Windows Weekly 402 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott is back from Puerto Rico. Mary Jo Foley is here. We have got a look at the latest updates from Microsoft and a way to make Windows 10 look more like Windows 7. It's all next on Windows Weekly.
Netcasts you love from people you trust, this is TWiT! Bandwidth for Windows Weekly is provided by Cachefly at c-a-c-h-e-f-l-y.com.
This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, Episode 402, recorded February 25, 2015.
Watch Your Squad
Windows Weekly is brought to you by Nitro; Nitro accelerates the way that businesses create, prepare, and sign PDF files anytime, anywhere, saving you and your business time. To learn more and to try it for 14 days visit gonitro.com/twit, that's gonitro.com/twit. And by LegalZoom; get your life organized and protect your family with a will or living trust, plus incorporate your business or form a LLC. LegalZoom is not a law firm but can connect you with an independent attorney. Visit legalzoom.com and use the offer code WW to receive $10 off at checkout.
Leo: It's time for Windows Weekly, the show where we talk about Windows weekly. Paul Thurrott, who was biweekly, or is it semi-annually, or is it bimonthly, I don't know what; he's back. He wasn't here last week. He finally had enough of the snow and went to Puerto Rico. Congratulations. Did you have a good time?
Paul Thurrott: Yeah, I was just surprised that we got out.
Leo: Of Boston, not of Puerto Rico?
Leo: Yeah, well welcome back. I can see that you are quite chatty now that you are off the plane.
Paul: I'm so happy to be back Leo. It's so nice here.
Leo: Aww. So Mary Jo Foley is also here from AllAboutMicrosoft.com. We thank Daniel Rubino for filling in for Paul last week. He did a nice job. Paul, did you do any work while you were in, I guess you have to know that you have the new thurrott.com it's a year round thing.
Paul: Yeah, I worked a couple of hours in the morning here and there, and elsewhere.
Leo: Did you at least do it on the beach?
Paul: No, I didn't do it on the beach. It was hard to focus there.
Leo: Yeah, I know what you mean. I do know what you mean.
Paul: I'm not really a beach guy, but I do have to say that after this winter I was ready.
Leo: Oh man, yeah. You came back and you said that it was a 70 degree delta in temperature flying back to Boston? Now that would be a flight that you maybe wouldn't mind if it got turned around.
Paul: I know, or delayed, or anything. It would have been great.
Leo: Delayed. I will spend an hour at the Puerto Rico airport, just let me stay.
Paul: Probably not cool to call in bomb threats at an airport, but I considered it.
Leo: Don't even say that out loud Mr. T. Well we welcome you back and just in case you were worried Windows 10 is still alive. It's hasn't gone anywhere. Although I see that Stardock has decided that even the Windows 10 Start Menu is just not enough. So they did what is it, Start8 from Windows 8? They are calling this Start10?
Mary Jo Foley: Yeah, Star 10.
Leo: A better name.
Mary Jo: You know, they just learned about this yesterday. They made a beta for people to start trying now, and the hate on Twitter about this was wow.
Paul: I know, it was weird.
Leo: Twitter is just a place for hate.
Paul: Well you know, the reason this is notable I think is that literally millions of people are using Start8, and Modernmix, and their other utilities. Stardock is obviously a very beloved company. These things are very inexpensive, they are very useful, and they fixed very real problems in Windows 8. I guess that it shouldn't be surprising that they are doing something in Windows 10 and will probably do more.
Mary Jo: Yep, but it seemed to be surprising.
Paul: The reaction has been amazing.
Leo: Shocking isn't it?
Mary Jo: You know, and the part that I kept telling people on Twitter when I saw people ranting about this, you know, if you don't want it then don't use it.
Leo: Nobody is making you use it.
Mary Jo: Don't buy it.
Paul: You are bringing logic to a Twitter fight.
Leo: Really, what is the complaint, the gist of the complaint?
Mary Jo: Well one part of the complaint is that they should wait for Microsoft to finish Windows 10 so that people can see the ultimate new Start Menu is going to look like before they offer a replacement. I actually don't buy that. I think that what we are seeing with the Start Menu is the Start Menu that we are going to see in Windows 10. There might be a couple of little tweaks, but this is the way that it is going to be and the reason that Brad Wordell came up with Start10 was that he said, you know, for a certain class of users they don't want even the new Start Menu. They want something that is just like Windows 7 Start Menu. They are out there.
Paul: We had this conversation months ago that Microsoft is bringing the Start Menu back. Literally, almost a year ago, like last October when they previewed it, we talked about this. People are going to complain. It's not the Windows 7 Start Menu, it has modern tile elements and so forth. So there are going to be people, and there are a lot of them, there are hundreds and hundreds of millions of people using Windows 7 that are still not going to be happy with that.
Mary Jo: Right, but there are people on Twitter saying that Microsoft should block them, they should make it so people can't install this.
Leo: Block them? Wow.
Mary Jo: I'm like what?
Leo: That's not going to happen.
Mary Jo: I hope not.
Paul: If Microsoft is going to block anyone they should block Lenovo. What are they talking about? Let's cut off one of the few people who are still supporting us with new software.
Leo: You don't have this Superfish story on your...
Mary Jo: I just added it to the notes because we forgot that it happened after Windows Weekly last week.
Paul: Did it? I didn't even...
Mary Jo: And we didn't talk about it.
Leo: We've been covering it. We covered it on TWiT, we talked a lot about it on the Tech Guy, of course Steve Gibson had, actually what he had a lot to say about which was even more significant for Windows users was that Lenovo was a customer of Superfish. Superfish contracted out the underlying technology to a company called Komodia and it was Komodia that was to blame not only for this breaking SSL but doing it so poorly and so insecurely that it made really any system with Superfish on it vulnerable. The worst story is that there are a hundred other programs that use Komodo, or Komodia I should say.
Paul: Including some antivirus packages.
Leo: Antivirus, parental controls, tons of stuff.
Paul: Yeah, but that doesn't absolve Lenovo because they are ultimately responsible for what goes on to their PCs. I look at this like PC makers are so delusional; they really do believe that they can make the situation better by providing value in the form of these addition applications.
Leo: No, no, no. They are trying to make a little extra on the side.
Paul: No, they really believe this. I talk to these guys all the time about this. People who I know and trust will blurt this stuff out.
Leo: They are just rationalizing.
Paul: They say things like we try to be conscious of what we put on the install, and blah, blah, blah. No, you are just loading crap. They don't understand that if they just left Windows alone that that would be better for consumers.
Leo: We've talked a lot, and it's timely because Paul, before he left for Puerto Rico, fell off his chair and dropped the mic, and what you were talking about was this. What you have talked about for a long time is the Signature PC Program at Microsoft. Lenovo participates in Signature PC.
Paul: I told you that I talked to a couple of guys from PC makers who told me that video ads were coming in crapware.
Leo: Did they say that that is better for consumers?
Paul: Replacing ads in webpages is kind of a step in that vision, although video ads I were talking about were going to be on the desktop. These people, they really are delusional, they really are. A part of it is a business necessity. It isn't just tied to trying to make a little bit of money on each PC. It's really about differentiating, right, because all of the hardware that is in PCs is basically commoditized and common across PCs. You only have 2 ways that you can differentiate. Well, I guess you have 3, you have price as well. You have obviously the hardware design, but you know, most PCs look like MacBook Airs today or follow very common designs. Then you have this crap. It's sad that we live in a world where this is how we differentiate. It's like changing the colors of the knobs on a radio in the car or something. It's such a nonsense change. I think that this is, well I don't just think this, it's based on a lot of conversations, but there are like crack addicts. They think they can stop if they want to. They think that they are okay, and that nobody notices, and that it's not bad. They can't stop doing it, they just can't stop. They do it to the point where they are harming themselves and others, and they just can't stop.
Leo: Even Lenovo said that we don't really make very much. One of their defenses was, oh we don't make very much off of this.
Paul: Right, and they don't.
Leo: Okay, well don't do it then. Now, I have to say that Ben Thompson...
Paul: It's not just some cigar smoking CEO who is like ah, we make $.35 per PC, we are going out the door with this crap. They really do believe that they are doing something good. It's so stupid. Lenovo's defense of this thing, which obviously evolved over a couple of days there, it really went from this is for the betterment of consumers, we are trying to do the right thing, blah, blah, blah, maybe we could ask them to change it, well, okay, we are going to change, okay, we are just going to get rid of it, okay, we did the wrong thing. It was like that 7 stages of guilt kind of stupidity where they had to kind of walk through it. They are the biggest maker of PCs in the world. This is not Winbook or whatever. You think that these guys would know something about this. This is stupid.
Mary Jo: The other thing was, we brought this up a couple of shows ago; now that Microsoft is providing them with much cheaper versions of Windows per unit you wonder if they still have the same defense of okay, we load crapware because Windows is so expensive that we have to offset the cost.
Paul: They don't. That is actually what caused the conversations that I am referring to because I talked to these guys. I said Windows is free so you are going to stop doing crapware, right? It's like, well we really don't do crapware for money. Really? So you are just demented then? It's crazy, it's crazy.
Leo: Paul, I'm sorry. I understand that they are not making a lot, and by the way they don't put it on ThinkPad, they don't put it on high end, so if they really thought this was a value why wouldn't they put it on the high end? They only put it on the consumer devices where their margins are so low that they are effectively zero.
Paul: This is a consumer issue. There are people out there who actually think that this stuff is good to have.
Leo: No one, no one.
Paul: They will look at a PC and say...
Paul: Leo, listen, not everyone shops at Whole Foods. There are people who are just not discerning consumers. That's just the way that it is.
Mary Jo: I don't think that they think it is good. I think that they just don't know it's there, and then they think that it is supposed to be there.
Paul: A way to think of it is that they don't know exactly what is on there, but stuff is on there. Some of it is like CD burning software, and utilities for photo services, and blah, blah, blah. I think that the way that most people operate is that they don't think about it, they don't look at it, they don't click on it, they don't remove it, they don't do anything about it. In the back of their head what they are thinking is that I don't need this, I don't know how it works, but maybe I will need it someday, and now it's on there. It's on there if I need it. They will never use it.
Leo: I could see how that is true for an antivirus. All of them, even some of the high end stuff, have embedded antivirus. The good ones, which by the well, the Dell, my expensive Dell 13 and my cheap as could be Winbook both have antiviruses on them. They've learned a little. You want to use it? You don't want to use it? Do you want to uninstall it? They say don't uninstall it, but you can uninstall it. You press uninstall and then it uninstalls.
Paul: The way that the Winbook handled that was the best I have ever seen on any PC.
Leo: Dell does the same thing.
Paul: It's neat. It's not as good as not being there, but it's a positive step.
Leo: It's pretty close. Then a consumer might say, oh that was nice. I do need an antivirus. It was nice of them to offer one.
Paul: Yes. I think actually, to take it a step further, it's not even installed. On a typical PC the first thing that I would do is remove McAffe. The first thing McAffe says when I do that is your PC is unsafe. That, to me, is dishonest, and is scary, and I think that for an average consumer is scary enough that they wouldn't uninstall it, whereas that Winbook approach where they say, hey, if you want it we have, ESET, whatever it is, ESET antivirus...
