Article: Is Honeycomb Android's Vista?

Discussion in 'Nook' started by AnimaTechnica, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. AnimaTechnica

    AnimaTechnica Senior Member

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    very interesting analysis fro ZDNET - do you agree with his points?

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    Is Honeycomb Android's Vista? | ZDNet

    You remember Vista don’t you? Microsoft’s much maligned operating system that followed Windows XP? I’m sure many of you are trying to forget it, so apologies for the reminder. The reason I bring it up is that there are many parallels between Vista and Android Honeycomb. Google could have another Vista on its hands, and it would do well to learn from Microsoft’s ordeal.

    By many measures Vista was a vast improvement over its predecessor. 5 years in the making, it introduced the visually stunning Aero interface, integrated search, better security, ReadyBoost, SuperFetch, IPv6, Direct3D 10, and more. By mid-2008, over 180 million copies had been sold.

    This pales in comparison to Windows XP, however. The industry breathed a sigh of relief when Vista was replaced in 2009 with Windows 7. By early 2011, Win7 sales passed 300 million. Many enterprise customers skipped Vista altogether and went from XP to Win7.

    What was wrong with Vista (and Honeycomb)?
    So what was wrong with Vista? There were a number of individual problems such as incompatibility with older devices, and a penchant for asking for security permission on many common operations. But I think the biggest one was perception.
    Consider that in its first year of availability, PC World named it as the biggest tech disappointment of 2007, and InfoWorld rated it #2 on a list of Tech’s all-time flops. Just the mention of the name “Vista” was enough to scare off potential users. In one marketing campaign users rated Vista 4.4 out of 10 but gave a new operating system named “Mojave” 8.5 out of 10. Mojave was just Vista with a different name.
    Now compare that with how Windows 7 was received. PC World named it one of the best products of 2009. CNET described Win7 as “what Vista should have been”, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Techradar called it “the best Windows OS ever”.

    Win7 must have been a major rewrite of Vista for this kind of turnaround, right? Nope. Windows 7 is basically Vista with a few focused, incremental enhancements such as a new Taskbar, transparent window borders, and some performance tweaks. The system requirements are the same as Vista, and the drivers are the same.

    If some hardware didn’t work with Vista it wouldn’t work with Win7 either. But everybody loved it. Vista had a bad reputation, but Windows 7 got a good reputation.
    Lately, I see Honeycomb being maligned in the press. Jason Perlow called it “half-baked” and “a piece of junk”. John Paczkowki says the Motorola Xoom (the first tablet to run Honeycomb) is “at best a dud, at worst a bomb”. Is that perception or reality?

    I use Honeycomb on the Xoom every day. In my opinion, Honeycomb is great, but the Xoom not so much. The Xoom is too heavy, too expensive, and too unfinished. When people ask me what to buy I tell them to check out the alternatives from others like Acer, Asus, LG, Samsung, and Sony. Unfortunately the taint of problems with the first Honeycomb tablet have rubbed off on the operating system itself.

    Honeycomb has a few rough edges but it also has a lot to love. Stacked widgets let you flip through documents and movies like a Rolodex. Action bars make commands that were previously hidden deep in the menus visible for instant selection. Fragments let developers create reusable components that can be laid out differently in landscape and portrait modes. Notifications are bigger and richer than ever. The mail and calendar clients are just as good or better than anything you’ll find on the iPad. And the browser is excellent, with multiple tabs and very fast rendering without the checkboard fill-in pattern you see on other devices.

    Compatibility with older applications is a work in progress. Unfortunately in Google’s Market application there’s no way to filter out apps that have and haven’t been tested on the extra large screen. I have managed to lock up my Xoom three or four times, requiring me to hold the power and volume buttons to reboot it, probably due to device driver bugs. And while this won’t affect regular users, the emulator used by developers is dog slow because of all the 3d graphics needed by the Honeycomb UI.
    The way forward for Google and Android is clear. Don’t bother defending Honeycomb - just get the next version (”IceCream”) out the door.

    IceCream to the rescue

    What Windows 7 did for Vista, IceCream will do for Honeycomb. IceCream will basically be Honeycomb with a few focused, incremental enhancements. It will run on the same hardware as Honeycomb, plus it will be portable to phones. It will feel more polished because, well, more time was spent polishing it.

