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Windows Weekly 349
Leo Laporte: It’s a Windows phone leakopoluza. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here to talk about the latest with Windows phone, Windows 8.1 update, and a rumor alert. It’s all coming up next, plus a brand new phone from Verizon that looks pretty sweet. Windows Weekly is next.
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Leo: It’s time for Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, episode 349, recorded February 12th, 2014
Windows Weekly is brought to you by Lynda.com. Learn what you want, when you want. With access to over 2000 high quality online courses and training videos, all for one low monthly price. To try it free for 7 days, visit Lynda.com/Windows. And by Carbonite, whether you have one computer at home, or several in your small business, Carbonite backs up your files to the cloud automatically, and continually, plus access your files anytime anywhere. With a free app, start your free trial at carbonite.com. No credit card required, and use the offer code WINDOWS to get two bonus months with purchase. And SquareSpace, the all in one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website, or online portfolio. For a free two week trial and 10% off, go to SquareSpace.com, and use the offer code WINDOWS2. A better web awaits at SquareSpace.com. It’s time for Windows Weekly. Fasten your seatbelts, Paul Thorrott, and Mary Jo Foley are here, our Windows experts, to talk about the latest from Microsoft. Paul of course, blogs at the super site for Windows, winsupersite.com, writes books like they’re going out of style, which they are, and is just the expert on this stuff. Hi Paul, good to have you. Mary Jo Foley is also here from allaboutmicrosoft.com, Zdnet blogger who has the best sources inside Microsoft. Who of the two of you was the first to pick Satya Nadella as the CEO at Microsoft?
Paul Thurrott: I would have to think that when we went back and talked about this originally on the show, I would suspect that when Ballmer made this announcement, which was a little shocking to everyone. I distinctly remember saying, “Alan Malaly” really early. I’d assumed that Satya Nadella was the first, or best choice internally that we could have come up with.
Leo: I think that’s clear. Despite the, “List of 100” it was always Malaly, Tony Bates, Nadella, and Stephen Elop. My dream scenario was to get Malaly in for a few years, tighten the bolts down, train Elop, and then Elop takes over. We mentioned this last week. I wonder what happens now to Tony Bates and Stephen Elop. Are they hurt?
Mary Jo Foley: We don’t know if they’re going to stay or go. Kevin Turner too, the COO, we don’t know what’s going to happen. He was another candidate too.
Paul: I don’t see how anyone who is a viable candidate to be the next CEO of Microsoft would feel snubbed and leave personally.
Mary Jo: It happens.
Leo: Yeah, this is business. I don’t have your notes for some reason. I thought I did.
Mary Jo: You see, there’s this new thing where the notebooks are listed by date.
Leo: Oh, I see. 2014 now comes after 2011. There you go.
Paul: Really? They changed the order?
Mary Jo: It comes out in a weird order.
Leo: It’s not sorted. I had 2013 up. It goes, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2014. So there you go, I missed it.
Paul: Is this the web version I’m looking at?
Leo: Yeah, unfortunately. That’s what I’m using.
Paul: I’ve been using the Windows 8 mobile version lately, and it’s actually a nice looking app.
Leo: I shall get myself one of those Windows things one of these days.
Paul: I hear it’s like, the next big thing.
Leo: I love my Acer S7, but the problem is, it’s a year old, and already two generations old. The iteration is very quick there, because of Haswell.
Paul: There is a new version of that laptop.
Leo: It’s now higher resolution, it was kind of expensive, $1,500 bucks to buy a new one, but I think I need to. I really love it.
Paul: I guess the new one has much better battery life too.
Leo: Oh yeah? Of course it does, because they want to screw me.
Mary Jo: I think that Padre is going to get me a Lenovo.
Leo: I think that you should try it. Mary Jo, I know that you’re still on the laptop hunt.
Mary Jo: I am, but Padre says he knows people.
Leo: He has connections at Acer. I bought my Acer S7, I really don’t like to get into the pockets of these companies. But he has a few I’ve noticed. Last time he did this weekend enterprise tech, he had two of them on the desk in front of him. He should get you one.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I just want to loan it. If I like it, I will buy it too.
Leo: We’re going to talk about Windows phone.
Mary Jo: We’re going to talk about the story you’re wondering about.
Leo: You know, I know which one you want to talk about, but it’s a little lower on the totem pole.
Paul: Why? Did something happen this week?
Leo: Nothing. So let’s do the Windows phone leakapoluza.
Paul: The best part about that headline is, you think I wrote that, don’t you?
Leo: I do! It’s you? Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: It was me.
Leo: RT is up to 8.1, Windows Pro is up to 8.1, in fact, update one is coming. Whither Windows Phone 8.1.
Mary Jo: Let’s talk about the leak. It’s actually pretty interesting, I think it was just last week that Paul and I were saying that it is so weird that nothing has leaked about Windows Phone 8.1. Then, this week, Microsoft gave out the SDK to some choice developers, and within hours, literally everything leaked. Of course, people can’t help it. They get the emulator, they get the documentation, then they throw all of this information up on Twitter, and on Reddit. A lot of stuff leaked. It’s not every single feature, and everybody keeps saying that, and I think that it’s true, because Cortana didn’t leak, the Siri like feature that’s coming for Windows 8.1. That wasn’t even enabled supposedly in this developer release, but a lot of other features did leak, and the list is long. Some were predictable, like IE 11 is going to be the new browser, and it’s going to have web geo support, VPN support is going to be built into the operating system. We had kind of wondered about that, because they said we might have to wait for an add on, and a prize pack for that, but it looks like it is in the OS. The Sky Drive becomes one drive, that’s going to be all changed as of the new 8.1 phone release. For developers, there is this new universal app template so that you can have this single template if you are a Windows Phone or Windows 8 developer and you can re-use a lot more of your code so that an app you write for Windows Phone 8.1 will be very similar to your Windows 8 version of that. Not identical, but very similar.
Paul: I haven’t looked at that one yet, but I suspect that this universal app thing, which is probably a good thing to put in quotes, although that’s what it says in Visual Studio, is probably a solution that has separate projects for phone and Windows 8.1. They’re kind of formalizing something people might have done at Hawk before.
Mary Jo: Right, so you’re still going to have two projects, but one template, and now you’re going to use apex as your packaging for Windows phone, like you do on Windows 8. So they’re bringing the two platforms closer together as we had heard they were going to do, but it’s still not a case where there is one app store for Windows Phone and Windows 8, it’s still going to be two for now. You’re now kind of seeing this whole convergence thing that they have been promising now for years. I don’t think the Notifications Center is in there yet, is it the new action center?
Paul: I haven’t seen this, but supposedly there is something called the Action Center, which is something we know from Windows, that is in there. It is supposedly separate from the Notification Center, I’m not even sure what that means.
Mary Jo: So it’s two different things?
Paul: That’s my understanding based on the way the Reddit thing went. I haven’t seen it, so I’m not really sure.
Mary Jo: Bing search becomes more like the Windows 8.1 Bing search, so it’s more like universal search with Windows Phone. What else Paul? You looked at a bunch of this stuff.
Paul: There is a Podcast out now, which answers a big concern because as Microsoft rolled out its separate mobile apps for Xbox Music and Xbox Video last year on Windows phone beta form, people said, “Hold on a second. There is other stuff in Music and in Video in Windows Phones, so if you’re doing those parts of it separate, what about podcasts, what about FM radio?” I don’t know about FM radio, but I know that there is a podcast out, but interestingly, but not surprisingly because Rob kind of hinted at this. The podcast app is made from the Bing group. It’s a Bing app, it’s not an Xbox app. It looks like it answers a lot of the things that people wanted. It does URL downloading, you can search for the name of the show, you can do all of the subscription stuff as you would expect, it has variable speed, playback, stream, or download. It looks pretty full featured, so that’s cool.
Leo: The only reason that I like the Bing division and not Xbox is that it tells you that it’s an internet product that is free.
Paul: That also explains why Xbox had nothing to do with it.
Leo: Yeah, there’s no money in it. One of the issues with podcasts, for example on iTunes, you press a subscribe button, everything else on iTunes I’m paying for, subscribe sounds like, “I’m going to give you money, and you’ve got my credit card.” So I really think that this is good.
