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Windows 8 developer preview
September 13, 2011 1:21 PM   Subscribe

According to PC Magazine, Microsoft will release a developer preview of Windows 8 at 6pm Pacific time.

Steven Sinofsky, President of the Microsoft windows division, has stated on his blog that a 64bit build with development tools and a 32bit build without developement tools will be available. He has also stated that ISOs will be linked from MSDN and that only clean installs are supported at this time. Microsofts windevs twitter has said running the developer preview via Windows Virtual PC is doable but not supported.
posted by Ad hominem (138 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wonderful. I just upgraded to Win7.
posted by schmod at 1:25 PM on September 13, 2011


same here... I think there are a lot of people who finally made the switch recently (or haven't yet).
posted by edgeways at 1:26 PM on September 13, 2011


I haven't seen any articles confirming this, but it seems like Microsoft will be taking 0% cut from Windows Store apps. Briefly mentioned here as well.
posted by kmz at 1:27 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess this guy's video will have to be updated.
posted by Melismata at 1:28 PM on September 13, 2011


Wait, other articles are saying the cut is TBD. So who knows.
posted by kmz at 1:28 PM on September 13, 2011


schmod: "Wonderful. I just upgraded to Win7."

Heck, most Windows users are still on XP or Vista.
posted by octothorpe at 1:30 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you've just switched to Windows 7 you're probably not a target for this release.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:32 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


WINDOWS HAS ACHIEVED PERFECT CUBE.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:32 PM on September 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Starting with the rock-solid Windows 2000 (or 98, depending on how you look at it) every other major release has blown: ME was an abortion, XP had a run of nearly a decade, Vista is an underdeveloped piece of crap, and I've been using 7 at home for the last year and having more-or-less the smoothest experience I have ever had with Windows.

So, Windows 8 seems to be set up to be terrible. Considering how hot it is on 7's heels and how much of a experience shift they seem to be aiming for, this feels like it's going to be the Final Frontier of the series.
posted by griphus at 1:33 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Looks spiffy. Time will tell.

The most interesting idea to me is that of "contracts", essentially parts of an action. One program can send this thing.... to another (or do this thing, or copy this thing, or whatever).

The problem with existing tablet (& phone) interfaces is that they can only do one thing, what ever the one program allows. Contrast with the great strength of the unix command pipeline: one small (well-designed, well-debugged) thing can give it's output to another small task which can add up to a pipline which neither could do on it's own. Instead of one program that can do one task, you have a bunch of utilities that can work together to do combinatorially more, P(programs, chain-length) number of tasks, tens, or even thousands of "workflows".

If Windows 8 can do this right, "contracts" could break the existing logjams in both Android and iOS, one icon, one task. A touch screen interface that will be combinatorally useful rather than limited to designed intent.
posted by bonehead at 1:35 PM on September 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ars reviewed the tablet version.

There is some confusion in the comments section about whether the tablet and PC versions are the same - as in, being able to chose between interfaces as appropriate for dual mode tablet/laptops/netbooks.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:35 PM on September 13, 2011


Microsoft will release a developer preview of Windows 8 at 6pm Pacific time.

Sure, but in which year and month?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:36 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


If i wanted to install this, how would i do it?
posted by empath at 1:39 PM on September 13, 2011


Thanks, I'll W8.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:39 PM on September 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


What I don't understand is why they're clinging to x86 CPUs in a tablet. This will be like that HP Slate abomination (did that ever actually get made?) unless they figure out a way to make x86 have the power consumption and cooling requirements of an ARM-based platform. Which they won't be able to.

The interface looks good enough, a lot like the Windows Phone 7 Series Mobile Phone Edition, but that hasn't exactly caught on.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:40 PM on September 13, 2011


griphus: "Considering how hot it is on 7's heels and how much of a experience shift they seem to be aiming for, this feels like it's going to be the Final Frontier of the series."

Nevermind the fact that Apple is making serious inroads in the corporate space. Five years ago, in a large meeting I'd see maybe one or two mac laptops with the vast majority being Thinkpads. Lately in a large meeting I'll see maybe one windows laptop, but everyone else has either a MBP, iPad, iPhone, or some combination. And anyone with a windows laptop will almost certainly have an iPhone. People in my office who don't own at least one piece of Apple hardware are like unicorns.
posted by mullingitover at 1:40 PM on September 13, 2011


> If i wanted to install this, how would i do it?

Presumably, you'll need a MSDN or perhaps Technet subscription. Then, just burn the .ISO file to a DVD and pop it in your late model computer. There will be no upgrade option so either get a dual boot going or wipe your existing OS.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:41 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


If i wanted to install this, how would i do it?

"Microsofts windevs twitter has said running the developer preview via Windows Virtual PC is doable"
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:41 PM on September 13, 2011


That too. I'll try to get this running as a VM in Fusion on OS X Lion. Otherwise, eh.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:43 PM on September 13, 2011


What I don't understand is why they're clinging to x86 CPUs in a tablet. This will be like that HP Slate abomination (did that ever actually get made?) unless they figure out a way to make x86 have the power consumption and cooling requirements of an ARM-based platform. Which they won't be able to.

Via TIMN:

Windows 8: pictures, video, and a hands-on preview of the developer build
Powered by a 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M processor and a 64GB solid state drive, the system is absolutely no slouch on performance — everything from scrolling in the browser to the Start screen is extremely speedy and the system boots incredibly quickly. However, fan noise is very noticeable, as is the heat coming out of the top vent, and a fast boot doesn’t excuse the slow wake-up times compared to ARM-based cellphones and tablets.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:44 PM on September 13, 2011


Before I buy, I'll wait for that money Bill Gates is going to send me for forwarding email.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:44 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll give it a shot in Virtual Pc or vmware when I get my hands on the ISOs. I have seen it implied, although I am not sure, that you won't need an MSDN sub to get the ISOs
posted by Ad hominem at 1:46 PM on September 13, 2011


fan noise is very noticeable,

I bet the aftermarket heatsink makers will be happy.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:47 PM on September 13, 2011


What I don't understand is why they're clinging to x86 CPUs in a tablet.

via:
It’s for these reasons we were pretty disappointed to see the tablet running on x86 architecture, with only a token gesture to ARM during our session, but VP of Windows Planning Mike Angiulo assured us that the progress on ARM is coming along quite nicely. He maintains they wanted developers to have top-notch hardware that was capable of running multiple instances, and thus went with the Core i5 hardware.

tl;dr: ARM isn't ready yet and these devices are for devs.
posted by juv3nal at 1:50 PM on September 13, 2011


Sure, but in which year and month?

