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Windows Weekly 351
Leo Laporte: It's time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley, both here today. We're going to talk about the latest news from Barcelona, including the Nokia X. Paul and Mary Jo have some interesting stories about that. Is Microsoft charging less for Windows Phone? How about Windows? And some pics of the week, too. It's all coming up next on Windows Weekly.
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Leo: Bandwidth for Windows Weekly is provided by Cachefly at cachefly.com. This is Windows Weekly, with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, episode 351, recorded February 26, 2014
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It's time for Windows Weekly, the show where we talk about everything going on at Microsoft. And it was — 2013, I think we can safely say, was a banner year for this podcast, an amazing year full of — full of juice —
Paul Thurrott: (Laughs) What?
Mary Jo Foley: (Laughs)
Paul: We really milked that plant for all it was worth.
Leo: We — it was aloe everywhere. But now, ladies and gentlemen, here we are in 2014, and people are asking: Can Microsoft keep up the torrid pace of news and innovation that it set in 2013? And clearly the answer is, yes.
Paul: As long as you go by the theory that all press is good press.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: (Laughs) Then they'll have no problems.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: Hey, that's Paul Thurrott, back from the ski slopes. We missed you, Paul.
Paul: I missed you as well.
Leo: Took two people to replace Paul last week. Daniel Rubino was great.
Paul: (Laughs) I had to school my children on the ski slopes last week.
Paul: They were disappointed to discover I can, in fact, ski.
Leo: Oh, man! Who knew that old guy could actually tear up the slope?
Paul: (Laughs) Sorry, guys. Get used to the view of my back.
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Leo: You know, it's really nothing to be proud of — of something — you're very fast at falling.
Paul: (Laughs) Right, right.
Leo: I mean, that's — you know —
Paul: Gravity works well with me, Leo, is what I'm saying.
Leo: I'm just saying. (Laughs)
Leo: It's not like you're going uphill. (Laughs)
Paul: That's true. That was actually particularly difficult.
Leo: (Laughs) Anyway, thanks to Peter Bright — Dr. Pizza — and to Daniel Rubino of Windows Phone Central — WP Central. They were great. But we're really glad to have you back. We always miss you when you're gone, Paul. And actually, you haven't been gone that much.
Paul: Yeah. I try to —
Leo: He doesn't want to be Wally Pipp'd.
Paul: (Laughs) I don't know what that means, but —
Leo: It sounds good, though, doesn't it? He's the — he was —
Paul: It sounds like something I don't want to go for.
Leo: He was the Yankees' first baseman before Lou Gehrig showed up.
Paul: Ah, gotcha.
Leo: Took one day off, never played again. (Laughs) So here we are at the beginning of a new year with many new things to talk about. Mobile World Congress is going on. Last year, you were in Barcelona, purely by accident.
Paul: Sort of, yeah.
Leo: (Laughs) It wasn't planned. Do you wish we were there right now?
Paul: Yeah, sort of. You know, the weird thing about this week for me is, I actually don't mind that I'm not at this trade show. I — trade shows mostly kind of suck and are tiring. But a lot of people I know from Microsoft and the press and whatever else are there.
Paul: And so I don't care about what they're writing on their websites, but what I do get to see is what they're doing on Facebook, and that does — that is vaguely irritating because there's some good restaurants and things over there, so —
Leo: Aw. One of the best cities in the world, yeah. But I think, also, a lot of big announcements — and I know you would have been the first on your feet during Stephen Elop's speech to say, "Damn you, Nokia! Damn you!"
Paul: Oh, no, I would have said — what is it? — "Emperor Tyrannus!" And I would have jumped on the stage —
Leo: (Laughs) "Tyrannus!" You were tweeting a little bit about the whole thing. So — I thought, by the way — and I want to commend Stephen Elop because we've seen some mighty bad presentations from companies like Samsung and Samsung that —
Paul and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Leo: — that try — and even Apple doesn't have — has lost —
Paul: By the way, that — I don't — what was — was it the S-4 announcement last year that had the dancers and —
Leo: Yeah, S-4. Yeah.
Paul: That was the dumbest —
Leo: The worst.
Paul: — fricking thing I've ever seen in my life press event ever. Ever.
Leo: Set a new low that companies would be hard-pressed to accomplish. I kept thinking on Samsung's announcement this week, Where's the dancing kid? Where is the tap-dancing kid?
Paul: Yes. Where's the cast from Chicago?
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Paul: Yeah, it was that — I will never — I —
Leo: Wasn't that amazing?
Leo: Well, Samsung apparently learned because — and we were a little worried because at the beginning of the Samsung event, which was on Monday, we were a little nervous because it started with chamber music. They had a whole orchestra there. And we thought, Oh, this doesn't bode well. The Broadway sets —
Paul: No, they reined it in.
Leo: But they reined it in.
Leo: Nevertheless, —
Mary Jo: They could have had some dancing Band-Aids, but they didn't.
Leo: Yeah, right. They could have —
Paul: Reined it in, you know, within reason.
Leo: (Laughs) So but I — but I began this to say that I thought Mr. Elop did a very nice job of the Moto X announcements. He had more phones to announce than almost anybody — he had one, two, three, four, five — I think, five phones to announce, did it all in forty-five minutes, did not do a lot of fluff, did not do a lot of hype, and —
Paul: By the way, he usually — he and they, they being Nokia, usually do a pretty good job.
Leo: They did a great job — positioned them, I thought, quite well —
Leo: They started with the 220, which is — now, by the way, this is still the Nokia that is owned by a Finnish company.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: This is not the post-Microsoft Nokia.
Mary Jo: No.
Paul: Not yet.
Mary Jo: That still has not been approved, that transaction, so —
Leo: And in fact, Mary Jo thinks this might have something to do with what you saw.
Mary Jo: Perhaps, yes.
Leo: So they announced the 220, which is a very, very low-end, 35-euro device for — really, for the poorest countries.
Paul: This is a dumbphone. This is the Nokia-branded —
Leo: Feature phone, yeah.
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: Feature phone. Is it a feature phone or just a phone-phone?
Leo: Well, I mean, it has —
Paul: So are you talking about an Asha phone, or —
Leo: It's — it's not an Asha, is it? It's a —
Mary Jo: Right. There was one that wasn't even an Asha phone, right?
Leo: Yeah, the 220.
Mary Jo: It was below that, even.
Paul: Just a Nokia phone.
Leo: But I think it is Cymbian of some —
Paul: I think these things are in boxes of Cheerios when you live in, like, Nigeria or Mongolia or something.
Leo: (Laughs) That was the 220.
Paul: They just pop out with the milk, you know.
Leo: They did announce a new Asha model. And then — but most — we don't really care about any of that. And Microsoft will own both those phones when the acquisition goes through.
Paul: Lucky them.
Leo: (Laughs) Hey, it's a market.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: These are big markets. But then the Moto — I'm sorry, I want to say "Moto X's." The Nokia X's: the XL and the X-fit and the X — I don't know what else.
Paul: They're going to have a U.S. version; it's going to be called the 2XL.
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Leo: Programmer sized. Actually — so that was one thing that we learned is that there is no U.S. version for these. These are really phones designed for emerging markets. They are, but this is — I —
Paul: Well, they sort of — I mean — by the way, the interesting little side note there is: not available in North America —
Paul: — not available in Japan —
Paul: — And I want to say the third place was —
Mary Jo: Korea. It's Korea.
Paul: — Hong Kong or Taiwan or something.
Mary Jo: No. Korea.
Paul: Korea. So it's — that says to me that it could be available in Europe.
Leo: Could be.
Mary Jo: It is going to be, I think. In some countries, at least.
Leo: And —
Paul: So it's not completely emerging markets, but it's — yeah, yeah. Price-sensitive markets, maybe.
Mary Jo: They call them "growth markets."
Leo: Yeah, I think that's a better —
Paul: I call them "third-world-y markets."
Leo: (Laughs) Third-worldish. I think "growth" is a good way to put it because, really, what's going on here is that all or much of the growth for smartphones has happened in Europe and America and Asia; but there's a lot of growth still to go.
Leo: In other — well, parts of Asia, like India and China, and Africa, there's a lot of growth to go. And so that's, I think, why "growth markets" is a good way to put it. These are the markets where smartphone saturation hasn't hit. I thought — now, you guys completely disagree with me, but I thought these were a very credible attempt.
Paul: Mary Jo may not completely disagree with you. How do you feel about these phones?
Mary Jo: So the first thing I want to say, before we talk any more about this, is I'm not defending what Microsoft's doing with this and Microsoft's —
Paul: Appeaser! Appeaser!
Leo: Microsoft hasn't done anything with this, right?
Mary Jo: Right. But so many people attacked us on Twitter this week, saying, like, "I can't believe" — just because I was trying to explain what was announced, I was attacked. Like, "I can't believe you're backing the play." I'm not backing the play. I just want to say that. I'm just explaining the play. (Laughs)
Leo: I think — okay, I will back the play. Mary Jo and Paul don't back the play.
Mary Jo: You will? Okay.
Leo: I will back the play. I think this is exactly —
Mary Jo: Okay. I will not back the play.
Leo: Okay. So let's talk about it, then.
Mary Jo: Okay.
Leo: So it seems to me, these are phones designed to be very low-cost, to get people into the Microsoft ecosystem of Bing and OneDrive, of XBOX Music. This is to ease them in gently —
Leo: They are Android phones, I admit, but there's no Google Mobile Services built in, it's all Microsoft Mobile —
Paul: But I don't understand — you know, so I get that these are very price-conscious markets. I get that it's possible these devices will come down further than the other ones. Whatever, I get all that stuff. But how much could Windows Phone cost? I mean, and how much could Windows Cost Microsoft when Microsoft owns Nokia? I don't quite understand —
Leo: So you're — you believe that what they should have done is, instead of using Android, they should have just done it with Windows Phone.
Paul: Yeah. I mean, I would even say — if you look at Nokia X and this kind of simplified UI that they have, why not have — why couldn't that be a front end on top of Windows Phone? I mean, why not run that — why not — you already have all these Windows Phone apps. I don't understand —
Mary Jo: I don't think this is about the cost of the operating system. I don't.
Mary Jo: I think this is about Microsoft — sorry, I keep saying Microsoft; I should be saying Nokia — Nokia saying, "We're never going to catch up on apps, to Google." And I think the play is actually about apps, and it's not about OS.
Leo: I agree 100 percent. In fact, that's why —
Paul: But —
Leo: — Elop made a big deal about how easy it would be for developers to modify their apps so that they could be in the Nokia app store.
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: But why would they?
Mary Jo: If they — yeah.
Paul: And —
Mary Jo: Why would you? Because it's one more market. If it takes you eight hours —
Leo: Growth markets.
Mary Jo: (Laughs) Yeah.
Leo: Growth markets.
Mary Jo: If it takes you eight hours to put your app in the app store —
Paul: I don't know. I don't think there's anything that separates — the problem is — the problem is, if Google decides to jump into this market, it's over. If Google offers Google Play services in the same markets, it's over.
Leo: Well, perhaps —
Mary Jo: Maybe, maybe not.
Leo: — but first of all, Google got out of the mobile phone business pretty effectively; and second, this is — this is — they have a — they can steal a jump on Google. You're right — if they don't do it, Google will. So if you're going to try, try now. Go for it.
Mary Jo: Yeah. And I think —
Paul: I agree, it's sort of turns the Chrome OS thing on its head, right? It's —
Mary Jo: It does. It does.
Paul: "Let's use their stuff against them" kind of thing.
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: It's interesting.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I mean, I think it gives Windows Phone —
Leo: Also, somebody's saying one more thing: Windows Phone, multiple SIM support.
Paul: Well, that's coming in A1.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: It's not there now.
