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Default PC Magazine chief editor tires of Windows Vista, endorses Linux

August 19th, 2007, 01:33
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The problem runs even much, much deeper than people want to recognize : Directx as a whole is a tool "to bind them" onto ANY platform MS wishes to !

Directx was imho NOT invented to make things for programmers and gamers easier, it was simply made as a TOOL to force gamers AWAY from DOS and OS/2 and BeOS !
Well, that's vastly exaggerated IMHO .

I remember a time in the mid 90s that would best be described as a fucking mess. There was OpenGL, there was 3Dfx Glide and there were about a handful of other proprietary technologies/features out there (like cards from Matrox, S3, ATI Rage which all had their own little specialties and with the companies behind these cards all pushing their own little agendas to get more market share).
Remember that the 3Dfx cards were only add-on cards (until the Voodoo 3 at least) so everyone had one of those other 2D-only or 2D/3D cards in addition to a 3Dfx card.

Now what developers had to do was make their games work on as many cards as possible and so they had to program the Glide stuff (and maybe OpenGL for non-Glide cards in parallel) and then they also had to take care of the proprietary features of some cards and finally they had to make sure that there was a pure software mode for older cards that had no 2D or 3D acceleration at all. And then at the very end some poor soul had to test all of this crap, too, and make sure that it would work on all cards and techs. A nightmare.

So when MS basically won the OS wars with Windows 95, they realized that there was a need for standardization and so they began to push DirectX (or Direct3D in particular) to become standards.

This is only a good thing in my opinion. The very last thing that the PC gaming market needs as the nail in the coffin is more fragmentation or more complications in getting games to work on the PC/Windows platform.
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August 19th, 2007, 02:01
It's all the usual drivel from MS: New Big Huge OS full of bugs makes perfectly functional older OS (that's finally relatively bug free ) "obsolete", so you will GIVE THEM MORE MONEY.
And I really hate it when they drag gaming in as their excuse. That's supposed to be one of the buggier areas, from the unsubstantiated internet gossip we all depend on for our facts, right Mo ?
I'm with xSamhainx—come out to my bunker with some WMD when you want me to switch, because I am hanging with what I have til it really actually IS obsolete.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 19th, 2007, 03:30
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
And I really hate it when they drag gaming in as their excuse. That's supposed to be one of the buggier areas, from the unsubstantiated internet gossip we all depend on for our facts, right Mo ?
I sense… some hidden criticism. Care to elaborate, por favor?
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August 19th, 2007, 05:16
Not criticism, just sarcasm. At my own expense, since I have no idea how buggy Vista may or may not be really—kind of like I don't know Hillary Clinton personally, but feel free to remark on her many character defects just because I hate having her rammed down my throat. It's all subjective. If anyone knows the facts, it certainly is more likely to be you than me. I just can't help pitching into the bitchfest. When you're good at something…you know, you just can't leave it to amateurs.

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August 19th, 2007, 06:13
Don't worry, once they work all the bugs out of Vi$ta, they'll bring out something even better!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 19th, 2007, 08:49
I believe we will be forced to move onto Vista. You can say that all you need is Xp, but if you want better and better functionality and graphics you will have to move on. And most gamers want better and better graphics. So the mass of people will move to Vista.

And if I remember correctly WinXP also had huge problems when it was released. It was buggy and worked inefficiently until they released the Service Packs. And I'm pretty sure it will be the same. Come to think of it, most OSs were like this.

One nice thing I heard that Vista has is that it has no limit to how much ram it will be able to use.

EDIT: Indeed it seems Crysis will also work on winxp. Source
Last edited by danutz_plusplus; August 19th, 2007 at 09:10.
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August 19th, 2007, 09:29
I don't want to sound like a Microsoft apologist here, but the fact is that WinXP was fundamentally broken in many very significant ways. I just took a laptop out of mothballs that's been unused for about two years (XP SP2). The update process took about four hours, and involved well over a hundred updates, most of the security-related. XP hasn't really evolved into a pretty nice OS — the patching system for it has evolved into a pretty nice patching system.

So basically Microsoft *had* to do something drastic to it. The result is Vista.

Is it perfect? Of course not. Backward compatibility was a major design priority, which also means carrying over some bad architectural decisions and a quite a few bugs and flaws.

Is it better than XP? Yes, it is. As far as I can tell, everything that could be fixed about the Windows architecture without breaking backward compatibility has been fixed, and it mostly works extremely well. (Good luck to that PC editor to getting hibernation and sleep working on a Linux system, btw.)

Is it the best possible solution? I don't know. If I had been in charge, I would have dumped the kernel and started over, and done backward compatibility VMWare style in a virtualization box, eventually migrating it out. But I'm pretty damn sure Microsoft thought that option through as well, and decided there were good reasons not to go that way. (You think driver support is bad for Vista? Imagine what it had been like if not a single XP driver of any kind could have run on it.)

Finally, about "forcing people to move to Vista:" Microsoft clearly has a very strong business incentive to do just that. Supporting two OS's is twice as expensive as supporting one. XP needs more patching than Vista, and running those patch servers isn't free either. The faster the market drops XP and goes Vista, the better for MS, so you bet your life they're going to do every trick in the book to get people to do just that.

