Rumor: Microsoft may hasten Windows release cycle

We all remember the long dry spell between the releases of Windows XP and Vista—and Steve Ballmer’s subsequent promise that it would never happen again. Microsoft has made good on that promise, shortening its release cycle to about three years. Now, though, the company might be about to speed things up even further.

According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is cooking up an update to Windows 8 code-named "Blue," which we’re going to see next year, perhaps in the summer. The update might take the form of either a service pack or a "feature pack." However, Foley suggests Microsoft could have something else in mind entirely:

The word seems to be, whichever it is, that Microsoft is moving away from the big-bang Windows release schedule to which it typically has adhered, and is now attempting to move toward something more like what Apple does, with point releases.

For reference, since the debut of OS X 10.0 in March 2001, Apple has rolled out eight major point releases at an average pace of one release every 17 months or so. Each update generally brings major new features or bundled applications. We’ve only seen three major new versions of Windows over that same time frame—XP, Vista, and Win7. (The fourth one, Windows 8, is still a couple months away.)

Microsoft has already dropped hints about adopting a more Apple-like cadence. In another story posted last week, Foley includes a quote from Bob Kelly, Marketing Corporate VP for Windows Azure, which says:

When you’re operating on a cloud-first cadence, you don’t have a multiyear ship cycle, full stop. Because of the consumerization of IT, you actually have to deliver even your packaged software on more of a consumer-like cadence. And that consumer-like cadence — whether that’s phone or tablet — looks more annual.

Interesting. I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see what Microsoft has in store, but if Foley is right and "Blue" is due out next summer, then we may see an announcement in the not-too-distant future.

That said, I don’t know if I’m thrilled about the prospect of yearly Windows releases. I’ve been keeping up with the latest OS X point releases on my Mac, and frankly, the last two have been disappointingly buggy—Lion had compatibility issues with a number of apps, and Mountain Lion seems to have problems with Windows file sharing. New versions of Windows are often rough around the edges at first, but the longer release cycles seem to allow more time for kinks to be ironed out.

Comments closed
    • moog
    • 7 years ago

    Report: Microsoft hastens your pants

    [url<]http://tinyurl.com/bl59llh[/url<] [url<]http://tinyurl.com/8eaodv5[/url<]

      • Madman
      • 7 years ago

      Being happy about cloud is stupid and absurd.

      It’s enough that every stupid application nowadays thinks that it has a moral and ethic right to phone home and share some data with the mothership. Now you can expect photos of you and your girlfriend shared with the rest of the world automatically.

      If before this you could switch off the network, or use a 3rd party firewall when launching unknown apps, then now, you won’t, because it will be the OS that will be leaking the data.

      Cloud computing sucks beyond imagination, I don’t understand how you people don’t understand and how you people don’t see it. It’s a privacy and security nightmare, and absolutely the last thing you want built in inside your OS.

      Then again, Google and Microsoft will always happily store and process your private data, the more, the merrier.

        • cphite
        • 7 years ago

        You mean you don’t like the idea of having your OS tied to an online account where someone with your credentials can change settings and preferences, see all of your data, and even potentially install software on your local machine in a way that bypasses any security you might have in place?

        Come on… when’s the last time you’ve heard of an online account being compromised?

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    You can’t compare apples and, well, Microsofts. The latter builds OSes for multiple hardware providers, so a constant cycle of new OSes will be crazy-making. Or else these will just be Service Packs labelled as new OSes, and then the question will be whether they will charge money.

    Now if MS expands what they have started with Surface and gets seriously involved in hardware platforms, then all bets are off. Things could really get interesting.

    • Welch
    • 7 years ago

    Yes Microsoft, please take after the one company that is “ESPECIALLY” known for its bullshit high markup and strategy to rip every last dollar out of its customers hands.

    There is no way in hell I want to buy a new OS every year or even every 2 years. I don’t mind the idea of buying a new OS once every 5 years at max… just design the damn things properly and update it for security purposes as you go along the way.

