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  1. #441
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    It's not a big mess. You generally got one .file or .directory per program that carries the program's name. That's all stuff you would need to store somewhere anyway, and it's in an usable arrangement. The only difference between checking out app data with ls -la in your home directory, or looking inside the OS X Library folder, is that in the latter case your hand-managed data directories are not listed.
    Not at all the same thing. The OS X and Linux way separates the app binaries and "built-in" data from user-unique data including config. The latter is stuff you might want to manipulate or back up. The apps themselves might be gigabytes in size, and are not unique (you can always re-download or install from disc, and might never want to install that version again because there is a newer one) so you generally don't want to bundle them with your unique data.
    And you usually get one folder in Program Files per program. Also, one folder in AppData per program.

    Beyond that, you are just arguing for specific software mentalities that are independent of the OS platform (which seems to happen a lot with advocates for Linux). Mentalities that are (mostly) being followed now, even on Windows. The big problem was that there wasn't a single unified location to start with, and lots of developers don't want to "break compatibility" by changing their patterns.
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  2. #442
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Not "dictate" anything.
    Then you go on to say how having a designated folder etc is the better way. So yeah, they are dictating how programs must store files.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Well, OS X' Spotlight is worlds better as a search/launcher. Looks at file contents/metadata, not just filename. Shows much more results at once whereas Start puts results inside a tiny cage with a scrollbar. More features. Easy to preview files without opening them (I often just search, then close the search because I have already seen the necessary information from inside the file).
    Firstly, the Start search whatever-you-want-to-call-it does search file contents, I just tested this myself. Spotlight isn't anything particularly special. Also, you've just overlooked the Finder, which is the worst friggin' part of OS X and is absurdly backwards in so many basic ways. Funnily enough I also see plenty of complaints about Spotlight, so it might not be quite as well liked as you'd imagine.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    You already said you agree the way the applications are handled (like files) makes sense.
    No. I didn't say it "makes sense" because it effectively hides everything from the user with the package launching the app and containing all of the app's files. But while it doesn't 'make sense' from that perspective, it is better for containing apps and reducing clutter, which I am a fan of. To clarify that again I like that method but from a file system perspective I don't think it makes sense. But it's something that I don't particularly care about because it's still a better idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Apple recently added Launchpad which basically replicates and tarts up that functionality for people who don't understand what a file is.
    Launchpad is worse than Metro. It's basically the iOS grid interface for people who... I don't know, have a fetish for it? While we're on the subject, the Dock is terrible. It's infinitely worse than Win7's combined taskbar, which at least makes it abundantly clear what apps are running, what ones aren't, and how many windows each app has open.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    And if you are in the file manager, there's a keyboard shortcut (cmd-shift-A) to jump directly into the Applications folder to do whatever you need with them. I think there's also a shortcut to Applications on the sidebar by default.
    I don't need an Applications folder. The Start menu is effectively the apps folder. Honestly there's not much difference except that apps are supposed to be self-contained packages, which is about the only thing I agree with you on. The rest of OS X as an interface is laughable.

  3. #443
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Then you go on to say how having a designated folder etc is the better way. So yeah, they are dictating how programs must store files.
    ...no? Unix/Linux systems have an established practice of user-specific files belonging inside user home folders, and dotfiles going in the root of the home folder. Devs follow that established practice because it makes sense, and there's no real reason to do otherwise, not because they are being "dictated" to. Apple basically started from that system which works, and refined it by adding the Library folder for the use of "native" OS X apps. Again, I don't see them "dictating" anything. Microsoft failed to offer a reasonable practice of this sort, and consequently user data ended up spread absolutely everywhere on the disk.

