JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

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Thurrott doesn't seem to have put 2 + 2 together. Zune is the kind of "walled garden" approach that MS is pushing on everyone with Windows 8. Does he really wish for PC users -- himself included -- to be at the mercy of The Powers That Be??

In this case, I'd rather say: 'The Powers That Shouldn't Be'...

Noone (here or elsewhere) is afraid of changes, but of course if the change is "for the better".

It seems to me, even those that have become the most cynical of Windows 8 enthusiastically embrace change and novelty, even when it's not necessaries an improvement -- but doesn't come as a detriment to practical considerations like performance, productivity, security -- or summarily results oriented use of a PC.

Most of the cynical Pundits (that I know of) were enthusiastically curious about Windows 8, hoping that the 'Metro thing' might be a brilliantly designed TWM, perhaps inspired by Microsoft's Surface R&D (the coffee table not the tablet product)... Instead we got a lobotomized interface that's like something out of Idiocracy or The Marching Morons...

I wonder how many that are still enthusiastically embracing and gushing over Windows 8, that don't use a PC as a passive consumption toy, will feel the same a few months from now... At least one Journalist has enough integrity to say he doesn't see the Emperor's New Clothes...

:blink:

Edited by hoak
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Dvorak column related to the previously mentioned Thurrott piece ...

Hip Hip Hooray for Windows 8! ( PC Magazine 2012-08-31 )

This is kinda funny because he is directly criticizing Thurrott for his embarrassing display of fanboyism while refusing to call him out by name!

"I can't figure out how Microsoft always gets so many cheerleaders to root for its new operating systems, but it somehow manages to do so. The cheers are beginning in full force and will continue unabated until the release of Windows 8 into the wild in October.

If the OS doesn't take off like a wildfire, then everyone will backpedal. As my readers know, I side with the critics of the product because I am not a fan of the Metro interface.

I am not going to name names because writers do not diss other writers unless they want an everlasting blood feud. Who needs the aggravation of that, especially when they are pandering to Microsoft? This rallying for Windows 8 spun out of control when some "objective" writers actually claimed that it is the greatest product ever. Then they finished with, "I can't wait!""

:lol::lol::lol:

Now the comments over there are just plain wicked as they are having strokes and heart attacks over Dvorak's relatively tepid ant-Metro opinion. PC Magazine has really been unlucky to attract so many fanboys, they are probably 2nd only to NeoWin for hosting the largest collective of MicroBorg in comments. All criticism of Microsoft is instantly chalked up as pro-Apple followed immediately by a barrage of foul comments! I mean instantly! Even Dvorak is accused even though he has been writing PC articles since the 1980's. Doh!

Anyone old enough to remember those days might also notice this amazing role reversal where today, we PC users now have tons of irrational anti-Apple pro-Microsoft fanboys who are every bit, no, even worse than the Apple fanatics in the 1980's. Back then the PC user was the calm conservative DOS user and had Charlie Chaplin as a mascot in some famous PC commercials. The Mac user was snooty, arrogant and often cheered the incessant attack ads against the PC aired by Apple. PC users really had no choice but to tolerate the situation. That was the way I remember it anyway. In a nutshell, we PC users learned to despise Apple, more than the users, because of their insulting and ridiculous commercials drumming up an overblown competition ( long before 'I'm a Mac, I'm a PC' ). Personally, I was just fine with the users, mostly artists and musicians who were too busy doing their thing to be worried about the PC vs. Mac war. But the Apple fanboys who were outspoken still couldn't hold a candle to what I see now from these MicroFanBoys. So somehow it has become completely reversed. The strange twist is that these new ones are rabid and irrationally targeting both Apple and PC users!

There seems to be this common theme, a meme that says: "Microsoft MUST be successful in the mobile market or else! And we must embrace whatever they decide in order to accomplish this". I have read enough to believe that this is official policy within the halls of Redmond. But what I would really love to know is exactly how this spread so far and wide because not all of these rabid dogs can be employees. Common sense suggests that it not a point of view that an average user would arrive at purely on their own. There really is an interesting story here yet to be written. I have a strong suspicion that somewhere around the Vista fiasco ( when they allegedly learned their lesson ) a large-scale astroturfing project was initiated. I admit I am only guessing here, no evidence whatsoever, but it might have involved recruiting bloggers and forum lurkers as a kind of Fifth Column perhaps paying with Xbox coupons or Windows licenses or whatever.

