JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

6,162 posts in this topic

Microsoft wouldn't exist except for the unlikely choice by IBM to embrace and literally force an open platform in the first place.

Sure, MS wouldn't be what it is today... But the IBM PC/XT wasn't exactly what I'd call open. Yes, there were a lot of clones, but cloning such a simple design was very simple (it wasn't exactly a groundbreaking design) and they had to reverse engineer the BIOS to make their own. But yes, it was open in the sense that everyone could easily make their own ISA expansion cards and such (good times). I think price was one of the major reasons why it won (and that largely because of the use of a cheap 16 bit CPU, the 8088), along with cheap clones, enough software early on (including a familiar OS, VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, and everything else), etc. It seems like they got everything right, and the upgrades were even better.

The only ones I am seeing being "fanboyish" are official or affiliated sources.

Them sources still contain a lot of complaints, and I do know for sure that they've heavily censoring the comments too. Not that it's going to make any difference. There were Zune fanboys back then, just like there are WP fanboys now, and both are very much dead regardless. A handful of fanboys never saved a product. I see "regular" people everyday who are still trying to learn Win7 basics years after it was released (still stuck on XP in their heads)... Just imagine how they'll adapt to Win8 on a desktop. It's just not gonna fly.

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I'm not sure where these fanboys are... The only ones I am seeing being "fanboyish" are official or affiliated sources. Surface reviews aside, since that actually seems like it is going to be a nice product.
The fanboys are abundant at Fanboy Central aka Neowin.net. :no:
or German site winfuture.de

Many other sites as well (PcMag, Cnet, etc). But the most pathetic and hilarious are at MSDN on the Official Destroying Windows Blog. These people have absolute disdain for Freedom of Choice and are on a Jihad to convince detractors that it somehow makes sense for Microsoft (or actually the subset that make up the Metro contingent) to select the theme for everbody's desktop and how they interact with it. These people of course would have a baby if they turned on their computer and some virus (or some playful malware) suddenly changed their theme and all the associated components. I swear, if Microsoft were to release Ubuntu or any other 'nix labeled as Windows 8 these drones would still cheer. This could be easily proved if somebody conducted a Mojave'nix Experiment ("shhh, we've substituted the DVD of these unsuspecting users ..." :yes: ).

Sure, MS wouldn't be what it is today... But the IBM PC/XT wasn't exactly what I'd call open. Yes, there were a lot of clones, but cloning such a simple design was very simple (it wasn't exactly a groundbreaking design) and they had to reverse engineer the BIOS to make their own. But yes, it was open in the sense that everyone could easily make their own ISA expansion cards and such (good times)

You're absolutely correct. That's what I meant (3rd party hardware vendors of add-ins, not entire PC clones, not yet). I was also alluding to the software end where Microsoft literally specialized in marketing all the computer programming languages and really jump started the independent software industry, in fact they created it (and now want to control it). On the hardware end obviously the BIOS was still secret at first (and still being developed really, PC > XT > AT) but it didn't last long. Once AMI or Phoenix (can't remember) made it modular and available the market became 100% open. IBM certainly did intend, at first, for everyone to communicate with their BIOS through all the published routines but this was short-lived thankfully. At least IBM did provide thorough manuals and 'Technical Specifications' for everything they sold. I had access to cabinets full of them, everything from Printers and expansion cards to all their DOS releases and even the BIOS. As you say, "good times" :thumbup . One big difference today IMHO is with our toxic, litigious atmosphere that has evolved to the point where an invention is now considered a monopoly for an arbitrary period of time. I cannot imagine how Compaq or whoever first clean roomed the BIOS could do something similar today.

One huge lesson that Microsoft somehow failed to learn serves as a really great analogy to today ... IBM reverted from allowing independence for their nimble PC division to it's old lumbering behemoth self and changed track with the move back to proprietary technology, most memorable in the MCA line of PS/2 computers (all pretty good though) which the rest of the industry had a fit over. I remember the battle lines being drawn just like today with many media outlets cheering them on ('the death of the clone?') while others cheered for the independents to prevail ("revenge of the clones?"). Deja Vu anyone?