    Firstly, the Start search whatever-you-want-to-call-it does search file contents, I just tested this myself. Spotlight isn't anything particularly special. Also, you've just overlooked the Finder, which is the worst friggin' part of OS X and is absurdly backwards in so many basic ways.
    We were talking about Start, not Finder, so I'm not "overlooking" Finder. If you want to browse and launch apps, having Applications folder on the dock allows you to do it without touching Finder at all.
    For that matter, I don't use Finder on OS X and I don't use Explorer on Windows since they suck.
    Funnily enough I also see plenty of complaints about Spotlight, so it might not be quite as well liked as you'd imagine.
    Hey, I heard someone say something somewhere. Your point?
    Launchpad is worse than Metro. It's basically the iOS grid interface for people who... I don't know, have a fetish for it? While we're on the subject, the Dock is terrible. It's infinitely worse than Win7's combined taskbar, which at least makes it abundantly clear what apps are running, what ones aren't, and how many windows each app has open.
    Dock is not for the power user and I don't ever use it. I have observed it being quite useful for non-technical users, though. I also do not use or like the Launchpad, but again, it's probably useful for non-technical users for whom the existing functionality was too hard.
    I don't need an Applications folder. The Start menu is effectively the apps folder. Honestly there's not much difference except that apps are supposed to be self-contained packages, which is about the only thing I agree with you on. The rest of OS X as an interface is laughable.
    Start is nothing like the Applications folder. Applications is "Program Files", as it actually contains the apps, but better since it makes launching very easy and as a rule doesn't contain user data. Applications doesn't need a mysterious shortcut structure (which is what Start is) in addition to itself. Also, it doesn't need to be littered with folders like Start does. This comes back to Microsoft's failure to establish a reasonable way to package apps and a common location, so everything must have an installer, and then that installer can set up Start menu shortcuts and folders and desktop shortcuts and Quick Launch shortcuts, and then you need an uninstaller, ...
    Since OS X doesn't have that clutter, it's possible to dock a simple view of Applications like any other folder, and it beats Start menu (a specialized application menu) for browsing applications.

  4. #444
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    It's funny that people complain about things that are entirely outside of Microsoft's power. Where applications store their data is well-defined in Microsoft's official documentation; whether application developers follow such guidelines is another matter entirely and one outside of Microsoft's abilities.

    Saved games have their own folder (and I find that logical, personally, as chances are I want to keep saved games a lot more than random config files), configuration files have their own folders (local is for stuff that needs to stay local to the computer, ie. hardware-specific or user-specific configuration, while roaming is for stuff that can be shared across networks for enterprises), scratch files have ProgramData, etc.

    Also, the registry should never be used to store data. It's there for configuration that can be easily accessed throughout the computer, nothing more.

  5. #445
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Yeah, well, it is "a good idea" when people are screamed at unless they follow the Linux mentality, but a "restriction" otherwise. :p

    And program data is not "spread out everywhere" in Windows. There have always been three real locations

    Program Files: Store the config and saves in the same folder as the program itself. There are pros and cons to this
    My Documents/Game Saves Folder: This became pretty popular. I hate it, but the comparatively recent "Library" concept means that I just have "My Documents", "Personal Documents", and "Work Documents" all in the same "Documents" library. The first is for software, the second is for me, the third is for syncing stuff to do at work.
    AppData: Basically the equivalent to Linux's "Shove it all in the home directory but hide them" angle
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  6. #446
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    The program files way of storing data is archaic and has been discouraged since Vista came around (programs can't write to program files without administrative privileges, hence why you get a lot of UAC prompts on old software).

    That's the thing with Windows though. Microsoft are lambasted for keeping outdated practices alive, yet are also criticized whenever they break backwards compatibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    My Documents/Game Saves Folder: This became pretty popular. I hate it, but the comparatively recent "Library" concept means that I just have "My Documents", "Personal Documents", and "Work Documents" all in the same "Documents" library. The first is for software, the second is for me, the third is for syncing stuff to do at work.
    I just have a "DOCS" folder under Documents\ where I use as "real" Document-root and it is really easy to distinguish between my real personal files and the stuff which clutters Documents\.

  8. #448
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakeit View Post
    I just have a "DOCS" folder under Documents\ where I use as "real" Document-root and it is really easy to distinguish between my real personal files and the stuff which clutters Documents\.
    I like the seperate folders since I've ordered them so that when I click the "Documents" library, I Just see my stuff. My and Public are at the bottom.

    And I split up Work and Personal because I sync my work stuff (that I am legally allowed to) with Spideroak so that I can work on some stuff from home, but I don't want to sync my personal stuff with that.
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  9. #449
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    This is my 333th post and I wanted to dedicate it to this thread about superiority of Linux Swap partition over My Documents folder.

  10. #450
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    ...no? Unix/Linux systems have an established practice of user-specific files belonging inside user home folders, and etc
    Dictation, dictation, dictation...

