Thurrott Daily: December 12

Posted on December 12, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft Surface, OneDrive, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: December 12

Thurrott sign at the Dedham Hilton

Some deep thoughts (or something) for a Saturday morning.

12/12/2015 10:51:03 AM

Windows Live Mail users will need to update

I’ve received a number of emails from readers who had heard that Microsoft had discontinued support for using Windows Live Mail—the email application that comes with Windows Essentials—with Microsoft accounts, and thus Fortunately, that’s not the case.

Here’s a Microsoft statement about this.

In a few weeks, we will be making some changes to our email services that might impact your, @hotmail, @live, or @msn email account. Those changes will prevent your email from being delivered to the Windows Live Mail 2012 application you use.

In order to continue using Windows Live Mail 2012 to send and receive email for your account, you need to install the latest update published here.

Microsoft of course recommends that Windows 8.1 and 10 users switch to the built-in Mail app. But for now, at least, that isn’t required.

Microsoft’s Continuum Dock gets its first update

There’s no official word on this yet, but Windows Central is reporting that the Microsoft Display Dock–e.g. its Continuum dock–has just gotten its first firmware update. Updating the Display Dock is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes.

The update takes the firmware of the Display Dock from version 3.0 to version 4.0, and there is no changelog posted yet.

In other words, it’s not clear what changed.

New MST3K is completely funded

As a backer of his Kickstarter campaign, I am very happy to see that Joel Hodgson has succeeded in getting a new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 completely funded.

You did it: you brought back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000! Thanks to you, MST3K will be able to shoot FOURTEEN NEW EPISODES next year, including a new holiday special!


12/12/2015 9:38:31 AM

Good morning

I’m back at the Dedham Hilton for the duration today, for day two of my PC focus group. So I’ll be a bit distracted, sorry. That said…

Thinking about Microsoft apologies

Well, it’s been a weird week. Microsoft has officially and publicly apologized, twice, for disappointing its customers, first with OneDrive and then with Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. Knowing the folks who make these products, I know that these apologies were heartfelt, and real. But I also know that it’s super-hard to recover trust once it’s lost, and one of the tough things with Microsoft these days is that they often seem to find themselves in this position.

It would be cheap of me to write something like, “if you’re thoughtful in the way you communicate, then this time of thing will never happen.” I know what it’s like to have your words misconstrued and contorted, and I certainly have communicated things poorly. I get it.

But looking at these events individually, I do have a few thoughts.

For OneDrive, that initial announcement about recanting on the unlimited storage offer was forced on them because a major news publication was going to write about it. So I guess I’m not surprised that the initial reveal was poorly worded. Sadly, yesterday’s makeup announcement seemed to fall short with many too, however. And while it’s not possible for Microsoft to fully rectify this situation for everyone, I do sort of feel they could meet us halfway. And that includes rewarding the people who pay for storage, whether it’s explicit or via Office 365.

The Surface one is a bit tougher, mostly because Surface talks big about quality and premium experiences, and then comes up short with reliability and basic day-to-day use (especially on power management). And then it won’t or can’t fix these problems quickly. I do really think that all of the Surface Book/Pro 4 issues can and will be fixed by firmware updates. But “sometime in 2016” may be too late to solve the trust issue. Which I know the Surface team is aware of.

All I can do, of course, is opine on this stuff and try to explain it. And on that note, I wish in both cases they had handled things differently. If only because of trust.

Thinking about Edge extensibility

Yesterday, Brad wrote about AdBlock Plus coming soon to Edge, which is in many ways just the latest in a series of leaks indicating that Insiders, at least, will be getting access to Edge extensions pretty quickly. I can’t wait.

I’d use Edge right now, I think, if it only supported extensions like LastPass and AdBlock, and maybe I/we won’t need to wait too long. I’m sort of surprised Microsoft shipped Windows 10 without this pretty basic (and promised functionality), but I’m really surprised it didn’t happen for 1511. The sooner the better.

Thinking about Microsoft’s future

I don’t have too much to add to this one, but I wanted to highlight an article I posted to Petri on Thursday, Microsoft Owns Productivity And That Should Be Enough. Because it communicates my growing conviction about the future of Microsoft.

I do feel that Microsoft’s long-term future is basically Azure, and in providing services providing around and on top of Azure. And on that note, Microsoft needs to shed its Apple fixation and focus on the only competitors that have the technology, and the market strength, to it take on in the productivity businesses that matter going forward. I’m referring, of course, to Amazon and Google.

And that’s the future I see for Microsoft: A dominant player in productivity services that are based on and related to Azure, competing with Amazon and Google for the hearts and minds of both businesses and individuals, but mostly businesses. As I’ve often noted, “mobile first, cloud first,” is really “mostly cloud, some mobile,” and in the end, it will be “all cloud.” This is a transition. And all Microsoft needs to do is stop pretending and just embrace it.


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