Uh, the 13th day of the ninth month of the year 2011, common era.
posted by kmz at 1:53 PM on September 13, 2011


Vista was pretty awful -- when they ran out of time, they included only the things that made Microsoft's life better, instead of yours. They were excoriated for that Most companies wouldn't have survived a mistake that large, but, being a monopoly, Microsoft can make blunder after blunder and still survive. Fortunately, at least to some degree, they seem to have learned from the experience. Win7 is really pretty good. They got it mostly right.

It's very comfortable to use; I particularly like the 'sticky taskbar' idea. It's a bit like the Dock on a Mac, but IMO it's better. It's sort of a combination between the old taskbar and Quick Launch -- you can run a program, and then stick it permanently to your taskbar. It's a normal-sized entry when it's running, and it's a Quick Launch-style icon when it isn't.

The major difference is that, IIRC, it doesn't start with any programs by default -- you have to put everything there yourself. So it's not quickly discoverable in the same way the Dock is. For utter novices, I think the Dock is probably better. (It's certainly prettier). But I find the Win 7 taskbar much more usable on a constant, day-in and day-out basis.

I'm interested to see what they'll do with Windows 8. An awful lot of Microsoft projects end up completely shitty because of the internal turf wars there -- someone comes up with a brilliant idea, and then everyone else in the company tries very hard to make it not work. And they usually succeed. But it's a lot harder to try to sabotage the company's cash cow instead of some little project from a developer you don't like. Maybe some of the actual brilliance there will sneak past the horrible politics.
posted by Malor at 1:53 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


So it comes full circle: Windows 8 rolls over to Windows 1. Yay.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 1:55 PM on September 13, 2011


Keep in mind, folks, Blazecock is an extremely partisan Apple supporter. Keep that in mind when engaging him.

Windows has run on non-X86 processors before, so I expect the ARM port will run just fine. But they need to some up with something like the fat binaries on the Mac, ones that support both x86 and ARM.

Ideally, they'd update their compilers to emit code for both architectures at once, but Microsoft being Microsoft, the chance of getting the entire company rowing in the same direction at the same time very closely approaches zero.
posted by Malor at 1:57 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ouch, that post was a mess, sorry.
posted by Malor at 1:58 PM on September 13, 2011


I work at a major broadcast station in a top ten market. Our PCs run XP, with the occasional Win98 machine thrown in for good measure. It'll be fun to preview the OS we'll by using by 2021.
posted by dhdrum at 1:59 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah? I'm in my office typing this on a mechanical cash register hooked up to a tele$ SALE $graph line.
posted by griphus at 2:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


In addition to screen shots in some of the above-mentioned articles here are some more.
posted by ericb at 2:04 PM on September 13, 2011


I have one of the developer tablets sitting next to me. It'd be a bad idea to form an opinion of Windows 8 from this thing - it's clearly prototype hardware (though not bad, kind of clunky), there's functionality not yet implemented (the release is probably a year or so off), and most importantly there has been no feedback yet. We've seen it around but we haven't played with it, not for more than a few seconds anyway, until now. This is especially relevant as the jumbo-sized Metro interface is brand new, totally different from everything except the still-fresh Windows Phone 7, and although they do lots of in-house testing, they haven't heard from the thousands of developers and users in the wild who think differently from internal Microsoft folks.

This really is a "developer preview," it's not close to a release candidate. But the good parts are good; the bad parts are mainly bad for lack of implementation. There are some things I like, some things that I know I'll dislike come the final version - design decisions I just disagree with.

Anyway it's interesting and could in fact be practical for a lot of people, too. The tablet has a mobile Core i5 and four gigs of RAM, and instantly turns into a fully-featured Windows-style PC with the touch of a button. That's still very valuable.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:06 PM on September 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


I am interested to see if I can specifically target ARM in visual studio. I am no expert in the compilation process, but as it stands ,when I write code for the CLR , I target ANY(as opposed to x86,x64 or Itanium) and the IL code the compiler emits will get JITed on the target machine. I have to reason to believe this won't work the same way for ARM. Of course that is for managed langs only and does not apply to unmanaged C++.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:06 PM on September 13, 2011


These religion threads never go well. Same people, same axes, same shit.
posted by absalom at 2:06 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Microsoft should start its own Linux distro. They really should have done this about 10 years ago instead of Vista. They could follow the same plan as Andriod. Most of what they do is market the brand anyway.
posted by humanfont at 2:06 PM on September 13, 2011


I'm sorry, but at this point, ARMs should be the focus, not an afterthought. I'm not some ARM-enthusiast, just being rational. They choose to first show off this new fancy flagship OS on a computer that runs hot and has loud cooling fans. This is supposed to be a portable tablet.

They're giving this x86 version to developers, to develop x86 programs upon. This does not exactly inspire confidence.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:08 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


ARM isn't ready yet and these devices are for devs.

It seems fair to say that ARM has been ready for years — for iOS and Android, at least. Microsoft is already somewhat behind in the mobile and tablet space. Perhaps its managers need to consider making design compromises, if they want to ship a product in a reasonable timeframe (say, within the next year or two).

This OS looks interesting, but if the user experience is poor then it won't be very compelling for purchasers who are already starting to migrate to ARM devices for day-to-day computing. And that affects Microsoft in more ways than just the OS — they are giving away free time to competitors to offer alternatives to Office and other profitable parts of the Microsoft ecosystem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:13 PM on September 13, 2011


They're giving this x86 version to developers, to develop x86 programs upon

Shouldn't be an issue, cross compilation Is a not a big deal, I'm sure most Android and iOS devs work on x86.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:14 PM on September 13, 2011


Yes, but when can we preview Windows 8 Business Edition Plus?
posted by munchingzombie at 2:14 PM on September 13, 2011


I'm sure most Android and iOS devs work on x86.

