22 posts • joined 15 Sep 2011
Re: As if this will make people happy!
No it's not Neophobia. But the notion that we should learn a new UI from scratch, especially one with such poor discoverability for the sake of absolutely NO improvement in productivity or functionality is ridiculous.
I recently picked up a Macbook Air, intending to dual boot windows on it. But it took me an hour to figure out how to do everything on OSX and by the end of the day, I had it customized to my preferences. I never bothered to install windows.
I also installed Linux Mint as dual boot on my desktop recently - I was up and running within 10 minutes and the productivity on both these OS's is fantastic - just having no slowdowns makes a huge difference.
I spent 2 hours with windows 8 - even when I did figure out how to work it, it made no sense, it was awkward and inconvenient. So unless there's a significant benefit to be had, I'm not going to bother reading your instructions, or learning the new UI.
Why should I? Life is too short.
We're losing more than what most realise...
I kind of buy the premise that low cost mobile devices like tablets and smartphones are replacing PCs for many everyday uses and thus educing the PC market's growth to nil.
I think to an extent this makes a lot of sense. Why should someone with the most rudimentary needs e.g. my mom, buy a PC when all she wants is email and surfing the web.
On the other hand, there's a lot of value lost in this transition. PC's were "discovery devices" by virtue of being all purpose computing devices. I first got my hands on one in my teens and it drove me to learn about science, technology, programming, video and audio editing, photography and lots of other interests I developed over they years. This was all IMO down to the fact the PC was an all purpose platform on which I could experiment and apply what I was learning.
I think tablets (which I love) are essentially consumption devices (at least so far). There's very little you can actually do ON them, experiment on or try new things. So as new PC sales are diverted towards tablets, a lot of people, especially younger ones are likely to lose out on this opportunity.
Of course you might say that no one stops you from buying a PC if you need it, but sometimes you don't see the value of something, until you actually have. I felt that way about the portability of tablets - I couldn't believe how important it was until I used it - and I feel that way about the "exploratory abilities" of PC's.
Re: You don't know what you've got 'til its gone
I completely agree, but I think there won't be any market growth coming out of this.
Consider: There are two types of users. (A) Sophisticated tech users, who want a PC or server, to use for photos, music, what have you you. (B) Unsophisticated users who don't care about any of that - they are happy to use facebook as a hard drive to use your words.
Type A users in the developed world already have a PC or server.
And there are many (perhaps more?) Type B users, who either have a PC because they bought it before tablets/smartphones came out (and hardly ever use it) or don't and don't care.
Now as developing countries increase their economic power, many new Type A users will come onto the market. But on the other hand there are lots of Type B users in the developed world who will never replace their PC, they'll get a tablet instead.
So in the end, growth is something the PC market will not see again, unless they come up with a step change in technology.
What really weirds me out when discussing this and similar wifi issues with apple products, is the question of testing.
I mean these are new products where problems occur for a fairly sizeable minority of users. This leads me to believe that apple does a tiny amount of testing - either they have a very small sample of testers or they test for a very short period.
The same applies to every scenario where they put out a new product or a software update, only to have a few thousand complaints in the first week.
Personally I have 2012 MBA, which is just barely OK on wifi (definitely not as good as it should be) but not as bad as the problems with the new one. It does however have its share of bugs with hibernation and sleep, so as much as I like it, it doesn't quite pass the "it just works" test...
Re: Smells like a flop to me
Companies run by "execs who know what they're doing" typically don't find themselves in a situation where they don't know their P&L, can't figure out how much they spent on discounts and can't publish their accounts.
In fact this stuff is so basic that it speaks to a monumental level mismanagement.
As for the impact of the firings, I think it's a lot better to fire the guys at the top who bear responsibility for the mess, than to keep those losers on and ask them to turn the ship around. It destroys employee (and management) morale to see incompetence rewarded and the idiots who ran the company down would probably end up firing a ton of the wrong people in an attempt to show they're "good soldiers" who are aggressive about cost cutting.
As a corporate restructuring specialist, I can say this is actually the way to do it right.
