Windows Weekly Episode 756 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for Windows Weekly. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley are here. It's the last live show of 2021. We will take a look back at Microsoft's year and then a look ahead at what to expect in 2022, it's gonna be a great show. Yes. The back of the book is back. It's all coming up next on Windows Weekly.

New Speaker (00:00:21):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Leo Laporte (00:00:32):
This is Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley episode 756 recorded Wednesday, December 22nd, 21. The Amish Comic. Windows Weekly is brought to you by Userway ensures your website is accessible, ADA compliant and helps your business avoid accessibility related lawsuits. The perfect way to showcase your brand's commitment to millions of people with disabilities. It's not only the right thing to do. It's also the law go to for 30% off user way's AI powered accessibility solution. And by AT&T active armor cooking between meetings, helping with homework, walking the dog work from home is distracting already. And when you finally get down down to work and focus, the phone rings, and it's a fraud call. Don't let fraud calls disrupt your flow AT&T makes your security a top priority. Helping block fraud calls with AT&T active armor.

Leo Laporte (00:01:36):
It's not complicated AT&T active armor. 24 / 7 proactive network security fraud call blocking and spam notifications to help stop threats at no extra charge compatible devices, service required. Visit for details. It's time for Windows Weekly. Hey, the last show of 2021, but good news 2022 is just around the corner. <Laugh>.

Paul Thurrott (00:02:06):
Careful which way you turn your fingers. I just watched that Winston Churchhill.

Leo Laporte (00:02:09):
Oh yeah, that was not a great, that's a great movie. The Darkest Hour. What a great movie that is. I love that. Hello, Paul Thurrott Good to see you.

Paul Thurrott (00:02:19):
Hello Leo Laporte from

Leo Laporte (00:02:22):
<Laugh> actually that works. That works. Also Mary Jo Foley on her mom's porch.

Mary Jo Foley (00:02:29):
Uh I know so great.

Leo Laporte (00:02:31):
Allaboutmicrosoft.Com. The beauty of this is she can work anywhere. That's nice.

Paul Thurrott (00:02:35):
Is that a Taylor Swift song, isn't it. Your mom's porch isn't it? <Laugh>.

Mary Jo Foley (00:02:39):
I'm wearing my cardigain? Does that count?

Leo Laporte (00:02:41):
I know it looks very fast, so you're going, you're gonna spend the holidays at mom's. That's nice.

Mary Jo Foley (00:02:47):
Yeah. At my mom's and then down in my sisters, in Rhode Island, I'm just gonna be like avoiding the Omicron left and right as I'm move along.

Leo Laporte (00:02:54):
If you can, yeah, at least you're not in the Manhattan 

Paul Thurrott (00:02:59):
Kudos on the lower third, by the way, nicely done <laugh>.

Mary Jo Foley (00:03:02):
Mom's House. Nice.

Leo Laporte (00:03:05):
She said she wanted it to indicate her new location. Yes. CES, it looks like it's gonna be kind of,

Mary Jo Foley (00:03:14):
That shouldn't even happen. How is that even happening?

Paul Thurrott (00:03:16):
I can't believe, I can't believe there're gonna have it in anyway, but I, with everyone pulling out the way they are. How on earth would you pull go forward with this thing?

Leo Laporte (00:03:24):
I don't know C net's not going the verges going verge. Isn't going, Mo's not going Casey mag. Nope. Microsoft not going a Aw, Amazon not going. Nobody's going.

Paul Thurrott (00:03:39):
I mean to my, as of today, I believe HP and Lenovo and those guys are still going. Although they, they have those kind of off strip kind of locations or off, you know, show locations.

Leo Laporte (00:03:49):
You know, they really should have a suite in the parking lot that this keeps yeah. Like

Paul Thurrott (00:03:55):
Exactly. Yeah, yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:03:58):
Golly. Gosh, crazy. Well, yeah, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that this had to happen, but yeah. You know, I didn't, I didn't go to my exercise class this morning, you know, and my in small way. Well, I, I feel, you know, we had an outbreak of Omicron down the road, a piece actually where my daughter lives a restaurant right next door had a little party. 40 people came down with COVID, even though they were all shot boosted, boostered.

Paul Thurrott (00:04:28):
Well and now hopefully this will be like a lesser case for these people, right? Yeah. If

Leo Laporte (00:04:31):
You're shot, if you're booster, even if you get it. And the problem is the breakthrough, the chance of breakthroughs, much higher than it used to be. And this is much more contain what'd you say, well,

Paul Thurrott (00:04:42):
This is another way to be the the pandemic, right? The first way is just get vaccinated. But since that's not working out, the second way is everyone gets COVID and then they build up a yeah. Resistance to it. So I guess that's another way to do it,

Leo Laporte (00:04:54):
But it's a high price for that. But there is, you know, most, most of us will survive.

Paul Thurrott (00:05:00):
The good news is freeway's gonna open right up.

Leo Laporte (00:05:02):
Oh man. You know, <laugh> I had a caller on The Tech Guy on Sunday said, I'm going to Thailand to go surfing. He said, it's great. The reefs have recovered. The beaches are beautiful. I almost said, oh, good. Let's all go back and spoil it. Now.

Paul Thurrott (00:05:18):
Lee. Exactly. <laugh> exactly. Maybe shouldn't have mentioned that to anyone else, but yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:05:24):
Yeah, yeah. It's a secret. So anyway, we're here by the way. Well done with Chris last week, Chris Capossela,

Paul Thurrott (00:05:31):
The amazing love for Chris. He's always a great guy. Yeah. I'm sorry. I hung up on you guys last week. I was just getting mad. I can't remember why, but now my internet just oof.

Leo Laporte (00:05:39):
Yeah. Lost it. Actually. We end the show without you. I think we did. Cuz we couldn't get back. Yeah.

Paul Thurrott (00:05:46):
I can't believe you didn't wait for me, but that's okay. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:05:50):
Paul. No it's okay. Did you find out what happened?

Paul Thurrott (00:05:54):
Yeah. What happened is I have a bulky Google wifi router. I probably need to replace.

Leo Laporte (00:05:59):
Um yeah. I never was a fan of those Mary Jo. You're listing a little bit to the left. Is there anything we can help you with?

Paul Thurrott (00:06:05):
This is global warming has brought water.

Leo Laporte (00:06:08):
<Laugh> what's going on over there. Can you hear me? She's lost us. She's she's she's giving the internet signal for, I can't hear you. Okay. So we're gonna pause mm-hmm <affirmative> for station identification all up and down the windows weekly broadcast network. <Laugh> and you, you hear me now?

Mary Jo Foley (00:06:31):
I can. I just switched my ports around. Cause I'm like, maybe this will make it better. I think it did.

Leo Laporte (00:06:37):
Was it bad?

Mary Jo Foley (00:06:38):
I could hear like weird interference sounds. Oh, okay. Like sounds from a spaceship. You know, when you hear that spaceship sound in your head, you know that sound

Paul Thurrott (00:06:48):
Paul, you were injected as a child. She's got

Leo Laporte (00:06:50):
Think she's peanut butter whiskey. I don't want say,

Paul Thurrott (00:06:55):
Did you live in New Mexico?

Mary Jo Foley (00:06:56):
I got up early today guys. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:06:59):
Oh, you see? Oh, you flew out today. I did. Oh Lord Lordy Lordy. Well, yeah, that's incredible. My goodness. You're a brave soul. And for dumb, for both aunt Pruitt said I'm going to CES. We said, no, you're not <laugh> no, no, you're not. I know people love it, but don't go. It's worth it. Just not worth it. No. Yeah. Mm-Hmm yeah. Well, yeah, I'll be curious to see, I mean, it's, it's what, January 5th. So it's about two, two weeks away. Mm-Hmm I bet you other companies are gonna announce their, they they're pulling out. Oh yeah,

Mary Jo Foley (00:07:34):
Yeah. I guess so as well. Yeah. Yeah. <laugh> yeah.

Paul Thurrott (00:07:37):
Maybe it'll be more mad, manageable. <Laugh> we can say

Mary Jo Foley (00:07:40):
Yeah. Fewer people. So you can get around on the floor.

Leo Laporte (00:07:44):
Yeah. Cab lines are shorter. Right. And, and it's great. Cuz as attendees die off during the conference. Oh man. They'll even get better. So yeah, I know it started

Paul Thurrott (00:07:55):
Out busy, but then it started quiet

Leo Laporte (00:07:57):
At the beginning of a movie. It's very quiet, really quiet. Very, very quiet. All right. Let's we, this is windows weekly. So this is what we have to have to talk about. Yeah, yeah. The top, I think this is fun. You like to do this. I love to do this. Yeah. Look, we do it all in one show next week, by the way is the best of, so we'll have moments from the year gone by, but this year we're gonna, Paul Paul and Mary Jo will look at the, you know, Microsoft in 2021 and then maybe a little look ahead. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> as well. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> it was certainly, you know, the things that come to mind and I'm sorry to say this for Microsoft in 2021 are not necessarily the best things <laugh>.

Paul Thurrott (00:08:38):
Well, there was that off visual refresh. That was nice. 

Leo Laporte (00:08:42):
There was print nightmare. There was virus thing. There were, there were some bunch of security issues. Yeah, yeah. Bunch of patches. Bunch of zero days. So, and then there was windows 11, so right. And

Paul Thurrott (00:08:55):
Generally speaking, I wait until the week between Christmas and new years to do my kind of end year wrap up stuff and I'll have our tech guy kind of look and tell me what all the engagement stuff tells us is the most popular articles and so forth. But windows elevens, you know, from my perspective, right at the top, you know, we're at the top of my head and Mary Jo did this part of the, it did the notes basically. And I'm glad you put that first because for me, windows 11 was the singular event of the year. It was came outta nowhere. Yeah. For me anyway. And I have to tell you, I, I listened to the run as radio episode that you did with Richard Campbell. I have a couple of quibbles. I liked no, just kidding. <Laugh> <laugh> no, it was nice.

Paul Thurrott (00:09:34):
Yeah, but you did, you did an episode with him around the timing of, I think when it came out or whatever, you guys were talking about that, and you know, I agree with everything that you both said about it. I mean, it, it came out of the gate kind Wof quick <laugh>, you know, and incomplete and mm-hmm <affirmative> I think one of the big questions and maybe this is something for the next half of the show, but is how they fix that them. Yeah. In the coming year. And we talked to, you know, Chris Capel a little bit about that. He didn't give us any mm-hmm <affirmative> specifics on that. Of course. But the indication is that Microsoft has at least heard the feedback <laugh> and yeah, well hopefully, you know, we'll see how it goes, but the, the one thing I, I, that he said that really mirrored something I had written in my review, which I really liked, you know, cuz obviously I would like that is that, you know windows 11 is is not gonna heart hurt people, you know, it's it's like some normal people it's gonna be fine.

Paul Thurrott (00:10:28):
It's pretier, you know, it's, it's, it's more modern and so forth. My, I told you marry Jo off line recently, my brother-in-law asked me, but he got two computers. I think you said someone in your family has gotten this upgrade request. Should I do it? And it's like, yeah, you're fine. Yes, yes. But I think the, the, the people that are most blown away by it are, are power users, right. Because mm-hmm <affirmative>, we all have these specific workflows that we're so used to doing. And a lot of that stuff is gone <laugh>, you know, as part of the simplification of windows 11. So I, it, you know, it's the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few kind of situation. I mm-hmm <affirmative> I think they'll probably bring some stuff back. I don't think we're ever gonna get right back to windows 10 where that was at, but I think that's okay. Like at least at least power users can handle that kind of

Mary Jo Foley (00:11:10):
Right. I was trying to think back to like June when we were getting briefed about windows 11 and what yeah. Kind of exciting and fresh. And I, and you know, you're trying to think of what am I gonna write about this? Right. The first thing for me, like the top thing that came out was you're only gonna have to do one feature update a year, like, oh, forget about the operating system itself. Like that was the big thing, right? Like, oh, they finally figured that out that people didn't wanna do it's a year. Right. I didn't think enough all

Paul Thurrott (00:11:40):
This then too, which was a nice appoint right later on, which is

Mary Jo Foley (00:11:42):
Yeah. Yeah. But also the other thing which isn't gonna be until next year now is the window subsystem for Android. Right. And that seemed really exciting at the time because we didn't know a lot about it and it's like, oh, you can run any Android app on windows. Not exactly right. And that's not how it works, but I, I still think that was a big deal. The OS itself, like the look and feel and the changes, the new store. I was like, yeah, they're all nice. I felt like they were really incremental. And nothing like a big bang type thing. The change in the, obviously the change in the hardware requirements, which they kind of hid from us when they were briefing us. Kinda, and honestly, on the day of <laugh>

Paul Thurrott (00:12:22):
Yes. Yeah. That was handled really badly poorly. I, and not, not surprisingly the communications around all this stuff was, was terrible.

Mary Jo Foley (00:12:31):
It was. Yeah. they, they kind of kind of backtracking, they, when we asked about the Harbor wear requirements, they said, you know, any modern PC is gonna be fine. And they, they just didn't tell us all the things about TPM at that point and how a lot of PCs wouldn't be allowed to upgrade or they, or that you could, but you'd have to kind of take things into your own hands. Right. And decide, is it worth PO being unsupported if I do that. So I, I feel like that was a really big and important thing, but they definitely hid that from us once we were being

Paul Thurrott (00:13:04):
About that. Oh yeah. Purposefully and, and yeah, I, there is a case to be made and, and, you know, not to keep mentioning this, but you and Richard made this case at the time that this was a, you know, kind of an necessary step for the ecosystem. Right. It was this isn't just to drive new PC sales, although that will be a byproduct of that. But to you, with windows, with windows 10, the message was, we wanna get everyone on the same version, you know, mm-hmm <affirmative> and I would say by the end of that, five or six year cycle five, I guess, yeah. Five and a half year cycle, whatever. Yeah. They, you know, if you look at the stats, I mean, most people running windows 10 are on the very latest of the next latest version. So they got pretty close to that.

Paul Thurrott (00:13:41):
But they didn't have any way to enforce the hardware component of it in particular. I think I don't the, the CPU one, I still don't understand, but I, I've never heard a, an, a logical justification for that, but the TPM 2.0 thing. Okay. We get it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and so I think they could have done it a little better <laugh>, you know for sure, but the fact that they are letting people in, if they know how to work around it, and they're not yet, I mean, we, weren't only a few months in, but they're not yet going after those people or preventing them from getting security updates. Don't think anyone would ever could ever imagine Microsoft doing that. I, it just doesn't,

Mary Jo Foley (00:14:19):
I don't either that's, I mean, stand, we can't promise it. We can't promise it, but no, but

Paul Thurrott (00:14:24):
It's the whole

Mary Jo Foley (00:14:25):
Point of this doesn't make

Paul Thurrott (00:14:26):
Sense. The rate is for security and now you're gonna deny security updates to the people, you know? I mean, just doesn't make any sense. It doesn't it, so I, I, you know, we can't promise you. Right. but I, I I'd be shocked if there was ever once all the people weren't getting security updates. Same. Yeah. So we'll see. I mean, I, you know, the, the, the reason I keep mentioning the podcast thing, by the way is just that I think Richard asked this question. I think it's an important question, cuz it's, it is really the central question about windows 11. Why and why that,

Mary Jo Foley (00:14:56):
Why do they do it? Yeah. Why do they do it

Paul Thurrott (00:14:58):
Then? We're, we're, we're in the middle of the, the worst component, the only component shortage of this kind ever experienced by the industry, by the world, let's launch a new product that requires new hardware and there are, there's no new

Mary Jo Foley (00:15:12):
Hardware <laugh> you can't right. I mean,

Paul Thurrott (00:15:14):
It's kinda strange. I, I, I suppose you could make the argument, the first wave is for upgraders. Right. And they'll do that on their own little measured basis. Right. And maybe in the coming year we'll maybe, I mean, we'll see, but hopefully next year we'll have more hardware mm-hmm <affirmative> but it is, it was strange time to do it. It, this kind of came outta nowhere and it didn't seem to make sense. I never heard a justification for why now?

