Windows Weekly 370 (Transcript)
Father Robert Ballecer: It’s time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley they’re here to deconfuse the Office 365 skue disaster, we talk about a few good things Microsoft is doing and then Microsoft saves the internet kind of. Windows Weekly is next.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Episode 370, recorded Wednesday July 9th, 2014
Office 365 SKU-a-palooza
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It’s time for Windows Weekly! The show that covers Microsoft and all the goings on at Redmond. Whether it be for home, for business or the enterprise, we’ve got the knowledge that you need and that knowledge comes from our wonderful host’s. Starting with Ms. Mary Jo Foley from all about Microsoft. Mary Jo thank you for being here it’s always great to see you and of course I can’t see you without mentioning the yellow earbuds. I do have some jealousy about those. I really do.
Mary Jo Foley: I think I am going to get you a pair of these, Padre.
Fr. Robert: I’ve got to see someone about that because it gets me every single time. But it’s lovely to have you back. Thank you.
Mary Jo: Thanks. Thanks for you being back as well.
Fr. Robert: Well when Leo emailed us and said we’re thinking about extending our vacation would you mind doing Windows Weekly again. It was just one of these No, no I would hate to.
Paul Thurrott: Right, I am not doing that. Then there was an ultimatum and it got ugly but it doesn’t really matter. The point is here he is again.
Fr. Robert: Here he is and you know who else is here Mr. Paul Thurrott. He’s the mastermind behind the supersite for Windows the winsupersite.com. Paul to you as well thank you for baring another week with me.
Paul: I am happy to see you.
Fr. Robert: It’s been actually a pretty eventful week for Microsoft. There’s been lots going on. Some good, some not so good but all with good intention. Mary Jo you’re going to kick us off right.
Mary Jo: Yeah I can kick us off. The biggest question the both Paul and I were getting all week this week was about Android. Which is interesting since we’re talking about Microsoft here. It all stemmed from a tip that the mobile leaker names EVLeaks who is Evan Blass. Posted up early Monday, he said, there’s going to be an Android powered Lumia phone coming out from Microsoft. And that really got everybody in a panic. I should say got everybody who is a WIndows phone fan in a panic.
Paul: Yeah exactly.
Mary Jo: Not everybody.
Paul: Everyone who matters, I think.
Mary Jo: Our people got in a panic. The reason is Microsoft has done some dabbling with Android on Windows Phones. They do a thing called the Nokia X phone. But this is a whole different thing. This is Lumia high end smartphone, something brand new and people were not too happy to hear that possibly could have Android as its main operating system. Even if it’s Android open source project people weren’t still keen on this. Then Paul wrote a really good post about could this be Microsoft’s plan B and I’ll let him kind of launch into that. I thought he brought up some good points with that.
Fr. Robert: Now the interesting thing about this is Lumia has some of the most beautifully designed hardware I would say in the last 3 years. I’d even place it above the Iphone. It’s been saddled, and I am saying that in a negative way even though I do actually like a Win Phone, with an OS that doesn’t quite meet up to the expectations of the hardware. One of the things I most like about the Lumia phones is their cameras. The camera is absolutely phenomenal. I would in a heartbeat trade in my phone if I could get an Android device that had Lumia’s design in the camera. If they do that and if this becomes successful. If this becomes the Android phone to use, Paul what happens to Windows Phone?
Paul: I don’t want to contemplate that. But actually it’s interesting that you bring up the camera part. Because I had also written something about the Lumia 1020 this past week. That is the phone that came out a year ago next month. I actually still use that day to day. Which is kind of an amazing thing because you may understand I have all kinds of devices coming through here. Every week I have my choice of devices and I am using a phone that came out a year ago. That’s actually pretty amazing. But for all of the wonderful qualities of that camera there are issues that are in fact related to the hardware. Windows Phone at the time was made by Microsoft of course at this time was a separate company from Nokia. So Nokia couldn’t add some low level functionality to the camera software because they didn’t have access or that level of access to the OS. Likewise Windows Phone doesn’t support certain hardware features that would have made the camera and the phone operate more quickly and more efficiently. If you compare that camera from the 1020 with like the camera, I forget the name of the device, Nokia 92 or whatever that was that came before the first Preview. There was some optical hardware in there that they were able to do when they were controlling the hardware platform. So I am not saying going to Android would actually fix that problem. It’s possible just combining Nokia and Microsoft could help get that stuff moving along. But absolutely starting behind like they did with Windows Phone, you’re always kind of playing this game of catch up. It’s true in the apps department obviously, the online services that are supported on the platform and it’s true on the hardware. There’s some pro’s to the hardware stuff. Windows runs more efficiently than Android does on the same hardware and so forth. But the point remains. There are all these permutations of what Microsoft could be doing. I have heard almost nothing about this. We know that they are doing the X phones that Nokia first started. Which of those AOSP Android the open standard and not full blown Google Play Android. And I have some theories and Ideas about how Microsoft could combine the Android platform with the Windows phone software and of course as Mary Jo has talked a lot over the past year. Microsoft is working in some way to combine Windows Phone and Windows RT into something, into some Threshold era combination of those products. So it’s a big topic. If you’re a Windows Phone fan it’s a tough thing to even contemplate, I guess.
Fr. Robert: We have 2 Windows Phone users in the Brick House and we’re going to lose one. He is finally going to be moving away from his Windows Phone. He gave it a good year and half.
Mary Jo: Oh no.
Paul: Who is leaving?
Fr. Robert: It’s Tony.
Paul: Who is that rat bastard? Tony!
Fr. Robert: You can find Tony, he’s in the back over here.
Mary Jo: What happened?
Fr. Robert: He missed his apps. This is a beautiful phone, it’s a great phone, I love the camera. Our Windows Phone users are always showing off the camera and they do take the best pictures of all the phones in the Brick House. But he just wanted something more.
Paul: Mary Jo I don’t know if you saw my photo of Toronto yesterday.
Mary Jo: Yeah I did see that.
Paul: I was just walking through a hallway in the airport and I turned and took a shot with the 1020 and it looks like a postcard. It’s gorgeous. That’s what those phones do. We went to Europe for 3 weeks last August. My family photos from that trip, probably I am sure over a 1,000, I don’t remember 1500 photo’s whatever it was. All on the 1020. Beautiful, the best vacation photo’s we’ve ever had. But you know it’s not just a camera. Absolutely that’s a problem.
Mary Jo: Part of the problem was, a lot of people were calling out on Twitter to Paul and I saying can you guys say this isn’t true. Can you disprove it? I looked into this tip a lot this week about will they do an Android powered Lumia. I could not disprove it, I couldn’t prove it but I couldn’t disprove it either. I asked Microsoft for comment and got absolutely nothing. I didn’t even get a no comment. I just didn’t get a response. Which is very unusual for them. Frank Shaw who is head of the corporate communications put a Tweet out saying oh man it looks like it’s crazy rumor Monday. But it wasn’t really clear what rumors he was talking about.
Paul: Then he would say that he is Microsoft’s mastermind of communication.
Mary Jo: I don’t know. I kind of ended up wondering if it might be a branding thing. Because we do know that Microsoft is in the midst of trying to figure out the branding between Surface and Lumia. And now that Nokia is part of Microsoft how do you bring that name in and how long can they hold onto that name and continue to use it. So I kind of wondered maybe this is a branding thing where they are going to rebrand the Nokia X as a Lumia. But I think that would be super confusing if they do that.
Paul: I do too. We just talked about this, didn’t we last week?
Mary Jo: We did, yeah.
Paul: The confusion of Surface vs. Lumia. Further confuse the Lumia brand by making Android devices with it. I hope they don’t do that.
Fr. Robert: What’s the end game here? Let’s say this is real and let’s say they go ahead and create an Android powered Lumia. Complete with all the great camera hardware, complete with a great design, complete with a great battery life. I see this falling 2 ways. One is that they price the phone so high because they want to protect their Windows Phone partners, that no one is going to buy it. Or it becomes phenomenally popular because they price it about right and now it’s up to them to explain to their stockholders why are they supporting the dying Windows Phone when their Android phone is selling so well.
Paul: There’s no win here that is not controversial, right. There’s no way that you win where everyone’s happy, where everything makes sense. Microsoft exists in a world where they are not the primary platform maker anymore. So it behooves them to put their online services and apps on other platforms. You can’t do the Windows first, Windows only thing anymore. It doesn’t make sense, for them to survive and thrive today. They need to do this other stuff. Now they do want Windows to succeed obviously and they would prefer it if you used Windows on a desktop, on a tablet, on a phone, whatever up in the cloud. Maybe they will make certain things better on Windows if you choose to go that route. But you can’t just abandon the future as Windows, windows, windows either. They can’t just not move forward with this other stuff. This is Microsoft’s unique positions, they’re never going to make everyone happy. Our past is littered with the remains of fans of products of things like zoom and media center and on and on and on it goes. Who will still tell you today that, that thing is better than whatever they’ve replaced it with. We’re never going to make everyone happy. It’s just the way it is.
Mary Jo: But I’ll tell you who they’re going to make really unhappy if they do this are developers. That’s the constituency that I worry about the most because some people have been early developers on Microsoft on Windows Phone and Windows 8. They took a lot of risk and they probably haven’t made as much money as they might have if they didn’t do Windows.
Paul: What if they moved the Windows phone run time. I guess it would just be the Windows runtime so it would run on top of ASOP? So in other words what if the plan was to in fact to have a single hardware device or a hardware platform I guess that could run Android apps. That could run Windows phone apps. And that they would continue to improve and put this run time environment on these devices. Even though it was Android under the covers or AOSP. What if that didn’t matter to the typical developer. What if you could just move the app there unchanged. What if you could make certain changes to make is better on such devices. What if it wasn’t a complete either or.
Fr. Robert: I think there are a lot of very smart people who are thinking the very same thing. Which is Microsoft is moving in the Cloud services they could develop a really really good Android skid. An Android platform that runs Microsoft cloud services really well. But you have to ask yourself the question, the stockholders will ask the question. Well then why did we buy Nokia for 3 billion dollars?
