Coffeehouse Thread

18 posts

Windows 7(8) Tablet Edition for ARM ????

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    felix9

    People are talking about 'Windows for ARM'

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-21/microsoft-is-said-to-announce-version-of-windows-for-arm-chips-at-ces-show.html

    Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, will announce a version of its Windows computer operating system that runs on ARM Holdings Plc technology for the first time, said two people familiar with Microsoft’s plans.

    But that could be CE7 or Windows Embedded Compact 7 ?

    But what's so special about CE7 ? what is 'for the first time' ? what about the ARM Architecture License ??? OK maybe CE7 come with intergreted Silverlight 4, or, maybe an extended version of Compact Framework, but that wont be so special 'cause its expected right ???

    why Mary-Jo Foley considers Menlo (based on CE 6.0) is related to NT for ARM ???

    why MS insist on a 'Windows 7 as the OS for Windows Tablet' strategy while nobody expect it to work ???

    Could there really be a specialize version of Windows 7(8) for Tablet Devices that runs on ARM ??? or maybe based on Windows Embedded Standard ???

    after all, Microsft is set to unveil some Windows Tablets on CES, supposed to run Windows 7, it would be a little strange if CE7 is annouced in the same time.

    Then where is Visual C++ for ARM now ????

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    Really I don't see the point of porting Windows 7 to ARM because none of the native applications would work, right? They would first need to be recompiled. Isn't one of the main advantages of Windows 7 the large amount of applications, games etc that work on it?

    You would though be able to make .Net apps work on it as long as it doesn't rely on custom written native DLLs.

    To me at least it makes more sense to create a new full-screen application container that can host Silverlight/XNA type applications similar to how WP7 does it. This app container can then be ported to any architecture since .Net apps are portable. Then integrate an app store into it (just expand the current WP7 app store to also contain these types of apps) and you have something.

    Also make it so that you can run this app container on Windows 7 itself as a full-screen app. Then OEM manufacturers have the option to create low-power devices like small tablets based on ARM, but also have the option to create full-featured tablets that can run both Windows 7 as well as this app container (maybe this is the dual-screen thing we heard of in Windows 8?), and hence all of these devices can run the same shiny finger apps that the masses apparently want.

    Oh, just one thing - make sure pen input is a 1st-class citizen. That is one big advantage it can have over the iPad's finger-only approach. There are a lot of apps you can create that can take advantage of true pen input. I would never switch from my current Asus R1F tablet to another "tablet" that doesn't support true pen input. And I'm not talking about that fat-tipped aftermarket pens you get for iPad - those things are a joke compared to a real stylus (255 levels of pressure, right-click button, eraser at other end, no spurious input from your hands resting on the screen while using the stylus, a sharp tip like a real pen, etc).

  • User profile image
    felix9

    right, porting NT to ARM sounds like a wasted effort, because the only viable common application platform would be Silverlight, and Silverlight can work just fine on CE, so why bother ? people just wont port their native apps to ARM, even if they will, what's the benefit ? they cant just recompile it, should also make it touch-centric and tablets-aware, and the easier way to do it is rewrite it in Silverlight, after all people are expecting Silverlight/XNA apps on tablets these days.

    The possible benefit for MS could be maintaining the same codebase, less inconsistense, if they modularized Windows so much that makes CE irrelevant on powerful machines, its not an easy job, but could this be the reason why Ballmer called Windows 8 'the riskest product bet' ???

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/23/ballmer-next-release-of-windows-will-be-microsofts-riskiest-p/

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    , felix9 wrote

    why MS insist on a 'Windows 7 as the OS for Windows Tablet' strategy while nobody expect it to work ???

     

    There are cases in where you'd want a tablet PC, or at least a PC with a touch sensitive screen (desktop or laptop) to run the type of apps you normally run on a desktop, like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, OneNote. The main problem with this market now has been lowering the costs and increasing battery efficiency so they're worth purchasing.