    The issues is hardware being made “Windows 8 and Windows 9 Compatible” but then from the time its manufactured a new OS is released that has something redesigned for the sake of it, and you have incompatibilities. Your going to start seeing hardware driver conflicts and some lazier manufacturers will simply just not support things into all of the new OSs. Imagine the quality of drivers if they did though… ouch. At that point you might start seeing some of the lower end manufacturers making things for other platforms instead.

    There is a reason that the refresh cycle works for Apple Mr. Ballmer, its because they control their hardware 100% and they don’t update it very often so that its easy for them to work with and make drivers for…. MacBook Pro’s were still using hardware from 2009 if memory serves me correct.

    M$ simply needs to understand that in a market, you can either mimic your competition or differentiate yourself from them. If your going to copy them then you better make it better than they did. IF they choose to differentiate themselves, its got to be something worth while over their competition. Right now they are going to be doing neither with the Windows 8 release, Metro is not a positive difference 😛

      • mcnasty72@gmail.com
      • 7 years ago

      Very well articulated my friend. Why is the leader in desktop OS market share copying the release schedule of a competitor that has less than 5%? And we wonder why China is kicking our….well you know.

        • funko
        • 7 years ago

        Haven’t they nearly always stuck to a 3 year cycle?

          • Scrotos
          • 7 years ago

          Yup. XP to Vista was an anomaly because they scrapped Longhorn and restarted.

            • Shouefref
            • 7 years ago

            … and to their horror they discovered that people actually prefer long cycles to short ones.
            Except for some, of course, who always want the newest space ship.
            (BTW: the newest space schip blow up yesterday)

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    “Microsoft may hasten Windows release cycle”

    going forward service packs will be release as new version of windows … just like apple does with their os.

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      They could go back to the old DOS style version numbering. That made sense. So Win8 SP1 will be called Win 8.1 and so on.

      That sort of reminds me that point releases were the norm back then. How many here went from DOS 3.0 through 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and then 3.33 in short period of time?

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    The key will be to only add/change features that don’t require extensive compatibility testing.

    Also, for those who worry about stability etc — nobody is forcing you to buy install a new OS the day it comes out. Just wait three months.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      When the lifecycle is only 12 months instead of 36, a 3 month delay becomes a bigger chunk.

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t dispute that 3/12 is bigger than 3/36, but I’m confused as to why it matters.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 7 years ago

          Lets say you develop Windows applications, and you want a stable platform, if you wait 3 months to buy the newest Windows that means you have like 6 months to make something for the platform that you’re working on before the new one is out.

            • Imperor
            • 7 years ago

            If you develop Windows applications you apparently have different needs from EVERYONE else and should see to getting a pre-release…

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            How does that solve the problem on developing on a stable platform?

            • blastdoor
            • 7 years ago

            Ah, that’s the disconnect — I was focused on user needs, not developer needs. By “stability” I didn’t mean “feature set that doesn’t change over time”, I meant “computer doesn’t crash or behave strangely”.

            I can certainly see how it would be annoying/costly for developers.

            On the other hand, since all developers are in the same boat, it’s not like any one of them would be at a competitive disadvantage. Seems to me that either (1) software would become more expensive or (2) developers would need to be selective in supporting new OS features. Probably #2 will make the most sense in most cases.

            Of course, if new OS revisions break existing programs and developers need to make updates simply to keep their software running (not to take advantage of new features), then that would really suck. But my impression is that Windows has historically been pretty good about maintaining backwards compatibility with even very old software. And with virtualization, it seems this is even easier now than in the past.

            So while I can see this involving some more work for developers, it seems like it’s not that horrible.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Most likely developers just lag behind the latest Windows version.

            What I’m not sure of is how that helps Microsoft.

