For this week's Brian & Gabe (& Jack) LIVE, we decided to push the show back a few hours to give the West Coast folks a fighting chance to catch it live. (That's code for saying that Brian & Jack felt that they would be more interesting if the show wasn't first thing in the morning for them.
For this week's Brian & Gabe (& Jack) LIVE, we decided to push the show back a few hours to give the West Coast folks a fighting chance to catch it live. (That's code for saying that Brian & Jack felt that they would be more interesting if the show wasn't first thing in the morning for them.)
Click image above to watch the show!
Discussed in today's show:
- Shawn's thin client article and why no one will want to use thin clients for ten years, even though they do last that long.
- EMC VFCache, and how it compares to other SSD solutions, including Nutanix. (We want to talk to somebody at EMC about this, so if anybody is out there, drop us a line!)
- Gabe recounts our visit to OnLive, and the community's speculation about how it could be licensed.
- Brian details why he's upset with Microsoft and the MVP program. (Hint: OnLive is doing something unfair with licensing, and Microsoft is keeping quiet.)
- Brian discusses RemoteFX in Windows 8 and why it's great.
See you again next week at our new 11AM Pacific / 2PM East time!
Brian: Good morning and good late afternoon on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. You’re listening to Brian and Gabe.
Gabe: Where is it late afternoon?
Brian: It’s late afternoon on Europe.
Gabe: I believe they call that night.
Brian: Okay. So it’s night, and it’s mid afternoon. Well, there’s got to be an island somewhere between New York and France.
Jack: In the Azores.
Gabe: Yeah, there you go, in the Azores. Good job, Jack. Jack is our geography guy.
Brian: With Geography Beat. So this week, it’s just the three of us this week to sort of discuss everything we skipped last week. And we’re first now with our new timeslot, which for me being on the West Coast is much, much better than how it was before.
Jack: I feel marginally more alert.
Gabe: I tell you what, I was used to doing this at 10:00 in the morning my time, Central time. And when we did that Peter Bloom cast when I was in San Francisco, that sucks, man. I can’t believe that we’ve been doing it like this this whole time, so I’m 100 percent behind this.
Brian: So I figure what we could kind of do is we’ve been writing about a lot of stuff the past few weeks. One of the things that we did, and I don’t know if anyone noticed, since I guess it was like our New Year’s resolution, we started having a sort of writing schedule.
Gabe: Starting the third week of the year.
Brian: Yeah. Oh, did we only start a few weeks ago? I can’t remember.
Gabe: Yeah, yeah. We phoned in the first couple.
Brian: The bottom line is we’re writing stuff every day. And so that means that it’s definitely – I mean, yeah. Because before, I know we were writing a few things here and there. But writing stuff every day is good for traffic, I guess, and there are lots to talk about. And we have an actually editorial calendar and everything now. So –
Gabe: It’s good when there’s a lot to talk about. We’ll see what happens come July when things are a little lean.
Brian: We’ve still got a couple hundred posts in the list of sort of ideas to write about. So but that also means that when we do these shows one we apart, when we go back and look at the stuff from last week, there’s actually a lot of articles we did in the last week that we can talk about.
Gabe: We should share that list someday with the community just so they can see what’s on it because some of that stuff is like five years old. I swear to God, there’s something in there about Bear Paw.
Jack: That’s some really ancient stuff. We need to purge it.
Brian: Let’s take a survey. Justin, take that as an action item to make a survey of the 200 items we have on our list to talk about. So let’s just kind of look at what we were talking about this week. And I guess we can sort of start off. We’ll start how about with Shawn’s article. So I think a lot of people know that Shawn – probably everyone knows Shawn Bass. He’s nine time BriForum speaker. He is still teaching the independent training classes that we sort of did back before we joined Tech Target. Shawn was teaching those classes back then, he’s still doing that. And you can tell things Microsoft MVP, etc.
And he starting blogging for us this year. So I think the first two blog posts he did, his first one did like 4,000 views in the first day, which I don’t think I’ve ever had a blog post that did 4,000 views in the first day. So his blogs have been really, really popular. He’s done two posts so far.
Gabe: And he writes like he speaks. There’s as many words crammed into a Shawn Bass article as there are in a presentation I think. But they’re all awesome, which is just like a Shawn Bass presentation.
Brian: Well, we were joking because his first article was like 4,000 words long, which is about twice as long as typical articles that I write. Well, typical like –
Jack: It’s one word per page view.
Brian: Twice as long as my maximum. But the thing is with Shawn is he – so the article was really long on paper. But if you listen to how fast that guy talks, like hey, my article is 10 minutes, his article is 10 minutes. It’s just that his has twice as many words in the thing.
Gabe: Should use a smaller font.
Brian: But so Shawn’s article this week was why theme clients and zero clients have not lived up to the last PC you’ll ever buy hype. And so the one thing that I read in this article that he sorted pointed out, I mean, there’s all the hype about the power consumption, meaning time between failure, and all that kind of stuff. But one thing that I didn’t really think about, which I’d like to point out, was that Linux theme clients are the cheap ones. The experience on Linux theme clients is really poor also. So for a lot of people, to get the real – if you want the best RDP and best HT experience, then you have to have a Windows theme client.
And so he got into the media remoting and the GDI primitives remoting and how you can send GDI primitive to Windows client, but if they’re not Windows clients, then you have to send the whole image, which is going to lead to worse performance. And I mean, I feel like these are good points because if you’re having Windows in your theme client, and now we’re getting to the whole thing we talked about before, which is you’ve got theme clients that are – you’ve got to add it to the domain and have antivirus on them and security patches and all that sort of stuff.
Jack: Yeah. Can you guys hear me all right because I can barely hear you? But if you can hear me, I can weigh in on stuff.
Brian: Yeah. No problem. But I think Justin can up the volume we send you.
Jack: Oh, no, no. It’s not a volume thing, it’s a crappy Skype thing.
Brian: Oh. Well, we can hear you just fine.
Jack: Yeah. So what he mentions in there is that theme clients aren’t future proof. And so you mentioned the meantime between failure. And all of that really holds true. The theme client you bought 10 years ago probably still works today. But it probably hasn’t kept up with the times. I mean, if you’re still using the same solution you bought 10 years ago when you bought that theme client, have at it. I’m sure that that thing is just peachy for you. But you’ve probably upgraded your platform. Your users and their requirements have probably grown as time goes by.
You probably need to do all sorts of extra multimedia redirection and things like that that the clients just weren’t designed for back then. So expecting a theme client when you buy it to last for seven years or even five years really, let alone nine or ten, is just kind of crazy unless you don’t ever plan on upgrading your environment that you’re actually accessing. So and I think in there, he says that they have about the same life span as a PC. Maybe an extra year or so. But that’s about all you can expect to get out of it.
Brian: That’s true because at a bare minimum, the ports and just the fact that yeah, that theme client that I had five years ago still works great.
Jack: Yeah, right. Did our first wind terms ever – did they even have USB ports?
Brian: Right. They did not. And like right. It’s got one display and it’s VGA. So I mean, I can display one VGA awesome right now in the theme client just as well as – but we don’t know. Although the new theme clients have a USB3 and which I think they almost do on purpose just so they can make a shorter lifespan.
Jack: Yeah. And then four years from now when USB4 is out and these – well, they may still be functioning, they won’t have a USB4 and whatever new cool stuff comes out. And this is why I wasn’t mad when your cousin got drunk at a party that we had and peed all over my wind term because it was already obsolete anyway, so I didn’t get mad that he destroyed it.
