Windows Weekly 393 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for Windows Weekly; Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo are here for the very last show of 2014. We are going to talk about all of those patch problems with Windows. Windows 10, the consumer preview is just around the corner and there is a very special event coming up next month, Paul and Mary Jo will be there. We will talk about that and Paul's picks for the best audible books of 2014. 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 393, recorded December 17, 2014.
Crap Patch Fever
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Leo: It's time for Windows Weekly, the happy holiday show that just makes everybody feel so good about themselves, about Windows 10, about Windows Phone 8, about Windows 8.1, it just makes everybody smile. Here he is, the jolly, the happy Paul Thurrott, he is just happy go lucky. He is like a little leprechaun on the Lucky Charms commercial.
Paul Thurrott: That's me, I am.
Leo: He's just magically delicious. Hello Paul.
Paul: Hello Leo.
Leo: Hello Paul. At the SuperSite for Windows, winsupersite.com. From AllAboutMicrosoft.com, she's grumpy, she's gloomy, she's never happy.
Paul: Her video is always terrible.
Leo: The queen of the dupe, I think that I have reversed roles here, Mary Jo Foley. Good to see you.
Mary Jo Foley: Thank you.
Leo: And as Paul points out, or you guys point out in your show notes today, this is the last episode of the year for us.
Paul: It's weird.
Mary Jo: It's crazy.
Leo: Next week is the best of; we've got some great clips and some fun stuff. Then the following week we are going to take the day off because that's New Year’s Eve and I am going to be doing 24 hours of 2015 as we did last year. I think that Paul is coming out for it, which is great.
Paul: I am coming out for it.
Leo: We invited you Mary Jo, but I think that you have better things to do.
Mary Jo: I'm like so burnt out on travelling.
Leo: I believe you, its fine. We extended an invitation to all of our show hosts and their families to come out to beautiful Petaluma for New Year’s Eve. Pretty much it was Paul that said yes. No, actually many of our hosts are coming out. In fact, we are having the host's dinner; I wish you could be there for this Mary Jo, at the Washoe House, which is our old 1800's road house for the stage coach. It's still there for the stage coach stop. I think that some of the steaks we are serving are from the 1800's.
Paul: I'm going to wonder around in the kitchen and be like "is there corn?"
Leo: Is there corn? I was told that there would be corn.
Paul: These are not seasonal vegetables.
Leo: Next week, best of. The week after is 24 hours of 2015, and it's all for the charity UNICEF. You will be back; you guys will all be back on January 6, 2015 for Episode 394. We are almost up to 400 on Windows Weekly.
Paul: There are almost as many episodes as kinds of cheese in France.
Leo: How many kinds of cheese in France are there?
Paul: I don't know.
Leo: I thought that you knew the number.
Paul: The story is that there are more kinds then there is days in a year.
Leo: It's hysterical. Knowing the French they probably have a number. There are exactly so many because you must be approved, you cannot make a cheese without the approval of the French government.
Paul: Right, today's episode will be a fine Camembert.
Leo: Oh, I love it nicely aged. When I was a kid my parents would insist that with the Camembert that you leave it out at room temperature and you don't eat it until it starts turning brown. I'm not kidding. Brown around kind of the rind and then its runny inside.
Paul: Yeah, of course. If there isn't kind of a gag reflex and then that's really good then it's probably not good cheese.
Mary Jo: Yum.
Leo: It's an acquired taste.
Leo: But that's how you are supposed to do Camembert. Even Brie you are supposed to let it age. When people have these Brie's that are straight out of the fridge it's like bleh.
Paul: It's all like hard packed.
Leo: It's like come on, is this fresh? That's disgusting, I don't eat fresh cheese.
Paul: What is this, homogenized?
Leo: That's the other problem. USDA makes you pasteurize cheese before you even bring it into the country.
Paul: Don't even get me started, oh boy.
Leo: You can't get good cheese in America.
Paul: Actually, we do have good cheese finally, that's changing. But we can't do everything that they do in Europe or in Canada.
Leo: No, because frankly food safety laws prohibit it.
Mary Jo: That's fine.
Leo: But, you know Mary Jo, that's why you drink beer, because it kills the germs.
Mary Jo: It is.
Paul: I don't think that's why, but it's a helpful side effect.
Mary Jo: One of the many.
Leo: Wine and cheese is good, but I'm thinking beer and cheese might even be better. A nice Wensleydale with a Porter?
Mary Jo: Beer and oysters is a classic pairing.
Paul: Yep, that's true. Beer is good with sushi.
Leo: Chemist in our chatroom says that good cheese smells like the feet of angels.
Leo: Alright, Windows 10, what is up? Actually there is a leak for a new build, 9901.
Leo: This is funny, people crack me up. Already you are getting a technical preview of a really, really early version of Windows 10, and people aren't satisfied with that, they are trying to find leaked builds. I want something newer. Do you have anything fresher?
Paul: I can't be objective about this one because that is me.
Leo: But that is your job. That's the excuse that you give.
Paul: That's how I excuse it, sure.
Leo: So what's new?
Paul: 9901 appears to be a consumer preview class build, right. There appears to be a bunch of consumer stuff in here. So that's exciting. That build is very buggy. I was chatting with Mary Jo earlier and had to reboot. I had that thing on a laptop. It was bad.
Leo: What are you using?
Paul: But there is some interesting stuff in it. A lot of it is new apps. There are new apps coming, there are improved versions of apps that we have already seen before, Cortana is in there and she sort of works. There are some new graphical treatments, more of that to come, a new icon, and new title bar, buttons and things like that. A new version of the Store is coming that will have apps for Windows Phone in it as well as Windows apps. Also music, movies, and TV shows all in one place like we do on Windows Phone. It's got new settings interface. What else do we have, there should be more than that.
Leo: You mentioned the full screen button and the hamburger menu.
Paul: There is a full screen button, yep. So there is a lot going on there. There is a new kind of graphical treatment on the taskbar. In previous builds it was just basically translucent. Now it is mostly opaque and it's colored to be a dark version of the primary color of your theme. So in my case the theme is kind of a blue theme and the taskbar is a very dark blue color. It looks almost black in the screenshots, but it's really a color, it's just off from black, which I really like a lot. I wish the start menu looked like that. Maybe it will. There are some Mac OSX type touches in here too by the way.
Leo: All of that transparency in what do they call it...
Leo: Arrow. It's really pretty much been eliminated.
Paul: I just restored my 15 inch Ultrabook. It's about 2 years old. I bought it right before Windows 8 came out, so it came with Windows 7, a signature version. I restored it, when you restore it it goes all the way back to Windows 7 using the built in software. It's great; it's like a time machine. I tried to use Windows 7 for a couple of days, and honestly, from sort of a workflow perspective it was no problem at all because it works very much like Windows 10 does, it's sort of what I am used to. The thing that it didn't like about it honestly was the Arrow Glass stuff. That's pretty divisive, some people love that stuff, but...
Leo: It's starting to look dated.
Paul: I find it to be dated, yeah. I tried playing with it to turn off the translucency, but I just couldn't get it to.
Leo: You know, it's funny because obviously stuff like that has nothing to do with functionality or usability; it's fashion.
Paul: I think that stuff is important. I think when you go back to stuff like the plus pack they used to have for Windows or whatever; it's obviously surface level stuff. Anything that you can do to personalize the device or the computer that you are using matters to people. It's like pinning up a family photo in your cubicle at work. It doesn't really change the situation but it makes it yours. I think that kind of thing matters to people.
Leo: Yeah, I think that it does. It's an advantage to Microsoft because I know that Apple has done this for years. When you change the look of the iPhone or you’re desktop it doesn't take long before the previous look is like white ties, it's dated. It might not be dated, but it looks dated.
Paul: I will tell you what; you are in tough shape if the old thing looks better. That would be a very interesting circumstance. That was the point of me looking at Windows 7 again. If I found that to be more attractive than the stuff that I had been using for the past two and a half years or whatever that would be a bad moment.
Leo: That's the nature of fashion. It's not that short skirts are better than long skirts, although the mini skirt really was ugly, it is that this is what the look it, and you just get used to it. The previous look is not better or worse, it's just dated.
Paul: It's just from the era it was.
Leo: Burnt orange or avocado refrigerators are not necessarily ugly, but when you see them you say 70's.
Paul: They are from that era.
Leo: What color is your refrigerator Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: Silver.
Leo: Aw good, see, that's modern. That's 90's.
Paul: Someday that will look old.
Mary Jo: I think so.
Leo: The new look is bamboo. Everything should be wood.
Paul: Wow, maybe Morimoto was on to something.
Leo: But then you go wood is so 2010. You have a number of articles.
Paul: There is not much more to say about it. It's probably some half step toward what we will get in January.
Leo: So you think that they will have the consumer preview in January?
Paul: I was on a short trip this week, and what I discovered taking this with me was that was really stupid. I had to reboot this computer like 5 times a day, it was really unstable.
Leo: That's the acid test, though, is reliability. You didn't have another one, huh?
Paul: Actually I did bring another one, but I kept with it. I kept playing with it because I wanted to see if there was something that I was missing.
Leo: It's the acid test. Will it work? January 21st, this event that is in Redman, is that going to be the consumer preview?
Mary Jo: Yeah, that's what we think. They did tell us that they were going to talk about consumer features in Windows 10 at that event. We know that they speakers include the head of Xbox Phil Spencer, he's going to be there, Terry Myerson, the head of Operating Systems, Joe Belfiori, also with Operating Systems Group, and Satya Nadella is going to be there too. So it's a pretty big deal. But what we think that we are going to see is the consumer preview of Windows 10 which may be what I have heard called the January Technical Preview for the Desktop. There is also that SKU that we still haven't seen that is going to work on tablets and Windows Phone that we think that we are going to get to see at this event too. We haven't seen that one yet. So that should be pretty interesting. We don't know if we are going to get the bits there for both of those things or either of those things on that day because what they did back in September was they showed us Windows 10 and then the next day they gave everybody the bits including us. So we don't know if this is going to be like that or we are going to get the bits there. I guess it depends in part how far along they are with the mobile one that is the combined tablet and Windows Phone one. What I have been hearing from my contacts is that they are not that far along with it. They are far along with it, but they are not as far along with it as they want to be in order to give us those bits while we are there. So they have got to either hurry up and get them done or say here they are and you are going to get them in a couple of weeks or whatever.
