Ask Paul for this week (December 7-9)


Here’s a spot for any questions you may have for this week’s “Ask Paul.” Because I’m traveling this week, I’m not sure what day I will post it, but it will be somewhere between Thursday and Saturday.

Comments (34)

34 responses to “Ask Paul for this week (December 7-9)”

  1. Tiny

    Do you keep a daily schedule for when you write, when you research, when you post on the website, etc.? If you feel that it is too personal, feel free to ignore. I've often wondered how you find time to do so many (mostly quality) articles.

  2. Paul Thurrott

    Closing this down now so I can try and answer this batch.

  3. rmlounsbury

    Are you using Cortana on the Pixel 2 XL at all or just going with Google Assistant as part of your daily usage/work flow?

    I've more or less settled on a combination of technologies from Microsoft (O365/Microsoft Launcher namely) and Google (Chromebook Pixel, Android). I suspect that ultimately Google Assistant will win out as my main digital assistant platform since i'll probably end up with Google Home in the house. But baring that is there any good reason to use Cortana at all beside the Windows 10 continue on PC functionality (which I can now get via Edge browser on Android if I choose)? Maybe future W10 Timeline functionality?

  4. Polycrastinator

    Curious as to why you've never really written about the Nintendo Switch. I have to admit to being biased here, as I have one and love its versatility. Plus I would be really interested to know what a shooter addict such as yourself thinks of Splatoon, which is the most fun I've had with a shooter game.. well, ever.

  5. ChristopherCollins


    You seem to have some 'connections' at HP. I have been burned by five separate x360's (most frequently the 8th Gen with 16 Gig of RAM/512Gig SSD)... Everything from ghost touches on the screen to keyboard keys not working. In fact, I had to exchange it so frequently that Best Buy flagged me thinking I was trying to avoid paying for the machine and refused further returns.

    This quality control issue seems widespread on the net. Their support is horrible. I wasted at least 10 hours of my life that I will never get back from them. Can you see if they have any plans to 'do better'? Also, I'd be willing to pay a fee for a year of American tech support. Outside of Microsoft, can you recommend a brand that doesn't have so many issues?

    Just go look at the 360 on Best Buy and read the reviews of the 8th Gen... Most people are on their second or third model.

  6. johnl

    How are x86 applications run on the Snapdragon 835? Is Windows or the ARM chip performing the translation between x86 instructions and ARM instructions? Running x86 applications on ARM was a major story a few months ago with Intel threatening to sue Microsoft and Qualcomm... why hasn't this aspect of the Snapdragon announcement been discussed much over the past few days?

  7. SRLRacing

    Phones typically only get about 2 years of security patches if you are lucky. Do you think the support cycle and ability to get updates for Windows 10 on ARM will be the same as we are used to on x86 based machines?

  8. hrlngrv

    Re Hawaii, my favorite breakfast there is waffles with coconut syrup and Portuguese sausage. Is it still a regular offering?

    Re ARM vs Intel processors, any word about ARM-based Windows servers? How about ARM-based mini PCs similar to NUCs? Or is ARM's Windows future restricted to laptops?

    • Locust Infested Orchard Inc.

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Earlier in the year in March, Microsoft announced that it has developed a version of Windows for servers using ARMv8-A processors. Whether this version is only for Microsoft's internal use for their Azure cloud servers remains to be seen.

  9. stevenlack

    Where do you see Windows on ARM going? Do you think we might see a Surface Device with a Qualcomm chip next year that touts "Always Connected"?

    I'm curious if you've tried multi-tasking as well on the ASUS or HP Windows on ARM PC's and how the performance was.

    • Locust Infested Orchard Inc.

      In reply to stevenlack:

      As I write this, I am gazing into my crystal ball that portrays fuzzy yet unmistakable images of a 6+" device that has the Microsoft logo on the reverse of the device, seemingly made from premium materials, and running apparently Windows on ARM if the voice emanating from the crystal ball is to be believed, with the words "Always Connected", "Snapdragon 845", and "Surface F..." spinning around and holographically projected out of my crystal ball.

      As to the second word beginning with the letter 'F' in "Surface F...", I couldn't exactly read the entire word, as the mist generated by the crystal ball made it somewhat difficult to decipher.

      References to Samsung Galaxy 9S were also made. I wonder what that could possibly mean ? Surely not Windows on ARM installed on the 2018 Samsung Galaxy S model ? Only time will tell.

  10. madpapist

    Hey Paul,

    It would be great to get an updated "What I Use" post about your current backup strategy. With consumer cloud storage options such as Onedrive and DropBox now affordable and prevalent, it seems to me that the line between online storage and cloud based backup has become someone blurred - perhaps some folks just rely on Onedrive and don't retain any other copies... I think you mentioned in a recent post that versioning and restore capabilities in Onedrive have come a long way in recent releases of Windows 10. I still use Crashplan (Pro) for offsite backup along with FileHistory for a local copy. Is this overkill or still best practice?

