Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Dec 2012 19:37 UTC
Windows "As early as mid-December, consumers will be able to go to retail stores in the United States and Australia to purchase a Surface with Windows RT. Additional availability will be added in a number of countries in the coming months." Sales might indeed benefit from, you know, allowing the world to actually buy your halo product. Us Dutch won't be getting the Nexus 4 and 10 either.
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Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I've heard people dish on Windows 8/RT for this reason, and they contrast it with Apple's smooth transition from PPC to x86 back in 2005.


I've heard people around the tech circles talk about this, but it's mostly repeating a talking point someone else has fed them.


The difference is that Apple invested the time and money in building a universal binary system. They had done a platform jump before with 68k to PPC, and they knew what to do to keep their users happy.


Microsoft has managed this transition better or the same as Apple. Windows Store apps support x86 and ARM seamlessly. The appropriate architecture is pushed down to you (in the case of C++), or it is JIT'ed on the fly in the case of .NET then NGEN'ed at a later time by a service. For JavaScript it is AOT'd iirc.

So the fact that my Windows Store app works on x86 and ARM without me even thinking about it is a huge achievement. Plenty of Surface RT users are enjoying it right now.


Microsoft, on the other hand, has been building on the same monolithic base from day one. Instead of doing the universal binary thing, they decided to push two incompatible architectures in parallel. This causes fragmentation and confusion, and I think it was the worst thing they could have done.


I don't really think you're in any position to know about the architectural characteristics of Windows 8. Windows RT in fact exhibits very comparable performance to Windows 8. I've seen no major performance differences between the two when it comes to writing Windows Store apps.

Now, the part you're likely complaining about is Desktop apps. It wasn't so much an kernel or OS design limitation (because the aforementioned Windows Store apps achieve compat w/ both architectures) but a conscious decision to move forward with the platform.

Desktop support is there for legacy reasons, but it is inevitable that eventually Windows Store apps will be the way to write Windows applications for the foreseeable future.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Now, the part you're likely complaining about is Desktop apps. It wasn't so much an kernel or OS design limitation (because the aforementioned Windows Store apps achieve compat w/ both architectures) but a conscious decision to move forward with the platform.


Sorry, I should have specified that.

Desktop support is there for legacy reasons, but it is inevitable that eventually Windows Store apps will be the way to write Windows applications for the foreseeable future.


I suspect this is the way OS X will end up too, if Apple continues on their current path.

I really don't like this push towards a tightly controlled, closed userspace on the desktop. It works well on mobile devices but in my opinion it doesn't scale well on business machines and power user workstations. But then, I'm from an older generation; I grew up with machines that were largely open to experimentation. Today's young engineers are brought up in a consumer oriented culture and are probably more accepting of an OS they can't hack around on.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't think Windows 8/Windows RT is closed (as opposed to Windows PHONE 8 which IS closed) for the following reasons:

- You get access to the full file system
- You can develop personal applications and even side load applications provided you have a Microsoft Account. There is no developer license needed to side load. Just run a simple Powershell script that Visual Studio generates, and share that along with the appx that it creates.

The one caveat is that to distribute the app you must sign it with a Windows Store registered account, but others can install your app via a simple PS script.

Reply Parent Score: 2