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Windows Weekly 366
Leo Laporte: It’s time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott is here, Mary Jo Foley is here. We’ve got a E3 wrap up, we’ll take a look at Windows Phone 8.1 and yes it’s coming to a phone near you. It’s all ahead next on Windows Weekly.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Episode 366, recorded June 11th, 2014
An Explosion of Stupidity
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It’s time for Windows Weekly! Oh wait a minute I said I would start this show a little bit more calmly because we have such a calm song.
Paul Thurrott: What, do you scare people?
Leo: Well apparently there is one guy, I can’t remember his name now, shoot I was going to remember it.
Paul: You’ve got to whisper the intro.
Leo: He said can you start it a little less strongly. It’s time for Windows Weekly and here they are the stars of our show.
Paul: Yeah, it’s like it’s a jazz show on at 9 o’clock at night.
Leo: Ladies and Gentleman, the late night with Paul and Mary Jo!
Paul: The subtle soothing voice.
Leo: The quiet storm. Paul Thurrott, supersite for Windows, winsupersite.com. Mary Jo Foley, allaboutmicrosoft.com a ZD net blog. Great to have you here to discuss once again what the hell’s going on in Redmond. What the heck is that thing in Redmond. E3 is this week, you know it’s funny usually E3 which is the big gaming show. Gina Smith started it with the Electronic Entertainment magazine. It was Electronic Entertainment Expo, EEE.
Paul: Oh E to the 3rd.
Leo: I don’t think E squared the magazine lived but the trade show lives on. It’s a big game show, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo of course the tent poles. But everybody is there, Softworks, Infinity Ward and all the big game developers to show off their new games. Normally we get a lot of press on it and we didn’t get much. Mary Jo you can take a walk if.
Mary Jo Foley: I think I am going to take a nap.
Paul: No actually here is a fairly profound statement about E3. E3 as a gaming show is actually pretty boring when they only talk about games.
Leo: You’re a gamer too, for you to say that is kind of wow!
Paul: You can only watch so many of these Montage clips. Like here’s another shooting game and it’s a giant robot that looks like what used to be in doom.
Leo: I contribute that to the lack of originality in gaming and game development. They’re all the same.
Leo: If there was some variety, I guess there is. Independent game developers are doing really interesting stuff but that I don’t know.
Paul: How did the E3 story get to the top of this thing, Mary Jo? What happened there?
Leo: I am just following your guys lead I don’t make this stuff. People go oh Leo why would you start the show with gaming.
Mary Jo: I think because I think there are 2, as you know I couldn’t have cared less about the games. I tried to watch that keynote and I just could not. There were 2 interesting things about it from a Microsoft perspective. Why they barely mentions Kinect at all during this presentation.
Leo: Really, hmm.
Mary Jo: And also why they talked about Xbox 1 being a gaming console after last year doing the exact opposite and talking about it as an entertainment console. So that’s why it’s at the top of the notes because that’s very significant.
Paul: Added to that Sony talked about PS4 being an entertainment console. It was this kind of weird reversal. Which I thought was kind of interesting.
Leo: This subject is so exciting to Mary Jo she’s just frozen like a popsicle.
Mary Jo: I am frozen.
Leo: Could you start and stop your video. Just don’t restart Skype, just the video.
Paul: So obviously Microsoft has spent the past year capitulating to the complainers. Now I am frozen, there we go.
Leo: It’s us.
Paul: You know culminating in the release on Monday in the Xbox 1 without Kinect. The version everyone has been asking for since a year ago. That comes in at the same price as the PS4. It’s really not coincidental but it’s interesting how those things happened on the same day and Microsoft announced a creation of a Xbox 1 uservoice website similar to what they have for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1. Where they are actively soliciting feedback from, as I say this it’s hard not to laugh, Microsoft is actively soliciting feedback from it’s fans and users to guide the direction of this product going forward. Which is so logical and why wasn’t it this way all along we don’t know.
Mary Jo: Well we can say that about Windows 8 as well can’t we.
Paul: Right there was always kind of, well not always but in the past several years there has been kind of an ivory tower mentality from Microsoft. We know best. I love watching them reach out to users and get feedback and then direct the development of the product. They did that with Xbox music on Windows Phone 8.1 which is a disaster. But they are really looking for feedback from users. They’ve shipped four updates to that app since Windows Phone RTM. That will probably be it before the public release or whatever but this is something that keeps getting updated over time and frankly needs it. It’s just nice to see that.
Mary Jo: I reached out and asked them. I said you know I am curious why you guys didn’t talk about Xbox 1 as an entertainment console this year.
Paul: They said who are you again.
Mary Jo: They gave me a canned statement. They said E3 is the show for gamers they want to see games. Well that’s not what you did last year.
Leo: Wait a minute am I wrong, I thought last year they had 2 events. I thought they had one pre-E3 which was very much.
Paul: Yeah they had the unveiling.
Leo: That was very much about what you could do with TV. Then didn’t their event at E3 talk about games or am I wrong?
Paul: Oh no E3 was a disaster.
Leo: So they didn’t talk about games last year?
Paul: The unveiling was a bit of information and then E3 was the rest of the information. What they were pushing was kind of their vision for Xbox 1 at the time. Which included such things as a family sharing, always on was a requirement.
Leo: All these things people got upset about.
Paul: I don’t remember the guys name anymore it doesn’t matter.
Leo: Yeah because he’s gone.
Paul: Literally because he’s gone. But he in one of the blurbs said it’s too bad if you’re on a nuclear submarine because you can’t have a connection. I guess you’ll have to use a Xbox365. You could just feel the PR sharks from Sony circling the waters. Sony had some funny videos they made like our games work fine offline, watch and they put the game in and it’s not connected to the internet and it worked fine. They did a good job of mocking Microsoft. For their initial vision or whatever. So here we are.
Leo: But I did buy a 103 dollar terabit drive and plug it into the USB port and it extends it and I now have 3 terabytes of storage so I downloaded all the free games.
Paul: It works good. So you can get 10% better performance if you remove Kinect.
Leo: Really in games?
Paul: Graphics. I guess they reserve 10% of graphics from the GPU for Kinect.
Leo: Oh that sucks.
Paul: So when you don’t have Kinect it’s free for the whole system to use.
Leo: 10% is a lot. That’s actually a lot.
Paul: I know it’s weird. Between that and the possibility of a SSD drive kind of replacement. I am curious if there isn’t something there to kind of make this thing significantly faster.
Leo: I don’t feel like it’s slow.
Paul: Oh I do.
Leo: Oh you do?
Paul: Not when you’re playing a game, its the whole getting to the game is slow.
Leo: Yeah loading is slow I agree. But that’s not a GPU that’s Disc IO.
Paul: Yeah right. The worst thing you can do in Xbox, I like that you can do 2 things at once. If you want to do anything from within it. Say you’re playing a game and something happens and you say you want to go back to the dashboard and do something else. That process is slower than molasses. That was true of the 316, and I was really hoping they were going to get right on Xbox 1. Mary Jo must see this everyday she loves Xbox.
Mary Jo: I do.
Leo: I am excited. Ok I play games, I got watchdogs and I’ll definitely get Wolfenstein but I am also excited because there is this Brazil app that I can snap and I can watch the soccer game and get live real time stats on the World Cup. That’s exciting. Nobody gets excited about that I guess. People buy an Xbox to play games and all this media stuff is falling on deaf ears because gamers don’t care. Is that right?
Paul: One of the features that is coming, did they just deliver it or is it coming later? I will never use it so I’ll have to look it up. They are adding Twitter support to the OS.
Leo: That I’ll not care about. But that will be in the Brazil thing because you’ll see Tweets go by.
Paul: This is what I need to understand. Like you’re watching TV, Game of Thrones or a sporting event. You have a pane at the bottom where people are Tweeting about that thing and you’re tweeting about it.
Leo: I don’t want to see Tweets.
Paul: Have we missed the point of TV? TV is so you can zone out isn’t it?
Leo: People are doing it. Oh no you don’t live in the same family I do.
Paul: I don’t like that Leo. I’m old.
Leo: I’m the only one not holding a tablet or a laptop while we watch TV. Everybody else.
Paul: You know how we would dunk the kids books in high school? I would do that to someone with an Ipad if they were tweeting during a game.
Leo: Can I say it’s a little frustrating because I’m watching the show and I am interested in the show and what’s going on and then Lisa will look up and say what’s happened. It’s like you’re sitting here watch the show.
Paul: Yeah exactly, it's like are you kidding me!
Leo: Who’s that?!!!! WHAT!
Paul: I know!
Leo: But nobody does anymore they don’t watch the show.
Paul: This is where it starts this short attention span is just insane to me.
Leo: Yeah short attention spans for sure. But I think Microsofts responding to that. That people are doing that with a second screen already. I don’t want to see it up on the TV. I’d be mad.
Paul: He says emphatically before he becomes the world’s biggest fan of this feature. I will never use this feature.
Leo: You know what I am telling you though you’re watching the World Cup. Having real time stats how many possessions plus tweets.
Paul: They are just needing something else to do let’s face it.
Leo: There’s not a lot going on. Just a bunch of running back and forth.
Paul: It’s a field with a couple guys on it.
Leo: There’s a goal every half hour.
Paul: The field to person ratio is so much bigger than say in basketball.
Leo: Academy Awards that would be fun. Watching the gossipy tweets. But not episodic television.
Paul: To be fair we blog events, we’ve done that. I don’t know not in real life. I just can’t deal with it. If I watch the game of thrones or a basketball game I just want to do that.
Leo: I am with you.
Paul: I don’t even like when my kid walks in the room. It’s like get out of here, I am doing something. The house is on fire, I don’t care the basketball game is on.
Leo: You have the ability to focus which I think modern America lacks.
Paul: Well it’s a struggle. The screens don’t help. This is like, the first step is giving up the carbonated sugar water. The first step is giving up part of the screen.
Leo: You sound like a grump. You kids.
Paul: Why do we have to be entertained all the time, what is wrong with you.
Leo: We are trying to forget that we are all going to die.
Paul: You’re right it’s a giant fantasy to escape from our miserable lives.
Leo: This life is so horrific.
Paul: That’s the point. Why do you need 2 of them?
Leo: I think you should give classes on how to escape better by focusing on one thing at a time.
Paul: Leo one thing I am perfectly sure of that they don’t get any less miserable as they get older. That’s the problem.
Leo: You’re old before your time Mr. Thurrott. Old before your time that’s all I can say. What did Microsoft announce at their keynote?
Paul: That’s it Leo, that’s all they announced.
Mary Jo: They announced a bunch of exclusive games.
Leo: Finally! Anything good?
Paul: Yeah none of this matters Sony did too.
Mary Jo: Some people care I guess.
Paul: Exclusive games, there are games that are going to be on multiple consoles but maybe one of them that gets it first. Then there are games that have DLC like downloadable content and one of them will get it first. Call of Duty does that on Xbox.
Mary Jo: What about the master chief collection.
Paul: Right a bunch of old Halo games again. But I will probably play through everyone of those games again like the walking sap that I am.
Mary Jo: I’ve got to say I wanted a call of duty cat but I heard that was not announced.
Paul: I do too. We’ve talked about this too. How that would be so much more awesome than the dog.
Mary Jo: We have. So that wasn’t there. There was a list of games I just saw them. I can run through them if anyone cares. Sunset Overdrive, I don’t know what any of these are I am just going to read this list.
Paul: This will be good.
Leo: This is like someone reading a phone book in a foreign language, go ahead.
Mary Jo: Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon II, Ore and the Blind Forest
Leo: Ore and the Blind Forest, that’s an exclusive! I’ve been waiting for that. It’s a reimagining of central European fairytales. This is very exciting. No I am making that up.
Mary Jo: Grand Central Spotlight, that one actually uses Kinect. Disney’s Fantasia Music Evolved, Project spark.
