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Microsoft: we won't do a tablet OS until its distinctive

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  • Ian2

    Interesting article on the BBC's Click program covering the traditional Intel & MS partnership.  Conclusion was that MS will probably get it right with their ARM / Tablet direction.  Meanwile Intel is playing catch up with its new resource friendly chips

  • magicalclick

    Anyway, Surface is older than iPad right? I find it funny when many car menufactures using iPad in their car show instead of Surface. A surface supposed to be used in this senario, but, it got no love at all and a new consumer product is used very freqeuently in "business" settings. I don't blame Surface devs. I blame the person who has no idea how to market Surface.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • sam-c

    My Guess that the surprising Nokia - Microsoft Alliance will Bring out Tablets sooner than later.

  • Ray7

    , brian.​shapiro wrote

    *snip*

    For how long? Most people who'd want laptops already own them and would only buy a new one to upgrade. The iPad is still a new device.

    Even though I don't understand it, I think it is here to stay. The problem is that many people who own a laptop seem to be replacing them with iPads, or foregoing the upgrade and getting an iPad instead. I thought they would be useless because they couldn't be used to create content. Seems I was wrong: Adobe are racing to get stuff out onto it as fast as they can, and have pretty much given up on any idea of saving Flash. 

    Developers love it (and again, I don't understand this because I find ObjectiveC the most hideously archaic language I've ever come across).

    All it's really missing is a stylus and handwriting recognition. Jobs says a stylus is wrong. What he really means is 'We haven't figured out how to do it yet.'

     

  • Ray7

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    The assumption here is that Windows 7 machines will continue to dwarf Macs and more importantly phones and tablets that unhitch users from the Windows world. Sure PCs will be with us for quite some time but their cash cow is going to be giving quite a bit less milk in the future IMO. Balmer would rather rest on Microsoft's laurals just like Bill did with the Internet. When people think of the Internet they immediatly think of Microsoft right? No, I'm afraid pr0n has one once again... Wink

    I think it is fair to say that Window desktops will continue to dwarf Mac sales. Growth figures for the Mac line don't really tell the whole story:

    If I sold 1 Mac last year and then sold 2 Macs this year then that is 100% growth.

    If I sold 50 PCs last year and 30 PCs this year then that is a decline of 40%

    Even though I still sold a boatload more PCs in both years. Eventually, you might sell more Macs. Anything is possible.

    The only problem is that I'm not sure folk are going to be tied to the Windows desktop for very much longer. Apple doesn't think so, which is why they have attacked the hegemony from its most vulnerable flank: mobility. If they can get folk to start making regular use of these smaller devices then they can get them to use a larger device with a similar interface. 

    Microsoft also doesn't think so, which is why they are desperately trying to move the desktop to a tablet. They have no chance of starting a new hegemony, so they're trying to move the existing one.

     

  • Ray7

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    And there are WMDs in Iraq too. Microsoft would love for this problem to just go away but it won't. Balmer said the iPhone was a fad. Bill didn't pay attention to the internet. How many times is Microsoft going to make the same lack-of-vision mistake? Microsoft has a lot of great talent and has shown it's capable of putting out some really great software but always seems to lack  vision at the top. I thought that problem was fixed when Ray Ozzie joined Microsoft but now that he's gone IMO Microsoft will continue to just not get it. Window 8 will ship on ARM driven slates in a year or two, will run like crap relative to their competition, and Microsoft will label them as a success (Yeah! Windows runs on ARM!) rather than look at the sales numbers. When they do they'll say "well we still own the desktop". At that point people will have worked around not having Office on their tablets and Microsoft will be left holding a marginalized set of products. Of course that's just my opinion...

    It's kind of my opinion too, unfortunately. I would love to see MS step up and get some real competition going; I'm just not sure they can anymore.

    And it's not that they don't get it; they just need to make the 'Shrink Windows' plan work to maintain their revenues at the levels the shareholders are used to. The average price of an iPad app is about $5. MS doesn't want any part of that.

     

  • W3bbo

    All it's really missing is a stylus and handwriting recognition. Jobs says a stylus is wrong. What he really means is 'We haven't figured out how to do it yet.'

    I believe it's impossible to do it right. Microsoft's tablet computing vision relied on the stylus from the beginning in 1992. Things did improve but styluses for data entry just don't work. It's slower, less accurate, laggy, and feels unnatural.

