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Going Deep Inside Vista's Kernel Architecture 478

Posted by Zonk
from the from-the-horse's-mouth dept.
bariswheel wrote to mention an episode of 'Going Deep' on Channel 9 which takes a hard look at the architecture of Windows Vista. From the post: "Rob Short is the corporate vice president in charge of the team that architects the foundation of Windows Vista. This is a fascinating conversation with the kernel architecture team. It's our Christmas present to all of the Niners out there who've stuck with us day after day. This is a very candid interview." Topics discussed include the history of the Windows Registry, and the security/reliability of Microsoft's upcoming operating system.
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Going Deep Inside Vista's Kernel Architecture

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  • by the unbeliever (201915) <chris+slashdot&atlgeek,com> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:25PM (#14388210) Homepage
    Can someone post a transcript please?
    • by jtorkbob (885054) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:51PM (#14388375) Homepage
      Sure! Here is my transcription of the entire link:
      Error: 503 Service Unavailable

      Server returned file not found
      Kind of sums it up nicely, if you ask me.

    • Not to diss the underlying interview [I'm always willing to hear about kernel stuff], but it's kinda odd that the MMS stream originates at a M$FT server:

      [Slashcode tends to put hard breakline characters and other weird white space into web addresses, so you will probably have to paste that address into a word processor and clean it up].

    • by dch24 (904899) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @10:05PM (#14389125) Journal
      Here's a transcript. I'll write up the other half and post it too. Anybody get the name of the interviewer? I'll just call him "Narrator." And the typos are my fault. Everything else, flame them.

      Narrator: Alright, so we're here for "Going Deep." We have the corporate vice president and some of his architects and they're going to talk about the Vista Kernel so, hello. Can you introduce yourselves.

      Rob Short: Yeah. I'm Rob Short, and I wrote the Kernel and Architecture team for Windows. The Kernel team obviously is the core piece of a system: schedules processes and finds devices, things like that.

      The Architecture Team is something that I wanted to talk a little bit about, because about two years ago, we realized that we were in a little bit more trouble in terms of our ability to predict the impact of changes and to make broad, cross-group changes to Windows, and what we decided to do was have a core group of experts that would help the teams and work right across all of windows to really help figure out the impact of changes and make sure things were happening the way we'd like to see them happen, and I have some of the people with me here today. This is just a few of the people on that team. We've about six people full-time, and we have a much broader team of about thirty architects working the different groups, and they all participate as part of our architecture team but they belong to the different teams

      Narrator: Okay.

      Rob Short: And the idea is to really improve our engineering process and improve our quality of our engineering and be able to predict the outcome of changes that we make.

      Narrator: Okay.

      Rob Short: I've been in Windows for basically ever, I've been in Windows for about fifteen years. I worked on a couple of other things in between, so I left and came back again but mostly I've been working on where the hardware meets the software.

      Narrator: Excellent!

      Rob Short: And I'd like to introduce my next partner in crime.

      Narrator: (laughs)

      Rich Neves: My name's Rich Neves. I've been working here almost three years. I work on the architecture team as Rob just described, and what my responsibility or role these days is is figuring out how to police the dependency between different pieces of the systems so that we can figure out how to compose the system in a more efficient way. By efficient, I mean in a way that isolates developers from the damage they can do to other developers. So basically, Microsoft's a very innovative company, and there's people working on amazing technologies in almost every nook and cranny, particularly in Windows. The challenge we face is delivering that innovation, and what our hope is that we can make innovation itself the bottleneck, instead of delivering innovation, which has been the problem in the past, and to do that, what we're trying to do is isolate pieces of the system from each other, so that developers can know that they can work in a particular area of the system, innovating a technology, without adversely impacting larger parts of the system, that as Rob said we can't predict they're going to be impacted, and in a way that would actually jeopardize our agility in getting those features out that result from that innovation.