Besides, it's not like we're out of options — Ubuntu is a perfectly decent desktop OS, and there are three perfectly capable gaming consoles out there. So if you really don't want to go Vista, for whatever reason, now or on your next machine, then don't.

So, people, let's keep things in perspective, shall we?
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August 19th, 2007, 12:12
Moriendor, the 3dfx Glide is nothing more than a subset of OpenGL. So, the differences are not THAT big.

Microsoft was mainly fighting the problem that you simply couldn't do really good-looking games with GDI only. Therefore, they invented directx.

It's exactly the same situation which Linux still has : There is no good package for making good-looking games for that platform. Windows 3.1 simply didn't have it, and Win95 (the earliest versions) didn't have it, too. It just evolved around the time the older Win95 got, the better the games were - and the better the directx packages were ( I once read that one of the earliest directx opackages are in-compaatible with one another - at least in some functions - so you might have difficultiy with the earliest directx-based games in that respect, too.

If there was such a package for Linux, developers would be able to develop better and faster games for that platform - which would in the result fuel the spread of Linux into/onto the desktops as well (out of the so-called "server niche").

Linux right now has this problem : No [good] games, no Linux on desktops (I mean more spread than today), no Linux on desktops on the other hand means that companies see no sense in invensting money for Linux games.

Microsoft has overcome exactly this prooblem (they had with Windows 3.1, meanwhile games were no windows gamnes, but instead DOS games - apart from the WinG package, which was kind of an precessor of directx) by providing a standardized package (directx), which enabled developers and investors to develop or that particular platform - and none else.

Of they had really been interested in a Standard, then they would've made it available for other platforms as well, like OS/2, for example.

Now, they've won. There is no PC platform with THAT many commercially successful games.
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August 20th, 2007, 01:48
Isn't OpenGL cross platform and therefore the standard for Linux?

I have to disagree on the assessment that XP was that buggy on release. It was far more stable than Windows 98 and the few NT machines I had worked on. But more or less the crashes went to the desktop rather than the BSoD. The massive number of updates were indeed security holes but that's largely due to a change of policy from MS trying to root them all out. So this was a good thing. That said I understand XP isn't much different from 2000.

XP's stability was it's Killer App. Just as Visicalc sold the PC to business and Myst sold the CD-ROM, stability was the reason everyone converted to XP. No one wanted to have the headache of suddenly finding all their software incompatible and having to upgrade but they were sick of crashing and having to reboot all the time.

Few home PC enthusiasts bought 2000 because of the perception it was for business or for NT users and it was in it's early stages. ME was seen, rightfully, as a transition OS. XP was the end result of this convergence which spruced up the look and feel of 2000 took out features which people found difficult like dividing up Admin data from regular users (which left a big security hole in XP ) . XP was also promised to have dynamic folders but it was scrapped and promised as vapourware and that's what it became. However the stability was far more important to people.

Vista has no Killer App to convince anyone to switch. The most it has Dx10 and a promise that more and more software won't work w/ XP (one could argue for better 64 software support). I'm not aware of all the features that Vista was promised to have that were scrapped but I remember it had a lot.

The best examples that Vista is a failure so far is the firing of the Executive who was in charge of Vista and the back-tracking on its unwillingness to sell XP OEM software, Vendors like Dell forced them to that. You may remember the only version of XP you could get for awhile was the Media Edition.

Either way, when I get my new system I plan at least a Dual boot.

As for Linux - as simpler as it's become its still arcane for the average user and still has no killer app aside from it's native stability and security.

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August 20th, 2007, 14:12
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Vista has no Killer App to convince anyone to switch. The most it has Dx10 and a promise that more and more software won't work w/ XP (one could argue for better 64 software support).
Then again, neither does every (or even most) OS X iterations — yet Mac users seem happy enough to pay for those.

I'm not aware of all the features that Vista was promised to have that were scrapped but I remember it had a lot.
It did. My favorite was the database-based file system. In theory this is a brilliant idea, since it'll create a really good abstraction layer between the files and the substrate storing them. You'd get amazing searchability, flexible navigation of the file system, instant delete/restore, optimized caching and access, really good protection of the data integrity, and so on. But turned out too difficult to do while still keeping backward compatibility.

If I may go off on a bit of a tangent, I think that file systems on current desktop computers (all of 'em) are basically borked and bone-headed. Why the hell does the user even have to know how many disks there are in the box, what their capacities are, and on which disk does stuff reside? All they should see is a bar or a pie chart showing how much free space there is, and let the computer worry about where it's put. Need more space? Pop in another disk… or migrate it all to a bigger array using a simple GUI and a scratch disk.

Of course, the system would have to have built-in redundancy and "history", but this is all well-known territory — base it on a RAID-5 array and never overwrite anything by default, just create new versions of stuff. (Some files would obviously have to be flagged as "temporary, overwrite me.")

