Brad Sams is the executive editor for He has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface.

Paul Thurrott is an award-winning technology journalist and blogger with 25 years of industry experience and the author of 30 books. He is the Major Domo at and the co-host of three tech podcasts: Windows Weekly with Leo Laporte and Mary Jo Foley, First Ring Daily with Brad Sams, and What the Tech with Andrew Zarian. He was formerly the senior technology analyst at Windows IT Pro and the creator of the SuperSite for Windows.

Brad Twitter @bdsams

Paul Twitter @thurrott


***Thanks to everyone who stopped by, the AMA has ended***

Comments: 460 • Responses: 127  • Date: 

upvoteitlikeitsnew110 karma

How hard is it to keep track of all of these different companies's projects? Have you ever heard about something a tech company is working on a while after the announcement, and been surprised you didn't hear about it sooner?

ThurrottTech136 karma

Yep, all the time. We joke that Microsoft, in particular, uses a roulette wheel to determine who it prebriefs for each announcement. Sometimes we both get it, sometimes just one of us. Sometimes neither, which is always irritating. --Paul

ThurrottTech58 karma

Notes...notes for decades honestly - I have a onenote file with hundreds of pages that helps with pulling in historical data - brad

ThurrottTech28 karma

Yeah, I have a NAS-based archive dating back to the early 1990s as well. I need to leverage that more, frankly. --Paul

yoshdawg56 karma

I'm really curious what Amazon's offering in gaming will end up being. Do you think they will extend the Twitch brand for it all? - such as a Twitch store, hardware, etc. And do you think they have more ability to reel in bigger exclusives vs Google?

ThurrottTech64 karma

I think Amazon will do something very similar to Google Stadia. Not sure whether they will have a better/worse capability for getting exclusives, that's kind of a gray area for both of them. As a gamer, I'd like to see less of that, but I get that it's a platform advantage. --Paul

ThurrottTech51 karma

Twitch has been one of Amazon's smartest moves this generation - they have become the ESPN of gaming - but I dont know if they would go with Twitch console over Fire Console (fire is the brand they use for media streaming hardware) - brad

sugarbridalsentry50 karma

But what do you really think about the Surface Pen Loop?

(Sorry. Love your work!)

ThurrottTech43 karma

They need to bring back a commemorative edition - brad

ThurrottTech29 karma

LOL. Still my favorite Microsoft product of all time. :) Thx. --Paul

fire_echo48 karma

What do you think of Edge switching to Chromium, Brad?

ThurrottTech90 karma

Smartest thing Microsoft has done recently.

Yes, some will argue that this is not good for the ‘open web’, being driven primarily by one rendering engine, but its a fight that Microsoft decided is not worth taking on and I agree with their decision. The new version of Edge is quite good and I have yet to switch back to Chrome since installing a pre-release version of the browser.

Microsoft found itself in a battle against Google, whose nearly entire bottom line is based on what happens in a web browser, with its own internally developed engine. While Microsoft has the cash-follow and technical ability to compete with the Chromium engine, the financial incentives were not there to do so at a level at which Google was dumping cash into expanding its efforts to build out the Chromium rendering engine. - brad

ThurrottTech5 karma


bugmenot12345678 karma

What will happen to the edge PDF and epub reader?

ThurrottTech13 karma

Yes, some will argue that this is not good for the ‘open web’, being driven primarily by one rendering engine, but its a figh

My guess is that those will both be added to the new Edge. --Paul

jaganm43 karma

As someone who has followed you for close to 20 years, I've seen your feeling towards Google and its products change from hostility to acceptance to admiration. Have I understood that correctly? What is your feeling towards Google and its products and which are the products that you use regularly?

ThurrottTech65 karma

My relationship with Google is complicated. :) I still don't trust them in some ways, but some of their products---like Maps and Photos, especially---are SO good I'd just be punishing myself by avoiding them. Honestly, this is very much like my relationship with Microsoft a couple of decades ago---Microsoft was a terrible, predatory company at one point---so I guess it was like riding a bike. :)

In addition to Maps and Photos, I used Gmail (through G Suite) and Google Calendar daily. I also use Chromecast/Google Cast for music, Google Home/Assistant, and Google's Wifi product, which is excellent. And Google Fi for phone. It's amazing. --Paul

FalseAgent41 karma

To both Paul and Brad:

Reading stories about Amazon's acquisition of Eero and Google's acquisition of Nest, it feels like there's been a bit of 'consolidation fatigue' setting in the technology industry: the idea that every cool product that exists today will inevitably get gobbled up or copied by Amazon/Google/Facebook/Apple. People are more happy to see companies like present-day Microsoft that stay in their lane, so to speak.

What's your take, do you guys agree that this is even a thing?

ThurrottTech46 karma

Every time Google or Amazon buys a hardware company, it tanks the rest of the segment - example: Eero being snapped up by Amazon makes it significantly harder for a new router company to be created becuase when you go to Amazon to search for a router, you see Eero and when you go to Google, you see Google Wifi.

Large companies acquiring smaller ones will always be a thing but it's frustrating when we see Amazon and Google destroying industries for startups with acquisitions. - brad

ThurrottTech29 karma

Consolidation is inevitable. But as with all things (cough, Apple) I am not a fan of one-way, dead-end streets: If Eero gear only works with Alexa, I'm not interested. I hope/expect that this tech generation---ambient computing/smart speakers, etc.---will be more open/compatible than previous generations (phone, tablet, PC). But yeah. It's going to be two huge ecosystems---Amazon, Google---and a few others for sure. ---Paul

GourdGuard35 karma

You covered Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple? That's a lot of typing. You should use an acronym and then you could hashtag it.

ThurrottTech22 karma

GAMA works well too - brad

dibbr13 karma

Because MAGA was already taken? lol

ThurrottTech21 karma

Too soon. :) --Paul

Haynono30 karma

What do you think of the new Edge browser?

I'm on Canary and it works like chrome but I've actually gotten used to the features and smoothness of Edge OVER chrome.

Will all of the Edge features be moved to this new Edge?

You are the guru Paul!!!

ThurrottTech28 karma

Thanks. :)

I really like the new Edge and I've already switched (I'm on Canary at the moment).

No, I don't believe all the features will make. It's just a question of which unique Edge features make it and which don't. The list is pretty long, too: Tab management functionality, Favorites Center, Reading list, Reading mode, ebooks support (already dead), smart pen-compatible annotation capabilities, and much, much more. Some we know is coming. Some may be based on feedback. I bet Microsoft already knows it won't do some of that, though. --Paul

gregsedwards6 karma

I finally downloaded it yesterday and think it's there, but I switched back to Edge Prime (using JJ Abrams' naming strategy) until its a little further along. Specifically, I want to be able to pin sites to my Start menu/screen, better reading tools, and slightly better tab management. Other than those minor things, I could already live with it. When this thing is really ready to roll out, do you expect it will just quietly replace Edge Prime in some future Windows 10 release?

ThurrottTech4 karma

Yes, definitely. And I think most of those things you miss will get there. ---Paul

helix2301129 karma

Do you think Red Hat would have been a better purchase for Microsoft then IBM? Do you think Microsoft could have done more with it?

ThurrottTech38 karma

Possibly, IBM i think had to buy Red Hat to keep its business afloat - Red Hat has a better future than IBM's traditional services IMHO - brad

ThurrottTech18 karma

Yeah, I think IBM was the better fit. Though these days... You could almost see it. --Paul

littlejohnjt26 karma

Have either of you ever thought of working for Microsoft?

ThurrottTech54 karma

Sure, it's hard not to at least think about it. But I've been working at home for over 20 years now, and I think I'm ruined for a strict 9 to 5 schedule. Also, I feel like I can make a bigger difference outside of Microsoft than within. --Paul

ThurrottTech10 karma

A couple of years ago I was approached about applying for a position...I prefer to write about the company, not make the sausage - brad

one2escape24 karma

Is it frustrating when you have to keep big news under wraps because of its embargoed or for other reasons?

quickhakker41 karma

sorry this answer is under embargo

ThurrottTech31 karma

Nice :) --Paul

ThurrottTech28 karma

Embargos are a double-edged sword. I very much being briefed ahead of time because we have the chance to really put something together. But embargos get broken too, by mistake or on purpose. Or things leak. And then you're stuck. You know, unless you're the Verge. Then you just publish anyway. --Paul

ThurrottTech28 karma

Yes and no, if everyone is under embargo, it makes it easier but sometimes, like yesterday, the Edge beta announcement was under embargo and then Microsoft made the page available 30 minutes early - effectively breaking their own embargo - which lets others, who are not under the embargo, capitalize upon it.

That being said, Microsoft usually doesn't screw them up and they help as it gives you more time to write a better post about the topic instead of trying to rush one out the door. - brad

eldarandia19 karma

What are your thoughts on the amount of control and access that companies like Google and Microsoft have? Google, for example, has a lot of control over who sees what and when and essentially control large swathes of the internet. Microsoft are in a similar position on the desktop / laptop PC market.

It makes me very uncomfortable.

ThurrottTech24 karma

It is quite scary actually, Google can kill many businesses by simply removing them from search results, same with Amazon. It's hard to make big changes but using DuckduckGo, is a good start - brad

ThurrottTech6 karma

Right. This is the "gateway to the Internet" issue. As noted above, they need to be regulated. --Paul

Microsoft1719 karma

When you get insider info, is it employees leaking the info to you or have you become trusted enough over the past years that Microsoft themselves are willing to share info with you ahead of time (excluding the embargoed stuff)?

This article for example. How were you able to get this info ahead of time?

ThurrottTech28 karma

That particular post was sent in anon but having covered the company for a decade, you know what genuine internal documents look like - so in this case, seeing the documents validated that they were authentic and having insiders at the company, they also can verify if documents like this are authentic as well to help stop the spreading of false information - brad

ThurrottTech19 karma

Both happen, but the leak stuff is usually not anonymous, but rather from someone who knows I/we have the same goals as they do and want to help the community, make things better, etc. and can trust us. --Paul

ruckdiz15 karma

Did you think the Zune was actually going to take off?

