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Windows Weekly 363
Leo Laporte: It is time for Windows Weekly Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Of course they are back from the big announcement yesterday. Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and a very special guest is going to stop by, Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals Fames. He’s got a new novel, coming up next of Windows weekly.
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Leo: This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Episode 363 recorded May 21st, 2014.
The Neighbor of the Beast
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It is time for Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, the show that covers your Windows interests weekly. There is a lot to say today. I am sorry I probably shouldn’t have said that so loud. Somebody said Leo you always begin the show too loud. You know we have quiet music starting and then there is the matter of course of Paul’s hangover. So I am going to talk a little more quietly. There he is Paul Thurrott from the Supersite for Windows, winsupersite.com. Mary Jo Foley is also here can I speak more loudly or are you just tired?
Mary Jo Foley: I am just tired. I am not hung over thank goodness.
Leo: You’re used to drinking heavily.
Mary Jo: I am.
Leo: They’re back from Rattle and Hum where there was a little bit of a party there.
Paul Thurrott: I was taken to the woodshed.
Leo: A lot of people at Rattle and Hum. It looked like it was a lot of fun.
Mary Jo: It was.
Paul: It was nice.
Leo: So the occasion the announcement of Surface Pro III. I am going to ask right up front, are you surprised no mini!
Mary Jo: Yep.
Paul: Well yes and no. I guess the thing I will tell you now is that I have a source that has been incredible for years now. Got me a lot of that early information about the Xbox I and about the Surface II stuff. I had the whole Surface II whole generation cued up before it happened. He’s been a good source of information about the Mini as well and he knows the back story about what happened there and all that kind of stuff. He had clued me in that it was happening and I knew all the stuff they were going to announce around Surface Mini. About a week ago he emailed me and said you’re not going to believe this but they just delayed Surface Mini again. It’s not going to launch next week.
Leo: So you knew ahead of time it wasn’t going to launch.
Paul: So here is the problem. I know from talking to the Surface guys that they are very sensitive about the leaks that have occurred around their stuff. So we have a kind of a love hate relationship as you might imagine. They’ve been very active trying to find those leaks. I suspected this was a misinformation, like maybe we will tell some people some things and we will tell some other people some other things.
Leo: So this was a plant. Then they will know who is leaking.
Paul: So I had decided with the Surface Mini information I wasn’t going to publish anything immediately because I didn’t want it tied to any kind of timing where someone might have found out about it internally. In other words, so I wouldn’t get them in trouble.
Leo: That’s smart.
Paul: So I figured with this one I really felt there was a 50/50 chance that this was disinformation or misinformation. Regardless it didn’t make sense for me to write hey they just cancelled Surface MIni because A. I didn’t really believe it to be honest and B. Obviously was trying to protect the source. It was very clearly a Mini Launch event. The wording that they used for the event was, small event.
Mary Jo: Small gathering.
Leo: Apparently not it was 12 inches.
Paul: Small gathering, yeah. Going back to the original Surface Mini stuff I had also heard by the way they are launching a second device. I was like really what is that, and it was a lot less information about that but it was going to be a bigger Surface Pro Device.
Leo: That’s what we did see.
Paul: And that’s the one they ended up going with.
Leo: That’s interesting, I forgot the invitation said small. So very interesting.
Paul: It was absolutely coming. I am sure there are people out there who think oh these guys were so gullible. No no this thing has been in the can since last year. It’s been waiting to go.
Leo: We should say a mini would be an 8 inch version of the Surface.
Paul: Literally yeah, 8 inch. By the way the interesting thing is the big device they did launch of course has a 3x2 form factor.
Leo: Which I like but we will talk about that.
Paul: Which I love as well, by the way. The way the Mini was described to me by somebody who had seen it was that he had put an iPad Mini right on top of it and it was almost identical from a form factor perspective. Of course the iPad Mini is not a 16x9 device. So I actually believe that this 3x2 aspect ratio is what they were going to use for the Mini as well.
Leo: That makes sense.
Paul: Although I had never been told that explicitly. But I think that is the case.
Leo: We’ll kind of get into that aspect ratio because I think that is an important point. But just to wrap up the mini.
Mary Jo: There’s a lot of theories about what happened. Different people are doing different reports on why it got cancelled.
Leo: Cancelled or delayed?
Mary Jo: Right, that’s a good question. Bloomberg’s say it was Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop in the 11th hour who looked at this thing and went you know what we have no differentiation for this thing. We are just another Me2 device. We’re not going to launch it.
Leo: Like the Dell Venue.
Mary Jo: Right. Neilsen just posted something that they went so far as to make 15 to 20,000 of them and they are somewhere in a warehouse. I don’t know if that’s true. I would be surprised.
Paul: Well Lagardo is waiting.
Leo: There is room in the dump.
Paul: There is a big hole in the ground.
Leo: There’s a hole there. Or you give them away at the next build or something.
Mary Jo: I get to ask Panos Panay who is the head of Surface. I kind of tiptoed around this and said what do you guys think 8 inch form factor still viable. He said we still believe there is life left in that form factor. So that makes me think they still could do it.
Paul: I am positive they plan too.
Mary Jo: Me too. The one thing that I thought when we were hearing about Surface Mini that never quite made sense was the fact that it was going to run Windows RT because it was ARM based. We already know that Microsoft’s not going to have Windows RT as an exists today continue. They’re reworking the operating system and merging the phone operating system and the Windows RT operating system in some way so that will be a new skew probably about the time of Threshold next year. So I was like wow are they really going to roll out a Surface Mini with this operating system.
Paul: When they are already looking to get rid of that operating system.
Mary Jo: It was just a lot of things weren’t lining up. The whole date around Gemini which are the touch first apps, they weren’t ready. I was kind of like wow this is kind of a weird time to an ARM base device. But we were pretty sure it was going to launch because our sources who have been very correct in the past.
Paul: Well it was going to launch.
Mary Jo: They all told us it was coming.
Paul: I’ll add one more thing to this too. You’ll remember this obviously but one of the things that Satya Nadella said early on in the presentation that really struck me, to the tune of that I was taking notes and when he said this I stopped and looked up and was like that is a very different policy. He was describing Surface generally and he said we are not going to compete against our OEM’s. I thought that is absolutely not what Surface was about. In fact Surface was controversial because they were in fact competing with their PC making partners, their OEM’s. Surface Pro III the new one is a fairly unique device. I don’t think there is an example of a PC out there that is quite like it. You could make the argument that they are kind of trail blazing a new product category. This tablet that can also be a laptop kind of thing. That is not the case with the Mini at all. The Mini would have the same one click, Onenote access and all that stuff. But an 8 inch device that could be used as a note taker, there are a bunch of devices like that and maybe that’s the issue. That there just isn’t enough differentiation and it is kind of a Me2 follower type product and this isn’t the right thing for them to be doing with Surface. I actually think this represents a major 180 from the original vision of Surface. Which again wasn’t done to be agonistic but was very much about competing with the OEM’s. Not to put them out of business but to show them how Microsoft felt these devices should be. It seems like now the plan is for them to make a differentiated devices that can sit in the market alongside competing devices that aren’t exactly the same kind of thing.
Leo: That really limits what they can do. The OEM’s are very creative and there are a lot of them. There are a lot of different styles and form factors.
Paul: I agree with the second half of what you just said.
Leo: Well maybe all that creative, but if you look at the Lenovo Yoga for instance.
Paul: I’ll quote you the HP laptops that look exactly like Macbooks.
Leo: Yeah well that’s another strategy. But just the variety of the Eco system means that it is going to be very difficult for Microsoft to do something that is not already been done somewhere, right?
Mary Jo: Well even with the original Surface’s when they talked about them they said we are trying to show the OEM’s a way for high end devices for premium devices. Because they felt like OEM’s weren’t competing well with Apple. They were like they do really well in the midrange and the lower end. We’re happy with what they are doing there but we’re not happy with what they are doing at the higher end. I think the Surface Pro III is another example of them showing that.
Leo: So you’re saying this HP Spector I just opened up, you’re saying this is not an original design of any kind. That is looks a lot like, oh it does like a Macbook Air, just exactly. But it has Beats Audio so that’s good.
Paul: Yeah it’s got that going for it too. But soon Apple will too.
Leo: That will be an Apple product, right. I hope they can scrape that off, let me see if there is a little razor blade.
Paul: By the way you know the kind of insane march to 16x9 screens.
Leo: Okay let’s talk 3x2 because that is very interesting.
Paul: That is a good aspect of it. That alone is differentiator in many ways. There are no 4x3 or 3x2 Windows Mini tablets at all.
Leo: The only device I know of at all is the Chromebook Pixel and that is 3x2 and I love it for that reason.
Paul: I am talking about for a Mini Tablet. Other words something like the Ipad Mini.
Leo: The Ipads are 3x2 right? or are they 4x3?
Paul: If you like at a Ipad Mini, I think they are 4x3 or something it is in there. It is absolutely not 16x9. Like a Nexus 7 has a very tall screen in portrait.
Leo: They’re weird when you turn them sideways.
Paul: Exactly. I don’t remember why we did this anymore, I mean.
Leo: For TV and movies, that’s why.
Paul: Sure, it made sense that HGTV's would go to those aspect ratio 16x9, 16x10 whatever. In the Windows World we had Media Center and Media Center was kind of optimized for 16x9 when released. I think Windows itself was optimized for 16x9 probably in Vista if I am not mistaken. I don’t know that is necessarily optimal for what people do most of the time on a computer especially given how our usage patterns have changed because of Smart Phones and Tablets. Because we use those devices for entertainment and consumption.
Leo: Nobody makes a 4x3 or 3x2 phone, right?
Paul: No because that wouldn’t make sense.
Leo: Apple used to but now 5 and 5S are 16x9.
Paul: Yeah, right. I think just given the way that PC’s, like computers are used that maybe stepping back from super wide screen displays is maybe the right move. It’s weird because I am so used to them. I was using this device on the train ride home, just regarding the screen it is a little strange.
Leo: It takes some getting used to. I remember when I first got that Chromebook Pixel.
Paul: Yeah it’s like, ah it’s weird.
Leo: But Apple has always said and I noticed Microsoft in the presentation pointed out that it is a same aspect ratio as a piece of paper. It is kind of how you naturally work. So if you are document centric as opposed to video centric it’s the right.
Paul: But you think on a PC is how most people are. By the way I am sure a movie would look fine.
Leo: It looks fine, it has bars. We are used to bars. Even 16x9 has bars on Hollywood movies because they are not 16x9 the TV shows are 16x9. Once I got used to it, that didn’t bother me. The truth of it is 90% of what you do on it. Maybe this is the real story, in my opinion the real story of this announcement is they are really going back and saying we are going to be a laptop. Aren’t they?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Paul: Well yes and no. A laptop and a tablet.
