PCs fading away...
Soon a PC will just be the fat lump in the HDMI cable.
The year after that it'll disappear into the HDMI connector.
Microsoft has announced a cut Windows 10 IoT Core for the Raspberry Pi 3. The new Insider Preview of Windows 10 IoT Core, yours for the downloading here, supports the new Pi. Windows 10 IoT Core is a long way short of full Windows comparable to Windows Embedded rather than efforts like Windows 8.1 with Bing intended to run on …
Yeah, but the thing they invented was HDCP and then just nailed it on top of the existing DVI standard.
DVI can also have HDCP; HDMI can also carry audio, and has a higher bandwidth, even compared to dual link DVI. It's a smaller connector, and the combination of audio+video in one cable makes the rats nest behind my AV amp considerably smaller than in the one that had separate DVI/component/SCART sockets and matching coax/SPDIF/RCA plugs for each input.
Personally, that makes me perfectly happy to pay ~2p per device to the rent seeking scum.
No that would be the racketeers that can afford the patent & trademark process. You know; the ones who pilfer from Artists or steal the technology from the inventor and then hold the individuals at bay using the costly legal system. The organisations that retain full time Legal Council...
Need some examples? I have ample cases to point to. Who invented the Walkman by the way...was it Sony? Was 'Disney's Peter Pan' really a Disney artwork or did it belong to a Childrens Hospital? Speaking of hospitals, how did a US pharmaceutical company Amgen make a fortune using molecular haematology discoveries done by an Australian Public Hospital (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne) without ever paying for the rights? How could they then file a patent under their name when there is no dispute as to who invented it and that Australian tax payers paid the cost to develop it? Need some more?
The PC ought to disappear into the monitor. Except, an RPi is not a PC. (Runs Linux just as well as an old PC, though).
Has anybody attacked the back of an old monitor with a Dremmel to retrofit an RPI with its power supplied by the monitor? Just add keyboard, mouse, and Ethernet cable. RPi3, Ethernet cable optional.
Perhaps some enterprising monitor or TV manufacturer could make up and popularize a free-to-copy "thin PC" connector. Something mechanically chunky like the old SCART connector so no extra mechanical support for the "thin PC" would be needed. Just click one into place. 10 seconds max. Connector for power, and (optionally) USB to ports in the sides or front of the monitor.
Would a back-of-monitor VESA mounting kit for a Pi do instead of DIYing with a Dremel?
That's handy, because there are a selection already available. Search and enjoy.
You'll not get the co-operation of the TV builders in terms of building a standard "smart module" connector, not least because Pi shows that the £100+ premium that TV suppliers (used to?) charge for a poorly performing "Smart TV" was/is a total ripoff.
> The PC ought to disappear into the monitor.
NO! I don't want to have to buy a new monitor because the PC fails, or vv.
> Perhaps some enterprising monitor or TV manufacturer could make up and popularize a free-to-copy "thin PC" connector.
They already do. It is called HDMI (and USB for power). All it requires is the PC in the form of an 'HDMI stick'.
Actually, that's a remarkably retarded idea. Even in this day, little boxes attached to monitors still develop at a much faster pace than monitors. The last 3 or 4 generations of streamers have ALMOST managed to catch up to the features and functionality of 5 year old trailing edge PCs. They still haven't quite managed to displace a PC with a better GPU or better CPU and a lot of dust. Now with streamers, I only have to spend an extra $100 per generation. I also don't have to toss out a perfectly good display.
The iMac approach is horribly wasteful to the point of getting banned like coffee pods.
I believe it is called an AIO (All In One) PC. I think it is an Intel initiative.
And, unlike an iMac, you can - in theory at least - separate the mainboard out of the monitor to upgrade/replace either separately if you are above the no-user-servicable-parts-inside level of proficiency with tech. (And assuminy you can find someone who makes parts for the psudeo-standard!)
> Microsoft's keen to be associated with the Pi mission of teaching computing to kiddies.
A RapberryPi + Raspbian (plus kb, mouse, monitor) is all that is needed to teach computing, robotics, electronics, music and much else.
A RaspberryPi + Windows10 requires a full Windows 10 PC to do anything.
Apart from the budget implications, what does that teach the children?
The computer industry has gone through several phases. First there were mainframes. Then along came mini-computers. When the PDP7 arrived it started others moving to minis. Then there were the micro-computers in the mid-70s. These were mainly hobbiest and games machines until the Apple II became popular in businesses and the IBM PC was introduced to compete against this. IBM made their PC to be a terminal add-on to its mainframes but it soon broke free of that .
The RaspberryPi is the most known of the new small SBC computers. These are powerful enough to replace the PC as a desktop for simple usage and also cheap enough (especially the Zero) to be IoT or robotics or maker for hobbiests or manufacturers.
Microsoft is trying to tie the RPi into their Desktop and Azure systems just as IBM (briefly) tried to keep their PC as a mainframe terminal.
