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Windows Weekly 374
Leo Laporte: It’s time for Windows Weekly! Paul Thurrott is here from Barcelona where it is sweltering hot. Mary Jo Foley is back from the Imagine Cup at Microsoft she’ll tell us about that. We’ll find out about the little feud going on between Paul and Microsoft and a whole lot more. Windows Weekly coming up next.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley episode 374 recorded August 6th, 2014
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It’s time for Windows Weekly, the show where we cover all the Microsoft stuff with Mary Jo Foley, she is allaboutmicrosoft.com. Hi, Mary Jo.
Mary Jo Foley: Hi, Leo.
Leo: Good to see you. Welcome back from the Imagine Cup.
Mary Jo: Thanks
Leo: From the beautiful Pacific Northwest. From Barcelona Paul Thurrott. He’s in dark apartment, is it like 8 at night? It’s pretty late right?
Paul Thurrott: It is yeah 8 o’clock. By the time we’re done it should be pitch black here.
Leo: Paul is the major domo at the beautiful supersite for Windows winsupersite.com, the author of many a book about Windows. As any freelance tech writer could, Mike Elgan was doing this for a while, you could work from anywhere. So every summer you go to Europe which is great. Are you going to be there all through August?
Paul: The Mike Elgan thing is funny because he had friended me on Facebook before he joined TWIT and he was in, I want to say South Africa or somewhere in Africa and then he went to Barcelona. He posted a beautiful panorama from a cafe seat. I wrote him a message and I said we’ve never been but I like it here.
Leo: I love it here. Awesome.
Paul: He gave us some good tips too.
Leo: He’s a great traveler. I think it was Barcelona it was either Mike or Dvorak that got pickpocketed in Barcelona. Just a word of warning. The Rambla is where everybody goes. Have you gone to a nightclub at 3 in the morning and partied?
Paul: No I am old, Leo. I fall asleep on the couch and I get up at 6. By the way when I do that I am the only person in the entire city that’s awake.
Leo: Let us talk to Mary Jo before we go to far about the Imagine Cup. Anything to report. Was it fun, did you have a good time?
Mary Jo: Yeah it was really fun and really inspiring to see the stuff that college students built. It was pretty insane.
Leo: So these are all college kids. When you say built, is it like a science project? What is it that they are doing?
Mary Jo: Yeah they give them different categories that they can compete in. So they can develop a game, they can develop what they call tech for good. Which are like citizenship projects. Or they can develop, what I was judging which is the innovation category. That includes both software and hardware. There were a lot of really cool robots and machines that were powered by apps that the students built. So it was pretty neat.
Leo: Did you sit across from Satya Nadella in the judging process?
Mary Jo: At the very end, the last day we got to go to TechReady which is Microsoft's internal version of Tech Head and that’s where the finals were judged and he was sitting right on the stage and we were a little ways from him.
Leo: You probably waved?
Mary Jo: We waved from afar.
Leo: What kind of shoes was he wearing? No no. So that’s fun, how fun. Who else was on the panel?
Mary Jo: It was cool. On the panel I was on which was the innovation panel there was a few of us. There was Bill Buxton who is a Microsoft researcher who’s done a lot of work around wearables and other categories, and John Shewchuk who’s one of the long time tech fellows at Microsoft, he was on my panel too. There were just a ton of interesting judges from all over the place. There were people from Redoak, people from Facebook. They had a really good crew of people who were checking out all these projects.
Leo: What fun.
Mary Jo: It was very fun. It was a lot of work. Even judging was a lot of work. We had to be at Microsoft at 7a.m. to look at the projects. It was early.
Leo: Do you want to say anything about the winners in the innovation category?
Mary Jo: Yeah I can tell you who the main winner was, who won the overall competition. They were really interesting. They were med students who were also programmers from Australia. Their team name was Anemia. They developed an app and a little color chart that let’s you take a selfie and you hold the color chart under your eye when you’re taking the selfie. Because you can look inside your eye and match it up with the color you can tell if you’re anemic.
Mary Jo: Yeah it was really interesting and that’s already being piloted as something to help people who don’t have access to Doctors all over the world. So they won the top prize and as part of the top prize they get a mentoring session with Bill Gates.
Leo: Oh that’s cool.
Mary Jo: Yeah, a private meeting with Bill Gates. They won a lot of money, I think they won over 50,000 dollars I believe. To continue with their app.
Leo: That’s really cool. They’re from Australia?
Mary Jo: They are from Australia.
Leo: And it was just the 2 of them?
Mary Jo: Yeah a team of 2.
Leo: Wow that’s pretty impressive. Were they med students?
Mary Jo: It was very very impressive. I think they were med students as far as I recall. Yeah they were cool. There were just so many unusual interesting projects. One in my catagory that I judged, that I really like was called Nail Polish mixer. Which sounds kind of weird. It was 2 women computer science students from the Bahrain who built a machine that automatically allows women to mix custom nail polish colors. They also are selling this salons. And they built an app where you can take a picture of your dress and match it to your nail polish color. I was like ahhh this is going to be kind of weird. But it was so impressive that they went and built machines. They went on Google and looked at video’s like how do you build a machine. Then they brought a prototype that they had built out of a shoebox to a factory and said hey here’s what we want to build and they helped them build it.
Leo: Wow really cool.
Mary Jo: Pretty impressive.
Leo: Well congratulations to all the winners and to Anemia for the Global win. That’s really cool.
Mary Jo: Very fun.
Leo: It was nice you got to do that.
Mary Jo: It was.
Leo: Paul is strolling the nude beaches and you’re helping change the world. So there we go.
Paul: Listen we all have our own priorities, Leo.
Leo: Let us delve into Microsoft Windows 8.1 update. Just an update it’s not update 2. Pay no attention. Or is it?
Paul: By the way I don’t know how well you can hear me. Because I am away this week Mary Jo and I haven’t really talked.
Leo: Wait a minute did I do that? Did I put a cloud? What happened? I have a cloud.
Mary Jo: It’s a dark cloud.
Leo: I guess I pushed the R button and the raincloud popped up. I am sorry, because you’re out of town.
Paul: I can’t see it.
Leo: No only those at home could see it. All I know is Alex come running down. I pushed an odd button. I don’t know what button and Alex fixed it. So thank you. That was one cloud, wow! This is update 2 that will come out next week Patch Tuesday for Windows 8.1. If you already have Update 1. Microsoft doesn’t apparently want us to call it Update 2?
Mary Jo: They do not.
Leo: What is it?
Mary Jo: It really is update 2 despite what you might read on other sites and blogs that claimed that we were duped. Nope this is Update 2 we were not duped.
Leo: We were not duped.
Mary Jo: Microsoft is calling it August updates.
Paul: I have a bigger issue with this. It’s not so much what people think, it’s that Microsoft in their official blog post said something about don’t believe the rumors and the speculations. They actually put that in a blog post. I actually stripped a paragraph out of the post and I wrote about this because I got really irritated with that. Because it was clearly directed at Mary Jo and myself.
Leo: Really? Come on really?
Paul: The people that wrote that post know that this is update 2 and they know that it’s called update 2 internally. They know that they’ve stripped features from it and they’ve turned it into an inconsequential update. For them to actually go online in a public post on the company's website in this day and age is I actually think unforgivable. I found that to be incredibly insulting.
Leo: Do you feel like they spanked you?
Paul: I felt that was awful.
Mary Jo: You know what Paul, you know why I wasn’t mad. If you know how Microsoft denies things. The way they deny things is they deny a very very specific statement. So that they can say that they are not lying. So they said despite rumors and speculation we are not planning on delivering a Windows 8.1 “update 2” . Right they aren’t going to call it that but that doesn’t mean that’s not what this is.
Leo: So what is in a name? What does it matter what you call it? I don’t understand. To the average Joe call it Fred it doesn’t matter. What is it and why do we care?
Paul: So I just had this conversation with someone from Microsoft in the context of Windows phone 8.1 update 1 which they are calling update. Off the record this person agreed with me, internally this should be update 1. It’s the same name convention that they’ve used for years. Why they have gone with this update thing has something to do with the Windows team and they want to connect to that. Even though it has no connection whatsoever. They feel like if they call it update 1 that suggests they are implicitly agreeing to doing an update 2 and they don’t want to agree to anything that they aren’t sure they are going to do, on and on it goes. It is stupid. It doesn’t really matter what it is called the point is we know what it is. They know what it is. We’ve accurately reported what it is. For them to retroactively come out and say oh no there is nothing like that, whoever has told you that is involved with rumors and speculation. It is so childish and philasharing.
