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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#1326
Tripredacus

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Anyone can multiply a "mere" 2,000,000 units reduction (in a two month expected timeframe) by rough unit sell price of US$ 500.00 and plot the trend for 2013? :w00t: :ph34r:

And it's not just Surface RT tablets. Windows 8 has been out for less than five weeks. I can report (and speaking of Staples) that I'm already receiving ads for clearance sales on Win8 laptops by HP and Toshiba.

Maybe (just maybe) customers are driven away by those hideous purple Start Screens that they've stuck on (seemingly) every display model and advertisement.

--JorgeA


I am waiting for when I can't use my two hands to count the number of Windows 8 licenses that have been sold since GA. :angel
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#1327
jaclaz

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I am waiting for when I can't use my two hands to count the number of Windows 8 licenses that have been sold since GA. :angel

I am by far more flexible than you :w00t: and I am prepared to take my shoes off :ph34r: , but though increasing by 100% the capability of the counter ;) , I doubt it makes a big difference in absolute terms.... :whistle:

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#1328
JorgeA

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Some early sales reporting:

Early Windows 8 sales numbers are cheered and jeered by pundits
Windows 8 Touchscreen Laptops See Slow Start
Microsoft: Nomura Trims Ests On Soft Win 8 Debut
Windows 8: Does its 1-month report card read pass or fail?
Windows 8's early uptake trumps Vista's
Windows 8 PC orders weak, says analyst
Windows 8 uptake remains listless after public launch

Paul Thurrott: Windows 8 Sales Well Below Projections, Plenty of Blame to Go Around

Microsoft blames the PC makers. My source cited to me the PC makers’ “inability to deliver,” a damning indictment that I think nicely explains why the firm felt it needed to start making its own PC and device hardware.

Now, that's a good one! Posted Image
It's like an author blaming the book publisher because the cover doesn't make up for the cr*ppy writing inside.

And one more piece on the user interface:
The Windows 8 UI: How do interface and usability experts rate all the changes?

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 30 November 2012 - 04:02 PM.


#1329
jaclaz

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It's like an author blaming the book publisher because the cover doesn't make up for the cr*ppy writing inside.

Not really, it's more like an editor blaming the printing company for not delivering the copies so that it cannot sell them (but wait :unsure:, if the issue is with the printing company not able to deliver enough copies on time, it means that there is demand for the book... :whistle: ).

More loosely, in a business if you have an "internal projection" saying that you are going to sell (say) 1,000,000 pieces in first three months you should make d@mn sure - in theory - and after having verified the reliability of the projection - to have 1,000,000 pieces ( + or - 50,000 pieces or whatever is the confidence interval of the projection) ready over that period.

OR (an alternative) the projections are completely wrong.

In both cases, *someone* has f***ed up BIG *somewhere*.


The bull**it about the ongoing world crisis is exactly that, it is not like you had plans to launch your brand new product on in late October 1929 and suddenly ....
Spoiler


jaclaz

#1330
CoffeeFiend

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In other news, while MS lies with numbers about their 40M licenses sold, it's well known that those sales aren't reflected in user statistics. NetApplications shows Win8 still under 1% for November, despite the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Yep, most of those 40M licenses sold are certainly sold to large OEMs for the next year worth of sales (which OEMs like Acer and ASUS are saying there is no demand for it), likely counting licenses given away to software assurance customers (who won't use 'em), those sitting on shelves of retailers like newegg (who also reported low demand) and so on. And they've even cutting the Surface expectations and sales in half. It's definitely not 40M users, and this say nothing about these users even wanting Win8 in the first place or their satisfaction with it.

But that doesn't prevent easily distracted rabid fanboys from claiming that there's high demand and thikning that there's 40M happy users of that crappy tablet OS on their desktop.

