back to article Windows 8 diet exposes Microsoft's weak ARM

Microsoft has put Windows marketing on a diet, cutting the number of packaged editions from six under Windows 7 to just three main versions for its latest OS, which is due later this year. In the past, when Microsoft announced SKUs for new versions of its PC client it was forced to justify so many editions for a simple piece …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's light at the end of the tunnel

    'Cos there's a big train crash heading right to redmond.

    1. LarsG

      Re: There's light at the end of the tunnel

      Is it right to try and fix something that isn't broken?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: There's light at the end of the tunnel

        It is if you know it's ABOUT to break (or to use the first post, you know the track's blocked ahead) and you need to do something to prevent it all coming apart/crashing. While most views about Windows 8 and Windows RT have been mixed, others are noting that Microsoft's taking the long view because it believes the PC market is about to fundamentally shift: mostly due to consumers and enterprises rapidly embracing non-x86 tech that falls outside Microsoft's field of strength. In time, non-x86 tech will likely creep into mainstream computing (because they have more room to improve than x86 does), placing it into a sink-or-swim situation.

    2. tirk
      Devil

      This will be fun - I'll get the popcorn!

      Hang on, I work in IT :-(

    3. LarsG

      windows 9

      will rectify all the faults!

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: windows 9?

        As long as it's at least as good as Windows RG

        www.deanliou.com/WinRG/

    4. Robert E A Harvey
      Joke

      Can I offer...

      ... this:

      http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/all-three-versions-will-be-shit,-promise-microsoft-201204185136/

      "...One major development is the absence of the 'Start' button, which was removed on the grounds it gave people the impression that something may actually happen...."

  2. MJI Silver badge

    Why do I want Win 8?

    Looks horrible, can't see why I would want it over XP or Win 7.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      designed for

      Touch screens, used on widescreen monitors where you will have to sit within arms reach and ruin your eyes, then develop RSI by having to reach out all the time?

      What a clever design it is!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why do I want Win 8?

      You don't always have a choice. This is why Microsoft's strategy has always been to ensure that any computer sold always comes bundled with Windows even if you don't want it.

      There was even a snitch programme where OEMs were paid to inform about customers who asked for a PC without Windows (because Microsoft don't sell Windows separately do they, doh!).

      1. yossarianuk
        Linux

        Re: Why do I want Win 8?

        Yes you do ALWAYS have a choice.

        www.distrowatch.org

        1. This Side Up
          Unhappy

          Re: Why do I want Win 8?

          "Whether a user should pick Windows 8 or Windows RT is less straightforward."

          It's very straightforward - Neither!

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Why do I want Win 8?

            How about some time down the road when everything BUT Win8 gets EOL but you're stuck with Windows-only (or worse, custom) software?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Oops

            This will be the bombshell that stops new computer purchases dead. Buy Macbooks while you can still find them and Apple shares while you can still afford them.

        2. henrydddd
          Happy

          Re: Why do I want Win 8?

          Yeah. I will bet that MS will put something like this in Windows 8

          1. Enter cmd.exe at the run prompt

          2 Enter sudo apt-get install windows7-session-fallback

          3. ur done.

          If they did this, there would be no problem.

          1. Wombling_Free
            Devil

            Re: Why do I want Win 8?

            I think you mean...

            2 Enter sudo apt-get install windows7-session-fallback

            3. Warning, removing windows8_start_screen will break dependencies in explorer, internet explorer, cmd, wmp, xcom, activex, driectx, iss, networking, csrss, dwm, winlogin do you want to proceed y/n?

    3. stim

      Re: Why do I want Win 8?

      it's 2012 dude, what are you doing with XP?!!

      1. Muckminded

        Re: what are you doing with XP?

        Making money.

      2. henrydddd

        Re: Why do I want Win 8?

        One day I will give up my Windows 3.11 for Xp

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: XP

        Not spending money on new OSs when the old one runs fine.

        Can I edit HD video? Yes

        Can I play Orange Box? Yes

        Can I check my emails? Yes

        Can I browse the internet? Yes

        Why do I need to buy a new operating system when XP runs fine?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Windows 8 Disaster.

    Did they also announce that the tablet version of WIndows 8 bears very little in common with the PC version of Windows 8, and that if you buy a Windows 8 tablet thinking it will be able to run Windows applications, you will be SORELY disappointed..

    Of course they didn't mention that, Windows is is gearing up as a disaster in the making.

    PC users will be disappointed to find that their 22in widescreen monitor is hobbled with a user interface designed for a 4in mobile phone screen.

    Tablet users will be disappointed to find that it's not really Windows, it doesn't have a resizble Windowing system (everything aside from a couple of cut-down Microsoft apps forced to run as a tile), and it doesn't run Windows apps either.

    I'm guessing once you break the clingfilm wrapper and discover all this, it's too late for refunds... And Microsoft know that.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

      They also didn't mention Windows Phone won't run Windows apps for the same reason - it's a separate OS. That's why it's called Windows 8 and Windows RT, not Windows 8 RT.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

        A seperate OS?

        Then why Windows Anything?

        It should really have a different name.

        Might I suggest LossDos?

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

          Windows is a brand, as you well know.

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Windows is a brand, as you well know

            Yes.

            They brand cattle, not usually sheep though.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

        Indeed, they will break that news to Lumia owners after they have sold as many as they can.

        Lumia and current Windows Phone is a dead-end road for apps. Perhaps that's why nobody is developing for it.

        1. stim

          Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

          yeah, 80,000 apps is "no-one developing for it"

          1. asdf Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

            80k from the king of leveraging developers with friendly sdks is pretty sad. Oh well the ecosystem could be worse. Just ask RIM.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Windows 8 Disaster.

            Unfortunatly, most are uttershite(tm) as any idiot can write a fart app for Windows Phone.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          they will break that news to Lumia owners

          no, because nobody expects it too, anymore than they expect iPhone apps to run on their Mac.

          Well, nobody apart from dumb Linux fanbois apparently.

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: they will break that news to Lumia owners

            That's because it's called an iPhone not a Mac Phone.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              What about iMacs?

              If your app can run on an iPhone and an iPad, why not an iMAC?

  4. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    OMG

    A media consumption device without Windows Media Player - WFT!!!!!!!

    Will they be installing Media Player Classic instead?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OMG

      Or you download from the "app" store for free to get around any potential EU anticompetive risks perhaps? Or it NOT running media player but another programme instead?

    2. stim

      Re: OMG

      if you have used win 8 you will know that in the 'tablet mode' there is a dedicated Video app and a dedicated Photo app. Media Player is for desktop - not relevant.

  5. Skizz
    FAIL

    Keeping it topical...

    Is Windows 8 the iceberg that'll sink Microsoft?

    Probably not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keeping it topical...

      Icebergs are white, hard and fresh. Windows 8 is brown, squelchy and smelly.

      Icebergs float. Whether Windows 8 floats isn't clear yet, as we don't know how much fat it has in its diet.

  6. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Why are manufacturers lining up to become Nokia 2?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Happy

      Are they?

      Any manufacturer worth their salt has Arm tablets in their labs running Win8, Android, Ubuntu and probably WebOS and Meego.

      1. asdf Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Are they?

        Not Meego. Even Intel abandoned that still born fetus.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Are they?

        > Any manufacturer worth their salt has Arm tablets

        When netbooks first came out they were cheap devices with Atom CPU, DVD player screens, flash memory and Linux. They could not run Vista so did not threaten the MS 'discounts' that their PC sales relied on to make any profit at all.

        MS revived their zombie XP just for netbooks and the threat that the OEMs may have to pay retail price for OEM Windows for every PC they made. Result: no more Linux netbooks, eventually no more netbooks.

        WOA/Windows RT is a rerun. Many OEMs were trying out tablets with Android, Linux, Meego and WebOS. ARM based devices could not run Windows so did not threaten PC profitability. Now MS _does_ have an ARM OS. WebOS may have been the first casualty of 'Netbooks II, the ARMs Race'.

        I doubt that MS cares if ARM lives or fails, as long as it kills off significant quantities of Android and Linux. They want the public to choose between ARM/WindowsRT tablets and x86/Windows 8 tablets _only_, and they would make more money from the latter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are they?

