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Old 09-22-2012, 07:45 AM   #46
fjtorres
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Besides, it's kinda beside the point in this discussion. If you're going to compare Mac OS X to Windows 8, you may as well throw Linux into the mix too. Android is based upon the Linux kernel after all.
Exactly, MacOS is a full function OS that is *not* being used in mobile computing devices. Apple is going with a dual-OS approproach to the coming confluence of devices (full-function for desktops ad laptops and a trimmed-down limited function OS for mobility) whereas MS is going with a universal OS approach.
A nice, straight-up challenge to see whose vision prevails in the long run.

Anyway, here's what Win8 is bringing to the table on the Laptop front:
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-3121_7-...laptop-market/

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Starting October 26, laptop shoppers will be inundated with a flood of new PCs designed around Microsoft's new operating system. In fact, I've counted about 50 new laptops, tablets, hybrids, convertibles, and all-in-ones on my back-of-the-envelope list already.

A handful of these have already been announced, a healthy chunk will be announced early in October, and the rest will simply go on sale on October 26, alongside Windows 8.

Having seen a good number of these upcoming systems in person already, I can safely outline three big trendlines that will drive laptop and related device sales through the Windows 8 launch season and into 2013. If you're looking to buy a laptop anytime soon, keep these in mind as you dig through the dozens of upcoming new choices.

Touch screens on traditional clamshell laptops are going mainstream Adding a touch screen to a traditional clamshell laptop has always been an expensive novelty at best. I can only recall seeing a handful over the past few years, and none of them made particularly good use of the added feature.

With its not-Metro tile interface, there's a lot more you can do in Windows 8 with your fingers, and nearly every PC maker is either adding touch screens to its existing laptop lineup (usually as an added-cost option), or building entirely new models with that as a default.

After trying a handful out, the most surprising thing is that it's actually pretty useful, especially for flicking up and down long Web pages. And, some PC makers have been forward-thinking enough to redesign screen hinges, giving the display added resistance once you pass about 120 degrees or so.
More at the source...
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:36 PM   #47
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...As far as Multitasking, I cannot really comment on iOS, but with Android, it is quite easy. Hold down the Home button to get an selection of recently used apps, and selecting one of them will take you back to where you last left off with that app. Using this, you can switch back and forth between apps with ease. I use it all the time...
Owning quite a few tablets (all brands, all OSs), I know that of curse.
But I don't consider this "Multi-Tasking".
Basically, you "freeze" an application to the background and operate another one.
But I'd like to operate 2, 3 or 4 apps in parallel.
A basic task, such as copy/paste from a browser window to an email or from one email to another, is a nightmare of inefficiency.
You go back to the email client. But you don't see the last email opened, but the email client without open email. Or you may see the email, but it didn't remember the last position.

On a Windows system, I simply would open another browser session. Having 2 browsers, next to each other. Not 2 tabs, but 2 browsers.

Android definitely is improving rapidly. But, in my opinion, not quite there yet. iOs is miles behind in that regard.

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #48
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Now that MacBook Airs and ultrabook PCs are so thin and light, I really don't see the justification for owning a "work tablet." There is so much you can do with a real computer that is still dramatically out of reach for other devices.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #49
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Now that MacBook Airs and ultrabook PCs are so thin and light, I really don't see the justification for owning a "work tablet." There is so much you can do with a real computer that is still dramatically out of reach for other devices.
Which is why the closest thing I have to a tablet is a convertible hybrid (currently dual boot Win 7 & Win 8 preview), and the first actual tablet that interested me to the point of wanting one is the forthcoming Surface Pro.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:28 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Exactly, MacOS is a full function OS that is *not* being used in mobile computing devices. Apple is going with a dual-OS approproach to the coming confluence of devices (full-function for desktops ad laptops and a trimmed-down limited function OS for mobility) whereas MS is going with a universal OS approach.
But they aren't, are they?
There is Windows 8 RT, and there is 'real' Windows 8.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #51
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Now that MacBook Airs and ultrabook PCs are so thin and light, I really don't see the justification for owning a "work tablet." There is so much you can do with a real computer that is still dramatically out of reach for other devices.
The advantages of tablets for work (speaking as someone who uses one) is that they are much better for meetings and other out of the office events where you want something that is small, light, unobtrusive, and easy to share with others. Something that gives you access to documents you or your company already has, and the ability to take notes and send e-mails. Also, instant on is important.