      • mcnasty72@gmail.com
      • 7 years ago

      MS has released two solid OS’s since 2001 they would be
      Windows XP & Windows 7. Even after a solid Windows XP (that everyone frankly stayed on until Windows 7 showed up), MS STILL took several steps back with the Vista release that took six years to bring to market.
      So if you think Windows 8 will be solid, go ahead and upgrade to it. I will leave Windows 7 after MS figures out that NO ONE really cares about a touch screen OS’es for the desktop. I have no desire to finger *u** my Dell UltraSharp 30′ or a new Samsung A907, not matter what MS thinks.
      MS has NEVER released solid back to back OS’es, so why do you think they are going to start now? Windows 7 will be this generation Windows XP and Windows 8 will bring nightmares of Windows Vista, enjoy.

        • moog
        • 7 years ago

        News flash: Win8 works perfectly with a mouse and keyboard

      • mcnasty72@gmail.com
      • 7 years ago

      Or three years…

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]That said, I don't know if I'm thrilled about the prospect of yearly Windows releases. I've been keeping up with the latest OS X point releases on my Mac, and frankly, the last two have been disappointingly buggy—Lion had compatibility issues with a number of apps, and Mountain Lion seems to have problems with Windows file sharing.[/quote<] Too funny. They need to take care of one OS and they can't do it right. While MSFT still supports XP, Vista, Windows 7 and will begin supporting W8 in a bigger ecosystem with a new architecture added to the fold. Maybe the new OS releases are those things we call Service Packs right now. Maybe these releases will be on the same level as XP SP2. I say maybe because I'm commenting on rumors without official words. [quote<]New versions of Windows are often rough around the edges at first, but the longer release cycles seem to allow more time for kinks to be ironed out.[/quote<] and even the mighty Apple taking 1-2 years to develop their [s<]service pack[/s<] OS updates can't do it right with the paltry amount of hardware they need to support after removing [s<]obsolete[/s<] hardware you bought in the same timeframe.

    • mattthemuppet
    • 7 years ago

    another comparison would be to Firefox and their “update-a-week” nonsense. Not only was it a major pain in the derriere to be restarting my browser all the time, but the last release I used broke chiral scrolling. Now I’m on Chrome which isn’t exactly perfect either (no direct importing of Endnote references for example).

    Unless there’s a dire need to update the OS this quickly it seems pretty foolhardy. Even comparing it to OSX is kind of odd – the original OSX may have come out in 2001 but you can’t install whatever the current version of OSX is (PussyCat?) on a May you bought then. OSX is essentially a bunch of different OS’s with the lines between them all smeared and smudged up.

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      ESR might help ease the firefox pain, at least.

      [url<]http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all.html[/url<]

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      “Once a week” is “all the time”? And restarting a browser is such a pain? LMAO

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Microsoft is moving away from the big-bang Windows release schedule to which it typically has adhered, and is now attempting to move toward something more like what Apple does, with [b<]"what's the point?"[/b<] releases.[/quote<] Fixed it for you. /grin

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    This works fine for me; when the one-size-fits-all direction of Windows8 fails, they’ll overcompensate wildly – making a good operating system for desktops, then for the next release they’ll overcompensate wildly again making a good OS for mobile platforms. Rinse, repeat.

    In many ways I like the analogy of Microsoft being a truck, fishtailing out of control as it heads towards an ideal destination, but never actually pointing directly at it for more than a fleeting instant.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this: Microsoft is making a desktop focused “service pack” and labeling it as a new release.

      Perhaps it could work. Even if it’s not a complete Win8 to “Blue” (?) upgrade, it could give different flavors best suited to particular environments.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Isn’t Windows8 just the TouchUI sevice pack to windows 7?

          • yuhong
          • 7 years ago

          Win8 is lot more than that. native USB 3.0, built-in anti-malware, ISO mounting….

            • Scrotos
            • 7 years ago

            Meh. So you’re saying USB3 doesn’t work in any other OS or what? What does “native” get someone that the current situation doesn’t? Built-in anti-malware? Like Defender and Security Essentials? Those are just pre-installed?

