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Windows Operating Systems Software Microsoft Portables Hardware Technology

Did the Netbook Improve Windows 7's Performance? 440

Posted by timothy
from the probably-yes-about-a-hypothetical dept.
Arnie87 writes "One Microsoft Way has an interesting article suggesting that the reason Microsoft is focusing so much on speed with Windows 7 is the whopping sales of netbooks. The article concludes by saying: 'If you plan on adopting Windows 7, you have the netbook to be thankful for, because Vista's successor would be a very different beast if Microsoft had less motivation to pursue performance.'"
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Did the Netbook Improve Windows 7's Performance?

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  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @10:24PM (#27285069)

    Sadly, I have some bad news for Linux lovers (myself included) when it comes to the netbook. The fact is that hopes for Linux on the netbook is all but dead now that Windows owns more than 90% [] of this market.

    I still have some hope though. KDE 4.2.1 is convincing many folks in my small world. If KDE programmers do what they have to do in terms of multimedia and the browser (read KHTML/WebKit), there is a future.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @10:46PM (#27285211)

    Also the reason that netbooks run XP rather than Vista is because Microsoft was trying to segment the market. XP has a netbook discount program, and Vista does not.

    This is entirely aside of the issue of Vista's market acceptance.

  • Re:Maybe, Maybe not. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @10:59PM (#27285297)

    You want to put a $300 eink screen on a $250 netbook?

    THe market for this is pretty slim I think. The Kindle keeps most of book worms happy, and the netbooks are good for us net users. Sure, there is overlap, but how many people want a netbook and an ebook reader and have $600 burning a hole in their pocket?

    The OLPC seems to kinda sorta do what you want though. It isn't eink, but it is readable in sunlight and is supposed to be very crisp in bw.

  • by Mad Leper (670146) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @11:15PM (#27285387)

    Takes 15 minutes you say ? You must either be doing something extremely wrong or have mistaken your computer for some other device, perhaps a toaster.

    Honestly, the minute you see an anti-Vista rant that brings up the old canard about "uses too much memory", you know the poster is just recycling FUD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @11:33PM (#27285477)

    It's not as thin as it seems. Intel and Microsoft worked hard against the OLPC with much success. Do some Google searches to find out more.

  • by i.of.the.storm (907783) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @11:43PM (#27285525) Homepage
    Seriously, I don't know how that got modded insightful. My Vista machine boots to the desktop and is usable in under a minute. 15 minutes is complete bullshit unless he's trying to run it on a 486 or something.
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @11:44PM (#27285535)

    There are lot of problems with portable applications which try to write into the directory where .exe file is installed.

    Vista 'helpfully' virtualizes file access and this breaks a lot of such apps.

  • by Anpheus (908711) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @12:28AM (#27285821)

    And that'll work fine in Vista, because that's not Program Files. Like in Linux, there are a few privileged, protected folders, and pretty much everything else, including mountable r/w media like flash drives, is essentially an extension of one's home directory. (Unless you do something fancy with the permissions, of course.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:19AM (#27286057)

    By optimized you mean they have DRM turned off. Expect DRM to be in place for the final release candidate.

    Seriously, what's with this "DRM" myth? Can anyone provide an authoritative source that DRM is on at all times (not just when you're playing DRM'd content), and that significantly impedes performance?

  • by cibyr (898667) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @01:28AM (#27286099) Journal

    /usr/local/* is for you stuff you've installed manually. /usr/bin is a perfectly sensible place for a package manager to put executables it installs. The package manager shouldn't fuck with anything in /usr/local.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @02:50AM (#27286355)
    Vista offers a XP SP2 compatibility mode and other settings, selectable for each executable binary, which will resolve a huge ammount of issues with old applications in Vista.
  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @03:04AM (#27286397)

    /usr/local/* is for you stuff you've installed manually. /usr/bin is a perfectly sensible place for a package manager to put executables it installs. The package manager shouldn't fuck with anything in /usr/local.

    I still think GoboLinux [] is on the right track.

  • by xous (1009057) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @04:18AM (#27286595) Homepage


    1) Apps are labelled by task rather than name. I had to use google to find out that the "File Browser" was called "nautilus". Gee - could you label it using the app's name, or make it launchable by entering something like "file-browser" in the run box?

    This is simply not possible to realistically do on a linux distribution because there are usually multiple options. I admit a description field below the application would be nice.

    2) No easy way to sudo GUI stuff. Often I have to open a terminal and use sudo to complete a task, which is annoying. Why can't there just be a button to kick me up to root for a minute or two?

    There are quite a few applications that allow you to do this. Use google.

    3) Navigating folders is a PITA in the terminal.

    Learn how a linux file system works and learn how bash processes commands. The space character is a special character in the linux command line for good reason.

