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JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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Formfiller    88

The future™:

There is a reason why Metro apps are "toy-like": WinRT (WinRT = Metro API) was not designed for complex programs. You will never see a WinRT Photoshop app because it would be almost impossible to create, never mind having dismal performance on bitmaps of any size (due to "brokered" file access). I saw one post on MSDN where a dev wrote a WinRT app that grabbed headers from image files in the Photos folder. It was 60-100X slower than the Desktop version because of the brokered file access. There are also limitations on image sizes due to the use of Direct3D textures for everything (some graphics hardware has a 4096 pixel limit). An additional problem is that WinRT apps have limited access to DLLs, which are used for filters in graphics apps. You can't install a "filter pack" on a WinRT graphics app. It has to be in the main install -- WinRT apps can't load a DLL dynamically from anywhere else.

None of these technical issues really matter because Adobe won't take a 30% haircut on sales anyway.

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/maybe-they-should-just-call-it-windows-78?page=1

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JorgeA    607

The future™:

There is a reason why Metro apps are "toy-like": WinRT (WinRT = Metro API) was not designed for complex programs. You will never see a WinRT Photoshop app because it would be almost impossible to create, never mind having dismal performance on bitmaps of any size (due to "brokered" file access). I saw one post on MSDN where a dev wrote a WinRT app that grabbed headers from image files in the Photos folder. It was 60-100X slower than the Desktop version because of the brokered file access. There are also limitations on image sizes due to the use of Direct3D textures for everything (some graphics hardware has a 4096 pixel limit). An additional problem is that WinRT apps have limited access to DLLs, which are used for filters in graphics apps. You can't install a "filter pack" on a WinRT graphics app. It has to be in the main install -- WinRT apps can't load a DLL dynamically from anywhere else.

None of these technical issues really matter because Adobe won't take a 30% haircut on sales anyway.

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/maybe-they-should-just-call-it-windows-78?page=1

This suggests one of two outcomes: (1) Microsoft goes all-Metro, killing the Desktop and leaving Adobe (and other indepndent software companies) with the choice of either shifting to a friendlier milieu (Linux, Mac) or going the way of the dodo; (2) Microsoft never kills the Desktop off completely, due to outrage by both third-party software companies and professional and other serious PC users.

The question going forward will then be one of how sensitive Microsoft will be to independent software makers and serious/professional users.

post-287775-0-52897000-1366640406_thumb.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA

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bpalone    7

Microsoft CFO Leaves Company

The article states "...latest in a line of top-level executives to leave the company, following Windows head Steven Sinofsky last November....".

Do they know something, that the general public doesn't? Kind of reminds one of Rats leaving the ship.

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Formfiller    88

This suggests one of two outcomes: (1) Microsoft goes all-Metro, killing the Desktop and leaving Adobe (and other indepndent software companies) with the choice of either shifting to a friendlier milieu (Linux, Mac) or going the way of the dodo; (2) Microsoft never kills the Desktop off completely, due to outrage by both third-party software companies and professional and other serious PC users.

The question going forward will then be one of how sensitive Microsoft will be to independent software makers and serious/professional users.

post-287775-0-52897000-1366640406_thumb.

--JorgeA

I wonder whether software companies could somehow sue Microsoft if they remove the desktop? I don't know how that could work, given that you don't sign a contract by developing software for a platform. But given the huge money involved here, I just don't see that Adobe et. al. would just call it quits and move on without a fight. Not to mention all the governments of the world who depend on the desktop for.. pretty much all their entire governing! How will they react when they find out that all their investments in MS infrastructure and desktop software is sharing the fate of the dodo? (There's a huge amount of custom Windows software there)

If you think about it, that's a real insane plan. Abandoning the desktop would mean turning the most powerful people on the planet against Microsoft. I don't even think Microsoft themselves are fully aware what kind of madness their "strategy" is.

Edited by Formfiller

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Formfiller    88

Oh well, Microsoft's craze-run has paid off:

http://www.neowin.net/news/valueact-takes-2-billion-stake-in-microsoft-is-it-targeting-steve-ballmer

Last week, Microsoft reported it generated more than $20 billion in revenue and made over $6 billion in net income for the first quarter of 2013. Despite the good news, a new report claims a well-known hedge fund is planning to announce it has bought a significant amount of stock in the company as part of a plan to potentially force Steve Ballmer out of his chief executive position at the tech giant.

CNBC, a business network on cable TV, reports ValueAct Capital is planning to buy a $2 billion stake in Microsoft, which would be about one percent of the company's total worth. The story was first revealed on CNBC's Twitter page:

ValueAct Capital was formed in 2000 and is run by Jeffrey Ubben, who will apparently reveal more about his intentions later today at an investment conference. StreetInsider.com reports that speculation has centered on Ballmer. It's possible that Ubben may try to use his stake in Microsoft to lead other investors in an effort to get rid of the chief executive.

There's also speculation that Ubben might try to convince shareholders to break up Microsoft. Microsoft's stock price has gone up more than four percent since the news of ValueAct Capital's stock purchase broke.

Great comment for once:

I hope they know it would have been cheaper to buy their staff 'Start8' rather than take this approach
Edited by Formfiller

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Formfiller    88

http://buzz.money.cnn.com/2013/04/22/microsoft-hedge-fund/

"We see Microsoft's consumer strategy challenges and say who cares," said Ubben, speaking Monday at the Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York.

Microsoft provides the plumbing that helps large and small businesses function, he explained. While many have derided Microsoft's inability to innovate, Ubben said that's not such a bad thing. "IT managers don't want constant change."

Microsoft should continue to capitalize on new enterprise businesses, such as instant messaging application Lync and web portal service SharePoint.

Microsoft is not good at consumer devices, but that's not the relevant lens to view the company," he said.

The changes Ubben is pushing for seem to be operational. Windows might have made Microsoft what it is today but it's not the future of the business he calls a "national treasure."

"Microsoft must consider strongly in the not too distant future making Office available outside Windows," he told attendees at the summit.

I see a HUGE conflict with Microsoft's Apple-envy mentality of the past few years here. Good that Sinofsky left in time..

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JorgeA    607

Microsoft CFO Leaves Company

The article states "...latest in a line of top-level executives to leave the company, following Windows head Steven Sinofsky last November....".

Do they know something, that the general public doesn't? Kind of reminds one of Rats leaving the ship.

Good question.

Here's something else that caught my eye in the article:

Shares of world's largest software company clicked up after the closing bell, following the news.

Hmm...

--JorgeA

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JorgeA    607

This suggests one of two outcomes: (1) Microsoft goes all-Metro, killing the Desktop and leaving Adobe (and other indepndent software companies) with the choice of either shifting to a friendlier milieu (Linux, Mac) or going the way of the dodo; (2) Microsoft never kills the Desktop off completely, due to outrage by both third-party software companies and professional and other serious PC users.

The question going forward will then be one of how sensitive Microsoft will be to independent software makers and serious/professional users.

post-287775-0-52897000-1366640406_thumb.

--JorgeA

I wonder whether software companies could somehow sue Microsoft if they remove the desktop? I don't know how that could work, given that you don't sign a contract by developing software for a platform. But given the huge money involved here, I just don't see that Adobe et. al. would just call it quits and move on without a fight. Not to mention all the governments of the world who depend on the desktop for.. pretty much all their entire governing! How will they react when they find out that all their investments in MS infrastructure and desktop software is sharing the fate of the dodo? (There's a huge amount of custom Windows software there)

If you think about it, that's a real insane plan. Abandoning the desktop would mean turning the most powerful people on the planet against Microsoft. I don't even think Microsoft themselves are fully aware what kind of madness their "strategy" is.

I doubt that software companies could sue Microsoft for removing the Desktop, unless they could plausibly bring into play some kind of antitrust angle. But it sure would destroy the business model of Adobe and so many application vendors that depend on a useful Desktop. They might be driven to porting their software to Linux and/or Mac and then forging marketing alliances with Linux distributors to push penguins.

As you point out, MSFT would absolutely make a lot of enemies if they killed the Desktop. As to whether that'd be enough to discourage them, we'll have to wait and see. There appears to be a bit of a monomaniacal, "mad scientist" quality to this Metro drive that may overrule all reason, as it had so far 'til we started hearing the rumors about the Start Button coming back.

--JorgeA

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JorgeA    607

Oh well, Microsoft's craze-run has paid off:

http://www.neowin.net/news/valueact-takes-2-billion-stake-in-microsoft-is-it-targeting-steve-ballmer

Last week, Microsoft reported it generated more than $20 billion in revenue and made over $6 billion in net income for the first quarter of 2013. Despite the good news, a new report claims a well-known hedge fund is planning to announce it has bought a significant amount of stock in the company as part of a plan to potentially force Steve Ballmer out of his chief executive position at the tech giant.

CNBC, a business network on cable TV, reports ValueAct Capital is planning to buy a $2 billion stake in Microsoft, which would be about one percent of the company's total worth. The story was first revealed on CNBC's Twitter page:

ValueAct Capital was formed in 2000 and is run by Jeffrey Ubben, who will apparently reveal more about his intentions later today at an investment conference. StreetInsider.com reports that speculation has centered on Ballmer. It's possible that Ubben may try to use his stake in Microsoft to lead other investors in an effort to get rid of the chief executive.

There's also speculation that Ubben might try to convince shareholders to break up Microsoft. Microsoft's stock price has gone up more than four percent since the news of ValueAct Capital's stock purchase broke.

If they were to frame this effort as a "kill Metro" project, I'll bet they could raise a ton of capital on a crowdfunding website... ;)

Great comment for once:

I hope they know it would have been cheaper to buy their staff 'Start8' rather than take this approach

:lol:

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA

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JorgeA    607

http://buzz.money.cnn.com/2013/04/22/microsoft-hedge-fund/

"We see Microsoft's consumer strategy challenges and say who cares," said Ubben, speaking Monday at the Active-Passive Investor Summit in New York.

Microsoft provides the plumbing that helps large and small businesses function, he explained. While many have derided Microsoft's inability to innovate, Ubben said that's not such a bad thing. "IT managers don't want constant change."

Microsoft should continue to capitalize on new enterprise businesses, such as instant messaging application Lync and web portal service SharePoint.

Microsoft is not good at consumer devices, but that's not the relevant lens to view the company," he said.

The changes Ubben is pushing for seem to be operational. Windows might have made Microsoft what it is today but it's not the future of the business he calls a "national treasure."

"Microsoft must consider strongly in the not too distant future making Office available outside Windows," he told attendees at the summit.

I see a HUGE conflict with Microsoft's Apple-envy mentality of the past few years here. Good that Sinofsky left in time..

Yup. The problem is that Microsoft wants to be all things to all people, but it can't. Nobody can. The "serious" segment of the market (business, IT, professionals, hobbyists) has a different focus and needs from the "entertainment" side that's happy with Angry Birds and YouTube videos. Trying to satisfy one segment means ticking off the other, as we've seen with the Metro mess.

I sympathize with Ubben's goals and recommendations as outlined in the linked article; unlike the present management, he seems to get what Microsoft is really all about. But I'm wondering what he means when he says, "forget about Windows." Does he mean "just leave it alone already," or does he mean "spin it off for somebody else to maintain."

--JorgeA

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JorgeA    607

http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-puts-in-new-tile-based-ad-format-in-outlookcom ...oops, they got scroogled... er.... I mean microogled... er... scromicragled... :P

Ads on the Outlook.com page?? No, thanks! Like a commenter gruffly suggested: yes, I'd rather use my own offline client. In any case, Microsoft's record on privacy (as seen many times in this thread) hardly inspires confidence. Other people (including that commenter) can be sliced and diced for all the data they're worth, if they prefer.

Best commenter there on this Outlook.com ad thing:

Soon coming to a Start Screen near you.

--JorgeA

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JorgeA    607

A crack in Microsoft's OEM front: http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/Laptops?SearchParameter=%26%40QueryTerm%3D*%26CategoryUUIDLevelX%3DjeEQxXjbj14AAAE0syxcZzOW%26os_compare_dte2%3DChrome%2BOS%26%40Sort.TieredPricing%3D0&PageSize=15.

post-287775-0-47398600-1366812919_thumb.

Hasn't HP been one of the OEMs most loyal and committed to Windows? Maybe their introduction of a Chromebook says something.

Ultimately, I'd like to see them offer a model (any form factor) with Linux preinstalled, or better yet no OS preinstalled.

Thoughts?

--JorgeA

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Formfiller    88

Interesting Neowin article for once:

http://www.neowin.net/news/sorry-microsoft-but-consumers-just-dont-like-you

“So, what do you think of Windows 8?” If I had a dollar for every time that question has been asked of me, I’d be a rich man. Sadly, those who ask for my opinion in that regard rarely do me the courtesy of paying for my time, but invariably, once they’ve heard my thoughts on Microsoft’s latest operating system, they see fit to return the favour by sharing their own opinions with me.

In my professional and social activities, I get to hear these musings from a pretty broad range of individuals – from the Trend Micro reps I chatted with at Mobile World Congress, to the Huawei executive I bumped into at the airport, to the staffer from The Telegraph that I drunkenly tried (and failed) to chat up on a night bus, to friends and family.

I hear from those who have bought shiny new Windows 8 notebooks; those who have upgraded their older PCs to the latest Windows version; those who are wondering if they should upgrade; and those who use Macs and despise Windows. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion.

With few exceptions, those opinions are far from positive. Those who have used Windows 8 express frustration; the dichotomy between the Desktop and Metro is confusing, the Start button is missing, the apps are lacking. Those who are on the fence express apprehension; they’ve heard less than glowing reviews about Windows 8 from friends and in the media, and are nervous about taking the plunge. Those who have no intention of ever using Windows 8 express satisfaction; what better vindication of their own choice, after all, than to know that the path not taken leads only to woe?