I guess am thinking more from a purist point of view these days. I would prefer if Microsoft had either offered a separate Metro Edition or better yet, an MCE-like add-on that runs within the Operating System, windowed or full-screen if the person voluntarily chooses.. Even Stevie Wonder can see that Metro is a simple evolution of the Xbox Dashboard of which MCE appears to be another derivative. MCE was the right path because it did not impact anyone that chose to ignore it. The reason they will not do the former, a separate Metro Edition, is because it would most certainly crash and burn on its own, or at best simply fill a niche market like many other Windows derivatives. In short, by attaching it to the entire Windows base they are trying to make it 'Too Big To Fail', (a political term here in the States used to rationalize saving or bailing out something at all costs regardless of common sense). That decision, to radically change mainstream Windows itself is the one that must have caused a holy war in Redmond because rather than isolating the potential damage from a fail they chose to spread it to the whole Microsoft brand. At least I hope it was internally controversial, because if it wasn't and there are only children left in the ranks, well, we will probably soon find out if Microsoft itself is 'Too Big To Fail'.

EDIT: spelling typos! :blushing:

Microsoft Windows 8 : Listen to our Fanboys! The desktop is still there! We didn't change a thing. ( okay, maybe just a few )

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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marketing all the computer programming languages

Hmm, my memory might be failing me here, but the only things I've seen from them in that era was crappy old BASIC (not sure how far back MASM goes). That's where Borland came in with Turbo C/C++/Pascal/ASM/Vision/etc.

IBM certainly did intend, at first, for everyone to comuunicate with their BIOS through all the published routines but this was short-lived thankfully.

Ralf Brown's interrupt list was the best reference IMO. Along with a few good books... Good times for sure, toying with a DIY ISA card with 24 TTL I/Os (from a plain old 8255 PPI). </nostalgia>

the move back to propietary technology, most memorable in the MCA line of PS/2 computers

I sure remember that. Everything was so pricey... and so little existed for that architecture compared to plain old ISA slots. Thanks god EISA won.

I would prefer if Microsoft had either offered a separate Metro Edition or better yet, an MCE-like add-on that runs within the Operating System, windowed or full-screen if the person voluntarily chooses..

Totally. Or at least some way to disable it.

The reason they will not do the former, a separate Metro Edition, is because it would most certainly crash and burn on its own, or at best simply fill a niche market like many other Windows derivatives. In short, by attaching it to the entire Windows base they are trying to make it 'Too Big To Fail', (a political term here in the States used to rationalize saving or bailing out something at all costs regardless of common sense).

Precisely.

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marketing all the computer programming languages

Hmm, my memory might be failing me here, but the only things I've seen from them in that era was crappy old BASIC (not sure how far back MASM goes). That's where Borland came in with Turbo C/C++/Pascal/ASM/Vision/etc.

Heck yeah. BASIC, COBOL, Fortran, Assembler, C, Pascal, all by the IBM AT era. Probably in that order but I'll be darned if I can find a source (I'll bet Jaclaz can). It's almost as if all Microsoft history prior to Windows is missing (and even the history of early versions of Windows seems spotty). I'm pretty sure Borland didn't come until after the AT (but my memory is probably even worse!). Some of those languages were compilers, some interpreters, some both, some were also rebranded by OEM's. I believe I have IBM's first labeled version of BASIC and Assembler somewhere (or they might just be Microsoft). I know for a fact that I did save a copy of Microsoft Adventure which is very very old. Anyway, IMHO, this is when x86 programming took off like a rocket. And this is when independent software really took root (but of course solidified during the Windows 32-bit era).