    To me your argument is the same thing if you were at the command prompt in Windows command prompt sitting at:

    C:\Documents and Settings\UserName>

    and typed
    > cd Windows.

    Expecting it to magically figure out you want C:\Windows.
    It should know what I want right? WRONG. It doesn't and for this feature to even work it would have to index the entire file system.

    Solution: Learn how file paths really work.

    These are all valid
    cd /etc/X11

    cd /etc/X11/

    cd /etc
    cd X11

    Simple solution for a beginner: Always use absolute paths until you understand relative paths.

    Alternative: Use a different shell, there are plenty of options.

    4) Create an alias if you find yourself using the command often.

    alias editxorg="sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf"

    (See Bash Aliases for further details)

    5) Tab completion plus using all lower case for file names make this trivial. I find it much faster to find things than navigating my media in explorer.

    6) A shortcut on linux isn't exactly the same thing as a shortcut on windows. It probably created a symlink which makes the folder appear to be actually on your desktop to most programs. This is by design.

    Create a launcher that runs your file-manager with that particular path if you want to mimic windows shortcuts

    7) This is linux and not windows. Bash is much more powerful than the pitiful shell windows provides. Learn to escape spaces, avoid spaces in file names, use tab completion, or enclose spaces in quotes.

    8) Traditionally extensions have no meaning in the unix world... this is by design.

    9) Not understanding permissions is why you are running into these problems. Probably because you tend to resort to running things with root privileges instead of figuring out why the permissions are incorrect.

    It takes a while to understand but once you've got it you'll wonder why you thought it was hard.

  • by cowbutt (21077) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @04:24AM (#27286607) Journal

    I've been using Ubuntu for about a month now. There's a few things that just don't make sense, but most do. Now that I'm thinking about them, I may as well list them.

    1) Apps are labelled by task rather than name. I had to use google to find out that the "File Browser" was called "nautilus". Gee - could you label it using the app's name, or make it launchable by entering something like "file-browser" in the run box?

    File that as a bug with Ubuntu. RH/Fedora are starting to do what you describe, at least for typical desktop user apps, like the file browser, web browser, email, text editor and so on.

    2) No easy way to sudo GUI stuff. Often I have to open a terminal and use sudo to complete a task, which is annoying. Why can't there just be a button to kick me up to root for a minute or two?

    It's not safe to run GUI applications as root. If you insist, and your distro vendor agrees, then they may configure it (using PAM) to use consolehelper (part of the usermode package) to ask for the root password when you run it.

    3) Navigating folders is a PITA in the terminal. These fail: cd etc/X11/ cd etc/X11

    To be expected, unless your Current Working Directory (CWD) is the root of the filesystem, known as /, or you have a duplication etc/X11 hierarchy under your CWD. The trailing / on the first example is redundant, BTW.

    cd /etc/X11/ cd /etc/X11

    Both those should be fine. Did you test before posting?

    cd etc cd /X11 cd etc cd X11

    First pair will try to change to etc in the CWD (and fail), then try to go to X11 in the root (and fail). Second will try to go to etc in the CWD (and fail), then go to X11 in the CWD (and fail).

    This doesn't: cd /etc cd X11 Would it hurt to be a little intuitive about where I wanted to go? Apparently so...

    It's impossible to be intuitive when they mean entirely different things. Would you expect 'CD D:\SYSTEM32' to Do The Right Thing on Windows when Windows is installed on C: and SYSTEM32 is inside the WINDOWS directory? Same deal. If it helps, think of C:\ being roughly equivalent the root of the filesystem (i.e. /). It kinda breaks down because UNIX doesn't have drive letters, and actually Windows uses the backslash in the same way as UNIX uses the slash; note how you can use 'CD \' to go to the root of the current drive.

    4) More #2. It would be much easier to have a way to kick gedit up to root so I can save xorg.conf. That'd save me having to navigate to that folder, which took 10 minutes the first time.

    In addition to the earlier explanations, it's really not safe to let just any old user have write access to system config files by default. At best, they might mess them up, at worst, they may make them do bad things (install spyware, delete their home directory) to other users. If you wish, if you're the owner of the file (i.e. root in the case of xorg.conf), you can loosen the permissions on specific files using chmod.

    5) Argh. More #3. My Windows partitions often have folders about 8-20 deep. Navigating with the terminal is... horrible. I may have to resize my linux partition and just stick everything on it, because accessing stuff on a shared partition with good organization is such a huge PITA.

    You know about tab completion in the shell, right? Hit tab on a partial file or directory name, and it'll complete as best it can. If there are multiple matches, it'll beep. Hit tab again, and it'll show them.

