...one NOW! Oh and so does everyone else I work beside. Nuff said.
PC makers’ slipups have forced Microsoft into designing its Surface tablet, but can a software company succeed where the HPs and Dells of the world have failed... can it become more like Apple? Sure, the computer makers have slipped up badly on tablets. They are also in the dock for cramming PCs with crapware and selling you …
"...and neither does anyone I work beside. Isn't anecdotal evidence fun?"
Well at the time I post this, the voting on the OP's comment is 6 up and 6 down. So looks like 50% of voters would like one and 50% not. That's a pretty awesome start, imo. There's no right choice for everyone.
But being locked down to within an inch of its life by someone else and having a mad UI is also important to business users, but for the wrong reasons.
It's also important to me, I'd be interested in a Win 8 RT tablet if it were as open and customisable as the x86 version and I'd be interested in a Win 8 x86 tablet if it weren't a lesson in how to use up all the battery charges in less than a year. So as it is a cheapy Android tablet or an expensive iPad will do the job.
Nothing wrong with x86 apart from it has an instruction set which rivals the Complete Oxford English Dictionary. The fact that Intel have managed to keep it going for 35 years as testament to bloody-mindedness and vast amounts of money, not particularly good design. Atom is low-power but still not in the same league as ARM.
"They are also in the dock for cramming PCs with crapware and selling you the machine they want you to have instead of the PC you deserve."
Anyone else think of the old spice guy when they read this?
Can't help but agree on the crapware bit though. My mum bought a windows 7 laptop with 64bit win 7 pre-installed. It ran like a brick.
I uninstalled as much of the crapware as I dared, removed a load of useless processes from the startup and it still ran like crap.
Then I realised that they'd sold it with 1gb of RAM, when you include the onboard graphcisit was only 768mb on a machine which had a recommended minimum of 2gb.
Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a rant on something of a completely different nature.
I like the look of it, what I would like to know is how sensitive the screen is, and how accurate. I'd like to use it as a very amature artist tablet. I don't need anything as accurate as a wacom because well, I suck at drawing, but accurate enough for noob week drawing would be nice.
"what I would like to know is how sensitive the screen is, and how accurate"
In the presentation, MS said that it had 600DPI resolution which is more than visual resolution. They demo'd some handwriting on it and it was pretty slick. The presenter pinch-zoomed what he'd just written to be about three times the size and it didn't become pixelated. Also nice the way that the screen ignores palms, fingers, etc. as soon as it notices the pen is over it. I think this will be plenty good for amateur artists and casual work and roughs. Pressure sensitivity will probably be the big differentiator between this and a real graphics tablet or Cintiq. Someone on a forum said it would be good, but I've heard nothing official on it that aspect unless I missed it. Probably falls into "good enough" category for most of us.
It would be great to see these two at each others throats whilst the good guys just got on with it, but somehow I sense evil recognises itself and this won't happen. It won't matter now what the shape of its corners are nor the fact that like the iPad, its look and feel was ripped (oops. "innovated") from 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY way back in 1969.
Apple objections to the competitors products are not about what they have made in terms of what the device is (a small tablet computer). It is how it behaves and how it is packaged.
So 'slide to unlock' was something Apple created and others copied. Before then you would typically unlock a phone by pressing a key combination.
Samsung's Galaxy phone copied the look of the Apple packaging as well as the making their icons very similar to iOS.
Microsoft haven't done any of these things and so are safe. Which just shows that there is no need to blatantly copy.
Yeah, so a pre-production device running a pre-production OS crashed at a demonstration, it's not the first and it's not the last time that it will happen. The guy presenting handled it pretty well and the demonstration was setup sufficiently professionally that he could pick up a second piece of hardware and carry on. It's embarrassing, but nothing else.
You say they tried to censor it, I doubt it, I suspect in your mind you think they did, but as your posting history shows you to be so rabidly anti-Microsoft that you'd give Barry Shitpeas a run for his money I don't really care.
Anyway, what has this got to do with Good or Evil?
There's the difference with Apple (who Microsoft are competing with). Apple don't demonstrate alpha/beta products, they show you the final product (except at developer conferences) and they tell you the price and when it will be available.
re: Apple tell you the price: That's because no-one competes directly with Apple, and everyone can undercut them on cost. Look at a top of the range Mac Book and compare it to a top of the range ThinkPad, the Thinkpad will be cheaper. If MS announced a price, they'd be undercut by the whole of the rest of the PC market, prior to launch. If Apple tell you the price, they get undercut by no-one, because no-one else makes Apple products.
