JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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Microsoft: Windows 8.1 has hit RTM; no early access for MSDN or TechNet ( NeoWin 2013-08-27 )

And the hit parade continues! Developers Developers Developers indeed!

Well it looks like Windows 8.1 isn't really ready for RTM, since they are still busy debugging it, so this will give them a chance to meet their October deadline. As a former developer, who had to try to work within the arbitrary deadlines imposed from on high, I feel really sorry for the W8.1 developers. I also feel very sorry for the three W8.1 app developers and see no reason why anyone would want to join them.

No it is the standard procedure MS uses for RTM an operating system. Basically MS makes the annoucement that a product is RTM but it takes 2-3 days before anyone can actually download it. I don't know why MS just waits until it is available for download before telling the world that it is out.

Paul Thurrott looked for some sense in Microsoft's new RTM policy, but essentially gave up in the end:

This week, Microsoft confirmed that it had "finished" Windows 8.1, the much-needed major update to Windows 8 and Windows RT. But in declaring "RTM," Microsoft also not so subtly changed the meaning of the term. With this release, RTM no longer means RTM. So in Microsoft's book, "finished" no longer means "finished."

[...]

...I just wish Microsoft did the right thing for its best customers and closest followers. It seems unable to do that, and unable to adequately explain why.

A couple of good takes on this, down in the comments section:

This sounds like the way movie studios, knowing they have a stinker on their hands, block critics from seeing a film before release. I sure hope this isn't the case.
In other news today, Chevy and Ford have decided to build new cars every 6 months instead of new yearly models. This is fantastic news that Chevy and Ford openly spoke about accomplishing. Chevy and Ford have both rolled out the next 6 month models and parked them in a special lots, and at special closed off sections of lots at dealerships. They will continue to apply fixes and finishing touches to these vehicles, like install the bumpers, and oh crap, we need that steering wheel, and in another six months (totaling a year), both Chevy and Ford will move the vehicles from the special lots to normal sales lots. But hey, they reached their goal of making and releasing new model vehicles every six months instead of every year right?

Sounds quite familiar with what Microsoft is doing and did... how much they spoke in the news about how they are RTM'ing a totally revamped version of Windows in 8 months, in reality, its almost the same timeframe as a service pack. They didn't deliver anything in 8 months...

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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NYT, Twitter and HuffPo Attacked by Syrian Electronic Army ( Wall Street Journal 2013-08-27 )

New York Times website likely taken down by malicious attack ( CNBC 2013-08-27 )

Oh great. How much you wanna bet that this will result in more calls for enhanced security leading to even more reduced privacy!

Heh heh: "You see dear citizens? After all you need not less but MOAR Gestapo if you want to be safe & secure & free & happy!!!"

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Paul Thurrott looked for some sense in Microsoft's new RTM policy, but essentially gave up in the end:

This week, Microsoft confirmed that it had "finished" Windows 8.1, the much-needed major update to Windows 8 and Windows RT. But in declaring "RTM," Microsoft also not so subtly changed the meaning of the term. With this release, RTM no longer means RTM. So in Microsoft's book, "finished" no longer means "finished."

[...]

...I just wish Microsoft did the right thing for its best customers and closest followers. It seems unable to do that, and unable to adequately explain why.

Reminds me of how, in high school, I would tell my mother a paper that was due next day was finished, when what I meant is that I would be getting up at four am to finish writing and then typing it on my little portable electric. (I did much better managing my work load at college. Mostly. After a lot of pain and lost sleep.)

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Like i said, that source is citing some optimistic fantasy roadmap hatched in the Redmond Ivory Towers probably while Ballmer and Sinofsky were drinking Cognac.

If I may, that effect is more often provoked by cheap booze, not cognac.

They were most probably high on moonshine :w00t::ph34r:. :yes:

You may be right, especially considering their actions, but I have this image in my mind of them sipping sissy drinks, maybe Dom or Cristal in snifter glasses. I do retract mentioning Cognac though, because it is strong enough to be considered near-Whiskey which we all know is what real men and women drink when they are out of beer. :lol:

women_alcohol_jack_daniels_desktop_1024x

When you believe these things, as we do, you dont choose OR. You choose AND.

Boolean operations according to Microsoft:

AND is deprecated, please apply one XOR to all previous working code and be sure to use OR for all future projects. Thank you, your product development management team.

