Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st May 2011 20:37 UTC
Windows As you all know, Microsoft is hard at work making sure Windows 8 runs well on tablets, including a completely new, Windows Phone 7-like Metro user interface. Another similarity between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7, apparently, is that Microsoft will be controlling the hardware experience rather tightly. This all comes from Acer CEO J. T. Wang.
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quality release required
by danbuter on Tue 31st May 2011 20:45 UTC
danbuter
Member since:
2011-03-17

The iPad has a huge lead right now, and if the first Win8 tablet is a cheap piece of crap, the OS will be written off with no fair trial. Microsoft is well aware of this, and wants to prevent it from happening.

Reply Score: 5

RE: quality release required
by unclefester on Wed 1st Jun 2011 06:07 UTC in reply to "quality release required"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Nope. They will see in the tens of millions as long as they are cheap enough. It doesn't really matter how crappy they are.

Reply Score: 5

RE: quality release required
by graig on Fri 3rd Jun 2011 15:31 UTC in reply to "quality release required"
graig Member since:
2010-09-18

cheap crappy hardware is the reason i switched to a mac. every single pc i have bought recently has just stopped working. bought an acer, motherboard died> less than a year. bought a dell either the motherboard or the processor failed after like 2 years. so i figured i would get a mac.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: quality release required
by Kivada on Sat 4th Jun 2011 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE: quality release required"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

As a user of both, posting from a 2002 G4 PowerMac running Ubuntu 11.04, I'll say that X86-64 hardware runs a whole hell of allot better when you DIY a box around a decent quality solid capacitor mobo without intergrated graphics, a really good PSU, a really good after market air cooler and a half and a half decent lower mid range GPU.

Though I think that list will be changing a little now with AMD having decent OSS drivers, a realy fast sounding IGP on the CPU and is getting mobo manufacturers to release boards running Coreboot.

The times, they is a changin', and things are starting to look very interesting for AMD and Linux in the coming years.

Reply Score: 1

Netbooks
by fretinator on Tue 31st May 2011 21:20 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I just hope they don't do what they did with Netbooks - they had arbitrary UPPER limits such as the maximum RAM and screen size. That really ruined a lot of Netbooks. If they do the same with tablets, it is to prevent cannabilization of the Laptop or Desktop market. Those impact me in a negative way as a user.

OTOH, if it is just to ensure MINIMUM specs, that I think that may be a good thing. Time will tell.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Netbooks
by Delgarde on Wed 1st Jun 2011 01:44 UTC in reply to "Netbooks"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I just hope they don't do what they did with Netbooks - they had arbitrary UPPER limits such as the maximum RAM and screen size. That really ruined a lot of Netbooks. If they do the same with tablets, it is to prevent cannabilization of the Laptop or Desktop market. Those impact me in a negative way as a user.


That might be part of it, but it's also so that developers have a clear target. If there's a huge variation in the hardware capabilities, you'll end up with apps that just don't work on the minimum capabilities...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Netbooks
by kaiwai on Wed 1st Jun 2011 02:40 UTC in reply to "Netbooks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I just hope they don't do what they did with Netbooks - they had arbitrary UPPER limits such as the maximum RAM and screen size. That really ruined a lot of Netbooks. If they do the same with tablets, it is to prevent cannabilization of the Laptop or Desktop market. Those impact me in a negative way as a user.

OTOH, if it is just to ensure MINIMUM specs, that I think that may be a good thing. Time will tell.


If it is anything like Windows Phone 7 specifications it will be a combination of minimum and supported SOC platforms - have a small number of platforms, less variation and thus should result in less issues when testing. If there is 5 SOC's supported then it should mean that Microsoft only need to test their operating system on a smaller range of hardware which should therefore result in quicker to market results as well as a smaller surface area that needs to be tested.

I only wish that Microsoft made a similar demand placed on the x86/x64 side of the equation and limit the variations as well as ensuring that OEM specification modifications are totally removed out of the equation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Netbooks
by Neolander on Wed 1st Jun 2011 08:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Netbooks"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I agree with restrictions on software (bundled crapware should be put on separate install discs, not installed right away on the machine), but on hardware it doesn't sound like such a good idea.

Do you think that having the lowest-end laptop cost $1000 is such a good idea if people simply want something to browse the web and do word processing or spreadsheets on ? This would bring computing back in the elitist age where only relatively reach people can afford buying a computer, I thought we had went beyond that...

