Last Build Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2017 16:36:33 +0000
Thu, 29 Dec 2016 14:16:32 +0000Welcome to Episode 215 of Observed.Tech! This is our 2016 Year in Review show and a first for us over all these years. Join me as I take a month by month stroll down memory lane as we talk about some of the headlines related to Microsoft news and technology. I also share my thoughts about the momentum behind Windows 10 including looking back on my 2016 predictions, testing Redstone 1 and 2, and new Surface hardware. There is even a little Xbox love in the discussion. I also take an opportunity to go back and look at the big Microsoft events of the year like BUILD 2016, Microsoft Ignite, and WinHEC to highlight what we heard from the Redmond company during those events. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening throughout 2016. I am looking forward to keeping things rolling in 2017!
Fri, 23 Dec 2016 13:15:03 +0000Welcome to Episode 214 of Observed.Tech! This holiday edition of the show starts off with Microsoft's massive Countdown Sale that is offering some big discounts on games, videos, and apps for customers. These deals are a great way to grab that game you have been thinking about getting. I then discuss the renewal of Microsoft's partnership with HERE for location data and their near $1 billion dollar support deal with the US Department of Defense to provide blue badge support to the world's largest employer. That should also help with the continued migration to Windows 10. Next was catching up with Windows 10, Redstone 2 aka the Creators Update, some app news, and where development will head as Redstone 2's code is locked down early in 2017. As always I have some Xbox related items in the show to discuss including the new Xbox Insider Program, the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility list of Xbox 360 games that is now over 300 titles, and a Twitter app that can actually be used like Twitter for your console. Of course, there are plenty of other newsy bits in the show including device usage stats, Skype's innovative year in 2016, Evernote listening to their customers about privacy, and the biggest searches in 2016 on Google and Bing. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!
Thu, 15 Dec 2016 13:30:30 +0000Welcome to Episode 213 of Observed.Tech! Security kicks off this weeks show with the second major breach revealed by Yahoo! in the last 12 months or so and this one happened nearly three years ago! Is it time to dump your Yahoo! account? It is for me - after Fantasy Football playoffs are over of course. I then catch you up on the latest builds from the Windows 10 Redstone 2 development branch, aka the Creators Update, and talk about some of the new features that are going to be in that major Feature Update when it arrives next March. Next up is news about the Surface hardware line and the success it has experienced recently including the new Surface Studio and the apparently very popular Surface Hub including a new try-and-buy program for potential Surface Hub customers. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning continue to be big topics in tech and Microsoft shared a lot of news at their AI Conference in San Francisco this week. New bots were made available for the Skype Preview Program including Expedia, UPS, and StubHub. Microsoft Translator also got a big update that allows you to use it on landline and mobile devices plus translate group conversations in real time. I also break down some of the other announcements that came out of several sessions at WinHEC 2017 including new about Cortana, gaming on Windows 10 devices, and of course the mixed reality/Windows 10 on ARM news. There are plenty of other tidbits throughout the show including app tours for new updates in the latest Windows 10 Insider Fast Ring build, my unboxing and hands on of the Nuvision W610L Windows 10 tablet, and some Xbox tidbits as well. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:20:09 +0000After 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!
Thu, 03 Nov 2016 17:53:40 +0000I 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...
Sat, 29 Oct 2016 14:35:40 +0000Welcome 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!
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:15:41 +0000Welcome 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!
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:20:06 +0000Welcome 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!
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:18:37 +0000Welcome 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!
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:18:16 +0000Welcome 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!