Microsoft ditches ARM for Intel with new $499 Surface 3, its latest iPad competitor



  • Reply 81 of 111

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post

    That might be because of planned Mac OS X changes coming down the road (not necessarily this year), and/or a great deal on RAM, and/or a result of lowered sales with the Mac mini's 4 GiB of soldered RAM, competition, or something else.

    1) That means you aren't even using the RAM compression algorithm, which was introduced in Mavericks.

    2) I don't know enough about how Mac OS X uses RAM to be able to say that you're system is hoarding it wrong*, but I can say that I've never had a RAM issue with Mac, and I just stopped using an iMac from 2002 with 1.25 GiB RAM running Tiger with Mac OS X Server.

    * See what I did there?

    A lot of my observations aren't just me though, but others who run OS X in schools and other environments. It needs a redo. Mavericks was a start but they still need to optimize it a bit. Just like iOS needs a Snow Leopard release, so does OS X.

  • Reply 82 of 111
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post



    70 Posts. Joined March 2009.



    Not sure why you'd block him. At 70 posts in 6 years we'll probably see him make his next post next year. Not a whole lot to worry from him;) 

  • Reply 83 of 111
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member
    It is Microsoft's only play since they can't get many developers to write native apps. Apps built for tablets (iPad's strength) will always be better. It will be nice if the iPad were to move a little closer to the the MacBook Air (or Surface) in terms of ease of multi-tasking and better options for temporarily adding a keyboard. Really those are the only places the surface can one-up the iPad. The rumors indicate that Apple is on this. Maybe we will see something with the rumored iPad Pro.
  • Reply 84 of 111
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member
    It would be interesting if the new MacBook Air keyboard design made it to the iPad (or iPad Pro) in removable form.
  • Reply 85 of 111
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    esummers wrote: »
    It would be interesting if the new MacBook Air keyboard design made it to the iPad (or iPad Pro) in removable form.

    I don't think that's a far fetched idea.
  • Reply 86 of 111
    physical i/o is important for some of us (music people)...the SP3 has usb 3, micro sd, minidisplay ports...ipad has 1 proprietary port. then you have to buy some lame-o adapter dongle for your special purpose in mind, which coincidently and more than likely, cuts into the ability to charge the device...peachy.

    now listen, i have an ipad air2, ipad 3 & ipad 1 that i use as integral components in my studio and in performance. i have an ipad 2 that needs a screen fix on the lower portion wife has an ipad 2 and my daughter shares her ipad 1 with her baby brother (that ipad 1 is my original and is THE testament to the resiliance and quality of design of Apple's products...just imagine what my 4 year old daughter has put that thing through since it being all hers for the past three years)...oh, i forgot, my daughter also has my ipad 4 because it is a newer device and she needs to put all her My Little Pony, Scooby Doo, and Lego Friends videos on something...Geez)

    bottom line for me: LOVE my slew of apple products (shit, i have only mentioned my ipad devices here, not the others) but i can't wait for the 12" ipad pro come some time this year...i heard it may very well have a second port whether that be usb c or lightning or whatever. i am looking forward to plug in my keyboard (controller that is) into the second port while retaining the first port for continuous charging

    that new macbook computer is a technological wonder to be sure...but this one port fits all vision (usb c in is case) is kinda worrisome....going back to my first paragraph: a consumer has to choose which dongle they want to use for whatever do-hicky they need to attach at a given moment for a given task? WTF
  • Reply 87 of 111

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

    Free memory is wasted, yes. Paged memory shouldn't happen if you have enough RAM. OS X doesn't manage it well, and won't release it as needed.

    Windows 10 is designed to run on 1GB, though 2 would be better.


    Actually, no. It's not that simple. If you're interested in a long response... keep reading


    It sounds like you're saying "Windows 10 is designed to run on 1GB" and implying that Mac OS X isn't (the original iMac had less than 1GB, but was capable of running OS X). And of course, virtual memory of both modern Windows and OS X originated in the 1980s (NT and Mach kernels) when workstations and servers measured RAM in megabytes. (Don't forget that a version of OS X kernel runs on the iPhone). There are some differences in how Windows and OS X strategize their use of virtual memory, which to laymen, might give rise to some of these myths.

