Flame war: The great Windows 7 debate

InfoWorld's Randall C. Kennedy and OSNews' Thom Holwerda go head to head over how to assess Windows 7's changes

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In conclusion, I'll leave you with the following quotes from one of those confused media types who inadvertently misled so many. Speaking about Windows 7 and the Eric Traut demo, this person opened his analysis by saying, "First up is a streamlined microkernel codenamed MinWin, around which a re-engineered Windows line will be built." And later, in the same -- or a related -- article, they repeated the fallacy: "Additionally, the presentation also showed us that Microsoft is in fact working with a stripped-down, bare-metal version of the NT kernel, to be used as a base for future Windows releases."

Sound familiar? It should. It's you, Thom, in one of your own articles posted to OSNews.

So, tell me all about this "streamlined microkernel" you reported on. I'm dying to hear details ...

Thom to Randall:
It's you who's misreading my comments. Sounds like you're pulling a Dvorak

If we are going to turn this into a contest about who was first to claim that the Windows kernel didn't need to be replaced, I've got some bad news for you -- because I've been saying that in various articles for a long time now. The earliest article I could fine is one I wrote 18 months ago. Several followed.

And no, you most certainly weren't the first to report on what MinWin actually was. Not by a long shot. Looking at OSNews, this is what we had to say when Eric Traut's demo first made its rounds on the Net: "First up is a streamlined microkernel code-named MinWin, around which a re-engineered Windows line will be built. Described as 'the Windows 7 source-code base,' in reference to the successor to Windows Vista that is slated for a 2010 release, MinWin strips back the current NT-based kernel to the barest of bare metal."

You took that first sentence out of context, by not linking to the original news item it was part of. As you can see, we clearly explained this was a stripped-back variant of the NT kernel, which is an accurate depiction. This was well over a year ago. We again made this clear, along with several other Web sites, on other occasions, all well before your five-month mark. So, no, you're not the first person to report accurately on MinWin.

But again, you're steering away from the actual matter at hand, which is that in your "Windows 7 unmasked" article, you misrepresent what MinWin is supposed to stand for, even though you claim to be the first to accurately explain what MinWin is. Which raises the question -- why would you suddenly proclaim an understanding of MinWin that you claim to have been debunking earlier?

From my conversations with you over the course of the past few days, it has become more clear than ever to me that I already answered this question myself in my original reply to your "Windows 7 unmasked" article: No, you're certainly not clueless, and yes, you certainly know what you're talking about. This leaves us with the only possible option: You did a John Dvorak. You are writing all this nonsense merely to attract readers, and then, when these readers call you out on your bull****, you claim they are all Windows zealots.

Classic Dvorak behavior. Your latest article confirms this trend -- you made up a fake claim about Microsoft supposedly delaying the Windows 7 beta to next year, even though this was clearly the company's target all along and they have never made a promise otherwise. [Editor's note: Randall intended that post as a joke, but many people didn't get it.]

This is the last e-mail on this debate. We promised the editor-in-chief of InfoWorld this debate would be civil, and without any personal attacks, and I think that at least I have remained true to my word. Now it's up to the readers to decide which of us is making more sense.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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