Windows 11?

175

When Windows 10 came out in 2015, it was supposed to be, the last version of Windows (it was not).

However, Windows 10 has been increasing in versions, from 1607, now at 1903. From my perspective, Windows 10 is just meandering, with no real goal or vision. Sure, Microsoft has included new themes, and refinements to the OS. They are also, getting rid of bloatware, and unifying the system settings. Something that was messy in Windows 8.

Windows 10 is still, fundamentally the same OS. It still has the same start menu, the same old file explorer (no tabs still), etc. At some point, people will eventually become bored or unexcited with Windows 10. Many people already are right now.

This is why I feel, Microsoft should just do a complete reboot of Windows again. Release a new Windows, called Windows 11 or something else. Release a totally new theme, or keep the light theme they have now. Additionally, make Windows 10 even further lighter and resource efficient. Most importantly, make it with less major system updates, and only with feature and app updates. Updates, that you don’t have to perform an entire OS upgrade. This would entice, especially business users.

What are you thoughts?

Comments (175)

175 responses to “Windows 11?”

  1. jimchamplin

    Why do that? Just drop the number entirely and call the thing "Windows." No number, no year, no two-letter nonsense. Just, finally Windows.

    • Alastair Cooper

      In reply to jimchamplin:


      I've noticed on Microsoft documentation (such as the Windows Terminal GitHub) they're already starting to refer to it by the release version and dropping the 10.

    • polloloco51

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Agreed

      Microsoft should have called, Windows 10, just "Windows". Having no number in Windows, would have eliminated the psychological aspect, of versioning.

    • skane2600

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      So 5 years from now a Windows program that uses the latest Windows API will run fine on the original version of Windows 10? Versions play an important role in making compatibility issues clear. Remember Windows 3.1 is Windows too.


      I believe "Windows 10 forever" will fall by the wayside just like many other Microsoft decisions, and its replacement won't just be called just "Windows". Besides every new CEO has to make changes to justify their job.

    • christian.hvid

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Back in 2015, Micosoft would have created a massive amount of confusion if they had called Windows 10 just "Windows" - just look what happened when they tried to call the Surface Pro 5 just "Surface Pro". But most people believe they plan to drop the version number eventually, perhaps as soon as when Windows 7 reaches end-of-life.


    • Greg Green

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      They’ve got to have some designator that the average person can look at to determine compatibility. We’re already in a situation where some early Win 10 compatible devices are now no longer Win 10 compatible. That’s inviting confusion and dissatisfaction.


      Going with year numbers or some simple number would be better for average buyers than 1607 or 1903.

    • Winner

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Apple had OS X, so Microsoft had to skip 9 and have a Windows 10.

    • waethorn

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      You still need build numbers for customers that haven't been updated yet, or choose to sit on an old version, ala LTSC.


      If it were just "Microsoft Windows v.1H19", it would make far more sense, even if it's "ugly branding". It's easily readable which version it is. The "10" is redundant though.

      • skane2600

        In reply to Waethorn:

        It's not just a matter of being ugly, it's a matter of not being remembered. It's best if the name is a small number, a date, or an object name. That's one thing that Apple has done very well.

        • waethorn

          In reply to skane2600:

          The problem with Apple versions is that you don't know how old they are. If the version is based on a date, you do. Microsoft has a whole bunch of ways to show versioning, but the best way is just the year with which half of the year the build is from (which they have used from time-to-time to express builds before), month versioning be damned. It follows the familiar fiscal period date format. 1H19 reads as "first half of 2019". It's simple and generalized enough to make sense without conflating it with updated build versions from cumulative updates or confusing "launch" months. 1903 doesn't properly say when the build was really launched (1903 code images were actually built in late February but not released to the general public until May and had day-1 cumulative updates anyway).

          • skane2600

            In reply to Waethorn:

            I don't think users care all that much about the release date, they just want to know if the version they own is supported by the third-party product or service they're interested in. If there are significant changes more often than once a year (at most), there's already a problem since third-parties aren't going to update their documentation all that fast. This is particularly true for physical products that may be on the shelf for years without their packaging being updated.

  2. hrlngrv

    Still a fair amount of bloatware. Examples: the Connect app for immobile desktop machines, Xbox anything for PCs which will never connect to or share with Xboxes or be used for ANY other type of games. OTOH, to come with no local help files is negatively impressive in a different way.

    I figure MSFT has finally realized that most (over 2/3 if not over 3/4) PC users just don't care about Windows the OS as long as they can run software they've been using for years if not decades. That is, the OS no longer matters. It's become a commodity. PCs need one in order to run application software, but the OS itself is no longer a selling point. As for a Lite version, why? Who'd want it? Not anyone who still wants to run applications from the early 2000s or the 1990s. From my POV, a MSFT OS with the ability to run any Win32 software isn't going to be Lite, and (in many ways) a MSFT OS which can't run Win32 software would be even less valuable to users/customers than Chrome OS. The bulk of Windows's value is the vast array of Win32 application software it runs, and damn little else.

    • epguy40

      In reply to hrlngrv:


      though the ltsb & ltsc editions of win10 come w/out most of the bloatware

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to epguy40:

        LTSB and LTSC are both Enterprise, no? Enterprises can customize their own images, and they can remove a lot of cruft from them.

        I can believe LTSB/LTSC don't come with anything Xbox, but do they come with the Connect app, which serves no purpose on immobile desktop PCs?

  3. red.radar

    Alternative: Walk away from Windows entirely. just release Office 365 and Visual Studio for linux.


    • hrlngrv

      In reply to red.radar:

      Visual Studio Code is already available for Linux. It can't be linked to gcc and compilers for other languages? OTOH, I figure it'd be a very cold day in Hell when MSFT releases Office for Linux.

    • skane2600

      In reply to red.radar:

      There's no viable market for Office 365 on Linux. It's not open source and Linux users would have to finally admit that LibreOffice is inferior. Plus it costs money.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to skane2600:

        Re viability, how many Mac users use the Mac version of Office rather than running the Windows version via Parallels or Boot Camp?

        • skane2600

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I don't know for sure (and I suspect you don't either), but I wouldn't try to draw analogies between average Mac and Linux users, they seem to me to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to skane2600:

            opposite ends of the spectrum

            Indeed, but which group would buy more Office licenses for their own OS rather than use Office for Windows in a VM? Well, maybe Mac users since Linux users would have far fewer qualms about using VMs, and would likely be dual booting Windows and Linux anyway.

            • skane2600

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              Maybe I was missing your point. Was it that an Office 365 for Linux wouldn't have a viable market even though Office 365 for MacOS would because users of the former would just use the Windows version via a VM while users of the latter wouldn't be likely to use one?

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to skane2600:

                I figure there'd be more Linux users willing to pay for a Linux version of Office than there are users of the Office UWP Mobile apps.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Sounds like a the battle of the negligible.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Indeed, negligible, which raises the question why MSFT bothers to maintain the UWP Office apps, which are free for Office 365 users and don't seem to count against Office 365 device installations. There'd be more money for MSFT to make from Linux users, but it appears MSFT isn't interested in making that money, preferring to maintain the charity of UWP Office apps.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I think corporate ego is involved in the continued promotion of UWP, but I still believe a paid MS Office for Linux is a non-starter.

      • bill_russell

        In reply to skane2600:

        I'm sure depending on your usage needs that LIbre Office is inferior in features, but not being a professional documentation author, I am fine with libreoffice and google docs. I use libreoffice Draw a lot and Google Sheets. I also have Office 365 and Outlook used from a firefox or chrome browser.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Bill_Russell:

          My point was not so much that LibreOffice was inherently inferior as much as a Linux user would have to acknowledge it to justify buying Office 365 for their Linux PC if such a product was available.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to red.radar:

      Sure. A great way to get everyone to abandon the platform for Mac, iOS, or Chromebook.

    • shameermulji

      In reply to red.radar:

      Both of those are available for macOS. I'd much rather go that route.

  4. Tony Barrett

    First, 'Windows 10' is just a brand name - nothing more. Each major release is actually an entirely new build, which MS have to maintain separate branches for, for things like patches. It's extremely unlikely that MS will launch a 'Windows 11', although I can see at some point they may just drop the numbering - so it's just 'Windows'.

    Next, an OS should be boring. It should just be a stable, secure app launcher without any bloat, additional software or anything other pointless additions. It should be lean and run with minimum resources. This is everything Windows 10 isn't, as bloat has taken over and many unwanted features are now part of the OS. This is the way MS want it though, because they want you to use their apps, their services, their app store, and ultimately, start to pay a subscription fee for other services behind their paywall.

    • skane2600

      In reply to ghostrider:

      If "Windows 10" is just a brand name, it's a very, very poor one.