Leo: ESET yeah, which is a very good one, better than McAfee by the way.
Paul: Yep, yep, well Winbook is a small company. God help us if they get successful; there will be all kinds of crapware in there. This is one of the choices that you have.
Leo: Okay, so this Superfish that they put on there, what they claimed it did was some sort of image recognition. What it really did was stick ads on pages that you were visiting even though they didn't come from that page. They added that.
Paul: This would replace the ads.
Leo: If it replaces ads on my page I would sue them because they are basically taking money out of my pocket. I think that it is just putting more ads on a page. I defy you Paul to find one consumer that said, oh boy, thank you, because I want more ads on the internet.
Paul: Oh no, no, I don't think anyone would want this. Absolutely not.
Leo: But that is Lenovo's defense. We thought people would like this.
Paul: I'm talking about in general for crapware. In this particular case this is indefensible. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I used that exact sentence in an article somewhere. This particular episode is indefensible. Their initial excuse that they were trying to benefit consumers by showing them other things that they might want to buy is ludicrous. It's nonsense words mashed together into things that look like sentences. That makes no sense at all.
Leo: By the way, even Microsoft acknowledges that this is a virus because they updated their securities to remove it.
Paul: That's awesome. Lest there be any doubt.
Leo Everybody has, all the antiviruses have. Even though at first Lenovo said that there is no security issue. Yeah, there is actually.
Paul: Not yet.
Leo: Not yet, okay.
Paul: We will see. The week is young.
Leo: Well, the other real takeaway is not just Lenovo, in fact, not to geek up. Remember when they did that wonderful crapified experience where they went to download.com and downloaded the top 10 downloads and said yes to every bit of crapware that CNET wanted to install? They updated that to say that of that 2 of those had Komodia on there. Two of them had the same technology that is problematic in Superfish. So you are getting it from everybody, you are getting it from CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System. The Tiffany Network, which owns CNET, has been putting that crap on your system unless you are extremely careful when you download something from download.com. So it's all over. It's everywhere.
Paul: By the way, that doesn't make it good or okay.
Leo: No, I'm saying that it's not okay.
Paul: I know that you know that. I mean, just to be clear, their doing it too is not an excuse.
Leo: No, please don't misunderstand me, I'm warning people. I'm not saying that it's okay.
Paul: Leo Laporte supports crapware. You bastard.
Leo: No, what I'm saying is that it is far worse than we think and Lenovo is not the only one.
Paul: God bless them for getting caught because this think frankly needs to be broadcasted to the world. The norms need to hear about this stuff. The problem for Lenovo, by the way, is going to be Joe Consumer walks into Best Buy, or MicroCenter, or Fry's Electronics, whatever you have, to buy a laptop, and they all look the same, and they are different prices, and they don't know what their processors are, and they see Lenovo and they think, oh, Lenovo is that company that did that thing that was really bad. They are going to lose sales because of this. It's stupid.
Leo: I think that they should. I said on the radio show I will never again recommend Lenovo. They need to be punished for this just as Sony needed to be punished for putting root kits on their music CDs some years ago.
Paul: By the way, Sony has paid.
Leo: As they should have.
Paul: Let's be clear, they have paid.
Leo: As they should have. I think that Lenovo should suffer a little bit because of this.
Paul: They are going to.
Leo: I don't know, can you trust them?
Paul: This is a tough one for me personally because I know people over there and they are a good company.
Leo: That's what you should say. I want to hear that.
Paul: Yeah, they make good products.
Leo: I love the ThinkPad.
Paul: I reviewed the Lenovo Yoga 3 personally, in fact I think it was the first new article that I posted on my site. I really liked the machine, but one of the things that I called out was the crapware on it. I just find it reprehensible that on a $1,000+ laptop that there would be any crapware, I don't care if it is aimed at consumers or business users. Obviously in Lenovo's case, if you are going to buy a ThinkPad you aren't going to get this kind of junk, which is fine for that audience. Those machines tend to be more expensive. One of the side things that I don't like about this stuff, and not just Lenovo, is taking advantage of people who can't spend as much as others. If you want a premium experience you can buy a Mac, but Macs start at $900-$1,000 or whatever. Some people can only spend $200-$300. It's not fair that those people should have to suffer through crapware as well as a less expensive machine.
Leo: That's one of the things that Ben Thompson brought up on Sunday on TWiT. He is with Stratechery, I think a very smart analyst, he said you know, some of the blame goes to consumers who will not pay more than $200-$300 on a computer.
Paul: But some people can't.
Leo: Will not or cannot.
Paul: That's the problem. It's unfair. I'm sorry that you can't afford a more expensive laptop. So maybe you are going to get something that is a little more plasticy, maybe a little bigger, maybe the battery life isn't as good. But maybe it has more crapware, seriously? That is completely unacceptable. Talk about this kind of dividing line between the rich and the poor. Let's bring it right into the tech world and make these people the second class citizens that we think that they are.
Leo: Can I point out that no one in their right mind would say that McDonald's food or any fast food is good for you or sane? But it's cheap and so a lot of people eat it because they can afford it. McDonald's has to be held, just as Lenovo has to be held, right?
Paul: And since we are talking about McDonald's let me just say that whether you are McDonald's, or Walmart, or any other giant company that sells a bunch of crap to poor people, you also have volume. With volume comes the ability to save money, and you have the power to change the world by doing the right thing. But you don't, you give people crap. Whether it's a low end PC or a McDonald's hamburger with a sugar bun on it, or whatever example you choose to use it's just sad. I just don't like that. It's exploitation and I don't like that.
Leo: I've got to say one thing that Ben did say. He said that Microsoft also needs to take some blame for this by not putting more pressure on the OEMs.
Paul: Leo, this is my central message; how about free Windows as Signature PC Windows? If you want to put crapware on it then you are going to pay $100 a pop for Windows.
Leo: They knew they had a problem. That's why they created Signature PC. But I think that you said there was very little response from the PC industry.
Paul: Basically zero. Visio did it for a little while. You could buy some Signature PCs at Costco. There was no an example of a single PC maker that said, okay, we will give a trial, we will sell your crapware free versions of our laptops next to non-Signature PC laptops. Nobody has don't it.
Mary Jo: I don't know if this is or was true, but I saw people saying that the reason that Microsoft can't outright ban crapware off of these dates back to the DOJ trial and they can't tell OEMs what to do.
Paul: By the way that was probably true in 1999.
Mary Jo: Right, and is it still true?
Paul: Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly today.
Mary Jo: They are no longer under that edict, the DOJ edict, right? So I don't know if now they could.
Paul: With this product they don't have to give it away. They don't have to accept anything. If anything Microsoft should be suing them for altering the thing that they sold. I think this is the time for Microsoft to take a stand. They take a stand in so many places, whether it is some kind of privacy thing with emails in Ireland, or the security issues, and they are so proud of themselves, and look at it. How about actually standing up for the 1.5 billion people who use your damn products every day and make this a clean experience?
Mary Jo: My guess is that there is a weird symbiotic relationship with Microsoft and the PC makers, right? Microsoft bends over backwards to also do what they want because they need them. What good is Windows without a PC? If the OEM says to them if you ban me from putting crapware on this I'm going to just make my PC without you...
Paul: Some companies won't and the Winbooks of the world will become bigger, or the Asus's of the world, or whatever. If HP, or Lenovo, or Dell can't handle this, you know what, we don't need them. There will be other companies that will step into their place. I just think that it is time.
Mary Jo: I hope you are right. I fear that you are not.
Paul: You sound like Cesar to me, right?
Mary Jo: I love idealism too, and I think that it is great, but in business all they care about is making money. They don't care about doing the right thing.
Paul: You are right.
Leo: Well they have to.
Paul: The only thing that we can do it try to educate people to try to make the right decisions.
Mary Jo: I agree. Educate people. Also, there are plenty of people who have money who go out and buy a $200 PC because it's cheap. It's an impulse buy for them, right? It's not the only thing they can afford, it's like, hey, it's at the cash register and it's $200. Sure, I'm buying it.
Paul: Listen, I can buy an HP Stream laptop and as an intellectual exercise spend an evening watching TV and removing crapware, but what I am really concerned about are the people who can't afford anything better than that, and who don't know that stuff is on there, or don't know that that computer could be so much better if they had just bought it at Microsoft or whatever. Or if we just didn't have crapware. Again, I know, I try to be pragmatic about this; I actually think that Microsoft could do something about this. Their silence on this issue is astonishing.
Mary Jo: You know what would be fun? If they used this as a way to get people to come into the store. Like if they said if you get a PC with crapware what if you come into the store and we take it off for free?
Leo: Yeah, I think they would get in trouble for that.
Paul: That's beautiful.
Mary Jo: Then they look like the good guy, right?
Paul: Yeah, then they could sell a Signature PC, well not sell it...
Leo: Service, they could have a PC service.
Mary Jo: They did do that for a while didn't they?
Paul: It sounds familiar.
Mary Jo: I thought Best Buy did it.
Leo: I love that idea.
Paul: I suspect that the Best Buy service wasn't free.
Mary Jo: No, it wasn't free. It wasn't free. But, you know, if Microsoft sees it as a great way to get people to come into stores and it's worth it to us...
Paul: They should do it with Windows Update. The first time you run it it should say I see that you are running a HP Stream 13, would you like me to get rid of all of that crap? Which would be just as bad as forcing HP not to put it on there in the first place I suppose.
Mary Jo: One of our listeners is saying right now, and by the way there are no Signature PCs in Germany.
Paul: Oh no, this is a chicken and egg. This is only US and Canada I think, right? On Signature PC, right?
Mary Jo: I'm pretty sure. I'm pretty sure that is true.
Paul: No, that's a problem. We could talk up Signature PCs all we want, but if you live somewhere that you can't get them it doesn't help at all. We are talking about UFOs and Sasquatch over here if you live in Europe. They are like we are vaguely aware of what you are talking about, we just never have seen one. Microsoft can't snap it's fingers and have Microsoft Stores on every street corner on earth overnight. That's absolutely part of the problem too.
Leo: I have to say that it doesn't look like they have tried.
Paul: Look, the Signature PC stuff, there was kind of a Velocity effort at Microsoft. By the way, here is an alert, Lenovo was the first company to capitalize on that, and you might remember that the Velocity PCs that they put out for Windows 7 where these things would boot a lot faster, shut down a lot faster, sleep and wake faster, etc., and they had SSDs, they were among the first PCs to have SSDs. The Velocity Program kind of went into the Signature because really they didn't see a lot of uptick with the Velocity among PC makers. Of course that hasn't gone anywhere. Then Surface happened. It's like children hitting each other with rattles in a crib. This relationship is so mature. It's bizarre. We have Chromebooks everywhere. What the heck just happened? It's really just a strange situation. It's too bad. We have some good news this week, don't we?
Leo: Yes, and we will get to it.
