Re: It just keeps getting better,
"I'm already having schadenfreude overload watching the Fox Newsies cry about the election, now I get to watch the Surface pull itself apart?"
Why do you enjoy seeing other people have problems?
4610 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008
"I'm already having schadenfreude overload watching the Fox Newsies cry about the election, now I get to watch the Surface pull itself apart?"
Why do you enjoy seeing other people have problems?
"I would buy a Nexus 7 that was currently on fire before any sort of Surface"
Well if you actually meant that, I would happily buy a series of Nexus 7's, set fire to them and exchange them on a one to one basis for SurfaceRTs with you and by your value system you would be coming out ahead. But I suspect you don't actually mean that. If you do, just let me know... ;)
"That simply means there is a vertical axis. Which end of that axis is 'up' or 'down' is merely convention."
But either way, there is an up and a down whichever is which. So the original point is right. Or would if they hadn't misunderstood "cap" to mean a type of head-clothing, rather than in the sense of things that "cap" the ends of something.
"The 10 people interested in the Lumia 920, are making the same sounds at the 12 people that were interested in the Lumia 900, and look how that turned out for them."
Extraordinary that at the time of posting, it seems six of the those ten people have already downvoted you. What are the chances that so many of the nation's ten people interested in this phone would be El Reg readers and present on this story?
Aside from the visualization of memories (maybe it seemed plausible to them back then), the plot is a masterpiece of believability. Modern horror relies primarily on scaring the audience directly - I guess it is easier to show a monster in a mirror or hurl an unexpected body at the camera. But the film version of Quatermass and the Pit provokes fear by making us emphathize with the characters and scaring them.
Both the face and the voice of that workman, confused beyond belief by what he was seeing, has stayed with me a long time:
Quatermass: "What colour is the sky, man? The sky! What colour is it?"
Workman: "...brown..." (goes to pieces).
It's nice to have a change from all those Reg headlines that state "male hacker arrested". Oh wait, The Reg never does actually specify gender unless they think they can get a few extra clicks by printing the word "female". So when do the Reg and the Daily Mail finally complete their merger?
You should have quite while you were behind.
"Were any laws actually broken?"
That's for the court to decide but as she's not actually one of Morgan Stanley's customers, I'd say that severely diminishes her ability to sue them. They give advice to their clients and if a third party gets hold of that advice and acts on it, I'm not sure she has a legal basis to sue.
I started off being semi-sympathetic when reading this story (even though I and many others were all pointing out that Facebook was a disaster waiting to happen and everyone should have been clearly warned by it's insane P/E ratio). But that sympathy took a second substantial hit when I saw that the figure sued for includes $1million for suffering. No doubt it was really horrible thinking she'd lost all that money, but (a), it's a pretty ill-defined thing to sue for and (b), if you invest $1,000,000 dollars and a shareprice drop wipes out $100,000 (the compensatory damages figure), you still have $900,000 which is a figure many of us would like to have.
"IE isn't a desktop app in Win8RT."
I'm literally running IE on a SurfaceRT right now. Check your facts before trying to correct someone.
"Also you're an astroturfer, so I hope you got paid for that post."
No, I'm not. False accusations as a way of discrediting someone's argument (particularly when it's a factual argument that can be checked and found that I am right), is a pretty poor means of conducting yourself.
"Linux distros should not be using it, it's controversial due to patents, and it is not needed by most. It can always be an option in the repos for those that want it. Personally I always uninstall Mono."
Same here. Increasingly programs are designed to be web-based. Therefore cross-platform compatability can matter a lot less than it used to. It doesn't matter to the client whether your program is running in PHP, ASP or Python. When you do want to write something cross-platform, Python is a lovely language.
"Win8RT is to Win8 what iOS is to OSX, except that you can run Win8RT apps under Win8."
WinRT is a lot more fully-featured than iOS from what I've seen. For one easy example, can you run a multiple windowed Office suite on iOS?
