JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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I've wrote about this on Techbroil already, but in case you haven't noticed, there is currently a huge trend within the fanwhore community to justify the Xbone with a lie. Here's the lie:

I guess you don't understand how steam works... the point isn't to lower initial costs of games, which it technically HAS due to the stagnant price of games from last gen to this, the real benefit comes with used game sales 3-4 months down the line. AAA games on steam are released at $60 just like any other platform, but due to the lack of a used game market on Steam you also see huge sales on games a few months down the line on digital sales. If youre a frugal gamer you can simply wait for the online sales that will come.

http://www.neowin.net/news/microsofts-first-party-xbox-one-games-will-have-5999-prices#comment-2238969

They are claiming that PC games are now cheaper than in the past, because Steam has "destroyed" the second-hand market. And that's utter bul*****. Stores discounted games before Steam was even invented.

Bargain bin deals at retailers for PC games were (often still are) usually cheaper than the Steam deals. And the discounts usually started faster than they do at Steam.

And even today, boxed games are often cheaper on Amazon than their download-only equivalents on Steam, especially older titles, and I am not even talking about the second-hand resellers there.

And those Steam-deals where you get multiple games.. anyone remember game compilation packages? They were less costly.

They are lying through their teeth. If anything, Steam has made PC games more pricey on average.

Edited by Formfiller
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anyone remember game compilation packages? They were less costly.

Yes, back in the early to mid 90s you could get a lot of value through buying the "packs" and "chests" which were usually around $20. Some manufacturers went as far to load all the games onto a single CD rather than filling the pack with individual releases.

Also from Techbroil:

I thought the point was to lower initial cost of games and then recover the "extra" through additional first sales by removing the used game market. Now I have to take it on faith that Microsoft and partners will actually drop prices instead of the free market forcing the issue. How is this a tenable position? Lower initial prices would mitigate the risk of possibly never seeing a price drop. As it is, there's blatantly negative value to the consumer.

There's also an inherent conflict of interest with the same party controlling new and used games. It would be trivial for Microsoft to decide that they needed more Halo sales and stop selling copies of Halo Minus One. Disney attempts something like this by putting titles into "the vault" after a limited release, but the used market thwarts their attempts to create artificial scarcity. Without the corrective force of the secondary market, publishers have total price control.

They are lying through their teeth. If anything, Steam has made PC games more pricey on average.

Kinda like how banks saved money on tellers by installing ATMs but still charged "convenience fees" for withdraws until a few years ago.

Edited by HalloweenDocument12
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I can remember when games used to have tons of goodies in the package:

I can even remember when PC's and Software came with manuals ("real" books), I still have a DOS manual that came with the pre-installed DOS (and Windows 3.x) Compaq computer, which is actually very good, and that no "hyperlinked" help file can beat (not because of being hyperlinked help files instead of print on paper but because having been poorly written, and missing 2/3 to 3/4 of commands, sintaxes and anything besides very basic usage).

Ditto. I agree with every word you wrote in there.

My first computer, a Sanyo MBC-550, came with about six ring binders full of manuals for MS-DOS and associated programs (mainly for programmers). I still have them stored in a box somewhere.

I bought two Dells in the '90s -- a WFWG 3.11 in 1995, and a Win98(FE) in 1998. The first one came with all manner of quality-bound paperback manuals; the second one, just a few years later, already came with most of the documentation (such as there was) on the hard drive.

--JorgeA

EDIT: typo!!

Edited by JorgeA
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I still play Civ1, too. I have a hard time ranking the best games I ever played but it is up there, probably top 5. My general experience is different, though. I tend to stockpile more good games over time. There just seems to be more in the past because I'm compressing decades. One thing I will say is that today's market is so incremental and saturated that it's not a good value to game all the time. Instead, it's better to drop in and out and buy the games that are retrospectively held in esteem. Doesn't work with MMOs, though, as, outside of WoW, those need to be played in the first 4-6 months of release. Even WoW is inaccessible to new players since circa 2010.

It's harder to find games with complex rulesets like Civ and Orion. The good games today are good for different reasons. I haven't played the recent Civs and their expansion packs, though. Sim City looks like a total mess in both basic execution and game mechanics.

To keep this kind of on topic, the problem with effectively raising prices on games is that there's so much more supply and incremental quality has gone down. The new equilibrium point is achieved via the purchase of used games. If game makers are to corner this market, it has to operate similar to a free market otherwise it will collapse. Perpetually charging $60 for old games is a pipe dream. The market won''t support it.

