Microsoft rumoured to be moving to annual OS releases - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-28-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/windows-blue-rumored-as-low-cost-os-successor-1116035

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/141676-windows-blue-microsofts-plan-to-release-new-windows-every-year

I'd say this is a step in the right direction. $20 every year (assuming the updates are worth it) is a lot better than a hundred or 2 (traditionally) every three or so years.
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 06:41 AM
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This reeks of Apple and OSX. How much different can an OS be from one year to the next? Basically these will be service packs you will have to pay for, and knowing MS, they will cost a lot more than $20.
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 06:58 AM
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It reminds me of the Dos days, when they would have incremental changes that didn't cost a heck of a lot of money.
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 10:05 AM
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With hardware and software being superceded with new technology so rapidly these days, I can see a necessity to provide newer operating systems on a regular basis just to keep up with them. Incremental updates and patches are fine, but they can only do so much. Sometimes you just have to keep going back to the drawing board to make things work correctly.
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

This reeks of Apple and OSX. How much different can an OS be from one year to the next? Basically these will be service packs you will have to pay for, and knowing MS, they will cost a lot more than $20.

Disagree. MSFT has been pretty good about keeping prices fairly stable over time. If they went to a yearly release, I doubt they'd price it more than $20, maybe $30.
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

I doubt they'd price it more than $20, maybe $30.
Maybe so, but with yearly releases, it smacks of charging for Service Packs which are currently free.
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 11:35 AM
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Sounds almost like a subscription, which is something they have been wanting do do for a long time.
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/windows-blue-rumored-as-low-cost-os-successor-1116035
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/141676-windows-blue-microsofts-plan-to-release-new-windows-every-year
I'd say this is a step in the right direction. $20 every year (assuming the updates are worth it) is a lot better than a hundred or 2 (traditionally) every three or so years.

Saves you from having to do massive updates when you need to wipe and re-install I guess.
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 11:46 AM
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I'm sure that the Windows division would like to follow the lead of the Office division and switch over to a subscription model. The trouble is, I'd be prepared to bet that it won't be cheaper for all customers. If I look at the lifetime cost of Office on the once-off versus the subscription model then the latter is certainly not cheaper as far as I'm concerned.

Geoff Coupe
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

I'm sure that the Windows division would like to follow the lead of the Office division and switch over to a subscription model. The trouble is, I'd be prepared to bet that it won't be cheaper for all customers. If I look at the lifetime cost of Office on the once-off versus the subscription model then the latter is certainly not cheaper as far as I'm concerned.

Yup, usually these marketing guys aren't sitting around trying to figure out how to extract less money from their customer base.
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Look at USB 3, it missed the boat with Win 7 and we needed to wait till Win 8 for it to be natively included. With yearly updates that wouldn't happen. If Microsoft grows some balls then maybe there will be architectural changes too, similar to the Win 8 kernel changes compared to 7. I'd say its worth it. The old model just doesn't work in 2012. An OS constantly up to date and moving forward (ideally) - yes, definitely.
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 12:11 PM
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umm... Windows traditionally got free service packs which added functionality for free. This was better than paying all the time like with MacOS where they nickeled and dimed you.

I'm okay with either model. Pay a higher upfront cost and get free updates over the years or pay for incremental updates. Heck, Windows 8 is so cheap right now that it's almost an update price.
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

Maybe so, but with yearly releases, it smacks of charging for Service Packs which are currently free.

True, but in general you are paying much more for the OS currently. It will likely even out for consumers. The point is probably more to get enterprise users on a quicker upgrade cycle.
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 03:06 PM
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I think the days of the Service Packs that add functionality are gone. The current ones (Office/Win7) are just hotfix and patch cumulative updates rolled into one installer.
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 05:09 PM
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that's not accurate.

Besides the hotfixes and security updates, service pack 1 for Windows 7 includes things such as support for more third-party federation services; improved HDMI audio device support; and XPS printing fixes. The server version of SP1 includes two new virtualization-focused features: RemoteFX and a dynamic-memory adjustor for Hyper-V.

RemoteFX is a new graphics acceleration platform that is based on desktop-remoting technology that Microsoft obtained in 2008 when it acquired VDI vendor Calista Technologies. The new Hyper-V feature in SP1 will dynamically adjust memory of a guest virtual machine on demand.

Yes, it's less functional additions than previous service packs. And Windows 7 will not be getting any more service packs either, I think (though I could be wrong since I didn't verify).

As for paying more for the OS, looking at Windows 8, a lot of people are getting it for $40 or $15. Pretty amazing price compared to past Windows, considering the notable upgrades underneath the surface, regardless of the UI changes. Far more than you get in one of the incremental paid upgrades in MacOS.

I assume there'll be a pricing structure for the incremental OS updates that favors people that bought Windows 8. So while an OS update may cost $30 for someone to upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, it would cost more for someone that doesn't have a Windows license.
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post #16 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 05:31 PM
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It has been a rare instance when Microsoft has added any "significant" functionality in a service pack and for free.

You think the bean counters at MS are dumb??tongue.gif
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post #17 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 05:34 PM
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If these updates are decently priced, I wouldn't mind paying for them on a yearly basis, or every two years.
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post #18 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 09:14 PM
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Every Windows has had significant functionality additions. The closest to a "weak" service pack was Windows 7.

Windows XP

Service Pack 1

It contains post-RTM security fixes and hot-fixes, compatibility updates, optional .NET Framework support, enabling technologies for new devices such as Tablet PCs, and a new Windows Messenger 4.7 version. The most notable new features were USB 2.0 support and a Set Program Access and Defaults utility that aimed at hiding various middleware products. Users can control the default application for activities such as web browsing and instant messaging, as well as hide access to some of Microsoft's bundled programs. This utility was first brought into the older Windows 2000 operating system with its Service Pack 3. This Service Pack supported SATA and hard drives that were larger than 137 GB (48-bit LBA support) by default. The Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, which was not in the RTM version, appeared in this Service Pack. It also removed the Energy Star logo from the ScreenSaver tab of the Display properties, leaving a very noticeable blank space next to the link to enter the Power Management control panel. Support for IPv6 was also introduced in this Service Pack.

Service Pack 2

Windows Security Center was added in Service Pack 2. Service Pack 2 (SP2) was released on August 25, 2004,[54] with an emphasis on security. Unlike the previous service pack, SP2 added new functionality to Windows XP, such as WPA encryption compatibility and improved Wi-Fi support (with a wizard utility), a pop-up ad blocker for Internet Explorer 6, and partial Bluetooth support. The new welcome screen during the kernel boot removes the subtitles "Professional", "Home Edition" and "Embedded" since Microsoft introduced new Windows XP editions prior to the release of SP2. The green loading bar in Home Edition and the yellow one in Embedded were replaced with the blue bar, seen in Professional and other versions of Windows XP, making the boot-screen of operating systems resemble each other. Colors in other areas, such as Control Panel and the Help and Support tool, remained as before.

Service Pack 2 also added new security enhancements (codenamed "Springboard"),[55] which included a major revision to the included firewall that was renamed to Windows Firewall and became enabled by default, Data Execution Prevention, which can be weakly emulated,[clarification needed] gains hardware support in the NX bit that can stop some forms of buffer overflow attacks. Also raw socket support is removed (which supposedly limits the damage done by zombie machines). Additionally, security-related improvements were made to e-mail and web browsing. Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes the Windows Security Center, which provides a general overview of security on the system, including the state of antivirus software, Windows Update, and the new Windows Firewall. Third-party anti-virus and firewall applications can interface with the new Security Center.[56]

Service Pack 3
Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2008, and to the public via both the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on May 6, 2008.[61][62][63][64]

A feature set overview which details new features available separately as stand-alone updates to Windows XP, as well as backported features from Windows Vista, has been posted by Microsoft.[66] A total of 1,174 fixes have been included in SP3.[67] Service Pack 3 can be installed on systems with Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, or 8.[68] Internet Explorer 7 and 8 are not included as part of SP3.[69]

