199 posts • joined 31 Oct 2007
Re: VP of product at AOL
> VP of product at AOL
> He probably deserved it for his sins.
No kidding. I have fond memories of that entire working day I spent trying to cancel my AOL membership. Sometimes I still wake up screaming.
Sadly true. Look at the fiasco that the F35 Lightning II is turning into.
Re: Totally wrong type of rocket,
I suspect that part of the supply issue could be alleviated by sending supplies and fuel on ahead in unmanned craft. We've gotten pretty good at putting spacecraft in Mars orbit.
why is this necessary?
This looks like a replay of the Saturn V "ground to the moon" project, where one rocket took everything needed for the trip. Do we really have to do things that way anymore? Docking with an already orbiting structure and building large structures in space are so common now that they no longer make the news. Why not build a mars vehicle in space and boost the pieces with known technology? I haven't worked the numbers, but I bet it'd be (a) cheaper, and (b) less likely to prang.
It *is* a laptop
...with a detachable keyboard and a boutique price. Whom other than Microsoft employees would have one?
how does it know the carton is empty?
Modeling from usage history, of course. This is not rocket science. As you finish the milk and the fridge sees the carton replaced with another carton, it develops over time statistics on how long it takes you to use up a carton of milk. It uses this information to plan ahead and let you know when you're likely to need more. The more data points, the more accurate the prediction. The system over time asymptotically approaches some acceptable degree of accuracy.
How does the fridge notice that the carton has been replaced? The hot setup would be a unique barcode or rfid on each item, but probably what'll happen is that you'll need to tell the fridge (via touch panel) that this carton is being thrown out because (a) it's spoiled, (b) it's empty, or (c) I don't like this product, and the smart fridge would take this into account when creating your shopping list.
oh dear we must move quickly
I have a friend with a Windows 8 laptop. I must tell her to upgrade to 8.1 before time runs out.
Oh wait, we ran system recovery on that machine, brought it back to Windows 7.
What will they think of next?
Multiple CMD windows open at the same time?
desktop on every phone
> Sources close to the matter stated: "doing this is the only way we haven't already screwed up"
They sort-of have already screwed up in this fashion. Windows Mobile 6 and earlier had this tiny "Start" button in the lower left of the Home screen that invoked a walking menu that had to be touched very precisely.
But the point I think you're trying to make still stands -- putting a desktop paradigm on a mobile device is ill-advised. However, putting a mobile paradigm on a desktop device is *not*, repeat *not* the solution.
Re: Violates basic economy rules
You're overthinking this. What a manager sees is that on the short term he can offer a lower salary to a worker here on an H1B visa. That's all he's really concerned about.
It happens everywhere
My boss doesn't make any bones about it -- future hires will concentrate on candidates under work visas from India for budgetary reasons. They get paid less, and that makes his budget look better.
"So many people are missing the point. Metro is there to provide a consistent interface across different devices, so you don't need to learn three different ways of doing things across three different platforms (PC, tablet, phone). I think most people would consider that a great idea if it wasn't MS pushing it."
What? Thank you, Mister Obvious. What a brillllllllliant observation.
Couple of problems, there. (1) Microsoft has proven multiple times (Windows Phone, (a Start button? On a phone?? Really???) Windows "Tablet Edition" and now Windows Phone 7 / Windows 8) that Microsoft Does Not Understand Touch Interfaces. They've forgotten or ignored all the things they learned about conveyance and usability that they had improved and polished from Win95 to Win7. They've gone from the worst of all possible worlds (a mouse-centric interface grafted onto a touch device without a mouse) and gone and found a new, better worst of all possible worlds -- a touch interface where you can stare at it all day and it is not at all apparent what you should do next.
(2) Putting a touch interface on a KVM machine is PANTS. Defaulting to full screen apps on PCs with large displays is INCREDIBLY STUPID. In short, a consistent interface across devices with RADICALLY DIFFERENT input methods didn't work when they put a start button on Windows Phone, and it still doesn't work putting a touch-centric interface on a PC. What is totally amazing about this is that Microsoft could have the stupidity or hubris (or both) to take what they had learned in the past and make the SAME mistake again.