Off-Topic Nostalgia: One cool thing about the 1981-1984 era is how gigantic the industry became. The magazines (e.g., PC-Magazine) were a half-inch thick stuffed with ads. There were so many ads, literally falling out of the magazines, that most people complained we couldn't read the darn reviews and articles. One interesting thing that Microsoft did was sell wholesale to countless software vendors who re-sold to the public. Companies with names like Micro-this and Compu-that ran ads on every page of the magazines each competing with each other for software and hardware. If I had to guess, I would say that in a copy of PC-Magazine during the AT era you would find quotes for Microsoft C (or whatever) from at least a hundred different outlets. The same goes for every gadget and expansion card that was available for sale. Competition was the rule of the day. And there still an was actual choice in OS (I think this was around DOS 3.0) as Microsoft still hadn't nailed down the market. Once things unified for sure by Windows 3.x, the competition started to evaporate and the number of vendors decreased. For the younger folk out there that doubt about the wild and crazy competitive times, just track down a magazine from 1984 or earlier.

IBM certainly did intend, at first, for everyone to comuunicate with their BIOS through all the published routines but this was short-lived thankfully.

Ralf Brown's interrupt list was the best reference IMO. Along with a few good books... Good times for sure, toying with a DIY ISA card with 24 TTL I/Os (from a plain old 8255 PPI). </nostalgia>

... and Peter Norton's guide! :thumbup

the move back to propietary technology, most memorable in the MCA line of PS/2 computers

I sure remember that. Everything was so pricey... and so little existed for that architecture compared to plain old ISA slots. Thanks god EISA won.

Amen to that (we dodged a bullet there for sure). MCA was cutting edge to be sure, but boy did they tick off the hardware vendors with heavy handed licensing and costs. By the time the blazing fast VL-Bus hardware came along it was game over for MCA and IBM. The consumer and the industry had had enough with bureaucracy, incremental improvements and proprietary nonsense.

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Microsoft wouldn't exist except for the unlikely choice by IBM to embrace and literally force an open platform in the first place.

Sure, MS wouldn't be what it is today... But the IBM PC/XT wasn't exactly what I'd call open. Yes, there were a lot of clones, but cloning such a simple design was very simple (it wasn't exactly a groundbreaking design) and they had to reverse engineer the BIOS to make their own. But yes, it was open in the sense that everyone could easily make their own ISA expansion cards and such (good times). I think price was one of the major reasons why it won (and that largely because of the use of a cheap 16 bit CPU, the 8088), along with cheap clones, enough software early on (including a familiar OS, VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, and everything else), etc. It seems like they got everything right, and the upgrades were even better.

I never knew the details, but I distinctly remember that back then the IBM PC's success was attributed to its being an "open architecture" system that users could open up and modify to their heart's content, whereas the Apple machines were described as "closed architecture" that discouraged (maybe even made it impossible? I don't know) opening up the case to tinker with the insides. This was viewed as a limitation of user choice that crippled Apple in its competition with the PC and clones.

As for software compatibiity, I don't know about the Apple II because I don't remember there being any clones of it (see above), but I can tell you that my business partner and I put out a magazine with him working on one of the original IBM models, while I had my "semi-compatible" Sanyo MBC-555 running WordStar and MS-DOS 1.25: we never had trouble reading files and disks back and forth.

And I do remember those thick computing magazines -- may even still have some in a box somewhere. I'd go out to the newsstand every Sunday to buy the NY Times, just to read the 47th Street Photo two-page spread top-to-bottom for prices dropping and new models coming out. It was an early type of computer p0rn. :angel

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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marketing all the computer programming languages

Hmm, my memory might be failing me here, but the only things I've seen from them in that era was crappy old BASIC (not sure how far back MASM goes). That's where Borland came in with Turbo C/C++/Pascal/ASM/Vision/etc.

Heck yeah. BASIC, COBOL, Fortran, Assembler, C, Pascal, all by the IBM AT era. Probably in that order but I'll be darned if I can find a source (I'll bet Jaclaz can).

NOT EXACTLY what you asked for :ph34r: , but, had you asked for:

Where I can find a mind-boggingly complex poster with the history of programming languages?

jaclaz may have posted this link ;) :

http://oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/news/languageposter_0504.html

:)

jaclaz

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From the Grown Man Discovers that Fire Is Hot news department:

Headline --

Microsoft understands that Surface tablet might upset OEM partners
In a recent uncovered government filing, we learn that Microsoft indeed understands that its Surface tablet plans might upset its OEM partners and that it may affect their commitment to the company's platforms. While this was common sense to most, it is first time we are hearing Microsoft admit it.

