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Gabe Newell joins the many critics of Windows 8

Valve is famous in gaming circles for its line of games that include the Half-Life, Portal, Counterstrike, and Left for Dead series. Valve's President, Gabe Newell, is known for his sometimes outlandish comments and he isn't afraid to take a few shots at some big names in the tech industry.
Late last year, Newell put Apple in his crosshairs, stating, "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."
This week, Newell has some rather harsh words for Microsoft and everyone's favorite whipping boy: Windows 8. While speaking at Seattle's Casual Connect gaming conference, Newell unloaded on Microsoft, stating, "I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people."

Valve's Gabe Newell [Image Source: Windows 8 Update]
Newell went on to state that he believes some of the larger, big-name OEM's that we've grown accustomed to in the PC sector would end up abandoning the market as a result of Microsoft's efforts with Windows 8. We've already seen HP tiptoe around the idea of leaving the PC market, and Dell's fortunes in the PC market don't appear to be much better these days (and it's trying to focus more on enterprise software).
As a result, Newell is making the effort to fully support the Linux platform in case things in Microsoft-land implode in the coming years. "It will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality," Newell continued.
Those are some pretty bold words from Newell (especially relying on Linux as a backup plan), but we still feel it's a little too early to call Windows 8 a failure. Windows 8 will officially launch on October 26, so we still have a while before we know just how much Microsoft's latest operating system will change the PC landscape.

Source: All Things D

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I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Ristogod on 7/26/2012 10:47:00 AM , Rating: 5
Call me crazy, but I'd still rather have Windows, even it's if it's not in its most optimal implementation, over Linux.

Plus, Valve can probably get their small set of games to run on Windows, but what about the other 1000s of games on the platform? What about the 200+ games I own already on the service that I expect to run.

Perhaps they could bundle some type of Wine implementation with Steam on Linux to run existing non-ported(to Linux) titles, but that's not without its challenges also. Especially when you consider how many titles currently in Steam now that won't run on Windows correctly.

I wish Gabe would elaborate on what exactly he feels makes Win8 a catastrophe specifically. I'd be interested in knowing that.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By xti on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By xti on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By dj LiTh on 7/26/2012 10:58:50 AM , Rating: 5
He's basically scared about the new windows app market place encroaching on his steam business. As for linux games....ya good luck getting MS to license directx, and good luck to the rest of the developers in making their games in openGL.

Win8 is going to be just fine for tablets and touch screens. For desktops Win7 is where its at. Windows and windows gaming wont be dying for a long long long time.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By damianrobertjones on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By kleinma on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Drag0nFire on 7/26/2012 12:21:48 PM , Rating: 3
Too bad your rating didn't count since you just posted to tell him how you rated him. Get with the gigabytes, man! ;-)

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By kleinma on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By xthetenth on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By TheJian on 7/29/2012 1:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL...Yeah booting is so important. It's what happens AFTER BOOTING that is important. And in that regard, windows 8 sucks. I'll stick with 7 thanks (and even that is not as good as XP - I know, 7 boots faster...LOL). I don't spend a lot of time searching for programs either. I think that's why I have a start menu...LOL. Coupled with quick launch I have no need for anything else. I've been using DESKTOP as my quicklaunch. Right click taskbar->toolbars-desktop. Cheap/quick way around them stealing quick launch. My most used apps are shortcuts on the desktop. One click I get to my most used stuff instantly.

Yeah, I USE MY DESKTOP, because that's what the freaking thing is for! A clean desktop is a sign of someone who has NO IDEA what a desktop is for. Including the actual desk your computer is on...It's not made to be EMPTY...I hate chrome because of that. They take all the features away in the name of a "minimalist approach". I'm so sick of people taking away my "ease of use" features in favor of a "minimalist approach"! I disable any minimalist apps. It's against my religion to have a blank desktop or toolbar, which is why I only need ONE of each :)

All they keep doing is making windows LESS friendly and everything takes more clicks than before. Office 2010 is the same way. Almost everything takes 1-3 more clicks to get to the same stuff. Stupid.

Your statement doesn't even make sense but oh well...The menu is afraid to use screen real estate?....I'm confused. You open the screen with windows? Umm, I'm using windows to open my programs...Make sense? Sorry, I'm not picking up what you're putting down...LOL

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By GenZ on 8/12/2012 11:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
Metro is quick lauch and start menu and Metro apps are basically big widgets, One press of the windows key brings you back to good old desktop instantly. So actually, you points are completely invalid.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By rudy on 7/26/2012 11:13:41 AM , Rating: 5
Good that some people can call it for what it is.

Listen up folks if you dont get it yet. The OS companies are moving to a system where they sell you all your software through their own store. Then they get a cut of it. It is easy to work and preloaded. Apple already doesnt let anyone get outside programs on ios devices, you can bet they will try this in several years on the desktop / laptop. Google is moving the play store onto chrome, and MS will include their store in windows 8. This is a threat to any company that sells software online especially one like valve. Amazon / newegg are also victims this is why the amazon kindle fire exists.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By MZperX on 7/26/2012 11:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
This is what's at the heart of it. Even if the Win8 app store model is mildly successful it has the potential to eat into Steam revenues. If the Metro app store turns out to be a smashing success it would definitely threaten the Steam business model. After all why would the consumer pay multiple distribution services for the same app? Especially if there's a perfectly usable one built right into the OS? There is only so much markup the market will sustain and they'll have to split up that pie somehow. That's the worry from Valve's perspective.

For the record I use Steam all the time and think it's great. Microsoft has their work cut out if they want to compete with that level of service and the value it provides. Then again, they are Microsoft, so who knows how it will all shake out...

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By kleinma on 7/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Ammohunt on 7/26/2012 2:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, i will have to disagree with you since this model has been around since the first console systems. It is the reason you see few bugs in console games since the platform is locked. I will also say that Microsoft is one of the better companies platforms to develop for; ever wonder why the Xbox360 is no successful even thought the PS3 hardware is more powerful? it will be the same for future Microsoft platforms as well.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Solandri on 7/26/2012 5:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
What makes the model work now when it didn't before is the ubiquity of network connections and high broadband speeds. Before, it was quicker to drop by Fry's or Circuit City and pick up the software you wanted in a box, take it home, and install it. Today it's faster (and easier) to get a digital download. Even buying boxed software has moved online for most people. Instead of driving to Best Buy to buy the box, you order it online from Amazon and wait for it to be delivered. All the new model does is eliminate the physical box.

What needs to happen is for the OS stores to get a fixed price cut per transaction for delivering the digital download. What the OS companies want is to get a percentage cut. That is, they want to be like the credit card companies and get a percentage of the transaction even though their cost is a fixed amount per transaction (or per MB).

In a competitive market, that wouldn't happen. Competition would drive the price down to a little over what it costs to provide - a fixed amount per transaction. But the credit card companies have managed to collude to thwart competition and stick it to vendors with a percentage cut. Now the OS companies want to do the same.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By maveric7911 on 7/26/2012 11:28:51 AM , Rating: 3
As for linux games....ya good luck getting MS to license directx, and good luck to the rest of the developers in making their games in openGL.

Maybe you haven't heard of the WINE project....

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By dj LiTh on 7/26/2012 11:38:14 AM , Rating: 2
Oh i have heard of wine....good luck with that playing the latest games, also good luck on doing that with the latest hardware.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By someguy123 on 7/26/2012 11:45:40 AM , Rating: 1
Wine is hardly compatible across the board. Performance is also random, though in some cases faster.

I don't see people moving on to OGL for the same reason directx has a PC monopoly: microsoft's deep pockets. Windows and video card manufacturers still maintain good OGL support, but microsoft gives things like joint advertising to people running on directx, especially if they go through games for windows live or have an xbox port.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By inighthawki on 7/26/2012 3:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see people moving on to OGL for the same reason directx has a PC monopoly

And perhaps that DirectX is not only a far superior API but the DirectX team works with hardware manufacturers to push technology forward. Microsoft and NVidia were the big ones behind geometry, compute, and tessellation shaders. If you only had OpenGL right now we might see some of those things in the coming years.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By someguy123 on 7/26/2012 4:52:16 PM , Rating: 3
Far superior is a huge stretch. It was inferior to OGL until directx10. directcompute is basically microsoft's answer to openCL, and OGL had hardware tesselation support for a long time. DX11 is where I'd argue directx has surpassed opengl, but this doesn't really account for the years of directx dominance.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 4:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
DirectX surpassed OpenGL around the DX7/DX8 mark.
By the time DX9 came out, virtually all games were using DX (ID was pretty much the only one still using OpenGL from then on, and it didn't exactly result in more graphically advanced games).
DirectCompute is Microsoft's answer to OpenCL? Think again. DirectCompute has been around longer than OpenCL has. It's Microsoft's answer to Cuda, then again OpenCL is Apple's answer to Cuda. It's just that Microsoft sold retail versions of Windows 7 with DX11 and DirectCompute when OpenCL was still under development.

OpenGL had hardware tessellation for a long time? Not really. Yes, there were proprietary extensions for hardware tessellation, but they were vendor-specific (only ATi had them), and they weren't programmable. DirectX has also had tessellation support (N-patches and RT-patches) since DirectX 8.1 (worked on GeForce and Radeon). The feature just wasn't very popular, because it wasn't very good. DirectX 10 was another attempt at tessellation, with the geometry shader (which was later adopted by OpenGL), which again failed to deliver.
DirectX 11 introduced tessellation done right, with programmable shaders (again, later adopted by OpenGL).

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By someguy123 on 7/27/2012 5:33:33 AM , Rating: 3
most of your rant is wrong or pointless. "surpassing" has nothing to do with marketshare. directx was not nearly as efficient as OGL until DX9, and it surpasses OGL with DX11.

openCL was developed by khronos/apple and gpu-cpu manufacturers and trademarked by apple. public release was a year before directx11 and directcompute. Cuda is literally developer libraries for opencl, so I don't know what you're thinking when you say directcompute is specifically for cuda as its the same as saying DC is for OCL.

obviously opengl did not have universal tessellation, but it had extended support and it was workable. DX's implementation was hacky and useless. DX11 is the edition where I've stated DX has surpassed opengl, so your comment is pretty redundant.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 8:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a rant, and it's neither pointless nor wrong.
I've developed with both OpenGL and D3D for many years, I lived through that whole period. What do you know?

I never said anything about marketshare either. DirectX' efficiency problems were solved in DX7. Since DX7 not much has changed in managing geometry on the GPU to enable HW-accelerated T&L/shaders.
So you are the one being wrong here. I suppose you either aren't a developer at all, or haven't actually ever seen these versions of DX up close, or the equivalent OpenGL of the time.

