Linked by snydeq on Tue 4th Jun 2013 01:46 UTC
Windows First looks at Windows 'Blue' have revealed an upgrade composed of cosmetic fixes, suggesting that Microsoft may be blowing its chance to turn the tide on Windows 8 blow back, and make good on its promise to truly 'rethink' Windows 8 with the release of Windows Blue. As a result, InfoWorld has issued an open letter to Microsoft to consider Windows 'Red' -- what InfoWorld is calling a 'serious plan' to fix the flaws of Windows 8, one that could rescue Microsoft's currently flagging promise to deliver a modern computing experience on both PCs and tablets.
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Microsoft won't listen
by cmost on Tue 4th Jun 2013 02:48 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Many of InfoWorld's solutions are common sense. Personally I don't understand why it didn't occur to Microsoft design Windows 8 in the first place to work differently on traditional desktops/laptops while activating its touch centric features on tablets and touch-capable netbooks. Honestly, how hard is it to detect whether touch is available or not and then install an appropriate desktop and feature-set accordingly. While Windows 8 has its fans, most people I know definitely don't like it. In fact, on every machine on which I install Windows 8, I also install and configure the free tool Classic Shell to restore the start button and offer to bypass Metro. These two steps has made Windows 8 usable again. I agree that the changes in 8.1 (Blue) will help, they don't go far enough in cleaning up the colossal mess that Windows 8 has become.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Microsoft won't listen
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 13:52 UTC in reply to "Microsoft won't listen"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Because Metro is input agnostic. Mouse, Stylus, Touch, etc are all handled through universal input.

We haven't seen the full extent of the Blue changes, so its a bit premature to say they haven't done enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Microsoft won't listen
by jared_wilkes on Tue 4th Jun 2013 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft won't listen"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Metro may aim to be input agnostic, but it does so poorly.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Microsoft won't listen
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft won't listen"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Tell me about it. They fucked up virtualization performance on non-Touch UIs which make any non-Touch scroll using a trackpad perform badly during UI container recycling.

Basically the XAML platform performs really well under touch, but something is out of whack with Mouse+Keyboard. It leads to a less than flattering impression on Mouse+Kb unless you design around the defect. It has to do with the scrollbar thumb jumping around during scrolling.

Now, on a broader sense I think they do the integrated Pointer events admirably and its certainly a HUGE step up from the situation in WPF/Silverlight.

If you're specifically referring to things that make sense from Touch (like Edge gestures) that don't make sense from a Mouse+KB then I agree. I also think that Right Click to bring up the app bar is problematic in that if you right click something which already shows a context menu, then the app bar wont show.

These issues, while real issues that affect real people, are not impossible for Microsoft to fix in a variety of ways. It makes more sense for Microsoft to fix them than it does for them to scrap everything they have.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Microsoft won't listen
by jared_wilkes on Tue 4th Jun 2013 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Microsoft won't listen"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

In both regards, but the former is (merely) technical. I think the poorly conceived UI/UX is the bigger, harder-to-solve problem.

And in more basic ways than just trying to be agnostic about input method. 1. Edge gestures (swiping in or out from an edge) are powerful. But they should be for functions also accessible by visual or other input methods and/or be highly discoverable and/or the vendor has to actively train or even re-educate users. 8 has done a poor job in all regards. 2. Hot corners are even less accessible to most users (there is little gestural reference to aiming for an infinite point, just a geeky-abstract mathematical understanding). Here, there is a problem with being agnostic, but they aren't being agnostic: a mouse is not designed to swipe from an edge, so hot corners becomes a substitute (maybe a substitute can be considered agnostic, but there are cases with no substitute: how do you close an app with a mouse?). Hot corners that activate edge-located UI elements trigger another button event and are confusing (aim for lower-right corner to activate, then move up two inches or some other length to hit Settings). 3. By dedicating right edge swipe to the equivalent of Control Panel and Search (which would be better grouped with an app launcher/Start menu), left needs to serve two rolls: app switching and multitasking (a very non-discoverable and difficult-to-teach gesture (swipe-in and out again)... so we'll also throw in the hot corner fallback too, with an even more difficult (not highly discoverable, not easily trainable, awkward to execute) slide-along-the-edge/press-and-hold downward gesture to switch to multitasking... 4. Etc...

They could still change a lot, they could provide more options (to enable/disable certain features or to change gestures), and they could get much better at educating their users still. But they don't have long to do this and I'm not seeing enough change to think that they will in time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Microsoft won't listen
by Lurking_Grue on Fri 7th Jun 2013 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Microsoft won't listen"
Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

Then again the other problem is full screen tablet software on a desktop.

Nothing like giving your full attention to a weather widget on your 30 inch monitor.

Right now all we are getting are the same sorts of feature limited software you find on a cellphone.

This is not a good future.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Microsoft won't listen
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 13:53 UTC in reply to "Microsoft won't listen"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Because Metro is input agnostic. Mouse, Stylus, Touch, etc are all handled through universal input.

We haven't seen the full extent of the Blue changes, so its a bit premature to say they haven't done enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Microsoft won't listen
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 5th Jun 2013 18:06 UTC in reply to "Microsoft won't listen"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Honestly, how hard is it to detect whether touch is available or not and then install an appropriate desktop and feature-set accordingly.

For years, Microsoft has been king of auto-detecting settings for just about everything, pre-configuring them, and once activated, they tend to just work. So really, for Microsoft, such a thing shouldn't be hard at all--in fact, it should be in like with what they've traditionally done in their quest to make their operating systems "easy to use" for the masses.

Reply Score: 2

dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

This Windows Red proposal makes a lot of pointless technical choices that make little sense, such as requiring a reboot between mobile and desktop UI's in their Duo version.

The real problem with Modern is that an application UI is either designed for touch (fat fingers, etc), or it is designed for keyboard and mouse. Microsoft literally lost the entire mobile market because they kept on trying to push the desktop UI in the Windows CE age. Then Apple showed how you really needed to redesign *every* UI for the different interface. And sadly then with Modern Microsoft revealed they still doesn't get it by trying to shoehorn a mobile UI on the desktop instead.

My version of Windows Red would not require artificial reboots or try to allow mobile app UIs on the desktop. They will always feel crap there. Instead I would make every application support two different UIs, and depending on the input method for the screen I would present either one user interface or the other.

For example, if you sit down at your desktop machine you'd see the Windows 7 desktop, and if you RDP'ed to it from your tablet you'd be presented with Modern UI for the same open applications. Only if you explicitly requested it would you be able to see the wrong UI type for the input method. No reboots or special editions required.

Reply Score: 12

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The problem is that mouse and touch can be used at the same time at random. I can be touching a Metro app on my Surface then switch and use the trackpad depending on what I feel like doing. That's not a strongly supported scenario under your plan.

I think the Metro stuff is overblown, sure there needs to be more developer guidance, but I'm 100% convinced that it is possible to write a single app that supports Mouse+KB and Touch adequately.

There is a learning gap and it will take time for more and more developers to get up to speed with writing excellent Metro apps, but they will get there eventually. At the same time, Windows Blue gains important WinRT APIs which should enable new classes of apps. Expect this to continue as Windows is further developed.

Eventually, WinRT will support a lot of the same scenarios that Win32 supports today.