    Google withheld the source code to Honeycomb because it wasn’t ready for prime time. IceCream will be open. That means more ports, more custom ROMS, and better bug reports, bug fixes, and other contributions.
    I predict that reviewers that panned Honeycomb will love IceCream. Eventually the memory of Honeycomb, like Vista, will fade into history.
     
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Before I even read this I love the title.

    Edit: I think the article makes good points. Timing is also a key that wasn't mentioned. At the time of Vista's launch nobody was really ready for another Windows update becasue they had just gotten use to XP widely deployed it. Remember this was the era of transition from Windows 98 (their last wide spread OS) to Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP which for the first time included 32 and 64 bit versions, Stater, Home, Professional, Tablet and Media center additions.

    Now remember how it was to upgrade from 98 to 2000 or ME to XP to XP Service Pack 3? Then to be hit with "Hi everybody we have another new Windows out, buy it and upgrade again!" I think in addition to the points made in the artilce it took some time for people to settle down and become accepting of the changes being made to thier OS yet again.

    Now consider the timing of Honeycomb. Smart phone OSes are just becoming the dominant form of user software in phones. Apple releases iOS but its verserions are nearly indistinghuisable from one another. Throw in an iPad with yet again the same OS and people see the iPad as a large iPhone and don't really get it... at first.

    Android comes along and rapidly progresses up to Android 2.3. Each manufaturer and wireless provider along the way throws in its own skins custimizations and tweaks. The "hacker" community tweaks each OS version 7 ways from Sunday because this is an open phone OS. The word "fragmentation" flies everywhere but people are enthusiastic about choice.

    Suddenly everybody realizes that tablets are the new netbooks and they must start producing them rapidly in as many forms as one can imagine. Promises and prototypes fly from the mouths of every manufacture and retailer of devices you can imagine. The economy is in the toilet and perhaps having learned from the netbook fiasco which has burned itself out the manufactures pull back after an initial round of junk tablets. they are still promising the world for tablets and that they are coming soon but very little is hitting the shelves.

    Introducing Honeycomb, the OS for Android tablets. This will make all the promised great tablets in the pipelines even better. But wait where are these super tablets? And if this OS is being released for tablets does that mean I can also put it on my phone? Because the maufacture is skining it my new phone just shipped with 2.1 but an update to 2.2 was promised very soon. I am sure they might skip 2.2 and just put out 2.3 bucause Google released that as the newest phone OS. Maybe I'll run a custom ROM.

    Where are the iPad spec killing tablets? Where are the Honeycomb tablets? Will anybody ever release these and what will they cost? Hey this little Nook you can root sounds cool and that is a cheap price. How much are those new tablets again? When can I buy one? Ok so now two tablets are out and the performance sounds lack luster. What? It costs more than an iPad? When is Google releasing the Honeycomb code it should really be cool on tablets and phones?

    Google is not releasing Honeycomb?! I heard it's buggy and not ready for primetime and not able to go on phones and part of the reason those tablets can't compete with the iPad with less specs. Honeycomb sucks...

    Hey anybody hear about the next Android OS Icecream?

    JP
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  3. jinnijinn

    jinnijinn Member

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    Great post. I think you're right.
     
  4. rico2001

    rico2001 Senior Member

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    Decent article, a little unrelated in that comparing something new (HC) that is not out but on a handful of tabs to something (vista) that was widespread and short lived. No one knows if HC will have a short life and besides, mobile software such as android is advancing faster than years past. We have already come to expect and new os every year from android recently, different from the years passed when android was getting started. I liked vista and it's only problems IMO were a poor memory resource management. The incompatibility with hardware and software came from vista having a new base file structure different from the windows NT based OS's (NT, 2003 and XP). Windows 7, which is based on vista, has vista to thank for working out all those comparability issues before it's release. Back to HC, being that we are becoming a tablet rich culture dominated by android, HC is the first and only current android OS for tablet configuration. I can't see it being pushed aside so quickly since most of us and tablets have not had the joy of running it yet.
     
  5. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep I agree with this too. Right now the biggest thing keeping HC from being Vista is that it isn't widely available. Google isn't forcing it out there and this is probably going to keep it from becoming a true Vista senario because of that. Its life span reamins to be seen. Will Google polish it and release it widely or will they simply let it fade and introduce Icecream without HC really ever having a run?
     
