The End is Near

Discussion in 'Apple/iOS' started by dstrauss, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Everyone needs to watch yesterday's Windows Weekly from 9:00-50:00 marks (or even a little further). I so rarely agree with LaPorte and Thurrott that it pains me to side with them, but Monday's Apple Silicon announcement is startling, unnerving, and proof of the following propositions:
    1. Microsoft does not care what platforms are out there so long as you're using Microsoft software
    2. Microsoft does not care about Windows per se - it is ALL about Microsoft Office and the cloud
    3. WOA is dead already
    4. Windows is not going to end (1,000,000,000 customers) but is going to fade away
    Thurrott's parting shot about Windows hurts to the bone - referring by analogy to watching Ali climbing into a ring for the last time: "Why are you still fighting; you're getting the s*** kicked out of you."
     
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  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I disagree, it's exciting! :D If it weren't for some pesky engineering packages I'd already be on MacOS :eek:

    Points 2-4 follow from point 1: if MS is mostly selling software rather than an OS, then they're right in pushing the software rather than the OS. I'm not sure about WOA being dead. It may very well be, but if the prices come down a lot on the WOA tablets, they would offer a good price/performance combination for Windows. Which makes it all the more surprising that not a single manufacturer has made a cheap compact long-battery life WOA tablet. I'm imagining an Asus VivoARM 8.. Either way, interesting times ahead, nothing to be depressed about IMO.
     
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  3. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's a bit scary to think, if it weren't for those few "pesky engineering packages", we wouldn't have @JoeS on TPCR... :eek:

    I guess there's always a silver lining, even for clunky Windows software that refuses to evolve. :p
     
  4. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Scribbler - Standard Member

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  5. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That is exactly what Microsoft Needs to do. 10-12 inch device and in the $300-$500 price range. And it would have to be Pro X performance at the minimum. It would really needs to compete the non-pro iPads in both price and power.

    as far as the end is near, I'd argue to the contrary that Mac on Arms could quite possible works to Microsofts favor. The biggest problem with Windows on Arm is getting developers to recompile & recode applications to run on ARM. The emulation mode sucks and will probably always suck, the goal should be to eventually make the emulation mode unnecessary. Like if the Pro X had Arm ready Photoshop, Clip Studio, and Visual Studio Code ready to go, I would have much less issue jumping ship from Surface Pro to Surface Pro X.

    Apple with this move will literally help the tech industry at large facilitate moving to ARM. Moving from x86 to Arm is the heavy lifting, once they do that to appease apple, it would much easier at that point to make a WOA port. Now not every developer will do that......as evident by Clip Studio Paint, but it will still help inspire developers to start heading in that direction. Even if they decide to leave the WOA door closed, at least they'l still have the door. Much easier to open a closed door then build the door.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  6. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Scribbler - Standard Member

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    That is some sweet lemonade you’re stirring up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I've heard this being echoed several times in the tech world (notably Rubino's article), but I really have to wonder how everyone is reaching that nice, happy conclusion.


    So let's say I was a Windows dev that's too lazy to recompile for ARM. If I didn't care about the small number of Windows ARM users, would I suddenly start caring about the even smaller number of Mac ARM users, that know about my software? So much so, I'll finally rebuild for ARM native?

    Probability of WOA build: Unlikely.

    Ok let's approach it from another angle...say I'm an iOS developer that never had any particular interest porting my app to Windows (despite how starved and ripe for the taking the tablet-optimized Windows market is).

    So now with Big Sur, I can make my app run natively on Mac. Great! I might make a few enhancements to my app for mouse and keyboard. But is it that going to make me any more inclined to do a build for WOA? Uh...heck no, I'm focusing on Apple especially now.

    Probability of WOA build: Even more unlikely.

    Ok so let's do a final case, where we take a developer who's already committed to doing a WOA build, but is taking their sweet, sweet time (cough Adobe). Surely, with Apple putting the pressure on the ARM front, that means the WOA development will happen faster, and that's good right?

    Well yes, but consider the further implications of Apple entering the ring...optimizing for MOA isn't the same thing as optimizing for WOA (chipsets are totally different, APIs are totally different). At best, it means MOA is going to take the spotlight for development resources—especially because developing for MOA has the tremendous dual advantage of applying to A-series iOS mobile devices too!

    As for the WOA build? Yeah, we'll put the B-team on it to cobble something together, after the MOA build is spick-and-span and ready for primetime. Patches on WOA will come slower, minor bugs and non-critical issues will be ignored, and the general UX and performance will be worse. ("But who cares? All our serious Windows customers are on x86 anyways...")

    Probability of WOA build: Will happen, but also emphasize the app gap between the Mac/iOS and WOA.

