Monday 6 January 2014

Some Thoughts On ARM and Intel Windows 8 Devices and the Windows 8 OS

This is a post to the SBS2K Yahoo List.

OP: Windows and ARM are essentially dead.

My thoughts . . .

I don’t think ARM is dead. Cost wise Intel can’t meet them especially with the new FABs they have built and their ongoing yield issues. There needs to be a cost tier in tech.
The ARM/RT/Surface 2 experience is aimed at the iDevice user. Folks that are used to a locked in experience where they need to purchase apps outside of the device to get what they need to be productive. The advantage goes to Surface 2 as it has everything one needs to be fully productive short of Enterprise features like DirectAccess _out of the box_. InTune takes care of the management side of things to some degree to give corporate IT some control over the devices.
I like my Surface 2. It’s flaky for sure. It reminds me of the day when we started to see motherboards with the “new” 32-bit PCI slots on them and the industry extolling “Plug and Play” as the new end to IRQs and Jumpers. We called it “Plug and Pray” for _years_ before the tech settled down and started doing what it was supposed to.
I believe that the Windows ARM line will, and already is, put a lot of pressure on iDevices and Android devices since users see a device that has their Windows experience out of the box.
Kill Microsoft with words over the new Metro/Modern UI and its app environment but Microsoft knows what they are doing. They _know_ user pain moving between different platforms and the cost in lost productivity due to the “where’s my cheese” between them.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been approached with a “my Android device updated and now my stuff is gone or changed how do I get it back” question. That’s one area that Google has totally wrong. It’s not about the devs and their toys it’s about the end-user and their need to stay productive. Windows Phone solves this pain point big time as does iOS as they don’t butcher the user experience between versions.
And that is the clincher: As the general public becomes more aware that their PC, tablet, and phone can host the exact same environment in a stable and ongoing fashion, especially through device changes, the Windows platform will grow. The Windows 8/RT platform is relatively stable, provides a methodology to move to new devices and inherit everything, and provides a seamless and similar user experience across ALL devices. That’s Microsoft’s long-term vision IMNSHO.
An example: I killed the screen on my Nokia 920. It pancaked on the floor. Box tape is holding the glass together and it still works just fine but seeing through the cracks is painful. So, I bought a new Nokia 1020. It took about an hour after signing in with my Microsoft ID to have EVERYTHING as it was on my 920. The device backup and restore process pulls everything back even my text message threads! I don’t have to plug my phone into a computer or WiFi sync it like the iPhone does (not sure if messaging threads come back with a restore to a new iPhone?).
I set up a new Windows 8.1 machine for home based on the Intel NUC. I signed in with my Microsoft ID, set up my app passwords, and pulled down my regular apps from the Store’s “What you purchased” list and I was fully productive. All I needed from there was Office, RD Manager, and Camtasia. Everything else I use is in Metro/Modern UI.
If you have not experienced the seamless setup between Windows 8+ systems then you are truly missing out again IMNSHO. I NEED to have every second available to me to stay on top of things. Windows 8 has saved gobs of time over the previous days when I was working on setting up new machines for myself. In fact, after signing into my Microsoft ID (it is 2FA protected so I always need my phone for this step) and setting my passwords into the Mail app (the new PC has all of my Exchange mailboxes ready for a password and to start syncing immediately) I can be productive immediately communication wise.
Maybe I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. Maybe not. But I can tell you the benefits of Windows 8+ far outweigh the cons. Oh, and the Start Button in Windows 8.1 rocks. I did not realize just how much I missed it for managing servers via a windowed RDP/iDRAC/iLO/RMM session. :P
One more neat bit: Hit the Start button after setting key mail folders on the Start Menu and the Live Tiles give me an at-a-glance view of all communications. I like that.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business

No comments: