51: Maybe We're Just Dinosaurs


00:00:00   I'm gonna try not to be whiny.

00:00:01   Might be punchy, but I'm gonna try not to be whiny.

00:00:05   I've had pretty bad internet connectivity over the last two days.

00:00:08   Oh, really?

00:00:09   And I don't think it's because of Fios's weird possible throttling of Amazon Web Services,

00:00:15   which they have actually denied, which is worth pointing out, but...

00:00:18   That story is crazy.

00:00:20   It's based on, like, one of those online chat logs with a support person.

00:00:23   They don't know anything.

00:00:25   They barely speak English.

00:00:28   This is a worse non-story.

00:00:30   I have seen a lot of very slow downloads from S3 and a lot of Netflix problems.

00:00:35   However, not only is that not new, but it probably is not Verizon doing that.

00:00:42   It's probably Netflix being at massive scale where they're responsible for like a third

00:00:47   of the traffic on the internet, and no wonder that I have some slowdowns here and there

00:00:51   during peak hours and some bad quality streaming happening.

00:00:55   It's not that big of a deal.

00:00:57   Something is up.

00:00:58   a story on this a while back and I was really hoping they would get to the bottom of it

00:01:01   and I don't think they did. It was like, why the hell are YouTube videos so slow? Fiber

00:01:06   optic connection and you can't play, like it just literally won't play this YouTube

00:01:10   video that would use one ten-thousandth of your bandwidth if it would come. And it's

00:01:14   lots of finger pointing of like Google saying the ISP and ISP saying it's the, not that

00:01:21   they're not doing anything wrong and like it's not, like why would you intentionally

00:01:25   throttle YouTube. Like I don't think it's anything nefarious, but there's some sort

00:01:28   of networking related problem where all the parties involved just point the fingers at

00:01:32   each other and nothing actually gets solved. The upshot is some YouTube videos will play

00:01:38   in super duper HD perfectly fine. Don't even come close to using up your connection. Other

00:01:43   YouTube videos will just literally never load. And it's one of those situations that's impossible

00:01:47   to debug because you don't control the server. You don't control any of the internal routing

00:01:52   at the ISP. All you know is your connection to the internet looks fine and most YouTube videos

00:01:56   load fine, but this one doesn't. Yeah, I actually looked into that somewhat extensively about six

00:02:01   months ago when it was really bad for me. And a lot of people on Fios were complaining about it.

00:02:07   And for the life of me, I can't remember what the fix was, but it didn't last for very long. And it

00:02:11   was something along the lines of you needed to intentionally screw up your host file for the big

00:02:19   CDNs or something like that. I'm probably getting these details wrong.

00:02:22   Yeah, it was something like you had to like you had to like block one of the YouTube

00:02:26   major CDN IPs to route to nothing so that it would retry to something else that would be faster.

00:02:31   Right, right.

00:02:32   All you're doing is trying is like temporarily routing around wherever the problem is. And it's

00:02:37   like we don't that's not a we want you to find where the problem is and not say okay well if I

00:02:42   go through that server it's really slow so I'll go through a different one. Like yeah sure that's

00:02:47   the case a lot of the time, but like, why is it slow when we try to go through that one?

00:02:51   What's going wrong there? And that's what we want someone to fix. And it's like, I don't know if

00:02:56   that's anyone's job. Presumably it's someone in the ISP's job, but I don't know.

00:03:00   Trenton Larkin Yeah. And the funny thing to me is the fix,

00:03:02   and I'm doing mega air quotes here, the fix for the YouTube slowness was to try to route around

00:03:10   the content delivery network, whose sole job is to get you that data as quickly as possible.

00:03:16   Yeah.

00:03:17   Whatever.

00:03:18   But yeah, so you also, you two also don't buy into this Verizon is immediately throttling

00:03:25   everything under the sun story, because I do not.

00:03:28   They could be throttling everything under the sun, but that story is based on nothing

00:03:33   that supports that.

00:03:34   Like if you're going to put in a story that they throttle, find some evidence that they're

00:03:38   throttling.

00:03:39   Hell, do experimental evidence that's right.

00:03:40   Don't base it on a conversation with a customer support rep in one of the chat windows, because

00:03:43   That is not a reliable source of anything.

00:03:47   All right, what else is going on?

00:03:50   Some follow-up, actually, that's what's going on.

00:03:52   All right, so the first item is from someone named Steven, and he was talking about using

00:03:57   the iPad to do more stuff, and Steven says he's older, he's older than us.

00:04:02   I'll read a little bit from his email here.

00:04:05   "I work in an office that uses DOS Lotus 1.2.3 and DOS WordPerfect.

00:04:10   When we switched to Windows 3.1, we found that we could get our jobs done faster and

00:04:13   easier in Windows.

00:04:15   But in using iOS, the opposite is true.

00:04:17   As you mentioned, it's harder to complete office work in iOS.

00:04:20   So the analogy of switching to iOS to complete work is the same as when we switch from command

00:04:25   line DOS to GUI is just plain wrong.

00:04:28   I kind of get it what he's trying to say here.

00:04:32   I guess, well hey, I'll just read the rest of it because it's short.

00:04:35   Once we switched to Microsoft Excel and Word, we found we could do more things than we could

00:04:39   and DOS, we could copy and paste between Word and Excel,

00:04:41   working with files was easier,

00:04:42   we just cut and pasted or just dragged and dropped.

00:04:45   So he's trying to say that like,

00:04:47   it's not the same transition because transitioning

00:04:50   to an iPad would make their work harder,

00:04:53   whereas transitioning from DOS to Windows

00:04:55   made their work easier.

00:04:56   I think there's a couple things at play here.

00:04:59   One is switching from a personal computer to an iPad

00:05:04   makes a lot of things easier for a lot of people,

00:05:07   maybe not necessarily for this person.

00:05:09   And an example I would give is like,

00:05:12   people who can't do something on a personal computer

00:05:15   find that they are able to complete that same task

00:05:17   on an iPad, whatever that task may be.

00:05:19   I'm sure you can think of examples of people who you know,

00:05:22   who if left to their own devices could not do something

00:05:25   on a personal computer, but if you give them the iPad,

00:05:27   they can't, even if it's simple as like browsing the web,

00:05:29   emailing something to someone.

00:05:31   The great example is finding an application

00:05:34   that does something that they're interested in

00:05:36   Installing it and using it that I think is a really good one because lots and lots and lots of people could not do

00:05:42   that with a personal computer

00:05:44   And maybe they didn't notice like you know boy

00:05:47   I wish there was an application that let me keep track of the score in my bridge game

00:05:52   Left to their own devices finding that application downloading installing it successfully and not screwing up their computer and

00:05:58   Not getting a virus and not downloading the wrong thing is difficult

00:06:01   Whereas if you give someone an iPad and they're interested in keeping score in their bridge game

00:06:06   They could probably pull that off

00:06:08   And at the same time there are lots of things we're going going back to the DOS to to Windows thing

00:06:13   There are lots of things that you could do in DOS

00:06:15   That you couldn't do in Windows or couldn't do as easily an example of anyone who is using DOS extensively would be like what if I?

00:06:21   want to do

00:06:23   Delete, you know

00:06:24   foo star dot star or

00:06:26   All files that begin with letter a or something like all sorts of things you can do from the command line

00:06:30   You're like well in the GUI

00:06:31   I could sort of do that myself and sort things in ListView and select them manually and drag

00:06:35   them to the trash, but it's like before I could just type out a wildcard and it was

00:06:38   so much easier.

00:06:39   Why can't I do that in Windows?

00:06:40   Windows sucks.

00:06:41   So saying that any individual person can or can't do something with a particular computer

00:06:46   is a very contextual type of message.

00:06:49   And I think it all comes back to what I was saying before, the notion that iOS is better

00:06:54   for people, which is a sweeping generalization.

00:06:57   I'm trying to sort of take the average of all the people in the entire world, what can they do with

00:07:03   a personal computer? And of all those same people in the entire world, what can they get done with

00:07:06   an iPad? And that's combined with, as you noted, the premise of the whole thing was that the iPad

00:07:12   would have to expand its capabilities if it can ever hope to take people from office workers or

00:07:19   anyone really, get them off of their PC and get them onto the iPad. Because there are many things

00:07:23   that are better for everyone about an iPad, but it's not a viable option for you if you can't

00:07:28   do whatever it is that you want to do. So that's why I was saying that I thought the iPad would

00:07:33   have to expand its capabilities and expand the range of models available if it ever wants to do

00:07:40   that, and I think it would want to do that because the things that the iPad is better at for all

00:07:44   people are also kind of better for regular people. In the same way the things that Windows is better

00:07:48   at for all people. It was also better at for, you know, the more demanding users. Even if they

00:07:54   couldn't wildcard something to delete it or do stuff from the command line or write batch files

00:07:58   and stuff like that. Yeah, they lost capabilities, but it was enough of a trade-off. I've thought

00:08:03   more about this since the last show. I don't really know if I'm as convinced as I was before.

00:08:09   There's another piece of follow-up related to this, but I don't know. Have you guys thought

00:08:16   about it since then, the whole, especially the iPad? Or did you just blessedly forget it after

00:08:20   the show was over? Not once. Yeah, I haven't really thought about it. But I was not convinced

00:08:24   when we talked about it then. And I'm still not convinced now. Are you not convinced that it's

00:08:28   better for that the iOS is better for people like in the in the giant general average of all people

00:08:33   kind of way? So no, no, that I'm absolutely convinced by that. And like, Sean Blanc wrote

00:08:38   a really great story about his grandfather. Now he uses his iPad as a camera and how maybe,

00:08:42   You know, that's largely because of screen size, if memory serves, it's largely because

00:08:47   of the ease of use, but it's enabled his grandfather to do some things he would have

00:08:51   otherwise been unable to do.

00:08:52   And that's a really great and touching example of the story that everyone is telling or has

00:08:57   told, which is, just like you said, it enables people to do things that they perhaps wouldn't

00:09:03   be able to do.

00:09:04   What I'm unconvinced about is this whole iPad Pro thing.

00:09:07   I'm sure it will happen in some capacity in some way, but to me, I don't see anything

00:09:12   compelling reason for it to exist.

00:09:16   These tools exist—phones, tablets, computers—there is some overlap between all of them, of course.

00:09:23   And it's like you can use just one of those to do all of your computing tasks. You can,

00:09:29   if you want to. And I don't think there's—like, if the argument is, "Oh, I can do everything

00:09:34   on an iPad," you could probably do everything on an iPhone also. I don't think there's

00:09:37   a whole lot of people for whom the tasks they do on iOS must be done on an iPad and can't

00:09:44   also be done on an iPhone.

00:09:46   Certain screen size dependent things notwithstanding, but I think most people don't have a lot of

00:09:50   those things.

00:09:52   But ultimately these are different kinds of tools and I don't think we need to choose.

00:09:59   You have to choose the point where you have to say, you know, you have to buy these devices

00:10:04   and you have to buy what you can afford.

00:10:06   But chances are, of these three devices, for most people,

00:10:11   a tablet is probably the third one to buy,

00:10:13   not the first or second,

00:10:16   unless you have very, very light needs,

00:10:19   in which case it might be the first, and that's fine.

00:10:20   I think a lot of people are trying to cram too much

00:10:25   into any one of these things.

00:10:27   And I'm not saying the computer is the best one.

00:10:29   There's things that you shouldn't cram into a computer,

00:10:31   either, that work better on the tablet or a phone.

00:10:34   I think it's about using the right tool for the job.

00:10:36   And when we have new tools available,

00:10:40   we kind of obsess over them briefly

00:10:41   and try to push the boundaries

00:10:43   and see what we can do with them.

00:10:44   But then it just becomes a part of a regular toolkit.

00:10:48   And we realize that no tool is good for everything

00:10:51   and that we're better off using what's best.

00:10:53   And I think tablets are not replacing PCs.

00:10:56   We keep seeing over and over again,

00:10:58   tablets are selling very well,

00:10:59   but I don't think they're replacing PCs for anybody

00:11:02   except people for whom PCs were never the right tool in the first place. So that we

00:11:07   can debate on whether PCs were the right tool for so many people who were buying them. And

00:11:13   how big that number is depends on, or I think your argument depends on how big that number

00:11:18   is.

00:11:19   I think both of you are still not getting what's in my head, and neither is everyone

00:11:22   in the audience, and it's my failure to convey this, I guess. But you keep coming back to

00:11:25   these things, these choices that don't exist, and these dichotomies that I'm not getting

00:11:32   at and like what I'm getting maybe what I'm getting at is too simple and obvious but like

00:11:37   it's like saying in the days before the PC existed that you would look at what do most people do all

00:11:45   day with it sit in front of the desk maybe they sit in front of like desk with like stacks of paper

00:11:50   all right I'm trying I don't know what it is but like whatever it is that most people

00:11:54   I think it looked like Microsoft Bob like they had like there was like a desk with an organizer

00:11:58   on one side and like one of those flippy card things.

00:12:01   You made a Rolodex?

00:12:02   And a giant rotary phone maybe? And how about maybe a record player? Was that how things

00:12:07   were?

00:12:08   Yeah, well, let me actually think of a comment in a different way. I was trying so hard to

00:12:13   get you guys to see what is so obvious to me, but it's impossible to convey without

00:12:17   people extrapolating it out into a ridiculous scenario, like sort of, you know, following

00:12:22   it through to its logical ridiculous conclusion and then saying that that's not going to happen.

00:12:26   I mean, if you want to go at it in the sales number way,

00:12:29   PC sales are not growing anymore.

00:12:31   Why not?

00:12:34   Do we not need to do the things

00:12:36   that personal computers did anymore?

00:12:39   No, presumably people are buying things other than PCs.

00:12:43   And it used to be that the PC was the computing device

00:12:45   that everybody had.

00:12:46   And we could say arguably now the phone

00:12:48   is the computing device that everybody had.

00:12:50   But there are things you can't do on a phone.

00:12:53   No one would want to do video editing on a phone.

00:12:57   No one would want to do creative work like with Photoshop on a phone.

00:13:00   No one wants to do development on a phone.

00:13:03   Nobody wants to do lots of word processing on a phone.

00:13:06   There are just tons of things that you do not ever want to do on the phone because it's

00:13:09   too darn small.

00:13:10   That's the reason.

00:13:11   It's not like any other reason.

00:13:13   You need more space.

00:13:15   People don't sit at work all day in front of their phone and do all their work on their

00:13:18   phone.

00:13:20   And yet PC sales are still not growing like they used to and may actually be going down

00:13:24   at this point.

00:13:25   And I'm saying if people are sort of voting with their feet that they prefer to use these

00:13:31   things that run iOS or things like them more than they prefer to use PCs, but they can't

00:13:36   stop using PCs because there are certain things that the PC can do that these other devices

00:13:41   can't.

00:13:42   And I'm saying if, like you can't hold back this tide.

00:13:44   If people prefer to work with the simplicity and without the legacy hassles, whatever they

00:13:51   are overlapping Windows, file system, all the things that we got rid of in iOS, people

00:13:57   seem to prefer that.

00:13:59   And if they're going to move some of their tasks down to the other device, the device

00:14:05   has to expand to meet them in some way.

00:14:07   They're not going to willingly wedge themselves into a tablet.