Whomever I speak with, the common factor in almost all of the conversations that I have about Windows 8 is the impression of negativity that seems to have pervaded consumer consciousness. There is no love, no affection, no emotional attachment whatsoever, it seems, among the overwhelming majority of consumers for Windows.

Well, too bad the article degrades after this and instead of blaming Windows 8 or metro, the main problem, they go on about how it's mostly the fault of Microsoft's bad image because of 90s anti-trust. Ridonkulus.

But at least they are making some progress. A few months ago even this article wouldn't appear on Neowin.

Edited by Formfiller

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JorgeA    607

Interesting Neowin article for once:

http://www.neowin.net/news/sorry-microsoft-but-consumers-just-dont-like-you

“So, what do you think of Windows 8?” If I had a dollar for every time that question has been asked of me, I’d be a rich man. Sadly, those who ask for my opinion in that regard rarely do me the courtesy of paying for my time, but invariably, once they’ve heard my thoughts on Microsoft’s latest operating system, they see fit to return the favour by sharing their own opinions with me.

In my professional and social activities, I get to hear these musings from a pretty broad range of individuals – from the Trend Micro reps I chatted with at Mobile World Congress, to the Huawei executive I bumped into at the airport, to the staffer from The Telegraph that I drunkenly tried (and failed) to chat up on a night bus, to friends and family.

I hear from those who have bought shiny new Windows 8 notebooks; those who have upgraded their older PCs to the latest Windows version; those who are wondering if they should upgrade; and those who use Macs and despise Windows. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion.

With few exceptions, those opinions are far from positive. Those who have used Windows 8 express frustration; the dichotomy between the Desktop and Metro is confusing, the Start button is missing, the apps are lacking. Those who are on the fence express apprehension; they’ve heard less than glowing reviews about Windows 8 from friends and in the media, and are nervous about taking the plunge. Those who have no intention of ever using Windows 8 express satisfaction; what better vindication of their own choice, after all, than to know that the path not taken leads only to woe?

Whomever I speak with, the common factor in almost all of the conversations that I have about Windows 8 is the impression of negativity that seems to have pervaded consumer consciousness. There is no love, no affection, no emotional attachment whatsoever, it seems, among the overwhelming majority of consumers for Windows.

Well, too bad the article degrades after this and instead of blaming Windows 8 or metro, the main problem, they go on about how it's mostly the fault of Microsoft's bad image because of 90s anti-trust. Ridonkulus.

But at least they are making some progress. A few months ago even this article wouldn't appear on Neowin.

Yeah, for Neowin that definitely counts as progress!

The article does deteriorate in the second half. Funny how the writer says that --

Metro – or whatever the hell Microsoft wants to call it these days – is the glue that binds its consumer offerings together: Windows Phone, Windows 8, Windows RT and Xbox, along with its various online services, such as Outlook.com and SkyDrive. The unprecedented integration of all of these services, working harmoniously together with a unified visual experience is key to winning over the hearts and minds of consumers.

-- and yet it's exactly the hardware boasting this "unified visual experience" :puke: that are the ones failing to set the tech market on fire.

One more gold nugget in the article: he really skewers the "increased earnings in the Windows division" spin that was reported last week --

The story is more complex than those figures suggest. As Charles Arthur, technology editor at The Guardian, explains, $1.1bn of the $5.7bn revenue for the Windows division was deferred from revenues generated by the pre-launch $15 Windows 8 upgrade offer given to those purchasing Windows 7 PCs in mid-2012. Business sales of Windows 7 licences to companies migrating from Windows XP - reacting to the final death knell of its demise next year - also gave things a boost, as did sales of Microsoft’s Surface tablets, which also come under the Windows division.

That Windows division revenues have been propped up by a pre-launch promotion, Windows 7 enterprise sales and Surface hardware sales doesn't exactly point to Windows 8 being a runaway success among consumers since its launch. Whichever way you spin the numbers, Surface - with Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro - hasn’t exactly taken the market by storm. While Surface sales helped to top up Windows division revenues, it’s widely believed that Microsoft has sold fewer than 1.5m of its tablets since launch last year.

The sample Start Screen used in the article may help to explain Microsoft's commercial difficulties:

post-287775-0-59195900-1366837382_thumb.

What a royal mess. Who can imagine a more disheveled mishmash of clashing colors and designs (squares and rectangles; logos and photographs; nearly wordless symbols and full tiles of graphics-free text... in every chromatic value on the palette)? Gimme those elegant floating iPad icons over this, any day!

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA

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