Paul: This is an episode where Mary Jo bores us by talking about video games.
Leo: It’s a first. Mary Jo Foley bores us.
Mary Jo: There you go that’s your exclusive games for the holidays. Then there is a whole other list of Blockbuster games which I will not read.
Leo: Gears of War?
Paul: They didn’t say anything about Gears of War.
Leo: Is that dead?
Paul: No, Microsoft bought that.
Paul: Yep, Halo 5 will be next year. Halo master chief collection is 1,2,3, and 4.
Leo: Oh it’s not a new chapter.
Paul: No but they are in the same EBT. Same graphics same engines.
Leo: Wait a minute your telling me the Xbox one can do 10 AP?
Paul: Only on old games, Leo. The new stuff apparently not. I use the Xbox 1 everyday I don’t know why I am jumping it all over it. Oh because it’s because I use it everyday that’s why.
Leo: I’ve been using it, I like it. Does it degrade your television performance?
Paul: I was going to ask, so do you use it in your living room?
Leo: Yeah well in my den where I watch all my TV. On my beautiful old LED display.
Paul: Do you use it for TV? You pass the TV through?
Leo: Yeah everything.
Paul: So you must know there is a slight delay on there isn’t there?
Leo: Yeah, I think they fixed it in an update but for a while it would crash and everything would freeze and I would have to reboot the machine. That only happened a few times.
Paul: There’s always this feature that’s going to be the trend setting big innovative thing and then it turns out the thing that no one ever uses.
Leo: I use Xbox pause all the time.
Leo: Because I pee a lot.
Leo: Other than that. But no I pass it through but I am wondering does it degrade the signal. Because I got to tell you I am watching Game of Thrones and it’s a pass through the Xbox 1. When it’s full screen you don’t know the Xbox 1is there. But they encrypt or the compression of Game of Thrones because last Sunday was a very dark episode a lot of night scenes. It was terrible, the macro-blocking was horrible. I could barely watch it and I’m thinking maybe I should get the Xbox 1 and see if that’s making it. It seems like a pass through should not make any difference.
Paul: What you should do is record a show and watch 5 or 10 minutes and then unplug it and then watch 5 or 10 minutes again and see.
Leo: Because I have the TIVO too on that. The TIVO is the cable box because it has a cable card.
Paul: That should be alright. That should work.
Leo: It should be fine. I am not watching a TIVO.
Paul: You know Leo, it’s not like there’s a signal degradation over the length of it. It’s either on or it’s off.
Leo: I would think a pass through is just bum bum.
Paul: Yeah just HPL.
Leo: So I am just blaming Comcast for over compressing HPL.
Paul: Yeah when you said over-compression my first thought was who’s your cable company and it’s probably them.
Leo: It’s the evil empire. The cable town folks. Who’s hair do you have today?
Paul: Michael Douglas.
Leo: Just checking.
Paul: He’s like 65 years old.
Mary Jo: It is so muggy here, that is why.
Leo: Is it humid? You guys have humid hair.
Paul: It is humid but I also need a haircut. I don’t know what’s going on here.
Leo: You look great.
Paul: I don’t usually have to think about my hair.
Leo: You know what you’re a handsome man.
Paul: Great well OK. Thank you.
Leo: Well I guess we’re not going to talk about this anymore. We’re done with E3. That’s kind of amazing. You said they introduced Call of Duty Cat?
Paul: No they did not. There was a new Call of Duty game that they highlighted for the Eventually it disappears because it times out or whatever. first time but no cat.
Mary Jo: No cat.
Paul: The dog in Call of Duty is useless. If you play multiplayer you know if you have a dog it does nothing. But the dog on the other team will kill you instantly there’s nothing you can do about it. I don’t mean to say I like to do this, but one of the things I witnessed in fact one of my recordings of this is how stupid the dog is. You can trap the dog, like someone else’s dog on your team. Because he follows his master around, if you’re going up a staircase or through a doorway you can stand there and it can’t get by you, then it just sits there running in place, it just never stops trying to get through the door. You can stand there through the entire life of the animal.
Leo: Will it keel over at some point?
Paul: Eventually it disappears it times out or whatever.
Leo: That’s on your upload?
Paul: Yeah I do have a video of that.
Leo: I will look at that.
Paul: If there was a cat, obviously the cat could be bounding right up the thing. It would be great.
Leo: Oh yeah it’d be awesome.
Paul: Cat would be so crucial to this game.
Leo: Big metal claws.
Paul: Like a swarming attack of cats how awesome.
Leo: Meowrr meowrr.
Paul: Have you ever heard racoons fighting outside, the terrible sounds that they make.
Leo: Oh it’s horrible.
Paul: Like that.
Leo: Peacocks, they sound like someone is dying outside your door.
Paul: I thought somebody was getting murdered outside and it was some raccoons going to town on each other. So that’s E3.
Leo: That’s E3 in a nutshell. God I am depressed, I am so so depressed. Let’s take a break so everyone can recoup and think about what we’ve learned here today and talk about lynda.com. lynda.com what would you like to learn today, maybe you want to learn game development maybe you see an oportunity here to leap into the fray. lynda.com is a great place to learn all sorts of stuff. Look at all the 3D animation software they teach you. 3D studio, after effects blender, cinema 4D flash professional, maya mudbox, photoshop, unity, zebra. You can learn character animation, game design, materials modeling, particles product design, rendering. That’s just 3D and animation. There is also if you want to record a record album. The experts at lynda.com could teach you how. When I say experts these are guys who actually work in recording studios very famous folks. I know from the photoshop group because it’s some of the people we work with all the time at TWIT. People like the great Bert Monroy his photoshop show is so good. Learn how to shoot and edit video, how to design websites, game design. Let’s take a look at the game design classes at lynda.com. Unity that would be good to know, Up and running with Flash, let’s not do that. Cinema 4D, Vehicle rigging in Maya. Here is the beauty in this Adam Crespy is teaching a great class it’s definitely intermediate. Then when you go you can look at the class, look at transcripts of the class, you can go see a course introduction without becoming a member so you get an idea of what these classes will be. If you want to learn a specific thing, you can actually go to the transcript search for it and jump to that part of the video. There are over 2500 courses on here with more added every single week. They are beautifully produced. The way they do this which is really great you get unlimited access 25 dollars a month. To everything, so you don’t have to pick your course and pay by the course or anything. If you want the premium plan at $37.50 a month you’ll get and for something like this it’s probably worth it, you’ll get the exercise files. So you can follow along as well. lynda.com I am a big fan, I know you will be that’s why we’ve arranged a 7 day free trial. A week free any course. Whether you have 15 minutes or 15 hours you can learn from start to finish at your own pace. Beginner, intermediate and advanced. lynda.com in many cases this is the training that the companies that make this software give their own team. SEO do you want to learn Google adwords, Google analytics, you want to learn how to use Word, Excel or Powerpoint better. lynda.com, lynda.com/windows for your free 7 day trial. Are you a Mary Jo fan do you want to get started with Windows Azure?
Mary Jo: Hadoop.
Paul: Is there a Hadoop class?
Leo: Oh wouldn’t that be awesome? Wait a minute let’s just see. There can’t be a Hadoop class.
Paul: If there isn’t I know who could narrate one.
Mary Jo: I really want to do a Hadoop class, Leo. I really want to do one.
Leo: The Window classes are really good, highly recommended. Up and running with Azure, Up and running with Amazon web services, Overview of data services, reviewing the components within application platforms. I don’t even understand this stuff. So yes there are some courses that cover Hadoop. Up and running with Azure would be a great way to get started with Azure. Look at that, that is visual studio express 2012 for web, I’m telling you lynda, lynda.com/windows. We give staff members to our lynda account so that they can get trained. There are corporate accounts available too. lynda.com/windows. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley we’re talking Microsoft on Windows Weekly. The Windows 8.1 upgrad it’s what’s for dinner.
Paul: Whether you want it or not.
Mary Jo: It was for dinner yesterday.
Paul: To be fair you should want it for dinner.
Leo: Yeah why wouldn’t you want it?
Paul: It’s a good dinner.
Leo: How about businesses is there reasons they might not want the update?
Paul: Honestly I don’t think so, unless there is a compatibility issue.
Mary Jo: No they should want it more.
Leo: They went to 8.1, they should go for the update.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: You know what though it’s just fair because this actually happens and I witness in my comments, I witness in via email. Both Mary Jo and I agree this is a great update, there’s all kinds of good reasons to have it. There’s really no downside to it, I get complaints about this thing every single day.
Paul: Yep every single day. Because there is nothing that Microsoft can do that will please everybody. It amazes me some of the ignoguas things that can get complaints. For example the modern apps, you’re running an app full screen like the mail app or the calendar app. With a mouse when you go into that app and you move the mouse around, if you move the mouse to the top of the screen this little tool bar or window bar or whatever you want to call it command bar kind or appears at the top. It drives people insane, I have no idea why you have to really try to see it. It makes people crazy. They don’t want that. Someone will come out with a utility that will remove it and this will make their day until they can find something new to complain about. Honestly I think that’s one of the best reasons to have it. If you’re using it on a regular computer, it’s amazing to me.
Leo: So let’s just clarify this, if you have a Windows 8 machine and you didn’t go to Windows 8.1 you’re okay?
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: But if you went to Windows 8.1 you must install the update. That appears as a Windows update?
Mary Jo: It comes through Windows update.
Paul: It’s been set up already.
Leo: It’s automatic. Now here’s somebody in the chatroom the Woozle says my wife’s Lenovo Yoga refuses to do the update. Sometimes people get stuck right? What should they do?
Paul: I don’t know if I have a prescription for fixing it but this has been addressed in the Microsoft support forum so this happens to people. You would have to go check out the various.
Leo: This happens always, sometimes updates get stuck and that’s just the nature of the update.
Paul: A lot of it has to do with particular configurations. So when someone comes to me and says hey this doesn’t work. The fact that I can come back and say I’ve installed it on 11 PC’s and I’ve never had a problem once doesn’t help them in the slightest. But it also makes it difficult for somebody like me to troubleshoot it. At this point you’ve got to go to the wider body of users in Microsoft support. Because out in the world there are other people who have these same issues.
Leo: That’s the beauty of it with so many users there’s definitely with Lenovo Yoga having the same problem.
Paul: It is the double edge of the sword issue, because the other problem is you can only do so much test even Microsoft. Sometimes things get out in the world and people with their unique configurations can often run into new problems.
Mary Jo: But we should clarify what and who had to update and why they had too.
Leo: Yes, please.
Mary Jo: If you already were running Windows 8.1 and you’re a consumer somebody who gets it on your own. Not through work, not through WSUS or Windows Update Services. Who probably gets it through automatic updates. You probably already have it even. But you should check to make sure that you have it. If you do not you need to upgrade to the update. Because if you don’t you’re not going to get anymore patches and fixes from Microsoft for the operating system as of yesterday.
Paul: They’ll show you.
Mary Jo: But if you’re a business customer and your company rolls it out to you with system center configuration manager or with Windows server update services you still have until August 12th to put update 1 on your machine.
Leo: You means your IT department.
Mary Jo: Your IT department, right.
Leo: You’re not going to do anything, don’t start messing with this.
Paul: They are basically giving businesses 2 more months to test this against their own software to make sure everything works properly.
Mary Jo: If you’re on Windows 8 and you never went to 8.1 you actually have until 2016 to move to Windows 8.1 update.
Paul: Which raises the question I added to the notes a sort of rhetorical question because I think I know the answer. Windows 8.1 Update one what I think of as Update one is a requirement of 8.1 you have to get it and then you can move forward with updates. Why isn’t it an update for 8.0? If you think about 8.1 as the latest version of Windows 8. Why isn’t 8.1 and Update 1 a required update for Windows 8?
Leo: It leads to a conspiracy theory almost.
Paul: It doesn’t but okay.