00:14:10   So I'm trying to look forward to the future to think,

00:14:13   if iOS really is better for people,

00:14:15   surely, and PC sales are going down,

00:14:18   or staying the same, or not growing like they used to,

00:14:19   surely at some point, all those people with PCs,

00:14:22   like if you fast forward 20, 30 years,

00:14:24   are most people sitting in front of a PC

00:14:25   with overlapping windows, access to the file system,

00:14:28   and a mouse, and everything?

00:14:30   Or do some of those people found a way to do their work

00:14:32   with an iOS-type device, or a tablet-type device?

00:14:36   And that's all I'm getting at.

00:14:39   In the moment, you can always say, well, the tablet's not appropriate for that, the PC will,

00:14:43   but you could replace PC with like mini computer. Well, personal computers are good for some people,

00:14:47   but they're really too simple and real people need mini computers or workstations or whatever

00:14:51   you want to put it. It's just like if people prefer to work in that type of environment,

00:14:57   it seems like those things have to come together. Otherwise, what's the thing? The PC sales slowly

00:15:02   decline until no one buys a PC, and yet none of those people also have replaced their PCs with

00:15:07   with an electronic device, or do they do everything on their phone?

00:15:10   Like I'm saying, I think the tablet can expand to meet some of those needs in the future.

00:15:14   And my doubts are basically like, will any one company pull that off?

00:15:21   Because if no one does a good job, if no one rises to meet those needs, they'll just be

00:15:25   using increasingly better and simpler PCs.

00:15:30   And that's conceivable as well.

00:15:32   But I think it's, like I said, I think it's easier for iOS to get it slightly more capable

00:15:35   than it is for OS X or Windows or anything else to get simpler.

00:15:39   I don't know.

00:15:40   The only way we can tell is just to fast forward in the universe.

00:15:42   But I would say, look at the Minerva Horse posts charts of personal computer sales.

00:15:47   Look at those.

00:15:48   And think about how for our life, the entire default of a working person, a knowledge worker

00:15:53   or whatever, was to sit there in front of a PC and say, "Well, PC sales are going down.

00:15:57   Are those all home users?

00:15:58   And working people are going to forever buy some amount of PCs?"

00:16:03   Or does that trend line indicate that there's some sort of transition taking place, even

00:16:07   without any iPad Pro type of thing?

00:16:11   So let me kind of sort of repeat what you said to see if I understand.

00:16:16   What you're saying is, since everyone seems to prefer these touch-based devices, be it

00:16:21   a phone or perhaps even a tablet, and that's where all the usage is going, then it stands

00:16:26   to reason that whatever the shortcomings are, they will be solved over time, and that will

00:16:32   usher in all these magnificent new features. So it's not that Apple necessarily will deliberately

00:16:37   set out and create an iPad Pro that does this. This is the iPad Pro because we say so. It's

00:16:43   that in an evolutionary way, the iPad will become more of a more capable device by whatever means,

00:16:51   we're not really sure what that is, simply because that's what everyone prefers to use.

00:16:54   Well, it's push and pull because you can't say Apple's going to make it, therefore people are

00:16:59   going to want it and people are going to want it, therefore Apple's going to make it. There has to

00:17:02   to be, it comes from both directions.

00:17:04   So it's sort of like, and I'm, this is a crummy analogy, but you know, when

00:17:10   planes were brand new, they could only fly for a few minutes and not really

00:17:15   take any passengers and things were crummy, but everyone knew it was, it had

00:17:17   potential.

00:17:18   And then trains were still really exciting and popular.

00:17:21   And while this is a very American analogy, because our trains are terrible,

00:17:25   but over time planes became the clearly far and away winner because that's what,

00:17:30   that's the way everyone wanted it to go.

00:17:32   And so it kind of compelled the industry to satiate that need.

00:17:36   I think we should move to the next follow-up item because I think it's related and it will

00:17:42   maybe clarify this. The next follow-up item, I just put it in, it's based on general feedback.

00:17:46   And we're talking about having a keyboard in front of some kind of tablet thing to solve the text

00:17:52   input problem. And there are two aspects of this that I think are worth dwelling on that people

00:17:57   send feedback about. One is, one person on Twitter said that having, you know, I kept saying like an

00:18:06   architect's drafting table with like some kind of big tablet-y type surface on it, that that is

00:18:12   ergonomically worse than having a mouse and keyboard in front of you horizontally and a

00:18:17   screen vertically because you're sitting upright when you're using the, you know, typical mouse

00:18:22   keyboard PC type thing and you're kind of hunched over an architect's drafting table.

00:18:27   when you're doing that. I'm not entirely sure about that, but it's worth considering.

00:18:32   Would that be a regression, ergonomically speaking, to work on something drafting table style?

00:18:40   Imagine you have a stylus or something like that. Would that be an ergonomic regression to do a task

00:18:49   on a slanted up, presumably very large, tablet with a stylus or your hands,

00:18:54   versus looking at a vertical screen and typing on a horizontal keyboard and mouse.

00:18:58   It might be worse for your lower back and neck and shoulders.

00:19:03   Yeah, I'm not entirely sure because, I mean, the history of people sitting in front of something

00:19:09   and doing something is pretty long, and the history of people sitting in front of computers

00:19:13   is short, so it's tough to make any, you know, calls and that. Like, how many centuries were

00:19:21   monks hunched over the little slanty tables writing things with ink and stuff on, like...

00:19:27   It doesn't mean it was good.

00:19:28   I know, but like, that's been going on for a long time, right? And it doesn't mean,

00:19:33   right, it doesn't mean that it's good. And so personal computers have been going on for a short

00:19:36   period of time, and in the short period of time we had personal computers, we've also had the,

00:19:41   you know, we've been more ergonomics conscious, and people do have a lot of problems sitting in

00:19:46   front of computers in the current good ergonomic situation. Now, is that just because we're sitting

00:19:50   there way too long because we don't get up? Is it just because now we have the ability to diagnose

00:19:55   these ergonomic problems? And if there were doctors around in medieval times, they'd be

00:20:01   diagnosing all these monks with problems as well? It's difficult to say. And what I'm thinking of

00:20:06   are like, I think there are probably people who preferred work in the sort of architects drafting

00:20:13   table type situation even today. And I'm thinking of maybe creative people like animators or

00:20:18   or something, or people who are drawing on a stylus, if you're drawing on a surface,

00:20:22   for example, you don't want to draw on a vertical surface.

00:20:25   So if the whole idea is that you're going to touch the screen, whether with a stylus

00:20:31   or with something else, if people prefer that as the input method, if they would rather

00:20:38   do that than use a mouse to get their work done, or they feel like it's easier or better

00:20:41   or faster to get their work done that way, you can't have it vertical because no one

00:20:45   wants to draw on a vertical surface, right?

00:20:47   They're always going to draw on a slant.

00:20:48   So is that—are they compromising their body's ergonomics to get a more efficient position

00:20:52   for drawing or manipulating things?

00:20:55   I'm not sure.

00:20:56   But it's worth considering whether that's an ergonomic regression and whether, even

00:21:02   if people like using their fingers or a stylus better than using a mouse, doing so necessarily

00:21:06   makes it so that you're going to be—that you're going to screw yourself up more.

00:21:10   See, I would wager that that might be an improvement, the drafting table or the monk's table.

00:21:16   never worked at one, I have to imagine that the reason that monks didn't use a flat desk

00:21:20   like we all use today is because they found that it was ergonomically better not to hunch.

00:21:25   And so if you could get an iPad hypothetically mounted on an incline in such a way that it

00:21:31   doesn't go sliding down that incline every time you release it, I would actually expect

00:21:36   that to be an improvement. I think that would be better.

00:21:38   Because the whole thing is you're touching it. Obviously, vertical screen, that's a nonstarter

00:21:45   for touching, because we can't hold our arms out in front of us, and drawing on a vertical

00:21:49   surface is much more difficult than drawing on something that's more on your lap or whatever.

00:21:53   So I don't know.

00:21:54   The second one that neither of us thought of, because it sounds crazy to us, but because

00:21:57   it sounds crazy I figure it's worth bringing up, is getting back to the physical keyboard

00:22:02   thing with text input and everything.

00:22:04   The possibility that we didn't think of was, what if having a physical keyboard is not

00:22:10   better enough for people to care?

00:22:13   That's kind of what happened on the phone space.

00:22:15   And you can say, well, the phone space is different because they have space restrictions

00:22:17   and it let the screen get bigger, it had all these offsets or whatever.

00:22:21   But if you had asked any tech nerd before the iPhone existed, what do you think about

00:22:25   the idea of getting rid of all the hardware keyboards are in place into the software keyboard?

00:22:27   They'd be like, well, that might work, but you know, for serious text input, you're always

00:22:31   going to need a hardware keyboard.

00:22:32   And we're saying exactly the same thing about the personal computer.

00:22:35   Well, you know, you can type on an iPad screen, but it's terrible.

00:22:37   Like, if anyone's doing serious text input all day, of course they need a hardware keyboard.

00:22:41   I mean, I'm not going to write my Objective-C code for my iOS application on a piece of

00:22:45   glass keyboard.

00:22:46   I need a real keyboard, right?

00:22:48   It could be that even though we will think that till the day we die, just like some Blackberry

00:22:53   users will think that till the day they die, that it won't matter for the rest of the world

00:22:57   and we'll get outvoted.

00:22:59   Is that a horrifying scenario?

00:23:01   People using big iPad-looking things, none of them with a physical keyboard in sight,

00:23:05   just typing on the glass?

00:23:06   It's terrible for me to think of.

00:23:07   I would never want to do that.

00:23:08   I think it's worth considering that what we want may not be what everyone else wants.

00:23:15   And how many computing tasks these days don't even involve that much text input?

00:23:19   If you're browsing news, browsing Facebook, occasionally typing short comments and various

00:23:24   things, occasionally typing short emails, that's not really keyboard intensive.

00:23:29   That's one of the reasons why so many people can spend so much time on phones and tablets

00:23:33   without running into that problem very often.

00:23:36   I'm thinking even for people who type all day.

00:23:38   Like, we say, well, that's fine, but a developer's never going to use it.

00:23:41   Developer types all day.

00:23:42   Like, maybe we're just dinosaurs, and it's possible, like, once we move away from the

00:23:47   on-screen keyboard being a little picture of a physical keyboard, I can imagine an interesting,

00:23:54   futuristic kind of soft keyboard that incorporates gestures or some other crazy stuff that would

00:23:59   actually make some future developer who isn't born yet more efficient at writing code than

00:24:03   we are with our little things where we press keys that are sort of the modern-day equivalent

00:24:08   of the big things that used to be attached to a lever that would make a little metal

00:24:11   thing whack against an ink ribbon, make a mark on a piece of paper.

00:24:16   I'm not willing to entirely rule out the possibility that a physical keyboard could go away on

00:24:22   the personal computer the same way it went away on the phone, even though none of us

00:24:26   will ever accept that as a good idea.

00:24:29   This makes me think of a couple things.

00:24:31   Firstly, you're almost describing when you said, oh, well, some new kind of keyboard

00:24:35   with gestures and whatnot.

00:24:36   You're making me think of graffiti or whatever.

00:24:40   Didn't Newton have an equivalent of Palm's graffiti?

00:24:42   No.

00:24:43   No, it just did real handwriting recognition, which is why it didn't work really, really

00:24:47   badly.

00:24:48   I love graffiti.

00:24:49   Yeah, I love graffiti as well.

00:24:51   So you're making me think of graffiti, which I think for a power user could work, but for

00:24:55   an average person, I don't know if that would work out.

00:24:58   But you also made me think, I don't know if you guys had ever paid attention to someone

00:25:04   with a Japanese keyboard.

00:25:07   And I'm thinking of our friend Will Haynes, who is an Australian-born guy who lives in

00:25:14   Japan and I've hung out with him at WWDC many times.

00:25:18   And watching him type on that keyboard is really weird but really cool.

00:25:24   And he explained it to me once, I don't know how it works, and all the Japanese users

00:25:28   are probably getting upset at me now, but basically he somehow put together, I guess,

00:25:33   the core of the word by way of like drawing it because it's, you know, all symbols and

00:25:39   it would help him auto-complete the basic word he wanted.

00:25:43   And again, if you know anyone that uses this keyboard, seek out their two cents because

00:25:48   they can explain it much better than I, but what I'm driving at is maybe you could do

00:25:52   something like that but with a traditional keyboard and sort of graffiti-esque, but maybe

00:25:57   something different. And then the final thought I had was, you know, what if what makes us

00:26:04   leave a physical keyboard behind is getting a keyboard on a screen feeling more like a

00:26:10   keyboard on a desk? And so that makes me think of what if we could do something crazy with

00:26:15   haptics so you know you could get some semblance of touch on a flat piece of glass. And I feel

00:26:21   like some video was floating around recently that showed a demo of this.

00:26:25   Yeah, the little things, little blisters pop up on the screen.

00:26:28   Right, right, right, right. So maybe that would be enough to get us over the hump of using

00:26:33   a glass keyboard. I just imagine my great-great-grandchildren entertaining

00:26:38   the thought of lumps rising on the screen to simulate keys which are simulating the

00:26:42   keys on a typewriter and just being disgusted by it and saying, "That's so stupid."

00:26:47   Like, what I was thinking of in terms of interfaces for touch keyboards, well,

00:26:51   one is like the modern-day swipe things, you know, swipe on Android or wherever it came from,

00:26:54   you know, where you slide your finger. Obviously that motion of sliding your finger around,

00:26:58   that would never work on a typewriter or on a physical keyboard because like the keys,

00:27:02   you know, it would be awkward on a keyboard and it would not work at all on a typewriter, right?

00:27:07   But people do it all the time. But I'm thinking like with programming, if you had

00:27:11   tiny gestures for matching parens and curlies and indenting regions and selecting regions and

00:27:17   the things you do in programming, you know, that's kind of like, well, you know, I type all day,

00:27:22   I write code. I can't use a keyboard that's on a screen. I need a physical keyboard. In fact,

00:27:27   I need a fancy physical keyboard with special key switches that are, yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:27:31   I'm trying to think that it is conceivable to me that someone who's not me could be more efficient

00:27:39   with a very clever on-screen keyboard. And I think the whole reason this would come to pass is

00:27:45   that if tablets do become more capable and people continue to prefer to use them for more and more

00:27:52   task and that's the thing that sort of goes in tandem where it's like people prefer it and so

00:27:56   maybe it will expand its capability once it expands the capability people will try it for something

00:28:00   use it for that purpose and like it and like using their PCs less and less and buy fewer

00:28:06   PCs and replace their PCs less often but continue to buy more and more tablets that you know that

00:28:12   that's how the transition would take place um so i don't know like i in my personal life i can think

00:28:18   I think of only a few things that I prefer to do on my iPad.

00:28:21   It's not like I'm living the example of this.

00:28:23   I'm not one of those people who tries to live on my iPad.

00:28:25   I'm never going to give up my personal computers for my life.

00:28:28   I like them.

00:28:29   There are things I'll always want to do there.

00:28:31   But when I just want to read a bunch of long articles,

00:28:35   I'd rather do that on my iPad.

