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PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES 564

Posted by Soulskill
from the trouble-in-the-colonies dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Fearing rapidly plummeting sales of traditional laptops and desktop computers — which fell by another 10 percent or so in 2013 — manufacturers are planning a revolt against Microsoft and the Windows operating system, analysts say. At the 2014 CES in Las Vegas, multiple computer makers will unveil systems that simultaneously run two different operating systems, both Windows and the Android OS that powers many of the world's tablets and smartphones, two different analysts said recently. The new devices will be called 'PC Plus' machines, explained analyst Tim Bajarin. 'A PC Plus machine will run Windows 8.1 but will also run Android apps as well,' Bajarin wrote. Another analyst put the threat to Windows bluntly: 'This should scare the heck out of Microsoft.'"
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PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES

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  • Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:37PM (#45800797)

    Who the fuck wants this? Sure, Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:40PM (#45800817)

    Probably won't be able to disable SecureBoot. That's what makes it better!

  • Re:Ugh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:42PM (#45800845)

    Who the fuck wants this?

    Google, I'm guessing. It's the next step after Chromebooks, I'd bet the one after this will be pure Android desktops.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <> on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:42PM (#45800855)

    Windows sucks but why would cramming a shitty OEM version of Android make things better?

    Any movement away from a Microsoft dominated software market is probably a step in the right direction. As for the question of whether anyone will use these features, I will withhold judgment until I can actually see them.

  • by t0qer (230538) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:47PM (#45800899) Homepage Journal

    I see it as the only way to compete with android. Just give it out, completely free. Still charge for the server level OS's and support, but for a desktop, MS makes money from plenty of other areas. Office is still a cash cow. Xbox is a profit center.

    Google makes its money from their "free" OS through the app store. They also have a pretty neat ecosystem and various ways app makers can make money (in app advertising) They control the entire ecosystem. If MS could do the same with windows, I think we'd see the desktop come back.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Friday December 27, 2013 @06:48PM (#45800921)

    If it weren't for the fact that Windows 8 (and 8.1) seems hell bent on removing the things that make it a computer, and not just a tablet, I would feel a lot more confident this move was going to just lead to a bunch of laughter.

    Why does everyone want Android everywhere? I've used OS X, iOS,the original Mac OS, Windows 3.1 - 7, and various linux distros. And Android. Android is hands down the most annoying. And yet people persist in wanting not just smartphones, but real computers to run it.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:02PM (#45801067)

    It isn't necessarily better. For example, you have a lot of system level software under Windows that you can't even sell for iOS and on Chromebooks. And on Android, your users need root before using them, which very few people have. Not to mention the 30% cut of all revenue on both the big mobile stores. In people's rush to hate MS, everyone's promoting even more restrictive software and data being stored in the cloud which users have no control over.

    Linus says it best: Microsoft hatred is a disease []

    I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.

      There are 'extremists' in the free software world, but that's one major reason why I don't call what I do 'free software' any more. I don't want to be associated with the people for whom it's about exclusion and hatred."

  • by msauve (701917) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:11PM (#45801171)
    They don't even have to go all out - just give out XP, then sell security update subscriptions for $20/yr. Only Microsoft thinks there's any benefit to Win8, and other than revenue, "why" is a mystery.
  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brxndxn (461473) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:13PM (#45801195)

    I, for one.. I'm running Slackware now since Windows 8 pissed me off over and over. Slackware isn't great either - but at least it's something worth learning. I don't see Microsoft continuing being the only dominant player in the future.

    Windows 8 has got to be the main reason laptop and PC sales have plummeted. Nobody likes the fucking interface on a PC and nobody wants to buy a new PC that forcefeeds you Windows 8 when they already have Windows 7.

    Windows 8 is an asshole operating system. It was designed by a guy that decided to be an asshole and only have asshole programmers join him. It was designed so that you can only multitask when Windows 8 decides you can multitask. Did you launch 'full screen' Internet Explorer? You did? Ha! There's no way to move it back to a window. Because fuck you! Guess what? Here's a start menu. And, it only launches bullshit by default. Oh, you have a PC? We will go ahead and optimize it for a tablet anyway. Oh, you don't have a touchscreen monitor? We'll continue to act like you have a touchscreen. You have a sound card issue? You and like 10,000 other people? We will continue to act like you don't know how to update the drivers for the sound card and we will continue to act like it's your fault. Windows 8 crashed on you? We will continue to act like it never crashes and is the most stable piece of software marvel ever.

    Fuck Windows 8. I've never had a piece of software piss me off more so quickly.. and I deal with old industrial software and IT for my career. I would love to see a revolt.

    And, if you're a programmer for Windows 8, fuck you too.

  • by lgw (121541) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:15PM (#45801233) Journal

    That's just it. Mobile devices have already sent the message loud and clear. A PC that still pays the Windows tax? Not so scary.

