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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


JorgeA
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1stFone, the mobile phone designed for 4-year-olds ( NeoWin 2013-05-10 )

ySGOfCm.jpg

Oh I won't say anything except that these things just write themsleves. :yes:

Finally, a cell phone that I can figure out!!!

We have a pair of phones from about ten years ago. It has actual keys/buttons to press, rather than a touch screen. Trouble is, instead of words to indicate their function, the buttons have meaningless hieroglyphs on them (hockey-stick lines in differing colors :huh: ). This is probably for international marketing reasons, but that only means that EVEN MORE people can't figure out what the buttons do! I can't tell you how many calls I've messed up or missed completely because in a pinch (as the phone's ringing) I can't remember and can't figure out which button to press to do what.

Maybe I should look into getting one of those ownfones for myself.

How about a pair of buttons clearly labeled, PICK UP and HANG UP. Or, for the benefit of those who never knew what "picking/hanging up" a telephone receiver meant, maybe they could say START CALL and DISCONNECT. Ya think I could patent that idea? So many other idiotically simple notions seem to be patentable, and I don't recall seeing any cellphone maker actually using the concept. (That's not to say they haven't used it.)

Or instead of START CALL, we could put a Windows Start Button on it ;) , people still know what it does and it's Microsoft abandonware.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Here's a random substitute picture I made that I don't think was used yet ...

FI3zCdB.jpg

That is fabulous!!! rotflmao.gif

I can picture the plot line: the terrorist just barely gets away because...

--JorgeA

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The second page of the middle article has some great stuff on it:

But the former Windows chief's [sinofsky's] problem - which ultimately became Microsoft and Windows 8's problem, was that he emphasised process over people. He built a version of Windows based on data and theory without actually understanding how people used Windows. It was no wonder people got confused and we have arrived at where we are today.
Also, Windows 8 wasn't supposed to simply match the numbers of Windows 7, it was supposed to address a bigger opportunity than just PCs: it was supposed to cover PCs, hybrid PCs and tablets and any other touchable Windows device.

Thurrot says: This figure should be considered a minimum for Windows 8 to be successful. Arguably, it should be much higher, especially considering the growth rate in the tablet market in particular. 16.7 million per month, let alone 13.3 million, just isnt cutting it."

"While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the user interface, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market," IDC said.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Wandering through the Register's site after checking out @Charlotte's links, I found these articles that show that even the Linux world is getting infected by the invasive bug:

Canonical bungs kill switch onto Ubuntu's Amazon 'adware'

Fans revolt over Amazon 'adware' in Ubuntu desktop search results

Wow, not even Microsoft has dared to insert products for sale into our desktop search results, or to route searches of our desktops through their servers.

With its gaudy Unity interface, Ubuntu was already off my list of candidates for a Windows replacement OS. This ensures that it will stay off the list.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Recall the earlier story ...

Two Windows 8 Start menu apps bring in 8 million total downloads ( NeoWin 2013-05-08 )

They have added another ...

Classic Shell sees 4.3 million downloads since Windows 8 launch ( NeoWin 2013-05-11 )

The program has seen its download numbers skyrocket since the official launch of Windows 8 in October 2012. Classic Shell is officially available only on the SourceForge website, and according to their own statistics, it has generated over 4.3 million downloads since the Windows 8 launch, for a total of over 6.1 million downloads. In fact, the month of April saw the biggest numbers yet for Classic Shell, with over 1.1 million downloads.

Neowin will have an interview with Beltchev soon about Classic Shell, Windows 8 and his future plans for the program.

Unsurprisingly, NeoWhiners who choose to believe Microsoft statistics suddenly become skeptical. :lol:

Microsoft reveals that Windows Phone only has 145,000 apps, growth starts to slow ( NeoWin 2013-05-11 )

Between November 2011 and October 2012, growth in the Windows Phone marketplace was quick, with 7,300 apps being added per month. More recently, however, that figure has dropped to just 2,800 apps per month. This could be down to developer disinterest as Windows Phone devices struggle to get a foothold in America.