Public release of OpenCL a year before DX11? Not at all. They published the *specs* a year before DX11 was on the market. But the DX11 *specs* had been finalized and published before that.
You want dates? Here are dates:
Windows 7 release date: July 22 2009 (
A month earlier, nVidia had released the first ever OpenCL 1.0-conformant drivers to developers: So not yet a public release. The public release was somewhere in September I believe. And that's only nVidia. AMD took way longer to get a public OpenCL release out.
So no, DirectCompute was first.

And lol, Cuda is developer libraries for OpenCL? You have no idea what you're talking about, do you?
Try googling OpenCL and Scali, you'll find some of my old blogs. I documented the early days of OpenCL acceptance, which was quite rocky.
Also, I never said DirectCompute is specifically for Cuda.
If you must know, Cuda is nVidia's GPGPU framework. In the early days, there was only Cuda's own C-like language... Later they added support for OpenCL and DirectCompute to the Cuda framework, and the Cuda language itself is now called C for Cuda (and since Fermi they have C++ for Cuda as well).

My point was that Cuda was the first major GPGPU framework, and both OpenCL and DirectCompute are modeled at least partly after Cuda's language and parallel execution model (and also target the same hardware).

And no, OpenGL did not have any tessellation whatsoever in its core functionality. They were only proprietary extensions.

You sir, suffer from Dunning Kruger

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 8:32:11 AM , Rating: 2
Link to nVidia's first OpenCL 1.0-conformant driver release got lost:

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By someguy123 on 7/27/2012 1:48:07 PM , Rating: 3
You say the specs were published before that, yet your source is windows 7's launch? OpenCL was spec'd and approved by chronos group by 08. Directx 10 support of directcompute was also not available at this point. Microsoft getting their implementation out the door earlier is meaningless. Microsoft is obviously a large company with the assets available to pump something out when they see viable competition.

CUDA is indeed nvidia's developer libraries for nvidia hardware GPGPU programmed in C for CUDA. This is why people favored it over drawing from scratch with OCL. If you've ever used CUDA you'd realize that it overlaps with opencl functions. CUDA is limited to nvidia devices because AMD has no intention of supporting CUDA, not that cuda would never work on other video cards, similar to the situation with physx.

Nvidia and AMD were also PART of the group that spec'd out openCL, so it's even more hilarious to me that you'd find opencl derivative, when in reality it was a joint development.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 7:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhh, wow, clueless much?
In a nutshell, a new technology is developed in 3 phases:
1) The specifications are drawn up
2) The technology is developed and tested (alpha, beta, release candidate etc)
3) The technology is released to the public.

So yes, the specs for OpenCL were published before Windows 7 was released. But *not* the actual drivers implementing the technology.
The specs for DX11 were published long before the release of Windows 7 as well, obviously. And before OpenCL.
As you can see here:
"It was presented at Gamefest 2008 on July 22, 2008 and demonstrated at the Nvision 08 technical conference on August 26, 2008"
"The Direct3D 11 Technical Preview has been included in November 2008 release of DirectX SDK"
So at the time the specification of OpenCL 1.0 was published (Nov 2008), DirectX 11 was already available to developers in beta form.
Around the time that the first beta drivers became available to developers, Windows 7/DirectX 11 were publicly released.

"Microsoft getting their implementation out the door earlier is meaningless."
Uhh, of course it isn't meaningless. But nevertheless they were faster at every step of the way, specification, test releases, and final release.

"CUDA is indeed nvidia's developer libraries for nvidia hardware GPGPU programmed in C for CUDA. This is why people favored it over drawing from scratch with OCL. If you've ever used CUDA you'd realize that it overlaps with opencl functions."

Not sure why you're trying to tell me this. It's completely different from what you said before: that (C for) Cuda *is* OpenCL: "Cuda is literally developer libraries for opencl"
Because Cuda is clearly a lot more than just OpenCL, and OpenCL was not always part of the Cuda framework for the simple reason that OpenCL didn't exist, see below.

"Nvidia and AMD were also PART of the group that spec'd out openCL, so it's even more hilarious to me that you'd find opencl derivative, when in reality it was a joint development."

Ofcourse nVidia and AMD were part of the OpenCL group. They both support open standards. But again, you are missing the context. OpenCL started in 2008.
Cuda however was released as part of the GeForce 8800 functionality. The initial CUDA SDK was made public on 15 February 2007:
So Cuda was a final product a year and a half before OpenCL even *started*. Cuda is the reason why the OpenCL project was started. And OpenCL clearly borrows a lot from C for Cuda.

What's hilarious is how little you know about all of this. It's right there on my blogs, or on the webpages of Khronos, nVidia, AMD, Apple, wiki etc. All you have to do is google.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 8:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and to answer your question: Yes, I've used Cuda.
I've also used DirectCompute and OpenCL.
In fact, I've even reported some bugs for OpenCL in the beta phase. You can google for my OpenCL-related posts on the Khronos and AMD developer forums.
The thing is, I wrote working Cuda applications before I ever heard of OpenCL, because it simply didn't exist.
Likewise, I toyed around with DirectCompute on my GeForce 8800GTS (with CS4.0 as mentioned elsewhere) with the tech preview of DX11 before I could even start with OpenCL development.

So from someone who's adopted all three technologies at an early stage (which can easily be verified by google), the chronological order is this:
1) Cuda
2) DirectCompute
3) OpenCL.

And with OpenCL, an extra difficulty was that initially only nVidia had GPU drivers. It took much longer for AMD to even release a beta to registered developers (initially it was only for the 'inner circle' of developers under NDA, which I was not part of). And even though AMD eventually had working OpenCL drivers, they didn't have an end-user runtime. So the only way for end-users to run OpenCL was to register as a developer, and download and install the whole OpenCL SDK. Not an option if you want to distribute an OpenCL application.
In short: OpenCL was a mess even when it was 'public'.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By ipay on 7/27/2012 2:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
For a guy pulling the dunning card you sure are arrogant and misinformed, talking about t&l shaders like they're magic.

I'll complete the circle for you by calling you hitler.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 7:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, I guess this went WAY over your head, so I'll explain it to you like you're a 4-year old, should be about right.
The issue with OpenGL being more efficient than D3D was mostly when hardware T&L was introduced.
The D3D API was designed to have the geometry in system memory, so the CPU could process it. For hardware T&L, the geometry had to be in videomemory. This was very difficult to retrofit into the existing API. OpenGL has a more highlevel API design, so it was easier for the driver to manage the memory for the geometry itself.

So for Direct3D7, Microsoft introduced a new vertexbuffer system, which allowed management of geometry in videomemory. This way you could fully leverage the GPU's T&L hardware, and Direct3D was no longer less efficient than OpenGL from then on.

Magic? To you apparently.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/31/2012 4:27:56 AM , Rating: 2
To add to that... The API design for DX7 was not changed much for DX8 and DX9. They were mostly the same, with features added. So efficiency-wise nothing changed between DX7 and DX9. Therefore, the claim that DX9 solved efficiency problems is baseless. Either it was in DX7, or not at all.
DX10 introduced a new design in an attempt to improve driver efficiency. DX11 uses that same design.

So DX7 and DX10 are the two inflection points where you could possibly claim that something about DX efficiency changed. Anything else is baseless.

Mind you, DX10 didn't turn out to be all that more efficient in practice. After years of driver optimizations and fine-tuning of graphics engines, DX9 code was incredibly tight, and hard to beat. Most engines (including my own) are actually slightly slower in DX10/11 mode than in DX9.
Therefore, DX7 is the only API where a claim of improved efficiency makes sense.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By inighthawki on 7/27/2012 11:17:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, while the API didn't actually support it until DX11, DirectCompute was developed and supported on DirectX 10.1 hardware (CS 4.0 and 4.1), which was available well before the initial release of OpenCL 1.0 with Snow Leopard.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 11:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
CS4.0 is for DirectX 10.0 hardware (GeForce 8/9/2xx series).
CS4.1 is for DirectX 10.1.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Insurgence on 7/26/2012 6:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia only helped MS because MS has a larger market share. Of Linux or OGL had a larger market share NVidia would be right there instead.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By JediJeb on 7/26/2012 10:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
True, and if the hardware manufacturers would support Linux with high quality drivers Linux would be more competition for Windows. I think Microsoft saw a little of what Linux has had to deal with when they released Vista without having good driver support from the hardware vendors. If people install your product and then can't use their current hardware or only use it in a hobbled fashion, then they get a sour taste from it.

I still use Windows for gaming, but for many other things I do at home, Linux performs quite well. One thing I have come to like is I can do major updates on a Linux system and never have to stop working to reboot, yet most of the smallest updates on a Windows system require a reboot for them to work. You have to wonder though, if it wasn't for OSX, and Linux(and OS2 or BeOS and many others in the past) would Windows be what it is today?

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 4:26:58 AM , Rating: 2
One of the reasons why Windows requires a reboot is because the filesystem implements locking. Sure, the reboots can be inconvenient.. however, Microsoft has done a lot of work in recent years to make drivers and things more hot-pluggable, and various installers simply ask to reboot just to be safe. The new software or hardware is already active even without a reboot, and generally will work okay.

But there's a good reason why file locking is there: you cannot accidentally overwrite files that are currently in use, which would lead to instabilities. In linux you may be able to overwrite files even when they are currently in use, but that is actually a very dangerous thing to do. Files that may be required by programs that are still running, might be modified or deleted. Just because the programs continue to run doesn't mean they will continue to function properly. They may still be using outdated code in memory, and when they load new libraries or files, they may be incompatible.
Yes, it generally looks okay from the outside... but it isn't.

The proper way to update software in linux then, is to stop the software before updating, and restarting it afterwards.
Technically that's not all that different from a reboot. Take for example display drivers. You have to stop Xorg and restart it. Meaning you cannot run any applications that use X in the meantime.
Or for a webserver... You may only have to stop and restart Apache... but that means the service is interrupted momentarily. Not very different from just rebooting the machine as a whole (then again, Windows doesn't require reboots either to stop, update and restart services like that).

