Tag Archive for ‘Microsoft’

On Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Neo ➝

John Gruber:

But in very typical Microsoft fashion, the Neo and Duo are both just prototypes. They’re over a year from shipping according to the company, the software is so early days that the media weren’t allowed to play with them, there’s no word on pricing, and Panay admits they haven’t even decided fundamental aspects like how many cameras they’ll have.

And in the meantime, they’ve completely overshadowed the real products Microsoft actually announced yesterday.

Microsoft announced some pretty neat products, but who knows what changes will take place in software and hardware before they actually ship. How many of the neatest little features will be scrapped because they can’t quite get it right before it’s time to ship? How many hardware details will change because they discovered that the original design just isn’t sturdy enough?

Microsoft’s product announcements would be a lot more compelling if they only unveiled things that were just weeks away from release.

➝ Source: daringfireball.net

‘Everything About This Operating System Feels Like a PC Living in a Tablet Body’ ➝

Matt Birchler, on his newly purchased Microsoft Surface Go:

My initial impressions are that this is not the iPad-like experience I am used to. This is full on Windows 10, and it feels like almost zero effort has been put into making this operating system touch friendly. Everything about this operating system feels like a PC living in a tablet body, not necessarily an operating system that was built for this form factor.[…]

This has all meant that I use the Surface Go in laptop mode most of the time, using the Type Cover from Microsoft. This keyboard really is excellent, with keys that travel more than they do on some laptops (you know the ones I’m talking about) and feel really good. It’s not quite full size, but as someone who does most of his computing on an iPad with Smart Keyboard, this is pretty normal for me. I don’t know how much I’ll like this in the long run compared to the Smart Keyboard, but it definitely one-ups Apple’s offering by having a full function row with media controls, brightness, and even home, end, print screen, and delete keys.

I always enjoy Matt’s perspective on non-Apple devices and I look forward to reading his impressions as he spends more time with the Surface Go.

Microsoft’s Answer to Chromebooks ➝

Romain Dillet, writing for TechCrunch:

Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS is called Windows 10 S. This new operating system is a streamlined and secured version of Windows 10. It runs sandboxed apps and doesn’t require expensive hardware.

And this is where Microsoft shines as it can talk with all major PC OEMs to convince them to build Windows 10 S devices. The company announced that Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba are all working on Windows 10 S devices.

These machines will start at $189 and will ship with a one-year subscription of Minecraft: Education Edition alongside free access to Office 365’s online apps for students and teachers.

The downside is, these devices won’t be shipping until sometime this summer. Many schools do their purchasing at the end of the school year — like, right now. And having to wait a few more months for these is a deal breaker.

Microsoft Surface Laptop ➝

This is the best windows laptop I’ve ever seen. But unfortunately, it’s in a form factor I’m no longer interested in and runs an operating system that I don’t want to use. In recent years I’ve realized that there’s only room for two categories of non-pocketable machines in my life — a high-powered desktop with a large screen, a role that will likely be filled by an iMac in the near future, and an iPad. I don’t even want a laptop anymore.

As for the operating system, I switched from Windows to macOS in 2006 and never looked back. Without some drastic changes to the third-party software ecosystem and user interface, I don’t think I’d consider using it unless I was given no other option.

’Most People Don’t Draw Professionally’ ➝

John Gruber:

I tried out a Surface Studio in Microsoft’s San Francisco store (in the Westfield Mall) yesterday evening. It’s an interesting machine, as well-built as promised. And I do think it might prove useful and very popular with people who draw professionally. Most people don’t draw professionally, though. And using a pen or fingers on a mouse pointer-based OS remains as clunky as ever. Also, for what it’s worth, drawing latency on the Studio is OK, but not as good as on an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. And there’s noticeable parallax between the glass surface and the actual pixels of the display.

I don’t draw professionally.

If I had $3,000 burning a hole in my pocket, I think I’d buy a 27-inch iMac with a 256GB SSD, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 128GB of storage, and an Apple Pencil.

Why I Still Buy Apple Hardware ➝

Ben Brooks, regarding the Surface Studio’s biggest flaw:

When I was talking about the Surface Studio on Twitter, someone responded “have you guys even used Windows lately”. I chuckled, because I have, and it’s shit. Anyone who thinks the Surface Studio makes up for that, is going to be really fucking sad.

No good Markdown writing apps, no robust note taking app market (hope you love OneNote), or good apps period. The apps look like apps out of 2003, and don’t even hold a candle to many of the free apps on Mac or iOS.

I originally switched to the Mac in 2006 because I fell in love with Apple’s hardware designs. After purchasing an iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod, I wanted that experience to extend behind my music listening.

I bought the base model white plastic MacBook and upgraded the RAM and hard drive myself, shortly after taking it home. What followed was serval weeks (or months) of discovery. There were all of these incredible third-party developers making some of the most well-designed applications I’ve ever seen.

I may have switched to the Mac because of the hardware, but I’ve stayed on Apple’s platforms because of the software. Nothing on Windows compares to the fit and finish of apps like Transmit, Alfred, Ulysses, and countless more. I haven’t dipped my toes in the other pond as recently as Ben — it’s been a few years since I’ve used a Windows machine for any meaningful length of time — but the impression that I get is that very little has changed on this front.

10K Apart ➝

A great contest from Microsoft and An Event Apart:

With so much of an emphasis on front-end frameworks and JavaScript runtimes, it’s time to get back to basics—back to optimizing every little byte like your life depends on it and ensuring your site can work, no matter what. The Challenge? Build a compelling web experience that can be delivered in 10kB and works without JavaScript.

I wouldn’t mind this sparking a trend in web design — the world needs smaller web pages.

(Via Matt Birchler.)

Microsoft Leaks Its Golden Key ➝

This is a perfect example of why companies shouldn’t build backdoors into their software. Even if it’s only known by the developer, there’s always a risk that it could be made public — leaving everyone who uses that software vulnerable to attack.