Windows Weekly 361 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It is time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrotte and Mary Jo Foley and a great show planned for you. We're going to talk about the Windows Phone news. The latest news about perhaps an 8 inch Surface tablet coming out soon. And why Intel and ARM might be in competition. That's all up next on Windows Weekly.
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Leo: This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrotte and Mary Jo Foley Episode 361, recorded May 7th, 2014
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It's time for Windows Weekly, the show that covers Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Hadoop. You can't say Hadoop normally.
Mary Jo Foley: No you can't.
Leo: That's Mary Jo Foley, Hadoop expert and enterprise expert. She writes about Microsoft from all angles at allaboutmicrosoft.com her ziti network blog. I don't think it is fair to call it a blog. Column?
Paul Thurrott: I've wrestled with that.
Mary Jo: I am okay with that, I am really okay with whatever.
Paul: In some ways that's just the world today, isn't it?
Leo: Yeah we don't know what we are. I don't like being a podcast. I don't think we are a podcast but nevertheless that's what people understand it as.
Paul: I just read in a very main stream news journal that podcasting is not just normal now it's big business.
Leo: I would like to know who exactly they are talking about.
Paul: It was good to hear.
Leo: Big business, hmmm.
Paul: Guess those kids out there are raking in the bucks.
Leo: Well in any event, whatever it is that you guys do. Paul Thurrotte does it at his sight the super site for Windows, windowssupersite.com. We join together every Wednesday to see what's happened in the world of Microsoft. Actually a big day is coming up, May 20th. What happens May 20th?
Mary Jo: Finally the Surface Mini will be unveiled.
Leo: Now is this a rumor or is this fact?
Mary Jo: Well we know the date is a fact. We know it is a Surface announcement, in New York City. We know all of that but we are all pretty sure based on our sources that it’s the ARM based Surface Mini that's being unveiled.
Leo: Not just ARM, Qualcom ARM.
Paul: I think this has been confirmed enough through sources.
Leo: It's believed, it's credible at this point.
Paul: It is the Surface Mini that was going to ship last year. So at some point I think on this show we had sort of speculated maybe part of the reason they had held off was they were going to an Atom type of thing. Or switch the design in some way. My understanding is what's coming out is exactly the machine they would have shipped last October.
Mary Jo: Even Qualcomm was going to be part of that?
Paul: Yeah Qualcomm was. I was always Qualcomm.
Leo: I was always Qualcomm. I know most of the audience knows this, but ARM is a design not foundry. They don't actually make anything. They are these low powered wrist chips.
Paul: It is like most of Silicon Valley really.
Leo: But the people buy the designs and then make ARM based chips. Samsung makes ARM based chips. Everybody does.
Paul: Tegra is kind of the big one.
Leo: But Qualcomm is probably the biggest. Their Snapdragon is probably used in more phones than any other, for sure. What has Microsoft been using up until now? Tegra?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: Tegra. Although the first gen Surface IT might have been, was that Qualcom?
Mary Jo: I think it was Tegra.
Leo: Is there any real difference? It is all the same design right?
Paul: I am not sure what to say about that.
Leo: It’s not like Intel vs. AMD, really. Or is it?
Paul: it is sort of like that.
Leo: What the foundries will may is they will take ARM designs but then they will make a system on a chip that includes other stuff. Sometimes a GPU, memory controller and so forth. So the system on a chip I guess there is a significant difference between different SOC's.
Paul: I am sure there are geeks that know this.
Mary Jo: Also Qualcomm is what's in Windows phone so then you’re going to have the same chip in the phone.
Leo: But the instruction set's the same. It's not like you have different instructions. You have certain expectations about support and so forth.
Paul: This I don't know and I don't think we know. But maybe the ability to run Windows Phone through an app somewhere down the line. That makes it more of a consistent experience, perhaps.
Leo: Well I also think Qualcomm is kind of knocking it out of the park. I mean they seem to have the chips everybody wants to use these days. Samsung still uses their Xenos chips in their European stuff. But even in the U.S. Because Qualcomm, I know one of the reasons they are in phones, the Qualcomm chip includes the radio's you need. But Microsoft might not care, or would they care. Maybe this is an LTE Surface?
Paul: I don't know about that. But one of the big deals with this device is going to be the stylus and the ability to write on the screen. Which is something you don't see on RT based devices.
Leo: I can't believe you can't write.
Paull: It's not that you can't, it’s just that we don't see it. Another words the electrode magnetic sensor that you would need for that kind of high performance stylus is something we see on like Pro devices. I think we touched on this briefly last week. You know Mary Jo was asking I think whether it was even possible to do this on an RT device. I don't know but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be possible. Other than from a performance stand point.
Mary Jo: Right, but when the first Surface Generation RT and the Surface II came out I believe a lot of people were expecting they were going to be able to use a real digital stylus but they couldn't they had to use a capacitive stylus right.
Paul: Which is basically just like using your finger.
Leo: You could use a sausage.
Paul: Some people did.
Leo: We actually demonstrated that. You could use sausage it is a nice snack food, you could use cheese stick. I have tried a variety of, as long as it's moist. I am sorry I shouldn't do that while you’re drinking. I do feel like Qualcomm is kind of racing ahead. Their 801 chip that they announced to ES then they have an 805 coming out or is it 605 I can never remember. They have more cores. The Surface RT original was in video Tegra 3 which was Quadcore 1.3GH. Surface II was Tegra4 thanks to the chatroom. Casual Adventure in friendly Manitoba.
Paul: The Surface RT was called Casual Adventure.
Leo: I like the Nokia 8525 or whatever.
Mary Jo: 2520
Leo: Again with the numbers, you and me Paul.
Paul: The Oldsmobile 2520 is a fantastic car.
Leo: I still think that was pretty cute, I like that one. I think that was a Qualcomm.
Mary Jo: I think you’re right.
Leo: So we shall see this we think on May 20th. 8 inches is the new 7 inches right?
Paul: Yes it is.
Leo: I mean it is what everybody wants these days. It’s just a little bit bigger but you can still kind of hold it if you have big hands.
Paul: Honestly I think the Smartphone and the Tablet markets have kind of evolved when it comes to screen size. It could continue changing but I know personally for me 5 inches on a phone seems ideal. The Galaxy S5 is a 5.1 inch or the Icon is a 5 inch screen it is a great size. You move up to 6 inches like you see on a 1520 or 5. whatever like you see on those note tablets. You know that is a Phablet. You know the mini tablet size, they all started out at 7 inches but if use an 8 inch screen like you see on the Ipad mini is a typical example. There is just something just right about it.
Leo: Right, I agree.
Paul: The 7 inch screen is just a little to small.
Leo: But you don't want to go to big. So the trick is what is the sweet spot and it does seem like 8 is.
Paul: I think that those are the sweet spots for those products. 10 inches or 9. whatever is obviously the sweet spot for a full size tablet. But it is interesting how that has evolved and the Surface Mini will have that 8 inch screen. I wish it was 4x3 but we don't see that.
Mary Jo: So that's going to be interesting right. The other piece that we believe is true about the Surface Mini is that One Note is very deeply integrated into this. So it is going to be marketed as a note taking tablet.
Leo: Oh interesting.
Mary Jo: But the question is did they do anything to make it more usable in portrait mode. If they are marketing it that way. Or will they have to do something.
Paul: By that do you mean One Note?
Mary Jo: Or just the tablet itself. Because right now Microsoft's tablets are designed to be used in Landscape not really in Portrait. I mean you can but.
Paul: The mini tablets do default to portrait. I mean it’s not fantastic. You know all the 8.1 apps are supposed to support portrait natively. So if you flip the screen around, they look reasonable in portrait mode. I am not going to say they look fantastic I am just going to say they look reasonable.
Mary Jo: So I was saying to Paul, I am going to be an interesting user for this because I am still someone who takes all my notes on paper. It will be interesting to see if this gets me to use a pen on a tablet.
Leo: they should put a little spiral thing on it.
Paul: They do, I was going to say that. Oh on the device itself. They have a One Note template that looks a lot like lined paper. So maybe that will help people make the transition.
Leo: Make Mary Jo feel right at home.
Paul: I could put the show notes in that if you want.
Leo: Yeah, lets do that from now on.
Mary Jo: We don't think we are going to get the devices on May 20th. We think they are probably not going to launch until the latter half of June based on the tip that Paul had. So we are probably not going to walk out of that event with one.
Paul: I am not sure that doesn't mean we're not going to get them at the event.
Mary Jo: Really, you think we will get them that early?
Paul: I have no idea.
Leo: They might not be for sale, but the journalist might get one.
Mary Jo: That would be good.
Paul: I don't know anything about that.
Mary Jo: We don't know anything about the pricing. We could guess where they might try to come in on pricing. Probably going to try to come in above their OEM's based on what they have done with Surfaces before.
Paul: They could justify that if the pen is as good as I'm hearing it might be.
Mary Jo: But then you are going to have to pay for the pen or no?
Leo: Oh come on, it’s got to come with it.
Paul: I believe it comes with a pen.
Leo: Pen not included.
Mary Jo: Well the keyboards aren't right.
Leo:Come on you got to include the pen. It's just a piece of plastic.
Mary Jo:I hope so.
Paul: I would hope so. I think that's point of the device.
Mary Jo: No kick stand, right? I think there is going to be a cover that becomes.
