Thurrott Daily: November 1

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows Phones with 22 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 1

My attempt at duplicating one of the Windows 7 wallpaper images: EMP in Seattle, October 31, 2010.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/1/2016 9:36:11 AM

Mashable shits all over Surface Studio

I’ve tried to offer what I feel is a reasonable critique of Surface Studio, a PC so expensive that most consumers would require a 5-year loan just to buy one. Given the reaction I’ve gotten for being reasonable, I can only imagine the reaction this ridiculous screed from Mashable has received:

Apparently made with artists and designers in mind, Microsoft also announced an accessory to the Studio: the Surface Dial.

You can tell by the language that this is going to go south really fast. “Apparently made”? No, it was made with artists and designers in mind. Microsoft was very explicit about that. Anyway….

We asked some real Mashable artists for their initial thoughts.

See, that sounds reasonable.

They had some serious concerns. And please keep in mind, these people literally make art for a living, so their opinions should not be taken lightly.

That sounds like a threat.

But what continues is a laundry list of one-sentence complaints enclosed in snarky side-commentary, which I’m starting to feel may be Mashable’s schtick. You know, when they’re not writing about Apple.

Weirder still, most of the complaints are simply bogus.

I assume the kid who wrote this has trouble sleeping at night. They didn’t find one artist with something positive to say? Really?

Microsoft removes 90,000 apps from Windows Store … or some large number of apps, anyway

After warning developers that apps without age restrictions settings would be removed from the Windows Store, Microsoft has followed through: It just removed 90,000 apps. The news was first reported by WindowsBlogItalia (translated):

Starting from 30 September , Microsoft began to remove from the Windows Store apps devoid of classification by age groups.

Microsoft has made it mandatory classification by age group for all apps available in the Windows Store – penalty: removal. Exactly one month after the deadline, we can make an initial assessment on the number of app victim of the new requirement.

Microsoft has started removing the app gradually from 12 October . Store in Italian we have moved from 329 507 apps on 26 September to 239,216 apps on 19 October, losing almost 100,000 apps , or about 27% of the total . At the moment it is unclear whether the number will continue to decline.

So… Wait a second. That’s in Italy. So it’s not really clear what the “real”/global number is. Still, I think this says something about the quality of apps in the Windows Store: Many developers simply dump an app in the store and then walk away from it. They don’t update the app, and they’re not even involved enough in the process to know or care that Microsoft warned them months ago about checking a box in the submission sheet. Sad.

“Windows 10’s focus on friends could make it a more human OS”

Too bad it’s focused on creators, not friends, then.

Xiaomi takes another step towards U.S. availability of its phones

I’ve been waiting for China-based Xiaomi to show up here in the United States, and it looks like my wait is almost over: Hugo Barra tells Engadget that his firm is now testing compatibility with U.S. wireless networks.

Hugo Barra did reveal to Engadget that his team has already started testing phones in America. Such commitment is an important milestone ahead of the notoriously tough US carrier lab tests.

US mobile networks use odd bands that aren’t widely adopted in most parts of the world. So, to ensure compatibility, the local major carriers are notoriously tough when it comes to testing phones that want to be deployed across their networks. The well-established mobile companies are happy to oblige, of course, because selling their devices through the big US carriers guarantees sales volume due to their channels and customer base. More importantly, they’re already familiar with the process and requirements; whereas Xiaomi, a relatively newcomer, is not.

He reckoned it will take a year or two before the company is ready for the US. Barra didn’t reveal when exactly his team started this project, but based on his mention of a couple of test devices, my guess is that a US launch may happen as soon as 2017.

“Microsoft’s Surface godfather hints that Dial is just the start”

Weird, I thought the Surface Pen was “the start.” Or maybe the Type Cover. The Touch Cover? No? We didn’t “start” years ago? Curious.

Microsoft Explains How It Plans to Make Windows Phones Successful

Does it now?

Well, I can’t wait to find out the strategy! Softpedia “reports”:

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson explained in an interview with ZDNet that Redmond’s strategy is not about growth and mostly comes down to what he calls technical strategy, adding that ARM chips are one of the company’s key focuses in this market.

“We’re going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I’m not saying what type of device, I think we’ll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we’ll see devices that have cellular connectivity.”

It’s really not about growth, Terry Myerson says.

Well, mission accomplished then.

But I’m curious how this post “explains how Microsoft plans to make Windows phones successful.” It does not. “This interview basically comes down to Microsoft reaffirming its commitment to Windows 10 Mobile and nothing more,” the post notes, making its headline click-bait. Ah well.

On that note, read the original interview, not this thing.

“Microsoft’s beautiful Surface Studio ad was shot with an industrial robot and Xbox”

Sure. They used cameras and actors, too.


