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Windows Weekly 369
Father Robert Ballecer: It’s time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here to argue about Windows Threshold, take Office 365 to task for a dismal week of reliability and maybe just maybe the Surface is dying. Windows Weekly is next.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Episode 369, recorded July 2nd, 2014
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It’s time for Windows Weekly! The show that covers Microsoft and unlocks the secrets of the software giant. Whether it be for home, for business or the enterprise, we’re here to decipher the puzzle wrapped in an enigma served on a service. Joined of course by our fantastic hosts starting with Ms. Mary Jo Foley author of all about microsoft blog on ZDnet. Mary Jo thank you for being here.
Mary Jo Foley: Thanks Padre, it’s nice to have another enterprise guy on the show. Woohoo.
Fr. Robert: I know. Oh by the way I do have to say you look absolutely elegant in those yellow earbuds. Which we’ve all come to envy. Because I think they were a limited edition, right?
Mary Jo: Yep from Nokia. The old Nokia before Microsoft bought them.
Fr. Robert: Exactly, so you can’t get those anymore, folks. If you want cred you have to have the yellow earbuds. Also joining us is the equally brilliant not quite as elegant Mr. Paul Thurrott, the master of the Windows Supersite, winsupersite.com. Paul thank you for coming back for another heaping dose of abuse.
Paul Thurrott: Thank you for being here. Leo you look different today, sound different.
Fr. Robert: Yeah well black is slimming so we’re going to try this out and see how that works. Now I know we have a fun doc filled with Windows news. But I wanted to get your opinion on a little something, something. I know you don’t like talking about rumors, in fact I know Paul you’re dead set about bringing up anything that’s ever in the rumor mill.
Fr. Robert: Trusted sources close to the truth have said more and more tidbits are floating out about the Microsoft smart watch. In fact Tom’s hardware may have gotten a sneak peek at what the design looks like. The interesting thing about it is that it may not actually be a watch.
Paul: Yeah, I was just writing something about this, the watch that’s not a watch.
Fr. Robert: The watch that’s not a watch. Now what does that mean, Paul?
Paul: Microsoft is cagey like a fox.
Fr. Robert: A few of the things we do think we know about it is that it’s going to have 11 sensors so it’s going to be like Apples Eforte. It will give you things from temperature to pulse rate. All the fun biometric data that you’ve come to expect from a smart watch that’s not yet been revealed. It’s also going to be cross platform. They think it’s going to work on Windows, on Android and on IOS. Which I like that’s a little be new. Playing nice supposedly. It’s got a thin band design so think of a NIKE fuel band but make it wider. Here’s a thing I really like, Paul, the screen is going to be on the inside.
Paul: I have no first-hand knowledge of this so I am just going off of the same stuff that you’ve probably seen online. All I have to say is the most credible part of this is the notion that it will work with all Smartphone platforms. Because if Microsoft was to come out with something that was just for Windows phone it would be a nonstarter. To me that part of it lends some credibility, because that is how I think Microsoft will approach wearables.
Fr. Robert: I actually really like this. Because the approach to wearables has been the smartwatch. Look at the pebble, look at androids forte. I am not really sold on watches, I don’t wear a watch.
Paul: A big part of the reason, is that these smart watches look like a smartphone that’s strapped to your wrist. They are humongous.
Fr. Robert: Yeah, and there’s no way to get rid of that.
Paul: It needs to be this kind of size if it going to be on your wrist. It can’t be some ginormous square.
Fr. Robert: Now Mary Jo are you planning to strap a smartphone to your wrist?
Mary Jo: Definitely especially if it have live tiles I’m all in.
Paul: Wow she’s all in.
Mary Jo: I’m all in.
Fr. Robert: If this approach turns out to be true and I really hope it is. I am not big on this. No One does this anymore unless you really want to draw attention to your wrist. Which maybe some people do. But the idea of having the screen on the inside so you could just peer down at your wrist and see what is going on. And if you don’t have an enormous screen so it doesn’t feel like you’ve got a smartphone strapped to your wrist I actually kind of like that approach. If this turns out to be true I think that’s the right approach for Microsoft to take. Because then it ends up being different, very different from what the other manufacturers are trying to release.
Mary Jo: They’ve already done their attempt at a watch a number of years ago. The Spot Watch so they kind of learned from that I bet about what works, what doesn’t. All these new watches that are rolling out like the Android watches you just see people saying that is not elegant it’s just nothing I would wear, it’s too big. It looks like a giant screen on your hand.
Paul: It’s funny how the same they are as the Spot Watch.
Mary Jo: I know they are all the same.
Paul: Their color obviously and they integrate with phones. We didn’t have phones back then but it’s the same problem as it was 10 years ago.
Fr. Robert: That’s the thing technology has changed but our wrists haven’t. There is only so much information you can pack into that little space.
Mary Jo: It’s true.
Paul: Microsoft has a unique handle on one aspect social cues that maybe the folks at Google and Apple don’t which is what is okay to do in meeting and a work situation? A lot of places don’t want people to bring in computers because they sit with their head down in their laptop and they’re typing away and God knows if they are doing anything related to the meeting. Same thing with a phone, if you are sitting there staring into a phone screen people think it’s not just rude you’re not paying attention to the meeting. I have often joked, what signals to the crowd of people you’re with that you don’t care what they are doing more than them doing this kind of thing. You’re really sending that signal that they’re not important to you. That’s kind of a goofy jokey kind of a thing, but honestly I think Microsoft really does have a better handle on that kind of stuff. Maybe they will get that aspect of it right.
Fr. Robert: Isn’t that the universal sign? When you do this normally it’s kind of like I don’t care about what you’re saying, I want out. There you go exactly, it’s saying this isn’t important to me, I have something to do.
Mary Jo: They’ve been doing things with the fitness band around what they’ve been doing around what they’ve been doing on Xbox. They’ve been playing up the being health and fitness. So it is kind of the theme of some of the apps and messaging they’ve had with some of their other platforms too. In a lot of ways it makes sense.
Fr. Robert: We’ve got a lot of people in the chatroom who are screaming at us saying if you put the screen on the inside it bangs into things. But that’s if you strap a smart phone to the inside of your wrist. If you do it like the Nike fuelband, if you give it a curved screen or even a flexible screen and you don’t try to cram so much information into the display that you’re just duplicating what you have on your phone then you have a unique product. Then you have something that people might actually like.
Paul: Actually you’re right. The fuelband has a very durable kind of rugged quality to it that’s consistent across the entire surface of it. There is obviously a front to it but it doesn’t matter you can bang any part of it. It’s all built the same way.
Mary Jo: Maybe they’ll still have a watch too. Maybe this is one of multiple wearables that they have. They have a whole wearables team inside the operating systems division. So it doesn’t mean they are only going to do one type thing that goes on your wrist.
Paul: Play visor Program where other people can make wearables and nobody does.
Fr. Robert: We’ve got Chickenhead 21 in the chat room who says why don’t we bring back some old technology just put one of those swatch watch rubber bands on top of it, you’re good to go. Problem solved. Let’s move away from news that we like to speculate on and talk about news that we like to speculate on. Paul tell me what is Threshold?
Paul: I was going to say there isn’t much difference as we move forward.
Fr. Robert: Microsoft Windows Threshold. A little bit of news is trickling out about it we now know a little bit about how it works and the technology that goes into it but why should be care?
Paul: Wow I wasn’t actually prepared for that question. I was just thinking something along the lines this is kind of Mary Jo’s story. Now that you say it like that I guess I’ll throw in one thing. Which is that I am always amazed when a new version of Windows comes around the corner whether it’s Windows 8, Windows 8.1 even. Kind of a minor release or threshold and how big of a deal it is. For all of the talks, Windows is doomed, everyone is using Android and IOS. PC’s are yesterday. A new version of Windows comes out and the whole world stops and pays attention. The why of it, I’m not a psychiatrist but obviously most of us rely on Windows to some degree and I think there is still a lot of interest in the platform. I know there is for us obviously, we cover Windows for a living and we know a lot about Microsoft. But I think in the wider world I think it’s just one of those things that gets discounted how popular this stuff really is.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo, Friendly Manitoba in the chat room we should care because this fixes Windows 8. Does this really fix Windows 8 because they said that about Windows 8.1. Oh this fixes the things that people hate about Windows 8. Is this just that again or do you actually believe this is actually going to address most of the issues that people have with how Windows 8 operates.
Mary Jo: I do. I think Microsoft hasn’t wanted to say that Windows 8 is Vista 2.0. But Windows 8 is Vista 2.0 pretty much. Even if you like Windows 8 even if you’ve found a way to make your peace with Windows 8 you’ve got it to work the way you want it to work. For most people, I would say not the people who watch this podcast necessarily but everyday people out on the street they think Windows 8 is a failure. So Microsoft really needs to come up with something that looks different, works differently and most of all convinces Windows 7 users it’s safe to come back into the Windows pool. They’re going to have a different experience with Start which Paul wrote quite a bit about this week, that I think is going to work a lot better. They are going to have different skus that are tailored more to the hardware. So if you have say a really small tablet or a phone you’re going to have a sku on there that does not have the desktop, we’re hearing. I think that makes sense. It’s a very jarring experience for many people still to go between the desktop and the metro style environment. So they are really tailoring these skus to the type of hardware you have. If you have hybrid 2 in 1 tablet you’re going to have a different experience when your keyboard is attached versus when your keyboard is unattached. I think this is going to be good. It’s going to auto-detect basically, what you are running and have the correct experience show up. I also do believe you’ll still be able to change a lot of the defaults too. So if you’re someone who actually does love the tiled interface and you don’t want to have the mini start menu that they’re coming up with. I think you’re going to have the option to opt out of that and have Windows the way you want to have it.
Paul: That’s what I had heard specifically that the start experience would default in certain ways depending on what type of machine you have. Much like the way the computer boots it does. But then if you preferred one or the other you could switch it however you wanted. So if you had and X86 type tablet and wanted the start menu for some reason that would be fine. But if you wanted that full screen experience on a Desktop computer like you would have today on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 you could do that as well.
Fr. Robert: So Mary Jo we’ve got these 3 new skus, we’ve got modern no desktop, we’ve got the hybrid as you said the 2 in 1, we’ve got the desktop version. My question to you is this a retreat? Is this just an adjustment or are we saying okay Microsoft has finally figured out that different users will use Windows in different ways according to the devices that they have. They can have one operating system but give it 3 different looks and feel.
