Linus Reviews HTC One M8 for Windows


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siah1214
According to that article it was removed because it didn't display ads and allowed users to download videos, both of which are against the T&C. I'd be surprised if it wasn't removed. Given how popular YouTube is Microsoft should have done everything in its power to work around Google's demands, as Apple has done.

Microsoft actually did remove the ability to download and the ability to skirt around content restrictions.  Google wasn't happy with that and basically said that they had to write the app in HTML5 (unlike the Youtube apps on Android and iOS) and forced them to take it down again. 

You can research it yourself, there's a lot of articles out there (including on Neowin) about the whole fiasco.  Sorry, Google was being a jerk here, no matter how you try to write it off that's the only legitimate explanation. They were and are anticompetitive when it comes to Windows Phone (they at one point blocked WP7 and 8 users from accessing maps.google.com, allegedly because they don't support webkit, even though they'd worked fine before) 

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ATLien_0

I'll agree on Google services. While I am perfectly happy with the current Google support the average consumer isn't nor do they know its mostly Google's fault. They will just blame Microsoft for lack of support, as well as other apps. 

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+warwagon

The funny thing is a lot of the apps people want are made by developers other than the company who's service they want to use. Because the company doesn't care enough to write an app for WP, so someone else has to do it for them.

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Dashel

Terrible review by your average Google-monkey, what a whiney douche.  Lets sweep the cloud issue under the rug and ignore how much better it integrates with a superior cloud (he pushed that under the rug early) to ###### and moan about what a n00b he is?  This is everything that is wrong with your average phone store 'advisor'.

 

The MS cloud is the advantage and their edge.  Your cloud should dictate your device not vice versa.  And once you have a better cloud, the need for 20 apps to do the same things is not only inefficient, it makes the fight over apps even more laughable to begin with.

 

At least he does highlight why the notification center is still a boneheaded idea for WP. 

 

An enthusiast phone? lol?

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Stokkolm

They have an almost 1:1 business model copy of iOS, but they are failing because they lack the historical advantage of iOS. Windows Phone offers a decent alternative to iOS users except they have to counter the reality that users have invested heavily in iOS content and they haven't convinced developers to target their platform first. They also locked the platform so much that they are almost always behind on trends. Like the restrictions mentioned in the video that prevent wearables for properly targeting Windows Phone if they wanted to at present, for instance. There was also the missing Bluetooth LE support that prevented things like the FitBit from coming out with Windows Phone support at the same time as iOS (I think this has been added now).

The review is about an HTC phone that runs Microsoft's OS, how can you say they have a 1:1 business model with Apple?

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+LogicalApex

The review is about an HTC phone that runs Microsoft's OS, how can you say they have a 1:1 business model with Apple?

I said "almost 1:1"... The only major departure from Apple with Windows Phone though is the inclusion of other OEMs besides MS. Although, with the dominance that Nokia/Microsoft has over Windows Phone sales I'm almost convinced that any third party Windows Phones are due to MS subsidizing them (for instance, MS may have given HTC a break on its "Android Licensing Fee" if they shipped the phone being discussed here).

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tsupersonic

Everyone keeps saying WP is severely lacking, but no one lists what? I get the apps are lacking. That's a real and serious problem for WP. But what about the OS is lacking? Is it lacking anything anyone actually cares about? If you have all the apps you personally want, is it "lacking"?

 

I know I'm a minority, but I prefer WP to the others. I use it because I like it most. The UI is super clean, easy to use, but powerful enough to customize to my own workflow. Its the goldilocks between the iPhone and Android. Like many users, I'm not really interested in Snapchat or Yo, or whatever the latest app we all install this week. I use my phone to communicate with people, SMS, calls, social stuff, twitter, FB, etc, banking and a few select apps. For the sake of the platform, yes, they need LOTS more developer support and something may come along at some point that I may wish I could have, but for now, I have what I need and I like that I can chose the phone UI I like best.

 

I have seen numerous articles lately where reviewers express that they love the UI of WP and its a real pleasure to use, but they cant recommend it, or cant use it themselves because its missing apps. That tells me there is something compelling about WP, but its just missing that one thing - apps. That may or may not be an issue for everyone. Its not for me, its not for my parents, its not for my inlaws, who got Android phones and haven't installed one single app in the six months since they got them.

My main reasons for not using WP, basic functionality like repeat message notifications are missing. On Android, I can replace the stock messaging app with something like GoSMS that gives me multitude of features and customizations.

 

Customizations in general are limited on WP, making folders on what is an otherwise cluttered "start" screen is a really inefficient way of viewing information. On Android, you can make your homescreenS (yes, plural), any way you want with widgets that provide actual information/content without delving into a specific app.

