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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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On the whole Neowin is full of sycophants, it's not worth going there if you want an informed discussion about technology. Especially if you use Google stuff, then they're openly hostile. I'm glad there's a bit more open mindedness here at MSFN.

Absolutely true. Thing is, the owner NeoBond isn't a child like so many ( maybe most ) of the commenters, he just happens to benefit from the controversy and has allowed the site to degenerate. For me it is difficult now to comment over there because beating sense into their little heads is probably considered child abuse in some country somewhere. :lol:

Anyway, it's good that there are many sources of news and commentary. Here are just a few of many that I try to hit often to keep a fair balance ...

NeoWin ... MicroZombies extraordinaire.

Register (UK) ... more open source feel, Linux, Android etc. PC and Mac fanboys get slammed.

PC World and CNet ... more Mac, Android, Linux than PC nowadays, but with frequent exceptions

TechSpot and Tom's Hardware ... PC and Windows for sure, but absolutely anti-sycophantic

PC Magazine ... more neutral these days between PC and Mac, used to be much more pro-PC

The Verge ... pretty hard to pigeon-hole. Eccentric?

Maximum PC and PC Gamer ... definitely PC, both with emphasis on performance.

Ars Technica ... PC, Android, Apple, probably in that order.

AnandTech ... PC Hardware mostly, some Apple of course

Everything I just said is debatable though, depending upon your PoV and bias, and also on when you visit. For example, there are way more Windows features now than a few months ago for obvious reasons so many of the sites are slacking off on Android and even Apple at the moment.

One thing is for sure, the controversy with Windows 8 is present everywhere, even at NeoWin. I am pretty sure that I have never seen anything like this ever. The over-used word, unprecedented, just might be appropriate. If Microsoft defies all logic and barrels ahead without listening to all this criticism, it will be very bad for them, possibly only their reputation, but also possibly the corporation itself. The mighty have fallen before, no-one is immune.

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It seems like Sinofski's gone! Good riddance! Now if only they can fire Ballmer then perhaps there's still hope for Win9! Then again, Julie Larson-Green sems to be responsible for awful and dysfunctional UI design in Win8, so I wouldn't get my hopes up too much.

Edit: many other sites are now reporting that too, including Engadget. And here's Sinofski's letter. And MS' official PR regarding new leadership.

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A few recent articles to mention before everything gets swamped by the news of the resignation of Sinofsky. The possibly weak sales figures ( and the quality problems mentioned earlier ) may or may not be related to it.

Ballmer Claims Microsoft Surface RT Sales are off to a “Modest” Start ( Maximum PC 2012-11-11 )

Surface sales 'modest' so far, Ballmer modestly admits ( UK Register 2012-11-12 )

Microsoft: Ballmer's "Modest" Surface quote meant approach, not sales ( NeoWin 2012-11-12 )

Mixed signals on inital Windows 8 PC sales ( NeoWin 2012-11-12 )

Microsoft CEO: Windows Phone 8 Sales to 'Ramp Quickly' ( Tom's Hardware 2012-11-12 )

Another possible point of contention that so far has received very little publicity ...

Built-in advertising: The Windows 8 feature you haven't heard about ( TechSpot 2012-11-12 )

While unrelated to Windows 8 currently, there may future ramifications for Microsoft if the OEMs are indeed growing spines. So I am happy that Samsung took my suggestion ...

Samsung Bites Back at Apple by Jacking Up Chip Prices ( Maximum PC 2012-11-12 )

Samsung Increases Price For Apple's Processors ( Tom's Hardware 2012-11-13 )

EDIT: added link

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Rejoice and cheers for Sinofsky going!!! But I don't trust Grandma Green either. She is responsible for ALL the UI blunders at Microsoft - Ribbon, Metro everything fullscreen nonsense. Whatever she touches is "re-imagined" and uber-dumbed down. She can't maintain continuity of anything apparently. huh.gif

Edited by xpclient
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On the OT news, the actual UK sentence (Apple vs. Samsung) reachable through one of the links by Charlottethehariot:


is a masterpiece of clear, documented logical thinking :thumbup really interesting to read.

The essential points (bolded italics in the original as well):

(i) A rectangular, biaxially symmetrical slab with four evenly, slightly rounded corners;

(ii) A flat transparent surface without any ornamentation covering the entire front face of the device up to the rim;

(iii) A very thin rim of constant width, surrounding and flush with the front transparent surface;

(iv) A rectangular display screen surrounded by a plain border of generally constant width centred beneath the transparent surface;

(v) A substantially flat rear surface which curves upwards at the sides and comes to meet the front surface at a crisp outer edge

(vi) A thin profile, the impression of which is emphasised by (v) above;

(vii) Overall, a design of extreme simplicity without features which specify orientation

that were analyzed in detail and led to the:


The Samsung tablets do not infringe Apple's registered design No. 000181607-0001.

confirm the IMHO good synthesis provided by the Samsung guys about the US decision:

"It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," the company said in a written statement. "It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.


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In addition to CoffeeFiend's links, some more coverage about the exit of Sinofsky. Note that the times of the articles are taken at face value from the webpages and we all know how accurate that can be :lol: ...

Microsoft Announces Leadership Changes to Drive Next Wave of Products ( Microsoft Press Release 2012-11-12 ) n/a

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 12, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company and that Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Tami Reller retains her roles as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer and will assume responsibility for the business of Windows. Both executives will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

These changes are effective immediately.

That should help the stock market :lol:

Windows Head Steven Sinofsky to Leave Microsoft ( AllThingsD 2012-11-12 ) 8:31 pm

Microsoft declined to comment to us regarding the departure, although there's rumors of an uncanny parallel to Scott Forstall's departure at Apple -- AllThingsD claims that there was "growing tension" between Sinofsky and fellow executives. Whatever the reason Sinofsky left and regardless of where he's going, the move deprives Microsoft of an executive known for getting the development trains running on time.
Mussolini !?! :lol: Wow!

The Leader of Windows Exits Microsoft ( NY Times 2012-11-12 ) 8:36 pm

In an internal review of his job performance last year, Mr. Sinofsky was faulted for failing to make sure that Microsoft lived up to a 2009 agreement with European regulators to offer users an easy way to install competitive Web browsers in Windows, according to a filing with securities regulators.

Mr. Sinofsky was also faulted for a 3 percent decline in the revenue of Microsoft’s Windows business, long one of its most profitable divisions and the foundation for its strength in the personal computing market. As a result, Mr. Sinofsky received 60 percent of the bonus he was eligible to receive last year.

Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller take the Windows reins (update: Sinofsky email) ( EnGadget 2012-11-12 ) 8:42 pm

Sources have said the move came amid growing tension between Sinofsky and other top executives. Sinofsky, though seen as highly talented, was viewed at the top levels as not the kind of team player that the company was looking for. The move is likened by some to the recent ouster at Apple of iOS head Scott Forstall.

Here's How Steve Ballmer Explained That Steve Sinofsky Is Leaving ( Business Insider 2012-11-12 ) 8:56 pm

The guy in charge of Microsoft's all-important Windows division, Steven Sinofsky, is out ...

SOURCE: Sinofsky's Out At Microsoft Because He Wanted Steve Ballmer's Job ( Business Insider 2012-11-12 ) 9:30 pm

Sinofsky felt that he deserved to be Microsoft's next CEO, and wanted to be designated as Steve Ballmer's successor after Windows 8 shipped, according to this source's version of his ouster.

He threatened to quit if he didn't get the nod. Ballmer, who has previously indicated he plans to keep running Microsoft until he retires in 2017 or 2018, called his bluff.

Windows President Steven Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft ( Maximum PC 2012-11-12 ) 9:45 pm

Sinofsky had a talent for turning even the most mundane new Windows feature into a 10,000 word blog post, but on his departure he would say only the following:

"It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company."