Reply Score: 3

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I think the Metro stuff is overblown

We all think that. But not in they way you mean.
, sure there needs to be more developer guidance, but I'm 100% convinced that it is possible to write a single app that supports Mouse+KB and Touch adequately.

Sure with a lot of effort you could get it to adequate. It would still be a fullscreen app so useless to people who want to be productive.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Sure with a lot of effort you could get it to adequate. It would still be a fullscreen app so useless to people who want to be productive.


I hardly think that this is a truism, as I find myself more production without the distraction of several overlaid Windows.

In fact, while using Chrome I find myself using a maximized browser Window 9/10 times. This is a similar situation for Visual Studio and Blend.

So I don't readily accept the meme that has formed that full screen applications necessarily translate to bad usability or a loss in productivity.

I can however understand how others wouldn't feel the same, and I think that Windows 8.1 goes some ways towards bridging this divide. You can snap apps 50/50, have multiple snapped apps in the same view on high resolution displays, and you can open multiple instances of the same app in different panes.

I found after I took the Metro app dive, I had a little bit of adjustment to do, but after that I actually start to miss Windows 8 features on other OSes.

Reply Score: 3

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I found after I took the Metro app dive, I had a little bit of adjustment to do, but after that I actually start to miss Windows 8 features on other OSes.

Have you tried Gnome 3? That is what Microsoft should have done. It makes me more productive and doesn't force touch interfaces on my two 24 inch monitors.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I did, a long time ago. I actually liked what they were doing, and the direction seemed decidedly refreshing. They understood that sometimes users don't understand what's best for them and made some pretty bold (controversial) decisions. I'm proud of them for charting their own course.

If there's specifically something cool about Gnome3, I'd love to look it up and learn about it. I likely wont get to try it out for a little while though.

Also according to Microsoft, in Blue you'll be able to resize apps to "near infinite sizes", so there might be more to the story.

Anyhow, we'll know on the 26th.

Reply Score: 2

Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

Now once you can overlap those apps and have say a nice border so I can move them around then I will get interested.

What I hate is this reduction in powerful features and limited software that tablets have brought us.

This same attitude has crept into windows and I am not happy about it.

Reply Score: 1

I don't think so
by WorknMan on Tue 4th Jun 2013 03:14 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I understand people's objections to Metro, and the desire to have some of its features ported to the desktop side, as well as other enhancements that the desktop desperately needs.

But, let's face it... the Windows desktop in its current state is a clusterf**k of framework on top of framework on top of wrapppers, and is a nightmare to develop for if you wish to have access to the full functionality of it all. It is a relic of a C-based API from the 1980's that's had a ton of crap stacked on top of it, and who's time has passed. MS needs to start over with a modern framework.

If you don't like Metro, fine. But we absolutely can't stay on Win32 forever. I think Metro will get better over time, with more flexible widgets and broader keyboard/mouse support where appropriate. If we can have slightly different UIs for tablet and phone in the same app on Android, there's no reason why we can't do it on tablet and desktop. It took 25+ years to get from Windows 1.0 to Windows 7, so give them a while to work out the kinks ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: I don't think so
by dpJudas on Tue 4th Jun 2013 06:19 UTC in reply to "I don't think so"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

But, let's face it... the Windows desktop in its current state is a clusterf**k of framework on top of framework on top of wrapppers, and is a nightmare to develop for if you wish to have access to the full functionality of it all. It is a relic of a C-based API from the 1980's that's had a ton of crap stacked on top of it, and who's time has passed. MS needs to start over with a modern framework.


I don't think many disagree that the old Win32 API is a pain to work with. However I am not really sure the popular opinion of rewriting the framework in one go is the correct solution. Joel on software has a nice article explaining why complete rewrites are almost always the wrong answer.

Microsoft has been replacing many of the old win32 APIs with COM APIs over the last ten years, and now they seem to continue the trend with WinRT.

The problem with Modern is that any UI in any older app has be rewritten completely. A task sometimes so big that Apple had to make an exception for Finder for 64 bit (still carbon based), and Microsoft the same with Office for Windows RT tablets.

Microsoft also didn't help on the matter by only supporting the WinRT runtime on Windows 8. That makes any new UI not work on older versions, forcing developers to now maintain two UI codebases for years. Same problem with D3D10 and Vista back in the day.

If you don't like Metro, fine. But we absolutely can't stay on Win32 forever. I think Metro will get better over time, with more flexible widgets and broader keyboard/mouse support where appropriate. If we can have slightly different UIs for tablet and phone in the same app on Android, there's no reason why we can't do it on tablet and desktop. It took 25+ years to get from Windows 1.0 to Windows 7, so give them a while to work out the kinks ;)


As a user, my issue with Windows 8 is simply that I do not want a mobile UI on my 30" monitor. And 8.1 shows no sign that Microsoft "gets" why using the same UI for tablets and desktop wont work. And this has nothing to do with what framework renders the UI.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't think so
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


I don't think many disagree that the old Win32 API is a pain to work with. However I am not really sure the popular opinion of rewriting the framework in one go is the correct solution. Joel on software has a nice article explaining why complete rewrites are almost always the wrong answer.


They certainly didn't rewrite the framework in one go. WinRT is in its infancy compared to Win32. They have a long way to go.


Microsoft has been replacing many of the old win32 APIs with COM APIs over the last ten years, and now they seem to continue the trend with WinRT.

The problem with Modern is that any UI in any older app has be rewritten completely. A task sometimes so big that Apple had to make an exception for Finder for 64 bit (still carbon based), and Microsoft the same with Office for Windows RT tablets.


I agree that it is a problem for very large apps, but I don't think Microsoft expects those to be ported over particularly quickly.

Windows 8 includes the Desktop because Win32 will take years, possibly a decade to phase out. Windows RT is Microsoft's clean break that they're hoping accelerates this transition.


Microsoft also didn't help on the matter by only supporting the WinRT runtime on Windows 8. That makes any new UI not work on older versions, forcing developers to now maintain two UI codebases for years. Same problem with D3D10 and Vista back in the day.


This is partially going to be offset by the larger addressable markets that tablets and hybrids enable.

The Windows Store is now ramping up quite nicely in terms of app catalog selection and downloads, revenues are also steadily increasing MoM for me at least.

So its definitely an investment that you make in being an early adopter, if you don't want to make that bet you don't have to, but this is the way forward and will only get better with time.


As a user, my issue with Windows 8 is simply that I do not want a mobile UI on my 30" monitor. And 8.1 shows no sign that Microsoft "gets" why using the same UI for tablets and desktop wont work. And this has nothing to do with what framework renders the UI.


Actually, Windows 8.1 allows a larger variety of snap states (especially on large, high resolution monitors where I think you can snap 4 or more apps at once). There is definitely some better multitasking support there.

There is also better DPI scaling on the Desktop side of things, the ability to launch multiple instances of the same Metro App (think two snapped IE tabs at once), etc.

So it is clear they are doing some work to enable a better work flow for people that are so inclined. Personally it's never been that big of an issue, I don't use Metro apps like that yet, so when I need heavy duty multitasking I use my heavy duty apps on the Desktop.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I don't think so
by dpJudas on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think so"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

They certainly didn't rewrite the framework in one go. WinRT is in its infancy compared to Win32. They have a long way to go.


