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back to article Microsoft: Just swallow this tablet ... the rest will take care of itself

The clearest sign that Windows 8 may have a fighting chance has nothing to do with the software, and everything to do with hardware. Microsoft's hardware, that is. The gods must be crazy. After all, Microsoft has spent decades printing money based on a booming software business. Despite the criticism leveled by the technorati, …

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Bronze badge

Personally

I think it's quite a nice looking device.

As always though, I'll wait and see how it behaves in the real world first before parting with my cash

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personally

Been thinking about Argos, and their 16 day no-quibble returns policy.

Once Argos are stocking them I would probably try one out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personally

Unfortunately, those square blocks you see in all the screen shots aren't Windows 8 tiles, but individual pixels.

Surface really needs a decent display.

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The hardware...

Will get the tech heads perhaps interested. The rest of the world just wants something that works..

From this review, it seems you're extrapolating the possible tech wish of lovely hardware into a prediction that everyone will love it, despite the software really being a bit of a pain in the derriere..

That's not usually the way it works, alas. From all the 'normal people', to quote Avenue Q, I hang out with, they all say they just want something that works and doesn't get in the way. Good hardware spec, bad hardware spec, they'd not know the difference.

However, show them a graphical inconsistency, and they lose patience really quickly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The hardware...

"The rest of the world just wants something that works.."

That'd be great if it was true. Unfortunately the rest of the world just wants what their peers own or idols endorse, and nothing more.

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DJV
Joke

"Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Can I have some of what you're smoking?

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Headmaster

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

It would even more be interested in the list. I'd guess that Age of Empires is on it, but what else?

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Silver badge

Fantastic can mean many things!

fantastic (fænˈtæstɪk) — adj

1. strange, weird, or fanciful in appearance, conception, etc

2. created in the mind; illusory

3. extravagantly fanciful; unrealistic: fantastic plans

4. incredible or preposterous; absurd: a fantastic verdict

5. informal very large or extreme; great: a fantastic fortune ; he suffered fantastic pain

6. informal very good; excellent

7. of, given to, or characterized by fantasy

8. not constant; capricious; fitful: given to fantastic moods

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WTF?

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Fantastic for Intel. But us plebes? I think not.

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

I couldn't read the rest of the article for laughing once I'd got that far.

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

If you throw enough shit at the wall some of it will stick....

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Good:

.

Windows 2000

Windows 7

Halo series (excluding the original as it was written before Bungie was bought)

Age of empires (as mentioned)

Forza Motorsports

Pre 2007 Office

Active Directory

Sega Dreamcast's OS

.

Bad:

.

Windows Vista

Internet Explorer

Office 2007 and up

Windows Me

Microsoft Bob

Windows Phone 7

Fucking Clippy (it looks like you are writing a letter)

Initial release of Win95 (too buggy for words)

Recent incantation of WIndows Livew Messenger

Windows....Fucking....8

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Please tell me how Eclipse is so much better than Visual Studio, for starters.

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

What don't you like about WP8?

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Anonymous Coward

@bean520

That list says more about you than Microsoft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Here's a list for ya:

Active Directory

Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 7

Windows Server 2012

and yes, Windows 8

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FAIL

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Ummmmm..... for one, you have to actually know what you're doing rather than depending on bloated crutch-ware which simply reduces the knowledge set required to write a program to pre-MCSE level. I love watching VS/.net types when confronted with ANY other OS/IDE/language environment; that deer-in-headlights look, that anger over the realization that they don't know jack, and then the mumbling about how great VS is as they walk away in complete denial of the fact they have little to no understanding of the internal workings of any computer system.

All they extra "stuff" VS shoves in and around your code? Don't worry about it; it's very important but too complex for you Scooter. No. Really. Don't look at it. And don't worry about that extra 25% in compiled module size. Its completely necessary. How exactly do you get VS to work for other languages/environments such as PERL, btw? Got PHP? Brightscript? Android plugins/emulators/development? No? Didn't think so.

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Black Helicopters

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

You had me up until AD. I'd sooner have an appendectomy with a blunt spoon than suffer AD.

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Meh

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

To be fair, they've done some pretty good compilers & dev systems. And Excel seems pretty good, especially at pretty graphs.

But there have been some real turkeys, and some half-finished stuff too. And yes, AD is the work of satan

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Silver badge

Re: "that deer-in-headlights look, that anger over the realization that they don't know jack"

Yes, but you have to admit their adaptable.

They have to be with the endless churn of new execution enviromnents/programming frameworks/languages MS throws at them. Barely enough time to learn this years replacement for Silverlight or .NET for normal mortals, before it's unceremoniously dumped...

