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Early build of Windows 8 suggests cross-platform OS to compete with Apple's iOS

post #1 of 74
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An early build of Windows 8 suggests that Microsoft may transition the next version of Windows to a cross-platform OS scalable across a variety of devices in hopes of competing with Apple's iOS platform, according to new reports.

A series of posts by Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera of Within Windows details new features in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 release that may hint at compatible smartphone and tablet versions of the operating system, as reported by eWeek.

The features include a Welcome/Unlock Screen similar to that of Windows Phone 7, new Ribbon UI for Windows Explorer and a document reader that uses a new packaged application model that "closely resembles Windows Phone 7 application packages."

"For this reason, we surmise that the AppX application type could be common to both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (codenamed Apollo)," the authors continued, "providing developers with a way to write applications that target and can transition between a variety of devices, including traditional PCs, tablets, and phones."

It should be noted, however, that none of the features are close to final and could change significantly as Microsoft continues to work on Windows 8. Thurrott and Rivera wrote that "in early builds of Windows 8, this Ribbon UI is only half-finished and, frankly, of dubious value."

Source: Within Windows

Adding to the mounting evidence of a cross-platform strategy from Microsoft is the January news that Microsoft is working on a port of Windows 8 to ARM's System on a Chip (SoC) architecture.

ARM's chip designs, which make an appearance in Apple's A4 and A5 SoCs, have rapidly outsold Intel's X86 chips, which have struggled to meet the low-power requirements of modern mobile devices, in the mobile market.

Source: Within Windows

Windows everywhere

During a January keynote at CES, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer alluded to the company's multi-device strategy for Windows. "Whatever device you use...Windows will be there." he said. "Windows PCs will continue to adapt and evolve. Windows will be everywhere on every device without compromise."

Sales of Windows Phone 7 smartphones have been muted since the platform launched last fall, but the recent announcement of a long-term partnership between Nokia and Microsoft could ramp up sales in coming years.

Nokia and Microsoft jointly announced in February that Nokia, the world's largest phone maker, will abandon its Symbian operating system in favor of Windows Phone 7. Recently released predictions by Gartner project that Windows smartphones will climb from a dwindling 9 percent market share in 2009 past Apple's iPhone to a 20 percent share in 2011, even as Symbian drops from 47 percent to 0 percent.



Tablet pressure

Microsoft's board has put pressure on Ballmer to improve the company's performance in the mobile space. Last year, an SEC filing revealed that the CEO had been criticized for "the unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone; loss of market share in the company's mobile phone business; and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors."

Those "new form factors" seemed to be a reference to Apple's iPad, which saw a successful launch earlier that year. In July 2010, Ballmer admitted that Apple had "sold more [iPads] than I'd like them to sell," and that tablets were one of the "top issues" on his mind.

The failure of the HP Slate, a joint project between Microsoft and HP, to gain traction after its release last year is also driving the Windows giant's efforts to break into the tablet market. Though HP announced that sales of the Slate "exceeded expectations," insiders have suggested that HP only planned to sell 5,000 Slates and had to retool to manufacture the 9,000 units necessary to meet backordered demand.

New challengers

Meanwhile, Apple and Microsoft aren't the only two companies facing off in the battle for mobile. HP has invested heavily in the webOS platform it acquired through its purchase of Palm. As the world's largest PC maker, the company also plans to scale webOS up to PCs in a cross-platform move that will challenge Microsoft on its home turf.

Google is busy putting the finishing touches on its tablet-specific Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which will make its way into numerous Android-based iPad competitors later this year. Last month, the search giant closed the source code for Honeycomb in order to prevent manufacturers from implementing the version for phones. After subsequent reports suggested that Android was becoming more closed, Android mastermind Andy Rubin promised that the code would be reopened once Google's engineers finished their revisions.
post #2 of 74
When all you got is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

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post #3 of 74
I get the eventual move to get a desktop OS on ARM but I can’t fathom that even MS would still think that a desktop OS on a tablet makes sense.