Leo: With emphasis on the laptop.
Mary Jo: They are calling it a tablet still. Like Pano said we are calling it a tablet. But everything about it is a laptop to me. I think it couldn’t have been more clear that the message was that everyone says that laptops are going to die because they weren’t good for anything except old school applications. Yet everybody is still using laptops maybe we should go back and make a laptop but not call it one.
Leo: Especially in our market, because we are pro-activity.
Paul: Well actually they quoted the Apple market they said over 96% of Ipad users also own a laptop. We are pretty sure the other 4% just didn’t answer the question.
Leo: I think in some ways the failure of the Ipad and one of the reasons the Ipad sales might be slowing is remember the Apple when they positioned the Ipad Steve Jobs came on stage and said you’ve got a laptop, you’ve got a phone, what’s in between, oh that’s this new thing. I think people have decided you know I don’t need the new thing, I’ve got a phone and I got a laptop that’s pretty good. Do they need the hybrid like this Surface?
Paul: It’s unclear. I am a big fan of the separation of church and state. When I travel I don’t mind bringing a mini tablet for a book reader or for a movie watcher, I’ll rent movies or whatever. It doesn’t weigh a ton, it doesn’t take up any space in your bag. I don’t find that to be too troublesome.
Leo: Does this Surface do that for you?
Paul: No. Don’t take that as some type of a christism. I am not exactly the normal use case either. I think one of the things that they are really pushing for with this version of the product is they are going after commercial sales and their kind of business customers. Those people have asked them for this type of device because what they have found, big businesses, enterprises, is that they are paying for devices for their employees. They’re paying for 3 devices and increasingly what they are saying is can we just pay for 2 devices. We don’t mind, we will pay but if we can give you a thing that does both that is better.
Leo: Why do you not think that Surface is adequate as a tablet for you? What is it about you?
Paul: No, no it is for me personally. I have not really used it to much as a tablet yet. But it is just the way that I use a tablet. I use a tablet for those consumption activities. Reading, renting movies on a trip, that kind of think. Casual games stuff like that. I think the screen is just too big for that kind of stuff. If I am jammed into a flight and I am in cattle car back and I have no room. I can pop open any mini tablet and watch hours of movies, do crossword puzzles, read a book and it is no problem. I suppose this will work it is just big.
Mary Jo: Then you could ask me why I don’t want it as a laptop. Because for me it doesn’t work as a laptop.
Leo: The Surface?
Mary Jo: It doesn’t work for me as a laptop because even though they made some really awesome changes to the hinge, the kickstand and you can have more positions with the cover now.
Leo: It doesn’t have lapability.
Mary Jo: It doesn’t have lapability, nope.
Leo: Do you want lapability?
Paul: You know what it is, I watched Mary Jo try this and I thought, it was kind of a side view of Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: You laughed. I believe you laughed.
Paul: Well my initial reaction was wow her legs are really short.
Leo: That’s mean.
Paul: No but they’re not.
Mary Jo: They’re not actually.
Leo: A long legged gal?
Paul: Actually she’s tall.
Leo: Mary Jo your legs are too short to box with God.
Paul: I only saw one person I pointed him out to Mary Jo actually, who could use the thing on his lap. I think it was just because this guy had unusually long upper legs.
Leo: So you have to be super tall.
Paul: Super tall in a certain way.
Leo: I see what your saying it is your thigh. You have to have long thighs.
Paul: I don’t have really long thighs even though I am over 6 feet tall. Everyone is different, Leo. People are all special in their own way.
Leo: So everyone is a special little snowflake.
Mary Jo: People were saying cross your legs and balance it on your crossed legs. I was like who uses their laptop that way?
Paul: Stand on your head.
Leo: You’re lapping it wrong. So the Surface is meant for people with long thighs.
Mary Jo: Or if you use it, you don’t have the detachable keyboard and you’re just using the on screen keyboard it works fine in your lap. But for me I want a keyboard.
Leo: But that’s a tablet.
Paul: I just want to step back for just one second. It sounds like we don’t like this. But I actually think this is something special.
Leo: You love this device.
Paul: The problem for the scenario that she is describing is that it is of course top heavy because the machinery is all in the tablet part which is on the top and so it is more of a precarious thing on your lap. I will tell you just an interesting side note for my trip home. I ride on the Amtrak all the time and one of the problems Acela Express they often have to slow down because of other trains or they are just running on track that they don’t own and it’s not well maintained. So often it will be sashaying around and your laptop is sitting there on the table and it is jiggling around. If you have a normal laptop if you think about how that works the top part of it is doing this kind of thing. When you’re looking at it, it is actually kind of annoying. Because of the way the kickstand is employed on this Surface Pro III on that train this thing was rock steady. It doesn’t move at all. So my wife was next to me and her Ultrabook is flapping around as the train moves and this thing was absolutely rock steady. I thought that is great. Again it doesn’t impact everybody I get that but that’s pretty cool. I thought that was kind of a neat thing because that’s something I’ve experienced many times.
Leo: Alright well let’s go through some of the things we like. Let’s talk a little bit about this Surface Pro III. First of all Mary Jo scooped the price points.
Mary Jo: Nope I didn’t.
Leo: You didn’t, but somebody else did then. But you rescooped it.
Mary Jo: WPCentral I think got all the price points right.
Leo: Those have still not been announced? Isn’t today the day?
Mary Jo: No we have them. We’ve got them all now.
Leo: So it starts at 799?
Mary Jo: Right that is the Core I3 with 4GB of RAM. That’s the 799. Then it goes all the way up to 1949, that’s Core I7 512GB and 8GB of RAM. The big boy. There are a few price points in between.
Paul: By the way this alone is notable because with Surface Pro II they did have various skew that were based around storage and RAM but all of them had an I5 processor. A lot of people complained to me like I don’t mind spending almost 2 grand on this thing but how could they not have an I7 offering. So this version for the first time offers all 3 versions of the core processor. I3 in the low end, I5 in the middle and then I7 at the high end.
Mary Jo: What you get for that price just to be really clear, is you get the Surface device and you get a pen. You do not get the keyboard. The keyboard is an extra 129.99.
Leo: That makes this a fairly pricey system.
Paul: Yes, you think!
Mary Jo: Although this is what Microsoft says and Leo would know this better than me. Microsoft said if you can find the comparable skews of Macbook Airs to these things they are in line with that which is their target.
Leo: Yeah I know but haven’t we been saying that Macbook Airs are pricey?
Mary Jo: Yep. Microsoft is going after the premium market.
Leo: Yes the premium market. These are almost identical to Mac prices.
Mary Jo: Right, this is a premium product, a premium price. They are not pretending it is a bargain product. They are not trying to go low. They're not competing with Chromebooks obviously. They’re going after the high end.
Leo: That’s again to avoid OEM conflicts, you think?
Mary Jo: I think so.
Paul: Yeah, I do.
Leo: Stay out of the way of the low end.
Paul: I think what they are hoping for too is big corporate buys. Where people are saving money by buying them in volume. Which is something an individual can’t do so it is possible you could get a better deal on this through a ISV or whatever.
Leo: I think it is a good deal because you can hide the actual price of these by separating out the keyboard. But is anybody going to buy this without a keyboard?
Paul: I can’t imagine anyone doing that.
Mary Jo: Will anybody buy a Xbox without a Kinect? I don’t know.
Paul: Well that’s a little different isn’t it? It’s like buying an Xbox that can’t play games. This is core to the PC experience, wouldn’t you say?
Leo: You kind of need it. You each got one right?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: What did they give you?
Paul: The I5 with 8GB and I think it has is 512 or 256.
Mary Jo: 256.
Leo: 256 they don’t have a 512.
Mary Jo: So that machine will cost 1299 plus the keyboard.
Leo: So you’re talking 1328 for that device.
Paul: By the way I wouldn’t buy this one. The odd thing about this to me is that this is not a true PC configurator type thing, right. I don’t personally for example have a need for a lot of SSD storage so I would probably go with a 128GB storage.
Leo: How much does Windows use of that?
Paul: Just out of the box?
Leo: Yeah when it gets out of the box how much of this is dedicated to the OS and everything? Other words what’s the free space?
Paul: Yeah, that’s a good question. Well on mine I have installed some stuff but I have 208 free of 232.
Paul: Well 232 is reported because some of it restore stuff.
Leo: Well you got to include that okay. So you have 208 total left.
Paul: Yeah but I have installed.
Leo: So somewhere in there 210, 212 out of a 256 drive. So that’s a lot, that should be enough.
Paul: But you know when you go to Apple’s website or Dell’s website or HP’s website or whatever for a lot of these systems you can go in and say I want, 4GB of RAM is fine, 128GB of storage is fine but maybe I do want the I7. I appreciate that they have more options here than they did before. I still think this is nice but I kind of wish you could mix and match a little more. Maybe that is something they will eventually, they are still kind of dipping their toes here with the PC’s obviously.
Leo: They talk in the specs if you go down.
Paul: Oh yeah they tell you right there, Leo.
Leo: Yeah, they say the 128 GB has a little bit more the 96GB available, the 256 has more than 211 available. That’s plenty the operating system is not that big. You do have to include the hidden restore partitions. So that’s plenty and they do directly compare it to the Mac Pro which I think is kind of interesting. The biggest differentiator is that there is no touch on Macintosh.
Paul: Well and you can’t remove the keyboard.
Mary Jo: Also better resolution screen on the Surface Pro.
Leo: I am going to be honest with you the removable keyboard for me is a strike against it. I either want a keyboard or I don’t want a keyboard. It’s flimsy. It’s either attached or it’s not. I never really bought into the detachable keyboard thing.
Paul: I honestly am mixed on that, I don’t think I care either way. The availability of color keyboards I think is kind of a neat think. I think people like that.
Leo: Yeah, the purple is beautiful, I love that.
Paul: It is a personalization type of thing.
Leo: I guess I am going to get one. I don’t really need one but would you recommend that? Is it different enough from the other guys?
Paul: Oh yeah. We just got it and I don’t want to get to crazy. I’ll use it and then we’ll see.
Leo: Oh get crazy, let’s get crazy.
Paul: This is a very nice machine. I think this is very comparable from a quality standpoint to the best PC’s there are.
Leo: The build feels good, I mean it’s solid.
Paul: Oh yeah it is beautiful.
Mary Jo: The kickstand is great.
Paul: The kickstand is amazing.
Leo: The new kickstand is has a friction hinge so any angle is okay?
Paul: Yeah and that they were able to get this thing, this thin is astonishing to me. I knew it would be thinner but I didn’t think it would be this thin.
Leo: So it is a lot thinner than the old Surface?
Paul: It’s as thin as the Surface II which is an RT based machine. It is probably ⅔ as thick as a Surface Pro II but it seems like it is half as thick.
