Windows Weekly 373 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It’s time for Windows Weekly. Mary Jo Foley is off judging a Microsoft event but Paul Thurrott is here and there is a ton of new about Window Phone Update 1 on Windows 8.1 and a whole lot more. We’re going to talk about it right now on Windows Weekly.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott episode 373 recorded July 30th, 2014
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Leo: It’s time for Windows Weekly the show that covers Windows and all its companions. Well there is really only one product now for Microsoft. One Windows to rule them all. Hey that’s Paul Thurrott, Paul Thurrott is here. Hey Paul.
Paul Thurrott: Now we have one host.
Leo: Well we figured if there is One Windows what do we need 2 hosts for. No Mary Jo has the week off. She will be back next week I promise you. But Paul is here and it’s kind of like the old days. How many years was it just you and me?
Paul: You keep asking this question and you would think I would be able to pull this one right off the top of my head. I want to say it was 2006. Is that right or 2007?
Leo: No no I think 2006 was one of the early shows.
Paul: Right as Vista was coming out.
Leo: Yeah Vista was coming out. That tells you something right there. We were still using Windows XP.
Paul: We got off to a great start when you think about it.
Paul: Here you go Paul talk about this.
Leo: It’s all been downhill ever since. No I am just teasing you.
Paul: We’ve had our ups and downs with Windows but oh well.
Leo: Yeah what the heck. It’s a good beat. When I did the interview with Mary Jo Foley last week on Triangulation. I said do you ever wish you ever had a different beat? Because she focused on Microsoft in the early 80’s, in 83 and had never left! She said no I really actually like this beat. There was a time where it might have been kind of dull for a while. Not now!!
Paul: I went through phases with Microsoft for a time. Of course people who have been reading my stuff for a long time know I was an Amiga guy and a Commander guy. Before that I looked down on Microsoft and it’s software. I scoffed at Windows, the early versions of Windows. Windows 3, 3.8, I was not impressed by the stuff. Office 6 and Windows 95 kind of turned me around on all that stuff. For a while there it was going really good and then the antitrust stuff happened. There was a lot written about that and a lot happened. Internal investigations around that and you find out some really ugly truths about the company. That was a real moment of truth for me because I was completely unimpressed by this companies business practices. You kind of have that roller coaster affect you go up and down. But it was the company that gave us NT, it gave us the modern versions of Windows and they’ve done some great stuff too. Office and all that stuff, no one is perfect.
Leo: We’re not yet in an era where you can talk about computing or even technology without mentioning Microsoft. It’s still a huge part of this landscape. Let’s start with Windows phone today. We’ll save the Xbox stuff for later.
Paul: Yes let’s.
Leo: So I am sitting here with my 1520 waiting to see. Because I updated to 8.1 using that special trick you mentioned.
Paul: Alright so now I have a long story for you.
Leo: Uh oh!
Paul: The official word from Microsoft was that anyone who upgraded to Windows 8.1 with the developer preview would be slipstreamed right in when the wireless carriers released that software. Meaning that you already had 8.1 but then you would get upgraded to whatever firmware that your device maker would make. Which in your case is Lumia Cyan. Then whatever carrier updates might come. So if I don’t know if yours is AT&T or if it’s unlocked or whatever.
Leo: It’s unlocked. I should get it as fast as anybody, right?
Paul: That’s another gray area actually. The way this works right now is.
Leo: My phone says it’s up to date it says.
Paul: Yeah, Microsoft is not pushing the update to a 1520 if you have the developer preview on it. That is supposedly temporary. However if you want to get it now, there is a process that you can go through. Which I’ve written about a little bit. I actually haven’t done a huge step by step guide to it but I did write about it. If you look down.
Leo: Let’s see I have Windows Phone 8.1 version 8.10.1239.7895
Paul: So if you look show notes under the 2nd heading. The first link says Windows Phone 8.1 rolling note with Cyan for Nokia.
Leo: How do I even know? I don’t see Cyan here.
Paul: Oh no it won’t say it there. So if you back out of that, like hit the back button. Scroll all the way down to the bottom.
Leo: This is my favorite part, where Paul helps Leo.
Paul: Extra’s and Info. That will tell you, Black in your case.
Leo: Oh that’s it, Black.
Paul: That’s different.
Leo: Is that what I want?
Paul: No you want Cyan.
Paul: So if you look at the show notes. The 2nd hyperlink on the whole page. It says Windows 8.1 rolling out with Cyan for Nokia users. That is the story I wrote about At&T rolling out the Lumia Cyan and Windows Phone 8.1. Since I wrote this article it’s also rolling out to unlocked phones and everyone else.
Leo: Yeah because I am on TMobile with an unlocked one.
Paul: But if you scroll down it explains that people who are on the developer preview are not getting it and it explains how you can get it. Basically what this involves is using a Nokia software recovery tool to put your phone back to its factory setting.
Leo: You said I wouldn’t have to do that.
Paul: You know people say that to me and I did
say that but Microsoft said that. I repeated it. This is what you get for being
the mouth of Sauron, Leo. I am just the guy on the
Leo: No I can handle this. How do I get this program? Do I have to go online?
Paul: It takes a little while to do it but the steps are actually fairly simple.
Leo: Wait a minute, I have to this through a Windows machine?
Paul: Yes, that’s the only way.
Leo: Okay well I am going to just put it back on the dock.
Paul: Or you can just wait. It’s going to come.
Leo: Will it eventually? It will do it automatically eventually?
Paul: That’s what they’re saying. Again when that doesn’t happen I don’t want you to come back and say but you said because Microsoft said that.
Leo: So is this just Nokia that we have to worry about or are other phones?
Paul: So none of the other phones have been updated yet. So it’s not clear if HTC is putting out firmware updates on their phones or Samsung is. Which I would be shocked but you never know. At the very least what you’re going to get is some package from the Wireless carrier that will include some stuff. I noticed on AT&T what it was, was a bunch of crappy apps so nothing important. The nice thing about Windows phone is you can delete all that stuff so you can get rid of it. But on Nokia phones in particular, you really want the firmware update because Cyan is in fact a big deal. And there are a lot of really good features there.
Leo: So there’s no way to reset the phone within the phone? You have to put this software on a Windows PC?
Paul: You can but if you use the phone software you are just going to go back to whatever version that’s already on there. So what this does is it puts it back to factory which in your case would be Windows Phone 8 whatever update. Then when you check for updates you’ll get Update 1 because now it’s available. Once Update 1 is installed you can then reset it using the phone software and when it comes back that time it will say hey do you want to restore from backup. You would want to make sure but since you’re probably backing up already, if you say yes it will bring back all your apps, all your data, all your settings.
Leo: Or I could just take this phone and throw it to mount doom and it will be destroyed permanently and we don’t have to worry about it.
Paul: Well it is a Nokia so actually it’s not clear that it would in fact shred it.
Leo: It could in fact not. Is this for all Nokia’s or just the 1520?
Paul: Well the 1520 is the only one that is getting it broadly. I think there are a handful of other Lumia’s not in the United States but around the world that are getting this update right now. But so far here and broadly this is the only one that’s getting it.
Leo: So Cyan is the thing that I’m missing really. But that’s okay I could live with it.
Paul: It enables a couple of things. In addition to just the features you get in Cyan, there are a lot of camera improvements for example, which is really neat. There is a little effect type things, there is kind of like fade in effect that occurs on the lock screen and just little things. It also enables a new generation of Nokia apps. I am sure some of them are available on the old version too but some of those features in those apps will take advantage of things that are in Cyan. Sensa Core is one of them, Bluetooth functionality. Some of the phototype stuff you might do in related photo apps like creative studio and so forth that take advantage of Cyan features. So there’s definitely advantages to getting it. So someday, someday you’ll be able to get it.
Leo: Somebody in the chat room said that the Cyan update killed his battery life on the 1520. Have you heard rumors about that?
Paul: No but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. I haven’t seen that yet myself.
Leo: China is getting Windows Phone 8.1 update 1.
Paul: So this is the big story. This is bizarre. But Windows Phone 8.1 which is a free update to Windows phone 8.0 is now dribbling out to phones. Like I said the 1520 is getting it, a couple of other phones that’s about it. But over the summer everyone is going to get it. So of course Microsoft took this week to announce the next update to Windows phone. Which is what they are calling the Windows Phone 8.1 update. Which they are naming Update to kind of match the Windows 8.1 update but is in fact called update 1 and there will be an update 2 and an update 3 and all that kind of stuff. This requires that you have Windows phone 8.1. You can’t go to this from Windows 8.0. It will roll out over the next 6 months or something. So right now we are waiting for 8.1 to happen, legitimately or publicly through the carriers. This thing likewise will have to be rolled out after that. So I think for people who wait, I think normal consumers, you’re probably not going to get this thing until November or December. It’s going to be much later in the year but for people who are on the developer preview program and by the way this would include you because this is separate from Cyan update. You’ll be able to get this next week. I think they said August 4th.
Leo: Is this the carrier? It’s usually the carriers that are causing all this.
Paul: It is not usually the carriers, it is always the carriers. I have yet to hear a definitive statement about how this works exactly. By the way I just asked and they literally said we don’t know we are checking. But basically Microsoft releases this software obviously to the hardware makers, the device makers and then to the carriers. The carriers test it supposedly on their systems. They’ll take the firmware updates from the device makers and they’ll test that and then they’re the ones who kind of put everything together with their stuff. The apps, maybe drivers whatever. Then Microsoft is the one that rolls it out. Through Windows update. Actually Microsoft does deliver it but they can only do it when the carrier okays it. That’s the hold up. The question is about people on unlocked phones because the word we got say a year ago, year and half ago was if you have an unlocked phone and you’re not bound to any carrier you should be getting this update directly from Microsoft, theoretically. If Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 on whatever day out in the wild and you had an unlocked phone and you maybe didn’t even have a SIM you would get it that day. To my knowledge that has in fact never actually happened. It’s actually really unclear when unlocked phones get it. You have a phone you said on TMobile. T Mobile has never sold a 1520. So T-Mobile is the one who would have to okay the release.
Leo: Yeah I just bought it.
Paul: Would they okay it for just their specific phones or for all phones. It’s not clear. I’m still waiting on the official word on that. No it’s a weird gray area. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve owned several unlocked phones. They all do get upgraded at some point.
Paul: It’s just not clear what the schedule is. Like I said even Microsoft doesn’t seem very clear on it.
Leo: I still love this 1520. It’s fine.
Paul: Honestly, I think I talked about this a couple weeks ago when I was in D.C. and I was walking around with a 1020. Which has the really high megapixel camera that’s wonderful and all that. That camera is very slow, the machine itself is very slow. Now of course a year later it’s a little more pronounced. It’s much slower than the 1520 which has a comparable camera. But when you walk around at night this wonderful camera which in most situations is so great is complete garbage at night.
Leo: No really?!
Paul: It adds too much light to the picture. You can manual setting it to death. It does this strange thing where it takes the picture and it has this nice kind of dark quality to it, then it flicks and the light version comes on. That’s the one that gets save to disk. It’s doing some kind of processing, and it’s really irritating, Especially for night photos. I’ve had problems taking pictures of night scenes were on an island in the Boston Harbor one night, fireworks, or you’re walking around the city at night you want to take pictures of lights, D.C. at night a couple weeks ago. It’s just terrible. The 1520 I’ve only done a few experiments side by side against the 1020 with the Cyan update which improves low light performance. A major major improvement on that sort of thing. So I am eager to get it out maybe when I am away this month.
Leo: How’s Windows Phone doing, I know inside the U.S. not so great but it’s always done better outside the U.S. How’s it doing in China, how’s it doing in these other parts?
Paul: Yeah so U.S. and China are obviously the top two cell phone markets in the world. Actually think China leads.
Leo: Yeah actually China then the U.S. it’s the other way around. These are the 2 markets that Windows Phone actually is not doing well in at all. That’s really interesting because without knowing too much about how the world works you would have to think they are going to do well in one of those markets to succeed. Because those two probably represent half of the market or something or whatever it is. So far not so good, which is why we are seeing an update 1 which has a major push on the China end. Because when you combine these Chinese specific features with the push for low cost which is huge in China. Phones you buy outright and don’t have a contract and then some other features that are just kind of related to things that occur in China. They have some more that add to Cortana in China, Mandarin Chinese. There is an optional UI that has a little alien looking guy face but the point of it is his eyes to be expressive. IT’s a cultural thing in China they want to look at something and they want to see it react. That’s important to them culturally.
Leo: Interesting. About its eyes.
Paul: But it even supports features that don’t seem obvious at first that are important to China. So for example the biggest mobile carrier in China is China Mobile. China Mobile actually supports two different network types. They have one that’s on GSM and one that’s on CDMA. I believe they are probably migrating from CDMA to GSM at this time. We know that dual SIM phones are a big deal in emerging markets because people like to switch networks. But to date all the dual SIM Windows Phones have been 2 GSM SIM’s . For the China market they are supporting the CDMA plus GSM so you can have one of each. What this allows someone to do is be on China Mobile the biggest carrier and the biggest market and be on the existing plan that they have. Then later move up to the more expensive and faster plan and then have their existing phone work. Because they can just switch SIM’s. Or they could even do mix and match. Some people have one SIM for work and one for home. Maybe work pays for that stuff or whatever it is. So this update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 supports stuff like that. So here in the United State you listen to that and you kind of think well cute or whatever. But this is a big deal because they really do want Windows phone to be successful in China.