Mary Jo: It is I agree with you.
Paul: That was just awful. That is just terrible.
Mary Jo: We swept out a lot of the problems from previous regime, let’s keep that good momentum coming.
Paul: Here we are trying to communicate something effectively because you can’t. And then you have the balls, I don’t know how else to say it, to come out later and act like oh those guys. I am sorry that really upsets me. It’s just wrong.
Leo: We have a nice family in the studio today. There are small children here. I am just saying kids it’s not okay to talk like this, okay. Unless you’re a wronged technology journalist. What’s happened, you need to know the context. They have been beating Paul down for years, and he just finally, he ain’t gonna take it no more.
Paul: I am fighting back. He’s not getting beat he’s getting angry.
Leo: But I think that’s a very salient point because Microsoft is unable to communicate effectively. Because ultimately this comes down, I am playing this normal person. I don’t care what you call it, I just want to know what it is, what I get from it and whether I need it. If it’s miscommunicated by Microsoft it is absolutely your duty to communicate it properly so people understand what they are getting. You’re making up for their lack.
Mary Jo: If they had followed the plan that they had earlier this year to include the mini start menu in update 2, I am pretty sure they would have called this out as update 2 or called this at least a 2nd update or something.
Paul: Oh absolutely.
Mary Jo: They changed their mind shortly after Build from what we’ve heard from our sources. Decided to take the mini start menu out. So then what they were left with were some very minor things and I think they just kind of wanted to sweep that under the rug and say hey those are just regular updates like we always make. Except here was your clue. Other updates they make to Windows they don’t call out this way in blogposts. They just deliver them as part of patch Tuesday.
Paul: They’ve never done it this way.
Leo: Yeah you don’t have ok here we go it’s patch Tuesday and look at what you’re going to get.
Mary Jo: Exactly. That’s why it’s update 2.
Paul: The one thing that they communicated in that post that I sort of appreciated was this notion was that obviously everyone at Microsoft or all the teams at Microsoft are working on this rapid release cycle. It’s different for every team. With Windows we had this sort of a notion that we went from 3 year releases down to 18 month releases with 8.1 down to 3 or 6 months for Update 1. Now they are talking we’ll put little updates out every month in Patch Tuesday. Which frankly is probably the right way to do it. Just eliminate that big bang approach other than for the major release.
Mary Jo: Here’s also what they are trying to do from what we’ve heard, they’re trying to establish a thing that they call Serviceability. That means they are trying to establish a pattern inside Windows where they have these regularly scheduled maybe twice a year maybe 3 times a year, updates. I don’t know if they are going to call them updates or what they are going to call them. Just like what they do with Windows phone. They are going to start doing this with Windows too. So this is one of those. But they are not wanting to call it out that way for whatever reason. Whether if that is because that it will panic normal users or whatever it is. I think they could have really called this out and said hey guys we’re speeding up the Windows trains even more and here’s update 2. Isn’t this awesome you’re getting another update. They didn't’ do it that way.
Leo: So from the point of view from us unwatched masses who don’t follow this day in and day out. We’re going to see on Tuesday an Update. You’re saying it is more than a hot fix.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: It is going to do what?
Paul: Leo, not much.
Leo: Hence Microsoft’s reluctance to call it update 2.
Paul: Yes. But you know what if they are doing one of these every month who cares what they call it. In other words this type of update a monthly schedule is great.
Leo: Yeah it’s kind of like what they do with Xbox 1. Xbox 1 has significant updates every month now. UI interface.
Paul: Yeah it’s not that good actually.
Leo: It’s not as good as Xbox 1?
Paul: No it’s not that good.
Leo: Let me propose a language that might work here. If it is a security fix or a patch, that something that improves performance or behind the scenes. If there is no user interface change that’s a hotfix, that doesn’t really change anything. If there is a perceptible change to the user interface, certainly a mini start menu would be that. Then it would be an update of some kind. I don’t care if you want to call it update 1 or you can call it the August update. I don’t care.
Paul: Well they did. Actually they did.
Leo: That’s the difference between a patch or a hotfix and an actual update. It’s going to look different. Something is going to happen. As a user I want to know that. That’s kind of what they are doing, right? They’re acknowledging that.
Mary Jo: It is.
Paul: Leo, this is like the adage about the weather, no matter where you live. If you don’t like it wait until tomorrow. It’s Microsoft, if you don’t like this naming convention, don’t worry about it, it’s going to be different in September. It doesn’t matter. The point is they were going to do something then they did something else. That doesn’t matter in the slightest. Our job is just to report on it accurately. It’s just the kind of way that they communicated it. It’s just too bad.
Leo: I understand what happened here. They made a change, they telegraphed something different to you guys.
Paul: I enjoy that you think that you understand this.
Leo: You see that’s how naive I am. How innocent I am.
Paul: No it’s good. It’s very helpful.
Leo: Somebody has to stay on cycle here. I think Mary Jo is right, they wanted to be able to do the non-denial, denial kind of thing. Where it is all semantic so yes we didn’t release an update 2. Your scapegoats. They scape-goated you. That’s fine, I understand why you’re upset about that.
Paul: Listen nobody enjoys a good prank as I do. The problem is, I don’t know Mary Jo if you noticed this but when you name something the August update for Windows 8.1. You have just named something for some August. Like the Xbox uses the same naming convention. So they will have something called the August update for Xbox 1.
Leo: I think that’s fair.
Mary Jo: Surface does right?
Paul: I know but it is August what? There is going to be an August next year too. Why can’t they be precise? I don’t understand these naming conventions make no sense.
Mary Jo: Part of this too is because they don’t want us to show people how the sausage is made. They just want to come out when the update is ready and say hey here’s your update. They don’t want us to report that they were going to do this and they changed their mind. Then they did this and then they changed the name. They don’t want that insider baseball out there publicly.
Leo: Well and they’re selling sausage but they are telling you it’s prime rib.
Paul: It’s a veggie sausage Leo.
Mary Jo: It’s Tofu.
Leo: It’s not merely they don’t want you to know how it’s made. They kind of don’t want you to know what it is.
Mary Jo: You’re getting 3 things as part of this update 2. You’re getting some touch pad improvements, you’re getting mercast receive capabilities, and you’re getting a Sharepoint online login prompt minimizer. Okay very very small things but those are part of what was going to be called Update 2.
Paul: I am sorry to interupt but it’s even less than what you just said. The Sharepoint thing, you’re getting a checkbox that will tell the system not to bother you again. You’re literally getting a check box. That Mercast reciever thing, that’s not feature of Windows. It’s just API’s so that developers can write a meracast receiver application for Windows. By the way an application that can only work on the Desktop. It’s not mercast received for modern Windows. It’s only for the desktop. This is a really lame set of updates.
Mary Jo: Yep I agree. They could have called it the update lame or lame update but they decided August instead. We should say also it’s not just client. So Windows server 2012 R2 is also getting an update next week that they are also are not calling update 2. It’s going to have different performance and reliability changes that we still don’t know what those are. But there will be no changes to the API’s. So if your app is already on there it will still just work. That’s all we know about the server side one. This is why we drink on the job.
Leo: But I’ve got to tell you. You guys are deep in it, this is a big deal for you in a way that it’s really not for everybody else.
Mary Jo: I know, I agree.
Leo: We’re going to get something on Tuesday, big deal something happens. I don’t care you could call it Fred. It doesn’t matter to me.
Paul: The reason this is sort of a big deal is because for a brief moment in time and we could literally be talking by just a few weeks. This was going to be a major deal. There was that moment in April where they thought we can do more, we can do this faster, we can bring the start menu up before Threshold. Let’s do it, it will be Update 2, it will be amazing, it’s coming out in August.
Leo: That would be a big deal, yeah.
Paul: Then I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if Mary Jo knows what happened but something happened internally. This was a more difficult project than they thought or maybe they just decided to rally around Threshold. Whatever the reason they scaled it back. It was for just a short period of time where this could have turned into something very major. I think that’s why it’s even more disappointing in a way if you kind of know what’s happening and what it turned into. Because this was very close to being something very cool.
Leo: Yeah so that’s the truth that most of us don’t really know that. I don’t even know, do I know that? Did you talk about this last week? I didn’t know that they were thinking about bringing back the start menu Tuesday.
Paul: It would have been months ago.
Mary Jo: We talked about it a while ago. I think a couple months ago.
Leo: The average user doesn’t know what they are missing. Only those who are paying close attention. God knows I am not.
Paul: I am literally here to disappoint people. That is my primary function.
Leo: Hey let’s take a break.