Leo: Where’s the pen go? It doesn’t have a holder?
Paul: It doesn’t have a hole but what they give you is a little tab that you can attach to the keyboard and it goes into that. You can also magnetically stick to the side of the Surface if you just using it.
Mary Jo: The pen, by the way, is completely done over. So this pen I don’t think works with the existing Surfaces.
Paul: That’s right.
Leo: No because they dumped Wackum so this is a different company doing it now.
Mary Jo: Is this an N Trig Pen.
Leo: See the old ones were Wackym's.
Mary Jo: This has, you probably saw, a button on top that is actually linked into One Note so if you hold down the button it automatically opens One Note.
Leo: I thought that was cool and it turns on the device if it is off. It wakes it up.
Mary Jo: It does.
Paul: It works above the lock screen.
Mary Jo: I like that. Because I am always kind of like, oh One Note, so many steps to using it.
Leo: That makes this a really good notepad.
Paul: There is a controversy around the pen though because there is a certain class of digital artists who embrace the original Surface Pro because of its pen.
Leo: Because it is a Wackum.
Paul: It had a 1,024 sensitivity levels this one has 256. I am not a mathematician but I know that number is smaller. What they told me was that as it turns out most people can’t differentiate. They can’t press in 1,024 different pressure levels. So real world the difference is actually non existent perhaps. I mean I will test this I am not really an artist, I certainly don’t draw or paint with a pen. But I am curious, it will be easy enough to do side by side comparisons using the Surface Pro Pen with Pro II and using this new pen with Pro III and we can see. People will do this I am sure, people who are artists and people who really do want to use these things for Photoshop or whatever applications, will be testing this and we will find out.
Mary Jo: Lance Ulanoff on Mashable drew a portrait on the Surface Pro III and it’s amazing what he drew.
Paul: Oh he did, really okay.
Leo: Really a little artist in there huh.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Paul: Another thing they did and this is kind of a weird goofy pen design thing. From using Mini tablets pcs from 10 years ago I can tell you that most of the really nice pens back in the day, the eraser part of the pen worked like an eraser. You would actually flip it around and you would rub that on the screen and it would erase things. That’s how it worked. That’s not how this pen works. Mary Jo just said it is like a clickable button like you have on a mouse and you can use it to launch One Note and I think you can do like a double click to do something else with it too. There are two buttons on the barrell of the pen one of which is for erase and one of which is for selection. So you can use it like a mouse sort of if you want to select disjointed parts of the screen. Like maybe parts of a drawing or something. Which is interesting because we spend a lot of time in computers emulating real world things. So the first pens we had were like pens, you know the eraser was on this other side. You know flipping around a pen to erase something doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re deeply involved in a drawing being able to just toggle erase through the regular pen tip is actually a cool use of digital technology. One that is probably more efficient than the old way of doing it. But it is an interesting difference.
Mary Jo: I like the idea that you could use this as a mouse alternative. As Paul knows he sees me use my PC, I am always hooking up a mouse to the thing.
Leo: Not only do you have crazy big legs but your fingers are like. I timed that right when Paul was drinking on purpose.
Paul: No from the waist up she is normally proportioned but from the down.
Leo: How tall are you Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: I am 5’6”, Leo.
Leo: Well you’re normal.
Mary Jo: I am pretty normal.
Leo: Yeah that’s average for a women.
Mary Jo: I am not the only one who could not use this in my lap.
Paul: Almost no one could do it. I couldn’t do it.
Leo: That is so funny because they spent a lot of time talking about lapability.
Mary Jo: Yep. They did with the Surface II also and they claimed that was lapable, which it also wasn’t.
Leo: That’s the argument for a detachable keyboard because then it’s lapable.
Mary Jo: Although I’ll tell you, I think the thing to keep in mind, we say this a lot and I think we should say it again. We are not the real world customers.
Leo: No, I agree.
Mary Jo: How many people are like us who type all the time on their laps like we do? Not that many, right?
Leo: People in the chatroom do. A lot of people in the chatroom say hey we use it in our laps.
Mary Jo: Some of them do. Students, Journalists but how about business people they are using this on a desk, right?
Leo: Right they don’t care.
Mary Jo: I mean that’s how they kind of use this.
Leo: I am not going to go to a meeting and put my laptop in my lap.
Mary Jo: Right, unless you don’t have a table.
Leo: They would wonder what the hell I was doing. What’s going on under that table there?
Paul: Well I think one of the cool things is it does everything. I mean it has a pen, it has a keyboard, it has a beautiful trackpad. That’s a huge difference, by the way. You can attach a mouse. Touch the screen. It has all these different interaction possibilities so you can kind of mix and match based on the situation. But man I bet 5% of the population couldn’t put this thing on their lap. I bet it is a small number.
Mary Jo: So for me that’s a major feature. I have to have something that is. Everybody was like you’re going to dump your new Acer for this, right? Nope because the Acer has a hinge and a built in keyboard and a flat base and that is the way I use my PC a lot.
Paul: By the way to make Mary Jo’s point, what did we do yesterday morning?
Mary Jo: We sat on chairs with no tables.
Paul: Sat on chairs with no table and we had to type on our laps.
Mary Jo: I saw one or 2 people doing it on a Surface, did you?
Paul: Right one or 2.
Mary Jo: But most everyone else had laptops.
Paul: Had laptops right.
Leo: A lot of them had Mac laptops?
Mary Jo: Some of them did.
Paul: A lot of them did.
Leo: Everyone in the front row did.
Paul: In the front, they love to show off.
Leo: Yeah that’s those show off Mac people. They are so show offy.
Mary Jo: I agree with Paul that was part of a plant to, because Panos Panay who was doing the keynote he wanted to say look at all you guys with your Macbooks we’re here to tell you, you don’t need to have 2 devices. You don’t need to have a Macbook plus an iPad. So all you guys on the front row, ha ha, we’re going to show you.
Leo: But that backfired because nobody heard him say that and everybody saw the picture of all the people on the front row with their glowing Apple logo’s right?
Paul: Well to me that is just the state of technology blogging.
Leo: But that doesn’t bode well.
Paul: No it’s like I have to buy an Aeron Chair, I’ve got to get a Macbook Air, these are the things that say I am a tech blogger.
Leo: It is part of the deal?
Paul: Yeah I think so. I know it is because I go to these events. That’s what you see Macbooks.
Leo: Shouldn’t they be loyal Windows users?
Paul: No because that’s Wall Street Journal and others.
Leo: Oh they don’t care, they’re journalists, I get it. They’re not
Paul: They’re not Windows people.
Leo: Windows people. Got it.
Paul: Which makes them uniquely qualified to write about Windows.
Leo: That might be a little problem.
Paul: I wouldn’t distress their opinions in the slightest.
Leo: I just want to point out that I have in front of me a HP Envy running Windows 8.1
Mary Jo: Thank you.
Leo: I am doing Update 1 because it didn’t come with the update on there and I don’t want to run out of updates.
Mary Jo: What else do we like about?
Leo: By the way this is actually really nice.
Mary Jo: That is a nice machine.
Leo: It is thin, it’s light, a great touch screen. It is 10x8, Everybody is doing 16x9 that finally. The only bad thing is it says Beats Audio right there you can’t get rid of it. That’s like always going to be on your screen.
Paul: That’s why God invented Duct Tape.
Leo: Put a little black tape, a little black friction tape right on there.
Mary Jo: We like the keyboard because it has new.
Leo: Is it different?
Mary Jo: Yeah it has this new magnetic strip, right. So it clicks onto the base of the device so that it slopes downwards towards you now. Which is so much better ergonomically for typing.
Leo: I saw them do that little deal.
Mary Jo: Yep that is so handy.
Leo: You don’t have to do that but you can do that.
Mary Jo: My hands kill me.
Paul: It’s not hard to do.
Leo: I should probably just get one and use it. It just feels like a detachable thing and now it has a little double chin that comes up.
Paul: When he demonstrated it I thought to myself this thing is getting too complex. This is silly it wraps around from the bottom and goes up at a different angle. It is like the magic bullet that killed John F. Kennedy. Then it takes a left. Which by the way I know is fake, don’t worry.
Leo: You’re going to get the email, I am sorry I was on the grassy knoll and I saw that bullet make those turns.
Paul: But actually in real world use actually it’s fine. This works really well. By the way it doesn’t help too much with Mary Jo’s point about lapability. It makes the surface area of the whole thing a little shorter because it draws the keyboard in about an inch.
Leo: So that’s good.
Paul: That will help some people I guess.
Mary Jo: It’s got lots of balance.
Leo: It will help those of you with short thighs. You’ll be so much happier.
Mary Jo: It has less bounce, did you notice that Paul?
Paul: What’s that?
Mary Jo: I think it has less bounce. Because the current keyboards I like but it has less bounce which is sturdier.
Paul: You would think with this thing hanging in the air it would have more bounce. But actually.
Mary Jo: It doesn’t.
Paul: It might sag over time, I don’t know. It works great. It is notable by the way how good the trackpad is. Just last weekend I was using a Surface Pro II with actually the power cover in this case. But the little trackpad they shipped on all their typing covers now has been an absolute after thought and a joke. It is so bad, I don’t even know why it is there. Sometimes I think it is just a rectangle in front of the keyboard that actually doesn’t do anything. This one I don’t believe they described it as actual glass like you have on a Macbook Air or Macbook whatever. But it is glasslike certainly and it works. The way I can judge how things like this work is because on the way to New York I was using a loaner laptop to review which is an absolute piece of garbage. If I wanted to do a 2 finger scroll on a web page or a document on that computer because of the performance problems I actually kept my fingers going on the trackpad and I wait until the thing on the screen responds then I start scrolling because it is so slow.
Leo: That’s frustrating.
Paul: This thing you touch it and it is instantaneous. It’s beautiful. That’s an amazing about face for this thing because again the original was awful.
Leo: I would guess it is hard to do, You’re not going to do glass on something like a detachable keyboard like that. So I would imagine that’s hard to do a good trackpad on that.
Paul: I don’t know what it is, it feels like glass. Doesn’t it feel like glass to you?
Mary Jo: Yeah it does feel like glass.
Leo: So it is silky smooth. I mean I am playing with this Envy and I am sure it is glass. But maybe they’ve got new features, maybe they’ve got new materials that you can do that with. It kind of felt like suede before.
Mary Jo: Yeah it did.
Leo: It had a little texture to it.
Paul: Well the surface of it, you’re right it was the same material they used in the wrist rest.
Leo: You want slick.
Paul: It was awful. You know Mary Jo to I am sure, you want to touch type. Your hands are in position and what you want to is to be able to reach down with you thumb or whatever it may be.
Leo: And know that you’re on the thing.