Mary Jo: Right. You bought them for the hardware but the question is does Microsoft really want to stay in the hardware manufacturing business because that’s also been something that’s been up for debate because the margins on hardware are so much lower than the margins on software and services. So a lot of people are speculating that if Microsoft ends up trimming some staff in the near term or the not too far away term that it could be done through eliminating some of the manufacturing plants that they bought from Nokia. They keep the people that are doing the design work, they keep the people who are associated with the patents and software and service development but they might, this is just speculation. They might try to get rid of some of the people who are actually building the handsets and have it outsourced. That’s a theory.
Paul: I think what Nokia would have told you a year ago, 2 years ago, or 3 years ago was that their manufacturing expertise is what made it possible for them to make devices like the Lumia’s with their unibody design and so forth. I’m sure that’s how they would have promoted that. You don’t have to look to hard to see something like an Apple Iphone or Ipad to realize that you don’t have to build your own devices to make absolutely beautiful devices. But this can in fact happen through a third party. But you have to think those manufacturing jobs represent ⅔, ¾ or more of all of the employees they just picked up, right. Wouldn’t most of Nokia, the part that Microsoft bought, wouldn’t that most of been involved in those activities? Not in design.
Mary Jo: A lot, I’d say about 10’s of 1,000’s maybe yeah. So yeah that’s an interesting idea. But you touched on something a minute ago Paul, that was another rumor this week that people were asking about. I think this was Elder Mertzon who came up with this rumor. The way that Microsoft is going to actually support Android on Lumia’s is by having a virtual machine be on it. Instead it won’t the entire operating system itself but maybe just the apps or run time plus the apps. I don’t know exactly how that would work.
Paul: I hope that’s not how they do it because that is a really garbage approach.
Mary Jo: It seems crazy on a phone, to me.
Fr. Robert: It seems like a really really good way to eat up battery life it sounds like.
Paul: And to never have a good experience for anyone. Here’s a device we’re going to advertise as being Android compliant but oh by the way it doesn’t run that one app that you love. I just see that as a non-starter.
Fr. Robert: At this point it comes down to, either they are going to build a really really good Android device or they’re going to build a really crappy Android device that’s very encrypted so it doesn’t compete with Windows phone.
Paul: Both of those suck. I think back, by the way you can go back to the beginning of Microsoft. Microsoft creating versions of other people’s platforms. Microsoft had a CPM add in card for the Apple II. They had Zenux, their version of Unix that they probably bought and then updated from some other company. They did OS2 with IBM of course. They did their own version of Java, J++. That went really, really well. There’s a good model to follow. This type of activity doesn’t usually work out historically. I’m not saying it couldn’t be different this time but their track record isn’t necessarily so great. So it’s nervous. AOSP is an open standard of sorts I think as suggested by its name. But as some commenters to some of my posts have noted. Putting your fate in Google’s hands is not necessarily the smartest thing to do when Google is your number 1 competitor. This whole thing is just disturbing on a number of levels.
Mary Jo: I’ll tell you one other theory I heard from one of my sources. This supposed Android Lumia device is an experiment. Quote on quote.
Paul: Yeah, a Frankenstein.
Mary Jo: Microsoft is trying everything, right? They’ve got a lot of prototype hardware out there, where they are saying Hey what if we did this? How would this look? How would this work? The thing is how widely are they showing this off and to whom are they showing this off. If it is an experiment. I even had somebody say to me who is actually pretty well sourced in Microsoft, the Nokia X2 is an experiment too. If that’s an experiment, I think a lot of developers are going to be very angry. Because Microsoft is out there recruiting people to build apps for that device and really spending a lot of money on it.
Paul: They are selling it to real people. There are real human beings buying this product. You can’t call something like that an experiment. That is not okay.
Fr. Robert: Let me throw something crazy in here.
Paul: Some more crazy.
Fr. Robert: So Google buys Motorola, we need a little bit of crazy. The whole idea behind that is they want to show some of the handset manufacturers this is how you do it. This is how you make a good phone. We want to put a little bit of pressure on you to build better devices. Then they were able to a few years later sell it off and say look mission accomplished. We did what we had to do. There are now some great Android phones out in the wild and we don’t need to do hardware anymore. Is there a scenario where Microsoft can do the same thing? Or are they stuck with this?
Paul: First of all what you just described is a fantasy. Microsoft in the PC space did kind of like you described through the signature program. Which is like the Google play edition phones. They have Surface which is like the Motorola thing but they didn’t buy that company obviously. We’re talking about PC’s here not phones here. But they did buy Nokia which is like when Google bought Motorola on the surface. Because really Google bought Motorola for the patents and Microsoft bought Nokia because if they didn’t that company would have either gone out of business or would have adopted Android which would have been the worst possible blow imaginable to Windows phone. So it’s kind of a different situation thing. But I keep going back to, Nokia is such a huge part of the Windows phone experience. Even if you don’t buy a Nokia phone, it’s a huge part of it. But if you go back to before Nokia entered this market and you think back to what were the original differentiators of the system? It had nothing to do with camera quality which is a Nokia thing. It had nothing to do with the quality of the hardware which was by the way a Nokia thing. It was just the software system itself how unique it was and how different it was. Not different just to be different but different really thought through to be better. It’s almost like we’ve lost sight about what was really special about Windows Phone because frankly it just didn’t resonate with enough consumers to make a difference. We’re focused on things like the design of the device and the quality of camera. If Microsoft ships an Android device that has those 2 things today, in today’s world. Windows Phone is dead. That’s the end of it. You would be crazy to ever by a Windows phone if you could get an Android device with that camera in that body. The things that made Windows Phone so special and I think they still do in many ways although they have been by necessity filtered down over time. You get a feel for how people like to do things. It should be noted IOS and Android have both picked up a lot of the integration things which were previously unique to Windows Phone. What are we 4 years down the road a lot of things have changed. But Microsoft could stick the final nail on the coffin so to speak just by releasing this thing we are talking about. By releasing an Android phone with a pure view camera and a Lumia unibody, that would be the end of it. I think that would be the end.
Fr. Robert: It might be the end. Actually it would be the end. My scenario is if they release a decent Android phone on the Lumia platform.
Paul: This is like my worst nightmare. If you want to know what keeps me awake at night aside from things like my family and like the normal human being things. This type of thing really troubles me. I actually spend more time thinking about this kind of stuff that I am even comfortable admitting. I am really worried about this. Because I really do feel like something special happened here and that it’s possibly being ruined.
Mary Jo: The thing I think Microsoft really would do well to do at this point is, I know they don’t want to come out and start denying every rumor because that’s a no win situation. They’ll just be spending their whole life denying every rumor. But there are certain rumors that get picked up really widely that get people in a panic especially your developers and your loyal customers. At that point you just say to somebody in the press that rumor is wrong. That’s all they have to do if it’s wrong. The silence is what’s getting people more worried I think. Because everyone is speculating what this might mean. What are they going to do, are they going to kill Windows Phone? I think they just need to stop this one.
Paul: It’s kind of like the caveman who saw Halley's Comet and now we think the God’s are coming to punish or something. We don’t know any better. It’s like we almost need that kind of parental hand to say it’s okay.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo, if we could stop of a second. I am very concerned about Paul right now. He seems to be getting very very depressed. I want to break away from that. You know what Paul when we come back we are going to talk a little bit about the Surface. Because I know that always brings you up, right? Your happiness, yes?
Paul: I’ll try.
Fr. Robert: Okay we’ll try.
Alex: Actually before we go. Going back to something because I didn’t have a chance to throw this in when it was relevant. Here’s that picture Paul was talking about I believe.
Fr. Robert: Wow that does look like a postcard, that’s amazing.
Paul: Literally I am walking in a connector between a building and the plane. I look left, I see this and I just take a picture. Then I get on the plane. Then I look down at the picture and I’m like look at this thing. That’s really nice.
Fr. Robert: That’s not using any crazy filters. You don’t have anything on?
Paul: Nope I literally popped the thing off, took it and kept going.
Fr. Robert: See that’s the sort of picture I want to be able to take with my phone.
Alex: So Paul did you do the # no filter?
Paul: No you can assume anything I post is without filter.
Fr. Robert: Now we do need to take a break to thank the first sponsor of this episode of Windows Weekly and of course that’s Carbonite. Now I tell this story a lot. I talk about how I set up systems for some very un tech savvy people. That’s sort of my main business and one of the things I always run into is backups. People not understanding how backups work. I always try to explain the 3,2,1. You have to have 3 copies, 2 different places, 1 other type of media or actually that’s backwards. But they don’t really get that because they think just by putting something into a drop box or putting something into the Cloud will somehow fix everything. Will somehow their file, their precious memories, their data will be co-located in therefore immune to disaster. But that’s not how it works folks. Just because you put something in the cloud, just because you put something into an off-site storage doesn’t mean it’s protected. It just means that you have another copy that could be just as easily damaged if it’s not set up for back up. Folks that’s what Carbonite is. Online, offsite, in the Cloud backup that’s easy to use and really it can fit any budget. Now Carbonite is what you need if you want to back up your computers, at home or several at your small office, at your workplace. Wherever it may be. It’s so easy to forget, we know that. We all want to back up, we all want to have those good practices. We all want to be that person who says yes I’m not worried about a disaster. But it takes time, it takes energy and it takes thought and sometimes we just forget. But with Carbonite it doesn’t matter. Because all your computers, all your servers, all your external hard drives will be backed up to the Cloud automatically. You can also access those files, this is a big plus. In this way it’s a lot like those Cloud storage companies in that you can look at the files that you’ve uploaded. They’re not packed away in some weird compression so that you have to download the entire file. You can just log in and say oh I need this particular file. Get that back and you’re good to go. But with Carbonite you don’t have to worry about it not happening because it’s going to happen when you’re not doing anything on your computer. Whenever you have bandwidth to spare and it’s completely customizable. It’s one of the things that I have always really liked about Carbonite. And Carbonite has really affordable plans. No matter what you want to spend, no matter what your needs are you can find a plan that fits you. It’s one of the things Carbonite excels at. No matter how many computers you have and no matter they’re located, Carbonite can fix your storage problem. So here’s what we want you to do we want you to start your free trial at carbonite.com You don’t need a credit card. And if you use the offer code Windows you get 2 free bonus months if you decide to buy. Folks treat yourself right. Treat your data to what it deserves. Backup with Carbonite. That’s carbonite.com offer code Windows. cabonite.com and the offer code windows. And we thank Carbonite for their support of Windows Weekly. Now Mary Jo Foley maybe you could bring us into some of the Surface news. I was really really looking forward to the Surface Mini. That’s the size format that I want and I understand I could get that soon, right?
