1366 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009
A Reg where Orlowski&Lewis have even more time to post biased opinion pieces as news, misrepresent real research and generally crap all over the reg in their endless campaign against sanity... suddenly patent trolls don't look so bad!
Re: Clue up
Nope, MS took care to not be specific so readers would jump to conclusions. If anything it's hurt them badly, when the false conclusions many reached were proven false those same people jumped to the false conclusion it was a problem across the whole Win8 line!
They just tried the same scam with XBone but botched it more badly, not enough people imagined the wonders a tightly DRMed digital distribution model might bring. Interestingly MS still haven't officially commented on what those wonders might have really been, just left it to the rumour mill and had unconfirmable employee comments seed that mill.
Re: A bit behind the ball
...it is however a very common occurrence they break the news before The (always late to the party) Register ;)
Re: I came close
Also bear in mind the many reports that RT devices aren't really fast enough to run it well. Every review or comment from a user inevitably mentions typing lag. Hardly surprising with the quality of hardware it's running on and the total lack of effort adapting it to low spec hardware, tweaking chrome spacing does nothing for performance.
Its still mildly astonishing they even thought throwing in a dodgy copy of Office would sell the thing. After a decade of WinCE they know the classic interface doesn't work on these devices. It seems the Office guys couldn't get the new Metro UI to work for it in time - though I doubt they even tried, it's so damn impoverished as a toolkit. The speed hit of RT over 100% native code can't have been inviting either, something it took Google several years to address with the NDK (used in a frighteningly hi proportion of apps now).
Office on Surface RT just stinks of knee jerk traditional monopoly maintenance by Microsoft, not a considered, sensible plan.
I think Microsoft have a clear advantage here in having the most stylus friendly OS ready to go. The difficult bit will be finding somewhere to stow the stylus... perhaps next to the magnifying glass needed to actually read WinCE menu's on a screen that small ;)
On a more serious note, there's a good reason all existing 'Smartwatches' are really only semi-smart, your finger covers 1/3 of the screen and fitting more than 6 usable touch controls is a challenge. Probably one of the 'hard engineering problems' Apple are struggling with, how to re-engineer users fingers.
One thing seems certain, we're several generations of power reduction+battery improvement and years away from a genuinely smart watch. Another hard engineering problem, changing the meaning of 'smart'?
Re: Extras?? We just needed an internet connection
They don't serve ads to "faculty, staff, or students" on Education versions. Can't comment on whether they trawl the content.
Re: Extras?? We just needed an internet connection
I'll translate for you: 'parity of experience' -> 'match the bloatware you'll never use but we insist on bundling'
Google also bundle a lot of crap you probably don't want (like a free + account with every product) but the difference is they don't charge you for it and it's different crap.
Re: The title is not the patent!
You describe how the process is supposed to work not how it actually works (where works->fails to work). In reality the USPTO does very little filtering until faced with a legal challenge and for software what's granted is rarely much different to what's claimed. That 90% of claims get shredded when challenged doesn't help, it's too bloody late by then.
Re: The ITC is a US organization...
...dealing with international trade. I'm pretty certain you can find Americans that think a US company manufacturing in China is not international trade, while Koreans are. I'm 110% certain all areas of US gov have more than their fair share of them... including customs.
Re: Microsoft should keep its mouth shut
Less worried than amused that someone got their 'lobbying,threats or bribes' in before Microsoft!
I find it far more likely some patriotic idiot in the agency simply doesn't think ITC bans apply to US companies...
Guess what, there is a DVD full of tests for all those edge cases. I never ran the whole set - needed a spare hard drive just to collect the results and it would have taken days just pulling the results off the mobile, for a codec that never aimed to pass all tests.
Raises suspicion that MS don't follow their own certification procedures. Wouldn't be the first time there were different rules for internal and external MS developers.
they wouldn’t pay themselves the margin of course
...unless there's a tax avoidance opportunity ;)
Re: Adapt or deserve to die
There's more than one way to adapt.
Moving to a more suitable environment seems to be killing Microsoft better than Microsoft can kill it's departing refuseniks ;)
Re: " there was a significant change in specificatio"
If Winphone continues to restrictively specify the design of new devices it has no future. Apple already captured the minority happy to all own the 'same' phone, the majority stampeded toward the 'fragmented' world of Android.
Microsoft really got this wrong, avoiding fragmented hardware only sounds good in business meetings but it's not what the buying public actually want... the share of the public not already tied to Apple that is. MS aren't ever going to shift enough iOS users to WP and have contracts with Apple preventing them copying the look&feel of iOS to ensure it.
