back to article Windows 8: Never mind Office, it's for GAMING

Despite threats to its software hegemony from Apple and others, Microsoft's stranglehold on enterprise IT has been its saving grace. Yet this advantage has started to fade as Apple and Android increasingly invade the enterprise through smartphone adoption, with IT departments scrambling to devise security policies that plug the …

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  1. JDX Gold badge

    Newell

    Is just sour grapes that it might hurt his sales.

    It's a good point that for gamers, W8 might be just fine. I wonder if the new XBox will be based in some way on W8... like a Mac have a standard PC with a fixed hardware spec so developers know exactly what to target.

    1. Andy ORourke
      Meh

      Re: Newell

      The XBox interface has been metro-like TIFKAM for some time now, I think that's the aim for Microsoft, everything windows uses the same interface?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The Xbox

        I got offered a free Xbox a while ago, saw the new dash, said "no thanks".

        1. squilookle
          Facepalm

          Re: The Xbox

          "I got offered a free Xbox a while ago, saw the new dash, said "no thanks".

          You do realize the dash is a means to an end, i.e. launching the many forms of content the XBox can display, and that once you have launched your game/film you don't have to look at it again until you want to launch something else, don't you?

          I ask because by declaring you turned away a free XBox just because you don't like the dash makes you look a little silly. And ungrateful to whoever was offering the thing to you.

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: The Xbox

            I have a PC, so I don't need an Xbox. Too many adds on the dash for my liking. At least the PS3 keeps their latest gumph and adds mainly in the online section (although the scrolling add in the corner is not welcome). Granted Steam does the same to some extent, but I can avoid that much more easily by keeping to the "my library" section.

            The old dash worked and had no adds on it. Lets just say, I would get an Xbox for games, not for "TV, film, media, social" and all the other options you tend to have to skip through before you get to the game bit. :P

            1. squilookle

              Where is the highly technical content requiring degree-level education or above??

              Not needing an XBox is a sensible reason to decline one, but that's not what your original post said. It said you saw the dash and said "no thanks".

              I generally like the current version of the dash, although liking it depends on your tastes, as with any other UI (I also like Unity). The old UI was fine too.

              Regarding the ads, yes, some people don't like being advertised to and that's fine. In fact, I do think MS should include the option to turn them off, since you've already paid for the console and probably the subscription to XBox Live.

              However, the tile to launch the game on the disc is always the first highlighted, so there isn't really stuff to skip through before you get to the game bit. You just put the disc in the tray and hit the A button. :P

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Newell

      Steam is as bad in its own way (e.g. Steam the infrastructure is tied to Steam the store) but it's not in a position of owning an OS to use as leverage to kill off competitors and that is what Apple and Microsoft are clearly doing.

      So I wouldn't say it's sour grapes so much as grounds for an antitrust suit.

      My own belief is all platforms would benefit from a gaming infrastructure, with single sign on, trophies, etc but there is no reason that such a system should have to be closed at all.

    3. RAMChYLD
      Linux

      Re: Newell

      Still no Games for Windows Live and XBox Live in many countries.

      There, I said it.

      Penguin. Because Steam is available in many countries XBL and GFWL isn't. And Steam is coming to Linux.

      1. DrXym Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Newell

        "Penguin. Because Steam is available in many countries XBL and GFWL isn't. And Steam is coming to Linux."

        I wouldn't be so confident about Valve's intentions for Linux. The way I see it Steam is coming to Linux for two plausible reasons:

        1) As a side benefit of whatever cloud platform / console Valve are currently working on. i.e. if Valve are producing a Linux powered gaming box which connects to the cloud or downloads to local storage it would be relatively trivial to support other forms of Linux at the same time.

        2) As a bargaining chip for some lawsuit. Much the way as AOL bought Netscape and started using Gecko instead of the IE browser engine as a bargaining chip to get a settlement out of MS.

        Perhaps there are other reasons but I don't believe one of them is because Linux is a profitable platform to support. The number of desktop users has to be a fraction of a percent. It'd be barely worth their while except in the context of something else they're up to that we don't know the full details of.

        That won't stop me applauding when it finally appears though. Getting Steam to work reliably through WINE is a dark art even with PlayOnLinux.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Newell

          > Getting Steam to work reliably through WINE is a dark art even with PlayOnLinux.

          Really? I just installed Steam then installed my games. Under Wine. There was no fiddling as far as I remember.

          Of course, you experience may vary depending on the games that you want to run.

          Most of Valve's games are pretty well written though.

          1. DrXym Silver badge

            Re: Newell

            "Really? I just installed Steam then installed my games. Under Wine. There was no fiddling as far as I remember."

            Yes. The steam client sometimes crashes for no reason, or can't open a pipe to the game during a launch, or goes odd in some other way. It's amazing it works at all but it's still flakey. On top of that steam is just the launcher and every game has it's own issues depending on what APIs it hits.

    4. Bill Neal
      FAIL

      Re: Newell

      The PC as a gaming platform holds superiority over consoles because of their "a fixed hardware spec"

      Steam's sales are not dependent upon people buying new systems in the near future, and including 'nix in their business plan only yields a bigger market.

  2. Si 1

    If it's an advantage it's one they're squandering

    I'm pretty certain if MS were to launch a tablet and phone combo with ports/spin-offs of Gears of War, Halo, Forza, etc it would garner a significant amount of gamer interest. However I've seen absolutely no signs of MS trying to use their IPs to their advantage.

    Microsoft's decision to sell ARM and x86 tablets is also a baffling one to me. Don't get me wrong, I love ARM but based on the rumoured specs of the x86 Surface with an i5 CPU in there it's far more interesting as it has the potential to run fairly recent PC games and a significant proportion of emulators. Why MS isn't going full steam ahead with that platform I don't know.

    I think MS are sitting on a gaming goldmine and they're ignoring it to faff around with Notro and hiding the start button...

    1. Bigbud78

      Re: If it's an advantage it's one they're squandering

      Just a small point: Gears of war isn't Microsoft IP, its owned by epic who signed up for a exclusive deal. It may one day go multi platform. :)

    2. Mark .

      Re: If it's an advantage it's one they're squandering

      "Why MS isn't going full steam ahead with that platform I don't know."

      Well they are - but why they aren't going ahead only with x86 is presumably cost. The x86 Surface (and i5 tablets in general) will be more expensive, and ARM allows them a way into the ultra-low end of tablets.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: If it's an advantage it's one they're squandering

        > ARM allows them a way into the ultra-low end of tablets.

        I very much doubt that Windows RT tablets will be anywhere close to 'the ultra-low end' of anything, except perhaps sales.

        MS have, once again, dictated what OEMs can use to build these devices, even to the point of which OEMs are allowed to use which suppliers. Apple have set up their supply chain with large volumes and this keeps BoM costs down. Smaller manufacturers can buy cheaper components and even remaindered overuns to make cheap devices.

