180 posts • joined Wednesday 23rd June 2010 10:27 GMT
Re: Too pricey in Europe
Arithmetic. How many time do we have to say the UK prices quoted include (high) sales tax but the US prices don't. The price is actually about 10% higher in UK. We can blame Microsoft or Sony for many things but hardly the 20% of our cash claimed by our government.
Most of that 25Gb will not be required to be downloaded before playing the game, the vast bulk will be media assets related to where you are in the game which can be downloaded if and when they are needed. No reason I can't design a game with 250Gb assets but only a few megabytes to be installed before it can boot.
In principle what Microsoft are doing makes a lot of sense and for some people (not all) represents a step forward in the console model of gaming. The devil is in the detail, much of which we don't know yet.
Personally, I'm looking forward to being able to visit a friends house and address the kinect "Good morning Hal" to hear "Good morning Dave, what can I do for you today".
boosting the PC market
Desktops. Year on year improvements in desktop PCs are modest, very different from the heady days when every 2 years we saw real noticeable improvements in performance and functionality. To address the '5 years old but still good enough' obstacle to sales, Intel and AMD and the OEMs need be proactive. How about some reasonably priced 8 core processors and higher definition panels (new games consoles and high res mobile devices make all this dead easy to communicate). As well as games and Photoshop lets have more applications that can take advantage of modern CPU+GPU and are not ashamed to tell people their old system is too underpowered. A widely accepted 'power index' for desktop PCs could go a long way to help by telling people just how out of date their machine is.
Notebooks. Increase battery life and improve graphics res (e.g. make 1080p entry level). USB 3.0 only. Lets see more nice fast USB 3.0 peripherals that make a point of saying USB 2.0 equates to out of date notebook. Lets see some old vs. new comparisons in adverts, tell people how much has changed since they last bought a notebook. This is all no brainer stuff so get products and the message out there.
PC Tablets. The new format 11"+ hybrids, detachables means you no longer need to carry around a large tablet and/or a PC, one larger screen device is enough for both uses. Original iPad is yesterdays news. Future is 7/8" device and/or PC hybrid. Its a step forward so promote it all clearly and price for volume.
Apply these changes and see turnaround of the PC market, no need to worry about further decline in 2014. It really is that simple.
A resizable HDMI input stream sounds like a neat feature, especially if there is a protocol so Tivo, Sky etc. can be updated to make for better integration. I like the idea that I can mix/match games, apps and TV services from my Nexus 7 or voice (iff the speech support is improved over 360).
Wonder if we will be able to input a feed from 360, PS3 or PS4 consoles "Xbox play TS4" ?
Why the negativity? Will be cool if implemented well.
Not to disagree with the value of good lenses Martin but its all a more complex topic than you suggest. Time to focus, depth of field, length of exposure all go into making a good shot. Zoom speed. Continuous shots/second. DSLR video.
If you have time to adjust settings, good conditions and a simple goal such as shooting a posed portrait shot, a DSLR is an excellent tool. Likewise standard landscapes. Less so e.g. in sports photography or casual snapping.
Furthermore by embedding the camera in a fully programmable device like a phone, we are no longer tied to imaging and interface the camera manufacturer decided on, we can write our own software or buy apps. Wish I could do that with my DSLR.
High resolution sensors and fast image acquisition change the rules of the game and open up interesting opportunities in processing the raw data stream even though end of the day we are happy with a 6MP image. For instance, in some situations, an effective way to avoid the need to mechanically zoom a lens. Key point is new camera technology is not just about shrinking the traditional optics and sensor to ape traditional cameras.
I think Nokia are being clear that they are using the technology to improve camera flexibility, not selling the idea of shooting 41MP images like the old silly ad-hype for cameras.
Re: Let's talk photon counts and well sizes
However there are a lot of other factors. Effectiveness in various lighting conditions. Supersampling at high frame rates. Using a wider angle lens with software undistorting for physically larger sensor in small space and wider range of shooting options. Dual/multiple lenses. Expansion lens systems for cameras.
Not arguing with you, in principle DSLR large lenses and sensors could always do better in situations where DSLR works. The point is that the number of use cases is continually declining.
I can quite imagine within a few years a good camera phone with one or two exchangeable backpanels with enhanced lens systems etc. will be sufficient to replace 95% of the DSLR market.
Opinions differ but to my mind a real computer is a computing device on which you can build and run programs on that device. Otherwise its a gadget. So yes, its not sophistry to state Pro is a real computer and iPad is not. Just saying for the benefit of downvoters.