"Its stripped-down version of Office uses the desktop, nothing else is allowed to. Presumably a tacit admission that TIFKAM simply isn't suitable for non-trivial applications"
IE can still run on the Desktop, as does file manager, control panel, the vastly improved Task Manager... As to "non-trivial applications", is a browser non-trivial? An email client? Probably there will be a MUI version of Office one day, but re-coding the whole thing to run that way must be an epic task.
Didn't we just do this dance in the last article's comments section with you trying to find all sorts of reasons why Powershell was inferior and Windows was rubbish? Having cut my teeth on HP UNIX 11 over a decade ago and been working on Unix or Linux platforms of one kind or another pretty much ever since, I find it rather patronising to be told that if I look at UNIX I "might even understand why those advanced features of Power Shell are essentially useless." Seeing as on Monday you didn't even understand some of the features of Power Shell and were commenting that it was rubbish even then, you seem to have merely made up your mind and now adopted the position that maybe it can do some new things, but they're rubbish so you're still right.
I've used Bash and I've used Bourne before it and have been doing so for a long time. Power Shell has taken that and built on it with some nice new ideas as well. Maybe a couple of years down the line Linux will take some of the features Windows has brought in and incorporate them, just as MS have built on the design ideas of Bash. It's called progress. And your patronizing comment on how if we read more about Unix we'd value that progress less, is pretty much insulting to the principles that made UNIX what it is.
"if they weren't backed into a corner, would they have completely sidelined the interface they've been working on since, well since they gave it the name Windows?"
You have an unusual definition of the word "completely" seeing as the Desktop is still there and all the programs that were working on Windows 7 are still usable in Win 8 in the same way on any desktop machine.
"C++ to parse "semi-structured" data? You must be a masochist. "
He's willing to wade into the pigsty and argue with all of us zealots, fanboys and general nutters. I'm going with masochist.
(Nice article, btw, even if I disagreed with several parts).
I note the use of the word "if" in your last sentence there. Whilst it's not about absolute numbers as you point out, nor is it entirely about the delta. The fact that Microsoft products are ubiquitous means that there is a steady turn over of opportunities regardless of whether it rises or falls. For developers in the UK and USA, by far the largest factor in availability of opportunities is the coming online of India and other nations. Something that both increases the size of the market, but also impacts on local developers due to pay differentials between countries.
The total install also includes MS Office Preview edition (Excel, Word, Powerpoint). And a lot of apps on WinRT are already integrated and installed on the system so those are included also.
"I get the impression (partially from the lack of discounting) that Apple offer nearly zero margins and people only stock them to try to sell some accessories/warranty with them. I don't think MS will get away with that trick!"
Good. Nor should Apple. But at least neither is actually subsidized. What I'd really like to see is the same tear-down analysis applied to things like the new Kindle or that Chromebook, so we can see exactly how much money Google and Amazon need to get back from people in order to break even on these things.
I actually have a Surface. Been using it for over a week now. Honestly, the screen is fine. Everything is very clear and it's extremely easy to read text on it. Haven't used it for video much yet, but it's good so far.
"So, in the case of upgrades, things should be different (I hope!)."
They are. The WIndows 8 certification is essentially the sticker that OEMs can put on their machines or their websites saying: 'approved for Windows 8' or words to that effect. It's not actually required for a machine to run Windows 8, it's just required if you want to say you have MS's blessing on your new machine. Just like you could download and install Vista on an old machine, but even if it runs, an OEM wouldn't be allowed to market something with the same specs as a "Vista machine" because they'd be below what MS specifies.
"Would I be right in assuming you're hired by microsoft as a web based PR guy?"
Aryah Goretsky is the author of the white paper which the article you've just read is about. You did read the article, right? Not just race to the comments section to make accusations of conspiracy?
"Now, does it need "root" or hardware access to be installed? If yes, why should an attacker bother with that. If he has root access he already won."
Because the attacker wants the malware to persist on the system and therefore it must be installed somewhere that it can be run and run again. The attacker does not want to trick the user into granting privileges (for a trojan) or have the visitor visit an exploit containing site every time that they want to subvert the purpose of the PC. You may only get one shot at the PC so you use that access to install your malware.
"The "invisibility", which is pointless as it's common sense to boot virus scanners from a separate removable disk, doesn't bring much advantage to the attacker."
