Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:00 UTC
Microsoft One of the major lacking features in the newest Office: no Metro applications. In fact, the only reason Windows RT has a desktop at all is because the Office team was unable to create Metro applications in time for the release of Windows RT. I often thought this was a classic case of two important divisions within Microsoft not getting along and not being aligned, but now that I have my own Surface RT, I'm starting to realise that there's a far simpler, and thus more likely, explanation: Metro is simply not ready for anything serious - or for anything at all, really.
Order by: Score:
At least they look nice...
by bowkota on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:18 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

At least the Metro apps look nice while they're busy crashing, being slow, laggy etc. Who cares about usability when you have flat design?

As for early OS X, the only 'unusable' non-beta version was Cheetah. From Puma onwards it was more than usable. I have to endure Linux on an everyday basis for work so I think I'm a pretty good judge on usability.

Reply Score: 10

RE: At least they look nice...
by ssokolow on Wed 6th Mar 2013 20:09 UTC in reply to "At least they look nice..."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

As for early OS X, the only 'unusable' non-beta version was Cheetah. From Puma onwards it was more than usable. I have to endure Linux on an everyday basis for work so I think I'm a pretty good judge on usability.


A matter of taste somewhat. I personally think MacOS's usability took a nosedive with OSX and never fully recovered.

I run Lubuntu for my day-to-day work and find it very comfortable, but I still find myself looking fondly at the copy of System 7.5.3 (not even Platinum) running in my BasiliskII.

Instability and cooperative multitasking aside, the UI just had so much work put into it before Jobs started making changes by fiat.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Instability and cooperative multitasking aside, the UI just had so much work put into it before Jobs started making changes by fiat.


Other way around. OSX was NextStep. Jobs didn't remove things from Mac OS, he gradually added them back from Mac OS to OSX. Until there came a point where people had been living for years without certain Classic features and no one complained about them missing ( except john siracusa and you), so they stopped.

Stability and multitasking are much more important than the neat little UI flourishes that Mac OS had.

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

there is also the matter that a lot of times "usability" is confused with "stuff I'm used to"

Reply Score: 7

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'd agree in general. Some people really hate any change. With the smart phone industry, I'm really amazed that so many people have completely switch operating systems multiple times.

Dumb phone => feature phone => blackberry => iphone => android.

It kind of makes me optimistic about the human race.

Reply Score: 2

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Other way around. OSX was NextStep. Jobs didn't remove things from Mac OS, he gradually added them back from Mac OS to OSX. Until there came a point where people had been living for years without certain Classic features and no one complained about them missing ( except john siracusa and you), so they stopped.

Stability and multitasking are much more important than the neat little UI flourishes that Mac OS had.


I didn't say he removed things. I said he changed them.

I'm talking about things like replacing semi-iconographic titlebar buttons in a layout that inspired Windows 3.1 with gumdrop buttons or making irritating minor adjustments to how Finder works.

...the sort of things that irritate not just me but also my Mac-using friends.

As for stability and multitasking being important, why do you think I run a Lubuntu LTS release? I get a desktop that's stable once I update away known crashers in the 12.04 versions of PCManFM and LXPanel but also doesn't fight attempts to get the desktop i want the way OSX does.

Pre-OSX MacOS is downright primitive. What I'm saying is that, when I'm encountering it sparingly to play games like Escape Velocity in BasiliskII, I don't trip over the crashes or run into the shortcomings and I end up really feeling the polish and consistency in the UI that OSX has piddled away.

Edited 2013-03-07 08:14 UTC

Reply Score: 4

kryogenix Member since:
2008-01-06


A matter of taste somewhat. I personally think MacOS's usability took a nosedive with OSX and never fully recovered.


To a degree I think you're right. MacOS Classic had a very simple, elegant, sensible UI.

I think they should have simply refined the initial pre-aqua MacOS X Server release. It was more Mac-like but still had the NeXT awesomeness under the hood.


Instability and cooperative multitasking aside, the UI just had so much work put into it before Jobs started making changes by fiat.


Some changes weren't so bad. I liked the addition of the NeXT-style dock. The interface decorations were terribly ugly until 10.5. They made it look like a child's toy but the underlying concepts were great.