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Comments (22)

22 responses to “Thurrott Daily: November 1”

  1. 4841

    What's really hilarious about Mashable's article is that the writer doesn't name a single artist who criticized the Studio, which makes you question if all these people are even real. Simply put, it reeks of FUD being spread by a butt-hurt Apple fan.

    • 473

      In reply to Demileto:

      That was exactly my thought on reading the Mashable article.  You can always tell when the Mac Fanboys are feeling the pain, totally unsubstantiated criticism and they even admit these are comments from people who have not used the thing before making negative comments.

      I am not a fan of it because it just continues this Apple envy that I wish MS would drop forever! That said I don't doubt however that they have put a lot of thought into it and the rotary dial gizmo as Paul says is probably the key new device more than the Surface Studio and that was singled out for vitriol from one of the "pretend" artists.

  2. 399

    Mashable still has tech posts? I thought they were a celebrity gossip site now.

  3. 442

    I could see the Dial used in more applications than art focused...

    And, wasn't the Abacus the "start" :P

  4. 5563

    Mashable, like so many "tech" sites hate Microsoft, they only like things from Apple or Google. They have no ability (unlike Paul) to give balanced reviews across the board. Sadly that situation extends to many people who "suffered" from BSoDs or some-such in the past and decided to avoid MS at all costs no matter if they have changed, which has caused the death of Windows Phone due to lack of developer support. So while I don't care what Mashable says, there's still too much of that attitude out there which makes me wonder what state Windows as a whole will be in a few years.


    “Windows 10’s focus on friends could make it a more human OS”
    Too bad it’s focused on creators, not friends, then.

    - Except it was talking about the My People option coming to the Creators Update, so there is some focus on friends as well.


  5. 7846

    Gabe from Penny Arcade seems to think the Studio is a winner.  One review from a real artist...

  6. 6315

    So that Mashable "journalist" got a bunch of snarky quotes from people who haven't used the device. How is this news? What, did she carry an inkjet printout through the art department, wave it in a few faces and hit record on her iphone? I wonder how many of those "literal" artists simply tuned out when they couldn't find an Apple logo. 

  7. 397

    Removed 90,000 apps?  Was there that many in the first place?

  8. 5394

    Apparently, Microsoft's marketing wasn't clear enough. The Studio product needs better promoters. Do we need more evidence of Microsoft's failed communications effort? The Windows Phone interview with Terry Myerson was just painful to read.

  9. 5510

    First of all, I think Paul is reading too much into this Mashable thing. It's going to be interesting to see if the market goals of the Surface Studio will be accomplished. Let's not forget the type of consumer, the computer is marketed to,... the poor-struggling-artist kind. So, if those people are pissed for the reason that they can't afford a Surface Studio, then.....oh well. After all, Microsoft is not a hardware company any person should invest their equipment and their lives on......just yet.

    As for Windows Phone, MSFT still has a chance to be #2. Since MSFT's obsession with Apple has taken the company to strive to be more like them, IMO, I think they have a chance to overtake them in the smartphone race, if they decide to get back in it. All they have to do is one thing, drastically improve their in-house app ecosystem. They're in-house app ecosystem is an utter joke. If they do this, they can have a chance (only a chance) to overtake Apple. Forget Android. Android raised the bar with, the now, universally critically acclaimed Pixel, all the other flagship Android phones should follow suit. Thus leaving all non-Android phones in the dust.

  10. 5234

    I bought a MiPad once.  Tried the Chinese ROM's for it (because the "International" ROM wasn't up to date), and it contained all kinds of porn adware in it.  And it was downloaded right from their site.

    Good job, China!

  11. 5714

    Sadly, we'll never know...  At $3000 for 8GB of ram and a crappy hybrid drive, no one in their right mind will buy one.

  12. 1377

    Re the apps removed from the Windows store, not that I have any idea what they were, but would a Modern desktop wallpaper picker really need age restrictions? would 2+ be an option? E for Everyone? Some apps could be so anodyne that their developers could reasonably expect no concerns about age restrictions.

    OTOH, that so many 3rd party developers didn't care is an indicator all on its own.

  13. 5496

    People say Windows Phone is dead. But yet, Microsoft still updates Windows phone.

  14. 639

    Mashable shits all over Surface Studio

    This was a tongue in cheek article right?  It can't have been real.  Right?

  15. 2175

    Lol, I love Paul's snarkiness over b.s. headlines and articles

    “Windows 10’s focus on friends could make it a more human OS” - yek, I'm going to be sick (bleh)

    “Microsoft’s beautiful Surface Studio ad was shot with an industrial robot and Xbox” - wow, that's really interesting /s. What a piece of fluff

  16. 5496

    Mashable shits all over Surface Studio. How is that any different then, Paul Thurrott shits all over Windows Phones.

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