    I find Android even more annoying than Metro on a real KVM setup - I can't imagine using it unless some app I really needed was Android-only (and I've yet to find an app I cared that much about). Android just isn't a viable threat on a desktop.

    Mobile computing is an entirely different landscape, of course, and clearly it finally hit home with MS that they weren't winning there with their past strategy, as their big reorg seems focused on fixing that - for sure it will at least change it.

    You know, I like C# and Visual Studio - if I could easily write code that would run across not just all the Windows platforms, but Android and IOS too - and with a UI that looks native on each platform, like QT does - that would be a wonderful thing.

    Come to think of it, I wonder whether there a nice C#/QT interface yet that works well in Mono - anyone know? Or have another good cross-platform UI approach using Mono? Xamarin seems proud of what they have - anyone know?

  • Re:Morons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:27PM (#45801369)

    Most people who use computers these days have a very minimal idea of how they work. You don't truely understand this until you work in tech support. I could tell you some horror stories...

    - The user who organised their files for years by using file->save as on word, because they didn't know you could click 'my computer' or 'my documents' and get a window intended for the task.
    - The user who accidentially associated PDF files with word and could only report the problem as 'my email broke.'
    - The user who had to call helpdesk for instruction on how to launch Word, after the shortcut was shuffled off the start menu quick-list.

    Many users don't get the concept of a program. Or a URL. Or a file - they know there is a little picture they click on to open a document, but they think this little picture *is* the document. That's why you see so many of them attaching shortcuts to emails. They don't even know what an operating system is - and they are incapable of understanding, as they lack the foundational knowledge of how computers work. Now imagine the tech support nightmare that would come from giving them linux, even a polished distro.

    For thirty years the technology industry has strived to make computers so easy, so simple that any untrained user can use them productively. Well, we succeeded, and now we must deal with the consequence. We've created a situation where any untrained user can sit at their computer and do their job, getting on with their objective without wasting overhead time on studying the technology itsself. That's good thing, mostly. The down-side is that if anything changes, even the most trivial thing, they are completly unprepared.

  • Re:Why not Windows 7 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:32PM (#45801419)

    Or throw their money and expert knowledge behind linux. It might mean a bit of restructuring - they'd probably want their own organisation making whatever distro they go with - but it could be done. Not likely to happen though, because most OEM manufacturers don't wish to also be software companies.

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gweihir (88907) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:39PM (#45801499)

    I completely agree. Got a new netbook with Win8 and tried to make it dual-boot with Linux. After that proved to be difficult, I had a look at Win8 and decided it was really not worth my time to try to keep it. The netbook now runs Linux only and works nicely as Internet terminal and media-player, and in addition I can use it as a proper Linux machine as well. There is absolutely no need for Windows anymore, except for Gaming (holding my thumbs that Valve will be able to make a dent in that) and editing MS Office documents.

  • by lgw (121541) on Friday December 27, 2013 @07:41PM (#45801515) Journal

    That's just FUD, and FUD that hurts Mono for no good reason. I know there are plenty of oldschool /.ers who have never forgiven Microsoft for Windows95, but that's long past and Mono is a good project.

    The interesting question is: what's the right toolchain for good cross-platform UI support? A see a variety of open source QT bindings for C/Mono that should work just fine in Android, plus the commercial solution above, but does anyone have first-hand experience?

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Friday December 27, 2013 @08:10PM (#45801747) Homepage Journal
    How would a "pure Android desktop" work? Last time I checked, Applications for Android, for example, were allowed to assume that the screen size never changes after installation []. This led to a window management policy of all maximized all the time, which isn't always the best choice for a 21-24" desktop monitor.
  • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday December 27, 2013 @08:19PM (#45801835)

    All those specialty business applications and "mission critical" visual basic programs seem to only run on Windows XP, based on the various doctors' offices and other businesses I've seen computers running in. Now with XP being EOLed, I expect to see all kinds of havoc.

  • Google Play Store (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Friday December 27, 2013 @08:47PM (#45802017) Homepage Journal

    What makes Android better than any other distro?

    Google Play Store has a large selection of Android applications, especially in categories that free software tends not to touch [], such as games and video-on-demand players. Other distros might catch up should more games and clients for VOD services get ported to SteamOS (and thus to GNU/Linux), but that isn't guaranteed to happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 27, 2013 @09:17PM (#45802221)

    Measured by time or money, I have yet to find anything that even comes close to C#, Mono, and Xamarin for doing cross platform work. If you want code that runs well on Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, and probably even Windows Phone (although never done any windows phone tbh) nothing else even comes close.

    I've seen the Xamarin generated android code (mono-touch) run faster than native java (which is usually a fair comparison due to how similar c# is to java), and the exact same code run only slightly slower than the ObjC on iOS. Nothing else can say that. As an added bonus that same code will run on osx, linux, and windows.