ThurrottTech60 karma

Not at first. The original Zune announcement was handled badly and the device was a clear iPod rip-off, and the software was a terrible skin over Windows Media Player. But the software became great over time. And when I saw Zune HD, with its Metro-like UI and apps support, I thought they had done it. I later learned that the Zune hardware team had been disbanded before that device even shipped. It's a shame, though the UI was later adapted by Windows Phone. Which was also a shame. ---Paul

quickhakker13 karma

speaking of jumping on the band waggon whats your thoughts on microsofts phone attempt

ThurrottTech30 karma

I was the original Windows Phone fan. I wrote the first book about this platform and really thought that Microsoft had some great ideas that both differentiated it and made it better than Android or iPhone. Today, however, I understand that Microsoft's people-centric ideas were antagonistic to the brands (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that they needed: No app maker wants users to not install their apps. So things like hubs and live tiles were good ideas in isolation, but failed because of a lack of third party support. This still bothers me, of course. But I get it. ---Paul

quickhakker3 karma

on a personal point I think that Microsoft in both the zune and phone market were jumping on an already populated ship, zune less so because they were just competing against apple (although with android phones and now iphones you can have your music and a phone in one so shrug) with the phone it was already filled with iPhone and android so having another OS to develop for wasn't worth the hastle hence why in my opinion it flopped like it did

ThurrottTech5 karma

Yeah. In both cases, Microsoft was infatuated with Apple's success with consumers and wanted a piece of that. Windows Phone should have launched for businesses, not consumers. Hindsight is 20/20, etc. --Paul

sinclairinat0r13 karma

Yo Paul & Brad,

Two questions:

  1. Given the number of times we've seen services/apps between Google and Microsoft become defunct "out of nowhere", which hyped up services/apps do you think will fail to sustain for the next 5 years?
  2. PWA with standard JS technology, Native, WASM. Which do you predict will be the victor in this race?

ThurrottTech18 karma

  1. I am sure Google will announce another new messaging service in the next 5 years meaning it's current apps will die - brad
  2. My money is on standard js - brad

ThurrottTech14 karma

  1. Mixed Reality will never be as big as some thought. (But augmented reality will be bigger.)
  2. PWA with standard JS. I bet Flutter hits it big on mobile as well.


DownRUpLYB11 karma

What do you think of post-Balmer era?

Nadella seems to be doing everything right.

ThurrottTech27 karma

Nadella had to make a lot of hard decisions (Nokia, shipping Office on iOS) that made many fans angry but it was the right thing to do for the company. He may not be forcing Microsoft to be an "all consumer" company, but he is making sure they will be around next decade - brad

ThurrottTech16 karma

Much of what's happening now was started under Ballmer. I feel bad that we're losing sight of that.

But Nadella was necessary for real change to occur. And it's breathtaking watching that happen.

Still. There's something about Ballmer I really miss. --Paul

Nevermindever9 karma

Do You think the fact that Tesla doesn't spend money on traditional advertising somehow impacts the tone (eg titles) media chose for representing information on company?

ThurrottTech18 karma

I think Tesla is the next Enron or Theranos. Not a complete fraud but not something that will last. --Paul

ThurrottTech15 karma

Tesla is a crazy company and I quite like them personally...mostly because they are going against the grain and Wall St has been shorting them.

They are far from perfect, their communication and price changes recently show a management style that is not rooted in processes, rather than shooting from the hip. I will likely own a model 3 at some point - brad

hobbesfanclub8 karma

As a PhD student in the tech space, I often think that the gap between how the general public thinks about tech and how specialist think about tech is increasing at an extreme rate. A prime example is how these tech companies do data collection when it's thought that, in the future, these methods would be much more closely regulated (location tracking, training language models on phone calls, chrome being able to read anything you type in). From my experience talking to people, they never seem to know these things are (a) possible or (b) they dismiss it. I guess I'm trying to ask whether or not you think people who cover their webcams with tape or minimise their digital footprint are right to exercise that level of caution?


ThurrottTech7 karma

The best protector of privacy is the individual - people who cover their webcams and microphones are not hurting their privacy but I dont know how much they are further protecting it if they still cary around a smartphone.

I am happy to see that privacy conversations are starting to take place at the government and consumer has been a long time coming. - brad

ThurrottTech6 karma

It's weird that I always have a kneejerk negative feeling when I see someone with tape over their webcam. But ... they're probably on to something. This stuff is like smoking: Did people really believe this wasn't bad? It would appear so if you watch early TV shows and movies. Keeping the populace uneducated is almost certainly a strategy. ---Paul

K_herm7 karma

Paul & Brad I have to say, I recently watched the H.O.T. VOD and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I hope you do more one-off long form videos like these in the future!

As for a question, how long do you think Microsoft has been playing with Chromium behind the scenes? These canary builds seem remarkably well built, and obviously have a lot of development time behind them.

ThurrottTech6 karma

Thanks. We hope to do more of those.

I look at Edgium like I look at Mac OS X on Intel: They were actually working with that for a long time before the announcement. And in this case, I'm sure that someone (or someones) were able to prove this could work to the decision makers before it went live.

I hope to be able to confirm that soon. --Paul

ThurrottTech6 karma

Thanks for watching HoT ( can find it here ) - this was a lot of fun but a lot of work too. - Been working on the edge stuff since October-ish I think - brad

04p2217 karma

Will the industry follow Google’s model to separate out disruptive projects from day to day operations? Seems counterintuitive to the tech culture.