      So specifically what we've been doing is taking every binary in the system and assigning it a layer number, which is a rank in a directed acyclic graph. There's about 5,500 binaries in the system. And what we've been doing is getting transparency now into every dependency that developers add to any of those binaries, so that we can understand what's going on. And what's falling out of that is not necessarily just the isolation I described, but also, issues. We call them, sort of, conventional wisdom ... controversies. For example, people might be thinking, well, I want to combine a whole bunch of DLL's into one DLL for perf. Well, it turns out that that's a

      • The thing that irritates me about the tone of Microsoft is that they still live in this world where they spin everything they do as amazing and its just not any more. Computers aren't "amazing" anymore. Operating systems and things like Windows does, even if new, don't have the same impact as the basic innovations of GUI displays did in 1992. The amazing stuff that is happening is, um, usually at Google.
        • And what has Google done that is so amazing? All they've implemented is a glorified "edit->find". There was that email thing that ... has more storage than their compeditors. Hmmm ... well, there was that map thing ... that is like all the other mapping services. Froogle? Wait, that is pretty much like pricewatch.com ... Google news? Nope, just another news aggregation website.

          I wonder if Google will ever do something that doesn't involve sticking a search engine on top of some existing technology.
    • by dch24 (904899) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @01:23AM (#14389988) Journal
      (this is the middle part of the transcript)

      Narrator: Fantastic. So can you talk a little bit about what's new in the Vista kernel? So we go from XP; now we're going to Vista. So what are some of the new components?

      Rob Short: A term I like to use is probably kind of politically incorrect on TV is, some of the work we do is kind of like sewers, but if we do this work incredibly well, the stuff is essential, but nobody knows that it's there.

      Narrator: Yes.

      Rob Short: So, if things go bad, obviously you know about it.

      Narrator: Certainly.

      Rob Short: Most of the work that I've been focused on for the last several years has been improving the experience where the hardware meets the software. Things like power management. We have a team of people looking at power management and working to improve how the system behaves, say a laptop for example.

      If you have a laptop, how fast does it turn on, turn off, how good is the battery life? What's the experience when you dock or undock? And we've done a huge amount of work on that. We've redesigned the algorithm for hibernation so that we do a better job of figuring out which pages are already on the disk so you don't have to send more of the pages back to the disk. We've changed the way the power management interfaces to the drivers so that we have a better feel for understanding if we can just shut this thing off, right now. Today, in the older system, in XP, we actually query the driver, say, "Hey, would you, like, mind if we turn off the power?" A lot of times, people haven't coded up the driver correctly. Mostly the drivers don't care, where some really do. A disk driver, it really matters if you, you know, turn the power off in the middle of a transfer. But a lot of other things, you don't care. Mouse, it doesn't really matter that much. You know, you can go across the extreme. So we've done a bunch of work in that area.

      We obviously do a lot of work in performance. One example is we had problems with heap fragmentation, and we've redesigned some of the heap algorithms so we can deal much better with much more random requests. We can deal with those and do a better job with defragmenting the heaps. So those are the types of things.

      Several people--Darryl works specifically on the multimedia, and understanding how we do a better job of not having glitches in multimedia, but that also goes right through the full length of the system. It's not just buried in the kernel.

      We've improved the inter-process procedure call. We have a new sort of fast, lightweight procedure call inside, in the core parts of the system. We ... stop me.

      Narrator: (Laughing) He has a whole list! A cheat list!

      Rob Short: There's an awful lot going on. One area where we actually make a lot of changes over time that I feel really good looking back is in the memory management area. If you think about the early NT systems, Bill Gates used to beat us up, and say, "How come you don't run in four megabytes?" And when you look at that today, and think, we're running regularly in four gigabytes today, and we have the systems in the lab that run with a terabyte of memory, the algorithms that worked back then, and the priorities back then are completely different than they are today. So we've put in work in Vista for improving the NUMA support, which is Non-Uniform Memory Access when you have a multi-processor where some of the memory is closer to some processors than to others, so we do a better job of doing the allocation, making sure that they're allocating memory that's on the CPU, near the CPU that you're running on, and then you try to run the process on the CPU where the memory actually is so you don't get cache thrashing.

      Narrator: Interesting.