Maybe they are trying to make the first decent multi-UI OS. The Motorola Atrix certainly doesn’t provide a decent desktop environment to users.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #4 of 74
I can finally read <a href="http://www.bookase.com/">cheap textbooks</a> on Windows 8 for tablets.
post #5 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I get the eventual move to get a desktop OS on ARM but I can’t fathom that even MS would still think that a desktop OS on a tablet makes sense.

Maybe they are trying to make the first decent multi-UI OS. The Motorola Atrix certainly doesn’t provide a decent desktop environment to users.


The OS will have different UI's based on the form factor. Unlike what magicj might think, the tablet OS will not require a mouse, but will have a touch OS based on the Metro style of WP7.

If you want a glimpse of what it may be like, download the new Bing app for the iPad. Several people have commented that the app may give insight into the Win 8 UI for tablets.

The article is not particularly well written as MS has been quite clear that Win 8 will be a multi UI OS, and not "An early build of Windows 8 suggests that Microsoft may transition the next version of Windows to a cross-platform OS across a variety of devices"
post #6 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Why would I want to run a scaled down phone app on a desktop computer?

It's not about running the exact same application. Just the same backend code. The UI is switched out to target different form factors and end-user experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Why would I want to include the overhead needed to scale up to the desktop in an app meant to run on a phone?

Now that is a damn good question. There isn't any code overhead in supporting multiple UI's in a well written application, however the resources will be embedded in the AppX package (From memory it's just a zip file).

That said, not all AppX packages need to be universal. You could write the one application with multiple UI's, then compile and release multiple packages to target each user experience.

Does anyone know how Apple do this? When I download a universal app (i.e. iPhone + iPhone retina display + iPad) does the package contain three separate sets of resources? If I load this app onto a 3GS does it load all resources or does it strip out the iPad and retina display resources?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Why would I want to write a tablet app that required a mouse?

As above. Applications written to support the tablet interface will have a separate touch UI to support that user experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Phones, tablets, and true computers are three very different devices with very different usage patterns.

Again, it's not so much about shoe horning the PC experience into a tablet or a phone but supporting multiple user experiences on different devices using the same backend code.
post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

When all you got is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

That's not even remotely accurate. It's basically the opposite.

This is Microsoft accepting that you can't shoe-horn the Windows UI into every device (like they tried to with tablets and phones for a decade) and that each different device has a different user experience demands a custom UI built for it.
post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An early build of Windows 8 suggests that Microsoft may transition the next version of Windows to a cross-platform OS scalable across a variety of devices in hopes of competing with Apple's iOS platform, according to new reports.

So they (Microsoft / MS) plan to defeat iOS and Mac OS is to make a Windows OS that will be used in every devices they can get their hands on.. Yup, it's Windows everywhere alrite.. We're doomed if this truly come true..

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's board has put pressure on Ballmer to improve the company's performance in the mobile space. Last year, an SEC filing revealed that the CEO had been criticized for "the unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone; loss of market share in the company's mobile phone business; and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors."

I'm more surprised MS' board only put pressure on Ballmer, why they don't "break" him instead into two and then toss him out into the garbage bin.. (just like Acer recently did to their former CEO)
post #9 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I get the eventual move to get a desktop OS on ARM but I cant fathom that even MS would still think that a desktop OS on a tablet makes sense.

Maybe they are trying to make the first decent multi-UI OS. The Motorola Atrix certainly doesnt provide a decent desktop environment to users.

That's what it looks like at this point.

However I still think they will release a version of Windows 8 running on ARM that is locked to the tablet UI and I think, at least from the beginning, the phones will be locked to the phone UI as well.

ARM Windows 8 running the desktop UI makes zero sense to me.
post #10 of 74
Well, it's one thing to make it cross-CPU but Windows is still a memory hog if I recall. And .NET especially so. We will have to see how well it performs on a little bitty smartphone.
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Nor does the ability to support multiple UIs solve the problem that capabilities of different devices are vastly different. There is little point to trying to run the desktop version of, say, Photoshop, on a phone. The hardware capabilities just aren't there. Similarly, there is little point in a content creation shop trying to use the phone version of Photoshop on their desktops. The software capabilities just aren't there.

You _want_ different apps for different devices.

