Thurrott Daily: January 2

Posted on January 2, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, iOS, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: January 2

Our New Year’s Eve tradition: Three-course fondue

Happy New Year! With CES happening next week and everyone slowly recovering from the holidays, things are finally starting to pick up again.

1/2/2016 10:05:29 AM

What Apple could learn from Windows 10

One could write a book on this topic. But this Computerworld post is a good start.

There are aspects of Windows 10 that Apple should learn from and adopt in OS X and iOS.

Cortana on the desktop [and] Cortana’s Notebook

That Apple hasn’t done this yet is everything you need to know about that company’s priorities, e.g. that it really only cares about mobile.

Make features obvious during setup Live Tiles

Live tiles work on mobile because you look at a Start screen. They don’t work on the desktop, at least not in Windows 10, because they’re on a menu you need to manually enable. The correct way to do this, of course, is via a pane that can be left visible all the time, or as desktop widgets.

Continuum and converged computing [and] support for touchscreen Macs

Apple resolutely refuses to add multi-touch to Mac, which, like the personal assistant stuff, explains all you need to know about that company’s priorities.

So it’s a good list. I’d add things like promoting the Store more, given the abysmal state of the Mac App Store. But the single biggest issue with Mac OS X, frankly, is that it has only gotten harder to use over time, with Apple dropping obvious UIs and hiding more and more. This benefits only experienced Mac users, but makes the system harder to adopt for newcomers. Apple has never done this right: iOS/iPhone OS was very simple at first, but it’s long outgrown it’s top-heavy whack-a-mole grid of icons UI. But iOS’s problems are, of course, another story.

Apple ad-blocking software scares publishers but rival Google is target

As you may recall, Apple added ad-blocking capabilities to iOS 9 and its Safair web browser this past year. But as The Guardian explains, Apple isn’t going after ads. It’s going after Google.

Though it may look as though online publishing has fallen prey to a dastardly plot from Apple to attack its revenue at the source, publishers aren’t really the targets at all. Newspapers and blogs are collateral damage in the latest flare-up in the long-running cold war between Apple and Google.

Google’s revenue from advertising came to $59bn in 2014, almost 90% of its total revenue; $45bn came from ads on its own sites including search and maps, while $14bn came from ads served by Google on other websites. For all its diversification, from smartphone operating systems to self-driving cars, Google is still primarily an online advertising company with a large software company bolted on.

We know that. I’ve written about that 90 percent figure many times. But this is perhaps the most interesting bit:

Google is an advertising company. In fact, Google is an advertising company that makes a significant chunk of its money advertising on Apple’s hardware: of the $11.8bn that Google made from mobile search revenue in 2014, $9bn came from iOS, according to Goldman Sachs.

So 1/5th of Google’s revenues come from iOS ads, and that figure can only go up given the move from desktop (ads) to mobile (ads).

“Google Chrome Filter Blocks Donald Trump From Your Internet”

I love that this exists, because Donald Trump is an embarrassment to this country and, frankly, to humanity. There is no room at the top for this level of ignorance.

Authors Guild Asks Supreme Court to Hear Google Books Copyright Case

Back in October, a federal appeals court inexplicably ruled that Google’s scanning of books without publishing company and author approval was legal. Game over? Maybe not.

The Authors Guild has now asked the Supreme Court to reconsider the appeals court ruling, which affirmed the book scanning was “transformative” and praised Google’s contribution to research and data mining.

The Guild, which represents various writers who are unhappy with the book scanning, reportedly filed the appeal on Thursday, but a public copy of the document has yet to surface. According to the Washington Post, which saw a preview of the petition, the Guild doesn’t want to shut down the scanning, but instead wants Google to pay copyright fees.

Given history, I’d be surprised if the Supreme Court elected to review this case. But I wish they would.