* Posts by EtonBears

14 posts • joined 16 Feb 2010

Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8


Re: Why call it Windows?

Ummm, I think it was the other way round. MSDOS/PCDOS were designed to be DRDOS compatible. I think Microsoft would call it IP theft these days ( at least when others do it ). It was my understanding that the court compensation was for the IP theft, but I might not be remembering correctly.

The current Windows has nothing to do with that, of course, as it is based on NT, which was designed by someone hired from DEC with a background in more serious computing. Although I suspect W10 is now more of a mess internally than when NT was first designed.


Re: Multiple desktops

I actually use Linux more than Windows, but I can't say the experience is any more exhilarating.

Yes, Microsoft are copying good ideas from Xerox PARC in the 1980s, just as Apple and various versions of UNIX/Linux have. Yes, the desktop interfaces of Windows, Mac and UNIX/Linux all ape each other, and no, none of them are particularly good.

And if you think Linux distributions are static, you haven't been paying attention. Subsystems get argued about and changed on a regular basis, and there just as many ( if not more ) bizarre ways to write application as under Windows.

The truth is that all modern OSs are roughly comparable, and very few people actually make a conscious buying decision. Apple Macs/Macbooks comes with MacOS X installed, most commercial PCs/Laptops come with Windows installed, usually at no direct cost to the purchaser. People that build their own PCs often choose Linux or a free UNIX.

Outside of the PC/Laptop arena, the Microsoft technology ( which is mostly business focussed ) is just ignored, as there are so many better options for device makers, none of whom want to be controlled by Microsoft in the new markets.

Microsoft have gone from a position of market control in personal computer devices, to a position of near irrelevance, which was the cause of the Windows 8 panic/design mess. Their business model has always revolved around tying all hardware together with Windows whilst ignoring/excluding other software platforms, so Windows 10 needs to do everything that any other platform is doing, just in case it proves popular.

Personally, I think they need to accept their position has changed, just as IBM had to when they lost dominance, but it is a hard sell to shareholders when it will clearly result in a short-term destruction of revenue. But until they do have a re-think, I can't see them really doing anything other than fire-fighting, which is really what Windows 10 represents.


Re: Just one thing left to make it good

Fine-grained permissions for applications are not new, and they do exist in iOS/Android and even more so in later versions of the Symbian OS. But frankly, they are a pain in the rear to manage as a developer, unless you are writing very tightly-defined function.

The designed-in inflexibility of fine-grained permissions means that there is a significant management burden needed to deal with the way application behaviour is typically extended over time, and limits the dynamic or personalized behaviours that can be accessed. If a developer shifts this management burden onto the user ( by making them continually fiddle with permissions ), they typically will not retain that user for long.

The result is developers simply install applications with as many permissions as they can get, which rather reduces the value of fine-grained permissions in the first place, and OS makers like Apple and Symbian try to become arbiters of what you can and cannot develop, reducing the role of both developers and users in deciding how devices are used.

Something better is needed, I agree, but probably not fixed fine-grained permissions for code objects.


Re: Just one thing left to make it good

Plenty of people have difficulty with working out where stuff is. This is mostly because:-

- They have been discouraged from understanding disks and directory layouts

- Microsoft have had Sooooooo many different default places to put stuff over the years

- Libraries just confuse people that have no idea they are virtual collections

There is an argument to be made that trying to get devices to work down to the lowest level of knowledge and/or stupidity is not necessarily the best way to advance the state of mankind.


Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action


Everything changes.

Bill Gates predicted ( or at least wanted ) "a computer on every desk and a computer in every home".

He was, of course, wrong as usual. He was looking at the world as a well educated, thoughtful person that loves technology for its own sake.

Most people are not like that. Most people care about what they can do with technology. If they are given more interesting things to do ( from their point of view ) or better ways to do it, they will likely adopt said new features and mechanisms.

In other words, every technology advance eventually devolves in the mainstream to consumer electronics and appliances, because that is what most people want.

Personally, I treat my mobile phone mainly as a phone, with occasional use of flashlight or maps apps. On the other hand, it WAS a Windows mobile, but now runs MIUI Android, because I'm a geek.

Similarly, I find tablets to be really useful for watching cat videos while still slumming in bed, but useless for everything else, where tiny screens don't suit my old eyes or my giant hands, and the "Apps" are generally poorly programmed, dysfunctional or pointless.

But that's OK. I'm happy to use my general purpose computers for all the things people use phones, tablets and games consoles for, plus all the things those devices can't do.

And when tablets disappear to be replaced by headache-inducing head-mounted displays with voice control whatever, I'm sure I shall largely ignore tham as well.

Choice is a great thing.


Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers


If you mean that consoles are pointless, I'd probably agree with you. They are usually built on obsolescent hardware, and due to their cost+ model for games pricing, it is usually only the triple-A games that are ported.

I'm quite happy with Steam on Linux as it has the X-Universe games, Paradox Interactive strategy games and the Valve catalog ( about 10% of all games available on Steam have been ported to Linux). I probably won't get all the games I might like, but certainly enough to fill all the time I have available; plus I no longer need a Windows partition just to play games.

Consoles seem to be most favoured by younger players and casual gamers who are not really interested in PCs ( regardless of OS ), and just want something to work easily. Unfortunately, those same gamers also don't tend to care much for complex gameplay either, which has lead to most console-ported games getting simpler. I would hope that SteamOS consoles don't accentuate that trend.


I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now


Re: Agree largely, but...

This is exactly why it is nonsense for an OS to consider a desktop as remotely similar to a tablet.

For some people and some purposes tablets ( possibly with a bluetooth keyboard ) are ideal, and possibly much better than a laptop.

