Next-gen Windows features and the fallout

Next-gen Windows features and the fallout

Summary: Mary Jo Foley's reports a list of the more popular features that testers are requesting for the next version of Windows. This select group has been asked to provide feedback on Windows.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Mary Jo Foley's reports a list of the more popular features that testers are requesting for the next version of Windows. This select group has been asked to provide feedback on Windows.

Now the list is preliminary and who knows if these things will wind up in Windows, but some of the more notable suggestions would have major ramifications. Here are five suggested features and the fallout:

5. Replace error ID number with plain language explanation. The fallout: Microsoft would have to explain things in plain English. Instead of an error like 00001codeex Microsoft would have so say something like "we pushed this feature along too quickly and didn't test it." Chances of this feature being adopted: Nil.

4. Session-restore feature for IE 7. The fallout: IE7 would copy yet another Firefox feature. Chances of happening: 100 percent. Firefox is IE's product roadmap.

3. Applying the Aero user interface throughout the entire operating system. The fallout: Another gig of memory--just to look as polished as Apple's OS X. The chances: 100 percent.

2. Multi-session remote desktop. With this feature you could access someone's computer without disturbing the user. The fallout: It's creepy if it's mass adopted. Apparently this feature can be done now with a little hacking. Chances: 80 percent.

1. Integrated antivirus. The fallout: It would really stink for a host of antivirus companies. The feds wouldn't be thrilled either--and rest assured Symantec and McAfee would let the regulators know about it. Chances of happening: Nil.

Topic: Windows

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  • Difference between opinion and observation.

    An opinion is personal, while an observation can be replicated by others.

    This is opinion:

    5. Replace error ID number with plain language explanation. The fallout: Microsoft would have to explain things in plain English. Instead of an error like 00001codeex Microsoft would have so say something like ?we pushed this feature along too quickly and didn?t test it.? Chances of this feature being adopted: Nil.

    ... specifically "pushed this feature along too soon".

    The chances of including negative attitudes toward Microsoft in a Microsoft product is Nil, as you say. But a clearer explanation to users of what went wrong probably has a better than 50% chance of inclusion.

    There is an echo-chamber effect, in which your negative opinion of Microsoft is reflected back at you sufficiently often that you begin to treat it as fact. A useful slogan: Respect reality.
    Anton Philidor
  • Plain English error messages

    I hope the chances of adopting that are considerably more than nil. It would certainly make it easier to diagnose problems.

    The multi-user remote session is a no-brainer, given that X has had this ability since its inception. The creepiness is mitigated by restricting the users that can log in remotely and logging what they do.
    John L. Ries
    • Insufficiently mitigated

      That someone else can gain full access to the computer at any time is a vulnerability because it is permanently part of the operating system.

      I think that remote access should be an application the user installs when needed and removes when the need has passed.
      Anton Philidor
      • Following the *nix philosophy

        A feature such as remote login is OFF by default unless you turn it on. Also, to answer your other point, [i]".someone else can gain full access to the computer at any time is a vulnerability..."[/i], this is a non-issue. Once again, *nix has offered this capability for years with no deleterious effects. Furthermore you can (or could, for windows) restrict remote logins to certain user profiles.

        Ironically enough, given what I'm typing, the computer on the next desk has just started rattling away as one of my co-workers has logged in to her Linux desktop remotely!
        bportlock
        • Two operating systems, same mistake.

          That *nix has provided remote login and control as part of the oprating system for years is not an assurance that the choice is good. Especially for Windows, which probably has more unsophisticated and gullible users.

          Every Windows device with this feature is awaiting only an effectively socially-engineered email to become the property of the email's sender.

          And many/most of Windows users will not have need of these features for years at a time. An icon in Control Panel connected to an installer would be sufficient availability.



          In a way, it's too bad your co-worker is logging in remotely. Otherwise, on tours of the facility she could be identified as an actual Linux user, the guide communicating the achievement with his tone of awe. Only slightly ruined by the chorus of What's Linux? from the tourists.
          Anton Philidor
          • Mistake? What mistake?