Leo: Non trivial making Cortana in Chinese I would guess.
Paul: I would think so too. I am curious about that. Jo Boferry went to China and I guess demonstrated this on state somewhere in Beijing. That happened at 3 o'clock in the morning my time and I am not even sure it was broadcast live. So I haven’t seen it yet but I was told about it. It seems pretty cool. 8.1 update 1 has a bunch of other Cortana related improvements for the United States. It supports putting UK English and I don’t know I haven’t seen this in action but apparently it has U.K. voice and accent. Even like a U.K. personality. So there are certain oddities to U.K. Let’s face it people from the U.K. are kind of messed up.
Leo: They don’t want eyes they want teeth in Cortana and that’s just strange.
Paul: I got into a great argument with a woman from London about eggs that were over easy. She understood what it meant but she refused to acknowledge it.
Leo: There is only one kind of egg in England and that’s overcooked.
Paul: There is no over easy. You can have over.
Leo: It’s over or it’s not. There’s not much spam in that. Have you seen the Cortana ad?
Leo: Let me play it here just so we can comment upon it.
Paul: This is Siri and Cortana.
Leo: They shouldn’t put Siri’s mouth, that’s just mean.
Paul: I think I was actually pretty fair about this when I am wrote about it. The Siri responses were canned although to be fair I asked these question to Siri on my own phone.
Leo: It can’t do that.
Paul: Siri is optimized for certain things. So Siri works for things that Apple customized. They said they would improve it over time. Microsoft did the same thing with Cortana. Cortana responds really well to certain things and then it has no idea depending where you are at.
Leo: You could put this ad in both directions.
Paul: Yeah exactly. That’s how I look at it. That being said I think it’s important for them to advertise.
Leo: I don’t know if people know that Windows phone can do that. I think that’s a new feature.
Paul: The other thing, it’s subtle and I don’t know if most people have caught this. But obviously an iPhone 5S is a high end smartphone that costs 650 bucks unlocked. The phone that they use in that ad is a Lumia 635. You can buy that for 99 dollars now under no contract. Cortana works just fine, it doesn’t require any high end features or anything like that. And like with the 520 last year the price is going to go down dramatically. I expect by Christmas you could pick up one up for 39 dollars. I almost wish they would have highlighted that aspect of it. That they could have asked the question to the phone the cost or something and Syria could have babbled out her answer. Because that to me is the bigger deal.
Leo: That would have been good.
Paul: That one is a little less defensible on the Apple side. I think the voice control thing, first of all let’s be fair Apple did get there first. Although someone’s going to write me now and talk to me about the Windows mobile stuff. But mainstream usage if a tree falls and no one hears it, it doesn’t really matter. People are actually using Syrie. It’s out there in the world, it’s a big deal. That’s why Microsoft is targeting it in an ad. It’s an ad so it’s a little one sided. There is all kinds of stuff, 8.1 update 1 is huge. There’s more Cortana stuff, there’s Alphaville built in Canada, India and Australia. That’s U.K. or U.S. English only why it’s alpha. Windows Phone is going to support smart covers that you see on the Android side. Where applications on the phone can integrate with cover and a mini front end apps and so forth which is a big deal. Support for new screen resolutions and sizes. Oddly enough nothing about 10 adp which is a little odd. But support for 7 inch screens. Today the upper end is 6 inches which is what the 1520 is. 7 inches that’s mini tablet category isn’t it. I think by the holiday’s we’re going to see possibly like a phoneless Windows Phone device of some kind on a 7 inch screen.
Leo: Wait a minute you mean like an iPod touch kind of? A phoneless.
Paul: Yeah I would call it like a mini.
Leo: A mini tablet, okay.
Paul: I mean obviously those devices are running Windows 8.
Leo: Or RT if that exists.
Paul: But I think we can all agree, well maybe not all of us but most of us would agree that Windows Phone would be a much suitable choice of such a choice. It has an amazing games catalog.
Leo: I agree.
Paul: It’s got all those great Nokia apps.
Leo: Why not, what do you need RT for really.
Paul: Yep, yeah I hope to see that. I was very interested to see the 7 inch screen thing. They are going to have live folders which work just like folders in IOS and Android if you’re familiar with how that stuff works. You drag another icon into another icon. It opens up you give it a name. You can have photography and productivity and whatever you want to do in there. The only difference is that these are live tiles so you can resize the folder tile as you can with any tile and it’s live. So if you have live tiles inside of it and they are giving you notifications, those notifications will come through the live tile of the folder. So it’s kind of the same thing as before as other people do but with a cute Windows 8 touch on top of it. They are fixing Xbox music. I think we hammered this to death a couple weeks ago. But let’s just say Xbox music on Windows Phone 8.1 is not good. They’ve heard to criticisms and they’re going to work on that. Somebody pointed out to me that one of these features which is a live tile that is a now playing type display on it was available on Windows Phone 7. Which I actually don’t remember. I’m sure that’s true but that gives you an idea of how far this thing has fallen because now they are putting back features that were there four years ago. They’ll get there. So there is a bunch of stuff. I guess we don’t have to go through all this. I do want to highlight a couple of things that are kind of unusual and I think would be interesting for people. There are prized type features, when you think of them in isolation they can benefit VPN users. One of them is like a VPN. People use VPN’s for work so they can access a private network over a public internet usually. The idea being that you’re in a coffee shop or your home and your work is in a different state or in a different city and you need to get to corporate resources on their network. So you kind of tunnel through the network using a VPN. That’s typically how those things are used today. But Microsoft is adding a consumer VPN to Windows Phone. So when you’re at a public WiFi in a coffee shop or an airport or hotel, you’re still tunneling through the internet. So there is probably a small speed sacrifice that occurs but now you can’t be hacked from the outside. Like what you’re transmitting can’t be intercepted by hackers who might be on the same public network. When you think about it in that light, all computers should do this. This would eliminate or at least help eliminate a lot of the electronic attack type stuff that occurs every single day. This is actually a smart thing.
Leo: What is the end point though? You need a VPN server to connect to. Does Window provide that? Or is this just for your business to provide?
Paul: I believe so. Literally this requires no infrastructure.
Leo: Interesting, Microsoft must be doing it though. That’s great.
Paul: Yeah you just have to pass everything through the data center. So it’s really safe.
Leo: Well you have to trust the other end.
Paul: It’s like the Amazon weblizer. If you just let us intercept all of your traffic.
Leo: I would like more about this.
Paul: I would too.
Leo: This is the first time I am aware of anything like that in a smartphone. You can buy the VPN service. We have a sponsor that does that.
Paul: If you’re using a PC and all that kinds of stuff. I do this on the road all the time. You can use a logged in VPN and access your computer at home or a server at home or whatever. Those are pretty low cost depending on what you would get. But it does require 2 end points. So I don’t know how they do this.
Leo: Somebody has to host the server.
Paul: Yeah I am sure it’s Microsoft. The other one that is sort of Enterprise related but is brought down to individuals is apps corner. Apps corner lets you configure your phone for unique uses. Consider people today, you’re a local flower merchant or you sell cheese at a local farmers market and you use like a square device to scan peoples credit cards. The way that works today is that you use your own phone typically or your own iPad or whatever device you have. Someone makes a purchase and sometimes you’ll hand the device over to them and now they have your device and that’s your device and it’s got your stuff on it. They could look at your email. Maybe it’s a retail situation where you want it in kiosk mode. So this allows a Windows Phone user to specify that this is happening and that nothing else can be accessed. We don’t actually support square but we support square like things on Windows Phone. In a retail situation you can basically say this thing is locked down until I enter my pin. You can access that retail app and that’s it and they can’t get to other stuff on that phone. Or maybe you want to set up a kiosk or a retail point of sale type thing and the same deal you don’t want people getting into the other stuff on the phone. Or maybe it’s a kids phone and you just want to say look you can access these apps and that’s it. Here’s your start screen and these are the apps you get. You can set it up like that. It’s kind of an extension of the parental control functionality on Windows Phone in that sense. But again it’s designed for really small businesses or individuals who just don’t have to kind of mobile device management functionality that you might have in a big enterprise and gives them some control over this stuff. I think people will find it really useful. That’s kind of a cool one too. Trying to see if there is anything else in here. It’s so much stuff. Wearable devices will be able to send notifications to the phone over blue tooth which is something we see on other mobile platforms. That high voltage charging support. There’s that Qualcomm quick charge standard which charges existing phones very quickly, will be supported. So it’s a bunch of stuff like that.
Leo: I like the eyes on the Chinese thing.
Paul: I want to see that animated, I am curious.
Leo: Does it move? So this is instead of the burning circle that we see for Cortana in the U.S?
Leo: I guess this is China only? Although they say they aren’t going to use the same voices. Obviously they aren’t going to use the same voice in China or in England.
Paul: I wonder if they are using the same woman and they’re having her speak in different languages or speak in a different accent. I don’t know how they handled that.
Leo: I would think they would get some other person. I am really curious about this VPN I have been searching around on technet and stuff. I can’t get really any clarification.
Paul: They literally just announced it. Did they even announce it in a blog post. I am not even sure.
Leo: Before update one you could use VPN but you would have to configure to go to your work VPN server.
Paul: And Windows supports that kind of VPN functionality but it requires certain kinds of VPN’s and it does require that endpoint. It’s something your business would.
Leo: Well they always will. Somebody is going to be running a VPN server somewhere. Your traffic will emerge from that server so it’s kind of not irrelevant where your traffic is going. I am very curious. We’ll find out more.
Hey let’s take a little break. Paul Thurrott is here. Mary Jo Foley has the week off. We’re talking about Windows. There’s lots more to say including a big update for Xbox, I hear. We’ll find out about that. I’ve been playing Destiny. I like that.
Paul: How do you like that?
Leo: Love it. It’s another first person shooter but it’s fun one. I am not sure how I would characterize it as different. It’s got a bungee so it’s very Halo like.
Paul: Is it Call of Duty though?
Paul: I had heard it was like Call of Duty.
Leo: It’s not Call of Duty. It’s called Call of Duty Destiny.
Paul: Oh that sounds good.
Leo: That you would get.
Paul: That I would get, yeah.
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Paul Thurrott, Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley has the week off which means we get to talk about the stuff we care about. No Hadoop today.
Paul: This one is true, there’s no Hadoop.
Leo: Windows Phone and Xbox 1 baby. What’s Cricket?
Paul: Cricket is one of those 3rd terrier wireless carriers here in the United States.
Leo: Oh Cricket, yeah.
Paul: This is just kind of strange, every month I cover this ad Duplex Data that they have for Windows Phone usage. Which phones are the most popular, in which countries and so forth. A lot of interesting data that these guys compile. This month really there isn’t very much going on. But there was one interesting thing and that was that for the first time Cricket appeared on the charts. They already have 7.3% usage share, they just came out with one Windows Phone model. That model is the Lumia 630. Which is crazy. The 630 is also the one phone that’s kind of made big gains on the chart.
Leo: That’s the 99 dollar one, right?
Leo: So Cricket is pay as you go I think. AT&T owns them and VNO. It makes sense, low cost phone. People are going in there, maybe they want a smartphone but they don’t want to spend a lot of money. On a data plan or on a phone. I think this makes a lot of sense.
Paul: Yeah I thought that was interesting. I am really just pulling out the one interesting thing in this month. Leo you won’t be shocked to discover that Nokia dominates the Windows phone market.
Paul: Yeah, 94.8%.
Leo: Who is the other 5%?
Paul: It’s spread out.
Leo: HTC makes a Windows Phone right?
Paul: Yes HTC, Samsung and Huawei.
Leo: Where is Cortana when we need her? There is also a new what is it the 530? What is that is it another inexpensive one? I figure the lower numbers are less expensive?
Paul: Yeah that’s usually accurate. This is a weird one because the best-selling Windows Phone of all time was the Lumia 520. That came out last year on AT&T and then they did a variance in the 521. In fact in the United States today over 50% of all Windows Phone users are using a Lumia 520 or 521. Which are identical essentially. AT&T and T-Mobile. A really popular phone. So in China last year they released something called and I think later in other markets but not the U.S. They released something called the 525. Which was basically the 520 body same specs across the board except one major difference, a GB of RAM versus 512 which is not super important to be honest but I think it’s more from a future proof perspective and if you look down list of say the top 20 games on Windows Phone. Somewhere around the place of game 14 or 15 you will start to run into a game or 2 that requires a GB of RAM. A minor thing but I think kind of a big deal. When we flash forward a year later Nokia/Microsoft has released a Lumia 630 and a Lumia 635. Basically those are just variance of the same phone. The 630 I think supports dual SIM but basically the same phone. Some plusses and minuses compared to the 520. Bigger screen, still low resolution. It supports sensacore technology which we will talk about a little while later. I’m testing the 635 now which is the T-Mobile variant of it. It’s a great phone. It’s a great kind of 520 successor. I think it’s more applicable to more people because it’s going to have a bigger screen and so forth. It seems like we had kind of settled on how that was going to go. Then they announced the 530 and it’s like what the heck is this thing. Sadly the 530 despite having a bigger name than the 520 is in many ways a lesser device. It’s a much lower end phone than even the 520 was. The processor is better but it still has 512MB of RAM. It still has the tiny screen. It only has 4 GB of internal storage. Which by the way is a first for Windows Phone. One of the features that’s in Window Phone 8.1 Update 1 is the same feature that’s in Windows 8.1 update 1 which is the ability to compress the OS much further so it fits better on small capacity devices. I just confirmed with Microsoft, this device does not show up before Update 1 but 4GB is going to be woefully inadequate. You’ll want to get a MicroSD card to expand it.
