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Microsoft still in denial phase over W8.. possible "relaunch" in February

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  • evildictait​or

    , bondsbw wrote

    1. Will Microsoft build out WinRT as the ultimate replacement for Win32 and desktop applications?

    No. WindowsRT will not demolish support for desktop any more than Android phones will. They are different devices aimed at different audiences.

    The Windows team at Microsoft still considers Desktop to be the main focus for development, although obviously the marketing focuses on the "new" areas such as metro.

    Also Microsoft has an explicit policy for application compatibility; applications should (in the absence of clear abuses of APIs) have a ~10 year life cycle.

    If you're an early adopter of the Surface, then you'll have to wait for device manufacturers to catch up. Let's remember that Surface not only runs a different device driver model, it's also a different architecture, so you're just going to have to wait for the drivers to catch up.

    @WTWF: tl;dr.

  • bondsbw

    , evildictait​or wrote

    No. WindowsRT will not demolish support for desktop any more than Android phones will.

    In case you thought otherwise, I meant WinRT as in Modern apps, not as in the ARM OS.

    They are different devices aimed at different audiences.

    This doesn't make sense to me:

    • If you are talking about Windows RT (ARM), desktop applications are not supported and I have no reason to believe they ever will be.  Modern is the only future here.
    • If you are talking about Windows 8 (Intel), then you seem to be claiming that Microsoft has purposely chosen to target one OS at two different audiences, the desktop audience and the tablet audience, with no intention to bring them together for a cohesive user experience.

    I can't believe that you, after all this time of arguing with WTWF, actually believe that last statement.

  • elmer

    Returning to the OP for a second...

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-27/acer-sees-success-in-chrome-pcs-as-windows-fails-to-drive-sales.html

    I find it hard to ever give much credence to anything this guy says, as he is so full of it, but nevertheless, as the saying goes... where there's smoke...

    and in other news... Apple seem to have a similar (if less alarming) problem looming.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/27/us-apple-asia-idUSBRE90Q0IV20130127?irpc=932

  • evildictait​or

    , bondsbw wrote

    In case you thought otherwise, I meant WinRT as in Modern apps, not as in the ARM OS.

    If you are talking about Windows 8 (Intel), then you seem to be claiming that Microsoft has purposely chosen to target one OS at two different audiences, the desktop audience and the tablet audience, with no intention to bring them together for a cohesive user experience.

    That's exactly what I'm saying. Windows8 Metro apps are not aimed at content creators, and according to most of the people I've met at MS, is explicitly not designed to remove desktop applications from the equation.

    Metro apps are just a new way of doing things for the post-app world we live in. Users want to be able to download crappy apps without fear of pwnage and to be able to use them in a swishy way with centralized ownership, content controls and design cohesiveness; to put it another way, people do actually want iPhone/Android apps on a PC, and that's what Metro apps give them.

    But Microsoft isn't stupid. They fully realize that some applications are never a good fit for that model. Visual Studio (which is used by at least 50% of the employees of Microsoft) is a clear example of an app that would never really fit into Metro. Microsoft also realize that their entire business is founded on binary compatibility with older versions of the OS. That's why most applications just work on Windows8 despite having been written and compiled on machines before Windows8 even existed.

    Perhaps it's not obvious to people who've never been to Redmond and seen the work they put into app-compat, but the simple fact of life is that the desktop isn't going away, and it never was going to. Metro might be front-and-centre in the adverts and in the mind of content-consumers (which let's face it, is most home users), but to content-creators, the Desktop is still critical, and will continue to remain and evolve with Windows for the foreseeable future.

  • Retro​Recursion

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    Metro apps are just a new way of doing things for the post-app world we live in.

    Post-app world? This talk of post-this and post-that is ridiculous. All these devices are still personal computers of different sizes. They are designed with the same principles. But now we have a post-app world?? What does that even mean?

    people do actually want iPhone/Android apps on a PC

    We've had that for years. They are called widgets and gadgets. Simple, single focus apps designed to consume content. They were never popular on PC's before, but now that they run full screen they will become popular? I thought we all decided long ago that full screen apps didn't make sense for productivity on a PC.

  • contextfree`

    I don't think it's quite right to say (most of) those applications won't ever work in the new model, I think it would be more accurate to say that the new model will need to evolve and expand its support before those applications will work in it, and it will take some years for that to play out.

  • cheong

    , evildictait​or wrote

    @cheong: I see 16 ones compatible with Windows8 (although only one is certified).

    Also, barcodes aren't a particularly common device category; certainly not like USB drives or harddrives or graphics cards or printers or the bajillion HIDs that Windows has to support; although that's cold comfort when you need to make use of one.

