Windows Weekly 377 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It’s time for Windows Weekly Paul Thurrott’s here and Mary Jo Foley. We’ll have an update on Cyan for the Nokia phones. Here it comes. The latest on Threshold it’s just around the corner Windows 9 and a whole lot more. Stay tuned, Windows Weekly is next.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, Episode 377 recorded August 27th, 2014
The Fruitcake Phone
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It’s time for Windows Weekly the show where Windows is discussed weekly. That’s why we call it that.
Paul Thurrott: The genius behind our name.
Leo: That’s Paul Thurrott speaking geniuses. Back from Barcelona. I brought you back a little prematurely. I thought you were already back last week. But no you just got back. You’re probably a little jetlagged, it’s the middle of the night.
Paul: Only 20 hours of travel from door to door. So that was great.
Leo: Why is that?
Paul: I don’t know. Part of it was Aer Lingus.
Leo: You flew through Ireland?
Paul: Yeah because it’s kind of on the way.
Leo: That’s Mary Jo Foley on the right. She writes about Microsoft for ZDnet at allaboutmicrosoft.com. Paul of course calls his home on the internet the supersite for Windows. Not being prone to hyperbole or anything. It’s winsupersite.com. It is by the way a super, super site.
Paul: I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this on this podcast. The reason I named it that wasn’t because it was super but rather because it was dedicated only to that version of Windows at the time. Which was NT5.0 which became Windows 2000. My intent was to be like a one off site.
Leo: Like this is the super site for that version of Windows?
Leo: That actually makes sense.
Paul: A lot of people look at that and think wow this guy has a big head. Which I do.
Leo: That’s true too.
Paul: I do in real life but not in the way that you’re thinking.
Leo: He’s got a massive pumpkin. As do I so it’s okay.
Paul: Cry myself on my enormous pillow.
Leo: We really should put her in the middle.
Mary Jo Foley: I actually have a gigantic head too. I think this is an Irish thing.
Leo: The big head brigade. We should just call us Windows Big heads. When I first started doing these shows now that we’re going down memory lane. I really thought, because at the time when people watched video they watched it on a tiny iPod screen. I actually said big head video. I thought all of the shots should be super tight on people’s heads so you could see them.
Paul: So you could actually see them.
Leo: Yeah see their expressions.
Paul: Now you’ve got that HD TV problem where all of a sudden you can see every pore on our skin.
Leo: We are actually saying to them now back off. Can you move the camera back a little more. Little more, little more, back.
Paul: Is there room across the street?
Leo: Welcome back Paul. I think you had a great time just judging from your pictures on Facebook.
Paul: Yeah it was great.
Leo: Did a lot of stuff with the kids, which is nice. Are you refreshed?
Leo: The problem with being a blogger is you worked the whole time.
Paul: I am not even unpacked, Leo. I’m a mess.
Leo: Well while you were galavanting about Europe, Mary Jo had her nose to the grindstone and her fingers to the keys. Cranking out scoop after scoop. The latest of the enterprise Threshold preview will be September 30th.
Mary Jo: Yeah that’s not even my scoop. That was Tom Warrens scoop from the Verge. But I’ve been trying to confirm it to make sure that it was correct. I have managed to confirm it with my own sources now. September 30th is the date that something is going to be revealed at least. I don’t know if that’s the date we’ll get the bits. But that’s the big reveal date.
Leo: So you might not get a copy of it. You might just learn something about it.
Mary Jo: Yeah but the bits are supposedly coming right around that time. So it may be on that day or slightly after that and they’re going to be what people are calling the enterprise tech previews. So I think it’s going to be just for Intel. Just focused at least primarily what is new in the desktop and not so much on the other side of Windows 8.9 or whatever this gets called. There is going to be something that people take away with them. Take home to play with.
Leo: Will it be reflective of what the final version of Threshold will be?
Mary Jo: No, it’s just going to show us a subset of what is coming in Threshold. So not all of the features and maybe not even all of the features we’ve hear leaks about are going to be in there at that point.
Leo: Okay. So don’t draw any conclusions. I mean this is a month away.
Mary Jo: Yeah it’s like one month away.
Paul: I am so happy because my computer is so stable right now.
Leo: Yeah let’s break it.
Paul: You know what I mean it’s kind of boring.
Leo: Why are you running stable bits. You could be running the new thing. The new broken thing. Well that’s good.
Mary Jo: It is good.
Leo: Is this on schedule. This is what they expected to do right?
Mary Jo: Yeah I think it’s very much on schedule because Paul and I have been reporting for months that Threshold is to be in the spring of 2015 when it gets released and it sounds like at least right now right on target for that.
Leo: Is it late to put out a preview though? If you were going to ship in the spring.
Paul: Actually this is exactly, when we heard April 2015 you kind of do the math and you say October is the exact right time for that beta.
Leo: You want 6 or 7 months. Will there be a public beta as well? Consumer beta?
Mary Jo: We are getting various tips on this. I think this enterprise tech preview is going to be public. So anybody who wants to try installing it can. So it will be a public preview. But there’s still going to be another preview I believe in January or February that is on ARM devices. I think this is going to be the version that runs on Windows Phone and on ARM based tablets and other devices that will come in January and February.
Leo: When you say that you’re not talking RT you’re talking Pro?
Mary Jo: I’m talking about this new SKU that they are building of Threshold. That’s supposedly a combination of Windows Phone OS and Windows RT. A big munged together new thing that will probably have some new name. Not be called Windows RT I’m betting.
Paul: Munge would be an excellent name.
Mary Jo: Munge would be a nice name.
Leo: It’s munged.
Mary Jo: I like that.
Leo: Windows Mungeli. There are those the Wags among us in the chat room who would say of course it’s on time there wasn’t much to do. They are just skinning Windows 8.1 to make people like it better.
Paul: That’s a little tough. But we’ve talked before about why they are doing this, why they are going to rename it all that kind of stuff. Ultimately what we’re looking at here is almost certainly Windows 8.1 level of improvements. If you go from Windows 8 to 8.1 it was a pretty decent jump. It kind of showed everybody what they could do in a year roughly of a time. Windows 9 or whatever they call it, Threshold is really the same kind of thing. They could have called it 8.2. But of course they don’t want to call it that, they want to move past Windows 8. So they will call it something else.
Leo: Just as they could have called Windows 7, Windows Vista 2. Is Threshold to 8 as 7 was to Vista? Is that fair?
Leo: Fix the problem. I remember when 7 came out I said well they’ve just shined up the rough spots, sanded down the rough spots. Cleaned it up.
Paul: Windows Vista was an obvious problem. Fixing it was easy in the sense that the problem was easily identifiable it was a goal you could kind of go after. They took 3 years to do it. They made it happen. So I think when you look at Windows 8. Actually Windows 8 is a bigger problem than Windows Vista was. Because it’s not immediately obvious because there had to be some discussions where they said we’ve gone down this rabbit hole do we keep moving in this direction? It would have been potentially disastrous for them to have backed off say the metro environment for example like a lot of people have asked them to do. But they’ve kind of put themselves into a particular direction. If anything this is even more important. Because it’s not really necessarily obvious all the time what they need to do.
Mary Jo: I think a lot of this release is going to be about perception too. It’s going to be about features obviously how they changed the desktop, how they changed the metro side of the operating system. But it’s also going to be about changing perceptions. Because, I’ve said it before on the show and said it in blog posts, even though I don’t think Windows 8 is like Vista in terms of being a really problematic release feature wise. I think it’s already tainted with this idea it’s awful and the general public is like I heard there’s this thing it’s Windows 8. It’s terrible I don’t want it on my PC. They've got to get away from that. They have to get away from that perception.
Paul: It’s a little of both. You’re absolutely right the perception has tainted this thing forever. I’ve always had the stance Windows 8 is kind of crazy. As a technology enthusiast I sort of enjoy the fact the Microsoft actually released something that was nuts. They’re so calm and sedate and predictable. This is so out there. It’s crazy that Microsoft did this. So I kind of enjoy it from that perspective. I use it every day, it’s fine it works fine. But I have to say over the past couple years the sheer number of people that I know who have approached this thing and said what is this I can’t find anything anymore. They are actually legitimately flummoxed by it. Good friends of mine. A friend of mine called me before we went away last month and said can I go back to Windows 7 on this machine? What happened here? He’s a smart guy. That just happens a lot. When I write about this people get confused and say Paul you said this was great. You said this and that. I still feel the way I feel about Windows 8. You have to kind of acknowledge the real world feedback that has occurred. Obviously Microsoft is acknowledging it because they are changing virtually everything.
Leo: Is it changing everything cosmetically though? It’s not changing everything?
Paul: When you change a full screen start screen down to a start menu which is what people have been asking for. Is that cosmetic or is it also functional? It’s also the user experience.
Leo: But it’s UI.
Paul: The kernel is solid. The underlying foundation is solid. The apps model is.
Leo: They did some big changes between 7 and 8. Big improvements under the hood. People didn’t know, don’t see it. What they look at is the UI. A UI thing is a fairly easy thing to fix. You just fix the UI right?