        MS OEMs will each be making different devices from different supplier's parts and competing for the same market. This gives small production runs, and allows the suppliers to charge higher prices because they can't use alternates. They will each have to cover their development costs on smaller sales numbers. Also MS will be charging estimated $70-$100 per unit regardless of sales price. This means that the units will have to be in the premium category to try to keep that cost as a smaller percentage of the total.

        It seems unlikely that any RT tablet will be less than the new iPad and will probably be priced noticably more than those, unless they are subsidized by MS with a contract for services, or remaindered when they don't sell.

        Windows 8 x86 tablets will be even more expensive. Intel will want to recover development costs for low power chips. MS will want 'full' OEM Windows 8 and Office pricing.

  3. Laurent Cargill

    Where's the XNA?

    Then why drop XNA? In one swoop they've removed a bunch of developers who could have brought their games over to Windows 8.

    1. Sp1tf1r3

      Re: Where's the XNA?

      I suspect they only lost one developer and that was you, all the other developers ported their XNA WP7 apps in 20 mins using http://monogame.codeplex.com/ and have it sat waiting for certification in the Win8 App store and are down the pub while you're whining on here :) Keep up old boy.

  4. Sutekh
    Linux

    GFWL

    "Microsoft has done many, many things wrong over the years." Agreed. "Gaming hasn't been one of them" Err.. does Games for Windows Live ring any bells?

    Penguin to celebrate Valve's incoming support for linux.

    1. Turtle

      @Sutekh: Re: GFWL

      "Penguin to celebrate Valve's incoming support for linux."

      You possibly do not realize that the Steam client is one thing, and the games that Steam distributes are something else entirely. You can have a Steam client on Linux and still be very very far away from having a worthwhile selection of games to run. For example, because I run XP, there are DX10 games that I can not play. Expect to find yourself in a similar but much much worse situation...

      And this is even before before the question of Linux drivers for gfx cards is broached.

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: @Sutekh: GFWL

        Actually, it depends what you play. If you're part of the MW3 crowd, yeah, you'll struggle.

        But almost all Valve titless can and probably will be ported (given that Valve/Steam are basically the same company). Hell, it'd be worth trying it on Linux just to play HL2:Ep3 a few days early if they really wanted to push that side of Steam.

        And then you have the myriad indie titles, thousands of them, that are offered singly, through humble bundles, etc., almost all of whom already support Linux versions (e.g. Altitude, Dungeons of Dredmor, Gish, etc.). Hell, there's DOSBox-based games galore on there from the classic titles.

        Sure, maybe not everything will come over, but you won't be staring at an empty game list. At least, not much worse than an XP users (and I've never bought a game that *demanded* DX10 because it just reeks of bad programming to me, given that it does little of value that isn't achievable on DX9).

        Even ignoring that, quite a lot is "Wine-able" software even on the AAA list. You see bugs filed against Wine for games within seconds of them being released.

        Linux drivers? The biggest impetus to AMD/nVidia to pull their fingers out might be a multi-million dollar games store running their client on Linux desktops, for example.

        It's an obstacle, but no more an obstacle than, say, trying to get a GfWL game working from a bare-bones install (I just had that fun on Windows 7). And any progress is progress. Personally, I think I'd download Steam on a Linux machine just to finally revel in the thing I've been asking for for nearly a decade now and could never understand why they don't didn't it.

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: @Turtle Steam + Linux

        AFAIK Steam are working on an API to "natively" or whatever run windows games. Either a complete code of what is needed, or some automatic profiles for WINE (not emulation, so super fast!). So if and when you buy a game on Steam Linux, it will download the WINE profile and/or a set of API and code needed to run it on Linux.

        1. Turtle

          @Lee Dowling & @TechnicalBen: Re: @Turtle Steam + Linux

          You could both be right about it but I am very skeptical. When facts prove you right, then I will be more than happy to admit that I'm wrong. We will see....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Turtle Steam + Linux

          Valve are supposedly porting their Source engine and now have a version of Left4Dead II working, allegedly faster than the WIndows version.

          I see no reason why they wouldn't use this to push their other titles out.

          Of course, the real motivation is the anticipated Linux-based console that they likely have in the sidelines.

      3. John Bailey

        Re: @Sutekh: GFWL

        Yep.. we know.

    2. Mark C Casey

      Re: GFWL

      This right here.

      Microsofts GFWL has been an absolute disaster after disaster. Their first incarnation required you to pay if you wanted to play online... on a pc. They have had endless missteps. Go into any pc gaming orientated forum or site and GFWL is treated as a joke.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: GFWL

      GWFL had the potential to be a great system. MS supplied the infrastructure without restricting where people purchased their games from. Problem is the thing always seems to want updating and never seems to offer much except some achievements. And since it only kicks in when the game starts you only know a game needs patching when you start it which is too late.

      Anyway I have a few games which have GWFL *and* Steam built into them. Bioshock 2 for example. Make of that what you will.

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. P. Lee

    MS already has a Windows gaming "ecosystem" for the PC

    Why would a touch GUI transform it into a success?

    And why would Valve be that worried? It hasn't felt the need to get into the tablet/phone game market - all its catalog is on large devices. Casual touch games are almost too cheap to make money on when they are new - the only way to make money is be selling millions and if you don't own the platform, you don't get a chance to do that.

    Apple's store doesn't really compete (effectively) with Steam and that's been on the Mac for a while, though MS is likely to be more aggressive in its pricing.

    MS could do well in mobile gaming, but I suspect its Nintendo and PS who need to be worried about that. I can't see keyboard/mouse gamers having more than a passing interest in touchscreen entertainment - its even more inaccurate than a console.

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: MS already has a Windows gaming "ecosystem" for the PC

      What can MS do in the mobile space to improve gaming?

      Touchscreens are absolutely awful for most games and if they release something that has an analog stick and buttons, that'll put most people off. They'll see it as some geek's phone.

      Mobile gaming just isn't going to take off in any threatening way unless someone resolves the issue of having decent controls without making it look stupid as a phone.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: MS already has a Windows gaming "ecosystem" for the PC

      Valve are worried that MS are going to abuse their monopoly to try to push Valve (et al) out of the games on PC market.

      Just like they did to the browser market many years ago.

      And while that would again be grounds for an antitrust lawsuit, that didn't help Netscape very much.

      From here it certainly looks like MS are trying to create a walled garden inside TIFKAM, and that would indeed be a disaster (and yet another abuse of monopoly from a convicted abuser).

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Android gaming seems to be in its infancy, MS have a chance to overtake it here. No big player has released a game controller for use with Android handsets to allow them to compete with Gameboys and PSPs... vicious circle of software support? Obviously Sony would want you to buy a Vita, and also has 'PSP certified' badges for other phones, but it doesn't seem to have taken off.

    Microsoft could release a controller, and it might give Win8 an edge over Android. Opinions differ on which is better, the XBOX or the Playstation controller, but they are both good pieces of hardware- demonstrated by the fact that most users of either system go for the official controller.

    1. DJ Smiley

      You can plug a PS3 controller into a Android device with the right adapter. (Both use mini? Micro? usb).

      Some games work nicely, others not so much.

      Want to be clever Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo? You release an android game enviroment for your consoles and have some games allowed onto the consoles (ok they'd look terrible but most of the indie games do anyway and people buy them).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Most Android devices are USB slave, as are the controllers, so not so easy. One needs to be master and give out power.

        But as for the PS3 controller thingie. I had an old PC controller (usb thing, based on the PS2 controller as it came out before the PS3 was out). Plugged it into the PS3 and it worked, no fiddling about required. I was quite impressed

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          It would probably want at least the option of being bluetooth, this hypothetical standard controller- some people will be using their phone connected to a TV via HDMI, and won't want to get up and cross the room to answer a phone call. Plus, when using their phone to put movies on the big TV, the game controller can act as a media player controller, much as XBOX/PS owners already use their wireless controllers to do.

          I know Bluetooth controllers for Android already exist, but they are lacking the critical mass of adoption. i think it needs a big player to get the ball rolling, though. Sony are being too short sighted in trying to use the idea to shift specific handsets, Apple aren't bothered - the mere fact that they already sell plenty of units seems to have reduced their motivation to innovate - Google could get the idea out there (acting to co-ordinate its hardware licencees- and also, whilst it has the people in the room, get a standard Android dock connector sorted out!), MS definitely should look into this.

    2. monkeyfish

      controller

      My thoughts exactly, if Apple/Google/MS released a standard specification for a control pad it would take away the biggest single problem to mobile gaming. Would be easier for Apple/MS due to the lack of different models, but Google could still do it. They don't even need to manufacture them, just lay down a standard configuration of "it will have this many buttons in this sort of position, and one/two joysticks roundabout where your thumbs are". Then lots of games would use the same layout, and design them around the standard controller.

  7. MastaBlasta
    WTF?

    Kinect?

    If they're really serious, then why are PC gamers still having to wait for proper Kinect games?

    1. ArmyCrow
      Boffin

      Re: Kinect?

      In fairness, most Xbox gamers are still having to wait for proper Kinect games, too.

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Kinect?

      Kinect V1 is very good at what it does - - but it isnt accurate enough for single finger control required for say full combat games, etc.

      This will come with Kinect V2 due very soon....

      1. Steve Knox
        Happy

        @RICHTO

        Ah, the standard Microsoft line: "This will come with <insert future release here>"

        Usually to be followed by "<The only feature anyone actually wanted> had to be cut from this release due to <insert plausible-sounding excuse here>"

        1. veti Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: @RICHTO

          Well, yes.

          But by announcing it, and then delaying it (effectively, announcing it again), they deter competitors from taking the time and trouble to develop it. And if any rival company isn't deterred, they'll find that a whole tranche of their potential customers *are*, and now they're "waiting for the next service pack of Windows, which will have this function built in".

    3. toadwarrior

      Re: Kinect?

      No one wants kinect games. Have you seen what's been released? It's a handful of bargin bin crap that doesn't work unless it's a dance game.

      People only buy kinects to hack around with or to build into a non-gaming project. It's useless on xbox.

  8. janimal
    WTF?

    er.. hasn't microsoft always owned the PC gaming market? For me & all my friends my age it is what drove us into the PC market from the 486's onwards. I certainly don't remember anyone buying a mac to play F1GP, or Doom or Duke Nukem 3d, or Quake etc... etc.... etc...

    At least from where I am sitting, the early PC gaming domain was the main driver for consumer ownership of PCs. Before ubiquitous internet connections it was pretty much the only reason a PC ever made it into the home.

    Maybe I have missed the point though?

    Disclaimer: I am very hungry but don't want to do the dishes before making lunch :(

    1. dogged
      Thumb Up

      Agreed, hence the spoof ads.

      "Hi, I'm a Mac"

      "....."

      "He's a PC. What are you doing, PC?"

      "Gaming".

      "Haha, yeah, gaming, what games have you got?"

      "All of them. Bitch".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "At least from where I am sitting, the early PC gaming domain was the main driver for consumer ownership of PCs. Before ubiquitous internet connections it was pretty much the only reason a PC ever made it into the home."

      I doubt that very much. Maybe that was true of Commodores and Amigas, but IBM-PC compatibles were used by a lot of laypeople at home for things like word processing and spreadsheets.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're kidding me; right?

    Unless they've done something serious, they won't be able to reverse discoveries that have happened.

    Steam discovered the performance improvement on Linux OpenGL over Microsoft and Direct X - I think it was reported here on El-Reg ... it didn't just happen and they had to work on the code, but if Linux starts to prove itself to be the better performing gaming platform, then coupled with the other devices which are coming out that are also based on the Linux kernel, then this could be the begining of the end for Microsoft.

    I'm still playing Unreal Tournament 2004 which came with a Linux installer when it was released. I wouldn't like to see whether it still plays under Windows 7 or Windows 8.

    Now THAT could be a real turn on for people like me to want to get more life out of our gaming investment than just the life span of the original target OS.

    Eyes are opening and I wouldn't mind betting that, given another five years, the default gaming platform might well have changed entirely. What shall we say ... a fiver?

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: You're kidding me; right?

      That wasnt a proper benchmark - it was a small bit of code that they worked for months to optimise. In true wideranging benchmark tests, Direct X still significantly outperforms Open GL.

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: You're kidding me; right?

        This is by no means scientific but postal 2 definitely ran better on ubuntu on the same hardware which was a relief since at the time I didn't really get to enjoy it on windows given that it was too choppy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're kidding me; right?

      "Eyes are opening and I wouldn't mind betting that, given another five years, the default gaming platform might well have changed entirely."

      Yeah, because you aren't willing to write off a game from 8 years ago or trying to run it under Win 7 or 8 but everyone else will write off their entire games collection and gladly switch platforms. Yes they will. But only in your dreams.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're kidding me; right?

        @AC - Pardon? Would you mind writing that again? I'm not sure you made your point clearly.

        Anyway, to answer what you DID write...

        Why SHOULD I write a game off that I've paid good money for. I can pick up a book, CD, DVD and still play/read them decades on. Heck, I've still got three BBC B micros and still play Sabre Wulf, and Elite Executive Edition. (oh, that 6502 co pro :-D )

        Why should the PC gaming companies think they are any different?

        I haven't tried running it under Win 7 or 8 because I don't own those systems. I went to Linux and haven't looked back ... except for gaming, and fortunately some people have ported things like the Quake engine, etc. to Linux and with games like Darwinia coming out, I'm happy enough to not have to need to go back to Windows.

