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Microsoft to follow Apple's Lion lead with digital delivery of Windows 8

post #1 of 127
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Much like Apple did with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in July, Microsoft plans to make the simplest and easiest method of installing Windows 8 a download over the Internet.

Web delivery is one way that Microsoft is hoping to speed up and simplify the installation process with its forthcoming operating system release. In a post to the company's official blog this week, Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows Division, detailed the setup experience users will see with Windows 8.

Sinofsky explained that Microsoft aims to satisfy two distinct types of customers in the install process: those who want to install with minimum hassle, and those who want to do a clean install with more options, control and customization. Microsoft's simpler solution will allow users to simply launch a file that can be delivered via the Web, not unlike Apple's Lion, which is available for purchase and install through the Mac App Store.

"In the past, if you wanted to buy an upgrade for Windows, it involved purchasing a boxed product from a retail outlet, taking it home, (sometimes being infuriated while trying to open the box,) and inserting a DVD," Sinofsky explained. "However, buying boxed software is quickly becoming the exception rather than the rule, with more and more software being purchased online as broadband penetration increases and large-size media downloads become more common.

"While we will continue to offer boxed DVDs, we are also making it easier than ever to purchase and install online. This includes starting the setup experience online as well, and having one continuous integrated experience from beginning to end."

Microsoft's Web setup will allow the company to "pre-key" the setup image that is downloaded to a unique user. This means users won't need to enter the 25-digit product key that is currently necessary to install existing versions of Windows.

Sinofsky stopped short of saying that the Web install method will be the preferred way for users to install Windows 8, though the simplified process will likely make it ideal for most users. Through one application, Microsoft will scan a user's system for compatibility, download Windows 8, and then install the operating system.



Apple has made it clear that the Mac App Store is the preferred way for users to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, though the company has made Lion also available on a USB thumb drive. But while Lion costs $29.99 on the Mac App Store, its $69 price tag when bought on a USB drive is more than double the price of the digital download.

Of course, Microsoft's digital delivery method for Windows 8 is very different from Apple's approach, in that Microsoft does not have a centralized software storefront akin to Apple's Mac App Store. Users will have to load the dedicated Windows 8 Setup application to make the upgrade on their system, while the Mac App Store is available on all up-to-date systems running Apple's previous-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Beyond digital delivery, Microsoft has made a number of other changes to help simplify and speed up the Windows 8 install process. Through a number of modifications to the upgrade engine, Microsoft says it has reduced a clean install time from 32 minutes for Windows 7 to 21 minutes with Windows 8.

The greatest improvement will be seen for power users who complete a "super upgrade," which, in Microsoft's tests, includes 1.44 million files and 120 installed applications. While a Windows 7 upgrade under that scenario would have taken 513 minutes, Windows 8's advertised upgrade time is just 52 minutes.
post #2 of 127
"Microsoft to follow Apple's lead" is a much nicer title than I would have given this.

And doesn't this mean that absolutely no one will be updating Windows? People are used to going to the store, having seven options, not understanding any of them, not understanding them after the store employee explains them, and then buying and installing the wrong thing.

You can't mess with that system! It's a tried and true system!

Oh, hey, does this mean Microsoft will have to create an update to Windows 7 that includes a new application? The "Win App Store"?

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post #3 of 127
Redmond start your photocopiers
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post #4 of 127
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Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Redmond start your photocopiers

I miss Bertrand Serlet.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #5 of 127
This will probably stop the complaints* that Lion is too expensive, when the Windows download version costs more than the OS X thumbdrive version!

* Kidding!
post #6 of 127
Which to download?

Windows 8 business edition
Windows 8 personal edition
Windows 8 executive edition
Windows 8 super secret edition
Windows 8 semi-personal, but mostly business edition
Windows 8 a little bit of business, but somewhat personal edition

Check, got it. Little bit of business, but somewhat personal.

Commence download... Wait 3 hours... Wait 2 more hours for security patches on a brand new os? (wtf!)... Wait 45 more minutes to configure and 50 restarts

Reboot final time, wait for screen to load, click on my computer... BSOD. I love windoze.
post #7 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Which to download?

Windows 8 business edition
Windows 8 personal edition
Windows 8 executive edition
Windows 8 super secret edition
Windows 8 semi-personal, but mostly business edition
Windows 8 a little bit of business, but somewhat personal edition

Check, got it. Little bit of business, but somewhat personal.

Commence download... Wait 3 hours... Wait 2 more hours for security patches on a brand new os? (wtf!)... Wait 45 more minutes to configure and 50 restarts

Reboot final time, wait for screen to load, click on my computer... BSOD. I love windoze.

That's stretching the truth a bit too thin.

Practically speaking, there are only two versions of Windows worth caring about, Home Premium and Professional, and 99% of people only need Home Premium. If your computer came with Windows 7 Professional, you can only upgrade to Windows 8 Professional so you don't loose features.
post #8 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"Microsoft to follow Apple's lead" is a much nicer title than I would have given this.

And doesn't this mean that absolutely no one will be updating Windows? People are used to going to the store, having seven options, not understanding any of them, not understanding them after the store employee explains them, and then buying and installing the wrong thing.

You can't mess with that system! It's a tried and true system!

Oh, hey, does this mean Microsoft will have to create an update to Windows 7 that includes a new application? The "Win App Store"?

There are never more than three options of Windows to buy.
post #9 of 127
Is Redmond going to also copy the price points of Apples operating systems sold on the Mac App Store? I doubt it lol.
post #10 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Is Redmond going to also copy the price points of Apples operating systems sold on the Mac App Store? I doubt it lol.

Is Apple going to copy the hardware prices of Window based machines?
post #11 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

There are never more than three options of Windows to buy.

True. The sliding window, the fixed window and the bifold window
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post #12 of 127
Monkey see. Monkey do.
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post #13 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Which to download?

Windows 8 business edition
Windows 8 personal edition
Windows 8 executive edition
Windows 8 super secret edition
Windows 8 semi-personal, but mostly business edition
Windows 8 a little bit of business, but somewhat personal edition

Check, got it. Little bit of business, but somewhat personal.

Commence download... Wait 3 hours... Wait 2 more hours for security patches on a brand new os? (wtf!)... Wait 45 more minutes to configure and 50 restarts

Reboot final time, wait for screen to load, click on my computer... BSOD. I love windoze.

It's always been stupid Microsoft have offered 10+ versions of one OS. Also if you get professional, it bugs you to buy Ultimate? Huh

Also, Lion was £29, Windows 8 is £150+, people aint gonna be as willing.

Also Windows 8 includes what, a tablet UI made for kittens?? If you want to upgrade just for that when you don't even have a touchscreen.
post #14 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

There are never more than three options of Windows to buy.

Windows 7 and Vista: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate

Oh, sorry, six. You probably wouldn't let me count the "N" edition. What about the 32-bit and 64-bit versions? I'd count those. So twelve.

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #15 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post

Is Apple going to copy the hardware prices of Window based machines?


The cost addon when you consider on a Mac, don't need AV (be sensible), and OS upgrades are cheap.

Windows: Buy/Download AV, pay £150 for updates that Microsoft purposely not include in Windows 7, and pay for it to be repaired when the HW breaks
post #16 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Windows 7 and Vista: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate

Oh, sorry, six. You probably wouldn't let me count the "N" edition. What about the 32-bit and 64-bit versions? I'd count those. So twelve.

I think hes talking about retail versions. There are only 3 versions (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate). The other versions are not available generally outside of OEM channels.
post #17 of 127
Maybe it's the bundling that MS seems to do that pushes the number of options up. Or the fact that they have to keep offering just about all their older systems as well that complicates matters. And didn't they also offer separate 32bit and 64bit versions of each?

I like the fact that they are trying to implement change and offer an easier system and user experience - but I've witnessed it first hand that one of the biggest issues they have in getting Windows users to update is the users themselves. It's at least part of the essence of difference between Mac and PC - the PC user wants things to stay the way they are, fix whatever is broken, but don't change anything, even if it makes things better.

My colleague just switched from an ancient HP laptop to a 13" mba. All his files got swapped, emails set up and we even got him backing up to a time machine. Very simple process. He's now complaining that he "can't find his files" because they're not cluttering up his desktop the way he used to have them. He quite literally had ZERO file system for his work (which included several billion $ worth of IP) and now that it's saved in a system that makes sense and is easier to navigate, find, and use, he is ready to go back to the way things were.

