There's light at the end of the tunnel
'Cos there's a big train crash heading right to redmond.
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 …
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.
"...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...."
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!).
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?
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"[Windows RT] is even more locked down than android."
Eh ? One of Androids problems/features is that rather than being locked down, it is up and running around all over the place like a headless chicken, flashing it's knickers at all and sundry and generally sleeping around with anyone or anything that gets on the device.
I rather like myself...
When I say locked down I mean how much of a walled garden it is. On desktop, Windows is known for allowing users a fair amount of leeway in it's use as opposed to OSX by comparison. But on ARM you won't have the same leeway with Windows RT, since it will follow the Windows Phone model which sits in between IOS and android for leeway in use.
For example with Android you can install applications outside the of their app store and install new versions of the OS on your old hardware even if not officially supported. This is not the case for IOS and Windows RT.
Of course leeway in use should not be the same as unsecure, which Android may well by guilty of at the moment. If they can follow how Windows has made efforts to secure it's self which still allowing a lot of openness, that would be good.
But bottom line if you want the same openess you enjoy with windows on desktop, on your tablet then windows RT is not the way to go.
"When I say locked down I mean how much of a walled garden it is."
Ok. However Android isn't a walled garden... not by any stretch of the imagination. So although 'even more locked down than android' is true, it came across to me (at least) as implying that android is in some sense significantly locked-down (like saying 'These crisps are even more crunchy than jelly').
"Of course leeway in use should not be the same as unsecure, which Android may well by guilty of at the moment. If they can follow how Windows has made efforts to secure it's self which still allowing a lot of openness, that would be good."
I agree completely that Android would do well to review it's security (which it is beginning to do, to a small degree, and rather badly alas)...
"I agree completely that Android would do well to review it's security (which it is beginning to do, to a small degree, and rather badly alas)..."
Android needs to go through the same security boot camp that Windows XP did with SP1 (or SP2 can't remember now). Where Microsoft delayed development of their next OS in order to get their OS's security house in order.
> but still is not a replacement for the desktop and desktop apps.
Exactly. MS don't want to sell a tablet as a replacement for a desktop, they want to sell you a tablet _and_ a desktop. and a new version of Office, and a phone, and everything else they can leverage money from your wallet for.
I think he's just making it clear that WOA will not be an adequate x86 replacement.
Windows W8 Home, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 WOA
The first three all run apps as expected, the fourth doesn't.
Its all academic, you don't buy WOA on its own.
Yes, but that has not been the message from analysis's who have been predicting that Microsoft releasing Windows for tablet means the death of desktops.
Microsoft have believed this, as they have focused on the Metro GUI even on the desktop OS at the expense of the Desktop experience. Since tablets are the future. No tablets are another new useful form factor, not a replacement....
Thats random, right? I guess we will just download WinAmp or similar from the "Windows Store".
Talking of that, did anyone else notice that Windows Store is available on all three versions? I wonder if there will be a GP that will disable that from the Metro UI so that employees and workers don't spend their lunchtime downloading unwanted apps that will no doubt diminish productivity.
Talking of THAT, what about this reset and refresh your PC button? A good idea and all, but as an IT support company, I am envisaging many of our clients calling to tell us it broke so they pushed the "Reset your PC" button and now everything has gone....
I'm sure it will all be fine.....
What I don't understand is the lack of Pro features in RT. Microsoft dominates in the Enterprise market, and no IT manager is going to buy tablets with an OS that can't join the corporate domain and be centrally managed.
Looks like a clear speration of consumer and business tablets to me.
...that unless the Enterprise version has a means of killing Metro, businesses will just keep running Win 7 until M$ realise their mistake when developing Win 9 (in much the same way as businesses avoided Vista and held onto XP until 7 arrived).
RT will be a brave experiment - given the Smartphone market is dominated by iOS and Android, they came very late to the game, and unlike IE (which was also a late entry to the browser market) it's unlikely they'll get more market share than their rivals.
Still, if Win 8 causes Microsoft's share of the OS market to decline (albeit slightly), it can only be a good thing. Who knows, in a decade's time, Linux might have risen above 2% of the market (especially if children are being introduced to the wonders of the FOSS OS in school courtesy of the Raspberry Pi, then discover that pretty much every bit of software they could want [apart from the latest games] is available from the Repositories, installations / updates don't nag you to reboot, reboot, reboot again; you don't need to fork out £££ for Security Suites every year, and OS upgrades are handled in the same way as any other update, with just one reboot needed!)
Seeing as Windows 7 rollouts are currently ongoing I'd suggest that no corporates are planning to touch this before 2014 by which time some of the bugs and the strategy might have been worked out. Can see some people being brave enough to buy a few tablets of whichever variety for road warriors assuming the necessary software is available and enterprise management is possible. But that would be in a sort of "Microsoft demonstrates..." environment.
