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Old 2012-04-01, 00:49   Link #81
synaesthetic
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ARM-based laptops have not proven to be popular outside a small subset of power users. People don't just want Windows, they want Windows applications, and no matter how Windowsy WOA is, it won't run native x86 applications and people will get mad. Office alone isn't enough. People are going to get annoyed if they can't run some program they really like that was coded back in the Windows XP days.

I hope Microsoft gets over themselves and clearly forks WOA and Windows 8 for x86.
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Old 2012-04-01, 01:01   Link #82
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Well, at the very least, Microsoft has to ensure that they can clearly distinguish WOA from W8 in their ads and promotions so that the general public will have different expectations between the two. People who buy WOA devices expecting they can run their existing Windows desktop applications while taking advantage of ARM's power efficiency would be disappointed.
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Old 2012-04-05, 06:10   Link #83
npal
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Well, I realized I had a free HDD sitting inside the case, so I thought, what the hell, maybe I'm getting old and Windows 8 isn't that bad.

Installation of the consumer preview was a breeze and I kinda liked the graphical bootloader. I was a bit alienated by the fish bootup screen, as it felt like some ancient wallpapers from the Windows 3.11 era. But first impression wasn't bad, so I thought it'll go well.

And then... there was Metro...
Ok, something new, I thought, sure, a bit of a learning curve here, I already knew there's a desktop app to go back to some sort of desktop semblance so I played around. I was first mildly amused at the whole new look and feel, as I like new shiny things, I can't deny that. As I consider myself computer literate, I was going to give it some time. And then, things started going wrong...

The Metro apps in particular were beyond horrifying. Even if I cut them some slack for being previews and not the full app, many of them lacked even basic functionality. The Music app for example, there was no way you could add your local music library from inside the Music application, the Video app was along the same lines. Most of the apps required a sign-in on Xbox Live and the first thing they gave you was the marketplace. I don't like it when random apps besides the obvious online ones like messaging apps want me to be online and the first thing they do is try to make me buy stuff. Intrusion on my desktop, infraction 1.

Intrusion on my desktop, infraction 2. Running an app takes up your whole screen. No way I can manage the window size, there's either full screen or disappearance in a left invisible bar. This feels bad. Even with the Win-Tab, Alt-Tab shortcuts, the full screen intrusion felt really bad. Not only that, the icons, letters, everything inside any Metro app were humongous. This obviously works well in the limited space of tablets and mobile phones but on a desktop's (large and larger) screen, it's crude, intrusive, inefficient, counterproductive, and plain ugly. The best you can do with the Metro apps is pin them side by side with the focused app taking the most space, but even then, they're as ugly as they get.

Launching any other normal app suddenly opens up the desktop. The whole experience with half of your everyday apps running in the Metro Start and half of them running inside the desktop app is disorienting and the experience of switching back and forth is weird and seriously counterproductive. Supposedly developers will just have to write stuff for Metro in order to have them run natively on Metro, but as it is right now, it's not working.

Most of the serious administration tools, even the full-fledged Control Panel run purely inside the desktop. To make any serious changes and not toy around, the classic Control Panel needs to be used. The Metro PC settings has only very basic options, so that's yet another reason why you are forced to go to the desktop app.

I say forced because it's pretty evident Microsoft wants to make the MetroUI default, but the MetroUI's basic design just isn't for fit for desktop screens because it's fullscreen app approach is counterproductive on a desktop's monitor. Even if we equip the desktop with a touch-capable monitor, that specific problem cannot be fixed. From what I can tell there's no real touch screen market for desktops, and I don't think it's just because the technology to make large monitors touch-capable would be expensive.

The mouse/keyboard navigation in Metro is bearable but awkward and limited, as much as trying to navigate through a contemporary smartphone's OS with a mouse and keyboard. Yes it can be done, but you can tell it's slower and fells slightly unnatural.

