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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

Anonymous Coward

Microsoft murdered netbooks

Never forgive, never forget, Linux forever.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

Tablets and lower priced laptops murdered netbooks, and Intel murdered Atom.

People bought netbooks because they couldn't afford a real computer but wanted something that sort of filled that space. Most of those people found a tablet met their needs, a few others chose chromebooks and for the rest they worked out that paying an extra couple hundred bucks for something that wasn't a steaming pile was worth it.

No one wants a piece of junk low powered laptop whatever OS it's running.

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Trollface

Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

"No one wants a piece of junk low powered laptop whatever OS it's running."

yet they'll by a low-end fondleslab running Android instead...

[I'd say the fondleslabs fill the gap where once the netbooks ruled, and then some]

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

Well yes, that's sort of the point.

If what you wanted was to consume content a tablet is infinitely better. If what you wanted as a laptop to create content the netbook didn't actually do the job most of the time anyway.

Netbooks felt cheap, they performed poorly, and they weren't actually that cheap compared to equivalent items. There was a period of time where tablets didn't exist and even the cheapest laptops were really expensive when netbooks shone, but they shone because of market failure, but because they were a good idea.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

Big problem is that not enough people actually need a netbook. Most people use their electronic gadgetry to consume - watch Youtube, view naughty pictures, listen to music, surf teh interwebs, send the odd tweet or short e-mail. They don't care if it runs windows, Linux, Android or iOS, so long as it works. What a netbook does, with its real keyboard, is allow the owner to create, and not just consume. No-one can type a 20,000 word report on a touchscreen, or write serious code. Sadly it's a limited market. My little old Linux AA1 was great. Cheap, tough as old boots, and a 10 hour battery life. Marvellous for sitting in the garden and writing the great novel. Power connector has got knackered sadly, otherwise I'd still be using it.

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Linux

Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

Still use my EEE 4G when I'm out and about, it's convenient and unobtrusive and is fine for basic browsing (I stick to mobile versions of sites where possible, though). I test non-systemd distros on it in preparation for the day when systemd implodes/becomes serious malware (the only drawback of Solus, which I run on my main laptop). Currently I'm testing EXE, Void and various BSDs, but I always return to antiX or MX...

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Meh

Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

People bought netbooks because they did the job at a decent price, they were big enough to have usable keyboard and yet small and light enough to carry in a rucksack for weeks on end.

My original need was to download photos, burn them to disk and mail them home. Being able to write up reports and emails as I go and then pop into an internet cafe for just 10 minutes to upload/download was a bonus.

And I doubt your tablet can be repaired in the middle of the Amazon using a penknife and eraser to remove some weird fungus shorting out the motherboard.

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Coat

Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

""No one wants a piece of junk low powered laptop whatever OS it's running.""

Try stuffing an appropriate version of Linux on it. It'll probably run like a scalded cat in comparison to windows.

> Runs and hides. Thanks - it's the one with the bullet proof vest in the pocketses.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

@Chris 155; "Tablets and lower priced laptops murdered netbooks"

It'd be more accurate to say that netbooks were quickly forced up in spec- and price- under pressure from Microsoft to get them to run Windows until they became indistinguishable from typical low-end x86 laptops.

From what I've heard, the manufacturers weren't making much on netbooks, so were probably happy to go along with this, but it defeated the whole point.

The netbook was *already* being priced out of existence as a distinct concept by the time the original iPad came along in 2010, let alone by the point cheap tablets (comparable in price to the original netbooks) started hitting the market en masse.

Similar story with the Chromebook- which one may argue was closer to the original netbook concept- that came out in 2011 after the original market had declined.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

I have two netbooks alive and kicking thanks to Debian.

One sits in front of a bunch of disks that might loosely be described as a file server. Works like a charm and light on the leccy bill.

Another is a gutless chrome-touchscreen that was embuggered with Windows 10 but now flies with the grace of an overfed wood pigeon. Keeps my better half occupied.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never forgive, never forget, Linux forever.

Spoken like a true fanatic. It's not like you even wanted new versions of Windows on your pc, but if MS won't provide them (instead just supplying security fixes for the next 5 years) then they're a bunch of cunts....

It's an OS, not the messiah.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

>People bought netbooks because they did the job at a decent price, they were big enough to have usable keyboard and yet small and light enough to carry in a rucksack for weeks on end.