^ This. What @Richard said.
Back in the 90s, Apple was marginalised (and boy, were they marginalised!), Atari ST was dead, Amiga was dying and Linux users all had beards and eschewed soap. In the minds of the general public, Microsoft was computers - and a computer without 'Microsoft' was unthinkable.
The world has changed a little since then. It's a UNIX* world, in all its different flavours. Add up the installed base of iOS, Mac OS X, Linux and Android and its Windows that is looking a bit marginalised now.**
Raspberry Pi is part of this trend, although it's installed base is a drop in the ocean (even at 8 million) compared with all the other UNIX systems out there. Windows IoT isn't going to help Microsoft reverse the tide either - if anything, it might push more users into the welcoming arms of Linux. A noob might buy a Pi for a dabble (it happens - it's so cheap that why not?) on the strength of Windows. On discovering that it doesn't really have Windows they might give Raspbian a bash - and discover that it's familiar enough that they don't need Windows anyway. Certainly, that was Mrs. 45RPMs experience.
If Microsoft really wants to join in with the Pi fun then surely the way to go is with Windows RT and a lightweight version of Visual Studio on the Pi. With that, who knows? They might even tempt some users back from Linux***
*I know that Linux isn't UNIX. But it's so UNIXalike that the distinction is irrelevant.
**fanboys, don't blow a sphincter - this isn't a comment on the merits of a particular OS - just a reflection on the current state of play in terms of installed base.
***Probably not many though.
Ahh! OS/2. I had OS/2 for Windows - it came free from somewhere and, when installed on a computer with MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3, replaced it with OS/2. I had to wipe my computer and start again to return to DOS and Windows, which I inevitably had to do when it turned out that some of my more demanding software wouldn't run on 'a better DOS than DOS and a better Windows than Windows'.
They might even tempt some users back from Linux
I booted in to windows the other day, I wanted to update it to Windows 10 before it was no longer free (hey, I might not use it at all, but if I do need to use it, I don't want to have to pay again for the latest version). It did all its update perfectly happy, rebooted and now won't boot back up. Spent two hours trying different "rescue" options, none of them fixed anything, so I gave up and booted linux to play some TF2.
I don't think I can be tempted back now, even though I need to fire up a VM to book holiday (*20* different ActiveX plugins required!) or get my payslips (this is an awesome one, it only works in two versions of IE. I don't know if they are being deliberately ironic or just daft, but ADP have the temerity to call their IE-only portal "myfreedom"...)
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Wonder how the license is applied to the Pi
It's strictly non-commercial, by default. There's an entry-level commercialisation option which requires automatic updates to be on (no surprise there*) however if you want any control you'll have to shell out:
If you want control with fewer upgrades, the flexibility to stage and deploy updates when you want, or even the ability to turn off auto-updates then Windows 10 IoT Core Pro is what you need. Contact your Microsoft representative or find a distributor to learn more about licensing Windows 10 IoT Core Pro.
There must be someone who sees that as a positive. Surely.
EDIT: *You also need a Windows Live ID and to accept an agreement (which I haven't read)
"Microsoft is trying to tie the RPi into their Desktop and Azure systems just as IBM (briefly) tried to keep their PC as a mainframe terminal."
And MS don't want cheap and available non-MS based computers in schools. They can't have kids breaking free of the "MS is the one true way" brainwashing taught from such an early age.
Unfortunately for them, Apple and Android have already broken that mould.
You bet, because no other company would entice you to use their operating system and then close you in to their ecosystem for the benefit of making money on the people using their products. Especially not, oh, every single major vendor except Debian? Even Ubuntu sells your data by default.
This argument is so outdated it's ridiculous. All platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. I build FreeBSD if I want un-encumbered, I use windows if I want something to work without fuss. It's good to see Microsoft has been forced to innovate and is starting to match licensing models that can compete with Android. Competition is always good.
"I use windows if I want something to work without fuss."
Really? No fuss?
Like many others, Windows 8/10 aren't appropriate for my needs. So its 7 or nothing, in Microsoft terms.
Have you tried building a Windows 7 system from scratch (legitimate SP1 DVD, legitimate CoA) in maybe the last year or so? There's no fuss-free way of doing it.
In general it doesn't work right (Windows Update just sits and hangs) and no one seems to want to say why, inside or outside MS. The best attempt at new-install Win7 I saw was on a refurbished system (with no CoA!). The system worked in the shop but relied on a stolen corporate key which was quickly rejected once Windows Update got up a good head of steam.
My research indicates that one factor that breaks it is that some certificates in the chain of trust needed for the update process have expired, and until you update them at the client end (using Windows Update), then Windows Update refuses to work.
It might be - but actually I wouldn't mind being able to throw a Win10 SD card into a Pi3.