Edited 2011-06-01 08:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Netbooks
by Neolander on Wed 1st Jun 2011 09:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Netbooks"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

-reach+rich, obviously... I hate this limited edit time mechanism.

Reply Score: 1

HW - SW ballance
by dsmogor on Wed 1st Jun 2011 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Netbooks"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Seems there's an ever going tension between hw makers freedom and sw developers hurdles.

MS leans to the sw side because they want to play their strongest card developer experience and the will likely succeed. The HW part will initially be handled by Nokia (who will most likely produce tablets as well) just to achieve critical mass. They may loose their loyal partners initially but, as WP7 API is established on the market they will come back.

Google chosen other strategy: saturate market with devices, please to hw creators at expense of sw people. SW guys are angry but Google can play their OSS/good guys PR card well to fend off their initial frustrations while they are fixing the ecosystem thing (the hidden license for google services is among others directed at that).

Edited 2011-06-01 12:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Netbooks
by kaiwai on Wed 1st Jun 2011 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Netbooks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree with restrictions on software (bundled crapware should be put on separate install discs, not installed right away on the machine), but on hardware it doesn't sound like such a good idea.

Do you think that having the lowest-end laptop cost $1000 is such a good idea if people simply want something to browse the web and do word processing or spreadsheets on ? This would bring computing back in the elitist age where only relatively reach people can afford buying a computer, I thought we had went beyond that...


But unfortunately if the experience is shithouse then it is Microsoft, not the OEM, who gets the blame. When the hardware vendor is chocking to the brim with crapware then compounds the issue further with an underpowered specifications you're going to have the end user whining about Windows. How many times have you heard an end user blame the driver vendor instead of Microsoft when they get a BSOD? when their application crashes, how may times do you hear the end user complain about the lack of patches by their company who made the software? The reality is that Microsoft is in the firing line because OEM's and software vendors turn a ok-ish platform into something that the whipping horse for bad design decisions on the part of the hardware vendors.

I do think that the end user needs to be willing to shell out US$800 for a decent computer - we 'users' did it 10 years ago (inflation adjusted) and I'm sure end users can do it again; rather than the computer being some sort of throw away device it might actually encourage the end user to learn how to use the damn thing since it is a big investment instead of the situation now where it is akin to a person driving a V12 on the autobahn with no driving lessons.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Netbooks
by Neolander on Wed 1st Jun 2011 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Netbooks"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

But unfortunately if the experience is shithouse then it is Microsoft, not the OEM, who gets the blame. When the hardware vendor is chocking to the brim with crapware then compounds the issue further with an underpowered specifications you're going to have the end user whining about Windows. How many times have you heard an end user blame the driver vendor instead of Microsoft when they get a BSOD? when their application crashes, how may times do you hear the end user complain about the lack of patches by their company who made the software? The reality is that Microsoft is in the firing line because OEM's and software vendors turn a ok-ish platform into something that the whipping horse for bad design decisions on the part of the hardware vendors.

Well, myself I have mostly met three kinds of users as far as facing bugs is concerned :
-Totally unexperienced people blaming issues on "the computer", or even "computers".
-Relatively experienced people who know how to recognize a software crash that's caused by user-mode software, but do not know how to interpret the cryptic messages of BSODs and generally blame it on Microsoft since kernels shouldn't crash due to the failure of third-party software anyway.
-People who have received through well thought-out marketing just the amount of technical knowledge it takes to have a rough idea of what an operating system is, but not enough to understand that software crashes are not solely caused by Windows : they do not blame "the computer" as a whole, but the software stack as a whole, and have been taught to put the "Windows" or the "PC" name on it.

It's a shame that the third category of computer users exists, really. Anyone who uses partial education (in all senses of the "partial" word) in order to defend a personal agenda should be deeply ashamed to do so.

I do think that the end user needs to be willing to shell out US$800 for a decent computer - we 'users' did it 10 years ago (inflation adjusted) and I'm sure end users can do it again; rather than the computer being some sort of throw away device it might actually encourage the end user to learn how to use the damn thing since it is a big investment instead of the situation now where it is akin to a person driving a V12 on the autobahn with no driving lessons.