I wonder how long before the Windows Phone division revolts over their thunder and user interface being stolen by the Windows gang. All of the oxygen was sucked out the room leaving them seemingly floundering. Perhaps the ensuing internal civil war will leave some heads on pikes.

Microsoft critical of city of Boston's switch to Google Apps ( NeoWin 2013-05-11 )

... it was revealed that the main factor in the decision was financial. While it will take about $800,000 to move the government's systems from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, the city of Boston believes it will actually save them at least $280,000 a year.

Comments can be summarized as either "Google Sucks" or "Money isn't everything."

Carl Icahn would like to merge HP and Dell; thinks PC industry is 'going downhill' ( NeoWin 2013-05-11 )

Heck, why not. We're left with three HDD manufacturers after all their mergers. If this rumor has any shred of truth to it we just might see Microsoft make one of their patented kneejerk reactions and try to buy Dell or HP themselves. Something tells me that the industry is not going to be recognizable in a couple of years.

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Didn't want to let this one pass us by uncriticized. This Thurrott post was inspired by that Julie interview a few days back.

(Re)Start Me Up: The Great Windows 8 Debate ( Thurrott 2013-05-09 )

SubTitle: Everyone has an opinion about the “missing” Start menu and Start button in Windows 8. Here’s mine

Microsoft was correct to remove the Start button and the Start menu from Windows 8

[...]

The Start menu is not coming back, nor should it.

Ah, what a fine little dictator you would make. Off your meds again? :yes: Anyway Paul, here's what you just said: "The Start Menu should not be present on people's personal computers". You would say that because you are under the mistaken impression that these are Microsoft's computers, like Macs are Apple computers. But you're wrong. These are not Microsoft's computers. They never were. Ever. No-one gets to tell them what to put on their personal computers.

The new Start screen is a superior app launcher...

Wrong! The best app launcher is whatever works best at a particular moment in time according to the human being using the computer, not some dimwitted valley girl in Redmond or a shill blogger.

...and if you’re tied to the desktop, you should be using taskbar application and web site pinning anyway … as you should be doing in Windows 7.

As we should be doing? :blink: Who the he!! are you to say that? Using any of the four standard launchers: Start Menu, Quicklaunch, Desktop, Taskbar, depends entirely on the situation. There are fine reasons for each. Personally I have always used the Start Menu as a fallback, a constant, a permanent source for links and shortcuts not found anywhere else. The desktop is designed for and perfectly suited for current jobs, especially on large monitors where quasi-groups of related things are mingled and later deleted when complete. The Superbar-Taskbar launching is redundant but is very handy for commonly launched apps. Quicklaunch gets the most use because it is simultaneously both a launcher and as targets for dropped files and folders. Only complete n00bs would try to uninvent these long-time practices. Only an authoritarian psychopath would try to dictate to others how to work on their computers. Only a certifiable shill would back Microsoft in their insanity.

...Here, there is no meaningful loss of functionality in Windows 8 at all: Application launching works as before (taskbar)

That is perhaps the lamest of all fanboy lines. One thing Microsoft did was attack the aestetics which is none of their business in the first place. Who do they think they are trying to pick out out the "themes" that people use on their computers? Killing Aero glass and flattening the GUI and removing chrome and shadows and soft geometry was a blatant insult to those that care about visuals. When your wife drives home the new hot pink family automobile she bought and tells you 'there is no loss of functionality!..." you will finally figure out the problem. Or maybe not, because I suspect she picks out your clothes for you too, am I right? Well if she doesn't, would you let her?

Application launching only works the same as before in those places that Microsoft didn't remove them. Oh sure, they kept the 6-year old Taskbar pinning but removed the 17-year old Start Menu and still you feign disbelief at the controversy? Clueless Knucklehead. Now about that pinning. Having numerous things pinned to the Taskbar as shortcuts quickly gets unwieldy because of its primary jobs of being a "Taskbar" showing running apps, and each subsequent running app results in smaller Taskbar buttons and eventually you cannot distinguish running programs from unlaunched icons. Yes, that's very helpful. And then there's the obvious problem of running out of space. I guess this is what Thurrott and other Microsoft sycophants envision for power users that do more than Angry Birds and Twitter ...