Personally I think file locking is a very good feature. On linux you can easily pull the rug from under the entire system, because it will let you modify or delete anything.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/27/2012 10:12:27 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I think file locking is a very good feature. On linux you can easily pull the rug from under the entire system, because it will let you modify or delete anything.
Been a while since I've tried, but I'm pretty sure I can still delete files while Windows is running that will cause the system to crash and/or have major problems, and likewise there are definitely mechanisms to lock files in Linux. The "accidentally deleting important system files" thing is one of the reasons why best practice in both Windows and Linux is to not run as root/admin on either. Unfortunately, this practice is much harder to do in even modern versions of Windows.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 10:24:57 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, you can delete files that aren't currently in use, and in some cases, you may even be able to force a crash if certain code depends on files being there when they aren't.
In general however, any important files are in-use, and as such can't be tempered with.

And no, this kind of mechanism does not exist in linux. The problem with all locking mechanisms in linux is that they are not part of the core functionality. They are just add-on libraries that store some metadata that the file is 'locked'. This works fine as long as all applications check that metadata first, before attempting to access files.
Problem is, since they aren't part of core functionality, and there are various different options, applications will either not bother to check, or they may use an incompatible locking library. As long as their check says the file is not locked, they can still modify or delete it, even if it was supposed to be locked by another mechanism.

See, that's the difference between having something implemented on paper, and having something that's actually useful in the real world.

Not running as root/admin has been child's play since the first versions of NT. Any half-decent system administrator knows how to set up their corporate network that way.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/27/2012 3:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
See, that's the difference between having something implemented on paper, and having something that's actually useful in the real world.
I'm not certain this makes any sense. If it's actually being used, it's not just on paper, and considering that thousands of sysadmins and others use these mechanisms directly, I would call it useful...
And no, this kind of mechanism does not exist in linux.
They exist (feel free to Google it), but generally file level permissions are adequate to control access, so the locking mechanisms do not often get used. This is a good thing. If I have the proper permissions, and I need to delete a file I should be able to. Not being allowed to delete stuff would be more important in a situation where someone who doesn't know what they are doing has been given more access than they should have - admittedly, that's often the situation with Windows :) Anyway... an admin in Windows can get around the file system locks, too. So, your whole point is kind of irrelevant.
Not running as root/admin has been child's play since the first versions of NT.
Disagree here, too. It works great in a lot of situations, but for anyone who doesn't have dedicated knowledgeable resources to administer their machine for them, running as a non admin account is awful. This is probably why the default account on most OEM PC's are admin accounts.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 8:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand the issue here.
The 'on paper' thing is that yes, technically the functionality is there. But it's not implemented in a way that is useful, because it doesn't guarantee system-wide locking.
So that's what I'm saying: yes you can google that stuff... but no it is *not* the same as in Windows, because in Windows it is system-wide.
And yes... an admin can theoretically get around *anything*. But your analogy is flawed. Namely, you need to use obscure third-party applications to deliberately patch the lock on a file before you can delete it. Clearly you cannot do this by accident. In linux however, you can just modify or delete files with any utility that doesn't adhere to the locking API (which would be most software). So it's still very easy to accidentally overwrite or delete 'locked' files by accident.
Also, file level permissions have nothing to do with locking. You should be ashamed of yourself for even connecting the two in a sentence like that!

You could have the same argument for user rights in Windows. They have been implemented in Windows NT from day 1. But not in the 16-bit versions of Windows, or the early consumer versions.
As a result, there are various third-party applications that were written very poorly, and will crash when you don't run with administrator rights. Clearly this is not Microsoft's fault (they documented the APIs well, and have plenty of documents on best practices for Windows development)... nevertheless, it is a problem in practice.

In corporate scenarios it generally was not a big problem, because most software used there was written properly. But consumer software (mostly games) generally was not. A lot of software was never intended to run on anything other than Win9x, and as such the developers didn't even bother to test it on WIndows NT... developers who don't know basic rules of development, such as: "Working code is not bugfree code".
For that reason, it wasn't very practical to run as non-admin... But in corporate situations I've used Windows NT systems with limited user accounts since 1996 without a problem. The system administrator would deploy software via the network, and regular users could only use the pre-installed software. Which is good enough in most office situations.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/27/2012 11:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think I said the locking stuff is the same as Windows, I said it's generally unused and mostly unnecessary, but it really is there. Applications are more often prevented from overwriting or deleting files through proper use of permissions, though. In Windows, the locking system is kind of like a mandatory safety net that's difficult to remove when necessary. In the Unix world, that safety net is generally still there (if you are doing things properly at least) but removing the safety net is more straightforward.

Plus, on at least a few occasions, I've had to download one of these "obscure" (not actually obscure, rather, easy to find and fairly well known) utilities to unlock files that were unnecessarily locked by Windows for whatever reason. Annoying.

I also understand that MS has had real user level permissions for quite a while, now. However, they've only recently been in the OS's that people are actually using on a regular basis, and it's even more recently they have been getting used properly. Further, applications are the reason to use a platform, period. If the applications (including games here) you need are difficult to use without using your a platform "incorrectly", most will use it incorrectly. I wasn't blaming MS, I was just saying that's how it is (or at least was). Unix/Linux apps are much less likely to expect root privileges, and so this is a little bit less of a problem.

In corporate scenarios things are VERY different, and I do agree that things tend to work out better for MS's permission settings there. In fact, this, I would say, is where MS and Windows, shines. Group Policy, Active Directory, and numerous other MS tools, together, probably constitute the best way to run and administrate a very large number of clients. The last few years, they've even started to get pretty good at the server admin stuff... We may use Systems Center to administer a large number of Linux boxes in the near future! Crazy... :)

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/28/2012 6:27:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't quite see why you are calling the locking a 'mandatory safety net' in Windows. Obviously Windows has file permissions as well, in fact, even more advanced than *nix, by the use of ACLs. So if you claim that file permissions themselves are good enough (which obviously I don't agree with), then that would go for Windows just as much as for *nix.

And what do you call 'recently'? Or what 'people actually use'? Windows XP brought NT and its user permissions to the home users, which was more than 10 years ago already. Not exactly recent. Likewise, Vista made it very usable through the introduction of UAC, which again was already 6 year ago. Not exactly recent.

Besides, home users aren't the only ones. Most organizations have used Windows NT early on. Which is what 'people actually use' professionally (and where things like security and safety matter more than at home, generally).

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/29/2012 5:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I do think user and file permissions used properly would be adequate for securing most files in Windows. The reason it wouldn't work is more due to the huge shift in convention and usage that would need to take place for that to be viable. So, pretty unlikely. That's not to say there are no situations where locking isn't appropriate, of course, not saying that.

And yes, I did mean XP for starting to include proper permissions (does that make me old? :)). I would say that the majority of non-Enterprise computers using any version of Windows are still primarily run as Administrator all the time, though, rather than an account with a reasonable level of permissions. Further, UAC is really only necessary due to this practice. Personal experience certainly validates all that, and I feel like I've seen real information back that up, too... but not going to look right now.

And, yes, large companies who generally have dedicated IT shops and specific software needs were definitely an ideal situation for NT versions prior to 2000 - both from the configuration standpoint and for meeting the needs of the business.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/29/2012 6:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you'd be wrong.
Since Vista, you do not run with administrator rights anymore (which is why UAC is required. If you run as administrator, UAC would never pop up, because you already have all rights enabled). And since Vista/Win7 have surpassed XP in marketshare, it follows that the majority of non-Enterprise users do not run as administrator all the time anymore.

As a result, since Vista/Win7 Windows also has more sensible file permissions out-of-the-box (ie, you cannot write to the Windows or Program Files directory anymore if you're not administrator).

Anyway, the primary reason for file locking is not so much to protect the OS itself, but rather to protect the users from eachother. For example, if one person opens some Office document from a shared network location, it opens in read/write mode. When the next person tries to open it, the filesystem will report that the file is in use, and it can only be opened in read-only mode.
Without file locking, two or more people could be editing the same file, without even being aware that other people are also accessing the file. A recipe for disaster. Quite laughable actually that various OSes still haven't solved this problem properly in 2012.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/29/2012 10:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Since Vista, you do not run with administrator rights anymore
Sure you do (or at least most people do). Certain actions, by default, have you enter your username and password into UAC, but this is, generally, the username and password for the account the user is logged in as (which is an admin account). On top of that, many people disable the UAC stuff and just run it like it's XP (granted, this is more true of Vista than 7). Basically, you're not describing typical behavior for a consumer PC. You're describing how it would be set up in an ideal situation, which again you don't often see without enterprise level support.

You saying that the problem hasn't been solved doesn't mean that it hasn't... It's just not generally implemented in the way you prefer (although, again, it could be) for reasons I've already explained.

Honestly, your example kind of sucks, too. Large numbers of people should not be in a position to be editing text files at the same time (read only access would be fine of course). That's asking for disaster even if the file does get locked during edits! There are better solutions out there for group collaboration: Sharepoint, Teamwiki, lots of "cloud" thing, etc.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/29/2012 11:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you don't know how it works.
Vista and newer versions of Windows don't let you have administrator *rights* by default, even if you are using an administrator account.
UAC pops up whenever an operation requires rights that your user account *has*, but currently are not *enabled*.

So no, you don't run with administrator rights anymore. Not unless you press 'Yes' on the UAC prompt, and even then it is only temporary.
As for people disabling... I don't think most people would even know how to do that. And for the people who do know, well, they should also know the risk involved.

As for the rest, it is not about the reason I prefer, it is the only way it can be implemented in a reliable way, as I already tried to explain.
You either don't understand what I'm saying, or you don't *want* to understand. But I've had enough of it. I see no reason to keep repeating myself.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/30/2012 10:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
I would call clicking through a popup on an admin account to perform admin tasks "admin rights". You would not... That means you have a different, oddly specific, definition of admin rights, it doesn't mean I'm wrong.
You either don't understand what I'm saying, or you don't *want* to understand.
Understand and disagree. That's it.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/31/2012 4:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
Right, I guess I'll have to explain it to you like a 4-year old as well.
*Having* admin rights means that the system can perform tasks that require admin rights.
Now, by default you do *not* have these rights. Which is where the popup comes in. If you click 'yes', the rights for that task will temporarily be elevated to the required rights (which are far more granular than just 'admin' or 'user', but that's another story). If you click 'no', the rights will not be elevated, and the task will not be able to perform the operation. SO it does not *have* the rights.

In *nix lingo it would be like having a user account which was given the ability to sudo to root. The user account itself does not have root rights. However, the user can give tasks root rights by using sudo. But this is because the task is run as the root user, not as the user itself.
What you're saying here is that the user itself has root rights as well, which the user clearly doesn't. Unless he specifically uses the sudo command, no task requiring root rights can be performed.

For the rest, if you understand my point, you can't disagree with it. Namely, the point is that locking is not reliable if it is not system-wide. Understanding it is agreeing with it. It is not logically possible to understand it and not agree with it at the same time.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/31/2012 2:21:29 PM , Rating: 2
Name calling! The last resort of people who definitely know what they are talking about and need to prove it to someone on the internet...

