt to try to make people want to get the latest Windows version again, after the Windows 8 fiasco. You could see it either way, I guess.


So when Apple does it everyone cheers, when Microsoft does it it is a "desperate attempt?" Ok.


Since Apple's core product is hardware, and Microsoft's core product is an OS (at least in this case), it makes sense they would each want to commoditize the other.

So "Yes, for good reason" is the answer to your question.


For anyone having trouble with the stream, you can watch it in VLC if you open network stream with the following URL: http://msstudios-live2.wm.llnwd.net/msstudios_live2 It doesn't have the buffering issues that I see using the flash player.


I don't get any video from this for some reason.


Call me stubborn, but I just can't see going back to windows after switching to os x. People complain about bugs a lot lately, but I haven't experienced any. Windows just feels like an uphill battle to do everything I want to these days. I feel like a start button and multiple workspaces won't really change that.

However, I'm all for new tech so I want there to be room for everyone. I'm excited to see the future of windows.


I really wanted to love OSX, but never could. I run Linux + Windows on my Macbook Pro -- Linux is a better and more open *nix, and Windows is just way faster and more stable in general than anything else (at least that's my experience), especially when it comes to anything graphics intensive (graphics drivers are really-really bad on OSX). Obviously web devs see it in a different way, and I can understand that. But if you know Powershell well, then Windows can be quite convenient. For development my choice is either Windows + VS or Linux + whatever. OSX is a nice middle ground though, it's just not for me.


I feel the same way actually, but I realize that my opinion on this isn't mainstream. Using OS X has always been an exercise in frustration for me. Outside of the "real" shell the entire UI doesn't seem to be designed for software professionals.

Ironically, the more that Windows tries to be like OS X the less I like it. Thankfully, it's still possible to turn much of that stuff off.


I don't really feel like Metro is going towards OS X at all, they seem to be strongly going their own way.

>Outside of the "real" shell the entire UI doesn't seem to be designed for software professionals

Interesting, any specific examples? I'm genuinely curious. For me, the more I use OSX, the more I'm frustrated with Windows. The one thing I do miss from Windows is better full screen support. Yosemite kinda helped with that (but it's still kinda clunky).

Other than that, I feel like there's a little more logic behind OSX with common operations, off the top of my head:

Option/alt to modify existing commands. The keyboard kungfu on OSX seems easier on the hands, too, since the combos typically rely on thumb keys vs a Windows pinky reach of Ctrl. Especially noticeable because the thumbs seem pretty underutilized vs pinkies, which already have plenty of keyboard duties.

File renaming: "Enter" to rename a file vs "F2" (something I happily accepted as random dogma, but now it's "??")

Folder/file nav: unified drill down in the file browser (cmd+up/down to navigate levels, with the file level simply opening the file, vs arrow keys, then enter to open)

Window management: being able to close all windows without exiting the app itself (handy when I'm clearing clutter but I don't want to pay a cost for restarting a big application, or if I simply just didn't realize it was the last window when I closed it, and now I have to relaunch the application)

*Scrolling: Being able to scroll any window whether or not it's the active application, so long as the mouse cursor is hovering over content.

Not to say everything is more logical, just common things I do. The screen capture shortcut is totally bizarre to me, I have to google it every time.


> don't really feel like Metro is going towards OS X at all, they seem to be strongly going their own way.

I actually meant the desktop parts, no metro. For example, the taskbar is becoming more dock-like in every release.

> Interesting, any specific examples? I'm genuinely curious.

It's somewhat hard to nail down. I find it much more mouse heavy. I find the window management to be annoying; I prefer full-screen apps with dockable panels to the mess of random windows normally found in OS X apps. I definitely feel having one menu bar WAY at the top of a single screen to be insane. I'm sitting in front of 2 24" monitors kinda makes OS X seem a bit underwhelming. On Windows, I have two task bars showing different tasks for each window. Two start menus (thanks Classicshell) and my apps have their own menus.

It seems like the apps have a lot of style-over-substance going on. Code editors with pop-out drawers which are both stupid and a waste of pixels.

> File renaming: "Enter" to rename a file vs "F2" (something I happily accepted as random dogma, but now it's "??")

F2 works but I never use it. I always just click twice to rename.

> Window management: being able to close all windows without exiting the app itself (handy when I'm clearing clutter but I don't want to pay a cost for restarting a big application, or if I simply just didn't realize it was the last window when I closed it, and now I have to relaunch the application)

Most Windows applications are MDI or tabbed so this seems like less of issue. Even a lot of OS X apps are tabbed. I actually hate what you like: nothing but the menu bar open indicating that the app is in focus and running. I've been confused by that a few times.

> Scrolling: Being able to scroll any window whether or not it's the active application, so long as the mouse cursor is hovering over content.

Yeah, you got me there. For the longest time, OS X was missing some really obvious stuff though. Like resizing windows from any corner! I found nothing more annoying than having to move a window around to then resize it.

> Not to say everything is more logical, just common things I do. The screen capture shortcut is totally bizarre to me, I have to google it every time.

SHIFT-PRNTSCN? It's got a labeled key on the keyboard!


Ha, looks like my opinions hurt someone's feelings and got downvoted. Meh.

>SHIFT-PRNTSCN? It's got a labeled key on the keyboard!

Right. I meant it was less logical on OSX. Cmd-shift-3? Bizarre. And yeah, I had to google it again. http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201361

>I actually hate what you like: nothing but the menu bar open indicating that the app is in focus and running. I've been confused by that a few times.

Haha, I'm glad we can civilly hate each other's preferences. To me, repeating the menu strip for each window is a waste of real-estate, but i'm a huge desktop space whore. I don't need "File, Edit, etc" on every program window. I know it's there, so I prefer it to be in a common area. Actually, I find myself getting confused the other way around. In Windows, if I step away from my desk, and come back, it's not clear to me which program is currently active because they're all showing their menu bars just like all the other programs (now that we discuss it, I feel like the root of our different workflows has as lot to do with the fact that I prefer to autohide my taskbars). This combined with the unified window/program closing has lead to gnashing of teeth more than once.

>Most Windows applications are MDI or tabbed so this seems like less of issue.Even a lot of OS X apps are tabbed.

I appreciate the shift with some programs, but it doesn't seem as prevalent as I feel it should be, or we're not talking about the same thing. IE and Office are definitely guilty of this. Ctrl+w your tabs enough, and it'll simply close out the program. Or if you choose to X out your windows via mouse, if it's the last window, it will exit out the program. "Window" and "program" seem to be synonymous, so this requires I do a time-wasting check whether it's the last instance or not. Whereas in OSX, exiting the program is a discrete cmd+q vs closing a window (cmd+w). As long as those two remain intertwined concepts in Windows, it's going to feel less logical to me (in my opinion of course).

So far, I feel pretty keyboard-warrior-y just as much as I was on Windows. Which probably comes back to workflows. As you pointed out, you use the mouse to rename files, whereas I don't. I figure if I'm renaming a file, I need to type a new name, so my hands can be in the classic "home" position instead of moving around to the mouse or F2.

I can see your point about the taskbar, but after a month of use (which admittedly was painful), I honestly stopped missing it. The OS X dock does show what apps are open as well with a lit up effect. Though in both OSes, I end up autohiding them. And worst case scenario, the OS X version of aero tab/Winkey+tab groups together all your active windows by program (though the feature kind of chugged when it first released, but I'd argue aero tab was pretty clunky on older machines when it first came out as well).

>For the longest time, OS X was missing some really obvious stuff though. Like resizing windows from any corner!

So true. And they finally ditched the bizarre "green" button behavior.


> Ha, looks like my opinions hurt someone's feelings and got downvoted. Meh.

Yeah, stupid, have an upvote!

> Haha, I'm glad we can civilly hate each other's preferences. To me, repeating the menu strip for each window is a waste of real-estate, but i'm a huge desktop space whore. I don't need "File, Edit, etc" on every program window.

Well a lot of programs are ditching having a menu bar at all. This Firefox window I'm typing this into is really minimal -- no menu at all. If you're a desktop space whore than this is better than both options. I feel like the Mac way makes sense when desktop space is at a premium (like with the original Mac) but I have more desktop space than I know what to do with!

> Actually, I find myself getting confused the other way around. In Windows, if I step away from my desk, and come back, it's not clear to me which program is currently active

That's a valid point. After getting distracted, I've typed into the wrong window in my multi-monitor desktop because the wrong app has focus. But I don't think I'd be any more likely to look in the very top left corner of one monitor to see which one is active either. In a single monitor situation, this is almost a non-issue.

> I feel like the root of our different workflows has as lot to do with the fact that I prefer to autohide my taskbars

Yeah, I don't autohide but I do make them smaller than the current Windows default.

> As long as those two remain intertwined concepts in Windows, it's going to feel less logical to me (in my opinion of course).

This is a totally valid point and I don't have a good argument against it. But I think it comes with the baggage of having that single top menu bar which I think is much less logical. But I'm not sure if it's possible to reconcile these things. I will say that Office has probably the worst window management of any application on Windows but thankfully I usually only have one document open at a time. Ironically, NextStep has menus in each app and this was removed when it became OS X to make the transition easier for users.

> So far, I feel pretty keyboard-warrior-y just as much as I was on Windows.

I'm actually more of a mouse person or perhaps more accurately a combo mouse/keyboard. But strangely enough, my file management workflow is weirdly hampered on OS X. I found a few apps that just wouldn't let me CTRL-C CTRL-V a file into them, for example. I'm willing to concede if I used nothing but the keyboard, the Finder might be better but in my usage I just find it frustrating.


Here are some more examples of OS X UI deficiencies compared to Windows:

- Keyboard acceleration for application menus is more consistent and robust under Windows. Press Alt + the underlined letter of any menu to activate it and then hunt around using the arrow keys. Press underlined letter of menu item to activate it. No memorizing arcane shortcuts.

- Windows' Taskbar is much, much more flexible than OS X's Dock because it does everything the Dock does in it's default mode and it's got other modes that the Dock does not such as having one "entry per window" instead of one "entry per application that displays a list of windows when clicked". I like entry per window mode. The Taskbar is also highly customizable via something like 7+ taskbar tweaker where you can make "taskbar entries" act like browser tabs (middle click to close). Apple never gives anyone access to the proper APIs to customize the Dock. Developers can't even change NSScreen.visibleFrame so even if you wanted to replace the Dock you couldn't do it properly and windows end up behind your replacement (a bug all dock replacement software shares).

- Apple seems to prefer buttons that have icons with no labels everywhere. Also, they seem to like little tiny buttons for things like Add/Delete an item in a list, where a Windows app would have a nice big button with an icon and a label. Windows is just more utilitarian over all and Microsoft generally seems to value function over style, which matches my own preferences.

- The Windows Explorer is much more flexible and extensible than the OS X Finder. Extending the Explorer context menu is a matter of course on Windows. There's a very robust API for it. Overall, the Finder is vastly inferior to Explorer which is also easier to navigate with a keyboard.

- Save/Open dialogs in OS X are limited. One example: I go to save a file and create a folder. Ooops, I want to delete that folder but I can't do it from the dialog, I have to go and open a Finder instance. Windows generally lets you do anything in an Open/Save dialog that you can do from a Windows Explorer instance. There's a plugin for OS X that attempts to fix some of these issues called "Default Folder X".

- Display management: OS X doesn't have handy features to quickly turn off external displays like Windows where I just hit Win+P. If I want to get rid of a monitor in OS X I have to turn it off or unplug the video cable. Maybe in Yosemite they added the ability to disable a monitor via control panel. OS X also wants to go to sleep if I close a Macbook/Pro lid, even if an external monitor is plugged in.


>Save/Open dialogs in OS X are limited. One example: I go to save a file and create a folder. Ooops, I want to delete that folder but I can't do it from the dialog, I have to go and open a Finder instance. Windows generally lets you do anything in an Open/Save dialog that you can do from a Windows Explorer instance. There's a plugin for OS X that attempts to fix some of these issues called "Default Folder X".

This was also a great annoyance for me on Linux (or more specifically, with the GTK file save/open dialog).


The delete thing is actually not true https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8930181


I wasn't talking about OSX though.


Sure, and I wasn't attempting to correct you. Merely pointing out the original premise is not true.


Thanks for taking the time to check my assertions and for replying. I think that one feature changed in Mavericks.

I'm honestly not ecstatic about any of the desktop OS choices today, but I have hope that will change one day!


> - Keyboard acceleration for application menus is more consistent and robust under Windows. Press Alt + the underlined letter of any menu...

Definitely true. Although, the "common core" keyboard shortcuts are represented enough for me. I don't care to remember each individual program's hot letters. But it definitely is a lifesaver when you don't have access to a mouse.

> Apple seems to prefer buttons that have icons with no labels...Also, they seem to like...

That's beyond debatable subjectivity and well into the realm of "I just don't like it", so I'll just leave it at that (though I will say Chrome for windows is pretty icon heavy, and Visual Studio is moving that way as well). And to be fair, I think API and extensions are beyond the scope of what we were talking about.

