Thurrott Daily: October 11, 2015

Posted on October 11, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One with 0

Thurrott Daily: October 11, 2015

Here’s what’s happening today.

10/11/2015 11:20:26 AM

Further proof that Android is the new Windows

Not that we really need more proof. But I’ve often pointed out that PC makers are the worst thing that ever happened to the PC, a situation that became so dire that Microsoft is now making its own (and suddenly very celebrated) PCs. With Android, the wireless carriers play this role, and as with PC makers and crapware, they’re actively harming the platform, in this case by not allowing Google and the device makers ship software updates on a timely basis.

Forbes’s Ewan Spence (seriously, I’m not stalking him) has a great write-up about this topic, arguing that Google’s Inability To Force Software Updates Threatens Android. This “speaks both to the weakness of Android, and the weakness of Google in the ecosystem,” he writes, noting that only 23 percent of existing Android handsets are running an OS update that shipped fully one year ago.

He’s right. And while those here in Microsoft Land will point out that Windows phone has the same challenges, Windows phone only accounts for 2.3 percent of the market. Android is north of 80 percent. It’s time to put an end to this stupidity, and I’d like to see governments and regulatory agencies get involved to make it law. Out of date software is unreliable and insecure software. And that harms everybody.

“Apple has disabled the Apple News app in China”

Trust me, they’re not missing a thing. Both MSN News and Google Play Newsstand are far better news aggregation apps, and of course publications like The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and others have excellent standalone apps too.

Xbox 360 games on Windows 10 PCs?

There’s an interesting psychology happening at Microsoft now where the new regime is constantly apologizing for the past and fixing things that the fans don’t like. Terry Myerson does this for Windows, for example. And Phil Spencer does this for Xbox.

This is good, right? Mostly. But sometimes I feel like they go a bit over the top. And there is an interesting divide between pleasing all of your fans—which can result in compromised designs, since all those fans have different ideas about what they want—and just leading. Here’s an example.

When Microsoft announced the Xbox One, it had zero plan to provide backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, a tone-deaf decision given that so many fans had purchased huge game libraries on that previous console. And while this isn’t the one thing that led to the Xbox One’s year one failures in the market, it is certainly one of the things. (Others include too-high pricing, the Kinect requirement, and the overblown hoo-hah over “always online.”)

So Phil Scencer has spent the past year making up for most of these mistakes and generally backtracking on the original Xbox One vision. Which is OK … mostly. But this week he said the following in an interview with Gizomodo:

“[Xbox 360 games on Xbox One] is a matter of priority. I would love to have the ability to play Xbox 360 on PC at some point too, so we have different things we have to think about when we plan these things. But it would be great to have support for original Xbox games. So yes, I want it, but we have many other things we want to do as well.”

Here’s my advice. Stop.

There is zero need for Xbox 360 games on Windows, as there is zero need for original Xbox games anywhere. Getting Xbox 360 games on Xbox One makes sense, is in fact required. But that’s it. And rather than dividing the team’s time by working with yesterday’s games, let’s take the console forward instead. And the audience for these two potential changes is in fact tiny, especially the original Xbox thing. Just move on, please.

“Nobody cares, but the HTC One A9 is coming in a week”

Well, you’re right about one thing.


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