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back to article Hands on with the Windows 8 fondleslab

Developers attending Microsoft's BUILD conference will go home with a brand new Windows 8 tablet from Samsung. And it's not half bad. The fondleslab is rather curiously named the Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview PC – no mention of the word tablet – and it's unlikely to see the light of day as a commercial product. But it …

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Facepalm

No it does not!

Clearly this does not pose the question as to how well Win 8 runs on less capable hardware, as if you watched the keynote, you saw Win8 running on a 2 year old netbook, and saw MS demonstrate how efficiently the OS runs compared to Win7. I take it you are a Mac/iPad user, given the fanbois undertones in your article.

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Stop

I'll wait and see

After all, Vista worked great in the demos too.

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly it does

If MS could demo it running ok on an ARM processor, why the hell didn't they? This reminds me of the playbook demo, looked good in the demo, shame about the half finnished piece of crap that was released.

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really!?

"After all, Vista worked great in the demos too."

...did it!?

don't get me wrong, i'm very much in the MS camp, but Vista wasn't ever particuarly good, even after SP1...

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FAIL

Vista Never Ran Well - TRUE

And this is why my HP 6830s business class laptop (well - lugable, folding desktop) is running Ubuntu instead of Vista Business.

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Stop

Ah the folly

Of giving the developers a fast machine, they will code against that and the apps will be rubbish on less powerful hardware.

Or is it that the OS needs such powerful hardware just to get started?

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I immediately thought of the 11" Macbook Air: small, light, full desktop OS: a good battery life is not an impossible proposition at all for this device. In fact a touch screen and a detachable keyboard are the only things missing from the Air.

Microsoft seems to plan on tablet-PC convergence on Windows 8, IIRC the traditional desktop will be just an optional UI app running on top of a lightweight OS.

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No word on battery life, then? Trust MS to design something bigger, fatter, heavier and more power-hungry than everyone else...

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Silver badge
Windows

Another year or so?

"Clearly, this tablet is designed to show off Windows 8 at its best, but it raises the question of how well the new OS will run with less powerful systems."

ARM Socs are getting more and more powerful for the same power consumption and even Intel appears (although a little late in the day) to have woken up.

"Intel promises '20X' power reduction with 'Haswell' chips" (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/13/haswell_at_adc_2011/)

The time when hardware capable of running a full song with choruses os without slaughtering the battery is rapidly approaching. I honestly do not believe that is going to be a major issue. Things are developing so fast that in a couple of years time at the very latest the specs of that Sammy that MS have given the attendees at Build will be regarded as *very* ordinary and as you point out are fully capable of running a full fat os without sweating.

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Thumb Up

Just a comment on the people who down voted this post.

WHY?

What Artic fox wrote was very, very reasonable. The fact that it got down voted says a lot more about those people than the actual comment. Sounds like, these people don't like the truth - and the only way to vent their anguish is to down vote! [Obviously they can't post a credible response].

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Go

Optional

Why not? Maybe they simply disagree? Maybe they had a bad day? Maybe they feel otherwise? Maybe mommy told them to?

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Meh

Another year or so?

Not disagreeing with the sentiment of your post but the time scale is a lot off. The PR statement on Haswell is a typical piece of Intel smoke and mirrors.

The 20x power reduction is a simply an impossible reduction in less than two years. If you read through the article it doesn't include when CPU is actually running (ie its a Idle figure), requires optimized full SSDs, Screens etc from third party vendors etc. Your looking here at phone design/territory where in a full idle shutdown it will do quite a few days running. For a tablet and not phone that is a highly misleading comparison without any requirement to be 'always on' for incoming calls etc.

Operating in normal use however its still going to be only around 12 hours or so. Maybe some more maybe less...The current Intel designs are still lagging ARM still by a significant margin in power consumption and so they are still playing catchup

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@SoftFox Good points.

I suppose all I am really saying is that it is highly likely that we will see x86 devices with considerably longer battery life than quite a few people (for various reasons/motivations) are currently assuming. That the picture being presented of devices so noisy and with such poor battery life and/or performance as to be impracticable/almost useless is in fact a picture with a significantly shorter shelf life than some people are claiming. You are however quite right in saying that we should treat the figures that Intel have provided with considerable caution.

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Anonymous Coward

I know this is OT but

has the man in the photo just seen something sexually arousing or had a mild cardiac event?

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Anonymous Coward

Can't it be both?

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why all the talk about the laptop^H^H^H^H^H^Htablet since it's tied to mains and desk

so it's a "developers tablet" and is not portable so why spend 3/4 of the article talking about a bloated piece of hardware? And didn't Microsoft say that your new applications will run on a Windows 8 desktop and tablet? That would mean there was no need for a "developers tablet" unless it's swag to try and get developers to look at it.

And just because you see the label ARM, it does not mean it is what you see in Apple iPads or Android machines. Some vendors are sampling quad core ARM Cortex a9 chips and those are probably what you see Windows 8 running on.

This really sounds like the same old Windows tablet gig we've heard for the past 20 years. Expect something too heavy to easily use or else it'll be under powered or have a very short battery life.

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Anonymous Coward

Great Hardware spec...

...Now just need to put Android on it.

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Hell, you'll need a far higher spec machine to have that android junk running at 'acceptable' levels... lol

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Anonymous Coward

Does it have enough battery life?

To finish booting up?

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Silver badge
Stop

Press Bribes....