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Mushroom

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

That list, is it meant to be the crap software? I've experienced much of it and it all frustrated me in a number of ways. Even the much vaunted Windows 7 is a pain the arse many times and still chews through clock cycles like the bastard offspring of Vista that it is. Exchange? Wow. Just Wow. And AD? Oh my...... I've played with Win8 and found it quicker than 7 but otherwise very frustrating. Stick ClassicShell on it and it morphs into 'good' old Windows but still struggles to hide some of the cut and shut nature of the OS. As for Windows Server, I'm not even sure why that should still exist in a world of Linux servers but there's no accounting for taste and I guess if you've been raised in an MS only environment it sort of makes sense but those of us who have more diverse experience know it is easier to run a solid Linux server environment.

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Devil

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

And the rest is RTM'ed...

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Stop

Re: Here's a list for ya:

That's one sick fantasy

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Sort of. Vista was fantastic in the same way that the Bubonic plague was a fantastic killer.

Windows 8 leans more towards the indescribable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Well... for starters, Eclipse supports Java.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Active Directory - a poor copy of Novell's NDS

Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 - an 'enterprise strength' mail system with it's datastore based on MS Access, and which can't be ported to SQL server (which wasn't a MS written product)

Windows Server 2008 R2 - let's remove useful functionality present in R1, and make its version of AD not work properly with a mix of XP, Vista & 7.

Windows 7 - Vista with most, but not all, of the bugs removed, & useful functionality (present in XP) removed.

Windows Server 2012 - finally a server OS that installs without a GUI, but you are expected to manage it with TIFKAM.

and yes, Windows 8 - least said about this the better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Get some new arguments.

- Exchange 2010/2013 is not Exchange 55

- Windows Server 2008 R2 AD is not NT4

- Windows 7 is not Vista

- Windows Server 2012 management - hmmm, you've not heard of PowerShell then?

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Mushroom

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software"

Wow, what a load of poorly informed FUD. What about the market leading development tools, the market leading UC platform in Lync? the market leading Office applications, The worlds most popular email system in Outlook.com? The worlds fastest browser in IE10, etc, etc...

Active Directory is based on LDAP and Kerberos whereas NDS was based on X500. Having used both, I can't think of anything that strikes me as a direct copy of NDS - maybe you could enlighten us?

Exchange datastore and SQL server are designed for very different things so i dont see your point here - Exchange has lower IOP and storage requirements than any competing mail system versus number of users / transactions, so I guess you are saying that Access has an amazingly scalable and efficient database engine in JET for an office product? I assume you refer to SQL being based on code purchased from Sybase. Since SQL server 2005 there has no longer been any legacy Sybase code in SQL server.

Server 2008 R2 - no idea what you are on about here. R2 only added functionality and it works just fine with a mix of platforms.

Windows 7 - many times more functionality was added than was removed. So what do you care about that was removed? I cant think of a single thing that mattered.

Server 2008 also installed without a GUI.

Windows 8 - more secure - more efficient - new functionality - and reinvented for touch and guesture - which is likely the future of computing.

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Bronze badge

"but I soldiered on because the hardware was so pretty"

Really? When I switched to Apple for my personal computing at home it was solely for the OS as after my first brush with Vista I was determined never to touch another MS OS unless I was being paid to do so. It was the OS that I wanted, the hardware was an admittedly pleasant bonus but it didn't drive my decision.

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Re: "but I soldiered on because the hardware was so pretty"

I have a feeling there might be lot more people like you soon. Another Vista moment on its way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "but I soldiered on because the hardware was so pretty"

There's been times MS had tried to implement new OS features, but has failed because it hasn't been taken up by hardware vendors - (like that thing in Vista that was supposed to put widgets on small secondary screen on the laptop's lid)... and other times new hardware has been ahead of the OS and has require a confusion of drivers before being included in the next version or Service Pack. USB3, for example, isn't native to Win7.

The Apple model has some things going for it, such as a limited range of hardware for the software to be tested on, and solutions that depend on a combination of hardware and software can be more easily rolled out as a finished product, whose advantages are easier to demonstrate. Like that Fusion disk system on the new Macs- it requires one SSD, one HDD, and the logical volume manager CoreStorage that OSX has had for a year (but only previously used for whole volume encryption).

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Re: "but I soldiered on because the hardware was so pretty"

Percentage of Vista users who switched to OSX?

Percentage of OSX users who run Bootcamp or Parallels so they can run Windows apps?

Guess which is higher!

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Anonymous Coward

"Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

A troll if there ever was one. Care to make a reasoned argument out of it?

All I see is shoddy, scratch that, fantastically badly written, software that focuses more on fancy flashy sell-it-to-the-managers "features" than on function. And no thought at all spared to security for decades; all that thought went into finding creative new ways to shut out the competition.

If you see something else, please provide some reasoning.

"Microsoft has to make too many compromises with its customer base to move forward its software story with conviction."

So curious how apple was in pretty much the same situation, yet didn't need to compromise and stacked roaring success on top of roaring success. With devices that curiously lack interfaces the competition does provide, yet that doesn't seem to pose a problem for the "experience" of using the thing.

You might be right that this is what they're shooting for, but I am not quite so sure they'll manage to hit it, too. On that note, just what lessons did they learn from the roaring lack of uptake of "winpho"? Care to expound, Matt?