"Our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform," Microsoft stated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Voice of Genius and Insight has spoken! -_-

--JorgeA

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I just discovered an interesting exchange, from back in March, on the Windows IT Pro forum. A poster complained about the crippled Desktop and the "god-awful" Metro start screen, and wanted to complain to the powers-that-be at Microsoft. This is the first reply he got:

I would not bother to send any input to Microsoft. Microsoft already knows everything you are posting here. It is well known that the incorporation of Metro/WinRT reduces the desktop functionality. As I posted in the previous thread, Microsoft is quite willing to have more limited desktop capability in order to achieve the following

(a) condition users to the Metro/WinRT

(b ) Give to developers a huge installed base of Metro/WinRT. Microsoft needs developers to write for WinRT with gusto because it needs to have at least 200,000 applications to succeed. Because the installed base is too small, Microsoft needs to convert every desktop it can find into a tablet (the tablefication of PCs). Assuming that OEMs will ship about 150 million computers, Microsoft may be able to deliver to developers a much larger installed base than that of the iPad. Thus, they cannot allow users to incapacitate or banish Metro. Do not forget that Metro is just the UI. Under it, is WinRT. Microsoft wants to shift all developer to WinRT and banish, as soon as possible, Win32.

Thus, I would not bother. And you cannot stay with Win7 for ever, because it is now an orphaned OS. If most new programs are coded for WinRT, they are not going to run in Win7. Thus, if you do not go with Win8, you must transition to another OS sooner or later.

The final sentence in item (b ) caught my eye.

Any thoughts on that? Have there been direct indications or confirmation that that's what MS intends to do?

--JorgeA

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Any thoughts on that? Have there been direct indications or confirmation that that's what MS intends to do?

You might want to rephrase the question, as is it might imply that they actually know what they are doing :w00t::ph34r: .

So I wouldn't focus on what the intend to do, but rather on what they are actually doing (mindlessly) which yes, it is the depauperating of the Win32 codebase, IF "third party developers" are demented enough to follow this lead. :unsure:

Any developer in his right mind won't even touch something called "Visual Studio 11 Ultimate", example:

http://winrt.codeplex.com/

Yes, even words have their weight, and "ultimate" is a marketing adjective that is suitable to a game, or maybe to a graphic card, not to a developing environment..... :whistle:

Now, go QUICKLY, before they change iot again here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh464942(v=vs.85).aspx

and then go where you are redirected:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br211386.aspx

then go to the "What's a Metro style app?":

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh974576.aspx

Now, go and find on all the huge MS knowledge base a basic illustrative article that also suggests you how you should sell your app.

You sell your app in the Windows Store

The Windows Store makes your apps available to millions of customers around the world. You write your app once, set the price in your local currency, and the Windows Store can make it available in the worldwide marketplace in 100+ languages.

The Windows Store makes it easy to distribute, update, and get paid for the apps that you develop.

Then try making 1+1.

As I see it, it is - as always - about world domination and stuff like that, they want to get some fee for marketing your product.... :whistle:

jaclaz

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I jut had to add the following quote from ADRz, one of the most perceptive participants on that Windows forum:

By divorcing the OS from demanding applications and moulding it to work with portable, low-power hardware, one introduces a huge gap into the progress of computing. For example, for a long time, the OS advanced to accommodate powerful hardware and, in turn, applications became more intricate to exploit the capabilities of the hardware that the OS now revealed. This trend created powerful and cheap GPUs, multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs, fast buses, fast memory, etc, etc. This powerful hardware facilitated by the OS allowed companies to build very powerful applications such as complex video and photo editing software, etc, etc. Win8, designed to run in "barely there" hardware, forces a veritable stasis in hardware. If it is a vehicle only for the creation of portable, non-multitasking, full-screen apps (and these are the only applications that Microsoft would be offering through its Windows Marketplace), what would be the use for anybody to buy powerful hardware? None, really. Without mass availability of powerful hardware, how are complex applications supposed to get further developed?

