Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Windows OS Code Patching


Interesting article here from the ntdebug blog on how hotfixes get integrated into the windows code-base and update mechanism.

There have been some excellent posts recently on this blog offering detailed insight into the internals of Windows, if you’re interested in this kind of thing (like me) and general innards of Microsoft I’d also recommend Raymond Chen’s blog.

Many people underestimate the complexity of getting Windows out the door and keeping it serviced, I have to wonder just how well Apple* would cope given a similar scale of operation, and not having the luxury of a single “blessed” hardware platform rather than having to service literally trillions of combinations of 3rd party hardware/software/firmware/drivers etc.

I’ve seen lots of “Windows is rubbish and my Mac is ace” discussions at work and socially recently, whilst Windows definitely has its flaws, a more detailed analysis of the persons problem usually reveals that its a 3rd party app/device/driver that has caused a problem, for example;

  • Outdated DivX codec giving poor performance when browsing directories with thumbnails, or crashing – fix – updated codec
  • Vendor supplied wireless driver/utilities causing issues with sleep or disabling network card – using default Windows driver was as performant and fixed all issues

Microsoft get a lot of bad press around this but it’s actually because they have a pretty open framework and set of ISV/IHV/partner schemes to allow 3rd parties to tightly integrate their products (and thus profit from the Windows cash-cow) they have their HCL/SCL process, but it’s not an absolute requirement for being allowed to install product X from ABC inc.

*Not wishing to start a Mac/PC war – I use + like both, before you flame me, although I have used OSX under VMWare, as well as on Apple hardware #naughty!

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