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back to article Will Windows 8 sticker shock leave Microsoft unstuck?

"Sticker shock" is a US phrase that denotes a shopper’s surprised and generally disgusted reaction upon discovering the true price of an item they’re buying. Microsoft experienced a different kind of sticker shock a few years back with Windows Vista: such a memory and CPU hog was Windows Vista that most PCs of that time …

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Coat

Re: Itanium

... and Alpha, the original 64 bit platform upon which it was developed.

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FAIL

One has to wonder

One really has to wonder what the world is coming to when a reasonably spec'ed PC struggles to run *just* the Operating System even before starting an application.

I can see the point about eye candy and graphics capability but memory and CPU? Really?

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I can't believe MS customers put up with this...

There are how many client versions of Windows 7 out there? Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate? And how many versions of MS Office? Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, and Office Professional. Apple has it right; one client OS and one productivity suite for the desktop, and one client OS and one productivity suite for phones / tablets.

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MS better hope...

the sales people sell it properly, as I can see it now, "but the guy in the store told me it would run all my old stuff." People are going to be really pissed off they get a WOA, screw around with it for a week only to have a real tech tell them it will never work. This could be a Vista repeat with lots of FUD tossed around. I pulled my nVidia card switched to ATI and had little difficulty with Vista after that, where I seen lots of people abandon Vista completely.

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JDX
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Re: MS better hope...

Laptops and PCs aren't going to be running WOA... right?!

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No dual boot on ARM for Win 8?

I've read that the ARM version of Win 8 will lock the BIOS so Linux users will no longer be able to dual boot.

This will be one of the differences between the Intel and ARM versions (Intel will still dual boot).

Can anyone confirm this?

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Silver badge

Re: No dual boot on ARM for Win 8?

WOA based machines, and this includes all-in-ones as well as tablets and possibly phones, are specified by Microsoft as not being able to turn off the 'secure boot'.

This locks the machine to only being able to boot an OS that the manufacturer has provided keys for, and that almost certainly eliminates Linux (which is exactly what MS wants).

In principle the manufacturer could provide keys that would allow a specific pre-built version of any OS, but that would probably break some GPL stuff and would almost certainly remove the 'discount' and 'advertising partnership' for the OEM.

The next question is: can the manufacturer make locked WOA machines and also make the same machine without the lock that would run Android or Linux and not run foul of MS such that they lose discount on every MS product including Windows for their PC ranges. Probably not.

It seems that WOA is actually _not_ about selling ARM tablets with Windows. It is about stopping manufacturers making ARM tablets entirely, especially those with Linux or Android.

It is likely that end users who want Windows would want/need x86 and so few would buy WOA, and many who do would do so by mistake and would return them.

The other issue with WOA is the licence cost. There are Win7 tablets (x86) out there which are about twice the price of iPads. I have seem some cheaper ones, about the same as an iPad, but they were marked as having 'trial versions' of Windows and Office. After a month or three they would stop working and require another $200 to $500 (for Win+Office) or maybe more to get them working again.

How much will Windows and Office cost on WOA or x86 tablets ?

They _need_ to kill off Andoid and Linux so that there is no alternative but to pay for MS products.

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Re: No dual boot on ARM for Win 8?

There is no more a Windows 8 version for ARM. It is now a separate product called Windows On ARM, that shares some GUI and code base with Windows 8. Also a similar launch date.

MS have also said you will not be able to buy Windows On ARM licenses to put on any device you want. Windows On ARM will only come on certified devices. Look at how Windows Phone is being sold, if you want to understand how it will work. Windows On ARM will be a walled garden like Windows Phone, hence dual boot or any useful / thing that will makes the device more open, will not be allowed. Windows versions running on Mobile / ARM devices will sit between IOS and Android as far as what it allows users to tweak. If you want the openness you are used to with x86 Windows on mobile devices, you will want to get something running Android.....