Good point there in the last paragraph. We could liken it to a gold mine, where all the easy pickings get taken first and then it gets harder and harder to come up with anything worthwhile. Similarly, it takes more effort to devise truly new games.

Not that I would know, personally, but the theory makes sense to me.

While I'm in the mood for reminiscing, the last PC game I ever spent any time with (though that was LOTS of time) was Gary Grigsby's "Second Front," on my Amstrad PC6400. But after that PC games seemed (from my perspective) to devolve from high-concept strategic simulations to first-person shooters -- basically (IMHO) more complex and sophisticated versions of Space Invaders or Pacman. Strategic- and operational-level simulations appeared to go by the wayside, and I haven't paid much attention to PC gaming since. For all I know there could have been a renaissance, but if so then I've totally missed it.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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New Dvorak column just out. Seems to have done a 180 from the last one here ...

[...]

... I wonder if he is reading this thread? Anyway, here is the latest ...

The NSA's Surveillance Will Devastate Commerce ( John C. Dvorak PC Magazine 2013-06-17 )

... and this one makes a brilliant point in light of all the recent breaking news ...

But we've been missing one important aspect of all this. These programs, all in the name of supposedly stopping terrorism, will severely hurt the American economy as foreign sales will challenge American products.

What foreign government, agency, or corporation in its right mind would buy Microsoft Office 360, for instance, if it suspects that every memo written will float up to the Microsoft/NSA cloud to be scrutinized by some "analyst" for unknown reasons. And Google Docs is no better.

What overseas id*** would use any of these services? Who would create a Facebook account? Who would use any American instant messaging system?

Recall that one of al Qaeda's goals is to destroy the U.S. economy. If all this snooping and spying ends up harming (let alone destroying) the U.S. economy, then what does logic say about the agencies involved?

As the saying goes, "The road to he!! is paved with good intentions."

--JorgeA

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The only thing surprising about PRISM is its eventually actually getting in the news... unless, of course, it's all a smoke-screen hiding even bigger things...

:ph34r:

--JorgeA

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Does anybody have inside or other additional info on this quote? It starts almost exactly 8 minutes into episode 39 of This Week in Enterprise Tech, during a discussion of Windows 8.1. (Host: Fr. Robert Ballecer. Guest: Brian Chee.)

RB: Cheever, let me toss over to you here. You've been playing with Windows 8 quite a bit, and you've played with the Metro interface. You've played with the new Desktop interface. Do you think that this is enough -- just simply adding a Start Button to Windows 8, does that entice enough people into thinking, "Well, it's close enough to Windows 7 that I can now use them interchangeably"?

BC: No, no, not quite. I go back two years when the Reviewers' Workshop happened and we started learning about Windows 8 for the first time, and we all got very excited because they're promising us the ability that when we did the install, that we could choose Desktop only, or we could choose Desktop with Metro -- or we could choose Command Line only, meaning kernel only, which was very very exciting, especially for the OEMs, especially for the people that wanted to put their own GUIs on there for custom kiosks, custom instruments. Could you imagine a kernel as stable as Windows 8 finally being able to stabilize some medical equipment, or gas pumps, or kiosks -- you know, how may kiosks have you gone to that had the Blue Screen of Death on it? <laughter>

[emphasis added]

That would be quite a revelation, that early on Microsoft was promising that you could install Windows 8 without Metro. Breaking that promise can only have contributed to the anger and disappointment that has met the version of Windows 8 that eventually got released.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Does anybody have inside or other additional info on this quote? It starts almost exactly 8 minutes into episode 39 of This Week in Enterprise Tech, during a discussion of Windows 8.1. (Host: Fr. Robert Ballecer. Guest: Brian Chee.)
RB: Cheever, let me toss over to you here. You've been playing with Windows 8 quite a bit, and you've played with the Metro interface. You've played with the new Desktop interface. Do you think that this is enough -- just simply adding a Start Button to Windows 8, does that entice enough people into thinking, "Well, it's close enough to Windows 7 that I can now use them interchangeably"?