Leo: You can’t put games and other stuff on there really? Can you put apps on there?
Paul: Actually yeah you can.
Leo: Oh you can.
Paul: On 8.1 you can. So actually you can move stuff. Not every single app but you can move almost everything that’s already on the phone there. But still 4GB is not actually okay. That’s way too little. It doesn’t have a hardware camera button which is garbage. Neither does the 630 or 635.
Leo: Doesn’t even have a front camera!
Paul: Yep and that was true of the 520 too. It’s not great.
Leo: But it’s not for us, Paul. It’s for kids.
Paul: Oddly enough this is going to sell in the U.S. So I think this is the phone you’re going to see for 60 bucks, 40 bucks.
Leo: Yeah this is the burner phone you see in the drug store. We need smart burner phones.
Paul: Yeah it should be sold in a blister pack you could buy at CVS.
Leo: Get 6 of them.
Paul: It’s like I need some razor blades, a canister of film and a burner phone.
Leo: It is a quad core processor.
Paul: Yeah I know remember when that was so impressive?
Leo: It is kind of impressive, 1.2 GH quad port. But who cares if you have 12GB of RAM what are you going to do with it?
Paul: That’s crazy.
Leo: It’s interesting. So what they are doing is putting off the storage to a later purchase that doesn’t show up in the bottom line on an SD card. But they’re not that expensive.
Paul: It’s too bad. I don’t even need to see this to tell people if you have the choice get a 630 or a 635. Those are much more capable phone, much more future proof. They still don’t have the hardware camera button but more internal storage, the same expandability, and additional technology on the phone like Sensa Core. There are just advantages too it. We don’t know the real world price of this thing in the U.S. yet but there’s probably a 20 to 30 dollar up front difference. You’re going to have a much better experience.
Leo: Is 512MB of RAM enough for Windows Phone 8.1
Paul: Yeah today it is. That’s the thing I am worried about is the future. When 512 devices started appearing I think they made that change with Windows Phone 8. There were a bunch of apps and games in the store that did not support that low level of system resources. Because no one had to custom tailor their apps for that. But actually they’ve made great gains since then and you don’t see many apps that require a GB and you only see a handful of games that require and they’re the kind of higher end ones you would expect.
Leo: They are not going to go well on this anyway. Probably right.
Paul: By the way you’re playing this came on this little thing.
Leo: A 4 inch screen.
Paul: Yeah it’s small.
Leo: Who makes a 4 inch screen. Oh wait a minute Apple does.
Paul: I know who would ever. Certainly no company great ability.
Leo: That’s crazy talk. Oh yeah the Iphone.
Paul: Oh that one, that sells pretty well doesn’t it.
Leo: It’s doing alright. It’s amazing though how quickly that size was left in the dust.
Paul: When the Iphone was first released and I think the original one was probably 3.5 inches something like that. It was advertised as being a ginormous screen. When you compare it to those little square screens like a Blackberry would have or a Moto Q.
Leo: It was.
Paul: That was a big screen. Of course when you’re touching it a lot, you’re blocking the view a lot of the time.
Leo: It’s really interesting how in general in technology, if you take your eye off of the road for 10 seconds the whole world can move. I think Apple thought for a long time, Oh know you really don’t want a bigger screen and they just were wrong.
Paul: Yeah it’s funny. Not to get off on an Apple tangent. But I do think about this stuff a lot. Apple I think too was so used to leading these industries for so long and being right all the time. It’s interesting during recent years things like the mini tablet and the Phablet which in some ways are merging into one thing. Were 2 major market trends that they didn’t foresee and openly mocked.
Leo: They mocked it, they literally did. Somebody in the chat room says Apple has saddled itself for a 2 year design cycle. And that probably is too long of a time frame at this point. 2 years is an eternity.
Paul: They’ll adapt.
Leo: Yeah in September a bigger phone. By the way a good deal if you want the 635. I like this you can get a Fitbit flex.
Paul: My tip of the week is related to this in a way. This is kind of an interesting deal. I guess I didn’t put this in there. I believe you can also get the 630 or the 635 from T-Mobile for 99 dollars if you just want the phone.
Leo: But if you were going to get a Flex, 150 bucks for the Flex plus the 635. The Flex is 100 bucks.
Paul: Yeah it’s a good deal.
Leo: I am not sure I would say run out and get a FitBit Flex. But plus they’re making a point here that this supports Bluetooth. Is it Bluetooth with LE is that what it requires? I think so. What do you call it? Sensurround?
Paul: No that’s actually unrelated. We are going to get to that in the tip. But Windows Phone 8.1 plus Cyan supports the ability to talk to these wearable devices. Or to any Bluetooth LE device. So what that means is you could do real time sync of data. Like you can do that now on an iPhone or an Android device. Windows Phone I actually don’t think you could sync the device to it. The Fitbit app just came up but you could use the 3rd party FitBit app. I don’t remember but I don’t think you even could sync the device to it. I think you needed the LE support.
Leo: LE is how it kind of how it binds. Yeah you never sync it just does it. This is exciting there is an HTC even in August. Do you really think it is going to be Windows Phone?
Paul: There has been a lot of rumors about this. I got invited to this. The interesting thing about this is all the Windows guys go invited to this. Which this is why I think this is a Windows Phone event. Well that, combined with the rumors. Unfortunately I am going to be away, I’m in Barcelona when this happens. I think it’s August 19th-ish. The rumor is that this is going to be HTC1 the M8 version with Windows Phone.
Leo: That’s sweet. Their hardware platform is fabulous.
Paul: This is the thing that I have been calling on for Microsoft to do for years. In the past HTC would take one of their phones and they would change the body but they would use mostly internals and they would call it something else. I thought oh you can do that but that’s a lot of work. What we want over on the Windows Phone side is that phone. Running with Windows Phone 8. I think that’s what this is going to be. Stay tuned for that, it’s about 3 weeks from now. The invites just went out so I am going to miss it. Mary Jo is going to go, Daniel Rubino will go, I think Brad might be going. There’s some other people going.
Leo: What’s the date on that?
Paul: August 19th.
Leo: Okay good, and we’ll cover it. We’ll probably cover it live if we can.
Paul: Yeah that should be a good one.
Leo: Is that in New York City?
Paul: Yep New York City. 19th is a Tuesday.
Leo: Tuesday, alright. I’ll make a note of that. Very very interesting. That’s a good idea. The 8X is really a repurposed Android device isn’t it?
Paul: I believe the 8X is the original HTC1. Or what was the one before?
Leo: Yeah the one before the M7.
Paul: Yeah whatever that was. Mary Jo and I went to that event where they announced the 8X and the 8S. That would have of course been 2 years ago or something like that. At the time Nokia hadn’t really turned anything on with their design yet. We still had some big clunky phones from them. They were interesting but they weren’t everywhere yet. These things were really thin and light and gorgeous. They felt nice and really nice colors. They were talking about how they had customized the phone to match the UI and that seems like that was case. They were just beautiful. HTC came out and they did that and then you didn’t hear anything from them again for 2 years. The difference between them and Nokia is of course Nokia their life depended on it. But they came out with 27 accessories, they came out with 100 different phones, they came out with all kinds apps. Nokia just exploded onto the scene and HTC and everyone else kind of just did nothing. I think this is the right approach for a company like HTC they already make beautiful phones for Android. Just give us the phone. Don’t make anything special. Don’t spend any extra money. Just put it on there, it’s perfect.
Leo: Well it may be nontrivial to do that.
Paul: Okay but I mean don’t take the additional steps that take time and money. You have made a beautiful phone, put Windows Phone on that.
Leo: Arguably the most beautiful phone on the market today.
Paul: You’re not going to hear any complaints from Windows Phone users about that. And you will get users, those phones are beautiful.
Leo: So the 8X is the 1X? They are telling me, Tyan of the Gray Area.
Paul: Yeah it’s been so long I can’t even remember what HTC had back then.
Leo: Yeah who knows. Lots of app updates.
Paul: By the way all this Windows Phone stuff.
Paul: This is just from this week.
Paul: Since we talked last week, all of this stuff has happened. I only listed a handful of apps here but many many many apps were updated in the past week. In major ways in some cases. Beats music, Facebook data, Facebook messenger, Nokia Video tuner, Nokia Here Maps, Nokia Creative studio 6, on and on it goes. Lots and lots of updates. Major new apps have been released. The key among them being FitBit. The first party FitBit, the actual FitBit, feature Paradi and functional Parody I should say basically with Android and IOS. I have a FitBit that I’ve been using for several months. You can update it on a computer which is kind of garbage, you’ve got to use the Dongle and all that kind of stuff or you can update it on a smartphone. So if you have Android or IOS it just syncs. You run the app and it syncs. It’s great. Now that works on Windows Phone so it’s a big deal if you use a FitBit. When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.1 back in April, one of the things that they talked about was this low level support for lock screen apps that was in the OS but it was going to require apps. And they were going to release their first app sometime in the coming months and then they were going to later open those API’s so third parties could release lock screen apps. So they put out that app. It is called Lock Screen Beta. Kind of some plusses and minuses to it. It’s not necessarily as far reaching as we were hoping it would be. I think what is going to happen is 3rd parties are going to jump in with their own designs and this stuff is going to explode. This is the ability to basically replace the lock screen to do kind of a lock screen. Which can feature different designs and different animations. If you swipe up on any smart phone there is kind of a set animation that occurs. With this thing it could be like a spinning clock and it kind of expands open as it spins or it could be words that move in different directions, it’s got kind of nice set of possibilities to it. So the Lock Screen Beta app as its name suggests not quite finished, little rough around the edges, performance isn’t always great. I actually had it crash one time and then you go back to the regular lock screen but it’s out. I think that’s a big deal because this is going to be the start of kind of a revolution of how the lock screen works on Windows Phone. So this is the first step to something better.
Leo: Actually I think one of the great features of Windows 8.1 is this Lock Screen. Because I like to have my Facebook pictures on it which is nice and they rotate.
Paul: The way it works now is you can customize the picture. You can choose which sort of notifications you get.
Leo: Who provides the picture and I can have calendar here but that’s it. Then you swipe it up to get out of here.
Paul: But this new set of API’s lets you change the whole thing. So everything can be different.
Leo: That’s cool
Paul: You’re just see the tip of the iceberg on this new app. The API’s will eventually be made public and then anyone can do this and I think that’s when it’s going to explode. Again baby steps. What is it six, no not six, 4 months since April, we’re getting there. This is just the last but not a big deal. Nokia this last year announced a bunch of little hardware like stuff. They have a Nokia tag device for finding Bluetooth stuff, they have a device hub app in the phone that lets you manage the devices that you connect to with your phone and find the apps that work with those devices which is actually kind of cool. They’ve always done a really good job with portable wireless speakers. They don’t actually make them, themselves, but they sell them with their name on it. I’ve owned numerous Nokia speakers, I don’t have this one yet. These things, it’s funny, for how small they are they always sound awesome. We have one up in our bathroom that my daughter listens to when she takes a shower or whatever and I listen to a podcast when I am shaving. The quality of these small speakers.
Leo: Oh it is little when you put it next to the phone it’s teensy.
Paul: Yeah they’re really nice.
Leo: Wow it’s like a matchbox.
Paul: They sound really good.
Leo: It’s NFC so you just tap the phone to it and it pairs it up. I like that.
Paul: If you don’t have NFC you can use Bluetooth obviously or you can plug in a wire. It does all that stuff.
Leo: I think you still use the Bluetooth, NFC just does the pairing.
Paul: It does the pairing that’s right. Look at you being the only person on earth besides me who understands that.
Leo: It’s just the 2 of us but that’s okay.
Paul: It’s a handshake, Leo. It’s a virtual handshake.
Leo: I don’t know what phone this is. This looks like a 520?
Paul: It’s probably a 630.
Leo: It’s not a big phone and this is tiny. This is what like a 1” x2”?
Paul: Yeah this is a 4.5” screen something like that.
Leo: It is teensy. 1.5” high it weighs 6.3 ounces. You’re saying that has decent bass. It comes in lime green, orange and lemony yellow.
Paul: These are the 2014 Nokia colors, if you buy an orange or green phone, match it.
Leo: Oh yeah it matches your phone.
Paul: Or you could get the other one and have a cool contrast.
Leo: Good price too. 50 bucks is good for a bluetooth speaker.
Paul: Yeah and with NFC too.
Leo: Alright we are going to talk about Surface in a moment when we come back. Paul Thurrott is here as you probably could tell. Mary Jo Foley if you’re listening, no she’s not fast asleep she’s just not here.
Paul: I am not just talking over her this time. She’s literally not here.