Is it even possible to develop for iOS on a non-x86 machine?
posted by kmz at 2:17 PM on September 13, 2011


Shouldn't be an issue, cross compilation Is a not a big deal, I'm sure most Android and iOS devs work on x86.

x86 being the target, not their workstation.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:18 PM on September 13, 2011


ARM isn't ready yet and these devices are for devs.

It seems fair to say that ARM has been ready for years — for iOS and Android, at least.


Yeah, I meant ARM support in Win 8 isn't ready yet, but I thought that would have been clear from context.
posted by juv3nal at 2:29 PM on September 13, 2011


I don't know much about iOS so I don't now if the toolchain runs on ARM, I am kinda making an assumption that most or all development happens on a x86 host. In Microsoft world, for c# developers, the IL should get JITted to ARM the same way it happens with x64 and Itanium. I deploy code compiled to IL on my x86 all day to 64bit servers and it works fine.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:29 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Microsoft will release a developer preview of Windows 8 at 6pm Pacific time.

Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Windows 8 begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.
posted by GuyZero at 2:30 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I meant ARM support in Win 8 isn't ready yet

I understood you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:32 PM on September 13, 2011


I understood you.

Then you were purposefully being disingenuous in your reply?

It seems fair to say that ARM has been ready for years — for iOS and Android, at least.
posted by kmz at 2:33 PM on September 13, 2011


Then you were purposefully being disingenuous in your reply?

No, not at all. I was just suggesting — by way of comparison with other offerings that are available today — that Microsoft is not helping their future prospects when they are not putting energy into getting this right from the start.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:37 PM on September 13, 2011


We are going down a rabbit hole, but I'm pretty sure iOS didn't start life on an iPad. If they want developers to develop for it, they need something running on a typical developer machine. This isn't a 1.0 or even a beta, but a release for developers.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:42 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


People in my office who don't own at least one piece of Apple hardware are like unicorns.

But outside of your office, it's still a Windows world. They've got 90% of the desktop market in the US and more than that world wide.
posted by octothorpe at 2:46 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


This isn't a 1.0 or even a beta, but a release for developers.

Bullshit, if that were the case, there'd be an NDA and no rumors of the ISO to be freely available even outside of MSDN.

By tomorrow, there will be screenshots of this shit in everything from the LA Times to the WSJ. This is how the entire world has first learned of Windows 8. This is their big press announcement.

but I'm pretty sure iOS didn't start life on an iPad.

You can write things on a workstation, which are then compiled to run on another architecture. In the case of an iPad, the iPad itself is, and always was, running an ARM processor. Same goes for all Android tablets. At no point did anybody think that these tablets would ever be sporting an x86 CPU.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:52 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is how the entire world has first learned of Windows 8. This is their big press announcement.

So on one hand we have a developer with a copy of it sitting next to him saying, 'This really is a "developer preview," it's not close to a release candidate.' On the other hand we have you saying this is how M$ now announces products. Do you develop for Windows platforms? All I've got is a lowly MSDN license-- even with that, IE9 was available to me for more than a year before it launched. Maybe two. Microsoft has changed its practices significantly in the last few years in terms of how they interact with developers. The whole ecosystem is a better place when the major players are developer-friendly.

Now back to "Fist Fight of the Clueless" starring your regularly-featured players.
posted by yerfatma at 3:00 PM on September 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


They've got 90% of the desktop market in the US and more than that world wide.

The desktop market is shrinking and has been for years. It's dinosaur technology.
posted by empath at 3:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


At no point did anybody think that these tablets would ever be sporting an x86 CPU.

Except for the Atom-powered Android phone Andy Rubin held up today at the Intel conference.
posted by GuyZero at 3:03 PM on September 13, 2011


In the case of an iPad, the iPad itself is, and always was, running an ARM processor. Same goes for all Android tablets. At no point did anybody think that these tablets would ever be sporting an x86 CPU

I don't dispute that. But.. what I am saying is I suspect that inside Apple the development of iOS is done on commodity hardware, and cross compiled to ARM. I could be wrong, they could have ARM dev boxes. I am sure of one thing, they don't develop on an iPad.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:04 PM on September 13, 2011


The desktop market is shrinking and has been for years. It's dinosaur technology.

I think it was Wayne Gretsky who said: "Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." Sage advice.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:04 PM on September 13, 2011


I don't think Wayne Gretzky every played a hockey game where there were several billion pucks on the ice though.
posted by GuyZero at 3:06 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you guys are arguing that the perception is going to be that this is x86 first and somehow shoehorned onto ARM, I can't argue with that. They really should have a super spiffy peice of hardware to hold up.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:13 PM on September 13, 2011


So on one hand we have a developer with a copy of it sitting next to him saying, 'This really is a "developer preview," it's not close to a release candidate.' On the other hand we have you saying this is how M$ now announces products.

I didn't say this is how Microsoft announces products. This is how Microsoft previewed Windows 8 to the world.

Do you develop for Windows platforms? All I've got is a lowly MSDN license-- even with that, IE9 was available to me for more than a year before it launched.

I do. I have an Enterprise MSDN account, and I've got my Microsoft rep's cellphone number in my contact list. (But to be fair, I call Checkpoint far more often than them.)

I don't dispute that. But.. what I am saying is I suspect that inside Apple the development of iOS is done on commodity hardware, and cross compiled to ARM. I could be wrong, they could have ARM dev boxes. I am sure of one thing, they don't develop on an iPad.

I really don't think you understand. There was never an iPad, or Android, or HP Touchpad "developer preview" box that had an x86 proc in it.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 3:15 PM on September 13, 2011


If you guys are arguing that the perception is going to be that this is x86 first and somehow shoehorned onto ARM

That is exactly what I am saying this seems like.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 3:16 PM on September 13, 2011


Why isn't this post titled "W8 for IT"?
posted by chavenet at 3:18 PM on September 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


At no point did anybody think that these tablets would ever be sporting an x86 CPU.

