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back to article Windows 8 diet exposes Microsoft's weak ARM

Microsoft has put Windows marketing on a diet, cutting the number of packaged editions from six under Windows 7 to just three main versions for its latest OS, which is due later this year. In the past, when Microsoft announced SKUs for new versions of its PC client it was forced to justify so many editions for a simple piece of …

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@ph0b0s

"[Windows RT] is even more locked down than android."

Eh ? One of Androids problems/features is that rather than being locked down, it is up and running around all over the place like a headless chicken, flashing it's knickers at all and sundry and generally sleeping around with anyone or anything that gets on the device.

I rather like myself...

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Correction

"I rather like myself..."

"I rather like it myself" I meant.

Seem to have attracted the down-voters too - wonder why ?... perhaps they believe Android is locked-down - if so , perhaps they could explain that to me.....

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@Tim

When I say locked down I mean how much of a walled garden it is. On desktop, Windows is known for allowing users a fair amount of leeway in it's use as opposed to OSX by comparison. But on ARM you won't have the same leeway with Windows RT, since it will follow the Windows Phone model which sits in between IOS and android for leeway in use.

For example with Android you can install applications outside the of their app store and install new versions of the OS on your old hardware even if not officially supported. This is not the case for IOS and Windows RT.

Of course leeway in use should not be the same as unsecure, which Android may well by guilty of at the moment. If they can follow how Windows has made efforts to secure it's self which still allowing a lot of openness, that would be good.

But bottom line if you want the same openess you enjoy with windows on desktop, on your tablet then windows RT is not the way to go.

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Re: You mean free Metro office....

> but still is not a replacement for the desktop and desktop apps.

Exactly. MS don't want to sell a tablet as a replacement for a desktop, they want to sell you a tablet _and_ a desktop. and a new version of Office, and a phone, and everything else they can leverage money from your wallet for.

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Holmes

@Richard Plinston Re:"and everything else they can leverage money from your wallet for."

I would not disagree with that. However, in what way as far as that is concerned are they any different from any other producer of anything you care to name?

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Re: @Richard Plinston and everything else they can leverage money from your wallet for."

I think he's just making it clear that WOA will not be an adequate x86 replacement.

Windows W8 Home, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 WOA

The first three all run apps as expected, the fourth doesn't.

Its all academic, you don't buy WOA on its own.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Correction

I thought you meant, "Rather like myself," but I stand corrected.

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@Richard

Yes, but that has not been the message from analysis's who have been predicting that Microsoft releasing Windows for tablet means the death of desktops.

Microsoft have believed this, as they have focused on the Metro GUI even on the desktop OS at the expense of the Desktop experience. Since tablets are the future. No tablets are another new useful form factor, not a replacement....

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Re: @Tim

"When I say locked down I mean how much of a walled garden it is."

Ok. However Android isn't a walled garden... not by any stretch of the imagination. So although 'even more locked down than android' is true, it came across to me (at least) as implying that android is in some sense significantly locked-down (like saying 'These crisps are even more crunchy than jelly').

"Of course leeway in use should not be the same as unsecure, which Android may well by guilty of at the moment. If they can follow how Windows has made efforts to secure it's self which still allowing a lot of openness, that would be good."

I agree completely that Android would do well to review it's security (which it is beginning to do, to a small degree, and rather badly alas)...

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Re: @Richard Plinston and everything else they can leverage money from your wallet for."

> are they any different from any other producer of anything you care to name?

I can name dozens of community projects that _aren't_ trying to leverage money from my wallet.

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Re: @Tim

"I agree completely that Android would do well to review it's security (which it is beginning to do, to a small degree, and rather badly alas)..."

Android needs to go through the same security boot camp that Windows XP did with SP1 (or SP2 can't remember now). Where Microsoft delayed development of their next OS in order to get their OS's security house in order.

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Trollface

No Windows Media Player on RT?

Thats random, right? I guess we will just download WinAmp or similar from the "Windows Store".

Talking of that, did anyone else notice that Windows Store is available on all three versions? I wonder if there will be a GP that will disable that from the Metro UI so that employees and workers don't spend their lunchtime downloading unwanted apps that will no doubt diminish productivity.

Talking of THAT, what about this reset and refresh your PC button? A good idea and all, but as an IT support company, I am envisaging many of our clients calling to tell us it broke so they pushed the "Reset your PC" button and now everything has gone....

I'm sure it will all be fine.....

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Re: No Windows Media Player on RT?

What I don't understand is the lack of Pro features in RT. Microsoft dominates in the Enterprise market, and no IT manager is going to buy tablets with an OS that can't join the corporate domain and be centrally managed.

