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  1. #61
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    You are of course correct, but none of that changes the fact that Metro is still unsuitable for a desktop. It's the anti-thesis to a mouse-driven GUI because it's designed to be jabbed at with fingers.
    It's definitely a downgrade for desktop users, but I have difficulty getting too upset about that for the simple reason that the current system isn't very good either. The current Start Menu layout is very laborious, about its only positive feature being the 'one button and then start typing to search and one more button to run' thing that was introduced with the reviled Windows Vista and notably does not require the mouse. And there's nothing very fast about hunting for small icons on a big desktop either (the best thing I ever did back when I had a desktop running a pair of 24" monitors and an MX Revolution mouse was to map 'open the folder with all my shit' to one mouse button, 'clear to desktop' to another, and 'open new Google Chrome window' to a third). You mention the laborious process of shutting down via Metro. That strikes me as an example of shithouse design that is (1) also a flaw in the current system and (2) can be addressed without throwing out Metro. My Metro-based phone, for example, is a lot easier to shut down than that even though it almost never is.

    A final reason for my cynicism on this issue is the suspicion is that even if Metro was actually an improvement over the current system on the desktop, most of the folks who're complaining about it now would still be complaining about it. A simple fear/dislike of change and the fact that this change unambiguously reflects Microsoft's view that the desktop is no longer the centre of the personal computing universe is providing the emotional underpinning for most of the backlash here I think.

    To summarise my position on the matter in point form:
    - This is the right thing for Microsoft to be doing from its perspective (in response to the "omg are they insane???" criticism ... they're not insane, it is merely that their priorities are not necessarily your priorities)
    - yes, it's a downgrade on the desktop (on a touch-enabled notebook I'd actually consider it an upgrade cos of the decreased need for a mouse)
    - desktop users *can* work with Metro nonetheless, i.e. it does not render their tasks unmanageable.
    - the current system is pretty awful on both desktops and notebooks too
    - those desktop users who aren't willing to make the change (in exchange for the other benefits of Windows 8) don't have to. Windows 7 will be supported for at least the next five years (and probably longer) if only because the corporate/business world just made the transition to from XP to 7 and likely won't pick up 8 to any significant degree.
    Last edited by Rii; 23-06-2012 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    By 'implications' I hope they mean of Microsoft choosing to enter the hardware market to compete with Apple and Google directly, and of what it could mean for the relationship between Microsoft and OEMs going forth and the implications of that for consumers.

    Because if it's yet another piece that acts like Surface is the first and/or only Windows 8 tablet I think I might have to stab someone.
    How about you give it a listen.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    How about you give it a listen.
    I listened for 10 minutes and they didn't say anything.

  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The current Start Menu layout is very laborious, about its only positive feature being the 'one button and then start typing to search and one more button to run' thing that was introduced with the reviled Windows Vista and notably does not require the mouse.
    True, but it is cleaner than Metro (which functionally is sort of similar) in that it doesn't need to take up the whole screen to operate. Metro doesn't improve on this in any way; in fact, it's a step backwards because it hides a bunch of apps and just keeps adding bulky tiles to the list by default. The Start menu is a mess, but Metro is even worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    And there's nothing very fast about hunting for small icons on a big desktop either
    Except that I can display a LOT more things on a high res display. I don't need to scroll everywhere just to find something. Also I can plausibly fit more UI elements onto the screen without relying on hidden menus that require additional keypresses or gestures to open. "Click the button there" is easier than "Go over here, slide down, then click this, then click that" to accomplish the same task.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    A simple fear/dislike of change and the fact that this change unambiguously reflects Microsoft's view that the desktop is no longer the centre of the personal computing universe is providing the emotional underpinning for most of the backlash here I think.
    I don't think that's the case at all, given that most of us are still using desktops for most productivity things because they're still much better and more powerful than tablets, and likely to remain so for some time. Even then if someone's going to sit at a desk to type (which they are, they're not going to balance it on their lap, it's not comfortable) they're also likely to dock it onto a high res screen... which basically raises the same criticisms as it becomes a mouse-driven interface. The touch screen is in no danger of turning the mouse obsolete. Have tablets changed things? Yes. But the optimistic view that the desktop is dead is incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    - the current system is pretty awful on both desktops and notebooks too
    There are some things that are, but by and large general opinion disagrees with you. I have a large, hi-res display. There's no reason why my mail client has to take up the ENTIRE screen to the point where I can't do anything except minimise it. There's no reason why buttons have to be hidden behind a pop-up menu, particularly when they're important like a Settings button. The big, massive UI which is designed for fingers to tap has no reason to be there from a usability perspective. It's just a lot more mousing around which doesn't need to happen. I can hide all my books in my drawer, but if I'm constantly referring to them and I have a bunch of space on my desk, it makes a lot more sense to just leave them on my desk. The same applies to Metro on the desktop. I have a LOT of space on my screen. Use it. It's what it's there for!
    Last edited by soldant; 23-06-2012 at 10:30 AM.