Anyway, call it what you want, but if you can sudo to do everything on *nix machine, you are an admin (in fact, this is often how admin accounts are done, as it's a bad idea to be allow remote login as root). Same thing applies in Windows. Also, I think your understanding of UAC is incorrect. The UAC dialog is not granting permissions/"rights". It's merely a confirmation that you would like to exercise your rights if you already have permission to perform the task, and an opportunity to run the task with another user's credentials if you do not. The permissions themselves are already in place before UAC comes into play.

Back to the locking. My point is that locking (as you recommend using it) shouldn't really be relied on. There are better and more dependable methods for version and file control than, system wide locking of Word documents. Root can generally override locks on Unix, of course, but that's how it should be! Again, my opinion. You prefer to have the system tell you what you can do rather than the other way around, and honestly, I don't really care if you prefer that.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/1/2012 5:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
No no no.
You are thinking in terms of *people*, not in terms of *user accounts*.
If *you* can sudo, then *you* have access to the root account, and you could call someone who has root access an 'administrator'.
But unless you *use* sudo to start a process under the root account, you are not *working* with root rights on the computer. No process can use root rights just because your user has the ability to sudo. And obviously *that* is the point.

And no, my understanding of UAC is correct, your understanding is wrong (and makes no technical sense whatsoever).
The reason why an UAC popup is triggered in the first place is because a process is trying to do something that it does not have the permissions for (which is why no UAC popups will be seen when you run with full administrator rights, even when UAC is enabled).
I suggest you read this page first:

"When logging into Vista as a standard user, a logon session is created and a token containing only the most basic privileges is assigned. In this way, the new logon session is incapable of making changes that would affect the entire system. When logging in as a user in the Administrators group, two separate tokens are assigned. The first token contains all privileges typically awarded to an administrator, and the second is a restricted token similar to what a standard user would receive. User applications, including the Windows Shell, are then started with the restricted token, resulting in a reduced privilege environment even under an Administrator account."

The short version: even if your user account has administrator rights, they are not assigned by default. You run under a restricted token by default, and with the UAC popup you can switch to the administrator token for that process (and that process only).
As I said: you do NOT run wiht administrator rights by default. Not even when you are logged in as an administrator (which is different from how *nix works: if you specifically log in as root, you are always root. Windows goes a step further to protect users against themselves).

So no, I am merely frustrated by arguing with people who have a big mouth and don't know what they're talking about. I *do* know what I'm talking about obviously (for a developer it's pretty much required to have a proper understanding of UAC).

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/1/2012 10:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
"People" and accounts are the same thing as far as the OS is concerned. I have no idea why you'd make the distinction. Processes and users are treated the same from a permissions standpoint, too. If a process is run as an account with sudo rights, it will be able to run stuff as root and may be able to spawn child processes that run as root. I'm not completely certain what you were arguing with, I guess.

RE: UAC. Let me put this another way then: the ability to use UAC is based on pre-defined permissions/roles. That's all I've been trying to say. Your statement doesn't appear to contradict that in any way, as UAC is not going to let a user do things that he does not have permission to do.
I *do* know what I'm talking about obviously
It's obvious that you can use Wikipedia, and that's it. While I have no reason to disbelieve your claims about being a developer, I also have no idea why you feel like this would be obvious to me.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/1/2012 1:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
People and accounts are NOT the same thing as far as teh OS is concerned.
A single person can have multiple accounts, where each account can have unique rights. The OS has no concept of multiple accounts belonging to the same user.
In the case of sudo/UAC, only a tiny portion of the OS knows that the rights of one account are somehow related to another account. To regular applications, only the current user rights apply.

The problem is simply that you said this: "I would say that the majority of non-Enterprise computers using any version of Windows are still primarily run as Administrator all the time, though, rather than an account with a reasonable level of permissions."

It took quite a few posts, but hopefully you now understand that in Windows, users run with an account with 'a reasonable level of permission' by default, since Vista. *Even* if they are using an account with administrator rights. Because UAC switches between two tokens. One with 'reasonable level of permission' and an actual administrator token. So until you get a UAC popup and actually click 'yes', you are running as a regular user. Which would be most of the time.

"RE: UAC. Let me put this another way then: the ability to use UAC is based on pre-defined permissions/roles. That's all I've been trying to say."

No, what I quoted above was saying something completely different, and also completely wrong.

"While I have no reason to disbelieve your claims about being a developer, I also have no idea why you feel like this would be obvious to me."

It came up in earlier posts on this article.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/1/2012 3:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
The OS has no concept of multiple accounts belonging to the same user.
??? Of course...

I'll say this a little differently, maybe. You have what I could maybe call a "runtime" definition of what an admin account is. You're saying that only an account that currently has an "admin token" is an admin account. Personal experience says that's not how most people define admin account... To put it simply, if I ask a sys admin if they have an admin account I do not expect them to say "Not until I get an admin token!"; I expect them to just say yes.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/1/2012 6:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
Again, you said: "And yes, I did mean XP for starting to include proper permissions (does that make me old? :)). I would say that the majority of non-Enterprise computers using any version of Windows are still primarily run as Administrator all the time, though, rather than an account with a reasonable level of permissions."

You were talking about the *permissions* specifically, not about the admin account itself (which because of UAC has taken on a new role, as explained above).

The problem here is that you basically fail to understand the technology. Security-wise, what matters is what rights a process gets. And in the case of Windows, processes get regular user rights by default, even when an admin starts them. Which is the thing that you were aiming at with your initial comment, no doubt. So yes, technically a lot of people may still run 'as administrator' on Vista and newer versions of Windows. However, thanks to Vista's new security model, they no longer run with administrator rights, which means that they are just as safe as they would have been if using a normal restricted user account. So the fact that they still have administrator rights doesn't mean the same as it did in XP and earlier versions of Windows, and as such it makes no sense to bring that up. What is really happening is exactly what you wanted to happen: they are running with a reasonable level of permissions.

Lack of comprehension of UAC and rights management in Windows on your behalf just made things a lot more complicated than they could have been.

How most people define an admin account is irrelevant, because spoken language is notoriously poor in terms of information. A lot is inferred by the context and convention. If you ask a sys admin if they have an admin account, naturally they will infer that you want them to do something for them which requires admin rights. However, if you ask them whether they run with admin rights at all times, any admin worth his salt would be able to answer that he runs with normal user permissions most of the time, and only activates the admin rights when a task requires it.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/2/2012 10:42:05 AM , Rating: 1
The problem here is that you basically fail to understand the technology, etc.
TL;DR version of this paragraph: you telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, and then saying that I'm right anyway because people don't know what they're doing and they use Windows incorrectly... Obviously, whether or not you're actually a developer, you must be a superior being of some sort...

Since this should be a pretty straightforward and simple definition, how most people define an admin account is not irrelevant. I would say most define it based on what they're allowed to do, and if they're allowed to do everything: admin account. In the case where English is adequate for defining something, digging into the workings of security token passing to come up with a definition of "admin account" seems kind of pedantic and just unnecessary.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/2/2012 11:54:13 AM , Rating: 2
I never said you're right anyway. Not sure where you got that impression.
I'm just saying you are having a very hard time expressing what you mean. I can only guess at what it is you mean.
What is clear however is that you don't fully grasp the subject.

The problem here appears to be (still, sigh) that you don't understand the distinction here.
"What they're allowed to do" depends on how you look at it. Looking at it from the side of the person, yes, if they have administrator rights, they can do anything they want with the machine. Then, how exactly is that a problem for a home user? A home user is the system administrator for his own computer by definition. If he doesn't have the rights to install software, configure his machine etc, then who is going to do that? This has nothing to do with Windows. Anyone who installs linux on their own machine will also have access to the root account.

Looking at it from the side of software, things start getting meaningful (excuse me for giving you the credit of assuming that you tried to make a meaningful remark, rather than the above tautology). Namely, the rights that processes are running under, determine what operations they can perform. If malware runs under an administrator account, it can be far more dangerous and destructive, than when it runs under a restricted account (but make no mistake, just a regular user account is enough for spamming and such, assuming regular users have email rights).
And *that* is not the case under Windows (but given your remark I assume you were not aware of this when you entered this discussion. Not to worry, it happens a lot with linux advocates. Being ignorant about Windows makes it a lot easier to hate it).

If you could just admit that you were wrong, you wouldn't have to get all that pedantic about the definition of administrator privileges (yes PRIVILEGES, that is the word you used in your first post, not account. Don't move the goalposts now).

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/2/2012 11:58:24 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, PERMISSIONS, not privileges.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/2/2012 3:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
So... in the interest of online friendliness and generally just not being a jerk:

My understanding/observation is that on a typical consumer PC where the only account is a non-restricted account, and UAC has been - I'll call it "dialed back" - to be less restrictive, processes essentially have permission to do what they want, correct?

Also, apologies for using permissions, privileges, account, user, person, and rights interchangeably, when they really aren't. Sorry for being rude, too.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/2/2012 4:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
No, that is not correct. The typical consumer doesn't know how to 'dial back' UAC, so they just use the default restricted settings.
Hopefully for the people who are smart enough to know how to reduce/disable UAC, they are also smart enough to understand the consequences. If not, that is their problem, not Microsoft's fault. I most certainly wouldn't recommend changing the default UAC settings.

I think most people have been properly 'educated' in recent years with popups from firewalls, virus scanners and whatnot, that they know a popup is 'bad', and they shouldn't just blindly click on yes/ok/accept/whatever. UAC should profit from the prior experience that users have had with popups. When they suddenly see a UAC popup out-of-the-blue, they should know "Wait a second, why does a program suddenly ask me for permissions?", and just deny it, like they do with the firewall/virus scanner/etc.

Then there's people such as myself, who know how to turn off UAC, but decide not to, because they know that is the only way at least somewhat prevent malware from doing nasty things behind their back.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/2/2012 10:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, that is not correct. The typical consumer doesn't know how to 'dial back' UAC, so they just use the default restricted settings.
You have more faith in the typical consumers inability to try random "solutions" they find online when their FB/game/adult entertainment fails to work properly than I do. :)

Quick Googling does not come up with any recent statistics regarding this, either (recent, in this case = post Win 7 release. I did find some Vista era reports). It would be very interesting to me to see some actual statistics on this stuff... not quite interesting to do a lot of research on the topic, though.

Anyway, thanks for a few interesting days of conversation regarding user accounts and permissions/rights/etc. on Windows. Interesting stuff...