Paul: I though Windows was doing great.
Leo: While we take a break, Mary Jo, we’re going re-call you. Wait a minute you stopped freezing.
Mary Jo: Yeah I unfroze myself I think.
Leo: I looked up and she’s moving folks.
Mary Jo: Skype has just been fun today.
Leo: I just want to turn this into an audio show. No we are going to keep going.
Paul: We’re going the right direction.
Leo: We are going to soldier through here. More with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. There is a new version of Windows coming called Threshold or Windows 9 whatever they are going to name it. And there is more UI tidbits surfacing. We’ll have that for you in just a second. But first a word about a great product for anybody who is in business and needs to share files. It’s pretty much the case I would say that many business emails, I don’t know how many emails I get from work, from clients have attachments. In our case it’s copy or presentations. We often get powerpoint presentations in email. This is not secure, it’s not safe. You’ve heard me convey against email attachements. Don’t send attachments. It’s dangerous. It’s how viruses get sent. It’s how crypto locker gets sent. Even if it comes from somebody you know, it’s dangerous. Plus there is this larger issue, is this file secured. It’s going through the public internet, is it safe? There is a solution that is made for business by business, Cytrix Sharefile. Cytrix knows what business needs, if you use Windows I know you know the name Cytrix. Sharefile is a great solution. Instead of sending any email attachment you’re going to send a secure link. That means you can send files of almost any size without bouncebacks. I think 10GB is the limit. That should be enough for anybody. Try sending 10GB through your email. If you want to break it. You decide who has access to your files and for how long. You’ll get notifications telling you who opens your files and when. You can even password protect the files for optimal security. Secure, easy and you don’t have to be a guru to use Sharefile or to receive Sharefile. That’s important to me. I use Sharefile every single week. I am going to use it today. To send commercials, announcements and things to the various radio stations that I do the radio show for. Because the people that are getting these files are not computer geeks, they’re normal people Sharefile is a great solution for them. I’ll show you how I use it. I’ll pick a file and I’ll send it along to somebody. I send along voice tracks all the time to our sister radio station. Hi this is Leo Laporte, when I am in town, I am always listening to KBMW. So these are the files, I have desktop synchronization. So these were in a folder, I guess still are in a folder on my desktop but automatically synchronizes up to the Sharefile folder. If I want to send a file I click the send button. You can also do this with a plugin, they’ve got widgets. There’s lots of ways to do this, to make it as easy as possible. I’m going to just get a link. Look at the setting here. I can say email me when the files been downloaded, by recipients email address. I can say how long they can access it. When the access expires. I can say how many downloads per user. So you really have control. In fact I often do this for a week, because this advertisements not going to be good after a week. I can say they can download it an unlimited number of times because maybe they need it a couple of times. When I get the link I can just put it in the email. This is a secure link, notice HTTPS. That link when they get it they click it in the email. I’ll show you what they get. It couldn’t be easier. They don’t have to understand Sharefile. They see my branding by the way not Share Files branding. They see a big download button that tells them what the file is, how big it is. It makes it as simple as possible. I’ve used every possible way to get these files to these radio stations. I’ve never had anything that worked as well as Sharefile. They get it, they understand it, it works. They even get notifications, I can set it up that they get notifications when I’ve uploaded a new file. I don’t even have to send them an email, if I don’t want to. Sharefile is fabulous. I want you to try it for 30 days. It’s absolutely free for 30 days. Visit sharefile.com do me a favor though, when you go there you will see a number of places where you can start your free 30 day trial. There’s one up at the very top, that’s the one I want you to click, it says podcast listeners. That’s a special link that will give you a chance to enter the word Windows. Select the industry too because they will customize it. It has HIPPA compliance, Compliance with FSC regulations in the financial services industry. If you’re an attorney, you need Sharefile. That silly disclaimer I see attorney’s put in there, hey this was intended for somebody, if you’re not that person delete it right now without reading it, right now. That doesn’t work, that fact makes me want to read it. So use Sharefile instead and you can actually control who is reading that stuff. Select your industry, enter the code Windows and you can start your free trial for 30 days. If you’re not the decider and cheif at your business, show the CIE, the CTO, the IT guy because this is really a great solution. We love it here. sharefile.com from Citrix. Please try if free for 30 days but do use the offer code Windows if you will so that Paul and Mary Jo get credit. That is Paul on the left, looking good Paul. Something happened, oh you turned on a light.
Paul: Oh yes I did.
Leo: Suddenly we can see your shining face. Mary Jo on the right. She’s from allaboutmicrosoft.com. Together there is probably no team for people more up on what’s going on at Windows and more hated by the Microsoft marketing office. Mary Jo is Paul being paranoid when he said that this was targeted at you two?
Mary Jo: Well we’ve been kind of vocal in talking about Update 2, so yeah.
Leo: So it was aimed at you wasn’t it.
Mary Jo: It could be us, there could be others involved as well.
Leo: You know what they are saying you know what we need to shape this message this way. Blame Paul and Mary Jo implicitly. They’re good characters, they’ll take it, they won’t swear at us or anything.
Paul: Screw those guys.
Leo: Segment 2. Threshold, is this an internal name from Microsoft?
Mary Jo: Yep, it’s a code name.
Leo: Such a terrible code name. Threshold what?
Mary Jo: It comes from Halo.
Leo: Oh I get it.
Mary Jo: Yeah they are doing a lot of Halo inspired code name’s now.
Leo: Yeah Cortana. That’s not even a code name. The next version of One Drive is called Master Chief that’s exciting. NO, I made that up.
Mary Jo: That would be kind of funny. That would make me have to start to get Xbox just so I could keep up with the codes.
Paul: Master Chief will be the next version of Clippy.
Leo: I wouldn’t mind if Clippy carried a BFG9000 and had a suit on. That would be okay I could dig that.
Paul: Then he could talk about Duke Nukem.
Leo: Yeah, I’m ready.
Paul: I am looking good.
Leo: Tell us what we know now, what’s new about Threshold.
Mary Jo: Threshold is what we believe Microsoft is ultimately going to call Windows 9 when it comes out next spring. We’ve talked a lot about Threshold on the show. We haven’t really known a whole lot about the UI other than it’s going to get the Mini start and that there’s going to be the ability to have Windowed Metro style apps on the desktop. Those are to 2 things we know about Threshold.
Leo: So basically it is going to add the 2 features that Stardock offers now for 5 bucks.
Mary Jo: Yeah Brad Mordell the head of Stardock, he’s already working on something new to go beyond.
Paul: He’s going to bring back something called the start screen.
Mary Jo: Yeah exactly.
Leo: You wanted tiles, we’ve got tiles. Because Star8 brings back the Start menu on stardock for 5 bucks. What is it Mixture?
Paul: Modern Mix.
Leo: Modern mix that does windowed metro, 5 dollars. What is the mini start by the way? This is a new term, maybe I missed it, maybe it happened when I was on vacation. Is that the same as a start button?
Mary Jo: No it’s meant to imply that it’s a start menu that’s different than the start menu that we have now in Windows 7 and Vista. It’s going to work in a different way and look somewhat different because it will support live tiles.
Leo: Because why would they want to do it the same way?
Paul: They need something they can fix for Windows 10, Leo.
Leo: There does feel like there is a change it for change sake mentality a little bit.
Mary Jo: It did feel like that with Windows 8 a bit and I feel like we can say now it’s pretty clear Microsoft’s undoing a lot of the design decisions they made on Windows 8.
Leo: But why not just do the regular start menu? Because you want tile in the mini start menu?
Mary Jo: They’re not going to totally do away with start the way it looks in Windows 8. They need a way to incorporate that UI design.
Leo: Do we know if the mini start menu will have live tiles in it? That would be cool.
Mary Jo: I forget, Paul wrote something about that.
Paul: Yeah it will.
Mary Jo: It will.
Leo: That’s neat.
Paul: The way I understand they are doing it isn’t so horrible as you might expect. There are people that actually like the start screen and they’re saying hold on a second I like the start screen why are you going back to a start menu. Actually the way I understand it to work is that you can maximize the start menu and when you do it looks and works a lot like the start screen does today. There are some visual changes but it’s basically a full screen version of the start menu. Which today we call the start screen. I think it’s an attempt to kind of meet everybody halfway.
Leo: You write, Paul, that they are going to bring in virtual desktops.
Mary Jo: This is actually Neil Winn writing this.
Leo: By the way we are looking at a Boontoo. Is Microsoft doing the same thing as Linux is doing?
Mary Jo: Yeah they are.
Leo: Linux has done this for years.