Paul: Like Chase that has the cover that becomes the built in kick stand.
Leo: The Apple way. The kind of floppy thing.
Paul: You know again I think this comes down to the portrait orientation. To date Microsoft has been able to have this common set of peripherals that works off of that click in connector. I am sure this will have one or I will suppose it will have one. Obviously because of its portrait orientation it may not make sense same keyboard coverage, obviously you wouldn't hold onto it the same and so forth. Maybe the portrait orientation makes it difficult to have a non-moveable kick stand because you would want the kick stand to watch a movie on it and you would want to do that in landscape mode. So they need that new design. Perhaps the one that's built into the case will swivel in some way or whatever. But I don't know anything about that.
Leo: Will it be touch sensitive, I mean pressure sensitive? I mean will you be able to have different levels of pressure, that kind of thing? It is really for taking notes not for drawing.
Paul: I haven't heard that explicitly but the way it has been described to me I don't see how it couldn't, right. Because that is the point of these electromagnetic pen that they support pressure sensitivity. Even when you’re taking notes, if you want to emphasize something and kind of push down on the screen and kind of make it bold. I think having that pressure sensitivity makes sense.
Leo: Without pressure sensitivity the line is just the line. But you have thickness and so forth. I don't know it just seems more like a pen. I think you will be able to draw on it as well as if you were an artist, on paper. It is amazing what pressure sensitivity brings to the table.
Leo: This is why the pen is mightier than the sausage. This is where the cheese stick stops working.
Paul: Depends on what kind of sausage, Leo.
Mary Jo: Right, Tofu sausage.
Leo: No, That's right, Mary Jo is a vegetarian, she can't eat her stylus. You can't eat your stylus.
Paul: It is a new angle of chewing on the end of your pencil.
Leo: Any changes for this in Windows 8 RT?
Paul: Not that I've heard of. The confusing bit here is that One Note integration. I think different people have heard. It’s not clear what that means. It’s not clear if it’s special to the device. It’s not if it’s a button on the pin or something. You know something that makes you go quickly into One Note. We don't know but I think that is going to be the special part. But I don't really foresee any need for other changes to the OS at this point.
Mary Jo: There are other things we don't know. We don't know about distribution at all. Because in the past when they launched Surfaces it has been in U.S. And or Canada. The rest of the world, sometimes, sometimes not. So we don't know if that's going to change with this. The guess is the reason they are coming out with it now is for back to school, also for grads and dads all that kind of stuff. So June would be the right time frame for that.
Leo: Oh Yeah that makes sense.
Mary Jo: But we should talk about the Intel. The other mystery part of this announcement is there may be at least one Intel based Surface at this launch as well. You know there is a lot of speculation if this means it is going to be a mini also based on Atom. Because the theme of this launch is a small gathering. So everybody is saying maybe it is going to be another small one.
Leo: So this would be Windows Pro.
Mary Jo: Right, it would be some kind of a Pro. Or Mini Pro or something like that. That would be able to run desk top apps unlike the RT based one. Or is it going to be a bigger model? Paul wrote a really interesting editorial today saying wow wouldn't it be awesome if we could have a Surface that had a 13 inch screen that was Intel based. That would be pretty cool.
Leo: A big one.
Paul: Yeah it would be.
Leo: Like a laptop without a keyboard.
Paul: Well I think at that size they kind of have to include the keyboard and I actually don't see them ever doing that.
Leo: If they do that it is a laptop, it’s not a Surface.
Paul: Well there's no reason you couldn't have a Surface Ultrabook kind of 2 in 1 that flips around and becomes a big tablet or whatever. But you know just the kind of modus operandi in Surface, they really seem to be shooting for the future of computing and Ultrabooks are kind of the past of computing. As much as I would like to see that, I don't think it is plausible. So what would be the next, if it is a bigger Surface what might that be. You would have to speculate. The one thing I have said to Microsoft and I am sure I have said on the show is, you know 10.6 inches is not a Pro device. 10.6 inches is what kids use. It’s what schools have.
Leo: It is what Ipad is.
Paul: When you look at Ultrabooks there are only a few 11 inch Ultrabooks but they're always aimed at children.
Leo: Isn't that funny an 11 inch laptop seems like the Mac that I have.
Paul: Seems ludicrous.
Leo: It is to small. It is like it is dinky for kids.
Paul: Yeah it’s silly. On the other hand a professional laptop is 13 inches or bigger. I don't see them going that big. I mean I wish they would and that is what I wrote. But I would have to imagine maybe it is going to be something in between those 2 sizes.
Leo: Does it have to do with not pissing off the channel too? Like not wanting to tread on.
Paul: It’s a little late for that isn't it? They didn't just open the barn door, they burned down the barn.
Mary Jo: But remember when they launched the Surface, they claimed the target was Apple right? They said we are addressing the part of the market that Apple is addressing and that our OEM's are not. We feel like our OEM's are doing a great job in the other parts of the market but we feel a need to take them on there.
Paul: Well there are rumors about a 12 or 12.5 inch iPad. Like an iPad Pro. Maybe it could be that kind of thing. All I can say is I just reviewed a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, which is a 13 inch Ultrabook that the screen flips around and it does all that kind of stuff. You can sit on that thing and flip the screen back and use it as kind of a big and heavy laptop. Because of 3 things, the 16x9 astra grading makes portrait mode ludicrous. It looks like it is 12 inches tall and 3 inches wide. It is big and it’s heavy. So it is really not ideally suited for that kind of use. You can do it and I did it and it was silly. I felt like a little kid using big adult machinery. I mean it was just so ludicrously outsized. I think that's the problem that Microsoft faces because I think they too would agree that 10.6 inches is silly for a pro device. But when you make a tablet bigger than that it seems untenable. I am not sure what they are going to do.
Leo: You guys will be at this lovely event I am sure.
Mary Jo: We will.
Leo: Where is it? I know it is in New York, but where in New York? Is it at Rattle and Hum?
Paul: Funny you should mention that, Leo.
Leo: The day Microsoft has an event at Rattle and Hum that's the day that I know this show has made it.
Paul: So how would you describe this area?
Mary Jo: It is down in the Meat packing district around down that way.
Leo: They did that before, remember? I remember they had a Meat packing event.
Paul: Yeah was it Windows 8.1?
Mary Jo: Window 8, right?
Leo: For us none New Yorkers so bricrea Meat packing district. Sounds like there are big hooks and such.
Paul: So it is southwest on Manhattan.
Leo: But it sounds like there are big sides of beef hanging on hooks.
Mary Jo: That's what used to be there.
Leo: But not anymore?
Mary Jo: Very few places do that down there.
Leo: Now it is trendy night clubs.
Paul: Leo, for New York city life, this will blow people’s minds by the way. This is an area of Manhattan where the streets still have cobble stones.
Paul: Yeah it blows your mind when you see this. Because it is like stepping onto the set of a Scorsese movie or something.
Leo: Cobblestones! Just shows you they should be paving all the streets with cobblestones they last.
Paul: Rolling a rolling bag on the cobblestones is one of life's most miserable experiences.
Leo: That's why Microsoft has these events there.
Paul: That's right they really know how to do it.
Leo: Take this you bloggers, we're going to rattle and hum your brains.
Mary Jo: We will probably do a little meet up at Rattle, right?
Leo: Oh good, afterwards?
Mary Jo: Maybe the day before or after we're not sure.
Paul: It will have to be that day.
Leo: So it is a Tuesday, right?
Mary Jo: Tuesday.
Leo: Tuesday is drinking day for Paul and Mary Jo.
Paul: Don't laugh because that means I will be coming home on the train right before the show.
Leo: Oh his hair will be all flying.
Paul: But I am staying over Tuesday night. So I think at Rattle. I will be sleeping at Rattle and Hum that night.
Leo: Do they have a little cot in the back?
Mary Jo: Yeah they have something you can break down.
Leo: Take a horse drawn carriage over there. It might be your last chance.
Mary Jo: The other rumor, we should mention. There is a pretty good rumor, that is pretty believable, that Satya Nadella is going to be the one keynoting this event.
Leo: I think he likes to take the helm.
Mary Jo: I am sure Panos Panay will be there too. He's the head of Surface. But it is very interesting that Nadella is probably going to be there too.
Leo: Wouldn't Ballmer do it in his day?
Mary Jo: They kind of dole out where the CEO goes. He doesn't go to everything.
Leo: I think you should. Steve Jobs would never have let somebody else announce a hot new product. It says that this is a product that we are behind. If your CEO's not there it's like well we're throwing something out.
Paul: When they launched Surface, S.D. Ballmer did that. He introduced the show and that kind of stuff.
Mary Jo: But he didn't do the Surface II launch.
Paul: No, I was just thinking about that. Yeah, he did not.
Mary Jo: Was he still there then?
Paul: Yeah, he was.
Mary Jo: He was.
Leo: Well I am glad. I think Nadella should. I think that is part of the new kinder gentler Microsoft.
Mary Jo: Unfortunately there is not a Microsoft store, a true store here. So they could have done something connected to that.
Leo: This would be a great time to launch a store.
Mary Jo: It would.
Paul: I almost sent Mary Jo a story this morning. I read that they were opening a new Apple store, I think near the World Trade center site. Before I even sort of processed what it was I immediately started writing an email to her excitedly exclaiming to her that a store is finally coming to Manhattan. Leo: The wrong kind.
