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Thread: Microsoft also don't want flash

  1. #1
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Microsoft also don't want flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Wired
    The future of Flash looks dimmer and dimmer as another major player in the mobile space shuns support of the platform.

    Microsoft’s brand new Windows 8 Metro user interface will not support Adobe Flash or other plug-ins, instead embracing the HTML5 set of web standards, according to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team leader Dean Hachamovitch. For users who access legacy ActiveX controls, they’ll have to jump out of the Metro UI and switch to the classic-styled desktop browser.

    Hachamovitch explains that running IE without Flash or other plug-ins “improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers.” These are pretty much the same reasons that Apple doesn’t support Flash on its devices.

    (...)
    And Android isn’t the only OS running Flash poorly. The QNX-powered BlackBerry PlayBook operating system was hyped to boast the best Flash support before its release, but Wired.com found running Flash games and sites spotty at best on the PlayBook. Similarly, the Android-powered Motorola Xoom has struggled with Flash, debuting only with a beta version of Adobe’s product that was much maligned.

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/...ndows-8-metro/

    Nobody likes flash...poor flash...

  2. #2
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    A few things to consider:
    -Windows 8 comes with two browser versions, one is the IE that comes up when you`re in the classic Windows UI environment which supports plugins etc. The other is the one that opens when you launch IE from the new Metro start menu which does not run plugins but there`s a button in the corner to open the website in the other IE version.

    -Besides that: The trend of some platform holders limiting or completely disabling plugin support is not about just flash, its about all plugin tech of course.

    -There's a difference between the approaches of Apple, Google and MS.
    Apple doesn't support any plugins in the browsers of the iOS devices, supports plugins on Mac OS though (though Safari does not come with flash bundled anymore on newer notebooks).
    Google basically as in many fields tries several approaches, so they dabble with pushing html 5, too but also support some plugins next to also doing things like native client where various technologies could run in the browser without requiring a plugin.

    Microsoft goes that approach of the two browser versions initially with Windows 8.

    In either case, yeah, Adobe is to blame to some degree for the situation for sure because, well, where´s the flash version running awesome with all flash content on mobile phones?
    Its 2011, they had time to get there for many years.
    With flash its always the promise of the next version bringing the big change.
    Now its about the molehill player, which, well, should bring the desperately needed performance boost but only for new content tailored using the new apis.

    But: On the other side, well, Apple, Google and MS sure know about the strengths and weaknesses of HTML 5 and how much (or not) it is really ready for doing all sorts of content using it which would usually be done for various plugin technologies.
    In short: good for websites and basic anims, but not ready at all when considering doing more in depth media mashups which should run cross platform on the browsers of most users.


    So yeah, regarding that point it also makes sense to consider that some platform holders would maybe also prefer people creating native apps for their platform rather than deploying often free to use cross platform stuff on the web.


    Yes, right now html 5 is promoted as the thing one should use for web apps as it would be so much the way forward.

    And i agree that it makes sense to use it where its a good fitting choice to implement what one wants to do.

    But: How much would all those people say the same about flash and html 5 if now all blinky flash banners were made in html 5 instead?
    Is that of any advantage performance wise? Or isn´t it even worse for users because one can't then just disable a plugin and get rid of the ads?

    Also: Not that i myself play web games a ton, but what about the millions of people who like to play games on the web or enjoy other more in depth interactive media mashup content?

    Hm..


    If it goes on like this we'll get an acceleration for the trend of doing apps for each platform for a lot of stuff which would in the past have been put on a website, until html 5 etc really is in the position to be used for pretty much everything all the plugin technologies can be used for.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 09-16-2011 at 04:08 PM.

  3. #3
    formerly hooligan2001 :) .hooligan's Avatar
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    Why would they want flash if they have silverlight!
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  4. #4
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Yeah, that´s a good point ;-)

    Its certainly not that far fetched to consider that some platform holders suddenly being against (competing) plugins might, maybe, just maybe also think a bit in that direction because they have or want to create an own app store and want people to create apps for that and ideally exclusive instead of releasing ((free to use) cross platform) apps on the web =)

    Sure, flash performance could be better, but i don't think that´s the main point there (since html 5 performance is on many ends worse and html 5 feature implementations on many ends even less cross platform cross browser functional right now).

