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Microsoft still in denial

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  • wastingtime​withforums

    , C9Matt wrote

    *snip*

    Wrong. Windows RT is perfectly capable of running desktop programs; the code is all there so that you could hapilly run WoW or Firefox or Open Office or Visual Studio.

    The reason you can't run those on Windows RT isn't because Windows RT can't, it's because Microsoft won't let you.

    Yea, I know that. What I meant is that the salesperson made a huge speech about how "Microsoft has decided that [...]" .. explaining just that, that it's theoretically possible, but MS decided not to on purpose (except for Office)

    Customer calls it quits for good after that explanation..

     

    , C9Matt wrote

    *snip*

    Microsoft is playing stupid politics with the Windows RT devices; there's no technical reason why it has to suck. It just sucks because someone at Microsoft decided it should.

    That's true for the whole W8 line up. Windows 8 has huge issues, but it's not like they are unfixable, it's a mess on purpose.

    That's why I am pretty annoyed at the Vista/Win8 comparisons, comparing Vista to Windows 8 is flattering Windows 8. Vista's problems were accidental bugs and issues (it's not like the team wanted those speed problems), while pretty much all flaws of 8 are by design and on purpose. That's hundred times worse.

    Too bad the Windows CE name is already taken, would fit Windows 8 quite well ("Congress Editon")

  • Sven Groot

    , C9Matt wrote

    That's the bit that pi*sses me off. Microsoft is playing stupid politics with the Windows RT devices; there's no technical reason why it has to suck. It just sucks because someone at Microsoft decided it should.

    I don't think it's politics, I think it's common sense. Windows RT is purely meant for tablets, and although they make some concession to being sort of laptop-hybrids with Office and the touch/type covers, that role is more properly reserved for Windows 8 tablets which can run desktop apps.

    One of the major selling points of iOS for phones and tablets from a layman's point of view is that you don't have to worry about crappy installers, UI that is unsuitable for touch, and malware. If you brought over the ability to get desktop apps on Windows RT with a simple recompile, you bring all that garbage with it, and if the thing gets even remotely popular there will be malware for it (something that Android is already experiencing). Microsoft made the explicit decision to target Windows RT at roughly the same segment as the iPad, with the addition of Office to do "real work" as a nice bonus so you don't always have to carry both a laptop and an iPad. Not to mention it makes the support story and compatibility going forward a whole lot easier.

    The reason they can do this is simple: because there is still regular Windows 8 which can do all those things.

    The only mistake Microsoft has made here is in not communicating that difference more clearly (hypothetically, at least; I don't think anyone has at this point seen real complaints from people who bought an RT device with the expectation it could run old Windows apps). Having that limitation on Windows RT makes perfect sense to me.

  • wastingtime​withforums

    , Sven Groot wrote

    *snip*

    If you brought over the ability to get desktop apps on Windows RT with a simple recompile, you bring all that garbage with it, and if the thing gets even remotely popular there will be malware for it

    Ah, come on. With a bit creative thinking (instead of political thinking, what MS did) you still could get the best of both worlds. How about a "professional mode" on WinRT devices: They can't run Win32 except for Office, but, you could unlock the ability - with huge scary "at your own risk" banners if needed.

    Bang. You would have a kick-a$$ device for the absolute beginners, and for the pros. Problem solved.

    Win8 could be great, yet MS took the most anal way with it possible, with every decision.

  • OrigamiCar

    Outside of geekdom people like us, I'm not sure there actually is confusion about Surface not running regular Windows programs, at least that has been my experience so far.

    Plenty of people at my office (we have over 500 non technical employees at my place of work) have seen me using my surface in the breakroom and had a play. So far every single person who has looked at it gets that it's essentially a Microsoft iPad and doesn't run regular Windows apps. When I point out that it also runs full office then they regard that as a bonus.

    Not one employee so far has expressed disappointment that the surface can't run regular apps. In fact, I know of at least 4 people who have played with my surface who then went out and bought one. I've even had employees I don't really know too well track me down because they've heard about surface and the fact that I have one and they want to have a play. In all my time here I don't think that has ever happened for a Microsoft product before. There genuinely does seem to be excitement among at least some of the general populous for surface that I haven't seen in a long time.

