Joe Schmoe
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:42 pm

There was a thread in the "General" section about Windows 8 - posted either by someone who was ill-informed or just plain trolling - that was quickly closed by Liz.

Well, I had a few things I wanted to say on the subject, so, in a curious sort of way, I thought that it had been pre-maturely closed.  But don't get me wrong; I'm not some Windows advocate.  But I understand a lot about how the masses think and communicate.  There is a sense that if it doesn't run Windows, it is at best a curiosity.  And also, that if it doesn't run Windows today, well, it certainly will someday.  Note well that the OP's comment about "not having to bother with this 'Linux stuff'" certainly is very telling.

Anyway, as you all well know, MS has announced that Windows 8 will (sort of) run on (some versions of) ARM chips.  So naturally, the masses assume this means that there's no need to bother with "That Linux stuff" on ARM chips anymore.

The cynic in me (Who me?  Cynical?) suspects that, like a lot of other MS announcements, the whole "Windows 8 will run on ARM" thing is just so much hoopla - designed specifically to try to steer the masses away from even thinking about straying from the fold.

Anyway, I think this is the right forum (It must be, given that the main thread here is "You SUCK!").  Flame away!

7+12
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

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abishur
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:54 pm

It's less hoopla than you'd think.  The main idea is to have a consistency between their main product line and their mobile product line so we don't have to put up with the fiasco that was, imho, Windows CE.

That said, even if Windows 8 was compatible with the r-pi ARM *and* assuming someone cracked the GPU and made a driver for windows 8, it still wouldn't work with the r-pi!  Windows 8 ARM is designed to be run on ARM devices that have dual cores.  Maybe you could get windows 8 on the version of the r-pi that exists in a decade (Model plural Z Alpha), but not this one.
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Joe Schmoe
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:59 pm

It's funny that you mention "a decade", because that was one of the thoughts running through my mind while I was composing my post.

That, rather than say "The Rpi won't run Windows", we should be saying something along the lines of "It might - check back in 10 years and we'll see where we are"...

7+10
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

spurious
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Microsoft are producing an ARM version of Windows, BUT.. and this is a BIG BUT...

They will be targeting the latest ARM chips, so it is very unlikely to run on ARMv6

Also Windows tends to be very memory hungry and the R-Pi only has 256MB

Rather than holding onto hope for a bloatware OS, try somthing different and learn something new.. Linux?!  

Prometheus
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:28 pm

spurious said:


Rather than holding onto hope for a bloatware OS, try somthing different and learn something new.. Linux?!  


I wonder if, when folks realise that Microsoft Windows 8 for ARM doesn't support the pre-existing software they already have for their x86 Microsoft Windows installation, they might wonder why they "need" to stick with it at all…

Jim Brown
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:29 pm


Anyway, as you all well know, MS has announced that Windows 8 will (sort of) run on (some versions of) ARM chips.  So naturally, the masses assume this means that there's no need to bother with "That Linux stuff" on ARM chips anymore


There is one fundamental issue with Win8 Arm, it's NOT backward compatible with the existing huge catalogue of software. Neither will ARM-developed Win8 apps worth with x86 platforms

hippy
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:35 pm

Jim Brown said:

Neither will ARM-developed Win8 apps worth with x86 platforms
I reckon that depends on how efficiently and transparently an ARM emulator or VM could be integrated into X86 Windows. And of course whether Microsoft wish to provide for that. Done well you'd never know the ARM app were not an X86 app. And that could apply the other way too. If there's a shift from native compilation to .Net or similar then even less of a problem but performance could be an issue.

I don't think incompatibility between ARM and X86 will actually affect most users, but for some it will. I am sure Microsoft have not neglected to think about the issues.

Prometheus
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:52 pm

hippy said:


I don"t think incompatibility between ARM and X86 will actually affect most users, but for some it will. I am sure Microsoft have not neglected to think about the issues.


I"m unsure on this. After all, the reasons most seem to give for sticking with Microsoft Windows is that some or all of the software they regularly use is only available for it (there being alternatives in some cases is immaterial for some of these folks). For some, this is legacy software that is no longer produced or supported, for which there aren"t any suitable alternatives.

I don"t think it"s too far-fetched that some quite substantial numbers of people will pick up these ARM-based Microsoft Windows products, and find that what they already own won"t work on it, or that (x86) Microsoft Windows software they've bought alongside it won't work. After all, the box says it's for Microsoft Windows 7 and above, and their computer's using Microsoft Windows 8 right? I really don"t think this will be a small number.

My understanding of it is that we"ve already seen Microsoft back off from full compatibility between x86 and ARM applications, by only providing the Metro side of things on ARM. It"s already a far cry from when Apple switched to x86 and provided Rosetta, to make the switchover seamless (and say what you will about Apple, that was a great way of handling it, from a user"s perspective).

EricMiddleton
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:50 pm

It is my understanding that Windows 8 on arm requires a special type of bootloader (can't remember what its called) to keep the devices from being rooted. Just another reason why Windows 8 will never work on it.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:58 pm

>It is my understanding that Windows 8 on arm requires a special type of bootloader (can't remember what its called) to keep the devices from being rooted. Just another reason why Windows 8 will never work on it.

By "it", I assume you mean the Rpi.

Anyway, you are thinking of "Secure Boot", which is a general part of the Windows 8 universe, but it is specially "enhance" on the ARM platform, to make it (as you say) un-hackable.

Everyone assumes it is only a matter of time until someone figures out how to hack it.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

Prometheus
Posts: 308
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:00 pm

Eric Middleton said:


It is my understanding that Windows 8 on arm requires a special type of bootloader (can't remember what its called) to keep the devices from being rooted. Just another reason why Windows 8 will never work on it.


The one written about here, you mean?

It appears that it's some sort of hardware lock-down to prevent the user from ever installing any alternatives.

EDIT: Ninja'd.

hippy
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Re: OT: Windows 8

Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:04 pm

Prometheus said:


hippy said:


I don"t think incompatibility between ARM and X86 will actually affect most users, but for some it will. I am sure Microsoft have not neglected to think about the issues.


I"m unsure on this. After all, the reasons most seem to give for sticking with Microsoft Windows is that some or all of the software they regularly use is only available for it (there being alternatives in some cases is immaterial for some of these folks). For some, this is legacy software that is no longer produced or supported, for which there aren"t any suitable alternatives.


For the later I agree; they'll be the ones having problems, but hopefully also the ones most likely to understand what the situation is.

For those who use Windows regularly I'd say it was familiarity above anything else that keeps them with it. If the big name apps work on both most users I think will be happy; Word, Excel, IE, Firefox, Chrome, Outlook, Thunderbird, PDF readers, AV etc, and those are likely to get supported on ARM and X86.

Above all else, unless the marketing and differentiation is so confusing for users, they should be able to understand what works on what. It's not really any more difficult than some Android apps not working on all Android platforms.

There are potential problems and we don't know how they will be addressed. I might have to eat my words but we'll have to wait and see!

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