In other news, people are saying that the Surface Pro will be very expensive and have poor battery life compared to all other tablets (iPad, Android, etc). I'd have to say this is kinda obvious, and it definitely won't make a dent in iPad sales. Best case scenario for MS, it'll just eat into their already poor Ultrabook sales :lol:
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#1331
jaclaz

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In other news, people are saying that the Surface Pro will be very expensive and have poor battery life compared to all other tablets (iPad, Android, etc). I'd have to say this is kinda obvious, and it definitely won't make a dent in iPad sales. Best case scenario for MS, it'll just eat into their already poor Ultrabook sales :lol:

Cannot say about battery life but anything between 900 and 1,000 bucks can get me TWO more than decent laptops, possibly THREE of them ....
http://www.pcworld.c...899-and-up.html
so I doubt that many "businesses" will choose to spend more to have a "compatible tablet".

jaclaz

#1332
CoffeeFiend

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Cannot say about battery life but anything between 900 and 1,000 bucks can get me TWO more than decent laptops, possibly THREE of them ....

...or a basic iPad that's actually a good tablet (or a very decent Android tablet if you prefer) with tons of good apps meant for touch (unlike Win8 whose only good apps are desktop apps, which suck on a tablet) and has good battery life, and a half decent laptop to go with it (which is better to write Office docs and email than with Surface anyway). Surface Pro is just a bad compromise of the two, much like Win8 is a bad compromise between a desktop and a tablet OS, failing miserably at both (but more so on the desktop side)

It's like if Honda decided to stop selling motorbikes and cars, only providing a 3-wheeled car but that drives with handlebars as their "no compromise" solution :rolleyes:
Posted Image
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#1333
jaclaz

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It's like if Honda decided to stop selling motorbikes and cars, only providing a 3-wheeled car but that drives with handlebars as their "no compromise" solution :rolleyes:

Yep, and when making three wheeled cars there are - as always - two ways to do them, the "wrong" way (as the one depicted in the picture you posted):
http://en.wikipedia....heeler#Two_rear
and the "right" way:
http://en.wikipedia....eeler#Two_front
See, as an example, some recent ones:
http://www.diseno-ar...eeled-vehicles/
(the "carver" being the only exception - gone to bankruptcy - that confirms the rule)

Now, think a bit about which design would Mrs. Larson-Green would choose (and Mr. Ballmer would say that is the one preferred by users) :unsure:
Spoiler


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#1334
CoffeeFiend

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Now, think a bit about which design would Mrs. Larson-Green would choose (and Mr. Ballmer would say that is the one preferred by users) :unsure:

Like I said, it wouldn't be just the wrong design, but I'd expect it to have the controls of the motorbike (handlebars and all), not having the freedom or fuel economy of the bike, nor the comfort, stability or security of the car either. Win8 is one of those that manages to get the worst of both worlds: it really sucks on the desktop (it feels primarily as a tablet OS), and all the the useful software is for a desktop (and as such sucks on a tablet), the battery life of a laptop, and the price of both combined... It just doesn't work at any level.

By the way, I'm now the proud owner of a brand new iPad 4 (with Retina Display, just the 16GB model though).
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#1335
jaclaz

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By the way, I'm now the proud owner of a brand new iPad 4 (with Retina Display, just the 16GB model though).

Traitor! :realmad: ;)

I casually found this emoticon, that may be of use : Posted Image

:lol:

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#1336
CoffeeFiend

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Traitor! :realmad: ;)

Yep! But it was Redmond that abandoned us first, that makes them the real traitors :yes: They made me buy my Mac Mini first (our 3 Win 7 PCs are our main computers still) and now an iPad.

I casually found this emoticon, that may be of use : Posted Image

Nice! I can see lots more people doing just like me, and it's Ballmer & Sinofsky who are to blame for all this.

Edit: I'm also buying the kids a 32GB iPod Touch for xmas... I can see why Apple is making so much money!

Microsoft is trying to turn themselves into Apple, and all it's doing is driving customer interest away from them and towards Apple. Well done Mr Ballmer!
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#1337
CharlotteTheHarlot

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I casually found this emoticon, that may be of use : Posted Image

Darn, if only that was the Windows 8 blue window pane thing instead of the Windows XP flag it would be perfect. I would never choose Apple over Windows XP or earlier.