Nobody was complaining about the MacOS GUI in those days, it was the crufty OS underneath we wanted gone.

Reply Score: 2

RE: At least they look nice...
by mrstep on Thu 7th Mar 2013 00:38 UTC in reply to "At least they look nice..."
mrstep Member since:
2009-07-18

I took a look at Surface/WinRT at the Microsoft store nearby... Launching Office sure enough dropped to the desktop, which was a bit awkward if you think you're using a tablet, and then I tried to launch Kindle to see how crisp the display is with sub-pixel AA, and... BAM! Tried again... BAM! Just launches and immediate crashes.

Not a top-notch demo setup for people wandering in to take a look in any case.

Reply Score: 3

RE: At least they look nice...
by Laurence on Thu 7th Mar 2013 08:34 UTC in reply to "At least they look nice..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I have to endure Linux on an everyday basis for work so I think I'm a pretty good judge on usability.

I installed Linux on my work PC as I was sick of having to "endure" Windows on a daily basis.

I guess your definition of usability is actually just user preference.

Edited 2013-03-07 08:36 UTC

Reply Score: 14

RE[2]: At least they look nice...
by bowkota on Thu 7th Mar 2013 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE: At least they look nice..."
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

"I have to endure Linux on an everyday basis for work so I think I'm a pretty good judge on usability.

I installed Linux on my work PC as I was sick of having to "endure" Windows on a daily basis.

I guess your definition of usability is actually just user preference.
"

Obviously yeah I'm just speaking for my self (and quite a few of my fellow colleagues). We use Linux because it's obviously better suited for our work and it's awesome at that. However for anything else it's a bit of a hassle.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by BeamishBoy
by BeamishBoy on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:44 UTC
BeamishBoy
Member since:
2010-10-27

I purchased an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro last week for a personal computer. I wasn't expecting much of anything given the overwhelmingly negative press that Windows 8 (and Metro in particular) has received.

But I actually really like it. I'm surprised by how little time I actually need to spend in Desktop; browsing, twitter, email and so on are all perfectly usable from Metro.

It's a bit rough around the edges at times but I haven't experienced any lagging, crashing, and so forth. Sure, the Store could do with more apps, but I think that it really could work as a long-term plan for desktops.

Edited 2013-03-06 19:45 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by BeamishBoy
by malxau on Wed 6th Mar 2013 22:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by BeamishBoy"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

I purchased an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro last week...I haven't experienced any lagging, crashing, and so forth.


On performance, note that Thom was referring to the ARM-based Surface RT, which will be many people's first impression of the platform. A more high end Intel machine should obviously be faster/less laggy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by BeamishBoy
by Nelson on Wed 6th Mar 2013 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by BeamishBoy"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Also worth noting , the Tegra 3 inside the Surface RT doesn't take advantage of 4 PLUS 1 architecture for distributing work across five cores.

Its not as optimized as other ARM SoCs on Windows RT, also clocked lower overall. A major miss by Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by BeamishBoy
by tylerdurden on Thu 7th Mar 2013 04:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by BeamishBoy"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Yeah, Windows RT apparently does not support the low power 5th core in the Tegra3. Which is why they used the lower clock frequency to reduce overall power consumption. Basically MS used a brute force HW approach to deal with the shortcomings of their own OS scheduler. I assume Microsoft had to get something out of the door pronto, before the iPad or Android get entrenched further.

Edited 2013-03-07 04:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by BeamishBoy
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by BeamishBoy"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Correct, and I meant in a more generalized fashion. Its the auxiliary core. This gives the Surface RT less battery life out of the gate, which then requires the underclocking which in turn causes the performance issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by BeamishBoy
by jared_wilkes on Wed 6th Mar 2013 23:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by BeamishBoy"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Thom loved it too as recent as two weeks ago... Give it time.

Reply Score: 5

First few Mac OS X releases?
by IndigoJo on Wed 6th Mar 2013 21:36 UTC
IndigoJo
Member since:
2005-07-06

It wasn't the "first few" Mac OS X releases that were bad, it was the first one or at most two (my cousin, who's a graphic designer, had one that ran Puma, and that was pretty reliable). It was certainly ready for public consumption from Jaguar, and my first ran Panther and that was superb.