Mary Jo: I think some of these things are connected. Like if they take away the charms bar like we are hearing they are going to do. That affects more than just the UI. That affects how do you continue having the policies in place to allow you to share apps and share things and print. So it looks like you’re just shifting some things around on the surface but I think it’s way deeper than that. We haven’t had a lot of leaks on the features underneath. We’ve gotten leaks about UI changes but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of changes under the hood in terms of API’s, security and other new features that we just haven’t heard anything about yet.
Paul: The other thing is by embracing this kind of multi-touch thing in mainstream Windows and not making that a separate product Microsoft has added a level of complexity that has never existed in any operating system unless you want to go back to Dawson plus Windows. Back in the old days where sometimes you would drop down to DOS to do certain things, sometimes you go into Windows and do certain things. They have to make something that somehow adapts to the type of machine you’re on. That presents touch friendly UI’s for tablets, for those kind of hybrid devices. Then it works the way people expect it to perform on their normal PC’s. Apple by virtue the fact that they have 2 different types of systems that has a very clear target head the direction. They don’t have to worry about adding support command line for IOS or whatever. It’s tough, it’s very simple. Macs 10 is desktop, very simple. That’s what I was saying earlier it would have been a much bigger deal for them to have just kind of split this thing off into 2 different things although it sounds like they are sort of doing that. But underlying this thing it’s one system. It has to work well everywhere. It’s kind of a tough problem.
Leo: So we know the ARM based what did you call it munge.
Mary Jo: Windows Munge.
Leo: Windows Threshold Munge will be in preview early next year.
Mary Jo: That’s what sources are saying we should point out. Microsoft’s not saying anything.
Leo: No no yeah. All of this is speculation. New leaks this week about some new features.
Mary Jo: Paul might know how new some of these are. I think the stuff about live tiles, I put live folders. I think live tiles on the start screen is new.
Paul: Yeah this is something Brad and I were talking about. This notion that the task bar on the desktop which supports tiles now instead of just icons. So you could get those tile updates while you’re on the desktop.
Mary Jo: Notification center I’ve seen some people say that is coming something very similar to what is in Windows Phone now and I’ve seen others say no. But I bet they’re going to do that because they’re trying to unify the experience, right?
Paul: I would be surprised if they didn’t add folders to the start menu/screen just like they have on Windows Phone. There are certain features on big Windows that don’t make sense on a phone. But there are a lot of features on the phone that make that more mature than the metro environment on the desktop. They need to update that. I wouldn’t be surprised if that stuff wasn’t happening.
Mary Jo: Yeah me too.
Leo: Notifications center is going to change?
Mary Jo: Yeah we think it’s going to be more like the phone. That’s our guess.
Leo: I think that’s good. I think Windows phone is really kind of nice.
Mary Jo: Me too.
Leo: Is this for the ARM based version or for all versions?
Mary Jo: That’s a good question. Paul and I have both reported this before but we should probably restate it again. We think what’s going to happen is, the operating system is going to kind of adapt to the kind of hardware it’s on. Just like what they did with Windows 8.1 update.
Leo: Oh that’s smart.
Mary Jo: So if you’re using it on a device with a certain profile, like say it’s a tablet. You’re going to get a certain experience by default. If you’re using it on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard attached it’s going to give you a different experience. Because it’s going to recognize that you’re on that kind of hardware. We think that’s going to continue over into Threshold. That’s the way different people are going to get different UI’s and different experiences and interact with it in a different way. So it’s almost like the device is going to define the experience you get. I think there will be an opportunity to change some defaults but I don’t know for example if you’re on a desktop if you will be able to change it so you automatically default to tiles. I don’t know how that will work.
Leo: That would have really eliminated some of my problems with Windows 8. Instead of trying to be all things to all people on all devices. Had they said oh you have touch so we are going to give you more touch centered experience.
Paul: This is what people were asking for, from day one. They have it in 8.1.
Leo: We have the technology. We could do that.
Paul: Yeah it’s right there. If this then that. If only there was only some kind of notion in science.
Leo: If only programing had a case statement.
Paul: I am not a programmer, Leo. But they did add that. So it’s not hard to imagine that they will continue that. There are certainly options in 8.1 that will allow you to boot to the start screen if that’s what you want to do even on a desktop.
Leo: That kind of makes Satya Nadella’s one Windows make more sense in a way. One Windows that adapts to the platform that it’s on. Give you the most platform centric. I love the idea of saying the defaults are going to be platform centric but you could change it if you really wanted desktop on a touch device, go ahead. We played yesterday, Mike Elgin was reviewing the new Toshiba 8 inch Windows Pro Tablet. It was impressive in some ways. The tiles, the UI makes perfect sense as soon as you go to the desktop, I quit. It’s so small I can’t see. But the touch thing was very impressive and you get compatibility with Windows applications and stuff.
Paul: RT is a little ahead of its time.
Leo: This wasn’t RT, this was full Windows.
Paul: I know that. What I mean by that is that in the future hopefully you won’t need to go to the desktop and you can run that full. In that case RT would be fine. Today you kind of need the security blanket. So even though it’s a little ridiculous that the desktop icons are tiny and all that stuff. You can bump those up. It’s never going to be great on an 8 inch screen on touch but if you have your music collection in iTunes or you use the Chrome Web browser whatever it may be. There is always going to be that one thing. Just having that as a security blanket that you can run that app and move forward. Then get more comfortable with the metro stuff and maybe find alternatives there moving forward. For now that kind of X86 tablet, mini tablet whatever, I still think it makes the most sense because you never know. I think the worse thing about using an RT device right now is you’re basically stuck with IE and then in the touch environment it doesn’t support extensions. So wow it’s not very good.
Leo: That’s always been one of my biggest confusions is the 2 versions of IE, that behave completely different depending on the environment.
Paul: It’s a technological transition and so it happens over time. We will see how that goes. I constantly sort of reevaluate it. I look at web based alternatives to download applications. Try to find some way that maybe someday alumina 2520 or Surface 2 could actually make sense. Because those devices keep terrific battery life they have nice screens, they are nice and thin and light but I have this handful of apps that I have to kind of use regularly. Every single day really. It’s hard making that change.
Leo: Okay, anything else to say. Windows Phoney’s is Paul Thurrott’s new ism.
Mary Jo: Yeah I want to hear about that. But first I should also mention I’ve been hearing we’re going to see at the same time that we see this Enterprise Tech Preview we’re going to get a preview as well of Windows Server Threshold. Which we have had zero leaks about pretty much. So that should be interesting to see what they’re doing on server too.
Paul: The lack of leaks is making people nervous. They are going to upgrade server, right and that kind of thing. Yeah of course they are. It’s amazing that we’ve heard nothing about this.
Mary Jo: But what about Phoney’s? I didn’t catch your little thing on that.
Paul: Well you’ve heard the term Franco Phoney right?
Leo: Not a Franco file but a phoney Franco.
Paul: So I was referring to people who work on the Windows team as Windows Phoney’s. Which a couple people were kind of amused by. I had written something about the Threshold Public preview for the IT audience of at Windows IT pro. This is an audience that is just turned off by Windows completely. These are guys who stuck probably in in some cases are still stuck on XP. Who want to be there and will stick to Windows 7 as long as they can. They didn’t hear anything good about Window 8 ever that they wanted to hear. I don’t remember if you were at this. But the reviewers workshop they had for Windows 8 probably developer preview. They brought out I want to say Aiden or Mcdano or somebody came out and talked about Business features for Windows 8 and there was nothing to say. It was just nothing. Now things have changed obviously. Things have improved, there’s actually a pretty decent business story there. But as Mary Jo has been writing about they are really focusing this public preview on this audience. Because they’re the ones that have been lost with Windows 8. They really need to get these guys back into the fold. Because once you start skipping Windows versions at some point they are going to say you know the next time we upgrade this line of business app why don’t we make it an web app then it won’t matter what people use. You just stop worrying about that kind of stuff. So they need to get these guys back in the tent.
Mary Jo: IT usually does tend to skip a release. Like a lot of people went from XP to 7.
Paul: Well what I am thinking they’ve skipped 2.
Mary Jo: Right that’s what they’re worried about. They don’t want that to happen. So they know they are all on Windows 7 so the next logical thing is they go to Windows 9 but if they decide to skip it. You’re right that’s a big big problem.
Paul: You’ve got this 10 year time frame. Which is the entire support contract for Windows 9. So you can kind of space it out because those guys started in what 2009 with Windows 7 so it ends in 2019. Which is a little weird to think about 5 years to think about. If they don’t upgrade to Windows 9 there may be no more upgrading after that. Maybe that’s when some future generation if IT that’s come up through the ranks and used Apple products or Google services in school say why are we paying for this stuff.
Mary Jo: Right and the other thing is we keep hearing this idea that Windows Threshold might be the last big bang release and after that Microsoft is going to do these rolling incremental upgrades either on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis somehow. So if you miss getting on that train then things get even harder because they’re rolling out these constant updates that you may be able to opt into or in some cases may be mandatory. So if you don’t get on there by the time you decide to get on there’s been a whole bunch of rolling upgrades and you’re a little bit behind the curve.
