Let your Microsoft flag fly0 posts
Let your Microsoft flag fly0 posts
using thumb gestures has never been a way of accessing the start menu, nor has swiping in from the right edge and clicking the icon, nor has bringing the mouse into the lower right / upper right corner and moving it to the charm, nor has pressing a capacitive button on the chassis of a device. We’ve taken a process that was consistent and well understood and put it across 4, 5 or even more varying methods.
Redundancy is something that an OS should strive to prevent and this is just silly, all things considered.
2 days ago on Microsoft puts a Windows 8 key on its latest mice, hopes to improve navigation (hands-on) 3 replies 1 recommend
I’m not so sure I like their method of alleviated the problems of the start menu’s design. Throwing countless new ways to get there doesn’t help change the mentality of the users, nor does it really fix the problem as is – it just throws work arounds wherever it can.
2 days ago on Microsoft puts a Windows 8 key on its latest mice, hopes to improve navigation (hands-on) 1 reply 2 recommends
I don’t want anything but 140DPI at 200% scaling. At that resolution you’ll be unable to see individual pixels on the virtual representation, you’ll have the pixel and colour accuracy of a integral factor scale and you’ll have high fidelity text and HDPI elements.
I wonder how long it will be before people start making clever software optimisations for these sorts of things. Selective scaling is a pretty new area, I’m sure there’s ways of alleviating stress from the GPU in just such a scenario.
I understand that and said that 1600*900 is “very close”. 1920*1080 is pretty much dead on. The 200% scale of 1920*1080 isn’t the sort of resolution we’re looking at right now though.
3 days ago
As I said in the HP post, high resolution screens come with a significant amount of compromise, especially for a productivity device (the metro environment will benefit from it as is).
a tl;dr version is simply that there is a “sweet spot” for viewing distance and usable PPI, if you miss that sweet spot you end up having not enough workspace or the content being too small to be usable within the workspace. For laptop devices, that sweet spot (at a normal viewing distance) is 140 – 160PPI which, for a 15.6" screen, 1920*1080 meets adequately.
With these new super high resolution displays you either overshoot it at 1:1 scale or are way underneath it at 2:1 scale – floating point scales are terrible for productivity but I won’t delve into details because i’ll bore you all.
With 3200*1800, we’re getting a 2:1 resolution of 1600*900, which is a DPI of 130 @ 14", that’s very close and probably something I would consider if haswell can manage it, but for many other display configurations, a lower resolution is still ‘better’.
of course, if you don’t intend to do content creation, then this is all completely irrelevant.
Are you talking about the resolution? Because man oh man do I have news for you:
The Retina Macbook Pro’s display is objectively the worst display of any high end device.
Now that we’ve summarised, let’s explain why:
first I’ll explain some of the traits that screens have:
- Pixel accuracy: if an image is meant to be 16*16 pixels, it should be displayed on exactly 16*16 pixels on the screen. Scaling is the bane of pixel accuracy though it’s not that significant a problem if the scaling is done to a 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, etc. ratio. Essentially. You wan’t every ‘virtual’ pixel to be wholly represented by a solid ‘physical’ pixel.
- Colour accuracy: based on the gamut and the saturation, the contrast and the panel type, colour accuracy is essentially displaying the colour as it’s expected. Higher density displays are usually able to take advantage of the limits of human sight to improve colour accuracy, but the colour range / gamut is something that the panel needs to present. IPS and OLED panels are usually great for accuracy.
- Workspace: actual usable space for applications and content. This relies on both the scaling and the resolution, the best workspace for devices is related directly to the size of the screen and the distance you sit from it. With a 27" monitor, at a normal desk distance, 110PPI is usually the best density. This comes out at around 2560*1440 (which is good considering there are many of these panels in circulation) at 1:1 scaling.
Now that the terms are out of the way, let’s see where I’m going with it.
The macbook pro has either a screen size of 13.3" or 15.6" with a resolution of 2560*1600 or 2880*1800 respectively, the average viewing distance and the size of the screen (for both these devices) makes 160 – 170PPI the “sweet spot” for workspace at a scaling of 1:1. At this point you’ll be getting content that’s not too small to read / use and just small enough to fit significant amounts on screen. At this density, you should be aiming to get a 1920*1080 or 1920*1200 display.