Leo: So this invitation is pretty clear, it says Windows 10, the Next Chapter.
Paul: You know what the best part about that invitation is Leo?
Leo: What's that?
Paul: It's not in San Francisco.
Leo: I hear you talking. It's Satya Nadella's favorite city, but he is going to stay home this time.
Paul: Not that I don't like San Francisco, don't get me wrong.
Leo: You guys are obviously both coming for this.
Mary Jo: It's on Wednesday by the way, Windows Weekly day.
Leo: Uh oh.
Paul: Yeah, we've got to figure that out.
Leo: I know that they are streaming it as well. I wonder if we should...
Mary Jo: They are streaming the morning keynote, the first part of it, but they are not streaming anything after that.
Leo: You of course will be at the morning keynote.
Mary Jo: We will be at the whole thing.
Paul: I don't think that we are going to be able to do a live thing for the keynote, but the question will be how we can do Windows Weekly. We will talk to people about that to see what we can do. What would be nice would be to pull people in from Microsoft.
Leo: Oh yeah, that would be great.
Mary Jo: That would be great.
Paul: So we are going to work on that.
Leo: Otherwise we will figure that out. We've got a month.
Leo: But I think that you can probably count on us for covering the keynote anyway.
Paul: I think this is going to be pretty big.
Leo: I should defer to you. You think that it is worth doing?
Mary Jo: Yeah, definitely.
Leo: It is the consumer announcement of the next version of Windows. That's a pretty big deal. We will be there then. I will talk to Mr. Mike Elgan and we will do live coverage.
Mary Jo: Good.
Leo: And then we will do Windows Weekly. It would be great if we could do it from the hall there with you and Mary Jo.
Paul: That's what we would like to see.
Leo: That would be awesome.
Mary Jo: We don't know the agenda for the day. They haven't told us that. All we have heard is that it is going to be all day. That's what we have heard.
Leo: We can sneak in something for lunch. There are two new patches too for the existing build, 9879.
Leo: Did they fix OneDrive?
Paul: No. Actually one of these patches is the 4th or 5th attempt to fix the Explorer.HD crashing problem. I haven't looked at that because I have installed this newer build now. I might actually go back to 9879 to see if they ever figured it out, but I think that they might have fixed that. Did we miss the Windows Mobile bit, though? We might want to...
Leo: Well we talked last week about the fact that they are going to use the term Windows Mobile. What is that?
Mary Jo: We think. We think. We think that could be maybe even the final name for this combine SKU with tablets and Windows Phone. They may call it Windows Mobile. We are not positive, but that is how people are referring to it when they are talking to us.
Paul: I would really like to see it be called Windows Mobile.
Mary Jo: You would?
Leo: Why's that?
Mary Jo: Are you saying that sarcastically?
Paul: I think that is a good name.
Leo: Because he likes the perverse, that's why.
Paul: No, I was joking last week, but I really don't think that the name is compromised in any way, I think it's good.
Mary Jo: Well they own it at least.
Leo: Is that Windows RT?
Mary Jo: So it is a combined version of what is currently Windows RT and what is currently Windows Phone. It's going to be one operating system that works on Intel based tablets, ARM based tablets, meaning small tablets, and Windows Phone, which is ARM. It's not Windows RT as we know it today, but it's kind of the new version of that when you munch in Windows Phone.
Leo: Have we seen the last of the Windows RT products? That's the last of it, right?
Mary Jo: Well, you know that there are rumors that Microsoft may not make any more ARM based Surfaces. We don't know that for a fact. We also don't know for a fact if this new operating system will work on current Windows RT based Surfaces. Microsoft hasn't said that either. So we don't really know on that how that is going to work out. It makes me sad because I have the original Surface RT.
Leo: Somebody called the radio show and said, was I suckered? What is the future of Windows RT? I actually gave the answer that you just did which was that well, it's probably going to be merged with Windows Phone, it's not going to be called RT anymore, but we don't know for sure.
Paul: Not including a convertible type device like a Surface or whatever, I think that when you look at Windows tablets, especially with some of the smaller tablets, Windows Phone style interaction and OS makes a lot of sense with those devices. I think that it really doesn't matter what they call it, but I think that system could work pretty well. The issue as always is the maturity of the ecosystem. I just don't think that it's ready.
Mary Jo: Their message that they want to portray is that it really is just Windows. Even though it is a different operating system they want people to just think that it's all Windows. It's not like Windows RT here and Windows Phone here, they want you to think that it's Windows. So if you call it Windows Mobile with a small m even it says that this is Windows but shrunk down for mobile. So it kind of makes sense.
Leo: I really feel like one of the many mistakes that Microsoft made with Windows 8 was having 3 identical looking operating systems that are in fact not compatible. So this is a step in the right direction. Now it's only 2.
Mary Jo: You know, what is going to make it more compatible is this push to have a more common set of API's across the different Windows, then you are going to have a more common set of developer tools, it's not going to be 100%. This is the whole thing that they keep talking about universal apps. You have to have platforms that have a lot more in common so that you can reuse the code when you are building new platforms. So that's where they are going. They have said that, but they have been saying that for years and they keep inching closer and closer, and Windows 10 is where they are going to get quite a bit closer with the one store and the one set of more common API's. They have told us that they want to do it, but because it's taking so long a lot of people are like, oh, they can't do it. But they are doing it. They are going to do it. They have to do it. One runtime too, that makes a big difference.
Leo: One runtime, that was the thing that Nadella said that confused the hell out of everybody. So really I think that for somewhat technical people the idea is that there is an ARM Windows and there is an Intel Windows. That's really what we are saying. The ARM Windows will be on ARM devices which is low powered and mobile devices.
Paul: Primarily phones.
Mary Jo: The rumor is that this mobile SKU that is coming out for Windows 10, it will also work on Intel based small tablets.
Leo: You just ruined my whole taxonomy. So it's ARM and Intel?
Mary Jo: We thought it was that, what you just said, ARM or Intel, but more like desktop.
Paul: Windows RT doesn't just have to be ARM.
Leo: Well, as HAL in the chatroom says, when Intel starts fabbing ARM chips, then what? Those of us coming from an earlier time in computing were very clear that different CPU's had different instruction sets, there was significant differences.
Paul: This is not the case anymore.
Leo: Well it is the case, but operating systems work at a higher level.
Paul: Right, at a higher level. Power PC vs 86 was a big deal, risk vs cysk.
Leo: To some degree that's what ARM and Intel are still.
Paul: The difference is if you buy an Android device you can buy a low end Android device that is running on an Atom Processor. It doesn't matter, it just works. I think that Microsoft's goal with Windows is to get it to that point as well. The problem is always going to be the legacy desktop stuff, because it probably isn't going to run right.
Leo: You don't want, for performance reasons, to run the bare to the metal, you don't want to run on a virtual machine all of the time.
Paul: Well, for the mobile software. In other words, the modern apps, or whatever that run on top of that RT runtime.
Mary Jo: We have said this, but we should say it again. We think on this mobile SKU that there is not going to be a desktop. That is how they are going to get away from how do you run the legacy apps? You don't.
Leo: There is not desktop. Just as with RT. No wait, there was a desktop.
Mary Jo: It was only for Microsoft stuff. It wasn't for 3rd party apps. So it was kind of a desktop.
Paul: That's why it was kind of terrible for people. You see that and then you have expectations.
Leo: It was terrible all around.
Paul: There are hints if you have a certain type of Lumia device, or any device, and you go to the Windows Phone Store, you can't actually run 100% of Windows apps and games on every single device. There is always going to be some reason why some app or some game won't run on your device. For some games it's because of RAM. For some settings apps it's because you have a to have a Lumia, and you have to have a certain version of Windows Phone. It doesn't give you the chance to be disappointed. You don't see the thing that you can't run, you just see the things that you can run. I think that getting rid of the desktop might help psychologically because it's not there.
Leo: Having a desktop makes a nonverbal promise, a promise that you couldn't keep. Just eliminating that eliminates that promise. I completely think that is important. Let's take a break.
Mary Jo: Let me say one more thing. That leaked build that we talked about at the beginning, 9901, you can see that they are starting to take some of their own programs that are required for the desktop and they are making them into their own metro styled app. A lot of the things from before, some of the setting and such, they are turning them into metro style apps. That is showing you why you won't need the desktop. Plus we know that Touch Office is coming, touch-first Office which we have been calling Gemini, it should be out around the same time, so those are the things that you need the desktop for on Windows RT. If they really have metro versions of those you won't need them.
Paul: That and Notepad.
Mary Jo: Wait, no, Notepad already ran didn't it?
Leo: Don't scare Mary Jo, that's mean.
Mary Jo: That was Notepad RT.
Paul: That's what I'm saying, you need a modern notepad.
Mary Jo: We have it.
Mary Jo: Motepad? It exists.
Leo: M-o-t-e or m-o-a-t?
Paul: Either one.
Leo: You scared Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: I did, I like panicked.
Leo: She freaked.
Mary Jo: I realized, no, there is a modern notepad already.
Leo: We are going to take a break, but I actually have a question for you. Somebody on the radio show called, and she was a writer, I think a novelist. She had been using for years MultiMate, I know Paul remembers that. I said, is that because it had the Wang commands, and she said yes. But her husband did something, got her a new computer or something, and she said that I have Windows 8 now so I can't run MultiMate anymore.
Paul: When you said that she had run MultiMate at the time I assumed the 1970's.
Leo: She was using an old computer that I guess was MultiMate compatible in some way, maybe it was Windows 98. I don't know. I think there was a DOS version of MultiMate, wasn't there?
Mary Jo: I think that there was, yeah.
Leo: Anyway, she wanted to write a program for writing. I don't think that she cared if it was Wang compatible, although I will tell you that Steve Gibson uses Brief, which is a DOS, long standing DOS, kind of programming editor. One of the reasons that people use Brief was that you could give it key binding from any word processor. I believe he was using the WordStar keystrokes.
Paul: Leo, I feel like we are doing a show from the past. In this Byte magazine column...
Leo: It is.
Paul: This is an insane conversation.
Leo: I'm an old guy.
Paul: Does she want to run MultiMate on Windows 8?
Leo: No, I think what she wants is something that she will be happy with writing her novels. I think that she wants a distraction free environment.
Paul: Has she never heard of Microsoft Word?
