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Microsoft Patents Windows

Microsoft Patents OS Shutdown 404

An anonymous reader writes "You would think that shutting down software could be fairly simple from an end user's view. If I ask you to shut it down, would you mind shutting it actually down, please? Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, because you need to ask the user if they really want to shut down and if unsaved documents should be saved. And that warrants a patent that also covers Mac OS X. Next time you shut down Windows, remember how complicated it is for Windows to shut down. Perhaps that is the reason why this procedure can take minutes in some cases."
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Microsoft Patents OS Shutdown

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  • I don't understand (Score:1, Interesting)

    by KillaGouge ( 973562 ) <<moc.nsm> <ta> <71ceguog>> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:07PM (#33436866)
    They only cite documents going back to 1998. There has to be prior examples of this happening is there? Also, software pattents are getting ridiculous now a days. What is next, are they going to patent moving a cursor on-screen to select the option to shutdown?
  • Further reading (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:15PM (#33436984)

    The story of windows shutdown development: []

    All that work surely deserves a patent.

  • by derinax ( 93566 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:26PM (#33437204)

    I worked at Microsoft for the Windows 95 launch, where I provided Tier-1 support for BOOP (Bill and the Office of the President, i.e. CEO tradeshow tech support). I do recall that Bill specifically called out the 'shutdown' function on Windows 95 as an error. He didn't like it, he hated the idea of waiting for the OS to shutdown, and wanted simply to be able to push the power button to immediately turn the system off, like a DOS PC.

    He may or may not have understood the concept of in-memory caches and unsaved user work, but it didn't much matter to him.

  • Re:Only 1998? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:29PM (#33437240) Homepage

    but if I hear thunder close by, I just cut the power unless it's a laptop. Lightning doesn't have to be close enough to hear to induce surges in power lines, so I figure if I can hear it, it's already too close

    ^^^this. We have four surge protectors in our "fun space"...two for computers, two for our entertainment center (tv, consoles, etc). All four of them are plugged into wall sockets that are quickly and easily accessable for this very purpose (we get some pretty intense lightning here in Maryland during the Spring and Summer months.) We actually organized the layout of our "fun space" with this specifically in mind.

  • Re:Only 1998? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:30PM (#33437262)

    What the hell are you talking about, open apps and files restored after just cutting the power. What happened to the contents of the RAM?

  • by borgboy ( 218060 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:37PM (#33437396)

    Asking about saving is the wrong question. Saving shouldn't be a question. A document's current state should be persisted at the drop of a hat and that means undo info as well.

    A small faction at MS gets this.

    Android, as a platform and as recommended dev practice, gets this. Many great IPhone apps get this.

    An app should expect to be terminated rudely and abruptly at any time. You'll impress the hell out of your users if you follow this rule.

  • Re:Only 1998? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:42PM (#33438308) Journal
    You might want to add a whole-house surge protector to your breaker panel. That's slower to react than the consumer protectors, but can take a larger surge. The smaller and faster protectors will protect until the big boy kicks in, and then the big one is protecting the weaker ones. Your stuff is more likely to survive closer hits that way.
  • Re:Only 1998? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jgrahn ( 181062 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:04PM (#33438622)

    Do that every time, and over the course of the year, you've saved 30 seconds x 250 days, oe 125 minutes - that's 2 HOURS of electricity. Be green - pull the plug :-)

    Subtract from that the work other machines have to do keeping your dead TCP connections up, retransmitting, and eventually timing out and resetting them. Cutting the power to a networked computer is impolite.

  • Re:Only 1998? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:07PM (#33438648) Homepage

    We use the surge protectors to help guard against daily fluctuations in the power grid, but that's it. If we're home and we hear thunder or see a single lightning strike, everything gets turned off and the surge protectors get unplugged immediately. The layout of our entertainment room allows this to be done extremely quickly.

    Here's a picture of our main entertainment area []. There is a plug right under the desk (which you can easily see), and the plug for the surge protector that the TV and modern consoles are plugged into sits at about the same height as the TV (it's a really weird placement for an electrical socket, but for our purposes it's perfect.) My wife's work area (which has her computer, as well as a CRT TV and all our older consoles) is set up in a very similar way.

    If the weather folks call for thunderstorms to arrive while we're at work, I'll generally unplug it all before I leave in the morning.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:32PM (#33439890) Homepage Journal

    Which leads me to think that the simplest, most politically acceptable, and most immediately useful type of patent reform would be this: change the law to state that if one claim in a patent is held to be invalid, the entire patent is invalid. This would prevent absurdly broad "claim 1" items like the one you cite, and force patent filers to concentrate on specific aspects of the implementation instead of trying to seize ownership of general ideas. I know the game they're playing -- make absurdly overbroad claims early in the patent, and hope that if they're challenged, the court will accept only slightly less absurd later claims as a "compromise" -- but there's no reason We the People should allow this kind of crap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:36PM (#33443488)

    Ever encountered thrashing (excessive swap file reads/writes)? If you want to be able to turn the system off on moment's notice, you're asking for all data to be written to disk at all times. That is, instead of having RAM between CPU and disk, the CPU should just write straight to disk. That is, it should write to disk all the time.

    The Mac doesn't seem to have this problem. Your argument is invalid.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"