02-16-2014 10:18 PM
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  1. ohgood's Avatar
    1 Microsoft was vastly behind on mobile and tablet. They needed something for the ipad / android tablet market.
    2 I do like having a "real" operating system on a tablet instead of an intentionally limited os like android or ios.
    3 I will concede that the two UI approach wasn't perfect, and there are times it definitely isn't as polished as I'd like.
    4 When I get pushed to the desktop to make configuration changes to my Dell V8P, or needing to use Metro apps on my 15" non-touch laptop, it's not a perfect experience, but I think Microsoft has been making the process better with 8.1, and the pending Update 1.

    5 Your point #1 however, I disagree with completely.
    6 Chrome OS is basically useless. It's a netbook OS at best.
    7 It may get better. It may be a serious challenge to Windows over time. That time isn't soon.
    8 So, nobody is buying Chrome OR surface rt and they aren't buying it to replace Windows PCs, Linux PCs, androids, or Mac desktops/laptops... see 9
    9 At best, they are using them as a second PC for basic browsing or whatever..
    1 )
    wp = not a real desktop os
    rt ditto
    iOS ditto
    android ditto
    chrome ditto

    2) they are mobile, not desktop OS's, agreed
    3) hundreds of millions agree
    4) yes, killing off metro would be a start see 3
    5)...
    6) like iOS, rt, android, cobal, when compared to a full office suite?
    7) I've seen chrome books in the wild on campuses. lots if them. lots of androids and iPads too. never once have I seen a surface. surface is looking for a small sliver of the market place to be, not android, iOS, chrome. they're doing fine.
    8) fixed
    9) how they are used doesn't really matter, if it racks up another sale
    02-11-2014 05:32 AM
  2. Ian Too's Avatar
    I have never used Windows RT, so please correct me if I'm wrong - but doesn't Windows RT have only the metro UI, plus, a crippled version of the desktop that only supports Office? What choice do you have when booting Windows RT?
    Your attitude to the Modern UI would be better if you appreciated exactly what it offered. As a user of a Surface RT, I'm in a better position to judge.

    Firstly, as a touch or gesture interface, the traditional desktop is a non-starter. It isn't just that the buttons are too small, one advantage of a mouse is that it can give extremely fine control, finer than your fingers. The trouble with a mouse though is that it ties you to a real desktop as well as a computer one. It is near impossible with a traditional computer to sit on your settee and browse the internet - yes you can use the track pad on your laptop, but that's painfully slow and clumsy. The Modern UI makes it easy for tablet users to free themselves from the tyranny of desks (and who wants a desk in their home anyway?) and consume media. Whats more, I can even use the handwriting recognition built in to do work on the settee, in bed or even out in the real world with no fuss - taking notes with One note or writing something more substantial with Word.

    I believe people who insist on Windows Pro on their tablet are making mistake, because although Win Pro can run their legacy software, they have to go back to a desk to do it, which negates the point of a nice light tablet.

    Another thing the Modern UI gives is instant real time information. On my start screen I have local weather, my calendar, local train times(and whether they're running late) and news being presented to me. Once you have access to this type of information, it's very hard to do without it and it is all synchronised between my PCs so it doesn't matter which one I'm using.

    Modern UI apps are better than traditional ones in that. like in iOS, they are vetted before becoming available in the store. This means that one day, we will not have to waste money, memory and processor power running anti-virus software.

    You are right, the desktop in RT is limited to running just a few programs. This is because the vast majority of legacy software will not run on ARM processors and I knew this before I bought the Surface, so I'm not going to complain or accept it as a criticism, because every Modern UI app will run irrespective of whether the processor is ARM or Intel. I look forward to the release of touch optimised versions of Office and the demise of the desktop in RT.

    Right now, Windows is in transition and its easy to understand why many people are unhappy, especially f they are naturally resistant to change, but iOS/Android/Chrome offer no conceptual advantages and can't match what Windows already offers. People talk as if iOS/Android are somehow optimal, but is the best you can come up with, really?

    In the future touch or gesture will be the rule rather than the exception, voice and handwriting recognition will be so good that no one will type anything and the mouse will be a specialist tool like a graphics tablet. Then the desktop will be seen as the quaint and inefficient shell it is.

    Microsoft could have copied Apple's static icons the way Google did, but instead they innovated to a dynamic UI which provides useful information. They should be applauded for their bravery instead of this constant mealy-mouthed, narrow minded Luddite hypocrisy that we have to endure on forums like this and from the press.

    Microsoft has the clearer vision and it will pay off in the end.
    snowmutt and Genghis7777 like this.
    02-11-2014 05:52 AM
  3. angusdegraosta's Avatar
    Desktop IE is great for running web-based Spotify... the music will play in the background while using apps. RT is a solid, stable OS. I am looking forward to Update 1 on my touch laptop and Surface 2. Microsoft is simply making design changes that make sense for non-touch users as well.
    02-11-2014 06:08 AM
  4. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Win 8.1 is useful on a tablet though (not so sure about the need for Pro). The advantage is that you can install whatever third party drivers you need. You can also install desktop apps which have the advantage that they can be installed to the SD card. Metro apps are limited to the internal boot drive, which can be quite small on a 32gig tablet after space is grabbed by Windows & Office. Using a stylus means desktop apps can be used pretty well, though having a Logitech Anywhere Mouse to hand makes using such a breeze, even from the sofa. RT is actually good for my old Dad, but a bit restrictive for me. With 8.1 I can install my TV tuner software and watch TV whilst in hotels without the pain of limited hotel TV selections and rubbish hotel WiFi.
    02-11-2014 06:13 AM
  5. UncleGrandpa's Avatar
    Business users of Windows software, which make up a huge part of the Windows legacy...MUST HAVE an operational OS that runs legacy windows applications , furthermore a touchscreen is useless using legacy software. It will take YEARS before business apps conform to native Windows 8 apps. Hell, we are still using XP on lots of computers. By trying to combine a mobile OS written for touchscreens with a desktop OS that must be able to run legacy business apps, Microsoft has made a huge mistake. They should have kept the desktop and Metro completely separate OSs ...and not combined them into a hybrid demon.
    typhon62_1 likes this.
    02-11-2014 06:27 AM
  6. anony_mouse's Avatar
    I'm not sure who some of these points were aimed at as they don't seem relevant to any of my posts, but as my text is quoted, I will respond.

    Your attitude to the Modern UI would be better if you appreciated exactly what it offered. As a user of a Surface RT, I'm in a better position to judge.
    I've used Windows 8 and Windows Phone so I have some experience of metro and I appreciate what it offers. I haven't used Windows RT so I can't and didn't comment directly on that - hence my question.

    Firstly, as a touch or gesture interface, the traditional desktop is a non-starter. It isn't just that the buttons are too small, one advantage of a mouse is that it can give extremely fine control, finer than your fingers. The trouble with a mouse though is that it ties you to a real desktop as well as a computer one. It is near impossible with a traditional computer to sit on your settee and browse the internet - yes you can use the track pad on your laptop, but that's painfully slow and clumsy. The Modern UI makes it easy for tablet users to free themselves from the tyranny of desks (and who wants a desk in their home anyway?) and consume media. Whats more, I can even use the handwriting recognition built in to do work on the settee, in bed or even out in the real world with no fuss - taking notes with One note or writing something more substantial with Word.
    Fully agree with your first point. Traditional desktops offer a poor experience on a touchscreen. I have never personally had a problem with trackpads, but indeed a tablet is much nicer for web browsing, etc on a sofa. But for typing a significant amount of text or doing many other kinds of work, a desk is much more convenient.

    I believe people who insist on Windows Pro on their tablet are making mistake, because although Win Pro can run their legacy software, they have to go back to a desk to do it, which negates the point of a nice light tablet.

    Another thing the Modern UI gives is instant real time information. On my start screen I have local weather, my calendar, local train times(and whether they're running late) and news being presented to me. Once you have access to this type of information, it's very hard to do without it and it is all synchronised between my PCs so it doesn't matter which one I'm using.
    Widgets/live tiles can be useful, but personally I can't say I miss them on my iPad. For me, they are a 'nice to have' rather than essential. But that's just my opinion. I would certainly welcome Apple adding something similar to iOS. On a desktop/laptop, I find tiles much less useful as I don't want to see metro.

    Modern UI apps are better than traditional ones in that. like in iOS, they are vetted before becoming available in the store. This means that one day, we will not have to waste money, memory and processor power running anti-virus software.

    You are right, the desktop in RT is limited to running just a few programs. This is because the vast majority of legacy software will not run on ARM processors and I knew this before I bought the Surface, so I'm not going to complain or accept it as a criticism, because every Modern UI app will run irrespective of whether the processor is ARM or Intel. I look forward to the release of touch optimised versions of Office and the demise of the desktop in RT.
    I don't think I made any statements about Windows RT so I assume that is aimed at someone else. Regarding the 'app store' approach, personally I prefer Android, which my default limits you to installing software from the official app store, but allows you to install apps from other sources (at your own risk) if you like. Of course, there's nothing to stop Microsoft creating an 'app store' for desktop software. Apple have this already, and Linux distributions have had something similar since the 1990s.

    Right now, Windows is in transition and its easy to understand why many people are unhappy, especially f they are naturally resistant to change, but iOS/Android/Chrome offer no conceptual advantages and can't match what Windows already offers. People talk as if iOS/Android are somehow optimal, but is the best you can come up with, really?
    Again, I assume that's not aimed at me, but I will respond anyway. As far as I can tell, iOS, Android, WP and RT all offer a fairly similar set of features and capabilities. Broadly speaking, they are as optimal (or not) as each other. Chrome OS is a bit different and better dealt with another time. My comments above were aimed at Windows for desktops/laptops, where, even after reading this thread, I still find metro intrusive and not useful - but again, that's just my opinion.