"Microsoft claimed to have a "30-year history" of hardware engineering that it can bring to bear. We must have missed that"
Probably because you weren't paying attention - they didn't say that they produced commercial products, but they have done shed loads of hardware engineering in their research labs, which they have, most of which doesn't see the light of day - I once saw Craig Charles talking about being taken round the teledildonics labs in the Washington campus - I have yet to see a Microsoft branded dildo or Fleshlight in the local sex shop.
I know it's the Reg's duty to be sarky, but try to be sarky about what's said, rather than what you think that they said.
MS released a mouse in 1983.
It's worth having a look at the collection of HIDs that MS researcher Bill Buxton has accumulated over the decades:
A rather fun collection of devices, I hope you will agree.
Microsoft produced a Z80 softcard for the Apple ][ in 1980 in conjunction with SCP (who 'wrote' QDOS). This ran DRI's CP/M. Both MS and SCP were full DRI OEMs for CP/M so they had as full an access to CP/M internals as anyone could get.
"""the SoftCard was Microsoft's number one revenue source in 1980."""
"pro" presumably meaning "anyone who wants to run the biggest selling applications on the planet".
I'm a bit fed up with "pro" designations on software, despite being one. If you have to be "pro" to want to encrypt your hard drive, or run old XP apps, or use those various bits that aren't available with "non-pro" Office versions, then I think that my grandmother is probably a "pro" too.
Personally, I think of them as "normal" and "cheap fob-off to be replaced when the user wants to do anything vaguely interesting with it". A bit like OEM vs retail, which is really "I don't care if I have to throw this machine away next year, or if it corrupts, or if I change a component" vs "I do care".
The trouble with 'pro' features is that even a causal user can sometimes run into situations where they need the functionality that only the 'pro' version provides- even if it is only twice in a year. Paying hundreds of beans extra for a feature you only use for 10 minutes is annoying- and is, I guess, an argument for pay-per-use.
> Libre Office will run on it
Windows RT, and Metro applications on Windows Pro, can _only_ source applications from Microsoft's store. I don't think that you will find Libre Office there.
I did run OpenOffice on my Nokia N800. Interesting, but it did need a keyboard to work properly. The N810 had a slide out kb. With the N800 I could use a USB kb, or Bluetooth, but that wouldn't fit in my pocket.
I don't have an issue with the keyboard - seems as good a design as any. It folds out of the way - or is removed - when you are just watching movies on the sofa, and is there if you want to tap out an email.
Some people actually proof-read their written work- being to get from their desk and sit in a different chair can only be a good thing, ergonomically. ("The best position is the next position" - some chiropractor)
"don't get the point of it. I use a Windows PC for work (which I love) and an Ipad (which I also love) for arsing about, one handed surfing etc."
Well for those of us who either want to spend less or carry less, this is both. The keyboard's 3mm thick and folds out of the way. It can also be completely removed. So it's not really a competitor to the iPad, it's not entirely an ultrabook. It's basically both.
> it's not really a competitor to the iPad, it's not entirely an ultrabook
What MS have said about pricing is that the RT will be priced around that of ARM tablets (ie iPad3 or top Galaxy) while the PRO will be about the price of an Ultrabook.
So you are correct: it won't be competitive with iPad and it's not entirely an ultrabook, just the price.
"Yet, despite a history of getting hardware wrong (Zune), "
lol Ok. So tell me "Gavin", since your an electronics expert, what exactly was wrong with the zune? I mean other than it didn't feature a stupid apple with a bite out of it. Anyone? What exactly was wrong with the zune hardware? cricket..cricket..cricket
Stores stopping stocking it because nobody was buying it.
Which is probably what will happen with "Surface" too. Microsoft do make some viable hardware (whether it's actually GOOD or COMPETITIVE is another question entirely), but if they can't sell it to other people, you can only buy a turkey that nobody else has and which will eventually be forgotten like the Zune.