  • kettch

    @W3bbo:If you are trying to use a stylus for things that should be done with a finger, then yes, it's not a good experience. However, for taking notes and sketching diagrams it's much easier. Typing on a screen is not cool, and neither is having any sort of keyboard at a meeting.

    There is room for both touch and stylus input at this party. I will be sorely disappointed if the stylus goes away.

  • brian.​shapiro

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    Even though I don't understand it, I think it is here to stay. The problem is that many people who own a laptop seem to be replacing them with iPads, or foregoing the upgrade and getting an iPad instead. I thought they would be useless because they couldn't be used to create content. Seems I was wrong: Adobe are racing to get stuff out onto it as fast as they can, and have pretty much given up on any idea of saving Flash. 

    Developers love it (and again, I don't understand this because I find ObjectiveC the most hideously archaic language I've ever come across).

    All it's really missing is a stylus and handwriting recognition. Jobs says a stylus is wrong. What he really means is 'We haven't figured out how to do it yet.'

     

    Well, people who own laptops use them in one of two ways:

    First, as a desktop replacement -- in which case I wouldn't expect them to be trading them in for iPads. Most of the desktop replacement market is probably younger people who got laptops as students and have been using them ever since ; these people are savvy with technology so don't need the simplicity of an iPad and would be missing the functionality they'd forgo if they got rid of their laptop. Personally, I'd guess that to be the majority of laptop owners nowadays. Most people don't have a need to own both a desktop and a laptop, or the resources  to buy them both.

    Second, as a secondary, portable device. I'd expect that to be mainly business users , and I'd expect business users would probably prefer netbooks so they could also get work done. Home users who want a secondary device might get the iPad instead. But I would guess most home users that are buying them aren't using them to replace laptops, they're just buying into the trend.

    What are you going by when you say people seem to be replacing laptops with iPads?

  • W3bbo

    , kettch wrote However, for taking notes and sketching diagrams it's much easier. Typing on a screen is not cool, and neither is having any sort of keyboard at a meeting.

    Typing on a screen is faster than handwriting, even if you're using only your fingers. Try it. Although I'll note that I'm even faster using a stylus on an on-screen keyboard, but let's not go there.

    As for making illustrative notes, you've got a point there. However you can still draw on a finger-touch device (there are apps that show the brush in a location north of the fingertip, so you can see where you're drawing) just as accurately.

  • brian.​shapiro

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    Typing on a screen is faster than handwriting, even if you're using only your fingers. Try it. Although I'll note that I'm even faster using a stylus on an on-screen keyboard, but let's not go there.

    As for making illustrative notes, you've got a point there. However you can still draw on a finger-touch device (there are apps that show the brush in a location north of the fingertip, so you can see where you're drawing) just as accurately.

    The utility isn't only a matter of speed, though.. if youre doing a long document or keeping pace with notes the speed is important and, and also just the fact that the flow is self-correcting with typing while its not with handwriting. But if you're just occassionally jotting down information, and in a leisured pace, handwriting feels a lot more natural.

  • brian.​shapiro

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    Typing on a screen is faster than handwriting, even if you're using only your fingers. Try it. Although I'll note that I'm even faster using a stylus on an on-screen keyboard, but let's not go there.

    As for making illustrative notes, you've got a point there. However you can still draw on a finger-touch device (there are apps that show the brush in a location north of the fingertip, so you can see where you're drawing) just as accurately.

    The utility isn't only a matter of speed, though.. if youre doing a long document or keeping pace with a lecture the speed is important and also just the fact that the flow is self-correcting with typing while its not with handwriting. But if you're just occassionally jotting down information, and in a leisured pace, handwriting feels a lot more natural.

    We'd ultimately also be talking about precision drawing, and the use of tablets for art or illustration.

  • spivonious

    I think the big issue here is that MS has always been targeted at businesses and is slow to react to the fast-changing home consumer market. When they do react, it's by tacking a user-friendly surface on top of the business piece (MS Bob, Luna UI), or by copying a competitor's product (Zune, Xbox). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but their core market will always be businesses.

    If MS really wants to win the tablet battle, they need to get a tablet OS out there NOW, not a year from now when Win8 ships. Every iPad user I've seen is either browsing the web, checking email, or playing a game. The majority couldn't care less about Office support.

  • kettch

    @brian.shapiro:In this case, it's probably just a matter of differences in notetaking style. Perhaps typing is faster in certain circumstances, but it in no way is as expressive as handwriting. When I take notes, I'm doing things like interspersing diagrams, linking paragraphs with arrows, changing size to indicate importance, underlining, and a myriad other formatting changes to add more meaning to the text. An eraser on the end of the stylus is also very handy.