I sympathize with your way of thinking, but I can't help but think that at some point, after a temporary increase in quality, we'd just end up paying more for the same thing, in pure capitalism magic.

If we look at the phone market, as an example, the most expensive ones are at the same time the most likely to have non-replaceable battery and to receive incredibly short-lasting support from their manufacturers.

To invoke the top of the price scale, the iPhone 3G was barely 2 years old when the iOS 4 update, in a wonder of extremely poor manufacturer support, basically broke all devices which were kept up to date (cf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdk2cJpSXLg ). Rumors say that in order to prevent this incident from happening again, the iOS 5 update will only be backported to iPhone 4 devices. If this is true (which wouldn't surprise me), it means that Apple have basically admitted their inability to provide support, in the form of OS updates, to devices that are more than ~2 years old, instead of trying harder. So essentially, choosing to use an iPhone and asking for manufacturer support means spending 300-400€/year. And before someone accuses me of being an Apple hater: no, I don't believe that other expensive mobile phone ecosystems are much better in this regard.

Meanwhile, Nokia makes some feature phones running s40 which cost around 100€, all use a common set of batteries that hasn't changed over the years, and most of the time can be replaced after something like 10 years if you're careful, while having received s40 updates regularly during all this time.

This makes me think that being expensive is certainly not synonym of receiving good support, and that each one can exist without the other.

Edited 2011-06-01 14:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Netbooks
by TemporalBeing on Wed 1st Jun 2011 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Netbooks"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

I agree with restrictions on software (bundled crapware should be put on separate install discs, not installed right away on the machine), but on hardware it doesn't sound like such a good idea.

Do you think that having the lowest-end laptop cost $1000 is such a good idea if people simply want something to browse the web and do word processing or spreadsheets on ? This would bring computing back in the elitist age where only relatively reach people can afford buying a computer, I thought we had went beyond that...


You forget one of Microsoft's biggest problems - cheap hardware makes their expensive software stand out as the pricing problem. They need the hardware to be more expensive so they can charge more for the software without it being easily noticed. It's all about profit.

Reply Score: 2

Hardware/Software "experience"
by bert64 on Tue 31st May 2011 21:32 UTC
bert64
Member since:
2007-04-23

If you want controlled and integrated hardware and software, then Apple are already happy to provide a well integrated seamless experience...

MS totally killed the netbook market, bloated software which killed the really lowend very cheap models, and arbitrary maximum specs which prevented any higher end devices.

Reply Score: 3

"A diverse set of devices"...
by Neolander on Tue 31st May 2011 21:40 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

...really ?

Okay, describe the Windows Phone 7 equivalent of a Nokia E63 or a Samsung Wave 533. Cheap, quite sturdy, small enough that it fits easily in a pocket, includes a hardware keyboard, and lasts reasonably long on battery. To accommodate for all these requirements, uses slow hardware that's at the same cheap and saving power when used with a light OS, and sticks with the essential stuff in terms of hardware features.

This is impossible to do with Windows Phone 7, because Microsoft dictates heavy hardware requirements that restrict Windows Phones to the fulfilment of specific use cases. Namely the "multimedia-oriented phone with shiny power-hungry applets" ones.

So once this very restrictive set of use cases is defined, we end up having "choice" in the form of a dozen of expensive phones which only differ through their build quality and small details like the resolution of the camera or the quality of the external speaker.

I also disagree with the idea that tablets are like phones. Phones have either too small screens or too limited input to be good at general-purpose computing, they are fundamentally only good for content consumption and toy software. Some tablets, on the other hand, start to get large enough to imagine doing serious content creation tasks with them.

Edited 2011-05-31 21:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You want a feature phone. Windows Phone 7 is a smartphone operating system.

Reply Score: 0

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Oh, not this again...

Well, guess it can't be helped.

What is a smartphone ?

Reply Score: 4

RE: "A diverse set of devices"...
by ricegf on Tue 31st May 2011 23:10 UTC in reply to ""A diverse set of devices"..."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

My suspicion is that truly innovative designs permitted by Android and (I hope) other less restricted environments will eventually dominate the market in place of tightly controlled "experiences".

I'm probably less than mainstream in wanting to use my electronic devices as *I* choose as opposed to Mssrs Jobs and Gates - but all I can do is vote with my wallet and hope enough others vote similarly to make a market. It's pretty tough to build a tablet from parts.