But, to be honest, the biggest killer was its complete inability to run software that did what people wanted, i.e. decent DRM and being able to buy and play music easily. Without that ability, the Zune died. "Surface" is the same - if you lock it down and people can't use it, nobody will buy it. Not because it doesn't have nice chips in it but because it's been designed to be a piece of hardware that doesn't do the things people need it to do.
Hardware "DRM" (i.e. not being able to use the damn thing as a simple media player that could download media from rivals too) was the death of the Zune and will probably be the death of Surface too. The statement really isn't that inaccurate unless you are very blinkered and think "hardware" means the electronics and not the design and operation of the device's hardware too.
"Hardware "DRM" (i.e. not being able to use the damn thing as a simple media player that could download media from rivals too) was the death of the Zune"
I have a Zune and regularly listen to MP3's I bought on Amazon on it, as well as copies of my own CDs (some ripped with Zune, some with WMP).
Now I can't get music from iTunes on it, but that's because of Apple's DRM, not the Zune's. Even the tracks you buy from the Zune store have always been un-protected MP3s. It's only 'subscription' content that was ever protected, for fairly obvious reasons.
I liked the Zune colour scheme... but making its USP (share music wirelessly! Kind of! With limitations!) reliant on actually meeting another human being who owned one was a just little bit optimistic on MS's part.
I've only ever met one person who has owned a Zune.
I used to have a iRiver H320 harddisk player (same battery, Toshiba HDD and form factor as an iPod, but with good quality ADC / DAC ) that could act as a USB host and snag music off any MP3 player that supported MSC - i.e, the same trick as the Zune, but better, and earlier.
Shame they stopped making the H320 -it's the Nokia 6210 of the PMP world.
I'm not an Apple fanboi, however Steve Jobs was famous for his brainstorming sessions where he would take the top ten suggestions throw away the bottom 7 and launch a plan based upon the remaining 3. The more and more you look at this the more it seems that MSFT under Ballmer takes the ten top suggestions and throws away the top seven and uses the 3 least worthy.
The MSFT 'tablet' is a case of nobody knowing what it is they want to produce, just wanting to produce "something". Not slim enough to be a worry to Apple or Android, not enough power to be a threat to Acer, HP, Sony or IBM, no 3G to be a worry to any mobile operators ... its like something that Dilbert's boss would produce.
Your WP7 phone just became obsolete. MS has announced WP8 and there will be no upgrades of WP7 phones to WP8.
Back in the 80s and 90s MS relied on vapourware to delay people buying stuff until MS could write their own. Some of this never turned up, but never mind, the targets that MS aimed out were starved of sales while everyone waited for MS's product.
MS has been trying that tactic with mobile. It has failed because the targets of its vapourware are its own. With WM6 it said that 'the next version will be soon'. Then they delivered WM6.5 and talked about WP7. WP7 was short a few features so it was 'wait for 7.1', then 'wait for 7.5'. But they started discussing 'Apollo' and 'SuperPhone' as being 'this year'. Now they have announced WP8 which they claim will be this year. Who would buy a WP7.5 now they know it is already a dead product ?
Obviously 'Surface' was announced to deflect Google's tablet and to slow down iPad and Android until MS's can be evaluated. But that may be 6 months for ARM and several more until the x86 PRO.
As these are 0.9 versions you should also wait for SP2 or version 3.
"Your WP7 phone just became obsolete. MS has announced WP8 and there will be no upgrades of WP7 phones to WP8."
I would be more concerned about this if I heard people who actually used a WP7 moaning about this. But all I hear are people who obviously don't like the phone anyway telling people who do like the phone why they shouldn't. I have a WP7 (Lumia 710). I paid £160 for it SIM-free and t works really well, And I expect it to continue like that for a good long time. You think it's suddenly going to become incompatible with email, or Outlook or Word?
> You think it's suddenly going to You think it's suddenly going to become incompatible with email, or Outlook or Word??
Microsoft's business plan with Word for many years was to bring out new versions with new file formats so that existing users _did_ "suddenly .. become incompatible with .. Word", and thus have to go out and buy the new version. Don't think that this won't happen again.
I have a Lumia 800. I never expected to be able to upgrade it to Win8/WP8, an OS that is coming out over a year since I bought the phone. I don't care about this. If it does happen, I will be pleasantly surprised.
There's a good chance that it would run slower and thus do a worse job than WP7 does (which the device specs were designed for) anyway, and I'd lose.