      Rob Short: We've done some stuff for the graphics. The graphics processors today are more powerful than the CPU'

  • by IntelliAdmin (941633) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:25PM (#14388214) Homepage
    My favorite is: "do you ever wish the registry had never been developed?"
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:00PM (#14388430) Journal
      I personally think the Windows Registry is the software implementation of the saying "putting all eggs in one basket".

      But of course, backups are automatically made on successful bootups to minimize the damage done if you'd suffer from a file corruption in that specific file. But I've never figured out when it does that. It clearly doesn't seem like on every successful boot, as I've seen messages like "Windows has restored a registry backup" and after that wondered where all settings the past few months went, and why some programs don't even run anymore. Gah... Thankfully last time it happened were a number of years ago. *knocks wood*

      Interestingly, Microsoft has started opting more for .config XML files stored in the application directory (sort of like their old .ini files) in their new wave of .NET applications, and that seems to be more like the recommended way of storing application settings. I don't know how user-specific settings are dealt with if doing it that way though, and if it's only suitable for settings for the local machine.
      • See:
                C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\
                (can be sync'ed with a domain server)
        and
                C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\
                (remains on this machine only)
      • Interestingly, Microsoft has started opting more for .config XML files stored in the application directory (sort of like their old .ini files) in their new wave of .NET applications, and that seems to be more like the recommended way of storing application settings. I don't know how user-specific settings are dealt with if doing it that way though, and if it's only suitable for settings for the local machine.

        There's a special directory for storing user-specific settings. On a default install of Windows

      • by ivoras (455934) <[ivoras] [at] [fer.hr]> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @10:10PM (#14389152) Homepage
        I'm sure that, if Microsoft did something like that (turn Registry into bunch of XML files), there would be an army of Slashdot-reading nerds going "Wow, M$ is stooopid - and what about memory consumption and speed of processing of all that XML files?!", "And just how is M$ going to ensure data reliability / transaction safety with textual XML data?!" and others.

        The Windows Registry in Windows NT systems is a database-like construct, with sort-of transactions. They even have access control lists to manage security - keys can be made writeable only by some users, etc. Some registry files ("hives") contain security information and are not readable by normal filesystem utilities (access-denied on open(); though this is not registry-specific :) ).

        Think of it like using mysql or sqlite database to store and manage system configuration instead of bunch of config files - it's NOT a bad idea.

        (I'm not attacking the config-file approach, just saying that having a convenient standardised interface to config data across all applications is a Good Thing).

        • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @11:11PM (#14389423) Homepage Journal
          So why not do something intelligent and implement it as a SQLite database?
          What's less than half a meg of C that already works on Windows between friends? It's not like the existing registry files are exactly svelte.
          Ah, yes: good ideas can be discerned by the Redmond refusal to implement them.
          • So why not do something intelligent and implement it as a SQLite database?

            Feel free to travel back in time and suggest they do that. The registry has been around for over a decade. SQLite has not. The registry works (yes, maybe it can get corrupted, but I haven't had that happen in years), and there's other stuff Microsoft can and should focus on besides re-writing the registry.

        • by klui (457783) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @01:18AM (#14389961)
          Unfortunately, you cannot manipulate the data using standard Windows tools as though it were written as a set of files under NTFS. For instance, it would be really nice if I could search for all registry entries that was created/modified since I installed program X. The metadata exists, but is not exposed by regedit. And if something corrupts an entry in the file system, I think the chance of the entire hive becoming inaccessible is less than if the registry is in 1 file. Maybe I trust NTFS more than the registry "file system." Or are they done using same underlying calls?
        • Making state saving easy makes software tend to save more state. That makes said software behave differently each time it's started up. With bad developers, this can be highly annoying.

          Eivind.

    • What was his answer -- the site is down for me. If anyone here knows the history of the registry, please post it, as it seems like a tranewreck to most.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I think the registry was an april fools joke that a PHB thought was a real idea.
      • Basically, they said that the registry was too successful for its own good; so many apps use it that it has almost become a general purpose database, which it was never intended to be. They say that one of the biggest problems was that there were never any comprehensive standards published on how it was to be used, so devs did whatever they wanted, which caused chaos that contributed to it becoming a mess.