        However ... people are going to have to switch platform anyway ... whenever they trade up their Windows versions. I remember needing new applications when I switched from 3.11 to 5, to 98, to ME, to 2000 and XP. Past experience tells me that Win 7 and 8 probably won't be any different.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're kidding me; right?

      "I'm still playing Unreal Tournament 2004 which came with a Linux installer when it was released. I wouldn't like to see whether it still plays under Windows 7 or Windows 8."

      I can see why companies are scrambling over one another to get your business!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        Re: You're kidding me; right?

        "I can see why companies are scrambling over one another to get your business!"

        Not really; it dodn't look like you do see. I'll follow things that work on my systems. Right now I'm handing over my gaming cash to the Humble Indie Bundle ... why ... because the games they're selling work on the platforms I own. (another one was recently released, BTW)

        So if the gaming companies want to get their hands on my cash, they're going to have to come to me ... I'm fed up of it being the other way around. I'm not buying in to a new console system simply to play the hotest game. Forget it.

        I'm intending to buy all the titles that Steam ports to Linux ... because for being as brave as they are to come to me .. they deserve support.

        So stick that in your narrow minded pipe and smoke it.

    4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: You're kidding me; right?

      > gaming investment

      Games are not an 'investment' for the consumer. They are merely an unrecoverable cost in both money and time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're kidding me; right?

        "Games are not an 'investment' for the consumer. They are merely an unrecoverable cost in both money and time."

        You could say the same of a book, DVD, CD, etc. I see no difference.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: You're kidding me; right?

          > You could say the same of a book, DVD, CD, etc. I see no difference.

          No, you don't do you. Sad really.

          You probably see no difference between 'driver's ed' and 'Grand Theft Auto V' or 'Drift Runner'. They all teach you how to drive don't they ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft have got it wrong many times over the years; when they get it wrong, they *really* get it wrong (WinMe, Vista etc) - but when they get it right, they really get it right.

    I've also found MS Hardware to be pretty good (Keyboards/Mice - even if they're probably designed by someone else), so *if* Win8 has been pointed at the gaming rather than Corporate user then things could get interesting.

    It does seem that MS Operating systems could be splitting into corporate/business user and home/gaming, much like when Win-NT was introduced. I know all current MS Operating Systems are part of the Win-NT family, but I can see a more business orientated OS for desktop users being added to the Windows Server/Win8 family at some point.

    Windows for Business (WinBin) 2013?

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      There is a whole lot of difference between making a mouse and keyboard and a full computer. And where as the mouse and keyboards Microsoft have made maybe reliable the early Xbox's certainly were not as anyone who has experienced the red ring of death will tell you

      1. DJ Smiley
        Facepalm

        They see you trolling, you failing...

        1. I worked in a game store and saw massive returns of xbox 360's at first but that quickly dropped after they released the falcon chipset.

        2. 6-9months after the release of each PS3 "new" model, they'd be a similar number of returns due to flashing yellow lights/other problems which sony wouldn't replace/fix for them

        3. The original xbox was almost bullet proof, yet MS got bashed for having such a heavy solid console - with the 360 they simply seem to have gone a bit too far the other way.

        I love bashing MS but the 360 is a huge success story, compared to how the other consoles are doing which are 4-5gen the 2nd gen 360 is really pulling its own.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. toadwarrior

          How is the xbox a huge success? It was swiftly beaten by the wii and the PS3 has caught up to it. Comparing like for like numbers (year 1 sales against year 1) the PS3 has out performed the 360. So the only real reason it's in second place is because it had a 1 year lead and even then sony has eaten into that considerably.

          People act like xbox has been a huge success but it hasn't been really unless your only measure of success is it wasn't a complete failure.

        3. Mike Brown

          throw money at it!

          no it really isnt. MS spent billions buying market share. Fair enough the xbox is now not so failure prone, but it should never have been in the 1st place. Some of the best marketing and spin MS has ever done was convince people to stick with xbox throught the rrod phase, im still amazed people kept buying them!

        4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. jason 7 Silver badge
      Happy

      Alternate Enterprise/Domestic Windows releases.

      I have my suspicion that MS has finally realised that the Enterprise mainly only selects one OS every 5+ or so years.

      So why bother tailoring every Windows release for Enterprise users when most of the features wont get used?

      So maybe we could see a round of future Windows releases with differing customer targets.

      Windows 8 is largely a consumer release with most Enterprise moving to and making do with Windows 7.

      Then 9 or ten could be a more enterprise release ready for the corps to move over from 7 and so on.

      1. durbans
        Thumb Up

        Re: Alternate Enterprise/Domestic Windows releases.

        It's amazing that more people haven't figured this out....I salute you sir!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Alternate Enterprise/Domestic Windows releases.

        Exactly, it's pretty obvious where Microsoft's efforts are with Windows 8 and if enterprise customers aren't comfortable with the changes they can just make use of downgrade rights (which they routinely do anyway). Most of the complaints about Windows 8 is coming from the desktop crowd, i.e. ironically the demographic they least have to worry about due to lack of competition (for all the whiners saying they pinky-swear they're switching to Ubuntu, I doubt even a tiny percentage will actually go through with it).

        What I suspect will happen is a repeat of the transition from Vista to Windows 7 - Microsoft will make a few tweaks in Windows 9 and that -c ombined with the few years for it to settle in - will be enough to appease the whiners into deluding themselves there's been significant changes and proclaim Windows 9 the best version yet whilst still allowing them to cling to their misguided beliefs that Windows 8 was terrible, like they still do about Vista despite all evidence to the contrary.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I had a suitable controller, I would probably pay a tenner for titles equivalent to 1st gen Xbox/ Playstation titles such as WipeOut or Halo CE on my phone. I prefer to have a few very good, long lasting games over lots of smaller titles. And I don't buy £2.99 for games on my phone since they are all similar to a myriad of shareware titles I played on the PC in the nineties.

    Playing with or against mates is important, be it in the same room or over the internet. It doesn't have to be complicated, as titles such as Worms or Micro-machines demonstrate. The purest gaming fun is swearing at your friend for having the audacity to ninja-rope across the map just to upper-cut your hapless invertebrate off the map. You f^$^king c%$y b$%%&d!!

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Happy

      Amazingly, I think the latest set of phones are reaching 360 power. In specs anyhow, if not true performance. The 360 is a dual core 3GHZ if my memory serves me right, with some 4 core Arms hitting over 1.5GHZ each core now. So I would love to see full 360/PS3 games on the phones!

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Iirc, its a 3 core/cell (whatever) dual thread CPU while the PS3 is a 6 core/cell single thread CPU.

        3x2 or 6x1.

        Much of a muchness.