Paul: That is a very specific example of something that is happening more generally in Windows Phone. We’ve kind of touched on this over the past year in different ways. When Microsoft released a major update to the Facebook app on Windows Phone, you may recall, that app looked like the Facebook app on different mobile platforms. It didn’t look like a metro app, it didn’t look like a Windows phone app. The kind of gyration you went through at the time was, “Is it better to have this app than not have it? If we’re going to require metro look and feel if developers aren’t interested in that.” This breakdown of apps on Windows phone away from the hub model, which was kind of one of the pioneering distinctions of Windows phone, I think is an important change. I know that people are going to be freaky about it, and I’ll write a little about this, I’ve written about this in the past with regards to other things, that one of the sad truths of Windows phone is that his hub thing has never worked. When they do integration bits, it never works. They integrate Facebook into the people hub and all of that kind of junk, and Facebook adds features, but we never get them on Windows phone because Facebook integration is a feature of the OS, and they can never update that mid-stream; we have to wait until some future version. The integration parts just fall apart. They had a music and videos hub that no one really integrated into any meaningful way whatsoever. They had first a pictures hub, then a photos hub, as they call it in Windows Phone 8, where you can have a list of apps that appear in there, but there was no meaningful integration; you could never integrate your Flickr libraries, or your Google Plus photo libraries, wherever you have photos online. You could never make those appear as normal folders inside the hub, which was the point of it. So, whenever you look at this beta, Windows early release, whatever you want to call it, you see them kind of stepping back, so I think the question becomes, not so much whether this usurps the point of Windows Phone, but rather, is it better to have Windows Phone like this? Have it work the way other platforms work, and be able to update those things more frequently. Or, are we going to stand our ground and say, “No, we want it to be an integrated experience, because that was the point of Windows Phone.” I think that’s kind of a big thing.
Mary Jo: So, Facebook integration with Windows Phone 8.1, I’ve seen a lot of back and forth for people about this. Some people say they’re going to remove the contacts hub integration with Facebook accounts, but other people are saying no. They’re still going to have this separate Facebook app called Facebook Blue that is going to ship with the OS, but it is a separate app.
Paul: The developer preview that I have doesn’t have that. What I can say is, Facebook as an account type, which is how that integration occurs today in Windows Phone, is no longer available. Well, it’s not available right here, maybe they could add it, the account thing has always been a bit strange on Windows Phone. There is actually an iCloud entry now, which wasn’t there before. They still handled account types in different ways, but Facebook is gone in this exact build and in this exact emulator. It could be different elsewhere. If you know about this, because this is a really complex topic, if you know about how accounts work in Windows 8, Facebook and Twitter are examples of accounts you can add, but you’re not actually adding that account to Windows, you’re adding that account to your Microsoft account, then you implicitly get the Facebook stuff through your Microsoft account. You’re linking it to that account, but not the device, and it’s possible that that’s why they’re getting rid of it in Phone, because it will be consistent with the way it works in Windows. That by signing in with your Microsoft account, you can pass through with your Facebook app. If you have the app, you could just run it, and it would see that you’re signed in with your Microsoft account, so you won’t have to sign in. That’s just speculation, but that’s pretty much how it works in Windows.
Leo: Anything else?
Paul: There is a lot, there’s a lot of stuff that’s not in here, that’s the thing. I’m putting stuff on Twitter today, and people are saying, “You don’t understand, there’s other stuff.” Well of course there’s other stuff. I can only say as of to what I’ve seen, I’m not going to talk about what other people see, I’m want to talk about what I can see, because I can’t rely on what other people see. They could be looking at a screenshot that someone gave them, not something that they actually see, and I think that’s off in the case. You could see a Facebook Tile, and a photo’s app somewhere, that’s fascinating, I look forward to seeing that myself, then I’ll talk about it, I don’t see that today. What I see is kind of a scale back of the hubs, which I think makes sense, I see more stand-alone apps, it’s just the way the world is going. The Bing apps are built in, podcasts, music video, a lot of new sense apps, we had Data Sense in Windows Phone 8, and now we have Storage Sense, which is just a new version of the storage feature, and Battery Power Sense.
Leo: Is this going to be one of those updates that you only get on a new phone, or are they going to push this down?
Mary Jo: Everyone gets this. Every Windows Phone 8 can run this update. That’s what I read today from someone who has the documentations.
Paul: They did say that they were going to have it available; the real question is whether the carriers are going to let that happen.
Leo: Carriers have to push it.
Paul: As of today if you have a Lumia 928 on Verizon, you can get Nokia Black. These things happen, they just happen slowly.
Leo: So, the bids go to developers that build?
Mary Jo: Yeah, that’s supposedly the time schedule, though the thing I keep hearing is the RTM Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System right before the very first day of build, which was April 2nd, and so, if you’re a developer, or a user who’s savvy enough to know how to get the developer bits like we talked about before in the show before, it’s not that hard; you can get the RTM pretty much immediately. Otherwise, you’re going to have to wait for your carrier, or if you’re getting on a new phone, the hand set maker, to preload it, that might take a few months as we’ve seen in the past.
Leo: Nokia is now Microsoft, right? I mean, that went through?
Mary Jo: No.
Leo: No? We’re still waiting on China?
Mary Jo: We’re still waiting.
Paul: I shouldn’t say this, but for all of the things that have gone up, and down, and sideways in the past 10 years, if I could change anything in the realm of which we cover professionally, I would love it for Nokia to be able to make it as a separate company. I would love for them not go be sucked into Microsoft, I’m really nervous about this.
Leo: Well maybe the Chinese will make your wish come true.
Paul: I feel like this company, which is running on the edge of disaster, has had just the most amazing couple of years. They have released a crazy amount of new phones, accessories, services, and apps, and it’s amazing, and I’m really nervous that this is all going to come to a crashing halt, and that they’re going to hit a brick wall. I’m really nervous about this. I saw this happen before with the Windows Live stuff, I’m really, really nervous about this. So please, go out and buy a Nokia Lumia Icon, it looks fantastic.
Leo: The Icon? What’s that?
Mary Jo: We should talk about that, even though it’s not what’s next on our agenda here.
Leo: Let’s hold on before you do. I do really want to ask about the Android. And a whole lot more, of course the rumor of the week, Mary Jo Foley is here from allaboutmicrosoft.com, and Paul Thorrott, from the Super Site for Windows, and Windows IT Professional. Our show brought to you today by Lynda.com. I’ve known Lynda for so long, she is just great. She was writing these great books on web development and web design, she was the queen of that.
Mary Jo: I got to meet Lynda at one of the original Microsoft Mix shows.
Leo: Isn’t she great?
Mary Jo: Yeah, she was cool.
Leo: I was always very impressed. We used to always have her on the screensavers fairly regularly, but what I didn’t know was what an entrepreneur she was. She started Lynda.com shortly thereafter, and it has become the place to learn how to use a software online. A lot of companies, including mine, will get Lynda accounts for their employees. We send our editors there if we want them to get more proficient with Final Cut for instance. If you’re interested in Windows, they have literally hundreds of courses on Microsoft software. You can learn the latest on Office 365, Office 2013, or Access if you want to do some database design. Latest version of Windows? You bet, including 8.1! If you’ve got a family member who is still on XP, send them Lynda, they literally have a course on how to migrate from XP, to Windows 8. It’s not just, “And next you press the…” No, these are really great instructors; they’re working professionals at the top of their field expert teachers. One of the reasons that I’ve stayed in touch with Lynda.com is because so many of my friends teach there. Including the great Bert Monroy who does a wonderful series that is free on Lynda.com. The memberships are really great; like I said, if you’re a business, they have a group membership plan that is great with business, for individuals, normally its $37.50 a month for the premium plan, $25.00 a month for the basic plan. Each of those gives you free access to everything on the site, all of the courses. Look at all of the subjects, all of the courses they have here. All of the stuff they have on here is just phenomenal. I think the total count is well over 2000 courses, that means probably tens of thousands of videos, because one of the things about each course is that it’s carefully curetted, chapter by chapter, so you can jump to the courses and the part of the course you want. They even have complete, human written transcriptions that you can search. Easy to follow videos, courses for all experience levels, beginners to advanced. They even have courses on business strategies, and more. We’ve got a special offer for you. You can get a 7 day trial, a run of the site, every single course, take as many courses as you can in a week, if you visit Lynda.com/windows. I think you’ll be pretty impressed with what you see. And again, businesses that want a place for their employees to get trained, this is a great place to go. You can watch on your computer, your tablet, and your mobile device. Pick up where you left off on any of those devices. Lynda.com/windows. Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley, Windows Weekly on the air talking about the latest in Windows, and Microsoft, and Xbox. What is the Icon? And should I wait to buy one?
Mary Jo: I’m super interested in the Icon. It’s the Lumia 929 that we heard rumors about for months now, 5 inch Nokia phone. Supposedly much less brick-like than many existing Nokia phones. So it’s much thinner, much better weight distribution so it feels easier to hold in the hand, even though it’s 5 inches. 20 Megapixel camera, and has all of the usual stuff on it.
Leo: Will they announce this in Mobile World Congress? Is that what we’re waiting for?
Mary Jo: No, they actually announced it today. It’s been rumored for months, and people have had screenshots, and links on it. Verizon accidentally posted all of the specs several times. You can order it today through the Microsoft stores, or pre-order it. It comes in white or black, and I think it is available as of February 20th, for $200 for a 2 year contract. This one might be my first Lumia phone.