So, MS have two years to stop wholesale abandonment of their platform in the corporate space. If you put it like that you can see that they still have room for manoeuvre.
.. except you'll all be LIVING IN CAVES!
"then discover that pretty much every bit of software they could want [apart from the latest games] is available from the Repositories, "
Name one decent CAD package available in any Linux repository. Name ONE. Come one, I'm waiting...
So while everyone crows about how great Linux is, no-one will be able to actually design anything physical. No cars, planes, new CPUs, computers, laptops, coffee machines, pubs, houses - NOTHING, we will be back to the grande olde dayes of pen-and-paper drafting.
Thanks Linux. EPIC EPIC EPIC FAIL.
They used the same naming process used for XP and NT.
It's all rather simple. Get out an old dusty game of Scrabble from the back of junk cupboard. Shake the little bag of tiles about a bit and simply blindly choose two random tiles - there you have it!
Wndows 7 came about due to a blank tile and an upside down L
Trust me, Bill used to make many critical business decisions based on this method, and you gotta admit, it sort of works in a way!
I really don't understand why the desktop experience has to be nobbled with tablet turd polish, when it's an OS that won't run on a tablet.
Removing the start menu from Win 8 is probably the single most stupid decision microsoft has ever made, especially as the Win 7 one with the nice search box works so well. I can only hope it is like 'New Coke' and perhaps a cynical ploy, they'll put it back in there before release.
I recall just a few short years ago, MS were telling us that we all needed swishy see-through aero windows that could go all 3d and you could flick through them. Now we're told that what we really need is big chunky solid coloured buttons with full screen apps. It doesn't inspire confidence.
Wow some cocks are out in force today!
Ok, lets be a bit rational here.
We don't know pricing and we don't know hardware design, what we have is SKUs for an OSs that may or may not be useful for a given market group.
ARM may or may not be handy, we don't know, I think personally the big issue here would be price, a cheap tablet that runs a form of Windows that can integrate with your desktop and phone may make sense IF the price is right. Business would be going x86 anyway and the Basic version of Win 8 would easily fit in to the home market, again, IF the price is right and of course if the hardware is right
Until we get to play with RT (and x86), see the hardware of both x86 and ARM and find out the price points then there really isn't any point in jumping up an down about it.
To now, x86 tablets have been very expensive and haven't lasted that long.
So can we at least have some sort of rational response to this story without it getting flooded by MS haters and fanboys alike.
The sensible response is that x86 is irrelevant outside the Wintel desktop(and to a lesser extent server) territory. What else do you need to know?
If it's not a desktop PC but it is consumer electronics, it already runs on ARM hardware and it doesn't need any Microsoft software. The success of WinCE and its derivatives over the last decade or so should be more than enough evidence for that.
Whatever MS do with WoA or whatever it's called this week won't change that.
Attempting to force fit a crippled version of something that isn't really the Windows that people expect on a desktop (but don't expect or need on a tablet, smartphone, etc) certainly won't change that.
This is going to be worse for Microsoft than Vista was. It's not going to help Intel much either.
At the end of your post (which I agree with largely BTW) you said "without it getting flooded by MS haters and fanboys alike." I've read carefully through this thread and whilst I see an awful lot of howling by the former, the latter are conspicuous by their absence.
Its like the apocalypse is upon us! Everyone forgot to bitch about how the Xbox dashboard looks similar but won't open *.docx files.
Is MS looking to do what it has done for years and cover all of the main chip types in the mass market? Is the x86 tablet market actually going to be any good? What is wrong with producing a locked down OS for ARM systems? You'll still be able to buy one with iOS or Android if it gets you off...
Will we get to a position where the x86 tablet/Ultrabook/notebook/laptop/desktop market is kept churning over with Windows 8 / Pro and the ARM based tablets/mobiles/*next xbox?*/smart televisions and the like all get Windows RT?
With the back end run by the now essentially UI-less (by default) Windows 8 server range?
Interesting to see. Lets remember, Apple have always been focused on the consumer market. MS are deep into enterprise and need to protect that revenue.
No it's easy.
Q - Do you want Windows?
A - Yes, don't buy RT as it's not Windows*.
- No, you want a locked down iPad wanabe with almost no software. Buy RT.
*Windows, an operating system that lets you run windows software.
So let me get this straight. Microsoft see Apple use good marketing and spin to make billions of dollars out of a tablet format that Microsoft actually had actually demoed on stage years and years before, so what do Microsoft do?