      2. Mark .

        Megahertz myth, and core myth :)

        I'm not saying you're wrong - given the latest generation of consoles is quote old now, and phones are perhaps less than 10 years old, it's not that unfeasible. But it would be interesting to see benchmarks (indeed in general, I'm curious to see how well ARM does against x86, or how well the phone GPUs do against desktop/laptop or console GPUs - anyone have a reference to benchmarks? All we hear is talk of how many cores things have, which is even worse than the megahertz myths of 10 years ago).

  12. Gareth Perch

    I had a play on the free Bubble game from the Win 8 store the other night. I thought it was a bit poor for a modern game. Unfortunately I thought the same 4 hours later, when I was still playing it. It must be in the playability (something I'm very familiar with, as I had (still have) a Sinclair ZX Spectrum) I've completed the free bits, but the next bit wants me to pay. I already detest Microsoft Points on the XBox - it seems a bit cynical that you can only buy them in chunks incompatible with the cost of things, leaving you with "loose change" that you have to spend on things that you shouldn't have to pay for in the first place, like screensavers. That and the fact that the more points you buy, the cheaper it *doesn't* get.

  13. TheOtherHobbes

    No

    Ballmer - "I think it's going to be hard to tell what's a tablet and what is a PC."

    No it fucking isn't.

    Let me know when you have a tablet that runs 8 or 12 cores at 4GHz or more with at least 32GB of no-compromise RAM.

    Then we can talk about how useful tablets are for real computing.

    1. Mark .

      Re: No

      Based on current trends, Samsung will have a phone with 32GB RAM in 4 years' time... (x86 netbooks meanwhile will still have 1GB, maybe 2GB if we're lucky.)

      (Seriously though, not sure what point you are making? Most PCs don't have those specs; x86 Windows tablets will have comparable specs to ultra-portable laptops though).

    2. durbans
      Facepalm

      Re: No

      I think it's hard for you to tell what's a server and what's a PC.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No

      Yeah, because PC World is full of rigs running 8+ core processors and 32GB RAM. Oh wait...

    4. Dropper

      Re: No

      People who down-voted this clearly have no clue when it comes to PC gaming. There are 3 genres + one game for the PC that matter (ie sell). RTS, 3D-Shooters, MMOs and Football Manager. All of these can and do exist on mobile devices, but they're complete and utter shite compared to their PC equivalents.

      Even if these games weren't Gameboy equivalents of the real thing, the only way to play them in a way that gamers would find acceptable would be to turn your tablet into a computer, removing the entire purpose of the device.

      The input system is completely unacceptable as is the delay between input and action. To make one of these things even remotely usable as a gaming device you'd have to mount it on a stand to view the screen at angle that doesn't cause neck injuries then add a keyboard and mouse. My guess it would also require permanent tethering to a power supply as no battery currently produced could hope to handle the resouce requirements of a game that must maintain at least 100 FPS on at least a 22" screen at a resolution of no less than 1600x1200. Casual PC gamers may have lower standards, but these are the absolute minimum requirements for someone who enjoys a modern PC gaming PC.

  14. wowfood

    Sarcasm?

    Yes, that same Microsoft that blistered the existing gaming competition with the XBox, and subsequently set the standard for interactive gaming with Kinect. Microsoft may have lost its way on the internet and in mobile over the past few years, but it knows games. Windows 8, not surprisingly, is going "all in" on games.

    -----------------------------------------

    You mean the console that got blistered by the Wii, and despite being sold a year before the PS3 is only ahead in sales by 2 million. And the advantage in sales only counts in NA, since it's being outsold by 500% in japan, and 20% in the EU.

    And it set the standard for interactive gaming with Kinect, which had been set about 4 years prior to the release of Kinect by the Wii, and of course considering the number of kinect games which are effectively higher quality graphics versions of the playstation eye.

    I admit there are some (few) games that make use of kinect successfully, the 3d camera does help with image capture etc, but its an evolution on the eye-toy, and nowhere near an interactive standard (which as previously stated was clearly set by the wii)

    I mean honestly, I've seen blatent fanboyismm before but that's just silly.

    And if anyone wants to question the figures I provided, they were taken from here

    http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Sarcasm?

      The Xbox now outsells the Wii every month. Wii is a dying platform.'"We do know that the Xbox 360 led all platforms yet again in the hardware race, moving 193,000 units." http://popzara.com/pages/2545/

      I think you are confusing the Kinect with PS Move - Motion controller tracking. Which was a straight copy of the Wiii. Kinect is something entirely different with no controller and full body tracking.

      You mean its an evolution of the Xbox Live Vision Camera - which Sony copied with the PS3 Eye.

      1. wowfood
        FAIL

        Re: Sarcasm?

        On your first point, again information from VGChartz, PS3 is currently selling 14,119,093 yearly, while the 360 is only selling 13,808,365.

        So even if it's outselling the wii, it still isn't the highest selling console.

        And as for your Xbox Live Vision Camera, do you mean the peripheral which was copied from the eye-toy which predated it by 3 years?

        Please, feel free to try again, and maybe get something to back up your 'facts'

      2. Badvok
        Meh

        Re: Sarcasm?

        "You mean its an evolution of the Xbox Live Vision Camera - which Sony copied with the PS3 Eye."

        Minor correction, "... Xbox Live Vision Camera - which MS copied from the Playstation Eye-Toy (a PS2 device)."

      3. toadwarrior

        Re: Sarcasm?

        Oh wow, the 360 now outsells the wii, a system nintendo considers done and is being replaced in a couple months.

        The wii was still at 90 million units while the 360 was like at 60 million so it has some time to catch up even if the wii goes away completely tomorrow.

        The wii was horribly unpowered and lack all those "must have" features and it still creamed the 360. At this point who cares if the 360 manages to beat a dying system.

        1. wowfood

          Re: Sarcasm?

          Who even thinks it's possible? Oh wait it isn't.

          After all, the 360 is selling now what... just over 1 million units per year? So it'll still be 30million behind. Not to mention the wii has sold for a constant (and large profit) while the xbox only started turning a profit after the initial year and the PS3... Less said about that consoles profit margint the better.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Sarcasm?

      It's obviously the Apple benchmark of success, where selling less than the other platforms counts as an amazing runaway success that makes you market leader...

      Whilst what you say is true, I'm not sure I would say they were "blistered". And whilst the Wii sold more, it's still a hefty advantage have, especially when you factor in PC gaming too, and something that Apple or Google don't have.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gaming is a very niche market.

    Cue tirades of abuse from ElReg readers.

    Seriously though it is. Not everyone plays games on their computer. In the corporate world many company issued devices have their games (solitaire etc) removed and are so locked down you can't install anything. Ok in this 'always connected world' that some people seem to inhabit then online games might fit the bill but for the majority of us... anything more than a few hands of Solitaire is going to generate a 'Meh' reaction.

    I used to be into playing all sorts of RPG games but I grew out of them and have gotten a life.