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Mushroom

ARM, WOA - alphabet soup

Just tell me if Win8 has dumped file indexing (which takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r), and can Win8 actually remember the size and position of windows you close ? I'm so sick of retarded Vista and it's slightly less retarded step-cousin, Win 7.

And please, no "you shoulda bought Linex" comments from the peanut gallery. If I knew how to program, I would write my own OS. I just click the pretty lil icons, and the computer does stuff. That's as much as I care to know about programming.

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Linux

blaa

I just counted the number of lines in my walled garden's mirror list. It comes to 270. Not all of those lines offer identical software, some offer stuff which the official repo mirrors do not have. The purpose of package signing is to make it difficult for forgery and malware . I have the choice of using package signature verification or not. I also have the choice of building from source code if I want to. If I am asked why I use Linux, I say the simple reason is that then I am the limiting factor, not the computer, or the software, or the absence of a mountain of cash. There are more reasons than that, for example, I own all of the software on all of my computers. If you use MS or Apple, they own you.

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Facepalm

What a huge disappointment..

I mean, I don't use Windows anyway. But, the "scuttlebutt" on Windows for ARM went from just a few months ago being a true port of Windows, with x86 CPU emulation, allowing for preferably (or performance reasons) running ARM applications, but being able to run (at least well-behaved) x86 apps when necessary... .to, within a matter of a month or two, being basically Windows CE/Windows Mobile (except not even being compatible with WinCE apps) with Microsoft claiming "Well, of course it's Windows!" Lame.

Time for people to suck it up and use a nice Linux distro! 1) I've run Linux in the past on a DEC Alpha, MIPS, PA-RISC, UltraSPARC, and PowerPC (both a Mac and an IBM RS/6000), as well as ARM. There's really nothing to say about it -- there was full driver compatibility, anything I could shove into or plug into the box (i.e. PCI, USB, etc.) just worked (TM) just like it does on x86. The desktop behaved identically. I had the same choice of applications to install. And, if someone does come across x86-binary-only apps... besides the usual qemu mode where it runs an entire virtual machine, qemu has a *second* mode that allows to run (for instance) an x86 Linux binary on an ARM Linux system.

I'm not excited in the least about WIndows for ARM. It sounds AWFUL. I *AM* excited about someone actually coming out with ARM notebooks so I can order it without Windows, or return Windows for a refund, and put a proper OS on there. The ARM makes my Atom-based Mini 12 look like a power hog, these things should have crazy battery life!

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JDX
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Re: What a huge disappointment..

I've never heard anyone claim WOA would run x86 through emulation... in fact I've always heard this denied, yet people thinking it was the case. Got a source?

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Re: Re: What a huge disappointment..

"I've never heard anyone claim WOA would run x86 through emulation... in fact I've always heard this denied, yet people thinking it was the case. Got a source?"

Well, sort of... at the BUILD conference last year, Steven Sinofsky said "If it'll run on Windows 7, it'll run on Windows 8". And last year they kept making statements about the ARM version providing a "desktop experience" and so on, which they no longer seem to claim.

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Re: Re: Re: What a huge disappointment..

> Steven Sinofsky said "If it'll run on Windows 7, it'll run on Windows 8".

He has also said: "We’ve been very clear since the very first CES demos and forward that the ARM product won’t run any X86 applications".

He qualified the Win7 statement by saying he was talking about "PC"s, ie x86/AMD64.

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Re: What a huge disappointment..

> I *AM* excited about someone actually coming out with ARM

> notebooks so I can order it without Windows, or return Windows

> for a refund, and put a proper OS on there.

You won't be. In order to meet MS certification standards so that WOA can be installed by the OEM the machine _must_ have 'secure boot' with no ability to turn this off. It will _only_ run with the OEM supplied WOA. No other OS can boot, nor will the supplied WOA boot on another machine.

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JDX
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Re: Re: Re: What a huge disappointment..

"If it'll run on Windows 7, it'll run on Windows 8"

Right? And it will - mainstream W8 that 90%+ of actual PCs will be using. It seemed pretty obvious you couldn't magically run an x86 binary on an ARM device.

I _did_ hope you'd be able to cross-compile to an ARM target (similar to how we compile for 32/64bit targets) but I guess not... or at least not for non winRT apps.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: What a huge disappointment..

> W8 that 90%+ of actual PCs will be using.

Windows 8 and WOA are designed to use 'secure boot'. New machines will almost certainly have this turned on and the version of W8 will be keyed to the machine. With x86/AMD64 machines the secure boot will be able to be turned off (most likely) so it can boot WinXP or W7 or anything else.

I don't think that MS have said what happens with existing machines that don't support secure boot, nor that would be able to obtain keys for. It may be that there is a retail upgrade for these machines.

It is likely that the 90% of existing PCs will continue to run WinXP, Vista, and W7 for quite some time.

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Coat

Homecoming?

Once upon a time Apple created the Mac and gave Apple ][ users (like me) no upgrade path. I have been PO'd at Apple since then. It looks like MSFT is about to do the same thing to their user base.

At my company we have a optional Mac hardware spec. All the people who have switched swear they will never go back to Windows. If Win8 is the self-imposing monster it is purported to be, I may extend the olive branch to Apple and return home.

Mine's the one with the old rainbow Apple logo.

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Vic
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Re: Homecoming?

> I may extend the olive branch to Apple and return home.

You should.

OSX isn't my favourite platform, but I'll still use it in preference to WIndows. It's pretty good.

Vic.

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Gold badge

"Question for linux bods... linux is known for running on a far wider array of hardware but does it run identically? How does it handle cases where underlying architecture is substantially different, as MS claim in the "porting x86 apps to ARM would defeat the point" comment?"

Well, see my previous post, as a practical matter it DOES run identically.

From a programmer standpoint?

The actual programming interfaces ARE identical -- even if you are writing a device driver, if you follow the recommended programming practices (which are simple to follow, and probably have to be followed to even have a working driver on x86...) the Linux internals take care of oddities like making sure caches are flushed, handling seperate "regular" and "I/O" memory address spaces, and so on, so even as a driver writer you do not have to sweat the little differences between x86, x86-64, PowerPC, ARM, and so on.

The only thing your really need to worry about is 32-bit versus 64-bit, and little versus big endian. The Linux headers support functions like htons (which would convert a short from host to network byte order -- which is big endian.) If your system was already big endian, htons(x) just returns x and the compiler optimizes it out, so you don't have a slowdown from "unnecessary" conversions. For file I/O, plain ASCII text files use 8-bit chracters to endianness doesn't even apply. For most other file types (Unicode, JPEG, PNG, audio & video formats, etc.) the programmer uses a library anyway, and that library takes care of endian issues.

Microsoft's just making excuses... Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 4.0 was designed to be portable, but they lost site of this and ended up with something they did not care to port. They are just making excuses at this point.

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JDX
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So if I write a fairly intensive PC/x86 app and compile it to run on ARM, will it suck the batteries dry?

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Silver badge
FAIL

Android is free

Manufacturers don't have to pay for it. Android has 400,000 apps. It has 250 million users. It. Is a proven success with a long road ahead. WOA has none of these advantages.

On launch day WOA will cost money. It won't have apps, or many developers. It is going to take a miracle to make a success of this.

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Re: Android is free

Android is free, but if android breaches patents, then it starts to cost you.

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Anonymous Coward

Amazed

Has nobody really asked this yet?

It's time for Windows 8. It's ARM-based sidekick is called Windows on ARM.

Windows 8 *will* do a Vista. It's already obvious. And even if it doesn't...

Before long there will be another version of Windows. We don't know what it's going to be called, but for a moment let's assume it will be called Windows 9. On x86 anyway.

What will be the name of the ARM-based sidekick of Windows 9?

Will it still be called Windows on ARM?

Or what? Suggestions welcome.

[I mean how far ahead can these MS marketing guys fail,you get me?]

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Bronze badge

It is fun speculating on what might be - even if there are new paradigms and sometimes that just means discovering a 'new' paradigm in something old no?