Mary Jo: Yep if you know what virtual desktops are, it’s a way to stay more organized and have multiple desktops. It’s almost like the ability to have multiple desktops running on your one machine. Even if it’s a smaller screen machine.
Leo: I’ve been doing this on the Mac for a couple of generations. I do exactly that and one of my desktops is Windows. It is Vmware fusion so I have a Windows desktop, email. For full screen apps that’s a nice kind of combination because you can go full screen on your browser or your email and then with a keystroke or a mouse stroke go to another desktop and they are all saved. It’s like a carousel. I kind of like that.
Paul: Just to be clear though Windows NT or NT versions of Windows have had this capability.
Leo: Yeah they have.
Paul: They’ve just never exposed it in the basic UI. Mark Reserveage if I am not mistaken wrote a utility many many years ago, I think it was Mark. That allowed you to surface this multiple desktop experience, virtual desktops.
Leo: It’s a great way to work. In fact I thought it was in Windows.
Mary Jo: No.
Paul: My understanding is that Microsoft never added it directly to Windows because it was just considered too confusing to normal users.
Leo: You know where it really shines, one way to use it is, okay this is going to be my VPN screen and have all the little windows you need to have open, the controls and stuff, then this is going to be my word processing screen and have multiple windows. But where I really think shines is when you’re in full screen mode because then it’s kind of solves the biggest problem with full screen mode which is that you’ve taken over the screen. In fact I was just scrolling for those watching on video, I was just scrolling through. So I have our OneNote open, I have my calendar open, I have audio editor, here’s the chat room, there’s Twitter. These are all on separate screens. Of course I can ALT+TAB, it’s just like Windows to any individual app. But I can also go through the carolsale of screens and that seems like a good way to handle full screen apps. So I am glad, this sounds good.
Mary Jo: On Twitter, Richard Burt is saying, Internals have had the multi-desktop utility. It is just going back too. Maybe this will be just a power user feature not for everybody. Or they’ll somehow make it accessible for people who are enthusiasts and who want it.
Leo: Yeah a lot of people won’t want it but having the capability is nice. Will it show in the taskbar? That’s what it does in Lenox it shows up in the taskbar and you can see a little map of the screen.
Mary Jo: I would think so, I would bet it is going to work like that. But I don’t know that for sure. But I hear from my sources that Yeah this is there and it is coming in Threshold.
Leo: So Neil Winn broke this but your sources concur.
Mary Jo: My sources say yes. Now the other one is even more interesting that came out this week. I think this was One Beta who had this first. They said that the Charms Bar as we know it today is going away. Yay! Thank goodness!
Paul: I know, thank God.
Mary Jo: It is so awful
Leo: I’ve just gotten used to it.
Mary Jo: I know.
Leo: I hated it for a long time. Now I am used to it and now they are going to get rid of it.
Mary Jo: When Beta and I think Neil Winn also said this, they said maybe it’s going away for some users, maybe just for desktop users. But I’ve been asking around this week and I hear it’s gone for everybody. It’s gone.
Leo: So this is one of those changes that is going to make about half the crowd happy and half the crowd furious.
Paul: Yeah I wonder about that. The only thing with charms though and I run into this a lot. When you’re in the desktop especially you’re limited to what they can do. Obviously the system sized stuff works fine but the promise of this thing was greater than the reality. The communication on this one in particular has always been terrible. I remember when they very first announced this I talked to some of the guys who actually designed this UI. I was like so what do I call this thing, is it like a charms bar, a toolbar, and they were like no it’s just the charms. I was like no this is stupid.
Leo: It really was the first thing I harped on that I hated about Windows 8.
Paul: I think everyone hates it reflexively the first moment they see it.
Leo: But where it makes sense and clearly the reason it is in there is when you’re using a tablet and you swipe in from the right side of the screen and there it is. I remember 10 years ago my HP tablet, they always had these little things that swiped or touched in. On my HP tablet when you popped the stylus out a little bar would slide in that had this friendly stuff.
Paul: I am waiting to hear that they are going to bring back the longhorn sidebar. To fill that space.
Leo: Active desktop it’s back.
Mary Jo: This is one though, I feel really glad and I think that enterprise users are going to be really glad that this is gone. Because so many people could never find them or figure out oh I have to go to the charms bar to figure out permissions or accounts. Why do I have to go over there?
Leo: That’s exactly right that was the confusion.
Mary Jo: Supposedly Contracts still exist. Which is, say you want to share, you have an app open and you want to share to another app. You’ll be able to share but the developer is going to have to add a share button somehow to the app if you want to engage with the contracts. Because right now Share is one of the charms.
Leo: Also Global Search is one of the charms although interestingly in Update 1 they moved that button up out of the charms. So they have that magnify glass there. Is that new, I think they did that in 8.1.
Mary Jo: Yeah that was in that first update.
Leo: Yeah Update 1.
Paul: Update 1 yep.
Leo: So I am thinking there’s search, there’s the settings, there’s Share. It seems like the whole idea of this is context sensitive charms. But I think they could do that with right click, frankly.
Mary Jo: They are going to have a way to do that, that will be more discoverable, more familiar. Yeah it’s going to go away. Yay. I know there are people who do like the charms especially on tablets.
Leo: Oh get ready for the howls, I guarantee you.
Mary Jo: Oh yeah there will be.
Paul: But for everything that people complain about, Start screen a typical example. Once they take it away, of course you get all the cheers from the people who want the start menu back. Then you start hearing from people saying hold on a second, I like this thing. That will absolutely happen with the charms, no doubt.
Leo: Somebody in the chat room, RevX pointed out you can’t right click on a tablet and that’s probably one of the reasons they have that.
Paul: Well you can tap and hold. They have already solved it, tap and hold. This is what they do, what they call a long press. They do this in Windows phone.
Leo: Android has it, Windows Phone has it and we’re all used to it now. I think part of what has happened also is touch was a new vocabulary not just for Microsoft but for all users. But in that intervening few years its become so standardized that there is an actual vocabulary of touch that everybody understands like long press that Microsoft can start to adhere too.
Paul: I’m just making this up but the other thing to think about is, well no it’s occurring to me. Microsoft is working to bring Windows Phone and Windows closer together. Windows Phone already has the notion of global buttons that can appear on screen. Start, back, search, there is no reason those couldn’t be made more consistent. Maybe we will see something like that in big Windows or on a tablet, perhaps.
Leo: Big boy Windows I call it. I have to say this user interface on Windows phone is close to perfection.
Paul: Leo, I am going to use that quote as my ringtone.
Leo: Close to perfection, it doesn’t have charms.
Paul: But it has charm.
Leo: I think it’s so nicely done and it’s intuitive and easy to use. They rethought it and I think they did a good job.
Paul: If we could just turn back the hands of time, I would give anything for the Windows team to have just talked to the Windows Phone team back then. Just talked.
Leo: It’s like you know what we’ve found works.
Paul: It’s crazy I know, you could steal from them and then change half of it.
Leo: Here’s an example, when you pop up weather, down at the bottom are contextware buttons. Unpin, pin, search and there is a little menu bar. This is a way. There’s way’s to make this work without a charms bar.
Paul: Not to get to far off into left field. You were talking about how Touch was new and has evolved. One of the things you see in mobile apps is this notion of refreshing. Where you kind of pull down and you get the little rubber band effect, suddenly that appears everywhere. You see now in many mobile app or mobile experiences this notion of kind of a shelf that comes over with that little hamburger button where now you get this consistent way to access settings and other parts of the app. This is the type of thing that Microsoft needs to be doing across Windows Phone and big Windows and make these things consistent. I think the problems with the charms is, Windows Phone the sort of notion of contract in the sense that you can share through Windows Phone apps they just handle it in a different way. Those differences are tough, they can be weird. Obviously desktop computers have different needs than little phones and stuff like that. But I really hope the reason they could be getting rid of charms is just to make these systems more consistent. However they choose to do it.
Mary Jo: Also to make users more productive, since now Microsoft is the productivity and platforms company. That means they are paying attention to businesses now and businesses do not want the charms. I can’t say every business, but they want things to be discoverable and more familiar so they don’t have to pay 1,000’s or millions in training.
Leo: We were talking last week about the update to Windows Phone. This is as everybody knows an unlocked, it’s actually the Mexican Nokia 1520. That I purchased online. I am still black, I got an update, got all excited. I thought maybe I got Cyan but it’s black. But I did get an update of some kind, I don’t know what it was. Is there any way to know?
Paul: So you are on the developer preview?
Paul: You probably did get Update 1.
Leo: It looks like I did.
