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Microsoft demonstrates Windows 8 with HTML5 apps

post #1 of 175
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Microsoft has provided a look at how it plans to bring Windows to more mobile devices in the future, leveraging ARM processors and using HTML5 as the basis of a new app platform.

As demonstrated at the D9 conference, Windows 8 will deliver a touch-centric new interface for apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that runs on top of the existing, conventional Windows platform.

The company showed off a new Start screen patterned after the tiled home page of Windows Phone 7. The company says the new tiled interface "replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps."

Microsoft's mobile Windows CE core operating system differs dramatically from its desktop Windows operating system, but the two will grow closer together in appearance as Windows 8 adopts a similar, top level interface to Windows Phone 7 and the Zune.

In contrast, Apple's desktop Mac OS X and mobile iOS share the same core operating system and use optimized versions of the company's proprietary Cocoa development platform to deliver native apps, but differ in the interface they present, with Mac OS X retaining a mouse-based windowing environment while iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad present a completely rethought, touch-based interface.

Microsoft's own efforts to build a cohesive development environment for both the Windows CE-based Windows Mobile 6 and its desktop Windows XP/Vista/7 platform initially revolved around the company's .Net APIs before shifting Windows Phone 7 to use Microsoft's Adobe Flash-like Silverlight as its mobile app platform.

Now, Microsoft is announcing a new shift that leverages the interest in HTML5 to deliver "web-connected and web-powered" apps (similar to HP's webOS platform acquired from Palm) that will run alongside legacy Windows apps on the forthcoming Windows 8. Microsoft says this approach "is designed and optimized for touch," although the company also says "it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard."



This all happened before

Microsoft took a similar approach to catching up to Apple's Macintosh in the early 90s, layering a Mac-like user interface on top of DOS to initially deliver Windows, resulting in an operating system that looked like a Mac but could still revert to running text-based DOS apps.

The new HTML5 layer of Windows 8 works like the Dashboard layer of Mac OS X, although rather than only supplying quick assess to simple widgets, the new "Windows 8 apps" are intended to supply a layer of highly animated, full screen, touch-based apps capable of competing with native apps running on Apple's iPad.

Like Apple's iOS, Windows 8 is intended to be deployed on highly mobile devices such as ARM-based tablets in addition to the conventional PCs Windows has powered in the past. Unlike Apple's iOS, which became instantly popular on the iPhone before expanding to the iPod touch and iPad, Microsoft's tile-based Zune interface hasn't yet found a significant, sustainable audience. After the Zune failed, Microsoft KIN and Windows Phone 7 have both found little interest among consumers.

Microsoft's radical experimentation with Windows Vista in 2007 caused a negative backlash from Windows PC users, which has only settled down with the more conservative release of Windows 7. Sales of PCs have yet to rebound to levels prior to the release of Vista, and new mobile devices, in particular Apple's iPad, have siphoned off a significant amount of demand among generic PCs.

Microsoft does have considerable clout among its developers and hardware makers however, and describes the new Windows 8 as its biggest risk yet, hoping the new release, due sometime over the next couple years, will bring it back into relevance among new generations of consumers.
post #2 of 175
Just Windows with a tablet skin running on top. I "get it", because it still allows you to run the entire Windows catalog, but I'm still unimpressed.
post #3 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Just Windows with a tablet skin running on top. I "get it", because it still allows you to run the entire Windows catalog, but I'm still unimpressed.

Exactly.
post #4 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Just Windows with a tablet skin running on top. I "get it", because it still allows you to run the entire Windows catalog, but I'm still unimpressed.

Too little, say hello to too late.

Although this will still have 85% market share at some point. MS's Monopoly power isn't going away anytime.
post #5 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft took a simmer approach to catching up to Apple's Macintosh in the early 90s...

A simmer approach, you gotta love it.
post #6 of 175
It does look nice. The style of WP7 is the best thing about it and they've brought that to their flagship OS. Being a simple layer on top of the same old Windows isn't ideal but it's a heck of a lot better than what they tried to throw at tablets last spring to such epic failure.

This guy makes me laugh though. The non-screencasts parts of the video are utterly amateurish. The sea of crap on the wall that is to provide inspiration explains a lot! There's not an interesting/inspiring/relevant thing there!

And I have to say the 'codename' 'Windows 8' is brilliant. Quite brilliant!

MS baiting aside though, I can see this working for them. It does look nice, if a little sterile and it does solve the touch problem to some extent. You can see how completely unsuited Windows is to touch when he whisks away the HTML layer and the traditional Explorer view comes up. Those icons are all about the mouse.