Mary Jo Foley (00:15:39):
No, you know, I, I kept wondering, and they never made this connection either. But I, when they decided not to do windows 10 X you know, which was gonna be really a very revolutionary version of windows because everything was gonna be virtualized. I'm like, you know what? They had a lot of plans in place for that. They showed the product, they showed us how it was gonna work, talked about all the different ways the virtualization would work for each part of the operating system. And then they just were like, you know what, we're not gonna do that. Eh, we're, we're throwing it out. Yeah. We're not doing that. I'm like, okay. So when you do that, you have to have something to fill in. Right. Because you've promised everybody this pretty major new thing. And then you're like, yeah, we're not gonna be able to pull that off. So we need something, we gotta have something, cuz we've already generated this idea. Right.

Paul Thurrott (00:16:28):
You can actually draw a line between there's three milestones that occur, heard there that are kind of interesting. And now I can kind of see how we moved in this, you know, where we ended up windows Tenex was originally remembered dual screen devices. Right. Right. Supposedly like that's how they kind of marketed it in the beginning. Yeah. Okay. Whatever. I think we all know that wasn't the case, but whatever. Right. And then it's, and, and like you said, they were working on this virtualization scheme, containerization scheme or whatever for the, which is very interesting. And I still think, I, I hope they're still pursuing that, but whatever. And at some point they said, well, you know what, actually, we're just gonna launch this on clamshell machines first and then we'll go to tool screen next. And then the next step, the final step is, well, that gets gonna do windows 11 and windows 11 is windows 10 with the windows 10 X UI, actually that's the end of the sentence. Right? <laugh> I mean, it's pretty much what it is. You know, they got all the technical underpinnings of that 10 X thing are gone. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and I, you know, at one point there might have been some family or not really family, but generation of dual screen devices from some number of OEMs for windows 10 X. But now that 10 X is gone, you just see new PCs and now they just target windows 11. And it's a lot more of 'em obviously, but it replaces windows 10.

Mary Jo Foley (00:17:46):
Yeah. I mean, they did say when windows 11 launched, they tried to make the case that a lot of what was going to be in 10 X is actually in 11, actually, from what I can tell what that a lot is, is the UI, right? The start menu idea is what was also going to be in 10 X, but all the underpinnings, all the are gonna do the virtualization, none of that is in windows. Well, the stuff

Paul Thurrott (00:18:11):
That was the stuff that made 10 X, maybe the next NT, right. Which was one of those conversations we would've had disappeared. Right. You have to, I mean, maybe they were thinking about Android app compatibility, that type of thing. Would've made sense on mobile devices, right. That 10 X might have targeted mm-hmm <affirmative> it makes a little less sense. It makes, well, maybe a lot less sense. It makes some sense of course, on windows, 10 windows devices like PCs. But yeah. It might have made a lot more sense on, you know, whatever you want to call it mobile devices.

Mary Jo Foley (00:18:44):
Right. Right. So yeah, when I think back about like the highlights of the year for windows, I think about windows 11 10 X going away officially. Right. and then I also think about, although it's not truly windows 10 or 11 mm-hmm, <affirmative> I think about windows 365, the cloud PC stuff, because that was another thing that we had heard real for like two years. And I remember I kept writing about it and everyone's like, I think you're wrong cuz this still hasn't shipped. And I think you are getting some bad info and it just took 'em a while, but then they did come out with the windows 365 cloud PC stuff this year. And I think I was gonna say, I think it it's, I think someday that's going to be huge and I think it's gonna start out kind of gradually.

Paul Thurrott (00:19:34):
I literally also my, my question was, do you think this has changed the world in any way? <Laugh> no, that's no. So yeah. I mean it's, it kind of appeared. It's interesting because it's new yeah. Sort of new. And then you don't really hear much about it. No,

Mary Jo Foley (00:19:49):
I think there, there were some missing pieces of if they started filling in like the ability to, I think they didn't have the ability to use Azure active directory or, or authentic or domain connected PCs at first. And they fixed that now. I think the pricing puts some people off. Because I think a lot of people are like, oh yeah, this is just gonna be awesome. This is just gonna be like really cheap windows in the cloud. And everybody like consumers are gonna use it. And I'm like, sure, no, that's not where they're trying to do here. Right. This is not the market. The, the market is business users for now, at least. Right. but I think, I think next year and going forward, this is gonna become a bigger and bigger deal. I think this year it was kind of like almost like a soft launch because when it finally did ship, everybody's like, oh, there it is. That's that's the cloud PC thing. Okay. Yeah. Not as exciting as we were wanting it to be, but that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I, I still would make it one of, if I was saying, what were the biggest windows news nuggets of the year? I would definitely put it in there because it did finally ship. And I think it has implications for the future, but not so it's not really changing things in 2021 for a lot of people I would say.

Paul Thurrott (00:21:02):

Mary Jo Foley (00:21:05):
And then what else? When I was, I just, literally, I was on my site going back and looking and being like, is this, was this a big deal? Was this not a big deal? Yeah. One of the ones I kind of thought was, I mean, teams, we have to talk about teams obviously, because yeah. It was, you know, remote work, work from home hybrid work and teams.

Paul Thurrott (00:21:25):
We don't actually know what it is. I guess it's gonna be hybrid work. We'll, we'll check in with you again in the spring, who knows.

Mary Jo Foley (00:21:31):
Right, right. But every, we talk about this on every show pretty much, but every single week we get this giant list of new features from Microsoft about here's all the things we added to teams this week. Right. And right. It's, it's been a huge year or for teams. I think the one thing that I would note is the growth is starting to slow for teams finally. And the way we know that is two twofold. Right. They changed the way they measure users once they changed it from da daily to monthly active users. I think that's what they did. 

Paul Thurrott (00:22:08):
Yeah. When Microsoft moves moves the goal posts, <laugh>, that's how, you know, something is off the previous metric wasn't isn't working anymore, you know?

Mary Jo Foley (00:22:15):
Right. And when you ask them why they didn't have an answer, like it was just like, yeah, that's just the way we should measure it now. So that that's one way, you know, that teams growth was flowing a bit. And also there was around when was this like around October, September, October the annual report comes out and all information about executive compensation and such and buried in one of the SCC filings was an acknowledgement that they had projected a certain amount for teams growth for this year and they missed. So it wasn't a huge that's

Paul Thurrott (00:22:50):
I think that's almost like a pandemic hangover thing. And I too, I don't mean that, that like the pandemic is not ended. I don't mean it like that, but this, this general understanding as this Omicron thing surges and I'm sure there'll be future problems. Yeah. We're just kind of collectively tired of it. We're not reacting the way we did it in, in March 20, 20, anymore. Yeah. You know, things have matured a little bit. Obviously we have vaccinations and we have better understand what's going on. But I, you know, the growth that Microsoft saw with teams and other products in 2020 was artificial. It was, you know, it was, you know, explosive and it's, it's reasonable to expect that that will, you know, taper. Yeah. And I guess it did maybe faster than they thought it was going to. But I don't know to me that not surprising,

Mary Jo Foley (00:23:37):
No mean neither. And the lot, we always talk about law of large numbers. Like when you're growing it a hundred percent a year, that can't continue because the number of users gets bigger and bigger and you can't keep going at a hundred percent. Right. Well,

Paul Thurrott (00:23:49):
I can tell you why they changed the metric. Right. How, how does wall street react when Azure doesn't grow at 70% after 12 years?

Mary Jo Foley (00:23:56):
Or instead it's 69 and

Paul Thurrott (00:23:58):
Instead of, oh my God, it's falling through the floor and it's like digit growth of a 20 year old product is, you know, it is, I know. Yeah. But you know, but I, that might have something to do with it. It, it gives them a, a number that, you know, most people aren't gonna pay attention to how they used to measure things anyway, so

Mary Jo Foley (00:24:15):
Right. But you know, we, we are sure that the, this whole push for teams is gonna continue next year and is gonna still be a big thing. It's not it's, they're not suddenly just gonna go. Yeah. Teams, you know, that was so 20, 21. Now we're moving on this. There is no other thing. No, no,

Paul Thurrott (00:24:31):
No, no, no. Teams is the center of the entire Microsoft 365 universe. There's no about it. Yeah. And if you, when you think about, think about the things that when people think of office, right, you think of a word and Excel, PowerPoint and outlook, right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> none of those things are growing. None of those things can add exponentially amazing, more new features over the next couple of years. Nothing, none of that, but teams can, you know, and teams is a brand new platform. It's still explosive growth. It's it's not just it's the present, but it's also, I think the future, you know, of the user experience of Microsoft 365, it's huge. Yep. Yep.

Mary Jo Foley (00:25:11):
I I'll talk about this a little more in our second part where we talk more about what's next, but mm-hmm, <affirmative> I think this whole, a couple years ago, there were all these leaks about meta OS and I think next year might be the year that that happens. And if it does, that's gonna have implication for teams, outlook, windows, right. Edge, everything in the Microsoft stack, if I'm right. I I'm kind of going out on a limb because that term has been around for a couple years and very seldom, do we ever hear anything about it? But I feel like fluid framework is kind of the tip of the meta OS iceberg of mixing a lot of metaphors there, but <laugh> no, that's good. No,

Paul Thurrott (00:25:50):
That works and well, but remind people what that is like. So, right. This is something that could supplant a lot of those things. I just mentioned word Excel, PowerPoint. It's a new way to, it's a

Mary Jo Foley (00:26:03):
Platform, right? So meta OS is this idea of a platform where, and instead of having these discreet separate applications, like word Excel and PowerPoint, which won't go away by the way. But of course in their place is a bunch of components that you could kind of stick together and turn into your own app within a canvas. So that's where fluid framework fits in because it's turning these things into loops as they call them now. And if you stick a bunch of loops together like to do lists all these things they had a polling thing and you start combining these as developers, probably using power platform, probably also using visual studio, you can create these like hybrid apps that consist of all different components instead of just having these monolithic apps that do one thing. Yeah. Right? Yep.

Paul Thurrott (00:26:55):
Yeah. If you have different departments that some organization and some people need specific things that are part of word or Excel or whatever, you don't have a way to customize that to their needs. They just get the full blown thing. But with this fluid framework, you have the ability to give different people exactly the tools that they need of the combination of tools on a single canvas or whatever mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah,

Mary Jo Foley (00:27:18):
Yeah, yeah. I think you, if you think about power, if you think about the power platform as the idea of automating apps and, and kind of linking apps together the thing underneath that, yeah. The glue. So to speak the thing underneath that is meta OS and this idea of using fluid framework and the graph APIs and all these other kind of infrastructure components, we've all heard about right. In a cohesive way to build something new. I do think power, well, power platform is gonna fit in with this somehow, but I don't know how sure. 

Paul Thurrott (00:27:51):
Yeah. Well, because I think you, you actually kind of step through it. It's because developers in an organization might make custom call of maps for lack of a better term. They combine all these components or loops or whatever they call into a single solution for users. But users themselves will also combine things and make their own little ad hoc dashboard or whatever it is. Yeah. And it's, it's the type of activity that will span professional developers all the way down to just normal knowledge workers or whatever. We're calling them. Now,

Mary Jo Foley (00:28:20):
I feel like bots are kind of the precursor to this. You know, how Microsoft was really pushing people that anybody can build a bot and you have power virtual agents and you have all these bot technologies and bot framework and bot composer. And it's like, Hey, anyone can make a bot to do something within teams or anywhere. Sure. Right. I think

Paul Thurrott (00:28:40):
I can tell you one prediction that will be 100% accurate. Is that 25 years from now, someone will be a fluid framework canvas. That will be like a postage stamp sized embedded version of word that has all the toolbar turned on. So you can only, you only have like room for one character to type anything. <Laugh> just to, just to prove that you can still do that. You know?

Mary Jo Foley (00:28:58):
Exactly. <laugh> just don't touch no pet. Okay. That's just the one <laugh> right, right. Yeah. But I, I think, I, I hope next year we hear more about this because I feel like I, I feel like that parable of, you know, the blind men in the elephant where they're all blind and they're all touching an elephant and one feels a trunk and one feels a tusk and one feels a tail. And you say to the three of them, what, what touching and none of them know, because you can, you can figure out the parts, but like, I'm like what hangs this whole thing together. Right. How does it work? <Laugh> yeah. I want my architectural diagram, Paul. I want my, I want my,

Paul Thurrott (00:29:40):
Somebody to draw this notoriously inaccurate, but yeah. I'm sure you will get one. They

Mary Jo Foley (00:29:43):
Are. I love them. I love them. I know they're inaccurate, but they, they kind of helped me when I'm thinking about like a very abstract concept or something really difficult. Like I'm like, oh, now. Okay. I think of layers layer, cakes, mold school. <Laugh>

Paul Thurrott (00:29:59):

Mary Jo Foley (00:30:00):

Paul Thurrott (00:30:01):
Yeah. So we should mention Xbox just to get it off of the enterprise stuff for a second. Yeah, we should. We really should. Yeah. I don't know if I talked about it enough last week, but no, the this was an interesting year for Xbox and, and not just because there was a component shortage that made it impossible for anyone to get consoles, but, you know, Microsoft is well underway toward this cloud-based future for the platform. And I will say just personally from, for the first time ever, I've finally been able to play games on X cloud or Xbox cloud gaming. Right. Which is that feature of Xbox game pass ultimate where it actually worked <laugh> I've had really serious and latency issues in the past. And I had heard that they fully transitioned to Xbox series X up in the data center.

Paul Thurrott (00:30:48):
And I don't know if this is what caused it or if it was just other things they've done, but I've, I've had terrible up until less than a month ago, terrible results using this product. And now I've successfully played halo and infinite on it. It works great. So something happened <laugh> and that's good because there was, it was kind of a rumor, I guess, but there was news recently, I think it was Bloomberg reported that Sony is basically going to have the same exact kind of service sometime in 2022. And by the way, it could run on Azure because we know Microsoft and Sony announced that partnership for future game services. I don't know, sometime, maybe last year. So, you know, in the, in the confine of how things could have gone, at least they have this to fall back on and they have an answer when someone says, what am I gonna do? I can't buy this console for my kid or for myself or whatever it is. And they say, well, subscribe to Xbox can and pass ultimate, you know, and then you'll get it all on whatever device. And that's kind of cool because you know that you don't need new hardware to make it work.

