back to article Now Windows 8 goes into the ring to face Apple's iOS

Does Windows 8 mean Microsoft can finally close the technology and credibility gap with Apple, putting a touchable mass-market version of Windows on tablets? Less than 24 hours after Microsoft released an incomplete preview of Windows 8, some say "yes". Apple ushered in the post-PC era, but Windows 8 is the post-post PC era, …


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  1. dogged
    Big Brother

    It's all about who has control

    Business will buy Windows 8 tablets where tablets could be useful. In the NHS, for example, I can see a very real place for them.

    The thing to remember is, regardless of your administration policies and the skill of your security and admin teams (if any), as a business _you will never control iOS security or policies because Apple won't let you_.

    Microsoft will let you because that's their market.

    1. Synthmeister

      Businesses are taking control... with iPhones and iPads.

      Lowe's just equipped 42,000 employees with iPhones.

      United Continental just gave out 11,000 iPads to their Pilots (Along with American Airlines and Alaska Air)

      Qantas Airways Ltd.’s plans to offer Apple Inc.’s iPad media tablet to passengers on its Jetstar flights

      Mercedes-Benz Financial, which provides loans and leases, will equip 40 dealerships with an iPad, will expand to all dealerships eventually.

      86% of the Fortune 500 are now testing or deploying the iPad, up from 75% just three months ago. “In the 15 months since iPad was shipped, we’ve seen iPad used in the enterprise in ways we could have never imagined,” Oppenheimer said. “Companies like Boston Scientific, Xerox and are deploying thousands of iPads in revolutionizing how their sales teams engage with customers. iPad is being used inside the country’s top hospitals like HCA and Cedars-Sinai and in retail at Nordstrom and Estee Lauder’s Clinique counters. General Electric, SAP and Standard Chartered have developed internal apps for training, currency tracking and business-process management to help make employees even more productive.

      Security on the iPad is clearly not an issue.

      Businesses are buying iDevices. Period.

      1. nyelvmark

        we’ve seen iPad used in the enterprise in ways we could have never imagined

        I still can't imagine them. Can anyone help? It can't be the thousands of apps that make fart noises, surely?

        The only person I know who has an iPad carried it around for 6 months, occasionally used it for looking something up on the internet when he was travelling (but not driving, obviously), but he mostly used it for playing Go. When I see him today, he isn't carrying it. I think he gave it to his kids.

        Stats I've seen (here and elsewhere) suggest that there isn't a market for tablets - there's a market for iPads, because iPads are the thing to be seen with. Despite 400,000 "apps" being available for download, the number of real applications seems to be somewhat limited, given the limited computing power of a battery-based machine with a slow internet connection.

        The philosophy seems to be that utility is irrelevant, and that fashion is everything. Look at Apple's sales and you'll find it hard to argue with that philosophy.

        Disposable cigarette lighter with built-in digital clock, anyone?

        1. Ru

          "Disposable cigarette lighter with built-in digital clock, anyone?"

          I was thinking more along the lines of the Wii. Sure, it's pretty cool, but the initial enthusiasm wears out and you don't have to go far down the line to find that most of the purchasers aren't interested anymore.

          Businesses with an actual use case for a tablet will no doubt be terribly happy. And much like Windows in the past, they'll tie themselves to the platform by using applications which can't be trivially ported. Consumers though? Fashion comes and goes.

        2. Giles Jones Gold badge


          Well perhaps you shouldn't buy things without devising a use case for them?

          There's plenty of applications being devised around them, especially in BI and reporting solutions. Not to mention replacing form filing.

    2. AndyM
      Thumb Down


      Tad bit of FUD here, as you can do all that you say with an iPad, check out iPad Mobile Device Managment software looks like it will cater for what you are talking about.

    3. dylan 4

      Actually, it's all about what works, especially in the NHS.

      In my direct experience, NHS trusts have been burned by attempted windows tablet computer deployments. They have tried them and they _weren't useful_.

      They were completely crippled by the windows UI, and locked-down security using the domain security paradigm was part of the problem. The IT department thought they were neat, but nobody on the ward bothered using them. The bulky, heavy, battery intensive form factor and Atom powered sluggishness didn't help either.

      The Metro interface looks like it goes some way to solving the UI issues, so long as the apps follow, which they probably will. But the tablet test platform based on Corei5 is a sad joke, and the duality of the full interface and Metro on the same machine bodes ill for use in a clinical setting.

      In stark contrast, a number of Australian hospitals (also in my direct experience) are using iPads, and liking them a great deal.

      Yes, if and when real tablets with comparable performance specs to iPads and the enterprise (including hospital enterprise) apps designed for a touch UI to match arrive, there will be pressure from network/domain admins to deploy them instead of iPads. But given the woeful history of windows tablets in places like the NHS, I expect support for this to be lukewarm even within IT, and downright hostile on the floor. "Lets replace something that works, is relatively cheap to buy and maintain, and is accepted by our end users, with something that was expensive to buy and maintain, and rejected by our end users the last two times we tried it" is not a proposal I would be advising our executive to support...

