Windows tablets and the enterprise, what's the problem?

I have repeatedly read how Windows 7 is not well-suited to touch, which is the reason some people are waiting for Windows 8 before buying a tablet. Microsoft's solution is Metro -- the next generation touch interface for Windows. Yes, Metro is touch friendly, but is it really the answer to the enterprise when it comes to Windows tablets?

Windows 7 is not any less suited to touch and a tablet PC than Windows 8. Sure Windows 8 does offer a few perks that make touch better as far as the operating system is concerned, such a better on-screen keyboard. But as far as applications a business may want to design themselves specific to tablets, I don't see any advantage Windows 8 has over Windows 7.


Actually Windows 7 already has the key features necessary to impliment quality touch applications. It supports the WM_TOUCH and WM_GESTURE messages (which is how WIN32 handles touch). Two-point touch is sufficient for most touch applications, so today's Windows 7 tablets are completely viable for business use right now.

Metro and Touch Targets Consumers

Maybe I am biased, but I find the Windows desktop better suited to business applications than Metro. Yes, Metro does have some exciting features, such as Contracts (a way of sharing between applications), but this does not mean it is significantly better than the desktop for business apps.

Metro has its origins, not from computers, but from a phone user interface. Yes, the world is saturated with smartphones today, so some people think that a Windows tablet should act more like a smartphone than a computer. But for a moment, consider this: Windows 8 Consumer Preview has a number of apps you can download from the Microsoft app store, such as games, entertainment, weather apps, etc. Have you seen any serious business apps included in the Windows Store?

I think Microsoft could make a big impression on its business customers by including just one serious business program as a Metro app. The next generation of Office will still be a desktop style application. What an impression they could have made it they had included just one part of Office as a Metro app, but it hasn't happened yet. Office 15 will come with Windows on ARM devices. Microsoft has insinuated for free but hasn't explicitly said so.

My impression right now is that Metro targets consumers. Consumers want simple and easy touch UIs that let them browse the web, send email, read books and so forth. Businesses though are different. A tablet needs to be a tool, not a toy or a distraction. This does not mean that Metro can't handle a real world business application. But what makes Metro any better suited to business applications than the Windows desktop?

The Problem Is With Software

(This is where I will diverge from the mainstream viewpoint, so maybe you ought to sit down (if not already) before you read further.)

I have been working with the Windows API (WIN32) for nearly 10 years now, so I think that I can reasonably grasp how Windows works under the hood. I design tools for programmers and not for consumers and understand the challenges developers face in writing software. I am not your typical "bleeding edge" style programmer, who is always designing for the next generation computers, but rather one who recognizes the need to write software that runs well even on the typical low-cost, mass-market computer and even older legacy computers.

Maybe because my experience dates back to the old days when computers were very limited in power (can you say "floppy disk"?) and a programmer had to find ways to get the most out of minimal hardware, my viewpoints are different; I am not alone.

No matter the reasons why, more of the problem with Windows tablets and touch has to do with how software is developed, rather than it being a problem with the current Windows tablets running Windows 7. I don't feel that Windows 8 deals with this problem any better than does Windows 7, so things won't get any better when Windows 8 is available. The UI (Metro) may be different, but the root cause will still be there.

To start with, the majority of our software today is developed using Microsoft's own programming tools. I won't say they are bad; lots of quality software is built using them. But as a programmer who works with non-Microsoft programming tools, I can honestly say this: One of the terms common programmers, especially those who don't use MS development tools, is "bloated". What does a programmer mean when he or she says that? It means the software uses too much of a computer's resources, such as the CPU, GPU, memory and disk drive space.

If you can write an application that is half the size, uses half the memory and runs twices as fast, won't you get a more "fast and fluid" experience from it?

Rather than deal with this inherent problem, Microsoft programmming languages in recent years have added a feature they feel will compensate, called "asynchronous" to many of its languages; so when an application makes a call to an objects method that is asynchronous, it returns immediately no matter how long it takes for the code to execute. Metro applications will use this technique even more.