Leo: We should just put up a screen of her snoring and then she would be here.
Paul: She could just occasionally get a word in edgewise.
Leo: Yeah every once in a while she could say Hadoop. Our show today brought to you by our friends at ITPro TV. I love this company, partly because they’ve paid homage to what we do here at TWIT by creating a TWIT like environment for learning IT. For getting ready for those IT test’s to get your certification. I really like this idea. It’s an easy, entertaining approach to online training and affordable. I think they should emphasize the affordability. They’re on air right now, I see the red blinking light on their page at itpro.tv/ww. I’ll play it right now and you can see what they do here. Tim, Don and the gang, they have a lot of different trainers. The set kind of looks like the screen savers. Wait a minute there’s a Leo bobble head over his left shoulder. Now I know they are serious about copying me. Even down to the Leo bobble head. What’s fun is you can put this on your ROKU, you can watch it on your tablet, your desktop. If you subscribe for a year you can download it and watch it on the airplane. Let’s press play again. Notice by the way they have a chat room. So you can join people in the chat room, ask the instructors questions as they go. It’s the same kind of interactivity that we have here. What do they cover, everything. Here’s the course library. Go to the free content so that you can see sample episodes and look at some of the classes. But they do prep for Comp TIA A+, also Net+ and Security+. Casp classes, strata, Linux. They’ve added those in the last couple of weeks. Microsoft you can get your MCSA, your MTA, or MCSE. Cisco certs, these new ISC squared security certs. They have a great trainer doing their security stuff. It does not have to be boring to get. Oh look they’ve added some Office courses. Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Outlook, Link. There is also Mac stuff that’s in production right now. VM ware, they are really expanding. ITPro TV you get to interact directly with the hosts during the live chat. Web based Q and A’s with specific topics. They break down all the courses by page, by question so that you can study for that part of the test you’re worried about. One low price gives you all access membership with daily updates. It is such a great deal. Starts at 57 dollars a month that’s like one book for this stuff or 570 dollars if you want the whole year. You want to get the year because then you get to download the shows and put them on your tablet and take them on the airplane with you. You can also take the MeasureUp practice exams, that’s included free with your subscription, worth 79 bucks. Virtual machine sandbox environment lets you practice hands on with any HTML5 browser on any OS. I don’t want to get involved but I could launch the lab. You can see the servers, you can see the clients. You can set the whole thing up. So you can really practice this stuff without risking your own machines. These guys are great. They have over 10 years of experience in IT learning. They’ve just done, I think a spectacular thing, that’s easy and affordable. I mentioned 57 bucks a month but if you use the offer code WW30 you will get 30% of your subscription and that’s not just for a month or for a year, that’s forever. That makes it 40 dollars a month, 400 dollars for the entire year. That is a great deal. Much less expensive than a technical academy. Even than just buying the materials and this is the best way to study. Watch it on your ROKU and you’ll absorb it. itpro.tv/ww and then the offer code is WW30 for 30% off. If you’re ready to get a cert and you want to tone up, tune up, get ready to get a better job. This is a great place to go. Or just for fun if you really love IT. itpro.tv/ww and use the offer code WW30 to save 30% and we thank them for their support of Windows Weekly. Windows Weekly is on the air. Paul Thurrott is here, Mary Jo Foley has the day off. Let’s get into the Surface.
Paul: This is only topic 2!
Leo: Topic 2. Phone was like man. An hour of Windows Phone baby. You see when Mary Jo is not here we get to talk about the stuff we care about.
Paul: Yeah baby.
Leo: We had Jerry Pournelle the legend, KS member legend on TWIT on Sunday, and he just bought a Surface Pro III and loves it. He uses OneNote I think.
Paul: So somebody wrote me about that. One thing I know about Jerry from years and years back is that when Microsoft first came out with the PC, he was early adherent to that.
Leo: Now, he uses OneNote I think.
Paul: So, somebody wrote me about that. One thing that I know about Jerry from years and years back is that when Microsoft first came out with the tablet PC he was an early adherent to that. He bought one of those compact transmeta tablet PCs.
Leo: Really? Wow.
Paul: It was a gorgeous machine, but it was glacially slow. Awful. By the way, he used that thing for almost a decade.
Leo: You would see him at COMDEX. You would see him everywhere.
Paul: Every time I saw him at a show he had that thing; probably not a decade, 5-7 years.
Leo: He didn't use it at home, but it was his travel thing.
Paul: Yes, and he would write on it, and he loved that thing. Somebody wrote me and told me he was on TWiT and was talking about the Surface Pro 3. I'm not surprised to find out that he loves Surface Pro 3, but I have to wonder, he must have terrible vision now.
Leo: He said he can see. Here's a guy, and if you don't know the name Jerry Pournelle, of course great science fiction author, he taught aeronautics, brilliant guy. He also wrote the column that inspired me to get into this business in Byte Magazine, it was called Chaos Manor.
Paul: He was one of the two guys who are the reason that I do things the way that I do things.
Leo: Exactly, me too, because he was user first. He was the ultimate user.
Paul: He was the user. I have boxes of Byte Magazines and I have his early books that were collections of those stories, but my favorite Jerry Pournelle line from 30 years ago was, "I make the mistakes so that you don't have to."
Paul: Which I cannot claim, I just make the mistakes because I'm a frigging idiot. But I can mitigate those mistakes and maybe you will not make them.
Leo: He loved Office 365, too. Here's a guy who has been using Office since probably Word 1. I agree with him, I think Office 365 may be Microsoft's best achievement.
Paul: A lot of the stuff that he used to write about back in the Byte days was him running over to Larry Niven's house and installing the latest Promenco S whatever the heck it was. As writers, those two guys, and Jerry Pournelle in particular, were adopting technology as early as possible because you want to make this better. Anyone who has ever typed on paper, and then had to go back and make hand edits, and then retype the page, and do all of that stuff understands why any writer would embrace a word processor first, and then a computer.
Leo: It was a revolution.
Paul: Yeah. The ability to write anywhere in the world with a portable device that weighs a couple of pounds that you can stick in a bag. It's a transformative technology. I was always fascinated. As a writer myself, not the same kind of writer that he is, but as a writer of sorts I was always fascinated by his depictions of his use and Larry Niven's use of technology. I was always into that stuff.
Leo: He was at Niven's Sunday, and Larry joined us for the first 5 minutes of the show. If you are a fan, I was...we are not worthy.
Paul: Oh yes. Larry Niven is...
Leo: I didn't want to say, I mean I love the Niven / Pournelle Collaborations, and I have read them all, but I also love Ringworld.
Paul: Ringworld is obviously, I mean its 2001, Rendezvous with Rama, Ringworld, whatever.
Paul: But this kills me, you still can't get the Niven's stuff on an eBook form that I really want to get. He wrote many, many collections of short stories which are among the greatest things that I have ever read in my life. I will find this stuff. Larry Niven is amazing. He is right up there with Asimov.
Leo: I agree.
Paul: Yep. I love Larry Niven.
Leo: I was a fan boy big time.
Leo: Actually, you know, that is an example of something that you would probably want in book form anyway, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you want to have the Ringworld saga line take a shelf on your bookshelf?
Paul: I used to want that. But I just want it. I want it any type I can get it. I just want it.
Leo: Anyway, let's talk about Surface.
Paul: Yeah, sorry.
Leo: You spent the night at the Mandarin Hotel with the Surface, I'm told. Does your wife know?
Paul: It wasn't as crazy as it sounds. Yeah. So the Mandarin Hotel, if you are not familiar, is a luxury hotel chain.
Leo: It's nice. We have a Mandarin in San Francisco and I have staying at the one in Paris, amazing.
Paul: Gorgeous, amazing, in fact a little too amazing for me because I'm about as blue collar as you can get.
Leo: I walked through the lobby and I was like, "No, really, I'm staying here."
Paul: So there are deploying all of this Microsoft technology, and they are doing a really good job of it I have to say. But I have to say that they are partnering with the right companies to do the apps. They put Surface Pro 3's in the rooms, and wireless streaming, and in room service, and it's great. The hotel is fascinating on another level because it's just so nice. JFK showed me my room, and that was weird, and then it's such a nice high end kind of experience. I don't usually go to a spa when I stay at a hotel. But the way they do this...
Leo: Wait, you don't get a Mani Pedi? Come on Paul.
Paul: Leo, remember that very trip I stayed at the hotel I was drying my shoes in the bathtub like a homeless person. They came home in a plastic bag and smelled like wild animals. This is how I travel, so no, not usually.
Leo: You put your shoes outside the door and they said, "I'm sorry Mr. Thurrott, we don't shine cardboard shoes, but nice try."
Paul: We would light these on fire, but we are pretty sure they would catch.
Paul: Yeah, they are a little wet and smelly. Yeah, the bomb sniffing dogs probably would have gone nuts.
Leo: But that's a nice hotel. So you didn't do a spa treatment?
Paul: No, but I checked out the technology stuff. What they are trying to do is offer people another option. I think of technology in hotels like I think of technology in cars, you know, airbags and that kind of stuff. It's going to happen in Mercedes first, and then it makes its way down to Ford. Hopefully the next decade the hotels I stay at will have this stuff. They are doing something neat there, because obviously some people there will want to pick up the phone and talk to someone, but some people might want to get on there and look at a menu and say, "At 6:00 in the morning I want this kind of eggs, I want this, blah, blah, blah." You can get your shoes shined, whatever.
Leo: You can do that on the phone?
Leo: It's a big LCD screen?
Paul: But now you can do it on the Surface.
Leo: Oh. Do they put a Surface in the room?
Paul: Yeah. So there is a Surface Pro 3 in the room. It's locked down. You can still sign in with your account if you want to get access to your own services and stuff.
Leo: Oh, that's cool.
Paul: You can blast the screen up to the HD TV if you want to do that and watch movies and stuff.
Leo: Oh, that's neat.
Paul: You can order food, you can order other hotel services, learn more about the hotel, learn more about the area, and all of that kind of stuff. The really, to me from sort of a technological standpoint, the neat part of it is that if you reboot the machine or if you just check out electronically it resets. By the way, it does it in about 45 seconds. It's some crazy amount. It's so fast that I don't actually know what they are using. I've got questions.
Leo: It's not steady state?
Paul: It's not the PC reset, it's something higher level than that.
Leo: They have something built in for it.
Paul: It's impressive I have to say.
Leo: That's neat. That is really neat.
Paul: Yeah, it's a neat little thing. I just came back from Quebec. I didn't have internet access the entire time I was there. We were lucky to have hot water. Now I go to this hotel where it is like a Larry Niven book, and I'm thinking to myself that clearly there is going to get to here someday. It has ruined me seeing this, how beautiful it is; so maybe someday.
Leo: There is one hotel up here in Napa that I think gives you an iPad when you check in. It's funky; I think that this is a better way to do it because of the power wash. The power wash is nice.
Paul: I asked them about it. I said, look, I have to ask, I said that everyone in the world has an Android device, or an iPhone, or an iPad. Why did you go with Windows? They guy said that we looked at everything, you don't understand, there is nothing like this anywhere else and this is Microsoft and tertiary partners working with us on this. If we went with an Android solution or an iPad solution we would have had to work with mom and pop shop that may not be in business tomorrow. The types of apps that we have to make are very specific, they come from a very specific industry, and they have to work in a very specific way. We have to not just respect privacy but really prevent any tampering of any kind whatsoever. This is Windows. Windows does this. The others don't do it. An Apple device would probably have an easier time projecting a display. They have different technologies for different things.
Leo: That’s interesting.
Paul: Yeah I thought that was kind of interesting.
Leo: The airport in Istanbul, the first class lounge had Surface.
Paul: Oh did they really?
Leo: Yeah, and they were all broken.
Paul: You bastards!
Leo: No but I think you are right. If in fact you do have a Microsoft account and maybe a lot of business travelers will, the fact that you can log in and out of your system.
Paul: Actually that the thing he said. He said, you know most of the people who stay here are business travelers, wouldn’t that be amazing. I’m going to try to slip at least a Mandarin hotel night into my expense report and see if anyone notices.
Leo: Is this travelers and high tech hookers and that’s pretty much it.
Paul: But he said they are all Microsoft customers.
Leo: Yeah I believe that actually. That makes sense at a hotel that’s in DC.
Paul: Yeah. Oh this is the other thing Leo. So they haven’t rolled us out of the Washington DC location yet but because of the problems I had with internet access on my previous trip I said, let me ask you a question, I’m just curious about this kind of thing. Typical hotel, like a big hotel, when you think about any given floor of that hotel, how many internet access points would you say are on the floor? And he says 2 or 3.
Paul: And he says that’s why depending on where you are you can have limited access. And of course everyone hitting it and it turns to crap. And I said so how are you going to handle this? And he says oh we have 1 internet access point in every slow room.
Leo: Yeah, well that makes sense.
Paul: I was like, what? And you know the funny thing is, you know that capability… and wait a minute, take it a step further, in that other hotel like the one in Quebec, the way they find out the internet is down is somebody calls and says, hey, I can’t get on the internet. And then some guy with suspenders on goes upstairs and unplugs the router and plugs it back in. And what they have in this hotel is some bank of electronics that proactively monitors these things and can tell when one is failing. They replace them proactively. They reset them before anyone complains because they know it is failing or has failed or whatever. No one has to call them because they just monitor it. And I’m thinking to myself, you know, I don’t stay in the right places.
