Windows Weekly 388 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for Windows Weekly, and as we go to press, breaking news about OneDrive, clutter and sway, and yes, we will talk about a very surprising development in the .net space. It's all coming up next on Windows Weekly.
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This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. Episode 388, recorded November 12, 2014
Clutter and Sway
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Leo: It's time for Windows Weekly, the show that covers all of the Microsoft news in obsessive detail and of course no one better to do that than Mary Jo Foley. She is from ZDNet's All About Microsoft Blog. Hello Mary Jo.
Mary Jo Foley: Hello, Leo.
Leo: She is suspended above One World Trade Center in a window washer's little crane thing there.
Mary Jo: Yep, that's where I am.
Leo: Can you see that out of your window?
Mary Jo: No, I can see the Empire State but now the World Trade.
Leo: Those window washers just sit on the ledge and hang out I think. It's an older building. Paul Thurrott is also here. He is the maître d, the major domo, the guy in charge at the Super Site for Windows, winsupersite.com.
Paul Thurrott: Hello, Leo.
Leo: He is also the author of like 1,000 books. Hello Paul. Our show today is entitled Metro Schmetro. I don't know what that is.
Mary Jo: I hope that explains why.
Paul: That is actually a Mary Jo Foley quote.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: So this just happened. I need you guys to explain, but I think it is big news.
Mary Jo: It is.
Leo: What happened?
Paul: Well, this little spacecraft landed on a comet Leo.
Leo: That was awesome! I got up at the crack of dawn, 8:00 am, to watch that.
Paul: And then you read the book "2031, A Space Odyssey 3", or whatever it was, 2061.
Leo: Did they mention a comet landing in that?
Paul: Yeah, we just reread all of those books, I'm sorry. Mary Jo would know.
Leo: It was really great, and I guess the latest is that the harpoons may not have fired and it's a little wobbly. But at least they are getting data, the first time a human craft has landed on a comet traveling at 35,000 km a second, or a minute, or a mile, whatever. It's fast.
Paul: It's like the dog finally caught the little chuck wagon in those commercials.
Leo: 10 years. They launched it 10 years ago.
Mary Jo: Oh wow, did they really?
Leo: Imagine aiming a bullet at something across the solar system. It's incredible. And hitting it.
Mary Jo: It's a perfect analogy for what happened today in New York.
Leo: What did happen today in New York?
Mary Jo: Microsoft launched .net into open-source and landed it on a comet. And they planted a Linux flag on one side and a Mac flag on the other. That's what happened.
Leo: Okay, now we know that Nadella is crazy. First he starts giving away Office on iPad, now he open-sources one of the...
Paul: Who knew that this guy was really like a 5th column type?
Leo: He actually works for RedHat.
Paul: He still works for Sun Microsystems.
Leo: So he open sourced one of the crown jewels of the Microsoft kingdom.
Mary Jo: So just to make it really clear what happened, they open sourced what is called the .net server side stack. So that's not all of .net. That's not things like WPF, the Windows Presentation Foundation, or WinForms, I think that there is probably some networking pieces that are not included, but it's everything for .net on the server is now going to be open sourced under the MIT open source license. It's huge.
Paul: Here's how you might think of this by the way, it's sort of like Microsoft's version of Java, the part of Java that is still in use on the server side. Is that fair roughly speaking?
Mary Jo: Yeah, actually that is good.
Leo: And probably the other stuff they can't give away because it has encumbered stuff in there that they can't open-source.
Paul: See, I think that you are on to something. I actually think that this is not the first step by the way, this is like the second step, but this is a step down a road toward yes .net being truly cross-platform in every sense.
Leo: What would be the advantage? What's the strategic reason to do that?
Leo: We are giving it away but we will make it up in volume.
Mary Jo: Well, it's also to attract developers who right now say, you know what, .net is a Windows thing. I don't really want to write for Windows. I want to write for Android. I want to write for IOS.
Paul: It's actually worse than a Windows thing, it's a Windows thing pre metro. It's perceived as, well asp.net is on the server obviously, but in the client sense .net is a kind of a non, I'm actually speaking with my foot in my mouth a little bit. Obviously WPF is still somewhat of a big deal, but Microsoft was seen moving past that in some ways. I think this is going to be a recalibration of that on the client as well. I think this is a first step and I think that .net becomes a much bigger thing as a result.
Leo: For those of us listening who don't really kind of know what .net is, what does that represent? What does it mean?
Mary Jo: I know. They call it a programming framework more than a language.
Paul: It's a runtime engine, it's a framework.
Leo: A language would be mostly C-Sharp.
Paul: Actually the beauty of it is that it could be anything.
Leo: It's language independent.
Mary Jo: There are different languages.
Paul: Think of it as Java, that's the easiest way to think of it.
Mary Jo: It is, it is.
Leo: But Java is a language.
Paul: But Java is also a runtime environment.
Mary Jo: Java is also a programming platform and .net, when you look at a stack diagram of .net there are things on the bottom. First you have like the operating system layer, then you have things like base class libraries and you have the core CLR and the CLR, the common language runtime. You have all of these levels on top that are meant to abstract programmers from having to get down into the base like to down to the metal when they program. How's that?
Leo: That's good. So you don't write in .net but you write to .net?
Paul: Yeah, sure.
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: Is that right?
Mary Jo: You use programming languages of many kinds to write to .net and you develop .net applications, right? There you go, there is the stack.
Leo: Here is the stack, and I made it too big now. Let me go back.
Mary Jo: It's good, it's good to look at an architectural diagram.
Paul: Where did that come from?
Leo: This is Wikipedia.
Paul: But what is the originator of that graphic?
Leo: Oh, that's a good question.
Paul: I'm not really sure, the way that that stacks up is not really correct.
Leo: This is circa 2005.
Paul: Yeah, but this is...
Mary Jo: There are more recent editions, but that is kind of how it looks, right?
Leo: So the bottom part is the common language runtime. That would be the equivalent of a Java runtime. Above that is the framework class library, that is what programmers would use, that is almost an API.
Mary Jo: There is more recent .net diagrams.
Paul: This is not accurate.
Leo: Let's find something more recent.
Paul: It doesn't matter. The bottom part of that stack was accurate, and that is the important thing.
Leo: So you have a runtime which runs on what hardware? Any hardware.
Mary Jo: Well now that they are porting .net to Linux and they are porting it to Mac OSX it will be able to run on other operating systems.
Paul: They didn't really say this, but Mary Jo earlier said that this was like the core server parts of .net. When you say Linux and OSX I think that you are talking about the server.
Mary Jo: Yeah, and the reason that OSX is in there is because a lot of developers use that as their development machine, so that's why they are porting it also to OSX. Not because OSX is such a big server operating system, it's more for development purposes that they are doing that. That's huge because everybody was wondering as Microsoft goes more cross-platform would they take the ultimate step and actually make .net cross-platform? We've seen them take Office cross-platform, and all kinds of applications cross-platform, but what about the actual core like the guts of .net? This is what they are going to do with Xamarin. Xamarin is going to work with them on this.
Leo: So Xamarin was an open source project originally called Mono that put .net in an open source form. It's an interface for .net for Linux. But it now is more widely used as a cross-platform framework. It's used for instance for app development on Android. You write in Xamarin and it runs on everything. That's Miguel de Icaza, we had talked about Miguel de Icaza and Xamarin becoming part of Microsoft. It never did happen, but maybe this is what this was all about, which is some sort of alliance.
Paul: This is some ways, I think the .net thing would have happened anyway, but if you look at how they aligned with Xamarin as part of this release I think that this was the plan b. As Mary Jo I'm sure would say very clearly Microsoft went after Xamarin and was rebuked in some way, and so this is the next best thing, their partnership that comes up as part of this.
Mary Jo: Yeah, and maybe it's a best of all worlds not to own them in a way because now they are in this really tight partnership with them. They are going to help port .net to other platforms. You know, Miguel and his team, they always wanted Microsoft to open-source .net. They have been after them for years to do that.
Leo: This really makes the open-source community more happy because they trust Miguel de Icaza and so I think this is a great way to do it. If you acquire them it's a little different, but this way it's a tight partnership. Open-source developers can say, well, we know Miguel. I think this is really interesting. I'm still trying to get my head around what it means.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it's big news.
Paul: It means so much it's hard to even keep it straight.
Mary Jo: Right, this is definitely big, you know if you look back...
Leo: This makes it all clear. This makes it all crystal clear.
Paul: The place where the diagrams go south is where the metro environment comes along because the metro environment is not actually managed code strictly speaking, and it's kind of like something very similar.
Leo: But it sits to the side.
Paul: It sits to the side is how I think that I would describe it. The first chart you would put up if you think about that as a series of dependencies is not true but it doesn't matter. The point is simply that .net is a platform that includes a runtime engine, a runtime environment, it includes a framework for developers, various frameworks...
Mary Jo: Garbage collector. There are tons of parts.
Leo: Okay, so part of it is like the Java Runtime. Part of it is like the Ruby on Rails, the framework which you can install which gives you the scaffolding for a full web application. Actually it doesn't have to be web, right, it could be written to the hardware because you can use runtime. It could be on an app.
Paul: .net was originally something that was going to be on Windows. Even though it uses Win 32 under the covers it was seen as a...
Mary Jo: Every one of these diagrams I'm like oh.
Paul: These are all terrible. I don't know where you come up with these.
Mary Jo: That one is a no.
Paul: That one is like how you determine whether a loan is valid at the bank.
Mary Jo: I know, I think so.
Leo: Wait, no, I've got it here. Oh, that's the same one, let's find a better one here. You can see though that this is somewhat complicated, so if you are sitting at home going what the hell, the only people who know what this is are .net programmers. What do they say?
Mary Jo: They are pretty darn happy as a whole today. Although, of course, there are some who said that I liked it better when .net was all about Windows and I don't want it to be all about Android and IOS too, right? So there are people who say that.
Leo: Somebody already said this in the chatroom, the real asset of .net is the developers. So if you can grow that pool and get more people involved in writing .net code that's really good. So I saw on Twitter today, I wish I had written down who said this, that Microsoft doesn't want to own the boat, they want to own the ocean that the boat floats in. They are giving away the boats and they are saying as long as you are in our ocean we don't care what you do. Does that make sense? I think that is kind of right.
Paul: That's interesting.
Leo: Think about it. It's deep, it's very profound. I think that it was the Dali Lama who said that.
Paul: I'm not going to teach you to fish, I'm going to teach you how to be the ocean.
Leo: So that's the new Microsoft mission statement.
Paul: We've talked vaguely about this notion of these developer environments and how things like IOS and XCode are difficult, and things like Eclipse and Android are terrible, and the one thing that we have always had an advantage on the Microsoft side is Visual Studio and .net. It's an amazing set of assets. The dream, of course, would to be able to use those tools to develop applications for Android, or IOS, or for Mac even, Linux, and it seems like that is the road that we are going down right now.
Leo: Although you did kind of raise this issue. Is .net really the old stuff, and metro and WPF the new stuff?
Paul: Well that's just on the clients. This is an artifact of history, but with Windows 8 in particular Microsoft took a step sideways. They decided to reinvent everything. I think had Microsoft done things the traditional way that they do things with Windows 8 the developer environment would be an offshoot of Silverlight or WPF or whatever. It would have been managedcode.net and that it wasn't is very strange and whatever, but they did what they did. I think that it is important that they are doing the serve side stuff first because that never changed. The people who write .net code on the server, people who write .net code to the Cloud, there was no side step there. Actually there was Silverlight, so maybe I should stop talking and start thinking. It's very complicated, but I think this is setting the ship right to continue the nautical theme. I think that this is one that most of the developers on the Microsoft side would cheer.
Leo: It's like the, what is it, the 7 blind men and the elephant? It depends on who is looking at it. Here is an example, this is a Microsoft .net documentation from Build. For consumers, for business managers, for IT professionals, for developers these are all .net resources and it means different things depending on what your point of view is.
Paul: From a user's perspective .net is something that you don't really have to think about other than every once in a while you might have to get a Windows update. It's in Windows now, it's been in Windows for a long time. If you were to try to install an Adobe Air application for the very first time or a Java application you would be confronted by oh, you need to install this other thing first. With .net applications that is not really the case anymore, it was like 10 years ago probably, but now it's pretty much just there in Windows. In Windows 8.1 for example, if you try to install Windows Essentials it tells you that there is a .net conflict. I think that it is .net version 3.51 or something that is a prerequisite. It installs it automatically and then it goes through the set up. Maybe that's the closest thing that we have on the Windows side to that kind of thing.
Leo: I've got another diagram that I think will make this all clear as a bell.
Paul: Nope, that's not it.
Mary Jo: Yeah, no. Somebody should do a really simple updated .net architectural diagram. Anybody out there, somebody can do this.
Paul: Mary Jo, remember when Microsoft was talking about Windows 8 and they were trying to compare...
Mary Jo: Remember those diagrams?
Paul: Yeah, those terrible diagrams. Even Microsoft diagrams were wrong.
Leo: This is a Microsoft diagram, I hate to tell you.
Mary Jo: With Metro I remember that they were correcting their own diagrams. Different teams were coming up with their own diagrams that were different from other teams. It's not easy, but somebody is going to figure this out and it's going to have like 3 boxes and it will be like here is .net.
Leo: I don't think it's that simple.
Mary Jo: It's not really.
Leo: I think that it means many things to many people.
Paul: Yeah, because there have been so many offshoots to it. WPF and Silverlight, the modern environment or whatever they are calling it.
Leo: I think to say that it's like Java doesn't really do it either. It's much more elaborate than something like that. I don't know what you would call it.
Paul: At its core it's like Java, though. It's the same kind of thing. Java of course is typically where you write your applications. So there is like one language. You know that .net is language agnostic.
Leo: Right, so it's a runtime that can handle many languages. It's a framework that developers can use to create.
Paul: It doesn't matter what language you use, you are creating some unitive code or component or whatever. Who cares what it is written in?
Leo: Who cares? I don't care? I don't care goodness knows. Who cares? I don't know.
Mary Jo: We can talk about some of the other things. This was just one of the announcements.
Paul: Yes, right.
Leo: Oh my god, there was more?
Mary Jo: Oh, there was so many more. Let's see, what else did they announce today? They announced that they were making available to testers a new, more complete preview of what they are now calling Visual Studio 2015. It used to be code named Visual Studio 14 even though it was coming in 2015, but now we have the real name, Visual Studio 2015 which comes with .net 5, I mean .net 2015. They are making a preview of that available today, and that has a whole ton of features. Many of those features are geared towards helping people write applications wherever they want, they could be Cloud apps, device apps, Windows apps for the desktop, Android, IOS, you can do it all with the next version of Visual Studio. They also announced the new version of asp.net which is now called asp.net5. They announced a brand new SKU of Visual Studio called Visual Studio Community 2013. If you have ever used the Express SKU of Visual Studio, which was their free SKU for hobbyists; this is their replacement for that. What's cool about it is it's going to let you if you are a shop of up to 5 employees use Visual Studio for free, which is pretty nice. So here we go.
Leo: That's great! I'm a shop of 1 employee, so I could do it.
Mary Jo: You can, and you can develop even commercial apps using this free community.
Leo: So it's free for individuals and small teams.
Paul: You could use Visual Studio extensions which previously required a paid version.
Leo: Thanks to the chatroom, an insider in the chatroom sent me the definitive .net diagram. I think this is pretty good.
Leo: Now come on Paul. Look, we have even got Silverlight WPF in there. Okay, never mind. Who cares? I don't care.
Mary Jo: Okay, one of our listeners, Rich B. says, "Here is the definition. .net is a runtime, languages plug in, frameworks sit on top, apps use all three parts. There you go. That's pretty good.
Leo: So the framework, .net is not the framework?
Mary Jo: It is actually the framework too. Like when you see diagrams...
Paul: Please explain how modern apps relate to .net because that is a little wormhole.
Mary Jo: Yeah, there is a new programming model called 1RT that Microsoft introduced with Windows 8, right? That's a different model.
Leo: Right, but I wonder is that going to be deprecated, or is .net going to be deprecated and given away because we want you to use the 1RT?
Mary Jo: They are trying to let you use what you want is the way that I understand it.
Leo: So you can reach that same endpoint either way.
Mary Jo: Well there are two different kinds of apps. You are going to write different types of apps depending on which one you use. Two different runtimes, as Rich B. says, two different runtimes with the same languages. Yes, that is a great way to explain that. They are trying to make is so this isn't such a huge dichotomy. When they made Windows 8 they were like here is 1RT, here is .net, never the two shall meet. It was pretty separate and the diagrams drew it very separately. Now the idea is you know what, let's let developers use the tools and the languages that they want to write for any platform. That is kind of the high level gold map.
Leo: Another concern from the chatroom, oh, I just paid for my MSDN subscription so I could get VP and Studio. It's all free now. If you are a single developer or a small team I guess everything that you need is free.
Mary Jo: You know, I haven't seen the whole SKU chart that says what you get with the new Community versus Ultimate versus this versus that. So I'm sure you are going to get more stuff for the paid versions. It's not going to be like, hey, all you need is free. It's kind of like Office, right? You can use Office online for free if you only need a basic set of features, but if you want all of the bells and whistles you are going to still pay for Office if you want that.
Paul: I eagerly await the person who tweets you and says you said that Community was only going to be available when you are online.
Mary Jo: I know. This stuff isn't so simple.
Leo: It's complicated.
Mary Jo: I know. Here is another big surprise for me today even though it was a small announcement; Microsoft developed an emulator for Android. This is just kind of like, okay, wait, Microsoft is now writing tools for Android and they are making that a part of the new Visual Studio 2015 preview that came out today. The reason that they did is because they say that the emulators for Android right now are pretty terrible and they thought that they could make a better one. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but that is kind of the top one.
Paul: So the emulators for Android are terrible, that is true. But the emulators for Android are now available for Intel format as well which is how you run them on your PC, and how they are able to do this in Visual Studio because it is using Hyper-V which is the same thing that we use to run Window Phone emulators or Windows Store App emulators. So it's actually a straight forward process. The reason that we don't see an IOS simulator is because it's a completely different architecture and for what we know isn't ever going to be allowed anyway.
Mary Jo: It's not. I asked them that.
Paul: It's technically possible for them to do it.
Mary Jo: They are not going to do an IOS emulator. Unless there is some crazy community demand for them to do one they say no.
Leo: Xamarin might though.
Mary Jo: I think that Xamarin already does.
Paul: Yeah, but they own a Mac. You have to use a Mac.
Leo: Oh, I see. They can't do an emulator that you are going to be able to run on Windows. You can't do an emulator in Windows. License prevents you, not technology.
Paul: If you are familiar with how the Windows Phone emulators and the Windows Store App emulators work in Visual Studio today it looks exactly the same. It's very natural. It's a little strange.
Leo: So how does this change the landscape? What is the impact of something like this?
Mary Jo: I saw a few people tweet about this. I think that Dr. Pizza and some others were saying that if Microsoft would have done what they have done today 10 years ago then maybe Java would have never taken off.
Mary Jo: So that's how it changes the landscape. It's like going back and saying we probably should have done this before, but we are doing it now so here you go guys. We want you to develop using whatever environment and whatever operating system tools you want, but we want to be your development interface.
Leo: I do know that in the app space Xamarin is, for anybody who needs to do cross-platform, is probably one of the premier choices if not the premier choice for making nativeish apps cross-platform.
Paul: The very notion of native apps has taken a back seat of sorts ever since Java came up because the runtime engine on Android, not on IOS actually, but a lot of these things are just kind of plugging in a runtime engine.
Leo: This was always an issue with Java. They did try to solve this with Swing and they did try to make it more native, but you know, of course everybody is...
Paul: This is the .net model too. I mean it really is, so, you have Silverlight apps on Windows Phone and whatever.
Leo: You try to have a presentation foundation that is operating system specific and then yeah. This is good news, and I think that it is a smart thing for Microsoft to do. It is a continued step in the devices and services direction I think, right?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: This is a Satya Nadella, this has got Satya all over it.
Mary Jo: Although, you know what is funny, this is the second step along this path. They took a first step in April when they announced the .net foundation and they said, hey we are going to be open-sourcing a bunch of .net stuff. When I asked them who came up with that it was under Ballmer’s administration that that happened. He was the one who greenlighted it and said that it needed to happen. So it's happening with Satya being the one announcing it, but it started years ago. At least three years ago.
Paul: It's almost like you are saying that mobile first, Cloud first is not different than devices and services. It's almost like you are saying that.
Mary Jo: It is though. I think it is though.
Paul: Yeah, Ballmer is not going to get the credit he deserves for having done all of this.
Leo: No, but you are going to give him the credit right now.
Mary Jo: I am going to give it to him. Give him the credit.