Paul: The way to know that for a fact, the quickest way is to try to drag a tile on top of another tile and see if it creates a folder.
Leo: Okay, cool. It does indeed say in the about this phone it says Windows Phone 8.1 update. So that would be it.
Paul: Oh it does, that would be the other way.
Leo: So I could take anything and drag it in. I am going to make a social media folder. So I could drag it into there, Oh look, look! It’s just like Android. It jumps around just like Android too. Oh there you go, I got it. So now I have a live folder. So that’s the live folder thing? In fact this is going to be my social media folder. I can save a lot space putting all this stuff in this one little folder.
Paul: I didn’t think I was going to like folders in Windows Phone. But having just reset a phone and rethinking how my start menu works and everything I actually have to say it’s pretty nice.
Leo: Yeah, it’s okay. You know what it is, it solves a problem which is you can see how many icons I have on my phone.
Paul: You’re right, it’s density. Windows
Phone handles the start screen different than Android and IOS. It’s a vertical scroll. It’s not very friendly to have a gigantic
tall set of apps. This allows you to
have more above the fold. I think it will, at least in my case, it has caused me to put more
stuff on the start screen and then use those things more often because I can
Leo: So I am going to put all the Bing apps in a folder, travel, news. You know what’s neat, so here is travel in there and because it’s a live tile it does it’s little live tile thing inside the little folder, it’s kind of cool.
Paul: You can still resize those tiles inside the folder and of course organize them however you want too.
Leo: I like that.
Paul: Yeah it’s a nice little presentation going on there.
Leo: If you have a HTC 8X or 8S update availability will resume once they fix some bugs on them.
Mary Jo: Yeah people were saying I don’t think we are going to get Update 1 on the 8X and I asked Microsoft and they said nope. They are just fixing some bugs but they’re going to do it for sure. They won’t say when.
Paul: But they may not be getting it on the 8S?
Mary Jo: Oh really they responded with the 8X and 8S when I asked them.
Paul: Oh did they, okay. Good.
Leo: This is nice, is there anything else I should look for in 8.1 update?
Mary Jo: Well if you are somebody who cares about consumer VPN you will like that update as well.
Leo: Oh that’s built in, okay good. That’s nice.
Paul: Yeah internet explorer has been significantly updated. It’s is funny because depending on the HTML code in a given webpage it will emulate Android or IOS. So this leads to kind of funny bits where people on Windows Phone will be offered the app for a sites IOS or Android app depending on the site because it’s different depending on the code. But the point of that is to just make the sites just look right.
Leo: This is good, I am happy. I really like this phone, I really do. It’s just the hardware, the form factor is just really nice. They keep making it a little bit better every nice. You notice one of the big buttons here, Audible. I love my Audible.com and they have a really nice Windows Phone app. I’ve been listening lately to Graham Nash’s book Wild Tales. It is great. He reads it which is fun. He has this great mancunian accent and he sounds so good. Also the Goldfinch which Mary Jo and I talked about. Wonderful novel. Paul, you probably loaded up your Audible before you got on the plane? What are you listening too?
Paul: Padre recommended the Martian a few weeks back and I’ve listened to that. That is one of the best Audible books that I’ve ever read.
Paul: What this triggered in me though was a desire to go back to 2001 space audicy. Which obviously more fantastical and what not. But is written more as a science book and was written at the time when we hadn’t gotten to the moon and the science in it is accurate to the day and all that kinds of stuff. The story is absolutely fantastic. It’s not very long, it’s under 7 hours. There are 4 books in this series 2001, 2010, 2061, 3001. I could explain it but for whatever reason 2010 is my favorite book in the series and that’s the one that’s not on Audible and I don’t know why. They have the other 3 but they don’t have the 2nd one. If you are familiar with the movie and you kind of understand that kind of 60’s kind of spacey quality to it the book is exact opposite even though it’s the same story. It’s not like a big story, it’s kind of a small story. The book explains everything. Where the movie is just vague and it’s not really clear what the heck is happening. The book explains everything. You know that there’s an alien intelligence that puts the model on earth and jumpstarts mankind. You know that they left the device on the moon too. So that when mankind got into space and discovered it they would be of sufficient science to join them. Everything that’s vague and not understood in the movie is laid there in the book.
Leo: You know what’s funny is as I remember that was written concurrently with the movie. So Arthur C. Clark is writing the script, Stanley Kubrick is making the movie, they are making the book at the same time. It wasn’t a novelization but it was just kind of done concurrently.
Paul: That’s right. The goofiest little trivia about that he, he being Arthur C. Clark, thought there was no way to be a sequel. Then I want to say 15 years later or so he finally did write the first sequel 2010. 2010 is a sequel to the movie. The movie and the book 2001 actually differ in some fairly dramatic ways. In the book they go to Saturn not to Jupiter and so forth. But there are differences if you’re familiar with the books. If you read the books straight through you might be confused at the beginning of 2010 because in that book they are referencing what happens in the movie not what happens in the book. It’s very strange.
Leo: Oh that’s weird.
Paul: The book are, at least the first 3 anyway, are all fantastic.
Leo: It is a must read. I agree with you on the Martian which is Robinson Crusoe on Mars.
Paul: It is so good, so funny.
Leo: Andy Were, also will be joining us on Monday on Triangulation.
Paul: Tell him this book is like a triumph. The science is amazing, the humor is amazing, it is really well told.
Leo: It is one of those books where you burst out laughing.
Paul: I love it.
Mary Jo: I’m reading it, I am not listening to it.
Paul: I recite parts of it to my wife. She looks at me like I am funny.
Leo: You know Lisa and I listened to it together. While we were in Hawaii.
Paul: It is so good.
Leo: That’s something I had nothing done before. Either we would share the earbuds on the plane, or when we were driving the road to Hana we were listening. It was really fun. Brian Brush encouraged me to do that because he listened to it with Bonnie. We’re going to tell you how you get any book at Audible.com for free. How about this, it may be the Martian, it might be 2001, there are so many good choices. Well 150,000 good choices. We’re going to tell you how to get the gold plan, that is a book a month subscription plus with that you get the daily digest of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal read to you. Your first month is free, that means you can get the book, get the digest, pay nothing. The book is your’s to keep forever. If you cancel in the first 30 days that’s that. But I don’t think you will. I’ve been a member since the year 2000. So 14 years now. I have 100’s of books in my library. I’m now listening to 3 or 4 books at the same time. The Beatles biography and Graham Nash’s Biography. That’s fun because you listen together. They are kind of growing up at the same time in north England. They are talking about how Heartbreak Hotel was a life changer. How they went to see Bill Haley and the Commits nothing was ever the same again. It’s a really interesting parallel development. Audible is great. As you can see when Audible listeners get together all we do is talk about the books we are reading or I should say listening too. Go to audible.com/windows to get that gold plan by the way. Free book waiting for you. The hard part is picking your first book but you know what you’re going to get a new book every month and the world of reading will reopen to you. audible.com/windows and we thank them so much. They’ve been one of the not only staunch supporters of us, we’ve been advertising for them for years. I think the success they had with TWIT has led them to advertise on a great many different podcasts. So they’ve been a real supporter of podcasts in general. So they deserve your thanks and gratitude and you deserve Audible.
Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here we’re talking Windows. Moving to the next topic Surface Pro 3. Did you see the analyst who said they’ve lost. Well Microsoft doesn’t say how much they’ve lost on Surface Pro 3, right?
Mary Jo: Yeah they’re not saying.
Leo: This Analyst claimed more than a 100 million dollars over the life of Surface and something like a 17 million dollar loss on Surface Pro 3. I am going to have to find the article.
Mary Jo: Yeah we’ve got a link there to it. Computer World did their own calculations they estimated 1.7 billion.
Paul: Computer World did their own.
Mary Jo: Yeah they went back and used SCC documents.
Leo: Whoa that’s in 2 years!
Mary Jo: But the analyst they quote is pretty close in their estimate.
Leo: So it’s in the ballpark? I mean it’s not 1 billion it’s a lot.
Mary Jo: Well they had that that 900 million right down.
Leo: Oh yeah so that’s a given.
Mary Jo: Right so that’s close there, then this quarter they didn’t release their cost of revenue for the Surface. So they made it harder to calculate how much they’re really losing. But they went back and looked at the 10K and said you can kind of derive what they’re losing and they’re losing a lot of money.
Leo: So one the order of 300 million.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: This quarter!
Mary Jo: This quarter, yeah.
Paul: I don’t know, they launched a major new product, this is the type of thing that’s going to happen.