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#1338
Tripredacus

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Yep, most of those 40M licenses sold are certainly sold to large OEMs for the next year worth of sales (which OEMs like Acer and ASUS are saying there is no demand for it)


This was true with previous versions of Windows. Microsoft has changed how licenses to OEMs are distributed. Instead of ordering in bulk lots, license is purchased by an OEM on a per install basis. This change in how the OEM license works would mean that the figures should be lower, not higher. But another important thing to note is that Downgrade Rights sales would definately count, even if the end result is that an end user received a PC with Windows 7 installed on it. It is possible that they are counting at least those 2 million Surface tablets...
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#1339
CoffeeFiend

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Microsoft has changed how licenses to OEMs are distributed. Instead of ordering in bulk lots, license is purchased by an OEM on a per install basis.

That might be the case for smaller OEMs but I don't see Dell writing a purchase order for each and every single PC they have to activate. Then again, that's only a matter of accounting and it's very likely that this is how they proceeded. Just my $0.02 but we'll never know the truth, or actual relevant numbers, like how many satisfied customers they have who actually wanted it on their desktop in the first place.
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#1340
JorgeA

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Yep, most of those 40M licenses sold are certainly sold to large OEMs for the next year worth of sales (which OEMs like Acer and ASUS are saying there is no demand for it)


This was true with previous versions of Windows. Microsoft has changed how licenses to OEMs are distributed. Instead of ordering in bulk lots, license is purchased by an OEM on a per install basis. This change in how the OEM license works would mean that the figures should be lower, not higher. But another important thing to note is that Downgrade Rights sales would definately count, even if the end result is that an end user received a PC with Windows 7 installed on it. It is possible that they are counting at least those 2 million Surface tablets...

Wouldn't this suggest, then, that 40 million retail copies + individual OEM installs have been sold? (Assuming that the 40 million figure is accurate.)

--JorgeA

#1341
JorgeA

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Paul Thurrott's take on the 21% decline in PC sales year-over-year since the launch of Windows 8 (and a 24% drop in portable computer sales).

I opined over the weekend that Microsoft’s mobile strategy is correct, by which I mean that the self-proclaimed “devices and services” company is wise to try and take its Windows user base of 1.3 billion people forward to this new system. (The alternative was to try and sell a separate mobile platform, which I’ll call Metro, to compete with the iPad and its ilk.) What’s unclear is whether the implementation of this strategy—Windows 8 and Windows RT—will prove successful with users. So far, it doesn’t appear to have moved the needle very much.

And he's still blaming the book's cover for its failure to become a best-seller:

Frankly, I keep coming back to the same culprit that Microsoft has: PC makers are to blame. Not only have these slow-moving firms not delivered the promised collection of new devices, but the few models they’ve delivered have shown up in insufficient volume to meet demand. This behavior more than justifies Microsoft’s decision this year to enter the PC market with its own Surface devices, I think. PC makers have been screwing up the Windows ecosystem for years.

This argument does not and cannot get Win8 off the hook: the decline in PC sales has accelerated since Windows 8 came out. And as we know, orders for the Surface have been scaled back. So there appears to be NO segment of the market (desktops, laptops, tablets) where any kind of success is occurring that could be credited to Windows 8.

My ongoing localized, anecdotal observations jibe with these general trends: despite it being the Christmas shopping season, the computing departments (including tablets) at a variety of stores are looking like ghost towns.

--JorgeA

#1342
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There's nothing to stop them from just totaling up all the activations is there?

All the home users must activate, on Microsoft servers no less. Corporate has their own servers but no-one is gonna tell me that Microsoft has no means to audit them directly.

Still playing games with numbers in the computerized activation-era says something.

The truth is that there is a bean counter at Redmond who has these numbers and hand delivers them to Ballmer. Why doesn't a sycophant like Thurrott or Bott simply ask him directly. The answer is that they are also in on it.