    And also sure: to the outside world its promoted as hey, we totally support web apps and open standards and cross platform etc, but really, when you look at the browsers there`s still a lot of things not following the standards properly and MS like Apple have enough good engineers to know what one can and can't do in html 5 and that it can't replace what one can do when creating native apps or using quite capable plugin technologies like the unity plugin.

    Me personally i use html+js for web sites and basic web apps, but that´s about it, i don't see any sense in trying to create 2D or 3D games with em other than when paid by a client/ platform holder or for goofing around.


    I also think its good to try an approach like unity: be on the major platforms in the widespread and sense making ways, either in the browser via plugin or running as native client or via deploying as native app and well, then just see what stays or becomes dominant and you`re ready for it =)

  5. #5
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    to add one more thought to my ramblings:
    People browsing this forum regularly probably know all too well how passionate i`m when its about some tech like flash or unity. I get excited when they get really nice new features and i get enraged when a new release is (again) disappointing for this or that reason. So i also think it is well deserved to show emotions then (even if i maybe get a bit overboard with that side sometimes =) ).
    What i don`t like though is when one or some platform holders think they should act as if pushing the future when deciding for all their users which tech to use on their machines.
    And that then leads to lots of people getting emotional for the wrong (made up) reasons.

    With Apple not supporting flash on the iPhone i was initially not that much against that, since yeah, flash´s performance sucks on mobiles so far and on the tiny screen i also don't see that much sense in using flash content in a browser window.

    But yeah, once platform holders want to tell me what i can use in the browser on a big screen device which also has more powerful hardware guts which could run all sorts of stuff, well, i don`t like that a lot anymore if they want to dictate what i can run on that that much.

    With windows 8 it still looks sorta ok since it comes with two browsers, a full featured one and a cut down one, a bit weird, but yeah, still o k i guess, but, yeah, the trend in general is a bit depressing.

    Looks like we´re heading towards a future where each platform holder has his prominent app store and tries to control more and more what else other than the stuff one gets from the store people can run on their device, at least with Apple and MS it seems like there´s a clear trend towards that.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 09-18-2011 at 08:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    Not surprisingly everyone is trying to copy Apple now, since its most profitable company in the industry. I am still doubtful about copying only more questionable policies of Apple, MS does not have similar cult following with worshippers instead of customers.

    About W8, who is it for. Those millions of peoples still using XP? Millions of desktop users? Nope. Its for Nokia phones and tablets.

  7. #7
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonypa View Post
    Not surprisingly everyone is trying to copy Apple now, since its most profitable company in the industry. I am still doubtful about copying only more questionable policies of Apple, MS does not have similar cult following with worshippers instead of customers.
    Nah man, i disagree on the part that MS wouldn´t have a similar cult following =)
    With MS they still dominate the desktop market so massively that they have so many more users than Apple or anyone else that besides those die hard fans there´s also a high count of more everyday joe users who seem way less, let´s say passionate about the products than when comparing the fans at an Apple WWDC presentation, but just have a look at one of the big tech sites like engadget when there´s a post related to MS, Google or Apple, there are big groups of extremely passionate supporters and haters for each who will write lots of comments, have shirts or avatars hyping up the side they support or bashing the others etc =)

    Its also a bit funny and weird that due to some recent actions and also some propaganda by contenders etc Apple is now seen as the big evil control hungry dictator, while all 3 major players (Apple, Google, MS) have shown both signs for really opening up and being all happy friendly sunshiny but also other signs for the polar opposite evil aiming for the total monopole and controlling or destroying all others beast.

    So to me meanwhile its more about seeing general trends and trying to tackle those than judging each of those companies by a single move.

