M$, Finally Admitting Installation Is Second-Rate, Promises Improvement

The kind of installations that GNU/Linux has had for many years may finally be available to users of that other OS. M$’s data shows “clean install” times like 32 minutes becoming 21 minutes. That’s still not close to what I normally expect from GNU/Linux but, what the heck, they are newbies. Further, to install on systems with data and applications, they have finally realized doing nothing is the best way to make the process scale. M$ is finally getting rid of some of the complexity it has built into IT over the decades. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for M$ to get its act together. You can use Debian GNU/Linux today and you don’t have to pay a cent to experience proper system maintenance and upgrading.

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24 Responses to M$, Finally Admitting Installation Is Second-Rate, Promises Improvement

  1. oiaohm says:

    JairJy Linux distrobutions like fedora are aiming to make it simpler by allowing file-system snapshots with btrfs to split the two different Linux’s in the same partition. Again this avoid different versions of Linux being able to run into each other and cause each other issues.

    Yes a valid complain is the current process is too hard. But the issue is the windows process is not safe either due to the fact the two versions of windows can interact with each other. JairJy. Better to have a long process that is safe than a short process that causes problems.

    Of course I have not seen a single request for

    Dr Loser simple fact if I have to fix something today because 200+ workers are standing around unable todo there job because something is broken and I only have a option of 15 year old truck that is on the edge of falling apart up I may have to pay for that 15 year truck just to get the job done and I have done so in the past and had a very scary drive. The truck was safe in breaks and drive but cabin was basically nothing and seat and seat belt was attached to something solid before I left. Note before I left when I acquire the thing I was able to rip the seat belt out because the mount was rusted out. It was the only thing at hand that could drive the distance everything else newer had something in the engine broken and was waiting on parts.

    So in compare a brand new Ford in that case would be a god send I really when something has gone wrong that is ASAP I really don’t care about brand any more.

    I have seen insanities where you pay a taxi to drive 300 kms to deliver a critical part at full taxi rate per km just because this would be the faster way to get the part to location. Yes a 600 km round taxi trip. Yes the taxi driver had to be paid for staying over night where the part was required as well. This is the effect of ASAP.

    “If Windows installs in < 0.000001 seconds, whereas even barebones Linux takes a minute or two, would you swallow your pride and use Windows instead?"

    In fact yes while ASAP is in effect. I have used pre installed copies of windows in ASAP cases because there were installed and installing Linux that would do the job better would take more time that I did not have to solve the ASAP issue.

    Of course when I have more time to play with those systems did end up on the more productive configuration.

    As soon as the issue ASAP time is a critical matter because downtime is adding up. 200+ workers standing around being paid who cannot do there job because something is bust is not a very profitable move.

    2 hours in ASAP cases are insanely costly. 2 days at worst you can be talking over a million dollar a day cost to bottom line. So yes buying a something you don't like when its ASAP to send to the scrap heap when you are done and buying what you do like is viable.

    Basically when the job is ASAP I really not caring about quality any more. It will it do the job and it the best item you have at hand if yes to both that is what will get used.

    Yes writing off a 100 000 dollar item can be cheap in some ASAP events due to the mounting costs. The most expensive amount of write off due to ASAP issues I have see was half a million dollars and yes that was still cheaper than the downtime going on.

    Yes I technically could write of an expensive sports car in some ASAP conditions and the bill for the car be accepted as long as I had the documentation it was the only item I could acquire to get myself their to fix problem.

    ASAP requires is pure logical thinking you have no room for personal biases any more. Price of items also a small factor as well.

    As Soon As Possible= ASAP. That really says what logic you have to use. What ever will fix the problem to some what operational as soon as possible will be used. Also a process of getting back to fully normal operations will go on after the ASAP hack is put in place. With far tighter cost controls.

    ASAP basically means paying for items you will write off in under 1 hour is right on the table.

    So basically in NT JERKFACE example with ASAP in effect I might end up buying both and at worst writing the ford off in 2 days or selling the ford truck in 2 days when the Toyota turns up. This is the effect of ASAP.

    This is why Toyota should fix there delay. Because if the ford is good enough I might decide not to buy the Toyota as well after the ASAP time is up.

    I guess NT JERKFACE and Dr Loser both are not working in time critical support services. Otherwise both of you would be aware of what ASAP does to you buying logic and what you have to use. You have to use what is on the shelf no matter if you like it or not.

    One of the reason I like Linux and FOSS is the fact that I normally don't go to shelf and find I am out of stock of it. This is critical in ASAP messes. Worst thing with ASAP is being out of stock of the very item you need. Even having stock of what you need ASAP can force you to use alternative due to lower time frame to bring system on-line.