Here’s where the problems begin – Apple’s retina display is larger than that. This makes the density at a 1:1 scale too high for decent work (hence why it’s not even an option in the resolution scale control of OS X) and a scale of 2:1 too small for decent work (effective resolution of 1280*800 or 1440*900 respectively). Instead you need to take a floating point scale, e.g. 1.5:1, to meet a compromise.
This is where problem #2 occurs, if you scale at floating point, you end up losing both colour accuracy and pixel accuracy as the virtual pixels are being displayed on a fraction of a physical pixel. To remedy this the OS has to do a form of natural anti-aliasing, where the colours of 2 virtual pixels that share a single physical pixel are interpolated to find the middle ground and trick the eye into thinking it’s accurate. This isn’t a problem for the every day person that’s watching films or looking at images but it’s a MASSIVE problem for someone who’s making that content. They’ll be creating media using a display that’s inaccurate, essentially creating issues for anyone using an accurate screen – this is a major problem for content creators – the prime target of the MBP range.
This issue continues over to other media too, monospace text is less legible on floating point scaling, the hardware needs to work harder to scale content and adjust the pixels for interpolation, etc.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there’s a solution – increase the resolution even higher. As I said prior, the best resolution is at a PPI of 160 – 170, the closer you can get to this, the better and the closer you can be without resorting to floating point scaling, the better the device will be for media creation. The MBPR is far too high at 1:1 scale and far too low at 2:1 scale, but a device with a 3200*1800 display, as this one is, would scale to a 1600*900 resolution at 2:1, an active density of 138PPI, versus Apple’s 127. And so there you have a better display in all regards. It’s not perfect (that will be a 4K display 2:1 scaled to 1920*1080) but it’s closer to perfection.
Now, before you point out that the smooth text for general purpose fonts is something you gain on the retina display, I’ll confirm – that’s true. In fact it’s the only thing it really excels at – General purpose font legibility. However, the places where this is objectively superior to other devices is pretty much limited to document writing. Web browsing is superior on high density tablets (iPad 3 / 4, nexus 10, etc.), as is content consumption. So, given that the only real benefit anyone can claim from owning a Retina Macbook Pro is writing documents, I’ve personally dubbed the Macbook Pro with Retina Display – ‘The world’s most expensive and advanced typewriter’.
Now, if you read all this I’m sure you’re dying to find contradictions and I eagerly await them, good day.
3 days ago on HP redesigns Envy and Pavilion laptops for 2013, including one with a 3200 x 1800 screen 5 replies 3 recommends
As I said elsewhere in these comments, Microsoft recognises storage as GiB, not GB. In Apple’s representation, there’s 36GB of free space on a 64GB Windows 8 device, meanwhile on Microsoft’s representation, there’s 53GiB of free space on a 64GB iPad.
It’s not a huge difference, but it certainly puts into perspective the changes that these differences can make. If you put role reversal on you’d end up touting 36 vs 53 instead of 34 vs 57 and that’s a relatively large change (6GB, or just under 10% of the overall storage).
It’s a shame that a lot of this is ambiguous, it definitely makes it confusing to consumers.
That’s just a stupid statement. Where can I download any of the x86 ‘desktop’ applications on the iPad?
Different marketplaces shouldn’t be compared willy nilly. You may have more applications dedicated to touch, but we have more applications dedicated to PC. The interesting thing is that the touch market actually exists co-operatively on Windows 8 machines and is growing quite well, meanwhile the ‘PC’ app market doesn’t exist in the slightest on iOS devices.
These alone aren’t points that you can tout however, it’s just another part of the choice. Really, you have to compromise either way. I would personally choose a decent Windows 8 device as the general purpose usage is more important than the casual gaming and simplified apps. That’s just me though and as such my reasoning doesn’t apply to everyone.
It should be noted that Apple could also be accused of misleading customers on storage. Their internal representation is GB, while their data (as is expected) is stored in GiB. This creates a difference between the size of files and the space available. It also means that, for example, a Windows machine recognising 279GiB will actually have 300GB usable when converted.
In reality, it depends entirely on how you want to look at it. At the very least it implies that the amount of space used by Microsoft for the OS and the recovery partition and more is actually less than you’re led to believe.
It should also be noted that, with the release of Windows 8.1, skydrive recovery will be implemented, freeing up a significant amount of space that was previously used for the recovery partition. Once again, the space debacle is something that’s got a lot more going on underneath than either Microsoft or Apple have explained (mostly for technical reasons) but, at the very least, you can take the fact that the storage on the Windows 8 tablets is less of a problem that most people think it is.
3 days ago on Microsoft recruits Siri to bad-mouth the iPad in new Windows 8 tablet ad 1 reply 22 recommends
That’s “entitlement” you’re claiming, and you have none. If you want to play 360 games, use a 360, if you want to play one games, buy a one. The only consoles I can think of that have backwards compatibility are the PS2 and the Wii, both because the hardware was similar (or in the case of the Wii – practically the same) enough to support a feature. Portable consoles are another story, but in those scenarios it usually boils down to similar hardware (gameboy series all used the same basic stuff, as do the DS series) or hardware emulation (DS/lite had the entire GBA hardware inside it).
Backwards compatibility is a bonus, not a privilege. Right now it’s not feasible in the one. If that’s truly a deciding factor, then so be it.
My basis is knowledge of hardware and software as an employed developer. There is no way you could emulate something like this. At the very least you could split it half and half (the more complex logic being run on hardware and the rest being emulated) but it’s a large investment and a project that would no doubt need ongoing support and improvement throughout its lifetime. That’s not viable for the customers that would actively require it.
Ok, this is starting to get really silly.
let’s look at the situation:
- you own games from a previous generation and want to play them on your new console
- neither the one or the PS4 will allow this
- the PS4 will allow you to stream the games over a cloud gaming service, no doubt at a pretty normalised price per game
- the one will require you own a prior console
So, if you already own the 360 / PS3 and the games that come with it, neither of these solutions (a lack of backwards compatibility or the cloud format) will help you play them as is on your new console. However, one will allow you to spend more money on, what will almost definitely be, an experience less than if you played on the original hardware.
So my question is. If you already own the last gen of hardware, why not use that? I understand it would be nice to free up space and all but this is a technical issue that cannot be resolved, it’s not an active choice to attack the consumers. The one cannot play 360 games without 360 hardware inside – that would increase the price to a point where you would instead complain about that AND it would turn off buyers who don’t want the backwards compatibility.
to put it simply, you’re all moaning about the silliest things, this especially. The one has flaws, yes, and the lack of information is a massive pain in the ass, but backwards compatibility truly is a flaw any way you look at it. Best to leave it out entirely.
3 days ago on Microsoft's Xbox head: 'If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards' 4 replies 18 recommends
It’s not that “nobody who’s cool wants to develop for Windows Phone”, it’s more that developing for iOS is still a more sure-fire method to gain a decent level of profit.
People shouldn’t be expecting to get all the new and best apps on Windows Phone before anyone else and when we do it’s usually because the developer is taking an active interest in the platform themselves. What we really need is to have the apps come to us eventually, that the platform isn’t being ‘ignored’.
The platform doesn’t have the market share to be a first choice for developers, but if it’s a choice at all, then we’re on the right track.
meanwhile, In a world without bias. This is what it looks like on the most used resolution / orientation / browser in the world. (courtesy of statcounter)
I understand that this isn’t the case for everyone and, further, that Microsoft should improve their image resolution availability to ensure that more people are supported, but for the time being, this is perfectly fine and looks (in my opinion) far more attractive than Google’s pure minimalism.
I should also note that I personally use Google, because the results are generally more relevant and the Bing Rewards Program isn’t available in my country. I’m sure I’ll eventually move away though. I detest the level of information Google keeps and the entire “google account” system that permeates their pages. I do not want Google+ or gmail, but apparently I’m required to have them still. Why is this?