    Of course, this is a very small sample size of people, but it makes me think that mostly the issue of not running regular programs is one that gets tech bloggers and technical people worked up way more than it does regular users.

     

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    *snip*

    Ah, come on. With a bit creative thinking (instead of political thinking, what MS did) you still could get the best of both worlds. How about a "professional mode" on WinRT devices: They can't run Win32 except for Office, but, you could unlock the ability - with huge scary "at your own risk" banners if needed.

    Bang. You would have a kick-a$$ device for the absolute beginners, and for the pros. Problem solved.

    Win8 could be great, yet MS took the most anal way with it possible, with every decision.

    But we already pretty much have that (or will have). It's a surface pro or any other i386 tablet/touchscreen laptop.

    A further issue standing in the way of having a desktop app unlock feature for regular surface is that it wouldn't be that easy - the regular windows apps would have to be compiled specifically for Arm. (We've had this mess before with Pocket PC and old style Windows phone - and believe me, as a former developer on those platforms I definitely don't want to have to go back to that again - building and testing one app for three different architectures was a giant pile of poo.

    I think users would be more confused as to why their Windows copy of Photoshop won't run on their newly unlocked regular surface, rather than why their surface doesn't allow regular programs to work on it, at least based on my experience above...

  • figuerres

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    *snip*

    Ah, come on. With a bit creative thinking (instead of political thinking, what MS did) you still could get the best of both worlds. How about a "professional mode" on WinRT devices: They can't run Win32 except for Office, but, you could unlock the ability - with huge scary "at your own risk" banners if needed.

    Bang. You would have a kick-a$$ device for the absolute beginners, and for the pros. Problem solved.

    Win8 could be great, yet MS took the most anal way with it possible, with every decision.

    while I have issues with windows 8  on this I do agree with the MS call on running stuff.

    the WinRT "pad"  should be a device that only runs touch apps that have been built for it.

    in fact if I had been on the inside at MS I would have even been saying that it's time to not even call it "Windows"  or to really make the "Windows" name a footnote. 

    Why?   cause this is a point where they can get away from a lot of bad history of machines that get infected with malware and have to get techs and or special software to clean up the bad stuff.  and the old BSOD stuff.

    one of the things that has made the Mac OS and iOS relatively free of malware and crashes has been the limited set of hardware drivers and the lock down on the iPhone / iPad software.

    is it perfect? no but what is ?

    the goal for WInRT / surface right now is to get a large base of not tech / non geek / non pro users to buy them and then go buy apps for them thus creating a new market for us developers to write apps for.

    if that works I will be very happy with that.

     

  • wastingtime​withforums

    , OrigamiCar wrote 

    *snip*

    But we already pretty much have that (or will have). It's a surface pro or any other i386 tablet/touchscreen laptop.

    Well, I agree on this to a point.

    But such mode would still have some benefits.

    For example, you're fine with the ARM version but you need this one Win32 program and no chance for a port to WinRT exists, because of complexity. But the devs can "easily" re-compile it.. Lots of custom software in businesses could be used this way with cheaper pad-like devices too.

    But anyway, the whole ARM affair is mostly a side-issue for me, since I have no interest in it in any form. My primary issue with the ARM version (aside from the WinRT limitations) is for the most part the terrible "Windows RT" name.

  • brian.​shapiro

     

    There's no difference between the ARM and x86 device except the processor though. Both are intended for the same thing -- a dual purpose device that you can carry around with you and use with touch input, and then sit down and put on your desk and use with a mouse and keyboard. The Desktop is still better for mouse and keyboard use for either processor.

    The only difference atm is that the ARM version has less apps compiled for it. Personally, my  guess is Microsoft plans to port the WinRT/Appx model to the Desktop too, so in the future you'll be able to install Desktop apps that can run on either processor.

    That's just my guess, and depends entirely on what Microsoft means when they call the Desktop "legacy."