The world is metaphorically littered with the ruins of companies that bet against Intel's process muscle.

I can't remember a time when x86 hasn't kinda sucked compared to other options, and it always wins anyway. Over time, Intel can make a solution cheaper/smaller/faster than anyone else. Perhaps ARM will fight off x86; ATI and NVidia have managed to keep Intel at bay, at least so far. But I wouldn't bet much money on it.
posted by Malor at 3:20 PM on September 13, 2011


That is exactly what I am saying this seems like.

We agree on that. They need to do better on the "ta-da" here is a fully formed peice of art thing that apple does.

This is also a desktop OS meant to run on x86, which could really be a selling point as tablets and phones get more powerful if they manage not to fuck it up. They should have a kickass ARM tablet and a x86 release at the same time. Haven't we always heard that Apple's ultimate goal was to have iOS run on it's entire line of products?

I really don't think you understand. There was never an iPad, or Android, or HP Touchpad "developer preview" box that had an x86 proc in it.

No, but there are simulators running on x86 for use while developing software. How else are you going to develop software, you can't code on a phone. I would bet that these simulators existed before the physical devices. I seem to remember an Android simulator was available before there was a physical device.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:30 PM on September 13, 2011


Hell, x86 beat better competition that Intel itself put forward - the 80860 and Itanium both died pretty quickly.
posted by GuyZero at 3:31 PM on September 13, 2011


"Hello, Windows 8? This is iPad. You win."

Somebody's drunk dialing, but I don't think it's iPad.
posted by mazola at 3:43 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally I think the whole tiles thing looks like shit. I'm quite happy with Win 7 64 bit. Wake me when 9 rolls around.
posted by Splunge at 4:03 PM on September 13, 2011


Gruber's analysis of Thurrott's tweet is compelling:
But the OS reportedly isn’t coming out for at least a year. The demo tablet hardware from Samsung they’re showing it on (and giving to Build attendees) is a Core i5 Intel-based PC replete with a fan. Spec-wise these units are like MacBook Airs, not iPads. Presumably actual shipping iPad-competing Windows 8 tablets will use low-power mobile CPUs — be they ARM, Atom, whatever, just so long as they get iPad-caliber long battery life and low temperatures.

How will Windows 8 run on such hardware? When will they actually ship? How many as-yet-unannounced iPad 3s will Apple have sold by the time the first Windows 8 tablet hits stores? (Not to mention the many tens of millions of iPad 2s Apple will sell in just the next quarter alone.)

...

Thurrott saw this demo and thinks, “This is so much better than the iPad, game over.” (And it’s not like Thurrott is alone.) If I were on the Microsoft/Windows beat, I’d look at this and think, “My god, the iPad has been out for 18 months, the second generation is so popular that Apple has only recently been able to keep them in stock, and Microsoft is still an entire year away from releasing its first competing product. Who cares if it runs fast on high-power high-performance PC hardware, why can’t we see it on low-power mobile hardware?”

It’s one thing to look at today’s Windows-8-on-a-tablet and say that it has a lot of potential. It’s another thing altogether to look at it and declare victory.

Show me something real, I say. Look at Amazon. Everyone knows they’re building a tablet. What have they said, though? Nothing. What have they shown? Nothing. When will they say something? When it’s done. What will they show? Something real.
If the world is moving away from desktop machines, I wonder if demo'ing on high-powered, "desktop"-class i5 units will set user expectations too high, once a low-powered version is eventually released...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:23 PM on September 13, 2011


> Why isn't this post titled "W8 for IT"?

I think what's being lost on a lot of people -- including blogs I respect like Daring Fireball -- is that Microsoft can't announce and ship when they're ready and not a moment earlier, like Apple can.

Transition cycles among most of corporate enterprise is glacial. Witness the people commenting here that they're still on Windows XP machines. Somebody will eventually chime in saying that their office computer is still an NT or Win 98 system - this usually happens in the Windows threads.

Think how much slower that cycle would be if their IT departments didn't have a year or more of opportunity to review proposed upgrades, and see what their peers and the trades say.

So Microsoft has to push previews out early. Corporate IT departments are not going to consider any platform until they've had the opportunity to rake it over the coals. If Microsoft doesn't give them early samples, it'll lose months of potential sales to tens of thousands of seat licenses. If major third parties don't have early access to the platform, they can't update their own software to be ready for the next release, which will make IT departments hold off on upgrading the OS, which means Microsoft suffers even more delayed or lost sales.

In the course of that hang time between today's demo and 2012's release (assuming things happen on schedule, ahem), Microsoft has to hedge its bets on what hardware to recommend; ARM's promised revision cycle might not materialize, Intel might finally ship an ultra-efficient compact CPU, or some other hardware problem will crop up in the meanwhile.

I'm as much a card-carrying Apple fanboy as anybody here - and I'm glaring at you as I say that, Blazecock.

I'm also not a fan of the bashing. Microsoft and Apple have different approaches to new releases, in part because they have different problems to address. Apple's done a canny job of controlling its product cycles, along with everything else they do, but the bargain they've agreed to is, effectively, long-standing alienation from a significant portion of the corporate IT market that is Microsoft's bread and butter. Microsoft, on the other hand, hosts events like this in large part to palliate the community that constitutes that market.
posted by ardgedee at 4:27 PM on September 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


You ever consider not participating in Microsoft threads, BP?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:28 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, Gruber has some good points but to compare the debut of the iPad to the release of Windows 8 is ridiculous. Microsoft is just one company in the Windows ecosystem. They need to give the Adobes, Intuits and IT departments of the world a long lead time to get ready for the next windows release. As great as the iPad may be as a platform, there were how many apps available at release? Zero?

It is, honestly, amazing that they can even make new releases at all considering all the bullshit backwards compatibility work they have to go through. Not to mention they have to give OEMs and peripheral makes time to do testing and driver development work.

I say this without irony - launching Windows 8 is like launch a mission to the moon. It's at the limit of human technological and organizational ability. Sadly, the only thing we get for this amazing achievement is another version of Windows which is pretty much the same as the last version.
posted by GuyZero at 4:29 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the world is moving away from desktop machines, I wonder if demo'ing on high-powered, "desktop"-class i5 units will set user expectations too high, once a low-powered version is eventually released...

