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Old 2012-12-03, 15:38   Link #481
Vexx
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Much as I personally like Linux - ditto what npal said -- though 90% of my remaining aggravation is with the failure of the wireless vendors to provide their own drivers leaving users to play "whats my chipset?" with wireless cards that can be different chipsets within the same models depending on release date. Derail.

IF Steam solves the "works on Linux" problem and the gamers make the leap, that leaves Microsoft with Office as their desktop app flagship.

(and yeah, though I use OpenOffice as much as I can - moving documents back and forth to MS Office is almost always a disaster)
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Old 2012-12-03, 18:16   Link #482
0utf0xZer0
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I'd rank Adobe Lightroom as being among the tricky to replace apps - granted, being a non-destructive editor it doesn't touch the original pictures but all any edits and cataloguing done aren't going to easily transfer to anything else.

Personally though, I'm inclined to wait and see if the whole Metro thing actually catches on before I start to worry Microsoft is going to cripple the desktop on X86 Windows. I'm not necessarily sure I should hold my breath.
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Old 2012-12-04, 13:39   Link #483
felix
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On the topic of metro. Metro is actually pretty cool. No sophisticated effects, just nice and tight with good animations (the classic theme that doesn't suck you've *I* always wanted). The idea of being very open and working with full screen rather then windows is also a leap forward, especially these days when a lot of the time you're not sitting in front of the computer to press buttons, you just have this one app you're looking at for hours.

THE problem is that it's got "I'm designed to be a anti-everything-you-use, and pro-everything-you-dont" + "welcome to the walled-garden" (which is not really related to metro if you think about it) is just such a load of nonsense to market your OS with; and added to that this thing is aimed at gamers? ohrly, pretty sure PC gamers don't give a shit for touch controls.

You'd think people at MS would have learned by now... you are not teaching people how to use computers (anymore), people know what they want, and expect you to give it. If you want to innovate, do it in a way that doesn't piss everyone off. I'm no marketing person but I'm pretty sure a more modest solid upgrade would sell a lot more then this circus attraction, I mean just look at win7.

I can just see it now, window 9 or 10 "the dev friendly windows": you expect something like "multi-monitor support, files now use \n, paths use /, filenames are case sensitive, a new linux-like console, some photoshop-esque application". What would you most likely get: "Hey guys you can now touch type with your toes! And windows is now natively capable of interfacing with your dish washer!"
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Old 2012-12-09, 23:47   Link #484
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Originally Posted by felix View Post
You'd think people at MS would have learned by now... you are not teaching people how to use computers (anymore), people know what they want, and expect you to give it. If you want to innovate, do it in a way that doesn't piss everyone off. I'm no marketing person but I'm pretty sure a more modest solid upgrade would sell a lot more then this circus attraction, I mean just look at win7.
On the contrary, Microsoft would love to keep everything the same if they could.

The strategy taken with Windows 8 is one of desperation. In the consumer space (not Microsoft's traditional focus, but strategists always say that brand loyalty starts with consumer products. A kid begins with an iPod, followed by an iPhone. In university, he buys a MacBook or iPad, and years later, he becomes a manager who insists on everything Apple), market trends predict a long-term decline in laptop/desktop PC sales, whereas mobile devices have seen fast adoption over the past 2-3 years. Some pundits also predict that for employees who don't need heavy computing power, enterprises may replace desktop PCs with cheaper tablets. Considering Microsoft's inability to gain ground in the mobile segment, there's real fear that they might lose the market dominance they've enjoyed for so long - should those trends prevail.

The proposed solution? Get desktop users accustomed to a MS-flavoured mobile UI, so they'll choose Windows the next and presumably first time they buy a tablet.

We're seeing the same panic from Intel, who are unable to keep up with ARM when it comes to power efficiency (a problem inherent to the x86 architecture, which is geared toward high performance at the expense of efficiency). Intel is a giant among giants right now, but there's some fear that their world may come crashing down if tablets become dominant computing devices.
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Old 2012-12-10, 08:47   Link #485
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Originally Posted by TJR View Post
On the contrary, Microsoft would love to keep everything the same if they could.