My take:

tablet/pc is a bit like

fresh coffee and warmed milk/cold milk

content user/content creator

content creator with little control over published form quality/total control over exported published form quality

can afford interruptions due to power level considerations/ cannot afford -- ditto --

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Thumb Down

Won't anyone think of the GLUE?

The absolute worst part about the stickers is the bloody fruit salad that seems to infect the pristine bezels of any PC laptop you might want.

If they had used the same glue the 'Windows Ready' stickers use on Columbia it probably would have held together!

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Anonymous Coward

Fork !

So is this a Fork

I thought Forks were very baaaaad

So - if I have two separate devices, I can't have the same thing on both.

e.g. copying the Word global template Normal across from one to the other to replicate all my macros and buttons on both machines and similarly with Excel Personal too?

If so, not much cop then!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, most people don't need any more than XP and Office 2003.

Also I bet that documents produced on one platform won't be compatible on the other.

Also (ii) business has a lot of legacy software. They won't be looking to upgrade that as well as Windows, nor will they want two versions, one for each platform.

If I had to abandon everything to jump to something new, what would make Microsoft Windows the OS of choice?

The corporates have lost control - too many ipads, tablets, iphones, smartphones.

These days only heavyweight users need a desktop. If you have a tablet with a docking station on your desk to provide power, keyboard, mouse, network and display, the tablet is more than capable of doing a bit of mail, browsing and uploading and downloading small documents e.g. meeting minutes, or spreadsheets. You don’t need anything with a lot of horsepower. When away from the office people will take their tablets with everything they need with them.

Microsoft is building its last machine.

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Facepalm

Re: Fork !

Why on earth would they need to fork the code to do this? It's pretty much all C. They might need to build a different set of binaries for different target and even have some #ifdef's in there for optional compilation.

That's hardly a fork.

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FAIL

MS: Windows 8 = Windows 8 = Windows 8. But Windows 8 (x86) != Windows 8 (ARM) != Windows (Phone) 8

This is going to be a a giant clusterfuck. MS has been banging on that there will be something called Windows 8 and it will run on PC, tablet and phone. But in the smallprint they now say that there's not going to be much (if any) crossover between Windows 8 (x86) and Windows 8 (ARM), and I guess that also goes for Windows 8 (Phone).

As many commentanrds have already pointed out, there are bound to be people who purchase a Windows 8 tablet, and then wonder why they can't throw some of their existing x86 software on there. MS is so hell bent on using the Windows brand that it's just shooting itself in the foot continuously.

It only takes a sideways glance at Apple (or even Google) to see that it is possible to have two separate arch OS (MacOS/iOS and at a push Chrome/Android) from a known brand.

I think they should have just called the (entire) tablet/phone OS Metro and be done with it. Besides having the Metro interface on a PC is just a complete disaster.

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JDX
Gold badge

" there are bound to be people who purchase a Windows 8 tablet, and then wonder why they can't throw some of their existing x86 software on there"

Not sure about that. Or at least no more than Apple users. Apple has distinct OS for iPad/PC but the user doesn't really know that... there is super-strong "Mac" brand on both. Either people do get surprised they can't do this, or they fundamentally assume a tablet isn't a PC.

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Unhappy

Truth in advertizing

I've just realized that the new Windows 8 logo is telling more truth than they realize.

The flag, bright and multicoloured, free in the world.

The blue window, no longer diversely coloured, suggestive of an indoors that is walled off from that world. But you can look out, and maybe there's an openable door.

I'd suggest that the icon for windows on ARM ought to be a door without a keyhole. As in a jail cell. Because that's what you'll be buying. Or maybe just a brick, because it's about that much use for running everything you bought in the past.

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Thumb Up

Big Thumbs up just for using the following phrase in the article.

"...to consumers who won’t care about trivial things like architectures..."

Because while we tekkies argue those details back and forth, consumers honestly don't give a crap.

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Pirate

windoz 8

Fools are soon parted from their money.

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