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Windows Weekly 360
Leo Laporte: It's time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here. We've got the latest news from Microsoft including finally the absorption of Nokia. What's next for Nokia or aka Windows mobile. We will also talk about an update for Skype and One Drive for business. It's all coming up next on Windows Weekly.
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Leo: This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Episode 360 recorded April 30th , 2014
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It is time for Windows Weekly, the show that covers Microsoft, Windows. Phones, Surface, Xbox everything in the Microsoft ecosystem and of course we have the 2 best commentators on this subject. Every week, Mary Jo Foley from AllaboutMicrosoft.com, Hi Mary Jo.
Mary Jo Foley: Hi Leo.
Leo: And Paul Thurrott of Call of duty fame.
Paul Thurrott: Hello Leo. What the hell were we doing for the past 15 minutes?
Leo: It felt like a show didn't it. Hey whoever edits this just stick this at the end. We were talking. Paul, Mary Jo and I were going over my new phone. Which I really quite like. The Nokia 1520, it is massive. I did the thing that somebody recommended, maybe it was Alex. Which was I made Facebook, various apps could be your lock screen, Facebook is my lock screen. Which is nice, I still get my calendar here. You get some control of that. This is a gorgeous device. With a screen this size it is really is a tablet as much as a phone.
Paul: When we see some of those universal apps coming down the pike it is going to get really interesting. When Microsoft office is available for this thing, the full blown Office, not just the mobile version. That could potentially, this thing with a keyboard, assuming they provide that support, could be very very interesting solution for sure.
Leo: This could compete strongly with the small tablets. With the 8 inchers.
Paul: Yeah, you can run Microsoft from Desktop on this thing and RD it into your PC's and servers.
Leo: At this size screen you really, I feel it is still portable because Nokia has made it so thin. People say it is heavy, I don't know. I guess your icon's heavy, it doesn't feel heavy. For me to fit in my shirt pocket is key and it does. I know for women that isn't going to be measure. I don't think I look completely stupid talking into it.
Paul: You look smart because you’re holding a Luminia.
Leo: I am holding a giant phone. How much do people even use these as phones, I mean that' s a minor part of it. It's a computer.
Mary Jo: Do you have a case on it?
Leo: I ordered a case but I hate to put a case on it. You know me. I am pretty happy with this. I do love the new swipe keyboard. You know what put me over the top was, I wasn't going to use another phone until 8.1 came up. I did put 8.1 on it according to Paul's instructions immediately. The official approved method. Cortona is doing a great job. The swipe keyboard means for me now this is totally usable. As I mentioned before the show began, the only issue for me at all on this, I love it in so many ways, is the week support for the Google ecosystem which you can't blame Microsoft for that's Google.
Paul: There are rumors now that Apple is talking about putting iTunes on Android and everything. I would love the world to be a little more agnostic where this stuff was just around. You know Microsoft does a really good job by necessity of course. But their apps a lot of them are on IOS and a little bit less on Android. Although its going to change over time. I would love to see that reciprocated. It would make for such a better transfer.
Leo: A little bit of more love.
Paul: Why can't we just all get along, Leo?
Leo: So my phone says Nokia, in fact on of the reasons I bought it when I did, I wanted to get it before it was a Microsoft Mobile device. So it says Nokia here, kind of you can't really see it but it says Nokia on the back. It doesn't have a lot of branding. Really probably the most prominent brand is the Windows logo at the bottom center, the home key. Is this going to go away now that Microsoft owns mobility? Is it going to start saying Microsoft Mobile on here?
Mary Jo: No.
Leo: They still have the right to use this name?
Paul: So it’s not clear, yeah for 10 years.
Mary Jo: Right, we don't know what they are going to re-brand it as. They might not even know. But it is probably not going to say Microsoft Mobile. I bet it's not going to say Microsoft Mobile on your phone.
Paul: They've kind of confirmed that. Because the Microsoft Mobile OY name was apparently a legal entity they had to set up to do the transfer of ownership from Nokia to Microsoft in Finland. I believe Steven Elp came out and said that explicitly this is not the name. We have not, we being Microsoft, we have not figured out yet what the brand will be. But I would expect should Microsoft really release what would have been Nokia devices this summer. They will probably say Nokia Lumia you know whatever or Nokia Asha. I am sure they will continue at least for the short term using that brand.
Mary Jo: Or at least they will say Lumia, right. That's that brand they bought. They bought the rights to have Nokia be the name with Asha phones but I think on Lumia it's just a year maybe.
Leo: It doesn't say Lumia anywhere on this device. It says Nokia, it says Pure View Zice.
Paul: How would you even know this is a Lumia?
Leo: Is this a Lumia? I don't know, oh it is okay.
Paul: Remember when think pad was bought by Lenovo and the IBM logo changed. It was weird at first, you know.
Leo: You get used to it.
Paul: Yeah you get used to it.
Leo: People don't buy a phone for the logos. In fact I like that it doesn't have a lot of logos. Frankly I don't want the logos.
Paul: It doesn't look like a NASCAR race car with a decal on the side.
Leo: So I should mention a couple things. This is an unlocked version but compatible with US LTE bands. That means that it was a Mexican version. So when I got it, it was in Spanish. I got it from Newegg, it was in Spanish and it thought I was in Mexico. Good news, there was some question, does this support Chi charging and it does. I have my nice little tilt stand that is a Chi charger. This is a great stand for it because its upright and I can use it. It is a good enough screen I can literally have this on my desktop and have it be a second screen.
Paul: By the way just to give you an idea of how minimalist, and no one is going to be able to see this, the branding is even when you have, I got this at AT&T. You won't be able to see, I will show it to you but you won't be able to see it. At the very top, oh you can kind of see it.
Paul: This little thing.
Paul: That's and AT&T logo.
Leo: It looks like a camera sensor.
Paul: That's the extent of it.
Leo: I'm glad that's how it should be. This is the other thing that took a little while getting used to. You don't actually see the carrier information unless you pull it down. But I love that. That's how it should be. It isn't a NASCAR fire suit. It's my phone. Esthetically extraordinarily pleasing, in every regard. Hardware is great, camera is 21 megapixels and really looks great. It is a little slow but maybe that will be fixed. Is that a firmware fix or a hardware fix? Sounds like it’s a hardware fix. But who knows. I like it. If you’re in the Microsoft Ecosystem it’s just no question. If your using Surface, if you use Azure or Office 365. It’s a no brainer. Ironic that there are better iPad apps for Office than there is for the Windows phone.
Paul: So far but that's going to change, right.
Mary Jo: Yeah coming soon. You still get Office Mobile for free.
Leo: And it came with it and that's nice. I got a nice One note. In fact one note could effectively replace Ever note on this although it does have Ever note. All the big apps are on here now.
Paul: You have to be a bit pragmatic. The iPad is the tablet that everyone is using. So target that first.
Leo: I guess. I love this, this is if you’re in a darkened restaurant. This is a Nokia feature, they have a Nokia magnifier app that uses the camera.
Mary Jo: I love that app. I have been using it a lot.
Leo: So I can read.
Paul: I need that every single day of my life.
Leo: This is brilliant. Everybody over 40 should own this or own a Nokia phone.
Paul: This bar tender that I know handed me a bill last weekend. The ink was running out on the printer, I was like what is this a practical joke. There is almost no light in here at all, the difference between the printing and the paper is like one degree of separation.
Leo: Every menu restaurant menu from now on, I will be able to read.
Mary Jo: You should look at Office Lens too, Leo. That lets you take a snapshot of menus or whiteboards and it saves it in a way that you can read it really easily later.
Leo: I saw that and I wasn't sure what the hell that was.
Mary Jo: That's an awesome app. I use that one a lot too.
Leo: Okay that's another little bitty issue which is okay what does that mean.
Mary Jo: For me a lot of time I'm taking pictures of beer menus for some reason and they are all crumpled up and stained.
Paul: Mary Jo keeps falling into bars somehow.
Mary Jo: So I will take a picture with Office Lens and then it rearranges it, centers it and makes it readable and easy to email off to someone and say hey.
Leo: So it’s a bit like a scanner.
Paul: Yeah it doesn't just take a picture, it centers it if it is off to the side or whatever.
Mary Jo: It does.
Leo: So it is designed for like whiteboards. So you take a picture of a whiteboard and then it would create a document out of it. Which I guess explains the word Office. But to me Office shouldn't, they need a better name for this.
Paul: I think their thought was that a lot of people will do this to get it into notes. I distinctly remember this experience. I was at a meeting sometime and someone had taken all these notes up on a whiteboard. Someone said this is why I have a PC, I can duplicate the notes in my Notepad. I was like that's cute, that's why I have a digital camera. I am not Rembrant, I just want a photo of the thing.
Leo: This is good. For geeks we like new platforms. We like to explore new platforms. It’s like an adventure game. It's like oh I got a new game and this has been that for me for the last week. I have to say I really quite enjoy it. It's very impressive and I can see your Icon is probably very similar to this.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: So that is Office Lens, you recommended.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: It is now official, right. It happened on Friday. Fortunately, I know how to say Microsoft Mobile OY, we have never said Nokia right according to. No matter how you say it some group will say no your saying it wrong.
Paul: Right so this is like one of those things we shouldn't stress over.
Leo: If, Jif, Gif, Naukia, Nokia...
Paul: Well that one we know how to pronounce correctly. As far as Nokia goes all I can say is, I pronounce it exactly the way the CEO of the company pronounced it so I am not going worry about correcting myself. Plus by the way they're gone so who cares.
Leo: Right, who cares. So 25,000 new employees not 33,000, 8,000 missing employees.
Mary Jo: They didn't get 2 of the factories that they thought they were going to get. One in Korea and the Chani one in India. So they didn't acquire those two. So that was a bit fewer people than we thought. But almost everything else was what we thought. Just as it was outlined when they announced the intention to buy them last fall. Paying 5 billion for the handset, 2 billion for patents. Microsoft actually bought 8,500 patents outright from Nokia too.
Leo: Never underestimate the value of patents. Didn't Google essentially get Motorola patents. They sold the rest of it off for whatever, 7 billion. But they sold the rest of it off, all they really wanted was the patents. You cannot underestimate that.
Mary Jo: That is correct. There's still on top of that Microsoft's licensing another 30,000 patents from them as part of the deal.
Leo: It is kind of a shame. Really this patent thing is such a drag! That money could be put into R&D it could be put into all sorts of good uses. Instead it is put into legal defense.
Paul: I have reported on the whole EU thing with patents and Motorola Mobility and their suit, I think with Apple. Basically the EU competition commissioner, I think it Mario Monte. Is it Mario Monte still? Whoever it is now said you can't use these as a hammer to harm consumers with. To which I thought that is exactly what you use them for, what do you mean? I don't understand.
Leo: Why else would you buy them.
Paul: Right they cost billions of dollars. The point is to keep this technology from other companies. I guess you could argue that, that hurts consumers because they only buy that stuff from one company now. That's the point.
Leo: There is one thing you can buy these for, is defensive purposes.
Paul: What's the guy's name, Almunia?
Mary Jo: No. I am just drawing a mental blank.
Leo: Just Bing it, come on now.
Paul: Its Wakeen Almunia, isn't it? Or is he gone?