It'll be full of bugs that will get discovered but won't be patched because M$ can put their hands up and say we don't support the device directly. In a security conscious internet/world, I'd want my smartphone to be built and supported until the end of its life.
Android does to a point
I wouldn't care if it became incompatible with documents as such, that's natural evolution. I care if my phone calls/texts/messages could get hacked. When most smartphones can be upgraded to their next major software version "at least", it's a crude tactic to leave customers out of the loop when their phone could quite easily support the next version with possibly limited features.
I personally think M$ are in a mess on what their ultimate aim is. Win 8 in it's current state for desktop was a limp decision to suit both legacy and app worlds. Then for the tablet, we're going back to XP Tablet Edition again with a fuzzy layer of Metro splashed over the top.
From what I could see of the prices, people won't know what value they're getting with Win 8 / Metro / RT. And seriously... why promote a product that's not ready to launch within 2 weeks? Hasn't anyone learnt from Apple yet (apart from Samsung with the SIII)?
MY WP7 is 18 months old, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but most contracts still give you a new phone every 18months to two years. Also, I just checked and it's still working as a phone, with all the installed software, all the current software in the store, it still does email (outlook and Googlemail) and works with facebook, linkedin, etc, etc, etc.
Nope, not obsolete.
"Not slim enough to be a worry to Apple or Android, not enough power to be a threat to Acer, HP, Sony or IBM,"
Huh? The RT/Arm version is virtually identical in thickness to ipads/android tabs, and the i5 version should be powerful enough to run office etc (ie so you can get some real work done).
Did you not realise there are 2 versions?
"They are also in the dock for cramming PCs with crapware and selling you the machine they want you to have instead of the PC you deserve." So what sort of PC do I deserve? I've been racking my brains to answer that question.
Oh, there are things that I want PCs to do, of course, but mostly they are science fiction things that no-one can deliver. I mean, who wouldn't want a PC that is able to command robot armies, while at the same time, teaches you to be a martial arts master, cooks a meal and even make you a cup of tea when you're feeling down? Hey, I even want things that no science fiction computer can do, such as a having a PC that can figure out that I didn't mean to do whatever it is I did and, instead do whatever it was that I really wanted to do.
None of that tells me what qualities a PC would have if it was the PC I deserved. Is this 'deserve' based on moral qualities? I must admit that I've been a good girl; I pay my taxes, I haven't committed any crimes, and I eat everything on my plate. Of course, maybe it means the PC the writer thinks I deserve? In that case, I hope he thinks well of people he's never met and knows nothing about.
Hmmm...it's all become too complicated, this 'deserve'. I think I'll just stick to looking at what products are out there and not buying the ones that don't my more mundane requirements and budget. In that way, perhaps, while I might not get what I want, I'll get something that at least approaches what I need.
Perhaps that's what the writer really meant with his phrase lifted from advertising speak. And perhaps, sometimes, he receives not the comments he wants, but the comments he deserves.
This post has been deleted by its author
It's vaporware to promote Windows 8. The thing isn't even on sale, no prices or release dates announced, no hands-on reviews, how can anyone give a sensible verdict on something like that?
All we have are vague specs, a few pictures and lots of hot air speculation.
Please stop playing Microsoft Marketing Department's game.
"All we have are vague specs, a few pictures and lots of hot air speculation."
Are you unaware of the full presentation showing it in use? Or do you consider that "a few pictures". Granted we don't know all the details, but this has been in development for three years and we've actually seen working examples and they've announced that the WindowsRT version will be going on sale in the Autumn and the x86 version three months after that.
"Are you aware it froze mid demo and had to be switched for a working unit?"
Yeah. Big deal. A pre-release piece of hardware running a pre-release operating system froze and the presenter didn't bother hanging around, they just put it down and picked up a different one. I take it you have never ever worked in the software or hardware industries.
Upcoming technology product featured on a Technology News Website? Perish the thought.
I don't think anyone here has been unreservedly positive about it - comments seem to range from 'It might be alright', and 'What are they thinking?' to 'F^*% you and all your works, Microsoft!'
The fun of the exercise is that we are here discussing, in part, what we would like to see from a future machine, and how we use our current one - ignoring, of course, the usual Apple/ MS/ Good/ Evil comments.
