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Blue Ink Blue Ink
  • First Build tablets show up on eBay

    @cbae: if he was true to his word, one of those might well be from our resident fermented beverage. If so, he finally succeeded in making a profit at the expenses of MS.

  • Oh my God, add a start menu!

    I must admit that I suck at UI design, but I'd rather try and be constructive in the hope that someone listens and comes up with a good idea.

    Complaint #1: The experience going back and forth between Aero and Metro is too distracting.

    Would a glassy background in the Metro Start menu work better? Not a big fan of fully glassy windows (like the gadget menu in Win7), but the tiles provide a crisp contrast anyway and if the glass is "blurry" enough, it would only let the basic colors of the desktop background shine through. Metro doesn't mandate a solid background, after all. Of course the single Metro apps would still take over the whole screen with their own background.

    Complaint #2: The start menu taking up the whole screen is alien to every previous Windows experience,

    I realize that unless users are exposed to the Metro start screen, the notion of apps and the store would be defeated, so a direct replacement of the Windows Start Menu is not an option.

    A possible alternative, IMHO, would be to have an expanded charms menu while in desktop mode, so that it takes up - say - 1/3 of the screen (in landscape mode, maybe 1/2 in portrait), has a glassy background (to be more similar to Windows start menu) and includes the charms at the bottom, and some of the tiles in the Metro Start screen (the first group, or another specfic group, or even a filtered view with only desktop apps listed in there).

    In a sense, it would be a "minified" version of the Metro start screen plus charms, possibly with an easy way to expand it to the full Metro start, for instance the little animated arrow from WP7 (and/or support swiping it out with a finger), and/or an easy keyboard shortcut (press and hold the Win key, maybe?).


    Again, UI design is not my thing, so all of this might be an utter disaster. But I'm interested in your comments, to see if there are alternatives that don't call for going back to Win7.

  • Microsoft have outdone Apple. Period!

    @Bass: Yes, it's cheaper to buy pre-built computers. The irony is that this is because they have Windows preinstalled, so people buy them by the cartload and this is what allows manufacturers to get low production prices. Arguably, you saved money by getting those Windows licenses you don't use...

  • Windows 8 - First Impressions (that you didnt ask for!)

    +1 for the need of a better task switcher. Even Mango is light years ahead.

    On a side note, it seems that Win8 tablets won't have the mandatory hardware buttons of WP, so the experience between phone and tablet won't be that seamless. No big deal, but I think they missed an opportunity here.

    As for the desktop, I don't think we will have an MS sanctioned start menu replacement, or even just an option. I'm only guessing, of course, but if they introduced that, everybody would just end up living entrenched in the desktop environment (like everybody wanted to turn off the UAC in Vista) and Metro would become a lonely place like Media Center. Goodbye Metro apps, goodbye store, goodbye developer opportunities. I don't think they'll let this happen.


  • Why all the C/C++ interest all of a sudden?

    ,TomboRombo wrote

    It would be nice for someone who thinks they will be using C++ to write Metro Apps to chime in and tell me what advantage you buy.   Dont tell me portability or you cannot learn C#.   I think you guys are hitting the nail on the head that .NET is legacy.  This story is still fuzzy right now.

    Here's one... as for the advantages, let's just say that C++ is the stick shift of computer programming Smiley

    Seriously, it's a matter of personal preference and of being able to use the right tool for the job. Or at least one of the right tools for the job. It's also a matter of welcoming as many developers as possible to the new platform, letting them use their weapon of choice.

    Might not work as intended, but I think it beats the "Objective C only, please" kind of policy hands down.

  • Hello from Windows 8

    @new2STL: didn't install Win 8 yet, but my understanding is that you can bring up the "charms" menu with the mouse by pointing at the lower left corner of the screen (where the start menu used to be). Maybe the swipe from the right is just a touch thing?

  • Build - The Discussion

    @spivonious: it depends on what you mean by ".NET". To me (and I guess to quite a few developers out there), .NET is a set of languages, libraries and technologies; the CLR is just an implementation detail. They already made major changes to the CLR in the past, I don't see why this should be any different.

  • Native BCL

    @Minh: you are right, unfortunately. Only one day to go and the name of the conference is still clearly commented out even on its website.

  • WP Mango and device drivers

    @W3bbo: hmm... if that's what came across, my English must have become a trainwreck. My apologies.

    I'll try to rephrase:

    I installed the (official) developer Mango build on the (official) Samsung firmware. All went well, but the compass doesn't work. It wasn't supported in NoDo and it isn't mandatory for Mango, so things may stay as they are, for all I know.

    The presence of a new leaked firmware, with compass support, indicates that Samsung may release a new firmware someday. If that's not included with the Mango RTM update, though, I would rather not rush the release of my little augmented reality app.

    And for the record: I'm not complaining Smiley

  • WP Mango and device drivers

    I recently found out that my Samsung Omnia 7 reports that the digital compass is not supported, despite the fact that the hardware includes one. Apparently that's due to a missing device driver, which is included in a leaked build that has been floating around for a while.

    Anyway, the fact that I could install Mango just fine on the current firmware poses an interesting question: will the new firmware become a prerequisite for Mango RTM or will that be handled as an OOB update by the manufacturer? The reason why I ask is that without a compass the whole Motion class becomes unavailable and considering that the Omnia is a popular WP7 model some places, this might affect the available market for a number of apps.

    Does anybody have any pointers on the matter?