    In the future touch or gesture will be the rule rather than the exception, voice and handwriting recognition will be so good that no one will type anything and the mouse will be a specialist tool like a graphics tablet. Then the desktop will be seen as the quaint and inefficient shell it is.
    That I do not agree with. Typing is actually very efficient if you need to enter a significant amount of text. But I do agree that future devices will likely support many different input methods. That's good, because it means we can all choose to work the way that we prefer.
    I actually think the desktop is rather efficient for a 'full PC', especially for professional use. You might argue that for basic home use, it's unnecessarily complex, but people are familiar with it and metro (and iOS/Android) is limited in comparison.

    Microsoft could have copied Apple's static icons the way Google did, but instead they innovated to a dynamic UI which provides useful information. They should be applauded for their bravery instead of this constant mealy-mouthed, narrow minded Luddite hypocrisy that we have to endure on forums like this and from the press.
    1. Have you heard of Android widgets?
    2. I think you should be a bit more tolerant of other people's opinions.
    3. I would like to see Microsoft (or Linux or Apple) find ways to make the desktop more dynamic. I just don't think that the full screen metro UI is a good way to do this on a laptop or desktop.

    Microsoft has the clearer vision and it will pay off in the end.
    We will see. My concern with Microsoft's vision is that it assumes 'one size fits all'. I think that their current products suggest this isn't the case, and that more variation between UIs is needed to support smart phones, tablets and laptops. And, as I often say on these forums, perhaps the biggest problem is that Microsoft have nothing to address other types of device - smart watches, TVs, ... - and makers of those devices are increasingly turning to Android. Microsoft are in serious danger of missing the boat again on whatever new types of product emerge in the coming years. Flexibility, and giving more control and opportunity to others should be the first aim for the new CEO.
    02-11-2014 06:39 AM
  7. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Win8.1 is perfect for business desktops. Win8.1 on a desktop combined with a Logitech T650 touch pad (or a touch monitor if you prefer, not my thing on a desktop though) together with a mouse allows both macro and micro control, making long periods of computer use less wearing, more efficient and productive and more flexible (can take it away from the desk on your tablet). If you use Win8.1 on a desktop without the right hardware then you're doing it wrong, and you will get the wrong impression. Win8.1 does a great job of bringing the desktop and the touch worlds together to make something better than either.
    02-11-2014 06:44 AM
  8. dkediger's Avatar
    02-11-2014 09:37 AM
  9. radmanvr's Avatar
    TLDR?

    Wall of text is super effective.
    02-11-2014 09:57 AM
  10. dkediger's Avatar
    TLDR?

    Wall of text is super effective.
    We've been here before....It took XP two years and two service packs to become accepted. Granted, we have a complete order of magnitude more PCs in front of people these days, and alternative computing devices like tablets and smartphones. But the transition has seldom been smooth. Even Apple stumbles along the way.
    Genghis7777 likes this.
    02-11-2014 10:07 AM
  11. Ian Too's Avatar
    I'm not sure who some of these points were aimed at as they don't seem relevant to any of my posts, but as my text is quoted, I will respond.
    Thanks for your response. Mine was partly aimed at your comments, partly if you like at the zeitgeist, the general reaction to W8 which is unconstructive and therefore irritating to me.

    I've used Windows 8 and Windows Phone so I have some experience of metro and I appreciate what it offers. I haven't used Windows RT so I can't and didn't comment directly on that - hence my question.
    I do wonder, when people like you claim to have used it, how willing you were to learn or whether the approach was grudging at best. If you don't used Outlook.com for instance, you'll not appreciate how well calendars etc synchronise and if you're restricted to one PC, you'll not appreciate how the Start screen in the Modern UI also synchronises. The modern UI is semi-independent of the device you're using it on. I hope it will become fully independent on all devices I use.

    Fully agree with your first point. Traditional desktops offer a poor experience on a touchscreen. I have never personally had a problem with trackpads, but indeed a tablet is much nicer for web browsing, etc on a sofa. But for typing a significant amount of text or doing many other kinds of work, a desk is much more convenient.
    For now of course, keyboards and mice are still essential, but like the desktop they were compromises.

    There are too many instances of sub-optimal solutions becoming established because of the limits of technology: the QWERTY keyboard and VHS for example. I'm saying that the traditional desktop is another, because the desktop is nothing but a shell designed to resemble something familiar to users, but what is it about a computer's inherent structure that says a desktop must be limited by the size of the monitor it's displayed on? What part of a tablet computer's inherent structure says icons have to be displayed in pages of 4 by 5 with numpty little dots to remind you what page you're on? The answer to both these questions is nothing. These solutions were imposed by hardware limitations and we are in danger of these becoming established like QWERTY.

    The engineers at Microsoft seem to be the first to have realised this and produced Windows 8, where groupings are entirely at the discretion of the user. No longer do we have to have pages or start screens with arbitrary limitations imposed by hardware or current convention. You no longer have to open an app and open the file from inside the app, just pin your file or current web page to the Start screen and go from there.

    The way you work now is not more convenient, merely what you're habituated to.