Re: RAM Timings
The SPD usually has default timings but overclockers like to push the envelope with more aggressive settings.
In fact, most high end memory is by definition "overclocked" and its SPD settings will in certain cases force it to perform at lower settings than rated.
Windows 8 won't but Windows 9 might...
Windows 8 is all about tablets - unfortunately tablets are quite ready for windows yet.
Windows ARM tablets will eventually arrive but they will be 1st generation products. Hybrid intel-based systems will take longer still due to battery / power consumption / CPU power issues.
So by the time hardware is ready for Windows 8, it will be time for windows 9.
Windows 8 itself is a "Vista" - lots of new features = lots of teething pains. No doubt these will be resolved by Win9. If the hardware gets there by the same time, there's a good opportunity for MS to secure the crown for another 10 years.
Seen one, played with it, liked it a lot, wouldn't buy one!
My friend has a brand new black Lumia 800 (got it for free from a business contact) and I have to say it's really nice.
Great build quality, cool design, WinPho is really smooth, excellent workflow, nice user-friendly UI. Did I like it? I loved it! Would I switch to it from my iPhone 4? Not a chance.
Note that I am perfectly happy to switch, I am not an apple maniac and since I won't upgrade to the iPhone 4s, I'm open to alternatives.
But right now the options for someone buying a high-end smartphone (iPhone, android, WinPho, BB) have different value propositions:
Apple offers a smooth experience if you're happy in their walled garden and pay a premium. OK for some (me too as long as I can jailbreak). 500K apps mean you will find something for everything, even though 99% are crap.
Android has a lot more price points from cheap to high-end, though the user experience (and OS/UI) are a bit rougher IMO. Some minor security concerns but OK for most. 400K Apps and you can hack to your hearts content. Unlimited functionality for every pocket.
WinPho offers a nice UI but at price points ranging from "not cheap" to "top of the line expensive", an OS under heavy development, an ecosystem that may or may not thrive, and...30K apps. So why pay similar money as for an iPhone 4s or a Galaxy S2?
I would definitely get a Lumia 800 if it ran Android, but right now the value proposition is just not there. If they're lucky they'll survive until the ecosystem is more attractive and then they may have something to compete with. 'Till then, they're a dead duck.
To me the Lumia 800/900 prove the colossal strategic failure at Nokia - these guys produce an excellent premium handset, then try to sell it with an immature ecosystem instead of sticking Android on it and laughing all the way to the bank. Elop is at best a joke and at worst suspect.
Forgot to mention BB - they blazed the trail that Nokia's following. I used to own a BB Storm. 'Nuff said!
Fail because that's what they're doing!
Thanks, that was a very insightful comments - if in 2 years Nokia is going down the drain and MS steps in to buy the patents, we'll know you're right.
I believe there may even be grounds for legal action by shareholders, though its very unlikely...
New/crazy names don't work...
Interesting. I definitely agree that consumers are not loyal anymore (nor should they be).
But I don't think Nokia changing their name in the US would work - for one thing its been tried before by Philips (Magnavox in the US) and others with little success. The bottom line is that Brand quality is more heavily influenced by the substance of the products than the other way around.
Consumers aren't dumb - or they don't stay dumb forever;-) and they tend to pick based on their needs and sense of value. People (especially Product Developers) often think this sense of value is wrong because it ignores what they consider important, say features or technical specs.
But actually consumer markets are pretty good at spotting the product that offers them what's important to them. The trouble is, the balance of their priorities, between features, specs, style, affinity etc, change often, making it tough for companies to keep up.
Bottom line: Nokia phones have been behind the times in the things consumers consider important. We might love feature X of Symbian but consumers don't give a toss. Changing a name won't do.
And similarly don't expect the current leaders to stay in the lead if they fail to keep up with consumer priorities. Apple spent a long time as a tiny nice supplier of nice products and Samsung was considered a low end phone maker for almost as long because they were failing to match consumer desires. Nokia could rebound on the back of Windows Phone or fail utterly, but it will depend on a combination of what they do and what MS does.
I seriously doubt MS is placing their hopes on HTC and Samsung though. These two are THE champions of Android and MS did just pay $250m to Nokia...
...but you forgot:
Hire Senior Execs from other companies with a vague strategic objective to transform the company in area "X" and then do everything possible to undermine them, thus preparing the ground for their ignominious exit. After, they declare victory in area "X" and appoint a run of the mill insider to manage it.
Any poor suckers who join Nokia today for a strategic position have just flushed their career down the toilet...
Are you sure the reaction is against copyright?
"But any attempt to enforce IP brings out the Chicken Little crowd, honking furiously that the sky is falling in on them. To enforce copyright online risks destroying the Unicorns' natural habitat: the cybernetic meadow."
Actually to my knowledge, the reactions are rarely about copyrights and primarily about Patents. There is a massive difference between the two, which I hope does not need to be explained to El Reg readers.
For anyone interested:
In (extremely oversimplified) terms, copyrights apply to specific IP and protects the work and innovation of entrepreneurs, small or large, while patents, apply to concepts, ideas and business models and require limited if any investment in implementing specific inventions. They furthermore preclude different innovations, from delivering the same functionality and as a result, they are indeed a stranglehold on innovation.
Once someone has invented something, copyright protects them from copying, but patents protect them from anyone developing something similar, even if they put in their own development and investment.
The key problem is the broad and generic definition of an innovation, that can be applied to patents. Examples are "a method of transmitting sound and moving pictures over a wireless digital network" and "an algorithm that performs a particular function".
Rather than copyrighting the innovation (e.g. an actual algorithm), companies patent the concept and then hit whoever bothers to do the actual development work for patent fees.
I have no idea where you got this stuff about unicorns & digital meadows. In years of following this issue, I haven't seen any notable reaction to copyright (except maybe from freetards). The arguments about innovation relate to patents.
...to idolize someone just because he made cool products.
Why should we expect him to be good or bad or anything? Why should we care?
Henry Ford made some important products too and was just as fussy about the design (or at least the color). We don't idolize him or berate him for being an b*stard (and I have no idea which of the two he was, nor do I care)...
SSD's are not engough by a long shot
Actually the article is pretty off-base. Its true that SSD's are a lot faster than mechanical drives but its not true that mechanical drives are the main bottleneck in day-to-day use.
SSD's sure as hell don't cure that damnable spinning hourglass, for anyone.
I'm something of a speed freak, used to have 10rpm UW SCSI disks as my boot drive before SATA came along, then I switched to raptors, Raptor-X and finally Velociraptor drives.
By that time mechanical disks were fast enough that they were no longer the main bottleneck except for start-up of OS/applications.
When I upgraded to a Vertex 2 and recently an Intel 510, I noted speed increases but they were not nearly so impressive.
Sure the OS starts much faster, so what? I reboot once day at most, once a week if I can. Windows 7 x64 is very stable and has great uptime. Sleep/standby works great.
But I still spend an unnaceptable amount of time looking a the spinning hourglass whenever Windows decides this is a complex task and needs to think about it.
This is infuriating on a Quad Core 3GHz machine with 4GB fast RAM and a cutting edge SSD as well as a couple of other marginally slower systems/laptops. I'm not talking about CPU intensive tasks either - I never see the CPU go above 15%.
As far as I can tell, this is a combination of crappy software code combined with poor chipset design creating the bottlenecks.
The trouble is that IT software/hardware companies (other than Apple) don't do any real life testing of their products with an eye to the user experience. Let's fix that and we worry about exotic components later.
That's a valid point, but...
... the majority of the criticism is directed at the increasingly excessive and intrusive sharing of new facebook features, which range from the creepy (people knowing what I read on the paper? shall I just publish my vote then?) to the downright dangerous (anyone using "places" is asking to get burgled).
So while it is certainly true that not everyone who uses facebook is a moron, people who use it excessively are relegated to that status by their ignorance.
