“8” Release: 2012 or Perhaps Later

Ballmer is quoted as stating that “8” will be out in 2012. Wait. Isn’t he the same guy that said LonghornVista would be out real soon now? In fact, they had a decent product by 2003 called 2003 Server that many people found to be superior to XP for desktops but they charged 10 times the price for it…

So they sold vapourware for five years. Now they do that again hoping people will delay purchases of competing technologies, “waiting for the real things”.

The competing technology M$ hopes to hold back is Android/Linux on ARM and GNU/Linux on anything. It won’t work. Many products are already on the production lines that are maxed out in Asia and the new exciting stuff is no longer vapourware but real Linux systems advertised everywhere and sold everywhere. The release of “8” could well be in 2013. Certainly M$ will miss another Christmas season where these small cheap (sort of) computers will be shipped in the hundreds of millions. Apple was a big enough hit for M$ with MacOS and iOS doing well. Now Android/Linux will overrun retail shelves globally and M$ is helpless to prevent it.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to “8” Release: 2012 or Perhaps Later

  1. oe says:

    “The sad part of this is that instead of attempting to make your case for a formal support for a linux section of the lab, you play geek games with junk”

    Ironically we’re preparing that case although a decision won’t be made for 1-1/2 to 2 years….in the meantime data needs to be taken and what we have is doing it at no additional cost, other time given by salarymen off-the-clock.

    We are strict about keeping the air gaps. Our local IT supports us, they want to be a facilitator of supporting us but are also crushed by policy that is made WAY over their level. So they help us with the excess equipment normally they’d dispose of to a landfill, and such leaving as the ends of LAN cable spools, old chassis , power supplies, cards, ram, etc. otherwise headed for scrapping. They keep the inventory and they will even donate touch time when they can write it off as training (although that is not very often as they have to support that Other OS). Again, the problem is our institution has all the agility of an oil supertanker, and its the higher ups that have the Policy control, clearly a case of over-consolidation and where the one-size-fits-all model fails….. Doubly ironic is that this lab unit is held up as a model of how to get things done and gets a lot of senior level visitors….

  2. oldman wrote, “I applaud them too, but I also know that by showing personal initiative they are also providing the cover for the powers that be to avoid fixing what is clearly a broken situation.”

    What’s to be done? I would rather get on with it the best way we can. Waiting for unrest to percolate up to the dinosaur’s brain could take a decade until someone has an “AH HA !” moment. I would not hold my breath. I was at one place where the server room needed some ventilation. The principal agreed but had no control of the building. The requisition needed to go up 7 levels of bureaucrats and down 7 levels of bureacrats to reach the person in charge of the building so we could put in a hole in the wall with a fan. The principal, who knew the system said it would take at least two years and I believed him. A plan that had been formed years earlier to upgrade the LAN was just getting to the point where someone visited the site when I was there. There had been a site-visit two years earlier… The result was that we ran the server room open to the corridor full of wild teenagers. Bureaucracies are not made to function but to protect turf/asses/PHBs. Unfortunately education is in the grasp of bureaucracy almost everywhere except the smallest schools (where I choose to work πŸ˜‰ ). In a small organization, one person with an attitude can make things happen. I like that.

  3. oldman says:

    “I applaud teachers who with a little personal initiative and little else make things happen.”

    I applaud them too, but I also know that by showing personal initiative they are also providing the cover for the powers that be to avoid fixing what is clearly a broken situation.

    Although it may seem counterintuitive to say this, I would submit that all personal initiative does is actuall propagate the bad situation. It may be far better, though more painful. To NOT make do, and instead make a big stink en masse to get the powers that be to do the right thing.

  4. Nothing on the radar suggested the institution had any intent to provide IT in classrooms in contempt of the curriculum which professional educators are obliged to follow. Since about 1997, most curricula here require some level of integration of technology in the classrooms, particularly calculators and computers. Even as late as this year there are schools with no computers in the classrooms. I applaud teachers who with a little personal initiative and little else make things happen.

  5. oldman says:

    “I soon had many of the stacked old machines running GNU/Linux as thin clients of a new terminal server, going completely under the radar. ”

    While I find myself applauding your ingenuity, as a member of an organization where part of my job is working on policies and procedures for proper governance of IT resources I have very mixed feelings.

    The fact remains Pog that instead of using the officially supported tools Pog, you did an end run around them and did your own thing. You did so without any regard for supportability (your skills dont count here) or structures in place.

    The simple reality is that when we work for institutions we dont always get to do what we want (Such as moving into the bush to save money though in that case the institution of marriage was involved πŸ˜‰ ).

    The better, albeit more annoying thing to do would have been to wait for the tech to come and work through the system to get the environment as is fixed.

  6. I don’t know where oe works but in many schools there is a pile of IT junk in storage for spare parts. I have equipped many classrooms with working PCs that no longer functioned with that other OS. Some may just need the OS replaced. Others may need a bit of cannibalization. They may be adequate as thick clients but usually make great thin clients having a reasonable screen, full-sized keyboard and mouse with 100 mbit/s NIC. I have never worked in a school that prevented connection of “foreign” equipment by denying DHCP although some have had firewalls to the Internet that did. Allowing anything in is a simple plan to permit relatively unskilled persons to add clients.

    I was at one place that was locked down so tightly that my XP desktop was almost unusable. I could not download anything from Debian, for instance and I could not install any browser but IE. Fortunately, there were some Lose ’98 machines in stock so I could RDP to them and do what I wanted… I soon had many of the stacked old machines running GNU/Linux as thin clients of a new terminal server, going completely under the radar. When XP machines failed, I just installed GNU/Linux on them and people kept running, not having to wait months for a tech to arrive. I can relate to advantages of relaxed security. It may well be worth the risk to keep IT going. We depend on it.

  7. oldman says:

    “achines that are over 2 decades old are still collecting real world data and serving the labÒ€ℒs mission, though the powers that be would have had them committed to the landfill decades ago.”

    What I find absolutely amazing is that you are allowed to misappropriate institutional resources in this manner! I can’t believe that this is sanctioned and were it found I would suspect that there would be repercussions for someone, possibly you.

    The sad part of this is that instead of attempting to make your case for a formal support for a linux section of the lab, you play geek games with junk.

    unfortunate.

  8. oe says:

    Funny we have the official, funded LAN (only) complete with workorders, Help Desk, Tech Support and no draw on our own division funds; all running locked standardized wintel desktops of Vista and Vista 7. We then have the unfunded LAN & WLAN, completely air-gapped from the official LAN. On it is a hodgepodge of old carcasses held back from excessing (about 60% imaged with GNU/Linux, about 20% with XP/Win2K, and 20% with other OS’s), specifically purchased Mac’s (multimedia and video processing work on high speed camera data), embedded video servers (linux on arm embedded LAN connected stuff), a couple of DOS machines from legacy data-log setups, a couple of similar Mac-IIci System-7 rigs, a half dozen ASUS eee’s running UNR, a couple of tablets, a 100-node linux cluster, and some printers….BTW, about 70% of the real work in the lab gets done on this (unfunded) LAN.

    It’s a self-help affair though admin duties are delegated to one unlucky guy as a side-function, there’s a notebook for each machine with the essentials needed for self-help. Getting a node attached is a matter of asking for it, being directed to the spares closet picking over what is there, to include LAN cable and basic tools, pulling the cable…it’s a shoestring operation. I think this workaround is becoming more common as I visit worksites in various localities when I must travel. Machines that are over 2 decades old are still collecting real world data and serving the lab’s mission, though the powers that be would have had them committed to the landfill decades ago.

    Fewer moving parts (spinning disks and fans) in the newer stuff we have acquired, salvaged, or bought means much longer life solid state drive eee’s are really good ruggedized dataloggers….I think the spare parts locker with go from component level repair and replace to whole unit replacement (like VCR’s did 20 years ago and TV’s 30 years ago) and the repair will go from IT Techs to an appointed office worker…

  9. To fight eWaste, use GNU/Linux which does not pressure you to upgrade hardware constantly and thin clients which can last until the screen resolution takes a few steps.

  10. oiaohm says:

    “A model that can work in IT is the office secretary or perhaps a shelf near the door can hold a small stock of parts.” Job already exists todo that.

    That is called a stores person. Yep most IT devices in offices could be reduced to being nothing more than a consumable like paper, ink and cheap printers that you ask stores for when one breaks.

    Yes I don’t get called for cheap printers. Businesses just have stack of identical models. Staff just unplugs one plugs the next one in and goes.

    Only time I get called is when I have to change the printer software on the computer when they have run out of a particular model of cheap printer and are migrating to a new one. Even then I do it over the wire by network administration. So that all machines can take the new model when the older ones die.

    Basically the cheap printers show me the writing on the wall. High end printers these days are sold with support contracts. So I don’t touch those either unless I sold them to the business.

    Work as a tech is just disappearing. Less expensive things to fail less work.