        The registry first existed for registering OLE document types in about Windows 3.0. At the time, it ha
        • Personally, I don't see what the big problems with the registry are.

          With most old applications, I could simply copy the root directory onto another computer, and it would work fine. As apps started using the registry more often, this sometimes became impossible; programs would just refuse to work because they couldn't find the registry entries they needed. (Games are especially bad, as they often keep CD keys in the registry.) I can see why the registry could be useful, but in practice it (or perhaps jus

    • by the ed menace (30307) <edwardjung.hotmail@com> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:45AM (#14391161)
      ...I'll put on the asbestos underwear for this post...

      In 1990 at Microsoft there were several requirements that drove the registry. The number of third party applications and application writers was growing very fast. Making this worse, a new object system was on the horizon which could dramatically increase the number of independently-authored "components" that needed to be registered. There was a need to store state in a segregated manner so that apps wouldn't stomp on other app's information. Also there was a "new" notion of remote manageability for the objects, so the access method should be easily remotable early in the boot process. Also the OS needed a place to store lots of very small data items.

      It would have been best to use the file system, but the file system at that time was FAT which could not store small data items efficiently. The registry was the first API common between Windows 3 and OS/2 (and also NT), which was a goal at the time. Of course it quickly went out of control, since there was no rational security or ownership model. The registry was kept very very simple in order to maximize the likelihood that the next file system (either the object file system or NTFS) would be able to implement it, including in the NT kernel (which had a very simple API model). It was also the first API from Microsoft that had unused parameters for future features, such as context ids for security, query features, and other stuff. Unfortunately much of that didn't work as planned since very few applications paid attention to the requirement to set them to 0L!

      I didn't expect it to be so massively overused, nor for it to survive beyond Windows 3.x. It was supposed to be superceded by an object file system (that was designed and implemented several times, but never released.)

      There's a good story behind the registry, though: I designed the registry while on a bachelor party for a friend, mostly on a car ride between San Diego and Las Vegas, and faxed in the design from Las Vegas the morning after the party to the responsible program manager. Which might explain much about the design... ;-)
  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:28PM (#14388233)
    Because I'm only interested if it was BALLS DEEP.
    • Microsoft has been releasing a lot of Vista video "interviews" and tech intros lately. If you believed what they're trying to sell you, you would easily think that the Microsoft Vista teams are developing ground-breaking new technology for the benefit of us all.

      However, any remotely circumspect look at them will reveal that they're carefully choreographed attempts to show microsoft as a powerhouse with new ideas behind every corner... i.e., "Ohh look, here's Joe, the guy responsible for all this, right b

      • by delong (125205) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:55PM (#14388405)
        It must be nice to have mainstream consumers for your main customers, rather than IT pros. You can sell 'em anything, and they'll never know it's crap, because they don't keep up with the industry

