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Frustrating piece of...

ctitanic

Well-Known Member
So let me ask you a question then..

An example of native Windows software that I have a problem reading on the desktop is the control panel. The font is tiny the check boxes are tiny and forget about even trying to select something with your finger. It's just impossible.

Can MS fix this with their native programs? Apparently so, so why have they not? I find using the desktop pretty much impossible due to the tiny font.
When I said Software maker that does not exclude Microsoft. My point is that it's not an OS issue alone, there are changes that need to be done by Software makers including Microsoft!
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
So let me ask you a question then..

An example of native Windows software that I have a problem reading on the desktop is the control panel. The font is tiny the check boxes are tiny and forget about even trying to select something with your finger. It's just impossible.

Can MS fix this with their native programs? Apparently so, so why have they not? I find using the desktop pretty much impossible due to the tiny font.
Much of the Windows NT Code still dates back to NT 5.x (circa 1996-2000) when it comes to the UI layer (MMC, Control Panel). Also parts of Office 2013 still uses XP Scaling (mainly as a request from Developers and Enterprise Customers).

Unfortunately, a big part of Windows success is backwards compatibility but it is also its biggest bane to move forward, this is one of the reasons I'm excited about WinRT but so many of the Windows Stalwarts have bemoaned any attempt of Microsoft fully Modernizing their OS, they want something a shiny and scalable as a Mobile OS or as a non-backwards compatible OS but maintains all of their legacy software.
 

Kif

Active Member
Let me explains, it's not that Windows does not handle well the high DPI it's that software makers are not preparing their software to handle high DPI. That was the case with Chrome and Adobe.

I fully understand that there's two sides to the equation. In this case Microsoft could be more like Apple and push the development community towards supporting high DPI screens. It's Microsoft's garden and it needs tending.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I fully understand that there's two sides to the equation. In this case Microsoft could be more like Apple and push the development community towards supporting high DPI screens. It's Microsoft's garden and it needs tending.
@Kif you are an IT Pro, not sure how large your environment is, but imagine a fortune 100 (or even 500) company that has a (or more likely multiple) Legacy LOB Application that is mission critical and that they invested millions on and still pay for some level of support, no Microsoft tells them that all XP GDI Scaling Applications are deprecated in Windows 10 and will not be supported, that company all of a sudden will decide that Windows 7 SP1 Roll-up 3 is their last OS upgrade.

Now play this out with every Mid to Large Customer and boom, Windows is dead in the water or the population will clamor for Windows to be treated as a Mission Critical Utility and regulated which will have some level of Political Backing as most of the World's Government use Windows as well....
 

Kif

Active Member
@Kif you are an IT Pro, not sure how large your environment is, but imagine a fortune 100 (or even 500) company that has a (or more likely multiple) Legacy LOB Application that is mission critical and that they invested millions on and still pay for some level of support, no Microsoft tells them that all XP GDI Scaling Applications are deprecated in Windows 10 and will not be supported, that company all of a sudden will decide that Windows 7 SP1 Roll-up 3 is their last OS upgrade.

Now play this out with every Mid to Large Customer and boom, Windows is dead in the water or the population will clamor for Windows to be treated as a Mission Critical Utility and regulated which will have some level of Political Backing as most of the World's Government use Windows as well....


Of course I know you're fully correct. It's also why I my mostly use my SP3 docked with a 21' monitor since I'm stuck in legacy land.

Funny, albeit slightly morbid story. We had this one really, really old legacy app that we couldn't get ported to Win 7. We finally try calling the the developer who was located in India. When we reached the company they told us the whole development was dead.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Of course I know you're fully correct. It's also why I my mostly use my SP3 docked with a 21' monitor since I'm stuck in legacy land.

Funny, albeit slightly morbid story. We had this one really, really old legacy app that we couldn't get ported to Win 7. We finally try calling the the developer who was located in India. When we reached the company they told us the whole development was dead.
I had the same issue when I worked in Government IT, our application that cataloged all Toxic and/or Hazardous Materials in buildings in the City and County was developed for a Novell/DOS Environment and I had to make it work on XP SP2 with Server 2003 AD and Novell 6....developer was 86 years old and had a terminal case of cancer, so the city paid 2 years of support to spend 2 weeks with me to learn all I could and develop work arounds because every first responder had this app on their machines and could update the DB and needed to sync back changes to central DB and push these changes back to all clients for offline use, the biggest hurdle was changing it from IPX/SPX to TCP/IP...
 

ptrkhh

Active Member
1. The resolution is too high for a small screen; the resolution is non-standard so you can't choose a lower one with full screen and without the DPI scaling looking bad
DPI scaling is inevitable. Windows was originally designed for 96 ppi (yes, less than half the SP3), so you have to deal with DPI scaling anyway if you want anything denser than 96 ppi. Anyway, your Y2P should behave the same since, as far as I know, it has an even larger, denser 3200x1800 display
2. The touchscreen is difficult with fingers or pen - see point 1. Let me specify a bit more - in desktop mode everything is so small it's nearly impossible to get the pointer where you need it to be with a finger. The pen would solve that if it would actually click when you touch the screen the first time. I'll probably adjust to this over time...
The DPI setting out of the box is too small IMO. Set it to the maximum possible size (right click on desktop > Screen Resolution > Make text and other items larger or smaller > set the scale to the right) and restart. Ive been using this setting for years with no pen on my Acer W700 tablet (11.6" FHD, roughly the same DPI)
5. Why am I having to deal with app-by-app and multi-display DPI scaling issues even in 8.1 with external monitors. This is especially evident when you use it with external monitors.
Personally, I just disable the builtin display and relogon when use it on my desk. Works perfectly
6. the WIFI sucks, it connects maybe 1/2 of the time, 3/4 the time since last night's update - this is a very known issue with these devices and it's a firmware issue. Granted I have 802.1AC 5GZ router @ home and the known to have issues Cisco wireless routers at work.
As you mentioned, you have to apply the latest firmware update
8. .net framework 3.5 didn't want to install; took me a couple hours of googling to fix that. This is a known issue with Windows 2012 and 8, i'm just surprised it's still here in 8.1
Installs fine on my i3/64. I use the "Turn Windows features on or off"
9. The keyboard doesn't pop up when needed, but pops up a ton when not - this one stands - in fact it just happened again when i was using the down arrow on the touchpad to write this line.
Yeah, that's annoying. I wrote a small batch file that disables the OSK service when I don't want it to appear (for example, when I use my BT keyboard). I just pin it to the start screen together with another that reenables it. Download it here https://onedrive.live.com/redir?res...02&authkey=!AJzLSxfMtt-uHa0&ithint=folder,bat (you need to run as admin)
10. Chrome doesn't work properly - not MS's fault but still a problem nonetheless
Don't use Chrome. a) its not touch friendly b) its the reason behind most battery drain issue in Windows PCs and c) the touch gestures are horrible. Seriously, Im not an IE fan, but we have no other choice in this platform.
12. When the type-pad is attached you can't easily touch the taskbar since it's so small.
Move it to the left/right
13. At first glance the pen should make the low resolution ok but even if you put the dot on a spot you want to click it doesn't work; drag and select just doesn't work 90% of the time. I'm not the only one complaining of this.
Try reattaching the nib, I read that it solves most pen issues with the SP3 (I dont have such issues with mine though).
14. The dock mDP port doesn't work with a startech adapter that works fine on the surface itself. At first glance you would think bad dock but 1 out of 3 that we have works. It's not the dock that is the issue it's the surface itself as 1 out of 3 of our SP3's works fine on all 3 docks.
I read somewhere that one SP3 is 'paired' to one docking station. Not sure if its true, but since only one of them works properly, Im starting to think that it is true. Is the one that works is the first one you docked & setup (Windows Update, etc) your SP3 in?
16. 8 hours battery life seems....questionable...If you want to be a tablet you should have an easy way to see the battery usage. Running a powercfg /batteryreport is a workaround
Check it in the App History tab in Task Manager, you can see which app that takes too much CPU cycles. And stop using Chrome.
17. WIFI is slow, but I can't prove it because Win 8 masks the connection speed from the charm
Comparable to my previous tablet, Acer W700 (Ivy Bridge). You can see the connection speed in Task Manager. Sometimes Windows Store takes quite a lot of bandwidth to update an app automatically

