Though, let me just say, again, before I move on, that I'm not talking about XP getting all (or even most) of DirectX 10's improvements (with all of its increased speed and whatever else), I'm just talking about some kind of direct support for a specific hardware-based effect being put into DirectX 9. If that's not an accurate view of something like "Geometry Shading" (since you'd need practically all of Direct X 10 to have it) or if it's simply not possible to implement direct support for that kind of effect in DirectX 9 easily (it would practically need a complete reworking of DirectX 9), then I'll simply take your word on that and move on. All I ask is that you stop wasting my time with arguments that I am not making. Thank you.
Since no one but a Microsoft employee can see the source code of DirectX, we all have to pretty much assume that any new effects that are only available in DirectX 10 would require more effort than is worth for a simple patch. Since the driver model was also completely rewritten, we also have to assume that any patch would be written in a completely different way for XP and would also be more trouble than it's worth. It's probably something like a few weeks or months of work versus an hour or two of work.
You see, lordjedi? What the fuck is that top paragraph about there? When did I say that it "doesn't look" to me like Microsoft "put a lot of work" into DX10? I've granted that possibility and virtually said the opposite quite a few times. Why are you making that argument with me? You're wasting my time with stupidity and I don't like stupidity. Please, start reading what I'm saying. Thank you.
Your comments suggested that Vista didn't seem all that different from XP, just slower and buggier. If that's not what you meant, then I'm sorry.
I just got done helping a friend of mine wipe his whole Vista-run computer because the thing was buggy as hell. It was a Core2 Duo laptop with great hardware specs and yet he couldn't even get through an install of WoW on it. Even after I wiped the hard drive and reinstalled Vista clean (and updated it with SP1), it still ran like crap. The computer restarts at odd points, slows down sometimes, and occasionally gets stuck at blank screens. Other Vista machines (desktops mostly) I've played around with have been buggy in other nasty ways (restarts, freezes, and other crap like that). XP, however, was stable from the day I began using it and is generally stable on every other machine I've seen it installed or played with it on. That's a big difference and an important issue to me. Are you saying that stability shouldn't matter to me?
So he was trying to run WoW on a laptop? What kind of video card does this laptop have? Laptops are notoriously bad for games. Read the system requirements of most any game in the past year. They'll have a list of video chipsets that are supported, possibly even listing specific cards, and then they'll say "Laptop versions of these chipsets are not supported".
My guess would be, without knowing the full hardware specs, that the laptop is probably getting to hot or needed the video and audio drivers to be updated. Typically, that's what causes games to either not run or to run very poorly. Rarely does the problem come from the OS itself.
Again, laptops, even the ones with Nvidia or ATI graphics, really aren't designed for gaming. It'll usually work if you have one of those chipsets, but you pretty much take your chances. I'm going to assume you ended up putting XP on the machine and got it to work, even though you didn't state that.
And, I'm sorry, but have you noticed those shitty little messages asking you to confirm every little simple action in Vista? Microsoft didn't even implement a "don't ever ask me about this again" option!
Like I said, I only see these things when I'm installing software or changing system settings. And they actually do have a setting for not asking you about it again. It's called turning UAC off :P
It's an incredibly obnoxious feature! From that crappy, needless chore alone I will have to warn you not to argue that Vista is "superior" to XP in every last way. If you try to tell me that it's a good thing for an OS to have because it protects stupid people, I'll simply have to laugh at you. A horribly stunted interface is not a decent trade off for the protection of dumb people.
Laugh at me all you want. I've even had times where I got the popup and wondered "what the hell?" At which point I click Deny and then realize that whatever setup program I just tried to run tried to spawn some weird process with a completely different name. The software's usually ok, but it throws me when it does it. This is a good thing imo. I want to know if some program is doing something weird. I've worked on enough machines to know that if people had some kind of big, scary warning, their machine probably wouldn't have gotten screwed up to begin with. That popup window alone would scare the crap out of my mom and cause her to call me, asking if whatever it was was safe to do. Quite frankly, I'd rather get that call than the ones I get now where I hear "It's messed up and I don't know how it happened" because some damn ad on some website looks like a Windows warning message telling her her computer is infected so she clicks on it to clean it up. The UAC warning would stop it every time.
OS X does something very similar. When you try to install any software that needs to change system settings, it pops up a dialog asking for the admin password. Why Vista gets such a bad rap for doing the same thing OS X does I'll never know.