  2. Dr Loser says:


    You accept Jerkface’s argument that a two-day delivery gap is not sufficient reason to buy a Ford Explorer rather than a Toyota.

    Yet you insist that a two-day delivery gap is a defect, and should be addressed.

    And you are willing to volunteer the information that it might be so important (I believe you used the abbreviation “asap”) that you might just be forced to buy the Ford instead, even though you didn’t want to.

    Now, other than the obvious fact that this is a sub-optimal way to make a consumer choice, let me ask you this:

    If Windows installs in < 0.000001 seconds, whereas even barebones Linux takes a minute or two, would you swallow your pride and use Windows instead?

    Because it does, you know. To all intents and purposes. Buy a computer, and Windows is pre-installed.

    That extra one or two minutes you're wasting? It's completely unnecessary. Do not install Linux.

    I mean, either these things are important, or they are not. I don't care either way. I just prefer a little logical consistency.

  3. JairJy says:

    Ok, the two of you are right but you know what? Any user can easily install Windows without formatting, conserving all the user files and configuration files, by just pressing a button (well, actually is by not pressing the “format” button).

    This is the main difference why users prefers Windows. They don’t need to read long manuals, learning commands and searching in forums and blogs for the answers that they needs. Linux is a great OS, but really requires the users must know Linux command or have interest to spend their time reading documentation and forums.

  4. pogson says:

    Any discussion of performance may be relevant. Installation is one aspect of performance. That other OS has done totally useless things that required writing stuff all over the partition causing instant fragmentation for decades. They are finally talking about doing the right thing and minimizing seeks/writes for installations. Welcome to the 1980s, M$.

    I think for more than a decade, M$ did really foolish things with IT just because they could. Now, they are beginning to do things correctly because they have to and they are feeling competition. Every year they continue to do stupid things, the more mindshare they lose. Eventually, I believe, everyone everywhere will have a choice of OS and know it and M$ will have to compete on price/performance. They are not there yet because of their “partners” stocking of shelves, but the end is in sight.

  5. pogson says:

    This is incorrect. You can do a clean or a dirty install and you can keep your user’s files in one partition with /home in another. See the “mount” command in GNU/Linux how the two may be connected. My wife uses several GNU/Linux PCs. If she wishes to work on the same set of files from any of the machines a directory exists where she can do that. When she logs in a mount command is executed making the files available over the network. Of course the same thing can be done from one partition to another.

    mount -o rw some_directory another_directory

    She can access any file in another_directory just as if she accesses some_directory. You can take care of file ownership issues by putting users in groups, changing file permissions or changing the user id numbers. It’s all good. These mount operations can also be done at boot time by editing a line in /etc/fstab.

    A mount command existed in Version 5 AT&T UNIX.

    That precedes that other OS by a few years and was a part of the security features that was absent in that other OS allowing rampant malware in that other OS. UNIX was a true multi-user/multi-tasking OS from the beginning.

  6. oiaohm says:

    JairJy lack of skill with Linux possibility a complexity issue doing it that you think it cannot be done. Ie lack of GUI there is a command line to do it.

    home partition I have run shared between many different Linux distrobutions without issues. Ok smart enough not to name users home folder the same on different distributions but setting userid the same on the different distributions ment they could access the same files. This is not problemmatic.

    Windows sharing user profiles on the same machine can be problematic due to each copy of windows installed using its own unique user id system.

    There is a expert mode in Linux distributions for a reason JairJy. You can choose not format and use more advance methods like chroot targeted installs from them and customisation of boot process.

    Is it possible using expert modes to sub folder install Linux distributions on partitions answer is yes. JairJy. http://osdir.com/ml/debian.knoppix/2003-07/msg00049.html Knoppix and quite a few live cds and dvds depend on the fact you can. Note that is a 2003 how to for Knoppix there are other instructions around. It really has not changed since then.

    Linux OS’s do split the applications install roots for a very good reason. Note I said roots. A root does not have to be a partition it can be sub folder inside partitions once you are aware with how you can bend reality with bind mounts.

    Anyone who has long term run multi copies of windows installed in the same partition do run into issues caused by running applications not installed in the current active copy of windows. There are a lot of applications that don’t take too well to this event. Linux design allows this to be prevented by simply making the root containing other source binaries disappear from user view. User cannot make mistake if they cannot do it.

    Also installing second OS to boot inside a partition can be done with the old OS is running. Yes chroot install debian/ubuntu/fedora….. Then make this chroot run from boot loader using the same tricks live cd’s and dvd’s exploits. This lacks a gui but really you are not talking a hyper complex thing to make if a lot of people really want it.