Paul: Well, but — (Laughs) it will be there by the time these phones show up. I mean —
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: It will? Okay. All right.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I don't think it, again, is about the hardware and I don't think it's about the operating system. I think it's about the apps. And I think this gives Windows Phone developers — of course it makes them angry. I would be angry, too, if I were one of you. But I — but it also gives you a chance to make your app better so that people will — you know, they might try the Google version, but if you have an app that's comparable or better, it gives you an — it gives you an audience entryway. Like, you're going to be — see your apps before these people in the store who might only know about Google apps, and now they have a chance to look at your app, too.
Leo: I — in fact —
Paul: I guess —
Leo: — I think this is good for — I'm surprised developers would be angry. That's a short-term point of view. I understand they are.
Mary Jo: Oh, they're very angry. (Laughs)
Paul: There's so much — there's so much here, though. And you know, all of the rumors about this thing were basically wrong, right? At one point, some people believed that this was going to be — that this was something old. You know, that they had been working on Android before they did Windows Phone, and that this was some kind of legacy from that. Some people, myself included, assumed that this thing was an Asha replacement and that — you know, okay, that makes a certain amount of sense. Bringing this in as yet another mobile phone platform at Nokia is a little strange. I mean, especially given the timing. You know?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Well, and my — yeah. I mean, obviously this was stuff done long before the acquisition deal happened. They could have stopped it. They could have said, "Never mind."
Paul: I mean, [unintelligible] over on the Microsoft side were talking about three OS's are too much.
Paul: Now we have six. (Laughs) I mean, it's — it's a little strange.
Leo: I think we — I think you're going to look back in three years and say it was a brilliant move. Because — and here's the scenario I see. You're going to move a lot of people with their first smartphone into the Microsoft services sphere. Admittedly, not the Microsoft OS, but remember, it looks a lot like Windows Phone.
Leo: And then it will be a natural step for them — you know, you've got lock-in. Apple learned this. You've got lock-in. People don't care about operating systems.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: That doesn't matter. You've got lock-in. You've got them in OneDrive, you've got them in XBOX Music, you've got them in Bing Search, and now they're going to look at their next phone. They don't care what operating system it is.
Paul: As long as their stuff is there.
Leo: As long as their stuff is there.
Paul: Actually, that I agree with. I will say that, especially in this market, you spend a hundred bucks on a phone, 125 bucks on a phone, whatever it is. That's not where anyone's making money, ever.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: There's no money being made on that thing. The money is made on the services, the lock-in type stuff — it is that stuff. And the — yeah, I agree with that. If you're using outlook.com for email, using SkyDrive, using Sky — all that kind of stuff, I — yeah, you want those people to stay on your platforms. That's more meaningful than — yeah, than the OS.
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: And this is kind of the argument we make about Windows, too, and how there isn't a lot of new application development on the desktop, and that's just the reality. So what's more important here? Do we push Office everywhere, or do we worry about this Windows brand that's sort of a legacy, traditional thing?
Leo: And I think that this is them saying, "We've got to do this before Google does." Because the same lock-in can happen on a true Android experience with a Google phone if Google should do it. So do it now. Get them. This is a race at this point.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I think —
Leo: And if you're a Windows Phone developer, this is going to be good for you in the long run.
Paul: But I'd feel less weird about this if Microsoft wasn't buying Nokia. (Laughs) You know?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: If that one thing wasn't happening, I think 50 percent of my issue with this would just be blown away. I —
Leo: Oh, I bet you —
Paul: Microsoft inheriting this thing is so weird.
Leo: I bet you — in fact, you know this happened. Stephen Elop walked into Satya Nadella's office and said, "Look, we've got these. We can announce them. We can take a write-off. What do you want me to do?" And I think this is Nadella's strategy. This fits — what is Nadella all about? Devices and services.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I think this predates him, though. I think it was —
Leo: Is it Ballmer? You think this is Ballmer's last —
Mary Jo: Yeah, I do. I think, if you look at the actual wording of the press release when Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia, it was very vague around "Nokia mobile devices." I think Microsoft — and I've seen some other people say this, it's not me originating this idea, but some people said maybe Nokia went to Microsoft and said, "Buy us because we're about to launch an Android phone, and if you don't, we're going to be up against you."
Leo: Well, that was the rumor, wasn't it?
Mary Jo: Yep. Play hardball, right? (Laughs)
Leo: At the time —
Paul: Maybe Steven Elop said, "Listen, I want to be CEO, and if I'm not, I'm launching a line of Android phones and you can go screw yourselves."
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Mary Jo: I've seen people say that, too. I don't agree with that one, but — (Laughs)
Paul: I mean, that's crazy, obviously.
Leo: I don't think — you know, the kernel — what does it matter what the kernel of the operating system is —
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: — as long as you get in the Microsoft ecosystem, I think it's a win.
Paul: Oh, that's a — by the way — so you're right, but I just want to be clear. To an entire generation of Microsoft people and to people who follow Microsoft, what you just said is, Here, see, and we are going to burn you at the stake for that."
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: But it's — but I think Satya Nadella recognizes — and maybe Ballmer did too — and after all, it was Ballmer that renamed the company a devices and services company — that the platform is no longer desktop software, desktop operating systems.
Paul: Right, yeah.
Leo: It's services.8 That's the platform.
Paul: And I've been saying this forever. I mean, "devices" doesn't mean "always Microsoft devices." I mean, there will be Microsoft devices, but what it really means is "Microsoft software running on devices." And sometimes, those operating systems are going to be made by Apple, they're going to be made by Google. You know, whatever.
Mary Jo: I think you have to go back to Leo's point, which is really good. It's like, which of the two things is stickier for users, services or the apps, right? So if you put an Android phone with Google apps running Microsoft services into the market, you get people stuck on SkyDrive and XBOX Music, and — sorry, not SkyDrive, OneDrive. You know, you get them hooked into these things — outlook.com, right? Finally, when it's time for their next phone, they're going to be like, "I need something that runs those services." I think that's the hope.
Leo: So if you're a Windows Phone developer, what you should be looking to do is making sure you have a version on the Android — Nokia Android store.
Paul: That's a little bit of a leap, by the way. I mean — and this is one area I've not looked into, but what is Nokia's developer story for Windows Phone developers on this platform? Is there some porting tool, some cross-platform something? I — is there? It could be in the future, but —
Mary Jo: I haven't heard any story. I haven't heard a story for Windows Phone developers. I have heard —
Paul: So then you basically need to learn how to program for Android.
Mary Jo: The story — the people that are going after the Android developers —
Leo: Who really — I mean, come on. Which would you rather have, the Windows Phone developers or the Android developers? (Laughs)
Mary Jo: And they've already got the Windows Phone developers.
Leo: (Laughs) Which group do you want?
Paul: Yeah, listen, I'm — I have to take that stance, Leo. I hear you, I guess is what I'm saying, but —
Mary Jo: But I bet they will have a back-porting — or a porting kit, right?
Leo: Of course they will.
Paul: Of course they will.
Mary Jo: They're going to have something like that.
Paul: The thing is — I mean, I've often thought this for the Apple stuff, too. Microsoft's developer tools are so much better than anything that's out there in the world, and that if they could create a situation where you could have a project that would —
Leo: Right. Cross-platform, yeah.
Paul: — make an iPhone app or an iPod app or an Android app and share code, that would be amazing. It would be amazing.
Leo: We will know over the next few months if that's what's going on. You'll go to Build and you'll see that, right? I mean, it's such a —
Mary Jo: Yeah, I bet we will.
Leo: Yeah. So you'll know if this is a strategy — if this is a long-term strategy. Here's the risk, and the chatroom's already pinpointed it. If you do get developers moving over to Android, then you might as well write off Windows Phone.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Might — you know, just say, "Why are we still making Windows Phone? Why don't we just make Android phones?" But I wouldn't do that because I think Windows Phone is really —
Paul: Listen, Martin Luther. I'm getting tired of your attitude over there.
Leo: (Laughs) I — okay you're going to like this.
Paul and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Leo: Windows Phone is probably the best mobile operating system out there. It's clean, it's fast, it's efficient. The only thing lacking right now in the ecosystem is apps.
Leo: Microsoft's services are the most important part to them going forward.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: They need to make an enterprise phone that works with their services. They need — I mean, they need to get growth markets, they —
Paul: Oh, I — yeah. I keep waiting for the little things. You know, those Bing apps that I think you guys probably talked about last week showing up on iPhone and on Android. You know, things like that. I mean, these are not tectonic shifts or anything, but I think when you see those kinds of apps start appearing from Microsoft, that's going to indicate the tsunami is coming, that these are the early — early warning signals, you know?
Mary Jo: Yeah. I'm going to say something. More blasphemy here, but I think the way to cover Microsoft these days if you're a Microsoft reporter — and if you're a Microsoft developer or a customer to think about them — is, everything that you think is the opposite of what you always knew is true is now the reality. Like, we shouldn't be surprised anymore.
Leo: It's Bizarro World.
Mary Jo: It's Bizarro World, right. And I saw so many people, right up until Nokia announced these phones, these X phones — they were saying, "This is not going to happen. There's no way this is going to happen." And all the evidence was to the contrary. Again, you're going to see Microsoft do things like Office on the iPad. You're going to see things that we never thought we would see. But just remember: it's a really different Microsoft than the Microsoft we all know as the Windows and Office company. Different company.
Paul: It's like watching a chimp ride a bicycle.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: It's the first good news about Microsoft in years, I think.
Leo: It's the first thing that Microsoft's done that gives it a future.
Leo: I'm —
Mary Jo: But, you know, the part, again, I think is the hardest part that they haven't made a good sell on is, What do you tell your developers who've bet on your platform? The people who've —
Paul: Right. And what's the transition plan, here?
Mary Jo: I know.
Paul: That's part of what I was trying to bring up earlier. I mean, they've done this thing where they —
Leo: No, I think you're right, but when has Microsoft really shown much care for those people?
Mary Jo: Oh, they love developers.
Leo: Oh, okay.
Mary Jo: And they have — I mean, they've made some mistakes, like Silverlight, right?
Paul: You know what, though? They love developers, but —
Mary Jo: Yeah, they love developers, but —
Paul: — developers, by and large, have not followed them to these newer platforms. We've been talking about this forever. You know, it started, kind of, with Longhorn. I mean, basically, the first attempt to get by Win 32, everything has had kind of a muted response. And as they move forward with .net and the WinFX stuff that turned into — whatever the — I don't really follow the transition there — Avalon and WPF and WCF and yadda yadda yadda. And now we have WinRT and WinPRT and all that stuff. I mean, it's a lot of churn, a lot of similarities, some good languages — Typescript now and C-sharp and all that stuff. It's all great, but none of this stuff applies to Android at all. I mean, they need to — that's going to be the interesting bit. Maybe that's what happens at Build. Maybe start talking about that stuff. I mean, that would be another part of that tsunami. If that's the next transition, we're on the part of the map that has a picture of a dragon on it. We don't know what's going on out there. Yeah.
Mary Jo: (Laughs) Chris Winthrop brings up a really good point when we were talking about the developer strategy. You know who was all in the camp here this week was Xamarin, right? Xamarin's already got tools to help people —
Leo: Yeah, this is good news for them, for sure.
Mary Jo: Right. So they're helping people port apps —
Paul: Yeah, someone on Twitter made the — go ahead. I'm sorry.
Mary Jo: Oh, I was just going to say, Xamarin's already got components for people to start porting apps to the Nokia X. Microsoft and Xamarin have been getting tighter and tighter ties between the two.
Mary Jo: So maybe Xamarin's a part of this strategy to kind of bridge the gap.
Paul: Yeah, we hung around with Miguel last year at Build for a little while —
Mary Jo: Yep.
Paul: — and Microsoft's been trying to get him over there for literally a decade.
Leo: Miguel de Icaza, who was, for a while, a Linux widget developer.
Paul: Yeah. But he's all — .net on Linux.
Leo: Did the first .net on Linux, and Xamarin is now .net everywhere.
