* Posts by EtonBears

10 posts • joined 16 Feb 2010

Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action


Everything changes.

Bill Gates predicted ( or at least wanted ) "a computer on every desk and a computer in every home".

He was, of course, wrong as usual. He was looking at the world as a well educated, thoughtful person that loves technology for its own sake.

Most people are not like that. Most people care about what they can do with technology. If they are given more interesting things to do ( from their point of view ) or better ways to do it, they will likely adopt said new features and mechanisms.

In other words, every technology advance eventually devolves in the mainstream to consumer electronics and appliances, because that is what most people want.

Personally, I treat my mobile phone mainly as a phone, with occasional use of flashlight or maps apps. On the other hand, it WAS a Windows mobile, but now runs MIUI Android, because I'm a geek.

Similarly, I find tablets to be really useful for watching cat videos while still slumming in bed, but useless for everything else, where tiny screens don't suit my old eyes or my giant hands, and the "Apps" are generally poorly programmed, dysfunctional or pointless.

But that's OK. I'm happy to use my general purpose computers for all the things people use phones, tablets and games consoles for, plus all the things those devices can't do.

And when tablets disappear to be replaced by headache-inducing head-mounted displays with voice control whatever, I'm sure I shall largely ignore tham as well.

Choice is a great thing.


Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers


If you mean that consoles are pointless, I'd probably agree with you. They are usually built on obsolescent hardware, and due to their cost+ model for games pricing, it is usually only the triple-A games that are ported.

I'm quite happy with Steam on Linux as it has the X-Universe games, Paradox Interactive strategy games and the Valve catalog ( about 10% of all games available on Steam have been ported to Linux). I probably won't get all the games I might like, but certainly enough to fill all the time I have available; plus I no longer need a Windows partition just to play games.

Consoles seem to be most favoured by younger players and casual gamers who are not really interested in PCs ( regardless of OS ), and just want something to work easily. Unfortunately, those same gamers also don't tend to care much for complex gameplay either, which has lead to most console-ported games getting simpler. I would hope that SteamOS consoles don't accentuate that trend.


I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now


Re: Agree largely, but...

This is exactly why it is nonsense for an OS to consider a desktop as remotely similar to a tablet.

For some people and some purposes tablets ( possibly with a bluetooth keyboard ) are ideal, and possibly much better than a laptop.

But if you convert the desktop by angling the screen so it can be used for gestures more comfortably, then it becomes a largely look-down device. You would end up with users leaning over their device in a sort of hunched position, which would be something of a nightmare for those trying to ensure good ergonomics!

Maybe someone will come up with a "new" PC design that works well with a touch-screen, but I cant think that it would actually confer any significant advantages, even if they did.


Re: Now here's an idea

And then you could call it Winix ;-)

It has always been possible for Microsoft to make windows more modular and responsive to user preference, they have simply never chosen to do so, since it is not in their own interests.

A homogeneous "windows experience" allows them to attract more developers, lessen support costs, reduce the online rage from people who have configured their windows into a mess, and, as is evident with Windows 8, they can use it as a blunt tool of their sales and marketing efforts.

If you want configurability ( along with lesser device support and fewer supported applications to choose from ), then get Linux or some other Unix family OS. However, be aware that you will probably need to learn a lot more new stuff than with Windows 8.


Re: The issue

Aha! BG was right - Blackbird returns!



Re: @Sir Wiggum: appliances

> An analyst (pronounce that any way you feel is appropriate)

lol !

And the "analyst" pronouncement was not even correct either. No-one was familiar with iOS or Android when they appeared either, yet both are vastly more popular than WP7. The majority of the population has now grown up with tech; learning new interfaces is not that hard if it is a new device anyway; and particularly if it is considered mainly as a consumer-electronics style limited-function device.

I'm sure Microsoft has as many fanbois as Apple, but beyond the confines of those "irrationally committed" to one camp or other, ordinary people perceive Apple and Google as new and fresh, while the Microsoft brand is seen as old and stale.