        That's why I always skip all these "new Windows release" articles - they're pap. Usually just alot of mouth breathing over widgets and rather pedestrian implementations of mundane technology. Boring, and not very informative. Keeps alot of boring writers in jobs, though. Microsoft is like a 5 year jobs program for "IT Professional" writers that otherwise don't know their ass from their hat.
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:26PM (#14388596) Journal
        Well, it was precisely this sort of hype that kept Windows 3.1 at the forefront while an actual 32-bit operating system that would run existing Windows applications (better than Windows itself) actually existed. Microsoft, through various "computer" magazines (which were nothing more than MS shills), painted a beautiful picture of Chicago, through artists renderings and feature lists for features that didn't even exist. Of course, when Windows 95 finally arrived, it was a bug-ridden piece of crap, but the marketing onslaught and MS's corrupt ways of dealing with PC manufacturers destroyed OS/2. People actually willingly went for one of the most unstable operating systems that MS ever produced.
        • Hey, OS/2 was also developed by Microsoft. Damned if you do, damned if you do it again.
          • Yes, because they got paid to develop it by IBM. However, they also did everything they could to sink it. See? They get paid to build it, they get to use the ideas to put into other Windows versions, and then they get to claim that actual competition existed at the time so as to look non-monopolistic. So what if they lost a bit in OS/2? They more than regained it through the marketing crush with 95.
          • They designed the 16-bit version of OS/2, but abandoned IBM and the 32-bit version and developed Windows NT instead. But it wasn't NT that ended up on the vast majority of machines in the mid 90s, but Windows 95. While OS/2 Warp was not a perfect operating system, it was miles ahead of Chicago, which was a real bastard child, unstable, with legacy support far inferior to that of OS/2. But MS won because it waged on all out marketing campaign for at least year, even when Chicago was essentially vaporware.
      • You are probably the same jackass who goes around crying "why doesn't Microsoft just do things like UNIX" and when they finally borrow a couple riffs you're crying"boo hoo, Microsoft is copying UNIX". It's clear they're damned if they do and damned if they don't do it's really no wonder they don't care very much about what the Slashdot community wants or thinks.
      • by AnEmbodiedMind (612071) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @09:53PM (#14389073)
        Yeah sure it is a clever marketing move, but you a way too harsh.

        For example one of the interviews with the vista audio engine guys they talk about how Mac OSX has been a long way in front and how they are inspired by great compeditors.

        They have an OS X box on the wall

        And if you look at the MS Office user interface work, you can't claim that isn't innovative work

        Finally if you actually watched the linked video you'd see they actually talk in depth about the flaws in the windows architecture and how they are trying to move forwards.

    • HAHAHAHAHA. I rarely laugh at posts but this one had me rolling for some reason.. Bravo!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:28PM (#14388237)
    But that was the worst porn video I've ever seen. There wasn't even any nudity, but considering how these people looked (think your local linux user group visits The Gap), that was probably for the best. My rating? Totally Limp.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:28PM (#14388238)
    ...good old ini files are much more easy to use (i.e. copy around, fiddle and the like)
    • by dc29A (636871) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:38PM (#14388305)
      ...good old ini files are much more easy to use (i.e. copy around, fiddle and the like)

      That will also make applications easier to port. Something Microsoft doesn't want. Registry is a good lock-in tool for Microsoft.
      • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:16PM (#14388514) Journal
        Hmm... Well, assuming you have the source and are ready to start porting code, it's just about changing the behavior of a number of well documented [microsoft.com] API calls. You can make a library out of it with your own preferred behavior to make the code reusable. Actually, I'd be surprised if someone hadn't already done so and posted it somewhere on the web.

        It's hardly a lock-in method when it's both documented methods and it's easy to find out what happens -- the Windows registry is hardly rocket science, but more like a tree of settings that can have a few different data types.
    • by displaced80 (660282) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:52PM (#14388380)
      (I'm a .NET developer .... hey, don't shoot me!)

      I'm a huge fan of .conf files (or, on my home platform of choice -- OS X -- .plist) files. Although I appreciate .conf files' readability, sometimes I want to store prefs which are a little more complex. My preferred method is to create 'Prefs' classes in my apps. Depending on requirements, I'll make a UserPrefs class and optionally a SystemPrefs class (for prefs that apply to all users). These are just a bunch of properties to hold each setting. It's nice from a coding point of view because you can put sensible defaults into the prefs class(es)' constructor in case the prefs haven't been saved previously. I then just serialise and de-serialise these classes into and out of an XML file. These get saved into appropriate filesystem locations.

      The resultant XML isn't as tidy as that which OS X's Cocoa frameworks produce, but it's still a gazillion times more manageable and flexible than registry entries. I'd like to put together a generic viewer/editor for these xml files (much like OS X's 'Property List Editor'), although they're still plain-text tweakable if you're paying attention.

      The registry is an idea whose time has passed. I'd like to see a future MS operating system implement a standardised xml file layout for everything the registry holds, using as many individual files as are appropriate. Turn the legacy Registry API calls into wrappers for the file-based system.