Reply Score: 5

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

My suspicion is that truly innovative designs permitted by Android and (I hope) other less restricted environments will eventually dominate the market in place of tightly controlled "experiences".


The market has spoken. It wants an cohesive experience. That is innovation. If the iPad was just an OSX netbook without a keyboard it would be a flop. The whole reason the segment exists is because of the innovation of focusing on the whole experience, rather than slapping an existing interface onto a bigger touch screen.

You can't expect a pure hardware company to make a good tablet because they will cut corners on the software (case in point, even with Android the tablet makers can't make anything close to the iPad for a reasonable price). You also can't expect a pure software company to make a good tablet because they won't control the hardware enough. Microsoft is trying, but the other hardware companies won't appreciate being used like a low-level manufacturer and having every inch of the design dictated, and then having to give up much of their profits to be price competitive. If Microsoft wants to make progress here, they will have to take on the hardware themselves.

Reply Score: 4

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

"My suspicion is that truly innovative designs permitted by Android and (I hope) other less restricted environments will eventually dominate the market in place of tightly controlled "experiences".


The market has spoken. It wants an cohesive experience.
"

So the market gets to make only one statement, and then must shut up forever? If that were really true, then the iPhone would still be more popular than the droids.

In reality, the market just keeps chatting right along, and if you've read any reports from trade shows lately, you'll know the topic. :-)

Reply Score: 2

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

So the market gets to make only one statement, and then must shut up forever? If that were really true, then the iPhone would still be more popular than the droids.


Yeah but think about why Android is gaining momentum? They are getting better at offering a cohesive experience. People aren't buying Android in order to have complete flexibility. They're buying it because it's getting better in the experience department and it's cheaper than the iPhone.

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

"So the market gets to make only one statement, and then must shut up forever? If that were really true, then the iPhone would still be more popular than the droids.


Yeah but think about why Android is gaining momentum? They are getting better at offering a cohesive experience. People aren't buying Android in order to have complete flexibility. They're buying it because it's getting better in the experience department and it's cheaper than the iPhone.
"

Android wasn't designed for tablets. Give the Motorola Xoom a try. You will see what I mean. In my opinion, the experience is slow, cumbersome, and in need of serious work to compete with the iPad. Furthermore, it looks like it was designed by an engineer, rather than an industrial designer. I'm no Apple fanboy, either. I don't own (and will never own) an iPad; and certainly other people will disagree with my opinion.

Bottom line: You can't simply take an operating system from one platform and slap it on another form factor without doing significant tuning. Unfortunately for Google, they have virtually no control over the Android hardware market (by design), and it's going to cause them serious, serious headaches.

Reply Score: 2

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


Android wasn't designed for tablets. Give the Motorola Xoom a try. You will see what I mean. In my opinion, the experience is slow, cumbersome, and in need of serious work to compete with the iPad. Furthermore, it looks like it was designed by an engineer, rather than an industrial designer.


In my opinion Samsung Galaxy TAB (based on S5PV210) and Tegra 2 based tablets aren't at all less enjoyable or slower than iPad. And I think Tegra 2 is even better than Apple's CPU.

However, Android tablets are in their infancy, wait a year and compare Android tablets with iPad.

Reply Score: 2

MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12


In my opinion Samsung Galaxy TAB (based on S5PV210) and Tegra 2 based tablets aren't at all less enjoyable or slower than iPad.


As an iPad / iPhone user, native apps that are designed for the bigger iPad form factor make all the difference. The Android world is severely laking in this department.

And I think Tegra 2 is even better than Apple's CPU.


*LOL* Based on what? The spec sheet? The marketing? The brand name? (Looks like some kind of 'I hate Apple therefore their hardware can't be better' knee jerk reaction?)

Performance is not important as long as usability is laking or battery is drained faster than water on desert sand - Android and iOS have still room for improvement in this department, but if you like performance comparisons:
http://www.techztalk.com/techwebsite/03-19-11-apple-a5-processor-sm...


However, Android tablets are in their infancy, wait a year and compare Android tablets with iPad.


Android seems to have a very long infancy. In a year, we're talking about iPad3 / iOS 6, you know ..