P.S. did Google just destroy the Google Images interface? :realmad: Also, they seem to be messing with YouTube also, see here.

EDIT: added link

EDIT2: Google images is okay now, I had the Opera preference Identify as Internet Explorer set and it serves a radically different page, one with 20 images in small captioned thumbnails instead of a densely packed page. Can someone else using Opera test to see if it happens to them also? Very strange thing.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Windows XP patches can be made after April 8th, but they will be pricey ( NeoWin 2013-08-28 )

Oh look, another FUDfest with the NeoKids pontificating from their parents' basements.

Microsoft Denying Developers Access to Windows 8.1 RTM ( Tom's Hardware 2013-08-28 )

Good headline. Developers Developers Developers indeed.

Microsoft uses Bing and SkyDrive to extract text from images ( NeoWin 2013-08-28 )

Microsoft has invented I mean refined OCR. They will be "extracting" text from images stored on SpyDrive probably for purposes of categorization.

Okay, I'll bite. Extract this:

6BrNYxH.jpg

( Original Photo Here )

EDIT: added original photo source ( Season 7 Jaclaz, IIRC ), typo

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Paul Thurrott looked for some sense in Microsoft's new RTM policy, but essentially gave up in the end:

[...]

A couple of good takes on this, down in the comments section:

In other news today, Chevy and Ford have decided to build new cars every 6 months instead of new yearly models. This is fantastic news that Chevy and Ford openly spoke about accomplishing. Chevy and Ford have both rolled out the next 6 month models and parked them in a special lots, and at special closed off sections of lots at dealerships. They will continue to apply fixes and finishing touches to these vehicles, like install the bumpers, and oh crap, we need that steering wheel, and in another six months (totaling a year), both Chevy and Ford will move the vehicles from the special lots to normal sales lots. But hey, they reached their goal of making and releasing new model vehicles every six months instead of every year right?

Sounds quite familiar with what Microsoft is doing and did... how much they spoke in the news about how they are RTM'ing a totally revamped version of Windows in 8 months, in reality, its almost the same timeframe as a service pack. They didn't deliver anything in 8 months...

Very good. :thumbup

At that article at Tom's Hardware ( and others ) they quote some of the marketdroid babble that dribbles out of Microsoft at every opportunity.

"In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use," the company said. "However, its clear that times have changed, with shifts to greater mobility and touch as well as the blurring of work and personal lives. As such, weve had to evolve the way we develop and the time in which we deliver to meet customers with the experience they need, want and expect."

WTF is that supposed to even mean? They seem to be saying that people are computing 24/7 nowadays therefore we needed to ... what? ... Come up with a more imprecise schedule with ambiguous information for everyone involved, especially the developers they supposedly covet to get their app store up to par.

That last part, "need, want and expect" is just random soothing words snatched from the marketeers playbook padded to every communication to appear friendly. But when I see them I immediately think of huge unfriendly bureaucracy.

It is yet another consequence of their siege mentality from living in an insulated bubble. They communicate on a phony level in a contrived and condescending manner bordering on childish. The people they are actually communicating to are not the mass of sheeple though, they are not here reading these daily issues and controversies. No, the people here are exactly the ones they should not try to bullsh!t because they can see right through it. Developers especially should not be trifled with at this point in time.

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Microsoft: YES Windows 8.1 is finished, but NO you can't have it. It's for hardware partners only for eight more weeks ( UK Register 2013-08-27 )

Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface. Revolting shareholders poised to glom on to Microsoft's non-stick CEO ( UK Register 2013-08-28 )

Decidedly non-sycophantic articles to balance out the fluff from Thurrott, NeoWin and The Verge. :lol:

Not related really but I found another picture I made but forgot to use ...

faYNebo.jpg

( Original Photo Here )

NB: Season 8 for sure. :yes:

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Love that picture and caption!!! :D:lol:

--JorgeA

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This morning's Wall Street Journal carried a series of excerpts from interviews with eleven "business leaders, technologists and management gurus" as to what Microsoft needs to do to solve its problems and what kind of CEO they should look for to replace Ballmer. Unfortunately, the article isn't available online except to subscribers, but here are some quotes that may be of interest to readers and participants in our thread:

Jean-Louis Gassee, "venture capitalist who once led Apple Inc.'s Macintosh development": Microsoft should make an honest tablet -- not a hnybrid product -- but a tablet-only product.