OMqSlVR.jpg

( original source )

...and the other Windows 7-era Start menu functions are all in better and more consistent places. Done.

Certainly not. One thing you can say about the Start Menu ( circa WinXP ) is that everything was at your fingertips and one click away ...

QCYj9kQ.jpg

My gut feeling is that bringing back a Start button is also unnecessary, and unlike most of the complainers I actually use Windows 8.

Correction, unlike most of the complainers you are still using Windows 8. And of course you are still using it, it was designed for you, a n00b masquerading as a power user.

But customers have spoken. Regardless of my opinions—or yours—the company is right to respond accordingly.

This one really ticks me off. They have no intentions of responding and you know it. Microsoft is about to deliver the most incredible insult to the criticism imaginable - installing a Start Button that points back at Metro. This will literally be the biggest FU ever in the history of customer feedback. There is no parallel. Yet this shill still has the chutzpah to write the above quote, presumably with a straight face.

Naturally Paul gets decimated in the comments by haterz. He pretty much goes off the deep-end trying to respond, especially when some question his integrity by pointing out his obvious fanboyism and likely shilling for Microsoft money. Here he is replying to the first accusation ...

Un-fricking-belieable.

Really? That's what you wonder? You sometimes wonder about my credibility? You sometimes question whether I'm some sort of shill?

That tells me two things. You are not paying attention. And the other is too mean to publish.

F@#$ that, buddy. F@#$ that.

Hehe. :lol: Why are you angry Paul? Are you a hater hater? It's not like you haven't been hearing this for years, it's just that things are amped up now because you know Microsoft is FUBAR these days and still you vent on the innocent victims of Microsoft who do not want their work habits dictated to them. You are angry at the wrong people. And here's another reply to another accusation of shilling ...

OK. So, to be clear, I'm done with this kind of time-wasting BS. Don't reply. Don't post something like this again.

Too bad crybaby. You better learn to blame the perpetrator, not the victim. Your beloved Redmond braintrust has done this and people are not happy. The reason they are not happy is that Microsoft wants them to shut up and be good little children and play with their colored blocks and you sycophantic shills are enabling them. If you want to prove them wrong you should be skewering Microsoft. But you are a pretend journalist anyway. Here we are six months since they fired Sinofsky and you still haven't found out from your "sources" what happened. I'll bet you haven't even asked Sinofsky for an interview, have you? Some journalist.

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Didn't want to let this one pass us by uncriticized. This Thurrott post was inspired by that Julie interview a few days back.

(Re)Start Me Up: The Great Windows 8 Debate ( Thurrott 2013-05-09 )

Charlotte, of the almost 3000 posts in this thread, this has got to rank among the top two or three for its blend of passion and detail. Bravo, and thanks!! :thumbup:thumbup

It's such a stunning commentary that I was going to reply simply that my mouth was left open in amazement. However, after checking out Thurrott's page I did manage to find one thing for that open mouth to say. (I hope it doesn't end up actually being a foot going in.) Thurrott writes:

In a perfect world, Windows would meld to the hardware you’re using. On a tablet, things would work as they do now, and on a traditional PC, you’d boot to the desktop and have a Start button.

In the midst of all the Stalinist cr*p written before and after that paragraph (he's a World War II buff), in the middle of it there is this one nugget which contradicts everything else he says -- and which represents the core of what I (we) have been asking for all along.

He says "in a perfect world," but what exactly is so technically difficult to accomplish here? Isn't it the case that, upon installation, Windows can tell (or you can tell Windows) if you're using a laptop vs. a desktop PC? So, what's so hard about being able to tell between a tablet/phone vs. a laptop/desktop, that the idea needs to be relegated to an "in a perfect world" wish list?

What am I missing here?

--JorgeA

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You want linux, this is the way to go:

SWquinn1.jpg

Thanks, what do you like about Slackware vs. other Linux distros (apart from Ubuntu which we've already ruled out)?