Leo: I’ll say what people are thinking which is oh they screwed something up badly in 8.1 and they are making people fix it.
Paul: Oh that’s interesting. I see what you are saying.
Mary Jo: Oh wow.
Paul: I think what it ties down to is Microsoft has a formalized life cycle support agreement that it has with businesses and when it releases a major revision of an OS I think it is 10 years of support, of mainstream support and extended support, 5 years each is a standard deal. That’s the minimum. We can all agree Windows 8.0 out of the box was kind of half broken but it doesn’t matter by releasing that thing as a .0 release they are bound to support that thing.
Leo: So legalistically they don’t have the option to say we’re not going to give you updates is what you’re saying.
Paul: That’s my guess, educated guess. Now that doesn’t mean they are going to support it in the sense that they’re going to release lots of new apps for it, put out a service pack or anything like that. I think you’ll see security updates so every month when patch Tuesday comes. They probably work the same between the OS’s but there is a version for Windows 8 and a version for 8.1. They have to make sure that it works on both.
Mary Jo: I think you’re right about the the life cycle part. It is the whole distinction of how the deliver the operating system too. Remember 8 to 8.1 came through the store, 8.1 to update came through Windows Update. So one was more or less a full update to the OS and the other was almost like a patch.
Paul: I don’t even know what to call it. In the history of Windows there has never been an OS delivered like that ever, not once. We’ll see if they ever do it again I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
Mary Jo: I wonder if they do end of doing Threshold or Windows 9 or whatever that ends up being called. Does that come through the store or does that go through Windows update.
Paul: They will used disks for that one.
Mary Jo: I think that’s part of the confusion. People still say to me I wanted to go to 8.1 and I could never figure out how to do it because it was hard to find in the store and I didn’t even know I was supposed to look in the store. Even though we told them many times look in the store. I tried to do it it on somebody elses PC it was hard to find.
Paul: That’s an update that people had trouble making that one work either. You could find it and it doesn’t install or it doesn’t download you have no idea what to do. That’s a tough thing to troubleshoot too.
Mary Jo: Yeah I know. So that’s why and why this is so confusing. Here is another question that came up if I am a Windows 8.1 user and I didn’t upgrade to Update as of yesterday, now what? I am like you still can do it after the fact but you’re just not going to be patched until you do it.
Paul: The OS doesn’t stop working, you don’t get warning signals or anything like that. It works fine. You’ll go into Windows Update and what you will see is that update and that will be it.
Mary Jo: I think yesterday’s patch there were some pretty major updates for Windows 8.1 Update.
Paul: Yeah there were. Including one we don’t have in the notes. I just wrote something about this, this morning. The One Drive, I don’t want to call it an app but I am not sure what else to call it. But the One Drive application the desktop version of One Drive if you will, was update significantly. It looks and works a lot like the version from Windows 7 which is kind of interesting in that you get the same sorts of options when you click and right click. But it also works oddly enough like the settings part of the modern app. I think this is part of the ongoing concessions to desktop users where I don’t ever want to go into the modern environment to do any kind of setting. I want to do it from the desktop so they’ve added that back for the most part to the desktop version. It’s actually kind of a cool thing.
Mary Jo: You can pause right, pause your syncing.
Paul: You can pause syncing.
Mary Jo: It is more granulating than settings.
Paul: Yeah but there used to be 2 options when you right clicked now there are about 8 or 10. I always kind of hated this but in the past in Windows 8 , Windows 8.1 when you single clicked on it you would get a file explorer with One Drive. Now it’s kind of like Windows 7 where you get those options instead and you can click on something to go see the file explorer view. Because that doesn’t seem like the type of thing you would click on the see file explorer. They’ve made it a lot better and they’ve lessened the chances of you having to go into the modern interface. If you want manage your storage for example which actually loads the modern interface which is annoying but you can go into settings and see the various options. It’s not exactly the same as in Windows 7, I am going down a rabbit hole I am sorry. One of the big improvements they made between Windows 7 and Windows 8 was that in Windows 7 you can optionally say I don’t want to sync all of my One Drive because it’s huge but you can check off the folders that you want. But if you don’t select folders to view in the Windows 7 windows explorer they just don’t appear you don’t even know they’re there. Where as in Windows 8 they have that new technology where they show everything in One Drive. So even if it’s not on your computer you can see it, you can double click on file, it will load from the internet and show you the file and then at that point it becomes synced. So that’s a big change. So the settings interface for the Windows 8 One Drive has changed to reflect that. You can do things like say make all of my files available which is neat because there was never an easy one check way to do that. Then if it’s taking up to much space you can make all your files online only all in one whack and there was no easy way to do that either before. So just some nice changes. That’s a nice change. Have I lost everybody, sorry.
Leo: No I am listening. Not understanding but I am listening.
Mary Jo: People are asking what next for Windows 8.1 because we keep calling this Update 1 even though the official name is Update.
Leo: Implying an Update 2 in other words.
Mary Jo: We still believe there is an Update 2 probably coming in August. I’ve had a few people see tips saying there’s an update 3 coming. I hear no, no update 3 it is going to be update 2 or whatever they end up calling that in August and then the next thing after that is Threshold. Which is the next big OS update.
Leo: It just seems too soon.
Paul: Threshold does?
Leo: Yeah, I know it’s not but it feels like we are just now getting comfortable with 8 and now here comes Threshold.
Paul: 8 needs a lot of help and has needed a lot of help. 8.1 went a long way, 8.1 Update went a long way but there is more to be done. We know what some of those pieces are and I think given the recent information they are going to push some of the major functional changes that are coming. The Optional new start menu, the floating modern windows and so forth to Threshold. It makes sense to not push that back any further and have that be the next release. Have it be next spring not the following spring.
Leo: So it will be much like Windows 8 just update right? Or no?
Mary Jo: Update 2 you mean?
Leo: No Threshold.
Paul: I don’t know, if you think about Windows 7 was like a refinement of Windows Vista.
Leo: Yeah they were very similar right.
Paul: Everyone hated Vista and everyone loved Windows 7. I think the goal for Threshold is to do that again. It will take them in the case 3 or 4 releases however you want to say it. Take this thing that we did that no one liked and respond to feedback and answer to all the concerns. Rename it essentially because that’s actually a big part of acceptance, the name is tainted.
Mary Jo: Plus if all the things that we are starting to hear about are actually in Threshold. We are hearing Start menu, we’re hearing the Windows Metro apps on the desktop, the new skews including one that will work on Phone and smaller tablets. The Arm based skew. There is going to be a lot of things so it’s going to be a pretty major update. I am sure there are lots of other features that we haven’t heard yet.
Paul: Like I said earlier Microsoft can’t please everybody all the time and we know that. There should be something there to please everybody. Desktop users have made their voice very clear and loud they don’t like being forced to use this touch stuff, they don’t like it. I think they’ve done a good job moving in the right direction for those people and that will continue. On the flip side and I don’t know that we talk about this enough there are people who really like Windows Phone. There are people who really like Windows RT. There are people who like that Metro environment and they don’t want to be forced to have to go to the desktop. The don’t want to have to use the desktop to use Office. There are all these things coming that will make it better for them as well. We can think of that as kind of a win, win. When we talked about in the past how the desktop is going away and everybody their knees hit together and they got all nervous and everything. I think because of the feedback I was going to say complaining but we will call it feedback. The future has become a little more nuanced and there is going to be something for everybody. Obviously that’s the right approach.
Leo: I have to admit, I hate to do it but I am kind of getting used to Windows 8 or 8.1. I feel comfortable with it. So that’s good they’re going to change it.
Mary Jo: Just when you’re feeling good about it.
Leo: That’s kind of what I mean. But if it is like Windows 7 was to Vista that will be great.
Paul: But you know what, if you like Windows 8 whatever it is now, and you’re using it on a touch machine. The truth is that’s actually not going to change. It’s going to get better, it will be refined and evolved and all that kind of stuff. This is always confuses me. One of the concerns I have with Update 1, they’ve changed some UI’s so they work more naturally for Desktop users with a mouse and a keyboard. But not with others. It’s a lot of work and I get that. But it’s the inconsistencies that kind of make it tough. When you right click on the start screen or on the all apps screen and you get a little context menu like you would on the desktop. I think desktop users are saying this works the way that I expect or most of them would. When you right click in any app and you get an app bar which is the touch interface you get from sliding your finger from the side or top and bottom of the screen that’s inconsistent. You can’t just wave your magic wand and change everything. It takes a while and I think that’s what they are kind of working on right now. Again depending on how you approach Windows it should work the way that you want it to work or work the way that makes the most sense for that kind of hardware. I think that’s the goal and certainly wasn’t what they achieved with Windows 8.
Mary Jo: They are not doing away with Metro. The Metro start screen.
Mary Jo: But you still see people say tell me when Thresholds out so we can get rid of the start screen. That’s not going to go away.
Paul: But the important thing is they are going to do what they should have done in 2012. Keep the, well they aren’t going to keep the legacy options. Well they aren’t doing what they should have done but they are going to give you that option to have a start menu. It’s not going to be the Windows 7 start menu. That was one of the screwing things about Windows 8 was that they used the Legacy UI’s somewhat unnecessarily. It was part of that mad bit of that theme to put their own mark on Windows and erase the past.
Mary Jo: And to make it a Mobile first and touch first operating system even though that wasn’t necessarily what the hardware ended up being when it became available for Windows 8.
Paul: No and Microsoft has work with these guys long enough to understand the partners were going to screw them over at the last second. I don’t know why that was such a surprise. Here is a bunch of netbook class computers without touch, enjoy Windows 8.
Mary Jo: I think they should have anticipated the delay given what had happened in the past.
Leo: That’s a big change in hardware.
Mary Jo: It takes a while to come out with new stuff.
Leo: Although maybe this is because I’ve used Windows 8 on a touch laptop the AS7 for a long time. The I went to a non-touch VM version on my Mac and I am perfectly comfortable with it. That’s because I know where the charms bar is, I know how to get there. I do have to say there is one little thing that is quite annoying and you can maybe tell me if I am wrong but it looks to me if you use it on non-touch hardware you still get this new thing in Windows 8.1 with a big touch here, swipe here arrows that obscure the whole UI and won’t go away until you swipe.
Paul: Until you actually do it.
Leo: So on a non-touch machine I can’t.
Paul: It still works with the mouse, you just have to do the action with the mouse.
Leo: You can’t on a virtual.
Paul: You can swipe, it’s harder on a virtual machine. If you run it full screen you can just move the mouse up in the corner and then move it down the side of the screen that will do it.
Leo: Oh okay so you swipe with the mouse.
Paul: It’s not the same gesture you use with touch.
Leo: By the way not all of them work. It is true you can swipe down with a mouse and shrink a metro.
Paul: You can get rid of all of those with a mouse.
Leo: I finally had it going in a UI.
Paul: It is actually harder. If you’re in a loading window on a virtual machine it is harder.
Leo: I couldn’t go on because it was obscuring the part of the UI I needed touch.
Paul: We really need you to play with the switcher Leo. Just drop everything and do that right now.
Leo: I had to go online on another computer and search for how I get rid of these UI. There is a setting you can turn it off in the control panel. It was like gosh they did the right thing but they weren’t smart enough to see that I am not on a touch machine.
Paul: Did they do the right thing that’s an interesting comment.
Leo: I think teaching that is good.
Paul: That is new to 8.1, right.
Leo: Teaching people and saying try this it’s good. Finding the right time to do that is probably an issue. I am in the middle of creating this month end spread sheet, I got 3 minutes to finish this and give it to my CEO and I’m not really wanting to learn how to touch right now. That kind of thing is a little annoying.
Paul: A little touchy there, Leo.
Leo: No it is time for you to take a lesson.
Mary Jo: I am glad they finally provided lessons.
Leo: I think they did need to do that, yes.
Mary Jo: Because with WIndows 8 that was a crime. There was no help.