Paul: This one looks good. It’s a little brick-like, but the camera appears to be physically identical to the one in the 1520, which is an excellent camera. Getting that in a more reasonable form factor, I think could be nearly ideal.
Leo: Very fast quad core processor at 2.2 Gigahertz. That’s pretty impressive, there is also 2 Gigs of RAM. Do I go to Verizon to pre-order?
Mary Jo: You can pre-order on Microsoft Store. I think you can also pre-order on Verizon.
Leo: The only thing that I have on my Verizon account is an iPhone 5S, and I’m so sick of that, so maybe I’ll upgrade. I have an account with each of the carriers. You know what’s interesting? I don’t know if this is true for the Windows phones, but for the 5S for Verizon, you can pop out the Verizon SIM, and pop in the AT&T SIM. It’s unlocked.
Paul: I thought they went to a universal LTE kind of thing.
Leo: It is, because it’s all SIM’s, but they didn’t lock it. So I put a AT&T SIM in it, and it works. So now I have an empty slot in my Verizon accounts. I should have a Windows phone. Someone said, “How dare you do this show, and use a Mac for the screenshot?” It’s just what is hooked up in the studio. I was thinking about getting the 2520 on the Verizon thing, but this is big enough, maybe I could just live with this.
Mary Jo: I still am using my HTC 8X on Verizon, and it’s still a good phone and everything, but I keep wondering, what would it be like to get the Lumia apps?
Paul: As soon as you buy one, they’ll just be available to everybody. Actually, the hardware in this phone is a significant upgrade from the 8X.
Leo: Yeah, my word for that is, “Your 8X is super anuated.”
Paul: Your beer photos are going to be so much better.
Mary Jo: They are going to be unbelievable.
Leo: Oh, it’s in store only. You have to go to your Verizon store.
Mary Jo: Oh, okay. Interesting.
Leo: Now, should I get white, or black?
Mary Jo: I’m kind of interested in the white.
Paul: It says in store only from the Microsoft Store. You might be able to go to Verizon.
Leo: I see what you’re saying. So I have to go to the Microsoft Store, find a store near you. You said February 20th on Verizon, is that right?
Mary Jo: I believe so.
Paul: You know the best part about this phone though? It’s the name! They have had this silly range of numbers, and here they are, on their way out, and they finally get a little brand going there.
Leo: I love it. So I click choose your store, and then it says find a store location, I drop that down, and it’s completely blank.
Paul: I don’t understand why you can’t just pick a store location Leo. [Laughs]
Leo: I just don’t live anywhere near a store.
Mary Jo: You live near a bunch of them.
Leo: I know, they’re not far away, but Microsoft declines to tell me where they are.
Mary Jo: That’s weird.
Leo: Yeah. It’s actually because I’m using a Mac. They don’t like that. I’m going to go to my Microsoft Store today, and get myself a phone, dang it.
Paul: Is it there today?
Paul: Then don’t go today Leo.
Mary Jo: You can just pre-order it.
Leo: So I’m just going to give them money, and they’re going to say, “Thank you very much, goodbye.”
Paul: But hold on, you said that you have an empty slot where?
Paul: Oh, it’s on Verizon.
Leo: Yeah. I have an account with all of them, it’s ridiculous. You do not want to know how much I spend on cell phones every month. But that is part of my job. Here is Abby Laporte right now to show us her Verizon phone, running on AT&T. It’s a remarkable thing! You know what I have for you Abby? You’re going to love this. The keyboard. Who was it that said, “I want a keyboard on my iPhone.” It wasn’t Ryan Seacrest, it was the other guy. So I bought one of those things that you slot into your Blackberry phone. So now you get a Blackberry keyboard, and it only makes your phone about the size of a shoe box.
Paul: I bet it has a battery inside of it. I just want one that gives my phone pink bunny ears.
Leo: We can arrange that. So, are you here for a reason, do you want money? [Directed at Abby]
[Quiet voice talks to Leo]
Leo: Oh, she’s working.
[Quiet voice talks to Leo again]
Leo: Yes, you can use my laptop. Enjoy my laptop. I’ll give it to you in a second here.
Paul: I probably shouldn’t mention this, because we’ll get robbed now. I had to go into Boston for a meeting today, and I didn’t have any cash, I asked my wife if she had any cash, and she didn’t, and she said, “That’s okay, Kelly has $340 in cash in her first drawer.” My daughter literally has a drawer full of money.
Leo: See, Abby was not that daughter. Henry was that boy. Abby used to borrow money from Henry all the time, right?
Paul: Who has a drawer full of money though?
Leo: Well, kids, you know? How old is she?
Leo: Your twelve year old has more money than you do.
Paul: I took what I thought was a twenty, and I went into Boston, I went to pay for something at Dunkin Donuts, and it was a fifty.
Leo: She’s got something running on the side. She’s got something going on, on the side.
Paul: I’ve got to fix this today.
Mary Jo: She’s taking it from you, and putting it in the drawer, you’ve got to realize this.
Leo: Fifties? But Paul, you don’t even have fifties in your wallet. She’s going to a casino.
Paul: It’s like an Andrew Dice Clay joke, it’s like I only carry hundreds. I don’t even understand what’s happening here.
Leo: I hate that, when you’re in a casino, and you go to the ATM in the casino and they give you one hundreds.
Paul: It’s the only way you ever get to see them though.
Leo: Right, they’re beautiful though, those new hundreds. It’s all about the Franklins though baby. So what is the deal with this whole Android thing? Your friend, Peter Bright wrote a great article in which he said there is no way Nokia or Microsoft could create an Android phone fort, because it would be foolish, because you couldn’t have the Google Store on it.
Paul: Amazon did it.
Leo: Yes, Amazon did it, but a year before they released it, they built up this Android store, right? So what is the story?
Mary Jo: You know what’s funny about this whole story is, there have been leaks for a few months now about Nokia building an Android phone. Evleaks has been posting pictures of the phone, and it wasn’t until the Wall Street Journal reported it this week that they heard it is real, and now everyone is suddenly like, “Wow, it’s real!”
Leo: It’s because nobody believed it.
Paul: Is it absolutely, definitely real?
Mary Jo: I believe so.
Paul: I think this is the most terrible idea that I have ever heard.
Leo: It’s an Asha, though.
Mary Jo: We think it’s an Asha replacement. The Asha phones run the S30 S40 operating system software now, and the way this would supposedly work is, they would take Android open sourced projects, they use that as the base, and then they would… Evleaks says they’d run the Nokia store on it, not the Google store. Then you would have Microsoft apps and services running on an Android phone.
Leo: So the reason they can do this, there is two things. There is the Android open source project, and then there is the Google services, and because it’s open source, anyone including Amazon or Nokia could use AOSP stuff. But if you want to put Play Store on there, you have to put all of the Google apps, and you have to get it certified by Google. Peter Bright was saying this is a bad idea, he says it’s un-forkable.
Paul: It’s a terrible idea.
Mary Jo: But it’s not un-forkable.
Leo: No, it’s totally not un-forkable. Amazon did it. A lot of Chinese companies do it.
Paul: I just think that it’s a terrible idea. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just base this on Windows Phone. Windows Phone already runs on amazingly low-end hardware.
Leo: This would basically be an AOSP phone. Cheap, cheap, just like they do in China, cheap, cheap phone, without Google mobile services.
Mary Jo: Instead, you’d get Skype, you would get the Here Maps.
Leo: If you lose Google services, then you lose things like the location services. It’s not just apps, you lose a lot of the functionality. If anybody could do it, maybe Nokia could do it, because they have the Here apps, presumably they have location services that are pretty strong.
Paul: But Microsoft is going to buy this company. This is worse than when Microsoft bought Hotmail, and Hotmail was running on top of free BSD, and it took them seven or eight years to get off of that code-base, or whatever it was. This is an application platform now, It’s an OS. I’m astonished that they’re going to announce this thing.
Leo: It doesn’t surprise me, given that it’s an Asha. To run it on Symbian, which is what they were running it on, is just too antiquated. AOSP is better than Symbian, even without the Google stuff. If anybody could replace the Google stuff credibly, it would be Nokia.
Paul: What’s the ASHA store story looking like today? I know there is a Nokia store, do they have apps?
Leo: It’s for developing nations though, it’s not for the U.S.
Mary Jo: It’s supposed to be a very low end, kind of like the entry level phone, and when Microsoft agreed to buy the Nokia handset division, they agreed to buy Lumia and ASHA. They wanted ASHA, and the reason they wanted it was they were positioning that as the on-ramp to Windows Phone.
Leo: But could they make a poor man’s Windows Phone?
Mary Jo: They already make one.