    Biggest thing I fear is the growth in ewaste.

  11. Amen. A model that can work in IT is the office secretary or perhaps a shelf near the door can hold a small stock of parts. If a unit quits working, just plug a new one in. I tell people that “if it fits, plug it in…” works pretty well. πŸ˜‰ I think that is a reasonable way to handle netbooks, thin clients and even the tiny PCs, ARMed or x86/amd64. It works if the important files are on the server.

  12. oiaohm says:

    General repairs and upgrades. What I was doing as a plain normal IT tech will basically be gone. Once the machine drops under a particular price.

    Upgrades/Repairs replaced by data migration. Ok if that is simple as pull memory card out and insert it into next device. What IT tech.

    Setting stuff up I expect to get simpler.

    Small servers should turn up in the next few years. Ie the house servers.

    “setting things up” This today is mostly IT Tech entry level. Since you just need them connected so you can network config from now on.

    Arm items possible to order them preconfigured how you need. So this means all you need is cable monkey for setup.

    Network/Servers, Data Recovery and Tech Support(nice name for holding users hands)

    Basically all I see left as wellish paid jobs other than becoming a full time programmer. That I really don’t enjoy.

    The other issue I don’t see arm system burning out any time soon. I have 10 year old mobile phones that still work as good as new after a horrid life.

    I am also working on getting my certifications for cabling building up. Not like that ever going to fully disappear. Yes cable monkey.

  13. oiaohm wrote, Basically the plain normal IT tech is out of a job””

    I think a move to ARM for clients means some increased work for servers but there will certainly be fewer fans to replace. Thin client systems already show that effect with small VIA chips.

    There are still lots of jobs in IT:
    >setting things up,
    >servers,
    >networks, and
    >holding the hands of users.

    The reduction in work re-imaging/installing that other OS should be offset somewhat globally by a doubling or tripling of usage of PCs but where I live, work in IT will flee the fix-it shop as more people get more reliable PCs using fanless CPUs and SSDs. The normal life of a PC will probably go to 10 years as thin clients are not stressed by software bloat. Where full-screen video is needed, ARMed thick clients can do the job. Jobs in sales, design, manufacturing and programming should increase with more end-users and their applications.

  14. oiaohm says:

    “The Other Dave” Linux people like me don’t look at ARM as our Messiah.

    I moved from being a IT tech to network administrator, data recovery with embedded work on side. Why because arm threatens doomsday to my past job.

    Why repair a computer when replacement costs under 100 dollars.

    Linux itself is not effected by the up coming arm change. But all us staff who have support it are effected. Particular roles will be gone for good.

    Problem for Microsoft is most likely worse effected.

    100 dollar computer case or less. Windows for that cannot sell for 100 dollars. 10 dollars maybe.

    The threat of 25 dollar machines is even worse for IT techs as this is less than 1 hours work on a machine if you are paid near right. So repair on that is not even a consideration.

    Only machines that IT techs will be working on are the upper market ones. Wait one min most of the upper market ones will be in business networks who will get their network administrators to repair them. Or PC gamers who normally learn to repair their own to save costs.

    Basically the plain normal IT tech is out of a job.

    The hell for Microsoft is even if they keep the same market share now. Their income will reduce as Arm becomes more used.

    The simple problem is arm per unit price. Full Soc on chip that can match the features of most Intel and Amd motherboards without high end graphics card on board. IP cost is less than 10 USD done in arm. With production around 40 dollars a unit as a board with profit included.

    Arm and x86 unit prices are just so radically different. Its going to be a rough ride for everyone working on IT as the new status quo forms.

    LH really has filled you head with myths about what Linux people think.

    Robert Pogson assessments are right. Really Robert Pogson an assessment of the results on staff locations after the change to arm are interesting.

  15. Alex says:

    Meanwhile Intel is going full-throttle for tablets, without the other OS on it:

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/24/acers-10-inch-oak-trail-tablet-running-android-3-0-rumored-for/

  16. Richard Chapman says:

    Laughter is good therapy.

  17. The Other Dave says:

    The competing technology M$ hopes to hold back is Android/Linux on ARM and GNU/Linux on anything.

    We’re laughing at you something hard over at LH due to your believe that ARM is your Messiah.

    You truly give new meaning to the word Loon.

  18. Richard Chapman says:

    It’s a kind of mass hypnosis. It has worked well for Microsoft in decades past but it is beginning to lose its effect. People have been burned once too often and the economy is not as kind to Microsoft as it used to be. Some people are still under the spell though. They visit this site occasionally.

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