ThurrottTech7 karma

I do think it is counterintuitive and I also believe that this was done because of pressure from investors to provide better health into what products/services are viable as a business and which ones are a liability. - brad

ThurrottTech8 karma

Agreed. All it really did was highlight how much money those projects are costing the company. Microsoft is a more traditional corporation in that it hides the money losers inside of business units instead. ---Paul

StormyParis6 karma

Why haven't Mobile OSes migrated to larger devices / form factors, ie laptops and desktop ? Especially Android.

I understand Apple has hang-ups about keeping on sellling MacOS devices, and that *some* of us need a full-fledged legacy OS. But around me, most people would be happy with Android on a big screen instead of Windows, avoiding the different apps, UI, all the admin work. OEMs actually tried it very early on, but dropped it because Google didn't support them at all.

What made Google not do it and leave Windows time to regroup (and now they're having to tack Android on top of ChromeOS in a graceless kludge). And why is Apple so shy about sliding desktop iOS between tablets and full-fledged Macs ?

ThurrottTech5 karma

Inevitably, they will. Android has done poorly on tablets, but Chrome OS seems to fit that bill nicely. And while the iPad Pro isn't quite there yet for many, it already is for others. The reality is that most people don't need a big screen and hardware keyboard all that much. So phones make sense as the primary computing device. Someone will figure out the Continuum-style hybrid phone thing eventually. --Paul

ThurrottTech3 karma

Android Q now has this built in. We have seen previous attempts by Samsung with Dex, Microsoft's Continuum, Asus Padfone - i do think this will happen eventually but so far it seems that separate and more powerful devices are better than one device with multiple screen sizes - brad

jboy11426 karma

Do you guys have a sense of the jobs or careers of the future that will be safe and plentiful with the emergence of AI, automation and robotics?

ThurrottTech16 karma

if you are an IT Pro, invest in security training , this will never go out of fashion - brad

ThurrottTech9 karma

Not writing, that's for sure.

Agree with Brad on IT: There will always be a need. Just don't get stuck on a single path.


BD2C5 karma

I don't know what the 'I' in 'IAmA' stands for...and at this point, I'm afraid to ask.

But with keeping in accordance of asking a question (anything)...what does the 'I' in 'IAmA' stand for?

Edit: Answer: "The IAmA (as in I am a _____, Ask Me Anything)"

I decided not to be lazy and found the answer. Keeping post up incase I wasn't the only person still wondering.

ThurrottTech2 karma

I had no idea, so thanks. :) ---Paul

ChumleyEX4 karma

What do you think about places like Google and Facebook getting so big and being apart of everyday life?

ThurrottTech9 karma

I have removed much of Facebook from my life, I still have an account but have not logged into the service in months. Google is hard, they make a great search, photo, and video products- I personally dont let them keep my passwords or data (use onedrive) - brad

ThurrottTech6 karma

I used to really stress over how much influence Microsoft had on the industry, especially at a time when it was just such a terrible company. But Facebook, Google, and other service-based companies can reach much bigger audiences. It's a huge problem. And I feel like governmental regulation is inevitable. These companies make Microsoft look silly by comparison, influence-wise. --Paul

DavidMulder3 karma

Do you feel like the way you yourself perceive those companies changed a lot throughout the years? And if so which big company were you most disappointed/"betrayed" by when their image and behavior got more negative compared to your expectations/perceptions?

ThurrottTech18 karma

Facebook for sure, I quite liked the service initially and then it got creepy; they also don't care about privacy, news, or authentic content - they want engagement and push away anything that impacts this.

Microsoft has changed a lot as well - they finally realized they have to be open to competing and this has been a huge win for everyone. Previously, they were too arrogant, with the peak of this being Windows Phone which cost them $10 billion

Google has had its ups and downs - but you know what you are getting with them - a great search and AI and the ability to kill the apps you love next week. - brad

ThurrottTech17 karma

Facebook is the ultimate example of a perception problem: What they offer is so necessary, and I love the ability to keep up with friends and family that I don't see regularly in real life. But what they offer is also so terrible, because those same friends and family are often spouting nonsense about politics, religion, or whatever. Facebook ha gone downhill a lot.

Microsoft is the opposite. It was terrible and now it's incredible, in a good way.

Google and Apple are basically consistent to themselves. But Apple's problem now is that nothing it does is all that exciting. But it keeps acting as if it's changing the world. All it's really doing is strengthening its base. ---Paul

enfo223 karma

With Windows Lite/Centaurus possibly coming, do you think Microsoft will make any big shifts towards OpenSource technologies on that compute platform? (Linux kernel, etc?)

Also how can I purchase one of your mugs?

ThurrottTech5 karma

Lite won't be using Linux kernel - it uses WCOS which is based on the core of Windows today.

Mugs, come to an event! - brad

ThurrottTech2 karma

I don't see a move to a Linux kernel for a Windows-type product. But moving Windows itself to open source? In this era, anything seems possible.