Paul: So he's an awesome guy, and obviously a smart guy, but — I mean, if this is what they're going, they — that needs to become part of the Microsoft stack. I mean, I —
Leo: And it's — Web9405 in the chatroom makes a good point. Nokia X is nowhere going to eat Microsoft Windows Phone market share, is it?
Paul: Well, except for one thing. So — and that's part of something we'll talk about a little — in a little while. So yeah, I think when you look at the market now, you say, "Well, these things aren't really competing in the same place." Actually, that's not completely true, and so — we'll get to that the next —
Leo: Okay. Good. I think it's — I think — so remember how I began the show? "Oh, 2013, what a year, what a banner" — 2014's going to be even more interesting.
Paul: Yeah. It's February. (Laughs)
Leo: You're watching a company in transition. We've seen so many companies, like Kodak, attempt to make a transition like this and fail, but I am impressed. I feel like this is what Microsoft needed to do. It recognized — perhaps a little late —
Paul: Yeah. You know what?
Leo: — but it recognized that desktop software wasn't the future.
Paul: Microsoft may fail at all this stuff, but I think you could even go back to Windows 8, as much as we hate to give credit there. But you may disagree with the whole Windows 8 strategy, and you may not like Windows 8 and all that, and I get that. But give them a little bit of credit for saying, "We need to move quick and do this. We've got to do this right now. Like, we need to change this now." And I think a lot of us don't like the way it turned out, but this is a company that by all rights should be moving as slowly as possible and protecting its turf and circling the wagons and all — whatever that is. But they are getting out there and doing this stuff, so yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Remember, John Thompson, who was leading the CEO search, supposedly — according to the Wall Street Journal — said to Ballmer, "We have to stop being so slow. You've got to make some decisions here. Let's go."
Mary Jo: And they've been doing that since last year.
Leo: And that means being bold. And you know what? It could fail. Nobody's saying it's not — it's foolproof.
Paul: Yeah, it could fail.
Leo: And Paul is very aware of all the risks because that's his — that's the kind of guy he is.
Paul: (Laughs) Of course. I'm risk averse.
Leo: "It's not going to go well." (Laughs)
Paul: Yes, I abhor change, and I am afraid of risks, yes.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: But, you know — and I — you guys are — this is your beat.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: And so you're way ahead of me on this one, but I like it when this — I love it when a plan comes together. (Laughs) And I'm slow.
Paul: I like to think there is a plan.
Leo: And you have history that shows that maybe there isn't, but I just think sometimes you see disparate moves by a company, and then suddenly they start to make sense. And I think that that's the stage we're going to be in for the next few months, and we'll see if it's at Build. And you're right, Paul —
Paul: Honestly —
Leo: — Microsoft history is not good, but maybe —
Paul: We talked — Mary Jo and I both talked to different parts of the company at different times, and I think she would agree that one of the things you hear from a lot of these people, whether it's, you know, maybe the Lync guys or Office general or whatever, they really do talk about how this "devices and services" thing is a big deal for them, and how important it is and how it impacts — it's not just some bologna that the mothership's talking about. Like, "We're putting our apps everywhere that it makes sense." And there are many things you could look back on 2013, but if you were to compare, say, the Microsoft mobile app collection that was available at the beginning of last year to the beginning of this year, I think you would see astronomical growth there on both iOS and Android, not just Windows.
Leo: Yeah. And Microsoft was at risk of losing everything. You know, the world was changing out from underneath it, and the fact that they — they're not famous for being quick on this. They didn't recognize the Internet until 1995. But when — but —
Paul: And even then, they were kind of half-assed.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: And even then, they weren't sure they believed it.
Leo: But this —
Paul: Well, they went with everyone's favorite browser program. Spyglass, was it called?
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Paul: Seriously. Like — (Laughs) I wrote a better browser in Visual Basic III. You know, that thing. But anyway, you know, they did what they did.
Mary Jo: I think the biggest risk in this whole bold strategy is whether or not users in these growth countries want Microsoft services, right?
Mary Jo: Do they really want to go to the Nokia store, or do they already have stores that they're using and comfortable with?
Paul: Maybe you're looking at it from the wrong angle, though, right? Because those people know Nokia devices.
Leo: I mean, you've got to — don't you presume they're coming from feature phones? Yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I mean —
Leo: They're probably from —
Paul: They may just use what comes on the phone.
Paul: In other words, if you got a Nokia device —
Mary Jo: They might — but they can also — yeah. They're — Nokia has said they're going to support third-party app stores for these devices, and there's going to be side-loading of apps possible, too. But yeah, I mean, I'm just thinking, like, in China, do people want OneDrive? Do they want XBOX Music? Or have they already decided on services that are different from this, and it's going to be hard to unseat those?
Leo: Well, you're screwed if that's the case, anyway. Whatever you do.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: So you're right, it could be over anyway.
Paul: Oh, but now you're on the device next to that stuff, and —
Leo: But go all in on Azure, this is it.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: So I don't know how these new phones are set up, but I would imagine that they're set up to back up your photos to OneDrive or something like we have on Windows Phone, and frankly, if that's something that's built in and easy to enable, and it's not something you can enable on some other storage thing on that phone, then you're going to use that and suddenly you've got a reason to care about OneDrive because your stuff is there.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: I don't know.
Mary Jo: It's a bold strategy, definitely bold. And we have been hearing talk right up until Mobile World Congress, — and we're still hearing it — that even the Windows teams and the Windows Phone teams inside Microsoft have thought about and have explored and are exploring the idea of putting Android apps on those devices. So it's a totally new world. Crazy new world. And maybe this Nokia X strategy will give them some — either clues or ideas, leverage. Or maybe they won't need to do this now because of those devices. So yeah, it's all — everything's in play. Everything's in play.
Leo: And that's the world that Satya Nadella's inheriting, and I think a bold strategy is called for and I — Yeah, I think you're — I think it's interesting that John Thompson was calling for this in a way, right?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: "Let's move. Move, move, move!"
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: And this all — now that Ballmer transitioned, it kind of all makes sense.
Mary Jo: They were both kind of like, "Maybe." (Laughs)
Paul: They were kind of — yeah, it's like, okay.
Leo: Well, isn't Nadella a services enterprise guy?
Paul: Oh, yeah, sure.
Mary Jo: He is.
Leo: What I was afraid of —
Paul: The problem is, we haven't really — I mean, there's been a lot of vague talk, right?
Leo: No, I know.
Paul: Yeah, mobile first — yeah, yeah, we get it.
Leo: He said, "Software, software, software," though.
Mary Jo: He did.
Paul: Yeah, and I like that. I like that.
Leo: I feel like — you're right, we don't know this guy.
Paul: Well, maybe build is going to be the first big —
Leo: This is the thing to watch, is Build.
Paul: Yeah. I don't know, maybe he shows up at Build, right?
Leo: He should.
Mary Jo: Right. Yeah, totally.
Paul: Oh, he should.
Leo: Did Ballmer not show up at Build?
Paul: No, he did. That was an awesome —
Mary Jo: No, the last build, it was great.
Paul: That was his best keynote ever.
Mary Jo: Yeah. He did the keynote.
Leo: Oh, no doubt. Nadella's got to be there.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: For me — and this is selfish because my only interest is that we get an interesting story to tell for years to come. (Laughs)
Paul: Oh, Leo, this is going to be interesting no matter what happens, I think.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it is.
Leo: Right. Exactly.
Paul: I can guarantee you that.
Leo: I feared a fairly dull story Microsoft's been a dull story for some time — witness the stock price. Last year shook everybody up. I feared a Microsoft that moved into IBM territory, that just became an enterprise company —
Paul: Yeah. I — listen. There's an inherent hypocrisy to my advice: Maybe Microsoft should give up on the consumer stuff. I mean, they're so good at the business stuff, you know?
Leo: (Laughs) Right, right.
Paul: The second they do that, they become incredibly uninteresting to me.
Leo: Boring. And then you're stuck.
Mary Jo: Wait a minute, guys. [unintelligible] come on.
Mary Jo: Let's get real, here. (Laughs)
Leo: Mary Jo loves the enterprise.
Mary Jo: The enterprise is not boring. SharePoint?
Paul: Too much [unintelligible], I can't take it!
Leo: (Laughs) That's why you're here, Mary Jo. You're here to remind us that enterprise can be scintillating.
Mary Jo: Enterprise pays the bills, my friends.
Leo: It does.
Paul: Let me just provide some load-out advice from Call of Duty.
Mary Jo and Leo: (Laugh)
Leo: Hey, I've been playing Titanfall. I was pissed, though.
Leo: I didn't know that the beta would run out.
Leo: So I only played a couple of rounds. I did the whole tutorial —
Paul: It's basically, like, three days.
Leo: Yeah, it was brief. I'm pissed! Now they got me, though. March 11, I'm in line at Gamestop. (Laughs) Anyway, speaking of Load-outs —
Leo: Okay. Because that's kind of part of the fun of it. You can hear the — can you hear the rhythm of the falling rain?
Leo: (Sings) Tellin' me what a fool I've been ...
Paul: Is it really raining?
Leo: Yeah, it's pouring.
Mary Jo: Oh, wow.
Leo: Yeah, we're happy. We need it. You know, it's been so — oh, it's horrible. It's been, like, 75 degrees every day and the sun's been shining. It's just terrible.
Mary Jo: Stop.
Leo: I'm done.
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Leo: That's so mean.
Mary Jo: It's only been 22 here, so —
Paul: Speaking from the one part of the planet that has been experiencing lower than normal temperatures for the past six weeks in a row —
Leo: So mean of me.
Paul: — I'd like to kindly suggest that you go — no. (Laughs)
Mary Jo: It was snowing here again this morning.
Leo: I'm a bad, bad man, I know. I'm just teasing you.
Mary Jo: You're a bad —
Leo: I watch Good Morning —
Paul: You know it's 8 degrees out today, right, Leo?
Leo: Yes, I do. I watch Good Morning America just to look out the window — I don't look at the show or the anchors. I just look out the window and say, "Oh, look at that! Times Square! It's snowing there, look at that!"
Paul: I actually think the northeast part of this country is sinking into the ground and it's just going to disappear.
Leo: (Laughs) We're going to take a break, come back with more. There is so much to talk about. I love it. And that's why, from a purely selfish point of view, I just want Microsoft to shake the world up. Shake it up.
Leo: And that's what they're doing. But you want — you know, that's exciting. And I think Build will be so interesting this year. You guys are coming down, right?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: Yeah. We should do something at Build. It'd be fun.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Paul: We were just talking about that. Yeah, we've got to figure that out.
Leo: Yeah, yeah, yep.
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Leo Laporte with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. We're talking Microsoft and Windows and phones. You know, one thing we didn't talk about — do you think Microsoft, A. Knew about it? Yeah; B. Supported it; or C. Do you think they're just going to say — as soon as this acquisition goes through — which I guess is, what, soon — they'll go, "Okay, thanks, guys." And (makes a raspberry noise) that's it for the Moto — for the Nokia X.
Paul: They had to have talked.
Leo: They had to know, right?
Mary Jo: They definitely know. (Laughs)
Paul: Not just — no, they definitely knew.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I mean —
Paul: They had to have talked about the future.
Leo: But wait a minute. Isn't there — as I remember, when there's an acquisition, a quiet period?
Mary Jo: There is.
Leo: Where it's — Microsoft does not get to say to the company they're acquiring what to do. They can't give them —
Paul: Oh, no, of course not. You can't. But —
Mary Jo: No.
Paul: But come on. I mean —
Paul: I —
Mary Jo: I mean, the day these phones were announced, Skype announced they had a version of Skype to support them, okay?
Leo: Oh. Okay.
Mary Jo: They talked. (Laughs)
Leo: Oh, okay. There you go. That's a way of tacitly giving approval, isn't it?
Mary Jo: Yeah. And also, they had the developer day for the — for Nokia the second day, right after the phones were announced. And Microsoft people were presenting.
