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(The Verge)   Ballmer admits Microsoft built too many surface tablets while nailing them to his roof as cheap shingle substitutes   (theverge.com) divider line 28
    More: Obvious, Ballmer, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Store, Microsoft built, Ballmer admits, Surface RT, roofs  
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3275 clicks; posted to Business » on 28 Jul 2013 at 1:48 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-28 04:37:57 PM  
3 votes:

Marine1: RandomAxe: Marine1: Enough whining about an interface change.

You don't really understand the concept of 'the customer', much less the point of 'the user'.

And they don't understand the concept of 'progress', much less 'development headaches'. They're the same people who will ask, 'Why do I need to upgrade my Windows XP laptop? It does everything I need just fine", then come to you whining about how it won't run the latest programs and is full of more security holes than Swiss cheese.

If Apple had introduced it, people would hail it as a major advancement. I've been using it on my desktop since launch day. There's nothing wrong with it. If you can figure out managing a computer from the CLI, you have the mental horsepower to adjust to Windows 8. If you don't, quit your job and start cleaning bathrooms at the local hourly-rate motel. I'm far from the most capable power user I know, and if I can figure it out as an undergrad in an IT program, anyone can.


"Progress" isn't taking 30 years of UI research and throwing it out in favor of one unifying UI across desktop, touch and game systems.

There are some very established and respected experts in the user interface field who will tell you the Metro UI on the desktop is a disaster.

I don't really need that, though, I have fellow developers on my team, and my own personal experience with Windows 8 to know it is far less productive than standard desktop UIs for THAT form of computing.

As I said before, Metro is fine as a mobile platform, but it fails when the primary input device is not touch*. Gestures have no place in non-touch computing. Good user interface design takes into account the primary means of input, and Microsoft violated that in the rush to push an agenda.... As I also stated, I understand their reasons for doing so, but it was a bad gamble that has not paid off. Marine1, you are in the minority of Windows 8 users - there will always be people who will "like" something most people don't - NTTAWWT (Bronies, Furries, fetishists, etc...) - most of us who spend 12~15 hours a day pounding out work on a PC find the Modern/Metro UI makes us less effective and less productive, no matter how long we tried to stick with it. Some of my fellow developers even started out liking the "freshness" of the Metro UI, and now loathe it.

I'm not even delving into the budget needed to train users and support personnel in large enterprise environments for the completely different UI, or all the gotchas associated with administrating Windows 8 and the walled garden (which if done RIGHT, could have been worthwhile)

Desktop UIs should not rely (primarily) on gestures or hidden controls (popouts when 'hovering'). Metro starts out of the gate breaking those two inviolate commandments. Yes, we know there are those funky key commands... but what is the point of a GUI if we are back to keyboard shortcuts for everything? I might as well as fire up DOS and compose documents in WordStar. Maybe dig out a keyboard overlay so I can remember yet more unintuitive nonsense to get my daily work done?

img2u.info

*I'll qualify that to say that touch could include Kinect
2013-07-28 08:16:09 AM  
3 votes:
I think their problem is multifold:

1) Ballmer wanted to become a "tablet and application" company.  In other words, he wanted to be Apple, which is a mistake I think.  I mean, if you want an Apple, you can already buy that, and they kind of have the market on that.  He wanted to get away from just being an operating system company, which I get, but unifying your device operation across platforms just made everyone angry on your established base.  Windows 8, for all the good it has, pisses off a lot of people with the lack of familiar desktop start menu in order to try to homogenize the experience with your portable devices.  You didn't really increase your mobile usage at the expense of irritating your traditional base.

2) While the Surface Pro is by all accounts an awesome system that everyone I know that has one absolutely loves (see also:   Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade's self review of the thing).  If I hadn't JUST bought a new ultrabook for editing my photos right before it was announced, I would have held out for that.  Everything I read says that while it's storage is limited (nothing that can't be fixed with a portable hard drive full of DNGs), it's more than powerful enough and has all the features of a Waccom visual tablet. for editing.