You express such deep concern and understanding of an operating system you won't run on hardware you won't buy to run applications you don't use to do computing you won't do to solve problems you don't have in environments you don't have experience with.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:42 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


It is, honestly, amazing that they can even make new releases at all considering all the bullshit backwards compatibility work they have to go through.

On the other hand, other platforms have broken with the past, when it was the right thing to do.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:56 PM on September 13, 2011


Well, partisan as he may be, BP has a point - an i5 is a hell of a CPU to stick in a tablet. Second-gen Core i5 CPUs are rated at either 17W or 35W maximum power draw. versus 8.5 W for the Atom N550. I can't find a specific number for ARM-based chips but I'll guess it's in the same ballpark as Atom, maxing out at 5-10W, idling at next to nothing. But the i% has a hell of a lot more horsepower under the hood when required.

On the other hand, other platforms have broken with the past, when it was the right thing to do.

I think there's some sort of analogy here with Steve Jobs and the saying about how only Nixon could go to China, but I'm not quite pulling it together.

If Microsoft actually wants to sell Windows to everyone, it needs to be backwards-compatible. Full stop. Having said that, they could relegate all backwards compatibility to a virtualized Win 7 instance but at some point you're only creating more problems with ever-increasing layers upon layers.

What you're talking about is MSFT somehow escaping the innovator's dilemma. I don't hold out a lot of hope for them to do so - they call it a dilemma for a reason. Both alternatives stink.
posted by GuyZero at 5:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


And it STILL won't show or sort by folder size.
posted by Xoebe at 5:04 PM on September 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I say this without irony - launching Windows 8 is like launch a mission to the moon. It's at the limit of human technological and organizational ability.

And yet dozens of Linux distros send out massive upgrades every few months, all worked on by decentralized people who do it for free.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:13 PM on September 13, 2011


Linux distros don't change much honestly. Most of it amounts to app-level changes. Also, try compiling the wrong version of an app for your distro and enjoy your world of hurt.
posted by GuyZero at 5:18 PM on September 13, 2011


And binary compatibility for apps between distro releases or different distros is pretty much non-existent. A source-based distribution model for apps as opposed to a binary model solves a number of problems, mostly by requiring fairly technically savvy users.
posted by GuyZero at 5:21 PM on September 13, 2011


I can't remember a time when x86 hasn't kinda sucked compared to other options

Core2Duo?
posted by adamdschneider at 5:26 PM on September 13, 2011


Linux distros don't change much honestly. Most of it amounts to app-level changes. Also, try compiling the wrong version of an app for your distro and enjoy your world of hurt.

A coworker of mine swears by static libraries. His philosophy is that dynamic libraries on Linux and OS X make apps really fragile, not too different from the "DLL hell" that Windows users used to suffer.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:34 PM on September 13, 2011


Somebody will eventually chime in saying that their office computer is still an NT or Win 98 system - this usually happens in the Windows threads.

Not an office machine, but the winner may be this episode of How It's Made about player-piano rolls where they pan past a, no shit, Apple II that's controlling everything. With two 5 1/4" floppy drives. Here's someone pointing a camera at their tv; Apple appears at about 1:50.

I remember thinking just how completely, utterly fucked they are going to be when that beast finally kicks the bucket.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:36 PM on September 13, 2011


Microsoft is still trying to play by their old rule book, announce something a year ahead of time and freeeze the corporate market while everyone waits for Microsoft. The problem is that iPad is infinitely far ahead.

Apple has changed the game. By the time the OEM's trickle all the varieties of Windows tablets to market Apple wil be out with iPad 4 and have scale, pricing and margins that Microsoft and its many headed hydas can't match. The price point on iPad is such that there isn't a CEO, CIO or upppe middle class person who doesn't have one. This isn't lie the $2400 laptop where you wait around for IT to buy one or upgrade. This is like Blackberry and iPhone where one day all the cool guys in the office have one.

Look at the tasks most professionals complete on the PC, most of those Caen be done just as well on a tablet. Filling out forms for an ERP app, sending short emails, giving presentations, getting information from a website.

Virtually no moving parts, continuous upgrades without a huge IT headache, on IOs almost no virus or malware issues, and a unit cost that is $500 or less. Plus I can force everyone to the cloud for storage and backups.

Also no CALs or other confusing MS pricing junk.
posted by humanfont at 5:38 PM on September 13, 2011


Linux distros don't change much honestly.

It sure doesn't.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:44 PM on September 13, 2011


Transition cycles among most of corporate enterprise is glacial

Very true, I sent this to an architect I work with, he didn't even know Windows 8 was in the pipeline. I will get it running, and they might have me put together a presentation on areas it will help us, and what devs should start looking at but I don't expect to see Windows 8 making it's way on any of my users desktop for years.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:44 PM on September 13, 2011


Architecturally, those two screenshots are pretty much the exact same system. Also, try copying binaries from the older system to the newer system and see how far you get.
posted by GuyZero at 5:46 PM on September 13, 2011


I just refreshed the MSDN page, and lo, there be ISOs. I'll let y'all know how it runs on my Asus Eee 900 with the Celery 900MHz proc.
posted by Edogy at 5:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I guess Windows operates on a kind of Star Trek-esque odds and evens deal.

I am completely in love with Windows 7. Maybe it's all about context - Vista was such a hot mess - but, I mean, really, it's great. Great to the point that I sold my MacBook Pro and bought a more reasonably priced PC laptop - man, OS X doesn't have anything on this.

Which probably means that Windows 8 will be horrible and I will hate it forever.

So great.
posted by kbanas at 5:50 PM on September 13, 2011


This is like Blackberry and iPhone where one day all the cool guys in the office have one.

It is kinda already like that, but unless an ipad will run our vb6 apps they are useless for work. So we all just carry them around to look cool.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:53 PM on September 13, 2011


Architecturally, those two screenshots are pretty much the exact same system.
By that measure, OS/2 (Warp!) and Windows 9 will be pretty much the exact same system.