Mary Jo: If you believe the rumors this week. Speaking of rumors again. This is another rumor from Ev leaks who we just talked about as the person who is powering the Android powered rumor. He also came out with a rumor this week that said By the way Microsoft has restarted production on that Surface Mini that they were going to launch and it’s coming out this summer. I can tell you after looking into this rumor I am about 99.9% sure he is wrong on this one.
Fr. Robert: But that’s .1% that I can dream, right.
Mary Jo: Yeah I just don’t think this is happening. Here’s why, Microsoft cancelled the Surface Mini launch that was supposed to be May 20th mainly because it’s Gemini which is it’s touch first Windows Apps that you need on an ARM base device were not ready yet. They still are not ready. Nothing has changed since May. So I don’t understand how or why they suddenly would say hey now let’s roll this device out that we cancelled because Gemini wasn’t ready and it wasn’t a differentiated enough device. It just doesn’t make sense. My sources say no on this one.
Fr. Robert: That’s a little sad. Now Paul I know that you have clear information that the Surface Mini was supposed to be released. I know that it got yanked at the last minute. I know that there are hilarious little incidents of references made to the Surface Mini in manuals and press releases. But is it dead? Did they just decide now we are never going to release this device?
Paul: To be clear, that could happen at some point in the future. The most recent information that I have is it’s not cancelled it’s been delayed, twice. Because originally it was supposed to come out last fall with Surface II and Surface Pro II. Then it was supposed to come out, I think it was May 20th alongside the Surface Pro III. In fact the Surface Mini was the primary device they were going to announce. The Pro III was sort of a side show of sorts at the time. I had gotten a ton of information about the Surface Mini. Really all I had heard about the Pro III was Oh by the way there will be a newer Pro device with the bigger screen. I kind of had a probe a little about that one because obviously I was curious about that. Really all the information was that the Mini was the focus and as I think Mary Jo just said. It was cancelled literally days before the event. They manufactured these things and they’re sitting in boxes, who knows. The problem is as time goes forward the hardware architecture that’s inside of those devices gets more and more out of date. So at some point if Surface Mini happens they may need to make new versions with new hardware too. It’s kind of hard to say.
Fr. Robert: That magic time is about 12 months. You have about 12 months before your hardware can no longer be released as new hardware.
Paul: If I am not mistaken, the internal design of these hadn’t changed since last year. So even a June/July release of this device, it would have been 9 months into that 12 month period that you’re talking about.
Fr. Robert: Now they did manufacture a few units. They did have a very short production of them?
Paul: That is what we were told, yeah.
Mary Jo: We hear 1,000’s although neither of us have seen one. But we’ve heard 1,000’s.
Fr. Robert: So they are sitting some place.
Paul: Well you know that room that’s at the end of the Red is the last Arc is of course is where they are stored.
Mary Jo: Oh that’s where they are, Okay.
Fr. Robert: I am just waiting for these to show up on Ebay somewhere I’ll snatch one up.
Paul: I would love to see one. The thing that was funny about that event for me was, when we went to New York for the Surface Pro III launch, was that they kept talking about specific attributes of this device and it was like checking off everything about the Surface Mini. Except that the screen was humongous and it was running Windows 8.1 Pro and not Windows RT. There were a lot of similarities between the 2 of them. The mini was literally just shrunken down smaller screen size.
Fr. Robert: Webb 7069 in the chat room says they are probably in a New Mexico landfill next to ET cartridges. So sad.
Mary Jo: What I think they will do if they do this, I still think they are going to do this product at some point. Probably next year, once the Gemini apps are ready. I think if they are going to do anything with the ones they’ve built they’ll probably salvage them for parts or they’ll take them apart and replace the chip. They’ll do something to what they’ve already built. These ones that they supposedly built were test devices. I am sure some people outside the company had them. I’ve talked to one person inside the company who says he has one. He actually has it.
Paul: They are probably for reviewers. They are probably the ones they were going to give away at the event. It’s a sad reality that every time that we talk about Microsoft it kind of comes back to they can never win message. The truth is if they had shipped this thing right now it would have pleased a certain group of people. But there would have been others who would have said RT is a dead platform, why didn’t you do 8.0, 8.1 core, Intel would have been better. If they release this thing in the fall, if they release this thing in the spring, if they wait for Windows 9 or whatever there are going to be people who say oh a little late. The mini tablet craze came and went and Microsoft is behind again because in some ways the mini tablet craze has kind of gone and went. That segment of the tablet market was driving tablet sales for a year, year and half there and that’s actually died down considerably.
Fr. Robert: The entire tablet field has died down.
Paul: But I do believe that sales of full size tablets are in fact the majority of that market again. Part of what took it away from mini tablets of course is Fablets. So maybe in 2018 or something Microsoft can come up with a fablet. It just seems like they’re a little behind.
Mary Jo: You know what I think of this. I think this device could fly next year if they kind of change how they position it and market it. What if they position this as the courier. Remember the courier it was to be this dual screen, really cool notebook that you could write in and notate in. This is the currier pretty much with one screen. I don’t know if they could call this a note taking device. Not necessarily lump it in with all the other mini tablets just doing all the same things. Make it very specific to note taking.
Paul: I want to make myself clear, I actually think that device would be wonderful and that the Surface Mini today would be great. I am just giving you my expectation of the perception of it. This is how it will be perceived. In other words, there are absolutely people who read what we write, listen to this podcast, you and I too who want this kind of device, need this kind of device, are looking forward to this kind of device and are going to be very happy to have. But the public perception because it’s Microsoft and this is the way things go. That’s the sad part of this is that it’s just never going to please everybody. They need something that pleases everybody. Can we make one of those?
Fr. Robert: I was just thinking we need something to bring us back up. We’ve been kind of been doing a downer since the start of the show. Paul talk to me about everybody getting firmware. That’s a happy thing right?
Paul: Except I go into Twitter today and people are saying I’m not seeing any firmware updates. I know this is my lot in life. Basically every Surface model ever made has gotten a firmware update today. I believe the non-LTE version of Surface II did not get a firmware update. But if you have Surface RT, Surface Pro I, II or III, Surface II with LTE, you should be getting at least one update. Many have several updates. It works the same way for all of the previous months going all the way back to October 2012 if I am not mistaken where at least some of these devices are getting these updates. It’s all the hardware related stuff. I am not sure if firmware update is always the right word. I notice in some cases they refer to it as a hardware update. A lot of it has to do with the integration between the hardware of the device and the software. It’s something we might have called a driver update in the past. But I think it’s a little more sophisticated than just drivers. This stuff is all over the map, power covers, type covers, and I think of the original Surface RT there’s a hardware update for the start button that’s on the device itself. You know the Windows button. So it’s all over the map. But if you have any Windows device you should be getting your patch Tuesday updates automatically anyway. I think people with Surface devices it makes sense to go and manually check for updates and then download them. Because those firmware updates are important and could really improve matters. Mary Jo has a bit about some more stuff coming, I think next week as well.
Mary Jo: Yeah there is. So I already gave back my Surface Pro III so I couldn’t try this out myself. But there was a wireless update this week for the Surface Pro III. But then Microsoft threw in this little note on the Surface update page saying by the way on July 16th we’re going to come out with more WiFi updates for the Surface Pro III. I don’t know how much you guys have been paying attention but there are a lot of people having WiFi connection issues with the Surface Pro III. There’s a huge thread online about this. I don’t know if the update that came out this week does anything to fix that. I had some people say yes it does. But there is going to be another update next week that I think is supposed to be very much specifically about the WiFi patching.
Paul: I think the right way to say this is that if you have a Surface Pro III you are having WiFi problems you just may not know it. Because some of the problems are connectivity related, where you would clearly know about that. Some of them are Truprint related, in other words the speed you’re getting off of the wireless router. You may not understand it, you may not realize what’s happening and how would you unless you were really paying attention to it. I believe this impacts Surface Pro III period. I think this wireless issue is a problem across the board for everybody. My experience very early on and because of the stuff that was going on with the connective standby/hyper V stuff that I was doing I wasn’t very clear what was what. But I noticed I took the Surface Pro III with me on this most recent trip and aside from my general connectivity issues across every device I own. The Surface Pro III was perhaps the most vexing let’s say. It was the worst of them all.
Fr. Robert: That was the issue with the bandwidth burps. You would see if you were actually watching it and you would see your throughput dip and valley. It was very strange.
Paul: This is the type of thing I don’t really do but I had someone tell me that they had installed some kind of an update. I don’t know what possesses people to even monitor this stuff. But they somehow knew that they were getting a range of speed before this update. Then they installed this Surface update and then they were getting a fifth of that. I think most people would have a vague understanding of where this seems really slow, or it’s not working or why is my home internet connection which always works marked as limited and I can’t get online. There’s just a bunch of stuff. So Mary Jo is right she said that there was a little bit about WiFi in this firmware update but next weeks should hopefully address the rest of it. I think there are actually 3 issues if you will with the WiFi and Surface Pro III overall. Hopefully they’ll all be fixed.
Fr. Robert: Most of the time when you see those sorts of problems with WiFi it has to do with the way they are handling battery management. They can cheat and they can basically turn off the WiFi radio at times and then turn it back on. If they guess intelligently you won’t even notice that it was off. It saves a ton of power. But if you do it wrong or to aggressively then yeah you get issues.
Paul: This is what I would say to people who don’t like this new mobile world we are entering into and want everything the way it was before with just PC’s and no touch and all this kind of stuff. The problem is that we are moving into this future. So PC which has been an amazing diversable device and Windows which has been an amazingly versatile piece of software, has been updated and updated and updated over the years to accommodate all these new technologies and it is these things that screws up Windows and Windows PC’s the most. These transitions between new power management states, the way that hardware integrates with the power management. Whether its the processor itself which is also multi-cores and they could ratchet down put a back on and all that kind of stuff. Wireless hardware like you’re describing this is the stuff, this is the weak link today as we make this constant evolution to the future with the PC. Because the underpinnings of this system they’re 35 years old. It just doesn’t work well.
