Why Microsoft?s Tablet Strategy is Fundamentally Flawed

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    Posted: 14 September 2011 09:47 PM #31

    Sir Harry Flashman - 14 September 2011 09:28 PM

    Oh God! See this Windows 8 v iPad story at the Huffington Post, the comments are also a hoot.

    Terrible. Fun read and posted a bit. Then used the word hillbilly and no intelligence here and the post is going to be reviewed. Oops.  Well, TG4TMO.

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    Posted: 14 September 2011 09:48 PM #32

    Jason Snell of MacWorld weighs in on Windows 8, iOS, and the future.    Even though he’s looking through Apple colored glasses, he still want to give MS a chance.

    http://www.macworld.com/article/162317/2011/09/windows_8_ios_and_the_future.html#lsrc=twt_macworld

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    Tim Cook: iPad is 91% of all tablet web traffic. I don’t know what these other tablets are doing.

         
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    Posted: 14 September 2011 10:02 PM #33

    As much as I hate to say this, and it might be the hangover talking, but…

    To be fair to Microsoft - it does appear that they have beaten apple to the punch by enabling the first multi-touch enabled desktops. Apple of course actually has mulittouch gesture baked into Lion (for use with trackpads & apple mouse) but has no actual touchscreen hardware to use those gestures with.

    For sometime now, I have been hoping for a tiltable touchscreen iMac, with a iOS emulation layer available to be used when needed.

    Primary reason? iMovie. I love playing around with iMovie on the ipad 2. Video editing is a perfect type of MultiTouch App category, but unfortunately its rather useless from a screen size point of view for any semi-serious editing attempts. A multitocuh enabled final cut pro x would be even better.

    Would defintily be “Magical” on a 27” iMac.

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    Posted: 15 September 2011 12:39 AM #34

    Drew Bear. The drinking the Koolaid paragraph was hilarious! And mhiki, I’m a believer in the left-brain / right-brain stuff. I had 33 years of work experience with all of that.

    Apple understands that a huge portion of our computing needs are satisfied by the iPad. They also understood why the MacBook Air was destined to succeed. They are very adept at grasping the right technologies (both hardware and software), that they know are adequate, cost effective and will be available when they need them. Evolution of the iPad and MacBook Air into whatever they decide will succeed will be interesting. I’m guessing that they have already working prototypes in their advance technology department, while the other guys are scrambling to produce an iPad 1.5.

    As was stated above, leadership is so important, and every couple of months there’s some leader spouting off about what will be, instead of shutting up, producing something great, then spouting off because they’re proud of what they accomplished.

    I’d put my money on Apple. Who else has the vision and capability that they have to create what they do when it needs to be created? And who else creates these devices before we understand that we really need them?  In the past 10 years, the Apple island has become a continent.

    There’s a lot of talent outside of Apple. In my experience, I’ve met pools of brilliant people in lots of places, but so many of these pools dissipate even after producing some astounding devices, many of which never succeeded for a variety of business reasons.

    Windows 8 based devices succeed? Who knows?  Better than Apple’s next-gen products? I doubt it. A great engineer colleague of mine had one of my favorite sayings when things seemed to not be going the way the plan was rolled out. It seems to apply to a lot of Apple’s competitors these days:

    “We got one oar in the water, and the rudder’s broke”.

    [ Edited: 15 September 2011 12:42 AM by Paul Goodwin ]

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    Posted: 15 September 2011 02:09 AM #35

    Re: my post above-Apple’s advanced technology prototypes

    Would it surprise you if the prototypes were running on a postage stamp sized photovoltaic cell?

    And the looks on the MS exec’s faces will be the same dumbfounded expression as the people standing around gawking at that Intel kludge in the other article.

    [ Edited: 15 September 2011 02:23 AM by Paul Goodwin ]

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  • Posted: 15 September 2011 11:28 AM #36

    FalKirk - 15 September 2011 12:32 AM

    Microsoft MUST make both their tablet and their desktop Apps compatible and Microsoft CANNOT make both their tablet and their desktop Apps compatible. Microsoft has diagnosed the problem. But they’ve prescribed the wrong solution.