I hope that someday soon, some hard information gets out of Redmond so we can really know the truth.

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I'm only guessing, but a lot of this to me looks to be motivated by abject fear; just as we saw with the death of print journalism. I think what we're seeing is the panic fostered by FOSS and the low cost commodification of computing at every level; hardware, OS, enterprise products and services, and even journalism -- against a backdrop of really scary global economics... Hence the bizarre incessant attempts to 'psych up the retards for the trip to the zoo' -- these people know where their bread is buttered, can see and are fearful of the day when it all dries up. Anyone that imagines the Vole is too big, fat, and rich to fail only needs to look at history for a litany of enterprises larger in scale and more flush in the relative economy of their time, and far less reckless and arrogant with even greater resources for continued success that took the long hard fall...

:ph34r:

Edited by hoak
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I just came across a new method for skipping past the Metro screen when booting Windows 8.

The blog post says that this works when "logging in" to Windows 8, but a commenter says that it also works when you launch Windows 8 from scratch.

I have confirmed that it does work in the Developer Preview. (Sorry, I'm too lazy to uninstall my automated methods for bypassing the Metro start screen in the Consumer and Release previews. :) ) Keep the Enter button pressed down, and after a few seconds the Desktop is the next thing to appear on your monitor after the login screen.

Just make sure to have the Desktop tile as the top left item on your Metro screen, otherwise you might find yourself in Metro IE10 or... the Windows Store. :ph34r:

--JorgeA

P.S. One note about IE10: When I booted into the DP to try out this manual method for going straight to the Desktop, I got a notice from Adobe that a new version of Flash Player was available. Clicking on the button to update took me into Metro IE10, which (as I suspected) then would not accept the Flash Player update. But even launching regular IE10 and visiting the Adobe website, I still could not download the updated Flash Player by selecting the "Run" option. It refused to finish the download, no matter how many times I hit "Retry." It was only after I chose "Save" that I was able to complete the download and then install the Flash Player update.

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I'm only guessing, but a lot of this to me looks to be motivated by abject fear; just as we saw with the death of print journalism. I think what we're seeing is the panic fostered by FOSS and the low cost commodification of computing at every level; hardware, OS, enterprise products and services, and even journalism -- against a backdrop of really scary global economics... Hence the bizarre incessant attempts to 'psych up the retards for the trip to the zoo' -- these people know where their bread is buttered, can see and are fearful of the day when it all dries up. Anyone that imagines the Vole is too big, fat, and rich to fail only needs to look at history for a litany of enterprises larger in scale and more flush in the relative economy of their time, and far less reckless and arrogant with even greater resources for continued success that took the long hard fall...

:ph34r:

So, in your view, what they're hoping to do for salvation is to convert the commodified PC market into a closed system like Apple, where customers will eagerly pay premium prices for far-from-extraordinary devices. (As you can tell, I'm no fan of Apple... especially after our latest wrestling match with iTunes.)

That's a very interesting theory!

Maybe with (some) individual consumers, but I can't see serious users, enterprises, or IT folk rushing to get into jail Windows 8. So my suspicion is that MS's strategy is flawed. They're running the risk of destroying their success and dominance in the serious PC market for the chimera of cool.

Just to make sure there's no confusion... note that I'm not questioning the validity of your theory -- what you say makes a lot of sense to me. I think you're right that this is MS's strategy. I'm just questioning the worth of their strategy.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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I'm only guessing, but a lot of this to me looks to be motivated by abject fear; just as we saw with the death of print journalism. I think what we're seeing is the panic fostered by FOSS and the low cost commodification of computing at every level; hardware, OS, enterprise products and services, and even journalism -- against a backdrop of really scary global economics... Hence the bizarre incessant attempts to 'psych up the retards for the trip to the zoo' -- these people know where their bread is buttered, can see and are fearful of the day when it all dries up. Anyone that imagines the Vole is too big, fat, and rich to fail only needs to look at history for a litany of enterprises larger in scale and more flush in the relative economy of their time, and far less reckless and arrogant with even greater resources for continued success that took the long hard fall...