You want different UI's for different devices. Sometimes the functionality of the app will be totally different (as with Photoshop), sometimes it will be the same, but most of the time at least some of the functionality is the same and can benefit from shared code.
post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Well, it's one thing to make it cross-CPU but Windows is still a memory hog if I recall. And .NET especially so. We will have to see how well it performs on a little bitty smartphone.

I think that is the most important question about Win8. Microsoft's plan seems incredibly ambitious, but it may be foolishly so.

I think if they were not tied to Windows legacy support they would have a good chance... but trying to develop a modern cross device/UI/architecture OS whilst being dragged down by the heavy business requirements placed on them... I'm not so confident.

Dot Net sucks up a lot of memory, which is why I think they'll use a subset similar to Silverlight (like WP7).

From memory W7 Starter runs with the desktop UI and legacy support around 300MB RAM.

This is part of the reason my money is on multiple Windows 8 versions. Some with legacy support and multiple UIs (with heavier system requirements) and others with support for the Windows Marketplace only...

My guess...
  • Win Phone 8 - ARM/x86. All applications written to Silverlight/XNA.
  • Win Tab 8/ARM - Metro UI. Only supports Silverlight/XNA via Marketplace (although Office will have to be ARM native).
  • Win Tab 8/x86 - Dual UI. Standard Windows and Metro. Legacy as well as Silverlight/XNA support. Dock-able.
  • Win 8 - Standard Windows UI. Legacy as well as Silverlight/XNA support.
  • Xbox Next - I'm not sure. Support for Silverlight and the Marketplace has been rumoured.
post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

When all you got is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

What an unexpected yet delightful post. Microsoft is truly behind the "8" ball here.
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

ARM Windows 8 running the desktop UI makes zero sense to me.

Which means that will probably be what Microsoft will do. You see, it's alawys the opposite of common sense for them.
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

The point being that's _exactly_ what you don't want to do. While it's true that phones and desktops have different UIs, the UIs aren't the only differences.

For example, you don't want the desktop version of iMovie to be limited to the functionality that you can fit on a phone. And you don't want to try to cram all the functionality of a desktop app into a phone.


There are going to be examples of apps that share no similar functionality at all, and there are going to be examples of apps that share all the same functionality.

However, most of the time apps are going to share at least some of the same functionality.

If the functionality between devices is the same you have the option of a universal package using the same back-end code targeting different UI's.

If only some of the functionality is shared then only a subset of the main functionality would be included.

Just because there are some example where none of functionality is shared doesn't mean they should drop the entire concept of cross device apps. Personally I think one of the biggest benefits of the iPhone/iPad is that apps released for one device are often released for the other.
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Which means that will probably be what Microsoft will do. You see, it's alawys the opposite of common sense for them.

I suppose we can't rule that out!!

Whenever I think there is something there is just no way Microsoft would do... I'm reminded of the Kin.
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adding to the mounting evidence of a cross-platform strategy from Microsoft is the January news that Microsoft is working on a port of Windows 8 to ARM's System on a Chip (SoC) architecture.

ARM's chip designs, which make an appearance in Apple's A4 and A5 SoCs, have rapidly outsold Intel's X86 chips, which have struggled to meet the low-power requirements of modern mobile devices, in the mobile market.

This just strikes me at the last second, but by putting Windows on ARM system wouldn't this mean Microsoft will be bringing its famous BSoD to smartphones and tablets..? Well I'll be damn..
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Seriously, the idea of "Same code, different UI" doesn't fit most cross-device apps. They're different code, different UIs, even different use cases.

Exactly. But that's why Steve Ballmer is Steve Ballmer, he just can't figure it out, that's why he easily shouted, "Windows will be everywhere on every device without compromise."

That's probably why Microsoft doesn't have an answer to Apple's iOS because their 'innocent' minded CEO think their Windows is good enough to be on underpowered Intel's x86 chip (Atom), can be "on every device without compromise" he said. No wonder nobody is producing Windows slate device.
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

You don't want to be including unused desktop code in a phone app. You're just taking up valuable space on the phone for code that can't be used.

Isn't that what happens for iOS universal binaries? By and large the it's only the v that would be redundant in a given situation, the m and c being the same, but I can imagine instances where extra functionality is exposed in the iPad app, which means iPhone would be lugging around unusable code. That's how I understand iOS universals to be. I might be wrong.
post #20 of 74
Sort of makes sense to me. Just because the core OS might be the same doesn't mean every app would run on every device. A very ambitious project to be sure. Can MS pull it off? Only time will tell.

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post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

The OS will have different UI's based on the form factor. Unlike what magicj might think, the tablet OS will not require a mouse, but will have a touch OS based on the Metro style of WP7.

If you want a glimpse of what it may be like, download the new Bing app for the iPad. Several people have commented that the app may give insight into the Win 8 UI for tablets.

The article is not particularly well written as MS has been quite clear that Win 8 will be a multi UI OS, and not "An early build of Windows 8 suggests that Microsoft may transition the next version of Windows to a cross-platform OS across a variety of devices"

Yep, the Bing app is surprisingly really well done. I was shocked, to say the least. Only issue I have found is that it doesn't let me change the tiles at the bottom to what I want. Or at least I haven't figured out how to do it.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I think that is the most important question about Win8. Microsoft's plan seems incredibly ambitious, but it may be foolishly so.

I think if they were not tied to Windows legacy support they would have a good chance... but trying to develop a modern cross device/UI/architecture OS whilst being dragged down by the heavy business requirements placed on them... I'm not so confident.

Dot Net sucks up a lot of memory, which is why I think they'll use a subset similar to Silverlight (like WP7).

From memory W7 Starter runs with the desktop UI and legacy support around 300MB RAM.

This is part of the reason my money is on multiple Windows 8 versions. Some with legacy support and multiple UIs (with heavier system requirements) and others with support for the Windows Marketplace only...

My guess...
  • Win Phone 8 - ARM/x86. All applications written to Silverlight/XNA.
  • Win Tab 8/ARM - Metro UI. Only supports Silverlight/XNA via Marketplace (although Office will have to be ARM native).
  • Win Tab 8/x86 - Dual UI. Standard Windows and Metro. Legacy as well as Silverlight/XNA support. Dock-able.
  • Win 8 - Standard Windows UI. Legacy as well as Silverlight/XNA support.
  • Xbox Next - I'm not sure. Support for Silverlight and the Marketplace has been rumoured.

You've been doing your homework and I think are as close as anyone posting here to date. Including the "tremendously ambitious" part. I do know Silverlight dev is going hot and heavy. And that they feel they began to "modularize" Win 7 enough (in comparison to every Windows before), that they can further "componetize" Win 8 so that everything will be at some level "Windows," but each device class will only get the components/modules it needs to run that device with that device's UI. And that watching the success of the "true OS X core" of iOS is a big motivating factor.

Kin was a) interfered with and then b) killed for this reason by the Windows team, which still calls most of the shots in Redmond. And the Win Phone 7 team (which was also using some of the Zune development work) was folded into the Windows group almost as soon as WP 7 was out the door, so it's more about the Metro overlay than whatever was underneath - meaning WP8 will a very different animal under the hood. But while MS is a campus full of wall-offed baronies, and the dominant Windows team has focused on maintaining the Win/Office/Exchange/Server hegemony in business almost to the exclusion of really thinking through the needs and wishes of normal computer users, harmonizing the overall development of all the device classes most users go back and forth between makes as much sense for the company as the direction of Lion and iOS 5 does for Apple.

I assume also, that apps will be differentiated by device class, and that some part of application X for a PC might be used in a complementary or subset app for a Tab or Phone, but also vice-versa so that each version of each app would be suitable for that device - and that this will enhance file exchange and compatibility.

I do wonder why you included X86 in your summary of WP8. I wouldn't expect to see any Sandy Bridge Win phones (!), but maybe you're referring to what it will share with WT8, and according to MS's statements, there will almost certainly be X86 class slates (either complete with stylus operation a la earlier efforts, or a complete touch skin for "full" Win 8, or both).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

This is Microsoft accepting that you can't shoe-horn the Windows UI into every device (like they tried to with tablets and phones for a decade) and that each different device has a different user experience demands a custom UI built for it.