      1. dogged

        Thanks for an interesting response.

        However... while I don't doubt that some Trusts are using iPads, they are expensive and impossible to fully control or secure, and they don't play nice with the existing systems (beyond ssh).

        They are also (and let's not kid ourselves here) highly nickable toys used in places where all human life is found, albeit often ending.

        Business is going to want something that will ONLY connect to their network (if they tell it to) via their proxies so any web use is trackable, which can be remote wiped and refitted with a standard build - THEIR standard build - with a minimum of effort to deal with employee turnover, which won't let you install apps they feel are not valuable to the business, etc etc.

        In other words, the Apple lock-in is what they want, but not from Apple. From them.

    4. Herba

      Apple entreprise program

      Apple entreprise program gives IT full control on app deployment and security. Entreprise dont put there app on the app store and deploy with itunes...

  2. Doug 3

    must must must run on light battery powered devices or it's just another Windows

    does the iPad weight 2 lbs? is it running with the performance of an Intel Core i5 CPU? And how long will that Windows 8 tablet run on battery power?

    I've read nothing which shows this isn't just another version of Windows with the marketing people telling you it'll be a great tablet OS. Bill Gates had been saying that for years and every time it has been the same thing, expensive over burdened hardware to run a bloated OS. The results have been consistent for Microsoft. same old song and dance, same failure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think that putting the workstation OS on the 'smaller' hardware, rather than a phone OS on 'bigger' hardware is the differentiator here. Time will tell if it's a good call or not, but it is certainly interesting.

  3. dave 46

    Pricing hubris?

    I don't think so, it's just simply not that cheap to make these things and Apple has huge volume on it's side.

    If Dell could put a tablet out there for £100 they would have, it's not impossible to do it but slow 7" tablets with poor screens aren't what people want. They want a 10" tablet that looks great and is fast - like an iPad.

    Sadly they cost, well, as much as an iPad. Given the choice most people prefer the ubiquity of iTunes and Apples app store.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dave, that's completely right. Gavin has displayed a fundamental lack of understanding of how mass market device economics work. This is one of the most naive and uninformed articles I've read on The Register. Tablets have bespoke design. There is no common standard for motherboard, BIOS, display, casing etc. Apple have volume, nobody else does. plus Apple have a lock on the supply of 10" capacitative displays and flash memory. Samsung et al are selling with margins shaved to the bone, just in an attempt to keep a toe hold in the market. There is certainly no hubris about their pricing. It's necessity.

  4. Tom 38

    MS are between a rock and a hard place

    They like to think of themselves as at the cutting edge of technology, but when it comes to mobile devices and OS, they are really far behind Android and iOS.

    It's hard to see how they can recover in those sectors now - 3rd to market (HP/WebOS) has already failed hard, what chance 4th to market? - but at the same time, their vanity cannot see them not competing in these areas.

    1. Matthew 3

      RE: MS are between a rock and a hard place

      I remember some of the comments when the iPhone was first announced, way back in 2007. The idea that Apple could make a phone that would be a serious contender was laughed at by many. Then those types added that the iPhone's missing 'killer features' would mean that nobody would buy one.

      And to add to their difficulties, we all also knew that Nokia had the mobile phone market well and truly sewn up.

      Funny how things can change, and how quickly. So, while I agree that Microsoft will need to do something amazingly special, if the desire for the product is there, it can be done.

      1. Adam T

        I'm inclined to agree with Matthew on this.

        There's nothing like a cornered, wounded animal to put up a good fight.

        And anyway, everyone knows Microsoft needed a good kick up the arse, they've had it too easy for too long. This'll show if they still have the goods.

  5. Danny 14
    Thumb Up


    to be taken seriously in the workplace for BIG rollout numbers then it needs to be domain controllable. If you can GPO it then schools alone will use it, as will other vendors who are stuck with crappy CE-esk pads. That and being able to image the beasts.

    1. Tinker Tailor Soldier

      It NT.... why wouldn't it be?

      At least for some sku/combination, which I presume MS will continue to do. You might have to pay out a bit for that GPO capability.

  6. D@v3

    The big problem that I can see is not the OS itself is bad, but that the hardware either lets it down, or is lacking in the choice / range factor.

    One of the things that I think puts the iOS devices in their own camp, is that Apple (unlike many others in the market) control both the hardware and the software.

    Microsoft are going to have to rely on others to provide the hardware for these Win8 Tablets. If someone can get the right hardware, then it could do well, but it could equally end up in a similar position to Android tabs, where you have the 'high end' tablets (xoom, galaxy etc) but you also have the incredibly 'low end' <£100 jobs that you can pick up from just about anywhere. Give someone a <£100 Android tablet, and an iPad, and they will (most likely) tell you that Android is rubbish. Give someone one of the high ends, and they may feel differently.

    (and before anyone mentions it, I am aware that many of the 'low end' Androids have hugely out of date versions of of the OS, which lends to the poor user experiance', but so do the poor screens, slow / old processors etc..)

