Microsoft: No x86 apps for ARM

So, The Register reports that Windows on ARM will not have compatibility with apps compiled for x86. Intel has been saying this for a while, while Microsoft has been mum. So now we know.

There are arguments both for and against having an x86 emulation layer.
Read more

Windows 8 on a VM

If you’re looking to play around with the Windows 8 developer build that Microsoft pushed out this week, be aware that it won’t run on VMware player or any version of VMware Workstation prior to version 8.

It does, however, reportedly work on Virtualbox if you use the Windows XP compatibility settings. Read more

Milestone! I’ve been pirated!

In searching for the abstract of my book, I found more than I expected: What appeared to be a pirated PDF copy of the book in its entirety. What’s worse is that it appeared #1 in Google’s search. Numbers 2 and 3 were various pages on my site, #4 was my Wikipedia profile page, #5 was O’Reilly’s page, and #6 was Amazon’s page. So it’s easier to download a pirated copy of my book than it is to buy it. (It’s $2.03 at Amazon right now. Maybe I should buy some copies.)

I’m having trouble deciding whether that bothers me. The likelihood of me ever making another 25 cents off that book is slim. There was some talk at one time of releasing the book under some kind of Creative Commons license, but I never received the paperwork so I guess they changed their mind. As far as I know, it’s still under copyright.

And the copyright doesn’t belong to me, so ultimately it’s not up to me. I wrote it, but O’Reilly owns the copyright. So I e-mailed O’Reilly to ask them if they care.
Read more

Microsoft sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses; what does it mean?

Steve Ballmer announced today that Microsoft has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses, but anywhere from half to two-thirds of PCs are still running Windows XP and need to get with the program.

He also continues to insist Windows 8 will ship in 2012, which really makes me wonder why those XP users need to switch now. December 2012 is 17 short months away, and XP support runs until 2014. I see little need to rush out now and buy Windows 7, use it for 18-24 months, and then turn around and buy Windows 8. If XP is fulfilling users’ needs, what’s the hurry? Unless Windows 8 is going to be late, as bad as Vista, or both. But none of that can happen, right? (Note: It’s not 2014 anymore, so if you haven’t upgraded from XP, you need to.)

I’m sure the Windows 8 Police will be along to haul me away shortly for insinuating such things. But until that happens, that 400 million figure lets us do some other interesting extrapolation. Read more

I’ve seen the Windows 8 screenshots, and I smell panic

I’ve seen the Windows 8 screenshots. What I see in them reeks of overreaction. Pundits are predicting a post-PC era, so Microsoft is trying their best to make a PC look and feel like a smartphone.

Why does a PC need to look and feel like a smartphone?
Read more

Windows, ARM, emulation, misconceptions and misremembered history

I keep reading stuff about Windows and ARM and, well, I think people just aren’t remembering history.

I’m not saying that Windows 8 on ARM will save the world, or even change it substantially. It probably won’t, since Microsoft tends not to get things right the first time. But will I automatically write off the project? No. It could prove useful for something other than what it was originally intended. That happens a lot.

But I’m more interested in clearing up the misinformation than in trying to predict the future.
Read more

My proposal to improve Windows 8

I propose a new user interface for Calculator, because the one we’ve been using since 1990 is too confusing, and the one that came with Windows 7 didn’t help. It’s just different, not better.

The only thing that can save Calculator is the ribbon interface.
Read more

What the 2011 CES may mean

This week was CES, where companies make a big splash and try to show what’s going to happen in the consumer electronics space in the coming year.

In the coverage of CES, I saw three things that seem interesting, but only one of those three was a surprise.
Read more