Will Windows 8 be an iPad or Android killer? - Page 5 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #61 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-16, 03:19 PM
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I don't think it's really a decision; I don't think they really had a choice.
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post #62 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-16, 03:31 PM
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I think the key here is that apps written for the Windows 8 ARM architecture are going to be written in interpreted code so it compiles on the fly. That is why it can run on both the ARM chip and the Intel x86/x64 chip. On ARM it compiles for ARM and runs, on x86/x64 it compiles for that architecture and runs there as well.

It sounds like parts of Windows going forward will also need to be written in interpreted code as well so it can run on either architecture. I can't help but think that Windows will suffer a performance hit because of this.

As for desktop software, unless a developer is prepared to re-write their app in this new interpreted code their app will only run x86/x64. As for new software, developers will have to make a choice as to where they want to target their app and code appropriately.
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post #63 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-16, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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PLEASE STOP discussing W8 architecture here.

We have a W8 thread in the Windows forum where you can discuss.

The subject of this thread is "Will Windows 8 be an iPad or Android killer?"

Further posts discussing W8 architecture will be removed

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post #64 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-16, 03:56 PM
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Hugh, the architecture comments so far are germane to this discussion since they impact the supposed success or failure of Windows 8 tablets vis-a-vis iOS and Android. I think that if they stick to that narrow field of focus they should be allowed, not that I have anything else particular to say on the subject.
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post #65 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-20, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Gino Cerullo View Post
I was watching Windows Weekly this morning with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley at the Build Conference and they alluded to the fact that they believed that on ARM the traditional desktop would not run. It would be Metro UI and apps only. If it is as you say then what I said before only gets worse on ARM.
Well, Mary-Jo has changed her opinion on this point. I'm baffled why she believed that in the first place; it was pretty obvious from the dev tool perspective that the desktop app environment would work on ARM.

On the topic that Hugh wants us to talk about, I wouldn't say that W8 is a Android or iOS "killer", but I think it will be successful and being able to run traditional Windows apps on a tablet isn't a negative; it's a positive. In the same way that if iOS could run OS X apps it would be a positive: it gives users ability to run their old apps.
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post #66 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-20, 01:02 PM
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The back and forth regarding what will and won't be the experience on ARM is jarring, much like the contrast in the Metro interface compared to the traditional desktop one. What Microsoft says one day and then the next changes like the wind, it's making my head hurt. At this point I don't care anymore. When it's finally released we'll know what it actually is and people will decide whether whatever it is they deliver makes sense for them and buy accordingly.

Bottom line still seems to be that the experience on Windows 8 is going to be one that is confusing and inconsistent. Whether they choose to carry that over to the ARM tablets as well is neither here nor there. People complained about the experience on Vista and that was just a tweak of the traditional desktop one. How are they going to feel about what's in store for them when they have to try and figure out how to operate Windows 8?

Edit to add:

I can't say it much better than this!
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post #67 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Gino Cerullo View Post
What Microsoft says one day and then the next changes like the wind, it's making my head hurt.
I haven't seen any Win8 statements from Microsoft that were later reversed. I think the problem is that some of the people who are interpreting these statements don't have a good grasp of of the technology involved. Look at it this way: everything will run everywhere (x86, x64, ARM) with the following exception:

1. Applications that are compiled and distributed as Win32 binaries for a particular platform won't run on other platforms.

That is all.

For example: .NET has always been designed to be hardware agnostic and isn't compiled until the last moment. Another example would be a software company that has access to the source code to an application can make an ARM version just by changing compiler options. The only thing that won't work (cross-platform wise) is trying to run binaries for one architecture on another. Microsoft, of course, has all their source code so they'll release versions of their app where they set the compiler to "ARM", and I'm sure many (most?) of the developers that are going to bother to distribute stuff in the Windows App Store will make the tiny effort required to provide ARM versions.

Microsoft must have made the decision that instead of writing an emulation layer (what Apple did with Rosetta) that they were going to put the ball in the developers court. This is somewhat surprising because Microsoft has historically been all about backwards compatibility, but on the plus side end users will never be running (slow) emulation software on a ARM chip.

In my view this "back and forth" is between people journalists/bloggers who need to brush up on their dev knowledge because once Microsoft says that it is porting to a new platform while not providing a hardware emulation layer and you know that some of their software is interpreted (or JITed) and some is distributed as binaries; what will and won't work should be immediately obvious to them.
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post #68 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-21, 08:06 AM
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The Dev version feels as if Microsoft is trying to convert Windows to a tablet OS instead of developing a proper tablet OS from the start. And because of that, Win 8 will more likely kill itself than successfully kill off a competitor.

I've been trying out various tablets for years, and they've all been incredibly frustrating. They've all felt incomplete in that they prevented me from efficiently doing the kind of work that pays the bills. The older Windows based tablets were hampered by a user interface simply not designed for touchscreens, and the current crop of App-centric tablets (iOS and Android) are designed to push non-productive garbage apps to an unsuspecting public with the goal of separating the users from their money.

For me, money-making productivity includes at least one essential tool: OpenVPN. I support multiple sites, and require secured access to those sites. VPN software combined with VNC Remote Desktop software allows me to support my corporate customers securely and reliably without the need to purchase any proprietary software that could be full of undisclosed security holes due to their secretive nature.

Windows and Linux based platforms give me access to all of the productivity tools I need, but their user interfaces simply aren't designed for tablet use. And the iOS and Android platforms are extremely hostile towards VPN software, offering only an extremely limited selection of VPN choices not suitable for my needs along with not allowing alternate VPN solutions from being considered, much less implemented.

It's ironic that the only touchscreen device that comes close to fulfilling my needs is my Nokia N900 phone with its Maemo OS, now that Nokia is trying to save itself with a Windows based phone.

Despite being "junk food" platforms, iOS and Android are already highly successful platforms with the unproductive home user who would rather play Angry Birds than get any real work done. But for the business user who wants to be both productive and accessible on the road, the traditional laptop is their only choice.

Windows 8 has the potential to fill the gap the business and IT world need to have filled, but Microsoft must get their act together. They need to develop a proper tablet OS, one that doesn't require us to go through a proprietary "app store", and not develop a side-engineered doomed-to-failure Windows hybrid like they're doing now.
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post #69 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-21, 09:59 AM
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Very interesting discussion.

Originally Posted by Francois Caron View Post
Windows 8 has the potential to fill the gap the business and IT world need to have filled, but Microsoft must get their act together.
I agree - I do not think Windows 8 tablets will come close to killing the iPad, but have a chance to succeed in the business market if they can deliver:
  • A killer tablet-optimized version of MS office - much like Super Mario is to Nintendo, Office is to Windows. I use QuickOffice on the iPad and it doesn't really cut it for business use.
  • Obviously, a tablet-optimized version of Outlook
  • Strong MDM (mobile device management) support, going beyond Exchange ActivSync, to enable users to bring their own devices to work and securely connect to their corporate networks. When connecting, MDM servers could deliver (over-the-air) settings for passcode policies, VPN, Wifi, Exchange, certificates, allowed applications, usage restrictions ... (iOS has had MDM support since 4.2)
  • Support for multiple user accounts (at least 2), so users can have separate accounts for work and personal use. This way, business can apply a corporate policy to restrict the applications that can be installed when users are logged into their work account.
  • In contrast to Francois' opinion, a proprietary "app store", with a review process which checks apps for malware/viruses and correct app categorization. There should also be an option for enterprises to create and distribute their own apps.
The window of opportunity is small and it will be important to get it right from the start, with the growing number of businesses that have already adopted or are evaluating adopting the iPad as their tablet platform.

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post #70 of 70 (permalink) Old 2011-09-21, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gino Cerullo View Post
Would it not be more appropriate to just offer a stripped down, purpose built version of Windows that will just be the Metro UI and the parts of the Windows kernel appropriate for the hardware it is operating on? Something similar to what iOS is to Mac OS X?
I think that is their plan. Metro only for ARM devices, and Metro/Desktop for X64 (and possiblt x86) devices, AKA "PCs"

Also, if I'm going to be using Windows 8 on a full-power notebook or desktop computer why are you giving me the touch optimized, Metro interface that is just going to get it the way of the UI I actually want to use.[/QUOTE]

The purpose of the developer release is to highlight the Metro UI, which going forward is intended to be the core Windows UI (for consumers at least), the desktop for legacy, until there is no need for it anymore.
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