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WOA details start to emerge

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  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Using WOA "out of the box" will feel just like using Windows 8 on x86/64. You will sign in the same way. You will start and launch apps the same way. You will use the new Windows Store the same way. You will have access to the intrinsic capabilities of Windows, from the new Start screen and Metro style apps and Internet Explorer, to peripherals, and if you wish, the Windows desktop with tools like Windows File Explorer and desktop Internet Explorer. It will have the same fast and fluid experience. In other words, we've designed WOA to look and feel just like you would expect. WOA enables creativity in PC design that, in combination with newly architected features of the OS, will bring to customers new no-compromise experiences.

    more ...

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/09/building-windows-for-the-arm-processor-architecture.aspx

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  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I'm a little disappointed that this will be an OEM-only product. I guess that's because of the different drivers needed to support devices? It also probably means that we won't be seeing any non-metro ARM apps.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , spivonious wrote

    I'm a little disappointed that this will be an OEM-only product. I guess that's because of the different drivers needed to support devices? It also probably means that we won't be seeing any non-metro ARM apps.

     

    also this will mean that some folks will have to decide if they can afford 2 devices ....

    what if someone has a real *NEED* to use some non metro apps but also wants to have a tablet / slate device ???  how many folks might just say "not now, i can't afford that much right now" ??

    in some cases i can see folks buying an ARM slate with Windows 8 on it as a "second device" and that's ok at least ....

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Maybe doing it this way helps to validate the purpose of a PC at a higher price point?  I can certainly see the attraction of having the same UI on my PC as my iPad (ie my slate device).

    I really hope the rumours of an accelerated time to market are true (ie this year)

  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

     

    also this will mean that some folks will have to decide if they can afford 2 devices ....

    what if someone has a real *NEED* to use some non metro apps but also wants to have a tablet / slate device ???  how many folks might just say "not now, i can't afford that much right now" ??

    in some cases i can see folks buying an ARM slate with Windows 8 on it as a "second device" and that's ok at least ....

    Doesn't change much from the status quo. Nowadays, those users would end up buying a PC for their desktop needs and an iPad or an Android Tablet. Win8 will only expand that choice, with the added bonus of a consistent experience across the board. It remains to be seen if that will suffice to stop the bleeding or not.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    what if someone has a real *NEED* to use some non metro apps but also wants to have a tablet / slate device ???  how many folks might just say "not now, i can't afford that much right now" ??

    Microsoft have stated that there are already Intel x86 SoC based slates expected. Which will run everything that any other x86 Windows will.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , spivonious wrote

    I'm a little disappointed that this will be an OEM-only product. I guess that's because of the different drivers needed to support devices? It also probably means that we won't be seeing any non-metro ARM apps.

    Microsoft sort of has to do this. The margins on these devices are going to be thin as it is, and an OEM won't want to produce them unless they can control the scheduled obsolescence of the device and force the consumer to purchase a new one in some future upgrade cycle. If you could just download Windows 9 or 10 yourself, attach your tablet to your PC with as USB cable, and update the OS on the device, then the OEM loses that control.

    With x86 tablets, they're likely going to have at least one full USB port and a BIOS that allows booting from USB drives. So if you can get Windows setup onto a bootable USB thumb drive, nobody can stop you from updating the OS yourself. For this reason alone, x86 tablets are more than likely going carry a higher price tag than ARM tablets.

  • User profile image
    SleepyDaddy​Software

    I think of it this way: let's say I bought an arm windows 8 tablet. Neat! And it was only $200 with a 4g contract. The battery lasts all day, just like the iPad. Sweet! But, its not that powerful, so i want to make sure the CPU isn't getting bogged down by who knows what running in the background. And my 4g plan costs a lot if i go over 4gigs, so i need control over my data use at all times. Also, 95% of the time, I'm not going to have a mouse or keyboard, and this is the economy model, so the screen is only 1024x768, and the screen is small - just 7 and some inches.

    Now, remember that pretty much all win32/wpf/winforms apps are designed for high power x86 pcs connected to landline internet plans with 100gb or higher limits. And, given the choice of just recompiling their existing app,  or rewriting it to be touch and power friendly, and to resize properly in very small screen sizes, most devs would just recompile and call it good, despite the fact that it drains my battery, sucks down data like it was free, and only half the UI actually fits on my screen. Oh, and it installs a service that makes every other app run slow.

    Do you still want win32 devs to be allowed to port their apps to arm? Because I don't. Why I NEED, are desktop-style winrt applications. Applications which I can install from the windows store or from a private corporate app list. Apps that use a UI framework designed for low power, touch enabled devices, but can take advantage of keyboard and mouse, when i need them. Apps that list all the capabilities they use, that adapt to small screen sizes, and that i can uninstall with a couple of gestures.

    Family friendly games, utilities, and apps for Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8.
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  • User profile image
    xxxcoderxxx

    Well, i understand your point and its certainly the reason why Microsoft is heading this way.

    But there are many issues why i don't agree with this decision. First of all, you assume that the tablet is always used in battery mode. But i guess if people are doing "real work" they are doing it mostly on their desk or somewhere in facility where they can plug the powerline into their tablet.

    I also think that people will be smart enough to recognize that some tasks needs more power than other tasks. But at least you should have the choice to decide what you want to do.

