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Author Topic: New PC double-take  (Read 3343 times)

x16wda

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New PC double-take
« on: May 05, 2013, 09:21:28 AM »
This caught my eye in this week's Staples flyer:

New-Win-7.jpgNew PC double-take

What does this mean?  Did Staples find a cache of older boxes that were lost in the warehouse behind the paper?  A trailer that never got unloaded?

More importantly, how fast do you think people will snap them up?  :P

Of course, the market for all-in-one boxes might not be particularly operating system aware...
vi vi vi - editor of the beast
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 09:26:36 AM by x16wda, Reason: image resize (oops) »

rgdot

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 10:37:43 AM »
Windows 7 PCs are still on sale through most, if not all, channels. Everything from the local independent to big box stores and for business clients as well.

40hz

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 12:25:58 PM »
^Agree.

Microsoft hasn't been too successful in strong-arming corporate IT to knuckle under to Windows 8. At least in its present incarnation. Something which will (of necessity) change if Microsoft doesn't want to be sitting with a complete desktop flop on their hands.

As long as Microsoft wants to maintain its present dominance on today's main productivity hardware platforms, they'll continue to sell Windows 7.  Even if they have to lie about it and fudge the sales statistics by only selling Windows 8 -  but with 'downgrade rights' to 7 - same as they did with Windows 7 to XP.

But long before that issue comes to a head, I think you'll see Windows 8 ship with the option to install with a default 'traditional desktop' and probably a "desk toy" to bring back something very similar to the old start button, even if they never call it that - or officially support it.

Most big businesses hate it when they're wrong about their most recent brainstorm or pet initiative. And Microsoft hates being told they're wrong more than most businesses. Possibly because they've been proven so wrong so often.

At least Apple has the advantage of having a mindset that is immune to criticism and scorn. But Apple is a cult masquerading as a technology company. So the rules that govern most of the tech world simply don't apply to Apple. And probably never will.

Unfortunately for those who covet Apple's unique position, the world will only tolerate one maverick or "bad-boy" company at a time. Apple can just because they're Apple. Microsoft can't because they're not. Simple as that.

Which is something Microsoft has yet to realize. Or accept.

So, nope! Windows 7 will be here for some time. Or will until such time as Microsoft can force the vast majority of its business users into their cloud services and hosted software offerings. Something they are most aggressively striving to accomplish as we speak.
 8)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 05:29:39 PM »
^Agree.

Microsoft hasn't been too successful in strong-arming corporate IT to knuckle under to Windows 8. At least in its present incarnation. Something which will (of necessity) change if Microsoft doesn't want to be sitting with a complete desktop flop on their hands.

As long as Microsoft wants to maintain its present dominance on today's main productivity hardware platforms, they'll continue to sell Windows 7.  Even if they have to lie about it and fudge the sales statistics by only selling Windows 8 -  but with 'downgrade rights' to 7 - same as they did with Windows 7 to XP.

But long before that issue comes to a head, I think you'll see Windows 8 ship with the option to install with a default 'traditional desktop' and probably a "desk toy" to bring back something very similar to the old start button, even if they never call it that - or officially support it.

Most big businesses hate it when they're wrong about their most recent brainstorm or pet initiative. And Microsoft hates being told they're wrong more than most businesses. Possibly because they've been proven so wrong so often.

At least Apple has the advantage of having a mindset that is immune to criticism and scorn. But Apple is a cult masquerading as a technology company. So the rules that govern most of the tech world simply don't apply to Apple. And probably never will.

Unfortunately for those who covet Apple's unique position, the world will only tolerate one maverick or "bad-boy" company at a time. Apple can just because they're Apple. Microsoft can't because they're not. Simple as that.

Which is something Microsoft has yet to realize. Or accept.

So, nope! Windows 7 will be here for some time. Or will until such time as Microsoft can force the vast majority of its business users into their cloud services and hosted software offerings. Something they are most aggressively striving to accomplish as we speak.
 8)

I'm starting to giggle and think Microsoft has a Moth-Flame liking to being wrong! They keep trying to be some strange hybrid of Chinese Knockoff and Bully-Pulpit Industry-Mover. Their branding suffers badly from their old heritage of becoming dominant and then forcing whatever they want. On the music side, if they had bothered to do any competent audience impression testing, they wouldn't have made anything as half-baked as the Plays-For-Sure --> Zune --> Windows Phone 7 fiasco.

On the OS side, Vista was a desperation move, and they knew it wasn't ready, so they just resolved to "fake it" until Windows 7 came out. Meanwhile, no, they're not going to fix anything for Windows 8, *because they are now pretending to go to Yearly Releases and the next one is sorta ready! "Windows Blue" is indeed rumored to undo a lot of the PITA factor of Windows 8 ... and so they'll just leave Win8 sitting there!

I do believe they bulk license a ton of OEM copies, and then it does take a fairly long time for the makers to straggle their way through their licensed copies. Windows Vista was lurking until half past the intro of Win 7.

Just look at this history of branding! (With a couple minor omissions)
3
3.11
95
98
2000
Me
XP
7
8
Blue

... Really?!
:D



x16wda

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 08:05:31 PM »
With a couple minor omissions
NT was a minor omission? :P

FWIW I haven't seen any Win 7 boxes in the weekly flyers here for several months now.  That said, I don't find 8 so annoying... my main home PC came with it installed (it was an emergency replacement), and once I put a start menu utility on it has behaved much like 7.  I just recently brought up a test box with win 8 on it so I could get more familiar with how things get done.
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40hz

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 09:18:20 PM »
That said, I don't find 8 so annoying... my main home PC came with it installed (it was an emergency replacement), and once I put a start menu utility on it has behaved much like 7.

Um...have you tried playing a movie on either a DVD or Blu-Ray disk with your new PC yet?  :huh:

That's one "experience" that's very different under Windows 8. :-\
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 09:25:02 PM by 40hz »

x16wda

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 05:09:42 AM »
To be honest I don't do much movie watching on my PC, but it came with PowerDVD installed which does the necessary.

On the other hand, I installed Win 8 N edition (sans media code) on my test box, so maybe I'll need to locate the media add-in and give it a spin.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

IainB

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 05:43:11 AM »
Um...have you tried playing a movie on either a DVD or Blu-Ray disk with your new PC yet?  :huh:
That's one "experience" that's very different under Windows 8. :-\

Could you elaborate please? I am contemplating a move to Win8, but am a bit reluctant at the moment because Win8 has got pretty bad reviews from some who have already switched.
My Win7-64 Home Premium seems to be pretty much rock-solid and useful.

40hz

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 11:44:31 AM »
Um...have you tried playing a movie on either a DVD or Blu-Ray disk with your new PC yet?  :huh:
That's one "experience" that's very different under Windows 8. :-\

Could you elaborate please? I am contemplating a move to Win8, but am a bit reluctant at the moment because Win8 has got pretty bad reviews from some who have already switched.
My Win7-64 Home Premium seems to be pretty much rock-solid and useful.

Not much need to elaborate. Windows 8 dropped the ability to play such media out of the box. Saved themselves a whole $2 license fee per copy of Windows by taking that capability out.

Now to play a DVD, you'll need to buy the media extensions (i.e. Media Center) which are no longer free to download. Something that can be expensive depending upon which version of Win8 you buy. ($99 for vanilla Win8 since you need to upgrade to the Pro Pack - or $10 if you already bought Pro. I have clients screaming about that every time they find out.) Microsoft even suggests you get third-party software.

The free VLC media player running under Win8 still works for most optical media disks (except encrypted Blue-Ray) although I wonder how much longer that will remain true. Microsoft is an avid supporter of DRM and patents and all things IP. If somebody in the industry seriously squawks about VLC, you can expect Microsoft will do something to prevent apps like that from working under Win8.