They change their entire infamous OS so that it is redesigned for touch screen / tablet devices - OK I can see why they'd want to do that... but then they get the shotgun out and shoot themselves in both feet before turning the gun and sticking it down their throat and pulling the trigger once more. Not only do they not give you the option of classic or metro mode they then announce the differences.
Windows RT - No group policy = useless for the enterprise even if it does come with a crippled Office
Windows 8 X86 on a tablet = Intel chipset and all the usual heat / battery life issues associated with it. No doubt some shills will continue to speak about the 'great advances' that Intel have made in reducing power / heat on their chips and that they will soon overtake ARM for performance when it comes to power utilization, but until those magic Intel chips that are ARM beaters are in a device then they may as well be pie in the Sky, because these X86 tablets won't be able to compete with ARM devices for battery life. This will see them lose ground further to iPads which can be managed under group policy and is starting to develop some real good alternatives to Microsoft Office.
They are basically making a half assed attempt at getting into the tablet market, but they are sacrificing their Desktop market to try and gain ground in the tablet arena with a product that they clearly haven't thought through. This is just sheer suicide from their point.
> Not only do they not give you the option of classic or metro mode
One comment from MS was that Metro will soon be the most familiar UI for computers. He seemed to think that when W8 was released it would magically appear on all computers overnight, and on TVs and all phones, ...
But yes, they do want to force Metro down everyone's throat because if they get used to it on desktops then they will demand it on their phones, tablets, TVs, cars, microwaves, and door bells.
"One comment from MS was that Metro will soon be the most familiar UI for computers. He seemed to think that when W8 was released it would magically appear on all computers overnight, and on TVs and all phones, ..."
So if Metro is the future then why will I be forced to use it should I buy a new PC with WINDOWS 8 on it? It's not Microsoft Metro it's Not Microsoft Window it's Microsoft Windows but they are slowly removing that ability
The idea of having "a desktop computer" is gradually disappearing. Your computer workspace will exist on a server somewhere, and you will access it using a terminal-like device, whether that is a tablet or a dumb-screen on your desk at work, or whatever.
Microsoft is doing whatever it can to delay this inevitable trend, while at the same time clawing at whatever market share it can get in the new world.
We're probably only a year or two away from the day when that 22" Samsung you buy at Big Box will have not only VGA/DVI inputs, but also Ethernet and USB ports. COMPUTER OPTIONAL -- if you don't need the headache of a desktop pc, you just plug it into your network, attach a keyboard and mouse, and away you go with a built-in Android OS running on an embedded chip that will cost $5 in quantity.
In this world, your "Windows(R) License(TM)" will be on a virtual server somewhere, whether Microsoft(R) likes it or not. And from there it's only a few steps further until people finally start to see that they don't really need the Windows after all.
I hope to piss on Bill Gates' grave someday.
I run Android ICS on my Smartphone / Tablet / Netbook and it's perfect. One account over three devices and everything is seamlessly connected. It's the future my apps follow me across all my devices and with the next version and Google drive it will only get better (although Dropbox is quite good at the minute)
Let me just remove your rose tinted glasses for you....
95 was new and fancy with some good points but ultimately terrible
98 fixed those issues but still not much good,
98se finally got most of the 95 bugs out of it but still was a damp squid.
me, - Nuff said lol
XP - terrible, wasn't until SP2 that it actually ended up ok.
Vista - not bad but wasn't until SP2 that it was sorted, unfortunately it was a bit late and on the heels of Win 7
Win 7, possibly the first OS that has actually been good out of the box
Win 8 .....
So I don't see your pattern, other than the fact that after SP releases for the OS its usually pretty good
Surely Microsoft's big problem is the iPad. They need a tablet OS that can compete. If they don't get one soon the desktop will be all but irrelevant to consumers because they will be caught in by their own mantra. 'Users like what they are used to'.
Why would anyone buy a WinArmPad? Is it ubiquitous? No, everyone else has an iPad. Is it familiar? No, it looks and feels different from existing Windows. Does it have the familiar apps? Not yet, and it won't run existing Windows programs either. Is it cheap? No, Android + Arm = cheap. Unless of course Microsoft subsidise them heavily until they have a dominant market share as they did (do?) with xbox. They have deep pockets but even so they could be betting the whole farm on a strategy like that.
OK, ***I LIKE WINDOWS 8***. There, I said it! I even like Metro. I have used both since the Developer and Consumer Preview releases and am especially impressed with the performance. I'm also liking the look of the new Windows family member for low form factor, touch PCs - Windows RT.
It seems that a badly researched article will spawn a slew of lowbrow bashing from people who appear to know little of the subject; luddites, Linux fanbois, etc. I fear that many of you people work in tech fields - how sad!