 

On Android, if the OS is lacking something, you have actual first party apps or even an excellent third party app selection. The so called "fart apps" are there are on every platform, but what is scary is that consumers on WP will fall for the "scam" apps that they think are official apps. People want apps, and you guys are thinking about app selection from an enthusiast perspective. That ultimately is the bottom line, because you can have the best phone hardware but without good software, you're not getting anywhere. 

 

I used to love the WP UI, but at a quick glance, Android gives you far more information and is just more efficient, imo.  

 

Also, don't pin me as a fanboy or hater. All these fanboy wars are just flat out stupid. Why someone pledges their allegiance to a specific company is beyond me. Look at how emotional people are in this thread, calling Linus names... I made all these points above for Android, yet, but I don't use an Android phone anymore. I want Windows Phone to succeed and be a true competitor, but MS has a long way to go, and many challenges to overcome.

 

Final points, no one is wrong - everyone has their needs on what a platform should/shouldn't do, hence why everyone uses different phones. Most importantly, at the end of the day, it's just a phone OS, and life is way too short to be arguing about which OS/product is better, so enjoy what you use!

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BajiRav

WP users: go and try an Android M8 before commenting (note UI completely customizable).

How is that even remotely relevant? :laugh:

 

 

I said "almost 1:1"... The only major departure from Apple with Windows Phone though is the inclusion of other OEMs besides MS. Although, with the dominance that Nokia/Microsoft has over Windows Phone sales I'm almost convinced that any third party Windows Phones are due to MS subsidizing them (for instance, MS may have given HTC a break on its "Android Licensing Fee" if they shipped the phone being discussed here).

Windows Phone is now priced at $0. HTC pays more to Microsoft for M8's Android variant.

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vcfan

Windows Phone has virtually no edge over Android or iOS platforms.

you guys keep grouping ios with android when criticizing windows phone. iPhone is soon about to be neighbors with windows phone in the sub 10% marketshare category. almost there, just need less than 2% and they are there.

but just off the top of my head, some edge windows phone posseses over android

runs faster and smoother

is more secure

has better battery life

is cheaper for OEMs

updates bypassing carriers

universal apps

has a phone called yezz billy

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George P

Being able to replace the stock apps is something I expect fully, I mean right now there's different "browsers" on WP, sure they all use the same IE11 engine in WP8.x BUT the UI is different and the feature sets are different.  Look at UC Browser for example.   You can also switch to using a different calendar app as well, there are alternatives to that to.  Really the only thing you can't not use is the sms/mms app and the phone dialer.  Those two things can't be changed, but people who want to switch the default SMS app and use something else, yeah, that's as niche and minor as you can get at this point.  Do people still use SMS that much?   I mean you have all the other social and IM apps on there, FB, whatsapp and so on.   SMS is dead or close to it, otherwise the carriers wouldn't be giving out so much free SMS as part of their plans.  :P

 

As far as some other little things missing in the OS, with uservoice doing it's thing and MS speeding up updating of WP, I expect lots of the little things to make their way in there soon.   Expect update 2 to hit preview next month or early November I'd say.

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simplezz

This is why Windows Phone fails. What's funny is all the fanboys saying it has reached feature parity with Android/iOS :laugh:

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simplezz

Microsoft actually did remove the ability to download and the ability to skirt around content restrictions.

Only after releasing it and being threatened with legal consequences. Microsoft knew when it was writing the app that it broke the Youtube T&C, yet it went ahead with it anyway. MS thinks it deserves special treatment like we're back in the 90's and it still dominates the computing world. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we're not, and it doesn't. MS needs to abide by the terms and conditions of third party services or not produce an app at all.

Google wasn't happy with that and basically said that they had to write the app in HTML5 (unlike the Youtube apps on Android and iOS) and forced them to take it down again.

HTML5 is the standard third party API for Youtube. Any app that doesn't use it is breaking the terms and conditions of the service.

Google can use any API's it wants because it owns the service and app on Android and iOS. Microsoft can't and must use the same third party API as everyone else.

You can research it yourself, there's a lot of articles out there (including on Neowin) about the whole fiasco.  Sorry, Google was being a jerk here, no matter how you try to write it off that's the only legitimate explanation.

No, MS was being a "jerk" because of its sense of entitlement and the expectation of special treatment in a world it no longer dominates. It's about time Microsoft got knocked down a peg or two :D

They were and are anticompetitive when it comes to Windows Phone (they at one point blocked WP7 and 8 users from accessing maps.google.com, allegedly because they don't support webkit, even though they'd worked fine before)

They blocked IE because it isn't standards compliant. In fact, Microsoft even changed the agent string so it now impersonates webkit browsers like Chromium, even though it doesn't fully support HTML5 properly. IE has always lagged behind other browsers.
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theyarecomingforyou

Terrible review by your average Google-monkey, what a whiney douche.