Leo: If you don't mind me using Google, I'll just look.
Paul: It is Wakeen Almunia. Mario Monte is from the 1990's I am having like a.
Leo: Your back in time as always.
Mary Jo: Your having a flash back.
Leo: You could buy patents not as an offensive weapon but as a defensive weapon. Like don't sue us we have patents, kind of thing.
Mary Jo: That's mostly how, believe it or not that is mostly how Microsoft uses them.
Leo: Oh I believe that. Except for this.
Mary Jo: Android thing, but even that it’s more a case of they show people what we've got. Hey we've got this if you would like to license it. You don't see them out and out suing that often, really.
Paul: Well but I bet what we don't see is them threatening to sue all the time. I am sure behind closed doors there are many threats. It’s not surprising that a company like Microsoft that is obviously not an open service company, has a lot of intellectual property are big fans of the patent system. Because they have 1,000's and 1,000's of employees that are just there to do this kind of stuff.
Leo: I have lately, in my mind, thinking about this. Not just patents but also tax law. If the law allows it a company, a cooperation has a fiduciary responsibility to its stock holders, to its employees to do everything they can that is legal. Can you or can you not ask them to also to act ethically. Even if they know as a company, well it is kind of immoral to keep all of our money oversees so we pay less tax.
Paul: But we also have, who's the ultimate responsibility, it is the shareholders and the way they maximize value is by not paying taxes and bring that money back into the country.
Leo: On a small scale I do that.
Paul: Here is what I will say to that, Leo. If we are going to make laws that say that cooperation's are people then yes we can have laws that cooperation's have to act ethically just like people do. But we don't and this is one of the fundamental flaws of our legal system.
Leo: We all do this with our own taxes. We deduct everything we can, legally.
Paul: With abandon, Leo, but legally.
Leo: We do it on an individual scale. We write off everything, we can. We pay no more than we absolutely are required too. It would be foolish to do otherwise even if you know that is kind of ethically sketch. The law says it. So if you have a patent the law is written this way, you should use it.
Paul: Anti-trust isn't going to come after an individual because the 1,000 dollars that means so much to me, means nothing to the government, is meaningful in that way. Whereas companies that we are talking about like Microsoft, Apple or Google are bigger than many governments and command much more money. I hear you and you can't blame the company for doing what's legally possible. But I also think we need to fix the system.
Leo: Well I think, I debate this back and forth. On the one hand you do want companies to act morally and ethically but they also have a responsibility to maximize profits and those may not be the same goals.
Paul: I don't see how those ever could be the same goals.
Leo: It's up to congress I guess to require ethical behavior if they don't then.
Paul: Oh and now someone is going to say we would then have to require ethical behavior of congress. That's ludicrous, Leo.
Leo: That will never happen. Anything else to say about Nokia? Where is Elop now? Is he still happy and fat and sassy?
Mary Jo: He is very happy today. He just got 33.4 million as his golden parachute.
Paul: What didn't I come into work after that.
Leo: Wait a minute I am confused, that is severance from Nokia?
Mary Jo: Yeah it is a little bit confusing. So Microsoft is paying 70% of that severance and Nokia is paying the rest. A lot of people are pointing out, so wait he left Microsoft, he went to Nokia. He now sold the company back to Microsoft and he made 33 million for doing that. But yep that's what happened.
Paul: I would be careful of my car getting key scratched in the parking lot at Microsoft, right, you know. It's reasonable for people to question this. He's a good guy and I like what he has done and all that kind of stuff, but?
Mary Jo: As we were just saying ethics and if it's you, you want to get the maximum you can out of this. So he did and now he is the head of Microsoft's devices unit. So that unit now has in it the part of Nokia that they bought plus surface, Xbox consoles, Peripheral and Perceptive Pixel, that really big touch screen that they bought a while back. So all of those things are under Steven Neal up in the devices unit.
Paul: Out of those things you just listed, which of those would you say have turned a profit over the past 10 years.
Mary Jo: Keyboards.
Paul: Probably Peripheral's. It is probably the most profitable of all of those products, which is crazy.
Mary Jo: I don't know about Perceptive Pixel because we haven't really heard a lot about that.
Leo: That's a big pile of money going down a tube. Who wants an 80 inch screen?
Mary Jo: A lot of people want it actually. They have a 55 inch one too.
Leo: I want a sail boat too but I am not buying one.
Mary Jo: They are trying to bring the prices down on those and make it so that everybody could potentially have one day. We haven't heard a whole lot about that. I think that is going to change in the next year or so.
Leo: Is that guy on CNN or was it FOX, still using that?
Mary Jo: Yeah, I think so anyway.
Leo: Are they, I haven't watched the show. Does it still look like little tiny people with giant heads?
Mary Jo: Little people with big giant screen.
Leo: Those are the Perceptive Pixel displays aren't they?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Paul: I think so, yeah.
Leo: Shepherd Smith, I think his name is. I've got to tune that show in. I actually removed that Network from my line up.
Paul: This is an election night thing, Leo. That's when you want to see those screens.
Leo: We take you now to our election center.
Paul: This is what's happening in this district and they kind of scroll it over.
Leo: That I like. CNN does that with touch screen. Although sometimes it doesn't work and that's even more funny.
Mary Jo: You see those screens at Microsoft though, when you are walking around campus you just see them in random places.
Leo: It feels like the Surface to me.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it is.
Paul: Well the original Surface. You know the Table Surface, you also see those around Microsoft. It is the type of thing it is only a matter of time before you see one out in an alley next to a dumpster.
Leo: Free Surface, on the curb.
Paul: They whole new technology of yesterday, is the throw away humongous table that nobody wants anymore.
Leo: Oh well these things happen.
Mary Jo: Yeah but Steven Elop did an AMA this week.
Leo: On Read it?
Mary Jo: It was very interesting. He didn't do it on Read it on the Conversations blog.
Leo: What did we learn?
Mary Jo: What did we learn? We learned he is in favor of Microsoft keeping the Nokia X phones that are based on Android. Not too surprisingly. He, just like Terry Myerson, said you know what a Microsoft customer is a Microsoft customer and if they are using Nokia X to run Skype or to run Outlook.com or whatever we are going to let them be Microsoft customers. I don't think that is going make the Windows phone development community to happy. But it seems to be the party line right now that they are going to keep those around. It will be interesting to see if they actually build more of those phones that are Android based or if this is just kind of we are going to keep them around until we phase that out.
Paul: My only worry about that stuff is that, it is fair to say if you buy especially these low end phones. When you spend 110 or 200 bucks whatever it is, not a huge investment. Not necessarily a huge business for any hardware maker. The real money is in these option services and all that kind of stuff. But a lot of those option services, no one is really paying for. That's the trick, getting people to pay for services from Microsoft, whatever they may be. Office 365, extra storage on One Drive, you know whatever. I don't know what type of person that is buying a Nokia X phone. I am not really sure they are particularly interested in ponying up subscription fees every year.
Mary Jo: That is going to be the trick or at least monetizing them by selling ads that they are going to see somehow. They are going to do something to monetize this stuff, we just don't know. More subscription plans, something. But right now, your right, a lot of those things are free. Like you get a lot of One Drive storage for free. You are getting more and more of Skype for free, now. So yeah things that they used to charge for they are giving away right now. So it is going to be interesting.
Leo: Well that's the modern world, right?
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: You give it away, to build clientele to create an ecosystem that people want to be locked into or are willing to be locked into. That was the reason for the, I thought, the Nokia X phone's, wasn't it?
Even though it's Android we are going to lock you into or at least get you started using One Drive.
Paul: We will see if it works. Well I suppose the other theory there is that, obviously they people that are using that are disadvantaged in some ways. I mean they are either living in a country that is emerging now or in kind of a growth market. They maybe are themselves not exactly rolling in dough. They are buying a 100 dollar phone or whatever. Maybe as life changes for them and they make more money they will move up to a Windows phone and to a Windows device and to other stuff. I am sure that is part of the theory as well as it is kind of like a Gateway drug or entry level way to get into the ecosystem.
Leo: Right. Yeah, I see nothing wrong with it, as long as you can afford it and there is no company like Microsoft for that kind of thing. They don't need to beg for money from venture capitalists. They don't need to go to Peter Teal and say can I have a half a million dollars to make Skype free.
Paul: But I think the problem is, a lot of people will tell you that, Windows phone 8.1 in particular on a Lumia 520 glass device it works great. Those devices are really cheap, you can buy one in a retail store for like 69 dollars without a contract.
Leo: So what do you need this other one for?
Paul: Yeah, it seems like Windows phone has evolved both from a software perspective and from a hardware perspective into this market, if you will and it could do this as well as save the Nokia X. I think that's why people take exception to the device.
Mary Jo: He also on the AMA, talked about the Trojan Horse thing. You know what we were just talking about, Steven Elop as the Trojan Horse. I was surprised he took that question because you know that was something that was kind of a crazy conspiracy theory for a while.
Leo: A Trojan Horse in Nokia who was who was coming from Microsoft who was planned to be selling the thing, right.
Mary Jo: Someone from Microsoft, right.
Paul: Then he got off with a giant pile of money he was sitting on.
Mary Jo: Exactly.
Leo: Well he did get a giant pile of money out of it. Now that might lend some credence to the whole thing right.
Mary Jo: He reiterated the whole thing, you know, look at Simbian we were way behind the iPhone. It was 3 years behind and Migo was running late and we had to do something and that's why we did Window's Phone. I still think it was the right move.
Paul: Well you know Apple bought Next. You know, Nokia adopted Windows Phone. You know sometimes the thing you are working on isn't the best thing and you've got to look outside. They both were very similar success stories. I don't understand why we are debating this.
Leo: We were talking about this Nokia 1520, this think is an amazing phone. Microsoft could have probably done a Surface phone, but they didn't have to.
Paul: Right. I think had Nokia not come around they would've had to. Then things would have been very different. The other thing I want to say, I repeat this again and again but you know people always, Nokia obviously was kind of circling the drain there in many ways and people say see he didn't do a very good job. To which I say I believe that company would have done worse if he hadn't done what he did. I think he restored at least respect. He wasn't able turn them around financially but I don't think. He adopted this horrible problem. What they were able to accomplish under him, I think is incredible. The saddest part is that they weren't able to just keep going as a standalone entity. Yeah, I just feel bad about that. I wish they had, had the financial strength to survive independently.
Leo: Microsoft may regret. At the end of next year Nokia can go back into the phone business, right?
Paul: I don't see that happening.
Mary Jo: They can, yes.
Leo: Everybody knows how to do this, right.
Mary Jo: It would be pretty crazy to try and get into the market now, I feel like. As the big 3 players as Microsoft a distant 3rd. But like you’re going to go up against.
Paul: You’re starting from zero. There were Nokia engineers who left the company and started their own company to make a phone. They made something and it looks really nice, you know. But that doesn't mean it is anywhere. Blackberry was amazing and they are falling apart. Microsoft had incredible relationships with all of these wireless carriers and everything and Windows phone hasn't exploded exactly. You can't just decide you are going to enter the phone market. It's complicated.