Leo: What is the cheapest Windows Phone?
Paul: The 520, it’s under $100.
Mary Jo: I think it’s more the case of, they could never Windows OS to work on the ASHA phones for some reason, maybe because it was too big, or technical requirements, or maybe the chip, I don’t know exactly why, but that was supposedly the rational for having a separate different operating system on those phones. I don’t know what’s going to happen once Microsoft buys them.
Paul: Sometime in the next 12 months, there will a Microsoft announcement where they talk about what they sold, and there will be the observation that Microsoft is selling more of these devices than they are every kind of Windows devices combined. That’s going to be weird. I get that these things are $100 or less.
Leo: So an ASHA phone on Newegg is $95, unlocked. It’s pretty crappy.
Paul: What is it? 3G max kind of deal?
Leo: Probably, I don’t see LTE anywhere in the description. It frankly looks a lot like an iPhone, If I were Apple, I might be a little miffed. 3 Mega Pixel camera, 3 inch screen.
Paul: Does it have a touch ID button though? That would be nice.
Leo: No, but I have to say, if you’re mad at Samsung, this looks an awful lot like an iPhone in every respect, don’t you think?
Paul: Those icons are way more rounded than Apple icons. Really, they’re completely different.
Leo: It has one home button
Mary Jo: I’ll tell you what people are saying on Twitter as they’re listening to us here. Bart W says, “The Simeon phones are as cheap as 15 pounds in Europe. Can we get an Android phone as cheap as that?” Another commenter who is wishing not to be named said, “One reason Asha is considered a feature phone is the carriers care about that for billing purposes. So Windows Phone is seen as a smart phone, and Asha is the feature phone from a carrier perspective. That difference is a big deal.”
Leo: On Amazon, a Lumia 520 Unlocked is $125. That’s a little bit more than $35
Mary Jo: That’s expensive.
Leo: Unsubsidized, and that’s what we’re talking about; we’re not talking about subsidized phones in these markets. It’s a better phone, 5 mega pixel camera, 8GB, it has an IPS screen, it’s a better phone, but that’s not the point. The point is the out of the door price.
Paul: It doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to have this device. I just don’t get it.
Leo: They shouldn’t have bought the Asha division.
Mary Jo: I’ve seen a few people point out the fact that before you actually acquire a company, you’re not allowed to collude with them. Microsoft can’t go to Nokia right now, legally, and say, “Don’t do this.” They have the right to do it.
Paul: Could they legally go up to them and say, “You know, we’re reconsidering this full purchase thing.”?
Mary Jo: They could have Nokia announce the phone, and then they could kill it once they own them.
Leo: Here is the Nokia Icon ad in which a beautiful young woman races two cars, a corvette, and I don’t know what the hell that one on the right is.
Paul: It’s like a 50’s Ford kind of thing.
Leo: Apparently there is great audio in the Icon. “See and hear what you’ve been missing.” It’s a very odd ad. I thought that was going to be an ad for the Android phone. Foolish me, I got all excited.
Paul: I’m going to go to Mobile World Congress just to boo when they announce this.
Leo: You were there by accident a couple of years ago, weren’t you? Next year, we’re going, forget CES. It is the show to go to. Samsung is going to announce their S5, you’re going to have all sorts of interesting stuff coming out. It’s also in Barcelona.
Mary Jo: One key word we should talk about in this whole discussion is, if you read the Wall Street Journal articles talking about this Android phone, they say that Nokia is going to show this phone at Mobile World Congress. They didn’t say announce. They could just be showing it to people privately, right? I don’t know. So we’ll see if they actually make a big announcement there. Nokia does have a big press conference slated for MWC and their developer conference is there too.
Leo: Every one of the big carriers is there showing their new stuff. That’s the place to be. The HTC One successor will be there. But what is ironic is the only people who now make Windows Phones is Nokia. If you ever wonder why we don’t call Spanish, Spanish, I want you to read this book by Alan Tepper, The Castilian Conspiracy. “The uncensored truth about the most widely used Spanish language.” Forget it, I’m just trying to work in a plug for my friends book, that’s all. Our show brought to you today by Carbonite.com, Carbonite online backup. Yesterday, on the Security Now show, we talked about a law firm that got bit by CryptoLocker, that’s the virus that encrypts all of your data. All of their hard drives are encrypted by this virus. Apparently they didn’t have a backup, or a good backup, they had a hot backup, they didn’t have an un-encrypted backup. They didn’t pay in time, and they lost all of their clients data. Apparently they don’t listen to this show. If you’re a business, and you lose your clients data, you’re out of business. I can’t imagine that that law firm goes on. Even if you’re just a Mom and Pop operation, if you lose your client list, your supplier list, your accounts receivable, what’re you going to do? If you’re a home user and you lose your tax records, April 15th is just around the corner. 50,000 small business’s trust Carbonite with their files. To date, Carbonite has backed up more than 30 Billion files. They do 350 Million files a day. Carbonite guarantees you won’t lose your data. They wrote the book on data security, and I want you to try it free right now. For home or office, there is always a flat rate, that’s one of the nice things. They have a variety of plans, but Personal Plans for a single computer is $59.99 a year, less than $5 a month for everything on your PC or Mac. There are Pro Plans for work stations, external drives, server plans for data bases, live applications, and they have actually created a cryptolocker task force, because so many people are looking for a solution so they don’t become like this law firm. Summerset, Massachusetts police department got bit by cryptolocker. Don’t get bit by cryptolocker. All you need is Carbonite, try it for two weeks, no credit card required, just use our offer code WINDOWS, and if you decide to buy, you will get two free months with your purchase. You have to back it up to get it back. The best backup is automatic, so you don’t have to remember it. It is all continuous, so any time you change a file, it’s backed up, and it’s in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry. Carbonite.com. Please use the offer code WINDOWS. Continuing on, Windows Weekly, Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley. We’re talking about Microsoft and Windows and yes, it wouldn’t be a show without Windows 8.1 update one, update. [Laughs]
Mary Jo: Yeah, the update of the update.
Leo: What’s the latest, Paul? I saw so many people tweet this article, I bookmarked it, “What the heck is happening to Windows?” asked Paul Thurrott. He’s finally had it.
Mary Jo: He’s lost his cookies.
Paul: This is arguably the most misunderstood thing I’ve ever written in my life.
Leo: I think it’s crystal clear, Paul.
Paul: Thank you, I thought it was too.
Leo: You said it’s a mess, and it’s terrible. Basically, I’m going to paraphrase, you say that by trying to be all things to all people, Microsoft is nothing to no one. Windows 8.1, by trying to appeal to everybody, has finally jumped the shark. Accurate?
Paul: Sure. Yes. Last week there were two leaks of the update one bits, and I had installed the first one in a virtual machine and kind of looked at it, the most recent is more complete, and possibly even final code, but whatever it is, it’s more complete, and I’ve installed that on several machines, including the one I use every day. I’ve really gone back and forth on this, because, as you would, doing what I do, you try to figure out what’s going on in the world, and I can’t figure out what’s going on in this world anymore. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I completely understand what they we’re trying to do with Windows 8, I also completely understand that it is what users wanted, and there was a very serious and obvious rebellion against this whole Frankenstein thing with two operating systems jammed into a single system. Windows 8.1, they made these concessions where if you use it on a desktop, then it’s better for you, and if you do it on a tablet then it’s better for you, and I kind of get that, that makes sense in responding to customer feedback. I feel in update one, it’s like they’ve just jumped the shark. It’s inconsistent, it has bizarre user interfaces, and it’s just crazy. I guess it could change, it may not be completely final. I just feel like it’s kind of rudderless. I also feel like if you say we’re at point A, and point A is Windows 8.1 today, and point B is Windows 9, and Windows 9 is going to have this thing where you can run Metro apps on the desktop and everything, that’s neat. But this update 1 thing is like a third of the step to point B, and it’s like partially implemented, we can have icons on the desktop that are for Metro Apps, and when you click on them, they go full screen, you click on that and you can see the task bar, and it’s just like, what? It’s bad enough that we had these two separate UI’s, now they’re co-mingling these two UI’s. They’ve got to back away from this.
Leo: I like this paragraph, I’m going to read it. I really think that It’s right on and I think this is a message Microsoft and everybody should hear. It says, “You can’t please everybody, Microsoft, so stop trying. It’s time to double down on the people who actually use your products, not some mythical group of consumers who will never stop using their Android and IOS devices just because you wish they would.” Double down on the people who actually use your system, that’s right.
Paul: That was incredibly well written by the way. [Laughs] In the old days when Windows was personal computing, I kind of forgave the multiple ways of doing things, because this was the way everyone had to compute, and it made sense that you would have to reach all of these different groups. Two things have happened that have really changed my mind about this situation. One is everyone is not using Windows anymore. Maybe we don’t have to address everyone’s needs. Maybe you could make Windows simpler by simply not trying to be everything to everybody. But the other thing is actually Apple, and I have always made the case with Apple, with the Mac especially, and with IOS at first. They’re reaching a smaller audience so they can afford to be laser focused on stuff because they don’t have as many constituencies to appease, but today IOS is used by hundreds of millions of people, and they have never strayed from their path. I don’t understand why they can do it, and Windows can’t. I feel like they need to accept the reality that they’re going to be a minority player in the overall platforms that people will use to compute, and that they should address that market. Why do people use Windows? Why will people continue to use Windows? The reason is not Angry Birds, it’s not Candy Crush. Those kinds of things happen, they always did, and they always will. People provide me with all kinds of feedback, good, bad, and different, people will say, “But Paul, you forgot about gamers. PC gamers are really important.” I guess, here’s a news flash. PC gaming happens. Microsoft doesn’t have to do a thing ever again to appease PC gamers. That just happens. PC makers can make PC’s for gamers, you can buy your video cards, your RAM, and you can buy your games. Windows doesn’t have to do anything to make that happen. I just think that this lack of focus is counterproductive.
Leo: I think you could see it as an opportunity for Microsoft. Thank goodness we don’t have to appeal to everyone. I believe that it’s true in any business. You super serve your natural customer.
Paul: I got a lot of feedback from Microsoft guys, past and present, one of them had a great quote about the real problem with Windows 8, which was that Windows Vista was a disaster in its own right, but Windows Vista was made with the best of intentions. Those people weren’t trying to hurt anybody. They may have released a bomb, but they were trying hard and wanted to do the right thing. Windows 8 was very deliberate. It deliberately stopped all of the backwards compatibility stuff with user experience, they very deliberately jammed this very mobile user experience down people’s throats whether they wanted it or not. I think the fundamental problem with Windows 8 is that it was not agnostic towards different types of users, it was hostile to the very users that matter most to Windows. Business users, productivity users, developers, it was just the wrong thing to do to those people, and it done deliberately and kind of belligerently. It should be no wonder why people have reacted to this thing the way that they did. As a technology enthusiast, I think we all fall into this group a little bit, and certainly people listening to this too, I look at Windows 8 as kind of a fun thing, it’s nuts. There is no precedent for Windows 8 in the history of Windows. It’s crazy, and you could enjoy the craziness of it.
Leo: Do you agree with John Groomer, that it’s Steve Ballmer’s fever dream? He said it was Ballmer’s vision of Windows everywhere, and it is the only logical conclusion. If you still want to hold onto that Windows everywhere thing, you have to make it work on everything.
Paul: I said this before about Windows 8, it’s just a fact that they knew that if they released this Metro thing as something else, as some other product, whether they called it Windows or not, nobody would have bought it. To move this thing forward, they had to put it in Windows.
Leo: Maybe what they should have done was make a better Windows 7, and super serve their audience.
Paul: The saddest defeat of Windows 8, was that they did. So many people refuse to be open to that, or to experiment with it or see it, because of the Metro stuff. They don’t even want to look at it. The truth is that Windows 8 is a better Windows 7, but it’s got this hump on its back.
Mary Jo: Your new rant has me a little worried.
Paul: About me, or what?
Mary Jo: About you, and the implications. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, like they tried to make it something for everybody, and it became something for nobody, I agree with you on that. But now that you’ve go how many billion Windows users as your install base, probably 2 billion, are you just going to forget about them and say, “Sorry guys, if you don’t want this thing we built with this immersive app and Metro style thing, then too bad, just don’t use Windows anymore.” I feel like they have to fix it, and I know it looks really ugly, this Interim step with update 1, but at least it's going to be more useful for people who use a keyboard and mouse. So, okay it doesn't look pretty but it's more productive.
Paul: I'm not sure that's what I'm worried about.
Mary Jo: Really?
Leo: Paul, are you saying that they really should just say okay we were wrong, and do a new Windows 7 and just eliminate Metro?
Paul: No, no, no. Unfortunately I think we're too far down the hole to retreat. But in other words, we have to accept that Windows 8 happened. And so, how do we fix this? I think Windows 8.1 was a logical step in that direction. I think Windows 8.1 update 1 is off in a different direction. I think, for example, it would've made more sense to focus on getting Metro apps running in a window, on top of the desktop. It would've been more meaningful.
Mary Jo: Which is Windows 9, right? They're going to do that in Windows 9.
Paul: Yeah, that should've been, if they can't have that this other stuff it's not a step.
Mary Jo: I just feel like all of these things that they have said they are going to do, like running Metro style apps in Windows on the desktop, I think it's just harder and taking more time than they thought, too. It's kind of like Windows phone 8.1, there's still not going to be the single app store but you're going to get stuff that gives you a path to that. I feel like this is kind of the stutter step for Windows too.
Paul: I will say, in the scary news department, one of the things I heard repeatedly from different people, people familiar with the situation let's say, and people not familiar with the situation. I've heard this from a variety of people up and down the chain but the right-click context menu stuff they're adding to the start screen was much harder to implement than perhaps, you might think. They were actually kind of surprised by this and I actually think that the desktop bits seeping into Metro is buggier than many would expect and doesn't work well and is going to be problematic. Because one of the things I said was if you're going to do this, you've got to do it everywhere you can't just do it in some Metro experiences you know? There are actually some very good reasons why doing this to cross Word and Metro apps is not advisable, is not even possible, I would say; which is too bad. But the fact that they couldn't even get their own interface working well easily, suggests that this whole thing is kind of a hairball and it's frightening; the inconsistencies. Over all of the complaints, a lot of times people complain about Windows they do it in a way, like they haven't used Windows in years and they have lots of opinions about it and it bothers me, but the one thing that is always stuck is the inconsistency stuff. They can never do that final bit of finish work and get it right. And I've often talked and written about this, finish the job you know? I don't feel like this update 1 thing is a finishing of the job. I feel like we've added another mess to deal with.
Mary Jo: Yeah and the one thing in your article that resonated with me and it's something that I've said about Windows 8 since they launched it was, the part that bugs me the most still about Windows 8, and some people think this is a feature and not a problem but for me the fact that you can do the same thing in a million different ways drives me crazy because it keeps me from mastering the product. Like, every single time I go to snap an app, I'm like how did I do this again the last time? And it's like, if there was just one and only one way I think I would learn it faster.
Paul: Steve Sinofsky is arguably the only guy at Microsoft, who ran Windows, who had the kind of presence and drive and singular vision kind of like along the lines of Steve Jobs, and obviously that didn't turn out well. So the chances of them finding another guy like that are probably not very good and I just kind of wonder now, how it's like we are right back to design by committee, here we go you know? And I'm absolutely nervous about it.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I'm nervous about it but I'm excited. I should say, I don't have the bits because I never download illegal bits.
Leo: Illegal, that's such a harsh word.
Paul: My Skype must have just glitched there, Mary Jo, I could've sworn you just said illegal.
Mary Jo: I don't have update 1, but from all of the pictures I've seen of it from people who do, I like some of the things I'm seeing. I like the right-click, getting the context menus, and the thing that says snap, here's a click, snap, snap.
Paul: But if you were new to Windows 8 or whatever, and were using it on a regular computer and you right-clicked on a regular tile in the start screen, and a menu appeared and you would say oh neat, that looks like the desktop. Then you go to the Mail app and right-click and no menu appears. Now you get those kind of Metro UI's where something appears, not where you clicked, but somewhere else in the app because that's how those apps work-
Mary Jo: Yeah, that could be confusing.
Paul: So, you know.
Mary Jo: I'm one of those people who hated the charms, I hated the fact that sometimes when you swipe down on an app, you get a menu coming from above, sometimes you have to swipe up on an app and get menus coming from below, you never know what you're going to get, it's always like let's see if this app has this or not.
Paul: It's like a roulette wheel.
Mary Jo: It kind of is. So you're article brought up a lot of great stuff, but I found this other thing that I wanted to talk about too in case people haven't read this because this is another really great rant on the topic of Windows 8 that I saw recently. And it's on this blog called Peace Work by this guy named Andrew Lawrence who works at UC Irvine, and I think he's a free-lancer too. But he wrote this article about the miscalculations that Microsoft made with Windows 8 and I think this is an interesting article because I don't want to say they made mistakes, so much as when they were building Windows 8, they made a lot of calculations about what the market would look like when this thing launched, that never came to pass. And he talks about they made the miscalculation about how much touch hardware would be out in the market. They miscalculated how much people would actually want to use touch on things like laptops. They made a miscalculation about how Windows 8 would impact their enterprise customers, and he just has this whole list that's super interesting. We'll put the URL up for the people that want it. But he just brings up a lot of great points, and you know, they had to make a bet when they built Windows 8 about things that they thought were going to come to pass because you are always building for something in the future when you build an operating system. You're not building for the current situation, or you shouldn't be. You should be building for what's next. Just like they did with the Xbox One operating system, I think they made a lot of miscalculations-
Paul: It's funny, as you said this I was thinking to myself it's an odd thing to complain about with Microsoft but Microsoft is, at its best, a follower. It sound like criticism, but I mean they do their best when they follow. They just do.
Mary Jo: Yeah, like when they're ahead of the game like they were with tablets-
Paul: Yes, now you're asking this great follower to think. What do you think computing is going to be like in three years, build for that. Of course, then they make Windows 8, and it's like that college humor joke about I designed Windows 7 and the result is a robot that shoots turtles and has lightning bolts and stuff because you know, it has a little piece of what everyone wanted. Unfortunately, it's funny and everything, but a lot of Windows releases have been like that, it's just a little bit of everything.
Leo: I like BigGinge in our chatroom that says if they had put Windows 8 up on Kickstarter...
Paul: Because they're going to kick it to the curb?
Leo: Somebody should actually write up a Kickstarter proposal and describe Windows 8 and describe all of the ideas and just see what the response would be.
Paul: It's like are you insane?!
Leo: I think the point of that is, if you had started from scratch you would never have done Windows 8.
Paul: Microsoft says that when you're a hammer everything is a nail, right? We talk about this all the time, Google is a web company. Everything they do is a web service, that's their perspective. Microsoft is Windows they always consider how things could fit with Windows, you know? They have got to get by this. Especially since Windows, like I've been saying, is not the primary computing platform anymore, or it won't be soon. They have got to get away from that and it's, I don't know, we can't rewrite history it's too bad. I think like an RT 2.0 kind of thing with no desktop in there at all could have been something really cool. It could've been that Windows phone tablet I was asking for, as soon as I saw Windows phone I thought man, this would be awesome to have.
Mary Jo: And that may happen by the time they release Windows 9, but that will be how many years after Windows 8 right? Three.
Paul: Yeah, you got one full Windows release, it happened anyway.
Leo: Now, Windows isn't just desktop. Windows embedded lives on in a lot of places.
Paul: What are you talking about? Oh wait, this is in there. He's just riffing now.
Leo: Man, what about that, Windows 8 embedded.
Paul: A lot of people don't know about this but there's this thing they call Windows embedded. Tell us Leo, tell us more.
Mary Jo: Wait, can we talk about one thing before this?
Mary Jo: Sorry. Look at the item, I didn't lay this out very well in the show notes, Windows on Android rumor. So this isn't Windows phone only, this is a story that came out in The Verge today that I want to talk about.
Leo: Oh, I misread that. I thought this was the Android Nokia. This is really weird.
Mary Jo: This is really weird. Okay so, this is a story that The Verge ran today, and I have some bits that I would like to contribute to this too so that's why I want to talk about it.
Leo: Strange bedfellows: Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows. And Windows phone. Now you can already do something like that with Bluestacks.
Mary Jo: Yes you can. And Sweetlabs Pokki Suite also gives you a way to get nonnative Windows apps on Windows right now like, if you use that product.
Leo: You have to have an arm emulator to do it on most desktops.
Mary Jo: There's so many things that are like how would they actually do this but Tom has heard from his sources, Tom Warren at The Verge, that Microsoft is debating this and I have heard the same thing. I don't give it as much weight as Tom, I don't think. I wrote about this too in a column that I did on Redman magazine earlier this month, but I just kind of said yeah, they're talking about it, because the Windows team at this point, everything is on the table. They're like just saying hey, could we do this? Should we do this? So, for me it's more like could we, should we, would this legally and technically even be possible and make any sense or not? To me-
Paul: If you have to ask the question you just asked, the answer is no.
Leo: Okay, so it answers one issue, which is-
Paul: Should we, could we, is it legal? Does it violate any laws of God or nature...
Leo: Nature, maybe. It's a little Island of Dr. Moreau-ish.
Mary Jo: I know.
Paul: I think when you're asking those kind of questions, you're in a dubious spot.
Mary Jo: It sounds insane, right? Like when you hear it you're like, of course they're not going to let you put Android apps on Windows. But they're just asking the question. To me, the biggest problem, the huge problem in this is the Windows development community. If they do this, why would anybody ever develop for Windows again? Why would you, I don't see why.
Paul: By the way, it doesn't matter because the truth is, no one will ever use this thing. This is, if Windows 8 is the Frankenstein's monster, this is that thing in The Fly where it didn't come out right and has like an arm sticking out of the head and this is a completely different kind of monster.
Mary Jo: But what if you go to the Windows store and in the Windows store, you get Windows store apps, you know, native Windows apps, and you could also choose to put Android apps on it from the store.
Paul: That's the day Windows dies.
Mary Jo: I wonder...
Paul: That's the day Microsoft gave up, that's the end.
Mary Jo: They're talking about it, inside. It's been discussed, but I'm not going to give it a ton of weight and say this is what's going to happen, I want to step way back from that and just say it has been discussed, it may still be in the midst of being discussed at Microsoft but I think people should just know they are having these discussions and I think a lot of developers are probably going to weigh in especially Ep Build.
Leo: Can a user weigh in, because I'll tell you what, I'm excited about the Icon. But the first thing that comes to mind is what am I going to do without all of my Android apps?
Mary Jo: So you would be into it.
Leo: It certainly addresses one issue which is I've got Android apps, I can't play Flappy Bird on Windows phone.
Leo: It's a selling point.
Paul: There's no reason why Windows phone technically couldn't run Android apps, but then you run into the app store issue. I mean, how do you... How would you acquire those apps?
Leo: Right. Plus it's not just the app store, this is that same question we had earlier which is, a lot of the Google services are in the API.
Paul: Well that's not as big of an issue on Microsoft platform because we have replacements for some of that stuff.
Leo: You have to plug in API compatible, API level-
Paul: Oh, you're talking about for apps that use those services.
Leo: Yeah, the apps use them. So the app has to make an API call that matches, right?
Paul: Yeah, so in other words what you run into is you get those- Right. You have a ghetto app store that is some tiny percentage of the full play store, you see how quickly this spirals out of control.
Leo: Right, that's how BlueStacks works. BlueStacks has a small number of apps available and in many cases, Princess Clash of Clans, which is a very popular Android and iOS app, you can't play on BlueStacks because it violates-
Paul: Yeah and BlueStacks is a lot like running a virtual machine. It's the... You know, you get the environment and what you want is just the ability to launch the app.
Paul: And again, the day that you do that, just buy an Android device. Why would you ever buy this thing?
Leo: I'm with you Mary Jo, I think Tom Warren is-
Paul: And what of this crazy multi-armed monster? It's like Microsoft, you just made Windows 8 and everyone hates it. What are you going to do next? We have a crazy idea, listen to this.
Leo: We're going to Disney Land!
Paul: This time we're going to bet Android in it.
Paul: It's like, who is running the show over there, what is going on? It's crazy.
Mary Jo: It sounds crazy but I can say, you know people are telling Tom Warren he's crazy, he's not crazy. Because they are talking about it, from what I've heard too.
Leo: Yeah, he's reporting accurately. Yeah.
Paul: Well it sounds crazy, I'm not saying that Tom's crazy. It sounds crazy, it just sounds nuts.
Leo: Well the more I think of it, the more difficult it sounds.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it does sound hard.
Leo: Meanwhile, TitanFall... Oh, I'm sorry.
Paul: Actually I'm a little nervous, about TitanFall2, by the way. But I don't want it too negative on this episode.
Leo: March 11, I'm excited about Titan Fall. I just was looking at a video on The Verge of gameplay from a pre-release.
Paul: I've actually played it and I'm not super excited.
Leo: No? It look kind of cool because you can get into that Titan and suddenly you know, BOOM!
Paul: Yeah, it's a neat combination of like a Call Of Duty type thing where you run around and then you can-
Leo: Mech, and you're a Mech.
Paul: The TitanFall is the falling of the Mech to the ground, you can get in it and then you can be in a Mech. And it gives you a unique perspective of the map obviously because you're up in a giant mechanized robot.
Leo: You're big.
Paul: Yeah, I don't know...I have problems with games that are not Call of Duty and this game is not Call of Duty.
Leo: It's not Call of Duty... The Verge says it reinvents the first-person shooter.
Paul: Yeah, well there you go, that's everything you need to know. Right there, right there.
Leo: The only reason I'm excited, I'm just waiting for Xbox One titles to really kind of suck me in.
Paul: And not just suck.
Leo: And not just suck, yes. I think you nailed it right there. We're going to take a break and when we come back a tip of the week, software pick of the week-
Paul: We never talked about Windows Embedded.
Leo: Oh yeah, Windows Embedded...
