JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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Tihiy (of StartIsBack fame) has tweeted his evaluation of the Windows 8.1 preview (found here under "Bugs are obvious"):

Windows 8.1: two Start buttons, four Desktops, zero sanity

Here's what he saw:

insanity.png

Strange-looking, huh? I thought you'd be interested to see it.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Windows 8.1 is ready for business, Gartner declares ( PC World 2013-06-23 )

Microsoft hopes for second chance with Windows 8.1] ( PC World 2013-06-24 )

More coverage of the Gartner and others' clearly obvious shilling for Microsoft. Let's just call it what it is, we are in right in the middle of another Mojave Experiment. You can expect with the Windows 8.1 Blew preview and RTM all kinds of carefully worded essays about "listening" and "learning", a perfect repeat of the post-Vista period. They have learned absolutely nothing since then, not a single thing. At those two PC World articles the commenters are having none of this nonsense.

Confirmed: Windows Blue ditches "Computer" for "This PC" ( NeoWin 2013-06-25 )

Back in May, we reported that an early version of Windows 8.1 had ditched the classic "Computer" naming for "This PC", making a minor change from Windows 8. With the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview now available, these changes have been confirmed ...

Now there is a tiny improvement, just not one that anyone was really asking for. Okay, give them points for a relatively sensible idea here. But whether it is called "Local Computer" or "My Computer" or "Computer" or "This PC" is kind of a moot point if you can simply rename it to whatever you want ( which I believe you can, at least under Administrator on Windows XP ). I can't remember if under Win9x if this is possible from the GUI but I definitely used to edit the Shell Object names in their registry keys. So once again, a Microsoft swing and a miss. :yes:

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We have seen Windows 8.1! ( OneTouch Mobility 2013-06-22 )

Windows 8.1 Start button revealed in Windows Server 2012 R2 ( NeoWin 2013-06-24 )

Windows 8.1 start button appears as Microsoft's Blue wave breaks ( UK Register 2013-06-25 )

This is like a sick, twisted April Fools Joke. :blink: Or some evil malware that is designed to drive the user insane. :angry:

HWZstny.jpg

Left-Click the Start Button and you get a gigantic kick in the nuts

( Image Source: Official Video )

v5uiBMc.jpg

Right-Click the Start Button ( reversing 18 years of muscle memory!) for a retarded version of the Classic Start Menu.

( Image Source: NeoWin )

Naturally, even these lame attempts at "fixing" the problems rub the zealots the wrong way ...

If people still complain after all these options they are just anti-Microsoft trolls. This fixes pretty much everything.

I see. So in his mind the lack of love for Microsoft and Windows 8 defines a "troll". We've seen this before, from cult members that built a city called Jonestown and had a Kool-Aid party to celebrate their awesomeness.

So is there a way to turn this off and go back to way it was before?

Yes I would like to know as well... I like my taskbar without it. I think it looks much more clean and simple.

Hey MetroTards, what's the matter, you afraid of change? You luddites. :lol:

One commenter gives it back to them ...

Stay on Windows 8.0

Not that's gonna leave a mark! :yes:

EDIT: spacing, clarity, added article, changed image

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Sony officially unveils the SmartWatch 2 ( TechSpot 2013-06-25 )

Sony Xperia Z Ultra ups the ante with a massive 6.4-inch display ( TechSpot 2013-06-25 )

Sony announces the gargantuan Xperia Z Ultra ( NeoWin 2013-06-25 )

Samsung Launches Three New Galaxy Tab 3 Tablets ( NeoWin 2013-06-25 )

Every single form factor of mobile device is in play now. The watches are 1-2 inches, the phones are 4-5 inches, these mega-phone phablets are 6+ inches, Nexus and iPads and Notes hit 7-10 inches. The tsunami has arrived and there is no end in sight. The clear winner in this very wide range of devices is Android with iOS holding down 2nd place. So where does Microsoft expect to fit in? They are still treading water with their Surface models in the 10 inch range, which are whooped like a beaten dog by all comers, and they are pondering a 7 inch model which will fare no better. At the phone form factor the picture is even bleaker with no-one truly clamoring for the Microsoft Tiles interface as expected, their primary partner Nokia on the ropes, and Microsoft showing signs of their patented abandonment strategy. If you are a WP user, you have reason to worry.

The worst part is that all of this was entirely predictable, and was predicted here in this thread as well as over the entire blogosphere. So we can certainly assume at least one person up in Redmond also figured this out in advance, so it begs the question as to what were they thinking? They willfully destroyed their Windows heritage chasing unicorns in the mobile device market space, garnered incalculable amounts of bad will from longtime Windows users and even now, after two full years of criticism continue the trek. Definition of "Insanity": doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. Just sayin'

Microsoft bringing 'Age of Empires' to iPhone, Android devices [update] ( NeoWin 2013-06-24 )

Microsoft to port Xbox, PC games to Android and iOS ( TechSpot 2013-06-25 )

Microsoft to launch browser version of Xbox Music ( NeoWin 2013-06-25 )

OUYA Android Console Now in Stores, Sells Out Quick ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-25 )

Ouya Android game console selling out in some retail outlets ( NeoWin 2013-06-25 )

I'm not sure how any of this will cheer up the MicroZealots as it is a tacit admission that their own device gateways to entertainment are stagnant or worse. So this very well could signal a shift from benefiting themselves with their own hardware to benefiting developers by extending the platform to everyone else's hardware. Maybe that story about the Android gameboy console has more significance than we know. It is possible Microsoft has internal numbers saying that the war is lost, Xbox and PS are for all practical purposes irrelevant, and the closed walled-garden ( at least for entertainment ) is a non-starter. And what about this xTunes thing? Are they so consumed with Apple-envy to think they can compete in this space after all this time? :no: Certainly not.

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News from the competition ( and see Post #3088 for more examples ) ...

How to Build a Linux Gaming PC ( Maximum PC 2013-06-24 )

Couldn't happen without Microsoft and others taking their gaming customers for granted.

Foxconn Hiring 3K Extra Workers for Firefox OS Dev ( Tom's Hardware 2013-06-25 )

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (aka Foxconn) said it is hiring 2,000 to 3,000 additional workers in Taiwan to bolster the company's research into software. Candidates will require expertise in HTML5 operating systems, HTML5 apps, and cloud computing.

Foxconn plans to develop more than five devices running Firefox OS by the end of the year, and is also planning to design reference models that will be the foundation for future Firefox OS-based smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs.

This thing just might have legs after all.

Slate21: Android Lands on One Awesome All-in-One ( HP 2013-06-25 )

HP Builds Its First Android All-In-One PC. Trading Windows for Jelly Bean ( Maximum PC 2013-06-25 )

What's unique about the Slate21 is that it's running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean rather than Windows 8. It's the company's first foray into Android with an AIO PC, and whether or not it will be the last depends on how much of a demand there is for such a device.

Long before a ship flounders, breaks apart and sinks to the bottom, she begins to take on water. This might be what that looks like. Or maybe not. It's still way too early to tell. Regardless, something is happening, as these articles are pretty regular fare these days, across many sites.

We now have Android and Firefox operating systems appearing on the desktop ( and everywhere else for that matter ) . Singlehandedly Microsoft has accomplished what no amount of wishful thinking by the free and/or open software community could realistically dream - Windows alternatives popping up all around their monopolized PC space. We now have seen classic "pure" Linux distros, newer custom descendants like Firefox OS, Android and Chrome. There is a movement in China to design a national OS based on this as well and that will likely give other countries an urge to examine this themselves. And later there will be more, many more as time goes on. And all thanks to Apple and Microsoft's own actions of abusing their duopoly. Focusing on Microsoft here, ( because I don't really know Apple too well ) the formerly unthinkable now seems entirely possible - losing their iron fisted grip on most of the world's computers. It will take quite an assist from their own brain-trust though, something they in fact appear willing to provide at every possible opportunity.

Strike One occurs when the usability of their cash-cow, proprietary, made-only-for-profit technologies ( Windows and Office ) become too painful too stand, like the butchering of their respective interfaces, self-serving anti-consumer EULAs and arrogant flip-of-the-bird to all criticism from their loyal users. That removes a primary reason to stick with them all these years and generates rampant hostility towards them from longtime veterans who were previously ardent defenders of the platform and even their monopoly ( me included, and there are MANY others speaking out everywhere ).