Reply Score: 3

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Android wasn't designed for tablets


I can't help but point out that iOS wasn't designed for phones, either, yet the iPhone seems to be doing ok. :-D

Android started slowly on phones, but finally found a sweet spot. I suspect you'll see the same story on tablets. We'll have to let the market decide - we'll know for sure in the next year or two.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

What you don't seem to realize is that Apple doesn't make hardware. I'd even hazard a guess that computing has become too complex for a company to reliably focus on both hardware and software.

Apple design hardware and then dictate manufacturers to build it according to the design, with small margins of maneuveur. In a way that's close to what Microsoft is currently doing, though more restrictive because they want devices to look exactly the same.

Reply Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Apple design hardware and then dictate manufacturers to build it according to the design.


No. That is incorrect. Apple designs hardware and then *contracts* manufacturers to build it *on behalf* of Apple. That is very different to what Microsoft does with Windows Phone 7 - and Google is attempting to do with Android. In the MS/Goog world, they dictate specific requirements to manufacturers who then create their own products using a licensed copy of the OS. This isn't a nitpick, as the final product is branded, sold and marketed in a completely different way.

A real world example - Apple designs a new Sandwich, sources the ingredients and has their "butlers" create it and bring it to them directly. Where as Google/MS have a packet of Ham, go to a sandwich shop and barter with the proprietor till they agree on terms, Google/MS then hand over the Ham and the shop sells the sandwiches for MS/Google, giving them a cut for the use of their Ham.

Edit - the fact that Google also have a box of Ham they let anyone use, so long as they can be bothered to do all the R&D and live with the fact it is slightly rancid (okay, lacks Google specific Apps, and is often older and not optimised for the specific hardware) is irrelevant to this discussion, because we have all seen what happens - cheap crappy Chinese $100 Webpads and handsets that barely function.

Edited 2011-06-01 10:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

cheap crappy Chinese $100 Webpads and handsets that barely function


Yet sell profitably and rather well. There does seem to be a thriving and growing market for cheap crappy Chinese $100 Webpads. Go figure.

As a free enterprise fan, I'm happy that buyers can get what they want at such a low price. Certainly *I* don't want one, but I'm not elitist. Some people even liked Vista! ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

cheap crappy Chinese $100 Webpads and handsets that barely function.

You know, one of the core reasons why Windows has taken off at all is cheap IBM PC clones ;) You shouldn't underestimate the power of low price, nor make the cheap = crappy equation a generality. Sometimes, when buying from a serious hardware company, cheap may simply be less powerful. If you didn't need the extra power, then buying the cheap hardware becomes a win-win situation.

To say it otherwise : if you buy a cheap Acer laptop, you risk facing serious ventilation issues causing frequent reboot. But if you buy a cheap laptop from a serious company like Asus, chances are that it may do just fine. If you take the original EeePC 701, as an example, software certainly left much to be desired, because there was no good software suitable for this screen size at the time, but the hardware itself was flawless and had lots of potential.

Edited 2011-06-01 11:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

You can't expect a pure hardware company to make a good tablet because they will cut corners on the software (case in point, even with Android the tablet makers can't make anything close to the iPad for a reasonable price).


Virtually all computers and phones are now designed in Taiwan by specialist design companies. They are then built by subcontractors under licence in Shenzen China. I doubt Apple (or any other company) do much more than submit a sketch of the case to the designers who then perform their magic.

Reply Score: 2

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

While that's quite possibly true of most companies, I believe Apple to be much more involved in all aspects of their products' designs.

While I believe a more open market strategy is likely to lead to larger market share in tablets as it has in smartphones and desktops, as an iPad user (via work - I didn't buy one since I favor libre software), I freely compliment Apple on their industrial engineering. The iPad may be a walled garden, but it is a remarkably well-tended garden. ;-)

Reply Score: 3

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

They have now enslaved Nokia for that.

Reply Score: 2

graig Member since:
2010-09-18

"My suspicion is that truly innovative designs permitted by Android and (I hope) other less restricted environments will eventually dominate the market in place of tightly controlled "experiences".

i wont try android again after having a bad experience with the hardware. i now use an iphone, and i love the thing. because the experience is good. no problems with software, no problems with hardware.

android needs higher quality control. and microsoft is smart to try to control the type of hardware that gets used for windows 8. in fact, for the first few tablets or so they should only sell to oem's and not let them ship the tablet unless it is PERFECT... later on they could relax their rules and stuff. but those first few tablets had better be perfect.