Yes, I believe this makes a lot of sense, the frightening prospect of a MicroTitanic iceberg disaster complete with scurrying to lifeboats before it sinks to the depths, hence the call to 'All Hands On Deck' among their friends in the media ( nice fertile analogy here too, limitless photoshopped screengrabs of Cameron's Titanic with Ballmer and Sinofsky as the Captain and 1st mate, or perhaps Gilligan's Island. :thumbup )

Hence we're treated to rabid displays of irrationality from those that are only tangentially connected with a successful Microsoft ( including many who only think they are or wish they were ), and are incapable of imagining their survival in a world without Microsoft functioning at the center of their universe. I'll buy that. Unfortunately for them you are absolutely correct in that mightier have fallen in the past, and it is almost always from repeated missteps or from blindness and deafness from living in an insulated bubble. IBM is a very close analogy ( as I suggested upthread ) though they had a bigger division to fall back on, but many others come to mind in unrelated fields, just recently Kodak. The unthinkable is very much possible and big business could open a cemetery full of tombstones to prove it. The fanboy fears are certainly warranted, but thanks to the moves I see from Microsoft since around the Vista era, I'm having a hard time giving a d@mn.

Anyone that imagines the Vole is too big, fat, and rich to fail only needs to look at history...

:lol: People that don't read the UK Inquirer and Register might not be familiar with that 'nickname' for Microsoft. Did you ever see the Wikipedia fight over it? The softies managed to have it exorcised but at least the battle is recorded.

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Most of the cynical Pundits (that I know of) were enthusiastically curious about Windows 8, hoping that the 'Metro thing' might be a brilliantly designed TWM, perhaps inspired by Microsoft's Surface R&D (the coffee table not the tablet product)... Instead we got a lobotomized interface that's like something out of Idiocracy or The Marching Morons...

That's a great word for it -- lobotomized. The slogan for Windows 8 is "Windows, Reimagined." More appropriate it would be to say,

Windows, Lobotomized

I wonder how many that are still enthusiastically embracing and gushing over Windows 8, that don't use a PC as a passive consumption toy, will feel the same a few months from now... At least one Journalist has enough integrity to say he doesn't see the Emperor's New Clothes...

:blink:

An excellent question. We'll see...

--JorgeA

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Anyone old enough to remember those days might also notice this amazing role reversal where today, we PC users now have tons of irrational anti-Apple pro-Microsoft fanboys who are every bit, no, even worse than the Apple fanatics in the 1980's. Back then the PC user was the calm conservative DOS user and had Charlie Chaplin as a mascot in some famous PC commercials. The Mac user was snooty, arrogant and often cheered the incessant attack ads against the PC aired by Apple. PC users really had no choice but to tolerate the situation. That was the way I remember it anyway. In a nutshell, we PC users learned to despise Apple, more than the users, because of their insulting and ridiculous commercials drumming up an overblown competition ( long before 'I'm a Mac, I'm a PC' ). Personally, I was just fine with the users, mostly artists and musicians who were too busy doing their thing to be worried about the PC vs. Mac war. But the Apple fanboys who were outspoken still couldn't hold a candle to what I see now from these MicroFanBoys. So somehow it has become completely reversed. The strange twist is that these new ones are rabid and irrationally targeting both Apple and PC users!

I remember those Charlie Chaplin commercials. I seem to associate them in my mind with the introduction of the PCjr, and my memory didn't fail!

Actually, that whole PCjr Wikipedia article is worth reading: there are a number of parallels between Windows 8 and Surface, and IBM's introduction of the PCjr -- from its massive hoopla and recruiting of media shills, to its image as a limited toy device. (Personally, I'd been saving my pennies to buy one of these things, but then passed on it when I saw that it had limited capabilities and was not very compatible with the PCs our magazine was using.)

--JorgeA

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I remember those Charlie Chaplin commercials. I seem to associate them in my mind with the introduction of the PCjr, and my memory didn't fail!

Actually, that whole PCjr Wikipedia article is worth reading: there are a number of parallels between Windows 8 and Surface, and IBM's introduction of the PCjr -- from its massive hoopla and recruiting of media shills, to its image as a limited toy device. (Personally, I'd been saving my pennies to buy one of these things, but then passed on it when I saw that it had limited capabilities and was not very compatible with the PCs our magazine was using.)

IIRC they used him for all the releases PC, XT, AT, PCjr, and probably the Portable PC. I cannot remember when it stopped but if I had to guess it was before the PS/2 ( when they really needed him ).