          Oh no, here we go again with the old favourite - "M$ KILLED LINUX ON NETBOOKS".

          The truth is slightly different - the purchasers of netbooks were confused and bemused by Linux, and its inability to run their beloved Windows apps, and voted with their wallets. You see, here in the real world people don't care about operating systems - all that matters is apps, which Linux has always been sadly been lacking in. Well, unless you count hopeless broken abandonware OpenOffice/Libre Office, and of course the execrable Firefox which oddly enough also began as abandonware, suggesting that the Open Source world is absolutely incapable of building a major app.

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: Are they?

            "the purchasers of netbooks were confused and bemused by Linux, and its inability to run their beloved Windows apps, and voted with their wallets."

            So that's it for Windows RT then eh? They are even calling it Windows so people are really going to be confused!

            1. AndyC

              Re: Are they?

              I wonder whether MS are releasing RT just to try to kill the ARM tablet market.

              We know it won't run anything apart from crippled MS apps, but Joe public will be looking to install their existing software on a tablet. The cry will become "but it's Windows, so it should work!"

              To which the PC World drone will say, "Well sir, here is an Intel tablet which WILL load your software"

              Windows RT is Microsoft's attempt to kill the ARM tablet marketplace.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Are they?

            Must love how all the fanbois have down-voted you, even though your post was largely accurate - with the primary exception that LibreOffice (and possibly OpenOffice as well) is NOT abandonware. LibreOffice is still being developed by the vast majority of the original development community for OpenOffice prior to Oracle giving the community the finger. As to OpenOffice, it's been attributed to Apache now, but little news on the site so I can't speak for certain to the state of it's development.

          3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Are they?

            > inability to run their beloved Windows apps

            So you agree that Windows RT is dead before it is born then.

            > broken abandonware OpenOffice/Libre Office

            I am not sure why you think that it is broken nor why you claim it is 'abandonware'.

            > Firefox which oddly enough also began as abandonware

            Firefox was a version of the Mozilla project. It seems that you know nothing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why are manufacturers lining up to become Nokia 2?"

      At one time it would have been (a) so they could keep up with whatever Redmond were doing next (b) so they get the bestest discounts on their Windows licensing.

      I'm not sure these motivations apply as much as they used to. The desktop PC market and the tablet/smartphone market have little overlap, and the Wintel monopolist's efforts to try to use their desktop muscle to achieve any level of significance outside their desktop homeland look at risk of being doomed to insignificance.

  7. Audrey S. Thackeray

    No group policy on WOA / WinRT

    Almost certainly equals no good reason for me to prefer it to a Android / iOS tablet at work.

    I think we're likely to have sorted out the management of these devices before Microsoft comes along with anything useful in this regard and once we've put the effort in they will struggle to win us back.

    Customers seem to want iPads (apart from one who is sold on RIM's PlayBook for some reason) and if there's nothing given to us to make managing Windows devices better and cheaper we're going to give them what they want.

  8. samlebon23

    "Giving the ARM version of Windows 8 the same name as the programming framework for building the UI of all Windows tablets suggests either that WinRT is just for ARM, or that Microsoft just wasn't thinking strategically"

    WinRt is just one off Microsoft's runtimes. I think the decision to include only WinRT in the ARM version is a good one. It makes the Os lean and clean. To build devices like the iPad you don't need APIs like Win32 or COM. WinRT is everywhere and Microsoft is heavily investing in it.

  9. ph0b0s

    You mean free Metro office....

    "yes you can get Office on ARM but not on x86/64, but legacy apps run on x86/64 and not on ARM."

    Well you get Metro Office on RT, not the full office we are used to. Not sure how much fun doing spreadsheets will be.

    And for x86/64 you get more than just legacy apps. You get all the future applications that will not have metro versions. So any power apps or AAA games are unlikely to come to metro and therefore Windows RT.

    Essentially with Windows RT, Microsoft are creating a different OS which will not have the guaranteed support it would if it had an x86 emulator. Sure it comes with a cut down version of Office, but that's it. It is even more locked down than android.

    So again this is all fine for people who want to use touch while on the go, but still is not a replacement for the desktop and desktop apps.

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