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  • B3an - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    Does any other OS have anything like the "sensor fusion" seen in Win 8?

    Either way getting this to work on all kinds of devices isn't a simple task. Things are extremely simple for Apple, they have a very limited amount of devices to support and know exactly what hardware will be used. MS on the other hand have to get things like this working with all different kinds of hardware and devices and create industry standards and testing kits. It's also nice to see it works with just one built-in driver.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I'm not sure whether this is Microsoft's take on something that others are doing or an innovation in the realm of motion control - the post makes it sound like the latter, but there are plenty of companies willing to market existing ideas as if they've never been done before. :-) Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    That's why they're requiring devices to comply with their specifications. Still not a trivial task. Reply
  • name99 - Sunday, January 29, 2012 - link

    What do you consider "sensor fusion" to be?

    Apple allows one to access sensors at different levels, from the raw data to fully synthesized orientation and orientation deltas. The most trivial version of this is geolocation, but obviously there is plenty more.
    THAT is also what MS considers sensor fusion to be.

    The variety of devices supported is irrelevant. The whole damn POINT of an OS is to put in place standardized SPIs that hide this variety --- when I write to a file I don't worry about the brand of hard drive that the file is going to.
    The fusion layer should query each device using standard SPIs that talk to the drivers supplied by vendors. MS' part should be limited to defining those SPIs and the fusion algorithms.

    The fact that there was a sad period from the mid-80s to maybe the late 2000s where MS lost control of device HW doesn't change that fact. As far as I can tell, MS is as pissed off as any user about the insane complexity of the PC HW space, and is doing everything it damn well can to make sure it doesn't happen again in the Win Tablet space.

    Meaning, yes, there may be a variety of hardware, but it is the job of the vendor to make sure that the HW conforms EXACTLY to the Win SPI --- not just to support what the vendor feels like and half-ass the rest.
    It will be very interesting, as Win8 HW comes out, to see if MS has learned its lesson or not. It can either do what it did throughout the 90s, and put in one hack after another to "support" crappy hardware, or it can put its foot down and say, "No Acer, no ASUS, no HP --- your POS tablet doesn't support what we told you to support so you don't get to claim it is Win8 compliant". This matters because it is obvious to all but the most rabid haters that Apple is on the way up in the compute world, and the PC model is on the way down. People want devices that "just work" and are not much interested in the fact that, yes, your HW has some special non-standard mode that provides 3MegaWhatsits more than the spec --- and also doesn't work with normal software.

    Is Ballmer willing to put end-users first, rather than the HW vendors? We shall see.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Number of devices to support is a trivial matter given that hardware needs to support software and driver calls in the first place. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    will windows 8 have the ability to drive multiple inputs/outputs SIMULTANEOUSLY? today we have computers powerfull enough to be used by 3 or 4 people at the same time, but only 1 keyboard/display may be active at any time.

    it would be nice to be able to play a game on a screen with a gamepad controller, while someone else browses the web on the other screen using the keyboard.

    until windows is able to recognize multiple simultaneous inputs/outputs, everything else does not matter. we don't need a tablet/cellphone experience on the PC, we have tablets/phones for that. what we need is the real holodeck, a computer capable of serving more than 1 person at the same time, displaying different programs and accepting different inputs.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    You're SORT OF describing what happens in an enterprise environment using Terminal Services - many client machines can connect to a single server and perform different tasks simultaneously, logged in as different users. Obviously you've got some sort of local version of that in mind - how do the users connect to the computer? Are they both sitting at a desk staring at separate monitors?

    Basically, what you're thinking about kind of exists already, but logistics (and, I suspect, a desire to keep "server" features like multiple Remote Desktop sessions confined to much more expensive versions of the OS) keep it from happening.

    Windows 8's goal isn't to bring tablet/phone features to the PC (though that is happening) so much as it's bringing Windows/Microsoft features to tablets (Microsoft is also probably hoping that its success would create a halo that extends to Windows Phone).
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link


    P.s. "This comment is apparently spam and we do not allow spam comments." Way to go spam filtering system!
  • marc1000 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    But i want this without the need for a thin client/second pc. With really independent inputs/outputs it could be possible to have 1 strong computer to serve the whole house (think about wireless displays/voice input and we wil be near the "Jarvis" experience from iron-man movies).

    This is way more natural than having to create remote sessions, but with each session behaving like a standalone computer.