Let's just suppose that you're fed up with MetroUI and will just be working the desktop from now on. The absence of the real Start Orb on the bottom left makes all the difference. The desktop is bastardized by the appearance of the Start MetroUI and the so-called metro Charms. The Charms functionality in desktop is as limited as it could be. The fabled Search charm that supposedly makes the Start button obsolete just doesn't work efficiently. The apps feel randomly placed in one big screen (in MetroUI style, therefore eradicating the desktop underneath and stealing any and all usable screen area), and while you can supposedly also search for Files, there's nothing there when I tried, so it obviously doesn't search my whole PC, yet it's too obvious to be a bug. It's basically a new UI at infancy and an old UI butchered to make room for the new UI. Unfortunately, with this approach, both UIs failed.

Customization in MetroUI in general is lacking. I could send Microsoft all kinds of suggestions through the Windows Feedback tool but "One Suggestion To Rule Them All" would just be "Get rid of MetroUI for desktops, immediately".

If Microsoft wants to create a unified OS, maybe a look at Ubuntu's Unity would have helped more than trying to reinvent the wheel (in a bad way). As it is, Windows 8 will wish it could sell like Vista, unless Microsoft starts selling WP8 and tablets like there's no tomorrow, which I find rather unlikely.

EDIT: I keep looking at some... people posting, among other things that are beyond my comprehension that the W8CP is beta, therefore we should reserve judgment till the final product. Just for the record, when I installed the first public beta of Windows 7, my experience was "... This... this is how it should have been all along!" That's why Windows 7 was successful. My initial reaction to W8CP was far from that. The reviews so far are a mixed bag so hopefully MS will see that and pull the whole MetroUI thing away from the desktop PC altogether, because apparently that sums up most of the negative feedback right now. Notice that most people say away from the desktop PC, not away altogether.

Last edited by npal; 2012-04-06 at 06:18. Reason: Browsing around the web
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Old 2012-04-06, 11:16   Link #84
Flying Dagger
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I feel that the MetroUI might be good for people who are computer illiterate.

I guess I have been so used to the desktop since windows 95 - I for one is not ready to move on.

I have a feeling that Win7 is going to walk the XP path that MS will be eventually be forced to extend its support.

There are some pretty neat stuff tucked into win8 - such as an improvement boot/shutdown time. Windows on the go is going to be a nice feature: instead of carrying a laptop around for presentations I can use local equipment and just boot up everything from my usb: although this might not be widespread until 3.0 gains even more popularity maybe several years down the road.
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Old 2012-04-06, 15:47   Link #85
synaesthetic
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Improved boot time? lol, my PC boots from a cold shutdown to full useful desktop in 17 seconds flat. SSD ftw.
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Old 2012-04-06, 16:01   Link #86
npal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Dagger View Post

There are some pretty neat stuff tucked into win8
I can agree there, explorer seems improved, among other things, the Metro START itself can be gotten used to. The Metro apps though just don't work for me. Besides being limited right now, a forced fullscreen app that's not even a game is difficult to manage and multitask effectively. It's probably the lack of a taskbar. If there was an enabled taskbar somewhere for all the metro apps, instead of that left scrolling thing, it might have been easier to use. Even then though, a music app and a social app taking up the whole desktop just doesn't work on a huge screen, it's too much wasted space.

Boot time seems faster, true enough, Windows 7 desktop on my end takes minutes to be fully usable. No SSD, can't afford one either.
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Old 2012-04-06, 16:43   Link #87
synaesthetic
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They seem expensive but a solid state drive is one of the largest single upgrades you can get for your PC. The performance increase from that single bit of hardware is so significant it trumps CPU and RAM upgrades handily.

I have an Intel 310 120GB SSD, which I only bought that large so I could dual-boot Linux if I needed to for development-related things. You can easily make do with a 64GB SSD if you boot only one OS, and have a spinning drive for your games, movies, music and suchlike. A 64GB SSD will generally cost only around $100. I paid ~$180 for my 120GB drive, and it only gets more expensive as you go up in size.
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Old 2012-04-06, 16:50   Link #88
npal
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
They seem expensive but a solid state drive is one of the largest single upgrades you can get for your PC. The performance increase from that single bit of hardware is so significant it trumps CPU and RAM upgrades handily.