Leo: Right, right.
Mary Jo: So they knew. Come on. (Laughs) They couldn't tell the —
Paul: Well, and I would take it a step further. They didn't just know; I think this tells us, tacitly, that they're not going to get rid of it.
Leo: The Skype thing?
Paul: The Nokia X line. Like, in other words, they're not going to kill it the second the deal goes through.
Paul: I would think.
Mary Jo: No. You know what I was trying to remember, though? Remember when Microsoft actually made the offer to buy Nokia? There was a lot of talk about what Nokia would retain as a business and whether they could ever do their own handsets again at some point. Wasn't there a date when they could?
Mary Jo: Like, 2015, right?
Mary Jo: I don't know why that's in my head.
Paul: I don't think it's that soon. I think it's —
Leo: 2016, maybe.
Mary Jo: 2016.
Paul: No, it's longer than that.
Mary Jo: But what — I was thinking, you know, Microsoft —
Paul: There is a date, yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah. They could keep these phones, and then at some point transfer them back to Nokia if they — once that date comes.
Paul: Yeah, I mean — yeah, Google sold Moto to Lenovo, eventually. I mean, they could get rid of it.
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: That's a weird little plan. You know, we're going to buy your company, and then we're going to give parts of it back.
LEO: It's very strange.
Mary Jo: Or they could keep it. I don't think they're going to kill it. I really — you know, and —
Paul: Yeah, I don't think they're going to kill it.
Mary Jo: When I wrote a piece this week saying that, everybody attacked me and said, "They have to kill it. You have to tell them to kill it." And —
Mary Jo: They've already decided what they're going to do, people.
Leo: Microsoft gets rights to use Nokia's name in connection with feature phones for ten years; however, 2016 — at the start of calendar 2016 — Nokia can reenter the devices market using its own name.
Mary Jo: Yeah. There you go.
Leo: January 1, 2016.
Paul: But that's — listen, two years? I mean, come on. It's over.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Paul: It's over.
Leo: Well —
Mary Jo: Take everything you know and turn it on its head, Paul Thurrott.
Leo: I guess the — I — (Laughs) I guess the question is: A. Why Nokia wanted that; and why — and B. Why Microsoft allowed it.
Mary Jo: Well, I don't think Microsoft had a choice to allow it or not allow it, right?
Paul: Well, no, but they could have said, "Look, you can do this."
Mary Jo: "We're not buying you."
Paul: "We're not going to work with you on this. We're not going to — if — when we buy you, we are going to kill it. So please, feel free to waste your time; we can't stop you. But we will make you look stupid." I mean, I have to think that was —
Mary Jo: Yeah. I thought —
Paul: If that conversation had occurred, we wouldn't be seeing this.
Mary Jo: Right. And a lot of people are saying, "Oh, they're — these phones are never going to come to market, and it's just going to die because Microsoft's going to acquire Nokia the next month, and that's it. They're done." I think Nokia would not have had this huge developer event and invested all this time and effort into telling developers and already getting a bunch of developers to start porting if that was the intention. I don't know, it seems —
Paul: I wrote a tweet the other day where I said, "I hope the Nokia X doesn't come down with anything Kin-tagious, if you know what I mean."
Mary Jo: I saw that. (Laughs) I know, Microsoft did this, too, right?
Paul: It'd be a [unintelligible] a shame if anything happened to you.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Remember, Microsoft did a lot to prime the market and retail and developers, everybody for the Kin, and then they killed it in 30 days, so — or was it 30 days? No, it was less than six months, not 30 days, but still —
Paul: It was a few months, but they — yeah, that one suffered from, I think, Verizon-related injuries as well, but —
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Mary Jo: I don't know. I think this is going to stick around, at least for some time, and I think, as a Windows — if I were a Windows Phone developer, I would just say — take it as an incentive to do even better apps and try to stick with it.
Paul: I don't like this new world, Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: I know you don't.
Paul: (Laughs) It's just —
Leo: It's wild. It's just wild. It's very interesting.
Paul: This is just not good.
Leo: Microsoft made a very interesting deal for — and by the way, Nokia also continues to get billions of euros in license fees and patents every year.
Leo: So I mean, this is really interesting.
Paul: Actually, here's a question. Microsoft obviously collects Android-related licensing fees from a variety of hardware makers.
Paul: Are those related to the, like, Android as we know it — Google services and apps plus AOSP — or is it related to AOSP only?
Leo: It's got to be AOSP. It has to be. I would guess —
Paul: You think that's the base —
Leo: It goes back, I would guess, to Microsoft's suits over Linux. Because Linux is the heart of AOSP, and I would guess this has something to do with Microsoft's assertion that it owns some of the sourcecode there.
Leo: Remember, they indemnified people who used Microsoft's Linux or —
Mary Jo: Yep.
Mary Jo: It was actually Nouvelle.
Paul: Microsoft's Linux?
Mary Jo: No, Nouvelle, it was Nouvelle.
Paul: It was Nouvelle.
Mary Jo: They were indemnifying Nouvelle customers. Remember that?
Leo: Because you're — yeah, it's very confusing.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Yeah. I mean, it's assumed or it's thought — and I think this is fairly accurate — it's five or six bucks per handset that Microsoft gets. So they make a lot more on Android than they do on Windows Phone.
Leo: The next Kin, coming soon.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: To a growth market near you. Hey, Alan Mulally! (Laughs) As soon as he's not CEO —
Paul: No, no, no, we — not yet, not yet.
Leo: Not yet? There's more to say?
Mary Jo: A little bit about Windows Phone.
Paul: No, we need to — we have this Windows Phone story.
Leo: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to jump so —
Paul: No, no, it's okay. It's just that this is kind of tied into what we were just talking about.
Leo: Yeah, yeah. Because it — I was really under the impression that once Nokia was subsumed that no one would make Windows RT or Windows Phone hardware except Microsoft.
Paul: Yeah. Why would you?
Leo: But that's not the case. We — in fact, we talked about this a couple weeks ago. And they —
Paul: Oh, did you?
Leo: Well, you and — I think you and I did.
Paul: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you meant this story. Oh, right. Because this just happened.
Leo: Yeah. No, but I mean, you were saying, "No, I don't know if they're going to lose all their — I thought for sure all the OEM's would say bye-bye."
Paul: But no one thought there were going to be more coming on board. Certainly not —
Paul: — nine of them, or whatever the number is.
Leo: Well, a lot of them are kind of — I've never heard of these companies. I mean, I don't know what they —
Mary Jo: And they're in growth markets. (Laughs)
Leo: I mean, ZTE is China; LG, we know.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Longcheer I think may be India.
Paul: But my first question here is: Why? I mean, what — this Windows Phone thing has been sitting here ready to be licensed for the past three and a half years. Why now? You know, what happened? I mean, why — I mean, Nokia owns 90 percent of this market. Microsoft is buying Nokia. Why would anyone want to license this thing? Why?
Leo: Well, probably because Microsoft says they can do it for free.
Paul: It was never said, but I think it's licensing.
Leo: It's free.
Mary Jo: Yeah, yeah.
Paul: I think they dropped the price down to next to nothing, yeah.
Paul: Or zero.
Paul: Well, we don't know because no one has said, but certainly the price has —
Leo: The competitor is Android, which is free — or AOSP, which is free. So I — and this is a good strategy on Microsoft's part: get as many — you've got to get as many people hooked into Microsoft services as possible.
Paul: Well, but do you find it interesting that no one ever said that that's what happened? Like, I — they made this big announcement.
Leo: Well, it's free if you don't tell anyone.
Mary Jo: Yeah. (Laughs)
Paul: Well, in other words, here we are with Nokia doing this Nokia X thing. And they're saying, "Look, we have to target these growth markets. Cost is a huge issue, yadda yadda yadda. This is the only way it's going to work." You guys have made very logical and believable arguments for why they should do that. And then Microsoft signs up, like, nine new partners to use their OS for the same exact purpose, in the same exact markets. Why couldn't Nokia have done this?
Mary Jo: Yeah. It may not just be the cost of the OS, I think. We know that they've been talking about taking away the capacitive buttons on the front of the phone making it so —
Leo: Cheaper to make.
Mary Jo: Yeah. If you're a phone maker, now you could take your same handset and put Android or Windows Phone on it, right? That plays in, I'm sure.
Paul: Yes. I do think that there will be things in Windows Phone 8.1 that make it more applicable to these kind of low-end devices. But you know what's interesting about this is, this is what Windows 8.1 is doing on the PC as well. And it occurred to me — you know, we have this — we have a story a little bit later about the potential price drop of Windows 8 on low-end devices, you know, which are PC devices. Maybe we're making an assumption here that those are only PC devices. Maybe Windows 8 is Windows 8, whether it's phone, PC, tablet, and that this price drop, these low-end devices — it matches very nicely to what they're doing on the PC side. It's all Windows. Maybe it's the same thing. Maybe this is, in fact, part of the same story. It's a low-end growth market. You can get Windows for next to nothing, Windows Phone.
Leo: Yeah. I think that makes sense.
Paul: I do, too.
Mary Jo: The other thing you offer them — "Hey, guess what? We'll throw in the Android patent coverage for free."
Paul: Yeah. Right.
Mary Jo: (Laughs) "How about saving some money?"
Leo: Yeah. So it's even better —
Paul: Not just save some money, you could save any potential legal — ongoing legal [unintelligible] that you can be in court for the rest of your life for.
Leo: And what does Microsoft get out of it? What they need, which is market share, particularly for —
Paul: Yeah. Volume.
Leo: — volume for services, for Windows services.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: Then you can win over those — the hearts and minds, and their wallets will follow.
Mary Jo: The one I'm really interested in, in the new list — so on the new list, like we already said, there's LG, there's ETE, there's Lenovo. Interesting.
Leo: That's funny, yeah.
Mary Jo: I know. Lava, Longcheer, Foxcon as an original design manufacturer. But the one I'm interested in is HTC. They said HTC is going to make more Windows Phones.
Mary Jo: I know. Since I had the 8X up until recently, I was like, yeah.
Leo: I think if you make a high-end handset like the HTC 1, offering it in two flavors — Windows Phone or an Android — doesn't hurt.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: By the way, not just the high-end one, right?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: HTC announced, I think, just today, kind of a mid-range line of phones that looks a lot like the HTC one. It's hard not to look at something like that and think, Man, how awesome would a Windows phone —
Leo: Right. You know —
Paul: You know, that device running Windows Phone.
Leo: It's just hedging your bets.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: It's just hedging your bets. It's a safe thing to do. And Microsoft — nobody wants to — still, to this day, I don't think anybody wants to annoy Microsoft.
Paul: (Laughs) Well, especially Nokia.
Leo: Yeah. Well, they were — they'd be the first one not to.
Paul: Yeah, yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Is it — now, I see an article that says licensing costs changed. Maybe this is —
Mary Jo: Yeah. It's some guy —
Leo: — this is true. This is Sascha Segan, who's very smart.
Mary Jo: He is. He's really good.
Paul: Yeah, but he's — he quotes a lot of kind of dubious sources, so, that's why they're —
Leo: Oh, all right.
Paul: — that's why they're —
Mary Jo: That guy who — he's quoting some guy I've never heard of who I think is an Android guy, saying, "Yeah, we're hearing Microsoft's going to drop their licensing fees by70 percent. But that's also the rumored amount they're —
Paul: That's the PC story. That's the PC story.
Mary Jo: The PC one, right?
Paul: Yeah, that's what I — yeah, right. So I added this at the last minute because it sort of verifies my assumption and guess, but yeah, I noticed the same thing. It's very dubious sourcing.
Leo: Here's a fact, though, that I think is good to know, that in 2012's ETE set, Windows phones cost $23 to $30 to license. That's, like, the cost of Microsoft Windows on the desktop. That's expensive.
Paul: Right. That's crazy.