Mary Jo: I don’t know that I would say a retreat and even if it is a retreat I think it doesn’t really matter at this point. What they built didn’t work for many people who don’t have touch laptops or touch tablets. They still have a very large install base who are trying to run Windows PC’s, Windows laptops, traditional desktops and for them they need a different experience because they’re very hooked in with their mouse and keyboard. I think the assumption when they were building Windows 8 three plus years ago was that there would be a ton of touch tablets on the market and maybe the traditional devices would be gone by now. But they’re not gone and people are still very wetted to use a mouse and keyboard. So I think they’ve come to the realization that we’ve got to build for what people want and our main customer base is still the enterprise even though we’re trying to go after consumers and we have to build what these people want.
Fr. Robert: Okay so their main customer is the enterprise but will this convince enterprises that they need to migrate to Threshold and not to Windows 7. Because what I am hearing from the people who are still actively doing the administration that I used to deal with are saying no we aren’t even considering Windows 8. Every roll out plan we have for the next 2 years is all Windows 7. Will this push that over? Do they add the hooks that make it easier to deploy? Do they make the licensing not such a nightmare? Have they addressed that or is this just interface?
Mary Jo: It’s pretty early in the development cycle of Threshold. Usually the last thing they decide on when they come up with a new operating system is licensing and the packaging. So I don’t think they have decided definitively what these skus are going to look like. Who’s going to get a for-free? But I heard a rumor this past week that they are considering letting Windows 7 users get Threshold for free. Not just Windows 8 users but Windows 7 users too. If that does happen that shows you how serious they are about getting people off Windows 7 and onto the next latest version of Windows. I think it’s also good to point out the mainstream support for Windows 7 ends January 13th, 2015. So that’s another reason to get off Windows 7.
Fr. Robert: Is that just okay we are going to repeat the Windows XP end of disaster all over again. People are going to say wait a minute this is a perfectly good operating system what are you doing?
Paul: Right, I don’t think there is any way to avoid that. When you were asking about is this something that will convince businesses to not do what they are already doing? Or what could we do to convince them? The answer is nothing. They’re not going to change the way they do things. Businesses don’t move quickly into the future of technology and that’s completely understandable. They like things that work and when they find something that works they want to just keep using it. That’s not I don’t think the goal. In some ways the goal is to keep people on the Windows Platform generally. When they thought up Windows 8 it looked like the whole world was moving to tablets and phones. So they had to make Windows work like a tablet and a phone. Then they got a lot of pushback and then they discovered not everyone is moving. So maybe the PC user base shrinks a little bit. It’s kind of a strange thing by going the popular route they thought they ended up alienating a lot of their best customers. Honestly retreat is kind of a tough word but I think of this more as a mulligan. That they need to do right by those people who intend to stick on the PC platform. I don’t think it’s so much of attracting businesses off of Windows 7 per say. They are still on Windows at least.
Fr. Robert: Paul are we in the post, post PC era?
Paul: No, that term is dumb.
Fr. Robert: The term is ridiculous. We’ve heard it tossed out so many times, oh well look at the numbers, no one is using PC’s anymore. Or look at the numbers everyone’s going back to PC’s. It seems to me we’ve kind of evolved past that discussion, right? There is no post PC, you’re going to have a PC, you’re going to have a tablet, you’re going to have mobile devices. It’s all just about how you decide to consume. It’s a little bit more clear cut in enterprise, right Mary Jo? Because in Enterprise the PC is not going anywhere. In fact PC is still the de facto standard. If you do not use a PC you will not work in the Enterprise.
Mary Jo: Pretty much. I wouldn’t say for every enterprise there’s always some exceptions. Here in New York you really see banks, insurance companies, big big installation of Windows. 10’s of 1,000’s of desktops and when I say desktops I mean PC’s not tablets. There are tablets obviously coming into banks, into insurance companies, but the main form factor for many people is still a PC in the enterprise.
Fr. Robert: Paul let me ask a hypothetical. If you could be a little birdie in the year of Nadella and you could lay out a plan through which Windows would be adopted. Windows 8.1 would be adopted in the enterprise, would be adopted across platforms what would it be? What are they missing the most right now? Is it the sku confusion? Is it the interface inefficiency? Is it the licensing nightmare? What’s the one thing that they have to fix before we actually see adoption of Windows 8.1?
Paul: There’s no way to win this one. They’re not going to change the way that enterprise does things. So Microsoft could give Windows away for free and they’re still not going to upgrade past Windows 7 not today. It’s still expensive to do training and compatibility testing, rewriting of LOB apps and whatever it is. The cost of the Windows license has nothing to do with the overall cost of that kind of migration. Honestly it’s like one of those catch 22 by making Windows more reliable, by making it run better on lower end PC’s and older PC’s, by extending the licensing oh I am sorry I mean the support for Windows out to basically 10 years for businesses, they’ve ensured that businesses will never move quickly to new version of Windows because now they can stay on these things. Now they basically did exactly what businesses wanted and now they’re stuck. Because what businesses want ultimately is not to move very quickly to the next thing. This is just a situation that I don’t see it ever changing. Office 365 was an interesting test because here we’ve got enterprise stuff offered in the Cloud that’s being updated fairly regularly. It’s rubbing some people the wrong way. They’re addressing that and we’ll see how that goes. But Windows as the core platform at which their applications run it’s another thing entirely. There is no thing that makes that okay for enterprises.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo Foley, we’ve got people in the chat room who are yelling oh look just make it free. Expand on what Paul was talking about where you could have the free update, you could have that free move to that latest greatest version. But from an enterprise point of view that’s absolutely bumm right? That doesn’t work because the cost isn’t the operating system, the cost is the training, the cost is the deployment, the cost is roll out. You can’t fix that, right?
Mary Jo: Well you can fix it. It think we’ve seen with what Microsoft’s done since Windows 8 with Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 update, that you can make it easier for people to figure out. You can put more visual cues in there, like the power button, the surge button. A tutorial perhaps showing people how to use things like the charms. When Microsoft first came out with Windows 8 they didn’t have any of that. So enterprise freaked out, they were like oh man how am I going to do this. I am going to spend millions in training. You can do a lot of things especially with this new mini start menu that they’re talking about, to give people visual cues. Things that look familiar. Supposedly with the new mini start menu you can opt to either have live tiles, you could have your programs come up in a list like actually a written list instead of tiles. So you can kind of adjust it for the ways that your workers are more comfortable interacting with the PC. Which is something that they didn’t do with Windows 8 and I think they’ve learned their lesson now that they need to make this super super intuitive.
Fr. Robert: Super super intuitive and Microsoft haven’t always gone well.
Mary Jo: A no, that’s true. In fact they almost never do.
Paul: I’ve never heard that.
Fr. Robert: I do want to go a little bit on the Surface. Just because one of my co-host’s, Brian Burnett for Know How on Thursdays. He came to me and he said over the weekend he went into a Microsoft store because they had started that new campaign where you could trade in a Macbook and get up to 650 dollars. Although I had an old Macbook Air that I think they wanted to give me 85 dollars for so no not so much. But he had a very interesting tale. He went in there, he showed them his Macbook and he said well how much will you give me for this. The salesperson takes him aside and he says look don’t do it. Go sell this on Ebay or on Craigslist, you’ll get 1,000, you’ll get 1100 dollars and you can come back and buy a Surface. So even the sales people are saying, no don’t do this, just go away.
Paul: That makes sense, I think a lot of people heard this deal and they said oh Microsoft’s desperate. I look at it a different way. I think this is just something that will get out there in the public and it shows people that Microsoft feels like they have product that stands up well to this thing. That even if no one ever takes advantage of this deal, what they are saying you will want to replace your Macbook Air with this because this thing is better. I don’t know that the point was to stockpile a bunch of used Macbook Air’s in a warehouse somewhere. I think the point was just to be able to tell folks. They brought up Macbook Air at the launch event about a 117 times. They couldn’t stop talking about it. They’re fixated on the Macbook Air. I think this is a way to extend that fixation out to the public eye so that people understand in the general public that this is what we’re focused on. We are trying to beat this thing.
Fr. Robert: Now going on a few weeks are you still loving your Surfaces?
Paul: Oh I switched to a Macbook Air and an Ipad.
Fr. Robert: Oh no.
Paul: No I am kidding, I kid.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: I am using my Acer. I’m done with my Surface Pro 3. For me it was just a loner anyways. I wanted to see for me using it if I was actually going to sell my Acer S7 instead. I decided nope I prefer the traditional PC form factor to the Surface.
Fr. Robert: So both of you have switched away from it?
Paul: No, no I am kidding. I have not switched away. For me it’s a little more complicated. I only use a laptop when I travel. I use a laptop a little bit around the house. But when I am working at home I sit in front of a desktop computer, keyboard, mouse etc. If that were my only computer I don’t know that I could use it 24/7 every day. I’ll know a little more, I am going to test the docking station when that arrives. Whenever that is, sometime in August I think. But I don’t know that it could be my only machine. The thing I like a lot about the Surface Pro 3 is how well it travels. It’s really thin and light, I throw it in the carry-on bag that I use. It kind of disappears in there, it weighs nothing, but it is a full PC. It is powerful enough it runs Photoshop very well which I actually need. It runs Visual studio very well. Obviously all the Office apps and everything. The screen is big enough, it’s not ideal for me. I prefer much bigger screens. But for business travel, Mary Jo and I will be going to the partner conference for example this month. When I go to Barcelona in August, I will absolutely bring this machine because it’s that kind of correct combination of lightweight and good battery life and actual PC power, you’re not like a little chintzy device but real PC. With all of those capabilities I kind of expect to have. The keyboard integration, the mouse, etc, etc. I intend to keep using it. If I had to pick a single machine I am not sure I would pick Surface Pro 3 but for my use just for business travel, absolutely.
Fr. Robert: We have someone here in the studio who is relatively invested in the Surface Platform. Alex RTTI, I understand you have a bone to pick.
