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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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Alien

Actually..

Windows 8 is quite good - if only they would get rid of the silly Metro interface.

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Silver badge

The elephant in the room

Surely Microsoft's big problem is the iPad. They need a tablet OS that can compete. If they don't get one soon the desktop will be all but irrelevant to consumers because they will be caught in by their own mantra. 'Users like what they are used to'.

Why would anyone buy a WinArmPad? Is it ubiquitous? No, everyone else has an iPad. Is it familiar? No, it looks and feels different from existing Windows. Does it have the familiar apps? Not yet, and it won't run existing Windows programs either. Is it cheap? No, Android + Arm = cheap. Unless of course Microsoft subsidise them heavily until they have a dominant market share as they did (do?) with xbox. They have deep pockets but even so they could be betting the whole farm on a strategy like that.

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Facepalm

Like Win8, Don't Like Badly Researched Articles

OK, ***I LIKE WINDOWS 8***. There, I said it! I even like Metro. I have used both since the Developer and Consumer Preview releases and am especially impressed with the performance. I'm also liking the look of the new Windows family member for low form factor, touch PCs - Windows RT.

It seems that a badly researched article will spawn a slew of lowbrow bashing from people who appear to know little of the subject; luddites, Linux fanbois, etc. I fear that many of you people work in tech fields - how sad!

To Gavin Clarke, I would say this. Do your research:

1. There is no doubt whatsoever what sort of device Windows RT is aimed at, as can be seen by the countless and detailed Build blog posts and other MS material available. It's *not* aimed primarily at specialist devices like e-readers. It's aimed at low profile and highly mobile devices that require reduced power consumption available with ARM instead of Intel chipsets. Slates (think iPad like devices), low profile netbooks, etc., and, yes, perhaps some specialist devices too, although Windows Embedded is there to service their needs already.

2. No group policy management ? Really ? This is absolutely no big deal. First of all, Windows RT is primarily of interest to consumers, not business. Secondly, it's *new*. Give MS time and I'm sure they'll add GP management. Having been rebuilt with a new shell (MetroUI) and architecture for ARM licenced chipsets, it's practically a brand new operating system.

3. Will naming WoA (that's Windows on ARM) Windows RT confuse developers ? No, unless they're as ignorant as you. WinRT, speaking as a non-developer so maybe not using the correct terminology, is a programming framework for Metro style applications and is the same in both Win8 (x86/64) and Windows RT (ARM). A Metro app will therefore almost always run in both Windows 8 and Windows RT, unlike a Desktop app, which will likely be x86/64 only. Simple as that!

Honestly people, research, use the tech and give it a chance first, before you comment and dismiss it and especially if you intend to write an article on the topic for a credible site like El Reg!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Like Win8, Don't Like Badly Researched Articles

How about badly researched comments?

"<list of ARM markets>... Windows Embedded is there to service their needs already."

Windows Embedded is primarily an x86 OS (assuming you mean the lineage which includes XP Embedded, 7 Embededd, etc). MS have attempted to rebrand WinCE as part of Windows Embedded but nobody cares about WinCE, especially not about WinCE on ARM, where proper non-MS OSes are already available.

x86 hardware and OSes do not play in the massive market which is addressed by ARM-based systems.

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Re: Like Win8, Don't Like Badly Researched Articles

Fair comment, but I still don't think MS created Windows RT with specialist devices in mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Group policy

would have made them a likely candidate for enterprise. Without it you might as well buy some other crappy ios-android poser-toy that the users are more likely to dribble over.

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A Medicall Man Writes...........

I think there's an as yet unrecognised ailment that only people who create operating system user interfaces have contracted.

It's called appleitis.

The Ubuntu people caught it first and "created" Unity, now it's spread to Microsoft and on to the Gnome developers.

It's a potentially destructive ailment.

The first symptom is the creation of ugly, blobby interfaces that look like they were designed in a kindergarten cut and paste class.

The second symptom is a completely pig headed refusal to accept that what you've created looks ridiculous and is unfit for the majority.

The third symptom follows on from the second by blatantly ignoring criticism and pretending that what you have created is fantastic and everyone will want to use it. So you continue to make it increasingly less attractive to your core users by making the thing even more absurd. One has to careful here as appleitis at this stage can be mis-diagnosed as ostrichitis.

The fourth symptom is where it starts to get serious and is characterised by a completely unrealistic belief that everyone uses touch screen technology. This relates to symptom one because people with appleitis have not yet advanced to the use of keyboards, mice and eating with anything sharper than a spoon. Consequently their ailment leads them to believe that everyone else is like that.

The fifth is potentially terminal, by this time those afflicted are so divorced from reality that they fail to see that what they have created is losing them business.

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Win-RT

Strange that they're going after the consumer market, which is already saturated with suppliers, rather than for enterprise which is in need of compatible lightweight portable devices.

I can only think that they are waiting for sufficiently low power Intel chips to make a tablet that will run legacy apps. How long will that take?

I do feel sympathy for Windows developers who at this time see their market shrinking. No doubt many will jump ship rather than wait and see.

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Coat

Windows RooT or Windows h8

see ... you have choice

carry on

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Bronze badge

Why Windows XP?

Ask companies like Schneider Electric (makers of CitectSCADA) which still insist on software that does not work on anything newer.

Yeah, I agree, it sucks, colleagues around me are faced with having to do all their work in VMs to get anything done. You think packages like that will be coming to Metro? Fat chance.

This is the real-world reality. And companies aren't going to dump CitectSCADA just because it won't run on newer versions of Windows, they'll just insist on Windows XP. (And there are times I wonder why not dump it? But not my call unfortunately.)

This is just one example of many. For others, myself included, Windows XP does fine on the machines I use it on. I have no interest to update as I seldom use Windows anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why Windows XP?

"colleagues around me are faced with having to do all their work in VMs to get anything done."

What kind of cheapskate hardware are you buying that isn't supported with XP? Any half decent corporate-class tin from Dell or HP was stilll supported with XP (and indeed would still ship with XP if required) last time I looked. Have these folks finally had their arms twisted by Redmond?

Anyway, potentially security-sensitive stuff such as SCADA doesn't have to run on a Window box, and Stuxnet should have made it quite clear that lots of stuff (including SCADA) was better off NOT running on Windows.

When the time finally comes to to migrate these fixed-function boxes off XP, if the next OS doesn't look and feel (or program or work) like XP, why does it even need to be a Windows OS?

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