Tag Archives: Windows

Microsoft Responds to Horrified Developers on Future of Windows 8

A few weeks ago Microsoft released a preview video of Windows 8. Almost immediately developers all over the internet became enraged that Microsoft (with Windows 8) was leaving behind the platform and framework that they have been working with for a decade … all having hedged their bets on: win32 or .NET Framework + C# (language).

Except that Microsoft made no such moves. And no real developers were “horrified”, because a real developer knows that HTML is just a markup language and JavaScript is not a replacement for the CLR + .NET Framework.

At least that was what I thought!

Microsoft has now released a video demonstrating what Windows 8 is about.

The simple truth is that Windows 8 is a re-imagination of the desktop … geared towards the mass market which primarily uses their systems to browse the internet, post on facebook, check their email.

Windows 8 can run tailored apps where HTML and JavaScript widgets replace the traditional desktop window for the benefit of the user.

The underlining platform does not change. We simply get a new fancy UI option that uses a DLL shared with IE 10.

Windows Mail for Vista, Not As Bad As I Thought.

Having used Windows XP for the last several years, I’ve recently decided to migrate to Windows Vista after purchasing a Dell 530 quad core PC with a 24 inch LCD.

My choices were to:
1. Keep using Thunderbird
2. Migrate to Outlook [Office]
3. Or try the native Windows Vista Mail application ["Windows Mail" is the replacement for Outlook Express].

The choice of using Thunderbird was the simplest of them all… But I wanted to try something new. The stability issues and a non-modern UI were the other decisive factors at play.

In the end, Windows Mail was the winner. But not an easy one.

Here is what I have discovered, which should have been documented somewhere but is not.

a) There is no way to import mbox format mail from other Mail Clients.

I used a temporary IMAP folder to copy/move messages from one mail client to the other; to bypass the obvious underlining format issues.

b) All POP accounts go into the main Local Inbox folder.

If you want to structurally segment different POP accounts, you will need to create Local sub-folders and create message rules that are conditional on the specific account. I can make a case for or against this [if this is a feature or a limit].

c) Message Rules do not apply to IMAP folders.

And there are no setting to automatically copy/move messages from select IMAP folders or accounts to the Local Folders. Again, I can make a case for or against this [both ways].

d) The Spam filter does not automatically apply to IMAP accounts and folders even when “Synchronization Settings” are set to “All messages” [which downloads the entire message body].

You actually have to open the message for the spam filter to process it. Though I think it might act on the header data it receives, proactively, or perhaps even on the message body when you select “Work Offline”.

All in all, after using Windows Mail I’ve actually become fond of it. It’s a great app and integrates well with the system.

Note:
Gmail IMAP folders use a “/” path in their structure. Example: The All Mail folder is “[Gmail]/All Mail”. Windows Mail does not allow you to use this character to specify the special IMAP folders. It still works, but looks a little odd. There are ways to get around this if it bothers you.

Microsoft Thanks Ubuntu For Increasing XP and Vista Sales

It’s great that Linux is finally getting the exposure it deserves, thanks to Dell, but the question still remains: how is Dell profiting from its Ubuntu offering?

We know that the net margin for Dell, as a whole, is around 5% [the true profit made on revenue]. While we can compare this number to the industry standard, it does not tell us anything about the margins Dell pockets on its commodity PC and Notebook lines.

Per system, it is rumored to be around 2% or less and to be razor-thin and ever decreasing.

Considering that Dell pays $25-$45 per OEM volume XP/Vista license and profits $45+ from the “Desktop Real Estate” provided by Windows, where is the profit made when a Ubuntu system is priced less than it’s Windows counterpart?

Surely not with the upgrades that are either lacking or similarly priced [that sometimes cost more].

Publicity.

The profits made on selling Ubuntu systems at cost, or even at a loss, is with the free publicity Dell is generating for itself via major news and social network sites around the net regurgitating on this deal literally every few days. This in turn generates traffic and sales on profitable items, such as the Windows systems, for Dell.

It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature… No, It Really Is. Microsoft vs. Linux

Make an HTML form with a text field and two submit buttons. Load Firefox and IE, bring the text field into view, and press the enter key.

When you have a form with one or more buttons, hitting enter under Firefox will POST the value of the 1st form button. On the other hand, with IE, unless a specific button was selected, no button values will POST.

At this point, I know a lot of people would start claiming that Microsoft is sloppy, IE is brain dead, Firefox is so much better, and more similar tripe… But think about it, how should the browser know which button is “first”? Should it be the 1st one in the HTML code? Should the “tabindex” value affect the situation? Could something be manipulating the button visibility or placement under CSS or JavaScript? Can the true human-interpreted layout even be determined by code?

And what about the question of whether the ‘enter’ key signifies “submit form”, or “submit form and the 1st button value”?

Windows has been deployed on hundreds of millions of systems, if not more. The user-base is very diverse: with different cultures, languages, and processes. If you want to cater to that user-base, you cannot make assumptions. IE is absolutely correct in not POSTing the value of an unselected form button on an ‘enter’ key press.

And this does not even touch on the fact that when you have 100s of millions of users, you also absolutely have to consider backward compatibility. Who knows how this used to work in the past, or what assumptions coders have made.

As is turns out, this really is a feature after all. And chances are, the rest of what the Linux fan-base complains about with Microsoft falls exactly along these lines. I’m all for GNU/Linux, just not mindless accusations and false claims.

submit.php

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
	"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<title>It's not a bug, it's a feature!</title>
</head>
<body>
<form action="submit.php" method="post" name="form" id="form">

<p><?php
if (isset($_POST['action'])) {
	if (isset($_POST['submit_1'])) echo $_POST['submit_1'] . '<br/>';
	if (isset($_POST['submit_2'])) echo $_POST['submit_2'] . '<br/>';
}
?></p>

<div>
	<input type="text" name="text" id="text" tabindex="1" value="" /><br/>

	<input type="submit" name="submit_1" id="submit_1" tabindex="2" value="Button 1 Clicked" />
	<input type="submit" name="submit_2" id="submit_2" tabindex="3" value="Button 2 Clicked" />

	<input type="hidden" name="action" value="submitted" />
</div>
</form>
</body>
</html>

Smartest Linux Move Ever? And Why Ubuntu will Fail

Linspire, Microsoft in Linux-related deal

Linspire Inc. has announced an agreement to license voice-enabled instant messaging, Windows Media 10 CODECs, and TrueType font technologies from Microsoft for its Linux distribution.

Shuttleworth Denies Ubuntu-Microsoft Deal

The head of Ubuntu says his company isn’t interested in forming a deal with Microsoft along the lines of those recently reached by Linspire, Xandros, and Novell.

I’ve always said that for Linux to have a chance on the desktop it must be turned into Windows. I know how that might sound to most, but that statement is completely true for one reason: people like what they know, familiarity is comfortable.

So what reason is there to switch away from Windows, something known and used, to Linux, a complete unknown?… Because it’s free and Microsoft is an evil monopoly!?… I think we have to do better than that. We have to give the people what they “want”, and not what we think they “need”, all while making the transition completely seamless.

The average desktop user just wants to power on, browse the internet, visit a few social sites, send email, do some IM, watch videos, and nothing more. And this task needs to function and look exactly like it does on Windows.

Yes, I know you can track down Codecs and TrueType fonts, and install them, but this is beyond what 95% of the desktop market is willing to do. It has to be already provided and look exactly like it does on Windows. If this task takes a single click, it’s already one click too many.

Every year since 2000 it was the year Linux was going to displace Windows. And every year it has failed miserably on the desktop. Linux is by the developer, for the developer. It works best server-side. The desktop/UI is horrible and always makes you do things differently, for no reason at all but “to be different.” And its type of “difference” is not the cool type, it’s downright scary.

Why learn from Microsoft’s mistakes and success, taking what works, when you can spend time and effort re-inventing the wheel. And until this gets fixed, Linux will alway turn away the desktop market.

Another huge problem I see is with providing the user with too many choices… You give someone multiple distributions, all with their own ways of doing things, with multiple applications that have the same function, with too many different options and ways of performing tasks, and the user becomes confused and disoriented. He begins to distrust the product. Time is waisted.

The majority of the desktop user-base want their hand held and told that everything is okay. And Linux slaps them right across the face. Very little is standardized or uniform. This type of “choice”, in this context, is not a strength, but rather a weakness.

While this move *is* the smartest move ever, it never the less is too little and too late — or to put it more correctly: completely and utterly pointless. Why you might ask? Because it’s not free, you pay $60 for Linspire. I can get Windows cheaper than that, even for free, and have no problems doing more with it as a Desktop.

Windows, the Path of Least Resistance

I was reading my copy of the Unix System Administration Handbook this morning, and came across this passage at the very end…

“We produced the first edition of this book with the UNIX troff package. For the second edition, we used a Macintosh. We produced this third edition entirely on Microsoft Windows 95, 98, and 2000. Oh, such delight! We’ll never touch UNIX again.”

I found the excerpt to be a bit humorous, considering the source [the bible of Unix Administration]. And how Linux is sometimes *pushed* on Windows users, by some. [guilty as charged... but I have changed my ways, I promise.]

Personally, I would rather use the tools that get the most amount of work done for the least amount of effort.