Brian: Right. By the way, first of all, the story is true. Secondly, it was one of the ones, remember, it was integrated. So it was the CRT.
Jack: It was the all in one, yeah.
Brian: The glass CRT monitor that had a theme client built into it.
Jack: Which you could actually – it had thumb screws on it, so you could unscrew and pull out the theme client part and replace that alone if the theme client part went bad so you didn’t have to get a whole new all in one unit.
Brian: So it wasn’t really all in one. It might as well have been two zip ties because the thing is there’s so much room inside these things. Like the CRT, the whole back is just protecting the ion gun or whatever. So why not just like – you can fit a full computer inside the CRT. You don’t need to limit it to just the theme client.
Gabe: I think that’s called an IMAC.
Jack: Yeah. Really. I think that’s true. I think that the wind term stand alone terminals that you could buy also had the same – you could actually pull those guts out and put them into that all in one if you wanted to.
Brian: They just had clear frames, clear shells in those days and showed the insides instead of – they had theme clients built into keyboards back in the day, too. So like the keyboard had a VGA port on it.
Jack: And now they’re built into wall outlets and everything. They’ve been building theme clients into things for 15 years. That’s their motto.
Gabe: The people out there listening can’t see, but during the last five minutes of this conversation about crazy them clients, I’ve been leaning back from the microphone and just cracking up.
Brian: You’re allowed to crack up in the microphone. Hey, but they can see because we have a camera. So we’re trying something new. We’re not doing live streaming because I don’t trust – our company told us we had a megabits of bandwidth, but I think that’s hogwash. But we are recording ourselves, and we’ll pop that into YouTube. So we’ll see. I don’t know if there’s any value in looking at us about this kind of stuff.
Gabe: Probably not.
Jack: I’m so used to not being looked at now for these radio shows, I mean, who knows. I promise that I don’t make a habit of picking my nose, even if I look like I do because I’m on the side here.
Brian: So if you used the video, you would see that I was Googling EMC VFCache. So one of the guests in the chat room asked EMC VF Cache versus Nutanix. What are your thoughts? And my first thought was I should Google and find out what EMC VF Cache is.
Jack: Can we actually see your screen in the video?
Brian: No. But you can definitely see me leaning away from the microphone and looking at the chat screen and then looking at my screen.
Jack: Oh, see when I look at the chat screen, I look directly at the camera. So it’s creepy. I’m watching you.
Brian: So the good news though is that – okay, so I found the EMC VF Cache thing, and to the person who wrote this, I read the article. It’s actually a search solidstatestorage.techtarget.com. I didn’t even know we had that site. I think we’re getting a little bit ridiculous with the amount of like –
Gabe: It’s a little to specialized.
Brian: Segmentation we have in these websites, yeah. Searchzenclientsolidstateonhp.techtarget.com. Oh, there’s a pop up banner, what do you know? So it appears that this EMC VF Cache things is just Solid State Storage because it talks about them competing against Fusion IO. And Fusion IO you know is basically like super fast as opposed to unlimited I Ops as you can. You pop into an existing machine or whatever. And so if that’s the case, then this is kind of an apples and oranges thing with Neutonics because Neutonics, their whole thing is that yes, they are using Solid State Storage.
But they’re really more about creating like a grid. So the Neutonics blade, it’s not really a blade, but they call it something like that, has processor and storage and everything in together. And you pop it into your enclosure. And then all of them kind of use all of each other. So it’s like raid but amongst servers and storage everywhere. So all the blocks that are written are written all over the place across all the multiple different nodes in the thing. So if that’s the case, it’s kind of an apples and oranges different a little bit because VF Cache is just super fast local storage. But Neutonics uses Fusion IO actually for their super fast storage. But Neutonics is not just appliances with super fast storage.
Nutanix is actually changing the way storage works. And you don’t have stand. It replaces the stand. Every Neutonics node you plug in, it sort of grows the storage across it. As a matter of fact, I just got an email last night about it.
Jack: You know what? So VF Cache looks like it goes to this server level. So you know how Xiotech that has the flash storage and then the disk storage and can intelligently put them higher to manage stuff in the flash or in the SSD. It looks like EMC has the same kind of thing, except now this is taking that down to the server level. So instead of that efficiency residing in your storage system, it’s residing inside your servers on local disk now.
Brian: So maybe that is like Nutanix them.
Jack: But then you already said the grid architecture and things like that that go into it as well. So if the grid architecture doesn’t exist then it’s probably not like Neutonics. And in this case, is that – it’s more of a competitor Fusion IO.
Brian: Yeah, yeah. So speaking of Neutonics though, it’s timely because we went down there last year. Were you here yet, Jack? I don’t even know.
Brian: And they were talking about they were going to be doing a big test with like 50 nodes, thousands of desktops just to really stress test to find out what this thing can actually do. And they are done with that. So they were using that VM Ware RAWC tool. Remember, RAWC, that thing that Fred Scrimscheiner, is that his name? Schrimshaw? Scrimscheiner?
Gabe: Yeah. I know who you’re talking about.
Brian: The dude who made that thing up for VM Ware was at Brian Forum. He presented it last year.
Brian: Something like that. Sorry, bro. We thought what you spoke about was awesome. So they used VMware RAWC. And they were talking about they found some interesting design limits. Like they finally found some design limits, not just in their hardware, but in the way the whole architectures of desktop virtualization works because they’re able to give, again sort of close to unlimited bandwidth and IOPS and processing. But they also found some limits in their products, too. So they were presenting all this stuff at VMware Partner Exchange next week. But we’re going to actually get down there this week and sort of get pre-briefed from them.
So once they release this information to the partners next week, hopefully we can have a little bit of the inside story. So I’m going to do – so I’ll ask them, by the way, about the VF Cache. And on the chat, it says VF Cache will be in position with the other EMC products to offer the blended disk solution. So yeah. So that’s blended disk. It sounds like that is sort of a storage level thing like that Ziotech stuff that you were mentioning before.
Jack: There’s another comment in there. VFC 1234 gives us an update that says it’s being positioned with other EMC products to offer a blended disk solution. But our anonymous users are called Anon and then four digits. So VFC, I wonder if this is a VFC Cache person that’s actually listening.
Brian: Oh, right. Like they change their name, and they’re now called –
Brian: VFC Cache fan 101.
Jack: So there’s six people here. Two of them.
Brian: So but thank you for listening regardless. We have – yeah. So this we’ll talk to Neutonics I guess to find someone at EMC. I don’t know anyone at EMC, I don’t think. Do you, Gabe?
Gabe: No. I don’t think I do.
Brian: I’m pretty good at Net Apps, Ziotech, all these start ups, HP for storage, Dell. But I don’t think I know any EMC people. So if any EMC people are listening, shoot me a line. Brian@brianmadden.com and let’s talk about it. So moving on, let’s kind of look about some of the other stuff that we talked about this past week. Gabe, you’re wrote about OnLive, and you wrote this article called Like the OnLive Lose Ends where remind us of OnLive and then what are these loose ends?
Gabe: Yeah. I mean, it was a follow up, and I don’t think that we talked last week about the first On Live article that I wrote that kind of breaks down OnLive Desktop. OnLive Desktop, if you haven’t heard about it yet, it was kind of all the rage at CES, except they didn’t even have a booth there. They just announced it during CES and had some people at the show, right Jack?