Also, try copying binaries from the older system to the newer system and see how far you get.
Do you mean they won't run because the systems are different?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:04 PM on September 13, 2011


And yet dozens of Linux distros send out massive upgrades every few months, all worked on by decentralized people who do it for free.

Almost all major distros are backed by commercial for-profit entities. Debian is really the only exception, and major Debian releases are pretty damn rare.

It sure doesn't.

You can almost certainly skin the latest KDE to look exactly like the first screenshot. But anyway I'd guess the first screenshot is from KDE2ish. So the timeframe there is around 10 years.

Anyway, this is all besides the point. Linux distros go through betas and RCs too. Canonical isn't going to all of a sudden release Ubuntu 12.
posted by kmz at 6:11 PM on September 13, 2011


Oh, they're up to eight now? That proves Mac is better; they're up to version ten.

disclaimer: I just typed that in the hope that some Microsoft marketing peon will see it and have a hissy fit
posted by davejay at 6:11 PM on September 13, 2011


On the other hand, other platforms have broken with the past, when it was the right thing to do.

Aw, that's cute. Which are the other ones with > 80% market share again?
posted by yerfatma at 6:13 PM on September 13, 2011


2 days left on my download!? Can some of y'all cut yours off so I can get mine quicker?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:18 PM on September 13, 2011


It is kinda already like that, but unless an ipad will run our vb6 apps they are useless for work

Vb6 apps are useless. There are better alternatives in the cloud. If there isn't, start a company and do that.
posted by humanfont at 6:21 PM on September 13, 2011


I don't really understand why backwards compatibility is such a huge issue anyways. If companies wait ten years to upgrade their OS in the first place, why not put out a new OS without being burdened by as much legacy stuff and then companies still have ten years to update software to be compatible? It doesn't seem like it really changes the upgrade cycle.
posted by snofoam at 6:24 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aw, that's cute. Which are the other ones with > 80% market share again?

If you broke market share down by version of Windows, how many organizations and businesses stayed with Windows 2000 or XP? In a sense, the reluctance to upgrade — as well as the years it took to get Vista shipped — provided an opportunity for Microsoft to build a better OS from the ground up.

Some customers would leave, maybe, but I suspect most would stay out of familiarity and generally lower risk. (No one got fired for using MSFT products — isn't that the adage?)

One benefit to Microsoft is the ability to focus their developers' time on adding new features, instead of focusing them on maintaining compatibility with software that is up to three decades old.

What could all the genuinely smart people at Microsoft accomplish if the company wasn't so stuck in the past? I'd like to see that flavor of Microsoft, instead.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:30 PM on September 13, 2011


I am talking about things like vb6 frontend to VMS apps, so as you can see we have bigger fish to fry than ditching vb6 apps.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:30 PM on September 13, 2011


Because the companies paid a bunch of software engineers $50-100k a year to develop a pile of in-house software that they don't want to see obviated by a new windows release?
posted by kaibutsu at 6:30 PM on September 13, 2011


Yeah, BP; Microsoft and Apple are playing entirely different games for entirely different audiences. It's like you're telling a bunch of baseball players that they aren't playing cricket right. (And I say this as a long-time linux user with no real dog in this fight.)
posted by kaibutsu at 6:33 PM on September 13, 2011


ARM isn't ready yet and these devices are for devs.

As far as I can tell, none of the development tools (ie Visual Studio) are being ported to run on ARM. So if you're going to give out useful hardware to developers, an ARM device is probably a bad choice. Furthermore, what I heard announced today was that the only way to get software for Windows-on-ARM would be through an "app store" that doesn't yet exist. So even if Windows-on-ARM were as mature and stable as Windows-on-x86, it would be a bit of a booby prize to give to developers.

Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft, but most of my Win8 knowledge comes from public sources.
posted by Slothrup at 6:37 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because the companies paid a bunch of software engineers $50-100k a year to develop a pile of in-house software that they don't want to see obviated by a new windows release?

But XP is ten years old and people are still using it. In ten years is there really going to be business software that requires the user to be on a specific platform? (Probably yes, I guess, but it seems silly to me.)
posted by snofoam at 6:37 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]



In any reasonably sized business (and a few small ones) there are those mission critical vertical market applications that form the entirety of the business logic. Getting maintenance on those - and they can be numerous and notoriously fickle - is a nightmare in and of itself.

Many business would sooner not upgrade than lose access to those apps. If MS wants to make that sale, backwards compatibility is a must.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:38 PM on September 13, 2011


(And actually, now that I think of it, I've been annoyed at Apple's lack of backwards compatibility twice in the last year. One occurred while trying to help a friend get an old G4 laptop into reasonable operating condition, only to find that all ppc support had been jettisoned. The other occurred just a few days ago when I was given access to a pretty heavy machine for some work I need to do, only to find that I really needed to pay $60 for a pair of OS upgrades in order to do said work.)
posted by kaibutsu at 6:42 PM on September 13, 2011


As far as I can tell, none of the development tools (ie Visual Studio) are being ported to run on ARM. So if you're going to give out useful hardware to developers, an ARM device is probably a bad choice.

Why would somebody write code on the target test machine?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:14 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most people writing code for iphones are writing it on osx boxes with intel processors.
posted by empath at 7:26 PM on September 13, 2011


Why would somebody write code on the target test machine

Nobody writes code on a router, ps3 or ipad.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:27 PM on September 13, 2011


Why would somebody write code on the target test machine?

Well, it's the most convenient way to distribute a preview of the next version of Visual Studio. You want people to have access to both the preview of Windows 8 and the preview of the tools required to build applications for it. With this setup, you can compile for Intel, test on Intel, and also cross-compile for ARM -- without testing, of course.

If the tablet were ARM, you'd need a separate VM with Dev11 to load onto an Intel machine. Distributing the tooling preview as an installable program has pretty high support costs, and probably isn't even considered an option these days.