  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Are Atom processors now more efficient per clock cycle than an ARM.
    The holistic assessment is that a current single-core Atom SoC will handily beat an equivalently-clocked dual-core ARM-based SoC on most multi-threaded CPU benchmarks. Atom tends to have slightly higher active power consumption, but better idle characteristics.

    The take-home message is that Atom has arrived as a viable contender to ARM in the mobile and tablet market space. There are questions as to the economics of Atom vs. ARM, but frankly I don't think it matters very much, if only because Intel has an enormous warchest and won't hesitate to subsidise Atom with PC profits (courtesy of AMD's lethargy) in order to gain market traction.

    Several Atom-based Windows 8 tablets have already been announced for those who want full x86 Windows compatibility coupled with fanless design and iPad-esque battery life, such as the Acer Iconia W510 and Asus Tablet 800.

    Incidentally, it's pretty astonishing how bullish Intel themselves are on the subject:

    ExtremeTech - Intel dismisses 'x86 tax'; sees no future for ARM or any of its competitors
    “Moving forward, it will be difficult for anyone who doesn’t have an end-to-end capability to keep up with us. I took it for granted before I joined Intel, but this really is rocket science. When you see people working on 9nm — I see the guys in their bunny suits, doing the mask generation for the chips — you realize this is probably one of the most difficult industries I’ve ever seen. There are very few companies on Earth who have the capabilities we’ve talked about, and going forward I don’t think anyone will be able to match us.”
    Last edited by Rii; 23-06-2012 at 04:37 PM.

  6. #66
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    Intel as arrogant as always, Intel are going to hit a wall if they think they can keep die-shrinking. I do hope AMD pulls something out of the bag, as I mentioned earlier in the thread their APUs are very promising (couple of tablets announced with them), though not quite as power efficient as the Atom yet. Get die-shrinking those APUs AMD, Intel need competition.
    Last edited by byteCrunch; 23-06-2012 at 05:13 PM.

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    AMD's problem for me is that nobody's putting their hardware to good use as they are with Intel's. I'm perfectly willing to trade CPU for GPU performance, but there's just nothing out there. HP's Sleekbook is about the best ultrathin solution I've seen, but even that has no 1080p IPS display, no SSD...

    Frankly I think Intel should reverse their priorities and make Atom the leader so far as process technology is concerned. They can afford to languish (relatively speaking) at the higher end...
    Last edited by Rii; 23-06-2012 at 05:46 PM.

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I listened for 10 minutes and they didn't say anything.
    It's a 2 hour podcast.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    It's a 2 hour podcast.
    Time is life.

  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Time is life.
    True but you can skip parts of it, it's not like you have to watch everything.


    I'd be more inclined to use AMD again if they matched Intel, but thus far they've still behind the 8-ball. Kind of ironic given that there was a time when they kicked Intel out of the top spot. Regarding Atom v ARM... well, I don't think it really matters too much in the end since a lot of the ultrabooks and x86 tablets are using Ivy Bridge CPUs. Atom CPUs seem like they're going to be irrelevant.

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    True but you can skip parts of it, it's not like you have to watch everything.
    It's not the length, if it was interesting or informative it would be fine. But I gave it 10 solid minutes and it failed to be either. Why should I (or anyone) continue to invest even more time on the off-chance that it might get better when there are any number of other things I could be doing with that time instead?