Leo: This must be brand new though right? This has to be brand new.
Paul: No, yeah, yeah like I said they haven’t done it yet in DC, this is other locations. But he was saying an internet access point is $200.
Leo: Yeah and why not? That’s one night.
Paul: It’s just the right thing to do.
Leo: The one Mandarin and Paris you had a baguette and a bottle of wine and you were happy.
Paul: Yeah. I went in there and the ice container had ice in it.
Leo: Oh yeah! They prepare the room for you.
Paul: I don’t have to go bare feet to go get ice.
Leo: That spoils you because now I get a hotel and there’s nothing in the ice container and I think, jeez, come on.
Paul: They at least have slippers there… slippers. I don’t even have slippers at home.
Leo: Haha, Paul didn’t want to leave!
Paul: And then my flight was at 7 o’clock in the morning. You know how awful it was leaving this place.
Leo: You check in but you don’t want to check out.
Paul: You know that scene where you are trying to get the dog in the car and he has all for legs on the corners of the door because he doesn’t want to go in.
Leo: That was you, huh?
Paul: It was like the Bell Hop trying to get me into the taxi.
Leo: Mr. Thurrott you have to leave.
Paul: You really have to go.
Leo: So, we should talk a little about Chine. There has been a lot of China news and we did mention Cortana being in the new Windows phone. Apparently there is going to be a $100 Windows laptop? Didn’t China say don’t buy anything Microsoft again?
Paul: Yeah basically they did. They also said that about Apple by the way. They are insane over there. There is kind of a Xenophobic thing going on in China right now.
Leo: Well what they do is they pirate it.
Paul: Well this is a country that is spying on everything American imaginable. Not just the government but our corporations and all that kind of stuff. Obviously we are spying on them too. I heard there were news stories about this, you know people who are doing the same thing to each other can’t really call out the other for that activity, right? I mean we’re doing the same thing, it’s just the way it is. I just don’t understand that aspect of it but the reality of the situation is for now at least, the cheapest of the electronics, well maybe not the cheapest but the most, or many of the electronics are made in China because of the labor conditions there, the lax laws related to environmental concerns and human safety and all kinds of other things.
Leo: And it’s just cheaper. I mean, if it’s cheap…
Paul: Yeah, if it’s cheap. So China is the kind of place where you are going to see a $100 Windows laptop pop up for the first time now that Windows can be licensed for free. And when you think about it, that is shocking at first but actually it kind of makes sense.
Leo: It makes sense, yeah. But it’s not from Microsoft. That’s the thing.
Paul: No, but obviously its running some kind of Windows 8.1. It is a low-end device in some ways, but it’s like a quad core beta processor, 1 Gig of Ram and 60 gig of storage.
Leo: What? For 100 bucks?
Paul: Those are low-end specs but remember with the Windows update to 8.1 that’s one of the things it supports is these really low end kind of things. It’s got an SD slot, 8 inch screen, 1280x800 which is the same resolution, if I’m not mistaken, as the Dell Menu 8 Pro. Which is a great Tablet. So you know…
Leo: But it’s not running Windows 8, it’s running Windows 7?
Paul: No no, it’s 8.1.
Leo: But I thought they said they weren’t going to buy Windows 8?
Paul: That’s on government computers in China.
Leo: Oh, so the people can buy it.
Paul: The people can. So, you know, we got, a year and a half ago got the Windows first mini tablet, the Acer W3 I think it was called, which was an absolute piece of crap. But you know, if that thing was $100 I think you could make your argument like whatever, it’s 100 bucks. And this thing looks really nice, it actually looks like an iPad mini. You know, we’ll see. I mean, it looks ok. $99.
Leo: It’s probably made in China.
Paul: It’s made in China and sold in China, yeah. They’re probably saving on the shipping so. I don’t know what the deal is but…
Leo: Let’s see, Surface Pro 3 gets high marks for it’s screen but low marks for it’s pair ability.
Paul: Yeah, they didn’t provide a link for the latter bit of that.
Leo: iSupply does this?
Paul: yeah, iSupply does their tear down thing and what they found was that this thing was, you know, like stuffing someone into a prom dress on prom night that doesn’t fit.
Leo: And gluing parts together.
Paul: Just don’t touch anything.
Leo: You’re glued into your dress.
Paul: You don’t get to be thin and light unless you do a little bit of squeezing.
Leo: Yeah, everything is this way.
Paul: But Display Mate tested the screen and what they found was that this thing was awesome. Which by the way I’ve always been fascinated by this kind of analysis right. And they look at the physical qualities of the screen and you know, how pixels are displayed and how they put it together and that’s really interesting but the truth is, all you really need to do is look at it. It was one of the things that was very striking to me about Surface Pro 3 because we knew a bigger Surface Pro was coming, I didn’t know exactly how big it was. When I heard that it was 12.5 inches or 12 inches, I was like oh it’s a little small, I was thinking 13 would be about the right size, 14 would be even better. But there’s something about the quality of the display and you have to see it to understand what I mean. It’s crisp, it’s just really nice.
Leo: Who makes the part do you know? Is it LG? Is it Sony?
Paul: That is actually an excellent question.
Leo: It’s also 3x2, so the size is not as meaningful, right?
Paul: Yeah, that’s true. And this seems kind of illogical but if you think about a wide screen display and maybe you want to put 2 things side by side and you would think that would work really well, and it does work fairly well actually. But there’s something about 3x2 when you put 2 things side by side where it’s obviously a little thinner, it’s got more like 2 portrait oriented displays. For me that really works well if I’m doing something like writing a web page or an article.
Leo: Really? They’re not too small?
Paul: No, it works great. In some ways it’s the first machine where using that kind of Windows 8 snap type feature made sense. I’ll put the desktop on the big part of the display and just have a thin strip on the side with, like, Twitter typically. There’s something about it where it just seems to work well. There’s also a goofiness to Windows if you use the desktop a lot, which I do, where the display will auto rotate as you rotate the device unless you turn that off. If you have a bunch of floating windows on the desktop, you’ve just hosed every single one of them, because they all kind of collide up into the corner because they move with the display as it moves, and then you turn it back and they don’t resize back to the way they were, which I find really irritating. But when you are on a 3x2 display, the difference between this (horizontal) and this (vertical) it’s not as stark because it’s like a square almost. And so the effects of that weirdness rotation on the desktop only problem, which has nothing to do with the quality of the display I know, it’s not mitigated completely but it’s not as bad. So there is a lot about it, there’s a lot about the screen orientation that is unusual when you hear it for the first time, but then you see it and they’re kind of on to something here.
Leo: I wonder of more people will do it?
Paul: Yeah, I hope so. I’ve heard that the mini was this kind of a screen, for example, and actually one of the things I like about the iPad mini is that it’s not this super tall 16x9 display. I guess it’s a 4x3 or?
Leo: It’s a 4x3. Which is not quite the same as 3x2 but it’s similar.
Paul: But it’s wider and it’s portrait orientation, which I like. And it’s close to 3x2.
Leo: Yeah, and Apples point is a piece of paper is 4x3. 16x9 is video so if you are working on it, and I think this is true on 3x2 as well, if you are working on it, it kind of makes more sense really.
Paul: HD TVs make sense because you are watching video content on it almost exclusively. It is interesting to me that we have gone almost completely to 16x9 on PC’s for some reason when in face this is not necessarily super productive when putting stuff side by side.
Leo: So Xbox video updated.
Paul: Yeah, so this is a little bit of a weird one, but if you go back to the original release of Windows 8, they did the same thing as Microsoft did previously with Windows Phone 7 which is they made a bunch of panoramic apps. Which looked beautiful and are actually completely terrible to use. And so in Windows 8.1 they updated the Xbox Music app to be just a regular vertical app. There’s kind of a menu bar up on the side and it scrolls up and down like a normal app instead of having this big panoramic experience. But, oddly enough Xbox video and Xbox games never got the update. In face Xbox Games wasn’t even restyled with the darker color scheme like the other apps so it still looked like the original one from 8.0, which to this day still bothers me. But this week, suddenly and without any announcement or indication it was coming, they updated the Xbox Video app so now it looks like Xbox Music. So it’s not just the same color scheme, which it was before, which is basically black, but it shares the portrait orientation with vertical scrolling and it’s not a giant panorama. And so maybe in 18 months they’ll fix the games app too. They’re moving really slow on this stuff, and I don’t know why.
Leo: Didn’t they say something about the storage in the quarterly call that they weren’t really all in on retail? What was it, I forgot?
Paul: You know, actually, I don’t really
remember either. Mary Jo, I remember when this happened, she was surprised by
this because there were some Microsoft, we don’t talk about this much but, they
don’t do a good job with communicating.
Leo: No! Shocking!
Paul: I know! I actually should take some of the blame, I don’t mention it enough. They did, during that conference call, indicate that maybe Xbox video and Xbox Music were going away. We’ve heard since that’s not the case. And then we’ve heard since that actually we are updating all those apps in a major way. You know the Windows Phone version of the apps is getting a huge update soon. The Xbox Video app on Windows just got a big update. They just don’t do a good job of communicating this stuff. And so, I don’t think anyone would claim that Microsoft stores have gone game busters this far, but I really do thing you can make all these arguments about different product lines being investments and being important even if they’re not direct, huge successes. I really feel the retail store is a big part of that and it falls into that category because anyone who’s walked into a Best Buy will tell you that it looks like Mad Mack is in the PC’s section, there’s broken glass everywhere, I mean, nothing works.
Leo: Dust bunnies blowing in the wind.
Paul: Yeah, like there’s a wolf crying in the background somewhere. You know they just… these are like Microsoft’s partners right? They don’t do a good job of portraying these products and so I think, just like Apple before it, Microsoft needs a place where they can say look, it doesn’t have to suck. We sell these machines that have signature versions of Windows on them. There’s no garbage or broken glass. There’s no wolf pulling a child behind the counter over there. It’s nice in here, it’s clean.
Leo: That’s why Apple did it! And it’s been a big success for Apple right.
Paul: So, the story is anyway, that they are opening, they’re not just scaling back or they’re not just walking, but they are actually opening 13 stores. Still none in New York City, by the way, which I know is a sore spot for Mary Jo Foley.
Leo: Why not do you think? Is it too expensive or…?
Paul: If you said to me that we were going to launch a major retail initiative, I don’t care what your business is, but we’re going to start with 1 store. Where would you put it? You would put it in New York City!
Leo: Yeah! Apple has Grand Central Station. They have one down in Chelsea. And then they have the 5th Avenue store.
Paul: There’s no excuse.
Leo: It can’t be too expensive.
Paul: I don’t care how expensive it is! You have to be in New York City. That’s crazy!
Leo: That’s odd. Just odd.
Paul: Yeah, I don’t know. New York City is not on the list. A couple places in Canada.
Leo: 19, no 13 new stores. So did we misinterpret what they said in the quarterly call? We must have.
Paul: I don’t remember what they said.
Leo: I don’t either.
Paul: I will chalk this up to them not doing a good job of explaining themselves anymore. Two of the miscommunication that came out of that call used the same phrase, which was “streamline.” You know, we’re going to streamline our operations. And you know when you say something like that what that means to most people is you are closing stores. But what Microsoft meant was that we aren’t going to have as many employees per store. We’re not going to have as many employees in the back. They just don’t do a great job of explaining that stuff.
Leo: Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland… Cerritos California, that’s a big area.
Paul: Actually, if I’m not mistaken, the first Microsoft store was in Arizona and I think it was at the Fashion Square Mall in Phoenix.
Leo: Well that’s a city. Canoga Park Durham, Alberta. That’s just very odd! Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Leo: The Eaton Center is big in Toronto. That’s a big one. They had one in suburban Toronto. That’s very odd.
Paul: Yeah, it is very strange.
Leo: Obviously they have a strategy. This isn’t random.
Paul: I love that you are assuming that. And you could be right. Actually the guy who runs the store stuff is really smart.
Leo: There must be some strategy. It’s just not apparent to us mortals.
Paul: It’s so smart I can’t see it.
Leo: Alright, what else do you want to talk about here? I’m looking at the list.
Paul: The only other thing is, this is more that I just reviewed a couple of Tablet/Hybrid computers, but the thought here is not so much about the specific machines but rather this notion that, when Windows 8 launched a couple of years ago, PC makers obviously made regular PCs but they also came out with these tablets, including Microsoft and nobody bought them! So they went nowhere fast. Last year the big trend was mini tablets and so Microsoft jumped right on that one as they usually do, like a year late. Some of them sold ok, but we found out last week that some of them not so much. Like we found out that Linovo, for example, is not selling as many tablets in the US anymore. And they’ll restart that with the next trend in the Fall, but as of now you can’t buy a Linovo Windows based mini tablet in the United States. And it seems that the wider tablet market, and now Windows as well, has gone back to full size tablets as kind of the where this market is going. And bigger screen phones and phone-like devices like Phablets are going to take over the mini tablet part of the market and we’re kind of back where we started with the original iPad with the 10 inch screen. And I think that the advantage that these machines have is that they’re Windows. They can be tablets, they can be laptops, they actually have clip on keyboards that work pretty good. Some of them have additional batteries, some of them are full size keyboards. And it’s kind of interesting but I look at this and I can’t help but think, this is the type of thing they should have been making 2 years ago. I don’t understand how we’re always a day late and a dollar short on the Windows side. And so we’ll see how this stuff goes but I don’t know. These little 10 inch machines…
Leo: When you say convertible, you mean detachable like the keyboard?