That said, the fact that they released an identical looking but intensely inferior Surface RT really confused the market.  The Pro runs a full version of Windows 8, whose "Metro" menu is infinitely less frustrating on a touch screen/tablet like device, and capable of running anything a normal laptop can run.  The RT, however, is like Microsoft's answer to the iPad, and can only run what you'd find on any mobile platform equivalent.  I think it confused the market, and people that would have heard about how awesome the Surface Pro is instead heard from a friend or a news site how stupid the RT was, and couldn't really tell the difference between the two.  And I can't really blame the average, non-techy person.  
3) Most markets usually end up boiling down to two companies.  Right now, the mobile market that Microsoft is desperate to get a piece of is dominated by Android and IOS.  And while they've made huge strides in that direction, it's going to be tough to get people used to the idea of a third major choice.  It may take an epic mistake on the part of one or the other, pissing off a large amount of customers, to allow enough breathing room for MS to flourish.  And since Android is so fragmented among devices (Samsung being the current king, but a lot their own having multiple variants and having of other companies' phones out there too), you probably won't piss off a lot of people at once for one defective device. So that leaves Apple to screw the pooch with a bad product, but for all of their shortcomings they do make a pretty solid product and don't have to program around a thousand different variants.  

And, let's face it, customer loyalty to them is pretty high among the Apple faithful.  They could announce the next iPhone would give you electric shocks every time in rings instead of vibrating, and a very large amount of their customers would laud it as revolutionary and burn another tribute to Steve Jobs.

This doesn't leave for a lot of room for MS to come in, so it's going to take a lot more than "Look, it's just like that versin of Windows you didn't like on your new laptop, only on your phone!  Great, right?!" to sell it.

/nerd
2013-07-28 10:12:52 PM  
2 votes:

theflatline: The majority of Apple users would not know a command line if it bit them in the ass.


My 75 year old mother has zero need to even know that Command Line exists.  For that matter, neither does 98% of the world's population.

/god I hate techies who assume that everyone needs to know technical minutiae they have no use for.
2013-07-28 07:49:43 PM  
2 votes:

fisker: Do you have a Skype account?

Give it to me.

My totalfark email is in my profile.

I will do a 'screen share' with you right now and run circles on you're farking ass on why and how Windows 8 is a better OS than any other that has ever been made.

I'm tired of dropping screen shots of what I am using and expecting you guys to actually be capable of understanding the differences and why you suck at computers in the first place.

This is a PC. A desktop. It is not a tablet or a phone. I have 7 farking computers running multiple operating systems and this computer is the best and it is a running the evaluation copy of Windows 8.1.

It is flawless. They have scrubbed out so much shiat making it incredibly fast and very powerful.


I do believe we have found the techno-geek equivalent of "I'll come to your house and kick your ass."
2013-07-28 07:30:38 PM  
2 votes:

jso2897: fisker: Techhell: I hate Windows 8. I hate having to install "apps"... blah blah blah


You might have a better argument going for you if you could do me a small favor and explain to me why I have never had ANY of the farking problems that you are having with Windows 8.

He can't. What you fail to understand is that the adaptive personality and the reactionary personality don't speak the same perceptive "language" - they don't observe the world in the same terms.
Like you, I fail to see what the fuss is with Win8 - but then, I have gone through this with every change in technology that has gone down in my lifetime, and I know other people who uniformly hate every change.
Adaptive personalities don't perceive technology as "territory". We don't feel "invaded" when the way we do something gets arbitrarily changed - we just do it the new way without really reacting on it.
The reactionary personality feels violated when some gadget he uses suddenly works differently - it's perception and perspective, and you can't argue with it because it ISN'T WRONG.
That is all.


You're both morons.

I can't answer <b>fisker</b>'s question because it's a stupid question. "I'm not having trouble with this therefore you're a moron." is essentially what his question is saying.

<b>jso2897</b> is saying essentially the same thing, "Oh, he doesn't like change ergo he's just dumb. Oh, sorry, he's a "reactionary personality". Which I can diagnose because he doesn't like this one change in technology that I happen to have no problems with, ergo he's got a "reactive" personality and feels like Win8 is violating his sense of territory."

I'm sorry, gentlemen - I'm not buying Windows so I can "adapt" to new technology and new software. If I want to adapt to new software, I'll buy a farking Mac or farking Linux. I have expectations of Windows OS's, and they aren't being met by Win8. I don't have a choice in buying Win8 for my farking computers because you can't farking buy Windows 7 preinstalled on a PC anymore. Places like Best Buy don't knock off any money to uninstall Win8 - it would actually make the computer cost more because I'd have to pay them to uninstall it. Even though I don't farking want it.