Mary Jo: Do we have any good news?
Paul: Please tell me that we have some good news.
Leo: I will tell you, one piece of good news, we have got a brand new sponsor on the show. We want to welcome them. One of the things that we talk about a lot on this show and on Security Now is PDF readers. Adobe Reader is kind of notoriously insecure, and they are always updating it. There is an alternative to not only Reader, but to Acrobat, the program that lets you create PDFs. I've been using it for some time now, and I'm really happy with it. Are you guys familiar with Nitro PDF? It might be a new player in the space. I think they probably are. You can print to PDF from any application; it adds that of course, which is really nice. Let me go to the website and show you some of the features. It's gonitro, n-i-t-r-o.com/twit if you want to know more about that; gonitro.com/twit. So as an alternative to Acrobat it mean you can create PDFs. It's got the distiller. You can print to PDF using a virtual print driver, simple one click PDF conversions to any Microsoft format, and back again. Let me say that again. One lick PDF versions to any MS Office format and back again. Round trip. You can text anywhere on a PDF document, put the text anywhere, even if it doesn't have interactive fields, everything that you need to view, create, prepare, and sign PDFs. One of the things that I love about Nitro; mostly when I edit PDFs it's to add a signature to a document that a realtor or somebody else sends me. It's so easy to create your signature in Nitro PFD. Of course they have a signature like font if you just want to be simple. You can sign and hold your card up to the PC camera and it will do a high contrast signature of your picture which will be the most accurate way to do it and put's it right in their library so that you can stamp things. It also has that you can draw with a mouse, which I'm not real good at and I usually don't do, but you could. Editing tools let you manipulate text, change fonts, and customize lay outs. The NitroPro UI is very familiar to you. You will recognize the ribbon. You can try it by the way. There is a 14 day free trial, you don't need a credit card, just go to gonitro.com/twit. That's all I ask, give it a try, gonitro.com/twit. It's a great way to collaborate with others using markup and review tools. Half a million businesses use Nitro now, 50% of the Fortune 500. It's easy to get started and you will love it. Try it free for 2 weeks, Nitro, gonitro at g-o-n-i-t-r-o.com/twit. Smarten your documents. I just love the signing thing. That makes it so easy for me; gonitro.com/twit.
Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley, Paul back from Puerto Rico. I love Puerto Rican food. Did you have Puerto Rican food?
Paul: Leo, the food in Puerto Rico is amazing.
Leo: It's so good.
Paul: I had no expectations that that would be the case. We were blown away by the quality of the food there.
Leo: Yeah, our favorite restaurant is a Puerto Rican restaurant here in Santa Rosa. There is one in San Rofel with great food.
Paul: We are specifically looking for Puerto Rican foods in Boston now for that reason. It was amazing.
Leo: This is the alternative. Of course we have a lot of Mexican food in California. People are tired of it and they go to Puerto Rican. Oh my god, it's great.
Paul: You think that it's basically going to be Mexican food, and nope, nothing like it.
Leo: It's Caribbean I think. It's got Plantains and beans.
Paul: Well the funny thing is that I've been to Cuban restaurants before and I really don't like Plantains in food. The Plantains in Puerto Rican food are not like fruit, they are not sweet usually, although they can be. They are almost used like potatoes or couscous.
Leo: Yeah, like a starch.
Paul: It's amazing. It's really good.
Mary Jo: It is good.
Leo: Oh, you know too, huh Mary Jo?
Mary Jo: I've had Plantains. I love them.
Paul: We were just really, really blown away.
Leo: Did you go to the old San Juan, the old city?
Paul: Uh huh, yep.
Leo: It's so neat. El Moro and all of that, it's so neat. Although, our favorite Puerto Rican restaurant does do Cubano sandwiches too, which is kind of a plus, a real plus.
Paul: There is nothing wrong with Cuban food. It's just that in Cuban food, when I've had Plantains for whatever reason, maybe it's just the stuff that I got, I really didn't like Plantains. In Puerto Rican food I've always liked it. So it's kind of a very strange change.
Leo: Windows Phone, how are things going? I see sales figures.
Paul: This will be good Leo. This will be good news.`
Leo: What's the good news?
Mary Jo: An uplifting segment.
Leo: Great news, Windows Phone takes over.
Paul: Well the good news is that they sold more Windows Phones in 2014 than they did in 2013.
Leo: Okay, that's good news.
Paul: Let's go to the next story.
Paul: Because that's pretty much where the good news ends.
Leo: Market share is not going up?
Paul: Market share is not going up. It's going down.
Leo: Yeah, I saw those IDC numbers. While Microsoft sold more phones than ever before, so did Android, so did IOS.
Paul: So the problem; of the "big three", and I put air quotes around those, Windows Phone saw the smallest growth in unit sales as a percentage. Very small. It was like 4.2% or something like that. It's too bad because Microsoft's strategy was to push volume last year with these low cost phones, and of course those of us who wanted the high end phones were twiddling our thumbs saying okay, okay, you have got to sell more, it makes sense. They really didn't sell that much more. 34.9 million units vs. 33.5 from the year before. It's too bad, you know? The iPhone also sold more YOY mostly because of the iPhone 6 explosion of sales at the end of the year and they still lost market shares as well. Google, Android obviously, is over 80% of the market for smartphones. In fact, there was a statistic in there, I think that it said that device makers sold more Android handsets in 2014 than all handsets sold in 2013, smartphone handsets that is, combined. They sold over a billion units, Android phones, just Android phones.
Paul: It's crazy. So a billion vs. 35 million. It's not good, it's not good.
Leo: Well it's not good for market share. Apple is losing market share too, but it doesn't kill Apple, right?
Paul: No, but Apple makes a lot of money every time they sell an iPhone. Microsoft loses money every time they sell a Windows Phone, so...
Leo: Well, here is good news; they make money every time they sell an Android phone, so they can make that up.
Paul: Right, so they have a profitable mobile business, it's just not selling Windows Phones. Hopefully that changes. Obviously we have talked in the past about universal apps, and that strategy, and we will see if that pans out.
Leo: God, you sound so depressed Paul.
Mary Jo: Upset, upset.
Paul: I'm actually surprised this isn't better. I really am. I kind of bought into this notion of low end phones just for unit sales, right? Just looking at units.
Mary Jo: That's what they are targeting, right? They are targeting the volume. So that's why they are doing the low end and the mid-range handsets.
Paul: The problem for Microsoft is that the rest of the world doesn't really stand still. Google has Android One for emerging markets, they have phone that Leo was talking about before the show, the $149 Moto E or whatever that was.
Leo: The new Moto E just came out.
Paul: For the United States, right?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: Look, I love Windows Phone. I prefer it, but I think that most people would walk into a wireless carrier and say that I can get it without a contract, obviously you are going to choose the phone from the number one platform, not the one that no one uses. It's kind of a tough sell.
Mary Jo: Especially here in the US, we always bring up that the people in the retail stores don't want to sell it to you, and that still is a problem even now.
Leo: Even if you were motivated...
Paul: They are always kicking people who want to buy Windows Phone. There are no people in line to buy Windows Phones.
Mary Jo: No, they are not. Sometimes you see displays with them and sometimes you don't. It's a really tough problem. I think that I really do understand why Microsoft is doing more and more apps and services for Android and iPhone. It's the reality; they are not selling Windows Phone. They hope that universal apps is going to change this picture, but there is no guarantee that it will. I say that with a heavy heart.
Paul: Look, even the rosiest predictions, who would say that universal apps is going to put it over the top and they are going to have 10% market share in 2 years? It's not going to work like that, sorry.
Mary Jo: Nope. But next week maybe we will see something fantastic at Mobile World Congress.
Leo: Will there be any Windows Phones there?
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: Somebody is going to do Windows Phones.
Mary Jo: Yeah, there is a press conference, a Microsoft press conference, on the first day, March 2nd I think. We think that they are going to announce a couple, or somewhere like 2-4 new handsets, but no flagships we don't think.
Paul: Now, they have some mid-level phones, like 720p type phones?
Mary Jo: Yep, a couple coming to AT&T we hear from the rumor mill, but that's all that we are hearing. People are thinking that we are going to see a flagship phone at that event, but I would be very, very surprised. They are waiting for Windows Phone 10 for that.
Paul: Mostly because if that phone exists it's not being tested out in the world at this point, right, because the analytics companies would probably have seen it now. But they have seen some 720 devices, I think that one of the AT&T devices is going to be like a 5.7 inch screen, like a Lumia 1330 type device. It actually doesn't say here, I don't want to say the processor, but they won't be terrible, but they are not going to be the flagships that we are looking for.
Leo: These aren't the flagships that you are looking for.
Mary Jo: No. I don't know about other vendors, some of their other partners announcing more Windows Phones at the show. I would assume that some of them would be because they have some international...
Paul: There is a company called KAZAM that just announced that they have 3 new Windows Phones.
Leo: Will Windows 10 help Windows Phone?
Paul: It will help kill Windows Phone. Is that what you mean? No, it will help.
Mary Jo: I hope that it will.
Leo: Is Microsoft holding out hope like that? I know that we are.
Mary Jo: I think that they are. They are at least publicly saying that the universal app will help you use a lot of your code and build for a lot of platform including phone, PC, tablet, and Xbox. They are saying that they think this is going to change the game. But we also know, as we have said a couple of times on the show before, that they have a plan b and that plan is to get Android apps on Windows Phone and on Windows. They are still building that and they haven't decided if they are going to take that commercial, but that is something that they are holding in reserve as a possible plan. There is also the rumor that they are working with a variety of Android players to get deals with them to get Microsoft apps and services on those phones. So they are trying a lot of different ways to stay relevant in mobile, but I don't know if they really believe that Windows 10 is going to suddenly be this magic pill that is going to increase the market for Windows Phone. I don't know if they really believe that.
Paul: I think that success for Windows 10 has a lot more to do with just stemming the bleeding then reversing the trends. I think that they want to halt the problems, which I think that it will do. I guess we will see. As I said, the low end thing was tough because it seems like such a good strategy, and then Google announces Android One and you realize that anyone who makes a phone could do this. It's not just them. Android and Windows Phone share a common platform, and whatever benefits Microsoft can get Android can get at a far greater scale and potentially even lower prices.
Leo: Okay, I was just holding out hope.
Mary Jo: We were too. We still are, we still are.
Leo: When do they kill Windows Phone, or do they? Do they care?
Paul: I think they keep it going. It's just another part of Windows. By comingling it with the tablet version, you have one SKU where I actually think that Windows, you know that tablet that you were looking at, the Winbook, or the HP Stream 7, right, those devices would be so much better if they have Windows Phone on them. They would be so much better with Windows Phone than Windows. Essentially for Windows 10 that class of device will have the Windows Phone on them, whatever they call it, version. That's the right version of Windows for that device. The smartphone market is exponentially bigger than the PC market in some ways. It opens it up to a new audience as well. It's never happened, but one of the theories here is that when you have this system that looks the same across all of these devices that you will look for it on the phone because you have it on your Xbox, you have it on your PC, you have it on your tablet. That's the theory. I don't know.
