Feeds

Windows DLL Hell needs more fixes, says MS MUG

Microsoft making some progress, but could try harder

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The exquisitely titled Microsoft Manufacturers User Group (MS MUG, oh yes) has sent Microsoft its first feedback report on DLL Hell, and the verdict seems to be that the problem, which is probably the primary source of failure in Windows installations, isn't going to go away in a hurry. MS MUG is a working group including major manufacturing companies and Microsoft, and was set up last year to address issues associated with the application of commercial software technology to manufacturing automation applications. Sure, it sounds dull, but the DLL Hell issue, and quite a few other matters that MS MUG is dealing with, are relevant to a broader range of Windows users. Its first report deals with DLL Hell, version management and related issues, including the high costs businesses face in keeping on top of Microsoft's release cycles. In the past Microsoft hasn't differentiated properly between new OS releases and service packs, which means that business "must continually validate Windows-based systems containing the new releases." Microsoft says it intends to switch over to a dual track approach, separating new software from bug fixes, but "the MUG expects that manufacturing customers will continue to experience a relatively higher degree of software churn due to the need to keep pace with both operating system and application software upgrades." But MS MUG predicts that the dual-track release schedule will likely result in what are effectively annual product releases from Microsoft, and if the company continues its practice of only supporting the current release of a product plus its predecessor, a given product's supported life will fall to only two or three years. "At a minimum," says MS MUG, "the group strives for support a full 5 years beyond when a product is replaced in order for it to be cost-effective in manufacturing applications. This will help manufacturing organizations to effectively plan and test migrations and ensure minimal production impact." Its verdict on DLL Hell is that recent and impending developments improve the situation, but won't eliminate the problem. DLL Hell stems from applications installing alternative DLLs over existing ones which may be critical to the operation of the installation, and in the absence of anything you could even loosely describe as version control, this process has been trashing Windows systems since 3.1. Windows 2000 has Windows File Protection (WFP), which stops key system files from being overwritten, and an equivalent of this will be present in Windows ME. Microsoft has also been giving its operating systems the ability to run multiple different DLLs of the same name, allowing different applications to use the particular version they need. Putting all the software you might need into a big pile of bloat strikes us as a particularly Microsoft fix, but what do we know? MS MUG suggests that this DLL-redirection and side-by-side versioning is a band-aid, rather than a real fix, and points out that "implementation of this functionality... still requires systems administrators to intervene to resolve the issue and eliminates the main benefit of dynamically linked libraries: the ability to save memory by sharing code space." Further information: MS Manufacturers User Group

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.