    Anyway, it might be that the only solution to this problem is to badger the device manufacturer to sort their drivers out for Windows8.

    I really mean WinRT...

    ARM based system have advantage over x86/x64 based system as POS machine on remote site. They're immune from attack of x86 instruction based virus, and lots of dancing bunnies people commonly see won't work there.

    Now just if Microsoft made serial/parallel ports more accessible there... (Those cash drawers require serial/parallel interface to work)

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  • evildictait​or

    , Visible = False wrote

    Post-app world? This talk of post-this and post-that is ridiculous. All these devices are still personal computers of different sizes. They are designed with the same principles. But now we have a post-app world?? What does that even mean?

    In the pre-app world applications could do real damage to your machine. They ran as your user, and they did actions on the machine on your behalf.

    Apps are different. They aren't trusted to do actions on your behalf, and they must be sandboxed to prevent damage to your machine.

    Apps are not new - not on PCs or elsewhere. We've had flash games for forever on PCs and apps have always been the main way of interacting with smartphones.

    The difference is that on PCs you've never been able to install native programs that genuinely can't do damage to your machine. They can't install other software, they can be installed and uninstalled without litterring your machine, and they must declare upfront manifests of how they intend to operate.

    iOS, Android and Windows8 are good examples of post-app OSes. Windows7 and to a lesser degree, Linux and MacOSX are a pre-app OSes because native code you found on the Internet for them is dangerousunattributablenon-selfdescribing, non-centralized and does not necessarily cleanly uninstall.

  • evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    ARM based system have advantage over x86/x64 based system as POS machine on remote site. They're immune from attack of x86 instruction based virus, and lots of dancing bunnies people commonly see won't work there.

    Not if you write your virus in Java (which is the most common way of attacking Internet Explorer in 2011 and 2012). All of the logic bugs in x86 are still there when you cross compile it for ARM.

    Case in point: look at all the viruses for Android which runs on ARM.

  • RLO

    , elmer wrote

    Returning to the OP for a second... as the saying goes... where there's smoke...

    and in other news... Apple seem to have a similar (if less alarming) problem looming.

    What would one expect out of a culture programmed to be consumers and not creators?

    Consumption devices rule the day.

    I think this is what is a bit disappointing about the whole Devices + Services revolution.

    Computing power used to be about empowerment, now it's about consuming, and like any other consumption paradigm, it all leads to obesity.

    At what point is one service/subscription more is too many?

    At what point do we push the chair back, and say enough is enough.

    The PC/Computer was the great equalizer, (and still is at this moment.)  At what point in human history could we create so much so easily.  The idea of becoming a world class film maker in the Pre-PC world was impossible, now it's so easily achievable, that any person with a computer, a decent camcorder, and software can rival the great directors of yesterday.  When in time could a person write a novel, illustrate, and publish with a fraction of cost?

    The race towards the consumer app model will never bring us to that level but instead is a race to dumb down things.  I won't say it's not necessary, because for the vast majority of individuals the "it just works" model is sufficient.  My worry is what we lose in the meantime.  The whole Google apps vs. Office debate is a prime example.  Yes, Google apps does meet most people's needs.  Unfortunately, if I have to do a research paper or a professional publication, I WANT WORD at my side.  Then it comes to a business decision for the software maker, more features or cut features to compete.  Make less complex, for more accessibility. In the meantime, for those that are used to these "power tools" we find our power saw exchanged for a hacksaw. Outlook vs. Mail app for example.

    And for all this doom and gloom, there's still a bright future.  The future of Windows with Azure has unbelievable potential.  The pricing just needs to be tweaked a little lower to make the "future is now" achievable.

    Computing as a utility has unbelievable potential, it just has to be priced differently.

    Imagine a world where you paid 20 dollars a month for your computing needs.  Not 300 to 1000 every 3 to 5 years.  You pay a lease for a thin client that attaches automatically to your Azure Virtual Machine, unlimited bandwidth and storage.  Every MS Software product available included. Complete computing power, and the only thing your bandwidth uses is the bandwidth for RemoteFX.  No longer are you limited by your processor, your ram, your storage or your bandwidth, you will only be limited by your datacenter.

    (A smart businessman would tell you that 12 * 20 is 240 dollars and by 3 years is 720 dollars, more than you would pay for an outright buy of a cheap computer.  But that fact is only for those that can do math.)

  • cheong

    @evildictaitor:Unless your POS is written in Java, how many POS client would have Java installed?

    More importantly, I've not seen any announcement from Oracle that they're going to release JRE for WinRT. So this would be non-issue at least for now.

