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posted by martyb on Saturday September 20 2014, @07:11AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the looking-behind-the-screen dept.

Infoworld reports that with Microsoft scheduled to provide a technical preview of its new Windows 9 operating system at an event on September 30, screenshots and videos of the Windows Technical Preview have been leaking that show the addition of a new Start menu, a virtual desktops feature, and a Notification Center. Here's a recap of what's been revealed so far:

The desktop's Start Menu returns, with Windows 7-like cascading menus on the left and Metro tiles on the right. Menus and tiles can be dragged, dropped, pinned, unpinned, resized, and sliced and diced. We haven't seen any fully functional "interactive" tiles as yet — Metro apps that respond to interaction with their tiles without popping up on the screen — but I expect that will be coming soon.

Metro apps running in resizable windows on the desktop. There appears to be some debate about whether the Charms bar will get the axe in the process, but all of the Charms you're likely to want will be in the right-click menu in the upper-left corner of the title bar.

Virtual desktops, which will undoubtedly get some sort of whiz-bang marketing name, because "virtual" is supposedly too spooky for consumers. Windows has had virtual desktops since Windows XP, but you had to install a third-party app (or something like Sysinternals Desktop, from Microsoft) to get them to work.

A Notification Center, which displays and lets you get at both bubble and toast notifications. It's long overdue.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Bot on Saturday September 20 2014, @07:38AM

    by Bot (3902) on Saturday September 20 2014, @07:38AM (#95784) Journal
    *crickets*
    --
    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:10AM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:10AM (#95785) Journal

      Funny everybody I know is fricking PUMPED to get their hands on this, Windows 7 with the big speed ups like WIM baked in AND its supposed to be only $20, possibly even free if you don't mind the "Windows 9 with Bing" version? Shheeeeeiiit SIGN ME UP! The second the preview is released I'm slapping it on my netbook just to see how much of a speedboost the new WIM is and if they really do have a $20/free option every system builder on the planet is gonna be slapping this on systems quicker that the old Razr1911 got used by the bad apples back in the day!

       

      I mean do you know how many perfectly good dual core systems are running XP because they aren't economically viable to upgrade? Fuck I've slapped Win 7 Home on P4s and Athlons with a Gb of RAM and it ran good, and this is supposed to be as much as 40% faster? And it has improvements to better utilize SSDs, better RAM caching, faster response time, hell if the rumors are true even a better Readyboost that will treat the SDHC or USB drive more like a hybrid for faster boots and program loads even on older systems?

      if Nadella manages to pull this off without any boneheaded Ballmer style "gotchas" this could blow up as big as XP! I know several system builders that are just like me just sitting on systems, waiting with clean drives for this to come out so we can fire it up ASAP! Hell this is the first Windows since my beloved XP X64 I'm totally stoked to try! Yes I'll admit I guessed wrong on Win 7 but to be fair, the way Balmer burned the hardware OEMs by changing the guts of the Vista driver subsystem so close to launch I figured they would hold a grudge and not release decent drivers for Win 7 well into its life like they did with Vista, but from everything I've read the OEMs are wanting this as bad as I do so just like with 7 it should be well supported OOTB. If they stay the course and don't fuck this up this could be truly great, the speed of Win 8 with a sane UI? Hells yeah!

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @10:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @10:20AM (#95806)

        shave your feet dude. they're stinkin up the joint

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @11:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @11:47AM (#95814)
        You're totally right. When I hear about Windows 9, I can't help but think about this:

        Pump up the jam, pump it up
        While your feet are stompin'
        And the jam is pumpin'
        Look ahead the crowd is jumpin'

        Pump it up a little more
        Get the party going on the dance floor
        See 'cos that's where the party's at
        And you'll find out if you're too bad

        I don't want a place to stay
        Get your booty on the floor tonight, make my day
        I don't want a place to stay
        Get your booty on the floor tonight, make my day

        We are PUMPED! Our feet are STOMPIN'! The jam is PUMPIN'! The crowd is JUMPIN'! Windows 9, GET YOUR BOOTY ON THE FLOOR TONIGHT, MAKE MY DAY!