To Gavin Clarke, I would say this. Do your research:
1. There is no doubt whatsoever what sort of device Windows RT is aimed at, as can be seen by the countless and detailed Build blog posts and other MS material available. It's *not* aimed primarily at specialist devices like e-readers. It's aimed at low profile and highly mobile devices that require reduced power consumption available with ARM instead of Intel chipsets. Slates (think iPad like devices), low profile netbooks, etc., and, yes, perhaps some specialist devices too, although Windows Embedded is there to service their needs already.
2. No group policy management ? Really ? This is absolutely no big deal. First of all, Windows RT is primarily of interest to consumers, not business. Secondly, it's *new*. Give MS time and I'm sure they'll add GP management. Having been rebuilt with a new shell (MetroUI) and architecture for ARM licenced chipsets, it's practically a brand new operating system.
3. Will naming WoA (that's Windows on ARM) Windows RT confuse developers ? No, unless they're as ignorant as you. WinRT, speaking as a non-developer so maybe not using the correct terminology, is a programming framework for Metro style applications and is the same in both Win8 (x86/64) and Windows RT (ARM). A Metro app will therefore almost always run in both Windows 8 and Windows RT, unlike a Desktop app, which will likely be x86/64 only. Simple as that!
Honestly people, research, use the tech and give it a chance first, before you comment and dismiss it and especially if you intend to write an article on the topic for a credible site like El Reg!
How about badly researched comments?
"<list of ARM markets>... Windows Embedded is there to service their needs already."
Windows Embedded is primarily an x86 OS (assuming you mean the lineage which includes XP Embedded, 7 Embededd, etc). MS have attempted to rebrand WinCE as part of Windows Embedded but nobody cares about WinCE, especially not about WinCE on ARM, where proper non-MS OSes are already available.
x86 hardware and OSes do not play in the massive market which is addressed by ARM-based systems.
I think there's an as yet unrecognised ailment that only people who create operating system user interfaces have contracted.
It's called appleitis.
The Ubuntu people caught it first and "created" Unity, now it's spread to Microsoft and on to the Gnome developers.
It's a potentially destructive ailment.
The first symptom is the creation of ugly, blobby interfaces that look like they were designed in a kindergarten cut and paste class.
The second symptom is a completely pig headed refusal to accept that what you've created looks ridiculous and is unfit for the majority.
The third symptom follows on from the second by blatantly ignoring criticism and pretending that what you have created is fantastic and everyone will want to use it. So you continue to make it increasingly less attractive to your core users by making the thing even more absurd. One has to careful here as appleitis at this stage can be mis-diagnosed as ostrichitis.
The fourth symptom is where it starts to get serious and is characterised by a completely unrealistic belief that everyone uses touch screen technology. This relates to symptom one because people with appleitis have not yet advanced to the use of keyboards, mice and eating with anything sharper than a spoon. Consequently their ailment leads them to believe that everyone else is like that.
The fifth is potentially terminal, by this time those afflicted are so divorced from reality that they fail to see that what they have created is losing them business.
Strange that they're going after the consumer market, which is already saturated with suppliers, rather than for enterprise which is in need of compatible lightweight portable devices.
I can only think that they are waiting for sufficiently low power Intel chips to make a tablet that will run legacy apps. How long will that take?
I do feel sympathy for Windows developers who at this time see their market shrinking. No doubt many will jump ship rather than wait and see.
Ask companies like Schneider Electric (makers of CitectSCADA) which still insist on software that does not work on anything newer.
Yeah, I agree, it sucks, colleagues around me are faced with having to do all their work in VMs to get anything done. You think packages like that will be coming to Metro? Fat chance.
This is the real-world reality. And companies aren't going to dump CitectSCADA just because it won't run on newer versions of Windows, they'll just insist on Windows XP. (And there are times I wonder why not dump it? But not my call unfortunately.)
This is just one example of many. For others, myself included, Windows XP does fine on the machines I use it on. I have no interest to update as I seldom use Windows anyway.
"colleagues around me are faced with having to do all their work in VMs to get anything done."
What kind of cheapskate hardware are you buying that isn't supported with XP? Any half decent corporate-class tin from Dell or HP was stilll supported with XP (and indeed would still ship with XP if required) last time I looked. Have these folks finally had their arms twisted by Redmond?
Anyway, potentially security-sensitive stuff such as SCADA doesn't have to run on a Window box, and Stuxnet should have made it quite clear that lots of stuff (including SCADA) was better off NOT running on Windows.
When the time finally comes to to migrate these fixed-function boxes off XP, if the next OS doesn't look and feel (or program or work) like XP, why does it even need to be a Windows OS?
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