Alex Gumpel: You mean what’s my beef? I’ve got a bone to pick with these guys. So I was in San Francisco for various reasons and I’m interested in the Surface Pro 3 obviously. So I thought I would like to check this out. There is a nice Microsoft store downtown there and so I thought I would go over there and play with it and see how I like. I did and it’s a very nice machine. I was surprised how thin it was because it’s almost as thin as a Surface 2 the RT version. And I was like wow, it’s light and stuff. So it was fun. Too much money for me right now and I am still considering it. The pen is awesome, I really like the One note click thing. Because I use One Note a lot. Anyway considering it. In the mean time I noticed they had the stylus for the Dell Venue 8. Which I’ve had preordered backordered on Amazon for months and they haven’t shipped it to me. So I thought as long as I’m there I’ll buy it. So I bought something. So I was in the checkout line and we were getting the thing going and after we did the thing, the guy was like do you want a little football. He hands me this little Microsoft squishy football thing at the counter. Then I remember that my pal Brian who Padre was just talking about. Pictured right here.
Fr. Robert: That’s how he looks everyday by the way.
Alex: He was just at the Microsoft store, he was at the Cordevalle store checking out the Surface as we just heard and he text me a picture of some blue Surface sunglasses that they gave to him just as a little freebie. So I thought hey I would like some of those. So I asked the guy do you have any of those sunglasses left. He went hmm touched his little thing and said hey jo do we have any sunglasses left? No they are out of the sunglasses. That’s it I’m done, Microsoft has screwed me for the last time. I’m done with it. I am so done with them. Caller what’s your question. Oh yeah there’s my phone.
Paul: I have one comment for you by the way. I am not sure how you would look this up but the Dell Venue 8 Pro pen that you got. You know that’s been upgraded at least once, right?
Alex: Right, he said it was 2 times. I think I have the latest one.
Paul: Ok good. I don’t know what your experience has been with it but I don’t think it’s very good personally.
Alex: No I’ve just wanted to play with it and see. So I have it now. It’s alright, it’s not as good as the Surface one.
Mary Jo: Did you buy a Surface Pro 3?
Alex: No, no, I want one.
Paul: He was going to but then they didn’t give him the free sunglasses.
Mary Jo: Oh so then that was it.
Paul: The funny thing would be when the guy made the call out back and said do we have anymore sunglasses and the guy in the back says yeah we have 3 crates of them and then the guy in the front says no we don’t have any.
Fr. Robert: That’s how Microsoft handles it scues right.
Paul: Do you have a beautiful blond woman, no we’re out of those sorry.
Alex: They’re saving it all for this guy.
Fr. Robert: It’s the mustache.
Paul: Sorry Alex, the Mac is calling to you Alex.
Alex: I know.
Fr. Robert: Now Mary Jo when we come back I’m thinking maybe we should grant some Alex some relief because I just read an article from you talking about how the Surface might be no more. I am just going to leave them on that teaser as we take a break to talk about the first sponsor of Windows Weekly. Now I want to share a tool with you. I know you’ve heard Leo talk about this company before. But this is the first time I’ve been able to read their ad. I’ve got to tell you I am happy too because it’s something people need, something in this world today people are looking forward to. That is Personal Capital. What is Personal Capital? Personal Capital is a way for you to bring all your accounts, all your assets, all of your financial resources into one single screen. That’s what they do, on your computer, on your phone, or your tablet. With real time and intuitive graphs it’s one of the services that allows you to get a grasp on everything that’s going on in your financial life and put it on as we call in the enterprise, single pane of glass. There is no better way to represent your financial life than all in one place. Now Personal Capital solves two barriers to growing your wealth. The first is that it’s hard to keep track of your stocks, your 401K, your bank accounts. All on different sites with different usernames and passwords. The second is that you pay someone the manage it. Well folks in this day and age why should you do that? With services like Personal Capital, with the technology that surrounds us, that we talk about each and every single day. There is no reason why you can’t be the master of your own financial destiny and that’s what Personal Capital lets you do. It shows you how much you’re overpaying in fees how to reduce those fees and you get tailored advice on optimizing your investment. So why wait, no seriously why wait. If you’ve got finances, if you worry about your checking account, your credit accounts, if you’ve got stocks. If you’ve got investments you need Personal Capital. Signing up takes just a minute and it will pay big dividends. Personal capital gives you total clarity and transparency to make better investment decisions right away. So here’s what we want you to do. We want you to try Personal Capital set up your free account by going to personalcapital.com/windows. Personal Capital is free and the smart way to grow your money. You must got to personalcapital.com/windows if you want to thank Windows Weekly for introducing you to the solution for your financial caous. That’s personalcapital.com/windows. personalcapital.com/windows and we thank Personal Capital for their support of Windows Weekly.
Now Mary Jo Foley you wrote, I am almost going to call this link bait. That the Surface might be going away?! Is Microsoft dumping the Surface the branding? Are they getting rid of it? Is it now dead and gone?
Mary Jo: No, no, no and you’re forgetting a key word Padre. Surface Branding not the Surface.
Fr. Robert: Oh, okay.
Mary Jo: So there’s a well know leaker called EVleaks on Twitter who has pretty good tips on Mobility, Nokia and Microsoft Mobile in the past. He had a tip over the weekend where he said it looks like Microsoft may be moving towards rebranding the Surface tablets as Lumia devices. So this is one source, I don’t know how many sources EV Leaks has but one source so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions that this has happened. He said that it’s in the final negotiation stages I believe. He also said Microsofts negotiating with Nokia to try and keep the Nokia brand longer than it had originally had licensed. So it was actually going to be December 31st, 2015 that Microsoft was going to have to give up using the Nokia brand on some of the phones it acquired when it bought Nokia. But he says, EVleak says, that this is in negotiations also and that Microsoft may be able to pay Nokia some undisclosed amount and actually keep the Nokia brand longer. I don’t even know if it’s indefinitely or not but much longer than previously expected. So this has got everybody in an uproar because a lot of people think that Surface is a really good brand. That Microsoft has obviously invested a ton of money. Especially if you’ve been watching World Cup Soccer. Which I know Paul Thurrott has been very closely, he’s been all over that. If you’ve been watching you’ve noticed that Microsoft has been the lead sponsor I think on ESPN with the Surface branding. So the question is are they willing to dump all this investment that they made in the Surface branding to date, to try to bring together the Lumia brand for phone, tablets and maybe other kinds of devices going forward. Maybe the watch I don’t know. It’s a rumor at this point but some people think it would be a positive thing. I would say more of my followers and people I’ve talked to think it’s a negative.
Fr. Robert: Well it does think sense in a goal sense. RTD is having a little bit of fun I love that.
Paul: By the way that was more soccer action that scene than I’ve seen in an entire game.
Fr. Robert: Oh Paul, Paul you just have to get into it. You have to get into it.
Mary Jo: You’re such a hater.
Paul: Do they have to mow the lawn before the games ends, is it that slow moving? Or is that just my perception?
Mary Jo: Don’t you like baseball?
Fr. Robert: Windows Weekly has just lost it’s international audience.
Mary Jo: I’m actually not much of a sports fan but I am a huge World Cup fan.
Fr. Robert: Yes.
Paul: That’s pandering.
Fr. Robert: And Paul there’s no better event to sit and drink beer than the World Cup.
Mary Jo: Exactly, see Padre knows.
Paul: I can find many many reasons why I could be doing that.
Fr. Robert: You don’t have to have a football game on, just drink the beer. Oh baseball, we’re bringing out all the sports the Tricaster’s leaking. This is how it works. So Mary Jo, one of the issues that Microsoft is going to have of course is that they now have 2 very valuable brands that both deal in the mobile space. You’ve got Surface and you’ve got Lumia. I think that’s what your article is touching on. Which is, which one do you save?
Mary Jo: Or does it have to be one.
Fr. Robert: Exactly, why does it have to be one. Paul why can’t there be Lumia and Surface at the same time?
Paul: Yep, that was the point that I made. Why not keep both? Daniel Rubino on Twitter and I were kind of hashing this back and forth the other day. He said why not use Surface for the kind of pro/86 products and Lumia for the device/arm products. That’s one way to do it. There are all kinds of different ways but yeah why can’t we have both.
Fr. Robert: Because Mary Jo Foley had this point, they have spent billions of dollars to develop each brand. What sense does it make to discard even one of them.
Mary Jo: I think the thinking or the reasoning around this is since Microsoft is trying to do this whole one Microsoft thing and present a cohesive whole. That if you have a brand for Surface and a brand for Lumia and you obviously already have a tablet that’s called Lumia 2520 which is from Nokia and it’s not called Surface. How do you bring these things together in a way that’s less confusing and promotes a single message and a single brand? I really like the idea that Paul and Daniel Rubino were talking about which is rebrand things that are based on ARM as Lumia. Because right now it’s very confusing to people still when you say Windows RT. They are like what is that? Is a tablet based on ARM the same as a tablet based on Intel? No you can have a desktop on Intel you can’t on ARM. So that kind of makes more sense in a way. But that isn’t what the tip said. The tip said they are negotiating making Lumia the replacement brand for Surface. That’s what the original tip said.
Fr. Robert: It just strikes me as so strange.
Paul: By the way mark my words if this wrist watch fitness band thing comes out and it’s called Windows something, I give up.
Fr. Robert: It will be called Windows Bit for Wrist 8.4.
Paul: It will be like Window FT for fitness. No I quit. That’s when I give up. You are insane enough.
Fr. Robert: But there’s also going to be a pro version of the fitness band that is going to take upgrades.
Mary Jo: Service packed.
Fr. Robert: It will be called Windows Shackles.
Alex: It will have perimeter venting.
Fr. Robert: Exactly.
Mary Jo: You can’t even hear the fan.
Paul: Nice, it will be equally warm all over your wrist it won’t be focused only in one area. Please let there be perimeter venting.
Mary Jo: The R2 version.
Paul: See how cynical. It is so easy to be like this when you’ve covered Microsofts line.
Fr. Robert: It’s too easy to be cynical because you’ve see this slow motion clive off a cliff.
Paul: I know it bothers some people. But you have to understand we’ve been dealing with this insanity for 20 years plus. For a long time. It’s hard. We worry about it. It’s not impossible to think that they might come out with something ridiculous and call it something really stupid.
Mary Jo: Steven Standoff on Twitter says they should call it Wristows. Don’t give them any idea’s guys.
Fr. Robert: They might take them.
Paul: Microsoft Wristows, free in your box of Cracker Jacks.
Fr. Robert: Remember the opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite of love is indifference. The fact that we’re quote on quote hating on Microsoft is because we still care.
Paul: We’re very passionate about it.
Mary Jo: I know, it’s tough love.
Paul: We’re pessimistic.
Fr. Robert: Until I start seeing some brilliant strategic moves from Microsoft I am going to assume they’re just continuing the death march.
Paul: I’ve just been hit in the face a lot. Excuse me if I flinch sometimes. It’s just kind of a natural reaction.
Fr. Robert: I am still all Microsoft. I don’t even use a Macbook. I use nothing but Microsoft laptops and a couple of Linux ones.
Paul: You’re truly a holy man.
Fr. Robert: There we go. Also I am used to people going a what’s wrong with you.
Mary Jo: We’re used to that too, Padre.
Paul: We all get that too.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo, Windows 8 X update. You’ve got Microsoft showing an update for Windows 8 RT users. What’s that all about?
Mary Jo: This is a kind of an interesting under the radar update this week. Remember when Microsoft came out with Windows 8.1. The way you would get that if you were a Windows 8 user is you had to go through the Windows store. If you were a consumer to get the update. So you had to know how to go to the store. Where to get it, how to download it and to us on this TWIT podcast we think that was really easy. I can tell you from all the mail I got, this was not easy for a lot of people. I had so many people emailing me who could not find it in the store, who couldn’t figure out how to download it. Who couldn’t figure out how to install it. So Microsoft this week released an update, they are calling it a pilot update. Where if you are a Windows RT user who’s on Version 8. It’s going to let you use Windows update. Automatic updates to actually move to Windows RT 8.1 instead of having to go through the store. I think this is great because this is a much easier way to get people to upgrade. It’s kind of part Microsofts whole we need to get everybody on the latest versions so that when Threshold comes out everybody will be on the latest version and then it will be easier to move them over to the newest update. I asked Microsoft if they were going to release a similar pilot for people who are on Intel versions of Windows 8 who want to move to Windows 8.1 and not use the store. And they said yes. So expect something similar if you’re a Windows 8 user who still for whatever your reasons are have not been able or willing to move up to 8.1. This is going to be something out there to help you.
Paul: It’s amazing what a disaster what this store installer was.
Mary Jo: That was a disaster!
Paul: Unique in the history of Windows. Here is the first version ever which we will install through this bizarre fashion. Using an app that you all hate. You can’t tell what it’s doing, good luck. It’s just a really terrible, terrible thing.
Fr. Robert: I had to do a step by step for some of our installations overseas on updating the installed version of Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. It was amazing, I had to do first you need to go into Windows update and make sure all these updates are installed. Then you go into the Windows Store you get Windows 8.1. I got an email back saying are you screwing with us.
Paul: Oh my God. It sounds crazy. Even this part of it, just launch the store app and you will see an advertisement for this upgrade. Okay, yeah I don’t see it, now what. The whole thing was so dumb. It was just dumb. They’re never going to do it again. I guess that’s the good news.
Mary Jo: Let’s hope.
Paul: They’ll do update 3 that way but not update 2. Amazing.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo, the pilot I want to see is I want to see them release an update for just regular Windows 8.1 desktop where I can keep the downloads someplace and not have to redo it every single time for every device across the enterprise. Have you heard of a pilot for that in the making?
Mary Jo: I have not. But that would be an excellent idea.
Fr. Robert: Because what I like, I like it when my 1,000 C network can download a couple of petabytes. That’s why it’s a good thing.
Paul: Even better when you’ve got like a branch office and they can do it over the wan link, that would be great.
Fr. Robert: Got an ISD. That should be no problem.
Paul: The storage is nice because it completely any kind of branch cashing type stuff you may have in place.
Mary Jo: Also Microsoft makes some really great deployment tools. So its kind of like why aren’t we using these. This is what we want to use we’re used to this why can’t we do this.
Fr. Robert: I think that’s what baffled all the Enterprise people. Which is the reason I stuck with Microsoft all those years when everyone was saying oh migrate over to OS 10 or here’s our Linux flavor. The deployment was so easy with Windows. Updating was so easy with Windows and then it went away.
Paul: By the way I suspect I know why they did it that way because on the Mac they’ve moved all of their upgrades into the store app. A lot of what Microsoft was doing for a long time, I’m not sure it’s the case anymore but for several years there was kind of born out of Apple. So I am sure this was an attempt well Apple does this so we’ll do it this way because that’s what people expect.
Fr. Robert: I almost feel it’s the same with the branding. Well Apple has one really valuable brand so that’s what we should be doing. It’s like wait a minute no no no you’ve constantly said you have to take care of your partners. So you’re never going to be an Apple. You’re never going to have the monolithic control over everything so stop trying to do it.
Paul: Oh well just shake our head and move on. Well it’s not like it’s been a year and they’re still trying to get it right.
Fr. Robert: I know right, it’s perfect. We’re just tweaking a few of the decorations.
Paul: They’ll get it.
Fr. Robert: Now let’s get some good news. Good news would be that the Lumia is coming to T-Mobile. Paul you wrote a little something, something about the 635.
Paul: Mary Jo has this phone I believe. I haven’t gotten one for review, I will. It’s actually a low end device and it’s the replacement for the 521 which was T-Mobile’s version of the 520. Which is one of the best-selling if not the best single selling Windows Phone 8 handset that’s ever been made. This is the device that was 99 dollar no contract low end kind of a phone. Low end in the Windows Phone context means 5x12 megs of RAM back then it would have been dual well maybe it was single core processor. This one is a dual core. So this is an upgrade for that. So it’s a slightly bigger screen. It’s still only 5x12 megs of RAM which is really unfortunate. 8 GB of internal storage but expandable with microSD. It’s got a low end camera just a 5 megapixel camera. So nothing special there. But it’s got some unique little bits to it. It was the first Windows 8.1 data phone to be sold in the United States. That will be happening as soon as next week I believe. It’s fairly inexpensive and that’s neat. It has the sensa core technology that Nokia developed which allows fitness apps to take advantage of what I’ll call they’re not really fitness sensors but essentially sensors that work together to facilitate fitness applications without killing the battery. So if you want to do something like monitor your movement, your steps, the miles you’ve walked and that kind of thing, calories that you’ve burned it can do that without constantly hitting the CPU and destroying the CPU. So that’s built in hardware and that’s great. But it is a low end device. It doesn’t have a hardware camera button which is really bizarre. It’s not a requirement of the Windows Phone spec anymore, it used to be. This to my knowledge is the first Windows Phone handset that doesn’t have a hardware camera button. I think that’s one of the kind of neat things about Windows Phone, that kind of pocket to picture feature. You can get it in multiple color shells and all that kind of stuff and that’s cool. I think it will be nice for the fashion conscious. But they could have just done a few little upgrades that would have put this thing over the top. A GB of RAM, the camera button, slightly higher res screen, it’s a very low rez screen. It’s got software buttons instead of hardware buttons, that kind of thing. I don’t mean to say it’s bad news, it’s kind of good news bad news. It’s neat that it’s coming to the U.S. It’s neat that it’s low prices. It’s neat that we’re finally getting 8.1 data phone. But it’s not exactly a flagship phone either so kind of targeting the low end of the market there.
Fr. Robert: Paul, Mary Jo do either of you use TMobile?
Mary Jo: No, Verizon.
Paul: Not if I don’t have to. No you know what though it was T-Mobile got into the news today because of an FTC investigation, right. I should say a FTC lawsuit which is bad timing. But aside from that T-Mobile is doing a lot to help change the landscape of the wireless carrier world in very good ways. They call themselves the uncarrier or whatever. But it’s just marketing. They are now the company where if you want to travel with your phone internationally you can essentially get free data, phone and text. It’s not super high speed data but it is free. Then you pay a little bit extra if you want the 4G type stuff. They have much better plans than AT&T and Verizon and all that kind of stuff. But they’re T-Mobile. They’re the distant 3rd. They aren’t one of the big boys so they have to compete a little harder for that stuff. So I sort of support that. I’m behind all that. But they’ve never had a truly great Windows phone and this certainly doesn’t change that equation and I think that’s part of the problem. I would say until a couple months ago if you wanted a really high end beautiful Windows Phone it was pretty much AT&T. 920, 1020, 1520 those are all AT&T phones. Verizon got the Icon recently and I would say that’s the first time a non-AT&T carrier in the United States got a truly high end wonderful hero type phone for Windows Phone. So that’s the problem.
Mary Jo: We deserved it. We longsuffering Verizon users.
Paul: You waited long enough for it. I don’t begrudge you that.
Fr. Robert: You don’t need a beautiful high end smartphone for T-Mobile because I mean T-Mobile’s biggest draw has been the fact that it’s relatively inexpensive. Matter of fact it’s relatively criminally inexpensive. I’ve been using a plan that gets me 5GB of data, it’s only 100 minutes of talk but I never talk on my phone and I pay 30 dollars a month.
Paul: Really, it’s 30?
Fr. Robert: 30 flat and that’s it.
Paul: That’s amazing.
Fr. Robert: I think that’s one of the things that has made T-Mobile grow so quickly. I’ve got that on my Galaxy S4 I’m fine. I don’t have the smartphone race. In fact I didn’t even buy this phone from T-Mobile it was an international version. This is not a super high end phone but even though it might be enough for the people who are interested in T-Mobile. If they could get this for 99 dollars and no contract.
Paul: Right and actually there’s a deal, I’m just doing this off the top of my head. But I believe you can pay 7 dollars a month for the phone for 2 years. One of the thing T-Mobile does that AT&T and Verizon still don’t do, is once you’ve paid for the phone you’re done paying. So you know when you’re in a contract with AT&T for example you buy a subsidized phone the cost of that is factored into your wireless bill. If you were to pay that off after 2 years typically if you don’t upgrade your phone, you’re still paying for that phone you’ve already paid off. They don’t have that sort of a system at least not in their standard contracts obviously they have pay as you go type deals. But that is one of the things T-Mobile does. They allow you to pay for a phone until it’s actually paid off. So 7 dollars a month for 2 years is not a lot of money but it’s also not a lot of money per month which is another way for people to get into what is a decent smartphone. I’m not trying to, I don’t mean to undercut it. It’s just that it’s not an amazing phone.
Fr. Robert: It’s not cutting edge. You won’t be showing it to anyone saying I bet you don’t have this.
Paul: Well it’s colorful. You can get the orange one. They probably don’t have an orange one.
Fr. Robert: But the question, Mary Jo Foley, will it come with yellow earbuds?
Mary Jo: That’s a no.
Fr. Robert: No those are gone.
Mary Jo: Sadly no.
Fr. Robert: Now I have to say I’ve loved T-Mobile. I’ve been using them for 3, 4 years now. I am so saddened by the fact that they are the fastest growing carrier right now because it used to be I was alone. I was the only one using T-Mobile wherever I was and my speeds were ridiculously fast. Especially here in San Francisco. I was actually getting 45 MB per second down but now I am lucky if I get 3. Same phone, oh well. Let’s move on.
Paul: I don’t know about Mary Jo, I arguably don’t have a normal experience with any of this stuff. It kind of scues my perception of things. I have to travel before I can understand how things are like in the real world. Because I work from home. I leave the house obviously but I go out to get the mail or sometimes I pick up my kid at school or something. But I farrot myself back into the house as quickly as possible. So in my experience AT&T been good around the country. I know Verizon would be as well. I would be a little concerned about T-Mobile although obviously I’m sure that’s getting better. But the truth is even at lower speeds and so forth I am not really sure my experience would be all that horrible because the heavy hitting stuff I would do at home on WiFi anyway. If I was going to listen to an Audible book I would download that couple of hundred megs as home on WiFi and then I would leave the house and listen to it out. I wouldn’t download that over the 4G connection. So it might not even matter anymore, we might be getting to a point where even if you’re getting lower speeds on something like that it might not be a big deal for most people.
Fr. Robert: Oh it matters. I’ve saved 70 to 80 dollars a month by using this T-Mobile plan. That 70 to 80 has gone straight into taco’s which have destroyed my body so it all depends on how you look at cost.
Mary Jo: Here what matters more is where you have coverage. Because in New York there’s a lot of subterranean places you may take a beer picture on your phone. If you’re me.
Paul: One might theoretically.
Mary Jo: One might want to upload it to their One Drive. I’ve tried with AT&T and Verizon phones here and I can definitely see a difference in coverage on Verizon. There are a lot fewer dead zones here with Verizon still. That’s the other thing it really depends on where you live. I noticed in New York I could be in a cab going between buildings talking on the phone and my phone will drop calls. Whereas my phone normally doesn’t drop calls anywhere. This past weekend we drove up to New Hampshire to drop my daughter off at camp and no one had a connection. This place was the end of the world apparently. There was no cell phone connection for anybody. Everybody had that, you don’t have one bar, you have nothing. There’s no connectivity. So those places obviously still exist. It’s just going to depend on, it’s hard to test. I don’t know how you would.
Fr. Robert: It’s impossible to test.
Mary Jo: It is.
Fr. Robert: The only way to do it is to get a phone from a particular carrier and drive to everywhere you may go to test. That’s it. Those maps are useless.
Paul: I need it for 6 months so I can go on every flight that I have to take for work and we’ll see how it works. If this works out, I’ll stick with it.
Fr. Robert: Oh my gosh. For those people who do decide to get this phone on T-Mobile. Paul you’ve got some good news for them right? We’ve all been looking for folders and finally they might be coming?
Paul: Yeah it’s funny folders is one of the features I had heard was going to be in Windows phone 8.1 back a long time ago. And obviously it’s not. When a page appeared on the Microsoft website that said it would be in the Windows phone 8.1 update I thought well yeah that was the plan. Maybe it will be coming in the future. But a number of people pointed out to me that’s how Microsoft rehearsed Update 1 now which is so annoying. So obviously like Windows 8.1 will have an update 1 or what we used to call a GDR1 and the presumption is that this folders feature is going to be coming in that update. So if you’ve ever used IOS a modern version of IOS or a modern version of Android. You know that you can tap and hold on a Icon on the home screen and drag it over to another one and you drop it on there. A folder is created and you can add items to it and so forth. Based on Microsoft description which has been pulled down the Windows phone will work exactly the same way. Literally exactly the same way. How you get things in and out exactly the same. It only took 4 and half years we’re going to get folders so there you go.
Fr. Robert: In another 4.5 years we might get a oh I don’t know a higher end start board. It’s incremental, Paul. This is how this works.
Paul: Yeah right, iterative.
Fr. Robert: We’re going to take a break but when we come back would the two of you be up to talking about some embarrassing downage that Outlook has had the past week or so. It actually goes hand in hand with the announcement of a major municipality which has taken Office 365 over on Premise exchange. Does that sound like something we can maybe sink our teeth into?
Mary Jo: I think we could do that.
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Fr. Robert: This has not been a good day, or a good week for Microsoft online.
Paul: What do you mean? It's always a good week for Microsoft online. By the way, I saw your note about the OneDrive thing and I did add that for you. But yeah, there's been some down time I heard. I guess it's not in the notes but apparently Microsoft also caused some downtime for some people with certain domains this week, which is hilarious.
Fr. Robert: The dips just keep happening with Microsoft online recently which is strange-
Paul: It's like they don't get this internet thing.
Fr. Robert: They made such a big push at Tech Head for Azure. They were telling everyone this is the year of Azure and three days later, they had to make the announcement, yeah we're starting to run out of IPV4 addresses for Azure.
Paul: Yeah, but Azure never went down.
Fr. Robert: Oh no, of course not.
Mary Jo: Yeah, but the Lync online and the Exchange online outages last week were pretty bad and Microsoft at the end of the week issued a partial explanation to what happened. They said the two outages, that were back to back by the way, were unrelated to each other.
Fr. Robert: Yeah, oh well that's good to know.
Mary Jo: Well because some of us were wondering if the third day would be SharePoint online's turn since they already had Lync online and Exchange online, but luckily that did not happen and we're not trying to jinx that. But they said that the trigger for Exchange online's failure was an intermittent failure and a directory role that caused a directory partition to stop responding to authentication requests. Then it kind of spiraled from there. Then on Lync they said it was an inability to connect to "external network failures." So anyway, they said they're going to take into consideration the SLA's, the service level agreements that people have in place and if they did not meet the bar in any case, they will directly compensate you for the downtime.
Fr. Robert: Well of course it didn't meet the bar, I mean, if you were on the East coast, your entire Tuesday was wiped out. Your productivity was gone because you can't access anything.
Mary Jo: Well not everybody though, which was interesting because I was getting some of my email but not all of it. Like some of it would trickle in and some of it would take like an hour and some never showed up at all so I think it's going to be difficult to figure out who was actually down.
Paul: Well but if you were a customer who was actually impacted in that way, they have a 99.99% uptime guarantee that's on a financially backed SLA so you should be getting a credit on your next bill toward that amount of downtime I guess.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo, are you saying that you actually had emails that didn't show up at all. They didn't get queued up, they didn't get delayed, they just are gone.
Mary Jo: I believe at least a couple that I knew of are gone.
Fr. Robert: Okay so that scares me, that really scares me because the assumption has always been that you may not be able to access it but it will all be there when they finally fix whatever widget isn't working properly.
Paul: It's taking that zero inbox thing a little too seriously.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. If they're actually losing data during these outages, that's another level of storm.
Mary Jo: And you know, what's hard to prove in this case is I had so many people sending me emails that day saying, do you know that Exchange is down? So of course, I wasn't getting those because it was down and then people were saying, I sent that to you, I can't believe you didn't get it. So I was trying to go back and look at all of the people who said they sent me emails to see if I got all of them and I thought there were a couple I didn't get but maybe I'm wrong. So I'm not going to totally cast a stone here and say that happened.
Fr. Robert: This is going to happen though, right? We've known this, and this has been the nightmare scenario of every Cloud storage solution, which is, well if I invest too heavily in this and I lose my connectivity or if they lose connectivity, then I have no access to the data I need to run my business. It's not so doom and gloom as it used to be, I think people have gotten used to it.
Paul: The way that we access email has changed a lot, you know. Back in the days of on-prem when like people had the onsite Exchange servers and they were accessing Outlook through their Windows PC in the same building perhaps or on the same network, that kind of thing made sense but nowadays, we access email on devices. We're on phones, or tablets. And the notion that my company has lost it's internet access is kind of a nebulous concept. I mean, my company could lose their internet access and it wouldn't impact me in the slightest, I'm not anywhere near my company, and vice versa. So I don't know, I like running around like Chicken Little as much as anybody but I still think distributed Cloud services make a lot more sense from a reliability/accessibility standpoint than- I have like a small business server in my closet and hopefully it's not 150 degrees in there and you know, I get the argument but I think it's time to embrace the Cloud.
Mary Jo: We have to remember, Mike Baz says on Twitter and he's right, people's internal servers go down too right? Does your on-prem email never go down if you're in a big company? No that goes down sometimes too.
Fr. Robert: As an enterprise person, the only difference between this and the outage we would have at the office is someone else fixes it and if it was on premise, I have to go down there and figure out what went wrong.
Paul: And by the way, I consider that to be a benefit, you know?
Fr. Robert: Absolutely.
Paul: You don't want to be the guy to get called in on a weekend because your Exchange server went down. It's like, hey I know it's the 4th of July and everything but you have to fix the Exchange server.
Mary Jo: Although sometimes your users blame you whether you're the one hosting on Microsoft or you're the one maintaining it. They don't know. They just know that the email is down.
Fr. Robert: So both of you would say that you'd still go with the Cloud solution right?
Paul: Oh yeah.
Fr. Robert: Even with this outage, I'm sure if you map it out over time that reliability is still better if you go with the Cloud.
Paul: It's still very safe to fly.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: I'm happy using Exchange online, this week was the first problem I've had in a really long time with it.
Fr. Robert: You know who would agree with you?
Mary Jo: Who?
Fr. Robert: LA county. That's right, Los Angeles. This is a great story and I'm actually going to use this as my new case study anytime we talk about on-prem versus Cloud. They were in the process- A three year program. -Of upgrading all of their individual mail services to Exchange. They were going to use on premise Exchange because they wanted all of the departments, the 32 departments talking to each other. They had completed 12 of the 32, upgraded them to Exchange, done all of the migration that they needed to do in order to get the data in. When someone said, wait a minute.... Three years ago Cloud services were really immature but now this Office 365 looks pretty decent. So they tried it. They halted the deployment and for 2 of the departments they let them try Office 365 and at the end of the trial, they decided they're actually going to scrap on-prem and are actually going to move the on premise Exchange servers that they had already installed and everybody is switching over to Office 365. This is the entire county of Los Angeles. Now the interesting thing about this story was that they had the direct comparison, this wasn't well we think theoretically that the Cloud would be better. They were able to do side by side comparisons of the two services and what they found was 1) the Cloud was more convenient because of the ability to use it on mobile devices and 2) it was less expensive and 3) for that less expensive licensing cost, you didn't just get Exchange mail, you got Office 365. Now I want to throw this to you first Paul... Are these the kinds of experiences that are finally going to let these large municipalities, these government agencies which have historically been one of the biggest buyers of enterprise-type services, will this finally convince them to trust this?
Paul: Yeah, I do think that for any traditional IT type of infrastructure, it's going to be Microsoft based and going to Office 365 makes the most sense if you're going to the Cloud rather than saying go to Google or some competitor. You do see that happen sometimes, which I think is a huge mistake. Microsoft needs to get Office 365 to the point where, and actually as I'm saying this I realize they already have, it can integrate with what you already have and make those migrations easier. Because from what I understand about the LA county thing, they were doing like a mass migration and that is a perilous undertaking. If they had thought they were going to 365 to begin with, they could have done a migration Office 365 in stages and they could have federated their environment with the on-prem stuff. And it just could have been a smoother transition perhaps. But yeah it's like the snowball, there's always going to be those people who resist it but it gets bigger and bigger and eventually the people who are standing around resisting are not just the minority, they're kind of like the cranks. It's not going to happen tomorrow or next year but yeah of course it's going to happen. It has to.
Fr. Robert: Of course, I say this as my trusty laptop here is running Office 2007 but-
Paul: Yeah, that is a little embarrassing.
Fr. Robert: Office 365 is actually quite nice and I got to play with it in my last assignment and the one thing that I found above all was the advantage that I grasped onto was the migration services. Migration is tedious, time consuming, and fraught with danger both for your data and your career because if you do it wrong and that's it you're dead. But Office 365 did it without even blinking. That was the amazing thing to me, when that actually happened, it was able to pull the user's data from disparate sources, I said okay this is what we're going to use. Anytime we do a deployment this is it now. Mary Jo, is this it? Is the future in the Cloud, is the Cloud on an Azure server somewhere?
Mary Jo: Well that's an interesting point too and Paul just touched on that earlier. He said it was interesting when Exchange online and Lync online went down but Azure didn't. The reason is Microsoft's own Office 365 is not hosted on Azure, which is an interesting thing.
Fr. Robert: I was kind of hoping you would pick up on that.
Mary Jo: Yeah so it runs in Microsoft data centers, Office 365 does. And they've said publicly multiple times that the ultimate plan is to put it on Azure but right now it is not. So that's kind of an interesting point, and do you really need to be on Azure or could you just have things connect you to Azure like share the same billing service as Azure, share the same directory service- That's where they are right now. I think the Cloud is the future though, Microsoft is putting all of their eggs in the Azure and the Office 365 basket and they're going to keep rolling out new servers on-prem, they've already said there's going to be a new version of Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync coming to market next year that you can run on-prem but we don't really know how much longer that continues into the future.
Paul: Yeah, but we do know that those things are not the focus, in that they will never be as future complete as the versions in the Cloud, nor will they appear on the same schedule right? There's been that switch and the emphasis they have on development is on the Cloud. Because one of the great benefits of Office 365, that I'm sure we've talked about recently, is the notion that once you can insure that everyone has Exchange plus SharePoint plus Lync, that you can think of those things holistically, rather than as individual servers. Whereas when you're developing for an on-prem version of Exchange server for example, you can only create new Exchange features. I mean, you'll create some things that will interact with other Microsoft products obviously but you can't emphasize that stuff because there's no way to guarantee that all of your customers have that stuff and has the latest versions of those products so it gets to be a hairy mess. Whereas in Office 365, you have that stuff it's just there, it's guaranteed and it makes it a completely different perspective from the part of Microsoft in developing new versions, going forward.
Fr. Robert: Actually, let's talk a little bit about that future-proof Azure. I do think the future is in the Cloud and the future for Microsoft is definitely in Azure, they have been pushing it hard and we touched on this briefly but Mary Jo, they say that "sometimes" they ran out of IPV4 addresses and they were actually stealing them from a bazillion geo cache of IPV4 addresses in order to get their services back up. And that meant that people visiting Yahoo at some point, they started getting the Portuguese language sites for Yahoo because the IP's were in the wrong domain. Now, I've got to ask you: With Microsoft being one of the entities that has been pushing on IPV6 so hard- They've been stressing that all of their products are dual stacked to where you can run IPV6 alongside IPV4. How is this happening, how is it that after this big push for Azure, they seem to be caught by surprise in not having enough IPV4 addresses. The better question is, why are they still using IPV4 addresses?
Mary Jo: Padre, if I knew those answers I think I would not be a journalist. I have no idea how that happened and it was kind of surprising. I remember reading a blog post that said, oh by the way guys this happened and woops... We were surprised. They didn't even really try to explain why it happened or how they were surprised it was just like, yeah... Sorry for the inconvenience, we ran out. That was kind of it.
Fr. Robert: The worst thing about that is it's not like they said, yeah we ran out but we're working to fix the problem. There is no fixing the problem, the IPV4 addresses are gone. There are no more.
Paul: It's like when you have like a sixteenth of a tank of gas and you're thinking, I can make it home I got this.
Fr. Robert: It's even better than that, it's like having a sixteenth of a tank of gas, making it home, then thinking, I'm sure it's enough to drive to work tomorrow.
Paul: Yeah, I'll never need gas again, let's not worry about this.
Mary Jo: I'm looking at their blog post right now and they said, we are currently working with a few major IPG allocation database companies to update the location of the IP's which should help alleviate this issue but that's pretty much all they had to say about it.
Fr. Robert: Which doesn't help because with the big push for Azure, they're going to have more customers, not fewer. And every single one of those customers with as many services as they want to offer, is going to need a new IPV4 address until Microsoft says that they're just switching over to 6. That is the only possible solution at the moment.
Mary Jo: Well I mean isn't everybody bound to this as well? It's not just Microsoft having this issue, or is going to have this issue. The world is still IPV4 and people are moving to IPV6.
Paul: There is a finite number of IPV4 IP addresses.
Fr. Robert: And they're gone.
Paul: And they're gone.
Fr. Robert: Which, by the way, I own 1,024 of them so Microsoft, if you'd like to make me an offer...
Paul: So you're actually part of the problem. IPV4 is like the fossil fuel of the internet.
Fr. Robert: Exactly, it's a finite resource but people keep wanting it. I'm thinking a million dollars per address, if you make me that offer, you won't see me next week.
Paul: Just get rid of a couple of blogs you'll be all set.
Fr. Robert: Absolutely. Alright, let's move on. Paul, you've got a little something something about Microsoft and Canon cross-licensing. I'm kind of thrilled, tell me more.
Paul: Actually that's Mary Jo's.
Fr. Robert: Oh, Mary Jo, I'm sorry.
Mary Jo: That's okay. So today Microsoft announced that they're engaged in a cross-licensing agreement with Canon, they won't say which patents but they are saying they are in the mobility and the digital imaging space and that the two are cross-licensing each other's patents in that space. So this isn't one of those Android patent agreements like we've seen Microsoft forging with a lot of ODM's and OEM's. But this is just about the two of them agreeing to share their patent portfolio in this area and a lot of people are asking if that means that Canon is getting rights to any of the Nokia patents that Microsoft acquired when they got the handset business from Nokia, around the camera stuff and imaging. I would assume so though, but Microsoft is not talking about the specifics on this so I can't tell you exactly what they're exchanging here but very interesting. It's especially interesting to me because a year ago Microsoft did a licensing agreement with Nikon, another camera vendor but in that case, it was Microsoft having Nikon pay them because Nikon was using Android in their cameras so this isn't that kind of agreement. Something very different, more of an IP exchange kind of thing.
Fr. Robert: Yeah, in the previous one they were actually looking for payment and here, it looks like they're actually looking for tech. If you think about Microsoft's imaging technology, you kind of have to go back to Kinect and Xbox One right? Because I mean, they're not going to build this into a Windows phone, they're going to build this into one of their hardware products.
Mary Jo: You would think. We don't really know which patents or what they're using. It could be for the phones, it could be for things like Kinect, it could be for other kinds of cameras they might have coming out. We don't really know what it's for.
Paul: Could be for Skype, could be for telecommunication, there's all kinds of applications.
Fr. Robert: That's right and actually, I remember that Canon has a fantastic portfolio of enterprise communication patents, so it could be that. It doesn't actually have to be imaging. Now speaking of things we want to know more about but don't really have that much information about, Paul I was really excited by the pre-release site and I think there was a lot of people who were excited. But we have to contain our excitement a little longer, why is that?
Paul: You were excited about what?
Fr. Robert: The pre-release, Office pre-release.
Paul: Oh yeah and I just found out about this a little too late because this would've been a great tip but the Office team was looking for pre-release testers and there was some speculation that one of the things they wanted people to test was Office for Android tablets, the follow-up to Office for iPad. They were opening this up to businesses and individuals with separate sign-up forms and everything and I got really excited about it but when I clicked on the link it was already shut down so it came and went.
Mary Jo: I'll tell you what I bet this is for...Office for Android. Because that's the next thing they're going to do according to our sources. Office for Android is going to be out before the end of this year and that's the TouchVerse, very customized version of Office for Android. Not the one for phones, for tablets so I bet it's probably about the right time now- And maybe even for Office 16, the next version of the desktop apps but those two things are what's next.
Paul: Speaking of which, not to mention Office for Mac, which by the way is where? What's going on with- The most recent version is still 2011?
Mary Jo: Yeah, which they rolled out in 2010 right? So that was the last one.