      • (Score: 2) by Jaruzel on Saturday September 20 2014, @11:54AM

        by Jaruzel (812) on Saturday September 20 2014, @11:54AM (#95816) Homepage Journal

        Totally and utterly agree with this. Windows 9 is the version of Windows businesses have been waiting for- it will dominate corporate and business desktops. If I were a system builder, or desktop engineer (which I was a long time ago), I'd be scrabbling to get my hands on this asap to bone up and be able to put it on my CV in massive letters. There are so many large organisations who are only now upgrading to Windows 7, because XP is End Of Life and Windows 8.x is simply not an option - Windows 9 will change this.

        Gonna keep an eye on my MSDN and download the preview as soon as it appears.

        -Jar

        --
        This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Nail_Biter on Saturday September 20 2014, @05:32PM

          by Nail_Biter (4135) on Saturday September 20 2014, @05:32PM (#95900)

          I manage a couple of mom and pop shops (moonlighting). Desktop hardware is circa 2008-2011. Why would I suggest these people pay me to upgrade them to Windows 9? As I see it the worst that happens if they stay with Win 7 is they miss out on a new version of DirectX and IE. Metro apps aren't worth mentioning. If they were in need of more performance I'd have recommended they upgrade their hardware long ago.

          Companies aren't going to run out and buy Win 9. Many of them just finished transitioning to Win 7. They'll continue using what works because it doesn't cost them anything. Enthusiasts will jump on the new stuff but they don't pay others to manage their systems. Let's revisit this in 2018 when Win 7 is nearing EOL.

          • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:09PM (#95963)

            mom and pop shops
            Y'mean a business? Delivering goods and/or services to the public?
            What exotic Windoze-only app(s) are they running?

            DirectX
            They're playing games on company machines?
            They're running a weather simulator?
            Why is there a need for this?

            IE
            They're dependent on websites that use ActiveX?

            ...or are you so devilishly clever that you know you'll get a lot more service calls if you don't put them on more secure software?

            -- gewg_

          • (Score: 2) by tathra on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:40PM

            by tathra (3367) on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:40PM (#95980)

            They'll continue using what works because it doesn't cost them anything.

            it doesn't cost them anything now, but definitely will cost more in the future. how much did the european government pay microsoft recently to continue getting XP support because they refused to upgrade for more than a decade? not to mention the cost from exploits, security holes, and bugs. i'm not saying every company should always immediately upgrade to the newest version, but if more businesses at least tried to stay somewhat current, they'd be less likely to get stuck with ancient hardware and ancient, buggy software because the critical software they need is only available on one version, created by a company that vanished years ago because there was no longer a market for their product, like we see today with so many business being unable to upgrade from XP even if they wanted to.

            i seem to remember "innovate or die" being something that businesses strove to live by. that means staying stagnant (like not upgrading software / hardware until there's literally no other option) is bad for business. today's "short term profits over all else" is sending many companies on a one-way path to their death.

          • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:42PM

            by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:42PM (#96004) Journal

            Because 1.- Its gonna be cheap and you can pass that savings onto your customers, 2.- its gonna be easy, with fast image based installs, less time for you should equal less cost to your customers, and 3.- Its gonna be as much as 40% faster on the same hardware thanks to improvements under the hood, oh and don't forget 4.- It will extend their support until 2025 which considering how powerful even low end machines are today there is no reason to think those systems couldn't be viable in 2025. I have customers with Phenom I X3s and X4s that have gone from XP through Win 7 and they still have cycles to spare, no reason to think with up to 40% better performance those systems wouldn't keep happily chugging along.

