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Keeping an eye on Windows and other things tech!



Last Build Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:20:09 +0000

 



Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 212 #OTP

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:20:09 +0000

After a hiatus for work, travel and a working vacation we are back on Observed.Tech and the timing could not be more perfect. In the last 24 hours alone Microsoft has released a massive update to Windows Insiders with Windows 10 Build 14986 aka the Creators Update - the expected third major Feature Update to Windows 10 that is due out in March 2017. Then at WinHEC in China they announced Project Evo for Mixed Reality devices in partnership with Intel for the PC hardware and Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo for a new range of head mounted devices or HMDs to deliver the mixed reality experience at a wide variety of price points to Windows 10 users. After that we heard of the new partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm to deliver the full blown version of Windows 10 including x86 desktop programs through emulation in 2017. These devices will have a wide range of form factors and could feasibly include phones, tablets, laptops, 2 in 1s, and maybe even home devices similar to Amazon Echo and Google Home. It certainly appears when Microsoft said earlier this year their focus was not on mobile for right now or last week when Satya Nadella told concerned stockholders they were not abandoning mobile that they were right on the mark. It is about to be a very exciting year in the Microsoft and Windows ecosystem and I share my excitement in this week's return from hiatus show. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_212.mp3




Unboxing the Windows Insider MVP Award

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 17:53:40 +0000

I have been blessed to be a Microsoft MVP since 2010 when I received my first award in the Windows for Consumers MVP category. The MVP Program has gone through a transition this year and all consumer related categories have been discontinued. A couple of years ago the Xbox MVPs moved to a new program that...



Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 211 #OTP

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 14:35:40 +0000

Welcome to Episode 211 of Observed.Tech! You can call this one the Product Launch Episode because it covers Microsoft's and Apple's individual product launches this past week which happened within 24 hours of each other. Microsoft held their event in New York City on Wednesday and then on Thursday in Cupertino Apple held theirs and the difference between the two events was palpable across social media. The response to Surface Studio was quite spectacular because of its innovations and capabilities while the response to Touch Bar on the updated MacBook Pros was really approached with a lot of snark on social media. A lot of that negative reaction came from folks who are normally diehard Apple fans as well which caught everyone off guard. However, when you compare the two events you should be able to see that Surface Studio pushed out the boundaries of creativity on many levels while the MacBook Pros got refreshed hardware, shaved off some size and weight, and then added a strip above the keyboard called the Touch Bar. Don't get me wrong - the concept of the Touch Bar and how it highlights functionality in apps and software is great - I would not mind having that on my Windows devices as well but when is Apple finally going to join the future and give their users touch screens. Imagine if they had launched new MacBook Pros with the Touch Bar and touch screens. Then the perception of the week might have been very different. Alas, we will never know that so we just move forward and watch the critical acclaim being received by Microsoft for Surface Studio while Apple gets memes created about their Touch Bar. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_211.mp3




Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 210 #OTP

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:15:41 +0000

Welcome to Episode 210 of Observed.Tech! After a month of a couple of travel and catching up cycles I am finally back behind the microphone in my own recording studio and it felt great to get cranked back up again. However, that did not mean I was not doing any podcasting over the last four weeks - it just meant I was a guest on other shows like the New Zealand Tech Podcast with Paul Spain, the MS Power User Podcast with Vernon Smith, and The Surface Smiths Podcast with Colin and David Smith (no relation by the way). It was great to meet those folks and sit down with them in person to talk tech. The crazy travel schedule doesn't end though as I talk about heading to NYC next week for Microsoft's Windows 10 event and what might come of that. Plus the Office event that is now scheduled for the following week, also in NYC, and of course my annual trek out to Redmond and the Microsoft Campus for the MVP Summit at the beginning of November. After catching everyone up with my schedule madness I dove into the headlines of the last week or so including an update on the progress of Windows 10 Redstone 2 development builds and the steady pace of build releases each week. These latest builds have added quite a few new features and have me itching to install them on the Surface Book but I am resisting that urge for now. Of course, I also spend some time talking about apps coming and going from the Windows 10 platform and other companies like Amazon expanding their Prime subscription offerings to make their annual $99 fee even more of a bargain. As always, you can expect plenty of other tidbits throughout the episode including Xbox now being the best selling console in the US for three months in a row, the awesome and beautiful Forza Horizon 3, Outlook.com Premium Preview availability, Windows Hello peripherals, and a US Navy ship I would go back on active duty to serve on just to call the commanding officer "Captain Kirk". Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_210.mp3




Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 209 #OTP

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:20:06 +0000

Welcome to Episode 209 of Observed.Tech! In today's show I start off talking about the trip to Atlanta next week for Microsoft's annual Ignite Conference and what the week is looking like for keynotes, sessions and other events. It is going to be a busy week but it looks like myself and David Smith from the Surface Smiths Podcast will be getting together to record Episode 210 of Observed.Tech at some point. We will talk about Ignite, Surface and any other tech news stuff that pops into our heads. I also mention another podcast, this one from Dave McCabe, which is called RESET and will be about all kinds of subjects including tech, tools and resources. Dave recently ended the Home Server Show podcast which he has been doing since the early days of Windows Home Server and RESET is his new endeavor. In other areas we talk about exploding batteries in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and those that will not charge properly on the Surface Pro 3. Both are being addressed but continue to be filled with issues with one being much more dangerous than the other and thus the subject of a federal recall. No Observed.Tech show would be complete without talk about Windows 10 and its ecosystem so we cover new apps, Project Centennial (aka Desktop Converter), the end and removal of the Get Windows 10 App from Windows 7/8.1 systems and Microsoft Edge still ruling the roost when it comes to battery efficiencies. As always, you can expect plenty of other tidbits throughout the episode including Xbox gaming news, HP blocking third party ink cartridges in their printers and Outlook's new way of sharing files/images on the web based email service. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_209.mp3




Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 208 #OTP

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:18:37 +0000

Welcome to Episode 208 of Observed.Tech! This show starts off with a discussion about my continued experience with the Nexus 5X and my recent foray into virtual reality with Google Cardboard. It was pretty spectacular to be blunt and the wife thought it was cool as well. Next up is the latest Apple iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 product announcements and mixed reviews on the lack of innovation with the latest iterations of Apple's flagship device. Several key reviewers are also telling readers that this might be a year to skip the upgrade if you are happy with what you currently use. Then of course we jump into this week's Windows 10 news including the first cumulative update for the month old Anniversary Update and the latest Redstone 2 build that is starting to reveal some new features that are headed to the third major update for Windows 10. As always, you can expect plenty of other tidbits throughout the episode including the availability for the first third party peripheral which supports Windows Hello facial recognition, blocking outdated ActiveX and Flash controls in IE and Windows 7, HoloLens being named a breakthrough product and Xbox winning the console sales battle for the second month in a row. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_208.mp3




Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 207 #OTP

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:18:16 +0000

Welcome to Episode 207 of Observed.Tech! This week I start off by telling you about my experience so far with the LG Nexus 5X and how it compares to the BLU R2 HD and the Lumia 950. Next up are details about where we stand with Windows 10 on Current Branch, the latest cumulative update plus the most recent Redstone 2 testing build that has just been released this week. Windows 10 and the reliability of its update process has come under fire in the last couple of weeks because of some very public failures after the Anniversary Update so I discuss those and what I have heard from Microsoft on the matter. After that I share some of the latest tips and tricks myself and others have shared for Windows 10 to help you take advantage of features and deal with any challenges you might encounter during your use of Microsoft's latest operating system. As always, you can expect plenty of other tidbits throughout the episode including the latest on Windows 10 hardware from IFA 2016 in Berlin, BLU dropping Windows Phone from their portfolio, the delayed Outlook.com transition and the Grandpad tablet that really isn't that great a deal in the long run. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_207.mp3




Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 206 #OTP

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:25:05 +0000

Welcome to Episode 206 of Observed.Tech! I start things off on this show by talking about the state of the Windows mobile market and that it is time for a reality check and acceptance of where the platform is these days. Bottom line is that the mobile battle has been won by Android closely followed by iOS. Next up is the Windows 10 Anniversary Update including what is being called #WebCamGate and the continued steady roll out to current Windows 10 users. I also share my latest collection of Quick Tips and an app tour of the new Amazon app for desktop and mobile devices. Then in hardware I share about some of the latest happenings with Surface including an update on #Batterygate and some new coverage of the design studios for Surface that hit publications this past week. Sony and its PlayStation 4 is making headlines as well for planning to deliver a feature Xbox One already has in its console. As always, you can expect plenty of other tidbits throughout the episode including an Evernote to OneNote Converter for Mac users, a new visual bookmarking tool from Microsoft, updates to Microsoft's Arrow Launcher for Android, unlimited data and data plan changes from wireless carriers, Google's plans to update Android more often and an acquisition by Pinterest. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_206.mp3




Observed.Tech PODCAST Episode 205 #OTP

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 11:50:31 +0000

Welcome to Episode 205 of Observed.Tech! Today's show went for almost an hour so there is a lot to discuss as it has been a busy week around Microsoft and tech in general. I start off by spending some time talking about the latest concerns around Windows 10 regarding privacy and security then I bring everyone up to date on the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for mobile devices. We are also now fully into the development of Redstone 2, the next major release of Windows 10 expected in 2017, with the release of Build 14905 this week for PCs and mobile devices. Windows as a Service (WaaS) with its cumulative updates is now rubbing off on Windows 7 and 8.1 as those systems will now start getting updates rolled into a single package. This is causing some concerns right now but in the long run should improve the update experience on these versions of Windows. It kicks off in October of this year. In the Xbox world we talk about the companies acquisition of livestreaming service Beam, the win in July for console sales versus Sony and Game Previews coming to Windows 10 this fall. As always, you can expect plenty of other tidbits throughout the episode including Microsoft once again changing their support policy for Intel's 6th Gen Skylake chipset, online safety resources, Windows 10 getting some security respect from an unexpected group and unboxing the Nexdock device for your small form factor PCs. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!


Media Files:
http://media.blubrry.com/observedtech/p/winobs.blob.core.windows.net/podcast/Observed_Tech_PODCAST_Episode_205.mp3




Control the Startup Chime on Xbox One

Sat, 13 Aug 2016 16:59:38 +0000

The Windows Insider Program for Windows 10 over the last eight months released 50 builds between PCs and Mobile devices in preparation for the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Well, the Xbox One Preview Program, which is currently getting preview builds for the expected Fall Update is seeing 3-4 new builds every week....