One gripe is the hypocrisy of MS in purporting to support HTML5 standards and still churning out the train wreck that is IE year after year. Nobody supports web standards less than MS, and that's an objective fact. Also, doesn't WP7 use Silverlight? That's hardly a web standard is it?
post #7 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Too little, say hello to too late.

Although this will still have 85% market share at some point. MS's Monopoly power isn't going away anytime.

Well Microsoft's IE monopoly has fallen from 95% to LESS THAN 25% (according to W3Schools). And the company's share of mobiles has fallen from ~25% to something like 7% in just a few years.

The PC market itself is falling, with significant contraction happening worldwide. Apple is eating into that with Mac OS X while it creates a new market for iOS devices that is hitting it from below.

Delivering a tepid product that chases the iPad and does little but confuse Windows PC users is not going to shore up Microsoft's losses. Although the use of HTML5 is interesting. It denotes the complete failure of Silverlight.
post #8 of 175
It looks good. The video was terrible though. Quality would have been better recorded on an iPhone.
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post #9 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It looks good. The video was terrible though. Quality would have been better recorded on an iPhone.

I have to admit that I thought it looked pretty good. I actually like the tiles metaphor.
post #10 of 175
It really is a lot like Dashboard isn't it? With the Windows 7 theme applied to every widget.
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post #11 of 175
Microsoft schooled Apple on this one, a week before Apple. You know Steve has to be pissed. You have to admit, no one saw Microsoft doing this so soon.
post #12 of 175
Is a UI layer running on top of windows 7. We'll see how the battery will behave with two UIs running at the same time. If the battery is good, then Tablet UI for tablets, and windows 7 UI for laptops. Good combo, a fairly good idea, we'll see how it will work.

PS is similar to what people wanted in the touch iMac, desktop with iOS layer when the screen is past 45 degrees
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post #13 of 175
I have an iPad 2 and love it. With that said, in my view, this thing looks better on every level. What can my iPad do that this cannot? Hopefully Jobs will have some big surprises come the keynote on Monday.
post #14 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

It does look nice. The style of WP7 is the best thing about it and they've brought that to their flagship OS. Being a simple layer on top of the same old Windows isn't ideal but it's a heck of a lot better than what they tried to throw at tablets last spring to such epic failure.

To me it seems a lot more complex than adding a UI layer to Windows. Windows 7 (and I think Vista) were deemed "touch ready" by MS.. but they weren't. This looks like MS is working to make this a solid product from the ground up. However, I'm sure I'm sold on the naturalness and obviousness of sliding between apps though it might be better than Apple's developer option for switching apps in iOS 4.3.

That said, I have no idea what HW they are using for this demo but if it's made for a tablet it better be as smooth on the current ARM processors upon its release.

But why not evolve WP7 to a tablet form-factor? I wonder if they plan to make a tablet/desktop that is what Motorola Atrix and Asus Padfone are trying to do.

Quote:
This guy makes me laugh though. The non-screencasts parts of the video are utterly amateurish. The sea of crap on the wall that is to provide inspiration explains a lot! There's not an interesting/inspiring/relevant thing there!

It's absolutely awful for any company, muchness one as large as MS on their official YouTube page. I could produce a higher quality video using only my iPhone.

In an unusual twist Twitter released a video yesterday that is expectionally well done and follows many cues from Apple's own marketing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmB15ER3LUQ
Quote:
And I have to say the 'codename' 'Windows 8' is brilliant. Quite brilliant!

Better than calling it Super 8. uke:

Quote:
MS baiting aside though, I can see this working for them. It does look nice, if a little sterile and it does solve the touch problem to some extent. You can see how completely unsuited Windows is to touch when he whisks away the HTML layer and the traditional Explorer view comes up. Those icons are all about the mouse.

I think that will get resolved. Also, if you have any pre-Windows 8 apps that look as bad as MS Office does in the demo you may not be their primary focus for a Windows tablet user.

Quote:
One gripe is the hypocrisy of MS in purporting to support HTML5 standards and still churning out the train wreck that is IE year after year. Nobody supports web standards less than MS, and that's an objective fact.

IE9 caught up and in some regards surpassed all other major browsers, like with the HW accelerated HTML5 Canvas element Even the Mango build of WP7 uses IE9. I'm not saying it's better overall but they far from the train wreck of IE6.
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post #15 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


Just Windows with a tablet skin running on top. I "get it", because it still allows you to run the entire Windows catalog, but I'm still unimpressed.

Exactly. That "launcher" will be great on all the upcoming Windows tablets... until you open a legacy Windows application.

Then it's the same ol' Windows.

I'm not ditching the mouse and keyboard for a long time...
post #16 of 175
Whether people like to admit it or not, Microsoft does supply great development tools. Sure, they are disparate and some of them still have lots of legacy baggage (hello .NET) but Microsoft cares a great deal about its developers.

I think this is a positive move for developers and it seems MS is finally getting the message that the platforms need to start to merge. Someone there is paying attention at least.

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post #17 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft schooled Apple on this one, a week before Apple. You know Steve has to be pissed.

You've got an interesting way of looking at this. I myself see desperation, but you see some sort of victory in the Redmond camp. Interesting twist.
post #18 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Just Windows with a tablet skin running on top.

Watch the video again. It looks more like a tablet with the Windows Shell running inside it, not the Windows Shell with a tablet skin on top.

The immerse UI is apparently a separate shell, so I'm not sure how they actually do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I "get it", because it still allows you to run the entire Windows catalog

Well... yes and no. Windows 8 running on an ARM SoC won't have any back wards compatibility with applications written for older versions of Windows. I saw Microsoft state somewhere there won't be a compatibility layer.

I think this is only the first of a long line of Windows 8 reveals. There is a lot of storage overhead in supporting legacy Windows, so I'm not sure how well that will fit the cheap "tablet as a consumption device" market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

but I'm still unimpressed

I'm incredibly impressed from what they showed in the video. Microsoft appear to have created a tablet UI that it a lot more multitasking and "content creation" friendly. However I'm fully aware that it was nothing but a staged demo, so at this time I think it would be pretty naive and/or arrogant to make a call either way about this.

The big questions I have is can they make Windows 8 tablet:
  • Perform well on a relatively slow processor
  • Have respectable battery life
  • Fit the storage requirements of a relatively cheap tablet

I still wouldn't be surprised if they revealed multiple versions. The "full" version (as shown), and a ARM-only based "consumption" version with no backward compatibility where Microsoft dictate the hardware (resembling the WPx model more than Windows).
post #19 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

A simmer approach, you gotta love it.

Another appropriate word AI could have used to describe MS's approach and that is similar to simmer is tepid!
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post #20 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft schooled Apple on this one, a week before Apple. You know Steve has to be pissed. You have to admit, no one saw Microsoft doing this so soon.

I was quite impressed by this video as well, but they were planning on showing more over the rest of the year, meaning this won't be released any time soon. Whatever Apple announces next week will be available soon after (within a month hopefully?)

The sliding in from the side looks nice, but if i had 10 apps running I would have to swipe a lot to find my app. A five-finger pitch to show all running apps and selecting the one I want would be way more efficient. Where did i see that again?
post #21 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft schooled Apple on this one, a week before Apple. You know Steve has to be pissed. You have to admit, no one saw Microsoft doing this so soon.

Actually Steve's laughing... he knows that W8 will be just that... meanwhile Apple will be out with similar or better about 9 months earlier...
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post #22 of 175
Personally, I like this because I love WP7. Minimalism is what I'm all about, which is why I love the UI. It's simple yet crams a lot into a small space.
Depending on what Apple brings to iOS5, I might be moving to a WP7 phone (assuming I can find some decent hardware which is the hardest part).

I'll never leave my OS X, tho, while I do like the Win8 preview, it's gonna take a lot more to pull my actual computer back to Windows.
post #23 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Actually Steve's laughing... he knows that W8 will be just that... meanwhile Apple will be out with similar or better about 9 months earlier...

Prediction 1: Windows 8 will be the best selling version of Windows EVER.

Prediciton 2: Apple will continue to outpace the PC market furthering it's revenue, profit and valuation lead from MS.
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post #24 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft schooled Apple on this one, a week before Apple. You know Steve has to be pissed. You have to admit, no one saw Microsoft doing this so soon.

Steve no pissed... How can he be schooled on something that will be released, when?...

Exactly!

Well we know from the video that some more videos will be released in the upcoming months.

By then, however, in a weeks time, the press and the people will all be abuzz from the news from Cupertino and this little announcement will be nothing but a footnote in the scheme of Apple things. Sorry! \
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post #25 of 175
First time I see a Windows demo and am impressed. That, on the first look, seems like a nice interface. Remains to be seen is how well it is actually implemented in real life use.
post #26 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Microsoft schooled Apple on this one, a week before Apple. You know Steve has to be pissed. You have to admit, no one saw Microsoft doing this so soon.

They showed a demo. What is being shown on Monday by Apple is iOS5 and OS X Lion. iOS 5 will be available to developers THAT DAY and released by end of summer to coincide with the iPhone 5 launch. Windows 8? Well, we MIGHT get that next year sometime.
post #27 of 175
When we tell you this is really going to be different.

