Thurrott Daily: November 19

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Mobile, Windows Phones, Windows Weekly, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 19

The view from the stage during yesterday’s live recording of Windows Weekly.

Good morning from Manchester, England. I finally got a full night of sleep last night so maybe I can be on schedule today for a change. Here’s what else is happening today…

11/19/2015 11:35:41 AM

Microsoft kills Windows 10 IoT Core on Intel Galileo

You have to look really hard to discover this, but Microsoft is ending support for Windows 10 Iot Core on the Intel Galileo development board.

Support for Windows on Intel Galileo Gen 1 and Gen 2 will end on November 30, 2015

As we continue to focus on providing a great experience for Makers with Windows 10 IoT Core, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue Windows support on the Galileo platform. We’ve seen some fantastic innovation with the platform, but unfortunately, it does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 IoT Core. Please click here to learn more.

Microsoft recommends that developers migrate their existing Galileo projects to Windows 10 IoT Core. And while it’s not clear what Galileo hardware wasn’t up to snuff, the obvious culprit is the processor, which is considered underpowered.

Of Microsoft’s “mobile missteps”

The Motley Fool weighs in on the news about Microsoft delaying on canceling Project Astoria, which would have let Windows phones run Android apps, calling it another of Microsoft’s “mobile missteps.”

At this point it’s a bit difficult to follow Microsoft’s mobile strategy. The company says it wants to allow developers to easily bring over the Android apps to Windows 10 phones, only to backtrack on the offer. Then it launches two new Windows phones, but only allows one U.S. carrier to promote and sell the devices. Meanwhile, Microsoft sets a goal of getting 1 billion Windows 10 devices into the hands of users.

A lot of people don’t understand what Microsoft is doing, but to be fair, they have been very clear about that second point. That is, selling their phones only in limited fashion is in fact part of the plan, and explicitly so. For this generation of devices/mobile OS Microsoft is scaling back its mobile ambitions, and the Lumia 950 and 950 XL should be seen as what they are: Gifts for enthusiasts. Nothing more.

As for Astoria, it’s a bit unfair to criticize Microsoft for canceling a project that simply wasn’t working out as intended. My guess is that they will come back with a plan to make Astoria work more like Project Islandwood, which is designed to let developers use existing iOS/Objective-C code to create new universal apps. In other words, don’t let Android apps run on Windows, but do let Android developers bring their source code to Windows and go from there.

Plans change. If they didn’t, such previously unpredictable products like iPad Pro would never exist.

No suprise: Yahoo lost lots of money on “Community”

Once upon a time there was a quirky little TV comedy called “Community,” which I sort of enjoyed. Some people, of course, absolutely loved it, and they were disappointed when NBC canceled the show. But then it was revived by Yahoo last year. And failed miserably, again. The Wall Street Journal explains why:

Yahoo’s chief financial officer Ken Goldman said that the company “couldn’t see a way to make money over time” on such a series.

Yahoo paid Sony Pictures Television, the studio that produces “Community,” roughly $2.7 million per episode for the show’s 13-episode sixth season. [But] NBC had paid Sony only about $1 million per episode to air the previous season … Why the big price difference? Yahoo’s rate covered the full production costs of the show. Plus, Yahoo agreed to pay Sony a guarantee for syndication fees, the people said.

Typically, studios recoup only part of their production costs when they license a show to a broadcast network like NBC. If a show like “Community” cost roughly $2.2 million per episode to produce and a broadcaster pays around $1 million an episode to license it, then the studios expect to cover the rest of their costs and generate a profit by selling reruns to other channels on the dial, to international TV networks and to streaming video services like Netflix.

Yahoo wound up paying about $35 million for one season of “Community.” That’s the cost side of the equation for Yahoo.

Here’s the thing. Shows are brought back successfully by online services, witness “Arrested Development” on Netflix as an obvious example. I think the real problem here is Yahoo: Where most people who stream online video either subscribe to or at least know about Netflix, few even know—or have easy access to—Yahoo’s original online content.

There’s a reason Amazon, Netflix and others are backing original content on streaming services: They work. Just not for Yahoo. But then nothing works for Yahoo, from what I can tell. They appear to be the Blackberry of online services: We sort of acknowledge that they were once great, but can’t even remember why, and the current version of the company is a joke.


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