OS WARS MEGA THREAD (Now debating proprietary vs. open-source!)

Linguofreak

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This is not the correct behavior, because then the user never reboots and therefore doesn't get the critical patch, and now their machine is part of a botnet or their extensive collection of cat pictures is being held by ransomware.

Yes it *is* the correct behavior, because the smart user will reboot, and, even given the lamentable state of your average router firmware, nothing malicious is likely to make it onto the user's network without being invited. The smart user will be careful what parts of the Web he visits, and, if he must visit that part of the Web, will treat every link as a live bomb, while the stupid user will go straight to www.shadybootlegdownloads.com and click the "I'm a trojan, download me!" link. It is pretty much impossible to prevent the dumb user from trojaning if he has admin rights on his own machine, and not granting the end user admin rights on hardware he's bought and paid for is something that the smart user will view as compromising his machine as thoroughly as if he had gone and downloaded the trojan. If property rights have any moral meaning where computers are concerned, denying the end user root on hardware he has bought and paid for is *morally wrong*, equivalent to trespassing or theft. So if the OS vendor is acting morally, then trying to secure the stupid user is a lost cause, and in that case you may as well design for the smart user's requirements.
 

Fizyk

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Hielor said:
But then, of course, a user could just leave a movie running constantly and never reboot, so that can't be absolute.
The whole idea that a user will want to trick their operating system into doing something they want points to some deep flaw in the design. The first point being, why do they even need to resort to tricks instead of just issuing commands? Something is very wrong here and I'm genuinely scared of the direction this is going.

Hielor said:
This is not the correct behavior, because then the user never reboots and therefore doesn't get the critical patch, and now their machine is part of a botnet or their extensive collection of cat pictures is being held by ransomware.
...which is not a problem of the OS or its vendor.
TBH, in my opinion a majority of the problems with the users now stem from this expectation that the computer will think for them. Users should be provided tools to protect themselves from malware, but not be forced to use them because they might have a good reason. If they don't use them and lose all their data to ransomware, well, that's a lesson for them. It doesn't mean that the OS was at fault, unless there were actually no tools for ensuring security.
If the users are shielded from the consequences of their choices, they will never learn.
(And yes, I do recognize botnets as a more complex problem, because more people are affected than just those who make mistakes. I don't think that taking choice away from the user is a good countermeasure, though.)
 
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Majid

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This is an OS war thread, so don't hate me for taking this shot Heilor because all is fair in war: But if I remember correctly, you worked or work at Microsoft and I think that's why you are inclined to defend Windows 10 so strongly. Why else would you defend the active hours thing, it's totally nuts!

---------- Post added at 11:33 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 AM ----------

BTW, just saying, the actual direction they should be taking is making reboots unnecessary. Windows reboots way too much, and other OS's are indisputably superior in this regard. Go fix the core architectural issues in the OS that makes it have to reboot everytime I sneeze.

---------- Post added at 12:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:33 AM ----------

It doesn't matter who the OS was designed for, keeping your OS running when the user wants it to stay running instead of rebooting seems like a basic feature that any user that has dished out money for the OS should be entitled to. I don't want to have to fight with my computer and schedule my things around the OS rather than the other way around. Computers exist to serve me, not the other way around! My active hours are 24/7.

I get that certain versions of Windows come with additional features that power users may find appealing. Keeping my computer running when I want it to stay running is not a feature specific to power users, it's a basic feature of the OS.
 

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Windows reboots way too much, and other OS's are indisputably superior in this regard. Go fix the core architectural issues in the OS that makes it have to reboot everytime I sneeze.
Huh? I thought that stopped to be the case in the late 90s - reboots were mandatory in the 9x architecture, and become generally unnecessary in the NT one for anything short of big updates.

A lot of software missed the notice, however, and keep asking for useless reboots after installation and what not.
 

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Huh? I thought that stopped to be the case in the late 90s - reboots were mandatory in the 9x architecture, and become generally unnecessary in the NT one for anything short of big updates.

A lot of software missed the notice, however, and keep asking for useless reboots after installation and what not.

Well, I mean it's enough of a problem to warrant this discussion + the whole active hours thing, isn't it?
 

Linguofreak

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Huh? I thought that stopped to be the case in the late 90s - reboots were mandatory in the 9x architecture, and become generally unnecessary in the NT one for anything short of big updates.