    Just as example for each of these sometimes acting nicely, sometimes not so much, let´s go with Apple for now:

    -Apple has a long history of getting rid of tech they think is outdated or want to be outdated for other reasons, like they were among the first to not have floppy drives in their computers and now were also among the first to stepwise drop support for optical disc drives (starting with their portable computers first).
    On the other side they were also among the first to introduce promising future tech in mass production in their pcs in many cases (like most recently thunderbolt together with Intel), so not all bad, right?

    It just made a lot more waves when they were among the first to block supporting plugins on their iOS devices in a time when that kind of implementation for browsers for such capable devices was still way less questioned. And with various plugin technologies there just is no propper replacement to do similar things in other ways on the web yet regarding all that can be done with the plugin technologies.

    On other points Apple is often blamed for, its similarly difficult to paint an all evil or all friendly picture when one looks at it more closely.

    Like: yes, Apple is reviewing every app one wants to publish on the app store and denies some for various reasons, but is that now a control hungry beast or a company which actually was among the first if not the first to open up that market to developers of any level more than any competitor before?

    A bit of both at least =)

    Since yeah, before the iOS devices, no other mobile phone platform had such widespread access to selling on the platform holders´store and when one looks at platform holder stores like steam, xbox live, psn etc those are all curated content, in all cases more difficult for indies to get their stuff on there.

    MS next to Xbox live also has the xbox indy channel on the 360 and that unlike xbox live is not currated heavily by MS, so indies can get their stuff in there way more freely. On the other side MS also doesn´t promote that content as nicely as XBLA stuff and also controls in which way and language people can make content for that channel since one is forced to use Microsoft´s XNA to create the content then.


    So yeah, i could list at least as many examples for also Google and MS acting all evil and control hungry and at least as many for them acting all developer and consumer friendly, but you get the point =) Its not all black or white with any of them.


    Where you´re right for sure though is that now all 3 major players have kicked it up a gear at trying to tie consumers and content creators more and more closely to their platform, and yes, this general trend next to some upsides also comes with a lot of downsides with each of the 3.


    Quote Originally Posted by tonypa View Post
    About W8, who is it for. Those millions of peoples still using XP? Millions of desktop users? Nope. Its for Nokia phones and tablets.

    Well, its also the other windows using device manufacturers creating devices running windows 8, not just Nokia, but yeah, i get your vibe that it feels a bit weird at least on a few fronts =)

    Me personally, i wouldn´t say i´m a blinded fanboy of anything, i use what i think is useful for a particular case and i support any company when it does something good and likewise i blame any product or feature in a product or company when it does something that isn´t that ideal =)

    So i´ve also developed stuff deployed on the web, as standalone on pc and mac, on iOS and android devices, even on the blackberry playbook etc.

    So, next to devices by many other companies i also have Apple´s iPhone and iPad. I like to create apps for them like for some other platforms, different ups and downs (other topic) and i like to use them for what they are nicely useful for.
    I think for many people who are using a computing device more for consuming content than creating content, and if they create some its in a way that can be done with the limitations of the iOS devices, yeah, for such people (like my Mom) an iOS device can totally become their main or even only computing device they need.
    But to me personally, i often do a lot more involved stuff on a computer, i use applications like Flash IDE, Photoshop, Unity IDE, UDK and various other graphic, video, 3D content etc creation tools next to all sorts of coding tools daily.
    And you know what? None of them are available on the iPad.
    And if they were available, well, i´d still probably find them very limited there since the iPad does not have things i see as basic workflow requirements during my work like file system access (when not having it jailbroken other topic).
    So yeah, to users like me something like an iPad in its current OS concept couldn't replace my work desktop and notebook machines at all.

    So for people like me its totally the casual laid back mode consuming and at most writing a message on it device. Nice for watching a movie on it or browsing the web for fun etc.


    So, regarding all that, i hoped with Windows 8 Microsoft would get the tablet people like me would find most useful going:
    A device one can use both in the casual relaxo mode on the couch etc (since good touch UI and apps for that), but also then it still also features all the powerful stuff a proper desktop operating system has, so one has file system access, way more ports and connectors, can use all the desktop software, browse the full open web etc.

