Uh...Windows 7 can easily run on a machine that's over 5 years old. I'm typing this post on Windows 7 32-bit and this machine has a motherboard that was manufactured in 2003 (Intel D865PERL). The AGP 4x ATI card even runs Aero without any problems. I can understand if you're short on RAM (this board used DDR1 which is quite expensive per gigabyte) but this board is 10 years old and run Windows 7 amazingly well.
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umm...do you remember the Windows cursor exploit? It was basically an unchecked buffer between the Win32 and NT kernel APIs that allowed a specifically crafted cursor file to run privileged code on the user's system. Since custom cursors are part of the CSS standard, every web browser on Windows that supported CSS implemented this feature and was vulnerable to the exploit by just visiting a page that specified the correctly crafted file in their stylesheet. It didn't require any user download or any of the usual attack vectors (ActiveX plugins, Java or scripting).
A common way to spread malware these days is to break into an adserver and upload an exploit to it. Then the exploit will be distributed across even well known and trusted sites which display ads from a third party service. Our workstations at work commonly get malware from users visiting news sites.
What I'm saying is that even the most cautious users can get owned without doing anything stupid...
Windows NT was a design that was almost entirely Microsoft's. Yes IBM was involved in the initial project (when it was an upgrade for OS2), but they mostly fucked things up. The versions of OS2 that were released when they separated from Microsoft proves their poor design capabilities, and it would take them years before they would have something decent. Windows NT is still being used today and has evolved to support the most modern of OS features. David Cutler was a genius and the NT team really deserves full credit for their excellent work. Microsoft deserves credit for seeing the project for what it was and getting the hell away from IBM.
By the way, since you are older, you do realize IE was *BOUGHT**
Spyglass Mosiac was not a great browser and anything Microsoft used from it was probably eliminated completely from IE by version 3.0. FYI that is the first version that was actually useful and performed well enough to start eroding Netscape's market domination.
Now come on, most of the companies you have listed failed because they were struggling to compete with the new generation of multi-touch smartphones. When the iPhone became popular, every mobile phone manufacturer was left scrambling for a new operating system and product line that could provide competitive features. The writing was already on the wall for all of them.
Microsoft's only fault is their reluctance in admitting that Windows Mobile was at the end of it's useful life. Windows Mobile was around for a decade and was very successful for a time, but devices had changed considerably since it was first designed. Those companies should have noticed this, especially when HP, the most successful Windows Mobile device vendor, started backing away from the platform and looking for alternatives (they bought Palm in the end).
All that happened there is a bunch of companies were unprepared for the BlackBerry and iPhone and ended up running to Microsoft hoping they would save the day, and they turned out to have an even worse strategy for the mobile market.
It would be nice to code everything from scratch because of the control you have over bugs and performance, but it's not always very practical. The reason you use a black box library in the first place is so that you can save time by not having to reimplement all of it's functionality, which allows you to focus on coding the core functionality of your program (instead of first having to recreate a bunch of base classes). The library's developers also may have found solutions and/or optimizations which you may not have considered (because that functionality is their whole focus), they've already put the time into it's development so you don't have to.
Hmm...UNIX...the same folks who origionally included the passwords in the passwd file which is readable by all users on the system. It doesn't mean that UNIX is shit. Like everything in the computer world they didn't plan for exploitation and had to learn a valuable lesson before the design was updated (ie. passwords are now stored in the separate 'shadow' file which is not readable by all users).
NTLM was badly designed and was replaced by Kerebos encryption way back in Windows 2000. I think Microsoft might have learned a bit about securily hashing passwords in the almost two decades since NTLM was designed.
No, Microsoft really doesn't give a sh*t about which OS is used to host a bunch of DNS servers, and they don't give away Window Server licenses to any company because that's their biggest money maker: selling their server products to corporations.
MS could care less about home users pirating a $130 copy of Windows 7. The real money is in selling $1000+ server licenses to companies for many servers, as well as having to buy things like seat licenses and other expensive server products (like SharePoint). Plus those companies also have to purchase "professional" level Windows clients for their workstations which connect to their servers. That's why they regularily audit corporations and organizations for license compliance in person, and invent schemes like WGA Validation to handle the home users who they don't have time to care about.
Yeah I've had to do Debian installs in 4MB of RAM and it sucks. You needed a special boot floppy with a custom built kernel and minimal install interface that can fit into that 4MB of space effectively. It didn't run too badly but I had a larger hard disk (and thus a lot of swap space as well). I couldn't imagine having to also deal with a 40MB hard disk!
But I agree, there is a huge leap in performance when you move from 4MB to 8MB of RAM and you don't have to fiddle around with things as much.
You may also find it interesting that Windows 95 installed a specially built kernel if you had 4MB of RAM. If you had more than 4MB it copied over the regular version. Apparently Microsoft also found it difficult to get Windows to work in 4MB of RAM, but 8MB was no problem at all.
You should try and install smartdrv.exe (the MS-DOS disk cache driver) onto the boot floppy. I don't know 100% for sure if the Windows 95 installation is affected, but Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 installations started from MS-DOS were incredibly slow to copy the files if smartdrv.exe wasn't loaded (the file copy phase of the installation would take at least three times as long).
Another thing that makes Windows 95 into a swap zombie is if the disk controllers are loaded in 16-bit compatabiliy mode. IIRC under origional Windows 95 (not as much under OSR2), a lot of laptops had this issue because it didn't include many chipset drivers. Even common Intel chipsets will have performance issues until you install the proper chipset software.
Of course it could also be caused by a variety of hardware related issues...
For example, I've installed Windows 95 on 486's with 8MB of RAM and had decent performance, yet an IBM Aptiva with a Pentium II and 128MB of RAM struggles and seems to perform worse. The Aptiva used an ALi IDE chipset which was really slow and IBM paired it with a Quantum Bigfoot hard drive which was also really slow due to it's large platter size.
Apple are using the courts to shut down competitors, which means that they do not back their own capacity to compete.
Umm...Apple has recently moved past Exxon Mobil on the list of most valuable companies in the world. In the mobile arena they've been able to kill off Windows Mobile, Palm and even RIM is suffering lately. Apple knows they can compete in the mobile marketplace.
Apple also knows that they need to defend their patents when issues arise or risk losing the ability to defend them later on. Look at the shitload of Apple technologies that Microsoft stole/copied in the earlier days of Windows and ask yourself why Apple might be a bit aggressive when defending their patents.
Sorry fanboy. IBM had hyperlink before Apple existed. Haven't you ever used big iron?
No I don't use big iron IBM systems...and I suspect many people here don't either. So please tell us which part of their big iron technology used hyperlinks among different documents long before others, and when it was released. Just bragging because you've worked on big iron doesn't prove shit...
Hypercard was released in 1987 and was definately one of the earliest applications to use hyperlinks. It's not some kind of fanboy thing, even Wikipedia says this.
The bit length measurement of a CPU or application architecture can really be of any size, it is usually determined by the size of the address bus, registers or data bus. The most common archeitectures use lengths in powers of two but there are a few platforms which do use odd bit sizes (a lot of these were older systems like the PDP and the System/360). IIRC the 18-bit PDP system could perform direct manipulation of individual bits in it's registers, so having an odd bit length didn't matter. Newer archetictures often manipulate the entire length of the register so it makes it much easier and more efficient to keep sizes at a powers of 2.
Windowd 95 was also a fully 32-bit operating system, It booted into 16-bit MS-DOS initially but then entered full 32-bit protected mode when the kernel (krnl386.exe) was loaded. The 16-bit MS-DOS session is discarded and has no effect on the 32-bit part of the operating system when it boots into protected mode. They probably used MS-DOS to provide basic memory, hard disk and file system support for the purpose of locating and booting the kernel (similar to what NTLDR does on Windows NT), and also to provide full MS-DOS compatibilty by providing a way to boot into MS-DOS only.
So nothing freaky happens (like
... you use windows so that non respond in a standards-compliant manner)
If you're working for almost any large corporation you probably have Windows workstations and the easiest way to manage a large number of them is with Active Directory. They probably also will connect to Windows servers for shared file storage and printing, and they may even use other popular Microsoft products like Exchange and SharePoint.
In this environment Windows is the standard and it is the Linux box which is the outcast and cannot interoperate fully with the rest of the corporate network.
Don't try and spin any FUD here about corporations not using Microsoft either...I have worked for companies like IBM, who is a big time Linux supporter and has equivellent offerings for almost every line of corporate software Microsoft offers. You know what? They were running Windows workstations and had Windows servers for situations where they were simply the better solution.
If you really have any understanding of servers you would know the strengths and weaknesses of both Windows and Linux server implementations and be able to plan accordingly.