Correct, but the reason I do not consider WinRT a (full) rewrite is because the most important earlier Win32 APIs are still available. This means porting can be done gradually where newer code can use the new better API, while older code can coexist with it.

That WinRT isn't supported in any form (i.e. not even the System namespace in C++/CX) on Vista and Windows 7 somewhat ruins the possibility to take advantage of their new APIs until Windows 8+ becomes the dominant version of Windows.

I agree that it is a problem for very large apps, but I don't think Microsoft expects those to be ported over particularly


That unfortuantely becomes a problem for Modern because apps from the "hwnd" world does not properly coexist with Modern desktop apps. The poor user experience switching between them is probably Windows 8's biggest problem.

Actually, Windows 8.1 allows a larger variety of snap states (especially on large, high resolution monitors where I think you can snap 4 or more apps at once). There is definitely some better multitasking support there.


What I do not see them address is the key problem: that if a user has 50% win32 apps, and 50% modern apps, then the user experience will be very poor. And it will stay this way for a decade unless they find a proper way to address it. Carbon to Cocoa took this long with slackers like Adobe. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't think so
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Correct, but the reason I do not consider WinRT a (full) rewrite is because the most important earlier Win32 APIs are still available. This means porting can be done gradually where newer code can use the new better API, while older code can coexist with it.


I'm not particularly excited about the existing Win32 support in WinRT. At best it has some nice things, but at worse it's just a temporary shim until they write proper WinRT APIs.

If you have a reasonably complicated code base, the chances of you running into a roadblock with a restricted API is pretty high, especially given that most people used and abused Win32 for ways outside of what Microsoft thought.

Do any IPC and you're SOL on WinRT, any kind of dynamic execution is forbidden, threading stuff is a non starter, etc. Its pretty annoying to be honest.


That WinRT isn't supported in any form (i.e. not even the System namespace in C++/CX) on Vista and Windows 7 somewhat ruins the possibility to take advantage of their new APIs until Windows 8+ becomes the dominant version of Windows.


My problem with the back porting efforts are the architectural compromises that must be made. I still have nightmares about the absolute BS we had to deal with because Microsoft got pressured into backporting WPF to Windows XP. Layered Window performance fell off of a cliff, a bunch of things jumped into software rendering, ugh.

I just don't know if anyone would bother if it was just the non-UI bits backported. Its like, why should I use that vs the Win32 counterpart?

WinRT is also much more than the API/ABI its the entire catalog apparatus which includes with it the sandboxed RuntimeBroker and all of the changes to Windows that it brought.

I saw a Channel9 video about the architectural changes they had to make to deep subsystems to enable the app container model and it made my head spin.

Sometimes when you're on a tight release schedule its very hard to justify back porting something for limited impact, at best they'd port some of the Desktop capable WinRT APIs, which really isn't a lot.


That unfortuantely becomes a problem for Modern because apps from the "hwnd" world does not properly coexist with Modern desktop apps. The poor user experience switching between them is probably Windows 8's biggest problem.


Right, they have a bunch of work to do. You can see where the trend is going though, and its a multi-year thing they have.

Big suites like Adobe, IE, Office, etc. will take a while purely because the code bases are so incredibly massive and in some cases, WinRT is too immature.

However there isn't that big of a gap before large applications can be brought into the fold -- look at Visual Studio. Its a mixed mode C++/CLI app with a WPF front end. Thats not too much of a far shot from WinRT.

I can see maybe in the next major client release the WinRT platform maturing to the point where medium to large scale apps are possible.

In the meantime it will be a problem for people living in both worlds, but for people who purchase something like a Surface RT, a lot of their needs are suited by Metro apps which are getting increasingly better.

For the rest of us there's the Desktop, and with Blue its been made easier to live in both worlds.



What I do not see them address is the key problem: that if a user has 50% win32 apps, and 50% modern apps, then the user experience will be very poor. And it will stay this way for a decade unless they find a proper way to address it. Carbon to Cocoa took this long with slackers like Adobe. ;)


They can do a number of things to ease the transition for sure, some of which they're not currently doing. I think given feedback they'll continue to make more changes into post-Blue releases.

I'm just glad we're getting these changes yearly instead of every three years.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: I don't think so
by dpJudas on Tue 4th Jun 2013 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

If you have a reasonably complicated code base, the chances of you running into a roadblock with a restricted API is pretty high, especially given that most people used and abused Win32 for ways outside of what Microsoft thought.

Yes, even simple things like a LoadLibrary call is blocked. But once again I feel that it falls back on Microsoft, since if the porting work gets too extensive most companies decides to simply not do it until absolutely forced to. Microsoft cannot get a nice new consistent user interface if all the classic productivity apps keep their old UI.

My problem with the back porting efforts are the architectural compromises that must be made. I still have nightmares about the absolute BS we had to deal with because Microsoft got pressured into backporting WPF to Windows XP. Layered Window performance fell off of a cliff, a bunch of things jumped into software rendering, ugh.

With C++/CX the problem is that I cannot even instantiate a simple System.String. This part of their framework doesn't really require anything unique to Windows 8 and would demand no special compromises.

I just don't know if anyone would bother if it was just the non-UI bits backported. Its like, why should I use that vs the Win32 counterpart?

Mostly to support calling into Windows 8 APIs when they are available, and fallback to earlier code when they are not. Then slowly over the years retire old code as Windows versions get too old.

Now you can only do such a thing with defines and build configurations and different executables for desktop Windows 7 and Windows 8.

However there isn't that big of a gap before large applications can be brought into the fold -- look at Visual Studio. Its a mixed mode C++/CLI app with a WPF front end. Thats not too much of a far shot from WinRT.

Visual Studio still relies (although increasingly less so) on old Win32/hwnd parts that they are slowly rewriting as they revisit them for new updates anyway. This won't work for Windows 8 as you cannot have any hwnd parts in a Modern app.

I can see maybe in the next major client release the WinRT platform maturing to the point where medium to large scale apps are possible.

I agree, they could fix these problems if they are truly aware of them and feel they are important. Maybe they are even doing it as we speak. Personally I think they will continue to see little interest in porting applications to WinRT until they are resolved though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I don't think so
by Lurking_Grue on Fri 7th Jun 2013 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think so"
Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

Call me when snap states can overlap and act like windows.

Oh and give me some indication of what is running.... Say some sort of bar that can give me notifications and show the running software.

Even better! It could have the time in the corner.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I don't think so
by TemporalBeing on Wed 5th Jun 2013 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"But, let's face it... the Windows desktop in its current state is a clusterf**k of framework on top of framework on top of wrapppers, and is a nightmare to develop for if you wish to have access to the full functionality of it all. It is a relic of a C-based API from the 1980's that's had a ton of crap stacked on top of it, and who's time has passed. MS needs to start over with a modern framework.


I don't think many disagree that the old Win32 API is a pain to work with.
"

Win32 isn't that much of a PITA to work with. I quite prefer it to MFC and other MS APIs. It's quite predictable. It's a security nightmare though from an application perspective - as one application can modify another's UI so long as they are the same user.

However I am not really sure the popular opinion of rewriting the framework in one go is the correct solution. Joel on software has a nice article explaining why complete rewrites are almost always the wrong answer.