You do realise he uses an iPhone, right? Plus there's no need for the personal attack - it doesn't do anything to support your position.

 

The MS cloud is the advantage and their edge.  Your cloud should dictate your device not vice versa.  And once you have a better cloud, the need for 20 apps to do the same things is not only inefficient, it makes the fight over apps even more laughable to begin with.

If the cloud is an advantage then Microsoft needs to communicate that, as I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Google and Apple have the cloud too and I'm unaware of anything that Windows Phone's cloud implementation does better than the competition, certainly not anything that would shift devices.
 

Everyone keeps saying WP is severely lacking, but no one lists what? I get the apps are lacking. That's a real and serious problem for WP. But what about the OS is lacking? Is it lacking anything anyone actually cares about? If you have all the apps you personally want, is it "lacking"?

You need to look at it the other way. What does Windows Phone do better than the competition? Its app store isn't better; its developer support isn't better; its feature support isn't better; its hardware isn't better. Plus, he points out in the review the apps that are missing.

 

Consumers are already invested in iOS or Android - they've bought apps, they've synchronised all their contacts, they've got used to the interface, etc. In order to move to Windows Phone it needs to be obviously better than the competition and that's simply not the case, something supported by Windows Phone's small and declining market share.

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Pas

all i can say is i've owned quite a few iphones in the past and my current lumia 1520 is the best phone i've ever had. i refuse to use any android device. people out there who degrade windows phones obviously have never used one for longer than a few hours. i admit using the os requires a bit of a learning curve but after a couple of days it's great. granted, the number of apps is lower than there is for ios and droid but how many weather and calculator apps do i need? every single app or game i used on my iphones i now have the same app or equivalent on my 1520.

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ctebah

you guys keep grouping ios with android when criticizing windows phone. iPhone is soon about to be neighbors with windows phone in the sub 10% marketshare category. almost there, just need less than 2% and they are there.

but just off the top of my head, some edge windows phone posseses over android

runs faster and smoother

is more secure

has better battery life

is cheaper for OEMs

updates bypassing carriers

universal apps

has a phone called yezz billy

 

 

Yes but WP has to triple its current base for it to be anywhere close.  Not happening any time soon.

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Dot Matrix

Only after releasing it and being threatened with legal consequences. Microsoft knew when it was writing the app that it broke the Youtube T&C, yet it went ahead with it anyway. MS thinks it deserves special treatment like we're back in the 90's and it still dominates the computing world. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we're not, and it doesn't. MS needs to abide by the terms and conditions of third party services or not produce an app at all.

HTML5 is the standard third party API for Youtube. Any app that doesn't use it is breaking the terms and conditions of the service.

Google can use any API's it wants because it owns the service and app on Android and iOS. Microsoft can't and must use the same third party API as everyone else.

No, MS was being a "jerk" because of its sense of entitlement and the expectation of special treatment in a world it no longer dominates. It's about time Microsoft got knocked down a peg or two :D

They blocked IE because it isn't standards compliant. In fact, Microsoft even changed the agent string so it now impersonates webkit browsers like Chromium, even though it doesn't fully support HTML5 properly. IE has always lagged behind other browsers.

IE is standards compliant. Where have you been?

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HawkMan

holy crap.  this review highlight all that is wrong with WP

 

i love windows.... but they just did not create an appealing OS for phone.  

was it their fault, or the fact they were too late, and too sucky, so no developer support...

 

does not matter.  actually, i am kidding... MS messed up big. unfortunately..  

i was thinking of buying WP for the longest time.  but it was just never appealing overall.

 

 

i WOULD LOVE TO LOVE WP.   but overall, it still does not provide what i expect of it (not just apps... OS functionality)

 

I've moved from Android to WP and my GF uses iPhone. There is no needed basic functionality needed in WP that other mobile OS' have.  The only complaint is the lack of apps. but if that was a real argument then iOS would be the only choice anyway since the majority of apps I would be interested in are only on iOS or better on iOS anyway.  As for OS fucntionality I find it has better or as good as the other two. 

They blocked IE because it isn't standards compliant. In fact, Microsoft even changed the agent string so it now impersonates webkit browsers like Chromium, even though it doesn't fully support HTML5 properly. IE has always lagged behind other browsers.

 

Chrome doesn't fully support HTML5. in fact NO browser does so... oops. 

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neo158

IE is standards compliant. Where have you been?

simplezz is from an alternate 1990s where IE5 is still the dominant browser :p

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siah1214

simplezz is from an alternate 1990s where IE5 is still the dominant browser :p

Microsoft could release a free cure to ebola and cancer and simplezz would still find a reason to whinge and moan about it.  Not going to waste my time on his drivel.