00:28:37   And when I want to watch video, I'd

00:28:39   rather do that on my iPad.

00:28:41   And so there's two things right off the bat.

00:28:43   And I know a lot of other people who

00:28:44   have a much, much longer list of things

00:28:46   rather do on their iPad than on their personal computer. And I'm just extrapolating that

00:28:51   trend more or less.

00:28:53   Fair enough. So Marco, what's really exciting these days?

00:28:57   It is our friends once again at lynda.com. L-Y-N-D-A dot com. lynda.com helps anyone

00:29:05   learn creative software and business skills to achieve your personal and professional

00:29:09   goals. They have over 2,000 high quality engaging video courses taught by industry experts and

00:29:15   and they're adding new courses every single day.

00:29:19   This is a very wide breadth of courses from beginner to advanced levels.

00:29:23   These videos have animations and diagrams.

00:29:26   It's very easy to find exactly what you need in their massive catalog.

00:29:29   And all this, you get access to their entire catalog for just $25 a month, flat, unlimited.

00:29:37   It's really fantastic.

00:29:38   You get the entire course library, $25 a month for unlimited access.

00:29:43   Over 2 million people worldwide are using lynda.com to help themselves reach their professional

00:29:47   goals. It's really great.

00:29:50   So when they gave us a sponsorship, I went and watched a few on Logic, the audio editing

00:29:57   software that I use for the show. And I learned a lot. And I tell you what, these videos are

00:30:01   actually really good. I was really pleasantly pleased. Anyway, I was really pleasantly pleased.

00:30:11   Because I wasn't surprised, I expected them to be good.

00:30:15   Anyway, I was pleased with the results of these videos.

00:30:19   They really do, they say they put in animations and diagrams, they really did.

00:30:23   And it's very high production value, and I really did learn

00:30:27   a lot, and I'm going to keep watching more. So I'm very happy with what I learned

00:30:31   on lynda.com. So anyway, back to the script here.

00:30:35   They have easy to follow videos, curated course content,

00:30:39   expert teachers, this is interesting, the instructors here are not just like, you know, some random person who wrote a tutorial on YouTube and then is giving it back to you.

00:30:47   The teachers are experts in their fields who are professionals working in the field.

00:30:52   You can watch from any device, computer, tablet, mobile, it even didn't require me to use Flash on my desktop, which I always respect, it worked in my Flashless Safari, which is great.

00:31:04   So anyway, some examples of what they offer.

00:31:07   They have, as I mentioned, I watch something for Logic,

00:31:11   the audio editing software.

00:31:13   They also have other creative pro software

00:31:16   like Photoshop, Illustrator, stuff like that.

00:31:18   Final Cut video stuff.

00:31:20   They also have development.

00:31:22   Objective-C, iOS, iOS 7 new stuff,

00:31:25   user interface design, Unix principles for Mac programmers,

00:31:28   stuff like that.

00:31:29   Plus web stuff, Perl, ASP.NET,

00:31:31   So you can be just like John and Casey, respectively.

00:31:34   And PHP with MySQL, so you can be miserable like me.

00:31:38   And JavaScript, if you want to be much cooler than any of us.

00:31:42   So you can learn all sorts of cool stuff from lynda.com.

00:31:45   Go to lynda.com, lynda.com, for a free seven day trial.

00:31:51   If you just go to /atp at that URL.

00:31:53   So lynda.com/atp, you will get a free seven day trial.

00:32:00   You can check out all their videos during those seven days.

00:32:02   Well, you can't really, you can check out some of their videos during those seven days

00:32:05   and you can see how good they are.

00:32:07   So thanks a lot to lynda.com for sponsoring our show once again.

00:32:10   Yeah, you know, I watched a video of, pieces of a video earlier tonight on Photography

00:32:16   101 because I don't know anything about taking pictures.

00:32:18   I know that I have an iPhone that takes pretty good pictures as long as I point at a decent

00:32:22   subject.

00:32:23   And the video was really well done, but it does, the way Linda set up, it works even

00:32:28   better than you'd expect.

00:32:29   So there was a transcript that was scrolling of the exact words that the instructor was

00:32:34   saying.

00:32:35   And what was really cool was I wanted to go back and hear what he said again.

00:32:39   So I looked at the transcript and was like, and I thought to myself, "Well, I wonder

00:32:43   if I can, I can."

00:32:44   And I just clicked the sentence that I wanted him to go back to.

00:32:47   And this is all without flash.

00:32:49   The video scrubbed back to exactly where I wanted it to be.

00:32:52   And it showed exactly what I wanted all over again.

00:32:54   And I could go on and on for a long time.

00:32:56   It's suffice to say, this may not sound like it's very good,

00:32:59   and a very good way to learn,

00:33:00   but I learned a lot in the, I don't know,

00:33:02   hour I spent watching this video.

00:33:03   It was really impressive.

00:33:05   - I checked out the site too,

00:33:06   and the one thing that struck me,

00:33:07   I've heard a lot of lynda.com ads,

00:33:08   and I assume, yeah, they both have a bunch

00:33:10   of video tutorials up there.

00:33:12   If you haven't gone to the site,

00:33:13   you have no idea how many videos they have.

00:33:15   They do not have like 10 videos.

00:33:17   Like I said, I'm gonna learn about Photoshop.

00:33:19   You know how many Photoshop videos this site has?

00:33:21   Unbelievable amount of like,

00:33:23   It's not like one or two videos on each topic area.

00:33:27   It's like tens, dozens, hundreds,

00:33:29   like in every tiny possible detail.

00:33:32   And they have the 101s and that's a good place to start.

00:33:34   But if you want to know, like,

00:33:36   I was looking at the audio things

00:33:37   'cause that's what Marco was looking at too.

00:33:38   And it's like the best way to mic instruments for live.

00:33:41   It was like totally super esoteric

00:33:43   all the way up to photography 101.

00:33:45   So if you think there's not any video for you

00:33:48   because you're too much of a beginner

00:33:50   or too much of an expert, I bet you'll find something.

00:33:53   - All right, so what else do we have going on?

00:33:56   There's a new Microsoft CEO.

00:33:58   - Yeah.

00:33:59   - Do we care?

00:34:00   - I think it's interesting this week.

00:34:03   I don't know how much longer it will be interesting to us.

00:34:08   I mean, you know, my theory on this,

00:34:09   which I posted today on my site,

00:34:11   is like, I think Microsoft,

00:34:13   and we've talked about this at length here,

00:34:14   so I'm not gonna go too far into it,

00:34:15   but basically I think Microsoft really could go two ways.

00:34:20   They could either keep trying to break into

00:34:23   new consumer mobile markets that they are failing at breaking into. And it's costing

00:34:29   them dearly to keep trying this in both money and in embarrassment, and just time, opportunity

00:34:34   costs, stuff like that. So they can keep trying and probably failing to break into mobile.

00:34:41   Or they can keep further investing and focusing on what they're very successful at, which

00:34:46   is enterprise services and the new cloud division. And they can build that up some more. They

00:34:51   secure that, lock it down, build it up. I think because the new CEO, is it pronounced

00:34:58   Satya Nadella?

00:34:59   I'm not sure. I believe that's right.

00:35:01   I Googled it beforehand. I watched the video, the Microsoft video, where they announced

00:35:06   the guy. It wasn't him saying his own name, but it was a Microsoft person saying it, and

00:35:09   I played it back like nine times. I was like, "I can't tell what you're doing at the end

00:35:12   of that name!" And then I Googled "how to pronounce whatever," and they have all these

00:35:16   videos where people say it, and they all swallow up the last two syllables, or the last syllable,

00:35:20   So I can't tell what the hell they're saying, but my guess is Satya.

00:35:24   That's my guess.

00:35:25   Okay.

00:35:26   Assuming it's pronounced Satya Nadella, new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella comes from their

00:35:32   cloud and enterprise division.

00:35:35   And I think that says a lot.

00:35:37   My one reservation is the new role that Bill Gates is supposedly taking on.

00:35:45   Now, part of this could be just kind of a sham

00:35:50   to show investors that like, oh, Bill Gates

00:35:53   supports this guy and therefore you should all be at ease.

00:35:56   You know, 'cause during any kind of transition like this

00:35:58   for a big public company, especially one that's had

00:36:01   as few CEOs as Microsoft, you know, this is a big deal.

00:36:04   You wanna ease investors' concerns.

00:36:07   So part of the Bill Gates thing, saying that he's gonna

00:36:09   be back three days a week and be, you know, in charge

00:36:13   of some kind of technology BS sounding position where he's going to be directing something

00:36:19   or other. That sounds a lot like nothing to worry about investors. Carry on. Bill Gates

00:36:26   likes this guy and is supporting him.

00:36:28   Who is that making feel better exactly though?

00:36:31   I don't… well, so here's the wild card though. Bill Gates has always had this kind

00:36:39   of personality complex where he has always clearly been very desperate to prove to the

00:36:45   world and the industry that he and his company can innovate and that they are great inventors

00:36:53   and are really innovative and are making cool stuff for consumers. That has always been

00:36:58   Bill Gates' obsession. And you could tell in comments he's made over the last 20 years

00:37:03   how much he cares about that and how he keeps having to like yell at people because no one

00:37:07   believes it. And so it seems like, you know, the idea of de-emphasizing consumer stuff

00:37:17   and just focusing on enterprise stuff, the idea of that does not sound like Bill Gates.

00:37:22   It doesn't sound like something he would do. He didn't do it during most of his time

00:37:26   and most of his power. And, you know, like my position is they should literally like

00:37:33   embrace that they're boring, that they serve businesses and cloud stuff well, that's very

00:37:39   boring to consumers, they're not going to go away. Windows PCs are still going to be

00:37:44   ubiquitous, regardless of how well Macs do, that Macs are never going to have 100% PC

00:37:51   market. They never will. They will never even come close, because there's a lot of the market

00:37:54   they don't address willingly.

00:37:58   PCs are always going to be needed for things. Yeah, we talked about how tablets are going

00:38:02   going to, you know, tablets are taking some other share, but ultimately I think PCs are

00:38:08   still safe, especially in the workplace.

00:38:12   And so I think if Microsoft can have a very successful business being boring, that's the

00:38:20   part of their business that actually work the best, that actually succeed, where in

00:38:23   many cases they're the best option.

00:38:27   And in the consumer space they can just keep losing.

00:38:30   And I'm not saying they should totally withdraw.

00:38:32   You know, Xbox does fine.

00:38:33   Bing does OK.

00:38:35   Even Windows on consumer PCs does OK.

00:38:37   But it doesn't need to be an area where they focus

00:38:40   intense amounts of effort.

00:38:41   You know, my position in the post

00:38:43   was they should just give people what they actually

00:38:45   want from Windows, which is keep making mostly the same thing

00:38:50   and just make slow incremental changes.

00:38:53   Don't do anything big and daring like Windows 8.

00:38:55   Don't do that again.

00:38:57   Just do slow incremental changes.

00:38:59   slowly make the same thing better.

00:39:01   We don't want anything new, just make the same thing better.

00:39:05   And I'm worried that if Bill Gates' position is actually

00:39:09   real, and if he's actually going to be spending a lot of time

00:39:11   in it, and if he's actually going to have enough power

00:39:13   to push product direction, I worry

00:39:16   that he's not going to let that happen,

00:39:18   because he's going to continue being so desperate to prove

00:39:20   to the world that he's this visionary innovator,

00:39:22   that he won't let them focus on the boring stuff.

00:39:26   But he hasn't taken that role for a long time.

00:39:30   So maybe he's over it.

00:39:32   I don't know.

00:39:33   So what you're saying is you want

00:39:35   them to be progressive and forward thinking in the server

00:39:39   space while simultaneously being boring and regressive

00:39:42   in the consumer space?

00:39:45   I don't even think they have to be regressive.

00:39:47   And I think they just have to just stop trying

00:39:49   to make giant sweeping changes.

00:39:51   Just accept your position in the consumer space

00:39:54   is you power the bulk of the PC market, which is boring.

00:39:59   You don't have any meaningful presence in mobile or tablets.

00:40:04   And my theory on that is that it's too late for them to do that,

00:40:08   and that this era of mobile and tablets is decided.

00:40:13   It's one. It's a Google and iOS hegemony?

00:40:16   Is that the right word?

00:40:18   - I know what you're thinking,

00:40:19   and I don't know how to pronounce it.

00:40:20   you know, Google and iOS will together dominate this space. You know, iOS will pretty much

00:40:26   have a lock on the top end, Google will have a lock on pretty much everything else for

00:40:31   a long time. You know, this is like a generation in computing. This is going to last. You know,

00:40:35   it might be 10 or 15 years. It's going to be a while. And Microsoft is not in that game.

00:40:41   And it's too late for them to break into that game, I think. You know, it's just--what could

00:40:46   they possibly do to take 15, 20, 30 percent market share? I don't see it. So I think

00:40:53   they should focus on the parts of their businesses that work and that have potential for growth.

00:41:00   And consumer mobile is not it.

00:41:03   So I guess it just seems contradictory that you would want them to kind of just go and

00:41:10   cruise control and/or… I mean, I can understand if you said bail. Like, okay, screw it. Consumers

00:41:15   just not working, bail from everything. Bail from phone, bail from Windows as a consumer

00:41:20   OS, bail from Xbox, bail from it all. But it seems a little, I don't know, contradictory

00:41:26   to say, "Well, just kind of cruise on the consumer side, but really keep kicking ass

00:41:33   on the server side."

00:41:34   Well, like, Apple hasn't stopped making iPods.

00:41:36   Yeah, that's a fair point.

00:41:39   I think it's similar. You know, the market for iPods—and actually, I think the Windows

00:41:43   PC market is even safer long term than the market for iPods long term. I don't think

00:41:51   they have to axe a business that is doing very well, as long as they can just keep letting

00:41:58   it do well without investing tons of resources into keeping it doing well at the expense

00:42:03   of other things they're doing. What I'm saying basically is put Windows and Office

00:42:08   into something slightly better than maintenance mode. Literally, just keep doing what you're doing,

00:42:16   keep giving people windows the way they want it, ship an update every couple of years with minor

00:42:23   changes. That's all people want. But you can do that, but you need some other business to be your

00:42:30   next big thing. You can do that as like, "Don't screw this up. Keep it going. Make incremental

00:42:35   improvements, and that will give us the opportunity to work on the next big thing.

00:42:39   Because if you don't work on the next big thing and just maintain that, eventually,

00:42:43   that thing you're maintaining will become irrelevant and gone. You'll get eaten from

00:42:47   some direction or another by someone else, and that will be gone. And you have to have

00:42:52   something else ready to go as your next big thing. Now, it could be that services is the

00:42:55   next big thing. It could be cloud or whatever you want to do. That's our next big thing. That's going

00:42:59   to be like, "Yeah, we'll do what consumers want with Windows and keep having that market aware."

00:43:04   but we're just doing that to sort of keep the lights on and not screw it up like we have been.

00:43:09   And we'll use that as a launching pad to get really big in services.

00:43:11   When I think about services, though, this is like a problem for shareholders and for

00:43:19   Microsoft's new CEO. What's the biggest company that you can think of that serves only businesses

00:43:24   and not consumers? >> IBM.