Mary Jo: I think the thing that they will do, the part of Nokia that still exists they are going to turn into a patent licensing machine. That is one of the 3 businesses they have left. They also have the networking business. But the patent one, they are going to be licensing Here Maps. They still own a ton of patents that they are going to license not just to Microsoft but to anybody who they can and possibly go after people who they feel are in violation of their patents. So that is going to be a revenue source for the company that is still Nokia.
Paul: But 90% of that company, Nokia, the new Nokia, the existing Nokia whatever we're calling it, is this networking business. The NSN stuff, the Nokia Simons, I don't know what that is. You know it seems like they have a business, their investing in certain areas, actually to mobile chip sets, by the way. We could eventually see a Microsoft, Apple, Google device whatever that has some kind of Nokia chip set in it which is kind of interesting. But Here Maps is maybe 10% of their total business. Then we will see as far as patent licensing goes I don't think it is much yet but that is right, like she said it could turn into something. I just don't think we are going to be talking about this company to much going forward.
Mary Jo: We won't because it doesn't have that much to do with Microsoft.
Paul: You know Here Maps, here and there.
Leo: Let's take a break unless you have other Elop or Nokia stuff.
Paul: Anecdotes , stories.
Leo: Anecdote's, things to share.
Mary Jo: Jokes.
Leo: A little rap song, my name is Steven E, I make the Noki, there is a picture of who?
Mary Jo: Of Nedala and Steve Elop.
Leo: Is it on the Conversations blog, where is it?
Mary Jo: It was on the Microsoft.
Paul: Someone did the awesome job. They photo-shopped out the back ground and did a giant explosion there instead.
Mary Jo: And there was
Paul: There was a caption saying cool CEO's don't look back at explosions.
Mary Jo: Somebody Photo-shopped out the 1020 that was in Elop's hand and they put an iPad in his hand. There were all kinds of great photo-shops on that.
Leo: I got to find that. I am doing a little search here. Oh yeah, well here is a picture of the mountain. So this is the original picture of them together.
Paul: See what is going to happen, Leo, is 10 years from now people are going to be taking photos of this exact scene and showing you what it looks like now. Because this is apparently what we do.
Leo: Somebody in the chat room will give me a link, I don't see it quite yet. Although I found an interesting link to Bill Gates doing dungeons and dragons. I am not sure, is that real?
Paul: It is like the scene from Space Balls where the guy is playing with the action figures.
Leo: He does look like Rick Moranes a little bit there. You never know what you will find on image search, I'll tell you that right now. Paul you’re a clean shaven feller. May I ask you?
Paul: I know where you are heading, because I have some questions for you, but please continue.
Leo: I don't know if this is exactly where you are thinking, that I am going where you are thinking.
Paul: Yeah, it is.
Leo: It is? See the box.
Paul: I got one of these in the mail.
Leo: Did you, well now you know why. We are welcoming a new sponsor to the network. Actually not completely new, they have been on TWIT before. This is Harry's for guys who want a great shave experience. A company that is disrupting the industry as we know it. We all know that give away the razor, make money on the blade paradigm. It's so common that it has become kind of a truism about how business works. The problem is if you’re buying blades your now paying 4 dollars a razor for a Gillette Fusion. Now they are charging a lot for the razors too. So Harry's said there is a better way. You don't want to go with those disposable razors, can you please, stop that right now. Stop the insanity, that's just going to cut you up like crazy. But there is a better choice. Harry's was founded less than a year ago by a couple of guys, Andy and Jeff, who said we can do better. They give you a great shaving experience for a fraction of the price of other razor blades like Gillette. They have a beautiful product. Let me show you the razor. This is the Harry's pack. The box, the Winston set. It is engraved which is nice, with your name. Is one of yours engraved? Is your razor engraved?
Paul: I don't think so. I didn't see that, that would be interesting.
Leo: Isn't that beautiful? It is just so gorgeous. These are very high quality blades. These are not like the blades you will find in the drug store. They actually have a factory in Germany where all the best blades come from. They've engineered these blades for sharpness and strength. The convenience and ease of ordering online so you don't have to go down the razor aisle. Razor blades have gotten so expensive in my drug store they actually lock them up. You have to get a clerk to come over and open a locked case to get razor blades. I am not doing that anymore. Jeff was one of the co-founders also founded Warby Parker; we've talked about them a lot, the Iware company. There are some similarities here, the idea these big razor company monopolies are over charging for their products and we can disintermediate them. I ordered the engraved Winston set if you go to harrys.com you can see that. Shipped to your door. Beautiful set, you get the razor engraved. I love the Harry's shave cream. By the way I far prefer this to the arousal shave creams. They smell good, they feel good, they give you a great clean smooth shave. They are even going to give you a little extra set of razors, for it. Go to harrys.com use the promo code Windows you will get 5 dollars off your first purchase. Harrys.com I do recommend the Winston set but there are. What did you get, do you know what you got Paul?
Paul: I got exactly what you are showing.
Leo: That's the Winston set. Very nice. That is certainly a good starting point for anybody who is interested. But they have a lot of products at harrys.com and I could vouch for them all. Their motto is Handomer, Sharperer less expensiver. They have a Truman set, I don't know what the difference is. But the Winston has a nice metal handle. I don't know about you, but in the morning I want this, the solidity. Precision grade aluminum. So what's surprising, I don't know if you noticed that Paul, but it is very light and yet very solid.
Paul: It is like a Lumia.
Leo: It is the Lumia of razorblades. I love it, harrys.com don't forget to use the offer code Windows, 5 dollars off your first purchase.
Paul: Please don't cut yourself, Leo.
Leo: I am going to slit my throat right now. Thank you Harry's for your support. I don't want to leave you out Mary Jo if you want a set I will send one to you too.
Mary Jo: I actually got one too. I didn't want to hold my leg up so you could see how it looked.
Leo: You can use it yourself, you can give it to the man in your life. Actually this is a great gift, ladies if you have a man in your life and if you want to encourage them to be smooth as silk. Harry's we like them a lot. Continuing on Windows Weekly, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley and the latest news from Microsoft.
Paul: One question, I am sorry. Harry's was started by Jeff and what?
Leo: Andy and Jeff, no Harry.
Paul: No Harry.
Leo: I don't know who Harry is, well Harry Truman, I guess?
Paul: Harry Truman.
Leo: Harry Truman, I guess, I don't know. That is a good question. Let me look at the literature in here. There is a shave guide. We built Harry's to be a complete experience and never leave you hanging at the mirror. I like that. Do you know Liz if Harry's is named after Harry Truman? Here is a little secret, your facial hair grows different from everyone else. Your facial hair is as course as copper wire. I think the ladies know that.
Paul: This I've noticed.
Leo: It even has a guide. You know what this would be a great gift for the young man in your life who is hitting this first adventure of shaving. I missed that point with Henry and unfortunately he got into using an electric razor which really bums me out. Isn't that depressing?
Paul: He can never use one of those.
Leo: Keep your children away from electric razors. Use the real thing, the manly thing. Harrys.com. This is nice but I've got to put this away so I can use it again. Moving on the Surface. A Surface Mini? Is that the 8 inch or the 9 inch you were talking about?
Mary Jo: The 8 supposedly 7 to 8.
Leo: 8 seems to be a good sweet spot actually.
Mary Jo: It does. This was a crazy thing that happened last week. There was a case maker, whose name is Vosa Strone, VSTN is what they are known as. On amazon.com they posted something that said hey we are going to have case for Microsoft's Surface Mini's starting May 18th. Microsoft hasn't announced the Surface Mini yet. We've been talking about for like a year I think.
Paul: Yeah about a year.
Mary Jo: Paul you were the first one to tip on it, I believe.
Paul: It was supposed to arrive yeah last fall.
Mary Jo: Right, and it never did, and we have never gotten comment as to when it is coming. So this could be just a case of you know no pun intended, a case of the case maker. Saying hey we heard of the Surface Mini lets pick an arbitrary date and say we are going to have the cases.
Paul: I don't think so.
Mary Jo: I don't either. I don't think so because I keep hearing that there is going to be an announcement of this very soon, maybe even May. Maybe even in New York.
Paul: May 18th?
Mary Jo: Maybe, I don't have a date but I keep hearing it is very close. Neilwin wrote something recently that they had heard it was just waiting in the wings and they also added the detail that we had been talking about on Windows Weekly that it is going to come with a stylus.
Paul: Your right and be marketed specifically as a note taking device.
Mary Jo: Note taking tablet, right? So we don't know still what the date is, if this is really happening in May. We really don't even know if this is ARM or Atom based. A lot of people have said if it is a digital stylus of course it has to be Atom. But we don't know if there has been any progress on doing a driver for an actual digital stylus for ARM. We don't really know. The original tips on Surface I got, the Surface Mini said it was going to be ARM. But that was a year ago, so a lot of things have changed since them including Microsoft's commitment to Windows RT. We think they are building another version of Windows, that's going to work on both phones and tablets that are ARM based. But it won't be what Windows RT is right now. It will be some kind of hybrid or a new skew. So that kind of throws into question should or will this be ARM or will it be Atom. We don't know. We don't know the price. We don't know anything except this does exist.
Paul: Had a neat story about why maybe it was delayed. It was one I had not heard. Right before it happened I got word it wasn't happening all of a sudden and there was a lot of confusion around that. What he had written was that his sources had told him that they just couldn't make the stuff in quantity and that they already knew they were running into problems with Surface2 the ARM version of the tablet. Sure enough that thing wasn't available for much of the holiday season. They didn't want to do that with something that would presumably possibly the most popular of the 3 devices and so they held off on it. You know given the problems Microsoft has with inventory and so forth. You know the previous year they had gone in the opposite direction, order to many of everything. I think this past year they wanted to be a little more accurate, if anything they just had a short fall. So we will see. I haven't heard anything about this now. This new set of rumors is not something that I have been part of.
Mary Jo: I think it is about time for them to do it. They need something new in the Surface line up, I think now. You know a lot of people said that's a weird time, why announce it in May. Well it makes a lot of sense if your in the position, this is a cheaper lower end tablet for things like Graduation gifts and Father's Day and Back to School. A lot of dates are coming up where they should have something and in this category if they plan to actually be in there. I don't think the May thing is as far-fetched as some people were claiming. I wouldn't be surprised to be the announcement in May.
Paul: This is jumping ahead a little bit, I don't want to get into the Acer stuff to much. But Mary Jo and I went to an Acer event yesterday. One of the things that the CEO of Acer said that I actually thought was pretty interesting was there are really only 2 times a year that make any sense for these kind of device sales. Those are back to school and the holiday selling period. So if you think about how you want to structure your announcements for those things. He said you know you do back to school now and some months down the road you do holiday. So you know this falls right into that time frame.
Leo: I am sorry I was shaving. I am smooth as a baby’s bottom. This is a money loser.
Mary Jo: Yes it is.
Leo: But that's okay .
Paul: Sure. Well it’s an investment.
Leo: It’s an investment.
Paul: My kids are money losers too and I love them.
Leo: At this point, you’re such a Nadella. The decision to go into hardware wasn't yours. Its way to soon to be looking into do we want to be in hardware, right?