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but asynchronous code does not speed things up on a computer, but actually slows it down. Why? Because, at its core this simply means you are using threads to have multiple blocks of code run at the same time. Guess what? Threads have overhead (called a "context switch"), which actually puts a greater load on a CPU and not less. This is why long-time WIN32 programmers have learned to use threads very carefully and only when they really would make a difference (ie. reading external data input).

If you doubt this then read a book written by somebody who knows: Multithreading Applications in Win32: The complete guide to threads by Jim Beveridge and Robert Wiener and published by Addison Wesley Developers Press.

Root Cause -- How Software Is Developed?

Another reason for bloated software today is likely something most programmers don't want to admit: Over-reliance on OOP (Objected Oriented Programming). This is something the majority of programmers would disagree with me on, but there is good reason to believe that Object Oriented Programming has not only increased the bloat in software today, but it may even decrease productivity in software development.

Metro and WinRT are highly dependent upon OOP, particularly COM (which is really a form of OOP when you think about). Microsoft programming languages are so object oriented today that I doubt many Windows programmers would even know how to write a Windows application without using any OOP at all.

The core Windows API, on the other hand, is basically a flat API (some more recent additions though do use COM). Now as far as 3D graphics are concerned, one of the reasons I chose OpenGL over DirectX is because it too is a flat API requiring less dependence upon COM and OOP.

Richard Mansfield wrote an excellent white paper about why OOP is not the panacea many think it is. He had some valid points. If you don't know who Richard Mansfield is, then you likely are a lot younger than me. He was the editor of Compute magazine back in the `80s, and anyone who ever learned how to program the Commodore 64 definitely knows who he is. His book on 6502 machine language was so well-written it taught me well enough so I could write my own compiler for the C64. Obviously then, there are some experienced programmers who feel that a more procedural style of coding can have benefits over OOP, so it's not just me who feels this way.

If the principles of writing efficient software we learned years ago were implimented when writing software for today's Windows tablet computers, I think "fast and fluid" would definitely be the norm. One of the things us old-time programmers may appreciate is the importance of using compilers that generate fast, small and efficient machine code.

Today, surprisingly, many programming languages are going the route of being interpreted rather than producing pure machine code. Sure pure machine code is not cross platform, but if you are writing software only for x86 Windows, that is not an issue. If you want "fast and fluid" nothing beats fast machine code. Even compiled languages are so bloated today, that you really don't get the full benefit from them.

Today, Intel Atom CPU's are regularly criticised as being too slow, lacking power. Windows tablets (the reasonably priced ones) usually come with an Atom CPU. But it is programmers who are most likely to make this criticism. Why? Because their software runs too slow on these CPUs. But the problem is not the CPUs, but the software. A well-written WIN32 application can run very fast even on the Atom CPU.

Is WIN32 Really That Powerful For Tablet Software Development?

Despite those who like to refer to the Windows API (WIN32) as ancient, and lacking power, and those who would be lost without so called modern OOP, there are those who can (and do) write Windows software using non-Microsoft languages, without OOP and using the pure Windows API. Guess what? The software they write is much smaller, faster and less bloated than most software today.

Don't appreciate this? Check out this developer's website and download his amazing program called Toolbar Paint. Its a great toolbar bitmap editor, which was surprisingly written using assembler.

Toolbar Paint is only 56 KB (yes, kilobytes) in size! When was the last time you used a Windows application which is only 56 KB?

The programming circles I deal with most use a much higher level language than assembler, but yet they too are building applications that size in the kilobytes, rather than in megabytes. Such small-size applications are what Windows tablets need today. All one has to do is add touch to such applications and design the user interface with slightly larger UI elements -- and now you have well-written, resource light, application that will run great on today's generation of Windows 7 tablet PCs and even tomorrow's Windows 8 PCs (on the desktop).

Maybe it is how we write software that needs to change, if we want to use tablet computers in the enterprise.

Chris Boss is an advanced Windows API programmer and developer of 10 year-old EZGUI, which is now version 5. He owns The Computer Workshop, which opened for businesses in the late 1980s. He originally developed custom software for local businesses. Now he develops programming tools for use with the PowerBasic compiler.