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Stop

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

Tripe.

I see fantastically GOOD software written that allows me to get my work done, allows me to play games, listen to music, read books, browse the internet, edit my accounts, write my letters, send my emails...the list goes on. Do other operating systems offers this? Of course they do - but I don't want other operating systems. I want Windows, I've always had Windows, and I always will - as will many millions of others.

And if you're going to throw the "security" arguement in there you've clearly not been paying attention for the last 10 years - Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Initiative pushed forward personal computing security not just for themselves and their customers, but also because it forced vendors and third parties to up their game too.

And as for roaring uptakes, I see Google has clearly learned lessons from the roaring uptake of Android - by packing it all with more buggy features, and standing by whilst their App store is littered with apps containing chinese root kits. Utter, utter, UTTER turd.

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Meh

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

"Utter, utter, UTTER turd"

At last- a realistic assessment of Win8.

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WTF?

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

I don't think there's there any real argument that Visual Studio is absolutely hands-down the single best programmer's IDE in existence right now.

You could call "Eclipse" but if you do I'm afraid I'll be laughing too hard to reply.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

> So curious how apple was in pretty much the same situation, yet didn't need to compromise

They dont really need to compromise with less than 5% market share.... its hardly the same situation now is it?

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Stop

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

VS is ok, but it's no vim.

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Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

VS is a hell of a lot better than Eclipse, oh how I hate using Eclipse, but it still comes second place to the Delphi / C++ Builder IDE.

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

Pah. Qt.

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Meh

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

2007 called, they want their data back.

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Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

"Visual Studio is absolutely hands-down the single best programmer's IDE in existence right now"

VS is to programmers as rap is to music.

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Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

You type your code at the command line, then?

No. Didn't think so. Either you don't code at all, you never use VS at all or you only use VS and therefore hate it because you've never seen how fuckawful all the alternatives are.

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Re: "Microsoft actually writes fantastic software."

Netbeans is actually very very good.

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Anonymous Coward

tripe

The hardware is old and clunky. It's DPI is even worse than the woeful iPad Mini.

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You have it wrong.

" I'm just saying that software isn't the primary selling point for Apple's devices.

The device is."

No... the main selling point of Apple devices, is the Integration!

The fact that you can film something with you iPhone, open your iPad and edit it, then get home a show it to your kids without really having to "do" anything.

Integration is Apple's secret. It's how they go from selling an iPhone, to a iMac, to an iPad, to a timeCapsule to the same person. And it's all meant to work together, and it does, and it all works...the same.

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Meh

Re: You have it wrong.

pity they don't do scanners, isn't it?

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Mushroom

No. I DO like the software.

Its not about the "cool" its always been about how well OS X and iOS work.

Its been seven years now since I went Mac. Things I'm still not missing. Freeze ups, blue screens, saving my documents every 10 minutes online or off for fear that three hours of writing will disappear in a browser crash. "this happened many times"

I don't miss virus scans, I don't miss keyloggers, I certainly don't miss ACTIVE X, I don't miss disk defragmenting. I don't miss security updates that take an hour or more to download and install, I don't miss re-installing every 6-8 months to keep my gaming computers performance sharp. I don't miss my OS turning itself off with a hardware upgrade and having to be reactivated by a call center in India trying to read me a giant string of numbers over a crackling phone connection. I don't miss heinous and rude customer service.

Things I do miss, more and better games in the desktop, things I do miss, a decent choice of video chip-sets. But in the end I had to ask myself if gaming was all there is, and I realized than gaming was the least of my needs, and the only thing Microsoft seemed to be any good at. It just was not worth the hassles anymore.

But "I buy it cuz its kool?" Hardly. I'm possibly the most dated, least cool person on planet earth. But I buy what works. I'm not the only one by any standard, judging by the mob at the Apple store on the rare occasions I go.

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Silver badge

Re: No. I DO like the software.

your experience is better then mine. we got these mac minis at work. nothing but freezes and hangups for the past three months. Never mind that some of the applications we use don't work on a mac (or the port is so bad, it's unusable), so we are doing most of our work in windows in a VM anyway. I find it's UI behavior random, at best. I have done everything I can think of to try to get these things bearable, finally upgraded to 16G and the most responsive SSD I could find. It has helped a little, but still worse experience then my machine from 5 years ago.

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Silver badge

Re: No. I DO like the software.

you know what?

i dont miss any of that crap either, and im a windoze user! thing is the situation you describe was 7 years ago.

i cant remember the last time i saw a BSOD.

only thing that ever crashes a browser these days is flash - hardly redmonds fault.

updates, cant say for sure but typically less than 10 minutes, usually in the background so you dont really notice anything.

I reinstalled vista a few times and have never had to reinstall 7

defrag and activex - really showing your age now.

plus i get all the games and endless choice (as an apple used you may want to google that last word :D) in terms of hardware.

but most of all as a 'hairy arsed design engineer' - keeping the country's lights on ALL the software i need to use is windoze only.

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