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* Posts by Mark .

1841 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Mark .
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"The screen is bigger, that is all, not higher resolution, 267dpi compared to say 326 of the Nokia Lumia 920 (higher even than the iPhone)."

That's not resolution, that's density. Density is resolution / area. Thus, a completely useless stat for saying which device is best. If someone took my phone and made it smaller, but with the same resolution, the density would increase. But I would consider it a worse phone, as it's now smaller.

At least you mentioned Nokia rather than iphone, as it's Apple and their fans that usually make this the number one most important stat ever, even though it's irrelevant for most comparisons. But it's funny that after Apple made this their single selling point, they've been outdone on it anyway by Nokia (who haven't even mentioned it as a selling point, AFAIK).

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Re: price

Yes this is why laptop-sized ipads are so cheap, and those 7" tablets are more expensive. Oh wait.

And you should congratulate Samsung for putting the power of an ipad into the much smaller Note :)

(And although larger devices can have larger batteries, the larger displays tend to hog more battery too.)

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Tablet security study finds BlackBerry still good for something

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So is there much of this "BYOD" in the UK? And why is it specific to tablets - I mean, I could just as well bring in my netbook/laptop if I wanted to use something different.

Also the claims that tablets are some revolutionary new thing for office workers seems at odds with the idea that we'd rather stick with our mouse and keyboard, and the dislike against Windows 8's touch UI. Whilst I'm not as sceptical of Windows 8 as some (since it does still work with mouse/keyboard, not like itoys), I'd much rather work all day sitting on a good chair, with a keyboard and mouse/touchpad, and looking at a decent sized monitor at eye level.

The idea that I'd rather bring in my own device, so I can work all day hunched over looking at a small screen lying flat or angled on the desk, that I can only use with my fingers, is mad. Similarly with the idea that I might want to do my day's work whilst standing and having to hold it with one hand, using it with another.

Fine if I was say, someone on a factory shop floor and needed to use a device whilst walking around, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Memo to media: You don't get to claim that ipads are some wonderful device revolutionising office workplaces, whilst also moaning about Windows 8 claiming people don't want tablets in offices. Though no doubt you'll try.

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Mobe app makers doubt Windows 8 will be worth the hassle - poll

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Re: Android is the largest platform!

See what h4rm0ny says - I'm just going by what the respondants themselves claimed.

The revenue claim always seemed a bit bogus to me anyway, as it doesn't explain why iphone is catered for above other platforms for even free stuff.

No, it all becomes clear now - it's most supported because many people *think* it's the most popular. Even though it isn't. And I find that rather sad.

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Mark .
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Re: what a sorry attempt to distract

Then we could say the same about the iphone platform in its early years too, as sales were far less than other platforms, and what they are now.

Or we could say the same about OS X versus Windows.

I mean yes, you could try to come up with a metric like "sales per money spent on marketing" but that's really digging into contrived stats, and not something that is important - often money is spent on new platforms with the hope of long term growth; it's not just about advertising what's already selling most (which is why you don't often see Windows adverts, but Apple are desperate to put their platform on every TV programme). Not that consumers should care about any of this, anyway.

Most phone adverts focus on glamour rather than substance; some don't, but I've seen some Nokia WP ads that focus on substance.

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Re: Shocker

What is this criticism that MS dare to spend money on marketing? I've seen it a few times now.

Apple have massive advertising campaigns, and have spent the last few years spending who knows how much on getting an Apple logo featured in practically every single American TV show that features a computer, or maybe phone. Take a look sometime - it's not that Macs are simply commonly shown, it's got to the stage where practically every single computer shown in American TV is an Apple PC!

That's before we consider the free advertising - e.g., the six months of massive media hype before the first iphone was released.

Watching TV now - you get an Apple logo shoved at you in every scene. Then when it's a break, you get all the free advertising for Apple too, from "Works on your iphone" (Does it? Like most people I don't have one. What about more popular platforms like Android and Windows?) to "I can check it on my iphone", or just showing an iphone with yet more product placement.

But instead we get criticisms of "MS spend money on marketing".

I like Android, and I have no idea how WP will do. But its sales are still no worse than what the iphone platform was doing in its early years too. Did the market therefore REJECT it, and therefore later iphones would be REJECTED too? And what you describe is what every company does - it's called marketing. (Plus even I know that it has software, and what UIs people like is a matter of opinion - I can't stand anything from Apple.)

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Mark .
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Yes I was confused by that - is the article talking about Windows Phone 8, or Windows 8?

Of course Windows RT adds to the confusion, which will start from scratch and not have existing software. But it's odd that people talk about straightforward (x86) Windows 8 as if it will have little software or will have little share, when (a) it'll have the complete back catalogue of x86 Windows software (not rewritten for "Metro", but isn't that what most people here want?), and (b) even if Windows 8 takeup isn't that great, will still be going on most of the 400 million PCs sold a year, as you say.

I saw a BBC article the other day saying that Windows 8 might not have much software, and would struggle to compete with its "ecosystem". I mean, what? The "ecosystem" is MS's biggest advantage - it's just no one called it an "ecosystem" before people started to use marketing buzzwords for a certain mobile platform.

Or maybe these people don't realise that "app" is short for application, and so think that Windows 8 doesn't have many "apps" yet. But in a world where even software developers apparently think iphone is the largest platform when it isn't, it's scary to think what ideas some people have.

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Mark .
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Android is the largest platform!

"a large install base is their number-one criterion when picking a platform to write for"

Okay.

"With that in mind, Apple’s iOS for iPhone and iPad continues to be the top pick for developers - 85 and 83 per cent of those polled fancy those devices, respectively"

So they say that, and then choose the iphone platform that isn't, and has never been the largest userbase? Current stats are around near 70% for Android, and 15-20% for iphone. Apple has never had more than that. In the early years, it was far smaller - less than Windows Mobile at one time - yet still got supported most often. Before Android was number one, it was Symbian.

Indeed that's another counter example. Symbian was the number one platform until 2011, but seemed to get least software support. So where were these developers until then, claiming that large installed userbase was so important? Plus the installed userbase (rather than sales) of Symbian is still massive (I get 100 times the downloads on Symbian compared with Android, and there's still a lot of users out there) - possibly larger than the iphone userbase still. So come on, where's the Symbian support, if installed userbase is really the "number-one" criterion?

The usual argument for why iphone is catered for first is allegedly higher revenue, but that comes third.

Sorry, either the survey is nonsense/non-representative, or they're talking rubbish about their motivations. Or worse, they're seriously deluded as to what the actual market share situation is (which wouldn't surprise me, given the press reporting in the last 5 years). (If installed userbase is important, then whilst it's bad for Windows Phone - and iphone - it's good for Windows 8, surely...)

"With its reduced market share position and falling interest in the Windows phone platform, developers are unlikely to tolerate any missteps.”

I don't recall people ever making these criticisms of Apple in 2007, even though it applied then just as well.

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US data show slump in Apple tablet share

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Re: Percentages are irrelevant

Do you think I care?

Sorry, unless you're a shareholder shill, no one cares about profit. Never in the most heated Windows vs whatever debate did someone go "But look how much money Bill Gates makes!" Indeed if anything, making profit was a criticism - it means the products are overpriced, by definition.

Market share matters for lots of reasons - with Android vastly outselling IOS (and Symbian before that), it suggests may the media should stop obsessing about Apple, and maybe companies should provide apps for more than just the minority of Apple users. It also shows up as false all the claims about how Apple would take over the phone market.

Of course, perhaps we could say that all that should matter is what we individually prefer to use - but in that case, I wonder why Apple fans try to constantly quote every irrelevant stat they can find that happens to make Apple look best.

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Mark .
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Re: But are they using them?

All that tells us is that www.netmarketshare.com is an atrociously unreliable way of judging market share.

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Thank Freeview for UK 4G by mid-2013 - NOT the iPhone 5 nor EE

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Re: Strawman much?

Whilst I thankfully haven't heard anyone claim that, just you wait. An Apple device will get credited for everything - we've seen this for smartphones to software. I've seen people saying we should thank them for increasing 3G data allowances, even though 3G was available on phones years earlier. Or the idea that other companies only released Android tablets because of Apple. It really wouldn't surprise me for UK Apple fans to note that 4G came "around" the same time as iphone 5, therefore Apple are to be thanked for being "first" or "popularising" it.

Whilst this may seem a straw man, it's good to have the facts put right, *before* myths start spreading.

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Paul Allen: Windows 8 'promising' yet 'puzzling'

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Re: Its a new paradigm

"many files open in Metro-only, even when launched from the desktop."

Do you have an example? I'm not disagreeing, I'm genuinely curious - it's difficult trying to extract any actual criticisms from the noise of people disliking any change.

In Windows 7 and earlier, there are some default associations set up, but typically when you install new programs, these give the option to override (and if there isn't an association, it's done anyway - and the option to override is often done as default anyway, so less-techy users will go with that). So if you're someone who installs programs that work with the standard windowed UI, then you'll get the experience you are used to.

But is there an example of a file extension that can't be changed? Or something that works okay with a standard Windows program currently, but would now be changed to the full screen version? I guess an obvious example would be IE - I agree it'd be annoying if the default extension for html files is for the Metro version of IE, and ideally it would select intelligently based on what UI you're currently using. But then, it's irrelevant when you install a new browser anyway...

The things that I stick with the default Windows programs for would be viewing photos, videos and playing music, and I don't see that running full screen for displaying them is a problem (and for music, I believe the modern style music application runs in a sidebar).

I mean, right now, today, if I double click on an image, it opens up in the Windows view *full screen*. Is that jarring? Is that dragging me out of my "multitasking experience"?

I'm not saying it's perfect - I think it's a shame there isn't a way to get the same programs to work with both UIs. I'm just not convinced it's a step backwards.

"You can proclaim from on high that "the new way is better" all you want"

Good thing I didn't say that.

"So not including a way to say "fuck off Metro," bringing back a start menu, banishing the hot corners and re-mapping all the file associations to desktop applications as an easy, integrated option?"

It would be nice to have options to keep the old ways. But then, you don't get that with any new OS, AFAIK.

"But hey, if that's the company you want to worship, that's entirely up to you."

A straw man. I use Linux too, which has had its own share of odd UI decisions (the way Ubuntu changes stuff *every six months*, and no there's not an option to switch it back, or if there is, it involves editing config files and who knows what).

"I, however, am not you."

Exactly, and I am not you, and we all have different opinions. It is not objectively worse for everyone, just as it isn't better for everyone - as with any change, made by any OS.

Perhaps I'm just not as opposed to it, because I've worked this way before - from workspaces in Linux, to "screens" years ago on the Amiga, the idea of having apps on different screens does have some advantages. The idea of having millions of windows all in one screen has really only been a Windows-only thing for the most part.

"pry sourceforge from the grip of my mouse and keyboard."

I use Sourceforge, and I'm a strong believe in the mouse/touchpad and keyboard over touchscreens, see my comments elsewhere in this. Direct your criticisms at Apple, they're the ones who want to do away with such things.

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Mark .
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Re: An honest question

Touch is an optional extra. The new start menu is different, and perhaps some prefer the older one, and perhaps it would have been nice to offer an option for the older one, but it is just as much a mouse/keyboard based menu as earlier start menus. They didn't offer an option for the older menus when they were changed in Vista/7 either.

"went over to Linux and I've never regretted it."

But as someone who also uses Linux, I have exactly the same question: how do they get away with changing things all the time? Whether it's the scrollbars, the taskbar, the new Unity start menu (which has a lot in common with Windows 8's), the position of the menus, the way the folder hierarchy/path is displayed in file windows, or even the position of the god damn window close button!

Moreover, in Ubuntu at least, things seem to change every six months, rather than every few years. And the much shorter support cycle means you're forced to upgrade more often.

Sure, it's free, but the principle still exists. I acknowledge Linux has the advantage that you can choose different distributions with different UIs, but then you can install a 3rd party program for Windows to get your classic start menu back anyway, which is easier than changing to a different Linux distribution.

Whatever the reasons why software developers change things around, it is not unique to Windows, and I see it on Linux at least as much.

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Mark .
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Re: "Desktop is dead"

Yes - a common assumption is that in ten years' time, everyone's computer will just be their phone, which will then plug or dock into everything else.

But I think that as costs fall, it'll be more likely that people will have multiple devices for every purpose, and information will be transferred across the network. The idea that I should have to faff about with "docking" seems absurd really. Plus more and more non-computer devices will turn into computers, e.g., as we're now seeing with TVs. The PC is not dead - rather lots of other things will turn into personal computers.

Also the media love to twist stats - even if sales of desktop and laptops remain constant (or increase), the effect of tablets and phones rising to that level with mean the share of desktops and laptops will fall. This will be spun as if the absolute sales were falling. (Nokia got criticised for years for "falling market share", even though their sales were actually increasing, and it was just new companies entering the market.)

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Mark .
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Re: Based on....

I also find that touch worse than a mouse/touchpad or keyboard as soon as the screen is more than a few inches. It works on a phone as the screen size is pretty much the same size as a touchpad would be anyway, but on a larger screen, you're having to move your arm over a wider area - more effort, slower. That's before we consider laptops and desktops, where having to hold up your arm all day will quickly become painful. (Alternatively, you have the display closer to you or flat on the desk, but then it's a disaster for neck and back problems when you're looking down all day long.)

Despite the Windows 8 hate here, this is a world that offers touch, mouse and keyboard (look at how many of the upcoming "tablets" are actually hybrids, complete with keyboard and touchpad). It's only Apple that wants a world where computing is down on touch-only devices.

The bonus is it's probably more intuitive for someone who's never used a computer before - but once you've got past the one minute learning curve of the mouse/pointer (which is no worse, and probably better, than the learning curve for all the multitouch gestures). And I say probably, because nothing is obvious here - I remember my mum saying she was confused by a touchscreen phone, and preferred having actual keys to press.

The big problem with voice recognition is it's a pain for more than one person in a room (or perhaps privacy issues when in public).

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Mark .
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Re: Its a new paradigm

It is a choice - the standard windows UI is still there.

The only forced change is the start menu, and as I say in other comments, it works just as well for keyboard and mouse, and I've yet to see what the actual criticism is? True, I agree it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the option for the older menu, just for people who don't like change or prefer the old version anyway - but that's not the same thing as saying the new version is objectively worse.

I mean yes, I liked that Windows XP had the option to use the 2000 start menu, as I didn't like XP's. But then, Vista/7 changed the menu again, and don't have the option to use any previous start menu (neither 2000 nor XP's). Which was bad (though personally I now like them better than 2000 or XP), but I don't recall people being that bothered about it. Not having the option in 8 seems no worse than that.

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Mark .
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Re: If Paul Allen is puzzled ....

Whatever you may say about Windows (8, or in general), the idea that the disruption of moving to a new OS is solved by the disruption of switching to an entirely different platform, is odd.

At least pick something open like Linux. You're just jumping from one big company with a closed platform, to a another worse one that's even more closed and far more of a walled garden, not to mention supporting a company that uses patents on rectangles to shut down the competition. I do find it odd people who think they're hip to be against Windows, then you find they support Apple.

"The probable cause of this is the love that people have for their iPhones and iPads, followed by an assumption that a Mac will be just as brilliant."

Good luck with your last year tech, and oversized phone. The vast majority of people are out there buying Android devices. There is no brilliance, no more so than many other devices.

And Macs are PCs. Even if your anecdote were of any truth, I presume you mean switching from Windows to Macs. And I'd find that rather said.

Most the criticisms here are because of Windows trying to do things like touchscreen interfaces - where at least the upcoming tablets are mostly hybrids - and that some software can only be sold through MS.

Yet we're supposed to be happy if people switched to a company that wants us to do everything on dumbed down touch-only no-keyboard/touchpad devices, and wants all software sold only if it allows it? Sorry, that's a far worse situation. The idea that MS get criticised, whilst Apple praised, is mad.

"likely to accelerate this trend IMO."

People will move to ipads, because they don't like touch-optimised UIs? Sorry, makes no sense at all. And we've been hearing predicitons of Apple's dominance for years, and still, they're massively outsold by Windows on the desktop, and Symbian and now Android on mobile. I'm still waiting.

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Re: tweak to the bumper bar, grille and taillights

Be glad it's not Apple. They'd sell you a bike that's the same size and price as a car, with no steering wheel or handlebar, and call it a feature. And fans would love it.

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Mark .
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IIRC, the tiles do intelligently scale down to fit more in, e.g., if you're searching through all the programs - e.g., see http://us.generation-nt.com/windows-8-start-screen-zoom-1150911,3180811.html .

"What I've seen ... but from what I've seen ... I will eventually give it an honest try"

Have you actually tried it, or are you just passing judgement before doing so?

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Mark .
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Re: Yep

But how did things work better on the Windows 7 start menu?

If you go to All Programs, you just see a long list of names, often categorised by company name rather than application name. Even if the Windows 8 start screen looks a bit of a mess, I don't see how things are better?

Of course once upon a time there was the ability to group the start menu into categories, but you had to do that manually yourself which was also rather awkward and time-consuming, as well as not at all obvious to most users, and I believe that ability went away with Windows Vista anyway.

The way I load programs quickly on Windows 7 is either to select it from the recent list, or just type the name to bring it up with search - and Window 8 works exactly the same way.

Seriously - I keep hearing comments about Windows 8's awful start menu, but having used it, I don't see it, and no one's yet explained the issue?

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Samsung adds iPhone 5 to patent battle v Apple

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Wow, obviously I upset the Apple fanatics there - maybe upset that Apple are still third place behind Samsung and Nokia?

Sorry, a bad marketing mistake doesn't mean Nokia's camera technology is therefore bad. That's basic logic.

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FAIL

Anti-Nokia FUD from the media yet again.

The advert was showing the benefits of optical stabilisation. Even if their marketing team messed up, that doesn't change the technology - there have already been plenty of third party demos that show the benefits.

(I have a Samsung Galaxy, which I love - but I don't deny that Nokia's camera phone technology is number one, and is far more innovation than "let's make a 4" device, and screw up maps" that you get from a certain other company.)

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US court lifts ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Mark .
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I drag and drop music to my Sansa player or music and videos to my Galaxy Nexus (and if I wanted to use software to manage it, I could use anything of my choice that supported the MTP standard). I play music or videos across the network to my LG TV from a variety of operating systems and devices using the open standard of DLNA.

I was horrified to read through a Richer Sounds catalogue recently, to see how many of the audio products, despite not being Apple products, catered only to the minority Apple users. There were devices that you could connect an iphone to (now incompatible!) There were mentions of Apple-specific terms that I presume was some networking thingy that gave me no idea as to how it would worth with anything else.

Even if I did have some Apple products, it's still ridiculous to require *all* the devices that I might want to play from to be Apple. And even if I did, it seemed nonsensical - if I have a portable mp3 player, I'd rather let that sit in my coat pocket, not have to dig it out to play music from home, plus from at home, and I'd rather use a full size UI on computer. Nor would I want to take a tablet or phone and physically connect it to the speakers - what if I wanted to use it? Haven't they heard of wireless?

So I thought it interesting that, due to the audio industry's obsession with Apple, I actually got far better and far more open support for playing audio, through my smart LG *TV*!

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Mark .
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Walled garden isn't always about DRM. It simply means being locked in, e.g., you've already invested time learning how to use it, or downloading or buying software which now won't work on anything else. (The OP didn't even say that Apple had more of a walled garden, just that it's an effect that would harm Samsung when their products were banned.)

"but still free to import your own media"

You do realise that with "walled gardens", the issue is getting your media etc out, onto another platform? Indeed, typically walled gardens do make it easy to _import_. The fact that you have to use their special itunes software, encouraging people to have all their media managed by Apple's software, which then makes it harder for people to transition elsewhere, is a perfect example of that.

Not sure why a grandmother is taking as typical of a computer ignorant person, if that's what you mean - seems sexist at the least. But older people can and do just as well use other makes of products, and in fact, of all the people I see flashing Apple logos around, it's never grandparents. The "your grandmother can use an ipad, unlike other products" is just a myth.

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Mark .
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Re: Apple have already won

Believe it or not, some people may want some kind of device - computer, tablet, phone, or whatever - and then choose from the available options.

Consider, what phone do you have? Now, are you telling me that if that exact model of phone didn't exist, you wouldn't have any phone?

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Re: Apple have already won

Indeed, I was thinking, surely any damage estimates aren't just a matter of lost sales, but also the long term effect of having reduced share in a massively growing market?

Typically sales don't just appear out of nowhere, they grow with time, and there is a cumulative effect (more sales means more people talking about it and telling other people, more people writing software, more media coverage, which means in turn more sales). Any lost sale isn't just a loss of that profit, but a potential reduction therefore in future sales.

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Shouldn't the products be banned until the trial is held - I mean, isn't that what happened to Samsung's products here? Or is it one rule for them...

Samsung can simply pay a few million to Apple if it turns out they lose the case.

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Analysts slash Ultrabook sales estimate by over 50%

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Re: All Ultrabooks seem to fail.

OOI, where can you get the specs you want with the size/portability of ultrabooks? Are there other high end portables that do?

(Personally I'm happy with netbooks for portability, and a less portable high spec laptop for my main use - but it seems odd to criticise a device for not having enough power, when the only laptops with that extra power don't have the same portability. It's not a fair comparison.)

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Re: Well who would have thought it?

I agree, though actually I think a lot of the tablet offerings are tablet/touch versions of netbooks, rather than "ultrabooks" (or high end ultra-portables), so I think they are learning. (The proposed prices might be higher than netbooks, but that's to be expected with additional features of touchscreen and being a tablet hybrid - they still seem cheaper than high end ultrabooks.)

I.e., they're mainly going for things like Atom and lower resolutions, but doing so at a lower cost, because that's good enough for most people. The Surface is one of the few going with high end specs - and thankfully yes, it's also matched with a high resolution.

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*boggle*

So millions, growing to tens of millions is a runaway success if it's Apple (referenced here with devices that have nothing to do with high-end laptops, as someone points out above), but a "cock-up" if it's Intel?

Also remember that Intel win on every x86 laptop sold (whether or not it's their "Ultrabook" brand), and will also do so on the competing MS Surface or x86 tablets too. The "Ultrabook" is just a way to add to this - partly marketing (simply to sell more x86 laptops), but also financial (since they also apparently get a bigger cut for each one sold). Seems pretty sensible to me.

Plus, what's wrong with selling less but with a higher profit margin? That's what the Apple fans tell us is great about Apple, isn't it? It may be that far more people are buying sub-£500 less portable but still good enough x86 laptops, but I can see the point that they don't make as much profit. This way Intel get the best of both worlds - large sales, but also additional profits from high end premium products. Indeed that's the way a lot of markets work - get the profits from the people buying the high end products, then get mass market with the lower end.

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Steve Jobs resurfaces in Hong Kong

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Re: Hmm...

and gets lots of free publicity from the media.

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Mark .
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Re: Could we build a mausoleum to house him?

I will be remembering October 5, the 51 week anniversary of the tragic death of a great computer pioneer.

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Mark .
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Re: Could we build a mausoleum to house him?

Indeed. Fair enough that Apple lovers want to remember their idol, but I got a bit sick of them saying that everyone else should care about it too - when I knew damn well that they didn't care about any CEOs or inventors of the companies and products that I like, or that millions of people use and love every day. I doubt they could even name the CEOs of companies like Samsung, let alone know if they died. (Plus it also annoyed me that people turned it into an excuse to slag off other company's products - "Jobs made things much better than everyone else did" - ready to play the "disrespectful" card if you disagreed. There are people behind those other companies too, though.)

Earlier this year also saw the sad death of Jack Tramiel, who founded Commodore which gave us the C64, and manufactured and sold the Amiga (well, of course we might blame the bad handling - but the flipside is that with no Commodore, the Amiga might now have been picked up by anyone). These products did far more imo to popularise and bring computing to the masses, than some expensive business computers owned by a privileged few.

This got some coverage in the media, but not one of the people telling me I should care about Jobs mentioned the death of Tramiel - I doubt they were even aware of it.

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Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll

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Re: I remember 10 or so years ago

Well who died and made you derpmaster general?

Your points seem to be in agreement to me - that MS OSs are criticised when they come out. Yes, part of it is that MS fixes and improves things, but then, no reason to think this won't happen with Windows 8 too.

If people were simply saying "I'm steering clear of Windows 8 until they fix up the issues with a service pack, then it'll be great - that's how it is with every other MS release", then fine - but they're not. Instead it's talking as if Windows 8 is fundamentally flawed. People aren't saying that XP was crap until they fixed it - it's hailed as the best MS OS ever.

There's also talk of Windows 8 being a complete flop because of it. Do the flaws that you yourself say were in XP stop that from being an amazing success? And if you say "No because they improved it", why should we think they won't improve Windows 8 after release?

We may well see in 10 years' time, people saying "Windows 16 is a bunch of rubbish, stick with the wonderful Windows 8" - yes, it may well be that this is an improved Windows 8 after a service pack, but nonetheless, that's a completely different story to the claims that Windows 8 will flop, and everyone will move to Apple itoys or Linux, or stick with XP.

"forget that opinion of XP changed overnight"

I don't agree at all - e.g., many of the criticisms I remember about XP were things like the look and feel of the UI, which exist to this day.

How is Windows 8 completely broken, OOI?

"For the record, I still love Windows 2000. I refuse to touch XP unless it's SP2 or later, Vista an go [censored] itself, and Windows 7 only became usable on older hardware after SP1."

You're missing the point. This isn't about one person's opinion. Sure, that's your opinion. My opinion is that I preferred Windows 2000 to XP, and now I prefer Windows 7 to either. Everyone has different views. I'm just drawing attention to the groupthink of sites like here, where new MS OS are always slagged off, and I'm laughing how XP is now hailed as the best MS OS ever. Like you, I stuck with 2000 during that time. If it was 2000 that was being upheld as the best, then that would be consistent.

"But hey, don't let me stand in the way of your blinkered view of history"

I'm not the one claiming that XP was seen as wonderful all along, like some people here. You may have some opinion that changed overnight with SP2, but that doesn't speak for everyone.

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Re: Win8 without Metro would be awesome

So the key issue is not the UI in general (as you can just still use the windowed UI anyway, as you note), but the Start screen.

I don't get it - why doesn't the Start screen work well with keyboard/mouse? On Windows 7, I hit the Windows key and type the name of the app. On Windows 8, I hit the Windows key and type the name of the app. (On Windows XP, I hit the Windows key, type the name of the app, then remember and get annoyed, and then have to faff about with the menus.) I'm generally curious here - I see a lot of criticisms about the start screen, but I don't see anyone explaining what the problem is?

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False, Windows XP had a different start menu (though you could revert to the classic one). Windows Vista/7 also have a new start menu (but now you can't revert to the 2000/9x one). Windows 8 also has a new one - and it's the start screen which is really the main difference that is forced upon people (the full screen interface being optional, with the "windowed" mode still being fully available).

Also the general UI of Windows has had changes throughout the iterations. Nothing major, but the same is true between the windowed UIs of Windows 7 versus 8.

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Well yes, but then that just makes the survey not useful anyway. It's not clear to me that such people are more likely to like a new MS OS - given the criticism against any new OS from MS around IT/geek places, if anything it's the reverse.

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"It replaces a relatively compact menu arranged in hierarchical way"

Didn't that version of the Start Menu go out with Windows XP?

The only way to view all programs in Windows Vista onwards is to see a long scrolly list. So I don't see why the Windows 8 screen is worse - I'd argue it's better, as you now see programs listed by their icon and name, whereas in Windows 7 they're just folders of only the name, and sometimes instead company names.

Recent applications is still there in Windows 8, I thought?

And most of the time it's quickest to just launch something by typing the name, which still works in Windows 8.

I've used Windows 8, and I honestly don't see the problem of using the start screen with mouse and keyboard.

"could span several yards"

Yes good, if I'm looking through all my software, I'd rather it use the entire space of my monitor, than having to scroll through some pokey little list that occupies just a fraction of the available space, like in Windows 7.

"On top of that most of the metro "apps" are so dumbed down that there is very little reason that anyone on a desktop would wish to use them."

Oh come on, have you ever made much use of the built in Windows apps? How many people here use Windows Mail as their email client? That's the point, they don't expect more experienced people to use them - the built in apps have always been dumbed down, as anyone who knows more can and will go and download their preferred program.

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It's a good thing that Windows 8 doesn't insist that then.

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Re: Good luck with WP8 phones if Win 8 tanks

When the iphone was first released, I remember Apple fans bragging it was running OS X(!) I don't recall Apple ever being criticised that their phone couldn't run OS X software.

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Re: Not surprised

It's worth noting that most the upcoming "tablets" are hybrids, so it suggests that they think the best situation is to have a keyboard for real computing, but use a touch-optimised new interface when you need the portability. Which I think is the right choice. I don't want to do windowed/"desktop" applications on a touchscreen, and I don't want to do small windowed/"desktop" applications if I'm walking around with a tablet.

"And if you're not planning on running traditional desktop apps, then why would you even consider a Windows tablet?"

Some obvious things I can think of off the top of my head: Even though the UI needs to be redone, porting is far easier. Also easier integration, e.g., Windows networking (useful both for business and home).

Also the question seems odd - even if I couldn't run desktop apps, since you can't do that on any other tablet OSs, it's not a negative. I would still at least consider the available options when buying something.

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I remember 10 or so years ago

On geek/IT forums like The Register, Slashdot and so on, Windows XP was slagged off all over the place, instead users preferring Windows 2000. There were good arguments too - Windows 2000 had all the good things about XP, and the benefits of XP were more consumer oriented things that geeks would rather turn off anyway.

So I now find it laughable that on these same places, history has been rewritten to hold up XP as being the best MS OS ever!

The criticisms of Windows 8 seem to be far more like with XP, rather than say Vista - namely it's not that it's bad, just that users here don't see anything particularly special, and they'll happily stick with the current latest version, at least for now. (Though as the article notes, there are improvements to the OS that are nothing to do with touchscreens. Personally I'd be happy to finally get the damn pause button when copying files!)

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Re: That's gotta hurt

"People like one MS better than another - therefore Apple are best"

We heard this Apple fanatic logic with Vista, and it didn't make sense then, even with Vista being awful. It certainly doesn't work for Windows 8. At least move to something like Linux, where you do get choice, rather than dumping one big company for another with less choice.

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People prefer what they know

Let's face it - geeks liked Windows 2000 and moaned about XP, but years later, XP is hailed as some kind of best MS OS ever...

And whilst we might all agree that Vista was bad, it's worth noting that Vista did introduce a lot of the ideas that are now liked in Windows 7 - it was just badly implemented, or the hardware at the time wasn't up to it.

To add to that, a forum more likely to be frequented by geeks are probably less likely to care about more consumer oriented features. It also seems to be the case that people like us are more sceptical about new updates. And does not liking the MS Store mean people actively think it's horrendous, or just that they don't have any interest in it?

As for the Surface - what about all the other Windows 8 tablets and hybrids? If 35% would buy a Surface even before we consider the other Windows 8 tablets, that's pretty good going!

I also don't see why the phone survey is bad news - it's already clear that Android is way in the lead anyway, but if Windows 8 can take second place over Apple, that's surely a win.

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Tim Cook: 'So sorry for Apple's crap maps app - try Bing or Nokia'

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Re: Apple has peaked

I don't think anyone's saying that style isn't important - but it is a problem if a phone only has style, but no substance. Of course you might disagree that it doesn't have "substance" - but that's the disagreement. No one says that style isn't important.

Other phones have style too. And in my book, style doesn't come in the form of an obvious tacky logo. Same reason I don't go for Adidas clothes either, though no doubt some people think it makes them look call. I mean really, if technology was like clothes, would you go around with a light up Apple logo on your back? (Though then again, I'm sure that some people would...)

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Re: Apple has peaked

Given that people have reasons to buy phones at different times, it seems rather risky to base a model assuming that everyone wants to upgrade at the same point once every two years...

(It doesn't help that they can't even stick to that - it's been 2.5 years since the iphone 4... Also unfortunately, the iphone 5 is really the 4SS - still an incremental upgrade.)

Why would they be forced to licence their OS to third parties?

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Re: Deal breaker

"I say Apple leads there now, and so do the stats."

Reference? You may be right, I'm just curious to see the breakdown in sales.

"Android may have an overall bigger market share, but that's spread across lots of phones from lots of vendors"

Being spread over lots of phones is irrelevant. As for manufacturers, Samsung alone sell more Android phones that Apple's entire phone sales. By about a factor of 2, in Q2 2012.

As for profit:

"which is the prime indication of market power"

No it isn't. Yes, Apple do well in profit, but I don't care about that. The only people who should care are Apple shareholders. I'm not an Apple shareholder, so this isn't the prime indication for anything I care about.

I don't know what an elephant is.

I do agree there is a difference. Apple are out to make profit selling overpriced phones to a niche. Google want a platform on as many devices as possible. I agree entirely. (Plus I don't think it's just about information - they also get a 30% cut through Google Play, and it seems they do want to build on this to create a general sales portal for every smartphone - even if that wasn't their original intention, it's one that will create money for them.)

Your Oracle analogy isn't valid, as Sun hardware is a minority. Here, Android is by far the dominant platform. Not catering for the minority of Apple users is no more relevant than not catering for Symbian, Blackberry, J2ME or anyone else (iphone being number 2 is very recent, only as of this year - and that's in quartery sales, not installed userbase - and they're way behind Android, making them a niche like anyone else).

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Re: Deal breaker

"Or it could simply be that Symbian is dead as an operating system"

It's mostly phased out, though there's still a massive userbase. If it was just Symbian maybe, but dropping out all other platforms suggest something more.

"why use J2ME when maps runs just fine in pretty much any smartphone with a web browser?"

Right so years ago I could run it on any dirt cheap Java smartphone, now it only runs on more expensive smartphones that run the right kind of OS (not pretty much any). Although fair enough, if the website works better with mobile web browers these days, there's less need for specific "apps".

"and have apps for the 2 biggest platforms (which Google had pre-iOS6, and will have again whenever they get their app done)."

They only had it for Apple because they paid for it, and there's no evidence they plan to cater for the minority of Apple users (and sorry, it's misleading put Apple on the same level as Android - Android is way ahead, and if they only want to cater for the biggest, they might as well just support Android and nothing else).

Plus if it works with the web browser, why does Apple need a special app? Android does because you get more features - the sat nav. But why does Apple need an app for something every other platform can do in the web browser?

I don't see evidence that these days, Google are so concerned about getting their maps on every phone - and with Android so dominant, they don't really need to, I guess.

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Re: Apple eh?

Oh yes, it did annoy me that the minority of Mac users looked down at more advanced platforms as being merely "games machines".

The joke is that now, Apple fanatics think their itoys are cool because they can post to Facebook and play games, and write off Windows PCs as being "boring business machines"!

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Firefox's birthday present to us: Teaching tech titans about DIY upstarts

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Re: Vendor lockin

Open may be not the norm, but it's worth noting the advantages of such platforms when we have them.

Not sure what nonsense you're on about having to redesign UIs for every device - on Android, you write apps sensibly, so it scales to any resolution. It's on IOS that people seem to have locked themselves into a single resolution, which has now backfired as these days, IOS runs of loads of different resolutions (3 iphone resolutions, and god knows what for ipads).

The problem with itunes is not DRM (which the OP didn't mention - nice straw man), but when itunes scrambles the files. It doesn't have to do this when used on a sensible OS like Windows, but it does seem to be the default for managing software on ipods - so perhaps the OP is referring to a similar thing for iphones.

"Someday, the more rabid fanatics and extremists in this industry might at least have the decency to give him a little credit for that."

*Splutter* Jobs receives nothing but praise and credit, for all kinds of things he did or didn't do (and no, it wasn't Jobs who got rid of DRM). It's particularly funny that you say this, when you aren't even willing to give credit to open platforms.

Tell you what, I'll give thanks to Apple, the day I hear Apple fans give thanks to all the other companies that have helped or influenced Apple products. But you know what? I never ever do.

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