Paul: You can’t tell you’re on it because it was the same material. That is a huge improvement. The keyboard itself is identical to the keyboard on the Type Cover II. Backlit, mechanical, its got a nice key throw and all that stuff. But it’s no bigger. It’s just that the cover itself is bigger to cover the device.
Mary Jo: We should mention for the cheap skates you can use your existing Type Cover on these devices. It won’t completely cover it but it will work.
Leo: You can use it, Wow!
Paul: Yeah because I guess they call it the Cover Port is unchanged.
Leo: Oh that’s interesting. I’m shocked.
Mary Jo: That’s good.
Paul: Yeah I was surprised by that too.
Mary Jo: It’s good because you might not want to buy it all at once. If you’re trying to cut corners.
Paul: Yeah that’s true. The Power Port is significantly different.
Leo: Oh is that different.
Paul: Yes. They’ve tried to do the magnetic thing. It’s been cute watching Microsoft try to get that one right. So Surface RT was a disaster. But even with the newer devices. I don’t remember who said this it might have been you or it might have been my wife. But someone was saying if you connected the power in the dark you couldn’t tell sometimes.
Mary Jo: Yep you never know if it is connected.
Leo: Really there is no way to tell?
Paul: Well the way it used to be you could of connect it at a 45 degree angle so it wasn’t fully clicked in even though it made a click sound. Because of course it is metal on metal. So you kind of hear that click and you think oh I made the connection and you walk away. But then you come back the next morning or whatever, you want to take it to work or whatever you are doing and it has never charged because it’s not really connected. So this time around, I can actually probably show it to you. I don’t know if you can see that, but there is a piece that actually goes in. So it is still magnetic but the magnet pulls that part into the device now. So from the outside if you were looking at it just from the outside it looks exactly the way it did before. With the rounded tip and it lights up on the top and everything. Well I have only had it a little while and I actually did make it connect sideways by the way. So it is possible to do it wrong, that’s funny. Because the whole thing is magnetic. God help you if you have a pacemaker or something. Every surface of this thing is a magnet. But it pulls that tip in and it helps secure it better. So I think we are looking at kind of a Gen 3 or 4 depending on how you want to measure it, of their power port connector technology. But it is definitely getting better.
Mary Jo: But we should mention you can’t use the new connector on the old Surfaces and you can’t use the old connector on the new Surface.
Paul: Right they are incompatible. So that’s too bad for people who bought accessories! Maybe you had Pro and you wanted additional power supply so you could take one when you travel and leave one plugged in at home. However you may have done it. That stuff is not compatible anymore. And obviously because of the size of the device certain accessories like the Dock are not compatible. There is a new Dock that’s bigger. I don’t mean this in a jerky way, I don’t know that there are too many Surface users so I don’t know that we are burning too many people here.
Leo: You can start from scratch. This is kind of surprising me, I don’t watch American Idol and the Voice live because I want to skip through to the performances. I was really surprised, even as recently as last week, even just a few days before this they were still pushing the Surface II.
Paul: Oh really, in ads?
Leo: In ads. So what happens to people who bought one like Sunday?
Mary Jo: You do have a 30 day window to return them.
Leo: You do, okay.
Mary Jo: But we should also note, I asked Panos Panay about this and he said you know we are going to sell out the Surface Pro II stock that we have and then that’s it.
Leo: So there is still a market for it?
Paul: No but it’s possible if you were in the market for such a device and you still want that.
Leo: Is it much cheaper, why would you get the Surface II?
Paul: I don’t think it is yet but it may pay to wait. Because remember they did this the last time.
Leo: Oh they will drop the price.
Paul: Right they’ll drop the price.
Mary Jo: Some people want the smaller screen. Some people actually prefer that.
Paul: Those weirdos.
Mary Jo: For those people they should just wait.
Leo: Tell me about the screen. I mean both of you use Surface II’s does it feel a lot bigger?
Paul: Yeah, oh yeah.
Mary Jo: Oh yeah it feels way bigger. They shrunk the bezel though. The Bezel is smaller.
Paul: You know what though, it’s so weird how screen size is like well it’s only an inch bigger. It’s really about an inch and half. It is an inch and half diagonally right.
Leo: An inch and half diagonally is even less than an inch in width or height.
Mary Jo: I just look at, I was using Tweetium on my 13 inch PC and then I tried it on the Surface Pro III and it felt like I had a lot of screen real estate even though one was 12 and one was 13.
Leo: It makes a big difference.
Paul: So this is not a Pro but they’re identically sized, this is an RT device. So let me put them side by side.
Leo: Oh yeah there is a big difference. I mean that’s noticeable.
Paul: It’s a big difference. The other thing to note is that, I think Mary Jo said this, the Bezel is smaller on the bigger device. So the screen size difference is actually even more pronounced, right, rather than just the device size difference. If that makes sense.
Mary Jo: They even said, I forget where I saw this. They said with the 3x2 screen ratio that is feels more like a 13 inch device in terms of the screen real estate that you can see plus coupled with that smaller bezel it definitely feels big.
Leo: You have a phantom inch, it is like a phantom limb you think you have the extra.
Mary Jo: A phantom thigh for supporting the Surface.
Leo: A phantom thigh.
Paul: Why are there 3 wings and 2 thighs?
Leo: It’s a chicken thing. Anything else to say about the Surface Pro III? Which one did you think I should get, Paul? You said you didn’t think I5.
Paul: Oh no I was talking about me. For me I would like something mix and matched.
Leo: I don’t think a I7 is notably faster than an I5. I really don’t, it’s just hyper threaded.
Paul: I don’t know. Right. I just think of it as a future proofing kind of thing.
Mary Jo: Me too. That is why I got an I7 with my Acer.
Paul But I also wonder for this machine of course whether that will impact battery life. I don’t know if it does. Well your machine gets really good battery life. What would you say?
Mary Jo: So the stated battery life for the Pro III is up to 9 hours. I asked does it make a difference if you have an I3, I5 or the I7? They said very minimal difference based on which of those chips you have.
Leo: Really how you use it makes the big difference.
Mary Jo: Connected standby works. Yay.
Paul: With the cover, yeah.
Mary Jo: Oh and you can snap 3 apps, that’s another cool thing. You can have 3 exactly same sized Windows snaps side by, side by side on this which is very cool. I like that one.
Paul: I think on the negative side they haven’t really changed the port allotment. It only has one USB port and it’s funny just like everything else. When you review a product and you kind of say this thing is a pro, this is a pro, this is a con. People will disagree with every one of those statements. I often point out, one of the things I always pointed out about Surface Pro before this is Pro devices the screen would be bigger. Pro devices would have more than one USB port that doesn’t make any sense. There are always people for some reason who defend this design revision, it doesn’t make any sense. This bigger device still only has one USB port. Again minimal usage so far but on the way home, I’ve got a mouse plugged into it because I do graphics work and I want to use a mouse. I want to acquire pictures from my camera and I can’t do those 2 things at the same time and that’s irritating. I didn’t know I was getting this, but I could have packed a port extender, like a USB port extender. You know that’s another thing to carry around. Why couldn’t it just have a hole in the side of it. I don’t understand why it doesn’t have another USB port. Like 2 USB ports is so common.
Mary Jo: I have one of those Diamond Micro connectors that let you connect ethernet and it gives me like 4 more USB ports that I use.
Paul: Which by the way you need because when you travel like you do for work and you want ethernet. With a Surface Pro by the way there is an optional ethernet adapter and it’s USB. So if you use that, you have just used up your one USB port. I am sorry that’s garbage.
Leo: Which one, Mary Jo, tell us what you use, because that sounds like something people should get.
Mary Jo: I think it is called Diamond Micro, I think that is right. Let me look it up.
Leo: Yeah that sounds good to me.
Mary Jo: It’s got an ethernet port and I think it has 4 USB ports. It’s really great. It’s like 39 bucks or something.
Leo: Yeah I see it on Amazon here. Is this it?
Mary Jo: Yes. I’ve been using that a ton, it works great.
Leo: Actually does this one have ethernet? Oh yeah there it is, there’s the ethernet. And there is USB 3 if you have have USB 3 on the other end. It’s unpowered, it’s not a powered hub.
Paul: Yeah but you know again it’s a mouse, a phone.
Leo: Yeah this is a good solution.
Paul: And the mouse is, by mouse I mean a wired mouse. That’s another thing if Microsoft is going to sell these devices with one USB port then how about making all your mice available in the bluetooth format? So I don’t need a nubin, the device has bluetooth. That’s not really the way they do things is it?
Leo: I don’t want to be the fly in the ointment here, whatever happened to Surface RT is that dead?
Mary Jo: It still exists and they still sell them.
Paul: Yeah but it is still Generation 2, right.
Leo: Why would they announce this without announcing a Surface RT.
Paul: Because they were going to do Surface Mini. I believe that Surface Mini would have replaced that.
Leo: Oh the Mini.
Paul: That RT would have been relegated to that part of the market.
Leo: So what do you think eventually?
Mary Jo: I think we’re going to see more Surface RT/ARM base devices in the future and maybe not just the Mini because Panos was very adamant when I talked to him and saying it is not the end of the line for ARM for us by the way on the Surface team. We’re making all kinds of test devices out there all sizes all form factors using all chips and we’re going to just decide which ones we think are the best.
Leo: So it’s not like Satea came in one day and said you know I was in the shower and I decided no more RT. What is this RT, we don’t want it. The Mini, kill it.
Mary Jo: We don’t know.
Paul: I am going to wash this right out of my hair.
Leo: Yeah because that could happen, strategically.
Paul: One might argue it should happen.
Leo: I could make an argument.
Mary Jo: Bloomberg story said Elop and Satea Nadela got together and they said guys we’re not doing this. The question is when.
Paul: I think they were walking on top of that mountain again.
Mary Jo: Oh yeah in that picture where they are walking side by side.
Paul: I bet that’s how they make all their decisions.
Leo: It was Elop’s decision some people said.
Paul: Well he’s in charge of the devices.
Leo: Right, he’s the guy.
Paul: We were doing a little bit of Microsoft executive Bingo before the show started because it was kind of, I described it as the line up of the Batman villains all in a row. It was like Mark Penn, Usef Meddy, Stephen Elop, Satea Nadela, who else was there?
Mary Jo: Yeah, who else was there?
Paul: Oh the guy from Adobe who we didn’t know.
Mary Jo: Right, Mark Broth was that his name?
Paul: I don’t remember. By the way, Leo, you’ll appreciate as a long time Mac guy the hilarity of Adobe showing up to the party like 5 years too late. Like hey even though this would have been really easy to add at any given time in our history we’ve decided finally we’re going to support High DPI displays and allow you to scale the icons in our applications. Thanks Adobe, thank you. You guys are the best.
Leo: Well it took them a while to figure out how to do it.
Paul: What do you mean how to do it?
Leo: It’s a programing challenge.
