It's the kind of thing that used to get them in a lot of trouble. I wonder if they are past this or whether they will get rapped on the knuckles for this at some point?
I think the bigger case against Google on this front is with how they are tying Google+ to Google Search. I am actually kind of surprised they have not gotten more heat for it - if Facebook ever succumbs its market share to Google I suspect an issue will be made of it. But then, even with search you have to work very hard to make the case that people are "locked into it".
As it is, I'm staying on Windows 7 (I have only one laptop and need Word, otherwise I'd be using Linux instead of a Linux VM) and Paranaoid Android. No unwanted Micrsoft or Google products anywhere.
They're clearly going to continue to be left out in the cold in search. The PlayStation 4 looks very competitive with the XBox One (and the One is a helluva expensive Netflix or Blu-ray player). Mobile remains a disaster, certainly in terms of market share; ditto tablets for now.
Skype is interesting in consumer and business, but it'll struggle to ever pay for the acquisition (maybe in 30 years).
Their business / server / tools groups are by far and away the future of the company, as of right now.
Further evidence of this: The Sony PS4 that you point out as being competitive, is built on top of more than one Microsoft technology:
"Sony is building its CPU on what it's calling an extended DirectX 11.1+ feature set, including extra debugging support that is not available on PC platforms. This system will also give developers more direct access to the shader pipeline than they had on the PS3 or through DirectX itself
The development environment coders will use is based on Windows 7 and fully integrated with Visual Studio 2010 and 2012, allowing developers to debug PS4 code just like PC code."
Most non-tech savvy types want the ability to have their email, cloud document storage, cloud music service, browser history / favourites, all effortless syncronised between devices.
MS have actually been not that bad at doing this in metro. The share charm is extendible, integrating things like DropBox wouldn't be hard.
So long as they make APIs for say extending the images selection thing available to 3rd parties, I don't think its that bad.
yeah it's not as easy as in firefox, this was how it looked
but now google has bubbled up to the top
I find the term "Microsoft Account" to be disingenuous as it can be any email ID (my friends use their GMail) and that is a really nice touch since you can login to all their services with just your old gmail or whatever ID.
MS account | Apple ID
Skype | FaceTime
As for changing the default search, it took me about 90 seconds to figure out. I'm really not seeing a problem here. None of the things you mention are mandatory.
Also, integration is good for consumers when it ensure things just work, and Microsoft's approach is not fundamentally different from Apple's or Google's. Indeed, Microsoft is arguably less monopolistic than both of those.
Finally, it's extremely easy to set Google as your default search in IE10. It just requires an extra step, which means most people won't bother. However, it's not clear why Microsoft should give Google $1 billion to $5 billion a year's worth of benefits for nothing.
Given how few consequences past infractions have had, I doubt Microsoft worries about that. It has made a lot of money breaking laws but no-one was ever sent to jail and the company got to keep most of the spoils.
What qualifies as an abuse of market power? That's up to the Feds to decide, there is no set objective definition that can be run like an equation, such that you can be 100% sure you're breaking the law. It's extremely difficult to know beforehand, and the only safe way to approach it is to either directly ask a federal oversight committee (which many companies do once they're in such a position), or to shy away from any kind of aggressive competitive behavior.
But as you appreciate, usually when a criminal is trial, the argument is about whether or not they did X [illegal act]. With anti-trust, the argument is not whether the criminal did X but whether X is illegal or not. It's always opinion.
Either way, Microsoft should still be judged entirely on what it did in 1995. It's not like the world has changed since then ;-)
How easy is it to match the iCloud experience on iPad?
This is a massive play for cloud storage. Will this be replacing "My Documents" for the majority of casual Windows users?
I mean, I assume that even if it behaves like a regular folder, unless the user actually wants to store the file on SkyDrive, then that folder would not be where they want to save the thing.
I actually even store most document-y stuff on Dropbox, which made Apple's whole "iCloud? Wanna save that on iCloud? Put it in the iCloud? What, Dropbox, you sure you didn't mean iCloud? iCloud? Hey, try saving it in iCloud! Look, iCloud! Woah, by Dropbox, I think you meant iCloud, right? iCloud? iCloud?" behavior so annoying...
I find Hotmail's password length terrible and its recovery process tedious.
There's no separate password. You log in to Microsoft/Live when you log in to your computer. If your computer is on, you have access to SkyDrive. If you forgot the password to unlock the whole computer, SkyDrive is not the top of your concerns.
That's not too bad if done that way. Although I hope I don't get locked out by someone trying to log into my outlook account. It got to be so bad with Hotmail I only use it as an email for my Xbox account.
The only password they need is the one to log into their computer.
But nixme's command-line tip above works to specifically fix the annoyance of having save dialogs always start with iCloud, while still allowing you to have it sync all that data.
a) Tell SkyDrive not to start on startup
b) Remove that folder from syncing
c) Tell SkyDrive not to sync on metered networks and set your home connection as a metered network
d) Save documents to a different folder
e) Uninstall SkyDrive
a) Install a FOSS OS instead
At what point, I wonder, does that cease to be a snarky response? We are now apparently at the point where you have to jump through hoops to save your own files on your own computer.
It's not Windows 8.1 that's bothering me so much as projecting what this path looks like in Windows 10.