    Windows tries to keep RAM free as much as possible. That's why Windows launches apps more quickly: it uses a demand paging strategy. Memory used by the app is mapped to a file (the code portions actually map to the .exe file itself, whereas allocated RAM is mapped to swap file). Windows doesn't actually use RAM until the program tries to access a portion of memory that's not in RAM, then it reads in a 4096 byte block called a page. The downside is that while the program is running, this swapping activity can interrupt the program, most notably, video games, which shows up as a frame rate stutter. But launching new apps happens very quickly, and apps initially appear to use very little RAM, even if they actually use a lot of virtual memory. Another consequence is that it's normal for Windows to use swap all the time. But if you're on a 2GB computer, you can look at all the "free RAM" available and feel like Windows is awesome. Yes, it's really free RAM, but you're paying a penalty in more frequent page-ins.


    Some modern Windows power users look at all the swap file activity and free RAM and think "why doesn't Windows take advantage of all that RAM?" (Because it's designed maximize free RAM!) The only way to do that is the disable the pagefile altogether (apps are still mapped to their .exe files because the memory image of the program is already on disk), and that's not recommended--it's a hack that's forcing Windows to go into a "last resort" virtual memory starvation strategy. Yes, it will use up all available RAM, but there's no swap, so if you run out of RAM, it's game over.


    OS X (as well as other BSD Unixes and Linux) differs in that tends not to use swap file before taking advantage of available RAM--exactly what those Windows power users who disable their pagefiles were wishing for, except it's safer because there's a swap file to catch you when you run out of RAM. It's not totally strict about that using swap as "last resort" but that's what it tends to do, because if you have enough free RAM, the page-outs will remain zero (or close to zero) as you launch more apps. But as you exhaust free RAM, OS X will begin swapping, and page-outs will rise. When this happens excessively it's called thrashing, and this is where you start to notice slowdowns or beach balls. I assume this is what you're complaining about. Note that Windows will do the same when you use up the free RAM in a Windows system (my desktop system at work thrashes because of overnight virus scanning).


    This difference in virtual memory strategies gives rise to what is called a "performance cliff" when it comes to OS X memory. When you reach the edge of that cliff, OS X will thrash. However, since Mavericks, OS X uses compression before resorting to swap, and this has made a noticeable difference. I'm running Xcode 5 on a 2GB MacBook Air (2010) using Yosemite, and it uses very little swap. If you're haunted by thrashing on older OS X versions, try Yosemite.

  • Reply 88 of 111
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,609member
    I have a SP3 and it is an especially nice bit of kit. I just wish I didn't have to carry around my MBP otherwise I would use the surface as my daily driver. The SP3 and Onenote are possibly the best things Microsoft have done.
  • Reply 89 of 111
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Sorry, I strongly disagree. I do heavy duty design work on my Air, which has 4GB of RAM, and have been doing so for almost 4 yrs with no major issues. Also, I'm pretty sure OSX is much more efficient with RAM than Windows. I have yet to see a modern Windows machine run decently using less than 4GB of RAM. I don't know where this myth that OSX "needs" 8GB RAM has come from. I someone like me can get by fine on 4GB, I don't see how 95% of the population wouldn't. Is 8Gb better? Sure, and if I was buying a machine today there's no way I'd go for less than that. But 4GB is more than useable on OSX. 

    It isn't a myth that OSX needs 8GB, you would be mad to purchase one with only 4Gb. I have Safari with a few tabs open, and iTunes open, my MBP is using 7GB RAM, good job pretending you can do "heavy duty design work" on 4GB without significant swapping
  • Reply 90 of 111
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    beeman60 wrote: »
    Windows is ugly, recalcitrant, annoying and tasteless.

    You do on average 8 posts a year, and that's all you can come up with? How about you come up with a real reason.
  • Reply 91 of 111
    beeman60beeman60 Posts: 52member

    My reasons for disinterest in windows are not adult enough for you and you feel compelled to insult me to give you a reason that you feel are 'real' enough?

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the words I used to express myself. They are quite adult words I believe.

    My retort to you is - don't you have anything better to do than to insult me?
  • Reply 92 of 111
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,898moderator
    appex wrote: »
    Apple should make a Mac tablet.

    The Modbook Pro is a Mac tablet:


    It only works with the pen. There have been tests with multi-touch overlays:


    The remote desktop apps let you see OS X on a smaller screen:


    The mouse-based UI is too small to use with touch. If you skip to 14:00 in the following video, it's clear to see that a desktop UI pretty much requires a pen or mouse to work properly:


    Using a stylus for drawing is ok but when you have to use a stylus to use the device, that's when you blew it. The iPad is essentially a touch-based Mac, developers just have to make the software UI different but you can see that every tool has to be designed for touch right down to the resize handles:


    It does have limits on which apps you can install, no scripting, it has no direct filesystem access, it's not leaving apps open all the time so it's restricted vs a Mac. However, this comes with benefits too in that it's secure to use, it doesn't lag, you don't have to check an activity monitor, you don't see any beachballing, it's simple enough for anyone to use. That can't be said about Windows.

    The user experience shown in the Surface video is terrible. If you were using it as a laptop primarily then it's a fairly cheap laptop even with the addons. If you wanted to use it as a tablet, it's expensive with the addons and not a good tablet. Apple could take the $1299 fanless Macbook and flatten it down to a tablet and the UI would suck.

    They could have a dual-mode so that when it was docked, it behaved like OS X and out of the dock, it would behave like an iPad but they have to think about camera placement, home button placement, screen ratio, USB port location, charging, what kind of keyboard to use. There are a lot of compromises to make for a dual-mode device because a laptop is mostly used in landscape and a tablet is mostly used in portrait.

    I think these hybrid devices will help push desktop software into supporting touch UIs, which is good for all devices. I think people will primarily use them like laptops, which is ok as they are cheap and very lightweight laptops. Given that the PC market sells about 300 million units per year, mostly laptops then if the majority of manufacturers offer touch features and hybrid devices then they will gain a large marketshare even if they won't be used like tablets. Apple will do what they feel offers the best user experience.
  • Reply 93 of 111
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,734member

    I think Microsoft has done a pretty good job with the Surface 3 of redefining the Netbook PC for 2015. Sure it can run so called "full PC" apps but unless you have the eyes of a 20 year old, a keyboard, and a mouse, and don't mind restricting yourself to fairly small data sets it'll be a UX challenge. Still don't know why Microsoft won't just concede that it needs a MacBook Air or the new MacBook type of device in their lineup to support their mainstream customer base. This floppy keyboard, kickstand, and pen arrangement is just plain silly.


    The key to a handheld/tablet UX is touch enablement from top to bottom. Having a fancy app launcher doesn't do you much good if you have to reach for a mouse/pen to do the real application workflow. I see it every day sitting in meetings and people with Surface devices having to use a mouse and squinting at the tiny screen to do anything useful. Just think about the clumsiness of using the soft keyboard and the pen while sitting with the device in front of you. It's just not a natural interaction. The pen is simply a crutch that concedes that they couldn't come up with a user friendly way to deal with touch for the vast majority of Windows applications. It's not a knock on Microsoft, it's simply the state of where Windows is as they try to morph their ecosystem into a "one app runs anywhere" model. To be fair, running Word on the iPad is not a whole lot better, but at least it is somewhat touch friendly and useful in a pinch.


    Maybe by 2020 they'll figure this thing out. 


    The Surface should have been named the Microsoft Compromise.

  • Reply 94 of 111
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,074member

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

    I may be in the minority here, but it's actually a pretty compelling device. I'd spring for the $599 model with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, but the Surface tablets are built pretty darn well, so hopefully this continues the trend.

    Still don't like the Windows key being on the side of the display though.

    It's also the newest high end quad core Cherry Trail x7 chip with Broadwell graphics, it's not the low end Atom of yesteryear.

    I would have been very impress if the Surface 3 had come out with the Core M chip.


    The Atom chips only have HD graphics vs Graphics 5300 in the Core M.


    I've met many people (IT professionals) who use and love the SP3.   I was even looking forward to the SP4, but the fact that they released this now with Windows 8.1 makes me think that it will be at least 6 months for SP4 with Win 10 to come out.   When you compare this to the MacBook that just came out it seems like Apple is skating to where the puck will be but MS is skating to where it was.    

    MS needs to get WIN 10 out or they could be in big trouble.

  • Reply 95 of 111
    After the disaster that was the iPad Air 2 and the declining interest in useless Android tablets I think a lot of people will consider giving this a try.

    While I wait for the non popping, non vibrating, non self resetting iPad Air 3 I'll be dipping my fingers in this new surface 3.

    Hell, I might even mod it to run OS X! %uD83D%uDE1B
  • Reply 96 of 111

    Originally Posted by architecton View Post

    After the disaster that was the iPad Air 2 ...



    huh ???

  • Reply 97 of 111

    huh ???

    Haven't you heard?
  • Reply 98 of 111

    Originally Posted by architecton View Post

    Haven't you heard?

    ...not of a "disaster", no.

  • Reply 99 of 111
    Obviously I was exaggerating...

    The iPad Air 2 has some very serious audio issues. I'm currently on my third unit and it pops like crazy. My hopes rest on an 8.3 fix but like so many others I'm hugely disappointed with Apple...

    Sent from my iPop Air 2
  • Reply 100 of 111
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member

    ^ The word "disaster" is being used a lot more liberally these days....

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