The strategy taken with Windows 8 is one of desperation. In the consumer space (not Microsoft's traditional focus, but strategists always say that brand loyalty starts with consumer products. A kid begins with an iPod, followed by an iPhone. In university, he buys a MacBook or iPad, and years later, he becomes a manager who insists on everything Apple), market trends predict a long-term decline in laptop/desktop PC sales, whereas mobile devices have seen fast adoption over the past 2-3 years. Some pundits also predict that for employees who don't need heavy computing power, enterprises may replace desktop PCs with cheaper tablets. Considering Microsoft's inability to gain ground in the mobile segment, there's real fear that they might lose the market dominance they've enjoyed for so long - should those trends prevail.

The proposed solution? Get desktop users accustomed to a MS-flavoured mobile UI, so they'll choose Windows the next and presumably first time they buy a tablet.

We're seeing the same panic from Intel, who are unable to keep up with ARM when it comes to power efficiency (a problem inherent to the x86 architecture, which is geared toward high performance at the expense of efficiency). Intel is a giant among giants right now, but there's some fear that their world may come crashing down if tablets become dominant computing devices.
The new win OS is suppose to help "newbies" get accustomed to using a computer which I personally have problems since I see 3 year use smartphones and computers better than they're parents. In all honestly I would of stuck with the 64bit version of XP, but it felt it was sorta of buggy so I went with Win 7. Unless microsoft makes some software breakthrough that causes certain applications to not work with win 7 I might change my mind.

Microsoft can't win over Apple's fanboys. Most people buy Macbook for looks. I mean half those people who own a Mac don't even know how to use it properly. I mean who'd seriously buy a machine where you need to completely replace it if the harddrive breaks down? Their using industrial-strength superglue to glue the harddrive onto the motherboard. Glue and electronics.... thats like something Dell would do and people would flame them for it. But if apple does it its cool. I use a iTouch cause its convenient and it has games to distract me, while also doubling as a music player. My cell phone on the other hand is so old that I can't even find it online.

Tablets won't replace computers. They lack the computing power. No matter how high-tech it'll get it won't replace computers. It might be useful for schools or work places but when it comes down to it we'll always have computers. Why? Its simple. It runs on a battery so it'll always having a time limit on how long you can use. Whens the last time you heard of a tablet with a graphics card? A tablet is a simplified version of a laptop. The people I know who use tablets use it to read epubs or pdfs.

If your buying a processor you'll either buy it form intel or amd. The best processor from AMD is the worst processor from intel. Thats speaking volumes. Intel isn't worried at all they have a monopoly on processors and their only competitor is only AMD who isn't even close. And people complain that a i7 is slow when its practically overkill.

Microsoft can try, but a lot of people prefer the old version of windows. Awhile back I saw a chart with data with what os people used. A lot of people like roughly 44% where still using XP. What does that honestly say? It says that microsoft is trying too hard. Instead of getting customers their only deterring them. I've always hated macs because A) I couldn't right click. B) I need to eject everything and C)Finding a specific program to work with a mac in a pain in the ass. The only edge i ever saw Macs having over a PC was the fact that the write speed was so fast. Now that we have SSDs that problem is solved.
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Old 2012-12-10, 12:48   Link #486
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Originally Posted by XxSleepyxX View Post
It might be useful for schools or work places but when it comes down to it we'll always have computers.
The enterprise is Microsoft's bread and butter. Ditto for Intel, who thrive on servers and desktop refresh cycles. Their worry has to do with consumer trends creeping their way into the workplace as enterprises decide to make do with cheaper and trendier devices (and as young people begin to see tablets and touch screens as their preferred way to work). Most employees don't need high end machines with dedicated video cards and i5/i7 CPUs.

The desktop segment won't disappear. Nevertheless, some wonder how its market share will look 5-10 years down the road, as well as whether the dominant players (Intel and Microsoft) will maintain such a lead in the industry.

Quote:
If your buying a processor you'll either buy it form intel or amd. The best processor from AMD is the worst processor from intel. Thats speaking volumes. Intel isn't worried at all they have a monopoly on processors and their only competitor is only AMD who isn't even close. And people complain that a i7 is slow when its practically overkill.
The hardware producers are certainly concerned. Nvidia is rushing to push Tegra because they think tablets are replacing cheap PCs, while Apple apparently believes that a switch from Intel to their own ARM-based designs may be viable for the Mac. As for Intel, we've all heard their intentions for Broadwell, as well as rumours that they really want to phase out socketed CPUs (soldered CPU being the main model for the future; still rumour right now).

The future is speculative, but my point is that recent directions have everything to do with a perceived paradigm shift (hence the need to "catch up" or "be prepared" for the shift, or else be eaten by progressive, consumer-savvy competitors) as opposed to an intentional bid to transform desktop computing. Companies like Microsoft thrive on stability and incremental change, and they wouldn't go out of their way to "revolutionize" for the sake of it. Their failures to make inroads into the mobile market have forced their hand.
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Old 2012-12-10, 14:58   Link #487
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Not to disagree with most of what you said, but I don't know about Microsoft not "innovating" for the sake of just random trends. Wasn't that what Vista was?
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Old 2012-12-10, 19:59   Link #488
TJR
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Not to disagree with most of what you said, but I don't know about Microsoft not "innovating" for the sake of just random trends. Wasn't that what Vista was?
Was it? The main problem with Vista was that it shipped in an unoptimized and unpolished state, making it seem like a downgrade for many customers. Slow performance and poor device compatibility put off users, who eventually embraced a patched and re-branded iteration (Windows 7).

The (optional) Aero interface was included so they could catch up to a competitor in terms of desktop experience, while the new utilities, power management features, and improved security were long overdue.

I'd say that Vista was an example of incremental, predictable change.
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Old 2012-12-11, 13:52   Link #489
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About the reasons behind the new Windows version I'd like to recommend to read this.

http://arstechnica.com/features/2012...-is-new-again/

Yes is long and a bit in the technical side but it's a must read to understand the big picture.
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Old 2012-12-11, 18:12   Link #490
Vexx
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From the article:
Quote:
The WinRT name stands for "Windows Runtime." However, this isn't a runtime in the same way that Microsoft's .NET Runtime was a runtime, or the way Oracle's Java Runtime Environment is a runtime. In the .NET and Java cases, the runtime is a relatively large software component that provides a virtual machine environment, garbage-collected memory, various kinds of code safety verification, and more. The .NET and Java runtimes are intimately involved in virtually everything a .NET or Java program does, providing extensive infrastructure to software developers.
WinRT offers nothing quite like those runtimes. WinRT is a set of software libraries that provides an API offering a range of services—graphics, networking, storage, printing. In addition to this, there is a relatively small infrastructural component.
That's why I and most developers twitch at the "RT" ... its another fine case of Microsoft not quite using a term right (which dates all the way back to their misuse of words they borrowed from the original X-windows environment and its cousins).

It wasn't a bad article (though I've lived through the whole history so no new news), it was fluffier than I'd expect from Ars Tech.

This article about exactly WHERE the API libraries they're calling "RT" sits in the stack tier is a fun read.
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/...-to-redo/10736
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Old 2012-12-12, 17:41   Link #491
Ledgem
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Most people buy Macbook for looks. I mean half those people who own a Mac don't even know how to use it properly.
Really? Macs are no longer the "new and cool" thing, nor are they rare. They're commonplace in education and tend to easily outnumber PC laptops. Somehow, even though we have a bunch of people using computers that all look the exact same, we're still discussing the idea that all Mac users are in it for the looks, or because it's "the cool thing" to do?

A lot of PC users don't have any idea how to use their computer properly. The Mac side gets plenty of those types, too. They're just ordinary people who own a computer and don't care to learn much more about it.

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I mean who'd seriously buy a machine where you need to completely replace it if the harddrive breaks down? Their using industrial-strength superglue to glue the harddrive onto the motherboard.
The glue is used on the batteries, not the hard drive. The latest thing is that the "hard drive" (a solid state drive) and RAM are custom Apple parts and, at least in the case of the RAM, soldered onto the motherboard. Definitely not a nice method for those of us who like to do our own upgrades.

As to who would buy it - well, quite a few people. When I was in college I had the time to build my own computer and swap out major parts whenever I wanted (or rather, when I could fund them). Now, not so much. I can swap out RAM and a hard drive, but when things turn massively sour it's a huge relief to be able to bring the computer to an Apple store and have it taken care of. If you don't value that, that's perfectly fine - it's just a plus to Apple products that you wouldn't appreciate.

