You’ve seen that Microsoft “Surface” touchscreen computer? The one that’s (literally) the size of a coffee table? And you’re keeping in mind right now that it’s a giant touchscreen?
Yeah, you can’t get it working without a keyboard.
Ok, I understand -from reading the linked post- that they got a system intended to be set up by an MS tech, but it’s still a bad design, especially the “start here/cleaning” booklet. Feh.
Yes, the touchscreen/desktop should be on by default, and HELL, yes Bluetooth should be built-in for an over-$10,000 system!!
Next up, MicroSoft’s newest state-of-the-art, Intel-powered gaming system, which requires you to load the device drivers via floppy drive when first booting the new system…
Obviously they are doing something right … they do have 90+ % market share after all don’t they ?
For all its “coolness” Apple is basically a niche player catering mostly to people who tend to favor appearance over actual substance.
Holmes, that is so self-evidently uninformed that it takes my breath away. If I have time after work tonight I might take a shot at why…
Ok, now I have time.
First, MicroSoft gained that market share via some rather dubious routes. Did you know it’s more expensive to buy a “bare metal” machine (i.e. no operating system) than one with Windows? Why? Because MS shoved that pricing schedule down retailers throats. How did they do that? By being the big dog in operating systems since the late 80s. How did they manage that? They outmaneuvered IBM and made MS-DOS more important than the hardware, although the clone makers helped. Once the Mac came out (you remember the Macintosh, that silly little, trivial computer made by that “niche” company that catered to people who favor appearance over actual substance), MS immediately copied the Mac interface with Windows 1.01. Epic Fail. Windows 1.01 is now only of interest to collectors. Which reminds me, if anyone has a good copy, let me know, I’d love to get hold of it.
Back to the thread. It is self-evident that Windows was a clone of the Mac OS, so it should be also self-evident that the “niche” player was leading the “doing something right” company in engineering and OS development. On the other hand, I admit that Apple pulled some bonehead moves, including the fact that opening the original Mac voided the warranty, a mirror opposite of the Wintel open-system approach.
Despite some success in the commercial sphere with Windows 3.x, MS didn’t enjoy any breakthrough until Windows 95. Ironically enough, Quarterdeck’s DESQview had been providing an interrupt-driver, pre-emptive multitasking environment under MS-DOS for several years by that point. Before ’95 came out, most serious BBS systems either ran under DESQview, or under OS/2, which was far superior to the Win9x platform. OS/2 failed to take off due to terrible marketing by IBM. As before, good marketing trumped good design.
Why do I mention BBS systems (which included Fidonet, which at one point included tens of thousands of boards across the world)? Simple; more primitive cooperative-multitasking methods regularly fail when faced with relatively high-speed (14.4KB -52KB) serial port throughput. While the tech-savvy could tweak Win 3.x to deal with this, OS/2 and DV systems were far more popular and reliable. So much for “doing something right.”
Please note that MS was far, far less concerned with piracy and digital rights when the Windows niche was still expanding.
I’ll be the first to admit that WinNT was orginally an excellent and powerful OS. Alas, back in the day all the gamers (and gamer developers) preferred the MS-DOS platform, as they could directly access all hardware for maximum performance. It wasn’t that unusual for a game to require a special boot disk which -in effect- turned one’s PC into a dedicated game box for a a given game.
Why is this important? Because MS decided to allow game developers direct access to hardware so they might persuade said developers to migrate to the Windows platform, which is exactly what happened.
This also, BTW, helped increase MS market share.
Apple and the *NIX community, on the other hand, refused to allow such access, which explains why virtually all games are now Windows-based.
I’ll close by noting that Apple has -for several decades- won awards for outstanding designs in areas dominated by engineers and software developers, not just “gizmo freaks.” Perhaps warmi should do a little more research.
Less than 90% and dropping.
I’d also note that Apple has produced an extremely popular and easy to use touch screen platform. I don’t think I have to mention the name.
If you didn’t like Windows 3.11 ( which disappeared in 1995) you must have hated Mac OS which was using pretty much the same cooperative multitasking model as Win 3.11 all the way until 2000.
“Because MS decided to allow game developers direct access to hardware so they might persuade said developers to migrate to the Windows platform, which is exactly what happened.”
I used to work as a game programmer and you are simply wrong. There was nothing in MS DOS specifically designed to “allow” direct hardware access – it was simply a very thin “OS” which by design allowed people to mess around with just about everything ( mostly thru BIOS). Comparing DOS to Unix or even Mac OS makes no sense ..
As soon as MS had a chance ( which would be around 1995) they introduced a structured way to gain the same sort of access while still operating within the relative safety of full blown OS.