But if you convert the desktop by angling the screen so it can be used for gestures more comfortably, then it becomes a largely look-down device. You would end up with users leaning over their device in a sort of hunched position, which would be something of a nightmare for those trying to ensure good ergonomics!

Maybe someone will come up with a "new" PC design that works well with a touch-screen, but I cant think that it would actually confer any significant advantages, even if they did.


Re: Now here's an idea

And then you could call it Winix ;-)

It has always been possible for Microsoft to make windows more modular and responsive to user preference, they have simply never chosen to do so, since it is not in their own interests.

A homogeneous "windows experience" allows them to attract more developers, lessen support costs, reduce the online rage from people who have configured their windows into a mess, and, as is evident with Windows 8, they can use it as a blunt tool of their sales and marketing efforts.

If you want configurability ( along with lesser device support and fewer supported applications to choose from ), then get Linux or some other Unix family OS. However, be aware that you will probably need to learn a lot more new stuff than with Windows 8.


Re: The issue

Aha! BG was right - Blackbird returns!



Re: @Sir Wiggum: appliances

> An analyst (pronounce that any way you feel is appropriate)

lol !

And the "analyst" pronouncement was not even correct either. No-one was familiar with iOS or Android when they appeared either, yet both are vastly more popular than WP7. The majority of the population has now grown up with tech; learning new interfaces is not that hard if it is a new device anyway; and particularly if it is considered mainly as a consumer-electronics style limited-function device.

I'm sure Microsoft has as many fanbois as Apple, but beyond the confines of those "irrationally committed" to one camp or other, ordinary people perceive Apple and Google as new and fresh, while the Microsoft brand is seen as old and stale.

I have my doubts that Surface/Modern UI will suddenly make Microsoft seem a leader again, but putting Modern UI in Win 8 means they will be able to spin their numbers by including PC users in their figures for platform share.

From a personal point of view, I can work around Win 8's shortcomings, but didn't see anything in it that appealed - I used the preview for a while before wiping it yesterday.

I particularly see no point to the "live-tiles as desktop"; I spend all my time on a PC with applications open, so I never see the desktop. The current model of small popup overlay windows is much more useful, although I can see that the tiles idea is useful on a phone. In fact it would be much more useful on a PC to have the live-tiles as a application in a window - but that would be off-message....


Re: Thanks for the warning..

And that is where MS have their panic.

Bill Gates said something like "a PC on every desk, and a PC in every home", and MS continued to believe that until the iPad proved that actually, most people didn't need ( or want ) a PC in their home, since they do just want couch potato internet access.

Not only are they missing out on a big new market, but their old replacement market could implode; then their endless streams of cash would begin to look less endless.


Nokia: When pigeons fly home to roast


Eggs, meet single basket...

One of Nokia's problems pre-Elop was that if you wanted a Windows or Android phone instead of Symbian, you couldn't buy a Nokia, whereas their competitors would supply all three.

So, it would have been a much better idea to simply add lines of phones running both Android and WP7, whilst running down Symbian software development and emphasis.

As is clear from other comments, and for different reasons, there are plenty of people that will not be interested in their new phones, whenever they arrive, and will ignore their current range and roadmap. Couple that with the subordination of the Nokia brand to the Microsoft brand in WP7, and it doesn't really look like a winning proposition in the Smartphone market.

Perhaps they will make a better fist at recovering in the feature phone market, where their hardware excellence may prove a stronger selling point?

Perhaps they will realise at some point that relying exclusively on a single company for their future software supply is a poor choice and diversify?

It will be interesting to watch...


It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones


I haven't stopped laughing yet...

Images of 2 drunks propping each other up or 2 dinosaurs looking anxiously at the skies come to mind!

Nokia's problems stem from being unable to bring to market good engineering and design ideas with sufficient speed, neither of which will be significantly helped by trying to use Windows.

Micosoft's problems stem from having built a paranoid, inward-looking software empire that produces mediocre products slowly and fosters developer interest through fear rather than enthusiasm. Their prospects may be marginally improved by this announcement, but as long as they are unable to change their corporate culture ( leap off THEIR burning platform, if you will ), they will continue to be an also-ran in new makets.

I thought Meego had been too long in gestation to garner much support, but at least it was a move in sync with the general trend towards *nix based and open development models; looking backwards towards Microsoft seems poor judgement.

From a developer point of view, I want to construct my toolset around what makes most sense to me, picking and choosing what is best for my requirements. Both Symbian and Windows ( for different reasons ) make this difficult, and therefore are unattractive.

From a user point of view, I want a wide selection of different device experiences to choose from. Most people grow up with rapidly-changing technology now, and are quite able to learn any interface that is put in front of them.

From this point of view, Android has it right in that the underlying platform is a consistent ecosystem, but the interface can reflect the needs of the device it is running on, or the market the device is aimed at. Windows Mobile, on the other hand. has just returned to the Microsoft dark ages of preventing differentiation and providing a one-size-fits-nobody experience. No thanks.

Nokia probably should have chosen to go with some combination of Meego, Android and maybe even talked to Mark Shuttleworth at Canonical ( Ubuntu ) for their software needs, whilst getting their head round the challenge of resolving their design and engineering problems.

When it comes down to it though, Nokia are a big company that want control ( look at how their behaviour destroyed the promise of Symbian ) and Microsoft are a big company that want control. There will be tears before bedtime...


Windows Phone 7 Series launched


Are Microsoft going to pay to have someone make the phones?

No manufacturer control...

No operator control...

All services point to Micrososft...

All revenue goes to Microsoft...

So, why would a major manufacturer make them, or an major operator push them?

I guess there will always be people that will buy Microsoft regardless, but in the phone space I doubt their numbers will be that important...



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