Thurrott Daily: January 29

Posted on January 29, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, iOS, Mobile, Windows, Windows 10 with 17 Comments

Thurrott Daily: January 28

Tech tidbits from around the web.

1/29/2017 1:32:01 PM

Microsoft market cap hits $500 billion for the first time in 17 years

Here’s a feel-good story from Reuters.

Microsoft’s market capitalization topped $500 billion for the first time since 2000 on Friday, after the technology giant’s stock rose following another quarter of results that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Shares of the world’s biggest software company rose as much as 2.1 percent to $65.64, an all-time high, in early trading, valuing the company at $510.37 billion.

The last time Microsoft was valued more was in March 2000, during the heyday of the dotcom era, when it had a market value of a little above $550 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Despite the gains, Microsoft still lags Apple’s market capitalization of about $642 billion and Google-parent Alphabet’s market value of a little more than $570 billion.

Ex-Mozillan comes out in support of Microsoft’s AV

From the “you didn’t see this one coming” department, Robert O’Callahan, an ex-Mozilla engineer, has some interesting thoughts about anti-virus.

Antivirus software vendors are terrible; don’t buy antivirus software, and uininstall it if you already have it (except, on Windows, for Microsoft’s).

(Perhaps it should go without saying — but you also need to your OS to be up-to-date. If you’re on Windows 7 or, God forbid, Windows XP, third party AV software might make you slightly less doomed.)

AV products poison the software ecosystem because their invasive and poorly-implemented code makes it difficult for browser vendors and other developers to improve their own security. For example, back when we first made sure ASLR was working for Firefox on Windows, many AV vendors broke it by injecting their own ASLR-disabled DLLs into our processes.

Users have been fooled into associating AV vendors with security.

Chrome gets another performance boost

Mashable reports on a key new feature of Chrome 56, which is now available.

Google says refreshes on Chrome browser are now about 28 percent faster, adding that improvements should be visible on both mobile and desktop versions of its marquee browser.

Explaining how it managed to cut short the time it takes to reload a page, Google said it is changing the way its browser handles what is known as “validation.”

Every time a user visits or revisits a page, Chrome requests hundreds of network requests for it. In the latest version of Chrome, likely v56, the browser only validates the main resource (things that it believes may have been changed and need to be validated).

“The existing reload behavior usually solves broken pages, but stale content is inefficiently addressed by a regular reload, especially on mobile,” Google’s Takashi Toyoshima wrote in a blog post.

“This feature was originally designed in times when broken pages were quite common, so it was reasonable to address both use cases at once,” he wrote, adding that it was no longer necessary for browsers to validate each and every element.

Not only will the pages reload faster, it will also result in lower data consumption and energy.

“Android Apps Are Coming To Laptops (Chromebook) In 2017: What You Need To Know”

That is what you need to know.

With Apple’s earnings this coming week, all eyes on iPhone

As the Wall Street Journal notes, the Plus version of the iPhone has been growing year-over-year. I’m not surprised: Apple artificially puts certain features only in those models. Because Apple.

The iPhone 7 Plus, which starts at $769, comes with a dual-camera system that delivers better portrait photos and sophisticated zooming capabilities unavailable in the standard iPhone 7, which starts at $649. The 7 Plus also offers longer battery life and more random access memory, or RAM.

The strategy appears to be working. Cowen & Co. estimates the 7 Plus accounted for about 40% of the roughly 58.5 million total iPhone 7 devices it estimates Apple sold world-wide in Apple’s fiscal first quarter, which ended in December. That’s a 17 percentage-point jump from the 23% who opted for its larger predecessor, the 6s Plus, in the same quarter the previous year.

That should lift the average-selling price of iPhones to $693 for the December quarter from $691 a year ago, according to UBS. And the increase would help Apple report an expected 2% rise in revenue for the December quarter when it announces financial results on Tuesday—despite what analysts say was softer-than-expected overall demand for iPhones.


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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Thurrott Daily: January 29”

  1. 5592

    Yep. Defender and its predecessors going back to Windows Live OneCare are all you need and are much lighter weight than the other options.

    • 5234

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Nope.  Users still need Malwarebytes to keep the usual suspects (bad downloads and bundled crapware) off their machine.  Microsoft still refuses to detect stuff from "Microsoft Certified ISV's" (which apparently has a low barrier to entry) who make browser hijacker toolbars, fake tune-up and driver update utilities, adware, and other garbage.

  2. 5714

    "Apple artificially puts certain features only in those models."

    And Microsoft has never done such a thing?  Grow up Paul.

    • 1146

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      The plus model is physically bigger, seems logical it would have more stuff inside.

    • 10158

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      Yeah, it's a fairly standard practice across many industries, though I do wonder why the junior iPhone can't have the same camera as its big brother.