Secondly, as the ramifications of the spying scandal percolate through the entire world I expect there to be some serious reflection of putting almost all of our eggs into this one basket. For example, if their closed and/or proprietary made-only-for-profit technologies like Windows and Office ( add MacOS and iOS too ) offer no real benefit in the area of customer privacy and security, then another clear reason to use them is yanked right off the table. Microsoft has been exposed as the first "partner" jumping in bed with No Such Agency, and they did it precisely because they were offered immunity from prosecution for violating user privacy. They must really be worried about citizen class-action lawsuits because they have gone to great lengths to add such language to all the EULAs ever since the "partnership" began. All things considered, I now have no doubt that all the classic conspiracy theories have also occurred, for example the source code for Windows ( and even MacOS and iOS ) being available to the feds, perhaps as a condition of allowing their unfettered actions as a functional monopoly ( or duopoly with Apple ) in our so-called free-market. Why again would this be unbelievable? It is perfectly believable IMHO. Taken in total this is quite a hit to their previously stellar reputation, which obviously was fictitious and undeserved all along. So really, Strike Two is in the process of occurring even as we speak.

So what will a Strike Three look like? Your guess is as good as mine, but nothing will surprise me anymore. They could fall below the magic number of 90% desktop marketshare and further ( kind of dumb since all these mobile things are computers according to Microsoft, so counting them will drop them from 90% to a much lower number ). Maybe a huge publicity fail through a major slowdown or outage in their cloud with Office 364 or Xbox or Azure business customers without access for a few days. In today's time-compressed short-attention span society, a day today equals a week from 5 to 10 years ago, and probably a month from the 1980's to early 1990's. Ironically, as they push more people into the cloud the potential for catastrophe increases in several directions not all in their control. Besides the classic potential server problem on their end, they will also suffer blame for the users' local problems ( storms, hurricanes, power outages, rolling blackouts ... ), and in cases where customers are happily using their UPS or battery operated computer, laptop, tablet and phone only to find that the ISP ( Cable, Fiber, DSL ... ) is down and their local computing device is not so local after all. Microsoft as the remote storage ( and even processing ) provider will receive a sizable chunk of blame even when the problems are not theirs at all. That's the nature of the cloud beast. I've always wondered why Microsoft would even want to get into something like Xbox anyway, the revenue is questionable and the downside is great because of consumer fickleness and expectations. The Azure cloud situation has far more potential for downside IMHO, because a game going offline is not quite as bad as business data becoming unavailable. And God help us all if Big Medicine decides that the cloud is great idea. :blink:

Perhaps it won't be as clean and simple as a Strike Three at all. I always try to remind people of how quickly IBM went from the 800 pound gorilla to a bit player that finally sold off their PC division to a Chinese company. That is a sentence that no-one, I mean no-one would have uttered prior to 1988 or so. After about six long years as the biggest ship in the seas and with their wake lifting many boats to wild success ( including Microsoft ), they struck an iceberg themselves when they lost the best PC bragging rights to Compaq. Actually, the details from around that time are very relevant to today because there was a chain of events that led to the mistakes that sunk them and they should look familiar. The first thing that happened was the death of Don Estridge in 1985 who was their miracle man that drove the PC at IBM. His sudden and tragic death caused them to stumble badly, playing it way too conservative and allowing Compaq to snake the first i386 computer, a massive improvement in architecture and speed, and with it the title of world's best computer and all the associated publicity. Practically overnight they were on all the magazines and businesses and home users wasted no time jumping ship. The managerial mistake of resting on their reputation and milking the i286 AT cash cow ( and the older XT as well ) rather than aggressively going for the i386 crown was a huge error. They kept selling the old models until late 1987 giving Compaq at least a year , and in that year everything changed. Leadership, the standards bearer, industry clout, everything.

Another parallel with today occurred when they responded in knee-jerk fashion, compounding their earlier mistakes further with reactive decisions made in haste and panic. IBM unceremoniously spit on the industry with their transparent attempt to try to lock up the technology of the licensed, proprietary but otherwise excellent MCA ( Micro-Channel Architecture ) when they finally released their large PS/2 line of computers, which were quite competent but unfortunately all too conservative in design ( IBM was always the car that drives a few MPH under the speed limit ). I also know for a fact that there was pressure and criticism from customers and employees to step up their game, sell the best machines possible, and stop wasting time, but like Microsoft today, they largely ignored everyone. There were many other things happening as well, ( IBM trademark and patent court cases, the unrelated DoJ antitrust, etc ) but the main events really were those which united the clone community ( everyone except IBM ) to stick to the current "ISA" model ( and eventually EISA ) rather than pay an IBM tax. It happened that quickly! They p!ssed off everyone and it all came crumbling down. Microsoft knows these events full well as they were right there all along, in fact benefiting by supplying DOS to a rapidly growing market as clones sprung up everywhere. As I've mentioned before, the magazines of that era were thick as telephone books with ads literally falling out when you turned the pages ( Computer Shopper chopped down more trees than anyone in history ). By the 1988 to 1989 selling season as criticism mounted, they had adopted a siege mentality and had no chance of recovery. Of course we know how the story then ended when a year later Microsoft released Windows 3.0 and later would stick the knife in their back with the double-cross of OS/2 and NT. But those are completely beside the point.

