Process Explorer is an interesting tool. Thanks for showing us.
I must say that I'm rather impressed by what those Windows Store apps can do. Those usage scenarios is certainly worthy to be called "Windows Re-imagination", not a replacement for existing and upcoming complex desktop apps though.
Within China, the people there may have little choice due to the political, economic, and social environment there. But outside China, we have to ask ourselves that can we have confidence over the reliability, accountability, quality control, etc. over the merchants and services originated solely from China, without some measures of control by foreign entity. China represents both great business opportunity and great challenge not only to the people of China but also the people around the world. China badly needs political, social, and economic reform. The question is, when or how or who. When will it happen, if ever? How will it happen? Who will have the political will, determination, and ability to make it happens. While we appreciate the benefits of capitalism, out-of-control capitalism is not what we want; that's why we need the rule of law for social order and balanced growth in the economy.
The web is the big place. No one, including Microsoft, can single-handedly decide the future of it. Each one of us plays a role to affect the future, even though we do not know what the outcome will be.
I bet very few people would disagree that Apple popularizes touch devices with its i-devices, such as iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, etc. Yesterday, I went to a mall near where I live. As expected, I saw the stalls were flooded with Android devices. Samsung Galaxy Tab or iPad is certainly easy to be found. Windows 8 touch-enabled device? I did find some; that was when I actually tried to look for them; unlike Apple or Samsung, those devices can be seen to be on sale even when I was not looking for them; when I was only wandering around the IT department.
In the eyes of ordinary shoppers, it's not hard to tell that Apple and Samsung are the two main competitors in the category of smartphone and tablet. Other minor players do exist in these categories. I never owned an Apple or Android device, partly because I did not see the need for it. I've got a HP TouchSmart PC that was shipped with Windows 7 Home Premium when I first bought it. I've replaced the OS with Windows 8 Pro x64. Part of the reasons that I bought this PC was that I was once curious what touch would mean for a desktop PC. To summarize the experience, touch for a desktop PC is mainly for experimental purposes. Stretching my arm over long period of time certainly caused pain over my shoulders and arms; some people would put it as "Gorilla's arm". I realized how comfortable it is to use a desktop PC with wireless keyboard and mouse. There remains a certain distance between me and the screen.
I prefer larger screen and clearer image (high-definition). Touch certain gains traction on smartphone or tablet; perhaps it would make sense to use 'touch' on smaller, portable device?
Then I got Nokia Lumia 710 and Sony Vaio Duo 11. Nokia Lumia 710 is a touch-only Windows Phone 7.5 device. Sony Vaio Duo 11 is a versatile mobile PC with touch, trackpad, and keyboard. It's small, thin, and light but larger and heavier than ordinary tablets. It's running Windows 8 Pro x64. Unlike Surface, it's completely usable for it to be put on top of my laps. One of the crucial design differences is that the motherboard and battery is put under the keyboard for Sony Vaio Duo 11; kick-stand may make Surface usable on a desk but not on my laps. My brief experience with it told me that I would use whatever input method that makes the most sense, no matter it's touch, trackpad or keyboard. Although the keyboard with optical trackpad can be hidden, I found myself slide it out most of the time because keyboard is the most effective input device for inserting texts.
No, I do not use it as a pure touch-device. Why should I limit myself to a less effective way of doing things? Many web sites and applications are still better off with trackpad or mouse compared with touch. A command such as 'mouse-over' simply does not exist for 'touch'. On-screen keyboard itself is a compromise for the sake of beauty and portability. No wonder keyboard is one of the most popular add-ons for iPad and Android tablets.
I welcome touch as a useful input method for a mobile PC. If you regard touch-only experience as tablet experience, then a pure tablet experience is probably not my cup of tea. I would like touch as one of the options, not the only options. Tablet? Laptop? It's just a device that works.
Ping 163: Xbox Countdown, Programming language popularity, 3D presentations, Eye controlled computerJan 14, 2013 at 11:57AM
It's glad to know that the Ping Show is still ongoing. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year, guys.
Surely, Ping Show is informative. That's why I keep watching it. Personally, I would rather be silent than speaking / writing something inaccurate / unhelpful. I can be critical at times, especially when I found the need and likelihood of making changes. Perhaps a simple comment like "This show is fun" is encouraging. On the other hand, I do believe the statistics of Ping Show viewing number is fairly accurate. Sorry, if I've nothing more to say, I would just be silent although I've been a Ping Show viewer for quite some time. Please do remind me to comment from time to time. Hey, I do not even have time to update my own personal web site. But I will do so in the future if possible.