48 Responses to Windows tablets and the enterprise, what's the problem?

  1. Blamo says:

    No the problem is people at the "enterprise level"  use their computers to do actual work. Tablets are great for web surfing, watching video, and playing Angry Birds, but tablets (including the mighty iPad) suck for doing any actual work.

  2. i want to have a windows phone or tablet but are too expensive :( for this reason i prefer to have Android... If you make windows devices cheaper i will buy :-) 

    • vincentw56 says:

      Cheaper? My wife's Windows Phone was $ 50 and I have seen a lot of them as low as $ 1. As far as availability, that's another story. Of course, this is in the US, so your mileage (kilometers) may very.

    • TheCyberKnight says:

      Too expensive?
      The Nokia Lumia 710 costs less than 250$ without contract.

  3. TheCyberKnight says:

    OMG, I just can't believe you actually wrote this. I thought you lived in a previous era but now, you just proved you're stuck there too (no offense).

    Windows 8 in desktop mode, like Windows 7 will never be fine with touch. Not now, not tomorrow. Now, if you're talking about writing software that completely bypasses the OS native controls and redoing the full UX, fine. Then, even the Comodore 64 would be fine. But again, what's the point? What would this LOB application be better than a Metro one?

    The point with Metro is that, out of the box, it was designed for a touch first experience. It means you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You get all the great new touch-first concepts, plus the hardware acceleration for free and a UX coherence between applications.

    Good tablet software that is properly coded and designed with the form factor in mind can accomplish wonders for enterprises. Is it the same as desktop software? No. Is it inferior? No, it is different.

    Finally, the tools to develop sotware changed a lot in the recent years. They evolved and got more complex, leveraging the increased power available from modern CPU. You may personally decide to use folkloric tools because you love something about them. Meanwhile, many of us prefer to leverage the awesome power of new development tools.

    And honnestly, considering the available computing power and storage capacity these days, I don't care if my executables don't fit anymore in an 8bit addressing space CPU. They just disappeared.

    Please, make yourself a favor. Move over. There's a whole new world to discover.

    • knight0323 says:

      I 100% agree with you on this one. The tools are amazing in the hands of an educated developer. Problem is they also make it too easy for mediocre ones to say "it compiles, ship it". And the sad thing is that these writers know about as much about OOP and how it's supposed to be done as the drag-and-drop VS crowd...

    • TheCyberKnight says:

      I wanted to add a point about the asynchronous nature of WinRT.

      First, multi-threading on Win32 is now usually faster than single-threaded code. Surprised? It is true that it wasn't - at least in single core processors. These days, multi-core processors are affordable and quickly becoming a standard feature. Guess what? Multi-threaded code does run faster with multiple cores and thanks to the Windows kernel, you don't have anything to do to make your multi-threaded code benefit from the available cores. Magic. Your point doesn't stand anymore.

      For the asynchronous code, even if it wasn't faster on single-core computers, everything is a matter of perception for users. Human are inherently slow compared to computers, as are general IO operations. Asynchronous programming allows you to cleverly let longer operations complete while someting else is going on and thus have the human in front of the screen "perceive" that the computer is always responsive. With multi-core processors, the advantage is so obvious that I won't even care talking about it.

      The new asynchronous model in WinRT is (let me exagerate a bit) an engineering marvel guided by factual decisions (API that can take more than 50ms to complete were made asynchronous). And, when combined with the new language additions (the "await" keyword in C# for example), they simply create a nice example of modern programming techniques.

      Finally, when properly used, you get a nice API allowing you to easily build responsive and fluid applications that would be a nightmare (let me exagerate again) to replicate in pure Win32.