            The ISO mounting is kinda neat, I guess, but I don’t know if that’s a huge selling point. p.s. yes Mac people we know you could mount disk images since MacOS 7 or earlier, it’s not relevant.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          There’s a lot more than the “renaming” service pack that 7 was to Vista…

    • tay
    • 7 years ago

    I’d like to remind people that the delay between XP and Vista was not normal considering what came before and what came after from MS. In addition, software has shorter release cycles today thanks to different development styles (agile vs waterfall).

    [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Microsoft_Windows[/url<] This means that all software is iterated more and released more frequently. Games are often exculded because of the increasing difficulty in creating the art & gameplay assets.

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Agile is a development METHOD it doesn’t mean you have to keep releasing a new version of something, it means when you are developing something that you iterate quickly with your end user to get their feedback rather than let the code sit around for months on end before you hear the user proclaim that they don’t even need some functionality you are wasting your time implementing (I’m not a coder so this is my perspective on agile as I’m typically the end user giving the software guys 100k for 6 weeks worth of work).

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        I think you’re right, but tay has a valid point. My company uses agile development due to be a technology pioneer and must work closely with the customer on frequent builds in order to get our products up to speed.

        We’re not like Microsoft, yet it makes sense for them to speed up releases. They are trying to lead with Windows 8 and 8 RT into segments that don’t really exist yet.

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        Given the fact that Metro exists, I doubt they use any feedback at all.

          • Rand
          • 7 years ago

          They use it all, they just take the assumption that the customer is wrong. Always wrong. And so they’ve done the exact opposite of what their feedback says.

    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    Coming in 2014…

    Windows 8: Episode 3

      • MaMuS
      • 7 years ago

      Without Gabe Newell involvement any episode 3 can be finished, however it might not pass many QA test like Star Wars ep3…

      • Shouefref
      • 7 years ago

      I’m really curious about the prequels.

        • Scrotos
        • 7 years ago

        I got a copy of Windows ME I can send you if you really want.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Windows 8 SP1 will be called ‘Girlfriend edition’

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      Nay, I say that it should be called “Wife Edition”.

        • Voldenuit
        • 7 years ago

        More like “Alimony Edition”.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 7 years ago

      No, it’ll be called the “Your computer died? Did it have Windows 7? Can I have the activation key off the bottom?” Edition.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Not sure if this is a good thing. That just means you’ll essentially be stuck with the latest version as there wont be clearly defined lines between each version of Windows anymore (like with OSX). This also means that you’re stuck with whatever MS decides to add to the OS from that point forward and you can no longer opt out simply by not upgrading. You can, but there wont be the ‘next’ major release to upgrade to that wont have whatever feature is in the current one you don’t like. Like Metro for instance…

    I guess everyone could just stay with W7 and once the whole thing flops we’ll be back on schedule.

    Oh yeah, you need to pay for those 17 month releases. Service packs on Windows are free.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      Oh yeah, you need to pay for Windows 7, and the last three major OSX releases combined cost less than a single W7 license. Not to mention that theres usually only about 2 or 3 service packs per Windows version, whereas with OSX there are routinely six to eight point upgrades which come at a much more rapid pace. This increased rate of updates allows problems to be addressed much faster, unlike the unbelievable fiasco that Vista had upon its release

        • Scrotos
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah but it took Lion until 10.7.4 until it ironed out a bunch of problems people had. So you get more updates more frequently, sure, but until things get ironed out, too bad. And now we have Mountain Lion? You’d think that would have been a bugfix release like the Leopard/Snow Leopard pairing, but ML really just dumps a bunch more features in, more bugs. I’m just glad I’m not using my Macs for anything mission-critical, as they say.

        • Imperor
        • 7 years ago

        Are you comparing a fresh Win7 license to OSX updates? What about the very subsidised Win7 updates? I know you iFanBois don’t have much of a clue, but WTF? Get real.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Lets not forget about normal windows updates, the fact that service packs are free, or that the lifetime of W7 is far greater then any version of OSX unless you upgrade it.

        XP is still supported till 2014.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 7 years ago

    Great, computing is just circling the drain faster and faster.