00:43:26   >> And so do you think Microsoft would be happy being the size of IBM in terms of market cap and

00:43:32   and the character of IBM, and the number of employees of IBM,

00:43:35   and the nature of those employees?

00:43:37   Or do you think Microsoft still wants to be the Microsoft

00:43:41   that they were in terms of what percentage of the company

00:43:43   are developers, and what's their market cap,

00:43:46   and what is their revenue, and all that stuff?

00:43:49   - By the way, I should point out that Sam Hay in the chat

00:43:51   is pointing out things like SAP and Oracle

00:43:53   as other giant enterprise companies

00:43:55   that consumers don't hear about.

00:43:57   - Right, I know, that's what I was thinking of.

00:43:58   I was thinking of SAP and Oracle,

00:44:00   but I'm thinking like, is that,

00:44:03   is that the, IBM is another example,

00:44:04   but is that the future that Microsoft sees for itself?

00:44:07   Like, would they be content to be a better IBM,

00:44:11   or a similar to IBM, Oracle, and SAP?

00:44:14   And I think they would consider that a defeat.

00:44:18   And I don't know the numbers off the top of my head,

00:44:21   but I would imagine it would also mean shrinking the company

00:44:24   in terms of market cap.

00:44:26   - Well, do they have a choice, though?

00:44:28   Like, is this-- suppose they actually can become

00:44:33   as big as those companies.

00:44:34   And suppose they actually can be as successful in the enterprise

00:44:39   services business to be at that scale.

00:44:43   It seems like that's at least plausible, if not likely.

00:44:46   What are their other choices?

00:44:48   Someone in the chat room needs to do the research for us

00:44:51   and say, what are the market cap for IBM, SAP, Oracle,

00:44:54   and what have their profits been like?

00:44:56   'cause Microsoft is still making tons of profit

00:44:58   and I have a hard time believing that IBM, Oracle, and SAP

00:45:01   are making that kind of green at this point,

00:45:03   but I don't know.

00:45:04   - Well, but you know, Microsoft is not making profit on,

00:45:06   as far as I can tell, they're not making substantial profit

00:45:09   on Windows Mobile.

00:45:10   I would say their Surface division is doing pretty poorly.

00:45:14   Like the areas that I'm suggesting they stop trying

00:45:18   so hard in are those like, let's get back at the iPad

00:45:23   and let's defeat Android kind of thing.

00:45:25   that's the stuff where they keep failing miserably.

00:45:28   You know, they've gone through this period

00:45:30   over the last 10, 15 years where,

00:45:34   you know, Gruber had a great piece about this

00:45:36   on his site today, about how their whole original idea

00:45:39   of a computer on every desk and in every home

00:45:41   running Microsoft software, they did it.

00:45:44   They won.

00:45:45   Like, by the mid-90s, they won.

00:45:47   And they didn't really know what to do from there.

00:45:49   And so they kind of started flailing

00:45:51   and doing all sorts of weird stuff on the side.

00:45:53   That's where you got things like MSN,

00:45:55   and then like MSNBC, and Bing, and the Xbox,

00:46:00   and some stuff like that,

00:46:01   and some of the weird research stuff.

00:46:03   And a few of those things worked,

00:46:05   although they usually lost a ton of money

00:46:06   in the process of working,

00:46:08   and might still be losing tons of money.

00:46:11   A few of those things worked,

00:46:12   but none of them have really gotten big enough

00:46:14   to be like their next big business.

00:46:16   What I'm suggesting is they should probably

00:46:22   focus on what they can actually do. Focus on the stuff that they already have promise.

00:46:29   And like the Brent Simmons post about this too, about how if they focus more on Azure

00:46:34   and the mobile services, they could be a big competitor to Amazon Web Services. That would

00:46:38   be awesome, because right now there is no big competitor for Amazon Web Services. And

00:46:43   there needs to be. They really could use some competition there for the good of everybody.

00:46:50   And Microsoft could be it.

00:46:52   There's all these things they could do.

00:46:54   But they're instead focusing on all of these areas they keep losing badly.

00:47:00   And there's no hope in sight that that might stop.

00:47:04   That they might stop losing in these areas.

00:47:07   The chat room did our quick research for us.

00:47:09   Microsoft is 279 billion.

00:47:11   IBM is 189.

00:47:13   SAP is 89.

00:47:16   Oracle is some number that I just lost in the scrollback.

00:47:20   Oracle's 161.

00:47:22   And this isn't going to go into profit numbers, because I think I would imagine that Microsoft

00:47:26   is making more profit than those guys, at least now.

00:47:31   What I'm getting at is that any of these strategies are going to mean shrinking the company in

00:47:36   ways that are going to make the new CEO look bad.

00:47:39   Not that I'm saying this is the wrong thing to do, but it's kind of...

00:47:45   Basically, I'm thinking, what is the tolerance for this type of thing?

00:47:48   Like if we're going to say, "We want Microsoft to be a different kind of company, and that

00:47:51   kind of company is necessarily a little bit smaller."

00:47:54   Is everyone going to be like, "Okay, great job, Nadella.

00:47:57   You're doing what we want?"

00:47:58   Or are they going to be like, "Oh, any backsliding?"

00:48:01   Anything other than growth is seen as a failure for the new CEO.

00:48:04   That's what I'm not sure about.

00:48:06   Are they willing to accept shrinking the company permanently?

00:48:11   Not like shrinking it briefly and then growing it back, but shrinking it more or less permanently

00:48:14   to become a different kind of company that is necessarily a little bit smaller.

00:48:18   Does it have to be smaller?

00:48:20   Right. Can you define shrinking? Because IBM is four times as many employees as Microsoft.

00:48:25   I know, but that's what I was getting in terms of the nature of employees. Of those employees,

00:48:28   how many of them are Microsoft employees, and how many of them are contractors and sales

00:48:33   people? IBM is a service organization. You have a very different sort of personnel base

00:48:38   when you're a service organization versus when you're Microsoft developing software.

00:48:42   Like, you will multiply manpower, and that I think will eat into your margins because

00:48:47   you need to have more people.

00:48:49   It's a different kind of business.

00:48:51   And if Microsoft gets serious about this and rededicates their company to sort of business-to-business

00:48:56   transactions, like they're already in that business as well, but if that's what they

00:49:00   get into, presumably they'd have to take share from those companies we just named, right?

00:49:04   Like the market's not going to grow by the amount that Microsoft wants.

00:49:07   They're going to have to take business from IBM, take it from Oracle, take it from SAP.

00:49:10   And again, they're doing that now with their various enterprise things.

00:49:13   But if that's what the company's going to be about, A, that doesn't look like a growth

00:49:17   business to me because I don't think the number of business in the world that want technology

00:49:23   is growing.

00:49:24   I think they're just going to be down there slugging it out with those existing companies

00:49:26   that we just named.

00:49:28   And I think it's just a different type of organization.

00:49:30   And getting back to Bill Gates, I think Bill Gates would consider that a failure if Microsoft

00:49:35   became like IBM Oracle or SAP, even if they were the best IBM Oracle SAP type company.

00:49:41   And even if you didn't have to shrink the company, like Marco said, you can kind of

00:49:45   tell that that's not the kind of Microsoft that Bill Gates wants.

00:49:48   He wants the one that everybody knows, that every person in the world uses Microsoft stuff

00:49:53   and they love it.

00:49:54   He doesn't want to be SAP, where everyone in the world does not use SAP.

00:50:01   Most people don't know what SAP is, and the poor employees who do know what it is are

00:50:04   sad about it.

00:50:05   (laughing)

00:50:08   - Nice. - But you know,

00:50:08   like I'm suggesting that Microsoft keep the businesses

00:50:13   that are making them the most money.

00:50:14   I'm not suggesting that they eliminate

00:50:16   most of their profit.

00:50:17   If anything, my suggestion would probably

00:50:19   make them more profitable,

00:50:20   'cause they will be able to devote less employee time

00:50:25   to working on radical, giant new products

00:50:28   that are not going to succeed.

00:50:29   - I think there is a glimmer of hope for a growth business.

00:50:32   Like cloud is one thing we discussed

00:50:34   where how many cloud providers are there out there?

00:50:37   Well, there's Amazon, and they do a lot of stuff.

00:50:39   But you can imagine Microsoft doing

00:50:42   what Amazon does but better, both because that's not

00:50:46   Amazon's main business.

00:50:47   They're in business selling you stuff and shipping it to you.

00:50:50   And also because Amazon presumably

00:50:54   would not be as maniacally focused

00:50:55   on the enterprise with their services as Microsoft could be.

00:50:58   And there's some synergy there with Microsoft's existing

00:51:02   enterprise product.

00:51:03   So that's a potential growth market where they could continue to grow their cloud services

00:51:07   year after year and that will look good.

00:51:09   It'll say, "Hey, you decided you're going to do cloud.

00:51:12   Every year you do more cloud stuff.

00:51:13   Every year your revenues and your cloud stuff goes up and people like it and people are

00:51:16   using it, so that's good."

00:51:18   I still think you probably want to have some other growth business in there.

00:51:25   And Mark, I would say that phone is out of the question, tablet's out of the question,

00:51:29   PCs aren't growing.

00:51:31   So don't even bother with those things.

00:51:33   That's maybe true.

00:51:34   Again, watchers and certainly Bill Gates

00:51:36   would consider that a defeat.

00:51:37   It's like, they do have a thing called the Surface,

00:51:40   and they seem to kind of like it.

00:51:41   And I bet they wish that wouldn't fail.

00:51:43   And they do have Windows Phone.

00:51:44   And canning those things would be-- that would be rough.

00:51:47   It would be better if that happened on a Balmer's watch.

00:51:50   And then the new guys comes in, well, the Phone and Surface

00:51:52   things are all gone, so we can concentrate on my new strategy.

00:51:54   But if he's got to be the guy to do that,

00:51:56   that's going to be difficult for him.

00:51:58   And if we're trying to think of an area where they can

00:52:00   expand that we just talked about in the beginning part of the show. If anyone can make a tablet

00:52:05   computer that people might use at their desk instead of a Windows PC, maybe it's Microsoft.

00:52:10   I know they haven't done it with the Surface. I know that's not what the Surface is aimed at.

00:52:14   But the magic protection that's keeping the Windows market viable for them is that nobody

00:52:21   else wants it. And the magic protection that may give them the ability to make the Surface Pro,

00:52:29   there I guess there already is a service pro, you know what I mean? A more capable larger

00:52:33   service for people to use, not just for consumers, but for people to use to do their work.

00:52:37   They can bring back the giant table. Yeah, well, the big service, right? Is that

00:52:42   maybe Apple doesn't want that business and maybe Android makers don't go after that business.

00:52:47   So if nobody else does it and it could fall to Microsoft by default, to try and fail perhaps

00:52:54   in that business as they have so far in the tablet and phone markets, but it's there.

00:52:59   I mean, I just don't like to think that we resign ourselves to be boring and to do what we know how

00:53:08   to do. And even if it's not a growth business, we'll take business away from our other competitors.

00:53:13   And it's like, that just doesn't... It's not just Bill Gates. That sounds like a defeat to me.

00:53:18   I would rather see Microsoft go down in flames trying to do crazy stuff. I'd rather see them

00:53:24   keep doing the Xbox stuff, try the Surface stuff. I mean, the Windows phone, all that stuff.

00:53:31   Not a success, really, but I would rather see them go out of business doing that

00:53:35   than stay in business being like Oracle or IBM or SAP.

00:53:39   **Matt Stauffer** Well, what if people at Microsoft don't consider it boring

00:53:43   to become a pretty strong player in web services?

00:53:45   **Matt Stauffer** It's boring.

00:53:47   Look at Amazon. Lots of people work on that on Amazon. It's become a giant business for them.

00:53:52   Microsoft's best bet may be to be acquired by Apple in 20 years, because if Apple continues

00:53:57   not to be able to do cloud services that well, and Microsoft becomes really good at it, there's

00:54:02   definite synergies there. If eventually they eliminate all the places where there wouldn't

00:54:07   be a good match-up, like, "Well, you have a tablet, and we have a tablet, and you have a phone OS,

00:54:11   and we have a phone OS, and you have a desktop OS." If you get it down to the point where the

00:54:15   acquisition makes sense because Microsoft is, you know, the preeminent cloud services

00:54:20   company and Apple continues to flail, then it would be like, "Well, that's a reasonable

00:54:24   matchup."

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00:55:00   Alright!

00:55:01   Yeah, you won this month!

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00:57:14   So thanks a lot to Squarespace for sponsoring ATP once again. Squarespace.com offer code Casey

00:57:20   By the way, you would be surprised how many people misspell Casey's name in feedback.

00:57:26   We've seen "Kassy"...

00:57:27   That's true.

00:57:28   We see a lot of "Kassy" with two S's.

00:57:29   We should spell it on every episode of the show.

00:57:30   Yeah, maybe in like the end, in like a song or jingle or something.

00:57:34   Yeah, make it easy to remember.

00:57:35   And actually, I was gonna say, the only problem with using my name as the offer code is that

00:57:42   now I'm going to hear for the next three weeks on Twitter, "Oh, who the hell is Casey?"

00:57:47   Who the hell is Casey?

00:57:48   and over and over and over again. So I'm very thankful for Squarespace for sponsoring

00:57:54   and for honoring me with that awesome offer code, but oh my lord, I'm doomed.

00:57:59   Hey, you complained when the offer code was Marco, so now this is what you get.

00:58:02   Yeah, I didn't think that went through at all.

00:58:04   Not at one bit.

00:58:05   Oh, goodness. Sorry, what else is going on?

00:58:08   Well, actually, before we get off on the del, I want to talk briefly about the guy himself

00:58:12   and a little bit of the excitement that I get from, or maybe the lack of excitement

00:58:17   other people have from having this new person. Because since it was just announced, it's like

00:58:21   there's this world of possibilities. Despite the Bill Gates factor, there's new leadership

00:58:27   at a company. This company has not had a lot of CEOs in its lifetime. Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer,

00:58:33   then this guy. And that's a long time for each of them. And if you want to consider the Bill Gates,

00:58:39   Steve Ballmer thing as not really much of a transition because the two of them were there

00:58:43   in the beginning and the two of them sort of ran the company together and then Bill Gates just kind

00:58:47   of opted out. It was sort of a continuation of the Bill Gates reign. Who knows what this new guy will

00:58:53   do? Even though he's a company man and has been in the company for 22 years and all that other stuff,

00:58:57   there's the potential like there always is when you have a change in leadership

00:59:02   for him to do interesting, exciting, unexpected, radical things. We don't know what, at least I

00:59:09   don't know enough about his personality to know is he that type of person or is he just kind of

00:59:13   of like a slow and steady, not going to do anything crazy.

00:59:16   Steve Ballmer, personality-wise, always seemed crazy and insane and very interesting and

00:59:20   fun to watch, and his developers' stuff and throwing chairs and stuff like that.

00:59:24   And yet the way he ran the company was very conservative.

00:59:27   This guy seems like a cool, mellow dude, but maybe he's going to make crazy, radical, Steve

00:59:32   Jobs-esque moves.

00:59:33   And since he just took the job, now is the time for me to entertain those fantasies until

00:59:37   he goes through a year of just doing boring stuff and I get disappointed.