Agree, however, thanks to the machinations of Intel and MS the platform was seriously compromised, the OEMs then further crippled it by making sure that variants that were vagly useful eg. internal mobile broadband modem and larger battery weren't readily obtainable.

I note with Android and ARM PCU's the format is getting a second chance...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never forgive, never forget, Linux forever.

"...but if MS won't provide them (instead just supplying security fixes for the next 5 years)"

I'd like to point out that 2 companies are rendering hardware incompatible in a manner. Am I supposed to believe this is anything but intentional for obvious reasons? Why sell just software or hardware, when you can force the sale of both. So what's new in news.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

Still use my EEE 4G when I'm out and about, it's convenient and unobtrusive and is fine for basic browsing (I stick to mobile versions of sites where possible, though).

Similar to that, I have an Acer AspireOne someone left behind in a rental house because the power adapter quit. I wiped the drive, installed 32bit LinuxMint on it, and it works fine with one of those universal power supplies. Need to find a proper adapter for it, simply because the universal one is just too darned bulky.

Biggest problem I have with it is I do my fiction writing in GoogleDocs, and in order to have local/offline copies of my work I have to run an old, unsupported version of GoogleChrome (last 32-bit version) and it bitches mightily every time I start it.

If the various Linux desktop projects hadn't gone out of their way to kill XDMCP, I could simply use it as a portable X-terminal to my desktop machine. But we aren't allowed to do such useful things by the "geniuses" at Gnome, etc.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

Looks like they just created a whole class of repurposed laptops that have Linux support but not Windows.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

If performance is sub-par, that's the end user's problem. Just give them a downgrade option.

If MS really cared about the end user they wouldn't break things like web cams at the drop of a hat, with no solution in sight, just because they don't give a sh*t.

After this it won't be long until some other lower end CPU gets dropped.

MS is in cahoots with hardware manufacturers to artificially pump up demand for new hardware, now when it has become obvious that certain specs reached years ago are more than sufficient for most users.

One prime suspect called "Intel" comes to mind, but some large Laptop manufacturers would also fall into that category.

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Re: Never forgive, never forget, Linux forever.

"if MS won't provide them (instead just supplying security fixes for the next 5 years) then they're a bunch of cunts...."

Yes they are. They shouldn't artificially create demand by obsoleting stuff. It's bad for people's wallets. It's bad for the environment too.

This is the ONE major thing that's wrong with Apple, and MS just had to go and copy it. Just like they had to copy Google's spying model. MS just loves taking the worst of everything and bringing it together.

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Re: Microsoft murdered netbooks

"If the various Linux desktop projects hadn't gone out of their way to kill XDMCP, I could simply use it as a portable X-terminal to my desktop machine."

There must be a number of ways around this, surely?

Have you googled the problem?

I have yet to find a Linux, or Unix-like system, that couldn't be coaxed into delivering remote X sessions.

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Re: Similar to that, I have an Acer AspireOne

Does it blanks screen and freezes when on battery while working OK on PSU?

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Hmm, these are make nice cheap machines for OpenBSD.

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Anonymous Coward

I have a system with one of these CPU's

Runs like a dream but not using any MS product. It runs my home fileserver using CentOS 6.8.

Even though it came with a Windows license, that {add your own insult here if needed} has never been run on it.

I did an update last week. Took around 10 minutes. Previous uptime was 206days. As it is firewalled (twice) from the internet and on a private lan it is pretty safe from the bad stuff.

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Re: I have a system with one of these CPU's

If you went with Fedora or Ubuntu then you could install ksplice for free which allows you to do inline kernel updates and never need to reboot it. Linux can achieve 100% up-time which is impossible for Windows!

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Joke

Re: I have a system with one of these CPU's

"{add your own insult here if needed}"

a nice sequence of insults for Win-10-nic can be seen in 'Demolition Man' in the scene where Stallone's character finds a "solution" for lack of toilet paper... [ *-brained, *-faced, duck-*, *-busting pain in the @!] (asterisks for grins, since I have but one '*' for whatever reason I can think up)

is there an icon for BAD joke alert, CORNY joke alert, etc. ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I have a system with one of these CPU's

"is there an icon for BAD joke alert, CORNY joke alert, etc. ?"

The Coat usually fits the bill.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I have a system with one of these CPU's

Sadly both Fedora and Ubuntu include the devils software namely, 'systemd'.

CentOS 6.x does not.