  4. knight0323 says:

    That's 2 uninformed posts about programming in a row. OOP is NOT supposed to be bloated, have large classes, etc. The frameworks (.NET, JAVA, etc) can be bloated but OOP should not be. Even the article you linked by Richard Mansfield has it wrong. If you want to read what is wrong in the .NET world today, Robert C Martin's son Micah has a great piece in their Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices book. It's not OOP, the Framework, or the tools that's the problem, it's the developers. Developers within the .NET world are almost happy with mediocrity. They don't push themselves to learn what OOP actually is and how it's supposed to be done. And honestly, I don't blame them. I blame the culture they're cultivated in. In most shops, it's accepted practice or even taught that way. Walk into the normal .NET shop and ask "What does SOLID mean?"... 
    By the way, I am a .NET developer/consultant that has written 34kb exe's using OOP before. Do a little research before you spout nonsense next time.

    • I think you're wrong. You appear to believe that if people fully understood how to use OOP, all its inefficiencies would simply go away. It's my view that if most programmers are unable to use a tool effectively, there's something seriously wrong with the tool. You, it seems, blame the programmers.

  5. smist08 says:

    If you keep going with this argument, then we should still be developing applications for nice old character based MS-DOS. This was far faster and less bloated than anything in the Windows world. An 80x40 character based screen would probably work quite well on a tablet.

    Problem is, that no one is interested in this anymore. Same goes for Win32.

  6. Sally says:

    Everything is possible!

  7. Adas Weber says:

    Sorry, but I totally disagree with your article. Three points immediately spring to mind -
    1. Bloated software - good .NET programming does not result in bloated software. The only reason why .NET requires a large download file is if you include everything you need as part of the installer, since it needs to be able to install the frameworks for X86 and X64. However, if you make your app so that it downloads these components, you can acually make it quite small. Toolbar Paint is actualy 79 kb (it's only 54 kb because it's compressed), but that's not the point - it's only 79 kb because it's just an exe. I can do the same with Visual Studio if I supply just an exe.
    2. Regarding ASYNC, you have forgotton one of the most important aspects of mobile development - WEB SERVICES. Yes, these are the buggest overheads in terms of execution time, and there's nothing you can do about it because that depends on the speed of the data connection. Therefore ASYNC operations are fundamental to modern software development where web services are being consumed.
    3. OOP is not about the API. It's about the structure of your programming to make your code efficient and easy to maintain. OOP does not affect the performance of your code. You can easily write WIN32 code which is OOP and will still run fast, but you can also write .NET OOP code which will run fast.
    On a final note... You can write Win 8 apps using HTML5 and Javascript. Are you seriously telling me that these are going to be bloated? I seriously hope you don't!

  8. Chris Boss.. stuck in the stone age of programming. Bloated ? Yeah we need another EZGUI. And people just go back to programming in assembly. You know what ? I programmed assebly, ANSI C++ and I programmed for DOS too. You know what ? They sucked! Chris I suggest when you write an article about programming you leave personal interest and bias aside.

  9. Aires_OFFICIAL says:

    Metro is trying to compete with iOS - simple as. However Metro on the Desktop will create the same problems that Apple are faced on an admittedly smaller scale with OSX Lion. Enormous numbers of people use a Desktop and if you screw around with that and people don't like it - that's a problem.

  10. skruis says:


    I think Metro's goal of creating a touch interface is really to set a common "standard" for developing touch applications.  You're 100% correct that Windows 8 touch for enterprises is really no better than Windows 7 but the thing that Windows 8 gives users, including corporate users, is a common platform which encourages the growth of touch based applications.  The problem in Windows 7 was that there was no standard "design" for the community to build upon.  You yourself have complained about the lack of imagination among developers today.  While you can complain about it, others are just accepting it and saying "ok, build touch based apps on Windows and use this common design style."  For the majority of developers that lack imagination, that's huge and the standards make it easy to roll out a common set of apps that make the experience smoother for the user.  That style is not necessarily more efficient, more elegant or "better" but common and that increases accessibility for users.  Windows 7 is an amazing operating system and Windows 8 places Metro on that solid base and creates a call to attention for developers that says "if you want to build touch apps, here's a "common" and hopefully "popular" platform.

  11. ToeKnee says:

    Chris..oh Chris - I normally like your articles (with a grain of salt) but there are so many misguided views on this one.  And really, a Windows Tablet will be fine - I know the mangers (including VPs), Sales forces that are really mainly heavy email users, Excel and Power Point documents.  All this on a smaller, lighter, instant on, long battery device will do well.