      • dmjifn
      • 7 years ago

      It’s Moore’s Law, expressed in radians / sec.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t know how companies will like this new mantra. 17-18 months seems a tad short between cycles. 24 at least is what I would expect.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      New technology is being created at an exponential rate. If you want your OS to keep up, you need to keep shortening the release times.

      The human factor is the main bottleneck. Major projects take a certain amount of time, which is why the Chrome/Firefox quick release system is becoming more popular as it allows developers to at least attempt to keep up with new tech and standards.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        [i<]traditional companies[/i<] don't adopt new tech at an exponential rate. Most firms I have worked for only adopted windows 2-3 years later, and [u<]definitely[/u<] after the first service pack. I'm not talking about the corporate world, which is a significant market share of Microsoft, unlike Apple who is more retail consumer - based.

          • bcronce
          • 7 years ago

          I completely agree. Corps needs a stable platform more than anything, but there is growing effort into getting the best of both worlds. Even Win7, with all of its new code, had fewer bugs than XP had after 3 service packs.

          • designerfx
          • 7 years ago

          the phrase is “value added”, and the answer is that windows 8 simply does not have any from an enterprise perspective.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]New technology is being created at an exponential rate.[/quote<] No it isn't. Don't confuse social media and touchy interfaces with technological advance. Its just a bunch of people scrambling to sell more widgets to people who already have widgets. My opinion is that things are actually stagnating.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Yes, because none of those devices are used in a business world.

          /sarcasm

          An advance is an advance. Selling more widgets just makes it cheaper and refines it for “full” deployment across business and consumer markets.

            • Scrotos
            • 7 years ago

            They ain’t used in my business (financial). Social media just leads to phishing attacks and reputational risk for our institution. Tablets are getting some play but just because our sales people think laptops are too heavy and then wonder why they can’t run Office 2010 on their iPads.

            And yeah, that’s just a regulator dream to see us using stuff like that, get all kinds of points knocked off on exams. Spectacular.

            Also, we’re only now migrating from XP to Win7. We have various vendors and government agencies who don’t certify to work on even IE9 so we have to keep using IE8. We even have requirements from some vendors to use only specific old versions of JAVA.

            At this rate, maybe our next uptake will be Windows 10, but we can’t afford to be on an Apple OS release schedule.

          • bcronce
          • 7 years ago

          You have not been keeping up on IO systems, virtualization, multi-threading, async-processing, etc if you think things are stagnating.

          There is A LOT of under-the-covers changes that are making huge difference in the ability of a system’s ability to scale with IO throughput and threads.

          I’ve been trying my best to keep up with system design changes from Linux to FreeBSD to Windows. One could write books on the amount of R&D that goes on in just a year’s time.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            And what part of those are actually new or game-changers? Faster IO? RAM drives were there for decades. Virtualization, it’s so ‘9x and still can’t do 3D acceleration. Multi-threading? Good luck finding desktop app that uses more than one core, not to say, uses more than one core effectively. Async processing? Where exactly, moreover it’s the stuff from Win 3.x era, at least APIs are?

            • bcronce
            • 7 years ago

            You don’t see the benefits because they’re slowly working their way in because of the work being done.

            It’s like saying there hasn’t been anything useful in the way of technology in general for the past thousand years. Every little change makes a difference and they add up.

            I figure you’re just trolling, so I won’t bite anymore.

            • Madman
            • 7 years ago

            It’s not that I don’t see small improvements, I don’t see why you would need a full OS upgrade what’s basically driver or user space software change.

            VMware is actually miles ahead in terms of usability, and small driver updates can fix SSD and USB 3.0. Why would I want to reinstall the whole OS for that? Including all the user data migration, which by the way Microsoft has completely FUBARed compared to Linux.

          • Airmantharp
          • 7 years ago

          You may be right, or not, on the broadest scale about technology stagnating, but I think that depends on how you define ‘technology’.

