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Will Microsoft Release Its Own Windows 8 Tablet?

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the If-you-like-theirs-try-ours dept.

Microsoft 207

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft isn't exactly known for its hardware prowess. Sure, it's churned out plenty of nice mice, keyboards, and game controllers over the years, but success with actual devices has been mixed. The Xbox 360 has exceeded all expectations, while the Zune and Kin hardware have been monumental failures. According to industry sources in Taiwan, however, Microsoft is working on a Windows 8 tablet that will be powered by Texas Instrument's next-generation 1.8GHz dual core processor."

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207 comments

Windows Tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377174)

It'll be different this time, guys. Honest!

Hello slashbots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377322)

It's goatse time! [goo.gl]

Re:Windows Tablet (1, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377402)

Windows Tablet

This is just becoming an embarassment at this point. When is MS going to even try to compete? Windows tablets have been an abject failure in the consumer market for over a decade, Windows Mobile got stomped, Windows Phone is getting stomped and the kin lasted what, 2 months? Why can't Ballmer get it through his thick skull? Desktop Windows does not work on a tablet. Period. Why? Desktop Windows applications do not work on a tablet. It doesn't matter how many confusingly obfuscated skins you add over the top or how many "tiles" or useless UI paradigm flavors of the month you try to cram down people's throats. What you will end up with is a rehash of what happened to Windows Mobile which is when you drill through the skin, you get the ugly underneath that is the real operating system. No number of SPB shells or HTC Senses could do anything to stop the demise of WinMo and that is exactly what Microsoft is trying to do here with "big" windows. It didn't work then and it won't work now and all it is doing is further tarnishing their reputation in mobile and turning more consumers off.

What they need to do is what the current overwhelming market leader did, namely, make a touch centric operating system from the ground up add some great first party support and do whatever it takes to attract strong third party development. That's how the iPad is winning. Anything else, including this latest folly, is just throwing good money after bad.

Don Quixote would be proud.

Re:Windows Tablet (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377514)

Well, actually.. the Kin is a totally different story, it was killed because the Windows Phone people whined that it was shitting on their lawn.

Indeed, the Windows tablet has been a failure for a long time, but a lot of that was because there were no apps for it, and regular windows apps just don't work well on a tablet. A Windows 8 tablet, with a tablet marketplace, might be successful if apps are written specifically for it.

I doubt Microsoft will actually sell their own though, they may be working on a hardware baseline, much like the Google Nexus was (yes, you could buy one, but they weren't really in the business to sell them). Microsoft did something similar with Origami many years ago.

Re:Windows Tablet (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377526)

What they need to do is what the current overwhelming market leader did, namely, make a touch centric operating system from the ground up

The current market leader (I assume you mean Apple) didn't make a "touch centric OS" from the ground up. They took OS X - heck, they even took the same UI framework! - and they polished it into something very touch-friendly. In other words, precisely what you decry as "not working".

The trick is in doing it right.

Re:Windows Tablet (0)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377628)

In other words, precisely what you decry as "not working".

You are precisely wrong. The difference is Apple reset consumer expectation. They didn't say, "Here's OSX for your phone". People would have looked at it and been like, "WTF? This isn't OSX." MS is making this mistake. Again. They are saying this is Windows for your tablet. Never mind the fact that your applications won't work on the ARM version and the x86 applications aren't designed to be run on a touch screen for the x86 version. It's a lose/lose and consumers can smell it.

Re:Windows Tablet (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377804)

You have a point, but this is not at all what you've said in the original post to which I replied. There you have painted it as a technological problem - that it is somehow impossible to take desktop Windows as a base for a tablet OS and make it work. What you're talking about now is a marketing problem - the desire to shove "Windows(tm)" logo everywhere, as if it were some magic incantation that conjures dollars out of thin air.

Re:Windows Tablet (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378064)

There you have painted it as a technological problem - that it is somehow impossible to take desktop Windows as a base for a tablet OS and make it work.