Fr. Robert: You’re basically replacing an engine in a car that you’re still driving. Every time we update one of these components.
Paul: Right it’s a 72 Super Beetle but it has a Cadillac Engine in it. It’s a very strange thing, ultimately.
Fr. Robert: Speaking of strange things, Mary Jo Foley has some information about Microsoft Support deadlines. What are those?
Mary Jo: Wait, I hope I’m not the strange thing in that Segway. This was a very funny story and I’m sure Paul has this happen to him a lot too. I wrote a post earlier this week about some of the Microsoft support deadlines that are coming up over the next year. I tried to make it really really clear in my post about whether these were mainstream support ending, extended support ending or just complete end of life for the product. For people who don’t know what these distinctions are, Mainstream support means you get free support from Microsoft, you get feature patches, you get product updates and you get security fixes and patches for free. That’s usually a 5 year period from when they launch the product.
Paul: To be clear it’s the first 5 year period.
Mary Jo: It’s the first 5 years right after they launch. Then there’s another 5 year period after that which is called extended support. What happens during that period is you don’t get the feature updates for free anymore but you do get security fixes for free for those 5 years. The main product that’s entering the end of mainstream support and is worrying a number of people is Windows 7. Windows 7 and Windows 7 with service pack 1 are going to end the period of mainstream support, January 13th, 2015. It’s not that far away. But for 5 more years after that, until 2020 you still can use Windows 7 with no problem because Microsoft’s going to keep giving you free security updates to the product. Okay so I wrote this post explaining this very clearly and the headlines that came up on the web were Microsoft’s killing Windows 7, Windows 7 is dead. Microsoft pulling plug on Windows 7 in 7 months. The headlines were crazy and people were bombarding me with emails saying my boss is freaking out. I’ve got to talk him off the ledge. Why did you write this post. I basically said you know what you should read my post not some of these other posts where people are click bate headlines. You should just read the explanation of what these different phases are and don’t get in such a panic. So what is happening is end of mainstream support is happening next year unless Microsoft extends that like they did with XP because so many people are using it especially business customers. We don’t have any evidence that they are planning to extend that right now. The other products that you should know about that are also ending support also in January 2015 include Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Dynamics Nav 2009, Dynamics Nav 2009 R2. Next year as we brought up on last week’s episode Windows server 2003 is ending all kinds of support. Not just extended, not just mainstream but everything on July 14th, 2015. Those are your main dates to know. There’s other things, I have a link in my post about some of the other dates and products. The other big one that people have been asking about is Office 2010 with Service Pack 1 installed. Support ends for that completely this October 2014. But what you can do in that case is just upgrade to the next service pack and you don’t have to worry as much about that. Just go to the next service pack. One more that people have been freaking out about Windows Phone 7.8 mainstream support ends for that September of this year. Again you still have extended support for another 5 years which means you’re still going to get security fixes for 5 more years beyond that.
Paul: No one’s using a Windows Phone for 5 years. You replace your phone every 2 years.
Mary Jo: I know people are freaking out, Paul.
Fr. Robert: I still have a Windows Phone 8 device, somewhere.
Paul: It says 7.8.
Fr. Robert: Oh I’ve got one of those somewhere.
Paul: Ok well it’s going to be supported for 6 more years.
Fr. Robert: Actually I got emails this morning from some of my friends on the East coast who were freaking out over this. They were like Oh my God are they going to get rid of Windows 7. I am thinking the only reason you’re paying attention to this right now is because of everything that’s happened with XP. But I am thinking have you actually read.
Paul: You realize XP was 8 years older than Windows 7. By the way here’s something to put this into a little bit of perspective. Apple released the first Iphone 7 years ago. Does Apple support the first Iphone? Imagine Apple supporting the first Iphone. That’s how Microsoft supports Windows 7. 2 years from now that will be the same amount of time and they’ll still have 3 years to go on extended support.
Fr. Robert: Paul no Microsoft is evil.
Paul: Oh sorry I didn’t get the memo. Just sort of to complete the thought on the whole Windows 7 thing. Windows 7 is interesting in a number of ways but they have released on service pack and then that was it. A lot of people have said why aren’t they going to release a service pack 2 or when are they going to release a service pack 2 what’s going on. If you have ever resuscitated a Windows 7 PC you face a bewildering array of 597 software updates or Window update whatever it is. I’d love to see something like that but honestly given that situation and the difference between today and tomorrow and a year from now, 4 years from now as far as support goes what is the difference. I don’t think this impacts anybody. This transition is a non-event.
Fr. Robert: Again I think the only reason why we are paying attention to it is because we hit the XP end of life and people are thinking oh this is going to be the same thing. Well no, no. First of all there’s a whole lot of years between now and then and secondly XP I think is an outlier, I don’t think you’re going to get that again.
Paul: Well yeah, they extended support for XP several times and I think there’s a big learning to be had on Microsoft's part where they clearly learned that doing so was not necessarily such a good idea. In that they weren’t able to get businesses off of that system as quickly as they wanted too. That’s something they’re going to work at a lot harder for Windows 9 let’s say or Threshold whatever they call it, to get businesses moving into that let’s say or Windows 8 or whatever. Rather than sticking on Windows 7 for many many years going forward. I think Mary Jo last week was talking about the possibility that, that next Windows version could be free for Windows 7 and 8 users. We don’t know if that’s happening or if that’s just a possibility or whatever. But that kind of a move would really help I think to get people upgraded. Which is something, they really didn’t throw a lot of bones XP users because let’s face it they had extended support for so long that if they had rewarded people for staying with the old thing for so many years by giving away a free copy of Windows. I think it would have kind of sent the wrong message to those people who did upgrade.
Fr. Robert: Bottom line everyone, back away from the ledge. It’s going to be okay. We’re here for you. When we come back Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott are going to talk a little bit about some interesting changes to Office 365.
Paul: Just to be clear, we are going to talk a lot about it.
Fr. Robert: We’re going to talk a lot about it.
Paul: Because this is not a little topic.
Fr. Robert: No it’s not. Actually I see in my notes here, the blog post parsing tears. I don’t know exactly what that means but I know I am about to find out.
Paul: I needed some help this morning, let’s put it that way.
Fr. Robert: Actually I think we just found out why Paul is in that under that dark cloud mood. But you know what’s not going to put you under a dark cloud mood. That is having a one stop shop for getting your great idea project portfolio online. That’s why we welcome to the show the 2nd sponsor of this episode of Windows Weekly and that’s SquareSpace. Squarespace is a one stop shop for all your needs on publishing content to the internet. If you’ve ever tried to do it yourself and if you’re not all that tech savvy you understand the difficulties in trying to gather together all the different services and pieces that you need to create a popular blog or a portfolio or a visual website. You have your contract from one company for your domain registration, then from another for your hosting and you’re probably going to have to gather together some open source software packages so you have your backend and your frontend. Maybe you’re using wordpress, maybe you got my sequel in the back. Who knows. If you use Squarespace you won’t have to. Squarespace is the one stop shop for all your content needs. Now they are constantly improving their platform which is why I love talking about Squarespace. They’re not one of these companies that’s content to sit back and look at what they did and say it looks okay. It’s running let’s just leave it alone. No they’re always adding new features, they’re always adding new designs and they’re always giving you even better support. They’ve got beautiful designs. 25 templates to start with and recently they added a logo creator tool which is a basic tool for individuals and small businesses with limited resources who want to create a simple but powerful identity for themselves. It’s also very easy to use. If you want help Squarespace has live chat and email support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But you’re not going to need it because you can always find the answers online in their FAQ’s. Plus there’s a completely redesigned customer help site for easier access to self-help articles and video workshops. They also support E-commerce now available for all subscription plans. Squarespace includes the ability to accept donations. Which is great for non-profits, cash wedding registry and school fund drives. And it’s inexpensive. It starts at just 8 dollars a month and that includes a free domain name if you sign up for a year. Squarespace is always mobile ready. The new Squarespace metric app for Iphone and Ipad allow you to check site stats like page view, unique visitors and social media followers. With a blog update, you can do text updates, tab and drag images to change the layout and monitor comments on the go. In other words you’re always connected to the site, to the portfolio that you’re building. Even their code is beautiful. We all know the Squarespace looks beautiful on the outside but what’s also amazing is all the code inside is beautiful as well. Squarespace takes just as much pride in their backend code as they do in their front end side. That just tells you end to end they know what they are doing. Squarespace also takes care of the hosting so you don’t have to worry about that third party, that you'll be paying another bill too. No you pay one company and they take care of everything for you. So here’s what we want you to do, we want you to start a free 2 week trial with no credit card required and start building your website today. When you decide to sign up for Squarespace, make sure to use the offer code windows to get 10% off and to show your support for Windows Weekly. We thank Squarespace for their support of Windows Weekly. A better web awaits and it starts with a new Squarespace website. I almost loath to come back into this. But hit me, Microsoft is making some changes to Office 365. I take it that neither of you are very happy.
Paul: No I wouldn’t put it that way. There are good changes once you figure out what’s happening.
Fr. Robert: Wow very couched. Well done.
Mary Jo: Yeah you should set the stage about how it affects us today.
Paul: Alright so late this morning Microsoft published about major changes coming to the small and midsize version of Office 365. There are 3 of them, today there are 3 of them. Office 365 small business, small business premium and mid-size business are the names of the SKUs.
Mary Jo: Let me tell you what happened. Paul was in a fetal position under his desk.
Fr. Robert: Paul needs to go beat up a pillow or something. Paul we’ll cut you off for a sec.
Mary Jo: Paul was in a fetal position under his desk and we were I.M.ing and he was like I can’t understand this blog post. Help me walk me through this. So then we started going back and forth trying to help each other figure out what this blog post said because it was kind of convoluted. Paul did a nice write up on it of what he unravelled.