It's not common at all to launch virus scanners from a separate removable disk, it's so massively inconvenient to most users that it also wouldn't be done and unless you're actually booting from the separate removable disk, then you only have the boot processes word that it is launching the anti-virus software on the other disk correctly. And if you are booting from the removable disk then who is to say that this wont get infected? All you have done is put your boot partition somewhere less convenient and gained nothing.
"So how much code does it take to read an object of a pipe in power shell? How much code does it take in Pascal, or Fortran, or Cobol? Then think how much software supports the power shell?"
"object of a pipe"? The objects are what is passed. I honestly don't know what you're trying to say. Are you trying to say that Bash is better because there is less source code than in powershell or that the binaries are smaller? Quite possibly as powershell does some things that Bash cannot. But it's a strange criteria to assess things on else you might as well say that Bash is inferior to the Bourne shell because it's larger, even though it's a lot more capable. And really, why are you trying to find reasons why Bash is better than Powershell in the first place? You should look at two things and work out which is most suited to a purpose, not decide and then look at them to find ways to make them fit your conclusion. Or are you trying to say that you could emulate the object passing in Bash. I don't believe you can - not in any short, elegant or flexible way.
"The beauty of the Unix shell is that it is programming language agnostic. I can read the data with scanf in C or readln in Pascal without any extra work. It simply works with the standard input facility in your programming language. Nothing needs to be ported"
Bash has its own scripting language. That's all that you can use to write a "Bash script". When you call an executable from a Bash script or from the CLI, you're running an executable. That much is the same as in Power Shell. It's no different in principle if I write a script in Bash that calls Python or some other program, than it is if I write a script in Power Shell that calls Python or some other program. You're not under the impression that you wouldn't be able to pass a string with Power Shell, are you? What exactly is it you think can't be done or requires "porting" for Power Shell. And why is that a major issue for most people? It makes as much sense as me saying Bash is inferior to Power Shell because Bash doesn't have native support for .NET. Different environments, different user bases and in both cases, little to do with the relative merits of the shells themselves.
Seriously, where is this obsession with OS vs. OS and trying to prove Bash is better than Power Shell? A question was asked "name one thing that Power Shell can do that Bash can't". Well there are a number of things so I picked a couple of the more interesting. Now you just keep posting more and more bizarre stuff in an attempt to show Power Shell is inferior.
"This is my point: Secure Boot is a solution looking for a problem"
There are whole families of malware that work by infecting the boot process and which Secure Boot protects against.
"Surely if the OS is secure, it will be impossible for something to write to the boot sector?"
If you make it impossible to write to the boot sector, how do you ever install or upgrade your OS? I note that you are replying to Richto's comment about Win8 RTM being immune to the exploit "CVE-2012-0159". I'm not sure how you got from that to never being able to write to the boot sector from within the OS.
"My beef with PowerShell, regardless of how actually good the language is, is that it is often shoved in my face as the Microsoft answer to the Bourne shell common on Unix variants."
How is it "shoved in your face"? It's not being installed on any Unix or Linux systems so far as I know so it's only superceding cmd.exe and batch files on Windows. If you're one of the very small fraction that install cygwin, well, Powershell doesn't magically appear in place of whatever other tools you've installed. You make it sound as if MS are installing it in place of Bash. (And you keep referring to Bourne shells. - Bourne was replaced with Bash a long time since). If by "shoved in your face" you mean that Windows users are saying there is now something equivalent on Windows, well I'm sorry to inform you, but they are right.
"The two are nothing alike. Bourne shell is popular for one reason, it is everywhere. Just about every Unix and Unix-clone you can think of, will come with some variant of the Bourne shell."
No. Bash is popular because it's a good tool. And again, what has popularity to do with comparing the features of Power Shell and Bash? You seem to just want to indulge in OS vs. OS wars. Which is just damaging and unprofitable.
"By all means, include a "better" script shell. But for heaven's sake include something that is backward compatible with what everyone else uses!"