Mary Jo: Look how long Xbox was in the red. Microsoft kept pouring money into it. They said you know what we’re going to be in this market and they lost a lot of money on the Xbox for years.
Paul: Several billion per console.
Leo: At some point they started making money but I don’t think they are in the black if you include all the losses still.
Paul: Not even close.
Leo: So yeah you made a business, a successful business and I guess someday they will be in the black. But if you lose billions it’s hard.
Paul: This is chump change.
Leo: Ok they can afford it is what you’re saying.
Mary Jo: It’s a funny thing to try and calculate why are they losing so much money. Part of it is just the cost you incur when you start a brand new business especially one that’s involved with hardware manufacturing. But they’ve also had a problem with supply with the Surface. It’s been in limited supply it’s run out a lot. Just this week they’ve announced they’re finally going to make it available in 25 countries outside the U.S. starting August 28th. In most countries you couldn’t even buy a Surface if you wanted one. So there is a lot of reasons this has happened too.
Paul: Sure, it’s hard not to think that they were so burned by whatever miscalculation caused that 900 million dollar write off. That they’re now really leaning towards the opposite end.
Mary Jo: Definitely so.
Paul: But that said, 25 more countries on one day is really significant.
Mary Jo: Including the U.K., Australia, I mean some really big potential markets, Germany, Thailand, Taiwan, France, Belgium, China gets added. It’s been really limited in terms of how you could get the Surface. They still don’t have a reseller program for the Surface. They have distributors but they don’t have their regular retailers selling the Surface still. So you wonder would that help them to really push it especially into the business market if they could turn that on. They haven’t turned that on either.
Paul: That gets into a weird area though doesn’t it? They don’t want to compete with their partners.
Mary Jo: Yeah, well they are though.
Paul: Of course, yeah.
Mary Jo: The question is how long will Satya Nadella be willing for Surface to keep losing money. Steve Ballmer used to be somebody who always said I am a long term guy. I take the long view, I am willing to lose money 10 years, 15 years if I think this is going to be a longer term business.
Leo: That's the question. What are your goals with Surface?
Mary Jo: Right, right. He's not talking about it. He's not talking about the media system. So we don't know how far he will support Microsoft doing this, or if it will just be more of a novelty, or a reference design, or something like that.
Leo: They are below the surface. They are underwater.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: I think that is really interesting. By the way, Steve Ballmer doesn't work there anymore, right? I guess he is on the board.
Mary Jo: No he does not. He has other things to do.
Leo: He's got a basketball team to run.
Mary Jo: He's got a basketball team to run.
Leo: So, maybe that strategy wasn't such a hot strategy. You've got to think Nadella is assessing at this point what to do. And I think you are right, it has to do with what your goals are.
Mary Jo: And that's what we really don't know with Surface. He's talking about it as, he's not calling it out as a reference design or something to spur OEM's to build better machines. But he's definitely not talking about things like Lumias and Surfaces as things that Microsoft's got in their core DNA now. It's more of a thing that they have that's meant to help them sell software and services. That's the goal.
Leo: At some point Wall Street is going to say, "Hey, knock it off.”
Mary Jo: I'm sure they are already saying that.
Leo: They didn't like these online losses, the Bing losses. That didn't change Microsoft's plan, but they made it clear that it wasn't a good thing.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: That's a big loss. Okay, Surface Pro 3, the i7 models now out. That's nice. Would you recommend getting an i3 or an i7? Or is the i5 just the sweet spot?
Mary Jo: I can tell you from when I bought my laptop. I don't have a Surface. I decided not to get one mostly because of lap-ability issues for me. I noticed that there is a difference in terms of battery life. Not a giant difference. There is some battery life improvement with the i7. Also, I think if you are buying something like this, you want to future proof yourself as much as possible. You should buy the highest end machine if you are going to make it your daily machine. I don't know what Paul would say.....
Leo: What do you think Paul? Can you hear us Paul?
Mary Jo: He might be muted. Is he?
Leo: Paul? You're muted, that's the problem.
Paul: I've muted myself.
Leo: You have. You've muted yourself sir.
Paul: Let me tell you what I've been talking about for the past 17 minutes. Sorry. It's hard to say, because I don't have these to test. I think the i3 model is a bit too constrained in the sense that it can't do a bunch of stuff at one time. It doesn't have some of the advanced capabilities of the i5 and the i7. So I would stray away from that one personally. My concerns on the i7 are heat, and fan noise, and related to that just durability. I agree with Mary Jo that you want to future proof something, especially when you spend a lot of money on it. I just need to know more. I'm nervous about the high end versions. I've been trying to collect feedback from readers. The i5 version of the Surface Pro can get really hot up in the corner by where the USB port is and the mini display area. My understanding, I have not experienced this personally, is that on the i7 that can get roasting hot. I'd be a little nervous about that. I think right now that the i5 is probably the sweet spot. I need to know more about the higher end versions.
Mary Jo: Have you tried the docking station yet, Paul? You have, right?
Paul: Yeah, I have it. I actually brought it to Barcelona with me, if you can believe that.
Leo: And, do you like it?
Paul: Yeah, it's really nice. It has the same kind of build quality as the Surface Pro 2 version. Obviously, it's got more expansion capabilities. I think the biggest deal here, aside from the fact that the Surface Pro 3 is just a better machine all around, is that because of the way they design the Surface Pro 3, you can take advantage of the USB port that's on the machine even when it's docked. The previous one was inside where the docking mechanism was. But more importantly, you can also use the video out. A lot of people are nervous about the single video out on the Surface Pro and the single video out on the dock. You can utilize both at the same time. You can daisy chain them. Without any special cables or anything, you can have two external monitors hooked up to this thing at the same time. If you do daisy chaining, you could have four. Theoretically, especially on an i7 type machine, you could have five displays, including your built in display. That is more than any one normal should ever need. It's pretty impressive expansion capabilities.
Leo: Twenty-five more countries starting at the end of the month. That's good. Now they can lose more money.
Paul: Yep. It's exponential.
Leo: That's kind of the question. They don't lose money on each sale, or do they? In other words, can you dig yourself out of the whole by selling more of them, or is that just making it worse?
Paul: It's the change bag theory.
Leo: What's that?
Paul: We make more per volume. It's like the bank that just makes change. How do you make money? Volume.
Paul: You know, if they could just sell millions of these things, they would be all set.
Leo: They would be golden. We didn't really talk much about China and Microsoft last week. Mostly because it's obvious what's going on. This is a little, you know, tug of war going on. Microsoft is a proxy for the United States government in this case, I would guess. They are doing it to a lot of other companies as well. Is it getting worse? Is it getting ugly, as you say, here? Mary Jo Foley? Oh no, this is you.
Mary Jo: Yep, Paul, Yep.
Paul: Well, so, it's just unclear what is happening here. Obviously, Microsoft's offices were raided, as some people say. Documents were taken. Executives were interrogated. No one is saying why exactly. Anti-trust has been thrown around. China is worried that Microsoft is helping the United States Government spy on it. But then, this week, China actually publically warned Microsoft not to involve the government of the United States in its defense against these charges. Like proactively. It is just kind of bizarre behavior. When you consider how anti-trust regulators act in various countries, obviously we are experienced with that with the United States from Microsoft primarily. We've seen the EU and how they act toward Microsoft in the past. Intel, we know how that went down, Google. Now Apple is running afoul. There's a certain politeness to the conversation. The China thing is really strange. They've never come out and said, "This is what we are investigating you for.” at least not publically. But they have come out publically and said, "Don't think about getting the United States involved."
Leo: Why wouldn't you? I mean....
Paul: That's the first thing I would do, personally. You know. I don't know. This is interesting. And I would say, as far as China is concerned, and as far as foreign technology invading the country, I think Android is probably a bigger problem than say Microsoft Windows or whatever. This whole thing is very strange.
Leo: It's analogous, because in both the case of Android and Microsoft, probably the vast majority of copies are pirated, not purchased.
Paul: Yeah, but you would have to think that mobile device usage has to outweigh computer usage by ten to one or something along that line? Granted, governmental employees are using Windows based computers. But, yada, yada, yada. This just seems like a curious choice. It's not like any of us can sit here and say, "Oh yeah, you remember when Microsoft did that thing? Yeah, I though China might come down on them for that.” It's nothing. It's really unclear what is happening.
Mary Jo: Some people have been speculating that it has something to do with XP even. That Microsoft withdrew support.
Leo: Well China certainly made a big deal about that. They said that they aren't going to buy any more XP. That was actually the beginning of this, or at least the beginning of the public part of it.