Reply Score: 1

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

i now use an iphone, and i love the thing. because the experience is good. no problems with software, no problems with hardware.


That's interesting. I use an iPad, and have had quite a few problems though overall the experience has been positive. Here's a few random examples.

(1) The Safari browser is limited to one instance with 9 "tabs". Since I rely on a fairly large number of webapps, this results in a lot of app reloading.

(2) Safari often insists on reloading webapps when I switch "tabs". If I have a partially written comment or document and need to consult another "tab" or app, of if the page is a one-shot (e.g., order completion), I can lose my work. Worse, Apple's version of "multi-tasking" works poorly with any app that requires significant reload time - painful, painful.

(3) The tablet occasionally locks up. Thus far a long hold on the power button has succeeded in rebooting the device, which is fortunate since removing the battery is not an option.

(4) The tablet is not scriptable at all - I need a PC for that or to update the OS or... well, for quite a few things.

(5) Discoverability is limited. After weeks of struggling with no cursor keys with which to scroll text windows on web pages, I accidentally discovered the two-finger drag. And while I finally found a way to copy and paste, it's quite primitive compared to the great control on (say) my N900. What else am I missing?

Again, I think Apple does a great engineering job, but "no problems" has not epitomized my experience with their mobile (or desktop) products. I'm delighted you're delighted, but I think a window exists for less expensive and more versatile devices.

Just my $0.02.

Reply Score: 2

What are the requirements?
by WereCatf on Tue 31st May 2011 21:44 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I don't see a mention anywhere of what Microsoft actually requires from manufacturers. Do the only have a set of minimum requirements, or do they also place requirements on extra functionality and/or upper limits?

I sure hope they don't do either of the latter ones. Limiting extra functionality only serves to limit innovation and imagination, and upper hardware limits only serve to hinder development and end-user happiness.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What are the requirements?
by JAlexoid on Tue 31st May 2011 22:05 UTC in reply to "What are the requirements?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They might just set very specific requirements. Like they do with WP7.

Reply Score: 2

The Genius of Apple
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 31st May 2011 22:07 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

..was the pricing of the ipad. It forces Windows, Android, Meego, Blackberry, Web Os to play on its turf: a high quality device that just works with very little market segmentation. The low price puts a ceiling on the maximum price that consumers would pay for a device of the ipad quality. So they would be tempted to instead under cut the ipad price with a drastically inferior product: resistive screen, puny resolution, really slow cpu... The tablet version of what they did for vista that got Microsoft in such trouble.

I don't think Microsoft can win in this environment. While I'm not sure android can either, the success of the android phone platform leads me to think they have a chance at least.

Reply Score: 4

Acer Hardware
by darknexus on Tue 31st May 2011 22:10 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Having the misfortune of experiencing Acer hardware, I have to say they need all the help they can get. I just hope Microsoft doesn't dictate any upper limits, preinstalled software, or any of that unpleasantness. On the QA front though, Acer are hopeless by themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Acer Hardware
by tanzam75 on Tue 31st May 2011 22:59 UTC in reply to "Acer Hardware"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

I hope an SSD is a requirement. As well as heavy restrictions on preloaded craplets.

Reply Score: 1

Pricing?
by coreyography on Tue 31st May 2011 22:15 UTC
coreyography
Member since:
2009-03-06

They want to be Apple, but they don't want to go into the (PC) hardware business.

This is going to be interesting. The Microsoft of the past would cripple the hardware specs, or software, or both, to prevent these from cannibalizing "real" Windows 8 sales. Will it then be competitive with the iPad? (Note that cannibalizing other MS products is not really an issue that Windows Phone faced.)

On the other hand, if they price copies of Tablows 8 at typical Microsoftian levels, the devices start to get too expensive, and the hardware makers' sales and profit margins get squeezed. I already think tablets are way overpriced, so they don't have much wiggle room on this front.

Oh well...I'm one of those minority of geek rebels who don't like the lack of choice in either case. When someone makes me a $200-300 tablet that will run any Linux (or maybe a BSD) I want to put on it, I'm all over it. Until then, my Android phone will have to do.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pricing?
by dsmogor on Wed 1st Jun 2011 13:21 UTC in reply to "Pricing?"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

MS has enough cash to even subsidize them until they make a dent in the market.