In fact, Macs dual booted with Mac OS 9 when OS X was first released. It was essentially a technology preview, and most people still had old style Mac apps.

Reply Score: 3

RE: First few Mac OS X releases?
by MOS6510 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 05:30 UTC in reply to "First few Mac OS X releases?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Don't take it too serious. Thom likes to include jabs at Apple (products) even though the story is not related to Apple.

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't take it too serious. Thom likes to include jabs at Apple (products) even though the story is not related to Apple.


How to spot a fanboy: ignoring reality so hard in order to try and change the very fabric of space and time itself.

I'll just refer to John Siracusa, okay? The first developer previews of Mac OS X - DP1 through 4 - were all terrible. The public beta? Terrible. 10.0? Terrible. 10.1? Little bit better, but still terrible. 10.2? We're getting somewhere, but still not any good.

Those are the cold and hard facts. Deny them all you want, but the first slew of public Mac OS X releases were terrible, and everyone who's not a fanboy knows that all too well.

Reply Score: 6

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Developer previews, public betas or public releases?

Please make up your mind which you include in your "first several releases".

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Beta, 10.0, 10.1, and 10.2 are all public releases, available to everyone. So, the first four releases were terrible. Take away the beta if you want, and that still leaves three. The DPs were available to large groups of developers, so could, technically, be called public as well.

Reply Score: 7

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

So you are being creative with counting decade old OS X (beta) releases while OS 9 was still fully alive creating a transition period to make a comparison with a finished Microsoft product, creating confusion with OS X users who don't understand what you are referring to, adding nothing usefull as it's not like there will be many former beta OS X users lining up to buy Microsoft stuff of the unpopular kind.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No, I'm just drawing a parallel between Windows 8 and the early Mac OS X period in that they represent similar periods in the two company's histories. This is a very common way for writers to create some perspective, and easily explain what we're dealing with. It's the biggest and most recent example of a company moving from one operating system to the next in a way that caused a break with the past. WinRT is the same thing.

There's nothing wrong with pointing that out, and I will not let fanboys bully me into not using obvious, innocent, and perfectly valid comparisons like that.

Reply Score: 5

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It's a badly drawn parallel. The main reason being you are referring to a situation over a decade ago and most readers will have not used any OS X developer or beta releases. Most Apple users even haven't.

But thank you for explaining, despite your strange urge to include insults. I doubt this is also a common thing writers do.

Reply Score: 1

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

No, I'm just drawing a parallel between Windows 8 and the early Mac OS X period in that they represent similar periods in the two company's histories. This is a very common way for writers to create some perspective, and easily explain what we're dealing with. It's the biggest and most recent example of a company moving from one operating system to the next in a way that caused a break with the past. WinRT is the same thing.


There's one massive difference. OSX improved. WinRT is a dead end with manufacturers already dropping it. Unfortunately you've bought into another Microsoft dead end product just like Windows Phone 7.

There's nothing wrong with pointing that out, and I will not let fanboys bully me into not using obvious, innocent, and perfectly valid comparisons like that.


Poor Thom, being bullied by probably the politest commenter on osnews.

Edited 2013-03-07 15:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Beta, 10.0, 10.1, and 10.2 are all public releases, available to everyone. So, the first four releases were terrible. Take away the beta if you want, and that still leaves three. The DPs were available to large groups of developers, so could, technically, be called public as well.


A beta is not a release and never was. Period. If something is branded as beta it is expected to have bugs and not ready for production use.

Yes, you can argue about how usable betas can be, but in any case, they're never supposed to be used in production and using beta versions to blame developers for buggy software is just plain unfair and wrong.

Microsoft, on the other hand, released Surface and Windows 8 as production ready while it was not.

Adrian

Edited 2013-03-07 20:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The first developer previews of Mac OS X - DP1 through 4 - were all terrible. The public beta? Terrible. 10.0? Terrible. 10.1? Little bit better, but still terrible.


So in other words, two actual releases sucked.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No, the first four. Beta, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2.

Reply Score: 3

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I've used Jaguar and Panther quite a lot, and they were both very good. The main issue now is more finding any modern apps that still work. Tiger is still a large cut-off for PowerPC based OS X.