00:59:41   Well, and somebody tweeted, and I don't have it in front of me and I apologize, but

00:59:45   somebody had tweeted something along the lines of, you know, if you look at Google, there's

00:59:51   – what is the psycho guy, psycho privacy guy, CEO?

00:59:57   Eric Schmidt.

00:59:58   Thank you.

00:59:59   He's no longer the CEO, but I think – is he still chairman?

01:00:01   He's at least still on the board, I think.

01:00:03   Anyway, so –

01:00:04   Right, right, right.

01:00:05   So the point of the tweet was he was a business guy.

01:00:07   And you look at – is it Larry that's currently CEO?

01:00:11   He's of some sort of development background, is he not?

01:00:15   And Satya is also a developer.

01:00:18   And so you're finding this trend, such as this person was saying, you're finding this

01:00:23   trend towards developers as CEOs, which is a very different and powerful thing, as opposed

01:00:27   to having a bunch of businessmen leading these companies.

01:00:32   With the exception, of course, of Tim Cook, who has an MBA.

01:00:35   And I don't know, he was some sort of engineering undergrad, right?

01:00:38   I would consider Tim Cook a continuation of the Steve Jobs reign in the same way that

01:00:42   Ballmer was a continuation of Gates.

01:00:44   It's like two guys who worked in tandem for a large part of the time when they were successful,

01:00:48   then one is gone and the other one is sort of continuing that.

01:00:52   Microsoft seems kind of like Apple was before Steve Jobs came back in terms of having tons

01:00:57   and tons of products and tons of different things.

01:00:59   I've seen a bunch of threads recently in a bunch of articles about people who develop

01:01:03   on Microsoft's platforms complaining about how Microsoft keeps changing its minds about

01:01:07   technologies and APIs and how it's making their lives more difficult.

01:01:09   Well, that's been the case for 15, 20 years.

01:01:11   I mean, that's not new at all.

01:01:13   Well, I mean, like, it's new-ish.

01:01:14   Like in the Windows 95 era, you know, it was like Win32 forever, and this is, you know,

01:01:19   exciting new thing called MFC that's coming.

01:01:21   And you know, like, there was a steady period, and then there was this period of disruption

01:01:26   where they kept changing their mind every 10 minutes.

01:01:28   And it's similar with Apple, where they, towards the end of Apple's bad years, where they were

01:01:34   like, "We're gonna--" you don't remember any of these names.

01:01:36   So we were going to do Power Talk, and we were going to do Open—you probably heard

01:01:39   OpenDoc is his new idea—and we were going to have themes.

01:01:42   They kept changing their mind, and then they would cancel things, and QuickDraw GX, and

01:01:46   QuickDraw 3D, and Rave, and all these technologies that old Mac people know that you've never

01:01:50   heard of and be glad you haven't.

01:01:53   There was too much confusion, and every time they announced one and canceled it and tried

01:01:56   to replace it with something they said was better, that decreased confidence.

01:02:00   And that all reversed when Steve Jobs came, canceled half the company's project.

01:02:03   I mean, they canceled a Newton for crying out loud.

01:02:05   The Newton was like the most forward-thinking, interesting product Apple had, and he canned

01:02:09   it.

01:02:10   And he was right to can it so he could focus the company on what he thought they wanted

01:02:13   to do.

01:02:14   So Nadella could take all these things that are confusing people, that are sending the

01:02:19   wrong signals, that are making people lose confidence in the company, and get rid of

01:02:24   them, and take the heat for getting rid of them the same way Steve Jobs took the heat

01:02:27   for canning the Newton, and start on whatever he thinks is the important thing that—focus

01:02:32   the company basically, get people who aren't excited to leave or get fired, and the people

01:02:37   who remain, I guess, are terrified for a short period of time, but then you inspire them

01:02:42   into being exciting.

01:02:46   The way that rebirth can happen is you could have that incredibly painful shrinking process

01:02:50   and then come out of it stronger.

01:02:51   And I just fear that he's going to be too conservative and too afraid to rock the boat

01:02:57   and too afraid of his first year, all the investors are going to be pissed because he

01:03:02   kills a bunch of profitable product lines to concentrate on everything else he wants

01:03:07   to do.

01:03:08   It gets back to what you were saying before, maybe Microsoft is not—it would be an easier

01:03:13   job if Microsoft was in a worse position for the new CEO.

01:03:16   Exactly, yeah.

01:03:17   Because Apple, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, they were dying quickly.

01:03:21   Yeah, like 90 days' worth of money left in the bank or something.

01:03:24   If somebody comes in and is like, "All right, I'm going to turn this around drastically.

01:03:27   Here's how to do it," then everyone would be like, "Fine, whatever you want to do,

01:03:29   whatever's going to work, do it."

01:03:31   is making tons of money. And so it's much harder because they are being successful in

01:03:36   so many ways. It's much harder for somebody to come in and axe everything. Like, my plan

01:03:41   doesn't really axe a whole lot. That's why I think it's not only most likely, but probably

01:03:46   what's best for them. It's more about no longer doing massive new re-thinkings of the Windows

01:03:56   UI and stuff like that. It's more about...

01:03:57   You just want them to surrender. That's what you want. To lay down and not die, but just

01:04:04   kind of hang out.

01:04:05   No, that's not it. I almost want them to go back to how they were about 12 to 15 years

01:04:14   ago. Like in the late '90s, early 2000s, on the lead-up to Windows XP. They were doing

01:04:21   very well, and it was mostly because they were working on the internals of Windows,

01:04:27   especially with the Windows Win 16 to NT transition,

01:04:31   whatever the hell it was.

01:04:33   - Technology is not why they were doing it.

01:04:34   They were doing well because, personally,

01:04:36   if you drew the chart of PC sales,

01:04:38   they were going upwards,

01:04:39   and every one of the PCs was sold with Windows on it,

01:04:42   and so Microsoft was going upwards.

01:04:43   That's what was bringing them upwards.

01:04:45   It's not so much like, all those technical things are true,

01:04:48   and when they started to screw it up,

01:04:50   their success with the PC market

01:04:52   hid most of those problems,

01:04:53   and as soon as the PC market stopped growing it

01:04:55   at a crazy rate, then all their problems became revealed,

01:04:59   and they figured out that they didn't know what to do,

01:05:01   and they made lots of new different decisions,

01:05:04   but I don't--

01:05:05   - You know, I disagree with that, actually.

01:05:06   I don't think it was about the growth slowing down

01:05:09   that really hurt them.

01:05:10   I mean, that's hurting them maybe now a little bit,

01:05:13   but I think what really hurt them

01:05:15   was a whole bunch of execution problems

01:05:17   when they tried to do way too much.

01:05:19   This, again, sound familiar?

01:05:22   With Longhorn, which became Vista.

01:05:24   They had these crazy ideas, file system reference,

01:05:27   these crazy ideas that, you know,

01:05:31   they had to cut almost all of them

01:05:33   to get Vista out the door

01:05:34   like five or six years late or something.

01:05:37   Vista was very late, and it was mostly because

01:05:40   they were way too ambitious with what they wanted to do.

01:05:43   They wanted to change too much, and it didn't work.

01:05:46   And Vista came out,

01:05:47   and because it was pretty sloppily done, people hated it.

01:05:50   They tried to change too much,

01:05:52   they changed too many of the wrong things,

01:05:53   they released a sloppy version that everyone hated badly.

01:05:57   And you could say a lot of that about Windows 8.

01:06:00   I don't think it was as sloppy necessarily,

01:06:05   but they tried to do a lot with it,

01:06:08   and a lot of it was not very well done,

01:06:11   and their customers hated almost all of it.

01:06:13   And so that, I think,

01:06:17   they can keep doing that pattern

01:06:20   of keep trying to reinvent Windows

01:06:22   to make a major new splash with Windows again.

01:06:24   But that's probably not gonna happen.

01:06:28   And historically, even before,

01:06:31   even when PCs were growing just fine,

01:06:33   they weren't very good at doing that.

01:06:36   And one more quick thing to play a little bit

01:06:39   of devil's advocate on the PC growth thing.

01:06:41   There have been so many other factors

01:06:44   in addition to the rise of tablets and stuff

01:06:47   that could also help explain the PC sales downturn.

01:06:51   You know, we're talking about new PC sales having slowed down or stopped or regressed.

01:06:58   We're not talking about PC usage necessarily slowing down or stopping or regressing.

01:07:05   This could also just be that PCs are being used for longer. They're on a slower replacement cycle.

01:07:13   And if you think about what might cause that to be the case, there's all sorts of really good reasons.

01:07:18   really good reasons. There's the economy, the job market, where like, you know, businesses

01:07:22   have to buy new computers when they hire new employees, right? Usually, if, you know, unless

01:07:28   that job was previously occupied and you get somebody else's old crappy computer. But,

01:07:32   you know, so like the job market, the economy, those are kind of crappy right now. Windows

01:07:38   itself, Windows 8 is not well liked, and so a lot of people are, you know, were not excited

01:07:43   to go out and get a new computer with Windows 8 on it. A lot of businesses held off on upgrades

01:07:48   because they wanted to wait until they could get something they actually wanted and liked

01:07:52   and could support. And if you think about why people used to buy new computers so often,

01:07:59   after performance stopped accelerating so quickly, past what people actually needed,

01:08:03   a lot of it was because malware would infect their old computer so badly that they would

01:08:08   think the only solution was to get a new one because they would think computers would slow

01:08:11   down over time and they'd have to get a new computer because this one's so slow and full

01:08:14   pop-ups. Like, people actually did that, to a massive scale. And so maybe the reason why

01:08:21   computer sales slowed down didn't have as much to do with tablets coming in as just

01:08:29   people need to replace computers less now because they're pretty fast already, anti-malware

01:08:35   stuff is pretty good these days, it's certainly a lot better than it was 10 years ago. Maybe

01:08:41   Maybe that's more the problem.

01:08:44   And so if that is what's causing the sales growth,

01:08:48   or at least if those are major contributing factors,

01:08:51   that's not saying PCs are going away.

01:08:53   That's just saying the average PC buyer might keep it

01:08:56   for five years instead of two.

01:08:59   And so that's not great for the market.

01:09:02   But the market's not going away.

01:09:04   It's just the replacement cycle is slowed down.

01:09:09   Microsoft did make many tactical mistakes,

01:09:11   but if the PC market was still growing 30% year over year,

01:09:14   it wouldn't matter because they would just be able

01:09:16   to force everyone to upgrade.

01:09:19   They wouldn't have to say,

01:09:20   "Hey, we'll keep making XP available forever,"

01:09:22   even though everyone hates Vista,

01:09:24   because it would be like,

01:09:25   "Well, there's new customers coming in every day,

01:09:27   "and they're gonna get the new thing,

01:09:28   "and we have this growth."

01:09:30   Growth like that cures everything.

01:09:32   It hides all the terrible problems,

01:09:35   and it's very difficult to make,

01:09:37   especially in the position Microsoft did,

01:09:38   It's very difficult to make a product so bad that it overcomes 30% year over year growth

01:09:44   in your market in terms of unit sales.

01:09:48   Because what's your alternative?

01:09:50   What are the customers going to do?

01:09:51   They had such an incredible lock on the market, such huge market share, that if you're buying

01:09:56   a new personal computer and your market is growing 30% year over year, you have this

01:10:01   huge number of people who are buying a computer who didn't have one before, and they're going

01:10:05   to get your new operating system on it, and they're just going to accept it.

01:10:09   And what's their alternative?

01:10:11   Well, I'm not going to buy Windows.

01:10:12   I'm going to buy something else.

01:10:14   What are you going to get?

01:10:15   Apple doesn't want to serve your needs.

01:10:16   You need something that runs Windows.

01:10:18   We're the ones selling something that's running Windows.

01:10:19   I'm not saying this is a good thing or a healthy thing.

01:10:21   I'm just saying that was able to mask all of their problems until it slowed down.

01:10:27   And I'd have to see the curves on it.

01:10:29   I think it probably started to take a dive around what, iPad time, like 2010 or something,

01:10:34   it really took when the PC sales turned the other direction.

01:10:38   So like the Vista debacle, we all hated it and thought it was terrible, but if you look

01:10:42   at Microsoft's earnings and everything during that period, it's not that they were doing

01:10:45   okay.

01:10:46   They were testing the theory.

01:10:47   How terrible of a product can we make and still be successful?

01:10:52   And if people don't have an alternative, you can make a pretty terrible product and still

01:10:55   be successful.

01:10:56   In fact, you can not upgrade Windows for five years and do this horrible project and still

01:11:03   be successful and compare that to Apple who couldn't replace their operating system for

01:11:06   many many years and did not have 30% year over year growth and almost went out of business.

01:11:13   So I don't know. I look at Microsoft's fortunes going forward and I still think about them

01:11:22   needing to find some market with the kind of growth that the PC market had. Apple found

01:11:26   one. It was the phone market. Phone market has that kind of growth now. It won't always

01:11:29   have that growth someday, that growth will stop.

01:11:31   And the iPad market has similar growth for now.

01:11:36   But I get really depressed when I think about Microsoft never being in another business

01:11:40   with that kind of growth curve.

01:11:43   All right.

01:11:44   So what else is going on?

01:11:48   I should note I actually just came out with a new iOS app.

01:11:53   We have one more sponsor this week.

01:11:55   No, hold on.

01:11:56   I want to talk about my new iOS app.

01:11:58   I came up with one and it's a really, really clever name.

01:12:01   Do you want to guess what it is?

01:12:02   - Hmm, is it Xbox One?

01:12:05   - No, nor is it-- - Cardboard.

01:12:07   - You know, it's not cardboard 'cause I thought--

01:12:10   - Oh, is it Facebook?

01:12:11   - It is Facebook, how did you know?

01:12:14   No, it's called paper.

01:12:16   - That should be fine.

01:12:18   - Do we have any thoughts on this?

01:12:19   Like, I don't even know what to say.

01:12:20   It seems like this is a he said, she said,

01:12:24   I feel like this is the soap opera corner

01:12:26   of our industry that I really have no interest in. Like, I think it's a David and Goliath

01:12:31   tale. Okay. Everyone knows everyone's kind of being jerks. Okay. I don't know. Do you

01:12:37   guys have thoughts on this?

01:12:38   David Schleifer The system for resolving this, you know, it's

01:12:42   called the legal system. It's boring and slow and annoying. But when a bunch of people all

01:12:48   want to do the same things, and he said, she said in blogs, you can resolve this in civil

01:12:53   court. And I'm assuming that's what they'll do.

01:12:55   Yeah, that's expensive though.

01:12:58   Well, Facebook's got the money, I can tell you that, so maybe they win by default.

01:13:02   Actually, 53 I think is doing pretty well too. I think the smaller paper company is

01:13:08   probably upset about that more than anybody. But, I don't know, this stuff is hard. You

01:13:13   know, like there's, you know, I talked, I forget whether it was this show or not, but

01:13:18   I talked at length about the process I went through for naming Overcast. And, you know,

01:13:24   When I name most things, I just kind of throw something out there and it usually just works

01:13:31   okay enough.

01:13:34   Overcast I knew was going to get a lot of attention when I announced it, but I wasn't

01:13:38   ready yet, and I wanted protection by trademark protection, but I didn't want to pre-announce

01:13:48   the name or have it in the public record at the trademark office before I announced the

01:13:52   product.