...

Also, they should fix Windows 8 to be PC only, and not to have this sort of dual identity.

Bret Taylor, "former chief technology officer of Facebook and founder of Quip Inc., maker of word-processing software": Microsoft's recent strategy shift was to focus on "services and devices" -- essentially to become a hybrid of Microsoft's biggest competitors, Google and Apple. I am skeptical such a strategy will succeed because the services model and device model are so different.

The device model is based on tight, vertical imntegration of software and devices, with profits coming primarily from hardware. In contrast, the services model is based on ubiquity -- making your service universally available across devices, operating systems, and regions to reach the maximum number of potential customers...

Gautam Mukunda, "assistant professor at Harvard Business School and author of Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter": Microsoft needs to rethink its corporate culture from the ground up. It is famously bureaucratized and politicized, and its stack ranking system has toxic effects on the corporate culture....

Vivek Wadhwa, "vice president of innovation and research at Singularity University": I would break it into pieces -- into independent operating companies that compete with each other. Microsoft has some of the smartest people in the world working for it. They are held back by the bureaucracy, turf wars, and protectionist sentiments (of their monopoly-era products).

Free the geniuses, I say! Let the 'Micro-Microsofts' behave like entrepreneurs and compete with Silicon Valley and themselves.

I was especially intrigued by Bret Taylor's observation about the inherent tension between trying to be a "devices" company vs. trying to be a "services" company.

--JorgeA

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I was especially intrigued by Bret Taylor's observation about the inherent tension between trying to be a "devices" company vs. trying to be a "services" company.

--JorgeA

When they first announced the devices and services focus, I thought that it was mainly a ploy to mix business units up enough so that year-over-year results in 2014 didn't show up the deficiencies of the crater that is Windows 8.1 adoption. But I agree, devices versus services are two very different strategies, and it is very risky to do both especially when you have been having trouble with focus on what should be your core competency: not screwing up Windows, your cash cow.

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I am not looking forward to working with Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 so right now I'm going to pretend Windows 8.1 doesn't exist. :whistle:

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OMG I just LOVE this story! It's astounding! ...

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac adds Start menu and windowed apps to Windows 8 ( NeoWin 2013-08-29 )

Here is some text and photos taken right from their YouTube announcement ...

"Parallels Desktop 9 brings back the real Start Menu for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

... and lets you use Metro apps in a window instead of a fullscreen.

Your Thunderbolt and Firewire storage devices now connect directly to Windows on your Mac"

zGqb61z.jpg

A classic Start Menu, windowed apps, and functional external storage unified in the Explorer interface. Parallels went right for the jugular! The only way to make Windows 8 work correctly is to use a Mac! :lol: This is even more effective than the "I'm A Mac" series of ads during the Vista era and Apple presumably didn't have to lift a finger this time!

But wait, it gets better. :yes: The fanboys are mad enough to chew Neutronium ...

Great - so now all I need to run Windows 8 properly is go buy myself as MAC

Is this a "right move"? I mean, it's meant to be an emulation environment, should it be adding features to the client OS? Not against the start menu being added by 3rd party apps at all, I just don't see this as something that Parallels should be doing?

My feelings exactly. The idea is to emulate an environment that can be used for the Windows OS, not to screw around with the actual install.

IMO this is a bad move and ruining the experience of using Windows 8. Just look at the 2nd screen capture in the article, only part of the UI of Bing Weather/ Windows Store is shown, and the scroll bar isn't shown at the border of window. Windows Store Apps is meant to be running in full screen AND (this is why) it has minimum requirements on the screen resolution.

so now you have to go to a parallel win-egg vm on the mac for the start menu. lmfao. the irony just keep on flowing.

Terrible, silly Mac users.

LOL, a MAC software developer has to "fix" the stupidity of MS with their dumb interface. (and I'm a dos/win user)

Fix? Have you seen the state of what they've done? There's no fix, it's a bad bastardization of the Win 8 environment which Parallels has no business messing with in the first place.

rotflmao.gif

There are no details yet that I can find but either Parallels have written their very own special code or incorporated several utilities from Stardock. Either way it is impressive that they targeted those exact, specific gaping holes in Microsoft's strategy, mistakes that they were warned about for over two full years. The only thing that Parallels does not yet address is the ridiculous removal of Aero glass effects and the other visuals of Windows 7 that Microsoft idi0tically destroyed.