> Ooops, I want to delete that folder but I can't do it from the dialog,

That's definitely not true. I just walked over to an OSX machine and verified it wasn't my imagination. Perhaps it was a recent addition, I'll give you that, but I don't recall it being an issue for quite some time.

Sometimes I do miss the full power of a file explorer in my Save/Open dialog, but it's not all heaven on earth. If I'm working in directories in active instances of Explorer, and then I decide I want to save a file from a program to one of those directories, the dialog will use a default (typically My Documents) or the last used path that the application remembers you using. This means I have to drill down or seek out the aforementioned directories either through mouse or typing in the path manually. I find that to be an annoying waste of time, especially if I was deep in a directory tree in a totally different "forest" if you will.

With OSX, I can drag over the folder from Finder to the Save dialog, and it knows that, since the context is "you want to save something", that it should switch to that directory. The Windows save dialog will act like a special Explorer instance, as you said, and copy the dragged directory instead. Sure, there are a few times where that's handy, but I prefer the more logical contextual use.

- Display management

I agree with that, OS X is definitely lagging on multi-monitor features (although I personally rarely need to shut off or unplug my second monitor).


> Outside of the "real" shell the entire UI doesn't seem to be designed for software professionals.

Funny, because one of my big peeves with Windows and Linux is that certain developer-handy UI/UX features are missing and/or a pain in the ass to set up (even aside from the terminal).

* Emacs editing and movement shortcuts are built into OSX system-wide. (Ctrl+A and Ctrl+P collide on Win, Linux and keyboard management in ubuntu is messy and unreliable)

* Modifier-remapping is easy and solid on OSX (Need to run the download.com gauntlet on Windows, Linux is again an unreliable mess)

* Opening a document's parent folder(s) is easy and universal on OSX (command click on document icon in title bar), good luck finding this outside an IDE anywhere else.

* Turning off a laptop's screen on demand is easy and reliable on OSX. It's frustrating on windows (I need 2 apps and a couple lines of code, wtf) and a nightmare on linux (where you're lucky to get working brightness control at all, let alone one that goes all the way to 0).

* Thermal management is solid on OSX. I can let my laptop build at night and sleep in the same room because the fan controller actually works. Meanwhile, Linux doesn't recognize the fans (you know what that means: max rpm all the time) and windows revs up like a NASCAR driver in rush hour traffic (it bluescreened both custom fan control apps I've tried, naturally).

* It's easy to get a file from Finder into "Open..." dialogs: just drag and drop (e.g. attach file), as opposed to re-navigating through the entire filesystem. Windows has one especially braindead "open" dialog type that almost seems to be designed for the particular purpose of making this difficult (you know, the one that doesn't let you Ctrl+L, doesn't scroll sideways, doesn't remember the last directory you were in, etc).

* Finder knows how to sort alphabetically. For some reason the closest that Windows is willing to do is "Sort by File/Folder status, and THEN alphabetically by name." This has the very frustrating effect that unzipped folders are often very far (both in screen space and keyboard space) from their .zip files. When you have to deal with a lot of them, this gets frustrating FAST.

I'll give Microsoft one thing: the Windows+X menu is a fine piece of work. But I imagine you have a list similar to my own of things that you like about Windows and can't find anywhere else. I'd appreciate a trick swap seeing as I'm stuck in the Windows ecosystem at the moment :)


>Emacs editing and movement shortcuts are built into OSX system-wide. (Ctrl+A and Ctrl+P collide on Win, Linux and keyboard management in ubuntu is messy and unreliable)

Not everyone likes emacs. Like the vast majority of PC users, I grew up with CUA programs and I loath emacs keybindings.

>Modifier-remapping is easy and solid on OSX (Need to run the download.com gauntlet on Windows, Linux is again an unreliable mess)

Autohotkey on Windows. I'll give you Linux, I don't remember exactly what song and dance involving .xmodmap and .xinitrc or some other shit I've forgotten that I had to go through last time.

>Opening a document's parent folder(s) is easy and universal on OSX (command click on document icon in title bar), good luck finding this outside an IDE anywhere else.

Most programs I've used support a "right click->open containing folder" option.

>Turning off a laptop's screen on demand is easy and reliable on OSX. It's frustrating on windows (I need 2 apps and a couple lines of code, wtf) and a nightmare on linux (where you're lucky to get working brightness control at all, let alone one that goes all the way to 0).

I could have sworn this "just worked" with my Thinkpad, but maybe it's different for Macbooks. Ditto for thermal management. Linux of course is a nightmare.

>It's easy to get a file from Finder into "Open..." dialogs: just drag and drop (e.g. attach file), as opposed to re-navigating through the entire filesystem. Windows has one especially braindead "open" dialog type that almost seems to be designed for the particular purpose of making this difficult (you know, the one that doesn't let you Ctrl+L, doesn't scroll sideways, doesn't remember the last directory you were in, etc).

Drag and drop is supported by almost every Windows program I've used. For attaching files in web forms, you're supposed to drag the file onto the "select file" button in the web page, not into the "open file" dialog.

>Finder knows how to sort alphabetically. For some reason the closest that Windows is willing to do is "Sort by File/Folder status, and THEN alphabetically by name." This has the very frustrating effect that unzipped folders are often very far (both in screen space and keyboard space) from their .zip files. When you have to deal with a lot of them, this gets frustrating FAST.

I prefer it that way, because 99% of the time I'm not unzipping a bunch of .zip files, and I'd rather see the directories first if I'm trying to navigate deep into a directory tree.


> ...the more that Windows tries to be like OS X the less I like it.

I am with you! It started with the default Taskbar configuration and "pinning" things. I find it completely useless and I always disable grouping. Furthermore, I use 7+ taskbar tweaker to make the Taskbar act exactly the way I want it to and I have actually written a couple Microsofties in an attempt to get them to buy this company and integrate it :)

The one thing that I'm really disappointed in though is the Ribbon. I just wish that I could hunt through it with the keyboard or mouse as easily as I can with regular menus. Hunting with the mouse is too clicky - you can scroll the middle wheel now, but I'd rather just activate each tab when I put the pointer over it. Hunting throught the Ribbon with the keyboard is ridiculous too because all of the tool-tips just get in the way of seeing what's there. I like classic menus and toolbars way, way better except when I'm on a touch device.


I mostly use OS X also. That said, last week I bought a "signature edition" HP Stremm 11" directly from Microsoft (so no crapware was pre-installed). I spent $200 for this mostly just to play around with Windows 8.1 out of curiosity.

I was surprised how much I liked it. I installed Chrome, and boom, my browsing environment was set up. I installed SSH, GPG, git, IntelliJ, Java 8, and Pharo Smalltalk and I was all set up for Clojure and Smalltalk development. The only complaint I have is that this very low end laptop is not very fast, even with the SSD disk.