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/3/2012 6:37:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I don't think statistics are very interesting here.
I mean, if you look hard enough, you'll probably also find a bunch of people who run with the root account in *nix all the time. The fact that this is possible is not a problem. In fact, it is a requirement. In order to properly install and configure your system, you NEED full rights at some point.

The real problem in the Windows world was that a default installation only made an administrator account, and people didn't know that they should make a restricted account, and use that for daily use (and because of poorly written software, some people had to use administrator rights even if they knew about restricted rights).
With Windows Vista, Microsoft solved that problem. A problem, which in my opinion is not really Microsoft's fault in the first place. Most people simply don't know enough about computers to configure them properly, and prior to UAC, no OS had a sophisticated solution to this problem anyway.

With linux, FreeBSD, and various other OSes, it also only installs a root account by default. These days most installers will at least ask you to create some user accounts as well, but in the old days, this was not the case. The big difference is that most people don't know enough about computers to install linux, FreeBSD etc anyway, or in fact don't even know these alternative OSes exist in the first place. As a result, the few people who actually installed those OSes were savvy enough to also configure restricted user accounts, and not use the root account unless they had to. So the difference here is purely a demographic one, not a technical one. You won't find dangerously computer-illiterate people administering their own *nix systems. If people bothered to RTFM on administering user accounts on Windows, they'd see that Microsoft never recommended to run as administrator. Which is why, in corporate settings, this did not happen. These corporate networks of Windows computers were administered by people who had actually read Microsoft's documentation, and used Windows as intended.

However, to this day, only Windows has a mechanism like UAC, where you are using restricted rights by default, even if you only use an administrator account, as far as I know. Any other OS will not offer any protection whatsoever, the moment you log in as root.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/1/2012 1:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and as for the sudo-thing... What you say doesn't quite seem right either: "Processes and users are treated the same from a permissions standpoint, too. If a process is run as an account with sudo rights, it will be able to run stuff as root and may be able to spawn child processes that run as root."

sudo is simply a special 'backdoor' that allows a regular user to start a program as the superuser (superuser being root, obviously, so hence the name: superuser-do... As in "make the superuser 'do'/run this process"), assuming the user account has previously been configured to have sudo-rights by the administrator.

So you don't start a process as 'an account with sudo rights'. No, you run it as root, *not* under your user account 'with sudo rights'. And obviously, from then on, the process can do whatever root can do.
The only part where the sudo rights are ever evauluated at all is inside sudo itself.
If you start any other process, you just have your normal user rights, and the fact that you have the right to sudo is completely ignored by the rest of the system.

The Windows-equivalent of sudo is the "Run as"-functionality. UAC works differently.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/2/2012 10:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Right. Processes run as "userWithSudo" could potentially start processes as root. That's what I was meaning.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 8/3/2012 6:15:47 AM , Rating: 2
No, they can't, with the exception of sudo itself.
The only thing other processes could do, is to start sudo. Which means the user would need to be prompted for the sudo password (the obvious security hole here being the timeout on that password... if you set up sudo to not prompt you again for the password until after X minutes... well...).

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 8/3/2012 2:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Also, if the user had an entry similar to "ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL" there would be no prompt, either.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By GenZ on 8/12/2012 11:26:56 AM , Rating: 2
They can. Processes are not started as 'user with root' they are started as 'root' and thier owner permissions are exactly that.

Sudo does not execute a application as nested unless its is pure binary (in other words a commandline/bash program). It calls root to execute any full application called. If that application is malicious, from the moment it is run as sudo,it has won.

In many respects this makes sudo functionally identical to UAC. In UAC you actually have two 'traditional' accounts. Your own account in user mode with limited priveledges, and your own account with full admin rights. UAC 'sudos' you to that admin version of your account whenever you or a program needs the permissions.

EDIT, this is as much for you as it is for N

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 4:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, DirectX is pro-active, OpenGL is re-active.
Microsoft and the IHVs determine the future of the Direct3D API together, so that when a new generation of GPUs is introduced, a new API is ready to make full use of the new hardware.
For example:
The original GeForce introduced hardware T&L: Direct3D 7 was released to leverage hardware T&L.
GeForce3 introduced programmable shaders: Direct3D 8 was released to leverage programmable shaders.
Radeon 8500 introduced more advanced programmable shaders and TruForm tessellation: Direct3D 8.1 was released to leverage the new ps1.4 shaders and TruForm (and also some functionality for GeForce4).
Radeon 9700 introduced SM2.0: Direct3D 9 was released.
GeForce 8800 introduced SM4.0: Direct3D 10 was released.
Radeon 5870 introduced SM5.0: Direct3D 11 was released.

If you look at the release dates of this hardware and these APIs, and the features included in both, it becomes clear that DirectX and new GPUs are released in lockstep fashion. The API is ready when the new hardware arrives.

OpenGL merely adds extensions after the hardware is already on the market (in recent years, they are doing little more than cloning new parts of Direct3D). The problem here is that it generally takes months or even years before new hardware features are standardized in OpenGL. These same features can be used in Direct3D from day 1.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By vcolon on 7/26/2012 3:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
Newell is making the best business decision he can in having Linux as a backup. As of today, Ubuntu has been the most end user friendly while other flavors of linux flood the server market.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By FastEddieLB on 7/26/2012 9:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
I strongly disagree. I've seen what Ubuntu has been up to recently and switched from Ubuntu 12.04 to Mint 13 with Cinnamon, and that is by far the most end user friendly linux distro there is.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By JediJeb on 7/26/2012 10:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
I will agree, though I switched to Mint 13 KDE.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By JediJeb on 7/26/2012 10:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Also Linux use is higher when you look at it world wide and not just in the US or Western Europe. Many developing countries use Linux heavily and as those markets grow who knows how things will turn out.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By GenZ on 8/12/2012 11:34:41 AM , Rating: 2
Becasue quite obviously developing countries will buy the most copies of Half Life 3 and future Steam content in general and thus have the most important buying power.

Linux can work on the amount of copies sold due to inferior hardware and buying power all day, but Gabe and MS care more about amount of copies sold than amount of people sold to.

If you have a PC powerful enough to run HL2 and the desire to, you can run a copy of windows, and if you can't afford windows due to the development level of the country you're in making it exorbitant, pretend you're in China for a second and pirate it. They won't mind, they really really want the market share there anyway.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By zephyrprime on 7/26/2012 12:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
I concur. As soon as the Windows App market opens, Steam is done for.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By kleinma on 7/26/2012 12:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
He said the same crap about Origin when EA decided they didn't want to pay steam and build their own content delivery platform. And there was even some gamer resistance. Then BF3 came out and everyone who wanted it got origin, and no one ever cared again ;)

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2012 12:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
He's not the only one. Windows 8 represents the single biggest threat to the software industry ever. It will crush third party development. It will absolutely eliminate the "little guy" developers which amount to an army of innovation and utility they've added to the Windows platform over the years, most of it free for the end user. The stark divide, or fragment, between standard Windows desktop apps and Metro apps will cause no end of problems, and is a ridiculous situation for developers to begin with.

All you people who troll us who have concerns and say we just "fear change", well the important thing to remember is that you're wrong. And someone like Newell has way more perspective than you do on this and experience in software.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By dj LiTh on 7/26/2012 12:30:03 PM , Rating: 5
Normally software distribution systems have done wonders for the 'little guy'. Apples Store, Steam, Googles Store, and now Windows store. Sounds to me your the one who's trolling.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 12:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
disenfranchised or not, thats like saying Ford is going to quit making cars because of the new EPA regulations.

A programmer programs.

People who deveop for windows arent just going to stop. Windows is the most popular operating system in the world. Pretty sure no one is going to drop windows merely on principal.

Also pretty sure if they do, then they might be mentally handicapped and I wouldnt buy software from them anyways.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2012 12:54:05 PM , Rating: 1
disenfranchised or not, thats like saying Ford is going to quit making cars because of the new EPA regulations.

Horrible analogy. Notice how the only startup small car companies have been electric vehicles, which are exempt from the EPA reg's? That's because, because of the regulations, the entry into the market is extremely steep. So it's just giant car companies competing against each other. NOT a good analogy for software development. Most software companies aren't Microsoft-sized.

Ford and other automakers DID come out and say the regulations would drastically increase the manufacturing costs of vehicles. Just like Microsoft in their quest to me-too Apple's app store, has raised the cost of software development.

People who deveop for windows arent just going to stop. Windows is the most popular operating system in the world. Pretty sure no one is going to drop windows merely on principal.

Nobody's making that argument. But to believe some wont, is pretty ignorant.

I'm sure by "nobody" you mean the big, well established firms like Valve. But if you really think about it, it's the little guys that have added so much of the content and utility that we love about the Windows platform.

We can only hope, at least for desktop use, that Metro fails horribly and Microsoft will be forced to establish the Windows Destkop to all it's former glory and prominence in the next version OS.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By kleinma on 7/26/2012 1:10:16 PM , Rating: 3
You can only hope that. Ever single one of your posts is a total troll post on Windows 8. You are so blind to the fact that every single thing that you could install on Windows 7 you can install on Windows 8, that your comments are always off base and filled with wrong information.

What thing can you not run on Windows 8 that you could run on Windows 7? What one thing is that?

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2012 1:20:32 PM , Rating: 1
I know the software will run. Hello? That's not the point!

Until there is a way for Desktop users to opt out of Metro completely, Windows 8 is dead to me. And don't give me this crap that you don't have to use Metro, that's a lie. Metro is constantly asserting itself.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By shikigamild on 7/26/2012 1:57:42 PM , Rating: 2
Erm... I've been using Windows 8 since Developer's Preview, and I rarely use metro.

The only time I "use" metro, is for the start menu.

I agree, I don't like that I can only have big fucking buttons for a start menu, where I need to move the whole screen to find a single application, but the overall performance enhances are really great.

But you need to understand, Microsoft is not dropping out the desktop.
WinRT uses just the Core of .NET Framework, and I don't see Microsoft dropping support for the full Framework.
In fact many of the Windows 8 applications are desktop based, and do not run under metro (like OFFICE).
I don't like the way the WinRT platform is bounded to the Store, but It's going to get fucking hacked, that's almost inevitable.

But if you use a Desktop, you are probably not going to use WinRT that much. The way I see it, they are unifying the whole OS so that it can be cross compatible between tablets, and desktops.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
The only Metro I've used is the start screen and if you use search and pin your main programs, it's a vast improvement over the start menu. That's in a few months. If you want Windows 7 with a much better replacement for the start menu, windows 8 is perfectly capable of being it.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By knutjb on 7/26/2012 7:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
Funny how many were decrying the loss of the start menu as an Achilles heel.