Despite being called Direct X there was nothing direct or special about it – in fact it was really no different than Open GL ( available on Unix and Mac OS)
That brings us to the real reason games are so prevalent on Windows – a mediocre game on Windows will generally sell more copies than a successful title on Mac OS – you just can’t get around it.
Mac OS was never more than a niche OS to begin with and Unix lack of popularity among the masses made Mac OS look like a blockbuster.
If you want to blame someone, blame Apple – they are the ones who steadfastly refused to allow choice for people running their OS – it was either their (limited) hardware or nothing.
“I’d also note that Apple has produced an extremely popular and easy to use touch screen platform. I don’t think I have to mention the name.”
Yeah, I know .. we are actually developing software for this device and while I am generally impressed with the device itself , I am very disappointed with my Mac OS X box ( which I never had any experience with until I was forced to get one to be able to develop for the iPhone).
After wrestling with that thing for couple of weeks I ended up downloading OpenGL ES emulator for Windows and porting our engine to run on Windows just so I wouldn’t have to deal with Xcode and all that crap.
Another thing … I don’t know what it is about Apple but their approach to developer relations is, to quote a famous guy, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”
You just can’t get anything out of them … a case in point is the latest iPhone OS 3.0 (currently at 3.0 b3) … a guy, after noticing a few new includes in the latest glext.h , asked on the forums if we are getting stencil buffers functionality and Apple response was literally this:
“You can try the stencil buffers constants to see if they work or not, but I cannot comment further than that.”
WTF is that ? Some sort of developer Jeopardy! ? You get this kind of response all the time – after discovering what looked like excessive data copying in iPhone OpenGL driver , and asking Apple about it , we were essentially told nothing and basically directed to “follow developer guidelines” from the Imagination Technologies website ( the company responsible for 3d chip powering iPhone).So off we went to ask the guys at Img Tech forums and what do you know …. we get this…
“I am sorry but we cannot comment on performance on this device. The iPhone developer forum has some discussions about this issue that you might find interesting. “
Hehe .. nice .. so the guy who asked the original question follows with this :
“Really? I’ve personally found very little useful information on the iPhone developer forums. Mostly, it’s people with scant information trying to help people with no information — hence my attempt to get answers here. “
And this is what he gets from the Img Tech guys:
“I am sorry but we have been instructed by Apple not to answer these device specific questions.
I mean this sort of crap makes Microsoft look like open source fanatics ..
Now I am wondering if I am gonna get my iPhone dev license suspended … according to Apple, for some strange reason, this stuff is strictly “iPhone OS 3.0 ( Confidential)” ….
Come to think of it .. why do I even need a “license” ? There is no license required to write code for Windows Mobile, Android or just about any other mobile OS …
Excuse my English .. it is not my native language.
Yeah, well, holmes, your time sense is seriously screwed up. I never said MS “allowed access” to MS-DOS, but to Windows. You know, Microsoft friggin’ WINDOWS, not MS-DOS. Even a non-english-speaking game-monger can get that. I repeat: MicroSoft MUCKED UP the NT kernel by allowing direct access to the hardware, via Direct X. Why the FREAK do you think they call it “Direct,” grasshopper??
Frankly, any tool that bad-mouths *NIX as a stable and secure OS while defending MS deserves any derisive laughter pointed in their direction. As I said before, the original NT kernel was excellent. It was the marketing dweebs that mucked things up.
On the other hand, it’s amusing to get flack from a game-writer while he’s defending the least secure popular OS on the planet. Especially when he gets his facts and dates wrong.
(And, yes, I know the Mac OS used cooperative multi-tasking before OS X, thanks very much, which is why I never touted it. Nice red herring, though)
I use WinXP every day. I will most likely continue to use XP for a long time, as Vista sucks large, hairy rocks. You DON’T (or shouldn’t) need 2 gigabytes or RAM just to run an end-user, commercially-available OS.
That said, the FreeBSD core of OS X is far more secure and stable than just about any recent MS Windows operating system. If you have trouble with that elemental fact, do a little research and find out how Amazon, eBay, and other mission-critical applications are implemented. I’ll give you a hint, homie: it involves Apache (for DB) and *NIX platforms.
…Y’all might want to get your tongue out of Bill’s crack, I’ve heard he tends towards incontinence in the morning…
You are wrong again .. this had nothing to do with Direct X but rather with the way NT kernel placed GDI related code into kernel space – this was done to speed up rendering of all GUI code ( fonts, windows etc) and again, had nothing to do with Direct X ( which was at most an accidental beneficiary.)
In any case NT was not what 99% of people were using as their gaming platform anyway ( quite a few games only ran on Win 95.) so your point was moot to begin with.
I wont even go into Unix and related stuff because it was obviously a mistake to waste my time responding to someone as clueless as you are in the first place ..
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