In a future where most carry tablets, publishers such Adobe would have to adjust drastically both their business model and their pricing. For those buying their applications through Windows marketplace (and thaf would a huge number, running Photoshop would be impossible (never mind, being inaccessible). Thus, such software would move to the cloud where your local hardware is of no consequence whatsoever.

At the end, the move towards weak, portable OSes that Win8 signifies (the Win8 desktop is essentially unchanged from that of Vista) is a disaster for those looking for powerful OSes, running in powerful computers, having access to intelligent, complex, multiwindowing, multitaksing, multithreaded applications for a reasonable price. These computers and these OSes would still exist, but prices are going to move to the stratosphere as the mass market disappears.

If something like this does happen, computing will have come full circle. In the beginning, people had terminals that couldn't do anything by themselves, but were tethered to a central mainfame that handled operations and stored the data. Then the PERSONAL computer came along and revolutionized IT, giving the individual complete control over his work and his output. The vision (nightmare) of a simple OS, functioning merely to connect your dumb workstation to cloud servers, erases all of that and -- operationally speaking -- constitutes a reversion to the mainframe era.

Worst of all, while the process is well underway in the large-organization sphere, this new development that ADRz describes would extend the "dumb terminal" concept to the home. Fully cloud-based computing would change the experience from what's essentially a "private property" model, where once we pay for our land and implements we can use them indefinitely, to a "feudal" model where we must render regular tribute and get kicked off the (software) manor if we refuse.

--JorgeA

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Allow me to disagree (partially) with this:

By divorcing the OS from demanding applications and moulding it to work with portable, low-power hardware, one introduces a huge gap into the progress of computing. For example, for a long time, the OS advanced to accommodate powerful hardware and, in turn, applications became more intricate to exploit the capabilities of the hardware that the OS now revealed. This trend created powerful and cheap GPUs, multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs, fast buses, fast memory, etc, etc. This powerful hardware facilitated by the OS allowed companies to build very powerful applications such as complex video and photo editing software, etc, etc. Win8, designed to run in "barely there" hardware, forces a veritable stasis in hardware. If it is a vehicle only for the creation of portable, non-multitasking, full-screen apps (and these are the only applications that Microsoft would be offering through its Windows Marketplace), what would be the use for anybody to buy powerful hardware? None, really. Without mass availability of powerful hardware, how are complex applications supposed to get further developed?

Making use of more powerful hardware is what SHOULD have been done, NOT what HAS been done (particularly by Adobe, they have used this powerful hardware to add more and more bloat to their apps INSTEAD of having them work faster/better).

Get Adobe PDF Reader:

http://get.adobe.com/it/reader/

(36,94 MB) 10.1.0 <- not even the fatter one, the Adobe Reader X 10.1.3 is a whopping 51.95 MB (+an optional 22 Mb of Google Chrome)

and compare it (honestly) against:

http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/

(14 mb)

They USED to make a "lean" thingy, see:

http://www.oldapps.com/foxit_reader.php

see the same "progresses" made by Adobe:

http://www.oldapps.com/adobe_reader.php

and compare with:

http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/free-pdf-reader.html

(2,4 Mb)

And of course the nice :thumbup Krzysztof Kowalczyk is on the same trend:

http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/news.html

(almost anything since version 1.2 is "added features" that are mostly unneeded or "forced upon" by the changes in usage of the "main" tools)

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Any thoughts on that? Have there been direct indications or confirmation that that's what MS intends to do?

You might want to rephrase the question, as is it might imply that they actually know what they are doing :w00t::ph34r: .

So I wouldn't focus on what the intend to do, but rather on what they are actually doing (mindlessly) which yes, it is the depauperating of the Win32 codebase, IF "third party developers" are demented enough to follow this lead. :unsure:

jaclaz,

Well, yes -- you're right. I did assume that the folks at MS know what they're doing. Given what they've been doing, I guess that's a big assumption. But whether or not they realize the consequences of what they're doing, surely they must know if ultimately they intend to go "all WinRT"? That's what I'd like to know -- if that's the goal, foolish though it may be.

