For the Love of Mobile MS Apps on Windows 10

It is weekend, which means I have a few minutes to rant about my frustration on the direction MS is going concerning Mobile Apps (the so called Metro/Modern/Universal Apps) and Windows 10.

As you may recall, Microsoft put out the news this week they will nix their Lync Metro App in preference of the Desktop Skype App. Of course all the yuppies were clapping and shouting “giddy on” to Microsoft without considering the consequences and the trend this is setting.

The trend I see at the moment is the rejuvenation of the Desktop, a complete reversal of Microsoft from its mobile-first strategy of two or three years ago. Put bluntly, the Desktop people have won at Microsoft. Fine and good you say, but it didn’t address the reason why MS went full mobile a few years ago.

Yes, Microsoft is doubling down on the Desktop at the moment, but to what end? There’s a complete new generation of users out there that are growing up on mobile applications, yes, on touch only devices and applications. MS may be winning the desktop strategy right now, but where will it be in 20yrs time. That is why we had the mobile madness of two years ago that is being thrown out the windows right now. Yes, pun intended.

So, MS is focusing on Desktop apps right now to the detriment of Mobile apps. They threw out the Lync Mobile app, every one should install the Desktop Skype App. Take a look at the OneNote Mobile App on Windows 10, it is a joke compared to the Windows 8.1 and iPad versions. You can’t even change the Font, not to talk of full formatting UX. If you look at the twitter stream of the OneNote team, it is all about the Desktop OneNote App. And so may examples of Mobile Apps of Microsoft collecting dust in the Store.

Fine and good. So what happens now to Modern apps from Microsoft on Mobile devices? I and a number of you have Microsoft’s SurfaceRT, how does MS want us to run Lync/Skype on this device now they’re shutting down the Lync mobile app? Windows 10 Mobile is coming out shortly on less than 8″ devices without Desktop, how does MS want users to run core Mobile apps on these devices if they nix all their mobile apps? Yes, Lync mobile is now down and out, which mobile app are they nixing next?

Meanwhile the competition are preparing the next generation of users to work exclusively with mobile or touch apps. So MS is expecting this to die and collapse like for iPad loosing traction? You bet mobile apps are not going to die, they will continue to evolve and eat into MS core sectors. So what is MS going to do about it? Stick its head deeper in the sand and pretend problem doesn’t exist there?

Yes, there are some of us that are protesting Microsoft killed Windows 8.1 too soon. It is a good OS on a Touch device. All the people that were complaining before buying a Touch device with Win8 come to a change of mind after using the OS on a touch device. I’ve seen a few examples here in family & friends circles. MS should not have listened to the yuppie Tech bloggers slamming Win8, but should have watched the trend on use-case shown in Telemetry and on steady monthly climb of Win8 on Stats sites like StatCounter etc.

So, you may be cheering Microsoft for killing the Lync mobile App for the Desktop App, I am not cheering at all. I want MS to be present and continue to innovate on the Touch-only world, not cling to the mouse and keyboard world alone. I like the direction of Windows 10, bridging Touch and Mouse/Keyboard world, I think we are making progress there, that is then why I don’t get the need to kill mobile Apps at this point in time. I say keep developing Apps in both environments. When I am on my mobile device, I DON’T want too use desktop Apps, period!

Remember MS, these tech-yuppies cheering you on are ALL on iOS for their mobile device usage, they only blog on the desktop. They don’t represent your complete user-base. Just food for thought there.

Rants out here, now your turn.

The New Windows 10 Store App now supports Desktop Apps Updates

Up till now we’ve seen Microsoft Windows Store provide and update the so-called Modern Apps. Although the Windows 8.1 Store provide ability to download and install Win32 or as Microsoft will have you call them these days, Desktop Apps, neither of the two Operation Systems provided means to update Desktop Apps until now. Continue reading

Using Windows 10 for Phones with Just Mouse and Keyboard

I played with a build of Windows 10 for Phones using only a keyboard and mouse interface. I had no touch screen available to me at my disposal. During the process, I noticed some interesting things. Here’s a video demonstration of Windows 10 Mobile with just a mouse and keyboard. Continue reading

My Windows 10 for Phone Tech Preview Upgrade Horror Story

Windows Phone Upgrade Gear

The purpose of this post needs to be made very clear. I am not ranting or complaining about buggy software or Microsoft. I am writing this article for two main reasons. One, I want to provide Microsoft with feedback so that they can track down the issues I and others are having. Two, I want to remind all of our readers that Windows 10 for phones is not finished and is very buggy. I do not recommend installing it unless you are ready to troubleshoot your phone and are aware that your phone may stop working for any reason. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get on to the subject at hand.

Microsoft released a preview build of Windows 10 for Phones (Build 10051) on Friday, April 10, 2015. I installed it on three phones. The Nokia Lumia 830, Nokia Lumia 928, and Nokia Lumia 520. All these phones were previously running Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. The Nokia Lumia 830 upgraded to Windows 10 preview without a hitch. However, the upgrade for the Lumia 928 and Lumia 520 was a disaster.

It is as if one went to surgery and came out with a missing lung, kidney, and open wounds. This is how I would describe the upgrade of the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 928. Let’s start with the Lumia 520. after the upgrade was complete, things appeared to be normal at a first glance. All the tiles were where they were supposed to be. I could see some new apps and upgraded ones. However, as soon as I tapped on the “All Settings” tile on the Action Center, I noticed that nothing happened. So, I decided to open settings from the All apps view. But I was in for an epic surprise. Continue reading

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 Walkthrough on Lumia 830

Windows 10 for Phone Start Screen

I have just received an update to my Nokia Lumia 830, and it is Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. This happened on the same day that Microsoft released Windows 10 for phones. As such, I made a video walkthrough of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 before upgrading my phone to Windows 10, and I am eager to share with you the video. So let’s dive in!