When my MacBook Air dies in the future, it is possible that I will get a higher performance Windows 10 laptop.

edit: I have been feeling more warmly towards Microsoft lately because I am in their BizSpark program (free Linux servers for 3 years! Yeah!) and recently switched from Dropbox to Office 365 (for the same $100/year, both my wife and I get 1 terrabyte of cloud storage, and all of the Office if we want it).


"Windows just feels like an uphill battle to do everything I want to these days"

For example...

For those of us who actually use Windows for work (and not just write about it) the start button was an issue for all of 10 seconds.

I actually appreciate the new start menu approach. Instead of a "dumping ground" of icons, there's significantly less clutter, and a cleaner interface. Can't say I use my start menu much, as most of my commonly used applications are launched from the taskbar (pinned).


As an infrequent Windows user, I also don't bother with the start menu anymore...

My goto is the prominent search (even in the Windows 7 start menu). The only time I like the menu us when I can't remember the specific name of an app and I need to look at the list of names or icons to trigger my memory (which is rare). Otherwise search is so much superior than hunting around with a mouse trying to remember whether a certain app is sorted by name or company or finding where a setting is hidden. It used to bother me when control panel settings moved, but with search honestly who cares?

It's not like we use yahoo's directory or dmoz anymore to browse the web...


Personally, I just installed ClassicShell and never looked back.


I think a lot of that is switching cost, and that both OSs are pretty similar now.

My recent experience on OS X: - Couldn't find an easy way to get windows side by side[0] - Installed a program, but it just kept crashing on launch until I rebooted the computer - Challenging to figure out how to get Finder to actually show you the drive contents

[0] http://www.howtogeek.com/181681/4-hidden-window-management-t...


I use a tool called "moom" for window management. Gives me the ability to snap windows to edges of the screen (like Win 7 does), plus the ability to snap-size windows to a grid. Can't use OSX without it.


Its 2015, if we need 3rd party tools for window management, then someone is really screwing up.


I've used Apples since 1993, with a brief (enjoyable) gap of a couple of years writing C#.

It's the Apple way. They decide you don't want something and it's infuriating.

But the rest of Mac OS is quite good, I quite like Finder, and with bash, a JVM, a good browser and text editor, that's enough to overcome the frustration of "Apple knows best".


"moom" is great but I prefer "Spectale" and its keyboard shortcuts


I see a lot of people want window snapping, and I avoid switching because of this also. However, after switching, window snapping frustrates me. Occasionally I need it, so I use a tool for it, and I take advantage of it about once a month.

Maybe if windows offered gestures and was POSIX compliant I wouldn't mind switching. Then I would want a laptop that is about as thin/light as a retina with an equivalent display and trackpad plus a MagSafe style adaptor. Then I would want a proper package manager and a time machine style backup solution.

Then I could try to find a way to integrate iOS services into my workflow properly, but I still won't have iMessage, which is a bummer. I would consider that a point against apple if I didn't like iMessage/FaceTime so much. I guess that could be factored into switching cost. I just don't care to leave iOS at this point.

I will agree that finder is really unnecessarily frustrating and that there are a few drawbacks to OS X. Especially with a couple random bugs lately. However, the experience, for me, has been overwhelmingly net positive, and there are just so many things I would miss by switching right now that I don't see it happening.


An old comment of mine is relevant again:

As a veteran system builder, I was rather surprised when I looked into laptops recently to find macbooks very competitive.

I dislike Apple as an organization due to their marketing practices, closed ecosystem, and apparent lack of respect for their customers demonstrated in their reaction to bend/antenna gate. Apple even works hard to hide what processors their systems are actually running!

After much digging, though the hardware costs slightly more, MBPs come out far ahead as a package with OS X - a full featured OS with a healthy ecosystem and excellent battery life. I couldn't find a better option for my intended user.


> Then I would want a proper package manager and a time machine style backup solution.

I don't know specifically what you need from Time Machine, but File History in 8.1 (and somewhat, Windows Backup on 7) does full image backups and incremental backups. It could be integrated better, but you can go back and see your files and folders at whatever point in time you desire. I have it setup on my FreeNAS and it works well enough.


I use http://www.bettertouchtool.net for window snapping (among other features).


Finder has always been disappointing in my opinion. Regarding the two windows side by side, you should have Spectacle a go, it works wonder, but the feature is indeed not included in OSX. I have always found the way OSX manages windows to be confusing, and the new fullscreen behaviour does not help (I know alt clicking the full screen button shows the previous behaviour but still...)


I like OS X - I got a MacMini ~15 months ago, and despite my plan to install Debian, I still haven't.

But it does crash on me every ~6 weeks. A - halfway - modern operating system should not crash, unless the hardware is faulty. I really like badmouthing Windows, But my work laptop running Windows 7 has crashed only two or three times in nearly two years.

Also, as a former GNU/Linux user, I am unhappy about the poor integration of X11. Cygwin's X server is a lot smoother in that regard.

(Let me repeat, I do like OS X, and yes, Windows has plenty of things I intensely dislike, which is why I do not use it on my private computers.)


> But it does crash on me every ~6 weeks. A - halfway - modern operating system should not crash, unless the hardware is faulty.

Obvious follow-up question: are you sure your hardware isn't faulty?


Let's say I am confident, but not 100% sure.

I found an app a couple of months back that lets me monitor the CPU temperature and adjust the fan speed (at least the minimum fan speed) - I upped it from 1800rpm to 4000rpm (above 4000, it gets noisy), and crashes have become somewhat less common. So maybe it was just a heat problem.

But I did notice that most crashes happened when I was trying to watch something on YouTube, so it could also be a problem with Flash or the graphics driver. (Then again, YouTube has worked fine for me recently, so maybe it really was a heating/cooling problem.)


So long as OS X has the unix-y goodness underneath it, I can't imagine switching back, either. I hope Windows continues to improve, but I can't imagine choosing to use it again.


I just switched back to Windows after about a decade on OSX (I was on Windows the decade before that and MacOS the decade before that). My reasons for switching are more hardware related, so I won't get into that.

For the most part, it doesn't really matter what OS I use, since the tools I use are pretty much available everywhere. Before I made the switch, however, I was really worried that I'd have a much inferior user experience on Windows than OSX. But that turned out to be a non-issue.

I thought I'd be concerned about being stuck with cmd.exe, but Cmder is awesome. I don't really need to change any of my OSX terminal habits at all.

I thought I'd miss Gitbox. I still do, but SourceTree does enough of a good job that I can get by.

