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Microsoft Hardware

Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a $248 Win8 PC. 642

theodp writes "A little birdie told me which Windows 8 machines would sell out fast. 'Cheep' ones! While no official sales figures have emerged, anecdotal evidence suggests that cheap Windows 8 laptops were a big hit with Black Friday shoppers, leaving some Walmart and Best Buy bargain hunters disappointed at missing out on the sub-$250 deals. So, was the Doctor-Desktop-and-Mister-Metro dual nature of Windows 8 and lack of a touchscreen no big deal to these bargain basement 'Laptop Hunters', or did they not realize what they were buying? Or, as a GeekWire commenter suggests, perhaps they were really just looking to score an ultra-cheap Linux laptop!"
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Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a $248 Win8 PC.

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  • Re:Maybe (Score:4, Interesting)

    by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @06:49AM (#42103781)

    I did just that: bought a cheap laptop which had windows. Then I created a bootable linux mint usb, and installed it. It runs like a charm. :)
    So, my purchase was just the PC, and definitely not windows 8.

    I have to say that Microsoft have a pretty sweet deal that they get paid for that. I would have bought the laptop if it came pre-installed with DOS 5.0 too - as I would have installed Linux anyway. It seems that the only way not to pay for windows is when you build your own desktop computer.

  • Windows 8 is a fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @07:03AM (#42103829) Homepage Journal

    Earlier today, the entire chess club surrounded one of these new $250 Windows 8 machines. They were all poking at the screen, but while it was changing colors on them, it wasn't responding. (Guess what guys? That's not a touchscreen. Those colors are what you get when you poke a normal LCD display.) They were convinced that all Windows 8 machines had touchscreens, though, and so they never used the touchpad.

    And then they tried shutting it down. I was mocking them for a while, as an entire chess club couldn't figure it out, so then they passed it to me and I couldn't figure it out either. Turns out the option to shut it down is hidden behind an invisible menu, hidden behind two other submenus unrelated to shutting things down.

    We eventually had to look it up online, as I expect many people will have to do.

    It was an interesting case study though, in how fucked up Microsoft made the Metro UI.

  • by wisty ( 1335733 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @07:11AM (#42103867)

    It's alike an OSX 10.3 (or later) Mac - you don't have to shut it down. Just let it sleep. It'll run rock solid for months. A restart is an advanced trouble-shooting technique.

  • My nine year old P4 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rvw ( 755107 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @07:19AM (#42103893)

    it was a cheap buy and they will be sorely disappointed when it runs like crap a year from now.

    I know several people who bought very cheap netbooks and were very happy with them for a number of years. Heck, I still use my ageing eee 900 daily.

    Cheap doesn't mean bad or badly built. Not everyone needs a 64 processor monster to surf the web.

    At home I have a nine year old Dell P4 that was average at the time. It runs Ubuntu 12.04 now, serves as backup host and for my scanning project, batch scanning my slide collection. Browsing the internet is not a problem. Yes it's a lot slower, but still acceptable. Converting a 500 MB DNG image to JPEG takes 5 minutes, but who cares if it's a batch job. I added 3GB RAM and a new videocard four years ago, and just added a 4TB drive. If necessary I can start Virtualbox with XP and run Photoshop and Illustrator CS4 inside. For not too extreme images, it's OK, although that can be sluggish.

  • Re:I really hope.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Balthisar ( 649688 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @07:21AM (#42103903) Homepage

    Two were HTPC front-ends for Plex (a Zotac MAG and a Zotac ZBox). Win8 is reportedly less resource hungry than Win7, so on those little Atom nettops, it seemed like a good way to get a performance boost. Although given that all they do is run Plex, performance wasn't really an issue anyway. Chalk these up to "new toy," then. (No Windows key over VNC kind of sucks, though.)

    The third was a VM install, which I mostly need for EveMon, OneNote, and Access (no Mac versions). Given my use, Win8 isn't as bad as a lot of other people seem to indicate; it doesn't take too long to get used to. I've always been a keyboard shortcutter anyway, and the stupid menus are only stupid if you have to use a mouse. I miss alt-v-d in the "File Explorer" (né "Windows Explorer") though.

  • Great Value (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @07:39AM (#42103969)

    If they wanted a cheap netbook to put Linux on, Google is selling Acer's Intel-based dual-core 64bit VT-enabled chromebook with 2GB RAM and a 320GB HDD for $200.

    I noticed this too. They do seem incredibly good value. I have no idea why Google are not pushing them more. The deal is also unfortunately US centric. I did notice that Google is planning on launching a touchscreen version, which hopefully would bring me Ubuntu with Androids in a virtual machine.