            [i]"That *nix has provided remote login and control as part of the oprating system for years is not an assurance that the choice is good."[/i]

            *nix's remote login and control provides a body of evidence that the doomsday scenario you were outlining is merely a fantasy in your mind. Reality is different.


            [i]"Especially for Windows, which probably has more unsophisticated and gullible users....Every Windows device with this feature is awaiting only an effectively socially-engineered email to become the property of the email's sender."[/i]

            Oh I see! Windows users are too stupid to have such a feature.

            Sorry - I see your point. You are right, it is too powerful a feature for Windows users.


            [i]"And many/most of Windows users will not have need of these features for years at a time"[/i]

            Indeed - after all, we've already agreed that they're too dumb to use it.


            [i]"In a way, it's too bad your co-worker is logging in remotely. Otherwise, on tours of the facility she could be identified as an actual Linux user"[/i]

            Two points:

            1) We don't do tours
            2) Everyone here is a Linux user - that's why our productivity is so high. We can get on with work instead of fixing broken Windows boxes.

            :-)
            bportlock
          • Makework, Inc.

            "We're very proud of this program, which has the effect of giving our clients the feeling that they are accomplishing something without a deleterious effect on the local economy."

            "Couldn't they do something productive?"

            "This program succeeded one in which the clients broke large stones into smaller stones with sledgehammers. However, the local stonebreaker's union objected to the reduction in their market and we were forced to end the program.
            So far as is known, there is no product of any use resulting from work with Linux. At least we've received no complaints."

            "What do they think they're doing, then?"

            "Preparing software which does something. In the absence of applications, they are able to work on any idea that intrigues them, with the idea that anything they produce will be an improvement over nothing. At the moment, the team is attempting to create Free Cell. Those who were familiar with Windows missed it."

            "Won't FreeCell sellers complain?"

            "This is a product for Linux. The absence of features will prevent it from damaging existing markets. Currently, as the clients designed the game, only three cards may be moved. The programmers are of the opinion that most players move a maximum of only three cards."

            "Okay, our tour is about to begin. Please restrain your conversation, as the clients believe tours such as this do not occur. They believe you to be yet another team of consultants."


            Here's how I found out about this:

            "And I'm pleased to announce, with his permission, that we have Anton Philidor on this tour."

            "Oh, wow! Do you charge for autographs?!"

            I almost didn't include that last, but decided to do so in order to avoid excessive modesty.
            Anton Philidor
        • Too Badf the feds won't let them

          Log In Remotely? been doing that for years with pcAnywhere (to name just one).

          Too bad many of the features people want in Windows [i]won't[/i] get included as the companies that already make these programs would just run and scream bloody murder to the feds.
          John Zern
          • In this case...

            I know of no 3rd party apps that allow multiple remote Windows desktops (except for maybe Citrix and MS licenses their technology). Yes, I can log into a remote Windows system as many times as I like via Cygwin SSHD, but I only get a command line and whatever X-clients I can launch remotely.

            So, I don't think anyone will run to the feds in this case as long as MS honors existing contracts.
            John L. Ries
      • That feature is turned off by default

        In both Windows XP and Windows Vista, Remote Desktop Assistance is turned off by default - it takes an overt act by the user to enable this.
        Confused by religion
    • Cost factor

      I believe this is already part of windows server 2003. It may be that Microsoft feels this shouldn't be a basic feature. I could see them offering this as a bonus for maybe the Vista Ultimate version.
      DemonX
      • What for?

        Having two different systems increases code complexity, making Windows more difficult and expensive to maintain. Besides, a friendlier diagnostic system would reduce the need for tech support and eliminate yet another reason to curse MS (they should definitely be interested in reducing that).

        Making plain English diagnostics a premium feature is truly not worth it; much better to give it to everyone.
        John L. Ries
  • Seems interesting but ,,,

    what took Microsoft so long .

    On No. 5 , Well it would be more helpful , but if the message is like the one here , it would be a joke .

    5. Replace error ID number with plain language explanation. The fallout: Microsoft would have to explain things in plain English. Instead of an error like 00001codeex Microsoft would have so say something like ?we pushed this feature along too quickly and didn?t test it.? Chances of this feature being adopted: Nil.