BC: No, no, not quite. I go back two years when the Reviewers' Workshop happened and we started learning about Windows 8 for the first time, and we all got very excited because they're promising us the ability that when we did the install, that we could choose Desktop only, or we could choose Desktop with Metro -- or we could choose Command Line only, meaning kernel only, which was very very exciting, especially for the OEMs, especially for the people that wanted to put their own GUIs on there for custom kiosks, custom instruments. Could you imagine a kernel as stable as Windows 8 finally being able to stabilize some medical equipment, or gas pumps, or kiosks -- you know, how may kiosks have you gone to that had the Blue Screen of Death on it? <laughter>

[emphasis added]

That would be quite a revelation, that early on Microsoft was promising that you could install Windows 8 without Metro. Breaking that promise can only have contributed to the anger and disappointment that has met the version of Windows 8 that eventually got released.

Agreed. It sounds like the OEMs were led down a primrose path and believed the next Windows would not cause upheaval, but quite the contrary, be the proverbial shot in the arm. I'm not sure what conference he is talking about, it might be a workshop at //build/ 2011 which is also around the first time I remember hearing about this disaster, it was summer 2011 ...

Live from Microsoft's Windows 8 preview event at Computex 2011! ( EnGadget 2011-06-01 )

Previewing “Windows 8” ( Microsoft 2011-06-01 )

10:28AM The tiles that you see on the Start screen are live. "They represent your apps, your people, your contacts, the things that you care most about."

microsoft-computex0022.jpg

( Source: EnGadget )

For the record, there were earlier mentions we all heard about that previous January, but as far as I can remember the crazy interface and the destruction of Windows wasn't made public until that summer //build/ event. These articles are 5 months earlier ...

Microsoft confirms ARM support is coming in Windows, will play nice with SoCs too ( EnGadget 2011-01-05 )

Microsoft Announces Support of System on a Chip Architectures From Intel, AMD, and ARM for Next Version of Windows ( Microsoft 2011-01-05 )

CES: Windows to run on ARM chips, says Microsoft ( ZDNet 2011-01-06 )

win-arm-01-top.jpeg

( Source: EnGadget )

That last picture is from CES ( Consumer Electronics Show ) and if you look closely it is a Windows 8 build 6.2.something. It is obviously the desktop and the sharp corners are already there.

EDIT: typo

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Huawei chairman hints at Nokia acquisition, ditching Windows Phone [update] ( NeoWin 2013-06-18 )

The commenters are surprisingly calm about this story. Or maybe they are petrified. :lol: Whatever. But it certainly is a very strange thing for a company honcho to be blabbing about. It did send the stock price of Nokia up, and that alone would cause a stir from the SEC if they had some jurisdiction over this Chinese company. Imagine if he ( Huawei chairman ) or his friends held a big block of Nokia shares! This would fall under "Pump and Dump" market manipulation. Anyway, the commenters feel assured that Microsoft would fly in to save the day and buy Nokia first. They certainly have enough cash, but so do others like Google. And Apple at last count has at least twice as much cash on hand. This should be an interesting year for Nokia. I'd guess they have a 50-50 chance of existing into 2014. I imagine the next two to three reporting periods will tell the tale.

Skype video messaging exits preview, still not on Windows Phone ( NeoWin 2013-06-18 )

Skype launches video-messaging service on Android, Blackberry and iOS devices ( TechSpot 2013-06-18 )

Am I the only one thinking someone at Microsoft really is trying to kill Windows Phone. :yes:

Always-on voice controlled smartphones to appear in 2014 ( TechSpot 2013-06-18 )

Citing multiple sources, GottaBeMobile reports that LG has plans to release a smartphone with always-on voice activation as soon as next year. Reportedly, smartphones armed with the technology will respond only to the owner's voice and may require just a simple "hello" to begin processing voice input.

Obviously this is about phones but here is the part that matters and needs to be stuffed down the throats of MicroZealots and MetroTards promoting the wonders of Xbox and Kinect ...

Buttonless (and touchless) voice activation has always presented a few challenges to handset makers, namely battery power (any feature that is always on requires some level of awareness) and separating noise -- like conversations and road noise -- from deliberate voice commands.

So, the MicroZealots and MetroTards are very conveniently willing to overlook wasted power on optional luxuries in the case of Xbox and Kinect, but are quick to disparage Aero and other frills that normal people enjoy on their personal computers that have no battery in the first place ( and that includes laptops which are often plugged in ). Has even one MicroZealot or MetroTard criticized Microsoft for this Xbox Kinect audio polling? It is a frill that merely lets the gamer sit on their butt without having to get up and press a button! FWIW: I'm absolutely not against such a feature as long as the user wants it. But the hypocrisy is maddening to me. They use power savings as the excuse to kill desirable visual effects on desktop Windows but ignore wasted power on their game system. And not a peep from their enablers.