    The market for a iOS type tablet is faddish anyway, imo, as long as it doesn't have pen input like the Courier prototypes, since one of the practical uses of that form factor is writing.

    For a lot of cases in the middle what you'd have ideally is an OS that can transition pretty quickly between the iOS type interface and desktop interface depending on how you're using it. If Microsoft is planning on building the Windows 8 desktop with inspiration from Metro that could be a direction we can go in.

  • User profile image
    stun

    I have said this before and I'm going to say it again.

    Windows' full-OS UI is not suitable for a touch screen device like an iPad. It is clunky.
    Microsoft needs Surface or Courier like UI to compete with the iOS.

     

    Here is what I'm afraid of i.e., the route which Microsoft will take that will spell failure (or) half-* attempt.

    Devices like HP Slate are crap.
    They are just another one of those iPad wanna-bes and fail miserably.

     

    I just hope that Microsoft doesn't go the Microsoft Kin route with this touch screen tablet market.
    That would spell a half * lame attempt and will fail and ruin its chance to get into the market.

    People expect a lot better quality and polished product since Apple has raised the bar for tablet devices.

     

    Disclaimer:
    I am NOT an Apple fanboi in case you are wondering.
    I only have an iPhone, but I don't plan to buy an iPad.

    If iPad 2.0 is any better and can be used almost as a laptop-PC replacement, I'd consider buying an iPad.

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    @stun:

    Well, yes, currently the Windows UI isn't adapted for it. But that can be a job cut out for future versions of Windows.

    We're also not just talking about single types of devices, but for instance, some people in the future might want to use, desktop computers with touch capacitive screens for certain purposes like illustration, in order to not have to buy a new device for it. A laptop with a touch capacitive screen will just be the counterpart to that.

    Other people might want light weight iOS type tablet devices like the iPad.

    Others might want something that can be suitable for both tasks, and adapt to both types of interfaces.

  • User profile image
    stun

    , brian.​shapiro wrote

    @stun:

    We're also not just talking about single types of devices, but for instance, some people in the future might want to use, desktop computers with touch capacitive screens for certain purposes like illustration, in order to not have to buy a new device for it. A laptop with a touch capacitive screen will just be the counterpart to that.

    It is a good idea to make it applicable to all types of devices imaginable.
    It'd become too big of a project.

    Look what Apple did with iPad.
     It has a limited feature set, but its sole purpose an easy-to-use device suited for everybody.
    1. Grandma to send email
    2. Corporate Executives can use it as a device on-the-go with custom built applications
    3. Kids to play games with
    etc...

    Sure it doesn't replace the laptop or desktop, but it does really well for what it is designed to.

     

    So I think Microsoft needs to
    1. think of must-have-kick-* features.
    2. worry less about backward compatibility  -- otherwise, it definitely can slow down the innovation
    3. don't be too closed like iPad (e.g., not having a USB port), but don't go overboard
        e.,g OMG  WE  HAVE  5 USB PORTS !!!
    4. spend a bit more on Device Form Factor + esthetics like Apple.

    In short....Microsoft needs to learn to go the minimalist approach like Apple.

     

    Otherwise, I feel like Microsoft brand is becoming too rigid (same old same thing) with today's younger generation of people.

  • User profile image
    felix9

    well, but the UI problem is irrelevent to the topic here.

    If this is CE7, obviously the vendor should build their own UI for it.

    If this is Win7 Tablet Edition for ARM, its reported that MS is working on a shell for tablets too, there is also rumors said this UI will debut on this CES.

    If this is Win8 Tablet Editon for ARM, its also reported that MS will revamp the UI for touch-centric scenarios, maybe the same thing as above, 'cause they can only develop on Win7 for now since Win8 is not there yet, and they should deliver it for Win7 first since Win8 is too late.