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Dashel

My main reasons for not using WP, basic functionality like repeat message notifications are missing. On Android, I can replace the stock messaging app with something like GoSMS that gives me multitude of features and customizations.

 

Customizations in general are limited on WP, making folders on what is an otherwise cluttered "start" screen is a really inefficient way of viewing information. On Android, you can make your homescreenS (yes, plural), any way you want with widgets that provide actual information/content without delving into a specific app.

 

On Android, if the OS is lacking something, you have actual first party apps or even an excellent third party app selection. People want apps, and you guys are thinking about app selection from an enthusiast perspective. That ultimately is the bottom line, because you can have the best phone hardware but without good software, you're not getting anywhere. 

 

Final points, no one is wrong - everyone has their needs on what a platform should/shouldn't do, hence why everyone uses different phones. Most importantly, at the end of the day, it's just a phone OS, and life is way too short to be arguing about which OS/product is better, so enjoy what you use!

 

The customizations you are looking for are so niche that its not even worth bringing up.  Inefficient way of viewing info?  Its silly to say that then follow it up with the example of widgets/homescreens which isn't even in the same league as Metro.  Maybe if their first party apps didn't blow so badly they wouldn't have to keep paying for alternatives.  More efficient?  Not so much.

 

Look at the top 100 app list for Android right now, its a joke, just less so than the ###### they preinstall.  As is the corresponding widget list.  I find it hilarious that you guys fixate so over apps and 'customization'.

 

Please, leave the boohoo enjoy what you use BS at the door as long as you tow the notion that emphasis on app selection isn't an (very questionable use of) enthusiast perspective.

You do realise he uses an iPhone, right? Plus there's no need for the personal attack - it doesn't do anything to support your position.

 
If the cloud is an advantage then Microsoft needs to communicate that, as I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Google and Apple have the cloud too and I'm unaware of anything that Windows Phone's cloud implementation does better than the competition, certainly not anything that would shift devices.
 

You need to look at it the other way. What does Windows Phone do better than the competition? Its app store isn't better; its developer support isn't better; its feature support isn't better; its hardware isn't better. Plus, he points out in the review the apps that are missing.

 

The minute he uploaded this trash to YouTube and proclaimed himself a 'tech enthusiast' (lulz) he deserves all the personal attacks that come for such hubris.  The issue is his choice of cloud and his lack of foresight on how that works with devices not in the fiefdoms these same yahoos are content with.

 

If you can't tell the huge differences between Google and Apple's clouds, how can you possibly compare to what MS has created?  Again, the things you place importance on are molehills.  The hardware is equal or better, features are equal or better, its clearly a better enterprise device, and you just repeated 'apps' twice, which is a minor issue.  Plus it has meaningful personalization, not a need for radical customization.

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tsupersonic

The customizations you are looking for are so niche that its not even worth bringing up.  Inefficient way of viewing info?  Its silly to say that then follow it up with the example of widgets/homescreens which isn't even in the same league as Metro.  Maybe if their first party apps didn't blow so badly they wouldn't have to keep paying for alternatives.  More efficient?  Not so much.

 

Look at the top 100 app list for Android right now, its a joke, just less so than the ###### they preinstall.  As is the corresponding widget list.  I find it hilarious that you guys fixate so over apps and 'customization'.

 

Please, leave the boohoo enjoy what you use BS at the door as long as you tow the notion that emphasis on app selection isn't an (very questionable use of) enthusiast perspective.

A typical fanboy post, very defensive. You clearly don't understand that the simple fact of everyone wants something different from their smartphones and there is no platform that fits everyone needs... I use iOS, where there is no customization beyond creating folders and changing the wallpaper, similar to WP customization - locked down. On Android, you can change anything from the launcher to how the icons look to adding widgets, basically limitless customization. I see advantages to both UI sides, so this is subjective. Yes, I do find Metro/iOS to have an inefficient UI. A quick count of how many emails I have or how many messages I received is absolutely useless at a very quick glance. Having a scrollable widget that shows me the emails, and phone calls/messages is much more useful information - all this is in the notification bar also. If I don't have to go into the app, it's saving me time, therefore efficient. 

 

First party Android apps don't blow. Hell, developers care enough about the platform to make it even available, which is not even true for WP, which is absolutely disappointing from both third party developers and Microsoft. Why would developers create apps. for a platform that doesn't have a big market share? I'm talking about average consumers caring for all these apps. 