    1. Reue

      Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

      I agree; not everyone plays games on their computer. However in my experience, nearly everyone does play some form of game.

      Im an enterprise admin for a large company and from our inventory software we can clearly see that everyone from the receptionist right up to the CEO have games installed on their PCs, MACs and smart phones.

      Your image of a WoW playing 16yr old gamer locked in his bedroom is outdated. Take a ride on the London underground one morning and look around at the investment bankers and business analysts playing angry birds on their phones. Gaming is mass-market.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

        Wow so you haven't locked down your kit so folks can install what they like? Isn't that basic Enterprise admin stuff?

        Hope FAST (what/whomever) doesn't pop round for a quick audit.

    2. AJB

      Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

      Ok, I'm tempted to feed the troll....

      A rather insulting post there?! Gaming is bigger than movies according to the telegraph (in 2009): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/6852383/Video-games-bigger-than-film.html

      PC Gaming is one part of that (and I'd listen to a _sensible_ argument about how big a part it is), with a lot of recent expansion thanks to mobile, facebook (games) and family friendly consoles such as the wii.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

        Statistics, statistics and ....well you know the rest.

        I'll bet that more than 50% of the population who own a computer don't go to the Moving Picture House in any given year. I'd also state that the majority of that 50% don't do anything more than playing a bit of Free Cell, Solitaire or Spider.

        Sure you can rent DVD's or stream films but most people are content with what is served up to them on FreeView/FreeSat, SKY or Virgin.

    3. jason 7 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

      Well I only have to look back over the past 20 years of PC gaming that I have been involved with to see the slow marginalisation of PC Gaming.

      When I used to walk into the Game store in Norwich (formerly the Argos store) around 1993. Three quarters of the wall space was lined with lovely black cardboard boxes of PC games. The range was staggering. So many games were coming out it was hard to keep track. The consoles (Sega and the new Playstation) took up just one wall.

      By the turn of the century it was about 50/50 PC and console. Still plenty new original titles appearing and a thriving ecosystem. Around this time we had a big leap in GPU tech which was really taking off and making games look better and better. Also the take up of internet was making LAN play more accessible. It was a fun time.

      However, now when I walk into Game the PC games have been relegated to one small rack near the stock room door. The same usual franchise suspects cluttering up the racks Crotchety 4 this Call of Wotsit 5 that.

      It really is sad to see. PC gaming seems to now revolve completely around the continual churn of around 10 core titles/franchises

      Not healthy.

      1. Goat Jam
        FAIL

        Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

        "PC gaming seems to now revolve completely around the continual churn of around 10 core titles/franchises"

        You are behind the curve.

        All the PC gaming action is happening in Steam these days and the guys who make "Orcs Must Die" would probably disagree with your sentiment vehemently.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Gaming is a very niche market.

          So I guess if we looked at the top 10 best selling list of PC games over the past 5 years we would see a list of games with no numbers after them?

          I bet 70% of them would have the number 3 or higher after them.

  16. Crisp Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Can I play Master of Orion 2 on it?

    Are you telling me that it will be easy to set up an IPX lan game?

    Are you Microsoft? Really?

    1. jason 7 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Can I play Master of Orion 2 on it?

      I'll vote for that! Hate running MoO2 on a VM since 7 came along.

  17. hplasm Silver badge
    Windows

    So now it's official?

    Windows 8 is a toy.

    1. durbans
      Thumb Up

      Re: So now it's official?

      Hey, look here everybody....we've got a funny guy!

  18. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Waiting until the end of the year 2012 to set up a cloud gaming company demonstrates just how far behind the curve M$ is.

    They will do what they always do. Go in with a monstrous budget and gain a 1-2% market share which is mostly their own employees who get free kit. When the expected thousands of paying customers predicted in their Powerpoint's do not appear immediately, some anonymous VP with an accounting background, will get nervous for his annual bonus and pull the plug. Thus leaving thousands of early adopters out in the cold.

    Silverlight, Zune, Windows Live Spaces, OS/2, Tablets (in 2002), WebTV, ad nauseum. All dead or dying, thanks to an inability of M$ to take a short term loss for a long term gain.

  19. preppy

    Slightly OT

    How did Windows 8 get to 8? Should it not be Windows 10?

    1 Windows 1.0

    2 Windows 2.0

    3 Windows 3.0

    4 Windows 95

    5 Windows 98

    6 Windows NT

    7 Windows XP

    8 Windows Vista

    9 Windows 7 <<<<< ????????????

    10 Windows 8

    1. Christine Hedley

      Re: Slightly OT

      Windows NT was initially version 3.51; its revision and Windows 2000 were version 4; XP was version 5 etc.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Slightly OT

        > Windows NT was initially version 3.51;

        The first NT was version 3.1, then 3.5, then 3.51.

    2. AJB

      Re: Slightly OT

      I thought NT was Windows 4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT_4.0)

      XP=5

      Vista=6

      7=7

      1. Mark .

        Re: Slightly OT

        Not quite:

        NT started out as 3.1 (to match with the DOS Windows versioning), before going onto later versions such as 4.

        Windows 2000 was version 5, with XP being 5.1.

        And here's the fun thing - although "7" might obviously follow on from Vista being 6, the actual version of Windows 7 is 6.1!

        I'm not sure if Windows 8 is Windows 7 or Windows 6.2 though...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly OT

          "I'm not sure if Windows 8 is Windows 7 or Windows 6.2 though..."

          It's 6.2

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slightly OT

      I can't be arsed to go through this yet again, but I'll give you a pointer: You went wrong at 6.

    4. Luke McCarthy

      Re: Slightly OT

      Windows 95, 98 and Me all reported a 4.x version number with the 'ver' command. Windows NT had parallel version numbering with the 9x series (probably for marketing reasons) until it eventually replaced it with XP.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Balmer plays the sceptic

    @Steve Balmer: "it's going to be hard to tell what's a tablet and what is a PC..."

    ...which is a roundabout way of saying that he doesn't believe in a market for appliances like the iPad. What we currently call 'tablets' - epitomised by the iPad - aren't defined simply by their form. MS tackled that form well over a decade ago, and I don't think it failed simply because the hardware wasn't up to scratch.

    The contemporary tablet is a complete break from the whole PC concept. The vast majority of people can't really cope with (or want) a general-purpose computer. The iPad is an appliance - it doesn't have the flexibility we enjoy from computers, but does what many people want with a bare minimum of effort. No anti-virus, no service-pack hassle, no IT skill/knowledge required.

    I don't think MS can really cope with the idea that its PC hegemony is reaching its twilight years. Balmer says he can't see the difference between a tablet and a PC because he doesn't want it to exist. Windows 8 can't provide an equivalent to the iPad because it's still a full-blown PC operating system - all that's changing is the form-factor. It's a severe compromise that can't excel at anything. It feels daft on the desktop and can't deliver as an appliance. As far as MS is concerned, it's all PC or bust.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Balmer plays the sceptic

      By "appliance", you mean an oversized phone, or indeed Internet tablet or media player (which is what ARM handheld computing devices were called before 2010 - there were plenty of tablets in 2009, they were just categorised as media players).