    Widgets/live tiles can be useful, but personally I can't say I miss them on my iPad. For me, they are a 'nice to have' rather than essential. But that's just my opinion. I would certainly welcome Apple adding something similar to iOS. On a desktop/laptop, I find tiles much less useful as I don't want to see metro.
    The main reason I find myself ignoring the ipad and going straight to the Surface is that Windows is more elegant. Yes I have my live tiles giving me useful information like widgets, but what if I want to work on a new document? Well I could open Word by swiping left, opening the app and then choosing the template before actually starting work. That's one way, the one we're all habituated to and still the best to produce a new type of document. But if we produce say a blog regularly, it would be easier to pin the template to the Start screen and tap on it from there; the OS could then do all the hard work of starting the app and finding the file, while you focus on composing purple prose.

    On the iPad, you first have to work on the device, before you get to work on what you want to do. On the Modern UI you go straight there - if you're smart.

    I don't think I made any statements about Windows RT so I assume that is aimed at someone else. Regarding the 'app store' approach, personally I prefer Android, which my default limits you to installing software from the official app store, but allows you to install apps from other sources (at your own risk) if you like. Of course, there's nothing to stop Microsoft creating an 'app store' for desktop software. Apple have this already, and Linux distributions have had something similar since the 1990s.
    My point about RT is that it's not intended to be a separate Windows for ARM devices. The point is that apps are supposed to be agnostic about which architecture they run on Intel or ARM. Right now, ARM simply have a huge advantage over Intel in mobile computing because like Microsoft, they didn't appreciate importance of mobility. Intel were focused on making processors which were more and more powerful, but used so much power they were useless for mobile use. It seems they were even slower than Microsoft to catch on, so is Haswell enough or will Intel continue to trail ARM?

    As for the idea of a legacy store, Microsoft would then have to try to close the desktop environment and I can't see that that is possible or even desirable, but again, that's not the important point.

    For the (modal)average user, what you want to be able to do with apps is not only irrelevent but dangerous. It's main affect is to expose them to malware they wouldn't even recognise, leave alone be able cope with. The vast majority of people need protection and closed app stores are the answer for them. I'm sure people like us will be accommodated, but Microsoft and other companies will have to find a away to avoid us becoming a point of infection for the general population.

    Again, I assume that's not aimed at me, but I will respond anyway. As far as I can tell, iOS, Android, WP and RT all offer a fairly similar set of features and capabilities. Broadly speaking, they are as optimal (or not) as each other. Chrome OS is a bit different and better dealt with another time. My comments above were aimed at Windows for desktops/laptops, where, even after reading this thread, I still find metro intrusive and not useful - but again, that's just my opinion.
    As an owner of an iPad and a Surface, I have to contradict the claim about their similar capabilities. I have since the days of Windows Mobile, been trying to find a mobile solution to being able to write. I have bought infra-red keyboards, Bluetooth keyboards and all sorts of other solutions in order to achieve that simple goal, so I ordered my iPad with great excitement, thinking that at last I would be free.

    Oh how far was the fall. The first problem was finding software. Pages was no good, because it didn't work with files I'd already created, or allow me to export files to my PC and work on them there. Then I tried other apps which claimed compatibility with Word, but did not deliver. Also I couldn't get the calender to synchronise. The iPad became an island unto itself, because Apple continually fail to support users of other devices. It's why I've moved away from Apple. My iPod and iPad will not be replaced when they fail.

    The Surface on the other hand fond m printer, recognised it and downloaded the driver as son as i wanted to find out hoe to print. It runs Word and can read all my old files, and now even synchronises them, so I can create or edit them on either of my PCs, my Surface or my phone. The Surface is able to throw pictures and video to my xbox, so I can watch them on my TV. The Surface is in a completely different league.

    That I do not agree with. Typing is actually very efficient if you need to enter a significant amount of text. But I do agree that future devices will likely support many different input methods. That's good, because it means we can all choose to work the way that we prefer.
    I actually think the desktop is rather efficient for a 'full PC', especially for professional use. You might argue that for basic home use, it's unnecessarily complex, but people are familiar with it and metro (and iOS/Android) is limited in comparison.
    You seem not to know that the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow typists down, so they didn't jam their typewriter mechanisms.

    I too still have two full-sized PCs for typing and development work and am still tied to a desk, but then again, I bought my Surface as an auxiliary device. Nevertheless, it has proven to capable of all but the most onerous writing tasks and that might change once I buy a type cover- but never mind that, consider this scenario:

    Imagine a Kinect type device built in to your tablet. You could then input text by using American Sign Language, which would be as fast if not even faster than typing, carry no danger of repetitive strain
    injury and as a side effect free the entire deaf community from a language ghetto.

    1. Have you heard of Android widgets?
    2. I think you should be a bit more tolerant of other people's opinions.
    3. I would like to see Microsoft (or Linux or Apple) find ways to make the desktop more dynamic. I just don't think that the full screen metro UI is a good way to do this on a laptop or desktop.
    1. I won't touch Android, because I completely distrust Google and I'm far from alone.
    2. I don't think I'm intolerant when people take a constructive approach. I do however, dislike hypocrisy and people who don't give something new a chance. People who can only see problems and are blind to opportunities.
    3. Apple and Linux will continue to go their ways, but only Microsoft have made a conceptual leap forward and seem to be advancing on multiple fronts.