And as light as a MacBook Air is, it's still about twice the weight of an iPad, and has half the battery life (and if you are spending a day outside the office, 10 hours vs. 5 hours is a big deal).
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #52
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But they aren't, are they?
There is Windows 8 RT, and there is 'real' Windows 8.
Depends on how you look at it, I guess. RT is really the Metro (though MS now hates that word for some reason) part (frontend?) of full Win 8. It's Win 8 minus the desktop.

So I guess it depends on whether you see Metro as something added to the OS, or a part of it.

I, myself, can't decide. I enjoy using it on a hybrid touch device, but it only really feels integrated when app switching or using the new menu system to open programs.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:24 PM   #53
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Also, for Windows 8, tablets are very different than the Windows tablets you're used to. Win8 RT is all metro, all the time. If you're not familiar with metro, it is the full screen interface that Microsoft is pushing people over on. Each app takes up 100% of the screen when it is active. No windows, period. Also, Windows RT will not run any desktop app. Have you used a recent Windows mobile device, with Windows Phone 7? Or maybe a Zune, or Xbox 360 with the current interface? Well, that's what Windows 8 RT is like. Just because it has Windows in the name, doesn't mean it is anything like what you're used to. In fact, it shares more in common with Android and iOS than its name sake.
On Windows 8 Enterprise edition (Build 9200) you can run two apps in the Metro interface. I'm not sure how it's done on a touchscreen, but with a mouse you go to the top of the screen until the cursor changes to a hand and then click and drag without releasing the button. If you drag the app to the bottom of the screen, it closes. If you drag it to the left or right it sort of docks there, taking up about a quarter of the screen. Now you can start another app and it will fill the other three quarters. Not sure if this can be done on Windows 8 RT, but I don't see why not.

Also, as far as I understand (this is not from personal experience), Windows 8 RT does in fact include a desktop. RT comes with a basic version of the MS Office suite, and the four included applications (Word, Excel, Power Point and One Note) are not Metro apps. I expect some other standard Windows applications will be included too (Windows Explorer and such). What you can't do is install third party applications (desktop applications, that is); it's a compatibility issue, since RT runs on ARM processors.

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:43 PM   #54
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But I don't consider this "Multi-Tasking".
Correctly so. The term for that is task-switching.

True-multitasking requires that multiple applications be active simultaneously and that (at least) the OS keep track of each application's exact state.
The lowest level of multi-tasking is cooperative multi-tasking (ala MacOS Switcher, circa 1990) where only one app runs at a time but it can be interrupted, paused, and its state saved so you can switch to another app.
The highest level (and highest quality) of multitasking is when the OS preemptively interrupts the apps that are active and divides available CPU cycles to keep them all running simultaneously without loss of data or responsiveness (the apps don't even know they've been interrupted).
How well OSes handle the scheduling of multple simultaneous apps, giving priority to time-critical/active apps while deemphasizing the inactive ones is one measure of a polished high quality OS versus a crude, simpler one.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #55
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Depends on how you look at it, I guess. RT is really the Metro (though MS now hates that word for some reason) part (frontend?) of full Win 8. It's Win 8 minus the desktop.

So I guess it depends on whether you see Metro as something added to the OS, or a part of it.
Pretty much.
Another way to put it is that Windows has a core section devoted to plumbing, a section that runs x86 Windows Apps (roughly equivalent to Windows7) and a *new* section that runs new ("don't call it Metro or we get sued in Germany") Apps.
Windows RT has all the core plumbing of full Windows and the New Section but not the x86 section. The Developer Tools for the New Apps *automatically* generate both x86 and ARM versions of the New Windows Apps. Give it a while and most *new* apps that run on x86 Windows will be running on RT.