      That'd make things neater, if done right! :)
      • Turn the legacy Registry API calls into wrappers for the file-based system.

        For those who don't know, this is actually exactly what Microsoft themselves did starting in Windows 4.0. They changed the implementation of a number of Registry API calls to work (read + write) against the registry rather than system .ini files. Time to change back to files again, maybe? ;-)
        • Topics discussed include the history of the Windows Registry

          I was hoping they would announce who was responsible, and kill him or her instead ... the registry should be classified as terrorist WMD - Windows Melt-Down.

        • I'm a huge fan of .conf files (or, on my home platform of choice -- OS X -- .plist) files
        • The resultant XML isn't as tidy as that which OS X's Cocoa frameworks
        • I'd like to put together a generic viewer/editor ... much like OS X's 'Property List Editor'

        So you're copying the way OS X does things within .Net to compensate for the way M$ does them. Sounds like you're ready for the Windows next-gen R&D team alright!

        =tkk

      • Although I appreciate .conf files' readability, sometimes I want to store prefs which are a little more complex.

        The configuration section doesn't have to be just a list of name-value pairs. You can design your own config sections with the full hierarchial functionality of XML. Look up the IConfigurationSectionHandler interface.
  • Fix whats there! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by a_greer2005 (863926) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:34PM (#14388279)
    Not flame, genuine curiosity from a 20 year old IT major

    OK, am I the only one who has grown weary of the "oh well, another month, another insain exploit" state of mind in which windows users and admins seem to be willing to accept? Why do people just accept this, I understand a few bugs, and maybe a SINGLE large scale outbreak in something as commonplace as Windows, but this crap is just outright crazy now-a-days.

    Businesses would never accept this kind of qualty from, for example, partners, suppliers, and so on, so why do they "just take" this seeminly QC-lacking products from redmond with glee?

    • by a_greer2005 (863926) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:37PM (#14388298)
      Hate to reply to self but: heres the rest of my thought that I forgot:

      If you already paid for WinXP, why the hell should you have to pay AGAIN for the "security" that was supposed to be there...and in 2k, NT4, yadda yadda yadda?

      • I did notice today that Windows Live customers should not be affected by the WMF exploit. Guess you didn't pay ENOUGH just purchasing XP.
      • Re:Fix whats there! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ThaFooz (900535) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @11:12PM (#14389427)
        Fix whats there!

        A long term plan for fixing the underlying architecture problems is as important as maintaining the current release... otherwise you're just turd polishing (which is more expensive to Redmond & the end users in the long run). System Architects and QA are almost apples and oranges too.

        Not flame, genuine curiosity from a 20 year old IT major. Why do people just accept this... Businesses would never accept this kind of qualty from, for example, partners, suppliers, and so on, so why do they "just take" this seeminly QC-lacking products from redmond with glee?

        I really don't think there are that many people drinking the MS kool aid. People have been switching to Apple desktops and *nix servers fairly steadily, but you're not going to see an overnight change because the cost of migration is so high

        I mean for home users, it boils down to a Wintel system or an Apple... if you're buying a new system its an easy choice IMHO, but what does an unhappy windows user do if they have nice x86 hardware? What do you really expect non-tech-savy users to do when presented with the options of (a) selling their current sytem at a loss and buy new hardware, (b) really making an effort educate themselves for the purpose of switching to an OS with little-to-no commercial apps/games/tech support, mediocre media playback, and a clunky UI (no, I'm not hating on Linux. Fantastic workstation/server, craptacular home desktop) or (c) just accept it & hit the reset button/ bust out the system recovery disk every now and then until it's time for a new box (or a stable release comes out).

        For buisnesses, migrating workstations/servers is only possible if the application support is present, and you have the cost of re-training. Porting any custom C#/ASP/MSSQL/etc to cross-platform solutions is time consuming and software developers are expensive, ditto with *nix sysadmins. Not to mention the fact that any good Windows should be able to eliminate (or at least mitigate) the threat of said security flaws.

