Thurrott Daily: July 11

Posted on July 11, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, Windows Weekly with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 11

I was listening to an audio book in the hotel this morning and thought this might make a cool shot.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/11/2016 3:17:34 PM

Reminder about tonight’s meet-up

If you’re in Toronto, please come down to the Bier Markt Esplanade—make sure you go to the right one—between 6 and 8 pm for a Windows Weekly meet-up today with me and Mary Jo.

Speaking of Toronto, if you didn’t see my pictures on Twitter, I somehow got the greatest hotel room of my life (as did Brad) with a room overlooking the Rogers Centre, which is where the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball team) plays. And there was a game yesterday. Which I watched. From my room. Incredible.





Microsoft scraps Finland phone unit

I’m guessing many people are looking at that headline and thinking, as I did, “didn’t that already happen?” But the way I understand this is that Microsoft announced the job cuts in May and that this article from the BBC suggests that Microsoft is now confirming it. For some reason.

Microsoft has confirmed it will close its mobile phone unit in Finland, cutting 1,350 jobs.

The job losses were initially announced in May as part of a plan to close 1,850 posts in Microsoft’s smartphone business.

Those are literally the only two pertinent sentences in the whole article. Pointless.

10 reasons to reject the free Windows 10 upgrade offer

PC World delivers one of those el-cheapo slide shows—because writing is too time-consuming, and who has time to read these days?—that has a bit too much misinformation and FUD for my tastes. But if you can get beyond that stuff, there are a few relevant points. Which are:

No Windows Media Center or DVD support

No OneDrive placeholders

Ain’t broke, don’t fix it

That last one is something some Windows enthusiasts have a hard time understanding, but it’s easily explained: Computers are tools, a means to end, and not the end itself, and most people simply want to get some job done and then get on with life. So we may choose a different route, but it’s important to understand that OS upgrades really aren’t all that interesting—and can go horribly wrong—for normal people.

Too bad none of those people read PC World.

Microsoft finally moves Mac Office apps to 64-bit

Right. Finally! Finally? Greg Keizer explains why this is a big deal.

Although Apple has long urged developers to release 64-bit versions of applications, Microsoft has been a holdout. The Mac’s operating system has supported only 64-bit Intel processors since 2011’s OS X Lion, although both 32-bit and 64-bit applications may be run on all editions from Lion forward, including this year’s macOS Sierra.

For most users, the biggest benefit is the ability to work with much larger files — thanks to the significantly bigger swaths of memory that a 64-bit operating system can access. Excel users, for example, who work with extremely large spreadsheets have been stymied by the 32-bit Office for Mac limitations.

So not earth-shattering then.

Microsoft has some information about the transition of Mac Office to 64-bits on its Office Dev web site.

Microsoft updates its bot platforms

I wanted to write about this, but the topic just hurts my head. And then I waited a few days, same problem. So I’ll let Mary Jo handle this one.

Microsoft has updated its Skype Bot developer platform with new groups and cards support.

As part of today’s updates to the Skype Bot Platform, Microsoft added groups support so that bots can now be part of group conversations. Skype Bots now also can take advantage of visual image cards, carousel cards, and receipt cards. The team also is working on single sign-in directly on cards, resulting in users having to authorize their credentials one time only.

Using the Microsoft Bot Framework, developers can publish their bots to Skype and submit them for promotion in the Skype and Microsoft bot directories.

Microsoft may be redesigning the Windows 10 Mobile action center

MSPowerUser has an exclusive about a potential change coming to Windows 10 Mobile, presumably in some future update (Redstone 2?)

Microsoft redesigned the Windows 10 Mobile Action Center in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (due for release next month), but the firm may be planning a more drastic revamp of the Action Center in the future.

We received an image of an document which we believe originates from an internal Microsoft communication demonstrating plans for the Action Center in future updates for Windows 10.

A proposed change to the action center separates the action center buttons into “Actions” and “Toggles” with the addition of a brightness slider. The new change, which is reportedly based on internal feedback, would make the action center a bit more logical in scope.

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