Mary Jo: You sound skeptical.
Paul: Look, one of the things that we've learned over the last several years is that people really don't have much of a problem going back and forth between platforms. They use an iPhone, an Android tablet, and a Windows PC. It's not that big a deal.
Leo: Nadella has said that, you know? It's a cross platform universe, a cross platform world.
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: By the way, we will have people at Mobile World Congress, Myriam Jiore will be there, Mike Elgan will too. We will have a camera crew there, we will have coverage of course of the Samsung, HTC, and LG events. Maybe with any luck there will be something else that will pop up. Is Microsoft there at all?
Paul: Oh yeah, they are having a press conference.
Mary Jo: Yeah, they are, March 2nd.
Leo: Oh, that's Monday. We will do the March 2nd press conference I think.
Mary Jo: I think Stephen Elop will be there.
Leo: Cool, former head of Nokia.
Paul: I love Stephen Elop. I really do.
Mary Jo: You just like his shoes.
Leo: I like him because he stuck around.
Paul: Do you know why I like him seriously? Because he knows what he is talking about. He can pick up any one of those phones and rattle off anything that is in it, anything that it can do, all of the advantages of it. He actually knows what he is talking about. That's a stupid thing to have to point out, but a lot of the guys that hop up on a stage and talk, talk, talk, whatever, have no idea what they are talking about. This guy is a real product guy.
Leo: Somebody is saying that there won't be a Mobile World Congress next year. Is that something that they announced, or is he just being sarcastic.
Mary Jo: No Mobile World Congress next year?
Paul: No, is someone saying that Microsoft won't be there?
Leo: Yeah, that must be sarcasm.
Mary Jo: Well, they are going to fewer and fewer of those big shows. They go, but they just have suites, but not use them as major announcement events.
Paul: They did a Windows 8 thing at a Mobile World Congress. Mobile is not just smartphones, it's also tablets.
Leo: Good point, good point, good point. They will be there. So long Softcard; I don't even know what Softcard is, but now we don't have it anymore.
Paul: This is some more good news Leo.
Leo: Is that the wallet, the old Isis wallet?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Leo: You mean carriers aren't going to support it with Windows Phone?
Mary Jo: Google has announced that they have bought the intellectual property from Softcard, and Windows Central just confirmed today that there is not going to be Softcard support for Windows Phone.
Leo: Oh wow.
Mary Jo: I see a lot of people tweeting Google don't be evil. I go back to my earlier comment that for them it's just business.
Paul: By the way it's not Google.
Mary Jo: It's not Google. Once Softcard sold all of its intellectual property and technology to Google, Google could have had the choice of saying, you know what, we are going to do a version for Windows Phone. Google always says if they had more market share we would do a version, but I think that is something that they just say for convenience. I think that they are out to get Microsoft. They compete with them, and what better way to do that than to pull support for something that you need for mobile payments.
Leo: I gotta say...
Paul: Who are they hurting here? Google has 81% of the market. Microsoft has 2. whatever percent. This is not like an evil plot. They are just stepping on an ant.
Leo: Do all Windows Phones have NFC.
Leo: That might have something to do with it as well. With 2% you get just a fraction of the total.
Paul: It's 1. something percent, so the wallet was a feature of Windows Phone 8, which was announce 3 years ago this month at Mobile World Congress. It originally only went out on Orange, the wireless carrier, because it included wireless carrier support, in the form of a SIM with a secure element, in France. The story at the time was that they would take it worldwide after that. It never happened, so the Softcard solution is a separate way that you can have an app that you can do tap and pay, kind of wireless payments that you can use in a retail store like Apple Pay. That's what Softcard is. So Softcard was Android and Windows Phone. I guess now it's going to be part of Google Wallet and it will be distributed by all of the major wireless carriers. Softcard was a creation of those wireless carriers who wanted to compete actually with Google and come up with their own payment standard because they didn't want Google to be the middle man in the processes. Now they are doing a deal basically to counter Apple Pay.
Mary Jo: So then the question is what do you do what if you are Microsoft now? So there is Apple Pay, Google has Softcard...
Paul: I have an answer. I have an answer.
Mary Jo: You do? What?
Paul: You just made an awesome deal with Samsung that no one knows the details. What did Samsung just do? They bought a mobile payment company called LoopPay.
Leo: LoopPay, yeah LoopPay.
Mary Jo: LoopPay, right, LoopPay.
Paul: They did a deal with Samsung. So by the say, this is not my idea. I want to be really clear about that. Somebody said this on Twitter, and I don't remember his name, but I don't want to take credit for that thought. It's a good idea, and it's plausible, and the only thing that I will say is that on March 2nd when those guys get up on stage, and start talking Windows 10, and how everything is going to be better, they had better say something about mobile payments whatever it is. There had better be a solution.
Mary Jo: I would be surprised if they do.
Paul: Because 3 years ago, like I said, they talked it up for Windows Phone 8, and nothing happened. Since then, Google already had Wallet, but it wasn't very functional.
Leo: You know what's funny about Google Wallet was that you couldn't really use it because carriers had their own system so Verizon and AT&T wouldn't implement Wallet. They had their own. So part of me is declaring victory with Softcard. This means that Google Wallet finally triumphed over these messed up carriers. This is very bad news for Windows Phone, but it kind of showed that they missed the boat. They should have had a Microsoft Wallet all this time...
Paul: They have had one. It's in there.
Leo: Does it not work? Does it not do anything?
Paul: You need support from the wireless carriers. So it was the same problem as Google Wallet.
Leo: Wireless carriers are out of this business, so why don't they use it now?
Paul: This all just happened. So next week is Mobile World Congress, so this would be the logical place for them to announce something. They need to get up in front of the world and say this is what we are doing. Not in 2015 end of the year, not in 2016, but this is what we are doing, because my Windows Phone, I guess including right now today I could go get one of those SIMS from AT&T and go to McDonald's and make it a tap and pay like an Apple device. That could technically work right now. There is no reason why I can't do this right now because those partnerships haven't happened.
Mary Jo: I don't think that they are really going to talk about this.
Paul: I really want to buy stuff at McDonald's with my phone.
Mary Jo: I do not think that next week will be the week that we are going to hear about this.
Leo: Well, you've got a problem because you've got Bank of America, gone. You've got no wallet that works. This becomes a serious issue.
Mary Jo: Yeah it does.
Paul: Yeah it does.
Leo: Tap to pay didn't take off until Apple, but almost every Android phone has a credit response with Google Wallet, which works on every Apple Pay terminal.
Paul: Mobile World Congress is next week. Maybe we will hear about this. What didn't come out of this Google announcement is by the way, all of the Android phones in the world are going to get this capability. That is not what they said. What they said was that the carriers would sell new phones that would have the capability built into it later in the year. I'm actually not positive that they are going to be able to go back retroactively, I shouldn't say can't, but won't go back retroactively add this to all phones because the wireless carriers by the way, are still evil. What they want to do is sell you new phones. They don't just hand you this capability, they will allow you to upgrade and get these capabilities. I bet that's how it works.
Leo: I have it on all of my Android phones right now. The resistance that the carriers are putting up has melted, and I imagine will continue to melt now that they no longer have their own solutions.
Paul: So as successful as iPhones are for the carriers, they also don't want one supplier, right? Part of the reason that I think that this will happen is that they need a second choice. What they were doing on their own wasn't really going very well. Google's thing obviously was stillborn because the carriers were blocking it essentially, and so this happened. There are still the carriers, it's not like they are suddenly altruistic. We will see, maybe Google will announce something next week, but I would be surprised if every Android device that had these capabilities just was suddenly lit up with tap and pay.
Leo: No, you can't because you have to put the Softcard with secure store on the SIM. That's why the phone companies have to do that.
Paul: I think that some Google devices actually have this built into the hardware, right?
Leo: They do if you use Wallet, if you use Wallet.
Paul: But the carriers turn that off. That's been the problem.
Leo: I'm telling you that has stopped.
Paul: Oh, they've done that?
Leo: They did that long ago, months ago.
Leo: With every one of my Android phones I can now use Google wallet with tap to pay on any terminal, including all Apple Pay terminals. It works perfectly well.
Paul: So there is no reason that it couldn't work on Windows Phone, right?
Paul: We have those same capabilities. You wonder why I champion the underdog Leo; it's because I use Windows Phone.
Leo: I think there is still time. Tap to pay is not so ubiquitous at this point that people are going to say, oh, I'm not buying a phone that doesn't do it. I think that will happen by the end of this year.
Paul: There are plenty of things like that that seem like a good reason to buy a phone, but then you wonder how you live without it. I think that this will be a standard feature of smartphones going forward. Except for Windows Phone.
Mary Jo: I like the LoopPay idea.
Leo: LoopPay is an interim technology because it's designed to work with Swipe, the Swipe terminals. So the idea of LoopPay was that it actually creates a magnetic field on the back of your phone that you can hold up to a Swipe terminal and they think that you swiped a card. The problem isn't the technology, the problem is the clerk who is saying, wait a minute, I still need to see your card sir, you can't just hold your phone up. Did you just hack me? That's the problem with all of this stuff. Apple Pay has been so criticized that for the most part that clerks at most places, if you go up to Whole Foods to use Apple Pay, if you try to use Google Wallet even you get the scants. I can't imagine what will happen when you hold up your Galaxy 6 and say that I paid for it.
Paul: Eventually this will just be...
Leo: Eventually everybody will get used to it, yeah.
Mary Jo: There are two other players that you always hear people say are possible contenders here; PayPal is one, and there is another group called CurrentC, which is a bunch of retailers.
Leo: That's the Walmart consortium. It's a nonstarter, it's a nonstarter. You have to take a picture of the QRCode at the terminal, it goes buzz, then you hold up your QRCode...
Mary Jo: No, forget that. It's like QCat, remember QCat?
Leo: It's a dumb one. But that one is all about Walmart, and Rite Aid, well not Rite Aid, CVS, and these other companies in the consortium, it was about them getting more personal information, because it had to be associated with other information. Apple Pay they get no information from, Google Wallet they get no information from.
Paul: Windows Phone they get nothing from.
Leo: They get no information.
Paul: They can waive a credit card all day long.
Leo: I have got to say, people don't mind using a credit card still. That day has not yet come where they say that you have to have tap to pay. As fact, I'm looking at this Moto E, and it does not appear to have NFC in it. The low end phones may not.
Paul: Yeah, it's a $150 phone. The poor people have to use cash Leo, or what do they have, stamps?
Leo: Stamps, food stamps.
Paul: Steven Sandhoff, by the way, was the person who mentioned the LoopPay. It's a good one.
Leo: Yeah, but is Samsung doing any Windows Phones?
Paul: Well, see, again, they made this secret deal, so I have no idea. I hate to keep putting everything off until next week, but we will have to see what happened.
Leo: Would it matter if they weren't? They could just be a LoopPay partner.
