Reader Josh Morky – a Mac user for 10 years and also an iPad music app fan – was intrigued by the new Windows 8 Surface tablets. So he tried one and with apps like Native Instruments Reaktor, made a video demo and shared it with us.
“It’s pretty obvious from the thousands of apps that have popped up on the iPad in recent years that performing electronic music on a touch screen is fun, expressive, and kind of what we’ve all been waiting for. It just makes sense,” notes Morky. “I’ve used an iPad for playing music – which I love – but can’t help but feel that Apple is purposefully limiting its potential. File management is a nightmare, and multitasking just doesn’t work.”
So Morky decided to get a Surface tablet. Check out the video demo above to see how Surface works with Reaktor.
And see Morky’s comments below on why he ultimately returned his Surface, even though he like it……
We tend to be early adopters at Synthtopia, so we followed the beta of Microsoft Windows 8 and upgraded one of our PCs as soon as the new OS was available. Overall, we’ve been impressed by its speed improvements, lack of cruft and the new options offered by its implementation of multitouch.
Musicians have been slow to warm to the new OS, though. And now a series of executives are blaming Windows 8 for declining PC sales, calling it the ‘new Vista’.
“The global PC industry is steadily shrinking despite the launch of Windows 8,” says Samsung’s Jun Dong-soo. “The Windows 8 system is no better than the previous Windows Vista platform.” He joins leaders from Asus, Acer and Fujitsu in blaming Windows 8 for sluggish sales.
What do you think – is Windows 8, despite its performance improvements, an upgrade that musicians can skip?
It looks like musicians wanting Windows-based multi-touch computers may have have to pay a premium.
Windows 8 RT devices – multi-touch ARM-powered computers – appear to be dead on arrival. Microsoft has cut production of its Surface devices in half after weak sales. And sales of third-party Windows 8 RT devices have been ‘almost non-existent’.
While the devices impressed many tech analysts when they were introduced, they failed to interest buyers. Technology research firm NPD Group reports that sales of Windows computers have actually declined significantly since the release of Windows 8, dropping a whopping 21% from the same time last year.
It’s too early to know why people aren’t buying – but Microsoft confused a lot of people with its Windows 8 introduction. And the idea of a Windows tablet/computer that doesn’t run Windows software hasn’t proven to be appealing to buyers, either.
Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8 has been a controversial one.
Many early users have completely dismissed the new category of Windows 8 RT tablets, because of their lack of compatibility with existing Windows apps. Others are excited by the potential for multitouch apps on Windows 8. And some are confused or annoyed by the two faces of Windows 8′s user interface.
For musician, though, one of the biggest questions has been how music apps perform under Windows 8. We’ve previously reported on Cakewalk’s testing – they found that Windows 8 runs Sonar better, across the board.
Now Rain Computers – maker of media production PCs – reports on their Windows 8 vs Windows 7 benchmarking. Here are the details:
Should musicians upgrade to Microsoft’s new Windows 8?
Based on initial reports, few Windows users are rushing to upgrade.
But musicians have unique requirements, and Windows 8 promises to deliver better performance for music programs and to allow for new types of Windows multi-touch apps. As iOS developer Rob Fielding (Mugician, Geo Synth) puts it, “Microsoft realizes that music apps are going to push the touch hardware the way that games apps pushed parallel processing.”
Should you upgrade? We’ve received a lot of feedback from readers on Windows 8 already. It falls into four main categories:
In the latest Sonic Talk video podcast, Nick Batt talks with Wizdom Music’s Jordan Rudess and Kevin Chartier about developing multi-touch music apps for Windows 8.