Mary Jo: I think you look at the ways you want to be in hardware if you’re in it. They haven't hinted that their thinking of dumping devices. But I think especially with Nokia you look at do we want to actually manufacture hardware. Or do we want to have people who are like Pegatron and Foxcon build our hardware for us and get further away from actually being a manufacturer. That's a big question, especially for the phones and what they are going to do there. But with Surface, they already outsourced a lot of this. I think it's Pegatron who does their designing for them. I don't know if Foxcon actually builds them. They build Xboxes right, Paul?
Paul: Yeah they do.
Mary Jo: You know Microsoft they made something like 490 odd million in the latest quarter revenue wise on the Surface. But the costs of goods was higher than that, it was 500 some odd million. So they are still losing money on the Surface. You've got to wonder how long they are going to keep that going.
Paul: Oddly, they sold more. So they actually lost more. Because they lose on kind of a per unit basis. So I guess depending on how you look at it things are up or their down. It’s a matter of perspective. I didn't write this, but I was thinking today, when you think about devices and services. Hardware is one of those things that has a short shelf life. It's expensive to make, it's expensive to develop, it's expensive to ship out to stores. It's expensive to sit there and expensive to get back when no one buys them. It is expensive to fix. Hardware in many ways is such a lousy business until you look at somebody like Apple who can go Gangbusters on that somehow. But for most companies it’s all awful. Of course Microsoft's expertise is software. Software goes very nicely into services. Services are kind of all the opposite of all that stuff. With their high margin and low cost for all the things that I just said. It is kind of a weird thing, devices and services, it’s like profits and losses. It's kind of a tough. I think that being CE of Microsoft is like being President of the United States. In that people who go into the job have opinions of how they may or may not do things once they get there. Then they have the sit down chat, in this case the senior vice presidents of every division or whatever. Then they learn that their preconceived notions about things aren't necessarily correct. Something like Surface I would imagine it’s pretty easy to look at the short term stuff and say this thing is a money loser we shouldn't be doing this. But there is so much that plays into it. I sort of joked about it being an investment earlier but you know really it is an investment. Maybe there are very good reasons why they have to be in this market, have to be doing this even if they continue just to lose money on these things going forward.
Mary Jo: I mean the reason they said they wanted to be in Surface, I think this was Steve Balmer who said this, was they didn't feel like the OEM's were doing enough to address the segment of the market that the iPad serves. They said they do a good job in other parts of the market but not that part and that's why we think we have to be in there with Surface. I don't know if they still feel that. I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe that they don't still feel that. Yeah it has been a rocky road, I would say for them with Surface.
Leo: Paul, are you still there?
Paul: I can hear you.
Leo: It's just your picture we've lost.
Paul: The video froze.
Leo: There we go. You’re beautiful now.
Paul: I can't see you.
Leo: It feels as though you may have shaved in the interim as well. Clean as a whistle. It is a good conversation. It would be awfully embarrassing at this point to dump it.
Mary Jo: Yeah I know. It would. Especially if your calling yourself the devices and services company. That can mean your addressing other peoples’ devices.
Paul: We may know, it’s the Device and services company. That was just an overstatement.
Leo: Ahh there's a device. I am a little confused. If you look at Apples sales for instance the drop in the iPad sales. I'm thinking we might even be in a post tablet environment. Obviously this isn't true in Microsoft's Core business. The enterprise business still uses desktops potentially uses tablets. But for most users the phone is now the computer of choice, 90% of the time.
Paul: I don't know, I would say there is always going to be a mix of these devices. The exact break down of which people use is maybe going to vary.
Leo: Services are what's really important. The platform is the Cloud. We were just covering before the show, I apologize for starting a little late. Facebook developer conference F8. It has become very clear that Facebook has decided they are the next generation Microsoft. In the same way that Microsoft really became successful as a platform company. Stable and consistence, those are the words Mark Zuckerberg used. Platform for developers to develop apps on. In this case it was a software platform, it was Windows. Facebook wants to be a Cloud platform for apps. I have to say that seems like going forward a very sensible strategy. Is Microsoft going to say well we're not going to do that anymore maybe we will just sell some hardware.
Paul: With Facebook I am not sure what to say.
Leo: Azure has all of that potential. Microsoft even has an ad network.
Paul: Azure is interesting to me because it accomplishes what Server did before it and what the PC or Windows did for just the client PC. Which is to provide that underlying platform. It is literally the classic OS in the sense that it provides services for apps and things that run on top of it. That's just Microsoft playing to their strengths. I think that transition is so natural and so seamless they are going to be very successful doing it. Devices it is kind of tough. People complain about Microsoft importing Office to the iPad but you know ultimately when you think about it Microsoft platforms have always run on other companies.
Leo: And there he goes. The signal was getting worse and worse. I don't know if we have completely lost him. I think he's beamed up.
Mary Jo: That could be it.
Leo: You said that about margin. That is a problem with hardware.
Mary Jo: Margins are awful. The reason Microsoft became so successful pretty early on in its life was software margins are amazing. Especially when you have a dominating position like they did with Windows. Cloud margins also pretty amazing. Hardware margins not so amazing. There are a lot of cost in that, that you don't have to deal with in Software and services. So the question is do they want to be in that business. Some of their shareholders, the institutional shareholders aren't that keen on them staying in that business. They think it would be better for them financially to get out of making hardware at all. Xbox, Surface the whole thing and either spin that out into a different company or sell that off and kind of stick to their knitting which is software and services.
Leo: But this is why this is very challenging because Apple showed in the last decade that hardware could be extraordinarily profitable. We used to say who's wallet would you rather have Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. For the last few years it was Steve Jobs but that era seems to be changing. It might be a little late for Microsoft to enter that game anyway. Whereas they have a strong cloud presence. Azure is a very powerful platform.
Paul: I think they need to mature beyond this. I think in many ways their devices dreams were all based around Apple. It was all kind of A. a slice in time and B. something they’re not good at. Microsoft's software and services running on top of their platforms is absolutely okay. They had this wonderful thing going for a while with Windows but they can still make this compelling case now that their stuff still runs best on Windows. That's fine but I mean ultimately your running on other companies hardware. It's just the way it is going to be.
Leo: Live with it.
Paul: I think so.
Leo: Well there you go this is the crux. I imagine some few minutes are wasted at every board meeting talking about it.
Mary Jo: It's hard for people to wrap their heads around this. Because for so many years Microsoft was all about Windows first or sometimes Windows only, Windows best. You know what we're not going to let the other platforms be supported. The new Microsoft is, I would say as old as a couple years ago, that really started to change. You saw them doing more and more cross platform. But a lot of people just cannot get their head around this. Like what Microsoft is doing software for other platforms like iPhones and iPads before they're doing it for Windows and Windows phone. What the heck?
Leo: Yeah I am sitting here looking at my 1520 going hmm maybe I will just go back to the iPad. I am not doing that. But still that does seem odd. But that's a moment in time. But in 6 months nobody is going to be saying that.
Mary Jo: Hopefully not. Hopefully people are going to get it.
Leo: I think Paul just threw the phone across the room.
Paul: I specifically mute the phone in my office. So what has happened one of my children has put the wrong phone back in my office. I find that to be aggravating, I am sorry.
Leo: Did you actually throw it?
Paul: The phone is not next to me anymore.
Leo: You whipped it. I love a good athlete. I am going to sign you for the mudville 9.
Mary Jo: So don't be surprised if you see more of this, everybody. You’re going to see Microsoft supporting the platform that is dominate first and in the tablet space it is going to be Androids and iPads. It’s kind of infuriating when you've been used to them always doing their platform first. They are basically living in the new real mobile first, cloud first world that Saki Nudella keeps talking about. This is what it takes to succeed.
Paul: We should all live in reality. It's just the way that it is. I don't understand what people are so indignant about. I look back at certain things when Microsoft was dominate in personal computing. They were very belligerent and very harsh toward competitors and all kinds of other thing. But I also kind of wonder how almost lucky their success was like I am not even 100% positive that they had the right thing going all the time. For whatever reason they were the biggest deal in the world for a while.
Leo: It is always that way, Paul. You could say the same thing about any massively successful company. There's hits and there's misses. You just need to have more hits than misses. Apple, Google it's all the same.
Paul: Yeah so things have changed. I know enough about Microsoft to know that really what they are doing here is not super different from what they have always done. It's just that the underlining platform is now made by other companies. I know that's confusing to some people who follow Microsoft or whatever.
Leo: So they have always been cross platform.
Paul: You just can't pretend that it’s not like this.
Leo: The goal is total cross platform. I mean Office is a success to the degree that you can use it anywhere, anytime. They know that, it is their big discontinuities. Because nobody can do everything all at once. Nothings instant. But the goal would certainly be to get it everywhere.
Mary Jo: The old Microsoft would handicap things to favor Windows.
Leo: I know they say that they didn't do that.
Mary Jo: They did. They definitely did there is no question.
Paul: They definitely did. Yes of course they did, they were terrible.
Leo: They did with Office for the iPad, right?
Paul: There are people who find it very fitting that Google are not releasing their stuff on Microsoft's platforms and Apple is not releasing. Okay I guess so. I don't think it’s great. Like I said earlier, I think it would be better for everyone, if this stuff was a little more cross pollinated or whatever.
Leo: Well it would be better for users and there in the nutshell is the issue. As we users I think in the long run we feel it is always better for a company if they are better their customers. Jeff Bezos sets the holy grail of Amazon. But I don't think that is a given in business.
Paul: Microsoft is not perfect. I mean Microsoft doesn't do all this stuff evenhandedly even today. For example why is the new way of connecting to Google Calendar and Google Context working just fine on Windows phone and it’s not working on Windows. Which is a platform that everyone actually uses. This is something Microsoft could implement right now very easily and they don't. Why don't they, nobody knows. They've never spoken publicly about it, they won't admit to it. No one knows, I don't know.
Mary Jo: That would be very interesting if that changes now. Because it feels part of the reason it didn't happen was that was when the Windows team was under a different group of managers.
Paul: Who would that be, Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: I am trying to stay very diplomatic here. They had a very different mindset about how to deal with their competitors. And now that we’re in the Satya Nadella world and Terry Myerson world, it would be very interesting if they undid that decision. I’ve never heard that they’re going to, but that would be very interesting.
Paul: To me this is something that should just appear one day. It should come with no fanfare. There’s no reason it shouldn’t just be there. You never know. By the way, I do actually think they will do that now.
Leo: I think so.
Paul: And even my software picks today are based around the same notion that you see a lot of cross-pollination between Windows and Phone. It’s impossible these days, when a new app comes out on, say, Windows, and you think, “Wow I would really like to have this on Windows Phone.” And then it happens.
Leo: It just doesn’t happen all at once and, like I said, in six months we’ll go “oh, yeah.” I want to take a break. And maybe in the interest of time, we can run through a few of these stories. We’re going to talk about One Drive for business.
Paul: Oh no, we’re going to beat them all to death, Leo.
Mary Jo: These are all quick hits.
Leo: Xbox, we got some Xbox stories. We also have our picks as Paul mentioned. And yes, beer.
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Paul: Actually when you said, “Were you looking for a job?” I was like, “Why, why? What happened?”
Mary Jo: I almost did too.