We've changed everything. Except for the stuff we know you will never be able to unlearn, like Office.

It's a brand new important interface, full of things you're supposed to believe are on a part of the screen you can't see and therefore can't actually build a mental map of. Except for when you have to use the old stuff we can't be bothered to shoehorn into this new interface, in which case forget all that new stuff.

And of those of you who just can't be bothered moving a finger all the way into the middle of a 10" screen - we've got an app for that.

Wail till you see how great combo boxes look in these new colors.
post #28 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But why not evolve WP7 to a tablet form-factor?

WP7 is based on WinCE, which is pretty crud OS. It's not modular and doesn't scale well.

It would also be a hard sell for Microsoft if they just did exactly the same thing as Apple.

There are some people that can totally replace their PC with a tablet, but for most people the tablet is something of a "companion device". If Microsoft are able to leverage their cloud property to tie Windows 8 tablet with Windows 8 notebook/desktop and make it the perfect "companion device" then they at least have a point of difference over Apple.

Another point of difference would be to blend the two together.

Of course they could have done this using WP7 as a base, but it would have been bloody hard because of the reasons mentioned above about WinCE.
post #29 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Hi. I look like Jony Ive, so maybe this time you'll believe us.

LOL It did look the MS versioning of Ive.
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post #30 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

If Microsoft are able to leverage their cloud property to tie Windows 8 tablet with Windows 8 notebook/desktop and make it the perfect "companion device" then they at least have a point of difference over Apple.

ANy hope of that difference is going away Monday when Apple releases iCloud. What will it do? Simple... NO SYNC. That means all your content will be available on any Apple laptop/phone/tablet. You buy it and use it anywhere and with no storage concerns. That's my input.

When this happens, these devices are no longer companions, but standalone and stand together as a tighter ecosystem Microsoft won't be able to match because of their fragmented OSes
post #31 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archos View Post

Although the use of HTML5 is interesting. It denotes the complete failure of Silverlight.

Best to wait until you have all of the information I think. I wouldn't be surprised if they supported Silverlight alongside HTML5.

Any developer will tell you there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
post #32 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Whether people like to admit it or not, Microsoft does supply great development tools. Sure, they are disparate and some of them still have lots of legacy baggage (hello .NET) but Microsoft cares a great deal about its developers.

I think this is a positive move for developers and it seems MS is finally getting the message that the platforms need to start to merge. Someone there is paying attention at least.

Huh?

All they would have to do is port .NET to whatever platform they wanted (like ARM) and it would (essentially) be plug and play with .NET apps.
post #33 of 175


this is just microsoft's response to lion...which obviously is vaporware

the actual windows 8 will be available by 2015
post #34 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

Any hope of that difference is going away Monday when Apple releases iCloud.

I meant Microsoft could leverage the Windows install base to sell Windows tablets if they tie them together with cloud integration.

I agree Apple will do the same thing, but from the other side. They will leverage the iOS install base to sell Macs when they tie them together with iCloud.
post #35 of 175
More ho-hum from the Redmond folks at MajorCrap. <<Yawn>>
post #36 of 175
Honestly that UI kills iOS. I'm not so sure a full version of windows needs to be on a tablet, and I dont understand how this is meant to be used on a laptop, but the basic layout of the homescreens looks so much cleaner and more functional than ios4, which has pretty much looked the same since 2007. Apple needs to step it up beyond a grid of icons and some widgets.
post #37 of 175
Who schooled who? Apple did a back to Mac, taking things from iOS back to Mac OS X, next thing you know Microsoft is taking things from Windows Phone 7 back to Windows.

Now you tell me who is schooling who!
post #38 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Too little, say hello to too late.

Although this will still have 85% market share at some point. MS's Monopoly power isn't going away anytime.

'Too late' is right. But I dunno about 85% market share. Those days are done.
post #39 of 175
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post #40 of 175
Quote:
bdkennedy
You have to admit, no one saw Microsoft doing this so soon.

Why is it good for MS to have shown this so soon? This is just another MS concept video tossed out before another real Apple product. Remember the Courier? Everyone always trots out a bunch of half-baked crap before a big Apple announcement. That is part of the reason why this stuff pales in comparison to the Apple experience. Look at Amazon and Google. They both just announce music storage services. So desperate were they that they didn't even bother to secure proper licenses. They just vomited something up to get something out there before Apple announced their cloud service. Notice how Apple didn't announce anything before it was ready. This move by MS just shows how desperate and behind they are, and are about to be.
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