Thurrott Daily: November 24

Posted on November 24, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Office 365 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 24

6 a.m. in Dedham – Another Lumia 950 low-light shot.

Here’s what else is happening today.

11/24/2015 10:16:51 AM

Mac fan boy site says “Microsoft’s tablets are eating away at iPad sales”

And they’re citing a new “Tablet Operating System Forecast” report by Strategy Analytics.

Summarizing the first nine months of 2015, and extrapolating the trends to try and predict the next few years, the report reveals how sales of Windows tablets are up 58 percent compared to 2014, and are on track to sell 22 million this year. That’s 10 percent of the market, compared to Apple’s 22 percent.

Here’s the thing. We already knew that Apple’s iPad has experienced sales drops in seven consecutive quarters in a row already. That, combined with the Surface clone iPad Pro, is pretty much all you need to know.

11/24/2015 8:30:15 AM

Google embraces Star Wars

If you thought the Star Wars merchandising deals were terrible in the late 1970’s or when the prequels hit a while back, steel yourself: It’s going to get silly now that Episode 7 is on the way. But I do have a soft spot for Star Wars. And Google is doing some cool stuff around Star Wars if you’re into this kind of thing. No judging.

We reached out to our friends at Lucasfilm and Disney, and since then we’ve been working together on buildinggoogle.com/starwars. It’s a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome and many more transform to reflect your path.

If you’re a slightly more casual Star Wars fan, check out Ralph McQuarrie’s original artwork for the films. They make for some nice desktop wallpapers.

11/24/2015 8:04:55 AM

Back home

My wife and I had rather long days yesterday returning from London (on separate flights), but I had an unusually good set up: A four-seat exit row all to myself, with power and Internet. So I got some work done, which is unheard of for me when flying internationally. Still, it’s going to be a tough couple of days adjusting to the time change.

Get Office 365 Personal for just $15

Not sure how long this will last, but Irving J. Rubio provided this great tip via Twitter:

@thurrott Newegg have Office 365 Personal for $14.99 That’s a steal! https://t.co/o8jpOHgEob

Why is anyone surprised that Marissa Mayer hasn’t turned around Yahoo?

Marissa Mayer is big news because she’s a woman CEO in a tech industry that is still largely a men’s club. But I’m not surprised she hasn’t been able to turn around Yahoo. There’s no point to Yahoo, and I don’t think anyone could ever make sense of this Internet bubble has-been.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look.

Marissa Mayer has repeatedly said reviving growth at Yahoo Inc. would take multiple years. But many insiders have lost patience, saying the embattled chief executive has no clear sense of direction and has misled investors and advertisers about the company’s progress.

In recent months, a crisis of morale has gripped Yahoo, as dozens of executives who had been instrumental to Ms. Mayer’s turnaround plan have left for jobs elsewhere.

Under Ms. Mayer, Yahoo’s forays into mobile software, online video and search have cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars but yielded no meaningful growth in total users or revenue. Ms. Mayer said last month the company would adopt another strategy to “reset” the company’s focus, without providing details.

I’ve read a few books about Yahoo—and one about Mayer, actually—but it’s been a while, and my interest in the company is admittedly vague. If I had to guess, and I do, I bet two salient facts would emerge about this company: It basically only exists now because of its stake in Alibaba, and the turning point was when they stopped doing search in-house.

Why Google Maps offering a real offline mode is a big deal

This article in the New York Times is interesting because it’s coming from the perspective of a travel writer, not a tech expert.

Google Maps users have previously been able to look at offline maps they downloaded over Wi Fi. But being able to use turn by­turn voice directions, or search within a map for galleries, coffee shops and other destinations along with their details while being offline is new. (Even the autocomplete feature in the Maps search box now works offline.)

Google Maps … is free, and unlike some competitors, its new offline maps have turn- by -turn voice directions as well as museum and restaurant reviews (sourced from a larger audience than most apps) and information.

Currently, Offline Maps is available to Android users; iOS users will likely be able to get it by the end of the year.

 

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