The video demonstrates visually what’s new in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. The one thing I was unable to demonstrate, unfortunately, is the ability to use external Bluetooth keyboard with the Windows Phone because I do not have one. But Windows Central has a great video demoing this, so I’ll have a link for that below.  Continue reading

Explaining the Final Version Windows 10

Windows 10 Featured

Lately there has been debates online with accompanying polls asking whether Microsoft will be able to deliver the final version of Windows 10 before the end of Summer as promised by them. Many people does not believe Microsoft will be finished with the “Final” version of Windows 10 before then.

See, that is exactly the problem. People are still in the old mindset of Microsoft toiling away in some labs then bringing the final product to market, only to disappear to the said bunker again to start working on the next version. That notion is gone people! There is no more “Final” version of Windows. We are in the Era of Windows-as-a-Service. The era of continuous improvement of Windows, in which Microsoft works on different components of Windows and deliver them as updates as soon as they are ready. Continue reading

Why Big-Name Apps are disappearing from Windows Store

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Yup, today another big name App is gone from the Windows Phone Store. VeVo joins the likes of Bank of America from removing their App from the Store. Windows Central broke the news a few moment ago.

The burning question then on the minds of most Windows Phone users is: Why are these big name Apps disappearing from the Store? Why remove them? They can at least let the last updated version remain in the Store, even if they don’t plan to update it anymore.

Yes, those would have been logical questions to ask, the answer is ever simpler than the questions. They are removed because of Economic reasons. Yes, money trumps customers satisfaction for these entities that relied on and grew big on the backs of these very customers. Continue reading

Understanding “Battery Life” in Mobile Devices

A tweetstorm occurred today between Paul Thurrott and Mary-Jo Foley about The Verge’s report of Battery Life of the new Dell XPS 13. It was half of 11hrs quoted by Dell according to The Verge, and of course Mary-Jo was disappointed. What followed was a storm of comments with everyone saying their piece about the subject. But you can’t help but realize the topic of Battery Life is so esoteric, even in this current age in which every battery units of laptops comes with chips in them with which we can accurately measure how much juice is available, and expectant lifetime of such battery. Continue reading

Understanding Windows 10 TP Battery Performance on Mobile Devices

I’ll give you the poison pill straight away: Windows 10 cannot and will not be as Power-efficient compared to Windows 8! Not on an x86 device. On ARM, it’s another ball game. This is why MS is having issues with ARM devices and Desktop for Windows 10 generally.

See, the reason here is simple, since the rejection of Windows 8 platform by the masses who doesn’t understand the OS, Microsoft’s hand has been forced to abandon all the progress made on re-writing Windows from the ground up for a great mobile experience, and concentrate on the Keyboard & Mouse world to make Windows 10 acceptable to Desktop huggers and the Enterprise in general. Continue reading

How to Go Fullscreen in Command Prompt and Powershell

PowerShell Featured

Note: You must have at least Windows 10 for this to work.

You can use Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe) and PowerShell (powershell.exe) in fullscreen mode. To enter fullscreen mode, follow the following steps.

Continue reading

Windows 10 for Phones May Likely have External Keyboard Support

Earlier today, I spotted a news article by Newoin, which you can see here, that showed new leaked screenshots of Windows 10 for phones and small tablets. I noticed something very interesting on one of the screenshot. Continue reading

SoundRecorder now saves to Documents folder in Windows 10 JTP

The Sound Recorder App was one of the updated apps for Windows 10 January Technical Preview. The Sound Recorder App in Windows 8 was excellent, but it has a nasty design fault; you can’t get to the recordings unless you’re a geek that knows how to hack your device. The files then were always saved in the hidden AppData folder of user’s Profile. Since this folder and its subfolders are invisible to normal users, they don’t care about it’s content. Therefore it doesn’t get backed up except you’re using a backup program. For example users are used to dumping their MyDocument folder on a thumbdrive etc, but not the AppData folder. Therefore, when the system needs to be refreshed/re-installed, the data in AppData don’t normally survive the system reload. All your recordings gone thus. Now, this has been addressed in Build 9926 as you can see above. Sound Recorder now saves by default to your My Document folder under “Sound Recordings” sub-folder. This is joy as your recordings are now conspicuous and gets backed up or made redundant. That OneDrive you see in the screenshot is just me making MyDocument folder point to OneDrive. Continue reading

Demo: Chitchat with Cortana in Windows 10 JTP Build 9926

Here’s a demo showing how Cortana responds to fun queries. This video demonstrates mostly chitchat. I also tried to demonstrate the “Hay Cortana” feature, but, sadly, I had no luck. Anyway, enjoy!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Microsoft is about to release Win10 FBL_Awesome Build 9931 [Update: Nope!]

 

[Update] It seems this is a false alarm folks. You can now stop pressing the Retry button. We’ve just been informed by @GabeAul this upgrade is meant for Microsoft internal. We may eventually get it, but for now, it’s no go.

Original Text

Earlier this evening there was a tweet from @GabeAul that a security update is released for Windows Insiders for Flash. Of course you when you see this you run to the WU to download the update. For me however there were plethora of updates available including one specifically for Win10 and one for my DisplayLink driver. It all went too fast I wasn’t able to take a screenshot. Continue reading

Network is back in Windows 10 JTP

A few weeks back we informed of a development in Windows 10 Build 9879 in which Microsoft changed the name of Network node in File Explorer to “Computers and Devices”. Well guess what, they’ve changed the name back to Network with January Technical Preview (Build 9926) as you can see in the image above. Continue reading