I really don't see the issue with Windows. It's supported scaling fine since Vista, it's just the programs that have yet to support it. Most of Microsoft's programs support high DPI modes. Yes some of the built in management tools don't but I personally don't think that's a huge issue (though I do believe it should be fixed for the next version of Windows). Most people don't ever go into those nooks and crannies of the OS and they're still usable, even though they're a bit blurry if you don't scale to 200%.
My Windows system tray icons in Windows 7 and 8 look fine on 150% on my HTPC. What is the issue you are all having? Third party programs often have only standard DPI icons, but I hide everything other than network, volume, and battery anyways. All the built in windows programs in the start menu support high DPI and so does Microsoft Office and all the latest web browsers.
I've also noticed Notepad++ works fine, Adobe Reader, VLC, XBMC, Chrome, FireFox are DPI-aware. Nearly everything I commonly use is.
Dashel, on 28 January 2013 - 20:29, said:
The problem with 'retina' is that Apple uses pixel doubling (no increase in information) and MS does not. Both have pros/cons but you aren't going to see a fix in future versions as MS doesn't utilize the scaling tricks Apple does.
As far as apps go, anything over 150% is a outside MS's guidelines anyway. (Default for retina is 144dpi - try using the 'WinXP scaling' option so bitmaps aren't so stretched)
If you set it to 200% then Windows will do pixel doubling. Pixel doubling is just 200% scaling. When scaled to 200% then one pixel turns into 4 pixels and looks better than anything that isn't an integer multiple. Apple supports non pixel-doubling mode in their latest OS, too. They function pretty much the same in terms of scaling.
According to this page on MSDN
, Microsoft recommends having images for 100%, 125%, 150%, and 200%.
theyarecomingforyou, on 28 January 2013 - 21:09, said:
Microsoft really needs to move over to vector art and allow users to freely scale the interface to their choosing (within reason) - by default it should scale according to physical size. Icons that currently change appearance dependent upon their size could be handled with transition points. Not only is such a change important for high-DPI displays but it's even an issue at the moment:
30" - 101 DPI - 2560x1600
27" - 109 DPI - 2560x1440
24" - 94 DPI - 1920x1200
22" - 90 DPI - 1680x1050
That means the Windows UI changes physical size depending on the display that you have, which is terribly inconsistent. By default Windows 8 uses 125% scale for my 30" display, which makes everything appear too large. Therefore I prefer to use 100% scale, which is a bit smaller than I would like. Using a custom scale looks terrible, as icons appear aliased and UI elements don't scale smoothly.
Apple has a huge advantage over Microsoft in that it controls the hardware as well as the software. Microsoft's only option is to implement a more flexible approach and vector art is the obvious way to achieve that. There was talk that Microsoft was working on this years ago - back when Vista was still in development - but unfortunately it was dropped. Now Microsoft has fallen behind. Metro is designed with alternative DPIs in mind but unfortunately it's not a replacement for desktop applications.
Why is changing physical size so bad? That's how it's always been, even on Mac OS.