  11. Vladimir Carli

    Hi Paul,

    you often refer to your HDR 4k TV. I couldn't find a review for it in the "What I use" section. What model is it?


  12. jimchamplin

    Two-part question here:

    1) Is there any reason why implementing Fluent Design isn't being implemented all at once?

    2) Will the legacy msstyles-based theme used for Win32 software be updated for dark and light modes, and also to look like modern software?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Gawd I hope software I've been using for years DOESN'T get a Windows 10/Fluent make-over without my OK.

      MSFT may believe Fluent Design is the best thing since Windows RT, but there may be some who disagree.

  13. StudBen

    Are you still using the Brave Browser at all? Just curious on your thoughts on it if you have been keeping up with it.

  14. Martin Pelletier

    How much time do you think it will take from ARM chips makers to overtake Intel Desktop chips?

  15. Lewk

    Google announced Android Go, a cut down version of android for low-end handsets aimed at Emerging Markets. Why is this just low-end and Emerging Markets? Why not make this available on higher-end devices in an established markets? I too would like a data-saving version of android that cuts all the cruft out of the OS like unnecessary animations.

  16. harmjr

    Any sub 10 inch tablets/machines showed off at your ARM event?

  17. Sprtfan

    Probably a long shot, but have you tried Minecraft on your Pixelbook? If so, does it run well? How does it compare to the Windows 10 edition?

    Also, I read your articles on Chrome OS and Windows 10 S. I was able to make some comparisons between the two from the articles but I'd also be interested in more of a direct comparison between them. A Pros/Cons for each and a direct comparison of what one can do vs the other and what they both do or don't do well. The upcoming release of some Windows on Arm devices has renewed my interest of Windows 10 S but Android apps coming to Chrome OS has also.

  18. AnOldAmigaUser

    Besides the Surface laptop, is it actually possible to buy a Windows 10S machine? I cannot even find them on the Microsoft Store.

    It would seem that if they want to have something to compete with Chromebooks, then they should actually make sure that someone could find and buy it. This seems like a failed experiment.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      I think it is way to early to tell if it has failed.  I'd say it is just getting started with the release of some of the WoA devices and with the potential of PWAs down the road. 

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        Perhaps too early, but it's been almost 7 months since the Windows 10 S announcement. Where are the dozens of OEM models from which to choose? More to the point, all the models for school districts to evaluate if there's any chance of Windows 10 S laptops supplanting Chromebooks in the US in the 2018-9 school year?

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        Fascinating that this machine costs less with Windows 10 Home than Windows 10 S. Either MSFT is building in the price difference on an expectation that 1 in 5 Windows 10 S machines would be upgraded to Pro quickly, or Acer believes Windows 10 Home is the SKU to push.

        Gotta wonder just how most people would find the experience of running any Windows 10 SKU with just 32GB of internal storage. I started off with a Windows 10 VM on a 32GB VHD, and I was getting low disk space warnings fairly regularly.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      I have this one but have Windows 10 Pro on it now.  It also comes with a stylus and the screen is very nice for the price.  It looks like it would not be hard to add a SSD to it if you wanted but have not done so yet. 

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        . . . I have this one . . .

        This one (the TravelMate) has an 11.6" screen and weighs over 3 pounds vs the other (Aspire) with 14" screen and weight less than 2.5 pounds. And the smaller and heavier TravelMate costs US$80 more. Leads one to wonder just how deep a pile of dog droppings that Aspire would be.

        • Sprtfan

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          The Acer-TravelMate-Spin-B1-B118 is the one I have and is for my daughter, It is built like a tank and has room to add an SSD. It also comes with an active stylus and might be part of the reason why it is more expensive. I wish I would have been able to wait a while but it was something that I felt like I needed to get her for school. I was able to get it on sale for $260 and still feel like it is pretty good for the price. The screen is IPS and 1080P which you don't always get in this price range.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to Sprtfan:

            Note I'm not saying anything bad about the TravelMate. Rather I'm wondering why the Aspire cost so much less. Maybe the stylus explains it. That said, I've only bought one Acer ever, a laptop for my son over a decade ago. It stunk.

            My own experience has led me to buy only Dell and Lenovo PCs. I have an HP Chromebook, and it's a constant reminder why I prefer Dell and Lenovo laptop keyboards.

            • Sprtfan

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I didn't take it as you were saying anything bad about the TravelMate. I was just coming up with some difference that might justify the cost difference. The TravelMate is a 2 n 1 and has 64GB vs 32GB. That all said, the TravelMate would not be for everyone. If you don't need the stylus or what I'd call a more rugged design that was intended for what I'd guess is school use, there would be better options.

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        Thanks. These look interesting, especially the first. Looking for an older relation and the bigger screen size could be helpful.

  19. Paul Thurrott

    Also, a reminder that Ask Paul is a premium feature.