So yeah, we know WHY they did it. That part, at least, has been painfully obvious. It's still a really REALLY bad decision.
Re: It's part of a bigger picture
‘‘E could ’a drawed me off a pint,’ grumbled the old man as he settled down behind a glass. ‘A ’alf litre ain’t enough. It don’t satisfy. And a ’ole litre’s too much. It starts my bladder running. Let alone the price.’
Re: MS could have won plaudits with 8 .....
"..... fairly easily. Basically give us an update of 7 and during install 'Hey, you have a touch screen, would you like a touch screen enabled version installed?'. Even if you decide which option people can choose they still prefer it to having no option."
Or install both versions, and boot into touch mode when touch hardware exists, and boot into desktop when touch hardware does not exist. Why in the name of all that's holy would an operating system boot into a touch-centric operating system on hardware with no touch support?
Re: Will anyone still care?
"Except for Win 8, the Zune and Microsoft Bob...."
Well, ok, you could ignore the zune and Microsoft Bob.... Just pretend they didn't exist. It was hard to ignore Windows 8.
Um, I'm pretty sure that's not the case. This is a good excuse to go back and read the novels. My recollection is that Bond's insistence on his (vodka, not gin) martinis be shaken reveals his common roots -- that despite the tux and the debonair attitude, he was the son of a prostitute, an abandoned orphan groomed by MI6 into a successful assassin. That his suavity and poise was a thin shell over an unprincipled, low born killer.
it's in the books
It's been awhile since I read the novels, but I think Fleming even covered this in the books. It was, I think, You Only Live Twice where Bond contemplates that he's in his early forties, has a few years until retirement, "too many years", and he'll probably be dead before then. The novels made it clear that Double-0 agents had a very short life expectancy, and it's natural to assume that they would spend that time living it up without thought to golden years that they will most likely never reach.
This is not rocket science. The only interesting thing about the study is that someone got paid to do it.
it's not the age
> Hell, I'm performing that selfsame switch for users at work (who are literally only just getting XP upgraded to Win7 in some of our EU satellite offices) and some don't want to be updated, yet they'd kick up a real shitstorm if I handed them a 13 year old Blackberry (or even a gen 1 iPhone from 2006) instead of a new shiny iPhone 5.
That's because smart phones are on the steeper end of the curve than is Windows. There is still significant improvements ahead for smartphones, but with Windows XP, Microsoft created a decent OS that was relatively stable and had a reasonably good GUI ... and that was Good Enough. Eventually any product gets to the point where it's Good Enough.
The problem has always been, Windows 7 wasn't a problem that needed solving. There was no reason for substantial changes to the GUI for desktops. Yes, Microsoft felt they needed to get into the tablet market, and using the same kernel across all platforms made sense. Creating one GUI across all platforms was decidedly NOT a good idea.
The time is past where we hunger for the next version of Windows because it might be a little less crap. Around Windows XP SP1 we finally breathed a sigh of relief and concentrated on USING our PCs, not spending all of our time trying to make them work. Microsoft's mistake is not anticipating that this would happen some day. That they'd reach a point where people didn't really need the next version of Windows.
There's really no reason to buy Windows 8, because 7 allows us to do our work. Add that 8 is annoying and has a steep learning curve, and you've pretty much guarantee that people will hold onto their current version with both hands.
Re: use on a network....
I remember playing Doom on Sun workstations -- already networked, it all just worked together. Great deathmatches.
Re: Getting used to Windows 8
Agree. To "get used to" Windows 8 I'd have to use it, and there's not much danger in that. My work is just now upgrading to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, and they tend to stick with an OS until it's not supported anymore. We've been using Windows XP for 13 years. We'll probably stick with 7 for a decade. A lot can happen in that time. Microsoft will either come to their senses (Ballmer leaving may help with that) or some other platform will become more interesting.
wow, there's so much wrong with this...
... I don't know where to begin.
Tablets are *not* the wave of the future. They are the wave of a future for a particular group of people -- the content consumers. One could even stipulate that most PC users are content consumers the great majority of the time.
