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Old 2012-03-11, 03:47   Link #61
synaesthetic
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The OS is doomed, but the N9 is a gorgeous piece of engineering and industrial design, and the OS is an absolute joy to use. Outside of the usual "grid of icons" the way it functions is fundamentally different than either the iOS/Android or the WP7 paradigm. The closest mobile OS to Meego Harmattan is webOS (another unfortunately doomed mobile OS)...

As the prices continue to drop I may just pick one up for posterity's sake, especially since only a limited number of them were built.

The Lumia 800 is similar, but not the same--besides the OS difference, it has a strip of capacitive buttons and a standard WVGA (800x480) display instead of the N9's FWVGA (854x480) screen.
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Old 2012-03-11, 09:42   Link #62
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Mobile OS's are locked down. The only exception are devices that are Android developer devices such as your Galaxy Nexus. Otherwise you have to hack in functionality through unofficial means.
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Old 2012-03-11, 17:53   Link #63
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While the Metro UI may seem to be a puzzling design decision, I think that it was a good call on Microsoft's part. I would imagine that it's part of a strategy to remain competitive in an environment where the personal computer is no longer necessarily the dominant computing device.

Apple's success with the iPad has everyone scrambling to get in on the action. At this point, you can basically go with an iPad or an Android-based tablet. Microsoft isn't really even competing in this area at the moment. While they could (and might) use their phone operating system for tablets, they would be just another "me too" player in the market. What if they could leverage Windows 8 on a tablet? Instead of being a "mobile OS," it would be a full-power desktop operating system with an interface that worked nicely with a tablet interface. I don't know whether they'll actually go that route, but it would make them stand out.

Looking at how clumsy the efforts of a lot of companies seem compared to Apple, you really have to marvel at how having full control over the device hardware and software really does wonders. It's not that everything that Apple does is perfect, but their strategies and implementations are very well done. Seeing the problems that Google's Android faces with device fragmentation, and how Microsoft tends to be held back by third party hardware vendors, really drives the point home. The Metro UI seems clumsy because there's no unified hardware move to go along with it and have everything make sense, but I would guess that it's coming - if not because Microsoft is trying to work with other companies to bring it out (speculation on my part), then because other companies will see the opportunity that Microsoft has opened up for them with the Metro UI, and will work to capitalize on it.
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Old 2012-03-12, 01:02   Link #64
synaesthetic
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The only person who should have "full control" over a device's hardware and software is the person who owns it.

That'd be me, or you, or anyone else who bought it.

I am ideologically opposed to the "walled garden" approach. :|
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Old 2012-03-30, 19:14   Link #65
TurkeyPotPie
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Well, I used Windows 8 on one of my home PCs (the one I use to watch anime) for a month, and I've had enough. I like all the improvements to the classic desktop, and I like the architectural improvements I've read about on the Windows 8 blog and other places, but I have no use for Metro outside of tablets. I wouldn't mind Metro if I could ignore it and it didn't keep rearing its (IMO) ugly head at every turn. The loss of the Start menu sucks, but I could live with that if not for the stupid Charms sidebar and the "hot corners" constantly intruding on regular desktop activity.

I never had major issues with Vista and never used Windows ME, but Win 8 certainly seems headed towards the rather chilly reception those two releases got. I'm going to be avoiding it on my own PCs (unless I pick up a Win 8 tablet). Reinstalling 7 on my media PC was an annoyance, but getting back to sanity on the desktop was a relief. I don't know what MS is thinking with 8; if they don't at least allow disabling some of the Metro UI and bringing back the Start menu with system policies for business users they're nuts.
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Old 2012-03-30, 21:35   Link #66
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I decided to install the consumer preview on an older Asus Eee PC netbook, since I didn't want to risk wrecking the two main computers I use (a desktop and an 11-inch laptop).

The speed improvements, improved file manager, and SkyDrive (Windows Live) integration are a big plus for me, but that's about all I would use it for.

Had to dig into the registry to force the damn Metro apps to actually work- I'm of the opinion that older netbooks could definitely benefit from being able use Metro apps, and having an "arbitrary" minimum resolution to even run them is kinda pointless.

It was a little tricky to even find how to turn the computer off (have to use the Charms sidebar, or map the power button to shut down).
The only success I can see for Windows 8 is on new hardware- hybrid tablet/laptops similar to the Asus Transformer Prime, or all-in-one desktops with touch-screen capabilities. Experienced PC users, PC gamers and business users probably aren't going to bother with Windows 8.