This isn't a situation where there's a reasonable choice in the matter - I can't walk into Best Buy or Futuershop and say "I'd like a PC with Windows 7" because they don't do it. If I want to get away from Win8, I have to find one of the remaining small computer stores that will build a PC for me without Win8 being preloaded, have them put the PC together for me and then install an OS that I buy. And contrary to Moron2897's assertions, if I'm going to have to go to that length to get away from Win8 then I'm going to farking get an entirely new OS that I have to radically adapt to, like Linux. Because if I'm going to have to unlearn what I've spent 15+ years learning how to do before I'm going to need to learn how it's being done now, then I'm just going to go for something completely new, and not something sort of new but sort of looks like it used to be, and sometimes works the way it used to but sometimes doesn't.

Fark that with a porcupine.

/UPIA, Microsoft.
2013-07-29 06:41:58 AM  
1 votes:

Techhell: Oh, sorry, he's a "reactionary personality".


I think the post you're referring to wins for idiocy in this thread.  My job is to innovate, I in fact love change a little too much.  But that means I've experienced cases (some by my own hand, some embarrassingly involving customers) where the change is for shiat.  So you, as the innovator go, welp, that sucked, sorry, let's go back to the old way or try something totally different.   In creative contexts, it's called "killing your babies", being willing to acknowledge when something you labored over just doesn't fit the bill and needs to be chucked.

For the next couple years there won't be a shortage of MS dick suckers who think everyone calling 8 out on its bullshiat UI "fear change".
2013-07-29 12:06:59 AM  
1 votes:

Techhell: wee: Kazan: we're not good at "we're cool and hip". or marketing.

As long as you have Monkey Boy for a CEO there's little you'll be good at.  Except for maybe embrace, extend and extinguish.

(Seriously: Did anyone see Windows 8 before it shipped?!  That is a farking awful UI...)

My bet is that there was someone at M$ who was in charge of screening the replies to the Beta testers of the Win8 UI, and anyone who said "This is awful!" found their input screened out.


When I beta tested it I even went out of my way to reference my ergonomics textbooks from college in my feedback.

The list of infractions was pretty impressive. And I'm positive my time was completely wasted.

/if they were forums, Linux would be stackoverflow and Microsoft would be freerepublic
2013-07-29 12:01:24 AM  
1 votes:

Linux_Yes: Open Source Software is the Future.


...and has been for twenty-plus years.

2014 is the year of the Linux desktop. I feel it in my bones.
2013-07-28 11:36:24 PM  
1 votes:

jso2897: fisker: Techhell: I hate Windows 8. I hate having to install "apps"... blah blah blah


You might have a better argument going for you if you could do me a small favor and explain to me why I have never had ANY of the farking problems that you are having with Windows 8.

He can't. What you fail to understand is that the adaptive personality and the reactionary personality don't speak the same perceptive "language" - they don't observe the world in the same terms.
Like you, I fail to see what the fuss is with Win8 - but then, I have gone through this with every change in technology that has gone down in my lifetime, and I know other people who uniformly hate every change.
Adaptive personalities don't perceive technology as "territory". We don't feel "invaded" when the way we do something gets arbitrarily changed - we just do it the new way without really reacting on it.
The reactionary personality feels violated when some gadget he uses suddenly works differently - it's perception and perspective, and you can't argue with it because it ISN'T WRONG.
That is all.


Pointing out how un-worldly you are and how incapable you are of understanding other users' needs only serves to make you look both arrogant and incredibly stupid.
2013-07-28 10:35:21 PM  
1 votes:
How are poorly documented, hidden preferences and a CLI straight from the late 80s an acceptable response to today's market? It's like saying that I can have the customizability of an X11 interface on my mac if I download Xcode, do into preferences, download command-line coding libraries, and then the thing's source code, then compile it in the terminal (guess what I had to do to get Zangband working?). I get a vastly inferior product after a lot of pointless hassle.