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Tablets won't replace computers. They lack the computing power. No matter how high-tech it'll get it won't replace computers. It might be useful for schools or work places but when it comes down to it we'll always have computers. Why? Its simple. It runs on a battery so it'll always having a time limit on how long you can use. Whens the last time you heard of a tablet with a graphics card? A tablet is a simplified version of a laptop. The people I know who use tablets use it to read epubs or pdfs.
Computers are more powerful than tablets today, but today's tablets are more powerful than computers of ten, perhaps even five years ago, if not even more recent. The computer has limited advantages. One is expandability, being able to interface with many other devices (storage, monitors, and so on). The other is ergonomics because, as nice as touch-based controls are, a keyboard and mouse (or touchpad) still have major advantages with many applications. None of those things are inherently unavailable to tablets, they're just not common on tablets today. Lastly, given the form factors, a dedicated computer will likely always have more power (whether graphical or processor), but how much do people need? Sure, some people are still pushing the boundaries, but it seems that the majority of people's computers are vastly underutilized. Tablets may not be able to match their raw power, but they don't have to: they're good enough for what most people's needs are.


I came across a Microsoft booth at a mall recently and tried out the Surface. While I still prefer my iPad, I was really impressed by the Surface and the hard keyboard option (the soft keyboard was rubbish - zero tactile feedback). The keyboard even has a little trackpad built into it. Input aside, the Surface also has a USB port, and one or two other ports if I remember correctly. Clearly this won't become the primary device for any "power user" but it has the possibility to be more functional than an iPad (by acting like a regular computer), yet it can also be used exactly like an iPad. Shifting between the "Metro" and standard Windows interfaces didn't seem too bad, either. I've heard many complaints about it, though, and I'm sure it all plays out very differently when you're using it for day-to-day things.

There's a lot of backlash against Windows 8, but I think that Microsoft was very smart with their strategy. Their major problem, as I see it, is that they moved too quickly and weren't device-specific enough. The Metro interface works nicely on a touch-based device (although my wife thought it looked messy, and preferred the layout of the iPad), but seems really out of place on a regular computer. Still, hybridizing tablets and computers (excluding their fudging of splitting into ARM and x86 devices) seems like a natural progression of sorts. It will be interesting to see where it leads.
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Old 2012-12-12, 19:50   Link #492
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Computers are more powerful than tablets today, but today's tablets are more powerful than computers of ten, perhaps even five years ago, if not even more recent.
Quote:
They lack the computing power. No matter how high-tech it'll get it won't replace computers. It might be useful for schools or work places but when it comes down to it we'll always have computers. Why? Its simple. It runs on a battery so it'll always having a time limit on how long you can use. Whens the last time you heard of a tablet with a graphics card? A tablet is a simplified version of a laptop. The people I know who use tablets use it to read epubs or pdfs.
Wrong interpretation of power. It's like me saying that sportscars are more powerful than pickup trucks. Sure they have more horsepower, but by "power" I'm not meaning how many horsies the engine puts out, but rather maximum load and towing capacity and stuff like that.

Laptops are more powerful than tablets because they have a real keyboard, a real mouse, ports to connect it to various peripherals, and have an OS that is built with multitasking in mind.

Quote:
None of those things are inherently unavailable to tablets
I would argue that they are inherently unavailable on tablets. Once you start adding on "full computer" functionality onto a tablet, it starts going back up to "full computer" status, i.e., Fujitsu T90x type tablets, not iPad type tablets.

The iPad as a tablet is defined of what it can't do, not what it can.

Quote:
I came across a Microsoft booth at a mall recently and tried out the Surface. While I still prefer my iPad, I was really impressed by the Surface and the hard keyboard option (the soft keyboard was rubbish - zero tactile feedback). The keyboard even has a little trackpad built into it. Input aside, the Surface also has a USB port, and one or two other ports if I remember correctly. Clearly this won't become the primary device for any "power user" but it has the possibility to be more functional than an iPad (by acting like a regular computer), yet it can also be used exactly like an iPad. Shifting between the "Metro" and standard Windows interfaces didn't seem too bad, either. I've heard many complaints about it, though, and I'm sure it all plays out very differently when you're using it for day-to-day things.
The Surface has the potential to be a lot more functional than an iPad because it is less tablet, and more laptop. The keyboard, while detachable, is well integrated into the product, and it offers a (limited) desktop environment, and port complement beyond a typical tablet.
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Old 2012-12-13, 02:27   Link #493
Vexx
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Desktops that *break down* into modular components -> tablet ... now that would be somewhat useful, especially if you could upgrade the important stuff. A Windows 8.1 that realized whether it was in tablet mode or desktop mode would be shinier, imo.
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Old 2012-12-13, 17:40   Link #494
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Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
Laptops are more powerful than tablets because they have a real keyboard, a real mouse, ports to connect it to various peripherals, and have an OS that is built with multitasking in mind.
Just as a gripe, I think that "power" is the wrong term to use. We're discussing ergonomics. Is a touch interface more or less "powerful" than a keyboard and mouse? That depends on the application. It just so happens that the majority of computing has been designed around the keyboard and mouse, so it would be correct to say that the keyboard and mouse is "more powerful" today. But from a pure ergonomic standpoint, both touch and keyboard-and-mouse have their strengths and weaknesses. It's up to the programmers to design interfaces that can benefit from each.