01:13:53   concerns, I knew that what I was making now was going to get more scrutiny than anything

01:13:59   I've made before because my audience is bigger now. And so, when naming this thing, I knew

01:14:06   that if there is any potential for a trademark conflict of any sort, that it would bite me.

01:14:13   I knew it. You know, if you, like, for a while industries, like new industries or new areas

01:14:18   or new platforms, if they're really small

01:14:21   and kind of under the radar, you can get by

01:14:24   squatting on somebody's trademark inadvertently.

01:14:27   Usually it's unintentional, but you can get by

01:14:29   having a trademark conflict because no one's

01:14:31   gonna notice 'cause it's this tiny little platform

01:14:33   no one cares about, right?

01:14:35   And for a while, I think the App Store was that

01:14:39   for the first few years maybe, but now it's big.

01:14:41   Now it's a giant, it's this giant business,

01:14:44   this giant ecosystem that has quickly become

01:14:48   kind of merged with and partially taken over

01:14:51   the whole consumer technology space.

01:14:54   So it's this massive thing.

01:14:56   So I knew that whatever name I picked,

01:15:01   I would have to vet as being pretty safe to use.

01:15:06   And so every name I thought about using,

01:15:09   I went to the USPTO.gov site and searched

01:15:12   and did a trademark search for the name

01:15:14   for similar types of spellings and stuff,

01:15:17   I vetted every single name I wanted to use.

01:15:19   And I had this giant text file with, you know,

01:15:21   like inbox of names I want to check out

01:15:23   and like the bottom like names I can't use.

01:15:25   And most of the names I can't use

01:15:27   were because of trademark conflicts.

01:15:29   That's just the reality of once you get into

01:15:32   like the big mass business world,

01:15:36   you have to worry about things like trademark conflicts.

01:15:39   Similarly, before I announced the product name at all,

01:15:44   Like, weeks before I announced the product,

01:15:48   I filed for the trademark.

01:15:49   Because I knew that there was a risk

01:15:52   that if I announced it, then somebody else could go

01:15:56   file a trademark for it and release something

01:16:00   and steal my name.

01:16:02   And I actually had to pay money for the name

01:16:04   because of another trademark.

01:16:06   I had to have a coexistence agreement

01:16:08   with another trademark owner.

01:16:11   So, you know, I took the steps to both secure the name in a way that I'm unlikely to get

01:16:19   threatened or sued because I did enough research to know that I'm probably okay with all trademarks

01:16:24   except this one and that one I got an agreement for, and also file my own trademark application

01:16:31   to help protect the name from being stolen by other people after I announce it.

01:16:35   These are things that legitimate businesses have to do all the time.

01:16:39   The App Store is now one of those places where you have to do that sort of stuff.

01:16:43   You can't just release an app with a name and hope no one ever quote "steals" it.

01:16:49   You know, if you didn't file a trademark, you basically have no case to anybody, including

01:16:54   Apple.

01:16:55   You can't email Apple and say, "Hey, these guys stole my app name and it's some generic

01:16:59   term like paper and Apple's not going to help you there."

01:17:02   If you say, "I have a trademark, here's the number and this is squatting on it,"

01:17:05   they will help you a little bit.

01:17:06   Not a whole lot.

01:17:07   - Apple's App Store system seems so terrible

01:17:10   for the naming stuff.

01:17:12   I always was, first of all, I was always shocked.

01:17:14   I remember the first time I realized this way back

01:17:16   in the iOS 2.0 days or whenever App Store came out,

01:17:19   that the name that it has on your home screen

01:17:21   doesn't really have to be,

01:17:23   I guess maybe it has to be related to the name of the app,

01:17:25   but it's not the same thing.

01:17:26   Like you get to pick what the short name is, right?

01:17:28   - Yeah, it's weird.

01:17:28   - So that's kind of misleading.

01:17:29   And the second thing is,

01:17:30   if Apple had just simply said,

01:17:33   "You can name your app once, the names have to be unique."

01:17:37   they would have implemented their own

01:17:39   de facto trademark system, you know what I mean?

01:17:41   But they don't.

01:17:42   - Right, because a lot like how domain names work, right?

01:17:45   Domain names are kind of like, you know,

01:17:46   if you have the dot com and you start using it

01:17:49   for something prominent, you don't have to worry

01:17:52   that much about someone else trademarking it after you

01:17:54   because there's evidence that you were there.

01:17:56   - Yeah, but there's still the legal system

01:17:57   and like if you try to use coca-cola dot com,

01:17:59   Coca-Cola will come and get it from you

01:18:01   'cause they're a big company.

01:18:02   But you know, just for the small guys

01:18:04   for just like the name squatters and all that ridiculous stuff. They just did, you know,

01:18:08   yeah, name is read only and there's unique index on it. Ta-da! That solves so many problems because

01:18:14   it sounds like all these people are like, you're reading all this sob stories about,

01:18:18   they put it in a foreign store and then they change the name and put it into the US store and

01:18:21   all. It's just because that field is so mutable. It's led to so much evil letting people change

01:18:26   that name over and over again. I don't think it's too much to ask to make people pick a name once.

01:18:31   You could say, "Limited character set, limited length. Pick your name. You get one shot at it

01:18:37   if you don't like the name." It's like, "First come, first serve." It would have to be like,

01:18:42   "You have to upload the app at that time." Or maybe you only get the name once your app is approved,

01:18:47   and then you stake your claim on that name. Whatever system they come up with,

01:18:50   it will be self-regulating to a degree much higher than the current app store.

01:18:55   And then you'd only need to go to the stupid legal system, which is only an option for

01:18:59   for certain people, if someone else had a name

01:19:03   and got there at first and you felt like

01:19:04   you had a right toward it, like for example,

01:19:06   if you registered a trademark in Overcast

01:19:08   and Apple had this system and before you were done

01:19:10   with the app, someone uploaded an app called Overcast,

01:19:13   yeah, now you gotta go to the legal system and say,

01:19:15   "Hey, you can't use that name 'cause I have a trademark

01:19:17   "or whatever," but if you uploaded Overcast

01:19:20   with that name, capital O, everything else lowercase,

01:19:23   that's it, and had the product for sale,

01:19:26   wouldn't you feel better knowing that it's impossible

01:19:28   anyone else to upload another app called Overcast.

01:19:31   That would be nice.

01:19:32   But it's not.

01:19:33   They can upload an app, whatever they want, and rename it to Overcast with like a non-breaking

01:19:38   space at the end or some emoji or just puts a bunch of keyword spam at the end.

01:19:43   Once again, the App Store is not helping in this regard.

01:19:48   I don't really understand why Apple, they're so strict about everything else, why they

01:19:52   were not more strict with app naming.

01:19:54   You know, what's funny too is that most apps have found, most developers have found that

01:20:01   because of the incredibly primitive way that App Store search works, you're actually better

01:20:06   off putting a bunch of keywords after your name.

01:20:08   I remember when Twitterrific changed the name of their app from Twitterrific to Twitterrific

01:20:13   for Twitter. And it's like, "Jesus, the search is so bad that Twitterrific is not..."

01:20:17   Like they had to write Twitterrific for Twitter because people would search for Twitter and

01:20:20   and it wouldn't match Twitter.

01:20:23   The fact that the names can be so long

01:20:24   that you can keyword spam them,

01:20:26   that there's not a unique identifier.

01:20:28   Like, sure, by all means, let people change the description,

01:20:30   have a secondary tagline.

01:20:32   There's a place for people to put in

01:20:34   like the elegant notes taking app or whatever,

01:20:36   but having that be the name of the app

01:20:38   because of a side effect of where their stupid search works

01:20:40   is just, like this, if, again, I said this before,

01:20:44   if you just picked randomly 10 developers from the app store,

01:20:48   put them in a room and say, and a whiteboard and said, "Come up with 10 ideas to make

01:20:52   the App Store better," they would fight to kill each other for what those 10 ideas

01:20:56   are.

01:20:57   They wouldn't be like, "I can't really think of anything."

01:20:58   Like, there's so many obvious things they can improve just year after year.

01:21:02   Nope, not really.

01:21:03   Not really improving.

01:21:04   Hey, Marco, really quickly, do you want to tell us about something else that's really

01:21:08   fun and exciting?

01:21:09   Let's do one more.

01:21:11   It's our friends at Ting.

01:21:13   Ting is mobile that makes sense.

01:21:15   simple to use mobile service provider from the people at Two Cows, the company behind

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01:21:27   more. So they have great rates, which actually their price is just lower, which is worth

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01:21:42   You own your device outright from the start, and then they have this great pay-for-what-you-use pricing model.

01:21:49   So you pay a base price, it's six bucks per month per device, and then on top of that you should automatically build with this like bucketing system for whatever actual amount of minutes and messages and megabytes that you use that month.

01:22:03   So you'll pay at least six bucks, and then you know if you only use a couple hundred megs you'll pay another few dollars on top of that.

01:22:09   If you don't use any text this month,

01:22:12   you won't pay anything for the text service that month.

01:22:15   They will automatically put you into whatever bucket

01:22:17   is cheapest that will fit your usage.

01:22:19   So, and it doesn't matter if it fluctuates month to month,

01:22:22   that's the whole point.

01:22:23   It can fluctuate and you won't, you know,

01:22:24   you don't have to worry about like,

01:22:27   oh, I'm going on a trip, I'm gonna need more data,

01:22:30   so I gotta increase it this month,

01:22:31   but then next month I have to remember

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01:24:24   Thanks a lot to Ting for sponsoring the show once again.

01:24:27   - So I'm sorry, do we have any more

01:24:28   on the paper or app store stuff?

01:24:31   - I don't know.

01:24:33   I mean, and it's the funny thing about this

01:24:35   like, you know, nobody has clean hands in this. Like, there's 53, the company, who had

01:24:40   a naming dispute with Figure 53, another company, and I gotta say from the blog post on Figure

01:24:47   53, it didn't make 53 look great, and then 53 made this paper app that was also not great

01:24:54   because somebody else already had an app named Paper, and then Facebook comes along and makes

01:24:58   their app named Paper, and 53 has tried to file a trademark on it now, but they filed

01:25:06   the trademark on the day that Facebook released their app called Paper, so that might be a

01:25:09   problem for them. Who knows? It's just a mess. I think, legally, none of us are experts enough

01:25:16   to know who's legally in the right here. I think all of them are being dicks, though.

01:25:22   Yeah, and not just being dicks, like, it's kind of stupid.

01:25:26   Like, the worst one I think is Facebook, because the paper app is pretty well established on

01:25:31   iOS.

01:25:32   Like, it's -- I don't know how popular it is, but I've heard of it, and I don't do drawing

01:25:35   on the iPad.

01:25:36   So it's, like, it's not a new application.

01:25:39   It's pretty popular.

01:25:41   If Facebook's going to come up with this application, like, pick a different name.

01:25:45   Like, you know, why?

01:25:46   Why pick -- you're just making people confused about your own product.

01:25:49   You know, the search is going to be difficult, talking about it is going to be difficult,

01:25:53   and it's not as if paper was just such a natural name for what Facebook was doing that they

01:25:57   couldn't resist it.

01:25:58   It's not really a natural name for what they were doing.

01:26:00   In fact, if anything, it's a more natural name for a drawing program.

01:26:03   So I think they're all making their own lives more difficult, with the exception of whoever

01:26:06   were the first and maybe second one to come up with this name, where with Facebook, no

01:26:10   excuse to use paper.

01:26:12   Pick a different name.

01:26:13   Yeah, and it also shows to me a level of arrogance because, like you said, paper the app—

01:26:19   The second one, which might be the first one, I'm thinking of who you believe.

01:26:23   Possibly the first.

01:26:24   Yeah.

01:26:25   But you know what I mean.

01:26:26   The paper app that involves drawing that we all think of or certainly used to think of

01:26:31   as the unequivocal paper up until a week ago or whatever, it is extremely arrogant in my

01:26:37   mind that Facebook, just like you said, knows that this exists, knows that a lot of people

01:26:43   know that this exists.

01:26:45   I mean, hell, it was featured on the App Store for like a year.

01:26:47   Yeah, it's not an obscure app.

01:26:49   It's extremely popular.

01:26:51   Facebook should come out with an application to manipulate your photos for the IRS and

01:26:55   call it Photoshop.

01:26:57   Exactly.

01:26:58   Like, it's just so arrogant of Facebook.

01:27:01   And as a company that I feel like is losing more and more credibility in the minds of

01:27:08   not only nerds but non-nerds, that kind of arrogance just seems, I don't know, silly

01:27:13   to me.

01:27:14   And it's just so unnecessary.

01:27:16   Like Facebook comes out of this looking pretty bad.

01:27:20   And for what?

01:27:22   You know, they could have named the app anything and it would have gotten the exact same attention.

01:27:26   It would have had the same success.

01:27:28   You could argue whether they should have just called it frickin' Facebook and replaced their

01:27:31   old app with it.

01:27:32   I mean, like, there's—there was no reason for this.

01:27:34   It was completely avoidable.

01:27:36   And they—I think you're right, Casey.

01:27:37   It's just arrogance.

01:27:38   It's—they had to know about the 53 app name paper, and they just said, "You know what?

01:27:44   Doesn't matter.

01:27:45   We're gonna go right in there anyway."

01:27:46   Is it even called Facebook paper, or is it just—the letter P is the first part of the

01:27:50   name?

01:27:51   Oh, you know none of us have it installed.

01:27:52   Yeah, I installed it.

01:27:53   Now, let me tell you about the install experiences.

01:27:56   I had higher hopes in this.

01:27:57   I installed it, right?

01:27:59   And I launch it, and there's an intro movie,

01:28:01   which of course annoys me, and I almost made a tweet,

01:28:04   like seriously people, don't make an intro movie

01:28:06   for your iOS app no matter how important you think it is.

01:28:09   But then of course during the intro movie

01:28:10   lead up tutorial thing, it crashed.

01:28:12   'Cause I mean, I'm running it on my iPod Touch,

01:28:16   you know, memory's probably fragmented,

01:28:18   it's trying, God knows how much memory it's using

01:28:20   trying to show me this full screen video and tutorial thing,

01:28:23   and of course it crashed, right?

01:28:25   Or it got killed, or it ran out of memory,

01:28:26   whatever it is like what a terrible first launch experience install launch

01:28:31   do you want it do you get to use the app hell no you get to watch a video with

01:28:35   audio and try to go through a tutorial and then it crashes it was all I could

01:28:39   do to make myself tap that icon again to say no I actually really do want to see

01:28:43   but if this is any other app or just deleted it immediately it's like sorry

01:28:46   failure I eventually got it up and running after I just wanted to like just

01:28:51   get me to the part where I use the I'm not a typical customer I guess but I

01:28:55   I think a typical customer,

01:28:57   I don't know if they'd be charmed by that.

01:28:58   It kind of reminds me of the welcome video

01:29:01   that used to run at the beginning of OS X.

01:29:03   I guess that's kind of neat if you're opening up your Mac

01:29:05   for the first time and it's not that long,

01:29:07   but I don't think people have tolerance

01:29:09   for that crap on a phone.

