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back to article Notebook makers turn to Android in face of Windows woes

Dissatisfied with sales of Windows 8 notebook and tablets, major PC vendors have reportedly joined Intel in a new push to launch convertible fondleslabs based on Google's Android OS. So sayeth the supply-chain sleuths at Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes, which cites anonymous sources inside the notebook vendors. Chinese …

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Metro

Just kill Metro and bring back the Start menu. There, that's everything fixed for Microsoft.

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Re: Metro

Not quite fixed. How about...

1. Bring back the start menu

2. Kill Metro/TIFKAM

3. Fire Balmer

4. File for Chapter 11

(4 is just a dream sadly)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro

Here is an equation for you math fans:

Windows 8 - Metro + start menu = Windows 7

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Stop

Re: Metro

Problem is. Metro is key to them selling you apps and locking you into everything Microsoft.

That's why metro whilst being obviously bad fit for Windows 8,is still with us.

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Re: Metro

I don't care if TIFKAM is kept, as long as you access it from a shortcut in the start menu that they reinstate.

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Re: Metro

I think companies are realising that having 30% of the cost of their sales as being an unnecessary expense is MS main problem.

I've yet to hear anyone on an android device complain about lack of MS compatibility.

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Anonymous Coward

Working for devices with smaller screens?

'Don't expect Microsoft to take the threat lying down, though. The software giant is reportedly working with manufacturers to launch a new wave of Windows fondleslabs with smaller screens, which it hopes will be more competitive with such devices as Google's Nexus 7 and Apple's iPad Mini.'

Crikey they are so out of touch, didn't they know that the trend is for 'bigger is better' screens. They always seem to be playing catchup the wrong way down a one way street.

Samsungs next best selling mobile phone is to have a 22" screen.

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Re: Metro - If only it was so easy

The reason Metro is there and in your face is so they can tax all development on Windows. Why do you think they killed WPF, Silverlight, WindForms and they never came up with a good alternative?

They want developers to move to the WinRT API and lock down all Windows development. Metro is a cash cow of the future, so they will not back down from this path easily. They may sugar-coat it but that is all.

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Re: Metro

On one level I agree absolutely- take away MS operating system cost and an Android convertible is a great alternative- nearly. However, I have tried to use Android as a travelling laptop replacement- it's mouse- compatibility gives it a huge advantage over iOS for desktop-type applications. However, the office-suites proved, for work needs, to be inadequate. All the office alternatives I tried were buggy and all of them had compatibility issues which meant you often couldn't work with other people using Office. Finally, fast task switching is no substitute for windowing when it comes to work tasks.

However, Win8 (Not RT!) on my Atom powered Samsung convertible is a great work combination. I can run all my apps except modern games (the original Call of Duty is about as good as it gets!), I've even done a little light video editing. Moreover in this form factor a proper stylus makes a huge difference- and windows handwriting recognition works very well for me. It's also much much faster than the Android+Tegra 2 I was using before.

The biggest issue with this option seems to be cost. This machine seems to retail at around £650-750 at the moment- that's way too high to gain widespread adoption. I'd love to know how much of that is Intel's fee for the Clovertrail chipset and Microsoft's for Win8?

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Linux

Re: Metro

They've already done this. It's called "Windows 7".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro

I've heard of volume prices of $30-$50 for OEMs for W8. So roughly an +£30-40 at retail for W8 vs Android all other things being equal is a rule of thumb. Also deals for W8+Office. Intel prices are kept pretty quiet and deals are done but Clover Trail+ SoC must be typically sub $50 and all the talk is Bay trail being competitive with ARM SoC.

The BT improvements are major so little point in launching a new CT product now (or if you are a consumer, avoid buying one unless desperate). Not that HP and others haven't proved themselves capable of launching pointless devices before.

Interesting topic, shame most people here seem more interested in talking about why they hate Microsoft or Metro than discussing x86 Android notebooks.

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Unhappy

Re: Metro

@ Barry shitpeas

Well you do have a choice of not using it. Options are simple, use the keyboard to switch to desktop or install a start meu replacement.

Also, you don't need to use the MS Marketplace (even though there is some very good stuff there), you can even pin apps and peograms to TIFKAM should you wish. I know it is sport on el reg to spread FUD but some of it is so badly researched or just plain wrong it makes the commentator nlook stupid (this last commentbois not directed at you Barry but some here really take the biscuit).

p,s, not a fanboy, I use win 8, win 7, Win XP, Debian ( on RPI), ubuntu on x86 and I`m writing this on droid 4.2

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro

Metro=Fisher-Price=Crap

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Working for devices with smaller screens?

Indeed, it's catch up all the time. MS has for the past few years been run by committee, and a fairly clueless one at that, sorry, MS have been run by Ballmer the Baboon who heads a clueless committee. Actually, a bit unfair, Office 365 and Live are very decent, albeit still not flexible enough, but very decent nonetheless. For my desktop needs though, it seems that MS are going to abandon me and throw the baby out with the bathwater as they focus all their efforts on mobile whilst ignoring the fact that most of us want BOTH mobile AND desktop, not some crap hybrid of the two. If there is no Windows 7 continuation and tweaking then MS is going to die, at least for me, swapping for the excellent Mint 14 etc.