      Thanks for sharing what you personally think an OS should be, but there's a diversity of opinions on that. I think it's safe to say that most people want their device (mobile, PC, whatever) to do something useful "out-of-the-box".

      • Tony Barrett

        In reply to skane2600:

        An OS should just be a platform to install/run the applications YOU want to use. There may be a few useful apps in Windows (notepad, cmd shell etc), but all that other cr*p is just superfluous junk to most, and if they can uninstall it, they will, but it should not be there in the first place - it just adds to the bloat and install requirements. MS have just doubled the install space required for Win10 - because of all the extra junk it will now reserve a whole extra chunk of space just for itself!

        A basic OS with a few, lightweight basic tools in the box is useful, but beyond that, it's mostly rubbish. For example - Paint3D, People app, Xbox app, Camera, Cortana, Skype, News etc) - a total waste of space for most. That's not to mention the adds for Office, Candy Crush etc.

        • skane2600

          In reply to ghostrider:

          Your just repeating the same argument. Sure, Windows 10 has stuff not everyone wants or needs just like every Linux distro or any other OS, but that's doesn't mean that everyone wants a system that initially supports nothing but installation. What people consider "lightweight basic tools" is going to vary from person to person.

    • skborders

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Maybe they should give it animal names or names of landmarks, that would be unique. /S

  5. karlinhigh

    In some ways, Windows has become like the QWERTY keyboard layout. Non-optimal by some measures, but universal enough to make that nearly irrelevant.

    • skane2600

      In reply to karlinhigh:

      I agree with the universality, but disagree with the rest of the analogy. Windows isn't inherently inefficient the way the QWERTY keyboard layout is. For productivity work, mobile devices are more comparable to QWERTY.

  6. AnOldAmigaUser

    I think that people could care less about the operating system, it should just get out of the way.

    What people care about is their data, and the programs they use to access that data, in that order. The only thing the OS needs to do is protect the former and run the latter. That is the reason that Microsoft spends the time they do on backwards compatibility. When someone buys a Windows PC, they expect it to run their Windows programs, including the ones they have not upgraded in years; and mostly, it does.

    As their data moves to the cloud, and the applications more and more become PWAs or websites, the need for a full fledged OS will diminish for most people, but their will always be a market for the bigger version of Windows as long as people need to run the applications.

    • boots

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      "it should just get out of the way."

      No it shouldn't. That's what Windows 8 did, and it was harder to use. Clicking on a photo in your email should not bring up a full screen photo with no Close button, no Taskbar and no way of knowing what the hell to do next.

      An OS should be consistent, easy to understand and let the user know what they can do with their data. It can be minimal, but it should never disappear and leave the user lost.

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to Boots:

        What? Windows 8 was in your face all the time with live tiles and the start screen. Discovering functionality was not intuitive in any meaningful way. It did not get out of the way, it obfuscated functionality.

        • boots

          In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

          It wasn't in your face all the time. When you opened a full screen Metro app it disappeared and let you work out on your own what to do next.

          • AnOldAmigaUser

            In reply to Boots:

            Yes, that is true, but many of us work in more than one application, and perhaps on more than one computer at a time. Metro borrowed very much from the mobile app idea of one thing at a time, and while that is fine for a phone or tablet, it does not work so well for a computer.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

              one thing at a time

              Still a weakness in UWP. Consider Paint 3D which still lacks a recent documents list along with being unable to run in multiple simultaneous instances, which makes it very difficult to copy pieces from one image file to paste into another. Sure looks like NO ONE in MSFT tried using it for the same things they use Paint before it was added to Windows 10.

              • AnOldAmigaUser

                In reply to hrlngrv:

                UWP has many weaknesses.

                Applications have to be installed and updated on a per user basis since they are installed in the hidden Appdata folder under a user's profile. If you move a user's profile to a network location, or another disk (because, well, the primary disks on most machines are rather small) then the UWP applications will not work. Appdata must exist on the C drive under users/username. They are basically unsuitable for enterprise use.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

                  installed in the hidden Appdata folder under a user's profile

                  Not exactly, or not any more, or maybe it differs between versions.

                  Under the Insider Build 18917, I have %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\VideoLAN.VLC_paz6r1rewnh0a which is under 300KB as well as %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps\VideoLAN.VLC_3.2.1.0_x64__paz6r1rewnh0a which is 96.5MB. At least for VLC, the software would seem to be stored once under %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps with specific user state and settings under each user's %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages.

                  As for saving apps elsewhere than C:, Systems > Storage, click on the link named Change where new content is saved (in MSFT's infinite wisdom, searching for that entire link name produces no matches), and in the resulting Settings screen you can use the topmost drop-down to change the drive in which Windows stores newly installed apps. That's the only safe way to do it, and as with any other system directory, BAD IDEA to use network drives. Sadly, in most workplace settings the only local drives are C: and D: when there's an optical drive. In most workplace settings, unregulated USB drives aren't allowed.

        • Winner

          In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

          And compared to Win 7, Windows 10 pops up crap all the time, it reboots when I don't want it to. It's shown me a Bing ad on the lock screen. It's in the way.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Boots:

        What he means by get out of the way is that you shouldn’t have to think of the OS, you should just think of programs, with all the controls still readily available. The OS shouldn’t give you games or programs on your start menu you don’t want, shouldn’t give you ads or suggestions that can’t be turned off, shouldn't nag you about preferred programs. It should be like the refrigeration hardware in your refrigerator; you never have to think about it, you just open the door and get your food.


        Win 8’s mistake is that controls were hidden. It’d be like a refrigerator with hidden doors, handles and controls. Just a beige monolith. Hidden and out of the way are two different things.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Boots:

        and no way of knowing what the hell to do next

        Part of me feels sorry for kids who never learned how to use the [Esc] key or press [Alt]+[F4] or can't think of pressing [Ctrl]+W, but not that sorry. The perils of becoming a curmudgeon, I figure.

        • boots

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I can't remember being able to use the Esc key to exit Metro apps.

          Other well known key combos were different in Windows 8. Alt+Tab only switched between Desktop windows and ignored Metro apps. Winkey+Tab only switched between Metro apps and lumped all of the Desktop windows together as the "Desktop" app.

  7. phil d

    Those who want a static Windows, i.e one that doesn't change, should consider using Windows 10 LTSC (Long Term Support Channel).

  8. Dan1986ist

    Could Microsoft do free upgrades to Windows 10, if they marketed each Feature Update as upgrades to new versions of Windows, or would they be required to charge people for the new versions?

  9. Lauren Glenn

    Right.... because we didn't learn anything from Vista.

  10. Lauren Glenn

    No. Seriously, no. After all these years, redoing the infrastructure of the OS is very disruptive to businesses. Sometimes you'll get a program or app that can't work with the new version of Windows and then other companies want to charge way too much to upgrade their software and drivers for the new OS.... it's just a huge mess and expense for what, actually? No one is going to kill off Win32 at this point.


    This is like one of these ideas much like when someone new gets a job and within the first month has every brilliant idea under the sun to improve things without consulting everyone because it wasn't fully baked or thought out. Also reminds me of Six Sigma where every lesson is basically, "here's a situation you didn't investigate.... how do we improve this?" and they get annoyed if you ask "why is it like that now?"


    Windows is not the primary driver for their income and redoing the whole thing makes little sense at this time when they did it with 8, with Vista, with ME, and then with XP (with this being their biggest success).. It's just not a good idea.

    • crp0908

      In reply to alissa914:

      I agree that redoing the infrastructure of the OS is very disruptive to businesses. We already have to do this now every time a new version of Windows 10 is released. The CBB branch is disruptive to enterprise IT and we feel the agony that managing WaaS brings to us twice a year. Can Windows never get any better than this? It's enough to make someone want to quit IT. We just want an OS that can update without the user disruption/downtime and that can also can run our Win32 apps. We would be happy to upgrade our OSes one last time to the true final version of Windows if that means we never have to deal with WaaS maintenance nightmares ever again.

  11. BigM72

    What ultimately needs to happen is the open-sourcing of Windows with the damn thing in maintenance mode.

    The future is a platform (don't call it a browser;) ) running a combination of web apps, containerised apps and remote terminal like apps.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to BigM72:

      Microsoft briefly talked about the possibility of doing this in the early 2000s, probably because of antitrust issues, or at least making the source code more broadly available. Since they don't really care about the client, making Windows open and/or an open standard actually does make sense.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to BigM72:

      I remember when Steve Jobs was asked why he didn't make his programs for Linux and he said, "because I want to make money."


      If you want that, you should probably run Linux.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to BigM72:

      Didn't someone ask Steve Jobs once why he didn't put his applications in open source for Linux and he replied with, "no, because I want to make money?" I just fear the day I have to deal with familial tech support where people ask what a bash shell is and I have to reply, "it's what I want to do with your closed computer so you stop calling for free tech support."

