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View Thread: windows 7 != MinWin
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    Larry Osterman

    magicalclick said:
    Still, I couldn't see where I can customize components during PDC Edition installation. Maybe I should try a fresh install instead of upgrade. Since Win7 is missing a number of Win Live Apps, it is at least 50MB less LOL.

    Win7 offers limited opportunities to customize the default install.  And once again, you're confusing what "minwin" is.

    As Mark Russinovich (and Brandon and I) have pointed out, "minwin" is about refactoring parts of the system to build a minimal foundation.  That in turn helps reduce architectural complexity and improve servicing.   But it's NOT about allowing end-users to pick and choose which windows features get installed.

    The reason for not allowing massive amounts of customization is simple:  Every possible option adds another vector that needs to be tested.  So if the OS had 0 configuration options at setup, each test pass has to be run once.  If the system has one configuration options at setup, each test pass has to be run twice (once with the option turned on, once with it turned off).  If there are two options, each test pass has to be run four times (once with each of the options turned on and off).  If there are 8 options, each test pass has to be run 256 times.  etc. 

    There are thousands of features built into Windows, some of which would have to be tested with the feature present and not present. 

    Now obviously it's not a purely exponential matrix - you probably wouldn't have to retest the sound subsystem if the printing subsystem wasn't present (but you might, you'd be surprised at how dependencies work).  But it IS an exponential curve - the more install options you have, you have exponentially more configurations to test.

    To me, the interesting thing about the Minwin effort is that as we move further down this path (and it is a path), we learn more and more about how the system dependencies work.  So we have a better idea of what depends on what.  And that in turn allows us to refine the dependency matrix I mentioned above, which means that we can do a better job at figuring out what has to be re-tested with each configuration option (and thus we'd be able to definitively answer the "does the printing subsystem depend on the  sound subsystem" question).

    There IS one version of Windows that does allow massive amounts of configuration (and has since Windows XP).  That's the Embedded Windows versions.  Those allow massive amounts of customization because Embedded Windows pushes the testing responsibilities on the customer.