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I would argue that they are inherently unavailable on tablets. Once you start adding on "full computer" functionality onto a tablet, it starts going back up to "full computer" status, i.e., Fujitsu T90x type tablets, not iPad type tablets.
Isn't this just arguing over semantics? I have the Logitech keyboard cover for my iPad. It's an option that allows me to switch from the crummy virtual keyboard to a physical keyboard with tactile response. The iPad is still a tablet, even when used with that keyboard (whether docked to it or used at a distance). If iOS were updated to support mouse input in addition to touch input (similar to the Surface), then we'd have a fully flexible system that would still be a tablet, but that could be interfaced with using standard computer peripherals in addition to touch.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
A Windows 8.1 that realized whether it was in tablet mode or desktop mode would be shinier, imo.
I would imagine that's where we're headed, although I don't know about the user servicing. Being able to access components easily doesn't really fit with the whole "thin and light" craze that has overtaken the technology world.
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Old 2012-12-14, 01:05   Link #495
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Just as a gripe, I think that "power" is the wrong term to use. We're discussing ergonomics. Is a touch interface more or less "powerful" than a keyboard and mouse? That depends on the application. It just so happens that the majority of computing has been designed around the keyboard and mouse, so it would be correct to say that the keyboard and mouse is "more powerful" today. But from a pure ergonomic standpoint, both touch and keyboard-and-mouse have their strengths and weaknesses. It's up to the programmers to design interfaces that can benefit from each.
Eh, I’m not sure I agree with his statement in full but there are some tasks to which current tablet UIs, including that of the Surface, just aren’t very well suited – mainly those involving a lot of multitasking.

Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but iOS is essentially designed around fullscreen app use, correct?

The Metro UI in Windows 8 and RT has a couple features that make multitasking a little easier, including the ability to pin an app to the left or right 20% of the screen, the ability to cycle through the 80% (or fullscreen) app with a simple gesture (which reminds me of how you can move between Spaces with a four finger swipe on OS X laptops), and an easily accessible app switcher. This is probably great for your average home user. Realistically though, I feel like this setup would become unmanageable if you had more than a few apps open at a time, and the “20%” app is going to have quite limited screen space.

It’s much easier to managed large numbers of apps in a traditional desktop environment. In addition, in desktop Windows 7 and 8, I can quickly split a monitor between two apps 50/50 using aero snap.

Now, I recently had to study for a university exam, which was open book. However, open book in my faculty basically means “have some quick references ready, since you won’t have time to reread stuff”. Creating my reference sheets involved:
-24 powerpoints of slides from classes, of which I often had more than one open at once
-Two words documents of notes from students who took the course previously (my faculty encourages students to upload their old notes for use by future students)
-Course syllabus/reading list in word format
-A OneNote notebook of notes I took in class, arranged by topic
-A few OneNote pages of “stuff to remember later” that I had arranged by subjects
-Occassionally looking at PDFs from the internet
-Occassionally looking at relevant websites
- A file manager window to give me quick access to whichever powerpoints and PDFs I needed.
-And finally, a Word document where I was writing what was to become my “reference sheet” since, like most of the exams in my faculty, the exam I was studying for was open book

Most of this was open at the same time and was swapping between it all on a regular basis. I can’t imagine doing it using a current tablet UI and I honestly don’t know how the people I see use iPads in class manage to study on them.