Leo: Yes, she has it. She said it's too distracting with the ribbons and it's too much stuff. She wants something simple.
Mary Jo: You know, in the Windows Store on Windows 8 there are a lot of programs, I'm just blanking on the names now, but there are these unadorned writing programs. There are quite a few of them.
Paul: Yes, but okay, but here is the thought. If you already have Word just hide the ribbon. If you look at Microsoft Word it is the cleanest looking thing that you have ever seen. There is nothing to it.
Leo: I know writers who take Solitaire and Minecraft off of their computer because just knowing that it is there is too much of a temptation.
Paul: Here, I'm going to paste this into the show notes. I don't know when it is going to appear, but this is what Word looks like if you just hide the ribbons.
Leo: I believe you.
Paul: All I did was click one thing to make it look like this.
Leo: I'm sure that it will appear right away.
Mary Jo: Word is fairly clutter free. But then some people get all hung up on oh, what do I need to do to bold something? They want something so basic.
Leo: I gave her some choices.
Mary Jo: There it is.
Leo: It's pretty clean. What is this home, insert, design? I don't want that.
Paul: Come on.
Leo: Do you remember floppy disks? They still exist apparently.
Paul: That is a little odd, isn't it?
Leo: It's an anachronism. But she would remember it because she is using MultiMate.
Paul: She probably is confused by the icon because it appears to be a 3.5 inch floppy where...
Leo: It's a diskette. We don't use those here, diskettes.
Paul: By the way, she's running Windows 8, it depends on what version she has, but if she has HyperV she can run an older version of Windows and run MultiMate.
Leo: What I found for her, it's kind of interesting, is kind of a web based text editor called Draft. It's free, it's draftin.com. It supports markup, it has a very clean edit view, but you can also collaborate which is kind of cool. This is the edit view. You know what, why not do it on the web? If that is all that you are doing?
Paul: If you are going to fly forward in time anyway you might as well go from the 1970's to warp speed.
Leo: The future is here. The future is now. Our show today is brought to you today by the way that I read in the future, audible.com. Oh, now part of the thing, we always have these Audible deals where you get a free book, right? The Complete Saint? Roger Moore is the saint. Leslie Charter's famous, more famous because of the TV show, again this is even older than MultiMate, but I bet these are great books, don't you think? And I bet there is a lot of them.
Paul: I am going to try the first one.
Leo: Simon Templer. The cunning and debonair antihero. I think this actually might be great. Pre James Bond, before Bond there was the Saint. They also have, look, I've got a free book for you here. That's kind of the bottom line at audible.com/windows. The problem is, of course, that you have to pick one. Of course, if you become an Audible member you get a new book every month. What do you pick? Have you read the new Stephen King yet?
Paul: Oh yeah.
Leo: Okay, is it good?
Paul: I liked Mr. Mercedes better, which was the previous one.
Leo: So Paul during the show is going to have his top 5 Audible books of the year, so you might want to stick around for that.
Paul: He is writing a sequel to that by the way, Mr. Mercedes.
Leo: I'm going to listen with great interest, because I love Audible. In the car, it changed my life when I was commuting. I got to read a couple of hours every day. Man, that is golden. I would get in the car and drive around the block just to listen a little more. Walking the dog, doing the dishes, and exercise, it's so boring unless you have Audible. Imagine Sissy Spacek reading To Kill a Mockingbird, wouldn't that be awesome? She would be that kid. That's what's great about Audible is that there is not just somebody reading, they are bringing these books to life. Scout, right? I want you to try Audible. If you go to audible.com/windows you are going to sign up for the Gold account. That's a book a month plus the Daily Digest of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Your first 30 days are free. If you cancel in the first 30 days you won't have to pay anything. You will get to keep the book forever, don't worry. There is so much good stuff here. Audible.com/windows, try it today. You might want to wait until the end of the show because Paul is going to give you 5 picks, his 5 favorite Audible books of the year. You did notice on the front page they are also giving you a list of the best books of 2014, your 5 star by the Audible readers because they are Audible reviews. That's pretty tempting too.
Paul: That's interesting. Yeah, so Mr. Mercedes is in there. That's a really good one.
Leo: Oh, and Amy Poller's. I've got to get this. Yes, please, audible.com/windows. Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley, drink locally, drink lager, Mary Jo Drink Lager Foley. We are talking Windows here ladies and gentlemen. Let's move to the next agenda item, Arcadia. What's that?
Mary Jo: This is a very interesting little tip that someone passed on to me. Microsoft is developing something code named Arcadia that is going to be a streaming, gaming, and app service. If you remember back at the company meeting in 2013 they privately demoed something that was code named Rio that was a streaming service that they built on top of Azure. My sources are telling me that sometime since then they decided to discontinue work on Rio and instead they are going all in on this Arcadia service.
Leo: They are even running ads now for how Destiny uses Azure.
Mary Jo: Yep, I know. It's kind of odd, but it's the Cloud First, Mobile First, and they want everything to reflect that mission statement.
Leo: Azure is the Cloud?
Mary Jo: Yep, Azure is the Cloud?
Leo: What the hell man, what the hell? So what is Arcadia based on?
Mary Jo: We don't know a whole lot about it. They are just starting to staff up the team, and it's going to be a team inside of Terry Myerson's organization. There are two Microsoft job postings that I linked to in my article this week that talk about the streaming mission that they have now in Operating System Group. Based on the fact that they are just staffing this up now I think that they are still pretty far away from debuting it. A lot of people have been saying, wow, maybe this is January 21st. They are going to show this and it's going to be ready. No, it’s way further out than that I'm pretty sure. It's interesting that they are doing this. One other part of this tip that was very interesting is that we have been reporting for a while that Microsoft has been mulling over whether or not to allow customers to run Android apps on Windows Phone and on Windows. That plan is not dead yet. At some point one of my sources told me this week that they were thinking about doing that through streaming. This would have been something that they would have done through Arcadia. Now supposedly they have decided that that is not the way to get Android apps running well on Windows Phone or on Windows. So Arcadia is not going to be part of that. But the idea of running Android apps on those platforms is not dead. They are thinking still of other ways that they could do this. The reason that they are thinking of doing it now is to eliminate the app gap that they have now compared to Android. Yes, we know that if they do this they are really going to alienate their developer base. We know that already. They know that too, I'm sure. It's not a plan set in stone at this point to do that, but it's still a plan that they are contemplating and supposedly still building. So it is a plan b basically. Hey, if we can't get the universal app strategy to get us where we need to be with apps then maybe we will give users the option to run Android. A lot of interesting little things feeding into that Arcadia. If you are wondering where the code name came from, it's from Halo, like a lot of their recent code names are. That's all that I know about it right now, which is not a lot, but it's definitely something that they are doing. People have said, oh, it's just something that they are thinking about. No, it's something that is happening since they are staffing it up.
Leo: I understand what game streaming would be, but what is app streaming?
Mary Jo: You know, I wonder if it is kind of like what Citrix does where it lets you run apps...
Paul: Yeah, like McAfee or whatever the name that Microsoft does. It's sort of a Cloud hosted PDI solution where you are streaming an app over the internet. Actually, you can do it on Office 365. You can stream Office apps over the web.
Leo: Before you install it you can.
Paul: No, no, you don't even have to fully install it. If you are using someone else's computer, you go to Office 365 and log in, and you can stream Word or whatever, write your stuff, save it to OneDrive, and when you close Word it is not on their computer any more. It's just streaming it.
Mary Jo: You know, they need to figure out ways to get people to continue to use Windows. If they are giving away Windows for free they are not making money on Windows as much. So the way that they do that is they create services that they charge you for that you attach to Windows. This is one of those kinds of services. We don't know, obviously we don't know, how much that would cost, or what kind of subscription you would have to have to run something like this, but I'm sure this is part of that whole thinking of how do we monetize Windows. We come up with these kind of services that people pay for even if they don't pay for the operating system itself.
Paul: I guess it could also help in those circumstances where people are not using Windows to get them to pay for some service where you are streaming apps to them which are in fact Windows apps.
Mary Jo: It's curious because I wonder if this Arcadia service will also work on IOS and Android or not. In the job postings they are looking for people who have IOS and Android experience. But that doesn't mean that it will, they could just be looking for people who know how to write those kind of apps that they would stream on Windows. It could go either way. It could be one of those services that you must be on Windows to take advantage of or it could be this is a service for everybody.
Leo: That seems more like the new strategy doesn't it?
Mary Jo: It kind of does, yeah. They need some crown jewels, though, for Windows users. We need to have something that you can say, hey, that's only on Windows and that's why I buy.
Mary Jo: Because why do you use Windows otherwise?
Leo: You don't need to. Just use our services. In fact, that's the way that they are moving.
Paul: It really is kind of going there.
Leo: What do you care?
Paul: Yeah, I know.
Leo: If you are paying me $10 a month I don't care why.
Paul: I think that we might have hit on this topic sort of last week. I was talking about Mobile OS essentially being app launchers, it doesn't matter if you use an iPhone, if you use an Android device, whatever, and you are just running apps. If that is the future, if that is the majority of people who are using personal computing or consuming personal computing services on devices, Windows doesn't have a big role in that world. Microsoft needs to make money in other ways.
Leo: Right, right. I think that they have to just acknowledge the days of Windows being the cash cow are over.
Mary Jo: Yeah, they know that. They definitely know that.
Leo: But there is a good transition here because everybody is going to the Cloud. Cloud is platform agnostic. Cloud is the platform. Cloud is Windows. Get them to use the Microsoft Cloud it's just like saying use Windows. It's the same thing and better because they have to pay every month.
Mary Jo: Yeah, that's the thinking, subscriptions right?
Leo: We never could get anybody to subscribe to Windows besides big Enterprise, so let's get them to subscribe to the Cloud. I don't think that is the end of the world. It's kind of a big transition for a company.
Paul: Here is the question that I have. Office 365 is often held up as an example of them getting the Cloud right. I think that is a fair thing to say. There is a big question here. Microsoft is giving out Office 365 Personal on millions and millions of devices. Some of them are ridiculous little devices that have no business running Office in the first place, whatever, $69.99 value. When next year comes and that person is asked to re-subscribe to the service and actually pay for it, what percentage of people do you think are actually going to do that? I bet it's going to be really low.
Leo: Well there is an upside and a downside to subscription. The upside is that it's an annuity; you get a check every month and it's more predictable. The downside is that there is churn.