Actually, following on Longhorn, unless the first part of my post is right, and MS hits all these many marks, "Shoehorn" is my notion of the code name of the current product set.

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post #23 of 74
Apple holds their cards close to their chest, over-delivers and then updates with pleasant surprises.

MS tells everyone what they're going to do and then spends the next product cycle backpedaling.
post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Does anyone know how Apple do this? When I download a universal app (i.e. iPhone + iPhone retina display + iPad) does the package contain three separate sets of resources? If I load this app onto a 3GS does it load all resources or does it strip out the iPad and retina display resources?

Very strongly suspect there's no stripping of resources; the app package generated by the developer (as submitted to Apple for approval) presumably goes to all purchasers, and iTunes crudely stripping resources might break an app between testing and deployment. Besides, most graphics and other scale-dependent resources are low overhead for app file size, or can be coded as such.

The very fact that there are both universal and non-universal apps is what points out the idiocy in the Microsoft approach -- the Apple Mac OS X versus iOS approach is the way to go, where development cross-platform is trivial behind the interface, but where the interface is entirely distinct. As others have pointed out, mouse-driven software versus touch-driven software cannot have a common interface and still be useable.
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Apple holds their cards close to their chest, over-delivers and then updates with pleasant surprises.

MS tells everyone what they're going to do and then spends the next product cycle backpedaling.

MS shouldn't be like Apple and I don't want to see they copy Apple in every way, like they did with WP7 (I'm not talking about UI here). They have something going for themselves they don't need to be like Apple. For example if I want to build HTPC now my best bet is to go with Windows 7 instead of Mac mini (but if Apple begin to sell lossless music and 1080p movies on iTunes then that could change everything)
That said this early rumor is not good enough to stop me from planning to buy iMac for my next desktop.
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

When all you got is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

so true....so true

they are trying to fit several square pegs into a round changing hole
"just works" isn't good enough anymore, but that was several years ago, so they are increasingly regressing behind.
the stalwarts for windows, namely enterprise is awakening and MS hold weakens, i see nothing to change that, they can't respond fast enough, this isn't me talking, most IT people i talk to, realize as the installed base gets older they want to address the truely new stuff that reduces cost and improves efficiency

as the cloud and access grows more will pull away from the cash cows of windows and office.

an above comment makes tons of sense, the legacy support issue

"I think if they were not tied to Windows legacy support they would have a good chance... but trying to develop a modern cross device/UI/architecture OS whilst being dragged down by the heavy business requirements placed on them... I'm not so confident."


will this lead to more fragmentation?? when Enterprise is looking to replace but to what??
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post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by aestival View Post

The very fact that there are both universal and non-universal apps is what points out the idiocy in the Microsoft approach -- the Apple Mac OS X versus iOS approach is the way to go, where development cross-platform is trivial behind the interface, but where the interface is entirely distinct. As others have pointed out, mouse-driven software versus touch-driven software cannot have a common interface and still be useable.

The Microsoft approach isn't that far removed from Apple. This is all about reusing as much code as possible at the same time as offering a specific interface designed for the device the app is running on, it's not about trying to jam an application with a desktop UI onto a smart phone.
post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

When all you got is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

Clever.

+1.
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

I do wonder why you included X86 in your summary of WP8. I wouldn't expect to see any Sandy Bridge Win phones (!), but maybe you're referring to what it will share with WT8, and according to MS's statements, there will almost certainly be X86 class slates (either complete with stylus operation a la earlier efforts, or a complete touch skin for "full" Win 8, or both).

There is a possibility for Intel to start approaching the power efficiency of ARM. At the moment it doesn't seem likely, but maybe in 3 or 4 years. I seem to remember Intel stating they were going to release a Atom based phone this year or next... I'm not sure what happened with that (perhaps the Nokia/Microsoft announcement killed future Meego releases, I'm not sure).

So it's most likely that WP8 will be ARM, but x86 isn't out of the question... and since the apps target Dot Net, and not a specific architecture, they will run just the same on either.
post #30 of 74
Whatever happened to chess players?

Microsoft, like a chess player who has resorted to pure defense, needs to drastically change their strategy or quit, because you cannot win by playing defense only.