Paul: Then I realized it actually the 117th Apple store on the island but not the first Microsoft store.
Leo: A tree grows in Brooklyn, a Microsoft store goes into the Meat Packing district. It's a classic. A story of.
Paul: I was so happy for her and then I realized it’s not.
Mary Jo: Nope, not yet.
Leo: Oh well, someday. Someday my store will come. How about a Smart Watch. A wearable. Microsoft's not new to this.
Paul: No. In researching the original, Spot platform. Then the MSN directory member was the network. I think the watches were just marketed a Smartwatches. I think that was kind of the brand or whatever. There is a great photo I found of that actress Micha Baron or something or another.
Leo: You mean Sasha Baron Cowen.
Paul: No, No it was the skinny girl whoever she is. Anyway she was apparently kind of a big star back in 2004 when they launched these things. She is nowhere now. Actually I don't know if this was in Europe with Ballmer. But he somewhere said, you know back 10 years ago when Microsoft was riding on top of the world. They had the money to throw around to do all these other essentially public research projects. Where they could throw stuff out on the market and just see how they went. Now that roll has fallen to Google. Google is the one doing that kind of stuff now. Back then we saw Smart displays, Media Center, Portable Media Center. These Smart Watch things. They were all over the map 10 years ago.
Leo: So you are saying these were more RD?
Paul: Microsoft was in a position to spend a lot of money and actually put stuff out and see what kind of stuck. Leo, none of it stuck by the way.
Mary Jo: But you know what Paul, I think they are going to start doing those wackier things again now because of this special projects team that their staffing up in Microsoft research. I interviewed the head of Microsoft research this week and he said we also need to do more wacky stuff. He meant kind of like Google X. You know like self-driving cars and that kind of stuff.
Leo: Well Microsoft has a big RD division, don't they?
Mary Jo: They do. But you know until fairly recently it’s kind of been becoming increasingly almost like an arm of their product teams. He wants to balance that out, he said. Peter Lee who is running Microsoft's research. He said we need to do some wacky stuff and we need to do some very applied stuff that goes into our products.
Leo: He actually used the word wacky?
Mary Jo: He used wacky, yes.
Paul: That's wacky and wild.
Leo: Really? Really he used the word wacky?! Come on. A 80 year old man.
Mary Jo: He did, he said we need to get some wackier stuff.
Leo: We need to get wacky.
Paul: Oh come on last week we talked about how they were like Bell Labs.
Leo: I doubt Bell Labs used the word wacky for Unix.
Paul: Back in the 70's maybe.
Mary Jo: I thought it was funny.
Paul: I don't know. It's clear they are sitting on a lot of stuff that doesn't see the light of day except in very esoteric ways. I mean you find out these things like, we figured out a way to reduplicate data on a server and it’s not very interesting. It’s actually very important. It is one of the reasons they can have things like One Drive and One Drive for Business, today. But you know the more kind of big idea stuff you don't really hear a lot about that from out of Microsoft. And they do need to productize that stuff.
Mary Jo: They do.
Leo: So Micha Barton was the start in OC.
Paul: What did I say, I said
something close to that.
Mary Jo: You did.
Paul: Yeah the anorexic blond woman from a TV show. She was apparently a big enough deal in 2004 that they used her when they launched the Spot Watch.
Leo: She was 18 then. So that tells you they were trying to get then young folk.
Leo: So there you go, that explains it.
Mary Jo: This is a patent, Microsoft applied for this patent back in 2012 for this Smart Watch. It just got approved, isn't that right?
Paul: Which is funny because it does everything that every smart watch on Earth now does.
Mary Jo: It does. They called it a wearable information system. So it has all the basic things you would expect. Like a touch screen, a heartbeat monitor, all that kind of stuff.
Leo: But they are going to call it the wacky watch.
Mary Jo: The wacky watch.
Paul: I am hoping they call it the zone watch.
Leo: Now in brown.
Mary Jo: Now in brown.
Leo: You know that's interesting that they got a patent. Boy the patent office sucks.
Paul: Not the biggest problem in this country but it is in the top 10.
Leo: I just read that 94% of all patents applied for last year were granted.
Paul: I but 94% of all patents have a prior use that would invalidate them.
Leo: Like slide to unlock which was patented 2 years before Apple did it.
Paul: Yeah every patent we have ever heard of before.
Leo: 94% so basically it means just apply. What happens is patent office claims 54%. What happens is 54% of them are approved on the first try. Then people go back and rewrite.
Paul: It’s just like Windows phone apps, Leo. They sail right through.
Leo: It is called sail through, it is a new goal at the patent office. We want to approve every patent we get and we're getting close. By the way the commissioner of patents, the person in charge of PTO is a former Googler. Just wanted to warn you.
Paul: Are you serious?
Leo: Yeah. I do think what their attitude is, you know just grant the patent and we will settle it in court. And that is a terrible thing to do. But I guess they don't have the examiners and the examiners don't know what's going on. They don't have a searchable database. Apparently that's why the Apple slide to unlock got through.
Paul: They probably hand stamp everything.
Leo: I think you’re right. Unbelievable.
Paul: Approved, kadunk.
Leo: They have one stamp that says approved.
Paul: Right, maybe that's the problem.
Leo: They have to hand wright rejected.
Paul: They can't afford a rejected stamp.
Leo: Do you think they will announce the Smart Watch at this event on May 20th in the Meat Packing District?
Mary Jo: I don't think so, do you? No.
Paul: A lot of people have speculated whether they would launch a Surface phone at this event. I am hearing no to that as well.
Leo: A Surface phone? That would just be a brand name made by Nokia? The 930.
Mary Jo: The reason I don't think they would do either of those is that they just did just buy Nokia's hand set division. So you would think they would want to have a little time to figure out what they are going to keep and what duplicates what. So I think it is a little too early for them to do either of those.
Paul: I mean Microsoft had apparently developed a prototype of a phone. But it wasn't clear if it was meant to be a reference design they could show to OEM's or if it was something they were considering building themselves. You know that kind of thing. Of course Steven Elop runs this part of Microsoft including the part that used to be Nokia. So I suppose anything is possible. But I just don't see that happening. I've heard nothing about that.
Leo: You know what I wish I had a patent on? The audio book. That would be a patent to have. Unfortunately Audible owns this space, baby. Boy do they own it and you know what they are doing a good job. Audible.com I am going to get you a free audio book. Ooo look a new book narrated by Claire Danes star of Homeland. Super Sci-Fi sale, 100 plus books 6.95 each. I just love Audible books, audible.com. I have been meaning to get the Graham Nash one, I am told this is really good. Graham Nash new autobiography, Wild Tales of Rock and Roll Life. Let me add that to my wish list. This is what you do when you’re an Audible subscriber you just browse around. It is like going to the world's greatest bookstore. Neil Young has a new one, Keith Charity narrating, perfect! I will add that to my wish list too. I love the Rock and Roll books. Audible has 150,000 titles, not just autobiographies, although there's lot of them and I love reading those. Fiction, Non-fiction, Murder, Thrillers. Woman's Murder club is back, Jame's Patterson has a new one. Now a days when a new one comes out, it comes out at the same time as the hard cover it come out on Audible. There are so many things you can listen to. The new Terry Prachitt, Disc World. Dark Tower VI, is this new, oh man, is this new?
Paul: No that's old.
Leo: Thank God, I can't buy anymore. It's the next to last novel. In his 7 volume magnum opus. If you’re a Steven King fan, supposedly it starts with the Dark Tower. Paul what are you listening to these days?
Paul: Oh man, Leo. After the latest Daniel Swarez book came out I went back and started listening to Demon and Freedom Team.
Leo: Aren't they great?
Paul: Those 2 books are among the best books I've ever read and the Audible versions in particular. Because all four of Daniel Swarez' books are read by the same guy, Jeff Gerner and he does an amazing job. Just from a presentation stand point, they are just fantastic. I know I recommended these years ago when they first came out. I am about half way through Freedom Team right now. Those are fantastic. Somebody had recently asked me via email about audio books. Another one I finished recently was that Steven King book, 11-22-63.
Leo: Wasn't that good, I like that.
Paul: It's a great book but it’s also read by a guy who. It is kind of strange, a lot of Steven King books, at least part of it takes place in the past. And this guy, his name is Craig Wason, does an amazing job with that kind of story. There is something about his voice that lends itself to that. He also read Full Dark, No Stars. There is a story in there in 1922 that takes place. It is a long story not a short one like a Novella. You want something digestible, you just want to hear one thing and kind of get into audio book set. There is something about his reading that is just kind of amazing. I think there's something interesting that happens when you get a good author/narrator combination. Right now I am listening to Freedom Team but any of those are just amazing.
Leo: The problem is narrowing it down.
Paul: Yeah. Somebody asked me about World War II audible books. I went back and looked at them and of course these things are 35 to 45 hours long. They're amazing. I have a really hard time remembering this was the one that had this information and this was the one was, I don't remember. But I have 5 or 6 of those books that were all published in the last decade because of all the new information that's come out. That's pretty much of the rest of your year right there. If you want to go down that road.
Leo: A free book awaits you, go to audible.com/windows. Take advantage of the gold plan, 30 days free. First book is free, you also get the daily digest of the New York Times or the Walls Street Journal read to you as you drive to work. Cancel any time in the first 30 days you'll pay nothing but those books are yours to keep. Goucham was saying that Audible has been a God send for his vision impaired mom. I did the same thing for my mom, she's not vision impaired but you know as you get older it is harder to read and listening just brings these books to life. She listens all day now which is awesome. Somebody also asked is The Martian available, this was Brian Brauswich recommendation on TWIT on Sunday. Absolutely, it is my next listen actually. I am listening to Flash Boys right now, the story of high frequency trading but The Martian is my next. Audible, here's the problem pick one. But you know there is another month and another month. Once you get started, I've been an Audible member since 2000. You will be sucked in, audible.com/windows. Don't say we didn't warn you. Paul Thorutt and Mary Jo Foley, Windows Weekly on the air. Moving on in our list of topics, Intel how dare they.
Leo: Bastards have turned on Microsoft, they're doing Chromebooks. In fact they look pretty nice. Are these Atom based, what are these?
Paul: Well some of them are, right. There are 3 chip sets involved and I think the new story here is one of these is like Core I3 so this is a serious chip.
Leo: Wow powerful.
Paul: A new version of the Bay Trail which is a system on a chip Atom system. Celeran, which is a current generation Atom technology, I believe. Then Core I3. So these things are all coming out over this year. It’s interesting because these machines still ship with just a little bit of storage, 16 GB is very normal, fairly small amounts of RAM, usually low resolution screens you know 1366 by 768. but they are full featured, I should say full sized kind of laptop type machines. I don't know I talked to people from PC makers all the time. The one thing I've heard consistently is that Chromebooks are going nowhere fast with businesses. But they are going somewhere really fast with schools.
Leo: 21% of all new school purchases were Chromebooks.
Paul: It's funny because some of the people I've talked to have been really open about the fact that these things are really kind of the new Netbook. But at least in this country the education sector in particular is very cash strapped and I think they see technology especially or any kind of purchase through the lens of cost not just first but only. They look at these machines and they think yeah we can do this. They are online and all that kind of stuff and they are being used in lab type situations. A lot of those machines are kind of ruggedized for children. They are seeing success there. This kind of phenomenon with Chrome OS and Chromebooks tied with higher end internals from Intel is absolutely a threat to Microsoft. I think this may explain the recent licensing changes in part that we saw from Microsoft. Where machines that were 250 dollars less are now you can get Windows for free. I think this is meant to combat what we are seeing here.
Leo: But the pitch on Chromebooks, and Microsoft knows this. Because they have hired the Pon stars to point it out and I think I've seen. I continue to see it in their advertising, it’s not about that they are less expensive I think but it’s the fact that they are really simple secure. I get calls all the time on the radio show and people go I can't update Windows because I can't update One. They are just confused. It is just confusing for normal people. I can't walk them through it, it is too hard for them to figure out. I say get a Chromebook, all you’re doing is surfing and reading emails. What do you need a general purpose devise for.
Paul: If you have 250 or 300 dollars to spend on a computing device. Obviously you can get a mini tablet and those are good for some people. I think for a lot of kids, younger people depending on your needs that's a nice machine to have. Some people need the big screen just to see it, some people need the full size keyboard because they do have to type whatever it may be. I think most of these things contrary to the kind of portable form factor that you see, are in fact used in a home or out in a school room. I don't believe they are taken to airports, I don't see Chromebooks in the air. I don't see people using them on the go. But that is going to change because the other half of this story is that Google is on it’s own little rapid release cycle. They've been upgrading Chrome OS at a very rapid rate. We see a lot more off line apps and we see these kind of native app capabilities coming to Chrome as well. It is interesting that as Microsoft is also pushing notion that HGML is a viable platform for applications, you know Google has this in Chrome OS. That reality has made Chrome OS a viable reality as well. Just a quick note, we didn't talk about this in my would be, but with the Macbook Air starting at just 900 dollars. The cheepest portable Mac ever made. You can see this window we have for PC's where 250 and below is kind of mini tablet, Chrome OS and now 900 bucks and above is pretty much the realm of Mac. That's the part of the market where the Mac sells really well. Compared to Windows PC's because you can look at Mac's vs. Windows PC's overall and it is 7 or 8%. But I bet in the the 1,000 dollar plus market they are like 50% or something. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a much much higher percentage. So we see the effective change in that.
Leo: So where does Microsoft go in that?
Mary Jo: I think where they go is, is they develop Windows on ARM more fully. This to me is their answer to Chromebooks going forward. Which is have a skew of Windows which is very locked down.
Leo: That is the key. The Chromebook is popular not merely because it is cheap but because it is simple and secure.
Paul: It’s basically no maintenance. It is funny because it is familiar, it looks like Windows.
Leo: Right, like 90% of the people are doing it with Windows anyway. This palm thing is a Mcguffen, their not taking it in an airplane, you’re right, Paul.
Paul: Not yet but they could over time.
Leo: So it does have price going for it, but more importantly it has simplicity. So can Microsoft, Mary Jo, can Microsoft do something that simple?
Mary Jo: We know they are trying to build a new skew of Windows that probably is Windows 9 thing. That probably is going to be an updated version of what is now Windows RT. So it’s going to be more locked down, more simple, things are going to me updated without user intervention necessary through the store. It is going to be the same skew basically that also runs on phones. By that point you’re going to start to have a common store for phones and Windows.
Paul: By definition that wouldn't have a desktop right?
Mary Jo: Right, by definition wouldn't have a desktop. Once we get to that point you don't have that experience where you’re being switched from one thing to another. Right now on Windows RT that's for Office apps only pretty much. There are a few things that also run on the desktop. This would be like no desktop, you’re running the Gemini apps and it’s a very simple, locked down, very modern environment. I think that's what they are going to try and pitch against Chromebooks.
Paul: A lot of people make fun of Surface because it is this tablet that has this click on keyboards and everything. But I think the interesting thing about a fully realized Surface plus this Windows minus desktop OS is that it can do either one of those things. A future Surface running this OS could be the Chromebook style laptop kind of thing but you can detach the keyboard and it’s a nice tablet too.
Leo: I think they could really ease a lot of pain by doing this. Because there are still people who buy Windows machines because Windows is a personal computer, so that's what you buy and it is way more than what they should have. Way more than they need, completely baffling to them. But they would buy and explorer book. Their nervous about a Chromebook, their nervous about an Ipad. They think that a computer means Windows. So give them Windows but it’s really just a browser. Something simple clean. I guess metro apps are fine.
Paul: It's a mobile environment is what it is. It is a little bit more like Android but it has Office obviously.
Leo: But that's not Chromebooks are. Like you said they look like Windows. They feel like a computer.
Paul: Right but again the world is changing. So there is a little bit of user education that is required here. There are Android machines that you can attach a keyboard. You can attach a keyboard to an Ipad, it is possible and those things probably work okay.
Leo: We've always asked why is Google doing 2 OS's? Why are they doing Chromebook and Android because clearly an Android would do everything a Chromebook does.
Leo: I think the reason is that they think people want a computer.
Paul: Right and I am sort of coming around to that myself. Because I think it was HP had sort of released a video about some Chrome based laptop that they are coming out with. When you look at Chrome on that thing it is funny how off it seems. It doesn't seem very natural whereas Chrome OS does look familiar. It has something that looks like a start menu, it’s got something that looks like a task bar, it’s got a desktop.
Leo: The tasks are in the task bar. Don't tell anybody the difference.
Paul: That would help people make the transition. Maybe it is really the year of desktop Lenox?
Leo: I think it is. So you think Microsoft might do this. The argument is that it undermines the brand, what is Windows then?
Paul: What isn't Windows, Leo?
Mary Jo: I was going to say, they can call anything Windows, right.
Paul: It is Windows branded yoga.
Mary Jo: They can call Windows RT, Windows. Or whatever this next version of Windows on ARM is. They could just call it Windows.
Leo: The truth is, Intel doing this is really just Intel throwing up its arms and saying screw it we are just getting eaten alive by ARM.
Paul: Right and Intel has seen no success at all in the mobile device market. They've tried. Mary Jo and I last week got a low end Acer tablet that runs on Intel. Have you tried this thing Mary Jo, have you looked at this.
Mary Jo: Yeah I've been trying it out.
Paul: So it’s okay, but I think you would agree it is a little slow. Pokey, nothing special.
Mary Jo: Yeah, right.
Paul: I don't think hardware makers have any particular insensitive to go with Intel when there are so many excellent ARM systems that are specially tailored for what they are making. So Chromebook is a way for them to pick up a little volume as the PC market slows down.
Leo: It feels like desperation. By the way kudos to Microsoft for seeing this coming and saying we're going to do an ARM version of Windows. Turns out that was a good move.
Paul: It is only a good move if it is successful.
Mary Jo: I think next year when we see this new variant for Windows, that they come out with ARM, whatever it looks like. I think it will be like the Version II of Windows and ARM. It will be different from what Windows RT is in some ways. Hopefully there will be an easy upgrade path. But we don't know really how that is going to work. For us that have ARM based devises now.
Paul: I wouldn't get to hopeful on that note.
Mary Jo: Yeah I am trying to be hopeful there. People always say about Microsoft, it always takes them 3 versions to get something right. So we'll get Version II next year.
Paul: To be fair, I think for RT this is kind of what they envisioned and they knew it was a multi-step process. The first step is to just deliver this thing that is Windows that kind of blows people’s minds. This is Windows, it works, looks and feels just like Windows.
Mary Jo: They have to still have the desktop because they didn't have the Office apps ready.
Paul: Yeah they didn't have that stuff ready, right.
Leo: Oh so they could eliminate it now.
Paul: Windows had to mature, you know the modern environment had to mature, and Office had to happen. But it will and all that stuff is happening. So you know they'll get there.
Leo: Joe B? Who is Joe B and why is everybody talking about him.
Mary Jo: You have a picture of him right in your office somewhere. You know that guy with the hair.
Leo: Oh Mr. Belfiore. The beautiful Joe Belfiore. Did he ask me anything on Redden?
Mary Jo: He did.
Leo: Was he forthcoming? I guess he would be.
Paul: A little bit. It seemed like he was prepped, hoping people would ask certain questions.
Leo: Did they ask about the hair or anything?
Mary Jo: They did.
Leo: What was his response?
Mary Jo: He said luckily said it is a very simple style, just shampoo, conditioner and towel dry.
Leo: Well that's a good reason.
Paul: So I just want to add a note to that as a man. He is full of crap.
Leo: It doesn't look like he just towels that dry.
Paul: You can tell when people spend time on their hair that's all I am saying.
Leo: I am thinking a 100 brush strokes a night, for sure.
Paul: Right, it’s like Marsha Brady.
Leo: But maybe he just has a special kind of hair that just does that. Mine wouldn't mine would look pretty frizzy if I did that.
Paul: I refuse to believe that.
Leo: After all Paul as a nicely quaffed male. It’s not now so hard to run a comb through your hair.
Paul: I don't even own a comb, Leo.
Leo: I brush my hair every day. Wash dry and brush.
Paul: You know I come out of the shower and it is like the Fonz. Yep there it is.
Leo: It’s not my fault that my hair looks like this every morning. You’re a beautiful man don't ever change. What else did you Joe B. tell us?
Mary Jo: His big news was there is going to be a Microsoft developed file manager app for Windows phone 8.1
Leo: It is going to be called Norton Commander.
Mary Jo: You know what's crazy about this, I think Paul and I were both kind of like yeah I don't really care about that. But man there are a lot of people who care.
Leo: Really because aren't there like 1800 3rd party choices in this market?
Paul: With this mobile world a lot of the people used to be Windows type geeks are migrating to Android because that's the kind of technical, you can hack anything, do anything you want kind of system. One of the things Android has or you can get for Android multiple copies of, is like a file manager application.
Leo: Yeah but they don't make a default Google one. But you can download Astro or ES.
Paul: But a lot of Samsung devices have it. So honestly it’s funny because the day this was announced I wrote an article about file management in 8.1. I don't see 100% see the need for this.
Leo: Excuse me but that is what Explorer does, right? Am I mistaken?
Paul: Yeah but on the phone, right.
Leo: Oh this is for the phone.
Paul: I don't quite get what the point of this is.
Leo: No in fact Apple very explicitly does not offer or support file managers because they don't think you should see the operating system.
Paul: Which is why Microsoft should have this thing.
Leo: To provide an alternative, yeah.
Mary Jo: But people are excited about that. That was a big announcement. What else did he say. He said they are talking to Snap Chat about doing an app for Windows phone but he didn't promise anything there. He said that there is going to be the updated version of the Facebook app for Windows phone 8.1 out by June, he's hopeful.
Paul: Did he say what that entailed?
Mary Jo: I don't believe he did.
Leo: Wait a minute, isn't there a Facebook app on my Windows phone?
Paul: Yeah it comes with it, right. With the 8.1 because that's how integration occurs.
Leo: But it comes from Microsoft, right?
Paul: Yeah I guess Microsoft.
Leo: Anyway what's he talking about here?
Paul: Right, well an updated version of it.
Mary Jo: He said an updated version that will take advantage of how they are now doing the social network integration. Because they made changes to that, Facebook is now going to work with that.
Leo: It is actually ironic, I prefer the Facebook, the old version Facebook on Windows.
Paul: A lot of people do. But the thing to understand is, under that old system as good as it was, it just couldn't move forward. There was no way to update that thing. Every time I do this thing in Windows Phone 8.1 where you go I want to share this with Facebook and then the Facebook app kind of loads. You are kind of like OK. But at least you know it is going to be updated. I think that June date probably applies equally as well to Twitter and Linked In. Anything that can integrate into 8.1 in that fashion. It has to because June is when this system will become widely available to consumers right. Most likely I think. So they need to have that stuff rolling by the time the system is out there.
Mary Jo: He talked a lot about kind of the thinking behind why Microsoft has done certain things that they have with Windows Phone. Because you know there are a lot of question about Zoon and why did you screw up the whole music experience. Why did you have to undo the parts that were working?
Paul: When are you bringing back meeting center.
Mary Jo: Yeah he took on a lot of those questions. He didn't tell anything brand new on any of those. It was interesting, he at least addressed them instead of just avoiding them. That was good.
Paul: A lot of it was kind of standard complaints. Also crazy complaints, why doesn't Microsoft admit that they're behind Android in some ways.
Leo: Why don't you guys just go home.
Paul: Let's start an ad campaign that describes all the ways that we don't measure up to te competition.
Mary Jo: He go asked about the enthusiast program and why did you guys take so long to finally do that.
Paul: If I was Joe I would have said enthusiast program, what's that?
Leo: Aren't we all enthusiast's really? Don't we all care deeply. Really that got me to buy a Windows 8 phone. So I could put 8.1 on it.
Paul: To be fair they eventually got that very right. That is what enables us to get the 8.1 update right now, it’s great.
Leo: I like it, it’s great. I think it’s a very smart thing for them to do.
Mary Jo: Oh yeah and they added a Cortana User Voice site. I don't know if that was actually brand new or not. But if you have features you want to see them add in Cortana. You can go there and actually give them the suggestion and people can vote on it.
Leo: That is also a good idea.
Paul: That should have been my tip this week. You know they have various user voice sites for Windows phone 8.1 for Cortana in particular. For Xbox music and I bet there are others that I am not aware of yet. Everything at Microsoft should be like that. They should open up the flood gates.
Leo: I am with you on that. Yeah because that is exactly what Apple doesn't do and Google doesn't really do that either. Yeah so it is an opportunity. Make yourself friendly to enthusiasts. To people who care.
Paul: Because they will move right along if you don't.
Leo: Well right and they will promote you if you do.
Mary Jo: Well File manager app is an example of that. That was a huge up voted one on the user voice.
Paul: But I guarantee you there are people at Microsoft who had thought about this thing 3 years ago said there was zero need for this. If you think about how bulky it is too. To go into a folder somewhere select some files, navigate all the way back out, go into some other folder, select past or whatever you’re doing, on a phone. That is just a ridiculous task.
Leo: And there is really no reason for it. By the way Google with the release of Kit Kat broke that. File browsers don't work on SD cards anymore because they enforced permissions all of a sudden on SD cards. Which by the way is the right thing to do for security purposes.
Paul: Windows actually handles SD storage in a very elegant fashion. In fact in testing some stuff last week I discovered that you can move items back and forth between the 2. So if you put in an SD card. So say you have an SD card and you want to use it and you say yeah sure. Then you get a little menu of the things that you might want to use it for. A lot of people will want to use it for kind of everything. So going forward as you install apps for example, they will install to the SD card if that's what you want it to do.
Leo: From then one? That just becomes the default? Oh I love that.
Paul: If you want it to. But you can also go into the utility and select apps from the machine and say move these onto the card. A couple of the built in apps won't go but most of them will. And if you were to pop the card out those apps still appear on your start screen but they are like grayed out. It's really well done. It doesn't break everything.
Leo: That's nice.
Paul: The point of a file manager is fairly negligible. I don't understand the point of it.
Leo: Make them happy and they will be a path to your door. You know who recently made me pretty damn happy? If you’re guessing ziprecruiter.com you nailed it my friends.
Paul: I have to admit I was not guessing that.
Leo: We recently were searching for a very important position within the TWIT Brickhouse studios. Oh my goodness the idea of going from job site to job site one by one and posting and you don’t really know which job place, which site is going to get you the best results, etcetera. Then we found Zip Recruiter and the idea is you post once on Ziprecruiter.com and then they post it on 50+ job boards. They also put it on LinkedIn; of course you’ve got to do that – Facebook, Twitter, Google+. This is all automatic. They set you up with a page with your company logo and colors so it doesn’t look like a Zip recruiter page it, it looks like yours. You can add an instant job page to your website with their help and it includes the company’s careers page so you can use that as a careers link. This is the stuff HR folks have been dying for. It really is a great solution. It includes now social recruiting so you really are getting everywhere. Embrace the mobile job seeker, they have mobile optimized pages too, you can view and share formatted resumes – in fact Zip recruiter will automatically highlight the best candidates so you screen them, rate them and hire the right person fast. Try Zip recruiter today if you’re looking to hire – Ziprecruiter.com, over 100,000 businesses have used them, if you visit Ziprecruiter.com/windows we’ll set you up with 4 days free. 4 days free, our special offer at Ziprecruiter.com/windows. Fill that job fast! We did with Ziprecruiter.com. Moving along in the Windows Saga…we talked about this a little yesterday on Security Now - the Internet Explorer zero day flaw which Microsoft fixed for all versions of Windows including XP. Is that, and there is some debate – is that Microsoft blinking or is it in in fact just patching IE and not patching XP.
Paul: Well IE is part of XP Leo so I would have so say they patched XP.
Leo: Do you think that breaks their pledge not to?
Paul: Yes it does.
Mary Jo: It does.
Leo: You’re both in agreement on that.
Paul: They came out and said it; we said we weren’t going to do this and we did.
Leo: And did they say they were never going to do it again?
Paul: They literally said this is an exception; we’re never going to do this again.
Leo: And why did they make that exception?
Mary Jo: They said it was because it was so soon after the end of support, but they also had been warning people that there could be a huge problem right after we end support if you haven’t upgraded. So they kind of knew this could have happened and they still did patch it. I just think that whatever they did there they couldn’t win. If they didn’t patch it there would have been a huge outcry and they did and people criticized them.
Leo: I don’t understand that frankly.
Paul: Actually I do understand it because when you watch Microsoft as closely as Mary Jo and I do you know this company has gone through these various periods and we’re still on the trailing edge of Microsoft can do no right era. Satya Nadella for all of his sunshine and hope and youngness and goodness has not erased the fact that a lot of people dis-trust Microsoft and don’t think they’ll ever get anything right. You can see it, it’s so instant and it’s like feral. The crazy reactions to them doing something are basically a gift. They supported an operating system – a desktop operating system for almost 13 years – You’re welcome!
Mary Jo: I did see some people say – I don’t know if it was Dr. Pizza’s article or somebody said the problem here is… a lot of it’s around IT right because a lot of IT departments have gone to their bosses and said we’ve got to upgrade because they’re not going to patch up any more and then what happens? They patch it and so now your boss goes hey you know what? We’re just going to stay there.
Leo: I told you they’d blink.
Paul: Those guys will be rolling in Chrome OS in 3 months.
Leo: They’re not loyal. You’re not loyal; you don’t fool me for an instant.
Paul: I write for IT pro so a lot of the readers out there are IT based and work for big enterprises and I get these occasional belligerent emails about how their good Microsoft customers and Microsoft shouldn’t treat customers like this. I have a newsflash for you; if you haven’t upgraded your OS since 2001 then you’re really not a great customer. You may be a good customer of Dell who you’ve been buying machines from for the past 13 years and then blowing it away and putting XP on there but I just don’t… This whole kind of mentality around XP is so crazy. It really is unsuitable for the modern computing world, it just is and their notion that it still works is like of course it still works, but we don’t use it to get to work every day. It really is kind of crazy. You don’t have to look too hard to see the differences between versions of Windows or Office. We were doing some stuff with Office and looking at the differences between 2010 and 2013 and you may look at them side by side and think these things aren’t all that different but when you get into it you realize there are things that are fairly profound differences and that’s the last version, when you go back to the 1 that came out 11-12 years ago it’s almost laughable.
Leo: Is there something so special about XP? You don’t hear people saying “Hey why aren’t you patching Windows 95”?
Paul: The specialness is that through means that were sort of arbitrarily coincidental it was kept in the market a long time.
Leo: A lot of the early netbooks had XP.
Paul: And then Windows Vista which was ongoing took forever to come to come to market so you had this kind of thing where they stretched it out once with sb2 and then because of the longevity of the development of Longhorn and then the reaction of this after it came out and the rise of netbooks like you said and all of a sudden you get this – it might have been in the market 3-4 years and it’s been like 10-12. I keep saying this; people forget how lousy XP was when it first shipped. It was terrible. We all forget that, we’re all such huge fans of XP. It’s a strange relationship. I don’t know what to say.
Leo: Bill Gates… You’ve heard of him. Billionaire philanthropist sitting down with Warren Buffet and Fox Business Network’s Liz Clayman… Liz said any sense spinning off being an Xbox – That’s what some say Nadella should do. Gates said certainly the Bing technology has been key to us learning how to do large scale data centers and Bing lets us see what’s going on in the internet. I see that as a pretty fundamental technology for the company.
Paul: But Xbox? I would flush that thing down the toilet.
Leo: Clayman said what about Xbox?
Paul: What did that teach you Bill?
Leo: The power of the PC chip, the graphics chip which means you can do great games so I’m sure Satya and the team will look at that and you know it’s up to them. We’re going to have an overall gaming strategy so it’s not as obvious as you might think. Liz presses the chairmen and says would you support Nadella if he wanted to spin off Xbox; Gates says absolutely. He didn’t even say yeah maybe.
Paul: I like him. I want him back.
Leo: Yeah. What is he talking about?
Mary Jo: I think there’s 2 ways to interpret this and 1 is of course he is going to be loyal to whatever Satya does because Satya is the CEO and Bill Gates is Satya’s advisor right now. He’s not the chairman of the board anymore, he’s Satya’s advisor so you say ok he’s going to be loyal to the CEO and say whatever the CEO wants, yes, we’re going to do it, but you have to wonder about how certain he was on not selling Bing and how very uncertain he was about Xbox.
Paul: Honestly if you were to poll the average Microsoft customer and say we’re going to get rid of 1 of these 2 things; Bing or Xbox, I bet most people would pick Bing.
Mary Jo: That’s because they don’t understand what Bing is to Microsoft.
Paul: Of course and I’m not saying that’s the right answer. I’m just saying that’s what people would say. I think his reaction to both of those products was very interesting.
Mary Jo: It was. You know there are different ways… The word spinoff freaks people out. They’re like oh they’re going to go sell out to Sony or they’re going to sell it to Samsung. To me they could just spin it out to a separate subsidiary possibly. You know Stephen Elop was supposedly believed to be in favor of selling of Xbox when he was up as 1 of the CEO candidates.
Paul: At least he’s nowhere where he can touch that thing right now.
Mary Jo: Yes, I don’t know. It was a very peculiar way to phrase the answer to that question if you really believe that Microsoft should keep Xbox in house.
Paul: I think Xbox could be a very successful standalone business.
Mary Jo: They still could do the software and the services. Microsoft could keep that.
Paul: Microsoft sells the software to PC makers and device makers.
Leo: This is an interesting conversation. I guess it’s at a business school. I want to find his “absolutely”. Was it ABSOLUTELY or was it absolutely. That’s Warren Buffett. I guess they’re buddies. They play bridge right. Young blood – look at that guy. Young blood is not the word I would use but he is cool…still can just over small pieces of furniture.
Paul: Oh Bill Gates…
Leo: Oh were you talking about Warren?
Paul: Yes I was talking about Warren Buffett. Looks like a vampire. What happened there?
Leo: He’s never been young.
Paul: He went through the depression in his middle ages right?
Leo: One drive news…
Paul: One drive picked up – One Drive meaning One Drive in the web – picked up some new features this week. This is a good example of a service because it exists primarily on a Cloud that just keeps getting better and better. Most of this stuff is around photos – a bigger photo thumbnail view, the ability to have videos displayed in line with those photos, video playback improvements, photo album customization, publish to Facebook and so on. That’s all kind of cool. The one thing people – any time there’s any One Drive update I hear from people “when are they going to add the ability to see items that are shared with you on the desktop client” and all I can say is I know Microsoft knows about this because they talked about it but clearly this is a difficult thing to actually make happen. So it’s not part of this. Then there’s the new version of the One Drive mobile app for Android. I don’t think there’s any reason to go into that too deeply but… If you’re using One Drive on Android actually to be honest One Drive is one of those kinds of great apps to have no matter what device you have. If it’s Android based Windows Phone, Windows RT, Windows 8.1 iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch whatever. On all of those platforms you can use One Drive to back up your photos in full quality to One Drive. The coolest thing about that is you may be somebody who uses an iPhone, you have an Android tablet, you have a Windows PC, any photos that go in through that device no matter which one it is go to the same place and you can get your One Drive base camera roll. You can look at your pictures on your Xbox 1 or whatever device you have. It’s nice.
Leo: Oh here I just got a text message. Hi Leo, We’ve begun shooting the next episode of the News Room, the Aaron Sorkin show on HBO and I’d like to use TWIT.TV on one of the computers in the bull pen. Ok! Go for it. We were a tab in a browser on Silicon Valley. Now that was productive. Recode was on the screen but if you look really closely…
Paul: You were one of the tabs. Nice.
Leo: Hey we’re getting there. I didn’t mention there was a May update – or is there a May update on Xbox?
Paul: It’s not out for the general public yet but if you’ve signed up for the private testing part you can get it. Well you would barely notice this one. It’s mostly around audio controls so it’s not really a lot. It’s another example of every time Microsoft releases an update people come and say what about this? Like USB devices, when am I going to be able to plug in a hard drive or USB thumb drive and have the Xbox be able to see it? Still not in Xbox 1 but they know about it and they’re working on it. We’ll see.
Leo: Finally before we take a break… They’re still going to do Tech Ed?
Mary Jo: At least for now.
Leo: Coming up in Houston…
Paul: Microsoft is in a contest with itself to see if it can find a more humid place to have a Tech Ed – like Orlando, New Orleans, what could be worse than that? Oh right, Houston.
Leo: Houston in the summer time. What are we going to look for at Tech Ed?
Mary Jo: Tech Ed is next week, Paul and I are both going to be there.
Leo: Oh you’re going to Houston! Alright! Will you be back for the show?
Mary Jo: We’ll both still be in Houston but we think we both will be able to do the show from there. So that should work out fine. Tech Ed is a Microsoft show for IT pros and developers. It’s a combined audience. This year we’re thinking there’s probably going to be some Azure news given that it’s just that kind of a show. Rod Trent who works with Paul at Windows IT Pro wrote a very interesting piece asking a question – will Tech Ed this year be a place for IT Pros? That’s the audience but these guys have been feeling kind of unloved because Microsoft is really pushing the Cloud agenda even though you can have the whole premise that you can have a hybrid Cloud, you can still have your software running on Prim. Their push is definitely the Cloud and there are not – as Rod pointed out in his article; there are not that many sessions on things that are not Cloud. There’s definitely some sessions on things like system center and exchange but for an event that’s supposed to be a learning event for IT Pros there is not much content he feels and I think some others will probably feel that appeals directly to an IT Pros audience. So it’s going to be interesting to see how they play that at the show and how much emphasis there is on Prim software and the whole IT Pro messaging. I’ve been hearing – I don’t know if Paul has heard this but hearing hints that we could possibly have some acquisition news announced at Tech Ed. I’ve had people speculate maybe Zamran – maybe finally that acquisition could be announced there. I don’t know.
Paul: How did we leave Zamran? Because I could have sworn that I’d heard that that was in fact happening and that there was some kind of last minute deal where they just weren’t able to get it done in time for Build.
Mary Jo: Yes, that was the rumor we heard at Build. So now the rumor has been renewed that maybe that acquisition if it is going to happen could be announced at Tech Ed. It might because it’s also a – audience there and that would be a good place for that. I’ve heard a couple other company names thrown around in the ritualization space that Microsoft might be looking at. I’ve even had somebody speculate Citrix. They’ve been a speculative takeover target for Microsoft for decades.
Leo: They’ve always been really tightly…
Paul: Citrix has an amazing story by the way because this is a company that at the height of Microsoft’s power really threatened some of its major businesses. Rather than just destroy it or buy it Microsoft bargained with them and this relationship has lasted forever. This is a very strange and exceptional example of Microsoft dealing with a company. It’s amazing because the stuff that Citrix does really has continued to parallel what Microsoft does.
Leo: Doesn’t Microsoft license RDP from Citrix? I thought that was the…
Mary Jo: There’s a whole very complex relationship between those 2 around that.
Leo: And of course Citrix is a very widely used enterprise for remote access.
Mary Jo: They are. It’s worth throwing these words out there about who might be in play. These are just pure guesses and pure speculation. I don’t have anybody who I would consider a verifiably source saying this is going to happen. Just so everybody’s clear who is listening. I don’t want to see a headline.
Leo: But you have heard the rumor that there will be acquisition news at Tech Ed.
Mary Jo: Yes we have heard rumors about acquisition news. But last week Microsoft bought a company called Green Button – they’re based in New Zealand and they…
Leo: Do the own the patent for green buttons?
Mary Jo: No, they do not.
Paul: Not to be confused with the Green Button who was that media center enthusiast community.
Leo: What is this?
Mary Jo: Not that green button either. They are a New Zealand Cloud computing vender and they’ve also been a long time Microsoft partner. They bought them because they have a product that actually lets you take an enterprise app and more easily get it to the Cloud…Cloud enable it. So they’re supposedly going to take that technology and integrate that with Azure going forward. So those are the kinds of companies I think Microsoft is looking at, especially off shore companies to use their off shore cash. Companies that are kind of small.
Leo: Right, they don’t have to repatriate the money to use it.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: That makes sense.
Paul: So if you’re in Luxemburg you’re in good shape this week.
Leo: This just in Citrix is moving to Indonesia. So Tech Ed is for IT professionals to kind of keep them up on their skills and stuff.
Mary Jo: Oh yeah there is going to be quite a few developer sessions there and in fact my code name pick of the week has to do with that so I'll save that up.
Leo: You guys doing a meet up down there?
Mary Jo: Yes, we decided not to do something formal at Tech Ed but we defiantly think we are going to be hanging out and drinking at a place called the flying saucer which is a really great craft beer bar in Houston. After the show probably on Tuesday…so if anybody is around and they want to come have a beer with us…
Paul: We will be sure to get out the information when we have all the details down.
Leo: It's the Flying Saucer draft Emporium in beautiful Houston. You know we should have at least three decent meet up opportunities over the next couple of months right. So we've got Tech Ed next week and New York the week after. Then in July we are going to DC right?
Mary Jo: Right for the whirl wind partnership.
Paul: I'm not sure we have an exact daytime place yet but that week in DC we will probably be doing a meet up as well.
Leo: It's really all excuses to drink really. All right let’s take a break we have a tip topic, software pick, beer pick and a lot of stuff. I call it the back of the book - the part of the magazine I always like the best, right there with all the weird ads, x-ray specks. Our show today brought to you by Citrix. Isn't that ironic? Make yourselves share files. I think frankly this is exactly what people are looking for when they are looking to share files. Instead of adding an email attachment to your business email and I think a lot of people are doing that. We recommend against if for a lot of reasons. It's how viruses get spread. It's not secure and of course there’s the pure practical aspect of it. Bounce backs you can't attach a big old presentation or a spread sheet, or a contract to an email and know it’s going to get there. You lose control of the thing. If you are sending important or confidential documents as email attachments you really ought to check out ShareFile from Citrix. Instead of sending an attachment ShareFile sends a secure link. In fact let me log into my share file and you will see what I'm talking about. I can actually give you a little demo of share file because I use it. I use it every single week to share files with radio stations. In fact right after the show that's what I'll be doing. Know one thing right away - it is branded. It doesn't have share file branding it's your company corporate logo. It looks like your file. You can send a file. You can request a file. So let’s say I'm going to look at one of my folders. Now these folders are populated automatically. ShareFile synchronizes with your desk top so it's automatic. So if you’re using the outlook plug in ShareFile even makes it easy to send these and it looks to you like you are sending an email attachment. These are all files I'm going to send out to different radio stations. You see by the way you can also give users different permissions. They can even be notified when there is an upload to a folder so they can see. I don't have to send them an email even. They just say oh my new stuff is here. Let's say I want to send stuff to WHLO in beautiful down town where ever. I'm going to click the send button. You can do it like an email. But I like to do the links. There are some parameters you can set on the links. Email me when the item has been downloaded, Require recipients to enter name and email before downloading (helps with tracking) I can say how long the access is, when it expires, how many times they can download it. Then I'm going to get this secure link. Now let me copy that to my clipboard and paste it in. So I'll show you what they are going to see. This is why share file is so great. They don't have to log in, they don't have to create an account. They get my logo and a very simple button, a green button as a matter of fact that they press that says download and that's it. They know what they are getting, who it's from, how big it is, if it’s multiple files it’s automatically zipped for you. ShareFile is fantastic. That's why I want you to try it today. Visit ShareFile.com and we have a 30 day free trial waiting for you. Do me a favor though. To get that free trial there are a number of places you can click on the page but do the one at the top that says podcast listeners click here. When you are asked for the offer code windows is the offer code so they will know you heard it on windowsweekly. Do pick your industry too because ShareFile can be customized for a variety of industries. It is HIPPA compliant and compliant with regulations in the financial services industry and lots of other places. It's the way to go if you are sending files. Don't attach them to email. Share them instead with Sharefile. Sharefile.com. We thank them for their support of Windows weekly. Now it’s time for Paul and his tip of the week.
Paul: My tip is how you can add yellow pages and lining to window notes.
Leo: Oh hallelujah - a little spiral tab at the top of the surface and we are set.
Paul: Microsoft has a new… it’s weird it’s an add-in for Power Point. It's available in a preview form but you have to sign up for it. Well here is a preview of it. That's the reason it's a tip and not a pick because not everyone can get it right away. What this is, is, an add in for Power Point called Office Mix that adds two things audio and video recording capabilities. So you can create a video version of your presentation which will play straight through, but also interactivity bits like quizzes and applications. Applications that can add things like basically anything you've got to office these days. It's actually kind of impressive although there aren't many apps yet the capabilities are impressive. So at the most basic you can record a portion of your presentation that has audio or video, audio and video or audio I should say. You can put that out as a recording like an MP profile. So that's pretty neat. You could add quizzes, polls, true/false multiple choice you know, that kind of feed. Video posts content from Con that Microsoft provides. You can add in. There's not much on the app side yet but I played around with it just to kind of see how the quizzes worked and it's just kind of just a neat little interactive bit. If you are familiar with Power Point you know I think it was office 2010 I think they added the ability to publish presentations to the web. Of course since then they've come up with office web apps and now this online. So what this tool does is allow you to save things to office on line now and people can hit it over the internet and interact with it so you can use it for a class lesson - an interactive class lesson where you provide audio and or video while presenting and then you have a little bit of a quiz at the end of a section or at the end of the whole thing. It's kind of like the full meal deal. It kind of takes power point and takes it to the next level. I suspect what we are seeing here in office mix is something that will just be part of Power Point going forward. For now it’s plug in only for the 2013 version. So if you go to I think it is Mix.Office.com let me check on that I think that is it. You can sign up and then you can get into it eventually. I signed up when they first announced it and got access to it yesterday. So I've only just kind of hit the surface of it. It's early yet to so I think a lot of the apps and quizzes and things will improve over time. It’s just a cool little add on and anyone who is willing to do a little more with Power Point will appreciate that.
Leo: It doesn't cost anything?
Paul: Right it's just a free add on.
Mary Jo: I wonder if it's going to be an add on or an actual new app?
Paul: Separate app?
Mary Jo: I don't know I'm just speculating.
Paul: I don't know either actually, that could be. The thing is I look at this and it melds very naturally into power point and it wouldn't be hard to imagine it being integrated a little farther. So you know if you're familiar with power point you can do an F5 and it does a present. It wouldn't be hard to integrate that into this kind of thing because you could preview it now which is separate from the F5 stuff. It seems like it could just be part of it to. So I guess we will see how they do it eventually. I'm not really sure. It's very natural. I think Mary Joe was the first to report on this I think it was probably the beta app of it’s own at one point.
Mary Jo: Yes, they actually demoed it at one point last year at the Microsoft Company meeting. It was cooking remix and they kind of played it up as digital story telling. That was kind of the buzz word when they talked about it.
Paul: Yeah it looks to me like it’s more like for teachers for a lesson type of thing.
Mary Jo: It could have broader applications at some point - like right now education for sure.
Paul: Yeah it's just interesting because they added it to Power Point as an add-on and when you see how it works it’s seems like something that should have been here all along. It makes so much sense. It works really well. Hopefully it comes together quickly. The software pick is something called Start Perfect. I was tipped off to this, this morning by someone called Steve Calten. It's not free but it's only .99. It's kind of the uber utility if you will for those people who have gotten the windows 8.1 and they aren't really interested in those transparent tile effects, but want them to be applied to more things. It does a bunch of other stuff like I had I think I used this as a tip previously. It’s by the same guys that make transparency tiles. Transparency tiles I think are free but what it does is - I think it's free to but it might be 99 cents. But what that app does is it basically gives you a list of apps on your phone...not every app but most and you check off every app that you want and it changes their tiles to the transparent. So it gives you that better effect with more background image. So what start perfect does is it does that but it does it for more apps. Then it provides other functions as well. You can pin websites to your start screen that have either a transparent background with a star or a custom background of your choosing. It doesn't actually take graphics to the website unfortunately but you know but it lets you at least do that. It lets you pin a bunch of stuff from settings which is a feature I've never understood wasn’t a part of windows phones. It’s not everything in settings but it's some stuff you can't pin right now like email accounts, lock screen, location, notifications, actions, and a bunch of stuff you can't pin right now. That's really cool. It gives you the ability to pin transparent tiles to the start screen and what that lets you do is space things out a little bit. You know the way that windows phone works now is you can have empty spaces but you can't have empty spaces between rows. So this gives you the ability to essentially create empty rows between actually tiles that don't actually do anything or have cool transparent flipping effects if you want that. So you can kind of customize that start screen more than you could normally. So between all of these things you can create labels and fill tints and it's a cool app. You really want you windows 8 phone start screen to look as good as it can. I'm going to play with this. Start Perfect .99. Now Mary Jo Foley has some stuff.
Mary Jo: Yes, so for enterprise pick of the week I'm going to have some acronyms appear. The pick is called Mdop 2014. MDOP is Microsoft desktop optimization pack. So this is a collection of tools virtualization tools, management tools, and security tools that people who are volume customers who have software assurance can buy. You pay an extra fee for this bundle of tools. The new release that just came out on May 1st and is downloadable from the volume licensing center, the VLSC includes MBAM. MBAM is Microsoft bit locker administration and monitoring 2.5 as well as Microsoft applications virtualization 5.0 service pack 2 also known as Appv. There are more acronyms in this thing too. There’s DART, diagnostics and recovery tool set, there's UEV, user experience virtualization tool. But just trust me; there are a whole bunch of tools that people find very helpful in managing their windows systems. So if you are a volume licensee, and you have software assurance and you don’t mind paying this supplemental fee , you may find MDOP very useful to you. And the 2014 has some new compliance capabilities around 140-2. As well as some new application publishing advances that are part of the app fee capabilities. So yeah it’s a lot, it’s full of things but very useful to many enterprise users i know.
Leo: You mentioned that your code name pick of the week comes from some tech ed.
Mary Jo: It does. So this has been my code name pick of the week before. But it’s very apt, since it’s just around the corner that we're going to learn about this. The code name is called Helios. Project Helios. And next week at Tech Ed, Scott Hanselman and Scott Hunter who are both very known in the Microsoft development community, they refer to themselves jokingly as the lesser Scotts, because they are not Scott Guthrie. They are going to be unveiling what’s called project Helios. From the Tech Ed content slides that i have looked at, that are available, not the slides but the little abstracts that they have on the different sessions they describe project Helios this way. It’s about the future of dot net on the server. In other words asp.net - and this is going to help people write asp.net applications using something called OWIN, which is an authentication prodigal from my limited understanding. Scott Hanselman and Scott Hunter are going to talk about this and explain to people who are developing asp.net apps kind of where Microsoft is going, what they are thinking and they are going to be talking about this project Helios thing. Which I think is the way you are going to write apps going forward, but we'll find out next Tuesday when they do their session.
Leo: Interesting, and we couldn't really do this show without a lot of beer. By the way i love how you describe this beer.
Mary Jo: So my beer pick of the week is a sour and it's Abbey De Saint Bon-Chien.
Paul: Bon-Chien means save a good dog.
Mary Jo: Yes, and it’s from a brewery called the BFM-Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes. which is in Switzerland. I called it a gateway sour. And people ask me a lot if you’re not a regular sour drinker; what should you drink as your first sour to try and get into the style? Because it’s a very unfamiliar style to people who don’t know that. It smells like vinegar.
Leo: Is it actually sour?
Mary Jo: Yes, it's vinegarish and the reason it is, is that it’s aged in Merlo, whiskey and Grappa barrels. I guess all three. And so it does have a very sour taste to it, but in a good way like it’s a sour that your first sip you may go eww sour and then the more sips you have the more you’re going to like it. That’s my prediction.
Leo: I like vinegar so I imagine I would like this.
Mary Jo: It’s kind of like a hybrid wine beer thing going on and it’s very refreshing. It’s almost like if you know what a Flemish red style of beer is, it’s kind of similar to that. See I call it my gateway sour. If you can find this anywhere on tap in bottles, it’s from Switzerland so European probably.
Paul: So where can you find this on tap?
Mary Jo: I did. I had it on tap.
Paul: So you live in a wonderland. How is this possible?
Mary Jo: I had this on tap recently and it was fantastic.
Paul: That’s incredible.
Mary Jo: European listeners if you can find this, the Abbey De Saint Bon-Chien, from BFM.
Paul: And European listeners if you can this on tap i hate you.
Leo: You like sours Paul?
Leo: It's not hoppy, it’s just sour.
Paul: I understand. It’s like the hops right out of the beer. It’s good. Actually so Mary Jo gave me some beer that is an IPEA that is not hoppy, and i like that quite a bit. What was it called again? I’m sorry i can’t remember.
Mary Jo: this is pretty cool; it was from one of my listeners who is from Canada and he brought it from Waterloo for us and it was from Waterloo Brewing. It’s just called their basic IPEA, and it’s a very English style, so not hoppy.
Paul: It's actually excellent. It’s very good.
Mary Jo: Good glad you like that one.
Leo: I just have to drink more beer that’s all. Every time i host this show i think i should be drinking more beer.
Paul: Over time my nose is going to get more and more red.
Mary Jo: Both of us.
Leo: He of the soon to be red nose is at the super site for windows winsupersite.com, he's an analyst for Penton media, writes for window IT Pro and he most recent book, which one do you want me to plug? You do so many.
Paul: I guess window, windows 8 one field guide.
Leo: And that is in book stores yet?
Paul: Not yet. That’s going to happen soon, i just have taken a long time to get that one to amazon.
Leo: But you go to windows81book.com, and you can see it and buy it.
Leo: Mary Jo Foley writes about Microsoft and all about microsoft.com, and drinks her beer and rum in beautiful Manhattan. They will both be in Houston, and perhaps next Tuesday at the Houston saucer. What time?
Mary Jo: Flying saucer, probably around 5-6 in the evening.
Leo: 5or 6, go in there, get a seat and enjoy the fun. Bar fight is sure to break out.
Mary Jo: Be fighting over MDOP.
Leo: Then the next day you guys are going to a Microsoft event - or no, the one in Manhattan. Oh that’s 2 weeks, okay good. i was going to say you got a busy schedule. but we will be back here next Wednesday, 11 am pacific, 2pm eastern time 1800 utc that’s when you can watch live when we do windows weekly, but if you can’t make it live we have on demand audio video available always after the fact at Twit.tv/windowsweekly or get it from your favorite pod caster or stitcher, if you listen to stitcher there’s actually a wonderful windows phone app by Demeter. The twit app is really beautiful, very nicely done, you can listen there, you can listen live with that as well. We have apps in all the major platforms including Roku. So get the app, that’s a good way to listen on a regular basis and we'll see you next week on Windows Weekly!