Paul: The downside is that it's like a faucet, you can turn it off anytime that you want.
Leo: There is churn. But I think that there is also lock in. As Apple has learned, no problem, we will just lock you in to our ecosystem. You don't pay your money what are you going to do?
Paul: Yeah, but here is the problem. They are bundling this Office thing on devices that, like I said, have no business running Office in many cases. In fact, Office 365 for Personal usually comes for free on the cheapest low end devices. What it should be coming for free on is Surface, and a $1500 Lenovo ThinkPad, or whatever, because those are the guys who are going to be able to afford it and will in fact be using Office and will then start paying.
Leo: You are right. Three quarters of the people who buy Streams when their Office subscription runs out will not renew.
Paul: Listen, PC buyers won't even pay for antivirus when that runs out. Why would they pay for Office.
Mary Jo: Here is the lock in though, if you use Office 365 and you put things into OneDrive and then you stop paying how to you get your stuff?
Paul: You use office.com and you use Office Online and those things open all of those documents just fine.
Mary Jo: You can open them, but you can't modify them, right?
Paul: No, no, you can.
Leo: With Office 365.
Paul: No, with Office for free on onedrive.com. You can do it online.
Mary Jo: So if you stop subscribing to Office 365...
Paul: Web apps, these are web apps.
Mary Jo: Yeah, okay. So you are not talking about if you use a web app and you save your stuff?
Paul: Oh, I see what you are talking about. If the applications on their computers still work for viewing?
Mary Jo: Right, the apps can still stay free, right? But then if you put your stuff up there, just like Xbox Music, right? If you subscribe to it, you have some of the subscription music on your phone, and if you stop paying that goes away.
Leo: It doesn't really, however Paul, I see what you are saying, it doesn't really because you could go to Office Online. You haven't lost your documents, you can even edit them, but...
Paul: You can even make new ones. But you have to be online.
Leo: Microsoft is going to watch this carefully I bet, and they will type trade. They will change maybe what you can do for free.
Paul: I've always thought it odd that the cheap things are the ones where you get stuff for free. I think the people who pay a lot of money should get it for free and the cheepos who buy the $99 thing should get nothing for free. They are getting a $99 tablet. Why do they need Office?
Mary Jo: I think that they are looking at who would pay, right? Businesses when they get Office oftentimes their employer gets a bulk subscription to Office and they just get the app.
Leo: Google is doing the same thing, Google apps are free unless you use it for business and then they charge.
Paul: I think it's all about who has the computer. To the business it doesn't matter because like you said they are licensing Office. If I walk into a Best Buy or a Microsoft Store or whatever that computer should come with Office 365 something for free if it's over a certain amount of money. That's the type of person, especially someone buying a real computer, that would in fact need Office, experience that for a year, it doesn't have to be a year, it could be 6 months or whatever, and would want that thing once they experienced it.
Mary Jo: I think that you are just counting on them paying, like being able to pay, right?
Paul: I think that we have established that these people don't pay a lot, right? I don't think that they are going to change their stripes next year, and certainly not on this $99 tablet.
Mary Jo: I think that their hope though is say they're an Android customer and for some reason you get a Windows tablet or you buy one and it's one of those cheap ones. Then you get those free apps and suddenly it's like, hey, you know what, Office is actually kind of good. Then when your subscription ends you are like I want to continue that. Now I will pay for it because I'm kind of hooked to it. Either my documents are stored somewhere where I have to pay to get at them, or I'm really used to using it now and I'm willing to pay for it. I think that is where their heads are at now and where they are at when they are thinking of this.
Paul: I completely agree that that is the theory, I just don't believe that it's going to happen. We will see, I don't know. I think that Office 365 is an awesome value, don't be misconstrued, I'm not complaining about Office 365. Office 365 is great, I'm just saying that I don't think this audience is going to be paying for this thing after a year.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: We will see.
Mary Jo: We will see. That's what they are banking on.
Paul: There are some goofy things too, I don't know if you noticed them. I pay for Office 365 Home, the family version of the subscription. So I buy a $99 HP Stream Tablet that comes with a free version of Office 365 Personal which is neat. Except I can't use that subscription because my user ID is tied to the Home subscription and you can't have both on the same subscription. I can't free up a license on the Home unless I remove that ID from it. They need to figure that kind of goofy thing out too because now they are giving away a prize in a box of Cracker Jacks. These Office 365 Personal things are everywhere.
Leo: I'm sure that they will figure it out.
Paul: They are smart people.
Leo: They are smart people. They must have a plan, right? They must have something in mind, right?
Paul: What was it Mary Jo said earlier? We are going to take this one at face value.
Mary Jo: We are just going to take it at face value.
Leo: It's the new Windows Weekly. We take everything at face value.
Paul: Yeah, you are right. They have a plan, what am I talking about?
Leo: Come on. I can buy Windows Phone 8.1 on Sprint? I'm going to take that at face value.
Paul: Everything that you just said is true.
Leo: You could though, right?
Paul: Sprint is the one company that makes Verizon look like a pretty decent wireless carrier. So this month through Boost Mobile and I can't remember the name of the other one...
Mary Jo: I think that it's Virgin.
Paul: Yeah, I think that you are right, Virgin Mobile. They are a Sprint company, they use Sprint's stuff. They are going to start selling the 635, the Lumia 635 for $99 off contract. Then in January I think you will be able to get it actually through Sprint. It's a low end phone, it's a nice phone for what it is. I'm glad that they are back. There was some talk in the press release about Microsoft and Sprint renewing their relationship over Windows Phone. So maybe we will see some more stuff there. That's about all I have to say about that. Take that one at face value.
Leo: Bring it on into Sprint. I use T-Mobile because I just did my...
Paul: Yeah, I think that I'm headed that way too.
Leo: T-Mobile is pretty good in Petaluma. I don't think that anybody uses it.
Paul: So you get a really strong connection since you are the only one?
Leo: I just did a speed test on T-Mobile. Let me just tell you what the numbers were, 34.5 Mb down, 32.5 Mb up on 4G.
Paul: So you have better upload speed than I do at home which is really irritating.
Leo: I could get 4K movies.
Paul: Maybe what I should be doing is the podcast over T-Mobile on my phone.
Leo: I'm thinking that it is just mind boggling. That's because no one uses it, so that's why we don't want anyone to know about T-Mobile.
Paul: That's enough of that then.
Leo: I'm using Sprint kids.
Paul: Sprint is great.
Leo: You can use any Windows Phone on T-Mobile, right, because you just buy an unlocked one.
Paul: I think that the problem is going to be with speeds might just be HSPA. By the way, I've been using an International 735 on AT&T HSPA+ and it's fine.
Leo: It's so fast because no one is ever using it.
Paul: This is AT&T.
Leo: Oh. The 1520 I had that I was using, remember the Latin American 1520 that I was using on T-Mobile.
Paul: Yeah, sure.
Leo: That worked great. So that's what I just do is get an unlocked phone. T-Mobile does have a pretty good range of Windows Phones as I remember.
Paul: Not really.
Paul: They do have Windows Phones. They have a 635 too.
Leo: Yeah, okay, everybody has that. T-Mobile really wants you to buy your own phone and bring it to T-Mobile. That's really what they want.
Paul: Right, the only reason that I haven't switched in many ways is that for them to pay off my contract I would have to give them my phone. In my case my 3 phones. So I don't want to do that. I don't mind going to T-Mobile fresh and bringing my own phone, maybe that would be fine. Maybe that's where it heads.
Leo: Microsoft has put out OneDrive for Windows Phone.
Paul: This isn't worth spending a lot of time on, but they did a OneDrive update to Windows Phone about a month ago. Actually it may have been October. It looked exactly like the version for Android. Boy did people freak out. I don't know if you noticed this, but Windows community is a little sensitive.
Leo: Everybody, everybody. All I see on Google+ now is why isn't my Moto 360 updated to 5.01?
Leo: This is the new thing, bitching that you don't have the latest version of something. They should walk a mile in Windows Phone user's shoes. I was waiting for Cyan, I never got it. I bricked my phone because I was impatient about Cyan.
Paul: The next one is coming Leo.
Leo: What color, bittersweet shimmer?
Paul: It's denim colored.
Mary Jo: Denim.
Leo: DCD, I get it.
Mary Jo: The thing about the OneDrive thing, I didn't even notice that they had changed the UI.
Paul: I thought it looked good.
Mary Jo: I thought it looked okay.
Paul: If you were to look at the pictures of them side by side you would notice that the new version is exactly like the old version with the exception of some white and the addition of that thing that people were really complaining about, not just the look and feel, but they got rid of the Windows style navigation, the pivot control. So they put the pivots back, it's the little text at the top that you can tap to go to the next page. So that was their concession. It still has the Hamburger Menu which is an Android type thing.
Leo: Ah, everybody does.
Paul: Everybody uses it, but it just had that, you know what the material design is with the solid colors, the opaque colors?
Leo: Yep, yep.
Paul: It looked like that, it really looked like an Android 5 app and people freaked. So they fixed it.
Mary Jo: I don't even notice.
Paul: It looked fine, I thought that this was nice.
Mary Jo: You know why they are making them look like each other? So you can update them all at the same time. So you can update the Windows version, the Android version, everything at once. If they look more alike and they act more alike it's easier to update them.
Leo: Is everything in Denim going to be blue jeans?
Mary Jo: No.
Leo: That would be good though. That would be nice.
Paul: The one thing that Microsoft and before them Nokia in my opinion always did wrong is they comingled the firmware update with the OS update. So they will talk about coming in Denim is folders. Nope, that's not where that comes.
Leo: So Cyan and Denim are firmware updates?
Paul: Right, only for the Lumia handsets.
Leo: They are a Lumia thing?
Leo: And then Windows 8.1 update or whatever, that's a software update?
Paul: It's for everybody, yeah. Well, not everybody.
Mary Jo: Not everybody.
Paul: I didn't mean to pick on that scab.
Mary Jo: Don't bring that up please.
Paul: But that's the problem with this Denim thing. They announced Cyan with Windows 8.1 back in April. Denim is going to be comingled with Windows 8.1 update 1, but they actually completed that quite a while ago and a lot of people have that on their developer preview phones and so forth. It's kind of a known quantity. So it's really not actually very clear at all what Denim brings to the table. I think that there are going to be some camera improvements and stuff like that. Microsoft doesn't talk about any of that stuff so it's kind of a mystery update. The big problem of course is that it's supposed to start happening before the end of the year, which is why they are talking about it now. It hasn't really happened for almost anybody I guess except, Mary Jo, did you say China or something?