Wasn't it a few years ago that the PC manufacturers were too busy targeting business and enterprise and "forgot" about John and Jane Doe? Is this what Microsoft are trying to target and rectify, since business would never be highly unlikely to move to Windows 8 (Windows NT 6.2) anyway? Perhaps Microsoft are trying to plan ahead by bringing a more business-centric version later down the road, but I digress...
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Last edited by blaze0041; 2012-03-31 at 02:13.
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Old 2012-03-31, 01:27   Link #67
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaze0041 View Post
I decided to install the consumer preview on an older Asus Eee PC netbook, since I didn't want to risk wrecking the two main computers I use (a desktop and an 11-inch laptop).

The speed improvements, improved file manager, and SkyDrive (Windows Live) integration are a big plus for me, but that's about all I would use it for.

Had to dig into the registry to force the damn Metro apps to actually work- I'm of the opinion that older netbooks could definitely benefit from being able use Metro apps, and having an "arbitrary" minimum resolution to even run them is kinda pointless.

It was a little tricky to even find how to turn the computer off (have to use the Charms sidebar, or map the power button to shut down).
The only success I can see for Windows 8 is on new hardware- hybrid tablet/laptops similar to the Asus Transformer Prime, or all-in-one desktops with touch-screen capabilities. Experienced PC users, PC gamers and business users are probably aren't going to bother with Windows 8.

Wasn't it a few years ago that the PC manufacturers were too busy targeting business and enterprise and "forgot" about John and Jane Doe? Is this what Microsoft are trying to target and rectify, since business would never be highly unlikely to move to Windows 8 (Windows NT 6.2) anyway? Perhaps Microsoft are trying to plan ahead by bringing a more business-centric version later down the road, but I digress...
This "one OS for all" mentality is aggravating ... I can certainly see the uses for Win8 in special appliance environments (pads, tablets, etc) but for Microsoft that means they'll eventually abandon support for Win7 (general purpose OS) like they have every other previous version. Having run multiple forks of large complex software systems myself --- I really am unsympathetic when they whine/cry at the idea of forking Windows to suit the target environment (e.g. general purpose business OS, tablet, media center, etc). It certainly isn't beyond human comprehension to have an installer package that knows the difference and installs only what is needed.
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Old 2012-03-31, 04:58   Link #68
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This "one OS for all" mentality is aggravating ... I can certainly see the uses for Win8 in special appliance environments (pads, tablets, etc) but for Microsoft that means they'll eventually abandon support for Win7 (general purpose OS) like they have every other previous version. Having run multiple forks of large complex software systems myself --- I really am unsympathetic when they whine/cry at the idea of forking Windows to suit the target environment (e.g. general purpose business OS, tablet, media center, etc). It certainly isn't beyond human comprehension to have an installer package that knows the difference and installs only what is needed.
Even more than this I can see a potential huge problem for Microsoft. The average computer user doesn't understand the difference between CPU architectures. They don't know that x86 and ARM are different.

I can very well see customers buying a Windows 8 tablet and expecting it to run Windows applications. Which it won't, unless they specifically buy an x86 Windows 8 tablet. This distinction may not be obvious to the average Best Buy customer.
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Old 2012-03-31, 05:11   Link #69
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They could run a virtual x86 on the ARM architecture.
Would be slow as hell I guess...
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Old 2012-03-31, 05:19   Link #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
They could run a virtual x86 on the ARM architecture.
Would be slow as hell I guess...
I don't think that'd even run. People may get blinded by the shiny "dual-core" and
"quad-core" smartphones coming out these days, but the fact of the matter is the lowest Intel Atom CPU in the cheapest netbook is more powerful than the most bleeding-edge smartphone or tablet.

You don't notice it because the OSes aren't heavy (though Android is much heavier than its competitors) and things are optimized for smoothness. Nobody thinks an Atom netbook is an especially gratifying computing experience, especially if the netbook runs Windows 7...

... but if you slap a 32-bit Xubuntu ISO on a flash drive and install it on the same netbook, you'd be surprised how much smoother everything runs.
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Old 2012-03-31, 09:20   Link #71
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
They could run a virtual x86 on the ARM architecture.
Would be slow as hell I guess...
I don't know much about the architectural differences and what impact it would have, but Apple did something similar when transitioning from RISC to x86. "Rosetta" was an optional OS add-on that allowed one to run RISC programs as if they were native. It was seamless, and in my opinion there wasn't much of a performance hit, even for games.

Since Apple dropped RISC processors entirely, they eventually removed Rosetta after three OS versions. It was probably a business decision rather than a technical one; it was never meant to be a major feature, just something to ease the transition. In theory they could have kept it going.