    We will see. My concern with Microsoft's vision is that it assumes 'one size fits all'. I think that their current products suggest this isn't the case, and that more variation between UIs is needed to support smart phones, tablets and laptops. And, as I often say on these forums, perhaps the biggest problem is that Microsoft have nothing to address other types of device - smart watches, TVs, ... - and makers of those devices are increasingly turning to Android. Microsoft are in serious danger of missing the boat again on whatever new types of product emerge in the coming years. Flexibility, and giving more control and opportunity to others should be the first aim for the new CEO.
    Indeed we will, though VHS beat Betamax and we are all lumbered with QWERTY, so merit doesn't always win out.

    Extrapolating from current devices may not be a reliable metric. As I've tried to explain, I think the engineers at MS have made conceptual breakthroughs and also I think MS better understand how linking devices and services will benefit the user.

    As for Android, I regard that as an infestation spreading because it is free, not because it has merit. It is an old style static operating system to which things have been bolted in a haphazard way and whose existence is dependent on violating its user's privacy. OEMs have a vested interest in spreading the OS which do not coincide with their customers' and we will all pay in the end. Some of us will be comparatively insulated, that's all.

    MS of course is working on a smart watch and anything Android can do Windows Phone can on less powerful hardware.

    I think the 'one size fits all' idea will work, because once you strip away the fluff, all these various devices do one thing: process information.

    I think Microsoft's approach will be best because it's device agnostic. They are busy rationalising their APIs across their OSs and integrating their stores, so we will be able to buy an app once and use it on all our devices. We will be able to create, view and edit our files across our devices seamlessly and the coherent OS will become almost invisible as it comes to reflect us rather than the hardware it runs on.
    dkediger, a5cent and Genghis7777 like this.
    02-14-2014 11:05 AM
  12. dkediger's Avatar
    For now of course, keyboards and mice are still essential, but like the desktop they were compromises.

    There are too many instances of sub-optimal solutions becoming established because of the limits of technology: the QWERTY keyboard and VHS for example. I'm saying that the traditional desktop is another, because the desktop is nothing but a shell designed to resemble something familiar to users, but what is it about a computer's inherent structure that says a desktop must be limited by the size of the monitor it's displayed on? What part of a tablet computer's inherent structure says icons have to be displayed in pages of 4 by 5 with numpty little dots to remind you what page you're on? The answer to both these questions is nothing. These solutions were imposed by hardware limitations and we are in danger of these becoming established like QWERTY.

    The engineers at Microsoft seem to be the first to have realised this and produced Windows 8, where groupings are entirely at the discretion of the user. No longer do we have to have pages or start screens with arbitrary limitations imposed by hardware or current convention. You no longer have to open an app and open the file from inside the app, just pin your file or current web page to the Start screen and go from there.

    The way you work now is not more convenient, merely what you're habituated to.
    This is a really nice summation of the conceptual differences between the Modern Start "screen/page" and traditional desk/tablet-tops.
    02-14-2014 11:21 AM
  13. anony_mouse's Avatar
    Thanks for the extremely detailed reply! I only have a few minutes so unfortunately I can't reply properly. Here are a few points...

    There are too many instances of sub-optimal solutions becoming established because of the limits of technology: the QWERTY keyboard and VHS for example. I'm saying that the traditional desktop is another, because the desktop is nothing but a shell designed to resemble something familiar to users, but what is it about a computer's inherent structure that says a desktop must be limited by the size of the monitor it's displayed on? What part of a tablet computer's inherent structure says icons have to be displayed in pages of 4 by 5 with numpty little dots to remind you what page you're on? The answer to both these questions is nothing. These solutions were imposed by hardware limitations and we are in danger of these becoming established like QWERTY.
    This is true of course. I certainly don't claim that QWERTY keyboards are the best possible solution to entering text. However, they are the best currently available to me, and I am very familiar with using them. I am not the only one. If something better comes along, I'm happy to try it, but I didn't see it yet.

    The engineers at Microsoft seem to be the first to have realised this and produced Windows 8, where groupings are entirely at the discretion of the user. No longer do we have to have pages or start screens with arbitrary limitations imposed by hardware or current convention. You no longer have to open an app and open the file from inside the app, just pin your file or current web page to the Start screen and go from there.
    Maybe I'm missing something - please tell me if I am - but:
    As far as I know, Windows (and before it, serveral other systems), as always opened the relevant application if you click on a file. You could also put files, symbolic links, shortcuts, etc on the desktop. More recently, that's also possible with webpages. Isn't that the same thing as pinning a file to the start screen? What's actually new here?
    Regarding the size of the desktop - I agree. One of the most irrating features of the Windows desktop is that it can only cover one screen. This limitation is bizarre. But every other windowing system I know has a virtual desktop, allowing the user to have an arbitrary number of desktops to use as they wish. This was normal on UNIX workstations twenty years ago and is available on Mac and Ubuntu. It is not a new idea dreamt up by Microsoft.
    But if we produce say a blog regularly, it would be easier to pin the template to the Start screen and tap on it from there; the OS could then do all the hard work of starting the app and finding the file, while you focus on composing purple prose.
    All possible on every windows-based system I've ever used.