Paul: It’s funny even that very notion that they might go to this kind of subscription model which obviously has been one of those on again off again rumors about Windows for years and years. I can imagine IT hearing that and saying well then why are we upgrading. Why bother? If Threshold is the last of the line then lets ride this one out for 5 more years and see what happens. This stuff is all a precarious situation from Microsoft’s perspective. So when I wrote about this for that audience my take on it was look we don’t really know a lot about it. Here are the features that have been kind of thrown around. I’ve heard about some of these independently others have come from people like Mary Jo, Brad, Neil Winn and so forth. None of these should excite you in the slightest. None of them. The one thing that should excite you is they’re listening. They understand that they lost you, they want you back. They want to get your feedback, they want you to try this thing. They want to make sure it meets your needs. That’s a good position to be in if you’re IT. I’m hoping that people give this thing a chance and try it because I don’t feel like with Windows 8 that actually happened. I don’t mean to make it sound dramatic but it is sort of do or die time. In the sense that I do feel this is a very important time and the user base is kind of on the line. They’re not going anywhere in the sense they are going to continue to do Office 365 or some kind of exchange type solution or whatever. But the client is becoming less and less important. I think that when you have your services available on all devices and all platforms, on the web you’re making it hard. Asking people to spend money on Windows PC’s which are by nature complex. It’s becoming less of a slam dunk for them.
Mary Jo: But I like your point there, they are listening. Paul was at partner show when Kevin Turner stood up and said you know what we’re not going to talk to you today about the next version of Windows but we will tell you we’re talking to businesses. They made a real point of saying publicly we’re talking to businesses. They made sure that was stressed because that is something a lot of business users felt they didn’t do enough with Windows 8. So they’re making a real concerted effort to go out there and say we’re talking to them. That’s the group we’re talking to now because we know we kind of screwed up on that.
Paul: Sort of on a related note, how unilateral was the user experience in Windows 8? It was this unilateral, it was on server. Not only did they jam it down everyones’ throats as consumers, as business users, on the desktop. They jammed it down server users throats. That made no sense at all. We’ll see what happens with server. If it’s anything short of we’re getting rid of all of that crap I will be really surprised. In fact that would be a really happy Windows Server release I think for a lot of people. Just getting rid of that stuff.
Leo: We’re going to take a break. Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley, we’re talking Windows Threshold the next version. Do you know if it’s going to be Windows 9.
Mary Jo: No.
Paul: I had heard that months ago.
Mary Jo: You know what Brad Simms at Neil Winn tweeted something interesting this week. He said what if they just call it Windows. Because if this is the last big bang release why not just call it Windows?
Leo: We’ve been saying the last version of Windows for several versions.
Mary Jo: I know we have.
Leo: I don’t think they want to paint themselves into too big of a corner.
Mary Jo: True.
Paul: Like by calling a phone HTC 1 and then making a second 1.
Leo: HTC has made many 1’s which is really weird. What would you like to learn today my friends? At lynda.com the sky is the limit. You can learn, of course Windows. One of the things lynda.com does they work closely with the software companies including Microsoft to make sure they’ve got training materials out day and date. Even with beta’s. Of course they have courses on Windows 8.1 tips and tricks. They’ve got courses on Quickbooks Pro 2014. Setting up your mobile office to work from anywhere lots of Office classes. This is the best way to learn. One flat monthly rate means you can take as many courses as you want at your own pace. By the way there are a few courses, 2,850 courses. 100’s of 1,000’s of video tutorials produced professionally. These aren’t some old amatuer Youtube videos this is high quality stuff. With the best trainers, the best experts in the field. Imagine learning Photoshop from Bert Monroy. Photography from Derek Story. You’re learning from the best people in the field. Of course they’ve got apps so you can watch on your desktop, you can watch on your iPad, your iPhone, your Android device. You can watch pretty much anywhere and if you have an annual plan you can even download the course and watch it on an airplane or somewhere you don’t have connectivity. Premium plan members can also download the project files so you can practice along with the instructors. 4 million plus people have taken courses at lynda.com. We’ve set it up so you can take any courses you want for the next week absolutely free. Browse the library of courses at lynda.com. Audio production, unlimited, there’s lots soft stuff. Business skills, soft isn’t exactly the right word but things like negotiating, managing your career, creating your resume. There’s a lot to learn at lynda.com. Doesn’t all have to be professional either. You can learn stuff for your hobby. It’s a great place to learn photography. Everything from the software, to lighting, shooting HDR, color correction. I’m a big fan. I want you to try it, go to lynda.com/windows. That’s windows for Windows Weekly. You can try it of course on any kind of computer and learn all about anything your heart desires free for the next week. lynda.com/windows free for the next week at lynda.com. They’re really great. I am a big fan.
Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here, we’re talking Windows. That update that came out the second Tuesday of the month. That was just kind of a mess. Not for everybody.
Paul: How so, Leo.
Leo: I mention this, my math wasn’t so good last week but I mentioned when you have 150 million users and some small fraction of those have problems it’s a lot of people. In this case apparently it was people who had Font Shortcuts in in their font folder. The Windows update for some of them the blue screen of death. Pretty serious. They’ve pushed a fix.
Paul: It must have been a really good font.
Leo: I imagine the reason it was a shortcut, I doubt anybody would do that. It was some software that did it or something?
Leo: So they fixed it? They found the problem?
Mary Jo: They fixed one of the updates. They fixed I think it’s the Kernel Driver one.
Mary Jo: There are 3 other non-security updates that they withdrew as well. But those have not yet been reissued. So it’s just the one.
Leo: But the security flaw has been taken care of?
Mary Jo: Yeah vulnerability has been Kernel Drivers. That one has been reissued.
Leo: That one was the most important.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Is the advice that everybody should install these update or just if you’ve had problems? Most people haven’t.
Mary Jo: I don’t know what the guideline is.
Paul: No actually if you have automatic updates on you’ll get the new version.
Leo: Oh good.
Paul: The advice is just to...
Leo: Sit back, relax and enjoy life.
Paul: Remain calm. Soldier on.
Leo: Good to know. These things happen.
Paul: Yeah not usually as bad as this one.
Mary Jo: In the end I think they said something like .10% of users were affected.
Leo: Wow that’s really tiny.
Paul: That’s amazing because I think I heard from every single one of them.
Mary Jo: Me too. I was going to say that.
Paul: They were not happy by the way.
Mary Jo: No. I heard Windows 7, Windows 8.
Leo: Well if you get 1,000 very unhappy people, they are going to tweet about it. This is the new world. People don’t suffer in silence anymore. They make a big deal about it. I know because I’m one of them. Don’t you know when you get bad customer service or anything your toast is cold, you tweet it. I’m never going to Applebee’s again my toast was cold. Then Applebee’s has to deal with it. It’s a mess.
Mary Jo: Even on outages now. Like if Azure goes down for 1 minute you should see my Twitter stream. It’s like Mary Jo, Azure is down.
Paul: Yeah but do you also get that email that says I told you that cloud computing was baloney.
Mary Jo: Yeah I always get that one.
Leo: We are getting fewer of those aren’t we?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: I’ve noticed.
Paul: Windows IT pro, because of the audience these guys are kind of old school. There are always people trying to get in these digs like more and more of my customers are moving away from cloud.
Leo: The cloud will never fly.
Paul: Because of NSA revelations.
Leo: The thing is the Cloud is so much more convenient. The idea! It all happened because we have multiple machines. We want our data on our phone, tablet, desktop, laptop at home and at work, and the only way to do that sensibly is to store that data in a central location in the Cloud. Whether it’s the companies cloud, or Microsoft’s cloud or the NSA’s cloud, it’s just much more convenient. It’s going to win in the long run. I am sorry it’s just going to be. Because what else are you going to do?
Paul: First I’ve got to start with Tom Hanks typewriter app.
Leo: I want click. No what else are you going to do, are you going to have this is what we used to do kids, sync up a copy on every computer?
Paul: Listen you could go back to what we were doing 5 years ago. Have closet full of burned CD’s or DVD’s that are all backups.
Leo: Microsoft briefcase. Remember briefcase, that was the solution. Do you want to go back to briefcase? I don’t think so.
Paul: I miss the desktop metaphor stuff.
Leo: I never could, so you had the folder called the briefcase and you copy something into.
Paul: Then the briefcase on your other computer. This is basically computer to computer networking. It was sort of a predecessor to the cloud.
Leo: Oh it would sync?
Leo: By the way I noticed, it’s not in your rundown but Dropbox has finally responded to the drop in price of Microsoft OneDrive.
Paul: I’ve been meaning to write a Dropbox’s business plan is based on nothing story for a long time. This kind of shows you because the Dropbox thing amounts to the same price for Office 365 home premium. Except with that you get 5 copies of Office to install on all your computers.
Mary Jo: And you get the 1 Terabyte for each of the 5 users right?
Paul: Not just one Terabyte exactly. That’s Dropbox’s problem. And everyone that’s not Microsoft, Google and Amazon basically. These guys can give that away because they’re trying to sell you on their other stuff. They want you in their ecosystems. Dropbox is just selling the storage.
Leo: That’s their business.
Paul: It’s nothing. Unfortunately it’s not sustainable.
Leo: I wondered. For a long time until yesterday in fact it was 100 bucks a year for 100 MB. Now at least it’s a terabyte for 100.