01:29:11   - I have not installed it,

01:29:12   and I'm looking at just the site,

01:29:15   and it seems to me like the information density

01:29:18   is just way too low in a lot of it.

01:29:20   Like when you look at, they have an example that,

01:29:23   "Oh, I just completed my first marathon."

01:29:25   And that takes up the entire damn screen.

01:29:29   I don't know.

01:29:30   - It's not the information density,

01:29:32   it's the information quality.

01:29:33   Because as many, many people have said

01:29:35   when they looked at this,

01:29:37   paper would be awesome if all your friends

01:29:39   were professional photographer model writers.

01:29:42   (laughing)

01:29:43   - In California.

01:29:44   - Right, yeah, exactly, who live in beautiful places.

01:29:47   - Yeah, it's the same problem that Facebook Home had.

01:29:49   Remember the thing where they took over

01:29:50   Android's home screen?

01:29:52   - Yeah. - It's the exact same problem

01:29:53   with that, it's like Facebook--

01:29:54   - I think that was a better idea at least though.

01:29:56   - I don't know whether they're ignoring the reality

01:29:59   or whether they actually don't think

01:30:01   this is the reality of their product,

01:30:03   but the reality is people post a bunch of terrible crap

01:30:07   on Facebook and chances are if you use Facebook,

01:30:08   your timeline's full of a bunch of terrible crap.

01:30:11   And it's designers who are thinking about the ideal case

01:30:16   rather than the realistic case.

01:30:17   - I think that Facebook Home though

01:30:18   is actually a very good idea to try to make

01:30:21   the phone experience people-centric.

01:30:23   'Cause you think, most of what people do with their phones

01:30:26   is communicate with people,

01:30:27   texting their friends or whatever.

01:30:28   And if they already do a lot of stuff in Facebook,

01:30:30   let's try to make it so that Always Available

01:30:33   is this thing where you can flick around

01:30:34   little circular blobs of your friends and message them.

01:30:37   The implementation wasn't great,

01:30:38   and the audience wasn't wide enough,

01:30:41   and it didn't take off.

01:30:43   I'm not saying it was a success as a product,

01:30:45   but at least that's in Facebook's wheelhouse

01:30:47   of people like to use Facebook,

01:30:49   People do use phones to communicate with each other.

01:30:51   We do have a social graph.

01:30:53   People do send Facebook messages to each other.

01:30:54   Let's try to surface that in a phone interface.

01:30:57   Whereas paper is just like,

01:30:59   let me find the amazing, fanciest way possible

01:31:01   for you to just scroll through Facebook.

01:31:04   And that I don't think is as innovative

01:31:07   or as interesting as home was,

01:31:08   and home was a failure too.

01:31:10   So I don't, I mean, will paper be a failure?

01:31:13   People download it and use it.

01:31:15   I guess it's fine.

01:31:16   Like it's no skin off the airbag

01:31:17   if they go back to the plain Facebook app.

01:31:18   It seems like a lot of spit and polish for what's mostly a turd.

01:31:24   So this is what annoys me about Facebook because they have, you know, they applied a ridiculous

01:31:31   amount of resources into developing this app.

01:31:34   And resources, like they applied incredible designers and developers time to do this.

01:31:42   And there's an opportunity cost there to both Facebook and to the world.

01:31:46   What if Facebook didn't buy all these people?

01:31:49   And what if these people were working on their own stuff?

01:31:52   - They would've made a thermostat.

01:31:53   (laughing)

01:31:55   - Maybe that, maybe something else.

01:31:57   - I think one of them did.

01:31:59   - What if Facebook didn't use all these people's time

01:32:02   to make this app that the world doesn't really need

01:32:07   and that will probably not even be maintained in a year

01:32:09   because it probably won't succeed,

01:32:12   and it's not even an upgrade of their existing app,

01:32:14   as the side project. I mean, the world has lost, because of this, the world has lost

01:32:21   value and has lost potential new things these people could have done instead. And Facebook

01:32:26   has lost their time and their talent. I mean, it's, this is a problem with this aqua-hire

01:32:33   culture that the people, the products that get aqua-hired get destroyed, usually as part

01:32:41   the deal, they get shut down, or excuse me, they get sunset, and the people are then put

01:32:48   to work for these big companies working on how to make ads prettier or some junk like

01:32:53   that.

01:32:54   Like, there's a major opportunity cost to all of this, and the industry, you know, if

01:32:59   things ever feel stagnant, maybe that's why.

01:33:02   I guess.

01:33:04   Do you think Mike Maddis uses Facebook?

01:33:08   Maybe not.

01:33:09   Maybe that's why it has had like this ideal picture of what Facebook posts were actually like

01:33:14   But I don't know I mean like I would have loved to see what he would have done

01:33:19   We did see part of it. You know what he and his company would have done if they weren't bought by Facebook and

01:33:25   I think it would have been better for I think it would have been more useful to more people than this

01:33:31   Wait, where was he bought from?

01:33:34   Was it sofa was that no Mike Mike Madison did push pop press. That's it push pop press. That's right

01:33:39   Yeah, right and didn't he also work on the UI for nest. Oh, I don't know about that

01:33:43   Someone can google it but my memory was that he did that as well

01:33:47   Also, how terrible is it that I just phrased my question? Where was he bought from?

01:33:52   Genuinely like that's it. That's that's not cool. What's accurate?

01:33:57   I mean that's I don't ding the people who worked on this

01:33:59   I'd like they seem to be very talented and I don't ding them at all for you know

01:34:03   going where someone wanted to pay them to do great design. It's just, you know, they're doing it on

01:34:08   top of, I wonder if they're doing it on top of things that they themselves don't use, which I

01:34:12   don't think in and of itself is a condemnation. Like that's the job of, you know, just ask Mike

01:34:18   Montero, that's the job of a designer. Someone's got a job for you, they pay you to do it, you do

01:34:21   the best job possible. You don't have to be a user of the product. Maybe it helps sometimes, but it's

01:34:25   like, it's, you know, if you are a great designer and they pay you to do a great design and you do

01:34:29   a great design and you solve a customer problem with your great design, then you've succeeded.

01:34:35   And it doesn't really matter if that customer problem is not a problem that you yourself have.

01:34:39   But at the same time, like I said, you're putting a beautiful face on

01:34:45   something that's almost not deserving of that beauty. And maybe giving it to an audience who

01:34:53   does not value the work that you've done to the degree that you think. Maybe you think you're

01:34:58   solving a problem that they have and they don't really have that problem. So I don't

01:35:02   know.

01:35:03   Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Lynda.com, Squarespace, and Ting. And we

01:35:10   will see you next week.

01:35:11   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, 'cause it was accidental.

01:35:21   Accidental.

01:35:22   Oh, it was accidental.

01:35:24   Accidental.

01:35:25   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:35:29   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:35:32   It was accidental (accidental)

01:35:35   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:35:40   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:35:45   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:35:49   So that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:35:54   ♫ Anti-Marco Armin

01:35:56   ♫ S-I-R-A-C

01:35:59   ♫ U-S-A Syracuse

01:36:01   ♫ It's accidental

01:36:03   ♫ Accidental

01:36:04   ♫ They didn't mean to

01:36:07   ♫ Accidental

01:36:08   ♫ Accidental

01:36:09   ♫ Tech podcast so long

01:36:13   - So I gotta tell you that my father's gonna listen

01:36:18   to this episode and blow a gasket.

01:36:21   - Oh, because I said IBM is boring?

01:36:22   No, no, no, actually I don't think that would bother him at all.

01:36:25   Because the offer code is Casey?

01:36:26   No, not that either.

01:36:28   He works in investor relations for IBM and so because of that he knows market cap and

01:36:33   all these other numbers off the top of his head because it's his job.

01:36:36   So inevitably something that one of us said is going to be wrong in his eyes and only

01:36:42   I get to hear the aftermath.

01:36:45   You should ask him, if we have this opportunity, you should ask him and you can share the results

01:36:48   with us if not with the entire audience.

01:36:51   If he was investor relations for-- and he could substitute IBM's numbers in his current

01:36:56   job and take Microsoft's numbers, would he do that?

01:36:59   Because he has to say, here's our market cap, here's our revenue, here's our margins, here's

01:37:04   what our growth was.

01:37:05   Would he trade those numbers for Microsoft numbers?

01:37:08   Obviously he would trade them for Microsoft numbers in 1996, right?

01:37:11   But would he trade them for Microsoft's numbers now?

01:37:12   Because that's to get a good idea of if our assessment of the size and relative health

01:37:19   and success and sort of growth profiles of these companies

01:37:22   is anything close to what we were guessing

01:37:25   based on known numbers.

01:37:26   You know, like, are IBM's margins way lower

01:37:29   because they have a huge staff

01:37:31   and because the margins on service are lower than they are

01:37:33   in the stuff that Microsoft does?

01:37:35   Are there, is IBM's revenue higher,

01:37:37   but the margins are lower?

01:37:38   Are they similar?

01:37:39   Are they making similar profits?

01:37:40   So just ask him, if you could take Microsoft's numbers

01:37:42   for, you know, last year or last quarter, whatever,

01:37:44   would you do that?

01:37:45   Would it make people smile more

01:37:47   or would it just be a wash?

01:37:49   Yeah, I don't know. And I don't know very much about any of this, so I won't even

01:37:54   begin to wager a guess. But yeah, I'm sure I won't even have to prompt him. Even if

01:37:58   this part doesn't make it in the show, I'm confident he will seek me out and explain

01:38:03   to me all the ways in which all of us were wrong.

01:38:05   Of course. And by the way, I really feel the need to clarify. My argument is not that Microsoft

01:38:13   should only do the kinds of things that IBM and SAP and Oracle do. I'm saying they should

01:38:19   move into that direction, but I'm not saying that you need to get rid of Windows and Office

01:38:24   licensing and stuff like that. That's not what I'm saying at all.

01:38:26   That is Oracle. That's the same thing. That is the new version of what Oracle and SAP

01:38:35   are doing. I don't think that's a growth market anymore, selling personal computers for people

01:38:39   to use at work. And getting back to your thing you said before, is it just because people are

01:38:43   using computers for longer? It's so hard to tell that because you can't tell until the time comes

01:38:48   when they're going to buy a new one. If people just stop buying PCs, you could say, "Well,

01:38:51   that's it. The PC market is done. No one wants PCs anymore." But it could be the case that

01:38:55   they're merely just keeping their old ones for longer. And so you have to wait. Are they keeping

01:38:59   them for five years, for 10 years, for 50 years? If everyone stopped now and no one bought a new

01:39:03   PC for 50 years, we would say, "Well, the PC is dead." But if 50 years rolls around, they all

01:39:07   all replaced their PCs.

01:39:08   It's like, no, they were just waiting longer between PCs.

01:39:12   So it's hard to tell when you're in the midst of it.

01:39:14   I mean, the customers aren't synchronized in that manner.

01:39:17   But there are so many factors here

01:39:19   that it's like something's going on over there.

01:39:22   And all we know is that this is no longer the growth

01:39:24   market that it once was.

01:39:25   Is it dwindling to go out away forever?

01:39:28   Will the installed base shrink?

01:39:30   I mean, computers will eventually break, won't they?

01:39:32   I mean, you can't use them forever.

01:39:33   Something will happen to them.

01:39:35   you'll have to either decide,

01:39:36   do I need to replace this thing that just broke,

01:39:39   or do I not need this in my life anymore?

01:39:41   Maybe that's the outside, you know, 50 years isn't,

01:39:43   you know, how long does it take for a PC to break

01:39:46   or become useless for common tasks

01:39:48   because it doesn't have like a, you know,

01:39:50   in the old days, like it can't connect to the internet

01:39:53   and you can't put an ethernet card in it,

01:39:55   so it became worthless.

01:39:57   I don't know, I think we'll just have to wait and see.

01:39:58   But anyway, I think that business

01:40:00   is a serving business type of, you know,

01:40:03   Like, I think we would all agree that if there's any place that the iPad is going to steal

01:40:07   share from the PC, it's going to be consumers first, because maybe they don't need a PC

01:40:10   at home.

01:40:13   So the enterprise market where you keep selling Windows desktops on people's desks, they can

01:40:19   keep doing that.

01:40:20   It doesn't seem like anyone else wants that business, but it doesn't seem like it's going

01:40:23   to be a big growth business either.

01:40:25   So I always think they have to find what is their growth business while they continue

01:40:30   to use the Markov strategy for Windows and everything, what is their growth strategy

01:40:36   for the future?

01:40:38   Just bring XP back.

01:40:39   That's the growth strategy.

01:40:40   That's it.

01:40:41   Start selling XP all over again.

01:40:42   Well, it's like, well, maybe Xbox could be their growth strategy if they could figure

01:40:45   out that.

01:40:46   If they could just outlast Sony and Nintendo or buy both of them.

01:40:52   I think they already tried to buy Nintendo once.

01:40:54   They may have that opportunity again.

01:40:56   I can't imagine that market is substantial enough to matter on their balance sheet at

01:41:01   the end of the day.

01:41:04   Even if they dominated the game console market, who cares at their scale?

01:41:08   How big is that market, really?

01:41:10   And do you think, again, to everyone playing Binko at home, again, your argument for Nintendo

01:41:19   was always that as long as there continues to be a market for dedicated game hardware—

01:41:24   It's not a growth market either, probably.

01:41:26   Well, but again, like, I think, related to your Nintendo argument, my argument for Microsoft,

01:41:34   I think holds, as long as there is a market for mass market PCs, like as long as there

01:41:41   is a market for non-high-end specialty like Apple, like non-high-end PCs, cheap, widespread,

01:41:49   customizable from God knows who, like, as long as that market continues to exist, Microsoft

01:41:55   and its Windows client business will be fine. And the Windows server market depends on that.

01:42:01   And so that'll be fine.

01:42:02   I only said that about Nintendo because I don't think they're capable of anything else.

01:42:08   That's why I said that about Nintendo. Nintendo is confined to that reality because they are

01:42:14   not capable of making their own mobile operating system and app store and platform, right?

01:42:18   But I think Microsoft is capable of pretty much anything that any other technology company

01:42:23   is capable of.

01:42:24   breaking into smartphones and tablets. Well, I mean, the hardest thing to do is to make

01:42:28   a platform, and Microsoft knows how to make a platform. Doesn't mean all their platforms

01:42:32   are going to be successful, but of the few companies in the entire world that have proven

01:42:36   they know how to make and support a platform, Microsoft is definitely one of them. So that's

01:42:41   why, like, Kin, or Playz for sure. Well, you know, they can't all be winners, but at least

01:42:46   they've shown they can do it once. Nintendo has never done it, and it's really hard. Like,

01:42:50   You know, Palm kind of sorted it at once with Palm OS,

01:42:53   but couldn't do it again.

01:42:55   Lots of other companies have never been able

01:42:57   to make a general purpose computing platform

01:42:59   despite trying or never make a long lived one

01:43:01   that'll just kind of fade away.

01:43:03   So I'm not willing to confine,

01:43:05   Nintendo I'm willing to confine to that

01:43:07   'cause they can barely do what they're doing now

01:43:09   and they just don't have it.

