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Old Feb 3, 2013, 03:24 PM   #26
MuffCabbage
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Originally Posted by ybz90 View Post
There are some idiosyncracies where it is clear Microsoft wanted so badly to introduce a new paradigm, they stupidly sacrificed usability.

One example is the lack of a startup button. I didn't say start menu, but I see no reason why they couldn't add something, anything, to indicate where to go for the startup screen. Or the charms menu, which have a number of ways to be triggered, some of the inconsistent. It's kind of a chore to do things as simple as shutting down.

For most of us (I imagine MR users are pretty savvy), it's not too hard to figure out what's changed. But imagine the average user (my parents), who already struggle with Windows 7. How the hell are any of them supposed to know how to access these menus?

This will be a future phone conversation for sure...

Me: So go to the bottom left corner for the start screen, where the start button used to be.
Mom: There's no start button anymore.
Me: I know, but just go there and click it, trust me, it'll work.
Mom: But there's nothing there, where do I go?!
Me: To the bottom left corner. Just do it. You can't see it anymore, it's invisible, but it's there, I promise.
Mom: Okay. A screen came up with my apps. How do I get back to my desktop?

I agree wholeheartedly that this is an excellent mobile/touch UI, but pretty useless (or worse, obstructive) on traditional PC. I wish Microsoft implemented this as a sort of software layer that could be enabled or disabled, so they could still have the best of both worlds in a single OS, but many of the annoyances could be avoided on regular computers.
For some reason people on Windows find it hard to imaging clicking the VERY corner. I tell people click in the very corner, and it always results in "nothing is happening". You then have to say very clearly, ALL THE WAY IN THE CORNER.

It makes sense that you wold use the corners, but its strange for people for some reason. After people get adjusted and learn how switching/start menu works, its usually fine though.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:01 AM   #27
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I think it's a pretty bold move - OEMs screwed up somewhat and implementation is a little clumsy but MS is trying to make a power play by merging desktop and tablet ecosystems together. This is something Apple has flirted with in the past by doing things like sticking the Launchpad in OSX and reversing its scrolling to make it feel like you're scrolling a tablet surface. If W8 gains traction Apple is gonna be playing catchup and the key driver will be the Surface Pro. That device has to undo the damage the OEMs created by doing things like sticking W8 on cheap hardware with no touchscreens and reboot the W8 brand.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:12 AM   #28
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 07:19 PM   #29
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I must say I install Windows 8 on my Mac Pro and I do think better of it than I did. It is running with EFI boot and I have pinned all of the apps to the taskbar that I use. I occasionally use the Metro IE for browsing and use the Weather, Finance, and News applications occasionally. I deleted Sports, Music, Travel, etc, and so far the experience has been pretty decent. More stable than on the tablet so far.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 07:25 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by linkgx1 View Post
I've been reading Windows 8 lately, and I'm still stuck on 7 (I bought the upgrade, but have yet to use it).

But I did try it a few times and must admit it's innovative, but a little bit confusing.

I noticed the touch interface is MUCH better than using a mouse. But the problem lies in whether or not Microsoft was right to make an OS like they did. I'm still trying to figure it out. I mean, should they have made desktop Windows like 7 and just made "tablet mode" for tablet/hybrid devices?

I noticed that in most stores, the computers are desktops and not a bunch of desktops. So when people see Windows 8, they are not getting the optimal experience.

But, then again, if Microsoft did not make something touch focus, they would continually lose markeshare to Google and Apple.

Does anyone feel the same or have a suggestion on what M$ should have done? Thanks!
There is a desktop mode if you want to use it. However, give the W8 some time as with anything else before deciding. At least a good month to get used to it id say, just like with switching from iOS to Android.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 08:07 PM   #31
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IMO, give it back the start menu and come up with a way to inhibit metro, case closed. I am a MS developer, I will never develop a Metro app! Good luck trying to get back to the OS when you're stuck in some sort of tablet or TV mode!
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 08:21 PM   #32
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I'm afraid that the desktop computer is dying. The argument that you have to experience W8 on a tablet to appreciate it shouldn't be. I hate to say it, but I think we have another Windows Vista on our hands. W8 is neither evolutionary, nor revolutionary. I don't imagine sales could be all that high for it either. Let's hope for something better in Windows 9!
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 08:54 PM   #33
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IMO, give it back the start menu and come up with a way to inhibit metro, case closed. I am a MS developer, I will never develop a Metro app! Good luck trying to get back to the OS when you're stuck in some sort of tablet or TV mode!
This is exactly the attitude I'm afraid of. Developers are going to say, 'I already have a program for Windows, why should I bother developing a Metro app?' and that reticence will sink what could become a very good OS. The reality is that the Metro environment is better suited to a lot of things that people want to do than the desktop. It is already the case; many big name companies have yet to develop an app for Windows, and their brand will suffer as a result. The devices that are hot today work better with apps than with desktop programs.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:46 AM   #34
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Win8 is not really confusing.

it's just garbage for a desktop or lapto form factor.