Lots of scans seen at Google Images, but I found no good high-quality ones yet ......

o22Hzy6.jpg

WyKDQvJ.jpg

6WMOOLv.jpg

Y2hfCGy.jpg

FqYuuHt.jpg

J87f6xl.jpg

EDIT: updated image URLs, and again

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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IIRC they used him for all the releases PC, XT, AT, PCjr, and probably the Portable PC. I cannot remember when it stopped but if I had to guess it was before the PS/2 ( when they really needed him ).

Nice find. So IBM did use Charlie for all of their products, including the PCjr. I guess that's the one I was focused on at the time. Ended up buying a Sanyo MBC-550, which I then topped out with RAM and a second single-sided floppy drive. Eventually the FDDs got replaced by two quad-density, 800K drives. It still works! :)

--JorgeA

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"And if Metro does take off, Windows will surely be better for it. This is a hard pill for some people to swallow, and I know that what youre about to read will not be popular in certain circles, but please take this with the understanding that Ive written it as a diehard, confirmed desktop PC user. The desktop must die. And it must take all of the bad stuff that comes along with the goodthe malware and viruses, sure, but also the complexities, reliability issues, and so onwith it. These types of technology changes are difficult, and often time consuming. But with each new generation change, some old, out of date technology is lopped off too. And the move to Metro/Windows RT will be the biggest exorcism of technological deadwood yet."

So the Party Line has switched from the false comfort of "stop whining, you can still work in the Desktop" to the more brazen (but honest) "FU, the Desktop must die."

If Metro/Modern/Nameless Crap Interface is what the future of Windows looks like, then my future is shaping up to look something like this:

post-287775-0-60417500-1346727272_thumb.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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So, in your view, what they're hoping to do for salvation is to convert the commodified PC market into a closed system like Apple, where customers will eagerly pay premium prices for far-from-extraordinary devices. (As you can tell, I'm no fan of Apple... especially after our latest wrestling match with iTunes.)

Obviously I'm only guessing, but Microsoft is stagnant, Apple is growing as is the competition for all of Microsoft's cash cow products and services -- in a market that in general isn't seeing much real growth...

It has been said Microsoft isn't lean, mean or hungry any longer, and it's a company that still gives the impression that it can bully it's way forward and make anything work if it throws enough money and marketing under its plans -- but in this case I think they're reaching and are late to the party; they see Apple growing using some of the same strategy Microsoft pioneered on it's game consoles, so yes I think they want to roll their own 'walled garden' on everything.

Historically Microsoft has made some very graceful recoveries from really horrible product gaffs, has turned marginal ideas into competitive 'AAA' front line 'product', and they obviously still have the resources to do that again, but to me it looks like a company lacking in motivation and guidance -- flailing and failing with a litany of poorly conceived product introductions.

Add to this Steve Ballmer owns more stock in the company then anyone else, and is up for retirement before too long... Then there's the rather revealing stories about Microsoft's 'corporate culture' that sounds so surreal and Kafkaesque it makes IBM and the U.S. Government look like models of bureaucratic efficiency and efficacy by comparison.

Applying all this to the Windows 8 and beyond; Thurrotf's 'The Desktop Must Die!' comments, with the Metro UI being the embedded UI for boot level Windows systems internals and recovery and even appearing on the Server 2012 product -- are not what I'd consider reassuring signs for the future of the Microsoft OS...

Whatever is really going on, it's going to be interesting to watch, and may even open a new window of opportunity for real competition and innovation in the Desktop/Workstation OS venue -- with Kickstarter crowd funding projects hitting a new high, no shortage of brilliant and under employed talent -- the future could be quite interesting!

:)

Edit: Charlotte! You're amazing! There are too many fun, witty, and historical references in your posts (that date me) I love your posts!

:wub:

Edited by hoak
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Nice find. So IBM did use Charlie for all of their products, including the PCjr. I guess that's the one I was focused on at the time. Ended up buying a Sanyo MBC-550, which I then topped out with RAM and a second single-sided floppy drive. Eventually the FDDs got replaced by two quad-density, 800K drives. It still works! :)

Well I know they started using him for the first PC in late 1981 with great fanfare because it was quite a big deal. And he appeared in many ads at least through the AT and Portable. I can't tell from the images in that link but it had to be around 1986-1987 ( Convertible to PS/2 era ) that they stopped but I just might not be remembering. Searching images for PS/2 alone doesn't show any obvious Chaplin ads so I guess they quit before then ( big mistake ). It was really a brilliant branding idea that is clearly identifiable now almost 31 years later!