Paul: Yeah so it’s literally like a 10 inch tablet or an 11 inch tablet and it has a little connector on the bottom so you can clip it on to a hardware keyboard base and it becomes like a clam shell. It’s just like an Ultra Book, but its kind of small actually. Like a typical Ultra Book is a 13 inch screen, so a 10 or even 11 inch screen is actually pretty small for that kind of device. So if it’s on the smaller size, the keyboard wont be full size, it’ll typically run an Atom Processor which have small amounts of RAM and storage so they aren’t good for high end uses like Photoshop, video editing, visual studio, whatever. Most people don’t do that stuff so it’s ok, but I’m just kind of curious if this is… is this the mainstream part of the market? Is a typical office worker going to be able to use a machine like this? It’s kind of an open question. It didn’t work 2 years ago so…
Leo: Who is this for?
Paul: Yeah, I don’t know. They’re good machines. I mean they are great for what they are. I can’t use one. They are too small. They are too resource limited so they aren’t for me. And that’s ok, I understand how that works. But I just sort of wonder what we’re chasing here.
Leo: That’s the advantage of the Microsoft ecosystem though. At least you have choice.
Paul: You have choice. You can buy a 15 inch Ultra Book if you wanted to.
Leo: Let’s, while Mary Jo is gone, get some Xbox One stuff figured out here. We’ve got some updates, that’s exciting. Xbox One in China! Wow.
Paul: Yeah this is actually a big deal.
Leo: This is a big market. Is it a big market for video games? Yes!
Paul: Well no, China is not a market for video games because 14 years ago they banned video games. They banned the sale of video game consoles and most video games because they are, I forget the actual terminology, but they are morally decrepit or something.
Leo: Well that’s true. That’s why we love them. So there is a 14 year pent up demand. This is huge!
Paul: Over a billion people live in China, a huge market, pent up demand. So obviously getting there first was…
Leo: So Playstation is not there?
Paul: Not yet, but Playstation has their partnerships in place. China is beautiful because China is a country built on craft. So the way China works and the way they are doing these video games, you have to partner with companies that are in a certain part of China that will build the products, and then distribute them, and then sell them. And you have to partner with these particular Chinese companies. Meaning probably state friendly, kind of local companies. It’s sort of a similar set up to what the Italian Mob had in New York City.
Leo: Haha, you want olive oil, we’ve got olive oil.
Paul: So Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo have been racing to get the partnerships in place. And it’s funny because, you know, these companies all build their consoles in China, but not in this part of China. So now all that has to change. So now all the consoles that will be built in China will be built in this, I think it’s called, Shanghai Free Trade Zone or something. Microsoft inexplicably is first. They are going to be first to market. So the Xbox One is coming to China in September, I think it was. And it’s funny because these things are actually pretty expensive which could screw this up. A Connect-less version of Xbox One is $600, which is about 200 bucks more than it is in the United States. It does come with 2 free games. It comes with several months of free Xbox Live Gold. And it does come with a 2 year warrantee by the way. And the games are less expensive there and Xbox Live, when you start paying for it, is also less expensive. There won’t be as many games because they don’t allow certain kinds of games. I can assure you that the Chinese terrorists, or whatever version of that Call of Duty that was, won’t be showing up in the Chinese market.
Leo: Oh, well that’s a good point.
Paul: But there are going to be China specific games, China specific entertainment services and all that kind of stuff. So we’re going to have to see. They’re going to get there first. They’re going to get there ahead of Sony. Sony will be second and then I think Nintendo after that. You know, them being first, that pent up demand, China being the huge market that it is, this has the potential, and I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here because people have gotten excited about things like this in the past, you know, the potential for Microsoft to put an end to this ass kicking they are taking at the hands of Playstation 4 right now. We’ll see if that turns things around. This has the potential to be big deal.
Leo: It’s expensive and I understand a lot of the population is rural and certainly that price is probably a month’s wages. But I remember, on the other hand, when we went into the countryside in Weilin many of the homes had large screen HD TVs. It’s one of the, it’s a status symbol. And you know, if you haven’t had video games in 14 years, that sounds like the kind of thing you might want to spend some money on.
Paul: That’s a lot of Call of Duty to catch up on. What do you mean they are not still in World War 2?
Leo: Haha, very interesting. We are getting updates every month to the Xbox One. I think one of the biggest updates for me was the one that allowed me to use an external drive on the USB port. It’s been great. Now, as I told you before the show, I don’t buy disks anymore because who wants to stick the disk in. When I don’t have enough storage I buy the download.
Paul: Yeah. I provided the wrong link for this story. So every month Microsoft puts out a system update for Xbox One. And actually this week they said formally, we will do this every month. You know Xbox One and PS4 too, by the way, they were sort of rushed to market. So the system software shipped in a state where it didn’t have these features that the Xbox 360 had for years, and people were kind of ripping them on that. But every month they release a system update, and in some cases they are pretty major. There was an update in June that has had major ramifications for me. Simplest thing in the world. Every time this thing turns on, or wakes up, sign into this account, which is my account. Because the Xbox One I use is in my office. I’m the only one using it and I’d have to sit in front of the Connect and say, “hello, I’m over here.” And now it just does it. I don’t have to wait for connect to find me.
Leo: Hmm, I didn’t know it could do that. Although, I’m always sitting in front of it so it almost always finds me.
Paul: Yeah, I like it because my son will walk in and say, “hey, I’m going to work” and the thing would be like, “Hi Mark!” It actually recognizes him.
Leo: That’s so cool! So I set it up for Lisa’s son Michael so when he comes in, it says “hi Michael” but when Lisa comes in I guess they look so much alike that it says “hi Michael.”
Paul: “Hi Michael” haha.
Leo: It thinks Lisa is Michael. I mean they look alike, I gues…
Paul: A lot of times too I’ll turn on the Xbox and I’ll walk out and get a drink and then come back in and, you know…
Leo: You turn your Xbox off?
Paul: No no, I mean when I turn it on. No I just leave it alone and it just goes to sleep. So every month now Microsoft is documenting this stuff they are going to add next month and then they announce when this month’s stuff is available and they have a preview program and people can get this stuff early. They are making changes everywhere. One of the big ones in August is this notion of mobile purchases, or web based purchases too. You can be away from you console, find out about a new game, buy it and if your Xbox is set up correctly, meaning it’s on “instant on,” it will start downloading it immediately to your console, so when you get home it’s just there.
Leo: That’s great, because I will, for big releases, get up early in the morning and start downloading, just so it will be there when I get back.
Paul: So in the future, before Christmas certainly, there will be a system update that allows you to preorder software. So when the new Call of Duty game is announced, a month or so before it actually ships, you can have it downloaded in the background, and there will be a final download whatever enables it and some updates, because that’s Call of Duty and it never works right. And you won’t have to do that massive downloaded wait to play thing. Actually my son just asked me the other day, because he was looking at this mobile purchase thing, he said, “what are we going to do this November?” because we always, when the new Call of Duty comes out, jump in the car and go down to the nearest Best Buy. And I said, Mark, we’re going to do the same thing. Look we’re going to download the game, we’re going to get in the car, and we’re going to drive down to the Best Buy, and we’re going to stand in line and when we get to the front and the guy says, what do you want? I’m going to say nothing, and we’re going to get in the car and go home and start playing. It will be exactly the same.
Leo: It was a sweet father and son thing you used to do.
Paul: Yeah, but what we’ll do now will be the same thing. I will wake him up at midnight, and we’ll just play. We won’t have to leave and we’ll actually have more time to play.
Leo: Yeah, I’m very happy about the downloads and now that I have 3 Terabyte storage I just download all the games. In fact Smart Glass is a neat thing, because I can use my Smart device, my iPad, my iPhone, my Android device, Windows device to, for instance, the Destiny Beta came out, and Shadowxpr in our chat room sent me a code that normally I would have very laboriously retyped it in using the controller but I can do it on the device using a keyboard using Smart Glass and it simplified my life.
Paul: Smart Glass is getting a lot better. And Smart Glass gives Microsoft that Smart dashboard thing that Miracast lacks, the Miracast being a wireless display type technology. Miracast is a wire without a wire. It’s just a remote display. There’s no intelligence behind it. It’s one of the problems with like a Tablet or with the Surface Pro 3, if you use Miracast to remote your display to an HD TV, what you’ll have is just 2 copies of the display. What you really want is for it to just be on the display and nothing down here, because that’s kind of distracting and weird. But once you do that, you still have to interact with the touch screen, even though what you are seeing is on the big screen over there. So you have to kind of approximate where you are pressing on the screen. It’s stupid because it’s just a dumb display. But Smart Glass, like AirPlay or like Google’s Chromecast, it’s smart. So you see a dashboard type display on the device, and the main display up on the HD TV. And I think that Smart Glass has the opportunity to evolve into something that’s even better than those other things because it gives you all that awesome second screen functionality. You know the actors who are in the movie are watching a TV show. You know, all that interactive stuff, it’s not just you can click on the screen and you can see what it is, it gives you interactive capabilities. Smart Glass is kind of a special thing. I bet it turns into something even better as we go forward.
Leo: Yeah. Very nice. The One Guide Now is in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland. You can finally disable notifications during video.
Paul: And again, one of a hundred stupid little things that was already available in Xbox 360 9 years ago or whatever.
Leo: You know, that’s alright though. There’s something great about getting an update every month and having new features and improvements. It makes me say, ok, I got it, they still haven’t fixed that, but they are going to. That’s fine with me. Is there a day? Is it like the second Tuesday? When do these happen?
Paul: So, for a while it had been but the truth is it’s a little softer than that. So they released this stuff early to that preview audience. They’ve been releasing it on different days the last few months. It kind of rolls out some features that actually come a little later in the month too. That happened, I think, this past month too with something. So, not exactly. The other weird thing about it is that June update where you can auto sign in, I didn’t even realize that it had hit because there was no indication that it was available. And I went back to look at it and I was thinking, I must have this update. Where can it be? And I went back and looked for it and it was there. I didn’t implement it until 3 weeks later or something because I just hadn’t realized it had happened.
Leo: Yeah. The other thing you told me about that I’ve been doing is the free games every month, the games from Gold because I have a Gold account.
Paul: Yeah, this one has been a little weird on Xbox One. If you think about it, games with Gold makes a lot of sense with a system that has been around for a while because there are all these great games from times past. So, you know, months ago we got Halo 3 which was a blockbuster, triple title from several years ago. And it’s still a great game and it’s still fun to play and it’s neat to get something like that for free. Xbox One came out 8 months ago, so we don’t have a lot of games. It was kind of unclear on how they were going to go about this. With Xbox 360 you get 2 games every months, sometimes 3 actually. Lately it’s been 3. If you look at the Xbox 360 games this month, they are all great games. Strike Suite Zero, Motorcross Madness and Dishonored. These are good games, you know. They aren’t brand new games, but they are great games. And then Xbox One, you know, it’s only been around for a few months, so it’s like Crimson Dragon. What we haven’t seen yet on Xbox One is like a triple A retail game, it’s just too soon. We’re also not seeing 2 games every month like we’re seeing on the 360. I think its just the matter of the fact that it’s just so recent. It’s a little disappointing because we all want things for free but just being realistic, there’s only so much you can do here. You know, Crimson Dragon… joy. It’s free.
Leo: Yeah, but that’s a good game. I mean, you play a dragon, you breathe fire.
Paul: Yeah, and it did cost $20 before so.
Leo: Yeah, it’s free. Don’t look a free dragon in the mouth. Actually you should never look a dragon of any kind in the mouth. And there’s an update for… Is Smart Glass not available on Windows 5?
Paul: No, it is. Yeah, so this update applies to a lot of the stuff that is coming in August for the system update for Xbox One. So it gives you, and actually now you can do this now, and now using that App, and I assume if it hasn’t it will be soon updated on the Windows version as well as phone, the ability to buy the games and have them sent to the console is in there.
Leo: Cool cool. Alright, we’re going to take a break and come back with your tips. Oh, one more big story, Steve Ballmer is going to… he’s got the hand span to play basketball. And now he can play.
Paul: And more importantly Leo… he has the billions.
Leo: He has the billions to own basketball. Which is better, owning or playing? So I guess that guy, what’s his name? Donald whatever…
Leo: Sterling, yeah. His estranged wife… boy this is a story.
Paul: Yeah, it’s an ugly and convoluted story.
Leo: She, apparently, was trying to sell it, but he says, you can’t sell it! But apparently Ballmer made an offer for 2 billion to buy the Clippers, which Sterling would not accept but his wife would. And now, in fact, the court said that his wife can sell it.
Paul: She can do it, yeah. She was a co-owner, and he dissolved the trust act but she had already made the sale.
Leo: Boy that’s ugly. You’d hate to go home after that. You sold my basketball team! Yes! Next time I’m selling your TV! Anyway, the Clippers.