 

Yes, enjoy what you use. My requirements are a stable OS (which all three are), with plenty of actual apps that people want to use (right now that's not WP's strong suit). We use different products, so what? Seriously don't get so overly defensive, it's just a phone. 

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Dashel

We aren't talking about universal things everyone needs in a smartphone.  We are talking about a review that cites it as good for 'no one' simply because he feels it doesn't fit people's needs - i.e. his, ex-MS developers, or whatever gadget dorks feel is a zomgz deal breaker.

 

Everyone can be well served by WP is the message he isn't hearing because he is too busy looking for an app for that.

 

Why is going into an app such a chore for you?  Can you not multi-task between the two apps easily?  WP has rough edges here and there, but never have I thought, damn, I really don't want to take the time to open mail to read mail.

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Mr. Gibs

The funny thing is a lot of the apps people want are made by developers other than the company who's service they want to use. Because the company doesn't care enough to write an app for WP, so someone else has to do it for them.

And those apps are usually better than the developers official apps (even their iOS and Android versions)
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babyHacker

Say what you want, at least this guy used it extensively.A lot of reviewers (especially for Windows 8) use the product very little and decide they hate it.

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FloatingFatMan

I've moved from Android to WP and my GF uses iPhone. There is no needed basic functionality needed in WP that other mobile OS' have.  The only complaint is the lack of apps. but if that was a real argument then iOS would be the only choice anyway since the majority of apps I would be interested in are only on iOS or better on iOS anyway.  As for OS fucntionality I find it has better or as good as the other two. 

 

Chrome doesn't fully support HTML5. in fact NO browser does so... oops. 

 

 

Actually, there is ONE basic feature in Android that WP doesn't have, and I'm sorely missing it since I got my 930 a few weeks ago.  Individual control over Bluetooth profiles.  On Android, you can decide what profiles connect to what services on your BT devices, which meant I could disable the audio profile to my car's handfree kit and keep the headset connection.  This stops voice guidance on the satnav from interfering with my car stereo and only phone calls can cut in.

 

On WP, there's no way to do this, so every single sound the phone makes cuts out my stereo for several seconds at a time, which is extremely irritating.

 

So far though, that's the only thing I'm really missing. For everything else, there are equivalent apps, or you just don't need an app (YouTube is a case in point here. Why are people clamoring for an app when the website goes into mobile mode on IE11? It works perfectly).

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      Yet another somewhat interesting (and overdue) step is the availability of Snipping Tool and Paint in the Microsoft Store. The latter is especially surprising given that at one point Microsoft really wanted folks to transition to Paint 3D. That seems to no longer be the case.

      For something that’s going to be here a little sooner than the above, feel free to check out our run-down of what’s coming in Windows 10 version 21H1.

      Age of Empires IV


      Arguably the biggest gaming news of the week was the long-awaited gameplay reveal for Age of Empires IV. As part of a bigger celebration of the venerable RTS series, Microsoft took the wraps off a couple new civilizations for the forthcoming game, as well as an extended gameplay look, new mechanics, and perhaps more importantly, a release window: fall 2021.

      The good news didn’t stop there, as the firm also unveiled that Age of Empires II and III Definitive Editions are set to get new expansions – both free and paid -, including a new U.S. civilization for AoE III, and much more.

      On the update front, Halo: MCC Season 6 is now available, Arkane’s Deathloop has been hit with another delay, moving its release date to September 14, and the ever-present Deals with Gold have now been enhanced thanks to the Spring Sale. Games on offer include Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Wreckfest, We Happy Few, and more.

      Last but not least, there is Game Pass news to discuss too, as NHL 21, GTA V, Zombie Army 4, and more are headed for the subscription. Perhaps most surprising of all, MLB The Show 21, a PlayStation Studios-published title, is also coming to Game Pass on launch day, April 20.

      Surface updates


      It’s been a relatively busy week in terms of Surface news, with a number of models in the range getting firmware updates and other various quality of life improvements.

      To start, there’s the Surface Book 2, the graphics performance of which has been enhanced by its latest set of updates, while the Surface Studio 2 has received more general enhancements targeting security and system stability.

      Flipping over to the Pro range, the Surface Pro 6 also received some stability-improving updates, with the Pro 7 nabbing some camera experience tweaks thanks to its new updates. The latter was also featured in the company’s most recent ad, taking aim at the iPad Pro’s heavy keyboard.

      Finally, the Surface Laptop 4 is set to debut April 27 as per a new leak, with the new models offering both Intel and AMD CPUs in the 13.5 and 15-inch form factors. Pricing starts at €1,499 for the Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD version of the 13.5-inch model and €1,149 for the entry-level Ryzen 5 version, which comes with half the storage space. On the 15-inch side, the Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD version will set you back €1,999, while the entry-level Ryzen 7 version comes in at €1,499.