  6. RaVenJ

    RaVenJ Senior Member

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    I think I'm about the only person on the planet that actually liked Vista, but I did. It was slick and once you tweaked it (severely, in some cases), it was a very smooth user experience. 95%+ as nice as W7..
     
  7. jinnijinn

    jinnijinn Member

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    I still have Vista on my desktop, and have never had problems with it.
     
  8. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    +1 to each of the above. Still have on a Laptop and tablet convertible UMPC (remember those?). As the article points out more of a perception issue. I even remember the ad campaign where they tried to make the Mojave point (and failed to sway anybody). I will say that the +5% advantage Win 7 has is quite large in terms of real word use though. Fewer UAC pop-ups, nice window snap to half and full screen features, revised task bar with pinning, preview windows...
     
  9. rico2001

    rico2001 Senior Member

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    +1
    Nope, I love vista and 7. My comments were only expressing my opinion of what happened to vista. With the right amount of memory and a few service tweaks, vista runs like a champ. Win 7 is just more polished and optimized for the typical plug and play crowd; similar to who XP was to NT or 2003.
     
  10. WillysJeepMan

    WillysJeepMan Member

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    That was a pretty poorly written article...especially with regard to the problems with Vista vs. Win7. Vista was plagued with problems. And it had a high hardware requirement in order to run properly. The acceptance of Win7 was not simply a psychological "placebo affect" as the author implies. Win7 wasn't just Vista+SP3... MS had done some housecleaning and optimization to allow it to run on hardware that Vista couldn't run on.

    I also disagree with the author's perception of the failings of Honeycomb. The main problem IMO with the perception of Honeycomb is that Google was not swift enough in formally releasing it... they were behind the curve for the first wave of Android-based tablet devices.

    Hardware manufacturers were producing Android-based touchscreen ereaders that have subsequently been updated to provide tablet-like functionality (witness Pandigital and their Novel tablet/ereader). At this moment in time there are far more Android-based tablets running a pre-Honeycomb version of Android than are running Honeycomb.

    Google's decision to hold back openly releasing Honeycomb also has done damage. The author claims that they withheld Honeycomb because it wasn't ready for primetime, but that is not what Google stated as the reason.

    Google needs to release Honeycomb (or Ice Cream) as soon as possible without compromising the quality. The longer they wait, the more half-baked tablets will be offered which will tarnish the Android-ownership experience.
     
  11. BoloMKXXVIII

    BoloMKXXVIII Senior Member

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    I agree for the most part, but not entirely. First, Vista was partially written, a lot of the code was scrapped, then it was re-written. The re-write was done in less than the five years mentioned. Vista was pushed out before it was "fully baked". Hardware incompatibility was only one of it's issues. Vista was really a place holder which was only released when it was because Microsoft was under tremendous pressure to release something. It gave them time to finish the code which was released as Windows7. Honeycomb has been traveling a slightly different path, but it too was released before it was really complete. I have full confidence that by the time it hits 3.2 it will be fully polished and a joy to use by us all.
     
  12. avi

    avi Moderator Staff Member

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    Even I liked Vista very much and never had single issues.
     
  13. vbx

    vbx Member

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    Sorry but Win7 is isn't a re-branded Vista. Vista took up a HUGE amount of resource. When I had it, it used up nearly 80% of my laptop's resource which had a 2gb limit. When I installed Win7, the resource usage dropped to 40%.

    Win7 was also a lot smoother and faster than Vista on my Laptop. It also loaded faster. Vista took forever. To shutdown too.

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    As for Honeycomb, it think it does suck pretty bad. Honestly I think I overpaid for my Galaxy Tab 7.7 running on Honeycomb. The only good thing is that there isn't a lot of junk software loaded onto it. But at the same there, there is nothing in it. I mean, I have to BUY a bunch of "apps" just to use my tablet. Sure I can get a bunch of "free aps" and have a bunch of ads pop up everywhere.

    I think Samsung needs to provide some free quality apps for their overpriced tablets. Such as a good movie player, some free games and so on. If only this thing was Win8 compatible. Honeycomb may be great for phones, but it's crap on my tablet. (Yes my tab is also 3g compatible) but Honeycomb is junk. Not sure what to expect on ICS but I expect more of the same. Maybe a bit polished but it's no Windows 8.
     

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