I guess I did implicitly say something like that but now that you bring it up, I'd actually say that it is true. I mean, to turn desktop Windows into a true tablet OS is going to require a complete redesign of the entire shell to make it touch centric. Everything from the File Explorer, the file picker, control panel, mmc, so on and so forth. Then, in order for it to compete with iOS and Android, you'll have to significantly reduce its system requirements or the other guys will just walk all over you with cheaper hardware and a similarly fluid and fast system for a lower price. You'll have to come out with new api's for gps, front/rear cameras, accelerometers, compass, etc. for tablet centric hardware, the OS's size will have to be slimmed down significantly as Windows 7 in its present incarnation would take up most of a 16 GB onboard memory footprint. And, I'm sure there is more I'm just glossing over.

And when you're done with all of that, do you really have "desktop" windows anymore? No. Not anymore than Android is desktop Linux or iOS is desktop OSX. The whole Windows and start logo marketing thing is just ridiculous but we all already know that.

Re:Windows Tablet (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378292)

. I mean, to turn desktop Windows into a true tablet OS is going to require a complete redesign of the entire shell to make it touch centric. Everything from the File Explorer, the file picker, control panel, mmc, so on and so forth.

That's true. But, did you see the Win8 demo video [youtube.com] ? That's precisely what it shows. The old stuff is still there, but tucked far away, for the benefit of legacy apps you might want to run who expect to work in that environment. The new shell really is new, and unabashedly touch-centric (that whole tile thing).

Then, in order for it to compete with iOS and Android, you'll have to significantly reduce its system requirements or the other guys will just walk all over you with cheaper hardware and a similarly fluid and fast system for a lower price.

True. Hence ARM support (this is the crucial part of "cheaper hardware", and also a big deal for battery life).

And when you're done with all of that, do you really have "desktop" windows anymore? No. Not anymore than Android is desktop Linux or iOS is desktop OSX.

Well, you still have the same OS, and largely the same userland except for highest-level UI... so yes?

I guess it depends on perspective. If you're looking at it as a user, you really don't care about kernels and versions and such stuff - only about what you see on the screen. In that sense e.g. iOS and OS X have pretty much nothing in common. If you look at it as a developer, you know that, in fact, there are a lot of shared things there, including all the core parts.

Re:Windows Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36378502)

How boringly predictable Slashdot has gotten. Go against the MS party line and get modded down. That's not going to change the fact that MS tablets are toast moron.

The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377176)

The 360 has exceeded all expectations?
Except the whole paying for the debt the Xbox left them with.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377202)

And overheating problems on the earlier models.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377382)

Yeah I don't consider an estimated return rate of 30% and a $1B write-off just to correct hardware problems as a shining example of hardware prowess.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377538)

Whoever reported those statistics sucks at maths. I've owned 3 Xbox360's and had an estimated return rate of 0%. For the record I sold my original 1st gen 360 to help pay for two Elites.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377708)

Well since you had no problems, those thousands of articles, reports, and user cases MUST be false!

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377812)

Whoever reported those statistics sucks at maths.

Good thing someone like you who is clearly an experienced statistician can enlighten the rest of us. I also consider myself an amateur statistician, though I'm clearly not the genius you are. However, you might be interested in my recent work on climate modeling. I started back in February, things are going pretty well so far, but I'm a little concerned that my research is all going to burn up when the air temperature reaches 1000 degrees next year.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378386)

Here are the facts: MS admitted they would hav to spend $1B just to fix this one issue. How many consoles does that fix? If the average repair cost is like $100, that's 10 million consoles. Currently MS has 40 million consoles sold to date; they would have had less back when this write-off was announced.

Flextronics (1)

alinuxguruofyore (1117973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377578)

You are making the case for Microsoft to get more directly involved in the manufacturing process, rather than rely on contract electronic manufactures like Flextronic that were used to manufacture those XBox's

Re:Flextronics (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377738)

Um no. Part of the overheating problem was attributed to the fact that MS was more involved with hardware design than the original Xbox. Instead of hiring a company to do their ASIC design, they did it themselves; they just didn't have the experience and expertise to do it right.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377696)

No. don't you get it?

The 360 exceeded everyone's expectations *with* it's 30% return rate. We were all thinking around 12%!

The 360 exceeded everyone's expectations *with* $1B in write-offs. We were expecting $230M at the most!