Mary Jo: IOT
Leo: It's not called Windows Embedded anymore.
Paul: I wish you would pay attention to what's going on..
Leo: I don't know, I'm just getting the vapors. What is Windows Embedded and why is it on the list?
Mary Jo: Yeah. Okay, I can do this quick.
Leo: No, I was just teasing. I'm fascinated by this. Actually, because people don't understand embedded software runs in many cases when they don't even know it, it's running.
Mary Jo: That's right, yep. Okay so the Windows Embedded team moved into the Microsoft unified operating system team under Terry Myerson last fall. That was kind of a quiet move that they made, because before they were actually in the server team which was kind of odd. But they moved them over to client and at the time, we had just found out this week, they changed the name of the team to the internet of things team.
Paul: It's like buzzword of the week team.
Mary Jo: Exactly, IOT. IOT, buzzword of the week. And what that team has traditionally done is they've created different flavors of Windows Embedded that have gone primarily into industrial equipment. So, things like ATM''s and medical equipment, Point-of-Sale terminals, but now it turns out they're staffing up this team with people who have some very interesting services chops and developer chops. I called out a couple on a post I did, people who have been at Microsoft a very long time, who are now joining the IOT team, and they are broadening their charter. It seems to be about not just the Windows Embedded platform now, but also about the services that connect to it and even wearables. So, we've been kind of wondering how Microsoft will deal with the whole wearables thing but it seems like this team is going to be working possibly with Alex Kipman, who used to work on the Kinect, and who is now also working for Terry Myerson on creating some Windows software that may be inside other kinds of devices, and not just industrial devices. So that's pretty interesting. Maybe we'll see a drone, who knows? Windows Embedded Drone...
1 Yeah. I want to know when they're going to start working on Mec because I'm looking forward to being in that.
Mary Jo: Yeah?
Leo: Microsoft Mec.
Mary Jo: You're going to Mec?
Paul: So the tip and the pick are kind of combined this time. I've been meaning to talk about this for a while but you know, for the past year, year and a half I guess, I used a Nike Fuel Band and I actually bought the newer version when that came out last fall and the Nike Fuel Band-
Leo: I thought you looked like you had been working out, you look good. You look fit.
Paul: I could look better but the Nike Fuel Band measures something. I can't tell you what it is because Nike made it up and it's like this-
Leo: It's magic.
Paul: Yeah, it's like this kind of arbitrary, well not arbitrary, but it's kind of a proprietary thing that Nike does.
Leo: Activity, it's measuring activity.
Paul: It measures activity, they call it the fuel points I think. I don't remember anymore because I stopped using it but I find the Nike product to be aggravating because in the winter especially, I use an elliptical trainer to do cardio. And when you're on an elliptical trainer, if you're using it correctly you're doing this kind of motion with your arms and the Fuel Band doesn't measure that kind of motion, it only measures like the swinging of your arms.
Leo: Same with rowing, same with the treadmill...
Paul: I find that incredibly aggravating because there's nothing like doing 40 minutes of fairly aggressive workout and then getting zero credit for it in this little digital device. And so I've been kind of looking around for something better and what I've settled on is the FitBit, which is probably the other major product in this category and I have to say, having measured this thing side by side with the Nike Fuel Band, it actually is far more accurate and it works well in these non-standard motions, which I like. So if I get on the elliptical trainer I actually get credit for that. But the FitBit is better than the Nike Fuel Band in many other ways as well. It measures more things and it actually measures your sleep quality, which I am fascinated by. And I actually get up every morning and sync the device just to look at how well I slept and I compare what it says to what I believe happened and I have a particular sleeping issue but it is really neat. It also works wirelessly, which is kind of interesting and they give you a little nubbin that you can put in a computer if you want to do it right to the device but if you have an Android device or an iPhone, and someday soon, Windows phone because we just this capability in Windows phone as well, it can sync directly to that phone without the nubbin and so you can you know, do that kind of thing as well. It also integrates with Microsoft Health Vault, which I talked about previously and so your FitBit stuff can move along with your other services and all that kind of stuff. So, they do a nice job. They have a lot of other things, they have meal and diet planners and other exercises and all kinds of other stuff. They measure steps, and they measure calories and it's all real-world stuff, it's not some invented kind of thing so, I think that's kind of cool.
Mary Jo: Paul, which FitBit is it? One?
Paul: It's the bigger, like Force, I think it's called?
Mary Jo: One of the listeners is asking.
Leo: Yeah, there's different ones.
Paul: Yeah, it's the wristband one. FitBit force. So today I have walked not much. 4200, so...
Leo: Does it mock you?
Paul: No, and by the way one of the improvements they supposedly made to the Fuel Band was in the second version, it animates to get you to do stuff but I never noticed it and this one can actually buzz on your wrist and you feel it. It's better in so many ways, I think it's a neat product. Of course I use Windows. If you buy it, you can go to their site and download an application for the desktop, so that's how you do the sync and all that kind of other stuff. But actually FitBit makes mobile apps for a variety of platforms, not for Windows phone, but they do make a mobile app for Windows 8 so if you want the full screen Windows RT experience, you can get that. There's a third-party and free FitBit app called FitBit tracker, which looks and works just like the regular FitBit thing, so we're not really left out in the cold on Windows phone. The only thing we don't have yet is the ability to sync changes directly to Windows phone, and that's now technically possible because of changes that have come in update 3 plus Black so that should and certainly could, happen soon.
Leo: Feeling more healthy already.
Paul: I wish I was. Actually I made this joke, I think on Twitter, but certainly on Facebook that the untapped app gives me achievements for drinking, and FitBit gives me achievements for working out, and between the two I find balance.
Mary Jo: Very nice.
Leo: And a lot of gold stars on both accounts. So let's get our enterprise pick of the week from Mary Jo Foley.
Mary Jo: Yes, the enterprise pick of the week is the edition of multifactor authentication to more Office 365 plans. So last June, people who had the enterprise Office 365 plan could do multifactor authentication. Now anybody who is in mid-size business, enterprise academic, or non-profit can do this. If you are a stand-alone exchange online, or a sharepoint online user, you also can. So all you have to do is go into the Office 365 administrative interface, there's a live link at the top, you make the change, and if you are using Office 365 desktop apps, you are also going to have to have the separate app password when MFA is enabled. The one missing link in this whole thing though was small business, curiously. And Microsoft had no comment when we asked them when and if small business plans in Office 365 were going to get this. Paul do you know anything more on that? Because we couldn't get an answer.
Paul: I got a very terse 'no comment' when I asked about that because that was the first thing that I wondered. Why would they leave out the small business-yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah it was kind of weird.
Paul: So I'm sure there is some reason but I don't know.
Mary Jo: I don't know. So, that's your enterprise pick of the week.
Leo: Thank you. Rumor, I want to hear it.
Paul: The small business pick of the week.
Leo: SOHO pick of the week. We never have a SOHO pick of the week.
Mary Jo: The infamous rumor of the week... So, let me qualify before I tell you what it is. This is from one person I do not know, who sent this to me anonymously.
Leo: Oh, you saw it on Secret.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I saw it on Secret.. No, I did not. But somebody who, because of where this came from I'm like maybe this is true, but I'm not sure. So if I was going to give this a rumor probability, I'd give it a 4 out of 10 maybe. The rumor is, when Microsoft does announce Windows phone 8.1 at Build, it's not going to be called Windows phone 8.1. It's going to be called Windows phone 9, supposedly. And this is kind of interesting, the developer documentation obviously calls it Windows phone 8.1 right? Doesn't it Paul?
Paul: Yeah, I think so.
Mary Jo: Okay, so we've seen this in the past remember around when Windows phone 7.1 actually get called Windows 7.5?
Mary Jo: So, they may want to have a more consumer-friendly name for this version of Windows phone when it comes out. Windows phone 8.1, not that consumer-friendly and now that we've seen all of the features that are in this update from the leaks, this is a pretty big update. So you could see them potentially jump and call this Windows phone 9. And that would be very synergistic because at Build they're supposedly going to talk about Windows 9, so they could say hey, here's Windows phone 9 and we're going to tell you about Windows 9, which is coming next year.
Paul: Oh, I feel that's-
Mary Jo: That's just rumor, pure rumor.
Paul: A1 makes more sense because of the synergy. Because eventually Windows 9 will be released, then what are they going to call Windows phone?
Mary Jo: I know, then will they call the next Windows phone Windows phone 10 or will they call it something else. So pure rumor, don't give this a lot of weight, I'm not giving this a lot of weight and am not even going to write it up for my site-
Paul: It's plausible.
Mary Jo: It's plausible, if I could get more sourcing on it, I would but right now I'm just going to tell you-
Paul: It does say Windows phone 8.1 in the software but the-
Mary Jo: It does, but okay so, but as we noted, that's happened before. Sometimes Microsoft calls it one thing internally and outside, for customers, they call it something else. That's the rumor.