    6) Oh dear god. I made a shortcut to a file on an NTFS partition and put it on the desktop. The thing is, when I open it, I can't go "up" to the folder's parent folders - it takes me "up" (back) to the desktop. Great. I guess I'll get into the habbit of opening the terminal, typing "gksudo nautilus" in, then navigating manually to the folder I need on my NTFS partition, so that I can go "up" properly and cop

  • by cowbutt (21077) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @04:43AM (#27286667) Journal

    Linux doesn't work with which iPods? My girlfriend and I have two different iPod models and they both work fine in Amarok (the KDE3 one, haven't tried in Amarok 2).

    iPhones and current iPod Touch models require hacking for the iTunesDB to be usable with non-iTunes managers. Doing so rules out using the AppStore. More details. []

  • by machine321 (458769) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @07:58AM (#27287393)

    I seem to remember something called Cairo that was making news back in the mid-90s, which had a feature list similar to what we now know as Time Machine - on OS X. MS still hasn't come up with such a functionality.

    I see you are unfamiliar with the "Previous Versions Client" or "Volume Shadow Copy". The technology was first introduced with the release of Windows XP, released in October, 2001.

    Apple's Time Machine was released in October, 2007, six years later. Obviously Microsoft used H. G. Wells' Time Machine to steal Apple's Time Machine.

  • by theskipper (461997) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @09:31AM (#27287733)

    Can I make a friendly suggestion? It's obvious you're curious enough to want to figure this stuff out. But based on your comments about not knowing that / refers to root (same as DOS, btw, cd \dir1 on current drive), symlinks, aliases, etc., there's a high potential that you're going to really mess things up at some point. Especially when that lack of knowledge is coupled with sudo. I've been there.

    Pick up a book like "A Practical Guide to Linux" (ISBN 0-13-147823-0) and spend a weekend working through the first half of the book. That will set a solid foundation for the basic concepts and cover most of the questions in your post like directory structure, permissions, etc.

    Next learn the basics of VIM, maybe 5 or 10 commands cover most editing tasks. Insert mode will be absolutely infuriating at first but don't back off and resort to a gui will be a hindrance in the long run.

    Then pick a topic at random and concentrate on how it works. Figure out the concept of mounts by looking at fstab, for example. Try some simple sed or awk commands. Proceed on to simple shell scripts and customizing .bashrc, etc.

    You can handle it; just take your time to make sure you really understand what's going on. Be tenacious and don't gloss over things. It won't take long to see just how suffocating the Windows mindset is. The flexibility on the *nix side of the fence is pretty amazing. It's a great feeling once it clicks; you won't want to go back.

    To sum up, the GUI warts aren't as important as you think once you understand the shell and filesystem.


  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmail . c om> on Sunday March 22, 2009 @10:44AM (#27288161) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, I don't know how that got modded insightful. My Vista machine boots to the desktop and is usable in under a minute. 15 minutes is complete bullshit unless he's trying to run it on a 486 or something.

    Slashdot ran a story about employees suing over not being paid while a computer boots []. No, Vista isn't to blame, but some companies require that so many programs be run at log-in that a 15 minute boot time isn't out of the ordinary.

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday March 22, 2009 @11:32PM (#27294611)

    CMD.EXE is superior to bash!!!?!?!?!?!?

    No, Powershell is superior to bash. Reading comprehension is pretty useful, you should try it sometime. But good job writing a lengthy rebuttal to something I never claimed. Moron.

    In fact, I don't think you even got the point of my post. The point was that people on Slashdot frequently express opinions on products they aren't qualified to judge, because they either haven't used them in a long period of time, or they use them extremely infrequently. For example, your ignorance of Powershell, even when replying to a post that mentions its existence demonstrates (to me at least) that you're not qualified to express any opinion, period.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday March 23, 2009 @03:03AM (#27295411) Journal

    Windows' new shell (PowerShell, is it?) is, predictably, not compatible with Unix shells, so I'd assume you have to learn most things from scratch.

    Are there really the same quality and variety of command-line utilities on Windows? All those filters in /usr/bin are really an essential part of how useful Unix shells are.

    The trick that makes PowerShell as useful as it is, is that it gives you direct access to all .NET APIs, which is a diverse bunch. You get very powerful XML processing (including XPath/XSLT if needed) and Web services, databases, pretty low-level process control, WMI, and a lot of other things.

    Really, the test is: does anyone actually use the shell in Windows? How many Windows administrators use any command line? I'd find it difficult to believe that it's very good if no one uses it. The Unix shell was refined over decades, and for a lot of that time it was the primary way of interacting with your computer.

    As the OP noted, PowerShell is new, so most people are still picking it up. That said, it is already very popular amongst Windows developers (especially .NET ones), from what I can see, and the more advanced admins. The rest will be there eventually whether they like it or not because Microsoft has effectively stated (if you read the team blogs on MSDN) that PowerShell will be the way to for advanced administration and scripting for all future server products. Exchange is already there, SharePoint seems to be the next on the line, and Win2008 R2 (and Win7) include PowerShell 2.0 out of the box.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)