    Personal computing needs this kind of innovation and experience to enable a new momentum like we saw at nineties with the internet revolution. If you think about it, we are using computers in the same easy as 20 years ago, tough now it sure looks prettier.
  • marc1000 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    Same way* Reply
  • sdsdv10 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    Not saying this is a bad idea, just not one MS would really be interested in pushing

    Your concept of one "strong" PC with many users with require only one "server PC" in a home, rather than mutliple computers. Thus MS would end up selling only one copy of Windows 8, rather than multiple copies. That really isn't in their best business interest. Again, not necessarily a bad idea I just don't see MS going after it.
  • inighthawki - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    Not necessarily true. MS could simply require user licenses, that is, charge based on number of connections - possibly based on max concurrent connections or per unique user. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    yeah, I know that this idea is not really that interesting to MS (or anyone) right now. but it is something i dream about... i could not care less for "metro" and "windows on a tablet".

    what i want is to forget i have a PC at home, and just enjoy the experience - watch movies, play games, browse the web - on any HDMI enabled display and a few microphones/inputs (keyboard/mouse/gamepad).
  • marc1000 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    without the need for 3 or 4 computers around the house, of course. we can do the same with a lot of computers, but they all require proper set-up, maintenance, updates.... Reply
  • name99 - Sunday, January 29, 2012 - link

    Computers --- the "thinking part" are cheap and getting cheaper.
    The reason this isn't happening is that it makes no sense. Why bother trying to optimize for the part that is in abundance?

    What matters is the OS helping keep multiple devices in sync, not in trying to recreate the mainframe experience of 1965.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    You can do this with Windows 7. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    See above, I'm not talking about terminal services :) Reply
  • dcollins - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    There was a company a few years ago (forgot their name) that tried to market a product similar to what you're describing. Basically, it was a wireless display plus touch screen that could connect to your computer remotely, allowing you to use your high end desktop from the comfort of your couch. It didn't work very well: the display video had to be compressed to work wirelessly, responsiveness was poor and the whole thing cost almost as much a full blown laptop.

    The idea of thin clients has been around forever. What you're describing is basically a super thin client because some networking support would be needed on the remote side, unless you plan on running hdmi cables all around your house. You would either need broad support from display manufacturers or you will need to purchase some remote box to interface with legacy displays and input devices. It is theoretically possible, but it hasn't worked out in the past because the cost is high compared to the size of the market.

    Either way, Windows is not what is preventing your dream from becoming a reality. MS could and would support this type of technology were it available.
  • epobirs - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    There have been numerous versions of this going back to the DOS days. The value proposition was never very strong when PCs kept getting better while the prices kept dropping. Even leaving inflation aside, the complete system you can buy for $500 today is amazing compared to what you would have gotten for twice or three times that amount in previous generations. If you don't have some serious high-end gaming or other performance demands, it's gotten pretty hard to spend much on a single PC.

    So why would most people bother with managing multiple users on a single host system when everybody can have their own for cheap join together on a simple network?

    I had this same conversation back in the days when the 80286 was considered high-end. This guy trying to sell stuff to my boss was utterly convince that multi-user micros were the next big thing. Even back then it was obvious to me the letting everyone have their own largely underutilized PC was preferable and an easier sell.

    Most of the old complaints are now moot as newer systems are so much smarter about power usage so you don't burn gas like a Ferrari when you're only doing Accord level tootling about.
  • p05esto - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    MS should embed Kinect motion sensors into the tablet, so instead of having to touch the screen you just wave your hand to close apps. They could also add voice recognition like "close app". The voice recognition built into W7 is already amazing if you give it a chance, I think on a tablet it would be even more handy. Unlimited possibilities with motion sensors and voice. Sure would be easier to dictate an email instead of using terrible touch keyboards.... are you listening MS? Reply
  • criter - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    cots targeting Reply
  • vectorm12 - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    Considering even Windows 7 feels slightly overloaded with functionality a large portion of users never would even think to utilize I seriously hope these tablet features won't be present in the desktop OS.

    Or if so at least give users the option to disable and remove features not essential to the OS as I doubt the majority of machines running Windows 8 will be tablets or even motion-sensor equipped devices.

    Windows is already somewhat of a chore to deploy in a business and having loads of extra junk will certainly not make it any easier to manage. Right now I can see my self setting upp domain-policies to disable gyro, compass and god knows what other nonsense that makes it into Windows.

    I REALLY hope there's going to be a Windows 8 "tablet edition".

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