Quite how MS managed to build an OS unable to cope with varied hardware is hard to understand, device abstractions and wide driver support is what created their desktop OS success. Seems certain it was a deliberate decision, I'd guess driven by Apples success when they started work on Winphone and the endless fountain of PR castigating Android fragmentation strongly suggests they've always wrongly believed it was a crucial sales feature.
The problem is they completely forgot to check with the market, a market with thousands of different devices before smartphones rose and with a thriving customisation aftermarket even on locked down iPhones. Most buyers want variation, even if only cosmetic and Microsoft went out of their way to not offer that. Huge mistake when you're this late to a market.
The end result is a engineering mindset at Microsoft that means they aren't building each version of WP with the flexibility to deal with off-spec hardware. I don't believe that attitude will change in time to make WP9 support WP8 spec hardware, they need to acknowledge a central part of the sales plan is wrong and Microsoft haven't yet accepted they need change to rescue the products.
Mediaportal is not a 'badly behaved' program, at least as far as it's install process and links is concerned.
It installed 16 links in my Start Menu, split between front and backend sub menus, both contained in the Team Mediaportal main menu and easily navigable. The Start Screen picked 8 of them to dump into it's grid and didn't even keep them together in the jumble. The 'all apps' view at least clustered them into 1 group but discarded the front/backend distinction and only found 13 of the links. Not only did it flatten the hierarchy, it couldn't even find all the links... beyond useless.
It's probably the most links an installer added but far from unique - I see 4 TortoiseSVN links on the Start Screen, worse than useless because the main one is a context menu that only works in explorer on the desktop!
mmeier:"Hundrets of icons? This sounds very strange and/or like badly programmed applications"
Seems you've forgotten classic desktop installers expect to add as many links as they like, all packaged away into a sub-menu so the Start Menu doesn't get hopelessly messy. It seems Microsoft also forgot it when coding the Start Screen, which translates classic installs by dumping all the structure and creating an unholy flattened mess.
Can't say I'm too surprised at all this forgetfulness, the price of entry to the Metro fan club always involved wilfully forgetting the past, to avoid unfavourable comparisons springing to mind.
AC:"Your argument is the same that was used about the Windows 3.x->95 move. People actually stuck with the program manager for years in some cases, despite the start menu being obviously better"
Pretty much sums up the 'fuck you' thinking coming out of Microsoft right now, channelled by their army of shills.
Apparently you are allowed to think the 95 era 'Start Menu' was *obviously better* but I'm not allowed to think the Win8 era 'Start Screen' is obviously worse on the desktop. Neither am I allowed to continue believing it after trying to use the sorry POS and finding it defective.
With Win95 Microsoft had the confidence to leave the old style launcher shell in place and let users choose. They even left it there in XP for any remaining holdouts. This time round though they seem to lack the confidence to just let the new out compete the old... as if even they know that's doomed to fail.
But the greater needs of forcing Windows onto the tablet and phone market requires that letting users decide what works best on users desktops is not an allowable option. If that impoverishes the set of tools I have available, neither you or Microsoft cares.
What's this 'install everything' setting?
Anyway, the problem here is not lack of signature checks, the device signature check itself is broken. Its easy to spot tampered with apps but you're now more reliant on trusting the distribution chain to actually do it.
Re: otherwise untouchable bloat
No, I mean fun like stripping 15Mb of foreign language dictionaries out of the keyboard apk and still having a working keyboard. Probably with a broken signature (not checked) but working. 15Mb I'd rather waste on games ;)
Anyway, had a look at the purported bug fix and it looks like Google (for a change) haven't overreacted and outlawed all zip file manipulation.
But it's a serious bug, trivially simple, trivially simple to exploit. Also however trivially simple to detect exploits and it looks like that detection could be added without a full OS update. Just don't wait for Google to get off their lazy arses and actually do it.
...although modifying the actual dex chunk does have it's appeal. Just tends to be easier to find a less abusive app than recompile one.
Re: How quickly the argument changes...
Far from useless, it looks very like the way I've been hacking otherwise untouchable bloat out of apps for the last couple of years without the hassle of resigning them...
Will be an unfortunate loss when patched.
Re: the Start Menu
I strongly suspect part of the apathy for the XP style Start Menu springs from Microsoft completely failing to tell ordinary users how to manage the thing. It's sometimes obvious when the haters post about it's deficiencies they've just let Windows drop crap into it, without ever sorting additions, adding categories to the tree, removed junk or done anything to manage the ensuing mess. Without even noticing drag'n'drop works on it and takes seconds to undo what installers break.