          I don’t consider Apple’s products ‘technology’ as they are blatant re-implementations of known hardware and software. But they do manage to combine existing ideas in ways so effective that while they may have been thought of before, Apple was really the first company to do it right on a commercial scale. They may not be a technology company, but I’d definitely say that they are advancing technology in their own way.

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        There is nothing exponential in the technology at the moment AFAIK. Same old crap in a new form factor. Nothing revolutionary at the moment.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Depends on the severity of the change and cost. Having a huge release every 3-5 years can royally screw software compatibility (and worse if your wait 6-10 for new Windows), but having a softer rollout might allow programs to keep pace, reducing the impact of OS changing.

      And cost…well that’s obvious. I know Apple has kind of perfected the cheap OS upgrade/service pack/whatever, but it could be a relevant model, since the “new OS” would cost significantly less to rollout across the company.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Cost isn’t really an issue, even if the company heads keep trumpeting that they cut costs while hiring consultants at 1-10k$ per day to essentially say “yes, what you’re doing is good” or “yes, what you’re doing is essentially good, but veer a bit to the right/left”.

        What they don’t want is 500 employees calling the helpdesk after a “point upgrade” because XYZ on Excel stopped working, because they just pushed the new version of Windows.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          But Excel and Windows aren’t going to be what stops working; it’s going to be the third party software. I’m also not saying that businesses will be right on top of Windows releases. The issues with third party software can often come about with majory updates like XP to Vista or XP to 7.

          If there were partial steps from one to the other, third parties might be able to make smaller revisions to keep up with Windows, and that will help the third party as well as the business, who won’t have to look into alternatives because their core software doesn’t migrate or migrates poorly to the new Windows.

          With that, the business could probably make better use of the new Windows/Office tools as they are released, and that can limit the need to upgrade training and general relearning of software mechanics.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            Excel [u<]definitely[/u<] stops working. Forget point releases, even security updates can fubar intermediate-level vba scripts.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Remember that Vista was weird. It required a large leap in hardware, some of which wasn’t available at the time of release at common price-points such as Intel IGPs not supporting Aero, while XP remained the faster, more compatible, and more familiar operating system.

      Windows 7 fixed all but the most outlying complaints, while Windows 8 doesn’t appear to address any complaint at all, but innovate in a new direction.

      Microsoft appears to be at a point on the desktop similar to Intel- they’ve out-innovated themselves on the desktop and need to start becoming agile to compete in new markets; hell, they’re both headed in the same direction- mobile full-power computing.

      Give me an Atom tablet that can run a full desktop OS and a full productivity and media suite, including casual games, and I’m interested. Make the battery last over a day, charge wirelessly, and fit into the iPad’s form-factor, and I’m sold.

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      For my two cents, I can’t help but see you’re right. We have over 6k users, with over 1800 custom apps, around 2300 3rd party apps, and the MS Suite. Simply testing the in house apps and letting power users do usability tests on the 3rd party apps in VMs takes upwards of 6-8 months, and that’s after the project gets greenlighted by management, then after we’re sure we can roll to the new platform, there is another 2-3 month lag as the logistics of rolling out to 49 states is hammered out, then there is the one to two weeks of the actual roll…

      Yeah, this isn’t going to be fun if they keep doing major architectural shifts as point releases. If they just play with the fluff and leave the base architecture alone, then it MIGHT be acceptable in the corporate IT world… Maybe. On non-mission critical systems…

        • jpostel
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly. 24 months for major releases and 12 months for service packs. Anything more complex than that and 50% of corporate users will be using Win7 in 2022.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Microsoft already averages about 18 months and has since at least Windows95, when you account for Point releases (Win9x) and Service Pack releases (NT/2k and up) in addition to major OS launches.

      What they haven’t done is release those on a reliable schedule, so sometimes its sooner and sometimes its later, depending on how quickly the security patches, driver fixes, and new technologies have been accumulating. Getting onto an annual point-release schedule might be a good way of streamlining the process.