--JorgeA

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Well, if you give a look at the latest GNU/Linux Distribution Timeline, you'll see that there are just 3 main distribution families:

debian (which includes ubuntu), RedHat and Slackware. Being the sole descendant of Softlanding Linux, slackware is the oldest extant linux distribution, and IMO, the one that kept best to its original tennets. Another good option is Gentoo (head of a minor distribution family and related to slackware). Both are solid, but slackware's long history and endurance make it my choice linux distribution. RedHat is the spawn of RedHat, Inc. and debian is too much involved with ubuntu's Canonical, Ltd., since 2004. If one wants a good contemporary proprietary unix, one might as well go MacOS X+

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Well, if you give a look at the latest GNU/Linux Distribution Timeline, you'll see that there are just 3 main distribution families:

debian (which includes ubuntu), RedHat and Slackware. Being the sole descendant of Softlanding Linux, slackware is the oldest extant linux distribution, and IMO, the one that kept best to its original tennets. Another good option is Gentoo (head of a minor distribution family and related to slackware). Both are solid, but slackware's long history and endurance make it my choice linux distribution. RedHat is the spawn of RedHat, Inc. and debian is too much involved with ubuntu's Canonical, Ltd., since 2004. If one wants a good contemporary proprietary unix, one might as well go MacOS X+

Tell me something: would it be right to say that setting up Slackware on a computer is somewhat like building your own car? That is, you get maximum flexibility in putting the system together, but OTOH you have to know what to do, what to watch out for, and how to make it all work in concert.

If the information I've read is accurate, Slackware starts you off with a command line, from which you can then create a GUI. I was comfortable with the MS-DOS CLI but Linux has a ton of unfamiliar commands, thus I've been looking for something more "ready to wear," see here and here for my leading candidates and the factors involved. You will see here that I'm not averse to trying out new things, but if I need to take up a new "language" I'd rather learn Portuguese :) than Korean.

But maybe I've got it wrong and Slackware + applications isn't that hard to put together?

--JorgeA

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Download Porteus 2.0, burn it to a CD and give it a try. It's as good an itroduction to slackware as you'll ever get, in a ready-to-run form.

Now, having read the links you gave, I feel I must point out that the astonishing graphs you like are related to KDE 4 (the K desktop environment), not the underlying distribution. That is a difficult concept to grasp, since there's no such dichotomy under Windows (NT-Family, of course), for which the windowing system is an inseparable part of the OS. I'd say setting up Gentoo on a computer is somewhat like building your own car, and having to lathe some of the connecting pieces from bare steel in the mean-time, on top of it. :) Slackware is gentler than that. But boots to the console if plain-vanilla, until you give it a desktop environment, which may be KDE, Gnome, LXDE, Xfce, Trinity, CDE or any of many others I'm not familiar with. Linux, after all, is about choice! :yes:

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http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=74

I'm a developer in Windows and contribute to the NT kernel. (Proof: the SHA1 hash of revision #102 of [Edit: filename redacted] is [Edit: hash redacted].) I'm posting through Tor for obvious reasons.

Windows is indeed slower than other operating systems in many scenarios, and the gap is worsening. The cause of the problem is social. There's almost none of the improvement for its own sake, for the sake of glory, that you see in the Linux world.

Granted, occasionally one sees naive people try to make things better. These people almost always fail. We can and do improve performance for specific scenarios that people with the ability to allocate resources believe impact business goals, but this work is Sisyphean. There's no formal or informal program of systemic performance improvement. We started caring about security because pre-SP3 Windows XP was an existential threat to the business. Our low performance is not an existential threat to the business.

See, component owners are generally openly hostile to outside patches: if you're a dev, accepting an outside patch makes your lead angry (due to the need to maintain this patch and to justify in in shiproom the unplanned design change), makes test angry (because test is on the hook for making sure the change doesn't break anything, and you just made work for them), and PM is angry (due to the schedule implications of code churn). There's just no incentive to accept changes from outside your own team. You can always find a reason to say "no", and you have very little incentive to say "yes".