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377312)

Paying debt from the original xbox is quite amazing because the original failed insanely hard. The 360 wasn't at all like the original xbox and they did it right this time around. As far as overheating with earlier models, the PS3 was in the same boat, just people like to attack Microsoft because they are Microsoft. As a console/game collector, I have to say that the xbox 360 experience was thrilling and I was not expecting it to be so much fun being that it was the last system for me to pickup (wii then ps3 then xbox 360).

As far as Windows 8 is concerned, I'm excited because you can switch between a tablet UI to a windows 7-like UI at any given time and if you want to do something like create spreadsheets, use word, play windows games etc... You can do it in theory with a windows 8 tablet and that's something that's been missing with current tablets (practicality). I'm very excited for this and if the difference is like going from the original xbox to the 360, then I'll be more than willing to trade in my android tablet for a windows 8 tablet.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377412)

As far as overheating with earlier models, the PS3 was in the same boat, just people like to attack Microsoft because they are Microsoft.

Woa, just woa. That is absolutely not true. The Xbox 360 had a terrifying failure rate. It is well established and not just Microsoft bashing. I suppose it was a "thrilling" experience not knowing how long your machine would last.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377548)

if you want to do something like create spreadsheets

You put away your toys and use a keyboard and a mouse like any sane person would do.

use word

See above.

play windows games

All of which are designed to be used in conjunction with, you guessed, a keyboard and a mouse. Try playing Call of Duty with your "touch screen" and see how that works out for you. And any tablet centric games are already going to be on every other major tablet platform so there is no advantage to the Windows tab.

You can do it in theory with a windows 8 tablet

You can create spreadsheets, documents, and play games with practically every tablet on the market. Very few people do it, they use their real computers instead. Oh, and they all play games. The best car game I ever played is on my tablet. It's a stunt car game where you turn the tablet to steer and pull back to brake. It's a blast and more fun than any desktop race game ever could be played on the same device.

I'll be more than willing to trade in my android tablet for a windows 8 tablet.

Do whatever you want to do, it's your tablet. But, if you're doing it for the reasons outlined, prepare to be sorely disappointed.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378308)

I'll be more than willing to trade in my android tablet for a windows 8 tablet.

Have you heard of iPad? Check it out next time your comparison shopping between android and windows tablets.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377388)

I wouldn't even go that far. I'm sure MS thought they could take over the console market completely. So far, they haven't managed that, though they have got an impressive standing.

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36378370)

Well I doubt anyone could have expected them to fail as often as they did!

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36378448)

The 360 has exceeded all expectations?

Number of consoles returned per customer, for one... ;)

Re:The 360 has exceeded all expectations? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378504)

Look man, if you've got a console that has people coming back three and four times to buy a new one when it keeps conking out, you'd better be making money on it.

I think they should (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377178)

I see too muc uninformed Microsoft bashing on this webblog here. Let's not forget that in this trying time for the American economy and for American working families and working business owners, Microsoft is an all-American company, unlike the Asian comuter companies (Apple, Linux, Sorny, etc.) Instead of whining, why don't Slash doters support America by buying American, and buying Microsoft? They have quality products made by Aerican computer-working men and ladies.

Re:I think they should (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377242)

Seems you are uninformed. They hire in plenty of international employees. I'm not American btw, I don't care about such patriotic/racist sentiments.

Re:I think they should (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377258)

I'm for MS having a tablet - the more competition in the market the better.

As for MS being an American company, they're as American as Apple or any other huge multinational. Also, MS hires many many H1-Bs and they have a huge presence in India and throughout Asia and the World for that matter.

It's impossible to just buy American in the IT industry.

Re:I think they should (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377330)

From TFA:

Other Taiwan-based OEMs are also rumored to be assisting in the manufacturing process.

All American? Those days are long gone (and not just for Microsoft). Buying based on a US corporate logo isn't going to guarantee any American jobs (besides Ballmer's, and that's up for grabs as well).

The only difference between Apple and Microsoft is that the latter's O/S is going to have more end users committing suicide instead of Foxconn employees.

Re:I think they should (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377608)

Strange that because sitting here at my office desk I can see Microsoft's UK HQ sitting near Oracle's one in Thames Valley Park, Reading.

Why do you say that Apple is an Asian Company? It is listed like MS, Oracle etc on the NYSE/NasDaq etc.
Ok so Apple gets it 'stuff' made abroad. Well my /. friend so does MS and jut about every other tech company in the western world. That is economics 101.
Take a look at an MS Keyboard. Where is it made? China or somewhere not that far away probably.

