Thurrott Daily: December 14

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, The Sams Report, Windows 10, Windows Phones with 0

Thurrott Daily: December 14

Six years ago this week, this tree fell over on the Microsoft Campus, landing exactly where my rental car had just been.

Good afternoon. Trying to get back up to speed today after a busy weekend.

12/14/2015 2:29:59 PM

Wall Street Journal app goes universal on Windows 10

The Wall Street Journal is now a universal app, so it works with both Windows 10 (PCs/tablets) and Windows 10 Mobile on phones. The release notes explain what’s new:

The new WSJ app is an immersive digital news experience modeled after the iconic Wall Street Journal newspaper. It brings you the latest news, as well as expert commentary and analysis from around the world, with enhanced features and visual storytelling that bring the Journal to life. And it’s all delivered through a cleaner, simpler interface so you can find the news you need, anywhere you need it.

Key Features:

  • A stunning visual experience with rich photo slideshows, full-screen video and interactive graphics
  • Optimized performance that delivers faster load times and improved stability
  • Streamlined navigation consistent with the structure of the paper, while offering quick access to breaking news and analysis.
  • Multiple ways to read including the digital versions of our U.S., Europe and Asia print editions as well as the latest news from WSJ

Just downloaded it on my Lumia 950 (I subscribe to WSJ electronically). Looks great.

Apple surprised by response to iPhone 6S battery case

BGR, as always, takes on the important issues of our day:

The avalanche of negative responses to Apple’s new $99 battery case for the iPhone 6s seems to have caught the company off-guard.

Really? I mean it. Seriously?

Tim Cook recently praised the design of the new Smart Battery Case because it’s easy to get on and off, something that can’t necessarily be said for most competing battery cases.

It’s ugly. Which it makes it an unusual Apple product, period.

Samsung is adding a “pressure-sensitive display” to Galaxy S7, according to reports

Two comments here.

  1. Of course they are. There is nothing Apple does that Samsung doesn’t copy.
  2. The Force Touch feature on iPhone 6S/6S Plus is easily the most useless major change on those devices. I never use it on purpose and often trigger it accidentally. So have fun with that, Samsung.

Google tells Tim Cook to shut the f@#k up about Chromebooks

Well, in a nice way. You may recall that Apple’s chief windbag recently declared that Chromebooks—which are killing Apple’s products in education—were simply “test machines,” and not “whole solutions for people,” like iPads allegedly are. Google disagrees.

Many schools have told us that Chromebooks have helped them transform learning … Chromebooks are also helping schools save money, allowing them to meet tight budgets and provide computers to more students.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools — one of the largest districts in Michigan — for example, told us that they’ve been able to save $200k in the 3rd grade alone, by purchasing Chromebooks over alternative devices … Academies Enterprise Trust, a network of 76 schools across the United Kingdom, anticipated that they could save £7.7m in hardware and maintenance costs by using Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks.

To more fully understand the total cost of ownership and savings impact of Chromebooks, we commissioned IDC to conduct interviews with 10 schools using Chromebooks to support teaching and learning in 7 countries.

The key findings are that Chromebooks, compared to “alternative devices” (e.g. PCs, Macs, iPads) have a 61 percent lower cost of ownership, require 68 percent less time to manage, reboot 91 percent less frequently, and offer 93 percent faster deployment. You can read the full whitepaper here. Supposedly, I can’t get it to work.

UPDATE: Here’s the correct link for the IDC whitepaper. –Paul

Hedge-fund investor has a plan for Yahoo, and it includes getting rid of Marissa Mayer

This is interesting. From The WSJ:

Eric Jackson, managing director of New York hedge of SpringOwl Asset Management LLC, said he has submitted a 99-page slide presentation to Yahoo outlining his plan to slash the company’s workforce by 75%, replace Ms. Mayer with an operations-focused CEO and bring in a strategic partner to help navigate the tax issues surrounding its Asian assets.

He proposes cutting as much as $2 billion in annual costs by laying off 9,000 of the company’s 11,900 employees and contractors, eliminating perks like free food, selling its iconic headquarters and leasing back only the office space it needs.

In his presentation, the investor suggested Yahoo revert to its former logo and resurrect its iconic old billboard along San Francisco’s Highway 101 “to send a message that the era of Marissa Mayer is now over.”

Want to read the presentation? Here you go.