There is absolutely no excuse for ever asking the vast majority of users (say, 99.9% of them) to ever go to a command line. Any interface which requires that throws out forty years of UI development and every user's expectations.

Please, please defend using a command line for me. How does that suit the average person's needs, ESPECIALLY on a UI which encourages touch interface?

/Got me an OEM version of Windows 7 since OS10.8 won't allow XP anymore. Thank God I got it when I did.
2013-07-28 09:11:05 PM  
1 votes:

fisker: MightyPez: Are you schizophrenic?

Trust me.

If there was something actually wrong with Windows 8 (8.1) I would be screaming about it in the same manner that I scream about people thinking that The Avengers was a good movie.

You are all farked in the head.

You never decide for yourselves.


At this point I have to think you're trolling. I haven't said a thing about Windows 8 or 8.1, good or bad. I run both. You're just itching for a fight, for some reason.
2013-07-28 08:47:03 PM  
1 votes:

fisker: MightyPez: I run Windows 8

I'm running Windows 8.1.

Try again.


Bully for you, what does that have to do with what I was saying? I'm running 8.1 in a VM for testing. Do I get accolades now too?
2013-07-28 08:42:04 PM  
1 votes:

fisker: MightyPez: I do believe we have found the techno-geek equivalent of "I'll come to your house and kick your ass."

Do you think I am scared?

Windows 8.1 is Windows 7 without the performance and tools indicator and everything else that never made any sense in the first place.

Who gives a fark about windows or programs fading in or out in some fancy bullshiat way? OPEN THE FARKING PROGRAM.

That and MANY other things this OS has taken care of. I don't give a fark about my performance score or aero bullshiat.


Huh? Scared of what? I run Windows 8, and none of what you are blathering about changes my premise that you're pulling a childish ITG over a piece of software.
2013-07-28 07:29:15 PM  
1 votes:
Microsoft is on her way out the Window.

Open Source Software is the Future.  the only place Open Source isn't kicking everyone's ass is the PC Desktop.  and that is because Billy Gates has OEM balls in his tight grasp.

even the Military is switching to Linux/Open Source.

Google and Learn.
2013-07-28 07:06:11 PM  
1 votes:

fisker: Techhell: I hate Windows 8. I hate having to install "apps"... blah blah blah


You might have a better argument going for you if you could do me a small favor and explain to me why I have never had ANY of the farking problems that you are having with Windows 8.


He can't. What you fail to understand is that the adaptive personality and the reactionary personality don't speak the same perceptive "language" - they don't observe the world in the same terms.
Like you, I fail to see what the fuss is with Win8 - but then, I have gone through this with every change in technology that has gone down in my lifetime, and I know other people who uniformly hate every change.
Adaptive personalities don't perceive technology as "territory". We don't feel "invaded" when the way we do something gets arbitrarily changed - we just do it the new way without really reacting on it.
The reactionary personality feels violated when some gadget he uses suddenly works differently - it's perception and perspective, and you can't argue with it because it ISN'T WRONG.
That is all.
2013-07-28 06:54:51 PM  
1 votes:

SCUBA_Archer: Has anyone figured a way to keep that annoying side menu on Windows 8 from sliding out randomly? There are days I want to throw my laptop through a wall for doing that. And Start8 doesn't help.


You may have an issue with your trackpad drivers.  The ones for Windows 8 suck on my Lenovo--I had the exact same problem you did and it drove me farking nuts.  Once I reverted to the Windows 7 version of the drivers every one of my problems went away and Start8 works exactly like it should.  I haven't seen that stupid charms menu for months.
2013-07-28 06:11:38 PM  
1 votes:

mjbok: Everyone biatches about getting to the desktop being too difficult.  Is Windows-M too hard for everyone to do?


Nobody says "too difficult to do" and I already addressed the stupid keyboard shortcut thing.

People that hate Windows 8 base that on the fact that it is LESS PRODUCTIVE. Part of that it the counter-intuitive UI cues that, while needed on a small mobile screen and somewhat useful on a touch input device, make no sense whatsoever on a desktop PC.

Mobile devices are not desktop PCs. This is a very simple concept, and I'm amazed at the apologists that come out of the woodwork to defend Microsoft (and not surprised at all that Microsoft's own developers were not happy with Metro on the desktop). Maybe Microsoft does have some fanatics.... mjbok, you don't happen to have a Zune tattoo, do you?
2013-07-28 05:43:56 PM  
1 votes:
There is more than one answer to Windows 8. All of them superior.

1. Windows 7
2. OS X
3. Android
4. Windows XP
wee [TotalFark]
2013-07-28 04:50:50 PM  
1 votes:

sammyk: Tiles are going to make my blood boil


Or you move the mouse to the left and get some bullshiat menu that does nothing.  Or move your mouse too far right and get the exact same bullshiat menu that does nothing.  Or you click Server Manager ALL THE GODDAM TIME. Or a hundred other reasons why the UI sucks giant donkey nuts.

Windows 8/Server 2012 is giant pile of steaming shiat and the high-functioning moron who decided to put that absolutely awful UI on a friggin' server out to be banned from ever holding a job involving computers.

blue_2501: You've had over 10 years to switch to Linux. It's your fault (or your company's) that you're still using Windows for all of this crap.


We develop stats applications for linux and windows.  Some of customers have no clue and decide to use windows as a server OS, so we get the joy of supporting that.  It sucks switching the kvm from Xfce to Server 2012 and seeing that FIsher Price garbage.
2013-07-28 04:45:15 PM  
1 votes:

Bravo Two: SCUBA_Archer: Has anyone figured a way to keep that annoying side menu on Windows 8 from sliding out randomly? There are days I want to throw my laptop through a wall for doing that. And Start8 doesn't help.

Don't mouse into the upper right hand corner?


Where the close button for an app is.....

Microsoft should have a means of changing this, like the stupid "auto-docking" feature in Windows 7, where you can at least go into the control panel and turn it off (which is the first thing I do when installing Win7).
2013-07-28 03:46:15 PM  
1 votes:

RandomAxe: Marine1: Enough whining about an interface change.

You don't really understand the concept of 'the customer', much less the point of 'the user'.


And they don't understand the concept of 'progress', much less 'development headaches'. They're the same people who will ask, 'Why do I need to upgrade my Windows XP laptop? It does everything I need just fine", then come to you whining about how it won't run the latest programs and is full of more security holes than Swiss cheese.

If Apple had introduced it, people would hail it as a major advancement. I've been using it on my desktop since launch day. There's nothing wrong with it. If you can figure out managing a computer from the CLI, you have the mental horsepower to adjust to Windows 8. If you don't, quit your job and start cleaning bathrooms at the local hourly-rate motel. I'm far from the most capable power user I know, and if I can figure it out as an undergrad in an IT program, anyone can.
2013-07-28 03:20:59 PM  
1 votes:
Every tablet that's gone up against the iPad for the same price has been a failure. Motorola, Samsung, Blackberry and HTC have all found out the people with iPad money buy iPads*. Now Microsoft can be added to the list.

The only way to sell tablets is to be cheaper than the iPad. Amazon knows this and google knows this and they had sold container loads of tablets. If Microsoft had priced the entry RT at £300 and used it as a way of locking people into the Windows 8 ecosystem then they would have sold lots of them as well. Break even on the hardware and make the money from apps and phones as you can charge higher prices for phones as the price is hidden in the contract.


*only people with specialist demands like geeks will buy other tablets at iPad money and they are a tiny market.
2013-07-28 03:05:20 PM  
1 votes:
Look, a huge part of the problem is that a vast section of the market regards MS as wildly incompetent -- because they've never turned out a really good version of Windows. With every new version, they change things that weren't broken, fail to fix things that were broken, and add a ton of chrome and glass that no one particularly wanted.

Most of those customers kept buying Windows because they didn't want to try switching to Apple or Linux, which they didn't see as realistic, palatable alternatives. They hated MS, hated Windows every day, but figured they were stuck.

MS cannot lure those people to a new product that has competition that the customers will see as palatable. So they can't launch something into the tablet market and hope to capture them. A huge proportion of MS customers have no faith in MS. MS earned that position, and now they're suffering for it.

Believe me, I know a TON of people who will never 'upgrade' from XP. Never. They will jump to Apple or give in and do the work to switch to Mint or something rather than suffer through Windows 8. Windows 9, even if by some miracle it's decent, will probably arrive too late to grab those people. Win 3.1 was pretty good, and XP was pretty good, and they don't think MS will even top them -- because they think MS is generally going to turn out crap and claim it's cupcakes.