  12. waethorn

    Ask Microsoft a year before EOL of Windows 10 in 2025.

  13. DavidBenMesecke

    A functioning dark theme would be great and even more so a tabbed windows explorer. I don't see the need for yet another version of windows to accomplish that though. I am using windows server 2019 as my workstation OS as this helps me avoid being spied on and also removes the bloatware that come with windows store hosting garbage apps I have no use for.

  14. james.h.robinson

    1. Windows 10 is the “last” version of Windows like Mac OS X (roman numeral 10) was the “last” version of macOS. I don’t know if either OS will ever see a version 11.
    2. It seems like many people who post on forums like this have little experience with enterprises. Large organizations, who generate substantial revenues for Microsoft, do NOT want a bunch of changes, especially if those changes do no improve productivity or add to the bottom line.
    3. Perhaps Microsoft should create a new OS just for the consumer market where people think it is “fun” to grapple with entirely new OS’s.
    • Illusive_Man

      In reply to james.h.robinson:


      Then have a consumer version and an enterprise version. I don't know why it needs to be the same thing.


      I'd like a light Unix based Windows.

    • shameermulji

      In reply to james.h.robinson:

      "Perhaps Microsoft should create a new OS just for the consumer market where people think it is “fun” to grapple with entirely new OS’s."


      You've essentially described Windows 10X

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to james.h.robinson:

      In regard to (2), I think you're right. Many who post here are 'consumers' and expect Enterprises to accept OS changes/updates they way they do - but it doesn't work. Enterprises want consistency, stability and reliability and other than security patches, very little change. Even Win10 Enterprise CBB only allows deferral for a few months until MS deems the CB (Targeted) is ready for Enterprises. Just how can IT departments handle those continual upgrades and testing - answer is they can't really, and many don't want to. Enterprises don't need the features, the changes and the risk those releases bring, which is why LTSC is being adopted by many Enterprises with SA, as it's the 'old way' of managing Windows - regular security updates and bug fixes, no feature updates, and 10 years support - with just one new LTSC version every 2-3 years.

      I think many Enterprises would've happily taken a refreshed Windows 7 rather than Windows 10, but as I've said all along, Windows 10 is more about Microsoft's ambitions rather than their customers.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to james.h.robinson:
      1. It seems like many people who post on forums like this have little experience with enterprises. Large organizations, who generate substantial revenues for Microsoft, do NOT want a bunch of changes, especially if those changes do no improve productivity or add to the bottom line.


      This is part of the exact problem. Microsoft is trying to write Windows for two vastly different audiences at the moment: business and consumers. It's a bit strange to me, since they don't really care much about consumers for anything else they are doing. It's all "apps for whatever platform".


      This is why many people advocate bringing "Windows 10" back to a more business-y style OS (which retains compatibility for all the old vertical market apps that are too expensive to rewrite and work just fine if things stay status quo) and some newfangled "Modern OS" that strips a lot of that stuff away to provide the "new hotness". I believe they are trying to shake the "Windows is where you used to get Work Done" perception.

      • shameermulji

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        Regarding the last paragraph, MS is doing that with Windows 10 / Windows 10X

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        . . . at the moment . . .

        For the better part of 2 decades, since Windows XP.

        To an extent. FWIW, I used Windows 3.x at home first, but a few years later also at work; but I used Windows 95 at work first, and Windows NT4 at home first. The late 1990s were an interesting time in PC software.

        I have to agree that enterprises and SMB PC users, well, maintainers don't want 2 upgrades a year, not even annual upgrades. New OS features ever 3 years is frequent enough. The 6 years of nothing but Windows XP between 2006 and 2012 (moved to Windows 7) where I worked at the time was bliss for IT, and the 7 years of nothing but Windows 7 from 2012 to this past spring (moved to Windows 10) was another dose of bliss. Now for payback.

        Anyway, MSFT's Lite OS won't be for the workplace. The question is whether it'd give leisure PC users any benefits compared to Chrome OS. OTOH, breaking Windows means work would be more likely to introduce non-MSFT OSes into the workplace than do anything useful to shore up Windows decline outside the workplace.

        • curtisspendlove

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          OTOH, breaking Windows means work would be more likely to introduce non-MSFT OSes into the workplace than do anything useful to shore up Windows decline outside the workplace.


          I don't disagree. I think the ship has sailed on all traditional OSs having any kind of mainstream consumer appeal. This is across the board, not just Windows.

          • skane2600

            In reply to curtisspendlove:

            I think PCs were never really consumer devices in the same sense as smartphones are. I don't think there's much evidence of demand for devices that are more than a smartphone but less than a PC, Mac, or LInux desktop/laptop.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to skane2600:

              I don't think there's much evidence of demand for devices that are more than a smartphone but less than a PC, Mac, or LInux desktop/laptop.

              Given the plateau in tablet sales, that does seem to be so.

              As for Lite OS laptops or mini microcomputers, there's a DOSBox app for Chrome OS, which I use myself to run some ancient 16-bit software on my Chromebook. There could be a WinBox to do the same with Win32 software. Granted that app would be very complex, but the underlying OS needn't be. From my very likely idiosyncratic perspective, that'd be the ideal approach.

              The question would become what software would run under the Lite OS itself rather than as a PWA or in an OS emulator like DOSBox/WinBox. Look at the offline apps available in the Chrome Store (you may need browse it using a Chrome OS device to see everything) to get an idea of what may make sense. Certainly text editors.

        • skane2600

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I guess the question is whether there really are a significant number of "leisure" users who want to use a PC form-factor but aren't already invested in Windows or MacOS. Chromebook users are predominantly students who didn't really choose the device they use.


          Of course there's nothing that stops a Windows or MacOS user from using their computer in non-sophisticated way.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to skane2600:

            Of course there's nothing that stops a Windows or MacOS user from using their computer in non-sophisticated way.

            Users, sure. I figure the impetus for a Lite OS from MSFT would come from MSFT itself wanting an OS which it could update/upgrade as easily as Chrome OS can be.

            I wouldn't mind Windows being reengineered to eliminate drive letters and all the related cruft it's accumulated through copying a concept from IBM's VM/CMS from the early 1970s. Bonus if they FINALLY put OS and user files on separate disk partitions by default.

            Arcane warning: while it's not guaranteed security from attacks, mounting boot loader, OS kernel and core OS files partitions read-only is a lot safer than just restricting permissions to C:\Windows. From a security perspective, Chrome OS is a quantum more secure than Windows can be due to basic design of each. I'd welcome MSFT acknowledging that and moving towards a multiple partition design for Windows.

            • Greg Green

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              Is there a way that can be done and still keep Win32 compatibility?

              • skane2600

                In reply to Greg Green:

                I know you didn't ask me but ..They could probably get rid of some of their built-in applications, but it's not as if there's a lot of low-level code in Windows that isn't required for Win32 operations. Even the global Registry is necessary to prevent current programs from breaking (I know because I've written such programs).

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to Greg Green:

                Is there a way that can be done and still keep Win32 compatibility?

                I figure MSFT would love to do so if it were possible.

                Is it possible? Dunno, but if it were easy, why hasn't MSFT done it already? If it's difficult, it may be much more expensive than it's worth.

                OTOH, I figure the Chrome OS approach to system updates/upgrades, using multiple sets of multiple disk partitions, would require a very thorough redesign of Windows if Windows would adopt that approach.

                • shameermulji

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  "I figure MSFT would love to do so if it were possible."


                  From everything I've read about Windows 10X, it will provide Win32 compatibility but via a sandboxed container. Not a bad trade-off.

            • skane2600

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I don't know, ease of updates for MS sounds like a pretty weak motivation for a very expensive and risky proportion. Can they afford yet another RT-style failure?

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to skane2600:

                I believe we agree that it's impossible to see how MSFT would benefit from a Lite OS if that OS couldn't run Win32 software. The world outside MSFT doesn't need another OS which doesn't run Win32 software. Maybe the world could benefit from such a new OS, but it's impossible to see how MSFT could milk significant revenues out of it.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I agree but I also think that a Lite OS that ran Win32 software wouldn't be different enough to justify it's existence. In others words, IMO, it's dead either way.

  15. codymesh

    one of my biggest frustrations with Microsoft and so-called fans of Windows like you is exactly this - the idea that 'starting over' is somehow the solution, and is somehow what people want.


    If you talk to regular people, they will tell you that they either feel indifferent about Windows 10, or they find it adequate for their needs. And that's what Windows will always be.


    Also, they are working on Windows Lite.