    Yes the means to fully and correctly install inside on a older version of the OS is something I do wish windows could do that it cannot. So I can test the new version without risking major havoc with Linux and even be installing the new different distribution while the user is using the machine and not even notice I am doing it. Linux can Install Linux basically.

    This is downtime reduction. Linux can upgrade or change distribution in place and in use.

    Really the idea of the backup and clean of windows is insane because you don’t have proper separation like the root systems under Linux and Unixs can provide inside the same partition.

  7. JairJy says:

    Something very interesting that the Installer of Windows OS can do is to reinstalling Windows without formatting the partition, conserving all the user files and personal configuration. A easy way to “backup and clean”.

    On Linux is different. You want to try a new distro? That means you have to format your partition. That has made users use different partitions for their home folder, missing hard disk space in both installation and home partition.

  8. oiaohm says:

    “As far as institutions are concerned, thats more your problem that your users, because they know that you will have the machine ready to go for them because that is what you are paid for.”

    For places like schools who will not be out of business due to computer outage your statement is kinda true.

    For business speed to restore network to operational after virus infection or other problems is critical.

    Basically you are presuming the reason I am needing to mass install is new installations people remember part of my job is fixing up networks that have failed for businesses where time is money.

    “My upgrade of my personal workstation from Windows Vista X64 to Windows 7 x64 was done in place in 2 hours. I have been working ever since.”
    This is invalid not a clean install as require as per harddrive failure or virus infection.

    2 hours for a inplace upgrade is insanely long. Linux inplace upgrade is less than 20 mins of downtime and that is if things go wrong.

    Simple problem here all MS upgrades and install processes need major work to be made competitive.

    Of course Linux needs work in other areas to be more competitive. Basically install, updates and upgrade MS sux major-ally.

    satipera is majorally right. The problem with MS advertised install time is that to techs people will say hey your 30 min charge is X you should have had it fulling installed in that time.

    Basically MS advertising is techs worse nightmare because its not very trueful about real install time.

    “You guys should buy a Ford Explorer, the factory delivery time is two days faster than a Toyota Prius. Think about how much more you could do in those two days.”

    Exactly the point here NT JERKFACE Toyota cannot claim to have best delivery times. So needs to work on reducing the difference.

    Now does that mean people will buy Ford Explorers instead no. But yes the delivery time is a defect with the Toyota Prius and if I required something critically moved asap buying the Ford Explorer would be right.

    NT JERKFACE Please get a copy of tiny core and put it next to Freedos. You will find you are recommending slow. Basically you are showing how little you know.

  9. salparadise says:

    This discussion is almost as stupid as “my computer boots faster than yours”.
    You can have a Windows OS that installs in 20 seconds and boots in 10 and it will still be an insecure piece of filth.
    And I, and people like me, will still use Linux – not because we think Microsoft haven’t caught up yet, but because Linux is so much better, calmer, more stable and pleasant to use, that we freely choose to use it.

  10. satipera says:

    To Oldman

    A friend of mine like so many others has bought a new computer and sold his old one as he thinks that the computer is the problem and not the MS software. Even if the installation time of MS software is reduced by 2/3 this still ignores all the time needed to add things that make the system capable of doing some work.

  11. Kozmcrae says:

    Your opinion in this case @ldman, is irrelevant. You take every GNU/Linux feature in detail and call it irrelevant and ignore the whole. Linux has taken over nearly every market except the desktop. Yet we have not seen a security industry grow into existence to feed it. Microsoft, on the other hand, wrought a multi-billion dollar security industry into existence, without which it could not survive. That is the damning testimony that you will stumble over your words to deny.

  12. NT JERKFACE says:

    IS M$ catching up to Linux or FreeDOS?

    You guys should buy a Ford Explorer, the factory delivery time is two days faster than a Toyota Prius. Think about how much more you could do in those two days.

    My name is Jerkface and I recommend FreeDOS and the Ford Explorer.

  13. oldman says:

    “Personal computers ….”

    Make that “Personal computer users…”

  14. oldman says:

    “Linux install is far more along in the install process when it completes it install in most cases.”

    Irrelevant. Personal computers aren’t going to give up their existing software just because of the time to Install/re-install an OS. They will just perform the task and its over. If they are clueless, they will just pay someone to do it for them.

    As far as institutions are concerned, thats more your problem that your users, because they know that you will have the machine ready to go for them because that is what you are paid for.

    My upgrade of my personal workstation from Windows Vista X64 to Windows 7 x64 was done in place in 2 hours. I have been working ever since.

  15. oiaohm says:

    NT JERKFACE install tiny core Linux sometime. 5 mins is in fact long for installing just a bare OS.

    Full freedos install and Linux install to be basically fully functional for most users in fact take about the same time. Yes the Linux install is more functional.