Yet the same 'unstructure list' behaviour on the shiny new Start Screen is somehow magically more efficient...
My start menu has ordered imposed on it and in return I no longer need to remember where things are. I've effectively offloaded some of my cognitive load on the machine. It seems that I'm in a minority of people able to manage what installers throw at me, a minority that can be ignored in favour of dragging me back into the same mire the majority put up with.
To much concentration on metrics just drags us all down to the same level.
Re: Strong typing?
You need to actually read the source article, strong typing would have exactly NO effect on the stupid programming they did. This wasn't a type problem, it was the crap they put into the type.
Strong typing can only give you a hint about impending stupidity. It can't make you take the hint.
FFS stop pretending there's been a U-turn
Correcting a basic GUI discoverability design error (the start button) and shortcutting to the desktop ARE NOT A FUCKING U-TURN. Stop playing Microsofts PR game, the U-turn lie is just another slap in the face for users.
"very good backwards-compatibility"
...just a pity you have to explicitly turn it on for so many desktop applications.
I bet 99k of them are simple ports
It's considerably easier porting an existing iOS or Android app to another platform, especially if you built it in a cross platform tool. So you'd expect apps to appear massively quicker on later platforms, during the initial gold rush, while quick dirty ports can succeed.
Trickling in a little bit faster just shouts fail. I want to know how many of that 100k are this years apps, not recompiled stuff from the dawn of iPhone. I doubt it's a lot and now Microsoft are done subsidising (*) them I expect growth to slow a lot.
(* Microsoft have stopped pumping adverts into the ad platform, since they were responsible for 90%+ of them ad funded WP apps are effectively dead. AFAIK they also stopped paying bonuses for apps)
Google didn't own Motorola when they shipped this 2011 phone...
For a device that was described as unrepairable after a teardown (iFixit rated it 1 out of 10), which seems to be glue with some components embedded in it, I'd guess they won't be doing repairs or spare parts!
At least the SSD is actually removable if you need to recover data from a dead Surface, something you'll need specialised kit to do with embedded flash.
Remind me why adding a touch interface REQUIRES the non touch UI to be degraded?
Re: XBox 8.1
Apparently if you kill the network it will skip straight to a local account...
Re: at a guess professionals would want to deal with any significant OS release
...at a guess professionals would want to wait till the finalised release before evaluating it for their clients.
Especially those that remember Win8.0 had a functioning desktop Start Menu till 7 days before RTM, albeit hidden behind a registry flag. Until 8.1 is frozen, sometime this autumn, no-one knows what it will contain. Only shills need to evaluate it right now.
Re: Governments moral right to the money?
Rol:"governments around the world will have no choice but to get together and come up with a universal plan"
In direct contrast to how we got in this mess, with governments competing to attract business by offering tax incentives. When times were good they conveniently managed to overlook that they weren't just shafting other governments but forgoing vital income themselves.
It's hard to belief greedy halfwit governments willing to win business at literally ANY cost could ever agree to stop shafting each other. In the unlikely event any agreement is ever reached I doubt it would last long enough to actually collect the tax before our corrupt politicians kick off another round of suicidal tax giveaways. They really are that corrupt and that stupid.
At the time a friend described the 8086/8088 as 2 8080's badly stitched together and in many ways it literally was just that and as flaky as it sounds.
Saddening to think there were so many interesting and architecturally superior CPUs around at the time, all killed by Intels ability to throw a couple of billion transistors at the job of hiding the true horror of the x86 design. There are no x86 CPUs any longer, just a lot of silicon emulating them.
more presence in magazines than on the streets
They were tempting as gaming consoles on paper when announced but it was just a serial screwup from then on.
In an age when every new pc shipped a minimum of 6months late they were more than a year late.
.then when they did ship the price was outrageously uncompetitive
..when they got remaindered down to decent prices MSX was obsolete and there were newer toys to buy.
And then the same thing happened with MSX-2!
It's a miracle any sold over here. I don't remember ever being asked to write anything for MSX either.
Re: And in other news...
Eadon is at Build 2013, he'll be back to cleanse the dirty feeling when he's done lying in the keynote speech...
Re: Windows 7?
If only Microsoft didn't keep telling us it's listening to customers (and even remote monitoring them) to give them what they want... and apparently what they wanted was a Fisher Price drag along cart, in bright shiny colours and reduced functionality so they could skive off work better ;)
Microsoft know the PC market is in terminal decline, it's why they think it's OK to fuck over the Windows desktop and power users with a dumbed down legacy mode and completely dumb preferred UI. Its the desperate marketing driven need to enter a growing tablet+mobile market overriding all other concerns.