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  • evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    @evildictaitor:Unless your POS is written in Java, how many POS client would have Java installed?

    More importantly, I've not seen any announcement from Oracle that they're going to release JRE for WinRT. So this would be non-issue at least for now.

    @cheong: The WindowsRT restrictions have nothing to do with ARM being inherently more secure than x86. They are due to the OS having a more restrictive policy. It is entirely possible to run Java on ARM. It's also possible to buffer overflow ARM devices, and to exploit sandbox logic bugs such as those in Java and .NET.

    Running on ARM doesn't afford you protection. Running on RT does.

  • Sven Groot

    , RLO wrote

    Unfortunately, if I have to do a research paper or a professional publication, I WANT WORD at my side.

    Meanwhile, most actual research papers (at least in the field of Computer Science) are written in LaTeX. Tongue Out

  • cheong

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    @cheong: The WindowsRT restrictions have nothing to do with ARM being inherently more secure than x86. They are due to the OS having a more restrictive policy. It is entirely possible to run Java on ARM. It's also possible to buffer overflow ARM devices, and to exploit sandbox logic bugs such as those in Java and .NET.

    Running on ARM doesn't afford you protection. Running on RT does.

    I'm not saying it's more secure. I'm saying it's not actively targeted (yet).

    At least we can ignore the already swamping x86 targeted virus/trojans in the wild.

    While it's possible to run Java on ARM, Oracle still has no plan to release JRE for WinRT yet.

    It's possible to buffer overflow ARM devices, but as long as their shell code won't run on ARM, all you can have is Denial Of Service type of damage and your machine is not pwned.

    This makes WinRT machines desirable for loosely monitored remote site environment.

    Of course the other option would be to run the business on webserver, and install diskless workstation with DVDROM only, and use a LiveCD to browse the business web applications. In that way whenever the machine is "infected", a single reboot can get rid of them. Yet I don't see a lot of these chainstore I.T. comfortable with Linux systems.

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  • Dr Herbie

    @Sven Groot: I think LaTeX is only really used in CS (or sometimes in Maths) -- every Biology Journal I knew of (OK, it was a decade ago) asked for Word format documents.

    Herbie

  • Sven Groot

    @Dr Herbie: How did you manage citations? Word didn't have built-in support for that until Office 2007, and doing it manually... *shudders*

    I actually wrote my dissertation in TeX. Not because there's a requirement, but because it's much easier to do than Word. Of course, part of it is because I was using content from papers I've written that were written in LaTeX, but it's also just because I have ~150 references that are much easier to manage with Bibtex than with Word. Also, although you sometimes have to struggle with LaTeX's stubbornness when it comes to laying out images (it does like creating pages of floats even when that wastes tons of space), it's nothing compared to fighting with Word when it refuses to place an image where you want it in a large, complex document (we've all been there).

  • evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    At least we can ignore the already swamping x86 targeted virus/trojans in the wild.

    Not really. Compiling most viruses for ARM is just a case of changing the compiler setting to "ARM".

    While it's possible to run Java on ARM, Oracle still has no plan to release JRE for WinRT yet.

    Might not run in WindowsRT mode, but it runs on ARM. (I actually have Burp Professional which is a Java app on a Windows RT device, so I know it works Smiley )

    It's possible to buffer overflow ARM devices, but as long as their shell code won't run on ARM, all you can have is Denial Of Service type of damage and your machine is not pwned.

    ?? Writing ARM shellcode is not hard. There's a lot of knowledge in this field because iPhones and Android devices (of which there are many) run on ARM. Hell, all of the iPhone jailbreaks are buffer overflows on ARM.

    Of course the other option would be to run the business on webserver, and install diskless workstation with DVDROM only, and use a LiveCD to browse the business web applications. In that way whenever the machine is "infected", a single reboot can get rid of them. Yet I don't see a lot of these chainstore I.T. comfortable with Linux systems.

    Unless the virus writes uses a PXE boot attack. Or jumps around on computers on the same LAN. Or infects the firewall to DNS redirect you. Or infects the firmware on the network card or any other device.

     

    ARM isn't magic. You're not magically safer for running it. Windows RT's clever policy that all apps must be checked by the Microsoft store, must run in a super-unprivileged sandbox and that all drivers must be signed makes you safer; but none of that is to do with ARM being an inherently better platform, it's all to do with RT making the platform safer through policies.

  • evildictait​or

    , Sven Groot wrote

    @Dr Herbie: How did you manage citations? Word didn't have built-in support for that until Office 2007, and doing it manually... *shudders*

    Also inserting formulas was a PITA until Office 2007.

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