Now both of those barriers have been removed and the OS is now taking advantage of these new capabilities. I really don't see what is wrong with that. Should all OSes remain frozen at a 2003 state of development?
...in some places in the world, but not others. Will MS change their defaults by territory does anyone know?
On the other hand, you shouldn't upload anything illegal or even objectionable, Microsoft is looking (it probably has to)
But if you are creating documents online using the Office Web Apps in SkyDrive, then it would be very odd if the default storage was a local PC, tablet or phone.
All these things are true today under Windows 7 and 8 as well as 8.1.
If cloud storage is such a terrible idea, it seems odd that there is so much hype for Google Apps -- which apparently 100% of startups use -- and for Chromebooks and similar thin client operating systems.
For everyone else, I think we've probably already got our own system for online doc backups etc. I'm sure, like past Microsoft products, we can probably change the behaviour through a registry "hack"/modification if they don't have something a bit more configurable built in (ie: in Control Panel etc).
People like to dismiss MS, but they really understand iterative development.
I for one welcome this change and hope it signals a switch to more frequent major OS updates.
At least in the past 10 years, Microsoft's language has been all about "Service Packs". The landscape of mobile OSes, their app stores, and the movement of web browsers to an always-up-to-date model is conditioning consumers to expect continuously-updated software. It only seems natural that desktop OSes (which are the most entrenched in point releases) will eventually follow.
The video was clearly not targeted at me - lots of jumping around the product and distracting. It just seems sad versus the Apple approach of focussing on end users doing things.
In the Microsoft ad, you're supposed to be able to project yourself to be the person doing these things. You're supposed to feel that 'you' are opening an e-mail and looking at photos or "you" are searching for Marilyn Monroe, etc. etc.
That is similar to the Apple ads, but the Apple ads do two things differently.
1) they are at a slower pace and with less frantic movement and music, so it is easier to understand
2) apple ads will often have a voice over explaining what is happening.
I don't like the Microsoft ad, but the ad does focus on an end user doing things. Everything in that ad is a user doing things. I think they need to refine their approach though, and make it about things people care about doing.
I mean, Win3.1 was quite usable, then OS/2 (joke), 95, then XP (some flavor of NT w/ a service pack wasn't horrible). It takes some iterations, sometimes, to get it right.
There are things I don't particularly care for in Win8, but compared to Win7, it is much snappier on older hardware and that I appreciate (stuffing it in a VM). I also appreciate the faster release iterations.
It only came out a year or so after Windows 2K, which was 5.0 technically.
Hell, I can purchase games on Steam, a VPS from a wide array of providers and even make purchases on Amazon, but Microsoft doesn't take my money.
Just give me a cart, a checkout page that lets me pay with Paypal and we're done MS. Just sell me the god damn serial key!
The only update I want to see is a 'Shut Down' option when you click you name on the start screen.
I think Windows 8 is alright but I am somewhat disappointed at how they haven't even attempted to unify the metro / desktop experience. I thought this was one of the main gripes people had. As someone without a touch screen, I would use Metro apps far more if they opened in a container on the desktop.
No one cares about the start button. They care about the start menu. In 8.1, the button just does the same thing as hitting the winkey or clicking in the corner in 8 -- you get completely launched from the desktop environment, and go full-screen Metro-mode launcher.
While at first I thought it'd be the same (press winkey, type, enter), Windows 8/8.1 makes it far more cumbersome and is quite interrupting. Also, on Win8, you need to select what you're searching for. Unlike 7, it doesn't automatically search everything.
There is no way that MS actually thinks people want the button, not the menu.
We have decades of "click the start button" training drilled into peoples' heads. They'll find their app whether it's in a menu or a screen, but stranding them on the desktop without any button to get there was a problem. That's who the change was made for, not the tech enthusiasts that have been doing most of the complaining.
This is fixed on 8.1, it searches everything by default.
Apart from the grey background, there is a small bar at the top that shows for a clock and basic windowing stuff (tags, open windows, layout mode). There is also a start button like thing in the corner. Because I never use it, I tried to remove it from my desktop. Everything worked fine, but the desktop just looked wrong without that button in the corner.
I did however, remove the menu that comes up when you click on it.
People didn't like it because it was UNDISCOVERABLE.
As it turns out, the Start Menu was pure shit and everyone did Winkey+"Application Name"+Enter. And they still use it today.
It takes you to the Live Tiles screen. (I assume that screen has a real name but I don't know it and you get my drift)
On the other hand, it’s such a shame that they’ve made Modern UI a walled-off platform. The PC’s biggest strength has always been how democratized the platform was – anyone could build a PC, make software for it.
OS X is sometimes criticized of becoming a closed platform, with GateKeeper and such, but the sad reality is that right now Windows 8 is the more restrictive of the two. At least Apple lets you self-sign and bypass the App Store vetting process (albeit for a fee), and you can easily disable GateKeeper altogether.
It’s also clear that the Modern UI and desktop teams have been working in complete isolation. Microsoft keep pushing out new frameworks, completely ignoring what came before. Will WPF go the way of Windows Forms? What are people who built XNA games supposed to do about Windows 8? What does modern Windows desktop app even look like? Most of them spot ribbons, but there isn’t even a standard component for that.
Now, I'm not saying I like the interface -- just that it isn't the "tablet interface".