Newell is just throwing fire bombs to get attention.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By p05esto on 7/26/2012 9:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
kleinma: you are clueless. Win8 is so bad and it's very important we voice back so MS knows how screwed up that OS is and how badly it's goign to fail. There was never this much push back about Vista during beta.... I predict an epic sh*t storm when Win8 launches, it will be a legion of hell directed at MS. Mark my words buddy.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By kleinma on 7/27/2012 2:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea how wrong you are, but of course you will in about 2 months.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By GenZ on 8/12/2012 11:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
Erm, Windows 8 preview is out... so far only, massive hype, developers overunning Computex and associated positive signs...

Words are marked, hopefully with something mildy toxic, cos its gonna be painful when you have to eat them!

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 1:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Small car companies develop EV's not because combustion engines require regulations, but simply because it takes so much machinery and start up money to create a combustion engine from scratch. Or you buy one from the big 3 and watch them bake a better car then you can.

Electric engines and the systems in an EV are simpler because of the lack of mechanical parts that need to be manufactured. Therefore they are cheaper and easier to design and build.

On top of that the automotive industry in America is already domninated by the big 3. Coming out with a competeing product is impossible due to the size and efficiency of their corperations.

Using the EV vs IC analogy is like saying everyone in the software industry is developing a new OS to compete with Windows.

I my self am a software developer, and I assure you im not that stupid to think I can make a better OS then Microsoft.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By dj LiTh on 7/26/2012 1:02:12 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not aware of whats involved? Well that's pretty presumptuous of you. I'll take that one step further and say i don't think you know what's involved in obtaining a publisher to distribute software in physical form before the advent of these market places.

FYI: the windows market place is far easier to get into than the apple market place.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By beefgyorki on 7/26/2012 1:43:35 PM , Rating: 3
What that $49/$99 individual/company registration fee is going to break the bank for small developers?

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
Look out, that's the price of two dinners out. That's a lot to ask of someone who probably paid 20 times as much for a decent computer to develop on.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 12:38:34 PM , Rating: 5
You do relize the same has been said about every major technology shift, and its never happened. Cars were supposed to kill public transportation, robotics were supposed to kill factory jobs, ect. But in the end it takes some adjustment, but they arent re-inventing the wheel.

Windows 8 runs both metro apps and desktop apps. And yes I prefer running desktop apps on my desktop. but everything I used on windows 7 also runs on windows 8, flawlessly.

I wont say wondows 8 is perfect. But microsoft I think as a whole, has the right idea. With windows 8 they are attempting to combine the pc(office), xbox(livingroom), and Windows phone(mobile) into one seamless ecosystem.

And that is something I can definately get behind.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2012 1:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't want an "ecosystem", I want a desktop OS. That "ecosystem" doesn't increase my productivity if I don't use a WP, Surface tablet, or Xbox.

Cars were supposed to kill public transportation

Not to be a Luddite, because I fuc#$ing love cars, but this DID happen lol. Outside of a few major cities with good public transportation system, NOBODY uses public trans. We have something like 220 million registered drivers in the US and god-knows how many vehicles in use.

But this is a good thing imo.

You do relize the same has been said about every major technology shift, and its never happened.

Okay back on topic, what's with the bad analogies? How is Windows 8 a technology shift? Especially one on the level of cars and automated factory machines? Come on!

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 1:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 represents the single biggest threat to the software industry ever.

Okay back on topic, what's with the bad analogies? How is Windows 8 a technology shift? Especially one on the level of cars and automated factory machines? Come on!

You said it was? Software Industry is bigger then either the Automotive industry and the Robotics Industry

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By someguy123 on 7/26/2012 1:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
Cars did kill public transportation in the US. Jesus christ our public transportation is god awful and most rail plans have never been completed.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 1:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
Kill means dead. Non existant. Pretty sure in metro areas I still see city buses, if not rail systems.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2012 1:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
lol great, now you're just being cute and messing with us.

So I guess in your mind, as long as Windows 8 doesn't completely kill something, I'm wrong. If there's like just one guy out there left coding away, hey, MS didn't kill third party devs! They still exist!

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 1:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
Merely fighting hyperbole.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2012 12:45:52 PM , Rating: 3
Basically how I see it. He sees a threat to Steam. Nothing more. Nothing else. Don't get me wrong. Steam is pretty great. But he recognizes a threat when he sees one.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
He's basically scared about the new windows app market place encroaching on his steam business. As for linux games....ya good luck getting MS to license directx, and good luck to the rest of the developers in making their games in openGL.

Two of the most important PC developers, Valve and Blizzard, already release their games on OS X using OpenGL. The groundwork for the Linux port of Valve's games has been made with the OS X port, especially in terms of performance (it was crap at first, now it runs great). All that is needed is for more companies to follow suit. A Linux port of Serious Sam 3 for Steam was just announced. Blizzard getting behind Linux would obviously be huge.

Things like this come from small beginnings. Who knows if it'll go anywhere, we'll see, but they won't know if they don't try.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By JediJeb on 7/26/2012 11:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
I remember reading once about one of id's games being ported to Linux where the company was having trouble and John Carmack came out of retirement and actually did the whole port himself in a few days time and it worked great. Granted that was long before DirectX11 but it may just come down to someone putting in the effort to develop what is needed to make it work more than just "Windows is better than Linux, nuff said".

Just have to wait and see what happens.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By gladiatorua on 7/26/2012 11:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
The list of OSX supporting games on Steam is big enough, but people somehow ignore that PS3 doesn't have DX support. Sony has it's own implementation of OpenGL.
Valve has enough power to solve some problems of OpenGL.
Valve has enough power to make some kind of universal gaming SDK on linux(video libs, sound libs etc).
And Valve has flirted with an idea of making their own console. Linux would be perfect for such a thing.

By TakinYourPoints on 7/27/2012 3:09:46 AM , Rating: 2
Good point re: OpenGL being used on the PS3.

It isn't like OpenGL is some arcane alternative graphics API, regular and cross-platform development is done all the time using it.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By nafhan on 7/26/2012 1:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
Call me crazy, but I don't really care a whole lot about which OS I'm using. What matters to me is that I can do what I want/need to do on my PC. Right now, the only thing I cannot do on Linux that I regularly (probably to regularly) do on Windows is gaming.

If it gets to a point sometime in the near future where a pretty high percentage of the games I would like to play are available and work well on a free OS... that's probably what I'll be using. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this PoV, either.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Scali on 7/27/2012 8:54:35 AM , Rating: 2
I understand you perfectly. I don't really care about the OS I use either, as long as it gets the job done properly.
I've used too many OSes over the years (many of which are now extinct or at least too marginalized to get any support) to be naive enough to try and cling to a single OS, let alone a single version of an OS.

The OS is just a tool, and I just use the right tool for the right job.

RE: I'll take #@$$ty windows
By Ammohunt on 7/26/2012 2:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
If Linux would play the games i wanted to play natively(no wine emucrap) i would dump windows tomorrow. I am by no means a blind frothing at the mouth FOSS zealot but, I have been using Fedora Core at work for the past 3 years managing a whole myriad of windows and Unix/Linux machines. The only reason i haven't went Linux full time at home is gaming.

By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 3:58:50 PM , Rating: 1
Gaming is the only reason I have Windows. I suspect that if lots of people could run a free operating system that offered access to lots of games, they'd use that too. It isn't like Windows is an amazing desktop operating system either. OS X has the downside of being only on Apple hardware, but on the plus side it is a far better and more logical environment for working in. I'm fine paying for that. Windows UI is pretty sub-standard, so I'd be fine running Steam under GNOME or KDE instead if I could also play games there, whatever.

The "free" aspect of Ubuntu is actually pretty huge. There are millions of people who would play and ONLY play DOTA 2, especially in Russia, China, and South America. No need for them to run a (most likely) pirated version of Windows, just play DOTA 2 through Ubuntu, awesome.

By damianrobertjones on 7/26/2012 11:05:05 AM , Rating: 5
""They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things.""

Doesn't that describe Steam?

RE: Huh?
By Motoman on 7/26/2012 11:21:17 AM , Rating: 3
And Apple.

RE: Huh?
By chromal on 7/26/2012 11:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
Haha, I was kind of thinking the same thing. I agree with his concerns about Microsoft's planned marketplace, I think the OS platform vendor providing the software sale and distribution platform is going to be perilous from both an antitrust/monopoly perspective, as well as the continued erosion on the principle of right of first sale (e.g.: used software).

RE: Huh?
By StevoLincolnite on 7/26/2012 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is though, allot of polls around the web are heavily against Windows 8, much like they used to be against Vista for various reasons and a stark contrast to the praise Windows 7 RC got.

Yet, Ballmer and Co' are acting blind to peoples concerns and issues with the OS.
If for example; Mcdonald's found out that 80% of their customers didn't like a new hamburger they wouldn't go on a campaign to convince them that they are afraid of change. They would go back to the drawing board and try something new.

I think Windows 8 will be a fantastic OS, on all my devices except my Desktop from what I have seen.

I have only tried the Developer preview, so not sure how the newer iterations are like, but Metro with Triple screens was clumsy, slow and a pain with all the icons squished up in a small corner with 80% of my screen as one giant blob of solid blue. - Not ideal.

On my Atom tablet... It's incredibly fast and responsive, a MUCH better experience than what Windows 7 was.

RE: Huh?
By Labotomizer on 7/26/2012 11:53:09 AM , Rating: 2
I would recommend trying it again. Developer Preview was a really early build, basically pre-beta. What would have been called Alpha M3 once upon a time. Consumer Preview was the beta and Release Preview the Release Candidate. It's improved by leaps and bounds, especially in multi-monitor support. For one Metro only takes up one screen and leaves the other screens alone, so they still show your desktop apps.

I won't say it's better than Windows 7 on a desktop, but I will say it's not worse from a UI perspective. When you factor performance improvements, file copy improvements, task manager, display scaling then it's superior to Windows 7 on a desktop.

RE: Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: Huh?
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 12:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
CP and RP have both fully supported my 2 screens (one wide 24" and one 17" in portrait)

Better then Windows 7 ever did.

RE: Huh?
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
Using it with two screens was great for me too, although the only Metro I use is the Start screen there haven't been glaring issues like you described in a while. As I see it it's like win 7 with a better equivalent to the start menu, some other usability enhancements like the task manager and a program tray on each screen so you don't have to alt-tab or mouse over to the first screen, that boots in 4 seconds on my SSD. I've run a desktop on 7 in parallel with a laptop on 8, and I stopped using the desktop even when I was mostly gaming.