Paul: They’ve moved from a 5 ¼ inch floppy to a 3 ½ inch floppy basically. I know a lot of people use Dropbox I just don’t understand why.
Leo: There are so many other solutions and you get so much more from One Drive or Google Drive or Flicker for crying out loud. Even Yahoo is giving you a Terabyte for free. Hard Drives are cheap. Who was it, Seagate? Somebody just announced an 8 TB hard drive.
Mary Jo: Yeah that’s crazy.
Paul: What is that a single disk hard drive?
Leo: Well it’s Single drive. 8 Terabytes. Crazy!
Paul: I don’t remember the year but 10 years ago or so I wrote a post that was like let there be storage here and it was a 1 terabyte unit but it was multiple hard drives. The thing was like a lunch box size, weighed probably 30 lbs. I bought 2 of them so that I could bring one to offsite as a backup and swap them out like that. 1,000 dollars apiece!
Leo: A terabyte is still an awful lot. A terabyte, 1 terabyte is still a ton of storage.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: I can fit all my photo’s that I’ve ever taken, all my digital photography easily in a terabyte. All the music I’ve downloaded in a terabyte. Easily, in fact both. That’s why Dropbox finally had to respond. You’re right first of all the business model for One Drive is different. But also drives are cheap. Azure has a no SQL service and search and a price drop. Tell us all about it Mary Jo Foley.
Mary Jo: How did you know that was my line?
Paul: Why do you assume it’s Mary Jo’s story?
Leo: I’m just giving it to her.
Mary Jo: Just a guess. This is actually pretty interesting. Microsoft has been rolling out a number of new services on Azure which is their public cloud. Last week right after Windows Weekly they rolled out two new ones. They rolled a no sequel database service that they actually built themselves. Using some of the technology from Microsoft research.
Leo: Will you explain what no sequel is?
Mary Jo: No, I cannot. I cannot do it justice anyways.
Leo: I can’t either. You could Google it, go to Wikipedia. My general sense is it’s in response to the complexity of SQL and MYSQL and sequel servers. It’s a flat file kind of non-relational I think.
Mary Jo: Right it’s a non-relational database. It lets you store other kinds of data in other kinds of formats than the typical tabular type format. There have been other no sequel databases that people have been running on Azure and virtual machines. So it’s not the very first time there’s no sequel on Azure. But what’s interesting is that this is Microsoft’s own no sequel service. So that’s pretty cool in and of itself. They’re going to have the software development kits available and put those out to open source so they can stay in sync with what’s going on in the no sequel world. This service I should say is called Azure Document DB.
Leo: Because that rolls off the tongue.
Mary Jo: Yeah because that’s a really easy to remember name. That was one of the 2 services they announced. The other one is a full text search service. When people hear that Microsoft is building a search service you immediately think Bing. This is not Bing though, this is a technology built on the elastic distributed search technology.
Leo: This is actually really useful.
Mary Jo: Yep, it is really useful. So if you’re a mobile developer and you want to incorporate full text search inside of your app. You’ll be able to use this service that’s hosted on Windows Azure. You can do it to Index, start is showing searches. Wow that was a mouthful. So those are both pretty interesting new services that they have there. Just more of what’s coming out on Azure these days. It’s pretty cool.
Leo: Remember the program X1? It was so great. It was just kind of search local fast tech search of everything.
Mary Jo: What was it called?
Leo: X1. I was whatever was in your document in your email. You typed the first letter and it would populate immediately. It was so fast. Immediately with everything that matched, second letter immediately.
Paul: Yeah I remember. It was just an indexer basically.
Leo: Well yeah but it went into files.
Paul: It was really fast. You are right it was really fast.
Leo: That’s really useful. That’s what I think of, when I think of this, tech search. The idea that you could have a centralized fast search of documents.
Paul: I haven’t thought about X1 in a long time.
Leo: Yeah it was a good little thing. It’s all in the indexing I am sure.
Paul: Yeah Microsoft added an index server to Windows server and then eventually added it to client obviously. Also Windows search. How long ago was X1?
Leo: 10 years. I think they are still around, I think they now do it in enterprise. X1.com is still around. Find email files and Sharepoint data fast. It’s a unified search and E-discovery for virtual cloud and hybrid environments. I am thinking that’s pretty close to what Microsoft’s just announced for Azure, right?
Mary Jo: You’ve got me on that? I don’t know. I know people are just starting to kick the tires on these 2 services and I’ve been seeing kind of mixed feelings about some of them. We’ll see how these evolve I think.
Leo: It makes sense, this is what you should build into Azure.
Mary Jo: Right, they already have HD insight on Azure. Which is their Hadoop service on Azure. They’ve got a machine learning service on Azure. They have an internet of things on Azure. So they are building out on all these things that they’re hoping that people who are developing apps could use. Kind of spin up, spin down when they need them. Incorporate them in their apps as they build them on Azure. They’re just trying to make it a more enticing development environment for all types of applications. That’s the goal.
Leo: To that end they’ve lowered or are going to lower the price for SQL or sequel Azure users.
Mary Jo: So Microsoft’s got a bunch of new database teers for the cloud, coming out in September early. When they announced back in April, they put out a whole pricing chart and they said here’s where we are going to price this. Now they’re going to cut the prices for 2 of those. The premium and the standard teeres by 50% of what they announced. So I’m not going to give you the exact prices because there are all these different caveats about how it’s priced. But they are also going to make hourly billing available for these teeres. They are upping their service level agreement, guaranteed up time from 99.95 to 99.99. So they are making a lot of very positive tweaks as they move forward towards the introduction of these new database teeres. Stay tuned for more on those 2.
Leo: You guys experience any heating with your Surface Pro 3’s? Lot of complaints about that.
Paul: No but the one I have is the I5 version.
Leo: Oh it’s the I7 version that’s really heating up?
Leo: Well that makes sense.
Mary Jo: It does?
Paul: No it doesn’t.
Leo: Yeah it’s 2 better.
Mary Jo: 2 times.
Leo: I don’t know there are lots of laptops with I7 processors Hazwell is a relatively new one.
Paul: This is a particularly thin machine. It’s hard not to look at this and wonder.
Leo: There are no fans in it? Are there fans in it?
Paul: There’s a gigantic fan. That’s the thing this is not a fanless device. It gets really warm. You can play on here on an I5 version and you can feel it. The air starts pumping fan cranks on. It gets warm and people have reported that the I7 version in particular gets very hot. It might be a pitch back for the device.
Leo: But that’s the thing I think maybe the people are being chicken little because it’s normal. Lots of laptops get hot. They are surprisingly hot but it’s not broken.
Paul: You could fry an egg on this thing Leo. But I think the issue is that there is a flaw or some kind of a problem however you want to say it where it reboots. The screen that comes on is like a firmware type screen and it has a picture of a thermometer. So you don’t have to be sign language expert to think my machine is clearly overheating. Microsoft's explanation is that they shouldn’t be seeing that. It’s not overheating. So they are going to fix that issue.
Leo: So the fix is to stop showing the error message is that it?
Paul: Pretty much. No, no it’s obviously to prevent the reboot in the first place.
Leo: All systems do this the CPU’s get too hot to protect themselves, they will either shut down or a reboot is actually a good way. Because by the time you’ve rebooted even if it’s a fast reboot you’ve cooled off a lot. But the threshold for those actions might have been set to low as what I’m thinking.
Paul: Surface Pro 3 is tough because it’s a new kind of machine in many ways. Obviously it’s an ultrabook really. But it’s designed to be used as a tablet too so I think people have high expectations. They are fairly expensive devices.
Leo: I’ve been using it to steam my milk for my espresso is that okay.
Mary Jo: Yeah there you go. It’s also that they hold it in their hands.
Leo: That’s the thing you don’t normally touch it. So you don’t know how hot it is, it’s normal.
Mary Jo: I have my Acer S7 is an I7 based.
Leo: It get’s hot.
Mary Jo: But I don’t touch it. I don’t go and pick it up by the back. I don’t know maybe it’s really hot too. When you’re holding this that’s when you’re feeling that.
Leo: It is.
Mary Jo: I just noticed your graphic on the story you wrote about this. He’s got a picture of a Surface Pro with a blazing fire.
Leo: Chestnuts roasting on an open surface. I like that, nice Paul.
Mary Jo: It’s good.
Leo: A little Christmas Yule Log action.
Mary Jo: This is another flaw we should mention that Microsoft is stressing that not many people are having. I’ll say just like I said about the security update. Maybe not many are having it but I’m hearing from quite a few people. So maybe I’m hearing from all of them I don’t know.
Leo: The world is full of a bunch of whiners these days. You bunch of whiners. Stop whining.
Mary Jo: I bet they are going to fix this.
Paul: Mary Jo and I are very sensibly professional whiners.
Leo: Oh me too. I do it for a living.
Mary Jo: I bet they fix this with the next patch Tuesday. But they won’t guarantee that or say that publicly.
Paul: On or before.
