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I don’t believe it! Microsoft has announced native support for FLAC in Windows 10!

Windows Media Player showing FLAC support

FLAC support in Windows 10


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Microsoft announced Windows 10 today. The technical preview will come out tomorrow, October 1, 2014, and the final release will be sometime in the summer of 2015. EDIT 2014-10-01: the preview is now available.

Yes, that’s Windows 10, not Windows 9. Microsoft probably wants to distance itself from Windows 8; calling it “Windows 9” would make it too close to Windows 8. In a media briefing, Terry Myerson said:

But we know that based on the product that’s coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9. So, we’re considering our “One” Microsoft strategy, the names of our products like Xbox One, OneNote, and OneDrive, and it’s obvious what the name should be: Windows One. But unfortunately, Windows 1 has been done by the giants that came before us. […] Because we’re not building an incremental product, that new Windows is Windows 10.

This jump reminds me of Firefox jumping from 3.0 to 3.5 because of all the new features they implemented, but this jump in the Windows version is on a grander scale.

Windows 10 logo
See the preview video →

I’m a little late, but I just found out that the UK and Dutch governments paid Microsoft a large sum of money (to give an understatement) to extend support for Windows XP. They are “very grateful”, they said.

I’m quite shocked. How desperate are you that you’ll pay £5.5 million (almost US$9.3 million) to extend the support of a buggy 12-year-old operating system for a year when there are perfectly good free and open-source substitutes out there? They’re worried about how much money it will take to retrain everyone if they switched over to open-source software; I don’t see how paying Microsoft £5.5 million to extend support for a year is better. Not only are you paying to keep support, you’re also paying to keep your antivirus licenses. Does anyone not realize that you don’t need an antivirus on Linux? If you want to pay for support, go get Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Linux Enterprise, or some other enterprise Linux. Your cost in training users will be insignificant compared to your deal with Microsoft and its associated costs.

Also, to Microsoft, this is bribery: you’ll give support to users if they paid you a ridiculously large sum of money. Either stand firm by your decision to stop giving support or give support to everyone. They had seven years to prepare for the end of support, which is more than enough time to assess alternatives and plan a transition.

I’m very disappointed in both of you.

Links →

Anyone who’s looked into the system files on their Windows computer will be all too familiar with the C:\Windows\System32 directory. This folder is where the essential Windows executables and libraries reside. The folder first appeared in Windows 95 (perhaps earlier; I don’t have any older Windows installers to verify this) to hold the 32-bit EXEs and DLLs if your system supported 32 bits; 16-bit files were placed in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.

System32 has 32 at the end of it to indicate that it’s a place for 32-bit applications, to differentiate it from the 16-bit applications placed in System. With time, 16-bit systems were phased out and 32-bit systems were the norm. Similarly, 64-bit systems have started becoming the norm and 32-bit systems are being phased out. 64-bit Windows doesn’t include a 16-bit emulation layer, meaning that they won’t run 16-bit applications. As a result, 16-bit applications are not included with 64-bit Windows (they are still included with 32-bit Windows) and the System directory is no longer present.

One would expect that the next logical step would be to have a System64 folder for the 64-bit system files, but no, that’s not what Microsoft decided to do. Instead, 64-bit files are placed in System32 and 32-bit files are transparently redirected to C:\Windows\WoW64, where WoW64 stands for Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit. This is apparently done for compatibility reasons, especially since many programs hard-code System32 paths, and some 32-bit programs can be recompiled into a 64-bit executable without changing the source code.

Yes, I understand it’s for compatibility, but really? The name System32 has lost its meaning. When we eventually switch over to 128-bit systems, assuming Windows is still around and the system tree hasn’t been changed significantly, the system folder will probably still be called System32. It’ll become one of those obsolete symbols that are still widely used and understood but whose origins have been forgotten by the common folk.

Oh well, what’s in a name? It’s been said that Windows 8 should be called “Tiles” instead because the emphasis is no longer on the windows, but it’s still called “Windows”.

Whatever, I’m on Linux anyway.

Internet Explorer 11 was released two weeks ago (no, I haven’t heard of it just now; I just haven’t had the time to really write anything for it). Accompanying the release, Microsoft Singapore unveiled a moe personification of IE to promote IE. Ever since Madobe Nanami was made for Windows 7, it seems that Microsoft has really taken a liking to these anime characters.

Her name is Aizawa Inori / 藍澤 祈 (the family name is Aizawa).

Aizawa Inori on her desktop

Aizawa Inori on her desktop


(There are many references hidden in that image. Bonus points to anyone who can point them all out!)

Aizawa Inori concept sketches

Concept sketches


Read more and watch the video →