RE: Huh?
By GenZ on 8/12/2012 11:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
This is typical. People hate change remember. The reason they hate Win8 so much is because they love Win7 so much and just generally don't trust Microsoft.

On the other hand, the reason they loved Win7 so much is because they hated Vista and just generally don't trust Microsoft.

They were literally banging on MS's door for a new OS after Vista's poor launch reliability, and when they got one that was everything good about XP they were so happy. This is more of the same, but it will still be hated because people feel the need to be loyal to Win7 as well as the things they love about Windows in general, like the start bar.

Funnily enough this reminds me of the furore that we had over the quick launch bar in Win7 looking like 'Apple's Dock'

RE: Huh?
By someguy123 on 7/26/2012 11:50:28 AM , Rating: 2
They really do need to get rid of steamworks if they want people to actually take their idea of openness seriously. Steam is a decent platform for distribution but no different from w8 store if they still require steamworks to unlock software, online or off.

RE: Huh?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Huh?
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
So you've never wanted to open a steam game when you weren't on an internet connection and hadn't remembered to go offline, I take it. Steam controls access to content. Also, from what I've seen it's a real pain to get on Steam.

RE: Huh?
By Cheesew1z69 on 7/26/2012 4:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
Also, from what I've seen it's a real pain to get on Steam.
Then you apparently haven't used it....

RE: Huh?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 7:43:44 PM , Rating: 1
DRM is a core function of Steam, of course they control access to it.

RE: Huh?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 3:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
That is exactly what describes Steam.

I say this as someone who loves Valve games and has hundreds of games in my Steam library, but complaining about walled gardens while Steam is one of the most restricted walled gardens out there is pretty funny.

The thing is that walled-gardens provide convenience and ease of use to customers. It isn't all negative. The Amazon Kindle is maybe the most closed off system ever, maybe second to the XBox, but the service is great and that's why I'll keep using it.

Gabe doesn't seem to hate using walled-gardens himself. I've seen him in public twice and in several photos and videos, and in almost all of them he's been tied to his iPad. He might as well be leashed to it.

He's hedging his bets putting Steam on OS X and soon Ubuntu, but I think the idea that Windows or any of the popular operating systems will make Steam irrelevant is pretty far-fetched.

By p05esto on 7/26/2012 12:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
When I installed and used Win8 for a couple hours I literally had tears in my eyes. The experience was so horrible, so slow and disorganized, such a blow to productivity and speed, such a dumbed down experience.

That ugly start screen and no possible way to access and launch apps with one-click is a total freaking deal killer. I have dozens of apps I use per day, often opening and launching many within minutes, often having a dozen+ open at once. Going BAACK to some other UI screen just to freaking launch an app is dumb.

My desktop is where I live. I have ObjectDock and Rainmeter running, along with drive shortcuts and other stuff. My desktop is my workbench, everything within arms reach. That dumb start screen would screw it all up. I couldn't close a Metro App and it went full screen for some god forsaken reason. Don't even get me started on shutting the OS down, I literally had to cut power to the PC to get out of that sh*t OS.

I've been a total MS fan, but if Win8 stays as is I will without quesiton look elsewhere. I'm smart enough to learn MacOS or Linux. Change this crap MS, NOW!

RE: Win8
By tayb on 7/26/2012 12:28:11 PM , Rating: 3
That ugly start screen and no possible way to access and launch apps with one-click is a total freaking deal killer. I have dozens of apps I use per day, often opening and launching many within minutes, often having a dozen+ open at once. Going BAACK to some other UI screen just to freaking launch an app is dumb.

I guess you did not realize that the task bar still exists and is unchanged? Or that the start menu previously required a minimum of two clicks or WinKey + 1 click to launch a program and that this has not changed at all in Windows 8?

My desktop is where I live. I have ObjectDock and Rainmeter running, along with drive shortcuts and other stuff. My desktop is my workbench, everything within arms reach. That dumb start screen would screw it all up. I couldn't close a Metro App and it went full screen for some god forsaken reason. Don't even get me started on shutting the OS down, I literally had to cut power to the PC to get out of that sh*t OS.

If you live in the desktop, hang out in the desktop. Think of the start screen as a blown up start menu. Functionally, that is exactly what it is. When you want to go back to the desktop, hit Windows Key + D or just press the desktop icon... I am sorry but you must have a really hard time building Ikea furniture or just walking without hitting walls if you weren't able to figure out how to shut down Windows 8 or close a metro app...

RE: Win8
By p05esto on 7/26/2012 9:09:04 PM , Rating: 1
You don't get the point buddy. We shouldn't have to install tons of add-ons and do registry hacks to sorta get Win8 to work decent. I should have to use invisible keyboard shortcuts just to turn off a computer. Not happening. How did you exit Metro apps? I still don't see any button to press.

And you really think that we should have to take a second click to get to a start screen when launching apps? Or every time you turn on your damn computer you have to click another link to get to the desktop? Are you out of your freaking mind?

Do you also think I don't know I can stick with Win7? You are pretty dense. This thread isn't about Win8 crappy work-arounds, it's about why Win8 is going to fail and why people are so totally pissed off. I don't care about your excuses and tricks to make it better. Millions of people use Windows and it needs to be easy and flexible. Win8 is neither. Go ahead and keep arguing against facts.

RE: Win8
By GPig on 7/27/2012 2:31:26 AM , Rating: 2
So smart enough to learn OS X or Linux yet not smart enough to close an application on Windows 8's "dumbed down experience" ?

You drag from the top of the screen (or swipe down with a touch screen) and it closes. There area few little things to learn (like hot corners) but that really is it.

Personally, my only gripe is that I'd like mouse only navigation on my desktop (to be able to flip from start to desktop without touching the keyboard).

And check out for a way of using a touch optimised system with gestures. I think they've pretty much solved the desktop usability issues for metro applications.

RE: Win8
By polishvendetta on 7/26/2012 1:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wrtie a multi-paragraph comment about how awful Windows 8 is.

Only 2 options, reformat computer and install Linux loosing 100% of all purchaced software, or buy a new $2000 desktop that is less open then Windows will ever be.

My conclusion is either you:
A) Dont actually own a computer and had your friend type this for you since its obvious you are not currently using a copy of Windows. If you were you would realize Steve Balmer as scarry as he is, wont be coming to your door with a gun and forcing you to upgrade.
B) Are an idiot. "I'll learn Mac or Linux". If you are so open to the idea of learning something new, how bout you try learning Windows 8?

RE: Win8
By epobirs on 7/26/2012 3:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
"I'm smart enough to learn MacOS or Linux."

But you couldn't figure out how to do a shutdown, including the method that has been around since NT4?


RE: Win8
By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 3:44:49 PM , Rating: 1
I was prepared for how bad Metro was going to be when I installed the release preview. What I wasn't prepared for was how bad Windows Explorer is now, holy crap.

Windows still has serious UI issues that need to be addressed with preference panes, control panels, etc etc, and instead they do ridiculous and inconsistent things like giving us a dumbed down Metro interface on the one hand and further convoluting basic applications like Explorer with a ribbon bar.

It is ridiculous, nobody there is steering the ship in a logical or consistent direction. OS 10.8 is really good, but it almost doesn't need to be great, Microsoft is doing all the work themselves to ensure that their own desktop GUI remains second rate.

It's NEVER too early....
By jnemesh on 7/26/2012 12:07:29 PM , Rating: 2 call Windows 8 a failure!

This is going to be their biggest disaster yet. They are abandoning the business model that made them successful and are now trying to ape Apple's vertical model.

This is going to drive a majority of users away from their platform. The industry DOESNT NEED ANOTHER APPLE! We need a computing platform that will let us use the hardware WE OWN with whatever software we choose. Since Microsoft is HELL BENT on driving off software developers AND hardware partners, AND pissing off end users...I don't see much hope for Microsoft's future.

Gabe is EXACTLY right with his strategy...the market WILL move to Linux, simply because there is no other choice! Linux was WELL on it's way to being irrelevant on the desktop...until Microsoft shot itself right in the temple with this IDIOTIC move to Metro and it's own Marketplace! Now, as far as many are's the only game in town!

RE: It's NEVER too early....
By lko420 on 7/26/2012 1:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
How many of people commenting about win8 have actually used it? I am using it on normal desktop with win7 dual boot, and lately started using it as my primary os on one pc. All applications, including office, photoshop and scientific computing are working fine.

Important start menu items like control panel and shortcuts to software can be put right on start screen. I don't play games but children tried games from app store and everything installed and worked fine.

I like the live tiles for mail, news and social links.

All this was on non touch screen.

RE: It's NEVER too early....
By 91TTZ on 7/26/2012 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 3
I wasn't one of the people who replied but I have used Windows 8 on the desktop. It sucks. I mean it's really bad. From a user interface point of view it's a very large step backward. Everything about it is optimized for a relatively small touch screen. For a person using a mouse and it sitting in front of a PC with a large monitor, the Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 design is optimal.

Even Apple has a different user interface for their touch based devices like the iPad/iPhone and their desktops. Microsoft hasn't been able to make any inroads into the phone or tablet market so they're trying to force their desktop users use a tablet-like OS in an ill-fated attempt to get them to use Mircrosoft tablets/phones.

Microsoft is making a big mistake here.

RE: It's NEVER too early....
By p05esto on 7/26/2012 9:16:22 PM , Rating: 1
99% of people agree with you. The only ones that like Win8 are MS marketing goons and the computer illiterate. For the people that take 5 minutes to find and open Outlook to full screen then maybe Win8 will go a good thing for them. Only idiot users would like a tablet for working, only idiots would want a table OS on their desktop..... but there are a LOT of idiots out there, no question.

RE: It's NEVER too early....
By GatoRat on 7/26/2012 5:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
I once ran my own company. I wish it failed as "badly" as Windows 8 will.

(Snark aside, I don't like Win8, but it's going to be successful in purely monetary terms.)

Why will the world move to Linux? People I know disgusted with Windows 8 are thinking, or have already, of moving to the Mac, not Linux.

RE: It's NEVER too early....
By JediJeb on 7/26/2012 11:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
Once they find out that Linux is free and not so difficult to install anymore, they will have more to consider before making the Mac plunge. So many people out there only use their computer for web browsing and email, both of which Linux will do just as well as Windows, but for free.