(This is all speculation on my part, but I have reasonably good insight into Microsoft thought processes when it comes to things like this.)
posted by Slothrup at 7:27 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


a separate VM

You would need an emulator, not a virtual machine.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2011


But anyway, does anybody know how things will work when we have both ARM and x86s running around all running "Windows 8?" Will applications all be "universal?"
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:32 PM on September 13, 2011


You would need an emulator, not a virtual machine.

I don't think I understand you. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to run Visual Studio on top of an ARM CPU emulating an Intel CPU. So again, you really want to distribute the tooling on Intel hardware. Emulating ARM on Intel for the purpose of testing your code is more reasonable -- and for all I know, there might be an emulator that ships with the tooling. But this doesn't do anything for the original complaint, which was that the tablet isn't ARM hardware.
posted by Slothrup at 7:35 PM on September 13, 2011


But anyway, does anybody know how things will work when we have both ARM and x86s running around all running "Windows 8?" Will applications all be "universal?"

I suspect that there will be a distinction between ARM and x86 code similar to how there is one between x64 and x86 now, and the user will have to know which binary they need. Since MS did announce an Appstore, I suspect that will be the primary channel for ARM app deployment. I would also expect support of app distribution via WSUS and private Appstores (i.e. Amazon Windows ARM Appstore).
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:46 PM on September 13, 2011


Hrm. I may have spoken too soon. From here :
Microsoft demonstrated Windows 8 running on an ARM reference device built by Qualcomm, while boasting that any applications built for Intel-powered Windows 8 PCs will work on ARM-powered ones as well.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:54 PM on September 13, 2011


So in good conscience I should recant a bit on the linux distro comments - first, per kmz, it's not linux releases just hit whenever the maintainers feel like it. They have to go through a qualifying cycle. second, it is actually pretty impressive how much gets by what is essentially a large, barely coordinated distributed team but my comments on windows were more about effort - not reward. The linux "guys" (such as they are) have figured out how to get the 80% of Windows that people actually want (plus a bunch of stuff that isn't in Windows in the first place) for less than 80% of the cost. That's a good trade-off for them. But MSFT simply can't follow the same model, or at least their historical precedent has locked them into a different model.

If we look at the device support issue alone, there are three approaches.

The linux approach is no guarantees but a best-effort distributed dev team that more-or-less gets everything, eventually. Plus it's all source code so ultimately the maintainers can simply tell end users to fix it themselves.

Windows makes pretty firm commitments to supporting nearly everything and manages to do things right a lot of the time (power management, networks drivers, etc) although it falls down when OEMs are rushed and/or lazy plus there's the inevitable issue of unpredictable conflicts (although it's much better than the days of yore)

Mac OS manages the issue by only targeting a tiny narrow selection of hardware.

Of the three, Microsoft's approach is the most expensive, time consuming and requires a massive coordination effort to get right. And like I said, you expend resources like a moon shot and all you get is another copy of windows.
posted by GuyZero at 8:38 PM on September 13, 2011


VB6 to VMS. Good grief. Do you have a lot of eye trauma in your workplace as people stab out their eyes.
posted by humanfont at 8:46 PM on September 13, 2011


Please tell me you're going to virtualize both Windows XP boxes and VMS boxes so your crazy twine and bailing wire app configuration can live on forever.
posted by GuyZero at 8:56 PM on September 13, 2011


In any reasonably sized business (and a few small ones) there are those mission critical vertical market applications that form the entirety of the business logic.

Yeah, and this is a place where Apple really benefits by not being popular in the corporate world. Software from 5 years ago can't run on Lion, and no one cares.
posted by smackfu at 9:03 PM on September 13, 2011


Developer Edition = Masochist's Edition

If you don't hate M$ now you most certainly will after trying to develop for a (still) rapidly changing target.
posted by spock at 9:23 PM on September 13, 2011


Sad face. I haven't futzed with it much but it looks like I'll have to go find a Windows box to play with. Or not. Whatever.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:26 PM on September 13, 2011


This is certainly ambitious and I'd say that Microsoft is not targeting Apple as much as Android. The idea that a set of win8 APIs might be universal across as much hardware as possible is the borg doing what the borg does best.
posted by vicx at 9:36 PM on September 13, 2011


Yeah, and this is a place where Apple really benefits by not being popular in the corporate world. Software from 5 years ago can't run on Lion, and no one cares.

That's not particularly a benefit. If you can replace the OS easily, you can replace it with Windows or Linux as easily as Mac OS. And if you can't depend on the APIs longterm, why would you spend a bunch of money developing on the Mac to begin with?

It seems to me that all they're doing is ensuring they're not popular in the corporate world.
posted by Malor at 9:40 PM on September 13, 2011


As far as I can tell, none of the development tools (ie Visual Studio) are being ported to run on ARM.

See? Assuming that this is accurate, and I realize you don't know any more than the rest of us do, this is what I mean about Microsoft never rowing all in the same direction at the same time. Any initiative by that company will be sabotaged by the other divisions. I don't know why this happens, but it is as inevitable as the sunset. ANYTHING that looks good coming out of Microsoft will be crippled because some parts of that company just refuse to go along.

When Apple ported to X86, EVERYTHING ran. Tools, apps, utilities, everything. For the things they couldn't port, they provided Rosetta. It did, admittedly, take some time for their iPhone dev tools to ship, but that WAS a new OS, so I'm willing to cut them a little slack. And when they did, it was just an extension of the tools they were already providing.

THAT is how to handle a transition. This bullshit of "Well, you can have Windows 8 on ARM, but no dev tools, sorry" is just sooooooo fucking typical of Microsoft. And they fail, over and over and over again, because they don't work together.

Ballmer is an atrocious CEO.
posted by Malor at 9:50 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The irony of the web-ification of everything is that it's done more for Mac adoption than Apple ever did.
posted by GuyZero at 9:50 PM on September 13, 2011


When Apple ported to X86, EVERYTHING ran. Tools, apps, utilities, everything. For the things they couldn't port, they provided Rosetta. It did, admittedly, take some time for their iPhone dev tools to ship, but that WAS a new OS, so I'm willing to cut them a little slack. And when they did, it was just an extension of the tools they were already providing.