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Facepalm

Re: Metro

Sorry for the typos! That is the main disadvantage of typing on an on screen keyboard!

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Re: Metro

Getting rid of Metro, bringing back the start button, firing Balmer, none of that is going to make our current computers obsolete.

The problem is we have no reason to buy new machines when the old machines are more than adequate.

If Windows 8 were a problem, people would be buying huge amounts of Apple product, or installing Linux. They are not.

It is simple market saturation.

They'll be a bump next year as Windows XP support ends, creating a need to get new machines. But then it is back to market saturation.

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Re: Metro

I think you're being tremendously unfair on Fisher Price. Their products are very well suited to their role and their target demographic consider them both fun and easy to use.

So basically the opposite of Metro.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Metro

That's because they're using them as a "net book", a device to play some games, music and read facebook.

Once you actually try to use an Android device for creating code, music, art, spreadsheets (with macros) and so on they fall flat.

Someone where I work uses three very large monitors, how is some crappy Android tat going to handle that?

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Re: Metro

Almost.

Bring back the classic theme too.

Actually, just backport the updated file transfer dialog. The new task manager's neat but Sysinternals already had that covered.

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Re: Metro

Fisher-price isn't crap (or at least it wan't in the 70s). It's just aimed at pre-schoolers.

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Trollface

Poor M$

I spent all my professional life loathing Microsoft and always its works. I never thought I would start to feel sorry for them. It is really amazing how huge corporations can screw up so badly.

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Re: Poor M$

I don't feel sorry for them.

Microsoft were unethical from MSDOS, then more so when the internet let them want to own their customers. All big corporations in sight are unethical, strangely MS seem to be growing out of it.

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Re: Poor M$

All empires fall eventually.

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Pirate

Re: Poor M$

I started to loath M$ when I learnt how they deliberately rigged Windows 3 so it wouldn't run on DR DOS, and wasted days of people's time by generating confusing and meaningless error messages which basically meant 'Gotcha'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor M$

Microsoft were unethical from MSDOS, then more so when the internet let them want to own their customers

IMHO their biggest crime is establishing unethical behaviour as a default attitude for non-banking corporations, and considering fines for breaking the law as the cost of doing business instead of a reason to correct behaviour.

All big corporations in sight are unethical, strangely MS seem to be growing out of it.

I don't think so, they probably just got better at hiding it. Please don't tell me that you think that UEFI was actually developed for the customers' benefit..

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Re: Poor M$

IMHO their biggest crime is establishing unethical behaviour as a default attitude for non-banking corporations, and considering fines for breaking the law as the cost of doing business instead of a reason to correct behaviour.

I think you'll find this was already the case before MS came along. Look to any of the captains of industry from when the sherman anti-trust act was passed in the US (around 1890). Then add IBMs behavior via the subsidiary Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft mbH. Makes Microsoft look like a damned saint. (And yes, that probably counts as the Goodwin)

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Re: Poor M$

>Microsoft were unethical from MSDOS

You aren't old enough to have dealt with IBM, ICL and even DEC - at least when MSFT **** you they let you install the lubricant

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor M$

Don't feel sorry for them. They are not even sorry for themselves. Nor have they learned anything. Look what they are up to with Foxconn. It makes me want to fart, spit, vomit, and generally excrete anything foul that I can when MS is mentioned. Excuse me while I use the bathroom now.

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Re: Poor M$

Are they more unethical than the company that sells battery powered devices with irreplaceable batteries?

Are they more unethical than the company that sold off its remaining 486 processors as "pentium upgradable" when the pentium processor that fit in the 486 slot would not be built for 2 years?

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Re: Poor M$

Son, you've obviously never used version .0 of any IBM product.

You've never had a contracting company swap out the experienced guys who learned on your project for inexperienced guys.

You've never had a programmer or project leader pick a programming product on the basis of it looking good on their resume.

Ethics have been in short supply long before Gates came along.

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Good news

No more Microsoft tax. These things will also likely run Debian or Ubuntu just fine.

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Pint

Re: Good news

"No more Microsoft tax."

You must have missed the last paragraph of the article. Microsoft will take their pound of flesh, whether by 'innovating' or by lawyers.

Cheers to Friday.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news

"No more Microsoft tax. "

But you realise it costs more to license Android (from Microsoft, Nokia and Apple) than it does for a Windows RT license?

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Pint

Re: Good news

"You must have missed the last paragraph of the article. Microsoft will take their pound of flesh, whether by 'innovating' or by lawyers."

Up to a point, no? Think about it. If (and only if) the OEMs are going to sell something without Windows installed, is only a matter of time before they start selling something WITHOUT an OS installed! Microsoft is stalling this, saying it is all about piracy - but we know that is not true.

Google OS is Linux. Well, Linux kernel, and (to my argument) all that matters. Why? Because the drivers (sorry, modules) come WITH the kernel! A hardware that runs a Google OS will, probably, run on a standard distro!