Paul: I believe his lawyer said something to the effect of, Donald Sterling has never met a lawsuit he doesn’t like, and he has lots of time on his hands.
Leo: Goodness! He’s going to have plenty of time to pursue it.
Paul: Yes he is. I didn’t think Steve Ballmer was going to get it. But the problem is, the basketball season is quickly approaching. Their star player has threatened to boycott the season if this doesn’t happen. The couch is going to leave if this doesn’t happen. You know, they need to get going. Like, training camp starts and they start practicing…
Leo: But it doesn’t matter who owns it. Somebody is going to sign the checks.
Paul: Yeah, but if Donald Sterling still owns the team when the season starts, they don’t want to…
Leo: Oh they don’t want to go to work, I don’t blame them. Which is why this should happen. Is there any truth rumor that Balmer is going to rename them to the “Clipees?”
Paul: Haha, the Clippees. No, but that logo was awesome. You’ve seen the awesome Clippee logo? The Clippees. It looks like you are trying to play a basketball game. Do you need any help?
Leo: Haha, yes! Actually they are a pretty good team.
Paul: Yeah, although the Clippers were the laughing stock of the NBA for many many years. But yeah, actually right now they are very good.
Leo: Alright, when we come back, back of the book coming up. I don’t know, Paul do you want to do beer?
Paul: I got it all Leo.
Leo: You want to do Enterprise? Everything?
Leo: You going to show Mary Jo Foley we don’t really need her.
Paul: I wanted her absence to be less problematic.
Leo: There you go. And because it’s an all man show, a sausage fest, if you will, this would be a good time to talk about shaving. With Harry’s fabulous shave products. Harry’s was started by one of the founders of Morgan Parker Jeff. Morgan Parker, same idea, take a business that is ridiculously overpriced, it’s crazy, and use the internet to rationalize it, to make it affordable, and to make it work for people. So, that’s what Harry’s is all about. If you have been to the drug store and paying drug store prices for your blades, like the Fusion. What is the Fusion now, four bucks a blade? Crazy! I’m not going to say it’s a bad blade, it’s a good blade. But there are those who say, I’m not going to spend that much and they buy those little disposable razors, and that is not a good blade! Harry’s wanted to make a good blade at a fraction of the price. They wanted it so badly that they actually bought a factory in Germany. I’ve been told, on good authority, that there are really only 2 factories in the whole world that will make good blades that won’t cut your face to ribbons when you shave. They’re both in Germany, they are probably both in Solingen which is where the best knives are made. They just know how to do this stuff. And Jeff and his company, the cofounders, bought one of them. They said, it’s so important to us to have great blades that we are actually going to buy the factory that makes them. You know, it works. I can tell you, my own experience, and the experience of people like Steve Gibson, this is the best shave you will ever have. A beautiful blade. If you are trying to save money by buying less expensive or disposable blades, Harry’s is the thing. And what a great gift for the man in your life. Don’t go with a cheap razor. You won’t be happy. Go with Harry’s. And take a look, there are a couple of different sets. There’s the Truman, and the Winston. I got it engraved so it has my name on it. That’s so Lisa won’t use it, though she’s tempted! She wants to! You want to get rid of the beard, yeah, so it’s time now and you want to get rid of the beard and you can do it with Harry’s. And I’m looking at you Paul. So you’ve got 2 tasks this month, shave and make a will. You know what, before you leave I’ll give you the Harry’s gift. It’s only slightly used. But the kit comes, for the Winston set for $25, and they have a beautiful metal handle, which I’m fond of, balanced, it’s not super heavy, it’s light but it’s balanced, it feels really good in your hand. You know this makes shaving something you look forward to again. That’s why you grow a beard because you don’t want to shave, ever again. Harry’s changes all that for you. These are those beautiful blades, and of course they’re from a special factory, and they have the Aloe strip there of course. I can’t adequately describe how much smoother the shave is. And a part of it is the cream. So once you buy the kit, every other month I get 8 blades, because I want one a week, a shave for every week cuz you want to keep them sharp and then I get the cream. And you don’t even have to think about it, it comes every other month. And I think I have 4 tubes of this cream because I use a lot of it. It’s so nice. This cream is derived from, well you’re a massage therapist you would understand this, natural Marula Oil and Coconut Oils. Good stuff. You can give him, after he shaves, a massage with this. Oh it’s beautiful. Yeah, see there’s you’re reward. Look at that. It even smells good. So he’s going to smell good, he’s going to look good, he’s going to have a good shave, he’s going to be happy, you’re going to be happy. The whole world is looking up because of Harry’s. I want you to visit harrys.com. You get your first order, you get $5 off when you use the promo code “Windows.” I’m telling you, we have now here at the house, have all used Harry’s and we love it. It has changed my life. Let it change yours. Harry’s. Harrys.com. You want to see the factory? They have a tour of the factory. They own this factory, they don’t lease this factory. This is how committed they are to making the best blades. Harrys.com use the offer code “windows” for $5 off. It’s the Feintechnik factory. Since 1920 400 German engineers, worksmen and craftsmen build custom equipment. Produces millions of precision blades a year, for Harry. In fact they say your blades will continue to get better. Your shave will get better because we’re always working to improve the design. This is really neat. Alright, enough of that. Let’s get to the back of the book. Paul Thurrott, Leo Laporte. We have to send you, did we ever send you a Harry’s?
Paul: Yeah, you did actually. It’s nice.
Leo: It’s great isn’t it? The shave cream is a big part of it. What are you laughing about?
Paul: Steven says on twitter that we should do a sausage pick of the week.
Leo: I like it!
Paul: Which I would, but we live in the United States and there’s not good sausage here. That’s one of those things when I go to Europe…
Leo: You can write off the trips now!
Leo: I’m here for the sausage pick of the week!
Paul: You’d have lots of good choices in a place like Amsterdam, let me tell ya.
Leo: I’m a sausage fan. I love sausages. Sausages!
Paul: Nothing here. I took pictures of like, well we’d go to the super market and buy these little sausages and I’d cook them with eggs in the morning and take pictures of it because I was like, this stuff is so good! And it looks awesome. You can go to Whole foods but… And he pulls out a sausage.
Leo: I have a sausage! This is made in Italy. It’s a Volpi Sopressata.
Paul: Is that like the Cuban Cigar of Sausage?
Leo: Yeah! We provide these for our staff. Did you know that?
Paul: Welcome to the Twit!
Leo: Everybody gets their own salami. I’m going to try shaving this salami. We could use this in the Harry’s add. All right my friend, time for your tip of the week. We need Mary Jo back, don’t we? We need a female influence here.
Paul: A voice of reason. So, the tip of the week is picking a fitness tracker because really, when it comes to picking this type of technology, who should you trust more than the guy who sits on his ass all day? So, I wore a Nike Fuel Band for about a year and a half or something. It was ok; Kind of big and bulky. The thing that bugged me about it was it wasn’t very accurate. It was especially inaccurate if you were on an Olympic trainer, which I use in the winter. It had no notion that you were doing anything, which I found very irritation. So I switched to a Fitbit which I actually like quite a bit. It’s very accurate and it works very well. Nokia has developed a technology and it’s called Sensicore, which is a combination of hardware and software, and it’s a Windows phone device so it only works on certain devices. In fact, you can get it in your 1521 so it’s Cyan so it’s provided as part of that. And what it allows your phone to do is access location information and movement information, activity and so forth without burning you battery. If you think about it, if you’ve ever used your GPS to drive around in your car you know it will kill your battery in a phone. But this uses the sensors in your phone in a new way. It doesn’t kill the battery. And it’s on all the time. You have to enable it first. And it tracks all that information. And then it’s compatible with compatible apps, including Fitbit Health and Fitness and third party apps and so forth. And so I was curious, Sensicore was a part of the 635 I was reviewing and so I walked every day and listened to audible and I though, hey I’ll bring this with me so I put it in my pocket and I’ll use Fitbit and we’ll see how many steps it says I take. And actually these things were really close to each other, a whole lot more than I thought they would be. Often within a dozen or 20 steps or so of each other. After 30 to 45 minutes of walking and 3000 to 4200 steps, that’s really good. So the question kind of comes down to, if you want to do this kind of thing, and of course the apps that come with these kinds of things, of course the Fitbit app which comes with a Fitbit or the My Fitness Pall, in addition to storing the data and manipulating the data that comes out of the device you are using, it also does things like food and nutrition and weight loss…
Leo: I like My Fitness Pall, I use that a lot.
Paul: Yeah. So, it’s compatible with all this stuff. You can go through Health Vault and keep stuff up on secure Cloud or whatever you want to do. But it’s interesting to me, I’m probably personally going to keep with the Fitbit because the benefit of the Fitbit is it’s on you all the time and to me it’s not just the workout, but there’s people who commute and in my case people who walk to the bathroom and back so many times a day…
Leo: Haha, you have a long commute!
Paul: Have other activity that they do every day that I’m not necessarily bringing my phone.
Leo: You probably have 400 steps per day! You know, you have that stair master behind you but I’ve never seen you use it. But I guess you wouldn’t use it on the show.
Paul: I could; Maybe one time. I don’t use it in the Summer. I usually go outside in the Summer.
Leo: So you walk every day?
Paul: Almost every day. Probably 5 days a week.
Leo: It’s good for you. Best exercise. Are you going for 10,000 steps?
Paul: Oh gosh, I rarely hit 10,000 steps. I usually in the 8 range.
Leo: That’s good! I have an Android watch and it does that too. I have 1,144 steps. That’s pathetic.
Paul: By the way, it’s been hellacious. Yeah, I have 2600 so don’t feel bad. I haven’t left the house yet today. So its just been this back to back thing. This whole week has been like that. Anyway it just depends on your preference. But I mean, some of these new phones, the Icon, I think, and the 930, 1520, will get it with Cyan, and then the 630 and 635 have it already.
Leo: They have to have the hardware already though, right? So this is just enabling the existing stuff?
Paul: Yeah, it’s just enabling a feature. It’s interesting, and I’ll just say based on my experience over a couple of weeks now, the Nokia thing is actually really accurate. It’s really good.
Leo: Do you go to bed with it?
Paul: With my phone? No, no I don’t. I leave my phone downstairs.
Leo: You could, and some of these apps will do this as well, track your sleep with these things. I sleep with my Android phone and it actually, if it hears snoring, it records it.
Paul: Well that’s amazing.
Leo: So, I can wake up the next morning and hear how loud I was. And it will show you.
Paul: That’s very interesting. The Fitbit I wear, it does sleep monitoring, but you have to enable it. And, you know, when you are falling asleep the last thing you are thinking about is enabling that.
Leo: Yeah, I did that the first few nights.
Paul: I did it for many weeks because I sleep poorly and I was very curious about how this mapped with how I felt. To be honest, I can’t say how accurate it was, like if I was actually restless at these times, but the nights where I felt like I slept poorly or the few nights where I actually thought I slept well, yes, that’s exactly what it showed. It does work.
Leo: Yeah, I think that is very interesting. We are at the very early ages of this stuff. So a lot of it is funky still, but it’s interesting.
Paul: If you want a personal version of big data, this is it. You have devices, or a device that is tracking data about you in real time all day long. You can wear devices that have heart rate monitors built into them and all kinds of other things. These will have huge ramifications who have things like diabetes or other problems like that where you want to keep track if something and be alerted proactively. The permutations of this are kind of amazing.
Leo: Yeah, I think we are getting there.
Paul: Very interesting.
Leo: Our Hap of the week.
Paul: So, some times ago, Game Loft announced that they were going to support the Windows platforms, meaning Windows 8 dot whatever and Windows phone 8 dot whatever, with new games. And that they would not release them late, like they have in the past. They would release them day and date with IOS and Android. So the first major game this year where they have done that is Modern Combat 5, which is kind of like a multi touch version of Call of Duty, if you will. You know with these games, obviously it’s the 5th one, so we had Modern Combat 4 on Windows phone but not on Windows and then the previous versions appeared on IOS I’m sure and possibly on Android, I’m not sure about that one. They’re great games, I just find it hard to control with touch screen a first person shooter. But, if you have a Windows device, like a Windows 8 device, you can plug in an Xbox controller and you can play this game with an Xbox controller. You can also play it with a keyboard and a mouse. So all of a sudden, these games, which are awesome looking and look like they could be a lot of fun to play if you could just master the controls, can be played with the controller type of your choice if you’re on Windows based. I actually think that is pretty cool. So maybe when I go to Barcelona, since they wont have Call of Duty, maybe I’ll bring an Xbox controller and maybe I can play this thing.
Leo: You are not bringing your Xbox to Barcelona?
Paul: It’d be like traveling with my car. Oh, by the way, this is a true story. I took an Xbox One to FedEx yesterday to ship to somebody. So I put the Xbox on the front seat of my car, and took off, and about 5 blocks, 1 minute down the road or something, the seat belt alarm went off. This thing weighs so much…
Leo: The car thought you had a small child in the passenger seat!
Paul: Right! And the way the alarm works, is if you don’t plug the seatbelt in, it will turn off the car.
Leo: You had to belt your Xbox in.
Paul: It won’t stop. It’s like, ding, ding ding! It’s not portable, is what I’m saying.
Leo: It’s a new law. Any game device larger than a certain size has to be belted in.