Paul: Obviously, Microsoft's issue there was they didn't warn that this was coming for years in advance. April was such a shocker.
Leo: It's hard to take this seriously. And if you are Microsoft, of course you do have to take it seriously. But it's hard to take it seriously. It's more about politics than anything else. It's ironic that they are saying, "Don't get the US Government involved." when clearly this is aimed at the US Government, by proxy.
Mary Jo: A lot of these anti-trust cases like the other one that we didn't really talk about yet about Microsoft filing the Android patent royalty suit against Samsung. Samsung is supposedly is trying to get out of its contract with Microsoft to pay them royalties on every Android device. But, kind of rattling the anti-trust sabers in Korea and saying, "Hey, we thing when you guys bought Nokia that invalidated this.” For some reason.
Leo: It may also have to do with; didn't Microsoft do a big lay-off at the Nokia plant in China?
Mary Jo: Yeah, they did.
Paul: They did. But how many people are we really talking about?
Mary Jo: Thousands.
Leo: This happens all the time in China. It's a noted problem that these employees are employed during boom cycles and then laid off during bust cycles for every, for Foxconn, for every other company. It's kind of a problem. But it's not a problem that the Chinese government recognizes or worries about. It's just a problem for the people involved. Microsoft is offering a free phone.
Mary Jo: I even got Microsoft to comment on this, if this is real. There was a report on Marketwatch. The people in the Chinese factories for Nokia; a free Lumia 630 Smartphone if they take a voluntary resignation package. Which is kind of odd?
Paul: By the way, street value? Approximately $99.
Leo: Yeah. Here's a $100 phone. Now get out of here.
Paul: It's crazy. No, no, you can pick the color of shell you want. But then you've got to go. Yeah, it's crazy. A 1020, maybe.
Leo: Is Microsoft thinking of pulling out of China? No, in fact, didn't we talk about this? Their products are more Chinese friendly than ever.
Paul: You can't pull out of China.
Mary Jo: No. They just launched Cortana in China. They are launching the Surface in China. They are not pulling out. Xbox, right?
Paul: I think that you would be better pulling out of the United States at this point than pulling out of China.
Leo: We are a small portion of what their sales. Wow.
Paul: An ever shrinking percentage.
Leo: That's saying something, isn't it? You can't pull out of China, ladies and gentlemen, word of warning. It's like Hotel California. Once you check in you just cannot check out. We have the back of the book coming up in just a bit. Paul's Picks. Mary Jo's Beers, and enterprise picks, and code names, all sorts of stuff. But first a word from our friends at Carbonite. Backup is important, you know that. I shouldn't have to tell you that. You know who really knows that? Anybody who has ever lost data, which is almost everybody. Usually, that's what it takes to get you to go, "Oh, crud, I'd better start backing this stuff up." And yet, every weekend, I get calls on the radio show. "My hard drive died and that's the only place I have pictures of my dog." or whatever. And it just breaks my heart. So maybe, because you listen to Windows Weekly you are probably a smart, sophisticated user. You know all about Carbonite. You already have a backup strategy. But make sure that your friends and family know too, will you? And if you work at a company, you might ask "Do you guys back this stuff up?" Because if they don't, a fire could destroy not only the building, but the business. Forever. If you lose all of the accounts receivable list, all of the client lists, you are gone. That's why 50,000 small businesses use Carbonite. Carbonite even has a great solution, a hardware solution, for small businesses that lets you back up locally and to the Carbonite Cloud. The best thing about Carbonite, from everybody's point of view, whether you are a business or a home user, is the price. Very affordable. Flat rate pricing. That means you pay once a year. You install it and then you forget it. Automatically, continuously, you are backed up. You can check your Carbonite account by logging in to Carbonite from any computer or using their smartphone apps. You can see your stuff. You can download it. You can email it. They are HIPAA compliant. Yes. So far Carbonite has backed up about 300 billion files. About 350 million a day. These guys are good. Those are files that will never be lost, thanks to Carbonite. Carbonite.com. Here’s the deal, if you go there now and use the offer code for Windows, you can try it for free. It's as little at $59.99 a year for a single computer. As I said, they have plans for businesses, for servers, for external drives. If you call them you can find out more about the hardware, appliance, and so forth. Carbonite.com, try it today for free if you use the offer code for Windows. If you decide to buy after you do that, you will get two bonus months as a thank you. Carbonite.com, offer code WINDOWS. Try it today. You have no excuse. Can't call me and say, "I've lost all of my data." because I'm just going to say, "Hey, didn't you hear me tell you about Carbonite?" Paul Thurott, even though he's in Barcelona, he rests not. He is always working. Always providing you with valuable content, including this tip of the week.
Paul: Wow, nice echo effect. We are in kind of a weird space right now from a Windows phone perspective. For years we complained that we never got any updates. Then, starting last year we started getting updates. Microsoft started this developer preview program. We got Window phone 8.1 early if we wanted it. Of course, one of the big promises of that release was, no worries, when the final version comes out from your carrier we will have firmware updates. It will have carrier updates. You will get all of that stuff. You don't have to worry about it. Then, of course, that didn't happen. At least not yet. Microsoft says they are working on that problem. They are getting people to develop a preview up on what will think of the general ability version, or the GA version. And then, they released Windows version 8.1 update. Which I see in the notes I did not write correctly. So I should call that Windows Phone 8.1 update. Update 1 as I call it. Because that's what it is really called. So this is triggering a lot of questions from people. For example, if you are an enthusiast, like myself, and you have installed the developer preview version of Windows 8.1 on your 8.0 phone but you haven't gotten Lumia Cyan, if you have a Lumia device, or whatever firmware for whatever device you may have, and you haven't gotten your carrier updates, if you haven't gotten what I'm calling the GA version of Windows Phone 8.1 does that mean that I can get update 1? If I do get update 1, does that mean that I won't get Cyan later? How does that stuff work? How does it work? I asked Microsoft. What they told me was that firmware updates have nothing to do with this. If you install update 1 now and your carrier release is Windows Phone 8.1 pre update 1 with Cyan, with whatever updates your carrier gives you, you will still get that stuff. It won't ruin update 1. It won't prevent you from getting it. So there is no reason not to get that now. The way I look at this is, Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 is such a minor update compared to Windows 8.1. Given the way that that update went, I would say you are pretty much in the game now, why not go grab this? If you are in the developer preview you are going to get it. Well not automatically. But you can go get it. You will be prompted for it.
Leo: Yeah, it just offered it to me. I didn't have to do anything.
Paul: Yeah, the process is just like it was before. The issue is this. You know, for example, your phone is a good example. Your phone still has the black firmware update. Updating to update 1 you may be thinking, "I'm only on black, does that mean I can't get Cyan now?" According to Microsoft the answer is, "No, you will get it." Whenever your carrier release, whatever the carrier is that originally originated it on releases update 1, I'm sorry, releases 8.1, which it will include Cyan in your case, I'm sorry, could include carrier related updates as well. You will get it. Those things are separate. You will still get the constituent parts, even if you go forward into update 1 now. The tip, again, for Microsoft, not for me, don't kill the messenger, is you will get it. It's just a matter of time.
Leo: Good. Excited. Can't wait.
Paul: So, let's see. Software pick of the week. This is a cool little app. Again, it's another Windows Phone one. But if you on Windows Phone 8, or 8.1, or 8.1 update 1 and you don't have this app then you have go to get this. This one came out some months ago, but they updated it this week. It's called Office Lens for Windows Phone 8, and 8.1, and above. It is, obviously, an office app. At any rate, it's with One Note. So you have to sign in with your Microsoft account and associate the Office Lens app with your One Note account. But when you do that, what it gives you, is basically a little scanner through the camera in your phone. You can scan photos, you can scan documents, and you can scan a white board. It works in each of these modes. The document mode, to me, is the most useful. It works crazy good in the sense that you can have a receipt sitting on the table, and you don't have to be right over it, you don't have to square it off. You can take it at an angle and it will straighten it, make the colors correct, it will crop it. You can do a manual cropping if it doesn't work right. That stuff has always worked really well, but the way that it worked until this update was that it went into your Quick notes section. A new note in the Quick notes section of your default notebook. Because remember, you can get multiple notebooks in OneNote. With this update they added a few scanning improvements around color balancing and so forth. I didn't actually notice a big deal there. But, the really big deal is that you can configure it to go to any section in any notebook. I don't actually use Quick notes personally, and so all of the stuff that is in my Quick notes is just garbage. Handwriting samples from the Surface pen, you know, samples that I never did anything with. I created a scan section in a notebook that I wanted to use for this purpose, and then configured the app to go to that. It happens automatically once you configure it. That's just awesome. This thing is so amazing. So if you need to do things like scan receipts for business trips or just to keep track of them, like we are on this trip now. We scan kind of fun foreign receipts because they are fun, and they are foreign, and they are unusual. You scan them with this and then we don't have to take the paper home and scan them when we get home. It's a fun and awesome app. It's free, and if you have a Windows phone you have to get it.