Paul: They admitted this. Julie Larson Green said our user research showed us after X days of uses 70% of users had figured out how to access the apps. Wait a minute your telling me you stranded 300 million people who had no idea how to navigate the system and you decided to ship it like that. That was a crazy admission. Mistakes were made I think it’s fair to say.
Mary Jo: Mistakes were made, mistakes are being fixed.
Leo: Yeah. So I am not going to worry about Threshold. If it’s like Windows 7 was to Vista I will be thrilled.
Paul: Yes it will be that. You know the reviews will all say this is the Windows they should have shipped. It’s just so easy to predict how this is going to go but you know what I think it’s going to be all good news. I really do, I think it’s going to be fine.
Leo: Did Microsoft do this on purpose this Tic Toc thing? They don’t think we’re actually going to do a tic toc.
Paul: No you’re suggesting a premeditation in intelligence that does not exist. No. They’re not evil geniuses there.
Leo: Stewy should have been the new CEO. Surface Pro 3 ad is here. Which is good because all I’ve seen for a long time is Surface 2 ads. But they finally got an ad and you say not bad.
Paul: I think it’s nice. What do you think about it Mary Jo?
Leo: Shall we watch it, do you want to watch it?
Mary Jo: Yeah watch it, I think it’s ok.
Paul: It’s pretty short.
Leo: Now for people not watching of video we’ll describe what’s going on.
Paul: It’s like the Windows XP ad where people fly around.
Leo: Hello sequence is short and screen simulated, I love that they do that now.
Paul: By the way pay attention to the fine print there is a lot of it.
Leo: There’s a lot of it? Why isn’t it playing?
Paul: Because it’s youtube, Leo.
Leo: Maybe if I go straight to youtube it will play better. Hello, hello youtube.
Paul: As you can see it’s a great ad.
Mary Jo: They didn’t pull this ad did they? Because I saw they pulled some ad.
Leo: Well it’s here.
Paul: Actually this is notable, because it’s only available in 4AP for some reason. The last time I looked there wasn’t an HD version of it.
Leo: That’s weird too.
Mary Jo: It seems like it’s a little early to have the ad out except as of this week you could go to your Best Buy’s and to Microsoft and try it.
Paul: It was tied to that though. So Microsoft announced the new ad and the in store try out thing.
Leo: I think you’re going to have to scrap the ad.
Paul: Alright so there’s an ad. I’ve not seen it on TV but apparently it’s on TV. It shows off the capabilities of the device which you think of it from a high level haven’t really changed from the original Surface or Surface pro tablet that can be a PC, that you can clip on a keyboard. You can use it like a tablet you can write on it with a pen. It’s a full PC so it runs Office and all that stuff. That’s all great, some of the fine print is a bit because you can mince words all you want, but the keyboard doesn’t come with it for one thing. So you can clip on a keyboard yes you can but you have to pay for that keyboard it’s additional. You can write on it with a pen, the pen does come with it and that’s nice. You can use Office, Office does not come with it, you have to pay for that. Advertising is tough like this, I want to be at least consistent because when I complain about advertising or whatever it is I don’t just do this for other companies. Microsoft obviously can be guilty as anyone. It’s a tough message with the Surface Pro 3 because I like that there are keyboard choices because you have colors and I think that people like that but you need to mentally factor in that 130 bucks extra. Then you have to pay for Office which is this really strange requirement. It kind of boils down to Microsoft’s licensing. When you think about it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense but they’ve made the very valuable thing for free only on the cheapest version of Windows and only on the cheapest PC’s. So if you can get a PC or a tablet like a mini tablet even that runs Windows 8.1 and not Windows 8.1 Pro and it costs under a certain amount I am not sure what the threshold is there. You get a free version of Office. But if you buy a real expensive nice computer you don’t get a free version of Office. It’s just a little strange.
Mary Jo: We’ve been speculating the Gemini Metro style apps will be free for Windows users.
Paul: Will take care of that, yeah.
Mary Jo: So if that happens you won’t have to worry. Plus you can use Office online for free which is what I use on that device.
Paul: So it is like it has an always online requirement like the Xbox 1. I don’t mean to trash it, honestly compared to the silly click in ads they had the guys dancing around the table and that kind of stuff. Actually this ad is pretty good.
Mary Jo: It is very straight forward. It is no frills, there it is.
Leo: I am just sorry I can’t play it, I apologize.
Paul: That’s just so strange, have you tried a different browser?
Leo: I did.
Mary Jo: I think I saw somewhere that they pulled that ad. I don’t know or did something.
Paul: It was really low quality.
Leo: Apparently, somebody in the chatroom says they now have a 720P version on there.
Paul: I can play it here.
Leo: Yeah, it’s me. I think Comcast is punishing me for not being quite as faithful to them as they believe I should be.
Paul: Well they heard them trashing them earlier.
Mary Jo: Yeah exactly.
Leo: Yeah all of a sudden things stop working.
Paul: You think it’s bad now, Laporte. We are deleting all of your recorded TV shows I hope you didn’t want to watch the end of VEEB because it’s not there.
Leo: That was good. I did see that. That was awesome. Those spoilers, I wonder how you can spoil a comedy show. Surface Firmware update coming next week.
Paul: Actually they arrive this week.
Leo: Oh it was on Patch Tuesday, okay.
Paul: But Mary Jo what’s the punch line to this story?
Mary Jo: Oh man there’s so many parts. So the only Surface’s that got patched on Patch Tuesday were the Surface Pro 2 and the Surface 2. So those were the 2nd generation Surface’s ARM and Intel based ones. The first generation Surface’s did not get patched, the Surface Pro 3 did not but we hear that will get patched before they go on sale on June 20th. What people got in this bunch of firmware patches for the Surface were a lot of fixes for power and battery life issues that people were having in connection with the covers. That’s a good thing.
Paul: Except they were having those issues on Surface Pro 1.
Mary Jo: Oh yeah they were having those same issues.
Paul: Now they aren’t fixing Pro 1.
Mary Jo:They didn’t get fixed on Surface Pro 1. I also am curious if anything happened to these firmware updates. Because I am hearing from people who are not in the U.S. I’ve heard from one person in the UK and one in Australia that they can’t even get these update. So I’ve asked Microsoft if they pulled them for some reason or are holding back or are throttling the distribution of them outside but I haven’t heard back yet if that’s happening.
Paul: My experience with Surface Pro firmware updates suggests some sort of magic is involved because it seems like you have to run Windows update and you reboot. If you’ve run Windows for any amount of time you get it. Reboot and you go to Windows update again because you know there’s often more stuff there. Sometimes it seems like you have to do that a couple of times and it just shows up. I’ve gotten those kind of reports from people too, where they didn’t see it, they were surprised by it. One guy, I don’t know if it was on email or on Twitter but he said I’ve been looking for this thing because he wrote about it and wanted to get it. A couple reboots later he got one from March. March firmware update he was like what is this. He might have a few to go through I don’t know.
Mary Jo: It is supposed to just come to you automatically through Windows update. Or you can go in and force it by looking for an update proactively. That’s what I did just to see if there were any updates for the Surface Pro 3 yesterday and I didn’t get any firmware.
Paul: Yeah I’ve been looking for that. Hopefully they do deliver on that as they promised. I think we talked about this before but I had that problem last week in Colorado. I had it after the show one time. Now that I know how to fix it I’m a little less skittish when it happens. It’s a tough thing when you’re on the road you bring the one computer and it doesn’t work.
Mary Jo: I know, yeah. There’s this weird bug with the Surface Pro 3 where sometimes after you charge it using the new charging cable the date and the time come back wrong and you can’t turn the machine on easily you have to really fiddle with it. They know and they say they are going to fix that.
Paul: The morning that, that happened I had to use someone’s iPad to moderate comments on my website. Do you have any idea how embarrassing that is.
Leo: Can I use your iPad I can’t use mine. That’s painful. So maybe I want to wait on the Surface Pro 3. I was thinking of getting one.
Mary Jo: They’re going to get that fixed.
Paul: We have a week or so. You can’t go to the Surface guys and say hey this is what’s going on. They aren’t going to talk about anything. They say they’re going to fix it, I guess we’ll take them at their word.
Leo: I just want a little reassurance.
Paul: When you have something, this is new hardware and there is also new capabilities here. This is the first to my knowledge, Haswell machine that has connected standby. It’s tied to what’s not working.
Leo: That makes sense.
Paul: There is always that fear that this can’t be fixed with a software thing. We don’t really know. I’m just the way I am, I worry about these things. You wonder. Obviously if that doesn’t work out you can turn all that stuff off and it will be fine. People have said to me why don’t you just turn off hibernation. It has something to do with the transition between those par management states.
Leo: On every computer I have ever used, Mac, PC, hibernation is hard.
Paul: There is something about it. There are a lot of ideas that are great ideas on paper and the implementation is not great.
Leo: I don’t do it. The idea of hibernation is you save the content of memory to disk and then you really go to an off state. When you restore you turn back on and load RAM from the disk and in theory you’ll be back to where you were. It so rarely works right. It’s just a bad idea.
Paul: It boots a little bit more quickly than a cold boot obviously. You return to the previous state which is valuable. As power management gets more sophisticated. Obviously Microsoft, Apple, whatever you want to make these computers more device like, more seamless all kinds of stuff. You think well okay hibernation is cute but maybe we could change hibernation. Maybe there’s a little heartbeat thing occurring and it could actually download updates in the background with this mini lifeline to the internet. That way when you came back up you could be up to date too. It’s like an explosion of stupidity when you try to do the right thing. It’s a good idea. This PC architecture dates back a long time. It’s not really super sophisticated at the heart of things. I think we’re reaching that weird point.
Leo: I think that’s the Pro tip that everyone should note, turn off hibernation.
Paul: I am not going to write that Pro tip until Microsoft fixes this problem so I can make sure it’s fixed and then I’m probably going turn off hibernation. I am not going to do it now.
Leo: Because you want to see it work.
Paul: I want to see it work. There are battery saver it’s not battery saver. There are kind of battery configuration tools built into Windows you can look at stuff. It tells me that connective standby is not available on this computer.
Leo: Oh interesting.
Paul: I just think it doesn’t know how to look for it on this computer. I think it doesn’t understand it. Because it looks at it and well you have a Core processor and possibly have connective standby.
Leo: This has been a problem, I go back to Windows 95. ACPI getting the right kernel, I mean answering questions about power.
Paul: The USB plug and play. Remember you can do the hot swapping of cards inside of a computer in a server too. No this works, they tell you. This will work, here’s a card put it in your server I dare you. Nobody would ever do this. Nobody would ever do this, I don’t care if this works this thing is shutting down it’s not going to do that. I am going to put on a static free glove, I am going to plug it in and then I am going to turn it back on. Nobody does that, that’s crazy. You hear it and you nod your head and you’re like, yeah, no I’m not doing that, not with my hardware.
Leo: I think you nailed it.
Paul: Because we’ve used computers. We know what they do.
Leo: You know who gets bit by this? Newbies. That’s the problem. Then they all call my radio show and then they say, the hibernation, what happened, it’s supposed to work! They don’t even know the word hibernation.
Paul: Then I heard a pop and I smelled sulfur.
Leo: Am I possessed.
Paul: You might just want to buy an iPad.
Leo: I do periodically get calls from people who think their computer is literally possessed. Like literally.
Paul: I touched something to a CPU one time and there was a pop and the surface of the CPU actually melted. I thought that’s not good, that’s not supposed to be liquid. Putting hardware in a computer is unparalleled.