Mary Jo: China, yeah. Today or yesterday it started rolling out to users in China according to Windows Central. The Lumia 520, 525, 526, 625, 720, 720t, and the 1320 are all getting it in China. I think the next group of people to get it will be people with unlocked phones in other regions. The speculation is because Microsoft posted this YouTube video about Denim today that it must be relatively soon.
Leo: It's in the Microsoft Lumia support channel, it's called Lumia: How to Update to Lumia Denim.
Paul: Step one, don't hold your breath.
Mary Jo: Step one, don't wait for us.
Leo: Just look and see it will say, hey, we've got an update for you.
Paul: You don't have to look for it. We will just tell you. There is nothing to do. You will get it.
Leo: Three quarters of the video is how to make more room.
Mary Jo: It is, yeah. We know a couple of things. As Paul said the Lumia camera update is in Denim, and the ability to say hey Cortana and automatically activate Cortana. That's in Denim. Us Verizon users who still don't have Cyan, we keep hearing rumors and no one is commenting really. Supposedly one rumor is that when we get Denim we will get everything because updates are cumulative, so when we get denim we will get Cyan.
Paul: It requires 8.1 update 1, so they will be delivered together, so you may have a couple of updates in a row.
Mary Jo: We will get a few updates.
Paul: You know, that's I don't want to call it wishful thinking, I hear that sentiment online a lot. I hope that's what happens. Personally I wouldn't bet money on it, but I hope that's what happens.
Mary Jo: We don't know anything about it still, because people ask us every day pretty much, we don't know when Verizon is going to get any of these updates. Microsoft doesn't know or won't say and Verizon is not saying either. We don't know anything. We are not holding back on you guys.
Paul: If you buy a phone what we released loosely in the second half of this year, Lumia 735, 730, 830, 535, and possibly a few other that I'm not thinking of, they already come with this, so this software is out in the world. It's on new devices. So if you are on Verizon, I believe that Verizon said that they would be selling the 735 in early 2015. So it will technically be possible to get Denim on Verizon.
Leo: That's so bad.
Leo: You know, I was all excited, I guess it was a few days ago I got an email from Microsoft saying "Congratulations, you are invited to Sway." I thought, wow, finally, and then I found out...
Paul: By the way, you might have been on the same thing that I was, because I also was invited to Sway one day before they invited everyone on the planet.
Leo: What the hell?
Paul: I had the same experience.
Leo: Double h-e-hockey sticks. So it's out.
Paul: Mary Jo has made a Sway, we should look at Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: I made a Sway.
Leo: I'm impressed because I started making a Sway and then I gave up.
Mary Jo: Yeah, they added some things in this update that made it possible. They added an undo button and a redo button.
Leo: Oh, that's nice.
Mary Jo: Which before it was really frustrating. If you did something wrong you couldn't go back.
Leo: So to play your Sway do I click it, what do I do?
Mary Jo: You just scroll up. I made mine vertically.
Leo: Oh, you just scroll, I see.
Mary Jo: You can have it horizontal or vertical right now. They are going to add more.
Paul: Is that that Denmark beer?
Mary Jo: Click that.
Leo: I like this.
Mary Jo: Isn't that cute?
Leo: That's really neat.
Mary Jo: I didn't have to do anything. I have no design skills whatsoever. You just say, hey, put this picture over here, I want to put my text over there, and that's it.
Leo: And you can go big on any one. That's nice. And then this, this reminds me a little of the IOS app Storehouse, which does this, but it doesn't have that picture thing.
Mary Jo: That's my mug right there from Rattle.
Leo: No Crap on Tap?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: Why doesn't it have your name?
Mary Jo: It does, it's on the other side.
Paul: How come, Mary Jo, when you took a picture of it you didn't put yourself in the picture?
Leo: Why didn't you take a selfie? What's wrong with you? You have got to go like this.
Mary Jo: Right, like everyone else does.
Leo: Is that your personal slogan or is that Rattle and Hum's slogan?
Mary Jo: That's Rattle and Hum's slogan.
Leo: It could be your personal slogan.
Mary Jo: It could be. It could be. Yeah, so, a Sway, they call these things Sways. I've seen a lot of people saying that this is their successor to PowerPoint, but it's not really that. It's a design program, so it allows people who don't have any design knowledge or skills to do things that have combined text, and graphics, and photos, and make it look nice just by the machine learning and some of the other capabilities that they have built in. I don't know anything about design, that's why I'm a disaster making PowerPoints. So for me this is great, I just click some things, and hit a button, and boom, it's there.
Leo: Now, as a viewer I can share it on Facebook or Twitter? I could share a link or I could get an embed code. Does this exist, this is on sway.com, and do they have a directory of Sways?
Mary Jo: When you sign in it says Here Are Your Sways. So all of your Sways are in one place.
Leo: All of your Sways are in one place.
Paul: You can also see, you know, other Sways.
Mary Jo: You don't have to have Sway installed to see it. You don't, obviously.
Leo: This is just another Windows browser.
Paul: In fact, even if you had Sway, because it's only on IOS I think, you can't download this stuff. There is not offline version of a Sway. It's on the web.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: That's interesting in and of itself.
Leo: So Get Started By Swaying, and Sway's We Love, which Mary Jo should be in there. You see, I started one, December 9th is when I got a Sway.
Mary Jo: Yeah, you should try it again because it's a lot easier than the first time I got it, too.
Leo: This is now part of Office 365, or Office Online I should say.
Mary Jo: Microsoft made Sway one of the new Office apps. It's one of the very first Office apps they have added in a long time.
Leo: Great. Sway. This is the Harry's Kit, this is the Winston which is a very affordable kit. The guys who started Harry's, Jeff, one of them, was the guy who started Warby Parker. What he learned at Warby Parker was look, there are businesses in the world where monopolies, or I guess somehow razor companies have made monopolies because once you buy the handle you have to buy their blades, which has made it possible for them to jack up the prices and you have no choice. A Gillette Fusion blade is like $4, and you have to buy 10 of them, it's ridiculous. Actually the last time I bought blades, a few months ago before I found Harry's, I put them in the basket at Target, I realized how much they were, and I put it back. I said, I can't do it, I need a loan. So Harry's came along, and they said, what we want to do is sell direct. We want excellent blades and excellent razors, we are not going to skimp there, but we believe if we control the channel, if we make them ourselves, then we can get the price below $4; it's actually about half as much and they are better blades because the other thing that Jeff did was he said where are the best blades? Two factories in Germany make the best blades, two, and they bought one of them. So Harry's, the own their own factory in Solgium, Germany, that's where the best blades are made. So you are getting these amazing blades at a fraction of the cost of a Gillette Fusion or those other brand names, plus you don't have to get the clerk to unlock them for you. You know, they will chase you down if you steal razor blades. You can take something else from the store, but they will hound you to your grave if you take a razor blade. These are engineered for sharpness and for precision. I love these. So what we did is we got a couple of kits. I got Winston's, those are the nice engravable handles. These are the Truman's, which are $15 and come in a variety of colors. Actually Steve Gibson likes the Truman a little better, he likes the feel of the handle a little bit better. In each kit you get the handle and you get 3 blades, which is really nice, all for $15. You get the foaming shave gel, which smells fabulous and even better makes your skin smooth. Don't throw this out, when you get this little piece of plastic, I think people throw this out. This is a travel holder. So you put your razor in there, and you close it, and it lets it dry out, but it keeps you from cutting yourself, and you put it in your dopp kit. Believe it or not, that might be the best thing that I've got. I love that. Harry's, h-a-r-r-y-s.com, and by the way, you are going to love the price and you are going to love the blades. You get a subscription so that they deliver them to your door every single month. By the way, you get $5 off when you use the offer code WINDOWS, so now we are talking $10. Harry's, h-a-r-r-y-s.com, enter the offer code WINDOWS at check out. Get yourself the best shave, and while you are there you might want to try the aftershave, which is also fabulous, cool and smooth. We love getting our Harry's box every month. I have now 3 Harry's razors. I have a Harry's jones, I don't know. H-a-r-r-y-s, a great shave at a fraction of the price, at harrys.com get $5 off your first order when you use the offer code WINDOWS.
Windows Weekly on the air with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley Skype, I saw this on CNN. This is a big story. Skype is doing translation.
Mary Jo: Yep, we saw the first demo of Skype Translator in May.
Leo: I remember that.
Mary Jo: What it is is a feature of Skype that lets you in real time talk to somebody who doesn’t speak the same language as you. So you speak in your language, it gets translated, and they hear it in their language.
Leo: That is wild. How well does it work?
Mary Jo: It is pretty crazy, huh? They have been working on this for years. Microsoft Research has been doing a lot of work around the back end technologies for natural language understanding and translation. It's been something that they have had as a goal for years. Now it's something that is finally in first public preview for people who signed up and have Windows 8.1 devices and want to do the language conversion from English to Spanish.
Leo: Okay, so you guys start speaking in Spanish and we will see how it sounds.
Mary Jo: Are you part of the preview Leo?
Leo: It sounds great! That was in English! That's amazing, keep talking.
Mary Jo: It works.
Leo: For one thing it doesn't go in that direction, right? It just from English to Spanish, not Spanish to English?
Mary Jo: I think that it is bidirectional.
Leo: Bidirectional? And they are going to add other languages eventually I would presume.
Paul: Nope, just Spanish.
Mary Jo: They are going to add a lot of other ones.
Leo: This is great, because now when my cleaning lady comes I can just Skype her.
Paul: You will be in the same room but using different computers?
Mary Jo: Right.
Leo: I don't speak the language, but here, get on Skype and I can talk to you.
Paul: This is the Babel fish.
Leo: If this works well it is huge, huge, huge.
Mary Jo: It's not just the audio/video conversation over Skype, it's also the chat, the online chat through Skype that they are bringing this capability. There is also going to be a transcription, so while you are talking there is going to be a transcription of what you are saying too. It's not just what you hear, it's what you see as well.
Leo: So you have to sign up for this, right?
Mary Jo: You do. You have to apply to be in this test. They are going to expand it over time, and they are also going to expand it over other operating systems, so it will be in Android and it will be in IOS over time. We don't know the whole rollout schedule, but that is the goal.
Leo: I want to see if this works.
Leo: This is kind of amazing. I wish we could hear the translation.
Leo: I'm going to cry.
Paul: I love this kind of stuff.
Leo: This is amazing. This would change the world.
Paul: I talk to Americans on Skype.
Leo: So it's like any machine translation, it's not perfect, it's not idiomatic, but it's certainly intelligible. That is just amazing.
Paul: You know, it took the whole year Leo, but we finally made a feel good episode of Windows Weekly.
Leo: That is transformative technology.
Leo: Wow. I guess that we have had some of these capabilities, but putting it in Skype is great. I love that. Is it using the Bing translation engine? Probably not, right?
Mary Jo: There is a Bing translator. They put out a whole thing this week about how it works under the covers, but I didn't have a real good look at that, sorry.
Leo: I like it that they demoed it with students, because that is really one of the great uses of this. It's bringing the world a little bit closer.
Mary Jo: It will be great for teams at work who work on teams across different geographic regions and they have to collaborate or have meetings. This will really help that case.
Paul: My mic just won't stay up.
Leo: I know, you have a limp mic.
Paul: I think that I need to replace this thing.
Leo: Sometimes as the arm gets older it gets less resilient.
Paul: It happens to everybody Leo.
Leo: Or actually too resilient. It gives up quickly. I am just really blown away. That is really the stuff of Sci-Fi, that is the Babel fish right there. That is amazing. We are number 1. I have got to get a foam finger. Didn't we talk about this last week that Xbox One beat out PS4 in November? I thought that we did.
Paul: I think at the time it was just over Black Friday or something.
Leo: But this is now for the whole month?
Paul: Yeah, the whole month of November.
Leo: Paul, just hunch over the microphone.
Paul: Yeah, so all it took Leo...
Leo: No, you sound fine.
Paul: I don't know why I have back problems. All it took was a year of price cuts and free giveaways. But you know, a win is a win so I guess we will take it.
Leo: Well, it shows you what you said all along, which is that this market is very price sensitive and $100 makes a big difference.
Paul: Honestly, the most interesting thing about this isn't so much that they met or even exceeded the pricing, went under the pricing...
Leo: Is it less than a PS4? Is $329 the lowest?
Paul: Yeah, $349 to start right now. They are supposedly going to go back up. I don't ever see them doing that. It's that if you look at what you have got...
Leo: They don't need to profit on this thing. They make the money on the games, right?
Paul: Yeah, it's the razor thing.
Leo: We need a Harry's for Xbox One.
Paul: If you compare what it took to get into Xbox One a year ago to today it's night and day. I honestly thought that the story this Christmas seasons was going to be something along the lines of well, it's a better deal, there are more games now, it's less expensive, yada, yada, yada. But when you start looking at some of the deals that we had over the holidays, $349, $329, $349 with a free game; I'm not saying that it hit no brainer status, but for people who are video game fans that are not that hard core core of the market who are going to buy anything at any price I think that you have just opened the floodgates to a much wider audience of people. I think the next big story to this is going to be when Sony drops the price of their console. I think if Microsoft were to keep their price at this level, which I would really recommend, then they are going to force Sony to do that. That's a nice little comeupits there.
Leo: Now, I also think, and I may be wrong, but I think that the emergence of good exclusive games has helped as well. It didn't make sense to buy it if you couldn't play anything great on it, and you couldn't play your old games, so nobody is going to buy it. Now that there is a decent array of games that makes a difference too. You had to do both.
Paul: They have done a good job, I still don't understand the Sony story here, but Microsoft has done a good job with the living room stuff. It's not just games. They have fitness type apps, they have obviously all of the entertainment apps like Netflix and that stuff, they have the TV integration with pass through, the voice command stuff which I think is huge in the living room; it's kind of the full package. It always was, it was just too expensive. We will see.
Leo: Celebrate good times. Come on. As somebody who bought the Xbox One day one this kind of makes me mad.
Paul: We were talking at the top of the show about the negativity online. Here is another common one, "Microsoft drops the price of the Xbox One? Great, I'm glad I spent $500 on this piece of junk a year ago. What do I get?" You kind of hear that kind of response a lot too. You got to use it for the year, that's what you got. Nobody was forcing you to buy it.
Leo: There have been a lot of issues, and this is not Microsoft's issue, but Assassin’s Creed: Unity has terrible mess ups. This was an Xbox One only issue with the update to Xbox One.
Paul: The Halo thing?
Leo: No, no, on Assassins Creed. It like deleted it.
Paul: The day one update for Halo was probably a bigger one.
Leo: It was terrible if I still think about it.
Paul: Mine is still updating from two months ago.
Paul: Yeah, I guess when you start building gigantic hard drives into devices then game makers are going to use them.
Leo: I think that game server issues are nothing new. Frankly I think that it was Titanfall, not Destiny, that uses Azure. It was Titanfall.
Paul: That was the one that they marketed.
Leo: Yeah, the rollout was so successful because Azure works so well. That was pretty impressive. Alright, let's take a break. We've got picks. We've got beer. We've got stuff. We've got a lot of stuff. The back of the book is coming up. But first my friends, I want to tell you a little about, this is for mobile developers or anyone managing a mobile app project. If you are selling something there then you want to have a payment system. Even if it's just, every app should have a built in payment system just in case. It's complicated to put these things in as you know. You probably have investigated different ways of doing it. I want to point you towards Braintree, Braintree Payments. It's just up the road isn't it? Braintree?
Paul: Braintree, Massachusetts.
Leo: That's Paul Thurrott on the left. I recognize him anywhere. Mary Jo Foley on the right if you are listening in stereo. As always on this show it's time for Paul's picks.
Paul: Wait, wait, wait.
Paul: Do we actually come out in stereo like that? What is this, a 1970's recording studio trick?
Leo: No, it's a trick. It's a trap. You might, I don't know.
Paul: It's like the bass player for some reason is over on the left in those cheesy 70's recordings.
Leo: We did one MacBreak Weekly in Dolby Surround, and that was wild. People were coming out, the voices were coming out in different places. I would like to put Paul above us.
Paul: Yeah, I would too.
Leo: Like the voice of god talking down. Are we in stereo? Here comes an engineer.
Paul: That is an awesome question.
Leo: The pipeline is, but when you download the podcast it's in mono?
Paul: We've been doing this for several years, but is this is stereo?
Leo: Video versions are in stereo. Can you hard pan Paul to the left and hard pan Mary Jo to the right? Can you just do it for this one time?
Paul: We can, but we are not going to.
Leo: That's exactly what he said, technically we can. I have to do it here? I press the options? I think that I know how to do it. Balance? Yep, Paul, you are going to be in the left.
Leo: Oh, you are. Oh boy.
Paul: It's going to be one of those early audio books where they have the fly going around in a circle so you could hear them buzzing.
Leo: Why haven't we done this before? Mary Jo, speak.
Mary Jo: Bark, bark.
Leo: No, she’s in the left. She's in the right. I have to move it a little bit more, wait a minute.
Paul: Yeah, he will do it so that we are both in the same side and it won't really make any sense. They will think that their headphones are broken.
Leo: Okay, we've panned you guys.
Paul: I can't get the sound out of my head.
Leo: It's weird. It's like I've been listening to the Beatles all this time and suddenly Paul is on the left and George is on the right. Oh my god.
Mary Jo: It feels like we are sitting in front of you, right?
Paul: You want to go mono?
Leo: Now, again, if you are listening to the audio MP3 it is mono, but if you are listening to the video then go put on headphones because it really helps distinguish Paul and Mary Jo. I like it.
Paul: It's hard to tell who is who.
Mary Jo: It must be.
Leo: Is twit.am mono or is it in stereo?
Paul: Oh, that's good.
Leo: We are working on this. We think that is mono.
Paul: I can't tell you how many times people are on Twitter and they are like I don't know if it was you or Mary Jo who said this but...
Leo: By the way...
Mary Jo: It's not because of confusing voices.
Leo: I'm in the middle.
Leo: But now, I've been wearing this whole time for 8 years I've been wearing my headphones reversed because of the wires. Now I have to reverse my headphones.
Paul: So we are in the right places in your head?
Leo: Oh, this works so well. Oh wow. Alright, I'm going to turn up the subwoofer here. Paul, your tips of the week.
Paul: Get a little reverb on this one Leo.
Leo: Hey, let's not go crazy.
Paul: I don't know why I haven't written about this one yet, but there is a feature in Windows 8.1 you have to enable that I think is really cool and helpful. I have been told that it might impact battery life, but I have always enabled it and never had any issues with it. But basically what is lets you do is double tap on the screen to wake up the phone. So why would you want to do that? If you put the phone down in front of you like you were at a bar or a restaurant, or you were at work and it was on your desk and maybe there was a notification that you noticed, or you want to check your emails, or whatever, normally you would have to pick it up so that you could press that button on the side, the power button, to turn on the screen. But if you could leave it on the table and you could just double tap the screen then the screen will come on, you could flick up the lock screen at that point and type in your code, then you could do anything that you want on the phone without having to pick it up. So it's that last piece of the never have to pick it up puzzle. So there is a setting on Lumia handsets, and it actually should be available on other handsets, too. I know it is available on the HTC One M8 for Windows as well. If you scroll way down to the bottom on the Lumia what you are looking for is Touch under settings. On the HTC it is under Motion Launch. You just turn on this option and it lets you double tap the screen to open it up. It's something that I have been using for a while now, probably since April.
Leo: I have this on my OnePlusOne and I love it. But does it wake up by accident would be the only question?
Leo: So it's pretty good at rejecting spurious double taps?
Paul: It has been for me. Did you see that? You just showed the video. Look at that. I made a video.
Leo: You made a video.
Paul: It's like a Vine video almost. What is it, like 12 seconds long?
Leo: It is short, but it works. Look at that.
Paul: I recorded that on the plane today.
Leo: Yeah, it says your flight inbound from Chicago. And it gives your home phone number.
Paul: Oh yeah. Well, I will talk to you all tonight.
Leo: I love that feature. I miss it. It was only on the OnePlusOne. There was apparently a way to enable it on the Nexus 6, but the OnePlusOne, when they first came out they would turn itself on, then there is a V gesture to turn on the flashlight. Every once in a while your pocket would start to glow because the flashlight was on.