Fr. Robert: Well Apple's giving up support on their desktop, why should Microsoft do it anymore?
Mary Jo: To make a lot of money.
Fr. Robert: Good point.
Paul: Apple has sold a lot of Mac Books I mean, they still don't have the OneDrive for business clients running on the Mac for example. There's a lot of stuff that needs to come together over there.
Fr. Robert: Speaking of coming together, Microsoft buys game developer plug-in creator Syntax Tree. Mary Jo, what's that about? It's for VisualStudio, so it's a development platform?
Mary Jo: It is. So if you're a Windows 8 or a Windows phone 8 developer, you've probably heard that Microsoft has been doing a lot of work around the Unity gaming engine and framework and so today they announced they bought a company called Syntax Tree and what they make is a thing called the Unity VS Plug-In for VisualStudio. This is something a lot of people are really excited about because it shows that Microsoft is integrating even more deeply between VisualStudio and the Unity framework. It also is interesting because a lot of what Unity does is cross platform game development and people have been very interested to see if Microsoft is going to go more cross platform with VisualStudio than it is already with its agreement with Xamarin the work it's doing around Mono. Some people have even said to me that they have wondered if Microsoft would port VisualStudio to other platforms. I don't know if they ever will but it's interesting to see them do more and more cross platform development work kind of around the edges because Microsoft, historically, hasn't been a company focused on developing for non-Microsoft platforms and that is changing a lot. So they've done deals with Unity, HAVOC, Marmalade, Corona Labs and all of these companies make gaming tools and gaming frameworks for developers on a variety of platforms, including Windows 8 and Windows phone 8. Very interesting that they're doing this.
Fr. Robert: We used VisualStudio for our first module of programming for our coding show here, Coding 101 and it does work on Mac and they're promising that they're going to work towards a version that will work with Android/Linux but it would be nice to see a little bit of cross platform compatibility with that development. You know, there's not a lot of incentive for Microsoft to do it but it would be easier for the developer if that whole develop once, compile multiple times wasn't just for different flavors of Windows.
Paul: I would give anything for Microsoft to support Android and iOS development in VisualStudio, with their languages and frameworks, they're just excellent.
Fr. Robert: Although, they need to change the name to something like Swifter, give it that nice edge. Folks, I think this is the time in the show where we begin to talk about the picks of the week. Is that about right?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Fr. Robert: My first time running it.
Paul: I added a couple of picks during the show so you might not see them in the notes but I've been bulking it up.
Fr. Robert: Well then hit us.
Paul: So the Tip of the Week is kind of relegated to a slightly smaller crowd. It's primarily for Surface Pro 3 users but actually, for anyone who has a connected standby based Windows PC or device. Although, my understanding is that most of those people are not having problems with sleep. But if you have a Surface Pro 3, you may have heard that there are some power management issues. Microsoft issues a firmware update but depending on combinations of hardware, devices you may have installed, you could still have some issues and so there's a command line tool in Windows called 'Power Config' and you run it from the command line like, power CFG. It has all kinds of command line switches as these applications always do. And new to Windows 8.1 is a switch called '/sleepstudy' and what it does is print out an html based report of how well your computer sleeps. It's literally a sleep study and I was joking when I was on my Surface Pro 3- Because it was saying basically that my Surface Pro 3 needs a C-pap because it's not sleeping correctly. But you can find out what's causing the problem, or at least some of the things causing problems so in particular, I would say on Surface Pro 3, we're in kind of a weird spot right now since the device just came out. It's kind of new and there is clearly something going on with networking, I've got a bug reported with Microsoft and they're investigating my memory dump from my machine and trying to figure out what's going on. But I had written before about issues with Hyper V but it seems to extend beyond whether or not you have Hyper V. There's something with that wireless networking controller, something with that driver, something to do with wireless networking. People are seeing various issues along the lines of the wireless network not connecting correctly. Where it comes back and doesn't connect to full speed or doesn't give you the throughput you're supposed to be getting, and this is a tenuous connection between an advanced par management capability like connection standby, what we're calling Instant Go now and this kind of hardware and so I'd say if you have a Surface Pro 3, this is something to keep an eye on.
Fr. Robert: I like that. And actually, since Surface Pro 3 owners have been having issues with battery power- And I think at this point it may be psychological because you think that the performance of your Surface is less than ideal due to a weak battery. -This might be the perfect tool for you because you now can actually see.
Paul: And it could be a particular device in the driver, a particular application... It's actually very interesting, if you have a Windows phone there is a similar utility built into the Windows phone where it will kind of show you in the power saver settings what applications are really hitting the battery and it just gives you a kind of eagle eye view of what's going on in the device so it's kind of useful. With regards to software picks, I actually have several, I don't know if you can see all of them on the notes...
Fr. Robert: They just exploded onto my screen, oh my goodness.
Paul: Yeah, well these things have just all happened. So I wrote an article earlier in the week about Bing Rewards and there is a Bing Rewards app now for Windows phone. If you don't know what Bing Rewards is, it's basically like a frequent flyers program but it's for Bing search. You earn rewards that you can then cash in for things. Those things could be Amazon gift cards, Xbox Live Gold months or whatever, all kinds of stuff. And you earn those rewards by, obviously searching with Bing but also doing other things. They have daily goals and daily things you can do and so forth. Bing is part of your phone, it's pretty easy to use it on your phone since it's kind of automatic and so this app gives you a way to keep track of it, what's going on today, what you're points are, let's you redeem those points for rewards and so forth. And so I think for people who are using Windows that are kind of involved in this ecosystem, just signing up for Bing Rewards is super simple, it's a no-brainer, it doesn't cost you anything, it's automatic, and it can earn you rewards so if you use Windows phone, get the app as well and get that going.
Fr. Robert: Let me ask a question, Paul. How many Bing points do I need to actually get something worthwhile? Because if you take a look at my screen, these have been accumulating for years, I have 3,736.
Paul: Oh you can get all kinds of good stuff, so what you should do is go to the Bing Rewards website, which is just bing.com/rewards and...
Fr. Robert: Can I get anything good?
Paul: Yeah, you can actually. So go to redeem at the top.
Fr. Robert: I like this.
Paul: Yeah, you have a lot of- You have many more points than I do.
Fr. Robert: I've just been stacking them up. Oh my gosh, I could get like $3 Amazon gift cards.
Paul: Yeah but you could get a bunch of them, you know?
Fr. Robert: Ooh, actually I could pay for my Xbox Live!
Paul: Yeah, and so you've been kind of browsing with Bing and you were going to be doing that anyway, and now you're getting rewarded for it so why not do this?
Fr. Robert: I will say that's not a joke, I use Bing more than I use Google. Bing is my primary search engine.
Alex: Padre, I've got more.
Paul: Take advantage of it. How many do you have?
Fr. Robert: He's got 3,776- That's really close... How many did I have? 3,772?
Paul: Are you kidding me? You guys are that close?
Fr. Robert: Have you redeemed at all?
Alex: I redeem a few things here and there.
Fr. Robert: Oh well he's like 30 points ahead of me but I could fix that right now, hold on. I'm going to spend the rest of the show just clicking on things.
Alex: Yeah, just search for like 30 things.
Fr. Robert: Alright, so that's for the Bing users out there, be sure to get that app so that you can add up your rewards on your mobile device, as well as on your desktop and then you too, can get $3 Amazon gift cards.
Fr. Robert: It's not just that though, you've got a whole section of software picks. Pick us through.
Paul: Yes, I've got more. So if you have a Windows phone 8.1 that means you either have a 630, 635 or you use the developer preview program to upgrade early and you know that one of the big differences with this release is that since the phone is RTM, they've been updating a lot of the integrated apps. Calendar app was updated this week, twice actually but Skype is now an integrated part of Windows phone 8.1 and so they updated the Skype app this week. It's US only and you can obviously change your region but you can now make Skype calls with Cortana if you have Windows phone 8.1. Cortana, being the new search feature that's in that version of the OS and basically, it's exactly what it sounds like. 'Skype, call somebody,' and so Skype will call this person and that kind of thing. You can do audio calls, video calls, and all of that kind of stuff through voice command, which you know, that's obviously kind of a cool thing. And you'll get this automatically, so Skype and Calendar are just built into the system so if you have Windows 8.1, these apps now get upgraded in the background automatically. You don't have to ok them, you don't have to go get them, it just happens. So if you have that you have probably already gotten those. And then while we were doing the show, Microsoft released the release candidate for Update 3 for VisualStudio 2013. I've not installed any of these update 3 privileged versions so I'm on the VisualStudio 2013 Update 2. This is a cool video on Channel 9 featuring my buddy Dmitry Lyalin, did you ever meet Dmitry Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: Yeah I have met him.
Paul: Yeah, he was from New York and has since moved to Redmond and he works for Microsoft but now he is working for htem out of the home office, so now he gets to make videos, apparently. But he's a big Windows phone/Windows developer guy. In fact, he developed one of our TWiT apps, did he not?
Mary Jo: Yep, he did.
Fr. Robert: I never get to meet those cool people because I never get to go to any other place. Sad.
Paul: You may not know this but Leo and Mary Jo know that I have an infamous history of mispronouncing things so I'm going to assume I'm mispronouncing this name but there is a service called, I want to say Scribd? Yeah, that works.
Paul: Normally I would say Scribbedee. Which is essentially an online service for books and it kind of builds itself as the biggest collection of something I don't know. It's something big and it's an online service, anyway, they have had a mobile app on iOS and Android for quite some time and today they release one for Windows! Look at them go... So if you're using the Windows platform, which you should be, you can now access the service. I guess they have a subscription service where you pay $8-9/month so you get complete access to their collection while you're a paying subscriber. So it's kind of like a music subscription service, except for books.
Fr. Robert: It's actually really good.
Paul: It's called Scribd, not Scribbedee, right?
Fr. Robert: I've been calling it Scribd, I've heard Scribbedee, But I think they're wrong so...
Paul: My natural inclination would be to call it something ridiculous.
Fr. Robert: Ah, see here we go this says it's pronounced scribed.
Paul: Awesome, scribed, of course. See, I knew I could screw that up.
Fr. Robert: I give up, I'm still stuck on the gif and jif pronunciations for a GIF image. I will go no further beyond that. Mary Jo Foley, enterprise pick of the week?
