Thurrott Daily: July 31

Posted on July 31, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Skype, Dev, Games, Mobile, Windows Phones, Microsoft Surface with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 31

Spied in Paris yesterday.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/31/2016 12:41:32 PM

More Surface updates show up for those on Insider Preview

I’ve seen a couple of interesting firmware updates on my Surface Book over the past few days—Intel Corporation driver update for Intel Precise Touch Device on Friday and then Microsoft driver update for Surface DTX (which sort of stands for “detection,” I think, as in the mechanism by which Surface Book can tell when the keyboard base is removed or connected) on Sunday—but there’s no official word on the Surface Book Update History web site about either.

One can only assume these are related to the Anniversary update. In fact, there’s been a ton of individual and group firmware updates on my Surface Book just in the two weeks I’ve been away. (Which coincidentally coincides with the two weeks leading up to the release of the Anniversary Update.)

Speaking of assuming, I will further guess that those who are not on the Insider Preview program will get these updates on their Surface Books and Surface Pro 4s after they do update to the Anniversary Update.

Microsoft confirms that Tim Sweeney is a nut job

In response to Tim Sweeney’s unhinged comments about the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Windows Store,Microsoft told Game Informer this week that UWP is an open platform and that, in effect, yes, Sweeney is a nut. Here’s the quote they got:

“Tim is a respected figure in the gaming world, and we value his feedback,” a company representative told us via email. “As stated previously, the Universal Windows Platform is a fully open ecosystem that is available to every developer, and can be supported by any store. It’s early, and we recognize there is still work to be done, but we want to make Windows the best development platform regardless of technologies used.”

Lumia 830 gets Windows 10 Mobile on AT&T

This is one of those “hell freezes over” kind of things, butWindows Central reports that those using a Lumia 830 on AT&T Wireless can now get Windows 10 Mobile OTA.

Once it is installed, the OS version number will be 10.0.10586.218 and the firmware number will be 02179.00000.16201.54051.

Here’s the AT&T statement.

AT&T released a new Windows 10 update (MR1) on July 28th, 2016, for the Microsoft Lumia 830 (SKUs 6664A). The Windows 10 update is only available over Wi-Fi via the Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor app, which you need to download from the Windows app store. A Wi-Fi connection is required.

News of the weird: Skype makes special emojis for the band Coldplay

Microsoft this week announced that it was “joining forces” with the band Coldplay to create an exclusive set of Coldplay emojis for Skype. Because I don’t know why.

The Mojis celebrate Coldplay’s latest album and world tour, A Head Full Of Dreams. Each Moji is based upon a track from the album, exclusively re-worked by the band’s multi Grammy Award-winning producer, Rik Simpson. His bespoke mixes are coupled with new animations based on the original A Head Full Of Dreams artwork. The result is a beautiful and shareable set of video clips to add color to your Skype chats, designed to express a range of feelings and sentiments.

So. Yeah.

July update brings new features to Windows App Studio

Microsoft announced this week that it has shipped the July 2016 Update for its web-based App Studio software development environment.

This update includes some of your most requested improvements. The collections limit increase was one of the most-voted items on the User Voice, so we’re very happy to deliver it in this release. Another minor new feature is the ability to define favorites when using the Pivot App template.

New Features:

API Gallery
Custom API Sharing
Collections limit increase
Favorites in pivot apps

HP Elite x3 promo video

A new HP video shows off how the firm will help businesses get past the fact that Windows phone doesn’t have any apps: You can run desktop Windows applications remotely using a service called HP Workspace.

HP workspace equips your mobile employees with the business-critical applications they need with a turnkey service that is quick and easy to use, and delivers excellent application performance.

But remember: As I exclusively revealed, HP is quite keen to get Windows phone enthusiasts on board with the Elite x3. This may be just the high-end Windows phone flagship you were looking for, unlike say Microsoft’s lackluster Lumia 950/950 XL. Speaking of which…

I’m not the only one thinking about Surface Phone

Rob Enderle offers up some thoughts on Microsoft’s biggest open secret: Surface phone. Oddly, he centers it around a discredited rumor that Microsoft will use an Intel Atom chip in this device.

If the rumor is true about using the Intel Atom X3, the compatibility problems with Windows applications can be addressed. Suddenly you get a smartphone with the capabilities of a laptop. You just connect a wireless keyboard, mouse and monitor, and your phone becomes a full-on PC, proving a unique advantage to this platform.

If Microsoft can have a hit with this phone, it would be another powerful indicator that the New Microsoft is very different than the old. If it misses, it would place a cloud over the entire effort. Therefore, getting this right may be one of the most important tasks Microsoft will undertake this year.

So I agree with that last bit, and as I’ve argued in the past, a poorly-received Surface phone could tarnish the Surface brand, which would be far more damaging then yet another phone defeat. Microsoft needs to tread carefully here.

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