Sometimes they're necessary, sometimes they're not.
For Win32, it's necessary to make certain improvements. Yet, they still didn't quite do that with the WinRT APIs, which still build off a small sub-set of the Win32 APIs.

Microsoft has been replacing many of the old win32 APIs with COM APIs over the last ten years, and now they seem to continue the trend with WinRT.


COM, DCOM, OLE, MFC, etc. all build on top of Win32, not along side it. Win32 is about the only API to the NT Kernel; nearly everything else is user space outside of basic registrations. And I wouldn't say any of them improve Win32, just make for a bigger orgy.

The problem with Modern is that any UI in any older app has be rewritten completely. A task sometimes so big that Apple had to make an exception for Finder for 64 bit (still carbon based), and Microsoft the same with Office for Windows RT tablets.


The problem with the Modern (aka Metro) UI is that it does not have feature parity with the old Desktop UI. Yes, there was a lot of cruft through into the Desktop UI over the years, but Metro doesn't even equate in parity to Windows 3.11 when it comes to multi-tasking or doing a number of other things. So ultimately, it just doesn't do what users want to do.

As far as MS Office goes, they still have to support a number of versions of Windows that do not have the WinRT API, and are not even capable of supporting it. So it makes no sense for them to have a WinRT API only version of MS Office yet, and they would have had to craft quite the exception for MS Office as their "Modern UI compatible" testing required that only WinRT and its limited subset of Win32 were allowed to be used - no MFC, etc - to pass the certification.

Now imagine the Antitrust lawsuits they would have had if they did that...lawsuits from AutoDesk, Adobe, and others that are in a similar boat.

Microsoft also didn't help on the matter by only supporting the WinRT runtime on Windows 8. That makes any new UI not work on older versions, forcing developers to now maintain two UI codebases for years. Same problem with D3D10 and Vista back in the day.


Agreed. They didn't help the matter by limiting what is supported on all versions of Windows 8 - whether the Windows 8 RT version for ARM or the x86 versions with respect to the Modern UI environment.

Any existing API is still available for the x86 Desktop environment in Windows 8; just not the Modern UI environment or any environment on the ARM port. So it was no longer simply a matter of recompile and now you have the other variants of Windows. If you didn't port to WinRT API, you could only deliver to x86 Desktop environment.

"If you don't like Metro, fine. But we absolutely can't stay on Win32 forever. I think Metro will get better over time, with more flexible widgets and broader keyboard/mouse support where appropriate. If we can have slightly different UIs for tablet and phone in the same app on Android, there's no reason why we can't do it on tablet and desktop. It took 25+ years to get from Windows 1.0 to Windows 7, so give them a while to work out the kinks ;)


As a user, my issue with Windows 8 is simply that I do not want a mobile UI on my 30" monitor. And 8.1 shows no sign that Microsoft "gets" why using the same UI for tablets and desktop wont work. And this has nothing to do with what framework renders the UI.
"

Agreed. Not to mention the Modern UI - and even their Desktop UI for Win8 - actually hurts my eyes after even short usage periods (e.g. 30 minutes or less).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't think so
by Lurking_Grue on Fri 7th Jun 2013 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

Oddly enough, we are now in the reverse situation from WindowsCE.

Nobody like the desktop interface on a touch device and so WinCE failed to take up traction in a large sense. So they realize that problem and make a touch first interface knowing they needed to get developers on board for this new ecosystem so they duct tape it to Windows Desktop and call it a day.

I'm not happy that software is going from feature filled to simplistic.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't think so
by Stephen! on Tue 4th Jun 2013 09:58 UTC in reply to "I don't think so"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

But we absolutely can't stay on Win32 forever.


Although considering there's been 64-bit versions of Windows since 2001, they don't seem in much hurry to move purely to a 64-bit OS with no 32-bit counterpart.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't think so
by tylerdurden on Tue 4th Jun 2013 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Frankly, basically just about every software vendor has handled the transition to 64bits poorly.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't think so
by moondevil on Tue 4th Jun 2013 13:27 UTC in reply to "I don't think so"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The UNIX people seem quite happy to live in a POSIX (1988) and XWindows (1984) world. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I don't think so
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't think so"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

POSIX, yeah maybe POSIX is a standard, but not one that's slavishly followed in many cases. XWindows has been under heavy development since 1984, and is scheduled to be replaced by Wayland.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: I don't think so
by moondevil on Tue 4th Jun 2013 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't think so"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

POSIX, yeah maybe POSIX is a standard, but not one that's slavishly followed in many cases. XWindows has been under heavy development since 1984, and is scheduled to be replaced by Wayland.


I said UNIX, not Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I don't think so
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I don't think so"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I didn't say Linux either...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I don't think so
by moondevil on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I don't think so"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

So will Wayland be ported to HP-UX, Solaris, Aix, QNX?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I don't think so
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 4th Jun 2013 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I don't think so"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, I thought it was, but apparently they are only focused on Linux, with a experimental branch for FreeBSD.

Which makes sense, the desktop is even less alive on the POSIX non Linux OSes. They could do it, considering its free software and what not, but I doubt there is much of a business case for any of them except maybe QNX.

Reply Score: 2

Withholding judgement
by galvanash on Tue 4th Jun 2013 03:27 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

On first pass it seems overly complicated... Personally I would have to think quite a bit about what they are proposing to make an informed judgement, so Ill pass.

I would add one thing that I haven't seen said anywhere else so far. There is a lot of ink being spent reporting on how Windows 8.1 brings back the start button...

The problem is I don't think the start button is what people are really missing. It is the start menu.

Having a button that launches the Metro start screen is (imo) totally pointless - that is exactly the thing that desktop users don't want to see because it is a gut wrenching transition to something completely foreign that really is no better than what we had before (at least on desktops with mice)

I really do think the idea of Metro is great for its intended usage - I just think they screwed up by trying to integrate the two environments to such a degree.

I think the solution is even simpler than this "red" idea. Just disconnect the two environments completely. Metro apps live in Metro, and desktop apps live on the desktop. Make it simple to switch between the two environments, but keep them completely separate. Let the user decide when and if they want to switch between environments and be done with it.

Why not?

Edited 2013-06-04 03:28 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Withholding judgement
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:11 UTC in reply to "Withholding judgement"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


The problem is I don't think the start button is what people are really missing. It is the start menu.

Having a button that launches the Metro start screen is (imo) totally pointless - that is exactly the thing that desktop users don't want to see because it is a gut wrenching transition to something completely foreign that really is no better than what we had before (at least on desktops with mice)


Actually, I think this is a decent balance. It is arguable that some people are trained to recognize and look for the start button, and expect it to do exactly what it does in Windows Blue, take them to their apps.

I also like that unless you actually use the Button, it will not stay visible at all times. Thank God.

Blue gives you the option to forego the Start Screen and be transitioned directly into an "All Apps" screen which has options for filtering through your apps.

It is basically a full screen start menu. Which is the exact same situation we have in Windows 7. When you use the Start Menu, you don't get to interact with the rest of the Desktop in a meaningful manner (or else it dismisses the Menu). Windows 8.1 just uses this space more efficiently and shows you more content.