Windows Azure now used by over 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies ( NeoWin 2013-06-18 )

And the federal government thanks you for your business! :lol:

EDIT: clarity

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Were Xbox One E3 Demos Powered by Windows 7 and Nvidia Graphics? ( Maximum PC 2013-06-17 )

Update 12:30 PM

Or maybe not. A developer for Twisted Pixel's LocoCycle claims that his game was the only one of the bunch running on a PC, and that the choice of hardware was "solely [Twisted Pixel's] decision," not Microsoft's. That would certainly explain a few things, and hopefully blunt those pitchforks and douse the torches.

Not sure I'm buying this. The picture they supply sure looks like more than one PC under those cabinets. Surely they must have pictures of actual in-use Xbox systems to prove their point?

Analyst: 'The entire future of the Xbox business is in question' ( NeoWin 2013-06-18 )

( This was probably mentioned earlier, but I just wanted to get the title of the article on the record. ) Not going over well with the fanboys :lol: I still wonder why they even bothered getting into consoles at all. It is never going to be a huge money maker, and it led to destruction of Microsoft PC games like Flight Simulator, a true signature title for them. The worst part is that it is in direct conflict to a huge segment of PC users. If Windows had been broken off into a firewalled company operating with full autonomy and with no concern for other Microsoft products ( creating a truly level playing field for all software, like an operating system is supposed to ) then all these side projects wouldn't ring alarm bells.

The judge who tried to break up Microsoft in 2000 passes away ( NeoWin 2013-06-18 )

In 2000, Judge Jackson ruled that Microsoft must be split into two companies; one company would handle Windows and the other would run the rest of Microsoft's software products. However, it was discovered later that Jackson was interviewed by journalists during the trial and before he rendered his verdict.

Jackson's comments to those reporters included his opinion of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, which Jackson said had "a Napoleonic concept of himself". In 2001, the Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that Jackson's statements to the press gave the impression of bias and removed him from the case, while also overturning his ruling. Later, the DOJ decided to settle with Microsoft, rather than insist on its breakup. The final settlement was made official in 2002.

Boy, in hindsight this Judge seems to have gotten it exactly right. Pity he didn't critique Ballmer too. :lol:

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Does anybody have inside or other additional info on this quote? It starts almost exactly 8 minutes into episode 39 of This Week in Enterprise Tech, during a discussion of Windows 8.1. (Host: Fr. Robert Ballecer. Guest: Brian Chee.)
RB: Cheever, let me toss over to you here. You've been playing with Windows 8 quite a bit, and you've played with the Metro interface. You've played with the new Desktop interface. Do you think that this is enough -- just simply adding a Start Button to Windows 8, does that entice enough people into thinking, "Well, it's close enough to Windows 7 that I can now use them interchangeably"?

BC: No, no, not quite. I go back two years when the Reviewers' Workshop happened and we started learning about Windows 8 for the first time, and we all got very excited because they're promising us the ability that when we did the install, that we could choose Desktop only, or we could choose Desktop with Metro -- or we could choose Command Line only, meaning kernel only, which was very very exciting, especially for the OEMs, especially for the people that wanted to put their own GUIs on there for custom kiosks, custom instruments. Could you imagine a kernel as stable as Windows 8 finally being able to stabilize some medical equipment, or gas pumps, or kiosks -- you know, how may kiosks have you gone to that had the Blue Screen of Death on it? <laughter>

[emphasis added]

That would be quite a revelation, that early on Microsoft was promising that you could install Windows 8 without Metro. Breaking that promise can only have contributed to the anger and disappointment that has met the version of Windows 8 that eventually got released.

Agreed. It sounds like the OEMs were led down a primrose path and believed the next Windows would not cause upheaval, but quite the contrary, be the proverbial shot in the arm. I'm not sure what conference he is talking about, it might be a workshop at //build/ 2011 which is also around the first time I remember hearing about this disaster, it was summer 2011 ...