If someone can manage Bash, they can manage Power Shell. There's very little to be gained by trying to make a shell environment on Windows 7 and 8 backwards compatible with a shell commonly used on a very different platform. It wouldn't even be possible without limiting Power Shell from some of its nicest features (e.g. the passing of fully typed objects through a pipe).
"Relationship between MS and manufacturers poisons the Forum."
Honestly - someone says MS produce UEFI. I point out that it's actually an open project of numerous hardware manufacturers, but no - MS have poisoned them all.
"When you say this, it sounds positive to you?"
Yes it does. I want to see Red Hat and other distributions maintain security parity with Windows. Competition is good. If MS are willing to sell their signing services to Red Hat for cheaper than it would cost Red Hat to manage all the infrastructure and process themself, that is a good thing.
"You really need to keep your systems up to date, otherwise you are sure to be vulnerable."
That's what it really comes down to. Ultimately, I would take a well maintained Red Hat server over a poorly managed Server 2012 every time. And vice versa. A little less OS-zealotry and a bit more recognition that no OS is perfect, would go a long way on these forums.
"While UEFI is not a fatal block to installing Linux on a PC, computer manufacturers should have told Microsoft in no uncertain terms that while the basic technology to prevent boot sector viruses and the like is a good thing, no version of it would go into production that was not 100% operating-system-neutral, that didn't put Windows and any other operating system offered for x86 computers on an absolutely equal footing."
There are a number of fundamental misconceptions in the above. Firstly, UEFI is not the same thing as Secure Boot, any more than Car is the same thing as Steering Wheel. UEFI is a replacement for BIOS. Secure Boot is one of many features that the UEFI spec supports. UEFI is not a block to Linux. It actually provides features that Linux already takes advantage of, such as GUID Partition Table. This fundamental misunderstanding in your post makes me strongly want to tell you that you need to go back and read more about this stuff before you comment.
Another big misconception in the above is that Microsoft is responsible for UEFI. The UEFI Forum is made up of all the major hardware manufacturers and some OS representatives such as MS. UEFI comes from Lenovo, Samsung, Apple, HP, Toshiba, AMD, Intel and all these hardware manufacturers. Microsoft are merely one of the first to make use of Secure Boot. No Linux distribution is really taking advantage of it but they should. (Red Hat and Ubuntu are using it for their boot loader, but not more than that). Secure Boot is useful and contrary to your post, it is OS neutral. Any OS producer could go to any hardware manufacturer and get their software signed. Red Hat has gone to Microsoft to get signed because Microsoft will do it cheaper for them. Also, MS have required Secure Boot to be disableable by the user on x86 as a condition for Win8 certification. You may not like this, but MS's requirement protects Linux against being closed off.
"As that did not happen, government intervention will now be required."
Your initial argument is based on misunderstandings, so the above conclusion is not shown.
"But Linux doesn't make profits with which to pay for an antitrust lawsuit."
An antitrust suit would fail because it would be groundless. Secondly, Red Hat has an annual revenue of $1.1bn, I have no idea how much SuSE's owners make. Linux is profitable.
"bare-metal hypervisors, like ESXi from VMware, I presume, aren't locked out (or turning off UEFI is no issue for them because hypervisors don't get directly attacked)."
Both parts of the above show a serious lack of understanding of how either Secure Boot or hypervisors or both, work. Seriously, and politely, you don't have the knowledge to be commenting on this and should do some more reading on how it all works.
"Name just one thing you can do with PS that you can't do with a standard UNIX/Linux equivalent."
Powershell has in-built support for digitally signed executables. I.e. it can refuse to run an executable if the signature does not check out. To do the same in Bash, I would (I think) have to write a bash script that pre-calculated and looked up the signature first. Essentially an executable launcher script. It's kind of an extra security layer on top of file permissions.
The pipe in Powershell is subtly different to that in Bash which probably wouldn't be apparent immediately but has some nice utility. The Bash pipe just passes bare output onto the next process (creating a separate process as it does so). Powershell is actually passing objects which can be queried as such. So not only can the receiving process that you pipe your output to query the type of input for verification that it's sensible, it enables you to pass complex structures to the next process. So I can have a process that spits out objects and pipes them to the next process which handles their attributes (or even calls methods on those objects). Whereas doing the same with Bash would involve a big mess of Awk to generate something functionaly equivalent where it were possible at all.