Mary Jo: It was dependent on the digitizer wasn’t it or not?
Leo: You know what’s interesting, I don’t know why but this HP Envy comes with Lightroom.
Paul: How big are the Icons are they like little tiny specks?
Leo: No actually. Maybe this is Adobe saying see we can do it. LTE not on these?
Paul: Not that I ever saw.
Mary Jo: No but they didn’t rule it out. We asked and they said none of the models we announced today have LTE, that’s all they said.
Paul: I mean they do have an LTE Surface Pro II. So it’s conceivable. Actually Leo maybe this is something you may know. I had this conversation possibly in Mary Jo’s presence. But I wondered why companies don’t just add and LTE port or chip sets.
Leo: Chip sets is it.
Paul: How much possibly could that add to the cost of the device? You know.
Leo: Well depends on how much the margins are.
Paul: 18 dollars, 8 dollars.
Leo: One of the reasons you do it almost for free on ARM systems is because Qualcomm has a system on a chip with LTE built in. So it comes on the SOC. I think you do have to have a new chip set and that’s not just the cost, it’s the design.
Paul: But Microsoft has been developing this motherboard themselves. I mean it has this innovative new fan that’s like the flattest fan ever created. It is the thinnest core device ever made. You can get it with an I7 chip, with a 8GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage and you can’t get a LTE card in this thing. I mean it just seems like if you’re pushing a high end device like this it should just be there. By the way if only 2% of you users out there actually enable it you’ve still stop people from bitching about it online. Which I think in this day and age would be a huge win.
Leo: I would guess that Microsoft is not insensitive to the desire for it.
Paul: I disagree, Leo.
Leo: I would guess it is an engineering consideration. Especially something this thin. You have to add a whole separate system, you know a chip subsystem to this because there is no Intel chip with it. There is no SOC with LTE on the Intel side, it is only on the ARM side.
Paul: Interesting, well there should be.
Leo: That might be an Intel failing, right?
Paul: Somewhere, someone at Microsoft is saying see that’s why we went with ARM.
Leo: And why they should not kill the Surface Mini. Maybe there is a Surface III RT that’s just not Mini?
Mary Jo: Right, there could be.
Leo: Maybe a 12 inch? Maybe, you know?
Paul: So they come out with that device in September let’s say and it is exactly like the II except it’s a III. It has Integra or whatever the next version set number is or maybe a Qualcomm chip set. At what point does this differentiate in any meaningful way? At what point is there a human being on this earth who says I was going to buy the II but this thing actually puts it over the top. It just doesn’t sound interesting.
Leo: Well you do have that problem there. This Surface Pro III moves into the big boy Intel chips but you don’t have that going on with ARM. You can’t say now I have a big boy chip.
Mary Jo: It could be the fact that the device is more locked down and maybe at some point you don’t have a desktop. That makes it more interesting.
Paul: That’s something that you may wait for that next Windows.
Leo: Well you’re waiting on Gemini for sure.
Mary Jo: Also probably Windows 9, right?
Leo: Really? They will wait that long?
Paul: So maybe this next spring.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it’s not that far away. You don’t want to roll device after device after device because people are like wow wait I just bought one.
Leo: It would be like doing the 3 Surfaces in 18 months. It would be nuts, crazy talk. How many months has Surface been around? 2 years, a year and half?
Paul: Well the original Surface was October 2012 so it is a year and halfish. Actually by the way I do think it is notable that the Surface Pro line has been revved very quickly. I mean they did announce it before they actually shipped it. But the first one came out January or February of 2013. The second one October 2013 and the 3rd one came out in May or June is when it is going to ship. That’s roughly 7, 8, 9 months in there, it’s not a year. That’s actually really aggressive.
Leo: You’re saying that’s a good thing?
Paul: I am just saying it’s notable. I think from the first version to the second version they had to do it because the chip set they had in V1 was terrible. The chip set they have in V3 is the same one they have in V2 by the way. That’s the Quicken chip set, we haven’t even revved the Intel chip set. I just think it’s interesting. They talk about delivering things very quickly and I would say with Surface honestly it’s been very quick.
Mary Jo: The other device that we haven’t mentioned that you have to figure in. Remember there’s the Lumia 2520 which is ARM based. So now Microsoft owns that part of Nokia that makes that. So you could say maybe they had some things in the pipeline that were differently sized tablets not mini’s but something bigger that might come out in some relatively soon time frame. But it will be looking more like that device maybe?
Paul: I wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen Elop made the argument that they already have the 1520 and in many ways that is a better mini tablet than a lot of the mini tablets that are on the market.
Leo: Anything else to say before I take a break? Any final words before I march you down the green mile?
Paul: I want to say, I’ve speculated a lot over what this device could be. In doing so I sort of had to temper my expectations because there were certain assumptions I was operating under as to what Microsoft would or could do. I’m surprised because one of the things I wrote just the other day was I would like to think they could get away from 16x9 but we have to be realistic they’re not going to do that. So let’s stop pretending we are going to get a 4x3 screen and try to temper our expectations a little bit. But this device is surprising and it’s surprising in mostly really good ways. Again I just got it and I don’t want to get too crazy yet but I am actually surprised by how good it is. So far.
Leo: Everybody seems to really like it. The reviews have been very positive.
Alright we’re going to take a break and when we come back more with Paul and Mary Jo and we’ll talk more about Microsoft. There is a lot more to say. You’re watching Windows Weekly on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. Unless you’re in Hawaii then it’s a beautiful Wednesday morning. Our show brought to you by ShareFile. It comes up very frequently in business I would say almost more often than not that you’ve got to send a file. We do it all the time – contracts, spread sheets, presentations. You do it via email. Something should bug you about that. It’s the wrong thing to do. First of all email is a really big – for viruses from malware and particularly in business. It’s a target for spear fishing. In fact if I were the IT guy at your work I would not allow email attachments in bound at all. I bet you there a few that don’t. There’s also the issue of security, it’s not HIPPA compliant, it’s not compliant with SCC regulations if you’re in the financial industry because it’s not private. So let me just tell you about Citrix ShareFile. It’s really a great way to send attachments. First of all you don’t have any limits on the size. I think it’s 4 gigabytes or something like that so you can send files of almost size without bounce backs. You never lose control, you decide who has access to your files, you’ll decide how long, you get notifications when they open it, you can password protect them if you want additional security. It’s HIPPA compliant and SCC compliant and it’s really affordable and really easy to use. I use Share File all the time. I want you to visit sharefile.com and take a look around. See if you like what you see and if you do start your free trial – 30 days free. Don’t click the link in the middle, click the one at the top of the page that says podcast listeners click here and use the offer code windows. This is the way to share files securely and quickly, people who receive the files do not have to have a Share File account. They don’t even see Share File; they see your company’s logo and a nice big download button. I use it to share audio files with the radio stations. Not the most technical group in the world and it works great. Sharefile.com, click the microphone and please use the offer code WINDOWS. I think you’re going to like it – from Citrix. Leo LaPorte, Paul Thurotte, and on Skype 3 Marcus Russinovich; I’m excited the new book just came out. Hi Mark.
Mark Russinovich: Hi Leo, how’s it going?
Leo: It’s going great. I’m going to let Mary Jo take the lead on this because I don’t know what you’re doing here but I just want to say…
Paul: Yes explain yourself, Leo.
Leo: I just want to say I’m very excited about the new book. We were taking about it yesterday and I think Steve Gibson has already read an advanced copy of it and loves it.
Mark: I’d be glad to send you a copy if you want.
Leo: I prefer to buy all my books on audible.com and I see it’s already on Audible.
Leo: I love your stuff because it’s so technically right on. Of course it is. Mark is the founder of Sysinternals which was purchased by Microsoft. That's the other thing is I'm always telling people get auto runs, get the process Explorer. On the radio show people call all the time and say what is this thing every time I start up… Just get auto run. The new one is Rogue Code. Scary name, don't be put off by it. It came out the same day as the Surface 3. Paul is there a reason you brought Mark on is it to talk about…
Paul: There is a reason it is because his new book is out Leo.
Leo: That’s what I thought.
Paul: His new book is awesome.
Leo: So you've read it too!
Paul: This is the third book in the series not counting short stories right. There is Zero Day and Trojan Horse and I think when you think about techno-thrillers in this day and age kind of like post Creighton I think about Mark and I think about… But I think the thing that's separates Mark’s books from Daniel Suarez’s was that they are so incredibly plausible and based on real-world events and occurrences. This new one is interesting to me because I don't know anything about this topic at all in the previous books it involved a lot around Chinese hacking and Iran and all that kind of stuff.
Leo: This one is really ripped from the headlines because it's about high frequency traders.
Mark: I’d say that was a complete coincidence too.
Leo: I’d just read Flash Boys so my next book is going to be Rogue Code. Flash boys is about very real high-speed traders on Wall Street so I gather again and it's I haven't read it so no spoilers here; I'm just gathering from what I have seen that the Rogue Code is something that gets into the high-frequency trading computers.
Mark: It actually gets into the stock exchange.
Leo: The exchange itself?
Paul: I hate to know the answer to this in a way because in reading this I'm thinking of myself and I know Mark well enough to know that this is plausible. This is based on information that he has.
Leo: It’s like you knew that the NSA was spying on us and he wrote about it last time and then it came out.
Paul: I just don't want to go through another 2008 that's all I’m saying.
Mark: Jeff Akin saved the day so we don't have to worry.
Leo: Who is going to play Jeff Akin in the movie?
Mark: That’s a good question I don't know.
Leo: They must have approached you?
Mark: I've sold the options for this.
Leo: There's many a slip - the option in the film.
Mark: That is correct. I was told by my book agent that if I thought publishing was not enough that movie business is worse.
Leo: Sometimes they buy the book so that nobody else will make it.
Paul: And if you're really lucky you'll be sitting in a movie theater one day and you'll see a preview for movie that looks shockingly similar to something you may have written and you actually have no credit whatsoever. Hopefully you want to go through that. But that kind of thing happens too.
Leo: You still work at Microsoft don't you? That's your day job.
Mark: Yes in fact I met with Mary Jo last week and talked about it.
Mary Jo: I I heard you kind of gave me some shout outs in your keynotes as well that I missed, you and Mark Manassin. I don't know if they were good shout outs or bad shout outs. So I got to interview Mark because last week at Tech Ed there were tons of Azure announcements like tons and tons of them. I think your title is still distinguish as engineer with Azure right?
Mark: Technical fellow actually.
Mary Jo: Technical fellow I mean.
Mark: Jeffery Snover is a distinguished technical engineer.
Leo: Technical fellow out ranks distinguished engineer right?
Mark: That's right they do.
Paul: It’s like to kids in a sandbox throwing toys at each other. Jeffery Snover and Mark…
Mary Jo: But Mark's not wearing a tie that's how you can sell them apart.