    • crp0908

      In reply to codymesh:

      I agree with the OP. Starting over would be an improvement. I just want an OS that can update without user disruption/downtime and also can run my apps. The OS could be modular so that all that extra fluff can be optionally installed if the user actually wants it. This almost describes Linux Mint except that Linux Mint can't run all of my apps.


      The regular people that you know must be different than the ones I know. Most of the ones I know hate Windows 10. It is significantly disruptive to the end user. WaaS is a hassle and is a treadmill or hamster wheel for IT departments. But Windows 10 is what we are stuck with because it is what is installed on a new computer and it runs the apps that we care about.


      If Windows Lite will be that modular OS that can run Win32 apps, then great! However, Microsoft has disappointed us in the past with S mode so I have my doubts.

      • jchampeau

        In reply to codymesh:

        "Starting over would be an improvement."


        To you, perhaps, it would be an improvement. But I think to normal people, it would be an incredible pain in the @$$. Normal people want to use Chrome, Word, Outlook, Calculator, Notepad, etc., to get their work done. And they want to get their work done without being interrupted or annoyed like you say. Starting over would surely interrupt and annoy.


        I think people want Windows to be better in terms of reliability, not requiring reboots, etc., but they don't want different, as it would be if they started over.

        • crp0908

          In reply to jchampeau:

          I think the ultimate goal for both of us is in agreement for the most part. The difference of opinion is how we get there. In my case, I don't believe Microsoft has the ability to make Windows 10 any less disruptive than it already is. Hence, starting over with a modular Windows that can update without disrupting the user with reboots and startup delays would be the answer. Hence, starting over with "Windows 11" or whatever you want to call it.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to codymesh:

      they are working on Windows Lite.

      If it doesn't run most Win32 software, it'll be as popular as Windows 8 RT. There isn't a deafening demand for a MSFT version of Chromium OS or a MSFT OS which runs only Edge, UWP software and PWAs. If Windows Lite also included a Win32 subsystem like DOSBox in which any Win32 software would run without affecting the Windows Lite host, maybe, but that Win32 subsystem wouldn't be lite.

      • codymesh

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        I think we severely underestimate the demand for a chromebook kind of 'lite' OS/device, and we severely overestimate how valuable win32 apps are. Most of the apps I have open now on a daily basis is the browser and electron apps (basically PWAs).

        • skane2600

          In reply to codymesh:

          The only real evidence we have to estimate the demand for a Chromebook type device is the sales of the Chromebook itself which so far isn't very impressive. The rest is just speculation.


          You many not use many Win32 programs beyond your browser, but it's a mistake to make broad generalizations based on one person's preferences.

          • codymesh

            In reply to skane2600:

            bruh, Big Windows is a broad generalization of what users want in itself. There are very few things that exist with no assumptions. This is a dumb argument to make. Guess what, broad generalizations also shift with time.


            The whole point of making Windows Lite is to keep Big Windows intact. What's the worry here? Or do you think Microsoft is not allowed to explore and tap into potential new markets at all?


            There is a lot of innovation in the pipeline in the PC space - Always Connected Windows on ARM with 5G, foldable type devices, and so on. Big Windows is not particularly well-suited for such devices. Should Microsoft just concede? Or is Win32 compatibility somehow a gospel that Microsoft must be boxed into?


            Most modern apps these days are cross-platform and web apps, not Win32. And that's the tea.

            • skane2600

              In reply to codymesh:

              First of all, there is no "Big" Windows, just Windows. No generalizations are needed to indicate that Windows is the dominant productivity OS, the numbers prove it.


              "In the pipeline" suggests products that have been officially announced and have at least an approximate release date. None of the "products" you mentioned qualify.


              I'm not sure it's true that "most modern apps are cross-platform" but most of them do appear to be rather limited. That's OK for mobile use where the expectations are also limited.


              Since every mobile product Microsoft has released that didn't support Win32 programs has failed and the non-Win32 platform UWP has also failed for the most part, it's likely that future products in the same vein will fail too.


              If Microsoft wants to compete in the compact device space, they should forget completely about Windows and build OS from the ground up that is designed specifically for that kind of device. I doubt it would be successful given the head-start that Android and iOS have, but at least they won't face the compromise and expectations involved in tying it to Windows and the Windows name.

              • codymesh

                In reply to skane2600:

                Correlation does not imply causation. The past in no way determines what happens in the future and what direction the industry will take. Also, Microsoft is segmenting Windows into 2 target markets - "Big Windows" and "Small Windows". It's been reported on this site for god's sake, read it up


                Also, wait, so what you're saying is, Microsoft has failed with previous products apparently due to no Win32 support (nope, nothing to do with Google dumping EAS and blocking the largest video site), so Microsoft should take an even bigger risk and just casually build a new OS from the ground up - and then have the new OS support Win32? and somehow Windows Lite sans win32 can't be considered an OS designed specifically for compact devices?


                Literally what even is your point? Holy shit, thank god you don't run Microsoft.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to codymesh:

                  I think you need to look up the definition of "Correlation does not imply causation." because it doesn't apply to my comment.


                  The past in "no way" determines what happens in the future? Not at all? So for example, the fact that we use the Internet today doesn't mean we will still be using it a few years from now due to the "no way" rule?


                  I must have missed Paul's "Big Windows", article, can you link to it?


                  Had you read my comment carefully you would have noticed I stated that I doubted the OS I described would be successful. Since I also said it wouldn't be tied to Windows you should have realized that it wouldn't support Win32 which is a Windows-specific API.


                  Windows LIte if it didn't support Win32 would just be another Windows that can't run Windows programs. You can't just remove portions of Windows and then claim the result is an OS designed specifically for compact devices, because it's origin is Windows, an OS that obviously wasn't designed for compact devices.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to codymesh:

          underestimate the demand for a [...] 'lite' OS [...] overestimate how valuable win32 apps

          Maybe, but answer why Windows 8 Modern apps failed, answer why UWP have failed, answer why there are so many Win32 desktop software titles still selling but not available in the MSFT Store.

          For work, I have a browser open, Outlook, Excel, RStudio, and from time to time Salesforce, since that's what's used for referrals outside authority. Twice a quarter I still need to use a mainframe terminal emulator. Add to the mix a PDF reader, a programmer's text editor, Access and MS Query, and a handful of browser-based intranet applications. All of it Win32 or non-PWA browser software. Zero PWAs. Zero UWP apps. Zero Edge.

          • curtisspendlove

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            ...are so many Win32 desktop software titles still selling..


            Are they? Please enlighten us.


            Name 10.


            Or 5.


            Or 1.


            (Now name one that isn't released by Microsoft and is used by "common" consumers. For example, a printed circuit assembly floor control program is not a "common" consumer software title.)

            • skane2600

              In reply to curtisspendlove:

              The popularity of any particular Win32 program or who produced it is irrelevant to the aggregate value Win32 holds to its users.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to curtisspendlove:

              I figure every ISV still around whose software I've used in the last 20 years would be making enough revenue to remain in business. Otherwise, hard to see why they bother wouldn't you say? Not including Adobe, Intuit, foreign language instruction,

              Scooter Software

              Multiedit Software

              Lugaru Software Ltd

              Corel

              Foxit Software

              StarDock

              VLC (as well as some who still use Foobar and WinAmp)

              As for individual packages I still use, if infrequently,

              IcoFX

              National Geographic's magazine archive viewer

              vim

              I figure a fair number of PC users use something other than Notepad or Word to edit plain text files, and that supports a few dozen different text editors whose developers can still charge for them. Corel's continued existence shows that there's still some commercial competition to Adobe for image editing.

              There's still also several software download sites like tucows and SnapFiles. Dunno if they make public their download stats, but again I figure they wouldn't still exist if they had fewer than a hundred downloads a day, assuming the people who pay to maintain them are rational.

              • curtisspendlove

                In reply to hrlngrv:


                I figure a fair number of PC users use something other than Notepad or Word to edit plain text files, and that supports a few dozen different text editors whose developers can still charge for them. Corel's continued existence shows that there's still some commercial competition to Adobe for image editing.


                So, I only looked up a couple of those, but I did notice the webpages had a blurb similar to:


                Lugaru Software, Ltd. makes the Epsilon Programmer's Editor, an advanced EMACS-style programmer's text editor for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OS/2 and DOS.


                Unless they release stats somewhere, who knows if Epsilon is used more on whichever platform.


                VLC runs on pretty much everything with a chip. So does vim.


                But the main point here is that pretty much everything you can list is likely not exclusive to Windows. And the few that are most likely enhance or modify Windows in some way.


                IF a "Modern OS" was built by Microsoft that didn't utilize WIN32/64 compatibility, and IF that market is large enough, those companies would offer "Modern OS" versions of their highly successful packages.


                Companies adapt. That is how they stay in business. And most professional software businesses have already hedged against Windows or macOS disappearing entirely (not likely to happen, of course, for the foreseeable future...but anyone depending on selling software to put steak on the table should have a contingency plan.)