A reboot only takes 2 minutes and the times saved by not using 'systemd' is priceless.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A reboot only takes 2 minutes

Amateur. If your OS needs rebooting there's something wrong with it.

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Devil

Re: A reboot only takes 2 minutes

"If your OS needs rebooting there's something wrong with it."

not if hibernate eats your battery life

power off (when not in use) for laptops. desktops stay on 7/24

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Re: I have a system with one of these CPU's

Mint will run anything in the Ubuntu repo and comes with the option to use Upstart or SystemD at boot time.

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Coat

Re: I have a system with one of these CPU's

"is there an icon for BAD joke alert, CORNY joke alert, etc. ?"

If you can tell there's corn in it, then you need to chew some more.

*shows self out*

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Re: A reboot only takes 2 minutes

not if hibernate eats your battery life

What? I think you are confusing 'hibernate' mode with 'sleep/standby' mode.

With hibernate memory is copied to disk ( c:\hiberfil.sys - although Win10 does things slightly differently) and system powers off.

power off (when not in use) for laptops. desktops stay on 7/24

Not sure of your logic behind this rule, but then my desktop is connected to a UPS and hence gets treated like a laptop.

.

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Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

And, no, a bunch of "volunteers" living on the other side of earth is not considered a "reliable support".

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Re: Support

The whole idea of "support for a CPU model" is, for the layman, absolutely insane.

The CPU is supposed to execute instructions. From a well-defined instruction set. What is there to support?

Then one day, my oh-so-expensive education revealed the horrible truth to me, in the form of the Intel CPU Errata documentation. I was enlightened. And horrified. Very, very horrified.

So, Intel "not supporting" the CPUs means that they'll no longer:

a) Accept more issues found, to their list of errata

b) Write examples and/or OS modules that side-step the processor's defects

c) Update drivers for the CPU's built-in peripherals

As far as I understand, all of the above activities should be rather complete by now anyways. So I think I shall continue the use my Debian netbook for the foreseeable future.

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Linux

Re: Good luck getting reliable anything

And, no, a bunch of layoff staffs no longer work for the company anywhere on earth is not considered a "reliable support" either.

It's not about the supports. It's about your right to fix and maintain within your capability.

It's like fixing a super old toaster. If the toaster company bankrupted and their toaster didn't have any restriction (like open-source), a screwdriver with your brain might be enough to fix it.

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Gimp

Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

Can't figure it out, eh?

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Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

Linux distros still even support 32bit CPU's - There is no issue here so throw your mud somewhere else!

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Devil

Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

Ack - I have Linux running on a Celeron-based Toshiba laptop from 2002. Debian 7 as I recall (the one before they added systemd) (ok I had to use an older installer to get the kernel that didn't have PAE in it, and jump through a couple of OTHER hoops, but it works now, so THERE, HAH!)

So YEAH, try THAT with Win-10-nic!

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Unhappy

Re: Support

I hardly believe this as the SAME computers would STILL be getting win7 and win 8.1 updates. Computers that MS practically forced Win10 on. Though I can't believe it is a conspiracy to make people buy new low end laptops / netbooks.

I ascribe this to MS stupidity. Like Ribbon, B&W GUI with no highlight/shadow on buttons and no way to see what on a window is clickable.

Also hasn't MS stopped support for * x 600 resolution on newer OS? (Anything less than 768, which does work with Linux if you set the desktop settings properly and use say Mate).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

I know, I shouldn't feed the troll, but...

Some of these devices were two-in-ones or similar, which have rare hardware. I've got something similar with two batteries. The Windows-only firmware uses the one in the keyboard section for preference, rather than the one in the display/tablet. When charging, it charges the display battery before the keyboard one.

It runs W10. I'd like the idea of replacing it with linux/BSD, but I've no idea if that functionality will be reproduced. And I don't want to take the risk of replacing something that works with something that doesn't, or has limited function. Or worse, bricks it completely.

Should I expect the people who maintain the linux battery-monitoring code to deal with this (probably rare and unusual) situation? Of course not. Should the manufacturer provide code for linux? It would be nice, but I had no expectation they would when I bought it.

Linux is great. I run Mint on my main pc. But I built it using parts that I checked out and knew would work. That's not always an option, and weird 2-in-1/tablet devices are precisely the sort of system which have strange hardware that can't be replaced. I'm sure most of them (all?) can be made to work in the end. But it will need work, and trawling through forums. And you may not keep all the functions. And until hardware manufacturers do start supporting linux, systems will be stuck with W10.

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Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

Installed Linux Mint with MATE on an Intel Atom Netbook a little less than 24 hours ago. Found all the hardware, Wifi, Nic, USB ports, SD Port, Bluetooth, mouse pad, everything. Even running with hardware video acceleration.

Runs okay, too. Better than the somewhat creaky Win 7 that was on it before.

Perfect.

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Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

> And, no, a bunch of "volunteers" living on the other side of earth is not considered a "reliable support".

And no, some megacorp's helpdesk on the other side of earth is not considered a "reliable support".

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Re: Support

Yeah, the CPU is not actually the issue, what the article fails to mention is that the actual problems are with the integrated GPUs.

Those Atoms come with integrated PowerVR GPUs, and their drivers suck. BTW, good luck using Linux with those GPUs.

And unfortunately, with the Creators update, where the OS started to do more advanced graphical stuff in the UI, those driver issues surfaced, resulting in various glitches and visual artifacts.

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Devil

Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

"Better than the somewhat creaky Win 7 that was on it before."

you should sell the Win 7 license key to someone who's desperate to avoid Win-10-nic (but must have windows because software won't run anyplace else, let's say, like on my 'accounting' machine with QuickBooks on it)

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Re: When charging, it charges the display battery before the keyboard one.

Multiple batteries are supported and most probably "charge BAT1 before BAT2" logic is implemented outside of OS, i.e. in firmware. Just boot a LiveCD image of any Linux distro you like from a USB thumbdrive and check what works and what doesn't.

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I can't see what is so different about the creators update that MS won't be able to offer Atom support yet they can provide it on the Anniversary update for another 5 years?

It is sad that a piece of IT equipment that was new in 2013 is now considered obsolete.

I am typing this on a 8 year old Dell laptop which runs Windows 7 and Linux Mint absolutely fine and will probably continue to use it for the next couple of years unless something fails on it.

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Anonymous Coward

You see, the silicon has somehow changed in these 5 years and thus Intel needs to write new/updated drivers. Or is it that MS wants Intel to adapt existing drivers to fit OS API changes?

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Old Dells

My old mahoosive 17" Dell laptop which I bought in 2001 still runs fine except for a minor problem with the hinges which suffered a little through user incompetence (OK, it was me..I dropped the bag it was in which landed on a corner where the foam was a little thin).

Currently on Mint but who knows what tomorrow brings...

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>Or is it that MS wants Intel to adapt existing drivers to fit OS API changes?

Well given what happened over the years to the original PC BIOS which was supposed to provide a basic hardware abstraction layer, I suspect Windows is becoming more and more dependent upon hardware specifics. Obviously what this means is that Windows is becoming more and more dependent upon the Intel chipset. Because of this and the long standing WinTel relationship, MS probably think they have some degree of 'proprietary ownership' of the Intel chipset and so are very comfortable in asking Intel to make changes that will in the first instance be to MS's benefit.

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Microsoft is already making security updates for Anniversary for Windows 10 2016 Long Term Servicing Branch. What they are doing is allowing these patches to be applied to the Clover Trail system as well.

What I don't understand is what is so different between Anniversary and Creators that the drivers for the chipset would not work correctly on both.

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My first guess

Intel included PowerVR GPUs and hardware codecs sourced from Imagination Technologies (IT) in these chips. Ever proprietary and secretive, Microsoft and Intel probably don't have either the IP nor the necessary code to provide the updates. IT is now on the rocks after Apple decided they don't want to deal with this BS any more and yanked it from the iPhone and iPad.

Linux drivers were always reverse engineered, don't have proprietary IP and so, will continue to work. The same criticism about these drivers originally (lack of mfr secrets limit performance) now becomes a strength.

Long story short: lack of foresight.

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Extended support

Manufacturers (or software and chips) seem to have decided that what they sell us is seriously life-limited. That may be okay for a consumable like cheese, but is not okay for something that could reasonably be expected to carry on doing its job for many years.

A simple netbook should be able to last for a decade or more, doing useful work.

What happens in 10, 15, 20 years when the hardware for the touchscreens in all these new cars needs upgrade or repair/replacement?

And it's not just Windows that has driver problems. A few years back I tried to install an Ubuntu upgrade on an old Shuttle PC. No chance - no drivers for the integrated graphics chip.

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