This is *not* new.
Windows has *always* had other built-in "sections" for running other types of Applications; DOS, POSIX, Win16, Win32, dot.Net, etc...
Similarly, MS has already changed the GUI on Windows no less than 4 times.
And every time a portion of the customer base throws tantrums, screams, and curses at the "clearly inferior" new GUI.
Eventually they adapt and discover that the new GUI isn't all that bad and has its uses and a few years later when MS evolves the GUI again they start cursing the new GUI...
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #56
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And every time a portion of the customer base throws tantrums, screams, and curses at the "clearly inferior" new GUI.
Who exactly was complaining about the 'clearly inferior' Windows 95 GUI compared to Windows 3.1? Or the 'clearly inferior' Windows 2 compared to Windows 1?

Similarly, about the only complaints I remember about XP's GUI was that it had rounded corners on the windows and shadows on the mouse pointer.

It's only since XP that people have been complaining about each new release being a step backwards in usability.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #57
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Now that MacBook Airs and ultrabook PCs are so thin and light, I really don't see the justification for owning a "work tablet." There is so much you can do with a real computer that is still dramatically out of reach for other devices.
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
The advantages of tablets for work (speaking as someone who uses one) is that they are much better for meetings and other out of the office events where you want something that is small, light, unobtrusive, and easy to share with others. Something that gives you access to documents you or your company already has, and the ability to take notes and send e-mails. Also, instant on is important.

And as light as a MacBook Air is, it's still about twice the weight of an iPad, and has half the battery life (and if you are spending a day outside the office, 10 hours vs. 5 hours is a big deal).
I would add to what Andrew said that you are also handling tablets differently. It depends of course on your job, but if you need to spend several hours at work reading documents, the laptop and desktop form isn't as convenient as a tablet form. And depending on preference you might find that making notes with a stylus is easier than with a keyboard.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #58
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I think w8 may very well end up beating iOS and android in the end.

MS was late to the GUI too, and look how that turned out. They were late to the internet (early versions of IE were a joke, but they crushed Netscape eventually). Bing is now the only real competition to Google. They're killing it with Xbox.

Sure they fail plenty (Zune?), but they got plenty of cash for cushion. They're now doing some very interesting stuff with surface and Kinect.

W8 looks awkward now because they're trying to bridge old windows with the new metro. (Apple is sort of trying to make OSX more like iOS, with mixed results at best.). But eventually people will get with the program. Remember vista did not fail; it merely evolved to windows7.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #59
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Who exactly was complaining about the 'clearly inferior' Windows 95 GUI compared to Windows 3.1?
Heh! All the IT folks. "All the retraining! No Compact Program Manager front-and-center! And that crappy Start Menu! Cascading and spreading all over the screen!"
http://toastytech.com/guis/win95.html

And before that there were Command Line fans who complained of the mouse-driven interface instead of the short, clean command line interface where you could touch-type your way all over instead of having to reach for the mouse and chase a cursor all over.

The issue is never whether there is a valid rationale behind the changes but rather that there *are* changes.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:56 PM   #60
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MS was late to the GUI too, and look how that turned out.
Windows won the desktop GUI wars because it was the cheapest viable option.

The first really usable version of Windows was 3.0, and at that time you could buy a Unix workstation ($10,000+), a Mac ($5,000-10,000?), an IBM PC with OS/2 ($2,000-10,000?), or a generic PC with Windows ($1,000-2,000?). Prices are based on what I could find on the web and I don't remember whether early OS/2 ran on generic PCs as well as PS/2.

Windows was a joke compared to a Sun workstation, but you could buy a new car for the difference in price. Even OS/2 required more powerful hardware than Windows and came with a lot less free software. Pretty soon Windows had the largest software market overall, and when Windows 95 came out it was all over for the competition.

Windows will not be the cheapest option on tablets, will not have the largest tablet software base, and will still be seen as the cheap, low-quality brand it always was. Perhaps they can sell to business markets that are still tied to Windows, but I honestly can't see how they can sell Windows on consumer tablets short of massively subsidising tablet OEMs to push the price way down. Users looking for a premium brand will keep buying iPads, us cheapskates who don't want the Apple lock-in will keep buying Android.
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