Leo: Our show brought to you by Ziprecruiter.com. We will have Paul and Mary back in a moment to talk about China, Fine China spoke China. No. Also the kill switch and Paul’s got the new phone. Yay, we’ll talk about that in just a bit. But first a word from ziprecruiter.com. Ziprecruiter solves a problem a lot of businesses including our own have had. Where you know there are plenty of job boards out there but which job board is the right place to list your job. Some boards are better than others for different kinds of purposes. Ziprecruiter solves this by just posting it to everywhere with one click of the mouse. Gee that seems kind of obvious. It’s a great idea. I think they just got a big round of funding too. Visit ziprecruiter.com/windows if you want to learn more. ziprecruiter.com/windows you can post to 50 plus job sites with one click of the mouse and the social sites too. Linkedin and Facebook, Twitter. It’s really a sweet way to do it but you might say well that’s all well and good. Great I click once and now what do I do because I’m going to get billions of resumes. They also help you organize it. They help you create a branded jobs page. A career page too for your company that goes on your company’s website. They have their own database of resume’s they’ve been collecting and that’s free to search. It’s also great for mobile job seekers. The pages they create for you, your job pages look great on any size screen. It is the fast way to find great candidates in any city or any industry nationwide. You post once and you watch those qualified candidates just roll into the easy user interface. They’ll help you rate the reviews, screen the candidates, rate the resumes and hire the right person fast. Find out today why Ziprecruiter has been used by 200,000 businesses. 200,001 if you include mine. Right now you could try it for free for 4 days go to ziprecruiter.com/windows. ziprecruiter.com/windows and give it a try. We would like to thank Ziprecruiter for supporting Windows Weekly. Great advertiser and a great product. They just got a big vote of confidence. They’ve been doing very well from investors. I think they raised 60 million something like that. Some big amount of money.
Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley we are talking Windows on Windows Weekly. Windows phone the 1520, the 1020 and the 920 are now getting Cyan.
Paul: This one is going to hurt you personally. This is so convoluted.
Leo: But you remember I had a 1520. I loved that 1520, I loved it like a child.
Paul: A large big headed child.
Leo: Yeah well I have a big head so it worked. As we all do. I listened to you Paul and you said you know if you want to see 8.1 update you can. You just join the developer preview, it’s free, Microsoft encourages this. So I did it.
Paul: I appreciate you offloading the blame to me.
Leo: Oh no I’m going to blame Daniel Rubino. But that was all approved. Then Microsoft decided to hold up the firmware update because of some compatibility issues.
Paul: Daniel and I and anyone else who recommended this of course was forwarding Microsoft’s information. Because what they said was if you use the developer preview program to get Windows Phone 8.1 on your device early no worries. When the public version ships with the firmware update which is called Cyan you will be able to get that at that time from your carrier normally. Like there would be no problem. However when the 1520 became the 1st Windows Handset in the United States to get Cyan and Windows Phone 8.1 publicly Microsoft discovered there was a problem. So they started blocking it on those devices and said they would look at issuing a fix. It actually wasn’t a sure thing. That this was going to happen.
Leo: I loved the new Windows Phone 8.1 update because I loved the folders. There were some really nice features. And Cyan had some nice features. I was anxious to get them. So Daniel Rubino told me oh it’s no problem you get the Nokia software recovery tool and you run it and you basically reset your phone to its original from the factory state. You’ll lose your data but back it up first, there’s an easy back up and I did all that. Then immediately you’ll get pushed to an update for both Windows 8.1 and Cyan.
Paul: Then you could get back on the developer preview and restore all your data and all that. By the way I did the same thing before we went to Barcelona. I was excited to see one of the phones I had got the update publicly I wanted to see it. I wanted to get the firmware update I did exactly what you just described, it worked fine and I used that phone the whole month. I took all our photos with that.
Leo: I still don’t know. It could very well been something I did. I don’t know what happened but I bricked mine. By the way I was told again and again by Nokia folks, users and even a Nokia engineer was sitting here in the room saying you can not brick this phone. You just have to go into recovery and it won’t.
Paul: I am not saying you’re the only person on Earth that this has ever happened to but it’s very rare.
Leo: Pretty close. It’s hard to do. That’s what Wuha said. He said it could happen if you just got the exact right wrong time you could have clobbered the recovery firmware as well as the regular firmware. To me I don’t even think it’s that. I think it’s complete coincidence. Like the phone had a physical failure. It just failed.
Paul: Kind of a random thing. I can’t test this on my 1520 because I’ve already done all those upgrades but I do have a 1020. It’s on the developer preview program like almost all my phones. So today I did do this update. It was very quick because all it did was put Cyan on there. It didn’t have to do any of the other stuff. So if you have ever upgraded Windows phone you know that sometimes this can take a little while. The phone resets, you get the gears, the line goes across. It takes a little while. I didn’t time it but it was so quick I didn’t think to look at it, because I knew it would take a little while. By the time I looked at it, it had to have been less than 20 minutes possibly even less than 10. It was very quick. I haven’t had time to really use it a lot but it worked. I know it doesn’t mean success for everybody but the 1520 now the 1020. The 1520 go Cyan publicly through AT&T back in late July. Now what this means is the 1020 has it on AT&T and they’ve also released it on the 920. On T Mobile in Germany. So I don’t know if the 920 on T Mobile in Germany already had access to this. But if you’re on the developer preview and have any one of these 3 devices now you can upgrade and it works as it would normally. Months ago when we talked about it get Windows 8.1 now in early April. This is how we expected this to work. So they’ve done it at least for these 3 devices. I anticipate they will do it for the other devices. If they don’t I would say your experience notwithstanding. Normally this process is not super quick but it’s basically error free. For the most part, for most people.
Leo: Also to be fair, I kind of gray marketed this phone. I wanted an unlocked one so I went to Newegg. If you were going to get it to work in the U.S. on T Mobile with LTE you had to get an North American marrient. I am pretty sure the one I got was intended for Mexico because it was in Spanish. Newegg said 15 days is the farthest we’ll back it up, It’s not our fault. Now I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Paul: Newegg probably said what did you do with this thing?
Leo: I didn’t even get into that. I just went to Newegg and they said after 15 days, that’s your problem, talk to Nokia. I have been talking to Nokia Care U.S.A. on the Twitter.
Paul: I am happy to ask someone.
Leo: No I don’t want to pull strings. I don’t like to do that. I want to have the experience of what a normal person would have. The frustration, the anxiety. The disappointment and sadness.
Paul: Let me show you what that experience looks like.
Leo: Grim brutal reality. Seriously I do want to do that. I never want to pull do you know who I am thing.
Paul: No, no that’s not the point. But you are talking about this publicly. I’ve done this kind of thing. People write me and say I just had this awful experience with Windows Phone. Depending on the situation I’ll often forward things onto people just to say look someone needs to take care of this guy because what has happened here is unusual and he’s not getting the support he should be getting from all the right channels.
Leo: I don’t know what a consumer would do? I guess a consumer would call Nokia?
Paul: What’s that column in Newspapers where people, like consumer advocate.
Leo: Yeah I’ll call Michael Finney on Channel 7 and see if he can help me.
Paul: It’s not about pulling strings, it’s about making sure the right thing happens.
Leo: It’s squeaking the wheel.
Paul: No, no, no it’s not. It’s not do you understand who he is, no it’s this is the right thing to do for anybody.
Leo: We don’t need to spend any time on it. It’s not an issue.
Paul: You’re upset by this, Leo.
Leo: But you got the Cyan and anybody who was patient. See I was impatient. Even though you did developer preview you should start getting Cyan now.
Paul: Let me tell you something, Leo. Anyone who in April put Windows 8.1 on their phone through a developer preview program, patient is not a word for these people.
Leo: I know, I’m not.
Paul: You’re not unusual. Let’s not pretend you’ve done something crazy.
Leo: Yeah, I kept pushing the update button. Update now? No...
Paul: But no, you are not impatient.
Leo: It is currently on AT&T only or T-Mobile in Germany. But that means that the flood gates have opened, right and it just will gradually...
Paul: I think so I mean, I can't say for sure but it's bizarre to me that they would only support a handful of phones on certain carriers. I think this is the beginning of the, we fixed the problem.
Leo: Yeah. Huawei has abandoned Windows phone. Aw... Huawei, one of the Chinese phone manufacturers, I don't think they have much of a presence in the US. But Windows phone is big in China, am I right or no?
Paul: No it is not. And that's the problem, a lot of problems.
Leo: Nobody wanted it.
Mary Jo: And you know, they need every OEM they can get right now because they're making a really concerted effort to sign up more of them. That's why they dropped the price of the phone OS to 0 and they signed up I think, 14 new vendors when they did that. I don't know if Huawei was one of those 14 or not but-
Paul: No they were two years ago.
Mary Jo: They were already there? Okay,
Paul: In fact, and I could be wrong, but I believe that they came online at the same time as Nokia. That long ago.
Mary Jo: Oh really?
Paul: I think so, I could be wrong about that but Archos today just announced a new Windows phone device. I'm not sure if they were one of the 14 we knew about already but yeah, those guys leaving now is tough timing. Could we make it any cheaper?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: We'll just pay you $5 per handset, how does that sound?
Leo: Well it is free, or is it not?
Mary Jo: It is, yeah.
Paul: Now granted, most of their sales would have occurred before that licensing took hold but they apparently have not done well with Windows phone.