Paul Thurrott (00:31:54):
Wow. That was an exciting Xbox segment.

Mary Jo Foley (00:31:57):
<Laugh> I'm all, you know, what's funny. I was, no, I was thinking this year like I've heard, I've heard so many Microsoft reporters say, oh man, this year, you know, for being a pandemic here, it was very busy. But if you don't cover gaming this year, wasn't that busy. Oh, that's interesting.

Paul Thurrott (00:32:13):
It was mostly games.

Mary Jo Foley (00:32:14):
Yeah. There was so much gaming news. Yeah. And there was, that's true. A lot less of traditional enterprise news. There was,

Paul Thurrott (00:32:21):
Yeah. Microsoft bought a lot of studios over the past two year, which I think was big. They've done a great job of bringing day and date games out to Xbox game pass rate when they release for purchase. They signed that deal with EA EA, is it E EA play the electronic art service? So you get that as part of the subscription as well. Hundreds of games. Now, lots of them support the game streaming thing, which is amazing. I think it's over a hundred on game streaming alone. Dozens, I don't remember the exact number, but some dozens support touch controls where you can play them directly on your phone or tablet or whatever, without having to connect a controller. It, it really the diversification of Xbox is the best possible outcome after the disaster. That was the launch of the Xbox one, where they completely coughed up every advantage they had had in the previous generation and reversed the tables on themselves.

Paul Thurrott (00:33:13):
You know, when the Xbox 360 came out, it was a year ahead of the the PS three, the PS three came out, it was $200 more than Xbox 360. They had a commanding lead for several years there. They eventually kind of tied it up, but it worked out really well for Xbox in the beginning. So when the Xbox one came out, they're like, well, let's bundle the connect. And we'll launch at the same time as Sony. And we will charge a hundred dollars more than Sony is charging <laugh> it's like guys didn't you learn any <laugh> anything from the way you did so well the last time. And they said, you know, and that's this, isn't that Xbox documentary. We'll talk about again later. But someone did a great, there's probably a lot of these, but someone did a great mashup video of all the times. They said TV during the ad, during the launch of the Xbox one TV. And

Leo Laporte (00:33:58):
Like you could play it it on

Paul Thurrott (00:33:59):
Your TV. No, that you could watch TV instead of like games. Cause everyone tuned in to see what the games were. Oh, forgot. That was, and they only talked about like two or three games. Yeah. I remember it was like TV, TV, TV, TV, TV, TV, TV. And they

Leo Laporte (00:34:09):
Had had a pass through. They really wanted you to watch your TV through that.

Paul Thurrott (00:34:14):
Yeah. And I it's, you know, there's a lesson to be learned there, which is that video games, players like to play video games. And so sounds obvious in retrospect well I

Leo Laporte (00:34:23):
Felt it's more than gamers. They jumped on TV when TV was dying. I mean, honestly, yeah. But anybody under 30 doesn't watch TV at all, you know,

Paul Thurrott (00:34:31):
They watch well, two things to TV services and whatnot. First of all I think the world does not need another way to watch TV on your TV. Okay. Just, that's plenty ways to do that. That's true. The other one is if you wanna watch something like Netflix or HBO max or whatever the service is, we have these little hockey puck things that are silent. Don't have fans and they cost like $79. Yeah. You don't pull up a battleship every time you want to go through dunk and donuts drive, don't get a cup of coffee. You <laugh>, you know what I mean?

Leo Laporte (00:34:59):
For that? The came frustrating is there was always an update before I could watch TV. So it was like, you know, come on. I don't need to have to update this to watch. Yeah, you're right. It was the wrong platform. It

Paul Thurrott (00:35:10):
Just didn't make sense for something like

Leo Laporte (00:35:12):
Yep. Just tuning in a TV show. Yeah. It's

Paul Thurrott (00:35:15):
Just, it's such a, yeah. It's, it's just a, such a big tool for this job. <Laugh> but

Leo Laporte (00:35:21):
I, I don't fully blame it because they jumped on a bandwagon in the middle of a complete seat change

Paul Thurrott (00:35:28):
And well, but okay. But there were two parts to it, right. So there was the TV thing, which, you know, what we just talked about, but there was also that connect, bundling thing, which raised the cost of the console, an extra hundred bucks. And they've made it a requirement for developers. And I really liked everyone was like, we don't want anything to the only

Leo Laporte (00:35:43):
One liked it, but I love the connect.

Paul Thurrott (00:35:45):
No, some people, you know, obviously some people really did like it and it's, you know, it can correctly be seen as a response to the we, right. The Nintendo we, which had those kind of numb check controllers and their whole deal was what if we can do this with no controller? You know, like your body's the controller and there's some good ideas there,

Leo Laporte (00:36:03):
Exercise stuff. That was really cool. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yeah. You know, it's funny, Apple's basically D duplicating it and not as well with I, I fit your watch becomes the connect. Yeah. That's right. That's and the connect really did it without a watch. It was really great. Yeah.

Paul Thurrott (00:36:20):

Leo Laporte (00:36:21):
Sometimes timing is all. It's not a bad idea. It's just a badly, poorly timed idea. Yeah. Like so many Microsoft ideas <laugh> well, that's hard. It's that's not just Microsoft. It's hard for every tech company to get the timing. Right. That's outta

Paul Thurrott (00:36:36):
Your yeah. For being first, often not any, it has nothing to do with things successful. In fact, it's often a problem if you want to be successful, but

Leo Laporte (00:36:44):
In a way, the thing that bit Microsoft worse than anything is the supply chain this year. I mean, yeah. Mm-Hmm

Paul Thurrott (00:36:50):
<Affirmative> yes. But like I said, at least they have an answer to that, right. If you want to buy a Sony console and you can't get one, there's really not much you can do at that. You just keep playing whatever the thing you have is exactly there is this offer.

Leo Laporte (00:37:01):
You can get the PlayStation five

Paul Thurrott (00:37:04):
And that I cannot explain. Yeah. <Laugh> yeah. Well, I can kind of explain it. They're the volume player. Right? So

Leo Laporte (00:37:10):
SOS the problem. Yeah. You're right. If it were an equal yeah, yeah. Inability to get it, but it isn't. And we have PlayStation fives. I've, I've bought several,

Paul Thurrott (00:37:18):
But here, but, but just if you're an Xbox guy or person or whatever, and you want the new Xbox and you can't get it, some of the neat things that can happen are because of backward compatibility, you can do things like play fight flight simulator, flight simulator, sorry, on your Xbox one, which is that game is not compatible with. But because of the ability to stream that game, you can play through Xbox game or Xbox without gaming. Well, another

Leo Laporte (00:37:43):
Point you don't need an Xbox to stream those games.

Paul Thurrott (00:37:46):
That's true too. That's true. Well, my point being only that you can stay on whatever you have until you can get an Xbox and you can still play NextGen games, even though they don't technically support your particular device or you can't play them on a PC, you can play them an

Leo Laporte (00:37:59):

Paul Thurrott (00:38:01):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can play whatever you want. But that's, I, that to me is very important. It's not something that the Microsoft of 20 years ago when the Xbox first came out, would've ever even considered for a moment, you know, that you're gonna take these games and make them playable everywhere. I mean, the, the story of how backward compatibility happened, how Microsoft was able to bridge at first, just hardware platform differences as they went from Intel to power PC on the Xbox 360 back to in well, Intel slash MD, whatever. You, how do you bring those games forward? They don't run natively. Yeah. Across platform. Yeah. They, they figured that out for hundreds and hundreds of games. Yep. That's I, that's a, that's a

Leo Laporte (00:38:43):
Thing that's, that's maybe the big gaming story of the year.

Paul Thurrott (00:38:46):
Well, it's a lot of it happened before this past year, but when you land in 2021, what you have is diversification of hardware because as you can stream or games to all these different device types, you can play next generation titles on previous generation hardware. You can play next generation titles on PCs that couldn't possibly play a game if felt life dependent on it. But because you're streaming it, that actually works. It's, it's, it's nice. I mean, there, there are so many entry points to the Xbox ecosystem. Now that by the time, you know, by the time the Xbox series X does become available, a lot of people who might have bought it in November won't matter, 20, 20 won't even care. Yeah. You know,

Leo Laporte (00:39:25):
And frankly, I think X clouds talk about timing was time perfectly. Cuz cuz remember Sonny had guy, guy and videos had their cloud playing. Yep. But was, but ex cloud's timing was just spot, like

Paul Thurrott (00:39:38):
What was that on, on play? Or there was a, yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:39:41):
There was one company outta Seattle. They couldn't stay alive because they couldn't manage peak bandwidth.

Paul Thurrott (00:39:47):
Right. Yeah. And they, they eventually tried to just do remote windows, desktop streaming as, as I remember. Right. But Microsoft has the capacity, right. So they're in a, they're in a good place. You know, the whole, that cloud thing is I think it's gonna have legs

Leo Laporte (00:40:02):
If there's a disappointment for me this year. I mean, I think windows X was a disappointment I'm was really hopeful for that. But if there's a disappointment for me this, this year, I really thought this would be the year Microsoft would virtualize the desktop more aggressively. I know they did it. Yeah. But yeah, I

Paul Thurrott (00:40:18):
Honestly, I think they ran into a, I think they ran into technical issues. Must be, yeah, that was, we are so stuck in the past with windows from this literally from a six 40 K barrier back from 1982 or whatever that thing came out. It is, it it's been dogging us forever and through and for all the right reasons, right. Microsoft respects backward compatibility because its customers demanded, et cetera. So it's, it's for it's for the right reasons, but it really has held back the platform. And when you look at things like the M one racing ahead and windows 10 and arm, I don't know what it's doing, sitting in the corner, looking stupid. It it's, it's sad that we haven't been able to make these leaps, but we did it in the name of backward compatibility. And if they could ever figure out a container virtualization, whatever solution that could just put X 86 in the box that it deserves, <laugh> it just leaves it, put it over the corner and just let those apps run on some other thing that is maybe it could be this meta OS thing you're talking about.

Paul Thurrott (00:41:18):
Right. think that would be huge. I do think they went

Leo Laporte (00:41:22):
It think, I mean, we're, we're not yet ready for next year, but to

Paul Thurrott (00:41:27):
Come back. Yeah. I don't think no, no, no. She, he means motor meta OS. 

Leo Laporte (00:41:32):
Yeah. And cloud PC, you know, and the idea of

Mary Jo Foley (00:41:35):
Virtualism cloud PC, I think will get a lot bigger and more understood and accept to get

Leo Laporte (00:41:42):
Cheaper is all it has

Mary Jo Foley (00:41:43):
To get. Yeah. It has to get cheaper. Yeah, for sure. <Laugh> yeah.

Paul Thurrott (00:41:49):

Leo Laporte (00:41:49):
Also has multitude of issues including supply chain issues.

Paul Thurrott (00:41:53):
I don't think so. I, I think the, the natural progression of that product, which is called is the windows 365, right? 365 is, is not a windows desktop and a window or full screen on some other device. I, I don't really think that's it. I think what people really want is the ability to run specific apps. It's the reason that apple users on max wanted some virtualization solution like parallels or whatever, because not to run windows <laugh> right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> it was to run specific apps that weren't available in that platform. And and I, I feel like that's part of the way forward. If you can have a modern platform of whatever kind you could be of your choosing, but you can virtualize or, you know, from windows, but not, you don't have to see windows. I mean, you might be running windows. That's fine. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> but maybe you're on an iPad or a Chromebook or whatever.

Mary Jo Foley (00:42:43):
Yeah. You know, what's funny is that pitch is a pitch that the, the cloud PC team made when they mm-hmm <affirmative> announced the product. But I feel like people didn't grasp what the, they were saying. Right. I'm like, they're telling you, you can have a very relatively low power machine and run some really high intensity, big apps because you're just running, 'em in the cloud. You're not running 'em locally. And I don't think people like thought about this is literally,

Paul Thurrott (00:43:10):
We just had this conversation about games. It's exactly the same thing. You could have laptop that has Intel integrated graphics, or you could have a Chromebook or whatever it is running on some low levels, Qualcomm chip set. This thing is not capable of doing anything dramatic, but mm-hmm <affirmative> if you can stream it from the cloud, that thing up in the cloud can have whatever hardware it wants. And you're just streaming it. I mean, this is opens up a, an interesting, I think you're

Leo Laporte (00:43:35):
Right about the apps too, because if I, I want a cloud gaming system, I don't want the whole Xbox experience. I just wanna play that

Paul Thurrott (00:43:42):
Game. No, you just want the game. Yeah, exactly.

Leo Laporte (00:43:44):
Right. So I think the apps is exactly right. Just gimme if I could and what a great world for Microsoft, I can run windows apps anywhere. That's

Paul Thurrott (00:43:51):
Perfect. And by the way, you know, even from, you know, for all the windows is whatever size business it is, we sell X number of some couple hundred million computers a year. That seems to have stabilized that business is whatever the size it is. But that cloud business that we're talking about that serves these apps could, could serve an audience. That's much, much bigger than 200 million, two 50 million, whatever could be a billion people. Some of them will be on phones or, or tablets, or like I said, Chromebooks, whatever that could be on TV, smart TV, who cares, you know, every once in a while, you need to get into an app that, and maybe you're not on the exact kind of device. You need to run that app, not to mention the fact that the thing has to be installed, updated, managed centrally by your it department, whatever it is, you know, you can just have this one entry point up in the cloud. It's it's, it's not perfect, but it's, it is a way forward. And I think it makes sense for Microsoft customers and for Microsoft

Leo Laporte (00:44:45):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> we have to rewrite the win-win. What was the old Microsoft mission statement that they put on the sidewalk as you're walking around the

Paul Thurrott (00:44:52):
Campus, one computer on every desk for every

Leo Laporte (00:44:54):
User running windows.

Paul Thurrott (00:44:56):
Now, of course they're running well,

Leo Laporte (00:44:58):
But, but now I'm now it's like an application anywhere running on Azure,

Paul Thurrott (00:45:03):
Running a windows application anywhere running on our

Leo Laporte (00:45:06):
Platform on Azure. Yep. That's that's a true platform company. That's what made windows is success. It's my Doss is success before that it was a platform and now

Paul Thurrott (00:45:16):
Perfect position to do that. I wasted more time this year and I will continue doing it next year, complaining about little picky problems with windows 11. I can't right. Click on something and something doesn't happen. Whatever it is, the truth is <laugh> like most people are like, I just need to see word or whatever the app is. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they don't the interface thing is like, whatever, you know, my wife, a actually my wife also, my brother-in-law, like I said, both asked me in the past week, if they said, Hey, I got this windows 11 upgrade thing. Should I do it? And I'm like, yeah, it's fine. It won't, it won't kill me really. You

Leo Laporte (00:45:49):
Know, I, I tell people the opposite. I say you got to 25. Yep.