    On the iPad, you first have to work on the device, before you get to work on what you want to do. On the Modern UI you go straight there - if you're smart.
    Personally, I don't work on my iPad. It's much nicer to use a laptop or desktop. Not just because of the keyboard, but also the screen size. But if you want to work on a tablet, then I guess Windows 8 is a reasonable choice.
    As for the idea of a legacy store, Microsoft would then have to try to close the desktop environment and I can't see that that is possible or even desirable, but again, that's not the important point.
    They do not need to close the desktop environment. That is a separate issue. Try the 'app stores' on Linux systems or Mac. It's just another way to install applications.

    You seem not to know that the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow typists down, so they didn't jam their typewriter mechanisms.
    I am very well aware of that fact.

    Imagine a Kinect type device built in to your tablet. You could then input text by using American Sign Language, which would be as fast if not even faster than typing, carry no danger of repetitive strain
    injury and as a side effect free the entire deaf community from a language ghetto.
    That's an interesting idea - using the webcam on a device to capture sign language. We would all have to learn British sign language, of course, but that's no bad thing.

    Extrapolating from current devices may not be a reliable metric. As I've tried to explain, I think the engineers at MS have made conceptual breakthroughs and also I think MS better understand how linking devices and services will benefit the user.
    The examples you have come up with are all very old ideas.

    MS of course is working on a smart watch and anything Android can do Windows Phone can on less powerful hardware.

    I think the 'one size fits all' idea will work, because once you strip away the fluff, all these various devices do one thing: process information.

    I think Microsoft's approach will be best because it's device agnostic. They are busy rationalising their APIs across their OSs and integrating their stores, so we will be able to buy an app once and use it on all our devices. We will be able to create, view and edit our files across our devices seamlessly and the coherent OS will become almost invisible as it comes to reflect us rather than the hardware it runs on.
    Microsoft's approach is absolutely not device agnostic. Only Microsoft can decide to put Windows on a new type of device. If I want to put Windows on my new smart heating controller, I have to use Windows 8, which is unlikely to be viable. I have to wait for Microsoft to make a 'Windows for Smart Heating Controllers' product. I can use Android today. This is Microsoft's biggest mistake.
    02-15-2014 01:58 AM
  14. Genghis7777's Avatar
    Honestly, they need to do away with desktop and make it so you can be just as productive in "Metro" (or whatever they decide to call it as they did away with Metro). That means a way of the desktop style apps running in the new UI as well as a powerful file manager. Those can be done, and the desktop needs to go. I know a few Windows 8 users that don't even use the new UI, and Microsoft needs to expose people to it so they and the company can move forward.

    Posted via the WPC App for Android on my BlackBerry

    Trouble is, that would alienate all their corporate customers who have millions of desktop apps that would need porting over, a process that is hardly trivial.



    Sent from my Lumia 520 using Tapatalk
    02-15-2014 04:34 AM
  15. Genghis7777's Avatar
    How can we call this gutsy? If it had been so that they made Windows 8 such that you could not go back to the desktop at all, 100% Metro and only Metro, then yes. This is like they are caught in the middle with no real idea what to do. WP8 is clearly not a focus area as of now, given the glacial rate of updates and adding much-requested features. I can only assume that it's like a side project and not an important thing.
    I think a lot of people underestimate how much time is required to implement changes to an operating system.

    Look at the timeline for both Android and iPhone, both took years to implement features the market thought were fundamental.

    Cut and paste springs to mind. Android didn't come out allowing apps to be installed and run from an SD card either.

    Even if a feature is well known and understood, it still takes a lot of time to implement. Probably more now as MS attempts coordinate teams across all its operating systems. But hopefully this will result in a better harmonized user experience.


    Sent from my Lumia 520 using Tapatalk
    a5cent and Laura Knotek like this.
    02-15-2014 05:05 AM
  16. Genghis7777's Avatar
    As for Android, I regard that as an infestation spreading because it is free, not because it has merit. It is an old style static operating system to which things have been bolted in a haphazard way and whose existence is dependent on violating its user's privacy. OEMs have a vested interest in spreading the OS which do not coincide with their customers' and we will all pay in the end. Some of us will be comparatively insulated, that's all.
    Go sock it to him!
    02-15-2014 10:58 PM
  17. Markham Ranja's Avatar