The Surface might have been usable, but only because of it has a full desktop mode. Aside from the fact I don’t think the Surface’s app switcher is really designed to handle having that much stuff open at once, the ability to split screen 80/20 just isn’t as useful as the ability to split screen 50/50 when I want to look at both what I’m writing and what I just read at the same time, which I can do on a Windows desktop.

It’s worth noting, too, that the desktop in Windows RT can only be used to run Office, IE, and a few other built in apps. It’s not like the desktop in X86 versions of Windows where you can run whatever you want on it. This is a lot of geek types are waiting for Windows 8 tablets based around Intel’s next generation Atom chip, which can run full X86 Windows but is supposed to have similar power consumption to the ARM CPUs in the Surface and other Windows RT tablets. Unfortunately I don’t think that Microsoft will offer an Atom based Surface, as it appears their objective with the Surface is to reduce Window’s dependence on Intel for CPUs and to encourage people to use the new UI, with the desktop mainly being there because the Office team isn’t going to have a Metro version of Office ready anytime soon. Yes, I know they’re making the X86 based Surface Pro but the pricing and battery life on that won’t be competitive with the regular Surface like the Atom based tablets.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Desktops that *break down* into modular components -> tablet ... now that would be somewhat useful, especially if you could upgrade the important stuff. A Windows 8.1 that realized whether it was in tablet mode or desktop mode would be shinier, imo.
I’d honestly love to see this approach, with the device being designed to be “aware” of whether it should be in desktop or mobile mode, but Microsoft’s approach to this seems to be that you should be using Metro for both desktop and mobile use so I don’t expect them to implement this sort of location aware switching without some change in strategic direction.

For reference, BTW, Motorola actually makes a few Android phones that switch to a “desktop mode” when placed in a dock. It seems to me that Microsoft could totally do this with Windows phone - particularly as Intel is starting to make smartphone class CPUs, which would be neat as it would essentially allow you to take your regular apps with you and save your big honking desktop for stuff that really needs the processing power like gaming or Adobe Lightroom. But of course, this isn’t really where Microsoft appears to be headed.
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Old 2012-12-14, 09:36   Link #496
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Eh, I’m not sure I agree with his statement in full but there are some tasks to which current tablet UIs, including that of the Surface, just aren’t very well suited – mainly those involving a lot of multitasking.

Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but iOS is essentially designed around fullscreen app use, correct?

The Metro UI in Windows 8 and RT has a couple features that make multitasking a little easier, including the ability to pin an app to the left or right 20% of the screen, the ability to cycle through the 80% (or fullscreen) app with a simple gesture (which reminds me of how you can move between Spaces with a four finger swipe on OS X laptops), and an easily accessible app switcher. This is probably great for your average home user. Realistically though, I feel like this setup would become unmanageable if you had more than a few apps open at a time, and the “20%” app is going to have quite limited screen space.
You raise a good point, but it's also an interesting one. Let's be honest - how many of us here, regardless of operating system, use applications in non-maximized view? I'm not talking about Finder or Explorer windows, I'm talking about web browsers, Office applications (or equivalents), and so on. I've seen some people (mostly programmers) who resize windows so that they can view many applications at once, but the majority immediately maximize the window of the application that they're working with. My guess is that Apple and Microsoft, through collection of user data, have reached a similar conclusion, and hence we have Apple's "full screen mode" for applications in OS X, and Microsoft's "Metro" interface with Windows 8.

Personally, I certainly maximize most windows that I work with (although I don't use the "full screen" feature of Mac OS X as often as I probably should). What makes multitasking on a computer vs. the iPad isn't the screen size of the fact that I can display more windows at once on the computer; it's the speed of switching between applications. Alt-tabbing (or technically, command-tabbing) is faster than making gesture-based swipes.

This isn't to say that there's no good reason to have the ability to view multiple applications at once - there certainly is. Philosophically and psychologically it seems that we're moving away from the old idea that we could be ultra-productive by working on a million things at once, and technology is reflecting this by making it easier to work on a single thing with no other distractions.