Looks like a clear speration of consumer and business tablets to me.

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Stop

Re: No Windows Media Player on RT?

Windows Media Player is a desktop application. Windows RT doesn't get a desktop, so it wouldn't work...

On the other hand, they do have Metro apps with equivalent functionality (video, music etc.)...

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Win8 for PC or Tablets

So what do I run on my wonderful new Windows mobile phone?

I think that other computer company manages to make the same app work on their MP3 player, phone and tablet.

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Thumb Down

Seriously??

Windows *RT* because it's short for *runtime*??

That's marketing genius right there.

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Nothing new to see here

So RT is going to differ from WinCE / Windows Mobile how exactly?

Except for forcing the WinMobile interface onto desktops.

Win3.1 Program Manager was more usable.

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JDX
Gold badge

Whether a user should pick Windows 8 or Windows RT is less straightforward

With all those ARM-based PCs on the market? RT is for tablets, maybe things will get more grey later but not yet.

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FAIL

Re: Whether a user should pick Windows 8 or Windows RT is less straightforward

No. The problem is that there will be ARM tablets and x86 tablets.

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Boffin

Elop, Elop, Loppedy-Lop,

Dropped my Lumia and it went 'Plop'.

I got it in my Christmas sock

Thought it was a toilet block.

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Linux

I imagine...

...that unless the Enterprise version has a means of killing Metro, businesses will just keep running Win 7 until M$ realise their mistake when developing Win 9 (in much the same way as businesses avoided Vista and held onto XP until 7 arrived).

RT will be a brave experiment - given the Smartphone market is dominated by iOS and Android, they came very late to the game, and unlike IE (which was also a late entry to the browser market) it's unlikely they'll get more market share than their rivals.

Still, if Win 8 causes Microsoft's share of the OS market to decline (albeit slightly), it can only be a good thing. Who knows, in a decade's time, Linux might have risen above 2% of the market (especially if children are being introduced to the wonders of the FOSS OS in school courtesy of the Raspberry Pi, then discover that pretty much every bit of software they could want [apart from the latest games] is available from the Repositories, installations / updates don't nag you to reboot, reboot, reboot again; you don't need to fork out £££ for Security Suites every year, and OS upgrades are handled in the same way as any other update, with just one reboot needed!)

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Enterprise

Seeing as Windows 7 rollouts are currently ongoing I'd suggest that no corporates are planning to touch this before 2014 by which time some of the bugs and the strategy might have been worked out. Can see some people being brave enough to buy a few tablets of whichever variety for road warriors assuming the necessary software is available and enterprise management is possible. But that would be in a sort of "Microsoft demonstrates..." environment.

So, MS have two years to stop wholesale abandonment of their platform in the corporate space. If you put it like that you can see that they still have room for manoeuvre.

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FAIL

Re: I imagine... all the people, living with Linux....

.. except you'll all be LIVING IN CAVES!

"then discover that pretty much every bit of software they could want [apart from the latest games] is available from the Repositories, "

Name one decent CAD package available in any Linux repository. Name ONE. Come one, I'm waiting...

So while everyone crows about how great Linux is, no-one will be able to actually design anything physical. No cars, planes, new CPUs, computers, laptops, coffee machines, pubs, houses - NOTHING, we will be back to the grande olde dayes of pen-and-paper drafting.

Thanks Linux. EPIC EPIC EPIC FAIL.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I imagine...

"...children... discover that pretty much every bit of software they could want [apart from the latest games] is available..."

So pretty much nothing, then.

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Facepalm

Re: I imagine... all the people, living with Linux....

CAD? Isn't that for MACs...

Oh wait- OSX nix..

tit.

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Silver badge

Re: I imagine... all the people, living with Linux....

Here. Try EIGHT of them, and some of them are COMMERCIAL software, even (so much for commercial software not existing on Linux).

http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/08/8-best-cad-apps-for-linux.html

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Windows

I actually know why they chose the name RT

They used the same naming process used for XP and NT.

It's all rather simple. Get out an old dusty game of Scrabble from the back of junk cupboard. Shake the little bag of tiles about a bit and simply blindly choose two random tiles - there you have it!

Wndows 7 came about due to a blank tile and an upside down L

Trust me, Bill used to make many critical business decisions based on this method, and you gotta admit, it sort of works in a way!

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Re: I actually know why they chose the name RT

Well, NT was for New Technology, i.e. the stuff Dave Cutler introduced to Microsoft after his work on VMS. Also, if you increment all the letters in VMS, you get WNT.