Re: Buy an ultrabook
I'd find it useful to go beyond this Core I5 to have an Intel quad-core in a handy hybrid tablet format though I accept many people would find an Atom or ARM sufficient for their software needs. Rather have option of extra battery in the detachable keyboard unit rather that tied to that light Surface Pro affair. Great to see there are more options coming on the market even if nobody is making my perfect hybrid/detachable yet. Can't see my ever needing a legacy format clamshell again but as always, your mileage may differ.
Odd this anthropomorphism business still runs on thousands of years after ancient gods were invented. Lots of people were doing things with PCs before Microsoft won that 1980s race. Likewise smartphones before Apple, Tablets etc. Crediting Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or even their companies with these concepts rather than noting their commercial success in exploiting the ideas is about as daft as it gets.
As you point out Sil, its primary driver is computing power/watt.
'the incumbent always misses the next wave'
That would be ARM then by his logic. Not entirely convinced.
Re: Sporking hell
Metro isn't just about touch so two versions would be a recipe for FAIL. An option to go to directly desktop or corporate start setup at logon would make sense, arrogant they removed this option. Having said that, I would choose to logon to Metro start screen, as I suspect would many people outside locked down corporate systems.
Re: Words have a meaning .. don't mess with them!
Actually I like the two distinct types of application coexisting on one device and the fact I can use (or develop) a Metro app to work well on tablet, detachable, desktop, whatever. What I strongly dislike is the ludicrous notion that a full/split screen metro application space somehow replaces a windowed desktop in general on PC technology. Messaging from Microsoft is extremely muddy on this issue and this as much as the trivia like the start menu business that makes for much criticism I suspect.
Possibly the most fundamental mistake the Windows group at Microsoft made was releasing the whole Metro system without testing the whole concept on non-trivial apps. If Microsoft Office had been shown to work well much criticism on the more radical changes would have been deflected but instead they launched with trivial apps in the store and I've yet to see anything to catch my imagination over 6 months later. Although had they not made this beginners error Metro would be rather different as I don't believe what we have at the moment is capable of delivering an acceptable mode of use for Office. I'm curious as to whether 'Blue' has learned from this mistake or its going to take another year to undo the damage.
As you say, its hard to imagine what it is about windows in Windows that apparently escapes the current marketing and design crew at Microsoft.
Personally I'd like to see hybrid WinRT apps that can operate in multitasking windows on desktop AND the full/split screen space but not holding out much hope this will happen this year.
Re: 8.1 = 6... what?
I gather Windows 8 Blue updates Windows kernel to 6.3, same as used in the next phone, RT, and xbox devices. No idea what improvements to power usage on existing and new chipsets its meant to bring but a major version change suggests more than a bug fixing release.
Re: MS Ignores All Past UI Research
There wasn't the hardware or software 30 years ago to do relevant ergonomic testing for desktop modes of use for multitouch we are looking at nowadays so hardly relevant.
I remember some of those early touch systems in kiosk applications and of course the idea of using them to replace keyboard and the newfangled mouse was laughable at the time, no need for extensive research.
Re: telemetry - just stats and stats are what you lie with
Glad to hear someone else finds drag and drop useful. Too much triumph of form over function in the whole Win8 design.
Also lets have the option to make WinRT apps that can run and multitaksk on the desktop.
Re: "[WP8] is well liked by its users."
Less fud and more facts. What enrages you? Share some of your 'long list'.
Re: Facebook / Instagram etc.
You are being hopelessly naïve. An image may start on facebook but go through any number of copies, (maybe with modifications, metadata changes) to other places before the copyright thief 'discovers' it to claim as their own work.
It would be interesting to see a breakdown into pocket sized 7/8" devices Nexus 7, iPad mini etc. and larger 10" tablets like Surface and iPad.
Re: Next "innovation" in Macs
Maybe but couldn't replace the current Mac lines for some time, and its a big jump from A6X to a SoC to compete with Baytrail and even then the cost savings aren't enormous on an MBA type BOM.
One of my side-bet predictions is an ARM+x86 iOS/OSX hybrid multitouch detachable where the (retina) screen as tablet has passive cooling and you have choice of battery + higher powered CPU etc. in keyboard section. Seems a very obvious step though doubtless would be announced as revolutionary and innovative. Should be doable at MBA-MBP pricing with 2014 tech.
screen aspect ratio
Please, please let these new generation of x86 tablets have a screen aspect ratio of 16:10 so as to be useable in portrait mode. Nexus 7 got it right. Come on Acer, Microsoft please no 16:9 ers.
Re: MS tablets used to require styluses
Corrections. Its an Acer tablet. Supports keyboards for those who have applications where keyboard are useful. As also goes for Nexus, iPad etc. Stylus can still be handy too for some of us.