I have a Beige G3 Desktop and a PowerBook G3 (Wallstreet I think) and both support Jaguar natively and Panther via XPostFacto. On the G3 Desktop I used Jaguar for years, then Panther till I retired it. It did everything I needed it to.

Reply Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I still use 2 G3 iMacs, Panther and Tiger. Sadly less and less software still works on them. The Tiger one (500 Mhz, 1 GB!) was pretty usable with Skype and MobileMe.

They're still nice to run Terminal and MS Remote Desktop on.

Reply Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

My G3 desktop is too large now to fit in to my more minimalistic computing area. I have a MacMini as the primary desktop, then everything else is either Windows or Mac laptops. I might dig up the Wallstreet though, as though it is stupidly large by today's standards, it's still a pretty cool machine. The battery still held a charge too last time I used it.

Reply Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Why a Mac Mini and not an iMac? That would be even less stuff on your desk.

At work I'm trying to get as minimalistic as possible. I even created a WiFi network just for my iMac so I don't need a network cable. There is only one cable now, the power cable. Keyboard and trackpad are wireless.

We are switching to Microsoft Lync, then I can also get rid of my desk phone. That's the only object apart from the computer, keyboard and trackpad on my desk.

I have the cleanest desk of the entire company. Ironically the guy with the messiest desk sits across me.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I still use 2 G3 iMacs, Panther and Tiger. Sadly less and less software still works on them. The Tiger one (500 Mhz, 1 GB!) was pretty usable with Skype and MobileMe.

They're still nice to run Terminal and MS Remote Desktop on.

Ha, it's better on the Wintel side ;) - similarly old Athlon 1100 MHz, 768 MiB, WinXP is still perfectly usable with current software.

Reply Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

You have mentioned this computer so many times I think if you ever become famous and die this computer will go to the Zima museum and be featured at a very prominent spot with permanent spotlights and security.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't worry, I will only die without becoming famous. But 1) I think I mentioned my dual Pentium II more times 2) I keep fewer obsolete machines around than you do, only three (also C=64, most likely irreparably broken...) - so of course each is mentioned by me more often, on average, than any of yours ;)

PS. I must note how you avoided addressing the fact that Wintel machine aged better than Macs ;p

Edited 2013-03-13 19:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 6th Mar 2013 22:44 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The question of performance on low power ARM devices is a tricky one because they vary. For example, Tegra 3 based SoCs are outperformed by the Snapdragon S4 inside of some Windows RT devices.

However, in my experience as a Windows Store dev, I've found a few things to be important:

- Engineering counts. Know what things cost. Ask yourself basic questions like should you perform long blocking actions on the UI thread? I think thread awareness is the new pointer ownership in terms of how important it is to be in the know about how your app works.

- Having a Windows RT device is important. It made a huge difference having a Surface to test my apps on. I was able to see what was a slow path, and usually was able to easily make a better solution.

x86 is super fast for a bunch of things that ARM is terribly slow at. So if you're only testing on your Core i5 laptop, you're going to be in for a surprise.

- Programming language choice matters. A lot. A lot of apps I've seen that are slow on my Surface have been those stupid HTML5/JS apps and usually were written by people who didn't use JS promises correctly or did other blatantly stupid things.

- People don't quite understand the C# async/await model, and are not aware of the nuances of its implementation. You need to know which thread exceptions get thrown off (they differ for async void, async task, asyncs from lambdas, etc.). This personally was a major headache in my own app. I had a few instances where I assumed exception behavior was uniform -- oops its not.

- People don't have experience writing XAML. A lot of them do, but an equal if not larger amount of developers don't. I can tell. If you look at the XAML behind apps you can quickly see which companies paid respected consulting agencies and which companies put a bunch of interns on the job. XAML takes time to know and understand. This ties in to knowing what things cost. Examples being knowing which containers virtualize, which don't, and their relative layout pass impacts.

There's plenty more examples, but also worth noting is that when speaking specifically about Office, its going to be a little more complex to port it over. Office likely has decades of architectural layering caked into the code base. A nightmare to port. I imagine OneNote was more straightforward, but we'll see.

The port of OneNote is no slouch though, peeking at the app container, they use C++, XAML, and DirectX for the canvas. So it seems that they wrote this app with the larger goal in mind of porting other Office apps to it.