  • BitFlipper

    I use my convertible tablet for both stuff like VS development (as a notebook) as well as make drawings etc (when converted to a tablet). You just can't make detailed enough drawing using finger painting on an iPad for what I need it for (or even if you do get one of those aftermarket fat-tipped things that pass as a stylus on the iPad).

    For instance, here are two examples of some of the drawings I tend to make:

    This one is where I sketch out what I need to do to apply CSG operations to level geometry after I imported it from Unreal Editor, and determining where to insert portals for instance.

    This one is where I figure out various collision detection related functionality.

    Yes my handwriting is pretty bad but usually it's just me that needs to read it. I have other drawings that are more inticate than these, like block diagrams, flow diagrams etc. But these two are just some quick examples.

    Now tell me how I can do this with an iPad? How can you make detailed text annotations to drawings? This has nothing to do with the speed between typing and writing. I can't do this in Word, even less with an onscreen keyboard. This has everything to do with being able to make detailed sketches to express ideas, etc.

  • Blue Ink

    Handwriting recognition is still somewhat slower than typing, and keeping it real-time on a mobile processor might make things even worse. So, if we are talking about writing an URL, or entering numbers on an Excel sheet, an on-screen keyboard is definitely more convenient (except for the obvious fact that the keyboard will take a sizable portion of the screen).

    Yet, provided that the stylus is fast and accurate, and that the user can write using an actual pen, there is an application where a stylus is unbeatable, and that's taking notes as ink. All that's required is basic ink manipulation (with reflow), to insert, delete, change, annotate and reorganize your scribbles; handwriting recognition would be nice, but even a simple background task that grabs what it can for indexing purposes would suffice... and voilà, an infinite (kind of) and searchable (again, kind of) notepad.

    Yes, we already discussed all that, when the Courier was still around, and no, I haven't given up hope.

  • BitFlipper

    @Blue Ink:

    Yea I think the reason people shoot down stylus support is because they think it is a replacement for entering text documents. It isn't. That is why such arguments always contain the speed of A vs B. At that point it completely misses the point.

    See my post above.

  • W3bbo

    , spivonious wrote

    I think the big issue here is that MS has always been targeted at businesses and is slow to react to the fast-changing home consumer market. When they do react, it's by tacking a user-friendly surface on top of the business piece (MS Bob, Luna UI), or by copying a competitor's product (Zune, Xbox). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but their core market will always be businesses.

    If MS really wants to win the tablet battle, they need to get a tablet OS out there NOW, not a year from now when Win8 ships. Every iPad user I've seen is either browsing the web, checking email, or playing a game. The majority couldn't care less about Office support.

    That isn't a sustainable long-term strategy. Apple has shown that "consumerising" the business market is an effective means of spreading their tentacles.

    There's a reason many business customers moved over to the iPhone rather than to the Blackberry after Windows Mobile hit the doldrums: the quality of the user-experience. Managers and the like want the smooth experience you get with iProduct and Apple is offering them that device, and as a bonus it supports multiple PIM providers at a time (remember how Blackberry and Windows Mobile (at the time) only supported a single email account at once) so they can use the same device for both work and personal.

    With desktop software increasingly becoming irrelevant thanks to the "cloud" and web-based applications (especially those with offline support) Microsoft is going to face stiff competition from webapps that are "good enough" but offer a much-improved user experience and easier moving around of personal data. This isn't the early-1990s when putting your personal data on a 1.44mb floppy disk was commonplace.

    To this day, Microsoft Excel doesn't support many intuitive things like global undo and a "reveal formatting" feature, which would make Excel life easier.

    It's important to note that Apple classifies their iProducts as "post-PC" devices, which is to say they're meant to work in the world that has already been revolutionised by the desktop and is now ubiquitous. Similarly Microsoft needs to admit that they lost the smartphone war/revolution and work on the next area due for a surge of interest. My own money rides on "cloud" based services. Unfortunately Microsoft seems to think that being a 'behind the scenes' provider of cloud services is the future, as opposed to being a provider of frontend cloud services. Windows Live is a nice start, but its imperfect and incomplete.

    ....they could start by making Windows Live ID less painfull for people living outside North America. It still takes over 3 seconds to login...or out (and every time my browser does a redirect, shivers go down my spine).

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