Paul: We don't have that problem Leo, because we don't have a flashlight.
Leo: Right. All the did was add the proximity sensor that said hey, is it in a pocket? Yeah, well don't go on. Presumably Lumia was smart enough to do that. So you don't have to make a modification to do that, it just does it. But you have to enable it obviously.
Paul: You have to enable it. It works. If you have that feature it is just on or off, there are no other features.
Leo: I love it. Software pick of the week?
Paul: There is a couple. Right after we did the show last week Microsoft finally released those MSN content apps for Android, IOS, and surprisingly Fire IOS, the Amazon version of Android. So it's news, weather, money, travel, health and fitness, food and drink. The weather one is not available on IOS yet, I don't know why, but it is coming sometime in the next couple of months. They are free. You log in with your Microsoft account and obviously it syncs data across whatever versions of these apps you are using on Windows, Windows Phone, and now on these devices as well. If you are a Windows Phone user and you are feeling a little burned by this I will point out that they are not quite exactly as full featured as the versions on Windows Phone. I haven't plummed the depths of this exactly, but one of the things you can't do is add, modify, or view sources on at least the IOS version like you can on Windows Phone. So if that bothers you then that is available. Then just quickly, I just wrote about these today, Microsoft just announced these both this week, but Microsoft has released two new Lumia settings apps. One is a beta version of a Gestures app, which isn't like Connect Gestures, it's having the phone react in different ways based on what it is doing. So when you are in a phone call in this case when you put the phone up to your ear it is not using the speaker, it is using the normal mode, you don't have to turn the speaker off. If you put it down on the table with the screen up it will automatically go into speaker mode. If you put the screen down it will automatically mute your microphone, so in the sample video the dog barking isn't heard by the other person on the phone. It's kind of a neat look at where they are going to be taking this thing. They have a user voice page, they are looking for feedback, they are going to implement the most positive features in the future. So that is something kind of cool. Then there is a Glance feature that is built into some Lumia users. It's semi related to that double tap to wake feature in the sense that it is something related to the lock screen or whatever. If you have a Glance compatible Lumia phone you know how awesome this can be. Night mode can be off at different times of the day, but what it does is integrate this feature that I saw back in August when I met with Microsoft to talk about their new devices, which is integrate the lock screen image into Glance. It is a beautiful display if you can get it. It's only on some Lumia’s, but it is something to look for. So it's the Glance update, just an update to the Glance settings app, and something called Gestures data. Both of them require Windows 8.1 and a Lumia device.
Leo: I love my Gestures. I see that you are jumping up and down hopping mad.
Paul: Hopping mad?
Leo: Would you like to file a bug report? Actually both the iPhone and the Android do that. If you shake the phone vigorously they say, is something wrong? Would you like to file a bug report? Of course we know that there are no bugs in Windows Phone, so this doesn't come on. Ladies and gentlemen, Mary Jo Foley is back with our Enterprise pick of the week, coming to you now from the right channel.
Mary Jo: Yes, on the right. This is kind of like my pick that I did last week. It's more like a rant than a pick. I've had a lot of people asking me about all of the buggy patches that have been coming out of Microsoft lately. They are not just Windows patches, there have been problems with Exchange patches, and Office patches, and Outlook patches. I wanted to talk about it for a minute here because people keep saying why don't you talk about this on Windows Weekly? The reason that we are not really talking about it is yes, we know that there are tons of problems about the latest groups of patches. I actually in the show notes have a link to a post that my colleague Larry Seltzer did where he listed basically every broken patch that he knows of since June from Microsoft. The list is long. So people say why aren't you guys talking about this? You guys should be telling us what to do. I don't know what to tell you to do is my tip, and I also wanted to let people know that Microsoft knows about this of course. It's not like we have to tell them this is happening. We know it's happening, but I'm curious what they are doing about it. We've asked, Larry and I have asked, to interview people at Microsoft about what they are intending to do to try to curb this because either it is a case of where we are noticing more of these patches being broken now for some reason or there really are an increasing number of patches that are failing, and breaking, and have to be revoked and reissued. But Microsoft is not talking, they won't say what their plans are to try to remedy this, they won't say why this is happening. There are all kinds of rumors.
Paul: They probably laid off the people that did patching.
Mary Jo: Well, I was going to say that. A lot of people say that is what happened, but I don't think that is what happened.
Leo: Did they lay off QA people? I think that they did.
Mary Jo: They laid off some of the testers from Windows as part of the last rounds of lay off, but if you look at this last round of patches a lot of what is breaking is Link, and Exchange, and Outlook. They are not Windows necessarily. There are Windows things mixed in, but I don't think that is it either. Some people are speculating that because now we are in a mode of where Microsoft is like hurry up and get the stuff out quicker that things are going to fail faster and they are going to try to fix things faster. But again, that is not something comforting to you if you are an IT person applying these patches across your company and suddenly it's like, oh wait, the one that I just applied, like happened in December, is going to stop you from getting any future updates so you have to take that one off. That was a Windows 7 and Windows Server patch that went wrong. I just wanted to bring this out again because we have mentioned it in previous shows. They know it is an issue, we know this is an issue, they must be doing something to try to stem this set of problems and get this back in control, but we don't know what they are doing. Just so you all know we are not ignoring you on this because we know this is a big problem and a big issue for IT pros, and administrators, and customers, but we just don't have anything to tell you right now.
Leo: Yeah. When it comes to patches fail fast and fix quickly is not a good motto.
Mary Jo: It's not a great policy.
Paul: It's rapid release.
Mary Jo: Today when I was rebooting my system, like I always do before Windows Weekly, I couldn't get it to turn on. I was thinking, oh great, maybe it is one of those patches that has done something to my system. After a couple of retries I got it to turn back on, but it's not a good feeling when you are like should I apply these or is it going to wreak complete havoc on something that had been working?
Paul: By the way, if you beta test the Windows Technical Preview you can expect to run into some problems. If you are beta testing Windows 8.1 or Link or whatever you are using software. It should just work.
Mary Jo: They have a really complex set of things to test for. We know and understand that. There are so many, a billion Windows users, or 1.5 billion now, whatever that number is, a billion Office users; they have a lot of combinations to test for, we understand that. I guess if you are running something your consider your mission critical systems you don't expect every month to have this happen.
Leo: Huskygeek in the chat room says it's crap patch fever.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it pretty much is.
Leo: With apologies to Ted Nugent.
Mary Jo: Right now at ZDNet and a lot of other places after patch Tuesday the next 3 days are us writing about all of the patches that are broken, being revoked, being replaced. That's become just standard operating policy for us now, which is wrong. There is something bad there, right?
Leo: It seems to be endemic, because look at all of the problems that Apple is having with IOS 8. Maybe software got hard all of the sudden, I don't know. It seems like there are a lot of problems out there.
Mary Jo: I'm trying not to minimize how difficult this is. I'm not just saying, oh, they should fix this. I know that it's hard to fix, but I feel like they are being so transparent about things like when Azure goes down they are doing these root cause analyses that are very complete and they tell you what happened. We just don't even know what is going on on the patch side, we don't have any insight into that at all.
Leo: I said on the radio show, because somebody brought this up just in general, I think that partly it is because we have been in kind of a golden age of software. Remember in Windows 95 and 98 things would crash all of the time. Problems would happen all of the time. The operating systems have become so robust that we are just not used to the bad old days. We were always walking on pins and needles in the old days. Now we expect these things to be reliable and robust. That may have just been a temporary phase. I don't know.
Mary Jo: I would just like to see them talk to us or somebody about, okay, we know this is an issue and here is what we are doing behind the scenes to try and get it under control. I would like to see that.
Paul: I feel like we just complain about the same things over and over again. Basically what you are saying is god, if they could just communicate. I feel like this is something we have been saying.
Mary Jo: We are trying to be upbeat, though, on this show, so.
Leo: Walk a mile in my shoes.
Paul: I love how consistent you are Microsoft. It's really helpful.
Leo: Code name pick of the week Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: Yes, code name pick of the week is Orleans. Orleans, for Windows Weekly watchers, you may remember this code name, is a Cloud programming framework that Microsoft developed. That is what actually they used with Halo when you were talking about Halo earlier Leo. This is on Azure, and it's a very important part of how they were able to roll out some of the gaming, not the gaming service itself, but some of the supplementary gaming pieces. They used Orleans when they built it. The reason that it is the code name pick of the week this week is because Microsoft is going to open source Orleans early next year. So remember they were open sourcing a bunch of their .net technologies and other technologies. We found out about that earlier this year. They posted on the codeplex.com Orleans site that they are going to be putting Orleans public preview into open source under a MIT license in "early 2015". I actually, when I was in Stockholm, talked to a consulting company called Sigma there, and they are using Orleans to handle and process data in conjunction of some of the sensors with the internet of things implementations that they are building. So there are actually commercial customers out there who are using Orleans. So it's very interesting to see Microsoft putting this into open source I would think hoping to get more customers and partners to start using this as a way to start doing some of the real time analytics and implementation of the internet of things going forward.
Leo: Right on daddy-o as the kids say. Beer pick of the week. I think after that we need a beer pick.
Mary Jo: We do. I haven't done a Christmas beer pick of the week yet, and this is my Christmas beer pick. It's called Kasteel Winter. It is a Belgium strong dark ale from Brouwerij Van Honesbrouck.
Leo: And you know that because you were there.
Mary Jo: I didn't go there.
Paul: That actually means brewery.
Mary Jo: Yeah, brouwerij, right? It's really good. I just had this this week because it was Christmas beer night at Rattle and Hum. This one tastes a lot like coffee and caramel. It has those great winter spices like a little cinnamon and a little clove. Some people think Amaretto when they taste this one. Very, very nice, 11% though, so it's not a light beer by any stretch. Christmas beers are basically brewed this time of year and they are darker and heaver, using a lot of spices, they are things that you just want to sip at the end of the night and probably not want to down a bunch of them.
Leo: Awesome. I'm looking at the wrong page. I clicked the link. Brouwerij Van Honesbrouck.
Mary Jo: I didn't even attempt to try to pronounce that one.
Leo: Brouwerij Van Honesbrouck
Mary Jo: Paul said to me earlier that you should do your top 5 beer picks of the year. I said that I could never do that, there have been too many and I could never narrow it to 5.
Leo: We would love that, though. Maybe for New Year’s Day you could do that, for the New Year’s Eve show. That would be fun. We had so much fun last year tasting beer with you.