Paul Thurrott (00:45:53):
Oh, wow. We do have time to wait, but, but here's, but we all know Microsoft, right? What's your life gonna be? Like, if you wait as an individual, you're gonna be, this thing is gonna nag you for the rest of your life. It will, you know? Right.

Leo Laporte (00:46:04):
Yeah. That's mostly what I'm telling people is how to turn off the nag <laugh> yeah. Yep. That's the real, okay. That's the real thing.

Mary Jo Foley (00:46:13):
Well, I guess how often do you get eggs? Like every month, right? At least. Yeah.

Paul Thurrott (00:46:18):
Yeah. I don't,

Leo Laporte (00:46:21):
I don't know. Cause I succumbed and I have windows 11, so

Paul Thurrott (00:46:24):
Right. I succumbed immediately. I, I don't think it will do any damage to normal people. And I think so that, and that's fine. I mean, for, for all the complaining, that's a really good

Leo Laporte (00:46:34):
Motto for a company. It won't do any damage to normal people.

Paul Thurrott (00:46:38):
Well, but okay. But let, but, but <laugh> think about the alternative because back in the day, upgrading from one version of windows to another was actually a fairly traumatic event that could end in failure. Right. windows 11 is really just a monthly cumulative update. It happens to change the UI pretty dramatically or not depending on your perspective, but it changes. It that's something that most windows updates never did. And so, and it is a version upgrade, I guess. Right. There's, there's certainly underpinning things they're doing that are different, but it seems like it's really safe. It doesn't seem like there's anything missing that normal people be freaked out by like I am or might be, you know, or other power users might be. Yep. It's it's honestly, in, in the scope of like windows upgrades, this is, eh, no, that's, it's, it's fine because it's pretier and it's nicer and it doesn't yeah. Seem to,

Mary Jo Foley (00:47:29):
I agree with you, you know, I think if an, I think if a normal user not a power user asks you, should I upgrade? I would say yes. If your hardware can do it. Yeah. if a power user asks you that's a different thing. Right. Because they're you gonna have a long

Paul Thurrott (00:47:44):
Conversation. Yeah. How, how much do you rely on the things you do every single day? Because those are gonna go do things break, do things go away. Yeah. Well, okay. So this is actually one of the weird things about windows 11, windows 11 actually has a different set of inbox apps than windows 10 does. If you upgrade from windows 10 to windows 11, the things that are missing in windows 11 by and large actually continue forward, cuz they're already on your computer. But if you get, if you do a clean install, windows 11, or you, you know, buy a new computer, you are not gonna get those things. Right. So what are those things? They're nothing important in my mind, but this things like, well, Skype actually is one of those things, right? Skype's not installed is not part of windows 11. Paint 3d is another example in that 3d entry, in the in the file Explorer, you know, stuff like that. So does anyone rely on that? And is there, is there gonna be some community of people who are like, well, I'm gonna install windows ten first and upgrade. Cause that's the only way I can get those apps I need or something. I don't think so. I mean, I don't think so. And I don't think much people, but here's the thing. I mean, if it doesn't affect you okay. Fine. But what you get enough than for windows 11. So yeah. Why even take, why even take the chance?

Mary Jo Foley (00:48:55):
Yeah. There's claims performance. No, there've been claims benchmarks. Some people have benchmark that has better performance. I don't, unless you'd say that didn't they fix that? I thought they fixed. Yeah they did. But this is

Paul Thurrott (00:49:09):
Again, this is all, yeah. You know, don't upgrade. If you don't need to upgrade, is the ruler seriously for a windows version? Upgrade like a real version? I don't mean like from windows 10, version something to something else. I mean, you know, from windows seven to eight to eight to 10 to, this is, this is the most minor of upgrades. This is like windows 98 se level of nothing. Like, you know, almost have to go back that far. Like it's, it's been a

Mary Jo Foley (00:49:34):
While, but the no, but the one thing that you have to bring up to people is if you care about running a different browser, you might wanna be a little cautious about windows launch. Well,

Paul Thurrott (00:49:45):
Yeah. And I notice edge is not anywhere in this note of the year gone by, but I think edge is a pretty big story. Well, okay. So that's

Mary Jo Foley (00:49:53):
Gonna come up winning. Well, that's gonna come up in the next year think, okay.

Paul Thurrott (00:49:56):
But they did begin so year winning the internet with edge and they may still lose it by December. I don't, you know, pretty much look, I, I, there are gonna be some percentage of people who kind of disagree on that. And I am not part of that group, but I'll just say, you know, they like the features. They like whatever. That's fine. And, and, and the fact that Microsoft is ki semi forcing you to run edge in certain conditions, isn't gonna affect them. Cause they've already chosen edge. They don't care. Yeah. Okay, fine. But you know, I'm working on this book. Right. And so I have to kind of take into account what the world is like now what it's gonna be like in the future. Like, how do I, how do I handle that today? And honestly it comes down to, if you want the experience that Microsoft is gonna give you in some future version of windows 11, with, as a set, as default button, you just have to make changes to two file types and two protocols in that interface, right?

Paul Thurrott (00:50:48):
So you installed Chrome or edge Chrome, sorry, Chrome, or Firefox or whatever. You have to go into that thing. You know, apps, default apps, your browser, HTM, HTML, HTTP, HTTPS. And honestly, I don't have a real number, but I would say 90 high, 90% of the time that's yeah. The experience you're looking for, it's not as simple as clicking a button. <Laugh>, you know, I agree with that. And it, it will eventually be almost that easy, but it solves most of the problem. And I think for people like my wife as a normal human being, or my brother-in-law is sort of a normal human being <laugh> if they were to choose Chrome or something. Yeah. I, I, yeah. Would they struggle today to figure that out? Yeah, they would. They would. That's why I exist in their lives, but <laugh> if you make those four changes, you'll get the experience you expected for the most part, which is damning with faint praise <laugh> think is the term.

Paul Thurrott (00:51:50):
Yeah. But yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, I wouldn't say edge was like one of the worst things that happened in, in 2021. It is one of the negatives to windows 11, for sure. It's something they should have handled way better than they did. Yep. And I still see no justification. I honestly, they could have had a button they edge could, or Chrome or Firefox could have come up and said, Hey, do you wanna use this as you default? And you say, yeah, I do. And you go to that interface and you click. Yep. You sure. We really want you to use edge? No, no. I'm gonna use Chrome if they just did the same thing and made those four changes and that was all they did. I don't think anyone would notice anyone normal, like a, any, you know what I mean? Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, that's all they had to <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> so I, I, they didn't and you know, that's the bad, you know, good Microsoft, bad Microsoft. I don't know. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm

Mary Jo Foley (00:52:38):
<Affirmative> it didn't make our top five.

Paul Thurrott (00:52:43):
No, <laugh> no interesting. It could have been better. Yeah. Could have been better. So cuz you could have called the show, losing their edge and it would've like,

Mary Jo Foley (00:52:51):

Paul Thurrott (00:52:52):
All right. Yeah, I know. I don't look, I, I don't don't misinterpret what I'm saying. I don't like that they did this. I feel I've been fairly vocal in that in the past. But and, and like I said, I, they could have handled this a lot better and the would've been, you know, Microsoft is letting you change your default browser, but when you go to widgets, it still runs edge. That would've been the whole story, you know, and people have been like, yeah, that's not great, but whatever, you know, but instead they had this convoluted UI that no human being could ever figure out. And that just drew attention to it. <Laugh>, you know, all they had to do was make the UI the same and just done in the back end. What I just described and yeah, there would've still been some complaints, but honestly, what would we really be complaining about today? Instead of that, we would be complaining that windows 10 home doesn't let you set up the thing without having a Microsoft account <laugh> and there were, by the way, there are workarounds to that too. Of course we all know that, but I mean that would've been the level of complaint and those are not big complaints. They're complaints <laugh> you know, of course, but they're not like earth shattering. I mean, it was the, I think the, the problems just the way they did it, it was so under obviously underhand, like it was so terrible. It

Mary Jo Foley (00:54:05):
Was, it was. And then, and then to use as the excuse, like Chris cap brought up when we asked him about this. Yeah, yeah. But we're trying to make users have a better experience and that's why we did it that way. I'm like, so that's a terrible answer to this question. I have to say, because it seems very well

Paul Thurrott (00:54:23):
It's yeah. Now it's look, there are, yeah. I understand why he answered the question that way I do too. But it's it's like when you ask someone a question, you say, do you want this or not? And you say, no, I don't want it. And they said, well, here you go. And they're like, what are you doing? I said, no. I said, no, this is the better user experience. Right. You know, I, I, but I specifically just said, I didn't want this. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (00:54:45):
So maybe in 20, 22, they're gonna actually take the feedback to heart <laugh>

Paul Thurrott (00:54:53):
I'm sure. Maybe, maybe I honestly, I mean, we can, we'll get to this later, I guess, but as you look forward to the next year, I think one of the big questions, maybe the, the big question for windows 11 is, is how, and when they update it, mm-hmm <affirmative> and we've obviously gone back and forth on that a little bit already, but I still believe we're gonna see multiple points where they add features to windows 11 before next October. Same. That's my guess. I'm just guessing. But that's my, that's my opinion. Yeah. Do

Mary Jo Foley (00:55:25):
You remember this controversy? See, man, I don't know what years this was, but it was did SP service packs and windows include new features or not include new features. Yes. That

Paul Thurrott (00:55:40):
Whole concept. Cause they used, yeah, they used to have remember briefly they introduced the concept of feature

Mary Jo Foley (00:55:43):
Packs feature packs. Right? So there's a thing. Come coming, windows 11. That is called a feature pack. Right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> not the feature experience pack. There's another one. That's I think called a feature pack. Oh boy. Or is it a system pack or something like that, but they have all these different updating mechanisms in play beyond just feature experience, pack, like there's system updates something. And I'm like, you know what? They've got all these things that they never really explained this year, but these could be channels to get people new features in windows outside of the feature,

Paul Thurrott (00:56:18):
Every once in a while, you'll see a, a post to the insider blog where they'll say something like we just released an update to whatever channel. There are no new features where what we're testing is some servicing infrastructure. And that's exactly what they're testing is what you just described. And they have, yeah, they have multiple ways they can add, they can change windows midstream now, you know, and we'll see, we'll see how they do. I'm I'm really curious. I, I, I'm curious, not only about how and when it happens, but how they explain it <laugh>, you know? Right. they don't typically do a great job of that, but we'll see.

Mary Jo Foley (00:56:53):
No, we'll come, we'll come back to the same argument and debate that we had with old versions of windows, which was, is it a feature or is it a fix? Right. Remember, remember people would be like, well, I, I wouldn't even call that a feature. It's a fix. I'm like color

Paul Thurrott (00:57:08):
Is okay. This is like, is it an ad? Or is it a suggestion? Yes. Well, no, you're suggesting I buy something. I don't own, it sounds like an ad, you know, I, but you know, <laugh> people kind of go back and forth on those things. Yeah. That's a matter of semantics I guess. But it is, I look, the fact remains, I windows 11 will be updated at some point next year. <Laugh> I believe it will happen multiple times. Not just once. So do

Mary Jo Foley (00:57:32):
Before October, me too.

Paul Thurrott (00:57:35):
<Laugh> whatever form that takes. I can't wait to find out.

Leo Laporte (00:57:38):
Great. Okay. Yeah. How about teams? How about it? Huh? Ah, bad scenes

Mary Jo Foley (00:57:47):
Keeps going. <Laugh> yeah, no, you know what, the other story, I, we didn't bring this up yet, but I thought Microsoft was really going to buy discord. I, this is one that I thought actually made a bit of sense compared to them buying like Pinterest. Right? I'm like, yeah. Course TikTok. Yeah. Oh, well TikTok made zero sense to me, but discord, I could see how they could have made a case for it. And we don't ever know how far the talks got or how much Microsoft was willing to pay there. There were rumors, 10 billion. Right. And then it never happened. And discord went along its Merry way. But I, I was surprised that one fizzled, I, I was like, oh, they're gonna get discord. I'm pretty sure they're gonna get 'em. It fits in with all their idea of building communities. Like how they've talked about that with GitHub and all, a lot of other properties that they have. And I'm like, yeah, this makes this one makes sense for them. And then it didn't happen.

Paul Thurrott (00:58:42):
We didn't, this isn't in the notes, but the Microsoft has made a of acquisitions recently that are

Leo Laporte (00:58:49):
Nuanced. I mean, you guys mention the biggest, oh,

Mary Jo Foley (00:58:53):
That's coming up in the 2020.

Leo Laporte (00:58:55):
Okay. That's the future cuz it hasn't closed yet. Okay. Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah. That's fair. Yep. In which case I think if I'm not mistaken, you have entirely covered this year. Everything that happened in 2021.

Paul Thurrott (00:59:10):
Well not, I think we might wanna go back and go over every month of Xbox game pass and see what was added. Let's not

Leo Laporte (00:59:17):
Go crazy here, but that's good. One hour an entire year. Yeah. Well done. Yeah. Not bad. <Laugh> next. What's likely for 20, 22. But before we do that, I would like to pause. I think it's gonna get better. It's getting better all the time. It's getting better all the time. You know what it is getting better website accessibility. And you could thank these guys right here are sponsor user One of the number one complaints I hear from our listeners, we have a lot of disabled listeners, mostly. I mean blind listeners of course cause it's audio, but everybody, you know, everybody has different abilities and sometimes people want easier screens, better contrast, but all of this can be handled with accessibility. There's a web accessibility layer in every browser and it is the onus is on you as the website, host the manager, the proprietor to make your site work with that compatibility layer.

Leo Laporte (01:00:17):
And when I say onus, I mean there's actually a legal responsibility. The Americans with act requires that your site be accessible. It's a public entity, public entities have to be accessible. And there's a well known Supreme court case. All about that dominoes pizza said, Hey, our site's accessible. We got a phone number on it, just call us. And it, that it was fought all the way up to the us Supreme court, which ruled no that's separate but equal. And as you know, that's not legal, that's unconstitutional. You have to provide equal access. And, and really that was a huge victory for blind users and all kinds of users. But now as a website owner, and I know I went through this, you gotta say, well, what does that mean? What do I have to do? How do I make my site accessible? You can hire a team of developers.

Leo Laporte (01:01:07):
You know, you could try to do it yourself. I've done both my suggestion user It's, it's actually amazing because it's an incredible AI powered solution that you put in one line of JavaScript did an automatically is all the hundreds of the web they call 'em the web content accessibility guidelines. Woo CAG. WCH more user way can do more than a, than an entire dedicated team of developers. And the proof is in the pudding because more than a million websites now use user way, a million Coca-Cola Disney, eBay, FedEx, Walmart, even UNICEF uses it because accessibility for them is job one. It's not just, you know, your legal obligation. It's just the right thing to do, frankly. It makes business sense. Why would you want to have a shopping cart that PE that 60 million Americans can't use that's nuts, your navs? I mean, even sight users have a hard time with those things.