There's no technical reason it couldn't be done now. Base it on a RAID array, put a very small kernel running a RDBMS on top of that, and put everything else in the RDBMS. The reason it's not being done is purely legacy. Shame, really.
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August 20th, 2007, 14:47
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Then again, neither does every (or even most) OS X iterations — yet Mac users seem happy enough to pay for those.
Haha … *very* good point … heck, I went straight for the cool aid when the new $79 iLife upgrade came out, despite having just tooled through an integrated music / photo / movie iDVD project for my wife that she was giving to our nephew before he went to college … yet I had to have the new versions

— Mike
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August 20th, 2007, 15:39
Update on the crysis/vista:

Terve,

Mukava EA:n edustaja kävi meille kertomassa niin. Kaippa semmoseen
jätkään on luotettava

Ystävällisin terveisin
- Timo - Puolenkuun Pelit - puh. 03-7515151
They are saying that representative of Electronic Arts visited them and said that crysis is Vista/dx10 only. They think it might be reasonable to trust him (well see i guess).
Last edited by zakhal; August 20th, 2007 at 15:50.
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August 20th, 2007, 19:12
Cysis will not be Vista exclusive thats a fact! In the german game magazin Gamestar there was an interview with Cevat Yerli the head of Crytek and he assured that the game will NOT be vista exclusive and that it would not make sense to make it vista only or dx10 only at the moment because they would lose alot of money, the userbase with vista and dx10 hardware is just way to small, i dont know why this guys (infact i dont even know what language that is) state bullshit like that but i think Cevat Yerli should know better then them.
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August 20th, 2007, 19:16
Originally Posted by tet666 View Post
Could you please stop this bullshit? Cysis will not be Vista exclusive thats a fact, in the german game magazin Gamestar there was an interview with Cevat Yerli the head of crytek and he assured that the game will NOT be vista exclusive and that it would not make sense to make it vista only or dx10 only at the moment because they would lose alot of money, the userbase with vista and dx10 hardware is just way to small, i dont know why this guys state bullshit like that but i think Cevat Yerli should know better then them.
No need to get your panties in a wad. Im just relaying what the EA people are saying and as I said "we will see" they might just have false info.

And even then whats the big difference whether they are right or wrong? The game wont be released for atleast 3 months. Anything could happen in that time. You are acting like its somkind of life/death issue.
Last edited by zakhal; August 20th, 2007 at 19:44.
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August 20th, 2007, 20:03
The Mac's killer app was, according to them, it's GUI interface. However, in 1984 the Mac bombed. It's real Killer App turned out to be the Laser printer (Adobe) and only then did the Mac start to sell. Later it dominated music recording. Unfortunately for them, both of these apps were superseded eventually by identical products on PCs.

Apple in fact deliberately abandoned the Apple ][ line for several reasons. One, it is always difficult to market too similar products. Two, it was command line based from day one and not GUI from the ground up. Three, it was 8 bit and not 16 bit and therefore already old technology. Four, it was Wozniak's baby and he was gone. The Mac was Jobs' baby. Five, the Apple ][ was marketed as an open system and was a hacker's delight. The Mac was a closed system and all apps had to be approved and licensed by Apple insuring they'd get a cut and they'd have complete control.

The Mac was way behind in terms of capabilities of what the Apple ][ and Amiga could do. The ][gs (16 bit) and Amiga were doing on RGB monitors what IBM clones had to wait years for on VGA+ monitors. Mac didn't have a colour monitor for years.

As Jobs was forced out 100% profit margin Pepsi CEO Scully kept the Mac out of the price range of the average user. The drop of the Apple ][ line alienated the home the user who by and large switched the IBM clones for its relatively open system and Amigas for it's better and more affordable capailities.

Apple started relying on its niche markets such as school systems and dropped to a 3% share. Its killer app GUI it was promoting was thrown out the Windows 95. It only had it's stability left by this time as even schools starting abandoning the product.

Today, of course, Apple's core product is the iPod. It can run fine on a Windows PC. Today I believe it's computer share its is less than 1%, down from a 50% share in 1982 (pre-Mac).

Sorry for the long rant but I'm just trying to say Apple is bad example. And i'm a disgruntled ex-Apple //c user.

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August 21st, 2007, 21:11
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
No need to get your panties in a wad. Im just relaying what the EA people are saying and as I said "we will see" they might just have false info.

And even then whats the big difference whether they are right or wrong? The game wont be released for atleast 3 months. Anything could happen in that time. You are acting like its somkind of life/death issue.
If you are still wondering, here's a site that lists the games system requirements for preorder. They are saying Crysis on Vista is no crisis as it will also run on XP. :

System Requirements
* Windows XP/Vista
* Athlon 64 3000+ or Intel 2.8
* Nvidia 6600 or ATI X800 Class Video Card
* 1.0 GB RAM
* 6 GB Free Hard Drive Space
* Broadband Internet Connection
* DVD-ROM Drive
* DirectX 9.0c with Windows XP

Of course they could also be wrong, but to me it doesn't make sense at this point in time to cut out the majority of the market. I guess time will tell.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 22nd, 2007, 02:27
I never had so many driver issues with XP like i do have now with Vista, i hate this miserable piece of "software" (yep, i didn't use swearing, though i had one better word in my mind) It's as crap as Windows ME was…
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