Windows boss Steve Sinofsky exits Microsoft ( UK Register 2012-11-12 ) 9:52 pm

Steven Sinofsky, who since 2009 has served as president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live divisions, has left the company less than a month after launching what Steve Ballmer called the most important operating system in Redmond's history.

Windows Leadership Changes (Part-1) ( Thurrott 2012-11-12 ) 9:56 pm

The complete letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to employees

Windows Leadership Changes (Part 2) ( Thurrott 2012-11-12 ) 9:59 pm

Here's the complete letter from Steven Sinofsky to employees

Sources inside Microsoft say a clash of personalities led to Sinofsky's departure ( The Verge 2012-11-12 ) 10:01:pm

Our sources have stopped short of calling Sinofsky's departure an outright firing, but it seems that there are few inside Microsoft's senior ranks that are sorry to see him go.

Microsoft Announces Leadership Change: Sinofsky Out! ( Thurrott 2012-11-12 ) 10:30 pm

In a stunning and unexpected move, Microsoft announced Monday evening that president Steven Sinofsky, who had most recently lead the development of both Windows 8 and the Surface family of tablets, is leaving the company effective immediately. His most senior lieutenant, Julie Larson-Green, will lead all Windows software and hardware engineering going forward.

Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft, effective immediately ( NeoWin 2012-11-12 ) ~12 hours ago

This departure is perhaps as surprising as the departure of Scott Forstall from Apple late last month, and the future of Microsoft's Windows division could be very different without Sinofsky at the head.

Who are the people taking over Windows at Microsoft? ( NeoWin 2012-11-12 ) ~12 hours ago

The tech world is still reeling from the fact that Steven Sinofsky, who lead the Windows team at Microsoft for many years, has left the company just a few weeks after the launch of Windows 8 and Surface. So who are the people who will now be in charge of the Windows division?

Here is one thing for sure: These things are never done on a Monday night. They are always done on Friday after the stock market closes, and when the media goes to sleep. So there is no way this is a planned move and really leans more towards "firing" than "resignation". No sane, publicly traded corporation allows this news at the beginning of the week because they have concerns and duties for their shareholders and employees. But this is Ballmer's Microsoft, one that is prone to errors, though even this one is hard to believe. Ballmer must be a grade-A incompetent to not be able to hold this off until the weekend or better yet, over the longer Thanksgiving holiday. The timing is stunning and reeks of incompetence.

So much speculation at the moment, and it's all over the place. All the so-called "sources" including Thurrott's are really doing is echoing the common knowledge available to anyone. Note that there is a self-identified Softie at the NeoWin thread ( perhaps he's just a wannabe though because he emits that pod-people characteristic I have personally seen in several ) but he really says nothing of value in multiple posts. The comments at all these stories is even more all over the map. I recommend the thread at The Verge and a bowl of popcorn.

The current agreement seems to be that Julie Larson-Green is just as bad ( or worse ) so this has nothing to do with Windows 8. So "don't worry! Metro and Office Ribbons are here to stay. Rejoice!" Well maybe, maybe not. Personally I see nothing to change my mind that Julie Larson-Green, Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer are anything but the Three Stooges Seattle hipster edition sucking down Starbucks Lattes.

As many commenters have already said, Microsoft is really copying Apple now. :lol:

EDIT: Added links. Typos. See the New York Times link because it appears to have the most information so far. They imply Sinofsky was canned at least partially for the EU Browser Ballot mistake. This mistake was actually used by Microsoft's Board of Directors to punish Ballmer ( see upthread ). That is plausible to me. I still think Ballmer is a hugely incompetent CEO because he could not even manage to release this "resignation" news on a weekend.

EDIT: Hit the QUOTE limit? Who knew!

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Just for the record, from http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-steve-ballmer-explained-that-steve-sinofsky-is-leaving-2012-11

At the Windows launch in New York, at the Windows Phone event in San Francisco, and again at the Build event on Redmond campus, I was struck that while externally many people look at these events as the finish line, they really represent the starting line of a new era.

compare with ;)


To his classroom flooded with interested clients, the professor revealed his magic formula.

It was simple: in speaking of any things, facts or events you should, at any time and on every opportunity, announce with fervour (a.) that they give us reason for faith in the future, and (b.) that we should see whatever we are taking about not as an aim and an end, but as a new beginning.

Thus, for instance, a company director might announce successful achievements by saying that now we can look forward positively to the future and ask all those present to see this moment not as the end of their efforts but as the start of a new era of growth in the organisation; party members speaking at the funeral of a fellow politician might declare that the death of this special man is not an end but the beginning of a new life since the orphaned party will follow in his footsteps and so they may look forward to the future with confidence.

"The throng of listeners was pleasantly surprised - so it is that easy, we can all become good public speakers, this is an end to public stammering, we have achieved our aim.

The professor, suddenly grieving, started:

But this will not be your point of arrival, but a mere point of departure, the beginning of your new public life,....still, I see that your attitude is the right one, which gives me reason for faith in the future of your new accomplishments - the Professor Codaro concluded, and the crowd broke into appreciative applause."




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Editorial: Windows without Sinofsky ( NeoWin 2012-11-12 ) ~3 hours ago

... However, that doesn't really explain why Sinofsky was so quick to leave, rather than Microsoft choosing to perhaps ease in the transition by letting Sinofsky stay on until, say, the end of 2012.. Microsoft also made the announcement of Sinofsky leaving the company late on Monday evening, well after the normal news announcement cycle. That's usually a big clue that the decision was done very quickly and was not part of a planned smooth exit.

I said that exact same thing earlier. :yes: See previous post. But he still doesn't understand it very well. Monday night may be after that day's "news cycle" but it precedes four more trading days, including the most infamous day of all: Tuesday. Market shaking news is never released on Monday unless it can not be controlled.

You can bet that the "Modern" touch screen UI will be improved for Windows 9 under Larson-Greeen. The big question: Will she decide to ditch the more open desktop UI for Windows 9 or continue to offer it for developers who don't want to bother with the new touch screen interface? Our guess is that the desktop will be done away with for the next version of Windows if Windows 8 is a success. If it is not, the desktop may be sticking around for a while longer.

No! Stop enabling them. You are wishing for total destruction of their biggest product. Children.

Our fantasy scenario? After taking a year off, Sinofsky joins Valve and helps to launch their Steam game console system. Yes, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell predicted that Windows 8 would be a "catastrophe" for the PC industry, but both he and Sinofsky are now former Microsoft employees who worked on versions of Windows. They might have more in common than even they might think.

Aw hell no! :no: I dare you to post that at real computer gaming sites.

EDIT: typo

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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"It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," the company said in a written statement. "It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.

And that's the core problem -- the fact that something like that can be patented. :rolleyes:


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And that's the core problem -- the fact that something like that can be patented. :rolleyes:

Now, now, don't be silly :w00t: OBVIOUSLY you cannot patent "rectangles with rounded corners" :no: , what you may attempt doing, if you are so clever as to call it "A rectangular, biaxially symmetrical slab with four evenly, slightly rounded corners" is this latter.... ;)

According to the UK judge :thumbup , if you attempt to do so, you fail anyway .


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Steven Sinofsky, Windows president, leaving Microsoft effective immediately ( Ars Technica 2012-11-12 ) 8:46 pm

The move is claimed to be a result of growing discontent within the software giant, with a number of executives reportedly unhappy when working with him due to his failure to be a "team player." Such a move has striking parallels with Scott Forstall's recent exit from Apple.

Windows head Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft ( PC World 2012-11-12 ) 9:29 pm

The timing of Sinofsky’s departure is surprising, given that it comes just weeks after the launch of Windows 8. Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch event was seen as underwhelming in some quarters, as it was a missed opportunity to connect with customers on changes to the new operating system.

That was hardly the only bump with the Windows 8 debut. After a strong initial weekend of upgrades to Windows 8, some reports indicate that customers are responding slowly to Windows 8, particularly with some of its interface changes.

Windows Boss Steven Sinofsky Out at Microsoft ( PC Magazine 2012-11-12 ) 9:46 pm

Barely two weeks after playing a prominent role in Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, Redmond veteran Steven Sinofsky is out as head of the Windows Division, effective immediately.

At that Ars Technica thread they highlight one of their reader comments from a self-identified Softie. This is a snippet ...

He essentially tore apart both the Windows Media and then the Silverlight teams to get development teams to build Windows features in the Windows org. And he made Silverlight go away as a meaningful platform because it validated Mac and downlevel versions of Windows, and made it impossible to even communicate to partners about plans for the future of Silverlight and .NET. This lost him a whole lot of XAML/C#/.NET developers during the nearly year-long period they were waiting to eventually discover that those technologies were alive and well in Win8 and a peer to HTML5 for Metro app development.

This shows yet another aspect of the internal civil wars that must be ongoing. Win vs Dev. Win vs Win. Management vs Engineer. Pretty much every variation. Sprinkle in the contentious atmosphere alleged by the Vanity Fair article and you can safely say that Microsoft has evolved into the same position as big players of years past, like IBM. You might even say that they are overdue for a massive blowup since it only took 20+ years for IBM to create, develop, burn-out and self-destruct its PC division. No-one should doubt that Microsoft is equally capable of at-least partial suicide. Microsoft has been in the PC business nearly twice as long.

At the risk of piling on, Ballmer must be considered most responsible because only he could have allowed that atmosphere of competitive cannibalism to take root and flourish, and no-one else has the real power to remove the cancer cells at all levels in the company. We are seeing the Peter Principle in all its glory I'm afraid. An unfortunate consequence of this is that removing him now could very well make the problem even worse because all the remaining potentials are probably sycophants to Ballmer.

There is a lot of sympathy seen in the various comments for Sinofsky, many describing him as the best qualified or least offensive of the Three Stooges: Ballmer, Sinofsky and Green. I have no clue if that is true. Résumés don't tell the whole story. Having read most of Destroying Windows blog posts by Sinofsky I see no reason to believe he is not a shallow thinking yuppie true-believer willing to gamble Microsoft's largest product name for the sake of Apple-esque fortune and glory. Microsoft has owned a veritable cash money printing press with Windows. Naming all the people involved in corrupting that extremely important product would be useful information to know. Somehow I doubt that it will ever be revealed because it touches the very top including the Board of Directors and even billg himself who are at the very least enablers of Ballmer, if not complicit in the radical new direction. At the very least they are derelict in their duties to the corporation in keeping things under some semblance of control.

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Here is THE MUST HAVE APP, to make the Metro garbage usable:


Toolbox for Windows 8 Features

Truly responsive interface allowing for up to 6 different productivity tools to be viewed and manipulated at once

Unique incorporation with Snap View that allows tools to be swapped in/out in quick succession while working alongside another running app

9 included Tools with many more on the way

Customizable Toolsets allow you to save configurations for quick and easy access to your favorite workspaces

View multiple web pages side by side or view the time in 6 different cities with the ability to load multiple instances of each tool



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If I may, in this screenshot:


the ONLY productivity tool I can identiify is the calculator.

I am - admittedly - an old timer but I do:

  1. wear a watch that I can have a look at (with a swift movement of my wrist ;)) when I want to know what time is
  2. have always with me a (several years old) handy which I use to synchronize with my agenda on the PC and that emits nice alarm sounds when told to do so
  3. do work in a place that has things called windows (wthout ™) that I use to sometimes look outside (this time with a quick and swift movement ;) of my head/eyes) to see what the weather is
  4. have on the desk an (old but nowadays) incredibly valuable HP RPN pocket calculator with which I can do 56-6*9+(22/6) in half the time you could to say Jack Robinson

What remains as "productivity tool"?

Bing :w00t: and Facebook :ph34r:

Owww, comeon guys let's be serious. :lol:

Let's say that they could have used better examples for that visualization of "productivity tools" ... :whistle:


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