      The leak above does hold some water as drivers and firmware updates for the Surface Laptop 4 have already showed up on Microsoft’s website.

      Dev channel
      Defender for Endpoint is now GA for Windows 10 on ARM devices. A new sharing experience for Power BI will be launched soon. Switching to things already available, Power BI Premium and Pro now have object-level security capabilities. A new Cloud Services model is now available in Azure. Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2021 release wave 1 is now live. SQL Server Big Data Clusters CU10 has brought a number of new capabilities. Microsoft has highlighted a number of new Microsoft 365 features for consumers. Edge Dev build 91.0.845.2 is now out, bringing minor improvements. LinkedIn has denied reports of a data breach affecting 500 million users. You will soon be able to earn Microsoft Rewards points by using Microsoft Search. OneDrive apps on Android and iOS have gotten a host of new features, with the Windows sync client gaining 64-bit support. Logging off
      To end, we’ll take a look at Microsoft’s explanation for last week’s Azure outage.



      As you may remember, there was a pretty serious Azure outage on April 1, which affected services ranging from Xbox Live to Office 365.

      While the company initially released a brief explanation as to why this had happened, pointing to DNS issues, it has now provided a more detailed explanation.

      As per the company, there was an unusual surge in Azure DNS queries from all over the world, which should have been mitigated via “layers of caches and traffic shaping”. However, due to an error in the Azure DNS service code, this entire operation was made less efficient.

      Though the issues started at 9:21PM UTC, by 10PM Microsoft’s cloud services had been fixed. As a result of this, the company has fixed the aforementioned DNS code bug and has updated the logic on its mitigation systems to prevent future excessive DNS retries, which were the cause of this massive outage.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.



      If you’d like to get a daily digest of news from Neowin, we now have a Newsletter you can sign up to either via the ‘Get our newsletter’ widget in the sidebar, or this link.

    • By Rich Woods
      Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium review: The new best convertible
      by Rich Woods

      When Lenovo refreshed its ThinkPad X1 family back in January, it added a new ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga to its lineup. Honestly, at the time, I didn't know that I should be so excited about it. Sure, it's a ThinkPad X1 Yoga but with titanium materials and a 3:2 screen, right?

      But it's so much more than that. This thing is an absolute delight and has quickly become my favorite convertible. In fact, this is part of a larger family of devices from Lenovo that includes the new ThinkPad X1 Nano and the ThinkPad X12 Detachable. For some reason, Lenovo is going all-in on PCs that are just impossibly light.

      I've actually been using the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga for about a month and a half now. Lenovo was kind enough to send me a pre-production unit super-early and I've just fallen in love with it. Now that the actual production review unit is here and I can actually write about my experiences, I'm absolutely ready to tell that story.

      Specs
      CPU Intel Core i7-1180G7 Graphics Intel Iris Xe Display 13.5" QHD (2256 x 1504) IPS, Anti-Reflective, Anti-Smudge, Touchscreen with Dolby Vision, 201 PPI, 450 nits, 100% sRGB Body 11.5x297.5x232.7mm (0.45x11.71x9.16"), 1.15kg (2.54lbs) Memory 16GB LPDDR4X 4267MHz (soldered) Storage 1TB PCIe SSD Battery Integrated Li-Polymer 44.5Wh Ports (2) USB 4 Type-C with Intel Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort, Data Transfer, Power Delivery)
      (1) Headphone / mic combo

      Connectivity WLAN: Intel WiFi 6 AX201 802.11AX (2 x 2) & Bluetooth 5.1 with vPro Camera Hybrid infrared (IR) / 720p HD with webcam privacy shutter Audio (2) 2W speakers
      Dolby Atmos Speaker System
      4 x 360-degree mics

      Input 6-row, spill-resistant, multimedia Fn keys with Unified Communications controls
      TrackPoint pointing device and Mylar surface multi-touch touchpad
      Lenovo Precision Pen, magnetically attached to the system Material Titanium + carbon fiber (top), magnesium-aluminium (bottom) Color Titanium OS Windows 10 Pro Price $2,429.40
      This is the specced out model that Lenovo sent me, and with the discounts on Lenovo.com, which fluctuate, the price is $2,429.40. It starts at $1,684.99.

      Day one
      Design
      One of the first things that stood out to me when I took the X1 Titanium out of the box is the striking titanium-colored design. This is most definitely not just another silver laptop. The titanium lid is textured, the even the ThinkPad logo is unlike anything else in the lineup. It's embossed in the lid without any additional coloring, rather than the regular glossy logo seen on most ThinkPad X1 units. Below that is the X1 branding.