( Way, way, way off-topic, but your link triggered some memories ) ... About those PCjr's, they made me and quite a few others from what I learned later quite a bit of money from about 1984 to 1988 or maybe 1989. You see we learned how to modify these units and by undercutting the official IBM expansion price raked in some really good dough. Most of the work was done through the PCjr's expansion bus which was on the outside of the computer using stackable sidecars. The PCjr was the only PC I ever saw that had an external bus like this, it was weird and way oversized. The sidecars were equal to the height and depth of the system unit ( and perhaps an inch thick ) attached to the side of the PCjr ( or to the previous sidecar ) with four special long brass screws, the long male bus connector protruded on the inner side and female recessed on the outer side of each addition attached internally to the main bus, so it was equivalent to adding ISA or PCI cards. The official IBM upgrade path had you buying the sidecars in 128 KB increments so with *four* 128 KB sidecars you could officially bring it up to 640 KB ( at GREAT cost!), or ... pay us to do it better. There were other kinds of sidecars as well such as parallel port and power supply adapters and others. So it was common for geeks to have 6 or more sidecars which greatly lengthened the system unit. Here is an image from Google, just imagine 4, 5 or 6 sidecars! ...

What happened is that information became available to the few of us that had access to USENET or ran BBS's and it circulated among really early hacking-mod-DIY groups and forums. The instructions evolved over time but were pretty easy to understand and perform with basic electronic experience. Specifically, we modded the memory sidecars by removing the original soldered RAM chips and installing RAM sockets so we could just push in new higher density RAM chips that we bought in bulk in clear plastic tubes bringing the sidecars from 128 KB to 512 KB total RAM ( there was a little more to it involving cutting a trace and soldering a jumper wire ). The actual PCjr base unit had 64 KB or 128 KB, so it was possible to easily bring the system to 576 KB or 640 KB total. Later experimentation by others created slightly higher totals of 704 KB and 768 KB which I believe was only usable in a ramdisk. The new RAM total was made available to DOS via a device driver in config.sys ( PCJRMEM. COM ). So we managed to offer a much improved choice to a user to move to 640 KB, they either did it with 4 x 128 KB or simply 1 x 512 KB sidecar. I didn't realize until years later when the web came online and many more USENET newsgroups and BBS archives were accessible just how many of us were doing these mods. It seems that in every area where the was a large IBM presence there was a large amount of PCjr's because employees got them at a discount below the stupidly high retail price. As I pretty much had one city all to myself near a few of their larger plants so I must have done a few hundred of them. I see that Wikipedia says they only sold 500,000 total in the entire world and certainly only a small amount were modified so I could have done a good percent or two of the total RAM mods. Those were the days!

So the Party Line has switched from the false comfort of "stop whining, you can still work in the Desktop" to the more brazen (but honest) "FU, the Desktop must die."

Thurrott probably has some good sources ( although I have no doubt he exaggerates a bit ) so it is not unreasonable to believe he is spouting more than wishful thinking with that infamous quote. This is why I have said that This Is War Now.

EDIT: wording, updated image URL, and again

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Just two news items that are harbingers of the train-wreck the market sector Microsoft is trying to enter is headed for: the first should be a warning shot that while it only effects the Windows RT iteration of the Metro platform -- signs have been all over news for last three quarters that there would be a slow down due to economic hardship and market saturation; the second should rattle anyone fillings, as it's one thing to report a slow-down, but another thing entirely to show losses (even if a almost half a billion is a drop in the bucket for Foxconn, and this is Foxconn -- the company with a factory the size of the State of New Jersey that produces...well just about everything with a microprocessor on it, including make-up production for just about every brand in existence; if Foxconn is hurting you can bet everyone is going to feel it as well and sooner rather then later... Even if Microsoft's Windows 8 and RT Metro design was brilliant, the company couldn't pick a worse time to and push everything to a new platform...

:blink:

Edited by hoak
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Has anybody tried this, or do you know anything about it?

Windows 8 Metro Remover will help to patch your Windows 8 installation to completely remove the Metro interface and return back the Windows 7 features.

I must confess that I'm leery of downloading something by a person calling themselves "Pwned." :ph34r:

--JorgeA

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