I think the solution is even simpler than this "red" idea. Just disconnect the two environments completely. Metro apps live in Metro, and desktop apps live on the desktop. Make it simple to switch between the two environments, but keep them completely separate. Let the user decide when and if they want to switch between environments and be done with it.

Why not?


This is pretty much how it exists today, I honestly don't interact with, and am not bothered by the Metro shell while I'm working inside Visual Studio on the Desktop.

Windows 8.1 makes the transition between the two environments less jarring (Sharing wallpaper between Desktop+Start Menu, more settings options in Metro making transitions less frequent, more snap states for apps enabling better workflows)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Withholding judgement
by Fergy on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Withholding judgement"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

It is basically a full screen start menu. Which is the exact same situation we have in Windows 7. When you use the Start Menu, you don't get to interact with the rest of the Desktop in a meaningful manner (or else it dismisses the Menu). Windows 8.1 just uses this space more efficiently and shows you more content.

You just lost any credibility you might have had. The startmenu is a small menu so you only have to focus on a small part of the screen. At the same time you don't have to move your mouse a lot. The startmenu has your most used actions and applications in one small list.

With the startscreen you have to scan across you monitor to find the actions and applications you are looking for. It has multiple tabs like applications, settings and files that you have to click. Settings even shows a blank screen. You cannot customize startscreen to a useful state. Startscreen is dumber than startmenu because it has no idea what you are trying to do.
Let's face it: it is meant for touch on a small screen. Android would be horrible on my 24 inch.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Withholding judgement
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Withholding judgement"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


You just lost any credibility you might have had.


Right. Lets leave the tired cliches at the door.


The startmenu is a small menu so you only have to focus on a small part of the screen. At the same time you don't have to move your mouse a lot. The startmenu has your most used actions and applications in one small list.


You don't focus if you have ...the rest of the Desktop including all open Windows still in your face. There is a very real cognitive overload that occurs under those situations.


With the startscreen you have to scan across you monitor to find the actions and applications you are looking for. It has multiple tabs like applications, settings and files that you have to click. Settings even shows a blank screen.


I can see around 60 apps in the "All Apps" menu using a blank search. Obviously typing will filter this down to 2-3 results and you won't do much scanning at all.

If you've invoked the Charms Bar via Hot Corners, you already have your Mouse on the Right side of the Screen. Your travel time is actually around the same as it would be in a Start Menu.

I can also search for content inside of every app which supports the Search Contract on Windows 8.

In addition, the All Apps menu supports Semantic Zoom for jumping from category to category. On the Start Menu I would have to move my mouse to scroll further and further.


You cannot customize startscreen to a useful state. Startscreen is dumber than startmenu because it has no idea what you are trying to do.


The Start Screen afford me more customization than the Desktop (though this is unrelated to the Start Menu). In Windows 8.1, the customization options are even more dramatic.

With 8.1 I can customize the Tile Sizes in various ways (very small, normal, wide, large) turn Live Tiles on/off, change accent colors for tiles, change background start screen color, change parallax secondary color, use the same background as my Desktop, have a moving background, etc.

I can also organize them by categories and jump to them using Semantic Zoom. My Start Screen in 8.1 will also sync across my Laptop, Desktop, and Tablet computer seamlessly including all application settings.


Let's face it: it is meant for touch on a small screen. Android would be horrible on my 24 inch.


You have a very shallow understanding of Windows 8.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Withholding judgement
by Lurking_Grue on Fri 7th Jun 2013 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Withholding judgement"
Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

My biggest issue with windows 8 isn't the start screen so much as the full screen thing.

I just don't want full screen apps.

Same goes for the start screen.

Reply Score: 1

LaceySnr
Member since:
2009-09-28

Ok I got as far as this:

"Windows Red Duo: A dual-boot version of Windows Red for hybrids." and lost interest. Devices are changing, and Windows 8 has been designed to take advantages of new devices, why would you ever think dual booting between two versions of an OS would be better than the current setup?

I wrote the above and then figured I should probably flick through the rest at least: so many of the suggestions in this article seem to be bunk, and the author seems to have not mentioned that some points are being addressed by blue. I'm not a Windows nutbag, but none of the 'fixes' suggested in this slideshow seem to offer any real improvement IMO.

Edited 2013-06-04 05:12 UTC

Reply Score: 6

v Fix Windows? LoL.
by skpg on Tue 4th Jun 2013 05:30 UTC
RE: Fix Windows? LoL.
by aligatro on Tue 4th Jun 2013 06:03 UTC in reply to "Fix Windows? LoL."
aligatro Member since:
2010-01-28

HA!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Fix Windows? LoL.
by Wafflez on Tue 4th Jun 2013 06:20 UTC in reply to "Fix Windows? LoL."
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Aha. Linux desktop experience is really cleaner because it's open source.

/facepalm

Reply Score: 3

Flawed process
by Kochise on Tue 4th Jun 2013 06:52 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

If an open letter has to be written to Microsoft about its failure in delivering a suitable "experience" about what was promised in the first place, I see the end of Microsoft.

With Windows XP they used the same system in movie pre-auditioning by customers to fine tune things, obviously not for Windows 8.

Microsoft is a big industry with big heads and brains, marketing people and stuff, and even BEFORE Windows 8 was ever released to previewers, concerns were raised.

If a Service Pack cannot help, then they just have chosen the wrong track, period. Admit it, while opponents are going straight to the goal.

It's even the end of the dominance of Windows vs. Mac OS X (vs. Linux) because alternative OSes are popping up like flowers in the spring (at least in mobile).

And Microsoft trying to turn office into another subscription based cash cow, I wonders who's brainstorming these silly plans.

And the announced Xbox One fiasco with its impossible to bear DRM system that assume everyone have a dedicated high speed internet connection just for that.

Just like in France where politics are disconnected from citizens' reality, I think Microsoft unplugged its root connection with consumers, now it is driven by financiers.

Sad state of things...

Kochise

Edited 2013-06-04 06:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Flawed process
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:16 UTC in reply to "Flawed process"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

If an open letter has to be written to Microsoft about its failure in delivering a suitable "experience" about what was promised in the first place, I see the end of Microsoft.


The end of Microsoft? Microsoft has more billion dollar businesses than you can shake a stick at. A few of them are $2 billion dollars businesses. I don't understand where this death will come from, are they going to drown in money?


It's even the end of the dominance of Windows vs. Mac OS X (vs. Linux) because alternative OSes are popping up like flowers in the spring (at least in mobile).



And Microsoft trying to turn office into another subscription based cash cow, I wonders who's brainstorming these silly plans.


Trying? Its working. Office 365 is a billion dollar business as of April of this year. They have completely dominated this market.


And the announced Xbox One fiasco with its impossible to bear DRM system that assume everyone have a dedicated high speed internet connection just for that.


And the Xbox 360 has been the #1 selling console for over two years, giving Microsoft the biggest head start in the living room space (the next big war after mobile) compared to everyone else.

This is silly.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Flawed process
by tylerdurden on Tue 4th Jun 2013 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Flawed process"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


And the Xbox 360 has been the #1 selling console for over two years, giving Microsoft the biggest head start in the living room space (the next big war after mobile) compared to everyone else.

This is silly.