The one thing I like about OSX is the level of polish of the UI and of apps that run in the OS. Things on Windows aren't at OSX's level, but they are generally way better than they were when I switched to OSX. Faint praise, I guess.

The Windows 8 Start Menu thing. I thought I would hate it. But here's the thing, I switched to using Spotlight to launch everything in OSX, and it's pretty much the same thing on Windows, just hit Windows key, and type the name of the app I want to launch. Having said that, Windows local search is horrible vs. Spotlight. There is a (paid) fix - Listary is a great substitute for Spotlight on Windows.

I hated Windows Explorer post Windows 2000 (but I still hate Windows Explorer less than Finder). It still sucks. But Classic Explorer restores things to the way I preferred back in the day.

My day to day tools are pretty much cross platform, Sublime, DBVisualizer, PGAdmin, Evernote, Postbox, etc. So there were very few hiccups there.

Windows is far from perfect (although Windows 10 definitely looks like it addresses my biggest annoyances), but it's not a huge downgrade from OSX in the way a lot of people think about it. I still prefer Windows over Linux Desktops, probably because the way it works is a lot more familiar to me than Linux.


GoW + ConEmu make Windows 8 acceptable for me.


This is the killer for me as well, unless Windows somehow becomes POSIX compliant I just don't see me switching back.


Windows has been POSIX compliant for about 20 years.


Services for UNIX has always been optional, was depreciated in 8.0 (and only available for Enterprise SKUs), and removed entirely in 8.1.

Modern Windows is decidedly not POSIX-compliant.


It has been optional because you have to pay for it. POSIX compliance has a cost associated with it. Not that I think POSIX compliance has any value anymore, mind you. I was replying to someone for whom POSIX compliance was a make or break feature.

Anyway, I sense an argument drift from "Windows" to "Modern Windows". Nice. I guess earlier versions of Windows stopped being Windows once version 8.1 was released.


> I guess earlier versions of Windows stopped being Windows once version 8.1 was released.

Well, yeah. We're (presumably) talking about software architecture choices here. Are you telling me you'd purposefully build a new system on top of an old version of Windows, and specifically on old features that have since been deprecated+removed? If not, then it doesn't matter what old Windows does; "Windows is not POSIX-compliant" is the fact that you are making a choice based upon when you design a system right now.


POSIX compliance (which probably only serves as a checkbox for some arcane procurement guideline) is only relevant in niche markets. You are trying to apply a general software design thought process which unfortunately doesn't work there. People still ship WinCE and '95 software. Software targeting old UNIX systems is still being written today.

BTW, I can purchase a copy of windows 8 today (which is going to be supported by Microsoft till 2023) that is POSIX compliant. So the argument is moot anyway.


Could you elaborate? In what I've learned (in the past few minutes) it looks like it hasn't has POSIX compatibility since an optional subsystem up to Windows 2000. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POSIX#POSIX_for_Windows


Elaborate on what? You have to purchase a version of Windows that has the POSIX layer because POSIX compliance costs money. From what I gather it has been dropped in Windows 8.1.


Back in 2010 I gave my dad the basic Macbook Air as a xmas present. Until then he was working on decent Dell laptop, but after seeing how much he struggled when trying to do basic stuff (e.g. connecting to a wifi network, browsing the web with a PC full of adware, etc) I decided to get him a Mac. I can't say how many times he has told everyone how much he likes Macs... and at the end of the day, it's all thanks to OSX's (most of the time) small and polished UX details. He, for sure, won't be going back to Windows.

Still, I can't wait to see Windows do a comeback... I don't know if W10 will be the answer, but I sure hope they make a come back for consumers' sake.


I will consider a Mac the day Apple wants to sell me a CPU/GPU combo I want to buy, at a price it makes sense.


This has honestly been my biggest overall frustration with Apple since I began using their products. I've got a hackintosh, but it's been a nightmare to setup and maintain. It's currently out of commission because Yosemite broke iMessage and I would rather not switch back to Mavericks.


Agreed. I recently started using Windows 7 Enterprise for work, and I'm surprised at how often I need to reboot to make things work or to avoid slowdowns. Granted, that's usually due to Adobe and Java hanging, but even killing those processes in task manager won't fix it. Maybe there's a better solution, but I just reboot.

I don't think I've ever had to reboot OS X for similar reasons.


I've been running on a Mac for the last 2 years, after 20'ish years of Windows work. At this point I'm 50/50. There are things I HATE about both system.

* Window management in OSX is a complete joke (docking and sizing), I've lost all faith that Apple will ever get that right. * The shell and terminal support is better in OSX (yes, powershell is there, but not by default, and the standard DOS shell sucks) * I have to reboot both systems once a month to keep them working. Others disagree here, but I find OSX no more stable than Windows. * OSX Sound Drivers (WTF! -- I constantly lose sound support on my MacBook Pro) * Microsoft is much faster at fixing issues than Apple (I have a bunch of long standing OSX bugs that span multiple versions, and a couple of new ones with the current release) * I no longer feel the love for Apple hardware. Every iteration is made harder to upgrade than the last. * The Apple App Store is so much better than Microsoft's Store. * Safari is IE: they are both browsers you should only use to download a better browser.


>Safari is IE: they are both browsers you should only use to download a better browser.

Safari's great for battery life. I've switched from Chrome for that reason. Judging from the system-wide beachballs and frequent fan spin-ups for no obvious reason back when I used Firefox, I assume it would be even worse than Chrome.

Its developer tools aren't that different from Chrome's, either, and it's got a decent selection of plugins. I have Chrome installed and occasionally use it, but close it ASAP.


That's crazy. I haven't rebooted my home Windows 7 desktop in forever. Even when I install new graphics card drivers (AMD pumps out a new one every month) my screen flashes for moment and I keep working. The installer recommends I reboot but it's never at a good time.


That's crazy. I don't know how technical you are, but personally I'd never ever trust my data to such a machine without fixing it or replacing it. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to stuff like that.

FWIW I've never had to reboot windows beyond once a month for the updates, if at all. I run Win8 and it runs well, pretty much like my other machines - OSX on my MBPro7,1 (Snow Leopard b/c anything else degrades the performance and/or has bugs) & CentOS 6.4 which has been rock solid on my 8 year old repurposed desktop-as-server.


I am an OSX user primarily but I have never seen this kind of behaviour on any of my Windows installation. There is something wrong in what you describe.


My work laptop runs Windows 7 Pro, and I usually reboot it once a month, when it installs updates.

It is slow as a turtle, but rebooting does not really help with that. (To be fair, it slow at least in part because it is five years old, has only three GB of RAM (remember the days when we would have drooled at the thought of that?), and I installed way too much software on it, a good part of it usually running when I use it.)