      Of course, the second thing that I noticed is just how thin and light it is. It weighs in at 2.54lbs, whereas the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is just under three pounds and made out of aluminum. This is just designed differently. If you want, you can think of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga as a laptop that's designed so it can be turned into a tablet, and you can think of the X1 Titanium as something that's really meant to be more primarily a tablet.

      In fact, in using this device as a tablet, I found it to be more comfortable than probably any 360-degree convertible that I've ever used. It just sort of feels natural. A lot of convertibles actually feel hard to use because for one thing, they're heavy. When you add the keys getting in the way of your fingers on the back, it gets awkward. Lenovo actually used to have a feature called the Lift and Lock Keyboard on its convertibles that would make the keys retract so they'd be flush with the deck, but that's way too much to ask for on a machine this thin and light.

      It's too much to ask for because, like the ThinkPad X1 Nano that I already reviewed, this is a marvel of engineering. It's so insanely thin and light but without making any kind of meaningful compromises.



      One thing that it's missing is USB Type-A, a key reason that this wouldn't be ready to replace the X1 Yoga in the lineup. This is also the case on the ThinkPad X1 Nano, the ThinkPad X12 Detachable, and the ThinkPad X1 Fold, and I'm really happy to see Lenovo not forcing the legacy port on its products. Don't get me wrong. I know businesses need it, and that's why it's still in all of the mainstream products, the X1 Carbon, and the X1 Yoga. But when making cool and innovative new products, Lenovo isn't letting USB Type-A hold it back like Microsoft is with its Surface Pro tablets.

      The two USB ports that are there are both Thunderbolt 4, and that's good news. That means that on a single port, you can connect up to two 4K monitors, and believe me, I absolutely did just that. And if it strikes you to do so, you can connect an external GPU on the other one and turn this super-portable PC into a gaming rig.



      On the right side, there's just a power button and a 3.5mm audio jack.

      I truly love the design of this machine. Not only is it a great laptop that's super-portable, but it also feels more comfortable at being a tablet than a lot of actual Windows tablets that I've used.

      One thing that's lacking, however, is proper pen storage. This is the first ThinkPad convertible that I've used that doesn't have a built-in pen garage. You can magnetically attach the pen to the side of the screen, and the magnet isn't even particularly strong. I'm not a fan of that method, since it easily falls off in my bag. Still, I understand the compromise, since this is such a thin PC.

      3:2 display
      The Lenovo ThinkPad Titanium Yoga includes a 13.5-inch 2,256x1,504 display, giving it a 3:2 aspect ratio. Indeed, we're taller screens are a trend that we're seeing across the industry. 16:10 laptops are becoming common, even in ThinkPads, and 3:2 was an aspect ratio first seen on Microsoft Surface PCs. It's taller, giving it a larger surface area, so we're seeing it in PCs like this one and HP's Spectre x360 14.



      In fact, it's notable that Lenovo used a 16:10 display on the ThinkPad X1 Nano and it used a 3:2 display for the ThinkPad X1 Titanium. Taller displays are better for using as a tablet, while wider displays can, in my experience, be better for clamshell laptops because they're better at split-screen apps. There are a lot of smart decisions made here.



      It also supports 450-nit brightness, which I really appreciate. I've seen a lot of PCs that are just 300 nits or so, and they always come up short. At 450 nits, you can use it outdoors, and things are more vibrant. Also helping with that is the Dolby Vision HDR support, which will really make your streaming content pop.

      Obviously, it does support pen input, and it feels really natural to write on the glass with the pen. I spent a lot of time with this in OneNote and Microsoft Whiteboard, and I kind of love it.



      The one thing I don't really love about the screen is the bezels. The top and bottom bezels are really big. The top bezel fits a webcam and an IR camera, and sadly the webcam is only 720p in the era of working from home. But back to the bezel size, when you take the tall 3:2 display and the big top and bottom bezels, it feels like the laptop is almost square; it's not of course, at 297.5x232.7mm.



      The ThinkPad X1 Titanium has a 2W speaker on either side of the keyboard, which are tuned with Dolby Atmos. Honestly, it's a lot better than what I'd expect from a laptop of this design. The sound is pretty clear, and the volume can get comfortably loud; not uncomfortably loud though.

      Keyboard and touchpad
      The keyboard on the X1 Titanium is the same as the one on the X1 Nano, and that's a good thing. It's shallower than the ones found on say, the X1 Carbon, as this is 1.3mm instead of 1.5mm. The shallower keys, combined with the premium experience that ThinkPads always offer from keyboards, really gives it an entirely new feel. Let's face it; no one else is putting 1.5mm keys in laptops anymore, so this feels more modern.