Leo: No not you! Mary Jo Foley, from allaboutmicrosoft.com. There couldn’t be two people better for this show. You guys, you’re safe forever. As long as you want to do this show, it’s yours to do. A couple of quick hits, though. Let’s see. Starting off with OneDrive for business, Mary Jo. No! This is a Paul Thurrott. I see the word business and I think of you, Mary Jo. But Paul’s going to give us the businesses.
Paul: This one, and Mary Jo would agree, was originally confusing because of the way this release was worded. But our understanding of this now is that you can get anywhere Microsoft OneDrive for Business, which used to be called SkyDrive Pro. Meaning basically any version of Office 365 for business - including the recently released OneDrive for Business standalone subscription, including Office365 Small Business, and Small Business Premium, Office365 for Midsize Business, etc. The storage limit for this service per person went up over time from 7 GB to 25 GB and now to 1 TB, which is crazy. We were stirring around yesterday, because it was so vaguely worded it wasn’t clear if it was everybody or just a standalone service. There’s also sort of a side subscription called Office 365 Pro Plus. It’s basically a way to subscribe to the Office 2013 Professional Plus software; downloadable, installable software. This previously was kind of a standalone offering, but they’ve added OneDrive for Business for that as well. So those people who subscribe to this Office 365 Pro Plus subscription now get OneDrive for Business. And that 1 TB of cloud storage per user. So that’s kind of a neat and huge change.
Mary Jo: Yes. They are totally going after Box and DropBox.
Leo: Well and let’s not forget that Google dropped the price on their Google Drive as well. This is good! Competition is good. See what happens?
Mary Jo: Also, I found out today, Paul, that if you’re on Office 365 for Education and you are under A2 or A3, you also get the 1 TB as well.
Leo: You get a terabyte! And you get a terabyte. And you and you and you get a terabyte…
Mary Jo: Exactly.
Leo: That’s great!
Paul: To be clear, though, this is not One Drive for consumers. It’s not onedrive.com.
Leo: You don’t get a terabyte. I’m sorry, you don’t - never mind, forget it.
Paul: This is like the share plan online-based OneDrive for Business part of Office 365.
Leo: But you pay for bandwidth, not storage? They are making money on this, is that right?
Mary Jo: Yes, you have to subscribe to Office 365 to get the 1 TB.
Leo: That’s if? And then it’s all free? I mean after that, there’s no bandwidth cost?
Paul: No, not for Microsoft.
Leo: Well that’s good. Amazon did that of course.
Paul: No, it’s not like that. It works like Google Drive or One Drive in that sense. You get what you get.
Leo: And you get to keep it.
Paul: This has got to be about lock-in, because once you get a terabyte of data per user, thinking about switching to the Google Cloud suddenly gets a lot more expensive.
Leo: Okay, so we’re moving along. Skype versus Hangouts.
Mary Jo: This is another cool freebie thing. So Microsoft has been charging for Skype group video calling. You had to buy a premium subscription to Skype to get that. And now they’re starting to make that free. The first three platforms to get it for free are Windows desktop, the Mac and Xbox One. They said as they continue to roll this out for Windows 8 and for Android tablets, it’s going to be free. This is it. It’s going to be free from now on.
Leo: But Windows 8 doesn’t get it yet?
Mary Jo: They don’t have it. There’s not a “modern” version. You could run it on your desktop.
Leo: You could do the desktop Skype, it’s just the “modern” Skype that you don’t have. It confuses me when I see that word. If you want to use a “modern” Skype…
Mary Jo: Yeah, it confuses us, too.
Leo: The “modern” Skype…
Mary Jo: If you have 3 to 10 people, that’s like the best size that these things are for.
Leo: Google Hangouts is, what, eight? Nine total. But you’re right, you get too many people and it starts to fall apart. But this is directly aiming at Hangouts.
Mary Jo: That was nice, and kind of surprising, that they made that free.
Paul: Yeah, that kind of came out of nowhere.
Leo: I skipped over Microsoft’s Rapid Release schedule. Did you want to…
Paul: This is just sort of a general question, because one of the things that comes up with this Rapid Release thing that we’re on, is that IT doesn’t like this necessarily. A lot of enterprises don’t want it . . .
Leo: You can’t vet it. There’s no time.
Paul: I tell this story of a lot, because back in the Vista timeframe, at the time before they understood why people really weren’t adopting Vista, Microsoft was wondering what they had to do to get businesses to adopt it more quickly. The theory at the time was that businesses wait for SP1, for a service pack. And that was always kind of a bologna excuse, right? The truth is, businesses don’t roll anything out unless they ask absolutely have to. But they would always use the “Oh, we’re waiting for SP1 - until all the bugs are fixed.”
The problem is, software is not always right. There was the recent Surface firmware fix that screwed everything up for Surface Pro users. There are famous service packs that have gone horribly wrong - Windows NT, Windows 2000. And people still hold these things up as examples of, “This is why we don’t ever roll out these updates.” But what happens when something goes wrong with an update that just silently appears one day, screws everything up for everybody and now we’re into this Rapid Release cycle program and there’s no stopping this. What if IT ever does buy into this Rapid Release thing and they just open the flood gates and then Microsoft starts screwing things up for people.
I’m sure Microsoft has a formal process in place, although as we were talking about last week, every team at Microsoft seems to be on a completely different schedule and has a completely different way of doing things. I think this is something that needs to be addressed. It’s sort of like that trustworthy computing initiative. It needs to be baked into the DNA of what Microsoft does. There needs to be some formal process in place for ensuring that a rapid release cycle doesn’t screw everything up for everybody at some point. And how they get to that, I don’t know. But it would be a horrible stick-in-the-wheel-of-progress if whatever it is - Office 365 update or Windows update or whatever - comes down the pike and then blows away something for a bunch of people in a company somewhere. And it’s going to happen. I think it’s inevitable. Of course it’s going to happen. Every software update increases the chances, and the more you do, the more chances you have to screw stuff up. It’s just something to kind of think about. I hope Microsoft is thinking about this. I hope they have a plan in place, because as they convince everyone to come on this roller coaster ride with them, they need to be looking for a gap in the tracks as they race forward.
Leo: A gap in the tracks. I love it. Or another train coming the other way. There are all sorts of hazards.
Paul: Look, I see a light!
Leo: That tunnel! It’s moving . . . Ahhh! Oh, we didn’t really mention the IE 0 day.
Mary Jo: We could talk about that at the end, if you want. I’ve got it as my enterprise pick.
Leo: Okay. We did talk about it yesterday. Steve talked about how to mitigate it, even in XP. And of course the best mitigation is to not use IE in XP, because it’s stuck at 8.
Paul: That seems to solve a lot of problems.
Leo: Although, it was fun. The Department of Homeland Security said nobody should be using IE. They say that over and over.
Paul: I looked that up. And what they said was, “If they can’t do one of those workarounds, maybe they should consider using a different browser.”
Leo: It was years ago, “Don’t use IE.”
Paul: It was so basic and almost perfunctory. I don’t even understand why this was a story. I mean that’s just common sense. They didn’t say, “IE sucks, stop using IE.”
Leo: I think they said that, though, a few years ago.
Paul: You should not use IE on an out-of-date unsupported operating system.
Leo: Right. Unless you can mitigate it. It’s obvious. And, the Supreme Court has ruled. Is Novell a business still? I’m just curious.
Paul: Leo, this is the best. I’m going to go through this quickly, because it’s so stupid. Years after Novell sold off WordPerfect and Quattro Pro for a $2 billion loss, they sued Microsoft for behavior that Microsoft had toward WordPerfect and Quattro Pro at the time, in 1994.
Leo: 1994. That’s not an error folks.
Paul: I think the statute of limitations is running out or something and Microsoft had lost their antitrust case. It seems like they were ripe for the picking. So Novell now has been bought by another company – I forgot the name of the other company that bought them –
Mary Jo: Wizard? Is it called wizard?
Paul: No, it’s something within “A”. Authentic - - -
Mary Jo: Attachmate
Leo: Attachmate. You know you’ve really gone downhill when a company called Attachmate acquires you.
Paul: Bill Gates, by the way, testified in this trial, three or four years ago. And he said, “WordPerfect lost because it wasn’t as good.” In fact, what really happened at the time was that that company wanted to screw Microsoft over and so they backed OS/2. So when Windows took off they were kind of caught unawares. They just weren’t ready for it. That was a big part of the reason they fell apart. Word was just better. Anyway, Novell’s just lost repeatedly. They appealed all the way to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court ruled this week that they were not going to look at it. That this is over.
Paul: 20 years from start to finish.
Leo: So it wasn’t like they heard arguments. They just said, “What? You’re kidding.”
Paul: “We’re not doing this.”
Leo: It’s over. 20 years! Well I’m sure Authenticamate is very very unhappy.
Leo: They make photocopiers, fax machines. Haha. So - Microsoft X. Microsoft has a good research division. They really do interesting stuff.
Mary Joe: They do. And this was super interesting this week. So they have started up inside of Microsoft research, a special projects group. I was tipped to it by somebody who sent me a couple job postings. When you read the job postings, they talk about how they’re going to have this team inside of Microsoft research which is going to act like a startup. And it’s going to work on disruptive technologies that can benefit society and the company. So it’s basically meant to take on Google X, which is the division of Google that did Glass originally and now it’s doing self-driving cars and that balloon thing, that’s the balloons delivering Internet to various countries. So, this is Microsoft’s attempt to do something similar.
Leo: And they’ve got a great new name.
Paul: Yes, Microsoft X.
Mary Jo: No, I made that up. It would be a cool name but…
Leo: We are the innovators here. That’s why we’ve called it X. No, they’re really not going to call it that. That’s a relief.
Mary Jo: So there was a guy who worked at DARPA, the Defense research arm, whose name is Norman Whitaker. And he’s the guy who is championing self-driving vehicles in the research.
Leo: Sure, DARPA used have the – they do have the DARPA challenge.
Mary Jo: So he’s that guy, and he is going to be the head of Microsoft’s special projects.
Leo: Good choice! Self-driving car, the Microsoft glasses . . .
Mary Jo: Exactly. Yep. Where have we heard this before?
Paul: I can’t wait till they come out with the M pad. It’s going to be like a tablet, but instead of a stylus, you use your finger.
Leo: What’s really sad is that Microsoft research had invented all sorts of really cool neat things, none of which as far as I know really . . .
Paul: You know what they are? They’re like the Bell Labs
Leo: Yeah. Bell Labs, Xerox PARC
Paul: Xerox PARC, yeah.
Leo: They invented it but never released it.
Paul: What they need, is someone like Steve Jobs to walk in there and turn it into a product.
Leo: That’s the hard part.
Leo: Productizing, yeah. And finally, the big news! All you PlayStation 4 guys, guess what?
Paul: Everyone’s going to be in China.
Leo: But it’s a big market!
Paul: Xbox One has secured the first spot, so they’ll be the first videogame console in China in 14 years.
Leo: Can you imagine? Talk about pent-up demand.