Microsoft has never really made concessions to OEMs regarding the desktop OSes. All that stuff about custom appliances and GUIs are always licensed under the Embedded side of things and would have nothing to do with the run of the mill Windows. I don't even know what Windows 8 Embedded can do, no one wants regular Windows 8 enough to have that kind of demand. And when you want to say "yeah but the touch support" and that's just that Start Screen. ISVs would be in the same spot as if they were using Windows 7 Embedded since they still have to write their own software because they won't be using Modern apps or the Start Screen for their custom software right?

Anyways, that discussion must have been from early on as obviously it sounds more like how Server 2012 operates.

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That would be quite a revelation, that early on Microsoft was promising that you could install Windows 8 without Metro. Breaking that promise can only have contributed to the anger and disappointment that has met the version of Windows 8 that eventually got released.

Agreed. It sounds like the OEMs were led down a primrose path and believed the next Windows would not cause upheaval, but quite the contrary, be the proverbial shot in the arm. I'm not sure what conference he is talking about, it might be a workshop at //build/ 2011 which is also around the first time I remember hearing about this disaster, it was summer 2011 ...

I made my own transcript and posted it. I couldn't make out exactly what workshop he was talking about -- sounded like "reviewers workshop" to me, but it could have been "previewers."

win-arm-01-top.jpeg

( Source: EnGadget )

That last picture is from CES ( Consumer Electronics Show ) and if you look closely it is a Windows 8 build 6.2.something. It is obviously the desktop and the sharp corners are already there.

Yes, that looks like it says version 6.2.7067. And notice the Start Button at the left end of the Taskbar. If it was at CES, it must have been in January 2011.

Thanks a bunch for the background info, BTW.

--JorgeA

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FYI:

Microsoft unloading Surface RT units at $199, offering schools major discount

It’s fair to say that Microsoft’s Surface didn’t get the reception the company was hoping for. The tablet debuted last October and tanked shortly thereafter, thanks to an overly ambitious price point, poor software selection, and the myriad issues surrounding Windows 8. In late May, Microsoft put the tablet on sale at its own TechEd conference, with Surface going for $100 and Surface Pro for $399. Now, Redmond is extending a significant discount program to educational institutions.
As for the reason MS may be dumping Surface RT stock now, that’s not hard to guess. Either the company is going to pivot away from ARM altogether, or it’ll take another crack at introducing an RT tablet...
Total sales of Surface were estimated in March at one million units for Surface RT (which launched in October, 2012) and 400,000 Surface Pros, which had only launched in February. That’s not a terrible figure in absolute terms, but Microsoft apparently shot for the moon and ordered more than three million of the Surface RT. That leaves the company with a disagreeable amount of inventory, which won’t be worth much at all once it announces a new version (or kills off the old).

--JorgeA

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From the Channel9 Xbone thread, a fanboy weighs in:

http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/Coffeehouse/E3-Smackdown/81e03c5f4ecb4df083e7a1e20107ed4e

Meh.

I keep hearing this thrown about, but the reality is that games cost what they cost.

From the publisher's point of view, they just need to make their money. I haven't seen a contract, but I'd bet that if they could sell 1 copy for $60 million it would be the same as them selling 1 million copies for $60.

From the gamers point of view, if the game provides 20 hours of entertainment, it's costing you $3 an hour. Online games (a la Battlefield, Quake, Halo) do even better.

So I just can't begrudge the gaming companies wanting to charge for the game again. For far too long, computer entertainment consumers have had this "Gimme all of it for free" mentality and it's counterproductive.

Frankly, it's why a vast majority of games suck.

The vast majority of games suck because they can't extract more money? Games before the DRM lockdown were on average better than today's extravaganza, so that reason is nilly. These shills and fanboys are very tiring, they stop at no lie and have to qualms to make "arguments" out of thin air.

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Total sales of Surface were estimated in March at one million units for Surface RT (which launched in October, 2012) and 400,000 Surface Pros, which had only launched in February. That’s not a terrible figure in absolute terms

Something that doesn't seem to have clicked yet with tech journalism is that selling one million units no longer makes the item mass market. Once upon a time, back in the 80s, selling a million of a device meant that "everyone had one", at least to the extent one could realistically consider the market. But now a million is niche. Wii-U has sold over 3.5 million units and the Vita over 2.5 and both are considered niche. These days, a vendor needs to sell literally an order of magnitude more to be considered at the same level as a few decades ago. 5 million is the new 500 thousand.

Edited by HalloweenDocument12
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