I've had a very different experience to you. On my home PC running Windows 7 I only have to reboot every few weeks, normally due to a Windows Update requirement.

There are times when the system slows down, but normally that's temporary and due to a misbehaving program rather than a system wide issue.


My main gripe with Windows at the moment is the amount of time I'm staring at Windows updates. It gets ridiculous at times.


I am also completely spoiled by Mac's now. I don't know how I could go back, especially the trackpad.


Well, I know it's unpopular, but I could never manage the transition from Linux to MacOS (and this from someone that was excited about OpenSTEP returning to the limelight). Way too much effort required to work around idiotic design decisions and iFads and central policy forced down my throat and outdated userland and broken Motif. Life is just so much easier on debian/ubuntu even with a windows sidekick VM for when absolutely necessary. And honestly, I like the direction Windows has been going overall when forced to use it. It at least seems to be getting lower maintenance. Not the "run it from a live-cd" sort of low maintenance, but still getting closer.


"I could never manage the transition from Linux to MacOS"

I feel the same way. I recently started using a MacBook at work. It's a mid-2014 MacBook Pro w/Retina display and there is a lot I like about using it.

But it seems rather hostile to developers. The keyboard shortcuts don't make a lot of sense -- most of it really is just about what I'm used to, but for example ⌘+SHIFT+3/4 to take a screenshot? And the CTRL+SHIFT+POWER KEY combination to lock the screen is a very odd choice.

⌘+C and ⌘+V work on files/folders, but not ⌘+X?

I only had to setup MAMP here so far, but it wasn't quite as smooth as LAMP on my Ubuntu machine.

I am in the market for a new laptop -- I considered everything from Chromebooks to even getting my own MacBook. But I keep going back to a Ubuntu/Windows dual-boot setup. There are just too many little annoyances with OSX for me.


I'm probably in the minority, but while I hate Apple's trackpad less than the ones on its competitors, I still hate it.

I constantly struggle with right clicking items on Apple trackpads (and the PC trackpads that attempt to copy Apple's).

I would prefer to have two distinct buttons below the pad. To me, the new trend of pivoting pads as buttons don't work for my clumsy hands.


Depends on what Microsoft will put on the table ;)


I know it will never happen but if I could have a native full featured bash or zsh environment on Windows I would switch back in a heartbeat. And no, Cygwin is not a replacement.


Can you tell me more about the native or full featured bash or zsh environment you're interested in? Do you want inbox bash/zsh? Do you want native coreutils? Do you want the full POSIX API layer? something else? Also, can you tell me about your workflow or what you envision it to be in this environment?

I ask because I work in the console space at Microsoft and am keen on understanding the features you're looking for and what scenarios you're attempting to satisfy.

We also have a user voice going where we've been fortunate enough to gather a lot of passionate feedback.

https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/266908-command-prompt/cat...


For me, I'd summarize the need as a "first class bash/zsh environment". I'm fairly certain this cannot happen on Windows, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

The reason I switched to linux, then OS X, was as a web developer there's no substitute for a real bash environment integrated with the OS.

I was a cygwin user when I was on Windows, but many things just didn't work or only worked with a lot of messing around with configuration. I believe most of this is due to the lack of POSIX compliance on Windows.

Many things were funky, such as "cd c:", symlink vs junctions, and interplay between dos utilities and cygwin utilities (the find and locate commands come to mind). A lot of things worked, and I commend the developers who hacked it together, but when you wanted to do anything remotely complicated, it became evident it was just a veneer.


I don't think it's impossible to have a first class bash or zsh environment (or even necessarily a non-emulated POSIX environment) but like many things in software it may take time and a few iterations to get it right and as mmphosis says below how do you manage the complexity.

Thanks for giving me the feedback that you're using the environment for web-development.

I've often wondered as I look over feedback like yours if one of the reasons some web developers prefer NIX is because a good many tutorials are written assuming a NIX environment. Would love to know your thoughts.


>I've often wondered as I look over feedback like yours if one of the reasons some web developers prefer NIX is because a good many tutorials are written assuming a NIX environment. Would love to know your thoughts.

I think it's because most web developers are going to be using Linux or a BSD on their servers, so they'd rather use the same environment on their dev machines. However, a good console/terminal emulator, support for popular shells, all the common UNIX utils, a better package manager and repository than nuget and chocolatey (perhaps Microsoft needs to start pulling from and communicating with the upstreams of certain projects?), and most importantly, the ability to use all of this out of the box without having to deal with myriad incompatible toolchains, would IMO capture most of that benefit for the average web developer.

Disclaimer: I'm a game developer, so I'm probably not your target here. I like having a UNIX environment around for writing scripts and munging data, and just think it'd be great if I could have one out of the box without needing to mess around with msys/cygwin/gow/etc.

EDIT: I should add, there are quite a few projects that could easily be ported to Windows, but haven't, because the developers don't care enough to write POSIX wrappers for i.e. mmap vs MapViewOfFile. Short of a full POSIX implementation, having official wrappers for some of these basic APIs could make Windows support too trivial for them to ignore.


I want what Cygwin gives me, for starters, so POSIX API (I think).

I don't want to have to relearn commands that I know work in *nix land, is the big point -- I don't want to have to remember to change the directions of my slashes, for example.

I'm not an expert, merely a user, in this space, so I can't really articulate precisely what it is I want in the best terms possible, but I can say I get a lot closer to where I want to be with Cygwin than I get with anything that comes native on Windows.


Good feedback. When you work in Cygwin, are you doing admin type tasks, web dev, writing console utilities, something else related to app dev?


In systems where I find myself in the shell, I tend to prefer the shell to everything except certain system configuration tasks (I like the shell for things like tweaking network settings, but dislike it for things like printer config, for example), and for actual software dev (IDEs still win for me).

Once I feel I can buy into the shell, I'll probably go all in. Until then, I try to use Cygwin to avoid having to switch to a *nix box when I just want to use a simple admin utility or maybe test something out in the Python REPL, but otherwise I just tend to switch when I want to spend a work day on something.


You can use forward slashes in paths in cmd and powershell. But yes, I agree with your main point.


I don't want to have to relearn everything like I do for powershell, everything from *nix should carry over.

I want a package manager for everything, something like nuget (which is great), but for the entire OS like brew/apt/yum.

I want a ssh client/alternative, I should be able to administer a windows box without having to RDP in.

These are my main issues but i'm sure there are plenty of other small ones. My workflow is typically web development but I work for a smallish company and do a bit of Ops as well.


So now Ctrl+C is "Cut" and the "terminate" shortcut for most of the apps is overridden?


It will still send the interrupt signal to the running application when no text is selected.


workflow: porting code between everything, running bash scripts, building software.