Paul: I finally got through it. First of all I should say, I feel bad for how much I bothered her today about this topic. At one point I said something to the effect of I promise I will not and then I said actually I can’t promise because I already know I have already asked about 42 questions about this. And something tells me I can promise I will try not to bother you further. I don’t know how to say this. I love Office 365. I think it’s a great product line, I think that it makes a lot of sense. It is a no brainer for families on a consumer side. It is close to being a no brainer for small businesses on the business size and for enterprises of course. But if there is a downside to Office 365 it’s that there is too much of it. There’s this explosion of versions and skues and services you can tack on. It’s really hard to get it into your head. By the way a week ago or 10 days ago wrote an article called Office 365 primer. Because I have so many questions from people who don’t understand which is which. They’ll hear about a deal like I just heard One Drive for business was being upgraded with one terabyte of storage, I have Office 365 home premium when do I get that? Well you don’t get that, thats an offer for the business versions. I just figured I would clear up the whole thing and write a really long post explaining all the different stuff and here we are 10 days later or whatever and they’ve already changed it all. In the fall they are changing the offerings that they are giving to small businesses and to midsize businesses. The way they describe it, it’s not fair to say it’s inaccurate but they don’t do a good job of saying if you have this now here’s the new one. If you have this now, here’s the new one. They completely skip over the fact that one of these things that they are describing is in fact a new version of a product called Office 365 Pro Plus. Which they don’t even mention in this post at all. It’s kind of a convoluted thing because if you are currently a subscriber to Office 365 small business or small business premium then in that effect you can move forward pretty seamlessly. You’ll pay no more. You won’t save any money but you’ll pay no more with the new plans. You’ll get some additional services that frankly probably won’t matter to you. So it’s a net, I don’t want to call it a win but it’s fine it’s no big deal. If you’re on the midsize business plan there are significant savings to be had so that’s of course good news. But it’s just like we’re going to change the name of everything. It’s like they threw it all into a blender and it’s really hard to parse.
Fr. Robert: Well we’ve got several people in the chat room saying Daddy Thurrott could you just explain to us the difference between business and pro. Just give us that, please.
Paul: As my head explodes, Business and what? So Mary Jo is the voice of reason and is my Yoga master.
Mary Jo: I am not the voice of Sauron though.
Paul: No, No. You are a treasure, let’s be clear. She really, really helped me with this today.
Mary Jo: I think you were just over tired.
Paul: They just did a terrible job of explaining this.
Mary Jo: They did. Here’s the really quick way to think about the 3 plans. Office 365 for business is just software that’s priced as a subscription. You can install the Office apps on up to 5 PC’s. Okay there you go. Office 365 Business essentials is no software but only services. This is if you want exchange online, Lync online, Sharepoint online, that’s the one to pick. If you want both, if you want the software and the services you want Business premium. Those are the 3 SKUs. That’s what you need to know. The part that Paul and I were kind of crying over this morning is how they are going to roll this out. How they are going to roll this out is super complicated. I would advise anybody who’s thinking about this to go read their blog post and see if you can figure it out any better than we did. But the short version of this is, Microsoft is turning on these new plans on October 1st this year. If you want to get them you can proactively upgrade to them right then. But they are advising people to wait. They are saying you know what just wait until your subscription is going to renew of your current plan. At that point you can upgrade to these new plans. So they are not going to stop you from upgrading I don’t think. But they are also not encouraging you to upgrade and to sweeten the deal and try to keep you happy as long as you’re not upgraded they’re throwing in some new freebies for you. I wouldn’t call them freebies but new features. An example is, everybody's going to have a seat cap of 300 on those new plans starting October 1st.
Paul: It used to be 25 for the small business versions.
Fr. Robert: Guys, why is it so difficult for Microsoft to explain this stuff in a language that people can understand? I don't get it, this happens time and time again.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I don't know.
Paul: This is incredible. Because we've only hit the tip of the iceberg so far, but go on. I'm sorry.
Mary Jo: Another thing they're going to do is people who are paying more now for Office 365 Midsize Business, when you upgrade, I think they're going to reimburse you for the period of time when they are changing the price. So you won't lose money, you'll be getting it back and so I guess it'll be retroactive until October 1st, 2014. But then they had a bunch of caveats in this thing like, some customers will be unable to opt in and they won't be able to move to the plans. We don't know which customers those are, so you might be in that unlucky group. We don't even know who they are or why at this point. So Paul and I are both going to be at the Partner show next week and they are promising that they are going to help us understand more details in person while we're there so I hope they will do that.
Paul: So I haven't read it and it could read like the gibberish that the guy in The Shining was writing when he was plotting to kill his family, but I tried to write a post that summarized this more accurately maybe than Microsoft did and so hopefully it doesn't read as insane as the actual act of writing it was, but the way I approach this is like; There are people who subscribe to Office 365 now. What will they be moving to and how will this impact them? So if you have an Office 365 Small Business subscription today, you're paying $5 per user per month. $60/yr and you get the online services Exchange online, SharePoint online, Lync online. You will migrate over to Business Essentials, which is the same basic product line and some additional stuff. You get a new cap on users, which again, I don't think it impacts small businesses at all but whatever. There's some Yammer and Active Directory integration, which I don't think will impact small business very much either, but it's whatever it's there. Same price, good simple. I don't know why they couldn't have just said that but I'm telling you now it's simple. They don't mention a product called Office 365 Pro+ in their post at all, it's one of their offerings. It costs$100/yr and is the software subscription that Mary Jo was just talking about. It's the Office Suite that you can install on up to five PCs and I think you can get a terrabyte of OneDrive for Business storage as well, or will soon. They don't mention that, I don't know why but Office 365 Business is that exact product from what I can tell.
Mary Jo: No, it's not Paul. Sorry, I'm going to make you cry again. At least one thing is missing from the new Office 365, Access. Access isn't in there in the new plan but it is in the Pro+ Plan.
Paul: Of course, good. So this is something new that's great.
Fr. Robert: Add that to your chart. Somebody at Microsoft, some department at Microsoft must be able to make sense of this. Licensing is getting together and they're saying, this is what's going to make us a lot of money.
Paul: They need to work on it, they really need to work on it.
Mary Jo: You know what's sad? I was at the Partner show last year and there were a lot of partners who said, we compete with Google head-to-head in the small business base in this area and what makes them very successful in SMB's is their plans are very simple and clear cut.
Paul: Plans? You mean their plan.
Mary Jo: I think they have two, don't they?
Paul: No, okay.
Mary Jo: And so you could just go into a customer and say, here's what you get if you subscribe to Google Apps or Google Docs and with Office 365, okay, you get a ton of choices and a ton of features but there's no elevator pitch. There's no way to explain this thing in like a minute. It's like, oh well you get this and that...
Paul: It reminds me, when I was looking for a car last year we went to a Toyota dealership nearby and we were looking at a vehicle with this certain kind of seats but they weren't heated and we live in Boston so it gets cold during the Winter so heated seats make a lot of sense. And the sort of shiester auto dealer guy said, oh no don't worry about it we can add heated seats here. It's not a Toyota thing, it's something we could do. So my wife and I looked at each other like, oh give me a break, we're not buying a car here and so we left. That's what that reminds me of. It's like there's all this stuff, like here's a million options, and it's too bad because Office 365 is so great- And it is a great value, I currently pay for Office 365 Small Business Premium, which will become Office 365 Business Premium and they've kind of melded it together with what is currently the mid-size version. -And you get Office on 5 PC's, you get the online services, you will soon get the one terrabyte of storage. It's $12.50 per user/mo and $150/yr. You can do all of this like buy project, buy video, buy dynamics, I can buy more storage and it's almost too granular.
Paul: Yeah, good way of putting it.
Fr. Robert: I understand why they're doing it, they believe in offering all of these different plans they allow for the granular control for businesses, enterprises, individuals to pick exactly what they need but the end result is it's ridiculously confusing.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it is.
Paul: That's exactly what it is. The great part- And Mary Jo kind of hit the tip of this a bit. -But because it's like a business product that Microsoft supports and they know that businesses are leary about moving to online services and so they want to give them the kind of guarantees that they can and so forth. They have a policy where they will province 12 months of notice to any changes to the course subscription. So you pay annually for Office 365, you could pay per month but it's an annual subscription. So let's say you were due in September so September comes and you renew. It's one month before the October 1st switch-over to these new versions of the service. Then October 1st comes and Microsoft says, hey by the way, we just changed to these new versions and you can migrate over at any time. You'll either save money or there will be no cost difference at all, depending on what kind of subscription you have. Would you like to do it now? You can say no and you can keep saying no and then October 1, 2015 comes around and you subscribe again. Because you're still in the old plane you can keep going. You can literally keep using what will be a deprecated version of Office 365 all the way though the September 30, 2016 I believe. Like, what? Why...? It's the same thing, it's just the same thing.
Mary Jo: Yeah I know.
Paul: I don't even under-
Fr. Robert: But it's not the same thing because they have different skews. I think you fail to see that.
Paul: You're right, I do fail to see it.
Mary Jo: There are so many skews. And we're not even getting into like people who say to us, what about the Home version, or the personal version? Which, both are called Office 365 but they really have no real connection with these other things that are called Office 365.
Paul: Yeah, they don't.
Fr. Robert: Okay folks, I'm going a little crazy. Can we step away a little bit from the doom and gloom because I actually have a good story about Microsoft, they did something right. Can I talk a little bit about that?
Paul: I'm dying to hear about that.
Fr. Robert: Good, alright so back in 2012- And Mary Jo covered this one extensively. -Microsoft bought Store Simple. It was a company that specialized in Cloud storage solutions. Well in 2013 Microsoft made the bold proclamation that Store Simple was going to become their next billion dollar company or idea. We didn't see a whole lot until just now. Mary Jo Foley wrote an article about how Microsoft has just announced two new Store Simple Arrays. It's the 8000 series, the 8100 and the 8600 and these arrays are baked with Azure services. They have Azure Store Simple manager and Azure Store Simple Virtual Appliance. Now, to be clear, these are not private cloud in a box, which I'll ask Mary Jo to talk about in just a little bit, which is basically taking your own little bit of Azure and tucking it away into your premise. The idea behind these arrays is it gives you a nice easy way to have on-premise storage that can be managed through the cloud and it can automatically use Azure services as it's backup. So think of an enterprise solution that you don't have to bother with backing up. It's a very simple idea, and I had to read this a couple of times to make sure that was just it but then I realized no, simple is good. We just talked about Office 365 being so complicated, this is a good idea. You buy the Storage Array and you don't have to worry about juggling tapes or juggling hard drives because you've got Azure services on your back end taking care of all your data backups. This is a good idea, I could really see this booming for Microsoft especially if they increase the level of integration, both with Azure services and Windows stored server. Mary Jo, you covered this and so are you excited about this?