"BUILD Developers attending Microsoft's BUILD conference will go home with a brand new Windows 8 tablet from Samsung."

Microsoft are famous for it. They give away Xboxes, laptops, mobiles to EVERYONE attending these events. If you ever say a bad thing about Microsoft, you no longer get invited.

In my books, that's a bribe.

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I've been to MS events and come away with bags of goodiies everytime. Never mentioned that it was "hush money"...just handed over as a thank-you for attending.

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Anonymous Coward

You never get re-invited if you ever breath a bad word about Microsoft.

Trust me, I know how it works, and I know people that have fallen foul of it.

It's bribe, but clearly they can't call it that.

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Good stuff

Nice to hear that MS have made a good job of it. It'll be interesting to see some more competition in this area and I think the idea of an optional pen interface is inspired.

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Anonymous Coward

Inspired?

They have been selling this crap for 10 years, even palm worked out that no body wants a pen interface.

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JDC

Unless you like sketching, in which case a pen interface is pretty handy...

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"PC"

"The fondleslab is rather curiously named the Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview PC – no mention of the word tablet"

In Microsoftish, the language spoken in Redmond, 'PC' means 'device that runs Windows' - nothing more, nothing less.

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Anonymous Coward

To be fair It also means the same to Apple.

'Hello, I am a pc. And I am a slightly different sort of pc.' does not have quite the same ring to it....

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Portrait mode?

I've seen absolutely nothing about how the W8 tablet behaves in portrait mode - which is how I generally use my iPad...

Having said that, W8 does look impressive - it already has plenty of fans*.

* Getting rid of all that excess heat from the CPU, ha ha ha. I'm sure it won't be an issue when it launches in a year's time. Almost certainly.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm

It's got MS software on it - so how often will it crash?

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Anonymous Coward

Have you used Windows recently. Personally I only had a handful of crashes of Vista for the 2 years I had it and in the 8 months I have had Windows 7 I have yet to experience a single crash.

Keep on trolling

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder if it will crash more or less often than my iPod Touch and my Android phone.

Neither has been crash-free although to be fair to the phone I have flashed dozens of different, often experimental ROMs.

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Anonymous Coward

A good windows tablet can only be a good thing, I'll buy one if it's any good and can run legacy applications from windows and I already have an Android tab.

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Anonymous Coward

Games

I quite like the idea of a game of Civ or Football Manager on a tablet.

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Come on - get it out of the way...

Just waiting for the usual nonsense "but can it play Crysis?"

The answer's probably "yes, but the controls are crappy."

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BUT... the controls won't be crappy though! Windows 8 supports all manner of controls.

Mouse and keyboard is standard. Hell, even a stylus is supported (the Samsung developer model) - I don't see iPad or Android tablets having this level of support.

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Crappy controls

Yeah - my jibe was the whole pointy-fingery / pen interface that's being gushed over. Would suck a bit for (most) (existing) games.

Now someone's going to rome out with Angry Birds for Windows just to prove me wrong...

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Microsoft have so far done well.

For some reason, it's impossible for the anti-Microsoft posters (generally the majority of them on The Register) to give credit where it's due.

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Anonymous Coward

Quit whining already.

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Bronze badge

Stylus is fine.

My preferred mode is mouse-clicker in one hand and stylus to point at screen objects in the other. Of course this requires the type of tablet and stylus where you can point to move the cursor without tapping - and some software doesn't respond to clicks when you're pointing with a stylus; mostly system utilities and setup software (HP TouchSmart TM2-1010EA). For "typing", since due to RSI-type disability I can't type, I use an optimised on-screen keyboard called Fitaly (five rows, letters ETAOIN are contiguous and central), and I achieve about fifty per cent of my previous keyboard speed. Handwriting stinks for efficient input: speech recognition is... hopeful, but it needs quite a lot of processing power.

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Fitaly FTW

Fond memories of Fitaly on my many Palm models. A truly excellent piece of research translated into software and I loved the way it was available across most apps.

From my research into gestural interfaces, stylus-based interfaces are still very popular in Asian countries where the local language requires more precision than can be achieved with a finger. Having the choice would be fabulous on my iPhone and iPad for precision work even now.

Having said that, for a lot of sketching work, remarkably good UI refinements in smart alignment can go a long way to compensate - Nick Nallick did a great job with the usability of Intaglio Sketchpad. I wouldn't have believed a vector drawing app could be usable just on an iPhone until I tried it.

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Anonymous Coward

Hot hot heat

With a pretty powerful processor in there it might get a bit warm - if it is hot enough to melt cheese could we use it as a fondueslab?

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RE: Hot hot heat

I was thinking the same. How do you cool an i5 in a fan free (fanless?) system. The weight noted might be an explanation - the entire case is an aluminum/magnesium/copper heat sink.

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All thinsg to all men (and women)

Basically, MS have done an Apple - taken loads of other people's ideas and stuck them together in an original and useful way. Most significant development in OSes since Windows 95, integrating the three threads of modern computing - mobile, traditional & cloud computing - in a way no-one else has done yet.

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Big Brother

23456

With one difference ...

It won't work.

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Trollface

Yes it will - It will make MS Profits

It will work at least as well as Vista did. Vista was excellent for making people buy Windows7.

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Thumb Up

Finally, maybe a useful tablet!?

I've looked at tablets. I've kicked the tires and keep coming back to my Windows laptop. Maybe, just maybe, Windows 8 on something similar to this will convince me a tablet is more than just a glorified toy!?

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