Reduce vulnerability. No system is invulnerable, but sadly we run Windows in a sandbox or not at all.

And portability, I don't care if you fake it as long as it works. Don't require weird stuff. C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT, bash and zsh are "just interfaces." I don't usually interact directly with mach or the linux kernel that would be weird. For instance, over time OS X has had a line of dispatch mechanisms, launchd, Grand Central Dispatch, ... They all work, but they are different (weird.) Don't even get people started about systemd on Linux. crontab should work on OS X, and Windows because it's "just an interface." The underlying layers are Microsoft's kernel and services. We're just using an interface.

Don't require weird stuff. At the same time, don't break things.

UNIX

POSIX API layer

coreutils https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/

Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Microsoft didn’t. http://brew.sh/

Obviously, don't install coreutils, homebrew, fill-in-the-blank by default. But make them easily installable and seamless once installed. Keep the core OS lean.

Adopt Linux, OS X, Google Play, and whoever else comes on the scene. If you do, then Microsoft OS is the killer OS because it runs ALL the programs. I should be able to run programs for different architectures in Windows. Virtual layers via VMs, compatibilty layers, simulators, and emulators are sweet. ie. "wine weirdProgramForWin32.Exe", running a Mac OS X PowerPC program on OS X Intel or Arm, or ...

Please lose the "CP/M" (MS-DOS) creatures. Here's a short wish list of things because they bother me:

  * go with a single character newline: change from CR LF to LF
  * make notepad play nice with newlines
  * change \ to /
  * mount umount:  the drive letters are old and \\ is weird
  * text files don't need the .TXT extension
  * change .HTM to .html, or get rid of extensions.
  * executables don't need the .EXE extension
  * file permissions:  hidden-extension.jpg.EXE should not be executable by default
  * don't take over the boot block of my hard drive, allow grub or whatever to boot Windows
See Linus Torvalds comments on filenames -- case sensitivity amongst many other hard to salve problems. See the Apple devs comments on Microsoft Office filenames. All of this, not just Microsoft, seems broken to me. Why can't I put a "/" in my filename in Linux? Why can't I put ":" in my filename on OS X? Windows paths? I know why, but I feel like there is a better way. Simple, but not too simple.

Basically, allow interoperability: make things work. OS X is good, Linux is better. Microsoft could be the best. People like using what they are used to. The Windows interface is familiar. A mobile interface intermixed with the familiar Windows interface is confusing. Again, it's "just an interface." I was hoping Windows 9 might be more like Windows 7. Hopefully, looking forward to Windows 10. Good luck.

My question for you is: How do you manage complexity?


I appreciate the details you put into this response and I particularly like the point above around portability and that all of this is just an interface. Sometimes those interfaces (abstractions) are a bit leaky.

Thanks for the well wishes, you're right there is a ton of complexity but that's what makes it fun. Just don't yell at me too much when there are some bumps along they way.


I'm so excited to see your comments here today because I thought that Microsoft would never consider giving us a robust nix-style shell on Windows. I know there is PowerShell but it's just so verbose compared to bash.

I am a multi-OS user and I just wish that I could easily use some simple Unix commands on Windows without having to learn a whole new shell.


You could also learn Powershell. It is very different but similarly powerful in my opinion. (Learning new things doesn't hurt anyway.)


Powershell is a lot better than CMD was (at least if you're used to bash/zsh; cmd and bash have too many false cognates, making it realy difficult to be able to switch between easily). That being said, bash's object model is infinitely easier to understand (what objects? it's all text and files).


I know more bash than I know powershell but you have to admit that shell scripting is hardly sane or well designed.


I'm mainly referring to the (more or less central to linux) concept that everything is a file, and that you pass informatation between programs by pipelining text (and, if necessary, saving binary information to file that gets read by the next process).


I think Powershell is just a modern take on what makes the Unix shell powerful. But instead of files and text, it's structured data.

A lot of unnecessary parsing and happens in unix tools. Programs generate a lot of structured data, dump as human-structured text, which is then parsed by the next tool, processed, dumped as more text, parsed again by the next tool, processed, etc. Right now I'm working with an SDK that does it and it actually needs Python code to parse the output from different tools to glue them together.


Try GoW (GNU on Windows) - several of my favorite command line utilities compiled as native windows binaries (no need for funky "/cygdrive/C/foo" paths). Combined it with a better terminal like ConEmu and I feel at home.


I use Git Bash personnally as a command line when on Windows, and I find it brilliant.


Now it makes sense that Google just announced that they're stopping Glass from being sold retail. They did not want to have their device compared to the new product from MS. Actually I see this new device as more prone to success than the Glass. These devices are competing for the same markets: healthcare, education and entertainment. And here Glass is somewhat underpowered.


Free update to Windows 10 for anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Phone 8.1. Awesome.


Includes comprehensive always-on phone-home telemtrics. Twice as awesome.


Meaning Microsoft is collecting usage data from users of Windows 10?


That's been part of Windows (opt-in at least) for years.


WMW format direct link. http://msstudios-live2.wm.llnwd.net/msstudios_live2 NO buffering problems, but only around 360-480p. but better than no buffering if you have a problem with the buffering :)


Windows Phone 10 apps seem less convenient than in Windows Phone 7. Some of the gestures gone, hamburger menus instead... And why are the app menu buttons on top instead of bottom?

I understand that they want to have the same codebase on all three screen sizes, but simple 'responsive' approach is not perfect.

The WP10 platforms needs to make the best of its advantages, not become the second android mess where every app has different UX philosophy. MS should provide gudelines for tailoring apps to WP, but srsly atm they need to fix these office apps before releasing them.


I love that they are bringing something like Cortana to the desktop. Ever since I saw Her [1] I wanted something like that, something that takes away the need to look at my smartphone when I receive an email to know what's it about or who it's from. A smartwatch seems to be going in the right direction for that kind of things, but still, it's not the same as being reminded about the weather when you are on the point leaving the door instead of having to look up the weather yourself.

[1]: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/


I recently switched to Mac after two decades on Win simply because decent Win ultrabook costs 50% more than comparable MacBook Pro. In other words it's not only software problem that Microsoft is facing.


Examples? Both companies use the same hardware manufacturers so I'm surprised to hear this - given PC manufacturers traditional approach to pricing vs. Mac


I don't know of any 11" screen computers with giant trackpads, full aluminum casing, around 9 hours battery, backlit keyboard which go for less than $ 899. I'd be glad to be shown one, though!


http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-13-9343-laptop/pd?ref=PD_OC

The new Dell XPS 13. Lack of bezel on the screen puts it at MBA 11" size.