THAT is how to handle a transition. This bullshit of "Well, you can have Windows 8 on ARM, but no dev tools, sorry" is just sooooooo fucking typical of Microsoft. And they fail, over and over and over again, because they don't work together.


Is anybody saying ARM will be the main Windows platform in the future? PowerPC to x86 was a wholesale change of platform. Windows 8 on ARM is just going to be an offshoot, like iOS is an offshoot from OS X. Xcode doesn't run on iDevices either.
posted by kmz at 10:39 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


....As far as I can tell, none of the development tools (ie Visual Studio) are being ported to run on ARM.

...This bullshit of "Well, you can have Windows 8 on ARM, but no dev tools, sorry


Of course there will be dev tools for ARM, they just won't run on ARM devices. This is exactly the same as every other device platform out there. Development tools for Xbox, iOS, PlayStation, whatever, don't run directly on the target device. You compile to your target platform and then either emulate or connect remotely for debugging and testing. Visual Studio already has a ARM emulator for development, so it wouldn't be a huge leap to imagine one for Windows 8.


When Apple ported to X86, EVERYTHING ran. Tools, apps, utilities, everything....

At that point in time the entire Apple software world ran on OSX. They were transitioning the entire desktop/laptop platform. This was 2 years before any touch device. Apple wasn't planning to support PowerPC after the transition. And to be fair, not everything ran on day one.

The Windows 8 scenario is different. X86 and X64 will still be around, they're just adding ARM to the mix. Windows 8 will span both the desktop/laptop world and the touch/tablet world. You're not going to want to run Visual Studio directly on the ARM devices because they're be small, low-powered mobile devices (ARM) when you can continue to develop on a powerful desktop/laptop (X86).

Compare to the iOS development scenario: you don't run Xcode directly on an iPhone/iPad (ARM); instead you run on a development friendly OSX laptop/desktop (X86).
posted by rh at 10:45 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I don't understand is why they're clinging to x86 CPUs in a tablet. This will be like that HP Slate abomination (did that ever actually get made?) unless they figure out a way to make x86 have the power consumption and cooling requirements of an ARM-based platform. Which they won't be able to.

I played around with a developer version of that tablet the other day, running Linux. They apparently haven't sorted out the cooling issues because just having it on and running was enough to make it hotter than my Android tablet running a taxing 3D game. The tablet did have a nice solid feel to it, I'll give HP that.
posted by cmonkey at 10:52 PM on September 13, 2011


Yeah, it's funny. If you see W8 on ARM as something like the iPad, then Microsoft is doing exactly the same as Apple. If you see it as something like the intel transition, then Microsoft is doing terribly worse than Apple, and are idiots for not doing it right.
posted by smackfu at 6:00 AM on September 14, 2011


Is anybody saying ARM will be the main Windows platform in the future?

It's a certainty that ARM will be the main mobile and tablet platform, if it isn't already. If Microsoft wants to have a presence anywhere in this space then they need to get cracking. They are already a year or two away from a real v1 release — maybe longer.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:31 AM on September 14, 2011


If you see W8 on ARM as something like the iPad, then Microsoft is doing exactly the same as Apple. If you see it as something like the intel transition, then Microsoft is doing terribly worse than Apple, and are idiots for not doing it right.

People (developers not the least among them) will always require machines that need more horsepower than ARM can handle. There's no way Microsoft is doing the latter.
posted by kmz at 6:41 AM on September 14, 2011


"Well, you can have Windows 8 on ARM, but no dev tools, sorry" is just sooooooo fucking typical of Microsoft. And they fail, over and over and over again, because they don't work together.

Can you run xcode on an iphone?
posted by empath at 6:50 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many moons ago when I was an intern at Microsoft I found a manual that went over their tools for cross-compiling NT on a 68000 box since it was a lot faster. I never saw an actual machine, but the docs were interesting.

At any rate, if you don't understand how cross-compilation works, really, don't make yourself look silly here.
posted by GuyZero at 8:52 AM on September 14, 2011


FWIW couldn't get it running on my crippled Eee 900 with only a 4 GB SSD. The setup needs about 6.5GB to install to, and it refuses to install to a disk connected over USB, thus rendering my external drives and my 16GB SDHC card drive unusable. If I had a bigger, real internal disk I think it would have worked though. Gonna try it now on my main desktop on a spare disk.
posted by Edogy at 9:35 AM on September 14, 2011


I'm running it now on a spare desktop. Really, though, it's kind of thin. If you're not running on a dev tablet there's almost no reason to bother with this release.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:29 AM on September 14, 2011


but I don't expect to see Windows 8 making it's way on any of my users desktop for years.

And rightly so. Anyone responsible for the desktop architecture and taking 11th hour calls to remedy things will stick with the devil they know.
posted by dgran at 12:49 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


But anyway, does anybody know how things will work when we have both ARM and x86s running around all running "Windows 8?" Will applications all be "universal?"

As far as I know, if you develop for the Metro interface using the new APIs and stuff it will work on ARM. ARM machines will _only_ be able to run Metro apps and _only_ from the app store. So ARM stuff will be much more like Apple's walled garden.

x86 machines will run all your legacy stuff, and will also run any of the new Metro stuff.

I actually think this will work reasonably well. Gamers and people who need the hardware can buy fast x86 machines but still get access to the new Metro stuff, people who just do email and web browsing can get an ARM tablet.

As for the people suggesting MS should have sat on this and released it fully formed like Apple do, as a developer, stuff that. It's _good_ that they give us developers access to this stuff early so we can start planning for it and start writing apps for it. Notice that iOS 5 has been in dev hands for ages.
posted by markr at 5:29 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is pretty huge: the Metro version of IE isn't going to support plugins, which includes our good old friend Flash.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:15 AM on September 15, 2011


Here's a list of 300+ Windows 8 features that Microsoft didn't show.
posted by lilkeith07 at 7:05 PM on September 15, 2011


I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Windows 8 fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig..... aw, fuck it.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:03 AM on September 16, 2011


iPad iOS 5 vs Windows 8 Slate.
posted by ericb at 8:20 PM on September 16, 2011


Reflecting on your comments on the Start screen
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on October 13, 2011


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