    Phenom don’t worry gimp competitor ms paint suxs because MS has invested no time into it. Paint.net had to be developed by third parties.

    Dr Loser Install time is important to people having to do volumes of machines a lot. Common for people having to do virus clean ups on Windows machines a lot that install time becomes a issue. Longer to install longer before machine can be returned to client issue. MS speed up still does not address my worse problem.

    Need to install huge numbers automatically. Multicast supported deployment to keep network traffic down. Images deployment is only so useful its not flexible.

    Remember the 21 mins don’t included installing MS Office and all third party software/drivers so the computer fully works. That can be a few extra hours of issues. This is the simple problem Linux install is far more along in the install process when it completes it install in most cases.

  16. pogson says:

    I had so many installations to do that I used disc imaging to cut the time down to about five minutes per machine. Of course, after I gave up having to do that so often, I used the same technology to install Debian GNU/Linux and never had to re-install a client machine.

    Don’t scold me for harping on this. M$ is the one claiming revolutionary technology when they are catching up.

  17. Dr Loser says:

    And how often have you had to install Windows over the last five years, Robert?

    Do you know how long it takes a Siberian lobster-clawed gnat to give birth to twins? About 11 minutes, that’s how long.

    The obvious use-case here is for Windows users to be able to install their new OS (21 minutes) and still have the extra eleven minutes to birth the new twins of their Siberian lobster-clawed gnat. This is a very important feature for all computer users who also own a doubly-pregnant Siberian lobster-clawed gnat.

    … although, actually, for the rest of us, it’s more kind of “Meh!”

    It’s quite stunning what Linux evangelists (I think it’s fair to call you that; it’s hardly an insult) consider to be important OS features.

    Are you actually being serious on this one?

  18. pogson says:

    I can do a minimal installation of Debian GNU/Linux in just a few minutes by turning off the options “desktop” and “standard”. That gives one a system similar to FreeDOS in effect although it has much more capability in terms of being a true mult-user/multi-tasking system. Both just involve copying files which is what makes the installation so fast. That other OS does horribly complex, useless tasks to protect IP or whatever.

  19. dougman says:

    I totally hate re-installing Windows, it takes for ever! Even when you slipstream all the updates.

    I was asked once, “Why do you charge more for Windows reinstall?” I showed them the 8-steps it takes to install Linux, and where it completes in <15 minutes.

  20. NT JERKFACE says:

    The kind of installations that FreeDOS has had for years may finally be coming to that Other GNU OS.

    FreeDOS installs in less than 5 minutes. Can that Other GNU OS compete? I don’t think so. Fortunately you don’t have to wait for Linu$ to get his act together.

  21. pogson says:

    I have seen no indication that Ubuntu responded to anyone’s demand but Shuttleworth’s to go the Wayland/Unity route. Certainly end users did not ask for it.

  22. lpbbear says:

    Linux installs have been way ahead of Microsoft for YEARS. I doubt that will change with Windows8 or whatever name it will be called. Its not even news that Microsoft managed to get their installer down to 21 minutes……on todays hugely overpowered systems. BeOS was at 12 to 15 minutes back in the days of the Pentium 90. Most Linux distros currently install in a shorter amount of time than 21 minutes and that includes all the extra software and drivers.

    “As a result you have half-baked products like GIMP (which already can’t compete even with Paint.NET, free) and LibreOffice”

    Only a total halfwit wackjob narrow minded MS bigot would make a claim like that. I couldn’t care less about a non cross platform app like Paint.Net. It not even in my realm of consideration since it only runs in Windows. Why would I even care about it?

    Both GIMP and LibreOffice ARE great cross platform applications which puts them well ahead of anything like Paint.Net. Bring it up when they release a cross platform version that works in Linux…otherwise stfu.

  23. Waldo Frankenhammer III says:

    If that’s your idea of making things better Phenom, then you’re the loon. Microsoft is a good ten years late with this feature. That’s ten years of hardship their customers have had to endure unnecessarily. By the way, when will Microsoft allow their customers to do a reinstall without blowing out their data?

    Can you possibly post a comment without insulting someone? Microsoft might just appreciate you not making their customers look like they live in the gutter.

  24. Phenom says:

    Pogson, that is outright pathetic. Instead of mocking, you give a brilliant example how a certain company actually listens to its customers, and makes things better. This is how it goes in the land of the sane, money-earning and money-spending human beings.

    In loonland, developers implement features which they find interesting, with close to zero thought of actual users’ needs. As a result you have half-baked products like GIMP (which already can’t compete even with Paint.NET, free) and LibreOffice, and a myriad of media players and desktop environments. GIMP is probably the saddest example of that – users ask, but get only insults and “do it yourself” as answers.

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