New features in Service Pack 3

NX APIs for application developers to enable Data Execution Prevention for their code, independent of system-wide compatibility enforcement settings [70]
Turns black hole router detection on by default[71]
Support for SHA-2 signatures in X.509 certificates [71]
Network Access Protection client
Group Policy support for IEEE 802.1X authentication for wired network adapters.[72]
Credential Security Support Provider[73]
Descriptive Security options in Group Policy/Local Security Policy user interface
An updated version of the Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider Module (RSAENH) that is FIPS 140-2 certified (SHA-256, SHA-384 and SHA-512 algorithms)[71]
Installing without requiring a product key during setup for retail and OEM versions


Windows Vista

Service Pack 1

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released on February 4, 2008, alongside Windows Server 2008 to OEM partners, after a five-month beta test period. The synchronized release date of the two operating systems reflected the merging of the workstation and server kernels back into a single code base for the first time since Windows 2000. MSDN subscribers were able to download SP1 on February 15, 2008.

A whitepaper published by Microsoft near the end of August 2007 outlined the scope and intent of the service pack, identifying three major areas of improvement: reliability and performance, administration experience, and support for newer hardware and standards.

One area of particular note is performance. Areas of improvement include file copy operations, hibernation, logging off on domain-joined machines, JavaScript parsing in Internet Explorer, network file share browsing,[78] Windows Explorer ZIP file handling,[81] and Windows Disk Defragmenter.[82] The ability to choose individual drives to defragment is being reintroduced as well.[78]

Service Pack 1 introduced support for some new hardware and software standards, notably the exFAT file system,[78] 802.11n wireless networking,[83] IPv6 over VPN connections,[83] and the Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol.

Booting a system using Extensible Firmware Interface on x64 systems was also introduced;[78] this feature had originally been slated for the initial release of Vista but was delayed due to a lack of compatible hardware at the time. Booting from a GUID Partition Table–based hard drive greater than 2.19 TB is supported (x64 only).[84][85]

Two areas have seen changes in SP1 that have come as the result of concerns from software vendors. One of these is desktop search; users will be able to change the default desktop search program to one provided by a third party instead of the Microsoft desktop search program that comes with Windows Vista, and desktop search programs will be able to seamlessly tie in their services into the operating system.[79] These changes come in part due to complaints from Google, whose Google Desktop Search application was hindered by the presence of Vista's built-in desktop search. In June 2007, Google claimed that the changes being introduced for SP1 "are a step in the right direction, but they should be improved further to give consumers greater access to alternate desktop search providers".[86] The other area of note is a set of new security APIs being introduced for the benefit of antivirus software that currently relies on the unsupported practice of patching the kernel (see Kernel Patch Protection).[87][88]

An update to DirectX 10, named DirectX 10.1,[78] marked mandatory several features that were previously optional in Direct3D 10 hardware. Graphics cards will be required to support DirectX 10.1.[89] SP1 includes a kernel (6001.18000) that matches the version shipped with Windows Server 2008.
The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) was replaced by the Group Policy Object Editor. An updated downloadable version of the Group Policy Management Console was released soon after the service pack.

SP1 enables support for hotpatching, a reboot-reduction servicing technology designed to maximize uptime. It works by allowing Windows components to be updated (or "patched") while they are still in use by a running process. Hotpatch-enabled update packages are installed via the same methods as traditional update packages, and will not trigger a system reboot.[90]

Service Pack 2

Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista was released to manufacturing on April 28, 2009,[91] and released to Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on May 26, 2009.[92] In addition to a number of security and other fixes, a number of new features have been added. However, it did not include Internet Explorer 8:[93][94]