Leo: Yeah don’t mess with it. If you’re going to do that can I recommend Carbonite online backup. It would be prudent before you hotswap that hard drive to back it up on Carbonite. The nice thing about Carbonite, if you are a Carbonite user you’re back up right now. Carbonites automatic continuous backup. Once that first backup set gets done every change you make, everything that happens is automatically backed up virtually instantly. So you have this peace of mind that all my stuff is safe and not sitting next to the computer where that exploding CPU could catch everything on fire and lose everything. It is safe in the cloud far far away. I am a big fan of Carbonite. It is very affordably. Flat rate pricing you pay once a year. They don’t meter your data, it’s as much data as you want. $59.99 a year for everything on a single Mac or PC. That’s less than 5 bucks a month. It’s a great choice for a small business. Look at their small business plans at Carbonite.com and then you can try it free. Usually that first two weeks is enough to get that first backup set done so you’re ready to go. Then you can start paying for it, and if you do, make sure you use the offer code “WINDOWS” because it’ll get you two bonus months free when you buy. You’ve got to back it up to get it back. Do it right. With Carbonite. Online backup. And then go ahead and fry that CPU. Peace of mind protection. You’re safe.
Paul: Those are the days.
Leo: Aah, yes. So have we covered the surface updates in enough sufficient detail? Is there anything else to say? Now let’s talk about Windows phone 8.1 update 1. Now it’s your turn.
Paul: Which by the way, I’m sure they will call “update 1”.
Leo: Because what, why?
Paul: Because Microsoft, the Windows team called theirs “update”.
Leo: They like to drive you crazy. Oh they don’t want to do anything like the Windows team does.
Paul: They’re the same team. That’s the funny part.
Mary Jo: I was going to say, they’re all one.
Paul: That’s what makes it funny. Yeah.
Leo: That’s really funny.
Mary Jo: They used to call the updates for Windows phone “GDR”. General distribution release one, two, three.
Leo: That’s a terrible name. Nobody knows what that, yeah.
Mary Jo: Now they’re going with update.
Leo: Updates a good word. Yeah.
Mary Jo: Yeah. So update 1 for Windows phone 8.1. So we should also make it really clear because Paul and I are both getting a lot of questions on twitter about this. Windows phone 8.1 is still not yet rolled out by any carriers for existing handsets. It hasn’t been rolled out yet. Even though everybody has it, they’re talking about it. You can get it if you just register as a developer. But it’s not being pushed yet by anybody. So I’ve seen people panicking saying “I don’t have it yet”, you’re not supposed to have it yet. I think it’s supposed to start rolling out in the next couple weeks.
Paul: This is normal, it’s okay.
Leo: I don’t have it yet.
Mary Jo: Yeah. We’re already going to talk about the update to it even though you don’t have it yet. So yeah, you’re going to start getting them- Windows phone 8.1 over the next couple of weeks and then it’s going to be a gradual roll out depending on carriers, depending on handsets. The next update to that is update 1, which we think is probably going to come sometime late summer, fall-ish. It’s probably going to be announced before that, but it’s probably not going to roll out until then.
Leo: So I used Paul’s trick to get 8.1 on my 1520, and I have had a couple, I think two, updates now. But that’s not what you’re talking about. That’s just updates prior to the official release of 8.1.
Paul: Well that’s another story of its own isn’t it? I mean, because people, the very name the developer previously suggested was not the RTM version of Windows 8.1. And that’s actually incorrect, it is the RTM version. But there were post RTM updates, there are drivers, there are firmware updates from the manufactures. Well there’s all kinds of stuff that gets added later, so that’s what, Mary Jo is talking about the public release. When you get that through your carrier you’re going to get all that other stuff.
Mary Jo: Yeah. You’re going to get all the accumulative updates to that.
Leo: Right. And by the way-
Paul: And if you did the method, you’ll still get the other stuff. You’re not, you know, you’re not out of it because you did it early. You’ll get all the other stuff.
Leo: Yeah. You promised me that. That’s why I did it.
Paul: I feel very confident –
Mary Jo: You’ll get firmware updates too like Sian.
Leo: I’m very happy and it’s been very reliable. I’m super glad I did it.
Paul: It’s great if you don’t use XBOX music.
Leo: Oh, that’s the thing that’s not good?
Paul: Listen, if you want to look at a blank black screen every time you run an app, this is the update for you. But it really is kind of, right? It’s maddening. Like you have to, you run it, blank screen, you shut it down, you run it and then it’s okay.
Leo: Oh. Oh that’s easy, there’s always something.
Paul: It’s very strange.
Leo: Its beta software Paul.
Paul: Well, see it’s not beta software, that’s the problem it’s, yeah.
Mary Jo: That’s another thing we should clarify. Windows phone 8.1 RTM-ed in April.
Paul: Early April.
Leo: So what’s the hold up?
Mary Jo: Really, early April? Right. So the holdup is then the carriers want to test it and the carriers want to schedule when it comes out and so what you’re going to get when you get it rolled out to you is going to be that RTM code plus all the stuff they’ve done since. It’ll be rolled out …
Paul: And Greg told us too, they kind of know, it’s not like releasing Windows. You could, these days you could finish a Windows update, put it on the web and it’d be out there in the world. You know the phones are different and they know going into it that as these things get tested by various entities there will be fixes. I mean they’ll find problems. They sometimes know about these problems ahead of time. That there will be problems. And were going to fix it. We know we have a window before the public gets it. You know, so this is what we’re seeing. So we’ve never had a Windows phone update where we got it early. Witnessed the post RTM updates happening, usually only inside Microsoft you would see that. And then it goes out into the world. We’ve only been on the receiving end of it before. So now we get to see it as it happens so I think its confusing people but this is one of the benefits, is a tough word, but it’s a side effect of being involved earlier in the process than ever before, it’s nice.
Leo: Yeah. I’m happy.
Mary Jo: Yes, it is. Yeah, so what you get with this big update 1. One of the big things everybody is expecting is 3D touch. This is a feature they’re calling 3D touch. So you know the phone that Amazon is supposedly going to launch-
Leo: June 18th. The crotch phone. Or something. We don’t know.
Paul: Why do we call it that?
Leo: Because its, if you look at the preview video, everybody is going “whoa, whoa, whoa”.
Mary Jo: I got you. Everybody is looking down.
Paul: That’s the look you have when you step on a landmine.
Mary Jo: It’s like, it moves with me.
Leo: I turn, it turns, whoa. So but we think it’s a 3D phone, that was the rumor.
Mary Jo: Exactly, and so-
Leo: Why would anybody want that?
Mary Jo: So you know, Tom Warren at The Verge had a good explainer what this means possibly. He talked about what is the 3D touch like. So there’s some things that it’ll- if he’s right- it’ll let you do. Like if you start going towards a tile, it’s going to kind of anticipate where you’re going, right. And I think other people have had that too. I think WP central had something on that. If you go towards a group of tiles it’ll automatically split them. Tom also said, if you pick up the phone it’ll automatically turn on. That would be another feature of this which would actually be kind of handy. So it’s those kind of things. So people who have current phones, I bet they’re not going to get this. Because I would think you’d have to have a lot of new sensors and capabilities built in.
Leo: I don’t think so. I think all these phones already have a proximity sensor they have accelerometers…
Paul: But the proximity has to be very sensitive about certain, you know, every spot on the screen.
Leo: Is that you’re hovering- it senses your finger hovering over it? Or do you actually-
Paul: It’s like the kids toy with the magnets in them. You’ve got the face and you drag around the beard, you know that?
Paul: It’s got to be like that, kind of a traction type thing where it senses your finger coming, yeah, it’s coming towards the screen and its anticipating the part of the screen …
Leo: That might be it, and that would be specialized. Things like picking up the phone and having it- that’s accelerometer stuff.
Mary Jo: Right, right, yeah. So we don’t know how much of this is going to require new hardware verses not require new hardware. Everybody was kind of anticipating, back, maybe like, I think last year. They were thinking this 3D touch capability might have made it into Windows phone 8.1, but it didn’t in the end. So…
Paul: I was just going to say that, it was expected in 8.1.
Mary Jo: It was a rumor right?
Paul: I think what happened is the hardware didn’t appear soon enough. So some of the Nokia devices that would have shipped, say this quarter, are now shipping at the end of the year or early next year. Whatever. So there’s no point in putting it into the OS.
Mary Jo: Right. One of the new hardware devices supposedly getting this capability built in is code name McLaren. Ev Leaks said that. It’s the Aluminum McLaren and that’s supposed to be on Verizon, I think in November. He’s hearing. So he’s saying that phone will be optimized to run this update 1 and it’ll be a 3D touch phone. That’s the rumor on that.
Leo: See, the Amazon thing, maybe it does have all that. I thought more like it was a 3D screen. Like you…
Mary Jo: More like what Android had right?
Leo: Yeah, that’s dumb. But I don’t know, we’ll find out, June 18th.
Mary Jo: We don’t know.
Leo: And then we’ll find out what 3D touch is. I think we have a better idea of what 3D touch is on Windows phone. We don’t know what the hell Amazons up to.
Paul: It’s got to be more than an Amazon logo. I mean I don’t quite, you know, obviously they’re looking for some differentiator.
Mary Jo: Well you figure Prime probably gets built into that phone somehow.
Paul: It’s like we have an app store with fewer apps, that can’t be it.
Leo: I expected, remember we talked about Fire TV when that, Amazon announced that and we though oh. But all, it’s really just a me-too product.
Paul: It really kind of is, yeah.
Leo: And so I don’t, I think it may just be Amazon saying “look, we’re going to have all the devices in all the areas, just like we have the Fire tablet”. The Fire HT tablet. Nice tablet with a modified Android-
Paul: I don’t know if I made, did I make this comparison on the show? I don’t remember, but it occurred to me that Amazon getting into these markets is a lot like in the old days when Barns and Noble started publishing their own books. And as an author you know, you go into a store and you want to see your book in the computer section, and you go over there and this is Barns and Noble’s section of books they’re selling for the price of 1/3 the price of normal computer books and it’s a little upsetting at the time. Obviously karma has caught up with Barns and Noble but whatever. But you can go to Amazon now and they have these sort of versions of things. And Amazon makes a lot of electronics actually if you look it up. Like Amazon Basics. They have a lot of really cheap HDMI cables and tablet stands and cases and they do all these little things and-
Leo: And why not, you know? And I think-
Paul: As you watch them get into fights with companies now, publically. At some point people just get attuned to going to Amazon to buy things. Maybe the brand doesn’t matter. And they just buy whatever Amazon sells and those things increasingly are Amazon things.
Leo: You know, with eBooks they’ve done that. You know, they’ve absolutely disinter mated eBooks. Yeah, I mean, my sense is that the Kindle HDX, their tablet is very popular.
Paul: It’s inexpensive.
Leo: Yeah, its inexpensive, it’s popular with a certain class of people. People who are not sensitive to the brand. But just want a tablet. As you say.
Paul: And are by definition not rich.
Leo: And it’s cheap and it’s got everything they want, it’s actually a very good tablet, its not-
Paul: Yeah spec wise it certainly competes you know, with whatever. Yeah.
Leo: So if Amazon is a brand you particularly like and identify with, then that makes sense. Buy the Amazon thing. The Amazon-
Paul: Yeah, you get into this Amazon stuff and you’re in. you know, it’s like the mob. You have a couple hundred books on Kindle, you’re not going to buy a Nook.
Leo: You’re stuck. Well, it’s the same with Apple right?
Paul: Oh no, no I’m not saying it’s unique. It’s no less evil.
Leo: Ecosystems are good for the companies. Right. They’re not good for you, they’re good for the companies.
Paul: Why would a publically owned corporation want to make money? I don’t get it.
Leo: I don’t understand it. What is their rationale, what are they thinking?
Paul: I don’t get money.
Leo: Well that’s why you’re a writer. That’s why you keep writing books.
Mary Jo: That cost two dollars.
Paul: I’m going to write an Amazon book.
Leo: Now the Lumia McLaren, the McLaren is a racecar, it’s a driver and it’s a racecar company and it implies that this will be a fast phone.
Mary Jo: It’s good.
Leo: Right. I like the name McLaren, I wonder if they licensed it.
Paul: Well no this is a code name, they’re not going to use it.
Mary Jo: It’s a code name.
Paul: This will be the Lumia, you know, 16 75 Windows phone 9. You know, whatever they call it.
Mary Jo: I hope they start switching with that like they did with the Lumia Icon. Like Lumia Icon was no number right?
Paul: It’s a good name, yeah.
Leo: It would be kind of cool if it was like a Formula1 phone with racing stripes.
Paul: Right. There is actually no reason they couldn’t do that, but you know, Nokia makes too many phones, that’s one of the problems. So it’s hard to come up with unique names that are meaningful. They have so many devices, maybe they need to scale back a little bit.
Leo: Yeah. Joe Belfour done been tweeting. What is he saying these days? Joey B.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Overnight he launched a whole bunch of tweets giving people some things to grouse about again.
Paul: He’s like a groundhog you know. He pops his head up and…you know and then throws a grenade and goes back to sleep.
Leo: Tosses his hair.
Mary Jo: Exactly. Yeah he talked about let’s see, I’m looking at his tweets now. Windows phone 8.1 software is finished. Yep we knew that. Their updating, fixes are ongoing. Then he said people are asking why universal apps aren’t ready yet? Universal apps are the ones where they work on phone and PC and you can go to the store and if you buy one you automatically get the other one. And he’s saying well, we’re just ramping up Windows phone 8.1 right now so you have to wait for that before they can start coming.
Paul: Didn’t they, when they announced universal apps, there was an understanding about the timeframe wasn’t there? I mean, it wasn’t, this wasn’t something that happened, you know, it’s just on. I thought this was coming to the store later in the year or something. We’re going to have to look it up.
Mary Jo: I think people started seeing some apps in the store were checked as being available for both Windows phone 8.1 and Windows. But that doesn’t mean that was a universal app.
Paul: Yeah, but that’s not, yeah. That’s licensing. They turned on a licensing thing in the store.
Mary Jo: Yeah, they did.
Paul: Which allowed those app developers who wanted to participate to do that. But that’s not a universal app.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Universal apps means you can reuse more of the code, you can use the new version of Visual Studio. One of the updates, I think its update 2 to build common projects that work across the two platforms. So it has a very specific meaning. The one that he talked about that. Okay. The one that he talked about that Paul and saw the most people complaining about is what they’re doing around social media network integration. So Joe Belfour said You know, the reason that we decided to undo the hub model as we’ve talked about before with Windows phone 8.1 was the way we had it was only specific social networks were integrated into things. So yes, Facebook was integrated, yes, twitter was integrated. But all the other social networks were not. So now in order to decouple the operating system to the social networks we’re undoing the hub model. And that is getting some people really-
Leo: That’s not how you fix it, you add other- can’t you allow other- this is how they solved it on Android, and they’re about to solve it on Apple, is when you install an app, like Linked In, it just adds it to the hub.
Paul: Okay, so they are sort of doing that on Windows phone.
Mary Jo: What do they call that? It has a social something name. You’ve actually written about it.
Paul: Yeah. Social framework I think. Is the name of it. Yeah. This is a tough one because when you go back to the original windows phone announcement, obviously Microsoft went into this market, they wanted to differentiate. And not just be different but attempt to be better than the existing platforms. So this is one of the areas that I certainly trumpeted as a big advantage, you know, this integration stuff. You can go into the messaging app and message across various networks. You can go into the people app and you can post things to multiple networks or one network or your choice of networks. It was kind of a neat deal. It in use though, what you discover over time is that integration is nice, but it doesn’t keep up with the innovations that are occurring on the underlying services. And the big example I always use is the one that hit me earliest on. Was you could check into Facebook from the integration parts, but you couldn’t check other people into Facebook, which is something you could do in the Facebook app. And so increasingly over time, not just for that one reason, but there were many other things, I just started using the apps instead of the built in integration parts. And it would become, farther on the date over time because Microsoft couldn’t update them because of course the carriers don’t let Microsoft update the OS now. It just doesn’t happen especially 7, 7.5, up through, well, until 8.0. I would say they just didn’t get a lot of updates out. And so the new model is designed to answer that problem you know. Have the integration occur through the app. Apps can be updated at any time. We talked about this you know. In business so freaked out about updating Oss all the time in the rapid release model. But there are updates in apps every single day and nobody bats an eye. And so Microsoft can update- or third parties in this case- can update their apps and that will update the integration piece and everyone’s happy supposedly. But everyone is not happy because as it turns out, currently anyway, those, the process of, you’re going to share something on Facebook. So you bring up the new share button they have in Windows phone 8.1 which looks like the share button in Windows 8.1. You have a list of choices, you choose Facebook and then the Facebook app loads slowly. You know, and you go to the part of the Facebook app that does the sharing bit, and you can do that, it’s a share contract, it works. A lot like it does in Windows 8.1. It’s slow though and that’s the problem. And here we are before Windows 8.1 is come out and the twitter app was made briefly available in kind of a beta. It turns out it was a mistake and so a lot of people didn’t get it. I happen to have it on one phone, I don’t have it on another. And you need that new version of the app to share through twitter using that built in kind of new integration bit. You know, Linked In will be added and like you said, other third parties can add their own services. So this is like one of those little tumults that’s going through Windows phone right now. So we’re sitting here with like 4% market share, you know, you’ve got to make some changes when things aren’t working. And you know, I think back to, actually the Facebook app is another example. Remember when the Facebook app on Windows phone used to look like a Windows phone app, it was really neat. And then they switched it to the generic design that looks like the Facebook app on other platforms and it was like eehh. You know, like this doesn’t have that Windows phone differentiation. But obviously it’s better to have the app than it is not to have the app and that was kind of the choice. And so you have to give up that uniqueness just to have the app and in this case you have to give up what many people would argue was one of the best parts of Windows phone because as good as it was it actually wasn’t working. It couldn’t, because of wireless carriers, because of app developers, for probably 100 reasons. You know, you just couldn’t keep those integration bits up to date. And so now they have a new model and you know, we all love change and so people are freaking out.
Mary Jo: But now I think some people are freaking out because it’s now in the hands of the developers to work with us and Leon Zanman reminds us it’s called the social extensibility framework right. That’s the thing they have to tie into. So you know, we’re having to wait for Facebook and wait for twitter to update their apps for Windows phone 8.1 so that they work with the new model and not the old way now.
Paul: But you know what, that’s still better than the old system because we could wait all we wanted, it was never coming. And so the way it worked in previous versions was it never got updated. So you had to use the app. You know if you wanted to do the thing I just described, Facebook adds a new feature, whatever it is. If you want to do that, it has to come through the app. I mean Facebook, actually I don’t think Facebook is all that slow to be honest, but whatever. You have to wait for Facebook yes. Better than waiting on AT&T, better than waiting on Verizon. Because that’s never going to happen. You know. So it’s the difference between never and slow.
Leo: You’re always at the mercy of somebody, come on.
Mary Jo: You are. And I think that right now, right now it’s only open to certain social network providers. Microsoft only working with certain ones right now and-
Paul: I think it was the top three from the get go, and then, I guess what he’s saying now is that it’s just open to anybody.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Or implying that it will be.
Paul: Yeah, so well they always kind of implied it would be but I, you know. The theory is that if you’re Flickr or whatever they’re calling Google+ photos these days, or whatever it is. Google+ let’s say, or a third party who wants to write to their open APIs, you could put something into the share contract that would let you share a photo, whatever it is. To whatever service. You know, works just like it does in Windows 8. It’s like, two open ended things you can, you know, Flickr, obviously you could share photos. So you could select photos, share to Flickr. That’s a good way to get them into Flickr. Or whatever.
Leo: Yeah, my Apple just announced this in IOS 08 because they had the same issue where it was only approved companies, etc. and they’ve , you have to come up with a safe way to do this, because you’ve got one app kind of intruding on another app.
Paul: This is not the show to discuss that, but actually Apple’s integration announcement, the more I think about it, it’s actually the single biggest thing that happened last week. Because this was the – all extensibility across the board. Like, you can add your own keyboard to the phone, are you kidding me?
Leo: Yeah, that’s huge.
Paul: The IPhone or IOS or whatever, Apple’s platforms are closed. You get what you get and you like it and no one complains.
Leo: No, I agree with you. This is huge.
Paul: I mean, that. Honestly, that’s huge.
Leo: It’s almost a new Apple.
Paul: Yeah, so Tim Cook’s Apple, you’re looking for it, there it is. I mean, that’s a big change. But again, that’s not a big deal for us. But on the Microsoft side they’ve always been trying to do this integration thing in Windows phone. You know, and Windows 8 as well, and It just wasn’t, the way they did it before just wasn’t working. And unfortunately for those people who are kind of the ardent fans of Windows phone, a lot of them are very disappointed right now because they look at this and they say “It worked fine for me, and it was faster and it was less steps, and whatever”. And fair enough. But unfortunately it’s like evolve or die. I mean we don’t really have a choice.
Mary Jo: Oh, do we want to talk about some of the new cool Windows phones?
Leo: Besides McLaren?
Paul: Oh these are actually coming out soon.
Mary Jo: Yeah. I have one of them here.
Paul: Do you really? Which one?
Leo: Excitement central.
Mary Jo: I have the Lumia 630.
Leo: Oh man. So that’s the first Windows 8.1 phone.
Mary Jo: Look at that, so little.
Paul: Right? That’s 8.1.
Mary Jo: Yes, it is Windows 8.1. Windows phone 8.1.
Leo: What’s unique about that?
Paul: Is it the single sim or the dual sim one?
Mary Jo: Is this the single or dual sim? It’s a micro sim. This is a micro sim. This does not have a US carrier assigned to it as far as I know. This is going to be world…
Paul: Yeah, no these are internationally…
Leo: Probably dual sim then.
Mary Jo: So I’m just using it on Wi-Fi.
Leo: Very colorful and pretty.
Mary Jo: Yeah, really nice. Yep. It’s very light, it’s got the plastic back.
Paul: So what do you use it on here? Is it attached to AT&T here?
Mary Jo: Nope, I’m just using it on Wi-Fi.
Leo: Nope, she said just on Wi-Fi.
Paul: Oh, just on Wi-Fi, okay.
Mary Jo: Yup, yup. Its 4.5 in. I was showing it to a couple of IPhone users yesterday who both said “wow, I actually like that size a lot, because it’s a little bigger than the IPhone.”
Leo: They’re the only people in the world who say “wow, that’s big.”
Mary Jo: I know they thought it was big.
Paul: You know what though, Apple users are beautiful because when IPhone 6 or whatever comes out with a 4.whatever screen, 5 inch screen, they will proclaim that this is the perfect size and God bless Apple for giving it to us. You know.
Mary Jo: Yeah. It was funny, because to me it seems so tiny because I’ve been using the 1520, the Icon, and I’m like squinting at this thing like “whoa, it’s little.”
Leo: It’s only 4 and a half inches! Wow that’s huge.
Paul: It’s like using a periscope.
Mary Jo: It has Cortana on it, which is nice, it does not have a dedicated camera button on it.
Paul: Right, which is weird right? I would forget.
Mary Jo: Really weird.
Leo: You know, I don’t really mind that, I keep hitting it by accident. Okay, you’re a righty. Cause on the 1520, because I’m a leftie, I cannot not hit a button on the right side. Because there’s so many buttons. Because I’m holding-
Paul: How did you get this far in life without someone tying your left hand behind your back and forcing you to use the correct hand for everything?
Leo: I realize this is a right handed biased phone because if you hold it in your right hand your thumb finds a spot, a natural spot, right between the buttons, but with four fingers on the other side there’s no good place to hold that phone that you don’t hit volume, on/off or camera button. It’s actually a weird problem.
Paul: The 1520 is also humongous so you almost need like a, like an oven mitt or something to hold it.
Leo: I have to hold the phone, I have to-
Paul: A catcher’s mitt.
Leo: It is not an easy phone for me to hold because I can’t hold it naturally. Which is weird. But its only lefties would notice this.
Mary Jo: Yeah, huh.
Leo: Isn’t that odd?
Mary Jo: Yeah, I keep reaching for the camera button on this.
Paul: You’re a lefty aren’t you Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: No, I’m a righty.
Paul: You’re a righty, okay.
Leo: I’m working with a bunch of righties.
Mary Jo: It is an adjustment not to have the camera button after you get so accustomed to it.
Paul: That is the thing I miss so much on every other phone.
Leo: And on Windows phone that launches the camera app if you hit the button.
Paul: And you can configure which app it launches which is really neat.
Paul: So what do you have to do? Put a camera tile on your start screen then?
Mary Jo: Yeah, notification screen, you can have a camera button set on there.
Leo: Like the rest of the world.
Mary Jo: Or you can use the camera app.
Paul: Screw those guys.
Leo: That’s so- that’s awful.
Paul: That’s too bad.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: I mean, why would they even do that? That’s so crazy.
Leo: It is a Nokia thing to have a camera button.
Paul: It’s like a – yeah. Every single phone until this version has had that button.
Leo: This is like a normal phone.
Mary Jo: Maybe because they’re trying to make it easier on OEMs to have the option not to have the dedicated-
Leo: They’re listening to the lefties of the world.
Paul: I think that Microsoft removed it as a requirement. But you know, for whatever its worth, the camera button requirement was removed for 8.0. Nobody shipped a phone without it. So this is not a new thing, day one. This has been around since 8.0. I’m asking is why Nokia, which has shipped a bunch of phones, has never done this. Why would they do it with this one? It’s such a weird thing to leave off.
Mary Jo: It’s not there.
Mary Jo: Yep. It’s a nice little device so, liking it. I think it’ll be really nice for people who, it looks just like, you know. A regular Windows phone. Has all the other features except the camera button.
Paul: Yeah, I’m curious to see what the unsubsidized cost will be on that, say on expanses or whatever. You know. But it’s kind of a low end phone. It’s kind of like a low res screen right?
Leo: What else is new? What other new phones? I’m sorry. Yeah. Just don’t want to obsess with this one. Mary Jo does have it, so that’s good. That’s cool. Yeah.
Paul: No, so last week Microsoft posted a bit more about some of the other phones that they announced at Computext. And a bunch of these, actually I think all of these. Or most of these, are coming to the United States, which is kind of interesting. We don’t, we only have partial information on all of them but a company called BLU, which is B-L-U, has 4 and 5 inch handsets coming. They don’t have names yet. Really attractive. Multiple colors, bright colors, that sort of thing. So it’s a cool looking- the 5 inch is identical looking, at least in the photo, to the original version of the HTC 1. Which I think we can all agree is a nice look. But in multiple colors. Like neon yellow, neon orange, neon pink and so forth.
Paul: There’s a company called Prestigo that is making two very similar looking phones. A multi phone 8500 duo and then and 8400 duo. And the difference there is a 5 inch verses a 4 inch screen. And then the screen res. So the 8400 is the low end device, 480x800 screen, and the 8500 is kind of what I call a mid-level device. 5 inch screen but its 720p instead of 1080p. Otherwise pretty similar. They look nice. And cheap. The 8500 is coming out in Europe. Actually that one’s not in the United States. In July. And its unsubsidized, $235. And actually the low end one will only be $115. When it arrives in August. And then we talked about the Billy phone. The 4.7. Apparently, I guess we kind of walked through this a little bit last week. But I guess these names, like Billy and Andy are phone lines. It looks like Andy is the name of all of their Android phones. And so they have different names based on screen size or whatever. So this is like a Billy 4.7 and I guess there’s going to be a Billy 4.0 that will ship later. Have a 4 inch screen instead of a 4.7 inch screen, obviously. But that’s going to be a quad processer device which is very interesting. And 8mp rear camera. And it’s only going to cost 140 bucks. And that will be sold in the United States as well as in Europe and in other markets. And the Yez Billy is only going to be $250 on Amazon, unsubsidized.
Leo: As we mentioned last week, the Billy in this is Billy Gates-y.
Paul: Billy Gates. Yeah. As we often would call him. Billy.
Leo: Billy. Somehow I doubt even his parents called him Billy.
Leo: Ah yeah, right. He’d call in the storm troopers if somebody called him that.
Leo: Oh Billy.
Leo: So these will all come soon, and they are all very affordable.
Paul: And there will be a lot more, they signed on, I don't know, seven or nine new partners back in February back at world congress – if I've got my dates right. So throughout the year we're going to see all kinds of stuff, I think a bunch of stuff in China that won't impact us directly, but could help Window's phone in a very material way.
Leo: Grow the market! Finally, Microsoft fights the Feds.
Paul: Mary Jo is my resident psychologist, spends a lot of time this morning listening to me complain about this story, because at some point in the morning I suddenly realized that the news article that I usually finish writing by, say, 9am, is now an hour and a half overdue and I was really struggling with it. It's because it's a legal story and what Microsoft is fighting over is a legal issue, which I don't understand because I write about computers. It reminded me of the early days of the anti-trust trial where all of a sudden you had to understand the anti-trust laws of the United States, product bundling and all these terms that we're just not familiar with, so we all just became like legal experts because this was just part of our daily life. I'm not going to try to explain this accurately, but the basics of this are that Microsoft was asked by the federal government in December, I think it was, to provide it with customer date stored at outlook.com for a customer who was part of a criminal investigation. It turns out that that customers date is stored in Ireland, and so Microsoft protested, saying that you can't ask for data that's stored in another country. The reason they are doing that is because of all the stuff going on with Snowden , NSA and everything. A lot of companies are looking at this clog computing stuff and saying “hold on a second”. We have a lot of laws in Europe, let’s say, because Europe is kind of a hot bed for all this stuff, that have to do with where data can be stored, for example, if you're in Germany, a company can't store a German citizens or companies data outside of Germany, so you either have to have a partner or data center there for that kind of stuff. Europe is a little sensitive right now, because the United States is apparently spying on everybody, including itself. The thought that the United States that could reach into computers that are in other countries and seize the data and bring it back to the United States is kind of scary to the rest of the world, and people are starting to say “maybe we don't want to use Microsoft and it's services.” So there's a lot at stake here. I never saw anywhere that this guy was a citizen of the EU or whatever, I'm not really where he is from, I assume if the data is in Ireland, he is in fact from Europe. Interesting issue. The case hinges on a bunch of things, there was a judge that made a ruling that what the government was asking for was a hybrid of a subpoena and a warrant, and that it was ok under certain laws that we have with data protection that kind of bypass the fourth amendment, and this whole thing is craziness. What it boils down to is that Microsoft is trying to stop the government from taking this data, and it's making a public stand so it can show the world that it's doing this kind of thing. And I really need to stop thinking about this right now, because I'm getting stressed just going through this, it's such a horrible topic. I ope they succeed, whatever it's worth. So they've already lost, a federal court already ruled that this is legal and that the government has the right, so this thing is going to go to court, maybe in late July there will be oral arguments it will go to court, Microsoft is going to keep fighting it. We'll see how that goes. Did that do it any justice, did that make any sense?
Mary Jo: Yes, that was good.
Leo: That's why we have “This week in Law”, I just let them handle all of that!
Paul: Yeah, talk about it on there! If you want to just lose your mind, read the court filings in this case, it's insane!
Leo: The bottom line is they are fighting it, which is what we all want, and of course we know they will lose in the end, but they're giving it a good fight.
Paul: And by the time it's over, this court case that's at the back of this, will have been resolved anyway, it's not even going to matter. It's really strange.
Leo: We're going to take a break, back of the book just around the corner. Paul's tips, Mary Jo's beer, enterprise pix, code names, all of that stuff. Our show today brought to your by Citirx ShareFile. Wednesday is ShareFile day here at the studio, this is when I sit down and record a bunch of different ads for the radio show this weekend, I use ShareFile to get it to them, it is really THE best way to share files, in business you need to frequently need to send files for presentations, invoices, spreadsheets, contracts, all of that stuff, and you might be tempted to send it via email attachment... bad idea. I've said many times, “Don't open attachments”, so that means the people on the other end are going to be a little hesitant – what is this? What did I get? It's easy enough today with the file size we've got with a lot of these things, to send attachments that actually overflow the inbox or get bounced back, and most importantly, it's not secure! I think sending an attachment by email is like sending a postcard, anybody along the way can read it! This is why we use ShareFile, it solves all those problems. You can send files of almost any size without bounce backs, you never lose control of the file, you decide who has access to it and for how long, you get a notification telling you when the file is open, plus you can password protect the files. Makes it really easy to share. I run the share file sync app on my desktop, so anything I put in a special ShareFile folder – actually I have several – automatically gets uploaded to my ShareFile account. I have it set up so that the people I'm sending files to get notifications automatically but I can also get a secure link that I can attach. You can even request files via ShareFile. It is a really great solution for any business that sends a lot of data – or wants to send a lot of date – to clients and colleges. I want you to try it free for 30 days, you'll see, if you go to sharefile.com you can review all the capabilities and stuff, you'll also see several big green “Start your free trial” buttons. Just do me one little favor, don't click any of those obvious buttons, click the one you can barely find, where it says “Podcast Listeners click Here”. Just please click there so you can put in the code “windows” and give Paul and Mary Jo credit for this. And choose your industry too because you'll customize it, it's HIPPA compliant if you're in the medical industry, compliant with FCC regulations in the financial industry. It's everything, food service, graphic design, marketing, photography, even personal use. I actually share files all the time – photos and so forth with ShareFile. The person on the other end doesn't have to be a ShareFile subscriber, doesn't have to know anything, they just a – my company logo is on the page, branded by me, not ShareFile, and there is a big button that says “Download”. Go to sharefile.com click the microphone and get it free for 30 days, THE best way to share files in business. Of course, because it's from Citrix. Citrix's ShareFile – try it today.
Leo: Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Weekly, we're going to start out with Paul's tip of the week in the back of the book.
Paul: In the process of de-bugging my surface for problems this week, I witnessed something that made me look this up, which in pressing buttons on a tablet, trying to get it to do something, suddenly the thing came on and it went into the firmware screen, like the uafi screen, I thought, that was kind of interesting. It's interesting – obviously with PC's we've had the bios for many many years, modern PC's have the the cif and uafi type firmware instead which is typically just more sophisticated and what not. Computers tend to have lots and lots and lots of options in there. The surface pro 3, like the surface pro 2 and 1 I imagine as well, I didn't check that one, has a really minimalistic kind of firmware, and there aren't many options but some of those options are related to such things as TPM and secure boot which are hardware level technologies that integrate with Window's or whatever, and provide certain services related to the integrity, reliability and security of the system. They're designed to enable our NSA state and constant surveillance and that kind of stuff... No, really, it's all good for the user. Anyway, these things are kind of confusing! Mary Jo, as a surface artiser, may have suffered from the red screen thing – did you get that bug back in the surface … ?
Mary Jo: I did not get that bug.
Paul: Ok so some people had it, I had it, where you had to – it was a secure boot problem, I think it thought secure boot wasn't on, even though it was, you had to go into the firmware and fix it. So if you think about the process for accessing the firmware, bios, uafi, whatever it is, usually there's a boot sequence, there's a screen, you hit a key, goes into that setup routine and that's how you do it, but a surface pro, or any surface, pro 3 in this case, you don't necessarily have a keyboard attached to it, it's just a tablet, you have kind of a minimalistic setup of buttons on that thing, volume up and down, a power button, you know the start – window key that probably doesn't do anything when it's off... anyway, how do you make it get into the firmware when it's booting up, because it's also kind of a fast boot sequence as well. There's a secret key combination, as it turns out, and it involves – it's kind of funny – you press in the volume key and hold the volume up button, press the power button, release both, and the surface boot screen occurs briefly, and then you can go into the firmware and make those changes. That said, there aren't a lot of reasons to go in there, there's not much you can do, businesses can do things like disable certain ports, USB, microSD, video out, for example, you can mix and match which ones of those work, you can enable and disable TPIM, most surface pro users do, and you can enable or disable secure boot and some stuff around the encryption keys that are associated with that as well. The only reason I can think of to do any of this stuff, is if you wanted to put another OS on the box, which we can all agree is ludicrous, but some people might want to do that so if you want to do a boot with an earlier version of windows because you're a developer, or if you wanted to do a boot with Linux – I feel like I need to genuflect when I say that – that would... So my tip of the week is for Linux users, I guess is what I'm saying.
Leo: That's awesome!
Paul: The point is, there is a way to get into it if you need to, and I only did it by mistake, but it's interesting to see a tech screen come up on a tablet that has a software mouse cursor that you can move with your finger.
Leo: So in order to do that, like you mentioned, you have to turn off secure boot – it seems like that is a risky thing to do.
Paul: Secure boot is designed to protect the machine from turning on through the boot process, it's kind of a hand off that occurs, it works kind of in tandem with TPM to just insure the integrity of the system, that it is assigned software components, in the case of the OS, the pre-boot stuff – you can have AB software that boots up before windows that is important to protect the system as it's booting so you don't get that kind of drive by attack or whatever. It's all important for windows. So for typical users that are going to use this thing as it's intended, as a window's 8.1 whatever machine, you leave it on, you don't touch it. But it's just good to know how to get into it because there's nothing on the screen that tells you this is what you do, it's quick and you're in.
Leo: That's actually a great tip, I was wondering if you could do that. Everybody – we all know how to get into the bios on a standard PC but this is a little bit different.
Paul: It tells you – usually, but surface pro, they wanted it to be like a device, eliminate a lot of information, it's like “Surface and you're in”.
Leo: This is kind of how you do it on android too, you press the volume button and the power button. A good, very useful tip which I'm going to be making note of. And now our software pick of the week.
Paul: This kind of evolved into like 200
software picks somehow, I'll go through it quickly, a lot of these things don't deserve a lot of talk. Microsoft a couple months ago
made a bookmarklet available for the window clipburn, so you could add this bookmarklet to the bookmark bar on whatever browser you have. It worked on all browsers,
IE, Firefox, Chrome, I think safari and Mac OS10. I
guess a lot of Chrome users were asking for a native extension, and so they've
supplied that, it works really well, it's got a nice little icon. The
difference between an extension and a bookmarklet, as
I understand it, is actually pretty subtle, but I happened to use the bookmark
bar in my browsers – a lot of people don't, and this allows you to have the
little icon just in the regular toolbar that you have. So that's one
difference. I think there's some sophistication that can occur in an extension
that can't occur in a bookmarklet, because a bookmarklet is just java script. As it stands today, it
works exactly the same, you click the button, it saves
the entire webpage as a graphic, pasted into one note or whatever you have
previously configured as the default. I expect in the future, they might make
it a little more sophisticated, for example, why not make the thing that gets
pasted a combination of graphics and text, which is maybe what people want, or
you could configure it just to give you the text, which I think also people
would want. People have said to me “I don't really want a graph, I want the
text”, it's worth noting that one note is sophisticated enough to do character
recognition of graphics, so if you search one note, you think “I know I saved
this webpage, and it was about this topic”, if you search one note for that
topic, and the text was in that graphic that was clipped, you will find it
through search, so you can actually get to it that way, but you obviously can't
select the text and cut and paste it.
So that's one of 17... I'll move more quickly for the other ones!
Facebook messenger was updated on window's phone, I don't have much to say about that other than to say that facebook is splitting up their apps now, so there's a facebook app, they're going to be removing the messaging capabilities in the app and putting it in facebook messenger, facebook messenger is actually not a bad all in one messaging app, and if you like to talk to people on facebook you're going to need it, that's been updated.
Skype – Microsoft is updating the iPhone version of skype to look like the window's phone version, which I actually find to be hilarious, by the way. I compared it to the current version of skype for iPhone and the current version of skype doesn't look anything like an iPhone app but it also doesn't look anything like the skype apps. I guess they're making it consistent across platforms so Android IOS, Window's phone, they will look essentially the same when you look at them side by side. That's not out yet but it's coming out next week.
A listener wrote in and reminded me, I completely forgot about this, but the other day, Disney made a bunch of the games temporarily available for free on Window's 8.x and Window's phone. Some of these are normally $5. So if you grab these things now, you can get them for free – I'm going to read through the list.
Disney solitaire, where's my water, where's my perry, where's my mickey, wreck it ralph, toy story smash it, monsters university, WMW? XYY – that is literally the name of the game – they're all free, so if you have kids or you're a child at heart...
And one final one, this just happened as we were starting the show, Pinterest has released the beta version of the long promised app for your window's phone, so if you're that kind of person who uses this service, if you're a pinner...
Mary Jo: I'm a little bit scared about this, I thought it was going to be all good news, and I'm getting people on twitter saying “It's just a wrapper around their website”... so I don't know if that's true, but that's what they're saying.
Leo: You know what, it's a one MB file, it probably doesn't contain an entire app.
Paul: I feel comfortable crossing that one off the list if you want to do that.
Mary Jo: There's some third party Pinterest...
Paul: All this time later and all they released is a wrapper for the website?!
Mary Jo: I know, I can't believe it either, really?! No! Take that one off.
Leo: WMW means “Where's my water, featuring XYY”. That's what they're telling me in the chat room, and you know the chat room never lies.
Paul: So they must be making the name small so it fits on the mobile screen or something.
Leo: If you look on the android screen that's what they call it.
Paul: They're really beating the “Where's my whatever” to death, they have approximately 200 games with this kind of name.
Leo: I think they acquired Where's my water, that's been around for a while.
Paul: That wasn't with the crocodile was it?
Leo: Yeah, that was a good one. Taught
you water conservation.
Well thank you Paul, you've done your service for the day, back to ghosts for you. Meanwhile, the enterprise pick of the week, Mary Jo Foley.
Mary Jo: It's funny, my enterprise pick of the week also has a Linux bent to it, so this is kind of interesting. My pick is Docker, and Docker is an open source engine that automates application deployment, it's a big favorite among the linux vendors, this week they announced – the folks at Docker inc announced the 1.0 milestone release of Docker. So everybody was trying to get on board, IBM, Google, everybody wanted to say “We're doing Docker, we support it”. Surprisingly, Microsoft – or maybe not so surprisingly given their more open source these days, Microsoft also supports it. And the way they support it is you can run Docker, which uses a container model instead of a virtual machine model, on top of the linux virtual machine on azure, so that's pretty cool that you can do that, you could already to that but Microsoft highlighted “yes” that's how you can run Docker on azure. They also talked about how they are working on some cross platform command line interface tools that's going to make it even easier to launch Docker on azure. They did a couple of blog posts, you can go and find them on the azure blog, and I think there is a tech net blog post that talks about this, if you're interested in seeing how Docker works on azure.
Leo: Excellent. Of course, our code name pick of the week comes from a beautiful city, in France.
Mary Jo: Yes. The code name pick is Orleans, which I've done as a code name pick before, but I figured it was very appropriate today given that we started the show off by talking about gaming. Orleans is a cloud programming model built around Dot-Net that Microsoft research built. Last year they talked about how the Halo team actually used Orleans for some of their work around distributing gaming. I realized, I totally let this slide past me, but Microsoft made Orleans available in public preview form at Build. So anybody can try out Orleans and see how this works with azure. I found it very interesting that Microsoft is using it, or kind of seeding it internally as well. They're not just using it with the halo team, but they've had some hacker fest where they've let people come to campus and try out Orleans, they've talked about how it maybe could figure in some future way into their internet of things strategy, because azure is a big part of that strategy as well. Orleans is moving ahead, it's one of those research projects that we never really knew if and how it would be commercialized, but it looks like Microsoft is starting to move closer to making it available to developers in some form on azure.
Leo: Ladies and Gentleman, let us drink some beer in celebration of another fabulous episode of window's weekly, this one comes from – looks like the pacific north west – am I right?
Mary Jo: Nope, from Colorado. I don't know if we had this one last week.
Leo: Which one is it?
Mary Jo: Great Divide's Rumble IPA. This is a IPA... I think you might like this one, it's not a hot bomb, it does have noticeable hops, I got to taste it last week. What makes it more interesting though, is it's aged in oak, so it gives it a little interesting flavor that makes it a little different than other IPA's, but still, it's a nice IPA, very balanced, not all just hops, you can definitely taste some malt in this one. I thought it was a really good one, I think Paul would agree.
Paul: I would say this for Mary Jo, she does know what I like and when she recommends a beer, I always like it. She's never once handed me a beer and said “I think you're going to like this” and then I spat it all over somebody.
Leo: That's the kind of beer friend we all need. “I know what you like and you're going to like this one!”
Mary Jo: It's called “Great Divide Rumble” if anybody can find it around their towns. It's a good one.
Paul: You're not going to believe this
but I actually have another software pick to add.
So Microsoft has just released a pre-release version of OWA for android, OWA is such a stupid name because OWA originally stood for outlook web app, it is their outlook client for android. This is already available for IOS so if you have an iPhone, and I think iPad, but at least iPhone. What OWA is is and all in one – OWA for Android is the name, it is from Microsoft. It's just and app that's for office 365 business accounts – all business accounts, small business and up, not office 365 personal or home premium, not outlook.com, this is for the business versions of office 365, that's it. It has access to your office 365 email, contacts, calendar, all in one app like you would do in outlook. Why they don't just call it outlook, I have no idea. I think probably everyone understands that android devices support EAS pretty well, and you can do all this stuff through the native apps, but as the capabilities of office 365 evolve, mobile devices are moving more away from EAS more to MDM type management stuff. Microsoft wants to have this app to make sure all the native features are available in this service, this is actually a cool little app if you need it. I don't use my office 365 business account for a lot, I have it on the iPhone just to kind of check out what's going on there, but it's like an all in one in the app.
Leo: Not outlook.com, however. And it's from Microsoft and it's free. But if you don't use and exchange server, you shouldn't get it.
Paul: Actually if you run an exchange server, I don't think you can get it. It's just for office 365, I believe this will not work with a corporate exchange.
Leo: There you go – pre-release, just released. Paul Thurrott is at the super site for windows, winsupersite.com that's where he hangs his hat but you can also find his books online, and that includes the Window's 8.1 book, the xbox music book, whatever... window's phone secrets... I don't know. You write so many books, I just can't... in the time we've been doing this show, you've written like 8 books, I just can't keep up!
Paul: How do you people even keep allowing me to do this, what kind of friends are you?!
Leo: I buy every one of them, I'm broke! And coincidentally, so is Paul!
Leo: Great to have you, regular around here, we just adore him. Mary Jo Foley, same there, she's the Queen of Microsoft at allaboutmicrosoft.com a blog where she files all the time and is really the scoop person, and smart enough not to write any books.
Mary Jo: Just the one, the one was enough!
Leo: Wise woman! Thank you so much both of you. We do Window's weekly Wednesdays 11am pacific, 2pm eastern time, 1800 UTC so if you tune in and watch live, we'd love that, it's always a lot of fun in the chat room, but if you can't, don't worry, we have audio and video on demand at TwiT.tv/ww or youtube.com/windowsweekly, or wherever you aggregate your podcast like iTunes or wherever, it's always there. And of course our fabulous apps – we've got 2 apps on windows phone, I'm not going to play favorites, we didn't do either of them, try them both and see which one you like the best. Thank you Paul, Thank you Mary Jo, we'll see you next time on Windows Weekly!