  12. chrisboss says:

    Ok, maybe some background will help here. I have been writing software since the days of CPM, so I can appreciate how far computers have come. I can remember writing a full blow POS system for a video rental store on a CPM computer than only had two floppy disks (no HD). In the days of DOS I wrote complex software which ran on computers with 100 mhz CPU's. Now one would think that as computers got more powerful, even despite doing more, that the speed (fast and fluid) of software would increase dramatically. Yet despite all the improvements with CPUs, etc. the end users experience today is worse, not better. A tablet PC with a decent Atom CPU, would be considered a powerhouse compared to PC's just 10 or 12 years ago, yet the experience is sluggish in comparison. Often programmers, who write the software can't appreciate this fully, because they work on bleeding edge computers rather than the average computer.  Interestingly, why has Microsoft begun a rival of going back to C and C++ and native coding ? Because todays managed code languages just can not get the max out of the hardware today, like native code compilers can. The Tablet PC is what has awakened them. Poor performance on Windows 7 tablets has embarassed the Windows world.

    • Adas Weber says:

      It's not the fault of the dev tools. The problem often lies in developers not understanding how to make efficient use of the API or framework they are using. Some of the problems can even lie in the underlying OS itself. You only have to look at Android to see how performance is often poor compared to Windows Phone 7, and that's before you even look at 3rd party apps.

      Microsoft have gone to great lengths to make their mobile operating system work efficiently and perform very well. And they have documented what developers need to do in order to deliver a similar user experience. But you don't need C or C++ to do this. You just need to understand how to develop for these devices using the recommened practises.

      BTW, part of the reason why C/C++ has been reintroduced is that it allows MS to attract more developers, especially those who have libraries written in C/C++ for other platforms such as iOS.

  13. chrisboss says:

    Do you realize that a Commodore 64 (64 KB ram and a 1mhz CPU) running GEOS (GUI with a Windows like feel) is more fast and fluid that todays Windows tablet PC's ? How can a 1 mhz CPU'ed computer have a better feel than a 1.5 ghz tablet PC today ? Software has not kept up with the hardware. Despite all the graphics and stuff, we should see much better results from todays hardware, but we don't. Now programmers can criticise me for being old fashioned, behind the times, "in the stone age" or whatever, but the "proof is in the pudding". Are businesses using Windows 7 Tablet PC's today ? Maybe they may use the very expensive ones with multi-cores CPU's, costing $1500 to $2000 in some verical markets, but what about the reasonably priced $500 to $700 Windows tablets? Microsoft has been promoting tablets long before the iPad even existed (back in the XP days), but for some reason it just does not catch on. Metro will help with its touch oriented UI, but that is not enough. For software to be truly "fast and fluid", it needs to be smaller, faster, leaner, requiring less resources.

  14. Han says:

    "Have you seen any serious business apps included in the Windows Store?" You can substitute "Windows" with "Apple's App" or "Google Play" and you'll get a similar answer. Sure you can find a business app for every 500 non-business app, but a serious one? Not really.

    • chrisboss says:

      Thanks for your comment! It is appreciated.

      My background in programming has been geared towards business and not consumers, which may explain some things. I use to write custom software for local businesses and today I gear my work towards providing tools for programmers who cater to building business style apps, which need to be "fast and fluid", small and compact and reliable.  Windows 8 appears to be more consumer oriented, so we will have to wait and see how well Metro works for businesses.

      • Han says:

        Mine too, though in the "beltway bandit" environment of federal contracting, whether it's java or .NET, it's always been about web apps. So I don't think corps/agencies, at least in DC, really need their custom apps to be tablet-OS-specific as much as they think.

    • Adas Weber says:

      It's also possible that any real business apps might be side-loaded, or privately published, so they won't be visible to the general public in the marketplace. When you think about it, why would an organisation want it's LOB application visible to the general public in the marketplace?

      Same applies for iOS and Android.

      • Han says:

        Good point.

      • skruis says:

        From what i read about MS's plans for Metro and the Store, it sounds like a business will be able to create an app, post it to the store but then restrict it to their "company store" so their employees can download it at anytime.