Parallels has made Macs more useful than PC's! Now there is a sentence I never thought I would be saying.

EDIT: typo, spacing

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Microsoft celebrates Skype's 10th birthday with free WiFi; 3D video calls in the works ( NeoWin 2013-08-29 )

Hmmm ... I got a question ... Basic aritmetic tells me that Skype is only two years younger than Windows XP! Are they sure they want to be promoting a decade old decrepid software like Skype Spyke. Isn't it time to get with the times? Are Microsoft and her fanboys afraid of change? Hypocrites! :lol:

Here's two unrelated stories that seem to fit together ...

Microsoft's Surface Pro $100 price cuts to end today (Update: Price cut is now permanent) ( NeoWin 2013-08-29 )

Phhheeew! It is really getting difficult to sort out all these Surface announcements. In this story, NeoWin first announced the expiration of the $100 reduction on Surface Pro units but then updated it because of sudden unexpected word from Microsoft that they were now going to be permanent.

The only bad news is that there no price reduction for the Type Cover, which will remain at $129.99.

~sigh~ You would think that the Surface and the Type/Touch covers come from two different companies or something! One must ask whether there is any clearer sign of an undisciplined bureaucracy than what we have seen from Microsoft with their Surface products. They managed to bollocks up the most simple of tasks - a clear pricing scheme. Holy cow, what a mess. Carry on Microsoft.

Samsung Creating a Galaxy Tab 3 for Kids ( Tom's Hardware 2013-08-28 )

Parents desperately wanting to pry kids off their tablets can look no further than Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 designed specifically for adolescents.

[...]

"It's no secret that kids are using technology more than ever before," said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics. "We saw an opportunity to create a device just for kids that provides them with an intuitive, fun and kid-friendly user experience filled with rich, interactive and educational content that parents will love."

Samsung is gonna steamroll yet another new market - tablets designed especially for kids. One must ask how is it possible that Microsoft completely missed this opportunity? It never occurred to them?

This calls for a new graphic ...

l5tTFm7.jpg

EDIT: typo

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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News from the Competition ...

HTC Developing Own Smartphone Operating System ( Tom's Hardware 2013-08-29 )

Yet another non-WP player is entering the game. No matter how any MicroZealot fanboy spins it, this and other Mobile OS developments ( iOS, Android, WebOS, Firefox, Ubuntu, Sailfish, etc ) means that Microsoft has utterly failed in the big picture of penetrating, let alone driving the mobile space. And this fight is what they chose to sacrifice Windows and its reputation and customer loyalty for.

While it's true that there are, and will be many more little walled-garden fiefdoms out there, perhaps even one for every company, this just indicates that Microsoft has lost its gravitas and resembles the 90 pound weakling on the beach getting sand kicked in his face. Companies no longer think twice about distancing itself from Microsoft and going it alone. What is currently playing out in the small form factor mobile space is percolating up into the midrange and headed for the laptop and desktop market as well. This underscores the insanity of destroying Windows as it sabotaged their one true undisputed strength.

Gold, Graphite iPhone 5S shells shown on video, structure compared to iPhone 5 ( 9to5mac 2013-08-29 )

iPhone 5S Could Also Come in Silver/Gray ( Tom's Hardware 2013-08-28 )

So we have seen a likely gold and white iPhone (example), and now comes a silver and black version (example). Now I know nothing is certain yet but I just gotta ask - do they not realize that the best combination is gold and black! :yes: In fact it's been done already by third parties many times over. See this example ...

iphone5_edition_1_1.jpg

( source )

I really can't wait for the official announcement to see if Apple and their resident hipster Jony Ive have, like Microsoft, also lost their minds with respect to visuals, especially the iPhone color scheme and also the iOS GUI appearance. Gold just cries out for black trim. White and gold is simply ridiculous!

EDIT: typo

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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"Parallels Desktop 9 brings back the real Start Menu for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

... and lets you use Metro apps in a window instead of a fullscreen.

as always its up to apple to show micro$oft the right way ...

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