      I'm absolutely in love with this keyboard on here. But while the keys feel more modern since they're more shallow, one thing that absolutely does not feel modern is the TrackPoint.



      Yes, that little red nub that can control the pointer is a relic from the days when Windows touchpads were terrible, but Lenovo won't let it go. Keep in mind that the TrackPoint does have its die-hard fans, so it would be a tough thing to kill off. Still, if you don't like it, you can ignore it like I do.



      Naturally, it uses a Microsoft Precision touchpad, and those physical buttons at the top are for use with the TrackPoint, although you can use them with either one. While I'd love to focus on the silver color of the touchpad and buttons instead of the usual black, I have to talk about how this is a haptic touchpad.

      Indeed, if you power this machine down, you'll see that the touchpad doesn't move. The good news is that this one is actually good. Lenovo had a phenomenal laptop with the consumer-focused flagship Yoga 9i, but the haptic touchpad on that one was awful. This one is much better, as it's much more capable of handling complex touch scenarios that mechanical touchpads can do.

      For example, if you press on a touchpad and drag something, it's a common interaction to use a second finger to continue dragging the item once you've run out of space on the touchpad. Many haptic touchpads, such as the one on the Yoga 9i are really bad at this. I didn't have this issue with the X1 Titanium, and that's super-important. If you're going to swap out such an important component for something new, that new component can't be almost as good. The user has to not feel as though there's a sacrifice that's been made, and the X1 Titanium accomplishes that.

      Performance and battery life
      This is something that I've already talked about in my reviews of the ThinkPad X1 Nano and the ThinkPad X12 Detachable, since all three of these are part of a new family from Lenovo. The performance is fantastic for productivity, and just a year ago, something like this would be impossible.

      The processor that's under the hood here is an Intel Core i7-1180G7, a quad-core chip from the Tiger Lake family. But this is the part of the Tiger Lake family that's the successor to the Y-series, which was known as Core M even before that. If you've ever heard of Y-series or Core M, you've probably not heard anything good. Those chips were great for producing improbably thin PCs, but there were big compromises to be made in performance.

      That's not so much the case anymore. Sure, you're not getting as much power as you'd get from a Core i7-1185G7, but there have been some big improvements since Y-series was a thing. Note that 10th-gen Y-series was supposed to be pretty good, with a higher TDP, Iris Plus Graphics, and double the cores, but I don't think it ever shipped on Windows PCs. Now, Tiger Lake is here with Iris Xe graphics.



      This is really good. The key is that I don't feel like it's lacking. If you used Amber Lake, which was the last Y-series to ship in most products, it was hard to not feel like you're missing something. You'd feel limited, constantly knowing that if you pushed your PC too far, it wasn't going to do what you wanted to.

      With the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, that's not an issue. If you want to edit videos in Photoshop, you totally can, or you can do some light video editing in Premiere Pro, something that I wouldn't have dreamed of with Amber Lake. It's fantastic.

      Battery life is pretty great too. I easily brought the screen brightness down to 33% for indoor use, and put the power slider on one notch above battery saver. Getting eight hours of use was a breeze. It's like this thing runs on magic, and I love it.

      For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, Geekbench 5, and Cinebench.

      ThinkPad X1 Titanium
      Core i7-1180G7 ThinkPad X12 Detachable
      Core i5-1130G7 Acer Swift 7
      Core i7-8500Y ThinkBook 14s Yoga
      Core i7-1165G7 PCMark 8: Home 3,851 3,967 2,440 3,851 PCMark 8: Creative 4,264 4,338 2,427 4,861 PCMark 8: Work 3,686 3,798 2,732 4,083 PCMark 10 4,488 4,286 2,775 5,105 Geekbench 5 1,333 / 4,055 1,299 / 4,446 1,534 / 4,861 Cinebench 1,127 / 2,597 1,147 / 2,860 1,455 / 4,820
      Conclusion
      Just in case I haven't expressed this enough, I love this PC. It's my new favorite. It's super-portable without making compromises, and that makes it a real pleasure. In fact, aside from missing a pen garage, which would be impossible on something like this anyway, the only thing I'd improve is the bezel size to make the footprint even smaller than it is.



      The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga has really become my go-to PC for all of my needs. It's a laptop when I'm on the go, it's a whiteboard for when I'm brainstorming, it connects to my monitors for when I'm in my home office, and it has a pretty display for streaming.

      I also just appreciate how much engineering went into it. And I know that part of it is Lenovo engineering, while the other part is that Intel is finally making CPUs that can allow for this kind of stuff to happen.

      If you want to check it out on Lenovo.com, you can find it here. Still, I hope that this year brings a ton of PCs from a variety of OEMs that are using these chips to make thin and light PCs. It should be super interesting.