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How MS Torpedoed WinRT with Surface

Acer CEO JT Wang had some strong words for Microsoft this morning in regards to its plan to build an ARM-based tablet to compete not only with the iPad, but with its cherished hardware partners:

It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice.

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Gruber: MS Should Go Metro-Only for ARM

Several good points made; definitely worth the read. I completely agree with him on the topics of eliminating user confusion by disallowing people even the opportunity of failing to run legacy applications, but my bottom-line-point has been the same as Gruber’s from the get-go:

[If MS ships the legacy desktop on ARM] too many developers will think, Why rewrite and redesign my entire app when I can just recompile it for the classic Windows desktop on ARM?

Microsoft needs people to make great Metro apps to catch up with the battery life, stability and perceived speed of the iPad1, and they’re not going to get that if people can just punt and make legacy desktop applications instead.


  1. The “perceived speed” of the iPad is not without merit. My girlfriend has more than once commented that things on the iPad just “feel faster,” despite owning a 12 month old AMD quad-core system. 

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Microsoft’s Laughable 64-Bit Migration and Why it Matters

This isn’t so much a well thought out article as it is a dump or a rant. I’ll admit that. That said: it actually bothers me how badly Microsoft has dropped the ball on their 64-bit migration path. As to say: there is no 64-bit migration path, and they seem to be perfectly content with that.

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parislemon:

“Respect Explorer’s Heritage”

A followup to an otherwise hyperbolic repost I made the other day. Bottom line is this: Siegler is totally correct. Microsoft’s continued efforts with the Explorer interface represent baggage. Sometimes you absolutely need to admit that your first iteration wasn’t perfect and scrap the things that were bad1. Microsoft, however, seems content to ride the Explorer horse into the proverbial sunset, addressing the wrong problems in the wrong way under the banner of, as Siegler points out, “respecting Explorer’s Heritage.” 
Please, Microsoft, for all of us who have to use your products every day: drop what sucks. Keep what’s great. Move on. 
Another note: Apple will do this even when things aren’t “bad” per say, but just not great. Looking at you, Exposé.

parislemon:

“Respect Explorer’s Heritage”

A followup to an otherwise hyperbolic repost I made the other day. Bottom line is this: Siegler is totally correct. Microsoft’s continued efforts with the Explorer interface represent baggage. Sometimes you absolutely need to admit that your first iteration wasn’t perfect and scrap the things that were bad1. Microsoft, however, seems content to ride the Explorer horse into the proverbial sunset, addressing the wrong problems in the wrong way under the banner of, as Siegler points out, “respecting Explorer’s Heritage.” 

Please, Microsoft, for all of us who have to use your products every day: drop what sucks. Keep what’s great. Move on. 

  1. Another note: Apple will do this even when things aren’t “bad” per say, but just not great. Looking at you, Exposé.

parislemon:

Apple’s vision for the future of computing versus Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing.

Any questions?

Bug in NTFS Plays Hell With Subversion

Reported in February, MS released a hotfix in September to fix a bug in NTFS that caused the file system to misreport errors and occasionally corrupt the state of your SVN working copies. Working copies reportedly can be fixed by `svn cleanup`.

Microsoft Tackles a "Touchy Subject"

Since we’re talking about the Libretto et al., I figured we should dig up this little gem. A post from an MSDN blog about why Microsoft (and Windows 7) totally “gets” the touch initiative. The post itself isn’t much to talk about, it’s the comments that really roll me. The author starts by saying:

You manipulate the photos directly using gestures, and the strip along the bottom is a photo list, which you also manipulate through gestures. The closest thing to a standard Windows control is the “close” button near the upper-right hand corner of the screen …

which was fine, until an astute reader (and author of a great Ars article) pointed out that no, the taskbar was definitely still floating around. The response then shifted to:

The better fix — and the one that I hope gets incorporated into the Windows UI — is a task-switcher/application selector that works better with a touch interface

which I believe is generally referred to as “wishful thinking,” seeing as how production units of Windows 7 on tablets are shipping. Upon pointing out that a gross majority of the applications that will run in this operating system are also not optimized for touch, the response became:

what’s far more important, as far as I’m concerned, is the .NET framework, which is quite portable to the smallest of devices.

Oh, I see, so your touch interface sucks now but don’t worry, the .NET API will save your touch initiative? No, I’m sorry. I have love for Windows 7 (I do, it’s the best Windows yet), but it is not, and probably will never be, a proper touch screen user interface.

(Source: daringfireball.net)

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XBox Live Slated to Cost $60/Year

I know that Live has been a goldmine for Microsoft, and I’m aware that this revenue is what has allowed Microsoft’s online initiatives to blow past the competition, but as Engadget points out raising the price to $60/yr on the heels of Kinect and WinPhone7 is baffling. Perhaps they’re feeling emboldened by PSN+ as they still technically have the better service, but I’ve felt a little squeemish about the price of XBL for a while, and this certainly has done nothing to make me feel like I’m getting more for my dollars.

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Google Phases Out Windows on the Desktop

First the move into productivity software, then mobile phones, and now Chrome OS is being dogfooded to their employees as a replacement for Windows. If anyone has the chops to make a dent in Microsoft’s market share it’s Google, especially if it’s a viable desktop replacement, and not just an “accessory machine” OS. 

Windows Phone 7 Apps Must Be Microsoft Approved

All apps must be approved by Microsoft, and can only be distributed via the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but I didn’t know Microsoft was planning on applying the same restrictions that Apple is. I find it interesting that they’re also charging the same $100/yr subscription that Apple is. Can’t blame them after seeing how iPhoneOS did in comparison to WinMo, but still, this move is quite possibly too-little-too-late-too-similar for Microsoft.