So MS is not going to sell them Surface tablets, no. They'll buy something else because there are attractive alternatives. IBM went through this a long time ago, and it's just plainly stupid that MS acts like they couldn't have seen it coming. Many people simply feel like they no longer have to buy MS products -- and they won't.
2013-07-28 02:20:54 PM  
1 votes:

Bravo Two: styckx: There are a ton of free ones.. I prefer this one: http://www.classicshell.net/

Yeah, I just prefer the Stardock app bundle because I already owned it for WindowBlinds and Fences back on Win 7 on my Mac's bootcamp part.


I'd love to know the revenue Stardock made on Start8..  It's like Microsoft just said "Here you go Stardock.. Free money"
2013-07-28 01:57:07 PM  
1 votes:

wee: Kazan: we're not good at "we're cool and hip". or marketing.

As long as you have Monkey Boy for a CEO there's little you'll be good at.  Except for maybe embrace, extend and extinguish.

(Seriously: Did anyone see Windows 8 before it shipped?!  That is a farking awful UI...)


My bet is that there was someone at M$ who was in charge of screening the replies to the Beta testers of the Win8 UI, and anyone who said "This is awful!" found their input screened out.
wee [TotalFark]
2013-07-28 01:51:17 PM  
1 votes:

Kazan: we're not good at "we're cool and hip". or marketing.


As long as you have Monkey Boy for a CEO there's little you'll be good at.  Except for maybe embrace, extend and extinguish.

(Seriously: Did anyone see Windows 8 before it shipped?!  That is a farking awful UI...)
2013-07-28 12:58:52 PM  
1 votes:

Techhell: we're going to want a NEW OS.


If MS really had it together they'd just let people decide what UI they want to use, just make it an option the first time you run Windows and then have it be something you can change in a control panel any time thereafter. There's zero reason why they couldn't let people do that. Hell there's no reason they couldn't let people just customize the UI to their liking.
2013-07-28 12:26:08 PM  
1 votes:

Shadowknight: I think their problem is multifold:

1) Ballmer wanted to become a "tablet and application" company.  In other words, he wanted to be Apple, which is a mistake I think.  I mean, if you want an Apple, you can already buy that, and they kind of have the market on that.  He wanted to get away from just being an operating system company, which I get, but unifying your device operation across platforms just made everyone angry on your established base.  Windows 8, for all the good it has, pisses off a lot of people with the lack of familiar desktop start menu in order to try to homogenize the experience with your portable devices.   You didn't really increase your mobile usage at the expense of irritating your traditional base.


As I am currently posting from a Windows 8 Laptop, I can attest to this line in particular. I wanted a farking laptop computer - not a Tablet with a built in keyboard and USB capability. I hate Windows 8. I hate having to install "apps". I hate when it opens up into a new entire-window app to view a photo or a movie, unless I specifically tell it to use VLC media player. I hate when it flips over to the Tiled view randomly and takes 10 seconds to go to the Start icon and then the Desktop tile. I hate having to install a third-party program to get a regular Start Menu. I hate how many hoops I have to jump through to remove passwords on user accounts, to add user accounts and to generally deal with user accounts. I hate when my cursor goes over the edge of the screen and menu's come up - I've got a shiatty mouse that sometimes freezes, then jumps. That's fine on my Windows 7 machine, but drives me nuts on Windows 8, and I hate that the only real fix is to buy a new farking mouse. I hate that it doesn't come with the basic games I've actually grown to love quite a bit - which is a rather petty hate, I know. But you add it all together and I'm not likely to buy a Windows Tablet in the future. Or any Windows products.

The Windows 8 interface may be fabulous on a Tablet, but my experience with a Windows 8 laptop has removed my like for Windows in general. I'm not likely to buy a new PC with a Windows 8 type OS on it, nor am I likely to get a Windows phone when my current Android phone bites the dust. If I'm going to be asked to learn how to run a new OS for my next computer then I'll get a brand new OS, like Linux or if I can afford it, go to Apple. Windows has lost me as an automatic customer.
 
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