Leo: So you work all day Mark, you do the corporate rounds, do you code still at all?
Mark: I do on Sysinternals.
Leo: And then you come home and you write a book?
Mark: Yes. I right at home in the morning and in the night and on weekends. Weekends are the big one.
Leo: I hate overachievers so much. I think you ought to slow down this is not nice making the rest of us look bad.
Mark: This is my hobby. People ask me when I find the time but I don't watch sports on TV and I don't play golf and this is the stuff that I do.
Leo: Do you have a family?
Mark: Yes I have a family but they give me space to do this kind of stuff.
Leo: Well they probably feel like it's a good thing. You go in your little room and you type in you, a nicer person.
Leo: How did you get to write the first one? This is kind of a leap to become a novelist.
Mark: Like many people in our field I grew up reading science fiction and techno-thrillers Michael Creighton and Dramatist Dream. I remember seventh-grade reading that book over the summer and I felt like I learned something, like it was technically accurate. Meld the thrilling story with plausibility like that.
Leo: That’s what was great about it. It turns out that the stock exchange is no longer a bunch of guys in green coats in New York City yelling sell buy, it’s all done in New Jersey.
Paul: That’s something that suppressants me because I don't want to know about all that stuff. I get e-mails from fidelity and I think everything's fine and then I read… Seems like the first 10 pages of the book you have this history how the stock exchange has been basically computerize so they can make these trades at- using microwave transmissions that are basically 95% the speed of light or whatever and I'm like this is so depressing that it's like this because again it's so plausible.
Leo: That’s exactly how Michael Lewis's book Flash Boy start was the building of the shortest possible fiber link between Chicago and somewhere in New Jersey.
Mark: They’re right across the river from New York City. The major-league data centers.
Leo: They’ve got Notley, Palway, they've got… And there's no humans involved in all its in their data center. What happened to those guys with the green coats are they just on the bench in Central Park?
Mark: There’s still a few of them and you see them on TV but it's just for show.
Leo: And they ring the bell and shout sell, sell.
Paul: While that bell is still ringing in the air millions of transactions have already occurred.
Leo: Well that's the point within the first ring of the bell…
Paul: You can still hear it in the back of your head.
Leo: Mahwah New Jersey. The beautiful Mahwah New Jersey.
Paul: I look at your other two books and I think okay these are topics that are part of our industry they are out there it makes plenty of sense and it's like high-frequency trading and I'm like how did you even find out about this or how did this even come up. Do you know things about computer security?
Leo: These are all coded messages from Mark about what's really going on; you know that right?
Mark: So I came up with the book idea sketch about two years ago and if you look at the first one it was focused on cyber terrorism the second one was state sponsored cyber espionage the only big topic in cyber security left was financially motivated cybercrime. There were aspects to cyber security and network security that I hadn't touched on in the first two books - one how do very restricted very mature environments secure themselves and so that led me into a convergence of financially motivated cybercrime and something like the stock exchange so malware gets into the stock exchange and I was thinking if malware gets into the stock exchange what could it do to make money for somebody. It was basically queue jumping and backing out of orders so if the malware could sit there and watch orders coming in and position its trades ahead of anybody else waiting in line then it could skim off the top. What had connectedness with high-frequency trading was I saw like everybody else did the crash in 2010 which was an astounding thing the market losing 10% of value in a few minutes and nobody understanding even months later what happens and it was all driven by computerize training. Algorithmic trading, computerize training, high-frequency trading and that's what got me into - taking orders and moving them to the front of the line is kind of what high-frequency trading is about. There is some confusion actually out there and Michael Lewis kind of touches on one aspect of high-frequency trading which is simply the latency in getting ahead of somebody. Another aspect which he only touches on is special order types that the exchanges have made for high-frequency trading. Firms that let them back out of trades so that they don't get hit by something and also get to the front of the line ahead of people using a trade order not even latency. Actually that's one of the more egregious problems - these undocumented interfaces that allow them to do that.
Leo: You probably went to school with some guys who ended up on Wall Street.
Mark: Yes actually there was a guy from Azure.
Leo: An Azure guy went to Wall Street?
Mark: Yes an Azure guy went to Wall Street to work on…
Leo: Well there's lots of money there and yet at the same time you're not really creating anything of value.
Paul: By using means the bank not Azure.
Leo: I mean the guy who leaves. Of course as your is of huge value of the guy who leaves and says I'm just going to take my brilliance- and these guys are brilliant programmers and I'm going to apply it to making little pennies on transactions on Wall Street.
Paul: Yes lots of little pennies.
Mary Jo: I’m curious how much of your experience in data centers running Azure kind of forms the book? Does that give you any fodder for this thing? It must.
Mark: It does in terms of like I said a mature highly secure environment because if you look Azure it's like what the stock exchange would want. So I didn't talk to anybody at the stock exchange about their security systems or network security architecture so I extrapolated from what I know of best practices and what we do in Azure. What I've been participating in in the driving of Azure - the keys to the kingdom are sitting inside of this production, what are the ways into the system have been stopped bad things from happening in the system and then potential holes.
Leo: You must have some thoughts though - what are they running, Hadoop?
Mark: Well I think the engines themselves are running on Linux, pretty stripped down basic systems.
Leo: Right, they don't have Libreoffice on them. Are these Ascent OS?
Mark: I don’t know what the stock exchange is…
Leo: Well they are not saying obviously. That would be giving away something important. I can't wait to read Rogue Code. It came out yesterday. Steve Gibson who has already read it says it's fabulous. Paul, have you read it?
Leo: You love it?
Mary Jo: I haven't yet but I have it.
Mark: I think it's the best of the three. The reviewer's - I have a group of friends and colleagues that have been with me through the second and third one, the first one I wrote before I came to Microsoft, but the second and third one and they've also read Zero Day - they all unanimously claim that this is the best so far.
Paul: The plausibility is obviously what sells but it is also what depresses me. I'm waiting for this future where corporations have so much money they have their own private armies and their basically making their own deals with actual countries and you can just kind of picture how this all goes south and it's freaking me out. This is like how it starts, we just let… High-frequency trading is crazy.
Mark: We’ve seen many movies like that.
Leo: I really look forward to the movie because it would be the first movie where they got the tech really right.
Mark: And I think actually the three of them this would be the best.
Leo: Nobody wants to think about cyber terrorism, that's depressing and a little too close to home the government spying on their people. So I think financial markets that's good. I think it's perfect. Rogue Code - a Jeff Aitkin novel. So really who do you want to play Jeff Aitkin?
Mark: Bradley Cooper I think would be good.
Leo: Yes he's smart, good-looking, not a macho guy exactly but…
Mark: He can bring it on when he wants to.
Leo: Thanks Mark. Great to have you Mark Russinovich, go back to work on Azure.
Mark: Thanks for having me on the show.
Leo: It’s great stuff Microsoft Sysinternals are a must-have for anybody using Windows. We've said that for a long time. We are going to continue on. Paul Thurotte and Mary Jo Foley… I buried the lead, we had Mark Russinovich in the wings. I should have mentioned that. Sorry, I'll put it in the Tease. Meanwhile a little word from our friends at Shutterstock… If you do a blog or publication or you're in the business where you could use graphic designs Shutterstock is a great resource for you with over 35 million high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips. I always like to go to Shutterstock when I do the ads and see what the latest count is. By the way just looking at this site is great they have an iPod and an android app that’s just beautiful inspiration. I just love it. 37,263,465 royalty-free stock images. They added more than a quarter of a million last week. Most of their images are by professional photographers and artists they review each of them of course individually for contents quality. With 20,000 new images every day more than that really it's important that they have a great search engine and they do. Let's search for spy and see if we can find a picture of a spy. This is good I like that. So there illustrations and photos you can buy image packs or you can buy a subscription - that's what we have the basic description, standard subscription is 25 images a day but you can sign up for free and when you sign up for free you get to browse around and save images that you find in your light box you can share them with colleagues keep them around for inspiration you have videos too. Don't forget to check the footage tab to see different videos. We use a lot of the video because it's got alpha channel. We use it with our green screens to do really cool effects and so forth. Shutterstock.com, it's a great solution - multilingual customer service, more than a dozen countries, full time customer support throughout the week. Try it right now no credit card needed to start an account and just browse around and save images in light box. We invite you to use the offer code Windows 514 and you will get 20% off any package and that's a real deal so do sign up. Shutterstock.com and use the offer code Windows 514 you buy for 20% off. We thank them for their support of Windows weekly. Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurotte and Mr. Skype in the middle there, we'll get rid of that. Talking about Windows - that was nice again Mark on. I'm glad you did. We should just get him on sometimes talk about Azure.
Paul: I agree.
Mary Jo: I know.
Paul: He could talk about some of his old exploits. When I became part of Windows back in the old days part of the appeal of it was that guys like Mark wrote that publication and Mark Russinovich was a guy who had discovered that the difference between Windows workstation and server aside from being a cost of several thousand dollars was one registry entry.
Leo: This was before he worked for Microsoft?
Paul: Yes like a decade before. He has amazing stories. He tried to help out the Linux guy with the Linux kernel one point and was completely rebuffed because he was a Windows guy.
Leo: What! Oh that sucks.
Paul: Only to discover in the ensuing months that they actually implemented every single one of the changes he recommended but they had to blast him publicly.
Leo: They didn't want to give him credit. That's terrible.
Leo: And actually I think that is not normal in the open source community because so many big companies now contribute back to open source projects.
Paul: This was several years ago.
Leo: I think nowadays the way they'll slam them is if they don't contribute back.
Paul: Yes those relationships have all changed.
Leo: Yes very much so. Those were the days when Microsoft was suing people for using Linux. It was a different time.
Paul: We’ve matured way past that now we're just… It’s completely different.
Mary Jo: They run Linux VM on Azure.
Paul: They’re open sourcing .net according to some people.
Leo: Yes, that's interesting. There's still no word about Miguel and Samara becoming part of the Microsoft family.
Mary Jo: I feel like that's becoming less and less likely.
Leo: One of the things they showed off that I thought was really maybe the best m.o of the day yesterday was using final draft for script writing, which is I think a good thing to show its a real productivity tool but then who was it was it Panos who was demonstrating how his brother…
Paul: I think it was somebody from Adobe wasn't it?
Leo: No, it was somebody whose brother was a screenwriter.
Paul: That was Panos.
Leo: So he’s got the script and he hand writes notes but then there's also recognition - is that one note the recognition?
Paul: No, that's built into Windows.
Leo: That’s part of the whole thing.
Paul: That’s one of the things by the way about Windows platform that I don't think people understand generally which is that a decade or more ago Microsoft created for Windows this concept of digital inking and they used to use the term that you could use have writing as a first class citizen from a data standpoint. What that meant was if you had a hard drive that had photos and text documents in Word documents and if you have these handwritten notes to do research of the system and you could search for the word Paris and you would get search results from the hand writing because it's not - it just uses it like any other kind of data it doesn't have to transfer to text first. It's like a first-class data citizen. All of those devices didn't sell very well but Microsoft has been honing this technology over the years they've integrated it into Windows obviously I doubt that tablets are kind of the big deal again. I don't know if you notice but there's some hope that Microsoft would achieve some sort of an edge because they have this. I think that's the type of thing. You almost have to remind people that we have this capability. It's incredible. I think people are not familiar with it and then it's like wow that's amazing and it's like we've had this for 10 years.
Leo: They have voice-recognition too right? Unless you use it, you just don't know it’s in there. You have an entry here on the digital inking strategy.
Mary Jo: That was interesting because this was a video that was leaked over the weekend from Microsoft research and Paul sent me the link to it on Friday or Saturday and said look at this thing, and of course right after we both looked at it they pulled it. It was a really interesting presentation because they were talking about how with there being one Microsoft now that finally instead of having all these different digital inking platforms for Windows office and perceptive pixel and surface they're going to have one and the teams are actually working together, imagine that – on one digital inking strategy. The video was interesting because it mentioned threshold, it mentioned Gemini and I think it was meant to be like Microsoft research talking to people inside the company about what the plan was and somehow it got put up on the research site.
Leo: It is down now by the way.
Paul: People took exception to the term leak.
Leo: Did somebody mirror it?
Mary Jo: I think somebody mirrored it. Paul also noticed that there were early screen of Gemini, which are the touch first Windows apps that are similar to the office on the iPad sort of apps. It was a very surprising thing to get out in the wild but it was out there.
Paul: I think this was good news for everybody because people want to believe that this office touch thing for Windows will be better than the office for the iPad which of course it will be but you see some early examples plus some examples of why that may be the case that the Windows version will be more sophisticated. Of course inking is obviously a big part of that.
Leo: It almost sounds like an ad for getting a Microsoft tattoo. One Microsoft a great inking experience is not a feature. Fast fluid inking in Windows robust applications in Office.
Paul: Does it say fast and fluid?
Leo: It says fast and fluid.
Paul: That tells you when they made it.
Leo: Why, because they don’t use that anymore?
Paul: Well I don’t know, maybe not.
Leo: It’s likable, lick the ink.
Mary Jo: I think its awesome news because it means that when they do have this unified digital inking platform you’ll have common gestures probably? You’ll have a common UI for this thing, then if you have perceptive pixel you’ll maybe be able to use the same pen that you use on the surface and do some annotations on your giant screen.
Leo: 1 pen to rule them all. I like that. That’s the kind of thing Microsoft of old might never have done because of warring factions within. But it could really benefit the company to do that because if they are everywhere and if I could use just one pen and I could use it everywhere that would be awesome.
Paul: It’s too bad they don’t have a mini tablet, they could use a pen.
Mary Jo: Maybe one day we will see that.
Leo: China bans Windows 8.
Paul: No. This is awesome, I just like this whole headline. I also enjoy the fact that China has provided 3 possible reasons for why they did that.
Leo: One of them was it wasn’t being up long enough?
Paul: I swear it was because XP isn’t being updated anymore, which makes no logical sense.
Leo: No, we’re not going to use Windows 8 because XP is not being updated. I think it has to do with the NSA more than anything else I would guess.
Paul: I think that’s part of it actually. There was another big news story involving the United States accusing several Chinese generals or whatever they are – governmental employees of some kind – of spying on the United States which happened this same day that this was announced so I don’t think that’s coincidental.
Leo: China thinks that Microsoft is running the United States. I think that’s the real thing.
Mary Jo: Aren’t they? Wait they aren’t.
Leo: They’re not in charge here?
Paul: No I think that when you look at the 400 plus million people that are running XP I bet a huge chunk of those people are in China where XP has been widely pirated, easily pirated and distributed like Chiclets around the country. I honestly thing that that’s part of it too.
Leo: Microsoft’s not exactly going aww that’s terrible.
Paul: Right and China is developing their own operating system too if I’m not mistaken.
Leo: They have a Red Linux. They’ve had that for years.
Paul: So that might be part of it. The other thing to point out too is that when you hear that China bans Windows 8, China is banning Windows 8 on new computers sales to the government only. The government is the biggest purchaser of computers in the country but it’s only government computers so it’s not…
Leo: They got their 1 legal copy so they’re just going to make as many copies as they want.
Paul: They have like a tech net key that can be used.
Leo: From Net One.
Paul: That’s probably why it’s like Microsoft cancelled their tech net subscription in China. They’re using a tech net personal subscription for the entire country.
Leo: I’m guessing this Microsoft SAP Tighten their ties article comes from Mary Jo Foley.
Paul: By the way before you get to this I do want to add an xbox story in here after…
Leo: Ok, good. That’s your reward Mary Jo, that’s your punishment for SAP.
Paul: So make it count.
Mary Jo: The SAP thing actually we should have brought this up with Mark because this was a pretty interesting announcement this week. So everybody probably knows SAP is hitting some hard times themselves and they’ve had layoffs and they’re redoing their Cloud strategy but right on the heels of all this bad news they announce that they’re working with Microsoft to get a lot of their core business apps and also their Hannah developer platform certified on Windows Azure. So a lot of these things were already certified on Amazon Web Services and now they’re also going to be certified on Azure. What that means is if you’re an SAP customer you could go and take your license and an image from the image gallery that Microsoft has for Azure and you can actually put that right up to the VM and start using it that way. It’s not free obviously, you have to pay but it’s really good for people who want to dabble in the Cloud, get their ERP and other business apps in the Cloud in case you’re not using Microsoft apps. So it was a very interestingly timed and good announcement for people who have SAP. I bet Mark would have had a lot to say about it, sorry I forgot to mention that.
Leo: You had enterprise ally right there.
Mary Jo: I did, he was within my grasp.
Leo: He was within your grasp, failed to grasp it. Of course one of our favorite places that run Azure is Xbox. Did we get an Xbox update?
Paul: Yes you know I was just thinking about this as Mary Jo was talking about SAP which sounds terrible like just ignored everything she was saying.
Leo: I was thinking about Hawaii so…
Paul: It went through my head one of the neat things about a lot of what Microsoft does is that a lot of parts of Microsoft have these regular monthly updates. We’ve had this notion of patch Tuesday for many years and it was always for Windows and for some of the core products of office where the 2nd Tuesday of every month you get all these updates. Now we’re starting to see other product updates jump on this so we see Surface updates are often tied to patch Tuesday and Xbox 1 updates as well although recently they’ve been off of patch Tuesday for whatever reason. They’ve also started this notion of not really private but semipublic beta tests so each month some people get the system update early and then they can get feedback on it and make sure they don’t need to make any changes. So the update which we just got which we were calling the May system update was not a profound update in the scope of system updates. It’s got a couple small things, sound mixers, chat mixer and that sort of thing. The one that is coming in June is a major update and it’s going to answer a lot of the complaints that people have had, for example one of the complaints I’ve gotten and actually had myself is that Xbox ships with this hard drive inside the box but it’s not user serviceable and it doesn’t support external storage yet. This is a feature that has been available in the Xbox 360 for years and years. Now they’re going to support increasing the capacity of the system with external storage so you’re going to be able to plug in a large USB3 hard drive to your console and use it for game storage. That’s a feature the Xbox 360 does have but just for smaller amounts of storage but now it’s going to support 256 gigabyte or higher or larger USB external hard drives which will allow you to copy games from the internal hard drive to that hard drive or just install new games to that hard drive. That’s actually a kind of neat and major new feature. They’re going to have a real name system which is not like the type of thing that you hear about in online services where people are being forced to use their real names but rather if you’re friends with people and you can’t keep track of who your actual friends are in Xbox live you can chose to display them by their real name. So if you’ve got a Buddy Joe and he’s got some kind of crazy gamer tag whatever it may be and you don’t recognize that as Joe now it will say that’s Joe. I think that’s also kind of a neat thing. There’s a bunch of other stuff but I haven’t had a real chance to go through the announcement. It’s not out yet but it’s coming out in June and they are kind of preannouncing it. It looks like based on the sheer amount of stuff that they’re adding that the June update is going to be a major one so I’m kind of looking forward to it. The last one I don’t think I got it until fairly late but going to look for getting this one early. I’m really curious about the storage stuff in particular because there was a big complaint about the Xbox 1.
Leo: There’s a June update and we’ve already seen some information about that or?
Leo: Oh I got confused. Ok I got it. Let’s take a break. We’re going to come back with the back of the book tip of the week and the software pick of the week. Mary Jo’s got some beer; I’m going to ask what you were drinking yesterday. Everybody was at Rattle and Hum. I saw Ed Bott there.
Mary Jo: Daniel Rabino.
Leo: Of course Rabino doesn’t ever miss a free drink. No I’m just kidding, I like to tease Daniel.
Paul: Mark Martin who I called my Mike Mitchel for some reason…
Leo: Easy mistake to make.
Paul: I feel bad about that though.
Leo: Fun. Did you get a bunch of people there?
Mary Jo: Yes we had a lot. Did you see? We got a link up; up under the first item. Look at all the surfi.
Mary Jo: Look at all those surfaces. We lined up, because we all had our review units so we all lined them up on one of the bar tables side by side.
Leo: Did everybody that went get one?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: Wow, that’s a lot of money. How many people were at the event?
Mary Jo: It was a quote small gathering but I bet there were a couple hundred journalists.
Leo: Everybody I know went. Tim Stephens went, there’s Mary Jo there in the back ground. This is not in the Microsoft division; this is at Rattle and Hum.
Mary Jo: It is.
Paul: We turned that place into New York City’s first Microsoft store.
Mary Jo: We did pretty much. Even people who weren’t in the Tweet Up were coming by and going what are you guys looking at and we were demoing One Note on the new devices.
Paul: That’s hysterical because if you’re looking for a captive audience like drunk people in a bar it was perfect.
Leo: One compelling reason to get this is that whole One Note integration, the pen. That sounds like a pretty cool thing. I’ll go for it on that account.
Mary Jo: I’m dying to try it out.
