Thurrott Daily: November 20

Posted on November 20, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Mobile, Windows Phones with 21 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 20

My plane was hit by lightning but I knew it was going to be OK because this guy visually inspected it with his smartphone camera.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/20/2016 11:04:02 AM

Microsoft to tie executive bonuses to company diversity goals

Kind of interesting, given the hard time that the tech industry has attracting talent that doesn’t fall into the white/male category. Bloomberg reports:

Microsoft will tie executive bonuses to workforce diversity goals after the company saw a second consecutive year of declines in the percentage of women employees, owing to its exit from the phone handset market.

The percentage of women working at Microsoft fell to 25.8 percent from 26.8 percent of the company’s workforce as of Sept. 30, largely because the Nokia handset factories that Microsoft divested employed a larger number of women, said Gwen Houston, the company’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. Houston said she’s encouraged by an increase in women in technical and leadership positions, as well as in recent hiring trends.

While the total numbers need improvement, Houston said new hires of women and racial minorities has increased. Women represented 27.7 percent of new hires this year and 21.7 percent of those hired for technical jobs. Of the new employees, 6.6 percent were African American/Black and 7 percent were Hispanic/Latino.

Red Hat CEO: Microsoft is opening up to open source because of developers

I’m not sure I buy this theory, but Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst told Fortune that the reason Microsoft is turning to open source is because that’s where the developers are.

Microsoft was, I would argue, originally successful in the 90’s because of the Microsoft developer network in which developers started developing on the Microsoft platform and then through Microsoft’s infrastructure.

Developers now are heavily using open-source tools and technology and, bluntly, I think that’s why Microsoft had to open source .NET and why they’re embracing more open source in general.

Because open source is where innovation is coming from and is what developers are consuming, it forces vendors to participate.

It’s not that simple. In this scenario, there’s no chicken/egg question and developers are the first step towards platform relevance. In reality, it’s more of a virtuous cycle, where some combination of platform, developers and users are equally important: Usage, not platforms, drive developers to create apps, and apps, not platforms, cause users to adopt a platform. After all, Linux was no less free 10 or 20 years ago. (And no more relevant on the desktop today either, for that matter.)

Speaking of irrelevant…

Nokia continues to pretend that it’s relevant

Nokia Power User (kind of an oxymoron) has come across a Nokia product roadmap that shows, humorously, what the company plans to do over the next few years. You know, like “expand” its “VR leadership” and “return to smartphones.” Ahaha. Anyway.

Nokia decided to acquire Withings for venturing into Digital Heath business back in April 2016 [and] has been doing market research to help the final decision on which brand to use for its Digital Health Products. It now seem that they have reached to a final decision. Nokia confirmed during its Capitals Markets Day event for investors that they will transition to [the] Nokia brand from Withings in 2017.


Thanks to John A. for the tip.

HP allegedly working on a second Windows phone for 2017

The ever-popular Dr. Windows claims with zero attribution that HP is collaborating with Microsoft on a second and more consumer-focused Windows phone smartphone for 2017. No, I don’t believe it. But I know people will point me to this, so …

Rumors that HP is working alongside the Elite x3 still on a real consumer smartphone with Windows 10 Mobile, has been around for some time. In recent days, I have been given concrete indications that this is actually the case – and that they do not do it alone.

According to me, HP and Microsoft have entered into a development partnership to jointly develop a Windows 10 Mobile Phone. After all, HP will market and sell the device all by itself, so Microsoft is more of the silent partners and carries a not insignificant part of the development budget. The latter makes the case for HP doubly interesting: First, they save money, which they do not have to earn afterwards to get into the black area. Secondly, a lot of Lumia genetic material flows into this new device.

I have unfortunately unfortunately no detail information as far as the equipment is concerned.

“Zuckerberg reveals plans to address misinformation on Facebook”

And just in time for the election, too!

Google retail stores are a thing

Techcrunch writes about the Google retail store experience. Which is apparently an area inside of Best Buy and other retailers.

When it launched the Pixel, Google also revealed that it would be creating a pop-up Experience Store for users to check out its new wares in NYC. The Google Shops launching in Canada aren’t designed to be temporary, though; they’re places where Google hopes to not only showcase current and future devices, but also where it will seek to foster a sense of community among their users.

Sound familiar? It should — Google Shop has an agenda of available activities open to the public, which is similar to the kind of in-store programming run by Apple. The decor is similar, too, but distinctly Google in its aesthetic, with light wood grain and gray fabric pairing up with playful hints of bright colors (the Google standbys). And because this is a shop within a shop, space is at a premium, but Google has actually made the most of limited space using custom-created modular furniture that nests when standing room is limited, but can easily accommodate, say, a small group of students with stool seating in a pinch.

Google [also] launched three shops in the U.K. with Dixon’s

“Intel is laying off a major portion of its wearables group”

Proving that they understand wearables just about as much as they understand mobile.

Google is bringing Android app support to four more Chromebooks

I keep waiting for Android app support to hit a Chromebook I actually own. ButThe Verge says four more Chromebooks are coming online this week (at least in the dev channel).

Google released a developer update to Chrome OS today that brings Android app support to four new Chromebook models. The laptops include the Dell Chromebook 13, HP 13, Samsung Chromebook 3, and ASUS C301SA. If you’d like to get access to the Google Play Store on any one of these machines, you have to run the most recent developer version of Chrome OS, which may contain bugs and other rough edges when it comes to full Android app support.

It seems like this is taking a long time. I wonder if Android support on Chromebook will be “done” by years-end. I bet not.

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