Jack: Yeah. No booth.
Gabe: Right. So still though, it got a lot of press during and around CES, and they released it during then. And it’s actually a desktop service solution, but it’s aimed at consumers right now and not at businesses. On Live is known for their Cloud based gaming solution where they send you basically a theme client and a controller, and you can use that to stream games down to you from the Cloud. And it actually works really well if you have a wicked connection.
Brian: When we say stream, it’s like server based computing games. It’s not actually loading the game onto your device and running locally.
Gabe: Yeah. You’re right. I mean, stream more like you’re watching a moving streaming a video across, except they’ve enhanced that even more because not long do you have to watch this, but you also have to be able to interact with it in real time. So you’re right, it is more like a remoting protocol that we talk about every time in our normal lives. But that’s not how they refer to it or pitch it to the consumers that they’re talking to.
Brian: Right. Consumers don’t know what the hell a stream client – because they’ll be like oh, it’s just a remote desktop but for games. But yeah, they were old streaming stuff.
Brian: All right. Anyway.
Gabe: And it does go beyond that. I mean, the challenges that they have, we have enough issues alone remoting a YouTube video to people. So if they’re talking about 720P video and things like that, I mean, they do a pretty good job, especially with the real time back and forth data. Or the data that they have to send. Now, it requires a lot of bandwidth. And so we’re both quick to jump on it and say well, Citrix and VM Ware would do just fine, too, if you gave them 7 megs of bandwidth.
Brian: Yeah. Because they’re the ones that said this is the thing where the OnLive guy is saying like look how much better we are than Citrix, and then you read the requirements. And for 720P video, they require 5 megabits. So I’m like wait a minute. So 720P, that’s not even like desktops are higher than that. Desktops are higher than 1080P even. They’re like 1900 x 1200, and we care about every pixel, none of this like JPEG just like guess what those letters are over there and match them together.
Gabe: Yeah. Exactly.
Brian: And Citrix, VM Ware, Microsoft, we could deliver the shit out of an experience if we had 5 megabits also.
Gabe: Yeah, right. I mean, let’s do RemoteFX all the time.
Brian: Yeah. Done. Verizon and Comcast and all them would love you to do that, too.
Gabe: Well, and so that’s actually part of how they work. So Jack managed to score a contact with them. And when I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago, we actually went down to Paulo Alto an talked to them. We talked to their CEO, Steve Perlman. Before we even got into the meeting with this guy, we were told all about his virtues. He was on the team that invented Quick Time or invented the technology that became Quick Time. He is – he started the company – he started Web TV and then sold it to Microsoft. He started the company that created the animation techniques that won an Academy Award for Benjamin Button and all sorts of stuff. So this guy has got a track record.
Brian: But Gabe, I’ll add that we only learned about this track record about 5 minutes before our meeting. So we didn’t have time to process it. So we just sort of went in thinking that he was some guy.
Gabe: Yeah. I mean –
Brian: And then afterwards, it’s like oh, wait a second.
Gabe: I’m like wow, that dude fucking invented Quick Time, man. That’s pretty cool. But still like I don’t know. I mean, we talk to a lot of people so for me, I don’t get star struck that easily. But that guy was cool, and it would have been cool to bullshit with him about that kind of thing. But he probably has that happen all the time. But either way, so we went in there, and we were armed with a lot of questions. We want to know how it works, what’s the back end broker, are you using virtualization, what’s the protocol? But specifically, we wanted to learn how the hell is this licensed? I mean, they’re giving away Windows desktops with Microsoft office for free.
And so we want to know how they’re licensing it because it’s a Cloud based solution delivering Windows 7 to random people. And we know from talking to these other solutions out there like To Cloud and Ding Cloud and Desk Tone and these guys, we know from talking to them that that is a very hard thing to do from a Microsoft licensing standpoint. Technically speaking, it’s solved, but licensing, Microsoft makes it hard because they don’t have a service provider license for Windows 7.
Brian: So as a server provider, you can provide terminal server desktops, you can provide Office. But if you’re a service provider providing Windows 7 desktops, there’s no service provider licensing, so the company you’re providing desktops to, they have to own the licenses.
Brian: Which is why a DeskTone or ToCloud can do it because they’re working their commercial customers. But if they’re open to the whole world, how does On Live say hey, here’s your Windows desktop. Now, don’t use this unless you bought your own little SA.
Gabe: Right. And Desk Tone and To Cloud and those guys, they have to keep each organization’s desktops on dedicated hardware as well. So here’s your set of hosts that this is for this company, and here’s another set of hosts dedicated to another company. And so they don’t get to – if you have five hosts and you use 100 percent of 4 of them and 5 percent of the fifth one, that other 95 percent is wasted. They can’t use that to service another customer of theirs. So there’s all sorts of intricacies. It’s easy enough to work around, but Microsoft could make it easier.
Brian: I was going to say for those listening now to this, what Gabe is talking about, we’ll revisit this in the Why Brian Hates Microsoft segment of the show later.
Gabe: Wishes coming, yeah. I give it seven minutes. So okay. So we go in there, we’re armed with these questions. We were trying to be cool about it. We weren’t trying to be like investigative reports or that kind of thing. But –
Brian: We’re just bloggers not real journalists here just to be clear.
Jack: Gabe investigates.
Gabe: Yeah. We are whatever it took to get us into the meeting. So but we sit down. And I explain where we come from and what the things are that we think about. And he just launches into the demo that we’ve seen a bunch of times overall, which was showing us how games work, showing us how we can shadow games, things like that. And again, we saw this demo. And when he goes into the Windows desktop world, he shows us how look, I can do this. It’s on my iPad. Look, it’s Windows, that kind of a thing. And I stopped, and I’m like look, we saw this demo in 1999. Like this is – we get this concept. We’re fine there.
What I want to know is how – is there an instance of Windows running? Is it virtual? What we want to know, what people are asking me is how is this licensed? And he kept deferring and deferring and deferring to the point he actually said at one point that he wasn’t trying to be evasive. They just had it covered. They had a team of licensing guys. They’re in compliance. And that’s not the important thing. The really hard stuff is how cool this experience is or something to that effect. And so pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Brian: Who may or may not be doing illegal things.
Gabe: Who is that – Art Matrano, the magician that would do the crazy magic YouTube for Art Matrano. He was the guy that could make it look like he pulled his thumb apart, or he would put his hands together in a ring, and then pull them apart like they were those metal rings in real life. So it was just kind of like stage magic, really bad stage magic. Either way though, so this went on for quite a while. And I feel like I was kind of a dick kind of. I wouldn’t let up. I’m like come on, you have to tell us. Like how is this stuff licensed? There has to be – I mean, you have to know this. This is something that a company, to put out this solution, you would have to get this.
And if he knows, he didn’t let on. And I think he just doesn’t know. I’m not saying nobody knows at On Live. But I believe he does not know how it’s licensed. So that was kind of a disappointing thing to come out of there with, and that was the crux of the article that I wrote, Breaking Down the Solution. I explained how it worked. I explained how they get such good performance with the games because they do this JPEG kind of compression when they can’t keep up their UDP stream. They – since the game is moving all the time, they can compress that visually, and it doesn’t really have any effect on you as the gamer because the screen is moving around the entire time.
They also guarantee or they hedge their bets really with as far as the data connection goes to make sure that there’s as few hops as possible by doing what they call peering with all the major ISP’s in the country. So that way, my connection to their servers has as few hops as possible rather than just going through the public internet. I mean, it’s still the public internet. But rather than just trying your luck and hoping you get a good connection every time, they’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that you get the best possible one.
Brian: And that’s why there’s no On Live Australia or On Live in the middle of nowhere.
Gabe: Yeah. Right. And there is On Live in Europe and things like that. And as they roll that out, that’s fine. But yeah, that’s right. That’s why you can’t fire up – you can’t take your video game theme client with you to India and play. So we learned about some of the technical things about On Live. We learned about how they’re able to deliver the games and to deliver them well. But we also learned that they are very hung up on the fact that they feel that the games are the hardest thing in the world to remote. And so desktops should be no problem. And so if they can remote 720P high def they call video games, which as we learned since if the connection suffers, then it just starts to compress that image.
So if they can deliver these games, they think that they can deliver the desktops, too. And the overall experience is fine if your connection is perfect just like every other remote protocol out there. But once you start to introduce a little bit of latency or a little bit of packet loss, then things start to go downhill pretty quick, and you see how – you remember Geek Week how when we turned on the WAN emulator and all of a sudden, it sort of exposed how these protocols worked?
Brian: Oh yeah, because it’s kind of like debugging in slow motion sort of.
Gabe: Yeah. Exactly. And that’s how this is, too. If I go stand exactly right next to my wireless access point down in the basement, it works just fine. But if I get to the other side of my house, and I have a perfectly ample wireless connection to do absolutely everything else in the world, but it’s not quite good enough for On Live to use. And you can start to see, it almost looks like VM Ware. It looks like PC Override [inaudible] where it comes in really crappy and then kind of looks a little bit better and better and better. And that’s the indication of how the protocol works when it comes to games because it just doesn’t have to be perfect.
You don’t have to have a sharp line around a little letter B on your screen. But for me, as a desktop user, my Windows have to be crisp. My words have to look good. I have to be able to navigate in real time and not sit there and wait for it.
Brian: And I can’t fall down to standard def, which is like whatever 400 lines, which on the screen – so what’s the monitor equivalent? Like oh, we drop you down to 640 x 480. But don’t worry. We stretch it and expand it back to fill up your 24 inch monitor. What is that?
Gabe: Yeah. It just – I just don’t think that they translate. It makes sense, right? In my head, I believe that going down there. I believe that hell yeah, man. If they can do games that bad ass, they should be able to do desktops no problem. But it’s about the protocol, and it’s about how that works, how that translates to the desktop side. And like I said, I will fully give them – if you have a badass connection, if you’ve got 3 meg, 5 meg, no latency, that kind of a thing, you’re doing – it’s just fine.
Brian: And again, so is vanilla RDP out of the box. That’s also just fine on 3 megs with no latency.
Gabe: Absolutely. Yeah. And then the other thing to note is that they give you this – they show the iPad client. Right now, it’s only available as an iPad offering. The way – there’s no local keyboard. There’s no local options for anything. So it exclusively uses the Windows 7 touch interface, which actually I don’t know if anything else does that anything that we deal with day to day.
Brian: Yeah. Those HP computers you have in your kitchen, although –
Gabe: But I mean – but Citrix doesn’t. You couldn’t – Zen Desktop doesn’t have the Windows 7 touch interface, right? Like you can’t –
Brian: Oh, I think like remoting like – you mean like does it actually remote multi touch versus just remoting the mouse simulation?
Brian: Yeah. I think you’re right. So they remote multi touch.
Gabe: Yes, they have. You’re right.
Brian: On Live removes with multi touch.
Gabe: On Live, yeah. And so that was kind of neat. You can zoom and things like that. But again, it just – the fact is you can do that, it was fine. But I missed having a local keyboard because as much as – picture how much you hate typing in a virtual desktop with the native keyboard on your iPad. Now, imagine doing that with the built in Windows keyboard waiting to send your tap to the key having it come back to you. And in the meantime, your whole keyboard gets all screwed up because the connection dropped for the window.
Brian: So you have to wait for a round trip to where can I turn the button gray to even know you hit the right key.
Gabe: Yeah. Exactly.
Brian: And so you’re typing –
Gabe: Everybody in the video just got to watch me hit my mute button, cough, and then turn it back on. So I coughed completely quietly.
Brian: That’s advanced radio. So you’re three paragraphs into the thing before you realize that you missed a letter somewhere along the way.
Gabe: No. You’re not because, I mean, you’re painfully aware that you’re missing letters. You’re three letters in before you’re like fuck this.
Brian: But it comes F space C K/T blank blank S.
Gabe: Yeah. And before they even hooked us up with the demo, they wanted to know if we had a blue tooth keyboard, and I said yes because I knew that that was going to happen. And obviously, in Citrix, in VM Ware, in Oracle, in whatever, I would much rather have a blue tooth keyboard to connect to this and to type into an iPad based VDI or desktop session, so I knew that that was coming. But really, I wanted to see what the remote multi touch experience was like. And it wasn’t any better than anything else. I mean, it was cool. You could do it. But that’s all. So that was all the first article. So that was all breaking down On Live expert.
A whole lot of discussion about how they’re doing desktops and the licensing behind that and so on. And you can imagine guys like Geist from ToCloud were very vocal in the conversation around that.
Brian: Yeah. All the real Cloud desktop providers are like are these guys – like do they have a secret private agreement with Microsoft, or are they just ignorantly breaking the license agreements?
Gabe: Right. And there’s only so many options. Like you could be – I went so far as to – I never actually said that they’re breaking this because it’s all speculation. So I don’t want to say that they’re knowingly –
Brian: But you can say that I speculate that they’re breaking licensing agreements.
Gabe: Well, that’s exactly what I said. So that’s one of the options. So one is they’re blissfully unaware of it. Two is that they have something custom with Microsoft. Or three, and this one was actually posited by I think people from Citrix and then a few other people who helped back it up, was that it could be used in blade PC’s. And if they were using blade PC’s, I learned that they’re running Windows 7 Enterprise by the way. Once I got in, I was able to poke around and see what was going on. So they could be using blade PC’s, which is dedicated hardware, and then remoting that to people.
And if it’s dedicated hardware, then you can do whatever you want with it. And at that point, it’s more like logging in.
Brian: Right. Yeah. And the thing is so because someone was mentioning they – so On Live also does with their video game service, they offer access to Windows games. So and Windows games presumably require a properly licensed copy of Windows. So presumably, they either had an agreement with Microsoft that works with those Windows games, or they were like you were saying. Maybe they’re using blade work stations with the central image streaming to stream down the game or something like that.
So presumably, they already had some legal mechanism in place to deliver Windows games to people. So they could maybe leverage that for their Windows desktops.
Gabe: My favorite is the big FU to Microsoft theory that they had this custom games thing worked out that was supposed to be just for games. Like okay, this is fine. It’s just going to be – you’re going to be running Windows like the Kernel, but the games are just going to be there, and it’s just going to be access to games. And then On Live finds a loophole and says hey, we can do desktops, too. Okay, and then starts putting the desktops out there, which I think is funny. I mean, I doubt that Microsoft would let that happen. But you never know.
Gabe: So that’s where the loose ends article comes into play. Somebody jumped in there and found a VM Ware folder in C:Program Files. I jumped in and looked at it, too. Unless they’re doing some trickery to hide the files from us, that folder is empty. So my guess is that they just built the base image in VM Ware workstation or something, and then saved it, and that folder is just still there, a remnant.
Brian: Because there’s no evidence of the VM Ware desktop agent or anything like that.
Gabe: I can’t find anything, right. So and that’s not to say they’re not there. But skin deep, it doesn’t look like they’re doing that. So I mean, they could be. And then so I went on. Like so are they using VM Ware? Are they using dedicated hardware or custom licensing? Those are all boring. So I thought I wonder. Somebody actually pointed this out to me on Twitter, so I didn’t just make it up out of thin air. But somebody wondered if they were an acquisition target. And so I got to thinking, I wonder who the hell would buy them.
And then I remember this article that you wrote, I don’t know, 18 months ago or something like that or maybe it was 2 years ago, you were talking with Benny about the whole point of RemoteFX. And Benny suggested, he’s like dude, this isn’t about remote protocols for desktops in your organization. This is about serving Windows from the Cloud. And then it went on to become this is about Xbox from the Cloud, too. I mean, think of where this could go, and this could go to Xbox from the Cloud as well. And so then I think all right.
So we got games from the Cloud, desktops from the Cloud, all via this protocol that really works well when you got a bunch of bandwidth.
Brian: Buy a guy who has built and sold companies to Microsoft and Apple and these big Enterprise IT companies.
Gabe: So I feel like, you know, it’s a little bit more qualified than a crazy ass suggestion. But because it’s not completely off the wall. But other than that, I mean, all I did was put these pieces together and kind of make this up. So I feel like, I mean, it could happen.
Brian: It’s one tick away from a completely crack pot theory. But the thing is but protected though. That’s what we’re saying.
Gabe: This has become the thing you hang your hat on because in six months when this happens, guess who go it.
Brian: Right. So we don’t know any – we’re no closer though to knowing what the hell – we still to this day don’t know how the hardware is, we don’t know how they’re licensed.
Gabe: Shall we push the begin rant button because you – Brian is an MVP, so we’re like all right. Let’s see, maybe –
Brian: No. Brian is the unwilling MVP. So first of all, yeah, so I have been a Microsoft MVP since 2003. And I won’t get into what the program is. I feel back in the day, it used to matter. Now granted, now when I was an MVP, when I joined MVP program, I was like I joined along with a bunch of other people for terminal server MVP. So I think like in the year that I joined in, that was Benny’s year and who else was in there? There were a bunch of people. And before me, the only MVP’s were like Claudio was an MVP before me. And I think that was maybe it.
There were two terminal server MVP’s, and even they were like oh, this program is going to hell because now they’re like –
Gabe: It was probably like Vera or something.
Brian: Yeah. Who I’ve never met in person, by the way, but she is in Sweden, I think, and just answers the questions on Microsoft boards all day, and that’s her thing. I’ve talked to her via email. She’s very lovely but does not want to go out in public, or does not want to go to these events because she says oh, I just handle the easy questions, which maybe is true. She just does like 100 a day. And so –
Gabe: And she’s amazing at it.
Brian: Yeah. So Vera, if you’re out there, BriForum, any time you want to come, it’s on us, so take it anytime you want. But I don’t know. But we had – I feel like it was more personalized attention they gave us. I don’t know. We have the MVP contact, like your liaison into Microsoft has been like it was one person for a long time, then another person for a long time. And then recently, it’s gotten like every six months, there’s a new person. They don’t know who you are, and they each have like a 100 MVP’s they deal with. And they used to give us stuff of value like MSTN subscriptions, so at least we got all the software from Microsoft free, but they don’t do that anymore.
They used to give us email addresses, actually internal Microsoft.com email addresses, so you could be like on the exchange server at Microsoft, and you could really interact with the product team directly, and we could look them up and that kind of stuff. But they don’t do that anymore. And the timing, they have this MVP conference where everyone gets together for like two or three days, but it’s always in the beginning of March. But unfortunately, the beginning of March doesn’t always sync up very well with where they’re going to be making announcements because the Microsoft product cycle is so slow.
So like even going to that thing is like pretty freakin’ worthless. It’s just like parties. It’s just a junket, you know. You go to Seattle and have parties at the Children’s museum or the Rockin’ something. I don’t know. It’s just a big, giant party. And then you go in the rooms with your people, and it’s all this NDA stuff about the future. They’re so far in the future, and they ask you what your opinions are. And guess what, the same thing always happens like licensing sucks. And it’s just I don’t know. And –
Gabe: And we can’t write anything about it. And that becomes a – that I a way is a liability because I wrote I am also part of NDA’s. Now, I don’t think with Microsoft, but with other companies. And it’s hard because if you get NDA information, you really can’t speculate on what they might do with things because if you were told that, and then you break NDA somehow by accident, it’s a liability.
Brian: Yeah. So we’ve been backed off from NDA. So we don’t do NDA’s really anymore. And unless it’s a very specific thing, so like –
Gabe: Or short term, too.
Brian: Yeah. So there’s the difference between NDA and Embargo’s. Embargo is just like let me tell you about this news this week. We’re not announcing it until next week, so don’t tell anyone about it, but you can have your article ready to go. I’m fine with that. But this long term stuff – and I’m also not saying that NDA’s are worthless. If I was an end user customer, and I was buying into in a big way VM Ware or Citrix, I would want to get their NDA roadmap where they’re going the next year so I could make decisions about what products I’m buying. But for our role, like where our jobs are just to write and comment about stuff, these NDA’s don’t really – you’re right.
They don’t help us because they hurt us because we’re in a room all day hearing about all these features. And then we can’t – but the vendors – all the vendors – it’s really changed. Citrix used to be very open with what they tell us under NDA. And then as soon as VM Ware – that’s all on XenApp and Metaframe, but then as soon as VM Ware View came out, Citrix started really clamping down and doesn’t tell us anything because they’re afraid that we’re on the take from VM Ware, and we’re just going to go leak it back to VM Ware. And VM Ware doesn’t tell anything because they think we’re all in bed with Citrix because Citrix was there first.
And Microsoft, everything is NDA. And it’s just so the program became like you don’t get MSDN. They don’t know who the hell I am anymore. You don’t get the email addresses in there. NDA has been kind of worthless. I actually didn’t even apply to the program this year because what happens is every year, the MVP program, it’s like a reward for the work you did in years past. So it’s like they look at people who are members of the community and post blogs and do events and speaking and that kind of stuff. But I didn’t even – you’re supposed to apply to it every year and send them an update of what you did.
But I didn’t even do that this year because just thinking I would drop out. But like they still made me an MVP again. So I’m not an unwilling – I didn’t sign the – they gave me all the MVP and all that, but I didn’t sign that again. They sent me the trophy. Actually, can one of you grab that trophy off of Jack’s desk? Let me show you this thing. So even the prizes, they used to give you this trophy every year. But they also stopped doing – they give you like one big trophy, and then you have these little rings that you plug on each year. It’s like so my MVP kit this year was my lapel pin and my trophy ring that says 2012 on it or whatever.
Gabe: Do you have any plans to wear anything with a lapel this year?
Brian: I don’t think you need to put the words this year onto that statement.
Gabe: Well, sometimes you have a meeting. Like you met with Parliament or something last year. You had to wear a suit to that.
Brian: Fuck it, man. I should have worn my MVP thing to this.
Gabe: All right. So –
Brian: Here’s the thing, thank you, Justin. So here’s my MVP award. And the funniest thing, too, is like apparently, they started this in the year 2010 because there’s like 2010, 2011, and 2012 disks that plug into this little trophy. You can kill someone with this thing. This is heavy. And then people complained because they were MVP’s for like many, many years. So if you were an MVP from before, they sent this later like a five year disk. You can put it on the bottom to show you’re an MVP for at least the past five years. But I was actually an MVP even before that. So they owed me like an extra one year disk. But I don’t know. It’s just this is the value of being an MVP.
And so the other value, they say, is that look, man. It’s not about trophies. Actually, we can just put this – we’re going to build some shelves in here next week. And there we go. The value is its background so we don’t have to look at this wooden wall the whole time. And they say that the value is you have a connection to Microsoft. You can ask them questions. You can get questions answered and just it’s a direct connection into Microsoft, and people find that valuable. Okay. Fine. So I’ve been an MVP for 8 years according to my trophy. But in real life, I think it’s been like nine or ten years.
And I don’t believe that I’ve leveraged my access to Microsoft for fucking anything before until this On Live. See what this brings back around to On Live. So this On Live thing happens, and the other Cloud providers are basically saying this is shady. Well, the whole world is saying is this shady? Are they in bed together? How is this possible? So I email my contact at Microsoft to ask about hey, On Live is all the rage. It’s been on the blogs and tweets. What’s happening with that? And they came back with a pretty generic answer, which was of course we cannot comment on any customers and what they might or might not be doing because that’s not really hey, we’re just a product group.
Now, granted, this product group has desktop licensing experts in it. And these desktop licensing experts have been at the MVP meetings and always say if you have any questions, send them over. We’re happy to answer. And I would ask the question. And they’d be like oh, we can’t comment on this. I’m like well, okay. So that was an empty promise I guess to begin with. So then I’m like –
Gabe: Well, maybe they can’t specifically talk about customers.
Brian: Truly, I was so – so I rephrased my question. And I say okay. New question. I want to create desktop as a service offering. I want to use Windows 7 Enterprise desktops. I want to deliver the desktops to customers, but to customers who are not – like to end user consumers. I want them to have a free desktop or $10.00 a month desktop. I want to host it at my data center and deliver these to customers anywhere in the country. And I want them to be able to access it, and I don’t want them to buy their own licenses. So how would I do that? And they were like Brian, we cannot comment on what customers may or may not be doing. I said no, no, no stop.
This has nothing to do with On Live. I want – forget On Live. New topic. New thread. I want to do this. Please help me understand Microsoft product people how what I’m saying is possible to do. And I didn’t hear back. So I emailed them a few days later. I’m like hello? Can I hear an answer? And they’re like yeah, we’re looking into this. We talked to our licensing people. We’ll get back to you. Fucking nothing from them. And so this is – there have been like three and four emails back and forth with them. And so really? Like they don’t have an MSDN, they don’t have this access to the emails and all this kind of stuff.
And now on top of all that, I finally ask them a question that you would think is a simple question, and they can’t even fucking tell me the answer. And so like what the hell value does this program have? Like there’s zero value in this program. And then that just rekindles the old anger that I have at Microsoft because I wrote an article about six months ago about how Microsoft is screwing the entire industry by purposefully making Windows 7 really hard to license. And I think, Gabe, in your online article, someone wrote about this.
Like someone wrote about this in the comment where Microsoft is the ones that are holding back the desktop virtualization industry and desktops as the service from happening because the whole – I mean, the whole world, all these guys are doing, and like we talked to the Desk Tone and the To Cloud people, and they’re ready to go. The technology is ready to go for delivering Windows desktops from the Cloud, and Microsoft is just absolutely purposefully making that difficult to do to support their shitty, old ass, friggin’ monopoly. So the day that I stop using Microsoft products in general will be a very happy day for me.
And I’m angry that I still have to use Microsoft Office. I’m trying too hard to go 100 percent off of Microsoft, and I just fucking hate Microsoft. You can tweet quote me on that. I fucking hate Microsoft. That’s bullshit. So I’m not going to the MVP thing. I’m like fuck them and their MVP. I’m actually going to take this trophy and figure out like will it blend.
Gabe: I think this proves that you are indeed app detective.
Brian: When I said I fucking hate Microsoft, I spelled that right. So we’ll fill in a different view to the video [inaudible]. And we’re like recycling it or whatever.
Gabe: If you’re going to do it, I would mangle it, and then put it back on that shelf.
Brian: Oh, that’s amazing. I’m going to get a mask and a sledgehammer.
Gabe: The jar of broken glass on the shelf.
Brian: It’s just such bullshit because and what irks me the most about this whole thing is how like they always give this crap about how we love to listen to our customers, which is so patronizing because every single MVP meeting I’ve been to for the past three or four years have been Microsoft desktop licensing, this VDI, VDA, VECD, SA, Enterprise allow you the rights. It’s so messed up, so messed up, so messed up. And every single God damn person at Microsoft that you talk to is like I know, I know, I wish I could do something about it. But you know someone there in that back room can do something about it.
But they’re purposefully fucking their customers just so they can continue their monopoly to exist. And it’s just such bullshit. And the thing is obviously, my whole job is related to like the Microsoft Windows desktop delivery industry. And so I recognize that we as an industry have 20 years of Microsoft applications legacy in front of us that we have to figure out how to deliver. So I’m not all about – I mean, Microsoft is doing this to themselves. Like this is not – this is them specifically planning to screw customers just to protect their own revenue. And I guess that’s what monopolies do. Like Apple does the same thing.
And I guess I don’t hate Apple for the same reason because they make cool products at least. So maybe I’m being like what’s that called? Like when the pot calls the kettle black? An asshole, I don’t know. But so I don’t know. But it’s just fuck that company. And so I just I don’t know. I’m just not a fan of anything they’re doing with regard to this policy. I am a fan of other things that they’re doing though like RemoteFX for Windows 8. That’s kind of badass, so congratulations Microsoft. You made that awesome. Too bad we can’t license it to use it. So I’m ready to move on.
Gabe: I want to give credit to Landon Frehley who is the guy who made the comment about the acquisition. He actually suggested even calling it – going on Microsoft and call it Xbox Online. So but just in case Landon Frehley is watching, I got that idea from you. I was going through, there’s so many more complicated things. The comments in this article are so, so great. Telling you about how good the go to My PC reasoning is only appropriate if I’m the primary user of the device and remotely connecting to. And if I’m not the primary user, I have to have the identical version of the edition that I’m accessing on my current device.
And it’s just so messed up. And honestly, Microsoft owes us an explanation here about how this works and about how On Live can do something that other people are out there trying to build business models around struggling with trying to do. And how they can treat two different companies. It might be legitimate, that’s fine. But I want to know why. And I think they owe us as the community. I mean, yeah, not us as –
Brian: Us three assholes. Or two assholes and Jack.
Gabe: Yeah. But tell all of them and forget about us, that’s fine. We’ll pick it up from somebody somewhere else. But yeah. I want the community as a whole to know this because if they’re clearly not playing by the same rules that everybody else is.
Brian: That is the true statement. On Live is clearly not playing by the same rules. Can I use actual F bombs in titles of articles? Maybe I’ll just do F. FU Microsoft, something shady is going on with On Live, Microsoft knows the story. F them for not telling. What’s my next turn in the article rotation? Let me check my calendar here.
Gabe: Do you want tomorrow?
Brian: Do I have anything for tomorrow?
Gabe: I’ve got tomorrow for Brian Madden.com. We actually have a spreadsheet.
Brian: Yeah. I’m looking at my spreadsheet. I got Thursday. I’m the CIT tomorrow. CIT is our little code for consumerized IT. Right. Okay. Moving on. Now, speaking of Microsoft though, I feel like what Microsoft did for RemoteFX and Windows 8 is kind of badass. So I want to talk about that for a little bit. Gabe, did you actually read this article that I wrote?
Gabe: I’m actually looking for it right now.
Brian: Don’t read it. I’ll tell you right now. So it doesn’t matter. So first of all, this article I wrote is based on Microsoft’s build conference, which was from like October or something like that. It was a long time ago. And I finally got around to watching it.
Gabe: Oh yeah, I read this one. Okay. Go on.
Brian: So basically, I want to look at what Microsoft are doing for RDP and for RemoteFX in Windows 8. And the gist of it is that so all the stuff is based on the stuff from build. But first of all, it’s clear that I think that RemoteFX, so it seems like they’re calling everything RemoteFX now. So they don’t have to – it’s like RemoteFX is essentially the new name for RDP. Almost like HTX replaced. You don’t have to watch. You can listen. And so it’s like I feel like the name RDP is kind of going away. And they’re calling everything remote FX. So but they’re adding some cool capabilities. So one thing they’re adding is adaptive graphics.
And the adaptive graphics are doing two-fold. A) we talked about those different types of compression. They’re actually going to divide the screen into different areas and do different kinds of compression based on what they see, which I think like HTX does this now. So if I identify a text region, they’re not going to build to loss those texts. They’re going to use a special codec that’s good for encoding text.
Gabe: Oh, what do you know because lossless impression on text sucks.
Brian: Yeah. And then if they recognize more graphical regions of the screen, they can do a build to lossless or a loss decompression with a high quality of loss where you can’t even tell.
Gabe: Or motion, that kind of thing, yeah.
Brian: And motion is different. So motion is interesting because so for motion, they’ve always had the redirection of like direct show and direct foundation video. They’ve always been able to do like actually multimedia redirection and just render that on the client. But if they detect motion, they will actually use an H264 video codec and encode that section of screen. But this is not –
Gabe: That’s any motion. That’s not – that’s moving a window around. That’s not – that’s exactly how Oracle works that I’m writing about for tomorrow. Any motion on the screen, they call it, I forget, a randomly changing area or something like that. Any mass motion on the screen, they actually convert that to motion JPEG and send it down to the client. And the client has a motion JPEG decoder on it.
Brian: Oh, interesting. And then so with RemoteFX, that’s cool because this is happening at like the screen buffer level, the screen image level. So that fast motion, it doesn’t matter if it’s like a slide show flipping through JPEG’s really fast. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flash image, a GIF, any kind of media that they can’t redirect on their own. They’re going to actually send an H264 stream down. And then they can break up. I’ve got a picture in the article of all these little sections. They can break up a screen into as many little sections as they need, and these sections are dynamically changing.
So they might see one thing as an image and send it down as a loss JPEG and then also that starts moving, and they mainly build H264 encoding stream and start sending that down.
Gabe: Where is that done at? Is that done GPU? Or is that – do you need an encoder or something?
Brian: That’s another awesome thing about RemoteFX for Windows 8 is that all of this, this feature and actually all features for RemoteFX and Windows 8 are not based on having a GPU or not. Or they’re not based on being virtual or not.
Gabe: That’s badass, and that’s also like PC override then where you can do it in software, you can do it in hardware. You still get the same feature set.
Brian: Yeah, exactly. Because in Windows 7, it was tough because Windows 7, you had to have a physical GPU. And you had only some features would work on Windows 7 and VM, but they wouldn’t work as Windows 7 Native, and it was just really bad.
Gabe: I’ve got an ATI like 600 on a graphics card that I’m going to put on EBay then.
Brian: Right. So it doesn’t matter if you’re physical or virtual. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a GPU or no GPU. So because if you have a physical GPU, they can virtualize it and slice it up. They can make – or they can do it all in software. And what’s cool with part of these adaptive graphics also is they actually look at the network. They look at how much bandwidth and latency and what the round trip is looking like. And they’ll look at the device capabilities in the client, and they’ll actually tune what they’re doing. So for example, doing this H264 encoding on the host might take more host side processing but takes less client side decoding.
Or it might actually maybe they can do that and have a better performance over slower networks or whatever. Or if they’re dropping a lot of packets, like the H264 protocol itself can handle packet loss. Or the codec itself can handle lost bids. So they might recognize that they’ll do more in H264 if they’re having a lot of packets lost. But they do all that dynamically. So they can actually make decisions to say – and you can override all of those in the group policy if you want to. But they’ll actually make decisions that are like okay, this client is real shitty. The client is shitty.
So I’m going to go ahead and use some more resources on my host to provide a better experience to this client. And it’s exactly how they’re encoding and what they’re encoding is going to be different and dynamically chosen.
Gabe: But then the protocol changes then, too, right because now you can also do UDP?
Brian: Right. So that’s part of this, too. And they use UDP like the same way that Citrix uses UDP. So before RDP and RemoteFX was TCP only. And now, TCP is still like the default, and it will fall back to TCP. But what they can’t – they don’t do this with every virtual channel, but with some virtual channels, if they can establish a UDP connection, which they can also do through the remote TS gateway or remote desktop gateway. So some of the – so if they can establish UDP down to the client, then they’ll send certain things like the H264 and the video streaming and the audio and stuff like that.
They’ll do that via UDP. But it’s not like UDP is replacing TCP. They always have a TCP connection to open a side channel on UDP if they can. If they can’t open that side channel on UDP, it’s no problem. They’ll continue to do it all in TCP.
Gabe: So I wonder now like I’m curious to hear what Citrix and VM Ware say about that just from – because it sounds to me like you can maybe get the best of both worlds then. And I guess you still screw up the UDP stuff if you run it through a VPN and encapsulate it. You still lose that benefit.
Brian: Right. But what they’re doing it’s like the same way Aerocom does it where they’re not trying to – they’ll actually try to make the UDP connection all the way through. And if it fails, it falls back to TCP. With VM Ware, with PC over IP, there is not fall back. Well, I guess you can fall back to RDP, but that’s like falling all the way back. And so here, it’s the one connection. It’s not like you have to disconnect and then try to reconnect to the different client or whatever. So that’s kind of cool.
Gabe: But then they got WAN support now, too. Like the WAN support thing is – I mean, all of this stuff is amazing. But it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me unless I can also use it over the WAN because if RemoteFX is going to become the default protocol, I need to be able to use that from home.
Brian: Yeah. And again, it’s like RemoteFX it’s like they’re sort of renaming all these sort of capabilities of RDP and everything got better. It got a RemoteFX stamp. So if you remember, RemoteFX was never a new protocol to begin with. It was just like additional capabilities for RDP.
Gabe: Yeah. Like codec or whatever, right?
Brian: Yeah. And like some virtual channels. And so they didn’t do anything like specifically for the WAN apart from everything I just mentioned like being sensitive to the network, being sensitive to the latency, having it adapt the graphics, and doing different things in different parts of the screen, fall back to TCP if they needed to. All of these together combined to make it more WAN friendly, especially things like using the H264. I mean, just the fact that they can tune the quality of that between the frame rates and everything. So before they were trying to send every screen shot down, and it was just getting behind and tearing.
That’s the demos they showed where they did like 90 percent less bandwidth where they had 30 to 50 megabits of bandwidth being cut down to 3 to 5 megabits. But the reason they did that is because they were encoding H264 and then sending the H264 stream down. And as you know, a 3 to 5 megabit per second bit rate H264 stream is going to look damn good.
Gabe: You know what I can’t wait for is Windows Media Center and if they can do extenders using RemoteFX and this like – I mean, that would be incredible around your house.
Brian: Yeah. Well, then you need to buy more Microsoft products.
Gabe: The way it works right now is if you have a DIVX movie or something like that, the way that works is that actually sends that down to out of band and sends that down to like your Xbox. And the Media Center Extender in the Xbox actually renders that. But the Xbox implementation of that codec kind of sucks, so not everything works. And so if you rendered your own movies or something, and the Xbox can’t decode that, you’re screwed. But so you have way more options than Windows. So if we can just remote everything to execute it all on Windows and then remote it to you via an awesome protocol, that would rock.
Brian: Yeah. For those who are still buying Microsoft products, yes. And then the other thing, too, is like they also showed off, and I wrote an article about this for Consumerized IT, they also show off a metro style remote desktop app. And so this is basically the remote desktop client. Like the TSS or the MSTSC. They’re now it’s a remote – there’s now a metro version. So it’s basically like now there’s two versions of the Microsoft RDP client software like the old style version for the laptops and the metro version for touch. But ironically, of course, I mean, you might have your awesome metro client, but you’re still connecting back to an old school desktop.
So yeah, like the actual launcher to launch my connections is all awesome and multi touch. But then I connect right to a dumb, boring desktop behind it. But what they did mention though is the features are the same for both the metro client and the traditional client. All these features, all the additions, all the capabilities, the code beneath them is identical, including multi touch support. So now, they are doing full multi touch remoting. And with real multi touch, so not only multiple points of touch but also pressure. So they –
Gabe: What do you mean the code is identical?
Brian: I mean, well, the actual like the capability. So when they write it, they compile it up for Metro and compile it up for not Metro. And I’m sure like they wrote obviously they had to write the different UI. But the actual DLLs, all that kind of stuff.
Gabe: I’m just curious about how like the ARM implementation in Windows and things like that. So yeah, you’re just talking about – well, you mentioned tablet clients.
Brian: Right. But they have X86. I’m talking about Metro. So like they have not specifically mentioned ARM as the client. But I would imagine that if they’re making Metro, they’re making Metro on client. And they can still write the same stuff and just – I mean, they might have to do some work. But the point is everything they implemented, the features are exactly identical across both. But the multi touch remoting, so again, so multi touch remoting, too. So if you have a traditional tablet, slate PC’s now I guess they’re called, and it’s got multi touch, and you’re remoting to – you don’t have to have the metro client to remote multi touch.
But the multi touch they’re actually remoting multi touch as the separate input point. So it’s not mouse emulation. It is 10 fingers at once, and with multiple pressure, and they can remote all of that in. So if you are connecting – like they demoed a metro tablet connecting to a remote desktop that itself was running metro that with Metro IE in the back end, then it will be fully remoted like VDI IE and feel like a nice, good Metro experience, even though that part is being remoted. So that was really cool. I mean, obviously, the same limitations they’re going to have are the limitations that so it does look awesome.
But of course, Citrix – it’s not like this is killing Citrix though because they’re still going to have the limitations of it’s only going to be like they’re going to probably have their clients that are on theme clients and Windows clients only, and then Citrix is going to have to develop the like good Android client and the Mac client and IOS and all that kind of stuff. So it’s typical Microsoft stuff with the default. What’s nice though is that it raises the bar for everyone. So even though this may not be something that like we all run out and replace –
Gabe: I mean, well, picture Hyper V3 now. So Hyper V3 comes out, and Microsoft, I mean, there’s a lot of buzz about this that Microsoft’s virtualization platform is going to be the real deal at that point. The old saying is that Microsoft’s V3 products are usually spot on. And so –
Brian: I like adding one to that like every few years.
Gabe: Yeah, right.
Brian: It use to be like the 0.1 release, and then it was the 0.20 releases, and then it was the 0.30.
Gabe: And now it’s 7.
Brian: Well, seriously, right with Windows.
Gabe: So XP was great until we realized that it wasn’t.
Brian: What Microsoft Office are we on now?
Gabe: Twelve I think. So Hyper V3 coming out. We’ve got Hyper VV3 coming out. We’ve got Windows 8 coming out, too. I mean, that’s a pretty potent solution if it all works together and it works the way you’re saying it will. I mean, that’s –
Brian: Except for all the confusion like –
Gabe: I know that you’ve written about is this the Citrix killer, the VM Ware killer, all that kind of stuff. I think you mentioned it in that article.
Brian: I didn’t say Citrix killer.
Gabe: Well, you said that Bear Paw as a Citrix killer.
Brian: Yeah. But that was in 2004.
Gabe: Yeah. But you said something to that effect this time around I think, too.
Brian: I said look out Citrix, HGX, and VM Ware PC. RDP and RemoteFX in Windows 8 is awesome.
Gabe: RemoteFX in Windows 8 look awesome. Are Citrix and VMware dead?
Brian: Did I write that?
Gabe: Yes, you did.
Gabe: In the summary.
Brian: Oh, I’ll be damned. Well, I only wrote for one person’s feathers for that, and he works at Citrix.
Gabe: Yeah. It’s fine. But I mean, it seems like we’ve got – I guess we skipped a year, right? Nobody asked that with Windows 2008 because that was Vista server, right? But we asked it with 2003 R2 or 2003. Now we’re asking it with Windows 8 and server whatever it’s going to be. And I mean, if it ever had a chance, now it does. I still think these guys are still going to be around. I don’t think anybody is dead. But wow. Way to go Microsoft. Now, we can all focus on other things.
Brian: And with that, I got 1:00. I need to head out. So it’s five minutes after our hour. So I say we wrap this thing up. There’s a lot of great stuff that we did not talk about, which means we’ve got plenty to talk about next week, which I love this new time. I see only like five people showed up instead of forty. So I don’t know.
Gabe: But when did that article go live, too?
Brian: It was this morning.
Gabe: So yeah, so people may have been –
Brian: No. It was last night. It was last night or this morning. I don’t know.
Gabe: It doesn’t matter. This is the new time, so tell your friends.
Brian: So deal with it. And hopefully, you’ll join us next week.
Gabe: Hopefully Jack gets to talk next time.
Brian: Actually, I think I’m on a plane next time.
Gabe: Okay. Jack gets to talk a lot.
Brian: Okay. I’ll have a lot to talk about.
Gabe: We’re thinking about doing one – Jack and I were talking yesterday about doing a consumerization show, a little half hour one maybe or something. So I don’t know if we’ll start that this week or next or whatever. But it’s something we’re thinking about doing at least.
Brian: You should do that.
Gabe: Oh yeah, you don’t have to do it.
Brian: Oh yeah, I vote for that. Thanks for listening.