Meanwhile we'll just have to look at a worse method, website page request statistics ( worse for Microsoft because not all legitimately activated Windows 8 installations will be connected to the internet ). That's Karma again.

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#1343
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The scoop on Windows 8 is starting to get out to the professional communities:

In the last newsletter, writing about Windows 8 before having an actual look at it, I opined this:

Just this morning a reader asked for advice on whether a new computer that he is about to order should have Windows 7 or Windows 8. Unless you have a specific reason to run Windows 8 on a computer (such as clients who want you to test software on Windows 8 or you just REALLY want to use the touch-screen interface), I would strongly advise you to hold off. Windows 7 is reliable, and the programs that we use are typically optimized for it.

I have to say that I had a pretty good hunch there -- I'd say the same thing now after having put Windows 8 through its paces, but now I'd repeat it a bit more strongly.

--JorgeA

#1344
CoffeeFiend

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despite it being the Christmas shopping season, the computing departments (including tablets) at a variety of stores are looking like ghost towns.

It all depends on where you are located, which store you go to, etc. The apple store was full when I bought my iPad, and there were lots of people at Best Buy when I went to buy a cover for my iPad a couple days ago. The thing I don't see is people buying anything that runs Windows 8. I've seen more people buying Android tablets (and even Blackberry Playbook tablets) than Win8 tablets.

There's nothing to stop them from just totaling up all the activations is there?

But those numbers wouldn't look good so there's no reason to publish them. Especially when being dishonest easily makes you look good!

It's nice to see Paul Thurott acknowledge NPD's numbers (that 40M licenses number is completely bogus) but his conclusion is pretty strange to say the least. That same PC hardware has always sold well, it's not like they started producing junk overnight, and those same OEMs are saying there's no demand for Win8, and all of a sudden, with the release of win8 (which gets a LOT of bad reviews) sales go down. Most people want the same old desktops or laptops they know well, and ideally with a real desktop OS on it. I now have a Mac Mini *and* an iPad, and it's not because the hardware ASUS/Dell/HP/Acer/Lenovo and others sell, it's because of the OS that runs on it. That's also why Surface tablets don't sell. MS is failing MUCH harder than any of the other OEMs at making a product that sells (much like with their phones) and yet they blame them all for not knowing what the market wants... Yes, everybody else is the problem Mr Ballmer! If Windows keeps going that way then it's over for me. I'll gladly pay more for Apple hardware not to have Win8 or anything resembling that. I'll update my Windows 7 PCs one last time to ensure they last a few more years and that'll be the end of it. I even have a couple co-workers who expressed a similar opinion (their next PCs will be Macs).
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#1345
JorgeA

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despite it being the Christmas shopping season, the computing departments (including tablets) at a variety of stores are looking like ghost towns.

It all depends on where you are located, which store you go to, etc. The apple store was full when I bought my iPad, and there were lots of people at Best Buy when I went to buy a cover for my iPad a couple days ago. The thing I don't see is people buying anything that runs Windows 8. I've seen more people buying Android tablets (and even Blackberry Playbook tablets) than Win8 tablets.

I believe it, that especially Apple products are selling better. If memory serves, Mac sales haven't dropped as steeply as Windows PC sales.

The area where we live wasn't hit by the recession as badly as many others, but lately any computer store i visit is like people forgot it existed. Yesterday I got another coupon for $100 off on any Windows 8 PC (not just for specific models). Used to be they'd send out one of these big discount coupons every six months or so, but this is the second one for Win8 systems in 2-3 weeks.

--JorgeA

#1346
CoffeeFiend

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I believe it, that especially Apple products are selling better. If memory serves, Mac sales haven't dropped as steeply as Windows PC sales.

I don't see that changing anytime soon either. Sure, MS is trying to copy Apple harder than ever, but they're screwing up everything big time, and only copying the bad stuff seemingly...