Mary Jo: Any you know, I kind of wonder why they couldn't do what HTC just did, which is take the same phone that you're making for Android and now with the new changes they've made in Windows phone, you can take that handset and put Windows phone on it. Why not?
Leo: Sorry, $0. Thank you, I apologize.
Mary Jo: Right, $0 if you want to be precise.
Leo: It's the new free.
Mary Jo: By the way Leo, I have somebody Tweeting to you now - Nashvillewpdev saying I guarantee I can fix Leo's phone or I'll give you guys $20.
Leo: Okay, I'll ship it over to you Nashville.
Mary Jo: I think you should.
Leo: I guarantee you can't but okay.
Paul: I do kind of wish I could get my hands on it because I feel like this is solvable,
Leo: I feel like it is too. But it's not, and like I said hooha was sitting right across from me. He's from Finland and is an engineer at Nokia. He was one of the people Microsoft acquired in the hire and is still working there which means he must be good. And he said, oh no you can fix it. And he couldn't. So it doesn't matter, it's just $800 down the drain...
Paul: Yeah, no don't worry about it. I use that to start a bonfire.
Leo: I light my cigars with that. Spotify is now free on Windows phone. Yeah. What do you get for free, everything?
Paul: Back in December of 2013 Spotify made it possible to stream their service through the Android and iOS versions of their app for free. And now it's August so Windows phone gets that capability. So it's ad supported and you don't get the high quality stream and you don't get the ability to download songs and play them offline, obviously with the free version. So this is one of those good news bad news situations. Obviously, if you're a Spotify user and you have Windows phone, you've been waiting for this for a long time, good news. Bad news is it took like 9 months past the other platforms. This is one of those things, again, that highlights the problem sometimes with Windows phone. We're not exactly at the forefront of a lot of developer's minds and this kind of highlights that, unfortunately.
Leo: Yeah. California kill switch, Jerry Brown has signed it into law. This is something that both Android and iPhones have had for a long time but you have to turn it on. The idea is that you can remotely disable a phone.
Leo: What is the kill switch situation on Windows phone? My 1520 is, apparently already killed so I can't check that.
Paul: One year before required, you have managed to-
Leo: I thought it was odd when at the signing Jerry Brown said, I will now flip the switch to kill Leo's phone.
Paul: Right, it should make that noise too.
Leo: But as California does, so does the world because if you sell a phone in California, you're not going to make a separate... The California Edition.
Paul: Right and that's why this is important. So like Minnesota did this and nobody noticed then California did it and it's like okay this is important. The country follows, the world follows.
Leo: But Windows phone has this...?
Paul: It's coming. Windows phone has this kind of find your phone type stuff.
Leo: But can I kill it remotely if I find it?
Paul: The way it works today is that you can do it through policy if your phone is managed, but the kill switch function is coming in the next version.
Leo: And finally, I hear you got a little something something. Mary Jo got it at the event.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Did she send it to you?
Mary Jo: No, I did not send mine. I still have mine.
Leo: She's got that peek-a-boo cover.
Paul: Yeah, I didn't get the cover since I didn't go to the event because I was away but they were nice enough to send me one and it was waiting here for me when I got home but probably in the next couple of weeks I'll use it and write about it. We'll see how it goes. I mean, I'm most interested in the camera. I've only played with that a little bit, I find the post picture taking editing functionality to be interested. They have their own camera app, which I think is weird. It's yet, another flipboard type app.
Leo: Yeah, Blink Feed. I took that off right away on mine.
Paul: But you know, it's a nice size.
Leo: Don't you like the feel of it?
Paul: Yeah, it's a beautifully made device.
Mary Jo: I love the feel of it.
Paul: It feels nice in your hand.
Mary Jo: You know, it's crazy Paul and I were talking about this on IM the other day and this phone weighs almost the exact same as the Icon and it's longer in length, it's taller and yet, this phone to me feels so much lighter because of the way the weight is distributed.
Paul: Yes. Yeah, I love Nokia devices and I almost promote them to people. I don't really cheerlead for a lot of things but I really like Nokia devices. But, if there's a legitimate complaint that one could make about many Nokia phones is that they're dense. They're dense like a holiday cake. Like they're heavier than they look.
Leo: The fruitcake of phones.
Mary Jo: The fruitcake of phones, I like that.
Paul: Yeah, like a fruitcake. The HTC phone, when you hold it in your hand, it's basically the same weight just a little lighter. It's basically the same as the Icon. It feels lighter it feels better in your hand. The Icon is dense like a brick, there's something about the weight distribution that makes it feel more awkward and heavy in your hand. Obviously you get used to it and when you use a lot of phones, you can make these kinds of comparisons and the truth is most people buy a phone and use it. And its weight or awkwardness or whatever, you don't notice it because you just use it every day but it is a very real thing and the Icon is not exactly a phone that most women would want to use, I would think. It's very masculine in the sense that it's brickish and sharp edges and all that kind of stuff. But I'm just guessing.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I don't know about that. I just remember that when I first got it I had to prop my hand up on the table to use it because it was like heavy, it really was. And I'm used to it now but man, going from this phone to that phone I'm like, oh why can't they make a device like this?
Mary Jo: I've been using this for a whole week now as my only phone and the only- I had a couple of really weird things happen and the one really odd thing- And Paul I'll be interested to figure out if you know why this is. -When I take a picture and save it to the photos app on this phone and then I try to use it inside of another app - Like for example in Untapped or somebody else said they had this happen with What'sApp. -You go to take the picture and embed it in a message or a post of whatever and it turns the image on it's side.
Paul: So you're saying you take the picture from inside the app, you don't take the picture then go to the app?
Mary Jo: No like, you know how sometimes you take your picture first and then when you're going to post you go to your photo library, take that picture, and then apply it. So every time I do that the photos turn on their sides and when I use the camera app inside of the app itself it doesn't do that.
Paul: Okay I got you.
Leo: I like Paul's eye roll on that one.
Mary Jo: I know, he's probably like, what is she trying to say? I'm not explaining it well.
Paul: No, I understood what you said. So I will-
Mary Jo: I don't know if that's a driver issue, if it's firmware solvable-
Paul: I just inserted a picture in a text message that was correct so...
Mary Jo: Was it? Okay I can tell you my beers have been turned on their side and it hasn't been fun.
Paul: So when you take a picture of a beer, do you hold the camera like this or do you-
Mary Jo: Yeah, yep. This way- Otherwise it's been really great. I love the Dot case, I think it's a really nice form factor. The screen has a really great resolution that is very easy to read. And another thing, the camera is really fast on this. On the Icon, you click the camera button and you start to take a picture and you wait.
Paul: Yeah, it's like 1... 2... and then it comes back. You're right, that's definitely true.
Mary Jo: But the images are so much nicer when I take them with the Icon than with this one.
Paul: Is that true across the board or...
Mary Jo: Pretty much across the board. I've taken a couple of pretty good images with the new phone but it's nothing compared to the Icon.
Paul: I haven't done any side-by-sides but going outside, i went into Boston, took a couple photos just with this camera. And I thought they were fine. I mean, any digital camera it seems like if you're outside on a clear sunny day, those pictures are going to come out great for the most part. The editing stuff is weird to me like where you can blur parts of it later or do kind of time shift effects and stuff. That's kind of interesting.
Leo: So apparently, Windows 7 handles EXIF oddly. You're still on Windows 7, right?
Paul: Nice, 'why is my picture sideways?'
Leo: Yeah and I do remember this was an issue with some Windows software.
Paul: I see this in Windows phone. You know, you could go for a day in Barcelona for example and take 100 photos and you know, you'll turn the camera for some of them and some of them you don't. Then you import them to the computer and some of them will be correct while some aren't. And if you use Windows Photo Gallery, one of the options you can use on import is to automatically rotate. And it must look at that EXIF data to determine which way it should rotate it-
Leo: Yeah, there's a flag saying how it's rotated.
Paul: -And it's not always right and that's what's weird about it.
Leo: Well the phone could be broken like where the accelerometer is all-
Paul: Yeah but how would you know..?
Leo: Right. It doesn't do it all the time though, it gets it right sometimes.
Paul: Right but you have to go through and look at them because there will be these weird ones that are sideways.
Leo: It's probably just that sometimes we get a little stuck thing in your accelerometers.
Paul: Like a rotation kind of thing.
Mary Jo: I don't know, it's really odd. Now, I'm seeing people on Twitter- Well for example, there's one guy who is listening to the show, Frederick said, my Nokia 930 turns my photos the same way. Weird.
Mary Jo: Odd. No one wants a sideways beer picture guys...
Leo: No, it looks like it's pouring out.
Mary Jo: It does.
Leo: Oh the humanity..!
Mary Jo: Nobody wants that.
Leo: You know, we were talking about Huawei dropping Windows phone and as I remember, Huawei is at least partially owned by the Chinese military.
Leo: And it could be part of the overall concerted anti-Microsoft bias that is very clear.
Paul: Oh that's interesting.
Leo: I just realized that. And another thing, we're not going to sell Windows phones.
Paul: Yeah, take that. Well, they only sold like 17 of them so it's okay. But you know, when I wrote this story about this originally, I commingled that company with the other big Chinese-
Leo: ZTE, yeah.
Paul: What's it called?
