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Reflecting on Windows 10 and querying the app gap?

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wotsit    530

We’re about to migrate to Windows 10 at work - at long last.

I’m an enthusiast, not a techie, so for me the upgrade will be a purely end-user experience.

But it got me thinking - as I have numerous times over the past few months - just where is it Microsoft is headed in the consumer space; how different the Microsoft of today is compared to the Microsoft of a decade ago; and how I feel about the brand as a consumer (perhaps too simplistically summarised as the Ballmer vs Nadella eras).

Windows 10 has 800 million users we’re told. That is a phenomenal number. Sure, huge chunks of that will be corporate users and casual users. But those are still big numbers - a huge customer base.

Yes, Windows Mobile was dropped. I still believe it was a strategic mistake for Microsoft not to keep at it. But even so, why the app gap on the desktop?

There’s the flip side of the argument that says on a desktop OS, do you need apps for services that are ultimately web based and dependent on the internet? I accept that a great number of the activities and interactions I’m thinking about can be done in a browser.

But I still feel apps, when done well, make a huge difference to convenience and the user experience. Or we’d just be content to load these services in a browser on our phones and tablets.

As we get ready to migrate at work and maybe even get some Surface tech, it all feels a little empty. The user experience won’t feel as polished, fluid and user friendly as iOS and Android for simple things like social media.

iOS and Android cannot compare to the advantages of a fully blown desktop-class OS. But the app gap just doesn’t seem to add up.

The more time goes on, the more I’m pretty bummed about Windows 10. Don’t get me wrong, it has improved tremendously since launch, and yet it still needs so much spit and polish. Added to this is the lack of clear clear direction of travel with original features like Live Tiles and Cortana - left to languish - and Microsoft inability to make its own baked-in apps exemplars of what its own OS and app model can deliver. 

I admit that compared to a decade ago I’m at my home desktop a lot less and on my mobile devices more (hence my belief in Microsoft’s strategic misstep in jettisoning Windows Mobile - although I see the value in their software and services on every device approach and following the money with a focus on things like Azure).

The longer one spends on mobile devices the more one can’t help but compare the mobile and desktop experiences. Despite the raw power and productivity potential of a desktop OS, I can find myself picking up my iPhone to check Twitter or Facebook when waiting for my computer to wake up from sleep mode; or activate the 3D RealSense camera so I can just actually login; or waiting for the desktop to actually load so I can do something. The two seem increasingly worlds apart in terms of responsiveness and ease.

All in all it makes me curious about what the future holds for Microsoft and for Windows in particular.

No question per se - just thinking aloud and inviting some potential discussion.

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DevTech    1,518
1 hour ago, wotsit said:

The longer one spends on mobile devices the more one can’t help but compare the mobile and desktop experiences. Despite the raw power and productivity potential of a desktop OS, I can find myself picking up my iPhone to check Twitter or Facebook when waiting for my computer to wake up from sleep mode; or activate the 3D RealSense camera so I can just actually login; or waiting for the desktop to actually load so I can do something. The two seem increasingly worlds apart in terms of responsiveness and ease.

All in all it makes me curious about what the future holds for Microsoft and for Windows in particular.

You seem be immersed in some abstract internal war rather than the reality of the moment.

 

You can force Windows to do whatever you want it to do and you can give windows mind-boggling powerful hardware as well, none of which is under your control for mobile.

 

Get a powerful Desktop PC, turn off sleep mode and keep Facebook (ugh) and Twitter running - Instant response as in ZERO time to display that obviously beats the mobile device. You can even plug in a second monitor and a third etc and have a Wall Street-like scrolling display on one monitor showing your constant real-time Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc status (oh groan) - hey throw in a bunch of Youtube videos playing constantly on a fourth monitor...

 

If you want a sceensaver or even sleep mode for whatever reason, just hit the check box to turn off login when you wake it up.

 

Buy  a  LGA3647 dual CPU mobo each with a Xeon 40 core CPU and 6-way RAM along with a NVIDIA TITAN RTX GPU and then wait about 1,000 years for mobile to catch up.

 

Oh and don't forget there are still some PC's in dusty old corners that haven't upgraded to a NVMe boot drive with 3,000 MB/sec read speed. Even without a powerful PC that makes a huge difference.

 

Never forget that Android runs on hardware and that state of the art 8 core hardware is more powerful than many corporate Drone-Level-Worker PCs

 

PCs run on hardware too and Windows can't be better than the hardware you give it. Comparing a state of the art mobile CPU to some ancient PC CPU is not fair and makes no sense and all this should be obvious so I will stop typing now.

 

Used properly and maintained properly and configured properly, a PC is a Mind Enhancer, while a mobile device is typically a depressing little Mind Drainer...

 

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Riva    1,227

I am not sure where the lack of clarity on live tiles is coming from?

People are saying UWP is dead speaking from a consumer/ms store point of view but let me remind you thats what they were saying about WPF as well. Turns out the banking industry loved it. UWP is also useful for embedded devices - actually i am building an embedded UWP app right now.

Lack of mobile platform surely hurts the microsoft store but in all fairness you cant compare the ios and android stores to windows 10 since those are pure mobile platforms while windows 10 is clearly desktop/tablet.

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PGHammer    1,504
On 6/8/2019 at 9:06 PM, Riva said:

I am not sure where the lack of clarity on live tiles is coming from?

People are saying UWP is dead speaking from a consumer/ms store point of view but let me remind you thats what they were saying about WPF as well. Turns out the banking industry loved it. UWP is also useful for embedded devices - actually i am building an embedded UWP app right now.

Lack of mobile platform surely hurts the microsoft store but in all fairness you cant compare the ios and android stores to windows 10 since those are pure mobile platforms while windows 10 is clearly desktop/tablet.

Is Windows purely anything?

Windows can, in fact, move to embrace mobile; however, where it is now (as you put it, desktops and tablets) is worried it would become irrelevant as a platform if Windows moves away from it.  (Wasn't there, in fact, a concern that the tablet would kill the desktop - merely with Windows 8?)

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goretsky    1,065

Hello,


The "simplification" of the user interface (removal of user elements like glass borders, flattening of multi-color icons and the Aero theme) are the result of work done by Microsoft for Windows 8 and Windows RT.  In Windows Vista (and later), these graphical user interface elements consumed a small amount of GPU processing time and electrical power, which translated to slightly increased temperatures, slightly reduced battery life and performance for the types devices Microsoft was envisioning would be the "next generation" of computers:  touch screen tablets and smartphones.  Jettisoning the power-hungry elements of the GUI would help Microsoft better compete against Apple's iPad and iPhone devices, which had already begun to take eyeballs, if not actual market share, away from Windows.  That Microsoft did this in time for Google Android to begin its cannibalization of Apple's sales is somewhat ironic, but now it was a 3-way instead of a 2-way race.

 

Anyways, now we are about 5 years into Windows 10, and it seems that many people are relying more on their web browsers and cloud computing and storage to do things that might have once been than on the province of desktop applications and local storage.  Microsoft's abandonment of its Edge web browser for a new version based on Google's Chrome web browser is an example of how important the browser has become on the desktop.  There are still areas where local programs rule, games are one area which comes to mind, and VR promises to be another one (not just for gaming, but for engineering and scientific applications).  Hopefully, Microsoft will weather the trend in ways that allow it to continue having worthwhile platforms to use.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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