Does he think people will switch to Linux?
By tayb on 7/26/2012 11:58:29 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure what his logic is here. Even if Windows 8 is the worst failure in Microsoft history the alternative is Windows 7, not Linux. People aren't going to suddenly switch to Linux just because they don't like Windows 8. They didn't switch to Linux when they didn't like Windows Vista either.

As for OEMs exiting the consumer market? I feel that this is already happening with or without Windows 8. Both HP and Dell have had high level discussions of exiting for the past few years. There just isn't all that much money in the consumer space as it is a race to the bottom for most and the margins suck. Apple is in a position all by itself in that they somehow manage to sell extremely expensive products successfully. Dell, HP, etc haven't shown a long term ability to do that. Not only that but the COS on Windows should go DOWN from Windows 8 as compared to Windows 7 so margins should go up...

By someguy123 on 7/26/2012 12:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
They're hedging their bets for the future. If microsoft really is interested in making windows store the only gateway for software on windows in the future, it wouldn't be too difficult for them to update past windows versions similarly. The fear is that microsoft may be able to create a walled in market under the guise of improving software security, which will basically strangle a lot of distributors.

RE: Does he think people will switch to Linux?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/26/2012 2:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
Even if Windows 8 is the worst failure in Microsoft history the alternative is Windows 7

Until they stop supporting the OS and giving it Windows Updates. Then what?

By GatoRat on 7/26/2012 5:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 mainstream support continues until 2015, extended support until 2020. If a service pack comes out, both dates will be pushed back. This is longer support than most companies give operating systems. (One thing not often talked about is the parallel embedded line of products which keep the extended support going. I'm not talking about Windows Embedded Compact (i.e. CE) but Windows Embedded Standard 7, which is a compontentized version of Windows 7 Professional.)

By JohnWPB on 7/27/2012 9:25:26 AM , Rating: 2
Then get yourself a GOOD anti virus program, and stop downloading those stupid MS updates.

I'm still running XP, and have never gotten a virus, because I run a GOOD anti virus program, and I haven't installed a MS update in years!

By Ramstark on 7/26/2012 6:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
All comments and try more than 1 OS before commenting, even trolls like Reclaimer have a voice here, as long as it is informed...have you tinkered 15 minutes in a PRERELEASE version of W8 and hate it? Get in the MS forums and read how you are supposed to use it, its a HUGE paradigm change to "explode" the Start button into a full screen of easy reachable apps. The world of devs is switching from programs and applications to apps, get over it, W8 will still be 1st OS for businesses for a lot of easy reasons, one of them being, if you don't like colors, ok, wait for a little until MS lets you change everything in the start screen, but complain about something SMARTER than that...

By p05esto on 7/26/2012 9:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
You are clearly a troll or work for MS. We've seen massive user revolt again and again in different areas. I'll bet you $50 right now that Win8 will be a bigger failure than Vista, the revolt will be huge!

If you want a clumbsy tablet on your PC with a full screen launch page then good for you, maybe 1% of people agree with you. The other 99% actually use their computer for work and don't want to be botherd with a slow UI and 5 clicks just to get to what they need.

By OmarF1 on 7/27/2012 4:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'll bet you $50 right now that Win8 will be a bigger failure than Vista, the revolt will be huge!

Amen to this
I'm a PC user not a tablet or smartphone, I don't even have them.

We'll Find Out Soon Enough
By Tuor on 7/26/2012 1:46:40 PM , Rating: 5
Is Gabe right? Is he full of it? We'll find out soon enough. By the end of the year, we should have a decent feel as to how well Win 8 has been received.

While I can't know for sure how it will do, I do know that I have no intention of buying a new version of Windows for the first time since Win 95, and if the current trend continues, Win 7 Pro will be my last MS operating system.

By Natfly on 7/26/2012 1:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
"I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people."

But why? So Gabe Newell makes this bold statement and there's no explanation? Full of fluff but no real digging into the subject...

RE: Why?
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
By a bunch of people he means himself if the app store works. That's why he's being vague, to try and hide that.

Gabe: put up or shut up
By GatoRat on 7/26/2012 5:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
Gabe and one of his lead designers have been publicly complaining about the state of gaming. Yet, they run one of the leading game companies in the world. So, why aren't they producing great games?

Where's Half Life 2 Episode 3? (or Half Life 3?) Where's another game as stunningly creative as the Portal series? The list could go on. (Instead, they are porting Left for Dead 2 to Linux. Big whoopee. Is there anyone left who hasn't played it and wants to?)

RE: Gabe: put up or shut up
By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 10:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
DOTA 2 is the most fun I've had since Starcraft 2. It is GREAT, hard as hell but great. Since October I've put in way more hours than I have with any other Valve game, and even in limited beta it is the most popular game on Steam:

Once DOTA 2 goes live I suspect it will be Valve's most popular game ever.

Valve probably hasn't released HL3 because they haven't cracked the design yet. They aren't beholden to publishers or anything like that, so no being forced to crank out annual sequels like CoD. Valve developers are also free to chase whatever it is they're interested in. Right now it is DOTA 2 and whatever else unannounced that they're cooking. Who knows what is happening internally, there may not even be a lot of interest in doing HL3 right now.

I know this is an unpopular opinion but doing another Half Life game is probably the least interesting thing they could be doing right now. With the Portal games they pushed interesting game mechanics and perfected their storytelling, and with L4D they put co-op gameplay at the forefront.

Modern single player FPS are largely defined by the linear and cinematic model that Valve pioneered, and I suspect that Valve is holding off on doing yet another cinematic-on-rails shooter until they've done something great with it.

The genre is played out and boring right now, and I think Valve knows it.

No start menu, so..
By TheSlamma on 7/27/2012 4:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
In cases like when you install say SQL 2008 R2.

You end up with SIXTEEN items in the start menu, things like Import tools Config tools, monitoring etc. Right now in the start menu it's in a nice and clean spot, easy to navigate with a keyboard, mouse AND on a tablet tough screen in a remote session where it can be tough to issue Windows keys.

How will this be handled in Windows 8/Server 2012. Does the Metro interface make handling this many tools and apps easy to get into? I can't seem to get the Metro interface to come up on Server 2012 RC (it's in a hyper-V session so again windows keys are issuing to the hypervisor) at all and the last thing I'm going to do is have a server with 60 desktop icons.

RE: No start menu, so..
By TheSlamma on 7/27/2012 4:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
Okay so I got the metro interface to come up by hovering over the right top corner on Server 2012.. boy that is sensitive.. still not useful in a remote session especially with an iphone or tablet. When I send CTRL + Esc it sends it on the host OS. Does MS know that going into every server with RDP is not the most efficient? I can interface with 40 virtual servers right now with 1 SCVMM (THEIR OWN PRODUCT) manager.

Great news!
By Ben on 7/26/2012 10:00:37 PM , Rating: 1
I've seen this writing on the wall since the first Windows 8 beta. I'm not a Linux fan per se. But Ubuntu has evolved into a great OS for all users, and people will migrate to it given the POS alternative.

Having support from companies like Valve will hasten the pace for people that are on the fence like me.

All we need is a few more big names like Autodesk and Adobe to see the light and we can put Microsoft in our rear view mirror until they do some rectal-cranial extraction.

RE: Great news!
By Scali on 7/27/2012 8:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you migrate to Ubuntu just because you don't like Windows 8?
Might as well stick to Windows 7 a while longer.
That's what happened with Vista as well: people stuck with XP rather than moving to linux. Before long, Windows 7 came out, and everyone happily upgraded again.
I will assume that if Windows 8 will be a failure (although I don't think it will be), Microsoft will have Windows 9 ready, making people happy to upgrade again, before people even start to think of leaving Windows 7 in the first place.

The real Catastrophe here...
By MrBlastman on 7/26/2012 11:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
Is how come, after all these years, Valve can't release Half Life 3?

I mean, come on, it has been what, almost 8 years now? What's the problem? Has Steam gone to their heads (I use it daily)?

Or, are they stuck trying to figure out how to make 3 a non-corridor shooter (aka a return to the shooter glory days) yet, they realized they forgot how after dumbing down shooters for the masses?

I don't know, but, if you ask me, THIS, THIS is the real catastrophe.

/begin rant
By Lazlo Panaflex on 7/26/2012 12:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
Who the fu*k cares? The real question is, where the hell is Half Life 3, Gabe? Why are you eschewing the millions of gamers that have been patiently waiting for 5+ years? Or is it all about dressing up Portal robots in stupid hats? WTF??

/end rant

Insert fat jokes here...
By Arsynic on 7/26/2012 12:50:42 PM , Rating: 2

It's not the OS?
By EnzoFX on 7/26/2012 2:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Did I misread it? Or is he implying that it's not because of the OS itself, but how MS is going about it in a way that hurts OEM's as evidence by HP and Dell flirting with the idea of bowing out of the PC business. Less PC's is bad for everyone on Steam.

So why does Valve do console games?
By epobirs on 7/26/2012 3:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Newell believes Microsoft taking on distribution tasks is a big threat to software developers and somehow also to hardware developers. The latter might be due to Microsoft upping the ante on hardware standards.

He says that like it is a bad thing.

Frankly, there are plenty of OEMs that could go away and the market would just keep chugging along. We expect better things as products progress. Automotive warranties have gotten amazingly lengthy as the industry has gotten more confident in product reliability and consumer protection laws have compelled greater post-sale support. The idea of warrantying a 70s econo-box for 100K miles would have been a car maker's nightmare. Now it is just how things are done if you want shoppers to believe the company is trustworthy.

Likewise, we expect more from our computers. The fit and finish of today's run of the mill desktop system is vastly superior to machines of the Win95 era from the same companies, even though the cost of entry is far, far lower.

Companies that cannot keep up will die. Twas ever thus. We'll all benefit as a result.

Small developers will enjoy considerable benefits from a distribution channel on the priamry desktop OS, just as they have on surging mobile device market. Bigger companies will still be able to use the same tactics as before in terms of elaborate web sites with sumptuous features to promote the product.

The really huge difference for small players will be the upfront capital costs. The web already made a huge difference in reaching consumers without having to make a huge pile of discs in advance and hope to sell enough to cover the investment, never mind make a profit.

This raises the question: if anything that offer competition to Steam is bad, why does Valve do console versions of its games? I played Orange Box and Portal 2 on Xbox 360, not a PC. In both cases Valve paid in advance a royalty fee to Microsoft for the disc production or at the time of download if obtained through the XBLA Games on Demand option.

So what makes it different on the PC? It's OK for Microsoft to have complete control on its console but not to be one option of many on its desktop OS?

Windows 8 is fine, but
By corduroygt on 7/26/12, Rating: -1
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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