Leo: Let the word go forth from this podcast that Ballmer deserves the credit.
Mary Jo: I want him to get me seats to the next game that he plays here in New York, so I will just throw that out there Steve.
Leo: I feel like Steve really has moved on.
Mary Jo: He has totally moved on.
Leo: Yeah, he doesn't care. Go ahead, let Satya get the credit, I don't care.
Mary Jo: He is the largest shareholder now in Microsoft. He is like I care to the extent that it is my money.
Leo: Just do right with the company so that I can make more money. I do feel like this is an important, had Microsoft done this without Xamarin it would have been bad news for Xamarin, but the fact that they are part of this makes it easier for everybody involved I think.
Paul: Xamarin, Miguel in fact, wrote a blogpost explaining how this was going to change things for them going forward. I read it over a couple of times, and I actually am a still little confused how this works out for them. They were pretty much the choice now, and now it's a little bit of a gray area. I think that the interesting thing that came out on the Xamarin side is that they are going to make a version of what they do available for free. Today Xamarin is actually fairly expensive, it's not something that an individual can get into inexpensively if I'm not mistaken.
Mary Jo: They have a hobbyist license that is free and they have a student license that they just announced last week was free. I think that they are going to make more of what they do available and tie it in with .net so that if you do use their free version you are going to be able to access .net now. Plus Xamarin has had to build around Microsoft all of these years. They had to do all of the work that Microsoft wasn't giving them and they put .net into open-source in a way. Now they can go back and take Microsoft's .net code that they are making open-source and put that back into their product and using the actual .net code.
Paul: Hopefully it's better.
Mary Jo: Hopefully it's better.
Paul: It will be kind of interesting. I assume these guys are working together on some of this stuff.
Mary Jo: They are. They are working hand in hand they say. You would assume so. Nat Friedman was at the event today, who is the head of Xamarin, the CEO. He was on stage with Soma Segar who runs the Developer Division for Microsoft. They were talking like, yeah, this is it, we are working together. We are working on the porting together. Xamarin is going to be even more tightly integrated into the Visual Studio so they have a very, very close partnership right now.
Leo: What do you think this does to WinRT as a platform?
Mary Jo: I think that we are going to know more at build in April.
Paul: Do you really think that impacts it? It's just the way that you write the client. I just don't see them backing away from it.
Mary Jo: I don't either. I totally don't see them backing away from WinRT. They are moving full steam ahead with that and they are trying to make it so that WinRT on phones and on PCs are much tighter and alike so that you can write what they call universal apps and you can write on both platforms. That is definitely still the main direction. I feel like what they are doing is they are going back to the .net developers who they basically shunned for a very large part of Windows 8, they are going back and saying to them guys, we realized we should have brought you into the camp all along. We want to make it easier for you because we know you are our bread and butter and we want to bring you along with us as we move forward. We are going keep advancing the .net platform.
Paul: I don't think this is the first time that we have said this, but the next several months are going to be very interesting. You know?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: That's the equivalent of the standup reporters, will this change things? Only time will tell.
Mary Jo: And sometimes you have to say that.
Paul: Oh this is going to change things.
Leo: The next few months will be interesting.
Mary Jo: You know, we are going to hear more about WinRT platform at build and also probably early in 2015 when we see the consumer preview of Windows 10 and the preview that is going to come out for Windows Phone and tablets. I think we are just seeing things revealed in different parts. We are seeing first the .net thing and we will hear more about the WinRT piece. I'm glad that they didn't tell us more about that today because there were enough announcements today.
Paul: It was already confusing enough, yeah.
Leo: Alright, let's take a break. By the way, the window washers are safe, you will be glad to know that.
Paul: Oh, they are? How do you rescue window washers?
Leo: You know, it’s funny because they are showing the picture, and you don't see fireman coming up a ladder. I think what they did is that they opened the window and they said come on, get in quick, and they closed the window.
Paul: That actually is how they did it, yeah.
Leo: What else are you going to do? You aren't going to climb up or climb down. Spiderman would have. Maybe even Tom Cruise, but I think the NYPD just opened the window. Our show today is brought to you by ITProTV. You know, this is an exciting time to be in IT, and if you are an IT professional keeping up probably is, you listen to this and you are like, oh, I've got more to learn. Fortunately there is an easy and fun way to do it, that's ITProTV. A good IT professional is always learning, and I know that most people who listen to this show if you are not already IT professionals have the skills and the chops to do it. Maybe you would like to do this for a living. This is a great way to get the certs that will make it easier to get a job. ITProTV is a video network kind of like ours but devoted entirely to the world of information technology. Hundreds of hours of content. Let me go to the ITPro site and log into my account. Hundreds of hours of courses are there already, and they are putting up new ones all of the time, 30 a week. Kind of like us, they are always recording, always doing new stuff. The courses are very wide ranging, everything from of course Microsoft stuff, including the Microsoft certs, MCSA and MCSE. I could just go to the course library at itpro.tv and you could see all of the stuff they've got. They've got Apple stuff now. CompTIA, that's the A+ cert for you know the IT guy. Net+, Security+, Casp, Strata, Linux+, and Cloud+, MCSA, they are working on a new MCSE unit. That is the other thing, there is always new stuff coming all of the time. They just released their MCSE server unit. Sysco, if you are into security the ISC² certs are fabulous. Their security guy teaching those ISC² certs, I can't remember his name, he is huge, he's the guy. Of course Don and Tim are fun and easy, and they are always on the air. Let me just log in and go to the on the air portion. You can see them right now, just like us, they are doing it looks like Objective C, no, because it's in Windows. It looks a little like it's in the old Screensavers studio. When you get the ITProTV subscription you get the Measure Up practice exams, $79 value, free with subscription. You pay once a month a low fee that includes daily updates and new features. They have easy cancellation, they are very good about that. They understand, maybe you got the cert and you are done. Although I will tell you, stay tuned because I have got a really good deal for those of you who stick around. I tell you, when you add it up it's a lot less than going to an IT boot camp or technical school. Normally $57 a month, $570 for an entire year, but we have a special offer. They are big fans of TWiT, big fans of Paul and Mary Jo Foley, they want to give you a deal so if you go to itpro.tv/ww and you use the code WW30 you are going to get 30% off of your subscription for the lifetime of your account. Now it's less than $40 a month or $399 for the entire year. This is a fantastic deal; itpro.tv/ww, the offer code is WW30. I don't know if you were watching Screensavers yesterday when I fired up the ITPro lab, this is so awesome. If you have an HTML 5 compatible browser, Chrome or pretty much anything, you can literally go in there, here is the MCSA Windows 8 lab, and you don't need to have a Windows machine, or a server, or anything else. Watch, I'm going to actually be using a virtualized Windows server and three virtual machines so that I can have clients and servers. I can screw it up, which I always do, but I can still get going and do it. What a great way to learn. I'm telling you, you could do this all right now at an incredible cost. Here is the new thing, because they are celebrating one year of great success, yeah, their first anniversary. Here it is, I've got Windows Server 2012 R2, look at that. It's live. I could do everything, and of course I've got all of the administrative tools, I could set up clients. It's so sweet. I'm on a Mac. It's so sweet. Once you reach your 13th month, to celebrate their anniversary, so you get to month 13, your subscription rate will go down even more bringing your cost to $24.95 a month. That's $249 for the entire year. Great guys, say hi to Tim and Don, itpro.tv/ww and don't forget to use the offer code WW30 to say 30% off the lifetime of the subscription. You know, if you watch it on Roku you have it running all of the time. If it's not TWiT it should be ITProTV.
Alright ladies and gentlemen, here we go back to Mary Jo, Paul Thurrott, Windows Weekly. It's a big day for Windows Weekly. The central issue of the day, with a new platform neutral Windows...
Paul: Mary Jo took her stick and she just beat the hell out of a hornet's nest today.
Leo: Why bother with Windows at all?
Paul: And then she ran away to leave me standing there to get stung.
Mary Jo: No, not true.
Leo: Who cares about Windows? We are platform agnostic. We are not the boat, we are the ocean. Discuss.
Paul: We are drowning Leo.
Mary Jo: I've been hearing from a lot of my readers a question that I thought I knew the answer to, but when I went to answer I realized that I did not. The question is now that Microsoft is a platform neutral company and they are introducing things for IOS and Android just as much, if not more quickly than they are for Windows and Windows Phone, why should I use Windows anymore? I thought, oh, I know the answer, and then I was like, nope, I don't know the answer. In fact, I can't defend that. I don't know what. If somebody came to me today and said, should I get a Windows PC, should I get a Windows tablet, should I get a Windows Phone I don't think I could say definitely like I did before yes. I talked to some people that I knew at Microsoft and I asked could you defend Windows right now? Why should somebody use a Windows Phone right now? I'm on, as I have said a million times on this show, I am using an Icon, the flagship phone on Verizon; I still don't have Windows 8.1 that came out months and months ago. Even if I did have it I would still be missing some features that are available on things like the iPhone 6. So I just threw it out there and I said, you know what, I don't know what the answer is. I don't even know if Satya Nadella could defend Windows right now.
Leo: Don't you think that all of this in a way is saying, it's not capitulation, but it's recognizing that we are not a monopoly and saying what is the smart strategy here. We will continue to offer our platforms, but wouldn't the smart strategy be that even if someone chooses a different platform that they still live in our universe? The only catch is what you just mentioned, which is that they are not keeping Windows Phone up to date.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: It needs to have parody or this doesn't make any sense.
Mary Jo: It needs to have parody. Exactly, it can't be the last platform, although that's what it is right now.
Leo: That's what is weird.
Mary Jo: For years we heard Microsoft say don't worry, it's always going to be first and best on Windows. Right now it's last and not best on Windows. I think this could change next year when they do Windows 10, and maybe we will have a better sense of it when they have the consumer preview in early 2015, but for right now, the holiday season of 2014 with no new flagship phones coming, with Windows 10 being a preview but not in final, and no Touch for Office preview, I don't know. It's a tough time, right? It's a tough time to be somebody who is trying to defend Windows.
Paul: Office is obviously the latest round of this kind of analysis and dread because of the Office for iPhone apps and Office for Android which follow the Office for iPad which came out last March. I look at the last year or so with Microsoft's mobile app releases on other platforms and what I see for the most part is Microsoft just catching up. They really didn't have a great collection of apps on IOS or Android before that so a lot of the stuff is just catch up. Windows Phone had the Office hub in the very first release of Windows Phone 4 years ago so that stuff has come out more recently on IOS and Android.
Mary Jo: But it's better on IOS and Android.
