Apple Got The Post-PC Era Wrong. Proof? Microsoft Surface

For the past three-odd years, Apple has been telling the world a version of the truth that may not stand up to reality.  Some would refer to this as a lie.  I think that’s a bit harsh.  It’s more of a case of believing your own story.  I’m from Texas.  We have a slightly more colorful way of saying this but I’m trying to be family friendly here peeps.

With the introduction of the iPad the Cupertino company began pointing out that we live in a post-PC world where tablets will be the direction of travel for the industry.  And let’s be honest and give them their due.  They have done a phenominal job of marketing the iPad and the post-PC mythology.  But the myth isn’t quite living up to reality and all you have to do is look at the Microsoft Surface numbers for this past quarter from Microsoft to see it.  The Surface division recorded $908 million in revenue for the company last quarter.

That doesn’t sound very post-PC to me.  That sounds like people wanted a better PC experience and that is exactly what Microsoft has delivered with Surface, specifically the Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft Earnings A Mixed Bag for Windows Phone

During the Microsoft earnings call yesterday, it became apparent that for Windows Phone, the earnings were a mixed bag.  However, if you dive in a little deeper it will start to  make sense what is going on with their earnings and why there is no need to jump on the panic button just yet as a Windows Phone user and fan.

First, let’s take a look at the good news.  In the last quarter which ended in September, Microsoft globally sold 9.3 million Lumia devices.  This up over 5% from the same quarter last year and clearly indicates things are going in the right direction.  A nearly complete refresh of the phone lineup, significant marketing and market expansion has all contributed to this growth and while we don’t know the specific numbers for specific markets, it is an indicator that Microsoft is making gains.

For Microsoft, this translated into $2.6 billion in revenue from Windows Phone.  That’s an impressive number and represents 11% of the total revenue the company generated last quarter of $23.2 billion.  This is very much a positive.

But let’s all take a dose of reality with this number.  Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6 units in its debut weekend.  There is a reason I call Windows Phone the Little OS That Could.  It is little, very little in the overall market as I’ve shared in the past.  There is along way to go, a lot of mind and market share to capture but things are pointing in the right direction.

Now let’s take a look at the bad news – at least on the surface.

Age of Empires Castle Siege Gets Stability Updates

Age of Empires Castle Siege for  Windows and Windows Phone has been updated overnight with a healthy update that brings some functional improvements as well as some stability to the universal Windows Game.  The update, which is free and available now in the Windows Phone Store, brings improved network connectivity for fewer time out issues, fixes some crash issues and a good list of game play improvements.

As I put in my review last week of the game, Age of Empires Castle Siege is a fantastically well done game that stays true to the AoE name.

Age of Empires: Castle Siege – Free – Download Now

Tetra Lockscreen for Windows Phone Launched

Yesterday there were a slew of Microsoft Garage apps that were launched for Windows Phone that bring new games and utilities to the platform.  If you aren’t familiar with it, Microsoft Garage is an internal program at Microsoft where people can develop apps in their free time and Microsoft will select some of the top apps and put them into the Windows Phone Store.  One of those apps yesterday was Tetra Lockscreen.

Tetra Lockscreen for Windows Phone brings a new level of functionality to your Lockscreen and makes it where you can interact with your Lockscreen to get various pieces of information.  It is unique and brings a level of functionality to what is normally nothing more than an at-a-glance feature of Windows Phone.  Tetra Lockscreen can provide you calendar details, a map of your current location, activity tracker and a stopwatch function, all of which you can tap and slide to access.  It is one of those apps that just makes sense and given that it is a free download, everyone should give it a go.

Tetra Lockscreen – Free – Download Now

How To Remote Desktop To Your PC From Windows Phone

There are times where you want or need to access your Windows PC from afar.  It isn’t often mind you unless you are doing remote support or the like but sometimes you need to find that file you left on your PC desktop instead of uploading to OneDrive.  After all, if you had it in OneDrive, you could easily access it from your Windows Phone.

Microsoft makes a Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone and it works flawlessly for just such a need.  The app is a free download but there is a little bit of configuration you need to do in order for you to be able to access your Windows PC from your Windows Phone.  The good thing though is that once you have it set up you will be good-to-go from that point forward.  I’m going to divide this How To into two parts.  The first part will cover what you need to do on your Windows PC and the second what you need to do on your Windows Phone.

Windows PC

The first thing we need to discuss is the IP address or host name of your Windows PC.  Doing a Remote Desktop to your PC will require you to know one or both of these.  If you are accessing your PC from within the same network (same WiFi network as an example), then all you need to know is your computer’s name.  If your PC is part of a domain then you will likely need the full domain name such as computer.domain.com.  This will vary depending on how your domain is configured and you may need to contact your administrator for exact instructions on how to do this.

If you are accessing your Windows PC from a different network, the game gets a bit more interesting.  First, you have to make sure that you have access to do a remote desktop session which may or may not be allowed.  Second, if you are accessing your PC at home from afar, you will need to know the public IP address that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has assigned to you.  It is also likely that that address changes from time-to-time.  As a general rule it is easier to access your PC from within the same network than it is from outside it.

For the rest of this How To I am going to assume you have the network element sorted out.