  15. mshulman says:

    What is really needed is enterprise apps designed for touch.  Microsoft should make office both for the desktop and for touch.  Same with other apps.  

    What is great about a windows tablet though is that you can still use the regular desktop apps.  One thing I'd really like to see is a stylus that can give you more precise writing like the old tablets - I'd love to be able to take notes using a tablet, but so far find it just doesn't cut it.

    • skruis says:

      Have you tried the Samsung Series 7 or the Asus tablet?  I believe both have Wacom digitizers.

  16. ilev says:

    You are right about the bloated applications.
    The only way to write fast, slim.. applications is in machine-code/Assembly.
    Second, it is hard to write a good, fast, slim... application for a bloated, slow, resource hog... OS like Windows.

    But there is another aspect to the bloated Windows OS and applications. If the OS and applications were slim, fast... what would have happened to the hardware manufactures like Intel, AMD...(CPUs), AMD, Nvidia...( graphic cards), Hard disk manufacturers...Memory manufactures...   We would have still used 286 CPUs with 32MB of memory and 4MB of hard-disks. It is a non-written agreement between Microsoft and hardware manufactures to bloat the OS so users will have to upgrade to new hardware. This is the reason why Windows OS isn't modular were the user can select modules during the install process. 

    • Adas Weber says:

      If you are claiming this to be an agreement with Microsoft and the OEM vendors, can you explain why Apple Macs use the same hardware as Windows PCs, using a similar upgrade pattern for hardware components, yet you didn't mention Apple in your comment? Can you explain why the iPhone 4S uses a dual core processor while all the Windows Phones are single core yet still perform as well, if not better? Can you explain why Microsoft have just lowered the minimum requirements for Windows Phone handsets? Can you explain why Win 8 minimum requirements are the same as for Win 7, yet Win 8 runs faster?

      Basically, your argument holds no water at all. It appears to be an attempt at trolling by a Microsoft hater!

      • InfoDave says:

        Adas , I'm sorry I'm three days late, but your response compelled me to respond.

        "Can you explain why the iPhone 4S uses a dual core processor while all the Windows Phones are single core yet still perform as well, if not better?"

        Before Apple went with the Retina display, it was pretty straight forward. Windows phones were running single core CPU's  @ 1.4Ghz, while the iPhone ran a duo core CPU at 0.8 Ghz. 

        "Can you explain why Microsoft have just lowered the minimum requirements for Windows Phone handsets? "

        So they could sell a feature reduced phone to third world countries. Perhaps not stated in a politically correct manor, but you get the idea. For the rest of us, nothing has changed.

        "Can you explain why Win 8 minimum requirements are the same as for Win 7, yet Win 8 runs faster?"

        MinWin has been a very successful project for Microsoft. They have taken the bloated pig of a kernel they had with Vista, and re-tooled it into a lean, mean, operating machine. Kudos, Microsoft.

        Keep fighting the fight Adas.

      • Adas Weber says:


        Before Apple went Retina, WP7 phones were running 1.0 GHz single core CPUs, not 1.4 or 1.5 GHz. I have one - Samsung Omnia 7 (1.0 GHz), running Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). Fact is, even the 1.4 GHz or 1.5 GHz CPUs are not required for WP7 to perform super fast.

        MS would not have lowered the minimum requirements had it been detrimental to performance. The fact that it's not detrimental just shows how highly optimised Windows Phone 7 really is.

  17. ilev says:

    It is more than "agreement". It's bulling, extorsion, intimidation... from Microsoft.
    The post is about Windows in enterprise, not Apple or smarthphones.
    Microsoft's minimum requirements have always been no more than a joke, just like Windows Starter on Atom netbooks and just like the new Appolo for WP7. A snail paced OS on crappy hardware. Even though Nokia's "his master's voice" Elop said there is no need for dual-core in smartphones, the new WP8 will have dual-core/quad-core CPUs.
    A friend of mine just bought a new shiny Windows 7 64bit sp1 Samsung laptop, with i3 CPU 2.3 GHz, Intel HD 3000 GPU , 4GB of memory. He likes filght simulator apps. 2 days ago Microsoft brought Microsoft Flight 1.0. Guess what is the RECOMMENDED HARDWARE
    CPU: Dual Core 3.0 GHzGPU: 1024 MB ATI Radeon HD 5670 or 1024 MB NVIDIA GEFORCE 9800 GT or equivalentHD: 30 GB hard drive spaceOS : Win7 SP1 64-bit operating systemRAM: 6.0GB
    Compare that to Apple's Air Supremacy on iPad 3  which looks better, runs better, on a tablet with 1 GHz CPU, 1 GB of memory, and a weaker GPU on 4x screen resulution of a Windows laptop. The reason ? iOS is compact, slim, fast and optimized for the hardware.

    • Adas Weber says:

      You don't make any sense! Win 8 is much faster than Win 7, even on the same hardware. So your theory fails immediately, just on that point alone. WP7 is not snail paced - have you even used it? I don't think so because it's the fastest OS out there. That's why it doesn't need dual core.

      You still haven't been able to explain why the iPhone has gone from single core to dual core?

      Your argument is a total 100% fail.

  18. Hayden Kirk says:

    It's time vs money. Using assembler to write programs these days is not good use of ones time.

    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

  19. chrisboss says:

    The small app built using assembler which I link to in the article only demonstrates that it is possible to build fast and fluid apps which are small and use minimal hardware. I use a high level Basic compiler with my own high level libraries, so I can build applications fast. But by using tools optimized to get the max out of the computer, one can build faster, smaller apps and within budget which work great on a tablet PC.

  20. Chuckers says:

     " The next generation of Office will still be a desktop style
    application. What an impression they could have made it they had
    included just one part of Office as a Metro app, but it hasn't happened

    Where did you get this from? I've been reading about Metro ribbons and
    more in Office 15 for weeks now. I quickly checked the date at the top
    and was shocked to find this was posted 1 day ago. Howsabouta 5 second
    search on Google for "Office 15 Metro" before basing an entire article on a false premise?

    • chrisboss says:

      I believe I am correct about Office 15. Check out Paul Thurotts Windows Supersite. Office 15, while a Desktop application, will have a Metro Style look and feel. What this means is that it is actually a Desktop application with nothing to do with Metro or the WinRT, but it will "emulate" a metro look and feel.

    • TheCyberKnight says:

      It is a known fact that Office 15 will be a Win32 based software.
      Unfortunately, Microsoft decided not to make a downscaled Metro specific version of it. They mistakenly think that "Metrofying" Office will be enough.

  21. tabulator3 says:

    You say you don't see any advantage, even using tablets over windows 7. Have you fired up windows 7 then loaded a webpage, and touch-scrolled, pinch-zoomed and tried to open, close, minimise, copy, right-click etc etc, and compared the two? You give a casual nod to this interface and user experience, but for most this IS a crucial difference between the two.

    You claim that Windows 7 already has a good touch interface. But you do not acknowledge that MS has clearly worked hard to remove the stumbling blocks, inherent in Windows 7, to a decent user experience. Either by removing the multiple transparency layers of Win 7 or other means, touch computing in Windows 8 now equals or exceeds the smoothness and efficiency of any ipad.

    Like so many, you refer to your preference for the desktop. But windows 8 has a desktop that is there in a second, and it is a much much better desktop for everyday tasks than in windows 7.

    I do agree with you however that programming inefficiency is now epidemic, but that is a disease afflicting many operating systems. Writing efficient code is a separate issue from the practical, and in my opinion almost revolutionary, improvements in Windows 8 compared with Windows 7.

    • chrisboss says:

      I am refering to the core operating system, not the current state of applications. Windows 7 is just as "touch" capable as Windows 8 is. Now Internet Explorer and other applications have been significantly improved in Windows 8 and the metro UI does improve user input with touch. But the core "touch" capabilities have been there since Windows 7. Software developers could have been writing more touch capable software for the last few years for Windows 7.

  22. Mark says:

    pretty cool post

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