If it proves to be vapourware, then there is no danger of anyone 'playing Microsoft Marketing Department's game', is there? Besides, we're all adults- everyone here will be able to try the software before they buy, and before buying the hardware they will read the reviews, try one in a store or else see how their friends get on with it.
One undeniably positive thing about this machine: Spilling coffee on the keyboard doesn't brick the entire device.
--It's vaporware to promote Windows 8
Oddly enough I have the x64 preview edition running in VirtualBox on my desktop as we speak. So I wouldn't say that at least the PC edition is true vaporware. That said MS might be in a better position if it was. Ever since I've used the pre-releases of Win95 I've become used to a start menu, around 18 years of experience with it, over half my life. And now to have it ripped away and replaced with a tablet interface is pretty drastic. Yes, I can learn how to use metro pretty quickly, and no it's not the end of the world for me either. The issue is retraining the rest of the Windows World how to live without the start menu. It contained a lot of information in a relatively compressed form when not in use. Yes it sucked on a low-res screen, but on a workstation with tons of programs and lot of desktop space it works pretty well.
Other then the Metro mess up, Win8 PC edition is pretty much Win7R2.
God only knows what the RT version will be like.
For the Windows 8 Pro version the pro will stand for 'prone' as it will be prone to overheating with that i5 Processor in there and not much room for heat dissipation.
As for the RT version I think a lot of consumers who buy the device will feel conned as they'll buy it thinking they can run their existing Windows software, because after all it's the new version of the OS. After all it looks just like Windows 8 that I've heard is still backwards compatible.
Microsoft should've been smart and called the ARM OS Microsoft Metro, but by going down the Windows 8 / Windows RT route they are just going to confuse and annoy punters
"Pros and Cons
For the Windows 8 Pro version the pro will stand for 'prone' as it will be prone to overheating with that i5 Processor in there and not much room for heat dissipation."
I'm glad Samsung have better engineering skills than you then! My Samsung Series 7 Slate (I5, 4gb RAM, SSD etc etc), which I'm currently typing this reply on, is working great on Windows 8 Preview.
I suggest you might want to buy one and put your money where your keyboard sized mouth is so that you can at least speak from a position of knowledge rather than ignorance.
While the media LOVES to through around the pharase "IPAD Killer" or some other form of sensationalistic BS. Anyone with a decent knowledge of technology knows that the media is just spinning crap to get readers. The reality is that no tablet will have the same fan-fare that the IPAD has garnished over the years. While we all know that the IPAD was NOT the first tablet on the market, we also know that Apple succeded in dummhing down the produc so any child of 5 or older could easily navigate it and buy product through ITUNES. Apples REAL money maker. Hey when IProduct users only have one market to shop at....you are guaranteed to make loads of money.
What we will see in the coming years are products that provide greater functionality for thouse seeking something more than what Apple thinks you need. While Android has more of a learning curve than IOS, you gain many more choices that Apple allows you. With a full OS on a streamlined tablet...well you gain more functionality than IOS will evern provide. The only option for Apple is to add their OS onto a MacTablet.
MS has just taken matters into their own hands since many manufacturers have failed to provide the hardware many techies desire. Apple does very well for several reasons. ...they control the hardware specs so that their IOS will perform at its peak. Try loading IOS on some other hardware...and it may be less significant..
.. I guess they're all too busy bashing something they don't like (Microsoft) rather than supporting something they do (Linux).
The ARM version, I guess the chances are slim: ...unlike Intel's free market, you do need serious vendor support to get stuff running on these platforms - it's not just the CPU, but all the other integrated drivers and support hardware, and every SoC family is different, despite all "running on ARM".
The i5 version, on the other hand is probably ripe for Linux. I suspect the Bootloader is the biggest obstacle, but if it is authenticated boot, it'll only be a matter of time before a non-FOSS purist will just hack around (cf. video drivers) and pave the way for people who actually want to use their hardware...
The best way to do this would be to use an over large, crippled OS, to have a device that is inferior to the competition in almost every respect and to make it weigh about the same as a full featured laptop. If you can make it crash regularly and if you can launch it with a senile old fool capering around on stage while looking confused about why it's crashed (again) then your job is done.
Oh, have a backup strategy of having no apps, no app store, and no concept of what the market wants.
It worked for HP!