Microsoft's "support" for XP hasn't ended. The only thing that ended is retail availability:
Ahh, so are you trying to tell me that Microsoft is "supporting" XP in every way it can? :)
I'm sorry, but even brand new products don't get absolute support and you know that. The question in this debate is what level of support would be an ideal balance for Microsoft to make the most short-term profits while preserving the long-term profits they'd get from happy customers (who won't get angry enough to rework our nation's patent laws for example). Getting cute and saying that there is a non-zero level of support is not helpful to that discussion. You know what I mean by "support" and I'd like to get back to discussing that real issue now. :)
What do you mean by absolute support? If you have a problem with Vista, a brand new product, you can call Microsoft and receive installation support. I believe they give you 90 days for free when you buy a copy. After that, it's $250 per incident. So what are we calling "absolute support"?
XP is outdated and has run its course. Here's their support timeline:
As you can see, Support is still available for XP. Just because you can't buy XP from a store (retail availability) or from MS, doesn't mean it isn't supported anymore.
Retail availability is a kind of support. So, by definition, we cannot say that MS is "supporting" XP in at least that way, can we? There are other ways in which it is not being supported anymore too. This is a silly point of yours. ::yawn::
Actually, I can. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16837116195 That's a retail copy of Windows XP Professional. I didn't even know it was still available until yesterday when I received an email asking about it. I don't know what other ways you're referring to, so I'll continue below.
You're right, the free market does have many ideas of software support. Which is why there are companies out there still support NT, even though Microsoft doesn't offer support.
To answer your question, without knowing what that patch fixed, I couldn't say if [Blizzard Entertainment is] stupid or not. If that patch only took a few man hours to work on, then no, they probably aren't stupid. But if it took several weeks to do, then yes, I'd wonder why they worked on it. With the success of WoW, I wouldn't understand them putting any extended effort into any of their legacy products.
The funny thing is, you can't BUY Starcraft from them without getting it as a digital download. So why don't you go try to buy a 10 year old game (aside from a digital download) and see how easy it is? I'm sure you could get a used copy, just like you can get a used copy of XP, but I seriously doubt you can find a new unopened box anywhere.
Yes, you're finally talking about different ideas of support. Right. You're catching on to what I actually want to argue here. Good. Thank you.
Blizzard didn't devote a ton of time to getting StarCraft to work in XP (perfectly I might add). They didn't spend a lot of time on the small map updates that pleased StarCraft's large "professional" community (mostly in Korea). Their most recent patch to the game simply removed StarCraft's need for a CD-Key and I bet that didn't take them long either. Even just a few years ago they updated StarCraft to have some interface improvements and I'm willing to bet that wasn't even too much work for them. However, those improvements helped them sell more copies of the game, helped them to keep the "StarCraft" brand popular (in a competitive RTS environment), and generally kept their new and long-term customers happy. Those kinds of support have helped keep Blizzard to be the successful company it is today. They did little things to keep their customers happy.
In terms of buying StarCraft, Blizzard isn't selling it in stores anymore because they can't make money that way (people aren't buying it in stores enough for them to make a profit by selling physical copies). That doesn't bug me at all. That's the free market deciding that it doesn't want to buy new physical copies of the game anymore. However, if I and plenty of others still wanted to purchase new copies of the game in that way (for the appropriate amount of money), I'm sure Blizzard would still sell it like that (since they'd make money doing that), and if they didn't, that would make me as a fan and a customer displeased.
New copies of XP are being sold for a lot of money right now (nobody is doing that with copies of StarCraft). The reason for that is because it is still in high demand by people like me who want to purchase it. However, Microsoft has a high degree of control when it comes to helping force a free market to go against what it actually wants (for whatever reason) and, as a result, they don't really worry about any lost revenue from selling no new copies of XP or lost revenue from making unhappy customers. A company like Blizzard, on the other hand, isn't allowed to make that kind of a move if it wants to remain successful. A company like Blizzard has to work harder and be smarter than that because RTS games are a far less centralized product (and therefore the market is less controlled). In other words, Blizzard has to work harder to give people more and not give them less. Are you saying Microsoft's market behavior is more ideal?
New copies of XP are being sold at a higher price because that's what Microsoft does. That isn't exclusive to XP either. Everytime Microsoft releases a new product, the cost of the old product goes up and the new product gets the previous or lower pricing. That's just the way it is. That's their way of encouraging people to adopt the new product. They obviously only want to support the old stuff as long as necessary. This is also why it gets difficult to find copies of the old stuff after a certain time.
Even Adobe just discontinued their CS3 line. I had to buy Illustrator CS4 for work because I could not get CS3 from my supplier.
XP was a fantastic operating system in my mind (from its beginning) and Vista has been a much more troublesome experience for me by comparison. Maybe that's not what most people have encountered and therefore my Vista experiences have just been a run of bad luck, but I would have a lot of trouble believing that. That's not a crime on my part and I think the impatience and belligerence you expressed in your earlier posts were uncalled for.
You are correct. When Vista was first released, it caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people. But the same thing happened with XP. At one of my first jobs, when the CFO tried to upgrade to XP, suddenly his printer and scanner would no longer work. They worked find under Windows 2000, but there was simply no driver available for XP. Maybe you had a great experience with XP from the getgo, but plenty of people had the same trouble with XP that they had with Vista.
I'm not some anti-Microsoft kook and I am not an idiot. I don't believe I treated you that way in this thread. How would you like it if I had said stuff like this to you:
"You're probably one of those idiots that has always sucked Microsoft's cock in that you've absolutely loved every product and move they've ever made as a company."
First, let me apologize for my previous comments. You're right. I shouldn't have said those things. You're probably the only person I've ever talked to that didn't have trouble with XP on release, which is why I've been saying these things.
Second, I'd tell you that just 10 short years ago, I was a total anti-MS kook. Everything MS said and did I looked at as just evil. It was only in the last 6 or so years that I've started to actually like their products. Windows 9x (including ME) was a piece of shit. MS deserved all the blame they got for everything back then.
Of course, now I look at some of my OS X zealot friends and wonder what the hell they're thinking. They always say "It just works". To them I say "So does mine. When you pay for quality, you get quality. The difference is that I didn't need to spend twice the price of a PC to get quality, I just bought quality parts".
Anyway, that last part was more of a tongue in cheek response to the hypothetical question, so feel free to ignore it :)
Seriously, I don't care if you have a love affair with Vista. So, why, then, do you feel so keen on lecturing others for not liking Vista? What on earth is making your blood boil so much with this issue? (I have no fucking desire to have a heated debate about Windows for crying out loud.)
I haven't lectured anyone for not liking Vista. I've asked people what programs they had trouble with. I've explained that MS hasn't changed their support timeline or the retail availability timeline (aside from extending them) since they released XP. What I don't like is people bitching about how MS is forcing them to get a newer version. What I don't like is people saying how easy it would be to make newer graphics effects work in XP, when they clearly have no idea what's involved behind the scenes.
Okay, well, first, I am not being unappreciative of the remaining support that Microsoft still gives to Windows XP. I am not being unappreciative of the fact that each new OS has a realistic lifetime in our free market. I am not unappreciative of all the hard work Microsoft does when it creates a new OS like Vista that is admittedly better in some ways. I certainly don't have a problem with Microsoft trying to make profits with all of the good things they do. I have not argued otherwise and for you to argue with me as if I were is getting really, really old.
Second, to the degree that what I am complaining about is wrong and misinformed on my part, I'm willing to let you (or someone else) correct me. I'll admit that you probably know a hell of a lot more about these issues than I do. However, I will not change my opinions because someone tries to accuse me of being an ingrate.
And, seriously, you have been "lecturing" me for not liking Vista. You've gone out of your way to turn my arguments into absurd straw men before moving on to tell me how supposedly stupid or spoiled I must be for believing them. Nowhere have I made statements as extreme as those portrayals, however. I must conclude, therefore, that you want to attack me for simply having problems with Microsoft and that's weird to me. Do you have some personal stake in Microsoft to explain your sensitivity on this issue?
Nope. As I said, and you're not going to like this, most of the time when I hear about complaints, it's from people who haven't used it. Other forums, friends that only use OS X, etc, etc. Since you have used it, I was hoping you could give some specifics about the situations you've had trouble with. Telling someone "It runs like crap on this computer" without giving the system specs for that computer doesn't tell us a whole lot. XP would run like crap on a system from 1995 (yes, I have heard of people trying to do this). You've given partial specs, but not really the full thing. At this point though, that's kind of irrelevant.