    I think MS will allow mobile apps to run on Windows 8 (perhaps as a Metro shell), but Metro will NOT run true Windows programs on mobile devices, except as abbreviated versions (much like the distinction of Pages on the Mac and iPad).

    MS can make the pitch to mobile developers that it’s coding for larger market share in enterprise.

    In the meantime, MS also has a chance with Enterprise to start re-coding legacy enterprise applications for touch, as supported by Windows 8.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 12:01 PM #37

    Falkirk, while I agree with your analysis, I feel it may be a straw-man. The question is, is Metro the Windows Media Center, or is it iOS?

    The Windows Media Center is a sandbox, tacked on top. It has a unique interface, but it’s ultimately just another program with windows running in the background. iOS is a unique operating system, but it’s sill based on the MacOS X Darwin kernel and shares a number of Apple APIs (OpenGL, OpenCL, Quicktime, Webkit, etc). Does that make the iOS a desktop system?

    Metro could be as unique from Windows as the Xbox: both share the Microsoft DirectX APIs, and may use the same NT Kernel: but you can spend your entire computing experience in Metro, and Apps would have to be specifically designed for it. Put it on a phone, and you never have to see the classic explorer screen, everything required for the experience is accessible through the metro touch interface; no backwards compatibility, but developer familiarity with the APIs, just like iOS and Apple.

    My point is that if the two can exist in their own little world, without needing to go from Classic Windows to Metro for any actions, the ability to integrate the two halves on a single device could allow a range of computing options through Microsoft’s OEM partners, rather than a single one-size fits all device.

    If, on the other hand, you NEED to deal with both on a regular basis to make things work, then you are absolutely right; Microsoft fails.

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    Posted: 15 September 2011 01:44 PM #38

    KitsuneStudios - 15 September 2011 03:01 PM

    Metro could be as unique from Windows as the Xbox: both share the Microsoft DirectX APIs, and may use the same NT Kernel: but you can spend your entire computing experience in Metro, and Apps would have to be specifically designed for it. Put it on a phone, and you never have to see the classic explorer screen…

    In layman’s terms, when you say “put it on a phone” do you mean that the entire Windows 8 code is installed on a phone even though only the Metro part will ever be used? Or are you saying what Gruber now speculates: only the Metro portion will be installed on ARM-based devices?

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 01:52 PM #39

    Mercel - 15 September 2011 02:28 PM
    FalKirk - 15 September 2011 12:32 AM

    Microsoft MUST make both their tablet and their desktop Apps compatible and Microsoft CANNOT make both their tablet and their desktop Apps compatible.

    I think MS will allow mobile apps to run on Windows 8 (perhaps as a Metro shell), but Metro will NOT run true Windows programs on mobile devices, except as abbreviated versions (much like the distinction of Pages on the Mac and iPad).

    MS can make the pitch to mobile developers that it’s coding for larger market share in enterprise.

    In the meantime, MS also has a chance with Enterprise to start re-coding legacy enterprise applications for touch, as supported by Windows 8.

    Scenario 1: All Windows programs can run in both Metro and under the traditional Windows interface. This would require a massive rewriting of every single program that ran on Windows and virtually destroy Windows software legacy advantage.

    Scenario 2: All Windows programs can run in the traditional Windows interface, but only programs designed specifically for Metro only can run in Metro. Metro and traditional Windows programs would be incompatible with one another.

    What’s the point? Now Microsoft essentially has three separate Operating Systems - Windows Phone 7, Metro and traditional Windows with two of those systems - Metro and Windows - co-residing on their tablets. Windows would lose compatibility between Metro and the Traditional Windows OS which is, I believe, the whole point of this exercise.

    What am I missing?