I'm sure there will be "windows only" things that my kids come home from school with, so having an easy "pop this SD card in, machine will connect to the dirty network, do windows stuff" would be useful.
Of course the work will get sent back as a scanned photo of the work on a wooden table, embedded in a libreoffice document...With a note saying that it really should be possible to do homework on any PC...
>Yep, it's the netbook scenario making a comeback, and look what that did to a very clever idea.
I don't think it was MS that killed the netbook. They weren't great for writing lots of text due to their small keyboards, and their letter-box shaped screens made even browsing web pages tiring work - too much scrolling! These points remain true regardless of what OS they were running.
Netbooks could get you out of a jam, but you wouldn't want to use one for extended periods. For purely consuming content (web pages, video), tablets simply had a better form-factor.
For creating content, you'd want at minimum a bigger keyboard (novelist). Coders and artists would also want a bigger screen and more grunt.
MS practically gave away XP Home to OEMs building netbooks to get Linux off them. That carried on until Windows 7 was updated to work with netbooks and by then everybody (most importantly, shops) expected Windows on their netbook.
Tablets, then, didn't really exist. The EEE PC came out in 2007.
> MS practically gave away XP Home to OEMs building netbooks to get Linux off them. That carried
> on until Windows 7 was updated to work with netbooks and by then everybody (most importantly,
> shops) expected Windows on their netbook.
They didn't 'give it away', they forced manufacturers to install it by threatening to raise prices on their other Windows licences if they didn't.
>Tablets, then, didn't really exist. The EEE PC came out in 2007.
2007? We were discussing what killed netbooks, not what what aborted them!
Whatever, a small letter-box of a screen just wasn't much fun. I saw a fair few netbooks (Linux and XP) in the wild for a few years after their arrival - until tablets and 'thin n light' laptops came on the scene - so I stand by my comment about their small screen being their Achilles' heel.
I don't care how good an OS is, if it is on akward hardware then the whole experience will be lacklustre. At the time we were forgiving of netbooks' shortcomings because of their price - the Reg termed them 'SCCs', Small Cheap Computers. I'm sure some of you can remember a sunny photograph demonstrating this!
I don't think it was MS that killed the netbook.
Then think again.
Microsoft made it a condition of cheap licensing of Windows (especially of "Windows 7 Starter Edition") that all netbooks be limited in various ways (1GB RAM, single-core CPU, 10.2" screen size, etc). 10.2" screens were typically only 1024x600 pixels in resolution, and having to suffer that in order to qualify for a dirt-cheap Windows licence killed the netbook more surely than anything.
My pre-Windows-7 netbook has an 11.6" 1366x768 screen and (despite having a 2008-vintage Atom CPU, that runs like a turd through mud on a cold day, and the almost-unsupported GMA500 chipset) is eminently usable (with Linux, of course).
Not as a desktop-replacement, of course, or even as a main laptop ... but as a "disposable" PC to take on holiday for EMail, a bit of browsing (booking things online, etc) and backing up the digital photos it's brilliant.
"For creating content, you'd want at minimum a bigger keyboard (novelist). Coders and artists would also want a bigger screen and more grunt."
At which point it's no longer a netbook and has morphed into a laptop. I think you are confusing the netbook form factor with your own use case. The netbook form factor has it's uses but yours isn't one of them. That fine by me, even if the netbook isn't for you.
The Netbook was nothing more than just another name for really tiny notebooks. It was just a rehash of earlier models from different manufacturers at different (much larger) price points. I had an earlier Sony that was pretty much the same exact thing as a Netbook except for the price.
Tech just moved on, as tech tends to do. More powerful low profile machines became cheaper
The modern answer to the netbook is the MBA and similar PCs that aren't nearly as expensive.
> The Netbook was nothing more than just another name for really tiny notebooks.
They were that later, after Microsoft forced manufacturers to use XP by threatening loss of 'loyalty' discounts.
Originally the netbook was designed to be much cheaper: using 7inch DVD player screens, SD card 'hard disk', no optical drive and Linux; and access the net for most usage. Once MS became involved they needed 10inch screens, hard disks, more CPU power, more RAM and were, just as you say, ruined by becoming just smaller laptops in equipment and price.
"I wouldn't mind being able to throw a Win10 SD card into a Pi3. I'm sure there will be "windows only" things that my kids come home from school with, so having an easy "pop this SD card in, machine will connect to the dirty network, do windows stuff" would be useful."
Last time I looked, the relationship between Win10 (on real PCs) and Win10 IoT (on embedded devices) was similar to that between Windows NT (on real PCs) and Windows CE (on embedded devices).
IE the two flavours of Windows have almost nothing in common except the name and the hype. They don't have the same applications (except in name) and even the data formats may be incompatible without conversion (oh Activesync, how we loved you. Not.).
Has something changed while I've not been looking, or do people still not understand this distinction?
Does Linux have this problem? I think not.
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