Leo Laporte (01:02:09):
Like the hamburger menu, the navs are remediated. All the images have Altecs. And this is where the AI comes in and computer vision. The user way can just look at every image and say, oh, that's a golden gate bridge. Add the alt tech. They also give you a very easy facility to interact with a modification so that you can say golden gate bridge at sunset. And it's easy to do that. First thing I would suggest before anything else go to user and run the scanning tool. Just see if your website's compatible. If it is no problem. If it's ADA compliant, you're golden. If it isn't, it'll say, well, you need to work on these things. And this is the easiest way to do it. And by the way, it works with everything. Wordpress, Shopify, Wix AEM site core of course SharePoint, even hand coded sites. You'll get a detailed report of all the violations that were fixed on your site. Just ask the voice of Siri user way is

Speaker 4 (01:03:05):
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Leo Laporte (01:03:17):
She's right, ADA, a compliance it's easy user user way can make any website fully accessible and ADA compliant with user way. Everyone who visits your site will browse seamlessly can customize it to fit their needs. It's also a perfect way to showcase your brand's commitment to millions of people with disabilities, go to user right now, 30% off user ways, AI powered accessibility solution. By the way, they have the plan that we use. This small and medium sized business is actually super affordable, but now you're gonna need additional 30% off. You'll be, you'll go. You'll be the SI relief. And you say that's all, okay. I'll do it user way. Making the internet accessible for everyone. It's a great go to user today. All right. We've looked at the past. Now. It's time to venture intro is, is the sun gonna set in your face? It looks like it's good. It is. It's nice. It's funny. It is. Wow. Don't let this go down on.

Mary Jo Foley (01:04:23):
I said, I said, if we go too late though, I'll be in the pitch dark, right. Well,

Leo Laporte (01:04:27):
Right. We'll we'll wrap. It is. I mean, yesterday was the solstice. So it was, I felt it was a little brighter this morning. I don't know if you guys noticed it. No,

Mary Jo Foley (01:04:36):
It was raining in New York when I left

Leo Laporte (01:04:39):
Just the days are getting longer. That's the good

Mary Jo Foley (01:04:41):
That's right. That's the good thing. Inch by

Leo Laporte (01:04:43):
Inch maintain a positive outlook. Is it gonna be a good, is it gonna be, I have a feeling in 22 is gonna be a good year. Boy, we get that wrong. By the way 21 was not it's 22. It was still better though. It was bad. You're right. It was better. I mean, given it, it was a low bar, but still better was better. You're right. We had not as better as it could have been, but yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:05:11):
I'm, I'm curious to kind of see how the news cycle goes in 2022, right. Will we actually have any conferences to attend in person next year or will it all still be virtual? Because I feel

Paul Thurrott (01:05:24):
Like when you say conference, you mean like big conferences, like Microsoft, like

Mary Jo Foley (01:05:27):
Ignite build. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like, because you know, there was AWS reinvent in person at the end of this year and quite a few people did go to that, but Microsoft decided to keep all their big proprietary conferences virtual. And I think that has a lot to do with what the news cycle looks like in a given year. Right. So if we do that again next year, I feel like the news will be again, more told them big. Right?

Paul Thurrott (01:05:59):
You think they're saving big news for an in person event? I

Mary Jo Foley (01:06:02):
Feel like they do. I mean, look at windows 11, they launched that virtually and look how much more subdued that was than if we had gone to a physical

Paul Thurrott (01:06:10):
Event. Yeah. P so calm and

Mary Jo Foley (01:06:12):
Relaxed. It's just like walking and they tried to make it a thing. Like, don't worry, we're not gonna disrupt your work. We're gonna make everything look familiar.

Paul Thurrott (01:06:20):
But it kinda, you did disrupt it with like a party, maybe throw a pinata in there or something like, yeah,

Mary Jo Foley (01:06:25):
It was a very subdued launch. Right. And I mean, sure. Are we even expecting any major product lunches next year? I mean, like we're not thinking a new one. Oh,

Paul Thurrott (01:06:34):
Were we expecting windows 11? I mean, you know, sometimes said

Mary Jo Foley (01:06:38):
The, no, you know what? We were expecting a new version of windows. It was gonna be 10 X, but we, we were expecting something. Right. <laugh>

Paul Thurrott (01:06:47):
Well, yeah, originally. Sure. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:06:49):
But next year, I mean, you're gonna see the Android, the windows subsystem for Android show up. Right. Right. And I don't, I don't know how exciting or not that's going to be for people. Windows on arm is just gonna Chu along. Right. Because the processors aren't really ready for PCs and Microsoft doesn't seem to be really stepping things up there. Right.

Paul Thurrott (01:07:11):
That's right.

Mary Jo Foley (01:07:12):
So that's gonna kind of chug along surface. So we expecting any major new form factors. No, right. We're think

Paul Thurrott (01:07:19):
Incremental stuff last year was the arguably the biggest year for upgrades on surface. So what's left. Right. if you just look at the, the mainstream machines, what didn't they update? I surface laptop is pretty much it laptop. Yeah. You know, we'll surface or I don't, I don't expect to see studio again. I don't either. Same, in fact the thing they could and should replace it with of course is a display. Right. You know, I think that would be very interesting to a lot of people. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> and that'd be a nice little setup. You know, you have a surface studio, laptop, surface, laptop studio, whatever that thing's called or surface laptop or whatever. And you have a nice surface display. That's a nice little desktop setup. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:08:02):
Yeah. I mean, they may pull out some huge surprise, like some brand new service, some brand new feature that we haven't thought about or heard any rumors about yet. But so far the rumor mill is pretty quiet, right. About any big bang kind of new stuff for next year.

Paul Thurrott (01:08:22):
Right. Right. That's why antitrust has to step in and make some news. That'll be fun. There we go. Yeah. Give us something to write about, you know, something to debate. Yeah. We live in a world where people like, still think like, it's, it's fine. If apple wants to charge every one 30%, what's the problem. <Laugh>, it's their platform. And it's like, guys, it's a little more nuanced than that.

Mary Jo Foley (01:08:44):
Yeah. I'm, I'm super interested to see if next year Microsoft starts getting this, the legal antitrust scrutiny that all the other big tech companies are getting Amazon, apple, Google, right. Facebook meta, or whatever you wanna call 'em. Microsoft has kind of like hid under the radar there. Right. But now there are more people because of the things going on with edge saying, Hey, you should look into these guys and the nuance thing also, right. Nuance. they're big healthcare AI acquisition that they made earlier this year, just this week got EU clearance from the regulators, but it hasn't finished getting all the clearances that needs. And every once in a while you see somebody pop up, like, I think it was the UK saying, yeah, maybe we're not gonna approve that. Right. And people are worried about Microsoft's power now. I don't, I don't think so much as an AI powerhouse or a healthcare powerhouse, but just wondering how Microsoft snapping up all these kinds of companies affects the competition. Right. Yeah.

Paul Thurrott (01:09:49):
Right, right. And then there

Mary Jo Foley (01:09:51):

Paul Thurrott (01:09:52):
Right, right. The mark Butterfield. God bless him. We, yeah, we, Microsoft has a monopoly of sorts on the desktop for sure. They're unassailable, I think in certain markets. I mean, when you look at something like Google workspace compared to office or Microsoft 365, I mean, they're not even on the same planet. And the other thing is, you know, my, the, for all this, the know we talked about all these legacy tools, like word in Excel and PowerPoint and everything and how everything's moving forward to this new paradigm, blah, blah, blah, whatever. But there is a certain segment of like say the Excel user base that, that could never use something else <laugh>, you know? Right. It's so ingrained. And it's so just a, a, a fixture in business it's just unas saleable, you know? Yeah. And yeah, nor could normal people use Google sheets or whatever it's called here, probably.

Paul Thurrott (01:10:43):
I mean but normal people don't use spreadsheets, so whatever <laugh>, you know, I mean, I, I, I they're, so they're, they're so well positioned and that the way that they, we just talked about how incredible teams is as a product mm-hmm, <affirmative> no one, but Microsoft have made teams this successful, or even made teams and in then integrated it into everything else that they do. It's in windows. For some reason, you know, it it's, it, there is all the things that you can, we talked about this, I dunno if it was before the show or during the show, but the, the whole iPhone thing with you can sign in with an, an apple watch, which is a $400 product. And that's, instead of just having a button that actually works when you have a mask on this whole ecosystem approach that apple has is exactly what Microsoft is doing in the productivity space with Microsoft 365 and bundling teams instead of charging separately for it. Although, you know, they do now in a token way this is you know, they've been very successful. And like you said, it's been, it's been all under the radar because these other top, these other targets are much more high profile with the public, you know, Facebook, Amazon, Google, apple. But they are is, is Microsoft not the second most powerful company in earth or something like that. I mean, they're right there. <Laugh>

Mary Jo Foley (01:12:00):
Market cap wise.

Leo Laporte (01:12:01):
Yep. I dunno what that means though. You know, I mean, I know,

Paul Thurrott (01:12:04):
Well, it means you could buy every country in the world <laugh> except for the United States and parts of west. Yeah, that's true. Yeah. When you're gross, domestic product is higher than that, of the entire, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:12:15):
But you still have to get EU approval for your nuance acquisition. So I don't know how powerful you really are, you know what I'm saying? Right.

Paul Thurrott (01:12:22):
That true. That true. Well, if they, if they okay without condition <laugh>, which we need

Leo Laporte (01:12:25):
Nuclear weapons did to really be a world power,

Mary Jo Foley (01:12:28):
I think they're really, they are really stepping up their government work. And I'll talk about that when we talk about the cloud in a minute, but yeah. They're, they're pretty powerful in that space,

Paul Thurrott (01:12:42):

Mary Jo Foley (01:12:43):

Paul Thurrott (01:12:46):
They'll see. And then the, I expect, I expect some scrutiny.

Mary Jo Foley (01:12:49):
You do. Yeah. I don't, I don't know if I do. I, I keep thinking they can't keep being as lucky as they've been. And as we know the EU, really, they, they're not afraid to take on Microsoft. They they've done it several

Paul Thurrott (01:13:02):
Times. Oh. It's like riding a bike, Mary Jo. They could <laugh>, they could, they could fire that thing up today. All they have to do is change a couple of dates. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:13:11):
I has some fangs if you'll forgive the, but, but I have to say for all of the backing and forth thing that CEOs have made to DC and all the testimony and all that, mm-hmm <affirmative>, you really haven't seen anything from Congress. Congress is a zip and maybe, I mean, they propose laws, but they can't get anything done. I mean, so they're, that's safe. Well,

Paul Thurrott (01:13:35):
As well. In other words, what you we're relying on the EU is what I'm hearing and that's. Yeah, that's right. That's probably, that's

Leo Laporte (01:13:41):
Probably FTCs got, you know, Alina con in there and they they've got some fangs again, but I don't, I think it's really gonna come down to the EU, I think, in the us. Yeah. And mic and that's for everybody and Microsoft, especially I think, is safe in the us.

Paul Thurrott (01:13:55):
Well, there's also pro private companies that are launching lawsuits, like the epic versus apple thing and whatever happens there. I mean, I think we're gonna see more of that there just smaller companies that were beaten up by big tech without regard to the law. <Laugh>, you know, pretty much I think would be the primary concern or to ethics or whatever. Although epic

Leo Laporte (01:14:17):
Lost 100%. I mean, there's, they're on appeal, but

Paul Thurrott (01:14:21):
I think it's, we'll see. Oh, we'll see. Yeah, we'll see. But I think it's, it's not the only one. I mean, that won't be the only time. No,

Leo Laporte (01:14:30):
But that's

Paul Thurrott (01:14:31):
Said, I wish you had brought me more evidence cuz I would like to find apple guilty of being a Monopoli and you just didn't gimme the evidence. Like they all, they, they basically said, would you just do this?

Leo Laporte (01:14:40):
And the one thing that she said to do, which is to open the app store to third party payment systems, the ninth district just said no. And I think that's really a signal from, from the higher courts that they're not, I think we're an America baby. I think I don't see a lot of pushback against big successful companies.

Mary Jo Foley (01:15:01):

Paul Thurrott (01:15:02):
Mm-Hmm well, you can show consumer harm and you can show anticompetitive behavior. I, I it's gonna happen somehow. I, I, I don't, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:15:12):
We'll interesting. So you really believe at some point somebody's gonna slap these guys down, not Microsoft couple.

Paul Thurrott (01:15:16):
It has to happen. Yeah. We've already seen the baby steps, you know, apple, even, it seems proactive, but it's actually in response to class action lawsuits or whatever, they they've made little steps. Yeah. You know, they've done that. They've lowered their fee structure from 30 to 15% for most developers that kind of stuff. So it's already moving in the right direction. I mean, I, like I said, there's, there's some people who just feel like they should be able to do whatever they want. They're great. Love apple. I have one of their stickers in my car. Okay. <Laugh> but <laugh>, that's cute. Good, good. But you know, I it's, it's more, it's more nuanced than that. Like I said, so, you know, we'll say I, I there's already been steps in the right direction. I, I don't, we're not, it's not gonna get worse. <Laugh>, you know, it's either gonna stay the same in some ways or it's gonna get better and it's already gotten better. So I, I think it's gonna head in the right direction.

Leo Laporte (01:16:02):
Good. I'm glad you're such an optimist. That's not, I am,

Paul Thurrott (01:16:05):
I don't get for that on this

Mary Jo Foley (01:16:06):
Show. I don't know this man. I don't.

Leo Laporte (01:16:14):
So metaverse, I guess we should, we should really talk about meta.

Mary Jo Foley (01:16:17):
We should, we should. So you know, we, this kind of also was a little under the radar this year, but at build Microsoft started talking about the enterprise metaverse that was back in like may and I remember seeing the term and I'm like, what the heck is that? Let's like some weird term. And then suddenly the term metaverse exploded. Everybody was talking about like crypto and web three and like Microsoft

Leo Laporte (01:16:41):
First to the party they were, they were, yeah.

Paul Thurrott (01:16:44):
Except the, so you're saying they're gonna fail is what I just heard.

Mary Jo Foley (01:16:47):
Yeah. Pretty much. Right. Like, no, the way Microsoft talks about the metaverse though is very different. They talk about the enterprise metaverse and what they mean, Chris Capella made a passing reference to this last week. Remember when he talked about digital twins, that's the cornerstone for them of what they are building around as the metaverse. So for Microsoft, the idea is you can have virtual representations and augmented reality representations of stuff for consumers, for businesses. And that is our definition of metaverse. We're not worried about NFTs and crypto and Bitcoin, although we do have some things in that space, but we're more interested in how you take IOT digital twins, Azure, and you combine these things to create worlds where you you're basically living in an augmented reality space. To some extent, do

Paul Thurrott (01:17:46):
You think the the hybrid work thing has sort, would've accelerated that like, if we did, if the pandemic never happened, right. And you and I, and a thousand other people showed up at some Microsoft conference in Seattle or whatever, and sat in an audience and they talked about the metaverse, we'd all be making fun of it, you know? Yep. But now I'm still making, we've all spent two. Okay. No, and that's fair. We should, but you know, but you spend two years working from home and, and not just us, so we've done it for decades, but the whole world basically, or half the world has, has been working from home. And now this notion of an augmented reality future where I don't have to go to New York city to sit in an office with my coworkers, but I can have a, what visually appears to be a, a, a realistic setting of that type mm-hmm <affirmative>, even though we're all different physical locations. And then you can, and then with advanced capabilities in the future where you're interacting with things and so forth, I mean, that's kind of compelling now in a way that maybe it wouldn't have been mm-hmm <affirmative> if the pandemic hadn't happened. So I'm trying to say COVID was great and I's probably the best thing that's ever happened. <Laugh>

Mary Jo Foley (01:18:48):
I just feel like every time I see these demo of like teams and mesh together, I'm like, isn't the second life all over again. Like what's different about this

Paul Thurrott (01:18:57):
<Laugh> well, what's different is we can do it in an aquarium. And <laugh> that demo that Alex Gitman did, right? Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:19:04):
Yeah. I don't know. I'm I'm not sure it's gonna really take off in the business world. I think in, in the space, maybe it will more, but I don't really, I feel like when I'm interacting with people, teams is enough. Like, I don't need to have a, an avatar representation of myself in a physical space with somebody else. I don't think that's gonna change the quality or the content. No, of my interaction. Disgusting. Right.