Any developer in his right mind won't even touch something called "Visual Studio 11 Ultimate", example:

http://winrt.codeplex.com/

Yes, even words have their weight, and "ultimate" is a marketing adjective that is suitable to a game, or maybe to a graphic card, not to a developing environment..... :whistle:

Now, go QUICKLY, before they change iot again here:

Looks like I wasn't quick enough! The first of your four links redirected me somewhere else, and the second one said that the content had been removed.

--JorgeA

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Making use of more powerful hardware is what SHOULD have been done, NOT what HAS been done (particularly by Adobe, they have used this powerful hardware to add more and more bloat to their apps INSTEAD of having them work faster/better).

Get Adobe PDF Reader:

http://get.adobe.com/it/reader/

(36,94 MB) 10.1.0 <- not even the fatter one, the Adobe Reader X 10.1.3 is a whopping 51.95 MB (+an optional 22 Mb of Google Chrome)

and compare it (honestly) against:

http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/

(14 mb)

jaclaz,

I've noticed that, too. Trouble is, by going with a lighter OS (Win8) that's designed to work on lower-spec hardware, you can bet your bottom lira that they're going to remove useful features to get the software to "work" on tablets and similar toys.

I do like Foxit Reader; I'm using version 4.3.0.1110. I'd always used Adobe Reader, but when I updated it to Reader X two things happened: (1) the interface changed drastically in ways that I didn't care for (such as having the Search box hidden by default); and (2) the Search function was almost completely broken. You'd type in a term and it might, or might not, take you to a page that contained the term -- and if it did, you'd still have to look for it yourself on that page. It took Adobe months to fix that bug, and then they issued the fix as only a regularly scheduled update (instead of an emergency fix), which did not speak well for their level of dedication or concern. In the meantime I discovered and started using Foxit Reader, which moreover had adopted "yellow sticky notes" as a comment feature. Adobe incorporated that in X, but I discovered the broken Search and stoped using X before I discovered that they had sticky notes; so now I'm converted to Foxit.

--JorgeA

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Looks like I wasn't quick enough! The first of your four links redirected me somewhere else, and the second one said that the content had been removed.

No, maybe there is a misunderstanding, my bad :blushing: .

The page:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh464942(v=vs.85).aspx

has ALREADY had it's contents removed, but it still titled "Dev Center - Metro style apps > Docs", I said "quickly" because they could remove it (without the link to the following *anytime*).

What I find interesting is that the above page is linked on the mentioned:

http://winrt.codeplex.com/

as a hyperlink titled "Windows Runtime"

Since I presume, that apart form the folly of using something called "Visual Studio 11 Ultimate" the good Raffaele Rialdi :thumbup knows what he writes, I found queer that there is not any mention of "WinRT" or "windows Runtime" on the new pages:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br211386.aspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh974576.aspx

if not in the latter as:

Metro style apps can use the Windows Runtime, a native API built into the operating system. This API is implemented in C++ and supported in JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, and C++ in a way that feels natural for each language.

I would also like to highlight the BIG NEWS :w00t: (still on this latter page):

Apps can talk to each other

App contracts are a way for users to seamlessly search across and share content between different apps. They extend the usefulness of your app by eliminating the need to work with varying standards or app-specific APIs to access data stored or created by another app, all while keeping users in your branded experience. You don’t need to know anything about the target app other than its declared support for the target contract – it just works.

"Apps can talk to each other", I mean WOW, it's not like DOS anymore!

Please note how the above page is "in theory" targeted to "developers", I wonder about the "qualifications" that actual developers must have to actually *need* such a technical explanation as "You don’t need to know anything about the target app other than its declared support for the target contract – it just works."

It must be a joke of some kind :unsure: , though I completely fail to get which part is the funny one :ph34r:

jaclaz

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It must be a joke of some kind :unsure: , though I completely fail to get which part is the funny one :ph34r:

I hear that. It's one of those jokes where you don't know whether to laugh or just barf. Here, another example just popped up ...

Microsoft planning ‘child-friendly' mode for Windows Phone 8?

I was gonna quote some of the breathless discovery but what's the point really.

Someone IM me when they make thing adult-friendly.

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