    And yes, regarding all those it sounded very good initially, i´m just a bit bummed out by more and more things uncovered or announced broadly now which don´t fit into that picture like them having two versions of some apps like IE where one is the classic full featured one and the other is the cut down plugin less metro one.
    Things like that to me sound like either having conceptual or implementation side difficulties at merging the old and new usage ways and UI metaphors in sensmaking way or, in worse case intentionally stepwise obscuring or hiding or even removing support for the more in depth functionality.

    Microsoft is (like the whole industry ) at a stepping stone to a big change these days and with windows 8 it shows in full force.
    Let´s see if its about combining the old in modernized way with the newer more simple to use and mass market and cloud based approach for the good or whether its more towards just wanting to control and restrict things more than ever and only leading to simpler use by dumbing things down and cutting away essential functionality..
    Last edited by tomsamson; 09-19-2011 at 08:35 AM.

  8. #8
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    wrote some of my thoughts on the topic down in shortened more streamlined form here in case someone is interested =)
    http://www.potatocows.com/?p=306

  9. #9
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    Honestly, your tablet will never be able to do all the same stuff your desktop does. It is not built for it and does not have power. Thats where I think W8 is epic fail.

    Suppose you are desktop user. You probably have used previous versions of Win before and are already feeling warm and fuzzy about the way it works with mouse and keyboard. W8 with its Metro will not benefit you, its weird and clumsy and limited.

    Now if you are tablet user with touchscreen, Metro makes sense. But falling back to traditional desktop does not. Your tablet is slow, has too little memory and heavy programs suck up battery too fast. In the end, you are still stuck with Metro and its new apps. We can imagine tablet powerful enough to run normal Win programs too but of course this tablet needs to be more powerful = more heat = more noise = costs more = bigger size = less battery life. What you end up with, is big box of desktop PC with touchscreen permanently connected to power source. And thats not really a tablet anymore.

    Also, to use normal Win programs, you will need mouse and keyboard. Once you connect external pieces to your tablet, you get really slow PC with way too small screen.

    So in the end, whats the point having W8 with 2 separate modes? Desktop users have no need for Metro, tablet users have no need for traditional mode.

    My point about Nokia was because they own each other (or something). If you think about other hardware manfacturers, they need to pay for Windows. So compared to Android, Windows device will either cost more to consumer or device manufacturer earns less profit. If W8 device costs twice as much as similar Android device but in the end still does extactly same thing (and will not run normal Win programs) its hard to see anyone storming to buy it. If they cost same to consumer, manufacturer gets less money from every Win device, and these companies are not interested producing devices that earn them less.
    Last edited by tonypa; 09-20-2011 at 03:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    MS wants too much for "Windows" to be "the OS of everything". They've wanted this since the 1990's. They failed so far. However have to give credit to them that everyone is praising the UI of "Metro" as top of the line. So who knows. As long as phones aren't blue-screening! heheh

    @Tom: TL DR;

  11. #11
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    @tonypa:
    Yeah, i wonder, too if Microsoft will achieve to combine both the tablet centric stuff and the classic Windows centric stuff in a way that is appealing to both usage manners =)
    I agree that they have to work on improving usability of the metro start menu when using mouse and keyboard and usability of the classic windows interface when using touch, right now it feels not connected at all.

    The tablet hardware is advancing quite quickly though regarding specs/capabilities, the arm chipsets get more and more powerful while the other chipsets coming from desktop side are becoming more and more power efficient. Maybe in 1-3 years there could be a middle ground where there´s something both powerful and energy efficient enough that one can run a lot of desktop grade apps nicely on a tablet while having it run with long battery life and without needing fans etc.


    Regarding Windows costing more for manufacturers than using Android point, well, the Android using handset manufacturers and Google themselves get sued right now from all sides so that is costly.
    MS is for example getting licensing fees from several manufacturers using Android, some money for every device sold.
    Google has a lawsuit with Oracle approaching where Oracle wants 2 billion from them..