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 01:59 PM #40

    Here’s a hands-on video of Windows 8 running on an NVidia’s Kal-El ARM chip. I’m not sure how many of you remember Rosetta or fat binaries, but similar things could be done for Windows 8 to support legacy applications.

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 02:20 PM #41

    Microsoft has a nice little PR fiasco running here. There will be more than a few tech sites with egg on their face as this plays out.

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  • Posted: 15 September 2011 02:39 PM #42

    No flash on their tablet either!

    Sinofsky:

    For the web to move forward and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing, the Metro style browser in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web.

    You can read it on his web page here.

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    Posted: 15 September 2011 03:22 PM #43

    Drew Bear - 15 September 2011 04:44 PM

    In layman’s terms, when you say “put it on a phone” do you mean that the entire Windows 8 code is installed on a phone even though only the Metro part will ever be used? Or are you saying what Gruber now speculates: only the Metro portion will be installed on ARM-based devices?

    The latter: if designed right, the phones and basic tablets would get Metro on top of a stripped-down version of Windows 8 (Direct X, the NT kernel) that it needs to run, just as iOS does on the iPhone and iPad. You could not run classic windows programs in Metro, only the new Metro-based apps.

    A hybrid version that has both Metro and the classic explorer could then be offered for the high-end Intel tablets and touch-screen desktops.

    Again, it’s all a big “if” at this point, and Microsoft dosen’t have a great history of being able to pull this sort of elegance off.

    (Edit): Yeah, the lack of comparability between ARM to Intel just cost them a big part of my proposed lead opportunity. We’ll see if Metro Apps will need to be merely recompiled to go between chips, of if they need significant tweaks and rewrites.

    [ Edited: 15 September 2011 03:30 PM by KitsuneStudios ]

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  • Posted: 15 September 2011 05:24 PM #44

    FalKirk - 15 September 2011 04:52 PM
    Mercel - 15 September 2011 02:28 PM
    FalKirk - 15 September 2011 12:32 AM

    Microsoft MUST make both their tablet and their desktop Apps compatible and Microsoft CANNOT make both their tablet and their desktop Apps compatible.

    I think MS will allow mobile apps to run on Windows 8 (perhaps as a Metro shell), but Metro will NOT run true Windows programs on mobile devices, except as abbreviated versions (much like the distinction of Pages on the Mac and iPad).

    MS can make the pitch to mobile developers that it’s coding for larger market share in enterprise.

    In the meantime, MS also has a chance with Enterprise to start re-coding legacy enterprise applications for touch, as supported by Windows 8.

    Scenario 1: All Windows programs can run in both Metro and under the traditional Windows interface. This would require a massive rewriting of every single program that ran on Windows and virtually destroy Windows software legacy advantage.

    Scenario 2: All Windows programs can run in the traditional Windows interface, but only programs designed specifically for Metro only can run in Metro. Metro and traditional Windows programs would be incompatible with one another.

    What’s the point? Now Microsoft essentially has three separate Operating Systems - Windows Phone 7, Metro and traditional Windows with two of those systems - Metro and Windows - co-residing on their tablets. Windows would lose compatibility between Metro and the Traditional Windows OS which is, I believe, the whole point of this exercise.

    What am I missing?

    Scenario 3:  All WIndows programs (touch and non-touch enabled, or legacy) will run on Windows 8.  Metro will run on PCs as a “Boot Camp” type of option.  Mobile devices will only run Metro apps, no Windows apps, unless scaled-down versions of Office (much as Pages on the Mac vs. Pages on iPad).

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 05:44 PM #45

    Andy Ihnatko has lots of good things to say about Metro. I too think that Metro is fresh, original and well-thought out. However, I think Microsoft’s addiction to legacy support will drag Metro down. Here’s Ihnatko’s thoughts the ties between Metro and the traditional Windows interface.

    The bad news is that Microsoft has lacked the guts to cut the cord entirely. Every time the classic Windows 7 interface pops up, it looks like a drunken uncle at an otherwise elegant family wedding.