Leo: That's an awful lot.
Mary Jo: That's too pricey, yeah.
Leo: Especially with Android out there free.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: Well, yeah.
Mary Jo: Sort of. Mostly.
Paul: Well, Android does — ETE might license, it might not be free, but it's probably not $23 a phone.
Leo: Do they — well, actually, I wonder. Now, on AOSP it's free because you just take it, but — it's open-source — but —
Paul: I'm thinking the Google Play stuff, you're paying for that.
Leo: Do you pay for the Google Play stuff?
Paul: I think so.
Leo: You have to go through a certification —
Paul: Or do you just pay with your soul by having to do certain requirements?
Mary Jo: (Laughs) Right.
Leo: Sign in blood.
Mary Jo: I think if you — yeah.
Leo: They have to certify you. I don't know if it costs money, but —
Mary Jo: There was — there have been a couple reports saying if you take the Google Play stuff on top of Android that you have to agree to take a bunch of things together, right?
Mary Jo: Like, you have to agree to take Google+ and —
Leo: Right. Did Google — so there's AOSP, which is the open-source, free stuff anybody can use — and Nokia used to fork; there's Google Mobile Services, GMS. You take it all or nothing. It's all or nothing. You can't pick and choose.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: You have to get certified by Google. But I wonder — I don't know if it costs you anything.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I think Google has said it does not. But again, the cost is you have to agree to take everything, and that — that's a lot of things —
Paul: And it's a little more — yeah, it's more than that. I mean, you have to position things in a certain way and —
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: — present things on the phone in a certain way.
Mary Jo: You know what it's like? It's like when Microsoft, back in the earlier Windows days, used to force OEM's to take a lot of things to get a cheaper price on Windows. And they got in trouble with the DOJ for that, but —
Paul: It's a lot like that, actually.
Mary Jo: It's a lot like that. (Laughs) Yeah.
Paul: Well, they learn from the best.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: But nevertheless, we're saying the difference of $30 a handset as much as — that's —
Paul: I — the profit margins on these devices have got to be nonexistent, so —
Paul: That actually —
Leo: That's a big deal.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: So if it's that much, then I can see —
Paul: By the way, that's no doubt why Samsung puts all that crap on those phones.
Paul: Because they want to get you involved in their little ecosystem.
Paul: They're not really making a lot of money on the phone.
Paul: They're trying to get you involved with their stuff.
Leo: But their ecosystem sucks.
Paul: Oh, it's — yeah, ludicrous.
Leo: And nobody wants to use it.
Paul: But I'm just saying, you know that's the plan. I mean, that's the —
Leo: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's obvious. You look at one of these phones, it's just obvious.
Leo: However, it's such a lousy ecosystem that that strategy seems like a failure.
Paul: Yeah, it was — it was — yeah. It's got this cross-cultural disconnect that's just kind of bizarre, but —
Leo: Yeah, yeah. If a manufacturer produces over a certain number of phones, says Devoi, then Google collects a fee, but they don't say how much. I don't know if that's —
Paul: I thought there was a fee tied to Google Maps or something like that. I don't want to say that — whatever it is — because I don't know. But I — I have something in the back of my head where Google does, in fact, collect licensing on full-blown Android, and I just don't remember how or why, but —
Mary Jo: Well, I think Microsoft does too, right, for Bing Maps if you're a developer.
Paul: Yeah. No, I'm not suggesting it's —
Leo: If you use maps in your app, that's different than if —
Mary Jo: That is. Than if you're putting it on the phone. Yeah.
Leo: That's different than you're just putting Google Maps on the phone. Google wants you to do it.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Mary Jo: But yeah. So we — like Paul's saying, we never really knew what the true price was that they were offering OEM's. I mean, I've seen before reports of $15 per phone, I've seen $5 per phone. It probably depends on volume, for one thing, just like Windows does, too.
Mary Jo: It's hard to know, huh?
Paul: It's not like there's a bunch of versions of Windows Phone. I mean, it's —
Mary Jo: Right.
Paul: — kind of an all or nothing deal.
Leo: Hey, we didn't talk about this — and we're kind of backtracking a little bit — but a good question from Jeff in the chatroom. Could those Nokia X phones — are they spec-sufficient enough to run Windows Phone? You don't need a whole lot of hardware to run Windows Phone, do you?
Paul: Right. I think the base hardware platform is fine for Windows Phone. I think what's missing are maybe some of the sensors.
Leo: Okay. Because that would be another explanation.
Paul: That's one of the complexities of Windows Phone. Microsoft doesn't document this very well —
Paul: — for the public, and the specs have changed between Windows Phone versions. But there are things that you expect to see in a Windows phone. For example, one example that's changed is the camera button. And so I don't believe there's been a Windows phone without a hardware camera button. That's actually no longer part of the spec. You could ship a Windows Phone out without that button — I don't think anyone has — and in Windows Phone 8.1, you can ship them without the hardware buttons on the front because they'll have software buttons. And so they — they've been kind of changing the spec every time, and so some things are optional and some aren't. And I don't have a complete list off the top of my head, but I suspect that these devices don't have some of the sensors that maybe Windows Phone licensing still requires.
Mary Jo: We've actually never heard whether it's feasible to put the Windows Phone OS on those kind of handsets, right? We — like, why hasn't it —
Paul: Well, it's the same hardware platform, right? So Snapdragon —
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: — whatever. You know, I don't know what the RAM is. I would imagine it's 512 or 1 meg or something.
Mary Jo: Yeah. But Microsoft's never come out and said, "You can't put it on a handset of that size." I mean — in fact, when they were in Barcelona this week, they talked about how they're even lowering their requirements further for hardware, so —
Paul: Yep. They addressed this exact — that's what I'm saying. In other words —
Mary Jo: They did.
Paul: — Windows Phone is literally evolving right now to address this market that Nokia had to make the X for. So I don't quite get it, but —
Mary Jo: It's all about the apps.
Mary Jo: Back to that.
Leo: Yeah. And by the way, Samsung's also doing phones that don't have Android, and Samsung service Tizen phones, so there's another operating system. Ars Technica —
Paul: All the benefits of the Samsung crap with none of that Google stuff to get in the way.
Leo: (Laughs) Actually, Ars Technica just reviewed — and thanks to the chatroom for this link — Samsung's Tizen OS, and they said, "An impressively capable Android clone."
Paul: Yeah. It looks like a DOS screen from 1993.
Leo: It looks pretty bad.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: It is not pretty.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Yeah. Ah, well. It's an interesting world, and that's what we want as people who cover it.
Paul: You like — you like starting wars just so you can cover them.
Leo: Yeah. William Randolph Hearst. That's how we did it.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: We need a war to boost circulation.
Paul: We need a war? No, Apple and Samsung are going to get — are going to be going to court soon. That'll be good.
Leo: Yeah, well, there's plenty to cover, believe me.
Mary Jo: (Laughs)
Leo: Microsoft and Ford — I was surprised to see this, although maybe it shouldn't be such a surprise. Ford's Ford SYNC — which I had in my Mustang, it was great — but — and that's built on Microsoft's car platform, which I think is a Windows CE platform. But — and I don't know if the MyFord Touch, which Ford really got lots of criticism for. Was Ford or Microsoft on top of that? My sense is it was Ford.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: But for whatever reason, Microsoft —
Paul: Ford has said this is not Microsoft's fault.
Leo: Yeah, and I don't think it is. I think the Microsoft —
Paul: "It's not you, it's us," I think is what they said, you know?
Leo: I think the Microsoft stuff's good. If you have basic Ford SYNC, it's great. I've been very happy in my Mustang. It was the MyFord Touch stuff that they layered on top of it that wasn't very good. And that was them. Nevertheless, Ford has announced a next-generation car technology Telematics is going to — in Ford vehicles, it's going to be based on Blackberry's QNX. It's not a —
Paul: You couldn't be slapped any sillier, you know?
Leo and Mary Jo: (Laugh)
Paul: Like, "We're going to base our next-generation platform on the Amiga." No, like seriously.
Leo: Was Microsoft car being updated? It is Windows CE right?
Mary Jo Foley: It is Windows embedded, so that operating system has a lot of different flavors and Microsoft never did update the version of the embedded to Windows 8 for auto. They said they were going to and then they did not. So there has been a lot of speculation were they getting out of the market and I hear that they were not getting out of the market but they are doing some tinkering with Windows embedded automotive, and probably will have something new to resurface around next year.
Leo: What other companies are using this?
Mary Jo: A lot of other companies are using it. Let us see a lot of other companies are using it. Let us see I have got a list here: Nissan, Honda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Kia and Fiat.
Leo: Well, that is interesting that the QNX Blackberry pre-update they bought it.
Mary Jo: Yes that is right. That is a special operating system, like a real - time operating system.
Paul: Well, I remember that they bought it for their tablet and then to bring Blackberry up to speed with something modern. It was kind of like their next step yes whatever. In both those products they did great---- so.
Leo: I had a QNX in my Audi; I mean you do not really see any of this right.
Paul: You do not see any of this right. It is because the UI is whatever the carmaker puts on top of the range.
Mary Jo: So supposedly the reason that why Microsoft and Ford parted ways was about cost, is the story that Microsoft wanted too much and Ford said no and Microsoft said well we did not really want to work with you anyways because you kind of screwed up with the connect the car stuff so bye!
Paul: Bye and thanks. And besides they were still mad about that whole Alan Mulally thing.
Mary Jo: It was going to be announced after all that Alan Mulally was not in on for CEO and once Balemer and Mulally were friends, and supposedly Balemer really wanted to make that relationship. It was Balemer out and Mulally is out and the relationship is done.
Leo: I don’t know about those other vehicles but Fords have a Microsoft Logo on it. Right underneath it on the dash, yes hardware logo.
Paul: Well with Microsoft is there are two examples of this where they customized this specifically for the automaker. So Ford Sync was not something that some other carmaker could get. It was made for Ford, and that is why I think that you see that, they did or are doing something similar with Kia I think.
Mary Jo: Yes Kia and Fiat.
Paul: Well I mean in the sense it is like what they did for Ford, and it kind holes.
Leo: But some of those platforms that you mentioned the carmakers are doing Siri Two. But it is not just a Siri OS, it is just integrating Siri.
Paul: Well Google have got their thing, which I think is going to be very popular. (Lots of talking over one another)
Leo: I think that this is going to go to Android next. This is one of those things where the cars are a real mismatch. The development cycle of cars and the development cycle of the softwares and so you are going to see lots of this (Leo moving his hands up and down in the air).
Paul: So Ford obviously targets, but not always but a lot of their cars are targeted towards the younger people, and you do not have to be young anymore really to be play. But younger people especially want technology integration; they want to be able to speak to people in through car on the phone. They want to be able to integrate the Pandora that they may have with the phone or whatever. So it is a big deal for the car stuff, it is ludicrous.
Leo: And Ford is very much global. I guess all these companies are now global but you know. Ford has got to the point where the platform is the same everywhere for many of their cars for the Focus, the Fiesta.
Paul: Yes. I remember thinking that it was just like two or three models, and then they kind of branched out from there, and you probably cannot buy a Ford anymore, without getting some form of this or at least it is available. (Long Pause)
Leo: There is a moment of silence.
Paul: I have had a few of those today.
Leo: The mood of silence for the Ford Sync. Let me take a break and we are going to come back, and we will talk in addition to the rumors about Windows Phone licensing fees going down, and it is kind of related infact it is in the same article here by Sacha Seeking in C Magazine. The cost of Windows 8 might be going down for some manufacturers, and Mary Jo has decided on a phone.
Mary Jo: I did.
Leo: I cannot wait to see which one. (All presenters talking over each other)
Paul: Is she going to get a Java phone?
Leo: She has got an Asher.
Mary Jo: It is a Nokia X3.
Leo: oh, that would just frost Mr Thurrott. Oh No, noo.