If we take your argument a stage further, then the cars at your friendly GM/Ford dealer will be sadly unable to leave the forecourt if you remove all the 'foreign' parts.
The same goes for every Boeing that rolls off the production line in Seattle.

Re:I think they should (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377836)

Rinux not asian! Rinus not asian!

Intel (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377182)

Intel should be even more worried than they are already [slashdot.org] .

Will it ... (0, Flamebait)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377196)

... run Linux?

When Microsoft abandons this h/w, it could turn out to be a sweet platform for actually running something useful.

Re:Will it ... (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378380)

... run Linux?

Not right away ... it'll take about a week before it runs Linux.

What will they call it? (1)

rabblerabblerabble (1593117) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377254)

MiPad? MicroPad? Window Pane? MicroTab?

Re:What will they call it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377386)

MicroFail

Re:What will they call it? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377446)

It's a Windows TC.

Kin XL (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377946)

They can reuse that Kin name they have laying there.

Re:What will they call it? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378156)

WinPad.

Which is ironic because it starts with "Win" but will probably end up being a huge epic "Fail". Backward compatibility can only go so far, especially the transition between a desktop OS made for a keyboard and mouse and a tablet OS made for a touch interface.

To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377262)

The hardware design wasn't the problem with the KIN. It being released after feature phones stopped being cool coupled with it requiring an expensive data plan did it in. The hardware design on the Zune on the other hand.... well poop brown just isn't cool.

Re:To be fair (3, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377434)

Christ, and the iPod nano comes in piss yellow. Grow up. The Zune was released in red blue green pink black white and brown. Brown is the color of our earth, our eyes, our hair, and our skin. That you immediately associate it with fecal matter tells more about you than the Zune.

Re:To be fair (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378176)

Thanks to marketing 101, I now associate brown with UPS.

Re:To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377552)

The hardware design wasn't the problem with the KIN. It being released after feature phones stopped being cool coupled with it requiring an expensive data plan did it in. The hardware design on the Zune on the other hand.... well poop brown just isn't cool.

Jesus, just about *every* smartphone requires an expensive data plan. My impression of the Zune HD and Kin's failures is that they failed as a result of piss poor marketing and MS not giving a shit. Not because they had some sort of intrinsic hardware failure or anything like that.

Re:To be fair (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377728)

My impression of the Zune HD and Kin's failures is that they failed as a result of piss poor marketing

Yeah, they just needed to fix it with marketing. It couldn't have been because they flat sucked compared to the competition? Surely not.

Re:To be fair (1)

deimios666 (1040904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377948)

There might be a "squirt" of truth in that...

Re:To be fair (0)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378080)

Take a real look at them. They didn't suck in comparison to their competition. If anything, the Zune was better than the iPods out at the same time. It was purely marketing and image that caused them to fail.

Re:To be fair (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378198)

Take a real look at them. They didn't suck in comparison to their competition.

I beg to differ. They were ugly, heavier than ipods of similar specs, and the interface was less intuitive. Together, that counts as suck. And the Zune HD had piss poor third party support, and the apps that were on it took too long to load with some even requiring full page video ads to be viewed before they would even start up. Yes, that sucks when the iPod touch is so much better.

Re:To be fair (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378414)

The Zune80 and Zune120 were superior to the iPod Classic in just about every way but two... better hardware, better sound quality, better UI, and better desktop software (Zune), and ZunePass. It just didn't measure up in market share/3rd party support, and international support (ZunePass being US only was a huge problem).

So no, the Zune didn't "suck" compared to the competition. I owned both, and I assure you the Zune (as well as the Zune HD) are great pieces of hardware, with great UIs, and the Zune software beats iTunes on the PC hands-down for what it does.

Apple, however, owns the market, and "trendy" and "popular" drive the market. And with a name like Zune and the original clunky brown model, the Zune name got tarnished from which it never recovered.

Re:To be fair (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377576)

The Kin's problem was MS couldn't make up its mind whether it was a smart phone or feauture phone but it cost as much as a smart phone. The Zune wasn't a bad product; it however did not have enough features to convince people to buy it instead of the iTunes/iPod ecosystem.

Re:To be fair (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378456)

Zune didn't have enough features? It had more than comparable iPods (the Classic, not the Touch). Like a built in radio tuner. And the ability to buy/download a song from the radio with a click. And over-the-air syncing. And Sharing. And ZunePass.

Are news stories that ask the reader questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377302)

completely fucking useless??? Survey says: YES!

Exceeding all expectations, like the original XBox (1)

Elementalor (551544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377306)

XBox 360 exceeded all expectations? Yeah, right...

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=19625436&postcount=90 [neogaf.com]

How are two billion dollars in the red? Exceeded all expectations?

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377362)

If they expected to be 3 billion in the red.

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377542)

I'm certainly no fan of the Xbox, but I don't see "in the red". Microsoft's Xbox360 division has been profitable every year since the old xbox was retired.

Of course Microsoft wanted to be where Nintendo is now (billions of profit each year), but at least they aren't losing anymore. And they sold about twice as many units as the 2000-2005 generation.

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (3, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377996)

Nothing personal, but you need to take a basic accounting class before you talk about this stuff. Really.

The division that includes the XBox has been profitable since the original XBox was retired because Microsoft went through a whole pile of accounting tricks to make sure that all of the large expenses happened before that arbitrary date. For example, Microsoft essentially pre-paid nearly $1 billion for promotion instead of paying for campaigns as they came up. Microsoft also wrote off another $1 billion for hardware returns.

The hardware return writeoff is especially interesting. Normal people, like you and I, know that Microsoft doesn't actually incur any costs until they have to fix your broken XBox 360. However, because of accounting tricks Microsoft could say (on the books) that it had already lost the money that it took replacing hardware. So the XBox division got credit for new sales, but it did not get dinged for returns. Instead of years of red ink, on paper Microsoft had a few *horrible* quarters and then moderate returns. This might make you feel better if you aren't very good at math, or if you are a fan of Microsoft's gaming system, but the end result is the same. Microsoft is still in the red overall on the XBox 360, and the best it could manage was a distant second place. Heck, Sony might even pass then for that honor.

Personally, I think that Microsoft had to do what it did, and it still could easily end up with a win, but talking about quarterly profits from the XBox division is just ignorance. Microsoft's investors have took a beating on both XBoxes, and I am sure that a lot of them are very wary about Microsoft making more hardware.

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377570)

I don't know about the Microsoft numbers, but I don't trust that chart simply because of Sony's numbers.

Seriously, since the PS3 is the worst-selling of the three console systems. Even with this year-old data, Sony should be doing much worse than that chart shows... unless they're doing creative bookkeeping between the PlayStation and Consumer Electronics divisions (read: TVs, radios, Blu-Ray players, etc...)

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377646)

The PS3 isn't doing that badly. It's only 5% behind the Xbox360, but you are correct that Sony is doing some tricky accounting:

"As of FY 2010 Q1, Sony are now reporting the results for the re-organised division Networked Products & Services rather than the old method of reporting for the gaming division. 'Sony said it will combine its VAIO personal-computer, Walkman and PlayStation businesses in the Networked Products & Services Group to focus on creating gadgets that can work with each other and connect to the Internet.' "

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (2)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377744)

I'm not entirely sure if those numbers are *JUST* the xbox. Microsoft has typically mixed the xbox in with other losing products like the webtv, and other crap so the division that xbox has been in has been unprofitable. Those numbers are also a year old, and xbox has been doing QUITE well in the last year.

Re:Exceeding all expectations, like the original X (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377822)

Two billion in red the first year. Which, coincidentally, is right about the same number as Sony's loss. Furthermore, MS came out of the red actually earlier than Sony. So either that makes the PS3 the mother of all failures, or the XBox360 did vastly better than expected.

Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377334)

Is a dual core processor at that speed really better than a single-core at 3.6 MHz? I think I'd rather have the speed, not the parallel processing, especially if I'm watching DVD or better quality video.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377370)

But what about if you're doing hand writing recognition and other background tasks? Dual cores sound about right.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377554)

Video would likely be decoded by a separate chip anyway, as it already is on all current tablets.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377558)

Considering decoding video falls into the category of "Embarrassingly parallel" we can safely say you have no idea what you are talking about.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377712)

Shhh, next he might figure out that the GPU might be what's decoding it, instead of the CPU...

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377756)

Yep.

I did not know MPEG decoding was a parallel process that worked better if you have more processors. Thanks for telling me, and in such a well-mannered message. I guess I should be looking for a quadcore 900 megahertz or 8-core 500 megahertz tablet when I go shopping.

BTW I get television for free! And you pay. Sucker. neener-neener (just joking) ;-)

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377768)

Actually, video decoding is not embarrassingly parallel. Entropy decoding (say, CABAC) is expensive and not parallel at all. Intra-frame prediction constrains the parallelism for the back-end.

Honestly, the only embarrassing thing here is your self-confidence in face of incompetence.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377630)

Well cooling off a 3.6 GHz processor might be harder especially in a mobile device. Also the shift towards parallel processing is not so much what you do but what background processes run like constant notifications.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

Karljohan (807381) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377642)

Two cores consume much less power than double the speed so there is much to gain by parallelizing applications on mobile devices.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377654)

Is a dual core processor at that speed really better than a single-core at 3.6 MHz

Yes, it's almost a thousand times faster :) . Assuming you meant GHz, though, it comes down to battery life. Fast clocks mean lots of switching and deep pipelines which means lots of battery burn. It also helps with responsiveness. If there's always a core around to respond quickly to user events it will seem a lot snappier.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377758)

two low-power cores will use a lot less power than 1 high-power core.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377796)

There may even be a theoretical argument to support that: since a single core processor at twice the speed can do anything the dual core processor can do at least as quickly (by just running the two threads in sequence, or interleaving their instructions, etc.), the real question is whether or not there are problems that are inherently hard to benefit from parallelizing. The P-complete problems are good candidates for this, and so if you need to deal with anything that involves such problems (e.g. linear programming problems), you will definitely want the faster single-core processor.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36378240)

Yes, but...

There aren't any 3.6GHz ARM chips, and for the same power envelope as 2x1.8GHz, you might be looking at 2.2GHz, maybe 2.5. Still might be better to go with the single-core, depending on workload nature, but it's not the no-brainer of 2x1.8 vs. 1x3.6.

So, as usual, cpu6502 is asking an inherently misleading question to raise a ruckus; YHBT, YHL, HAND.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377848)

Is a dual core processor at that speed really better than a single-core at 3.6 MHz? I think I'd rather have the speed, not the parallel processing, especially if I'm watching DVD or better quality video.

Yes. even one of the two cores is 500 times faster than a 3.6Mhz processor.

Re:Dual core at 1.8 gigahertz? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377900)

I can't think of any CPU+Chipset released since at last 3 years doesn't have video acceleration, so the DVD decoding example is widely off-base; it's the GPU doing that anyway.

For real CPU tasks, I think temperature and issues are exponential to the clock speed, so paying the multi-cpu penalty (only about 70-80% efficiency, lower single-thread perf) is a worthwhile tradeoff, especially since all moderne software is multithreaded, lowering the multicore penalty: They most probably couldn't do 3.6 GHz in the same thermal envelope, with the same process, with the same yield.

Why not? (1)

hilldog (656513) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377358)

When you have a budget as big as they have whats to lose? Go ahead and make it and see if the market bites. Some certainly will so it's just a matter of how many. Yeah its a follow the leader mentality but so what? I don't think MS truly cares about a flop here and there as long as they keep in the game. Did Zune or Kin really hurt them much? In this forest even the blind squirrel will sometimes find an acorn.

Re:Why not? (1)

blamanj (253811) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377594)

Yes, MS can get Samsung or some other vendor to put some hardware together for them, and throw a copy of the Windows 7 phone OS on it, but that's not really a product. You're going to need the set of applications (Kindle, etc.) that make a tablet interesting and some form of integration as well. Some of them may exist for the phone already, but unless they're optimized for the table screen, the user experience will really suck.

Yes. (1, Troll)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377414)

And it will be a gargantuan flop.

Zune was failed hardware as compared to XBOX 360?? (1)

syntap (242090) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377460)

Other than a clock-based firmware glitch that didn't affect me, I have no memory of anything rising to Red Ring of Death on my Zune.

Re:Zune was failed hardware as compared to XBOX 36 (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377516)

Zune was more a marketing flop. All of those music/video player things are fungible, from a utility standpoint. I've had them all, and the one I still use is a little 2GB Sandisk Sansa Clip, when I'm not just using my phone.

Re:Zune was failed hardware as compared to XBOX 36 (1)

psyque (1234612) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377694)

It’s possible that the 10-15 other people who bought one may have had issues you didn’t

Microsoft will draft hardware requirements (1)

Julie188 (991243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377466)

Microsoft isn't likely to start building a Microsoft-branded tablet ... why should it? It has a system in place for that. It drafts hardware the specs and OEMs build the devices. The partnership with Nokia is the closest it will come (or needs to come) to building its own tablet. But it still has the clout to coerce Dell, Acer, HP and others into building tablets, too. There's already grumbling in the OEM community that the early specs for Windows 8 are too restrictive ... not leaving room for each vendor to bring special features to compete. They were all hoping that Android tablets would take off enough to give them some leverage against Microsoft, but so far, that hasn't happened. Microsoft still calls the shots with OEMs and has no need to strike out on its own. Intel, with its poor MeeGo project is another story ...

Julie

I thought MS didn't care about tablets? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377494)

I could have sworn they said they're leaving the iPad and its market alone. Shit changes quickly around here.

Emotionally charged words (1)

alinuxguruofyore (1117973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377518)

"Microsoft isn't exactly known for its hardware prowess" When fans of Apple chime in, they never seem to mention the Newton, Lisa, or Pippin. Yet, any product failure on Microsoft is used as evidence for the "impending doom of Microsoft". Quite frankly, Microsoft's batting average is about as good or better than any other company.

Re:Emotionally charged words (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377734)

Newton, 1993
Lisa, 1983
Pippin, 1996

The newest thing on your list is 15 years old. I doubt very much most Apple fans even know what they were.

Re:Emotionally charged words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36377876)

More to the point, Jobs returned as CEO in 1997. Some of the first moves he made were to cancel failed projects started under his predecessors. Ballmer has been CEO of MS since 2000, so Zune, Kin, Pocket PC/Windows Mobile, XBox, and Courier were all rolled out (or not, in the case of Courier) under his watch.

Re:Emotionally charged words (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377916)

Toaster iMac? iPod boombox?

Re:Emotionally charged words (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377910)

That's because Apple has a few successes once in a while, and those sucesses do, you know, successfuly hand them some money. Microsoft by their turn had one extremely "successful" product recently, that is nearly the end of its life, and still in the red.

They Probably Had a Hard Time Finding an OEM (5, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377624)

Microsoft has a long history of letting its hardware partners take all of the risks. That's a fine strategy if you want to sell a bog standard PC. It is a much less workable strategy if you want to make some sort of unique device. In the past, however, Microsoft has been the only game in town when it came to workable off-the-shelf OS software, especially if you wanted to play well with Windows.

So the OEMs took Microsoft's software and did all of the actual engineering to make it actually work. If the device was a flop they were left holding the bag with the unusable hardware and the bill for the engineering effort. If the device was a success, then it was a given that Microsoft was going to shop your ideas around to your competitors. After all, most of the software that made your device work belonged to Microsoft. Microsoft got paid per device sold, and so they were happy to encourage cut throat competition on the hardware side. This guaranteed that there was a disincentive to actually innovate as companies like Dell, that made their money by cloning other people's ideas and squeezing the supply chain until it bled, dominated. Why innovate if Dell and Microsoft are going to make all of the money borrowing your ideas? Every once in a while someone would come up with a new device based entirely on their own software (Palm, Rim, etc.), but they invariably faced lots of pressure and competition from Microsoft and its OEMs.

The combination of Apple's design prowess and the emergence of Google's android have broken this cycle. Apple has the design genius to create entirely new devices that people want, and the existence of Android means that Apple's competitors have a ready-made OS that doesn't require that they work with Microsoft. Now Microsoft realizes that it needs to get into these new markets, but none of its traditional allies are willing to risk working with Microsoft's software. Heck, HP even has its own software for these devices. Nokia is allied with Microsoft now, and in fact, it has bet the business on Microsoft's software, but they are too busy trying to make a Windows phone to be relied on for a tablet.

So Microsoft gets to take its own risks now. It should be interesting. Microsoft learned a lot from the XBox. It is even possible that they won't lose billions of dollars this time.

360 Fail (1)

Trubacca (941152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377778)

I do not own a current-gen console, nor do I have stock in any of the companies involved. I don't favor one over the other for that matter. Have I cleared myself as an independent in the console-fanboy wars yet? Ahem. Simple observation here. A couple of my friends own 360's. One of them has had to replace it 5-6 times due to hardware failure. A recent release killed support for early games. I guess if success is defined as convincing their customers to ignore past experiences then perhaps I would call that a win. But it isn't going to get me to buy any hardware from them that costs more than $20. I honestly can't figure out how Microsoft has managed to keep so many 360 users over the years, because I would have dropped that console like an F-bomb the first time it failed on me. I would not have given it any more chances. Nor will I give any other Microsoft hardware any chances. If maintaining any customer base in any way counts as exceeding all expectations (which, granted, in my case is true) then huzzah for them. But really?

Re:360 Fail (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378228)

Even with a 30% fail rate, 70% of 360 owners would never have seen any issue.

How shall i say this. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36377990)

The *only* good thing about MS is that they provided a stable platform where they managed to make it tasty for hw companies to produce for and stable enough to keep developers. whenever MS tried to do more than an occasional mouse or keyboard it sucked.

Dear MS, just try to get your os stable and clean, and provide in a form that it can be easily adapted to different platforms (e.g. partial open source). The others will do the rest (see: Android).

Where's Nokia? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378290)

Seems like Nokia should supply the hardware. Poor Elop, betrayed by his ex coworkers.

Zune hardware was a failure? (1)

keefus_a (567615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378304)

As far as devices go, mine has lasted longer than any other portable device I've owned. I have a first gen Zune 30 that has taken a beating and continues to spin up without any issues. I admit that marketing for the Zune ecosystem has been a colossal failure, which is a shame because the Zune pass is the best thing going, IMHO. But the hardware is rock solid.

Re:Zune hardware was a failure? (1)

c2me2 (2202232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378478)

Agreed. My wife and I both have 120GB Zunes, and we share a Zune Pass. The player hardware is rock solid, the software is decent, and the Zune Pass just kicks ass all day long. Yes, Zune marketing has undeniably failed. But it's a shame, because the product itself is actually pretty damned good.

How to market to other OEMs if they're competing? (2)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378406)

Has it already become so obvious to the OEMs that WinTab 8 will be such an mind-boggling disaster that the only way MS can get it out to the marketplace is to make the hardware themselves? At which point aren't the traditional hardware OEMs going to start having second thoughts about supporting Microsoft on their other product lines?

Nokia's already feeling the burn from having joined themselves to the hip with Redmond, seeing their market freeze while consumers wait for whatever hybrid spawn the two produce, or just running to the other mobile platforms (Android/RIM/IOS). I'd have to think tablet makers debating whether to work with Windows are having their minds made up for them.

SCOX(Q) DELENDA EST!!

Microsoft may build a Win 8 Tablet (1)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36378486)

This could help to limit the issues seen with Androids "fragmentation" by consolidating on a single hardware platform... However they will alos let others make alternate devices (Are manufacturers vying to build tablets for Win8?), and they will still be running fully bloated Windows 95-Win8 underneath the the tacked on layer of TouchUI (metro). So when the touch interface fails you can Alt+Tab into task manager find out which services is crushing your system etc. On a positive note, it can run all the native Windows goodness (malware included). So you can have an impossibly difficult interface to touch through three levels deep to find out where your networking issues started. (hint: its spelled malware). It is sadly true. Microsoft's stance of only one OS for all your needs is here to stay. Except they don't have one OS, they have WinCe, Windows Embedded, Windows 7 phone OS, and Windows 7. Microsoft you don't have to listen to the marketing team when they show you the extrapolation of all the ways you can gouge money from the masses. Try making something people want. If this fails, then they will try to strong arm the manufacturers, and shift the marketplace and if that fails then it is FUD to the rescue. I've been wrong before, very wrong ( I said the Beastie Boys would be one-hit-wonders). Microsoft is not the Beastie Boys. Hopefully they turn out something respectable and usable, and prove me wrong again.
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