I'm not sure if they'll port the apps piecemeal, but its a foregone conclusion that it will, in my opinion.

Another counter example is that Microsoft ported Visual Studio to a mixture of C++, C#, and WPF. This is an architectural feat of the same magnitude -- so it shows at the least, that an equally complex application can be ported to a less capable (from a perf POV) platform in comparison to WinRT. WPF wasn't as tuned for speed as WinRT is, but MSFT made even that work.

However, it took them a few releases to iterate on the code base and fix things. OneNote MX will likely get a lot better. These things are not one shot ports, but on going development cycles. WinRT requires you to change how you approach a lot of problems fundamentally.

-- I disagree completely with this article. I think one of the reasons that WinRT is so exciting is how scalable it is and the performance oriented mindset with which the framework behaves.

Its unfortunate (and a huge miss) that Microsoft let Surface RT have such performance problems (an auxilliary core is OFF on the Tegra 3 because nVidia had engineering issues with the F/W -- which shows a lot of this is just a code base maturity issue and may improve) but we need to also look at the performance of other Windows RT devices that don't run Tegra 3 (and it is much better) as well as how low power CloverTrail devices perform.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Nelson
by chithanh on Thu 7th Mar 2013 00:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

One company which ought to know how to engineer well-performing stable Metro apps is Microsoft themselves. But according to the article, Microsoft's own apps are affected by performance and stability problems too.

Let's hope that with increasing developer experience and in the absence of major goofs like the infamous "Silverlight network I/O in the UI thread" the issues with the existing apps can all be addressed.

Regarding Office, Microsoft is currently working on Office for Android and iOS. If they have wisely chosen a proper cross-plattform development framework, then a WinRT port can come almost for free out of that.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

One company which ought to know how to engineer well-performing stable Metro apps is Microsoft themselves. But according to the article, Microsoft's own apps are affected by performance and stability problems too.


It is inevitable that apps will have bugs and performance issues in their initial releases. I don't care who you are, what background you come from, or what you've done in the past.

Even when porting large legacy software, in fact, especially when porting large legacy software.

OneNote MX works well for me on the Surface, yes there are small (small perf problems) but they're not major. Usually if I paste a large swathe of content with diverse styling, a bunch of tables, etc.. I get a slight delay in pasting (Never becomes unresponsive, just a quick progress indicator).

The quality of apps varies from team to team. For example the Bing apps are generally excellent in my opinion. Xbox Music blows. OneNote is good. SkyDrive is good.

Its going to vary with the maturity of the product, how service oriented the team is, etc.

Bing can do a great job because they are used to porting to mobile and other platforms. Its a simple consumption based app.

SkyDrive, the same deal. OneNote has been ported to Windows Phone so it could take cues from there.

However for a larger program like Mail (they actually implement an ActiveSync client in javascript, Mail is an HTML5 app) it'll take longer for improvements to come. I do hope they come soon. I hate Mail.

The good thing about Windows 8 is that the only app which is tied to the system is the Store. You can replace every stock app with a (theoretically) better one.

Uninstall mail, write an app to handle the mail protocols and URIs, and you have your replacement. Its a breath of fresh air. Let the market sort this out, if Microsoft doesn't make apps you like, then someone else should. Its a compelling enough proposition.


Let's hope that with increasing developer experience and in the absence of major goofs like the infamous "Silverlight network I/O in the UI thread" the issues with the existing apps can all be addressed.


Ugh. Don't get me started on that bone headed decision. It wasn't really network I/O on the UI thread, it was (only on Windows Phone) the continuation from the asyncrhonous operation firing on the UI thread.

So while the network request took place in the background, if you parsed the JSON or RSS or whatever, unless you knew better, this happened on the UI thread.

Amazingly, it got worse. It was also the case that images were decoded on the UI thread. Don't worry, no such nonsense exists on WinRT.

Async/Await takes the ambient SynchronizationContext which means it returns on the thread its started on. If its fired from a UI thread it returns on one, if not, it doesn't.


Regarding Office, Microsoft is currently working on Office for Android and iOS. If they have wisely chosen a proper cross-plattform development framework, then a WinRT port can come almost for free out of that.