Mary Jo: I knew you would be, Padre. I was like Padre is going to be on the show, he likes enterprise and this is going to be like hardcore enterprise right here. Yeah, I think it's cool. I think it's a good and interesting thing they're doing. This is like a way that people who have some data that they frequently access and some data that they don't frequently access can kind of divvy those two things up and put the non-frequently accessed data in the cloud and keep the frequently accessed data on-prem if they want to do that. You could also make this your disaster recovery solution. There's a lot of different things you could do with this and I was wondering what Microsoft was going to do with Store Simple. We just didn't hear a lot about it ever since they did buy the company a couple of years ago so it's intriguing to see how they're tying into Azure with this and how- Sadly, I've had a couple of people note that the first versions of the Store Simple Arrays that they came out with are not going to support the new Azure services. -The two that you mentioned, but these new ones are going to be available August 1st, so that's very soon now. I think it's good and I think it's going to help Microsoft convince some more people to dabble with the cloud through kind of a hybrid cloud approach, so goodness I think.
Fr. Robert: Where this really helps Microsoft is now they've got a serious contender in the software defying network category. This is, by definition, a software defying network resource. As you said, if you can dynamically allocate storage and decide what can be in the Cloud and what can be on-premise all within the same storage manager, then you can also tie that into the... Whatever you're using to control your software defying network. I mean, this is a fantastic solution. Maybe we're not talking it up enough, but this is different. No one else is doing this, and it's a truly hybrid Cloud solution for storage and it's hooked into an established Cloud service player. It's great, it very well could be a billion dollar idea.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: Can I ask some questions about this product because at 11 am this morning, this Office 365 thing happened and my head imploded and this also happened, and I have to say, I did not have the mental faculty to handle this story after the other one- This is a rather complex topic as well. -So this is, in fact, on-prem storage. It's not designed to be like a sync point to the Cloud per say. It's not a front end to Cloud-based storage, it's literally a storage ray that sits on-prem.
Fr. Robert: It is a physical storage array that sits on-prem but it has Azure baked into it. So as Mary Jo was saying-
Paul: Well it has the Windows server Azure services running.
Fr. Robert: Right, there's two Azure services that are built in, the call it the Store Simple Manager and the Store Simple Virtual Appliance. What you can do is, again, because it's a Cloud-based hybrid storage system, you can decide what stays on-prem and what goes in the Cloud.
Paul: Yeah, you can manage that from your Azure Cloud web app and interface or whatever.
Fr. Robert: Where this becomes exciting is if you're an IT manager, one of the most painful tasks you have to deal with is storage. Either backing up storage or increasing the storage plan. This gives you a way to use just that single array and decide, you know what? This stuff hasn't been accessed for 10 months, we're going to push it off to the Cloud.
Paul: Push it out to the Cloud, okay good. And this obviously is targeting larger businesses this isn't a smaller business offer necessarily. And I assume no one else is bothered by the fact that they're using the word 'appliance' to refer to something that is in fact a rack-mounted humongous piece of Terminator machinery.
Fr. Robert: That's an appliance, a refrigerator is an appliance.
Paul: Okay, that's a good point.
Mary Jo: And what's confusing here is Microsoft won't call it an 'appliance' right, they call it a storage array but what makes it sort of confusing is they have the virtual machine that is called Virtual Appliance in this. So they don't want to call it an appliance but when Store Simple was a stand-alone company, they used to call their product an appliance so yeah.
Fr. Robert: Of course, Microsoft Marketing is coming in next week and they're creating three different versions of Store Simple. That will be Business, Essentials, and Pro.
Paul: Nice. Nice, wait for the Home and Personal versions too. We'll have a USB drive that they named Store Simple To-Go.
Fr. Robert: Store Simpler. Now Mary Jo, this is also a companion piece to Microsoft announcing the Private Cloud in a Box. That's actually interesting as well, and that should be its own announcement. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Mary Jo: Well I can but the reason you haven't heard a lot about it is because they haven't announced it yet. This information is from a source of mine, who told me information that had not been announced yet. So back in 2010, Microsoft announced that they were going to do a kind of Azure in a Box type thing where they had a bunch of partners including HP and Fujitsu, and I think IBM also... Who were going to build servers that Microsoft was going to pre-configure and rax and sell to customers that they could run on-premises. A couple of years went by, nothing really ever happened and I kept asking Microsoft, where's the Cloud in the Box thing? And they would say, oh yeah it's coming it's coming. And it never came, so finally my sources said that they killed it. I think they officially killed it inside of last year and of course, they didn't announce that it was killed. But now, interestingly, I hear that they're going to come back and try this again. There's a new appliance type thing that my sources are calling an Azure Appliance, code name San Diego which is kind of interesting. I don't know when this is going to come out but Microsoft is going back to the drawing board again, they're going to take some off-the-shelf commodity servers, they're going to pre-install them in racks and this time around they're going to use the Azure Pack. I guess that's just what it is called now. So the Azure Pack provides some of the Cloud services that Microsoft has with Azure, that you, yourself as an IT shop or a partner can run on-premises. And that's what's going to be kind of the guts and the heart of the appliance this time around. It's going to make you some Windows storage spaces, I hear Microsoft may directly sell and support this so I don't know what that means in terms of how partners will be involved. I'm sure there will be some partner angle where they integrate this with your Azure Cloud or your other on-premises apps. And yeah, this is supposedly coming sometime- I can't say this year, next year, I don't know when but it does seem like early days from what my sources are saying. But this thing does exist, it has a code name, it's out there and I'm not exactly sure where it is on the road map.
Fr. Robert: And this is clearly a piece of hardware that's designed to massage the fears of IT people who worry that they're going to be cut off from their services if they put everything in the Cloud. If it's your private Cloud, you control it, you maintain it, you secure it and you have access to it as long as you have access to your physical plan, that's a good thing. And since it duplicates Azure services on a small basis, it also means that everything you do can very easily be pushed up to the Cloud.
Mary Jo: Right and you know, it's a good way to get some of these larger IT shops, who are still kind of dragging their feet about the Cloud, to kind of maybe try the hybrid Cloud approach. You know, like, hey my data is still on-prem, I am using some of the things that people call 'Cloud services' but I'm not really going all in with the public Cloud. It's a way for them to sort of wade in and I think Microsoft's helping.
Fr. Robert: Right, a little toe in the shallow end.
Mary Jo: A little toe.
Fr. Robert: Now when we come back; Mary Jo, Paul Thurrott do you think we could talk about how Microsoft saved the internet?
Mary Jo: Sure.
Paul: Maybe as a benefit the many and disadvantage a few kind of thing.
Fr. Robert: The benefits of the many outweigh the....
Paul: Everything comes back to Star Trek.
Fr. Robert: No, but first, let's take a break to thank the third sponsor of this week of Windows Weekly. And that is, of course, Audible. Audible is the #1 purveyor of audio books and audio treats, they have more than 150,000 titles across all types of literature including Fiction, Non-Fiction, or my favorite Sci-Fi Fantasy. For listeners of Windows Weekly, Audible is offering you a free audio book to give you a chance to try out their service and we recommend that you do. In fact, I think we have a couple of Audio book choices, last week I was telling Mary Jo and Paul about The Martian by David Weir, I believe. I forget the author because I was so engrossed in it. I downloaded this probably about a month ago for my trip from Las Vegas to the Bay area and I tell you, it was 10 hours long and it gripped me. It was one of those books where I sat in the parking lot of our house in San Francisco for about 30 minutes just so I could hear the end of it. It was one of those driving a lot moments. And Paul, I know that you had a choice that you wanted to talk about right?
Paul: Yeah, I have friends who have started a publishing company in France called La French Book. And they, for much of their careers actually, do translations between English and French in France. So they started this publishing company so they could bring French books to the English language, and so I've read some of these and most of them were pretty good. Actually, one of them in particular was very very good and recently they started making Audible translations, as well. It's in English, otherwise I wouldn't be recommending a French book per se, I guess but 2 of the books from La French Book are available now on Audible and one of them I like quite a bit. The interesting thing is the readings are a little different but I've actually read both of these books. I've read them on a Kindle, but the book that I like the most, I actually think the reading is a little stiffer, unfortunately. At least it seems that way with the sample you can get on Audible. But the two books are called, "The Greenland Breach" by Bernard Besson and "The Bleiberg Project" by David Khara, which is a great book and is kind of like a Jason Bourne type of book, actually. It's quite a neat story, my hope is that there will be more of these things and I bet there are, it's just in the original language, French, and hopefully more will be coming to English as well. But these are cool little books.
Fr. Robert: You said like Jason Bourne type stories?
Paul: Yeah. A lot of the books that they publish have kind of the French connection, if you will, in the sense that they will be recognizable as French, if that makes any sense. A lot of them are mysteries and thrillers and things like that but they have titles like, "The Paris Lawyer" or one of those excellent ones was called, " Treachery in Bordeaux." You know, that kind of thing. So it's a neat little business that they have going and the books are good but now they're available on Audible as well.
Fr. Robert: There you have it folks, if you want something a little cultured maybe, perhaps a little bit of international flavor, try the titles from La French Book, it's highly recommended. Also if you are looking for a book to try out I recommend The Martian and see if you can figure out all of the challenges that you would have to face if you were to be abandoned on Mars. Is that a spoiler? I think that's a spoiler. Yeah, he gets abandoned on Mars. One audio book you may consider downloading is of course, my choice, The Martian. The other, would be one of- I'm going to call him Jason LaBourne? What was the title of those books you liked again?
Paul: Which one? Oh the other ones that I said I was going to mispronounce? It's like The Bleiberg Project. I know I'm going to hear about this one because I didn't pronounce it correctly but...