Paul: I had it ordered from overseas. It was really pricey, but it was worth it.
Leo: Our show brought to you today from Citrix and Share File. I have to say that I share a lot of files in my radio stuff. We are always sending audio files to stations and you know like, ”Hi, I am Leo Laporte,” and, “ I listen to Jerry and Todd in the morning” and things like that. And when I do it you know I have to admit that you know some of these stations are sharing files with them or not super sophisticated technologically. I was using another solution, but they kept erasing the files, and then the other stations would say, hey, hey no files in that folder. I …..fortunately Citrix came along with Share File and it has really saved my life and I use Share File all the time. Share File of course does all the things that the other guys including sync folder, it does automatically, and it does things like that. You can email files. The one thing you do not want to do is these days is I think attach files to email. And pretty much every business email does have something attached like contracts, spreadsheets, presentations, but frankly the last thing you want to do is do it as an attachment and yet people still do. It is a security risk, it is a privacy risk and you know quite often you know purely from a practical point of view these files of any size, you often get bounce backs. Share File works great, I will show you my Share File, when I can log in here, because you are not sending any attachments, you are sending secure links to a file. It is branded, you see our Twit Logo there so it does not look like it is from Share File, and it looks like it is from our own thing. These are the files that, I have, synchronized from, one of the files from one of the radio show, people here see recordings. By the way you see file priveleges, here you can have users who have automatic privileges to the folder and you can say what they can do, really is granular to the functionality. I am going to send this file. Now if you have Outlook an Outlook plug-in but they will allow you to send an email from the web interface. I usually send a link. I am going to send a link and I will show you all the parameters. I can say email me when the item has been downloaded, I can require recipients to enter name and email before downloading so I can track them, I can control when the download expires anything from a date to forever. How many downloads per user. So I can say for instance that they can download this once and they can never get it after that first day, then I click the send files and what I want get is a secure link. It is a long secure link, so I will attach that………..I will put it in the email rather and they will click the link and this is what they are going to get is a page with my logo and a download button with it. You do not have to sign up for anything, you do not have to do anything, it is very, very straight forward and that is why Share File is really my choice now whenever I want to send files to anybody……..radio stations anywhere. I want you to try it for free for thirty days. Take a look here at the security in the medical industry; if you are a doctor it is compliant with many, many industries. I want you to go to the top of the page, this podcast listeners click here, and that is the microphone at the very top and pick you………..sorry start your free trial for business, this is what I like, because if you choose the industry you will get a chance to see how customizations work for that particular industry and how it applies to regulations in that industry and so forth. Go to ShareFile.com, thirty day free trial, no obligation but do me a favor, click there is several places you can click, unfortunately, once you have clicked the link at the very top of the window that says radio or podcast listeners that is the one for you, and do use our offer code Windows so we get a credit when you sign up so that when you sign up. ShareFile.com it is the best way to share Windows and Sira Files in Windows, Mac anything, web interface as well. ShareFile.com, I am moving right along, and word is that on some devices Microsoft is not going to charge as much for the Windows Licence, but it is low-end devices.
Mary Jo: Right, and this is a Bloomberg report, saying that Microsoft is thinking of dropping the price it charges PC makers and not phone makers from $50.00 a copy to that they pay Microsoft to put Windows 8 on a new device to $15.00.
Leo: Oh, that is a big drop.
Mary Jo: It would be………….. If that is true then it is a big drop but only on machines of $250 or less. There are not many of those, right now.
Leo: There is no margin. I mean if you made a machine for 250 bucks, you are paying Microsoft $50.00 of it? I mean.
Mary Jo: Even if you go and look in the store right now I was looking for what Windows devices that are out there for $250.00 or less. I could only find two. I found an Asus touch screen laptop a really low end one that had been discounted to 249 and then I also saw the eight inch Dell Venue 8 PRO sorry, 32 gig models was at 249 also at a discount. That is it.
Paul: Those are normal starting prices.
Mary Jo: But they are not normal prices right. Also you know the question is if Microsoft did take the price down to 15 dollars a copy, would this suddenly mean that there would be a bubbling up of more machines that were 250 dollars or less because all the OEMS supposedly would pass those savings on.
Paul: I think that is the goal that is why I think that this phone thing is the same thing. I think this is the same story really. It is funny.
Mary Jo: I bet that it might be the same story, when you said that out, yes maybe it was confusing the phone and the PC.
Paul: I am really curious about this. I did hear and this definitely is PCs though because I heard the story I think intimated, I heard from a source that as part of this deal you do not have to go to the hardware certification process store to get that Windows logo which comes with all kinds of good guarantees for users and that sets up the possibility that these devices or actually a probability that these devices will not be particularly reliable because Microsoft will not have certified the hardware driver combinations and will not be providing automatic driver updates for the Windows updates. So it is kind of iffy new little product category, if you thought that PCs Windows got too reliable then it is really good news, you know and these cheap devices are not going to be reliable at all.
Mary Jo: It is a bit like net books really.
Paul: Yes a lot like net books. The difference between this and the net book licensing that they had for Windows Starter was that those machines had to meet certain requirements -- screen size, a lot of ram, a lot of storage, these machines don’t have to meet any of those requirements. It’s only requirement is that it has to last, last, last for 250 bucks if you wanted have a big screen or whatever hardware components that is fine, it just has to cost less than 250. It really is interesting and it is the modern net book.
Mary Jo: The other possibility is that we have heard that when Microsoft comes out with Windows 9 cutting threshold that there is going to be this new blow-in modern SCU that does not have the desk top and it is going to work supposedly on phones and on tablets and maybe PCs and maybe that is the SCU that they are talking about that Microsoft is going to make it cheaper, and that will be that modern one and it will not be the other one, sorry once Windows stop.
Paul: I really do think that this is Windows End phone; I do think these things are co-mingled. I, I we have mixed up some things may be in the reports because we don’t know and we don’t know what is happening and I thought this was all related.
Leo: How much is the ……………….is 50 bucks what would normally for the going cost for Windows.
Mary Jo: No-one knows.
Leo: No-one knows.
Paul: They have to have standard volumes discounts and (talking over) I do not think that Windows is 50 bucks, you know like and it is not really like the old days when you can get sweetheart deals if you have a good relationship but I Think that they would at least have volume discounts at the very least.
Mary Jo: My understanding from what I have known for covering Windows for years is like the top twenty main PC makers used to all get the same price after the DOJ kind of slapped Microsoft down for price gouging and unfair deals. But it was very standard like the entire top twenty all got the same price per device. The thing is we do not know what that price is and it, and you know back in Windows 95 days, it used to be way over a hundred dollars per copy and over time it came down, down and down. We do not know right now, I am sure that the OEMs know it obviously but we reporters do not know.
Paul: But PC sales for years and years you know have been going up and up and so if you were to compare Windows License sales like in 1996 to 2006 you would have seen a dramatic increase in volume so with the price coming down Microsoft is still going to make more money, we are not really seeing that anymore so obviously PC sales kind of plateaus and then fell and you can see how far they go down. So that kind of makes it interesting.
Leo: It is interesting.
Paul: It is, it is the weirdest thing that could be out there.
Mary Jo: There is a lot of hearsay about what the price is. I mean people are voicing numbers out there I heard that the top twenty OEMs, it is hard to know. We knew the old price because it became public record when Microsoft was being sued, that is how we knew what the price was then.
Leo: Microsoft fight I did not know about that update one. Well everybody knew about Update one, but I guess who ever did not know, but Microsoft never said anything about it but they have finally acknowledged it.
Mary Jo: It was actually a surprise at Mobile World Congress they in their Press Conference they said, Hey! We have got an update coming out pretty soon this spring, bringing up the update for Windows 8.1 and here are all the features all of which we have already reported.
Paul: They may call it a spring update----did they use that term?
Mary Jo: Yes they called it the Spring Update.
Leo: That gives you right up till March 22nd right to release it?
Mary Jo: Yes, yes. They are supposedly right on the edge of RTMing this and their Escrow bills that have leaked so it is close. Yes they talked about the smaller footprint, which we knew about and it will work, on devices with one gig rams of sixteen gigs of storage what else (all talking over each other)
Leo: What about IE compatibility? (Presenters talking over each other)
Mary Jo: Right there is the IE picture, that we also written about and there was nothing new except the fact that Microsoft finally acknowledged that it exists.
Leo: It is pretty much interesting that you guys pretty much nailed the features?
Mary Jo and Paul: Yes.
Paul: We did not learn anything new.
Mary Jo: Nothing new goes on……….
Leo: There is nothing new here.
Paul: They did not name it anything though right, they did not call it anything, and it was just an update.
Mary Jo: They did not call it A1 or an A2 or anything. They did not call it by a name so?
Leo: It was the spring update. May be that is the name.
Mary Jo: It could be the name.
Paul: Well it was an update for Windows A1, they could call it A2 it is just not on, I do not know.
Mary Jo: I do not know I think that will be confusing.
Leo: Never mind I do not want to talk anymore on this. It is a roll up.
Mary Jo: Paul was wondering isn’t there an update is there going to be another one this year?
Paul: Well the language that I saw, and I did not watch the event so maybe that is why I lost all that kind of thing. They basically called it the 2014 update for Windows 8.1, and I thought that is interesting. Is that………does that mean that it is the only update for this year? You know……I mean, I would be surprised if that were the case, I mean they are going to think about the monthly opportunities for further updates at the OS and of course the will all be updated with all that stuff. It seems like update one is the type is a thing that they can do two or three times a year or more you know past this one. So I guess we will see.
Mary Jo: The thing that I have heard about that one from some of my sources is they were kind of on the bench and they will do another update and when they do another one-----one or two you know. And I had heard that if there were going to be one it would probably be just one just other update like this and maybe towards the fall.
Paul: Yes. And that would make sense. Okay.
Mary Jo: Okay. That is all we knew.
Leo: So Mary Jo bought a phone.
Paul: Yes, finally.
Mary Jo: Here it is, I bought it is the IKON.
Leo: And I can tell because it is so big and so square.
Paul: Yes. It is giant.
Mary Jo: Yes big square.
Paul: Can I see the case at the back?
Leo: This is the Horizon only Ikon. Wow! It is thick and you were worried that it might be too heavy for you. If you built up some muscle or………
Mary Jo: You guys are going to laugh when I say this. I have more muscle in my left arm after using this for a week. I noticed in fact today; yes my left arm is way stronger. Yes my left arm is way stronger.
Paul: That is funny.
Mary Jo: This phone you know is heavy but everybody said to me that you will get used to it if you keep using it, and I am getting used to it. (Too much talking over)
Paul: Do not ever pick up the 8X again. Ever.
Mary Jo: I know and I did and it like flew out of my hand.
Paul: It must have felt like a feather after using it like a medicine ball.
Mary Jo: It was, it was I think that it was probably………..ooooooooh. It is a really good phone, I have been using it since………..I bought it on Friday last week and I have been using it since. It is a very good phone. It really is great to have that extra screen, much nicer screen, it is faster. Like the one funny thing was that I mentioned on the show the last time that I was having some LTE issues, that I was not getting a very good signal, and now I do not know and you never know if you should believe Horizon employees of what you ask in store of what is going on right. So I went down to one of the more popular Horizon stores like in Manhattan in mid-town and I showed them the phone and I am like,” What is up with the signal?” and they said,’ It is pretty much the same everywhere in New York, because here is what they said and you guys can tell me if that is true. They said,” The new cell powers that they are building now are optimized for Google, and for Android and iPhones and not for web based phones.
Leo: No, no, no
Mary Jo: They actually said that.
Leo: Could that be true.
Paul: That is insidious.
Leo: That is insulting.
Mary Jo: I looked at their phone in the store because they had some Ikons that were actually seem to be working in the Horizon store and they only had a couple of bars also, and they were in a totally different part of New York, than where I am.
Leo: I think that it is possible that the Android phones and the iPhones sets lie about their number of bars. They did infact……….and we know that they changed the iPhone to show more signal. I don’t see how that could be true.
Paul: That is cellular technology.
Leo: I don’t see how that is true.
Mary Jo: It sounded so crazy but I thought,” My God, really.” The one thing that I have noticed though is that I am getting service even though I am on only two bars here in my building, I now get a service in the elevators, which I never did, but my 8X had all the bars. Yes, it is kind of arbitrary.
Paul: I am amazed they said that.
Mary Jo: I kind of stood there like oh, that sounds like………
Paul: If Windows phone comes and goes. One of the stories of this platform is going to be how they were undercut by wireless carrier employees from…….
Leo: You really do not want buy that phone with fewer bars in New York.
Paul: It is incredible.
Mary Jo: They did not discourage me at all which was very good actually because I have had other times when they have. I just went in and I am interested in buying this phone and they said it is great, awesome and they were displaying it. The sales person knew a lot about the Lumia and that was a good sign too so.
Leo: I feel that the Logik is going to break; the Windows phone is going to come back, quite soon.
Mary Jo: I hope that you are right, Leo.
Leo: Paul, do you have an Ikon?
Paul: No not yet it is on the way. I kind of screwed it up because I went away and then I got back and I said Okay I am ready for it Nokia and they said we have a little bit of a problem so, and they are going to send one. I will get one.
Leo: What is the comparable is it a 1020 or 1520?
Paul: So There is no directly comparable phone. It is interesting to me that phone is clearly an update to the 928 because it has got a kind of a perky, big phone. The closest thing that we have is a little bit like a 1020 but it has got…..1520 which has a camera is the big one. I actually have this one over here, if you look at the for a phone is not super thick, I mean it has got a little bit of bump there for a camera, I sort of anticipated that this phone would be like this, just a little down sized which I think would have been fantastic so I am surprised that they went with yet another kind of new design and not device and I am curious to experience it.
But that is what they did something like this, I guess that I am really not sure. (Talking over)
Mary Jo: Fifteen mega pixels on camera.
Leo: I think that is fine. I do not think that you need any more that.
Mary Jo: No. I think that is good 1080 P screen.
Leo: And it is big screen, it is your biggest phone you have ever had right?
Mary Jo: It is by far. Yes.
Leo: What is it five by five inches?
Mary Jo: Yes. It is a nice phone, I was not quite sure that I was going to do it, but I am glad that I did. Yes.
Leo: Good. Finally and I like this Mary Jo writes her line,’ Twitch is coming to X-Box One’ I have no idea of what this means, I am just typing words.’
Mary Jo: I knew we were supposed to talk about it but Paul is going to have TO.
Paul: It is not a huge story but Microsoft did promise this Twitch Integration with X-Box One and then at the last minute dropped it and said they would add it back in the first part of 2014. So it is coming back, it is………what it is basically a way for gamers to broadcast live their game play and you can also go and chill and watch other people play, and people can watch them and participate in their games, so on and so forth. So they only way that we had to share these experiences until this happens is through the recording feature which is cool in its own right. But this gives you this live experience and so Twitch is an online service that Microsoft is available on Play stations.
Leo: It is just like a TV station, it turn out that it is one of the biggest things that they have done. It is huge.
Paul: Yes it is huge. I do not know why anyone would want to watch people play video games, but…………..
Leo: Hey, Paul every day I go home and I say did Paul have you uploaded anything new from your call on duty and I go in and watch your kill.
Paul: I even watched this goon when I was camping and I put a bomb on the other side of the wall and blew it up and killed him through the wall, which is kind of an awesome James Bond movie that was good I recorded that.
Leo: And then the fun thing on this game is that you as the guy you have just killed, and you are going what the hell happened, I do not know.
Paul: You go watch it again.
Leo: You go watch it from Paul’s angle again there you go. Yes, yes I got it.
Paul: The cheaper the better Leo. I think it is fine for games. (A lot of mumbling)
Leo: So you goal is to kill everyone.
Paul: I won, I won. I want to make sure that I do not hear it but I wish I did. I want the reaction of the other guy to be going, what the hell?
Leo: How did that happen? You have said that enough times now.
Paul: Oh yes, yes.
Leo: Our show today is brought to you from, we are going to get to our tips and tools, our number, and whatever it is we do on this show, because I can never remember as every show has its own unique back of the book. But I will just say this the back of the book is next on Windows Weekly. Our tip of the week, our software of the week, our enterprise pick of the week, out fear of the week, Paul Thurrott is going to sneak in an audiotape, even though there is no audible ad. That is how good Paul is, but first word from Personal Capital. It is something that I have been using since founder and CEO Bill Harrison was on triangulation and that was almost two years ago now. Bill was the former CEO of Intuit and Paypal. So he had seen what people did with their money, saw exactly what could go wrong, and he thought there ought to be a better way to you could take all those accounts. You know your mortgage, your loans, your credit cards, your checking and your savings and most importantly your investments and see how they are doing, all in one place without having to log in to fifteen different websites. And further more if you are paying for a financial advisor-----how to pay less to get those investments up to snot. And I have to say that this is where Personal Capital really shines. One login, one sign in, beautiful real time graphics to show you exactly how your money is going, how it is working for you. It will show you how much you are overpaying in fees and how to reduce those fees and you can get tailored advice on optimizing your investments. You can put your money to work. Go to PersonalCapital.com / Windows right now. This is all free, PersonalCapital.com/Windows sign up today for free and you are going to get great free financial advice, great information, start building your nest egg today. PersonalCapital.com/Windows. Leo Laporte and Mary Jo Foley, we’re talking about Windows and it is that time of the show when we do the back of the book, the tip of the week.
Paul: Yes I actually have two tips. The second one kind of came in at the last second, kind of. Microsoft is soon going to start selling an X-BOX One Bundle, which includes Tight Valve, well actually it is a code for Tighten Valve, but basically it is the same price as buying the consoles. So infact what you are getting is a sixty dollar game that everybody apparently wants for free.
Leo: You do not think that this game is anything special?
Paul: I think that it is fine. I think that it is good, but I do not think that it is going to change everything. I do not think that it is going to draw much people as far as know. Is it going to be Gears of War again, I do not think that it is Alar or Call of Duty or is it going to be Battlefields, or is it going to be Medals of Honor or is it going to be Garrisons, or something like that. Maybe.
Paul: I love video games and hence I get the whole platform thing but I think one of the worse things is the gamer versus user in video games are these platforms exclusive is too bad to know that you have to find all the hardware, but since we play video games. Anyway I do think that a lot of people want it and hence if you have not got an X-Box One, it turn out that they still have to wait. So……..
Leo: I wish I had, but now let me ask you this, because I did download the Tight Valve and play type they call Beta for the three minutes they allowed me to play. Should I erase that and start over?
Paul: No it is a different App, you cannot erase it.
Leo: I cannot do anything with it so (both talking over each other). I kind have enjoyed TightFall but it is very much like the Call of Duty, kind of what Paul described it as.
Paul: Yes. It is a multi-player, which is fine. I think that it is the Call of Duty right.
Leo: Hey, let me ask you this----is the X-BOX One a lot of people are writing it off now saying it is a bust. It is too soon to say that
Paul: It is just as soon say that. It is too soon.
Paul: It is too soon and the other thing is that if you look over the various Console generations, you know the number two player in any Console regeneration is not necessarily like a disaster, but sometimes it can be, but you know if you are talking about the Siga-Genesis or the super Nintendo, both those things are very popular. I mean there are thirty big Consoles I mean they kicked everything around that was there at that time, but you know the X-BOX 360 the PlayStation is roughly popular as each other so, or sold as much as each other so you know it is not a disaster I mean I think that stacks of people spent 500 bucks on the piece of hardware and the aluminum on top of it in their kids bedrooms so………..
Leo: If it has been slow to sell it is because of the price.
Paul: Yes I think that the price hurts.
Leo: You know I do not think that either the Play station 4 or the X-Box One have any titles that are compelling, yet.
Paul: No, they both launched some garbage, yes and they are both expensive for what that is worth. I do think there is a hundred dollars’ worth of difference in the X-Box One, I think it is not just the hardware, the hardware to connect but the just the whole approach they have, you know, multi-media and all that stuff, and I think there is more going on there, but whatever, I guess we will see. I mean I think that the PlayStation 4 is supposed to launch in Japan isn’t it, so it could get worse, before it gets better.
Leo: The other thing is the resolution compared to a PlayStation 4 because I think Tight Fall sets an example maybe because it is 720 p or maybe it is something like some little ram P.
Paul: I do not know. It is a complaint that has dogged video games for a long-time, you know it was Halo 3 when that came out. There was a kind of controversy because it was not even HD; it was 853 by 480 or some crazy resolution.
Leo: With that you get some better frame rates?
Paul: Yes. I do not know a lot of the graphics, the graphics comparisons so far in current generation’s games, so far games that run on both platforms and there is no difference, and that may change over time, obviously. But I think that the big differences are going to be seen in the platform exclusives that people who target PlayStations specifically are going to be involved, which is that kind of platform and they will know a lot about it and they will be able to do whatever it will do. But you are going to see that on the X-Box as well. So I do not think that it is……..it is or was supposedly the big issue with the X-Box 3 versus the X-Box 3 and the 1080p in the X-Box did not. Microsoft was able to find that out right, and I do not think that over the course of that platform you cannot say:”Oh, yes PlayStation 3 is kicking up, they are all graphically comparable. So I think that it is going to be like that.
Leo: And you other tip of the week?
Paul: Yes, this is the one that just came in and this is US only and I apologize for that is the case, because I know I hear from a lot of people around the world that this is not working in their particular locale or maybe Bing rewards is not available. But if you are in Bing Rewards and you can join for free, and actually that is part of my tip you can get 200 credits you know for free, you can an additional 100 gigabytes, additional drive storage for one year free. And that is interesting because, well it is interesting on a number of levels. First of all you sign up and there is a way to sign up to get the 200 points, and it is just free. You can make it last beyond a year for another 100 points and you can keep adding this to your account. I have done it twice so instead of adding 200 gigs it adds 100 gigs for two years, if you do this for three years, four years etc. I have heard from several people now who have done this and I think one guy said he was 20/20, or whatever. People have been stacking these repeatedly. So that works and so that is kind of a new thing and when we talk about tying people into a platform, you know obviously this is one way to do it, to put all their hot data in the cloud storage and you know, and it will stick with the cloud so you know. It is one of the drivers I have ever seen, and I use it typically in the OS integration, but Yes I was paying for this so, this was like a way for me to save, you know 50 bucks a year.
Leo: Yes, Cool. So there are links on Paul’s page, so go to winsupersite.com. And I just follow the link to go to the 200-point sign up thing and now I have got enough points to (talking over each other).
Paul: You could do a lot with this, but I guess the way Bing reward works it is like any rewards program. By using the product you will get rewards, or points or credits, and I actually do not have that many and I have 800 points but there are people out there with tens of thousands of points and just browsing, you search on Bing, and you do these kind of big related activities. So you can set Bing as your home page get some points or credits I should say, so I guess that it is not that hard to wrack these things up and I guess you know that if you get a gift certificate these things can be redeemed for the good in the sense that for a low number of points you get something of value for 50 dollars. It is pretty, it is up there, it is good, good value.
Leo: Cool. I just entered the sweepstakes to win an X-Box One and that is pretty darn exciting right there. Thank-you, Bing Rewards. Our software pick of the week.
Paul: So Microsoft this week released their Office 2013 service pack one and service pack one releases for exchange, share points, office apps and rewards. The odd thing about it is that when I first saw this I it was my natural reaction to go and install it and with installing it on any of my PCs and standalone downloader’s said that this application was not for my computer, you know I first thought that it was………..actually it turns out that the standalone installer is now only for the standalone version of 2013, which is……..not a fact, not necessarily the mainstream that most people install obviously, anymore. It is kind of the old-fashioned way of getting Office. So if you have got Office on an RT Computer you go to Windows update to get the Service Pack One update right now I believe. If you bought Office 2013 you can get it. But if you have Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 any Business Version, it is actually not available now and honestly that is kind of the opposite of how this is supposed to work from the point of view of having Office 365 subscription is that you are always up-to-date, Mary Jo do you know when they said to expect the pack?
