Paul Thurrott


Paul Thurrott is senior technical analyst for Windows IT Pro. He writes the SuperSite for Windows, a weekly editorial for Windows IT Pro UPDATE, and a daily Windows news and information newsletter called WinInfo Daily UPDATE. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

Skype is About to Get a Lot Less Annoying 7
Skype users, rejoice: The ubiquitous but frustrating communications service is about to get a lot less annoying. Thanks to a new feature called active endpoint that addresses what is probably the worst thing about Skype today, you will soon no longer need to deal with multiple, repetitive notifications across all of your devices.
OneNote + Livescribe 3 (+ iOS)
While OneNote natively supports handwriting on Windows and Android, most of us don't have the right pen-enabled hardware to use that functionality effectively. But Livescribe has an interesting and even affordable alternative, assuming you're already using an iPad or other iOS device: the Livescribe 3 smart pen lets you take notes and write on real paper and then sync that content to OneNote.
What the Tech 223: Android on a Stick
In the latest episode of What the Tech, Andrew Zarian and I discuss the sudden rise of the "selfie stick," Andrew's new OnePlus One phone, the HTC One M8 with Windows handset, Paul's new Chromebook and HP’s new $200 Windows laptop, the HP Stream.
Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is Updated for Developer Program Members 15
If you've been using the Windows Phone Developer Program to keep your phone up-to-date with the very latest in Windows Phone OS releases, you're used to the fact that Microsoft frequently updates the OS to a newer version. Likewise, you're used to the fact that many of these updates are undocumented and don't appear to change a thing. So that just happened.
Surface Pro 3 Gets a Second August 2014 Firmware Update 4
Microsoft has quietly rolled out a second firmware update this month for Surface Pro 3. This isn't the first time Surface Pro 3 has received two separate firmware updates in a single month, which is strange enough given the device's short lifetime, but it is the first time this has happened without any warning.
Steve Ballmer Unexpectedly Steps Downs from Microsoft Board
Former Microsoft CEO has stepped down from the company's board of directors. The move, which comes just six months after he retired from Microsoft, effectively severs Mr. Ballmer's ties to the company, though he is of course still its biggest individual shareholder. The question is: Why?
Patch Tuesday Tripped Up by Rapid Release Era
Microsoft this past weekend removed the download links to several Patch Tuesday-based software updates after customers complained of frequent problems, including in some cases non-booting PCs and Blue Screens. The firm is recommending that users uninstall the offending updates and is urging them in some cases to uninstall those patches. This isn't just unprecedented, folks, it's catastrophic. And it casts a pall over Microsoft's rapid release strategy.
OneNote for Windows Store Gets a Major Update 15
The OneNote mobile app for Windows 8/RT—or what Microsoft calls the OneNote Windows Store app—was updated today with some much-needed new capabilities. The new version supports printing, file insertion, and highlighting, plus some accessibility updates and numerous bug fixes.
OneNote for Android Updated with Handwriting Support 10
Microsoft today released a new version of its OneNote mobile app for Android handsets and tablets. The new version supports handwritten ink notes, a new tablet-optimized experience and other improvements.
HTC One M8 for Windows Preview 21
Today in New York, HTC unveiled its new Windows Phone handset, the HTC One M8 for Windows. I would have attended this event if I wasn't traveling, but now that it's over we can discuss what happened. Folks, we now have a new Windows Phone flagship to consider. This handset is the real deal.
T-Mobile, Sprint Quickly Prove They're Better Apart
Sprint dropped its $32 billion bid to purchase T-Mobile earlier this month because US antitrust regulators had indicated that they would block the merger. Now, it looks like the government got it right for a change: In just the few weeks since that reversal, both Sprint and T-Mobile have moved aggressively to lower prices and make more versatile wireless plans available to customers.
How Perception Will Kill Windows Phone 93
While it's obvious that Windows Phone is stuck as a distant third in the smart phone ecosystem race, it's equally clear that the biggest danger to the platform isn't failure, but rather the perception of failure. And in a market in which the distant number two player, Apple, can do no wrong, Microsoft faces an uphill battle that it may never win.
Windows IoT Preview Now Available for Intel Galileo Gen 1 Boards 5
Last night, Microsoft released a "preview Windows image"—which I take to be a new version of the as-yet-unbranded "Windows for the Internet of Things" (Windows IoT)—aimed at a popular, off-the-shelf Intel x86 system-on-a-chip (SoC) development board. The effort is basically a proof of concept showing that the big boys—Microsoft and Intel in this case—can create miniature versions of their mainstream computing solutions aimed at a coming generation of ever-connected devices of all kinds.
Xbox Video for Windows Phone 8/8.1 Updated 5
Microsoft's Xbox Video app for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 was updated this morning with performance improvements, better error messaging, and improved search results. This app isn't yet as critical, or terrible, as Xbox Music. But with a coming generation of Windows Phone-based mini-tablets it could prove to be more crucial to Microsoft's strategy of evolving the platform.
So What Does a $200 PC Look Like? 43
At its Worldwide Partner Conference in July, Microsoft very quickly showed off a coming $200 HP laptop that it said would compete with low-cost Chromebook offerings. The HP Stream, as it's called, is only possible because of Microsoft's decision to offer "zero dollar" Windows licensing to hardware partners. So what does a $200 PC look like, you ask? Brace yourself: It looks almost exactly like a Chromebook.
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