Microsoft is failing because they're shiny new consumer pandering OS isn't good enough to compete. They're damaging the existing PC product but gaining no benefit in the new target markets. When will Ballmer stop digging? Only when he's 6ft down in a wooden box is my bet.
"they monitor the use of thousands upon thousands of Windows users"
Measuring a minority does not justify everything you want to do to that minority.
Does not take away that minorities rights to comment.
Never magically makes a bad change good.
Win8 withdrew or damaged features to support Microsofts market planning, not for users benefit. The plan isn't even working so everyone loses.
hardly unexpected they cant make a joined up plan
We all know Microsoft is really a confederation of divisions, not quite at war with each other but rarely cooperating with any enthusiasm. This time Ballmer put marketing and the planners in charge of bludgeoning their way into phones and tablets in charge and they aren't listening to any feedback, not customer feedback and it seems not internal either.
Tools got away with just dumbing down the chrome on their UIs because those users were always going to use desktop mode. Still caused a flood of complaint. Office have been ordered to do the impossible, fit a complex, high precision UI onto an inherently low precision, sparse GUI toolkit... and it's not easy, possibly not really possible. Maybe the delays are Office just refusing to play, more likely it's just the impossibility of the making full fat tools work in low fat Metro, iOS or Android.
At some point HQ will have to decide if the great Windows infestation plan is better served by shipping apps cut down to what works with deficient mobile and touch UIs. To stop pretending full versions of Office on those devices are a credible sales tool for the greater Win8 plan. ATM it looks like that will take the complete failure of Win8 before Microsoft changes anything and they won't see it coming because they have their eyes shut.
Re: can use black title bars with white text?
I wasted half a day trying to retheme the window chrome to something with more visual clues. Turns out they didn't just create pastel, low contrast themes, they decimated the theming options so it's hard to create anything else. With less granular control every thing you change has unforseen consequences somewhere else. At one point I thought I'd cracked it, only to discover dialogs were showing text black on black!
Even the hi-contrast settings don't help, they have the same problems. They look so ugly because they can't be made nicer and still work everywhere.
If you really want to restore some much needed chrome you'll need a 3rd party theming engine to restore more settings. UxStyle works nicely and with the Royale 8 theme a casual observer would think I'm running XP.
(And UxStyle is an early casualty of Win8.1. Thanks MS ;( )
Re: better support for multi monitor?
I look forward to whatever miraculous solution lets me seamlessly drag'n'drop between monitors using just touch.
...though now I remember, they need to repair drag'n'drop first because there's nothing seamless about Win8 stopping to think when a drag leaves or enters a new region :(
Many more than you want to believe.
And in defence of those that have sensibly avoided it: everything I thought I'd hate about Win8 before I tried it, 6-7months of use in and I was right about every single one of them and it's actually broken in ways I didn't expect.
If it looks obviously wrong sometimes it's because it really is wrong.
Re: Where is it?
...your read it in MS release notes, or a journo parroting them...
It's quite cunning really, only the dedicated MS fans will put up with a full Win8 reinstall when it RTMs or the backup/test/restore bother now. So telemetry and manual feedback will again be highly skewed and another round of denial can begin.
Re: wjhat makes me laugh...
>1. Boot up in under 12 secs. (With ssd)
Takes 45s (without SSD) here. Then another minute before it starts responding to input enough to do anything. A whole 15s faster than XP for something I expect to do once a week at worst (if only Win8 was that stable)
>2. Do almost anything faster
...compared to a tired, badly maintained Win7 install. Test against an equally fresh copy and the supposed advantages vanish. It does handle my HD,USB and network faster than XP but if anything else is faster than switching 32->64bit can explain I've not noticed it. But the faithful can keep on believing the placebo works.
>5. 2 click access to device manager, uninstall programs, control panel, System, and so much more.
Just like I had with the control panel parked in my XP start menu root and right click context menu?
>7. Intelligent driver sensing.
Is that why it kept installing bad 64bit drivers and repeatedly reminded me the 'oh shit, I don't know how to carry on' exception screen is still blue? Having to override an 'intelligent' system intent on borking my PC isn't my idea of improvement.
>8. Far superior unified search.
Eventually I'll find time to read the manual and make it do the simple but powerful file searching I used to have in XP! Another 'not an' improvement.
>9. Superior WiFi controls in one-click
Really wouldn't know. Win8 instantly BSOD when I tried to use my WiFi dongle. Then BSOD again when I let it update the bad drivers with more bad ones. Never did find working drivers so more dead hardware.