Paul: Yeah, so China, 14 years ago, came up with a ban against video games because they deteriorated the moral standing of children or something. And they basically stopped the stuff from coming into the country. Of course, what’s happened since then is everyone plays games on their tablets and their PCs and their phones, and so China came up with this kind of compromise where if you invested locally, in this kind of trade-free zone in Shanghai, i.e. partnered with a Chinese company, you could bring your videogame console to China. There are actually lots of restrictions. They’re not going to just ship all the exact same games. I mean, they have to meet certain standards and there’s lots of stuff like that. But, the videogame market in China is bigger than the entire population of North America. It is over half a billion people. This is potentially big. Now it not only benefits Microsoft. Sony will come there with PS4, Nintendo will go there with whatever Nintendo sells.
Leo: Do they have to get regulatory approval? I mean, how does -
Paul: Yeah, they have to be approved.
Leo: That could be a significant head start.
Paul: The way they worded it suggested to me that even if Sony signed an agreement tomorrow, they still wouldn’t be able to ship anything in China until after Microsoft had shipped the Xbox One.
Leo: Yeah. So there you go.
Paul: So. That’s September. September, of course, is the date that Microsoft is going to release the Xbox One to 22 additional countries, which they had already contracted. China will now be 23.
Leo: Good story. They are going to have to quickly work up versions of Quake3, though, because the Chinese are a little behind.
Paul: Guys, you missed all the stuff. This whole thing of Call of Duty happened while you were gone.
Leo: Call of Duty never attacked Chinese people, did it?
Leo: That’s good. All right, we’ve got picks of the week, we’ve got beer, we’ve got codename, and Mary Jo’s going to explain a work around for that 0 day.
Mary Jo: I’m going to try.
Paul: For once, I think I agree with Mary Jo’s beer pick of the week.
Leo: You know, I should show you guys… Last week my son invited me to the father-son frat day at Pi Kappa Phi.
Paul: Like a scene from Animal House.
Leo: It was exactly like Animal House! I felt like I was transported back in time.
Paul: Oh that’s awesome. Is it like the 1950s still on a college campus?
Leo: Frats have not changed. The guys are all wearing button-down polo shirts and binge drinking. It was just like the old days. One of the things we did, though, as a father-son activity with all the other frat dudes and their dads, was we went to Golden, Colorado and we watched them brew Coors. It’s in the water - Oh, there’s my son! Frat boy. He’s at Boulder Colorado University. These are the big kettles. It smelled good! It smelled like mash – like malt - like chocolate malt.
Leo: The brew kettle. Look at the size of that, Mary Jo.
Paul: If you are actually in a frat, you would’ve jumped in one of those.
Leo: We had to hold the kids back. There’s one right now! There’s the frat house, by the way.
Mary Jo: You didn’t stay in the frat house I hope.
Leo: There’s no furniture. In fact, there’s no toilet paper. When girls come over, and apparently they do – I don’t know why, if I were them I’d stay away from those guys – but they bring rolls of toilet paper because they know. There is ample, sweetened alcoholic beverages, though. They drink some weird vodka that’s like mango and blueberry. It comes in soft plastic bottles.
Paul: They’re kids, Leo. For crying out loud, I just fixed this.
Leo: Now what?! Now what’s wrong? Is your phone ringing again?
Paul: Why do I have a phone, Leo?
Leo: I don’t use the phone. I don’t want to talk to anybody.
Let’s talk about IT Pro TV. There’s lots of folks who watch this show who are in IT, would like to polish up their skills or maybe they love this stuff and would like to get into IT. I’ve got a great way for you to do it. Don and Tim, the founders of IT Pro TV, have basically copied everything I’ve done, with my blessing, to create a very engaging, very fun way to learn IT online. And, I should add, very affordable. If you’ve ever priced the cost of a technical school to learn IT, you realize this is more than college! It’s really expensive. Or even the study materials. Let’s say you went to the bookstore, you went to Amazon, to buy the study materials. They would cost more. This is such a good deal! And a great way to learn, especially if you’re a fan of TWiT. For instance, they have, just like us, live on-air streaming sessions. You can interact with them in chat while they’re teaching you. There sets look very much like her twit sets because in fact they have all the same gear we do. They’re on Roku, they’re on your laptop and tablet. They’ve got hundreds of hours of content and 30 new hours every week. In all of the areas that people want. For instance, CompTIA, you’ve got A+, Net+, Security+, CASP, Strata, Linux+, Microsoft. It’s got all the Microsoft Certs MCA… They’re working on more stuff all the time. In fact they have a schedule for the courses as they come out. Cisco Certs. These new (ISC)2 security certs are really great. Next June, they’re going to start working on office. They’ve got Apple and VMware coming to. These guys are cranking out great stuff. In fact, I asked them to do a tutorial on how to use XP safely. 24 hours later they had it. It was great. They’ve done some great stuff for us. I’m really a fan of IT Pro TV. You can learn engagingly… By the way, for the (ISC)2 stuff they’re using Adam Gordon, he’s like one of the best guys in the security field.
The episode library, you might’ve noticed, is organized by exam objectives. Not just the exam itself but the page and number of the questions, so you can target areas that you want to learn to successfully pass. It’s engaging, it’s fun, and you can watch it all the time. They’ve done some things that I really admire. For instance was talking with Tim about this. He said, “We make it easy to cancel. Once you’ve pass your test, or you just say, “This isn’t for me”, you don’t have to jump through hoops.” If you have an annual subscription, you can download episodes and audio only if you want MP3. So you could put it on a device and listen all the time, while you’re flying or traveling. Corporate accounts are available for departments and companies. But let me tell you if you are an individual, normally it’s $57 a month, $570 a year. That right there is a great deal. But if you use our offer code WW30, you’re going to get 30% off not for the first month or year, but for the life of your account. Now we’re talking $40 a month! Less than $400 for a year. You can’t buy the books for that. And you even get the Measure Up practice exams included with your subscription. That’s worth 79 bucks. And they have a virtual machine sandbox lab environment. You might say, home I supposed to trial this stuff? You log in and you’ve got a server, you’ve got clients, you’ve got everything. And so you can do hands-on practice and learning and you can’t hurt anything. But you really will learn.
Great new web interface and learning management system will track your progress. They just keep getting better and better and better. I want you to check it out. Go to itpro.tv/ww. Upgrade your brain! Itpro.tv/ww and to save 30% off forever, use the offer code WW30. This is a super success story, not only for them, but for us. We’re just really thrilled to kind of partner with them and support them. They’ve grown immensely. When they started on twit, they weren’t even up to 1000 subscribers. They got 1000 last month! They are on their way to 10,000 subs. I’m not surprised; it’s just a great program. Itpro.tv/ww . Use the offer code WW30.
Mary Jo Foley from allaboutmicrosoft.com; Paul Thurrott from the Super Site for Windows, winsupersite.com. And it’s time for Paul’s tip of the week first.
Paul: Yeah, the tip of the week is that if you are using Office for iPad, they released the first update for this week. But the big addition is printing. I had to go and look this up because I don’t really understand how printing works on an iPad. Apparently it uses a system called Air Print. I don’t have an Air Print compatible printer, sadly. I believe it has to be Wi-Fi enabled and then has to be on their compatibility list.
Leo: Most printers are, now. And we even have an advertiser, Lantronix that sell the… It’s like the old HP PrintDirect or whatever they call it. It’s just a little box and it will make any printer Air Print.
Paul: Oh, nice.
Paul: There’s some other stuff. They added the smart guide feature from PowerPoint. If you use PowerPoint 2013 you know what that is. Just a way to position things exactly on the screen. Gives you the horizontal and vertical lines, so you can line things up. And also an autofit feature for Excel, which is another featured net product which lets you adjust the width of multiple rows based on the content that’s in them at the same time. So that’s kind of a neat little thing. You should get that automatically and, if not, you can go into the store and download those updates. That’s kinda cool.
Leo: Very good.
Paul: The software pick of the week is actually two of them. Two new apps for Windows phone 8.1. Actually, I think one of them might be for 8 and 8.1, but the second is only for 8.1. They are Reading Lists and Movie Moments. And both are made by Microsoft. The first is included with Windows 8.1, the latter is made available by Microsoft for free for Windows 8.1. And now they’re on Phone as well. So, Reading List is an app that kind of sits on the side, so if you’re using your Internet Explorer, if using it in the Bing content apps like health, fitness, news, finance, etc., you can use reading list or the Share charm to save an article for later use. It’s kind of like a way of bookmarking almost, that’s kind of app independent. It just came out and I have not had a huge chance to test this, but I know that on Windows 8.1, one of the neat features of Reading List is if you’re using it with the news app only, those articles will be available off-line. So you could mark a bunch of stuff on your Reading List, launch the app on a plane and then go read those things off-line. It’s kind of a cool feature.
On the Phone side, the neat thing about it is that it integrates with Reading List for Windows 8.1. So if you’re saving things to your Reading List on a tablet or a PC, you’ll see them on the Phone now and vice versa. Of course it does that through your Microsoft account. When Windows 8.1 launched, people said, “Wow, this is really cool. Microsoft is pouring all these Bing content apps over to the phone. That’s really neat. When are we going to get reading lists?” And here it is today.
The other one is kind of a basic video editing program. It’s called Moving Moments. A lot of people thought it was going to be included with Windows 8.1. You actually download it separately for free. It’s bare-bones, but it’s designed to work with the sorts of short videos that one might take on a phone which is why it makes a lot of sense for Windows Phone. You can only edit up to 60 seconds of video. You can add music to it and titles and all that kind of stuff. But it is designed for those kind of short things that you might take. You know - Here’s the kids going on a sled down a little hill or - Here’s someone on a swing set or whatever it is - the videos people actually take. And you can save them out to Facebook or wherever else you want to save them. So, another app. It came from the Windows side but you see it and you think, “Wow this would make a lot of sense on Phone.” And here it is.
They are not universal apps. I’ve had some questions about that but as with that remote desktop app that came out last week, these apps use the back-end licensing changes that Microsoft has had. So they have an understanding that you downloaded these before on a different platform. So if you go into Windows Phone Store and you downloaded one of them previously on Windows, it knows that and will say, “You already downloaded that” and it will ask if you want to reinstall it. That will be a bigger deal for people when they’re using paid apps in the future. But they are sharing that kind of back-end infrastructure, so some similarities there.
Leo: That is our tip and our software pick for the week. Our enterprise pick of the week comes to us from somebody we’d like to call Mary Jo – what the heck? Mary Jo mini!
Paul: She lives in a little window.
Mary Jo: What’s happening there?
Paul: It’s like a little hobbit hole.
Leo: Let’s continue and we’ll make you big. There you go.
Mary Jo: That was kind of cool. My enterprise pick of the week is about this IE 0 day that was discovered over the weekend. Basically, anybody who’s running any version of IE 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11, you are vulnerable to this. Although to differing extents. So if you’re an XP user, as we mentioned earlier, and you are still running IE 6, you should not run IE. That’s the least you should do to try to protect yourself. But Microsoft issued some of what they’re calling workarounds, because it has not yet been mitigated. One thing they said was, “If you’re running IE 10 or 11, make sure that you have Enhanced Protected Mode on in your browser, because that will help protect you from the 0 day. The other work around they talked about was to change . . . First you should change your access control list for one particular program file, which was VGX.DLL.
Leo: That’s where the flaw lies, isn’t it?