Leo Laporte (01:19:30):

Mary Jo Foley (01:19:32):
No. Are you, are you like being sarcastic?

Leo Laporte (01:19:34):
I feel like some people it's literally disgusting.

Paul Thurrott (01:19:38):
Well, okay. Look, we, we are three people that appear in front of a camera regularly

Leo Laporte (01:19:42):
In our real flesh, instead

Paul Thurrott (01:19:44):
Of some, I mean, this is not the valley. I'm not saying it's UN enticing to me. Exactly. But I mean, you know, for people that don't, but only want

Mary Jo Foley (01:19:52):
That right. Who don't wanna be on camera?

Paul Thurrott (01:19:55):
Isn't mostly internet lurkers <laugh> you know,

Leo Laporte (01:19:58):
But that's so make a, oh, I guess cuz they can have a fake persona, right? Maybe,

Paul Thurrott (01:20:02):
Maybe, honestly that's in many ways, the problem with many online communities, like there's been a story recently, Shamus blackly came out against the toxicity in Xbox live and said, we, you know, we should put a stop to that. It's like Shamus, this has been a problem. Since the day you launched this thing 20 years ago, it's been something that I, and many others have been complained about every single year. I complain about people on Xbox live almost every single day. And now, now you've seen a video and you think we should fix it. And the reason that toxicity exists is because people can hide who they are. Yeah. You know, and it it's look, I'm not saying people don't confront people in real life. Of course they do. But it happens a lot less often when you, you can hide behind a cartoon face and pretend you bohi MC boat face or whatever name you chose on Xbox live and not all thout or whatever, you know, it's, there are real problems there. But anyway, but of course anyway, so lurks lurk, but hopefully that won't be as big of a problem in a work meeting, I guess.

Mary Jo Foley (01:21:04):
Yeah. I'll, I'll be curious if the digital little twins part of this takes off more. That to me seems like something that actually has business value. Like it's, it's not about avatars and cartoon characters. It's more about building digital representations of physical assets, like plants and supply chain type things. Right. That to me a, okay, I see what you're doing there and how, and you're looking at how something will change, you know, just like when you, with these new apps can put a couch in your living room and see how it looks and if it fits, this is the same idea. Right. building and building out spaces for manufacturing plants and such with digital twins in a way that you can do a, what if kind of thing that to me makes sense and that yeah. It's like modeling basically, right? Yeah. I guess some people call that the metaverse too, like Microsoft does. But that part makes sense. The other cartoon character thing, I don't know that to me is kinda like <laugh>,

Paul Thurrott (01:22:04):
You're just making a, like a, me like a it's a little weeble looking thing. Yeah. You know, with no legs in Microsoft's case. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:22:12):
See this funny, cuz I thought the whole point of metaverse was to, to kind of try to replicate the in-person

Paul Thurrott (01:22:20):
Relationship, body language. That's that's

Mary Jo Foley (01:22:23):
The end game. That's what most people

Paul Thurrott (01:22:24):
Define. We can't that's going from zero to 10, like Microsoft is going at two. Right? Yeah. You know, in other words, we're gonna get there. Yep. And then we find out we live in the matrix. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:22:37):
<Laugh> yep. All right. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:22:42):
And what is the, what is meta not to do with metas? Is that related? Nothing.

Mary Jo Foley (01:22:48):
No. Which is crazy. Two names have nothing to do. Metaverse and meta OS. No, as far as I know, they are not related. Right. Well, meta OS some people originally thought it was about turning teams into an operating system, but it's beyond, it's much bigger than that. It's about how you use things like fluid framework and the graph and like all these pieces Microsoft's been building out as infrastructure to build a platform where you can build apps out of component building blocks. Right. So yeah, I think, I think this idea is continuing. I think there's still working on it. I, every once in a while I try to check up on it and I look at like LinkedIn and I look at who who's working on meta OS at Microsoft and there are people working on it. Their, their profiles are very cryptic. So you can't tell what they're doing.

Leo Laporte (01:23:39):
You need to worry about this when it's Markovich. Exactly. Some of the, or Dave Kotler. Well, you know,

Mary Jo Foley (01:23:45):
I'll tell you who's running it. So this is a little, this gives you a dose of how big this is Kirk Conig power at Microsoft is running. He's the head. He's like the top guy in the office world.

Leo Laporte (01:23:56):
He used to be high up in yeah. Office, right? Yeah. I say Microsoft 365,

Mary Jo Foley (01:24:00):
But yeah. Yeah. I forget what his new title is, but like jar Pataro all those people to him. Right. So it has very high level priority. Okay. So yeah, I may, when we hear about it in 2022, maybe

Leo Laporte (01:24:15):
Kevin is pointing out that meta is an anagram of team. Yes, its

Mary Jo Foley (01:24:22):

Leo Laporte (01:24:24):
You smell team with that a little better. Got your team and my meta.

Mary Jo Foley (01:24:28):
Well, do you remember the, when the leaks came out, the team was actually to T a O S

Leo Laporte (01:24:35):
<Laugh> and then Patrick, what? That, it's also an anagram of, of meat. No boy

Mary Jo Foley (01:24:43):
Meat, meat, meat, OS

Leo Laporte (01:24:45):
Meat. M E a T meta team, right? Yep. They all have something

Mary Jo Foley (01:24:51):
It's the non-vegan platform. The meat

Leo Laporte (01:24:54):
OS. Yeah. The other four letter words. Yeah. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:24:57):
Great. <Laugh> yeah. Okay. Yeah. So maybe, I don't know that one. I'm thinking maybe for 20, 22. We'll see how, how that looks.

Leo Laporte (01:25:07):
Is that a rumor or is, I mean, how solid is that?

Mary Jo Foley (01:25:11):
So I've seen memos and things that are real about it. It does exist. Okay. Yes.

Leo Laporte (01:25:16):
<Laugh> maybe there's hope yet. I mean, is it, could it be like 10 X part two? Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:25:22):
Windows is supposedly part of it. Somehow windows edge office is part of it. Outlook teams. So yeah, pretty much everything is fits in. Somehow. I don't know that it actually is 10 X revisited. I don't think it's like that. Yeah. But I don't know what exactly on the window side it'll it'll incorporate

Leo Laporte (01:25:45):
So interesting. Hmm. So interesting. It's a whole life experience. Yes it is. Yes it is. <Laugh> <laugh> yes, yes. Its where with her Android in my, how, how, how I was supposed to get some Android on windows.

Mary Jo Foley (01:26:06):
Yeah. Next year. Next year. <Laugh> okay. Yep.

Paul Thurrott (01:26:10):
Yep. Yeah. I, I threw this at the end. Just cuz I felt, I feel that it has some relevance to windows, but we might as well throw it in now, which is that Google recently published a post to their ChromeOS developer blog about Android app usage, trying to drive developers to tailor their apps for these bigger screen devices. Right. Which has been a historically been a huge problem on the Google side. Something apples has done better with iOS and iPad OS and you know, hopefully this successful because we're about to get Android apps on windows and if they work better on a Chromebook or other tablet or whatever they will work better on windows as well. And so that's not nothing Microsoft is, is doing. It's not anything they have a part of. I do think there are certain apps that can run in a little phone shape window and that's fine.

Paul Thurrott (01:26:58):
You know, if you want to control your hue light bulbs or something, it does. That's fine. It's like a little dashboard. It's cool. But if you want, you know, like a Kindle app, which we know is already there and some other apps, I mean you want that kind of tablet experience. You want the big screen experience. So hopefully we'll see some of that in the future on the Android side, cuz can't tell you how many times you, you grab some Android app in a Chromebook and you full screen it and it's just, oh

Leo Laporte (01:27:21):
Yeah, it just, it's why the Android tablet to take off because they were terrible. Yeah. Terrible. Yeah. So don't in other words, <laugh>, don't be in such a hurry <laugh> yeah.

Paul Thurrott (01:27:34):
Well yeah we can kinda sit back and watch this happen and hopefully it, you know, it happens. Yeah, yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:27:39):
Yeah. But right. Mary, Joe Foley, it's time to head, but she's ahead in the clouds baby. It's time to go up and see what's happening in the cloud.

Mary Jo Foley (01:27:49):
Yeah. I feel like we, you can't talk about Microsoft anymore without talking about the cloud. Right. Especially the thing formally known as commercial cloud, which is now called the Microsoft cloud. So whenever you hear them say Microsoft cloud, what they mean is the commercial cloud, which is Azure windows 365, office 365 all the SharePoint online exchange, online stuff and nuance next year. If it gets approval in the beginning of the year, that will be in the Microsoft cloud. Also. the thing to watch from my perspective out the cloud next year is how Microsoft is increasingly blurring the lines between all the different things that are in the Microsoft cloud. So, you know, these idea, this idea of industry clouds, where they have like cloud for healthcare cloud, for retail cloud, for financial services, a lot of people have kind who put that and said, yeah, who buys that way? This is the way they're selling now. Right? So the, they go to a customer now and they say, you know what? You don't just want Azure or you just don't want Microsoft 365. You want the whole meal deal, right? You want Azure, you want dynamics, you want office, you want power platform. You want all these layers and they're just taking your plate and they're putting more and more of the cloud stuff, piling it up until it's a giant Whopper. <Laugh>,

Paul Thurrott (01:29:14):
It's a antitrust case. <Laugh>

Mary Jo Foley (01:29:18):
But this is, this is how they're selling that. Right. And right. I think people should be very cognizant of that because it has a lot of implications for how these separate products like dynamics and windows and office are going to be built and engineered going forward in the old days, they called this better together. Remember that old campaign at Microsoft? Yeah. Yep. It was basically, yeah. You can use a different word processing program on windows, but if you use ours, it's gonna work better. Right. And this is what they're doing now with the cloud, they're saying, yeah, you know what? You can mix and match clouds do hybrid cloud multi-cloud we have stuff for that. But if you want the best experience, you use all our full stack in the cloud and that's what we're gonna try to sell you. So yeah, I think, I think people should be very cognizant of that and kinda watch how Microsoft does that going forward. What else

Paul Thurrott (01:30:17):
We buried the lead? I think the most important thing going forward is how badly is off gonna screw up Nopa.

Mary Jo Foley (01:30:24):
Yeah. Well that, that is kind of key, right? <Laugh> yeah. A lot of people said, that's cool. You wrote an article called what's next for the Microsoft cloud, but where's your what's next for Nopa article Mary Jo. And you know, I, I think we should be encouraged by the, the new version of notepad that we just saw for windows 11. They changed a few things at a dark mode, gave it some rounded corners, did a couple things inside the program, but nothing too crazy. Right. And they know don't mess with something that works and that's good. And I feel like this is, this should be their role to live by for all, all the off, all the windows inbox apps as they evolve them, paint don't screw. As Paul has said, paint, didn't go so well. Right. Like

Paul Thurrott (01:31:11):
You, you had some paint is not quite a crime against humanity, but it's kind of on the edge. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:31:17):

Paul Thurrott (01:31:18):
Yeah. It's not good,

Mary Jo Foley (01:31:19):
But yeah, I'm not a big sniping tool fan either. I really like the old sniping and I'm not so into the sketch and sketch and snip as it's called now. But sketch and

Paul Thurrott (01:31:29):

Mary Jo Foley (01:31:30):
Yeah. <laugh> scratch and snip, whatever it's called. Yeah. Whatever it's called. But yeah, I think the one thing to watch in 2022 is how they update the, these things that they call inbox apps. Be cuz now they can be updated separately from the operating system. It's not dependent on having to wait for windows to update, to get updates to all of these things. It'll come through

Paul Thurrott (01:31:53):
Various actually. That's another big part of the story for windows 11 is that the major inbox apps have not been updated like mail and calendar mm-hmm <affirmative> and

Mary Jo Foley (01:32:01):
Oh yeah, we didn't put that on the list.

Paul Thurrott (01:32:03):
<Laugh> yeah. It's interesting. You know, windows 11, like a base install. Yeah. Does not have a mail icon in the task part, which windows 10 did. And I had always argued with windows 10. These things should be showcases for which possible on your modern app platform. I remember someone from Microsoft told me one time, but they are that, that's what they are. And I'm like, no, that's not, they're terrible. Not really. They're they're, they're a, a cautionary tale. Yeah. And they're really undercutting mail today in a way by not putting it on the task bar. But I think it's because there's that new client coming me

Mary Jo Foley (01:32:35):
Too at some point, right. We forgot to put that on the list, but Monarch could name one. Monarch is the next version of outlook. That's supposed to be more uniform across all the different flavors of outlook, mobile versions of outlook outlook for the web outlook inside of windows. And this thing is very close to launching like people in Microsoft are using Monarch. Yeah. They're using it. I can wait

Paul Thurrott (01:33:00):
To see this. I

Mary Jo Foley (01:33:01):
I'm fearful. I'm trying to see this too. But ultimately the goal with Monarch is to make that male client replace the mail and calendar app. That's built into windows right now, which is good. Think they need to

Paul Thurrott (01:33:14):
Do that. Right. There's a model that they could use where this app, whatever it's called will be bundled in windows 11. And then if you have a Microsoft 365 account, it exposes additional functionality,

Mary Jo Foley (01:33:28):
You know? Yes. Great. Yep. I will see. So yeah, that, that I think will be monarch's launch is gonna be a 20, 22 thing. I'm pretty sure. So that should be on our list. Yep. Project Monarch. Yeah. I remember I got in, I got in to project Monarch by playing around a little bit. Yeah, that's right. And then I'm like, oh, I'm in. And then it's like, you have to request access to use this. And so of course I tried, but yeah, I didn't see. That's

Paul Thurrott (01:33:58):
Why you need, that's why you need the toxic. You have to be someone else online. So they don't know it's you

Mary Jo Foley (01:34:04):
That's right. I need to be an avatar myself or SRA or something.

Paul Thurrott (01:34:08):
<Laugh> right, right. There's a cat woman trying to get into the program.

Mary Jo Foley (01:34:13):
<Laugh> yeah. So that, yeah, that should definitely be on our list. What else? I, I put on their Chromebook compete windows on arm. It's just like, yeah, let's see. I don't think we're gonna see 10 X or something to replace 10 X next year. Right. I think they're gonna push ahead with windows 11 se, which they announced very late in the game. Yeah. Which is that stripped down version of windows 11 for the education market primarily.