Right now, I don't think we have a way to sell mugs. I will ask about this again. --Paul

tinydonuts3 karma

Now that Edge will be little more than a skin over Chrome, what do you think the point of using Edge will be? Is there any advantage over just using straight Chrome? Do you know why Microsoft chose Chrome over Firefox?

How fun is it working with Leo Laporte? Any thoughts on working with Steve Gibson?

ThurrottTech15 karma

I think Microsoft will position Edge as the 'safer' Chrome. Meaning for corporations, all your data is synced across your private instance of Office 365/OneDrive/SharePoint - brad

ThurrottTech6 karma

The point is to standardize on web rendering, which helps everyone. And to innovate on UX, where Microsoft can hopefully do something differentiated/better. They chose Chrome (well, Chromium) because of usage share. It is the de facto standard.

I love Leo and Steve both. Obviously have spent more time with Leo. The thing about him is that he's exactly who he appears to be. So even before we actually did a show or met in person, I felt like I had known him for my whole life. It's pretty incredible. Just a great guy. ---Paul

higgs83 karma

What do you think of Apple's recent practices? Is it just me or are they making bad decisions by ignoring computer users and making non-repairable, fragile, and increasingly expensive computers?

ThurrottTech6 karma

Apple is going through what Microsoft had to do about 10 years ago - realizing that Windows (or iPhone) is at its peak and needs to transition while maintaining its cash cow.

The iPhone is not going away but it will no longer deliver hyper-growth, instead it will provide sustained cash flow and now the company is trying to figure out how else to grow outside of iPhone...on this journey, the will make a few mistakes. - brad

ThurrottTech4 karma

Apple is running on inertia right now, and quality and innovation are way down under Tim Cook. And its service strategy is born of desperation; compare this to previous Apple products that came about because Apple employees just wanted something awesome to exist. Is someone going to argue that there are people at Apple who believe they can change the world with another video service? It's ludicrous. ---paul

astro-wallaby3 karma

Brad & Paul, what's the most sensible thing you've ever heard someone say?

ThurrottTech19 karma

Flipping this a bit, I tell people to use the products that work well for them - not what everyone tells them to use. If Android fits your needs, then use it, iOS is fine for your needs, then use it. You don't need to project or justify your purchase, be happy with technology, don't vilify it.

Best career advice I have received: "Be interested and you will be interesting" - brad

ThurrottTech10 karma

My daughter told me I wasn't as funny as I thought I was. :)

I still think she's wrong. --Paul

c3141rd3 karma

The Windows codebase currently has decades worth of legacy code. Do you see Microsoft starting over from scratch and basing a new version of Windows on Linux (the way Google based Chrome OS on Linux)?

ThurrottTech4 karma


But think about how Apple converted macOS, which was likewise based on decades of legacy Next code, into iOS. It can work. ---Paul

phsiao3 karma

At one point do we say that any of these companies are a monopoly and what can we do about it?

ThurrottTech7 karma

It's tough to determine when one company is explicitly a monopoly, but there are economic tests that can be done.

As for what can you do about it? Vote for people who agree with your beliefs - brad

ThurrottTech5 karma

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Our Standard Oil-era definition of antitrust needs to evolve as do our laws. I think we get there. ---Paul

Shamefullest3 karma

What is the most potentially disturbing/dangerous project you have ever worked on?

ThurrottTech8 karma


I'm not sure I've ever done anything dangerous or disturbing from a work perspective. In 2000, I spent a week in Israel consulting with a company there, and that experience was certainly ... interesting. This was before 9/11 but the process of getting out of the country, security-wise, was one of the craziest things I'd ever seen.

Speaking of 9/11, my first flight after that was to Las Vegas for Comdex that November, and while we were there, a plane crashed in Queens. At first, there were worries this was terrorism, and I said to the guy I was traveling with that if that's what it was, we were renting a car and driving home. (It wasn't.)

And speaking of Israel, while I was there, some developers working at a company called Mainsoft were applying for jobs at the company I was at, and the CEO brought me in to speak to them. Their company had been secretly commissioned to port Office to Linux---"just in case"---and I was able to confirm the story with another source, so I eventually wrote about it. I remember coming downstairs after writing up the article and telling my wife that if i disappeared, that was why. (Obviously, Office for Linux never happened. But they did work on it.)

Not sure if this in any way answers your question, sorry. ---Paul

Terminal4233 karma

@Paul: What part of your week do you look forward to most work-wise? The podcasts? The new breaking stories?

@Brad: What specific events during the development of the Surface did you find most interesting?

ThurrottTech11 karma

The fact that they initially didn't want to offer Surface in the business channel and that marketing forced it through - without the business channel success with the Pro 3, Surface may not be around today - brad

ThurrottTech10 karma

Honestly, I mostly look forward to my "deep work" time in the morning when I can write undisturbed. But from a writing perspective, there is a general sense of accomplishment from getting something "right," whether it's taking a stand on something anti-customer that Microsoft (or whomever) has done and then watching them eventually come around to where you always were. That just happened with the Windows Update changes in Windows 10. What they were doing previously was reprehensible. I guess I've kind of evolved from a technology enthusiast primarily into a consumer advocate. --Paul

_37_2 karma

Do you see Bing having a future? Is Microsoft still planning on growing it?

ThurrottTech7 karma

Even though it is much smaller than Google, is the 42 largest website on the's not small in comparision to anything other than Google really - i don't see it going away anytime soon; if anything, I would think it would be spun-out of Microsoft before being shutdown - brad

srosslx19862 karma

How did you two (Paul and Brad) meet?

ThurrottTech2 karma

At Microsoft events, our first meeting ever though was at CES back in the early 2010s - brad

Nofijadin2 karma

Of all the major projects you know of so far, are there any that stand out as being truely 'revolutionary'; and if so, how do you see it changing our world in the future?

Thanks for the AMA y'all!

ThurrottTech2 karma

Personally speaking, Twitter has been the biggest change for the better (yes it has nazis, trash, and everything bad in the world) but I have been able to connect with peers from around the globe and make new connections that would never have been possible without the platform - brad

ThurrottTech2 karma

AI and AR kind of fall into this category and will help enable the future as envisioned by Isaac Asimov and others. Or maybe the Matrix, if you're not so sure about this future.

When my son was very young, he said that someone should create a thing that would answer any question you asked it. In effect, he was describing Google Search. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much magic. It's funny how we stopped marveling at this. ---Paul

gregsedwards2 karma

Brad, what does it feel like to get a hug from Paul Thurrott?

ThurrottTech2 karma

a lot like kissing an alligator - brad

ThurrottTech3 karma

I would have also accepted "awesome." ---Paul

AndrewZariann2 karma

Rosé or pinot grigio?

ThurrottTech5 karma

Scotch - brad

Schlaefer2 karma

I remember esp. Paul saying very early that Windows 10 Mobile would go nowhere - "delusional" was a very fashionable term while MSFT was still releasing devices. Without going into specifics: was that just your perspective and intuition or did you have actual insider knowledge you didn't want to reveal publicly?

ThurrottTech5 karma

By the time Windows 10 Mobile was happening, Microsoft had already swapped out the underlying platform twice, screwing over developers, app makers were abandoning or ignoring the platform, and the original vision for Windows Phone was so far removed from how it had evolved that I barely recognized it. The whole One Windows thing was a farce.

But as a Windows Phone user, I just thought it was ugly, and it was no longer as sophisticated as Android or iOS. They just wasted too much time getting there. ---Paul

6-_-j2 karma

Why is platform neutrality not taken as seriously as net neutrality?

ThurrottTech13 karma

Because we live in an anti-fact era in which people vote against their own self-interests, and experts and those who value individuals over companies are shouted down. It's sad. --Paul

easylifeforme2 karma

What peice of technology would you never use in your daily life outside of reporting on it?

ThurrottTech4 karma

Facebook Portal - brad

ThurrottTech3 karma

Oddly, I think Facebook still matters, despite all the issues.

Skype, certainly. It's terrible. --Paul

guitarnoir2 karma

I'll ask you all about this, because I have no idea who else to ask.

In last half-year or so, I've noticed that when I do a Google Image Search, I often find the image I want on a site that has a URL that has nothing to do with the subject matter of the image (the URL's are often from .de, or .pl, or other "weird" domains), and when I go to that site, they require registration to view the image--an image that used to be readily available elsewhere.

I can no longer seem to find the image anywhere that's not a registration-required site. It's as if they have captured these images, and somehow buried freely available versions way, way down in Google's Image Search results.

Is this just my imagination, or a known thing? And who is the President of the Internet so that I can contact them to get this stopped?

ThurrottTech5 karma

LOL. Larry Page?

This might be a side-effect of the change that Google made to image search a few years back where you can no longer load the full-sized image right from search results; you have to visit the site instead. Other search engines, like Duck Duck Go, still let you get the original from the results. --Paul

quickhakker2 karma

Presuming you have seen the stuff that has been going on between steam and epic game store, what is your thought on the matter? as a more to your list of sites and services you mentioned what is something you found out that has really surprised you?

ThurrottTech3 karma

I was just thinking about this today: That 30 percent vig thing that Apple popularized needs to go away. I'm not sure if Microsoft's developer-centric new split makes sense for all stores. But 30 percent is too high, and developers are finally starting to reject it. ---Paul

jesperbj1 karma

Will Xbox game streaming be able to compete with Stadia, given that playing directly from browser seems so much easier than anything else?

ThurrottTech2 karma

Yes, Microsoft has a few tricks up their sleeve to make xCloud unique - brad

shivambawa20001 karma

Where do you think ar/vr is actually heading? Is it just a fad..

ThurrottTech3 karma

Yes and no, it certainly has its use-cases where it adds value - but it's not for everyone. - brad

WumboTheSecond1 karma

What's your secret to success?

ThurrottTech2 karma

For me, it's never stop trying - if you think you can start a blog and be successful, you can, it just takes time. 99% of the people I have hired over the years to write for various websites fizzle out after two months - success is not instant, keep at it. -brad

n1k0h1k01 karma

What do you think was the key to success for each of these companies? Was there a prevailing trend?

ThurrottTech6 karma

Microsoft, like Facebook, was founded on stolen ideas, really. It's interesting how often that happens in the tech industry: It pays to be a follower not the original. That Bill Gates was a ruthless business genius mattered, too.

Apple and Google benefitted greatly from Microsoft's antitrust issues in the 2000s. Apple was led by a visionary at the time, of course, and that helped.

Google and Amazon are both very quirky companies that are run by driven individuals. Both created their own tech infrastructures because of their unique needs and both later realized that they could sell that to their own customers. It's weird (to me) that Amazon, not Google, has seen the greater success there.

From a personal technology perspective, I'm obsessed by Amazon's ability to couple physical goods with digital perks in Prime. No one can really compete with that. It's so unique. ---Paul

Microsoft171 karma

This one is particularly for Paul as Brad handles Petri.

Paul, you've built your career mostly around Microsoft's consumer offerings, and as this company is becoming more and more enterprise focused, do you think somewhere down the line you won't be able to do what you're doing for a living? You don't seem to be someone that's too interested in covering enterprise related tech (and I don't blame you, it's pretty boring most of the time).

ThurrottTech2 karma

I did write about business/enterprise computing for 15 years. But yes, my heart is with personal technology.

Microsoft will always play a role of some kind. But a lot of the action in this space is with Google, Apple, and lots of other companies. I've tried to evolve with the market. --paul

b_bowser1 karma

Do you feel that other companies such as Facebook, Amazon, etc trying to become more "Apple like" in development and business rules will succeed in the future or

will the Microsoft "available" to all platforms, desktop or mobile become the new normal?

ThurrottTech2 karma

Apple has a unique success in hardware, which is usually a low-margin if not loss-leading business, that others simply cannot duplicate. So they can try---Microsoft did, Google still is---but it's not happening.

That said, open always wins in the end. Microsoft deserves credit for making this shift. And Apple will inevitably decline unless it adapts as well. ---Paul

Bammerice1 karma

Obviously there's been a lot of privacy concerns with Microsoft and Google (and I'm sure plenty of others). How do you forsee this issue of privacy online playing out in the future with these tech companies?

ThurrottTech5 karma

Google has a much harder task at proving it's privacy-focused as it made billions by doing the opposite.

I still hope to see Microsoft pivot to 100% privacy-focused...make Bing like DuckDuckGo, encryption for everything in the new Edge, and give better control over data in consumer services. - brad

ThurrottTech3 karma

Right. I've made this argument too. Like Apple, Microsoft should sell privacy. ---Paul

c0wg0d1 karma

What's your favorite Windows OS and why?

ThurrottTech4 karma

Cliche answer - Windows 10 - only because it keeps being changed, updated, and enhanced - it keeps me busy trying to figure out where they are going next - brad

hamonbry1 karma

What do you think would have happened if Microsoft had picked someone like Nadella instead of Balmer to take over when Gates stepped down?

ThurrottTech2 karma

That could never have happened at that time. Ballmer offered Microsoft a continuation of the Gates years, which is what it needed then. But Ballmer evolved, and he put in place many of the changes that Nadella is now credited for. In this case, Nadella was needed because the old guard could never accepted those changes under Ballmer. ---Paul

ThurrottTech1 karma

Hrad to say but likely worse than what we have today - considering the stock and revenue continues to reach all time high, hard to do much better than that - brad

ReluctantAscendant1 karma

What do you think of this practice where these conglomerates buy and incorporate other smaller companies into their own business? This oligarchical system doesn't seem to let rivals thrive for a long time. I feel like it's not fair (I know, life and war, etc.) and counter-productive to a free market environment.

How do you guys feel about it and what's your suggestions on making it more equitable?

ThurrottTech2 karma

This has been happening for decades and will likely keep happening. For every modern Accompli (Outlook Mobile), there's a Vermeer (which made FrontPage) or Forethought (PowerPoint) from the past. For these small companies, the goal is to succeed, and that often takes the form of a big payoff.

But in keeping with some other questions here, and with what you're asking, our notion of monopoly needs to evolve, especially in the tech space. How that impacts their ability to acquire technology or entire companies is unclear. But yeah... controlling how big companies are able to enter new markets in a regulatory fashion is probably inevitable. ---Paul

rawriclark1 karma

been following you guys since windows 7-8 days, do you thik Microsoft will ever get back to Mobile?

ThurrottTech4 karma

With their own OS and hardware? Not anytime soon. Will we see small form factor PCs with LTE/5G? Yes - brad

ThurrottTech5 karma

Yep. Surface is all about new form factors. And we'll see some kind of folding/split screen mobile something something. That's mobile. But it won't be phone. --Paul

thermonuclearmuskrat1 karma

Are there any monkeys that lay eggs?

ThurrottTech3 karma

Sea Monkeys. --Paul

modulated_pikachu1 karma

Hi! I had two questions for you:

  1. When do you think Microsoft will release a new Windows? Or do you think that they will just keep making changes to Windows 10 for the foreseeable future?

  2. What are your thoughts on Google Stadia and how do you think it'll impact the gaming market, both hardware(like GPUs, etc) and software(Steam, etc)?

ThurrottTech2 karma

  1. Just guessing, but I bet they just keep going forward with Windows 10 on PCs. Maybe just call it Windows. There will be derivates for other device types like Surface Hub, Xbox, and Chromebook-like mobile devices with different names/brands.
  2. Two things about Stadia: There's nothing there that Amazon or Microsoft can't also do. But Google, unlike Microsoft, has no exclusive content or really content of any kind. I'm curious how it will ever attract developers.

attej111 karma

Paul and Brad, what will finally break the internet?

ThurrottTech8 karma

most likely a boat anchor - brad

Squirming_Coil1 karma


ThurrottTech2 karma

I think Blockchain is interesting but speed is an issue - compared to other solutions for a database, it is often slower.

That being said, decentralized databases have value but not sure how much a corporation cares about that? But on the social side, it has excellent use-cases for community based projects - brad

troughley1 karma

With the changeover that seems to be coming for potentially for digital distribution for XBox, have you heard anything how they will maintain digital purchases. Are we looking at backwards compatibility by default for Xbox v-next?

gregsedwards2 karma

Under this topic, I'm also curious about how you think the expected "disc-to-digital" trade-in offer will actually work. I think it's unlikely you'll just bring in your discs and they'll give you digital licenses outright for free. I feel more like for a nominal fee per title, you'll be able to exchange the physical disc for a code that you can redeem for the digital version (or sell to someone else I suppose, if you wanted to do that). And obviously, it won't work for just any old game. Will it be an in-store only promotion, or will Xbox users be able to mail in their discs? How do you see this unfolding when it launches?

ThurrottTech3 karma

As Greg notes, yes, there is a trade-in coming for physical titles. But that's temporary. The bigger deal here, I think, is the ability to bring purchased content forward across Xbox generations (backward compatibility now, xCloud in the future). This is a big deal and, yes, I think that we can expect this to be the norm moving forward. (Sony does offer something similar in PS Now.) --Paul

Crisismax1 karma

Can you tell us about something upcoming that will blow our socks off?

ThurrottTech8 karma

ARM is scaling up faster than Intel can scale down, this has hugggge implications - brad

ThurrottTech3 karma

PCs used to be devices you used in a set location. Then they became mobile. Then they became phones and could be used anywhere.

What's going to blow our socks off is that all these devices will disappear. And the notion of carrying or owning a computing "thing" will be as antiquated as money is in Star Trek.

gregsedwards1 karma

What one Microsoft service or device are you most excited about right now and why?

ThurrottTech4 karma

boring answer - OneDrive - has made moving between devices so much easier than 10 years ago. It's a simple (on the outside) service that when setup correctly, makes my life a lot easier - brad

ThurrottTech2 karma

xCloud. After losing three generations of video game consoles, watching Microsoft (maybe) winning this one would be amazing. That it would come thanks to enterprise computing horsepower is a cherry on this sundae. --Paul

travisrugemer1 karma

Would you have any recommendations on how to get in contact with Samsung for a creative venture?

ThurrottTech2 karma

We both have what I'd call negative experiences with Samsung PR, so no. Sorry. ---paul

GourdGuard1 karma

When Windows 8 was being developed, do you think there was every any serious consideration of forking Windows into commercial and consumer versions?

I feel like both consumers and businesses would have been better off if 7 would have been the base of a business version that moved slowly emphasizing stability and security (do things like get GDI out of the kernel) and 8 would have been the basis of a version where Microsoft could focus on the different needs of consumers (gaming, Cortana, etc).

ThurrottTech8 karma

Serious consideration, maybe. But they were not listening to feedback in any meaningful capacity (them removed the Start button and though it was a good idea). So unless Sinofsky thought it was a good idea, and he clearly didnt, it wasn't going to happen - brad

tarzan3221 karma

So what's something old that really needs to go technology wise?

ThurrottTech2 karma

Fax machines. - brad

Jalibut1 karma

Have you been able to predict which companies will do well in the long run? Did any companies that we consider powerful today come out if left field?

ThurrottTech2 karma

I am terrible at predictions.

Apple came out of nowhere in the 2000s thanks to Steve Jobs and a ton of luck. Amazon for sure. --Paul

slayer9911 karma

I've read a few articles regarding why Microsoft is having problems with their major updates of late. Some point to the changes in their process, issues with keeping to the schedule, and a lack of testing. What do you think the issue is with the major updates lately?

ThurrottTech3 karma

Windows is the most complex code base on the planet - by artificially making it so that they have to ship two updates per year, they set up deadlines that are tough to meet. - brad

memphisperson1 karma

Are you fans of the tv series "Mr. Robot?"

ThurrottTech2 karma

I've never watched it, sorry. But I've been meaning to, and will. --Paul

ThurrottTech2 karma

I hardly watch on TV shows, so I have not seen it - brad

striker_2561 karma

How do you vet a source?

ThurrottTech2 karma

  1. Time is the best metric, i dont report every single tip that comes my way
  2. Other sources - the best thing to do is when you get a tip, see if someone else is hearing the same thing - this post on Phil Spencer's email to the Xbox team was like the email anon, was able to verify it and then published. - brad

edamamemonster1 karma

How do these companies ethics and morals seem to be declining over the years? And what does that say about our society in general?

ThurrottTech2 karma

I think that Brad Smith has done a good job of trying to align some values at Microsoft and make them a more ethical company - not perfect by any means - I also think he will leave Microsoft and run for political office too - brad