Paul: Well this week it is. It's actually not better on Android phones, it's exactly the same. Until last week on iPhone it was exactly the same. I think pragmatically they have to support those platforms because more people use them.
Mary Jo: I understand that, I do.
Leo: But the symbolism is also important. You have to send a signal to Windows Phone users that we know we did this first for IOS, but don't worry, it's coming.
Paul: So earlier today I was arguing with somebody on Twitter about the lack of availability of this Office Touch for Windows on Windows Phone. Somehow if this thing appeared on Windows Phone today we would just move on to the next complaint I guess. I'm trying to imagine what these scenarios are, like what is missing on Windows Phone that you would be doing all of this Office stuff on. I don't mean you, Mary Jo, or you Leo.
Mary Jo: Yeah, people.
Paul: Are we seriously going to get into an argument of the futility of trying to edit Office apps on a phone? This is not something that people are really going to do anyways. The platform is evolving how it is evolving. I think Microsoft is making a mistake by artificially by tying the release of the next touch version of Office to Windows 10. But I think that Mary Jo and I can both agree that there are reasons why they are doing it. We may not agree with it fully, but we sort of understand why they are doing it.
Mary Jo: I think that we just don't understand it yet.
Paul: There might be something.
Mary Jo: There are going to be new features in Windows 10 that we don't know yet that are going to take advantage of some new hardware that we haven't seen yet. We keep hearing that.
Paul: Here's the problem.
Mary Jo: We don't really know what those things are yet.
Paul: Last week when they announced this stuff, it's not quite as complex as Visual Studio but there is a lot to it. You have to really understand what Microsoft is doing with Office on mobile platforms to understand a few of these distinctions. They basically took the Office for iPad apps and made them available on the iPhone, which is fairly incredible. Mary Jo and I know, and anyone listening to this knows because we keep talking about it, that Microsoft plans to do something very similar with Windows. As Windows Phone and Windows merge as a platform there will this touch version of Office that will be the same universal app but will run on both. It will open up this notion of using a touch version of Office, a full featured touch version of Office, on a fablet like the Lumia 1520 or whatever. Okay, neat. So today Windows Phone users are stuck with like Office Mobile which is this kind of downtrodden version of Office or whatever, it's not full featured. They could release that today and I don't think that it would make a difference.
Leo: It's 2 things. It's not releasing an update to your flagship phone and it's not releasing the latest software.
Paul: But those are actually 2 different things.
Leo: But taken together it looks as if, just to the outside world, to me, it looks as if Microsoft is kind of backing away from Windows Phone, to be honest.
Paul: I'm looking at it and I'm seeing that Microsoft has released 5 new phones in the past 2 months.
Leo: But they are all $99 phones designed for the third world.
Paul: Actually they are not.
Mary Jo: They are not all.
Paul: The 535 is. This is sort of like PC to Mac. I know that it is a simplistic comparison, but the Mac back in the day, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, was the premium device and the Windows devices were the cheap ones that went out to the masses. They are really following that same strategy here. We live in the United States where everyone has kind of a luxury phone for the most part. We look at it and we are like why aren't they serving this market? I don't think that they are ever going to be successful in that market. They certainly don't think so. I do agree that they need more flagship phones, but I do think that they are hitting the part of the market where they believe that they can make a difference and push the needle forward. It doesn't meet my own personal needs, but I get it. It's understandable.
Leo: This was by the way Nokia's strategy as well.
Mary Jo: I, like Paul, I can make the logical argument for why they are doing what they are doing and why we have to wait. The problem is, like Leo was saying, is that perception is a big part. The people who you need to keep in your corner are the people who want your flagships; the people who run out the day you announce your new flagship phone and go get it.
Leo: At least in the US.
Mary Jo: If you lose those people and you don't have them but if you are still pushing the reigns, you still have some tablets that are $100 and this and that you are going to make up for it in volume, but you are going to lose the mind share of the people who are out there righting reviews for the people who base their buying on them. People say to us all of the time, you know what should I get for a phone? Right now I tell them Windows Phone. If there is no flagship Windows Phone in another 6 months I don't know that I would tell them that any more.
Paul: I completely agree with you, but sort of playing devil's advocate; last year Microsoft released a slew of flagship phones and none of them sold well. None of them, not even one.
Mary Jo: I know.
Paul: If you look at Windows Phone usage, the last flagship phone that ever achieved any volume of usage was released 2 and a half years ago, the Lumia 920. They have never released an expensive phone since then that has sold well, not once. You are right and yes, I feel the same way. I will say for whatever it is worth having evaluated a few of these phones, I'm using a crazy low end phone in some ways, the Lumia 735, as my daily phone. I love it. I don't do that out of a sense of self-sacrifice like well, I have to use something that they made and I have to use one of the newer ones so I will just get by. I really actually like this phone a lot. I prefer it, I use it because it is my choice. I have probably 27 phones sitting here. I could use anything that I want.
Mary Jo: There is no reason that I need the highest end phone or the highest end PC, but it just feels like sometimes you want to have something to brag about. You want to say, hey, look at this, right?
Mary Jo: I don't know.
Paul: I do think that they need an inspirational device. I do think that they need a Surface Pro 3 type thing for phone. That even if they take a loss on it, even if no one really buys it, I agree with that stuff. Ultimately they have to go where the market it, and I think that market is the low part of the market, the zero dollar Windows that is opening us up to all kinds of new devices and device types. This is the strategy. I don't know what to say. I wish they updated the 1020. I would love to have a quad core Snapdragon 800 1020 with a 5 inch screen. I would love that.
Mary Jo: You are not going to believe what just came across right now. Eric Chui, listener Eric Chui says, "Did you see the story on Windows Central? Verizon Lumia Cyan update now under development." Speaking of this very thing.
Leo: But Microsoft is at the mercy of Verizon. You can't blame Microsoft for that.
Mary Jo: I know, I don't blame them, but it's another example of when someone says to me hey, I'm on Verizon, what do you think I should get as a phone?
Paul: You should switch carriers.
Mary Jo: Yeah. What if you are stuck on Verizon? Right now what do you say to people? We have the Icon, but we don't even have Windows 8.1 that came out months ago.
Leo: You could switch carriers or you could switch to an Android device.
Paul: As a matter of fact Microsoft could do something about this. The thing that they could do is release Lumia firmware updates as part of the developer preview program. So if you are in the developer preview program, which is free, you could get the latest version of Windows Phone. If they added the firmware you could be completely up to date.
Mary Jo: Do you think that they will?
Mary Jo: You do?
Paul: Yeah, I think that it is crazy that they haven't done this already. Unfortunately they could announce this in April at build or something and everyone will get really excited. But you know what? They should have done this in September, this should already be in place. This is no surprise, the Verizon thing stinks because they said that they were going to do it. The reason that this is such a story is because Verizon was testing this to release it and now it's unclear.
Mary Jo: Back to the drawing board. But Paul, okay, if somebody said to you today, like say...
Paul: Don't ask me this question.
Mary Jo: Paul, what Windows PC should I buy, or should I just not buy a Windows PC right now? What would you say? If I was going to say to you this holiday that I want to buy a device, a mobile device, for someone in my family and they are fairly computer literate, what would you tell me to buy?
Paul: This is like saying that I'm going to visit the city you live in, where should I go? You start asking questions? Do you care about museums and culture, do you want to go to a show?
Mary Jo: Would you recommend Windows?
Paul: What's that?
Mary Jo: Would you recommend Windows right now?
Paul: Yeah, yeah I would.
Mary Jo: I'm having trouble telling people yes.
Paul: For example, let's say that you are in the market for a Chromebook because you want something cheap and all of that. I would say, you know there is a HP Stream 11, there is a HP Stream 13, there is a bunch of these devices that aren't just inexpensive, they are awesome. For whatever it's worth, even if all that you do is run Chrome web apps on it, it actually runs Chrome better than a Chromebook so there are major advantages to doing that. The one area where I can't recommend Windows actually is tablets, pure tablets like a mini tablet. As a consumption device Windows falls short because of the ecosystem. I verify this every time I review a device. I got a HP Stream 7, which is the 7 inch tablet, in last night. One of the first things I did was run some games to see if it could handle them, and it did. I looked at some of the built-in apps to see, how does the text look? Okay, not too bad. Then I put Amazon Kindle on there and I'm reminded of how abysmal that experience is because the Kindle App is a joke on Windows. It's wonderful on Android and it's wonderful on IOS. What I mean by that aside from just various features is, if all you want to do is just read plain text books then Windows can handle that. If your book is in anyway interactive, or it is a graphic novel, or you want to read periodicals, you have to run one of the other mobile apps, you can't do it on Windows. You can't do it on Windows Phone either, by the way. That's a huge problem. I know that is just one app, but from a consumption experience that's where Windows falls flat. It's tough.
Mary Jo: I want to just say for the record, right now I am still sticking with Windows and Windows Phone. The reason is I don't have another platform for PC. I prefer a full form factor PC. I don't want Apple. That I know I don't want for a variety of reasons. I am starting to kind of think in the back of my mind, okay, I am going to wait until early next year and wait to see what they say about Windows 10 when they announce the consumer preview, and what they say about Windows Phone 10. If there are no really great devices in the next few months after that that make me feel like it is something that I want...
Paul: But what would you use? What would you do?
Mary Jo: I would probably go to Android on a phone. That's probably where I would go.
Paul: On a phone, okay. One of the advantages of what Microsoft is doing on mobile is that you could have what amounts to a Microsoft Android phone or Microsoft iPhone. You can load that thing up with outlook.com, and OneDrive, and Skype, and yada, yada, yada, and you've got the whole stack there.
Mary Jo: Right, it's like you are using a Windows Phone.
Paul: With that it's actually better than a Windows Phone.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I know, totally.
Paul: Now the computer is a bigger problem.
Mary Jo: It is.
Paul: And tablets are a problem. For me personally the PC is not an issue because I prefer the PC. I prefer Office on the PC to any other platform by far. I'm in that all of the time. Visual Studio is there, all of the applications that I want to run are there, that's fine. There is a well spring of choices and devices, and that is kind of an interesting conversation. You could buy a Mac and run Windows if you wanted to I guess. Tablets are tough. I don't know if they recover from that one. There is an interesting category of devices that you see on the PC side, like these 2 in 1's, or hybrid PC's, or whatever you want to call them that I think are fascinating. I think that they are the future of the Ultrabook and the laptop or whatever. Where that kind of device falls apart is when you pop off the tablet screen and it's like there is nothing here, this is not very interesting. That's too bad.