Paul: It wouldn't matter if they did so far. I think that there are two halves to this. A truly excellent Windows Phone version of the Samsung Galaxy S6...
Leo: Wouldn't that be awesome?
Paul: ...would be incredible.
Leo: HTC did it.
Paul: Yeah, at the same time, though, or close enough. That would be amazing. A Samsung Galaxy S6 that has Microsoft Software all over it. That would be pretty amazing too.
Mary Jo: That's rumored, right?
Paul: Right, we will see.
Leo: That's right, I forgot to ask you about that rumor. What do you think? I like that idea.
Mary Jo: It sounds awesome. It sounds almost plausible.
Leo: It sounds 100% plausible. Here's the story...
Paul: That's why it's fake.
Leo: It was part of the settlement. It was part of the Samsung / Microsoft settlement.
Mary Jo: That would be fun if that were true.
Leo: And nobody is going to say, oh golly, I really remember the Samsung calendar app or the Samsung email app. You will still have all of the Google stuff, they can't take all that off. So you will still have all of the Google stuff, and instead of having the crapware that Samsung lays on their phones you will have Microsoft stuff. That's a great idea. Especially because Knox, the secure store that Samsung uses, is now being approved by more and more government agencies and businesses, that gives them a business platform. Bad news by the way for that other...
Paul: And Microsoft doesn't just make that high profile stuff Office stuff for Android. Some of those garage apps that they have like that lock screen replacement that is kind of cool, that could be a differentiator, that a lot of companies like Samsung and HTC have already been doing on Android.
Leo: It's like Yahoo. Microsoft has to do what Yahoo is doing.
Paul: No. Hold on a second Leo.
Leo: They have to acknowledge the death of their core business and focus on apps. Apps, apps, apps.
Paul: Flush the toilet while they are in the toilet? What do you mean Leo?
Leo: Apps, apps, apps.
Paul: Reach up, and grab the handle, and hold on.
Mary Jo: Microsoft is an apps and services company. Yeah, they are in hardware too, but that is just meant to showcase the apps and services. They have given up I think trying to be a consumer hardware company.
Paul: What do you mean by the Yahoo thing, though?
Mary Jo: Yeah, just like focus on your core knitting.
Leo: What Yahoo has done is just acknowledge that they are a content company, but basically the way you make a content company succeed is that you have got to have an app. So Yahoo is just cranking out more and more, better and better apps. Because if you don't have an app you have no presence in people's lives. Desktop computing is going away.
Paul: Stop it.
Leo: I'm just piling on now. That is just mean. How many apps does Microsoft have on the Apple Apps Store? There are more than 60.
Paul: Dozens and dozens.
Leo: There are lots. So they clearly have got, some of them are games by the way, they have got the strategy.
Paul: Yeah, I'm surprised that there aren't more games frankly.
Leo: I think that they understand the strategy.
Paul: If they put Halo on iPad then people's heads are going to explode.
Leo: They will. You know that they will.
Paul: They absolutely will.
Leo: They have that already, don't they? Isn't there a Bungee?
Paul: No, but those Halo mobile apps.
Leo: The original game that Halo was based on, what was that called? That's on the iPad. You know, it was a Mac game?
Leo: Marathon, that's on the iPad. It's not from Microsoft, it's from Bungee.
Paul: That's an oldie but a goodie. It's like Doom.
Leo: It's fun. I know. Okay, we've just lost Paul Mary Jo.
Paul: I will be back in a minute.
Mary Jo: Let's see, Hadoop on iPad?
Leo: Hadoop, what is the front facing part of Hadoop?
Mary Jo: That's funny that you asked.
Paul: It's Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: Well, me, personally, but a lot of people want to see more tools that make it easier to consumer and use Hadoop. People now use it with a variety of things.
Leo: It's data, it's like a database.
Mary Jo: It's a big data framework kind of thing. You wouldn't put Hadoop on an iPad, but you could use tools to kind of work with the data on the iPad. So yeah.
Leo: It should have an elephant as the logo.
Mary Jo: It should. Hortonworks already owns that. Horton hears...
Leo: Horton hears a Hadoop. Paul, you have still got your Microsoft Band. Did you wear that in Puerto Rico?
Paul: Yep. Actually, you know, if you were to look at a month long chart of my history it would kind of be like when a patient dies and it's kind of flat and then I went to Puerto Rico and we were walking around all day, so suddenly I was up at ten thousand steps every day for five days, so then I went back to my normal average, which is significantly lower.
Leo: That’s the new Groucho Marx line. “Either this man or is dead, or my Microsoft band has stopped” [looks at wrist].
Paul: [laughs] People ask me at basketball, ‘Why do you wear that thing?’ and I say “It tells me how lazy I am.”
Leo and Mary Jo: [laughing]
Paul: except that it really doesn’t tell me that, right? I have to look at it, but it doesn’t ever say, ‘Hey buddy, go get up!’ [laughing] ‘You’ve been sitting here all day. Do something.’
Leo: Here’s the good news: Microsoft has not yet abandoned the band.
Paul: No. By the way, they appear to be very serious about the band.
Mary Jo: Yes, they do.
Paul: And not the band, because it’s really more holistic than band. It’s the band, it’s the device, but it’s also the services that they have, like Microsoft Health. And then it’s a combination of health and services, where the long-term goal was [that] any device can latch into Microsoft Health because it’s an open platform, and Microsoft Band could latch into any service, assuming they’re open to allowing that to happen. And so we’re not there yet, but that’s where they’re heading.
Mary Jo: And again, that’s an example of Microsoft being in hardware, but the hardware is meant to showcase their software and their services.
Leo: So, ultimately Band won’t just be that band. It will be a series of services and apps.
Mary Jo: Yeah. They opened it up to third-party developers. They created an SVK for the Band…
Leo: Do you mean hardware or software developers?
Mary Jo: Software developers.
Leo: But they’re going to continue to make the hardware, or…?
Mary Jo: Well I’ve read… I forget where I read this, but I read that Microsoft actually will license the right to make bands to other companies.
Mary Jo: Like, they will let other vendors make other band devices.
Leo: That’s what Google is doing with Android Wear.
Paul: I think the point of their devices was just to show what is possible when you have this much data collection occurring, right? But most fitness bands are very limited, you know? Steps. Most don’t have GPS. Now we’re starting to see heart rate monitoring but at the time, most didn’t have that. And of course when you have all this stuff, and of course you need to look at it over time for it to be truly useful. And of course you also need it to be more proactive. And they have all these machine learning things going on in Asher than can look at your schedule and be like, ‘Wow, you don’t really move around too much on Mondays. Maybe you should…’
Paul: ‘Or on Tuesdays. Or on Wednesdays, either. In fact, Paul, you don’t work out much at all. Let’s solve your health problems.’
Mary Jo: But, even in that example, what does Microsoft care that you’re using? They care that you’re using their data analysis components…
Mary Jo: Their portal, their machine learning stuff. They don’t really care that much that you’re using their Band. They care that you’re using their service on the front and back end, and their software. That’s what they care, because they’re a software and services company.
Mary Jo: You have to keep repeating this, over and over.
Leo: So they have been updating it. Are the updates significant?
Paul: Well, actually they haven’t…
Paul: So, this week’s update was the first major update. They actually did have a minor content update, previous to some guided workouts, but this is the big one, you know? They added a cycling tile to the band.
Leo: Oh, nice.
Paul: and obviously to the app. This is a new vertical to them. They’re looking at other things like skiing and hiking, and you could kind of imagine where they could expand from there. But I think the biggest part of this is [that] finally there’s a Microsoft Health web app, so you don’t have to access it on a Smart Phone to get your more detailed information. Of course, when you’re on the web, a tablet or a PC you get much more on-screen real estate, and so you can see much more detail and much more information at one time. And that, itself, is much more interesting because on the phone you can kind of a look at a day or a week, but on the website you can look at much wider ranges of time, and that starts to get very interesting.
And again—not for me, mine is very flat—but for most people you would have a lot of useful information. I’m going to try to bring mine up [goes to computer screen].
Leo: Yeah, I think… You know, the real problem is, everybody’s waiting for the other shoe to drop from Apple, and see what Apple could do. And we did see that –and I thought that quite interesting—New York Times, no? Or was it Journal Report? That Apple had hoped for so much more with its watch…
Leo: and couldn’t put everything in it…
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: particularly health-related.
Paul: And by the way, the issues Microsoft has had with the Band I think speak to what they’re seeing, you know? That doesn’t surprise me.
Leo: Yeah, ok. And the SDK is for software. It’s for apps.
Mary Jo: Yeah…---1:04:47
Leo: Would the app have to be on a Windows Phone?
Mary Jo: No.
Leo: It could be on any phone?
Paul: Actually, they have different versions for each platform.
Mary Jo: Yeah. So, so far there’s an SDK for Windows Phone and Android Phone, and they said one for iOS is coming soon.
Leo: Ah, that’s nice. So that’s one advantage the Band has. Unlike the Apple Band or Android Bands, it’s fully cross-platform.
Paul: Yeah. Yep.
Leo: Do you use it with a Windows Phone, Paul?
Paul: I do, but I have all the phones, so you can actually switch back and forth really quickly and easily. And yeah, it works identically for the most part on each. They’re starting to build up some Windows Phone-only features, though, so out in the initial release they had Cortana support, which reminds me of some Dick Tracy watch, but in this update they’ve added a couple things. Actually only one which I think is Windows Phone-specific, but the ability to read text messages and e-mails one word at a time in a very big font on the screen, which is important, because the screen’s tiny. And so you can button through. Every time you hit the button, each word in the message goes by, and you can read that way, and that’s actually not too shabby.
And they also have, but this is crazy, an on-screen keyboard. An actual keyboard. And it uses the word flow technology that’s in the Windows Phone to make that work, because obviously this is a tiny screen, and how could that actually work? But it basically predicts as you type what you might type next, and it makes it more accurate, and so forth.
So you have those kinds of things as options, and a couple of which are Windows Phone-specific.
Leo: I understand why outlook.com killed Google Chat…
Leo: But why Facebook Chat? Is this going to become You’ve Got to Use Skype, Or Go Home?
Paul: Well, actually in this case it’s the same reason. Facebook is dropping support for XMPP, whatever.
Leo: Oh, XM, ok. So Facebook is going to a proprietary system?
Mary Jo: Is that true?
Paul: So I don’t have the document in front of me, but basically it’s buried in some Facebook document where they… My guess is that Microsoft didn’t announce this because Facebook hasn’t come out and said it, but it actually is documented somewhere that they are dropping it--as of April 30 I think it is—or something.
Mary Jo: Oh, ok. Because when I went back and asked Microsoft, ‘I see that you’re dropping Google Support, but what about Facebook?’ And they said, “It’s been deprecated.” And I’m like [puzzled expression]. And then I came back to them and I said, ‘Has it been deprecated?” And they said, ”No.” And then I asked, “So, why are you dropping it?”
Paul: It will be. April 30th is the date.
Mary Jo: So that’s interesting you found that out. That’s good.
Leo: That makes sense. You know, it’s sad. XMPP—God, I had such good hopes for it!