Good point. I hope this is their strategy going forward.

Reply Score: 4

Terrible Windows Store
by tanzam75 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 07:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

The good thing about Windows 8 is that the only app which is tied to the system is the Store. You can replace every stock app with a (theoretically) better one.


Funny you should mention that, because the Store is the most unstable app for me. It hangs once every four times I start it -- either that, or the startup delay is just so long that I lose patience and kill it.

I'm probably running into some kind of edge case that they forgot to test, but which repros 25% of the time on my machine. I'm running 8, not RT. Microsoft can't blame this one on Nvidia.

Also, search in the Store is terrible. I have a very hard time finding apps, even ones where I know the name. Too many irrelevant results -- they really ought to do a web-search style results page, where they show the description and highlight parts of it. I'm not going to try 50 results just to read the description for each one.

I stopped using Mail and went back to Outlook.

News and Weather are great apps. Snappy UI, fast refreshes. Just wish they'd integrated the radar maps with Bing Maps, instead of using that animated GIF (or maybe it's a WMV).

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by toast88 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Nah, that's just Microsoft with their crappy code with their prominent feature of vendor- and architecture lock-in.


Spoken like someone who has never had the task of porting legacy software a day in his life.


Windows and related software is just such a big mess that it takes tremendous efforts to port the code to new APIs or architectures.


Do you have any specific examples of deficiencies in Microsoft's design which make it "such a big mess"?

I'm genuinely curious, because it has been my experience that Windows RT has been more or less Windows x86 on lower power hardware. There is nothing inherently disadvantaged about it technologically.

I write apps that run across x86 and ARM without any issues that wouldn't normally exist outside of a software development cycle.


Microsoft, on the other hand, didn't even manage to write something as MSN Messenger, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office in a portable way. They had to completely re-invent the wheel all the time.


Internet Explorer runs fully on Windows RT, so does Office 2013.

MSN Messenger is discontinued in favor of Skype (which also runs on Windows RT).

What are you talking about?


Stop defending them.

Adrian


Stop insulting my intelligence with such blatantly incorrect statements. This isn't 2006, Vista hasn't just launched, so you're about 7 years late to the game with your fanatical thicket of bullshit.

Reply Score: 4

Native Office for WinRT
by modicr on Thu 7th Mar 2013 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
modicr Member since:
2005-09-20

One company which ought to know how to engineer well-performing stable Metro apps is Microsoft themselves. But according to the article, Microsoft's own apps are affected by performance and stability problems too.


History repeats itself!
Windows 1.0 was released on 1985-NOV. But there was no Word for Windows. In the meantime Windows 2.0 was released (1987-DEC).

"Windows 2.0 allowed application windows to overlap each other unlike its predecessor Windows 1.0, which could display only tiled windows." (wikipedia)

Word for Windows was released two years later (1989-NOV)!

See:
1) http://diegobasch.com/do-you-know-how-long-it-took-to-develop-ms-wi
2) http://www.brilliantsheep.com/analysis-of-microsofts-project-opus-c...

So if we now adapt history to WinRT:
WinRT 1.0 was released on 2012-OCT.
WinRT 2.0 will be released on 2014-NOV (with Windows 9.0 / WinNT 7.0).
Fully functional native Word RT 1.0 will be released on 2016-OCT. ;)

Cheers, Roman

Edited 2013-03-07 23:27 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Thu 7th Mar 2013 02:45 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

Windows on arm is pretty pointless now. It was needed 9 years ago. Now we have x86 cores that use power like arm ones, and in a year they won't stink.

Microsoft has almost always been rich enough to screw up this badly. Windows RT as we know it will die and life will go on.

I look forward to a Asus convertible that can dual boot android and windows x86, and also run both virtualized inside each other. Sounds crazy but the tech isn't far off. Same for having your x86 windows on your phone.

The sacrifices of windows on arm put it too far behind to catch up before Intel atom slays it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 03:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I've been thinking on this more:

I think that Windows RT may be a great fit for 7inch tablets that Windows Blue is rumored to be.

While x86 has caught up to the profiles of 10inch tablets, it isn't there yet when it comes to smaller device sizes.

It also conveniently addresses the issue of Windows RT not being able to run legacy Windows programs. No one is really interested in running Encarta '97 on a 7inch tablet anyway.

