Thurrott Daily: January 5

Posted on January 5, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Microsoft-Band with 0

Thurrott Daily: January 5

The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston

Good morning. Today promises to be another busy day, so let’s dive right in.

1/5/2016 9:14:41 AM

Evernote’s 5% problem offers a cautionary lesson to tech companies

I love how a very common software problem can be presented as if its something new just because it’s happening to a trendy, mobile app-making Silicon Valley company. But then why would VentureBeat have any sense of history?

Evernote had so many features that it could sometimes be difficult to explain to newcomers exactly what Evernote was.

“What winds up happening at Evernote conferences is that people go and they say, ‘Oh, I love Evernote and I’ve been using it for years and now I realize I’ve only been using it for 5 percent of what it can do,’ ” Libin said. “And the problem is that it’s a different 5 percent for everyone. If everyone just found the same 5 percent, then we’d just cut the other 95 percent and save ourselves a lot of money. It’s a very broad usage base. And we need to be a lot better about tying it together. And I think we have. We’ve got a few things we’re launching over the next few months to help with that.”

The 5 percent problem offers a good lesson about how important it is to maintain a core identity as you build new features and products.

Look at them, trying to teach us all a lesson. But they’re missing the real point, which is to learn from history. And on that note, the words “Microsoft” and “Office” do not appear in this article. Which is odd since Microsoft Office has suffered from this exact problem for over 20 years.

But you know what this Silicon Valley-centric publication doesmention? Snapchat. Yahoo. Apple. And Google.

Spare me.

1/5/2016 9:03:57 AM

Microsoft Band 2 getting a Volvo app this spring

Starting “this spring,” Volvo owners with a Microsoft Band 2—and there’s a cross-section of humanity for you—will be able to control their vehicles from their wrists. No, not like a James Bond remote control driving thing. Mashable explains:

Volvo owners will now be able to control their cars by voice through the Microsoft Band 2. Delightfully, they’ll be able to do more than flash the lights (they’ll be able to do that, too). With simple voice commands, owners can set the navigation, turn on the heater, lock the doors, or sound the horn.

Only Volvos enabled with Volvo on Call will be able to be controlled by voice — and not until Spring of 2016. That means the brand-new ones, like the XC90 and the forthcoming S90.

HaLow everybody! Wi-Fi Alliance announces Wi-Fi 802.11ah

The Wi-Fi Alliance this week announced Wi-Fi HaLow, or 802.11ah, a “low power, long range” new version of the Wi-Fi wireless technology.

Wi-Fi HaLow operates in frequency bands below one gigahertz, offering longer range, lower power connectivity to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products. Wi-Fi HaLow will enable a variety of new power-efficient use cases in the Smart Home, connected car, and digital healthcare, as well as industrial, retail, agriculture, and Smart City environments.

Wi-Fi HaLow extends Wi-Fi into the 900 MHz band, enabling the low power connectivity necessary for applications including sensor and wearables. Wi-Fi HaLow’s range is nearly twice that of today’s Wi-Fi, and will not only be capable of transmitting signals further, but also providing a more robust connection in challenging environments where the ability to more easily penetrate walls or other barriers is an important consideration. Wi-Fi HaLow will broadly adopt existing Wi-Fi protocols and deliver many of the benefits that consumers have come to expect from Wi-Fi today, including multi-vendor interoperability, strong government-grade security, and easy setup.

“Microsoft’s strangest laptop is finally coming to the UK.”

As opposed to … what? Their other, non-strange laptop?

“Microsoft Says Windows 10 Is Now on 200 Million Devices”

Maybe I just automatically see anti-Microsoft bias at The Wall Street Journal now because it’s so frequent at that publication. But doesn’t this headline suggest that the 200 million figure isn’t a fact? In other words, sure, Microsoft says that Windows 10 is on 200 million devices. But—wink, wink–they would say that.

And not to press this too much, but check out the number of times this very short article uses the phrase “Microsoft said” or similar. Talk about hedging your bets on the reality of these claims.

“Microsoft on Monday said in a blog post that”…

“The company said Windows 10 is”…

“Last April, the company said”…

“Microsoft also said Windows 10 is”…

That is a lot of qualification for a 160 word post.

“Yahoo Shuts Down Video Portal ‘Screen'”

/crickets chirp

“Yahoo must face class action over text messages: U.S. judge”


“GM invests $500 million in Lyft, sets out self-driving car partnership”

Lyft is officially doomed.

“All of AOL Search is now powered by Bing”

Instead of every other search, I guess.


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