  • by mystikkman ( 1487801 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @08:05AM (#42104071)

    Your objection can't take away the fact that this really is the rule: "What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away." The rule is not just about performance - it's also about freedom to use your own data.

    Even with all your rant about your deep knowledge of MS, the fact remains that my 6 year old AMD Dell HTPC(a hand me down from work) that originally came with Vista speeded up quite a bit with Windows 7 and then even more with Windows 8. All this only one 1 gig of RAM but I upgraded it to 2 after getting a stick free from work. It boots faster, plays 1080p videos out of the box, even Divx/Xvid avi files and mp4 files, so I don't see the point about taking away the freedom to use my own data.

    As I said, get real with your criticisms and perhaps actually use a Vista era machine with Windows 8 before spouting some armchair speculation nonsense about people/managers at Microsoft or whatever as if you're an insider. Which kind of own data is Microsoft preventing you from using or locking you out from on Windows?

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @08:24AM (#42104145) Journal

    Oh lord, did you REALLY just do the Braveheart "They can't take away our FREEDUM!" bit? Seriously?

    And frankly Win 7 runs great even on low power devices, I have an E350 netbook and it is pretty damned snappy with win 7, I can even plug it into an HDTV and watch full 1080P. And while I fricking HATE the Metro UI even I'll admit they have made the underlying OS faster, it boots faster, uses less memory (thanks to killing Aero, which is the first thing i do on a Win 7 build) its just a damned shame that they had to wrap it up in a "LOL I Iz A Cellphone LOL" UI.

    But to say that MSFT can't write a good OS is just the height of arrogance, its elitist horseshit to make little nerds feel good about themselves by ignoring the fact that there are literally hundreds of millions of Windows installs out there and you know what? people are happy with them, it does what they want it to do.

  • by teg ( 97890 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @09:50AM (#42104803) Homepage

    Not true since Vista. Slashdot is full of folks who've last used Windows more than 10 years ago and thus complain of things like bluescreens, bloat etc. which makes them look like idiots.

    Get with the times and at least update your hate machine.

    Bluescreens still happen... My work HP laptop running Windows 7 could be relied upon to provide a couple each hour it was running a skype conference. Sound driver, I believe.

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @09:51AM (#42104817) Journal

    At that price, toss it a year from now

    It'll be a race to the bottom for Win8 PC prices now. That's the only way they'll get them off the shelves.

    Windows 8 sales flounder as critics pan clumsy interface

    Windows 8 sales in Australia and overseas are below expectations, with one US expert describing its user interface as "a monster that terrorises poor office workers and strangles their productivity".

    http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/computers/windows-8-sales-flounder-as-critics-pan-clumsy-interface-20121126-2a2d0.html [theage.com.au]

  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @09:53AM (#42104841) Homepage
    Windows 8 comes pre-loaded with a version of MSE rebranded as Windows Defender.
  • by zephvark ( 1812804 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:17AM (#42105057)
    Bad moderator. Look, you can barely get a virus or trojan without willingly inviting one in. It's theoretically possible, yes, but I've been up and running online since 1980 or so, and I only almost picked up one virus from a CompuServe mail before I knew any better. It was a cruddy Microsoft Word macro. Probably still got it zipped up here, somewhere, but the code didn't interest me. Anyway, this is not flamebait, this is information.

    Let's put it in topical perspective, all right? I know y'all want things measured in Libraries of Congress, cars, or football fields. Not today. Today, let's talk vampires. Can't get into your house unless you invite them in. Vampires, viruses, same deal, pretty much. And have some garlic, it's good for what ails you.
  • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @10:41AM (#42105285) Homepage

    All of them - they just aren't all targeted. A lot of browser exploit malware runs in user mode. You don't have to have root to join a botnet, you only need that to hide the malware.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @12:49PM (#42106503) Homepage
    That's not Microsoft's fault. It's the fault of HP, Acer, Lenovo and others who install all the crapware before selling you a machine. If you buy the parts from a place like Tigerdirect/ NewEgg, and install a fresh copy of Windows 7/8 on it, then there is no crapware. What I actually did with my last Windows 7 laptop was format the hard drive as soon as I got it and reinstalled from a disk I had got from a buddy of mine. With Windows 7, there was no special OEM only keys that didn't work with regular install disks. Although I was at BestBuy a few weeks ago and the sales person offered a $100 service that would do exactly that. Wipe the hard drive clean, and install just windows, along with the drivers, but without all the bloatware. So, I agree this is a real problem, but the blame shouldn't be put on Microsoft. If MS tried to put pressure on them to stop doing that, they would probably have another antitrust suit on their hands.

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