A lot pf PC makers are avoiding the whole issue by simply bundling entry-level DVD player software with their hardware. So some (many?) PC buyers (mostly the home version crowd) will never notice the change.

MakeUseOf just had an article published recently that talks about this. Read it here.

I'd stick with W7-64 if I were you. I am - and I have about 20 uninstalled NFS/"internal use only" licenses for Win8 Pro. 8)

f0dder

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 11:58:36 AM »
Not much need to elaborate. Windows 8 dropped the ability to play such media out of the box. Saved themselves a whole $2 license fee per copy of Windows by taking that capability out.
Probably a bit more than $2 - anti-competitive lawsuits are costly.

Who uses Windows Media Player anyway, when there's MPC-HC and VLC? :)

The free VLC media player running under Win8 still works for most optical media disks (except encrypted Blue-Ray) although I wonder how much longer that will remain true. Microsoft is an avid supporter of DRM and patents and all things IP. If somebody in the industry seriously squawks about VLC, you can expect Microsoft will do something to prevent apps like that from working under Win8.
I kinda doubt they have the balls to do that, especially since there's already nice and cheap alternatives that make using pirated content so much easier than attempting to be honest and struggling with getting DRM'ed crap playing.
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40hz

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 01:50:49 PM »

Probably a bit more than $2 - anti-competitive lawsuits are costly.

The semi-official story was that Microsoft had got it in its head that optical drives were somehow on the way out, and couldn't see the point of paying a $2 USD license fee on every single copy of Windows 8 they would ever ship - which was apparently the deal they had previously.

Don't forget we're talking (they hope) about hundreds of millions of copies of Win8 @ $2 each here. It's not exactly small change. Except in terms of customer satisfaction and the overall larger scheme of things.

But that's not something Microsoft has been too savvy about in the last two decades... ;D

f0dder

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 12:37:49 AM »
The semi-official story was that
...I wonder if the EU settlement and the N editions of Windows doesn't have something to do with it? :P
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IainB

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 12:54:14 AM »
@40hz: Oh, thanks for that. That's very informative.
I wondered why new PCs would come loaded with proprietary 3rd party DVD players - since XP days. I usually found them lacking or they wanted money to upgrade to a version that actually did anything useful. So I tended to not use them, preferring to use (for example) VLC, Winamp or Real Alternative. Nowadays I usually just use VLC and nothing else, and I continue to disable Windows Media Player because of its DRM functionality and because it tries to call home - I block it at the firewall too, just in case. (A pity to not use MS MP, as it  has a good database system.)

I was interested in Win8, because MS has apparently cunningly embedded some cross-integration with MSO 2013 + Win8 + IE10 + SkyDrive + Outlook.com), so you don't necessarily get the whole ball of wax unless you upgrade to all the latest versions of these things. It's called "lock-in" I guess, but it is cunningly done with a velvet glove, though the proverbial iron fist is probably inside that glove.
SharePoint users have this issue in spades, as SharePoint is (deliberately) incredibly well-integrated with MSO, IE and the Win OS, but you have to have all the latest versions of everything to be able to use all the latest functionality. On a treadmill for life, paying a tollgate fee to MS as you rotate.
Anyway, I still have MSO as an incentive to migrate to Win8, but the disincentives seem to include the sorts of thing you mentioned above, and others - e.g., the dropping of ClearType functionality (ergonomics is kind of important).

x16wda

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 05:40:15 AM »
the disincentives seem to include the sorts of thing you mentioned above, and others - e.g., the dropping of ClearType functionality (ergonomics is kind of important).
Yeah, and the lack of ClearType is only part of that.  Outlook, for example, uses way too much white space.  And I mean just that - white space, no borders or boundaries, no visual cues about where one thing starts and another stops, borders that are just thin line boxes.  Very large sender names, all spread out too much.  I guess the idea is it will work better that way when you are navigating with your finger.  (I navigate my finger to them somewhat differently though.  :P)
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IainB

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Re: New PC double-take
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 07:26:54 AM »
^^ Yes, what @x16wda said.