The Xbox 360 and the PS3 have shipped basically the same number of units (around 77 million each). The Wii has outsold either (90 million) and yet the Wii U has flopped thus far. So microsoft having "the biggest head start in the living room space" is quite the debatable statement, especially since MS had the biggest head start in the mobile space, and we all saw what happened.

The business units of MS are doing fantastic though, and they are ensuing the company will matter for a while. Their latest earnings report was pretty good, and their stock has managed to catch some wind lately.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Flawed process
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed process"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


The Xbox 360 and the PS3 have shipped basically the same number of units (around 77 million each).


Right. But that has nothing to do with the fact that the 360 has been leading in sales for two years.

It is meant to do two things: Counter the notion that the XBox One is doomed and show that people have an appetite for Entertainment.


The Wii has outsold either (90 million) and yet the Wii U has flopped thus far.


I wouldn't place the Wii in the same market segment as an XBox or a PS3, when it comes to the specific scenarios that they cater to the Wii (and the Wii U)
are not even in the conversation.


So microsoft having "the biggest head start in the living room space" is quite the debatable statement, especially since MS had the biggest head start in the mobile space, and we all saw what happened.


Well, the difference is what Sony doing with the PS3 and what is Microsoft doing with the 360? Sony isn't making a serious Living Room play in the way that Microsoft is with its 360 and even more dramatically with the XBox One.

The Xbox was not only #1, but also ahead of its time in pushing into the living room in ways that are already appreciated by people today.

77 million XBox 360s where Microsoft says half of its XBox Live usage is for entertainment is a pretty ringing endorsement of their strategy.

The 360 is probably Microsoft's smartest investment in a long time.

Re: Your comments on Mobile, that's true. They very well can still blow this thing if they get complacent. The Xbox One has shown that they are anything but.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Flawed process
by tylerdurden on Tue 4th Jun 2013 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Flawed process"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


Right. But that has nothing to do with the fact that the 360 has been leading in sales for two years.

It is meant to do two things: Counter the notion that the XBox One is doomed and show that people have an appetite for Entertainment.


I was simply providing context for your figure, so it has a hell of a lot to do with it. You also forgot to mention, that although the Xbox has lead sales for 2 years, that in the last few quarters their sales have plummeted by about 50%. People do have an appetite for content, but xbox is not the leading consumption platform (nor is the PS3 or the Wii for that matter).


I wouldn't place the Wii in the same market segment as an XBox or a PS3, when it comes to the specific scenarios that they cater to the Wii (and the Wii U)
are not even in the conversation.


The Wii U can be used to consume content, just as well as either the PS3 or the Xbox. Alas, I can understand why you would ignore anything that counters your particular narrative.


Well, the difference is what Sony doing with the PS3 and what is Microsoft doing with the 360? Sony isn't making a serious Living Room play in the way that Microsoft is with its 360 and even more dramatically with the XBox One.


We don't know what sony is doing, we don't even know what the PS4 looks like. Also "serious" is a totally subjective qualitative assessment. You can consume content with either the PS3 or the Xbox 360, and you will too with either the PS4, the One, the Wii U, and the boatload of "smart" TVs with android, and other cheap platforms which are also coming to market. So microsoft's dominance is anything but guaranteed.


The Xbox was not only #1, but also ahead of its time in pushing into the living room in ways that are already appreciated by people today.


LOL.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Flawed process
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Flawed process"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


I was simply providing context for your figure, so it has a hell of a lot to do with it.


What context did you provide, that they sold around the same? Congrats, now how is it relevant in any way to what I am saying? It is an aside, given that Sony did absolutely nothing with TV with the PS3.


You also forgot to mention, that although the Xbox has lead sales for 2 years, that in the last few quarters their sales have plummeted by about 50%. People do have an appetite for content, but xbox is not the leading consumption platform (nor is the PS3 or the Wii for that matter).


No way, on the eve of the unveil of the next generation console, 7 years later, sales are tapering off? I can't fucking believe it. Stop the presses.


The Wii U can be used to consume content, just as well as either the PS3 or the Xbox. Alas, I can understand why you would ignore anything that counters your particular narrative.


I really do not think that we want to compare the Entertainment experience between the XBox 360, the PS3, and the Wii. There's no comparison.

The PS3 has Netflix. Microsoft, already, has deals in place with various content providers as part of their Xbox 360 living room initiative.

To argue that the consoles are comparable is disingenuous on your part.


We don't know what sony is doing, we don't even know what the PS4 looks like. Also "serious" is a totally subjective qualitative assessment.


We do know what was shown so far, and what's been shown now. A Sony living room play would be a shot across the bow to Microsoft. If they miraculously have some amazing TV integration under wraps, then you'll be right come the Fall. Somehow, I doubt it though.


You can consume content with either the PS3 or the Xbox 360, and you will too with either the PS4, the One, the Wii U, and the boatload of "smart" TVs with android, and other cheap platforms which are also coming to market. So microsoft's dominance is anything but guaranteed.


Smart TVs, what the PS3 does, even what the 360 does, and certainly what the Wii U does is not enough.

This is an uncracked market. Certainly the 360 afford Microsoft a headstart in mind share and experience (similarly, AppleTV also gives Apple some insight, as Tim Cook alluded to), but its by no means a done deal.

A Samsung Smart TV isn't going to take the world by storm, if it was, it would've.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Flawed process
by tylerdurden on Tue 4th Jun 2013 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Flawed process"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


What context did you provide, that they sold around the same? Congrats, now how is it relevant in any way to what I am saying?


Growth rates/sales leads without overall sales figures are meaningless for someone interested in an objective understanding of a specific situation. However, they can be a "hindrance" for specific pro/con corporate narratives, so I can understand your confusion.


It is an aside, given that Sony did absolutely nothing with TV with the PS3.


Sony has done plenty with the PS3, just not in the US market. E.g.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/17/sony-japan-blends-the-torne-ps3-...




No way, on the eve of the unveil of the next generation console, 7 years later, sales are tapering off? I can't fucking believe it. Stop the presses.


I wouldn't call a few quarters in a row, the "eve" of an event. But it seems you just want it to have it both ways; ignore the overall slowdown of the console market adoption rates, while at the same time heralding a supposed take over of the living room by consoles (or a specific console in this case).

For example, the PS2 outsold the 360 and PS3 combined. So one could very well reach the conclusion that the heyday of consoles is past. I am not claiming that is the case, but I'm just providing a counter argument to your expectation of the "living room" being taken over by a specific console.



I really do not think that we want to compare the Entertainment experience between the XBox 360, the PS3, and the Wii. There's no comparison.


Again, that is your qualitative very personal and subjective opinion.


The PS3 has Netflix. Microsoft, already, has deals in place with various content providers as part of their Xbox 360 living room initiative.


Sony has plenty of deals with content providers. You can access just about the same content (movies, video shows, music) through the PS store, as you can through xbox live. In fact each system has exclusive content not found in the other, so there is nothing that MS has over Sony (and vice versa). Netflix is also available through the Wii BTW.


To argue that the consoles are comparable is disingenuous on your part.


I could make the very same case against your claim. Funny that.


We do know what was shown so far, and what's been shown now. A Sony living room play would be a shot across the bow to Microsoft. If they miraculously have some amazing TV integration under wraps, then you'll be right come the Fall. Somehow, I doubt it though.