>10. End process, actually works - immediately
Not here. There are less processes it can't kill, +1 for that. But some still take their time dying, some still refuse to die. Particularly annoying it's just as unreliable killing DirectX apps as it's always been.
But that's all pointless since it takes so long summoning task manager to life, I just quit it then relaunched and waited 12s for it start. 12seconds reloading from cache. 30s is more typical and I've seen it take much longer when something serious needs killing.
And of course that assumes task killer will even respond when launched. I'm using the reset button a lot more now because once the desktop crashes it tends to take every GUI app with it, including the task manager. And it crashes a lot if you dare to leave explorer windows open for extended periods.
Re: The author is a wanker
"It's better than the iPad in every way but one and that's playing pointless games."
...and right there is exactly why Win8 and Win8 devices are slow sellers. Most of the public *want to play pointless games* and most of the corporations are perfectly aware they don't need new PC's, Win8 or overpriced and/or over powered tablets to get work done.
Microsoft still think they can tell punters what they want but Apple owns all the ones willing to be led, Android the ones that hate being led and the remainder just want cheap and plenty of games to go with their media playback and handheld browsing. Microsoft is fighting for a market that's already lost to them and ignoring the uncommitted buyers by refusing to compete on value.
The vultures resident Microsoft fan, Orlowski, understands the problem and persistently tries to paint Android as 'landfill', cheap and nasty because MS don't compete with cheap. But no-ones listening, they're too busy playing games on their cheap tablets ;)
A while back Gamasutra (I think) had a long discussion about the use & abuse of motion blur in gaming. It was surprising how few understood why it makes sense on a 30fps console (the same reasons film does it) but not on a 60/75/100fps PC game.
Till now it's not been a real choice for developers though, with current gen consoles frequently only able to support 30fps without heroic efforts. Hopefully the next gen will change things.
...and I miss my 160Hz CRT ;(
Re: "your brain has to fill in more 'gaps'
I think it's simpler. In real life you don't see noticeable motion blur in most circumstances, sight effectively goes blank while your eyes are in motion - we evolved to discard that motion blur and see sharply. Using motion blur to hide frame rate problems is artificial and film looks artificial because of it. Fake but artful.
Higher rates coupled with reduced shutter times are closer to real vision but lose the artistic effect we've all been trained to accept. When film makers deliberately do it on 24fps material it's jarring but you're probably right about being easier to mentally process at suitable fps. Certainly feels that way in games, turning off motion blur at 60fps is usually an improvement... and sometimes the difference between achiving 30fps or 60fps!
Really? So which 3rd of the population get to use the correct phase that matches the broadcaster?
The usual justification is simpler: poor power regulation in early sets meant you didn't want a 10Hz beat frequency causing a very visible ripple on screen. Those of us old enough will remember watching waves of distortion moving slowing up or down screen as the transmission and power drifted in and out of sync on crappy TVs ;)
so much wrong
1: There is no Win8 U-turn. They've fixed some very superficial design errors in the desktop UI while continuing at full speed with pushing Metro. They still think they can bludgeon it into success, that the users are the problem not the OS and Microsofts marketing plans.
2: Console users are quite happy to switch platform between console generations and any that defect to Sony this time are just as likely to come back at the next console generation. They aren't lost for life, lost for the life of this particular console - maybe. The lack of backward compatibility means a clean slate this time and you can discount brand loyalty almost completely because of it. That's why Microsoft had to override their natural instinct to blame the user and actually give the appearance of listening.
XBone and PS4 are damn near identical on the coding side. Expect fewer genuine platform exclusives and even less reason to stay loyal.
"give them prominent default placement on the phone"
...yet Orange seem able to prominently place their own maps,browser,app store,email and other apps on the default home screens.
...Sony also somehow manage to place their own app stores on the home screens.
They seem able to do it with the full Google apps suite installed.
Android will even give you an automatic 'ballot screen' between competing apps. So Nokia could have let users choose Nokia maps over Googles just by shipping both. Microsoft could at any time release IE for Android, coerce or pay OEMs to preinstall it and it would be offered to users.
Seems to me it's that 'user choice' bit that worries them because users really aren't going to choose the crud most Fairsearch members churn out. Another fanciful and largely fictitious complaint from the same serial losers, desperate to hobble competition and avoid creating desirable, competitive products of their own.
Re: Just what Microsoft needs
A worldwide whispering campaign against the big chinese manufacturers leave Microsoft free to play the good guys and rescue Nokia.
How very convenient. If they get lucky state interference will keep the bidding low as well.
(With current MS management, there's no believable hint of planning for this specific route to owning Nokia though... the incompetent idiots just got lucky)
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