                • skane2600

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  The point is there really isn't any indication that a market for another non-Windows Windows is viable. You could say IF the PC market starting growing significantly, Win32 program sales would grow significantly too. You can speculate on anything.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  pretty much everything you can list is likely not exclusive to Windows

                  The only Windows exclusive ones I listed were Stardock and IcoFX. Maybe also Corel; I'm too lazy to check whether they have Mac and/or Linux versions.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  It depends, we are looking at a new ERP system. It is the first version that runs Windows native - the previous version was a POSIX refurb for an old UNIX system that still used ISAM! The new version is full client/server with SQL Server backend, middleware on Windows Server and a Windows frontend.

                  Likewise, at my previous job they used AMS, which is a specialist ERP solution for the plant manufacturing industry (i.e. companies that build factories and manufacturing plants for manufacturing companies). It was Windows based, with a few apps for things like clocking on and off for off-site staff.

                  Our telephone system has a Windows CTI client, before that, I used Swyx, which is Windows based, with Windows soft client. That was back in 2016, they were still trying to bring out a data-based VOIP app for iOS and Android (it was running a year late, the previous version used 2 lines on the PABX, one for the inbound call, then a second outgoing call to the smartphone). Likewise, it was only in 2016 that the Mac client finally appeared, in beta form - the system was first introduced around the turn of the century, but until around 2014 there was no real push from its customers to provide anything other than Windows clients and physical VOIP telephones.

                  I still come across a lot of XP-only software still in use. The companies are trying to get the software replaced, but it is often hard. In many cases, it is controller software for plant equipment and an "upgrade" of the software means an investment of several hundred thousand Euros for a new piece of equipment, where the old piece of equipment is still working fine and will probably keep running economically for another 10 years - just the control software can't be upgraded.

                  In such cases, I usually recommend keeping the XP machine, remove it from the network or isolate it on its own segment with no internet or local area network access, with a gateway somewhere only allowing the command server to access a specific port on the machine(s) on the isolated network.

                  At one place, they have an old CNC machine, which is XP powered. The IT manager has removed the network from the machine. The manufacturer won't supply new software, you only get that with a new CNC machine. When they need support, the first thing the hotline wants is TeamViewer access to the XP machine. After telling them it isn't networked ("well, stick a network cable in it, then we can continue") and that they can go to hell, they won't get TeamViewer access until they provide a version of the software that runs on an operating system that has support, they have to make do with remote controlling the operator.

                • curtisspendlove

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  In such cases, I usually recommend keeping the XP machine, remove it from the network or isolate it on its own segment with no internet or local area network access, with a gateway somewhere only allowing the command server to access a specific port on the machine(s) on the isolated network.


                  This is what I was trying to refer to when mentioning “vertical market” software. These types of software are usually highly specialized and very necessary for certain types of things. But that also makes them very expensive to change. So you don’t just want to throw it all away and start on something new and sexy without really good cause.


                  But it is good to have a contingency plan just in case “the world” happens to you. Ask the C-level execs at Huawei if you don’t believe me. ;)

          • codymesh

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            Oh yeah, salesforce is definitely used by the average user on a daily basis, lmao


            Obviously Windows Lite isn't meant to replace Windows in the enterprise where a lot of legacy apps linger around. Does this really need explaining?

            • skane2600

              In reply to codymesh:

              Salesforce is hardly the length and breadth of Win32 programs. There's lots of Win32 programs running outside the enterprise.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to codymesh:

              Obviously Windows Lite isn't meant to replace Windows in the enterprise

              Agreed.

              For nonwork use, if one doesn't need/want to use Office or most Adobe offerings, who needs Windows at all? No one using a phone or tablet for most if not all their nonwork computing. What benefits would Windows Lite have which Chrome OS lacked?

              OTOH, how much Win32 leisure/hobby software is still in use? I'll mention a knitting pattern editor last updated in 2003 which my wife still uses. No alternatives in the MSFT Store, no PWAs, no web apps I'm aware of as alternatives. OTOH, FWLIW, it runs under wine under Linux.

              I believe you underestimate the number of leisure Win32 software titles still in use. You don't use them, but that may not be representative of all PC users.

              • curtisspendlove

                In reply to hrlngrv:

                I'll mention a knitting pattern editor last updated in 2003 which my wife still uses.


                I'll admit that I'm not 100% sure what her 16 year old hobby application does; but I also feel like maybe you haven't done a Google search lately.


                I seem to have found a few websites, Android, and iOS apps that do some sort of knitting pattern / knitting chart editing. Along with some pretty big websites. So I find it interesting that if this a huge addressable software market someone would have come out with a more modern app.


                Maybe it's a good business opportunity, eh? :: nudge nudge ::


                (Based on what I see, most of the app reviews are horrible. So seems like a very addressable market where an enterprising young lady relying on a REALLY, REALLY old Windows app--which, if it were my wife, I'd be nervous of that thing not being supported anymore any day now--could swoop in and make a killing.)


                play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=knitting.chart.maker&hl=en_US


                www.allfreeknitting.com/Tips-for-Knitting/Knitting-Apps


                www.stitchmastery.com/?doing_wp_cron=1560897203.2229139804840087890625


                (I'm guessing it might be that one...that's a hefty price for a hobby app. If they can sell it for that and sustain a business...definitely should be able to modernize the toolchain. :) )


                [That was a fun little foray, been a while since I've looked at anything like that. My ex-wife was a knitter/cross-sticher, but I'm remarried now and she's a digital and canvas painter.]

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  maybe you haven't done a Google search lately

                  True. I gave up looking for alternatives 6 years ago.

                  This isn't for me, and my wife is picky about this particular hobby app. Plus she hates change. OTOH, this is a piece of Win32 software she's still using, and it hasn't been updates in 16 years, and it'll never become a Store app.

                  Good to see there are alternatives. None from the MSFT Store.

                  Re the www.allfreeknitting.com link, only one has a web app (BeeCount), which isn't a pattern editor. Phone or tablet required, which isn't surprising, unless one uses a Mac to run iOS apps or a Chromebook to run Android apps.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  It makes sense. The desire to keep the application that you are familiar with and does the job for you can be an important factor in how you value it and the OS you use. This is certainly true of some developers who still use primitive text editors despite the fact that a case can be made that there are better alternatives created after the 1970's.

                • curtisspendlove

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  This isn't for me, and my wife is picky about this particular hobby app.


                  I understand 100%, I'm quite picky about the stuff I use too. I'm sure we all are. I agree with your points about being able to use old software.


                  I just think it's useless to add W32/64 support to a "modern OS" effort. The whole point is to make it a slimmer OS without all the old cruft. Otherwise they might as well just use the current Windows codebase.


                  I have no skin in the "Modern OS" game, I'm curious though to see what it ends up being. For the things I want Windows for, I'd most likely keep Windows. I use it mostly for my Gaming rig and playing around. (Technically I use it to program client work on a daily basis, but if I had my druthers, I'd have a MacBook for that instead of a Dell.)

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  I just think it's useless to add W32/64 support to a "modern OS" effort. The whole point is to make it a slimmer OS without all the old cruft.

                  Possibly a tangent, but I don't see any benefit MSFT would gain developing a Lite OS which wouldn't run Win32 software. Google beat MSFT to market with a Lite OS which runs little more than browser, PWAs, and apps written specifically for the Lite OS. I can't see that a MSFT Lite OS which couldn't run Win32 software would attract customers who weren't satisfied with Chrome OS.

                  IOW, I doubt the MSFT name would attract many customers to a new OS, and using Windows in the name of a Lite OS which couldn't run Win32 software would be a repeat of the Windows 8 RT fiasco. IOW, as I see it, MSFT's sole and exclusive future in OSes for consumer devices is Windows proper on devices which can be used as PCs. There is simply no demand for a MSFT OS for consumer devices which can't run Win32 software.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I think it would be quite difficult to create a version of Windows that is different enough that it would be worth bothering to build and yet similar enough that it has full compatibility with Win32. And historically products that achieve only partial compatibility fail at least as far back as the PCjr.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Did the PCjr fail due to software incompatibilities or hardware limitations? FWLIW, my first PC was a Compaq Deskpro which I bought with the max 640KB RAM. Could the PCjr take even 256KB?

