Thurrott Daily: November 14

Posted on November 14, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev, Windows 10, Windows Phones with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 14

Happy Saturday. Here’s what else is happening today.

11/14/2015 9:29:50 AM

Some quick thoughts about Project Astoria

You may have seen the news/rumors that Microsoft’s Project Astoria—a so-called bridge technology designed to let developers easily port their Android apps to Windows 10—is suffering some setbacks and may be canceled. Microsoft says only that “The Astoria bridge is not ready yet.”

You may recall that I broke the news about Microsoft’s plans to bring Android apps to Windows phones just ahead of Build 2015, which is where Microsoft announced Project Astoria and the other bridges. That article earned me an impromptu meeting with a top-level Microsoft exec and a behind-the-scenes look at how those plans had evolved over time.

So. Here’s what I can say about Astoria. First, I don’t know whether Astoria has been killed, but the silence around this once highly-touted functionality is, I think, important. And second, Microsoft totally figured out how to get Android apps working on Windows phones. That is, this is not a technical issue.

My educated guess, then, is that Project Astoria’s issues are legal. That Google and/or Java owner Oracle can prevent Microsoft from enabling this functionality on Windows phones and that they have alerted Microsoft that they would issue a legal challenge should it ever see the light of day.

UPDATE: A source in Windows phone tells me that Astoria has been killed, and that it was killed for political reasons. –Paul

This is just speculation. I think that Windows phone is in such dire straights that Android app compatibility is its only (remote) hope. But you can see where all kinds of roadblocks—technical and legal—could get in the way. And I think that is happening.

Today’s confidence-inspiring error message

I got this one this morning on Surface Book. Which you would assume always has the latest and most correct drivers. And that those drivers would in fact be for Windows 10. Wrong on both counts, apparently.

sigh

“After 20 years with Windows, I am moving to Ubuntu”

Solid, defensible and smart choice.

OK, not really. He was using Windows 8.1 and never even attempted to install Windows 10 because he had “talked to a few people” and was convinced to “leave it alone for a while.” So this is clearly the kind of person that should be doling out tech advice, with ample real-world experience to bolster his opinions.

This isn’t the first saga I’ve had with Windows.

It’s not a saga you’ve had with Windows at all. You’re describing what other people told you.

I just find this kind of thing sad. And no, I am not linking to it.

MST3K may rise again but let’s not forget about Rifftrax

Joel Hodgson is attempting to revive Mystery Science Theater 3000, this time with a new cast and a new season of 3 to 12 episodes, depending on how well things go. To finance this, Joel has started a Kickstarter campaign, and if he can raise at least $2 million by December 12—they’re at $1.7 million, so chances are quite good—it’s a go. (The number of episodes they’ll make will depend on this financing. To get to 12, for example, they need $5.5 million.)

I support this effort—literally, I pledged $100—because I love MST3K and watched it regularly when it was still on TV. But since then, I’ve also supported Joel’s and Mike Nelson’s post-MST3K efforts, most recently called Cinema Titanic (now gone) and Rifftrax, which is still going strong. In fact, I regularly buy Rifftrax movies and shorts, and often watch them on flights. And I go to live Rifftrax events as well. (They perform in-person in movie theaters and also broadcast live performances to other movie theaters around the country.)

Point being, I’m happy to see a new MST3K, and I like that Joel plans to have former MST3K stars back for guest spots. But if you really love this stuff, you need to support Rifftrax as well. And I’ve certainly given them well more than $100 (in the form of content purchases) this year alone. They’re worth it.

Bring Back MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000

Rifftrax

 

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