Again, you keep assuming your personal opinion amounts to facts somehow. As I said, we know very little to nothing about Sony's overall strategy with the PS4.


This is an uncracked market.


That was my point...

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Flawed process
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Flawed process"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Growth rates/sales leads without overall sales figures are meaningless for someone interested in an objective understanding of a specific situation. However, they can be a "hindrance" for specific pro/con corporate narratives, so I can understand your confusion.


Cut the self righteous bullshit, you dodge saying what you actually mean for two comments. There is no confusion, only your deliberate ambiguity.

Now that you've given me an answer I can work with:
The point was to show that Microsoft's console has had consumer acceptance. Sony's console having consumer acceptance as well is irrelevant. It was addressing the speculation that the XBox One would fail in the market.

You conflate this with me wanting to show Microsoft is ahead in comparison to Sony, but that's your own fault. I suspected as much, but wanted you to actually admit it, given your propensity for complaining about straw men.


Sony has done plenty with the PS3, just not in the US market. E.g.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/17/sony-japan-blends-the-torne-ps3-...


A TV Tuner does not a living room push make. This is nice, but really, the promise of the living room is more than that.

The future of entertainment is interactive in a sense, you can look at how XBox Live handled the Presidential Debates or the Election Center experiences. The seamless melding of live TV and interactive content are the future here.

The 360 did this to an extent with personalized experiences for various content providers.


I wouldn't call a few quarters in a row, the "eve" of an event. But it seems you just want it to have it both ways; ignore the overall slowdown of the console market adoption rates


I don't ignore it, in fact, I acknowledge it and give specific reasons for why it is happening. Do not misrepresent my position. The fact of the matter is that these consoles are almost a decade old.

How are Sony's sales holding up along the same time period? I'm curious.

while at the same time heralding a supposed take over of the living room by consoles (or a specific console in this case).


A slowdown has nothing to do with volume that's already shipped, and doesn't take away from the experience and head start in content negotiation that Microsoft has.


For example, the PS2 outsold the 360 and PS3 combined. So one could very well reach the conclusion that the heyday of consoles is past.


You might be right, when it comes to consoles as we know them. Of course, you've just stumbled on the reason why Microsoft deemphasized gaming on the XBox One.


I am not claiming that is the case, but I'm just providing a counter argument to your expectation of the "living room" being taken over by a specific console.


No, I do think it is the case. However that doesn't stop the living room from being taken over by a console which also has living room capabilities. Microsoft themselves, as I noted before, have said that half of their use on Xbox Live has been by people using it for entertainment. That's significant.

What we're witnessing is merely a convergence of devices. I'm pretty sure the PMP Market dried up too, but that didn't stop the iPhone (which coincidentally played music) from cornering the next big thing (the phone market). Its very much analogous to our situation with pure gaming and entertainment. They're becoming one in the same.


Again, that is your qualitative very personal and subjective opinion.


Oh come on. Just look: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/partners

Microsoft has a significant amount of existing content deals.



Sony has plenty of deals with content providers. You can access just about the same content (movies, video shows, music) through the PS store, as you can through xbox live.


Do you have the same scope of content as I just linked above? If so, it'd be interesting to see a link.


I could make the very same case against your claim. Funny that.


You could, but again, that disingenuous thing comes back to bite you in the ass.


Again, you keep assuming your personal opinion amounts to facts somehow. As I said, we know very little to nothing about Sony's overall strategy with the PS4.


And I'm saying I think they've shown most of what they have that's major. Again, like I said, if you're right, and they're some how hiding something amazing (and its been immune to the traditional rumor cycle) then I'll admit you were right. Somehow I strongly doubt it.


That was my point...


Oh, so that is what it was?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Flawed process
by Kochise on Tue 4th Jun 2013 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Flawed process"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

It's not about the cash, good for them if they (still) have some, but read the comment by "Christian Paratschek" below, that's the spirit of my post.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 4th Jun 2013 08:22 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

When Windows Blue was announced it made me believe it was a complete pimp of Windows and related stuff. A first step towards a better world.

Now it's starting to remind me of the WP 7.8 update: a rather small and boring one aimed to settle the angry mob a bit down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Blue is actually a large update (much larger than I expected, with more interesting features).

Comparing Blue to 7.8 is completely disingenuous considering VPN, Tethering, the ability to snap more Metro apps at once, expanded XAML stack in many meaningful ways, Wireless Display support, Point of Sale support, 8 inch screen optimization, support for more SoCs, updates to many Core apps, new Core apps, updates to the Windows Store platform, and many more unannounced features still left for BUILD 2013.

How is this a small update by any stretch of imagination?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

That's mostly filling in the missing features. You've mentioned nothing that made me go mmmmmmm.

I'll grant you that it's no WP 7.8 kind of update, but it's effect might be the same: anti-climax.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think that's a much more reasonable position. Some of these features are a big deal to me, specifically the ability to multitask better from Metro and the new tile sizes on the start screen.

As a developer a lot of the improvements in XAML should make porting WPF or Silverlight apps easier due to better parity between them.

Its a hefty update, and when you couple it with the ton of core app updates I've gotten since Windows 8 RTMd, it makes the totality of what Microsoft has done in a year seem impressive.

Reply Score: 3

I'll stick with windows 8 as it is
by Coxy on Tue 4th Jun 2013 11:39 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

Windows red looks like a complicated unusable mess... windows 8 is fine. Can't see why so many people have problems with it.

Edited 2013-06-04 11:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

Many people don't want full screen software designed for large targets on a desktop.

That is the future Microsoft is pushing and many people are pushing back.

I can get around fine in Windows 8 but I don't feel it is better. What they did with it is not an improvement.

It's a bit like how Apple nerfed Final Cut.

Reply Score: 1

v hmmm ...
by p13. on Tue 4th Jun 2013 11:50 UTC
Really?
by BluenoseJake on Tue 4th Jun 2013 13:49 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

A serious plan....from infoworld? Hahahahahahah

Reply Score: 4

Comment by tkeith
by tkeith on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:11 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

It sounds like a mix of band-aids and concessions to please the mob. Honestly, short of a do-over it might be their best bet. The mix of UIs and APIs in Windows 8 doesn't really seem like it's going to be fixed any time soon. Perhaps they should have sold a new OS(8) and an old style OS(7) to ease the transition. Of course that's basically what they are doing now, businesses will continue to buy 7 for as long as they can. But it would have been a great opportunity to cut out all the old legacy stuff.

I still think Ubuntu got this one right. Same APIs and backend, different UIs and consistent designs between platforms.(phone, tablet, desktop)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by tkeith
by darknexus on Tue 4th Jun 2013 14:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by tkeith"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I still think Ubuntu got this one right. Same APIs and backend, different UIs and consistent designs between platforms.(phone, tablet, desktop)

Sure they did. That's why the various UIs and X.org crash constantly. Yep, they really got it right.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by tkeith
by Stephen! on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tkeith"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

That's why the various UIs and X.org crash constantly.


If X.org is unstable, why does Apple use it?

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by tkeith
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tkeith"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Is this a serious question?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by tkeith
by BluenoseJake on Tue 4th Jun 2013 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tkeith"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Apple doesn't use it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by tkeith
by Neolander on Tue 4th Jun 2013 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tkeith"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

If X.org is unstable, why does Apple use it?