Paul Thurrott (01:34:41):
And that's it that's the, that is in many ways the Chromebook compete, I guess. And it does. I replace what 10 X would've been or one of the things that would've been

Mary Jo Foley (01:34:49):
Same. Yep. Yeah. did you test drive it? I forget windows 11 se you can't right. Cause it comes preloaded. It comes preloaded on hardware. 

Paul Thurrott (01:35:01):
Yep. And I think that's look, this thing will leak for sure, but I, no, not to my knowledge. It hasn't yet.

Mary Jo Foley (01:35:07):
Yeah. And in the short term we have to mention in March for people who may have forgotten this office is getting some pretty hefty price increases office 365, Microsoft 365 for business users. Right. that Microsoft calls this, the first substantive price increase to office in like a decade or so. And I get a, I get mail about, I don't know if you're getting mail about this all the time. Yeah. But I am getting a lot of mail about this. Like how can they do this during the pan? This is horrible. Especially for smaller businesses and yeah. They made, they made the decision and they're doing it. It's gonna take effect in March. Consumers don't have to worry, no price increase so far for consumers.

Paul Thurrott (01:35:50):
Right? Yeah. I mean, look at all the value who can complain. There is a lot

Mary Jo Foley (01:35:56):
Of new value. There is no, they have added, they have added a lot, not just teams. Oh, for sure. For sure. Right. But yeah, the price increases there, there range from like $2 an up,

Paul Thurrott (01:36:08):
I mean, user TVB has gone up, has doubled in the last four years. I mean office. Yeah. You know, they they've they've done some squirrly things around making the standalone office, less capable and less portable across machines. And you know, so they they've sort of raised the price in some ways, but yes. I mean a literal price increase, I guess it's been a while. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:36:28):

Leo Laporte (01:36:32):

Mary Jo Foley (01:36:33):
What about Xbox? Do we not mention the future of Xbox? I think we kind of did

Paul Thurrott (01:36:37):
<Laugh> yeah. Just

Leo Laporte (01:36:37):
Real quick. I that's my question. When can I buy one?

Paul Thurrott (01:36:41):
Yeah. Yeah. I can't answer that. If you want an nest, you can get it right now. Yeah, I saw that and it honestly, it's a great little console. I don't just

Leo Laporte (01:36:50):
Want the 4k man. I

Paul Thurrott (01:36:51):
Know, I know. I don't remember if it was pat Gelsinger or someone from Intel basically had come out and said that they didn't expect this to ease up than through the end of the next year. So yeah. This might be the new normal, as we keep saying about everything these days. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> it might be a while. Yeah, no, I guess we'll see, I'm curious on the surface front, like I'm curious if Microsoft will do a du oh three. 

Leo Laporte (01:37:16):
It feels like they're very close. We were having a good conversation about the doo in the TWI community forums. And the guy really likes it. I mean, you know, they're OB the obvious software issues, but I'm thinking this du, oh,

Paul Thurrott (01:37:28):
Threes just there's an awkwardness to it. That they they're having a trouble getting around, you know, the, the, they improve the camera, but it's still on the outside. So you have to open it like a book to take a picture. It's like what? It, it gets it into a weird thing. I mean, I think people see this thing and they think, well, I wanna use this as a phone. And I like the idea that I open up, it's a bigger palette, a bigger screen. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> bigger set of screens, whatever. And it fair enough, but I mean, and then you talk to Microsoft, they're like, no, no, it's not a phone. It's a new type of Microsoft, 365 device. It's like, guys, we, we tend to get on the same page on this thing because yeah. It's something <laugh> and whether or not it makes sense, you know, whether it can literally replace a phone for most people is I know. So what

Mary Jo Foley (01:38:13):
You think Android 12 helps it at all or not?

Paul Thurrott (01:38:17):
Yeah. Well, so 12 L is actually related to those things we talked about earlier where Google is trying to get developers to target the big screen devices. Right. And actually tailor their S big screens. And I think that's their attempt to do like an iPad OS type thing where mm-hmm, <affirmative> in the beginning, apple, it was just iOS on both, but, you know, to get on the, I, you know, you can make an iPad specific version, they kind of split it out to its own OS. And I think they really want developers to think about this, you know, mm-hmm <affirmative> because like we talked about it, it's kind of a disaster, so yeah. I, I and big screen devices and then dual screen devices of all kinds just, you know, non, non phone, you know, nontraditional slab, phone form factors. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I think is important. I mean is gonna be a lot of these things, so yeah. We'll see. I don't know. I don't know about duo.

Leo Laporte (01:39:09):
Yeah. How about how about conferences next year? Will we have a in-person ignite or, you know build

Mary Jo Foley (01:39:18):
And I really don't know. I don't know. Yep.

Paul Thurrott (01:39:21):
I would say gold is really dicey right now. I don't think, I don't think

Leo Laporte (01:39:24):
Anybody knows. I

Mary Jo Foley (01:39:25):
Don's don't think anybody knows Microsoft Microsoft's airing on the side of caution, which I don't think is a bad strategy.

Paul Thurrott (01:39:31):
<Laugh> yep, yep, yep.

Leo Laporte (01:39:33):

Mary Jo Foley (01:39:34):
But third party run conferences. Like there have been some, oh, they're already happening. Yeah. They're happening a lot. Right? Like Richard and Richard and Carl Franklin. Right.

Paul Thurrott (01:39:49):
My had been to Florida. I know who else is going. Yeah. Stephen Rose was just traveling around the world, you know, Stephen Rose. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:39:55):
There's so sorry,

Mary Jo Foley (01:39:57):
Microsoft 365. You

Leo Laporte (01:39:58):
Have fun doing that. You go enjoy your little conference, but I'm not going. Yeah. They had a podcast expo. <Laugh> sure. Great. Yeah. Great. Mm-hmm <affirmative> <laugh> yeah. I think the, I think the smart money is saying no conferences and honestly, I think what Microsoft has done with building night 

Paul Thurrott (01:40:19):
Virtually has been it's pretty good. I don't think you it's

Mary Jo Foley (01:40:22):
It's as good

Paul Thurrott (01:40:22):
As it can be. It's a huge problem. It's it's yeah. It's a big problem because you know, I go work for a small company and my, we were my wife and I were talking about this, like what ha you know, what if I could go to a Seattle in may, you know, for a build conference or something you know, my workplace might be like, you know what we kind of survived the pandemic because we weren't paying for all this stuff. Yeah. It worked hard. Okay. So why, why do we need to do this? Can't you just cover it from home. It's not a huge, are they gonna put it on the internet? You know? Yeah, exactly. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and it's, you know, fair enough. I mean, it's I, yeah, I dunno. I hope to, I, I hope to have some work travel in the future. I know. Yeah. It is gonna be dramatically let, it's never gonna be like it was before, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative> it's never coming. Not for me. It's not coming back. No, not, not to the way it was. It just isn't.

Leo Laporte (01:41:09):
Yeah. I mean, yeah, no, there's not a lot of, except for a handful of people who really miss getting together with their, you know,

Paul Thurrott (01:41:16):
Colleagues. I do miss. I do miss that. Actually. That was that's one of the things that was that's the, about that

Leo Laporte (01:41:22):
Interest. No, I

Mary Jo Foley (01:41:23):
Think, I think people who make a career out of being professional conference speakers and they exist out there. Yeah. But who cares? They're like, let's go, right?

Paul Thurrott (01:41:32):
Yeah. No that, no, the that's not it to me. It's the, the human thing. And it's not just the, like our, the people who do what we do, but it's the people at the Microsoft that we know or might not know yet. And I think there's something to human interaction that is special and missing when you're, when you do it remotely. And then I just, from a personal level, I mean, we, from a, a lot of my career, I had little kids, so my wife was kind of home. Our kids grew up and they went off to college and now she's like, great. I can travel. I'm like, well, I get betters for you. Yeah. We're not going

Leo Laporte (01:41:59):
Anywhere, baby. Yeah.

Paul Thurrott (01:41:59):
We're not going anywhere anymore. So that was kind of bad timing for her because she's been literally waiting for years to be able to kind of tag along. I feel bad. And we get out a couple days to the trip and no, she did some of it, you know, we, before the pandemic, we did some of it, but it's, you know, it's nice cuz work's paying for the trip for me and it's less expensive for her to come and, and you know, that's,

Leo Laporte (01:42:21):
I dunno. Well, so it's the Stephanie's of the world that are really wanting these things. The real brands. Yeah. Well, she can tell you that that's the real pressure coming from spouses. That's right. All right. That's it for the past and the few, we have a little present news and then the back of the book, <laugh> very little small amount. Yeah. A bit of present

Paul Thurrott (01:42:42):
News. We did some of it earlier, too. So

Leo Laporte (01:42:45):
I loved the bingo story though. You gotta tell that one. <Laugh>

Paul Thurrott (01:42:48):
Yeah, this is classic. So this is a an interview that the with the guy who used to run Cortana team, and I actually, I take exception to some of this stuff. It was, it appeared in the big bets newsletter. You can, you can read it for yourself online. So send per UR, sorry. If I butcher that former programmer MI program manager at Microsoft talked about the early days of Cortana, which began as a, a voice assistant on what became windows phone 8.1, and like so many things at Microsoft, you know, this thing raced ahead because it was a small team that didn't have a lot of oversight and didn't have to deal with a lot of the big parts of Microsoft, et cetera, et cetera. And <laugh>, I, I don't, I, I didn't look this up, but I, I wanna say windows 8.1 probably came out 2015 ish. It was right around the time where baller was in his last year. And sat Chandel would be coming in soon. And one of the last things he suggested as CEO was that they call this AI, which had been codenamed Corton, much like Xbox had been codenamed, Xbox. Right. that he, they name it bingo. <Laugh> like, Bing, you know? Oh,

Leo Laporte (01:44:03):
I thought I was like, cuz he liked dogs <laugh>

Paul Thurrott (01:44:06):
I just it's crazy. So it actually,

Leo Laporte (01:44:08):
Isn't a terrible name. I have to say. That's what I felt like. Bingo. Yeah. I, I

Paul Thurrott (01:44:13):
Think it's not a bad name. Well, it's Bixby, right? I mean its just yeah, so they basically, the team waited it out. He moved along, Nadela came in he had different ideas. <Laugh> about the branding. They went ahead with the the Cortana bit, but the thing that's interesting to me is he, he touches on how windows phone and Cortana failed and he kind of points the finger in an interesting direction. I'm not, this is the part I don't a hundred percent agree with. Basically what he was saying was that the reason that Cortana worked was that they were the small team and they didn't have to deal with all of Microsoft. But once it became emerging a windows phone windows and all those technologies had to go across the platform without regards to whether it made any sense whatsoever to have a, a voice assistant on a desktop platform or on an Xbox or an office or whatever, they suddenly had to deal with all these very powerful people at Microsoft running big parts of Microsoft and it kind of diluted the whole thing and made it hard for them to move forward.

Paul Thurrott (01:45:12):
And they were never able to scale the product effectively and especially not the culture that he thinks was important to the product. And that, because of this, in his words, the brand faltered, before it even had a chance to truly reach the masses <laugh> and I'm like, well, yeah, you launched it on windows phone. Of course it never truly reached the, it was never gonna reach the masses on windows phone. Yeah. But anyway but anyway, I, I do think the key takeaway here is B I N G O is almost her Namo. <Laugh> which I think, you know, Xbox is a good example of code name becoming the product name. It's something Microsoft doesn't do a lot and they often should, and this is another great example that for whatever happened to Cortana, however, it never took off or whatever, whatever, however, whatever you wanna blame it on. It's a good brand, you know, it's, it's it's a good name. I'm glad they kept it. I wish it had done better, but yeah. Bingo. <laugh> bingo. <Laugh> I missed the bomber. It was a

Leo Laporte (01:46:12):
Bomber head. Doug and bingo was his name <laugh>

Paul Thurrott (01:46:17):
Yep. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:46:20):
How much power did he have? Could he have said it's gonna be bingo and they would've done it. Had he

Paul Thurrott (01:46:25):
Still been seating? I mean he probably, I don't know. You know, ultimately it comes down to marketing, right. It's you know, why did windows NT 5.0 become windows thousand that didn't come from the CEO, you know, that was marketing. I think the CEO listened to experts. They

Leo Laporte (01:46:41):
Owned the Cortana trade market

Paul Thurrott (01:46:43):
Could very well be getting, but it was also Cortana was also something very specific in halo. And I don't remember the timing of the games, but like by, I mean, it was probably after this, but you know, if you follow the halo, storyline Cortana goes insane and wages war on the, on the earth. <Laugh> like and there there's a message in there. Well, no, I mean, one of the things in the halo storyline is that these AI degrade over time and you have to decommission them and that never happened with her. So she went insane and she decided to take over the earth and the guys or the team that made halo, infinite decided they were gonna not go that storyline anymore. <Laugh> just without ruining, without ruining how they do it. They, they kind of red con that. Yeah, because it was stupid, but anyway, oh, well

Leo Laporte (01:47:43):
Google touts, Android app usage on ChromeOS

Paul Thurrott (01:47:46):
Yeah, we, you did that. We covered one. All right. Yeah, yeah. That, and

Leo Laporte (01:47:49):
Then a TT ad marketplace.

Mary Jo Foley (01:47:52):
Yeah. This is a weird one right after we're off, right? Yeah. So at and T is about to merge with who they merging with Warner. I

Paul Thurrott (01:48:00):
Forget again. Oh no, that was <laugh> it's like are all the same and

Leo Laporte (01:48:06):
They bought 'em, but they're splitting 'em up or something.

Mary Jo Foley (01:48:08):
Yeah. So they, they wanted to off this ad marketplace, they have called Xander X, a N D R Inc. And there were rumors in the summer that that Xander was losing tens of millions of dollars and had been grossly mismanaged by, at and T that's from Axios. Blew says Microsoft ended up paying a billion, but back in July at and T was going to sell to the Indian ad tech vendor in mobi. So it sounds like at, and T's been trying to get rid of this for a while. Microsoft just making the case that this is a great fit for what they're doing with their digital ad platform. And right when we're talking about how ads are kind of taking over and Microsoft is doing stuff with edge and around turning edge into more of a shopping browser, then we find out they're buying an ad a platform. So yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:49:08):
And even admitting in the press release that we're in a post cookie world. Yeah. So we need some other way to Snoop on you.

Mary Jo Foley (01:49:17):
So we need to still Snoop on you, but we don't, we don't wanna use cookies. <Laugh> no, we can't use

Leo Laporte (01:49:22):
Cookies. So what do we do in a post cookie world? Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:49:25):
You know, they're

Paul Thurrott (01:49:26):
Playing the advertisers, that's what we do. Right.