Just one out of thousands of possible examples:

On the Apple side:

On all iDevices, you have music you can sync with iTunes (v11 is fantastic BTW), which has a great interface, it has great "smart" playlists and such. It works seamlessly with their store. All your iDevices and PCs sync together and it just works, and there's tons of cool accessories for all of them. And the Remote app is incredible! From my iPad, I can remotely control iTunes just like if I was sitting at the PC, but from anywhere. You get all the categories (by artist, by album, etc), the artwork and everything. it's *really* slick and you can do everything easily (skip songs, seek, change volume, pause, etc) and it even works with the Apple TV (there's also AirPlay for that). There's even keyboard search and easy gestures. It all feels 10+ years ahead of everything MS has.

On the MS side:

They come up with PlaysForSure, except that it's anything but that. They abandon it (something MS loves to do!) for the Zune. The Zune is released too late in a well established and changing market, and without any advantages. It's a big failure and MS abandons it (oh, surprise!), along with their new Zune desktop app which was their best music player (another let down). WMP isn't really getting any meaningful updates (even losing features, like DVD playback -- even if you have the codecs!), outside of those annoying "buy in store" links in explorer. It's pretty limited in many ways. Virtually all 3rd party video players are FAR better, and when it comes to audio, it doesn't even sync with the most popular player (the iPod) which makes it kinda useless. It's pushing their own proprietary formats (WMV/WMA/VC1) which kinda suck (that's one thing they should abandon already) compared to the standard formats that work everywhere. Library sharing is a pain (doesn't work quite like you'd want it to, much like say, homegroups) and library management isn't much better (the album info search is particularly dumb). They support DLNA but it's too complicated for the average user, most devices kinda suck (especially compared to slick Apple devices), etc. MCE sucks hard especially when it comes to DVR usage (things like willingly disabling ATSC support in Canada -- thanks MS!), it's not really improving much, and with Win8 not only it's not updated AT ALL from the Win7 version but they also wanted you to pay extra for it, along with dropping support for playing good old fashioned DVDs. Oh, and MCE remotes: they've been out since the WinXP era but they feel kinda clunky, they're really not that useful and pretty much useless outside of MCE. It's nothing like having a remote with a touch screen LCD with a well designed user interface.

For some strange reason, one is making money hand over fist, whereas the other is quickly becoming irrelevant and failing to sell any devices (mp3 players, phones and tablets)
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#1347
jaclaz

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Just one out of thousands of possible examples:

With all due respect (and trying to bring back the discussion on "productive tools" :whistle: and "content creation" as opposed to "content consumption") what do you do to make a living?
  • listen to music ?
  • watch movies ?
MS had till now an almost complete monopoly on "business users", the news are still the same, instead of bettering the experience of their "real" user base, they try to pursue the "leisure" one (which is a perfectly fair attempt) the issue at hand is that in order to do so they are managing to alienate what they already have (besides failing in "stealing" users from "the other part").

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#1348
CoffeeFiend

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With all due respect (and trying to bring back the discussion on "productive tools" :whistle: and "content creation" as opposed to "content consumption") what do you do to make a living?

Oh, when it comes to work, we're totally locked-in to Windows, in more ways than I can count. But for the foreseeable future that'll be Windows 7. Virtually every piece of software we use (or even write) is Windows-only, and for the most part there are no suitable replacements for these apps (aside from Adobe apps and MS Office, both of which also run on the Mac)

MS had till now an almost complete monopoly on "business users"

I think it's close enough that we can say complete.
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#1349
JorgeA

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On the MS side:

They come up with PlaysForSure, except that it's anything but that. They abandon it (something MS loves to do!) for the Zune. The Zune is released too late in a well established and changing market, and without any advantages. It's a big failure and MS abandons it (oh, surprise!), along with their new Zune desktop app which was their best music player (another let down). WMP isn't really getting any meaningful updates (even losing features, like DVD playback -- even if you have the codecs!), outside of those annoying "buy in store" links in explorer. It's pretty limited in many ways. Virtually all 3rd party video players are FAR better, and when it comes to audio, it doesn't even sync with the most popular player (the iPod) which makes it kinda useless. It's pushing their own proprietary formats (WMV/WMA/VC1) which kinda suck (that's one thing they should abandon already) compared to the standard formats that work everywhere. Library sharing is a pain (doesn't work quite like you'd want it to, much like say, homegroups) and library management isn't much better (the album info search is particularly dumb). They support DLNA but it's too complicated for the average user, most devices kinda suck (especially compared to slick Apple devices), etc. MCE sucks hard especially when it comes to DVR usage (things like willingly disabling ATSC support in Canada -- thanks MS!), it's not really improving much, and with Win8 not only it's not updated AT ALL from the Win7 version but they also wanted you to pay extra for it, along with dropping support for playing good old fashioned DVDs. Oh, and MCE remotes: they've been out since the WinXP era but they feel kinda clunky, they're really not that useful and pretty much useless outside of MCE. It's nothing like having a remote with a touch screen LCD with a well designed user interface.

For some strange reason, one is making money hand over fist, whereas the other is quickly becoming irrelevant and failing to sell any devices (mp3 players, phones and tablets)

Yup.

I concur with every case you mentioned that I know something about (had never even heard of PlaysForSure!), with one quibble. We do like Windows Media Center. I know that it's crippled for use in Canada, which s*cks, but in the U.S. once you get past the complexities of CableCARD setup it's a pretty nifty system, IMHO. It's replaced the cable company DVR completely in our family room, with 6 times the storage (and no practical limit if we want to keep expanding it). I can even offload recorded programs to outside storage and burn DVDs of them, both of which are impossible with the DVR. So we're definitely happy with that part of Microsoft's offerings.

If only they hadn't neglected WMC for so long and (apparently) decided to let it die on the vine in favor of its one hardware success, the XBox. So despite (and even because of) our like of WMC, MS is still on the hook for its frustrating product decisions.

--JorgeA

#1350
jaclaz

jaclaz

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OT (but not much).
A quick question:
How much would you expect to have available for storage, additional apps, etc. on a 32 GB Surface?


Seemingly the new, lean, RT OS (and the MS Office that you cannot use for work unless you buy a separate license for it) is not as lean as I was imaging:
http://www.digitaltr...rosoft-surface/
http://www.microsoft...-disk-space-faq

But the Note:

Note By default, Office apps save documents in the cloud on SkyDrive.

surely helps a lot.

Being one of those days where my understanding of English is somewhat lacking, this sentence:
http://www.microsoft...e/en-AU/storage

Even with this powerful operating system and suite of core Microsoft apps, you'll still have space to add content and store personal files

sounds to me as being condescending and/or presumptuous.

The declared size of 8 Gb for an Office suite with limited functionalities (besides limited licensed use) is anyway an offence to the art of programming :w00t: .
I would like you to take note how:
http://office.micros...X103210361.aspx

What Office Home & Student 2013 features are unavailable in Office Home & Student 2013 RT?
Macros, Add-Ins, Forms, and Custom Programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

In other versions of Office you or a software developer can use tools such as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to write and run macros and other custom programs in Office. VBA is not available for the applications in Office Home & Student 2013 RT.

To use macros, add-ins, forms with custom code, or other custom programs in Office documents, you need a version of Office other than Office Home & Student 2013 RT on a computer or tablet not powered by Windows RT. Other versions of Office cannot be installed on Windows RT devices. For example, Office Home & Student 2013 and Office Professional 2013 support these features but cannot be installed on Windows RT devices.

If you already use macros, add-ins, InfoPath forms with custom programs, or other custom programs in your PC or Mac version of Office, you will not be able to use them in Office Home & Student 2013 RT.

Having Excel without Macros/Add-ins :ph34r:, what would be next, power drills with no chuck but a fixed 6 mm steel drill bit, adjustable wrenches fixed to 13 mm?

jaclaz




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