Mary Jo: The mobile story for Windows, they have to have one for one, which they are trying to with Windows 10, right? They are trying to have the unified Windows story. That is something that I am really interested in. I want that unified story. I want to have apps that are the same on my phone and my PC. I think that is something that is a great goal. The problem is just the wait period right now. The next 6 months it's going to be like, okay, keep waiting, keep waiting, keep waiting, right?
Mary Jo: We are going to see in the meantime more Microsoft for Android, and we are going to see more apps coming to iPhone from Microsoft, and more apps coming to iPads, and it's going to be like, hey, what about us?
Paul: One thing that we really didn't touch on, I kind of skirted by this issue, but one of actual real world issues with not having a nice flagship on Windows Phone is that we are in the upgrade cycle now for the people who did buy the Lumia 920 and there is nothing for those guys. That is a dumb mistake on Microsoft's part. At the very least AT&T and GSM carriers should be selling a 930 type phone in the United States. We don't have that here. The other thing about all of this device stuff is that long before Windows 10 was known to be what it is, I had written an editorial about how they originally called it right tool for the job or something, and then SCO guys got ahold of it and changed it to something else. I don't remember what the name of it was now, but were it basically said that the way that these devices are going when they are so thin, and light, and easy to carry around it's really not a big deal to carry, if you are going on a big road trip like we do to carry a thin and light Ultrabook like the one that you have, to carry an iPad style tablet whatever that might be, could be an Android device, and then your smart phone. You don't have to have one device that does everything, which some people are trying to bend to their will. It's not actually horrible, it works out so that you have an Android phone and maybe an Android tablet, but you are using the Windows laptop to get work done. It's not such a bad system. The problem for Microsoft is that maybe Google improves Android or maybe Google improves Chrome OS and the next time you come around to upgrading your laptop you say that maybe I don't need any of the Microsoft stuff anymore. That's kind of the broader issue for the platform, yeah.
Mary Jo: That's the risk.
Leo: Let's take a break. When we come back more, in fact there is some Windows 10 news.
Paul: Yes there is.
Leo: Yes there is. First I would like to tell you a little secret. Except if you listen to the show it's not really a secret. I've been telling you for months now, Citrix Sharefile. I no longer send email attachments, you shouldn't either. It's no secret I've been saying don't open attachments literally for years. Emails are dangerous. It’s not just malware. It’s phishing scams, the whole thing is a bad idea. But of course the first thing people in business say is we need to send attachments. That’s how we do business. ShareFile solves this. Instead of sending an email attachment with the security risks involved, the bounce-back risks. Especially with large files we’re sending these days. The issue of privacy because it’s going through public servers. It’s like sending a postcard when sending an email attachment. Citrix ShareFile solves all that by sending a secure link. So think of Citrix ShareFile as a cloud solution. I have a ShareFile folder on my desktop. Actually it’s not on my desktop. The nice thing about ShareFile is you can have any one or more arbitrary folders that are your ShareFile folders. The ShareFile sync tool will sync that with the cloud. So I have folders for the radio network, the local station, my own personal stuff-photos and so forth. And anything I put in those folders is automatically synced with the ShareFile cloud. Then I can go to my ShareFile interface and in effect send those attachments just by sending a secure link. And this has so many advantages. First of all I totally control that file. I can password protect it if I want. I can keep people from opening it unless they fill in their email. Or not. I can make it so easy that you certainly don’t have to have a ShareFile account to receive something from me. Plus the page they go to has my branding on it. It is exactly what the file is. It will zip the files up if they’re multiple files. It says what the zip file’s size is. I can say how many times they can download it for how long. It’s HIPPA-compliant. It’s compliant with regulations in a bunch of different industries. ShareFile is a great solution. No more bounce-backs. No more file size restrictions. Stuff is secure. It’s HIPPA-compliant. That should tell you everything. I just love it. I want you to try it free for 30 days. When you visit sharefile.com you’ll see a link at the top of the page a link that says podcast listeners. Click that link, it’s way, let me show you here so you can see it for those of you who are watching on video. It says podcast listeners. Click that and put in the offer code WINDOWS. That way Paul and Mary Jo get credit. You can try this for 30 days free. It’s great for any business. Do choose your industry because they can customize it for pretty much any industry. And then get the 30-day free trial. Show your boss. I think your clients will love it. If you are sending email attachments, you need to stop right now and go to ShareFile. No wonder 99% of the fortune 500 use ShareFile, 99%! Use ShareFile, sharefile.com. Click the microphone at the very top. Use the offer code WINDOWS. And Paul and Mary Jo will thank you, as will I. Citrix ShareFile, a really great solution. Windows 10 update went out today, right? Or yesterday?
Mary Jo: A few minutes ago.
Paul: I’m updating now, Leo.
Leo: Well if anything goes wrong, we’ll know who to blame. 9879.
Mary Jo: There were some leaks about this over this past weekend. But this is the build that Microsoft is rolling out now. If you’re a Windows 10 tester and you have the technical preview, you can get that build now. What’s new here? Let’s see.
Paul: There is a ton of stuff in here.
Mary Jo: There is a ton of stuff. It’s not one or two little features. One thing is you can now hide the search and task view buttons on the taskbar by right-clicking on the bar. That was annoying some people.
Paul: That was I believe the number one request.
Leo: They have that page where you can see what most people are asking for.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: That’s so smart. That’s good marketing.
Mary Jo: The native MKV file support is there.
Leo: All you pirates will be pretty damn happy about that. Next time you Bittorrent you don’t have to worry about hurting it. Really, who uses the Matryoshka format? It’s a rapper that I know is pretty much used exclusively by pirated video.
Mary Jo: Well it’s in there now so go get your Windows 10, pirates. The new touchpad, the three-finger gestures that Joe Belfiore showed off at Tech Ed Barcelona are in there now. As is the snap assist technology which helps you if you want to snap multiple apps across multiple monitors. That’s in there. What else, Paul?
Paul: Major updates to OneDrive. So if you’re familiar with the way that OneDrive works in Windows 8.1 which I always held up as the best way to do it. Basically you could have hundreds of gigabytes, terabytes now up on OneDrive. But when you sync it to your PC, it doesn’t bring down all the actual files. It has placeholder files. And to the file system and to applications, those placeholder files look like real files so they work fine. Obviously you would have to download them before they open. But you can open them in a photo viewer or in Word if they’re Word docs and so forth. I guess the problem was a lot of people didn’t quite understand this kind of differentiation. I’m now reading this now because I don’t have the build to see this. Basically it looks like they improved the file sync so it’s faster and more reliable. But now it’s going to use selective sync by default. And it says this means you choose what you want synced to your PC and it will be. What you see is really there and you don’t need to worry about downloading it. You can choose to have all of your OneDrive file syncs to your PCs or just select the ones you want. That doesn’t seem all that different from Windows 8.1. I need to see what this means. I don’t know. Well they’ve also gotten rid of that little dot menu in the windows. It was really hard to find full-screen mode or the charms. So they’ve added a hamburger menu there which I guess will be just more natural for people. They detuned the animations which were really annoying in the last build.
Mary Jo: IE stuff, new interoperability focused edge rendering engine. I don’t know anything about that at all. There’s a blog post. IE’s new edge rendering.
Paul: They added dialogues. This is kind of neat. In Windows 8.1 dialogues were actually full-screen notifications. It’s kind of a weird thing. It was like a weird strip across the middle of the screen. And so in Windows 10 now in this new build, those previous full-screen notifications are now actual dialogues. And they look like the full-screen notifications used to look except now they’re smaller and they’re windows. So a little more consistent in the way we think of dialogues in traditional Windows. So I think that’s actually most of it. I’m really confused by the OneDrive thing now. What’s the difference?
Mary Jo: Well whatever they do to make syncing better in OneDrive, especially if it helps anybody who uses OneDrive for Business. That will be very welcome. I get so many-you probably get more than me-OneDrive sync questions. Like how do I do this?
Paul: I’ve actually spent the last 10 days trying to blow as much content into OneDrive as I can. I’ve been trying different ways. And it’s actually fairly difficult. The biggest issue is the sync type issues and so you run into these kinds of problems like people who don’t have servers-home servers-probably don’t see very often. File path, file name, length problems. For example, if you’re on my desktop computer, my OneDrive folder is actually in the root of D. So when I sync a bunch of junk from my server over to that, it’s a shorter path because it’s D:\OneDrive whatever. But on my Surface Pro 3, when I try to connect to OneDrive from that computer, the path is now C:\Users\Paul\OneDrive. So you’ve got that additional set of characters. And that means all of a sudden a bunch of that stuff I bumped up to OneDrive is not going to sync because the path is too long. And that’s something most users of these days would ever think about. But it’s actually a weird problem so you have to go back and fix all of that stuff. Point being now that they’re making basically an unlimited storage available for people, they really need to make this thing work. And I would suspect that this is a step in that direction. I’m really confused how this is different.
Mary Jo: You’ll have to tell us next week when we…
Paul: There is an option by the way in the dialogue that says let me use OneDrive to fetch files on the PC. Which is a feature they’ve had in OneDrive for a while. But I don’t know if that was available… I thought they got rid of that.
Mary Jo: I thought they did too.
Paul: It looks like it’s coming back.
Mary Jo: Or something they didn’t carry over from when it was previously…
Paul: It also has an option called use Office to sync files faster and work on files with other people at the same time. And this is a problem actually talking about Windows not getting things first. If you have users on an iPad using Office like Word, you can collaborate in real time. It’s actually harder to do that on the desktop clients because it doesn’t have that kind of background save-sync thing that’s quite as sophisticated. And it looks like they’re adding that to Windows now. You can also unlink OneDrive. Which actually a certain segment of the population would actually enjoy. This is like a fog of writhing, Leo. Sorry, it’s just happening.
Leo: It’s fine. I’m enjoying it.
Mary Jo: It’s great. We get to do it in Windows Weekly instead of tomorrow.
Mary Jo: Look on the bright side! Someone called me a Debbie downer because of my post.
Leo: You’re Debbie honest. How about that?
Paul: Yes, actually that’s fair. Normally Mary Jo is way more positive than I am.
Leo: You’re the king of downers. Paul Thurrott is just…
Paul: My wife called me Rantsy McRants-a-lot today.
Leo: Really your wife said that?
Mary Jo: I call you Eeyore.
Leo: Paul is a kernel of truth in that but Paul is fundamentally at his core an optimist.
