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Windows Weekly 345
It’s time for Windows Weekly! Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here. They’ve got the scoop on the next edition of Windows. Windows 9; next on Windows Weekly.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley.
Episode 345. Recorded January 15, 2014.
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It’s time for Windows Weekly, the show that covers your Microsoft needs. Paul Thurrott is here from the Super Site for Windows - winsupersite.com. Mary Jo Foley from the ZDnet blog allaboutmicrosoft.com
Leo Laporte: Hello, Ladies and Gentleman on our new time Wednesday mornings 11:00 Am Pacific, 2:00 PM Eastern, 1900 UTC.
Paul Thurrott: Hello, Leo!
Leo: Hello, Paul. Hello, Mary Jo.
Mary Jo Foley: Hello.
Leo: We have three IT types from the Mayo Clinic here.
Paul: How can you tell that? Is that something you ascertained?
Leo: No. We’re here from the Mayo Clinic.
Paul: Yes you are.
Leo: Actually you know, it’s too bad you’re in IT. Because I really need a flu shot! You know the 17 people have died in the San Francisco Bay area from this flu outbreak in the last two weeks? That’s a lot. It seems to me. Strikes me. Many of them are in their twenties. This is much like the pandemic of 1918 where it hit younger people and older people.
Paul: Is it really like the pandemic?
Leo: Well, I don’t know. This is how it started then. This is the swine flu - the H1N1. The good news is, this is Public Service announcement says this year’s shot is very effective. So we’re calling a traveling nurse in right now and we’re going to all have shots.
Leo: Seriously. You know they think it’s a good move for a business. We’ve got 25 employees. Any one of them gets the flu this whole operation would go down hill.
Paul: I used to work in banks and that was what it was like. One person would get sick and the whole place would go down like a house of sticks.
Leo: So we’re calling out right now. So if suddenly a woman in crisp starched white outfit with high heels and a giant nurse hat comes in you’ll forgive me if I swoon. Hello I’m the inoculator. So, you guys have done a lot of really good reporting. I saw Paul Thurrott’s story. You got, I guess, the scoop on Windows Threshold, Paul Therrott says it’s what Windows 9 will be called?
Paul: I hate to sound like I’m the source of that information. But that was what I was told.
Leo: By somebody else?
Leo: But not Joshua Tapolsky.
Leo: No, but you have inside sources.
Paul: You know…
Leo: Well that’s legit because as you pointed out it’s a little bit of distancing yourself from 8.
Mary Jo: A lot of distancing yourself for me.
Leo: And it will be April 2015 you say?
Leo: Mary Jo, your sources concur?
Mary Jo: Yeah. I’ve been asking around after those two factoids. Not factoids - sorry - facts.
Paul: Thank you for getting that right. That’s a pet peeve of mine.
Mary Jo: Yes, Paul always corrects me when I say factoids.
Leo: Factoids are false! I think, as you do Mary Jo, as a little fact but no – that’s a factid.
Mary Jo: I like that!
Paul: Not sure that’s true, but I like that word.
Leo: I’m coining it today.
Mary Jo: Yeah. And I’m hearing, like Paul is too, that this is what the thinking is right now, but doesn’t mean it’s absolutely set in stone.
Leo: Well they’d be foolish at this date to say that . Everybody knows you can’t say April - that is a target.
Mary Jo: A goal. A target date.
Paul: I think they are in fact going to say that publicly soon, but yeah, like she said that’s the plan, not a hard fast rule.
Leo: So you think they are going to go public with
Paul: Yeah. Yeah what I heard was that they were going to use Build 2014 as the launch of their vision for Windows 9 which is something they never did during the Sinofsky regime, if you will. Although I have to say some people have pointed out to me, and I can’t rectify these two claims, but some people did point out to me that this isn’t much different from Sinofsky coming out one year before the release of Windows 7, and one year before the release of Windows 8 and saying “Hey, this is what we’re going to do” because this release is in fact going to take just a year, just like those releases, from the time of public announcement. And I think that’s a fair comment but what I was told was that the style of announcement they were going to make was something that Sinofsky refused to do. And I think we talked about this earlier but this notion that what Sinofsky did was sort of a reaction to the way that the Windows team was before where they made a lot of big bold pronouncements and in the case of Windows Vista, especially, were unable to live up them.
Paul: And they wanted to avoid that so I think they skewed really far in the opposite direction. And we’ve talked about this notion that maybe there is a happy middle ground. So we’ll see if it’s closer to somewhere in the middle. But, something that wasn’t done during the Sinofsky era and I think that just even the language of Vision suggests not this is what we are going to deliver, but rather this is what we are trying to achieve. More than just “here’s the actual features we plan to deliver”, it’s perhaps “this is part of bigger scheme”. Here’s how it fit’s in to this other bigger plan. Which is definitely something they didn’t do under Sinofsky.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I’m curious what Vision means because I’ve heard that same thing. That they are going to talk Vision or Threshold at Build 2014. You know that could mean something really high level like Threshold is the next major wave of Windows and we’re going to start rolling it out next year. And that’s it, or it could mean….
Paul: Can I ask you a question Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: Yes
Paul: It looks like you are a web ad.
Leo: For Allied Bank ad. Is this something new with Sype they are giving you Allied Bank ads?
Mary Jo: That’s odd. Why is that?
Leo: Don't pay any attention to the woman behind the Allied banner! We’ll call you back and see what we can do here. You might have to reboot. Again.
Mary Jo: Okay.
Leo: So Paul, just while we’re doing that with Mary Jo. Let’s talk a little bit about what Windows 9 will be. You’ve already said and so did Mary Jo that there will be a start menu in Windows 9.
Paul: Well actually I had to go back and look at my notes to determine when I was previously told that would occur. A lot of people were wondering if this is something that will happen in this Update 1 that’s coming for Windows 8, also due in April, by the way. And actually I was told some time ago that this start menu would return in some form in the Threshold release. So that would be Windows 9, so maybe it’s a little further off than we thought.
Leo: Why don’t they call this Windows 9 the white
Paul: Because they are responding to customer feedback, Leo. They’re not retreating.
Leo: Oh. Oh.
Paul: It really all about positioning. You know someone made a crack on Twitter, I think, this is like re-releasing Windows 7 and calling it Windows 9. I don’t see it as that at all, in fact one of the key tenants of this release is going to be a maturation of that metro user experience, right. And so we’re going to see a second generation version of that and I think one of the nice things that will happen, you know over the course of the update 1 release and maybe if there’s an update 2 or 3 before then and Windows 9 is that they will consolidate this look and feel across the different platforms that support it - Windows, Windows phone, Xbox - and make it more consistent where it makes sense for those things to be consistent. There are some worried differences now, there will be for some time I’m sure.
Leo: You also said that they would do a metro apps in a windowed.
Paul: Yeah on the desktop. Also in Threshold. Yeah, so that makes sense within the context within that maturation of metro. That metro right now is not a great experience on a desktop computer, it just isn’t. It’s not that great of an experience on a laptop.
Leo: No. It’s a tablet interface.
Paul: This is the thing. The only think I would say to people is that Windows 8 has garnered very strong reactions from people and it’s understandable but I think it’s important to consider what the alternative was. Right? If Microsoft had created this tablet for a new operating system, outside of Windows Phone and outside of Windows, and had marketed that thing the acceptance would’ve been next to nothing. It would’ve done even worse than what they did by jamming it down Windows users throats by putting it in Windows 8. I think we can all complain about the way they did it and it’s understandable and I’ve often called it a Frankenstein boss and that kind of thing. I just think the alternative was worse for Microsoft. To get this thing to market, but to get it into users hands quickly because of their unique position with that many users on the PC side they had to add it to the PC. It would’ve been ignored otherwise. No one was clamoring for a new…
Leo: Did it cost Palmer his job?
Mary Jo: No.
Leo: Did Windows, did surface RT cause Steve his job? The nine hundred million dollar write down?
Mary Jo: They wrote a lot of things down. Look at it down there.
Leo: So, okay. Because I think there is a legitimate debate on whether Windows 8 can be called a failure at this point?
Paul: Well think of it this way. Blackberry didn’t have anything to fall back on, right? The market that Blackberry had that they could fall back on was Corporate users, Government users and they had all, they migrated to iPhones. So there was no fall back and so when they released their new system and no one bought it. It was over. That was the end of the road. There was no other thing that kind of supported them. Apple has a solid kind of PC business but it was never more than 5 or 10% of the entire market. They were never going to take the world by storm with the Mac, and so when you make a new mobile system in that company you do make it as something new. Likewise Google doesn’t have a PCOS to fall back on so they do a new mobile system - it’s a new mobile system. I think they stole the Apple Playbook and copied it word for word, but whatever they did, they did, and they made it. So Microsoft approaches this from a different position. They have over a billion users on PCs. That market may be shrinking, but slowly. And those people are still there using PCs every day and here’s this potential. It would be so much worse for Microsoft to release soothing new that no one bought, like zoom, except it has the Windows name on it. Then if they just made it part of Windows. Right?
Paul: I think that sort of explains it. I agree it could’ve been better. I agree it will be better in the future, but I think that makes sense on some level. You know? What they did.
Mary Jo: Like you’re saying they had to do metro the way they did it right?
Leo: We’ve talked about this before and I think that’s a fair…
Mary Jo: They didn’t have a choice.
Leo: I think that’s a fair thing to say.
Paul: Unless they didn’t want it to be successful, you know. I mean the world’s littered with Microsoft products going nowhere fast.
Leo: But Windows is too important to let that happen.
Mary Jo: I always feel like the mistake wasn’t so much Metro, it was assuming everyone was going touch.
Leo: They may’ve bet on a bad horse. I agree.
Mary Jo: Right. The assumption was that there be a very rapid influx of hardware that was touch enabled and everybody would suddenly go to that and that the desktop would disappear much quicker - meaning the desk top form factor - would go away quicker than it looks like it’s going to go away.
Leo: And the only reason I bring this up is in the context of Windows 9 and Threshold and what the message is going to be at Build.
Paul: Yeah. I think Mary Jo had a story probably a couple months ago now, that sort of hinted at skews for the next version of Windows, where they might go with those things and I think it’s pretty clear that just from the experience of Windows 8, in particular, that the correct route is a version of Windows where that stuff is either de-emphasized or non-existent for professional users. Business users. And then a version where the Windows desktops are not likewise there anymore. And that’s for tablets. They couldn’t have released that in 2012 you know, at least the tablet part of it. And I think that’s the thing so they are getting to the situation where the people that do like Windows the way it is and do like the Windows and all that stuff, are really mad because they can’t escape the charms and all the other metro nonsense. And on the flip side you have these people that say I really do want to use this thing on the tablet interface but it keeps throwing me the desktop to do certain things. And I can’t touch the little buttons with my fingers. So really the kind of perfect OS, I don’t know that anyone’s complaining about it, it serves all needs equally but yeah so I think they’ll fix it. 8.1 was a nice step in that direction, 8.2 if they do that, or whatever - update 1…
Leo: You make an important point about runway. Blackberry had no runway and Microsoft clearly has a lot of runway. I’m reading, and I think you read this, the Bradstone book about Jeff Bezos, the Everything store. Bezos made horrendous errors, all along the way. I mean company bets, ending bets, but they had runway. They’d done some things right. They’d borrowed a billion dollars ahead of time so they say..
Paul: I’m not saying this in the context of Microsoft. Someone said about the PC Meg or PC World story but the top PC duds of all-time and they released 3 Apple/Next computers in there.
Paul: I’m not doing that to criticize Apple.
Leo: There is no perfect company.
Paul: The glass half full version of this story is you can’t succeed if you don’t make these risks. And they don’t always pay off. If you’re not making risks and failing something, you never going to succeed really anyway. So, windows 8 was a huge risk and I would argue it didn’t pay off in the short term but the question is whether it will pay off in the long term.
Mary Jo: Again I’m going to be curious at Build how much they say about this whole Metro 2 thing and what it really means and how deep they go, if they go deep at all, about how you’re going to be able to have metro apps on your desktop with Threshold, that’s the rumor anyway. I don’t know how much of that they are going to say or disclose at this point, because as Paul said, there are going to be three milestones possibly before RTM’s and we don’t know when these are going to be, but usually that is when they would start disclosing the specifics about the UI and about the API changes and things like that.
Paul: It would be crazy at a show like Build not to have some message that involves your safe targeting metro today because these things pay off in, I don’t know, update 1 has new API’s - probably not, but Update 1 and 2 going forward and eventually Windows 9. You know this is the safe bet because this is the platform that will be part of Windows on the tablet, Windows on the phone, Windows on the desktop too. You know, whatever it is. They need to have that kind of content.
Mary Jo: Guarantee?
Paul: Yeah. They can’t start over again. Metro 2 can’t be “we’re dropping c sharp and visual base”. You know. They can’t go off in some completely different direction. They can’t change again. It needs to be that continuity. So hopefully there’s some of that. But I mean, I don’t know.
Mary Jo: You know what I wonder, because some developers have been asking me if we’re going to have Build now in April and we don’t even have the bids yet for Threshold and we’re not going to get a drop there for Threshold, it’s too early. They haven’t even started building it yet, supposedly. So…
Leo: Is that unusual? Don't they start usually sooner?
Mary Jo: They’ve been doing planning right, since Windows 8 so they do a big planning phase on Windows and then they start building and then have usually a private drop like a developer drop and then a public drop sometimes. And then RTM. But you know the question is are they going to have another developer conference this year. Like maybe in the fall. Because right now this is the developer show for them. Where you would typically have a discloser about something like Threshold you’d think Build. But since the bit’s aren’t out is there going to be another one this year? Maybe not another Build but something like …
Paul: I think that’s a great idea. I mean have a second Build conference in October or whatever, that’s based around Beta and where we finally get code and the first look at the API’s. Sure why not? I think that’s a tremendous idea. This build they are doing in April I was told is going to be focused on someone who is found in Xbox and in some ways that might turn off a certain crowd of developers you know? Other than the fact that they’re are going to do this Threshold Vision thing there which I think is a big deal for everyone because it kind of speaks to the entire ego system. So when you think about them focusing on these 2 products in the Spring and then Windows in the Fall. I think that would be fine. They should announce it today!
Mary Jo: I mean, yeah, the point is the thing that people are likely to get at Build is Windows Phone 8.1 in some form, right? Maybe the RTM version of that and Windows 8.1 update 1 which is the compliment to that phone release. So people are going to get some new bit’s at the conference they’re just not going to be Windows 9.
Paul: Yes, so Windows phone 8.1 will obviously have new developer tools and API and all that. What about update 1 do you know anything about that? Has anyone ever said anything about Update 1 triggering new API’s?
Mary Jo: Originally when I heard about it, I heard that Update 1 was meant to kind of bring people closer together in terms of what the API’s on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 share in common. So I don’t think it’s going to be any gigantic API changes or any gigantic UI changes on either side. But more like bringing things into closer alignment along that path to having a unification of the platform. But I don’t know feature wise on 8.1 or update 1 what there is supposed to be. You know on Windows Phone 8.1 there are a lot of big things coming. Notification center, Cortana, the Siri-like thing is coming. So there are a lot of big changes coming on Phone but we just don’t know what the changes are going to look like on the 8.1 Update 1.
Paul: Reminds me there hasn’t been a stink about this with developers right? Remember one of the big problems on Windows Phone 8 was that it came out with basically no one got access to the API that STK beforehand. I think maybe a small group did. You know there was some complaining about the communication on that. They have said nothing about so I don’t know if there is some small developer group that access to the STK now, but if that thing does ship at Build around that time frame, then I don’t know what ship means exactly but presumably gets sent out for existing phone and they get it over the next six months and maybe that’s the point. There is no rush because the new devices would have to ship. It would be a fairly small audience I guess.
Mary Jo: Yeah, Right. And now that plan that they put in place on the last update on Windows Phone, where if you are in the developer program as soon as Microsoft RTM’s the bits you could get them immediately. You wouldn’t have to wait and wait and wait. So maybe they are going to say okay RTM is right around the time of Build you guys can go and get the bits so the developers can start building. Consumers aren’t really going to get the Windows Phone 8.1 for several months later.
Paul: July, August or whatever. I could see that.
Mary Jo: But I’m curious on Xbox what they are going to say?
Paul: Right. Because that is wide open, fertile ground right now. No one has any idea! I bet they open it up for app development. I bet it’s wide open.
Mary Jo: I bet you are right about that. They haven’t talked the App development strategy for Xbox yet. I’ve been asking whether Kritomic could be part of the Xbox spring - summer update and I hear no.
Leo: It already has its own speech, right?
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: It is that a separate path completely for Cortana?
Mary Jo: It seems like you’d want to have one thing. You’d want to have Cortana on your phone and your PC and our Xbox, you’d think.
Leo: Is it a different code base? Maybe not.
Mary Jo: I don’t know.
Leo: I mean if I’m Microsoft and I’ve got a speech recognition system in Xbox and I’m loping and putting it in Windows Phone I don’t start from scratch. Or maybe you do.
Mary Jo: I think you kind of have to because what makes speech work on Xbox is Connect right?
Leo: Well that’s just a microphone. I mean…
Mary Jo: Yeah, but I think it’s somehow…
Leo: It’s not reading my lips. Or is it now? I read your lips, Dave!
Mary Jo: You never know right?
Leo: But even if it’s different code underneath the engine I’m sure is agnostic. Or not? I don’t know. It could be written assembly line. I don’t know.
Mary Jo: The Bing entity relationship stuff that’s going to power part of Kortana I think that would also be what is powering the speech recognition on Xbox.
Leo: You don’t write a whole new code.
Paul: This Cortana was programmed by Cortana.
Leo: Cortana - the forbin project!
Leo: It’s interesting. I’ll just compare it to Google. That’s where Microsoft has a real opportune with Synergy. What Google does is they have all these planets and you are slowly seeing them shape them into themselves into a whole that interacts and inner operates and obviously that’s the way any company with multiple software initiatives should operate. Microsoft historically had trouble with doing that. But boy seems like this is where there is - is this not where they are going? Is unifying at least the interface.
Mary Jo: That’s where they’re going. That’s one thing they’ve been pretty clear about I feel like is the idea is we know we have three different version of Windows right now; we have the Windows that’s in Xbox the windows that’s in Windows PC’s and devices and Windows Phone. And the plan is these have to become way more closely aligned in terms of the API’s set in the developer tools in the UI. That’s their very clear message. The question is how long does it take you to get there? How many steep are there and how does it look as a developer as you are going that way? I think that’s the big question.
Paul: Yep. Concisely said, I would’ve blabbed through for 10 minutes.
Leo: I’m not prepared to move one!
Mary Jo: That was my sound bite of the day. I’m done now.
Leo: Damn. Damn.
Mary Jo: You know the other thing we know is coming, supposedly, is the common store - like Microsoft Company meeting that happened last year they showed off, supposedly, according to people we’ve talked to, the idea of a common store for Windows and Windows Phone and I would think at some point even Xbox too. So that you have all the Apps for all these things in one place and you pick the one that goes on whichever form factor.
Paul: I don’t know if this is still in Windows 8.1 but there was a goofy thing in the original version of Windows 8 there was this games app but you could go in and there were 2 sections to it. The windows game store and the Xbox game store and you could actually buy a game for Xbox through the windows store and the way it worked was the next time you turned on your console, it would install. So I guess if you had multiple consoles you wanted to be kind of careful with that. So it was kind of like a hint that this stuff was a possibility. But they don’t do that anymore. You know, the Windows 8.1 version of this app doesn’t even include the Xbox stuff anymore. I don’t think. I don’t see it.
Leo: Today is the end of Windows 8.1 support. No, no I’m sorry. That was quick.
Mary Jo: Not quite yet.
Paul: We had a good run! Three months!
Leo: You wouldn’t think it would die before XP, but Windows Preview Support does.
Paul: I actually, just this week, had to help a friend with his surface, he could not get the 8.1 final build installed. And I felt like kind of a jerk because I kind of pushed him into installing the preview and told him he would have no problems and then he couldn’t do it and I kind of did a lot of hand holding over the weekend over the phone, virtually I guess. And couldn’t get it! I thought to myself, “This guy just isn’t doing something right”. Finally I got the machine here and I couldn’t get it to work either. So I had to manually install Windows 8.1 on this thing or upgrade it. But then this would be a bad time to discover that particular problem because this thing is basically not supported anymore; although I guess maybe for some period of time it is.
Leo: And any advice for those who are facing the deadline finally wish to abandon Preview?
Paul: Send it to my house and I’ll do it for you!
Leo: You’ll have to reinstall the apps.
Paul: Yes. So that you get the choices you can bring your data forward, your documents. Or do nothing. This guy is particular surface had a very strange issue where it wouldn’t display the advertisement for 8.1 and if your forced it your URL that you would type in a web browser you would go to the download page for Windows 8.1 and hit download and it would just go back to the front of the store. It wouldn’t actually download or install the update. I have no idea what happened there but it wasn’t making it talk so I figured it out myself. But it’s not something…
Leo: It’s not complicated. Anybody who installs a preview that’s the price you pay and I feel like we’ve said it so many times.
Paul: My stock response is when someone says should I install the preview? If you’re asking that question then no!
Leo: So… Scroogle, I’m sorry. Google is at it again. Do you think there is an actual, like, animosity between Microsoft and Google? Google’s gotta be stinging a little bit. And then of course on the other hand Google, the YouTube fiasco on Windows Phone.
Paul: It is like lashing out at someone’s little kid. A little brother. I don’t like you. I’m going to beat up your little brother!
Leo: And of course, who suffers? Not google or Microsoft; the user.
Paul: This is the problem I have and I noticed this the other day. Every morning I get up and I do certain things that are kind of maintenance related with my website and so forth and one of the things I do is I look through the comments and I noticed all the little UI controls are different and smaller and harder to click. And I thought they’ve changed it again on the back end and they didn’t tell me. And it isn’t Penton, which was a delightful shame it was Google. Like they changed the controls and the browser from the native Windows controls to some UI kit that they used for Chrome or Chrome OS or whatever it is. They’re much smaller, for example the scroll bar is 10 pixels wide and it used 15. So that’s a 50% drop in width. That’s not a good one. Scroll down to the next one. And
Leo: That’s a big difference.
Paul: There’s not arrow at the top.
Leo: Non-native controls I think are always a bad idea.
Paul: Now people will point out, as I have done here, that Microsoft is no stranger to using non-native controls, in fact, you can look at Office and see some of the Zoon PC software that everyone seems to love so much that’s full of non-native controls. But one of the things I’ve been paying attention to a lot lately is how Microsoft handles their movie apps on Android and IOS and actually those apps are very good examples of them using native control. And in the case of IOS 7 conforming to the new UI conventions of the new version of Apples OS. This kind of behavior when you’re putting software in another platform, especially one that you are competing with, I think it’s a different thing, and I don’t like it and if there was some switch in Google to turn it off, and maybe there is, I’d be okay with that I guess. But I don’t know how to look at this other than this seems like harming common users.
Leo: I don’t think they do it on purpose, to harm.
Paul: Well okay. There are two sides. It could be, because, for some reason maybe a code maintenance perspective it is easier to do this. I don’t know how good Chrome is constructed; how cross platform it is. I actually think that’s bologna. They do it on the Mac. The other one is yes, they are trying to harm Microsoft in the end by pushing Chrome OS because the Windows 8 version of Chrome includes this metro or sort of metro version of the browser. And then this release of Chrome it’s not the Browser, it’s Chrome OS basically you get the Chrome OS app launch, which is the top screen shot of that site you are looking at, you know you get the weird UI controls in the upper corner of the window. It’s the browser window is not full screen which is part of the deal with the metro app. It just subverts everything about the metro environment to make it more like Chrome OS.
Leo: Ironically Google trumpets this in the blog post. A new look for Windows 8 Metro!
Paul: Look we added multiple windows to metro! Thank you! You’re welcome Microsoft!
Paul: Who would want this? This is like running a virtual machine. They have updated to the false styling of UI elements like form controls and scroll bars to match this sleek design of the new Chrome metro interface. That’s not logical.
Leo: Wait a minute!! They're saying we’ve updated the design to match the design… is that not…
Paul: Wait… This says they have met the sleek design of Chrome OS.
Leo: Oh, Chrome OS is what they mean to say, not Chrome Metro.
Paul: If you look at the picture of the floating window, up in the right hand corner you’ll see two buttons. There is a close button and then this other thing. That other thing doesn’t exist in Windows. Hover your mouse over that in real life and it expands to a pop up that has three options. Like minimize, full screen and something else. I don’t know. And it’s the way it works in Chrome OS, it has nothing to do with Windows.
Leo: So their matching Chrome OS. You know I doubt they did this to disadvantage people. I think that would be just dumb. Maybe…
Paul: I agree with one half of what you just said!
Leo: I mean obviously, there must be…
Mary Jo: They’ve done things to disadvantage Windows users. Like the YouTube app, that’s pretty blatant at disadvantaging Windows users. And saying they’re not going to do anymore Windows 8 apps or Windows Phone apps because there’s just not demand. Not allowing people to sync contacts right? There are a lot of things you can say they are doing - and it’s all fair in love and business. They can do that.
Paul: I don’t mind Google hurting Microsoft.
Leo: But it’s not good business. I don’t think Google is doing it just because they want you to use Chrome. But making Chrome worse than Windows doesn’t benefit Google in any way.
Paul: Well actually I will say, ironically, these changes notwithstanding, Chrome is actually better in Windows than Chrome OS, which is kind of a weird irony but…
Mary Jo: I wish I could run Chrome on my surface RT. I would love to run Chrome. And it’s because…
Leo: Well Google wishes you could too so why should they make it worse.
Mary Jo: I can’t.
Paul: She runs RT.
Leo: Oh, Microsoft won’t allow.
Paul: Microsoft will allow it. They just limited it in some ways.
Leo: I think it’s a mistake to think that Google makes much money on Chrome OS. Google wants you to use Google stuff on every platform.
Paul: I think you have to look a little beyond Chrome OS. I mean, Chrome OS - anytime Google can pull customers away from Microsoft it’s kind of benefiting Google. However it happens. So I look at this as sort of a inroad. It’s away to get people comfortable with this interface and even a small percentage. It was 1.8 million or 7/10ths of a percent of PC sales last year were Chrome OS, so it was a tiny number. But that’s going to grow. Every one of those sales, every time someone opens up a Chrome Book and uses Chrome instead of using some Microsoft thing is a win for Google.
Leo: I think you’re wrong.
Paul: I think it’s a Trojan Horse.
Leo: I think you’re wrong. I think Google wants you to use Chrome. It doesn’t care if you use Chrome OS or not. That’s how Microsoft thinks because they sell an operating system. Google is not making money on Chrome OS. It’s making money on you using the internet. I agree this was a dumb thing to do. I’m not saying that. I don’t think they did it…
Paul: So you’re saying it’s dumb, but not insidious.
Leo: Exactly. I think it’s dumb but I don’t think they’re trying to make you say “I hate Chrome on Windows so I’m going to buy a Chrome book”. That makes no sense.
Paul: I look at this kind of laundry list of animosity items that have occurred between these two companies, I sort of lump it into that. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. My problem with this is just as a user of Chrome and I really like Chrome. I use it every day. But it’s less usable now.
Leo: I’ll agree with you 100%. Don’t do that Google. Go back to using native controls. But Google’s not alone. Microsoft doesn’t use native controls either. I could think of a long list. IE 11 right?
Paul: IE 11? What do you mean?
Mary Jo: I’m thinking IE 11 or something else? You know what, on my surface RT I would kill to be able to use Chrome the browser. And the reason is because IE 11 is awful on that machine. And I know we’re going to hear a lot of hate because I just said that but there are so many blank screen pages that are still coming up with IE 11 on my surface RT…
Paul: You’re right. The only reason I still IE is because I pen websites to the task bar and the one thing that IE does that Chrome doesn’t is allow you to multiple tabs on a pinned site so I can have multiple email accounts or multiple tabs on one window, which I really like. And if you pen sites with the Chrome it’s one page per pen. And one window I should say, which is more important. From an all tab navigation perspective you have a proliferation of those now.
Leo: My point is IE 11uses non-native Window controls in 7.
Paul: In Windows 7?
Leo: It uses Windows 8 controls and that makes sense because you want one code base and I think they want you to go to Windows 8. It doesn’t make sense for Google to say “We’re going to make Chrome crappy on Windows 8” if that’s what they wanted to do.
Paul: I don’t actually think they meant for it to be crappy. I’m saying that it is crappy. But I do think this smooths the way for people that want to make that move.
Leo: It makes it easier to understand because you’re seen these controls before.
Paul: Now it works like the one in the Chrome OS. So, if you go into Chrome OS it’s now a lot less difficult.
Leo: Or you could say Google UI designers decided in Chrome OS the OS they control to do it this way because they think it’s better so they are going to do it across the board.
Paul: Maybe that dictates something for Chrome now that we don’t know about.
Leo: I don’t know.
Paul: It’s a mistake.
Leo: You shouldn’t do it. Stick with native controls.
Paul: When Apple was still pushing this kind of weird blue gel cap UI for everything like the buttons looked like cold medicine and whatever. You know Apps had like 5 UI’s look very out of place; it’s awful as I might have through that it was, at least it was consistent. This reminds me actually of Java app. And how for a while there when Java sort of was taking off for a while on the desk top these things just look out of place. They had their own kind of UI.
Leo: Yeah, this was a big problem for Java. They created Swing and they tried to get native UI.
Paul: They tried to look native. There’s nothing that looks less native than something that’s trying to look native.
Leo: It killed Java as an app platform, because people want native. Frankly Microsoft Office on the Mac for years used its own memory manager because Microsoft decided it was better and it wasn’t.
Paul: You could go back to Mac Office and they actually were running a code thing where they were trying to share code in the Mac and it was a performance disaster.
Leo: Not necessarily any competitive. If you make a product for a platform your goal is to get people to use it. I am going to err on the side of never assume malice when ignorance will suffice.
Paul: I’m not assuming, but I’m… but yeah.
Mary Jo: So Paul, let me ask you another question since I can’t try it out myself. I’ve read a couple people saying what also works better in this Chrome 32 release, which is the experience that you have if you’re using it on Windows 8 and you’re not being dumped into the desktop version and the browser versus the metro version. That it’s a smoother transition with Chrome.
Paul: I don’t understand what they are doing. When Microsoft announced how they were going to handle browsers in Windows 8 there was some controversy because Google and Firefox both complained that Microsoft wasn’t giving them the full power in the metro environment. So I don’t know if this Google kind of almost metro, not quite metro thing, is that pseudo metro environment that Microsoft created for them or something Google did or whatever, but the thing that’s interesting about this is that you go to the menu bar in Chrome and you can say relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode. Most people have IE configured as the default browser so if you try to do that then you have to switch to Chrome as your default browser, because it becomes as the metro browser. So if you go back to the start screen and you click on IE the desktop version of IE launches, and the metro version is now gone. If I click Chrome on the task bar and jump into the metro version, but from the metro version I can do that same thing and I can say relaunch Chrome on the desktop now it comes back to the desktop, reloads and has the same tabs loaded so you can go back and forth. I hesitate to call this an advantage, but it is unique.
Mary Jo: I guess the question is, is it less jarring than it is when you have IE set as your default?
Paul: Well, no.
Mary Jo: I guess that’s everybody’s own call on whether you consider it jarring or not jarring I guess.
Paul: Actually it’s different you know because one of the weird things about IE you can have both running at the same time. You could have the metro version running and the desktop version. This one you can only have one or the other. So if you say I want to run Chrome on metro, Chrome is always in metro - there is no Chrome on the desktop. But if you switch it back to desktop then there is no metro Chrome. If that makes sense?
Mary Jo: It does.
Paul: It’s different. It’s just different. In writing this Windows 8.1 book I had to describe all the situations in which you could configure your system with the grass roots web browser and how IE interacts with different browsers including itself, which is strange. And this is completely different and is equally strange, just different. The wonderful world of Windows today!
Leo: The wonderful world of windows!
Mary Jo: We get our own theme song!
Leo: So I’m confused. There is no Chrome on RT right?
Mary Jo: No. Because you can only download apps on windows RT through the store and Chrome browser is not an app in the store.
Leo: Is that because Google didn’t do it or because…? We don’t know.
Paul: Google did do it the way they did it. If Google had done it correctly, if you will, to Microsoft specifications, it would be in the store.
Leo: Yeah. I would think so. Is that because Google didn’t want it in the store or they didn’t want to do what Microsoft wanted?
Paul: We don’t either.
Mary Jo: I think this is back to Paul’s point about the objections that some browsers vendors had that they didn’t like the idea that there can only be one default browser and all that but I’m forgetting now and I know somebody will remember in the chat room why there isn’t one for it.
Paul: For example. A metro browser can’t support plug-ins.
Leo: And that pretty much disables Chrome.
Paul: So I can assure you that Chrome supports plug-ins in this thing that’s sort of like metro but isn’t metro. Although they call it Windows 8 mode.
Leo: But Windows 8 mode doesn’t work on a tablet on RT. Because it’s only for Windows Pro.
Paul: It is very strange.
Mary Jo: I mean Google would’ve had to redo the browser to run windows…
Leo: So there’s an example of I could see Google saying “we’re not going to do that”. You know, even though I’ve said Google wants to be everywhere and get you using Google stuff there’s a limit where it’s bad for brand if they have to make it a hobbled browser for RT. It’s just bad for the brand so that would be my thinking as a brand manager. I’d love to be on RT and I’m sure Mary Jo Foley would love me to be on RT, but I’m not going to make a crappy hobbled version of Chrome just because Microsoft says I have to. So I’m just not going to do it.
Mary Jo: Firefox is coming forward.
Leo: But that’s different. It has a very different kind of mentality around it right? We developed it for whatever platform users are willing to put time into developing it for. And if we have to make a bizarre world version of Firefox to be on RT we will if somebody comes along and writes it. I guess Mozilla is kind of a company but it’s not..
Paul: Kind of like yahoo is kind of business?
Leo: And there must be other third party browsers for surfers.
Mary Jo: Right now I believe there is nothing.
Leo: Expect Firefox to come. It was like that on the iPad for a long time, the only browsers you could get were very crappy old weird browsers. Which I think is the same issue, you know. More of the trust concessions, as long as we are going to talk about Google. Do you want to take a victory lap on this one Paul?
Paul: This is not my story.
Leo: You is unhappy.
Mary Jo: This kind of plays into your idea Leo, how much animosity there is between the two companies, because every time you’re looking at Microsoft or Google - this is the whole thing about Google and search engine they have the monopoly on. Microsoft has been the one kind of agitating here for this, of course.
Leo: Yes, they’ve been lobbying. This is not about privacy this is about anti-competitive behavior.
Mary Jo: Google has 90% of the search market in Europe and they have 70% in the US. So the idea is Google the way they’ve structured their search engine giving preference to their own brand of their services the results at the top of the page and is that influencing what users are going to click on and then buy and are they having an inordinate amount of influence because of their monopoly position. So google came back and said, okay we’ll change the way we label some search results, but now the EU is saying you’ve gotta go further than this. This is not enough. And you know what happened to Microsoft with the EU when they were having anti-trust issues they paid billions as a fine in their case. So I would think Google is probably at risk for having something similar.
Paul: But Google got kind of a sweetheart deal that Microsoft didn’t get which was in Microsoft’s case they just declared them guilty of anti-trust violation and they went to court. In Google’s case they said “you know, if you guys don’t settle really quick we’re gonna find you guilty of sweeping anti-trust violations” and then Google proceeded to this is now the third round of concessions that they are trying to make to avoid that fate. With Microsoft there was no concessions to try to settle ahead of time. It’s funny to me that the world has changed enough that Google wasn’t just swept under the carpet immediately - they actually were given a chance to get this right. And man, they really don’t want to get it right. So they’ve really been pushing back.
Paul: So we’ll see. Governments move slow everywhere and that’s the problem.
Leo: What do you think about the Nest acquisition? The big story that everybody talks about Google buying Tony Fadell’s Nest thermostat and smoke alarm business for 3.2 billion is why didn’t Apple get it? Why didn’t get Microsoft get it?
Paul: Did they even try to get it?
I doubt it very much. It’s a lot of money to pay for a thermostat business.
Paul: For a luxury thermostat business!
Leo: I have two that were $250 and they are luxury. I didn’t even bother to install them when I moved. It’s nice but I don’t really…
Paul: When it comes to a smoke alarm it’s like - I think they unit I have cost 5 bucks and takes a 9 volt battery. And if there is smoke it makes an unGodly noise. Which is pretty much what you’re looking for. Not “hey I just got an alert from my smoke alarm on my smart phone, let me…” You know, it’s such a richy rich thing. Home automation has always been on the edge of acceptability. Super expensive home theaters. It’s just a bit much.
Mary Jo: My question and a bunch of the readers on my site were asking “ok so if Google bought Nest now, does it mean there’s not ever going to be an official Nest app from Google for Windows Phone and for Windows 8?” Good question!
Paul: I don’t think there was ever going to be one anyway, so sure!
Mary Jo: You never know.
Leo: If Windows Phone market share broke 10% there would be.
Mary Jo: It has in quite a few countries right? Not in the US but in other countries it has.
Leo: I don’t think Google is, well I don’t know.
Paul: You keep saying that, but I’m pretty sure…
Mary Jo: I think the two companies hate each other.
Paul: I really do. It’s a childish hate. A petty hate.
Leo: I don’t think it’s very grown up. And it’s certainly not good for business. You want to be on every platform that makes a difference. Well that’s Google business model. Well we’ll see. We’ll see.
Mary Jo: Yes we’ll see. There are a couple of Nest apps those for third parties.
Paul: There’s an API. They’ve given every indication that they will run it like Skype and let it be its own entity.
Leo: There’s not a Nest app for Windows now.
Mary Jo: Well they are third party apps.
Leo: Nest never wrote one even before Google. I think Nest is out to get Microsoft. No! They just said this is too small a platform.
Paul: That’s not the same thing. Plenty of places don’t have Windows phone apps, that’s not animosity that’s just good business.
Leo: You don’t have to assume animosity.
Mary Jo: I will though!
Leo: I mean there is plenty of reasons for it. I understand the scroogle adds, the patent law suit’s, there is plenty of reason for it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel that Google is a little more mature than that, but maybe not. Apple - now I wouldn’t put it past Apple. Apple, in the heritage of Steve Jobs is very visceral in its reaction towards competition and would go after people. Does Microsoft do that? I don’t think so. It’s a business.
Paul: Are you kidding me? These guys jump at their own shadows now.
Mary Jo: I think because of the anti-trust cases where Google secretly and publicly agitated against Microsoft and vice versa that really kind of is when the gloves came off and I also think they compete very, very seriously in not just search but also in apps. Google apps and Google docs.
Paul: And Google has very quickly gotten into Microsoft’s backyard. When they were a search company, there are businesses that always make sense based on where you start. If you look at Amazon they started with books, that made sense and then they moved to whatever. It always made sense. Microsoft started with the PC apps, programming languages got into operating systems almost by mistake so for them to move into computing and servers and that kind of thing it makes sense. Google search engine, gmail, it kind of makes sense. These online services and then oh, we’ve have an office suite and now we have an operating system. Whoa - what happened? It’s kind of a weird thing so obviously it happens on the flip side as well. Microsoft starts a search engine and they jump into the same markets as each other and suddenly these two companies that were co-existing are butting heads. Apple and Google did the same thing over Android. Everything is fine until it isn’t fine you know? Companies grow and they get into each other’s businesses.
Paul Thurrott: That's pretty good.
Leo: And a tiny one, and he says that's not because the hackers took vacation, it's because the programmers-
Paul: Because Microsoft took a vacation!
Leo: Yeah, Microsoft takes the holidays off!
Paul: Right, as we've discussed, yes. Yeah, there's nothing to fix, we didn't make a new code.
Leo: I like your line, "If a Patch Tuesday comes, and there are no firmware updates, do they make a sound?"
Paul: What happened with the firmware stuff? Is the viewer surface right?
Mary Jo Foley: Yeah. You know we were kind of expecting that Microsoft was going to fix that firmware issue from December, they had on the Surface Pro 2's, during Patch Tuesday. They never came out and said this publicly, but we thought they were going to do it.
Paul: On or before, was my expectation. This would have been the last possible day.
Mary Jo: I know.
Paul: You know?
Mary Jo: And so, yesterday came and went-
Paul: Seriously, but this would have been the last possible day you'd imagine.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I would think. Instead, they fixed a firmware problem on the original Surface Pro that was very similar to this one that is on the Surface Pro 2. But they didn't fix the Surface Pro 2, they just fixed the Surface Pro and the update fixes the case where you are connecting a new Touch Cover or Type Cover to your original Intel-based Surface, and it kills your battery life. So they did fix that yesterday and they have a whole thing you can do on Windows Update to get the new firmware, but they didn't release the one for the Pro 2. So, some people are thinking it's going to happen today, I heard. Did you hear that Paul?
Paul: Yeah, someone had forwarded me a screenshot of a chat that they had with Microsoft Support and they were told that it was happening today, but it hasn't happened yet. So, I don't know.
Mary Jo: So we don't know, everyone's asking us, but-
Paul: It's very unusual for months to come and go-
Leo: And no update for the Xbox One, have you been expecting that?
Paul: Well, the last one was on Patch Tuesday and so the thought was, "Hey, so this makes sense. Why not?" You know? And they've been talking about updates that are coming. Certainly, there are issues with Xbox One software that should be addressed on a rolling basis but...
Leo: Like what?
Paul: Well, like the dashboarding issue we've discussed previously and then lack of functionality in certain areas. There's a lot of really basic things that are missing. Play on Xbox is missing, the ability to plug in a memory device and play media off of it. You know, connect to Windows phone or something like that.
Leo: Not so much fixes, as improvements.
Paul: Yeah, I mean they have to ship the thing you know and-
Leo: No, well no, I agree with you on that. There's definitely missing features.
Paul: It does seem like Patch Tuesday would have been the obvious time to do that, since they did it once, but...
Leo: "We don't want to be held to a schedule."
Paul: Well by the way, John Carmack, the guy from ID, who recently left ID-
Leo: To go to work for the visor one right, the Oculus rift, right?
Paul: He just kind of just disappeared, obscurity, but he- By the way, just like Steve Ballmer said, "You know my biggest regret, the big mistake was, not focusing on mobile when we did Vista." John Carmack said his biggest mistake at ID, was the whole 'finish it when it's done,’ thing. He said, "We should have finished everything earlier, and we should've just shipped stuff in smaller increments, we would've shipped a lot more." He’s like, "Waiting for something to be perfect is the way that you never ship anything." He said, "If I could do anything over again, I never would've said that."
Leo: It's the EA way. Ship it when it's broken.
Leo: Compiles, it's out!
Paul: Call of Duty Ghost is going strongly, don't worry about it.
Leo: Just a pointer, the idea is to ship and fix. Rapid iteration, not just ship.
Paul: Iteration, not to get off on a tangent, and I apologize to Mary Jo because this is sort of an Xbox topic. I would give anything for them to be iterating, but the problem is, they have two studios. Imagine, if a different company made every other version of Windows, right? So, instead of everyone being upgraded, in some cases the next one would have stuff missing from the previous one and, that's what Call of Duty does. Because they have two different teams of people making it, one of the teams will get something really right. And then the next version comes back and it goes back to the way it was two versions ago.
Leo: And that's on a single platform, it's not like-
Paul: It's across all the platforms.
Leo: So they do it in a staggering- I could see Windows does it that way, kind of.
Paul: It is Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and it's crazy. And so for example, in this version of the game there's a lag situation where, in your view, you've made it around the corner while someone's shooting you. But in their view, they're still hitting you because you haven't made it around the corner, and then you die. And so the way you die is, you've made it around the corner then you fall dead on the floor. And that was fixed previously in a version of Call of Duty that these guys didn't make, but they never incorporated that fix into their code.
Leo: That's so funny. So, which one do you want, you want the Treyarch Call of Duty or the Infinity Ward?
Paul: Actually, it's weird because the way it started off, is the Treyarch versions were always terrible and the Infinity Ward ones were always great. Treyarch is the company that makes the better games now.
Leo: I didn't know that, that's very interesting.
Paul: I have a million examples of stuff like that and it drives me bonkers.
Leo: Are they in different geographic locales? They probably are, right?
Paul: I'm sure they are. I'm sure they hate each other just like Google and Microsoft. I don't know.
Leo: I hate you Treyarch, I hate you!
Paul: Screw you, Treyarch!
Leo: I'm going to devour you! All right. I love the Nokia Codenames! The Lumia Codenames. So, they're colors right? What was that crazy color that you found?
Leo: No, no...
Mary Jo: Bittersweet shimmer.
Leo: Bittersweet shimmer!
Mary Jo: That was black. Black became bittersweet shimmer.
Leo: So is it black or bittersweet shimmer? What color is it?
Mary Jo: Black is bittersweet shimmer.
Leo: What color is your rainbow Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: I kind of like black, it's easier to say, it's shorter.
Leo: Bittersweet shimmer is so evocative. It's a little baroque, but it is evocative.
Paul: It's the color you see when you're having a stroke. And black is the next color you see. Aha!
Leo: When does the white light appear? Bittersweet shimmer is the new black. Or is it the other way around, black is the new bittersweet shimmer?
Paul: Black is the new bittersweet shimmer.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: It's not exactly rolling out fast, right? What's going on?
Mary Jo: Paul...
Paul: Alright, this is very convoluted, but it first arrived with the Lumia 1520, which is the phablet, and soon thereafter, sometime at the end of last year they announced that if you were on AT&T and had a Lumia 1020, you could get it. And now they're rolling it out more generally, but they're starting with, and I may have this wrong, but I think its 1020 and 925 users, Lumia, worldwide or in certain markets, I don't remember but it's not a very broad roll out the way that these things go, is obviously, they expand out over time. But the thing that kills me about this is-
Leo: This isn't carrier specific?
Leo: I guess it kind of is, because the code is different for AT&T and Verizon.
Paul: Yeah. If you get this update that means you have also gotten update 3 for Windows phone 8. So that needs to be part of it.
Leo: Comes separately or is it-
Paul: Actually they come together. So if you haven't gotten update 3 yet, you can get them at the same time. I feel like I'm describing diseases. Anyways, it's like a cocktail of updates.
Leo: Update 3 not included.
Paul: Yeah. The problem I have with this isn't the staggered roll out, I've been using Windows' phone for years. I get it. It's trying to figure out what the heck is in thing is like pulling teeth. Like, the official Nokia description of this thing, described something that wasn't in the update and then the closer you look, you realize that most of the stuff they're talking about is not technically in this update at all. They're like separate apps. So, it's really kind of unclear exactly what is in this, there's some low level things. Bluetooth for LE support is built in, or it adds that support to your phone and so, I think that enables interaction with certain classes of devices. Like the health monitor type devices that you might get from Nike or Adidas or something like that, it has improvements to low level camera functionality, not just the app. The actual low level camera functionality. It supports a new digital negative format DNG, like a raw format in certain phones, so that's neat. So, it's stuff like that. But when you get past the stuff that's actually in the update, the exciting stuff, the stuff that Nokia is promoting are just apps. They have nothing to do with the update beyond the fact that some of them actually require you to have the update before you can get the apps, but they're not included with it. I just find the whole thing to be really odd, the way they've communicated this.
Leo: Somebody in our chat room says he is in Germany and has received Black on his 920. Can't you just look-
Paul: Well I don't believe that is on the list.
Leo: Yeah I know. You said 1020 and 925.
Paul: Yeah, I believe that's what it is.
Mary Jo: I think many of the Lumia's are going to get Black, right? And there's a chart somewhere on one of the Nokia sites that has the whole list of all of the carriers and whether it's right now, in carrier approval phase or where it is. So, it's a little bit confusing.
Paul: Right. If you have Windows phone 8, if you can get update 3, you can get Black, if you have a Lumia.
Mary Jo: You can get Black if you have a Lumia. Is it every Lumia though? Is it every single one, there's so many numbers.
Paul: Well, obviously certain features require certain components that are not available everywhere, so it's possible some of them won't get it. Or won't get the full functionality.
Leo: And you mention in your article there are a couple of features that we didn't know about. App folders, which is great.
Paul: That was the one that set off this for me. They announced this, app folders was the first thing they discussed. No one had ever heard of this. They've been talking about Black for months and update 3 we know about, and App Folders, wow. So here's this feature that everybody wants, the ability to put folders on the home screen, the start screen, just like you can in iOS and android.
Paul: Where is it? I've installed Black, I don't see iFolders, is it missing something, is it hidden, do I press and hold somewhere, how do you make the sound? Everyone I asked got it wrong, nobody seemed to know and all of a sudden, that day it appeared. It's an app, it's just an app. So not only is it just an app, it's kind of a half lousy app. You think about folders on iOS or Android, they open on top of the screen and give you like a little interface, and this one is just an app. This whole thing has been kind of disappointing.
Leo: Lenisva is reporting, he or she is in Sweden and has it on the 920 as well. Aren't you lucky, because we have a global audience and you are getting direct feedback.
Paul: Well according to Nokia, those people are liars! Liars!
Leo: No, they're not. In Denmark, too.
Paul: Well all I can tell you is what they said.
Leo: AJenson in Denmark has is on his 925, so we expected 925, it’s the 920 that is a surprise. Black is also out in the Netherlands for Vodaphone on the 9-2-0.
Paul: I have a 925 here and I don't have it. So, I did get it on my-
Leo: Isn't there a retail dealer that will do it, I mean, aren't there apps that will force it?
Paul: Oh, Leo. That’s just crazy.
Leo: That's just an urban legend. Folk lore. Not supported by anything we know of. Portland is reporting, no Black. Some nice plaid flannels, but no Black. You did write an article and I recommend it. Your guide to update 3 and Black features is on the super site for Windows.
Paul: Yeah, and I'll keep adding to it. Some of my app page stuff is related to this and we'll talk about that later. But there is more to come there, I mean there's more apps and features and stuff.
Leo: What's the clip art? It's a guy on a neon lit Vespa.
Paul: Yeah that's from a Lumia 925 advertisement about low life photography.
Leo: Wow, very nice. Very pretty.
Paul: Kind of keeping with the Black/dark theme I guess.
Leo: The death of XP continues to be headline news. Finally sinking in, the vast majority of XP users are suddenly going, "Oh crap."
Mary Jo: Yeah, it's funny. No matter how much we write about this over at ZDnet, it can't be enough. We get so many comments and questions about, "What's going to happen to me, I'm still running XP." Which makes sense, I mean, the market share for Windows XP is still 29%, which is still pretty big. Bigger than Windows 8, right? So I've been slowly and surely getting answers from Microsoft about some of the things that readers have been asking. I'll tell you three interesting things that I've got confirmed now. People have been asking me, if they're running XP will they still have to activate it after through Microsoft after April 8, 2014. There are some people who have licenses to it, who want to put it on different hardware after that date, so they were wondering, "If I do it, can I?" And the answer is, you are going to still have to activate and yes you can. You can take your license and put it on hardware after that date.
Leo: So the activation servers are still running?
Mary Jo: They're still running.
Leo: Wow. Not that we recommend you install XP on anything.
Mary Jo: As I have pointed out a couple of times before, and I'll say again, I know why people are running it still. In some cases, it's because they're cheap and they don't want to buy new machines. Sometimes though, it's because they have software peripherals that won't work with newer machines and for whatever reason, they can't or won't upgrade because of that.
Leo: “My Epson MX80 Dot Matrix printer will not work,” it's still cheap Mary Jo!
Paul: Keep your Windows 7 off my Packard Bell.
Mary Jo: I've heard from some people who have very specialized hardware, like medical devices, that were like built for Windows XP.
Leo: Yeah, I understand. I'm being facetious here. And of course, they all call the radio show. And I try as best as I can, its fine don't plug it into the internet. It's going to continue to work just fine, but the minute you plug it into the internet, you will be hacked on April 9th, going forward.
Paul: You think it's going to be that serious?
Leo: Paul, how many Windows XP machines are out there?
Paul: 400 something million.
Leo: 400 million. Hello, my name is Borris the Hacker. I have in my pocket, right now..
Paul: That could be the new e-mail scam. It's like Windows XP is no longer supported, but if you install our security sweep...
Leo: Hey, nice thinking.
Paul: You could activate against our servers in Romania and you'll be up and running in no time.
Leo: You've got to figure these guys have many exploits and they're just sitting on them. They're going, you know, why trigger an exploit now when Microsoft still has time to patch it. We wait until April 9th, and then party time!
Paul: We were so worried about Y2K, you know? But this is going to be like the real apocalypse.
Leo: What I'm telling people is, if you're still running an XP machine, and you put it on the internet after April 8th, it will be hacked. Period. Somebody sent me a note saying "Oh no, no, see? Microsoft is still offering updates, you just have to pay for them." How big a volume license customer would I have to be to continue to get XP?
Paul: How big a check would you have to write? I'd like to get a fix for this bug. They're like, sure, that will be $80,000.
Mary Jo: It's not for everyone.
Leo: That's what I told them, this is an enterprise thing, you've got to be a volume license customer, and that's not you.
Mary Jo: So, I'll tell you two other things I've had people ask. I actually had people ask, "If I'm running Windows XP mode on Windows 7, on either the professional enterprise or ultimate versions, what happens to me after April 8th?" The answer is, that continues to work. But again, Microsoft is not going to be patching or updating XP mode. So, you're at risk if that's what you're doing. But that's not going to go away. A few people said, "Are they going to patch Windows 7 somehow and take XP mode away?" No, they are not. So that stays.
Paul: They only do that when you upgrade to Windows 8!
Leo: I didn't even think of that. There probably are a lot of people running XP mode on Windows 7 Professional.
Mary Jo: And then, the last one is people have been asking, "What happens to Microsoft Security Essentials?" Which is, Microsoft's Anti-Malware, Anti-Virus Software that's free.
Paul: This will surely be good news.
Mary Jo: "Are they going to keep supporting me on Windows XP after April 8th?" What do you think the answer is-
Leo: No, they're not. Right?
Mary Jo: They are not but, just today they did say that they are going to continue to provide updates to the anti-malware signatures and engine for XP through 2015.
Leo: Oh well that's very good news. So they will be updating signatures?
Mary Jo: They will.
Leo: Oh, well that's very good news.
Mary Jo: So there's a little something for you there, if you're one of those people.
Leo: So then Mr. Borris the Hacker, you've got to be careful and only use exploits that require an update of Microsoft Security and Essentials.
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: So XP really means exploit now.
Leo: XP stands for exploit. How cheap do you have to be really? I mean, come on.
Paul: Yeah, it is kind of crazy.
Leo: I guess if it's a medical device, like my heart/lung machine will only work with XP, okay. But that shouldn't be connected to the internet anyways. Okay mayo clinic guys, you got any XP running in the clinic? You're not putting it on the internet, you'd be nuts. I understand that. You know what? The big general electric X-ray machine is running service pack one. Of course it is! But you just don't connect it to the internet, I presume. I'm sure you guys are volume license customers and you'll continue to get patches.
Paul: It'd be an interesting video game. Get online and see how long it takes you to get hacked.
Leo: We used to do that. We did it on the screensavers back when the net bios hack was prevalent.
Paul: See how long it takes for a drive by.
Leo: And then what is it, there are viruses like Melissa that are just worms that are just endemic, they're just like always circulating. Presumably if you run an unpatched machine on the net, it's not going to take very long. I don't know if that's still the case but, we did that and it was of course instant infection. Code red inemda. Those are all still out there.
Paul: That was the year sites been hacked by the Chinese, I got that one.
Leo: Sassyr. That was the one where you just kept rebooting over and over again. Those are worms, right? So they're just sitting around on the internet waiting.
Paul: I kind of miss those days. It's like missing the Cold War, you know?
Leo: The mayo clinic guys are not going to say anything. I think, had I not mentioned their company by name, maybe we would have gotten more out of them. But I think medical equipment is in fact, a big category. These are very expensive units, but they're not going to put Windows 7 in them.
Paul: Maybe Google can buy the company that makes those devices.
Leo: Change the UI.
Paul: I can't click the radio button! I need to get this guy radiation treatment but I can't click it!
Leo: Anything else your readers are asking, Mary Jo, about XP?
Mary Jo: One last thing they were asking about is whether Microsoft is going to continue to make available to them, all the updates that they've made to Windows XP, up until April 8th, by Windows update servers. And the answer is yes, I don't know how long they keep it, but they keep it pretty much forever. So, you can always go and get the updates, up until the point that Microsoft discontinues them from Windows update.
Leo: So, really what they're saying is they aren't going to devote anymore man power to fixing problems on Windows XP. We're going to keep the servers running, the activation servers, update servers. We're even, and I think this is pretty respectable, going to continue to update virus signatures. But we're not going to send programmers into the breach to fix problems with XP.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: Moving on to another…I wonder who that guy is that's been doing that.
Paul: Oh, it's got to be like the intern hazing-ritual in Microsoft.
Leo: Is it April yet? Can I please start working on Vista?
Paul: Have we added support for two concurrent connections on a network yet? We have, when did that happen?
Leo: I hope to be 64-bit, someday. He's in the basement, you know he's in the basement somewhere- I'm really curious about this headline and I've resisted clicking the link because I have no idea. But my imagination has just gone wild. “Office 365 plus GoDaddy.”
Paul: It's not what you think Leo.
Mary Jo: It's not.
Leo: What is it? Danica is not going to come out and fix my computer?
Mary Jo: No.
Leo: They're partnering.
Paul: I would potentially pay extra for that kind of support.
Leo: I like you're fire suit.
Paul: Why do you keep throwing milk on your keyboard?
Leo: Fire away Mary Jo Foley, this is your story.
Mary Jo: Okay, so Microsoft is going to where the users are, to try to get Office 365 users on board. So one place there are a lot of small business users is GoDaddy, still. In spite of how their popularity has kind of died. So, they're saying, if you're on GoDaddy, Microsoft and GoDaddy are going to offer you these three different plans where you can use your domain there and look like you have a professional account. So, you can get this e-mail essentials account, which is using Office 365, $4 per user, per month and you get 5 gigs of e-mail storage and 2 gigs of Skydrive Pro storage. Then they have one for $8.99 a month, with 50 gigs of e-mail storage and then they've got this Productivity + one which gives you, for $12.49 a month the e-mail storage, the Skydrive Pro, you get Office mobile apps for iPhone and Android and, you get Office Desktop apps that you can put on up to five PCs or Macs for $24.99, per user/month. This is all through them, as partners, and Microsoft has done this before, they did a similar partnership with Verizon Wireless, they've done one with Sprint and they're basically trying to go to where the small business users are and say, "Hey, here you go." That's all this is.
Leo: Yeah, it makes perfect sense. Google does this with their Google apps. I know with Hover, our sponsor, they do it.
Paul: The ones I hear is that the plans are different on GoDaddy than they are with Office 365.
Leo: Better deals?
Paul: Well, more deals. So if you're an enterprise customer, you have many plans to choose from. But if you're a small business, you only have two, you have Small Business and Small Business Premium. Those two plans map roughly to the second and third plans that GoDaddy offers, but that first plan, the really inexpensive one is unique to GoDaddy, and it allows small businesses that have users with minimal needs to save a lot of money. And so that may be one advantage to going to GoDaddy. Plus, if you're already managing your domain or your website through GoDaddy, it gives you that integration there as well. And we all kind of make fun of GoDaddy, for the TV ads and for the endless spam that they send. But whatever, they you know-
Leo: To be fair, they've changed the management team and said, "We're not going to do the sexy ads anymore."
Paul: Sure. Why do we care about them again? Now they have Office 365, which, arguably is sexier.
Leo: I think that's it, am I right?
Paul: Alright, I'll see you guys later.
Leo: No, we still need a tip from you, a software pick. We got some beer, we got some codenames, we got an enterprise pick of the week. Don't go away yet. Coming up in about a half an hour, we got This Week in Google, at its new time as well. Actually, it's its old time, you guys are the new time. Our show today is brought to you by the good folks at Carbonite, online back-up. They've recently done some really neat things for customers, this is a very customer centric company. They had originally moved their support off-shore, as a lot of companies did. When their customers said, "I don't like it," they moved back, I think they're in Vermont now with US-based support. They were throttling after 200 gigabytes, saying, quite reasonably, "If you're packing up more than 200 gigabytes, maybe you're not..." But they've taken the throttles off. So this is really, for $59.99 a year, truly unlimited back-up for everything on a single Mac or a PC. That's less than $5 a month, and is a very, very good deal. They do have business versions of Carbonite, no matter what kind of business, what kind of system. Carbonite is really a great way to go. They've got the personal, the pro, the server, always one flat, yearly rate. Here's the deal, go to Carbonite.com and try it. There's a lot of advantages to Carbonite, it is automatic so you don't even have to think about back-up, any back-up has got to be continuous, so, you’ll get versioning. And its cloud storage, so when you use Carbonite, your stuff is available to you anywhere. You just log on using your Carbonite account, and there's your stuff. You can download files, you can e-mail files to other people, they have smartphone apps that are free and I really like Carbonite. I don't send a laptop out of my house without Carbonite on it. So here's the deal, two weeks free, you don't need a credit card, just use Windows as the offer code at carbonite.com. I know a lot of our listeners are very sophisticated, perhaps you have already set up an elaborate back-up scheme, and you don't need Carbonite, but do tell your friends and family about it and tell them about the offer code: Windows. Anyone that listens to this show is backing up, I hope, I presume. But you certainly have friends and family who are not, and you do not want them calling you, in tears, because they lost, you know tax time is coming up, I lost my entire financial data, I don't know what I'm going to do! Get them on Carbonite, it is a nice thing to do. Carbonite.com, use the offer code: Windows to try it, and if you decide to buy it, you get two months free with the purchase. You got to back it up to get it back, do it right. Time for our pick of the week, or tip of the week from Mr. Paul Thurrott.
Paul: I guess I'm just going to run these on, because I have a tip, but then these are all kind of apps and as time went by, I kept adding apps and now there's like 17 different things here.
Paul: I mentioned that Nokia released a bunch of new apps, maybe at least updated apps in the wake of Black and that many of them require it. You don't get them automatically when you install Black, but Nokia has created a blog post that has links to all of those apps. So it's kind of a neat little resource. This includes app folder, Nokia Refocus, Beamer, Story Teller, which I was just playing today and I'll be writing about that one soon because it's a really cool app. And then the new Nokia camera app, which is a combination of the Pro camera and smart camera apps. And so, I guess the best way to describe the people who want to find this is, Nokia has a blog called conversations, at Nokia. It's conversations.nokia.com. They posted this about two days ago, but it's the Back to Black app download link’s host that has those. Of course, on my site whenever I write about one of these apps, I also include a download link. But this is kind of a nice one because it tells you what each of the apps are. I mention very briefly, that DNG support was part of this Black update on supported phones. That's a raw camera format, for if you're kind of a professional photographer. You may want to enable that on your phone, it's on the 1020, I think it's on all of the 9X, 92. whatever phones and possibly some of the other ones. But it allows you to, in addition to saving you a jpeg every time you take a photo, you can save a DNG file.
Leo: Now here's a question, is it actually a raw file or is it a file in the DNG format?
Paul: That's a good question. I actually don't use raw files so-
Leo: I know of no camera phone that will, what a raw file is, this is just the bits off the sensor, unmodified, unchanged. The DNG format is a format that Adobe has been pushing as kind of an independent.. because everybody is going raw format.
Paul: I don't know the technical details of it, what I can tell you is Nokia says that it is, a lossless raw file, in DNG format, it is the Nokia Lumia 1520 and 1020 are the only smartphones in the market that support raw.
Leo: That is pretty dang impressive.
Paul: So, concurrently with Black, I don't know who would've released this. I guess it would have been Adobe. Yeah, Adobe has released support for this raw DNG format for Light Room. So if you're a professional photographer, you might use light room as well and now you can use that in conjunction, with your Nokia smartphone.
Leo: That is really reaching out to the pro's out there, interesting.
Paul: Yeah, it's funny because a lot of people looked at the 1020 in particular, and said, this camera makes the most sense for professional photographers. And I sort of approached it from the other side and thought, to be honest, I think this phone is better for anyone. They can take better pictures with it and if they want, they can spend the time to learn how all of those controls work because it has, you know, a lot of the fine tunes and manual settings that you get with an actual camera. You don't have to use it, but you can, and I like the notion that it can help you become a better photographer. But you can approach it from either direction.
Leo: I am with you on that, I think that if you're a pro you would actually have a camera with you.
Paul: Yeah, but I guess maybe the professional photographer doesn't always bring their gigantic digital SLR camera with them everywhere they go, I mean, they could have the center pocket-
Leo: It's good, I'm not saying it isn't good. But I think that if you're serious photographer, you would at least have a pocket camera with you, as opposed to trying to-but you're right. It really up’s the game for people who don't carry cameras.
Paul: Yeah, and I made this observation this summer, when we brought this camera on our vacation with us to Europe, and I took, I don't know, 1500 photos and those are the best pictures I've ever taken in Europe so I'm ecstatic about the quality of them. So I have a few software picks. Last week I talked about Xbox music 2.0 for iOS, which added offline support just for playlists. This week, they released Xbox 2.0 for Android, shocker, and it adds basically the same functionality. It actually has a couple of additional features too, but that's the big one, offline support. So Microsoft has made the Android version of Xbox music work the same as the iOS version. Just before we started the podcast, I found out about these two other apps. Nokia announced the winner of their Grand Prize, which is an app called Pikura. I haven't used it yet, it looks kind of cool. It appears to be something a kin to the beard checking app, like on Tapped or whatever. It's where people can take pictures and also compare them to other people's photos. They also have a gamification element to it, where you can participate in contests and there will be daily challenges where they'll say, you know, like take pictures of this gigantic hamburger or some gigantic hamburger, then everyone who uses the app will go out, take pictures, and then someone will win a prize. That looks like a cool app. And then, I mentioned the Nokia camera app, which is quickly becoming the default app on the high-end Windows phones, there's now a beta that's available for all of Lumia Windows phones, that are running update 3, plus Black. So if you can get those updates on even a low-end phone, you'll be able to get a beta version of this app and the way I'm reading it, is that this Nokia Camera App will become The Windows Phone photo app, the camera app going forward. It is really powerful, even on kind of a medium quality camera. I think before the release of this version, I think they made it available, like on the 920 or the 925, and some of the other phones. But it's an awesome camera app and now they're moving it down market, which is cool and now there's a beta version of that, as well. I think that's everything.
Leo: So that's your tip and your pick.
Paul: Tip and many picks.
Leo: Which means it's time for Mary Jo Foley's enterprise pick of the week.
Mary Jo: My enterprise pick of the week is a screen reader for people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled, it's called Window-Eyes. What's pretty cool about this is, Microsoft teamed up with a company called GWmicro, and they are offering a free version of this screen-reader for people who have Office 2010 or Office 2013. You can just go to the site and download this for free and use it with the licensed copy of Office. It also supports server 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2003 Windows Server. There's a paid version of this program that you can buy through GWmicro that has more functionality and features. But if you're just trying to get the free one and use that with Office, it's right there. Download link, no catches, tricks. You could use it right now, so it's pretty nice.
Leo: And your codename of the week.
Mary Jo: My codename of the week? I'm doing kind of a backwards thing here, so my codename pick of the week is Reykjavik, I pronounce it wrong every time. Reykjavik, capital of Iceland, is the codename. So, here's the trick on this codename. I know this is a codename that Microsoft has, I know it is a codename for something that, the Windows Azure Team is building, and I have no idea what it is. So, I'm asking you listeners, if anybody knows, to help me figure this out. And the way this codename came to be was, somebody on the Azure team said, "We should let Mary Jo Foley name one of our codenames because she is always trying to break our codenames." So when they asked what I would want to code name something, I said, "Reykjavik." And they said, "Okay."
Leo: You picked a name you couldn't pronounce?
Mary Jo: Yes I did. Would you like to know why? So it'd be easier to search for.
Leo: Right? You’re right!
Mary Jo: So if anybody out there knows, I hear its NDA, so you can pass me a little private note.
Leo: That's great, so they said you could name it, but they won't tell you what it is. That is great.
Mary Jo: Something having to do with Azure. I'm guessing it will be some infrastructure kind of thing, you know how they did the service bus, which is a messaging infrastructure, but my guess is it's going to be something very low-level like that.
Leo: Let's hope they don't do a lot of Icelandic codenames, because Reykjavik is the easiest. What was the Icelandic volcano named? No one could pronounce it, we even had Icelanders call us and just had nothing. It was like thirteen consonants in a row. Here's the NPR announcer, he's going to attempt to pronounce it. It's spelled, e-y-j-a-f-j-a-l-l-a-j-o-k-u-l-l, it's a volcano in Iceland.
Mary Jo: What was that? Wow, okay…so, it could have been worse.
Paul: It was good.
Leo: It's not right! All codename should be in Icelandic from now on! And your beer pick of the week?
Mary Jo: My beer Pick of the Wheat, because I haven't picked a wheat beer in forever, is the Dreamweaver Wheat from Troegs Brewing in Hershey, PA. And I picked it because it's a really good example of the style, wheat beer, Hefeweizen. It's just so easy to drink, and nice. Banana, clove, all of the things that are so tasty and also, fairly low alcohol. So it's very sessionable, as they say. You can drink a lot of them and still be coherent. Not like those weak wines that I have been drinking. They're called barley wine or wheat wine. But it's like a starter beer, and is so good. Last night was Troegs night so, they had all kinds of Troegs on, including this one, and it is always a pleasure to drink.
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen Windows Weekly is brought to you each week at this time, by Gary Wright, The Dreamweaver.
Paul: Someone sent me a chat or I guess, a forum post from Chromium, about this non-standard UI issue. Not surprisingly many, many complaints, but according to Chromium, there was a big change in the graphics
Leo: Chromium is the open-source version and it is not a project specifically owned by Google, but I think many Googlers work on it.
Paul: So, I guess the change in the graphics stack between the previous version of Chrome and the new version, was meant to unify Windows Chromo S and Lennix and that unification includes a shared widget them. They knew this was going to upset some people, and respect that, but decided to go ahead because many sites already customize the scroll bars, which doesn't explain the other controls. And internet explorer and Windows 8 already has a non-classic widget theme.
Leo: Microsoft did it, so we're going to do it too.
Mary Jo: Also, I'm hearing from a lot of people on Twitter that we may be wrong about the idea that Firefox or Chrome could run on the Surface RT, ever because of different things that Microsoft's prevented, in terms of them not being able to install a desktop version, and a metro version simultaneously.
Paul: That alone makes RT so much less interesting. I mean, what percentage of stuff do you do on a tablet or a computer that's web-based?
Leo: Browser, it's all browser.
Mary Jo: If they would just make IE 11 work better on my Surface RT, I would be okay being limited to one browser.
Leo: Dream on, little dream weaver. Mary Jo Foley is all about microsoft.com, she breaks news every single day. Paul Thurrott, super site for Windows, same thing, windsupersite.com. Of course Paul's got the books, he's got the windowsphonebook.com and the new zunemusic.com, no sorry...xboxmusic.com.
Paul: I actually don't have that website, but windsupersite, I have that one.
Leo: We do this show, as I have said three times, on Wednesdays at 11am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern, 19 at our UTC at twit.tv.
Paul: I think by February or March we should be getting used to the schedule.
Leo: How's it feel for you?
Paul: It's a little weird, because I always feel like my week is going to end tomorrow. It's going to make Friday's tough for a little while.
Leo: I have the same thing. My whole week has been rejiggered. Because we've moved quite a few shows and it's very odd, but I'll get used to it. We did this show on Thursdays for 7 years so it’s a big deal to move it, but I appreciate your flexibility, and my dogs do too. Mary Jo Foley, and Paul Thurrott thank you. We'll see you next week on Windows Weekly!