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    We were talking about Start, not Finder, so I'm not "overlooking" Finder. If you want to browse and launch apps, having Applications folder on the dock allows you to do it without touching Finder at all.
    Actually we seem to have moved on from the file system so we might as well lump it all in.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Dock is not for the power user and I don't ever use it. I have observed it being quite useful for non-technical users, though. I also do not use or like the Launchpad, but again, it's probably useful for non-technical users for whom the existing functionality was too hard.
    They're both horrible, but the Dock is a bigger part of the OS that needs to be completely overhauled.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Start is nothing like the Applications folder.
    Again I've already acknowledged several times that this method of packaging apps is better, but that notwithstanding Start and an Apps folder isn't that much different. A hierarchical folder system for organising apps isn't a problem, particularly if each program wants to include multiple programs under one heading. I can't recall exactly since it's been a little while since I last used OS X, but from memory Office installs with a folder under OS X's Applications folder, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    This comes back to Microsoft's failure to establish a reasonable way to package apps and a common location, so everything must have an installer, and then that installer can set up Start menu shortcuts and folders and desktop shortcuts and Quick Launch shortcuts, and then you need an uninstaller
    Again I totally agree MS should have a system for packaging apps. But they do have established locations for storing data. The problem is that nobody's following them. As the others have stated part of it is due to legacy support (which Microsoft are generally very good at doing, even beyond reason) and part of it is due to apps just ignoring it. You can dictate and enforce standards like you do under Linux or OS X, or you can retain flexibility. Personally I'd rather they enforced standards and dictated where files had to go, but I can see why it wouldn't be a popular decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Since OS X doesn't have that clutter, it's possible to dock a simple view of Applications like any other folder, and it beats Start menu (a specialized application menu) for browsing applications.
    That simplified view, if it's the one I'm thinking of, is terrible. It's small with bulky icons, and far worse than the Start menu. I'd use the Launchpad over that thing.

  11. #451
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I don't see Registry doing anything that is of benefit to the user. It's also opaque as hell, which is the fault of Microsoft. Again, it's trivial for me to go and delete the settings of a misbehaving OS X program right from the file browser, restart the program and see it work again. Registry is arcane and inaccessible. I can count on fingers of one hand how many times it has actually done anything positive for me.
    In theory it's pretty easy to back up the registry, too. There are obvious issues with that, of course. The registry is, as I said, a nice idea on paper and a crappy idea in practice. It is not, however, a breaking point for the windows operating system nor is tinkering with it necessary unless someone wrote a really, really, really, misbehaving application. That includes malware, by the by.

    Really, there isn't anything inherently superior about either file system. The real problem is getting developers to use it properly and consistently. Windows has a file system that I could understand before I knew much about computers. Linux has a filesystem I'm still figuring out despite knowing chapter-fulls more about computers every week and having used Linux as my primary operating system for a fair while. It's simply not as intuitive a system. There's a place for everything in Windows just as there's a place for everything in Unix--there might be better developer compliance in Unix (is there?) and I feel there's more clarity in Windows. You win some you lose some. But Microsoft isn't doing most of the losing, themselves, on this one.


    Again I totally agree MS should have a system for packaging apps. But they do have established locations for storing data. The problem is that nobody's following them. As the others have stated part of it is due to legacy support (which Microsoft are generally very good at doing, even beyond reason) and part of it is due to apps just ignoring it. You can dictate and enforce standards like you do under Linux or OS X, or you can retain flexibility. Personally I'd rather they enforced standards and dictated where files had to go, but I can see why it wouldn't be a popular decision.
    If they did that, I'd wager, people would start complaining about how they'd rather use Mac or Linux ...

    From a similar perspective, over the years Microsoft has added and tweaked plenty of data storage options. While that has resulted in multiple places for apps to store data ... the most astounding thing is that applications will routinely shun every last one of them and put stuff not in AppData, or ProgramData, or Common Files or the app's directory, but in some weird corner of My Documents or worse some bizarre folder tree right on the C Drive. Which to me is like plonking down a file cabinet in the middle of the god-damn entry way. Or main corridor. Or something.

    When faced with that kind of problem ... your options are enforce standards and get told off for being too controlling, or continue to provide a small number of relatively sensible options and hope that most of your developer base picks one of them.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 11-08-2012 at 09:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Really, there isn't anything inherently superior about either file system.
    I beg to differ. The only thing ntfs has going for it is ACL. However, for everything else, I'd take ext4/zfs any day. Shadow copies are such a pain to use compared to other snapshot mechanisms and I've seen way too much ntfs corruption even though it's journaled..

    But the biggest thing is how windows handles file locks and the translation from the logical level to the device. Whenever I need to update a service on my *nix boxes, I replace the files and restart the service with a downtime measured in seconds. On windows, you often have to reboot the entire thing. It's horrible. I've lost count of how many times I've had to reboot the DC (at least once a month) because of updates that should never require a reboot.

    I'll agree with you that understanding what is going on with *nix filesystems is difficult. But in my opinion, NTFS is much more opaque. Suddenly you'll find that there are existing shadow copies but only some tools can see them..or you'll encounter winsxs and despair.

  13. #453
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batolemaeus View Post
    I beg to differ. The only thing ntfs has going for it is ACL. However, for everything else, I'd take ext4/zfs any day. Shadow copies are such a pain to use compared to other snapshot mechanisms and I've seen way too much ntfs corruption even though it's journaled..

