This isn't a move of desperation to get people developing for winphone/win rt. No siree.
Microsoft has found an eager early audience for its Windows-8-powered Surface Ultrabook: its own employees. The software giant is reportedly giving each of its 94,000 full-time staff a Surface computer for work and home use, in a gesture of mass Windows 8 munificence announced at the company’s annual staff meeting in Seattle’s …
You get a buckshee Win8 Pro Surface (the hardware looks very nice), you install Classic Shell so that you can choose which UI it boots to (and you get the start menu back if you want it). When you are at the desk at home, dock it, connect it to an external screen and you've got quite a decent home office pc. When you are on the move use the touch ui with your eyes closed - simple. :P
Surely this is pure common sense.
In one hit, you'll have a large number of types of users for the Phone/Tablet, so Microsoft can create an internal website for bugs/comments/requests, and get a wide range of feedback.
Not only that, but if the developers use the device they work on, they have more incentive to fix the bugs they find, they have more incentive to write apps they want, add the features they want, etc etc.
Many companies do this, i know that because the company i work for offers a similar scheme (although nowhere near the Microsoft scale)
I really want one but I have to wait until January. Just think though, that's 94k people using Surface tablets out and about for others to see, play with and get jealous off. Good move by MS. Having just installed Win 8 today on my work laptop and putting it on my desktop tonight I have to say that I'm really impressed so far.
I remember, about a decade or so ago (okay 12 years.. time flies), being forced to swap my perfectly servicable MacOS 9 office system for one running OS X 10.0.
All I'll say is that at least Windows 8 is actually ready for market, and has an existing set of apps. 10.0 was anything but.
I remember we were also force-migrated onto Apple's dreadful (and still dreadful) Mail.app. Dealing with even my tiny volume of email was a nightmare until I ran the MacOS 9 Eudora app through ResEdit and "rectified" its user-agent string into a more politically-palatable form.
But when my boss found out... he got me to repeat the hack on his copy :)
That's odd, the HSE have this to say about touchscreens
"If interface devices of the future office do move away from the traditional keyboard and mouse, physical symptoms currently attributed to computer use may be alleviated"
No mention of not using them, or any other DSE. As always, the HSE say it is the Employer's responsiblity to assess.....
"...Microsoft is accelerating the rate at which it upgrades its employees' PCs as part of the en masse move to Windows 8..."
So is it some kind of emergency? Something gonna happen soon we need to know about? Ballmer's acting like there's an eminent deadline to get everyone on W8 or something. Weird...
I have not had any problems navigating within desktop at all. In fact as a desktop os it is extremely nippy. However, I do have two issues that concern me. The most important one from my point of view is that the default does not permit you to boot directly to the UI of your choice. I have installed Classic Shell to deal with precisely that issue - not because I was that bothered about having the traditional start menu. The second issue as far as I am concerned is the lack of genuine customisation of the touch UI in terms of it's appearance. In terms of its functionality it works extremely well (even on the crappy Acer W500 I have installed it on) but it looks like something you puked up after several cans of special brew and a curry vindaloo. The first issue is readily sortable - the visual meme however will ensure that even on a new tablet (when I get one) I will only go to the start screen when I absolutely have to in order to launch an app. Despite the foaming from the gold card members of the Anti Microsoft Choral Howling Association it is a very good os under the bonnet. However MS are going to have to something about allowing the punter (who after all will be parting with fairly serious wonga for one of these devices or if he/she is buying a conventional box) to choose their default boot and have some real control over the appearance of the default home screen.
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