Microsoft is better about maintaining backward-compatibility, so I could see them creating the emulator (or binary translator) as a major feature, and not just some temporary thing.
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Old 2012-03-31, 16:20   Link #72
monster
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Microsoft is better about maintaining backward-compatibility, so I could see them creating the emulator (or binary translator) as a major feature, and not just some temporary thing.
Maintaining backward compatibility only means that there is an option to run current/old Windows programs on Windows 8. In the case of Windows 8, that is done via the x86 version and the presence of the desktop and all the old APIs.
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Old 2012-03-31, 17:00   Link #73
Random32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
They could run a virtual x86 on the ARM architecture.
Would be slow as hell I guess...
It's emulation, not virtualization. It wouldn't be too slow though, definitely not native, but with a sufficiently powerful processor, you wouldn't really notice. And that's where the problem comes in. ARM CPU's are weak. The fastest quad core behemoths are barely faster than the slowest Atoms. You aren't going to get a decent experience even if it was native, much less emulated.
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Old 2012-03-31, 17:31   Link #74
Dhomochevsky
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I meant virtual, as in 'cpu implemented in software'.
Not virtual, as in 'virtual machine'. Those usually hand binary code to the real cpu without translating it.
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Old 2012-03-31, 18:24   Link #75
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Didn't Microsoft already announce that there will be no x86 compatibility on ARM versions of Windows 8 and in fact vice versa for software using native ARM code. Metro applications can be cross-compatible with both.

To my understanding by default you'll be only able to install software from Windows Store on ARM version anyway so even running third party emulators (which I'm sure will pop up eventually) will probably require jumping through a few hoops.
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Old 2012-03-31, 20:30   Link #76
Random32
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Didn't Microsoft already announce that there will be no x86 compatibility on ARM versions of Windows 8 and in fact vice versa for software using native ARM code. Metro applications can be cross-compatible with both.

To my understanding by default you'll be only able to install software from Windows Store on ARM version anyway so even running third party emulators (which I'm sure will pop up eventually) will probably require jumping through a few hoops.
I think they are porting Win32 and stuff over to ARM, so if you aren't using any other x86 only stuff, ARM is a simple recompile. Even though that is a very best case scenario, I think MS will do whatever they can to make porting applications to ARM easy for developers since they want to leverage their advantage in desktop to gain traction in tablet.

Also, for the same reason, x86 Windows will have access to Windows Store.
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Old 2012-03-31, 20:50   Link #77
monster
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I think they are porting Win32 and stuff over to ARM, so if you aren't using any other x86 only stuff, ARM is a simple recompile. Even though that is a very best case scenario, I think MS will do whatever they can to make porting applications to ARM easy for developers since they want to leverage their advantage in desktop to gain traction in tablet.

Also, for the same reason, x86 Windows will have access to Windows Store.
From what I've been reading, it appears that Microsoft won't allow any third-party desktop applications, only Metro-style apps, on Windows on ARM.

And if it's true, I think the reasoning is simple enough: Windows on ARM will run on devices that compete directly with iPad and the various Android tablets. Therefore, Microsoft would want to minimize the chance that a third-party app would damage the experience of its would-be iPad competitor.

So those people who, for whatever reason, want to run third-party Windows desktop applications, even on a slate-type device, would likely have to use the x86 version of Windows 8.
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Old 2012-03-31, 20:51   Link #78
synaesthetic
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The only thing they're porting is Office.
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Old 2012-03-31, 23:26   Link #79
Random32
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We know WoA will have desktop mode, so I would assume they allow desktop apps. Otherwise what would be the point if the only desktop mode things are IE and Office? Not allowing third party desktop apps would be shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe a certification process to say that "this app isn't a huge resource hog" considering resource limitations on ARM, but an outright ban on third party desktop applications would be stupid imho.

Also: "ARM isn't just for tablets"
I doubt they are referring to server when they say that. Which means that WoA will be on mouse/keyboard driven devices, and unless MS works some serious magic on Metro between now and launch, no desktop applications on mouse/keyboard driven devices is more or less suicide.
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Old 2012-04-01, 00:31   Link #80
monster
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We know WoA will have desktop mode, so I would assume they allow desktop apps. Otherwise what would be the point if the only desktop mode things are IE and Office?
The point is for people whose computing need is largely met with a web browser and Metro-style apps, with desktop Office as a bonus.
Quote:
Not allowing third party desktop apps would be shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe a certification process to say that "this app isn't a huge resource hog" considering resource limitations on ARM, but an outright ban on third party desktop applications would be stupid imho.
Maybe, but that's the purpose of the x86 option.
Quote:
Also: "ARM isn't just for tablets"
I doubt they are referring to server when they say that. Which means that WoA will be on mouse/keyboard driven devices, and unless MS works some serious magic on Metro between now and launch, no desktop applications on mouse/keyboard driven devices is more or less suicide.
Perhaps, but whether or not you agree, Microsoft has been claiming that the Metro UI is a touch first interface that also works great with the mouse and keyboard. And once again, there's still the x86 option.
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