No need to be negative about 7/8" x86 devices which can also have Linux installed on them just because it looks like this model will be sold with Windows bundled.
Death of the 10" tablet
Perhaps its a little early to call but with the Haswell and Baytrail part incoming, we must be approaching visibility of the end of the 10" tablet. Whether this year or holding on to next, even Apple is likely to switch to the attractive convertible and detachable form factors in the medium size mobile space.
Microsoft being early in this future market is a plus for Windows, although obviously their late entry into pocket sized 7/8" sized devices is nothing to shout for them to shout about; I for one don't expect a competitor to the new Nexus 7 or retina iPad mini this Summer.
Re: The obvious solution
Exactly casaloco. Its a crooked industry and I can't think of a single honest reason why OFCOM resists making premium rate calls an opt-in for all telecom services.
Re: Atom, saviour of Intel.
Intel screwed up with the Atom in recent years, that's the reality. Bay Trail due second half of the year goes a long way in catching up with x64, more DRAM, quad core and much improved graphics. But its a product that should have been available in 2012 and that's the underlying reason for many of the current issues discussed here including the death of the netbook and poor PC sales. When Intel get to realize its better to keep their fabs busy on lower margin parts is something we'll discover in time, in the x86 v ARM competition theres little room for $100+ parts.
Its a matter of semantics whether the new detachable/convertible formats are the new netbooks. IMO of current hardware the Surface devices give the best idea of what is to come, whether as Windows or Linux derived machines. Apart from screen aspect ratio. Seems so obvious to me that 16:10 is all it takes to make portrait mode useable - simply incredible how these dreaded 16:9 device keep being wheeled out.
A lot of media encoding/processing doesn't need to be done real-time, or at least doesn't needn't be processed at highest quality levels in real-time. Real time - what you are referring to isn't really a technical problem in practice with modern hardware, these issues you allude to were more of a factor several years ago when people were trying to push slower PC CPU/GPU beyond some intrinsic limits. Still a problem on most current ARM and Atom devices but nobody seriously expects to run the more demanding stuff here until upcoming performance bumps are available.
Re: Are Surface and other detachables counted as PC?
@DougS. The distinction I make as to what constitutes a real PC is the device and its OS must enable software development on the device for the device.
So OSX and Linux PCs count. Surface Pro counts as a PC. Surface RT doesn't. iPad doesn't until we can run XCode to do development in iOS. Similarly as long as Android needs an ancillary PC for development its still a sub-PC OS.
Multithreading much image processing is straightforward, I can easily keep 4-8 cores busy and GPU via CUDA etc. is useful - what software isn't doing this? SSD helps too so plenty of reasons to use an up to date system for more demanding applications.
Yes, apparently Gartner predicts every man, woman, and child on the planet will own at least one mobile phone by 2017 and we'll be replacing them with new models on average once every three years. These analysts need to look up the term 'reality check'.
Gartner figures != RIP PC
The problem with these Delphi-like predictions and daft headlines like RIP PC is they miss the key points.
For instance the number of PC desktop/notebook systems in daily use is more than a billion worldwide and that number continues to increase substantially year on year. The replacement cycle has increased substantially during recent years hence the fairly static annual sales figures while growth is being fuelled by increased lifespan. Without some disruptive application or technology change, those sales projection for the next five years may prove approximately correct, a no brainer for an analyst to predict those numbers.
Some of us have been waiting for acceptable tablet technology for decades and it brilliant the hardware is now fast and efficient enough to deliver an acceptable experience. The next few years will show great improvements and lots of opportunities for crossover with PC traditions. Numbers may well peak at close to a billion a year but its disingenuous for Gartner to claim to predict figures like Apple/Android/Windows breakdown for 2014 never mind later. Might as well inspect a sheeps entrails as listen to that crud.
Re: Long overdue cleanup starts.
Totally agree. Needs rationalizing but this must be difficult when webkit has so many vested interests to satisfy, especially Apple. Dump some of the #ifdef hell. Ditch some craziness (for instance www.webkit.org currently states Visual Studio needs the 2005 edition, use an old DirectX sdk, need to install the QuickTime sdk, unnecessary use of Cygwin; Chromium project at least supports VS2010).
Re: "The Industar look"
What Instagram does and more was being done many years before Instagram was invented. They popularized well known effects.
Re: Too Little Too Late?
Tegra 4 is certainly too late. Also, Google like diversity when dealing with suppliers of reference devices so the Nexus 7 refresh switch is hardly a surprise. Rumor also has it that Microsoft will switch from Tegra for Surface RT 2013 models. All the same if Nvidia succeed in catching up and we see Tegra 5 Logan samples late Autumn with Kepler integration etc., they must be a strong contender for the next wave of 2014 devices. A few million orders here or there doesn't say much about anyones future prospects in such a fast moving industry. What with the ARM competition, Intel Haswell and the upcoming 14nm process I'd hate to place any bets in the mobile space concerning the next couple of years except whatever happens it will almost certainly benefit us users of the devices.
