Windows Weekly 552: CES Blackout

Posted on January 11, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Podcasts, Windows Weekly with 3 Comments

Leo, Mary Jo, and I discuss this week’s CES news, plus the latest on the Intel security vulnerabilities.

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Tips and picks

Tip of the week: Maybe it’s time to buy a new PC

If you’ve been holding out with Windows 7 on pre-Skylake hardware, especially, maybe it’s time to revisit that most awful of tasks, and research and then buy a new PC.

App pick of the week: Super Lucky’s Tale

This delightful platformer is cross-compatible between Windows 10 and Xbox One and it runs great even on fairly low-end hardware. $29.99 on the Microsoft Store.

Enterprise pick of the week: Work Folders on Demand

Work Folders on Demand is coming to Redstone 4. This is a new file-access feature (that’s already in the latest Win 10 Insider build. This is a BYOD feature for those with Win Server.

Enterprise pick of the week No. 2: Lots of .NET goodies

Free e-books, samples, videos & other resources that any .NET architect or aspiring one would love. Thanks to Scott Hanselman for the link!

Beer pick of the week: Lefthand Bittersweet (Nitro)

Those famous Colorado-based milk stout makers are now doing an imperial coffee milk stout on nitro that is sooo creamy, smooth and nicely bittersweet.


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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Windows Weekly 552: CES Blackout”

  1. JimP

    Can you guys please stop saying the C word? My Harmon Kardon Cortana speaker keeps thinking that you're talking to it. :)

  2. JimP

    This episode's discussion about Cortana echos what I've been thinking for a while. When Microsoft abandoned Windows Phone, it didn't just hurt Windows Phone, the lack of a viable mobile strategy hurts Microsoft's entire ecosystem.

  3. nbplopes

    Google today its what Microsoft was decades ago, but much faster and efficient.

    The future of MS may well be the backend (The cloud its the new backend). The challenge is that Google and to a less degree Amazon may very well do what MS did decades ago with IBM and other backend system vendors. Once they "secure" the OS side of things, running everywhere, they move on aggressively to the backend. That we will see MS going for a more specialised backends, ..., this looks familiar.

    MS has been playing a game whose rules are not made by them. Someone else is doing the rules and they seam to follow.

    The need to change the rules.

    For instance, everyone is approaching the Digital Assistant the same way. A way established in the market by Apple 7 years ago, that followed by Google and than MS on smartphones. Amazon applied the concept to a speaker and ... boom ... it opens new use cases for speakers. Google of course, being the new MS, immediately reacted seeing that has a business opportunity. MS did not. Granted MS applied it to a PC, of course being MS where else, but unfortunately in that surface it does not open for now many new use cases for a PC.

    But why is everyone approaching the Digital Assistant the same way? I don't get it.

    I heard this podcast, maybe I'm getting old, but for the first time I got really apprehensive when you guys started describing Amazon and Google everywhere, with no sense of criticism for the users sake. It reminded the description of some future dystopian environments in the movies. I mean, everyone in the US talking to either Amazon or Google (The Tyrell Corporations of the future) to get anything done ... is that the future that users want?

    I mean, users may want to voice interfaces but not necessarily "talk" only to Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant or whatever . Siri (Digital Assistant) was probably the first workable voice interface that people got in contact to, but this model its not the only one possible. Apart from talking to a computer, this model is quite unnatural in the wide spectrum of user interaction.

    Meaning I think a more natural approach would be for me to interact "directly" with Thurrott, Spotify, Twitt, Twitter, Facebook, Office ... whatever small software vendor so on and so forth. "Hey Thurrott", "Hey Spotify" ,"Hey Apple ...".

    From a technical stand point and considering MS, the challenge would be to provide an easy to use framework to build voice interfaces / AI for Thurrott, Spotify, Facebook, Photoshop ... and other software appliances. If people are already building "skills" into these things, how hard it could be to group them with "Hey Thurrott", "Hey Spotify", "Hey ........." .... People would be able to talk directly with their apps/brands/services, rather than only with Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant. I could imagine a commercial where people would engage into a voice interaction with multiple brands on top of MS Graphical, Touch and Voice Enabled OS.

    Right now, things are being funnelled into some grotesc dystopian world of 2 or 3 Tyrell corporations that work as a proxy for all voice interactions. The idea of a single intelligence when in reality its a proxy to other businesses, collecting all data that passes through such channel. Users do not want this. They are simply fascinated with some use cases!!!!!!! You see, if you ask people if they would allow say MS or Apple to record or process every single word they input into Windows/OSX/iOS, regardless if you are working with Photoshop, Uber or accessing Thurrott web site they would say no, no, no. It would be insane. Yet this is what is happening with the pretext of a so called "Digital Assistant"!!!!!!!! Why on hearth to call a Uber car using my using my voice to instruct/talk a device I need to talk with Amazon, or Google? Its Insane!!!

    Change the f* game! The vision.

    And no, I would not open Windows to other digital assistants due to the reasons above in the way Paul is saying. Yet I would allow Amazon or whatever other software vendor, build their "Hey Alexa ..." on top of MS voice enabled OS using MS AI/Voice system services wrapping API or whatever. They same way they allow them building their graphical user interfaces for their UWP framework. It would be actually interesting if by installing an app, its voice interface profile / skills / AI would be also installed.