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I don't know how much memory it could use, but In the era of the PCjr 256K would be considered a fairly loaded system. Only very heavy users would have 640KB RAM in those days. I think with a name that included Jr it's pretty clear it was not intended for advanced users. Still the lack of compatibility was a big factor in its very short life.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Re 256KB RAM in the mid 1980s, it may have been a lot, but it was the minimum required to run Lotus 1-2-3. Maybe no one would have tried running 1-2-3 on a PCjr, but home PCs back in those days were almost entirely for home offices. There was squat all mass market leisure software in 1985.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Most home office work in those days didn't require Lotus 1-2-3 and there were many PC games in 1985. But IBM was hoping to position the PCjr against cheaper home computers like the Commodore 64 and Apple II by adding more game-friendly features.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Most home office work in those days didn't require Lotus 1-2-3

                  I was the IT guy for a dozen or so of my parents' friends in the mid-1980s. My parents friends certainly weren't representative of all PC users at the time, but all of them had 1-2-3 and WordStar. I was in grad school at the time (math), and the main thing we wanted to use back then was TurboPascal, which was a lot more powerful than BASICA.

                  As for gaming, Apple IIs were rather pathetic until the IIGS, which was late 1980s. I never paid attention to Commodores.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  There was a huge market for leisure software in 1985. But it didn't run on business machines, it ran on home computers. The PCjr was IBMs attempt to unify home and business, but it failed. It was the likes of Amstrad, with the PPC5512 that really kicked off the move to MS-DOS as a home computing platform. Then other companies offering cheap clones started popping out of the woodwork, like Elonex, Advance etc. and traditional manufacturers, like Act started making versions aimed more at home users as well.

                • AnOldAmigaUser

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I think the benefit of a Lite OS to Microsoft would be the ability to compete in the K12 education market. Right now, it is dominated by Google with Chromebooks because they are cheap and dead simple to maintain. Office 365 would work perfectly on a Chromebook, but Microsoft is unlikely to go into a school district with a proposal of Chromebooks and Office 365. They need something to run well on inexpensive hardware, is dead simple to maintain and does not require a Google account.

                  If it gains a little traction with casual users, or as a secondary device, then all the better.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

                  Chromebooks aren't really any cheaper but they are probably are easier to maintain. I don't don't know if K12 education is a big enough market to justify a new OS. And as history has shown, being the dominant platform in K12 education doesn't really translate into dominance in the non-education world.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

                  I'll repeat a question I've asked before here: what benefits would MSFT's Lite OS have vs Chrome OS? If it's basically the same except for using Edge rather than Chrome, MSFT's Lite OS would be a gamble that MSFT's brand new offering were solid compared to Google's now 8-year-old Chrome OS. More to the point, why would any school district buy under US$250 laptops with an OS which would have less software available for it than Chromebooks which also had NO HISTORY in terms of administrative simplicity and robustness? OTOH, how would MSFT make any money from such devices?

                  OTOH, school districts may be eager for under US$250 laptops with Windows able to run Win32 software. Again, how would MSFT make any money from such devices?

                  OEMs are pass-throughs for Windows licensing fees. Would schools pay US$60 or so per device for Windows licenses? If not, would ANY OEM make devices using an OS with US$60 per device they'd owe to MSFT? If not, would MSFT be willing to sell Windows able to run Win32 software for substantially less than US$60?

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:
                  I'll repeat a question I've asked before here: what benefits would MSFT's Lite OS have vs Chrome OS?

                  Integration with a Microsoft Account (business, educational or private), better integration with Office 365.

                  Telemetry and tracking not going to Google, but to Microsoft or a "more private" OS that doesn't do a lot of the tracking that Google does. For example, a "Chromebook" running BraveOS instead of Google's ChromeOS might tempt me... Only it doesn't exist.

                  MS would have one benefit over here, at the moment, a Windows laptop with the same or better specification is cheaper than a Chromebook - usually a Windows 10 device with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD costs the same or less than a Chromebook with the same processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC storage. In fact, ChromeOS is so popular over here that Google don't even bother to sell their Pixel line!

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Re cheaper Windows laptops than Chromebooks: in some markets, not worldwide. As Windows phones should have demostrated with respect to MSFT market requirements: as Europe goes, so goes Europe; if some MSFT product doesn't sell in US and China, it ceases to be a MSFT product.

                  Re Win32 subsystem, a Lite OS with sandboxing based on Hyper-V wouldn't be particularly lite. I've called such a thing WinBox, to draw a parallel with DOSBox, but I figure it'd need to be relatively complex, almost a complete VM. It'd shunt the complexity from the host OS to the subsystem. Maybe sufficient for the type of users who install and use crouton and Linux on Chromebooks, but would it have any appeal to normal users? But the real question is who'd opt for a MSFT Lite OS with a Win32 subsystem/WinBox rather than Windows proper?

                  Re millions preferring a MSFT Lite OS to Google's Chrome OS for privacy, that'd explain why Bing is used by an order of magnitude more web searchers than Google. /s Serious: few care about Google analyzing their search history.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Or you run LiteOS on Hyper-V and the DOS applications run in Hyper-V containers under the LiteOS.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:
                  Possibly a tangent, but I don't see any benefit MSFT would gain developing a Lite OS which wouldn't run Win32 software.

                  Who is talking about a LiteOS? A modern OS can be full featured and not have Win32. Putting Win32 into a virtual sandbox that only gets loaded when needed is what I have been saying for about a decade now.

                • shameermulji

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  "Possibly a tangent, but I don't see any benefit MSFT would gain developing a Lite OS which wouldn't run Win32 software."


                  If there's anything that the vast popularity of the smartphone has taught me, is that outside of the workplace, the vast majority of users don't need anything more than a web browser and / or apps that are integrated with web services. If you need Win32, just run Windows 10 proper.


                  And besides, Windows 10X (which is a "Lite OS") will provide Win32 compatibility via a sandbox container on-demand.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:
                  I understand 100%, I'm quite picky about the stuff I use too. I'm sure we all are. I agree with your points about being able to use old software.

                  Exactly. I've been arguing for nearly a decade, that Microsoft should relegate Win32 support to a virtual sandbox, loaded on demand and make the main OS slim and fast.

                  If people have a slim and fast experience and the Win32 stuff is in a sandbox, they will notice that the Win32 application is old and slow, so it might get them to switch, but they can still use it if they want to / have to.

                • shameermulji

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  "Exactly. I've been arguing for nearly a decade, that Microsoft should relegate Win32 support to a virtual sandbox, loaded on demand and make the main OS slim and fast."


                  They are doing that in Windows 10X.

                • curtisspendlove

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Exactly. I've been arguing for nearly a decade, that Microsoft should relegate Win32 support to a virtual sandbox, loaded on demand and make the main OS slim and fast.


                  Yup. I find it interesting that current talk around this from Microsoft utilizes language like “Modern OS” instead of Windows Lite. I even think they could capitalize a bit on “Pro” SKUs that make the WIN32 frameworks work better or whatever. Though that might be at the risk of fracturing into too many confusing editions of Windows (I hope they aim to simplify if they do this).



                • skane2600

                  In reply to curtisspendlove:

                  Both "Modern" and "Lite" are amorphous concepts. Better to think of them as branding rather than having any technical meaning. Ultimately one has to wait to see an actual product and then analyze the advantages and shortcomings.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  . . . it might get them to switch . . .

                  To what?

                  Chicken and egg when it comes to rewriting Office, say, for the new Lite OS. Would the new Office be as full-featured as the current Windows desktop Office? If it'd be a lot of work to rewrite it for a new Lite OS, would it be worthwhile before there were tens of million of users of the new Lite OS? Who'd be those first tens of millions of users?

                  UWP was supposed to be the future, but MSFT only made Lite versions of the Office apps based on UWP, and few use them. Worse, ISVs/3rd party developers noticed MSFT wasn't risking its own future on UWP for its own application software, so no other major player did either. I can't see MSFT leading the way by risking its Office revenue, so I can't see a MSFT Lite OS gaining substantial user base.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Full featured, for Lite OS? Probably not. Full featured for a successor to Windows? Probably and it is something they would need to invest in to kick-start the new OS. As you say, chicken and egg, but with Office 365 and Microsoft 365, they are in the best position to force a move and provide the chicken and the egg at the same time, as well as the carrot and the stick.

                  Sideline legacy software into a sandboxed VM environment and make it less and less attractive over time, freeze its feature set and if any software wants to use the latest features, it will need to be re-written for the new OS. That would give the transition time, but also show the benefits of the new, whilst allowing the old to still run.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  force a move

                  I believe you're overestimating MSFT's ability to dictate change to its enterprise customers.

                  Tangent: Linux already exists. Linux can run Windows VMs, and it can do so running X without a desktop environment, so using very little RAM. NBD for full-screen VM windows. For that matter, Linux can run different user accounts on different physical monitors on the same system.

                  If Windows is too old, complex and bloated, TESTED alternatives already exist.

                  Anyway, what do you believe a new Lite OS would offer which Linux or Chrome OS don't already offer? IOW, what'd be the good reasons for reinventing the wheel and spending a few years working the inevitable bugs out?