I have an Intel 310 120GB SSD, which I only bought that large so I could dual-boot Linux if I needed to for development-related things. You can easily make do with a 64GB SSD if you boot only one OS, and have a spinning drive for your games, movies, music and suchlike. A 64GB SSD will generally cost only around $100. I paid ~$180 for my 120GB drive, and it only gets more expensive as you go up in size.
Judging by the space Windows and apps end up using in generall, a 64GB wouldn't be enough, so I'm always aiming for a 120GB at least. Even with an 64GB though, my current finances are so crap, I can hardly pay for anything other than food and bills. When I had money, the SSD prices were ridiculous xP
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Old 2012-04-06, 18:04   Link #89
Vexx
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
They seem expensive but a solid state drive is one of the largest single upgrades you can get for your PC. The performance increase from that single bit of hardware is so significant it trumps CPU and RAM upgrades handily.

I have an Intel 310 120GB SSD, which I only bought that large so I could dual-boot Linux if I needed to for development-related things. You can easily make do with a 64GB SSD if you boot only one OS, and have a spinning drive for your games, movies, music and suchlike. A 64GB SSD will generally cost only around $100. I paid ~$180 for my 120GB drive, and it only gets more expensive as you go up in size.
I guess I should look up the current "effective lifespan" of an SSD used as a system disk.... that was my concern after the prices started dropping.

And wow, I haven't seen a npal post in ages.... edit: ah I see... just no thread use overlap. I haven't even taken a look at ME3 yet.
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Old 2012-04-06, 18:31   Link #90
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npal View Post
Judging by the space Windows and apps end up using in generall, a 64GB wouldn't be enough, so I'm always aiming for a 120GB at least. Even with an 64GB though, my current finances are so crap, I can hardly pay for anything other than food and bills. When I had money, the SSD prices were ridiculous xP
My SSD has 58GB free, so yeah, Windows is such a storage hog that you'd need at least an 80GB SSD to have a bit of breathing room. Ubuntu and other Linux distros don't shit all over your drive quite so bad... compare Windows 7 x64 at 21GB just for the OS vs. Linux Mint 11 Katya x64 at 6GB for the OS only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I guess I should look up the current "effective lifespan" of an SSD used as a system disk.... that was my concern after the prices started dropping.

And wow, I haven't seen a npal post in ages.... edit: ah I see... just no thread use overlap. I haven't even taken a look at ME3 yet.
Let's see... my Intel 320 (310 is the mSATA form factor, mine is the 2.5") is rated by Intel as 12 million hours MTBF, which is probably exaggerated, but considering the NAND die size (25nm) it should have a total of ~3000 write cycles per NAND cell.

I remember Anandtech testing 25nm SSDs at one point and discovering that at a constant rate of extremely high I/O loads (the kind of shit a database server would do, not a home workstation) the drives would last around 4-5 years assuming no manufacturing defects or controller death.
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Old 2012-04-06, 20:41   Link #91
Random32
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For a boot drive with OS and important applications, 64GB is more than enough for the average user imho. If you have big applications (such as modern games) or VM's/dual boot, more is probably better though. The problem is when you don't have extra space to put an HDD for data.

As for lifespan. Intel promised a while back that you could read/write 100GB/day for 5 years. It's probably increased by now. I wouldn't worry about SSD lifespan.

Right now, SSD's prices compared to HDD's are pretty much the cheapest they have ever been.
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Old 2012-04-07, 00:55   Link #92
synaesthetic
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That's actually a distortion, though. Hard drives are very expensive right now due to the flooding in Thailand. The factories haven't yet recovered from the damage.
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Old 2012-04-07, 04:18   Link #93
npal
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
That's actually a distortion, though. Hard drives are very expensive right now due to the flooding in Thailand. The factories haven't yet recovered from the damage.
And just about the time my externals started dying... I've come to the horrible realization that they put absolute junk inside the cases and sell them for reliable external disks... I'm going internal+case next time, even if it's a bit more expensive.

Speaking of hardware, Windows 8 installed drivers for most of my peripherals on the fly, even my Epson printer has what seem like custom drivers, and the Nvidia driver is concurrent. The only thing it didn't install was drivers for my Xonar D2, but the latest Unixonar Windows 7 drivers installed without much fuss, once I understood what the Blue "Application Blocked" bar is and how it worked, a pretty neat trick for a new OS.

As I said my serious gripe is with the metro apps, the OS under the hood seems improved overall from 7, which is sad because the metro apps are so appalling I may actually stay with 7, if I can live with 7's slower windows explorer.

@Vexx Lurking, my anime pile is growing but my watchlist is empty so I just mostly lurk. IF you end up playing ME3, be sure to stop when a beam hits you or there's hair pulling and headdesking afterwards.
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Old 2012-04-07, 04:21   Link #94
Dhomochevsky
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And just about the time my externals started dying... I've come to the horrible realization that they put absolute junk inside the cases and sell them for reliable external disks... I'm going internal+case next time, even if it's a bit more expensive.
This may be true. I am right now disassembling and external hdd that belongs to my aunt, trying to see if I can salvage some data.
It's the 3rd one I did this with during the last years.
On the other hand I have never had an internal disk fail on me (yet!).
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Old 2012-04-07, 10:29   Link #95
Random32
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
That's actually a distortion, though. Hard drives are very expensive right now due to the flooding in Thailand. The factories haven't yet recovered from the damage.
It's a temporary distortion that is predicted to last 2-3 years. Might as well not be temporary.
http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...h_through_2014
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Old 2012-04-07, 15:18   Link #96
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Improved boot time? lol, my PC boots from a cold shutdown to full useful desktop in 17 seconds flat. SSD ftw.
I don't see a reason to scoff at improved boot times regardless of the hardware you're using. You know the old saying "what Intel giveth, Microsoft takest away"? It refers to the old paradigm that any advances made in hardware can be negated by sub-optimal software. I have no doubt that the crappiest of code could slow down even a system with a SSD. Improved load times and other optimizations that make efficient use of hardware are always a good thing!
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Old 2012-04-07, 15:36   Link #97
Dhomochevsky
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I reboot my PC once every few months...
Otherwise it only goes on standy. So only for that, I would never get an SSD.

I have enough RAM that Win7 can preload the things I regulary use, so for everyday desktop work there is not much to improve either.
SSD is still too expensive to store my games on, so what else is left? Really fast virus scans?
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Old 2012-04-07, 16:36   Link #98
Random32
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An SSD makes things feel a lot snappier and more instant. For user experience for most computers, an SSD is probably the best place to spend money.

Also, SSD's are a lot more durable than spinning disks which is really useful if you have a laptop.
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Old 2012-04-07, 17:14   Link #99
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I don't see a reason to scoff at improved boot times regardless of the hardware you're using. You know the old saying "what Intel giveth, Microsoft takest away"? It refers to the old paradigm that any advances made in hardware can be negated by sub-optimal software. I have no doubt that the crappiest of code could slow down even a system with a SSD. Improved load times and other optimizations that make efficient use of hardware are always a good thing!
I was scoffing because improved boot time is about the only thing Windows 8 has going for it. It's a complete epic fail all around.
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Old 2012-04-07, 18:08   Link #100
npal
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
I was scoffing because improved boot time is about the only thing Windows 8 has going for it. It's a complete epic fail all around.
As I said, the windows explorer also feels improved The Metro Start itself CAN be interesting enough. The Metro search and the apps though, those pretty much are as much of a failure as they could possibly be, other than crashing or killing your HDD that is.
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