Leo: ZTE I think.
Paul: No, it's not that one. It's like Zaomi or something like that.
Leo: Oh, Xiaomi.
Paul: Yeah, those guys are actually very interesting and I wish it would've been them because their story is much more interesting because that guy literally explicitly copies Apple and Steve Jobs so,,,
Leo: Yeah, he even says, "One more thing," in his presentations.
Paul: He dresses like Steve Jobs, and yeah. But if you look at their phones and their tablets they're actually beautiful.
Leo: We have a Mi4.
Paul: They're really nice.
Leo: Well it looks very much like a Galaxy mixed with an iPhone. But the screen is the best I've seen in a long time. It's a gorgeous IPS screen. And Jason's review said it was very snappy. It's a good phone.
Paul: Yeah, I bet if they come to the United States I bet they'll do really really well.
Leo: Yeah because the price- This is another case like the One+, where the price is half of the price of these high end phones. I love this One+1. They're all One. This One is $350 for 60 gigs of storage and it's a great phone with a 5" screen. It makes me think that we're being over-charged a little bit.
Paul: You think? I'm surprised no one is looking into that. We're so stupid, you know? We're so dumb.
Leo: In China, which for a while was doing a version of Linux called the Red OS I think. No they're saying, we aren't going to do anything Microsoft. We're going to do our own OS.
Paul: This China thing is awesome. I love this.
Leo: What's the deal? I love this picture.
Paul: So you were just saying China has this thing with the United States in general and with US companies, Microsoft specifically, there's an anti-trust investigation. I'm honestly surprised that nobody sort of drew this same conclusion but there's an interesting fact about China which explains why they're going after Microsoft in particular. Which is- And I should say with regards to Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, which are those two bundling technology issues they had with the US and Europe, literally ten years ago. -It's because China is not exactly on the leading edge when it comes to connectivity. And as it turns out, I think the figure is 83% of people who use some form of technology to access the internet do it on a PC, not on a phone. In that sense, Microsoft's Windows is thus, still dominant there when it comes to internet access. And so here in the US you hear, they're going after Microsoft for Internet Explorer, what is that? I think that's part of the reason why and so this is kind of the blast from the past effect. You've got kind of a totalitarian government that's trying to prevent their people from accessing certain information over the famous Red Firewall or whatever and how do people access this information? Well they watch videos in Windows Media Player that come from the web, which they're using with Internet Explorer. And you know, it's like we've gone back in time.
Leo: There are a couple of things I would say about this. First of all, there are plenty of computer engineers in China. They have the expertise to do this. They could absolutely do this.
Paul: Do their own Operating System.
Leo: Absolutely. And second of all, I was a Chinese Studies major in college and one of the things that historically going back to the Boxer Rebellion and the early days of Imperialism in China, the Chinese are notoriously xenophobic, always have been.
Paul: Yes, it's like riding a bike Leo.
Leo: The word for China is the middle kingdom. It's the center of the world. And not that there's anything wrong with that, there's about a billion people there, they have huge resources and I have huge respect for China. But I'm not at all surprised to see them act like xenophobes.
Paul: I'm not surprised that they're trying to develop their own OS. However-
Leo: I don't think they have the means.
Paul: -But it's going to take a long time. And their schedule, which I think is bologna, is indicative of how hard this kind of thing is and they will supposedly have some kind of a first release for the desktop this fall. But they're saying it will be a couple of years before this thing has the true functional/maturity level of Windows but they also want to adapt it for mobile devices; Smart phones and tablets, and that's going to take another 3-5 years past that so this isn't something that's happening overnight.
Leo: Although I've never used Windows or any computer in Chinese, I point out that part of the issue is the language itself, which is idiograph based, it's not letters. Each word is a single idiograph, a single character and that's very different. The keyboards are different, everything is different. I think it makes perfect sense and so what I'm saying is that it may be more than political. It may be something much deeper than just the Chinese Government's mistrust of the United States or the terror of negotiation. This could go much deeper than that.
Paul: Yeah, yeah. By the way I agree with that. I just think that when you look at their reaction to Microsoft's, say cancelling support for Windows XP exactly on the schedule they promised to do it on, years and years ago.
Leo: Oh yeah.
Paul: You know, you see kind of a strange-
Leo: That's jockey, I agree I agree.
Paul: -I think what they wanted to do is stick with that until their thing is ready. And now being faced with the fact that Microsoft is essentially forcing them to upgrade, I think this is where the push back started and...
Leo: Ah, that's interesting.
Paul: You know, I think the new reality is this system- It is perfectly understandable that they would want to do this. Just like it's perfectly understandable that Samsung might want to make their own operating system and not rely on a third party. These things are understandable but they're also extremely difficult and time consuming. And the truth is they're going to have problems and get it wrong. I mean, obviously they want to develop something that can't be hacked externally and that kind of stuff is twice as hard. I mean, it's going to be very difficult to do what they want to do.
Leo: I don't know. I mean, I feel like you've got brilliant engineers and a lot of them. You have a government that is willing to pour as much money as needed into this...
Leo: You have the resources, it's about talent. I feel like there's no reason to say they can't do as well as any US company. Maybe even better - You're starting from scratch, you've seen it all, you know what you need to do, you don't have to worry about legacy so I wouldn't write them off.
Mary Jo: Oh, no.
Paul: Not writing them off, I'm just finding their, I'm going to get you in seven years, reaction to be kind of early you know?
Paul: So a year ago before we knew about Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 and what those devices were going to be- Almost exactly at this same time frame last year... -Microsoft started reducing the price on Surface RT, remember? And I think it was last August that they dropped the price to $350 and I wrote an article at that time based on whether or not this was the time to buy a Surface RT. And categorically the answer was no, I mean, in my mind that first generation was just never going to have the performance to make any sense at all. I just felt like that device was just the wrong device and so now it's a year later and we don't know if or when they're going to update the Surface 2. I think the original plan was to have Surface Mini basically replace Surface 2 in the market and obviously Surface Pro 3 would replace Surface Pro 2. But now that Surface Mini has been delayed until early next year at the earliest, this is kind of a gray area now around the fall. Like, will there be another Surface 3? Like an RT based device called Surface 3? We don't know, I don't know, I haven't heard. But, they have dropped the price of Surface 2, which is the new generation RT device to $350 to start. It's $100 less than the price was just like a week ago or last fall or whatever. And there are three versions of the Surface 2. There's the 32 gig version which is $350, there's a 64 gig version that is $450 I think, and then there's the 64 gig version with LTE which I think is $480. Does that sound right? $580 or something like that. I don't think the upper level versions of Surface 2 make sense at those prices but $350 for a Surface 2, this is Chromebook territory, right? This is iPad Mini territory. And I think now you could make an argument that it isn't a bad deal. It does come with the desktop version of Office but it does come with full Office. It's a 10" screen, it's thin and light, gets awesome battery life. But as long as you know what you're doing and you know what you're getting into, it's not necessarily a bad deal like Surface RT did last year. I think the only problem here is that the price doesn't include the keyboard and so the Type Cover 2, which is that keyboard cover with the working back-lit keys and all that kind of stuff is really expensive, it's $129. So now when you're talking $480 for this thing with the keyboard, you're out of Chromebook territory. It's a little bit less of an obvious thing but if you're just looking for a tablet and you want to experience this kind of Windows Touch thing and you're looking to do it on a device that's bigger than a mini tablet- And you don't mind using a keyboard you already have, like a bluetooth keyboard or whatever you could obviously use that... -$350 you know, maybe. It's not necessarily such a bad idea.
Mary Jo: It's a limited time promotion though, isn't it?
Paul: I'm not actually very sure, is that what it says that it is?
Mary Jo: Yeah, I saw some people saying it just goes through September, I forget that exact date in September but if you want this, you probably should jump on this.
Paul: Yeah, for sure. And actually, Mary Jo has a bonus pick.
Mary Jo: I do. You're laughing but-
Paul: And also I want to read what you wrote here after you're done, but go ahead.
Mary Jo: Okay. So there's going to be an event coming up this year called The Notepad Conference. Everybody who knows me knows that I'm a big Notepad fan. It's going to be in Minneapolis and there's even a kickstarter right now where they're trying to get money to fund this event. And they want to make it the premier conference for Notepad.exe users.
Leo: This guy says he's a Microsoft Notepad MVP..? Is that even a thing?
Mary Jo: I don't know if that's a real thing.
Leo: I don't think that's a thing.
Paul: You should become like a Notepad Ambassador.
Mary Jo: I should but I actually don't know enough about Notepad to pull all that up.
Leo: You need like a Notepad tips and tricks session.
Leo: I saw there's a new text editor for Windows. The people are kind of screaming how fast it is and how fast the search is, I'll have to find the name of it for you. It begins with Em something text editor.
Mary Jo: While you're looking for that though, if you want to see what's in store at this conference, notepadcomf.com-
Leo: Emeditor from Memorial Soft. They have a 64 bit version that, according to a review I read is just blazingly fast. Oh, Ed Burnette at zdnet reviewed it. "World's Fastest Text Editor."
Paul: Look at those five people just standing around looking at that monitor that has a text editor on it.
Leo: A text editor, wow!!
Paul: Now, that never happens.
Leo: I've never seen anything so fast..!
Paul: Oh the better one is those 20 people jumping in the air - They're so psyched at a text. The one thing I'm a little freaked by is that if you're a teacher or a student, you get $20 off, how much does this thing cost??
Leo: It's a little pricey, $39/year. What?
Paul: It's a little pricey... And then $20/year after that but Mary Jo uses this for her work, this is professional, so I would go and read the zdnet review.
Mary Jo: Alright, I'm going to.
Leo: "If you edit a lot of files on Windows," he says, "you owe it to yourself to check out the latest version of Emeditor."
Paul: I... What?
Leo: I think you need to invest in a better text agent.
Paul: I disagree. But I just want to read what Mary Jo wrote and you can tell me if I'm pronouncing this correctly. "Notepad conference!! Squee..?"
Mary Jo: Squee!
Leo: You know what that is, Paul.
Mary Jo: I do use Notepad but I don't use it the way all programmers use it with the advanced features. I just use it because it's a simple text editor-
Paul: Do you use it because when you hit a letter on your keyboard it comes out on the screen?
Leo: Boom, it's like that. Almost instantly.
Paul: It's kind of like a 1:1 interaction, you know?
Leo: Blake's can open up files of up to 248 GB.
Mary Jo: I don't have any that big. The conference topics are hilariously cute you've got to read some of these. Hacking Notepad.exe, A Lap Around the Notepad Menu Bar...
Leo: I think that this might be a prank, Mary Jo. I'm not saying-
Paul: It's possible.
Mary Jo: It's being held in a brewery or a bar guys, I think that tells you everything you need to know right there.
Paul: When is it?
Mary Jo: In November, in Minneapolis.
Paul: Really, November? Come on guys, couldn't do this in July?
Leo: Look at the risks and challenges. Receiving an important file greater than 64 KB. That's it. That's the risks and the challenges of this fabulous Notepad Conference.
Mary Jo: Yep. I'm a text enthusiast so I do care about this.
Leo: Pledge $100 or more. This is 'You're a Wizard of Plain Text' consulting comes at you like timestamps to an F5 key. Give back to the community and make this important event happen. You'll get an individually numbered 3 1/2" floppy disk for offline storage of text files.
Mary Jo: Whether it's a prank or not, I think they deserve some kind of award.
Leo: I think if you pledge $5,000 or more you get a Notepad Icon tattoo. That's a pretty benefit there, I want to see that. It's an easy tattoo to do.
Mary Jo: We've made Paul stunned by all of this.
Leo: Are you sure you don't want to open files with 2.1 billion lines?
Paul: Oh yeah, I am actually positive.
Mary Jo: Sure, yeah.
Leo: Actually, you know who this is for? It's for those IT guys who have to open up giant log files and search through them for things they want and stuff.
Paul: Sure. By the way, there is a free version of that Emeditor, but it doesn't open large files. Probably has the same limitation as Notepad I bet.
Leo: And your software pick of the week?
Paul: So back some months ago, Google introduced a 64 bit version of Chrome to it's non stable said Dove and Canary. So as of today, Chrome 64 bit is available on Windows only through the stable channel. So if you go to google.com/chrome you'll see a big button to download Chrome but beneath that is a link, Windows 64bit. Works in Windows 7 and Windows 8, and obviously, it opens bigger files. But I think, oddly enough, the point of that is that it is more secure, it's more reliable and it performs better than the 32bit version, according to Google. It's opt-in now like I said so it's not just going to automatically show up if you keep updating your browser. But you can opt to get it. Unlike the 64bit version of Internet Explorer, it's basically compatible with all of the extensibility features that you know and love in Chrome. There is an older class of plug-ins, that are like the Netscape style plug-ins that are not compatible with this but basically everything modern works just fine. And I've upgraded and it's one of those things where you do it but don't actually notice any changes. You just have to go to the 'about' option and it said right there that it is the 64bit version but it just kind of works. This came out today and I would presume that going forward, they're going to make this the default version on 64bit versions of Windows once they make sure enough people have it and that it's working correctly and everything but I believe that literally came out today, maybe last night.
Leo: That's great. No one will ever need 64bits on their browser...
Leo: Enterprise pick of the week, Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: Enterprise pick of the week is RMS, which is Microsoft's Rights Management Service. The reason I made it the pick of the week this week is because Microsoft is making a whole bunch of updates to RMS, the different variants of it. The Azure RMS, and the RMS Client. So what RMS is if you're an IT pro is, it lets you establish policies about how users can forward, print, copy, and edit documents. It's kind of the journalist's worst nightmare. It keeps people from sending me tips because stuff sometimes will get RMS protected. So I really shouldn't make this my pick of the week, but I am because it's very useful in IT. If you've been to any Microsoft conferences lately, they've been showing this demo that Julia White does where she shows you how you can lock down documents and if people like have them on their iPhone and are not supposed to be sharing them, you can lock down the actual document so that people can't print them or forward them and it's going to take Microsoft a while until that technology is implemented in Office so that you can do that. But in the Interim they're going to do this thing in RMS where they have a protected pdf capability. So that's going to be kind of the stop-gap thing until Microsoft introduces into Office the ability to really lock down documents on iOS, and Android and Windows all in the same way. They also are adding OSX support for RMS. On the Azure front they're adding templates and some logging enhancements, also an RMS Migration Tool Kit that's going to let customers with Active Directory RMS deployments migrate their keys and policies to Azure RMS. And then in this blog post I saw this week, they talk about having a private preview later this year or something they're calling the Azure RMS Connector. And that's something that- Here's the way they say it, "Connector is going to permit even the most Cloud reluctant organizations to benefit from RMS." So if you want tp see this very lengthy blog post, look for the Microsoft Rights Management RMS team blog and it says, 'Here is our Major Update Improved Office File Support Plus Service Improvements.' And you can read and see lots of screeenshots and find out about the many things coming to RMS soon.
Mary Jo: Squee... I don't say Squee about RMS.
Leo: Yeah, only the notepad conference. And the codename of the week.
Mary Jo: Right, so I'm not sure if this is a codename or if it's considered a final name but the codename pick is Cosmos. Cosmos is this service that Microsoft has inside the company that is a massively parallel storage and compute service. It's almost like Hadoop in some ways, not in all ways. And what Microsoft uses this for inside is they take all different kinds of data that they collect with Azure, Bing, AdCenter, and Skype. Everything from which ads people click on to how people navigate on a page. They collect all of this data and then they can mine it inside Microsoft and use it in different ways to make their products and services better. Right now, this is only for inside use in Microsoft, there's like 5,000 people inside the company who have access to it I believe, maybe more. I think there's a chance that somehow Microsoft is going to take Cosmos and turn it into a publicly facing service, or at least parts of it. And I've found a couple of job posts at Microsoft that are kind of hinting that this might be the case, or maybe they're just going to take some of the underlying technologies of Cosmos and integrate it into some other kinds of services that they may make publicly facing. I'm not sure, but I just wanted to put Cosmos on people's radar screens because I think we're going to be hearing about this within the next year or so as to how Microsoft is going to make this available in some form to customers.
Leo: Interesting. And to kind of reassure you after all of that, a little beer.
Mary Jo: Great, beer pick of the week. So I was in Toronto last week at the end of the week for work.
Mary Jo: I love that city. It's a great city. And they have a really great bar there for craft beer that very much reminds me of Rattlin' Hum, it's called Baravolo. And they get really great beers from Toronto area and also from Montreal too. And they had on tap while I was there, something from Dieu du Ciel, which is a brewery in Montreal and it's called the Solstice d'Étè, the Solstice of Summer. It's a sour wheat beer with cherries and it's this really beautiful pink color. It's so refreshing and really nicely flavored. Not too sweet, not too sour. I would show you a picture but my picture came out sideways.
Leo: Oh no...
Mary Jo: But yeah, it was a really delicious beer and it's kind of hard to find but in Canada you might have better luck than here in the States. But I heartily recommend any of their other beers they're really great.
Leo: Great, I want one right now. In fact, I might go and get one right now because that is the end of the show. I could go get some beer. It's good you put the beer pick in the end because if it were at the beginning, it might be a shorter show.
Mary Jo: True.
Leo: Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, such a good show. Paul Thurrott is of course, is the man in charge for the Windows supersite, winsupersite.com. Also, the author of many a book and you'll find them all at windows81book.com, including his music book and the field guide for Windows update 8.1. And Mary Jo Foley is at allaboutmicrosoft.com, that's where she writes, where she hangs her writers hat and her Notepad. Every day, really. She's always working there. You can catch this show every Wednesday at 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern time, 1800 UTC on twit.tv. We'd love it if you watched live but if you can't, we have on-demand audio and video after the fact at twit.tv/ww our Youtube page is youtube.com/windowsweekly and of course, wherever you can subscribe to podcasts like Stitcher, the Podcast app on Windows phone, just search for Windows Weekly. We're the one, the only, the original. Now in our 8th year of delicious broadcasting.
Paul: Nougatty centers.
Leo: Nougatty cream. Alright guys, thank you so much. Catch you on the flip flop. Welcome home, Paul! Get some sleep. We'll see you guys next time on Windows Weekly!