Jul 19, 2012 at 5:45AM
It's good to see you back, Laura. Lost decade? I guess the right way to put it is that while Microsoft has made a couple of remarkable achievements over a decade, it does stumble at times, just like any real-world entity / person does. When you are trying to frame a headline or topic, you can choose several events as evidences to support your argument, of course, without taking the entire situation into consideration. A good old saying goes like this: do not judge the book by the cover. While the headline may not represent the entire fact, past experience is certainly valuable for a company. Having weaknesses is not a loss or shame. It's up to us to figure out how to overcome the difficulties for a better future.
A dangerous trend is happening in the academics around the world: all too often, people equate memorizing, accepting, and practicing as learning. While practice does help a lot to improve our skills, critical and analytical mind actually requires not to easily accept what are being told by just about anyone, no matter who he is; we need constantly reevaluate the underlying assumptions with the available information, which are often being unnoticed by most people. It's easy to regard assumptions as facts. Make no mistake. Making assumptions is a crucial part of learning; but making assumptions without further validation and re-evaluation will lead us to alternative views from what reality really is.
Peer pressure is the pressure that one may face when he encounters that mainstream views from his peers, more broadly, from the entire society. It's not said that mainstream views are wrong by default. However, they are not right by default, either. The love of simplicity, less work, and better life is not wrong, either. What is wrong is the overlooking the nature, which does not behave the way we want but according to the constant laws.
The name 'live' is particularly interesting. It sounds attractive to people because they want their entertainment immediately. To me, though, I do not particularly buy into 'live' programs. First of all, 'live' is merely perceptional, which means that it just happens in a very short time interval that people may not even notice. For those who have studied special relativity they know that 'action at a distance', if exists at all, would violate the principle of causality; the speed of travel of information and energy cannot exceed the speed of light in vacuum. Previously, there were reports in the media that claimed that special relativity was proven wrong by the experiments; those reports forgot to mention that those experiments were far from being able to give us a trustworthy conclusion. Soon after, a re-validation of the experiments found that special relativity was indeed right.
Some people may think that they did not care if there were actually 'action at a distance' as 'live' would mean they can get the contents they want as soon as possible. As Laura pointed out, the Ping Show is heavily edited before it is available online, at least for the non-live episodes. The editing is meant for producing videos that have high quality. Personally, I would like to have high quality contents and I would not mind to wait for a little while for better-quality shows. 'Action at a distance' does not exist in the first place. Of course I do want to get my favorite contents as soon as possible. When you can get raw videos and improved versions of videos at the same time, would you still prefer live-contents? Probably not. Would you not?
Windows Store at its current form is still at its early stage. I've been uncertain about the usage scenarios of metro style apps. It does not appear to me that metro style apps are going to be able to replace existing complex and powerful desktop apps. I still do not know what metro style apps will be used for perhaps until certain time after the commercial release of Windows 8. Nevertheless, this keynote does at least tell me that metro style apps are at least pretty useful in some scenarios, while are not the replacement of desktop apps. I'm particularly intrigued by the beautiful visualization of data within metro style apps, in addition to online stores, touch-based games, etc. Certainly, while one is on the road, he can get access to data, share data, communicate with others, doing some light editing, etc., all with different kind of metro style apps. They do not seem to be powerful, complex, and rich in functionalities, as compared with existing desktop apps. However, they do make tablet very useful while one is on the road. Perhaps the kind of complex, heavy, and difficult computing tasks are not going to be handled by metro style apps. When I think about it, metro style apps is about how most people deal with their tablets and devices; and they are not going to ever deal with heavy computing tasks or changing the PC settings very often. That, perhaps, explains why 'Desktop' has become an 'app' in Windows 8, as some Microsoft's employees have said. Technically, traditional 'Desktop' is still a Windows shell that exists in Windows 8; it's also an app environment in many ways different from metro environment; 'Desktop' is many things but definitely not an app like other metro style apps. A question I wish to ask: will the desktop or power users spend much time on metro environment? Only time will tell. Given the usefulness and power of 'Desktop', it's not surprising that the desktop PC or power users would spend most of their time in desktop environment going forward while using Windows 8.