@CKurt: No. In fact most aren't. PNG and JPG are still the most common icon formats, and neither is vector based.
The problem is that all WP7 apps are 800x480 and never run/tested on anything else. I guess they can pop up a 800x480 window to run the apps in, but that doesn't seem ideal.
If MS would have just specified an aspect ratio and a minimum screen resolution (800x480 being the minimum) that would have been a lot better, IMO.
MSDN is probably the one magazine where I like the ads. As someone who purchases controls and libraries regularly, I've found the ads a great mechanism to learn about them. I do miss the "Toolbox" section of MSDN.
I wish they did reviews of controls and libraries, but I understand that it may be hard to be viewed as impartial when they take in ad dollars.
By "host integration" I'm referring to how WPF exists completely independently of whatever preexisting frameworks exist in the host OS: WPF makes no attempt to integrate or use them, instead it re-implements them itself, which gives us applications that "don't seem quite right" because users are given the WPF version of some system feature instead of the original, canonical OS feature or service. One example is the control library: WPF's common controls (textboxes, checkboxes, etc) are all 100% re-implemented (they don't even use the visual styles API so they don't look the same). Another is the file open/save dialogs, or type (text) rendering, or child-window management, this list goes on.
The "Initialization delays" I speak to refer to the loading times for both the CLR and the WPF components. No matter what I do I can't seem to get it below 3-5 seconds for a completely cold start, which is very jarring if it's for a simple application. Imagine if Notepad.exe had these same delays.
OK, understood. Regarding the host integration, this is by design. WPF was supposed to rev faster than Windows and also with lookless controls the idea was that people would style these themselves in most cases. There weren't even UI guidelines for WPF because it wasn't meant to be constrained to look like Windows proper. You have to remember when it was being worked on, the common complaint was that everything looked the same on Windows.
Cold start is too slow. I think this is something they'll have to fix in Win8. Whatever Jupiter is will startup at CRT speeds hopefully, and not CLR/WPF speeds. The iPad startup for everything is amazingly fast. You'd think there was a 16-core CPU with 32GB of RAM in it.
What is host integration? Is that airspace or something else? And what are initialization delays? Is that loading the Fx on startup or something else?
well i think the need to buy a different disk and re-install the OS just to add features is areally bad idea.
and if they can sell addons to the base how will that be something shareholders or the board would not want? the idea that selling the basic OS for the basic price != not making the same amount of money.
one of the flaws i saw in some of the prior versions of windows was having to many versions and not finding out what features / addons were really the ones that folks wanted to buy.
if users can pick what they want then MS might even be able to make more money by offering more stuff that folks want and will pay for.
I agree. This is a good idea for many reasons. I do think they can make more money from it. Why?
1. Reduces piracy. Sure you can still pirate the OS, but the OS is now only $59 (or whatever the price will be). But you still will pay $30 for all the features you like. Home Premium Upgrade today is $119. So you save $30 over Home Premium upgrade. BUT Microsoft gets $30 revenue from a whole lot of people who didn't pay anything before.
2. With $5 apps introduced over time MS can make a lot of money on new sets of features. With Windows Vista they had that Ultimate Upgrades (or whatever it was called), but MS had no motiviation to provide new functionality. Now each team has motivation in that they can directly monetize it.
3. Since people will pay for each feature this will incentivize teams to do a better job. You can't hide behind the fact that you're shipped in Home Premium. If your feature sucks, it will get bad reviews and people won't buy it. This will force the features to update more often, get better, and will result in a better Windows -- which will result in more sales.
4. As Jeremy noted, a cheaper OS price gets more people in the door. And then you get recurring revenue over time as they buy new features.
I really think this can be a great move if they do it right. I really like the direction they're going with Win8.
TechCrunch doesn't care much for the Windows8 Explorer, and says so. Diatribe aside, the writer does make one interesting point: having run pretty much in parallel when developing the user experience, Apple and Microsoft are now diverging. Microsoft is sticking with the file-centric view, while Cupertino is going for a more task-centric future where 'files' are no longer relevant.
To be clear, it's not that TechCrunch does't like Win8 Explorer -- they don't like anything from Microsoft. In particular MG Siegler doesn't. He's on par with John Gruber as an Apple fanboy (John Gruber though being the much better writer).
In my view MS is doing the right thing. There are really fundamentally different things you do at work versus when you're mobile versus when you're on the couch. Apple seems to want to shove everything into iOS. In any case, I think this is all a win for the consumer.
I have not read through the comments yet, but recalcitrance from the majority of developers will be that they are now spending all their resources in this new platform i.e. WPF and silverlight are now no longer a priority yet they are still buggy and unfinished. Why should I invest more in a company that changes direction so often? Unless investment continues with significant commitments in WPF and silverlight, Sifnosky has failed to grasp the precipice that Microsoft are standing on.
Vesuvius, if you allow me to play devil's advocate. Here's is Fake Steve Sinofsky talking:
Now some have said, what about everyone who invested in WPF/Silverlight apps? My response is, well, what have you done? Name a handful of interesting WPF apps. Name a handful of Silverlight apps of interest. I can name one, Netflix. For all the talk of a great dev experience the iPhone and iPad have eaten our dev ecosystem. The apps people want today are written in HTML/JS and Objective-C.
The current crop of developers on the MS platform are the best enterprise devs in the world. We'll continue to support them with our current tooling. But really our dev ecosystem hasn't churned out high quality apps. You can say that maybe what we're doing here isn't the right thing, but neither is continuing what we were doing, but hoping for different results. Our app ecosystem speaks for itself. It's shoddy.
I'm a WPF/SL dev by day myself. I'm probably one of the few people that learned WPF before HTML/JS. But I've actually found HTML/JS pretty simple. Layout is a pain, but hopefully flexbox and grids will fix that. All in all, I don't mind writing HTML/JS. And JS compilers seem to be progressing a lot faster than the CLR JIT.
That's not the reason why paper is thin. Paper was thin far before people ever collected 200 sheets together.
In any case paper thin tabletis are useful for a variety of reasons, a key one being that it takes up less space on my person. Given that I can carry an iPad in my inside jacket pocket, a thinner form factor is useful.
When you pick up a piece of paper, you're not trying to avoid touching a certain part of it, are you?
I was -- I was pretending it was a paper thin tablet.
Try holding up a piece of paper deep in your palm with your fingers fanned out underneath it with your thumb anchoring it near the EDGE of the paper (i.e. as if to avoid touching the screen on a tablet). You're essentially pinching it with the SIDE of your thumb up against the base of your index finger OR you have to bend your thumb down in an awkward way.
Now do this with a paperback book. You can hold it deep in your palm, but because it's thicker you can wrap your thumb over the top and anchor the book more with the pad of your thumb. This is far more stable and more comfortable.
Now do this with a cardboard box that's about 2" thick. You can anchor it on the corner along the top surface with the top pad of your thumb. This is even more stable and comfortable IMO.
I guess you're just more evolved than me because I don't have any of the problems you profess to have.
BTW, here's a hint, you can't win over your competitions customers by telling them, "Sure you think its comfortable, but its really not." Those jedi mind tricks just work in movies.
People that drink the Kool-Aid tend to not complain about the flavor.
Apparently less evolved humans are succeptible to this apparent iPad design flaw. I'm looking forward to how well your 2" thick tablets sell to the more evolved aliens who have yet to land on this planet. I guess this will be the new MS tablet marketing motto, "Sure the iPad is great if you're a human with normal fingers. But advanced beings much prefer this 2" thick tablet." Actually it sounds like their current marketing messages.
Then why did you bother saying this?
I miswrote. Meant to say partners.
Why? Because Steve Jobs says so? Again, there's utility to having something ultra-light. There's very little practical advantage to having something ultra-thin. If anything, I think it's safe to say that the latest tablets have reached a point of diminishing returns on thinness.
They aren't close to reaching diminishing returns on thinness yet. When I can put a tablet PC in folder alongside paper, each about equal thickness, then we talk about it being too thin.
If you're trying to hold the device with one hand, anchored with your thumb while trying to keep it on the bezel, then it's way more comfortable if your thumb doesn't have to be butt up against your index finger. The human thumb is designed to be opposable. When you grab something thick (at least 1"), you can see your thumb turn over to oppose your fingers. Try to do the same thing with something really thin. Your thumb doesn't turn over, and you end up simply bracing the object against the side of your thumb. Your thumb has little leverage this way, and it's uncomfortable as hell.
Honestly, we must have different anatomy. I just picked up a sheet of paper and my thumb turned over. Furthermore the way you hold the tablet with one hand is with four fingers in the back, not just the index finger. Given the fact that of the 30+ million iPads used I've heard this "it's too thin to hold" argument surprisingly infrequently leads me to believe its less of an issue for the general population than you might conclude.
I can guarantee that Microsoft won't ship Touchpad size/weight tablets.
Easy to guarantee because MS doesn't ship tablets. But their partners do. And I hope they don't ship things that look like the Touchpad. Again, they really should look at the iPad2 and say, "That's the ugliest device that we'll ever ship". The iPad2 should be the baseline for the lowend device. Unfortunately these little previews that show off features like "BluRay support" or "removable batteries" make me fear that their partners still don't get it.