        If you already paid for WinXP, why the hell should you have to pay AGAIN for the "security" that was supposed to be there...and in 2k, NT4, yadda yadda yadda?

        Well I'm not exactly a MS fan, but I don't think its quite so sinister. Old versions (even pirated versions) are entitled to security patches for a few years, which is pretty reasonable. To expect lifelong upgrades for free is asking a bit much though. I mean, I expect Honda to issue recalls on any safety issues on my Accord, but don't angry when they won't retrofit it with a hybrid engine.
    • by jjohnson (62583) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:46PM (#14388351) Homepage

      Businesses would never accept this kind of qualty from, for example, partners, suppliers, and so on...

      Businesses in all markets accept this kind of quality from their suppliers and partners all the time. They don't like it, they scream about it, they change relationships because of it, but don't think that problems of the same scale don't constantly occur in businesses generally. I say this as someone who spent five years in plastic housewares manufacturing. Technology is not unique at all in this respect.

      • I say this as someone who spent five years in plastic housewares...

        Mr. McGuire: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word."

        Benjamin: "Yes, sir."

        Mr. McGuire: "Are you listening?"

        Benjamin: "Yes, I am."

        Mr. McGuire: "Plastics."

    • I believe the term is "conditioning" which replaced "brain washing". When you're used to getting something of a certain quality from a particular person or organization, you come to expect it. (That's the tech-savvy people who defend microsoft)

      Either that or you have no idea what a WMF is (May even think it's an acronym for a body part) and don't understand how it can hurt you or why it's important. (That's everyone else)

      Besides, usually with partners, suppliers, etc. you have a way of punishing them, perha
    • It's a combination of ignorance and complacency. People just don't know any better, and it doesn't annoy the decision makers enough to demand a change. If all you've ever known is Windows, then it's all too easy to think that everything else must be just the same. If you're a decision maker you're never going to get your hands dirty with the issue anyway, so who cares? You've got grunts to take care of that.

      Add to that the major hurdle of switching away from Windows, and you end up with the current business
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:35PM (#14388282)
    if (defaultBrowser != MSIE || defaultMediaPlayer != WiMP || defaultMailClient != LookOut || defaultGUI != FisherPrice)
    {
    alert(Microsoft)
    }

    Heh, my "confirm you're not a script" is "issues." Not surprising.
  • by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:36PM (#14388291)
    Why do I get the feeling this is the programmer's equivalent of that scene in the teen slasher movies where the girl is going into the dark basement, unarmed and with nothing but a flickering candle for light?
  • slashdotted (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cmdr_earthsnake (939669) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:40PM (#14388314) Homepage
    Click on link + server not responding + hosted on a microsoft server +MS publicity = slashdotted
    • Damn, good MS have come up with a scarier, uglier error page for asp.net? We are working on a new CMS in .net at my company. Those error pages seriously freak clients out. It looks like the world ended.
    • I assume that the database server is overloaded, so the cms is throwing an error. Couldn't there be a more graceful way to do that?
  • Holy shit, I just averaged 1.1 megs a second download! They are going too be hurting after this.
  • That's It?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spinlock_1977 (777598) <Spinlock_1977&yahoo,com> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @07:53PM (#14388391) Journal
    Now I'm only half way through the video, but holy minimizer Batman, is that all they're doing?

    So they discovered software dependencies and configuration management, error handling in the kernel, and reversed one of their previous errors - putting device drivers inside the kernel.

    I'm no OS guru (I'm just an applications guy), but shouldn't they have thrown the whole mess in the garbage and started over? They're referring to the Vista kernel as "NT"!! It's freakin NT!

    NT's karma has waned (especially this week). God help us - we'll be stuck with MS security holes forever.
    • Re:That's It?? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jonbrewer (11894)
      Echoing the sentiments of the ACs who have replied to this, I too need to put in a good word for the NT kernel. It's excellent. It always works. I started working with NT 3.51 10+ years ago (same time I moved from Digital Unix to Linux) and have found it to be a great OS. Give it good hardware & software, (these days set it behind a firewall) and it will run for YEARS.