    @Ray: agreed on your points and well, i´ll try to keep it shorter in the future

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pazil's Avatar
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    Yeah tom, reading all of your posts in one sitting becomes a chore (I did read most of it, just skimmed the last one).

    Just wanted to raise the idea, since these platforms are leaning to their own appstores, and more control over the content...maybe the next few years will see Linux getting a bit more mainstream? :O

    I can see Linux's openness getting to be really attractive for a lot of people, though I guess most consumers won't care (hence so many people loving Apple products).

    Meh.
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  13. #13
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Ok, ok, i´ll try to keep my posts a bit shorter =)

    I think the more open platforms like Linux could gain a bit more interest by some enthusiasts but yeah, i don´t see those becoming appealing to the mainstream consumer user base at large anytime soon.
    The mass market consumer user base basically wants technology they can do a lot with but presented in the most comfortable, simple to use way ideally.
    So pretty much the opposite of Linux which allows to do a lot but is the least accessible OS for someone less informed.

    Its a good point though, i do wonder if a big enough chunk of those who got 1-2 iOS or Android smartphones or tablets maybe could next time more opt for something which is still halfway accessible in usability but allows to do more of what can be done on a desktop OS
    (So in that case maybe opt for Windows 8 then? )
    Or, well, maybe by then they are so tied into the platform thanks to getting all the apps and using cloud services etc by then that they don´t want to give that up easily.
    Could go either way, let´s see towards what the majority will shift.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    I pretty much agree with Tom, Linux is still not ready for mass market. And perhaps it never will, it is simply not for everyone. So its hardly an viable option for current Win users. Possibly W8 will share future with Vista, meaning customers will largely ignore it and those unfortunate who get it pre-installed swap it for older version. Number of people never upgraded from XP is huge for good reason - even W7 which itself is fine OS is not really that much better to invest in upgrade. I don't see W8 changing that view.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Pazil's Avatar
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    Well I was just thinking that the latest Ubuntu versions coming out are very user friendly compared to prior ones. It almost looks like a Mac.
    I think it covers up the complex back-end really well, while stil keeping it very accessible if you need to.

    But yeah, I myself am skeptical of Linux taking over. Just wanted to hear what you guys think (Though I think given a chance, Linux could at least improve it's userbase quite a bit)
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  16. #16
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    If Apple and Microsoft go too far at turning their desktop operating systems into tablet/broad consumer base friendly ones by removing important functionality while aiming to simplify things for usability or by closing down file system access and other system features access more and more, yeah, then things like Linux could become a bit more interesting to people who were previously using Mac OS or Windows and are at the same time skilled enough to deal with all of Linux own quirks and for ones using their computers in a way that is then not ideally doable anymore on the new Apple and Microsoft operating system versions.

    At the same time though, what Apple and Microsoft are doing is clearly in aim to try to sell more computing devices to more casual users and also sell more content in their own app and media content stores.
    So yeah, again they are going for more of the mainstream audience than Linux did or does.

    I see it like tonypa, Linux isn´t for the mass market and that´s probably a good thing to have a big alternative there which doesn´t aim to go for the same crowd in the same way, even if it means they never get as big and widespread.

    @tonypa: Regarding what you said on the different Windows versions:
    I had to use Windows Vista on some work machines and it was in my experience a very bad windows version, so bad that on my home office pcs i never switched to vista and went from using xp all the time straight to win 7.
    I think win 7 is a pretty good iteration, but yeah, not hugely mandatory as you said, unless one has a lot of new software or hardware which maybe (probably) isn´t supported that well or at all under xp anymore.
    I don´t expect windows 8 to do nearly as poorly for MS as Vista did for em, if they handle it right it could become quite a success.
    But yeah, i agree in so far that it feels like a stepping stone on many fronts to me, too (like Vista felt like a stepping stone at best to the next step after XP, so yeah, comaprable in that regard).

    Especially regarding the classic windows interface not changing at all in look or functionality when using touch instead of mouse and keyboard and on the other side the metro UI not working as well with mouse and keyboard instead of touch and also there being two versions of many system apps, one for metro, one for classic windows interface, instead of having one unified one that has all the features and works well with mouse and keyboard but also touch, well, all that seems like not quite there yet.
    Let´s see where that goes till final release.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 09-28-2011 at 11:07 AM.