      • mcnasty72@gmail.com
      • 7 years ago

      Most companies don’t care they adopt new desktop OS’es very slowly. For example we totally skipped Vista because Windows 7 was released a year later and our migration to Windows 7 started last year.

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    As a professional user, I like some stability. High update frequency is not stability.
    High update frequencies are pleasant for the nerds/geeks/whaterver amongst us, but not for professional users.

    And I also hope that Blue brings back the start button and some other of that stuff.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Yea the only way they could do it to please most people is basically what they do already, which is service packs. They probably would like to be able to sell those service packs as new OS’s but you’d need to keep things very stable and compatible over 3-4 generations presuming they come out in 18 month cycles.

      windows 8.1 could be completely compatible with windows 8.0, and 8.0 would run everything that 8.1 could run, then every 2 or 3 cycles they issue a major release (9.0) which would have features that may not work with 8.0 or visa versa.
      But really, i think MS has it right with how they do it now. New release, followed by service pack next year, maybe another one the year after, then new release. Continued support for old release but no new features after that.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      I really don’t see the big concern with a more frequent release cycle. It’s not like MS all of a sudden cuts off support for the older versions once a new one comes out. You still can have your “stability” by staying with the older release.

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        I hope so.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          When has MS ever dropped support for a previous release when the next version comes out? Heck Windows XP is still under extended support.

          [url<]http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?ln=en-gb&c2=1173[/url<]

        • Voldenuit
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]It's not like MS all of a sudden cuts off support for the older versions once a new one comes out. [/quote<] They don't now, but it might be inevitable if they move to a point release model. Supporting a few major releases is very different from supporting dozen(s) of point releases. They might have to streamline the packages they support simply from a cost and workforce perspective. And for some problems, the answer might simply be "upgrade to latest version". This becomes a potential trojan horse problem, because Microsoft could end up tacking on "features" that users don't want but end up bundled with. Like Metro. And Windows Store.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          Well, I’m not about to cry “the sky is falling” especially since MS’s track record has proven otherwise. Until then, to think any other way is the exact definition of FUD.

            • wierdo
            • 7 years ago

            But MS’s track record was long release cycles, software development is not magic, if you go on a rapid release cycle, you have sacrifices to make under that model.

            It’s not going to be a question of if – they can’t have it both ways – but how far they wanna go into rapid releases, hopefully not enough to make it noticeably more painful for the end user.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<] you have sacrifices to make under that model. [/quote<] No you don't have to make sacrifices. You just have to appropriate staff accordingly. My company releases 4-5 updates/upgrades a week. No one suffers, if anything we get more praise about releasing frequently.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      Moving the mouse to the lower leftmost pixel displays “Start”.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        don’t be rational. it has no place on the internet.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 7 years ago

      I’ve used a Mac as a work computer since 2007 and OS X’s rapid release schedule has caused me very few problems. I wouldn’t be enthusiastic to support it as a sys admin, but for my own use I’d rather have to squash a few bugs every year or figure out how to work around applications that are no longer supported to get access to new features and improvements.

      As long as MS doesn’t force users to upgrade I think a more frequent release schedule is a good idea.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    Thank God for Ubuntu LTS. This is getting crazy.

    /s

      • bfar
      • 7 years ago

      Ubuntu is no great shakes either tbh 🙁

      • thor84no
      • 7 years ago

      Frankly I’m getting sick of Ubuntu and the bullshit they keep pulling in release after release recently as well. I’ve been looking for a good replacement, unfortunately most efforts at this have resulted in going back to Ubuntu after some stupid incompatibility with the work network that prevents me from using whatever distro I tried (for example on Mint roughly 1 in 20 calls to the SVN server fails, leading to guaranteed failure at some point while building a branch).

        • Mourmain
        • 7 years ago

        That sounds more like a problem with newer versions of packages than with a particular distribution… For what it’s worth I use Debian and couldn’t be happier, but I use my own desktop setup and tend to deeply customize everything anyway.