Leo: I hate it when they do that.
Paul: I don't mean to go off on a rant here Leo, but-
Mary Jo: No, no more rants this week. One rant was enough.
Leo: And just in time, our beer pick of the week.
Paul: Oh, so timely.
Mary Jo: I have to counteract all of those fitness picks. So Bell's Brewery in Michigan, their beer has never been available in New York because of various distribution rules and requirements. This week, they launched in New York and I get to have a whole bunch of their beers this week, which we've never been allowed to have here before. And one of my favorites was the Kalamazoo Stout. It's just, if you like basic stouts, no flavors added, no bourbon barrel, no this no that, just an easy drinking delicious stout, this is your stout.
Leo: Now, just note that it's brewed with brewer's liquorice.
Mary Jo: Is it? Okay, a little something added then.
Leo: That's what it says in the beer advocate, I don't know-
Mary Jo: It was really good, it gave it a nice little tartness I think. It was just, when I drank it I thought, that's what a stout should be. That is a stout and it would be great with oysters if you like oysters. So yeah, I get to try a whole bunch of their beers. Their most famous one, which I didn't want to make the beer pick because of Paul's hatred for lPA's.
Paul: That's a little inaccurate, it's more of a burning hatred.
Mary Jo: Burning hatred? Burning hatred, so I didn't make Hopslam the pick of the week, which is probably one of their most famous beers.
Paul: By the way, the only thing I hate more than hoppy beers are hop-related puns in beer names.
Mary Jo: Okay, well there you go. Hopslam.
Paul: Although, I should say my favorite brewery does make a beer called Black Hops, which is quite good.
Leo: Black Hops, that's funny.
Mary Jo: That is funny.
Paul: Call of Duty 2 Black Hops, yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah, so if you ever get to see a Bell's beer, I tried the Cherry Stout, it was really good. The Two Hearted Ale, delicious. That was an IPA, not too hoppy, but it was a good one. They have a lot of really nice beers.
Paul: Hey Jo, the next time you come to Massachusetts you have to go to Blue Hills Brewery-
Mary Jo: I know, I do.
Paul: They have a number of the IPA type beers that are very good and not super crazy.
Mary Jo: Good, I would love to try them.
Paul: There you go.
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen that rounds out our Windows Weekly for today, Paul Thurrott is at the supersite for windows winsupersite.com. His books are online and available for download, a couple of them. The Windows, I want to say music...
Paul: It's like, I don't want to say what it's like but it's a- I was going to say it's like visiting a person in the hospital. I kind of remember you but...
Leo: Who are you? Are you my son?
Paul: We're going to fight nazis on the moon.
Leo: There's a book I know online, it's called the Windows 8.1 book.
Paul: I have a Windows phone 8 book that will have to be updated pretty soon apparently. I am working on an Xbox music 2.0 book and I am also working on the Windows 8.1 book, which is actually getting pretty damn close to finished.
Leo: If you wish to find these, probably the best thing would be to go to winsupersite.com, where they have massive big buttons that you could push.
Paul: If you could somehow get past that one article that everyone seems so intrigued by, there is other stuff.
Leo: You're the guy who hates Microsoft.
Paul: Exactly, exactly. That's my favorite kind of feedback. Curious to see someone like Paul criticizing Microsoft, it's such a turn-around for you.
Leo: No it's not!
Paul: It's like really?
Leo: Sometimes, in fact, every show, somebody will say you guys! How could you say anything bad about Apple, how could you say anything bad about Microsoft? We don't work for those companies, and don't represent the interest of those companies. We all, and I say this collectively for all of the TWiT hosts, represent users. Our job is to represent users and to talk about it as a user and if somebody disappoints you, then we call them out and if they do something great, then we tell them good job, but we come here not to bury Microsoft but neither to praise them.
Paul: Sounds like something out of Caesar.
Leo: Friends, Romans, Windows users, lend me your mice. Mary Jo Foley writes about Microsoft at allaboutmicrosoft.com on the znet blogs. And we gather together every Wednesday at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern, 1900 UTC to speak of these things. And if you would like to join us live, we'd love it if you did. Our chatroom is I think one of the things that makes TWiT unique in the world and it's certainly a lot of fun. If you want to be here live with us and interact, please do. Otherwise, we do make on demand audio and video available after the fact, for all of our shows. In this case go to twit.tv/ww for Windows Weekly and you can get all episodes ever recorded. All 349 of them, including todays audio and video and of course, we put it on youtube too it's youtube.com/windowsweekly it's on the Xbox music store and now on the new podcasts app, you can get it there too on Windows phone. Thank you boy and girl, thank you all for watching and we'll see you next time on Windows Weekly. Are you my son...?
Mary Jo: Hey you guys put the New Year's Eve beer episode up, that was really cool.
Leo: Yes, oh I forgot to mention that! Don't forget, if you missed our New Year's Eve party, and it was such a great party. Paul playing Call of Duty, we have taken Mary Jo's New Year's Eve beer tasting and put that up on the TWiT site and on the Youtube site so you can see. I know a lot of you are wondering what beers and so forth, it was really fun to do that.
Mary Jo: Yeah, that was fun.
Leo: Is that on the specials, I can't remember where we put that.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I think so. You're looking very dashing in the picture with your tie.
Leo: I'm wearing a tuxedo, yes I am. In fact, we've got a lot of the-
Paul: Leo cleans up nice, you know?
Leo: Well I clean up anyway. We have Brian Brushwood's magic show, Alex Lindsay's mixed drinks Jedi training, and there it is, episode 184, Beer Tasting with Mary Jo Foley. I look like Ben Stein or something like that.
Mary Jo: You look like a game show host.
Leo: Yeah. And here she is, Mary Jo Foley! Steve Gibson joined us, he's not a huge beer drinker so it was fun to see him tasting some of these great beers. He loved the Creek, it was crazy. He was crazy about the Creek. So you can see all of the beers and everything right there on twit.tv/specials. Skydrive, they're still calling it Skydrive as of today, not Onedrive?
Mary Jo: Still Skydrive.
Leo: Shared by Paul Thurrott, who by the way, I don't know if you've heard yet, I’ve been giving grief all week. No Flappybird score?
Paul: I don't play Flappybird.
Paul: I've never once played Flappybird.
Leo: Oh that's hysterical, then there's somebody pretending to be Paul Thurrott.
Paul: Oh no, it's probably one of my kids. Is this on iTunes?
Leo: It's on Android, no wait, it is on iTunes.
Paul: That would be my kids playing on my account, I don't use Apple devices so.
Leo: Aha, that's the kids.
Paul: Why is it a high score?
Leo: It's a really high score.
Paul: Oh, that's got to be Mark then.
Leo: I said Paul get to work, stop playing Flappybird.
Paul: I have never once played Flappybird, so-
Leo: Oh, damn that spoiled my whole narrative that I created. A la NBC news. I have a whole narrative I'd like to enforce. So look at my Flappybird leader sheet. Number one, Paul Thurrott.
Paul: That's iTunes, not Android. Okay. Yeah, because the kids have like iPods or something like that.
Leo: 118, the next one is Carl Anderson with 75.
Paul: So, I mean this honestly. I've seen it, obviously, my son has preached the wonders of this game to me and I looked at it and said it's ripping off Super Mario Bros, I don't understand.
Leo: Yeah, in fact, Nintendo apparently sent them a cease and desist because the pipes are bit for bit.
Paul: Are exactly, like pixel.. Yeah of course they are.
Leo: At least that's the story. Nintendo says well, we're not sure.
Paul: Yeah, my next book is going to be Flappybird Secrets.
Leo: I love it. I assumed, hey this guy has natural twitch reflexes.
Paul: No, mobile games are not my thing. The most time I have ever spent in a mobile game is in Solitaire.
Leo: Yeah, well if I ever want to feel bad I just go to my Xbox One and look at Paul's clips from Call of Duty.
Paul: My son and I actually just sat down and watched 30 minutes of my greatest moments on Call of Duty.
Leo: There's a father son moment, I tell ya'.
Paul: Yeah, it's some good ones.
Leo: When does that upload- What do they call that site? Can I see it on a computer? It's upload right?
Paul: Uploadcenter I think it's called. I have these really cheap death from above kills where you can see, from above, some guy running like from a building and the missile is coming down, and he gets in the door, but you can guide the missile into the doorway and it makes this great sound. You can't hear it, but you know this guy on the other end is yelling.
Leo: Oh they got me!! That's what you love. That guy's cheating.
Paul: Like when Swiss Gov used to show those videos, remember, they'd be like, here's the luckiest guy in Iraq, and he just makes it over the bridge before it blows up.