    As for Android, I regard that as an infestation spreading because it is free, not because it has merit. It is an old style static operating system to which things have been bolted in a haphazard way and whose existence is dependent on violating its user's privacy. OEMs have a vested interest in spreading the OS which do not coincide with their customers' and we will all pay in the end. Some of us will be comparatively insulated, that's all.
    Eh? What does that have to do with anything? Android may be "free", but the Google services, access to the Play store and apps that actually make it worth using come with a license fee. Also, it's not like the major Android flagships are cheap, either, yet they handily outsell iPhones in many markets. Also, if you're concerned about privacy, know that it is possible to use an Android phone without a Google account. Of course, you again lose access to the Play store, but that is true on all the major platforms (i.e. you cannot use the WP app store without an MS account).
    02-15-2014 11:42 PM
  18. Ian Too's Avatar
    Eh? What does that have to do with anything? Android may be "free", but the Google services, access to the Play store and apps that actually make it worth using come with a license fee. Also, it's not like the major Android flagships are cheap, either, yet they handily outsell iPhones in many markets. Also, if you're concerned about privacy, know that it is possible to use an Android phone without a Google account. Of course, you again lose access to the Play store, but that is true on all the major platforms (i.e. you cannot use the WP app store without an MS account).
    Thanks Markham, I think you've answered yourself there. Of course you can fork Android as Amazon did with the Kindle Fire or Nokia appears to be with the Normandy, but then the utility suffers.

    There's an odd thing with making things free, people - and companies are run by people, don't forget - tend to commit and once committed, tend to reinvest rather than lose face when they find the attached strings. Why do you think shops say 'buy 1 get 1 free' rather than '2 for the price of one'? A subtle but powerful distinction.
    Last edited by Ian Too; 02-16-2014 at 03:25 AM.
    02-16-2014 02:56 AM
  19. Ian Too's Avatar
    Thanks again for your response. Like you, I'm pressed for time, so will only respond to a couple of points.

    Personally, I don't work on my iPad. It's much nicer to use a laptop or desktop. Not just because of the keyboard, but also the screen size. But if you want to work on a tablet, then I guess Windows 8 is a reasonable choice.
    Good point, but then you're tied to a physical desk. What happens when you're not at your desk, don't have enough room at home for a desk or are out in the real world? With every other tablet solution, there is a compatibility problem in regard to creating work and getting it to your main work device. With Windows its seamless because the tablet device runs the same OS as the main PC.

    They do not need to close the desktop environment. That is a separate issue. Try the 'app stores' on Linux systems or Mac. It's just another way to install applications.
    To me closing the desktop isn't a separate issue, my point was to provide a secure environment for the average user. Having an app store only provides convenience for the user, it provides no security if the apps aren't vetted prior to release.

    Microsoft's approach is absolutely not device agnostic. Only Microsoft can decide to put Windows on a new type of device. If I want to put Windows on my new smart heating controller, I have to use Windows 8, which is unlikely to be viable. I have to wait for Microsoft to make a 'Windows for Smart Heating Controllers' product. I can use Android today. This is Microsoft's biggest mistake.
    Have you not heard of Windows Embeded? This runs on credit card readers and such things. If it can do that, it can run a fridge or heating controller, etc. Of course, it isn't free...
    02-16-2014 03:25 AM
  20. ohgood's Avatar
    Thanks Markham, I think you've answered yourself there. Of course you can fork Android as Amazon did with the Kindle Fire or Nokia appears to be with the Normandy, but then the utility suffers.

    There's an odd thing with making things free, people - and companies are run by people, don't forget - tend to commit and once committed, tend to reinvest rather than lose face when they find the attached strings. Why do you think shops say 'buy 1 get 1 free' rather than '2 for the price of one'? A subtle but powerful distinction.
    what utility are you speaking of ?
    02-16-2014 04:08 AM
  21. anony_mouse's Avatar
    Good point, but then you're tied to a physical desk. What happens when you're not at your desk, don't have enough room at home for a desk or are out in the real world? With every other tablet solution, there is a compatibility problem in regard to creating work and getting it to your main work device. With Windows its seamless because the tablet device runs the same OS as the main PC.
    My solution to that is the laptop PC!
    I think we could spend a long time debating the pros and cons of different sizes of device, but that's probably not very interesting. All types of device have their uses, and what works best for each person is different. Anyway, users will probably not plan which devices to have from the start, but buy them (and have the provided by their employer) piecemeal over time.
    Microsoft are in the unique position of being in the market for smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops, and they are understandably trying to unify them. No-one else can do that. The question is, how useful is that unification to the user, and how well can Microsoft do it.
    On the first point, I think it is useful in principle, but probably less so in practice. Taking myself as an example (which means this might not apply to others), today I have an Android smart phone, an iPad, a Windows laptop supplied by my employer, and a Linux desktop. This list was different six months ago, and will probably be different in six months' time. I use Dropbox to share files between them, and old fashioned copying over USB for large files where cloud storage is too slow or limited. There are various services I use on all the devices - a couple of e-mail accounts, a cloud based office suite, Facebook, Spotify, etc. This all works pretty well. The 'worst' device is the iPad, because of the requirement to use iTunes to copy stuff on to it, but I do this only rarely. I could do more, e.g. get Firefox or Chrome to synchronise bookmarks, but I have never bothered to do so.
    Now, if I had all Microsoft devices, what would I gain? This is the important question for Microsoft. In terms of synchronising content and using cloud services, it would be basically the same. What Microsoft could offer is the synchronised 'start screen'. But how useful would this be? I don't actually use the same apps across all the different devices, and even in Microsoft's world I can't as WP, Windows RT and Windows 8 do not share the same apps (yet). Having the same 'start screen' on each device also doesn't seem that useful, as the apps on each device will be different, many of the files will be different, and the size of the screen will be very different. It's a bit like the old Windows 'roaming profiles' that we used to have on corporate networks. In theory, you could log into any machine in the company and your desktop (and some other things) would appear. In practice, this more or less worked, but the apps on each machine would be different and the files available would be different, and it would be slower as your profile had to be downloaded from some remote server. It tended to cause more problems than it solved.
    So for me, I don't see more practical advantage in Microsoft's integration of the different devices, and I see some disadvantages - most obviously, that metro is much more limited than the old desktop on a laptop or desktop machine. It's still the right direction for Microsoft to go in, but I think the approach needs work, and I wonder just how useful it will actually be.