    But the biggest thing is how windows handles file locks and the translation from the logical level to the device. Whenever I need to update a service on my *nix boxes, I replace the files and restart the service with a downtime measured in seconds. On windows, you often have to reboot the entire thing. It's horrible. I've lost count of how many times I've had to reboot the DC (at least once a month) because of updates that should never require a reboot.

    I'll agree with you that understanding what is going on with *nix filesystems is difficult. But in my opinion, NTFS is much more opaque. Suddenly you'll find that there are existing shadow copies but only some tools can see them..or you'll encounter winsxs and despair.
    I shouldn't have said file system. I'm tired and meant it informally, not as a term. Simply a system involving files. I suppose file structure would have been better, though I would have hoped it would have been clear what I was talking about from the general context of the conversation. In hindsight, it doesn't read at all like I intended, though, and I see where you misinterpreted me pretty easily even without the terminology thing. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 11-08-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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    Ah I see.

    Still, the good ol' *nix way or organizing files is pretty neat. Yes, stuff can be in different folders, but generally once you know, say, Ubuntu Linux, you'll know roughly how Solaris organizes its files. /etc for config, /var/log for logs, etc.

    When I open a shell, I know roughly where to look. On Windows, it's complete bonkers. Entering %WINDIR%\ is entering crazyland. There is no rhyme or reason, everything is thrown together. Looking for logs sends you crawling through folders until you find one in %WINDIR%\security\logs, one in %WINDIR%\Performance\WinSAT\...there's binary files thrown around everywhere, executables hidden as surprises in random folders or just dumped somewhere. Macromedia will dump some exes into System32 and other stuff somewhere you don't even know about. Then there's a metric fuckton of hardlinks, softlinks and other voodoo driving you crazy because the UI won't show it to you and you have to resort to special commands in cmd.exe.

    And then, finally, you think you have a slight grasp of what is happening, you want to have look at the hosts file and find it hidden in %WINDIR%\System32\drivers\etc\...and you snap.

    //edit: Gah, this is almost trigger territory. Days of dissecting misbehaving software on windows systems and programming for the platform left me scarred..
    Last edited by Batolemaeus; 11-08-2012 at 01:38 PM.

  15. #455
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Bato: The argument then being: Why are you looking for this stuff? For OS logs (what you specifically seem to be mentioning), you use the Windows Event Viewer. For game logs, those are always in the same 3 possible locations you get with the config files.

    For developers, it is really a matter of what you are trying to do. Linux has an easier interface, but Windows stomps over everyone for one reason and one reason only: Visual Studio. No Linux IDE or combo comes remotely close to the beauty and effectiveness of that magnificent beast. But either way, that has nothing to do with the OS as a while, and more to do with the tedium of whatever is being developed.
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  16. #456
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    No Linux IDE comes close because a lot of Linux power users seem to think IDEs are for children. You wouldn't believe the number of people who nearly called me stupid for using an IDE instead of participating in the eternal emacs/vim fanboy war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Bato: The argument then being: Why are you looking for this stuff? For OS logs (what you specifically seem to be mentioning), you use the Windows Event Viewer. For game logs, those are always in the same 3 possible locations you get with the config files.
    The event viewer is great if the thing you're looking for is actually putting logfiles in there. Most software however does not use the event log, not even Microsoft software. And I do need to know these things because I do more with PCs than play games. Or because I need to hunt something down to fix FOV...

    I was specifically commenting on gwathdring saying that the file hierarchy in windows is easy to understand. I vehemently disagree with that. It looks easy at first glance, but as soon as you look behind the surface it's maggots feasting on a carcass riddled with backwards compatibility and baggage acquired through decades of shoddy coding. My face must have been priceless when I discovered that Appdata for All Users has been taken out of Appdata and put into ProgramData, a folder somewhere else. The killer however is localized folders. Whoever thought that "Documents and Settings" should instead be renamed "Dokumente und Einstellungen" in German versions and who knows what in other versions of the OS should be forced to do troubleshooting or even data migration in an AD environment. FUCK.

    Yes, in theory, the locations where programs are supposed to put user specific stuff are limited to the actual user profile. But that's not saying much, the profile contains many different folders branching off into even more subfolders, all writable to users (and the processes they launch..). There's %LOCALAPPDATA%, %APPDATA%, %PROGRAMDATA% (and this one has been moved out of the Users directory since Vista. lol..), the My Documents (Meine Dokumente), with stuff like My Games, Games, Meine Spiele, Spiele..

    It's a mess. If I come off as rambling, it's because after having dealt with all the madness, the mere thought that someone would describe this as "simple" makes my head spin.

  18. #458
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batolemaeus View Post
    The event viewer is great if the thing you're looking for is actually putting logfiles in there. Most software however does not use the event log, not even Microsoft software. And I do need to know these things because I do more with PCs than play games. Or because I need to hunt something down to fix FOV...

    I was specifically commenting on gwathdring saying that the file hierarchy in windows is easy to understand. I vehemently disagree with that. It looks easy at first glance, but as soon as you look behind the surface it's maggots feasting on a carcass riddled with backwards compatibility and baggage acquired through decades of shoddy coding. My face must have been priceless when I discovered that Appdata for All Users has been taken out of Appdata and put into ProgramData, a folder somewhere else. The killer however is localized folders. Whoever thought that "Documents and Settings" should instead be renamed "Dokumente und Einstellungen" in German versions and who knows what in other versions of the OS should be forced to do troubleshooting or even data migration in an AD environment. FUCK.

    Yes, in theory, the locations where programs are supposed to put user specific stuff are limited to the actual user profile. But that's not saying much, the profile contains many different folders branching off into even more subfolders, all writable to users (and the processes they launch..). There's %LOCALAPPDATA%, %APPDATA%, %PROGRAMDATA% (and this one has been moved out of the Users directory since Vista. lol..), the My Documents (Meine Dokumente), with stuff like My Games, Games, Meine Spiele, Spiele..

    It's a mess. If I come off as rambling, it's because after having dealt with all the madness, the mere thought that someone would describe this as "simple" makes my head spin.
    I guess I'll reiterate then that my biggest shock isn't the ways in which Windows creates a mess of itself, but the ways in which third party software completely ignores all of the organizational options in Windows.

    I also don't find the nuts-and-bolts Windows directory stuff particularly taxing and unintuitive either. But I have some odd organizational methods for me private folders, so perhaps I'm just a little weird. But when it comes to storing applications? Windows is a lot more user and developer friendly than Linux. It doesn't especially matter than knowing one distro helps you figure out all the others. Most developers that work on major software projects for Linux work for one distribution. Maybe two.

    The thing is ... really technical stuff doesn't necessarily need to be intuitive. It would be nice if everyone used clean, readable code that first year students could follow (but not necessarily understand). But that just doesn't happen. similarly, it would be nice if even the dark corners of the OS were neat and tidy but that's probably asking for pigs to fly. Once you start dipping further into the OS you're going to have to learn some unintuitive things no matter how well designed the system. Windows certainly has some flaws even taking that into account ... but so does Unix. And Windows having that nice clean entryway? The hallways you can walk through? Not piling up crap behind doors so they can't open? Not blocking the fire exits with stuff? All that surface-level, first-impression basic stuff is a lot more important than you're giving it credit for.

    I prefer Linux for a lot of reasons, but the file organization isn't one of them. At the end of the day, the problem you describe, I think, is less a matter of bad design and more a matter of (as someone else mentioned) putting flexibility over standardization. I prefer standardization, but that doesn't mean I should prefer the particular standard offered by Unix. Enforced standards based on a modified version of the existing Windows hierarchy would make me quite happy.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 11-08-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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  19. #459
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    http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/14/m...t-surface-199/

    A high quality 10" tablet for $199, no wonder OEMs are pissed.

    If the the rumour is true, MS will be looking to make the money back via xbox style targeted advertising, xbox Live god-style monthly fees, and the 20-30% share of app sales. And they will have 80% of the tablet market in 3 years.

    Apple seems content with skimming the most profitable top 20% of the smartphone market, and top 10% of the prebuilt desktop/laptop market, so I think they might be ok with doing the same in the tablet market. i.e. build high quality devices and sell them to people who aren't super price sensitive. Which would leave MS the bottom 80% or so to sell cheap hardware to and feed them ads to make back the subsidization of the hardware.

    I don't know how well this will go over with Asian and Euro governments though in terms of anti-competitive law, but MS would be able to pull it off without too much trouble in the US anyway.

    Speculation: I wonder what would happen if they did something like this with more traditional desktops/laptops with Windows 9? Being able to serve xbox-type ads and take a percentage of software sales for hundreds of millions/billions of computers would make Windows licensing profits seem like small potatoes.
    Last edited by Namdrol; 15-08-2012 at 01:22 PM.

  20. #460
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    I'd be holding out for Surface Pro tbh (I'm up for the stylus support), however if that price point of $199 for the RT is accurate that's kind of insane and MS will just destroy the market (assuming it functions as promised).
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