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:
                  If Windows is too old, complex and bloated, TESTED alternatives already exist.

                  Yes, but they won't help Microsoft's revenue moving forward (well, Azure aside).

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  | | If Windows is too old, complex and bloated, TESTED alternatives already exist.

                  | Yes, but they won't help Microsoft's revenue moving forward (well, Azure aside).

                  What incentive do CUSTOMERS have to care a rat's backside about MSFT's revenues? A new and thus untested MSFT OS isn't going to win over millions of users in short order. A new OS would also have unavoidable problems just by being NEW and thus untested. Plus the chicken & egg problem: which ISVs would bother making application software for the new OS without lots of existing users, and what potential users would buy new devices running the new OS if there weren't thousands of application software titles to choose from?

                  The 2020s aren't going to be a repeat of the 1980s for MSFT. Nor are the 2020s going to be a repeat of the 2010s with MSFT replacing Apple.

                  As I see it, with networking becoming ever more widespread, fast, robust, and cheap, the advantages of relatively dumb terminals will become more evident to enterprises. Perhaps using in-house application servers rather than public servers. If so, I can't see how thin client OS vendors could charge more than US$10 per device.

                  A Win32 subsystem for a new Lite OS sounds nice, but it just transfers the legacy burden from the OS to the subsystem. As for the new Lite OS itself, what would it need to offer to attract developers away from other existing AND THUS ALREADY TESTED OSes? The MSFT brand alone won't be sufficient. So you tell me which 3rd parties, device makers and application software developers, would invest heavily in a new MSFT OS? And who'd buy such devices?

                • skane2600

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  That sounds like the tail wagging the dog. Win32 programs are what customers want to run, why do they need to run them in a bag on the side?


                  Slim, fast, light. Not exactly implementable technical requirements. They are glittering generalities like Things go better with Coke.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to skane2600:
                  That sounds like the tail wagging the dog. Win32 programs are what customers want to run, why do they need to run them in a bag on the side?

                  But the problem is, all the legacy crud in Windows, especially Win32 is what is holding the OS back. All the time that Win32 is a core part of the OS and it is expanded to work with new features, MS are just hanging more stones around their own necks. It is unstable, insecure (it was developed before security was really an issue) and it is overly complex and still buggy.

                  If they cap Win32 development, shove it off in a container and concentrate on implementing the new only in the core OS, the old software will remain usable, but developers will be forced to start using the new OS in order to access the new features.

                  At the moment, everything gets implemented "in Win32 as well". Win32 is well known, runs on all versions of Windows and there is little reason to switch to the new. Until there really is a reason to stop developing for Win32, no new, modern and secure OS and applications will turn up. Win32 needs to get sidelined and, over time, less integrated and more isolated from the rest of the OS.

                  That isn't what users with legacy software they can't upgrade without huge re-investment want to hear, but it needs to be done. Apple is at the opposite end of the spectrum, they just don't care if you have invested in software for a previous version of OS X, if they replace the feature with something new, the old software stops working. I'm not suggesting MS do something that drastic, the market wouldn't go for it, but to gradually depricate Win32 and all the other legacy crud, isolate it and make it still usable, but awkward and the industry will slowly move into the "next generation" of computing. All the time TNG doesn't offer real advantages over the original series, sorry, the old generation, developers won't will really invest in it and users won't scream at developers for not delivering on the new platform, because the "old" stuff still works just as well, in user terms, as the new stuff.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  But the problem is, all the legacy crud in Windows, especially Win32 is what is holding the OS back.

                  But the problem is that a Win32 container or VM would need all that legacy crud to run enough Win32 software to satisfy end users, and it may be easier to manage the inescapable complexity with Windows as it exists today rather than a Lite OS plus WinBox.

                  IOW, if most Windows PC users want to run Win32 applications, then either the OS itself or a subsystem needs to continue the complexity needed to run that application software.

                  The notion that a tens of billions of US$ revenue software industry would spring into being for a brand new MSFT OS unable to run Win32 software is just a bit of a stretch.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  It might be easier, to start with, but locking the Win32 into a sandbox and stopping developing for it, just maintaining security issues, whilst bring the "real" OS forward with new features will force developers to move forward. At the moment, Microsoft keeps bringing out new and improved ways of doing things, but the developers fail to embrace them, because the new ways of doing things are also available under Win32 and they already know Win32. There is no downside to not moving forwards. As long as this status quo remains, it will be nearly impossible to move the OS world forward - this goes for Linux, UNIX etc. as well. Only Apple seems to be able to push developers forward by a strict policy of depricating the old and bringing in the new, but they don't have the corporate customer base to worry about.

                  It will take a lot of gumption on Microsoft's part to start this move and thus far, they haven't shown the backbone to really want to move forward.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  So what killer features would you imagine a new OS could include that would compel developers to abandon Win32? IMO there hasn't been any new features like that in the last decade on any platform.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  But beyond techie circles, nobody knows or cares about "cruft". If Win32 is holding Microsoft back, where are the more powerful and effective programs running on other non-Windows operating systems that Microsoft developers are unable to duplicate? A difference in relative security is abstract art to most Windows customers.


                • wright_is

                  In reply to skane2600:
                  But beyond techie circles, nobody knows or cares about "cruft". If Win32 is holding Microsoft back, where are the more powerful and effective programs

                  And the users shouldn't care about the cruft. But they should, because it makes the machines more vulnerable to security issues. There is so much "unnecessary" cruft from the earliest days of computing that was designed before security was an issue that new holes are appearing all the time. Yes, a new code base won't magically make all problems disappear, but there should be fewer security issues, because it was designed with the Internet in mind.

                  OS X and Linux also both suffer from the same problems, they both come out of the 70s and, whilst not as bad as Windows (they were after all designed to be used in a multi-user environment, even when the Internet wasn't even a twinkle in Tim's eye).

                  But we are talking about Windows, this is overly heavy, full of legacy code not designed for the modern world. Locking that off into a sandbox and concentrating on moving the core OS forward without the legacy cruft, whilst giving users the ability to keep using the old software, will show developers that they will finally need to get "with the programme" and write modern, secure software, for a modern, secure platform.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Nobody has made a successful business favoring what customers "should" want vs. what they actually want. It's the same with developers which is why UWP wasn't successful.


                  What Bjarne Stroustrup said about computer languages can also apply to OS's. "There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses."


                  Obviously this is not true of OS's in the large, but is pretty much true with regard of productivity work on PCs.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to skane2600:
                  Nobody has made a successful business favoring what customers "should" want vs. what they actually want. It's the same with developers which is why UWP wasn't successful.

                  The car industry? The computer industry? White goods?

                  Nobody wanted seatbelts, nobody wanted to pay for ABS and nobody wanted airbags. All were brought in through regulation and the manufacturers. The same, currently, for tyre pressure sensors (legal requirement, but pretty much useless and ignored by most drivers) and "connected" cars and the onboard computers, most people couldn't care less or wouldn't pay extra, but, again, they are becoming a legal requirement.

                  The computer industry has shown time and again that they will sell us what they think we want - just look at Surface, no USB-C, no Thunderbolt in 2019 (on most models and all models respectively), MacBooks without a decent keyboard? A reasonably priced iPhone or Mac?

                  Sometimes they just push what is technically possible and try and convince us that we actually want it, other times they have safety features that make sense, but nobody would buy or use, if they weren't forced upon us - I can remember my father refusing to wear a seatbelt, after it became law, for several years. The same for crash protection and airbags: "but I'm not going to crash it!"

                • skane2600

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Government regulation is orthogonal to this issue.


                  Yes, different companies offer different features and while some people find USB-C to be essential, others find it's a dongle-full nuisance. Fortunately there are options so nobody is forced to use it or not use it. They choose the device that supports the features they want.


                  MacBooks already have a small market share and the lack of a decent keyboard is probably limiting sales. This isn't an example of an Apple sucessful business strategy forced on users, it's a failed business strategy.


                  Price really isn't relevant either - even Apple wouldn't imagine that customers want a higher-price device.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Nobody wanted seatbelts, nobody wanted to pay for ABS and nobody wanted airbags. All were brought in through regulation and the manufacturers. [emphasis added]

                  Weak analogy.

                  Seat belts and ABS can save lives. Other than ransomware directed at hospitals, what lives would be save by government regulation of softare vendors? Tangent: government regulation of administration of hospitals' and governments' servers and client computers may be necessary at this point. Checklists which must be signed by the tech who actually needed to perform the tasks on the checklist, his/her immediate supervisor, and department manager, and if it turns out ANY of the checked tasks hadn't been performed, ALL would be fined AND serve prison time. Force those organization to enact best admin practices -- high time indeed.