They don't, Xorg in OS X is an optional compatibility layer for apps from the Unix world that don't have a native OS X frontend.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by tkeith
by darknexus on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by tkeith"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

They don't, Xorg in OS X is an optional compatibility layer for apps from the Unix world that don't have a native OS X frontend.

Apple doesn't even ship it in OS X by default anymore as of 10.8. They don't even maintain it, though there is a third party project (XQuartz) that continues.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by tkeith
by BluenoseJake on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by tkeith"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Windows 7 was a mix of bandaids and concessions for Vista, and look how that turned out. One stop shopping when dealing with Settings is almost worth it right there, as is the improved search.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by tkeith
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tkeith"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It was annoying. Windows 7 wasn't that big of an improvement, didn't address that many issues, and generally rode an "anti-Vista" wave to unprecedented sales and success.

It was frustrating watching what amounted to mild updates over Vista be seen as the second coming of christ by everybody. It just showed how powerful of a thing perception is.

7 also set up some unbelievable expectations for what 8 was supposed to do in the marketplace. Windows 7 had 10% market share after 4 months, that's an unreal amount of usage in a short amount of time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by tkeith
by tkeith on Wed 5th Jun 2013 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tkeith"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

It was annoying. Windows 7 wasn't that big of an improvement, didn't address that many issues, and generally rode an "anti-Vista" wave to unprecedented sales and success.


I agree with you, and I think that's one thing Infoworld got right. Slap some "improvements" on and call it 9 and they will have a hit, no matter how good or bad the product is.

Reply Score: 2

There will be no solution
by Christian Paratschek on Tue 4th Jun 2013 15:59 UTC
Christian Paratschek
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have read a lot of comments over the last few days and weeks about Windows 8.1

Now I will share my personal view on this:

Microsoft is completely not interested in "fixing this issue". Microsoft wants to push it's metro interface into the market because they desperately need to. And they use their quasi-monopolistic position to do so.

What is Microsoft afraid of? At the moment, they are losing the consumer market. People buy tablets by the millions.

And that's good. For way too long completely computer-illiterate people had to use Windows computers for basic tasks at home. I am not just talking about "your grandma". In fact, lots of people are completey content with a tablet. A little E-Mail, a little Facebook, a little Webbrowsing. Done.

For every gamer and serious computer user (like you and me) there are ten guys out there who really don't need a fully-fledged computer at home.

So the consumer market is breaking away for microsoft. Apple and Android profit bigtime.

The business sector really is not the problem for Microsoft right now. People have been sitting out Vista, they returned for Windows 7. They will do the same with Windows 8 and Windows 9, if need be. Linux and Apple are only niche players here and that is not about to change.

But Microsoft desperately needs to get in the tablet market. Because if they don't, they lose a whole generation of people, who grow up with Android or iOS devices.

And that means, Windows shrinks from "universal" to "business" and that means a lot less money for Microsoft.

And there's the strategic dilemma in this: if Microsoft loses the consuemr sector and people get used to Andoid and iOS, there just might evolve a market with great applications for these plattforms. And then, suddenly, someone puts that on a serious device and Microsft starts losing the business sector too.

Microsoft is betting EVERYTHING on metro. It is of utmost importance for them that they score a victory here. If metro is a succes, Window stay ubiquitous and relevant.

If metro fails, Window might become irrelevant sooner than anyone of us can imagine right now.

So, do not expect a turnaround from Microsoft. This is not about technical merits. This is not about what user interface is better suited.

This is about staying relevant in an evolving world. The decision to go with metro for Windows has absolutely no technical reasons. None. Everybody can see that this interface is crappy for workstations. This decision is purely strategic and I go as far as to say that they knew that Windows 8 would get a giant backlash. They are not that stupid over tehre in Redmond.

I give you one prediction: if metro fails, Windows will be a niche player 10 years from now.

Reply Score: 6

RE: There will be no solution
by ngnr on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:33 UTC in reply to "There will be no solution"
ngnr Member since:
2008-01-16

+1

Also IMHO Microsoft is desperate to push the "app store" business model onto its user base, and Metro is the only way to achieve this.

They see how Google and Apple are successful in this matter and logically they want a piece of the cake too.

No Metro -> No "Windows app store".

Reply Score: 2

RE: There will be no solution
by Treza on Wed 5th Jun 2013 01:10 UTC in reply to "There will be no solution"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Are we positively, totally sure that people will stop buying computers and use tablets for everything ?

I have an android tablet (N7) and really, for all sort of things, a tablet is just crap.
Surfing the web, reading and managing emails, writing documents and copy/pasting images, multitasking... You just get an inferior experience than a 400€ laptop.
Many applications are just dumbed-down interfaces to the actual websites.

Maybe Microsoft is overreacting.
Maybe people will get bored with tablets.
Maybe Microsoft should make using a laptop or desktop a better experience (high DPI screen, application repositories...)

What Microsoft is telling is that they don't believe in traditional computers anymore. It is, IMHO, a terrible message. Apple is certainly very happy about that, their laptops are not large tablets.

Reply Score: 2

Christian Paratschek Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, yeah, I am sure. Look at the numbers of computer sold (declining) and the number of tablets sold (skyrocketing).

Tablets are crappy for any serious work and even some trivial tasks an be done easier on a computer. But tablets do have major advantages.

If you are just consuming content, the are jsut fine. You can use them comfortable on your couch or in bed , they are pretty much instant-on and they do not take up any space.

IMHO, they are just better suited for anyone who is doing only light tasks, consuming content, etc.

I am totally with you that Apple is doing this right. Computers and tablets are different and need different user interfaces. Microsoft should have stayed with Windows 7 style interface for computers and used Metro for their tablets.

That would have been the sensible option. But Microsoft wanted to push Metro to his massive userbase. As I said, a matter of life or death for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

The issue is this:

Say the desktop market is something like 500 million users. They are expecting the tablet market to be something like 3 billion.


The deal here is the tablet market is a growing market that is expected to dwarf desktop computers. This does not mean desktop computers are going away... it just is a less interesting market.

Now if only Microsoft would accept that they are now officially IBM we could get on with life.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: There will be no solution
by zima on Fri 7th Jun 2013 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: There will be no solution"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There are around 1.3 billion PCs, for ~2 billion users, actually.

Reply Score: 2

RE: There will be no solution
by Lurking_Grue on Fri 7th Jun 2013 16:33 UTC in reply to "There will be no solution"
Lurking_Grue Member since:
2013-03-15

I already am starting to think in terms of a widows exit strategy if the touch thing isn't fixed.

Adobe made things easier for me by being dicks about the idea of owning software.

Reply Score: 1

Eh?
by jonoden on Tue 4th Jun 2013 16:29 UTC
jonoden
Member since:
2012-02-13

We don't need this, using Windows+Q to search for the app to run is infinitely more efficient than the start menu ever was. We don't need an organizational dock anymore. Just give me the option to enter the desktop on login and i'm fine. Windows 8's under the hood enhancements are well worth the small niggles until they sort this out.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Dr-ROX
by Dr-ROX on Thu 6th Jun 2013 08:57 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

I want Glass window borders back for classic programs instead of current square one colored ones.

Reply Score: 1