    On No. 4 , I see Microsoft still copying from Mozilla . No innovation here . Do the children at Redmond know that by doing this Mozilla would continue to take market share from Microsoft . Who wants a browser that is late to the party .

    4. Session-restore feature for IE 7. The fallout: IE7 would copy yet another Firefox feature. Chances of happening: 100 percent. Firefox is IE?s product roadmap.

    On No. 3 , You mean to tell me that Aero hasn't been applied to everything on Vista yet . You've got to be kidding right , and this would require more RAM . Talk about a resource hog .

    3. Applying the Aero user interface throughout the entire operating system. The fallout: Another gig of memory?just to look as polished as Apple?s OS X. The chances: 100 percent.

    On No. 2 , this would be really interesting to see . Imagine the exploits following all this . O.M.G. It would be hilarious you know .

    2. Multi-session remote desktop. With this feature you could access someone?s computer without disturbing the user. The fallout: It?s creepy if it?s mass adopted. Apparently this feature can be done now with a little hacking. Chances: 80 percent.

    On No. 1 , This would be the icing on the cake . Symantec , McAfee & the D.O.J. would be all over Microsoft like white on rice .

    1. Integrated antivirus. The fallout: It would really stink for a host of antivirus companies. The feds wouldn?t be thrilled either?and rest assured Symantec and McAfee would let the regulators know about it. Chances of happening: Nil.
    The_Nutty_Zealot
  • RDP, Session Save, English errors.....

    Multi Session RDP, never gonna happen. why would you buy a Windows Server license to run Terminal Services in Application Mode.

    Session Save, get over the who copied whom BS, FF copies too. Usually from thier extention developers.

    English errors, if they could attach a more specific message to each possible error, why not just have the os fix it before its an issue? until we have a self healing OS i'll keep the cryptic but unique error messages.

    Must agree about the Vista GUI, what a let down. Not much more intuitive, and boring. after an eternity in development this was the best they could do?!
    JoeMama_z
    • Multi-session RDP

      Joe says:

      "Multi Session RDP, never gonna happen. why would you buy a Windows Server license to run Terminal Services in Application Mode."

      Except that Linux and BSD (ie. the competition) have always allowed this free of charge, so by trying to make it a premium feature, MS loses sales.
      John L. Ries
  • Creepy?

    It's just a 2-user terminal server instead of XP Pro's existing 1-user condition. And frankly I don't see MS doing that ... if people want concurrent users on a system they'll probably be pointed toward one of the Windows Server flavors.
    robert.paul@...
  • WE WILL ADOPT ALL FEATURES....

    I told my rep this morning, I WILL ADOPT ALL OF THE FEATURES. I don't care if they work, I don't care if they violate our own internal privacy standards. My wishes are my MCSEs's commandments and they will deploy, AND DEPLOY HARD. Wow, what a time to be alive. NEXT GENERATION WINDOWS!!! Can you feel it!!!!???
    Mike Cox
    • MSCE Creed

      We do not care what is right for the customer, install what ever Microsoft sells, we will make bundles of money.
      sam9030
  • IE7

    Home should take me to the home directory of the tab I am in. Not open three more tabs. Now, In order to get back "HOME" I have to close all tabs and restart IE or push the back putton upteen times (sometimes that does not work)
    michael.r.felkins@...
  • Vista SP2

    As painfully it is for you guys to come up with these wonderful recommendations to Microsoft, perhaps you should contact Apple and Firefox. Because if they adopt to some of these ideas of yours, and by the way, I agree and shoul implement right away, but again I don't have any "Pixie Dust" to do this -- Anyway, if you guys sell Apple and Firefox, Microsoft will (steal) consider these implementations and (swipe) put into their next Service Pack.

    I think, in my humble opinion this is the ONLY SURE FIRE way to get Microsoft to (steal) listen and (take) implement into their software.

    Hey maybe you can get Linux on board, this will no doubt get Microsoft really chomping at the bits!
    Kromaethius