    So, in all the scenarios I don't see how any of this bodes particularly well for WOA; it's a bad look when all an OS can do, is hope to ride the coattails of another OS.

    Going years forward, what sane person is going to buy a WOA machine with just the hope of running a lower-quality version of the Mac software library? Windows needs to focus on building a unique ecosystem and UX from its own strengths (productivity focus, system customizability, gaming) or they've already ceded the whole ARM desktop market to Apple.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  8. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You’re probably right on most of those points, however one thing that has been recently instilled into me is that one of the best practices for developers is to constantly be learning and being apprised of new tech trends. WOA itself might not be incentive enough to invest in ARM development because that hasn’t made a splash. But Apple’s announcement of the other hand is precisely that splash. And while that may facilitate going just into developing in Apples eco-system, its still a tech trend and it will trend. Especially if Apple can genuinely make it work.

    On x86 devices, Photoshop is a resource hog and it will drain you’re devices battery faster then if you used a less resource intense app. Now lets say on this ARM Mac, Adobe does manage to give us full photoshop CC fully equal to the x86 edition, and Apple can deliver performance comparable to 15w i5/i7 and still retaining 7-10 hour battery life spans while using Photoshop. If they could deliver that, Microsoft, Intel, AMD…..they will all take notice of that. And likely Intel and AMD will start putting out their own ARM chips in response. Which could mean more WOA devices and more WOA users. So that small number of ARM users might be considerably larger in a few years, which could also foster a demand for WOA app development to at least give plausible incentive to do so.

    And lets not forget cost. Macbooks are at a Premium charge, and while there are more then enough premium options on the Windows side, the Windows side also has way more affordable options then Apple. Heck for the longest time Best Buy wouldn’t even have $1000+ windows devices on demo, that was largely an exclusive exception they made for Apple. Its different now of course, but the budget markets make up a huge chunk of windows users. And as of now Apples “Budget” options is limited to non-pro iPads.

    Now the Development kit for the new ARM Macs is basically an iPad Pro with more Ram shoved into a Mac Mini. It uses the A12x chip. While there are a few iterations of that chip, the iPad Air and Mini are also using the base A12 chip and they hit the $400 price point which puts them in the budget category.

    So next fall, whenever….the ARM Macbook hits….what price point will they give it? Almost certainly $999 at the lowest, quite likely $1299 or higher. It could be priced quite comparable to the Pro X. But in the interim of app re-development and Rosetta emulation, they at least have the full iOS app library to fall back on. So Apple can logically command that price point. So what does this mean for the budget market? As much as Microsoft and others are pricing their ARM devices high right now, eventually the only logical way to survive against Apple is the capitalize on the budget market, which means lower cost WOA devices would need to come out. Once they have the budget market, WOA will be in a lot more hands, and if they can really hit the price/performance/battery life sweet spot, more and more people will start using it. You’re going to have some developers who won’t budge of course, but even some developers do come around, some is better then none.

    And as unstoppable as Apple feels right now, there are a lot of misteps they can still make. I feel they almost get a pass for when they make mistakes, I mean the horrid buttefly keyboards they rocked for so many years, and even the debacle when the dumbed down Final Cut Pro years back. But they are basically riding on this iOS/iPad full app compatibility function, what if they can’t fully deliver that? It could end up being more gimmicky then practical. And ARM Mac Photoshop might be more in line with iPad OS Photoshop which will surely upset many. And I know some Mac developers who are not in favor of this news because they dislike the iPad for it being too dumbed down and more like a toy. Apple is bluring the divide between iPad and Macbook more then ever with this, and that could end up back firing on them, especially with developers and pro users, who could view ARM Mac as a dumbed down Mac. Especially if the ARM Mac ports are little more then iPad ports.
     
  9. jjsa1985

    jjsa1985 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    It seems like many are forgetting the whole Windows phone failure. Remember how it had the same architecture as Android? Not just the same architecture, some phones used the same chipsets. Microsoft even made tools to make it easy for devs to port their Android and iOS apps over. Result? No one cared, the apps never came, and Windows phone went the way of the dodo. The iOS and Android devs couldn't be bothered to put their app through an automated porting tool. What makes people think they are going to be interested in porting over complex desktop grade software just because they have an ARM version of it on Mac?
     
  10. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    @Marty & @darkmagistric - this one slide from their presentation speaks volumes:

    A12z-Architecture.jpg

    Just going to "ARM" is not ever going to be good enough for Microsoft because the A12z is NOT and ARM chip except in base architecture. It is so heavily customized, and has so many attendant services and chips on the SoC that I would bet if you even had a good enough version of WOA you couldn't get it to run in this hardware environment. Nothing in the Qualcomm galaxy of chips comes close, and unless MS becomes a chip designer/fabricator, tehy will never reach these levels of power and efficiency.
     
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