Leo: It works great on your new surface. I install it on every laptop or computer as soon as I get it going. It’s Carbonite Online backup. Carbonite is automatic backup. Whenever you’re online it’s continually backing up so any changes you’ve made go to the Cloud. It’s available on all your other devices as well. There are free Carbonite accounts for your mobiles and your tablet and you just look at your Carbonite stuff and there’s your stuff. So it gives you access to all your material. It’s encrypted on the way up and if you wish you can further encrypt it when it’s up there as well. That’s means you can have trust no one privacy. That’s what Steve Gibson calls it where only you have the key. Carbonite can’t even look at your data. That’s really good – a nice feeling. I really love Carbonite and I think you will too so we’ve arranged a 30 day trial for you. The way Carbonite works is you pay a 1 yearly flat rate and it’s for as much data as you want. They have the single computer plan like a single Surface Pro for $59.99 a year, less than $5 a month. They also have plans for external drives, servers, small businesses. In fact 50,000 small businesses use Carbonite to back up their data. I want you to try it free. 30 days free at Carbonite.com. You do not need a credit card, just use our offer code WINDOWS. It’s worth doing because if you decide to buy you’ll get 2 free months. That really makes it a good deal. Go to Carbonite.com and use the offer code WINDOWS. You have to back it up to get it back and when you’re carrying around a surface it’s good to have a backup of it. You never know –bring it to Rattle and Hum, somebody mistakes it for a beer coaster…
Paul: By the way I did use my Surface Pro 3 as a food tray at Rattle and Hum.
Leo: Exactly my point. That hamburger grease drips in there and pop.
Paul: It’s an excellent tray. It’s very solid.
Mary Jo: It’s was stunning, no beers were spilled on any surfaces at that event.
Leo: Wow. Was that picture of the surfaces lined up, was that taken with the surface camera by the way?
Mary Jo: I don’t think it was.
Paul: The surfaces were all in the photo.
Leo: It has a 5 megapixel camera but I don’t know if you would use that or not.
Paul: Is that what it is? I’m not actually even sure what the camera…
Leo: It’s a front and rear 5 pixel camera, stereo microphones, speakers. I have to say they learned from the first 2 and they really did it right.
Paul: This is the surface I’ve been imagining for years.
Leo: Paul Thurrott has a tip of the week, Paul.
Paul: So this tip may sound familiar. I feel like I used part of this tip a year or so ago or something. Somebody wrote me and said hey there is this great feature in Bing News on both Windows 8 point whatever and on Windows phone and I don’t see that you’ve ever written about this. This is crazy, I’ve definitely written about this and I looked for it and what I discovered was that I’d written about it in the Windows Book but not in the phone book because those apps are coming in 8.1, but not on my site so I thought ok this is interesting. I need to discuss this. There is a Bing News app on both Windows now and on Windows phone. It’s excellent and I use it every day. You can specify topics you care about so I use things like Microsoft, Apple, Windows, Google, Windows Phone etc. Those topics sync between different devices so whether you using a phone or a tablet or a PC they are always there. Then they have high quality news sources too including some pay walled services. You can go into the New York Times for example and you could pin that to your start screen on windows or to your start screen on Windows phone. There’s a new way to access the New York Times through the Bing News app. Why would you do that? Actually on Windows phone in particular there is no Wall Street Journal app, but Wall Street Journal is a source in the Bing News App so you can create your own app for the Wall Street Journal and it has all the stuff. It also supports the account information. The 2 I know about are the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. What that means is that you can log into your account and get past the paywall stuff because both of those sites have paywalls and you get a certain amount of articles for free every month. If you have an account you can get in and you can get in through these apps. That’s true on your Windows PC, on your Windows tablet or on your Windows phone. I was playing with that on the way home from New York to test how it worked on the phone because I hadn’t really looked at it there but it works exactly the same way. You can sign into your account, you can pin that to your start screen and now you have a special sort of pseudo app for that new source. There is an app for the New York Times but there isn’t one for the Wall Street Journal so that’s kind of a neat way to get by that limitation. I’ll write this up for the Windows Phone 8.1 book but I’m not sure if I’ll do another article about this. It’s just one of those things, they update the apps fairly frequently now, and they’re really high quality. I think people kind of overlook them sometimes and there’s some neat functionality in there if you just take a look at them. Just kind of a cool thing that you probably already have and can access you just didn’t even know it was there.
Leo: That’s great.
Leo: That’s my favorite part. So this is not like the original Wolfenstein where you’re fighting Nazi’s underneath a castle. They’ve won and they’re ruling the world in modern times.
Paul: Yes, there is an Easter egg in the game I’m told where you can play the first level of Wolfenstein 3D.
Leo: Oh that’d be fun.
Paul: I think it’s somewhere in the first or 2nd level of the game. Anyway as soon as this broadcast is over I’m going to download this on my Xbox.
Leo: Alright as I as I can sail this ship out to sea I will be ready for your next segment.
Paul: I find this game to be very difficult to play with a mouse.
Leo: So there are other, I was just looking on my 1520 – there are other Assassin Creed games but you want the race game.
Paul: I should say Assassin Creed Pirates is I believe the latest mobile game, it’s not on Windows yet as the native mobile app but they said it’s coming soon so I believe that this game is in fact coming in the full version – in the full mobile app version for both Windows and Windows phone. But we do have older Assassin Creed titles on Windows.
Leo: Yes quite a few actually it turns out. I can’t get out of this game so you’re just going to have to take over Mary Jo – our enterprise pick of the week.
Mary Jo: Alright I’ll take over. Today’s enterprise pick of the week is a true enterprise pick. It’s definitely not something for small businesses or even medium businesses. It’s for really big companies but I know we have some listeners who…
Leo: Yes sure, lots of them. The pick is Biz Talk server and Biz Talk services. What the Biz Talk server is, is that it’s called an enterprise application integration server. So it lets you do things like EDI, EAI b to b connections – if you don’t know what those acronyms are just don’t even listen to the rest of my pick. The reason I made it my pick this week is Microsoft updated both Biz Talk server and Biz Talk services in the past couple of weeks. So now you’re up to Biz Talk server 2012 r2. That’s the new version that just came out and the reason it’s important is it adds support for some of the most recent Microsoft products like Windows 8.1 and also Sequel Server 2014, Windows server 2012 r2 and Share point 2013 service pack 1. So before you couldn’t run if you had these products you weren’t able to work with the latest versions and now you can. At the same time Microsoft also updated Biz Talk services with this new feature that’s called Hybrid Connections – it’s a way better name than Biz Talk services in my opinion. Hybrid Connections is a subset of Biz Talk services. It lets you connect things that you have in Azure like Azure websites or Azure mobile services to data that you have on Premises so it’s this kind of bridging thing that makes Hybrid Connections. The best thing about Hybrid Connections which is out in preview now is you don’t have to do anything to your VPN gateway or your firewall ports. It just works. Microsoft also added a free tier of Biz Talk services so people could try out this Hybrid Connections feature. So if you’re a Biz Talk user and there are 12,000 really gigantic companies out there that are – you might want to check out these new releases.
Leo: And you might want to check out our code name of the week. You’re going to go back to Windows 95?
Mary Jo: I am because this week’s surface pro 3 launch reminded me in some weird ways of Windows 95 launch. I think it was because it was such a beautiful day here in New York, now a cloud in the sky – just like when it was Windows 95 launch. But Raymond Chen who works at Microsoft has written a book called the Old New Thing and he has a blog called the Old New Thing. He’s worked on Windows forever basically. He did a post this week on his blog that is really interesting saying did you guys know everybody knew Chicago was the code name for Windows 95 – but did you guys know all these subsystems inside Windows 95 had their own code names. Some of these I’d heard and some I hadn’t. He brought up Jaguar which was a 16bit doss that had its own code name. Cougar – 32 bit doss kernel, Panther the win32 kernel and he said so obviously the team was using cat names and then the user interface team used Stempy because that also happened to be somebody’s cat name.
Leo: Wren and Stempy. Was Stempy a cat in Wren and Stempy?
Mary Jo: Yes I think so. I believe so, the cartoon cat. That was kind of cool. It was a good kind of throw back.
Leo: They should have called it OS 10 Stempy.
Mary Jo: That would have been kind of fun.
Leo: Hysterical. Finally time for a payback. A payback Porter that is.
Mary Jo: So we had so many good beers to choose from at our Tweet Up at Rattle this week. Because it happened to be on the night we were there, speak easy night. Speak easy is this great brewery in San Francisco. They had a ton of speak easy’s on and I tried a bunch of them but the one I think I like the best was one I’d never had before called the Speak Easy Spiced Payback Porter. What made this an interesting Porter was that they used Chai – a solid Chai.
Leo: Oh that sounds great!
Mary Jo: It was so good. A lot of Porters, not all but some use coffee or have a coffee flavor or actually use coffee in the actual brewing of the beer but this used tea and it came out really nice. It almost had a little sour tinge in a good way. I thought it was very delicious. I don’t know what Paul tried. He had a bunch.
Leo: Did he stop at just one particular kind?
Paul: I had a flight of barley wine beers which was probably a mistake. Could you tell me who your friend was that brought me that beer because that was amazing.
Mary Jo: One of our Tweet up attendee’s Peter Lesonte came with a little hand carried cooler of beer for Paul.
Leo: How nice.
Paul: By the way this was not like Bud light lime. This was amazing.
Leo: Do you remember what kind it was?
Paul: I’m looking it up because I put it on tab. There were 2 parts to it. One was an – you’d never find it here, impossible to find local Belgium brewery…
Mary Jo: It was called New England Brewing.
Paul: No, no, this was the other one, the one from Belgium.
Leo: Is this guy Belgium or did he just happen to have this in his pantry.
Mary Jo: He’s this beer guy, fellow beer nerd.
Paul: So that was Trapest West I can’t pronounce this. It was one of the best beers I’ve ever had.
Leo: Belgium beers are really good aren’t they?
Paul: The other one in some ways was equally amazing. The other one was the one you were naming. The name of the beer was 668 the neighbor of the beast. Which was so awesome, I have never had anything like – I’ve had beers like this. It was in a can and I’d never had a Belgium in a can and it was an excellent example of a Belgium. It was fantastic and it’s from as she said from this brewery in Connecticut isn’t it?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Paul: So both of these beers were absolutely fantastic and really special and I was just really blown away by this.
Leo: We are in a golden age of beer making my friends.
Paul: Yes and I’m in a golden age of beer drinking which is why I need to take a nap.
Leo: We’re going to let you go Paul. Paul Thurrott he’s the host of the Super site for Windows. Don’t expect a lot of posts today. Winsupersite.com. Mary Jo Foley allaboutmicrosoft.com and each and every week we gather at 11 am Pacific, 2 pm eastern time 1800 UTC on a Wednesday to talk about Windows and it’s always a pleasure. Thank you guys, appreciate it.
Paul: Thank you sir.
Leo: If you can’t get the show live you can always get it at twit.tv/ww or wherever shows like this are aggregated. The Xbox store, the iTunes store and don’t forget we’ve got a couple of really nice apps on Windows Mobile, on Windows phone. Dimitri’s app is one of my favorites, just a gorgeous app and there are a couple of others I think. So just search for twit in the app store and you can add it to your phone. Thank you Paul, Thank you Mary Jo, thank you all for joining us. We’ll see you next week on Windows Weekly!