Tablet? Sure. But it gives up far too much in terms of Window management and application sandboxing for use on a desktop.


I've been running it in test since the beta - i'm going to be forced to upgrade at work whether i like it or not as the server 2012 admin tools won't run on 7.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:51 AM   #35
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Its horrible. Apple was right to separate osx and Ios. Have 2 macs at home and ipad but at work had to get a Windows and metro is annoying as hell for business needs. Wish I got win 7.

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Edit that. I wish I got another mac and installed parallels for the 1 piece of software that requires windows that I don'tuse often .
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:51 AM   #36
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I hate to say it, but I think we have another Windows Vista on our hands.
What iOS and Android have shown is that customers don't need/want full-blown desktop software on their mobile devices. They've both accumulated a huge catalogue of software designed ground-up for a touch interface.

That is bad news for Microsoft, since their Unique Selling Point is their huge catalogue of compatible desktop software. They need to convince people that they (a) want and (b) can have the same OS and software on their mobile that they have on their desk.

What we have here is a product that exists not because the customers want it, but because the manufacturer needs the customer to want it.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:24 AM   #37
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What iOS and Android have shown is that customers don't need/want full-blown desktop software on their mobile devices. They've both accumulated a huge catalogue of software designed ground-up for a touch interface.

That is bad news for Microsoft, since their Unique Selling Point is their huge catalogue of compatible desktop software. They need to convince people that they (a) want and (b) can have the same OS and software on their mobile that they have on their desk.

What we have here is a product that exists not because the customers want it, but because the manufacturer needs the customer to want it.
The only problem with this is that nobody wants iOS, or Android on a desktop computer. And secondly nobody wants WP8/Metro UI on a mobile device.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:39 AM   #38
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After a couple days of use with a convertible tablet, all I can really say is that it has potential.

I definitely find myself using the touchscreen a lot, even in laptop mode. I'm not happy with the number of patches, updates and installs that were necessary to keep it from being worthless (as in literally unable to properly do what I bought the computer for).

At least when I use it, I can think of solutions to the rough edges, and see what a company like Apple can do to improve on the situation if they offer a hybrid touch OS.

If Apple does make one with a pen though, they damn well better have official cintiq-quality drivers for the machine.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 09:05 AM   #39
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This is exactly the attitude I'm afraid of. Developers are going to say, 'I already have a program for Windows, why should I bother developing a Metro app?' and that reticence will sink what could become a very good OS. The reality is that the Metro environment is better suited to a lot of things that people want to do than the desktop. It is already the case; many big name companies have yet to develop an app for Windows, and their brand will suffer as a result. The devices that are hot today work better with apps than with desktop programs.
Well, win8 did one good thing, it punted me to MacOS. I came from developing systems back when everything was modal. A green screen and a "please select option" bounce bar. No multi-tasking, no object action. Then, I watched Mac, GemOS, AmigaOS, Windows 1.0 come out with a windowed multi-tasking (or switching) environment. Wow! I shift paradigms over 20+ years of development.

Now, Metro IMO is a step back to the inhibiting modal way of thinking. I hope it doesn't stick. I hope Windows realizes that like Mac, the power is in the desktop.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 09:07 AM   #40
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To me, Microsoft's problem is that they weren't bold enough to completely dump the old way of using windows or using tablet PCs. Instead, they simply made what I feel were cosmetic changes to windows8, and people just end up with more of the same (old problems).

For instance, windows8 has tiles for quickly launching apps via touchscreen. Then you realise that the majority of apps are still designed for the old Win7 keyboard+mouse interface, and it is practically impossible to use your finger to manipulate them properly. You can use a stylus, but it is slower, and I don't think people appreciate having to contend with 4-5 modes of input.

Conversely, the macbook has a great trackpad which negates the need for me to lug around a mouse (most of the time anyways) while the ipad's touch-centric UI means that every app is built around multi-touch, so I can use it just fine without the need for a bluetooth keyboard or stylus.

Then, you still get the same old UI issues (apparently, to change settings, I need to hop into start->control panel->display->adjust resolution->log out).

Not to mention awkward design choices like including heat vents in a tablet mean to be held in your hand. Or a kickstand which allows just 1 angle of viewing, or a flexible keyboard which pretty much makes typing on your lap impossible.

I understand these were compromises made to shoehorn a laptop and a tablet into 1 hybrid device, but I personally feel if that many sacrifices need to be made, maybe it is the biggest sign that said device is simply not ready, or perhaps way ahead of its time (to put it generously).
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 09:33 AM   #41
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Well, win8 did one good thing, it punted me to MacOS. I came from developing systems back when everything was modal. A green screen and a "please select option" bounce bar. No multi-tasking, no object action. Then, I watched Mac, GemOS, AmigaOS, Windows 1.0 come out with a windowed multi-tasking (or switching) environment. Wow! I shift paradigms over 20+ years of development.

Now, Metro IMO is a step back to the inhibiting modal way of thinking. I hope it doesn't stick. I hope Windows realizes that like Mac, the power is in the desktop.
While there is no question that Microsoft has a lot of work to do to better integrate Metro into the OS, give it a few years time, and I honestly believe it will be a good system, even on a desktop. A lot of the lighter use that computers see - mail, calendars, messaging, music, reading, etc. are well suited to the simplicity of the Metro side of things. Well-designed programs that integrate fully into that paradigm could give the platform a lot of potential.

This is a big commitment from Microsoft; I wouldn't count on them backing down.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 10:40 AM   #42
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What iOS and Android have shown is that customers don't need/want full-blown desktop software on their mobile devices. They've both accumulated a huge catalogue of software designed ground-up for a touch interface.

That is bad news for Microsoft, since their Unique Selling Point is their huge catalogue of compatible desktop software. They need to convince people that they (a) want and (b) can have the same OS and software on their mobile that they have on their desk.

What we have here is a product that exists not because the customers want it, but because the manufacturer needs the customer to want it.
I don't think that's the case at all IMO. iOS and Android have demonstrated that consumers want a mobile device that has long battery life, is thin and light, and can consume content in an easy fashion but many of them retained their laptops and desktops realizing that they had not found a solution for productivity. IMO iOS and Android to a lesser extent have brought us backwards, not forwards with the overly simplistic UI and way of doing things. This is well suited towards content consumption, looking at pictures, listening to music, watching videos, etc., but it doesn't translate as well to real productivity, working with photoshop, Office, spreadsheets, heavy duty word processing, drawing, graphics, etc etc. This forces many of us to use the ipads of the world as an additional device instead of a replacement device.

Now I'm not defending windows 8 here at all. MS should have either chosen to go full Metro, or the smarter thing to do would be to simply update the windows UI to be touch friendly, make the desktop touch friendly, etc. It just confuses me when people say the desktop is unusable on a tablet, I highly disagree with today's desktop, but if MS put some work into it they could make it that much better. At the end of the day that's all it is, making bigger buttons, bigger touch elements, some rearranging, then going forward requiring ALL developers follow these rules just as they do on iOS. The funny thing is MS didn't even need Metro. You are 100% correct in saying that it's a product that MS is needing to have the customers want it, but I only agree in terms of Metro, people still want and have a need for the desktop otherwise laptops and desktops would have disappeared by now in favor of ipads.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:23 PM   #43
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I don't think that's the case at all IMO. iOS and Android have demonstrated that consumers want a mobile device that has long battery life, is thin and light, and can consume content in an easy fashion but many of them retained their laptops and desktops realizing that they had not found a solution for productivity. IMO iOS and Android to a lesser extent have brought us backwards, not forwards with the overly simplistic UI and way of doing things. This is well suited towards content consumption, looking at pictures, listening to music, watching videos, etc., but it doesn't translate as well to real productivity, working with photoshop, Office, spreadsheets, heavy duty word processing, drawing, graphics, etc etc. This forces many of us to use the ipads of the world as an additional device instead of a replacement device.

Now I'm not defending windows 8 here at all. MS should have either chosen to go full Metro, or the smarter thing to do would be to simply update the windows UI to be touch friendly, make the desktop touch friendly, etc. It just confuses me when people say the desktop is unusable on a tablet, I highly disagree with today's desktop, but if MS put some work into it they could make it that much better. At the end of the day that's all it is, making bigger buttons, bigger touch elements, some rearranging, then going forward requiring ALL developers follow these rules just as they do on iOS. The funny thing is MS didn't even need Metro. You are 100% correct in saying that it's a product that MS is needing to have the customers want it, but I only agree in terms of Metro, people still want and have a need for the desktop otherwise laptops and desktops would have disappeared by now in favor of ipads.
Exactly. I don't want IOS on my macbook. Why did Windows have to try to combine them?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:42 PM   #44
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Does the Surface lock up frequently with you? I have a ThinkPad Tablet 2 with Windows 8 Pro, and it locks up and blue screens probably a once per day. The reliability reminds me of going back to Windows 9x from the Windows NT kernel. I assume you are running Windows RT, so maybe it doesn't have the same issuers as Windows 8 Pro. So far, I am liking my iPad 2 much better, and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Windows 7 for very portable device. I have used Windows since 3.0 and am an MCSE and am not new to Windows by any means, but so far Apple has done a much better job in the tablet arena IMO. Perhaps the Surface Pro is a better device than the ThinkPad Tablet 2... I have many ThinkPads and love them, but this one tablet still has a few bugs. Maybe that's why it was delayed a few times...
Might be a hardware issue. I've been using Win 8 on three PCs and my Surface since launch and have had 2 BSODs. Once when i was updated my SSD's firmware through the desktop with a "Beta" update program and once on a brand new install in a brand new rig... turned out the DD3 Module was bad. Other than that nothing.

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I find this hard to believe
I've done the same and its 50/50. Everyone likes the way it looks... half the people seem to try to adapt without noise. Other people have such a hard time with the lack of a start menu and complain until they get used to it.. It is quite jarring for them.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinedoc77 View Post
I don't think that's the case at all IMO. iOS and Android have demonstrated that consumers want a mobile device that has long battery life, is thin and light, and can consume content in an easy fashion but many of them retained their laptops and desktops realizing that they had not found a solution for productivity. IMO iOS and Android to a lesser extent have brought us backwards, not forwards with the overly simplistic UI and way of doing things. This is well suited towards content consumption, looking at pictures, listening to music, watching videos, etc., but it doesn't translate as well to real productivity, working with photoshop, Office, spreadsheets, heavy duty word processing, drawing, graphics, etc etc. This forces many of us to use the ipads of the world as an additional device instead of a replacement device.

Now I'm not defending windows 8 here at all. MS should have either chosen to go full Metro, or the smarter thing to do would be to simply update the windows UI to be touch friendly, make the desktop touch friendly, etc. It just confuses me when people say the desktop is unusable on a tablet, I highly disagree with today's desktop, but if MS put some work into it they could make it that much better. At the end of the day that's all it is, making bigger buttons, bigger touch elements, some rearranging, then going forward requiring ALL developers follow these rules just as they do on iOS. The funny thing is MS didn't even need Metro. You are 100% correct in saying that it's a product that MS is needing to have the customers want it, but I only agree in terms of Metro, people still want and have a need for the desktop otherwise laptops and desktops would have disappeared by now in favor of ipads.
Don't forget good gaming! Can't really be had at all on a mobile OS. Well on a level that is acceptable to me.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:47 PM   #45
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I think Microsoft was trying to bridge the gap of how similar windows 8 and windows phone 8 are.. good idea in my book
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:13 PM   #46
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Might be a hardware issue. I've been using Win 8 on three PCs and my Surface since launch and have had 2 BSODs. Once when i was updated my SSD's firmware through the desktop with a "Beta" update program and once on a brand new install in a brand new rig... turned out the DD3 Module was bad. Other than that nothing.


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I've done the same and its 50/50. Everyone likes the way it looks... half the people seem to try to adapt without noise. Other people have such a hard time with the lack of a start menu and complain until they get used to it.. It is quite jarring for them.

----------



Don't forget good gaming! Can't really be had at all on a mobile OS. Well on a level that is acceptable to me.
Yes, good gaming is a totally different argument for sure. This is the area windows could have really used to bury the ipad, but instead they squandered it. Their strongest tablet, the surface Pro doesn't run many games unless they are on the lowest settings, and even then it's a rough ride. But what's worse is you still need a keyboard and mouse for them, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as you are more accurate and touch controls on the ipad kind of suck, but it's not like MS is pushing touch friendly games either and they have all that xbox heritage behind them that can be used. Forget about gaming on the atom processors, it's kaput, dead in the water. I love my Note 2 also because I can game on it.

It's just baffling with that Xbox pedigree how gaming couldn't have been a strong point for MS, I'd even settle for a bullet point, but it's not even a footnote.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:17 PM   #47
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but it doesn't translate as well to real productivity, working with photoshop, Office, spreadsheets, heavy duty word processing, drawing, graphics, etc etc.
...but are those limitations due to the UI, or are they a result of the physical limitations of the tablet?

Technology will undoubtedly catch up and offer more powerful CPUs, more storage and longer battery life, but it isn't there yet. What is harder to solve is the small screen area, lack of physical keyboard and lack of precise pointing device (unless there's a stylus). In fact, at the moment, the growth area seems to be large-screen "phablet" phones, which are even less likely to be suitable for heavy creative work.

Personally, if I was 'tooling up' for mobile work today, I'd get a phablet and a 13" Macbook Air: the phablet is small enough to be carried in a pocket, and its disadvantages are far outweighed by the convenience of having it always to hand. I don't have an issue with it being a 'consumption' device. The Air has a decent keyboard and can easily be 'docked' with a full-sized monitor, mouse and keyboard for desktop use. Together, these weigh less, and take up less space, than the laptops we were happily carting around a couple of years ago.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:32 PM   #48
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The most exciting time for me was when single touch of my trackpad turned into s "swipe" and took me out of my task and dropped me in some weather app!

I could go on for days. Anyone want to buy my license ?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:38 PM   #49
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Yes, good gaming is a totally different argument for sure. This is the area windows could have really used to bury the ipad, but instead they squandered it. Their strongest tablet, the surface Pro doesn't run many games unless they are on the lowest settings, and even then it's a rough ride. But what's worse is you still need a keyboard and mouse for them, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as you are more accurate and touch controls on the ipad kind of suck, but it's not like MS is pushing touch friendly games either and they have all that xbox heritage behind them that can be used. Forget about gaming on the atom processors, it's kaput, dead in the water. I love my Note 2 also because I can game on it.

It's just baffling with that Xbox pedigree how gaming couldn't have been a strong point for MS, I'd even settle for a bullet point, but it's not even a footnote.
I think they were trying to aim this device towards business and the average joe that has to dabble in office or some older legacy software. Even running a 640M LE on any intensive game will destroy the battery. Who knows they could launch a Xbox Surface with a 640 or above mobile gpu with more memory and a higher specced out proc but chances are the battery will kill over after 1-2 hours. Razer is making a 720p gaming tablet that has a i7, 640M LE, 8 GB DDR3 and a 256 GB SSD. Still no idea on the battery life there.

Also as for the touch screen, alot of the desktop based games might struggle with finding proper ways to use that input method. Obviously games like Civ5 have a full touch only mode which works absolutely phenomenal but games like TF2 would struggle in that aspect. Mice are simply the most superior input methods for FPS.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:47 PM   #50
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...but are those limitations due to the UI, or are they a result of the physical limitations of the tablet?

Technology will undoubtedly catch up and offer more powerful CPUs, more storage and longer battery life, but it isn't there yet. What is harder to solve is the small screen area, lack of physical keyboard and lack of precise pointing device (unless there's a stylus). In fact, at the moment, the growth area seems to be large-screen "phablet" phones, which are even less likely to be suitable for heavy creative work.

Personally, if I was 'tooling up' for mobile work today, I'd get a phablet and a 13" Macbook Air: the phablet is small enough to be carried in a pocket, and its disadvantages are far outweighed by the convenience of having it always to hand. I don't have an issue with it being a 'consumption' device. The Air has a decent keyboard and can easily be 'docked' with a full-sized monitor, mouse and keyboard for desktop use. Together, these weigh less, and take up less space, than the laptops we were happily carting around a couple of years ago.
Well, yes you are correct, but that's only half the picture. The ipad has the UI limitations AND the hardware limitations, where the windows tablets only have the hardware limitations (arguably DPI/scaling can be UI limitations, granted).

As for the macbook air, at that point the surface Pro is a worthy contender. In that arena now you are not worried about battery life, etc, and depending on your line of work you may want the higher resolution and stylus, or you may want the physically larger Air screen, but they both have trade offs.

In the end we need a paradigm change, one to get us off of keyboards and mice. That's a real tall order and who knows if we will fill it ever. It always ends up being input that holds us back. Even the screen issue will be resolved soon enough, folding screens are a reality and we will see them in the near future, I have no doubt they will pervade the smartphone/tablet sector. But we haven't really seen any viable input paradigm changes, maybe camera/gesture input, I don't know, it's certainly interesting to think about.
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What would the world be like if laptops were released with iOS?
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