    Now as for the QT comparison that's a slightly different beast. Most of the time (almost all the time in mobile) you're going to want to spend some time retouching your UI to match the base os' way of doing things.

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:05PM (#45802477)
    Sounds a lot like windows 8.
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday December 27, 2013 @10:43PM (#45802645) Homepage Journal

    Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect. - Linus Torvalds

  • CrossOver (Score:5, Interesting)

    by emblemparade (774653) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:50PM (#45802937)
    The MS Office requirement used to be a big deal for me, until I recently gave CrossOver a whirl. It supports "only" Office 2010, not 2013, but I found that it works perfectly well, no bugs yet (and I use it a lot). So, for me, CrossOver solved the last hurdle requiring Windows.
  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:59PM (#45802961)

    This is another lost opportunity for Linux operating systems. By Linux operating systems i do not mean OSs with a Linux kernel, which is not a real Linux OS, but one that has the full standard userland as well. I believe many of the main Linux developers have themselves to blame for the failure to capitalize on Microsoft's ineptness. This especially includes failing to realize that hardware support is the big thing that holds up Linux being a viable Windows replacement and the fact that accepting the fact we need to make it easy for users to use Binary drivers and provide a stable ABI for binary drivers. Instead Kernel developers lie through their teeth. One lie is that drivers in the kernel source tree are better than binary drivers. Yet there is a long list of binary drivers that perform much better than the ones in the kernel source tree. Another is that its reasonable to ask hardware vendors to provide open source drivers, when in fact many cannot because they license their driver source from third parties, furthermore, hardware companies cannot be expected to make huge concessions to Linux communities when the user share is still small. The fact is many hardware vendors will never open source and no amount of wishful thinking will change that. Linux people who think that somehow its a privelege for hardware vendors to develop drivers for Linux and will make huge concessions to do so are fooling themselves, if anything, they are doing us a favor and we would have to convince them to do so, including by having a well documented driver API.

    The lack of a well documented driver API is a serious problem itself. Part of the problem is the fact Kernel developers practice what are generally regarded as poor habits by failing to document their code and properly document interfaces. Microsoft has better driver API documentation than Linux. I have looked into the documentation myself and it is extremely hard to find any. Most companies will just throw up their arms and not continue if they cannot find clear documentation. They are clearly not going to root around some kernel hackers source code to try to backengineer the API from the source code.

  • by emblemparade (774653) on Friday December 27, 2013 @11:59PM (#45802963)

    Everytime I see "doomed" in Slashdot these days, I expect a big hit around the corner...

    Actually, it seems, many home users don't need full-blown MS Office and Photoshop, and are very happy with modest apps and casual games. If not more happy, because the full-blown desktop OSes give them headaches. An antivirus? System update that takes 45 minutes? My mom doesn't see how that helps her. These people love their iPads and the ChromeBooks are selling like hotcakes.

    And MS is scared of ChromeBooks, enough that they've released a series of anti-ChromeBook ads.

    Selling a laptop dual-booting Ubuntu is pointless (and I say that as a 100% Ubuntu supporter): but dual-booting Android indeed gives the laptop a different experience, with superfast boot and simple use, that many users will enjoy. If the laptop does touch, too, then you get a nice Android tablet, too, which is far more functional than a Win8 tablet: indeed, PC+.

    Also, let me educate you: Android *is* a Linux distro.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @10:59AM (#45805225) Homepage Journal

    A reference way back in the early '90's would have been good. It's going to be 2014 next week. I don't even have all those installation disks anymore. At this date, I can't remember exactly which versions of which operating systems I used. I variously used PC-DOS, TRS-DOS, DR-DOS, IBM-DOS, and MS-DOS. On everything except MS-DOS, I got a message telling me that Windows could only be installed on MS-DOS. And, in fact, I later got that message when I attempted to install Windows on MS-DOS 6.22. I did get Windows working on 6.22, but initially it didn't want to install.

    I did recover (from an estate sale) various versions of Windows preceding 3.1 which were happy to install on all of the above. As I recall, I had Windows versions 1.2 and 2.6, and a partial set of 2.8 or 2.9 but I won't swear to those version numbers now.

    What is certain, and what has been documented, is that MS did put that AARD code into it's products. If you've actually read up on it, you'll realize that Win3.1 is not the ONLY place it showed up. Win3.1 is the only place where I personally encountered it.

  • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @11:53AM (#45805511)

    Now as for the QT comparison that's a slightly different beast. Most of the time (almost all the time in mobile) you're going to want to spend some time retouching your UI to match the base os' way of doing things.

    This raises the question - does your Mono UI look different on these platforms (in which case, why do you care about retouching your Qt UIs) or does it look the same .NET-based UI (in which case, why do you care about retouching your Qt UIs) or do you just not care about retouching your Mono UIs and are trying to spread a little FUD about how perfect it is compared to an alternative cross-platform toolkit?

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren