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Old 11-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
Hugo Drax
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Default Will Microsoft replace its Antiquated non object oriented Win64?

The Windows 32/64 API dates back to the Win 16 API. All they did was stretch it out a bit. And Win16 was not a very well put together API to begin with.

It is so bad that Microsoft had to create a hack called Windows RT for "Tablet apps" but Win RT still rides on the creaky WinXXX api from the 1980s

OS X is much more elegant in terms of its API and how the programmers all share toolkits/UI for writing Apps. VS the mess Microsoft offers.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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Microsoft's dominance of the operating system market is due largely in part to the huge amount of compatible business, personal, and gaming software. If they completely rewrote the system (losing compatibility with all existing software) they would probably lose a large portion of their market base as well. A more streamlined system is not a bad idea, but losing your company just so you can say you made a 'new' system is not good business.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fardringle View Post
Microsoft's dominance of the operating system market is due largely in part to the huge amount of compatible business, personal, and gaming software. If they completely rewrote the system (losing compatibility with all existing software) they would probably lose a large portion of their market base as well. A more streamlined system is not a bad idea, but losing your company just so you can say you made a 'new' system is not good business.
Microsoft could Sandbox the Vintage API into something like what Apple did, a Rosetta run time. The old Applications could call up the sandboxed Rosetta. Continuing to add scaffolding to a antique rotting infrastructure in the longterm is not good for Microsoft.

Better to make a break from the past, take all the lessons learned and create a clean modern API and "Carbonize" the antique API. This way you get an operating system designed for the future and yet retain compatibility with the old.

You are already seeing the pains Microsoft and developers have to go through thanks to its poor API situation. I would rather see Microsoft break its tie to the past and move forward.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Rosetta was for running older OS9 code is OSX. It was nothing more than a fancy emulator. MS already does this with "XP mode" on windows 7. The 1980s Win16 API you are talking about was dropped from the 64 bit versions XP/Vista/7/8. Windows 8 dropped even more of the older API's. Basically they are doing exactly what you are talking about. Much of the older API stuff is also abstracted and now exists as a layer that sits on the newer API's. It is the main reason Vista / 7 / 8 (and the server versions of the OS) can be much more secure (assuming you don't have the end user sitting running as admin all day.)
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Bonus is that WinRT despite your label of it being a "hack" is really the evolution of WinNT in the area of hardware independence. It gives developers an opportunity to develop most of the same code for phone, tablet, desktop, x86/x64, ARM, etc and not be stuck with just one of them going forward.

As for compatibility, our previous laptop had Windows 7 (x86). I was able to install and run SimTower (16-bit program) from 1994 with absolutely no problems...a testament to the coding by Maxis and the coding from MS. The video produced a few years ago showing in-place upgrades from Windows 1.0 all the way through Windows 7 is a pretty stunning demonstration of the backwards compatibility it offers.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagoon View Post
Rosetta was for running older OS9 code is OSX. It was nothing more than a fancy emulator. MS already does this with "XP mode" on windows 7. The 1980s Win16 API you are talking about was dropped from the 64 bit versions XP/Vista/7/8. Windows 8 dropped even more of the older API's. Basically they are doing exactly what you are talking about. Much of the older API stuff is also abstracted and now exists as a layer that sits on the newer API's. It is the main reason Vista / 7 / 8 (and the server versions of the OS) can be much more secure (assuming you don't have the end user sitting running as admin all day.)
Rosetta was for running PPC OS X apps on x86 OS X. The older OS 9 apps were run via what was effectively a dual boot. However, you're spot on about it being just a fancy emulator, though it was both less and more. It was really just an emulator for the CPU instruction set, but more in that it allowed it to be essentially completely transparent to the user. And the company that developed it, and subsequently licensed it to Apple, should be commended for their work.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl-scott View Post
Rosetta was for running PPC OS X apps on x86 OS X. The older OS 9 apps were run via what was effectively a dual boot. However, you're spot on about it being just a fancy emulator, though it was both less and more. It was really just an emulator for the CPU instruction set, but more in that it allowed it to be essentially completely transparent to the user. And the company that developed it, and subsequently licensed it to Apple, should be commended for their work.
Good point, I get them all messed up since apple has switch platforms a few times. 68k environment / Classic shell / Rosetta etc.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #8
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Hugo, you more or less asked this same exact question last week. The answer hasn't changed.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2280407
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