So, knowing just how fast one's success can vanish begs the question of why Microsoft does not seem to recognize they are repeating the very mistakes IBM pioneered: resting on their laurels, sleeping at the switch, spitting on the industry, ignoring customers and criticism, panic-driven managerial blunders, going proprietary and adopting a siege mentality. It is stunning cognitive dissonance, or some other mental disorder.

xtzF8hr.png

EDIT: details, typos

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Another fabulous piece of analysis, Charlotte. :thumbup

We now have Android and Firefox operating systems appearing on the desktop ( and everywhere else for that matter ) . Singlehandedly Microsoft has accomplished what no amount of wishful thinking by the free and/or open software community could realistically dream - Windows alternatives popping up all around their monopolized PC space. We now have seen classic "pure" Linux distros, newer custom descendants like Firefox OS, Android and Chrome. There is a movement in China to design a national OS based on this as well and that will likely give other countries an urge to examine this themselves. And later there will be more, many more as time goes on. And all thanks to Apple and Microsoft's own actions of abusing their duopoly. Focusing on Microsoft here, ( because I don't really know Apple too well ) the formerly unthinkable now seems entirely possible - losing their iron fisted grip on most of the world's computers. It will take quite an assist from their own brain-trust though, something they in fact appear willing to provide at every possible opportunity.

Strike One occurs when the usability of their cash-cow, proprietary, made-only-for-profit technologies ( Windows and Office ) become too painful too stand, like the butchering of their respective interfaces, self-serving anti-consumer EULAs and arrogant flip-of-the-bird to all criticism from their loyal users. That removes a primary reason to stick with them all these years and generates rampant hostility towards them from longtime veterans who were previously ardent defenders of the platform and even their monopoly ( me included, and there are MANY others speaking out everywhere ).

I'm one of those who used to defend Windows against attackers from the Linux side. No longer. My attitude now is, let them take all the hits that are coming to them.

One benefit I'm hoping for from the spread of Android to PCs is that PC prices might come down significantly. Today, we pay indirectly for the Windows license, but then the price comes out to less than the hardware+Windows thanks to the "crapware" that software vendors pay to put on the machines that the manufacturers ship. As a result, ironically if you want an OS-less PC, often you end up paying more than when it comes with Windows installed. Putting Android or some other freeware OS on the machine will eliminate that license cost. We might still get crapware on Android of course, but that would help to bring the price down from a $0 licensing cost.

--JorgeA

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The tricky part is finding the ones actually worth reading ;).

Here is a good source for them:

http://rivercrap.com/

:lol:

jaclaz

Thanks. Didn't know there was a site that aggregated Amazon reviews. But I'm surprised the infamous Denon cable isn't at the top of the hall of fame:

http://www.amazon.com/electronics/dp/B000I1X6PM

Reviews on bad books are also a good source of entertainment.

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I'm one of those who used to defend Windows against attackers from the Linux side. No longer. My attitude now is, let them take all the hits that are coming to them.

I come from the other side. The concept of "desktop Linux" as it has existed virtually unchanged since the mid-90s has zero chance of success. It probably has the longest failure history of any tech product ever. Android succeeded because Google took what worked (the kernel), added in heavy modifications to make it work for what they wanted (which LKML whined about loudly), and replaced the entire user space. NeXT, which became the basis for Mac OS, did something similar by taking BSD and deprecating all the UNIX stuff until it was unrecognizable.

I think Google should simply put Android onto a laptop. I don't know why they're messing around with ChromeOS. They're doing the exact opposite thing Microsoft is doing, and, ironically, it's still wrong.

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We have seen Windows 8.1! ( OneTouch Mobility 2013-06-22 )

Windows 8.1 Start button revealed in Windows Server 2012 R2 ( NeoWin 2013-06-24 )

Windows 8.1 start button appears as Microsoft's Blue wave breaks ( UK Register 2013-06-25 )

This is like a sick, twisted April Fools Joke. :blink: Or some evil malware that is designed to drive the user insane. :angry:

tvDSQ3B.jpg

This isn't 8.1, this is the metro-theme of Start8. It's still far better than what Windows 8.1 brings though.

Edited by Formfiller
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I'm one of those who used to defend Windows against attackers from the Linux side. No longer. My attitude now is, let them take all the hits that are coming to them.

I come from the other side. The concept of "desktop Linux" as it has existed virtually unchanged since the mid-90s has zero chance of success. It probably has the longest failure history of any tech product ever. Android succeeded because Google took what worked (the kernel), added in heavy modifications to make it work for what they wanted (which LKML whined about loudly), and replaced the entire user space. NeXT, which became the basis for Mac OS, did something similar by taking BSD and deprecating all the UNIX stuff until it was unrecognizable.

I think Google should simply put Android onto a laptop. I don't know why they're messing around with ChromeOS. They're doing the exact opposite thing Microsoft is doing, and, ironically, it's still wrong.

Yeah, although I'm warming up to Linux by experimenting with several different distros, there are definitely a number of UX aspects that could be made much more user-friendly. For example, hide all that opaque, uber-geeky lingo about "sda1" or whatever, and just already give easy-to-recognize labels to the various drives.

Also, I get the reason for the existence of software repositories: there are so many different flavors of Linux that you can't just go and -- unlike Windows -- be reasonably sure that you can download, from a given website, the version of the software that your particular distro needs. It's often impractical to offer versions of so many different possible OSs. But then, basic information at the repository is lacking. For example, I still don't know (and have never gotten around to investigating) what the heck a "multiverse" version is, or why I should or should not prefer it to a related but not "multiverse" selection.

It's this sort of thing that may make Linux veterans feel superior to the masses because they know all this arcana, but which then makes it more difficult to break the Windows monopoly that they decry.

--JorgeA

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The reason for the repositories is due to the decision to make dependencies dynamically linked. Old-time Windows users know this problem as "DLL hell". The Linux ecosystem is so fragile that all software has to be compiled against each other simultaneously and provided as a snapshot. Mixing and matching binaries is virtually impossible and even source gets "stale" alarmingly quickly. Commercial vendors used to offer statically linked applications that would work on a variety of Linux systems, but the core developers became increasingly hostile to this over time because they do not want closed-source deployment to be viable. The fragility of Linux is, in effect, a design goal.

A parallel between the "Linux movement" and what Microsoft has become is an insular attitude that only the goals of the group matter and that serving the greater audience is not a priority. The Linux equivalent of #dealwithit is RTFM.

Fun fact, the "magic number" for the Linux kernel in Hyper-V was, until recently, "big boobs". Microsoft should feel lucky that it was not them implicated in "donglegate". They missed the storm only by a few months.

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I have just installed 8.1 preview.

I am back in Linux Deepin posting this.

Maybe I will have another wrestle with 8.1 when I have the patience.

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The reason for the repositories is due to the decision to make dependencies dynamically linked. Old-time Windows users know this problem as "DLL hell". The Linux ecosystem is so fragile that all software has to be compiled against each other simultaneously and provided as a snapshot. Mixing and matching binaries is virtually impossible and even source gets "stale" alarmingly quickly. Commercial vendors used to offer statically linked applications that would work on a variety of Linux systems, but the core developers became increasingly hostile to this over time because they do not want closed-source deployment to be viable. The fragility of Linux is, in effect, a design goal.

I understand it better now, thanks. The reason is a bit more technical than I'd suspected. It sounds like, ironically, the desire to stay open-source has resulted in the limiting of user choice (practically speaking, you can only get software for your distro from its repository), rather than enhancing it.

A parallel between the "Linux movement" and what Microsoft has become is an insular attitude that only the goals of the group matter and that serving the greater audience is not a priority. The Linux equivalent of #dealwithit is RTFM.

Makes sense. That's not a surprising attitude when the creator (developer) doesn't depend on a paying customer for his/her living. Eliminating commercial considerations enables people to act even more egotistical and self-centered, as the give-and-take of trade is lacking. Microsoft is acting arrogantly now because they think they can afford to p*ss off a certain proportion of customers; but if they had acted like this all along they'd never have gotten off the ground. Would have been overrun in 1983 or thereabouts. And desktop Linux has remained deep in the woods of public consciousness because of its supporters' disdain for giving people what they want.

Fun fact, the "magic number" for the Linux kernel in Hyper-V was, until recently, "big boobs". Microsoft should feel lucky that it was not them implicated in "donglegate". They missed the storm only by a few months.

That was kind of funny in a pathetic sort of way...

--JorgeA

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I have just installed 8.1 preview.

I am back in Linux Deepin posting this.

Maybe I will have another wrestle with 8.1 when I have the patience.

Please share your experience with us, if you get the chance!

--JorgeA

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