I simply do not like hearing people say how crappy something is and then later finding out that they were trying it on totally outdated hardware. Sure, XP runs on it fine because it was released in 2001. Vista requires a little more oomph. Since you've obviously seen it run on much more modern hardware, then I'd have to assume there was a driver problem somewhere. That is usually where the typical problem is. People tend to not install the latest drivers (or even any drivers) for all their stuff. They install Vista, it comes up and works (but it's slow), so they complain.
Having problems with UAC is a little strange. For years people (not necessarily you) bitched about how insecure Windows was. Now MS has added a layer of security and people bitch about how much of a pain it is. None of this is actually Microsoft's fault. For years they tried to convince developers to program their software "the right way". For years, developers flat out ignored best practices because people could simply be made Local Admins. Microsoft finally forced the issue with UAC. Now developers are having to do it the right way or their program won't work or it'll launch a UAC prompt. So finally, after many years of telling developers the right way to code for Windows, they're doing it in order to avoid the UAC prompt. This, in my mind, is a Good Thing.
Are you trying to tell me, lordjedi, that you have absolutely no problems with Microsoft whatsoever or in any way? Are you telling me it's unfair for laypeople like me to have opinions based on my own experiences? I've built and set up many computers and worked with a lot of different hardware and different versions of Windows for many years and I don't think I'm an idiot. I could be honestly wrong in many ways (I'm no coding expert), and certainly idiotic in some small ways here, but you went way overboard in your previous posts. I really have trouble believing that you think Microsoft is so perfect and so justified in everything that it has done in the free market that you have absolutely no problems with them whatsoever. If that's not the case, however, and you actualkly do think Microsoft could be better in some ways yourself, then why are you being so extreme in reprimanding someone like me who happens to have some problems of my own (that are based upon my own point of view)?
Actually, I don't really have any problems with Microsoft, no. The times when my own computer has had problems, it hasn't been related to Windows. The one time when I nearly lost a lot of data, it was due to changing motherboards and then not reinstalling Windows with the different drivers. I usually have more trouble with people (not necessarily you) that want to throw everything and the kitchen sink onto a single server and then bitch because it's slow or something else crashes from time to time. I'm only just now being allowed to offload certain services to other servers because I and other consultants can tell my boss "the server is overloaded".
I have seen problems with Vista and XP. But those problems are not because of Vista or XP. Those problems are almost always (99%) driver related. I've seen hardware fail and people immediately blame Microsoft and Windows. How it was their fault that a hard drive died is beyond me. I too have built and used a lot of different hardware. I see plenty of hardware every day. I get asked by coworkers about systems all the time. I know what cheap hardware is, which is why if someone's having a problem, I ask them for their specs and I ask who made the hardware. Invariably, the hardware is just cheap crap. I tell them that if they'd just spend an extra $100 (total), that they wouldn't be having all the problems they're having.
The times when I've had lots of trouble with a computer, it was in fact the hardware. I have no doubt that your experience may be different. For me, every single time I've had trouble, it was not a problem with the software.
As for their business practices I'm quite happy that they actually layout a full support and availability timeline from the moment a product ships. That let's me plan for upgrades and purchases. The only thing I haven't been happy about is "Software Assurance", but that's only because they didn't release timely updates when they first introduced it. If I did upgrades on a regular basis, Software Assurance would save me tons of money at work. Since we only upgrade "when we need it", Software Assurance actually costs me more, so we don't do it. We had one recent upgrade that cost us a ton because we didn't keep up with the software, but that wasn't from Microsoft, so I can't really get mad at them.
I was more pissed at Dell when Vista was made available because Dell immediately cut XP from their product line with no order from Microsoft. It took a couple of months, but they did start reintroducing XP into their lineup and it wasn't until later that they had to get ready to cut XP because MS announced the end of availability (which was actually extended at least once).
I think I actually get more angry at cell phone companies. They seem to have a 6 month product cycle. So the phone you buy today probably won't be available a year from now. Talk about an industry that's constantly pushing the "latest and greatest".
If we could discuss the issues I want to discuss, that would make me happiest here. For now, though, I have run out of time and must be moving on. You actually touched on some more substantive points further down in your post and I'll want to discuss them later. For now, though, if you want to reply to the useful parts of our discussion, feel free and I'll try to address them later as well.
I will do my best to not include comments like "Most people say that but have no experience with it".