ALL Microsoft does anymore is play catch up. All of their "new" products, technologies, and strategies are designed to compete with (read, catch up to) someone else's dominant lead.

Like a chess player who makes no attempt at offense, eventually they will spend all their time and resources defending what they have, all the while losing a piece here, an advantage there.

And don't get me started about Gartner. Why, oh WHY does anyone listen to anything they have to say?

For 20+ years I (and most people I know) have been *at least* as accurate as they are in guessing what the future holds - and that advice is free.


Speaking of free, I just created a new motto for them - for free:

Gartner.
Selling guesses for lots of money to CEOs who have heard their name.
post #31 of 74
It make sense if ARM decides to take on Intel on the desktop. ARM based servers have been cropping up.

Wish IBM would get back in the ring with PowerPC chips, I'm pretty sure they can shrink their die process under 32nm by now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

ARM Windows 8 running the desktop UI makes zero sense to me.
post #32 of 74
I have two observations, both just my humble opinion .

First, Graphing various competing OSs should be done with iOS as a whole not iPhone alone.

Secondly, Microsoft will be in virgin territory with mobile (the new mobile that is). They have nothing to leverage off and will have to compete on merit (good luck there).

Most people buy yet another PC when Windows is so slow they want to torch the box and don't know how to fix it and don't know any better than to repeat the mistake. In the mobile space when people think 'Tablet' or 'Pad' they won't immediately presume it has to be Microsoft's (even though Ballmer may have delusions in that direction).

The transition to obscurity has begun for MS and will proceed at an ever faster clip as the vast numbers of useless beige boxes running nothing but mail and a browser (poorly at that) are replaced with iPads. I give it five years at best before PCs are with the 8 Tracks in the attic. They won't be wanted or needed other than by content creators who will mostly use Macs as they run every desktop OS there is.
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post #33 of 74
I predict that within 5 years Apple and MS will be in the same place with respect to their OS, they're just taking different ways to get there. I'll bet that Apple eventually merges iOS and MacOS X, but then keeps a version of OSX that they call "pro" or "developer" or whatever. For most people, their only computer will be their phone/tablet, and the primary UI will be the touch screen interface. But when docked with a keyboard/monitor, the user will be presented with a UI that makes more sense in that context. And that's basically what MS is trying to do with Windows.

The difference, though, is that MS is choosing to never make a version of Windows that is tailored just for a phone or tablet (WP7 isn't Windows, despite the name).

Even though MS and Apple will end up in the same place (a unified OS that morphs UI depending on context), I think Apple is taking the better path to get there. By having a version of OSX specifically tailored to the touchscreen interface (and with no legacy apps/UI to fall back on), Apple is gaining real world experience in how to make the best possible touch UI. Except for WP7, MS is not having that experience.

So when we do get to the day where both have a unified OS, my guess is that Apple's will be much more balanced while Microsoft's will still skew towards its roots as a desktop OS.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I get the eventual move to get a desktop OS on ARM but I cant fathom that even MS would still think that a desktop OS on a tablet makes sense.

Maybe they are trying to make the first decent multi-UI OS. The Motorola Atrix certainly doesnt provide a decent desktop environment to users.

Just why isn't iOS/Mac OS X a 'decent multi-UI OS'? Looks to me like MS is trying to do exactly what Apple has already done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

MS shouldn't be like Apple and I don't want to see they copy Apple in every way,.

Clearly. That's exactly what this looks like. They're planning to use the same core OS for everything from phones to workstations - which is exactly what Apple did when they created iOS.

Of course, it remains to be seen how successful they'll be. Windows is still a mess internally. I don't think Microsoft is going to have anywhere near as easy a time as Apple did.
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post #35 of 74
I t seems to me this approach only makes sense if a couple of conditions are met/assumed:

1. That cross-platform universality keeps the load on the app developer low enough that they can build if they so choose a universal app and M/soft OS provides the proper APIs for adjusting to platform,

2. If M/soft can successfully get consumers to embrace the cloud they could conceivably light-load the OS on the device(s) which then set the connection to the cloud for the interface and other hardware configuration parameters - esssentially the Google Chrome OS approach - and only the elements ported for a given device config and interface are loaded. This however requires the app developer to build a fairly robust universal app.