        • d0g_p00p
        • 7 years ago

        I have been using 10.04 LTS for quite sometime without any issues. I recently upgraded to 12.04 LTS. If you use the LTS releases and not the current version you should be fine. YMMV but LTS releases of Ubuntu have been treating me well.

          • Madman
          • 7 years ago

          12.04LTS is an EPIC FAIL. Unity FTL.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Agreed, my android tablet has a more ‘classical desktop’ feel than this. I think they overshot by a tad.

      • Malphas
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Thank God for Ubuntu LTS. This is getting crazy.[/quote<] What hysterical nonsense. Windows versions are supported for longer than Ubuntu's LTS releases. Windows XP support, for instance, is being continued for another two years, [b<]14 years[/b<] after it was initially released. People need to get a grip, throw out your existing version and upgrade every time a new release comes out, no-one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to get every single edition. If your current version of whatever software you're using a) still meets your needs and b) is still supported then you can just continue using it until those criteria are no longer met.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 7 years ago

    I’d be careful if I were Microsoft, Apple probably also patented their [i<]unique[/i<] and [i<]100% original[/i<] 17 month or so development cycle, if new Windows becomes way too successful they'll try to block selling all their products, file lawsuits, patent trolling, does this sound familiar or what?

      • Decelerate
      • 7 years ago

      Please. You guys have Engadget and Gizmodo already. Leave TR alone.

      [b<]Please[/b<]

        • TaBoVilla
        • 7 years ago

        Nice try Steve Wozniak

          • Decelerate
          • 7 years ago

          I don’t even understand that reference.

            • khands
            • 7 years ago

            Cofounder of Apple…

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            The quote, the reference to the individual in the argument (ie: what does he mean).

            Not the Woz itself.

            • tay
            • 7 years ago

            Apple hater IQ is generally pretty low. No further explanation necessary.

            • Shambles
            • 7 years ago

            Sounds like the Apple hater IQ follows the same curve as the Apple lover lack of ignorance.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Sounds like the Apple hater IQ follows the same curve as the Apple lover [b<]lack of ignorance[/b<].[/quote<] I hope for you that the double-negative was intended...

    • Oldtech
    • 7 years ago

    I think they know that Windows 8 is a dud. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Blue” is a desktop replacement complete with a start buttom, no Metro ( or whatever they call it ) and programs that actually shut down when you close them.

    Oldtech

      • Neutronbeam
      • 7 years ago

      We can only hope.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 7 years ago

      It’ll be the classic desktop with a portion of the screen devoted to a “metro” look, with the option of either maximizing it or minimizing it.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        So they’re bringing back the Windows Vista sidebar.

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          No no, they’ll make the ribbon interface mandatory and take up 3/4 of the screen!

      • Sargent Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Yep, I agree.

      *If* this new model of quicker releases is true, it does make me sad. That was one thing I always had over my Mac friends, that I didn’t need to keep paying for a service pack every 17 months. I think a new OS every 4 years or so is fine. Technology doesn’t change that much and I’m sure that Windows 7 will be able to last another 5 years EASY.

      It’s not like Windows 8 is offering anything (technology wise)

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    They know something’s wrong with W8 and Metro/Modern.

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      “But, what could it be?” – MS Employee

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        MS Employee reminds me of Patrick Star.

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          MS Employee: “FINLAND!”

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            MS Employee: “The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma.”

            [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNZSXnrbs_k[/url<]

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            The milk. It’s priceless.

      • atryus28
      • 7 years ago

      I think it is more about getting more money out of people by making them stuck with “maintenance” agreements. Large enterprise level software (I work for a company that does this) makes a good chunk of change by letting you upgrade “free” so long as your maintenance is up to date. This is not cheap either, but seems better because you don’t have to pay for a new version every year.

      Serif is another company that drops support for releases just over a year old. This pushes you into a “yearly” upgrade cycle thereby generating more consistent income for a company. This is the trend the masses will fall into as they are used to it with their cell phones which have become an integral part of their lives, like it or not.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This