    So, if you are running Windows 8 in metro mode in WOA, why not disable alle legacy apps/services and only allow them in desktop mode. This way you could ensure that battery usage in metro mode is fine, but also allow the user to use their known and loved Windows apps if they need them.

    WOA has to much restriction in its current form and there is no added value in comparision to android tablets. Instead it will heavily lack on number of apps. Sure, in the enterprise area WOA won't play a role, because Windows 8 on Intel tablets will be the choice. But Windows 8 experience is all about end consumer! Lots of people won't have any reason to use WOA over android tablets, because either they are using WOA or android they won't be compatible to existing Windows software. But android provides hundred thousands of apps. I really really doubt that the number of Metro apps will outperform android apps (for a long time).

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Despite all of this talk of Win32 being "power hungry" and "inefficient", actually Win32 goes out of its way to avoid redrawing (one of the most power-hungry things your computer does) parts of the window that haven't changed.

    Ironically metro games, or anything that uses DirectX / OpenGL which draws as much as possible will completely dwarf any normal Win32 apps in terms of power consumption.

    And if power consumption was really that big a deal, Microsoft would make you write in C/C++ and ban javascript and .NET, because the overhead of moving objects around and garbage collection is a power-cost to the device (actually this is the reason why IPhones make you use objective-c instead of java)

    So please, let's stop with all the "Win32 is power inefficient" FUD.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    , evildictaitor wrote

    So please, let's stop with all the "Win32 is power inefficient" FUD.

    There's nothing inherintly bad about Win32, it's all the legacy apps that are poorly suited for a WOA device that they want to exclude. The apps make the device, and if certain companies can get away with recompiling the same old crap, then it's bad for the users and therefore bad for Windows.

  • User profile image
    xxxcoderxxx

    Despite all of this talk of Win32 being "power hungry" and "inefficient", actually Win32 goes out of its way to avoid redrawing (one of the most power-hungry things your computer does) parts of the window that haven't changed.

     

    Well, since Windows Vista DWM is optimizing out WM_PAINT messages. If you move your windows around or overlap it with other windows won't throw any WM_PAINT message.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , kettch wrote

    *snip*

    There's nothing inherintly bad about Win32, it's all the legacy apps that are poorly suited for a WOA device that they want to exclude. The apps make the device, and if certain companies can get away with recompiling the same old crap, then it's bad for the users and therefore bad for Windows.

    Find me a company that has a product on more than one platform and who doesn't just shunt their crappy application on top of an abstraction that allows it to sit on both platforms.

    You think World of Warcraft has a different source code base for Mac, despite being unable to use Win32? You think Photoshop does?

    At least keeping Win32 around means that applications can be as inefficient as they were, without forcing them to abstract their crappy apps and make them more inefficient.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , evildictaitor wrote

    Ironically metro games, or anything that uses DirectX / OpenGL which draws as much as possible will completely dwarf any normal Win32 apps in terms of power consumption.

    But only when they're actually doing something. If they aren't actively being used, they aren't using power. Saving power isn't about not doing something the user wants to do.

    And Win32 is bad at this. It encourages background processes that just sit around periodically polling things for updates. It encourages the use of timers, waking applications up every now and again rather than only when strictly necessary. It even broadcasts messages to every application (waking them up to process these) to tell it nothing has been happening for a while so it wants to start the screensaver or turn off the monitor - which is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you want.

    For it's day, it was fine but it's getting very long in the tooth and it doesn't follow modern OS principles about the best way to conserve power and effectively manage multiple tasks.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , AndyC wrote

    But only when they're actually doing something. If they aren't actively being used, they aren't using power. Saving power isn't about not doing something the user wants to do.

    Most windows applications don't do anything when you're not using them either. Most of them are event driven, not timer driven.

    Take Word, or Visual Studio or Photoshop as examples. When they are in the background they aren't drawing to the screen, they aren't doing stuff in the background - all that happens is that they sit there waiting for windows messages which don't ever come.

    For it's day, it was fine but it's getting very long in the tooth and it doesn't follow modern OS principles about the best way to conserve power and effectively manage multiple tasks.

    The design choice for Metro to suspend background processes isn't because Win32 is power hungry, but because most metro apps are expected to be multimedia apps, and multimedia apps are particularly power hungry. Stop trying to insinuate that Win32 is inherently power inefficient. It isn't, and even if it was, WinRT isn't any better because it's built on top of Win32 anyway.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , evildictaitor wrote

    *snip*

    Take Word, or Visual Studio or Photoshop as examples. When they are in the background they aren't drawing to the screen, they aren't doing stuff in the background

    You must have a different copy of Word to me. I can sit here and watch Word happily animating a little icon in its status bar to tell me the proofing tools are busy checking a blank document, despite me doing nothing at all. I have no idea what the proofing tools think they're doing, but I know for a fact the CPU is involved in constantly redrawing that little animation, keeping it hot.

  • User profile image
    xxxcoderxxx

    It is absolutly absurd to think that the future in operating systems are background processes and  not preemptive multitasking anymore. This whole application model is suitable for the current performance level of mobile devices like phones, but it will badly fail in the desktop/tablet market.

    Just look at Android. This uses preemptive multitasking and the application model is comparable to your doomed Win32 application model.

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