Mary Jo: He is. He’s a fan.
Leo: I think he’s bringing you down, Mary Jo. That’s the problem.
Mary Jo: Not true!
Leo: He’ll talk you down.
Paul: All I know is she threw a grenade and then ran away.
Mary Jo: Paul’s like where are you Foley?
Leo: So I see the very first… well we had a review yesterday of the 830 which I think was the last Lumia phone with a Nokia branding. And I see the very first without the Nokia branding came out yesterday as well. The 535. Do you have one?
Paul: Yea, what’s that?
Leo: You don’t have it yet?
Paul: I don’t have it yet. My initial reaction to this is why do we need another low-end phone. Which I think kind of cuts to what Mary Jo was saying earlier. But when you look at it and the markets it’s targeting. And when you look at how it compares to say the Lumia 530 which is a piece of junk, or the Lumia 630, 635, which is actually a wonderful phone; this is an incredibly low-priced offering that actually hits at that sweet spot. Where I was talking about going after the masses with something that’s super inexpensive. It’s not cheap-I mean I haven’t seen one-but based on the specs and what I’ve learned about it and my prior knowledge of other Lumia’s, it kind of cuts to that good value part of the market. Like it’s not just inexpensive and cheap, it also seems to be a really good value. So it has a 5-inch screen. It has a kind of curious resolution like QHD, quarter HD, 960x540 I think it is. But a gigabyte of ram. It has 8 gigs of on-board storage which isn’t great. But Micro SD expands it and that works great on the Lumia 735 that I’m using. Replaceable, colored covers. They’re bring back the colors which I think a lot of Lumia guys will love. And they have a flip case kind of cover, instead of just replacing the back, you can replace it with a flip case that will protect the phone as well. Selfie camera on the front, fixed-focus, 5MP camera front and rear. So nothing special on the back, but serviceable. But it’s basically 110 Euros. 110 Euros, if they were to sell it in the United States-and I don’t think they will-it would be about $100. Usually it’s kind of a dollar per Euro. Not because the Euro is worth as much as a dollar. But because the way things are priced in Europe versus the United States. That tells me that that phone’s worth, typically off-contract here, for $110. That’s a crazy low price. That’s lower than the 635 although you can get the 635 lower than that on sale. And it’s more expensive than the 530. But the 530 is a piece of junk. And so I don’t know. If I were running this business, I would get rid of the 530 and I would never let anyone see a phone that terrible. And I would make this the entry-level. This is a really nice phone for the money. It’s what it seems like, having not seen it.
Mary Jo: We don’t know if it’s ever going to come to the U.S.? We have no idea.
Paul: I guess it’s possible. The 735 will be here. Anything’s possible. Who knows, it may show up on Cricket or something. It looks like a decent device. I just think they have too many of these things.
Leo: It’s a little confusing to the outsider.
Paul: Yea, and there isn’t a logical progression in model numbers. Which I think confuses people as well. It certainly confuses me. So yea.
Leo: Lync is no more. Now Skype for Business. That made sense. One of the two was going to win.
Paul: I’ve been talking to these guys forever about this stuff. It will be two years in February that they announced that Lync was brought into the Skype business. It didn’t go into Office, remember. And that was the telegraphing of how this thing was going to go down. What I said to them at the time was simply this. I actually repeated it and they actually joke about this every time I see the Lync guys; Paul, we know you hate Skype. You make that very clear. But please understand that all of the good stuff about Lync continues and will underpin this stuff. And hopefully they can improve Skype in the process. So what we’re going to get is a thing that looks like Lync but is in fact Skype. And you know what? I don’t have a problem with that. I think that’s fine.
Mary Jo: It is mostly a name change we should point out.
Leo: You still need a Lync server and all that stuff.
Mary Jo: It still runs on the Lync backbone. They’re taking some of the icons and UI elements from Skype and bringing them to Lync. So it’s mostly rebranding a few kind of tweaks feature-wise. And they did say next year that in the first part of 2015 there’s going to be a brand new version of Skype for Business server. Which was Lync’s server. And this new Skype for Business bits will roll into Office 365. And there’ll also be a Skype for Business client. So all those things are going to come in the first half of the year which is interesting because the other Office servers like Exchange and SharePoint are in the second half of the year. So like Paul said, Skype and Lync are separate and they’re on their own time table. The rest of Office servers are in a different group on a different time table. Just to keep it real simple.
Paul: I wonder if we’ll be able to use this client instead of the consumer Skype client. And for it to interoperate. I wonder from day to day if that would actually make sense.
Mary Jo: For us on the show you mean?
Leo: We looked at it and I think we have to pay for a server.
Paul: Right. So in other words, I have Office 365 so I would have access to this. I wonder if just me running this on the client, if it would matter or make a difference. I’m not really sure.
Leo: I’m not either.
Mary Jo: It’s hard to say right now.
Leo: We’ll get our IT guru, Russell on it. Maybe we should be using Lync. Let’s dog-food it. What do you say?
Mary Jo: Hey what can go wrong? Nothing.
Paul: I like how you’re thinking, Leo.
Leo: I believe in dog-fooding. Sway, Sway is their new presentation thing.
Mary Jo: Yep. Sway is a brand new member of the Office family. First one in a really long time.
Leo: Oh so it’s part of Office?
Mary Jo: It is. It’s an app that kind of defies categorization. It falls somewhere between Word and PowerPoint. It’s a presentation app that also lets you aggregate content and automatically helps you design it. I got to interview Chris Pratley who runs the Sway team and it was very interesting.
Paul: Chris Pratley runs the Sway team?
Mary Jo: He does now.
Paul: Oh that explains a lot. I didn’t know that.
Mary Jo: I don’t know if he still runs OneNote. He did run OneNote at one point. He also ran Office Labs for a number of years. And he told me about how he thought about designing Sway. They’ve been working on it for two years. They have some number of developers under 100. He wouldn’t tell me exactly how many. And the idea was they wanted to come up with this app that made it easier for people who don’t have time to make things look good, to make it look good. So they have this whole engine inside where you can say here’s some pictures, here’s some text I came up with. Hit a button, design it for me. Make it look good. That’s what Sway does. It’s in very limited preview still. It’s kind of hard to get an invitation to it at this point. But it definitely shows you where Microsoft’s head is at in terms of how they define the word productivity. Because you know they call themselves a productivity platform’s company these days. So when we hear productivity right now, we think boring apps like Excel, SharePoint, and PowerPoint. I love them all. They’re all my children. But yes, Sway is kind of the new way they think about productivity. So they want to have these apps in the future that blur the line between work and play and home and office. They want to make it something that is more fun to use and doesn’t have such a steed and boring UI. Those were the goals they went in with on developing Sway. And I think it’s interesting to remember those as they start coming out with more apps. Because I think there will be more Office apps in the future. I don’t know what they’ll be. But those are kind of the guidelines they have now in thinking about these things. It’s kind of interesting. Interesting story about how they did it. What they were hoping to achieve. And just like with Windows by the way, they’re letting users give their feedback and they’re actually incorporating it into the product. So if you get to use Sway, the preview, and you say hey Microsoft, you know what would be really awesome. Is if I could do this. They’re going to take that into consideration and if there’s enough feedback that people want that, they’re going to add it in. Not just come up with a product and say hey, here it is. What a concept!
Leo: And it’s not just Sway. It’s Clutter. Isn’t Clutter and Sway, I can’t think if it sounds like a rock band or a lawyer law firm. Clutter and Sway.
Mary Jo: I think law firm.
Leo: What is Clutter?
Mary Jo: Paul, you’re all about Clutter.
Paul: I am cluttered.
Leo: The king of Clutter. Tell us about it.
Paul: Well, it’s really just… I don’t understand why the consumer and business versions of their products have slightly different things. But Clutter is a feature of the Outlook Web App that they announced back in March I want to say at the Exchange conference. And now they use machine learning as part of the Office graph function on the server to examine your email and to examine your behavior over time with regards to behavior. To determine which emails are important and which aren’t. It’s the type of thing we’re seeing a lot of email providers working on these days. And so we have to enable it which I’ve done on my Office 365 account. And when you do it creates a clutter folder and it basically pulls all the clutter out and puts it in there and leaves all the important stuff. One of the questions I had about this and people that were asking me this on Twitter was whether this impacts the client. So if you’re using Outlook, the Outlook 2013 client on your PC, does it even make sense to enable this? Because Outlook 2013 was written a couple years ago and doesn’t know about Clutter. Actually I was told by Microsoft that it does work. And that one the server it will respect the fact that you’re moving stuff into the Clutter folder or out of it. And so it will use that to learn just like it does in the web client. So you don’t have to use the web client. As far as my own experience with it, I really don’t get a lot of mail through my Office 365 account. And I’m not going to give you the address because I don’t want to. But it’s interesting to watch. And it’s a little different from junk mail. But it’s also a little different from features like Sweep. Which are sort of similar but not quite. What I’d like to see Microsoft really do-and this is true of a lot of things; but I would just say Office 365 in particular-is make this kind of stuff consistent between the work and consumer products where it makes sense. Something like Clutter absolutely makes sense on outlook.com. And I would just like to see that be consistent. I would like it to be part of the mobile and client UI wherever you are. For example, when they added an archiving capability to outlook.com sometime in the past year. There’s no archive button in a mobile client like that should be there like it is in Gmail. Clutter should be there. So I don’t know, it sounds a little bit like the first step to Skynet. It’s like machine learning. Like the machines are in the cloud and they’re learning how you work and stuff. And that’s weird.
Leo: Should I be afraid?
Paul: Not yet. Eventually I sort of imagine I’m going to move an email into Clutter and it’s going to push it back and say no Paul, that’s not clutter. And I guess now the machine knows more than I do.
Mary Jo: I feel like Clutter is going to clutter things up in my inbox actually. When I get mail, I immediately read it and then delete or file it in one of my folders. I don’t really…
Paul: I would imagine this is true for you as well. Unfortunately I feel like I am not a good test case for this kind of stuff because I don’t interact with people normally. I mean I do, in some cases with my wife or friends or whatever. But then I get email from readers. And that kind of email might be seen as spam to most people.
Leo: Yea, we’re in an unusual situation. We get a lot of unsolicited email that’s not spam.
Paul: Yea, it kind of stinks. Office 365 in my case actually because I don’t use it for work-related things. I don’t get that kind of email so maybe it’s not that bad of a test. But I don’t get that much email there so it makes it a little harder. Yea, it’s kind of like the problem I have with Skype. Skype signs me out a lot because I’m signed into too many mobile devices. I find it odd that Microsoft didn’t have a test case for people with 27 phones all signed into Skype at the same time. Apparently they don’t. Those kinds of scenarios make testing these things difficult for me sometimes. It seems like a good idea, I just think it should be everywhere. That’s all. I think it probably will be.