Paul: I guess it just worked too well [laughs].
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Leo: It is a kind of a messaging chat protocol—extended messaging protocol. It was flexible and dynamic. It was open. It was open source. There were lots of implementations. Jabber was the first Google Talk Use It. And then Google dropped it.
Leo: I don’t understand. “Yes” because it’s open? We’re going back to the days of ICQ, not talking to AIM, not talking to MSN. That’s not what people want. We were working on XMPP implementation of textual comment from TWIT that would go along with the visual and audio content. We have our own XMPP server, and all this. Oh well. Oh well.
Mary Jo: Microsoft’s advice is, ‘Just use Skype.’
Leo: You see, that’s the real reason. They just want everybody to move to THEIR messaging.
Mary Jo: It’s definitely a big part of it.
Paul: Skype works great, so no problem there. Well, at least, by the way, Skype is cross-platform. So, at the very least, Skype is available everywhere.
Mary Jo: It is.
Paul: You can, at least, give them that.
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: They did a big deal—Skype did—before they were required by Microsoft with Facebook, to put Skype in Facebook. I wonder if THAT is in jeopardy? This isn’t an anti-Facebook move, is it?
Paul: No. You know how Facebook is, right? They do everything themselves, you know? And they want separate apps for everything. And I bet that them dropping this protocol has something to do with THAT. They don’t want you doing your thing on something else. They want you on Facebook, you know?
Leo: But Microsoft is in bed with Facebook, right? With BING search and Skype?
Paul: Well, it’s not as tight as it used to be, you know?
Leo: Very interesting. Very interesting. Microsoft has its own APIs. I’m just going down the list here at this point. Just stop me if you see anything you like. Microsoft has created APIs for open APS for One Drive. That’s cool. What does that MEAN?
Mary Jo: So that lets third party software developers who want to include integration with One Drive build it right into their apps.
Mary Jo: So it’s good.
Mary Jo: Good. Positive thing.
Paul: I’m sorry to interrupt. Somebody posted the document form Facebook that explains this thing “deprecate.” It’s on the Facebook developers’ page.
Leo: Oh, okay. So Microsoft saw that and said, ‘Well, if we could just kill our entire XMPP implementation and put it all…’
Paul: Well, actually the someone was the Tricaster.
Leo: The Tricaster works up in Seattle. I think we know who he is, but we don’t really know.
Mary Jo: I know who it is! [grins]
Leo: YOU know who it is! I knew somebody knew. Thank you, “The TriCaster.”
Mary Jo: The TriCaster is always there.
Leo: I always thought it was somebody in our studios. It is not [laughs]. Thank you, “The TriCaster”. One Drive APIs—anything?
Mary Jo: That’s it. It’s a good thing. Yaay.
Leo: Going, going, gone. Still no red hat with Linux on Azure, but VM seems to be on its way. Mary Jo Foley!
Mary Jo: How did you know?
Paul: Darren Cohen posted on Twitter the address for the page that says the April 3rd date, so that gives you the whole…
Mary Jo: That’s great, and that’s hilarious that Microsoft came out and said, “Oh, they deprecated it. Oh, no, they didn’t. [Makes an idiotic expression on her face.] We can’t say that.”
Paul: Like your partners, it’s possible Facebook wants to… By the way, next week: Mobile World Congress. Maybe Facebook’s going to make an announcement about something. I’m sure there’s a reason. It was odd how vague that was, you know?
Mary Jo: It was very vague, and they had nothing more to say, which kept it equally vague, so…
Leo: There’s a shark somewhere in here that has the day, so…but they do say very clearly right at the top: DEPRECATED!
Mary Jo: Ah, interesting. Good to know.
Mary Jo: The Red Hat Linux thing…. Right now you still cannot run Red Hat Linux in a virtual machine on Azure because—well actually, I don’t know why “because”—if it’s Microsoft holding that up or Red Hat holding it up, neither side will say who’s holding it up. But CRN last week had a report that was interesting. They said, ‘And you know what? Pretty soon you’re going to be able to run VM Ware on Azure.’ And VM is vehemently denying that this is happening, but there are tricks you can do with migration assistance and some of the image technology that Microsoft bought a year ago to get VM Ware to run on Azure. I don’t think we’ll see any big announcement with VM Ware and Microsoft shaking hands on a stage like they did with Sales Force, but was Satya Nadella there? I never say “never” anymore. Who knows? But that’s that whole story in a nutshell. Boom!
Leo: [Using a sing-song, James Bond theme tune] Never say never. James Bond of Enterprise Services. Office. Handwriting and drawing come to OneNote for iPad. Are we excited?
Mary Jo: Paul’s face is not excited.
Leo: Paul’s face is the artist in the bunch here.
Paul: No, I’m surprised this took so long. Obviously the iPad doesn’t support active digitizer, so you basically have like a dumb stylus and you can use it as a pen.
Leo: Yeah, there’s no pressure sensitivity.
Paul: There’s no pressure sensitivity, so it’s better on Android and Windows. It’s a lot better on Windows, depending on the machine you have.
Leo: That’s Satya Nadella there. That’s his goal.
Paul: Yeah. There are a lot of Windows guys who don’t want to see this happen. I had forgotten that this was on Android. When they announced this I thought, ‘That’s kind of weird that they’re doing this on the iPad first.” And then actually I think on this day back in August, I think—it was a long time ago—yeah, it was in August because I was away. But this is obviously a tablet. It’s more natural to write with a pen if you could do that. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even fill out a check, as I’ve noted in the past. But if you could write with a pen, this is a more natural way to take notes.
Leo: Yeah, One. That’s great with a pen. You know, also it might have something to do with the—I think—credible rumor that Apple is going to do a 12.9 inch iPad with a stylus that will have pressure sensitivity on it.
Leo: That would be a nice Outlook design on Outlook devices.
Leo: I’m sure Microsoft thinks of it that way. Although, again, the Surface Pro 3 is made for Outlook.
Paul: [laughing] Yes it is.
Leo: Yes it is.
Mary Jo: It’s made for pen use, for sure.
Leo: Well, doesn’t it pop? Can’t you make it that Outlook opens when you pull the top off?
Mary Jo: Yes.
Leo: What is the MS Garage? Is that like an R &D lack?
Mary Jo: Well, you know, it used to be in a garage at Microsoft. I think it still is in a garage.
Leo: Well, ok, they had a garage door that opened up!
Paul and Mary Jo: [laughing]
Mary Jo: No, it was like the parking lot garage under a building.
Leo: Oh, it was.
Mary Jo: Yeah, it really was. It was meant to be like a place [where] people could do hacks, hack-a-thons, blah-blah-blah. But, now it has become an incubator at Microsoft as of last October, and they are developing cross-platform apps. So, they’re letting anybody at the company who has an idea for the app come and get some assistance in the Garage and you can watch an app. Many of these are really simple apps. Some of them are pretty cool, though, like the ones they are bringing out this week are a little less “consumer and gaming,” and more “developer and business,” I would say. One of the apps they’re launching this week is a keyboard for Excel, and it’s available on Android devices. It replaces a devices keyboard with one that’s optimized for Excel. So here’s somebody who’s trying to create lists, or enter numbers on an Android device. You would be able to just substitute in this keyboard for Excel.
So they’re doing apps like that. They also had one called Squad Watch, which shows users where people are who they care about, and what they’re doing.
Paul: Do you know what that is?
Mary Jo: I do. It was an app that leaked over the weekend called “People Sense.” And a lot of people thought that was going to be an app that Microsoft made part of Windows 10 for Phones. And there’s no guarantee they will or won’t, but it’s now available for Windows Phone users to download and try out. It’s an experimental app. There are a couple others. There’s one for Visual Studio Online, where developers could look at their projects on their Windows Phones; Joint Conference is like an app for joining conference calls more easily from your Windows Phone. So they’re doing all these kinds of one-op[tion] smaller apps. They’re all free, all available for download from the Garage. But they’re all experiments. So there’s no guarantee that they’re going to be continued, people should realize. They’re all sort of test apps. If there’s a lot of demand, Microsoft will keep going with them and will enhance them, but there’s also the chance Microsoft could pull the plug on them. So, just be aware if you’re trying out some of these apps.
Leo: The Garage!
Paul: And how much do these apps run on Windows Phone?
Mary Jo: Well today--the bunch they launched—many of them ran on Windows Phone. Many of the bunch was almost all iOS and Android.
Paul: So, that’s good, see? They got the message.
Leo: Yeah, we’re making progress.
Mary Jo: We are.
Leo: So, where do you get them? Is it in the App Store, or do they have to go get them somewhere else.
Mary Jo: You can get them in the App Stores, I believe. For Google and iOS you can. And Windows Phone, can you also download it right from The Garage, or do you have to get it in the store?
Paul: I think you’d have to get it from the Store. There’s no way to side-load.
Mary Jo: From the store, yeah. You can go see them in the Garage.
Paul: I haven’t downloaded One on Windows Phone. I should look at those.
Mary Jo: No? I think YOU want Squad Watch.
Paul: [laughing] I do.
Leo: But they don’t call it Squad Watch, because that’s a sassy…
Paul: Squad Watch.
Leo: Oh, they DO call it Squad Watch.
Paul: Squad Watch is also a sort of logical successor to that Rooms Feature they just got rid of last week.
Mary Jo: Do you really think--? I don’t think those two are really the same kind of thing.
Paul: No, they’re not completely the same. But in other words, one of the features of Rooms—one of the points of this, was that you could see where everyone was. And you obviously did all this other stuff..
Mary Jo: Yeah.
Paul: You know, group calendars and photo albums and stuff like that. But I always sort of liked—in theory, the idea was like you’re heading out to Disney Land and little Bobby’s heading in that direction [points one way] and little Susie’s going over there [points the other direction], and everyone has a Windows Phone because it’s 1950s America…
Leo and Mary Jo: [laughing]
Paul: And you know, we keep track of each other. It’s kind of a neat idea.
Mary Jo: You want to watch your squad.
Paul: Right. Deploy. Right.
Leo: [army commander-like voice] My squad, my squad!
Leo: Xbox news, and then we’ll let Mary Jo take it to another level. What is the Xbox news? I de-applied the updates. Paul, tell me here. I’ve been meaning to ask you this. Mary Jo, go make some beer or something. I don’t know.
Mary Jo: Okay. I’ll be back. Ta-ta!
Leo: Ta-ta! I have Auto Update turned on. Why is it that every time I try to watch TV I’ve got to update my Xbox for half an hour for it? Do you have that same problem?
Paul: You’re on the preview.
Leo: Oh! If I turn off the preview it will do it automatically.
Paul: That’s why. You’re on the preview.
Leo: So the preview you have to manually…
Paul: And you’re not turning it off? You’re letting it go to “sleep”?
Leo: I never turn it off.
Paul: Yeah, because you should just be getting those.
Leo: Who would think…? But I am on the preview. Maybe that’s why, because…
Paul: There are way more updates on the preview. Many times…
Leo: Oh, God! They’re endless. But, I wish it would just install them. But if you’re on the Preview, maybe they want you to know that you’re getting the updates?
