Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Jun 2012 08:50 UTC
Microsoft The New York Times further fans the flames of the emerging uneasiness between Microsoft and its hardware partners. As the paper reports, Microsoft decided it needed to get into the hardware game (with Surface) after the utter failure of HP's Slate 500 Windows 7 tablet. "Microsoft worked with other hardware partners to devise products that would be competitive with the iPad, but it ran into disagreements over designs and prices. 'Faith had been lost' at Microsoft in its hardware partners, including by Steven Sinofsky, the powerful president of Microsoft's Windows division, according to [a] former Microsoft executive." The biggest news is not Surface itself. It's the changing industry it represents. Microsoft failed to deliver capable smartphone/tablet software, which pissed off OEMs, who, in turn, turned to Android (and webOS for HP) - which in turn pissed off Microsoft, leading to Surface. Had Microsoft gotten its act together sooner, we'd have had far better OEM products.
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RE[6]: Back to the old days.
by zima on Wed 27th Jun 2012 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Back to the old days."
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Specs didn't matter much, because they didn't chance I guess.

It was more than not changing. Look at Motorola 68000, a CPU from the turn of 70s/80s, and being introduced in new and different machines for over a decade - starting with workstations, then in home computers of mid-80s, numerous new types of arcade machines and consoles well into late 80s at least; but also with Mac Classic and such, A600, or IIRC new models of one Japanese computer line of early 90s.
Z80 and 6502, from mid-70s - and still some new machines in mid-80s (even a terminator ;) ...later of course also other embedded or portable usages, but those have separate considerations).
Similar largely with PCs in those period - XT or AT class machines remained standard for a long time, and while first 386 were introduced in mid-80s, the AMD386 of early 90s was still a big success.

The CPU hardly even featured in ~marketing, other things seemed to be bigger considerations for a long time, more limiting factors - like the amounts of memory, or small storage and slow I/O.
Then those became less of an issue, and we really found some usage for more CPU power in mid-90s, so the race was on.
Now it's more about the GPU and power consumption, it seems (though we have leftovers of the 90s/00s race, in marketing)

Yeah, the specs of year-on-year models differ, but that's beside the point (and a good thing) - half-decade old machines are still quite good enough in most cases.
And BTW, also probably in many "I require high speed" cases ;) - I did a sort of ABX test on such buddy of mine (also into overclocking, tweaking parameters), with halving the speed of his CPU ...and in normal usage he clearly couldn't tell when the CPU ran at full speed and when at half, his guesses were no better than chance.

The C64 didn't change and programmers learned to squeeze everything out of it. And if it ran fine at their end it would at yours.
I have a feeling a lot of coding issues these days are solved with more brute force than clever and efficient tinkering of code.

Not really... what mostly happened is that games looked virtually the same, were quite static for a long time.
And it wasn't quite that portable - most notably, NTSC and PAL models were often essentially incompatible; C64 demoscene is almost a PAL-only phenomena. And while, IIRC, C64 didn't have incompatibilities between revisions (or few), this was a problem with Spectrum lineage at least.

Also, most of past games were quite dreadful gameplay-wise, and apps not that good; shovelware - so what if it was optimised? It's a good thing when app devs can focus more on user experience, when game devs don't have to focus on low-level tinkering, that's not what games are about.

But, where it matters, we do push for heavy optimisations - mplayer for example made a big progress in performance over the years. Providers of game engines also have this in mind.

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