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So I have been trying to figure out what on earth is taking up the 13GB, and here is what I have so far:
- Recovery and EFI partitions - 4.0 GB
- There are two recovery and one system partitions. The system partition appears to be there for EFI.
- Pagefile.sys and Swapfile.sys - 2.6 GB
- Virtual Memory!
- Program Files - 1.0 GB
- This is mostly Office, with a few other things thrown in: IE, Windows Contacts, Photo Viewer, etc. Office occupies about 630MB
- Windows/System32 - 1.75 GB
- This is the core of the OS
- Windows/Fonts - 400 MB
- Some really large font-files here, but Windows does ship to a huge international audience with complex script support.
- Windows/Speech - 400 MB
- Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech.
- Windows/IME - 200 MB
- This is the support for inputting complex scripts among other things. Dominated by Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
- Windows/Microsoft.NET - 200 MB
- .NET framework
I also have about 800 MB in a SoftwareDistribution folder, but that may be tainted by Windows Update (there were patches available on the first day, literally, weighing in at 600+ MB - for the Office update to RTM among others). Another curiosity is that there is a 10 MB SysWOW64 folder for some reason. Aside, I have not checked how big the system registry hives are.
My user folder is about 2.0 GB, most of which is in Windows Store apps. Still trying to find a way to visualize how much each application takes.
So far that adds up to 10.55 GB (11.35 if including SoftwareDistribution). I have purposely left out the WinSxS folder, because I have no way to telling what its real on-disk footprint is until I figure out how to scan a folder for hard links, which may not be possible on WindowsRT.
That particular myth has been debunked a bunch of times, but here goes again.
WinSxS is the least understood component in Windows. For the most part it contains hard links (not symbolic links, which Windows Explorer understands do not occupy space) to other places on the system. See here (http://www.davidlenihan.com/2008/11/winsxs_disk_space_usage_its_no.html)
Luckily Grandma has grandson who gets the nasty little card, puts it into the surface, mounts it into C: and sets up Grandma's surface so that she does not need to worry about it and has 32 GB or 64 GB for her documents, music, pictures and videos. - using the Libraries functionality. And the best part is, when she upgrades to a new surface or other Windows tablet, just move the card over, remount and update the Libraries location and like magic all her content is already there. Grandma never need worry about removing it.
Obviously will not work for applications, but with most data being stored on a different volume, this setup should work out fairly well. Actually, what I would like to see is a wizard for doing this. Obviously the idea here is to avoid having to remove the card.
With all that said, I am fairly curious what takes up 13GB in the RT install, that seems excessive.
Even a general-purpose computing device can be sold in a configuration that by default "just plugs in and works."
We (the techies) are not incompetent to be unable to switch to a more productive environment - just that environment does not need to be in everyone's face all the time. Rather than think of this as the PC being "dumbed down," think of it as a call to action to make all the other "appliance" computers be more full-features, but without the historical complexity of PCs, before we knew how to make them easy to use.
Er... not quite. Yes, clustered distributed systems exist, and are growing much faster than mainframes, but there is still a lot of stuff that is done on mainframes, if only because it is a lot more convenient to have a really beefy box for that large, mission-critical multi-user database/application, without having to figure out how to partition it and without being subject to CAP.
Distributed clusters are generally better for non-real-time processing. Real-time HPC stuff is still the realm of supercomputers (not to be confused with clusters, even though both generally tend to run Linux or some other embedded POSIX OS)