Leo: That's great. I had it, but I hadn't used the updated app.
Paul: It's so, so good.
Leo: That's good. Thank you Paul. Enterprise pick of the week time from Mary Jo Foley.
Mary Jo: Microsoft Visual Studio Team has been releasing regular updates to Visual Studio very rapidly. Like once every quarter, pretty much. They have just finished up what with what is called update 3 to Visual Studio 2013. They made it available for free download this week. It has quite a few new features. They have code lens support for kit. Multi monitor support for Windows store app development. View source support in the CPU usage diagnostic tools. But the thing that people are talking about the most is that the end of all caps tyranny has finally arrived.
Leo: This was the charms of Visual Studio.
Mary Jo: It was. So Microsoft was using all caps in Visual Studio, and now they are allowing you to do upper and lower case. Believe it or not, this was a really huge deal. And very divisive in the community. Now with update 3, you can opt to use upper and lower case, even though the default value is all caps still. It's like when they changed the color scheme away from grey. Everybody was like, "Wahoo!"
Leo: But they stare at this thing all day long. I get it. I get it.
Mary Jo: So it's a good update. You should get it if you are using Visual Studio 2013.
Paul: They are cranking those things out, aren't they?
Mary Jo: They really are. The Visual Studio Team is right on it. They are very agile. Code name pick of the week. We are going back to geographic place names for this one. Not Halo code names. This is Crete. Crete is the code name for the next version of Microsoft's Dynamics NAV ERP product. So Dynamic's NAV 2015's code name is Crete. It's going to be coming out in the fourth quarter of 2014. It has some pretty interesting features if you are into ERP software. It's going to have some new business intelligence capabilities and there is going to be a tablet version accompanying this product. This could be very interesting. It will be interesting to see if they create a modern app, which I bet is what they are going to do. So a modern ERP app. They say they are already putting people into the technology adoption program for this. So it should be out pretty soon. Code name Crete.
Mary Jo: Crete.
Leo: One of my favorite places.
Mary Jo: Is it? I've never been there.
Leo: The Greeks don't call it Crete.
Mary Jo: Oh, they don't?
Paul: What do they call it?
Leo: It's got another name, I can't remember. It's funny, because we went to Crete, and nobody was calling it Crete. I said, "Well, where are we?" "You are in Crete."
Mary Jo: What do they call it?
Paul: So is Crete like a Turkish name or something?
Leo: Probably, I don't remember. I'm looking. It's the largest, most populous of the Greek Islands. Maybe they do call it Crete. Never mind. False alarm. There is some Greek Island that they don't call by the right name. Anyway. I guess Crete is not it. Oh yeah. Kriti. They call it Kriti. Now, I want some beer. Let's have some everybody. The sun's gone down the yard arm in Barcelona.
Paul: What is better than a watered down Pilsner from Barcelona?
Mary Jo: Oh yeah, it definitely is.
Leo: Is that what they like?
Paul: Oh yes. Every hot place on earth has the same beer. It's too bad.
Mary Jo: Well you can salivate on the beer that I'm going to present. Sierra Nevada is doing a thing they call the beer camp beers. So they went around the country and they collaborated with some of the best breweries. They came out with a 12 pack, and they have different beers and cans from all of these different collaborations that they did. I was in Seattle last week, and I went to a really awesome beer bar called Brouwer's in Fremont. Met up with a bunch of folks. I got to drink some of these collaboration beers. The one I really liked was called Sierra Nevada There and Back. It's a collaboration that they did with New Glarus Brewing from Wisconsin. It's called an English Bitter. It's not hoppy, Paul Thurott.
Mary Jo: I think you would really like it. It's a really easy drinking but flavorful English bitter style beer. Not too high in alcohol, but very tasty. Something you could just sit there and drink a few of as a sessionable kind of beer.
Paul: Sessionable? That's a great euphemism. I love sessionable.
Mary Jo: Yeah. There's a whole ton of cool collaborations if you see any of these. They did one with Russian River; they did one with Allagash Brewing. A lot of the really big names.
Leo: It's some local brewery strings here in Sierra Nevada.
Mary Jo: They did some really cool styles, some unusual styles. Some are in cans, some are in bottles. You will see many of them on tap around the country too.
Leo: But, Mary Jo likes There and Back. Which is the original name of the "Hobbit". "There and Back Again".
Leo: And I was thinking of Corfu, not Crete. The Greeks don't call it Corfu, but the Italians call it Corfu. I think it's called Kikira in Greek. That's what I was thinking of, not Crete. Alright kids, we have survived the Skype assault for the day.
Mary Jo: Yes, we have.
Paul: And I've lost 15 pounds to the water loss.
Leo: It's good. Paul, you can go now and you can take a break. You are going to be here next week, or not? I know one of the weeks you weren't going to be.
Paul: Ah, right. So I will be away next week actually.
Leo: So, Mary Jo, we can just be you and me, or we can bring in somebody else. It's all up to you and Paul. This is your show.
Mary Jo: We might bring in a special guest. I will.
Leo: Where are you going Paul that you aren't going to be here?
Paul: I don't know. Here's my plan. Usually we do a road trip when we are away like this. This year we have not booked anything yet exactly. But our plan is somehow to make it to Gibraltar, take a ferry over to Africa, step foot in Africa, check that continent off the bucket list, have lunch and go home.
Leo: It's worth doing. I have six of the seven continents. I'm waiting on Antarctica. I thought I was going to get there last year, but no.
Paul: Maybe we could do a meet up in Antarctica.
Leo: Let's do it. Then I would have all seven continents and that would be a nice feeling. It's on my bucket list anyway. Good. Check off Africa. That's what we are going to say next week. "Paul's not here, he's checking off Africa."
Paul: Right. Done.
Paul: Achievement unlocked.
Leo: That's really the gaming way of travel. Achievement unlocked. You will find Paul normally at the supersite for Windows. He's there right now. Winsupersite.com and of course he's got many books about Windows. The latest is the Windows 8 Field Guide, which is a work in progress. Is it online?
Paul: Right now most of the books you can get them at windows8.1book.com. The 8.1 book is done. Surface is in progress. Xbox music is in progress.
Leo: Man is a dynamo. Work, work, work. As whoever it was, the king, said to Boswell, "Scribble, scribble, scribble eh Mr. Boswell?" I think Boswell was presenting a volume, or maybe it was Gibbon presenting a volume of "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" to one of the, King Edward VII, we will just say that. It was just another volume. And he said, "Ah, scribble, scribble, scribble, eh Mr. Gibbon?"
Paul: I can relate to that.
Leo: Now I'm going to have to look that up. Mary Jo Foley scribbles all the time. She's a scribe. A Microsoft scribe at allaboutmicrosoft.com. That's where you will find her. And of course, every Wednesday morning 11:00 am normally, you will find them both right here. 11:00 am Pacific. Are you opening a beer?
Paul: No, that was a bucket of ice that has turned to water that I will now drink.
Leo: It was actually 1781. It was Prince William Henry, the Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh. The second volume of Gibbon's "Rise and Fall". "Scribble, scribble, scribble, eh Mr. Gibbon?"
Paul: No respect for the writer.
Leo: It's like, too many notes for Mozart. Too many notes. 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern Time, 18:00 UTC. Live, but if you can't make it live, or if you want to join us in studio. By the way, that family left. The daughter, the 7 year old, was in tears. She had never heard anything like it. They didn't stop for photos. No, they were fine.
Paul: That's too bad. Sorry about that.
Leo: No, it was fine. It's cute. The mother was going, "Shhhhhhhh." You can be here in studio, just email just email tickets@twittv. We do have limited space in the small office, so do let us know if you are going to be here so that we can make room for you. Of course, you can always listen to on demand audio and video everywhere you can find the podcasts. Including, I understand, we are looking for, is it secret? I don't know if it's secret, but one of our stalwart's in the chat room is writing a new Windows phone app for TWIT. Of course we've got the great Dimitri Allen on that as well. So we are really, this is great, those apps are fabulous, Windows Phone, Roku, IOS Android, all the platforms. Thank you, you two. I appreciate it and we will see you next week. Paul, have a great day trip to Africa. We will see you next week on Windows Weekly!