Well, in DOS kernel Windows, memory protection wasn't complete, and buggy applications could under certain circumstances clobber the kernel, so frequent reboots were necessary to keep that sort of damage under control.

NT had much more robust memory protection, at the cost of some compatibility with DOS applications, so reboots are no longer required for stability. However, the set of circumstances in which it is necessary to reboot the machine for an update to take effect is somewhat larger than in Linux (where I can't think of anything that would make that necessary other than an update to the kernel or, I guess, init).
 

Majid

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However, the set of circumstances in which it is necessary to reboot the machine for an update to take effect is somewhat larger than in Linux (where I can't think of anything that would make that necessary other than an update to the kernel or, I guess, init).

https://www.ubuntu.com/server/livepatch
http://www.ksplice.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kexec

I think you are being very generous when you say that the set of circumstances that necessitate an update for Windows is only "somewhat larger" than linux.
 
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Maybe I don't have a good imagination, but I'm struggling to come up with even a single example of a task that the average grandma sort of person-- who uses their computer for mail, playing bridge, looking at cat pictures, and Skyping the grandkids--would need to leave running overnight. That's the sort of person the Home version is targeted at. Help me out with examples of tasks this kind of person would need to run overnight?
Training a Haar-like features classifier cascade; mine typically require 15 hours of processing at least. Running a solar system integration in ORSA; rendering time depends on the desired number of objects to be simulated and the length of the simulation, but again there have been cases where I've needed to run it for more than a day to get the result. Of course all of this could be done in Linux, but I don't feel like I should have buy a pro version of Windows just to keep it from forcefully rebooting when I happen to be doing one of these tasks overnight in windows.
 

jangofett287

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https://www.ubuntu.com/server/livepatch
http://www.ksplice.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kexec

I think you are being very generous when you say that the set of circumstances that necessitate an update for Windows is only "somewhat larger" than linux.

I read somewhere that some Windows engineers got reboot-less updates working with the Windows kernel but still came to the conclusion it was a bad idea. They figured out there was no way to guarantee the update would install correctly and nothing would go wrong or get corrupted without a reboot.
 

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Ah yes, those are very typical use cases indeed! :lol:
Yeah, ok, so I'm an uber nerd, but still. I should probably have my nerd card revoked for recently buying a pre-built PC, but it was off-brand and the savings to be had by buying it in parts and assembling it myself was marginal. Of course it comes with windows 10 home pre-installed, hence my frustration. I have turned it into a Mint/Windows dual boot and I'm going to offload all the "long run" processing tasks to Mint as soon as possible.

Side note, ORSA doesn't seem to compile properly in Linux anymore under current compiler versions, and it's been a number of years since I last compiled it successfully in Ubuntu. If anyone knows of a fix, please let me know.
 
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dbeachy1

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Have you tried running a Mint VM under Windows 10? (No need to dual-boot that way.) Personally I like using Oracle's VirtualBox as the hypervisor. :) Does Windows 10 still auto-reboot if a VM is running??
 

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Have you tried running a Mint VM under Windows 10? (No need to dual-boot that way.) Personally I like using Oracle's VirtualBox as the hypervisor. :) Does Windows 10 still auto-reboot if a VM is running??

I hadn't really considered that, but I've already got it set up as a dual boot. I like the simplicity and redundancy a dual boot gives me anyway; the two operating systems are on different hard drives, so if one were to fail I can still boot the machine. This saved my rear on my last computer when the windows hard drive started failing and I was able to back the whole thing up by booting into Linux to transfer everything to an external drive before it finally bit the dust for good.
 

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Have you tried running a Mint VM under Windows 10? (No need to dual-boot that way.)

In my experience, that is somewhat laggy unless you have a pretty powerful machine. My work laptop is an i7 with 32 Gigs of RAM, and I switched to dualboot pretty soon. Still used a VM on my private laptop for school every once in a while, but if I need a linux system regularly, dual boot is definitely the way to go.
 

Hielor

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Yes it *is* the correct behavior, because the smart user will reboot, and, even given the lamentable state of your average router firmware, nothing malicious is likely to make it onto the user's network without being invited. The smart user will be careful what parts of the Web he visits, and, if he must visit that part of the Web, will treat every link as a live bomb, while the stupid user will go straight to www.shadybootlegdownloads.com and click the "I'm a trojan, download me!" link. It is pretty much impossible to prevent the dumb user from trojaning if he has admin rights on his own machine, and not granting the end user admin rights on hardware he's bought and paid for is something that the smart user will view as compromising his machine as thoroughly as if he had gone and downloaded the trojan.
I'm going to use "computer savvy user" instead of "smart user" since there are quite a few people who may be smart but not know anything about computers.