Hope this helps. SP3 is an amazing device IMO, although we need slight tweaks here and there to free it from issues
 
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ronnyb29

New Member
OK an update after a few days things are getting better. The pen issues were related to DPI scaling and the VMware View and XenDesktop sessions; appears those clients don't play well with DPI scaling and a touchscreen. Natively the screen works fine (for the most part).

For VDI sessions if you use mstsc or the metro remote desktop app (which is actually pretty good) AND you log out of your VDI session before switching from a desktop to the SP3 the remote desktop client will auto-scale the VDI to the endpoints setting. But for me logging out sucks because the value of VDI is being able to switch between endpoints and keep your work open. So I ended up installing the latest intel drivers and forcing the 1440x960 resolution and turn scaling back to 100%. I'm happy with this setup.

I still have the issue with wifi not working probably 10% of the time it goes to sleep, and the dock mDP to DP monitor not working but it appears those are pretty known issues so I'll workaround until they fix.

So to sum, up - most of my issues were less with the SP3 and more with DPI scaling. My Y2P didn't see those because I was able to lower the res to a suitable resolution out of the box. I still think MS could do better with this device since they are the hardware AND software maker. But for now, all is well...
 

Snickers

New Member
OK an update after a few days things are getting better. The pen issues were related to DPI scaling and the VMware View and XenDesktop sessions; appears those clients don't play well with DPI scaling and a touchscreen. Natively the screen works fine (for the most part).

For VDI sessions if you use mstsc or the metro remote desktop app (which is actually pretty good) AND you log out of your VDI session before switching from a desktop to the SP3 the remote desktop client will auto-scale the VDI to the endpoints setting. But for me logging out sucks because the value of VDI is being able to switch between endpoints and keep your work open. So I ended up installing the latest intel drivers and forcing the 1440x960 resolution and turn scaling back to 100%. I'm happy with this setup.

I still have the issue with wifi not working probably 10% of the time it goes to sleep, and the dock mDP to DP monitor not working but it appears those are pretty known issues so I'll workaround until they fix.

So to sum, up - most of my issues were less with the SP3 and more with DPI scaling. My Y2P didn't see those because I was able to lower the res to a suitable resolution out of the box. I still think MS could do better with this device since they are the hardware AND software maker. But for now, all is well...

I'm glad things are working better for you - I would encourage you to stick with it. I've had some frustrations with DPI scaling, mostly with VMware and a few other apps, but to be honest I think it's a compromise between great looking screen/interface and compatibility with older apps. I remember the first time I used a retina iPad and some older apps looked terrible till developers updated them.

I do wonder if MS are holding back their latest developments with DPI scaling etc. for Windows 10 - and have effectively said 'Windows 8.1 is what it is' and they will improve the experience in Win 10.

On balance, I think the SP3 is superb. Not perfect, but superb. For me it was a more appropriate device to my needs than yet another MacBook Pro - and I had high DPI scaling issues with VMWare Fusion on the last one just the same. In fact it was worse.. but that's another story.

Took the surface to a meeting today and 2 iPad users had a quick look and went away wanting to do more research and suggesting they would get one. They were both using keyboard folios and styli and both had big heavy 17" laptops as well in their bags 'just in case'.
 

Afy

Member
Seriously get rid of all your Windows devices and get a Mac. You will be happier, since most of your so called issues aren't issues at all. You just appear to be a mac troll.
 

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