Marco Arment over the weekend posted a particularly pithey commentary based on Facebook's Open Compute project. Among his insights was this gem:

Quote:
Its usually in a business best interests to commoditize its complements. Microsoft commoditized PC hardware because its software needed a home. Companies that contribute heavily to open-source, such as modern-day IBM, commoditize software because they sell consulting and support services. Google commoditizes applications, platforms, and web technologies because it needs places to put its ads and people to see them. (Google also tries to commoditize anything required to get online: web browsers, DNS, and in some cases, even internet connectivity.)

(emphasis mine)

Note the bolded phrases: M/soft is moving towards the Google approach while at the same time trying to prevent Google from commoditizing its own software.

If M/soft can successfully sell the cloud to its corporate customers and build consumer interest in a "faster/lighter/easier" approach by Windows, they may succeed in stemming the erosion that nibbles away at their OS marketshare, and contributes to Apple's continuing growth in the consumer market. But M/soft has to answer the mobile device challenge effectively to do it.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Just why isn't iOS/Mac OS X a 'decent multi-UI OS'? Looks to me like MS is trying to do exactly what Apple has already done.

Check out the Atrix. That is what Im referring. Apple certainly has 4 UI types for the Darwin/OS X base, and they even have apps with two UIs built in for iPhone/Touch and iPad display sizes, but Im referring to dynamic shifting from one to the other. If anyone can make what the Atrix tried to be and make it decent its Apple but they simply havent do so at this point.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #37 of 74
I think everybody is missing Microsoft's Secret Weapon that is surely going to turn the tide back so the company ends up owning almost the entire mobile OS market, just as it did with desktop OS all those decades ago.

I'm talking about that mobile genius Steve Ballmer! With him calling the shots how can they possibly go wrong?

He's the guy who said Zune would eat Apple's lunch, then followed that up by predicting iPhone would get ZERO market share, and finally (in a fantastic claim that should have seen his ass flying out of Redmond with the Board's boot firmly placed up the sphincter) he said iPad was a joke that would never sell ('where's the keyboard, where's the mouse?'). Now he says it will be 'Windows everywhere'. BRILLIANT, completely brilliant!

With this technology heavyweight and marketing genius at the helm, how can they go wrong?
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I predict that within 5 years Apple and MS will be in the same place with respect to their OS, they're just taking different ways to get there. I'll bet that Apple eventually merges iOS and MacOS X, but then keeps a version of OSX that they call "pro" or "developer" or whatever.

You'll notice that, at no point in history has Apple offered more than one consumer version of an OS. There is simply Mac OS (versions 1-X)... Granted, since OS X came aboard they have had a "Server" version of their OS, but since Lion will implement all consumer/server functionality back into a single OS release, I think it's fair to say that Apple's strategy doesn't involve selling one piece of software in several different packages, anytime soon.



Quote:
Originally Posted by steftheref View Post

I'm talking about that mobile genius Steve Ballmer! With him calling the shots how can they possibly go wrong?

I hope they never get rid of this idiot... Gates giveth and Balmer taketh away :P
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcode View Post

You'll notice that, at no point in history has Apple offered more than one consumer version of an OS.

MS might even sell more boxed versions of Windows than Apple sells base models of Mac.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

ARM Windows 8 running the desktop UI makes zero sense to me.

It make sense if ARM decides to take on Intel on the desktop. ARM based servers have been cropping up.

Wish IBM would get back in the ring with PowerPC chips, I'm pretty sure they can shrink their die process under 32nm by now.

Sorry, I should have clarified that one.

ARM on the Windows 8 "desktop" doesn't make sense because of the confusion it would cause consumers.

Could you imagine what it would be like if someone could walk into a retailer and purchase a notebook that was called Windows, looked and behaved exactly like Windows and was sold as Windows... but was unable to run any existing Windows applications?

I think ARM on Windows tablets and phones makes a lot of sense as they would be running the Metro UI and run applications exclusively from the Windows Marketplace (if they really do call it the "Windows App Store" Ballmer deserves a kick in the stones) so the requirement for legacy support wouldn't exist.
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