The Pro SKU is the one aimed at computer savvy users. The Home SKU is aimed at the average computer user, who won't be computer savvy, and won't know what a botnet is until they're part of one, and won't know what ransomware (or bitcoin) is until they're being asked to pay bitcoins to unlock their own computer.

The average computer user will never intentionally check for updates, and they'll certainly never go look for updated drivers. They may never intentionally reboot the machine, instead just closing the lid of the laptop to "turn it off." If their machine is to stay up to date, the machine needs to do it itself.

Windows, being a mainstream OS, needs to cater to the majority average user. Computer savvy individuals can use the SKU intended for them, or if they're sufficiently computer savvy, they can easily remove the training wheels that keep the average user safe.

The whole idea that a user will want to trick their operating system into doing something they want points to some deep flaw in the design. The first point being, why do they even need to resort to tricks instead of just issuing commands? Something is very wrong here and I'm genuinely scared of the direction this is going.
Because the average user doesn't know how to take care of their computer, as already said.


...which is not a problem of the OS or its vendor.
It absolutely is. Who do those users blame? If the OS can solve the problem for the majority of users, why shouldn't they?

TBH, in my opinion a majority of the problems with the users now stem from this expectation that the computer will think for them. Users should be provided tools to protect themselves from malware, but not be forced to use them because they might have a good reason. If they don't use them and lose all their data to ransomware, well, that's a lesson for them. It doesn't mean that the OS was at fault, unless there were actually no tools for ensuring security.
If the users are shielded from the consequences of their choices, they will never learn.
Except that's kind of the situation we have now--users are provided with the countermeasures by default that will work in the vast majority of cases. If somebody wants to disable the countermeasures and shoot themselves in the foot, they can do that. It just helps ensure that users who aren't computer savvy don't shoot themselves in the foot accidentally.

This is an OS war thread, so don't hate me for taking this shot Heilor because all is fair in war: But if I remember correctly, you worked or work at Microsoft and I think that's why you are inclined to defend Windows 10 so strongly. Why else would you defend the active hours thing, it's totally nuts!
My employment at Microsoft is largely irrelevant to my frequent enjoyment of playing devil's advocate; one need look no further than the Trump thread for that. I don't post here in any official capacity, although that could be quite a nice gig...

Active hours are an imperfect solution to a complicated problem which isn't as simple as "just allow users to defer updates indefinitely." The situation improved in more recent builds, but it's still imperfect, and there is a significant amount of feedback to that effect both internally and externally.

I'm not on the team responsible for this feature, so my personal opinion is largely irrelevant. I have contributed to the feedback and encourage you to do the same via the Feedback Hub app.

It doesn't matter who the OS was designed for, keeping your OS running when the user wants it to stay running instead of rebooting seems like a basic feature that any user that has dished out money for the OS should be entitled to. I don't want to have to fight with my computer and schedule my things around the OS rather than the other way around. Computers exist to serve me, not the other way around! My active hours are 24/7.
You never sleep? Teach me!

As a computer savvy user, you shouldn't have any trouble working around the issue.

I get that certain versions of Windows come with additional features that power users may find appealing. Keeping my computer running when I want it to stay running is not a feature specific to power users, it's a basic feature of the OS.
24/7 uptime sounds kind of like a "professional" feature to me :)

Training a Haar-like features classifier cascade; mine typically require 15 hours of processing at least. Running a solar system integration in ORSA; rendering time depends on the desired number of objects to be simulated and the length of the simulation, but again there have been cases where I've needed to run it for more than a day to get the result. Of course all of this could be done in Linux, but I don't feel like I should have buy a pro version of Windows just to keep it from forcefully rebooting when I happen to be doing one of these tasks overnight in windows.
These all sound like the sort of things that one wouldn't expect to be doing as an average "home" user.
 

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Honestly, this whole "tech savy" user vs non-tech savy user archetype thing you have going on doesn't work and seems totally arbitrary. This is why Microsoft has a bad rep for usability. They try to over complicate everything. My OS should be secure and it should remain out of my way. That should be true for *all* versions/offerings of Windows, no matter who they are targeted at.