There's also little incentive to create changes in the first place. On linux-kernel, if you improve the performance of directory traversal by a consistent 5%, you're praised and thanked. Here, if you do that and you're not on the object manager team, then even if you do get your code past the Ob owners and into the tree, your own management doesn't care. Yes, making a massive improvement will get you noticed by senior people and could be a boon for your career, but the improvement has to be very large to attract that kind of attention. Incremental improvements just annoy people and are, at best, neutral for your career. If you're unlucky and you tell your lead about how you improved performance of some other component on the system, he'll just ask you whether you can accelerate your bug glide.

Is it any wonder that people stop trying to do unplanned work after a little while?

Another reason for the quality gap is that that we've been having trouble keeping talented people. Google and other large Seattle-area companies keep poaching our best, most experienced developers, and we hire youths straight from college to replace them. You find SDEs and SDE IIs maintaining hugely import systems. These developers mean well and are usually adequately intelligent, but they don't understand why certain decisions were made, don't have a thorough understanding of the intricate details of how their systems work, and most importantly, don't want to change anything that already works.

These junior developers also have a tendency to make improvements to the system by implementing brand-new features instead of improving old ones. Look at recent Microsoft releases: we don't fix old features, but accrete new ones. New features help much more at review time than improvements to old ones.

(That's literally the explanation for PowerShell. Many of us wanted to improve cmd.exe, but couldn't.)

More examples:

We can't touch named pipes. Let's add %INTERNAL_NOTIFICATION_SYSTEM%! And let's make it inconsistent with virtually every other named NT primitive.

We can't expose %INTERNAL_NOTIFICATION_SYSTEM% to the rest of the world because we don't want to fill out paperwork and we're not losing sales because we only have 1990s-era Win32 APIs available publicly.

We can't touch DCOM. So we create another %C#_REMOTING_FLAVOR_OF_THE_WEEK%!

XNA. Need I say more?

Why would anyone need an archive format that supports files larger than 2GB?

Let's support symbolic links, but make sure that nobody can use them so we don't get blamed for security vulnerabilities (Great! Now we get to look sage and responsible!)

We can't touch Source Depot, so let's hack together SDX!

We can't touch SDX, so let's pretend for four releases that we're moving to TFS while not actually changing anything!

Oh god, the NTFS code is a purple opium-fueled Victorian horror novel that uses global recursive locks and SEH for flow control. Let's write ReFs instead. (And hey, let's start by copying and pasting the NTFS source code and removing half the features! Then let's add checksums, because checksums are cool, right, and now with checksums we're just as good as ZFS? Right? And who needs quotas anyway?)

We just can't be f***ed to implement C11 support, and variadic templates were just too hard to implement in a year. (But ohmygosh we turned "^" into a reference-counted pointer operator. Oh, and what's a reference cycle?)

Look: Microsoft still has some old-fashioned hardcore talented developers who can code circles around brogrammers down in the valley. These people have a keen appreciation of the complexities of operating system development and an eye for good, clean design. The NT kernel is still much better than Linux in some ways --- you guys be trippin' with your overcommit-by-default MM nonsense --- but our good people keep retiring or moving to other large technology companies, and there are few new people achieving the level of technical virtuosity needed to replace the people who leave. We fill headcount with nine-to-five-with-kids types, desperate-to-please H1Bs, and Google rejects. We occasionally get good people anyway, as if by mistake, but not enough. Is it any wonder we're falling behind? The rot has already set in.

Edited by ciHnoN
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http://www.neowin.ne...indows-8-launch

Earlier this week, we mentioned that two Start menu programs made specifically for Windows 8, Stardock's Start8 and SweetLabs' Pokki, have had a combined total of eight million downloads since the launch of Microsoft's latest OS in October. As it turns out, another free Start menu program has also seen large amount of downloads since the Windows 8 launch... it has generated over 4.3 million downloads since the Windows 8 launch, for a total of over 6.1 million downloads.

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dfg435tt34553435423453452.jpg

Edited by ciHnoN
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