                  For everyone/everything else, maybe not. There's a difference between machines which put peoples' lives and health at risk while in use (automobiles, chainsaws, wood chippers, some types of power gardening tools) and machines which would only cause such risks if they caught fire (PCs, tablets, phones). Government serves a legitimate purpose making autos safer, far less legitimate trying (and almost certainly failing) to make computing safer.

                • wright_is

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Do you have any idea how much bandwidth is taken up by spam, botnets and other malware based technologies? How many servers and devices are being used to mine crypto-currency?

                  This comes back to two major root causes - old, legacy operating systems that are easy to break into and poorly protected devices, where even the best practices for security on these systems aren't followed.

                  Using a modern operating system, designed for the Internet age would make it much harder for the bad guys to get a foothold. Obviously it isn't just Microsoft at fault and even if you make a modern OS, you still have to make the software that runs on it robust and secure as well, but it would be a start.

                  Lives saved? No idea. Data and bandwidth saved? A lot.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Fundamentally it's the Internet itself that is insecure. An unconsidered consequence of the End-to-end principle which results in security being pushed to the clients rather than embodied in the network itself.


                  When people talk of a OS that is secure by design, I'm reminded of the promises made for Ada that the result of using it would be programs that are provably correct. As a practical matter it was never achieved.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  . . . programs that are provably correct . . .

                  A phrase written by someone who had evidently never read Ken Thompson's Turing Award lecture.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Well, Ada predates his lecture, so it couldn't have any influence.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Thompson's example was a program which can recreate itself, and idea he came up with in college, which predated Ada. Unlikely no one else had the same idea.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  But your point was that they never read his lecture. What he was thinking in college when he was just another student wouldn't have mattered at that time.


                  And people have found ways around his compiler security problem.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  If you want security above all things, then a MSFT Lite OS would need to be much different than Windows today. At the very least, it may need to copy the Unix/Linux notion of run levels, with OS files and probably multiple user/account application software mounted on partitions the OS considers read-only. Also, encryption by default for data/documents directories, maybe also mounting those partitions noexec. And ACLs.

                  Anyway, US is unlikely to regulate OSes or application software. If the EU tried, the EU may be left to write all its own software itself.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  If Win32 is holding Microsoft back . . .

                  . . . there's always Linux. [partially sarcastic]

                  The main software used for Big Data runs under Windows and Linux. IMO the best stats UI today is RStudio, and it uses Qt, and looks and runs the same on Windows and Linux (modulo differences in file systems reflected in file system browsers). For numerical analysis software, I can't see any pressing need for a new MSFT Lite OS. If Windows is too bloated and complex, a tailored Linux configuration with an extremely lite desktop environment (LXDE or #!-like Openbox) but very secure file system using ACLs would be ideal. Point here is that there's NO NEED for a new, THEREFORE UNTESTED, MSFT Lite OS for productivity software. Whether there's any need for a MSFT Lite OS for consumer devices is problematic, but it's hard to see Windows consumer software ISVs flocking to it.

  16. rob_segal

    Let's see what happens after whatever Windows Lite will be called to be released.


    Windows is a tool. Users for most part do not want changes to Windows. Bug fixes, improvements to in-box apps, and polish is the most they want. If Microsoft can make Windows 10 and Android work more seamlessly together, that could be a big win.

  17. curtisspendlove

    I don’t think the problem with people (in general with regard to Windows) becoming bored or unexpired about Windows is the numeric version number.


    Traditional OS’s just aren’t fun anymore. They are old. They are impersonal. :: shrug ::


    I really don’t think there is much that can be done to make Windows, macOS, or Linux (desktop) interesting or exciting to the mainstream again.


    Thus the push to “Modern OS”, Chrome OS, iPadOS, etc.

    • Illusive_Man

      In reply to curtisspendlove:


      I find MacOS a joy to use if only for the consistent quality and the terminal. Windows is blah. It gets the job done but there are so many inconsistencies.

    • wright_is

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      It is the same with Android and iOS to a great extent, at least among the people I know. Outside of people who work in IT for a living, few have any clue what version of Android or iOS they use. At best you'll get "an iPhone 8" as an answer to what version of iOS they use, Android can be even more general, "what version of Android are you using?" Either, "a Samsung something or other," from someone knowledgeable on the subject or "what's android?"

      "Do you get regular security updates?" "Huh?"

      Few people care, as long as it works. Whether it is a PC or a phone or whatever, as long as the app/application they need runs on it, everything else is immaterial.

      It is like Windows. "Start your web browser."

      "My what?"

      "Double click on the blue "E" symbol."

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to wright_is:

        In a sense, this is as it should be; and in another, it is scary as hell. Everyone is walking around with far more computing power in their pocket than what took us to the moon, and they have absolutely no idea about how it works, what are the benefits, and what are the dangers.

        It is like handing whisky and car keys to teenagers; at best, nothing awful will happen, but the likelihood of disaster is increased.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to wright_is:

        few have any clue what version of Android or iOS they use.


        Not knowing details doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy something.


        I don’t need to know what the engine in my muscle car is called to enjoy the thrill of driving it.

    • skane2600

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      I don't see how these mini-OS's are any more exciting than the desktop ones. IMO to the average person, all OS's are boring.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to skane2600:

        I think it’s tied to the devices more than OSes. PCs remind most people of work so they dislike Windows. Phones remind people of good social interaction, so they’re fun and useful and they like those OSes, whether android or iOS.


        I’ve seen coworkers have as much trouble with their phones as their work PCs, but they almost never hate their phones, but regularly hate their PCs.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Greg Green:

          I think you're making a lot of assumptions about how people think. For one thing, there's a lot of bad social interaction along with the good.


          • Greg Green

            In reply to skane2600:

            Just my observations of co workers. Most avoided the PC on breaks and grabbed their phones. They had no fond attachment to PCs. Though they seemed to have almost as much trouble with their phones, they were willing to puzzle things out on their phones but had no interest doing that on their PCs, they’d just call IT and curse.


            I on the the other hand enjoy PCs, even the slow ones. Maybe especially the slow ones. Those are the ones to upgrade. That’s why the behavior of the coworkers stood out to me. I’d rather puzzle out a PC than a phone or iPad.

            • wright_is

              In reply to Greg Green:

              Here, they all just use their PCs, but at each site the mobile connection is pretty poor and you can't get anything done with a phone - I think I get about 300 bytes per second throughput on my LTE phone here.

            • skane2600

              In reply to Greg Green:

              I think most people would leave their work area during a break regardless of whether they wanted to use a device or not. Many companies discourage workers from using the company computers for personal use.


              I don't see how using a phone during a break is evidence that users are excited about mobile OS's.



              • Greg Green

                In reply to skane2600:

                Marketshare certainly is evidence. Windows went from supremacy to plurality, with mobile OSes making up half of the marketshare.


                I suspect a majority of Windows boxes still in regular use are workplace PCs. Windows lost the home front.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to Greg Green:

                  You apparently believe that smartphones and PCs are direct competitors. I don't. My teenage kids use both their smartphones and their PCs on a daily basis. They aren't into programming or any tech activity, so they're not in any "elite" group of users. Why use two different devices? Because they are designed to serve different purposes.

  18. jimchamplin

    No.


    The reason why I keep coming back to commercial operating systems like Windows and macOS is BECAUSE they don't change.


    I'm a big, big UNIX fan, and FreeBSD has been my favorite *nix for quite a while, but there's something about Open Source projects... They're run by geeks, and geeks, well... we all know that we're opnionated. So they'll go and make some deep technical change that affects the ENTIRE product and honestly makes it hell to get that new version going compared to an older release.


    Case in point FreeBSD 12. Someone NEEDED the console to be rendered by the video card, instead of relying on the classic text terminal, and now it's a total pain in the ass for me to get a FreeBSD system spun up my way. If I run it their way, it's no easier than it was before, so... It's a net negative for me.


    On the other hand, I can grab an old box, throw Windows 10 on it and there we go. It's Windows and it runs Windows software. Point blank.


    If Windows suddenly wasn't Windows anymore, and I'd have to face dealing with the same "reinventing the wheel" mentality, then screw it. I'll just run FreeBSD or Debian Linux and keep Windows 10 or 8 or 7 running for my games as long as I can. After that I guess I'd have to either slum it with a console or just give up on gaming.


    >shrug<


    Edit:


    Also, the entire concept of never releasing system updates again is ludicrous. The core system has to be updated to support new hardware. CPUs, chipsets, et cetera. That requires system updates.


    Windows 7 has no support for m.2 or USB 3 without installing drivers, so without creating your own slipstreamed install image, it won't work on a modern box. If you never update the system, then it will never install on hardware created after it was finalized.


    Edit 2: I just noticed that this thread was necro'd from months ago. Oh well. My point still stands.