- 03-22-2013, 10:36 AM #1
Microsoft defends Windows RT as necessary disruption | Microsoft - CNET News
If you read between the lines, you can see that MS intends for RT to be the future. I think all the anti-RT or "there's no reason for RT" people just don't understand that, eventually, the goal for MS is to kill off the desktop side. Remember the promise of program once and it will work in all screens (PC, tablet, phone)? You can't do that with desktop programs. Now whether or not MS is skillful enough to convince developers and consumers to switch over is another story, but I think they will somehow pull it off. I'm not saying it will happen over night, but you will see a gradual evolution in RT technology as it will become more consumer and power user friendly. Desktop programs are now referred to as Legacy programs. That's your first clue that it's going the way of the dodo bird.
People are talking about legacy desktop software not running, but they don't think about the customer benefit of only running modern apps. The only apps that you install from the Windows store are the kind, that as a customer, you can manage your rights to.
Let's say you drop that PC in a pool. Well, you get a new one and then you just redownload [the apps]. That's the kind of model people are used to with a phone or tablet today. I can maintain all the apps in the [Microsoft] store and reset with a single switch.
So, on Windows RT, the user experience stays consistent over time. That's a big benefit. And as the number of apps grow in the store, that value promise only gets stronger.
Microsoft’s Secret Plan to Make You Hate Windows 8 Less
Leaked Windows Blue build:
Windows Blue build 9364 leaked, shows numerous improvements | Windows Phone Central
Microsoft News | Windows File Manager For Modern UI Revealed In Leaked Blue Build
EDIT: In this discussion we are referring to desktop the UI, not hardware. And I am using RT to represent Modern UI, simply because if the desktop UI does disappear, then all we're really left with is Windows RT.
Last edited by ninjaap; 03-26-2013 at 12:16 PM.
03-22-2013, 10:48 AM #2
- 16 Posts
I disagree completely. As a software developer at a business who is exclusively on the Windows Development Platform, killing the desktop will be Microsofts worst mistake. They may be getting killed in the retail arena, but as far as development and business goes, .NET developers are the hottest thing around. Go to any city, anywhere in the US and you will see tons of ads for C# developers.
Developing software on RT just isn't going to work. So if Microsoft really wants to ditch an entire industry that is making it tons of money through Visual Studio/Team Foundation Server/Microsoft Office licenses... well that'll be exactly like shooting themselves in the foot. The desktop isn't going anywhere, if Microsoft is smart.
- 03-22-2013, 10:55 AM #4
I agree that's what Microsoft is trying to do. However Metro/Modern has a LONG way to go to replace desktop functionalities. Removing things like folders, file structures, and windows makes no sense on a desktop. Plus they removed the application openess that built them into a near-monopoly to begin with. If they don't pull their heads out of their butts soon, I don't think there is any question that they will fail. And it will be the most epic failure in the history of computing.
So sure, there is potential, and for the most part I like my RT tablet. But using Metro as a desktop? No thanks. It's easily the worst desktop OS on the market IMO.
- 03-22-2013, 12:22 PM #7
- 03-22-2013, 12:50 PM #8
It will take several years, they need to build the app ecosystem and get people used to Modern UI but they will eventually kill the desktop. By desktop I mean the legacy Windows 7 desktop. Desktop computers with touchscreens probably mostly all in ones will become more common. Maybe what I really mean is no necessarily RT is the future but more of a Modern UI apps will be your only choice several years from now. I think Windows 10 will drop all legacy application support and will only support 8 on up Modern UI apps. By Windows 9 maybe all of Microsofts app and windows components will finally be Modern UI. I hate dropping into compatibility mode for Control Panel and services and such. They should have completed all of that before releasing 8 but I think they had to get something out to get the app process moving.
Andy Rubbin moving away from Android is I think Google's same type of shift. I believe they want Android apps to run on ChromeOS to give you the phone/tablet/laptop experience Microsoft is going towards.
Just because an app uses Modern UI doesn't mean it can't be a full featured complicated application. I think right now people just associate Modern UI with phone apps that are generally pretty simple.
- 03-22-2013, 02:26 PM #9
It could happen. But will it? Not without major improvements Microsoft appears to be completely oblivious to.
- 03-22-2013, 02:33 PM #10
- 03-22-2013, 02:50 PM #12
03-23-2013, 02:34 PM #13
- 166 Posts
If I was Microsoft I would get on making ARM based workstations for businesses with Windows RT on them. They could have a locked down app store for what they need and the energy savings would be ridiculous. Think of all the doctors offices you have been in that have 30+ computers with full x86 processors to run some basic program that people just use to put data into. What an unnecessary amount of power both from a computing standpoint and from an energy standpoint.
