Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 18:41 UTC
Windows Windows 8 will have both the new Metro-style applications and user interface and the traditional Windows 7 desktop for legacy applications, which kind of runs like an application. Since legacy applications have to be recompiled to run on ARM anyway, it's always been a bit unclear if the ARM version of Windows 8 would include the legacy desktop at all - even Microsoft itself confirmed it wasn't sure yet. Microsoft bloggers Mary-Jo Foley and Paul Thurrot have fresh rumours that Microsoft has now made the decision to remove the legacy desktop from the ARM version.
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RE[2]: missed opportunity
by Neolander on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE: missed opportunity"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

I actually think this is a great development. It means that the user experience for people using tablets will *actually be optimized for touch*. No more tiny widgets that you have to guess whether you hit with your finger or not. For most people who don't need some specialty programs that are available on x86, this is the way to go.

Well, the whole point of WinRT, if I get it right, is to introduce scalable UIs that work okay on both mouse and finger. Whether current Win8 pre-release achieve that goal is debatable, but it is certainly something worth trying.

If Microsoft reverted to a basic "touch-optimized" behaviour, as you suggest, then Windows 8 on ARM loses one potential great asset over its competitors, and becomes yet another boring tablet OS with oversized controls that are only suitable for content consumption. It then becomes dubious why people should try this new platform instead of well-established actors like iOS or Android.

Edited 2011-12-02 21:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: missed opportunity
by Moochman on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 21:13 in reply to "RE[2]: missed opportunity"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows 8 on ARM loses one potential great asset over its competitors, and becomes yet another boring tablet OS with oversized controls that are only suitable for content consumption.


I disagree that "oversized controls" are only suitable for content consumption. For proof, just take a gander at the iPad versions of iWork, iMovie, GarageBand, and the plethora of other office and music production tools available for iPad. Just because iPad is marketed first and foremost as a content consumption tool doesn't mean that touch isn't perfectly capable of supporting content creation. Yes, in many cases a rethink of the UI is necessary, and yes, there will be many awkward experiments on the road to success, but I am highly skeptical that WIMP is "the one true way" and that touch is by definition crippled.

As for benefits over iOS and Android, see my comment below. Basically, Windows 8 will be the most open tablet development platform, with the most re-usable application code already out there, that has come to market so far.

Edited 2011-12-02 21:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: missed opportunity
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 22:30 in reply to "RE[3]: missed opportunity"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

For proof, just take a gander at the iPad versions of iWork, iMovie, GarageBand, and the plethora of other office and music production tools available for iPad.


They are proof of one thing: that touch is a horrible, horrible interface for anything other than consumption. I actually have iWork for the iPad, and it's the most useless piece of software ever devised. I'm not joking. It's so incredibly user-unfriendly, cumbersome, clunky, confusing, arbitrary, and full of confusing modes, it's virtually unusable.

Just because a few people can, with effort and compromise, use an iPad for creation does not mean it is actually suitable for it, in the same way that those Asian teenagers typing in in entire Harry Potter books with a numpad and T9 on their feature phones is not proof that numpad+T9 is a suitable input method.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: missed opportunity
by Neolander on Sat 3rd Dec 2011 07:14 in reply to "RE[3]: missed opportunity"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I disagree that "oversized controls" are only suitable for content consumption. For proof, just take a gander at the iPad versions of iWork, iMovie, GarageBand, and the plethora of other office and music production tools available for iPad.

Are you seriously advocating that those nearly compete with the content creation power of a desktop or laptop ? That you would without question type a 25-pages LaTeX report on an iPad ? I know that some people have fun finger painting and that someone from Gorillaz made a song or two on an iPad, but that does not mean that the tool is nearly as well-suited to the job as alternatives...

Just because iPad is marketed first and foremost as a content consumption tool doesn't mean that touch isn't perfectly capable of supporting content creation. Yes, in many cases a rethink of the UI is necessary, and yes, there will be many awkward experiments on the road to success, but I am highly skeptical that WIMP is "the one true way" and that touch is by definition crippled.

Touch OSs ARE WIMP. They just deal with hardware that has a smaller screen and a much, much more imprecise pointer, which in the end means significantly less controls that are not hidden behind several of levels of menu indirection.

On a side note, I do not believe that tablets are fundamentally incompatible with more serious content creation, if more capable input peripherals are attached to them. This is why I closely watch stuff such as Asus' Eee Pad Transformer and the HTC Flyer : I believe this is the kind of initiatives through which tablets could rise beyond the status of expensive toys, though OS and application support is obviously not there yet.

Edited 2011-12-03 07:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: missed opportunity
by redshift on Sat 3rd Dec 2011 21:41 in reply to "RE[3]: missed opportunity"
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

disagree that "oversized controls" are only suitable for content consumption. For proof, just take a gander at the iPad versions of iWork, iMovie, GarageBand, and the plethora of other office and music production tools available for iPad.


They are some of the best examples of touch screen content creation tools out there. But they are still toys compared to their desktop counterparts. They have a great deal of awkwardness that they still need to overcome. Some tasks benefit from multitouch... but for those tasks that require high precision, a mouse with an unobstructed view of the content still works better.

I make a living doing content creation. I have found some interesting tools on the iPad that let me do some design concepts in an ultra mobile format. There are a even a few iOS clones of apps as complicated as Illustrator that show promise. But overall, touch UI's are optimized for consumption. They are not refined for creation and would cause a great deal of fatigue to use for day to day content production in their current state.

I would love to see a pro tablet that finds a balance that rivals the desktop for pro content creators. No one has it yet. It is not the current incarnations of iOS, or metro, and It certainly is not legacy windows desktops. Apple could cater to pros with a pro iOS line (but they seem to want to go for the low hanging consumers these days) and MS seems set on following Apples lead on consumption focused UI's. It would be a great nitch for a linux distribution to fill, since the big players making their beachheads on a distant shore. That is, if we are not locked out of our hardware by anti consumer practices.

Edited 2011-12-03 21:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1