As sibling said, this is very very cool. I'm happy that options are starting to pop up!


wow, that's amazing, if it came couple months ago I might still be a PC person :)


That's a very specific set of requirements.


Yes it is, I'll grant you that. However, it's also not like I just came up with them on a whim. They're more of an amalgamation of things I've come to enjoy and eventually require on a portable machine:

> 11" screen computers

Because I want to be able to throw it inside a small/medium backpack without it being kludgy. 13" is the maximum.

> with giant trackpads

That was actually the reason for why I bought my first Mac. Life changer.

> full aluminum casing

Now anything else feels cheap and brittle. Also, harder to clean.

> around 9 hours battery

Or more! But 9 hours is already enough for intercontinental flights once we take our the time spent sleeping, etc. Less time, however, won't do.

> backlit keyboard

Not necessary because I touch type, but still nice

> which go for less than $ 899

And that's the killer feature, because you can get any of the other features with zero hassle if you don't mind throwing money at it.

Sibling post mentioning the Dell that fulfills all of that is exciting for my pocket! :-)


This is exactly my situation too. When it was time for a new laptop, the windows machines with nice screens were way more than a MacBook pro. So far I can't say I'm in love with it. I don't think it's as stable as my windows 7 computers are that I work on for my dayjob. (I can't even remember the last time I needed to reboot or froze up on my windows 7 boxes.)


HiDPi support is also a second class citizen on Windows. Many applications are still designed for 1080p and under, Linux is even worse. OS X seems to get it mostly right.


It's even worse if you have one normal resolution screen and one high. I want my primary screen to be the 1080p one (because that's where games run), so Windows renders things on the 4K screen at normal resolution and upscales them. It looks baaad.


If screen is your main concern, Yoga Pro 2 has a nearly 4k screen and is under $1000.


I've read very bad reviews, it's supposedly very buggy product


Have a look at Dell's new latitude 15 inch 7000 series. (3840 x 2160) resolution, similar specs and cheaper. Ultrabook class.


Same here. Microsoft would have to deliver a phenomenal OS for me to switch back.



Holograms? Who did they buy that gave them that kind of traction. Seems like the corner that Oculus had been gunning for.


I think MS research has been working on this for years. I watched a video a while back about them doing this sort of thing in their labs.


I think Steven Bathiche has been doing this kind of stuff for a long time, indeed.


It's all internal, Kinect was the first product out of the R&D apparently (its in the Wired article).


I'm using Windows 10 tech preview as my main system and it's absolutely awesome, clean, responsive and fast. At least compared to Windows 7, 8.1, KDE, XP, Yosemite, Maverics, Gnome ... in order of descending utility.


Desktop environments aren't operating systems.

And utility? If I were to rank operating systems according to my own subjective assessment of utility, Windows would be top. Because I develop on .NET to earn a living.

I would still under no conditions argue that Windows is a better operating system than a unix-based OS.

C# is more useful to me than C++, Erlang or Go but that doesn't mean I think C# is better than these languages. The fork is not worse than the knife overall. It's better for picking things up but it's not very good for cutting.

Can't say I'm going to take the words of somebody using a tech preview OS as their daily driver seriously, either.


If I don't care about gui I always pick Debian or something derived. No competition there.

I have another computer with Linux Mint KDE if Microsoft does something horrible at the end of tech preview.

And this tech preview os so far was more stable than Maverics, same Maverics upgraded to Yosemite, and fresh install of Yosemite which I still could use as a form of last resort solution if two my other computes go belly up.

If you are windows dev I recommend it even stronger. 10 sec boot and shutdown on almost 4 years old desktop (with SSD though). None of this flashing Start Screen crap.


Heh. You were sort of right. They just broke it. :-) New build is just horrible. Java doesn't work and they've butchered start menu and task bar.

Fortunately they've left by mistake an option to roll back to previous build. Which I promptly used to restore my wonderful Windows 10. Then I just as promptly I disabled automatic updates.

Maybe in few months from now I'll try latest Windows 10 build in a VM to see if they backpedaled a bit from the insanity they've served in this last build.


This list seems a bit absurd.


What's absurd about it? Maybe I should put Win98 and Win95 somewhere there. They'd be somewhere around Gnome.


OS X below XP? What does utility mean to you?


For example being able to list all directories above all files when I browse them.

Or not having my files deleted if they are somewhere inside the target folder that I'm moving some other folder to.

Or not having to wonder where did my fullscreen app went when I accidentally flicked my fingers on the touchpad.

Or not wondering how to make app not fullscreen if there's no button for that (happened on Maverics upgraded to Yosemite, fresh Yosemite install didn't have this problem).

Or maybe Finder not hanging when I try to shut down the computer.

Or not having my network disk mount and unmount at random or disappearing from some applications while remaining happily visible in Finder.

Basically not getting in the way of what I want.


I find it amusing how almost everybody in the audience runs a mac :)


OT: I feel for this guy; the only people looking at him are the photographers.

I'm no fan of putting blame with the audience, but I'm glad not be presenting in his place...


This is definitely an interesting announcement. I'm happy that they are offering free upgrades to all users 7.1 and up. I believe this is a really smart move.


Having the video not watchable is a large fail for a company that's trying to sell infrastructure services.


Seems to be quite a bit of buffering on my 100 meg connection, anyone else having issues watching this?


Pretty bad for me here on my work connection. I have The Verge's liveblog in another tab.

http://live.theverge.com/microsoft-windows-10-event-live-blo...


yeah, i have a whole lot that aswell, might be more people watching than anticipated


It's pretty much unwatchable for me at work as well, way too much buffering. Somebody on the Azure Media Services team is probably going to get an earful afterward.


if you go like 5 min back in the stream it seems very fluid, living 5min in the past is worth it to have a fluid stream :)


And why is it being streamed in flash??


You can watch it without flash -- at least it works perfectly on my phone.


I believe he was referring to "no Silverlight"


bingo, I even loaded up IE and no go. I bet the silverlight devs are miffed.


Same, not 100 meg, but should be more than enough.

Also, you can see how big an influence was Steve Jobs for the tech world.


Did Microsoft hit the "jump the shark" moment with holograms?


Jump the shark? Seriously? This is probably the best thing I have seen them do in a decade.


MS Surface Hub could be fantastic in education.


So far, everything looks like https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2385/1895583251_f102d4324d.jpg

But I hope they saved the best for the end.


... well, it's over now and nothing.


Impossible to watch, video stream always stutters


Nice, looks like some folks got offended by this comment. Wonder why:-)


Wow, they added background images to Windows Phone.


Yay, more crap for me to turn off.


Kind of hard to overlook the fact the video is encoded using flash. Not real promising.




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