Mary Jo Foley (01:49:28):
They're playing to the advertisers who wanna hear that. Right. They're like, okay, we can't use cookies now, what do we do? So yeah, you know, like we've said on the show a few times, I can't imagine that the senior leadership team at Microsoft, isn't sitting there looking at how much money Google makes as the ad company and then comes back and says, why are we not doing this? Like we have an ad platform, we have a search engine. We have an ad platform that monetizes the search engine. Like what, why aren't we doing this too? Right. a few people PO pointed it out that Microsoft was a bigger player in advertising back over a decade ago with a quant of, that was one of their biggest acquisitions that they had to sell off in the end. That was kinda a big wash on that.

Paul Thurrott (01:50:09):
Right. <Laugh> that was like, throw me above, like they, what did they lose that one double click, whatever it was. Yeah. Double click.

Paul Thurrott (01:50:17):
Yeah. They just felt like they had to buy something. Like they were like, what else is in this market? And there was this here's this company. No one's ever heard of,

Mary Jo Foley (01:50:23):
You know? Yeah. So now yeah, they bought an ad platform, but reportedly, so that's maybe their last,

Paul Thurrott (01:50:30):
I can't, I can't wait to see their post cookie ads. It's gonna be great.

Leo Laporte (01:50:34):
It's a post cookie world. <Laugh> geez. Well, it's funny that they admit that, but I guess they figure, well, only the ad people are reading well, people

Paul Thurrott (01:50:44):
Like that, Google's talking about now. Right? The, yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (01:50:47):

Leo Laporte (01:50:49):
Wow. All right. Let's take a time out cuz you still have more to do we have we missed it last week? We did of the book tips, apps, enterprise picks code names and yes. Beer with a wild name. <Laugh> <laugh> can't wait, can wait to hear to pronounce that's alright. <Laugh> but first a word from our sponsor. This show actually kind of a little coincidence brought to you by at and T at and T active armor. Yes. Cooking between meetings, helping with homework, you know, this is the normal life of a human being in the 21st century, walking the dog, you know, and that's work from home, which is hysterical. <Laugh> when you finally get down to work and focus you're ready to take that big meeting and the phone rings and it's some robo call trying to sell you an auto warranty. So frustrating. Don't let those fraud calls disrupt your flow at and T makes your security a top priority. Helping block fraud calls with at and T active armor. It's not complicated at and T active armor, 24 7 proactive network security fraud call blocking and spam notifications to help up threats at no extra charge compatible devices, service required, visit armor for details back of the book we go, Paul, throt kicks it off with his tip of the week.

Paul Thurrott (01:52:24):
This is my tip of last week. So <laugh> cuz we didn't do this. I think I mentioned this anyway, but as you probably know, there's a power on the, the story of Xbox. I think it's a five part documentary it's available for free on YouTube and elsewhere. If you haven't seen it, you need to watch it. And I think this was the comment I had made last week. Some people like Mary Jo didn't necessarily care about gaming. If you care about Microsoft at all, still watch it. I'm gonna watch it again and I'm probably gonna start that as soon as tonight. <Laugh> it's it's really, really good. It's very interesting to see kind of the old Microsoft of the late nineties is, is how it starts. The two different teams that went up against each other in remember there was something called windows CE.

Paul Thurrott (01:53:07):
They had been part of the Dreamcast. They thought they should be the console. And then there was the direct X team that thought they should have a direct Xbox, which is how they got the, the Xbox. And as you probably could figure out from that they won <laugh> and that's good because they had the better product. So it's very, very interesting, a lot of Microsoft culture in there. I think they should have done six parts, frankly. The last episode deals with Xbox one plus Xbox game pass and then the new generation of console. I feel like that those two things should have been their own episode. But it's it's fan it's. It's fantastic. I don't, I think we, this is already, I think this is, we talked about this last week, the whole, I think this is one I hung up on you. The the issue with Android and teams 

Speaker 5 (01:53:50):
And all fix that. Right? Isn't

Paul Thurrott (01:53:52):
It all fixed? Yeah. Yeah. And supposedly that was an Android bug, not a teams bug, but something about teams that exposed the bug or something. And then for a new tip, if you are a PC gamer you may recall that when the epic game store launched a few years back, they giving away a free game, I think every month. And then they've done this thing over Christmas or the holidays, what they do, maybe like, you know, 12 days of giveaways or whatever they're doing that right now. So check in it with that store every day and see what the free game is. Cuz there's some interesting stuff coming down the pike. So that is happening as we speak. And then one thing I I'm sure I might mentioned last week was Microsoft had posted their second set of games for Xbox game pass and probably the final set for the month because it's the holiday month and you know, no one's really gonna be around for the rest of the month.

Paul Thurrott (01:54:38):
One of the games that's in that list is a game that I had as a pick three years ago, ish four years ago, even it was a long time ago called fire watch. This is one of my favorite indie games of all time. It's available through Xbox game pass. This is the type of game where if you're not, you don't, maybe you don't understand why gaming is such a big thing. And you think it's only for geeks or, you know, people that like video games or whatever. This is a game you could play with your family or with your partner or spouse or whatever. It's it's the type of game that might get people into gaming that might otherwise never have even considered it's it's kind of a mystery story or a somebody who's dumped into the forest and supposed to, you know, you go up in one of those fire watch towers and look out with binoculars to make sure there aren't fire fires occurring anywhere. The voice actor is one of the guys from mad men. And I don't remember the character's name. It's not the man guy, but his voice will be familiar to you probably <laugh> it's great. It is a great, great game. And it's available now through game pass, which you can get for a buck, you know, so there's no excuses anymore folks

Leo Laporte (01:55:44):
<Laugh> is this, are you in a fire tower looking for fires? Is that how this yes, that's it. Yep. That you start doing is communicating with a woman who's in another one of the towers then mysteries occur and you have to go oh cool. Yeah. Yeah. It's really, it's a great game. I'll have to try it. Nice. And it's co-op play or how could you play it with no, it's not a co-op thing, but it's the type of thing where you could kind of say, look over your shoulder in front of the TV and you know, play it. What should I do? Because you can discuss, you know, what do you want do next? Or what know, what do you think this clue means? That kind of thing. It's I think it's the type of thing we'll pulling people that aren't traditional game. Good. I'll try it out on Lisa. That sounds fun. Yeah. Yeah. It's great. Yeah. Mary Jo Foley pick of the week enterprise wise,

Mary Jo Foley (01:56:28):
Right? This is a true pick for big enterprise companies. So Microsoft a year ago announced this thing called Azure space. So it's a lot of people joked and they putting Azure in space. Not exactly right. Azure space is a set of technologies that Microsoft is doing mostly around like cloud imagery satellite imagery, geospatial imagery that they're making available through Azure to companies in public and private industry so that they can incorporate that into of their business. However they need to they say it's meant for any customer with remote access and bandwidth needs. So this year right before I think it was right before last week, they announced some enhancements to Azure space. They have a product called Azure orbital that lets P communicate and control satellites from Microsofts and partners, ground stations. So that's an Azure service. They've got a thing they call space eye, which is a Microsoft research AI project that does cloud free optical and multi-spectral imagery. So if you're a kind of an enterprise customer who needs any of these capabilities, Microsoft is making them available either in preview form or in final form through their Azure space initiative. And given, we were just talking about important priorities for Microsoft in 2022 Azure space, along with quantum technology federal government. And what's the fourth one, there's one other one. They're these are gonna be like the four key buckets for Microsoft in pushing Azure Ford in the coming years. So you're gonna hear a lot more about Azure space in 2022 nice

Leo Laporte (01:58:22):
Azure space. It's a good time to do it. Space space. And now the code name pick of the week,

Mary Jo Foley (01:58:32):
Right? This is a code name. I don't think I had ever heard, but Microsoft started talking about it a little more publicly last week. It's project Florence. And I'm guessing like Florence, Italy not Florence. I am. No. Yeah, no <laugh> Florence. I, so Microsoft research developed this computer vision foundation model it's codename project Florence. And last year I didn't realize this. It hit the 1.0 M. And so Microsoft is now taking some of the technologies in this vision model and making it available to various Azure customers through Azure cognitive services. And other means so that you could do things like image captioning drawing on their large AI database and incorporate all text more easily into your own applications. So there's a lot of different things you can do with computer vision across a variety of industries, but Florence is more focused on those specific things so far, like, like the image captioning, like the what did I just say? I'm like starting to draw blanks now. I'm like tuned out all text, right? If you, if you're somebody who's trying to figure out how as a company, do we start doing all text in a, in a large scaled up model, you may wanna check out what Microsoft's doing with project Florence through Azure.

Leo Laporte (01:59:59):
That's interesting,

Mary Jo Foley (02:00:00):
Huh? Yeah, I know. I, I I've barely scratched the surface of what Microsoft is doing in computer vision, but they're doing a lot across a lot of different parts of the stack with computer vision.

Leo Laporte (02:00:12):
So you'd have to be using Azure cognitive services to

Mary Jo Foley (02:00:17):
Try, I would think to use Florence, I believe you would. Okay.

Leo Laporte (02:00:21):
Yeah. So not like widely available. Anybody

Mary Jo Foley (02:00:24):
Can just, I don't think so. No, not yet. Cool. Not yet. Anyway.

Leo Laporte (02:00:28):
I need a beer. Okay. What do you

Mary Jo Foley (02:00:31):
Got? I have got an excellent Belgian strong dark ail for dark winter gates. All right. I'm gonna try to pronounce this Bross. Nice.

Leo Laporte (02:00:47):
I think that's right. I've actually, I've had a lot of these bears, the list I

Mary Jo Foley (02:00:51):
Was gonna, if you've seen this little troll guy on a beer, you have had one of these beers. He's like their little mascot, I think. Yep. So yeah, you see this in bottles a lot at the holiday because it's like a 10% Belgian stark dark strong beer, lots of like winter spices that are perfect. This time of year, the trick with the beer is it does not take like taste like a 10% beer. So you're just happily sipping along and suddenly you're like, I just drink a lot of that.

Leo Laporte (02:01:22):
Get up here on the bathroom and you fall through the table.

Mary Jo Foley (02:01:25):
Yeah. And then you look like those little elves on the bottle where you're like kinda tipping forward, you know? Yeah. it's a really, really nice winter beer. It gets a 91 on beer advocate. Like it's, it's an, if you're looking for like a nice Belgian style beer, but with a winter twist, I would say go for the nice sh

Leo Laporte (02:01:47):
Well sh

Paul Thurrott (02:01:49):
Nice. A lot of SHS out there. You should look up this brewery.

Leo Laporte (02:01:52):
A really grassy does sh yeah. Yeah. Cool.

Mary Jo Foley (02:01:54):
Many delicious beers. Yes.

Leo Laporte (02:01:57):
That's kind of the a theme of the show, actually many delicious Spears, ladies and gentlemen <laugh> and a little windows news to boot. Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (02:02:05):
Little Quana a little less

Leo Laporte (02:02:07):
Than that. What is, what is it between the Richard Campbell and you guys he's got, you know, brown liquor and you take with skis. He must be, there's a lot of heavy drinking going on in the winter. I think

Paul Thurrott (02:02:16):
It's fair to say that most of the people I know are bad influence on me.

Leo Laporte (02:02:20):
Yeah. Yeah. Peanut butter whiskey. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I'm gonna let you be a bad influence on me this summer. We gotta Alaska definitely try that. Paul throt his book, the field guide to windows 10 Field guide to windows 11 is in process right now. It's true. That's keep an

Paul Thurrott (02:02:41):
Big week next week for me to work on that.

Leo Laporte (02:02:43):
All right. Mary Jo Foley all about That's her ZD net blog. We're gonna give you next week off because we've got our best of <laugh>, which is fun. In fact, a lot of the things we talked about here today are illustrated by the original conversations from this year. That'll be next Wednesday, December 29th. And then we'll be back in studio to January 5th for a brand new year and a brand new windows weekly, have a great Christmas. You guys new year. And you do anything fun for new year's Eve.

Mary Jo Foley (02:03:22):
Yeah. Well, I guess avoid Amron as the <laugh>

Leo Laporte (02:03:27):
Paul sounds like he's got something planned. What are you doing? We always do the

Paul Thurrott (02:03:31):
Fondue thing. And we actually, so you're gonna love this. We're gonna go see, we haven't seen this guy in two years because of the pandemic, but we're gonna go see the Amish comic on new year's Eve.

Leo Laporte (02:03:43):
<Laugh> okay. I know. Is he, he only plays the area, I would guess. Yes. Right? He's

Paul Thurrott (02:03:47):
He lives in a mass. He is

Leo Laporte (02:03:50):
Amish as the it's a thing. Okay. I think Amish comedy could be very funny. It's he's excellent. Oh, it's really good. Wow. The Amish comic. All right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> perfect thing for a, you are doing tech writer to cover. Are you gonna get zero zip? Not a no. Oh wow. Really? Huh? Yeah. Well, cuz of <inaudible>. Yeah. Yeah. I know. We've got all sorts of plans. Yeah. That's about we're gonna do it feels scary to go out. It feels very scary and not worth it. No, we have

Paul Thurrott (02:04:22):
Pennsylvania. They've solved the pandemic apparently. So I'm not really

Leo Laporte (02:04:24):
That worried. That's good. It's good. Oh, that's good. Nice. Yeah. That's what they tell me. I don't. Okay. Well you have fun with your Amish comic there and <laugh> Mary Jo. You have fun with your mom. I think it's wonderful. Whole family gather together there in Western. It's not Western Massachusetts. It's it's Eastern. Massachusetts. It's more central central kinda. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. My grandma lived in Lennox in Western mass and I really loved it. Oh, nice. Really loved. That was, that's like a different state. It is. It's the woods. Yeah, it is. Yeah. have a great holiday. We will be back as I said with the best of next week, but no live show and then we'll be live once again. January what did I say fifth? For a brand new window is weekly 11:00 AM Pacific 2:00 PM. Eastern 1900 UTC.

Leo Laporte (02:05:15):
Every Wednesday you can watch us live at chat, live at or INR discord. If you're a member of Club TWiT seven bucks a month gets you ad-free versions of all the shows, access to the discord, the TWiT plus feed. I think Paul, you're gonna have to do an ask me anything on our TWI plus feed Mary. Jo's already done that. I think it's your turn soon. Paul, lots of good stuff coming up in 2022 for the club. We have, as I mentioned, a couple of corporate members now, which is great and individuals also welcome of course, almost 4,000 of you and this our first year, it's been really a great, I think a great success for more information, at the website, of course, everything is available on demand, including this show, twit TV slash WW after the fact those on demand episodes can be downloaded. It takes a couple hours after the show directly from the website or you can go to the YouTube channel or you can subscribe, which is probably the easiest thing to do in your favorite podcast app. That way you'll get on automatically the minute it's available. Thank you, Paul. Thank you, Mary Jo, have a great week. Couple of weeks. You too see you in two weeks right here for windows weekly. Happy holidays, everybody. Have you

Speaker 6 (02:06:30):
Ever read a tech news story and thought to yourself, man, I would love to talk to the person who wrote this to find out more information. Well, that's exactly what Micah Sergeant and I, Jason, how do each and every week on Tech News Weekly, we read the stories that matter to us. We reach out to the people, making a break in the tech news and we invite them on to tell their story and you can find it at Look for Tech News Weekly. Every Thursday.

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