  17. #17
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    and sorry @Ray, had to reply to a few things so its long again..

  18. #18
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    Its fairly obvious MS has no interest improving classic Win desktop anymore. Metro apps will be sold only through MS App Shop (just like Apple) and MS will take big % from everything sold there (just like Apple). Its also closed shop meaning every app will be reviewed by MS and can be kicked out for whatever reason (just like Apple).

  19. #19
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    I agree on all the points regarding the similarities of the Windows 8 Metro Apps system to some degree, since yeah, it´ll be a curated store where Microsoft will get a share and approve apps one by one.
    On the other side they also said they want to allow placing product pages in their store for apps which are hosted and sold in other places and ways, so ones which are not curated and approved by them etc since they want to turn their store into the outlet where one can find more apps for the platform than "just" those which are sold directly inside the store.
    Depending on how they implement that it could be a big differentiator compared to how Apple does it where the only way to have something shown in the App Store is when you sell it through the App Store (involving Apple reviewing the app and getting a cut of the sales).
    Also with Windows 8, at least when comparing it with iOS devices its a big difference that one can get apps for the classic windows from any source, not just MS' App Store.
    On Apple´s iOS devices one can only get Apps from their App Store (unless the device is jailbroken).

    Microsoft is well aware that their current main user base would want to keep on using all their existing Windows apps so that´s why the classic Windows functionality is there.
    Unlike Apple who is very aggressive regarding cutting support for older stuff and hence made a very clear cut new beginning with iOS devices, a new OS where none of the existing desktop Mac OS apps ran on.
    Whether Microsoft is interested to develop classic Windows onwards or not is maybe not the right point to consider, i mean (at least as planned now) they don´t sell it as seperate software packages so its not about developing one further and the other not.
    Windows 8 is basically largely Windows 7 with a new touchscreen friendly start menu and all made working on x86 and ARM cpus.
    As i said, i see Windows 8 as a stepping stone for them, i´d wonder a lot if they wouldn´t unify the two parts more over time.

  20. #20
    Funkalicious TOdorus's Avatar
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    Goal > Tool

    I think that there will be a trend towards more simple interfaces. I look at sci-fi as a creative playground when it comes to technology and social sciences. Why won't I want a Star Trek computer to which I just say "Computer, how can I be awesome?" and it'll work it out. I don't need to know about what calculations it makes, I just need that answer. Technology to me isn't a goal, it's a tool. I want to concern myself with the goal, not the tool. The simpler it is to use to achieve that goal the better. The ultimate would be a tool that won't need instructions at all. Then there would be just the goal.

    To apply this to the points Tom has set out in his ramblings (dude, structure!). I think Apple has good strategy to target "the average Joe". The goals are pretty simple so the tools can be pretty simple. Hide all the complexities and just show the user the basic settings and let the software do the work for you. That's what it's for anyways.

    This presents a problem for the unaverage Tom. He likes the slick interface and the ease of use, but he knows you can do more with the api underneath it, but the functionality just isn't exposed. Hence all the hints to jailbreaking.

    I think this is the biggest problem the corporate image of Apple faces. You can't please both. This is also why I hope Linux won't ever go mainstream Pazil. I need an OS with bells and whistles which would be too complex for Joe.

    Microsofts' approach seems like a abomination to many to even try it. I don't think you should dismiss it that fast. Ever wondered why the 'newer' VCR's (yeah yeah, even those are ancient) had panels hiding the more complex functions? Joe would look at the early VCR's and would see way too much buttons. Only showing them the play, stop, pause and eject buttons were more than enough. Make them big and shiny and hide the complex functionality under the panel and both Joe and Tom can use them and are pleased with the product. There you go W8.

    I think that's maybe why Flash is bieng phased out. There's too little to control the gui and you may lose Joe as well as Tom. Better to have a platform (app store) which you can control or a pretty standard set of rules (HTML5).

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