Mary Jo: Right. Then they later put up another updated advisory saying you can actually just unregister that DLL instead of the original work around. But our security guy at ZDNet, Larry Seltzer, said, “Both of these ways are fairly similar in terms of helping you mitigate this.” Of course, if you’re an IT Pro, you want to make sure you have what’s called the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit , EMET, because that -
Leo: That sounds so fun!
Mary Jo: It’s so fun and it helps protect you from anything.
Leo: Mitigation has never been easier than with the Enhanced Mitigation Toolkit!
Mary Jo: You install this through system configure manager, if you’re an IT Pro, and it definitely will give you that extra layer of protection.
Leo: Yes, now with an extra layer of protection!
Mary Jo: So Microsoft is working on making sure this doesn’t hit everybody. People who are running XP said, “And they’re not going to patch this?” Guys they been telling you for two years, they’re not going to patch XP anymore, so need to get off that operating system.
Leo: This does confirm the advice that Steve has been giving which is that if you’re using XP don’t run as an administrator, run as a limited user. And whatever you do, don’t use IE, use Chrome. Steve talked about it yesterday on Security Now.
Mary Jo: I’m sure he had a whole lot of extra information.
Leo: I think he agreed with those exact instructions.
Mary Jo: Good. Good to know.
Leo: Mitigation. And you are code name…
Mary Jo: My code name pick of the week. All of us who watch Microsoft know @evleaks. He loves to find all the cool code names and in the middle of April he leaked a whole bunch of things that he said were Nokia codenames. He had eight of them. There was Ara, there was Leo, there was Moonraker, Onyx, Peridot and there was also one called Superman. Tom Warren over at The Verge has been doing some digging around and he found out more about Superman. So Superman supposedly is an Nokia phone coming out towards the latter half of this year and Tom called it a selfie phone, because it has a five megapixel camera in the front of the phone and that’s where a lot of the focus is going to be. So, It’s supposedly a 4.7 inch midrange phone, but with a really souped-up front facing camera. It may require one of the upcoming updates to Windows phone 8.1, probably the second one that everybody’s expecting this year. We’ve heard that there are going to be two. One around July , and one later in the year. So this phone is not something that’s going to be one of the first Windows Phone 8.1 devices, but it could be one of the more interesting ones if Microsoft decides to take it forward now that it owns Nokia. So that’s Superman.
Leo: Very interesting. Superman is a selfie phone for Superman. And woman
Mary Jo: Yes. And woman
Leo: I am in the mood for some beer and not that watered-down beer they make in Golden Colorado. Although I have to say when you go there, and I think this is probably true of any brewery, and they give you the beer fresh straight out of the… It’s good!
Mary Jo: It’s really good.
Leo: It’s refreshing and tasty. So, even Coors could taste good. They make a lot of different ones there. They make Killian’s red there, Keystone, Blue Moon, they make a Belgian - they claim. They have a beer that’s only available in Colorado for some reason, marketing reasons. And they have a beer that they call Vat 19 or something. They claim they found it in the dusty old notebook right at the end of the prohibition, so a pre-Prohibition recipe for beer. They make that, too. And actually, it’s kind of good. Nothing like the great craft beers that we are used to.
Mary Jo: It’s funny you talking about Coors, because my beer pick of the week is from Goose Island which got bought by Anheuser-Busch. When they got bought, everyone was like that, Oh that’s it. Goose Island is going to be terrible now. But as Paul Thurrott can attest, because he was at Rattle N Hum with me yesterday and they had Goose Island day. There are a lot of excellent Goose Island beers and the one that’s my pick is called Sophie. It’s a Belgian and it’s aged in wine barrels so that gives it…
Leo: It looks like a wine label really.
Mary Jo: It does. A lot of their labels look like that. They are Belgians and this one is really delicious. It’s got kind of the little sour thing going on, because of the wine barrels, but it’s very tasty. Very sparkly, very Belgian. All the things you want in a Belgian.
Leo: And Paul liked it.
Mary Jo: Paul liked it. I think he had that one.
Leo: You went to Rattle N Hum?
Mary Jo: We did.
Leo: Is that your first time there, Paul?
Paul: Where Mary Jo is the queen of all she surveys.
Leo: I’ll bet. Is it really like that? Do they bow down? “Oh, Ms. Foley, your beer is awaiting.”
Mary Jo: We’ve brought them a lot of good business.
Leo: I bet you have! Are you kidding?
Mary Jo: They know Windows Weekly there, too.
Leo: Heck yeah.
Paul: We’re going to have to do an event there sometime.
Leo: I want to go now! But now we should tell people, it’s a dive! Don’t get your hopes up.
Mary Jo: It’s not a fancy bar.
Leo: Is the floor sticky? Or does it have sawdust on it.
Leo: No, the food is excellent.
Leo: Oh, they have food?
Mary Jo: The food is pretty good.
Paul: The beer list is amazing.
Leo: I want to go!
Paul: Here’s the thing about the beer list. Not only does it change, regularly, it changes during the day! Every time I’ve been there, they’ve come over and taken away the beer menu and given us a new one. Because they switch everything over. It’s really impressive.
Mary Jo: They have 40 craft beers on tap, plus tons more in bottles. And they have a cask, always.
Paul: It’s the real deal. Actually, I’ll tell you a story that happened yesterday. You’d enjoy this. We walked in the door and two of the people behind the bar were lilke, “Hey, Mary Jo how you doing?” And then the two guys at the end of the bar were like, “What the hell was that? We weren’t greeted like that when we walked in the door.”
Leo: What is this, Cheers?
Mary Jo: It is my Cheers
Leo: Everybody knows Mary Jo’s name. Okay, Rattle and Hum. The challenge. Get Mary Jo in that picture. Wait a minute, let’s zoom in on this guy. I think that’s you back there Paul
Paul: That’s funny.
Leo: And that’s where your stein is? This is where they hang the steins with your name on it. So yours is hung up right there?
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: So you go in and they take down your mug and they fill it up?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: Dude! That is awesome!
Paul: It’s great. It’s really really good.
Mary Jo: Yeah, they have tables with power outlets. They have Wi-Fi. We just go in there and work.
Paul: We go in there and work.
Mary Jo: And drink beer.
Leo: Really? Why don’t we do this.
Paul: It’s on 33rd St. It’s right down the street from the Empire State building and from Penn Station. In fact you could walk out the door and look up and you see the Empire State building. It’s right there.
Leo: Yeah, that’s right! 33rd. Yeah. This is like a neighborhood bar. Oh my God! Look at that!
Paul: Yeah it’s crazy.
Leo: I’m looking at the pictures on this site. Wow! This looks great!
Paul: And the women who work there are at the exact right degree of sauciness that you would expect.
Leo: Saucy barmaids?! You didn’t tell me that. There’s one right there in his tight T-shirt.
Paul: A little too happy about that.
Leo: Awesome. I want to go.
Paul: And get the Rattle and Hummus, Leo.
Leo: They have Rattle and Hummus! I love it! Of course they do!
Mary Jo: Well next time you’re in New York, Leo…
Leo: Oh no, I’m there! I’m living there.
Paul: That’s what I said. If I lived here, they would never get me out of here.
Leo: Nice. That is awesome! Well, there you go. The show is brought to you each and every week by Rattle and Hum.
Paul: It should be.
Leo: Why aren’t they buying ads, that’s what I want to know. If you are a Windows fan, we love doing Windows stuff here and you can join us every… we were a little late today because of the F8 conference, but normally every Wednesday around 11 AM Pacific. 2 PM East.
Paul: Was there any announcement at the F8?
Leo: No, just that we want you to trust us. And have some beer. Our show today… (singing – sometimes you want to go there - to Rattle and Hum, the place in New York where they know Mary Jo’s name) ha ha. Yep.
Mary Jo: Starting to know Paul, too, I think.
Leo: You’ve got a get a mug, though Paul. You have to drink 40 beers in 40 days, right?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Paul: Right. We live three hours away by train, so I do what I can do.
Leo: You’re going to work a little harder, but you’re going to be glad. Our show, if you can’t watch live at 11 AM on Wednesdays, 1800 UTC, please tune in after the fact. On-demand video and audio always made available on our website. Twit.tv/WW or wherever finer shows are aggregated for your listening pleasure. And don’t forget, and I’ve got to say this more often, we’ve got great apps on every platform, including Dmitry Lyalin’s fabulous Windows Phone version of TWiT. That’s probably, for everybody, the easiest way to listen in. It’s fine with us. We love it. We have so many great developers. At least five developers that I know of who make apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
So I think that’s about it guys. Paul’s website is Super Site for Windows, winsupersite.com. Mary Jo is allaboutmicrosoft.com. You can stay there all week long and keep up on what’s going on and of course we’ll give you the full verbal wrap up on Wednesdays. Have a great week and we’ll see you next time on Windows Weekly!
Leo: Oh, I love the 1520. I’ll share some thoughts on it
Mary Jo: Do you find it too huge?
Leo: No, the sizes not the issue for me. Unfortunately the issue for me is one that is more Google’s fault, probably, than Microsoft’s, which is the weak support for Google services. I use Plus, I use Google Voice. To me a phone without Google Voice is like a day without sunshine. It’s not really usable. I love the UI. You can see I put a lot of tiles on my front page. But a big screen link this lends itself to that, you know?
Mary Jo: That’s a lot of tiles!
Leo: Yeah! Yeah, but every single one of them is important to me.
Mary Jo: Looks good though.
Leo: well that’s one of the nice things you can do. There is a below the fold so I can go continue on. I do think the screen is just gorgeous. I just love the screen. In many ways, they just did a lot of things right. For instance, one of the things we’ve been complaining about on Security Now, is the silly - especially on mobile dots instead of letters when you type in a password - on mobile it so hard to get the characters right that using dots is just a pain, so many (but not all) that many of the password entry fields on this phone, it has a checkbox that says “show password”. That’s exactly how to handle that.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: If I’ve got someone looking over my shoulder, I might not turn that on. But in most cases I want to see the password! It’s very old school to hide the password. Steve is of the opinion that it’s unnecessary. On the iPhone, I enter the password wrong two out of three times! So, it’s such a waste of my time.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: And for the most part, I don’t miss apps. There is a fake Sonos which was one of my concerns. But the lack of Google plus kind of kills me. And this is Google’s fault. There’s no reason why Google couldn’t do Google Plus or Google Voice for Windows Phone. I’m sure Microsoft would welcome those.
Mary Jo: They basically, a while back, said, “Oh it’s not popular enough of a platform, so we’re not doing it.”
Leo: Microsoft might’ve brought it on with Scroogle. Perhaps that wasn’t the most politic of things to do. I think 8.1 just has some really… They now have pull-down notifications. The camera on this thing is just dynamic as heck. It’s really great. Although a little slow to launch. And I think some of the Nokia lenses are not so hot. I thought Refocus would be a really interesting one to use and I was comparing it the refocus capability of my AMA. But watch, I’ll launch the Nokia camera. Tap.
That’s pretty slow in modern terms. And then to use a lens you have to hit the menu, go to the lenses and pick a lens. And, again, another delay.
Mary Jo: Mine, I just put the camera button on the icon and the camera comes up ready. So I don’t have to pick it.