Leo: Yea, it’s a lab thing. It’s in labs, man.
Paul: If you go back and look at their announcement in March, what they basically said was we intend to release this. We just don’t know when. We’re dealing with artificial intelligence and it’s trying to outsmart us. And we just want to release this feature. There is some kind of really forward-leaning aspect.
Leo: Is it available to everybody now?
Paul: Yea, if you have a business version of Office 365, you can just go in and enable it.
Leo: It’s in the settings?
Mary Jo: It’s starting to roll out, right? Isn’t it like first release people get it now?
Paul: Oh yea. Sorry, sorry. Yea, she’s right. I’m on first release of course. Yes. So as an organization, you could restrict this from being available to your users. If you were that kind of…
Leo: … jerk!
Paul: Typical IT jerk.
Leo: Would it be in the reading email section? Where would it be?
Paul: Actually my article has the location.
Leo: Yea, I’ll go there.
Mary Jo: If you’re not in first release, you’re not going to see it yet.
Paul: Yea. So it’s the gear icon which is settings and then options. And then under mail, there’s a new option called Clutter. And you just enable it and save it. Then you’ll see a new folder called Clutter.
Leo: Very exciting! It’s Clutter!
Paul: By the way, shouldn’t it be called De-Clutter?
Leo: You’re not cluttering. You’re de-cluttering.
Paul: No, you want to enable clutter on my inbox.
Mary Jo: You want to put your clutter in the Clutter folder though.
Paul: Yes, it does contain clutter, yes.
Leo: I actually like this idea. Google’s doing a little bit of this with Gmail. Their new inbox app…
Paul: They tried to do a category-based thing.
Leo: They stole the sweep idea.
Paul: These are all good ideas. I’m a little suspicious to any Microsoft service or feature that tries to out-think me. Like auto-complete is a little like this. It’s the type of thing that Mary Jo and I talk about where we try to write hoppy and Windows Phone changes it to hippy every time which drives me crazy.
Mary Jo: It should learn that word in my dictionary.
Paul: I agree. It seems like you type in hoppy. I’m going to go with hoppy.
Mary Jo: The other day I typed in fuggles which is a kind of hop and it came up giggles. I’m like, drinking a beer with giggles hops, yay!
Paul: For years when I typed my name into Word for the first time on a new install, it would change my last name from Thurrott to Thrust.
Leo: Completely appropriate. I would like to know where can I buy the Microsoft work and play bundle.
Mary Jo: That’s a good one.
Leo: There it is. There’s the question, right there.
Paul: Leo, it’s right there on that incredibly easy to find webpage on the Microsoft store site.
Leo: What the hell is the work and play bundle? And who the hell would want it?
Paul: Actually I think a lot of people want it. But they are really clearly only test-marketing it. And this is freaking people out. So for example, these are all online services essentially. Which you can only buy by walking into a store.
Leo: So Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World plus Wi-Fi, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Music Pass. So I take it this is a year subscription to those services?
Paul: That’s correct.
Leo: How much? $199?
Paul: Yea, $200. Office 365 Home is $99 by itself. For five people remember and five people each get five installs of full Office. They get Office on tablets. They get unlimited OneDrive storage and all that kind of stuff. That’s obviously a big part of it. Xbox Live Gold is $60 a year. Xbox Music Pass is $100 a year.
Leo: This is a good deal.
Paul: It’s a good deal but it’s also kind of a weird deal.
Leo: It’s kind of an odd…
Paul: Well, every time something comes up about Xbox Music Pass or about Xbox Live Gold, I get emails from people that say God I wish they would just have one service that did everything. You know? Yea, okay. But the problem with this one is one of these four things is for a family. And the other three are for an individual.
Leo: So it’s one person only.
Paul: Yea, this doesn’t let you have Xbox Music Pass for five people. So it seems like maybe what they should have done was have it just be Office 365 personal.
Mary Jo: I thought it was, but maybe…
Paul: Oh maybe it is. Did I screw it up?
Mary Jo: No, you’re right. I just was thinking it was that.
Paul: Okay good.
Mary Jo: It is Home. It’s Office 365 Home.
Paul: That’s odd, right? And of course people… it’s only available for a limited time. It’s basically only for the holiday period this year. It’s a test. I think what they want to do is gauge how excited people are about this if they are. And see how that goes.
Mary Jo: You know what I would like to see, because this bundle doesn’t work for me price-wise. Because I don’t care about Xbox Live Gold. I want the other stuff.
Paul: Oh, Mary Jo. How could you?
Mary Jo: I don’t want the Xbox Live Gold. So if I don’t want that then the bundle is about the same price that I would pay if I didn’t have the bundle. So $100 for the work and…
Paul: I think a lot of people look at this and go Office 365 Home, Xbox Live, fine. Skype unlimited… what is this? I think a lot of people… it’s $168 worth of Skype unlimited calling. I don’t really think there’s a lot of people doing that kind of thing.
Mary Jo: I mean it lets you call a Skype number anywhere in the world for free.
Paul: You call landlines anywhere in the world for free.
Leo: Yea, I got this for Abby when she was in France. It was great because she could use it… she had to use a computer, but she could call home.
Paul: She could call numbers, yes.
Leo: She could call cell phones and home numbers. And it was awesome. So it’s great if you’re, I think it’s really great for an international.
Paul: For a specific need. Maybe you move to a different country like your daughter did and you call back home.
Leo: It’s fantastic. It was $99, it lasted all year. She could call us all she wanted.
Paul: But I think the thing that’s weird here is these are four very different services. And I think they’re a lot of people listening to the show for example, who use two of these regularly. Some that use three. The number of people who are actually using all four is probably pretty small.
Mary Jo: But it’s trying to get you to move to them, right? So if I bought the bundle, I’d be like oh let me see this Xbox Live Gold thing. Is there anything on here?
Paul: Now I know what you’re Christmas present’s going to be, Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: Call of Duty, is that on there? But I’d like to see them try some other bundles. And I bet they will. Like maybe something that has, I don’t know… what would be a good bundle? Home and Office? I’m trying to think of services.
Paul: The obvious bundle here is the Xbox bundle. For me, I think they need to combine those two things. There should be an Xbox subscription that combines music with whatever else Xbox Live does these days. I’ve thought that for a while. I actually had to look this up. My initial reaction to Skype unlimited was doesn’t Office 365 come with some Skype? And it does. It comes with I think 60 minutes per month or something like that.
Leo: This is a specific audience. But the weirdest part is you have to go to a Microsoft store to get it.
Mary Jo: That is weird. I don’t get that one.
Leo: And all of this is online stuff. What are they putting in? A box full of air?
Paul: It’s actually a baggie. It’s like when you bring home a goldfish.
Leo: Literally, there’s no disc.
Paul: It’s basically a credit card thing with a bunch of codes on it.
Mary Jo: I don’t know why. Very curious.
Leo: So, Clutter and Sway, Work and Play; we’ve got it all at Microsoft today.
Paul: Well actually you don’t get Clutter with that because it’s in the business version.
Leo: I’m just kidding.
Mary Jo: Just to be clear.
Leo: Just to be clear people, don’t expect Clutter.
Paul: Mr. Thurrott, you said that Clutter was included in my work one.
Leo: Look what that idiot Leo did. I’ve got to have a snack before we go to the back of the book. Is it snack time? Let’s get a little…
Paul: I was eating this last night.
Leo: You like your Nature Box, my friend?
Mary Jo: Yea, I like it.
Paul: My daughter’s been looking at it like a squirrel.
Leo: You can with Nature Box. And by the way, you want your kids to eat Nature Box. Even though they taste amazing…
Paul: So I had the pecan clusters the other day.
Leo: They’re so good. They won’t know that it’s good for you
Paul: These are calorie-free, right?
Leo: No, no. They haven’t figured that part out. This is not airy, little light taste. It’s real food for one which is great. No Trans fats, no artificial colors or artificial flavors. No high-fructose corn syrup. They’re all in re-sealable bags so if you say I’d love a blueberry nom-nom right about now-and who wouldn’t! These are mini blueberry-flavored oat cookies; they’re so good. You just zip open the bag. Now I’m going to tell you how to get these for free by the way so stay tuned. We open them up here and I eat one blueberry nom-nom and I just put the rest… ooh.
Paul: I bet you can’t just eat one, Leo.
Leo: My mouth, oh wow.
Paul: Leo, that’s the asteroid that little shipped landed on.
Leo: Asteroids singing, did you know that. It’s actually making music but you can’t hear it because it’s a very high frequency. Anyway, ooh, coffee kettle popcorn. The best of both worlds. Kettle corn with coffee-caramelized coverings.
Leo: Now, if you visit naturebox.com/twit, you can get a free sample. I think you pay $2 shipping and handling. So that’s nothing. And you’ll be able to try these. Drop the candy bar, get away from the candy machine. No more potato chips for you! Put down the Pringles! And have Nature Box! They have snacks for all kinds of needs and tastes. Spicy, sweet, and savory. You can find snacks with no added sugar, without gluten if that’s what you’re looking for. Lemon pucker pistachio, strawberry Greek yogurt pretzels. Mango-orange fruit chews. I’ve got here the big island pineapple. These, solid gold. They’re the best dried pineapple you have ever had in your life. And so much better for you than going to the snack machine, the home for your office. Nature Box will deliver snacks to your door every single month. Get that free sample right now. Naturebox.com/twit. Stay full, stay strong, start snacking smarter. Naturebox.com/twit. And so good, you guys got some. I’m glad to hear you’re provided with Nature Box goodies. I’ll have one nom-nom and put the rest away.
Mary Jo: The sriracha cashews.
Leo: Is that your favorite? Oh, you’re a spicy girl. You like the spice. It’s good, isn’t it?
Mary Jo: It’s very good.
Leo: It’s neat. It’s a great idea. I don’t know who thought this up but thank you for thinking it up, Nature Box.
Mary Jo: Just waiting for kale chips for Paul. I know he will like those.
Leo: I can’t remember, is this the medium box? They have three different sizes. I think this is a medium. Anyway they’re great and full of goodness. Alright now, time for back of the book starting with Paul Thurrott’s tip of the week.