Mary Jo: So this may seem like Chicken Little, The Sky Is Falling kind of a pick but one year from this Month, July 14, 2015 Windows server 2003 is coming to end-of-life in terms of support. And I'm telling you guys a year in advance because it's a big difference between updating a client and updating a server. And there are a lot of small businesses especially that still run on Windows server 2003. So when this happens, on July 14, 2015 what that means is you get no more updates from Microsoft. Including security updates, it's just like XP. No more security updates, you'll be out of compliance if that matters to your organization, and lots of bad things could potentially happen to you so Microsoft and a lot of their partners are really making a push right now to get the people using this service to begin migrating and at least get it started, planning-wise. There are a lot of different tools, there's a lot of partners who have services that you can avail yourself of. Microsoft's pitch of course, is you should go to the Cloud, just cold turkey, go to the Cloud. But if you're not going to the Cloud, at least go to Windows server 2012 or 2, which is the most recent version of Windows server. So this is just your early warning service, courtesy of your Enterprise Queen.
Paul: Sounds like a storm warning on my phone.
Fr. Robert: But Mary Jo Foley, can't I just do what people have been telling me to do with my Windows XP stations? Just unplug it from the network and everything is fine right?
Mary Jo: No...
Paul: Yeah. No.
Mary Jo: Although I wonder what Steve Gibson would have to say because I know that he was somebody saying, there are ways around this end-of-life thing.
Paul: The point you make about upgrading services, particularly astute now because when you think about going from 2003 to anything, we've had 2008, 2008R2, 2012, 2012R2.
Mary Jo: Right, the architecture is hugely different, everything is different, pretty much between those releases.
Fr. Robert: I'm a big proponent of upgrading. I was using Office 2003 and I did just upgrade to Office 2007 so I think I can...
Paul: That's incredible, and I mean that in the literal sense of the word.
Fr. Robert: We've got a rumor of the week.
Mary Jo: We do and it's actually almost not even a rumor. I would almost put this in the same category as facts, although it hasn't been announced yet. But it's very interesting. So the guy whose name is The Rommit on Twitter, who is a really good enterprise who Paul and I talk to a lot on Twitter, he tipped me off the other day that the founder of Couch Base, which is a no-sequel database is joining Microsoft, which is very interesting. What he's going to do is become the general manager for business intelligence services at Microsoft. His name is James Phillips, like I said, he is the co-founder of Couch Base and this has a lot of really interesting implications for Microsoft because no-sequel is not sequel and Microsoft's whole past to this point has been around Sequel Server. So it's very interesting that they would take somebody who is the founder of a no-sequel database company and put him in a pretty high level and responsible position on the business intelligence team at Microsoft. I'm not sure when they're going to announce this, maybe at the Partner Conference in DC, maybe before that, but the tip comes from the blog Jen Underwood, who is the founder and principal consultant of Impact Analytics. I don't know how she found this out, but I went on James Phillips LinkedIn profile and I see yes, it looks as though he has already joined Microsoft.
Fr. Robert: Everyone is joining Microsoft these days, it's the "in" thing.
Mary Jo: I guess so.
Fr. Robert: Now, the part of the show that I was most looking forward to, the beer-
Paul: Actually before we do the fun bit, I have a tip I guess and this was recommended or mentioned by somebody to Mary Jo and I but Rob Canyon, who was one of the 3 co-founders of Compaq, has written a book called Open: How Compaq ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing. And being in the PC industry for a long time, I thought I kind of understood the Compaq story and why they were relevant and what they contributed and everything and if you would've asked me a week ago, what's the deal with Compaq? I would've said well, they reverse-engineered the IBM PC Bios in a clean room and created the PC industry, essentially, the PC compatible industry. This book mentions that almost in passing but there's actually a lot more that happened at Compaq and one of the revelations in this book, which the author and the co-founder of the company say this is new information and this has never been publicized, is that Microsoft used to make these custom versions of DOS for different companies and they were all slightly incompatible with each other, that was one of the big problems with early PC's. So they basically fixed it so that it would always be compatible with IBM's version of DOS and because this was so valuable, they actually licensed it back to Microsoft. Compaq actually licensed their version of MS DOS to Microsoft so that Microsoft could then license it- The version of MS DOS that we all know and love and that retailers use was based on that because it was the one that was compatible with everything.
Fr. Robert: What's this book called?
Paul: It's called Open. This is kind of weird but if you search for Open on say, Audible or Amazon, you're going to find a lot of books but it's written by Rob Canyon, it's available in Audible format as well as Kindle format and I actually switched between the two and it's a very short book. It wouldn't take you weeks to get through it or anything, but if you're interested in the early history of the PC industry and you just like this kind of stuff, it's absolutely worth reading and I sort of read it not expecting to learn anything new and I was pleasantly surprised.
Fr. Robert: Hoping that's soon to be a movie made by Michael Bay...
Paul: Hopefully they can get the same people who played in that Steve Jobs movie, the one that played Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer.
Fr. Robert: Actually it would be great if they could just get Ashton Kutcher to play every Silicon Valley CEO just to keep making those movies and using the same cast over and over. There we go, Open. I think I have my next Audible book.
Paul: Yeah, it's a quick lesson and worth grabbing.
Fr. Robert: Alright Paul, now can we talk about beer? Like I said, I can't drink beer, but I love watching people drink.
Paul: Wow, I am the complete opposite. But go on.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo Foley, take us through.
Mary Jo: I will. My beer pick of the week is something that I also may mispronounce, although I'll tell you this is how I always pronounce it. It's Gose and what it is, is kind of a salty and funky beer style. The one I've had recently is from a brewery in Chicago called Off Color Brewing. The name of the beer is Troublesome and the label is cool because it arranges the characters like, Trou Ble- Ble is French for wheat, which I think is cool. -Some. It's really good, it has a little bit of Coriander, it has a little bit of salt, and is just a really nice refreshing, light, 4.5% beer. Perfect for the hot humid summer day we are having here in New York today. I love this beer style, it's one of my favorite styles and if you've never had it, you first taste it and think, wow that's sour and salty kind of odd. But it really works together and is a very good refreshing choice. So if you ever have a chance, to try a Gose, give it a try. It's good.
Paul: Where is it from?
Mary Jo: It's Off Color Brewing, in Chicago and it's in bottles here, I've seen it at Whole Foods and a few other places so it's around.
Fr. Robert: Isn't Goser a character from Ghost Busters? I can't think of Gose without thinking, oh and the marshmallow man too, right?
Mary Jo: I'm sure in the chatroom they'll tell us, are we pronouncing this correctly?
Fr. Robert: I know that you already had a book that can Open but do you have anything else for us Paul?
Paul: I do have some other Audible picks but I can hang onto those for next week. I think that's more of a relevant choice for everybody.
Fr. Robert: I will say I will offer the Audio book that I've been listening to continuously. I heard it a month ago and I think I'm on my 12th go around. It's called The Martian and it's actually better in the Audible version than it is in the written version. I have the written version on my Kindle and that's okay but the Audio verion is fantastic. If you are a nerd about space, if you've ever enjoyed stories that aren't as much science fiction, as they are science fact, you're going to love The Martian. It's all about an astronaut that gets left on Mars after a freak accident. He then has to survive the next year and a half before he can potentially be rescued. If you've ever liked the triumph of the whale or the triumph of intelligence type stories, you'll love it. It's called The Martian by Andy Weir. I think Leo has actually listened to or at least talked about it before.
Paul: It seems really good.
Fr. Robert: Yeah. I think that we've pretty much run out our welcome here, we've got the This Week in Google folks assembling behind me and I think they want to kick us out. Any closing wisdom from the two of you? Things that people should know about Windows that we haven't told them in the past two hours?
Mary Jo: We should probably remind people that Paul and I are both going to be at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C. the week of July 13, and we're talking about having an informal beer Tweet up, probably on Tuesday so watch Twitter.
Paul: By which you mean a blow-out beer fest.
Fr. Robert: You're going to be in D.C.?
Mary Jo: Yeah we're both going to be in D.C. and we're probably going to tape Windows Weekly live from the conference so more on that later.
Fr. Robert: When is this next week?
Mary Jo: July 13th.
Paul: The week after.
Fr. Robert: You know I was think about going back to D.C. on July 13th, we could have a big meet-up at the Jesuit residence, which does by the way, have a decent connection and a lot of beer.
Mary Jo: Nice.
Paul: Do they have access to trapist beers?
Fr. Robert: Yes we do. Let's make this happen. Folks, this concludes another wonderful episode of Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott is the superstar at the supersite for Windows at winsupersite.com. You can pick up one of his books chalked full of all the tips and tricks you need for Windows at windows81book.com, which includes Paul's Windows 8.1 Field Guide but you've also got a Service book, is that out yet?
Paul: I'm still working on that and I'm working on a Windows Phone 8.1 book as well.
Fr. Robert: If you've ever wanted to learn how to trick out or tip out your devices, drop by windows81book.com. Mary Jo Foley is the mastermind behind allaboutmicrosoft.com, a ZDNet blog and can be found wherever discerning blog readers go for their news about Microsoft. You'll find them both here each week at twit.tv on Wednesday at 11 Pacific, 2 Eastern, and 1800 UTC or if you're free, you could always join us live at live.twit.tv and as long as you're going to do that why don't you jump into the chatroom you've heard us referencing so often? That's at irc.twit.tv.
Alex: And Padre, before we go I just want to show this one more time.
Fr. Robert: Hey 2007 is a good vintage.
Paul: It's so blue.
Fr. Robert: It's just awesome, why would you want to switch?
Mary Jo: I think it looks and works just like Notepad, looks good.
Fr. Robert: Exactly that's what I like no surprises. And just be glad I didn't bring back Clippy.
Alex: You've got a button up there.
Fr. Robert: I know, so weird right? People look at this and think its backwards. I look at it and think it's retro. Retro is cool, folks.
Paul: I think retro does mean backwards.
Fr. Robert: All of you just don't know. If you do not have the ability to watch us live, you can also find us wherever discerning podcasts are, aggregated. Go ahead and jump into Stitcher, iTunes, any other number of podcast sources, or you can find us here at our page twit.tv/ww. Until next time, I'm Father Robert Ballecer the digital Jesuit. See ya' next time on Windows Weekly!