Get rid of features like MSMQ/RDP/etc/etc/ that home users don't need. But like I said before, being able to keep your computer running *when you want to* is a basic expectation from any OS. This is why the active hours concept seems so weird and artificial. They should target the actual root problem, that is reducing the need to reboot to apply updates if not eliminating it all together.

I guess that's a harder fix than just forcing the users to reboot outside of "active hours". What a hack.
 

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if they're sufficiently computer savvy, they can easily remove the training wheels that keep the average user safe.
Just because someone can do brain surgery does not mean they enjoy doing it.

Computer savvy individuals can use the SKU intended for them
By the way, you are making that argument from an American point of view, right?

That means that these "SKU intended for them" cost money. Obscene amount of money. A quick google gives me either $501 or $882 for Win 10 server, both of which are at the level of or exceeding a price of a typical computer. Even Pro at $200 is painfully expensive.

We are talking about common people, quite often young and not blessed with an big income or a fortune, who find themselves more and more limited by their own OS's fascism as they are getting self-taught in computer stuff, but not being able to legitimately upgrade to a more fitting SKU.

How is that right, fair or moral?

One step further, how is it moral to have a near-monopoly on software that is essential to doing anything with a computer? That you should pay extra to be able to use common things and be able to interact with common, often mandatory, software ecosystems?

As a side question, is there some sort of a OS welfare thing in the states? Like there are things like food stamps or obamacare to help people with low income get food or healthcare. Is there something like that for getting a Windows? Or am i completely misunderstanding the concept?

Have you tried running a Mint VM under Windows 10?
Won't that violate the purpose of having a reboot-free OS?
 

Hielor

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Honestly, this whole "tech savy" user vs non-tech savy user archetype thing you have going on doesn't work and seems totally arbitrary. This is why Microsoft has a bad rep for usability. They try to over complicate everything. My OS should be secure and it should remain out of my way. That should be true for *all* versions/offerings of Windows, no matter who they are targeted at.
Given the constraint that the system must be rebooted to update, and the requirement to keep the system up-to-date as much as possible, the answer ends up being "at some point a reboot must be forced if the user never reboots."

By the way, you are making that argument from an American point of view, right?

That means that these "SKU intended for them" cost money. Obscene amount of money. A quick google gives me either $501 or $882 for Win 10 server, both of which are at the level of or exceeding a price of a typical computer. Even Pro at $200 is painfully expensive.

Normal Windows 10 is $120, Pro is only an $80 upgrade.

We are talking about common people, quite often young and not blessed with an big income or a fortune, who find themselves more and more limited by their own OS's fascism as they are getting self-taught in computer stuff, but not being able to legitimately upgrade to a more fitting SKU.

How is that right, fair or moral?
Students get a lot of this stuff for free via the Microsoft Imagine program: https://imagine.microsoft.com/en-us/catalog


One step further, how is it moral to have a near-monopoly on software that is essential to doing anything with a computer? That you should pay extra to be able to use common things and be able to interact with common, often mandatory, software ecosystems?
But the average consumer doesn't pay extra--the OS comes with their computer. And the home edition serves the average person's needs just fine. Updates that require reboots are only pushed what, once a month? So it's the sort of thing you can plan for if necessary.

As a side question, is there some sort of a OS welfare thing in the states? Like there are things like food stamps or obamacare to help people with low income get food or healthcare. Is there something like that for getting a Windows? Or am i completely misunderstanding the concept?
People who can't afford a computer typically use computers at libraries. There may be options available for people to get a simple computer for cheap, but that would come with an OS so there wouldn't be a reason to buy the OS separately...
 

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If Microsoft has learnt anything in the last decade, is that it must adapt, or cease to become relevant. I am hopeful in the future we'll have a better solution than forced updates 24/7. This is a problem exclusive to Windows.
 

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Hielor said:
It absolutely is. Who do those users blame? If the OS can solve the problem for the majority of users, why shouldn't they?
Why should we care who the users blame? The majority of people often blame others for their own mistakes, but that doesn't make them right. In fact, treating them as if they are right only makes the problem grow. That's what I don't like not only about Windows, actually, but about the society in general.

And if the problem can be solved, then by all means, do it - but not at the price of making the product unusable for some people (and you do argue for making it unusable - because if there are ways of bypassing the security measures, the users could - God forbid! - use them).
 
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