Paul: Okay, I just figured out one of the other differences in this OneDrive thing. Anyway, so tip of the week is I don’t know when this happened. But I was alerted this week that Microsoft was making downloadable versions of the Windows 8.1 install media available to customers. This is just on its own a big deal. Because you may recall that Windows 8.1 was that weird release of Windows that was only made available to existing customers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Which was a horrible experience. It worked horribly for a lot of people. And if you restored your computer you did a PC reset, you went back to 8.0 and so you had to do the install again. And so now they’re making this install media available and you can use that to create install media to a USB flash drive. Or to an ISO file which you can then burn to disc if you want. Or you can just use that ISO file directly on a VM. Which is great. But actually there are two things that put this over the top. When I originally wrote about this I was positive this would not be the case because Microsoft never does this kind of thing. But two major improvements: if you have a Windows 8.0 key, meaning you bought Windows 8, you can use that key with the Windows 8.1 installer. This has never been the case in the past. That’s a huge improvement right there. That means you don’t have to go back to 8.0 and then upgrade. You can go right to 8.1 which is really cool. And it also has all the latest and major updates. Update one and two, even though they’re not calling it upgrade two, they’re integrated into the install. So it’s not the version of 8.1 that shipped last October. It’s the version of 8.1 that’s up to date as of this August, I guess. So that’s cool. So you can get, it’s just from the Microsoft site. I have an explanation for it on my website. But it’s now easily attainable. So that’s a big deal. I’m going to update the book because this is a big, big change. And then the software pick of the week, this is kind of an odd one because you probably think you understand what this is right up front. But it’s a little different than you might expect. Microsoft has released a Microsoft band sync app for Windows and Mac. If you are familiar with Microsoft band and the way it works and how you sync data from the band, you know you typically have to use a mobile app. So that’s going to be an Android app, like an iPhone app, or a Windows Phone app. And those apps oddly enough are called the Microsoft Health app. And they do all kinds of things. They let you configure the band, they let you choose which tiles are there. You can look up guided workouts and download a few of them to your band. There’s all this stuff you can do. The sync app they released for Windows and Mac is not actually that app. In fact it’s really just designed to sync the data from your band to the cloud while you’re charging it. So instead of using the included charger cable with a power adapter and plugging it in the wall, you can plug it into your computer. And while it’s charging, it will sync the data. But you can’t use the app to do any of the stuff you can do with Microsoft Health app. You can’t go back and look at your activity. You can’t configure the different features of the band, like which workouts are on there. So it’s really kind of barebones. But it gives you for a lot of people I think especially if you go to work every day, you may just want to charge it while on lunch or whatever. You plug it in, it’s connected to the computer so it’s charging but it’s also updating over USB. Instead of updating over Bluetooth. So it’s obviously free.
Leo: Nice. Your software pick of the week.
Paul: That was it.
Leo: Oh, I’m sorry. Do you still love your band?
Paul: Yea, so I’m going to continue with it is the way I would say it. I feel that this is an important platform especially the health service. So actually just the other day I stopped using my Fit band. I don’t think I need to compare the data anymore. And I’m just going to use this. In fact the one thing I’m really looking forward to is tonight I’m going to play basketball. And for various reasons the past two Wednesdays I was busy and didn’t play basketball. So I’ve never played basketball with this thing. But I go for walks. So I use that as an exercise and I can see how my heart rate varies over the course of a walk. What I really want to see is what it’s going to look like.
Leo: I think that’s cool.
Paul: I think it’s going to be insane-looking.
Leo: How is it with Advanced Warfare?
Paul: My heart rate goes up.
Leo: No exercise but your heart rate goes up.
Paul: Well that alone is a little bit of exercise. The heart doesn’t beat by itself.
Leo: Did you put down Call of Duty or a day yesterday to play a little bit of Halo?
Paul: Actually you know what, I didn’t. I launched it and I looked at the menu…
Leo: You know there’s a button you can press and it will show you the original version. And you can go back and forth between the new… and they really spiffed it up.
Paul: I think what I’m going to do is start with… because I played the Halo Commemorative edition.
Leo: That’s the oldest one, I have that.
Paul: I think I’m going to start with 2. Because Halo 2 is the one they re-mastered for the Xbox One.
Leo: This one is re-mastered, too. It looks pretty different.
Paul: Does it? Even from the one they just released?
Leo: Yea. Oh I don’t know about the one they just released. Probably the same as the one they just released. But it looks different than the 10-year old version.
Paul: There’s no rush on this one. I think this is going to be…
Leo: Cortana looks hot.
Paul: She gets progressively better-looking through the series.
Leo: I had forgotten because I haven’t played this in 10 years. We used to play it on the Screensaver’s set and I had forgotten. Wow.
Paul: The original Halo I feel I’ve played that game in the single-player campaign probably a dozen times.
Leo: I literally got sea sick within five minutes.
Paul: Why is that?
Leo: I don’t know. I sit and play on my Xbox One all the time and it doesn’t make me queasy. Maybe I had a bad piece of fish and I just thought it was Cortana.
Mary Jo: Don’t blame Cortana.
Leo: I was like, I turned white and I had to stop playing.
Mary Jo: Oh wow.
Paul: This is the effect I hope to have on people who play me in multi-player.
Leo: And you like Advanced Warfare?
Paul: Yea. It took a little while to get used to the vertical stuff. But I am now used to it. It’s well-done. Some of the maps are eh and some are fantastic.
Leo: Mary Jo Foley, it’s… okay actually, let’s do Mary Jo Foley’s enterprise pick of the week. She’s got that. And then I’m just going to give you a little security alert that we talked about yesterday on Security Now.
Mary Jo: So my enterprise pick of the week has to do with Lync and Skype also. And I don’t know if you guys remember this but back in 2013, Microsoft said we’re going to do two phases of integration between Lync and Skype. The first phase, they integrated things like the audio calling, instant messaging, and then adding the contacts between the two. They federated that. And then they said some time by 2014, we’re going to do video federation. So we haven’t heard a word about that so far. It turns out they are going to make it just under the wire. In December, they’re going to update the Skype client with H.264 support. So that you will be able to have video federation Lync 2013 and Skype. So if you don’t want to wait until sometime the first half of next year to use your Lync for business with your Skype. As far as being integrated from a video perspective. You’ll be able to actually do that this year if you have Lynch 2013. So that’s my enterprise pick.
Leo: Excellent. And your codename?
Mary Jo: Codename pick of the week. Last week, my codename pick was project K and in that case it had to do with the Microsoft fitness band which is called K. There is another project K. I mentioned that last week. And it’s very fitting that we’re going to make that the pick this week. Because the other project K is ASPI net 5. The K in this K stood for Katana. Which I think is a Japanese sword? Isn’t it? Some kind of premium Japanese sword.
Leo: It’s a samurai sword!
Mary Jo: I don’t know if that’s the inspiration for this Katana and project K. But ASP dot-net 5 which is the new version coming next year that Microsoft is here in New York talking about today. The codename for that was project K also. So that’s my codename pick for this week.
Leo: There are only 26 letters in the alphabet. You’ve got to double up sometimes.
Mary Jo: Exactly.
Leo: And now, ladies and gentlemen, get ready. Another misspelled beer name! I think when you drink a lot of beer, your spelling just goes to hell.
Mary Jo: No, this is correct spelling. And our U.K. listeners will know: Adnams. So I don’t do very many U.K. beer picks. I should do more. Because I like them.
Leo: It’s a country full of beer.
Mary Jo: Adnams Ghost Ship is the pick which is Adnams is this really great brewery from England. This particular one is a pale ale that has a little, to me at least, a little lemony taste to it. And I got to taste it when I was on my way back from Bruges. I stopped at a friend’s house and had some. And I wish we had this in the U.S. I think it would be a really nice spring, summer kind of pick for a beer. Only 4.3% or so. So you can drink a few.
Leo: it looks very refreshing.
Mary Jo: Very refreshing and nice.
Leo: Adnams Ghost Ship.
Mary Jo: If you ever get to try Adnams of any kind-I know I’m mispronouncing that. Adnams. Very nice beers. I like it.
Leo: Nice. And I just wanted to mention that yesterday was patch Tuesday and we did a bit of stuff on Security Now. One of the patches is a severe, critical flaw in all versions of Windows. If you’re running Windows Server or IIS, you must patch. Because it is an extremely serious flaw. Steve characterized it as: as bad as it gets.
Paul: Oh so you’re not referring to the Windows flaw that dates back to 1995? That one?
Leo: Oh that happens all the time.
Mary Jo: That one too.
Paul: They fixed a 19-year old flaw in Windows this week.
Leo: This is in, yea.
Paul: It’s been remotely exploitable for at least 18 years.
Leo: Holy moly.
Paul: This literally impacts Windows 95.
Leo: This is a flaw in S-channel which is the security channel that uses SSL on TSS uses. And it’s a fairly serious bug. So the whole patch Tuesday, the critical patches, you might want to apply those.
Mary Jo: It’s a very big patch Tuesday.
Leo: Microsoft says there are no mitigating factors and no work-arounds. So if you’re running a server and you use SSL, you need to fix it. And if you ever visit an IIS server with SSL, you need to fix it. Because it can affect you as well. Just a little heads up. Not in the wild as far as we know. It was a private security researcher who found it. But such a serious bug that I’m sure it will be in the wild soon. Okay. Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, thank you so much. Mary Jo Foley is at allaboutmicrosoft.com. That’s her ZD Net blog. You must read it every day. It’s a requirement. Paul Thurrott’s blog is the Super Site for Windows at winsupersite.com. You must also read that every single day. And every single Wednesday at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern time, 1900 UTC, you must tune in at live.twit.tv so you can watch us do Windows Weekly. Now, if there’s a medical emergency or something else preventing you from watching live, okay. We do make on-demand audio and video available after the fact at…
Paul: That’s the only excuse.
Leo: The only excuse. Twit.tv/ww. It’s on youtube.com/windowsweekly. And of course wherever podcasts are including the Xbox store and all those other places you can get your shows. Actually thanks to Demetri Allen and another developer, I think there are two Windows Phone versions of the TWiT application. We don’t do our own TWiT apps but fortunately we have smart listeners who do. On all the platforms including Roku, so you can also watch that one. Thanks for being here, Paul. Thanks for being here, Mary Jo. We’ll see you next Wednesday on Windows Weekly.
Mary Jo: I’ll be in Stockholm.
Leo: Oh this is the Swedish version. Exciting! Work, work, work! Don’t say that, they don’t like that.
Mary Jo: Okay.
Leo: See you later! Bye-bye.