Furthermore what enterprises use whatever the OEM has pre-installed anyway?
Agreed. Its difficult to see any benefit from the whole farrago. I thought ICANN was supposed to be a charity aimed to promote the public good but all we are seeing here is a recipe for money grabbing, scams and a worse internet than we have. If they were based in the UK I'd be requesting a review of their charitable status and an investigation as to why they are up to these antisocial tricks.
Re: How do they not get this?
Indeed. Madness that we are obliged to nurse our old laptops along in the hope that the OEMs finally get the fact we don't want to downgrade our screens. The claim that somehow 16:9 TV screens somehow affects costs of 16:10 laptop screens makes no manufacturing sense either as far as I know.
Re: Windows 8 is killing their laptop and desktop markets
Exactly how does a projected decline of 1.3% equate to falling off a cliff?
Seriously, what does the 11" MacBook offer that Surface Pro doesn't? Better keyboard and trackpad sure, but higher resolution display, multitouch, stylus count in Surface favour. MBA+iPad obviously is dramatically more expensive.
Windows (and Desktop Linux or OS X) does far more than Android so your comparison proves nothing about the efficiency of the OS. Most of us here, I expect, need a lot more from a notebook than the TF300 delivers, but a great device if it meets your needs.
Maybe iPad remains fashionable in some circles but so was the MBA and Surface Pro can replace the iPad+MBA combination at a much lower price with an apparently good build quality. I'm surprised to say I'm impressed (although it would take a higher spec version to persuade me to dip hand in pocket).
Re: Battery life and ARM
"I have a feeling", "miracle that has been promised" is just FUDspeak/sloppy writing. We just don't know enough about the Haswell design decisions to have an opinion beyond being confident Intel are releasing lower power parts.
Agreed about screen, also wireless esp. with increasing use of cloud, LTE.
ARM v Intel makes for interesting competition of benefit to users, you may hope that ARM is the way forward Gordan but hope doesn't mean we won't see Intel products dominating personal computing again on mobile devices if they make the right calls on the 14nm shrink designs and pricing models. We shall see. I, like most people, simply welcome competition if it brings down prices and improves functionality.
Good value, not a bad spec, it can't be long before there are good phones sub-£100 PAYG opens up a whole new market of people who would never go for a £35/month contract or pay £400 up front for a smartphone.
Re: UK users?
The UK price is £79.99 per year including VAT. Presumably the reg missed out that fact to catch you out with that £99 presume!
Re: I am going to University in sept this year.
@select I'd wait see what happens between now and next academic year, esp. with Haswell coming along in the summer.
Rents and rates
Its surprising we have any high street shops left with the high rents and and the ludicrous business rates charged by successive governments hell-bent on killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Re: Decent idea but lean on spec...
Can't believe I'm defending a 768 display but IPS at 11" is not garbage as it would be on a 14/15" notebook. CPU is definitely underpowered although its a trade for people unlike you or me who won't sacrifice that much to bump the battery life. Agreed on the right track just not there yet for many of us.
Yeah, seems pricy for a low performance model, especially with Microsofts Surface Pro with Core i5 etc. coming soon. A detailed spec. comparison with MBA etc. would be helpful, not a very useful review.
I like the convertible concept but looks like its a wait and see unless HP and others can do better than this price/performance compromise.
Re: Thunderbolt display support
Thanks, I'll read that as meaning we'll need Thunderbolt 2.0 or HTML 2.0 to handle high definition displays in practical situations.
Thunderbolt display support
Does anyone know whether Thunderbolt can support 4K Ultra HD display resolution at 120Hz in Apple or PC implementations or will we be moving to HDMI 2.0 for monitors etc?
My three tablets for 2012
iPad 4. Demonstrates that a good quality HD screen makes a difference for larger tablets and can work well given adequate GPU/CPU.
Surface RT. Shows that convertibles are an effective way to go and it is possible to offer a different take on UI/UX for mobile devices.
Nexus 7. Illustrates that a pocket sized tablet can be very effective when well thought out.
None of these tablets are perfect,a negatively minded person can find flaws with each. However in 2013 we can look forward to further competition among these different types of devices and form factors with fewer compromises in the next generation. A very positive prospect for the New Year.
My personal favourite of these for 2012 is the Nexus 7. It has raised Android on tablet from second rate to a genuine alternative to iOS.