  • contextfree`

    They don't call the desktop legacy

  • contextfree`

    @dentaku: They are betting that in the long run the answer to your question for most people will be "AND", not "OR"

    Analogy: if Windows 1/2/3/95 or whatever asked you on startup if you were using a keyboard OR if you were using a mouse. If you say keyboard you get DOS with no Windows elements. If you say mouse you get Windows with no access to a command prompt (or Powershell, entering formulas in Excel, or any other CLI-like interface element).

  • brian.​shapiro

    , contextfree` wrote

    They don't call the desktop legacy

    When they were calling Metro/modern apps "Windows 8 apps" occasionally you would see some Microsoft spokesperson refer to desktop apps as "legacy apps." I personally would guess that was a slip-up, given the expressed commitment to the Desktop, but a lot of people still seem skeptical.

  • magicalclick

    @brian.shapiro:

    doesn't matter anyway. Metro apps are too weak to replace desktop apps anyway. I do hope they make Metro apps more useful, but, it hasn't happen yet.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    Microsoft could have solved a lot of problems by releasing the Courier instead of taking two years and releasing the WinRT units. It would have solved:

    1. Time to market.
    2. Clarity on legacy Windows apps -- there's no mistaking it's not going to run old Windows apps.
    3. Differentiation from the rest of the tablets on the market. Courier was unique.

    Even if Courier was developed on a modified W7 kernel (oh the horror!) they could have done the same kernel swap they did with WP7 to WP8.

    As for WinRT and opening up the desktop for other apps that are ported to ARM... As much as I'd like to believe it would help the assumption is that the apps were written well enough to run on ARM and provide reasonable performance. Developers love to lean on Moore's Law.... Also keep in mind Microsoft's guidance on writing Windows Store Apps with RT's lack of performance in mind. 

    While the SurfaceRT and it's RT companions are interesting IMO they are too limiting and confusing for most consumers especially for their price. I was in Best Buy just last weekend check out the W8 devices as I'm looking for a laptop or tablet for my daughter. Time and time again I had to correct misinformation that people were given by the Microsoft reps that were there. Even they don't have a clue on what this thing WinRT is. I finally went over to talk to the Microsoft reps so I could verify for myself what they were saying. When I asked about the discrepancies I was hearing one of them shoved a  Lenovo Yoga in my face. Yeah because the Yoga (Windows Pro) can do everything that makes WinRT ok too. Perplexed

    For the record my nits with what they were saying or misleading on SurfaceRT were:

    1. The 32GB Surface had plenty of storage on it. (they never disclosed how much of it was free space nor did they mention cloud storage as an option.)
    2. You can use your existing printer with SurfaceRT. (Only if it's supported... we all know the history here with this little gem.)
    3. You can use Maps to lookup directions (you sure can but only if network location can pinpoint you; no GPS on the SurfaceRT)
    4. OneNote could record video & audio (not with OfficeRT)
    5. OneNote supports handwriting recognition (not like Officex86; OfficeRT doesn't support handwriting directly on the page. You have to write via the ink input method and use your finger or capacitive stylus. Oh and yes it sucks.)

    When I cornered them on these issues they smirked and acquiesced.

    And last but not least their explanation about not being able to run legacy apps was not hitting the radar of the folks I spoke with about the RT devices. Many were stunned that they couldn't run Quicken or any of their old software on it. I know the reps were trying to make this point clear but it just wasn't sinking in. And that my friend is why RT is going to be a stinker -- a product you have to explain isn't a product that will sell itself.

     

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • brian.​shapiro

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    Microsoft could have solved a lot of problems by releasing the Courier instead of taking two years and releasing the WinRT units. It would have solved...

    Regardless of all that, I like the changes in Windows 8, the hardware of the Surface, and the basic idea around the RT model, which is to have Windows be able to run on ARM.

    If you have some 3G/4G data card or mobile wi-fi hotspot, is there a way for it use that to get GPS information?