01:43:10   But Microsoft has so many people, so many smart people,

01:43:12   so much institutional experience

01:43:14   that there is no technology section of the market

01:43:18   that they should feel is out of reach

01:43:20   because they will never be able to--

01:43:21   it's not like they can do everything,

01:43:23   but they should pick what they want to do.

01:43:24   But I'm not willing to say Microsoft, basically,

01:43:27   you just better hope there continues

01:43:29   to be a market for PCs because you can't do anything else,

01:43:31   right?

01:43:32   Despite, like as you said, evidence to the contrary,

01:43:34   where they haven't been able to do it in phones,

01:43:37   haven't been able to do it in tablets.

01:43:38   But I think they showed in game consoles,

01:43:40   even though it's, again, not a growth market,

01:43:42   there was another place where they developed a platform

01:43:44   and were as successful as the other people who

01:43:46   were doing the similar thing.

01:43:49   titles? Yeah, whatever. Cool. Go team. Good talk. I think it's interesting, like, listening

01:43:58   to Back to Work this week, it's interesting that, you know, Merlin is just now replacing

01:44:06   a 2006 Mac Pro. And mostly because Mavericks, like Mavericks does not install officially

01:44:13   on it, so we have to kind of hack the installer, and it's kind of unstable now. But, you know,

01:44:19   this is an eight-year-old computer. And, granted, it was a very high-end computer eight years

01:44:24   ago, but that's still an eight-year-old computer that was really working just fine until a

01:44:31   few months ago.

01:44:32   Well, that's when it filled up with dander, finally. Like, there was a little bit of room

01:44:37   left, but once it filled entirely, then, you know, it's full, you've got to get a new one.

01:44:42   But yeah, I think that says a lot about the market.

01:44:50   And granted, yeah, it's a little bit different with Macs versus PCs, but it's not that far

01:44:55   off.

01:44:56   I think laptops help a little bit because people break them and stuff.

01:44:59   I don't think laptops can last as long.

01:45:02   I think it would be harder to find someone who is still using a 2006 laptop who hasn't

01:45:06   had a repair, because it's kind of like cars.

01:45:08   You can keep them for a long time, but eventually you're going to replace so many parts of that

01:45:13   car.

01:45:14   So if anyone has got a 2006 laptop, either they're okay with the parts that are falling

01:45:19   off of it or getting loose or whatever, or they've replaced parts on it.

01:45:22   Actually, I have a bit of a story about that.

01:45:25   My first Mac, which was a 2008-ish poly book, white poly book, I gave that to Aaron when

01:45:34   I got my late 2011 MacBook Pro.

01:45:39   And around the time I did that, I was able to get Apple to replace the case because it

01:45:46   had split in a few spots.

01:45:48   And that was one of the like get out of jail free cards that if the case had split on a

01:45:53   poly book, you could get Apple to give you a new case pretty much without question.

01:45:58   So Underscore actually came and visited Saturday morning and Erin had to reboot her computer

01:46:04   for some reason or another and we were measuring the time it took to reboot this 2008 poly

01:46:09   book in like tens of minutes almost at this point.

01:46:14   It might have been like 10 or 15 minutes it took to reboot.

01:46:16   And so I ended up going to the Apple store with Underscore partially to kill time, partially

01:46:24   to actually impulse buy her either an 11 inch air or a 13 inch air.

01:46:29   I had intended to get the 13, uh, and underscore said that Mrs.

01:46:34   Underscore really likes the 11 because on rare occasions, she will put it in

01:46:37   her purse, blah, blah, blah.

01:46:39   And so we ended up going to the Apple store.

01:46:41   I was standing in the Apple store with underscore and I didn't buy a thing

01:46:44   because I couldn't figure out whether or not Aaron would want the 11 of the 13.

01:46:50   And she had somewhere else to be, so she couldn't go with us.

01:46:52   Um, and I didn't end up buying anything and I still haven't.

01:46:55   And Erin swears to me, there's no point because she really doesn't

01:46:58   use her computer for that much.

01:47:00   But I'm, I'm in that weird, uncomfortable moment where I feel like it's time for

01:47:05   her to get a new Mac, probably an air.

01:47:08   And yet at the other side, on the other side of the coin, I can't really justify

01:47:11   it because all, all she does with it is like basic word processing occasionally.

01:47:15   And then, you know, web browsing and that's about it.

01:47:18   Wait until the air is a red net, at least you can wait longer.

01:47:22   - Yeah, that's what I said.

01:47:23   Like when you told me this, I said that

01:47:25   if I wasn't in a rush,

01:47:28   I would not buy a MacBook Air right now.

01:47:31   Because the rumors of that 11.9 inch Retina Air,

01:47:36   I think are very interesting.

01:47:37   Because to me, that kinda sounds like a replacement

01:47:41   for the MacBook Air, not a new model.

01:47:43   - Don't you know that's the 12 inch iPad Pro, Marco?

01:47:45   (laughing)

01:47:47   I love the screen rumors,

01:47:48   'cause like that 12 inch screen rumor is everywhere,

01:47:50   Everyone keeps saying 12 inch iPad 12 inch iPad. It's like why is the air not the first like that's the main headline

01:47:56   I pay you know retina air screens and the secondary one is like oh, and I suppose it could be for a 12 inch

01:48:01   I bet instead. It's the reverse. It's like well 12 inch screen. That's obviously 12 inch iPad

01:48:05   See I really I really think if they release that thing. There's a very good chance that

01:48:10   That replaces both MacBook Airs, which is which is controversial because they would make the smallest Mac a little bit bigger

01:48:18   I think it's easy. I don't think that's even that controversial because by that time like

01:48:24   Seeing 13 inch new retina 13 inch MacBook Pros all the time now like it's so skinny

01:48:29   Like that you don't need like the 13 inch air is practically redundant make one air make it super duper skinny fine

01:48:36   What do you think is the compromise price?

01:48:37   And I think I think that will make people feel better about like oh don't want a 13 inch air or a lemon

01:48:42   Yeah, or 13 inch mac but now it'll be is like the air is the super skinny one

01:48:46   there's one of them and then you got a 13 and a 15 and they're both pretty darn skinny too, so yeah

01:48:51   I mean yeah, I totally really the 13-inch retina is so good and so and so thin and light I do think it it

01:48:57   largely removes the need for the 13-inch air and

01:49:00   If if something comes out that's closer in size to the 11

01:49:04   Then that could be it

01:49:07   I mean there's gonna be a few people who would be upset by that

01:49:10   But you know already like between the 11 and 13 like I think there

01:49:13   I think the ideal size is between those two.

01:49:16   Yeah, the 11 is a little too small.

01:49:18   Yeah, and that scream resolution on the 11 is killer.

01:49:21   Like that, in a bad way, a killer.

01:49:23   Like, it's really...

01:49:25   That scream resolution is tight.

01:49:27   Also in a bad way.

01:49:28   Why do all these words mean good and bad?

01:49:30   The 90s ruined language.

01:49:32   [laughter]

01:49:34   And music.

01:49:34   [guitar riff]

01:49:38   Come on, now.

01:49:40   I was thinking, Casey, with Aaron replacing her thing

01:49:43   and not sure that she needed a new one.

01:49:44   My mother is in a similar situation where she thinks she doesn't need a new laptop,

01:49:48   and I think she does, and she's needed one for a long time, but she won't give it up

01:49:51   because she needs the optical disk in her mind, and I've been trying to convince her

01:49:55   this is not the case.

01:49:56   Anyway, her current strategy is that she's going to do the old car route, which is, "Can't

01:50:00   we just upgrade my laptop?"

01:50:03   And I had to gradually tell her that, yes, this is possible, and this is a thing that

01:50:06   can be done.

01:50:07   And so the next time she visits, I'm giving her more RAM and putting in an SSD.

01:50:13   And actually, one of the biggest reasons not to impulse buy a laptop at the Apple store

01:50:20   is that you're stuck with the stock levels of RAM and hard drives and everything else.

01:50:24   Whereas if you go and if you order online, I guess check, so the stock is only 4 gigs

01:50:29   of RAM, which I would not buy that today.

01:50:32   Don't they have, with the soldering on the motherboard and RAM, which is pretty much

01:50:35   all of them now. Don't they have both models at Apple stores? Like the, you know, the 8

01:50:40   and 16?

01:50:41   They usually only carry at Apple stores the ones that are, that are, like, you know, like,

01:50:45   there's four errors you can select to start with on Apple.com, like 2 11s and 2 13s. Usually,

01:50:51   like, they'll carry those, those four. Like, the ones that are the starting configs on

01:50:54   Apple.com. So each family will have, like, two or three of them. But you won't be able

01:50:59   to get all the different options usually.

01:51:00   It's a shame. There's not really that many options.

01:51:03   Yeah, actually you're right. These days there's even fewer than there used to be because they

01:51:06   keep like, you know, soldering on certain things and stuff like that. But yeah, I mean

01:51:10   like, like if I were getting, if I were getting an 11 inch air today for whatever it's worth,

01:51:15   you know, looking at the base model, first of all there's a storage issue with 128 gigs,

01:51:20   you know. Storage aside, I would not get 4 gigs. I would get 8 gigs of RAM, definitely.

01:51:25   And you can get a substantially faster CPU for 150 bucks more.

01:51:30   Yeah, everyone always asks me, "Should I get the i7?"

01:51:33   I was like, "It's 100 bucks more. Of course you get it."

01:51:35   Well, it's 150, but still, that's a relatively small amount of money for a computer for what's

01:51:41   going to be, over time, a pretty substantial gain in your total usage of the thing. Similar

01:51:46   with the RAM. The RAM is 100 bucks to go from 4 to 8 gigs. So, yeah, I would say base price

01:51:51   plus 250 bucks for the CPU and the RAM, that's a good buy. Where it starts to get challenging

01:51:56   as the storage. And whether that's enough for you will of course depend on you.

01:52:01   And I think if I were to do it, I think I would get a 13 because I talked to her about

01:52:06   Mrs. Underscore putting hers in her purse on occasion and Erin basically said that that's

01:52:12   wonderful that it would fit but I can't ever see myself doing that. And so I'd probably

01:52:17   get her 13. We agree that 4 gigs is just unacceptable because this would be a 5 or 6 year computer

01:52:24   hopefully.

01:52:25   8 gigs is unacceptable too.

01:52:27   So that's why you do it.

01:52:28   Yeah, but I mean, I don't believe the Airs can take more than 8, can they?

01:52:32   No, you're right.

01:52:33   I don't think they can either.

01:52:34   But that's like, again, presumably when the Retina ones come out, there'll be some fancy

01:52:37   12-inch Air that can go up to 16.

01:52:40   That's true.

01:52:41   And I should also note that when I bought my personal laptop, which is effectively the

01:52:48   same as my work one, it's a 15-inch anti-glare, high-res MacBook Pro.

01:52:53   This is pre-Retina.

01:52:54   I got, I believe I got the most baller one I could possibly buy, and I think you had

01:52:59   the same one at the time, Marco.

01:53:01   But anyway, I walked in and bought that at the store.

01:53:05   So they actually carried the completely specced up version.

01:53:10   I think it had the default amount of RAM, but in terms of processor and screen and all

01:53:16   that, they had the fully specced version ready to buy at the store.

01:53:19   Yeah, it was different there because they had the anti-glare option and the high-end

01:53:24   the high res antique layer, they had these four different screens, or three different

01:53:27   screens you could pick, and it was a little bit different then, but yeah, I, like, when

01:53:32   I bought my retina, I decided to be impatient one night, and I'm like, you know what, I'm

01:53:37   gonna go buy one of those things, like it was months after WWDC, when it was announced,

01:53:41   like one night I'm fighting with web development, trying to get my site to look right, I'm like,

01:53:45   you know what, screw it, I'm just gonna go buy one of these things at the Apple Store,

01:53:47   and I'll get the cheapest one they have, because I don't need that much for this laptop, and

01:53:51   And I did.

01:53:53   And it worked okay except that it only,

01:53:56   I think it has eight gigs of RAM

01:53:57   and I wanted 16 or something like that.

01:53:59   Like the RAM is like the one thing I regretted on it.

01:54:02   And that's something that you could only get online.

01:54:04   - Yeah, now they started the RAM

01:54:06   and that's another reason though.

01:54:07   - Right.

01:54:08   - 'Cause like I'm upgrading my mom's RAM.

01:54:10   I'm not gonna be able to do that for her next Mac.

01:54:13   - It's worth it these days to look at the configs online

01:54:16   and not necessarily buy anything on impulse in the store.

01:54:20   I don't think I told you guys I ordered a new TiVo too.

01:54:24   Oh yeah?

01:54:24   The Romeo, right?

01:54:25   Finally gave in, yeah.

01:54:27   I mean, I did it because I went to the TiVo site

01:54:32   and looked at my current crop of TiVos,

01:54:33   and the TiVo HD XL that's upstairs

01:54:36   has paid for its lifetime service multiple times

01:54:38   over at this point.

01:54:39   So even though my current TiVo Premiere has not

01:54:42   paid for its lifetime service yet,

01:54:44   I'm going to keep that one, so I'm just going to shift it up.

01:54:46   And supposedly, you can actually get money for these old TiVos

01:54:50   that have lifetime service because the person who buys it doesn't have to pay a monthly fee,

01:54:54   like the lifetime service goes with the hardware. So I'll eventually be trying to sell, see how much

01:55:00   of that is true, how much money can I actually get for this thing. But it's perfectly good,

01:55:03   DVR with two tuners, it records in HD, and the UI is faster than the Premiere.

01:55:08   It's perfectly good as long as you don't mind ads in your DVR, which I didn't realize was a thing,

01:55:13   and somebody pointed out to me after the show when we talked about this at length.

01:55:17   How do you of all people put up with that?

01:55:19   Yeah, they're good. They used to not be there at all and you can make them go away, but they come back

01:55:24   It's not like the ad play video in your face or anything like that

01:55:28   It's just like next to the scrubber after you're done watching the show when it says you're done with the show

01:55:33   Would you like to delete or whatever there's an ad banner above the little scrubber bar, which I?

01:55:37   Wouldn't even mind that much a if it was relevant and sometimes it is like it'll be an advertisement for some show like hey

01:55:45   This show is premiering hit thumbs up to record or whatever and like that's actually useful feature because something like oh yeah

01:55:50   I did want to see that show and because I don't watch commercials anymore

01:55:53   I'll forget when it shows for mirroring when it pops up that thing if I can just press a button and say yeah record that

01:55:57   For me that's good, but when it's just like bounty paper towels are awesome

01:56:01   Fine, whatever. It's kind of like it's kind of like the ads on Gmail where it's like eventually you just don't see them

01:56:06   But they keep making worse and worse and the worst thing about it is that sometimes it takes a while to load that ad and so

01:56:11   So before you get the screen that says, "Do you want to delete this show or keep it or

01:56:15   whatever?" you're waiting, and I realize what I'm waiting for is for it to load the stupid

01:56:19   text ad banner.

01:56:21   So yeah, that's not great, but I still prefer it.

01:56:26   You keep justifying this however you want, but it's still BS.

01:56:29   Well, you know, it's only a matter of time before...

01:56:32   The only reason that isn't appearing on your DVR is because your DVR doesn't have the software

01:56:36   for it yet.

01:56:37   But wait, they'll get there.

01:56:39   [ Silence ]