03-23-2013, 03:34 PM #15
- 1,360 Posts
I don't think RT will replace desktop for every user, especially for business users. I think MS is going to push RT as the consumer device that average joes use at home and easily integrates as a BYOD at work if they want. The majority of users at home only need what RT offers. MS has already done research proving that and has talked about it on their building windows 8 blog.
The desktop format will remain for hardcore business users like designers, developers, architects, engineers, etc. As a designer, I love the Metro language, but I know I could not work in a desktopless environment.
- 03-23-2013, 03:41 PM #16
Enterprise Users and Power Users are not going to RT over night. They've got thousands of dollars per workstation invested in legacy apps for video, audio and photo production as well as custom Line of Business applications written for the desktop. "Going RT" is on the bottom of their list of things to do today.
The Consumer Desktop is dead in 5 years. There's still a market for the All-in-ones in 2013. The 7" tablet is cleaning up: the 10" form factor is struggling. Where's the Surface 7"?
The third-party RT software is slow rolling out. It's usable but not not a "must have" selling point.
This is a 5-year transition to touch, gesture, voice, and devices. Holiday 2015 we see a 64-bit showdown between Atom with HD 4600 graphics (Haswell graphics) and the Tegra and other ARM vendors 64-bit pushing new graphic engines.
03-23-2013, 03:50 PM #17
- 3,138 Posts
That quote is actually pretty dumb, in my opinion. They're saying that's what you get with RT, but it's ACTUALLY what you get with the Microsoft Store. All that is on the Microsoft Store is also on the current Windows 8 machines, in addition to the legacy software. They can push that model without making the x86 version of the OS disappear. However, they cannot sit there and strip away decades of software in the name of convenience, because it hurts convenience and productivity. Arguably, it actually hurts convenience as well, because you might have to reacquire software you already have on a Windows 8 device on Windows RT.
Quick example: As many can attest to, Xbox Music is currently a mess on the PC. I use Zune for music as a result. If I went to Windows RT, I'd totally lose my Zune software, plus Trillian (how I use IM, because IM+ is simply inferior), and a bunch more.
I guess arguing that isn't really sensible, though. What I think we need to figure out is totally different. We need to determine if Windows RT's MODEL is going to be the norm, or if Windows RT itself is going to take over in this scenario.
By that, I mean will we see x86 survive? Could the RT environment of apps become popularized for distribution? I absolutely think so. However, could RT, meaning the ARM-based OS itself, replace the x86 computer entirely? Not a chance. I think that would kill both the business and gaming markets for Microsoft. How terrible would it be for consumers if they could no longer access World of Warcraft, Steam, Diablo, StarCraft, and all of their x86-based games?
I guess if you want to talk about 10 years from now, you could be right. However, I don't think that there is ANY chance of ARM-based devices toppling and replacing x86 hardware entirely. The business world certainly hasn't converted its software for that, and the gaming community can't even control such a thing. I mean, consider that the new console generation is allegedly going to be x86-powered. How would game companies like it if as consoles come towards x86, PCs jump towards ARM?
- 03-23-2013, 05:41 PM #19
Desktops won't die. Touched based interfaces cannot duplicate a standard mouse and keyboard. Anyone that has to do any sort of video editing, graphics or web design, photos, even Office work will heavily depend on a desktop. However, the need for a desktop/AIO will greatly diminish. PC sales are down. Tablets sales are up. This trend is not changing anytime soon. Portability is a factor but so is ease-ability. Tablets are pick-up-and-go devices best suited for media consumption. Plus they require little maintenance. That's incredibly appealing. However, anyone with a tablet can attest to this, but it gets pretty annoying when you have to type out a long email, fill out a form, or use anything that requires multitasking. Even if you have a detachable keyboard/mouse you still have to lug that equipment around with you. And let's not forget, desktops are already in the $300 range. A lot of people are going to choose a desktop PC simply because they're going to get way more value for their money.
Still, the family with one desktop computer probably isn't going to buy a second. They're going to get a tablet, probably multiple tablets, but only one desktop. That's why I don't think the desktop is going to disappear, because there is always going to be a need for it. And I must say, I'd hate if Microsoft got rid of desktop mode from RT. I have a Surface RT and I love using it in tablet mode. I also like to output to an external monitor. That's when desktop mode becomes essential. Even with RT's limited desktop functionality, desktop mode opens up a whole new world of possibility. File management becomes a breeze. I can run IE, Word, Paint, all that while having a metro app open WHILE having another metro app snapped to the side. I can't get that sort of functionality out of an iPad or Android tablet. And definitely not from a Kindle Fire. Desktop mode not only makes RT unique, it also makes it far more useful. And while I'm not outputting to another monitor I can still rely on a nice tablet experience.
- 03-23-2013, 11:00 PM #21
The desktop will not go. As has been said above it is necessary for many users/corporations for productivity applications. I don't think most people understand just how much of Microsoft's profit comes from these customers. Microsoft is not Apple, they will not tell their customer base what they should like. They will not expect their entire customer base to move to an inferior less productive interface. Sure, they will provide it and continue to enhance it for their touch-screen customers, and as part of their plan to unify the ecosystem, but the desktop will certainly remain.
I also think the statement about windows blue unifying the app ecosystem so that you can use the same apps on all platforms is slightly misinterpreted. It doesn't mean they are going to force mouse and keyboard users into a less productive interface, it means they are going to make every app accessible to every customer, no matter what the form factor or platform. I think the more likely outcome from this objective is that we see metro apps being able to be run on the desktop in windowed mode alongside classic desktop apps.
That said I definitely see a place for RT, especially on touch devices like tablets, and maybe even phones in the future. In fact I own a surface RT, and I'm glad I bought it over an x86 tablet due to the battery life and the fact that I really don't want to be trying to use desktop apps on it. I can see RT tablets improving a lot quicker than x86 tablets, the SOC Microsoft used in the surface is fairly old, there are huge speed and battery life improvements to be had on RT just by using a new processor.
I think due to the rapid improvements we are seeing in ARM processors, RT devices could soon become competitive with x86 in terms of raw power. We may even see the desktop becoming more open and flexible on RT in the future. Imagine being able to get to work, dock your RT tablet to a big screen, mouse and keyboard, and be able to open all your productivity software in a desktop environment.
Yes, there is a general transition to touch in the market, but Microsoft's core consumers will never be able to completely transition away from the desktop. Also despite sales of touch devices going up and traditional hardware sales going down, most consumers that buy touch devices still have their traditional desktop that they use for certain things. The fact that sales have dropped is mainly due to the point we have reached where hardware is very fast and software is getting more efficient, resulting in less frequent need to upgrade.
- 03-23-2013, 11:42 PM #22
When speaking of the desktop, are we talking about the "windowed environment" or the big box that sits next to the monitor. Seems to me that the big box is already making way to tablets, laptops, and touchscreen all-in-one monitors. That desktop is moving on. With the rise in the ARM processors, MS had to develop an OS that maintained an ecosystem of functionality with the x86 processors or fall prey to the criticism that they were being left behind and unable to meet current computing trends. Did MS make a mistake in making an OS that looks exactly like the x86 counterpart? I have been torn between buying a Surface RT tablet or an Atom based tablet. The Surface tablet is not able to run legacy programs, and I don't expect that it should any more than I expect the Ipad to run OSX programs. It does come with Office, which is important to me. The Atom based tablet can run legacy apps and viruses, doesn't come with office or one of the anti-virus suites (as far as I know), and is underpowered like a netbook. I will likely buy the RT version for my needs, hoping that the price comes down before I do. BTW, I like tiles better than widgets.
If we are talking about the "windowed environment" desktop, it will disappear as well and the start screen that replaced the start button will become the de facto desktop. My biggest issue is the process that is with how MS over-simplified the settings, which is great for a tablet but not the home PC, and hid the real settings screens that I have known since Windows 95. So the complaint in this case isn't with RT or the desktop, it is with Win8 in general. I actually dislike the desktop window and find it distracting. I am hoping someone can eventually explain to me the irrational dislike for the app tiles over the more favored desktop program icons that equally launch the executable file.
So, where does RT fit? It fits in the space currently filled by the other underpowered tablets on an ARM processor but with a stronger productivity purpose in mind, and unfortunately confuses the tech writers who can't see the bigger picture. At least, for now it does.
- 03-24-2013, 06:48 PM #23
What is this? Oh its Blue, one of many improvements that address user complaints. Multitasking and more settings within Modern UI are the big ones for me. Making it less likely for me to have to switch over to desktop during simple tasks. There is also a rumor that they're building a Modern file manager. Hopefully, someday, I will never have to switch over to desktop. Ever.
03-25-2013, 04:22 AM #25
- 33 Posts
I actually agree with you on this; that the "desktop UI" will be replaced by what you are calling the "Modern Metro UI" or some iteration of it. Somewhere there is a ten year old unencumbered by the way things used to be who'll grow up to become a programmer and he or she will feel right at home with the Modern UI. I'll go one step further and say that "desktop hardware" may also be replaced with tablets and slates. Higher capacity SSD, cloud computing and ever more powerful and efficient CPUs are just around the corner and may make desktops and even laptops a thing of the past. 5-10 years from now we may not recognize the home computer.
(btw; saw your Avatar and I'm a longtime Baltimore Ravens fan...please treat "Q" well...he's a warrior, a true gentleman and a stand up guy!
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