This, in my opinion, is the reason why MS has kept a strong-hold on their user base. It's not that their system is better - it's that the user resists change. It drives me crazy when people are like that, but that is how the majority of people are. I say, let the aging population keep doing what they're doing and then go away. There will be a wholesale change at some point in the future as the user base stops being those people unwilling to change - I hope.
post #18 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's Web setup will allow the company to "pre-key" the setup image that is downloaded to a unique user. This means users won't need to enter the 25-digit product key that is currently necessary to install existing versions of Windows.

This is the best news in the whole story. I am SOOOOOO sick of having to enter Microsoft's 25 digit code every time I install a Microsoft product.
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post #19 of 127
1.44 million files. That is some serious bloat.

How many does Lion have?

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post #20 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Windows 7 and Vista: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate

Oh, sorry, six. You probably wouldn't let me count the "N" edition. What about the 32-bit and 64-bit versions? I'd count those. So twelve.

Plus the ARM versions too!
post #21 of 127
This will either reduce the traffic to the MS stores or greatly increase it as people go in looking for help with a failed upgrade. I can't wait to see how this turns out.
post #22 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

1.44 million files. That is some serious bloat.

How many does Lion have?

More. Seriously.

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post #23 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Windows 7 and Vista: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate

Oh, sorry, six. You probably wouldn't let me count the "N" edition. What about the 32-bit and 64-bit versions? I'd count those. So twelve.


Plus isn't there full versions and upgrade versions of each? Plus server versions.

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post #24 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Plus isn't there full versions and upgrade versions of each?

Yes - each with its own set of conditions - which is why people end up buying the wrong thing and having to try to swap for what they hope is the right upgrade/new system.

Again, it's made for a group of people who don't want change or only want a part-change and MS is willing to try to accommodate them all. Their model is just so old-school, but given they have to build their system to operate on such a wide and wildly different group of computers from different computer manufacturers, it's no wonder they've done things the way they have.
post #25 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

There are never more than three options of Windows to buy.

There's Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate (ignoring of course Enterprise and Server) so yeah that's ummmm 1,2,3,4,5 versions - for Windows 7.

We are obviously going to ignore Windows Mobile, Win Phone 7, Windows Home Server, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, and Windows Embedded CE 6.0, because, well because we can. And probably should.

And we are going to ignore the roughly 30% of the current market that is still running XP desktop. Again, because we can. And probably should.

Never. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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post #26 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

That's stretching the truth a bit too thin.

Practically speaking, there are only two versions of Windows worth caring about, Home Premium and Professional, and 99% of people only need Home Premium. If your computer came with Windows 7 Professional, you can only upgrade to Windows 8 Professional so you don't loose features.

Translation:

1. There are only two versions of windows...worth caring about.
2. OK, technically there are like 5 more. But ignore those. Unless you're a small business, medium business, or home video editor...or female. Then proceed to step 3.
3. If your computer came with one of the two versions that most people care about, you can upgrade to one of the NEW versions that only some people care about.
4. If you are not part of the 99%, you can get a free upgrade to Windows 8, unless your computer came with Windows 7 or you're an idiot still running Vista for XP
5. Press 1 for English.

Glad that's cleared up. Makes perfect sense.
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post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

There's Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate (ignoring of course Enterprise and Server) so yeah that's ummmm 1,2,3,4,5 versions - for Windows 7.

We are obviously going to ignore Windows Mobile, Win Phone 7, Windows Home Server, Windows XP Embedded, Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, and Windows Embedded CE 6.0, because, well because we can. And probably should.

And we are going to ignore the roughly 30% of the current market that is still running XP desktop. Again, because we can. And probably should.

Never. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.




Well done. My school district staff laptops still run XP and will for at least another year.
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post #28 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Yes - each with its own set of conditions - which is why people end up buying the wrong thing and having to try to swap for what they hope is the right upgrade/new system.

Again, it's made for a group of people who don't want change or only want a part-change and MS is willing to try to accommodate them all. Their model is just so old-school, but given they have to build their system to operate on such a wide and wildly different group of computers from different computer manufacturers, it's no wonder they've done things the way they have.

Your answer is sensible. Please refrain from such displays of intelligence, or people might turn a blind eye on you

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post #29 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

This is the best news in the whole story. I am SOOOOOO sick of having to enter Microsoft's 25 digit code every time I install a Microsoft product.

yes, you just have to enter your bank account number so if you download it and give it to other people, they'll know how much to charge you for each copy.
post #30 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post

Is Apple going to copy the hardware prices of Window based machines?

They don't have too. They make the most profit out of all the PC companies. Also, the other PC companies can't compete with the MBA on price/performance.
post #31 of 127
If you can buy their OS online...

With what will MS stock the shelves of their high-priced retail stores?
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post #32 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

1.44 million files. That is some serious bloat.

Generally, Microsoft includes basic drivers for any and all peripherals right out of the box. Likely that accounts for some of the files.

Additionally, many things are never installed, depending on user preference., Instead, they reside in compressed files, waiting for the need to install. For example, if you plug into pretty much any USB device, Windows figures out what it is, installs the driver from a compressed file, and you are good to go.

So while there are a lot of files, many are just stored until they are needed. It seems better to me that things like accessibility options for the blind, multiple language and font packs, etc. are available, but remain uninstalled unless needed.
post #33 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

If you can buy their OS online...

With what will MS stock the shelves of their high-priced retail stores?

Anti virus software.

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post #34 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Anti virus software.

I think I just poohed me knickers...
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post #35 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Windows figures out what it is, installs the driver from a compressed file, and you are good to go.

I wish it would stop telling me it found new hardware wanting to install drivers for my RAID, a couple minutes after it already booted from said RAID.

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post #36 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What about the 32-bit and 64-bit versions? I'd count those. So twelve.

When I bought Windows 7 Home Premium (first version of windows I've ever actually paid for - bought 2 copies at £45 each with the pre order discount) you got both the 32 and 64 bit DVDs in the same box and a single license code, so I'm not sure they really count as separate products any more like they did with XP... You can't buy "Windows 7 32 bit" and "Windows 7 64 bit" separately.

Saying that though it could still get very confusing for your average consumer as to which DVD they need to install from...
post #37 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Your answer is sensible. Please refrain from such displays of intelligence, or people might turn a blind eye on you

Thanks, I think. I've just recently had the revelation that it's change that is causing many of the issues we face in the world - or the fear of change, resistance to change, etc.

Only adaptors of change will move forward because evolution is happening in all things. Forget about apes to humans - think communication, learning, business, travel/transportation. You have a company like RIM who clearly nailed it when they created their push email service, but times changed and now their miraculous system isn't really any better than any of the other options out there - plus RIM's lack of moving forward (change) to address the other things people have become accustomed to things (like seamless web, specific apps, maps) that other manufacturers have made almost ubiquitous.
post #38 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

1.44 million files. That is some serious bloat.

How many does Lion have?

If only it would take a million 1.44MB floppy disks to install. Imagine the size of the box for the OS
post #39 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Thanks, I think. I've just recently had the revelation that it's change that is causing many of the issues we face in the world - or the fear of change, resistance to change, etc.

I'm still waiting for my jet pack they promised. And what about that paperless office? Instead all I got is cyber crime and emails from the nephew of the former Nigerian finance minister. The future may not turn out like you planned. After all in the 25th century Captain Picard is still as bald as a cue ball. What happened to Hair Club for Men? Did they go out of business?

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post #40 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wish it would stop telling me it found new hardware wanting to install drivers for my RAID, a couple minutes after it already booted from said RAID.

I wish it wouldn't:
1) reinstall drivers for an already installed USB device purely because it was inserted into a different port from last time, and;
2) take so DAMN long before the hardware starts responding. I plug a USB device into my iMac (graphics tablet, USB MIDI/Sound interface, Mouse, Toaster oven etc.) and I can use said device instantly. I plug a mouse into a windows computer and I have to sit and wait for plug and play to wake the f*** up!

The thing I really hate about windows' handling of USB devices is with USB Hard disk drives.

I want to unplug my 2.5" hard disk from my Mac, I tell it to eject from finder, you hear the disk rev down and click the read-write head back into position so its then safe to carry around. I Tell the same disk to eject from my windows computer, the thing is still spinning at full speed with the write head (most likely) still hovering over the disk surface. The only option I have is to yank out the USB cable cutting power to the disk without it actually receiving any instruction to power down! A slight shock without power and that disk is done for

... at night.

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... at night.

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