A dream coming true... :D

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Re: Good news

Microsoft is going after the hardware that will run Android not Android itself. So M$ gets their cut no matter what OS you use.

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Re: Good news

> But you realise it costs more to license Android (from Microsoft, Nokia and Apple) than it does for a Windows RT license?

Completely untrue. Windows RT was originally to be $90 or so to the OEMs but they complained, as well they should, and it is reported by OEMs as being around $70.

While MS may be taking an unreleased amount from _some_ manufacturers it is thought to be around $5.00. They shelled out $300million to B&N. Nokia is suing Viewsonic but that case isn't over yet. Apple and HTC settled with cross licensing.

Apple vs Samsung is about round cornered rectangles and has years to run yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news

I have just spent over three years in court arguing the merits of "prior art" that conclusively demonstrated that my technology (Stacker) pre-dated Microsoft's specious patent claim - it IS possible to beat the bastards. Damages are being calculated in a Californian court right now, and my payout will be many millions. My team have claimed $15 per copy of any type of DOS or Windoze sold since DOS 6 (the introduction of "doublespace"), but may settle for slightly less. We have successfully shown that the NTFS compression technology is no different.

There is no content in Android that "belongs" to Microsoft. I will be happy to take that to court, too.

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Re: Good news

"time before they start selling something WITHOUT an OS installed!"

But they won't sell many to the average public.

My reasoning:

1) The ordinary person expects to switch their machine on and for it to work, not to have to load the software themself

2) Poor level of support from the OEM for the user. Though cheap for the OEM, and good for the local IT shop (bad for family members who have to support relatives unpaid).

Not to say there isn't room to sell bare machines to businesses and expert but the larger businesses would always be in a position to negoiate on licencing and the number of the latter alone wouldn't be a great dent in Microsoft's revenue.

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Re: Good news

"I have just spent over three years in court arguing the merits of "prior art" that conclusively demonstrated that my technology (Stacker) pre-dated Microsoft's specious patent claim - it IS possible to beat the bastards."

Yes, but it's taken 20 years for you to get that decision. In most other long-running cases MS has won via attrition.

I hope you get the $15/copy PLUS triple damages for wilful infringement.

(I had a stac hardware card back in the day. They were a great piece of technology)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news

A very big assumption, and when it falls flat you are now to are under the control of Google. Google who track you everywhere to productise you and sell your privacy for profit. Google who drop open APIs (e.g. CalDAV) for their own, proprietary one.

Google is not to be trusted. Ever.

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WTF?

Re: Good news

The Stacker business was shamefully one of the first warnings that this was a company that rolled others' innovations into their products without paying. We all knew it was happening at the time. It's insane that it has taken the courts so long to find fault, lay blame and assess damages. "Bleak House" comes to mind. It is also proof that Microsoft's own protestations of infringement can be held at bay indefinitely with an adequately funded legal team.

Good luck to you but I suspect that after the damages are calculated they will be appealed for another 20 years.

BTW: You really need to get a press agent. I'm on your side and had thought this was settled in 1994, 19 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stac_Electronics#Microsoft_lawsuit .

"Microsoft still hasn't paid for stealing STAC Electronic's Stacker disk compression technology for DOS, stands to pay for every copy of Windows ever shipped" is headline news. A little more light on the subject would hasten them to the settlement table.

Or maybe there is something more going on here. Would you care to flush out some details? In what way was the 1994 $84m settlement unsatisfactory? Did they forget to touch second base?

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Linux

Re: Good news

"only a matter of time before they start selling something WITHOUT an OS installed!" Another reason I love Bangkok. Been buying computers for years, dirt cheap, no software installed, then sticking in my choice of Linux. Surprised the "First" World democracies don't offer this option.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news

They do offer that choice to businesses, and you can even build your own if you are that way inclined.

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Re: Good news @ Mikel

Forgive my ignorance but that wikipedia article suggests the lawsuit was settled. Is this not the case?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news

@AC 20th April 2013 21:06

LOL, You do realize that your Google hatred is simply Microsoft FUD.

Microsoft are trying to win consumers over by badmouthing everyone else. It worked for Xbox, with it's last-gen features and 50% failure rate, they got the press to shit-talk Sony, made idiot gamers believe that competition was good, and they should buy the shite-box360 and sign up to a subscription model, because it's cool to do so.

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Re: Good news

Dude, you made Stacker? I loved that program way back in the day. Hope you're successful in your lawsuit.

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Re: Good news

I thought the Stacker suit was settled ages ago.

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Re: Good news

>There is no content in Android that "belongs" to Microsoft. I will be happy to take that to court, too.

That's MSFT's strategy. You can take us to court over Android patents - but while you are doing that we will stop your OEM Windows licenses.

So Samsung/Acer/Asus/etc how do you feel about selling no windows machines for 20years while we discuss this?

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Re: Good news

No, MS are going after a maker of android hardware who want to be the maker of xbox hardware too.

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Re: Good news

You shouldn't trust any of them.

But Google are evil while they allow me to do things, whereas Apple and MS are evil and stop me from doing things.

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