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is build 6002.18005.090410-1830.[1]
Windows Search 4.0 (currently available for SP1 systems as a standalone update)
Feature Pack for Wireless adds support for Bluetooth 2.1
Windows Feature Pack for Storage enables the data recording onto Blu-ray media
Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi configuration
Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections
Improved support for eSATA drives
The limit of 10 half open, outgoing TCP connections was removed
Enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronisation across time zones
Support for ICCD/CCID smart cards
Support for VIA 64-bit CPUs
Improved performance and responsiveness with the RSS feeds sidebar
Improves audio and video performance for streaming high-definition content
Improves Windows Media Center (WMC) in content protection for TV[95]
Provides an improved power management policy that is up to 10% more efficient than the original in some[clarification needed] configurations[citation needed]
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 share a single service pack binary, reflecting the fact that their code bases were joined with the release of Server 2008.[93] Service Pack 2 is not a cumulative update meaning that Service Pack 1 must be installed first.

Platform Update

The Platform Update for Windows Vista was released on October 27, 2009. It includes major new components that shipped with Windows 7, as well as updated runtime libraries.[96][97] It requires Service Pack 2 of Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 and is listed on Windows Update as a Recommended download.
The Platform Update allows application developers to target both Windows Vista and Windows 7. It consists of the following components:

Windows Graphics runtime: Direct2D, DirectWrite, Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, and WARP;
Updates to Windows Imaging Component;
Updates to XPS Print API, XPS Document API and XPS Rasterization Service;
Windows Automation API (updates to MSAA and UI Automation);
Windows Portable Devices Platform; (adds support for MTP over Bluetooth and MTP Device Services)
Windows Ribbon API;
Windows Animation Manager library.
Some updates will also be available as separate releases for both Windows XP and Windows Vista:
Windows Management Framework: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows Remote Management 2.0, BITS 4.0
Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 (RDP7) client

Although extensive, the Platform Update does not bring Windows Vista to the level of features and performance offered by Windows 7.[98] For example, even though Direct3D 11 runtime will be able to run on D3D9-class hardware and WDDM drivers using "feature levels" first introduced in Direct3D 10.1, Desktop Window Manager has not been updated to use Direct3D 10.1.[98]

In July 2011, Microsoft released Platform Update Supplement for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, which contains bugfixes and performance improvements. [99]
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

umm... Windows traditionally got free service packs which added functionality for free. This was better than paying all the time like with MacOS where they nickeled and dimed you.
I'm okay with either model. Pay a higher upfront cost and get free updates over the years or pay for incremental updates. Heck, Windows 8 is so cheap right now that it's almost an update price.

OSX is significantly cheaper then Windows. Its hardly nickel and dime when its $30 bucks every two years or so and you get 5 licenses to boot. With no other cost to the user. And on top of that, there is zero activation.
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post #20 of 21 Old 11-29-2012, 10:22 PM
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On March 24, 2001, Apple released Mac OS X v10.0 (internally codenamed Cheetah).
Later that year on September 25, 2001, Mac OS X v10.1 (internally codenamed Puma) was released.
On August 23, 2002,[85] Apple followed up with Mac OS X v10.2 "Jaguar".
Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" was released on October 24, 2003.
Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" was released on April 29, 2005.
Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" was released on October 26, 2007.
Mac OS X v10.6 "Snow Leopard" was released on August 28, 2009.
Mac OS X v10.7 "Lion" was released on July 20, 2011.
OS X v10.8 "Mountain Lion" was announced on February 16, 2012, and was released online via the App Store on July 25.
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post #21 of 21 Old 11-30-2012, 05:32 AM
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Another attempt at generating a new revenue stream more than anything else me thinks. I'd also heard of the MS Project 'Blue', which is meant to include a shift to annual releases, but I'm wondering whether this will be a 'new' O/S to enable this, or whether it will be something only for Windows 8 users via the App Store, if it materializes at all. All conjecture and rumours at the moment, but if Apple can do it (and MS like copying them at the moment), then I'm sure MS think they can as well. To be honest, a lot of the 3-year cycle release cycle was more to appease corporate customers more than anything else, who are glacier-like slow in any upgrade program. Could this new plan be anything to do with the Sinofsky exit I wonder?

If this 'annual' release appears, I wouldn't be surprised if they provide a different (long-term support) version for enterprise customers as well, or that could get very difficult.
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