That way we let Intel's increasingly "Good enough" chips to take over the mid to high range like it was intended.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by tanzam75 on Thu 7th Mar 2013 07:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

Microsoft has almost always been rich enough to screw up this badly. Windows RT as we know it will die and life will go on.


I'm not even sure that Microsoft wasted that much money on Windows RT.

Remember that Microsoft announced the ARM port shortly after killing the Itanium build. They were already paying these people to maintain a port for an unpopular CPU architecture, so why not have them target an architecture that was actually popular?

The bigger investment was probably Surface. But a lot of the R&D was shared with Surface Pro.

In a lot of ways, Windows RT came "for free" along with the other stuff that they did.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by MisterKat on Thu 7th Mar 2013 15:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
MisterKat Member since:
2013-03-07

I would have to agree. I have kept in touch with a former colleague who purchased a Surface RT and she hasn't been impressed. The lack of Silverlight is a particular bugbear for her *personal* needs.

I picked up an Asus Vivotab Atom based tablet about a week ago and have found it genuinely more pleasant to use than my Transformer Prime. No matter which browser I try on the Prime, I am unhappy with the responsiveness of the experience. The Verge is one website that particularly springs to mind. I've tried Chrome and Firefox. Opera isn't optimized for 1080p sadly.

I have been very happy with the Atom device. Metro IE handles everything I throw at it and is very responsive (although it /does/ pause occasionally). I also have Chrome if I so wish (which is my preferred Windows desktop browser)

YouTube video is consistently excellent and the few games I've tried seem fine as well.

WOA is a distraction. I wonder if it was a political thing...

"Hey, Intel sort it out or we'll start using this..."

Windows RT should be left to quietly die (or become Windows Phone, which IMHO has been the plan all along)

From an Administration POV, AD join and GPO are also a pretty big deal for me. I fully understand that a lot of people here couldn't care less though!

I'll install Office 2K13 for Outlook, but I don't expect to use the device for creation, merely consumption.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 7th Mar 2013 13:00 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Metro is simply not ready for anything serious - or for anything at all, really."

Thom, I couldn't agree more

Reply Score: 1

Nvidia
by weebnuts on Thu 7th Mar 2013 14:39 UTC
weebnuts
Member since:
2011-05-11

I blame it on the Tegra chip, as they always are buggy and have lots of crashes whether it's Android or WinRT.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nvidia
by No it isnt on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:12 UTC in reply to "Nvidia"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I haven't had many crashes on my Nexus 7. It actually seems fairly stable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Nvidia
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Nvidia"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The Tegra FW drivers on Android have had a long time to mature. I believe they benefit greatly from this maturity.

The N7 is a delightful little device though, I was surprised at how nice it is.

Reply Score: 2

v It's Windows
by darkhog on Fri 8th Mar 2013 00:25 UTC
Hardware or software?
by Bobthearch on Sat 9th Mar 2013 17:21 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

Can you elaborate on one thing: Is the unacceptably poor performance of Office due to Metro, or because of the miserable specs of the Surface RT?

Or could it be simply that Office is now a bloated pig and totally inappropriate for portable computing? I wouldn't expect a tablet to run AutoCAD or SolidWorks either. I'd be curious to hear how OpenOffice or other MS Office alternatives run on the same hardware.

P.S. I'll stop using Office 2000 when they pry it from my cold dead hands. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hardware or software?
by Johann Chua on Sun 10th Mar 2013 10:23 UTC in reply to "Hardware or software?"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

OpenOffice/Libre Office is even more bloated than modern MS Office. It's claim to fame is availability on Linux (and other OSes) and being free of charge. The office PC runs MS Office 2000, with Libre Office 4.0 as back up for XML MS Office files. Fortunately we mostly get PDFs from our clients.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Hardware or software?
by Bobthearch on Sun 10th Mar 2013 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Hardware or software?"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

So what are the options, beef up the SurfaceRT so that it performs (and is priced) like a full-performance laptop? Develop a mini/mobile/tablet version of Office? Realize and accept the inherent limitations of tablet computing and forget about it? Or is it a problem that can be addressed by 'fixing' Metro?

Reply Score: 2