For a lot of usage, Powershell and Bash (I haven't compared to other shells because I don't really know them and Bash is what people use), are going to be the same. Richto is correct to say that Powershell is more powerful and flexible than Bash. It could equally then be asked what can Bash do that Powershell cannot? But OS vs. OS flamewars are not helpful. Quite frankly, I doubt that we would see Powershell if there had not been the UNIX shells to study, consider and emulate. Every OS moves things forward bit by bit and that's good for all of us. It's not wrong that MS have taken the UNIX shell concepts and made some improvements on them. Other OS's will probably do the same in turn. Personally, I've started to use Python or PHP as a scripting language on Linux these days. (PHP where Python isn't available). Things move on.
"But MS has been so good to allow us to have MS built in to the firmware's security, or to turn it off. How nice of them. Now you want to have a feature that you, a mere user, can use as you see fit AND have it turned on at the same time? You ungrateful bastard."
How exactly are you supposed to sign an OS without the private key. And if the private key is public, how is the security of Secure Boot not compromised?
"The reality is that the competition now faces having to instruct the hapless user into doing extradoubleplus scary things in the bios before they can have a go at a non-redmondian OS. "
If Linux has now reached the point that disabling a "BIOS" option (clue: UEFI is not BIOS) is seen as "extradoubleplus scary", then it's dumbing down is complete. It's pretty much the same as swapping the boot device is and we all managed that for many years. Good grief.
I just want to say that this is awesome and exactly the sort of thing that the world should contain.
This exists for Chrome. I'm presuming for Firefox also. It uses a technique called "Source Mapping" which comes from Mozilla (which is why I presume it exists for Mozilla also). Here is the implementation for Chome:
It's very clever and it lets you debug the TypeScript source code from the running Javacsript. It's one of those things that makes me smile just to see such an elegant solution. The designers of TypeScript built the mapping into it for just this purpose, though as far as I'm aware, only Chrome and Firefox have it implemented so far. (Which should also help drive home to some of the more zealous anti-MS posters here that TypeScript is actually an open standard despite their paranoia).
"The problem with every highlevel language is that you can't know what happens inside the blackboxes you use to build the lego system application"
"What about the many developers that don't user windows at all, or not use a windows IDE?"
The very post you are replying to says that MS have provided it for vi and emacs. And it's an open standard. There's nothing to stop anyone on any platform coming along and adding it to their IDE.
"The music industry is basically dead because of the way record labels handled, or didn't handle, advances in technology and a shift in user / customer habits."
You mean not paying for stuff?
I too would like to see more GNU/Linux presence. But I think the biggest rival to GNULinux adoptation on the Desktop, laptop and elsewhere, is actually going to be Android. Android has seized the territory that is the natural expansion area of GNU/Linux. There are even Android-specfic features now being back-ported into the Linux kernel.
KDE is a fine piece of work. It's a more customizable than Gnome by the end user, too. The author writes that the transition from KDE3 to 4 was "bumpy". Well that wasn't the developer's fault. They brought out version 4 so that everyone could get started with it, learn it. It was a major overhaul so that was necessary. They explicitly stated that this was the reason to do so and that people should normally stay on three. And yet hundreds of angry people kept posting about how it didn't work for them or that it didn't have X or Y and that their system was broken. It made me angry at the time, and the idiotic whining of it still makes me annoyed today. KDE4 was a fantastic overhaul to KDE3 bringing in a really solid new foundation for a lot of future development. Gnome ducked facing that and continued with it's iterative approach. And as to Unity - a brave effort but it didn't manage the jump - ending up on neither side of the canyon but falling to its death in the middle.
"It's the only model Microsoft understands. If you want to develop software for Windows, become a well-funded business and buy the required proprietary software and annual licences**. "
Or in less hyperbolic terms, a copy of Windows, the free edition of Visual Studio and a small registration fee for the marketplace if you want to sell via that. If you don't like the free edition of Visual Studio, use something else. You don't have to use it, its just that most people do. You should check your facts before launching into a rant.