      However, you'll have a hard time explaining the crucial difference between "appliance" and computer, since people evidently want to run software on these "appliances". Is it somehow better because it's locked down? Well no, because Android is far more popular a platform on handheld "appliances".

      Today's phones and tablets are just as theoretically vulnerable from security issues and viruses. I've not seen evidence that tablets are easier to use by computer ignorant people - the people buying these things are computer literate, and in my experience, people who aren't computer literate are still more comfortable with a keyboard than a touchscreen. And tablet OSes get updates all the time, how is that any different to service packs?

      Plenty of us still want general purpose computers, but it's not clear to me how locking something down makes things *better*. An appliance is just a word people use, as a justification for why Ipads can't do hardly anything useful.

      1. veti Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Balmer plays the sceptic

        Sorry, but it's simply not true that Android is 'far more popular' than iThings. For phones, iPhone and Android sales have jockeyed each other for top spot with each major release. Given that Android has a significant price advantage, that means the iPhone is pretty damn' popular.

        And for tablets, no Android rival has come close to touching the iPad in sales, despite the cost advantage. And if you look at the two side by side, in real use scenarios, it quickly becomes obvious why that's the case. My wife has an iPad and her father has a Galaxy tablet. One of these things you just switch on and select the app you want; the other, you switch on, wait for it to boot, check for updates, select the app you want, wait for *it* to check for updates, drink your tea, and only then are you ready to do anything.

  21. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Logic fail?

    Yes, because the problem with game installs is the lack of a App store? You mean like Steam? GOG? Origin? Oh wait!

    No, it's the lack of MS to make a simple instillation/sandbox etc system for games and programs. The App store benefits can be implemented without the store. The store is a benefit in part by it's self, but the sandboxing, ease of instillation and central location for software is neither dependent nor results from the store it's self. See previous stores that lacked all those features as an example of how the store does not provide the benefits, the programmers making a great OS/delivery system does!

    1. Mark .

      Re: Logic fail?

      Windows applications could install just as easily as on phones, it's just that the writers of installers insist on asking you all sorts of mostly pointless questions.

      (Although it's a matter of debate which is better - is it better to ask you to put a shortcut on the desktop like Windows does, or is it better to do so anyway like Android does, leaving you then having to delete it? And some geeks may prefer control over things like the installation location.)

      Not sure what in particular you mean by sandboxing(?) but the security model for applications vastly improved since Vista - applications no longer have write access to wherever they like.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Logic fail?

        Well yes but MS has to get around to activating it all for everything rather than just IE.

  22. LDS Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Didn't Asay notice how MS failed totally with "Flight"?

    The last attempt MS made to turn a product into a closed platform game - transforming the open "Flight Simulator" platform - which has a healty 3rd party ecosystem - into a"Flight", a freemium product with DLCs under total MS control, failed miserably. Flight was released February 29th, and the product (and team) was shutdown last July. People playing on PCs are very different from those playing on consoles and tablets - they use more complex games often with 3rd party add-ons, commercial or free, and won't accept a "walled garden" with limited choices, often in the wrong direction. They will move to other platforms. Hope the Flight failure will teach something to the MS executives, but they're probably going to listen to some clueless consultant that talk about what they would like, not what customers like.

  23. Mark .

    "has started to fade as Apple and Android increasingly invade the enterprise through smartphone adoption"

    The idea that Windows PCs will lose out to phones in the workplace is even more barmy than the idea I should be doing my work on a 10" tablet :) (For phones, platforms other than MS have always had a good presence, long before Apple turned up late *cough* Blackberry, Symbian *cough*.)

    But yes, a good article. I had thought, given that tablets are natural for (at least some genres of) games, and MS has strength in both console gaming and PC gaming, it seems an obvious thing for them to push. Indeed, I was surprised that the Surface launch seemed so business-oriented, when an MS gaming tablet would seem perfect.

    Also very appealing for developers - currently supporting platforms like Android and IOS means dealing with completely different languages (even if they both support OpenGL, the different languages is a far bigger problem). But imagine the same C# and DirectX codebase running on XBox, Windows PCs, and x86 and ARM Windows tablets...

  24. Phil_Evans

    Um...

    Microsoft is good for me at 2 things: commodity servers/desktop OS and Exchange Server. Oh and office, too.

    They all make money. Games for MSFT and XBox in particular have always struggled (in much the same way as Sony is now finding out) and have been loss led by other revenue lines (see above).

    Microsoft is a PC company. That's it. They ported (one way) at powerful cross-platform mid-range system to become a closed and intel-fat server and desktop OS (NT), bought Exchange and SQL server (what I call the princess products) and the rest, with the exception of Office are 'also-rans'.

    In a mobile device market that is already years in front of them, Microsoft again think that re-inventing another round thing will make a huge difference to that market's inertia and momentum. It won't. Games have become cross platform, with Steam being clear evidence of having no respect for heritage in the face of ready money and market share.

    Only Microsoft believes that tilting at another windmill will change this. Like Zune. And Windows Mobile. And Media Centre. And Internet Explorer. Etc...All priced to compete but with no interest.

    When you're good at stacking bricks, build houses.

  25. mike acker
    Linux

    Bad decisions trace back to the 5150

    MSFT has been built on decisions that can be traced back to the IBM 5150. The 5150 was intended to compete with Atari, PDP8s, 11s, Comedores, Vic 20s. A different line of development, these machines were intended to be easy to modify. and they succeeded in that and no one can deny that that has resulted in a lot of program development

    but to use such machines for sensitive applications -- which deal with money or sensitive information -- you need a machine for which you can assert exclusive control. that was not a design objective with the early toy computers. the issue wasn't addressed at MSFT until 1-15/2002 when Gates wrote his now famous letter re. security to be Job 1.

    the makers of android are facing this problem today having learned nothing from the debauch of windows...

    we may well be poised upon a new doorway where we will recognize that it important to have 2 types of computers: one type for play -- another for use with commercial or sensitive information requirements. The later will not be a derivitive of the 5150/Windows line: it'sd too late to correct them.

  26. jonathan keith
    FAIL

    MS and Windows gaming

    Microsoft have managed to fuck up every aspect of gaming on windows machines that they are able to. For example;

    Closing their MS Flight Simulator studio and killing Flight Sim, putting out a pitiful free-to-play microtransaction-driven "game with aeroplanes in it", wondering why no-one used it and then killing that too.

    "Games For Windows Live". A cataclysmic fuck up that still, after years, is an abomination. The conspiracy theory is that MS wanted to make PC gaming such an unpleasant experience that everyone would end up buying Xboxes.