    One of the problems with podcasts compared to text is that it's much harder to skim and to discern whether it warrants deeper reading. Given that, podcasters should be attempting to engage the audience from the word 'go'.

    I'd be more inclined to use AMD again if they matched Intel, but thus far they've still behind the 8-ball. Kind of ironic given that there was a time when they kicked Intel out of the top spot.
    Yeah, was a time when I had three AMD systems in a row. Times gone by...

    Regarding Atom v ARM... well, I don't think it really matters too much in the end since a lot of the ultrabooks and x86 tablets are using Ivy Bridge CPUs. Atom CPUs seem like they're going to be irrelevant.
    Motorola is going to be rolling out (probably Google-branded) Atom-based Android hardware in 2013 and beyond: both phones and tabs. There's stuff going on in China too.

    In the Windows tablet space Atom is competing against ARM, not the Core architectures which are targeted at a higher power envelope and need to be fan-cooled, which limits them to 10" (and larger) tabs and limits their battery life and also means they can't be as svelte as ARM or Atom-based tabs. Atom can run regular Windows 8 instead of Windows RT, but I skeptical as to the value of that. When I think of the advantages of running regular Windows 8 over Windows RT, the kinds of x86 apps that come to mind are the heavy lifters: games, Photoshop, etc. and Atom is going to struggle with a lot of that stuff. But I'm sure it'll find a niche.
    Last edited by Rii; 24-06-2012 at 06:54 AM.

  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    But I'm sure it'll find a niche.
    I'm not sure exactly for the reasons you just listed. Netbooks are barely adequate for web browsing and not much else. An ARM tablet can do that. The benefits of an x86 architecture are that you can run desktop apps, but as you've already said Atom CPUs aren't particularly good at that. The Atom line of CPUs aren't particularly good, there's no way of getting around that. It's useless being able to run desktop apps if the CPU is so underpowered that it's like watching paint dry.

  13. #73
    Network Hub roryok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The dual-screen Asus Taichi is perhaps the most interesting announcement I've come across so far, but I'm unconvinced as to the practicality and economics of the arrangement.
    I have my eye on a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which looks a bit better than the Taichi I think. The screen folds around 360 degrees to the back of the laptop. Very good spec too, 8GB ram with an i5 or i7, and probably kepler graphics (although that's not revealed yet)

  14. #74
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    Google have announced their new Google Nexus 7 tablet, and I must say it's the first time I have been tempted by a tablet, though that is mostly because of the price point, 159 for a Tegra 3, 1gb of RAM, HD screen etc, not bad at all.

  15. #75
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Google have announced their new Google Nexus 7 tablet, and I must say it's the first time I have been tempted by a tablet, though that is mostly because of the price point, 159 for a Tegra 3, 1gb of RAM, HD screen etc, not bad at all.
    New thread I think.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    New thread I think.
    Didn't really see the point (if you think it requires one make one, instead of making pointless suggestions), thought I would just mention it as this is Google's real play for the tablet market, much like Windows 8 tablets are for Microsoft.

    Especially when you consider this basically competes with the Surface ARM model in terms of performance, but 250 less.

  17. #77
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    The thread is about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks. Pretty simple really.

  18. #78
    Lesser Hivemind Node Winged Nazgul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The thread is about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks. Pretty simple really.
    Point. Set. Match.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The thread is about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks. Pretty simple really.
    Except for the discussion hasn't just been about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks, more people complaining about Windows 8, then you decrying their difference of opinion.

    I'll reiterate Rii, if you think it needs one, make one. I didn't see the point of a thread for a single tablet.
    Last edited by byteCrunch; 28-06-2012 at 01:51 PM.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by roryok View Post
    Re: Windows 8 tablets / hybrids / ultrabooks
    I have my eye on a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which looks a bit better than the Taichi I think. The screen folds around 360 degrees to the back of the laptop. Very good spec too, 8GB ram with an i5 or i7, and probably kepler graphics (although that's not revealed yet)
    This is such an exciting time for ultrabooks and hybrids. Not sure why anyone would be interested with a touchscreen ultrabook though if there's already a keyboard...

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