"Unless they pony up $99, in which case it's entirely unprotected. That doesn't protect anything from anybody, but it is a tax on ownership."
I wrote "users". Plural. Not a particular user. It should be very clear from what I've written what I'm talking about. US$99 protects users in general because it prevents the vast, vast majority of devices from being open to unapproved software. In a way that your tickbox does not. This is pretty much uncontestable. The entire history of malware on Windows illustrates that.
"I understand your post. You're just highly wrong"
The above comment about how a single user might pay US$99 and make their phone unprotected makes it clear that you did not understand what I wrote. Else you wouldn't have talked about the single user unprotecting their phone.
"and you're assuming by "developers" I mean "big software house that pays developers" and not "a guy who wants to make an app".
No I am not. Not even remotely. That's why I very clearly talked about a really, really small app. Something that one person could crank out in a month. Does that sound like I mean a "big software house"? I chose that example particularly because I wanted to be inclusive. My example was very obviously your "person who wants to make an app." And whether they are paid by an employer who shoulders these costs, or they're freelance and pay them themselves, US$99 is a mere incidental cost compared to others in developing even a simple app. Really, if you are that unfamiliar with the costs involved in a development project, then you shouldn't be trying to argue so stridently on this. Look again at my post. Firstly, you plainly didn't understand it as you addressed a point that I didn't make. Secondly, I provided illustrative figures which are real world figures. You've just skipped over them entirely because they're inconvenient to your point and introduced your own more emotive references to "toilet paper" and "a guy trying to write an app". Seeing as it'll probably take the more casual programmer a month before they're even ready to test on a phone, I'm just not seeing the issue. By that point, they ought to have a good idea whether they are serious about releasing their product or not and be able to budget the $99 if they want to test on a real phone (as opposed to the emulator which you keep trying to side-step as a solution).
"Standard API calls, allowing me to replace the library which handles those call. The same way I can pick-and-choose which CODEC library handles the decoding of a specific encode. Or which program gets called to handle the file I just double-clicked on (OK, that last one's stretching the simile a bit)."
"So.. you have a tickbox, like Android. USB debugging disabled until the user specifically asks for it."
Again, you misunderstand. It is about protecting the device from the users. If there is a tickbox that the users can click, then the device is not protected from the users. Please re-read my previous post to save me just writing the same thing again in different words. I got it right the first time and I see no need to say the same thing again phrased differently.
"As to $99 being incidental, we're not all EA."
Your point becomes more ridiculous through repetition. Let us take a small application. Let us say that it takes one person one month to write. A very conservative example as a concession to you so you can't claim I'm using inflationary figures. Let us cost the developer time at £25 per hour. If you're employing someone then even if they're less than £20 per hour, you have costs as an employer on top of that. If you're self employed, then allow me to introduce you to things like unpaid leave, etc. Really, I'm being a bit generous with the £25 per hour cost. I have staff who cost me a lot more than that. Again, I just want to deny you any opportunity to say I'm using exaggerated numbers to win my point. The developer works thirty-five hours a week for four weeks. That's £3,500 in staff costs. For a month. And you are trying to say that US$99 for a developer licence is not an incidental. I haven't even touched on marketing, leave, equipment, utilities, office space. The point that was made was that developers would be dissuaded to another platform because of the $99 developer licence. That is absurd.
Just to add, I get where you're coming from. I remember when reading that you couldn't develop for Apple devices without paying for the privelge and thinking that was downright offensive. My primary Desktop at home was Linux at the time, though. Maybe I've shifted position over time, but I just don't see the $99 fee as anything I care about any more. And at least you still can develop for Windows without it. You don't need it for Desktop and technically you don't need it for the phones, you can use the emulator. If you already have a touch device, that should work.
"Really? I would think just a simple username/password attached to an admin account would work."
You misunderstand. The aim is not to secure the device from other people, but to secure it from the typical user which leads to masses of untested, unverified software going round everywhere. Effectively, there are two levels of cost - normal, and normal + $99 for the open device. Obviously *you* are happy with having the device open to unapproved software and that's a supportable position. But similarly there are consequences if it isn't. The entire history of Windows on the Desktop shows that quite clearly.