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , brian.​shapiro wrote

    *snip*

    Regardless of all that, I like the changes in Windows 8, the hardware of the Surface, and the basic idea around the RT model, which is to have Windows be able to run on ARM.

    If you have some 3G/4G data card or mobile wi-fi hotspot, is there a way for it use that to get GPS information?

    I would have preferred Windows to run well on ARM. RT is a mixed bag and IMO not worth the investment right now on the part of consumers. The hardware is too expensive and the software, well, it's pretty limited right now. Even the baked-in Office is problematic. Niche at best...

    3G/4G/WiFi != GPS. The best 3G/4G/WiFi can do is identify your approximate location based on proximity to a tower or WiFi hotspot. With 3G/4G they can use tower triangulation but it's still not pinpoint like GPS. WiFi is a mixed bag because they have to know about the WiFi hotspots in your vicinity in order to know your approximate location. My daughter fits the stereotype when it comes to directions so the more accurate the better hence no SurfaceRT for her (aside from the crippled OneNote which is what she lives by)

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • cbae

    They should have named the two versions of the OS "Windows 8" and "Windows RM" to avoid confusion with WinRT.

  • blowdart

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    (aside from the crippled OneNote which is what she lives by)

    Crippled? Really? How?

  • Charles

    The funny thing here is that Microsoft hasn't released any sales figures. This is pop tech press fantasy until proven otherwise....

    WasteTime(true);

    C

  • androidi

    (Nothing new here if you've read my posts before but I just want to keep drilling these points since while subtle and even low level, they do impact user experience and first impressions in a big way)

    To me this is like Windows 1.0 release, so the comparison would be what was the 1.0 of Apple and Google.

    At this point the main concerns are:

    Getting something out to show that MS is atleast in the game. Alternative strategy of "lets do 5 versions" before 1.0 (at which point the real user feedback is had) like I heard was the story for WPF didn't seem to go that well, it's still taken ~5 versions for WPF to get the basic features it needed in v2 ...**

    the other main concern, as with WPF, is: are the foundations, fundamentals, building blocks etc solid? eg. If you wanted to do a musical game or process the camera or other data, can you do it at a latency that is better than the competition and if not, where is the problem? Technically I know audio at 1 ms latency without glitches regardless of the CPU use, all without any exclusive access to only single app at a time is doable, MS just needs to go to the bank and buy the experts and put it in the platform if they want to be taken seriously by serious developers. This type of stuff is the stuff that you design and think first when you start designing an operating system, APIs and spec'in hardware because getting low latency IO and low power use will drive everything. I haven't heard any "ooh aaah Windows 8 tablets are technically groundbreaking in this and that", so the only pull is, will there be such large amount of users that mediocre will be ok? Well as a user, I'm looking for those technically amazing apps that only Windows 8 tablet can do, and if Microsoft doesn't have a solid highly responsive platform suitable for low latency ( milliseconds from user touch or camera input to sound/visual response) then there's not going to be those apps that are fun to use, since you need that touch -> audio feedback loop for "instant gratification", which is max 15 milliseconds from touch to sound or visual action. If you don't get bleeding edge personalities/thought leaders excited, then getting the pull to get mass market excited could prove challenging.

    Of course there's a risk that I'm a bit biased but I have superb track record for picking winning technologies. I haven't yet decided on if "Modern" is a flop but if app start time and IO latency aren't high priority well you might see another Kinect here, which is another thing where the end to end latency is absolutely the most critical element. Granted, Microsoft can't control LCD DSP latency*, but they can control latencies in this new platform. (*well they could, by giving out Xbox compatible logos for TV manufacturers and speccing out latency requirement, engineers have told me that LCD DSP processing could be done in parallel rather than sequentially in hardware, so there's no technical reason why LCD's have lag beside the pixel response time).

    ** (I think the WPF-directx-etc air space/interop things, app load time and such should have been thought about when Avalon was still just a thought on paper - atleast planned ahead if not fully implemented, these very obvious customer requests seemed to come as a surprise to MS and only SSDs have saved WPF and VS201x from irrelevancy for now)

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