I have my doubts that Surface/Modern UI will suddenly make Microsoft seem a leader again, but putting Modern UI in Win 8 means they will be able to spin their numbers by including PC users in their figures for platform share.

From a personal point of view, I can work around Win 8's shortcomings, but didn't see anything in it that appealed - I used the preview for a while before wiping it yesterday.

I particularly see no point to the "live-tiles as desktop"; I spend all my time on a PC with applications open, so I never see the desktop. The current model of small popup overlay windows is much more useful, although I can see that the tiles idea is useful on a phone. In fact it would be much more useful on a PC to have the live-tiles as a application in a window - but that would be off-message....


Re: Thanks for the warning..

And that is where MS have their panic.

Bill Gates said something like "a PC on every desk, and a PC in every home", and MS continued to believe that until the iPad proved that actually, most people didn't need ( or want ) a PC in their home, since they do just want couch potato internet access.

Not only are they missing out on a big new market, but their old replacement market could implode; then their endless streams of cash would begin to look less endless.


Nokia: When pigeons fly home to roast


Eggs, meet single basket...

One of Nokia's problems pre-Elop was that if you wanted a Windows or Android phone instead of Symbian, you couldn't buy a Nokia, whereas their competitors would supply all three.

So, it would have been a much better idea to simply add lines of phones running both Android and WP7, whilst running down Symbian software development and emphasis.

As is clear from other comments, and for different reasons, there are plenty of people that will not be interested in their new phones, whenever they arrive, and will ignore their current range and roadmap. Couple that with the subordination of the Nokia brand to the Microsoft brand in WP7, and it doesn't really look like a winning proposition in the Smartphone market.

Perhaps they will make a better fist at recovering in the feature phone market, where their hardware excellence may prove a stronger selling point?

Perhaps they will realise at some point that relying exclusively on a single company for their future software supply is a poor choice and diversify?

It will be interesting to watch...


It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones


I haven't stopped laughing yet...

Images of 2 drunks propping each other up or 2 dinosaurs looking anxiously at the skies come to mind!

Nokia's problems stem from being unable to bring to market good engineering and design ideas with sufficient speed, neither of which will be significantly helped by trying to use Windows.

Micosoft's problems stem from having built a paranoid, inward-looking software empire that produces mediocre products slowly and fosters developer interest through fear rather than enthusiasm. Their prospects may be marginally improved by this announcement, but as long as they are unable to change their corporate culture ( leap off THEIR burning platform, if you will ), they will continue to be an also-ran in new makets.

I thought Meego had been too long in gestation to garner much support, but at least it was a move in sync with the general trend towards *nix based and open development models; looking backwards towards Microsoft seems poor judgement.

From a developer point of view, I want to construct my toolset around what makes most sense to me, picking and choosing what is best for my requirements. Both Symbian and Windows ( for different reasons ) make this difficult, and therefore are unattractive.

From a user point of view, I want a wide selection of different device experiences to choose from. Most people grow up with rapidly-changing technology now, and are quite able to learn any interface that is put in front of them.

From this point of view, Android has it right in that the underlying platform is a consistent ecosystem, but the interface can reflect the needs of the device it is running on, or the market the device is aimed at. Windows Mobile, on the other hand. has just returned to the Microsoft dark ages of preventing differentiation and providing a one-size-fits-nobody experience. No thanks.

Nokia probably should have chosen to go with some combination of Meego, Android and maybe even talked to Mark Shuttleworth at Canonical ( Ubuntu ) for their software needs, whilst getting their head round the challenge of resolving their design and engineering problems.

When it comes down to it though, Nokia are a big company that want control ( look at how their behaviour destroyed the promise of Symbian ) and Microsoft are a big company that want control. There will be tears before bedtime...


Windows Phone 7 Series launched


Are Microsoft going to pay to have someone make the phones?

No manufacturer control...

No operator control...

All services point to Micrososft...

All revenue goes to Microsoft...

So, why would a major manufacturer make them, or an major operator push them?

I guess there will always be people that will buy Microsoft regardless, but in the phone space I doubt their numbers will be that important...