Paul: Yeah, exactly. It could be. That makes sense.
Leo: Maybe I’ll just unjoin the Preview.
Paul: I’m off the Preview. And now by design, I’m not.
Leo: Because you’re a journalist.
Paul: [laughing] They figured out I was there, so…
Leo: ‘Oh, that’s Thurrott!’
Paul: ‘Thurrott’s going around in the corner!’
Leo: So you never have to click the button. Although, that’s another thing. Invariably it says, ‘We have an update for you…’
Paul: Oh, yeah. I haven’t manually installed an update on Xbox One since December or something…
Leo: And then, this is another one. Every time it says, ‘Update failed. Try again.’ I’ve had to do it twice. Every time the update fails, and then the second time it goes through.
Paul: Yeah. I bet it’s because you’re on the Preview.
Leo: I’m getting off of that. I don’t like that.
Paul: Well, obviously every month they release new updates, so…almost every month. System update. Functionality. But they also do some of the updates early for the Preview guys, you know? And this month’s update adds screen shot-taking capabilities, which is awesome. Between this and the ability to record video--I actually use an HGMI recorder to do all this stuff and it’s… The ability to do all of this directly from within the game is kind of cool. And of course you can do all of this with Voice if you have Connect, and so that’s kind of neat. There’s this Suggested Friends feature that they’ve been adding across the various clients. It’s on the web now. It’s on some of the mobile clients, and now it’s coming to the Xbox One Dashboard. And the friends they suggest are like what they call Xbox VIPs—you know, famous people—people who work for Microsoft…
Paul: and people through connections they figure you may actually know. And then just some little things. Tile Transparency Customization.
Leo: That will be March, right? We don’t get that yet.
Paul: Yeah. The Preview guys can get it now, but sometime in March everyone will get it.
Leo: I’m going to get off the Preview, because I don’t know what’s Preview and what’s not. I get a lot of updates—like two or three a month.
Paul: Yeah. Right.
Leo: I just have got to get off of that. Google Play Music has… (I didn’t know this—I’m getting my Google News from you now, Paul) pumped the number of songs they store. That’s awesome.
Paul: I pay attention to the digital music stuff very closely. Obviously on Windows, Google Play Music isn’t a great solution. It’s only available on the web, and if you’re on Phone it’s basically not available.
Paul: But, what I see from some of Microsoft’s competitors is features that should be in Xbox Music that aren’t and this is a good example of that. So for example, to get your music into Xbox, you would have to pay for Xbox Music Pass, which is like 99 bucks a year, but then you still can’t just load stuff into a digital locker. Although supposedly that feature is coming. The ability to put fifty-thousand songs up into the Cloud for free means that people have their own music collections, and iTunes, or MP3s that they might have ripped from CDs, or whatever. They can basically put all of their music in Google…
Leo: That’s exactly what I do.
Paul: for free.
Leo: And then if you have an all-access subscription you get everything, plus your own music, plus your own music…
Paul: Plus the screen. They have their own Spotify, Xbox Music Style, streaming services as well. And so between those two things you’re basically talking…
Leo: It’s my favorite service. I’m sorry to admit it, but it’s true.
Paul: No. Actually, honestly I like it quite a bit. I go back and forth between the different services. I use Google Play music a lot. I use Xbox music on my own Windows devices. I use Spotify. I’m not on Beats Music at the moment, but I’ve used Beats Music a lot, as well, and I expect Apple to do great things here. Google Play is a good one. It’s just—the story of Windows isn’t so great. On Windows Phone it’s nonexistent. So, if you’re a Windows Phone user (and apparently no one is)…
Paul: this is a non-starter. But, the web client is actually pretty great. They have a nice web music manager and application you can use to automate uploading of all your music and drag and drop to the web client if you have Chrome. It’s nice.
Leo: It’s great. All my Fifty Cent stuff is here.
Paul: Yeah. That’s quite a collection there.
Leo: When I have an urge to listen to In Da Club…
Leo: I can listen right away. But if you don’t’ have every Fifty Cent album (and who doesn’t?), but if you’re one of those weirdos that doesn’t, then you can also have access to them, because you can pay the ten bucks a month.
Paul: I lose track of this on a service-by-service basis, but I think one of the things I don’t like about the subscription service on Google is you have to pay month-to-month, which is increasingly common. And the only reason that’s a problem is because you can’t save money on it…
Leo: Yeah. Right.
Paul: And so with an Xbox Music Pass, you get like a year for less.
Leo: Yeah. That’s great.
Paul: You know? And sometimes it goes on sale, too.
Leo: Well, they’re all roughly ten bucks a month, though, right?
Leo: The one to watch is Apple when it finally releases Beats’ latest…(--)?
Paul: I know. And I feel like they’re finally going to nail it. They’re going to release some seven-dollar a month thing and it’s going to be awesome.
Leo: And they’ll have exclusives, which is the real deal… The only way to differentiate at this point is to have stuff that no one else has.
Paul: Well, if you love music, Apple does a good job of replicating the kind of album experience. They have those extras and things…
Paul: That stuff’s pretty good.
Leo: It will be interesting to see what happens.
Leo: The other thing, though, is—Apple has screwed… Oh, by the way, we’ve lost Mary Jo.
Paul: Mary Jo’s gone. Believe me.
Leo: She hung up [laughs].
Paul: Yep. Message Received.
Leo: [jokingly] Ok, we’re done now talking about Xbox, Mary Jo. You can come back. Come back, Mary Jo! Come back!
Paul: So I do know—by the way, I don’t know if she mentioned this to you yet—but I do know that Mary Jo needs sleep early today.
Leo: I think maybe she did.
Paul: I hope that’s not what that was. I assume that was a mistake.
Leo: Well, I’m going to do an ad. If Mary Jo’s not back, you’ll have to do the Beer Pick. That’s all there is, Mr. Thurrott.
Paul: All right, I could do that.
Leo: Yeah, she didn’t mention that to me. I wish she had, because I would not have taken such a leisurely approach.
Paul: I don’t think that’s why she was gone, but we were talking about her maybe doing her picks before me just so she could…
Leo: Well, let’s do Legal Zoom, and if she’s back we’ll get her in.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by <legalzoom.com>. Not a law firm, but it does get a lot of legal work done at a lot lower cost. They can give you the kind of self-help that you probably need for probably many of the legal things that you want to do. When it was time for me to start TWIT ten years ago, <legalzoom.com> was there. They helped me set up an LLC for VERY little money—very less than a lawyer would have cost. It was easy. We’re still running, by the way, under the operating agreement provided then—ten years ago. S Corp and C Corp, you bet you can incorporate there. You can trademark and get a last will and testament. Legal Zoom is a way of organizing your life, and not just your business. Your family life, too. Do you have a will? You really need one. If you don’t have a will yet, get going. It’s very affordable at Legal Zoom. And I’ll tell you in a second how you can save even more. A living trust, advance directive. You know, thirty-nine bucks to do an advance directive! If you haven’t named someone to carry out your health care wishes to choose whether you want to be resuscitated or not—these kinds of things—this will walk you through it. It’s not going to tell you what to do. That’s the whole point of Legal Zoom. You can do it yourself, at your direction. Now, if you decide you want some legal advice, Legal Zoom can help you there, too. They have pre-negotiated flat rates with attorneys in almost every state. So you can connect with an independent attorney, get the advice. You can read their profiles, first and unedited review. So you pick the right one. It’s very affordable. Legal Zoom is a great service. It’s really—I think—changing the world, because it empowers you to protect your family and to protect your business, to take control of your financial affairs. I want you to try it. For more than ten years Legal Zoom has helped millions of people like me, and I hope that you get the personalized attention that you need. Don’t wait any longer. Go to <legalzoom.com>. Now, here’s the deal: If you use the offer code WW you take ten bucks off at checkout. WW is your offer code. For legal help you can count on for your family or your business, go to Legal Zoom today and remember to use WW to get ten dollars off your order, to thank Legal Zoom for their support of Windows Weekly!
Leo: Paul, she has not returned.
Paul: That is not good.
Paul: Let’s see if I can’t find her. She’s offline! Let’s send her a text message.
Leo: Well, we’ve been trying to call her. It’s weird. There’s some sort of weird…
Paul: Maybe she lost her connection.
Leo: There she is!
Mary Jo: I don’t know WHAT just happened.
Paul: Oh, she’s back!
Leo: Welcome back!
Mary Jo: My whole machine crashed, and then I lost cable service.
Leo: Oh, God!
Mary Jo: I know. All at once, and now…
Paul: [Breaking in] Listen. I know there were two Xbox stories, but…
Mary Jo: [laughing]
Leo: You know, let me ask a question. You don’t see a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man walking by your window, right?
Mary Jo: [laughing] I do not.
Leo: Okay. Well, here’s what we’re going to do, because I hear you have to get out.
Mary Jo: I do.
Leo: Let’s do your Enterprise Pick of the Week before Paul gets his. What do you think—ladies first? I think we should do this from now on.
Mary Jo: Awww, nice. Do you want me to do all three picks?
Leo: Do it all now and then you can say goodbye.
Mary Jo: Well, I should tell you why I have to go. I’m going to be gone for three weeks, Leo.
Leo: Um, now I know why you didn’t tell me. Were you afraid I’d yell at you?
Mary Jo: No. I knew Paul could carry on without me.
Leo: Where are you going?
Mary Jo: I’m going next week on vacation, and I’m going to Vietnam in Cambodia.
Leo: Wow, oh I’ve always wanted to do that. That sounds wonderful! How dare you, Mary Jo! How dare you!
Mary Jo: So it’s weird. Because of the way the scheduling is, I’m missing all Wednesdays in a row, so sorry.
Leo: Oh, that’s fine. So your plane leaves like right now—like soon?
Mary Jo: No, no. So I have to go get my shots now.
Leo: Oh, like a dog!
Leo: I have a rule [of] never go to a country where you have to get inoculated first.
Mary Jo: Yeah, that’s not a fun part of the whole event.
Leo: What are you getting shots for?
Mary Jo: Oh man, I have to get a bunch. I have to get Tetanus and I think I have to get Typhoid and..
Leo: Have you been not keeping things up-to-date?
Mary Jo: But you know, you don’t get typhoid shots here, right?
Paul: Yes, when you first told me you were getting your shots I thought what you were saying is you were getting shorts. And I thought that makes sense. It’s going to be warm there.
Mary Jo: Shorts? [laughs] No, I have to get shots. Shots. And I think I have to get Hepatitis-A. I have to get a couple.
Leo: Oh, dear.
Mary Jo: Yeah. It will be fun. Eh. So, I’m going to be gone, but I’ll be here in spirit.
Leo: All right. Well, we’ll miss you but we’ll soldier on, maybe get a couple of co-hosts and stuff to…
Leo: Okay, well what is Enterprise Pick?