And yes the settings are pretty complex. I spent an hour customizing them when they changed a few months ago and I shudder to think what I'll need to do now to figure out the new circles and how to block all kinds of websites from publishing what I'm reading or doing online.
At some point it stops being "just a tool" and becomes a pita.
The only thing facebook's good for, is keeping track of the people you can't be bothered to really stay in touch with...
Microsoft are doing the right thing
Trying to support all the legacy applications has hobbled innovation at microsoft and given us crappy operating systems (especially compared to OSX).
Now they're doing the right thing and everyone's jumping on them for not making the kind of mistakes we used to slag them off for.
Seriously, what is the value of porting the entire windows Ecosystem to ARM by means of some lame intermediate layer that will effectively kill the "Windows on ARM" concept by making slow and cumbersome?
M$ seems to be taking a page from Apple's strategy book here:
Applications that are really relevant will get ported. People who need to use legacy x86 applications (i.e. primarily corporate users) will choose to run windows 8 on x86 PC's and tablets.
As Steve Jobs would say "it's not that big of a deal"...
That makes no sense.
If you develop a Metro app you can compile it for both x86 (or more likely x64) and ARM platforms.
It will work fine on both. The interface is another matter entirely. There are tablets with ULV Intel SOCs and ARM SOCs. Why would the interface differ?
You assume any application written for x86 will be legacy desktop application. This is not necessary or even likely in the future.
As for legacy apps, porting some of the to ARM makes sense for people who will use tablets that dock with Keyboards and Mice. The iPad does this already (has a docking keyboard and you can use a blutooth mouse if you jailbreak - not the recommended option but its perfectly functional).
I use an iPad and a laptop at work and desperately need to dump the laptop and just plug my ipad into a dock. If windows 8 does that we'll be migrating all our users over time.
Nope. Some people do "CARES"
I'm not a SW fanboy, but I do know that certain things alter the substance of the film. In the original version, Han shoots first after the guy threatens him, which is kinda cool but actually reasonable.
I mean wouldn't you?
Their conversation goes something like:
Greedo: Jabba will take your ship as payment
Han: Over my dead body
Greedo (pointing the gun at him): That's the idea. I've been waiting for this a long time...
Waiting for the guy to shoot him after the above exchange makes Han a pathetic pu$$y.
I think that's Lame and detracts from the film in a pretty real way.
Paris because people like her also don't care...
Success will be about hardware as much as software
This bet is as much about hardare as it is about software.
M$ innovations have often failed because the hardware or infrastructure wasn't there or wasn't there at the right price. This is similar.
I think windows 8 on a PC will be fine if it continues the refinements of Win7, with instant on, good battery life, memory mgt, security etc, without being particularly compelling as far as the metro interface goes. People will either disable it or just go straight to their desktop.
On a tablet however it's another matter.
Succeeding against Apple, will require that enough Metro apps are built to deliver equivalent functionality to the more common iOS apps, that win8 runs smooth and fast, that battery life is great, and that hardware requirements allow for a tablet at least as thin and light as the iPad 2.
Quite importantly, on tablets it will need to compete separately to PCs, because I don't plan to fire up Office 2010 to edit a document (unless it is rebuilt for metro).
One thing that's in its favor though, is some of the most popular iOS apps do things that are built right into windows, like connecting to and sending data between systems, zip/unzip, sharing and managing files, (apple doesn't even offer real file system access, so this will appeal even to semi-technical users).
But even so the challenge will be huge considering Apple will already have released iPad 3 when Win8 comes out.
The thing that will really make a difference is if M$ and its hardware partners can really manage to bridge the gap between tablet and PC seamlessly, giving us a device which works as a tablet when portable and can plug into a keyboard/mouse dock becoming a standard PC, when stationary.
I think having a single OS to work on, with all your files accessible from one place and software that gives you similar capabilities in either tablet or desktop mode is quite compelling.
Obviously tablet functionality will be more suited to content consumption than production, but if they can deliver a version of Office with a desktop interface and an alternative minimalist interface for tablet, on a device like the iPad 2, they've got my money.
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