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Comment: Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

by Wdomburg (#48999323) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

Also, server is not their cash cow. Between desktop Windows, consumer hardware (including the Surface, mice, keyboards, etc) and business software they pull in about $44B. Their server products, including Azure, MS SQL, consulting services, and development tools only bring in about $20B. Entertainment and mobile bring in another $10B.

Microsoft benefits from having a broad, comprehensive product line, whether the divisions themselves are necessarily profitable. Just like Apple, Google, and Amazon, they benefit from getting people to buy into their ecosystem.

They have struggled in recent years, not just because Apple's resurgence has eroded their dominance in the PC market, but because the market has shifted away from the PC model. More people are using tablets or even phones as their primary device, which means more people using iOS, Android or Amazon devices, and their associated app, content and services ecosystems.

Their response seems to be increased openness (see: open sourced .NET releases, patent pledges), interoperability (see: JUniversal, AllJoyn contributions), convergence (see: Windows 10, from mobile to server), and free stuff (see: Windows for small devices, hobbyist platforms; Visual Studio Community Edition etc). I find it hard to fault that.

Comment: Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

by Wdomburg (#48999029) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

Lumia ring a bell? Windows 10 is their convergence release, with mobile being just one more edition. Plenty of phones with far less horsepower are running Windows. Plenty of tablets with similar horsepower are running Windows.

I picked up a couple of Stream 7's, which also sport only 1GB of memory, a modest low power processor and a full copy of Windows - as stocking stuffers this year. They work fine for what they are. Especially since I paid $74 for one and $49 for the other, thanks to in-store "shopping events".

This strikes me more about the hobbyist community and pervasive computer than the "internet of things". This board is not suitable for those applications, regardless of what platform it is running. But this has potential for more demanding embedded applications, internet kiosks, network terminals, or even starter computers for kids (which is what I'm considering getting a Pi 2 for).

I probably won't land on Windows 10 as the final operating system; I haven't used Windows as a desktop in about twenty years now. But I'll certainly play with it.

Comment: Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

by Wdomburg (#48998423) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

Yes, yes, TANSTAAFL.

But as many free software advocates point out, copying software IS as close to free as it gets. There is no opportunity cost to Microsoft, since the chance that people would otherwise pay for a copy of Windows to run on a Pi is essentially nil. There is little opportunity cost to the user, since they would otherwise be installing and configuring an operating system anyway. Even if they ultimately choose not to keep it, the time and effort involved is fairly negligible and there is arguably value in the experience. (At least to that individual, since they freely chose to engage in it.)

Comment: Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

by Wdomburg (#48972241) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

Really? If an afternoon trying out a new platform represents a significant investment to you, your time is far more valuable than mine. Most people I know spend more time dicking around with the lastest MMORG on a regular basis.

As for programming, Windows remains a highly lucrative development platform, regardless of your personal opinion. Even in the mobile space, targeting a platform without a saturated ecosystem may ultimately yield better results. Easier for an app to stand out if it is one of a dozen instead of one of a thousand.

Comment: Re:Options are good (Score 1) 307

by Wdomburg (#48972125) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

You assume that maintaining another ARM port takes an appreciable number of developer hours, that code quality isn't generally improved by maintaining ports on disparate architectures, that community goodwill has no value, that community testing and input has no value, that this is an "unsuitable platform" in the first place (the Pi 2 is more powerful than a lot of phones they run on, for example), that it won't net any new customers from people who are curious to see how Windows 10 is, etc.

As initiatives go, this is doubtless cheap and has plenty of positive externalities. And from a user perspective, trying it out is a throwaway afternoon at worst.

Comment: Re:What killed Ruby (Score 1) 291

by Wdomburg (#48469287) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

It may not be the most popular option, but Ruby is hardly a marginal language. RedMonk has it tied for 6th with C++, PYPL has it at 10th, and TIOBE has it at 14th. It came off from the Rails high, but it remains steadily popular.

The ecosystem has actually got significantly better over the years, especially as Puppet, Chef, MCollective and others have driven popularity as an admin language, rather than a web language. But more importantly, JRuby pulls in the entire Java ecosystem, which actually puts it in a better position than perl or python, in my opinion. There is Jython, but that lags significantly behind C Python (current stable is 2.5 compatible, which was released eight years ago; their 2.7 release has been in beta for about 21 months) while JRuby offers Ruby 2.1 compatibility in their current stable release and will be putting out their release candidate for 2.2 around the same time as the Ruby 2.2 stable release.

Comment: Re:If it's losing steam it's because (Score 2) 291

by Wdomburg (#48469007) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

The real win for me is JRuby. The Java ecosystem is at least as broad as perl, and generally better suited to enterprise applications. There are generally perl modules for everything, but they often perform far worse (e.g. Net::LDAP is probably an order of magnitude slower than UnboundID processing LDIF) or are just terrible code (e.g. Net::Sieve::Script which is a regex-based hack, rather than an actual language parser like jSieve).

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