But to have content to consume, you need content creators. Other than taking a low quality photo and drawing a moustache on it, tablets suck at content creation. There will still be a need for PCs. I'll be happy to revisit this when Adobe produces a usable touch-only version of their Creative Suite. (I know, they're working on this for some pieces of the suite, but they're not working very hard, partly because of the perception -- warranted -- that content creators do not use tablets.)
And this brings us to Windows 8. It's a little screwy but somewhat usable on a touch-only device, (although for some things you will still have to attach the optional keyboard) but on a desktop machine, the machine on which content is created, it's pants. I'm sure Microsoft knows this; they're not idiots. But they pushed on anyway, no doubt thinking that they'll make enough on the Surface to balance the losses they'll experience in the desktop model.
"Intuitive?" Are we talking about the same Windows 8? Ok, you have never seen Win8 before. I hand you a slab. You can scrape your finger across the screen, see some squares which don't always tell you exactly what they are. Some have dynamic content. You touch one, and an app opens up. Ok, now I want to do something else. HOW DO YOU DISMISS THE APP? There's nothing obvious to press -- no conveyance -- to tell you what to do next. How do you get to the control panel? How do you turn the damned thing off? All of these questions have answers, but you have to learn them elsewhere, or divine them by random scraping similar to finding easter eggs in a first person shooter.
iOS? Intuitive, yes, if somewhat limited and boring. Android? Intuitive enough that my 73 year old mother can pick one up and make it do stuff. But Windows 8? It should be renamed WTF, because that's the phrase you'll be repeating over and over.
Moore's Law didn't need to continue indefinitely, it only needed to continue until PCs are Good Enough. And now they are. There are still performance bumps possible -- denser memory, faster disk (mechanical or solid state), better caching algorithms, but commodity computers are Fast Enough for most people right now. Computers that are not upgradable seem wasteful to me, but it is what it is. If the computer starts out Fast Enough, and is cheap enough, I'm happy with replacing it when my requirements change.
From Task Manager, I list 18 apps currently running, 40 processes and close to 60 services. The CPU Usage tab shows all these disparate programs running roughly evenly across all four cores. Even with only 1 app running, I still have a pantload of processes and services, more or less evenly distributed across the cores.
So no, unless you're running Lotus 123 from a Dos prompt, you can't help but have many many things churning around just under the surface, even if you don't realize that this is the case. "If you run just one app you need only one core" is an idiotic statement for anyone who professes to write for a technical website. Multiple cores really do buy you a lot in an OS with proper multitasking. It's almost as if the author is making a case for single tasking because Metro tends to run apps full screen -- getting us used to the idea that no, we really didn't want to do more than one thing at a time. It just doesn't fly.
There's a LOT more wrong with the article, but I'm out of time and need to get back to work. In summary, the entire article tries to wrap up some idiotic conclusions in a few half-truths and some outrageous ... well, let's call them Misunderstandings. We aren't going to an all-tablet world anytime soon. Windows 8 continues to be Pants, and was probably Ballmer's worst mistake in a long series of arrogant blunders.
My company allows a choice -- iphone, several Android models and a single Windows Phone. As an IT guy, I see mostly iphones, 100% in executive row, and the great majority of managers and would-be execs. It appears to be the thing to have.
We also support the ipad for some company apps, but not Android tablets, and we have completely ignored the Surface.
Amongst geeks Android phones are somewhat more popular than iphone.
I have yet to see anyone, *anyone* in the company, choose a Windows Phone. I strongly suspect that if the company forced the issue, it would bring us back to the bad old days, where we carried two phones. A company phone because we have to, and a personal phone because that's the one we use.
I don't see this changing, and the primary reason is, the people who would sign off on the decision to force Windows Phone are all using iphones, and they don't want to give them up. So Exchange administrators will have to deal with that.
Re: What is it this week?
As in the article, the cause for sudden non-working and the necessity to reinstall drivers is "drive by updates" that happen in the middle of the night. "automatically install updates" may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't. On all of our machines, I periodically run update and choose which patches are installed. And if a device is working, I decline to install driver updates. Because at that point the very best you could hope for is that the device continues to do what it's already doing.
Re: If I wanted a laptop...
I think that touch versions of media creation utilities would work fine, if the companies involved would design the interface appropriately for touch. After all, the mouse apes physical manipulation. Microsoft's early attempts to provide a touch interface had touch gestures aping a mouse which apes physical manipulation. No wonder it sucked.
For instance, I use Adobe Lightroom a lot. There is no frakking reason why Lightroom couldn't be a completely touch-oriented application. It just needs someone to come up with a reasonable interface. (I'm told that there is an (as in one (1) single) engineer working on this at Adobe.)
When Lightroom works in some reasonable fashion on a tablet, IOS or Android, I'll dump my Windows laptop and never look back.
Re: Office = a selling point?
Agreed, but Microsoft never really "got" tablets. They've tried in the past to make Windows work on tablets, mostly by repurposing Accessibility features, and it really didn't catch on. (Those of us who had to use it would say "for good reason".) They don't "get" that the tablet is a different kind of device, having a different usage model, and requiring a completely different interface paradigm, and that plus Microsoft's overriding mission to have one single code base for all devices, tends to produce abominations like Windows 8, which is too much touch paradigm for desktop use but not touch paradigm enough for touch devices, causing desktop users to struggle to find mouse workarounds for touch gestures, and for Surface users to struggle to use it on tablets without a keyboard.
And you can kinda see their predicament. As far as tablets are concerned, Microsoft has nothing to bring to the table. Zip, nada. The entire tablet market does not fit into Microsoft's business model in a fundamental way. Microsoft sells operating systems. On Apple and Android tablets, the operating system is free. Microsoft sells office suites. The tablet usage model lends itself to *viewing* documents, (for which there are various free apps -- I use quickoffice) but not for *creating* documents. Therefore, having Office on a tablet is not a selling point. Which means the Surface needs to be marketed as a mini-laptop, not a tablet. And around in circles it goes.
Microsoft is really between a rock and a hard place. Apple and Google have positioned the tablet business model to be the antithesis of the Microsoft business model. (Which I'm sure was deliberate.) And this makes it a real struggle for Microsoft to compete in that space.
> We've asked our pals at Apple for a comment, and (when) if they respond we'll update.
Likely, they'll respond when they finish laughing themselves sick.
But seriously, these days both parties appear to be living in somewhat of a dream world. Microsoft is still apparently in denial that their cunning plan (of putting a phone OS on the desktop and a keyboard on a slab) hasn't resulted in humongous sales, and Apple seems to think they piss perfume. I think they're both wrong, although Microsoft is more wrong than Apple.
Re: What about fitness-for-purpose?
> Good luck with your 13 year old car.
Shrug. We have one 13 year old car, and one 19 year old car, and they still run fine, thanks. We haven't had to make a car payment in a very long time.
Also still running Windows XP and Office 2000 at home.
The similarity is this: The purpose for a car is not to own a car, but to have personal transportation. The car still fills that need, so there's no reason to replace it, until it gets more expensive to maintain than payments on a new car. And please, don't go on about leaded gas -- that went away over 30 years ago, and mostly only affects collectors now.
Similarly, the Windows XP machine exists to load programs and provide a certain set of system resources. While it continues to do that, there's no point in replacing it. One does the normal stuff -- don't use IE, run a current antivirus, (I use AVG) and run behind a properly configured router. But that's normal stuff that a cautious user does anyway.
We need to remember, the OS is not the application. The OS exists to load applications. As long as it continues to do that adequately, there's no reason to upgrade.
> A witty wag could argue we need all that anyway just to carry on as we have...
One might even argue that going from WinXP to Ubuntu is a smaller leap than going from WinXP to Win8.
XP works. Win7 is basically XP with transparent frames for $150 more. Win8 sucketh mightily. XP is stable and runs all the legacy stuff. For the great majority of the rank and file, there's no reason to take action, other than vague warnings of some future doom. Kinda like global warming.
I beg to differ. I have a Windows 8 convertible (asus) with a stylus and it's absolutely pants on Windows 8. This must be a very unusual definition of "just fine".
Re: Microsoft don't seem to get it.
...because making incremental improvements and adding a "2" on the end is all they know.
"Windows 8. No thanks. Definitely no, thanks. No, no, no, no." - sounds like a knee-jerk "I hate Microsoft" reaction.
"Price: no thanks" - fair enough.
I dunno... I have Win7 at work and at home, and get along with it. I have Win8 on a convertible, and it's essentially shelfware. I may give it another try when 8.1 comes out, but I consider the device essentially unusable at this time.
So, it's possible to not want Windows 8, not due to a knee jerk "I hate Microsoft" or "I stood out in the rain to get my latest trendy brushed metal fruit box" but simply because "I tried it, and in my professional opinion, it sucked."
> Prices for the Surface 2 start at $450 for a base-spec unit and $900 for the Surface Pro.
Let's PLEASE stop continuing this misconception. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro (Surface 2 Pro) are two different products, with different architectures, and they are not software compatible with each other. The Pro purports to run Windows PC apps. The Surface 2 will only run the paltry handful of Windows apps compiled for the ARM processor.
Users interested in the Surface product line must be very careful about this. I can't imagine that more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the consumers interested in the Surface product line want to buy one because of how cool the form factor is and how nifty the GUI. They want to buy one in the belief that they are slates that will run their existing PC applications, being the best of both worlds. Yes, exactly in the Borg sense, but never mind. This (backwards compatibility) is the ONLY reason to buy one of these overpriced devices.
The problems are these:
1) Windows PC apps will "run" on the Surface Pro, but because legacy apps are not touch enabled, to use them effectively requires a keyboard and a mouse. Hence, you are technically running your app on a slate, but you're not using the slate in the way slates are generally understood to be used.
2) Windows PC apps will not run AT ALL on a Surface RT or a Surface 2. This can not be said enough times. If you buy an ARM based Surface, it must be with the understanding that the only apps you can use are the ones that come with the device and whatever is in the Windows RT marketplace. If you're buying an ARM based Surface, you need to be satisfied that you prefer the Surface form factor and the Win8 interface enough to put up with the lack of apps.
....for "talk like a pirate" day.
Re: Apple makes consumer products
> Microsoft is more business oriented. They don't really "get" consumers
Agree. I think Win8 proves the rule in a different way -- it tries to be consumer oriented, fails, and the collateral damage is that it's not business oriented either.
Re: Ninth Doctor?
I suspect Hurt is meant to be the eighth doctor, and the plot will have something to do with the time war, that's only been alluded to so far.
If so, I really like Hurt, am sure he'll do a great job, but part of me wants Paul McGann for the part.
and this is a good thing how?
OK, so a dying company buys a nearly dead company, inheriting as CEO the very person responsible for "nearly dead", and this is a bold move?
Microsoft seems to be between a rock and a hard place -- everyone else is selling hardware with free software, and that's the opposite of Microsoft's model. So getting into hardware might seem a good move, except this strands all the hardware manufacturers with whom they currently have deals. I wonder how that's going to work out.
Re: Been looking
I have an Acer with a touch screen, running Windows 8. Nothing makes running Win 8 a joy.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
"Nope, quite the contrary, they know the corporate market has no option but to swallow whatever comes of microsoft 's ass,"
I have to disagree. Many corporations gave Vista a pass, for instance. Machines that were delivered with Vista were re-imaged with the corporate copy of Windows XP. It was one of the reasons XP has been in the field so long.
Re: 100 million
"If the product was designed for purpose a utility - designed and available from a non-trusted, non-secure third party, no less - should not be needed. It should have been built-in. A settings choice. An optional manufacturer-supplied component install. A user profile switch."
Moreover, once that mistake was apparent, they had a SECOND OPPORTUNITY to fix it with Windows 8.1.... and chose not to. Were this a boxing match, I'd begin to suspect that Ballmer was throwing the fight.
(A side issue is that no corporation is going to plan to deploy a product that relies on a third-party free (and thus untrusted) utility.)
Re: 100 million
" I hated the Windows XP start menu, but I didn't go around claiming it was made for touch, or Windows was therefore a flop."
Really REALLY bad example. One setting change would turn off the garish XP look and give you the classic Windows look and feel. Same is true with Windows 7. (All my XP and Win7 machines are running the classic look.) If Win8 had this feature, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
And it's ugly! Geeze, they could at least have made it visibly appealing.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
Sorry, we have a convertible running Win8, and it doesn't work *well* in either mode. There are things that need touch and things that can't be done via touch, and basic phone-isms (like all metro apps being full screen) that don't make sense on a larger than 5 inch screen. It's clumsy enough to make it a chore even for standard Windows apps, resulting in going back to the Windows XP laptop it was supposed to replace. I don't recall ever being so profoundly disappointed in a computer purchase. Current plan is to upgrade to 8.1 when the update is finally released to mere mortals, and then find a new home for it.
I know, I know, we're all whiners who should just buck up and take whatever Microsoft gives us and LIKE it.
And there was a time when you just had to grit your teeth and work through it. Not true anymore.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
"That being said, how many companies would have migrated to Windows 8 anyway? Many are still trying to get to 7, so in Ballmer's defence, going after the consumer space was not a a bad idea."
A reasonable point. The problem is, it appears consumers hated it too. It's not just a business/consumer issue. It's a touch vs traditional PC issue. Come out with a touch-friendly OS, fine. Microsoft REALLY needed to do that. But force non-touch, traditional laptops and desktop PCs to use an inappropriate touch paradigm, only for the sake of forcing an ecosystem? Screw that. If I'm a non-geek and I just bought a conventional laptop, what is this crap?? Double screw that. If I'm the geek that has to help the non-geek try to live with his Windows 8 non-touch laptop? Triple screw that.
Windows 8 is a superb example of a company thinking they can dictate the marketplace, because they always had been able to do it in the past, and finding out it didn't work anymore. Coming out with a touch-oriented interface wasn't the mistake. Again, that was something Microsoft needed to do. Insisting that it be used on a non-touch device, when Microsoft mostly sells software that runs on non-touch devices, was a HUGE mistake.
In one place I worked, our machines would have most of their problems on Thursdays. Different machines, different architectures, different models of storage devices... we couldn't figure it out. This was a raised floor, halon protected computer room with a combination lock on the door.
So, with nothing else to try, one Wednesday I prepared to spend the night in the computer room. Sure enough, about 2:00 AM the cleaning crew came in with a big buffer machine, preparing to run it over the raised tiles.
I chased them out and next day confronted the facilities manager about (a) giving the cleaning crew the combination to a secure room, and (b) letting them bang a floor buffing machine against our disk arrays.
He looked at me like a guy who'd seen his first kangaroo. He couldn't fathom why I wouldn't want the floors polished in the computer room. I finally gave up, got some tools, took the lock apart, and changed the combination.
As I write this, I now realize that I did not pass on the combination when I left the company. Oops.
Re: They did it before.
Interestingly enough, Windows 98 is still in use in point of sale machines (yes, computers that actually HANDLE MONEY).
Re: Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.
Yeah, the problem is, the OS is just there to load my applications. I don't need a new OS, and I don't need a new computer just to be able to run a new OS in order to run my existing application. So, no. Sorry. Don't care how long it's been. Mere age is not in and of itself a reason to replace a computer that is still doing the job.
Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?
Is it just me, or does this entire argument predicate that the bad guys were *not* aware of these vulnerabilities for YEARS before Microsoft decided to patch them?
Seems to me that the issue also being present in XP means by definition that the issue has existed since 2001. Are we to believe that Microsoft is so much better at finding security defects than the average criminal programmer that exploits found 12 years after release had not yet been found by said criminal? In substantial numbers?
If you believe that, I have a version of Windows 8 that doesn't suck to sell you.
Seriously, the ONLY motivation for this announcement is to scare you into buying another copy of Windows.
Re: offer says it expires on August 29th
> Like the RT, this is the start of a fire sale.
At fire sale prices, it might be interesting. Oh, what was I thinking? It runs Windows 8. There is no price cheap enough.
Re: Is he really so out of touch?
Um, sure. If your personality doesn't allow you to recognize that your strategy is failing, you meet opposition by doubling down. This, I suspect, is that.
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