Mary Jo: Okay, Enterprise Pick. Enterprise Pick for this week is actually more of a developer pick. It’s the newest CTP, which is the Tech Preview build of Visual Studio 2015, and it’s called CTP 6. It came out this week, and the reason I made it my Pick is [because] there’s some hidden things in there that people who haven’t really cared about keep coming up with these CTPs might want to know about. There have been a lot of calls to edit and continue calls to Visual Studio, and these are in this particular build.
And there also are UI de-bugging tools for Zammo developers. Right now it’s for WPF, Windows Presentation Foundation, only. But they say it’s going to be coming soon, I guess, for Windows Store Apps, as well. So other times I might say, ‘You can skip some CTPs if you’re not really somebody who needs to keep up with every little developer update sort of stuff,’ but this one seems like there’s some pretty major things in it. So you may want to go find the download and check out Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6.
Leo: Excellent advice. Excellent advice. And, your Code Name Pick of the Week.
Mary Jo: Yeah, this is a very mysterious code name. And I’m curious if any listeners know more about it. The code name is Project Blush. The way I found out about this is—he’s known as “The Walking Cat”—on Twitter. He also goes by “Felix,” so I call him Felix the Cat. And he is always uncovering cool code names in research papers. And he found a site on Microsoft Research that’s for Project Blush. And what it says is that it’s a project about Microsoft doing work on digital jewelry. So, you know, in the wearable space?
Leo: Oh, I like that!
Mary Jo: Yeah, so that’s kind of interesting. There’s no details on that page about who is on the project, or how far along they are, or what’s part of the project. But if you go to the Microsoft website you can see—there’s a placeholder page for something called Project Blush. So, we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for that.
Leo: Digital jewelry?
Mary Jo: Yep.
Mary Jo: It goes along with the whole Fitness Band and wearables and the HoloLens probably, because all are considered “wearables.”
Mary Jo: So they were doing even more work in wearables, it seems.
Leo: I want cosmetics with nanoparticles.
Mary Jo: [laughing] Yes!
Paul: It’s so obvious!
Leo: And now normally we save the beer for last, but let’s do it now. What the heck.
Mary Jo: Mmm.
Leo: Black Rye?
Mary Jo: Black Rye. Founders, one of my favorite breweries in Michigan, they do a lot of awesome beers. But everyone has been doing these trendy black IPAs [pale ales], which actually taste just like an IPA, except it’s black in color. They brought back this beer that they brewed in 2006, I think, called Founders Black Rye. And it’s not an IPA, but it’s an interestingly hoppy rye beer.
Mary Jo: I had some this week. It was very good. It looks like a black IPA, kind of even smells like one, but it has rye. That kind of adds spiciness to it. So it’s a really nice classic revisited from Founders. And if you can find it, it’s worth a try.
Leo: Is it like a stout? It’s so dark!
Mary Jo: No. If you had your eyes closed you might think it would be a rye IPA or even a black IPA. You might think that, but it does not taste like a porter or a stout. It tastes way hoppy-er and has kind of that pine-y, resin-y stuff going on.
Leo: Interesting. Mary Jo, go get your shots! All right!
Leo: We will miss you for a month, practically.
Mary Jo: Yeah. Three Weeks, but I’ll be back.
Leo: You’re going to be back?
Mary Jo: Yes, you guys will have to do Hadoop Picks without me.
Paul: I expect photos on Facebook…
Mary Jo: Yes.
Paul: to follow you, see all that stuff.
Mary Jo: You know, I was thinking I might do some sways, actually, in Posin.
Paul: When’s your flight?
Mary Jo: I leave, actually, on Tuesday next week. So it’s a sixteen-hour direct flight.
Leo: From here to Hanoi?
Mary Jo: From here to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to Hanoi.
Paul: That’s actually not terrible to get to Asia.
Leo: Define “not terrible”.
Paul: I mean, from the east coast to Asia, that’s not terrible.
Mary Jo: It’s good to get a direct flight, right?
Leo: Yeah. It will be a looong journey.
Mary Jo: I’ll miss all of the Xbox Picks, especially.
Paul: Listen, I’ll record a Greatest Hits version.
Leo: Yeah, we could send them to you. It wouldn’t be too much trouble.
Mary Jo: Thanks.
Paul: You could listen to them when you walk around.
Mary Jo: [laughing] Excellent!
Leo: I’m actually more worried about you coming back and saying, “What is Microsoft? What’s Hadoop?”
Paul: Yeah, exactly.
Mary Jo: I know. I’ll be truly unplugged there, so…
Leo: I could see you moving there and opening a Pho stand, or something. Or as they say, “Fuh.”
Mary Jo: Fuh, right. Fuh.
Leo: Fuh. She already knows. She’s prepared. It’s fuh.
Mary Jo: And it’s really cool. One of the weekly listeners has a brother who lives in Ho Chi Minh City, who just opened a craft brewery there…
Mary Jo: and so we’re going to tour it while we’re there.
Leo: It’s great—wherever you go there’s a beer.
Mary Jo: There’s always beer.
Leo: There’s always beer. Right. Thank you, Mary Jo. Have a great trip. We’ll miss you.
Mary Jo: Thanks.
Leo: Paul, it’s just the boys now. You and me.
Leo and Paul: [laughing]
Leo: You’ve been trying to get rid of her for years!
Paul: Yeah. She’s so nice.
Leo: Too nice! So, do you have a tip for this week?
Paul: I do. I have two tips.
Paul: A couple of weeks ago I did a tip about getting a hundred gigabytes free of One Drive storage, courtesy of Bing Rewards, but that was US-only. Now they’re offering this to everyone in the world. And you have to move quick. And I believe this ends at the end of the month. There’s only—what—three days left in the month now? But, basically, no matter where you are you can get this free storage. And I think people seem to do it at [searching online]…. Well, I have a link on my…
Leo: I can pull it up for you. Is it on OneNote?
Paul: It is kind of a long [one]. It’s <bing.com/explore/rewards-onedrive>. Sorry. If you can’t hear that, okay. I have a story about this one.
Leo: No. Go to <thurrott.com>. Paul, you’ve got to learn to plug your own site.
Paul: Yep. Yep. I do. It’s true.
Leo: [Superhero-like announcer voice] I have it all at <thurrott.com>!
Paul: I do. It’s true. The other tip is same deal for students worldwide. At some point last year Microsoft opened up Office 365 for education, for free to students. Sorry—educational institutions need to sign up for this. But this is now worldwide as well, and I have a story where you can just basically click on a link if you’re a teacher or a student. It knows you’re in the system. You can go to get Office 365. It’s basically Office 365 Home. I think it’s called Office 365 for Education, but it’s like a home version. You get <consumeroutlook.com>. You get <consumeronedrive.com> with infinity storage. And you get Office 365 ProPlus, basically, minus the access—I think—is missing from it. But it’s the full-blown Office Suite 3. PCs, Macs, any number of tablets and phones and all that kind of stuff.
So if you are a student or a teacher. I have an article on <thurrott.com> . You can go click on that and find out if you’re eligible. And you would know. I mean, your school would probably be advertising this fact, but that’s where you can go get that. And then kind of tied to the Start 10 thing from Stardock.
Leo: What were the Windows time frames?
Paul: Stardock came out with a bunch of utilities, which I have always recommended, and which I use, myself—modern 8 and star date among them, that made Windows 8 look and work more like Windows 7.
But there are other alternatives to these things. And one of the famous ones is called Classic Shell. And Classic Shell has evolved over the years. I hadn’t actually looked at in a while. It does a bunch of different things. If you want it, you can actually choose which components to install or use. It will change your Explorer to have some classic Explorer toolbar type things, which I don’t like. I usually turn that off. But it does some things with IE, as well. You could have kind of a classic look for IE. But one of the things it supplies is basically the Windows 7 Start Menu, and it’s completely free, and it works with Windows 10.
And so you can do this today. If you’re running Windows 10 Technical Preview… I don’t know if I’d solely recommend , but if you find that you don’t like the tiles, you want the layout from Windows 7. And you want it literally to be identical to Windows 7? Classic Shell does that. It does it for free. And so it’s something to look at it. I’m testing it now. I think it might be a little too early now to do a comparison between these things, because obviously Windows 10 could change, too, and these things will evolve as Windows 10 does. But for right now I would say about this utility is that it’s free and it looks exactly alike. Exactly alike in setup.
Leo: Isn’t it funny that we’re patching the Technical Preview?
Paul: I know. [laughing] It sort of subverts the reason we’re testing windows, right? But you could use this on Windows 8.1. You don’t have to run it on Windows…
Leo: Oh, it’s the same classic shell.
Paul: Yeah. And actually, one of the things I like about it is [that] it actually gives you a link to the other Start experience. So in other words, if you’re using the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you can click on that and you’ll get the new Start menu pop up. And if you’re running Windows 8.1, you’ll get the Start screen. And so it doesn’t’ just replace it. You can also go and access those tools, as well.
Paul: So it’s something to look at. It’s free.
Leo: Paul, I think we’ve finished today, in fine gentlemanly style.
Paul: [laughs] As we are wont to do.
Leo: As were are wont to do. We’ll be back next week—maybe with a guest, maybe not. We’ll see what happens. We did this show together on our own for many years.
Paul: I vaguely remember that.
Leo and Paul: [laughing]
Leo: That’s how we muddle through.
Paul: Much of my adult life has been spent here.
Leo: It feels like it, doesn’t it—after a while? T-H-U-R-R-O-T-T.com. That’s where you’ll find Paul’s blog. It’s new. It’s awesome. We are going to do this, though. [A hand from off-screen presents Leo with a headshot of Joe Belfiore of Microsoft, with Mary Jo’s head covering Joe’s head] because we’ve taken the Joe Belfiore picture that used to be part of the show, and we’ve…
Paul: [laughing] Nice!
Leo: We’ll just put Mary Jo here. Oops, she fell right over!
Paul: Yep. We must have been talking about Xbox. Every time we talk about Xbox you can just slap it down on its face if it falls over.
Leo: [laughing] Alex works fast. Joe B., a.k.a. Mary Jo B. That’s good. I like it. We’ll be back here next Wednesday, 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM—no 1 pm, no 2 PM--Eastern Time. Why do I not know this? I’ve only been doing it for years. The time of the show does not change. Some shows will change because we’re spreading them out a little bit. Just as your ass has spread over the years, our shows… [makes an expanding movement with both hands].
Paul: That’s what my band says, actually.
Leo: [laughing] Like the cosmos spreading across…
Paul: Yeah, it’s great.
Leo: to fill the landscape. But we will be back 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern Time, 1900 UTC. <Live.twit.tv>. Or watch after the fact on demand, available <twit.tv/ww>. <Youtube.com/windowsweekly>. And of course the Xbox Music Store. Wherever you get your podcasts. The podcast apps on Windows Phone. We even have TWIT apps on Windows Phone, along with iOS, Android and Rucker. So just find an app, download it. Make sure you don’t miss an episode.
Paul: Very promiscuous, you know?
Leo: Yeah, we will play with anybody. Anybody. Paul, see you next week!
Paul: Thank you, sir.