Chrysler used the designation R/T for Rapid Transit.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought that everybody knew that microsoft release an ok edition of windows and then a bad one and just alternate

with the current releases we had XP (ok) Vista (terrible) win7 (ok) so it follows that win8 will be bad but win 9 should be ok

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FAIL

Crippleware

The deliberate crippling of functionality in WinRT will surely be the best advertisement for Android / Linux devices.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

why?

I really don't understand why the desktop experience has to be nobbled with tablet turd polish, when it's an OS that won't run on a tablet.

Removing the start menu from Win 8 is probably the single most stupid decision microsoft has ever made, especially as the Win 7 one with the nice search box works so well. I can only hope it is like 'New Coke' and perhaps a cynical ploy, they'll put it back in there before release.

I recall just a few short years ago, MS were telling us that we all needed swishy see-through aero windows that could go all 3d and you could flick through them. Now we're told that what we really need is big chunky solid coloured buttons with full screen apps. It doesn't inspire confidence.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow some cocks are out in force today!

Ok, lets be a bit rational here.

We don't know pricing and we don't know hardware design, what we have is SKUs for an OSs that may or may not be useful for a given market group.

ARM may or may not be handy, we don't know, I think personally the big issue here would be price, a cheap tablet that runs a form of Windows that can integrate with your desktop and phone may make sense IF the price is right. Business would be going x86 anyway and the Basic version of Win 8 would easily fit in to the home market, again, IF the price is right and of course if the hardware is right

Until we get to play with RT (and x86), see the hardware of both x86 and ARM and find out the price points then there really isn't any point in jumping up an down about it.

To now, x86 tablets have been very expensive and haven't lasted that long.

So can we at least have some sort of rational response to this story without it getting flooded by MS haters and fanboys alike.

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Anonymous Coward

Rational: An IBM company.

The sensible response is that x86 is irrelevant outside the Wintel desktop(and to a lesser extent server) territory. What else do you need to know?

If it's not a desktop PC but it is consumer electronics, it already runs on ARM hardware and it doesn't need any Microsoft software. The success of WinCE and its derivatives over the last decade or so should be more than enough evidence for that.

Whatever MS do with WoA or whatever it's called this week won't change that.

Attempting to force fit a crippled version of something that isn't really the Windows that people expect on a desktop (but don't expect or need on a tablet, smartphone, etc) certainly won't change that.

This is going to be worse for Microsoft than Vista was. It's not going to help Intel much either.

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Thumb Up

@Dazzza RE "Lets be a bit rational here."

At the end of your post (which I agree with largely BTW) you said "without it getting flooded by MS haters and fanboys alike." I've read carefully through this thread and whilst I see an awful lot of howling by the former, the latter are conspicuous by their absence.

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Anonymous Coward

> Wow some cocks are out in force today!

> Ok, lets be a bit rational here.

Make your mind up.

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Megaphone

Its like the apocalypse is upon us! Everyone forgot to bitch about how the Xbox dashboard looks similar but won't open *.docx files.

Is MS looking to do what it has done for years and cover all of the main chip types in the mass market? Is the x86 tablet market actually going to be any good? What is wrong with producing a locked down OS for ARM systems? You'll still be able to buy one with iOS or Android if it gets you off...

Will we get to a position where the x86 tablet/Ultrabook/notebook/laptop/desktop market is kept churning over with Windows 8 / Pro and the ARM based tablets/mobiles/*next xbox?*/smart televisions and the like all get Windows RT?

With the back end run by the now essentially UI-less (by default) Windows 8 server range?

Interesting to see. Lets remember, Apple have always been focused on the consumer market. MS are deep into enterprise and need to protect that revenue.

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Silver badge

Whether a user should pick Windows 8 or Windows RT is less straightforward.

No it's easy.

Q - Do you want Windows?

A - Yes, don't buy RT as it's not Windows*.

- No, you want a locked down iPad wanabe with almost no software. Buy RT.

*Windows, an operating system that lets you run windows software.

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Anonymous Coward

windoos8 will burne

homeboy

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Anonymous Coward

Re: windoos8 will burne

wow... just wow!

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Anonymous Coward

What have Microsoft been smoking?

So let me get this straight. Microsoft see Apple use good marketing and spin to make billions of dollars out of a tablet format that Microsoft actually had actually demoed on stage years and years before, so what do Microsoft do?

They change their entire infamous OS so that it is redesigned for touch screen / tablet devices - OK I can see why they'd want to do that... but then they get the shotgun out and shoot themselves in both feet before turning the gun and sticking it down their throat and pulling the trigger once more. Not only do they not give you the option of classic or metro mode they then announce the differences.

Windows RT - No group policy = useless for the enterprise even if it does come with a crippled Office

Windows 8 X86 on a tablet = Intel chipset and all the usual heat / battery life issues associated with it. No doubt some shills will continue to speak about the 'great advances' that Intel have made in reducing power / heat on their chips and that they will soon overtake ARM for performance when it comes to power utilization, but until those magic Intel chips that are ARM beaters are in a device then they may as well be pie in the Sky, because these X86 tablets won't be able to compete with ARM devices for battery life. This will see them lose ground further to iPads which can be managed under group policy and is starting to develop some real good alternatives to Microsoft Office.

They are basically making a half assed attempt at getting into the tablet market, but they are sacrificing their Desktop market to try and gain ground in the tablet arena with a product that they clearly haven't thought through. This is just sheer suicide from their point.

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Silver badge

Re: What have Microsoft been smoking?

> Not only do they not give you the option of classic or metro mode

One comment from MS was that Metro will soon be the most familiar UI for computers. He seemed to think that when W8 was released it would magically appear on all computers overnight, and on TVs and all phones, ...

But yes, they do want to force Metro down everyone's throat because if they get used to it on desktops then they will demand it on their phones, tablets, TVs, cars, microwaves, and door bells.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What have Microsoft been smoking?

"One comment from MS was that Metro will soon be the most familiar UI for computers. He seemed to think that when W8 was released it would magically appear on all computers overnight, and on TVs and all phones, ..."

So if Metro is the future then why will I be forced to use it should I buy a new PC with WINDOWS 8 on it? It's not Microsoft Metro it's Not Microsoft Window it's Microsoft Windows but they are slowly removing that ability

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Flame

Start Orb (button) and menu..

Until they put that back, and allow a total bypass of Metro, I don't give a flying ....

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Linux

the desktop will die

The idea of having "a desktop computer" is gradually disappearing. Your computer workspace will exist on a server somewhere, and you will access it using a terminal-like device, whether that is a tablet or a dumb-screen on your desk at work, or whatever.

Microsoft is doing whatever it can to delay this inevitable trend, while at the same time clawing at whatever market share it can get in the new world.

We're probably only a year or two away from the day when that 22" Samsung you buy at Big Box will have not only VGA/DVI inputs, but also Ethernet and USB ports. COMPUTER OPTIONAL -- if you don't need the headache of a desktop pc, you just plug it into your network, attach a keyboard and mouse, and away you go with a built-in Android OS running on an embedded chip that will cost $5 in quantity.

In this world, your "Windows(R) License(TM)" will be on a virtual server somewhere, whether Microsoft(R) likes it or not. And from there it's only a few steps further until people finally start to see that they don't really need the Windows after all.

I hope to piss on Bill Gates' grave someday.

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Re: the desktop will die

> We're probably only a year or two away ...

No, they are _already_ available. I have seen full Android settop boxes that can run any Android app and can use gmail, g-office, rpc ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the desktop will die

I run Android ICS on my Smartphone / Tablet / Netbook and it's perfect. One account over three devices and everything is seamlessly connected. It's the future my apps follow me across all my devices and with the next version and Google drive it will only get better (although Dropbox is quite good at the minute)

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Joke

RT

RunTime or Rancid Tablet?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RT

"RunTime or Rancid Tablet?"

Tony Smith on RegHardware thinks it's RealTime:

http://www.reghardware.com/2012/04/18/ms_intel_out_to_crush_apple_ipad_market_share/

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Silver badge

So let's review...

W95 -- OK

W98 -- No Good

W98se -- OK

W Me -- No Good

W XP -- OK

W Vista -- No Good, a few years late as well.

W 7 -- OK

W 8 -- Let's Guess, there IS a pattern here. Will it arrive on time? We will see.

Draw your own conclusions, after all it is Microsoft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So let's review...

Let me just remove your rose tinted glasses for you....

95 was new and fancy with some good points but ultimately terrible

98 fixed those issues but still not much good,

98se finally got most of the 95 bugs out of it but still was a damp squid.

me, - Nuff said lol

XP - terrible, wasn't until SP2 that it actually ended up ok.

Vista - not bad but wasn't until SP2 that it was sorted, unfortunately it was a bit late and on the heels of Win 7

Win 7, possibly the first OS that has actually been good out of the box

Win 8 .....

So I don't see your pattern, other than the fact that after SP releases for the OS its usually pretty good

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