      I managed an early Y2K program back in 1998 where we moved a network from 486/Win3.11/Novell to 586/NT4.0/NT Server. We didn't put remova
    • Re:That's It?? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0racle (667029) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @09:30PM (#14388958)
      Ah yes, throwing everything out and starting from scratch is a fantastic way to fix security holes and bugs.

      See Also:
      Windows 95
      Windows NT 3.1

      Paragons of stability and perfect programming without a single bug all thanks to throwing everything out and starting over.
  • Why is the audio quality of the movie so bad? Like this their American accent makes it very hard to understand anything if you are not a native English speaker.
  • by blast3r (911514) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:18PM (#14388532)
    I haven't read this anywhere yet but I did some testing today and found that Windows Vista is vulnerable to the nasty WMF dealio. I am wondering what else Microsoft is importing into Windows Vista? hmmmm
  • Slashdot editors provide free advertising for Microsoft spin doctors. Film at eleven!
  • Torrent (Score:3, Informative)

    by JRHelgeson (576325) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:30PM (#14388624) Homepage Journal
    I can't believe that we /.'ed Microsoft!

    I just posted the torrent, enjoy:
    http://64.226.48.88/kernel_windows_vista_2005.wmv. torrent [64.226.48.88]
  • Vista and .wmf (Score:4, Interesting)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:33PM (#14388635)
    the security/reliability of Microsoft's upcoming operating system.

    The answer to one question will determine whther Vista is really an improvement in security for Windows.

    Is the current test version of Vista susceptible to the .wmf exploit that is currently making the rounds on the internet?

    • Re:Vista and .wmf (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheNetAvenger (624455)
      Is the current test version of Vista susceptible to the .wmf exploit that is currently making the rounds on the internet?

      Yep, although you need to be logged in as 'the' administrator for the exploit to do anything to the system.

      Other accounts, even admin level ask for your permission to infect the system, so even with an open flaw, it would take the user to allow it to install. (And even some of the exploits still won't affect the system even with the user's permission with the new UAP system.)
  • by aCapitalist (552761) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @08:44PM (#14388716)
    I could barely hear the guy and the other architects were nudging him a little about being so quiet. I wonder why;)?
  • Dependency hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by curious.corn (167387) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @10:19PM (#14389187)
    So they're more or less admitting "essentially ... windows is one big binary..." Woah! Low level libraries and frameworks depending on stuff that's higher level, "in the past we've relied on... lockstep... development process..." and "we're now looking at dependencies in the 6 digits range..." Man, these guys are giving one hell of a bashing to the Microsoft codebase.

    One guy starts talking about modularity and inserting features and plugins into essential services... and I thought objC. But before that another one gets all hot (I chuckled, this guy is a True Nerd, he really likes fiddling with code... congrats) about semicoop multitask where an app renices itself to 100% resource hog tier for a limited time slot (nice try, but what when all the silly apps do the same trick?), but before that there's a talk about usermode ukernel services... I thought about when I used to renice X11R6 to get better performance (when the graph card module was part of the X process).

    I think Bill needs to pull out of tech and sell Microsoft to Apple. These techs are good guys, all they need is a solid process and some decent vision.

    Jobs, are you reading this? Watch this video, it'll make you feel good! :-)
    e
  • reality check (Score:5, Interesting)

    by penguin-collective (932038) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @10:53PM (#14389328)
    First of all, the video is unviewable even with Microsoft Media Player on Mac, but you can find a whitepaper describing the kernel changes here [microsoft.com]. Keep in mind that all of this is basically Microsoft advertising for developers; it's not taking a "hard look" at the kernel architecture, it's the kernel developers portraying their work in the best light.

    What's interesting is how little innovation there actually is. They seem to be struggling with the complexity of the system and its dependencies (5500 components)--similar to the problems Linus is having, but multiplied many times over by greater complexity of the NT system architecture. Most of their actual improvements seem to be cleanups and performance enhancements.

    My impression is that the Vista kernel and system libraries are still playing catch-up with Linux in terms of modularity, performance, and functionality.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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