"That or just not lending your device to all and sundry. Don't make excuses for Microsoft trying to monetize the shit out of everything. A fee is entirely unnecessary to allow someone to do what they want with what they own."
Well that's a fair point. I'm just stating that if someone wishes to develop software, this cost is pretty much an incidental. And they don't even need to pay it until quite late in the process so it doesn't discourage the casual developer or learner. It's a small cost to a developer or company, but has a significant effect on the ecosystem. Good or bad, not 100% either, imo. But depends where you're coming from. I just object to it being waved around as some conclusive advantage for one platform over another. No remotely serious app developer chooses their platform based on a developer licence cost of $99. They do it on potential market, availability of expertise, niceness of the development environment, integration with existing projects sometimes. But not that fee. It's an irrelevance for the purposes it was used for in this debate. That's my point.
" The clue is in the word "express", and it doesn't mean fast... it means cut down..."
So if you're not happy with the very nice free version of Visual Studio (have you actually used it much?) then use something else. It's not as though you're forced to use Visual Studio. You can write Windows code in a text editor if you want to!
"Not good enough. If you check the details on the offer you'll notice that you don't simply apply and pay $ 8,-. No, instead MS charges the regular fee of $100,- and will credit $91,- to your credit card. Sorry but that really doesn't appeal to me at the very least. Why all the hassle? "
It's hardly a big hassle. Make a payment once and forget about it. The result in both effort and cost is the same . $8 = $0 - $100 + $92. If some internal process makes that simpler for MS, I don't care. And I think only someone who is actively looking for objections would see this as a barrier.
"I'd be happy to apply for $8,- but that's not how it works."
It is to all intents and purposes so honestly, I don't really believe you.
"However, how is a 32" not-touch monitor going to emulate multi-touch? Or non-mocked GPS? Accelerometers? Gyroes? Cameras? Any of the myriad extra bits of hardware on a real phone or tablet?"
Then get a touch enabled monitor or device. MS are not going to buy your development hardware for you. Really, it's pretty much necessary that there be some barrier such as a fee, to stop anything being installed on a device by anyone otherwise the whole security model collapses. A development licence is one way to do that and $99 is a pittance in terms of development costs. I've charged more than that for just an hours work. Any professional has costs that render this insignificant. And for the amateur who just wants to dip their toe in, as pointed out there is a virtual environment.
"That and emulators have a tendency to run like frozen pigshit uphill in Winter compared with the real hardware. "
Really? You think a modern multi-core x86 computer with double or more the RAM cannot easily emulate a low-memory ARM device? I haven't used the WP8 emulator, but unless you have, I see no reason to believe the above statement.
"That to was register as a dev, not to unlock the phone. How much is it to unlock the phone?"
On the other hand, MS also provide a complete virtualised phone to develop against. So you don't technically need an unlocked phone to develop. Besides £90 is a very small part of the cost of developing new software.
I was at a presentation on Server 2012 a few months back and there were around maybe two-hundred people in the audience. When Hyper-V came up, the hands all started to rise and there were lots of questions along the lines of "we do this with VMWare - can this do that...?"
The answer previously has usually been no. But now the answer is 'yes'. I think there's a lot of people who were with VMWare because it was the only option. Certainly there was a very big buzz of interest at the conference. I've never costed up either solution for a big business, but technically Hyper-V is very impressive.
"'m an 'RPM hater' (for over 10 years now I've avoided any system that uses them) so couldn't possibly comment on RHEL/CentOS etc. But I feel confident in saying that there are better alternatives for the Ubuntu refugee."
Debian. It's what Ubuntu is based on. And I'm with you on RPMs.
Interesting advice. Are you yourself risking your money by shorting MS or is this just advice for other people's money? Because if the former, I think you're rather brave given the continued positive sales of Win7 and general positive feedback and coverage of Win8, RT and WP8. And if you're not willing to risk your money on this, do you think it's good to advise others to do so?
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