Leo: Right, I could just launch Refocus. That’s one neat thing about these lenses is they’re both apps lenses which is a nice way to do it. I like that.
I guess Paul didn’t expect us so soon.
Mary Jo: He said that he’d be ready in about four minutes.
Leo: Yeah, exactly 2:30. So, I mean there are some things I like. I love the live tiles. I think it’s a good interface. It feels very snappy in every other respect, camera or not. But everything else is snappy. I think they’ve done a nice job of that. I’m so used to the highly customizable Android Ecos system that I kind of like it that Microsoft says, “No, this is how you do it.” And it’s not the same as Apple, so that’s cool. Some people look at my home screen and go,Oh my God.
Mary Jo: The good thing is, you can change it at any time.
Leo: Right. In fact I could have it look just like a grid if I wanted to. I can make it much simpler. That’s very easy to do. But these are all apps and in some ways I’m duplicating my Android home screen, by putting the apps that I use the most in front. There are so many things right, including a much better camera, the only thing wrong with it is the line of Google services. My Calendar works, so that’s not a problem. And it pulls the Google Calendar. My contacts, same thing, works great. I don’t really understand the Me Hub.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: I mean, all this is, is a Twitter feed.
Mary Jo: You can add other feeds in if you want to that right now but that’s going to change. A little bit. How do you do that? Let’s see
Leo: Oh, now it’s showing Facebook and Twitter. So by showing Facebook, I have those two. I’m not sure that’s superior to using Facebook and Twitter
Mary Jo: Right. It just depends if you want everything in one place. But that was the whole hub model which they’re changing with Windows phone 8.1
Leo: This is 8.1
Mary Jo: Oh that’s 8.1? Yeah so that’s going to work a little bit differently. We talked about that social extensibility framework. So, you’re still going to have integration but it’s going to be through apps instead of having it all directly integrated right into the hubs. If somebody updates their app, we won’t have to wait for Microsoft to update to the new version.
Leo: That’s good. I think that’s a good idea. I think Nokia is definitely the way to go. I don’t miss Google Maps, for instance. That’s not an issue. The two apps I really miss are Google Plus, Google Voice, both of which I rely on. I guess Docs would be an issue as well I don’t know. Yeah, hubs to me… The only reason I have the Me Hub there is because it shows my picture… Ha ha Ha
Mary Jo: That’s why have mine there.
Leo: Oh here’s Paul. Great otherwise I would just throw that away. Yeah, no Google Now. You’re right. And Cortana is doing its best to replicate and maybe someday will. No Google Voice, so this is Cortana. So when you launch Cortana through the Cortana icon, you get a little Google Nowey kind of thing. Yes, that is my home. How did you guess? Is this where you work? Yes you guessed it! You are so brilliant. I love you Cortana. That’s pretty much Google Now. It’s pretty close. You press and hold this and she’ll listen to you, which is nice. Oh Gmail is the other one. Well, I can’t get my Gmail, it doesn’t reflect the Gmail interface I use. So that’s kind of a bummer.
Paul: What’s wrong Leo?
Leo: Just talking about the pros and cons of this 1520, which I really like. It’s amazeballs mode. But because I’m so invested in the Google verse, the Google universe, it’s problematic for me. I don’t blame Microsoft for that. It’s obviously Google’s not supporting the…
Paul: Yeah Google has zero interest in Windows phone, but there’s some decent third-party apps. There’s a good Google Plus app there’s a good…
Leo: Oh, there is? What’s the Google Plus app?
Paul: There are actually a couple of Google Voice-type apps.
Leo: Yeah, I’m using Metro Talk, which is okay. It does at least integrate into the message hub. This is the message hub.
Paul: Yet it remains a fact, though, if you’re heavily invested in Google or Apple the Microsoft Ecos system, that’s the phone you should have. Actually Google is good on iOS, too.
Leo: Yeah Google wants to be an IOS.
Paul: IOS as if it’s their own thing. It’s interesting.
Leo: But I love the size. The size does not bother me because it’s so thin. It’s a thin thin thing and I don’t think this looks weird. I’m used to it now. This doesn’t look weird to me.
Paul: My head looks so big though it looks like a mini phone when I put it up to it.
Leo: Yeah, fine. And the screen on this is just beautiful. Camera is slow to launch; maybe that’s because I’m using the Nokia camera not the native camera. Not the Windows camera.
Paul: That might be hardware thing actually. Because it’s slower on the 1020, but Elop was talking about one of the issues with not being part of Microsoft is that they couldn’t get the hardware into the phone that they needed because it was Microsoft’s deal and that is the type of thing that would’ve made the camera much quicker.
Leo: It’s slow. I showed Mary Jo and it’s just painful. But I guess is the same on the iPhone
Paul: It’s twice as slow on the 1020.
Leo: Yeah and that’s frustrating
Paul: Yeah. It is.
Leo: So there are a few little things like that, but in general the Nokia apps are fabulous and Microsoft is going to have access to those for some time. I was just showing you how Cortana discovered where I live and where I work. That’s awesome.
Paul: Then she alerted the authorities.
Leo: And then she alerted the authorities! So, you can get Ways on here. So, Facebook’s a little behind but not hugely behind.
Paul: By the way, that is much better than it used to be.
Leo: I know I know. It looks like they’re one generation behind on this, which is isn’t bad. They still have the hamburger on the left.
Paul: If somebody messages you on Facebook, you get a little circle on the screen?
Paul: This was not happening on Windows. That is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life I mean, because you can drag the circle around on the screen, it’s got the little guys face on it.
Paul: It’s really cool. If you’re on Windows Phone, you’ve never seen this. But Facebook on Android, at least, I don’t know about iOS, but it’s like a little circle with a guy’s face on it. It pops up over whatever you’re doing. And you can kind of move it around so it’s not in the way, but it keeps the chat open.
Leo: I turned that off as quickly as I can.
Paul: Yeah, it’s silly. I see that and I think that’s interesting because –
Leo: Well, it’s just not available. It’s just not there. Audible’s done a great job. The Audible app is up. I know there are a couple of twit apps, but Dimitri’s twit app is fabulous on here. What’s nice is it’s a native, so he’s done a very nice job of that. In my opinion this is as good as twit gets on mobile. There are just a lot of nice things on here. I love the hubs. I mean, I love the live tiles of the hubs. I don’t really use the hubs, but they’re great for live tiles.
Paul: So, one thing I’m curious about from your opinion because you use And drove regularly and you’ve used IOS a lot obviously, what do you think of the notification center with this one?
Leo: They needed to do this. This is fabulous. This is a direct copy of Android the switchover here, the notifications here
Paul: Looks exactly the same.
Leo: But that’s exactly the way it should be. This works. This is now a standard, right? Android invented it; Apple copied it and now it’s on my Windows Phone and I think is perfect. It’s just what I want.
Paul: Apple made it magical, Leo.
Leo: Oh right. I was unhappy with Windows Phone. I think 81 really… Between Cortana, the notification system… Really, now I would say it’s very close. And if you live in the Microsoft ecosystem system, it should be a no-brainer. This is the best way to be in the Microsoft ecosystem system. There are only a handful of apps, and they’re almost all from Google, that I miss. And that’s about it. And there’s a Google search app but there’s no plus there’s no voice. Gmail, there’s poor support for Gmail. Those things are kind of deal breakers for me, unfortunately.
Paul: The Google Calendar native support is not horrible on this phone.
Leo: Native support for the Calendar is great. I use Gmail kind of a little differently. Let me show you what I do. I use the tabs. And a lot of people don’t. If you don’t use the tabs, you would say that’s fine.
Paul: You don’t get a single button archive.
Leo: Yeah, there are a few things. But I could live with that. But the problem is, this is basically all mail, so in my Gmail, I have, and I find this very useful, primary social promotions updates and forms. And the Gmail apps on both Android and IOS support this idea. This is a new idea from Google. Microsoft is just dumping it all in one pile.
Paul: I think that’s going to change. In the mail app on Windows 8, not on Windows Phone, but on Windows 8, they have newsletters, social updates and…
Paul: Sort of database views. They’re not actual folders.
Leo: Yes. That’s what Google doing. Exactly.
Paul: So I think that this client will adapt to that.
Leo: That would help a lot. Because Mail is a fairly important app. I seem to have frozen the phone.
Paul: Ha ha Ha.
Leo: There we go. Mail is a fairly important app for me. I can live without Plus; I can live with Metro Voice. You said there’s a good Plus app. What is the Plus app?
Paul: Yeah, let me see if I can find it.
Leo: You know it takes a little while to get used to things like the search button is here in the Store and stuff like that. They’ve really fixed Search. It really drove me crazy that Search gave me everything everywhere.
Paul: It’s called Google Plus Viewer
Leo: All right.
Paul: It’s your basic Plus.
Leo: The other thing is really annoying. And I guess Microsoft could fix this. For instance, this Google Plus with the actual Google logo and then apps for Windows Phone kind of implies… But apps for Windows Phone actually the name of the company. So that’s very deceptive.
Paul: You have just amazingly uncovered what I think is the dark under the Lee of the Windows Phone, which is that they’re mad race to get apps into the stores so they could show some form of competing has resulted in the most unbelievable lack of oversight. They tweeted about, what was it Mary Jo? Clipboard? Clipboard for Windows 8. Clip board, Inc. It looked exactly like the real thing. And it’s complete garbage from certain third-party. And by the way, that is a mild example of the crap that gets into Windows Phone
Leo: That her.
Paul: The other part of this, by the way, is you search.
Leo: But I search for Clipboard was.
Leo: What the hell?
Paul: Well, there is no Clipboard app. Actually, maybe they finally got rid of it.
Leo: Of weird stuff that’s in here. Some of it is in Chinese!
Paul: You can search for something very specific and come up with stuff that has nothing to do with the thing you just searched for.
Leo: Exactly. But you know what, Apple had that problem. Everybody had that problem. It’s something they admitted later.
Paul: Leo, it’s so amateur hour with Windows Phone. Right, Mary Jo? You’ve seen what I’m talking about
Mary Jo: It’s awful. Even trying to find Microsoft apps in the Store. A lot of times it’s like nope that’s not a Microsoft app. It looks just like it.
Leo: Looks just like it says something like apps for Windows Phon.
Paul: What are they, but to teenage kids? Playing video games and just
Leo: Will they need to make this a priority, because this is the one complaint now that Windows Phone is apps. So, people are judging them on this. So it’s not the number, it’s the quality of the Phone.
Paul: ROM emulator stuff is in there, with actual ROMs from copyrighted video games and other platforms
Leo: Well, that’s cool! Where’s that? I’ll take that.
Paul: That’s my software pick of the week. Nintendo 64 library.
Leo: Following your instructions to install 8.1 couldn’t have been easier. They did make that very very easy and this is the Google Plus you are talking about and I’m logging on to my Google and it looks good. All right. And they have last pass. And if they hadn’t had that, it would’ve been a big problem, too. They have the stuff I need.
Paul: To be fair, the app situation has improved.
Leo: Much. Everything’s improved. That’s my point, is I started with Windows Phone at 7 and just couldn’t stick with it. This I can stick with. In fact I have. I’ve been using it all week and it’s great. Just a few things missing, but it’s not a big deal.