Mary Jo: They said in your next update that you are going to get from Service One Pack Feature some functionality. But you know what I wonder and I have asked them this and I still have not heard back yet is that if you already have most of what is in Service Pack One as somebody…………(talking over each other)
Paul: You will get some minor updates. Not a Service Pack One. Like the full-blown thing.
Mary Jo: Right. No because you have been getting the security updates all along if you are a subscriber.
Paul: Yes but you will get the new driver for business and they noted a few additional features and there has got to be other stuff. The Office 365 kind of streams over time or whatever.
Mary Jo: Right
Paul: You get prompted, but when is the next update? April, May or June.
Mary Jo: What they said is that when you next update arrives for everybody that is different too right? Different people get it at different times.
Paul: All right. So I know that we will hear from someone who has Office 365 when they get it. I am curious about that, I have heard from people that, a couple of people that forced the update I have not looked into what that entails because I want to get it naturally so that I can write about that but I think it is a little a weird.
Mary Jo: The quick to run people are already getting it. They already have it.
Paul: They are, some of them are. That it Office 365. Or could be Office 365. Okay. I do not.
Mary Jo: You are going to be the last one to get it and everybody else will get it before you.
Paul: I should not have written that scathing review.
Mary Jo: Should not have.
Leo: Awesome and now moving on to Mary Jo Foley and her enterprise.
Mary Jo: So my Enterprise Pick Of The Week is another update that Microsoft released this week which is Visual Studio 2013, Update Two, CTP2. That is a name that only your mother could love. What it is the second technology preview of the second updates that Microsoft is making to Visual Studio 2013. But the part of that makes this really interesting is that Microsoft is now integrating typescript right into Visual Studio as of this update. Typescript as enterprise users and developers may recall is Microsoft’s set of superscript of the Java Script, that they have been building, working on this for two or three years and Enders Hylesberg who is the father of the C sharp is the team leader who is doing this. What Typescript lets you do is programs that you typically use Java script for but you use Typescript instead for. Instead of being able to write little hundred line programs, you can now write programs of thousands of lines using this technology. And Microsoft itself is using this internally. They have used it they said to build the X-Box Music UI or at least some parts of it. Different projects in Bing are using it, they would not say which ones, the F12 tools team and the Kinetics and Flar are using and some third parties are using it. They said Adobe is using elements of it in their digital publishing suite. So this version of Typescript in this release is not quite finished the release candidate, but they are almost done, they say they are going to be done in the next couple of months with this so CTP2 is one of the last test fills that will probably come out when they do the final update two to Visual Studio 2013.
Leo: It does compile down to standard Java script I hope?
Mary Jo: Compiles down? I believe so.
Leo: The last thing we need is another incompatible version of Java Script.
Mary Jo: I believe I know this and I am forgetting it.
Paul: They should call it J script.
Mary Jo: I know that it compiles……….it must, it must.
Leo: Some people in the channel say that Typescript rocks and others say yes it does. It is merely a pre-process. There are a lot of Java Script reporcessors. That is harmless, what you do not want is a new flavor of Java script because that would be not so good.
Mary Jo: Typescript is a sub script of super set of Java Script and compiles down to new plain Java Script. I should have just known that but……….
Leo: So if somebody asks you the next time say,” Oh yes absolutely.”
Mary Jo: Oh yes.
Leo: What are you crazy! Our code name of the week?
Mary Jo: The code name of the week is Golden Gate. And this actually a pretty cool code name for something that Microsoft has already given us the official name for it, which is “Express Route” and what this technology is it is a way to network your private cloud with the azure public cloud. Microsoft has a couple of different ways that you can do this. You do it over the Internet, the code name of that piece of technology is “Brooklyn” get it the “Brooklyn Bridge” and now this is the “Golden Gate Bridge”. This is the cloud to unprime network thirty that does not go over the Internet. It goes over a dedicated network that does not use the Internet, and they are partnering with a few different companies to enable this. They have already got deals with Equinex, ATT and Level Three. Who are all going to help you if you are already a customer that does not want to risk going over the public network to connect your cloud and azure and to do it over a private network? Right now it is in a public preview this Express Route/Golden Gate Technology. It just came out last week in a bunch of the Azure updates that Microsoft released and we do not have a final date for it. But they are working on adding more partners.
Leo: Very cool. And you just might have a beer for size for it.
Mary Jo: I might, you know I have not done a hoppy beer in a while and I am trying to play down the hops.
Paul: I disagree.
Leo: You have done nothing but hoppy beer.
Paul: You are a fine hoppy, Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: Now we are going to go full hops today. We are going to do the Imperial IPA as the pick of the week from a company in Connecticut called The New England Beer Company and the beer is called The Gandhi-Bot. Their label is awesome.
Leo: It is a robot Gandhi.
Mary Jo: It is, it is
Leo: It is weird
Mary Jo: Yes. It is really weird, but the beer is really delicious, it is kind like to me a hybrid east coast-west coast Imperial IPA, it is hoppy but not over the top killer hoppy like a lot of the West Coast double IPAs, and it is citrusy but not too citrusy, It is kind of like a good Imperial IPA if you like that style. And the best part of this story of this beer pick is that I could not get this beer in New York because it is made in Connecticut but they do not distribute it here. But there is a Windows Weekly listener named Pete who said that he really wanted me to try it, so yesterday he brought it from Connecticut and so handed it off to me so that I could try it. (A lot of talking over. I know how awesome is that! Dedicated listeners.
Leo: I gather that the Gandhi in the IPA, India Pale Ale.
Mary Jo: I would think that might be it.
Leo: Isn’t that sweet.
Paul: Would you call it pallid aggressive?
Mary Jo: I would not, but you might? I would not.
Leo: Swift. Like a cheese grater on your tongue.
Mary Jo: No, no, it is a delicious bouquet of citrus flavors. (Both the men wow)
Paul: You are like the Samantha Brown of beer.
Leo: Yum, Yum Now I want two bottles. Right so there you go New England’s beer company Gandhi’s Bot. I double hopped IPA. Now we do not do an audible pick when there is no audible ad but I absolutely agree with this one and will give Paul, an extra minute to talk about Influx.
Paul: Yes, this is Daniel Suarez’s fourth book Daemon…….. and Kill Decision. The first two books are combined you know, they are one story a story with same characters and are among the best books that I have ever read in my entire life. Kill Decision was good but the first two are just amazing. I am only part way through this. I have spoken about this book that I have read with a few friends who have read it. It gets…..it starts off a little slow and I thought that this is going nowhere, and then it goes off in some direction that is absolutely wonderful, so if you like this kind of techno thriller, kind of like a Michael Creighton type story………
Leo: Lot of science, lot of science. It is good.
Paul: It is an awesome kind of alternate reality or I should say alternate history kind of thing which I think is wonderful for really, really well done. Some need nots to video game stuff, I do not really want to ruin any of it. It is pretty amazing. I am not done so I do not know if pulls up to Daemon or Freedom, but it is good.
Leo: It is his best ever and you should watch the triangulation episode from Monday because Daniel was our guest in our studio and he is always great. I love Daniel.
Paul: He is clearly the new Creighton.
Leo: And you know he is a really nice guy. I am very honored to call him from France. He is just the greatest guy.
Paul: I should say his previous books type of books that I have read, I just actually read about this merger up here that------- that I was talking about that wants me to not drink ever again. I actually own audible versions of his other books and I never really listened to them though and now I am going to go and listen to it and the reason is the guy who narrates every one of these books is incredible, and I do not know if there is a lot of this stuff in the other books and I am very curious about this now, but they do need kind of effects, he kind of does voices which can be terrible but is actually………….
Leo: But his Veruna is so good.
Paul: There is kind of a computer Ai thing, that is in his book, and he is that what you are talking about, sorry. So the effect that they give it is very distinct, and you know it is computerized it has got like a reverbs kind of an effect to it. It is really, really well done.
(Lots of talking over each other)
Leo: The other reason to watch the triangulation Daniel brought Jeff Gurner the guy who reads his books in.
Paul: Oh. Great. I do not know if they are friends, this works together, they are clearly a great team. I mean they just write amazing, the guy who does their narrations is amazing.
Leo: So you get to meet him or listen or watch the video because he reads an excerpt from the plugs out loud and it is such an amazing thing to watch the transformation he goes through as he is doing it. I think that it is one of my favorite triangulations.
Paul: It is notable. I mean there are some good audible readings in there over the years. This is one of the best books it is really good.
Leo: I am so glad. Mary Jo I am sure that she has no interest, and I am showing her pictures.
Mary Jo: No I do. You know Paul got me to read the first two Daniel Suarez books and I do not usually read that genre at all and I loved them. I liked them.
Paul: Like I said those were amongst the best books.
Leo: You can actually see Jeff Gurner’s particular bit of that show as a Twit bit on YouTube.com/insidetwit, I think because that is where we put those. So is it really, really good. Really, really, happy.
Paul: All right.
Leo: Yes I agree with your Paul. Great book. I told Daniel that this your best book yet.
Paul: By the way I had pre-ordered this because I found out some weeks or months ago that it was coming out, forgot about it, you know and when I was away last week it arrived. It arrived on a Thursday. Don’t books come out on a Tuesday?
Leo: DVDs come out on a Tuesday, yes it came on a Thursday, yes it has the date on it.
Paul: Maybe they wanted us to get it before Tighten Fall?
Leo: It is exactly what it says on my pre-release copy NOT FOR SALE, February 20th. Now I do not want to keep this, because although this paperback is historic because Daniel said after this came out he made some changes. This is alternate reality version.
Leo: Uncorrected proof, please do not quote from this publication without checking.
Paul: This thing starts of so uninteresting, and I thought My God what happened here, and then it goes through some flips and flops, and then this is crazy, then suddenly oh! This is crazy. Like if Mary Jo read Freedom, you know from Daemon the Freedom is very interesting, as Daemon is just crazy, an amazing story and you think how could they possibly do this again, and in Freedom just jacks it up like times ten. And it is crazy, it is so awesome, and this book kind of does a little bit of that, and it is like a pedestrian kind of story and then it kind of goes off in an awesome direction. It is really got I have not finished the book, but it so far amazing.
Mary Jo: It does.
Leo: You will like it. Good ending. Paul Thurrott is at the winsupersite.com for he also writes books, lots of them. Two of them are online right now-----Windows 8.1
Paul: I completely finished to tell you, that I have finished the Windows 8.1 book now, there was a little bit of editing, you know front matter type stuff to do but it is there.
Leo: Windows 8.1 Book.com go right there and buy it and download it, if you are doing Windows 8.1 you will need it. And then there is the music book, what is that?
Paul: X-Box Music.
Leo: I can never remember that.
Paul: It is X-Box Music, I do not have an URL for that on WinsiteSupersaver right now.
Leo: Right, there you go.
Paul: Yes I have got to get it one URL for the books. One MicrosoftBooks.com.
Leo: Whatever. There you go. Mary Jo Foley writes about Microsoft all the time like more than once a day at allaboutmicrosoft.com, and it is a great place to get scoops and information, and we thank you both for being in here each and every Wednesday 11.00 am Pacific and 2.00pm Eastern time and 1900 UTC if you want to watch live. If not then there is on demand audio and video available always of all of our shows after Twit.tv. It is twit.tv/windowsweekly or youtube.com/windows weekly or subscribe through your X-Box music player or the new podcast app on the Windows phone and you can get it each and every week and never miss an episode which is my strong recommendation, of course I am biased. Thanks for joining us and we will see you next time!