All they have to achieve is to make windows app developers slap metro interface on top of their entrenched mature apps.
With that there will be an onslaught of great (hopefully) touch friendly software. Google better act quick because Android doesn't stand a chance once Win8 picks pace.

Reply Score: 2

Tablets != phones
by rklrkl on Tue 31st May 2011 23:50 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm a bit surprised that you claim "tablets are more like phones than regular computers to me", since surely the exact opposite is true?

Tablets have large screens (approx equal to netbooks), whereas as phones have small screens. Tablets often don't come with mobile network support (e.g. 3G/GPRS), whereas phones always do. One tablet in particular (Asus Transformer) can hook a laptop-style keyboard and become a laptop - no phone in the world can do that. Some tablets can run non-mobile desktop-based OS'es (e.g. Windows, Linux etc.) and can add USB keyboard/mice - phones can't.

BTW, getting back to the original topic - didn't Microsoft previously dubiously impose hardware restrictions on netbooks before they'd deem them suitable to run XP? The restrictions were ludicrously arbitrary I seem to remember - possibly to create an artificial divide between netbooks and laptops to appease some OEMs who didn't have a strong netbook presence.

Utter tosh and it seems history may be repeating itself with tablets. Well, if Acer don't like it, they should put Android or Linux (as long as it's not that travesty Linpus Linux) on their tablets instead.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Tablets != phones
by Calipso on Wed 1st Jun 2011 01:44 UTC in reply to "Tablets != phones"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

"can hook a laptop-style keyboard and become a laptop - no phone in the world can do that."

The Motorolla Atrix can. Comes with a bigger screen too ;)

Reply Score: 3

"aero ready"
by stabbyjones on Wed 1st Jun 2011 00:16 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

After what they let intel get away with for vista, i'm not surprised.

The Windows 8 ready sticker needs to actually mean something by the sounds of it which can only be a good thing for people buying the hardware.

Reply Score: 2

Cheap chinese hack jobs
by fizzled on Wed 1st Jun 2011 03:18 UTC
fizzled
Member since:
2006-01-06

Assuming Windows 8 for tablets will run on ARM, I suspect that the hardware requirements are there to prevent companies selling the kind of cheap piece-of-shit devices that permeate the low end of the Android tablet market.

Imagine the $100 devices that already struggle to run android getting fresh installs of Windows 8 with antivirus and crapware to boot. Those horrible devices give android a bad name, and I think Microsoft is trying to avoid the same taint.

I think the big problem is the purchasers not knowing enough to buy something decent. At least when purchasing computers, you can go off the numbers, and generally a bigger number is a better one. Tablets typically aren't sold based on the hardware specs. They're sold based on how cool they look.

People buy crappy computers all the time. They put up with them because they need a computer to use the internet, email, etc. Tablets are new and not necessary in the same way as traditional computers are. If someone picks up a Windows 8 tablet, and it sucks, it may put them off the Windows brand for tablets for a long time.

Reply Score: 2

Mhm
by twitterfire on Wed 1st Jun 2011 14:04 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

After they will release Windows 8 for tablets I think we will see some kind of piratery: some people will buy cheap chinese tablets with arm and install Windows 8 on them. I think that Ballmer once said that the biggest competitor to Windows was piratery.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Mhm
by Soulbender on Wed 1st Jun 2011 19:15 UTC in reply to "Mhm"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Ironically enough, the biggest benefactor of piracy is Windows and Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mhm
by twitterfire on Wed 1st Jun 2011 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Mhm"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Ironically enough, the biggest benefactor of piracy is Windows and Microsoft.


If someone "borrows" your car without your knowledge and takes a free ride, what's your benefit?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mhm
by Soulbender on Thu 2nd Jun 2011 06:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mhm"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Not the same thing. Microsoft has over the years reaped an enormous benefit from the mindshare the piracy has given them.

Reply Score: 2

Tablets from Microsoft
by twitterfire on Wed 1st Jun 2011 19:45 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Microsoft screwed up big time a few years ago when they released tablets with a desktop OS on them. It was a big FAIL. This was some years before Apple came with iPad, so if they would have done the thing properly they would have the biggest share in tablet market.

Apple did their job better and now MS have to come up with a killer tablet if they want to compete with Apple and Android. And maybe provide some killer apps which will run only on Windows 8 tablets.

Reply Score: 2