(Also, a little tip for multitasking on the iPad - in addition to the four-finger swipe from side to side to move between application "panes," if you four-finger swipe upward you will bring up the list of most recently used applications and can tap one to go directly to it. This is the same action as quickly double-pressing the Home button, but it may be faster if your fingers are already at the screen. Since the gesture can be performed at any speed, it may also be better for people who have difficulty double-tapping the home button fast enough, or limiting their taps to two taps.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Most of this was open at the same time and was swapping between it all on a regular basis. I can’t imagine doing it using a current tablet UI and I honestly don’t know how the people I see use iPads in class manage to study on them.
It all depends on the application. I used "digital notebook" software similar to Microsoft OneNote on the Mac, and a version for iPad was released. I never used it, but if it was anything like the Mac version, you could throw anything into it, and you could add "tabs" to easily get to certain pages and sections. I don't know if that would have worked for you, but it sounds like you could have put all of your materials into one application, and simply organized it within one application, which would have been fast and easily accessible.

So once again, it's not that one interface is inherently better than another, it's a matter of whether the software can be designed to make good use of it.
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Old 2012-12-14, 13:23   Link #497
felix
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Let's be honest - how many of us here, regardless of operating system, use applications in non-maximized view?
Everything I stick on a second monitor is always in non-maximized window (the only things I maximize I think are things like debug windows, since there's a lot of information; otherwise smallest possible is always best). Generally there's also a lot of application splitting, where I open another instance of the same application multiple times so as to create some order. Things on the main monitor are generally WinKey+1,2,3 and mostly not minimized because they have an extensive window system of their own, and yet I still have consoles (WinKey+1) in window mode since it's far far easier to switch between the 3-5 of them by clicking between windows and remembering their position in space (main ones on main monitor, ancillary ones on secondary monitor, background ones minimized, etc), rather then by going to the icon on the taskbar, selecting the damn thing, then pondering which is which.

The only people for whom your argument holds true are the ones for who the complexity of using their phone and their computer is virtually the same (with the only difference that desktops open "bigger" apps). I'm not going to argue the people who might as well be sitting on their toilet while using the computer aren't some kind of "majority," but this whole argument of systems designed for real work needing to be dumbed down to the lowest idiot-index is absolute nonsense.
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Old 2012-12-14, 14:01   Link #498
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Originally Posted by felix View Post
I'm not going to argue the people who might as well be sitting on their toilet while using the computer aren't some kind of "majority," but this whole argument of systems designed for real work needing to be dumbed down to the lowest idiot-index is absolute nonsense.
Based on your mention of the "debug window" I take it that you fall into my observation of "mostly programmers" not maximizing their windows. Which isn't to invalidate your work, but it's also worth pointing out that programming is not the only "real work" that is performed on a computer.

I used to use dual monitors as my standard setup when I was using Windows as my primary operating system. I stopped with Macs because the software support just wasn't there (although if anyone knows of an UltraMon equivalent, please let me know!). While in research I began to utilize three monitors purely because it sped things up, but all applications were full screen on each monitor. Tiling them wasn't feasible given the type of work I was doing (signal pathway analysis). Or rather, I didn't have a single screen that was large enough to allow me to panel.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say that touch-based input is inherently superior to keyboard and mouse, or that full-screen applications are inherently superior to windowed applications that don't take up the full space. Certain tasks most definitely benefit from one over another, but a lot of the trashing of touch-based input and full screen applications seems a bit misguided to me. People talk about it as if these really are inherently inferior, but I think it has more to do with the software utilizing them efficiently. The users themselves are another factor: most of us are used to working a certain way, and these newer methods and styles are different. That takes some getting used to, as well as figuring out how best to integrate it into your own workflow.
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Old 2012-12-14, 15:37   Link #499
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Even my wife (whom I'd characterize as an average computer user) will have several windows open at once in non-maximized mode. She'll be writing letters, looking things up, shopping, and even skyping all at once.

The main complaint about a touch-oriented system is the ergonomic failure. Vertical screens and touch are painful after a few hours.
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Old 2012-12-14, 16:41   Link #500
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Touch is wonderful for small devices with limited room for input methods (i.e. smartphones and even tablets). I don't see touch having any point at all in specialized devices (i.e. MP3 players, cameras) or in full-blown computers. Tactile switches will ALWAYS be ergonomically superior to touch controls--always.

Apple's new iPod Nano is stupid. Why does it need touch controls? It doesn't. It is an MP3 player. It doesn't do anything but play MP3s and videos. Actual buttons would be vastly superior on the device. Touch-enabled desktops are stupid, too. Using a touchscreen on a vertically-oriented monitor is a major ergonomic fail--it's just not comfortable.
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