    • 10088

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      The Lumia 950 and 950XL are basically the same, except for some minor differences -cpu, battery- that are related to the sizes of both models.

      The cameras, for example, that are a selling point, are the same on the Lumias, but not in the iPhones.

      Not to say that they are all saints in Microsoft, but I think this was a valid point.


    • 5498

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      Breaking news, Microsoft never done such things.  They never artificially created "Windows Home, Windows Pro or Windows Ultimate," nope, never /s.

      • 2130

        In reply to toukale:

        Not really a good example, since you can put any version of Windows on exactly the same hardware, so you can upgrade the software features without having to buy a whole new device with a larger screen that you don't want. Microsoft did do something similar with their phones and Surface line, though. For instance, the processor is different in the Lumia 950 vs. the 950XL (though I think this was probably due to the size of the cooling solution required for the Snapdragon 810). For Surface, though, they locked higher RAM and storage options to higher-end processors and I can think of no good reason for that.

  3. 5598

    "Microsoft market cap hits $500 billion for the first time in 17 years"

    One look at Microsoft's share price history over the last twenty years makes it increasingly clear that the Balmer years can fairly be described as the company's lost decade. Kind of a shame that he stuck around for so long.

    • 4267

      In reply to OMR:

      I think the real cause of the lost decade was fallout from the anti-trust trial and decisions. IBM took a hit from anti-trust, and one could say that they never did recover. Google is heading for its turn as well.


      Ballmer deserves the kicks for phone strategy, but he should get credit for a few things as well. Azure and Surface started under his reign. So did the mobile MS apps on iOS and Android.  Windows 8 occurred on his watch, but he had the good sense to set a new direction for Windows 10, and to boot Sinovsky when the Windows 8 debacle became apparent. Ballmer handed a reasonably healthy, if somewhat boring, Microsoft over to Satya.

    • 1221

      In reply to OMR:

      Please.  The share price didn't go up, but it certainly didn't go down.  Ballmer brought record profits to Microsoft, but if you're a shareholder, you didn't see much gain.  However, to call it a lost decade is silly.  I wish Ballmer was CEO again as I'm sure the thousands of laid off workers..

      • 5598

        In reply to JustinMSalvato: 

        "Please. The share price didn't go up, but it certainly didn't go down."

        Right. It was completely stagnant. For an entire decade (and, in fact, it did go down following Gates' departure. And stayed down).

        Company performance is relative. Relative to who came before and to who came after him, Balmer's stewardship of Microsoft saw it go from being the dominant tech company, to one that was caught and later surpassed by both old rival Apple and an upstart called Google. This was largely thanks to an inability on Balmer's part to foresee new growth areas in tech, and to react quickly enough when he did.

        That's a lost decade, my friend.


  4. 5510

    About Chrome's improvement with 56, Microsoft did that. So on behalf of all Google Chrome users,"Thank you Microsoft!" I have said this before, Microsoft should've kept their mouth shut and quietly build Edge. But nooooooooooo... They woke up a giant and essentially made the it stronger.

    As for the Antivirus issue...this really isn't anything new and I really don't know what to make of the guys comments about 3rd party AV software. I would like to see, read, or hear his assertion to be challenged by other experts who can argue the opposite. Obviously, this "issue" can wither away, if Microsoft could just make their security solution a better one or at least on par with the Esets, the BitDefenders, and the AVGs of the world. In the meantime, I am not taking this guy, Callahan's opinion (and that's what it really is) to heart because he I know he is not the ONLY security expert in the industry.

  5. 410

    vis-a-vis iPhone sales:

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Buying an over-priced iPhone of any kind is a bit of a treat.
    Here in Britain an advertisement for a well known Belgian lager made a virtue of its high price by saying it's "reassuringly expensive".   Although the iPhone, and Apple's integrated ecosystem probably makes for the best all-round experience, that really doesn't justify the high prices to me. 

    The excellent one plus 3/3T is an amazingly powerful and usable phone.   Despite the many failings of Android it is probably as much phone as most people could sensibly want or need.  In the UK it retails for something like £200 less than the "cheap" iPhone seven at £399 vs. £599, despite the One Plus Packing 64 as opposed to 32 Gb of RAM. the iPhone 7plus will set you back £719.....  It's only major improvement on the One Plus 3T is the screen, and of course a superior camera.

  6. 5234

    About the AV stuff: several months ago researchers found that Kaspersky, a company who many maintain as being on the forefront of virus research (like a church outreach program in the slums - they're in Russia, supposedly the biggest source of hackers and virus creators, cuz politics) makes systems less secure with their software.

  7. 5400

    I think the increase in iPHone plus sales are the result of the softening of the apple fans thick skulls from bragging about how small their old 4s, 5, & 5s phones were. No one wants to show off pictures on such a comically small screen when your friend shows a few pics on a phone with a 5.5" or larger screen, especially if you can stay in the Apple ecosystem.

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