26 Sep

Electronista – Microsoft CEO sees open dissent after general meeting

Microsoft may have shown signs of significant problems with company morale after reports from the company’s annual general meeting began surfacing in the past few days. The event, held as usual at Safeco Field in Seattle, saw "droves" of people leaving, according to well-known company insider Mini-Microsoft, even while CEO Steve Ballmer was speaking. Others pointed to unexciting demos and an obsession with Windows 8 tablets that didn’t reflect core businesses.

via Electronista – Microsoft CEO sees open dissent after general meeting. Microsoft is looking worse and worse every day.

20 Sep

Daring Fireball – The Case for Going Metro-Only on ARM

Read the whole thing. His take is reasonable. If Windows 8 does ship with support for classic non-Metro apps on ARM machines, these will be the reasons why.

But there are other good reasons, I think, for why Microsoft should cut the cord cleanly and go Metro-only on ARM.

via Daring Fireball – The Case for Going Metro-Only on ARM. When I posted the link about Windows 8 being able to run normal desktop apps, I somewhat flippantly said that it “could keep Win­dows 8 from being truly awesome”, this is why.

20 Sep

ZDNet – Microsoft: Desktop apps will run on Windows 8 on ARM

I’ve heard numerous folks who attended Build in person and/or via Webcasts say that there will be no Desktop app experience when Windows 8 ships on PCs and tablets running on ARM processors. Until today, I thought the same. But this is not correct.

Microsoft officials have been saying for months that existing x86 applications won’t just run on Windows on ARM; they will need to be recompiled. Microsoft is hoping and expecting that the majority of devs will go to the trouble of “Metro-izing” their apps while they are recompiling them to run on Windows 8 on ARM. However, that is guidance, and not a requirement.

via ZDNet – Microsoft: Desktop apps will run on Windows 8 on ARM. That’s the decision that could keep Windows 8 from being truly awesome.

17 Sep

MSDN Blogs – Metro style browsing and plug-in free HTML5

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

Running Metro style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers. Plug-ins were important early on in the web’s history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5. Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI.

via MSDN Blogs – Metro style browsing and plug-in free HTML5. Microsoft gets on the Flash is a dead end train.

24 Feb

BBC News – Microsoft says phone update failed 1 in 10 users

Microsoft has revealed that 1 in 10 users who tried to install a software update on their Windows mobile experienced problems.

The company had previously said that only a "small number" of handsets were affected.

Owners have reported a range of issues following the download, from phones crashing, to becoming completely unusable.

Microsoft pulled the update soon after the problem came to light.

via BBC News – Microsoft says phone update failed 1 in 10 users. That’s pretty poor.

30 Jan

Mike Cane’s xBlog – Windows 7: The Best iPad Seller!

So today I had to help someone set up some things on a new Windows 7 notebook.

This is a notebook mainly used for casual offline game-playing.

Until today.

When it had to get on the Internet.

And really, the Internet tasks it will do are ordinary things: email and some online game-playing.

Here is some of what I had to go through with this Windows 7 notebook:

via Mike Cane’s xBlog – Windows 7: The Best iPad Seller!. One of the reasons I moved to a Mac was I spent less time doing maintenance to do what I actually wanted to do, I just do it now.

17 Oct

The Typekit Blog – Type rendering: operating systems

As we dig into type rendering on the web, we’ll begin by looking at text rendering engines. We are all familiar with operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X, but within each OS are smaller, specialized components available for use by applications like web browsers. APIs such as Core Text on Mac OS X, and DirectWrite and GDI on Windows, are examples of these components and are responsible for rasterizing fonts’ vector outlines. Let’s examine screenshots of web type as rendered by each of these APIs, and talk about the application independence of rendering engines.

via The Typekit Blog – Type rendering: operating systems. How does type get rendered on Macs (also iOS devices) and Windows and what is each platform aiming for?

01 Aug

Ars Technica – Ballmer (and Microsoft) still doesn’t get the iPad

The message was clear: Microsoft still doesn’t understand why its Tablet PC concept has repeatedly bombed over the best part of a decade. Apple sold more iPads in its first three months of availability than PC vendors sold Tablet PCs in the whole of last year; in fact, the number of iPads sold in that period is likely to eclipse the number of Tablet PCs sold both last year and this. But still the company is persevering: stick a regular PC operating system on a laptop, give it a touchscreen, and then take away the keyboard and pixel-perfect pointing device. Ballmer even reiterated the company’s position: slates are just another PC form factor.

via Ars Technica – Ballmer (and Microsoft) still doesn’t get the iPad. Yet another in the long story of why Apple wins in this market and Microsoft fails. The iPad isn’t just a computer scaled down. It’s not a scaled down version of Mac OSX either. The iPhone runs a flavor of Mac OSX that has been customized to fit the hardware. The iPad is more of a scaled up version of this rather than a scaled down version of the full Snow Leopard. This lends two things:

  1. Touch works beautifully since touch is a first class interface on the iPhone.
  2. Doing one thing at a time is already perfected, great for an overall slower and smaller machine than a normal laptop (ie. closer to a netbook or slate as Steve Ballmer calls them).
28 Mar

IE8, Safari 4, Firefox 3, iPhone fall on day 1 of Pwn2Own – Ars Technica

The first day of the annual Pwn2Own contest in which security researchers can win cash and hardware if they successfully compromise machines using zero-day exploits is finished. Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7, Firefox 3 on Windows 7, Safari 4 on Mac OS X 10.6, and iPhone OS 3 were all compromised during the competition. Google's Chrome was the only browser left standing—and in fact, was completely untested. None of the researchers at the competition even tried to attack Chrome.

via IE8, Safari 4, Firefox 3, iPhone fall on day 1 of Pwn2Own. If you are making browser decisions based purely upon security, Chrome looks like the way to go at the moment.

21 Mar

“HTML5” versus Flash: Animation Benchmarking – The Man in Blue

They all follow pretty much the same pattern: Flash on top, followed by Canvas, then HTML, then SVG; with the exception of Safari on OS X, where – at lower numbers of particles – the native browser technologies hold their own, but still degenerate in performance for higher numbers of particles.

via The Man in Blue > "HTML5" versus Flash: Animation Benchmarking. Flash vs browser native ways of rendering animations. Flash unfortunately still wins out.