Mary Jo: That was fun, yeah.
Leo: My top 5 Audible picks from 2014, Paul Thurrott. Reminder that audible.com is a sponsor of the show. You can try one of these 5 at audible.com/windows. Whenever you are ready Gridley.
Paul: During the recording of the show I bought a book on Audible.
Leo: Because you were that bored.
Paul: Because you were looking at it. No, because you were looking at the top picks.
Leo: Oh, The Saint.
Paul: So, before I get to the top 5, because none of these are interesting books, but I think that the only 2 industry books in 2014, and these are few and far between these days, Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, which I liked. I know that some people complained about it, but I thought it was good, and Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein, also very good. The top 5 that I picked, it's funny because I picked them and then I looked at the list. I had kind of whittled it down because originally I had 8 or 9. I realized what I was left with; they all had something in common which is the perfect combination of a great story with the right narrator. Every single one of these falls into that category. All of them but #3 are new to this year. The one that I picked for #3 was actually two different ones, but the reason that I picked 2 was because they are Stephen King stories played by the same guy. I think that this guy is ideal for some of Stephen King's stuff. Stephen King has a couple of narrators that are particularly good.
Leo: Is it a guy who kind of talks like this?
Leo: No? There is one who talks like this.
Paul: No, no it's not because I would...
Leo: You know who I am talking about? He does all of the Gunslinger ones. He did 11/23/63.
Paul: Oh, I like that guy. Maybe that is the same guy.
Leo: He's one that you like, alright.
Paul: So the best story, I really never listen to Gunslinger ones. Are you sure it's the same guy?
Leo: Every time I hear him and I hear him as you indicated in other books I think Stephen King.
Leo: Let me see if I can find his...
Paul: Yeah, I'm looking. Let me not look, you can look that up.
Leo: Which one is he on?
Paul: Well, he is on 11/23/63. So obviously the best one was The Martian. That was incredible anywhere. Amazing.
Mary Jo: I love that book.
Leo: You loved that one too?
Paul: Ready Player One was pretty close.
Mary Jo: I didn't hear it on Audible but I read it.
Leo: Oh, you have got to listen.
Paul: Yeah, the Audible version was incredible. It was laugh out loud funny. It was so funny that I kept sharing lines from it with my family. Ready Player One was almost as good, and a big part of the reason was that it was narrated by Will Wheaton, who did a tremendous job. Very, very good.
Leo: Here listen.
Leo: This guy is good.
Paul: I love this guy.
Leo: I like that guy. That's not the one. It's another guy.
Paul: That guy is awesome. So that's 11/23/63, which I think came out last year, and Full Dark, No Stars, which is from years ago. Again, it's just the combination of Stephen King with that narrator. I love it, just love it. Number 4 is Influx by Daniel Suarez, narrated by Jeff Grinner. Suarez always uses the same guy, awesome.
Leo: Jeff Grinner is awesome.
Paul: The same think with number 5, The Rogue Code, which is the latest book by Mark Russinovich, narrated by Johnny Heller. Johnny Heller narrates all of Mark Russinovich's books. So in each of these cases you have that kind of awesome combination, the right narrator with really, really good stories. This is a really, really good year.
Leo: This is him, Will Patton.
Paul: Which one was that?
Leo: It was Mr. Mercedes.
Paul: So actually, that guy, I think that I like him to.
Leo: It sounds alright. Who is it that I don't like?
Paul: Like Big Driver, Salem's Lot I listened to.
Leo: I will figure it out.
Paul: I never listened to the Gunslinger books on Audible.
Leo: George Weedeld was the first one. He is one of the best narrators in history. He is amazing.
Paul: Okay, so you are saying someone else later on.
Leo: He's the guy who talks like this. It drives me crazy.
Paul: That would have been about as much as I could listen to.
Leo: He talks like this. I don't know who it is, though, so I'm not going to name him. Because you know what? Mary Jo Foley says, what do you say Mary Jo?
Paul: Take it at face value?
Leo: Take it as face value.
Mary Jo: Take it at face value.
Leo: Take it at face value.
Paul: That sounds like a New Year's resolution.
Leo: No judgments.
Mary Jo: No crap on tap.
Leo: No crap on tap, and no crap patches. I like Frank Mueller too, I don't think that it's Frank Mueller. Most of the Audible readers are so good that sometimes you just want to go from one to the other.
Paul: I just realized that one that I might have added to this is list, because I am actually listening to it right now, is Casino Royale, with the guy from Downton Abbey.
Leo: Oh, how was that?
Paul: It's excellent. The Bond books are interesting on a number of levels. Obviously it's very dated, but they are short, and that is one of the things that I really like. I like Audible books that I can get through. I don't want a 23 hour thing that will take me a month or whatever. This thing is probably 5 and a half hour long. Dan Stevens is the guy's name. He was on Downton Abbey. He is perfect for this. It is an excellent, excellent book.
Leo: This is the guy, Frank Mueller.
Leo: Do you recognize that voice?
Paul: Who is it?
Leo: Frank Mueller. In a Georgia nursing home. You know, I don't really hate him, but there is a certain thing that he is doing. He kind of talks like that.
Paul: So I'm curious, so he did the Talisman?
Leo: People love him. That was the Green Mile that I just played. People love Frank Mueller, so I shouldn't say anything against him.
Paul: But you don't like him? You are saying that you don't like this voice?
Leo: Why should I care?
Paul: He read Silence of the Lambs.
Leo: He has a very distinctive voice, and I would never not listen to a book that he does.
Paul: This guy has done a ton of books.
Leo: He's done them all, and he is very expressive, and he does great voices. It's just something about his straight narration of books. He just kind of has that kind of voice.
Paul: It's kind of old fashioned. It's like a stage reading.
Leo: It's dramatic.
Leo: Yeah, but you know, he's done so many great books, including Mr. Majestic, which is amazing.
Paul: He has done some Dark Tower books I see. I don't know.
Leo: Does that voice sound familiar?
Paul: Not really.
Leo: I know why I have heard it a lot, because Lisa listens to the John Grisham stuff. He does all of the John Grisham stuff.
Leo: Anyway, I'm not turning this into a bash Frank Mueller session.
Paul: But if we were going to...
Mary Jo: Take him at face value.
Leo: I'm going to take him at face value. Ready Player One, Will Wheaton is excellent. What else? 11/23/63, I agree, that was beautifully narrated.
Paul: Martian obviously. Influx by Daniel Suarez. Amazing.
Leo: Jeff Gurner, love him. Rogue Code.
Paul: Rogue Code, excellent.
Leo: You have got good taste. Are you going to put this anywhere, or is this it?
Paul: I'm going to put it up on the notes that I post for the show.
Leo: Alright, that my friends, on this note we conclude the last Windows Weekly of 2014. We are coming up on 2015. Does that make any of you feel odd?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: That's like a science fiction year. 2015, the year we made contact.
Leo: I feel like we are living in the future. You know what? The one thing that we didn't expect? Crap patches. We didn't expect that.
Paul: I don't recall Isaac Asimov ever mentioning this problem.
Mary Jo: No.
Paul: That would have been a great robot book. Actually, it is a great robot book. It's almost like the robot...
Leo: It's the fourth rule.
Paul: No, it's the reason for the rules.
Leo: Crap patches.
Paul: Yeah, avoid the crap patches. You don't want the robot killing you?
Leo: Wasn't that the doctor that wore the clown nose, crap patches? No, that something else.
Leo: Kids, it's a sad moment when we come to the end of the year. We've had so many great years together, and we are going to start a brand new one. Next week we will see some of the best moments from 2014. It was hard to pick. This show, you wouldn't think it listening to it, is extremely entertaining.
Paul: I often question that myself.
Leo: No, there is so many.
Paul: Glad to hear that.
Mary Jo: I hope some of my apartment fixing neighbors are included in there.
Leo: Conk, conk, conk. I hope so too.
Paul: You can probably get a solid 2 hours of just Mary Jo's apartment complex construction project.
Leo: She's so nice about it, you know?
Mary Jo: No, I've opened the door and screamed into the hallway.
Leo: I would like to hear that.
Paul: I have a hard time with people talking in the hotel room next to me. That would drive me insane.
Mary Jo: Yeah, I know.
Leo: The following week is New Year's Eve, and of course we are doing our special 24 hour marathon as we do every year.
Paul: I will be there with my wife.
Leo: Paul will be here. Hey, that's great. Mary Jo, are you calling in? Are you going to participate in some of that?
Mary Jo: I will participate for sure.
Leo: You know, this year they aren't telling me anything. They are just saying that we want you to be surprised.
Paul: Right, I was warned not to mention anything.
Leo: I'm excited.
Paul: I don't know what it means either.
Leo: It will be a fun 24 hours, and we are raising money for UNICEF, which is nice. I like to do it for charity. It says UNICEF USA, so you have to pick one, but it's an international charity, and the money will be going to international causes all for children, including fighting Ebola in Africa, which is a big thrust for them right now. So we are really happy to be doing that. But we will be back January 6, 2015. The year we made contact.
Paul: With Cuba.
Leo: With Cuba. My god, there is an island. Where did that come from? Paul Thurrott is at the Super Site for Windows, winsupersite.com. Do you stay home for the holidays?
Paul: We are going to be home on Christmas day, but my kids actually are going to Colorado to go skiing with their cousins and everything.
Leo: What fun. Oh, what fun. Have a great merry merry, and we will see you in the new year. Mary Jo, are you staying home, or are you going to visit someone?
Mary Jo: I'm going to visit my mom.
Leo: Ah, that will be nice. Where does mom live?
Mary Jo: She lives in the Franham area.
Leo: There in Massachusetts there?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Paul: Excuse me for one moment. There is kind of a breaking news story of sorts. The browser choice story that was required in the EU is over.
Mary Jo: Oh really?
Paul: The obligations have expired. As a result the browser choice update will no longer be delivered to the users.
Leo: And we say goodbye to Sleipnir.
Paul: Yeah, and we can have a moment of silence for Sleipnir, which enjoyed their 0.001% market share.
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Alright, thank you so much. It was great to have you. What a great year. I'm looking forward to a new year. Mary Jo, AllAboutmicrosoft.com, Paul Thurrott, and all of you who join us each week for Windows Weekly. We will see you next time on Windows Weekly! Bye, bye.