    To me closing the desktop isn't a separate issue, my point was to provide a secure environment for the average user. Having an app store only provides convenience for the user, it provides no security if the apps aren't vetted prior to release.
    There's two issues here - 1. providing a secure environment. 2. providing an 'app store' allowing the user to install many apps from a single UI, delivered instantly across the internet. In all cases of #2 that I know, the apps are vetted to some degree. #2 provides some of the solution to #1, but it's still useful even if you don't aim to provide a fully secure environment (as with Windows 8, Linux, Mac OS). It also provides a revenue stream for the provider of the app store. I am still surprised that Microsoft haven't done it for traditional desktop apps; as I say, it's been around in Linux and BSD systems for literally decades.

    Have you not heard of Windows Embeded? This runs on credit card readers and such things. If it can do that, it can run a fridge or heating controller, etc. Of course, it isn't free...
    You got me there - I ignored over Windows Embedded. However, I have never heard of that being used in a consumer device (and I have some experience in that field). Perhaps WE could be used in these new types of device. It would be interesting to think about why it's losing out to Android in the industry.
    02-16-2014 04:50 AM
  22. WanderingTraveler's Avatar
    I have a question to Microsoft.
    Why haven't they Metro-fied the desktop yet?

    That would make the entire transition much smoother.

    You know what would make the transition much smoother as well?
    Microsoft promoting the search function in the Start Menu.
    Microsoft providing a clear walkthrough of Windows 8 on startup.
    Microsoft unifying the toolsets for Modern apps and desktop apps.
    02-16-2014 06:21 AM
  23. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    Your point #1 however, I disagree with completely. Chrome OS is basically useless. It's a netbook OS at best. It may get better. It may be a serious challenge to Windows over time. That time isn't soon. So, nobody is buying Chrome, and they aren't buying it to replace Windows PCs. At best, they are using them as a second PC for basic browsing or whatever.
    Chromebooks are a threat which means trouble in the future on the consumer front.

    Likewise, business does not use Apple. OSX doesn't work in the enterprise, and Apple has backed away from that even further. Even with any possible pains that Windows 8 may have, it's still Windows. That makes it fully compatible with Active Directory. There is no computer management tool for enterprise that can even come close to AD.
    I don't work at a large company so I don't know how Apple's doing there at the moment. However, I know several fairly high ranking people at ISVs that develop software to sell to large companies and they're all gung-ho on Apple hardware, from iPhones to iPads to MacBooks (their software is generally personal and app management stuff right now, not productivity). All their development has switched to target Apple products. These people used to be all Windows five years ago. They started with iPhones then advanced to iPads and now MacBooks. The rank and file productivity people at regular companies may be using Windows on desktops but the execs have all switched over to Apple products. It's only a matter of time until that trickles down. That's why fragmenting Windows with Win8 and WinRT was a critical, strategic blunder. Execs love Apple products and when they look at the retraining costs for Metro for regular employees it gives them a chance to jump to Apple productivity devices. They're already going to blow large amounts of $$$ on retraining, so why not retrain for Apple instead?

    That's why MSFT should have created a simple, more secure, and scalable Win32 derivative and backported it to Win7 (call it Win32X). One that works on phones through desktops. The scalable shell on top of it would look and feel like a Desktop on large screens and then adapts to smaller screens. That would keep the rank and file employees in Windows while allowing the execs to transfer back to Windows devices. Since it uses most of the well known Win32 API, ISVs could jump on it and produce Win32X apps with far less effort than WinRT. Finally, since it could be backported to Win7, ISVs would have a huge market to sell into immediately. That's an "all gain, minimal pain" approach to changing the Windows ecosystem.
    02-16-2014 09:11 AM
  24. tekhna's Avatar
    Obvious troll is obvious. XP was nearly unusable at launch and it took several service packs for it to get ironed out and stable.
    02-16-2014 09:59 AM
  25. dkediger's Avatar
    I know! Its really is obvious. XP from the start worked really well - on hardware (printers,nic's, graphics) designed for it. Once OEMs adopted NT driver models, with support from service packs, it became quite adept...so much so we can't kill it off.

    Sound familiar? As I mentioned previously, Microsoft has been here before. Sure, the threats are much more numerous, and the whole segment is much more dynamic. But Microsoft perseveres, if nothing else.
    02-16-2014 09:30 PM
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