Paul: I put it on the floor. I had to turn off my car! The alarm would not stop.
Leo: When you came to a stop did you reach out to hold the Xbox into the seat?
Paul: Haha, yeah. With the fail safe plan.
Leo: My dad used to do that, in the days before seat belts. Hold on.
Paul: I know, it’s so stupid. But just, not related to Modern Combat but other software picks I guess, one note was, updated for IOS and Mac user systems this week and was released on Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. And I don’t think we talked about this but, there aren’t a lot of Microsoft apps on the Amazon ecosystem for some reason. And obviously this is a big one so I’m hoping that this means maybe there will be more. And, by the way, I’m also hoping that Amazon will return the favor and maybe update their Kindle app on Windows once a century or so; that would be nice.
Leo: I swear… Enterprise. Enterprise? Really Paul?
Paul: I’m actually doing the whole thing Leo, but you’ll see the way I’m doing this is…
Leo: What is your Enterprise pick of the week?
Paul: I actually wrote an article this week about how Windows phone is now suddenly far more applicable to Enterprise than it ever has been. There is a lot to this discussion and I don’t want to waste a lot of time on this. People forget this, you know, Windows phone is only 4 years old, but when Windows phone debuted 4 years ago it was focused on consumers, it was focused on the high end of the market, it was all about being like the iPhone. And that didn’t work. It did not have the Enterprise support, which 4 year ago meant exchange active sync support like exchange policy support, that Windows mobile had had before. And business reacted like everyone else did, which was to ignore it completely. And so, Windows phone has changed dramatically over the past 4 year, and not just in Enterprise but everything in general and we kind of forget this stuff. You remember how Microsoft used to talk about how we were going to delight users and it was all about user panoramic experiences, and we were going to have integration, and social networking was going to be built in, it wasn’t going to be social apps or whatever. And I’m sorry folks, but that is all over. This phone is not delighting anyone anymore… No that’s not what I meant, but the focus is not on that anymore. The strategy didn’t work. So one of the things they’ve added into 8.1 in particular, and not 100 percent but 90 something percent, is the Enterprise active sync for MDM, policies for managing those devices are now in place. These things are roughly equivalent now to IOS or Android, both of which have made significant gains of their own on the Enterprise in regards to their device management. So that’s just a huge change. It is amazing how much Windows phone has changed. In fact, when I go away to Barcelona, I take a week off and I do retrospective articles for that week, and one of them will be about Windows phone and how much it’s changed. Because when you go back and look at the original version of Windows 7, which you remember was called the Windows phone 7 Siris, the language they used, the way they presented it is completely different from Windows phone today. There’s almost nothing left. I mean, they have live tiles, but it’s amazing how much has changed.
Leo: To what do you credit that?
Paul: Well, the reality of the market right, so….
Leo: People don’t want to be delighted?
Paul: No, no. Why it failed you mean.
Leo: Why they changed the message, I mean?
Paul: Well, people weren’t responding. So, for example, when Windows phone first shipped I was blown away from the very beginning, from the first second they started it. And what really got me about Windows phone was that Android at the time, remember this was 4 years ago, Android at the time was just copying Apple, that’s all they were doing. Oh, Apple has a grid of icons, lets make a grid of icons. You know, they made exactly the same kind of phone. Google, to their credit, has gone off and done their own kind of stuff and I feel like they are in more of a leadership role than they used to be. Microsoft looked at the market the way it used to be in 2010 and said, look, we have got to make something different. We can’t just make something different, it has to be better too. And they really thought through it and the way they thought through it was to, not just have dumb icons, but to have expressive tiles that could relay information without you having to go into the apps. I always thought that was a big deal. I bought into the whole integrated experiences approach. But the reason that failed was because it was never extensible. So the way the photos hub should have worked was that it came with built in experiences for Facebook and for Microsoft sky drive at the time but if I had photos in Flikr or Smugmug or some other service, there was no way to integrate that into the photos hub. And there never was. Like, that never came. And that was Microsoft just blowing it. They talked about integration extensively but they never offered it to other companies to add or to individuals to add. You were just kind of stuck with the way it was, so when Facebook updated their service, yeah, you have integrated Facebook on the phone but you don’t have this other capability because it’s integrated into the OS, you can’t update that. So there was a lot that I bought into with the Windows phone, that just never worked, by and large. They’ve back pedaled on that and they’ve stopped being so precious about it, you know. Allow apps to look like their own thing, don’t make them look like Windows phone apps. Just let Facebook look like Facebook, it doesn’t have to look like a Windows phone app. Don’t be precious about that. Watch what the other guys do right, and do it! Folders, finally coming. Notification center, implement one; big deal. You need to do the stuff that people are doing that works. Sometimes when you are trying to be different, it’s like you are purposefully ignoring some of the stuff that is important on another platform. So Windows phone has really changed, and there is a lot of other stuff that is really different, I’m just kind of highlighting the problem areas.
Leo: You are just talking from 7, not even from 6.5.
Paul: Specifically from 7 yeah, because they started over with 7.
Leo: Yeah, I mean, from 6.5 there was huge change.
Paul: Oh yeah.
Leo: Somebody said, and I think this is an interesting question, here you at least did have a presence in the Enterprise with 6.5 mobile, so why walk away at least until you have a credible alternative?
Paul: Because Apple was killing them. Microsoft lost the better part of a decade being so focused on Apple and walking away from their historic strengths. And right now Microsoft has come full circle. Their talking about productivity first, you know. They are going back to their roots. We’re going to make Absinth run on all platforms. They were so focused on, oh my God look how successful Apple is with consumers! We’ve got to get that way, we’ve got to get that and get that. And when you do stuff like that that’s when you make things like Zune and Ken and the original version of Windows phone. Those things all came out of the same place. It’s a wrong-headed approach, even though I feel like they got a lot right with Windows phone. It was special and it still is special. It doesn’t matter how special I think something is, if there are 3 people out there using it you need to adjust. So they’ve done a great job of turning this into a big deal. And by the way, just like the underlying platform, it was compact CE with a Silverlight API and X amount of games. Today it’s Windows. This is NT folks, in a phone and that’s amazing.
Leo: I still think of Windows 7 and having Windows phone 8 as a continuum, you know you are saying there is a huge difference between 7 and 8.
Paul: Oh no, there is a huge difference. Absolutely a huge difference.
Leo: I don’t know if consumers are going to see that.
Paul: No, why would they? But one of the things Microsoft did very effectively was not make the UI hugely different. They allowed you to run the old apps and games. There was a nice continuum there. But what maybe people didn’t understand out of the cover was that this thing went from tinker toy to Enterprise class NT kernal awesomeness.
Leo: I have to say Windows phone 8, especially 8.1 is fantastic. It is a great operating system
Paul: The problem is they screwed over their best customers when they first did Windows phone and I think a lot of those customers are still really leery about it and they’ve all used IOS and Android.
Leo: It’s just too late.
Paul: It could be. Yeah.
Leo: Well, maybe it’s not too late going forward, but being late to the party does make a difference in this case.
Leo: Code name pick, do you want to do one of those?
Paul: Yeah, I do. Code name pick of the week is Interface Manager, which is the Microsoft code name of all time.
Leo: That sounds really familiar. Was that Windows phone 3?
Paul: Let’s see what people are guessing.
Leo: Ok, let’s go to the chat room. Anybody know, what was the Interface Manager the code name for? Program Manager was 3.1. Interface Manager, that sounds so familiar. I don’t know.
Paul: The original version of Windows.
Leo: The original! Version 1.
Paul: Yep, that was the original name of Windows.
Leo: Interface Manager, that sounded very familiar.
Paul: And if you think about it in the context of what it was, which is a DOS based application manager, a way to run 2 DOS apps side by side or multiple whatever, it almost makes sense. You know, it would have competed with Desk View or whatever types of applications we would have had back in the mid 1980s.
Leo: See now the chat room is lighting up. Now they know!
Paul: Yeah. Well this is one of those cases where we often criticize Microsoft for their abundant use of code names and terrible product names. But in this case this is reversed. Windows is a much better name than Interface Manager.
Leo: But interface manager is what it does so that’s not so bad. Alright, so now you are going to do something interesting with your beer pick, and I kind of like this. How long have you been using Untapped.
Paul: At least over a year because I was using it in Amsterdam last year.
Leo: And you record everything you drink in Untapped?
Paul: No. One thing I learned early on was to stop checking in every single beer. That was stupid. So, I check in unique beers now, or at least I try to. I think I mentioned last week I got 2 crazy beers in a Belgium place in Boston and I thought, here we go. Finally a new beer to check in, and I had actually had both of them before, which I was embarrassed about.
Leo: Can we go look in to your Untapped account? Like, can I go to Untapped.com?
Paul: Yeah you can. Go to Untapped.com/user/thurrott.
Leo: Cool, so we can actually see all the beers that you have checked.
Paul: Yeah, and if you want you can follow me. There is no restriction there on untapped. Anyone who wants to follow me on there is fine. And it’s interesting to compare what I do to what Mary Jo does because we joke about this a lot, but the truth is in many ways, there are ways to do hoppy beers correctly and I like those beers. Mary Jo just likes hobby beers so she tends to like the hoppy beers that I will never like, but she knows what I like and she and I will often share a beer and say, here I think you will like this beer. That kind of thing. We are actually on the same page more than people will imagine. I looked at untapped today and I don’t look often but I was kind of curious how many of the x number of beers, I’m sure its over 100, Mary Jo’s is probably 15 times bigger than what I have done, there is a huge divide between us. Alright so I’ve done 125 unique beers and how many of those beers have I rated 5 stars? 14 actually. 4 of them are local to me, 3 of them are from Blue Hills Brewery, my favorite place, 5 are from Colorado which is the center of beer in the US as far as I’m concerned, and then 6 of them are from Belgium. 8 of them are Belgium style beers meaning either from Belgium or Belgium style from the United States like Ommegang which is from Colorodo, 2 of them are Barley Wine beer which I really like although that’s kind of a winter thing. But what this boils down to is clearly my favorite kind of beer, based on my own ratings, is Belgium beer. And we’re lucky to have crazy Belgium beer, its just some of these names no one can possibly pronounce if they didn’t live there.
Leo: Oh I know, even the language sounds like there’s something wrong with you. That’s cool. You know there’s a few interesting things. This is cool, if you go to Paul’s untapped and follow him…
Paul: A lot of these are really high in alcohol. Like some of these are double joojoo.
Leo: This is good. I agree with you and I’m not a huge beer fan but boy, I just love the Belgium styles.
Paul: That’s really what it kind of comes down to. There are places in the US like Avery and Ommegang which are just fantastic Belgium style beers. The Boston area is huge, I mean none of them are 5 stars for me, but Pretty Things is in there.
Leo: He’s Thurrott untapped. Follow him. Add all your friends. Look at all the badges.
Paul: I told you I think I posted this on Facebook or Twitter or something, but untapped gives me achievements for drinking beer and Fitbit gives me achievements for exercising, so between the 2 of them I find balance.
Leo: It’s confusion. You started December 2nd 2012.
Paul: Yeah but I didn’t actively use it until much later. Like it was quite a bit later before I actually did anything with it.
Leo: Yeah, it was a year later that you became an apprentice.
Paul: Yeah, I took a year and didn’t use it. I signed it but, you know, checking in a beer is, I don’t know. It’s like, hold on guys, I want to have this interesting conversation but I’ve got to check my beer. It’s so stupid.
Leo: How many glasses of this did I have?
Paul: Yeah, I’m not going to do it for every beer.
Leo: Paul Thurrott is at the super site for Windows Win at winsupersite.com that’s where you can catch many of the things we’ve talked about. There are some great articles on that. He’s also on untapped as Thurrott. His gamer tag is also Thurrott on Xbox One. We’ll be back next week with Mary Jo, she’ll be back. She’s what? Judging a Microsoft innovation competition of some kind with Satya Nadella.
Paul: Yeah, the Imagine, what’s it called?
Leo: Something or other. Anyway, so she’ll be back next week. You can watch us do this show every Wednesday, 11am pacific, 2pm eastern 1800 UTC. We had a big studio audience, nice to see you all. If you want to be in our studio audience, this studio is the little studio so we can only accommodate 6 or 8 people so do email tickets at Twit.tv. We’ll kick Ozzy off one of the chairs so we’ll make sure there is a seat for you. And of course if you can’t make it live, you can always watch if after the fact on Twit.tv/WW. Paul, great to talk to you. Have a great week. When are you going to Barcelona?
Paul: On Friday.
Leo: So we’ll do the show with you next week in Spain? Or are you just going to take the week off? Or the month off?
Paul: I actually don’t know which week I’ll be taking off but I’m pretty sure it’s not next week. By the way, I just looked up Mary Jo on untapped. She is 827 unique beers, compared to 125 for me, so I’ve got a ways.
Leo: Yikes! But she also did that 40 and 40 thing at Bradlem Hum.
Paul: I think it’s safe to say Mary Jo is a professional.
Leo: She drinks beer competitively.
Paul: I’m not into the, yes… she’s like Michael Jordan of the…
Leo: You are an accomplished amateur.
Leo: Thanks Paul. Thanks everybody. We’ll see you next time on Windows Weekly!