Fr. Robert: Yeah, make sure to go to audible.com/windows to get your free trial and your free audio book, that's audible.com/windows and we thank Audible for their support of Windows Weekly. Now we just talked a little bit about some great moves that Microsoft is making in enterprise. Mary Jo and I are both enterprise people and are very happy with what we see. And now let's talk about how- I couch this in with good intentions. -How Microsoft planned to save the internet from some horrible, horrible spammers; Horrible malware, virus, hackers, black hat-type folks and maybe ended up with some bad results. Last week, Microsoft convinced the judge to turn over a chunk of IP addresses and domains from dynamic domain hosting service, No-IP. Within those IP addresses were hosted domains that had allegedly been used by Mohammad Benabdeljalil, believed to be living in Nigeria and Nizar Al Matarí, believed to be living in Kuwait. Now, these two are believed two are black hat hackers who have used those domains as vectors for malware infection. So Microsoft claimed that No-IP had not done enough to protect the internet from the wills of these two hackers and they convinced a federal judge to give them an order to turn over the IP's and the domains to Microsoft. Their plan was to drop everything onto their Azure Cloud and as soon as they turn it on they'd be able to dynamically filter the good traffic from the bad traffic. In other words, they'd be able to serve the almost 14 million customers of No-IP with Azure service but blocking any attack traffic. Say any, amplification attack bots. And it all worked perfectly. Actually no it didn't, I was just kidding about that. It was a horrible horrible mess. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just end the story like that? And it worked. Everything was fine, Microsoft saved the day. But no, it didn't. There was no happily ever after because what happened after Microsoft took control of the No-IP domains, Azure died. It just couldn't handle the sheer volume of traffic coming through the DNS services. Not only that, the dynamic filtering didn't work out. What Microsoft had not counted on was that you'd have good traffic and bad traffic coming from the same domain. A lot of these computers had been compromised so in blocking off bad traffic, they were essentially killing off customers of No-IP. Well just a few days later, Microsoft cried uncle and turned the domains back over to No-IP. So they're currently getting everybody that Microsoft blocked turned back on after a big long blog post about exactly what happened and all of the things that they were doing to fix Microsoft's blunder. Mary Jo Foley, why would Azure fold? I mean, yeah 14 million sites is a lot but it's designed to handle a lot more than that. There's a lot of horsepower and a lot of scalability in Azure. Even if, as someone suggested, they were getting a billion requests from those 14 million No-IP domains, Azure shouldn't have died.
Mary Jo: Shouldn't have.
Fr. Robert: Okay. Well...
Mary Jo: I don't know what to say about that one. Yeah, you know sometimes you see Microsoft doing these bot net take-downs and you're like, yeah great! This is exactly what they need to be doing and then something like this happens and you're saying well, maybe they went a little too far. But like you said, best intentions gone awry on this one. I don't know what to say.
Paul: Best intentions gone awry is the plot of every horror movie ever made. It is, isn't it?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Fr. Robert: Because we've had cases like this just early last year the Feds seized a bot net network and they killed off a ton of malware traffic. Microsoft was hoping to do the same thing. And again, their intentions were right, which was, maybe No-IP doesn't have the facilities to be able to filter out bad traffic. Well how about this, we'll take care of their customers if you sign this order giving us control of their domains and their IPs. We'll drop it onto Azure and everything will be good. You'll kill off two spammers or malware artists, and everyone will have fantastic service and will hire Microsoft and we'll look good in the press. Then it blew up. I hate to keep whacking Microsoft but this is just one of those blunders where you just kind of shake your head, saying, what were you thinking? Taking domains away from a competitor. No-IP is a competitor, they compete in the same space as Microsoft. When would that ever be a good idea?
Mary Jo: I don't know. I'm looking at ARS Technica right now and they're saying that Microsoft has formally settled the legal differences with No-IP now over this.
Fr. Robert: Oh yeah, there's definitely going to be some settlement there because No-IP had to work overtime.
Paul: They gave them some Store Simple servers.
Mary Jo: And it was all good after that.
Fr. Robert: No it was like, hey you know what? We'd like to offer you 1,000 free licenses for Microsoft 365 Essentials.
Paul: There you go. They're like, which one is that again?
Mary Jo: Yeah. Which one, we're confused...
Paul: Did we just get ripped off? What is this thing we just agreed to?
Fr. Robert: Business, is it business? Or no, maybe Pro. I can't remember, sorry. Okay, cleansing breath. Okay. This has been a bad week for Microsoft I think, aside from two announcements about enterprise products, it hasn't been a good week.
Mary Jo: Eh, I don't know. I don't know if I'd say it was a bad week.
Fr. Robert: Microsoft does have good weeks, there's a reason why I still use Microsoft products. Just, this one seemed to be really- Anywhere I looked, I kept having to report on bad Microsoft stuff.
Mary Jo: I'd say, you know- I'd give them a mixed grade for the week. I think it's great that everybody gets Surface firmware updates this week. Because a lot of people, especially some of the Surface RT users were saying, they're forgetting about us. But at least we get an update, right?
Mary Jo: And Office 365, I think the pricing on some of these plans is going to be really interesting for some of these customers and potential customers but they just need to make it a little bit simpler. So I think they're going in the right direction, I wouldn't say it was a bad week but I would say, there's always room for improvement.
Paul: If you really want to put a positive spin on it, I was just going to say that from our perspective- Mary Jo and I especially. -Their inability to communicate effectively has given us great careers so... You know, thanks.
Fr. Robert: That's actually an episode in a nutshell because both the saving the internet and the Office 365 confusion, it's both just an inability to communicate. Good intentions, both of them. And actually Mary Jo I think you're dead-on, some of the pricing is actually very good and very attractive, just not very well communicated. I think if Microsoft had approached the 'let's save the internet' with a bit more honesty and a little less, 'yeah this will absolutely fix it' but come to the open-source community and saying, hey is this a solution? They would've looked like heroes.
Paul: They actually have a pretty good track record for this kind of thing and they've had enough legal successes taking down bot nets and so forth that I think that this just kind of surprised them. I think the one thing that everyone needs to understand is that they never forget, they always learn their lesson, they'll always reference this going forward. I don't mean to say there won't be any more stupidity along these lines in the future but, this will inform everything they do like this going forward. They'll never not remember this and not take this kind of thing into consideration. It's weird and it's too bad but it's-
Fr. Robert: Paul, I live in hope. I live in constant hope that one day someone at Microsoft will wake up and go, oh you know what? Let's not do that.
Paul: Well someone at Microsoft probably does wake up and say that every day but it's getting the rest of the guys to go along.
Fr. Robert: And he probably forgets it by the time he gets to the office. Alright let's get to the picks of the week. We've got actually a nice slate here.
Paul: Yeah, I was asking Mary Jo before the show about Eric Ligman and I now actually believe that I might have talked to him in the context of Small Business Server and possibly Essentials.
Mary Jo: Oh okay.
Paul: I'm not 100% sure but there's a guy named Eric Ligman who works at Microsoft, he's a good guy and he is keeping track of the free E-books that Microsoft offers. And Microsoft in fact, offers a ton of free books. In fact, he has a list right now of, I guess let's just say it's over 150 free Microsoft E-books. They're available in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB usually but always in PDF. Just a wide range of topics. Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals, Windows 8.1 Deployment Guide, it just goes on and on and on. Lots of Windows 8.1, Office 365- They'll have to update those because they just changed everything and it just goes on and on and on. I've got a link to this in the show notes and I Tweeted about it. I should probably write something up about this but this is an amazing, amazing resource of just absolutely free and largely high quality products by Microsoft products and technologies. And all in one place, and done by an individual at Microsoft. Why Microsoft doesn't have a URL called microsoft.com/books, I don't know but here it is.
Fr. Robert: They might need to communicate that better.
Paul: I know, it's weird. It's like it's kind of an endemic problem they have. So check that out and I'll Tweet it again, it's such a great resource. And then on the software pick side I actually have three so I'll try to burn through these quickly but the first one is a new video editing app for Windows phone 8.1 specifically, and in fact, I've since found out that it may be specifically for Lumia devices, for Nokia devices that was just published by Microsoft Mobile which is the former Nokia. It allows you to do on-device editing of videos that you've taken with the phone. So you've taken a little home movie, you can edit it. It is a fantastic app and it has a wide range of functionality, all kinds of things you can do with the videos right on the app and then of course, you can use the Windows phone to share them, however you share your things. This is an amazing app, especially if you have a bigger screen device, hopefully like an Icon, a 930, or a 1520 it's especially good but I was editing a video off of a smaller device earlier this morning as well and it's very nice so check that out if you can. Number two, the Twitter app was updated for Windows phone and this was for all versions of Windows phone. I believe 7.5, 8, and 8.1 and I'm having a hard time keeping track of this one in my head but I believe this is the first public version of the Twitter app that supports the new social extensibility framework in Windows phone 8.1, meaning that this is the version of the app that you need to do the social networking integration if you use Twitter. I think that's true, but regardless of whether or not that's true it has a bunch of new features. So no matter which version of Windows phone you're using you can do things like upload multiple photos in a single Tweet, tag your friends in a photo, that kind of stuff. So a bunch of enhancements there, obviously it's free. This one I haven't tried yet but Microsoft recommended this today or yesterday maybe but as we move forward to Cloud-based solutions for everything we start to leave behind things that a lot of people are really attached to. For example, there are people who have their carefully crafted mp3 collections that they have fine-tuned themselves on their PC that they'd like to move from device to device. They don't want it up on the Cloud because Xbox music maybe screws up their metadata, they don't trust the other services, whatever it may be. And so they kind of miss the Zune software. Or the Media Center folks who love having a media center PC in their living room and they have their various over the air or cable car type connections so they can record shows and stuff in HD, they love that kind of stuff. They don't want Cloud services, necessarily like Netflix or Hulu+ or whatever. This free app, I believe it's for Windows phone 8 and Windows phone 8+, kind of speaks to this audience. Where you're someone who has kind of a lot of content on your PC or in a media center PC, probably even on a home server, although again, I haven't actually tried it yet. It's called On Air Player, it's not made by Microsoft but it was recommended by Microsoft. What it allows you to do is you install the app on some media center PC that, say, you have a bunch of media on. And then from a Windows phone, or tablet, or laptop- Whatever. -You can access that collection over the home network. Which, back in the day this was a very common functionality. You can do this through Windows Media Player and all kinds of other things but it's a modern app that runs on Windows Metro platform and it you know, obviously supports touch and all that kind of stuff. It's sort of a modern take on a classic way of centralizing your media storage somewhere in the house on some PC with storage and then getting it out to your TV, or getting it out to your tablet up in a kids bedroom, or getting it out to your phone if you're sitting on the couch or whatever it is. I'm going to check it out this week, I haven't looked at it yet, I wanted to throw it out and not forget about it and hopefully this will meet the need for some people who've moved on to Windows 8 because they have to or because they're Microsoft guys that move along but you kind of miss some of that old school stuff or maybe you just have those big collections sitting on a PC somewhere. Something to check out it's called On Air Player.
Fr. Robert: I actually think I just downloaded it right now.
Paul: Yeah, be careful clicking on links.
Fr. Robert: Oh, sorry. It does kind of remind me of the old school Windows Media Player days. Having a nice little storage box in the basement that you can kind of just pull everything up to, that's not a bad model. Mary Jo Foley with your enterprise pick of the week.
Mary Jo: Yes, my Enterprise pick of the week is for US government, whether you are a federal, state or local user. If you are, and you also happen to be interested in Microsoft Dynamics CRM online, which is Microsoft hosted CRM product. You may be very interested in something they are building for launch in the first quarter of 2015. What this is, is the Dynamics CRM online for government crowd. And if you are kind of curious how this works, Microsoft already has very similar models of this for Office 365, they have an Office 365 government cloud. And for Azure, the one for Azure is still in preview. What it is, is kind of an isolated version that is still multi-tenant, CRM online in this case, that is operated only by US citizens and has all kinds of government compliance like with the Fed ramp standard, for example. It is meant to be more secure, more lock down, and more attuned to people who are government customers. So this is one of the things that Microsoft is going to talk about next week at the partner conference. But they gave us a little preview of it today in advance. They are going to be really talking this up to their partners at the show. Because they are trying to sell this as another way to get more government customers into Microsoft’s hosted offerings. Like Azure, Office 365 and CRM. So that is my enterprise pick of the week and I don't have a date when it is going go into public preview or private preview. I asked, but I haven’t heard back. But, 2/1/2015 is supposedly the launch of this.
Fr. Robert: Is that tied together at all with the transparencies centers that Microsoft built out? It sounds like they are hitting the same sectors, actually in probably the same cities. This idea of Microsoft being willing to let any government agency take a peek at the code to make sure that everything is on the up and up with their conservancies.
Mary Jo: I don’t know, but I wonder now that you said that, if it is tied in.
Fr. Robert: Code name pick of the week?
Mary Jo: Code name pick of the week is something that has been a code name pic before. It is code name Oslo. And what this is, is going to be an Office 365 app coming out later this year. What it is, the easy way to think about it is, that it is kind of like Flip Board for Office 365. It helps you find information about a lot of different things and see it in a very graphical view. So you can have things like contact cards, documents you have found or need to access when you’re in a meeting. It is all presented to you in a very nice experience, as Microsoft likes to call it. The reason it is the code name pick of the week again today is that Microsoft announced today that the final name of Oslo is going to be Delve. which, we predicted on Windows weekly a few episodes today. So it is nice to see that we were right on that. I would like to add that anybody who is interested in this or wants to keep up with it, there is a new Twitter account @officedelve that you can follow to get updates as Microsoft begins bringing this out and making it available to testers, which I don’t think it is yet. It may be very soon, but not yet.
Fr. Robert: Nice. My favorite part of the show, even though I don’t drink beer, I love to hear you talk about beer pics. Now, I will confess that I was a little confused when I saw the docket because all I could see was Fremont pills. And I thought, can you take beer pills? And then I realized oh, Pilsener.
Mary Jo: So, my beer pick of the week this week is a style of beer that I don't normally drink and don’t normally like very much, the Pilsener. But it is such a great summer beer. The one I picked is from Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania. It is called Victory Prema Pils. If you are going to drink a Pils, this one is definitely one of the best ones. It is somewhat hoppy for Pils, not really crazy hoppy though. Just really nice, easy drinking. 5.3% ABV. It is very good. It is also considered a German Pilsener, so I don’t want to bribe any salt in wounds after what happened in the World Cup this week, but it is a German cup and we will leave it at that.
Paul: We will call it dominant Pils there!
Fr. Robert: You can get seven of those for every one Brazilian beer that you can get.
Mary Jo: I don’t want to insult our Brazilian listeners or make them feel any worse than they are ready fill.
Fr. Robert: That was brutal. I was rooting against Brazil the entire tournament but…
Paul: It was almost as exciting as a baseball game.
Fr. Robert: Stop.
Paul: It was like a hockey game broke out there for a second.
Fr. Robert: I actually have a beer pick, actually it is a beer tech pick of the week. I saw this and I immediately thought of Windows Weekly. This is from Gizmoto. Evidently the Minnesota Twins will be getting the very first beer vending machine for a US sports team. Now customers will first have to visit a manned register and show ID in order to purchase a prepaid debit card for either $10, $20 or $50. Then they can visit any of the draft served vending machines that are located around the park. The idea is that you check your ID once, and then you never have to stand in line. You just go to a vending machine, plug it in and get your beer. They have four different types of beer.
Paul: Frequent flyer program for alcoholics.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. So no one can check to see if you are drunk, you just keep going. You can have the choice of four different beers ranging in price from $.38 an ounce for Bud Light or $.40 an ounce for Pale Ale. This is actually what it looks like. This is the draft served machine. Now the funny thing about this is, you still need a manned booth in order to sell the cards and check IDs. And they still have people who watch the machines to make sure that no under-age drinkers will just borrow cards from somebody else. So it is not completely automated. But what I was thinking, Mary Jo, is to combine that with this. This is a pizza vending machine. Now when I say pizza vending machine, I don’t mean that it microwaves frozen pizzas. I mean that this machine, after you choose, just like a soda machine you choose your type of pizza, it will make the pizza from the raw ingredients stored inside the vending machine. You will see it mix the flour, grind it up and then turn it into the crust, put the tomato…
Paul: Does it come out of that slot? Like is that slot there for the pizza?
Fr. Robert: Yeah it just slides right out.
Mary Jo: How long does this take?
Fr. Robert: 2 1/2 minutes to make the pizza and then another five minutes or so for it to cook the pizza.
Mary Jo: It doesn’t seem like that’s so great. You don’t want to stand around a vending machine waiting.
Fr. Robert: But this is food art. Think about that.
Fr. Robert: I'm just thinking that if you put this next to a beer vending machine you are going to sell so much beer.
Mary Jo: Yes, you would.
Fr. Robert: I’m just thinking this could be a business model for Microsoft.
Mary Jo: Internet of things, I can see it. It can run Windows.
Fr. Robert: There it is. You can see your pizza cooking. It is not the food, per se, it is the ability to actually see a robot make a pizza.
Paul: Is the experience.
Fr. Robert: It is the experience. There you go. So, look at it now. That is the future of food and entertainment at ballparks. Well, Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott did we miss anything? Was there any news that we should’ve included that we didn’t? Anything that slipped between the cracks?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Paul: There is?
Mary Jo: Yes, there is. Next week, Paul and I are going to be in Washington DC for the Worldwide Partner Conference. And we are going to have a tweet-up on Tuesday night, it is going to be at the City Tap House, which is really close to the convention center. You can walk over there, no matter how hot it is in DC next week. We are going to be there starting at 4:00 PM. You don’t need to RSVP, you do have to pay for-year-old beer, sorry. But they do have a really great beer list. It is if you want to look it up. Come over and join us. We are going to be there from 4:00 to 6:30 or 7:00. Who knows?
Paul: I am going to have a sidebar conversation about the Office 365 skews and I will be needing to drink.
Fr. Robert: That conversation always goes better when drunk.
Mary Jo: Oh, and we may, we are still trying to work the logistics out on this but we are likely to be taping windows weekly live from the partner conference. But we only have about 20 seats in the audience. So we need to do some kind of a raffle at the tweet up to see if anybody wants tickets for us taping it live from the convention.
Paul: That is a good way to do it, right? A raffle.
Fr. Robert: I love DC. I lived there for four years. But I will say, just remember that DC was a swamp. They drained a swamp. In the summer, it becomes a swamp again.
Paul: DC in the summer, you can see and you can bite the air.
Fr. Robert: That is true. That is not a joke. If you lived in an air-conditioned house in DC, which you have to because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to live. But when you open that front door you feel it. It just hits you in the face and suddenly all your clothes are wet. Mostly from humidity.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Fr. Robert: Paul Thurrott is the the mastermind behind the Superset for Windows at windowssupersite.com. You can pick up one of his books, chocked full of secrets and tips about everything you need to know about Microsoft at . Be sure to get copy of his Windows 81 Field Guide and soon, I’ve been told, that his Surface book will be ready to go. You’re putting the finishing touches on that, right Paul?
Paul: I am putting the starting touches on it. It is going to be a little while. So, written over the course of the summer.
Fr. Robert: Maybe you can take the humidity from DC impact that in there.
Fr. Robert: Mary Jo Foley is at , and can be found whoever discerning blog readers go for their news about Microsoft. You can find both of them each week here at Twit.TV Wednesdays at 11:00 Pacific, 2:00 Eastern and 1800 UTC. And if you are free, you can always join us live at live.twit.tv and go ahead and watch the pre=show. The post show. And see everything we take out of the final cut. And as long as you are watching live go ahead and jump into our chat room at IRC.twit.tv and you can communicate with the host, you can talk to me. You actually see myself and Leo pulling comments out of the chat room because it is part of the experiment that is Twit.tv. It is not just a network, it is a community. if you can’t join us live, you can find Windows Weekly anywhere quality podcasts are aggregated. Stitcher, iTunes or any number of apps will have Twit programming built into it. And of course you’ll find every episode of Windows Weekly here at twit.tv/ww. Leo Laporte will be back next week, I promise. Thanks for joining us, we'll see you next time on Windows Weekly!