  7. Wang N Staines

    w8 tab

    At 89 quid ... come on down!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: Wang N Staines, Come on down


      That will be for the Windows 8 Very Limited and virtually useless edition then...

      The Hardware to run it?

      Extra, lots Extra.

      Time for a beer methinks. All this laughing at the Windows 8 playmobile interface has driven me to drink.

  8. Thomas 4


    I wouldn't describe HP's foray into the ring as being the equivalent of "cannon fodder".

    A more suitable metaphor might be a kamikazi pilot. The flight starts out normally enough, before taking a sharp nosedive with a gibbering madman at the helm before exploding in a spectacular fireball. The damage is fairly minimal and short lived, leaving you with bits of wreckage scattered all over the flight deck.

    1. DZ-Jay

      @Thomas 4

      Beautiful analogy!


  9. Alex Gollner

    Not much mention of tablets so far by MS at Build

    Windows 8 seems to be for 'everything but tablets' for now.

    2012: Windows 8 vs. OSX (an 'automatic win' for Microsoft if they persuade 15% of the installed base to upgrade)

    Once there are enough Metro apps out there, MS will promote a Win8 for tablets that runs Metro apps only. So that'll probably be Easter 2013.

    Good news for those that think that Apple needs a bit more competition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Not much mention of tablets...

      Trouble is they'll probably do with Metro what they did with CE. Tell you that you can get proper MS apps such as Word on it and it's the real MS version so it's better. When you come to use it you find that round tripping a doc through Docs to Go works better than round tripping through Word because actually Word on CE was a completely different beast to Word on full blown windows. Most of us here would have been suspicious of that from the start but I have a couple of non-technical colleagues who still smart from this and other MS delusions and hence have trotted off to Apple...

    2. a_been

      Bit of a chicken and egg

      But who's gona write Metro apps to run on a PC? Developers will just stick with normal keyboard/mouse interface programs and be backward compatible with 100s of millions of win7 machines.

  10. ChilliKwok

    My Reaction to the Win8 Demo

    Can I turn off all that crap and make it look like XP please?

    1. JC_

      Yeah, you can stick with XP and stop whining. You said exactly the same thing about Vista & Windows 7, right?

    2. Stu Wilson

      mine was *yawn*

      Win8 running on, basically a laptop without a keyboard, fan whizzing away, and the heat being generated is just mom-u-ment-ally silly.

      so it runs nice and fast, I'm sure it would look nice and fast, but unless they can get it to run, and run well, on commodity ARM (or god forbid Atom) hardware, then the Metro UI is gonna be wasted money on MS's part.

      Certainly who else is going to use it? Not those people with desktops, and those people with tablet/laptop abortions won't use it except for the first minutes to show their friends.

      Just for the record, I'm Apple all the way and I like what MS have done with Metro, it is actually starting to look good on a larger screen but I just know they are going to fuck it up.

    3. Steven Raith

      Can you make it look like XP?

      No, now get over it.

      1. nyelvmark

        @Steven Raith

        >Can you make it look like XP?

        >>(facepalm) No, now get over it.

        Can you make it perform like Windows 98SE? Remember? You double-clicked something and a window instantly opened and painted itself? There was no 5-30 seconds of thinking "did that work? Maybe I should it again?".

        Of course, Win98 was horribly insecure if connected to a network, so the solution was to craft a much better operating system which takes 1000 times as long to do something, despite runiing on hardware that purports to be 1000 times faster.

        Windows 98 was written in the horribly insecure C language. Modern versions of Windows are written in much better, more secure languages - more secure because the hackers now have to read lots of long contradictory articles about how these languages work, rather than simply buying a copy of K&R.

        Opinions, please - does making systems more complex increase or decrease their vulnerability to hackers?

        1. Richard Plinston

          > Windows 98 was written in the horribly insecure C language.

          > Modern versions of Windows are written in much better, more

          > secure languages

          Windows 98 was written in assembler.

          Windows NT was written in 'horribly insecure C'. XP, Vista and 7 are versions of NT.

          1. nyelvmark

            >> Windows 98 was written in assembler.

            Oh, right. The Windows API is entirely specified using C interfaces, but they didn't actually use C to write it. Instead, they wrote a billion lines of x86 assembler. Get real.

            And, for those who didn't understand, "the horribly insecure C language" was intended as irony. I program in C by preference. Like any good C programmer, I can descend to assembler if necessary, but the last time I remember it being necessary was more than 10 years ago. If I was writing an operating system, it would become necessary again, but only about 5% of the time, I think.

    4. turnip handler

      Slow down there!!! Can I make it look like Windows 3.1??

  11. Barry Tabrah

    Needs touch friendly MS Office

    It doesn't matter how it looks or how it runs, if people can't use Microsoft Office on it effectively then it's going to flop. Office is going to need some simplified interfaces for working on the go.

    Also, there's definitely going to be a market for Office add-ins such as a Survey designer so that tablet-wielding survey takers can tally up trends on the go. I've lost count of the number of tablets that are gathering dust because people couldn't use them this way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's really a great idea

      <thumbs up>

  12. Joe K

    Why don't they get it??

    A tablet is a couch-computer, nothing more.

    From your couch you want to do little more than web browse, facebook, twitter and the occasional simple game.

    If you cripple a couch computer with an OS requiring updates, virus-scanners, installations, menu's (where did my damn app go?) and all the other shit Windows has hiding behind the tiles, then its worse than an iPad.

    So it will fail, like all the rest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Why don't they get it??

      Can't agree that tablets are only couch-computers. We use iPads in our practice to pull up patient data and they are great for sitting down next to a patient and showing them their chart or x-rays or an educational video. Possible of course with a laptop but the tablet does seem to promote a closer interaction with the patient. Admittedly, some years ago we ditched Windows and went over completely to Apple so the integration is very smooth but there is no technical reason why other manufacturers could not have done something similar (weren't HP talking about WebOS for the PCs as well at one point?).

      Your point is well made though that all that shit windows has does ruin the user experience, but that applies to the desktop as well and all the crud that used to come with our Windows machines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 1944

        How do you keep an iPad sterile enough to use in a medical practice?

        1. dylan 4


          How do you keep a tablet sterile enough to use in a medical practice?

          Exactly the same way you keep the rest of your practice "sterile". Do you people think the door handles, armchairs, reception desks, magazines and children's toys in the corner get autoclaved between patients? How about that pen that you filled in the form with, was it brand new out of a sealed packet?

          Aside from use in a surgical theatre, with immunocompromised patients, or in a high infection risk setting such as a surgical ward, there is no problem using an iPad in a medical practice.

          FWIW, I've personally overseen trials of two different "medical grade" windows "tablet copmputers" in an NHS hospital. Both designs were much more difficult to clean _effectively_ than an iPad, what with recessed screens, textured and grooved housings, carry handles, wrist straps and stylus-on-a-string. But when the nurses (and junior medical officers) are eating their lunch at the nursing bay on the ward, and chewing their pens in between filling out charts, it makes the notion of sterile equipment somewhat academic.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sterile @ AC 22:51

          Easy. You keep the iPad in a sterile bag, the capacitative screen still works fine even through the film.

          I put mine inside a thick gallon-sized Ziploc bag when using it in the kitchen to keep grease and dirty fingers away. It doesn't seem to affect the touch sensitivity in any way.

    2. Mike Moyle

      re: Why don't they get it??

      "A tablet is a couch-computer, nothing more."

      It may be, at this moment, but there is absolutely no reason why it need be. (Let's assume that the traditional and tiresome "It's not a real working tool if it doesn't have a physical keyboard," trope has been brought out and disposed of -- SOME jobs may require a physical keyboard; mine does not.)

      Tablets are really at the Ford Model A stage of development. The idea that the automobile -- as it existed in 1903 -- would evolve to replace the horse wagon for local freight delivery and bring the railroads to their knees (albeit, the airplane -- another "'...toy' that would never be of any use," helped with the latter) was considered laughable.

      One of the ways to make sure that the tablet STAYS "a couch-computer, nothing more" for most people will be to limit the functionality and usability of the OS. If Microsoft can put a usable version of Windows on a tablet, more power to them. Personally, I would rather s Apple porting OS X to a "Pro" version of a tablet and leave iOS as a "consumer" line, but maybe that's just me.

      The point is that assuming that a tablet-format computer IS and MUST ALWATS BE a "a couch-computer, nothing more" is just as foolishly short-sighted as the bank president who advised "The horse is here to stay, but the auto is only a novelty -- a fad," when asked about investing in Henry Ford's automobile company in 1903. (Hint: the questioner decided NOT to take the advice and parlayed his $5000 investment into a $12 million return within a few years.)

      (If only there were a "Fail-fail" icon...!)

    3. Gordon Fecyk

      This just in: iPads don't need updates <>, virus scanners <>, or other... stuff... hiding behind the tiles <>.

      That reality distortion field holding up for you?

      1. Archivist

        Don't spread FUD

        <> The current 3rd party virus scanners scan for Windows viruses.

        <> - undated, unconfirmed, unsubstantiated, probably untrue.

        <> This is what protects the device from malware. If you move out of the walled garden expect to be mugged, whatever system you're running.

        I really hope MS can make Windows 8 as secure as IOS, but past performance does not raise my optimism.

      2. fuego

        Did you even read the article (from April 2010) that you quoted?

        "Last night, we received an unconfirmed report from a user who appears to have the first iPad virus..."

        There are no updates on the article, so one might assume that if they haven't confirmed it in 18 months, it might actually be a load of BS.

        Never let the facts stand in the way of a good trolling oportunity though, hey?

        Speaking of reality distortion fields, yours seems to be working marvellously.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      Couch Computing

      Tell that to enterprise.

      iOS might have a foothold in enterprise, but it's still not Apple's forte. If you had to buy a bunch of tablets for business use, would you rather take the shiny consumer toy from a bunch of California Gladwell-reading hipsters, or a tablet from the enterprise software company who makes a lot of the software already running your infrastructure?

      Enterprise isn't trendy and doesn't get covered by Web 2.0-blogs, but there's big money there. And once you flog them the tablets you can flog them more software to run said tablets.

    5. Craigness


      Some tablets may be that, but the Asus Transformer shows what more they can be. A windows tablet, because it's windows, will be much more than just a tablet. With apple products you need a tablet and a proper computer, but with a windows tablet you already have a proper computer inside your tablet. Put it in a Transformer form factor and plug in a mouse, you've got a winner.

      If anyone's not yet seen how beautiful windows 8 is:

      It's even more beautiful than Android! Honeycomb UI wipes the floor with iOS but it looks complicated and unwelcoming when you play with it for a few minutes in the shop. When people see this and compare it with the stale grid of the ipad they will surely choose the windows product. Given that it's a proper computer (running excel etc) there's basically no decision to be made.

      1. Volker Hett


        but what you describe didn't take off in the past 10 years.

        Without the iPad we wouldn't be talking about Windows tablets.

  13. Shao


    Everything sounds good and seems to incorporate the best of both worlds. However, I'd say the main challenge to overcome would be that you've got a full blown OS as well as a slimmed down mobile OS to boot up.

    In practice, I'd like to see how that would use comparable resources to an iPad which simply has a glorified mobile OS.

    Resource drain and bootup times will most likely be issues.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tested and failed

    1: Installed/Booted Win8 in a VM

    2: Pushed the Big Blue IE thingy

    3: Looked for the address bar. It appeared at the bottom of the screen.

    4: Typed in my corporate web application site developed in .NET

    5: Waved the mouse and pushed a menu

    6: The address bar appeared at the bottom of the screen.

    7: Determined that IEx on Win8 is incompatible with a trivial .NET application

    There you go. MS incompatible with itself.

    No news here.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      IE on Windows 8 is v10 Platform Preview - beta software on a pre-beta OS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wow - facts = downvote


      A cold, emotionless statement of an event can generate downvotes.

      Almost as amazing as the event itself.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        you're both amazed that pre-beta software contains bugs

        and amazed at being downvoted as if you were some kind of troll

        if you're genuinely that credulous... may I interest you in these fine jackets?

  15. Paul M 1

    A tablet is not a PC

    Any company who thinks they can sell devices by reproducing the PC experience on a tablet will be disappointed because people do not do the same things on a tablet. Clearly there is some overlap but the differences are enough to require different priorities.

    A 64 GB SSD disk is not going to help Win tablet sales and getting the memory footprint *down* to 1GB (presumably before you start running user programs) is still an order of magnitude more than the mobile OSes need.

    I don't see why the author thinks Windows tablets will have any more success than Android/WebOS/RIM... if the reasoning is that you have to hit an $89 price point, good luck doing that with Windows which has the benefit of OS licensing costs added in.

    Alternatively, is he saying that the Windows brand is strong enough to tempt punters away from Apple? What was that about Hubris again?

    Regarding pricing, as has been said before, why can they make a £199 Netbook with 1GB of memory, 160GB disk and 10" screen but a stripped down, keyboardless equivalent costs close to double that amount?

    Maybe he's right - maybe they don't actually want to sell tablets for fear of cannibalising PC sales. But if they don't, someone else will and they'll lose those sales anyway.

    1. Craigness

      PC experience

      Have you seen windows 8? Reproducing the pc experience my arse.

      1. shaunhw

        Another Windows Vista ?

        I saw the w8 preview today, and it is awful, especially for desktops.

        They've depricated the desktop to some kind of startable app, and given priority to that snotty green coloured array of rectanglular graphics (Arg!!!!!). Touching the start button takes you out of the desktop. To shutdown the computer is completely tortuous requiring navigation to hitherto never seen places. Why can't the user configure the desktop to take prioroty and have the usual start menu options as before ? The Arg can be called up when needed by desktop/mouse users. It could have a seperate button on the taskbar once in the desktop

        I have lots of visions in my head regarding what a modern OS should look like, and this isn't it.

        How about having a "Tablet zone" section in the OS, which you can start up first if you want ? Or call it up from the desktop ?

        As an Asus Android tablet owner, I do like it, but I am becoming increasingly aware of the limitations of tablets without keyboards. Even with my Asus keyboard, I can't be serious about it. Good for emails and that's about it. It certainly not a device for serious computing work, and none of them are. Windows should not deprecate the desktop therefore. In anycase how can it be Windows unless it has Windows ?

        w8, Wait! I hope we are waiting a long time, and they consider carefully what they are doing with this. Faciitys for tablets are fine, but it must not take over in the desktop environment.

        1. stim


          hang on shaunhw, just wait and see, i imagine they'll be a "show desktop at startup instead" option in the menu's - we've hardly scratched the surface of the new O/S yet, so i'd wait and see what's coming...

        2. Volker Hett

          Re: Another Windows Vista ?

          Your serious computing work sounds more like heavy text processing to me.

          Here some heavy computing is done in a datacenter to show serverload and related status information on a webpage easily viewable on an iPad or even a HTC Desire (with glasses on). Moving a VM to another host with free resources is done with a couple touches on the screen. No textinput required.

  16. Synthmeister

    They're not in the mobile ring yet.

    18 months after the iPad 1 shipped, all MS can do is hand out a 2 pound personal heating tablet complete with fans, 3 hour battery life and schizophrenic pre-beta software? (I'm quoting PC-World Magazine here, not making this up.) Based on a Zune / WinMo 7 interface which bombed in the marketplace.

    MS isn't in the mobile ring, they're still trying to get their GPS to work so they can find the mobile ring.

    My Schadenfreude knows no bounds.


    windows 8

    i will be suprised if windows 8 looks different to previous versions of windows. id like to see the registry gone as this is proan to viruses etc also improve the look of it including the windows boot logo dont make it like vista where its a boring green bar. yes make it secure but please dont make that uac annoying again.

  18. Alienrat

    So with all tablets being 5% of the market, and microsoft after a few years only now managing to equal the sales of XP machines, are they sure that windows with a UI change is what windows users want?

    I personally like Win7, but I know a lot of people who really really want XP. Sounds like it might be worth putting more effort on those 45% of people don't want another layer over the top of windows than those 5% of people who want a tablet.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just one point

    Mention has been made of corporate. I think a tablet is also not so daft in the near future because of thin client. MS will find a way to keep business happy and thin client could help keep it all in the Office family.

  20. Big_Ted

    Correct me if i'm wrong

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this will only run all windows software if you have an intel processor in it.

    If you have an Arm processor then it will only run apps.

    Why would I want a Mikey Mouse UI on a pc to look like a tablet when I can't have a more powerful arm based tablet if I want to run word etc.

    MS have really messed up here. What they should have done is have a desktop/non touch laptop windows and a portable/touch windows which is common to the phone as well as tablets etc.

    As it stands Windows 8 is not fully compatable on software on arm and totally different to windows phone.......

  21. Bango Skank

    A tablet is a couch-computer, nothing more

    If by "couch" you mean production lines, telephone poles, and everywhere somebody is checking, auditing, or doing inventory.

    While sitting on the couch with it may be handy, there are many business situations where fast switch-on and usable real-estate can allow a ward nurse to do rounds and write once, or a rock mechanic to check a stope, or a field engineer to check parts or instructions.

  22. vordan

    Apple has one big advantage - it manufactures *both* the hardware and the OS.

    This means Apple can react more quickly, doesn't have to persuade anybody to use it's OS, and - maybe most importantly - it can give itself a 100% discount on the software.

    Not to mention millions of loyal customers (at least in the iPad/iPhone side of the business).

  23. danny_0x98

    In the clearing stands a boxer

    Well, not so much enter the ring as the arena on the way to the dressing room and accompanied by a manager speaking of all the punches and strategies they've been working on at camp.

    It is very premature to say one wins and the other loses.

    I think the primary reason for Windows maintenance of its success in desktops is the high cost of replacing applications necessary with an os change.

    Sun went after this with java, and failed in the goal. Today, we have web apps and app stores where the unit cost is a magnitude lower and the licensing terms more liberal. We have Google giving away oses. (And Microsoft following behind saying to its erstwhile partners "Tut, tut, no margin improvements for you, pay us this way or that.)

    Sure Touchpads at 99 sell, but where would HP get 100 per user, net, in order to break even?

    Microsoft have smart guys, but it's going to take more than a nice looking UI to be more than a reliable collector of cash from user inertia with desktop oses and Office.

    Thing is, that might have always been enough.

  24. morozco

    The main problem is the MS image for consumers. It isn't working well for them for Win Phone 7, even though I read good things about it, I haven't seen a single phone in public in a year's time. I think that now MS phone products have the image of my "bosses" phone. Like blackberry. No one want's to use their work phone at home and it will likely be the same with tablets. It might do well in the enterprise, but that hasn't worked so well for the playbook. It's the consumer market that will need to drive a successful tablet.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hook line and Stinker

    A clear success, you all have been had and it shows in your tablet dreams. The final tablet will be Metro only. All your legacy won't run and you'll only have Pull-my-Finger fart apps available. Once again the masters of smoke and mirror presentations have shown you product a and will let youir mind run wild at the possibilities on tablet and then hit you with product b after the excitement seeds are firmly planted. Otherwise world plus dog and you would replace excitement with dissapointment at such an early and critical stage. Only windows 8 desktop on top end kit will do all you have seen.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Apple may get the last laugh

    Now, I'm not an Apple user myself but from the stories I've read Apple seems to do one thing undeniably right (IMO anyway): They're not betting on a single horse. Their tablet environment is just that whereas their desktop (or laptop) environments are also just that.

    I wonder what would happen if MS would get a good market share on the tablet environment and lose even more on the desktop than they did with Vista... When looking at how "well" Metro works on the desktop (and how MS forcefully keeps ignoring the desktop market during their Win8 presentations) I wouldn't be at all surprised with such a scenario.

  27. h4rm0ny

    Why the iPad rivals didn't sell.

    The reason, in my armchair-opinion, is that tablets were overpriced. All of them, iPad included. But the iPad was trendy and well-known and had an 'I've got one' marketing pull. Like an expensive pair of shoes. I would lay good money that there are a tonne of iPads sitting on shelves and not used very much after the initial novelty value wore off. £400+ for a slab of mobile movie-watching and web-browsing... too much for most of us. So the iPad sold because it was the iPad, but the rest of the devices, whether they were better or worse, more open or less (well maybe not less), were assessed on actual cost-benefit. So when the Touch Pad hit its new price, everyone wanted one because that was the right price for it as far as customers were concerned. The iPad's rivals should have been marketed much cheaper in the first place. They would have slaughtered the iPad if so.

  28. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Business will buy Windows 8 tablets

    Lots of people seem to think business will buy Windows 8 ARM tablet but i actually doubt they will once they look into its limitations. MS have already said that you can ONLY install apps to WIN8 ARM from the MS app store which will limit it to running office (not really suitable for using extensively on a touch screen) or apps that make cats dance and farting noises etc, or web based apps which of course you could have run from a Ipad, android or RIM tablet.

    MS are obviously chasing after Apples success with the Ipad which has been popular with consumers because of its ease of use and brand loyalty from people who bought the iphone. Win8 ARM needs to be an open platform like the x86-64 version will be or i doubt it will make much impact in the corporate arena. Unless of course MS make you purchase £2000 worth of App store server 2012 for your enterprise if you want to install your own apps :-D

  29. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

    NHS and Win Tablets - NO!

    Windows tablets in the NHS were a complete pain [thanks Dylan 4 for the accurate posts]. As a clinician with an interest in IT AND working in the NHS - windows tablets are NOT FOR THE NHS.

    The MS security concept completely hamstrings their use. Almost all wards do not even need PC's - thin clients would be best to avoid all the roaming profile gibberish [in my Trust at least]. Few need Excel/Word etc. they need access to patient management systems [e.g. Lorenzo] which is via citrix; electronic medicines admin systems [again via thin client access]; electronic rostering system [often browser interfaces] and some simplified printing. It kills me to say it; but a smooth profile tablet and bluetooth keyboard for use when intensive data input was required would fit the bill. The windows PC paradigm in tablet form is too complex even now for what is required for 90% of users.

    BTW; have you seen the state of NHS PC's/keyboards/mice - sterile they are not! Not even 'clean'. And then the users have a knack of destroying [expensive] laptop keyboards by dropping heavy volumes of paper notes on them. NHS wards need the equivalent of a POS terminal that has indestructible keys; smooth surfaces; no mouse - sounds suspiciously like an iPAD to me.......[god it killed me to admit that]

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of touch?

    ...or could it be PC makers and industry pundits are out of touch?

    Right now the world is struggling to make ends meet resulting in global protests, rioting and disruption because all the money is in the hands of a few and they've said they want the rest of the world to pay their bills.

    This is the time when manufacturers decide to try and persuade people to ditch their expensive PC with all the software and move to untested platforms with little clarity on whether they will be anything more than shiny gadgets, essentially giant iphones with "lots of useless apps and no office tools"...

    The same manufacturers then wait a few weeks before saying "look no one wants one", nearly can the market and express surprise when people will accept them when they can get a £300 computer for £70 to test it out. How long did it take to go from IBM PC80386 with (oh wow!) a CD ROM and speakers to gain almost universal penetration we see today?

    Poor planning and lack of patience to see it through...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's MS, so does it crash all the time?

    1. CD001

      Boring... I can remember this cranky old Windows XP desktop I'm typing this on at work crashing exactly twice in the last 3 years.

      If you want a Windows (7) machine that crashes a lot ... put an ATI graphics card in it and play Brink. Now, who's fault is it? Microsoft for allowing ATI (nee AMD) to install less-than-stellar drivers on a Windows machine, AMD's fault for writing the drivers in the first place or Splash Damage (Bethesda I suppose as they own the ID engine) for releasing a game that doesn't play well with AMD cards on Windows 7?

      In the murky world of Windows PCs it's not necessarily that east to pin-point the culprit when stuff crashes... now they could take the same approach as Apple took with Flash (it causes crashes, therefore we're banning it) but then it wouldn't BE a Windows PC any more - it would be another locked down system useless to inveterate tinkerers.

  32. thurstjo
    Thumb Down

    Another failure waiting to happen

    It's performance will be underwhelming. It will only interest its installed base. Don't expect to see too many jumping off the Apple or Android bandwagon to join Microsoft.

  33. Nick Pettefar

    People Like and Use Windows

    They use it because it came pre-installed on their computer (mysteriously) or it is on their work computer.

    They like it because it is all they know.

    Why would they choose to have it on a tablet? They obviously aren't. I guess this is a real test of Windows.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's MS, so does it crash all the time?

    -was it made in the 90s?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Success will be about hardware as much as software

    This bet is as much about hardare as it is about software.

    M$ innovations have often failed because the hardware or infrastructure wasn't there or wasn't there at the right price. This is similar.

    I think windows 8 on a PC will be fine if it continues the refinements of Win7, with instant on, good battery life, memory mgt, security etc, without being particularly compelling as far as the metro interface goes. People will either disable it or just go straight to their desktop.

    On a tablet however it's another matter.

    Succeeding against Apple, will require that enough Metro apps are built to deliver equivalent functionality to the more common iOS apps, that win8 runs smooth and fast, that battery life is great, and that hardware requirements allow for a tablet at least as thin and light as the iPad 2.

    Quite importantly, on tablets it will need to compete separately to PCs, because I don't plan to fire up Office 2010 to edit a document (unless it is rebuilt for metro).

    One thing that's in its favor though, is some of the most popular iOS apps do things that are built right into windows, like connecting to and sending data between systems, zip/unzip, sharing and managing files, (apple doesn't even offer real file system access, so this will appeal even to semi-technical users).

    But even so the challenge will be huge considering Apple will already have released iPad 3 when Win8 comes out.

    The thing that will really make a difference is if M$ and its hardware partners can really manage to bridge the gap between tablet and PC seamlessly, giving us a device which works as a tablet when portable and can plug into a keyboard/mouse dock becoming a standard PC, when stationary.

    I think having a single OS to work on, with all your files accessible from one place and software that gives you similar capabilities in either tablet or desktop mode is quite compelling.

    Obviously tablet functionality will be more suited to content consumption than production, but if they can deliver a version of Office with a desktop interface and an alternative minimalist interface for tablet, on a device like the iPad 2, they've got my money.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    put a bunch of crap together

    call it Windows 8

    sell it for $$$ and run.

    Trouble is Windows 8 is an OS designed for shareholders. And being rich, Microsoft shareholders have the benefit of being able to afford Apple computers. You think they'll actually use Windows 8 themselves? LOL.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Costs for consumer usage who has a tablet,phone and PC

    What will be the costs of this OS and the application - questions I have are:

    1) Will I have to pay X amount for each device I own without any consideration that I'm only using one at a time. Will the fact I have to purchase a copy for my tablet and my PC have any discount factor. I charge per user account would be more palatable.

    2) Application software - wil I need seperate purchases for my tablet and my PC

    3) Application software - If I puchare say Office for my PC will I also be able to run it on my arm tablet without having to purchare a seperate copy per hardware platform.

    4) Will developers be able to code for the operating system and hit compile and get X86 and ARM versions that run on there respective platform verbaitum

    Personaly I'd like to see the OS given away free - applications compiles for it and sold for it pay small % of there sales to Microsoft who give out all there developer tools for free and you pay as a user a monthly/yearly fee per user account. So somewere inbetween were consoles and PC's are currently. But alas don't see it happening this time, but eventualy it will end up being service sold.

  38. Jay Jaffa

    ~Ballmer, Gates and the bearded lady

    Ballmer is a trier but waste of time, Billl Gates knows he can't compete (he's got nothing, never had other than dodgy business practises)and the world's moved on; perhaps Ellison want to make a name for himself - doubt it; he's got nothing but a beard, a laden bank account, an ugly wife and some plants.

    Maybe Andrew Mason ...

  39. All names Taken

    It's in the maths?

    1st CEO takes company from startup to mega-corp


    2nd CEO steps in while organisation is in a mega-corp rollover wave

    = an exercise in humility is needed



    Hardware is/was fine


    Software is/was fine



    = dodgy sales

    Conclude: marketing (and that usually means price) was in dreamland and failed to pick up on new product in new ecology with the winner having high quality status selling stuff everso newly on (for them) a stack it high sell it cheap basis.

    In short: they (the new alternative tablet punters that is) got the price too wrong and the product sales expectation far too high.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    I hope that the surgeon washes his hands

    I've heard what people do with ipads, that nice big wipe clean surface is just too tempting for many lonely people.

    In a hospital they better clean them regularly, all that finger wiping is going to spread MRSA and god knows what else.

  41. h4rm0ny

    This title is optional but I'm not one to turn down free titles...

    I will say what a vast number of Windows 7 users are already saying: If I can turn it off on the Desktop and still have something very similar to Windows 7, they can do what they like with Metro. In fact, if it means I can port code from one to the other, it's a plus.

  42. Gary F

    Sorry MS, I really don't like it

    I think Win8 is going to be another Vista - technically more advanced by a complete cock up on the UI front. No wonder they're advising server owners not to install the UI on the server edition.

    I hope that awful start page can be completely disabled. I like the new Task Manager but why does it have to start in moron-mode? Why are these apps running in full screen without any buttons to minimise or quit? HTF am I meant to quit an app? The fact that I'm having to ask must mean it's been poorly thought out using MS illogic.

    I installed Win8 on VMware Workstation 8. Works a treat if you don't use vmware's easy-install option. Hopefully MS will make some improvements to Win8 based on mass opinion now.

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