            I had my customers skip 8 because the improvements simply weren't worth putting up with the "LULZ I Iz A Tablet, LULZ" UI bullshit and NO I do NOT consider hacks like Start8 a viable path and here is why...I have seen in the past what happens with those kind of hacks, a security update to a critical subsystem the hack depends on comes along and BAM! you reboot to a black screen or worse, you get really hard to pin down random BSODs days or even weeks later. Its just not worth the risk to hack something as critical as the desktop. But with this there won't be any need, it will have a sane UI for desktops and laptops and the Metro crap will only be an option in tablets and convertibles. Its supposed to be faster, easier, better search...whats not to like?

            Oh and as I said for us system builders there were a LOT of dual core systems built with XP or Vista on them that could still be great netbox units today but the cost of upgrading just isn't economically viable, this fixes that if the $20 price tag is true. I have put Win 7 on Athlon64s and Pentium Ds and for basic web surfer boxes they ran just fine, with a 40% speed boost? They would have been great for day to day tasks. I have a LOT of businesses on Vista and 7 thanks to the steals I was getting thanks to the TLB bug in the Phenom I ($35 triples and $45 quads? Hells yeah!) and this would allow them to upgrade all those systems without putting a huge dent in their wallet. Remember in 2007, early Vista era, we had quad core systems that could hold 4GB+ of RAM and take PCIe 2 GPUs, these systems are frankly overkill for nearly every task Joe and Jane business user has so there is really no reason they couldn't continue humming along for another decade. hell the system I'm typing this on is a Vista era Pentium Dual Core that I use as my main system at the shop, for a lousy $50 I can upgrade to a C2Q and with it having long life solid caps I see no reason I couldn't have this system in 2025, just as my previous netbox was a 2003 Sempron that managed to last until 2011. Hell if it could have taken a dual I'd probably still have it, last I heard its still surfing the web for the checkout girl of the local grocery store, so no reason to think that a quad capable from 2008 couldn't last even longer so why not give it another 10 years of support if its cheap?

            --
            ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday September 21 2014, @01:25AM

            by paulej72 (58) on Sunday September 21 2014, @01:25AM (#96094) Journal
            Many larger companies and universities have site licenses to MS products which include the latest OS for all machines. The reasons not to go with Win 9 will be much smaller now that it will work much like Win XP and Win 7 currently do. My university has been holding off on Win 8 on the staff machines because it is so different from Win 7 that it would create a lot of push-back from the users.
            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Monday September 22 2014, @04:39PM

            by etherscythe (937) on Monday September 22 2014, @04:39PM (#96831) Journal

            Windows 9 will be for those businesses which have been late to switch to Windows 7 before it vanishes from general purchase availability, which is scheduled for end of next month. Any upgrades needing to be done will then use 9 instead of 7, and if there's any gap in the release, an intermediate stop at Windows 8.1 only so long as it's necessary.

            --
            "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
      • (Score: 2) by tynin on Saturday September 20 2014, @03:52PM

        by tynin (2013) on Saturday September 20 2014, @03:52PM (#95879) Journal

        Can you explain what WIM is? I tried looking into it, and as best I could tell it is a file based Windows disk image, similar to qcow or maybe raw in concept. How does a file based disk image translate to increase in performance?

        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Saturday September 20 2014, @10:09PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday September 20 2014, @10:09PM (#96015) Journal

          Because instead of having the entire OS unpacked all over the hard drive AND having another copy in backup AND the whole SXS keeping copies piled up for every version of a .DLL you need? they can be kept packed in WIM files instead. With modern PCs having such powerful number crunching ability its often much faster to do a decompress than having to do a lot of seeks on a HDD, even an SSD is limited by the top SATA throughput. With WIM instead of spending all that time loading a bunch of files splattered all over the drive the PC simply loads a single compressed WIM file and decompresses what is needed and from talking to those that have tried it it makes nearly any system faster to boot, more responsive, and on SSDs it uses less write cycles which translates to longer life.

          Anyway hope that answers your question, be sure to check out the tech preview when it hits and time it yourself and compare it to your current Win 7 install to see for yourself, I know that is one of the first things I'm gonna be doing with my netbook!