    Having the rights to magnificent titles such as the MechWarrior series that they just sat on for years and didn't use.

    And a million and one other bits of PC games-related fuckwittery. The people who make their strategic decisions are just clueless, which is tragic because there have been some genuine masterpieces released from their studios.

  27. schnide

    "..and subsequently set the standard for interactive gaming with Kinect."

    Complete tripe.

  28. Alistair MacRae

    I think Microsoft is trying to unify products.

    If you look at how Microsoft has been behaving it looks like it’s trying to make all its products appear more unified.

    They change Hotmail to outlook. They Create the Windows 8 OS for phones. They mirror that with the metro interface on the PC side of Windows 8 and then match it with their tablet.

    Their new Xbox will be called the Xbox Infinity. Symbolised with an 8 on its side (see Microsoft buying up URLs of xbox8).

    I think it’s not a bad idea but I just hate the way it looks on the desktop.

    If I were Microsoft I would have windows 8 for the PC keep the standard desktop interface as we've always had with the option to use the Metro interface with an icon or key press.

    Then have the Metro settings for the interface sync by cloud across all devices so you're looking at the same screen whatever device you're using phone, computer, tablet, or Xbox.

    That is really where Microsoft strength is, having it finger in all the pies.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Thorfkin

    @Matt Asay

    Wow, this article is littered with bad information.

    >> Yes, that same Microsoft that blistered the existing gaming competition with the XBox,

    What're you smoking?! Microsoft and Sony tied for second place this generation and Microsoft barely qualified as a competitor in the previous one. Nintendo wiped the floor with both of them this generation for both market penetration and profitability.

    >> and subsequently set the standard for interactive gaming with Kinect.

    All gaming is interactive! That's the whole point!! Microsoft did NOT set the standard or even come close to it. It was only a few days ago that I read an review of Kinect and how no serious gamer would even consider waving their arms around to try and play an PRG or ANY game that requires quick reflexes. Kinect was knee-jerk reaction to Nintendo's success with the Wii just as Sony's Move is. No serious gamer uses it.

    >> Valve CEO Gabe Newell called Windows 8 a "catastrophe" for gaming, citing the Metro interface and Microsoft's closed app store.

    I wouldn't call Microsoft's app store a catastrophe because it's closed. I would call it bad for end users. I understand what Microsoft is trying to do but from an end user perspective they don't seem to realize that what they're doing is fragmenting the DRM landscape. Having a central gateway in the form of Steam made it obnoxious but grudgingly acceptable to work with DRM laden software. But every additional gateway that gets added to the landscape makes DRM in general more obnoxious and less acceptable. Microsoft isn't helping here.

    >> The former concern is overblown - you don't have to use the Metro interface if you don't want to

    It's not overblown! Metro is shit for anyone running a desktop computer and most hardcore PC gamers do so on a custom built desktop machine. To my knowledge you don't have the option to turn Metro off without using third party software to accomplish it. I could cope with the new start screen but every application's insistence on running in full screen metro mode is very much a catastrophe.

    I like how fast and well optimized Windows 8 is but Microsoft really screwed up with the Metro interface. They made the OS completely unusable on most net-books and even on any machine running at 720p resolution (My HTPC) by artificially setting an unacceptable minimum resolution.

    As usual you appear to have absolutely no idea what you're talking about Matt.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: @Matt Asay

      I've been using Windows 8 now on my desktop for a few months now.

      I hardly use Metro and find that I keep forgetting I'm using 8. Works fine and if you check back I was one of the truly WTF???!!! folks when it first came out.

      Too many emotionally stunted tech types getting their knickers in a twist.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Say what?

    "Given this worldview, Microsoft can't help but get into "PC" gaming in a big way, because there's no such thing as PC gaming or tablet gaming or mobile gaming. It's all the same thing."

    All the same thing?

    Erm, no, it's pretty radically different.

    The difference is the *interface* - and my word, that can make a *whole* lot of difference.

    It's the reason so many PC or Console games don't translate to the mobile space, most especially touch enabled devices.

    That statement is like saying an RPG is the same as an FPS, or Pac Man is the same as Doom.

    And another statement which makes no damn sense at all:

    " don't expect Microsoft to make Windows 8 anything less than an exceptional gaming platform"

    You would, I suspect, be talking about *mobile* gaming here, as it's blindingly obvious to anyone who has tried the consumer preview, that Windows 8 on the Desktop for gaming is effectively exactly the same as Windows 7. And yes, that would make it an exceptional gaming platform by default.

    What it doesn't mean is that mobile devices running windows 8 will make an exceptional gaming platform - that's all down to the consumer adoption and the creation of games for mobile devices running windows 8.

    We all know mobile devices can live or die based on the apps available for them and Microsoft has yet to prove itself in that arena.

  32. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    more as a devices-and-services company.

    Microsoft have a history of having 'partners' until they want the revenue their partners have built up.

    MS also seem to want to be more like Apple, they want to sell services and these may subsidize devices, just like happened with XBox (which is still several billion in the red). The OEMs and retailers would not be able to compete if MS subsidized Surface with, say, a 2 year services contract. I suspect that they do not want to build WP8 phones against Nokia being given $1billion to take their market (but may be forced to by 'loyalty' discounts).

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of bollocks.

    "set the standard for interactive gaming with Kinect"

    They set the standard for bullshitting about sales figures and prelaunch hype for a peripheral that barely works and has virtually no games worth playing....

  34. jnffarrell1

    How to influence enterprise management

    If you really want to influence management into believing in vibrant future relationship with Microsoft, put your gaming skills to work in your skunk works. Build a Windows controlled 4xHDTV screen with no touchscreen and let a CIO get what he needs from MS office apps via voice and gestures using some gaming technology.

    If the manager really wanted to be a data entry clerk he'd fire his administrative assistant. Dump the keyboard, respect the human interface and save Microsoft.

  35. h3

    Re: Android controllers.

    There is a fair few different ones available. Most interesting though are the Tegra branded ones (The onlive bluetooth one is supported natively probably the simplest to use). My zeemote allows me to play metal slug 3 on my Xoom but it only works with its own specifically supported apps. (Unless you use something like bluezime).

    Re: Xbox

    It is not Sony that is enough. (I am alright with MS or Nintendo). But been lied to enough times by Sony that I will never buy anything of theirs again.

  36. veti Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The story makes it sound like Microsoft is setting itself up for another Zune moment - making strategic decisions based entirely on its palpable envy of Apple. Ballmer wants every PC to be indistinguishable from an iPad.

    Yeah... not gonna happen. The iPad is so good precisely *because* it's *not* a general-purpose computer. There's a tradeoff between functionality and usability, and for 30 years Microsoft has consistently shown itself unwilling to face up to that, always trying to have it both ways.

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