    Anyway, the problem here is not the UI, its about NT for ARM, why should this monster exist ??

    will any important apps, like Photoshop etc, as mentioned above, be ported to ARM ? with their plenty of highly optimized graphics algorithms ? will Adobe make Photoshop be touch friendly, or easier, pen friendly ? if not, whats the benefit of NT over CE ?

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    @felix9:

    That is why I suggested that this "shell" be separate from Windows 7 so that it can run on any hardware (including ARM) by itself and host .Net applications, which are portable. Then on more powerful x86/x64 hardware like larger tablets, notebooks etc you can run full Windows 7 which can then also host this shell UI and run the same finger apps. Best of both worlds. Then you can run Photoshop (by switching out of the shell UI) in addition to this new crop of finger apps that the masses want.

    But once again, please please keep pen input.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , felix9 wrote

    Anyway, the problem here is not the UI, its about NT for ARM, why should this monster exist ??

    NT used to be muliptle CPU. I had an install disk for the dear departed Alpha for NT3.51 in my attic before I cleaned out the junk to move.

    Makes me wonder if they always kept a multi-cpu branch going.

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    @stun:

    Yea, because the iPad is a great device to write e-mails on and to play games on.... Hey grandma, you can write emails by poking your finger at a screen! Hey kids, you can play games with your finger on a big pad! I would never get it for those uses and never recommend it for those uses. Its basically a device to use to browse the web, read e-books, and use web connected apps.

    There are a few reasons Apple has been succesful : marketing, an OS that consumes low battery life, friendly interface, interface designed around touch.

    But it has nothing to do with being minimalistic. Whether doing something bigger is too amibitious is something Microsoft needs to figure out.

    Meanwhile:

    Why I Don't Want an iPad for Christmas
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704259704576033941846942596.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

     

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    NT used to be muliptle CPU. I had an install disk for the dear departed Alpha for NT3.51 in my attic before I cleaned out the junk to move.

    Makes me wonder if they always kept a multi-cpu branch going.

    Given that there is an Itanium build for Server 2008, I'd say that's a big yes.

    Porting NT to Arm shouldn't be a particularly big challenge. The issue is really whether or not it's worth doing over x86. The big advantage of Windows has always been the wealth of software available and the minute you swap CPU that's not really a benefit anymore. You'd think if they were looking to build an OS for Arm-based tablets, Windows Phone 7 would be a far better bet.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @blowdart: I should still have a Windows 2000 beta 3 disc for Alpha lying around somewhere (they dropped Alpha support afer beta 3).

    NT was designed to be easily portable, with only minimal use of assembly language. It currently still targets three architectures: x86, x64, and ia64.

     

  • User profile image
    felix9

    technically yes, its not a big deal for NT, but practically, does it make any sense ? yet another Windows platform without apps ?? except pure .NET/Silverlight apps, which can also run on CE anyway ?

    UPDATE: here is a confirmnation about the LongARM project I suppose.

    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/12/microsoft-may-be-porting-windows-to-arm-but-it-makes-no-sense.ars

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    @AndyC:

    They want to encourage developers to start going to .NET and WPF probably

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    Some people speculate that Windows on ARM is not about mobile devices/tablets but about servers: “Windows NT on ARM: It's a Server Thing”

    Thinking about this idea: it would make sense. Most server-apps for Windows these days are written in .NET, so they could run on ARM with little to no modifications.

  • User profile image
    felix9

    annoucing a server thing on the stage of CES ? unlikely Smiley

    And....there are already so much reports on this thing, and Microsoft have not deny it actively, it looks more and more realistic now, 'cause the reporters will feel bad if it turns out not.

    http://twitter.com/saschasegan/statuses/17658799154266112

    So ..... if it is real, its technically exciting Angel and maybe it is a MinWin + Shell thing, who knows Smiley

  • User profile image
    felix9

    Ahh.... maybe its really the plan after all...

    Now where is Visual C++ 2011 for ARM and .NET Framework for ARM ?????

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.