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Sunday September 21 2014, @12:10AM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Sunday September 21 2014, @12:10AM (#96064)

      We are going back to windows NT?

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:11AM

    by q.kontinuum (532) on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:11AM (#95787) Journal

    The only MS tool I found iirc in windows power tools worked by (slowly, visibly) minimizing a group of windows and opening another group. It was a pain in the ass, and nothing like virtual Desktop on Linux.

    However, with cygwin and it's X-Server I was able to get xfce running, and that way I got it working. Unfortunately the cygwin/windows compatibility library (which is essential if you want to run any cygwin binary app on windows) is GPL, not LGPL (like glibc), so basically unlike Linux if you develop enything in this environment it has to be GPL as well.

    (I'm serious. If I got this wrong I'm seriously mistaken and would be thankful to hear about it.)

    --
    Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:03AM (#95795)

      I think that it's safe to assume that any solution that Microsoft comes up with won't have to rely on using standard APIs to hide/show the windows, and move things around. They'll rethink it and work it at a more basic level.

      • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Saturday September 20 2014, @05:47PM

        by q.kontinuum (532) on Saturday September 20 2014, @05:47PM (#95907) Journal

        I intended to refer to TFA statement that XP already had such a feature through an extension package. Sorry if I didn't express myself clearly:-)

        --
        Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:48AM (#95793)

    1) Windows 7 with a new kernel and Explorer with a new skin
    2) the rights for Windows 9 Pro license to downgrade to Windows 7 Pro

    That's all folks.
    gl

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:16AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:16AM (#95797) Journal

    With nine windows, one expects the panes to be at least beveled, and possibly frosted and etched. Even better would be for each of the nine to be stained-glass pieces, say of a station of the cross, or at least some nice flowers. But in any case, it is better than those old Seven windows, which were not even symmetrical! I mean, how do you arrange seven panes in any kind of nice arrangement. If only we had multiple workspaces, or something! On the other hand, having nine windows means that one pane is right there in the center, a good target for rocks, memory exceptions, illegal operations, or undetectable errors. Play on!

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @09:24AM (#95798)

    On the ninth day of Christmas,
    My true love sent to me
    Nine ladies dancing,
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtledoves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @12:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @12:24PM (#95820)

    Their marketing department is more than capable of doing the job.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @12:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @12:54PM (#95828)

      That was their marketing department.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday September 20 2014, @12:56PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Saturday September 20 2014, @12:56PM (#95830) Journal

    Sounds like this is the year for KDE look-alikes on the desktop?

    Will STILL give this a pass: living free and hanging long and to the left, spank you very, very much. Spank you over and over again!

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Saturday September 20 2014, @03:07PM

      by opinionated_science (4031) on Saturday September 20 2014, @03:07PM (#95866)

      I agree :-) As I look at my activites bar, or move the mouse and all windows lay out in front including seamless video scaling.

      I fancy making a troll statement, that disturbingly cannot be disproved.

      Is M$ using GPL software without letting anyone know?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 20 2014, @08:15PM (#95968)

      Why settle for an imitation?

      Back in 2009, some guys ran the Folgers Challenge using KDE. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [zdnet.com]
      Folks didn't seem to notice any significant difference from what they had been using.

      The coverage at the other site [googleusercontent.com] (no orig link[1]) [google.com] noted that the guys doing the test left off the punchline.
      KrimZon contrasted the duplicity of M$'s Mojave Experiment on the things most likely to cause Windoze users problems.

      [1] I'm not linking directly to the other site any more. If the link is broken because Dice Holdings is still screwing around, I advise you to substitute a valid 12-character string for the bogus one following q=cache:

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Sunday September 21 2014, @12:32AM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 21 2014, @12:32AM (#96075) Journal

    Seriously. Between iOS, OSX, Android, and Linux, it feels impossibly archaic of people to use that ancient operating system.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.