Tastes Like Wine – Windows Weekly 661

Posted on February 27, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Podcasts, Windows Weekly with 3 Comments

Mary Jo, Leo, and Paul discuss Surface Duo, Google v. the new Edge, Windows 10, Azure Sphere, Office 365 and Microsoft 365, and much more.

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Tips and picks

Tip of the week: Enable Secure DNS in the new Edge

It’s not just Firefox and Opera: You can do this in the new Edge too!

Game pick of the week: Black Mesa

After 14 (!) long years in development, the port of the original Half-Life to a more modern engine—and now made legit—is available!

App pick of the week: Stardock SoundPackager 10

Continuing its theme of filling in the blanks in Windows, Stardock this week released a new sound scheme manager called SoundPackager 10.

Enterprise pick of the week: More Microsoft cloud regions are coming (some time)

Microsoft has announced plans to open cloud datacenters/regions in Mexico and Spain some time in the future. These new areas will be serving up Azure, O365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

Enterprise Pick No. 2 of the week: Mover file migration tool is now available to O365/M365 users

Microsoft bought a couple of file migration companies late last year (Mover and Movere). The Mover technology is ready for Microsoft O365 customers who want to move files from other cloud-storage and other cloud services.

Beer pick of the week: Equilibrium Super Fractal Koru Set

It’s NYC Beer Week. So many local beers, so little time. Equilibrium’s Super Fractal Koru Set is named after the Koru, a New Zealand Maori term for a spiral shape that constantly evolves to symbolize new life and growth and resembles a fractal set. This is a tripel IPA (10%). Equilibrium, based in Middletown, NY, was formed by a bunch of former chemists. So this all makes sense.


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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Tastes Like Wine – Windows Weekly 661”

  1. red77star

    I hope they turn live tiles into gadgets on desktop. it will be a mistake if they completely kill it. Live tiles are in wrong location, they should be on desktop and I agree start menu should have nice icons like Windows 10x.

    If Microsoft can pull Windows 10x for desktop where Win32 apps will run in container with no performance penalty, kudos to them.

    My biggest concern about Win32 running in container is compatibility and performance.

    As much as Microsoft Store was failure, their PC Xbox Beta Pass app is a success and I believe that because it is focused on certain things, games and that's why is good! Perhaps Microsoft should replace Microsoft Store with more Store like focused apps on certain things...just an idea.

  2. 1armedgeek

    I like the tiles (not necessarily Live Tiles) because I *don't* type that quickly. I use a lot of applications. I arrange them in groups. Bigger tiles for ones I use a lot. Another reason is that sometimes I forget the name of the program, so I find them quicker if I see the tiles with the logo or the name.

    Another reason is if I have programs with very similar names like Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio 2019 Preview, I just point to one instead of searching for it (by typing).

    I think it is better for some types of people.

  3. orbsitron

    I think Paul and Leo may have missed what makes "Smart Delivery" on XBOX Series X so important.

    Yes, only downloading the right assets to a given device is great (and is frankly expected and is already available on XBOX One S and XBOX One X where 4K assets of X enhanced games only get downloaded by the One X), and of course having game developers selectively segment the game such that gamers can choose to only download the parts they want or start playing once the part they first want to play is downloaded, while the rest continues to download, is also great.

    None of that is what got the gaming community so excited about Smart Delivery, however.

    On top of all that, is the commitment by XBOX that all 1st party games will use Smart Delivery to ensure that if current generation gamers (ie: XBOX One, XBOX One S and XBOX One X owners) buy a game and a next-gen version of that game becomes available later, gamers will not have to buy the game again to get the better experience when they upgrade their hardware!

    That was not the case during the previous generation transition from the 360 to the XBOX One (or the PS3 to PS4). Many, many games were released with separate SKUs for each generation. A gamer who chose to play Grand Theft Auto V on release day, bought it on XBOX 360 or PS3 and if they later purchased an XBOX One, PS4 or PC, they couldn't play the previous gen version (no back-compat, no cross-buy) and if they wanted to the current gen version (often a "definitive" edition with DLC or other post-release content or features included but largely a port of the previous gen game), they had to buy the same, full-priced game again.

    This shows how far XBOX has come as a consumer-friendly ecosystem.

    In today's world, not only would the current gen game be forwards compatible on the Series X (thanks to Series X backwards compatibility with XBOX One) so the same gamer who upgrades from an XBOX One X to XBOX Series X gets to play the game they buy on XBOX One X on XBOX Series X at no extra charge and with no need to wait for a next gen port, but when an eventual next-gen port comes along for that game, that same gamer gets the better version of that game without any need to re-purchase it! At least for XBOX Game Studios published games.

    Smart Delivery is also available to 3rd parties and at least one very heavy hitter committed to it immediately - CD Projekt Red committed to it for Cyberpunk 2077 and specifically called out the consumer-friendly perspective regarding purchasing once but playing the best version when it's available.

    Purchase on current gen and play on next gen (or vice versa, I suppose), is the major value add that Smart Delivery offers, thanks to both the functionality and the publishing practice commitment by XBOX Game Studios. It's not just the tech, but it's also XBOX's policy for 1st party titles and influence for 3rd party titles (at least on one massive title to start) that will have a significant positive impact on gamers. That's what people are excited about.

    • Paul Thurrott

      >>I think Paul and Leo may have missed what makes "Smart Delivery" on XBOX Series X so important. Well, yes. I didn't even know what it was. :)